Another night of great hockey

Sedin celebrates game winning overtime goal as Nashville Predators defenseman Shane O'Brien (55) skates past during Game 3

What was with all those orange tee shirts in Music City?

Fans of the Predators AND the NDP?

Chris Higgins played with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond, killed penalties and got in some PP time.

The Lightning and Caps are back at it tonight in Tampa. For the second straight year, “Gabby” Boudreau is being outcoached.

And Don Cherry, in his Bruins tie, knocked Alex Ovechkin.

Arpon Basu on Andrei Markov

Tampa Bay Tribune game story

Bolts playing for Wayne Fleming

Kesler finally scores

Cam Cole’s column on the OT winner

Richard Labbé on the Flyers’ goaltending mess

Michel Bergeron likes the Lightning

• Stu Cowan on how the Canadiens were built

Thrashers worth $440 million less than the Habs

How much do special teams matter?

Ray Shero’s problems … including Crosby’s future

Photo by M.J. Masotti/Reuters

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  22. JohnBellyful says:

    If I had known HIO posters were country music lovers (Stu Cowan’s link to “Stand By Your Habs”) I would have put this up sooner:

    I Like to Whine

    I keep a close watch on those Habs of mine
    I keep my eyes wide open all the time
    For someone who can score, not just grind
    Oh what a find, for our top line.

    I find it very, very easy to be down
    We got beat by the Bruins in the first round
    Three more years on the contract with the clown
    Oh what a find. I like to whine

    As sure as night is dark and Leafs are sad
    The Habs could use a guy who’s big and bad
    The meanest one this team has ever had
    But once he signed, he’d ride the pine.

    I’ve got a way to get back to the top:
    AK, Benny and Spaceman we will shop
    To New York for Drury who’s been a flop
    He’ll do just fine, on Gomez’s line.

    That’s all my time. I like to whine

  23. jmsheehy19 says:

    The more I think about it, the more I hope we give Benny another shot. His stats are better than his play down the stretch suggested, and it seems obvious that his main problem is a mental one. Play him on a line with Eller and Desarnais and see if he can turn it around. If he doesn’t, we can always give Palushaj a shot.

    My opinion is swayed even more so by the weak FA class this year. We’d have to overpay for anybody we got, and besides Laich and maybe Leino I don’t think any of the ones we could get are that much of an upgrade on Benny, and both are older.

    Also, am I the only one who would consider Muller a bigger loss than Boucher was last year?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Your Muller/Boucher question is a great teaser! I’d reckon only real insiders can know for sure what Muller’s unique contribution may be or to what extent Boucher benefitted from OR optimised the hand he was dealt in Tampa. Care to elaborate on your opinion?

      As for Pouliot, totally agree. Perhaps naively, I would assign him considerable responsibility — like 2nd line — and let him play, warts and all, allow him make mistakes without fear of benching, and see if that re-established his confidence. Maybe October to Christmas? Shorter perhaps.

      Surely by then we’d know if he were ever going to fulfil his obvious but elusive potential.

      Cheers (from Ireland, Mr Sheehy)

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        Well while Boucher had potential, we lost him from the farm team rather than the Habs, so it’s like losing a prospect that hadn’t made it yet. It doesn’t ACTUALLY hurt the team so much as not help, if that makes any sense.

        With Muller, we’ll be losing a part of the team that for the past two seasons, has exceeded most expectations. As you said, only the insiders really know how crucial he was to the chemistry and success. But he always seemed to be the guy drawing up the plays or rallying the guys when their backs were against the wall.

        I’m not knocking Martin as I think he’s done a great job these last two years (especially this year with the injuries to key players), I’m just a little heartbroken that we’ll almost definitely be losing a guy who has spent pretty much his entire career with the organization.

        And a side note, I’m pretty jealous. I haven’t been able to visit Ireland since I was 16. Saving my money right now, and looking to make it back next summer, but small things keep coming up and chipping away at my account. Could sure use a NHL salary about now. Why oh why, when I was a kid and chose to focus on basketball over hockey, did no one tell me that a 6ft white Irish Canadien was never gonna play for the Bulls.

  24. PeterStone says:

    i’ve been looking at the draft the past few days .. i think we’ll be picking 16th or 17th. I was wondering if anyone out west has ever seen Mark McNeil play .. i read some pretty decent reports on him , he has decent size, is a C and is srated in our area. There is also Zack Phillips, who i have seen a little who seems solid. Anyone have insight ?

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      McNeill had his stock drop a bit with the Under-18s with few points, but he’s still a big body who’s had strong production on a weak WHL team, some favour him in the first half of the 1st round, others the 2nd half. Concerns are he may not be naturally gifted enough to be a productive NHLer. Phillips is a later pick from where MTL would select, concerns are he benefits a bit too much from playing for the #1 CHL team the Saint John Sea Dogs.

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

      • PeterStone says:

        i also saw some folks talking favorably about a player a little further down … Boone Jenner … , another guy I have never seen play .. any comments ? Re McNeil … have you seen him play at all ?

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          I can’t get CHL games, I rely purely on scouting information. Boone Jenner very much sounds like a Trevor Timmins-type pick and with Alain Berger, the overage Swiss player being signed from the same OHL team (OSH Generals) It’s very likely the Habs have been scouting him. Skating is a concern for him, but scouts are high on his compete level and two-way game.

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

  25. 4m3y2j says:

    JM

    Many people credited his In Game adjustments this year(Boone)but I think he needs to open up his mind to new ideas of motivating.When he allows Gomez so much room for error but chastises so many others for errors(Eller/Deharnais/MaxPac/Benny)he sends a mssg. tat there is a pecking ot=rder and favorites and that will not sit well in the room and it g=creates a psycholoc=gical cancer.He needs to take a page from Bouchers book and deal with each player on a case by case basis and not tar everyone with the same brush.This is an old school way of thinking and it will ultimately fail him.The younger players relate to KM,it is obvious…

  26. habs365 says:

    The Habs we have at present play excellent defense we proved it all year and in the playoffs–that’s why we took Boston to 7-games–not enough offense–don’t get me wrong–gotta have players that can play good-D especially in the playoffs but if you can’t score goals a one dimensional team will have a slim chance at winning it all..gotta admit again–we did a good job against Boston–doing the same for 4-rounds nothing happening..too many weak scores and that has to change if a 25th cup is to come to montreal………

  27. ManApart says:

    Off topic, but Nashville should be very happy. Ryan Ellis is on his way. Mark my words, he will be the best offensive defenseman in the game within 3 years, 4 tops. This guy is unbelievable. First defenseman to get 100 points in the OHL in 17 years. Weber, Suter, Ellis, Franson, O’Brien, Rinne. Nashville is the real deal.

    • PeterStone says:

      i’m curious , what do you base this assessment of him ? His 100points in the OHL ?

      • ManApart says:

        Just following his career through junior, winning 2 Memorial Cups as a scoring machine, and especially during the past 3 World Junior Championships, where he is the tournament’s all-time leading scorer, by defenseman, and Canada’s all-time assists leader by any defenseman or forward.

        He was tied in OHL playoff scoring last season for 2nd with Jeff Skinner, just behind Taylor Hall. This past world juniors he was named Tournaments best defenseman. A trophy won the year before by Alex Pieterangelo. The year before that he won best defenseman in the OHL, beating out Subban. The year prior it was won by Doughty. This year he won it again and was also named OHL player of the year. First defenseman to do so since 1999. Only third defenseman all-time in the OHL to accumulate 300 career points, finishing only 17 points behind the great Denis Potivin all-time. Shall I go on ?

