New season, new division rivals for Habs

(File photo John Kenney: Goalmouth scramble during Canadiens’ season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013)

For only the third time in 14 seasons, the Canadiens will open their season at home. Less unusual is who the Habs will play against in their season opener on Oct. 1 at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens square off against the Toronto Maple Leafs as they have for the past four years. The Leafs won three of those games and also have an edge historically in the 14 times the division rivals have met in season openers between 1921-22 and January 2013. (The Habs won five of those match-ups.)

More than one-third of the Canadiens’ 82 games are against the seven other teams in the new Atlantic Division, part of the National Hockey League’s realignment, which takes effect in the 2013-14 season. The Habs’ former Northeast division rivals–the Leafs, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators–are part of the new division as well as the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Detroit Red Wings who have joined the Eastern Conference.

The Canadiens’ schedule also features more than a two-week gap between games in February because of NHL players’ participation in the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

You can read more about the Canadiens’ schedule for the upcoming season by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey here.

And you can read more about the NHL’s realignment and new division names here.


  1. Ian Cobb says:

    Our 7th annual 2013 HIO Fan Summit is, Oct 26th weekend.

    1st. I HAVE GREAT NEWS.!
    I do not need to sell preseason game tickets this year, in order to get us enough Summit game tickets.

    2nd. I was able to keep our ticket price the same as last year.

    3rd. To get your replacement tickets from me. You need to send me your last years tickets back, along with a self addressed, and stamped envelope. I have only 10 days to order our group tickets. Be prompt.!
    ” Check with your local post office for the correct postage, USA & Canada, get it right, so that you get your new tickets back”

    4th. Other people wanting tickets, or people wanting more tickets, you also must act quickly. You need to send me a Money Order (only) along with a self addressed, stamped envelope.
    White tickets= $110ea, and Grey tickets =$90ea. Again, I only have 10 days to get my order and money to the Bell Center.!

    We are staying at the Novotel hotel, discount rates at 866-861-6112 Tell them you are with HIO to get your discount.

    We will all meet and greet at Hurley’s pub Friday eve. on Crescent St.
    Some of us will be having supper there, and name tags will be given out.
    Everyone is welcome to join us. Wear you team colors! and enjoy the evening.

    Saturday morning, breakfast is at Chez Cora’s at 8:30am. 1240 Drummond St.
    You can order a la cart and everyone gets 15% discount off your bill.

    After breakfast we walk over to the Bell Center for the Hall of Fame Tour.

    At 3pm the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation charity raffle at the Baton Rouge restaurant 1050 Mountain St.
    Each person is asked to bring one gift item to donate for the charity raffle, so everyone gets a gift to go home with. After this years fund raiser, we will have donated over $10,000.

    Then our Baton Rouge Restaurant pre game dinner. With special guests.

    After dinner we walk across the street to the Bell Center and Hab’s game.

    After the game the 2nd floor of Hurley’s pub is reserved for us again, to celebrate the win. Anyone may join us, just identify yourself as a HIO member.

    Please be generous with your charity raffle gifts and your purchase of raffle tickets. It is a way for the HIO community to give back to less fortunate kids.

    Everything is walking distance, so park your car for the weekend.
    Enjoy talking hockey and meeting your wonderful HIO community at this years Summit.

    See ya there.
    Ian Cobb
    63 Village Dr. Belleville Ontario. K8P 4K2

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  2. commandant says:

    A look at the Goalies invited to Canada’s Olympic Camp

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

    • Chris says:

      I’m a little surprised, and disappointed, to see that Cam Ward isn’t in the mix. I think he’s right there with any of the guys listed when healthy and playing for a team other than Carolina.

  3. Lafleurguy says:

    Clutch. Phil Mickelson wins again in Scotland.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  4. Sportfan says:

    Maritime Ron has a great point Max has been suspended more than once for a hit, so he may have had to tone it down cause his next suspension could be a big one!

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

  5. Sportfan says:

    Not a great start to the second half right?

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

  6. HabFab says:

    “Following the lockout there was speculation Hainsey, who was heavily involved in CBA negotations for the NHLPA, might get “blackballed”. I believe the real reasons he hasn’t been signed is his offensive production has noticeably declined since his career-best 39-point season in 2008-09, plus he’s coming off a five-year, $22.5 million contract, so he has to lower expectations of what he could get on this summer’s market when the salary cap has declined. Hainsey is still a valuable defensive blueliner, and was linked recently to the Carolina Hurricanes, so I expect at some point this summer he’ll be signed by a club seeking experience blueline depth, though it’ll likely be on a short-term (1-2 years), less expensive deal, perhaps $2.5 million per.” Spector’s Hockey

    After the Lock-out there were reports that leading player negotiators would be “blackballed” from the NHL because of things that had been said. I certainly hope that doesn’t happen. Two of the other main negotiators were UFA’s and did not get any contract offers. One retired and the other went to Europe. A case could be made that those two NHL careers were already over. However IMHO, Hainsey still has some NHL play left in him and it would be extremely petty for him to be “blackballed”!

  7. Lafleurguy says:

    Who else is smart? 🙂
    Buffalonians know as much about the Atlantic as Detroitites.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  8. RiverviewCanadien says:

    – PK Subban should be captain after Gionta…PK is a frickin’ superstar.
    – I am wearing my Pacioretty shirt today…Max is awesome, I don’t understand all the negativity below.
    – Plekanec is still my favourite Hab and is our #1 center right now, so I hope he is NEVER traded.
    – I can’t wait for Galchenyuk to explode with his skills this season, he WILL be our leading scorer for years to come.


    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      I agree 100%

      Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!

    • Sal from the Hammer says:


    • Kooch7800 says:

      PK gives it is all every shift. The thing is it is hard to pick the captain cause we don’t know what people are like behind the scenes in the room and what relationship they have with each other. I am sure PK will get an A for sure but who knows about the captaincy

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • RiverviewCanadien says:

        I only know what I see, and I can’t think of anyone else on that team (maybe Plekanec) that should be captain. He plays his butt off every shift and has dedication 2nd to none in his training. This guy wants to win Montréal a cup.

        Some people think Gorges should be captain after Gionta, I think he is just an alright player who overuses clichés.

      • Chris says:

        How will he get an A? Markov, Gorges, Plekanec, Prust and Pacioretty are all ahead of Subban for the assignment of an alternate captaincy. That is a lot of leadership to clear out of the team to make room for him to get an A.

        Subban doesn’t need a letter to continue to be a vital cog in the team. PR-based leadership (Ovechkin in Washington, Lecavalier in Tampa Bay, Crosby in Pittsburgh) as often as not backfires. Montreal has no need of PR-based leadership to sell the team in the market…they are followed religiously.

        Subban is not fluent in French, he is not widely respected in the NHL by referees or opponents, and he rubs some teammates the wrong way. There is no compelling reason to give him a letter at this point in his career, and he’s still got years ahead of him to earn such a thing.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I thought we were talking down the road A year or two after Gionta is gone. Neither Pleks, Prust, Max, Gorges or Markov are fluent in French so that is really a non issue.

          We don’t know If Markov will be back after this season (along with Gio) and he leads by effort.

          I would agree Chris on your knock that about the ref’s and him taking a lot of penalties BUT he took a major step forward in that department last year and wasn’t beaking off to opponents as much either and I think this will get even better in a year or so.

          We also didn’t hear about him starting any fights in practice last year either. He is maturing and I think you will see him get better and better each year.

          He is a huge piece of the habs going forward.

          I would also say that PK deserves it more than Max P and gorges

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • RiverviewCanadien says:


          • Chris says:

            Regardless of who “deserves” it, Gorges and Markov have been the alternate captains to Gionta for the past couple of seasons.

            Tomas Plekanec has been routinely given an A as a fill-in when Gionta has been out with injury, and Prust was the most recent player to wear an A when Gionta went down to injury. Pacioretty has worn an A for a couple of games as well.

