Newcomers in, Spacek returns, Emelin out

Pat Hickey reports from morning skate:
Petteri Nokelainen and Michael Blunden will play against the Florida Panthers.
Jaroslav Spacek is back and Alexei Emelin is a healthy scratch.

Nokelainen and Blunden were on the fourth line with Mathieu Darche at morning skate.

Spacek teamed with Yannick Weber.

AUDIO: Jaro Spacek | Petteri Nokelainen | Michael Blunden | Jacques Martin


  1. HabCez says:

    Well.. Martin up against his old team Panthers.. where he did squat all.. dont know why he benched Emelin (probably cause he talks with AK) where Diaz and Weber are a weak link at their own zone..
    Emelin has been pretty solid..

    Spacek better be solid..

    PG i dont understand why you worked hard to get Emelin to come to Montreal and Cole also.. only to have one benched and another sit when on the PP (Cole) who has a Stanley Cup ring by the way.. cause he isnt a PP specialist..
    and Darche is? (Poor Darche)

    Who is running the show PG or JM!

  2. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I want Martin gone. As much as it pains me, I have no choice but to say: GO PANTHERS!!!!!!!!!

    “Hate Bruins like a sickness”

  3. sakuman says:

    Our defense stinks. PG is completely negligent as a GM. How did he let Hamrlk go? Hamr was our #1 defensemen for the last 2 seasons when everyone agreed we had excellent D. He logged 25 minutes per game and played in 78 games per season, rarely getting injured like all the other habs. Plus, he was dying to remain in Montreal! Goatyay was cocky and refused Hamr”s request to play here even thoguh he was willing to play for less than elsewhere.

    Now we are missing a solid stay at home temporary number 1 D! This is all PG”s fault.

    He is a terrible GM. He traded Halak for St. Louis”s WORST prospect (amongst their prospects that is). Eller is terrible and should be in the minors. The only reason he is in the NHL is because the Goat wants to prove he is an NHLer and that he didn”t trade away our beloved Halak for nothing.

    Hamrlk is thriving in Washington, what are they…8-0? The goat blew it, he should be replaced with Pierre McGuire ASAP please!!

    JM is a good coach, it isn”t his fault, he has proved that through many years. unfortunately he doesn”t have any defensemen to play each night!

    Also, it isn”t his fault our team doesn”t have a single faceoff master like halpern (again went to Washington!) and we are getting killed by goals scored off faceoffs!

    halpern cost so little and brought more goals than gomez! The leafs got Stekkel and look at how much he added to them!

    He takes all their faceoffs so they alwasy start with the puck which is a huge strategic advantage.

    Peteri Nokaleinen sounds like another Jannee Niinnniimaaa to me!
    Fire the Goat!

    • t1tan5 says:

      Is this a serious post? For one thing, Nokalainen (sp?) and Niinimaa don’t even play the same position. Eller in the minors? The guy is just blossoming into a solid #2-3 centre with an upside to #1. He was +3 and had 2 assists last game. I’m with you on Hamrlik, but he wanted 2 years and Gauthier would only offer 1 year. Was that a mistake short-term? Absolutely. Long-term, not so much. The rookies are getting valuable playing time and while we’re seeing a lot of growing pains now, it should pay off in the long run. I’m not even going to address your suggestion for McGuire – too ridiculous.

    • RetroMikey says:

      Don’t blame Gauthier who had to step in and took care of Bob Gainey’s mess.
      Remember, it was Bobby who panicked, not Pierre when he “re-tooled” this team to his liking.
      And we are suffering for it big time with this once proud franchise.

      “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • dorvalhabsfan says:

      theres so much wrong with this… Eller was St.Louise #2 behind Backes… St.Louis denied a trade with Nashvilles top goalie for Eller… The trade was great as HALAK looks awful… hamrlik is playing on a team that is 8-0… So Hamrlik is to thank for that? nevermind the fact hes a million years old and would look more like Spaco with the workload of a #1 halpern is a dime a dozen player.. that we thought we had developed… now we have nokelainen whos bigger and a Pk’er and faceoff is decent…. JM IS at fault… his lack of respect for veterans (hello Erik Cole) is a quick way to lose a team.. Coaches are not the teams friends the team befriends eachother and will not be afraid to tune out the coach .. when a caoch gets tuned out it is HIS fault.. and as far as steckel… do you think PG is privy top these trade negotiations and knew about the trade 5 days before the rest of us?

      Go Habs Go

    • rmhayward says:

      I can understand not liking the slow start but knocking on Eller I do not get… The problem with most Habs fans as they expect young players to play with out the chance to develop.. He is playing hard and doing a lot of good things give him a chance to develop.. JM “Is a good coach” he has made a lot of poor decisions !!! Take a deep breath and let the team form and injuries to return they will be fine..

  4. rhino514 says:

    I have a question for Seriuos Fan, Berkshire, and the others who seem to be able to rate players fairly accurately: Is Spacek an average or above average nhl defenseman at this point? They sure seem to have suffered without him. I think probably not. Don´t understand why people think his return will make much of a difference. I think survive until Markov gets back is the best way to look at it.
    Also, if Weber is staying in the lineup ahead of Emelin, who has been rated to be a potential top 4 defender, does this mean he is better the borderline 6 o 7 D-man that he´s considered to be?

