Habs’ Murray misses practice; Budaj will face Capitals

Douglas Murray, who was beaten and bloodied in a fight with Sabres enforcer John Scott during the Canadiens’ 3-1 win in Buffalo Wednesday night, wasn’t on the ice when the Canadiens practised in Washington Thursday to prepare for Friday’s game against the Capitals (5 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Murray needed stitches to close a cut on his forehead.

“Murray played well in 5-on-5 for us and he was good on the penalty-kill,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said after Wednesday’s game. “He made a good first pass and he stood up for his team.”

Therrien announced after Thursday’s practice that Peter Budaj will start in goal against the Capitals. Rene Bourque, who has missed the last four games and has recovered from a groin injury, took part in practice but isn’t expected to be in the lineup against the Capitals. Francis Bouillon will take Murray’s spot on the blue line.

The practice ended with Travis Moen giving Lars Eller some tips in a boxing lesson.

In other news Thursday, former Hab Guillaume Latendresse was cut by the Zurich Lions of the Swiss league.

(Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

Canadiens vs. Capitals preview, NHL.com

Markov, Subban form dynamic duo for Habs, by Pat Hickey

Post-practice comments in Washington (video), Canadiens.com

Turn of fortune for Habs, Canadiens.com

Canadiens roll to fourth straight win, by Pat Hickey

Power-play success continues on road for Habs, by Pat Hickey

Full steam ahead for Habs, Canadiens.com

Canadiens’ post-game comments (video), Canadiens.com

Habs vs. Sabres photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

Dudley staying with Habs as assistant GM, by Pat Hickey

Former Hab Latendresse cut by Swiss team, montrealgazette.com

Super-fan Dutchie a voice from Habs’ past, by Brenda Branswell

Hockey Night in Canada changes forever, by Dave Stubbs

It’s time to speak out and save Don Cherry, by Jack Todd

New TV deal changes how we consume hockey, by Brendan Kelly

NHL concussions suit: hard to score, easy to defend, by Cam Cole

Capitals’ slide reaches four games, Washington Post

Slow start, lack off offence leads to familiar finish for Sabres, Buffalo News


  1. Bill says:

    Krob, I agree. There’s no clearly superior team in the East. Some would point to Boston, but they are right there statistically with the Habs. Montreal in my opinion has superior scoring depth and otherwise equals the Bruins.

    The Penguins have firepower galore and certainly would be hard to beat. But it can be done with defence and superior goaltending.

    There are even some who think the Leafs would beat the Habs on sheer toughness. Well, the Leafs may be tough, but they are also brutal defensively. If the Habs stick to their game I see the Habs on top in a best of seven.

  2. krob1000 says:

    Anyone find that we overvalue many individual players but always sell the team as a whole short? Why does noone think this team can make it deep even this year? Assuming fairly good health Montreal is capable of beating any team in the conference…
    IF Price falters that goes out the window but if he plays at this level and 4 lines of depth are present I see noone in the East that walks over Montreal.

  3. Sportfan says:

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  4. The Dude says:

    So…the top Hab at #44 in the NHL scoring race is Subban. Time for a blockbuster Trade with our veteran core while they have value and before contracts are dished out. Markov,Gionta,Moen,Gorges and Plecs deserve a long Cup run and would help their new teams.And our Habs need Big,strong ,newbe stars of the future who puzzle in .

    • krob1000 says:

      The East is not storng….Montreal can compete with any team inthe East when healthy so a long run is just as possible in Montreal. Both confereences are balanced relative to their own conference. I think the HAbs can make it to at least a second round this season myself but I know I have been close to alone onthat belief since the beginning of the season. I think last years teeam was at least a second round team andcould have been more and this years version is better. How would they hold up against the West if they made it? on paper not well at all….but after three rounds paper do’tt mean much. I would not even consider moving Pleks or Markov at this point.

      Re moving Pleks to make room for Galchenyuk…what is the rush? he is palying fine on the wing. I have read some metnioning a 3rd line center cannot be making 5 million?why not? Theteam will not have a traditionla 1-2 punch it will be a 3 headed monster so considering the cost of thoe 3 will rival the cost of a top duo what is the difference? I only view it as a positive if the HAbs were able to maintain Pleks til at least the end of ncext season.

  5. punkster says:

    Good to see comments from 24 Cups and Chris again. Stick around boys.


  6. CH Marshall says:

    Too bad about Latendresse. Can’t help but wonder how his physical conditioning was like during his NHL stint.

  7. DipsyDoodler says:

    Hi guys.

    There’s one thing I don’t understand.

    Here is a ranking from 2 years ago of the top NHL teams over the previous 10 years. You could quibble with the methods, but the outcome is one we’d all agree with: Detroit and NJ are #1 and #2.


    I think everyone here accepts that these are two very well run franchises (well, the Devils were until recently), that win consistently despite a lack of top draft picks. Holland and Babcock in particular know what it takes to win in the NHL. So does Lou Lamoriello when his owner lets him do his job.

    So, I looked at fighting majors and lo and behold, NJ and Detroit consistently end up at the bottom of the list. Detroit haven’t had an enforcer since Bob Probert, and he’s been in a pickle jar for three years!

    Doesn’t this make their achievement even more astounding? Just think if Detroit had had a George Parros or a Colton Orr all those years! They’d have had to give them the actual Stanley Cup like they did for Brazil and the Football World Cup.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      All true Dippsy but I wonder if the Bruins may have changed the game with their tactics. They were allowed to “break rules” and other teams quickly responded. Now we see teams like Toronto, Senators among others that try to copy that style.

      Not quite the all out goon crap of the 70’s Flyers but nonsense none the less.

  8. Steeltown Hab says:

    So I came across Nathan Beaulieu today, told em good luck this year.


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin – @J_Perez22

  9. The Jackal says:

    Ugh… good morning fine folks of HIO. It is still morning… I made it!
    I surprisingly woke up before noon.
    I don’t know if it was the 5 tall cans or the little bottle of Ouzo this friend gave me for some study help, but I feel like Front at the moment.
    Thank god there are so many day games today. Maybe I’ll keep the streak alive… or not… who knows?

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  10. Bill says:

    Caps due for a win, Habs due for a loss. It’s a bad combination. Ovechkin always kills us: he’s one of the few players Plekanec has a really hard time handling. We need a ton of shutdown from Pleks’ line, strong D, and the usual good game from Budaj.

  11. Bill says:

    Matty: totally agree on that dumb verb. Good call.

  12. slyCH says:

    The Caps on a 4 game skid with a blown lead in last game. The’re gonna be angry and buzzing hard. I fear a difficult challenge for les boys.

  13. Bill says:

    Looks like I’ll miss the early game. My own little goalie has a tournament starting tonight. I’ll be lacing up his pads when the game starts. I’ll follow the game here so post in detail everyone!

  14. Mattyleg says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that Markov should be on the Norris Trophy shortlist?

    I know it’s still early in the season, but I can’t think of many other defencemen who bring the entire package like Marky does.

    However, can you imagine Betty’s NHL awarding a trophy to the Habs two years running? No, me neither. It’s the Age of Parity after all, and the other Franchise Owners would feel terribly left out that they wouldn’t be able to Showcase™ an award-winner.

    p.s. I trademarked ‘Showcase’ because I think it’s a stupid verb, and people should have to ask my permission to use it.

    p.p.s. I’ll always say ‘no’.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I thought the awards were voted on by journalists.