            Pacioretty, like Higgins and Komisarek before him, has been groomed for captaincy by the team. He’s smart, he’s articulate, and he doesn’t rock the boat.

            We are talking down the road, but I think that there is a logjam of guys ahead of Subban for the captaincy, especially if it goes to player vote as I suspect it will.

            If Gionta is dealt at the deadline or let go as a UFA at the end of the season, and Markov also leaves, I suspect the leadership group would be Gorges as the captain, with Prust (players and coaches love him) and Pacioretty (groomed to be the future captain of the club) as alternates.

            My point about French was that Subban is not fluent, so there is no compelling advantage that he has over the more senior players on the team ahead of him on the leadership chart. If he did speak French, I could see the team bumping him up the chain a bit, but that is not the case here.

            I wouldn’t be surprised to see Subban get an A in 3-4 years, as one of Prust or Gorges are likely to be gone by then. I would be surprised to ever see Subban as the team’s captain.

    • Sportfan says:

      Agreed with everything! THe Max stuff was trololololing

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

  9. HabFab says:

    2014-15 Salary Cap

    – 2013-14 Salary Cap of $64.3 ml
    – 2011-12 season had $3.3 billion in revenue
    – plus NBC TV deal at $205 ml per and Europe Cable deal at $10 ml per starting in 2012-13 season
    – no organic revenue growth between would give a Salary Cap of $66.6 ml
    – 5% organic revenue growth between would give a Salary Cap of $69.3 ml

    So a 5% organic growth combined with the new TV Cable deals would have the Salary Cap back to around a $1 million less then pre lock-out.

    The Habs would have 14 players under contract and over $28 ml to spend.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Frank, as long as some of that $28 million is used to keep PK in a Hab uniform I’ll be happy. Sounds like there will be plenty of money for him.

  10. nickster13 says:

    Anyone have any video editing skillz and is a big habs fan? Theres a job posting for video editor and visual media stuff. The employer is The Montreal Canadiens!
    Check it out!!!

  11. habstrinifan says:

    In all the Pacioretty talk I paused on this line from The Jackal.
    “…. he makes things happen…”

    Indulge me and spend a moment or two to think about the following question and answer in just a YES or NO… no embellishment. Maybe your one word answers will reveal the full impression of Pacioretty’s play.

    “In hockey cliche, does Max Pacioretty make things happen on the ice?. YES or NO!

  12. HabFab says:

    My favourite “advanced hockey stat formula”;


    • Habfan10912 says:

      That also works in reverse where the total of the individuals does not equal the sum of the whole. See the 2012-2013 NY Rangers or if you prefer the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays.

  13. Maritime Ron says:

    Amazing to read the negative comments concerning Max Pacioretty.

    Max is…24 years old with a Cap Hit of $4.5M for the next 6 years that with great probability, will be the one of the best NHL bargains.

    Questioning Max’s toughness is nothing less than a joke and the several arguments were well presented by other posters detailing his comebacks.

    Not physical enough?
    Max has been suspended twice for hits and easily could have been suspended a 3rd time for a hit on Ryan McDonough.
    His 3 game suspension after the hit on Letang made him an NHL marked man and since then, he has toned it down as any further suspension could be +5 games because he would be considered a ‘repeat offender’.

    Last year he was on track for 28 goals.
    He was the 9th highest scoring left wing in the NHL.

    In the last complete 82 game season of 2011/12 – and at the age of 22,… Max had the 7th most goals for a left wing tied with Patrick Sharp and ahead of Zack Parise, Daniel Sedin, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Dany Heatley, Chris Kunitz, Evander Kane, and…..Milan Lucic.

    Pacioretty: 33 Goals – 65 points.
    Lucic:……: 26 Goals – 61 points. (playing 2 more games)

    All of this was accomplished playing several hundred minutes less than most of the above mentioned names.
    Parise played 319 more minutes than Max. Heatley played 260 more minutes. Marleau? 237 more minutes than Max.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Ron, hope you are doing well.

      I wonder if the “Max should be tougher” calls stem from a feeling of wishing our Habs were bigger and nastier in general. Because Max is one of our bigger forwards it seems to me that people expect him to lead the charge of this new Mean (mien JB?) Habs team of truculence.

      I think Max is a wonderful player still developing, and I think his contract is very fair in comparison to other players. Do I wish Max could be more of a “Power” forward, sure I do, but I wish all kinds of things.

      This team is on a rebuild, albeit we may wish it was happening faster, but in order for a team to change its course while managing the cap, it can take some time. Other players will be brought in to provide the truculence many desire, in the meantime Max just needs to continue to progress in his development (As Chris very well explained further below).

      I do think that every time he tries to play with extra grit and sandpaper it seems he gets nailed with a suspension, while still having to get over the fact that he got nailed by a dirty play and the punisher was essentially told by the league, “Nice play”.

      Lets see what Max brings to the team this season, I think he also missed having Cole on his line bringing leadership and example to the power forward position. Not sure whom his other winger will be this coming season, but I look for a good season from Max.

      • HabFab says:

        What is this “tougher”?
        – Beating up or intimidating your opponents
        – Or not being beat up or intimidated

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Morning Burli
        Good points as usual.
        Sometimes it appears that certain posters always want some combo of Crosby hands-Bickell net presence-Lucic meanness all wrapped up in 1 player. Ain’t gonna happen.
        Max is going to be Top 6-9 on the US Olympic squad, but even that is good enough.
        It’s also interesting to note how fans of other teams don’t care about Daniel Sedin ‘toughness’ and the same being for Parise or Heatley or Marleau….

        It will also be interesting as to who will be his Center. Max played mostly with DD last year (and Gallagher) and was the Habs leading point getter even though DD was not the DD of 11/12.

        • Chris says:

          Daniel and Henrik Sedin are widely, including on this website, disparaged as the “Sedin Sisters” so I think their ‘toughness’ is questioned all the time. Marleau is widely perceived as a choke artist who disappears when the checking gets tight, while Heatley is viewed as selfish and unwilling to pay the price in the playoffs.

          I think all these criticisms of those guys are pretty puerile…they are all elite hockey players that just about any team in the league would love to have (with perhaps the exception of Heatley, whose off-ice demeanour makes him a tough fit in the dressing room sometimes).

          I couldn’t agree more however about how hockey fans all want everything in a player without realizing that such players don’t exist. Every NHL player in the league has flaws. What separates the greats from the goods from the mediocres are their talent level and, in rare cases, their work ethic.

          Pacioretty is talented and has a work ethic that is largely beyond reproach. He does have flaws (he’s weak defensively, and he doesn’t control the boards the way a man of his size should) but he’s a top left wing in the league and just hitting the age where power forwards typically take off. I have zero worries about Pacioretty moving forwards.

          • Maritime Ron says:

            Agree, yet let’s remember that Max is still very young. Remember Yzerman? He wouldn’t accept D responsibilities until he was about 30 and it was reported that the Wings seriously considered trading him. He saw the light and the rest is history

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Ron. Some of the post here concerning Patches have been some of the dumbest I’ve seen posted here. It’s disappointing to think that some of these comments may be written by Habs fans. At least the majority of comments are better thought out, such as yours.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Good morning Jim,

        Rest assured when other GMs come a calling MB, the names on their lists are PK, Max, Eller, and Galchenyuk.
        Not accusing anyone of being a troll, but it’s rather obvious that those posting negative comments towards Max-PK-Price are probably here because their respective newpaper or hockey sites have about 11 comments and there is no one to argue with…so why not throw out some junk and rile up the Habs fans?

    • Cal says:

      MaxPac has been producing while recovering from intense injuries. Did he come back a little too quickly after his last one? Yes, but he is that kind of player; he’s always wanting to be in and not a scratch.
      Know something? He’s only going to get better.

