Teeing up Game 4

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Photo of Rollie Melanson and Roberto Luongo by Ric Ernst/PNG

Setting the stage for Game 4:
No Nathan Horton for Boston.
No Aaron Rome for Vancouver.

And it’s a series.

Canucks have become hated team

Stu Hackel on an angry final

Hockey’s black eye

Another heads-up for the NHL

Pat Hickey on the Rome suspension

Roy MacGregor on the Rome hit

Martin happy with his D

Flyers chase Bryzgalov

Rick Dudley to Buffalo?

164 Comments

  1. Mavid says:

    G man is correct Ivanis was on all fours being restrained by a ref the dirty lurch took advantage of him..he also likes to pull jersey’s over the other players head..why would someone so big and tough need to resort to these tactics?..he was fined for his attack on Ivanis..so much for his clean record and reputation…he is dirty..period
    second place is just the first loser

  2. Gorges_the_great says:

    I don’t mind the four game suspensions although it’s the wrong time to send a message regarding those type of hit.

    Can someone please make a video cataloging all hits that resulted in suspensions last season and order them by length of suspension? Maybe it would viral and the league will see how ridiculously inconsistent they are (or maybe to encourage Shanny to bring some consistency). Maybe throw in a couple suspension deserving hits that didn’t get suspended at the beginning for good measure (a la Chara on Patches).

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      Wrong time? No sir, it was the right time. It’s a NHL scare tactic to give Vancouver something to remember, to worry about in their next game and an advantage to Boston.

  3. billylove says:

    The 2 biggest factors that will influence game 4 won’t involve the players on either side. 1) What will the refs allow? Some think they will send a message early to prevent the game from getting too physical but I’m not sure. The NHL must love all the media frenzy from the Rome hit so they might just let em play. 2) It will be a scorcher in the Boston area today so it will be interesting to see how the ice holds up. You don’t think the Bs would like the ice to be a little slower do you?

  4. olegpetrov says:

    The main thing I don’t understand about the suspension is the “prior incident” aspect. Chara was given a slap on the wrist because he had no previous suspensions or disciplinary hearings. Rome is the same. So why do previous actions weigh in for Chara but not for Rome. If the league were consistent, Rome should have gotten a hearing, told not to do it again, and had a mark on his record. The next time he does it…suspension. It’s an absolute joke. No consistency.

    Habs fan…Nuff said

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      Because the NHL is looking out for Boston. You really think Bettman wants a Canadian team to win?! Pshaaww.. Boston has people sitting high up in the NHL. You think a judge is going to risk his job saying no suspension? The hit wasn’t dirty it was close to clean. Horton didn’t have his head up. He’s an idiot. The puck just left his stick when he got hit. It barely even made it to the other guys stick. The contact with the head was not there, it was a shoulder hit. No marks, bruises on Horton face. Called BIAS. Get used to it. Again, bias by NHL on Pax hit. You really think they were gonna suspend Chara?! C’mon. The league is transparent to me, don’t know why others have to wear these blinders.

      • B915 says:

        Pacoretty is an idiot too

      • RGM says:

        In what universe does the absence of Aaron Rome put Boston over the top?

        That aside, I don’t think that the NHL has sufficiently competent people to orchestrate a conspiracy of such a magnitude.

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

        • Habfan4lfe says:

          Ya well Bettman did a pretty good job at it in Basketball too until they threw him out on his arse. Oh how we forget. Please, if you think Boston actually truly belongs where they are. You are just one of those gullible fans he hopes there’s more of.

    • pat s says:

      let it go in regards to chara–it not his fault that our habs don’t have thel ineup to deal with players like him so don’t get mad at the league–get mad at our management for not having players that protect guys ike pac

      • Ron says:

        Who protected Horton ?? The League did, as an after fact. I think 4lfe has a legit claim in regard to the Pax hit by Chara. The league should have stepped up as they did in the Hortons hit . Double standards.

      • RGM says:

        There’s not a team in the NHL that has a line-up to deal with Chara. When you’re 6’9″ and 260+ of solid muscle, you don’t have a peer. Ask tough guy Raitis Ivanans about the time Chara shattered his orbital bone in a fight.

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

      • G-Man says:

        I will only let it go when Pac takes him out for the rest of his season. Fair enough?

    • fofe84 says:

      Colin Campbell “resigned” and later the same day, Bettman promised stiffer suspensions for violent plays. To me, that implies his resignation wasn’t totally voluntary. When a guy resigns and his boss immediately announces that his job will be done differently in future, that’s suspicious.

      Mike Murphy, when asked about past judgements and future standards, said, “This is my standard. I was given the responsibility to deal with this series.” Perhaps he is implying that his standards differ from Campbell’s.

      The league needs new standards. Yes, Chara should have been suspended, but so should Rome have. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Letting Rome off the hook because the league screwed up the Chara decision would have been unjust.

  5. Mavid says:

    Pierre McGuire is a turd..I cannot believe anyone actually takes him seriously….sucking dirty pond water…creepy just creepy

    second place is just the first loser

  6. ed lopaz says:

    I am re-posting Habs 72 post from below.
    I hope someone in the media can pick up this story.
    When are Montreal Habs media going to grow a pair and actually QUESTION a Gauthier move??
    Hickey and Boone are tremendous at what they do. They are experienced and talented.
    But I would like to read an article or two that challenges the Habs brass from time to time.
    Wiz gives the habs the mobile, offense and grit that they sorely need.
    He is only 27 and getting better every year.
    With Subban he gives the Habs a GREAT 1-2 PUNCH on the power play.
    Whatever markov brings next year should be viewed as a complete bonus.
    Who knows what Markov will bring and for how long?

    Here’s the post I was referring to:

    Letting Wiz go is a mistake. We don’t know for sure how Markov’s knee will hold up. Yemelin and Weber are still projects.

    If Markov is injured or can’t regain his form we might once again be left with a slow defence incapable of generating offence (except for PK).