      • Strummer says:

        That’s PK’s problem.
        The journalists AREN’T responsible for picking the Team Canada roster.

        EDIT: which suggests maybe journalists shouldn’t be picking awards- maybe it should be left to those with better hockey knowledge- for example don’t the GM’s pick the Vezina winners?
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • Mattyleg says:

        I can’t imagine that anything that has to do with the NHL isn’t carefully orchestrated by Betty and his minions to best market the league.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Timo says:

      Lets see if he can carry that package for the rest of the year. Also, I don’t particularly care for individual awards. How will he do in playoffs should Habs make it?

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Evidently Chara tried to get Kessel and Seguin to buy into harder work per se with the Bruins before each was traded.


  16. Timo says:

    Early game means I can’t login to HIO from 3 pm. What am I going to do for the rest of the work day?

  17. commandant says:

    The end of the line for Guillaume Latendresse

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  18. Timo says:

    Does anyone know anything about this guy? Apparently Habs are interested in him


  19. Chris says:

    And the arms race in the OHL begins…

    Brendan Gaunce, the star centre of the Belleville Bulls, was dealt to the Erie Otters this week.

    You can bet that the Guelph Storm and London Knights are going to retaliate with deals of their own. I think the Storm will go after one of the elite defencemen (possibly Slater Koekkoek from Windsor, and maybe they try to pry away Brady Vail or Kerby Rychel as well).

    There was a newspaper reporter in Sault Ste. Marie musing that perhaps the Greyhounds should consider dealing Darnell Nurse to the Knights. The Greyhounds are currently tied in the running with Erie, London and Guelph for the Western Conference, but most OHL people figure that they are the fourth best of that grouping. With both London and Guelph desperate for defensive help, they could land a gold-mine in return for Nurse.

    It really sucks to be a fan of a Midwest Division OHL team, as it seems like that division is 3-deep in contenders every single freaking year. 🙂

    • Luke says:

      I wonder if last night’s loss to Niagara may help motivate the Knight’s to make some changes.

      Although, I think it was more a case of Niagara playing an outstanding 60 minutes, their best of the year, than the Knight’s playing poorly.

  20. Timo says:

    Has anyone heard from Front, after his pub crawl yesterday?

  21. Luke says:

    Clarkson. 5.2 million? 15 games. 5 points. -3. Chose to take the first 10 games off.

    He ranks right there with such Hab whipping boys as Briere (7 points, +1) and Desharnais (6 points, +2) and non-whipping boy, and I think roster equivalent, Prust (4 points, +2).

    As much as we complain about that Briere or DD contract… let’s be happy neither one of those is for 7 years or 5.2 million.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I posted a few days ago about another H I/O ex-hearthrob, Brooks Laich.

      $4.5M/yr for 6 years. On pace for 20 pts this season.

      • Luke says:

        How’re Bickell & Stalberg doing this year?

        (off to check…)(edit):

        Stalberg 2/4/6 -6
        Bickell 5/1/6 E

        • Eddie says:

          Clarkson is exactly the type of tough leadership I believe a team needs to win come playoff time.

          Change Gionta into a Clarkson and the Habs become much tougher in the playoffs.

          Clarkson was an excellent signing.

          There are probably at least 20 other NHL teams who are looking for exactly this type of player.

          • Luke says:

            I’m not saying Clarkson doesn’t have a role. I’m not saying he wouldn’t fit on the Habs.

            I’m saying 7 years at 5.2 million is ridiculous for a guy who is a bit of an improvement on Prust.

            Adding Clarkson was a good move, but I wouldn’t go so far asto call that contract ‘excellent’.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      From here, that signing has all to do with playoff hockey when the rules change…as the Leafs believed they were true and serious Eastern Conference title aspirants and the only thing in the way was Boston.

      As for the 7 years, yes it’s long, yet what will the Cap be at that point in time?
      Quite possibly $90-$95M…and if they don’t like him after year 5-6, they buy him out with Cap relief

      • Luke says:

        It does provide them with a gritty dude (Prustian) who can play when Orr and McLaren are no longer a reasonable option, granted.

        But that contract is bad. As bad as DD or Briere’s… and it’s many years longer.

  22. Blondie says:

    Anyone else on Bell Fibe have TSN Montreal suddenly telling them they’re not subscribed? Seems like it started the day of the big TV deal announcement.

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    Therrien pumping PK’s tires for going to Sochi!


    This flies in the face of what many have been spewing here.

  24. Chris says:

    I’m happy to see Markov getting back into the good graces of Habs fans since it was a bit mind-boggling that he ever fell out in the first place.

    Every elite team in the NHL has an older guy whose become too slow, too old, too fragile, etc. But then you think of what they DO bring to the team: leadership, poise, continuity, and veteran experience.

    Chicago won the Stanley Cup last year with 36 year old Michal Handzus as their second line pivot, acquiring him from the Sharks despite his unimpressive point totals (1 goal and 2 points in 28 games).

    In the 2012 Stanley Cup finals, it was 34 year old Willie Mitchell that provided the veteran influence for the Kings. He is back this season after missing the entire 2012-13 season.

    In 2011, it was 43 year old Mark Recchi playing a significant role for the Bruins as they won the Stanley Cup.

    The big issue for Bergevin is how much of the salary cap will Andrei Markov eat up. I don’t think there’s much doubt that he can still be a tremendously useful top-4 defenceman, but how much is he worth?

    I don’t think this signing would carry the same risk as most over-35 players as Markov is always going to hold significant value to a Stanley Cup contender because of his offensive skill and ability to ignite a struggling power play. Markov is relatively similar to other elite veteran defencemen such as Sergei Gonchar, Rob Blake, Scott Stevens or Nicklas Lidstrom, all of whom played effectively to age 40.

    Montreal does have more guys over age 30 than most contenders in recent years have had, but most of them are role players (Moen, Parros, Murray, Bouillon). Gionta and Bourque are the only two core players that are over age 30, and I don’t think Gionta will be back next season.

    Holding onto Markov seems like a no-brainer to me. Montreal has not allowed one of their stars to play out their entire career in Montreal since Bob Gainey’s retirement 24 years ago.

    Guy Carbonneau was traded, as were Patrick Roy, Chris Chelios, Eric Desjardins, and Jose Theodore. Saku Koivu was basically told to walk away.

    There is something special about a great player playing their entire career in one city. Andrei Markov has been loyal to the Montreal Canadiens, signing contracts for less than what he could have obtained on the open market. He has been stellar on the ice, and problem free off the ice. I think most Habs fans know that he is a good player, yet I think he has still be undervalued throughout his career.

    There was always somebody flashier: Sheldon Souray and his bombs from the point, Alex Kovalev and his dangles, Carey Price because he is the goalie…now it is P.K. Subban that is the star ascendant.

    Like Koivu before him, Markov has been quietly great for his entire career. I would be ecstatic to see him finish his career in Montreal.

    • Blondie says:

      Agree wholeheartedly Chris. The same could be said for Plekanec. I would be more than happy to see them both retire as Habs. It just feels right.

      • Chris says:

        I don’t think Plekanec will get the chance, as I expect him to be dealt over the next year or two to make room for Eller and Galchenyuk.

        The Habs have three top-2 centres. While it is a great situation on paper, it is not sustainable: one of the three players will inevitably chafe at not getting enough minutes.

        • Blondie says:

          I envision Pleks dropping slowly in the depth chart as the other two rise, finally settling in on the third line as a defensive specialist. Unless the kids are ready to rise before Pleks is ready to drop.