        • PeterStone says:

          are you his mom ?

          I’m just not sold on him … he’s got talent, certainly, he’s dominated in the CHL and has been amazing in the WJC … but i just dont see him as a dominant NHL DMan, as you do. I see him more as a YWeber type player … solid offensive skills, NHL Defensive Abilities TBD, so, slating him as the best off. Dman is high praise.

          One of the other guys to get 300 points ( I just googled it ) was R Corriveau .. NHL Games 0.

          • ManApart says:

            He has size issues, so his defensive game may take a little time. But I’ve seen his PP skills and they are second to none. His shot is close to MAB’s and his vision and passing skills are Zubov like.

            Look at Dan Boyle. He is certainly no physical specimen. But is one of the best offensive defenseman in the game and more than adequate on the back-end. Ellis has a better shot, and more skills. Also a small guy like Tobias Enstrom. An excellent offensive player, and average defensively. He can’t hold a candle to Ellis in either facet.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Can’t think of another franchise that is better at drafting and developing D.

  28. rhino514 says:

    Regarding the Gomez situation can someone answer the follwoing question:

    If Gomez is claimed on waivers by another team, do they have to pay half his salary only for the first season, or for the length of the rest of his contract?
    If it´s just the first season, the move is a no-brainer. Again, nothing personal on Gomez, he´s a nice guy and all and wants to win…

    • ManApart says:

      If Gomez is claimed off Waivers, the Habs don’t have to pay any of his salary. It’s only if he is not claimed originally and is put on re-entry waivers, where he is essentially being brought up from Hamilton back to the Habs, will Montreal be on the hook for half his salary. It would be for the whole length of the remaining contract.

  29. JohnBellyful says:

    Is Randy Cunneyworth taking French lessons? Or is speaking the language still a perquisite to employment in La Belle Province in light of the election results?

    • punkster says:

      Can’t believe I let over an hour and a half go by before noticing my SpellAlarm (™) was on the fritz. It’s “prerequisite” my friend and given the subject matter of your question it may be wise to brush up on your own language skills first.

      What election?

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I am mortified. The streak of 476 posts of impeccable grammar and flawless spelling comes to a screeching halt. Now I wait in fear for the e-mail from the HIO webmaster saying my posting privileges have been suspended. Well, it was fun while it lasted. I’m off to where the Bruin fans congregate. I hear the standards aren’t so high over there.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          Hey, the guys over at the Bruins’ site tell me it’s spelled perquisite and pointed me to page 1205 Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary, and the website, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perquisite.
          Oh, I see, it’s prerequisite.
          Have your editor speak to my editor. Oh wait, I fired him.

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            A perquisite of this site is that you will be corrected when wrong. A prerequisite before posting on this site is not to quote “the guys” from the Bruins web site.

            “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

          • punkster says:

            On a hockey note and seriously, how the h-e-double hockey sticks does a team the Habs take to a game 7 OT turn around and completely dominate a team that everyone said would kill the Habs in 4 straight? Do you think the Bs are this good or are the Flyers this bad?

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • punkster says:

          Tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m letting it slide…this time. No, no…you don’t have to thank me. From now on keep your head up and your stick on the ice and you’ll be fine.

          This election you mentioned…did Dief retain a majority or did that whipper snapper Pearson finally get in?

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • JohnBellyful says:

            You are so behind times. The whipper-snapper is some guy named Trudeau. Or, as the French say, snappier de whippeur.

          • punkster says:

            (Sigh). Trudeau? Naaa, the guy’s a flake, he’ll never amount to anything. Now that Tommy Douglas fellow, there’s a firebrand.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • G-Man says:

      Feeling perquie?

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Re: Bruins over Flyers. It is peculiar but not unusual in sports. Team A beats Team B who beats Team C who beats Team A.
      Some teams have other teams’ number, for whatever reason. Player match-ups, coaching philosophies, momentum. Bruins proved they could handle Flyers last year; what was unusual was Flyers being able to come back from such a deficit.
      I also was of a mind that the Habs, had they got past the first round, would have had their hands full against Flyers but given how dreadful Philadelphia’s goaltending has been …

  30. CHsam says:

    How rich would it be if Benny went to Tampa and Boucher turns him into the player he can be?

    • AK_PK_Usay says:

      to me Benny and AK are very similar, and both will be good to the team.

      Ak needs to stop taking lazy penalties bcos he faces someone faster, let him go catch up later and body check…

      And Benny needs to stop taking STUPID penalties period…

      Of course, under JM, good luck to both.

      ——————————————
      when all think alike, no one is thinking very much

      • MathMan says:

        AK and Benny are really very little alike.

        AK is a quality tough-minutes top-6 forwards who dominates lower-end opposition if put on a 3rd line. He’s a solid even-strength scorer with underrated defense. He may not be the best player in the world, but he’s a strong complementary player that you can use effectively on a first line. He’s the kind of player a good GM steals from a bad GM.

        Benny has all the tools but no toolbox. At an age where AK was playing on a first line, Benny is playing fourth-line minutes and getting sheltered by his coach. He has offensive skills, but his defense is suspect which makes him a liability against anything resembling strong competition. I’m afraid Benny is already pretty much the player he can be. There might be some upside still, but he’s not likely to ever reach AK’s level.

  31. habsindepth says:

    People keep talking about coaches here. @seriousfan09: I responded to your post on the previous thread about Boucher and JM, let me know what you think here :)

    The fact of the matter is, unless the team replaces Muller with another motivator, a go-to guy, a guy who brings the team together, we are going to have a REALLY tough time next year under Jacques Martin. You can bet on that if you want, place ‘em down below this post ;-)

    ===================================
    Web: http://www.habsindepth.com – For the Fanatics
    Twitter: @habsindepth

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Read your post back to Seriousfan09 on the other thread. Was a good read, I do agree with alot of what Serious was trying to say also.

      Obviously Boucher is turning out to be an above average coach in the NHL. JM to me is the ultimate enigma. However, I don’t see PG making any radical changes to either players or coaches in the offseason.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  32. Habitoban says:

    Looks like many at HIO believe (and some hope) that we have seen the last of Benoit Pouliot. They may be right. But before I sign off for the Summer, I thought I would make the case for Benny one last time.

    I have repeated this stuff before so I apologize in advance, but I find it astonishing that a team that is desperate for size (6 foot 3), grit (three fights, no loses), and offensive skills (we have seen them, including the 102mph slapper, but admittedly not as often as any of us would like) would be so cavalier in managing this asset. And how bad has he been (cue up the falling down comments)?

    Here is a guy who is 23rd in time on the ice, with virtually no PP time, yet is 6th in scoring among forwards, 3rd in game winners, 3rd in hits, +2 on the season, ahead of favourites like Eller [-4], DD [-3], MaxP [-1]); 6th in faceoff percentage ahead of Eller, #16 in giveaways, and #7 in takeaways. Not bad numbers.

    Does he need guidance and support – no question. Lots has been written about the importance of Gill in PK’s development. Benny had a mentor in Darche. Every time Benny and Darche were on the same line Benny’s production and play began to improve. But for some reason management kept on breaking up those combinations. Which brings me to my next to final point.

    People have been talking about the impact of Gomez’s lack of production on the team. The impact of Gomez’s lack of production was made worse by management obsession for the better part of the season with tinkering the lines in order to find the magic combination to get Gomez going. How disruptive was that to Benny’s development? And then there is the lack of patience. DD’s play in the first 2 playoff games was less than stellar. By his own admission he needed time to settle down, and management stuck with him, and by game 3 he was a force on the ice. Benny was asked to replace the beatified Max P, and was pulled by the 3rd period.

