Love those elimination games

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Playing with a hand/wrist injury so severe he can’t take faceoffs, the great Pavel Datsyuk helped Detroit forge an unlikely comeback.

Red Wings stay alive

Cam Cole in Nashville

Red Fisher on Thomas and Roloson

Drop the Puck! – Todd

• Great piece by Arpon Basu on the Canadiens and the cap

Bulldogs headed to Game 7

Pleks beats Russia with a penalty shot and AK23 scores twice against Slovenia

The playoff heartbreak of Habs fan Sam Roberts

• Richard Labbé on the Yzerman effect

Sean Avery does something right

Photo by Chad Ziemendorf/Reuters

178 Comments

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  5. Danno says:

    gdgdf
    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    http://dennis-kane.com/

  6. JohnBellyful says:

    Hab fans have grown surly. Surlier. Without a daily fix of Canadiens’ minutiae, life for many hardly seems worth living.
    The solution is simple, turn the site into a fanzine, where posters can construct a fantasy world of all things Habitant. Not a day will go by that fans won’t be able to read something about the Canadiens, say the latest adventures of Jocko M, Man of Mystery.
    Here’s just a taste of the taut tales that could await readers each morning, if enough people get on board and contribute:

    “Mully, c’mon over here. Got an idea I want to run by you.”
    “Marty, can’t you see I’m packing. I gotta a plane to catch in half an hour.”
    “This won’t take long. I’m working on plans for next season. We’re not gonna use The System.”
    “Well, I know I’m noWhaaaat! You gotta be kiddin’. The System got us into the playoffs two years in a row and we made some noise because of it even though we were missing key players. The System keeps us in games and gives us a chance to win.”
    “Hey, you don’t have to convince me, Mully. I perfected The System, don’t forget: 1-4-Goalie Plays Lights Out. Heck, I even tried to improve on perfection, remember? 1-5-Goalie Plays Lights Out but just my luck the league is a stickler about how many players are on ice and not so much about head shots. Fine, doesn’t matter to me now. The System is gone.”
    “Why, Marty, why?”
    “To tell you the truth, Mully, The System bores me. People get on me about not showing any passion behind the bench. You know why? I can hardly keep my eyes open. That notebook you see me writing in? Sudoku. Otherwise, I’d be catching 40 winks on the bench with AK.”
    “So what are you – I mean, what are WE gonna use in place of The System?”
    “Organic Hockey. These guys have been playing the sport for years. Surely by now they’ve got the hang of it. Yes, even Pouliot. So let them find their own comfort level working together instead of me trying to cram round pegs into square holes. Let them evolve on their own into a team that makes the most of individual talents. They’re out on the ice, not me.
    Strictly organic: no fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides. No rants, pep talks, traps, benchings, bag skates. 100 per cent gimmick-free. Oh, I’ll be there to make the lineup, open the gate, and visit Markov in the hospital. The rest is up to the boys.”
    “Geez, Marty, it sounds sorta radical. What will Pierrey say? And Geoffy?”
    “Not my concern, Mully. Still got two years on my contract. I want to stay awake for them.”

    Just then an unsealed envelope slides under the office door. Muller picks it up, peers inside and gasps: “There’s $100,000 in here!”
    “Yeah, from Gomey. Every Friday. I take it over to payroll. The man’s got pride.”

    Hey, I said it was a fantasy world..

    — “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” –

  7. showey47 says:

    Louis Leblanc to have shoulder surgery tomorrow. If things go well its a 4 week rehab but if the injury is bad it could be 4 to 6 months. This according to renaud lavoie’s twitter.

  8. SeriousFan09 says:

    From @Rick1042, a junior league scout who covers the Q, there will be a summit to examine hockey in Quebec, “Mtl Canadiens, Hockey-Quebec, Hockey-Canada, QMJHL are involved.”

    Also, Louis Leblanc goes under the knife today to have his shoulder repaired, he’s been playing with a bad wing since mid-November.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

    • punkster says:

      Just saw Showey’s post…what happened?

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • I’m pretty sure he missed like a weeks worth of games in November with an undisclosed upper body injury. He probably dislocated or separated his shoulder and decided to play in the WJC anyway, it was important to him.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Louis got banged up in a Q game against the Ramparts in NOV and has been playing through it ever since.

        His goal scoring went from 11 goals in his first 14GP to 15G over his next 37 games. Had good and bad stretches playing through it, went PPG at the WJC and had 6G in 10 playoff games but he’s not been at his best for the whole year essentially.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  9. Danno says:

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    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    http://dennis-kane.com/

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    Having read some of the Eklund like “habs rumours” in todays postings it lead me to read Eklund’s useless blog today. Lo and Behold everything now makes sense. If you read the first paragraph he mentions he lived in Sunnyvale. He must of been one of the bottle smashing kids from Trailer Park Boys. Understanding his background clarifies his completely useless comments.

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  11. baruch says:

    meh Boone, what’s with all the trumpet blaring for the Habs-less playoffs? Sharks wings was a greasy grind-y violent first two games, now a war of attrition between the injured aging Wings and Mike Babcock’s younger clone. Nucks blow game after game, everybody talking about how they are ‘fragile’ fragile delicate Nucks boo hoo… Luongo is like Price last year, never know when he’s going to utterly collapse and throw the game. I like watching Lappy and Higgins, though, HIO should write more about them. Nashville? How can you be excited about a team from Nashville? I enjoyed watching the resurgence of SK74 this year, but it would be nice if he was playing well in this series.
    Don’t think any of the West teams can beat Tampa or Boston the way they are going. Tampa better win, even though it will make me angry we lost Guy Boucher, and, Cedric Desjardins, and Dominic Moore…oooh I am getting riled… looks like we are going to lose Kirk Muller and even Perry Pearn too now. Great! You think we are ever going to win a cup with Jacques Martin? Can you imagine what Guy Boucher and Steve Yserman could have done with our team this year?

    mostly… HIO sucks the rag Boone. No Habs content for days at a time. I know they have been eliminated but the Dogs are still playing. Pleks is on a line with Jagr at the worlds. No mention of any of that here. No Habs logos, this blog hardly looks like a Habs blog at all, tasteless images of Bruins on the front page (who decides that?) and slowly, slowly, I get the sense that none of you really care about this site anymore… you sure aren’t listening to any of us bloggers, spammers are unmoderated. As a 30-year habs fan living abroad, I used too religiously visit this site. Now, each time I come I am offended with images of players I don’t care about, or even don’t like, (Lucic, really?). C’mon guys this site sucks, fix it.