    The Canucks showed the way this year with their depth on defence.

    Wiz @ 4.5M x 5 years.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • AntoineSabourin says:

      Do you think they should let Markov Walk?

      • ed lopaz says:

        no of course not. Markov deserves another shot.

        but what’s wrong with trading Hamrlik’s money for Wiz?

        Hamr “made” 5.5 million last season.

        That’s money that can be spent on Wiz @ 4.5 + Gorges gets 1 million raise.

        The money is there.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      What games are you watching fella? Wiz came up was great for a short bit, got a puck in the face and was NEVER the same. Wiz is average in my book with a good slapshot. He is a step up from MAB and we didn’t need that guy either. I hope Wiz doesn’t appear on the roster. THAT would be a mistake.

      We don’t need Gill either. Slow as molasses.

      • ed lopaz says:

        30 points in 45 games for the Habs and a +4.

        I think Wiz played quite well even after he blocked a shot with his face.

        Boston, Detroit, and others are after him for sure.

        Also spoke to an ex-NHL forward about Wiz. He won a cup with 94 Rangers.

        He agreed entirely with me that the WIZ is EXACTLY what the Habs need to go ALONG WITH Subban and Markov.

        If the Habs want to win a cup in the next 5 years, they could use 3 excellent d-men supporting the cause.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

        • Habfan4lfe says:

          Funny how you didn’t mention his -14 in regular season though eh? Second worst to Gomez at -15!

          I don’t think he sucks but I also think we have enough defencemen with Gorges and Markhov back. We need defence that are good all season, not just when they fell like it. Wiz is that kind of defenceman. Plays when he feels like it.

          • ed lopaz says:

            he came over -18 from the Islanders and then went + 4 for the Habs

            Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

          • Sharks9 says:

            Anyone playing big minutes for the Islanders would be in the negatives. Wiz is a lot better than you’re giving him credit for. Wiz was great the entire time he was here and would DEFINITELY be better than Spacek, if we could only get rid of him.

            25 before 14

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Keep Wiz, trade Weber.

      * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

    • Bouleau noir says:

      Agree 100% about the Canucks showing the way, having 4 puck savvy Dmen playing top4 quantity minutes for the team is the best way to keep the offensive tap of the team open at all time and exploit in full the scoring capability of your forwards troughout their deph lines.

      Puck distribution is also inhanced when your top4 guys are made up of matched left-right handed pairs as it is he case with the Canucks when Hamuis is paired with Bieksa and Herhoff is matched with Eddler.

      Keeping in mind that our top pair ( Markov-Subban) is better than any of the single one found in Vancouver….. how far are we from the ideal of having the mobility and offensive savvyness from our own to4 D squad ?

      If you combined keeping right-handed Wiz w the return of Markov our D squad would be killer puck moving wise. I dont like the idea of having non-puck moving Dmen like Gill-Gorges playing top4 quantity minutes for our team and this is what’s gona happen with Wiz leaving the Club.

      My only confort with this idea is that Diaz, right-handed just like Webber, would actually be better than Webber himself and thus be better prepared to potentially replace what the team will be missing from not having the Wiz passing and shooting hablilities being part of our top4 d squad.

  7. JD_ says:

    On the broader topic of the NHL and shots to the head…

    Never – never – underestimate the capacity of our provincial politicos to turn every little thing into a freakin’ saga.

    A sweetheart deal is made between Quebec City, the province, and Peladeau to build a new “NHL-calibre” arena. Nothin’ is publicly tendered, which is illegal. As a result, the Liberal Party has to try to pass a bill – Bill 204 – to render it legal.

    Retroactive legal immunity. Lickety-split. Just add water and stir.

    *cough*

    The Libs hold a minority. They need support from the PQ. Sensin’ an opportunity to mop up a few Nordiquian votes in and around Quebec City, and fresh off a 93% approval ratin’ by her party, PQ leader Pauline Marois throws everythin’ out the window and decides she’s gonna strong-arm her MNAs into votin’ for passage of the arguably shady bill, which includes provisions preventin’ anyone from challengin’ the arena deal in the courts.

    Her nibs is out there on her horse, sword raised, leadin’ the charge, “I’m here for my people,” she ostensibly clamours, “I’m one with you! Make me your queen!”

    Then it gets interestin’.

    Four of Marois’ senior MNAs don’t like any of it and have just quit the party, includin’ members of her caucus, two hugely popular politicians, and the wife of former PQ leader, Jacques Parizeau. They all probably couldn’t stand Pauline anyways – that’s how it works for the PQ and its leadership – and this is their chance to get on their own high horses and try to force her out.

    A shot to the head, indeed.

    Bill 204.

    Four MNAs.

    Four games for Rome.

    And Rome is burnin’, baby!

    • punkster says:

      Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
      Game four tonight.

      Jeez man, you may be on to something there.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      JD – one small detail. Bill 204 was actually drafted by the PQ. It is a private members bill introduced by Quebec City MNA Agnes Maltais.

      As I said earlier well done to those PQ MNAs for quitting on principle. I’m not a separatist but I have to hand it to them – they have more principles than the Liberals (but then again so does a tree slug).

      Ironically, it was Bernard Landry’s unwillingness to fund pro sports from the public purse that led to the departure of the Nordiques and Expos.

      • JD_ says:

        Ah, missed that part.

        I don’t buy the quittin’ on principle, though, no matter how it’s bein’ dressed up. Can’t really speak for Aussant – I don’t know him very well – but seems to me Lapointe, Beaudoin, and Curzi are operatin’ on more self-servin’ motives. They’ve all been complainin’ about Marois for longer than this has been goin’ on.

        • ed lopaz says:

          the ONLY principle is to draw attention to the fact that these 4 want a leadership change.

          PQ and “principles“ is like Bruins and “integrity“.

          Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • issie74 says:

      Love it.

      She is doing her part to save the NHL.