    • Sal from the Hammer says:

      Well said…

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Well put Ron. Max is out there to score goals and use his body to create room for himself and wingers. He is doing just fine and you are bang on about the cap hit for years to come. he took a haircut to have a long term deal and to focus on hockey.

      To come back and play like he has after the Chara incident and his quick recovery to injury shows his dedication.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Maritime Ron says:

        That night I believed he was dead on the ice. That could have had a huge effect moving forward but this guy is as tough as nails both physically and mentally

  14. HabFab says:

    Gionta and Gorges are the team leaders presently, so who becomes Captain if Gionta leaves is moot.
    On an other Gorges subject, everyone knows Carey gets married this summer but I heard the other day that Gorges got married also. Anyone else hear such?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Kind of different from what some were trying to spread about Gorges during the early part of last season eh? I thought I heard something about Gorges getting married as well, but haven’t seen anything recently.

      Morning Frank! Off to the course again shortly, have a good day bud.

  15. Phil C says:

    I am sure if the Habs asked Pacioretty to play more physically, he would, but that was not the system the Habs were playing last year, not even the fourth line. They were playing more of a puck pressure style using their speed to force the puck carrier to move the puck and cause a turn over. So instead of finishing every check, the forechecker would often peel off to maintain his speed to start a hard backcheck. I personally loved this style as there were many games where the Habs absolutely dominated the game with puck possession. It also played to the team’s strengths and usually avoided exposing their own D to a heavy forecheck.

    • habstrinifan says:

      It would be interesting to see the responses to your post.

      Point #1. I dont think playing a physical style, with and without the puck, is impractical to any system of hockey.. puck possession or otherwise.

      Point #2. I am quite sure that the HABS would NOT have asked one of their bigger and stronger forwards to ‘tone it down.

      Point #3. As has been described here many times, the HABS played a swarming type defence, which in fact does concentrate many bodies in small area and did expose the D to heavy and ‘group’ forecheck.

      • Phil C says:

        1. It would be easier if there was a game to watch, but if you watched a typical Habs game, the forwards generally did not finish their checks, as this would take the forward out of ths play. They instead would cut hard and continue to pressure the puck. This is different than finishing every check like some teams do.

        2. Players are told to tone it down physically all the time. Going for the big hit takes you out of position quite often, especially for defensemen. This is why a player like Gill was not physical at all. Emelin, White, and Subban are players who sometimes have to tone it down.

        3. By taking the play to the opponent in the offensive zone and neutral zone with an aggressive forecheck, there were many games where the opposition rarely got the puck beyond the Habs blueline. Instead of having to chase the puck on dump ins, turnovers were caused in the neutral zone. The heavy forecheck did not yield the redline for an easy dump in, resulting in exposing the D to a routine heavy forecheck like in the Martin era. I’m not sure how you can dispute this, it was the biggest and most obvious change in their system.

  16. HabFab says:

    Too EOTPed!
    What exactly does that mean?
    Too number oriented?
    Spending too much time debating advanced hockey stats?
    A condition caused when your Corsi is in conflict with your Fenwick?
    This is going to take more thought….

  17. Chris says:

    It would be great if Pacioretty used his size a bit more, but it really isn’t going to make a big difference for him production wise.

    And physicality is the least of his worries, in my opinion. For him to make the next step as a hockey player, I believe it is his defensive awareness that needs to be ramped up, not his truculence. Pacioretty remains a liability as a defensive player, and it is hard to consider him a particularly elite forward when his team has to protect him against the other team’s top players.

    The good news is that Pacioretty is still young (turns 25 in November) and he is a very smart player. He has improved his game every season in the league, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him improve rapidly in that regard this coming season, especially with the benefit of a full training camp.

    As for captaincy, the players will largely decide what direction that goes. Gionta was the first appointee in quite a while (although Koivu’s captaincy was firmly backed by management and the coaches when the players were voting), and I suspect that Therrien will want the players to decide their own rep. And in that case, Gorges will certainly be a popular choice as I think he’s respected by his peers on the team. Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty would probably be the other two candidates.

    Subban will get his chance later in his career. If it is a player vote, I don’t see him getting it.

  18. Roy_s_WINK says:

    Gorges will be our next captain after Gionta.

    MaxPac is one of the toughest players in the league.

    HIO is full of idiots sometimes. I relate to less than 0.01% of you.

  19. Un Canadien errant says:

    I’ve posted before on how some things get said on here, then repeated enough times that it becomes gospel. Last summer the tom-toms beat constantly for the Canadiens to ‘get rid’ of René Bourque, and of Andrei Markov, who was finished since he’d injured his knee like Bobby Orr did in 1974.

    This summer the Insane Brigade has taken potshots everywhere, loose cannons that they are, but lately they’ve been parroting at each other that Max Pacioretty is “soft”. Which is incredible. And completely wrong. It’s demeaning to a player who has shown nothing but courage and toughness so far in his tenure as a Canadien.

    Max isn’t soft. Your brains are. It’s as mushy as your logic.

    Click on the links below and tell me this guy is soft.

    We all remember him coming back from a broken neck, right? How about when he returned to the lineup weeks before it was expected from his splenectomy? These are the most spectacular examples of his toughness, but he has routinely played through pain and overcame injuries.

    Two seasons ago, he hurt his wrist in the eighth game of the season against the Panthers, knocking him out of the game. There were whispers that he might be out for weeks. He played in the next game and scored two goals plus an assist in a 5-1 win against Philadelphia. After the game he allowed that doctors recommend he sit out a couple of games to avoid the risk of aggravating the injury, but he didn’t want to miss a game against the Flyers. I didn’t see any clowns running around then squawking that he was soft.

    Look, you want to take a position that he doesn’t play physical enough, that you wish that he’d bodycheck more, muck and grind in the corners, joust in front of the net to get more garbage goals, then say that, precisely. Don’t say that he’s ‘soft’, because that’s inaccurate and untrue. It’s actually lazy and stupid to say that.

    • pmaraw says:

      ^^^^ go UCE!!!!

    • Da Hema says:

      QED UCe.

      Unfortunately, as you know, there isn’t any cure for stupid.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You had me gnawing at my tethers to respond UCE. I kept asking myself how am I gonna calmy say what I hope is being ‘requested of Pacioretty’ by many here on HIO. I agreed with you that Pacioretty CANNOT be described as ‘soft’ but…

      And then you answered.
      “Look, you want to take a position that he doesn’t play physical enough, that you wish that he’d bodycheck more, muck and grind in the corners, joust in front of the net to get more garbage goals, then say that, precisely.”

      You said it well.

  20. pmaraw says:

    so…. is habs1992 tom nickle? aka loonie?

  21. EL_PRESEDENTE says:

    ok here is one for you

    1. If Bourque is healthy, how many goals and points?
    2. can DD live up to his contract?
    3. how many goals/points for Erik Cole next year?
    4. which duo has more points, Bozak/Kessel or Pacioretty/Plekanec?

    “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the former.”- Albert Einstien

  22. H+ says:

    I don’t expect Max to start playing like Lucic. However there is a difference between using size to his advantage in terms of puck battles and positioning, and simply crushing everyone. One poster earlier said that he would be a 40-50 scorer if he used his frame wisely in puck battles and attaining scoring position. I think that’s a remarkable assessment.

    In layman’s terms, there is a difference between being a physical player, and a player who uses his size effectively.

    Malkin is not exactly the second coming of Terry O’Rielly, but he is VERY effective on the boards and seldom loses puck battles. One does not need to be a bonecrusher to be an effective player who uses size to his advantage.

    Max is neither. And it’s a shame.

    • habs1992 says:

      LOL your gonna get ripped cause you have a different opinion. Even though I agree with you.

      I support Carey Price
      “Habs Insider”

    • Marc10 says:

      Malkin is one of top 3 players on the planet. That’s a ridiculous comparison. He’s also played many more games than Patches. At his stage of development Max is just great thanks very much. He trains like a pro. He’ll eventually add other parts to his game… but please don’t compare him to Malkin. That’s just plain silly.