    • baruch says:

      UPDATE Czech Rep.-Germany 5-1 after two: Pleks: 2 goals, both assisted by Jagr… nice line! Jagr looks a bit slow for the NHL though… can’t wait foe the Canada-Czech Rep. game.

      • Habs-monarchy says:

        I think it was mentioned earlier here that Pleks and Jagr are both from Kladno and practice together in the offseason. Their line is pretty dominant atm

        At his age Jagr certainly doesnt take one stride too much but it’s still amazing to see how great he is in protecting the puck with his body and long reach. He still has the hands too. Easily the best player on the ice in the game against russia 2 days ago – including ovi and kovalchuck. Probably one of the Top 10 forwards ever to play the game? :O

    • Mike Boone says:

      You’re right, of course.
      Watching Datsyuk, Kesler, St. Louis, Rinne et al is BORING!
      Let’s talk about how much ToI Tom Pyatt will have this October.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

      • showey47 says:

        lmao,hopefully none. I’d rather give his spot to nigel dawes or ryan white.

      • Habs-monarchy says:

        (Habs Penalty kill time / 2) + (3 * 2 * 40 seconds) ?

      • baruch says:

        Hey Mike, you appeared! I truly didn’t think you cared anymore. Sure Datsyuk is amazing and Kesler is what Max Pac could have been for us this year, St- Louis is great and even old Vinny is playing up to his reputation. Actually, I am a big fan of Roloson, love those late redemption stories.
        But ok, sure, playoff hockey has its moments, though its much more fun when the Habs are still playing. And my other point still stands. Since the change of name and site design, there has been a lack of Habs identity on this site. Many many commenters have remarked this, and since the first week, there really has not been any improvement. Captain aHab used to be around to inter-mediate for a while…and you, Mike are the only one with the couilles to come in here and brave the fire, so much credit to you. But yeah, I would like to postulate about the future of Tom Pyatt, Josh Gorges, Andrei Markov, the other Andrei 46 and the other Habs and future Habs and even past Habs, I note with satisfaction that today’s leading image is Louis Leblanc and not Ryan Kesler.
        Yesterdy the Pleks and Jagr line looked mighty fine. Jagr got 3 assists, two on Plek goals. Dogs are through to the Western finals again! Boydo scores the winner in 3rd OT, Dawes the other (9 goals this playoffs) think we’ll see either of those back in the NHL?
        So sure, you are right, of course, but you don’t address the site issues, maybe you have no power of those. Anyway keep on keeping on Mike, your side of the site is usually the only one I read anyway. And the very occasional Chris Aung Thwin

  12. rocketsglare says:

    Jeremy Roenick on VS called out Patrick Marleau as being “gutless”.
    What I call spot on commentary. Marleau has been a big 0 in this
    series. That was classic.

  13. Mark C says:

    PG to talk with Don Meehan about Markov, AK46, and Emelin next week.

    http://www.radio-canada.ca/sports/hockey/2011/05/09/003-darche-canadien-freyer.shtml

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Emelin is an interesting one for PG. I think we should gamble a bit and bring him over. (Realizing he will demand 1 way contract) Assuming resigning of Markov, Gorges, Gill. Would be neat to develop annother young defencemen next year that has some grit to his game. I like Weber’s skill set, but we continue to need to be grittier at back end. That would be a a good skating 6pack of defencemen (Minus Gill, but made up for elsewhere in his game).

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • rocketsglare says:

        With Weber’s skill set, why not convert him into a forward? He has a quick release and accurate shot.

        • Mike D says:

          I’ve been thinking along those lines as well – use him as a forward 5-on-5 and have him play defense when we’re on the PP. This way we could also have an ‘extra’ Dman available should someone get injured during the game.

          – Honestly yours

      • Mark C says:

        I agree 100% on Emelin. I could care less about having to give him a one-way contract; it’s highly likely he can cut it as a 3rd pairing D, and if he can’t then he could be the 7th D or sent to the KHL. I’m more than willing to find out at that cost, if Emelin is the second coming of Darius Kasparaitis or not.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        I’m pretty sure that Emelin or PG won’t have a choice in the matter regarding his type of contract. He will have to be on an entry-level deal which will be 2-way.

        I think the sticking point is that Emelin wants some type of clause that allows him to go back to the KHL if he doesn’t stick with the big club. If I’m not mistaken, I think we did something similar with Enqvist for the first year of his contract. Emelin has a family that he is supporting (wife and kid), so I can understand him not wanting to make AHL money if he has been living off KHL money.

        PG should take the gamble. I am 99.9% sure Emelin would crack our top 7 defense. Might even be in the top 6. He adds something we don’t have, which is toughness and physicality along with some mobility and some developing offensive skill. If Markov is back, he would be the perfect mentor for Emelin. Markov could do for him what Hal Gill did for PK. Not saying they’re the same type of players, but the impact Markov could have on him would be similar to Gill’s on Subban.

    • baruch says:

      nice news tip Mark!

  14. habs365 says:

    Halifaxhabs: Learn how to read

  15. Timo says:

    After more than 2 weeks without Habs hockey I still hate Martin and Gomez. Just an update on my part.

  16. LL says:

    There are 2 kinds of Halak fans.

    Those that truly believed that Halak was a better goalie than Price.
    After a full season, they realized that maybe that wasn’t the case, after Prices’ brilliant year, and Halaks’ below average year. Still, they like and believe Halak will do better in the future. I wish him well too and enjoyed last years’ playoffs along with everyone else.

    And then there are the Halakalites…

    Last Friday I was out with my friends and there was this Bruin “fan” next to us who wasn’t even watching his team eliminate Philly in 4. Instead, he went on and on how our teams’ management, coaching, decisions, and basically the whole team sucks, especially Price. He said trading Halak was the worst thing management has done since trading Roy. When one of my friends challenged him with fact, he had nothing to say.

    Basically, an anti-Habs fan, nothing to do with goaltending.