    And speaking of Max, this is the same MaxP who had 10 points in 52 games with the Big Team under the our coaching staff and people were ready to cut loose, and the same MaxP who recognized that playing 4th line minutes in the Bigs was a waste of time for an offensive player’s development and said so. Benny has learned how right MaxP was.

    It looks like there are issues between the coach and Benny and no surprise Pouliot didn’t want to talk to the press, given how he has been treated this year, and in the playoffs in particular . In my view he is a great asset who has been poorly managed. I’m sure Tampa would be happy to have him.

    • ManApart says:

      Paragraphs please.

      Thanks!

    • Mark C says:

      I’ll add my two favorite Benny related stats. He ranked fourth among Montreal forwards in goals per 60/minutes, and he ranked first in first assists per 60/minutes at 5-on-5. Given his low ice time, Benny was very productive from a goal production standpoint; he was also on the ice for more goals scored than allowed. Even if he falls down six times a night, his wobbly legs do not kill this team.

      • MathMan says:

        He’s also routinely played against weak opposition and sheltered with offensive zone faceoffs.

        He’s a very good fourth liner, might be a decent third-liner. Whether he can be more is in some doubt. He’s not a top-6 forward, and likely never will be. At his price point, I think the Habs can use the money better.

        • Mark C says:

          There is something to the weak opposition aspect, isn’t that natural for a third line player? His offensive zone starts were middle of the pack, not sure he was sheltered by that.

          For less than $1.5M how much better can they do? For that low of a cost, I think it’s worth buying one more year of his potential.

          • MathMan says:

            It’s gotten pretty obvious that Martin doesn’t trust him. High P/60 is all well and good, but nobody will call him a two-way player and that makes the coach hesitant. Especially since — to my eye at least — he got worse as the year wore on.

            Is he worth 1.5 mil? Maybe, but I can’t help but feel the Habs could spend that money better elsewhere. He might be more useful on a team that focusses less on defense.

            No reason to throw him away, mind. As a RFA, he is an asset.

    • habsindepth says:

      Great post…. just a quick critique, wall of texts are just so hard to read, breaking it up in paragraphs would be great. But an awesome post about Pouliot. You have swayed my opinion about keeping him here.

      I always recognized that our coaching staff simply sucks with developing young players, I don’t know what the problem is, it seems that they are so impatient with these young kids, not giving the proper chance to develop. I mean not every body is a born Crosby right? Can’t expect every single player to step on the ice and impress the heck out of the fans right? Or hell, Pouliot got so few minutes and yet he still kept on plugging. I also recognize the fact that despite the bad penalties, the falling down with no one close to you, Pouliot always brought a LOT of energy on the ice and I really hated the fact that they broke up the PHD line which was doing so well.

      Again, great post! thanks for taking the time to make it here and bring these stats in front of our ignorant eyes.

      ===================================
      Web: http://www.habsindepth.com – For the Fanatics
      Twitter: @habsindepth

      • HabinBurlington says:

        All good points regarding Benny and our Coach JM. However, as others have pointed out, I think Benny has other issues. Not to say a different coach (more father figure type/counsellor) wouldn’t be able to help. Would be curious to know what Muller’s thoughts on Benny are. If indeed Kirk is leaving our team, PG needs to have a thorough exit interview with him, and find out Kirk’s thoughts on players like Benny.

        Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • LA Loyalist says:

      You make damn good points, and just think how happy we will be when he goes elsewhere (Tampa, we’ll get MAB back for him :)) and succeeds.

      The mentoring of young players is something Montreal used to be very, very good at, if you’ve read any of the memoirs of Robinson, Dryden, etc., you can read about it. It’s very important.

      Are we doing a good enough job?

    • habsfan0 says:

      Very well and succinctly put. BP’s problems,I believe,are entirely between his ears. However, I also think that nothing short of professional counselling will straighten him out,a route, I suspect, which he will not readily take.

    • Mike D says:

      Good read – thx Habitoban. And hopefully you don;t sign-off for the summer – we have some pretty good debates on here even when there’s no hockey being played.

      On to the subject at hand….

      FWIW, I am a strong believer that we need to keep Benny. I’ve had my frustrations with him since we acquired him for Tenderness (as I’m sure we all have), but for the roughly 1.5mil he’ll cost to qualify we’d be dumb not to sign him. He hasn’t met expectations, but even if his production stays where it’s been and he can stop taking dumb penalties, I doubt we could replace him for that price AND get a player with the upside potential he has. Same goes for AK btw.

      Regarding the point you made about ice-time, I think his is so low because he wasn’t doing anything playing with G&G, so he was moved to the 3rd line which already gets less time. That, and factor in all the times he was benched for taking those brutal penalties and his ice-time goes down the drain. Good production though for the minutes played.

      Of course, if he and JM have a bad relationship then that’s another story alltogether. If that is the case, then I think we should qualify and sign him, then look for a good trading partner who’ll give us something of value in return. In all honesty, there’s no way PG will fire JM over Benny so if they can’t reconcile their issues (assuming there are any), then that’s the best course of action so we don’t lose him for nothing.
      - Honestly yours

  33. LA Loyalist says:

    Message for Ian (and anyone interested). Just heard very interesting hour on Andrew Crystal show on Fan 590 (3-4 pm hour your time) and he interviewed Dr. Robert Stern on concussions and related disease (CTE – Chronic Entropic Encepholopathy (?)) it was thoroughly disturbing but fascinating.

  34. AK_PK_Usay says:

    Im seeing a few posts saying JM has not done anything to have warranted being let go.

    Does the fact that last year he was kept based on Halak’s play make any sense? I think its very important to discern each aspect of the play. Players on ice, coaching, goalie…

    A coach in today’s terms is a motivator, HE IS NOT A CAPTAIN as RDS muppets keep using as a definition, IT IS NOT HIS TEAM…

    Boucher helped each player work on his game to his strenghs, and that’s the best you can hope for from a coach.
    Boucher addapts well, his 1 – 3 – 1 system is making a mockery of washington. BTW the 1 guy back would have been great vs Boston, as it would make their dumping system less effective…

    So no, if a coach doesn’t bring anything more to the team than what any mid level manager would, then he should go, when you see talent at any position, you go for it.

    Some of you are willing to burry 7mil in juniors, yet mention that JM has a contact?
    He makes what 0.5mil a year? what a joke, plus its not on the salary cap of the team.

    ——————————————–
    when all think alike, no one is thinking very much

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Of course JM is a decent coach. But to me the secret of getting from good to great is being able to adjust: to which players you have at any given time, to what the other team throws at you, to the exigencies which occur within a game — and in my personal view JM is very rigid in his thinking, his players are all in his head and they are all veterans and they all execute wonderfully.

      News flash: hockey is played on this slippery stuff called ice. The puck is frozen. The players are human. Sh*t happens.

      That’s why some coaches are better than others. They adjust to reality.

      • MathMan says:

        Go read Olivier’s blog at enattendantlesnordiques.blogspot.com. It should be required reading for all Habs fans in and of itself. But one of the many things he does is icetime analysis — and Olivier has used this to really show how Martin adjusted his matchups and roster usage to changing situations and what the other coach threw at him, especially in the playoffs. Up to and including altering his matchups in the third period and alternating the LW on the Gomez line between Moen and Darche depending on which line they faced.

    • shiram says:

      You fail to recognize the system that protected Halak, and made it so most shots he faced we’re not so threatening. Yea Halak played great, the D helped a ton, and the forwards we’re responsible as well.
      But all of them played JM’s system.