  23. habs1992 says:

    Guys its the summertime there is not much to talk about, so we just beat a dead horse for 100 days about Max being soft, guys get over it. I have my opinion you have yours.

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

  24. JohnBellyful says:

    So Pacioretty’s been taking a few hits, eh? The verbal kind, of course, cuz everyone knows how soft the guy is, he couldn’t handle the physical stuff.
    Whoa, whoa, I’m just repeating what’s been said – and has been said many a time on this site about big guys around the league who play two feet shorter than they are.
    The point is, there IS no guarantee that a player with size will have a rough edge to his game.
    Aggressiveness is a state of mind, not an attribute of physique.
    You could have all the tools at your disposal to be a tough guy – brawn, quick hands, quick feet, steel jaw, imperviousness to pain – but if you choose not to employ them to the detriment of your foes, then you’re a sheep in wolf’s clothing.
    And how long have we been hearing that Montreal could really use some grit? Because that’s what’s sorely lacking on the team – a nasty disposition.
    Well, that and height. And you can’t do anything about height.
    But you can do something about what’s inside the person, and that’s change his attitude.
    What am I saying? Not change his attitude, GIVE him attitude. So he can give it to others. Follow me?
    Now some might call what I’m proposing brainwashing. I prefer to call it mien control. Have the experts in ‘thought reform’ put some temper in players’ temperament.
    Take a guy like Desharnais. Or Diaz. Nice guys. Too nice.
    But if the one played like Theo Fleury and the other like Darius Kasparitis, think how much more effective they’d be. They wouldn’t be physically bigger but they’d play like they were. Willing to inflict pain – and endure it. All for the greater good.
    They’d still be short — under six feet — but they’d also be short-tempered.
    So there’s the plan, then: turn smurfs into snarks, with a little bit of help.
    Trust me, mind control – I mean, mien control – works. There’s been lots of documentaries done showing what people can be made to do with a little bit of mental manipulation: Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, The Manchurian Candidate, and just this year, Now You See Me.
    In truth, substantive character reboots can’t be done overnight, at least not the kind that will stick. For a transformation to be truly lasting and effective it must occur over a period of a few weeks. About the length of a training camp, I’d say.
    Practice in the morning. Lunch. Practice in the afternoon. Followed by video sessions. Individual ones, you know, to break down the self in order to build a new identity.
    I firmly believe this approach to player development offers a greater chance of on-ice success than rolling the die on line combinations.
    All it involves is merely changing players’ demeanour.
    And demeanour they are the better.

  25. JUST - MO says:

    If you wanna call Pacioretty soft not much I can do about that except to tell you. He puts up 50+ points every year which would put him in the top 6-on any team. A 1st line L/W I’m not sure. 2nd line Guaranteed.

  26. habs1992 says:

    LOL, I say I support Carey Price, and now im being accused of being Scott Gomez’s kid. Ok. All i said was I wish Max would use his size more. I know that is not his style but I still think he could finish his checks.

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

  27. EL_PRESEDENTE says:

    whats all this BS about maxpac being soft? sure he doesent always finish his check but that is not his job. His job is to score goals. And if i do recall he played with a cracked rib once. You cannot say he is “soft” by any means.

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

    • habs1992 says:

      Its a message board people are going to have different opinions, I thought that was the whole point of Discussion. But i guess we got to agree with everything lol.

      I support Carey Price
      “Habs Insider”

      • The Jackal says:

        You don’t have to agree with everything, but calling Pacioretty soft just suggests you’re either trolling or you just haven’t seen him play much. He may not be as physical as you and others may want him to be, but he is nothing close to soft.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  28. Un Canadien errant says:

    habs1992 JULY 21, 2013 AT 9:41 PM

    You guys are mis interperating me.

    Did you mean mis intempererrorrating me?

    In reality, you don’t care what you say, and how you’re perceived, you spout nonsense constantly to generate replies, that’s how you get your kicks. Calling Max Pacioretty soft is the latest of your unmoored lunacy. You should be embarrassed for such an attack, and have your HIO membership and status as a Hab fan revoked. But I suspect you wouldn’t mind, you’d lay low for a while, as you did after your shtick as the “I Support Scott Gomez” kid, go troll other websites for the Sens and Leafs and get your jollies there, then re-appear here with another handle and a new but tired shtick.

    Of course, the best course of action with a troll like you is to ignore you and hope you wither away.

    • H+ says:

      I’m not a big fan of Max, I’m sorry, but I just find him to be very soft.

      However, I agree with your feelings re the 1992 dude, he seems to style himself as a HIO shock jock and not in a good way like Timo.

    • The Jackal says:

      Hey UCE, I agree that calling Max soft is ridiculous, but you may be being a bit harsh on 1992.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Jackal, I respect your views and so I re-read my post just in case, but I’m comfortable with what I wrote and I’ll stand by it.

        I elaborated on my more general point in a post that clocked in at 02:02 hr.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Fantastic use of ‘unmoored’.
      Kudos for a great post.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Matty, I know I shouldn’t feed the troll, but I was in a frenzy and the words poured out of me.

        I don’t know where ‘unmoored’ came from, maybe Bellyfull will be able to say, it was from a Harper’s article, or a Financial Post feature or something, he’ll probably know. He once nailed me on my use of the word ‘plutolatry’.

  29. H+ says:

    First real post here guys!

    I like Gionta, he was hands down our best forward in 2009-10 and 2010-11, he had injury troubles in 11-12 but had a decent season last year with the equivalent of 23 goals, a typical year for him.

    I do believe that his time here is ending, he will be 35 next year and his repeated arm injuries are an issue. It’s sad, because he was (and to an extent still is) one of my favorite current Habs, but now is the time to invest in the next generation.

    I hate the lack of respect he gets here a lot. He was a good, loyal foot soldier and he has way more heart than the likes of Pacioretty and Moen and is still more useful than Gorges. It takes incredible courage for a guy that small to play in this league, let alone the physical, chippy style that he plays with. I see a lot of that in Gally. If we have to move him, let’s do it in a respectful, graceful way befitting a player who has been a good captain and forward for us.

    Show some respect.

    • Marc10 says:

      Welcome aboard.

      Gio is a champ. He’s just on the wrong side of 30 and really feeling it. His skating is amazing and provided he stays healthy and is protected by bigger and younger linemates who can carry more of the load you could see him remain productive in the League for a few more years for sure.

      As to the lack of respect from certain posters on this site… Well that’s the Internet in a nutshell, eh. Keyboard warriors are the norm and I get the frustration… We live vicariously through our Habs so the lack of success hurts some more than others. Best that they vent here than take it out on their dog. Don’t let them get you down and keep posting!

  30. JUST - MO says:

    Captain goes to plekanec. He has paid his dues. Missed about a dozen games since becoming a regular with the Habs and is a very knowledgeable player. puts up 50 + points every season. Best center on the team.

  31. twilighthours says:

    Punkster, you’re putting me in a position of having to argue against pacioretty, which I don’t really want to do. But he’s not a perfect player, not the best player in the world, so clearly there’s room for improvement.

    I’m sure you have opinions on where those might be. Here’s my opinion, based on 30 years of playing and watching hockey, a third of that time contact hockey, and coaching contact hockey for several years, too.

    Max pacioretty would be a better player if he had a stronger will to engage in and win battles, and more of an edge to his game.

    Notice that I,don’t presume to know how that might affect his production. But there are ways to be an effective hockey player without helping to create goals.

    Keeping the cycle going a little longer by breaking a check… Fighting a bit harder to get to the front of the net…. Taking a big hit to get the puck out… Give a guy a shot to,say “hey, im not going to be pushed around”… These things may never lead to goals, but would unquestionably make him a better player.

    I’m not trying to take a shot here, but there are aspects of hockey that the analytics folks still,can’t measure and may never be able to measure.