    For a minute there, I thought I had just met someone from HIO, who shall remain nameless. ;)

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      All you can say to people like that idiot is to check back 10 years down the raod…

    • RGM says:

      While I’m not really going to disagree with the two categorizations, I’m not sure that your encounter was with a Halakalite per se so much as someone that gets tickled by ragging on the Habs. Pierre McGuire is in the group that things the trade was horrible beyond words but I don’t think that he’s so much a Halak fan as a guy that truly believes that the Habs could have should have gotten more for him. But that’s Pierre.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Or Pierre could just be a wannabe NHL Executive who can’t believe his job opening the bench door for Mario and Jaromir didn’t lead to his entrance to the hockey hall of fame. I have absolutely no patience for that nimrod. Just saying is all.

        Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • LL says:

        Yup, good point, I could’ve added not getting enough for Halak as well.

        But usually, there is a direct link to “The Trade” and the whole Gainey, Gauthier, Martin and no-cup-in-decades rant. I believe Pierre is one of those too, except the cup part.

    • avatar_58 says:

      I’m one of the people who had a smirk on his face when halak was traded. Obviously I felt they were hosed on that deal (who the hell is Eller??) but I was relieved they kept Carey.

  17. habs365 says:

    If the Habs don’t improve up front this summer–Carolina, Toronto, New Jersey, Ottawa and Islanders will all have something to say where the Habs finish in the Eastern Division next year..if you think those teams are just gonna sit by and miss the playoffs again think again–so mr. PG you better have a busy summer and I don’t mean Golfing……

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      ok, so you think Carolina, Toronto, New Jersey, Ottawa & the Islanders aren’t going to “sit by and miss the playoffs again”…. who are the 5 eastern teams that made it this year, that won’t make it next year because of those 5 teams?

      We know you think the Habs are one, but who are the other 4 that will miss the playoffs?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Islanders currently believe Al Montoya is their next goalie of the future. Not sure this team will make any great strides next year. They have quite a few UFA’s and we all know how little money their owner likes to pay out. It is too bad, this once great hockey franchise has really become the also ran in the New York/New Jersey marketplace. They still get some great young draft picks, but resigning anyone to stay their seems difficult.

        Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

        • Mattyleg says:

          Have you watched Honest Al’s goaltending in the IIHF tournament?

          Eeeeeeshhhhh….

          Isles aren’t getting better any time soon if they’re hanging their hopes on that guy!

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Yup he has been brutal, that game against Sweden was unbelievable the goals he let in.

            Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • Tremblant Habs Fan says:

      I could swear I read this post same time last year.

  18. HardHabits says:

    Here’s a HH prediction. More focus on defence equal more injuries and a middle of the pack team. More focus on offence means less injuries and a top 10 team.

    I am not saying give up on the defence in fact the Habs need to continue the sound team defensive system they are playing. However that alone is not enough. More goals scored are needed. Habs would still have to be in the top 10 in PP, PK and goals against, but without making it into the top 10 in scoring as well means the Habs will have not progressed and in fact stagnated.

    So next season’s goals should be:
    Top 10 finishes in PP, PK, goals for and goals against.
    20 goals, 40 assists, +5, 52% FO for Gomez at the very least.
    65 games maximum for Carey Price.
    Spread the minutes around. Roll 4 lines. No more 20+ minutes for Plex, Gio, Cammy and Gomez, especially Gomez.
    Trade Spacek.

    • shiram says:

      Gomez is not a 20 goal scorer, but can assist alot, try 15 goals and 45 assists, maybe 10 /50, and thats a more realistic goal for him, but I would love to have him prove him wrong… I’d say the rest is well within what he can achieve.

      I was thinking the same thing about Price, and if the team is spared a little from the injury bug, he probably won’t have to start as many.
      Pleks will top 20 minutes often if no one rises up for the Pk and PP, but DD and Eller are promising, and hopefully JM will give them more and more chances.

      I’d trade Spacek if I could, that’s for sure.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        “Gomez is not a 20 goal scorer, but can assist alot, try 15 goals and 45 assists,”

        Hey, a post from a Rangers blog circa 2008!

        How did it end up here?

        • Mark C says:

          Well Gomez went 12-47 his first year in Montreal. At his age, I don’t think one bad year means he can’t return to the player he was for the four years prior, which was a 15-45+ player.

    • Mark C says:

      How does more focus on defense lead to more injuries? Is there any proof of this, or it just your speculation? I understand the addition of shot blocking injuries, but I would think that that addition of injury risk is mostly, if not completed negated the fact that most checks are given by players on defense. Most concussions are given to players on offense.

    • A. Berke says:

      HH, I agree that the team desperately needs to shore up the Offence to be reasonably successful.
      However, how on earth can we expect Gomer to come up w/20 goals and >52% FO wins?
      He’s getting older and even worse, extremely predictable in his play and easy to defend against. 40 assists are a possibility for him but who’s going to come up with the additional 13 goals that he can’t score and having been, at times horrible in face-offs, will or can he improve on his current percentage?
      Sorry but I don’t share that optimistic view and as much as it may be considered an unsavoury move, he needs to be either traded (fat chance) or sent to Hamilton. The game left him and the train long left the station in his case.

      Instead we need a big forward who can score on 5-on-5 and can win FO’s.
      Cheers,

      Ali B.

      • G-Man says:

        Can’t wait for Gomez to prove all you “experts” wrong. :)

      • GrimJim says:

        “but who’s going to come up with the additional 13 goals that he can’t score”

        MaxPAc scored 14 goals in 37 games on Gomez’s line. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect Pac to score 13 more in 45 games

        In the same way, Cammalleri had his career worst year (tied with 2007-08). Is it unreasonable to expect Cammy to bounce back to 25-30 goals, especially if the HAbs pick up a true power forward like Laich or Erik Cole for his linemate?

  19. HardHabits says:

    The bottom line is offence. If the Habs continue being in the lower echelons of goal scoring, it doesn’t matter how good they are defensively, they will not contend let alone win the Cup.

    The best Habs team since ’93.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      agree

    • volcano62 says:

      Successful Habs of the past relied on defense first so did the Devils when they won their cups. Anything is possible especially in the playoffs.

      Our big problem is our scorers are not scoring. AK46 should have no less than 30G, Cammy should have over 45 with his talent. Pleks has the ability to top his 70+ pts season.

      • HardHabits says:

        So you agree with me.

      • rocketsglare says:

        Those teams where able to score in bunches.