      • ManApart says:

        The system wasn’t nearly as good as it was this year. How many games did Halak have last season with 40+ shots? I think he was something like 9-1 in them. Halak WAS the system last year.

        • shiram says:

          He definately was the center piece of it, but I would not take away from the defenceman who sacrificied their bodies blocking so many shots either.
          Or to Cammy who really stepped it up offencively. Etc…

          I said it before, and will say it again, I’m no big fan of Jm, he is not extremely great or anything, but he is good, and given what he has for a team did well.
          It’s just pointless to suggest the team fire him or anything like that, as for now it is not very realistic.

          • ManApart says:

            Imagine if they didn’t block shots? Halak would have gotten 60+ shots a night lol.

            Agree on your last 2 paragraphs.

    • Mark C says:

      Roloson’s playoff SV% is .031 (.943 vs. .912) better than it was during the regular season. If Martin rode on Halak’s coat tails, at what point is Roloson going to start taking some of Boucher’s credit? Roloson hasn’t produced as many out-of-this-world games as Halak, but he also hasn’t had one stinker. No sub .900 SV% games yet, Halak had 6 of those last year.

      “BTW the 1 guy back would have been great vs Boston, as it would make their dumping system less effective.”

      Maybe, but Tampa was 1-3 against Boston this year and was outscored 15-8.

      • MathMan says:

        I’m actually kind of disappointed in the Bolts. I thought they were better in the regular season than the playoffs, goaltending excepted.

        Roloson is absolutely keeping the Bolts in a series against a better-playing club. Caps fans must be pulling their hair out over this happening two years in a row.

        • Mark C says:

          I am too, but that’s blasphemy around these parts. Goaltending and special teams are the only aspects of play keeping Tampa alive. Tampa’s special teams are a plus-9 in the 10 games so far, Tampa was only plus-5 during the regular season. Tampa has been outshot in every game in the playoffs. Put it all together and it sounds a lot like Montreal.

          • MathMan says:

            Well, getting outshot doesn’t necessarily mean you suck if you lead a lot. Score effects lead to you getting outshot.

            But yes, they’ve beaten two teams that were playing better than they are. Which is kind of scary because Tampa is capable of better. And it looks like they’re getting Boston next, a team that’s weaker than Pittsburgh, let alone the Capitals. They’re a good bet for the SCF at this point.

    • ManApart says:

      Damn Halak, he ruined everything.

    • MathMan says:

      Letting Martin go last year made sense. The Habs stunk horribly in the regular season, and they stunk in the playoffs, too; it made sense to say he was only kept because he reached the ECF only on the strength of Halak.

      Problem is, it doesn’t make sense anymore. The Habs had a massive turnaround in their 5-on-5 game, going from one of the worst clubs in the league to one of the better ones. It’s unfortunate that they couldn’t buy a goal because the change was remarkable and would have been immediately obvious if they had an increase in scoring to follow their increase in scoring chances.

      Either Martin completely turned his game around or last year was a work-in-progress team and what we’re seeing is closer to the finished product. In the latter case, maybe the org knew what it was doing in retaining him, which I’m inclined to believe — they know their stuff better than I do. In any case, Martin’s results this year were excellent. I find it hard to justify calling for his head after that.

  35. Free Agency is a couple months away so take a look at what the habs have and what they don’t. Also Vote for Markov or The Wiz.
    Visit http://canadiensnation.wordpress.com/ Thank you.

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

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    Aaron Palushaj has 4G, 6A in 8 AHL playoff games so far. He had 2G and 10A in 19 games last year.

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

    • Mark C says:

      I’ve jumped on the Palushaj bandwagon, his production has really started to take off since last year’s playoffs.

      Last year’s stat line: 81-10-34-44

      This year’s stat line: 76-26-41-67

      I’ve included the playoffs in the above stat lines. Palushaj’s huge jump in his production is akin to what Max-Pac did this year. Given Palishaj’s age, he won’t be 22 until Sept., an increase in production like his is likely very telling. He might need another year in the A, but I wouldn’t rule out Palushaj forcing Montreal’s hand like Max did. Always known as a playmaker, the large increase in goals and the 14% SH% are real promising signs. In addition, he’s a RH shot.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He is developing nicely. Needs to put on some bulk.

  37. LA Loyalist says:

    just for fun: check out Los Angeles Times coverage of Canadian election (it’s a slow news day?)

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-canada-election-20110504,0,7779342.story

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      We have a schlemiel for prime minister.

      That is news.

      • secretdragonfly says:

        Better a schlemiel than a schlimazel.

      • habsfan0 says:

        and a schlamazel for an opposition leader. Of course he didn’t know the “spa” he visited was a rub n tug joint. “Velvet Touch Massage Parlour” is a name synonymous with a reputable establishment is it not? And so what if it was dimly lit, and located in an area overrun with these type of “spas”. And so what if Smiling Jack paid cash for his “shiatsu” massage, which, by the way,doesn’t require nudity. And so what if he was given his “massage” by a 5’10″ Asian woman,freshly arrived from China, wearing very provocative clothing? Nah,anybody could have made the same mistake…

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          As you say, “So what?” Do you really care about such moral minutia?

          – formerly notbigbird –

          • habsfan0 says:

            What Smiling Jack does behind closed doors is entirely between him and his wife, Olivia. However, these type of establishments tend to be operated by Asian gangs, which video tape clients arriving,and would probably have absolutely no moral compunction in blackmailing someone. For an individual who is in a position to potentially be Prime Minister of Canada at some point, the lack of judgment is somewhat disturbing.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Too funny, i thought Jack was just giving a new name to handshake campaigning!

          Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • RCAF425 says:

        Foolish comment, stick to hockey and stop insulting my Prime Minister. You bring dishonor to the rest of us Habs fans.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Bruce Wallace is actually a Concordia Grad, spent time with Macleans, and Southam papers.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  38. Danno says:

    why can I not post?
    ________________________________________

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

  39. stevieray says:

    Boucher ” NOT ” a coach of the year candidate…. what’s with that ??? Who is responsible for nominating the finalists for such awards as these as well as teh Hart..Vezina …. etc the NHL head honchos ?????

    • nek25plus says:

      The reporters select candidates…and all of the New York area ones have boycotted! Something they ALL should have done. In fact the only place where this was talked about was in the Mtl press!

      Nobody else wanted to tick off the NHL.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Typically one nomination goes to the coach of the team that finishes 1st (Vigneault), one goes to a coach that had to overcome a ****storm to get to where they did (Bylsma) and the remaining nod goes to a guy they feel is due and Barry Trotz should have won a Jack Adams years ago.

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

    • habs03 says:

      Did you see what he had to work with, St. Louis, Vinny Lec, Stamoks. Tampa problem the year before was the coaching staff was having a negative effect on the team. But got to give Guy Boucher credit for the good job he has done, too bad Gainey realized his talent a few years too early. Becuase there was no way that the Habs were going to hire a rookie coach after Michel Therrien, Alain Vigneault, Claude Julien, and Guy Carbonneau, and its the same reason why Kirk Muller is most likely going to coach the Stars.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I really wonder what it would be like with Boucher as the coach of the habs. He took the Dogs to the conf finals last year in the AHL and is doing wonders with Tampa. Their style of hockey is a lot more fun to watch than our score a goal and defend style.

      I am not posting this to bash JM cause he hasn’t done that bad with the habs either I just prefert boucher’s style

  40. nek25plus says:

    For the sake of my sanity can we please stop talking about how the %$##*& Bruins are doing after each game they play!

