Multimedia: Short, brisk practice for Habs

β€’ AUDIO: Jacques Martin English and French | David Desharnais | James Wiesniewski
β€’ VIDEO: Wisniewski, Subban, Price below

The Canadiens were back on practice ice this afternoon at the Bell Centre to prepare for tomorrow’s matinΓ©e vs. the visiting Atlanta Thrashers.

Only Michael Cammalleri, newcomer James Wisniewski and Josh Gorges, the workhorse defenceman who was placed on injury reserve this week to let his injured right knee heal, were not on the ice.

No reason given for Cammalleri, who was seen in gym shorts and T-shirt shortly before the practice, but Wisniewski was having a few minor bumps and bruises tended to by training staff, and recovering a bit from a hard travel and playing stretch since he was acquired by the Canadiens from the New York Islanders.


On traded Canadien Maxim Lapierre, head coach Jacques Martin said in
French: “Maxim is a very good person, a very good professional, the type
of player who works hard.” Martin commended Lapierre for his service to
the Canadiens, but wouldn’t directly reply to a question about the
player’s claim that the coach had lost confidence in him in Montreal.

Price starts in goal Sunday afternoon against the Thrashers. Martin
said he’ll firm up his lineup before the game, having a seventh
defenceman and 13th forward with the arrivals of Wisniewski and David
Desharnais. If Martin knows how, where and when he’ll use Desharnais,
who’s been burning up the American Hockey League with the Hamilton
Bulldogs, he wasn’t letting on.

The Thrashers held an optional practice of their own Saturday, sending about a dozen players out for a light session. There were no goaltenders and no sign of star defenceman Dustin Byfuglien.


  1. Bugs says:

    And I hope you learn to follow plot of threads.

    Hope springs eternal, baby!

    Happy New Year, signed

    L. Bugs Potter, esq., Herzog of ze Abominable Habsuchtig Brigade, Markgraf of ze Fearsome Flanell Flausen Flank, und devoted minion of ze Habsbros Order:

  2. Jonson says:

    Dont seperate Eller and Pouliot they play SO well together. those two could dominate in a couple of years. Lets be honest, there is no room desharnais. maybe next year.

  3. Jonson says:

    Ask brent seabrook how sweet this guy is

  4. LA Loyalist says:

    I think your #4 is actually #1. I think it’s in JM’s contract. πŸ™‚

    you actually made a funny (maybe by accident) – there’s a (really good) movie called 13th warrior and that small Spanish actor is the “13th Warrior” who goes off an adventure with a bunch of Vikings.

    Oh that we had a few Vikings on the Habs right now.

  5. Jonson says:

    since when does versteeg have grit???

  6. LA Loyalist says:

    That’s interesting. There’s anger in Calgary over losing Cam-Cam after he lit it up in the playoffs last year. Getting him back might dilute some of the anger of losing Iginla.

    I see a big trade, 3 or 4 players going each way (risk management). I see Weber exposed if we think we can re-sign Wiz and get Markov back next year. But we don’t have much depth to work with. I’d send Cam-Cam (don’t want to, but…) and Gionta for Iginla. I’d rather send AK (inconsistent) and Gionta or???

    As for size, I have no problem with DD’s size (Henri Richard was 5’7″, Mats Naslund, too) IF we have some studs around them to create space and time. Size is a problem on our team because it’s unbalanced.

    What kind of package do you see as possible? 

  7. punkster says:

    All in all I think we just tend to overanalyze, overthink and overreact with all the overdosing we do on the Habs which causes overconcern for things that we can’t overcome ourselves. I think it’s a slump, that the team leadership will come through to snap them out of it and that Martin is a good coach who is trying to make a bubble team as competitive as possible with limited scoring talent. Hey, give us one additional goal a game and we’re not having this type of discussion, are we? That’s the problem, the source of “tension” and the ultimate solution.


  8. LA Loyalist says:

    The bitter joke is that THIS was supposed to be the team put together methodically, with leadership, intangibles, character… yup, that worked.

    I was neutral on Gionta being C, and at this point in the season I’m not seeing it. Obviously there’s wiggle room in expectations due to the loss of Markov, but the lack of effort and intensity is embarassing.

    To me it still comes down to there not being a clear template for what this team is supposed to be — and that comes down to leadership at the top. From the small moves he’s made PG may be ok, let’s see if he can pull off something substantial.