      • Mark C says:

        One, I repeat one NHL’er had over 45 goals this year, and only three players did it the year before. Montreal needs more scoring, but let’s be realistic here people. If AK46 can get to 25-30, that would be a huge improvement. Saying AK46 should score 30 plus goals isn’t really fair, 35 goals has been good for top-10 in the league the past two years. Think of it this way, should he be judged on being a top-10 goal scorer or not? He’s just not that good of a player. Realistically Cammalleri needs to get into the 30-35 goal range.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Thanks for bringing some levity to this argument. A 30 goal scorer in today’s NHL is a real good scorer. A 40 goal scorer now seems like 50!

          Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • rocketsglare says:

      Habs have to improve their offensive production next season if they
      wish to contend for the Cup. That starts by upgrading the forward
      position by signing an impact player who can score and bang. Noth-
      ing better than a big, physical scorer who can play both a power &
      finesse game.

    • habs365 says:

      Way to go HardHabits–finally someone wrote a comment that’s right on….

  20. volcano62 says:

    More Habs news:

    – Depuis que nous vous avons affirmé il y a 10 jours que ce n’était pas l’amour fou entre Jacques Martin et Kirk Muller, nous recevons plusieurs courriels afin d’en savoir plus sur cette situation qui était vite devenue un malaise au sein du vestiaire.

    – Il y avait une sorte de jalousie provenant de Jacques Martin. Kirk était tellement aimé des joueurs. Lorsqu’il y en avait un qui connaissait des problèmes sur la glace ou dans sa vie personnelle, il allait directement le voir. J’irais même plus loin. Les joueurs ne connaissent pas Jacques. Il n’y a aucune relation personnelle entre lui et ses troupes. Oui, il est un excellent stratège, mais entraîner une équipe de la LNH va plus loin que ça” nous a confirmer notre source, qui travaille à temps plein au sein du vestiaire du CH.

    – On ne vous apprendra rien si on vous dit que les joueurs sont extrêmement déçu du départ de Muller. Ils le voyaient tous comme un 2e père.

    – Espérons que cela n’envenime pas l’ambiance entre certains et Martin.

    – Déjà que Mike Cammalleri semble très peiné du départ de Muller et que ce n’est pas l’amour fou avec Martin, croisons nos doigts pour que les deux hommes se parlent avant le début de la saison.

    – Pauvre Martin! Après avoir subi les comparaisons avec Guy Boucher, il devra maintenant vivre dans l’ombre de Kirk Muller…

    – L’agent de Josh Gorges serait à la recherche d’un contrat avoisinant les 3,5 M$ par saison. Gauthier lui en offre plutôt 3 M$. La marge de différence est mince et il n’y aura aucun problème pour que les deux parties s’entendent.

    – Le DG du Canadien a proposé un contrat d’une saison à un salaire 1,4 M$ à Hal Gill. Ce dernier serait plutôt à la recherche d’un revenu supérieur à 1,6 M$. Le défenseur format géant voudrait aussi un contrat de 2 ans. À suivre…

    – Après Pascal Vincent, le nom de Benoit Groulx circule à Montréal et à Hamilton.

    – La question est sur toutes les lèvres: Qui remplacera le bien-aimé Muller?

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      I love how not one single sports news outlet has any of this information, yet you have all the exact inside numbers of the potential contracts… on both sides, player and management.

      When will your source(Pierre Gauthier) start leaking information like this to anyone other than you? probably never, you’ll probably always be the number 1 source for Habs news on planet earth.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Are you trying to be Quebec’s answer to hockeybuzz?

    • G-Man says:

      Keep it up! Hysterical in both official languages!
      The “Kirk Muller is like a 2nd father” line was the funniest.

    • shiram says:

      That you BGL?

    • Timo says:

      While this sounds like a made up rumor, it is probably not a big stretch from the truth. I can’t see any player liking JM. And, combined with the fact that he didn’t make him team any better than it was last year, there can’t be a “well, at least he wins games and doesn’t get paid to be liked” thing.

      Habs are doomed to first round exists and consistent middle of the pack medioctiry for as long as JM, Gauthier and Gainey are running the show.

  21. HabFanSince72 says:

    People are mentioning Carey Price as a future team leader.

    I think he’s a long way from that. Yes, he is very good. With a merely average keeper we wouldn’t have made the playoffs. But he doesn’t strike me as a leader.

    His nonchalant play in Game 3 let the Bruins back in. Remember how confused and angry they were after game 2? Then, he again let them back in the game after we took a 3-1 lead in game 4.

    Contrast this to Tim Thomas who never stops battling.

    Hopefully when Patric Roy takes over he can communicate some of his intensity to young CP.

    (Kidding – I know Roy ain’t coming and we’re stuck with the boring guy in the ill fitting suit for a long long time.)

    • volcano62 says:

      Roy should be involved with the Canadiens within the next 5 years (I hope)

    • olematelot says:

      This will be Prices’ team, believe it. Thomas is 37, Price is 23, notice any difference there!

      • ManApart says:

        One is old and playing great in the playoffs, leading his team into the semi-finals, and one is young leading his foursome on the links??

        • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

          I think the point is that the ability to lead often comes with maturity. As a 37-year-old journeyman goaltender who has battled to establish himself as an elite NHL goalie, Tim Thomas should theoretically have more maturity than a 23-year old.

          However, much has been said about the strides Price made since last year in terms of his own maturity, which has led to him gaining the respect of his teammates. That is the first step to becoming a good leader. Price will be an important leader on this team in the future. Once the veteran core is gone and players like PK, Eller and other young guys take more important roles on the team, Price will be counted on as a leader of that group.

        • olematelot says:

          Carey is not golfing manapart, he’s on the rodeo circuit

        • saskhabfan says:

          But at least he isn’t blaming injuries,unlike what you are doing for halak and the blues.

    • RGM says:

      I agree. He won’t be the leader of this team for about another 4 and a half months.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • lavie says:

      People didn’t want (or avoided) to talk about Carey Price, but I agree with you.

  22. joshua94k says:

    In the latest issue of the Canadiens Official Magazine with Kostitsyn on the cover. There is a profile about him and an interesting aspect of this season has been how he has handled adversity. When his game struggled in December and he was benched for a game, instead of sulking, he went to Jacques Martin’s office and asked him what he feels he should do, to change his game to make him more effective. This attidute impressed Martin, and he told him to get more involved, be more aggresive to the net.

