“Most physical scrimmage” – Martin; also Habs video

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin liked what he saw in the team’s first scrimmage.
Entering his third season at the helm of the club, Martin called the session the most intense he’s seen to date.
Martin also said the players have reported in the best condition he’s seen in three seasons.
Martin noted the physical play of Alexei Yemelin and also said he liked the Russian defenceman’s skating.
When asked to explain the highly competitive play, given the seeming lack of openings on the team, Martin recalled last year’s training camp, at which Max Pacioretty, Yannick Weber, Ryan White and David Desharnais were impressive before being shipped to Hamilton.
As injuries took their toll and trades were made, all four won promotion and are on NHL contracts this season.
“I told the team the number of open spots can be misleading,” Martin said. “They should have a good camp and show they’re ready to play.”
Injury Report: Lars Eller and Louis Leblanc skated but have not been cleareed for contact; Scott Gomez was pulled from the morning training session after sustaining a lower-body knack, he’s day-to-day; P.K. Subban skated, Brendon Nash is out with something.
Video of Josh Gorges
Erik Cole:
Alexei Yemelin, speaking in Russian with Sovietski Sport Montreal correspondent Gennadi Buguslavsky providing translation


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  2. Ayan_SB says:

    This short video pretty much explains why everyone’s been talking about Yemelin today.


    • thorandresson says:

      Great hit! Who did he nail?

      What I really like about this guy is that it sounds like he’s a really good skater too.

      • MJ says:

        Dude, the guy can hit hard and take a hit without loosing his footing. My admiration for this guy is growing with every clip I watch.

        This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

  3. Trisomy 21 says:

    I understand Yemelin needs to impress management but I don’t want to see him hurting his teammates in scrimmages.
    Big surprise that Gomez isn’t practicing. He didn’t show up for optional practices last season, why would camp be any different?

  4. Muckbringer says:

    should i be worried about coaching this year

    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
    — John Quincy Adams

  5. Apparently Boone took more videos, but left the lense cap on. :p


    Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

  6. This guy won’t crack the Habs lineup, but he’ll bring a physical presence to the Bulldogs roster.



    Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

  7. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …love the videos …videos tell Me so much more than a sport column …Dave’s were brilliant HD, but Mike seems like He is still not up to speed with the medium …Dave is a good mentor and Mike is a bright Guy, so that should improve soon
    …seeing Emelin’s gut yesterday gave Me all kinds of trepidation …but in today’s video I see a Guy with all kinds of awareness and stones …I now feel the Crazy Cossack will be a badly needed and valued hard-rock on Our D
    …just has to learn to play His game within the rules

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  8. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …down below Guys were saying John Ferguson was only 6′-0″ and 175 lbs …hmmmm, John moved into My building after arriving with His Wife and Daughter from the AHL when I was a teenager in NDG
    …and, years later, after His retirement, when He was briefly an executive in the ‘shmata’ (textile) trade and into horse racing, I use to take the elevator with Him in the mornings …by then I was 6′ tall, 185 lbs …and, standing next to John Ferguson I felt like a midget
    …so, don’t take Team statistics of Our Players too literally Guys !
    …speaking of John Ferguson relative to this summers tragic losses of Wade Belak, Mr. Boogaard and Mr. Rypien …I always wondered WHY Fergie retired so soon (in My opinion) …I felt at the time He still had 3 to 5 years left in Him to play at the level We expected
    …to Myself, like Dryden, Fergie’s retirement was premature as far as His level of play was concerned
    …could have been Fergie, like many in His role, was psychologically exhausted from the ’emotional grind’ of the ‘role’ He played, even though He had more offensive tools than other ‘enforcers’
    …Fergie also was a successful businessman outside of the rink as well, which I am sure made the decision to retire much easier

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  9. samTHEman says:


    I showed up at 10 today and there wasn’t a single parking spot. There must’ve been over 1000 people no joke – ridiculous. Show up at 9 instead. Basically when you get in, you’ll go up the stairs and you’ll see 2 ice’s. The first one is usually empty, or a few injured players will be skating around (or the team that’s not playing – today it was team C). The second ice is a few feet forward. There are 2 sets of doors to get into the rink for the scrimmage. There is a line for each door, and you line up around the glass and watch the practice till they open the doors. Only about a third (or less) of the people present actually got inside so it’s crucial that you show up early and line up. Tip: go to the washroom before LOL!! (and not too much coffee).