    “too small, too soft, too intangible”

  9. habs365 says:

    I don’t think wisniewski is scared of anyone..I would say he’s Laps replacement and a much better player

  10. showey47 says:

    Yeah,your right,i would not be laughing at all.

  11. Hagar says:

    You forgot to mention playing Moen on the second line. Lack of physicality there or not, he doesn’t belong there (there, that’s twice now I’ve criticized JM).

  12. LA Loyalist says:

    1. No. Because he’s trying to coerce them into a system that isn’t suited to the talent we have.

    2. Yes. Maybe confusion isn’t the right word as I think it’s clear enough what JM wants.

    3. Gauthier has done well so far getting Halpern and Wiz, he’s hitting singles though, and we need at least a triple.

    4. About the same if Price plays well, but still to small, too soft, too intangible.

    5. No way, Martin can’t optimize a team because he won’t adjust to the players he has. He tries to break them to him and that won’t work for more than the short term. 

    BTW thanks for explaining your methodology, it’s interesting.

  13. showey47 says:

    I just wanted to bolts to win in regulation. The fact that desjardins was in net is irrelevent to me,but probably not to some people here.

  14. habs365 says:

    wow that would be a great move..23 pt player for a 9 pt player..hope you never take PG’s job.

  15. habs365 says:

    it’s a bubble thing..Halak started that way with st.louis..than his bubble broke.

  16. SmartDog says:

    Rift might be a strong word, but I mean to say I think the team isn’t as well stiched-together as it needs to be to play well. IT’s a fragile union.  I don’t see one major issue but there seems to be a fair bit of discord, guys that want to play the game different ways, veterans that have had a LOT of bad games, lines changing… and the lacklustre play we’ve seen to me is a product of a team that is not gelling, doesn’t have the direciton it needs, is not being served by great leadership.  Speaking of which, I see the coach as the key source of leadership (the buck stops there) but I htink Gionta hasn’t shown any sign that the C is in the right place. It could come – Gionta deserves more time.. but Martin… if he’s not an excellent coach now (and in my view he’s proven that like some players he’s prone to too many bone-headed moves) he won’t be. 

  17. Bugs says:

    Neil better than AK…

    Error. Does not compute. Please reformulate.

    Happy New Year, signed

    L. Bugs Potter, esq., Herzog of ze Abominable Habsuchtig Brigade, Markgraf of ze Fearsome Flanell Flausen Flank, und devoted minion of ze Habsbros Order:

  18. punkster says:

    You would not be laughing so hard in my chair.

    Hey, like the new pic. I have one taken of me with the cup and two Als cheerleaders last year at a charity event. Sweet!


  19. showey47 says:

    “this organization has more ex’s on the payroll than I do”-LMFAO

  20. punkster says:

    No trashing πŸ˜‰ It’s all good. See, I don’t think there’s enough controversy or mystery going on there to cause a team to stop playing for their coach. I believe that’s simply an easy and juicy story for people outside the team to generate talk. They feel self-satisfied that they know what they’re talking about because, hey, everybody’s talking about it so it must be right (therefore I must be right) and what other possible explanation could there be?

    Rift? Naaa, no proof, no evidence of a rift. If it exists, show me. The players are pros and the senior guys are experienced and knowledgeable vets who’ve been through the system and seen first hand way more than we, mere fans, will ever see. It’s a slump, not a controversy. I have to say that whenever I hear someone talking about a “cancer” in the room or some unknown controversy setting the players against eachother or the coach my internal “conspiracy theory alarm” rings loud and clear… Area 51, Dealey Plaza, Twin Towers etc.

    Coaching change? Sure, could happen. If they don’t make the playoffs this year it is possible. But this organization has more ex’s on the payroll than I do (and “I do” is a phrase I have used way too many times, believe me). They’ll tough it out for a while longer if it comes to that.

    It’s all good Rob πŸ˜‰


  21. SmartDog says:

    I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic!

    I do try to be positive when I can…. but mostly I think we’re handcuffed up front by some of our contracts and by a lack of physicality (too many guys that don’t want to get dirty… smallish to begin with), and by Martin’s coaching style which i don’t like (riding Price which is dumb, benching PK, shuffling lines too much, rewarding poor veteran play, over-punishing rookies). I do think MArtin has trouble getting the most out of a lot of players, and that’s his job.

    Argh. There are positives… when our D and Price are on, we’re extremely tough to play, 75% of the time the Pleks line is a constant threat, PK could be a great addition of Martin doesn’t strip him of power, the Wiz pick-up is good.