          • JF says:

            That’s what I envisage as well.

          • Chris says:

            I think Plekanec is simply too good to be a third line defensive specialist. He has shown that he can be a very good to great second line centre.

            A good two-way centre like Plekanec is simply too valuable for the third line. You would be better of trading him for the assets he could bring in (which would be significant) and sign a comparable defensive player to your third line, using the cap savings to sign the goal scoring forwards that the Habs desperately need.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Agreed! Veteran presence. JJ is doing great work with the D this year. Just look how Murray is progressing with each game. He Should get a one year extension.The only D that might not be back next year is Cube in my opinion. I love the guys heart and experience but I think he is done. That would leave one opening for a trade or FA and Murray could be rotated with a young call up.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Bill Guerin when Pitt won

      • Chris says:

        Detroit has always been loaded with veterans at the end of their careers in their Stanley Cup wins. Dave Andreychuk was 39 with the Lightning. Carolina had Recchi, Glen Wesley, Bret Hedican and Rod Brind’Amour as 35+ players in 2006. Teemu Selanne was 36 in 2007 with the Ducks (and he’s just kept on trucking since then).

        I wouldn’t sign a marginal player to a 35+ contract very lightly. But Markov has proven that he is a top-20, if not top-10, NHL defenceman. Those guys are worth the risk.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Great post, Chris. You cite many solid examples.

      Let’s fast forward two years. Outside of the Crosby/Malkin tandem, I can’t see any one team having a huge advantage over the other teams in the East. That’s when a 37 year old Markov might just be the tie-breaker for the Habs, even if it means he has dropped down to the 2nd pairing.

      • Chris says:

        It is hard to see what is going to happen in 2 years as trades can turn teams around completely. There are a lot of teams in the East that are all somewhat equivalent, so if one of them can land a true superstar level talent (either by trade or by free agency), it could really tilt the landscape.

    • Casanova says:

      To me it seems like there is great value in wisely choosing certain players to let live out their whole careers with your team. I think it goes a long way to developing a team culture.

      To me Markov and Plekanec would be excellent choices. Although you maybe lose out in the short term, missing the opportunity to flip them for younger talent, it is a long term investment that will pay off in developing the team culture.

      Gionta was a free agent who came in with his best days behind him, he would be a smart choice to flip for younger talent.

    • twilighthours says:

      where you been, stranger?

  25. Maritime Ronn says:

    A question for HIO:

    As the Habs team stands now and concerning being healthy (staying healthy)…and how they are playing, is there a team in the Eastern Conference the Habs could not beat in a 7 game playoff series?

    Think about their goaltending and overall D and remember how Boston swept them 4-0 in the Conference finals last year.

    Experienced – Solid in nets, very good on D, but not deep in bottom 6. They would be the toughest, but the Habs are overall quicker.

    Detroit? Getting old very fast.

    Of course Price would have to have his best playoffs ever, yet any team that goes far always has a goaltender that plays outstanding. That goes without saying.

    • Eddie says:

      I will simply say this. The Habs leadership, Plekanec, Gionta, especially, do not strike me as being able to carry this team come playoff time.

      And are we to expect that Gallagher is going to show everyone the way to score goals playing playoff hockey?

      The Habs will compete against Detroit, and Pittsburgh, but they will have their leadership seriously tested against the more physical teams.

    • Chris says:

      Any team in the NHL can beat any other team in a 7 game series.

      Carey Price has been outstanding this season. Outside of a couple of blips, so has Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury has already proven that he CAN handle the pressure and win a Stanley Cup in addition to proving that he can also crack under pressure. I don’t think Price and Fleury are as different as many Habs fans would like to believe, even though I concede that I would much prefer Price on my team.

      There are still match-ups that I don’t believe benefit the Habs. A 7 game series against the Bruins still scares me, because they are simply better offensively and defensively than Montreal, and their physical play could easily wear down the Habs.

      I’m also scared of the Leafs, who are big and fast, the combination that has given the Habs fits.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        It will be very interesting to see how the Leafs rebound the next few games. They are very fortunate that they get the Sabres tonight, a team they should be able to out shoot. Leafs confidence is really waning right now, Lupul is out for a little while with a groin pull and he is one of their leaders.

        I mentioned yesterday, I thought they were indeed for real this year, and haven’t written them off yet. But recent games is starting to make me wonder if indeed they have been extremely fortunate to have the record they do thus far.

        • Chris says:

          I think it is more likely that Tampa Bay is the pretender than the Leafs. The injuries to Bozak and Bolland really hurt the Leafs. Bozak is playing himself back into shape now, so that will help stabilize that team. Those two guys were pivotal to the Leafs’ defensive game, and their loss really exposes their less defensively adept forwards.

          It would be somewhat similar to the Habs losing Eller and Plekanec: the lost offence would be crippling, but the more devastating effect would be the exposure of players like Gallagher, Pacioretty, Galchenyuk and Desharnais, all of whom are not strong defensive players.

      • Maritime Ronn says:


        The big bad Bruins needed a Game 7 OT 3 years ago to beat the Habs. As a matter of fact, they needed to win 3 of the last 4 games in OT to advance…then win the Cup.

        The Leafs? I’d take that match up any time. Their D is overall slow and awful.

        The only point here was that for all the criticism the Habs get, they are really not that far away – perhaps 2 bigger forwards.

        Now the West is a whole other issue..

        • Chris says:

          I agree with the point that Montreal is probably not that far away, but those two bigger forwards would cost a mint to obtain, and we don’t have any in the system that are poised to make an impact for at least 3-5 years.

          It really rides on Price, as it has since 2007. The Habs have had a couple of very good teams that were ultimately undone by shaky goaltending and playoff disappearances. The 2007-08 and 2012-13 teams seemed to have everything going for them until they completely imploded in the playoffs.

    • Cal says:

      I think we have to add the laffs to that list. Their recent record against the Habs testifies to that. However, they are still fragile from that game 7 comeback by the Gooins.

    • ari says:

      I believe boston has one of the best 4th line.as for playoffs with a hot goalie and a bit of luck, anything can happen

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    Markov will be our assistant captain for at least two more years, he is the rock that steadies the rest of the D. He does not have the legs that he once had, but he sure has the hockey sense and guidance for our youth including the PK, who is starting to become a true vet himself.

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    Is today’s 5pm game not on a National Network? I just assumed CBC would pick it up? Was hoping to get it on with sound at my watering hole after work today. Guess I will need my bartender to find the U.S. Satellite feed.

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    Down below Myron Selby wrote a nice post regarding Markov, I am in full agreement with him on the need for Habs to Re-Sign him. However, the dude commented on how this would be a great time to trade him.

    WJC responded and I agree 100% wjc! Trading Markov this year would send a terrible message to the rest of the players in that dressing room. Right now Markov is clearly a leader on the ice, and most likely a big leader off the ice, in the dressing room. There is an article above from Hickey, where PK talks about how he would never take an optional practise off, because Markov never stopped working, why should he.

    Making some trades off this roster I understand, or could understand, but trading Markov would send a terrible message to the rest of the team.

    • Cal says:

      Hey Burly. Trading Markov would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Just plain shouldn’t be done. His recovery and play have been remarkable.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Keeping Markov is a no brainer,IMHO.
      My only problem is that he’s pushing 35, and with all the ice time he’s currently getting,one has to wonder how much will be left in the tank come playoff time.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        He is in incredible shape, he didn’t play a great deal of hockey for 2 and a half seasons, and last year he played more hockey than any other Hab and look at how he is performing this year. Not to worried about Markov and his gas tank.