  5. HabsFan1111 says:

    No better way to break a losing streak than having Ol Jose playing at the Bell Centre. C’mon Panthers, make the same mistake Boudreau did 2 years ago!!!

  6. Forum Dog says:

    Would have preferred to see Emelin in there and Weber out. Weber is small, and he hasn’t been working wonders on the PP either. Emelin, in my opinion, has shown improvement and is the only big, physically aggressive D-man the team has, and sorely lacks.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      No matter which way you stack it, the defense stinks! And like you stated, they need to part ways with these smaller offensive types and get a steady, tough and reliable defenseman, or two, in there ASAP.

      When Markov returns, he and PK are all the offense we need. The remaining four should concentrate on keeping the puck out of our net and making life difficult for all opposing players.

      Blockbuster trade should be made, I’m sure there would be teams interested in one of our smaller offensive forwards or defensemen to improve their offense.

      • rmhayward says:

        I agree about the D to small …. but do you think there is a team out there that would take Weber?? I dont think we can expect a blockbuster any time soon.. The team has great D coming but a few years away and they need to sign Price and PK next year.. A cheaper stay at home D man or 2 would be great for now…
        also Markov has not played in 2 years I dont believe he will save the season… he will need to play through and get his legs back. We are seeing that with JG now, I think as injuries return they will improve but like you said 1 big stay at home guy would be great !!

      • MattHab says:

        If you look at your hab history, you will see that this franchise just doesn’t do blockbuster deals. The last one happened decades ago when the Habs picked up Chelios and Savard from Chicago.
        Don’t hold your breath….

  7. 24 Cups says:

    “Yes but we have two rising stars in Pacioretty, Eller at forward. We have Bournival, Kristo, Leblanc, Avtsin, Gallagher to develop and compete for forward spots” (SeriousFan09)

    Robert – I couldn’t respond due to the HI/O comment restrictions.

    I’m not quite ready to say that Eller will be a star or top end player. He might be solid but not necessarily great. MaxPac’s upside is certainly appealing.

    As for the kids you have listed, they are all good prospects. I’m just mindful of the fact that history proves not all prospects develop the way we hope they will (Remember our defensive list from a few years ago? It’s in shambles now). I’ll be happy if two of the five you have mentioned turn out to be solid, long-term Habs.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Regarding the # of guys who will actually flip to the NHL, I’d accept that ratio (NHL being the rough road that is) but again, that’s two guys of a group of five who have development profiles as solid contributors to the team (I favour on Gallagher, Kristo, Leblanc to all hit NHL though). We have some sleepers in the mix as well. The issue is we’ve got a few guys who will all push each other in competition and a balance of prospects with attractive attributes. We go from two good young players in Pacioretty, Eller to four on your estimation, add in Pleks and that’s at least 5 players for a Top-9 group developed in-house.

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

  8. TommyB says:

    Who plays goal tonight? I got a ProLine ticket to make out.

    • savethepuck says:

      go to hockey forum and look for Weeble’s starting goaltenders. That’s what I use and it’s a lot more reliable than dailyfaceoff, goaliepost or anything else. When he says a goalie is confirmed you can be sure he’s playing net that night unless he is hurt in warmup. He won’t confirm unless he has a link to a reliable source. forum on top right/NHL betting/scroll down to find Weeble-Starting Goaltenders and follow it throughout the day.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • TommyB says:

        That’s good info. Thanks. Handy tool for knowing who will be in net for all teams. But the quickest way to find out who is in goal for the Habs, is right here.

        I got my answer on the next thread.
        [rips up betting slip]

  9. Neutral says:

    Nothing wrong with this team. put the right lines together and leave it be.

    Cammalleri – Plekanec – Gionta
    Pacioretty – Eller – Kostitsyn
    Moen – Desharnais – Cole
    Darche – Nokelainen – Blunden

    Our Defence will get better with experience
    smarten up JM you’re coaching like a Dummy. have set lines and let them get use to playing together. what you are doing is buying your ticket out of town…the fans are sick of it.

  10. habsfan0 says:

    If and when JM is let go, I’d love to see Mario Tremblay reinstated as head coach with Patrick Roy as his assistant if only for the fireworks that would be sure to ensue behind the Habs bench. That might even inspire the players.

  11. Lucius says:

    Well this at least illustrates one good thing: Weber who at the start of the season was the 9th D on the chart has clearly passed some people. To me he’s been the best one we’ve had all year, which is as much a compliment as it is an insult to the D corp.

    Still, good to see they didn’t move him back to forward. I’d drop both Emelin and Diaz (and Subban if he doesn’t wake up soon) before pulling Weber.

  12. sevenman says:

    How about leaving Emelin in and moving Weber up to forward giving Weber some pp time on the point if necessary. Actually I wouldn’t even mind seeing Emelin playin’ a little on the pp like he did in the KHL. ( my two cents )

  13. Neutral says:

    I would rather see Eller and Kostitsyn with Max-pac than Desharnais and cole.
    Moen – Desharnais – Cole would be a good 3rd line.