    Who is going to be our coach…please don’t say J.M, he’s past his time. We need someone who can bring the kids along!

  41. twocents says:

    Boone,
    With regard to Cherry and his biases, my whole point turns on the fact that I recognize he is not “analyst”. He is an entertainer, part everyman, part buffoon. I don’t enjoy his shtick, I never seek it out. But, I don’t take him seriously.

    I take issue when he does approach a serious topic and takes it lightly or worse. But, I am not bothered by the bias, because he is not a journalist or an analyst. Again, I prefer he be blatant about it, since it likely helps some people recognize that he is not t be confused as one.

    All the other examples people provide below take themselves seriously as analysts, Cherry doesn’t, and he makes that plain. Waiting for him to respect the conventions of a role he doesn’t accept seems pointless to me.

    • stevieray says:

      although he is a most times a past the due date Hockey GUy .. you have to give him credit for a few things he predicts ..like Horton’s 2 overtime goals .. to me he’s as much of a anaylst as Healy/Stock and Hrudey … the 3 stoogies ……

      • twocents says:

        I am not saying he doesn’t possess knowledge of hockey, I am saying he has no intention of respecting the conventions that people are judging him on in this case, and that he makes that plain.

    • issie74 says:

      Don Cherry is the CBC’ Lady Gaga!!!

    • RCAF425 says:

      Still, it would be nice if he was less biased. It is frustrating to listen to him slam our Canadiens. I think he is entertaining, but I would love him to be a little less obvious. The whole CBC does little that actually represents the values of Canadians, but despite his bias, I like him better than most of the other hockey people like Cole! Per Ardua Ad Astra.

  42. LA Loyalist says:

    Just throwing this out: if Caps go out in 4 or 5 after losing to us last year, there will be changes in Washington.

    Who REALISTICALLY – would you covet and who would you give up to get him/them.

    And don’t say Gomez for Ovechkin, as lovely a thought as it is.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      I suspect the changes will be in coaching staff more than anything, or players we don’t want/need. Semin has proved to be somewhat of a unreliable playoffs man, Laich will be a UFA, but even then they’d probably like him back in case Knuble is hurt next year again or going for the big money (requiring MTL to shed a salary) and there is no way they’re giving up Carlson or Alzner.

      I suspect the big change will be someone like Muller behind the bench of the 11-12 Capitals.

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

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Of course you may be right, but I have a pretty connected friend who is saying that Boudreau will NOT take the bullet (which I buy because he (my friend) personally covets Kirk Muller badly and wants Boudreau out.

        You didn’t mention Backstrom (not sure of his contract) he hasn’t scored in 16 but man he is skilled. Any thoughts?

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          He’s far too skilled to give up, we’re talking about the guy who nearly destroyed MTL in the post-season last year. A #1 centre on just about every team in the NHL, PPG in his career and still very, very young. His 10-year contract, (which ends the same time as the 13-year deal Ovechkin signed 3 years ago) indicates his staying power.

          Boudreau should take the bullet, he has consistently failed to beat his opponents in the post-season despite always owning home-ice advantage and generally a superior roster. Four straight years of defeats, he should be held accountable.

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

        • RGM says:

          I have a hard time thinking that they’ll allow the big red blowhard to survive a second consecutive spectacular playoffs flame-out after finishing first in the regular season.

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

  43. SeriousFan09 says:

    So, figure WSH will do what they should have done last year and sack Boudreau when this series is up? Caps have won as many playoff games in the last 4 years as MTL and let’s face it, their roster is somewhat a little more impressive than ours.

    It’s likely going to hurt though seeing Muller behind their bench. I’d hire him if I was McPhee.

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

    • shiram says:

      Rumours had Muller going to Dallas?
      But I guess nothing is set in stone, and he will probably be a hot commodity this summer.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        i guess the interesting question we will beat to death all summer if Muller goes anywhere is, after letting Boucher walk, and then Muller… I don’t think it’s going to be happy time around here.

        I’m trying very hard to leave my personal opinion out of this, but I’ll tell you that it’s very hard to watch the Lightning play and listen to Boucher’s press conferences and not be impressed as hell with his system and intensity.

        • shiram says:

          Well the usual suspects will play their usual song… but you have to be reasonable, and see that JM has a contract, and that his action does not warrant him being fired to let an inexperienced guy take the reins.
          It’s annoying for sure to see 2 good guys like Boucher and Muller go (if he does) but there is not much to do about it.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          The issue is about not letting these guys walk via blocking them talking to other teams is it doesn’t create goodwill with your staff or for hiring future FO personnel. MTL let Scotty Bowman walk to coach the Blues for a few years before bringing him home, that worked out fine.

          Jacques Martin has not done anything that warrants him being sacked, regardless of what we feel about it. He’s coached a team the naysayers say isn’t even that good to the playoffs in both years he has been here, he’s worked in the development of young players like Desharnais, Eller, Subban and Pacioretty. He was giving big minutes to DD in critical playoff games until his knee was injured, than he entrusted Eller to take over. Subban, regardless of how we feel about his benching, is a mile ahead of his defensive acumen at the start of the season and learned things in MTL Guy Boucher never taught him, like being a go-to man for the PK. Pacioretty, yes there were the comments and the poor ice-time last season, but this year he was ready, JM stopped by to watch a HAM game where Patches put on a show, he saw that and had PG get him to MTL right away. I’m aware his style of hockey isn’t popular here and I don’t agree with all of his moves including his preference for veterans in all situations but I don’t see a lot of coachs making this current roster into a SC Contender group, which it isn’t, so why is JM getting flak for them not making the Finals?

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

          • LA Loyalist says:

            As usual your perspective and analysis are probably right. We have to wait 2/3 years to have Tinordi, Leblanc, etc. come up and by the JM and Gomez will be gone and we’ll have our chance and either Boucher or Muller or someone we haven’t thought of will be experienced and come back and lead us to the promised land.

            Patience, patience, patience…

          • Mark C says:

            Great post, SF09. It is a real shame that Montreal lost Boucher so quickly, and now might lose Muller. There was very little Montreal could have done to keep Boucher. Out right blocking a vertical promotion after the season is mostly unheard of in pro sports. Making him an Asst. in Montreal wouldn’t have been enough to keep him, and firing Martin to make a spot of Boucher really wasn’t much of an option (at least if you want to be realistic).

        • ManApart says:

          Boucher is and will be a better coach than Martin, when it’s all said and done, I have no doubt. In saying that, I am not against Martin at all. I think he is a pretty good coach. A little too set in his ways, but let’s face it, his system really made this team competitive this season and was almost successful in beating a better Bruin team, although they really were in a Coma until game 4, 2nd period. We’ll see next year how much of that was Muller. Hickey said it’s a done deal that he’s going to Dallas.

          My beef is with management as most people know. I won’t get into it now, but Yzerman in one year has already surpassed Montreal, where their management had 7. Yes, he had St Louis and Stamkos, but even with them last season they missed the playoffs, just as they did the 2 prior years. Yzerman took a non playoff team, to the semi finals in one year, and they have a good shot at the Finals. Yzerman is 10 times the GM that Gauthier and Gainey is, and it shows.

  44. Ian Cobb says:

    I posted this last night, what are your thoughts on our roster.???

    Who do we need to fill out this roster for next year.?? I have put our keepers on the roster. We are short 3 forwards and 2 defencemen.

    Grade A core forward players= 10

    Mike Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta, Max Paioretty, Mathieu Darche, Lars Eller, Ryan White, Tom Pyatt, David Desharnais, Jeff Halpern,
    We need to find 3 more forwards to fill out the roster!