    I have been that guy on the bench, the guy giving it his all only to watch our most talented player not fully committed. It is frustrating and divisive. It’s incomprehensible.

    Is max that guy? I don’t know. I’m not on the bench or in the room. But I trust my eyes, and I watched all 53 games this year. What I saw was a player who could bring more. If he was hurt, fine. But if he wasn’t, then there’s room for growth – even if the point totals never improve.

    It’s not tangible, I know. Not some cold hard piece of fact that you’re looking for. But, to be frank, I’ve been in the rink long enough to know what I’m seeing. Maybe you have, too.

    And I didn’t respond to your post about max’s goals, because its really not relevant. I’m more concerned with his play when he’s not scoring.

    • punkster says:

      I played golf today and I played well so I have no intention of killing that buzz…and certainly not by playing “Stats versus Observations” against someone with whom I enjoy good natured banter.

      I will only say this. The third link I provided theorizes and summarizes, without referencing deep or mystical fancy stats, how and why Max could have scored more.

      In that regard I would suggest a combination of those theories plus your recommendations could make him better.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  32. habstrinifan says:

    Late with teh answers to 5 questions but MAN I love the LUV that Connor Crisp got for qestion #3.

    Remember I saw him first guys!

    • The Jackal says:

      Good old EOTP.

      I like their analysis, but my gripe with them is that they write so dryly about these stats, that they seem like mumbo jumbo to most people, which is why they don’t get taken seriously by the average fan or stat-sceptic. I think those stats and analytical framework helps to understand the game better, but EOTP would certainly benefit from writing about that data better – tell a story, don’t just put the numbers on the screen.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • punkster says:

        The statistical analysis game can certainly be dry though EOTP seems to be reaching out to a wider audience these days. They have more contributors, in English and French, and more non stats related articles, interviews and even humour.

        And that’s not a plug, just an observation from checking in there every day and reading their stuff.

        ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

        • The Jackal says:

          Yeah I agree.
          But when it comes to their stats articles, I wish they told the story the stats show, not just plug the numbers in, it is drier than my statistics text book was!

          If they could tell the narrative instead of showing numbers, it would help people understand the stats way more and help shake off the notion of stats in sports being kooky.

          People say “you can’t moneyball hockey,” but stats just tell you what happens on the ice in a different way, it deepens the understanding and analytical horizons of the sport. Which is why I visit EOTP, but man I wish their stats talk was user friendly!

          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    So in keeping with the Team Canada selection theme, Claude Julien is one of the Asst. Coaches. Will his influence put Brad Marchand on the Olympic Team? I really hope not, generally I do find it easy to cheer for most or all of the players representing Canada. I don’t think a Team Canada sweater can make me cheer for the little weasal.

    • twilighthours says:

      He’s got to be in the discussion, though

    • habs1992 says:

      I think it be good to have him on the team. You need those type of players. Its all about Canada during the Olympics not about the team you play for in the NHL

      I support Carey Price
      “Habs Insider”

    • Adidess says:

      He’s talented, but not elite. Can’t see how he’d make it against such competition among forwards. I’d have a hard time cheering when he scored too, but am confident that is something we won’t have to worry about, at least not for the Olympics. World championships, maybe.

  34. Adidess says:

    Moved. Self-modded

  35. Mark C says:

    Why do people care about who is or who should be captain? As fans, we have access to what 10%, 20%, (pick a number, but it clearly has to be low) of the relevant information in determining the abilities of captains.

  36. habs1992 says:

    By soft I mean he is not Physical, He does not hit or use his size to intimdate people. I dont question his will or desire. You guys are mis interperating me.

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

    • Mark C says:

      He shouldn’t be running around trying to hit and intimidate players, he should be trying to score. Which he does at a very high rate.

      • twilighthours says:

        Would hitting opponents make him a worse player? Less likely to score?

        • Mark C says:

          No, but can’t you make this argument be made for every player not named Matt Martin?

          It’s not like he doesn’t hit people, he had more hits than Chris Steward, who everyone fawns over as a power forward.

        • punkster says:

          This is becoming the silliest of all silly discussions I’ve seen on here.

          First, not one person has produced hit stats on here that would support (or not) any assumption that Max has to hit more.

          Second, not one person has produced any stats on here that would support any assumption that any player would be more likely to score if they hit more.

          Third, hit stats are likely one of the least accurate compiled by the league.

          Fourth…this is entirely a topic made up by someone who seems to love the attention derived from the responses he/she gets on this site no matter what those responses may be.

          ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

          • twilighthours says:

            You’re becoming too EOTPed. Do I need to cite stats to make a point?

            Body checking is a legal and effective manoeuvre in hockey, especially when one has the size and strength to deliver checks. Patches rarely does this, even though he has shown he is capable of it.

            I don’t even really care if he hits (not my original point), by the way.

            My point was: get your nose dirty. Play like Gallagher.

          • punkster says:

            Twi, then show me this will increase his production, give me some facts, numbers, stats, whatever that will provide some evidence…at this point the entire premise is based on nothing.

            ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

        • ABHabsfan says:

          he sure smoked Letang a couple seasons back

          “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
          Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

      • habs1992 says:

        I disagree I think he should be finishing his checks when ever he can and he doesn’t. I never said running around going out of his way to hit.

        I support Carey Price
        “Habs Insider”

      • punkster says:

        I’d prefer he not be intimate with other players during games and in front of all those cameras either…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  37. SmartDog says:

    1. Opening night – do we beat the Laffs? If yes, would you bet on it?
    2. Will Hamilton be a playoff team this year?
    3. Aside from McCarron, which newly drafted Hab is mostly likely to become one of YOUR favorites down the road and why?
    4. What’s the best move Bergevin has made in the last month?
    5. If Gionta was moved, who would make the best Habs Captain?
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • ABHabsfan says:

      1. Yes, I will bet on it. I will take the Habs over the Laffs every day forever. It’s a flaw in your character if you don’t
      2. yes, because Tokarski will be in net all year
      3. Connor Crisp,love that handle and he played a little goal, when he had to
      4. Not matching Philly’s term and $ for Vinny
      5. PATCHES!! Just to get my point across from the ongoing conversation with The Insider (1992) who thinks Patch is soft! Baaaa!

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • FishOutOfWater says:

      1. We lose to the leafs
      2. Yes but barely
      3. Tinordi hands down to the big man.
      4. Probably Parros for nothing
      5. Gorges. later on maybe Gallagher, Maxpac or Tinordi

    • Puck Bard says:

      1. TO (may I burn in hell)
      2. The Ti-Cats?!
      3. Tinordi
      4. McCarron
      5. Timo

      “arrest this girl, her hitler hairdo, is making me feel ill”

    • Adidess says:

      1. We win, but I wouldn’t bet much on it
      2. I think so (or is it hope so?)
      3. I like CONDON (because there is a Price if you keep Fucale without CONDON)
      4. Pondering over and over and over over moves to make
      5. You gotta have somebody who you know will be around long term so you don’t change Captain again in 2 years, but I don’t think our young guys are ready. Tough call! I say PK, if the decision is made a year from now, not before.

    • The Slacker says:

      1. The laffs outgoon us (but barely; we get a few good ones in), we outplay them and win. I’d bet a finskie

      2. Most probably

      3. Crisp, heard many a comparison to Neil. As much as I hate the guy I wish we had someone on our roster who fits that mold.

      4. I might get hated out for this one, but Parros. I feel we need a brawler. He might be on the other side of the hill but I feel he still has a good amount of fight left in him. Hopefully he can roll with Orr/McLaren/Lucic et al.

      4.2 The new goalie coach (Waite… Stephane was it?) seems like a bright move. Bergevin looks like hes borrowing a page or five from the Blackhawks Tome Of Cup Winning

      5. Patches. Or Plex, if he doesn’t get traded pending I figure Patches will have a hell of a year if he stays healthy and none of his organs explode. And I mean a 40 goal good year.