    • SmartDog says:

      Thanks Sam.

      I was planning to go tomorrow but am battling a nasty head-throat-everything cold. I’m in Saint Sauveur so getting up at 7 with the kids to hit the road seems unlikely now… wish I were feeling better. And I really wanted to see team A-C. Wanted to see Pleks, Cami, Price on A and AK and Gallagher on C. Ah well. If I rest up tomorrow I stand a chance of going Monday (kids are off school anywho). But thanks for the inside track – it makes all the difference!

  10. punkster says:

    This is in focus for Boone.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  11. stephen says:

    Thanks for the videos.

    I especially enjoyed hearing from Cole. Seems like he’ll be a good fit in the room.

    Can’t wait to see him fill the net against someone besides us for a change!

  12. Mattee. says:

    Hello HIO community.
    So, I just moved to NYC. Anyone know a local watering-hole where I can catch all the Habs games this season? I’m feeling homesick just thinking about American beer and the Rangers. Help!

  13. Johab says:

    how about turning the auto-focus off? 😛

    Call Detroit tell them bullsh!t!

  14. PeterStastny26 says:

    In this league, a player that hits to hurt needs to answer for it. And if he doesn’t, a teammate will have to do it for him. Or else, expect retaliation. Might be a shame, but it’s reality.
    Emelin sounds like a firestarter on a team with no extinguisher. Canadiens do not win these games. It kills them.

    • MJ says:

      If he hits hard and clean, he’ll have to answer the bell by expecting similar treatment. I won’t deny that some will want to engage him in a punch up because they’ve been hit hard, we’ll see what happens. Either way it’s gonna be fun.

      This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

    • AK_PK_Usay says:

      Basically you’re saying you should only body check if you’re willing to fight after?

      See thats the problem, clean body checks can only be done by talented players because it takes speed and coordination, so the less talented goons realised how to counter it. The problem is not Emelins physical play, its the fact the league is rubish in regards to discipline.

      If he does a dirty hit i want him penalized just as much as anyone, but by the refs, not some goon that should never be playing hockey in the pros to begin with.

      • MJ says:

        @ AK_PK_Usay, it’s not what I’m saying. You misunderstood. What I’m saying is that a hard clean hit should be countered by a hard clean hit but of course… some (goons for the most part) will resort to punch ups instead. I don’t agree with that at all.

        As far as dirty hits are concerned, in a perfect world, referees would do their job and penalize the player in question and that’ll be it. Reality though is that dirty hits, for right or for wrong, will lead to retaliation from a goon.

        This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

      • PeterStastny26 says:

        No, I’m not saying you should only bodycheck if you’re willing to fight after. I’m saying that if you plan on delivering bone-crushing highlight-reel make-you-look-bad hits, you’d better pe prepared to fight, or a teammate will have to, or retaliation is coming.

        And if you’re counting on the referees or commissioner to protect you from that, you’re in trouble. Like it or not, that’s the way things are.

  15. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Nice to read good things about Emelin. I really like him for quite a while now. Btw: Does anyone know if we ever tried to bring Konstantin Korneev (draftet him in 2002) over? He´s already 27 but has become a pretty good dman in the last 2 or 3 years, too.

  16. Seeing that scrimmage, was a really spiritual experience for me. Heh. Yemelin is awesome, I saw that hip check, looked at the number, saw Yemelins name.. and just smiled. 🙂 Avstin has got some sick hands. Weber looked great. Love seeing Pleks play. Cammi looks great. Shultz looks good. Cole… WOW… explosive! Tinordi didn’t look as giant as I expected, yet looks great! The young guys are awesome, I just love Montreal, and really, I can’t say anything bad about anyone, even… *cough* Gomez. Hehe. I was like “where is Gomez he’s invisible!? no way?” Then realized he wasn’t playing.

    It was soo packed I didn’t get a seat, so I may just go back on Monday when most people are at work and school.

    I’m excited for the first preseason game!

    Go Habs Go!