        • krob1000 says:

          Agree completely….2 and a half years at his age is quite a bit and I have referrede to it a million times …it is reminiscent of Teemu Selanne. Selanne missed pretty well a whole season and it took him nearly a season and a half to get back intot he swing of things and even then heis skating took nearly 3 years to get back to where it waws(Age not considered). Right now Markov’s skating IMO is only slightly behind where it would have been had he been healthy all of these years and just aged normally. Assmuning a bit of luck and factoring his know elite work ethic I don’t see any reason that he should regress….if anything I think there is still a bit of room for improvement. Two years from now the age may be a factor but as much as those years hampered him they are also years he was not abusing that knee on the ice and instead was strengthening and babying it. It may actually work out for the better. Last season his skating was painful to watch but you could see he finished better than he started…was still a hinderance but you could see the improvement. In training camp you could see the dramatic progress and it is getting better over time. I think right now he is skating at about 90 percent of what he could potentially recover…..I still see him as being slightly off in his wuick pivots/races at full speed but I think that will be the last part to fully recover. He can mimic atha on his own but it will never be the same…he needs game practice to recover tat. Being pushed at top speed, going all out repeatedly, with contact and having to do those things while battling and having to adjust to an opponent are far different than doing it solo in open ice rehabbing.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      So we agree with wjc? The only discussion that should be occurring in the Hab’s front offices is 3 years or 4?

    • Mattyleg says:

      It’s all about continuity.
      Trading and chopping and changing, from players to management, is not the way to run a team. The most successful teams weren’t always made up of the most incredible players (they had a couple), but they were the ones who kept the same basic group together.

      Look at Man United. Were there better defenders than the Nevilles? Yes there were, but keeping them on the team kept the continuity. Detroit Red Wings had plenty of 3rd-rate talent on the team, but they stuck with them and that was a key to their success.

      The worst mistake you can make is install a revolving-door on your dressing-room or in your head office.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Habfan10912 says:

        There is a ton of truth to what you say Matty. Add the Yankees with their “core” group of the 90’s as another example.

        I’d recommend anyone who is fortunate to attend a Hab game that they spend some time studying Markov on the ice. It’s a treat to watch him. I told my friends at one particular game, it’s like he’s always a play or two ahead of everybody else. By the time the puck gets to him he knows exactly where he’s going to go with it and what his next move will be.

        PK has the skill. Markov has “it”. A great pair.

      • krob1000 says:

        This is why I think Pleks and Markov should not be traded. They have been consistent winners (not Cups but have been part of many winning seasons) and they bring intangibles that are often overlooked. They both never put themselves above anyone and are classy team players . They both play both sides of the puck, they both have intellects that are off the charts and both can be used in all situations and make anyone they play with better. Right now they are the Montreal Canadiens. The fact hey have been brought through the system and have spent their whole careers in Montreal should matter too. This was why I hated to see Koivu go. I think if you removed Pleks and Markov from the HAbs you would see the kids struggle a la Oilers. for some time. It is the vets that know what it takes to win, it is their example that lays the foundation and shows what it takes to win in the NHL. Knowing what is a worthwhile risk in the NHL and knowing what is smart,etc is not something a coach can draw on a chalkboard. IT takes experience, it takes playing with guys who can do it and it is something that is very important and is essetnailly the foundation that built the Red Wings.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I agree.

      Sometime in the late 70s the Habs started a new tradition of letting their great players leave at the end (or not) or their careers: Lafleur, Robinson, Savard, Lemaire, Roy.

      There is something to be said for keeping a guy like Marky until he retires. And he’s actually still pretty young.

  29. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ Old Bald Bird

    Perhaps another way to look at Don Cherry.

    He has 7-8 minutes – and people have TV remotes.
    Anyone can decide to tune him in – or tune him out if desired.
    It’s as simple as that.
    He is not forced on anyone.

    Regardless of where one sits on a social, political, or hockey spectrum, it’s never a good thing to lobby hard to have one silenced because of a disagreement towards another’s beliefs or thoughts.
    Hate speech is another issue…

    It’s also wrong to bash a person using ad hominen attacks without discussing/arguing the merits/non merits of topics presented – Cherry and his funny suits included.

    Be the vastly and huge difference of opinions of MSNBC-FOX, Maureen Dowd-Charles Krauthammer….Don Cherry or Mike Boone, all have a right to their opinions as long as laws are not broken.

    Finally, perhaps one should be more concerned about those who wish to silence Don Cherry, than Don Cherry himself.

    • Cal says:

      It’s about Cherry’s racism and his racist comments. The CBC, if it had any balls at all, should have dismissed him years ago. The CBC represents ALL Canadians, and his barely hidden hate remarks justify him to be silenced on what is our national broadcaster.
      But, yes I haven’t watched him for over 20 years. His “insights” belong to the 1950’s, not the 21st century.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I find him entertaining minus the some could consider to be racist remarks every now & then. Once in a while, I even agree with him (not often).

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • Cal says:

          The thing about watching Cherry is that better and more insightful commentators don’t get the national audience to express themselves. Besides, 3 decades of Mr. Wallpaper suit is long enough, don’t you think?

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi cal

        ” The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.”

        ” a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

        Trying to remember specific quotes that can be considered outright racism or ‘hidden hate remarks.’

        • Bill says:

          Racism is pushing it, but I think it could be fairly said that he commonly expresses disdain for players from Sweden, Russia, and Quebec.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

        • Mattyleg says:

          “Cherry [refered to the Jets’] assistant coach, Finn Alpo Suhonen, as “some kind of dog food.””

          “Most of the guys who wear [visors] are Europeans and French guys. And you cannot have half the league wear them and half not.”

          “I’ve been trying to tell you for so long about the Russians. What kind of people they are and you just love them in Canada with your multiculturalism.”


          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Habsrule1 says:

            The only quote there I consider racist is the last one. It’s at least a very bad generalization.

            The other 2 do not seem racist to me at all.

            Go Habs Go!!

            “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • Habitforming says:

        I couldn’t agree more.

        The CBC paying him over $700K a year to be a bigot on national TV is concerning.

    • Mattyleg says:

      The issue isn’t whether he is allowed to express his beliefs, it’s whether he should/should be allowed to by his bosses.

      Being a public figure comes with a very heavy set of responsibilities, and Don Cherry doesn’t seem to understand that. If he thinks he is doing something good by telling Canadians to remember and respect the Canadian Armed Forces, then that’s fine. But if he’s also, using the same forum, saying derogatory and/or dismissive things about French Canadians and Europeans, then there is a serious problem because he obviously thinks that he is doing something equally good by placing those opinions in people’s heads.

      That’s not only a terrible thing to do on its own, but it’s an even worse thing to be doing when his salary is being paid by Canadians’ tax dollars, many of whom he regularly insults and spreads discriminatory views against.

      He’s pathetic and should not have a public forum, especially not one paid for by the public purse.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • twilighthours says:

      Does the CBC still pay Cherry’s salary? And is the HNIC now (after the Rogers deal) a cost-neutral endeavor for the CBC? If so, that makes me – the tax payer – one of Don’s bosses.

      I’m going to give him a 360 feedback that will rock his world.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      @Maritime Ronn

      Phew! I certainly trust this wasn’t really directed at me. If it was, it is inappropriate since I haven’t attacked DC at all and you are putting many words in my mouth. But I trust that although you have addressed it to me, you are speaking generally. I am primarily opining that it’s simply time to move on.