      Good quiz SD

    • c.robillard says:

      1. We lose, in a shootout, so no one really freaks out.
      2. Hamilton will have a better season, but still not enough experience to make the playoffs.
      3. I think Quebec-native Zack Fucale could be a superstar in this city if he fulfills his potential. Carey is one of the top goalies in the league, but a few years from now, after some experience backing up Price, I could see Fucale taking over as starter and that would be great for Habs marketing.
      4. Drafting a man the size of McCarron. This addresses our size issue. It’s up to management to develop his NHL-skill so that he can step in and have an impact when he’s ready.
      5. This is harder than I thought to answer. My first instinct is Josh Gorges. The guy is 110% character, however throughout Habs history, our captain has always been an offensive force, which Gorges is not.
      My next thought would be Andrei Markov, who was debated to be named captain last time around and was beat out by Gionta. I don’t think Markov would re-sign with the Canadiens after his contract expires in July 2014. Unless he took a pay-cut and accept a secondary offense role behind Subban.
      Which leads me to my choice for Captain should Brian Gionta be moved. P.K. Subban.
      He’s clearly the most offensively talented player on the team. He has the ability to slow down the play. He can devastate opponents physically, and can slip by defenders smoothly. He has a terrific slap shot, and above all, he leads by example.

    • Steven says:

      1) I say we do. Not sure if I’d bet on it outright though, the Habs have had some pretty poor first games against them the last few years.

      2) You have to feel that they will be. At least they added a few players. It would help the young guys to go play in a professional playoff season.

      3) I’m gonna say Fucale if he ousts Price or Andrighetto if he doesn’t. The latter looks like he’ll be an offensive beast if paired with big linemates.

      4) Gotta be the Parros trade. He gave up pieces we really don’t need for a guy who might be a big part of the team at least for next season.

      5) I would give it to Subban. Plekanec is probably a more reasonable choice, but I don’t know if he’ll be around when we eventually win the Cup, so ideally you give it to one of those guys.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      You guys all SUCK if you would not bet on your team to win, especially against the Leafs. I’m embarrassed for all y’all.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • Marc10 says:

      Always great questions…

      1. No. We never seem to get up for those guys. I’ll never bet against the Habs but definitely would not bet on this game.
      2. Good question. Depends on goaltending. 50/50
      3. Andrighetto. I hear good things.
      4. Not spending stupid money on UFAs
      5. Brandon Prust

  38. Bill says:

    Habs1992: well then … what do you consider soft exactly?

  39. Bill says:

    Habs1992: is that your confirmed opinion of Max Pacioretty, our team’s leading scorer the past two years, who has played through more documented pain than any Hab in recent memory?

    • habs1992 says:

      No you raise valid points, I dont question his work ethic or is will. But he is soft.

      I support Carey Price
      “Habs Insider”

    • twilighthours says:

      See below, Bill. And you know how I hate giving Habs1992 any ammunition.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Agree Bill, if our “insider” 1992 mentioned that comment to Patch in person, I suspect he would be dining on his own soup sandwiches for the foreseeable future. You can’t knock Patch it’s out-of-bounds, he has already proven himself with the comeback from that horrible incident and scored 30+. We’re lucky to have him and yah, he’s captain material

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  40. The Jackal says:

    Just wondering: where are these posts about Pacioretty being soft coming from? Have these people seen him play? Soft?
    WTF? This probably comes from the same people who said he was a hard mother fu—- after coming back from injuries so quickly and being better than he was before injury.

    Short-term memory issues???

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • habs11s says:

      The same people that anointed Gorges as our next captain a few seasons ago…


      “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

    • twilighthours says:

      Not at all. He was hurt for some of the season, sure. But he simply didn’t play a hard enough game, especially given his size and strength.

      His game is not one of a captain’s.

      • The Jackal says:

        The captain’s bit is still up for debate I guess. But hey, you remember before this season, he played a hard-nosed game. He had a few nagging injuries during this short and condensed season, and factor in his suspensions for hits he thought were clean, and he may have just been playing with a bit more caution. We should give him another season to see what is up.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • twilighthours says:

          I’ll give him many more seasons. I don’t want to trade him, he’s an incredibly valuable player. But it should be obvious to everyone that he could add some nastiness, some physicality to his game. Some willingness to get belted.

          Basically, play more like Gallagher.

          • The Jackal says:

            That would be nice, but remember, he is a sniper – if he wants to be more physical he will be, but let’s not try to make him something he is not just because of his size. He’s been a scoring leader for us for the last 2 years and he is not “soft,” and certainly does not lack character.

            Being more like Gally would be good, but if that is not the player he is, then we should not lament that because it has not really hurt his game at all.

            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • twilighthours says:

            Could he be better? And what would it take?

          • The Jackal says:

            Well, like you say, being more physical could theoretically make him a better player by making him more complete, but, if that is not his style, trying to force that may be too much.

            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Marc10 says:

      Like his linemates he had a tough shortened season. For whatever reason (and I suspect a lot was injuries and just not getting on song with DD and Cole this time around… and then getting shown up by the spark-plug Gally) his game was characterised by a lot of perimeter play. In the playoffs he was completely banged up and ineffective.

      And because like most Habs he can’t/won’t drop them or doesn’t play an overly aggressive game (with a frame like that you’d expect him to smash people more often… like he did when he got pissed off at McDonaugh and ran the poor sucker’s head into the glass…), he’s labelled as soft.

      Is he a power forward? Yes he is. Is he soft, not really. But he’s no Rick Tocchet or Kevin Stevens… the kind of guys you think of when you think of prototypical power forwards. Ideally if he could turn into a John Leclair type that would be ideal – not a mean or dangerous guy, but a big body who can light it up. Can he be that guy by himself? I don’t think so. But find him another matching forward with speed (like an in-form Eric Cole) and he’ll be a force. I guess that’s why MB was rumoured to be after Bickell and willing to overpay.

  41. Adidess says:

    It does feel like Gionta no longer fits the team as Captain. He was the feistiest veteran on our team of feisty underdog ‘smurfs’ (meant endearingly) between 2009 and 2011. It worked, though I never quite saw/felt that natural aura and je-ne-sais-quoi which tend to come with being Captain of the Montreal Canadiens. Koivu was small too but he had IT!

    Over the last two years, Gionta hasn’t been around the team very much and we seem to be building a lot more around skills, size and youth, with eyes set on longer-term horizon. Even the transition seems to require something/somebody other than him. Today, I view his leadership position more as a ‘relic’ of the recent past (the Gainey-Gauthier era) than as a key cog of the present, let alone one with which to move into the future.

    But you go away from him by trading him, for sure. No other way to do it. If there are takers, I expect to see MB look to move Gionta this year. He’s probably praying that the captain comes back early and healthy just so he can do something by the deadline.

    All of this based on my personal feelings and speculations of course. This is in no way CONFIRMED.

  42. chanchilla says:

    anyone else think sam gagners asking price is ridiculous, he wants 5.5 mil a season. he had 38 points last season but im pretty sure he had like an 8 point game or something ridiculous like that.

    • habs11s says:

      100% agree. He had a good season last year. Can he keep that points per game percentage during an 82 game season? I don’t think so…


      “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

      • chanchilla says:

        I just don’t understand it, and i don’t think he’s a bad player, but 5.5 mil a season just seems bogus. I could see him getting paid 3.5-4 but anything more than that i don’t know.

        • habs11s says:

          Maybe he’s trying to get the Hall and Eberle treatment in terms of a contract…


          “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  43. Mattyleg says:

    I can’t beleive it.
    Good things actually DO happen to good guys.
    For all his work as a 3rd/4th line grinder, the NHL has finally done the right thing and named a division after Glen Metropolit.

    Good for him.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  44. habstrinifan says:

    If Habs had landed a player like Lecavalier, it could have been reasonably argued that he would have come with an imposing presence.

    Two reasons..

    He would have come with the de facto mantle of ‘franchise face’ especially from the French segment of the fans.