    “We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.”
    ― Bill Hicks

    • MJ says:

      I’ve had season tickets for 20 years now and this is certainly one of the times I’m most excited for the puck to drop.

      This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

      • +1 for season tickets. That is sweet. I have a mission this season to see my first game at the Bell Center ever! Can’t wait!

        “We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.”
        ― Bill Hicks

        • MJ says:

          Yeah I’m very fortunate. You’re gonna love it at the Bell!

          This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

        • MJ says:

          Also don’t forget the hot dogs 🙂

          This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

  17. scrowe21 says:

    Just got a clip of Yemelin hitting maxpac, + Cole saying they have to teach him not to leave his feet, on sportsnet.

  18. Long time Montrealers, taking the wife out tonight for dinner, where’s a great place in the downtown/old Montreal area? Our usual place is Griffintown Cafe but I’m not feeling the menu there tonight.


  19. HabFab says:

    Review of today’s practice from the Hab’s web site.

  20. TOEmastro says:

    Yemelin was a tank out there. The hit he put in Max Pac was insane.

    Olé, olé, olé oleé

  21. HabFab says:

    I guess Boone couldn’t get the video camera to work…sigh…

    Perhaps this may help?

  22. Chris says:

    And for the record…I wouldn’t count on Yemelin playing much more than 15-17 minutes per game if he makes the starting line-up in October.

    He’s not going to supplant Gorges and Gill on the #1 PK unit, although I do suspect he would be on the #2 PK unit.

    He’s definitely not going to supplant Subban and Markov/Weber/Spacek on the #1 PP unit.

    So that’s a lot of minutes that the guys who play 20-25 minutes per game use to pad their TOI.

    • AK_PK_Usay says:

      Yeah, Yemmy will likely be 3rd pairing, AND WHAT A 3rd PAIRING THAT WILL BE!

      Id be happy if our D splits the time more evenly, say, 22-23 1st, 20-21 2nd and 17-18 3rd.

      Im prettyt sure the more the team shares the workload the less injuries we will see.
      Also, White and Moen should have Yemmelin’s back, im sure he will become a target for fights, as talentless goons can’t otherwise do jack shit about his play.

  23. Chris says:

    Hey Alexei Yemelin….welcome to Montreal!

    Yesterday, you were fat.

    Today, you are a beast and just what the Habs need.

    Don’t get too comfortable, because you’ll be back to goat status soon enough.


    • samTHEman says:

      LOL. I wonder what Mr. Cherry thinks about Yemelin. ”

      Physical for a Russian?” my @$$!!!

      • AK_PK_Usay says:

        Cherry’s thought process:
        1- Does he play for the leafs? yes=HE ROCKS!!! no=next question
        2- Does he play for the bruins? yes=HE ROCKS!!! no=next question
        3- Is he english canadian? yes=HES A GOOD KID **english canadian but a Hab=HE HAS NO RESPECT!!!
        4- Non canadian, non american? GO BACK TO RUSSIA! YEAH, YOU HEARD ME!!!

        • MJ says:

          Cherry is a jester! I love watching him so I can laugh at his outfits and his dumb rants. I think that’s why the CBC keep him around. Can’t take a word he says seriously, one has to give it to him though, he’s consistent.

          This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

      • DearyLeary says:

        He’ll be a disrespectful, dirty player. It’ll take him at least a month into the season before he’s even aware of Yemelin’s existence.

    • Da Hema says:

      It’s Montreal Chris, not Florida. If a fledgling NHL player finds public scrutiny playing with the Canadiens too difficult to bear, he should work in the kitchen at Tim Hortons or some other position like that.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      You’re completely right Chris, I took a couple swipes at him yesterday, but after a Mike Boone report today I now have regained my man-crush on him.

      Glad that we have youngsters like Mr. Diaz and Yemelin and Weber to eat up minutes while Andrei Markov recovers, as opposed to Mr. Hamrlik. It was time to move forward.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  24. HabFab says:

    @mofo…Cammy is stuck in traffic on the Victoria and he is p!$$ed at you!!

  25. samTHEman says:

    Gomez was missing for team B and AK for team A. Anyone know what’s up? Trade? lol joke

    • SmartDog says:

      AK’s on team C.