    Martin praised his maturity, and Kostitsyn had a pretty good season considering he did not play on the number one line for most of it but worked hard and led the team with the most hits. A similar thing occured with Carey Price, who intstead of sulking, worked on his game and became a better goalie.

    It seems Kostitsyn will be back and if Halpern and Wisniewski could get re-signed that will bolster the line-up.

    With Markov -Gorges
    Gill – Subban
    Wisniewski – Spacek
    That would make it a good top 6 with Weber as a 7th.

    THe forwards would look like:

    Cammalleri – Plekanec – Kostitsyn
    Gionta – Gomez – Pacioretty,
    Darche – Halpern – Eller
    Deasharnais – White – ????

    The ???? could be Moen or a free agent signing. Also if Spacek could be traded, Weber could get more ice time and depending what we could get for Spacek can help the Habs in the long-run.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  23. adam76 says:

    Montreal needs to move the farm team out of Hamiltion. 2900 people for a playoff game? what a joke.

    • avatar_58 says:

      I suppoose you’d have season tickets? Some of us can’t afford that shit. I go to the occasional game, and I feel more inclinded if there are players to watch.

      Mothers day weekend I spent with my, you know, mother?

      • adam76 says:

        To draw under 3000 people in a 17,000 seat arena for a PLAYOFF game is mind blowing. – Your using MOTHERS day to excuse such a poor turnout?

        There has to be a city willing to support the Bulldogs.

        • avatar_58 says:

          It’s AHL hockey, that’s all you can expect. This is a leaf town and you expect support? Few people are willing to cheer “just because” their city’s name is attached. You need to know the players. Which, btw, is another issue even for habs fans. It’s a new team EVERY year basically.

          AHL hockey isn’t popular and never will be

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            ” This is a leaf town and you expect support? ”

            I think that’s his point. Maybe they should move back to the Maritimes. Lots of Hab fans out there.

          • adam76 says:

            exactly my point – move the franchise to a city who would follow and support the team. Also – the whole point of the AHL is to prepare players for the craziness of Montreal. 2,900 folks in an 17,000 seat arena will not help.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            The Maritimes use to be the solution, but now that QMJHL is so succesful in the Maritimes, all the best hockey markets that it would be reasonable to move them to, in the Maritimes, have Q teams already.

            Maybe they can just play out of a different arena in Montreal, for much cheaper tickets?

          • HabFarmer says:

            The Moose are of course, the AHL affiliate of the Canucks, and they draw an average of about 6000 during the year. They curtain off the upper bowl to give the arena a cozier feel during the season and usually open it during the playoffs if the arena needs it. I’ve tried for years to get with the Moose, but honestly, except for a few names every season it’s a different team, and the team can change radically during the course of the year with demotions, promotions and trades.

            The fact that they are associated with the Canucks is no good for me either (and I suspect with older fans who cheered for the Jets), because I hate Vancouver and always will, based on the old rivalries (burn in hell Sergio Momesso!! No just kidding – just purgatory for you ya bum).

            “No, I see. The monkey’s out of the bottle now!”

        • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

          On your point below of preparing players for the crazyness of Montreal; I don’t think it matters where the Bulldogs play, because no city would prepare them for that kind of crazyness. Even if the Bulldogs played in Montreal, that would not prepare them for the crazyness attached to playing for the Canadiens.

          I don’t disagree that there may be a better place for the Bulldogs than Hamilton, but I think it unrealistic to expect an AHL team in any city to draw much better than what the Bulldogs do.

          It’s minor league hockey. Nobody really gives a damn, especially when the players you get attached to end up getting called up every year. It’s a really tough sell.

          • avatar_58 says:

            I can’t be bothered lately either, I mean who am I cheering for – White? I sure as hell don’t care about Dawes – since the brass sure as hell doesn’t otherwise he’d have been called up for the bruins series. Engqvist, Palushaj et al are boring and may never become full time habs. So….yeah.

            Gimme Leblanc, Tinordi, Bornival and whatnot and we have a deal. When Subban was there with Desharnais, White and etc it was exciting. So if you want seats filled tell Timmins to start drafting more exciting rookies.

    • olematelot says:

      If you’re talking about last nights game it was in Winnipeg

  24. twocents says:

    Looking over Basu’s list of alternatives sure drives the point home that Laich is the only real upgrade available.

    However, to take issue with Basu, I don’t see how a 5’11”, 190 lbs Talbot, who’s never scored more than 13, and last year had a whopping 8, fills either of his role criteria.

    The best option not mentioned by Basu: Erik Cole with Milan Hejduk in second place.

    I say give Dustin Boyd or Palushaj a spin and sign the Wiz or Ehrhoff with the savings.

    Also, looking at the UFA lists for this year and revisiting last year’s really puts Gainey’s 2009 signings in extremely good light.(by saying “signings” I am not talking about the Gomez trade) Picking up players of the quality of Cammalleri and Gionta with UFA options getting thinner and thinner is looking like foresight genius.

    • nek25plus says:

      And without Gomez trade none of those free agents would have signed with the Habs!

      Talbot is not an asset, on that Basu is way off. Keep our youth and stop trading them away for nothing in return. We get robbed every time.

      There is a criteria for UFA’s…they need to have speed otherwise they don’t fit with the team.

    • avatar_58 says:

      Talbot wouldn’t be so bad on the 3rd, but he’ll probably want a “pens bonus” (ie he’s overvalued simply from being a good team – see ex chicago players for examples)

  25. G-Man says:

    Can’t this site nuke spammers IP addresses ?

  26. Clay says:

    We need more mods to get rid of these asshats.
    I volunteer…

    __________________________
    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  27. joshua94k says:

    The hockey media always knock the Canadiens forwards for being too small and lacking toughness to compete, especially during play-off time. However, I’d pick Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta, Tomas Plekanec, over players like Briere, Giroux, Hartnell, Versteeg, Backstrom, Semin any day. Even Desharnais played better than those guys in the play-offs this season.

    You cannot measure heart, and the willingness to pay the price. You cannot measure the pride players like Darche, Hamrlik, Plekanec, Cammalleri, Gionta, Gill, Subban, Price, Webber etc, have for wearing the Canadiens jersey. That’s why despite the injuries they had, they never quit.

    They Capitals and Flyers failed to compete this season. The same cannot be said for the Canadiens.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    Sean Avery happens to be right on the issue of gay marriage, but there’s nothing courageous about his publicly taking this position.