    His stature in the NHL surpasses that of any present HAB, despite the fact that he has passed his prime.

    It is fair to say then that he could have changed the ‘culture’ in the room.
    Our leadership base is staid and while they may mouth the cliches of competition, I, for one, am not convinced that they do indeed have the drive to be an elite team.

    While Briere is a ‘big’ signing I dont think he will affect the leadership base…. unless he performs beyond current expectations and gains the acclamation of the fans as the de-facto leader.

    Is it a fair question to ask. Do you think that MB needs to make a move which affects the leadership base of this team, and therefore changes the ‘staid culture’ of the room. He can do this by trading a ‘leader’ and creating a vacuum which could be filled by someone like Briere or one of our ‘youths’. Or he could do this by acquiring a leader.. which however may be too expensive in salary and assets.

    Any thoughts?

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Habs have no issue with trading the Captain it would seem over the past number of years; Turgeon, Keane, Carbo were traded and Saku was allowed to walk. Gionta, Markov or Gorges could be moved; there are new leaders ready for the mantle, IMO anyway.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

      • habs11s says:

        Patches for Captaincy?


        “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

        • ABHabsfan says:

          At minimum he has an “A” within the next 2 years. I am hoping he plays for USA in Sochi. The Americans need to pass the torch as well

          “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
          Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

        • twilighthours says:

          Settle down there, Tex. He’s gotta take a hit and go to the net once in a while before he gets the cheddar on his jersey.

    • Mark C says:

      Why is Vinny such a good leader? Didn’t he get the C taken away in Tampa?

      • Steven says:

        Somewhat surprisingly, he played out his time in Tampa with the C on his jersey. He lost it with the buyout, not before.

        • Mark C says:

          No, I’m talking about before Tampa won the Cup. I’m 99% sure he had his C removed.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            You can google. If I remember correctly, he had some run-ins with John Tortorella, who stripped his captaincy, which was later restored. But you can do your research and ascertain this.

  45. Chris says:

    Regarding Subban’s candidacy for the Olympic Team, he is definitely in the mix. Reigning Norris Trophy winners don’t get snubbed from an invite to the orientation camp.

    But there are some question marks:

    1) Subban has to show that last year wasn’t a fluke. Most Habs fans have seen what he did last year as a natural progression because we follow the team so rabidly, but I suspect many around the league are waiting (hoping?) that he falls back this season. If there is a fall-off, I suspect it could hurt his ability to be selected disproportionately because of how much he grates on a lot of the power players around the league.

    2) He’s got stiff competition at right defence.

    Brent Seabrook was on the 2010 gold medal team partnering his Blackhawks partner Duncan Keith. Barring a dramatic drop-off in form from Seabrook, he will definitely be there again this year. He kills penalties, he contributes decent offence (8 goals vs. Subban’s 11 last season), he’s more physical and he’s far more disciplined (9 minor penalties vs. Subban’s 21 last season).

    Drew Doughty is virtually guaranteed to be there again. He was the best defenceman on the 2010 gold medal winning team, and has been the top defenceman in the playoffs the past two seasons. When the chips are down, Doughty performs.

    So the last spot (or two if they decide to carry an extra RD) is going to come down to Pietrangelo, Letang and Subban. Letang had the best offensive numbers last season, while NHL executives strangely adore Pietrangelo despite his defensive shortcomings. Nobody can afford to get off to a bad start next season because people will be looking for reasons to NOT include players.

    The other problem for Subban is that the team already has some shooters on the blue line: Weber is a shooter, and so is Seabrook. Keith and Doughty have also demonstrated their ability in that regard, but they are better distributors at this point of their careers. So a big factor will be what the team feels it needs most: a puck-mover and passer to get the elite forwards (Canada’s biggest strength) into the mix or a shooter like Subban, who still has some work to do on his reads and passing in the offensive zone.

    Montreal built their offence almost entirely around Subban and Markov up top, and it was effective until teams rushed them (see Boston and Ottawa for examples). I think Subban will be even better this year, as the extra year of experience and a full training camp will really help his reads, but he’s by no means a lock even with a Norris Trophy on his mantle.

    Steve Yzerman was routinely rated the 3rd best forward in the NHL in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, but he was left off both the 1987 and 1991 Canada Cup teams because he wasn’t seen as the best fit. If it can happen to Yzerman, it can certainly happen to Subban.

    • Cape Breton says:

      Norris winners are automatic. Enuff said!!!!!!

    • H+ says:

      Doughty is really a shadow of his former self. He racked up 59 points in 2009-10 but has not scraped 40 since. He’s on the wane IMO.

      • Chris says:

        Doughy is in the process of evolving into an elite two-way defenceman. He logs huge minutes for a successful team, and he’s been improving his defensive game by leaps and bounds from the Mike Green-esque player that he once was.

        Don’t be surprised to see his offence rebound now as his defensive game has gotten to the level expected of a guy in the discussion for the best defenceman in the game.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      A tremendous amount of talent on Team Canada’s defence Someone also mentioned the fact that PK being such a young player will have more opportunities in the future and that could very well work against him. Me? Looking through my Hab’s colored glasses, I want him on the team. 🙂

    • Sportfan says:

      I like Habs in the Olympics, but at the same time hate the risk of injury so I’m good either way.

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

    • ABHabsfan says:

      That team will be a tough nut to crack, even with a Norris in your back pocket. I think PK needs to have a great first half to keep his spot, I say “keep” because if the team was picked today you would have to take the Norris winner, no? What sets PK apart, I believe, is his skating ability which is superior to any of the other D-men on the right side. Weber and PK on the same PP will give the Can coaches woodys ( can I say woodys?) and the opposition fits. PK is just plain better than Letang so he makes it over him IMO. Seabrook makes it as well on the right side D.
      Maybe if Mike Richards is on the team, and I believe he will be, he and PK can room together!

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • Cape Breton says:

      Go on all u want about keith, Seabrook, doughty, letang, etc. But we all know who won the effin NORRIS?

      • habs001 says:

        Also have to consider for all trophy winners that this year the regular season was only 48 games and the 2 conferences did not play each other…individual awards have much less value than in a normal season

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Nice post, but all of that was covered – and much more, on the last White thread.

    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      Great post, lots to think about. I don’t think there’s any chance Subban is left off this team. Competition is stiff, but it’s Letang & Doughty who should be worried, not Subban the Norris winner. PK has THE BEST shot in the NHL (Yes, Weber’s is great too), and his skating is unparalleled by any of these defenseman on the list except maybe Keith which is a HUGE advantage on the big ice.

      1) No chance it’s a fluke. It’s scary to think that PK is just STARTING to reach his potential and is already winning Norris trophies.

      2) Agreed. But does Seabrook make the team just because he plays with Keith? I think yes, but it’s a question worth asking. I think Doughty is a long shot more than a shoe in. I think Subban Pietrangelo and Letang all make it.

      3) Don’t forget injuries, there’s a good change one of the probables can’t play when they get hurt – it’s a long season.

      My Picks:
      Seabrook, Keith
      Weber, Subban
      Staal, Letang
      (Sorry Doughty fans)

      Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!

  46. Cape Breton says:

    I’ve been a fan of Canadiens since I was 7 years old in
    1963, but no matter about anything else in the whole universe, even my favorite golfer Mickelson winning today’s Open, and PK’s Norris win, nothing in the entire sporting world compares to the signing of the great, great nobody Ryan White. Wow, what a relief that he is still with us!

  47. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …gotta give a lot of love to Ian Cobb

    …must be one HUGE pain in the butt for him trying to talk sense to the mandarins of the Bell Centre that the HIO shin-dig is all about bringing in Fans from out of province, out of country that would unlikely be attending a game in Montreal without Ian’s HIO Summit

    …then put-up with the obtuseness to require He also sell over-priced pre-season tickets

    …even if Ian solves the problem, I understand the stress on Ian being a former organizer Myself

    …give Ian a load of appreciation for what He does for His love of fellow Habs Fans …He’s one in a million !