    Grade A core defence players= 5

    Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, Josh Gorges, Hal Gill, James Wizniewski,
    We need 2 more defenseman to fill out the roster.

    Grade A Goal Tender,= no moves
    Cary Price, Alex Auld.
    —————————————————————————————————-

    Our Trade in list or spare parts collection of forwards= 4
    Andrei Kostitsin, Scott Gomez, Travis Moen, Benoit Pouliot,

    Our spare parts list or trade Defenseman= 6
    Brent Sopel, Yannick Weber, Roman Hamrlik, Jaroslav Spacek, Alex Picard, Paul Mara.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      We need everyone to fill out an application form like the one for Team Canada on ‘DownGoesBrown.com” — it’s freaking hilarious.

      As for your list, I pretty much concur except I would keep Weber. PP qb depth is critical which we have learned at our peril.

    • shiram says:

      I’d keep Weber and Ak for sure. Weber is young and we need to keep forming young guys, and what he showed us in the playoffs was great too. So unless we can get something substantial, he would be better here.

      AK is a not what people expected out of him, but he still usually pots in 20+ goals, and he can be physical. Would not want to be rid of him unless we can replace with some equivalent player. So unless we can upgrade, I’d keep him. Just no raise.

      For all the love Wiz gets, I would not be so sure it’s a wise move to keep him, if we have Subban and Markov. Weber can chip on the PP has need be also. Wiz will command big bucks, and I dislike that he broke his hand in a meaningless fight against Boston. At least his hand is reported as having been broken, and maybe if it had not…

      Pyatt does a great PK job, and he is solid on the D, but if we wanna toughen up our team, the fourth line needs to improve his toughness and Pyatt brings none of that.

    • HardHabits says:

      The Habs will not win a Cup with 7 forwards under 6 feet tall.

      DAVID DESHARNAIS 5′ 7″ 177
      BRIAN GIONTA 5′ 7″ 173
      MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 5′ 9″ 182
      SCOTT GOMEZ 5′ 11″ 198
      JEFF HALPERN 5′ 11″ 198
      TOMAS PLEKANEC 5′ 11″ 198
      TOM PYATT 5′ 11″ 187

      RYAN WHITE, the Habs tough guy, is only 6′ 0″ and weighs 193… less than Gomez weighs.

      The Habs are going to have their asses handed to them and never go deep in the play-offs with such a small team.

      There are only 5 grade A forwards IMO:

      Mike Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta, Max Paioretty, and Lars Eller, which isn’t bad but it’s not 10 Ian. Gomez has to prove to us that he can make that list because he isn’t going anywhere… unless PG is a magician.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        HH if we can find the correct fertilizer to put in their skates! they might put on a couple of inches.

      • habs03 says:

        Size doesn’t not matter in the NHL anymore, it still might be a bit more important in the Western Conference, but look at how the Habs played vs the Bruins, it was the Size vs Speed, and if we had Gorges, Markov, and Max, no doubt in my mind that we would have won. Look at the Flyers, instead of going with Carter at center who is 6’3 they go with Richards 5’11, Giroux 5’11l, and Briere 5’10.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I disagree. Size isn’t everything but it is proven when Max P is playing with Gomez and Gio. He creates room for them and stands in front of the net. Similar to Darche.
          Philly’s has some pretty big wingers to insulate the smaller forwards. They also have some pretty B D men as well. Philly has a good balance of size, speed and skill. Their D lacks a bit without pronger but their goaltending is a joke.

          Cammy is a gamer and so is Gio and Plek’s but we do need some big bodies to help them out. Max P and AK dothat but we needs some on the bottom 6 as well to wear down opposing D. Boston’s bottom six is what beat us

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Carter is hurt though as well

        • HardHabits says:

          To say size doesn’t matter is ludicrous. Of course it matters. Small players can succeed by small teams can’t. It’s not just size but grit. Plex, Spacek, Hamrlik. Those players added nothing to the grit factor.

          You can have one of Gionta and Desharnais but not both. One of Halpern and Plex but not both. One of Pyatt or Gomez but not both. The Habs are too small to make a serious stab at the Cup. Not with a defensive system that demands shot blocking. Not with a defensive system that requires players to spend more time back-checking than fore-checking.

          It gets worse in the play-offs. The Habs don’t compete, they merely fight for dear life. It’s no way to win a Cup playing rope-a-dope for four rounds.

      • G-Man says:

        Got that right. The might mites had nothing this year, even with a superior (?) goalie.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        So you’re saying we’re going to come up short?

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      If Andreas Engqvist finishes strongly enough in the AHL and trains well in the off-season, he may supplant Pyatt for next season, bigger body, RH shooter and he was HAM’s top defensive forward this season, plus his hands aren’t stone. I suspect AK will get another go-around simply because of the weakness of the UFA market and anyone who could replace AK for goals/physical power would cost as much if not more. Pouliot played his last game in MTL though I’d wager.

      I’d like to think they find some way to get rid of Spacek, that way Mara and Weber can be the final Ds, pair Weber with Gill so he can get some defensive mentoring, Mara is your 7th man.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Bring AK back if you can get him for around 3 mill if not he is expendable. I personally would give up on Gomez and bury him in the minors so we can sign Wiz, Markov and Jorges. I would also bring back Gill for the PK and get rid of Spacek. You could even go after someone like Bieksa in the offseason. We need some more physical play on our D
      Your D:
      Markov – Subban
      Jorges – Gill
      Wiz – (Someone Physical)
      Weber

      Keep Weber as he has a heck of a shot and works hard. He wouldn’t even make a bad third or fourth line forward full time. He can skate and shoot and isn’t afraid to hit.

      On Forward is our biggest problem. We need scoring in a bad way. Get rid of Gomez and we can target scoring. With Price and Subban’s contracts up for RFA soon they need to save some money and wasting it on a 50 point or less guy is not worth it.

      Put DD as the second line centre with Pach’s and Gionta. That would be a fast hard working line. If the size is a problem put in Darche where Gio is.

      Ideally we need to add some physicality and size to this team on the bottom two lines. I was hoping Schultz was going to do more than just be a fighter with the Dogs as he would be a great third line guy…..but his development isn’t going so well and we don’t have any other suitors. May be something needed in a trade. Depth is key in going deep in the playoffs and we lacked it in our D and forwards this year.

  45. habsindepth says:

    For those who are following the ‘Dogs — Manitoba cut the lead to 1 in the series by winning last night. Ryan White scored a goal and Gabriel Dumont is looking like a playoffs player, third in two games.

    http://www.habsindepth.com/content/road-calder-cup-game-3-costly-34-seconds

    ===================================
    Web: http://www.habsindepth.com – For the Fanatics
    Twitter: @habsindepth

  46. Propwash says:

    See, this is why I never bet on sports. I never figured TB would push the Caps to the brink of elimination.

    Now to hope and pray for a Bruin chokefest.

  47. RiverviewCanadien says:

    The Canadiens would be stupid not re-signing Markov. He gets the PP working, I miss that back door play he ALWAYS gets to (and scores), so smart. How many seasons has he been one of the Habs MVPs?

    Great first pass, great in his own end, speed, scoring touch….PK will be that player someday. But he needs Markov to teach him that aspect of the game.

    Sign Markov to a 3 year contract @ 5.25 million per.

    • HardHabits says:

      The only way Markov should be resigned is if the Habs sign a bruising, stay-at-home, I-am-going-to-kill-you-if-you-even-so-much-as-look-the-wrong-way-at-my-partner defense man as well, to protect Markov from any further damage. Hopefully someone who can fight better and with a more accurate shot than Komisarek.