      Several things in response FWIW, more or less in order of your points.

      (1) We are all inclined to rubberneck when we pass an accident, and we all are on edge when a fight breaks out, whether we approve of them or not. So, it’s not necessarily as easy as turning him off and leaving the room. Why should I even have to do that? I don’t btw because I often actually like what he has to say. I still think it’s time to move on.

      (2) This isn’t a lobby. We are expressing opinions. That’s what we do here. I happen to think his segment is dated and that we should move on. At least revamp it a bit if folks really can’t live without him. Who wants to hear more of, “I remember when I was in Syracuse?”

      (3) Of course, everyone has a right to his or her opinion, just as everyone has a right to voice their opinions about those opinions. Has anyone ever said otherwise?

      (4) You really do know that expressing a desire for HNIC (or whatever network) to move on with the times is not exactly the same as silencing DC? I would actually like to hear from him from time to time, but I think his regular segment has long since passed its “best before” date.

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    Listening to sports radio this morning, Matthew Barnaby was being interviewed. I don’t think he is associated with the Sabres in any capacity anymore, but I know he still lives in the Buffalo area and I think is in business with Rob Ray, whom still works the broadcast side for the Sabres.

    Barnaby mentioned that the Sabres feel they missed with Grigorenko, that he simply doesn’t have the work ethic/compete required to make the NHL. Assuming Barnaby has decent information, would you try and make a deal for Grigorenko? Hoping a new environment is what he needs?

    If indeed Buffalo is shopping him, I would expect that Patrick Roy would be interested, as probably nobody knows the young kid better than Roy.

    Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning buddy. Hope “curling” went well last night. 🙂

      If Loonie was still around he’d want us to get Grigorenko. I remember he was very high on the kid and at one time had him right up there with Galchenyuk and Yaks.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Last night I celebrated U.S. Thanksgiving with some American friends here in Burlington, had Turkey and all the trimmings, only problem was my Steelers fell short in the comeback!

        Morning bud!

    • Cardiac says:

      Big props on the amateur scouts for selecting Galchenyuk over Grigorenko. I remember the hootin’ and hollerin’ here for us to get Grigorenko just for the Roy/Ramparts link. Funny enough he was rated #3 by central scouting but was only selected at #12. Maybe most NHL GMs and scouts didn’t buy into the hype.

      Because he’s a first round pick, he won’t come cheap. Additionally, we are already locked at the centre position for at least the next 2-3 seasons so I don’t the need at taking the risk. The last thing you want to do is trade a stud defenseman for another Daigle or Bonk…

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I agree with you Cardiac, I will be very curious though to see if the Avalanche make a play for him. Perhaps my curiosity is more to see just how much pull with player personnel Roy indeed has in Colorado.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I wonder how much the Sabres are culpable in this? I do think they made a big mistake in not sending him back down to Jr.’s last season. Reiger’s job performance dealing with him must have been a factor in his termination.

        He’s a 19-20 year old kid with lots of time to turn it around. I hope his development hasn’t been impacted to the point where it can’t be turned around.

  31. JF says:

    It seems to be the prevailing opinion that we should dress George Parros tomorrow night against the Leafs. My question, assuming Douglas Murray can play, is why. Parros looked OK in the first game, but was destroyed by Colton Orr and has looked terrible since returning. He took a therapy day a while ago after playing almost not at all, so I’m not even sure he’s completely healthy.

    At the moment our fourth line is looking good. They skate, hit, don’t take dumb penalties, and the addition of Bournival has made them a bit of a scoring threat. Why mess with that? Aside from his size and strength, Parros is a liability, and his presence will not be enough to allow us to out-goon the Leafs. If we play our game, we can beat them. If we get suckered into playing their game, running around trying to hit everything in a blue jersey, we’ll get beaten both physically and on the scoreboard. Let Randy Carlyle dress his three thugs; we can simply skate away from their attempts to intimidate and score goals.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      JF you obviously didn’t watch the fights between Orr and Parros….Parros actually won both fights but lost to the ice. I don’t think being pulled to the ice should give Orr the fight. However it’s my opinion only.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Your opinion on the fight results is absolutely correct

      • wjc says:

        You are correct my friend, in my humble opinion. It was an accident and even Orr’s reaction was one of disbelief, as he stopped and waited for medical help. Parros swung and his momentum when he missed caused him to hit the ice face first.

        With the concussion issue, a big issue, they are probably being cautious with him and giving him plenty of time considering the job he does. I do not think he is finished in Montreal.


        • Blondie says:

          It wasn’t entirely Parros’ momentum that caused the face-plant. Orr had a hold on the neck of Parros’ sweater and gave a tug as he fell causing Parros’ face to hit the ice with a lot more force than if he had simply fallen.

          You’re right, though, that we’ll see him suited up again before he moves on, maybe even tonight.

      • JF says:

        Actually I never watch the fights. I just meant that Parros was physically destroyed, accidental though it was. I literally don’t care who wins the fights. You don’t win the game by winning fights; the Habs tend to lose most games in which they’re suckered into fighting the other team’s goons. But someone mentions below that Murray may not be able to play. In that case, I guess we need Parros to afford some measure of protection to Prust and Moen.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am not sure if Murray will be back for Saturday, reading one of the links above, it was said it would be a few days before he could wear his helmet comfortably as a result of the stitches.

      I would dress Parros for one simple reason, so that Prust doesn’t have to fight either Orr or McLaren, self preservation of one of our dressing room and on ice leaders.

      I do not pretend that Parros makes us win the game, but if it prevents Prust/Moen from getting destroyed, maybe that indeed helps us win games down the road.

      Parros knows why he has a job in today’s NHL and tomorrows Leaf game will be one of those games. It isn’t right, but Bettman and Company (which includes owners/gm’s/players) don’t seem to want to change how the game is enforced/policed.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        You nailed it Burli!

        Toronto and the goony crap of Carlyle would do the trade off of Orr-McLaren/Prust-Moen any time.

        Apart from that, when those 2 are dressed, slime like Kadri will run around and try and hurt guys like Gallagher-Chuckie and any one else he can find that has thier backs to him.

        Just having Parros on the bench changes a lot…for a game like that.

      • wjc says:

        I agree Burlington, right on. Parros should be in and if Murray is in it will be strickly for hitting, I think a helmet could be adjusted to be made to work….They will need all the sandpaper available tomorrow night.

        Murray will not want to sit and will make Price’s job a little easier by keeping the crease clear.


      • Welks says:

        I agree that Parros should be dressed as a deterrent. But I would not remove Bournival from the line up. He brings more to the team than Briere. Briere is one dimensional player which is easily demonstrated when Moen goes into his slot for defensive purposes.

        So putting Parros in taking Briere out Bournival and Moen can work in with Pleks and Gionta to limit Parros minutes.

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      I thought Parros won that fight by an easy decision. The ice won by knock out.

    • Blondie says:

      If Murray plays then we can do without him, otherwise I think we have to dress him. We’ll need at least one of them to keep the leafs goons in check and save wear and tear on our smaller battlers.

    • Phil C says:

      Parros handled Orr in their first fight and was on his way to handling him again when Orr used a take-down move on him. Parros almost ended Orr’s career in the past, so it’s not like he can’t handle Orr. Assuming he is healthy.

      Last year was a good example of how games go against the Leafs. If the Habs get a goal early, they bury them rolling four lines as you suggest. So it can work.