      NorthTOHab

      • D Mex says:

        Pauline is desperate for a referendum and will do whatever it takes. Of course, she probably knows as much about the game as Buttman – maybe he could convince her to move down to AZ.
        Talk about a win-win !

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

    • mrhabby says:

      who cares Quebec politics are evil and bush…come to think of it all politics is the same.

    • HabsFan2 says:

      For the record. The Libs hold a majority (which gave them a 4 year mandate) and do not need the PQ.

      Another 4 to add to the mix.

      ———————————————-
      R.I.P. – K.C. – Jan.28, 1993 – May 19, 2011

  8. RS says:

    With the amount of ice time that Subban should get next year, he can’t be paired with Gill at even strength. Otherwise Gill would be getting too much ice time.

    I like Gill, but he belongs on the 3rd d pairing and every penalty kill.

  9. Hobie Hansen says:

    Looking at some of the other teams in the East; Pierre McGuire might be right when he says that if Montreal doesn’t make some serious changes over the summer that they’ll be at best battling for the bottom two playoff spots with no guarantee of making it in.

    1) Pittsburgh: Corsby and Malkin will be back and they’ll challenge for the cup again.

    2) Philadelphia: With Bryzgalov in goal they very well could have finally covered all the bases and have a chance at the cup.

    3) Boston: Real solid team from top to bottom that will be among the better in the east again.

    4) Washington: The Caps will be great in the regular season and possibly be able to right the ship in the playoffs.

    5) New Jersey: A brutal start cost this team a playoff spot but the Devils were the best team in the NHL for a long stretch last season in the 2nd half.

    6) Tampa Bay: There’s possibly a question mark or two in their lineup, mainly goaltending, but they’re defiantly a playoff team.

    So that leaves the 7th & 8th spot.

    The teams fighting for those spots are: Montreal, Buffalo, Carolina, Winnipeg, New York Rangers and Toronto.

    I believe Montreal is the best of the six teams fighting for the final two spots but not by a significant amount. An injury or two, or one of the teams in the group taking a big step forward, and the Habs are out.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1. Pittsburgh – it is not clear that Crosby will be back. They are also losing a lot of players to free agency this year.

      2. Agreed.

      3. Boston sucks.

      4. Agreed.

      5. New Jersey is losing the ONE reason they righted the ship last year. The guy behind the bench. Plus Brodeur is one year older.

      6. We are better than Tampa.

    • DearyLeary says:

      Wait, what, Toronto will be competing for a spot next year? What significant changes are they going to be making? hahaha

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Those Leafs looked pretty decent in the 2nd half and they have plenyt of cap space and a good young goaltender…

        • DearyLeary says:

          I have my doubts about Reimer. He didn’t exactly light up the WCs.

          I would be willing to bet money the Leafs miss the playoffs again, short of making ‘major changes’. Whereas if we shore up our bottom 6 forwards, and if Markov stays healthy I’d be willing to bet we’ll be fighting for first in our division again.

          • petefleet says:

            I have to disagree. Shoring up our bottom six forwards is not the issue. the issue is the second line centre position. As long as JM gives Gomer 15-20 minutes a game, the Habs will not have success in the playoffs. PG should trade whatever he needs to, within reason, to get a Brad Richards type guy. The rest of the team is on it’s way to better things. Alot of talent in that room.

            ***Habs Forever***

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Leafs always look decent when they are out of it.

          The minute they were close to a playoff spot they reverted to type.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      1) We have yet to see both Crosby and Malkin fully healthy since injuries. But no doubt they will be a team to beat.
      2)Who is philly trading to make room for Bryzgalov, they are nearly at the cap with 4-5 rosters spot still unfilled and before they have signed Bryzgalov to his new huge contract. Pronger makes that team work, and he has become very brittle in his older age.
      3) We were a goal away, and we were missing 3 very important players.
      4)Washington will be washington until they prove something in the playoffs.
      5)Huge cap issues trying to fit Parise back in lineup, Brodeur not getting younger.
      6)Tampa is a good team no doubt.
      7) Scott Gomez says he will be better next year!

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        The Flyers GM said that they will make room for Bryzgalov in the article liked above…

        And yeah we were one goal away but we need to make the playoffs first.

    • Sharks9 says:

      I stopped reading when you said Pierre McGuire might be right about something.

      25 before 14

    • G-Man says:

      1. Uncertain as to whether Crosby will be fit. I hope so.
      2. Going full Bryzer should help Philly- but they will have to lose some salary to get him.
      3. Boston will come back down to earth ( and 8th or worse in the division) once this season ends.
      4. Until they rid themselves of Boudreau, Caps will not compete as they should.
      5. Devils are done- the Kovalchuk contract has killed them for years to come.
      6. TBay can only hope Roloson continues his sparkling play- he won’t and they will be a bubble team.

      Habs will compete for top 3 in the conference- The D and goaltending are the main reasons. More scoring ( it will come after a lacklustre season by many forwards) will mean Habs are a contender, despite not having 6′ 10″ gorillas that can score.

    • mrhabby says:

      Last time i looked mcgiver is still looking for a gm job. that tells you something.
      i think he called the habs to miss the playoffs this year.

    • MathMan says:

      I think McGuire is being his usual bombastic, woe-to-the-Habs self, trying to promote his own candidacy for Gauthier’s job.

      Of course it’s par for the course because guys like him don’t seem to pay much attention. Probably because they have too many teams to cover. The shift the Habs had from a low-volume offense that doesn’t score because it can’t get out of its own zone to a high-volume offense that doesn’t score because the other goalie keeps making the save is a huge difference, and it was not subtle. It’s really disappointing to me that supposedly knowledgeable media people are totally oblivious to this change.