    • nek25plus says:

      I agree…we need Markov and he wants to stay with us! PK would prosper from it.

      Something many players don’t wish to do! Players like Lecavalier coming out and say that he had a bad year because he thought that the rumors of him going to Mtl were true and he was upset!

      Sign the great ones that want to play here and forget about the ones who don’t! I’d even keep Hammer…he wants to stay and for no Money!

  48. TommyB says:

    Wondering which team is Cherry’s first team and which one is his second team. Like most Leaf fans I know, they gotta have a second team. Usually it’s Detroit though. Anyways….you look at these playoffs this year and you realize (if you hadn’t before) that the NHL is indeed a league which has attained parity. 82 regular season games only serve two purposes. One is to entertain the fans and give them something to bitch about, and the other is to pay the bills. Sixteen teams enter the playoffs, separated by very few points, and any team can beat any team in a seven game series.

    What does this all mean? What is my point? My point is, as a Hab fan you have nothing to complain about. You get there, and you do your best. The Habs certainly did that. Imagine being a Cap fan today, with one of the best players in the game on your roster. Imagine being a Canuck fan, wondering if indeed they can get over that hump. Imagine being a Flyer fan, wondering, WTF? Sometimes it takes a little time to see this bigger picture. You usually need about a week after watching your team being eliminated before you open your eyes. The NHL definitely has it’s share of problems. Okay, more than it’s share. But it is still by far the best of the best in hockey, and maybe the best of the best in any sport. If you’re a hockey fan, and you’re not caught up in these playoffs, maybe hockey is not your sport.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Nice post, Tommy. Parity is great for hockey and the league. Better management would also have teams such as Atlanta, Florida and the Islanders on more solid ground.

      It’s time for all the carping about Boston, Philly and Boucher to end on HI/O. It sounds like a class of kids complaining that it’s all the teacher’s fault. We took it to the 7th game in overtime. Boston prevailed and we lost. I’m already looking ahead to next year.

      “Get Over It” (Don Henley/The Eagles)

      • G-Man says:

        It’s obvious the league is rewarding the thug hockey that Boston and Philly play. Tampa is taking advantage of a coach with no adaptation skills and players who’d rather be on the golf course than winning the Cup.
        Maybe it’s time to stop for HIO to stop praising the thugs in black and gold and orange and providing links to other teams’ media.

        I am looking forward to draft day and July 1st, but I am sure nothing much will happen as usual (for the Habs, I mean).

        • 24 Cups says:

          Gilbert – I totally agree about the thuggery, although I think it’s a bigger problem than just two or three teams. Personally, I believe that the powers to be feel it is an indrect way to sell the game in America. The only thing that truly screws it up (for them) is the dark cloud of ongoing concussions.

          As for your second point, I think all of us have to be fair in terms of management’s record over the past few years. Two years ago they brought in four major league UFAs, five if you include Gill. Not everybody might like the choices, but at least they made the moves. They then drafted a local hero and followed that up by moving up in the next draft to grab Tinordi. There was also the gutsy Halak trade. Not to mention kudos for grabbing the Wiz when facing adversity.

          In reality, lots has been happening in Hab land lately.

      • HardHabits says:

        Parity in the league makes it all the more important to finish in the top 5 over-all to have a legitimate shot at winning the Cup, or at the very least in the top 10. The remaining 8 teams are all in the top 10 over-all.

        1 – VANCOUVER – 117
        2 – WASHINGTON – 107
        3 – PHILADELPHIA – 106
        5 – SAN JOSE – 105
        6 – DETROIT – 104
        7 – BOSTON – 103
        8 – TAMPA BAY – 103
        10- NASHVILLE – 99

        The difference between this year and the past years is the relative closeness in points for the 2nd (103 points) to 8th (107 points) placed teams. Only 4 points separate 2nd and 8th. Unprecedented.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Nothing to complain about? That’s why we’re here. We expect a Cup run every year. Otherwise, we’re Tampa Bay… wait… oh crap, let me rethink that one…

    • issie74 says:

      It’s called fixed…nothing to do with parity.You have been drinking the Bettman cocktail.LOL

  49. NightRyder says:

    Has anyone sent Gomez real estate flyers for Hamilton yet? I also hear Geneva is nice in September.

    • HardHabits says:

      Buckle up laddy. There’s 1 more year of this, at least.

      1 more year of what you ask. Gomez’ play? No. The harping.

      The 1st window of opportunity is the trade dead-line next season and that’s only if the stars and planets align, meaning the Habs are guaranteed to miss the play-offs and some team is calculating that they’ll be desperate to make the salary floor in 2012-2013.

      My guess is this. Gomez gets 60 points next season, with a total of no more than 15 goals, ends up a +2 and has a face-off percentage of 50.1%. It’ll be a career year for him and with that in hand he will continue to get a point per game in the play-offs riding the coat-tails of players who can shoot better than he can.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      In the spring of 1978 I was in Geneva and came across a Porsche 928 (just launched) with the keys in it.

      Being a good Canadian boy, I didn’t touch it : ( but that’s my main memory of Geneva.

  50. habs-hampton says:

    Just reading the latest on the Phx/Atl/Winnipeg/Quebec fiasco. The funny thing is how they talk about Quebec not having a NHL caliber arena and the Winnipeg arena not having enough seats (15,000). Besides that fact that in almost any American arena, 15,000 fans for every game would be considered an incredible sucess, I remember when the Jets first went to Phx before they built a new arena. They had “obstructed view” seating. Now my definition of “obstructed view” is that you might have to lean left or right to see around a post. In Phx, this actually meant you couldn’t see the net at your end of the rink, bacause of the angles of the seats and the overhangs! This was how the NHL tried to sell the game to southern Americans!! What a joke!!!

    • 24 Cups says:

      Based on this year’s NHL attendance figures, Winnipeg would come in 24th, assuming they sold out EVERY game.

      Quebec would need to build a rink that seats 18,000 and sell it out every night to finish 15th.

      Placing teams in these cities may not be the slam-dunk that everyone thinks. And if the dollar drops at some point down the road…….

  51. lavie says:

    Let’s honestly face the fact: Markov is not a playoff player and he would never be the same “All-star Markov” any more.

    Subban is maturing.

    Offering Markov a two-year contract is a practical solution.

  52. bel33 says:

    Shea Weber’s an RFA next year (unless I read CapGeek wrong)… thoughts about making a crazy offer to him instead of Markov etc. – just throwing it out there for discussion since it’s better than talking about other teams and their success in the playoffs…

    • habs03 says:

      No way Nashville lets Weber leave, and he wants to stay there. I don’t even think he is going to listen to any other teams offers, because Nashville will match anything, and he wants to stay in with the Preds. Ryan Suter is another story..

      • HabinBurlington says:

        It is being reported he has already turned down offers from the team. Will be interesting to watch this summer. They will have some playoff money for a change, but this franchise has never gone to the cap ceiling before. Will take a big chunk of change to keep him.

        Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • LA Loyalist says:

        I covet Weber, as does everyone else, but unless there is some huge falling out he is not moving. And the doink hereinabove that said “Markov is not a playoff player.” ???? based on what? Yeah, if he’s injured of course, but that’s force majeur, nothing to do with skill or temperament.

    • Malreg says:

      It’ll never happen to begin with, but even if there was some slight possibility, it would probably cost us four 1st round draft picks for the amount of money it would take.