      Conversely, if the Leafs get up a few goals early, then it’s goon time. In the 6-0 loss last year, Bourque was concussed, Plekanec just barely missed a knee-on-knee collision, and even though he didn’t miss a game, I think Gorges was concussed in his fight with McLaren as he looked wobbly going off and it could have been much worse if McLaren had not took it easy. That kind of carnage could derail the entire season.

      If you look at the Boston-Toronto games from last season, they were all snooze-fests because both sides knew that gooning it up would not work against their opponent. I would rather play Parros, Murray, Prust, Moen, and White to keep things calm while trying to beat them with your other lines. Toronto will also have at least one goon playing less than 5 minutes, so it should still be a level playing field even if Parros plays.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Destroyed by Orr? I missed that fight.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning JF. As usual I agree with you but I wonder, since Parros was one of Bergevin’s answers to the club being harder to play against, if he won’t be in the lineup Saturday.

      That said, couldn’t we essentially roll out four scoring lines even with Parros in the lineup. By playing with 11 forwards plus Parros we could double shift other players into the fourth line roll and put Parros out there for his occasional staged fight or two.

      Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where the Parros’ could just be announcers? That way they could stay employed in a more healthier environment while we still benefit from their humor and wit.

  32. Habsrule1 says:

    6-2-2 in our last 10 with only the last few being with a healthy line-up. Regardless of what some of you say, the coaching staf has done a very good job. I doubt MT is worried about being fired anytime soon.

    I think we can win tonight, but I’m always worried about the laffs. I’d be ok with 2 points this weekend, happy with 3, and ecstatic if we could pull off 2 W’s.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  33. frankcasting says:

    How in the WORLD is Dutchy 81 years old ??? Oh wait . Tabarouette, not 81, but not 18 either. Nice to see that short video on Dutchy, check out the link (above).

    As for the poll question, the odds of Parros being on the ice when that big jerk picked a fight with Murray were slim to none, the bottom line is Habs won easily, MT had the right group of guys out there on that night. I’m not even fully sold on the notion of Parros playing v. Leafs at this point, especially if we win tonight with the same lineup as Wed. Why let the opponent dictate lineups in that fashion? Let them respond to us.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

    • third generation haber says:

      Because, in the past these teams have used brute force to injure us. They did so with no fear of payback. We were seen as the smallest and softest team in hockey; rather than trying to keep up with us they would simply intimidate with big/dirty hits. If our goalie had a bad night they would really run a muck.

      I say we choose our lineup depending on who we are playing against. When we play TO, Boston, Buffalo, Ottawa, and Philly, we need to beef up. Our softer players often disappear when we play these teams.

      j.p. murray

  34. Old Bald Bird says:

    If we could survive in a world without Danny Gallivan (barely) or Dick Irvin or even the Hewitts, we can surely survive without Cherry. Whatever you think of him, surely it’s time to move on. Do you really miss him when watching TSN or RDS? Really?

    • The Cat says:

      I would miss him. He is the standard for hockey expertise. All the other guys are just about scoops of injuries and trade rumours.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • wjc says:

      Do not miss him on RDS, because I do not understand french.

      If he rides into the sunset, for me it will not be better, because I like the dust he stirs up. But, if he moves on (probably won’t) no big deal either.

      He is unique, and every once in a while he comes up with a different angle on something. He speaks his mind, to a point, and that is a little refreshing in the land of Political correctness.

      You love him or you hate him, no in between it seems. You hate him you could turn him off, but people don’t, so that speaks volumns. They cannot turn away, they can’t. So if you want him gone, just turn him off and ignore it all. But, people can’t.

      The people that show sports shows, know that is entertainment for the masses, will not throw away a well known brand…..Donald Cherry. Cause people tune in to hate him or hear what the old bugger has to say……admit it….you do don’t you. In a way you have supported him by hating him but listening to him.

      Rogers has him on a radio show as well, what does that tell you.


      • Old Bald Bird says:

        I don’t hate him, but I roll my eyes a lot when watching. He does have some good insights, but overall, I am tired to the Maclean/Cherry schtick. It’s like me — so dated.

    • third generation haber says:

      I’ve wanted Cherry gone since 1995. Do rednecks make-up such a big percentage of viewers that it’s necessary to keep this jack-ass on the air???

      He’s clearly a bigot and a disgrace to hockey.

      j.p. murray

  35. wjc says:

    Random thoughts:

    Not sure who will win today.

    Therrien will not be fired today, will have to wait for the next loss, to consider that.

    If Canadiens lose, they will play the Leafs tomorrow, the same if they win.

    If the Canadiens lose the next one or two, it will prove they are after a better draft pick.

    If Canadiens win the next two games, first place will be a reality.

    If Canadiens lose the next two games, 15th place will be a reality.

    We could have a brand new ‘scape goat’ by tomorrow night.

    Is a ‘weed wacker’ a good gift for your wife? Should I wrap it? Are they light enough to throw? Do they come with the little spools or are they extra. She already has a ‘snow shovel’. I love standing in the window with a hot chocolate and watch her fling that snow.


  36. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Sometime in the 1990’s, from HNIC: Ron MacLean “…and Claude Lemieux has just scored at the Pepsi Center.” Don Cherry: “That’s appropriate.” Ron MacLean: “What?” That about sums it up for me. See ya, Don. Don’t let the door hit you…

    • wjc says:

      Do not under estimate Ron Mclean. He will be retained, he is a marvelous talent. He can think on his feet and plays Don Cherry perfectly, that is how they have lasted so long.

      Mclean is as smooth as silk and is a permanent fixture no matter where hockey goes. My guess is there will be even more jobs created out of all these hours and games that will be played.

      Mclean is hockey and hockey is Mclean.

      You can pick any live incident and build a so called case, nice try, chum.


    • wjc says:

      Okay, Don Cherry says outrageous things, that why people tune in.

      MacLean says women should be allowed in dressing rooms, that is reasonable.

      Media hire women, they have to get the story as well. The players are usually dressed, after all there are camera’s in there to.

      You want to outlaw women from dressing rooms then you are cutting them off from equal opportunity and making it a mans job. Can you spell ‘LAW SUIT’

      Most athletes are smart enough about there image to behave. Most guys I know do not want to be in a dressing room with a bunch of nude guys running around. Can’t speak for you.

      This is the modern era of hockey and women have been liberated. Men go into dressing rooms to interview women and get the story, no big deal.

      MacLean expressed an opinion and that is what coaches corner is all about controversy and creating a buzz. It works more then it doesn’t. Try not to be so serious about the ‘WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS’ where the excitement never stops.


      • Habsrule1 says:

        Actually it’s “LAWSUIT” (one word).

        I like MacLean and I tune in to Cherry to see what he’s going to say next. I’d say I’m a fan of his while not agreeing with everything he says.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • wjc says:

          Habsrule, thank you for the correction…lawsuit is one word. really thanks. I mispelled MacLean and I think I misspelled….mispelled.

          I was thinking of putting a ‘e’ on the end of suit, but then that would have been suite….as in hotel suite…..very confusing for me, thanks for understanding.


          • Habsrule1 says:

            I took your word on MacLean….I think you were right on that one.
            Ya, lawsuite would be kinda weird….maybe that’s a hotel room that lawyers stay in? I’d have to Google it.

            No problem….I got yer back (I spelled your wrong on purpose).

            Go Habs Go!!