      Montreal was a better hockey club than Boston this year despite its injuries and can easily aspire to the third spot by winning their division. And their puck possession game was one of the best in the East and they have very strong goaltending. They’re not aspiring to be “the best of the 6 bubble teams”. They can look forward to being in the mix in that pack of 6 top teams, with an outside chance of winning the conference outright if they get lucky with their shooting, much like Boston did this year. I think the team that falls out to the bubble is Boston, really, but Boston is good enough that they should make the playoff fairly comfortably regardless; probably more the last of a pack of 7 top teams than the first of the bubble clubs.

      But the TSN method of prediction is always about who makes the most/boldest moves and gets the most hype, not about who ends up with the best club.

      Incidentally, I don’t see Winnipeg, Carolina or Toronto as realistic shots to make the playoffs. Those clubs were weak last year and likely to remain so.

  10. HabFanSince72 says:

    Question of the Day:

    How are you planning to deal with a Boston Bruin Stanley Cup victory? One that we let happen.

    Any tips?

    I suggested Mindfulness techniques before. Eastern meditation might help too. Or maybe overindulgence in something else? Food. Booze. Sex.

    • G-Man says:

      You are assuming an awful lot. Nucks may finish this Friday night.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        No I’m just saying “if” the B’s win, what is the plan? Agreed that the Nucks might still win it, although I think the B’s are in the driver’s seat.

        • DearyLeary says:

          I’m planning on finding a nearby bridge.

        • G-Man says:

          Well, short of mass suicides on Ste-Catherine, I think most will enjoy the summer weather and forget about this joke of a league. Excepting Draft Day and UFA day, of course.

        • HabFarmer says:

          I plan on doing what I’m already doing: coaching my kids’ baseball team, working around the house, helping the wife with dinner, cutting the grass, OCCASIONALLY glancing at the game on the TV, and avoiding the results of my hockey pool, because I’m pretty much toast…… .

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

    • Sharks9 says:

      There is nothing that could help me deal with that. Knowing that Boston won the Cup after we were 1 goal away from eliminating them will make me cry.
      Vancouver NEEDS to win tonight.

      25 before 14

    • MathMan says:

      If it happens — and I want to stress that I believe this to be unlikely seeing as Boston remained an overmatched club trailing their series, but it is possible… if it happens, I plan on laughing my way through four months of hype about Boston and, especially, the eventual two months of puzzled wonderment as to why such a mighty, powerful team as the defending Cup champions have fallen back to the pack and might even be on the playoff bubble.

      Which, of course, would simply be a result of Boston’s lack of a strong possession game catching up to them, and their shooting percentage regressing to the mean and failing to prop them up.

      I thought it would be painful, but on second thought, seeing how media commentators wax about a team who was a clear second-best in *at least* two of its series ought to be amusing. Especially if Boston fails to live up to the monster expectations this will create, as I think will be inevitable.

      I’ll probably wonder if someone is ever going to pause, forget the hype for a minute, and look at the Bruins’ roster and realize how shallow it really is. I don’t expect this will happen. Regardless of the result, I’ll watch to see how many commentators end up expecting a large number of Bruins to maintain and exceed their scoring for this year (career highs in many case). Again, I expect to see a lot of that.

      The big problem will be living with the general delusion that Boston is an elite club. I’ll probably still wince at some of the more outlandish comments.

    • habsfever says:

      I have a friend who actually bet $500 on Boston. He’s a die hard Nucks fan and he knows that if Boston wins, he would never recover. By betting on the Bruins, in the slim chance they actually do win *shudders*, he should make enough to go to Mexico, twice.

      Feels like 93

    • issie74 says:

      No. They will not be winners in my eyes. 72

      NorthTOHab

    • D Mex says:

      Bruins hockey is embarrassing by definition.

      I would suggest wearing a paper bag …

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

  11. HabsFanInTampa says:

    Rome got suspended for 4 games. If the Finals don’t go to 7 games, does the suspension continue at the start of next season?

    • G-Man says:

      Yes- until the 4 games are served.

      • HabsFanInTampa says:

        Thanks, “G”.

        • issie74 says:

          I hate to say this because I don’t like seeing Nathan Horton laying on the ice with his eyes rolling back in his head … but I have seen this before … and everyone says he needs to keep his head up … same thing Marc Savard … am I to believe the NHL have now reversed their thinking.

          NorthTOHab

          • G-Man says:

            The NHL is realizing that there is a backlash to these situations. Parents are pulling their kids out of hockey because vicious hits affect lives, not just games. If they don’t wake up and change the way they are marketing the game in the US (physicality over skill) they will start leaving a trail of corpses.
            This is not to say hockey should be basketball on ice. I have longed to see what basketball would be like if hitting were allowed.

  12. TomNickle says:

    With Taylor Hall capable of playing centre and Sam Gagner and Shawn Horcoff on their roster for the foreseeable future. Is Steve Tambellini the dumbest man in Alberta if he drafts Ryan Nugent Hopkins instead of Adam Larsson?

    I think so. Just me though.

    • DearyLeary says:

      Taylor Hall is a winger, and he’ll always be a winger.

      Drafting Nugent-Hopkins is less of a risk than Larsson who’s staggered over the past year of his development.

      • TomNickle says:

        Staggered in his development? How many SEL games did you watch this season?

        A 6’1 170 lb centreman against a 6’2 210 lb defenseman who’s been playing professional hockey for more than one year and has drawn multiple comparisons to Nicklas Lidstrom. The choice is pretty easy if I have Horcoff, Gagner and Hall on my roster. Larsson would immediately be their best defenseman, that’s pretty rare.

        • DearyLeary says:

          He wouldn’t immediately be their best defenseman, it takes time for defenders to develop (for an immediate comparison see: Hedman; who has been compared Chris Pronger, see how hyperbole works?).

          With all due respect to Horcoff and Gagne, they don’t have the skillset of a Nugent-Hopkins. Elite level forwards are being treated as gold in the post lockout NHL, and rightfully so.

          How many ultra-elite defensemen are there in the league? How many of them have gone high in draft compared to lower? Chara, 3rd rounder. Weber, 2nd rounder. Lidstrom, 3rd rounder. The only big name defenseman I can think of that was a high first round pick was Chris Pronger (and as we’ve seen with Hedman, the hype doesn’t always provide results in the NHL).