  22. light_n_tasty says:

    That’s wrong.  It freed up 0.9 mil in annual cap space.  We didn’t take any cap hit from Festerling because he plays in the AHL.  The mean salary on the team has nothing to do with it…

  23. novahab says:

    Well first Neil has burned us many times and second he can score and he has the size and toughness to match up with Lucic and the goons for the flyers. I think he is just is not playing for Ottawa just like the rest of that team. AK shows up ever 6th or 7th game and he is no t going to protect any of out players. PG is not going to get a Lafleur player for AK and for the record there was only one Lafleur and he was the best player since Richard to ever play in the NHL. If Lafleur had played for another team where they wouldn’t ask him to play D like Gretsky he might be holding all the scoring records.

  24. light_n_tasty says:

    1. Yes

    2. Yes

    3. Yes

    4. No, but only because Markov is injured now, and he wasn’t at this time last year.  If Markov was healthy, this year’s squad would be better than last year’s.

    5.  No, but not because of Martin.  We need a true star forward before we have a solid chance at the cup.

  25. HabFanSince72 says:

    Guy Lafleur is your all-time favourite Hab and you’d take a washed up goon like Neil for AK46?


  26. Hagar says:

    Really SD? You’re a 1 or 2. Wow. I always had you pegged as a Mary Poppins type. I’m blown away to discover that I’m actually more positive than you.

  27. habaddict_andy says:

    I would want Max with desharnais. Max admitted he loved playing with David.

  28. showey47 says:

    Was hoping for some help from the devils also,but instead marty gets pulled again.

  29. scrowe21 says:

    I understand keeping AK over Versteeg..even though they put up about the same amount of points..but NEIL? Seriously? That would be a TERRIBLE trade. Neil is a 31 year old goon that is good for taking dumb penalties.. Kostitsyn is still a RFA and has shown he can atleast produce on a top 6 role.

  30. showey47 says:

    well its tied now. Bolts also beating the rangers 1-0 with about 5 mins left,guess who is in net for the bolts?

  31. joeybarrie says:

    Hopefully I spoke too soon

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  32. SmartDog says:

    Well Dave, you win for being positive.  I wrote it as a ‘habs positivity scale’.  I thought it might polarize people – you finishing with a perfect score shows I think that it works.

    I’m on the other end. I wish I could be so positive… I think I’m about a 1, maybe a 2.  I know teams go through stuff but I think this is bad. I’ve lost faith in Martin… I think the team has a rift and it’s not going to heal easily.   I think his player management style is just not right for today’s NHL.  I may be wrong, and won’t mind if I am but I’d put serious money that a coaching change comes before we match last year’s playoff success. If you’re interested let me know. πŸ˜‰

    My opinion only of course, don’t trash me for thinking it (I hate that), it’s just we’re in different views here.

  33. Landof10000lakesHab says:


    No room for more $5M dollar forwards signed for another several yrs. Besides MH is a playmaker, not a sniper or a bruising power forward. Also, Havlat and Koivu are the Wild’s best players – not going anywhere.

  34. joeybarrie says:

    Was really hoping Buffalo could beat Boston.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  35. novahab says:

    Kostitsyn for Versteeg no way you make that trade. Versteeg is not much better than Moore last year and Moore was a good player for us. I think we can get a better player for AK maybe go after Neil in Ottawa. Some one with size , toughness and can open some ice for our smaller scorers.

  36. joeybarrie says:

    Capacity for Heinz field is 69,500. It will be permanent in the next 2 years, but they are able to add at least 4,000 extra seats in the south of the stadium.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  37. punkster says:

    Question 5 is misleading. If JM lasts the team would obviously change over that time (signings, trades, injuries all impacting the roster). My assumption (right or wrong) is that the team would improve over that time, different/better players would come in, good players would stay, weaker players get traded.The present team won’t win a Cup but an improved team could.

    1. yes

    2. yes

    3. yes

    4. yes

    5. yes


  38. topher5468 says:

    Why is it Good its raining, its good for hockey, Heinz field, 67,000 seats for Hockey, plus, maybe counting everyone in the building, who cares 

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  39. scrowe21 says:

    AK and Versteeg put up similar numbers. Although Versteeg is smaller, its not like AK uses his size often anyways. Most of his hits this year have been people bouncing off him. That said i’d still keep AK over him. I have a feeling Montreal is trying to move him though.

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