            “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  37. Maritime Ronn says:

    Some Habs feel good stats for a Friday morning

    1st – Average Goals Against per Game 2.00 (tied with Boston)
    17th – Average Goals per Game
    5th – Power Play
    11th – Penalty Kill

    Total Goals For/Goals Against differential +15
    That is good for 2nd place (tied) in the Eastern Conference

    In the first part of the season, several were concerned about the supposed Habs inability to score 5X5.

    Perhaps the better stat to look at is the “5X5 Goals For/Goals Against” ratio.
    Habs are now 8th for 5X5 Goals For/Goals Against ratio

    It’s all well and good to score a ton of goals 5X5, yet if a team is giving up more that it scores, those are wasted goals.

    5X5 Goals for:
    Florida: 46

    5X5 Goals Against:
    Florida: 56

    • 24 Cups says:

      Ronn – Here’s another interesting stat. Three teams in the West are tied for the last playoff spot at 34 points. That same point total would tie you for first in the East with Boston.

      I’m quite happy with a split during the next 48 hours. BTW, my son-on-law and I are donning our Hab jerseys (Guy Lafleur, the greatest Hab since Beliveau) to do battle in our local watering hole with laff nation. Should be a classic.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hey Cups

        Good luck in hostile territory, but Toronto is not Philly

        The West is killing the East this year

        Overall Wins vs. the East: 99
        Overall Losses vs. the East: 57

        Only Edmonton has a losing record against the East

  38. Cal says:

    Here’s one for all those people who are going shopping for Habs paraphernalia today.It’s Black Friday!

    • 24 Cups says:

      You’re way ahead of the curve this morning, Cal. Please go to the head of the class. The headmaster will be waiting there for you to acknowledge all that you bring to our site.

      I’m not sure what gift he will give you but you might want to bring a pack of matches.

    • wjc says:

      Which is better, I wonder, Black Friday or Boxing day, or February madness sales…or everything must go…doors closing forever sales or the five finger discount.


  39. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    It appears the Habs brass was in PEI this week and offered a 2 way contract to 20 year old undrafted Jack Nevins of the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL.

    Has anyone seen him play?

    It’s being reported that the Habs are 1 of at least 4-5 teams trying to sign him.

    Nevins is a big tough fella at 6’2-210 pounds and is also Captain
    He has 11 goals/29 points in 28 games and has already racked up 70 penalty minutes ranking him in 2nd place in the ‘Q’ for that category. He is supposedly not a great skater.

    The Habs must see something there to offer him 1 of the 50 precious max. contract roster allowed.
    If Nevins signs, that would put the Habs at the 46 contract mark as ELCs that “Slide” ( McCarron-Collberg-Fucale-Bozon-Hudon) don’t count towards the 50 contract limit.

  40. John Q Public says:

    Φ / π = ♥
    ♫ ☯ ♪ ☃ ♭ ☄ ♯ ✌ ♫

  41. myron.selby says:

    Man, I hate to be an I-told-you-so (OK, I lie – I absolutely love to be an I-told-you-so) but everyone who went on and on and on and on … about how Markov was burnt out and useless should step up and take their lumps (Timo – I’m looking at you).

    I said repeatedly (go back and check if you don’t believe me) that Markov would be much closer this year to the Markov of old than the old Markov we saw last year. What I believed then (and seems to have been proved out) was that with an off season of conditioning and a season of getting used to playing on a rebuilt knee, he would once again be (what he’s been for most of his career) Lidstrom lite.

    He will never again be as fast as he was at 28, but his knowledge of the game and his ability to anticipate and control it, make him, even now, one of the top D-men in the league.

    I have always loved Markov’s combination of physical ability, hockey IQ, passing ability and scoring. I don’t think there is a player in the league who can analyse, break down and destroy a 4 man box the way he does on the power play. He will always find the open man or drift into the optimal scoring position.

    So it makes me very happy to see the discussion shifting from “he’s useless, let’s see if we can’t get a 3rd round draft pick for him” to “how much will it cost us to sign him”.

    One thing that plays in Montreal’s favour is that he has always been very upfront about wanting to be a Hab. I remember the first time he could have become a free agent, his instructions to Don Meehan (?) were to get the best deal he could from Montreal because he had no interest in playing anywhere else.

    I sincerely hope that he retires as a Montreal Canadien. I doubt that his number will ever be retired, but even after watching the big 3 on D, he will still always remain one of my favourites.

    • The Dude says:

      And it’s the pefect time to pack him off in a major trade ….

      • wjc says:

        The old ‘trade him, while he still has value’ expression. Then the younger guys say “they traded Marky, piss on these clowns”.

        Loyalty is just another word for ‘see ya later’.


    • Lafleurguy says:

      A nice post to read first thing in the morning, Myron.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Phil C says:

      A Stanley Cup would go a long way to getting his number retired, wouldn’t it? Maybe even two, but I don’t wanna be greedy.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      If you send Markov off in a major trade, you drop a couple of places in the standings and don’t make the play-offs. So are you of the ‘tank’ persuasion, saying that the team is so far from making a splash that it’s worth doing that?
      Markov is the Habs’ best defenceman. Subban will pass him very soon, as long as Markov keeps mentoring him. Take the teacher out of the equation, and the student is going to stumble. Markov is playing superb hockey, but he is also essential to Subban’s development into a consistent star.
      Like Myron.Selby, I was lucky to watch Savard, Lapointe and Robinson play for the Habs. I’m also lucky to watch Markov, who would have fit right in in my daydream big four, and Subban
      who would still be a fifth D on that fantasy team, but who is learning fast and may yet be up there with Robinson.
      You need players to develop players. Look at Edmonton.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        Personally, I think Subban is the key to Markov playing so well. he has sure upped his game since being paired with Subban. Nothing wrong with Markov, but Subban did win the Norris playing without him.

        • Maritime Ronn says:


          Put Shea Weber with Mike Komisarek (instead of Seth Jones) and there’s a good chance his play would go south a bit.
          Look how Bowmeester is doing with Pietrangelo in St. Lou.

          • Old Bald Bird says:

            Synergy is a good word for it. I think Markov is playing lights out, but I draw the line at giving him so much credit for Subban. It’s like he can’t even get respect on HIO for goodness sakes. This “still has maturing to do,” while partially true about almost everybody, just doesn’t sit that well with me. The immature Soobie did win a Norris.

        • wjc says:

          I think they make each other look good. They are both threats, Subban needs Markov to be there when he takes off and Subban has a little bit of an edge this year with the rough stuff. Complement each other.


    • Habsrule1 says:

      I noticed you jumped on the Markov bandwagon after I posted about how good he was going to be.

      I like when people follow my lead 😉

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  42. Sportfan says:

    If Bryz plays the rest of the season like he did today Oilers could have a shot at 8th place.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  43. on2ndthought says:

    I wouldn’t write the sens off yet, it is early in the season. let’s not be leaf fans and be planning parades in November

    “a cannonading drive”

    • SlovakHab says:

      Writing someone off and planning parade for your team are 2 separate things. And I haven’t seen anyone on this forum doing the planning just yet. This team is very far away. We’re currently number 14 in the NHL based on overall standings.

    • Sportfan says:

      Not writing them off but they haven’t been as good as they could be.

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

    • Habilis says:

      I agree, it’s too early to write anyone off. Well Buffalo but they’re a train wreck.

      Still, I was never a big believer in this Sens team, mainly because their success was so dependent on Anderson playing out of his mind last season. He was bound to regress back to normalcy, otherwise he wouldn’t be on his third (I think) NHL team.