  53. Bugs says:

    On Marky and Soobie playin on the same PP: I don’t see it. They both are dominant on the pp when they play left side.
    Marky can’t play right side cuz his cross-crease pass threat is gone and Soobie can’t cuz his bomb from the point threat is gone. They cancel each other out. Will become clumsy and inefficient.
    Marky needs a left-handed bomber and Soobie needs a left-handed passer on the PP.

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

    • habs03 says:

      I have to disagree, I know Markov had a hard time playing the right point two years ago, but that was because we had Tangy on the left side trying to set up Markov who was asked to be the shooter on the pp. I think our pp is going to be better with Markov at the right point, he will have to opitions, Subban on the left side, or Cammy on the half-wall on the right side boads, both with great one timers.

    • habs-hampton says:

      I’m going into the summer with a smile remembering the Habs last goal of the year. A PK 1-time rocket top shelf on Timmy T. I plan on seeing that a lot for the next 15 years! It’d be even better with Markov feeding him.

    • DCos says:

      agree 100% Bugs

      ————————————————————————
      Whining, sniveling, complaining, negative “fans” annoy me. BG, PG and CP bashers….take a hike!

  54. Jonson says:

    No way the canucks are gonna win the cup. the sedin twins are awful. how can they disappear like that? is possible to win a game by 2 or 3 goals? cause if they want to play to a one goal win than they are gonna lose this series cause Nashville is clutch and they have WAY better goaltending! Nashville will prob come out of this series but if they dont the canucks will lose next round for sure. and boston looks dynamite! to be honest i feel like boston already knocked off the toughest opponent in the east. montreal looked so good!! Cup year is next year. i would like to see thomas win the cup! Tampa bay is not surprising me at all. i figured that they would explode on the WEAK washington team!!

  55. lavie says:

    Dustin Byfuglien is the kind of player that Habs need.

  56. adamkennelly says:

    I hate to admit it but right now, I am a Flyers fan…

    for next year Habs need to add

    tough forward who can play
    tough D man who can play – people are over looking that need. Don’t have anyone to punish opponents in our end.
    top 6 with size.

    Done.

  57. Bugs says:

    Orange?
    Don’t wanna scare you, Booner, but those shirts were yellow.

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

  58. shuttle-lemaire-lafleur says:

    Go Tampa Bay….sounds weird, oh well…Caps are on the ropes, not lookin’ good for OV and the boys. Roloson has been the surprise for me with Lecavalier a close second.Vinny seems rejuvenated out there, great to see him playing well again !! Can’t the Caps coming back to win this….never know, guess they could be gone tonight.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Have to believe Boudreau will be fired after elimination, and either Semin or Backstrom may be on trading block. Those 2 looked like pylons out there last night. Seems to me Crosby was a big part of making all players around him better and accountable. I can’t understand why Ovie can’t get these two guys fired up to play some meaningful hockey in the playoffs. Great job by the Tampa Players, Coaches, etc…

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • 24 Cups says:

        Backstrom (10 year deal) and Semin (UFA next summer) will each make 6.7M next season. Lol trying to move them.

        It’s always easier to fire the coach.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Sather found a way to trade Gomez….. Doh that was us

          Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Semin has been scoring this year though, 4 g and 6 pts in 8 games.

          Backstrom’s having a ‘mare but he was good against us last year.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Semin has some points, but he was minus 2 last night and I didn’t see either of them win puck battles last night. Both talented, but don’t seem to have that killer instinct in the playoffs.

            Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Nicklas Backstrom is on a 10-year deal and in his first three NHL seasons, he scored at least 45 assists each season, the last guy to do that was called Peter Statsny, before him the name was Wayne Gretzky. He’s perfectly safe in WSH, a career PPG player.

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

  59. Mike D says:

    If you guys haven’t already done so, I highly recommend reading Arpon’s article on Markov. ‘Tis a good read.

    - Honestly yours

    • 24 Cups says:

      Agreed. The part of the article on the medical reports certainly has to give Gauthier some sleepless nights.

      I thought that Eric Brewer might have been a good signing before the playoffs started, but his great post-season may price him out of the Hab market.

  60. eric says:

    Gotta love what Boucher is doing in Tampa.

  61. Tighthead says:

    Nice call on Weber in the OT.

  62. HabsFanInTampa says:

    G-Man, where are you? You adamantly stated on this site that the “Capitals were going to kill Tampa in 5 games”.

  63. JF says:

    I admit I’m surprised and impressed by the Lightning and Dwayne Roloson. Watching them during the season, I thought their defence would be their undoing and that they would be a bit like last year’s Caps – lots of offence, but any team that shut that down would be able to beat them. But their Game 7 against Pittsburgh was a clinic in lead-protection, and they’re doing pretty much the same thing against the Caps. Jump out to an early lead, forecheck ferociously, and hang on. They’re also outworking the Caps, just as we did last year. I think Boudreau will likely be gone if the Caps go out in four straight. As for Roloson, I didn’t think he still had it in him at 41 years of age. Kudos to that organization and to Guy Boucher.

    • PeterStone says:

      i agree with everything you said (wrote). I liked TB offense, but didnt think they could get it done with that D and Goaltending. I thought Pitts , as depleted as they were, would wear them down. Wrong again.

      As for the Caps … pretty happy they are getting it handed to them … Boudreau talks way too much about things that dont concern him … when his focus should be elsewhere … plus, if they lose, AGAIN, it will make for an interesting off-season as I cant see them going forward with that same bunch.

  64. HabinBurlington says:

    Boston vs Tampa will be a very interesting series to watch. If Thomas remains hot, I regret to say this, but we may see a Bruins team in the Cup final. Would be quite something if it was SanJose vs. Boston, Would love to see Thornton win it in Boston and skate around with the Cup over his head while telling the fans to F off.

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Go Tampa Go.!!

    • smiler2729 says:

      If it is Tampa Bay vs. Boston in the Conf. Final… let me think, hmmm… oh yeah, Bolts in 3, yeah, definitely, Boston, led by Luchicken waves the white flag after game 3.

      F Boston.

      “If the Bruins played the Taliban, I’d root for the Taliban”

  65. Old Bald Bird says:

    I feel I should do my duty and crab about this site becoming LIO — Lightning Inside Out. haha

    – formerly notbigbird –

  66. 24 Cups says:

    While HI/O fans continue down the road to martyrdom as a way of rationalizing defeat, American sports fans revel blindly on, drunk on their own bloodlust.

    USA! USA! USA!

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/article/985026–kelly-it-lessens-us-to-revel-in-bin-laden-s-death

  67. kempie says:

    Yeah, Cherry with the Bruins tie. I know he’s not really a moron, he just plays one on TV, but man, he sure is convincing sometimes.

    • twocents says:

      Far be it from me to defend Cherry, but by realistic, he use to coach that team, it’s natural. I prefer that to him pretending he has no favourites. He’s not a referee or NHL official.

      • Mike Boone says:

        When John Madden was the most influential football analyst on TV, did he wear an Oakland Raiders tie?
        On the TSN panel, does Craig MacTavish wear an Oilers tuque?
        I could go on, but you get the point. On a NATIONAL TV network you have to be objective.

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

        • bel33 says:

          Well said Mike. When you get paid to comment on hockey… on a National stage… not a regional one… you check your favourites at the door. Or at least try to do a better job of it…

        • HabinBurlington says:

          There is something about former Boston Sports Coaches though. Remember when Tommy Heinson was doing NBA colour commentary, he was brutally a homer on the Major network.

          Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Troy Aikman who is one of my fav analysts, doesn’t sport a Cowboys hat. He’s completely unbiased in his views, even when doing Dallas games. Cherry, not so much!

          ————————————————————————
          Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Head-shots League.


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