    First, this is a man who has made racist statements towards French Canadians and sexist statements towards women, fully aware that there were live mics nearby. He’s ignorant and a bigot.

    Second, being pro-gay marriage now is not courageous. Where was he 6 years ago? In the US at large most people now support it, and in Avery’s Manhattan circles support must be close to 100%. Nothing remotely brave about this from the attention seeking little twerp.

    • Clay says:

      When you’re right, you’re right.
      And you are certainly right.

      __________________________
      The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  29. lavie says:

    Scott Gomez (This number is obscenely high, viewer discretion is advised) – $7,357,143

    LOL

  30. Marc10 says:

    Great piece by Arpon as per usual.

    I wish he did a second version with Gomer buried in Hamilton just so we can see what that scenario might look like.

    Spacek should definitely be the 7th man. He’ll fill a roster spot during the season and come handy when there are injuries, but if it’s the same guy we’ve seen the last two years whose slow and doesn’t look in great shape, then there’s no way I’d want him near the bench come playoff time. He is not a roster player on a contender.

    I feel the same way about Hammer, although Hammer could still fill a number 5 or 6 spot on a true contender. If Spacek is back, I don’t really want Hammer back. It’s one or the other. He’s done a solid job for us, but I’d rather see a Bieksa (I know… keep dreaming…) in a top 4 spot.

    Bringing Hal back is a no brainer. The guy played insane minutes with PK and deserves the spot.

    Keeping Markov is a risk worth taking. He is too good just to be cast off.

    Watching role players become difference makers in the playoffs really hits home. Who is going to be our ‘Dominic Moore’, ‘Max Talbot’, ‘RJ Umberger’, ‘Sean Bergenheim’ or ‘Dan Cleary’? Every team that does well in the playoffs gets a boost from guys like that.

    DD might have been that guy before he got injured. As much as I like Darche, White or even Pyatt – I don’t really see those guys breaking a game open. We need to find those guys. They win cups.

    Hmmm… That might make a great column for Arpon or Boone…

    “To be irreplaceable, you have to be different”.
    Andy Warhol

    Go PK Go!

  31. SeriousFan09 says:

    So Pavel Datsyuk put on another show last night, easily the most entertaining player in the game, he does things that just shock you.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  32. volcano62 says:

    Actual Habs news:

    – Markov still wants 5.75M Habs now offering 5M. Nobody should panick the relationship between the Russian superstar and Canadiens management is great. He will be back with the Habs next season.
    -Gorges is not motivated by money when it comes to staying with the Canadiens and should reach a deal sooner than later. Gauthier plans on signing him long term.
    -Wiz will not accept a lower salary to stay with the Canadiens. Look for him in another jersey next season.
    – Hall Gill will be back next year. Both Subban and Price have spoken to management about his importance on the team.
    – Gauthier tried to trade AK46 all season but recently has a change of heart. He will be back on the team next season.
    – Travis moen will also be back next season.
    – Is Pouliot finished in the NHL? One thing for sure you will never see him in a Habs jersey ever again.
    – Hamerlik is begging to stay with the Habs with a lower salary. However he better start packing his bags because the team has no interest in signing him

    • DearyLeary says:

      Any sources for this?

    • nek25plus says:

      I’m sure P.G told you all this right?

    • pat s says:

      The reason Gauthier will not trade AK reflects on the fact that no NHL team is too eager to get him or if they are they are offering a bag of pucks for him so its not worth trading him–why would they

      I hope gauthier can trade him before the season starts

      I hope the habs can keep Markov—we need him and he is one of the best when he is helthy

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        Why do you hope Gauthier can trade AK46 if you acknowledge that we can’t get anything decent for him in return? Why should we get burned on BOTH Kostitsyns?

        The fact is we will NOT get a player in return for AK46 who can give us what he does, which is the ability to score 20 goals even when in a deep slumber for most of the season, as well as very good playmaking ability and a solid frame that can open up space for teammates with good hits.

        We all want AK46 to be a consistent player, but let’s not act like he doesn’t help our team. Trading him would be counter-productive right now, because we would then need to fill a new hole in addition to the ones we already have. What we should try to do is find ANOTHER legit scoring forward, so that AK46 could play with Eller on the 3rd line. That way, we would have 3 good lines and AK46 would not be counted on so much.

        • pat s says:

          are you kidding me–its these kind of players that are supposed to lead for us–enough is enough–they are not cutting it–they can’t do the job–having said, i know what you mean–we are stuck with him–nice draft pick gainey

          • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

            I am not happy that we ended up with AK46 over many of the other players selected in what was one of the deepest first-rounds in the history of the draft, but let’s not act like we totally blew it.

            The New York Rangers picked Hugh Jessiman who has yet to play in the NHL.

            AK46 may not be a superstar, but the point is, this guy scores 20-25 goals in his SLEEP. If we can manage to squeeze a little bit more out of him, we’re looking at a 30-goal scorer with size and playmaking ability. Those players don’t grow on trees you know.

            How is AK supposed to lead the Habs, exactly? We have enough leaders. What we want out of AK is consistency. I feel like we could get more of that out of him if he is played with Eller all year. Both of them showed good chemistry.

          • pat s says:

            Jan_pronounced_Yan–

            I completely understand what you are saying and in some ways I agree with you. I know different philosophies in regards to how to play the game comes in effect when talking about players so I respect your opinion. For me, however, I feel to win a stanley cup you need players that will do anything to win, win at all costs, whatever it takes, the old fashioned bump and grind way in conjunction with skill. Montrel completely lacks the blue collar players. It is an embarrassment that Chara got away with what he did to Pac. If it was the other way around the bruins would have started a riot with us. JM, and especially Gainey, completely minimized the importance of this. I just think we are too much of a tic tac toe, pretty boy hockey club to be serious contenders for the cup. I think Gauthier accepts this more thn Gainey. Guys like Nilan, Odeline, Skrudland, Roy, Mcphee etc were my type of hab players. They provided that intensity that was needed to win in the playoffs. I find that the tems that are still in the playoffs have these type of players.

            This is my opinion, so it doesn’t mean I’m right.

            ps–if montreal had a young nilan chara would be done

    • habs03 says:

      With all due respect, what credibility do you have, it seems as though you are telling those are facts, its only fair you give us some insight on your credibility. Thats what I hate about most bloggers, most are just writing what they think, now they do put in a good amount of search but almost all have zero inside source. P.S. I agree with pretty much all the outcome, but can’t help but laugh about this statement

      – Hall Gill will be back next year. Both Subban and Price have spoken to management about his importance on the team.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        To PAT

        I don’t diagree with any of what you just said. However, I fail to see how this relates to AK46.