      Can’t say I’m sorry to see them struggle either. Their players aren’t a dirty group or anything, but I hate MacLean. Ever since that press conference with the “player 61” junk and then this pre-season with that gum spitting thing. Guy’s an arrogant jerk.

  44. Harditya says:

    Hate to be a downer during a winning streak, but what on earth has Bournival done to deserve 4th line minutes. He was on fire with the Plekanec line and I don’t know if Briere (or Moen) is an upgrade. Granted this lineup has won 4 straight games, but you don’t play guys like him for 7 minutes a night.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Have to say, that fourth line looks as good as any I’ve seen in a dog’s age. Is it the best use for Bournival? Maybe it is on this team. In a couple of years, our 4th line might be White/DeLarose/McCarron and Bournival can play 2nd or 3rd line. Patience is a virtue.

      “a cannonading drive”

      • naweed235 says:

        Hopefully McCarron is going to be more than a 4th liner in a few yrs. I have high hopes for this kid and I wont be satisfied unless he turns out to be at least a solid 2nd liner.

        • on2ndthought says:

          Hope so, too. He can still spend a year on the 4th line. I would love to have a team where the 4th line demands 15 minutes of ‘in your face and score some goals’ hockey. Call ’em 1st or 4th, who cares?

          “a cannonading drive”

        • SlovakHab says:

          Unrealistic expectations. You are setting yourself up for a disappointment.

        • Bill says:

          That’s expecting a lot from a very late first-rounder who was actually ranked as a second rounder. After the first ten picks, 99.9% of players never have an NHL career that lasts longer than 20 games.

          I’d be very happy if McCarron became a third-line regular, but not holding my breath.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

    • SlovakHab says:

      All lines have their purpose and the current setup seems to be clicking the best, when you take all 4 lines in account. Yes, few individuals like Bournival or Eller may complain, but the team is harder to play against than earlier in the season and to be honest with you, I don’t care about individual players. Habs win, I’m happy.

  45. DipsyDoodler says:

    Maclean’s thugs don’t look so good without a superhuman goalie do they.?

  46. jols101 says:

    Anyone else see the news story about the “knock-out game” that has become popular in the States and now in Canada.

    Unsuspecting people just going about their everyday business get sucker punched from behind by random thugs and get knocked out. It is brutal. What is this world coming to. I suspect when law enforcement figures out who started this charges will swiftly be laid against the Boston Bruins organization.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …once Our pot-smokin’ Mounties and Mayor Ford get on the case this will be but a fleeting concern

    • Bill says:

      It’s a fad being passed on amongst disaffected black youth in the USA and a very small part of Canada.

      If Obama had any imagination, he would hire black Grandmothers to patrol the streets where this is happening and get them to grab those kids by the ear and send them home.

      It’s such a bunch of nonsense.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • jols101 says:

        I live in Ottawa. I was just watching the news after the Sens game and they were reporting cases in Ottawa. They mentioned that it started in the States but has caught on with Canadian thugs. Craziness I tell you.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Droogs; let us convene to the promenade and tolchok some moodge in the litso, and see some krovvy, it’ll be dobby…

      Never mind, let’s just play hockey for for the bruins.

      “a cannonading drive”

    • Mavid says:

      I saw that on the news earlier this week and I thought WTF is going on in this world..in our day you rang doorbells and ran away, or if they were real jerks set a piece of shit on fire..this is just sick..and very very dangerous…

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  47. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …listened to the HIO broadcast with Farber, Stu & Dave

    …on the prospect TSN’s talent would move to Sportsnet; …Farber clearly sounds like that will very logically happen

    …on Farber’s opinion that da Weeds is no longer Montreal’s natural rival, indeed it is the Beans and da ‘diques when they return to the NHL; …I won’t quibble about the Nordiques, they certainly WILL be THE most reviled rival for Habs Fans

    …yet, I believe, now that da Weeds are back in Our conference, that Turdranna will reacquire that second most reviled (or disdained 🙂 ) rival to Our Team …both to Us old dinos and the younger Fans among Us

    …Boston number 3, IMHO

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Only if Toronto consistently are better than Bruins, I don’t see that happening for awhile.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …Montrealers, ex-Montrealers generally have this ingrained loathing of all things Toronto Gerald …especially the older You are

        …the Anglo-Montrealer felt it in their bones as well as the Francophones

        …maybe I have been away too long to have My finger on the pulse of those younger, but Boston (Cape Cod, Kennebunkport, et al) was a city I enjoyed visiting in the summers with My family …I liked the people, in contrast of the sterile alien feeling I used to have visiting Toronto

        …hate the Bruins ?, yes …’hate’ the city ?. no

        …Toronto ?, another story

        …irrational ? …maybe 🙂

        • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

          Agree with you on this one. I didn’t know who I was going to cheer for between Boston and Toronto last year in the playoffs, it was quickly decided.

    • Blondie says:

      It’s weird but I find myself looking forward to hating the Nordiques again….still.

  48. jols101 says:

    Bryzgalov with a shutout in his first start as an Oiler.

    Oilers 3 Preds 0.

  49. Bill says:

    Earlier I tried to research some trade possibilities between the Habs and the bottom-feeder teams of the NHL, like Edmonton, Calgary, Long Island, Florida, Columbus …

    I came up with nothing. They either have great players they’d never part with or absolutely terrible players we would not want.

  50. Bill says:

    24 Cups: Do you foresee a Canadian dollar that much lower? Hard to imagine given the comparative economics of Canada and the USA.

  51. Habcouver says:

    I’m hoping Burrows breaks his scoring slump because I loved his priceless imitation (to Kessel at a stoppage last game) of Kessel’s slash to John Scott.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  52. db says:

    Karlsson isn’t that scary on the PP in comparison…

  53. 24 Cups says:

    It just might be time to contemplate what an 88 cent Canadian dollar might mean to the NHL and it’s seven Canadian teams.

  54. Old Bald Bird says:

    It’s a provocative article by Todd, but if the future of the CBC depends on Don Cherry, dog help us all.

  55. Danno says:


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  56. kalevine says:

    is this the end for Latendresse? I remember he seemed to have so much potential when he first came up. Good shot and moves. Now, I wonder how much longer Pouliot lasts? Once it becomes apparent that a player in his mid-late 20s will never reach the hoped for milestones, why not pay a 21 year old minimal salary to do the same job, but with greater upside?

  57. Stevie.Ray says:

    Was the first year of Subban’s bridge contract prorated (or whatever that term was), or was he paid 2m for half a season?

    General consensus is he will make 7.5m over 8 years on his next contract?

    They should make the deal super convoluted.
    Year 1: 8m
    Year 2: 7.5m
    Year 3: 15m
    Year 4: 5m
    Year 5: 1m
    Year 6: 10m
    Year 7: 7.5m
    Year 8: 6m

  58. kalevine says:

    hmm Ottawa just scored thereby making my post a little more timid. Nonetheless Anderson was shelled in the 2nd period. It’s poor coaching that he is still #1 in Ottawa even though he hasn’t shown much since the playoff series against the Habs last year

  59. jols101 says:

    Denis Potvin may have been a great NHL dman and a 4 time Stanley Cup winner but he is an absolutely horrible color commentator.

  60. HabFab says:

    Bulldogs sign Jordon Owens to a PTO and assign Duffy to ECHL;

  61. jols101 says:

    Sens might want to re-think their “Fearless” motto.

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