          Now look at the high picks that were forwards post lockout, Toews, Kane, Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos, all guys who are going to be locked up for life. A 1-2 punch of Nugent-Hopkins and Hall would be one of the most dynamic offenses in the league.

          You can find good defensemen later in the draft (as proven by Markov, Gorges, PK, to name some on our own team). It’s much more difficult to find elite level scorers late in the draft (with Detroit being the prime beneficiary from players like that).

          I’m not sold on Larsson. His World Juniors was mediocre at best, and high in the draft I would always lean to skilled forwards over defensmen.

        • habs03 says:

          I don’t think Horcoff is in the Oil long term plan, and like DearyLeary said Hall best suited at LW. Gagne should be a #2 C in the future, so they still need a futuer 1C, but also a #1 D-man, its not an easy choice, I guess they gotta look at what might be harder to find in the future, a star C, or star D.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Gagner and Horcroff aren’t all that.

  13. JF says:

    On the face of it, the suspension of Aaron Rome is just another example of the utter incoherence of the NHL’s disciplinary policy. Fans of all teams can instance any number of similar or worse hits which went unpunished, and Habs fans justifiably contrast the harshness meted out to Rome with the free pass accorded to Zdeno Chara and feel that there is some bias towards the Bruins.

    But we’ll have to wait until next year to see whether the League continues to apply its rules in a selective, almost random fashion or whether the Rome suspension is indicative of a substantial change in policy. If punishment for hits to the head, however delivered, starts to show some consistency, progress will have been made. But if a skilled first or second-liner gets no suspension or only a couple of games for a hit similar to Rome’s, we’ll know nothing has changed. Fourth-liners are expendable and can be given exemplary punishments so the League can claim it has a policy, while others will be allowed to hit and injure with impunity. We’ll see, but no one should hold their breath.

  14. HardHabits says:

    This just in. In order to curb the violence in NHL hockey games the NHL has decided to get tough.

    The league has suspended Scott Stevens’ induction into the HHOF for 3 years. He’ll be re-instated in 2014-2015.

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    Hamerlic, Sopel and Wiz are gone from the roster this fall.! Our defensive core is set. There is no room for these three players now.

    We will be younger and faster on the back end.
    Just a few details on Gorges & Markov’s contracts.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Letting Wiz go is a mistake. We don’t know for sure how Markov’s knee will hold up. Yemelin and Weber are still projects.

      If Markov is injured or can’t regain his form we might once again be left with a slow defence incapable of generating offence (except for PK).

      The Canucks showed the way this year with their depth on defence.

      Wiz @ 4.5M x 5 years.

      • AntoineSabourin says:

        It’s too bad Wiz will be offered 5.5 to 6M on the open market. Going forward with PK and Markov there is no room for another High Cap Hit. Too bad for the Cap era.

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      I hate seeing Wiz go. Especially with Markov’s injury problems.

  16. nek25plus says:

    I don’t have a problem with suspensions for late hits…but this one was too long. I do have a problem with the NHL picking and choosing who they suspend. This league is a joke!

  17. HabFanSince72 says:

    Compare the Rome hit to the notorious Scott Stevens hit on Eric Lindros. The Rome hit occurs much longer after Horton has released the puck than the Stevens hit.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16Z7-XRPcrw

    There is no doubt that the Rome hit on Horton is something the league needs to put an end to. Horton’s career and long term health are in jeopardy.

    In that sense the suspension is completely deserved.

    The two issues for me are (1) the fact that similar hits have been tolerated this year, including two weeks ago (McGinn on Rome), and (2) that Murphy asked Burke for advice. This is unethical to begin with, but it also shows that the league is floundering. They just don’t know what to do.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I do hope Horton will recover, no player deserves to suffer a severe concussion. These are gravely serious injuries. It just seems that the NHL does not want to deal with this issue period. By picking and choosing when they are going to enforce big suspensions it only muddies the water more as to what is acceptable.

      Between the Leagues refusal to address today’s body armour, and the fact this league has also completely gone away from the original concept of what constitutes a body check. Ever since this “finish the check” became a part of hockey, we know longer know when a player is allowed to be body checked. I don’t like the hit on Horton, but how is that hit different than the typical forecheck hit on a defencemen after he has played the puck up the boards etc…. Every game we see forwards finishing their check with the same time lapse after the puck has been played.

      Add to that, Murphy is going to Burke for advice, well what more can be said. It really is a 3 ring circus.

      • TomNickle says:

        I strongly disagree with your first statement. Horton and Lucic have been targeting two specific players since the beginning of this regular season. Dominic Moore and PK Subban. They’ve hit them late during the play, after whistles, from behind and to the head on countless occasions. A small part of me agrees that no player should suffer a concussion under these circumstances, but at the same time I’m well aware that ever since Horton put on a Bruins jersey, he’s been riding Lucic’s coattails in an effort to bully and hurt two specific players who’ve done nothing to warrant a full season’s worth of attention like that.

        What goes around comes around. I for one don’t feel the least bit bad for Horton. Perhaps this will make him a better professional and help him realize that lives are at stake when you play with that big of a chip on your shoulder and set out to hurt people.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Tom, i despise the Bruins, and I despise Lucic, Chara, Marchand and Horton.

          I actually paused as I typed my statement which you strongly disagree with. But as a human being I can’t wish a “Severe Concussion” on anyone. I wish the Bruins had been severely punished by not only the league for the things we watched unfold all season and into the playoffs. I wish we had players that could have helped with this justice since the league was not doing anything. But I still don’t want to see someone suffer potentially life changing injuries because of sport. I do see what you are saying regarding Karma, and no doubt these Bruins play the game one way, but don’t like it when someone does the same thing back to them.

          If I knew that Horton would fully recover, I would be fine with him missing the rest of this series. But concussions as we know, are far different from seperated shoulders, broken ankles etc….