      Thanks for the tips on going to the practice. A quick question… so if we’re there at say 9:30.. does that pretty much guarantee us a good view of the scrimmage game? I’m not quite understanding whether you can camp in one spot the whole time or if you have to leave in between? And of course what time does it start to fill up?

  26. Chrisadiens says:

    Lower body injury for Gomez (via twitter). Hmmm, not the way he wanted to start camp.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  27. Mike T says:

    I can’t believe these posts about Yemelin looking out of shape.

    He doesn’t look out of shape at all in that picture with Andrei in the gym…if anything Kostitsyn looked a bit out of shape haha

  28. samTHEman says:

    Yemelin is the real deal guys. I watched him today. He’s got a MEAN STREAK. Schultz and some other players gave him a few dirty looks. BIG HITTER, plays the body well. He better know how to fight because players may go after him like we’ve seen happen with Subban. #russianswag. He skates well too and can shoot/pass unlike Komi. Keeps his head up and always involved in the play.

    Who else impressed me….Tinordi layed out some pretty hard open ice hits. Took a few guys down as the whole crowd went OOHHHHHH! Can’t wait to see his development. He’ll crack the NHL sooner than others his age because of his size for sure.

    Cole is not only huge, he’s EXPLOSIVE. So fast even though he’s 6’2″-6’3″. That was the first time I see him play live. He delivered really hard hits at the beginning and then calmed down a bit. What a beast this guy. He was skating around with the puck through guys like it was nothing (albeit against rookies lol).

    Diaz was good too. Fast, mobile with offensive instincts and responsible in his end. Good skater, made quick decisions with the puck. Should add some more muscle, he seemed pretty small on the ice.

    Dunno what else to report on…I’ll post it when it comes to mind. Oh and the crowd started the Carey chant before the puck dropped as I expected. You could see him smiling on the bench….and finished with the Ole chant at the end.

  29. steeveedee says:

    My only problem with Yemelin is that it’s known he can’t fight… that being said whats going to happen when he lays someone out and has to answer the bell ?? thoughts?

    larsy darcy !

    • MJ says:

      I’m ok with him skipping the fighting. He can make statements with hard hits. No need to goon it up. He is not only a bad fighter but also a reluctant one, he’s had his face shattered in a fight.

      This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

    • Chris says:

      Who cares if he can’t fight? If he hits a guy clean, he shouldn’t have to.

      He’s played like this for years in the KHL, where guys go after you for physical play. He’s been fine, except for one incident where he got mauled by Alexander Svitov, a pretty impressive fighter.

    • Mike D says:

      Ryan White steps in and dummies whoever has beef with Yemmy.

      – Honestly yours

    • caladin says:

      This whole idea that you can’t hit unless you fight is bull. There are lots of D in the league who hit and don’t fight.
      Thanks for the report guys! I can’t remember a time when we seemed to have this much exciting talent going into a season!

  30. Kingofswing74 says:

    great to see yemelin is pumped and ready to play. great to see max pac take a hip check and get back up just fine. great to see cammy pot a couple.

  31. Tony McLean says:

    Perennial problem: lack of size and toughness. Still has only been partially addressed with Cole’s arrival. What about a third or fourth liner 230+ like Ferguson or Nilan, one who can also *play*, who is more than just a DH?

    You have two choices: Break Chara’s nose and win or grab your ankles and lose. There are no other choices. Make a choice.

  32. SeriousFan09 says:

    Somewhere between Kasparitis and a poor man’s Konstantinov, I’m fine with that.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  33. j2c says:

    Alexei Yemelin seems to be just what the doctor ordered for our defense this year. Hopefully he makes it because I would love to see him level a few Maple Leafs on opening day.

  34. LL says:

    Yemmy is the right recipe – 1 part size (who cares if it’s all in his gut), 1 part grit, 1 part psycho, equaling just what Dr. Recchi didn’t order…a pain in the A for our opponents. 😉

    • MJ says:

      Yemelin is a beast! Can’t wait to see him rock the Bell Centre’s boards with his first hit.

      This team can use a 6’4″ fourth line centre full of grit and aggression. Paul Gaustad anyone?

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