        Are you saying we should replace him a tough-nosed grinder type? If we do that, won’t we have even less scoring depth than we have now?

        Bottom line, you need a good balance between skill, work ethic and toughness. The Habs haven’t yet found the right balance, but they are building towards it. Trading AK46 for peanuts without any suitable replacement for his production of 20+goals a season would not benefit the Habs. it would be step back.

        All you can do at this point is sign him to a one-year deal at the same money and hope that he either makes strides to be more consistent or makes himself attractive enough to other teams so that you can acquire something good for him.

        • pat s says:

          Jan-Pronounced-Yan

          I know what you mean and your points are valid. What can I say, he is just not my type of player. But I understand, trading him for a bag of pucks is not going to help us, however at times, I do feel it would help if he is not around. However, if Gauthier can get market value than move him–thats what I say.

          Like I said, I just think the habs are too much of a pretty boy hockey team. Yes, we have enough talent to make the playoffs but to win the cup with this lineup forget it. Montreal needs to gamble more, especially at the trade deadlines. Every year, its the same story, to me they are not stories, they are excuses. Look at Boston, they go get kelly. peverly–those two players were a main reason they beat us.

          Again, I completely understand what you are saying–your points are very valid and they do make sense.

    • Clay says:

      Without sources this is mere speculation, not news.

      __________________________
      The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

    • Malreg says:

      Can you please stop posting fake news? The Habs front-office is like the Kremlin, it is extremely rare that ANYTHING gets out, let alone news on every single player every couple of days.

      Has anyone ever predicted a recent Habs trade? There’s a reason it doesn’t happen.

      Markov’s agent said himself that they will only be meeting with Canadiens management at the end of May.

    • G-Man says:

      Your speculation as actual news is better than any reports or articles on the Bs, so please keep making stuff up. Now that’s entertainment!

    • punkster says:

      Guy…your blog is nothing but user invented rumours and repeats of media stories. Get a grip.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • volcano62 says:

      I have credible sources. Believe or not I do not care. just wanted to share.

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        unless your source is Bob Gainey & Pierre Gauthier, there is no source that can know all that for %100 fact…. seems like your source has opinions, and you run with them.

        This is assuming you don’t make things up. i’m sure you wouldn’t do that.

  33. Habs-monarchy says:

    AK46 leads Belarus with 7 points in 5 games, 3rd overall behind John Tavares (8) and a player from norway (9)
    At the worlds he plays the right point on the PP.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do9MM6cXp9M

    • stevieray says:

      Must be the “system “

      • Habs-monarchy says:

        Maybe it has to be mentioned that he faced weaker opponents in the relegation round. Still, he showed up in very important games with his team – going down to lever B would have been a disaster for Belarus.

        • DearyLeary says:

          That’s how I feel. Andrei tries to get by on skill alone far too often, you can get away with that kind of effort level against lower tier opposition, not in the NHL.

          Let’s also not forget that the WC’s are kind of like the consolation prize. It’s pretty much all the B-C level players every country can scrounge up.

    • Looks like Andrei is having fun there. But yet again they were playing against Slovenia, a team that isn’t amazing at any part of the game. No offense to any Slovenian’s but they may be equivalent to a n AHL team.

      Habsnation is still standing.
      http://canadiensnation.wordpress.com/

    • pat s says:

      Too bad Ak can’t do that for the habs–he dies out in the playoffs also. Every year its the same story with him, and every year its the same result–disappointment.

      These are Gainey pretty boy type players–they are great players in a European league not NHL.

      Though I questioned some of Gauthier’s moves, I love the tinordi draft pick. I watch him play in the OHL and I love his toughness, and grit. He’ll take on anyone, and we don’t have enough of these type of players. A team needs skilled players but you need your blue collar players to win in the playoffs.

      • Clay says:

        “Gainey pretty boy type players”???
        Reading this, I assumed you had never seen Gainey play…then I looked at your profile and saw you have been a fan since 1970….
        Gainey appreciates toughness, and knows what it takes to win. It may surprise you to know that AK led the team in hits this season. ‘Pretty boys’ don’t do that.

        __________________________
        The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

        • avatar_58 says:

          That and have you SEEN Andrei? I don’t think chicks dig the thinning hair half asleep look.

          • Clay says:

            Yeah, but they dig NHL players and money, so…tough call on that one.
            :D

            __________________________
            The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

          • olematelot says:

            Quasimoto would attract chicks if he made 3.5 mil a year

        • Timo says:

          He maybe appreciated it, but he definitely haven’t built too much of it into this team. Besides, Gainey played hockey in the 70s-80s… or whatever. About 30 years ago. Things do change.

        • pat s says:

          Clay–please don’t say things that i am not saying–i never once mentioned gainey as a player as i am well aware of how he played-however, there is no doubt that as a GM he did not put toughness as a priority —i strongly believe that having a lineup that has the ability to protect your players should be a priority as a GM–he send us to the slaughter house against tough teams, especially against boston–i have never seen montreal get bullied like the way they did until Gainey became our GM–actually, its embarassing–for anybody not to see that is crazy–again i just think it comes to different philosophies which i understand–its not surprising he picked JM as a coach–they have the same outlook when it comes to toughness–thats why Chris Nilan is my all time favorite hab player–he played hockey but he protected our players–serge savard put that as a priority–nobody needed to tell him to do it–he just did and the players loved playing with him in the lineup–95% of teams have that–the only other team is detroit however detroit does play physical when they need to–and if AK is the one that leads in hits, well that just proves my point–i rest my case when a guy like AK leads in hits–that tells me we are definitely in trouble if he is our most physical player–this is no brainer in regards to our lineup–we play that tic tac toe play nice hockey and it doesn’t work–when is enough enough—how much more evidence is needed to show that montreal lacks that element of the game

          trust me, i don’t say that just b/c i want to be a critic–i love my habs and our players should feel safe b/c they have players to ensure their safety–serge savard did that and that is why he won us 2 cups and that is why he is my most favorite GM–yes,there are other reasons and the number one reason was Patric Roy(my 2nd all time favorite hab player)—Gainey for whatever reason preferred the european model of hockey

          i don’t pretend to have all the answers b/c i don’t but i remember watching the draft and was yelling at the TV for us to select Lucic and gainey passed him–you don’t understan how mad i got

          as much as I hate boston, i love the way they play hockey–take no prisonners and they got the lineup to do that –tampa will be no push over–Guy Boucher will not let his players get bullied

          i do think Gauthier will address this however i think gainey still runs the show

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    Some nice headlines to read above this morning.
    One that is inspiring about Avery standing up for a cause. Even nut bars get turned around in life eventually. Thank goodness he ran into a great coach the last few years.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      so what if he supports gay Marriage in New York… it’s not exactly a hot button topic in that city.

      did he renouce his racism? his sexism?

      the guy is still a piece of trash, and that doesn’t change just because he supports one good cause.