          • TomNickle says:

            I would like to add that I don’t tune in to see a Bruin get hurt. And feel terrible for Marc Savard and am very happy for Patrice Bergeron. But, if you fire a weapon at people with intent in mind, I’m not going to give you sympathy when somebody strikes you with a bullet.

    • TomNickle says:

      It extends much further beyond them not knowing what to do. It’s specifically Mike Murphy who doesn’t know what to do. A league run by lawyers surprisingly pays very little attention to precedent and public statements they’ve made regarding decisions on supplementary discipline. This of course leaves them open to be labelled many different things when ruling on more recent events. They need structure because as you say, they don’t know how to handle it. 5 games for a hit to the head deemed to be reckless but unintentional. 10 games for a hit to the head deemed to be reckless and intentional. 10 games for a repeat offender in an instance where recklessness and no intent resulted in a head hit and 20 games for a repeat offender who showed intent and recklessness in hitting the head. In addition to that, double the suspension every time a repeat offender repeats and the circumstances are similar. Anytime a player takes action away from the play that would warrant a suspension, same guidelines apply. This isn’t the most difficult problem to solve.

      • Clay says:

        Good points, all of them. For you and I it is not at all difficult to see.
        But for the league it is. What if this hit was delivered by Crosby (if he ever plays again)? Overchkin? These are people who put fans in the seats. If they have a set structure (and I agree that they need one!), then they have to suspend the ‘stars’ for the same plays – and thus lose revenue. We all know this is why Chara wasn’t suspended.

        For this reason, no matter who the league hires to mete out suspensions we will have a conflict of interest. They need an independent body to handle these types of situations. And, as you say, a set structure.

        __________________________
        Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

        Winston Churchill

        • TomNickle says:

          I agree with your point about revenue Clay but would like to add this. I believe, and I may be wrong, that they stand to lose more revenue when(not if) a player dies on the ice as a result of a hit to the head than they would if Ovechkin was to be suspended for 5 or 10 games.

          • Clay says:

            They’re playing the odds though Tom – just like major corporations sometimes don’t recall a defective product because it would be more expensive to fix than all the lawsuits from the ensuing deaths would cost them.
            There has never been a death, and maybe they’re assuming there never will be one. Stupid assumption.

            __________________________
            Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

            Winston Churchill

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Agreed. But part of the problem is the league doesn’t control hockey. Bettman, Campbell and Murphy are essentially employees of the team owners.

        The power resides with the owners and the players, not with the league.

        Contrast this to soccer, corrupt as it might be.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          And clearly certain owners and certain players have all the power.

        • TomNickle says:

          You’re telling me Bettman has no control over these owners and players? They’ve kept teams in Phoenix, Florida, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Dallas and Columbus while each loses 8 figures annually. In a revenue sharing system where these owners stand to lose out on millions of dollars in support of mis-managed and poorly located franchises, Bettman has convinced these owners to keep his dream alive at their expense. I have a hard time believing the owners and players control this issue. I do agree however that the owners and players have the power to fix it. They’ve chosen not to.

          • OakvilleHabsFan says:

            betman is paid by the NHL, the NHL is owned by the teams. The commissioners office is the public face of the NHL team owners. The majority of the US owners use violence to sell the game, until that attitude changes, nothing changes in the NHL. Do you really think that boston and philly really believe that gooning it up wins Stanley Cups?? Neither team has won since 1974 yet they still play the same style. As long as the arena is full nothing changes!!!

          • TomNickle says:

            I think you’re underestimating how difficult it is to win a Stanley Cup. Ask Jim Rutherford what winning the Stanley Cup does for your revenue stream.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Maybe they think Bettman’s strategy is actually working. And maybe it is!

            The NHL just signed a big contract with NBC, and the popularity of the sport is rising fast in the US, especially among the key demographics (young males).

      • G-Man says:

        I vote for the following: Player is suspended for as long as the other player is out. Simple, neat and fair. The loss of income would stop the bs masquerading as “physical” play.

        • TomNickle says:

          But then you need independent medical staff to evaluate players who’ve been injured. Say Ovechkin drills Shane Hnidy from the Bruins. Julien and Chiarelli could hold Hnidy out for 3 season, or even have him retired and pay him a settlement to do so.

    • issie74 says:

      72 … It is so beyond unethical … Burke is a personal friend of the Jacob’s family … he could not possibly give an unbiased opinion.

      NorthTOHab

  18. derfab says:

    If this was a late hit, so are most. Rome was trying to make a good play, Horton was admiring his own pass. If Rome deserves 4, Chara should have had 10.
    As an aside, when defencemen stop getting their faces plastered to the glass by forechecking forwards maybe they will be a little gentler. Horton put a huge target on himself a long time ago by playing an opportunistic and vicious style. I hope he’s OK but I can’t say he wasn’t cruisin’ for it. Marchand, Recchi, Lucic, Torres, Burrows… Keep your heads up boys!

  19. Mavid says:

    Is anyone one else having trouble with the I pad app? My has not loaded any new stories after the teing up af game 2

    second place is just the first loser

  20. punkster says:

    Read and listen to what the media is saying about the hit and suspension. Check out the reader comments, the interviews with current and former players and coaches. What is the overall opinion? I have no idea because every side on this issue is yelling to be heard over every other side.

    My feeling is that the hit and suspension will have zero impact on this series. Neither team will back off. I fully expect the physical play to escalate with even more dirty hits. I expect the finger wagging to continue and incite even more retaliation. Above all I expect the league to continue their inconsistent application of the rules and penalties, both on the ice and in the head office.

    It’s a bush league run by pea brains.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  21. issie74 says:

    I agree with 42 … Andrew Ference speaks out as he is known to do.It isin’t a fair loss, like one of the twins,or Kessler.
    It make’s me wonder how he would feel as a Hab fan … to say something like this … is to be called a whiner.
    I happen to believe Pacioretty is a comparable player to Horton.
    Habs didn’t benefit in any way.