  48. Sportfan says:

    New Season New Schedule New Thread! YAY now HIO trolls find something else to complain about lol

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

  49. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …new thread ??? …there IS cheese on the moon !

    …so, what will We make up today ?

  50. frontenac1 says:

    Good to see Phil do it. Tiger got caught cussing on TV? Maybe those Scottish cocktail waitresses didn’t like Tiger”s Wood? Saludos amigos!

  51. Dr.Rex says:

    For those wondering why no news on Morrow, its actaully quite simple.

    – Morrow’s 2 year deal is hinging on whether the Habs complete a deal for CLifford in LA.
    -The CLifford deal hinges on whether or not we complete the 6 player deal with Philly for Coburn etc. Moen being traded in this deal kills the LA deal.
    – Philly dealing Coburn to Habs hinges on whether they can get a deal done with OIlers for Gagner which would include Coburn.
    – The deal for Gagner all depends on how much he gets in arbitration. IF its over 4.5 million nobody touches him. IF its over 3.5 then the oilers gladly trade him.
    – The Gagner arbitration hearing hinges on whether the OIlers decide to negotiate a long term deal with Gagner with fair dollars and then trade him to Washington in a deal for Mike Green.
    – The deal for Green hinges on whether or not Washington decides to deal Green to Montreal for Markov and Collberg.

    See, its actually quite simple.

  52. JF says:

    New thread, but still nothing hockey to talk about, so this post is about the Alouettes. Anyone who watched them collapse last night after taking out a 24-0 lead over Calgary in the first quarter will have had a déjà vu feeling from the 2011-12 Habs. Great start followed by absolute meltdown. I’ve been watching the Als’ first few games to see how bad they are. Last night confirmed my impression that they’re dreadful as well as being badly coached. It’s not even as though the Stampeders had to claw their way back into the game and then scratch out a victory by a point or two. They stormed back, marching past the Als without looking over their shoulders, so to speak, to post a convincing 38-27 win.

    I’m beginning to wish Calvillo had retired at the end of last season and that the Als were entering the post-Calvillo era with a new quarterback. They’re going to have to do it sometime, and one can expect a couple of difficult seasons when they do. As it is, this season looks like being a total loss, and Calvillo will end up retiring with a feeling of bitterness.

    Jim Popp has taken some bizarre decisions recently. Last year we had a defensive coordinator who had had little success working with defence; this year we have an offensive coordinator who most recently coached the Arizona Cardinals’ offence to be among the worst in the NFL. And I have to think there could have been a better choice as head coach than Dan Hawkins (although he seems like a nice guy).

  53. Chuck says:

    I like how the NHL named a division after the new Metropolitan time zone.

    Anyone but the Sens! (Check.) And Boston (Triple check.) Oh, and the Laffs, too. (Double check.)

  54. HabFab says:

    John Shannon – Canada will announce a list of players invited to their Olympic Orientation Camp tomorrow.
    – Biggest question mark will be in Goal. Hearing Luongo, Price, Crawford, Smith and Holtby will be invitees to camp.
    – Camp will be in Calgary the last week of August.
    – USA Hockey will also announce list of players invited to their Orientation Camp tomorrow.
    – USA Camp is in D.C., Aug 25-27.

    • Chris says:

      All good choices. But one thing that really jumps out is that Canada’s historical advantage in net is basically gone. Here are the likely candidates for some of the other countries:

      Finland: Rask, Rinne, Niemi, Lehtonen, Backstrom

      Sweden: Lundqvist, Markstrom, Fasth, Lehner, Enroth, Lindback

      United States: Quick, Schneider, Miller, Howard, Anderson

      Russia: Bobrovsky, Nabokov, Bryzgalov, Varlamov

      Czech Republic: Pavelec, Neuvirth, Vokoun

      Slovakia: Halak, Budaj

      Switzerland: Hiller, Gerber, Conz

      Finland and the United States suddenly have an embarrassment of riches to choose from (remember when the U.S. had been so weak that guys like Brian Boucher used to make the team?), while Sweden (Lundqvist) and Russia (Bobrovsky) appear to have elite goalies as their go-to #1 (although Nabokov gives the Russians a legitimate option if they need a veteran).

      Missing from the Canadian list is Cam Ward…I would be shocked if he weren’t invited. If he’s on a good team and healthy, Ward is one of the better goalies in the NHL and he’s certainly shown he can be clutch.

      • Steven says:

        Looks like Finland has the tenders to fear this year. You could make a case that either of Rinne or Rask is the best in the league.

        Canada sort of has a dark horse thing going with the goalies, though. If you assume our top 3 are Price, Luongo and Crawford, any one of those three guys can catch fire and steal the show. The question is, will they?

      • Hstands4Hockey says:

        Canada’s been screwing itself by allowing overage foreign Goalies in the CHL. Now that this rule has been changed, we should see a return of quality goalies coming from Canada in a few years.

        Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!

  55. sreuel says:

    Old news from 2 days ago

  56. Timo says:

    My man Phil wins.

    • 24 Cups says:

      He did so by playing smart golf instead of being a riverboat gambler.

      Six second place finishes at the US Open could be his Achilles Heel. He probably only has a few more kicks at the can.

  57. 24 Cups says:

    Thanks to Brenda Branswell for stepping up and starting a new thread.

  58. habsnuts says:

    i miss the old thread

  59. Thurston says:

    Is there a new thread yet?

  60. Dunboyne Mike says:

    … it feels like the end of the Poseidon Adventure… following Red Buttons out through the hole cut in the hull, blinking in the light, very disoriented, survivor feeling, collegiality, the old familiar world looking less than familiar…

  61. Ian Cobb says:

    Has White been signed yet?

    Summit News link below.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  62. FishOutOfWater says:

    this place gets a new thread and all anybody has to say is first lol.
    quite constructive.

    Im excited for the new season and Detroit games.
    Also very excited for MTL osheaga music festival. itll be great to spend the weekend in the city and party in my subban jersey./
    SO much party in less the 12 days. Anybody else going?

    • longbow says:

      Nice that they put up a new thread but the topic was discussed ad nauseam yesterday.

      ” Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm ” – Winston Churchill

    • hansolo says:

      There really wasn’t much to say. It’s not really a new thread. You can say the name “Metropolitan Division” sucks only so many times. Add in that Detroit being in our division, and Columbus in the conference, will make it that much harder for us to make the playoffs, and why in God’s name are there 2 Florida teams in our division? There, that about covers it, I think — as pointed out, it was all discussed ad nauseam before. I would have preferred we had gone for 4000 for Whitey.

      • longbow says:

        Now they need to change the poll question.”What’s the maximum amount of time between threads?”

        1) 6 hours
        2) 12 hours
        3) 1 day
        4) 2 days
        5) 1 week
        6) Until somebody suggests it is time for a new thread

        ” Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm ” – Winston Churchill

      • FishOutOfWater says:

        are you actually worried about Columbus? i mean they did get horton and they have bob and it will be difficult to make the play-offs next year but i dont really feel Columbus has much to do with it

        • hansolo says:

          Not worried myself, though I do think they’ll be a better team than they have been in the past. Those players they got in the Rick Nash trade are good, “character”, guys. With Horton, a healthy Wiz, and if Bob can do again in an 82 game season what he did this season, you never know.

  63. Mike D says:

    Top 10!

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny
    The CH stands for CHaracter…(apparently)

  64. Rugger says:

    I love the smell of fresh thread in the morning
    (with apologies to Apocolypse Now)

  65. habs1992 says:

    Anyone else hearing what I hear.

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

  66. ProHabs says:

    Top five – I do miss the Ryan White thread already.

  67. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Turd (I’m from northern Quebec)…ooops, Fort

  68. frankcasting says:

    Butch Bouchard

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  69. piter says:


  70. hansolo says:


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