  35. rhino514 says:

    The parity in current hockey is incredible. Every day I would go through the posts here and read about how teh canadiens with all the injuries didn´t have the team to go very far in the playoffs.
    If we would´ve taken just one overtime game from the bruins, I think we would´ve beat the capitals the way they played against the lightning.. And we would´ve had either Tampa or Boston in the conference finals which would not be an impossible task. Tampa is a decent.but not great team, and I sincerely think we have a better team than them, with a lot more depth and more character players.
    I was dissapointed that all throughout the year fans here just lost expectations for the team to go far. I´ve never seen such a quiet reaction after the Canadiens-Bruins slugfest. It was really a “well, they had a good year, considering”. What´s up with that?
    We came within ONE bounce of beating the bruins. Coulda been something as small as Halpern not being tossed out of the faceoff circle on our last draw of the season, or Price (who was great overall) not giving the puck away on that clearing attempt in game 3.
    Hockey today come playoff time is utterly unpredictable. Nest year´s Canadiens team will be a better team than this year´s if they are healthy, a top 4 or 5 team in the league, but they could be upset against the odds just as easily as they could have gone to the finals this year.
    Still, what counts most come playoff time is character, and I think the habs have a truly unique core of character players which are going to give them a chance to go deep into the playoffs on any givcen year. I don´t think we´ve had a core like that in nearly a couple of decades.
    I just hope the 3 overtime losses don´t stay in the guys´heads come next years´playoffs. Hockey is a fickle thing.
    I´m proud of this bunch of guys. I don´t think there is any other team that keeps believing until the last second of a game that they can win the way these guys do.

    • issie74 says:

      I was proud of this bunch of guys,who refused to be run out of the arena in Boston and I especially loved the bench in the game after the slug fest guys with blackeyes.

      I guess smurfs can play hockey against the beasties,if they have talent that is and this bunch has it in spades.

      • pat s says:

        issie74–yes, you are correct, they didn’t cave but i see it completely different– i don’t blame the players, i blame gainey(gauthier–however he needs time to change the lineup) and JM for putting them in that situation–no way as a GM you put your players in that situation–if i was a player under that kind of system i would tell my agent to trade me–why should i get killed b/c some coach or GM doesn’t like the fighting in hockey–i tell them to go on the ice

  36. HabFanSince72 says:

    Arpon Basu’s team for next year is the same team that barely squeaked into the playoffs and got eliminated in round one, except Gomez and Gionta are a year older, Wiz is replaced by Weber, and there’s no Hamr.

    The big additions are Gorges and Markov on D, and a healthy (we hope) MaxPac.

    Is it enough to challenge for the Cup?

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Don,t forget PK and Price ready to take over as leaders

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        I also expect Eller to be a much more valuable player, maybe Desharnais too. I personally would definitely send Gomez to Hamilton and try hard to get Emelin. I really like Brooks but I also think Michal Handzus could do a decent job for us if he doesn´t mind to sign a 1 year deal. I doubt the Kings will resign him. If we find a team that takes Spacek for a low pick, do it. The same goes for Moen. I´d rather keep Pouliot for that kind of money. He at least has some talent.

        No matter what, we have a decent team. We might still lose in the first round again but we could also make it to the Stanley Cup final. I´d be less optimistic if we were playing in the Western Conference to be honest but let´s look at the East: We lost to Boston because of injuries and a lack of luck. Pittsburgh isn´t a contender without Malkin and Crosby. Will they be one next year? Who knows? The Flyers and Caps still have no real Nr.1 goalie. That leaves us with Tampa who have been great lately but they are hardly unbeatable…

        We have a chance but we don´t have much influence on the most important thing: We have to be healthy come play-off time.

        This team would look better than Basu´s:

        Cammalleri Plekanec Pacioretty
        Laich Eller Kostitsyn
        Pouliot Desharnais Gionta
        Darche Halpern White

        Pyatt Engqvist Palushaj

        Markov Emelin
        Gorges Subban
        Gill Weber

        Nash

      • pat s says:

        Price is definitely has the ability tobe a leader, and he already is–i think some people have lost their marbles when they campare him to roy(thats an insult to roy, and its unfair to price) but he has come through for us this year

        PK–i don’t question his talent b/c he has all the talent in the world however i find that he is a “me” player not a “team” player and he needs to change that to be a leader–actually, i think if he doesn’t change his ways somebody is going to hammer him big time—he is going to get it one of this days b/c of his arrogance and big mouth on the ice—

    • Habs-monarchy says:

      he still has 8 mill cap space to sign Wiz, Laich etc

    • JF says:

      Our main problem last year (and also the reason we didn’t win a single OT game against Boston) was lack of even-strength scoring. Basu’s figures allow for the addition of a big scoring winger, which would help. The return of Markov should also help, as it should mean our transition game is better. A more solid defence (and I think Markov and Gorges should make the defence more solid than any of the combinations we finished this season with) should also mean we don’t have to play quite so defensively and should therefore score a bit more. Add in the fact that Pacioretty, Desharnais, Eller, and Subban will have a year more experience, which should also help our offence.

      These changes should make us a better team than this year and capable of a deeper playoff run. Whether they’ll make us a legitimate contender for the Cup…. I guess time will tell.

    • ManApart says:

      Not even close.

      • saskhabfan says:

        Stick to blaming the blues missing the playoffs and halak’s poor play to injuries.

      • pat s says:

        ManApart–I agree with you–this lineup will not cut it–not even close. I hope I am wrong, I really do, but I doubt it.

        Hopefully, they do something in the summer that makes me change my mind.


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