    NorthTOHab

  22. bolder says:

    Bruin players have been getting away with slaps on the wrist all year. They are the number one team, for cheap shots. What goes around comes around. The league fails to address Chara’s cheap shot, and all of Lucy’s sucker punches. F*** the Bruin reporters with their bias views, and assessments.

  23. Mavid says:

    Nobody here in Ottawa is cheering for the Bruins…last time I checked it was not in BC…I caught a bit of the interview on Romes show old Eugene should stick to horses barbados and getting drunk..with the likes of the biter routu and cement head Neil as part of his group he has zero cedibility…jerk..this article story is a piece of crap written by a bitter and twisted leaf fan…

    second place is just the first loser

  24. HabsoluteFan says:

    I’m really having a hard time watching the Boston media ”over-reacting” to this ”if done 0.2 second sooner, would’ve been perfectly legal” hit. Reading the article, it’s pretty funny to see that nobody wants to bring up the Chara hit. Guys in the B’s locker room now saying stuff like “But also you need to realize when a player is in a vulnerable spot. On both sides no one wants to see that happen.’’ Reporters now writing that ”In this era of concussion awareness, there should be zero tolerance for head shots, no matter how unintended.”
    Where was all this when Chara nailed a vulnerable Pacioretty, pushing his head into a post ? Sure, it was unintended (as per Chara…) but there should be zero tolerence right ?
    Funny how things change when the shoe is on the other foot.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      This entire league is such a joke, because the players only care the day it happens to one of their teammates, and even then only for a little while. This same Boston team watched Savard get his bell rung and then they go out and do these dirty hits all year. Now they lose one of their best players and they are talking like angels again. Except we know this Bruin team only has fallen angels on it.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • BostonRob says:

      A classic example of “over-reacting” is when the media encourages fans to call 911, not simply writing or talking about the hit. A classic example of “boffoonery” is when the fans actually follow their orders.

      And for the record, I do feel that Chara should’ve got suspended for a couple of games for his hit on Max. That was general consensus around here….

      • HabsoluteFan says:

        I can’t recall the media encouraging the fans to call 9-1-1.

        • Clay says:

          Are we re-writing history now? It happened, and it was stupid.

          __________________________
          Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

          Winston Churchill

      • saskhabfan says:

        STFU moron,there was no media encourging fans to call 911. Did you make that up yourself or was it reported by a bunch of public school drop outs known as hack boston sports writers? The general consensus around boston wasn’t chara should have been suspended a couple of games. It was that it was a “hard hockey play” and max should have “kept his head up” and he “got what he deserved”after pushing chara. I mean how dare maxpac push somebody in a contact sport. In other news,the entire town of boston is freaking out over a 3 game suspension handed to johnathan papelbon for bumping an umpire. I guess boston sports fans feel its ok to physically abuse officials and get away with it.

        • OakvilleHabsFan says:

          A local French radio station encouraged their listeners to call police, that’s a fact!!

          • saskhabfan says:

            Even if that garbage was true. Does one local french station represent monteal media?

        • BostonRob says:

          Moron? Me – and then, you go on to ask if a radio station represents Montreal media? Good grief, can’t win with you biased fans. And, since you mentioned the Sox – I’d like to say that Habs fans have overcome Yankees fans as the most hated fan base by Boston. Congrat’s – MORON!

          • gregg says:

            i gotta tell you, i doubt being “the most hated fan base by boston“ is gonna cause us to lose any sleep…

          • saskhabfan says:

            yeah Bosntonknob you idiot,have you figured it out yet or are you having problems with the big words? I said does one guy’s opinion (which wasn’t even proven was said) on a french radio station represent the opinions of all the montreal media. You know the crap load of other radio,newspapaer and internet outlets which employs hundreds of other sports analysists. Figure it out yet shit for brains? Nobody gives a shit about the opinion of some cumdumpster inbred redneck from a large trailer park known as boston. Habs fans are the most knowledgable hockey fans in the league,always was,always will be get used to it small fry.

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    Classic NHL Discipline ScrewUP
    The fact that the NHL has again proven to be completely inconsistent is of no surprise. This group of spinning wheel justice (where the wheel never seems to land on a bruin) administrators has now shown an even greater and far scarier problem within their hallowed halls.

    So we were led to believe that Mike Murphy was and is a capable assistant to Father Campbell, and that when Father Campbell has to supposedly (which i still find hard to believe, but fine) recuse himself due to little Gregory playing, Murphy is capable of the role.

    So why do we find out that he can’t remember how past decisions on suspensions were handled by NHL head office. Murphy claims he had to call Burke to find out how he handled suspensions how many years ago when he used to do the job?

    Even worse, he is calling a GM who gets draft position help when the Bruins go further in playoffs. This is a GM who is a former Vancouver GM who has been charged with Tampering by the current regime in Vancouver. His asst. GM was fired by Vancouver. And then on top of how stupid Murphy is for talking to Burke, he tells everyone he talked to Burke as if that somehow shows his honesty.

    This league is complete schoolyard justice and for some reason the biggest bully in the schoolyard is a little weasel named Bettman who is being fronted by a scumbag named Jacobs.

    So sick of this league in how they run things at the top.

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  26. Mike D says:

    Wonder why Philly would target Bryz unless they don’t think Bobrovsky can be a reliable starter in a couple years (which I assumed was the plan for him)? I would think there are cheaper options with older goalies (Vokoun, Nabby) which would make it easier for them to keep their better and more expensive players like Carle, Carter, and perhaps Leino. For example, if they went after Vokoun he would likely accept a shorter-term contract for around 4mil which is easier to fit under the cap and makes for a better transition for Bobrovsky to take the reigns when he’s ready.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hate the Flyers and hope they screw up their roster, but I just found this move puzzling and thought there were better options for them.

    - Honestly yours

  27. HabFanSince72 says:

    “Canucks Have Become Hated Team” is a fairly lame piece of reporting.

    But it shows that the Boston Bruins onslaught of media manipulation is working.

    • Clay says:

      Agreed – except that I wouldn’t even call it ‘reporting’. More like commentary, or an opinion piece. That should be on a blog, not the Globe and mail.

      __________________________
      Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

      Winston Churchill

    • Bugs says:

      Are you implying that the author DIDN’T systematically get EVERY hockey fan’s in North America’s opinion on the issue, tabulate his results, and conclude that an overriding majority of those millions of fans “hate the Canucks” before crafting his article???

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Leaf fans are cheering for the Bruins. Any time a Canadian team does well they (correctly) feel it diminishes them. You’d think they would be more magnanimous, convinced as they are that next year is their year.

        However, Hab fans – who make up the largest contingent of Canadian hockey fans – are almost certainly all cheering for the Nucks.

  28. Clay says:

    Interesting quote from the Boston.com article (hockey’s black eye).

    “But the inconsistency of punishment meted out by the NHL — Canucks forward Alex Burrows bit Bruin Patrice Bergeron’s finger in Game 1 but he was not suspended — sends mixed messages about what crosses the line.”

    I can’t believe that they are comparing the hit on Horton to the finger bite, instead of a more obvious comparison. We all know what that is…so no need to spell it out.

    I have to say again – it’s not the suspension that bothers me (people who injure others like that deserve suspension); it’s the HYPOCRISY.

    __________________________
    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

    Winston Churchill

  29. JohnBellyful says:

    The National Hockey League is controlled by two separate, yet equally stupid groups: the refs who call the penalties and the idiots who handle supplementary discipline. These are their stories.

    Chung, chung

    Ref 1: Whaddya got?
    Ref 2: Forward rammed the defenceman’s head through the glass, severing an artery in his neck. Then the assailant slewfoot the victim, kneed him in the head as he was falling down, and finished by stomping on his legs. The medics are working on him now. It’s going to take a while.
    Ref 1: What’s the call?
    Ref 2: Delay of game.
    The two refs watch as the medics wheel away the injured player on a gurney. He lifts a hand to the crowd. The crowd roars
    Ref 1: He’s lucky.
    Ref 2: How?
    Ref 1: The D in D-man could have stood for Dead.

    [Theme song]

    Vice-president of hockey operations: Dirt Bag, you had to know that two-minute penalty wasn’t going to sit well with the fans and that you’d be called in for a hearing.
    Dirt Bag; It’s because of my record, ain’t it? Fifty-seven majors, nine suspensions, and a manslaughter in my rookie season. That’s goin’ to follow me the rest of my career, right? You guys are too much. I’ve changed. Look at my penalty minutes this year: 98. It’s the fewest I’ve had in a season the last seven years.
    Vice-president of hockey operations: You’ve only played five games.
    Dirt Bag: You’re a $#%@% , you know that!!
    Dirt Bag’s agent: Move to strike!
    Vice-president of hockey operations nods.
    Agent punches Dirt Bag in the face: Will you shut the &^$%# up!
    Vice-president of hockey operations: Dirt Bag, I’ve given this matter a lot of thought. The league is getting hammered in the press, even by some of the guys on our payroll. We’ve got to do something. I’ve looked at the video evidence, talked to the officials, placed the rule book on the corner of my desk, texted Mike Milbury, and phoned Brian Burke. It all comes down to one question and how you answer it, and I want you to be honest: The player you hit, who won’t ever walk again or father children, whose career you ended and whose face you disfigured, whose dream to build women’s shelters and AIDS clinics after he retired is now shattered… do you like playing for the Bruins?
    Dirt Bag: Hell, yes. They gave me a chance when all the other clubs said I hadn’t fully evolved as a biped as yet, whatever the ^%#$#^ that means.
    Vice-president of hockey operations: Okay, we’re done here. I’m giving you a 10-game suspension …
    Dirt Bag: Whaaaaat!!!
    Vice-president of hockey operations: … to be served during intermissions.
    Dirt Bag: Where do I appeal!!??
    Vice-president of hockey operations: Move to strike?
    Dirt Bag’s agent nods.

    [Screen darkens. Exit music plays]

    • 24 Cups says:

      A brilliant piece. Best I have read here in weeks.

      The old adage that there is always some truth in sarcasm once again rings true.

      The NHL would have loved to somehow made it through the Cup finals without another black eye. Their only hope now is the beginning of the 2011-12 season. Sadly, I doubt any significant change will occur.

      “Send in the clowns
      Don’t bother, they’re here”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5os4NFeKFFs

      • Clay says:

        In a rather large way the NHL created their own black eye here Steve. As I mentioned above, the inconsistency in meting out (what they so laughably refer to as) ‘justice’ creates problems on its own.
        Playoff games are supposed to mean more than regular season games.
        As I wrote yesterday, precedent should – one could almost say must – be considered in a case like this. The fact that this hit is considered much, much worse (judging from the 4 game suspension in a playoff game) than the Patches-Chara incident (judging from the no game suspension in a regular season game) is troubling to the league, to say the least.

        If Chara got none, then perhaps instead of 4 games Rome should have gotten a bonus?

        __________________________
        Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

        Winston Churchill

    • G-Man says:

      Great piece of farce. Unfortunately, it’s not that far from the truth…

    • punkster says:

      Who listens to a talking piece of poultry?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5121VjLwqZM

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  30. Barts says:

    “Canucks Have Become Hated Team”

    Don’t worry Boston, you’re not to be outdone in that category. May your players be on the end of many more Horton-esque hits.

  31. Laramy87 says:

    Murphy says the hit was late by about 1 second, the initial contact was to the body with a bit of the head and the severity of the injury required a suspension. This league is so bs and murphy is so contradictory its silly.

    Same set of circumstances with maxpac and nothing. I guess a broken neck was not sever enough. The league is such a joke


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