  14. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Emelin out, never saw that one coming… To sit Diaz would have been a logical choice but why not play three soft defensemen?

    If Emelin is a healthy scratch against Philly and Boston while Spacek, Diaz and Weber play, Jacques Martin has completely lost his mind.

    • lukas-joshua says:

      Trust me I love the Habs. I have watched them since I was just 6 years old. My Wife and I just spent about 4 grand on a Montreal vacation. Where I watched them loose 2 game in a row, yeah that was tuff. Here’s my opinion on the whole thing. We’re not going to win games with small Centers, Gomez needs to go. That guy skates up the ice like Gretzky, and one he hits the blue line he turns into Donald Brashear. Guys like JM and PG need to go. Bring in younger guys like Muller and Roy. AK need to get traded, he’s not having fun in MTL. I think Cole looks real good, he’s a hard worker. Markov, well I don’t know what to do with him. But my last point who cares if we get guys who can speak French or not, let’s get guys who can play hockey. Also we do need a tuff guy, we should have been all over Chris Neil.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        I don´t know where that Kostitsyn myth comes from. I think he enjoys playing with Eller or Pacioretty for example. Well, he also plays pretty decent so far. Cole? Not really. If Cole was the guy from Belarus and Kostitsyn a North American player we would read complete different reactions.

        You´re right about Gomez though and yes, Chris Neil would help us.

      • MattHab says:

        well said lukas – although I can’t quite get comfortable with Roy as a GM. They had their next coach from Hamilton last year and they let him go – what a shame. As far as the language goes, speaking french IS a reality and necessary. They don’t necessarily need a francophone coach as much as they need someone who is willing to learn (Gionta for example). No one cares how much of an accent you have as long as you win games. The only critics you may have are the rabid french media but who needs them anyway (WIN).

  15. Flex Aarnell says:

    Here’s my take (not that anybody really cares…)

    Look who we have coming up in the schedule for the next three games (after Florida,that is)? Now who out of our defensive core would you want in the lineup (and fresh) for those three games?


    This is why he sits tonight.

    Then I bet one of the Swiss Misters takes turns riding pine when we play the more physical teams later this week.

    And, furthermore, Emelin can get a better chance at seeing the game from above, now that he has played a half-dozen or so games.

    Not a bad move, in my opinion, but when the team is losing, everything seems like a bad move.

    A more interesting question is wtf is going on with Markov down there in Florida??

    • t1tan5 says:

      Interesting take on the situation and I am inclined to agree with the reasoning. However, I don’t think JM is that smart or has that much foresight.

    • mongoose says:

      Good points on Emelin,He is a work in progress but at 225 pounds is needed on the blueline,He will be good.

      Toronto Maple leaf fans and ignorance walk hand in hand in the land of stupidity

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      If we win tonight (I´m not talking about a 6-5 win here), do you honestly think Jacques Martin will make a change and scratch Diaz, Spacek or Weber against Philly instead of Emelin? He isn´t that smart I think.

  16. habsrpast says:

    btw, Budaj is in goal tonight.
    a guaranteed loss!
    I figure after losing tonight, then again on Wed to Philly, and then again on Thurs to Boston, -MARTIN WILL BE GONE!

    • habsnyc says:

      Martin will not be gone because he loses four games with a defense that belongs in the AHL. Philadelphia and Boston are not that good. Florida is nothing special. I think Martin has done a poor job and I think the team is poorly constructed. But I think they could easily win their next three games.

      This is an average team with a goaltender who can steal some games. The law of averages says it gets better from here. This is is probably a 90-94 point team, the mid range of 09-11 performance.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  17. jhnc says:

    so as a hypothetical question: who would you choose to replace Martin as coach?

    • Bripro says:

      The effective team of Captain Kirk and Carbo.

    • BJ says:

      Patrick Roy. The reason? To find out once and for all if he could do the job. I’m sure it can’t get any worse than now and if it was the same results as with JM we get a high pick + a question answered if Roy is an NHL coach.

      • 24 Cups says:

        What qualifications does he have?

        Only one – he coached a junior team to the championship.

        Drawbacks? No professional experience, emotionally unstable, a weak history of interacting with the media and an ego that is bigger than the Hab legacy that everyone feels he is a part of because of his two Cup rings.

        He was a great Hab goalie – let’s leave it at that.

        • BJ says:

          Who would you replace JM with?

          • 24 Cups says:

            I wouldn’t. I’d stay the course and then re-evaluate in the spring when there are more candidates available, assuming we even need to look.

            This whole situation (and the panic that is attached to it) reminds me a lot of the Tremblay/Houle fiasco. That nightmare led us straight into the Dark Ages.

          • habsrpast says:

            put in marc Crawford.
            didn’t he win the cup in Colorado?
            anyways my true preference would be an english coach, but the racists here would never allow that.
            obviously they’ve never heard of translators.

        • Bripro says:

          The most relevant in your comment? “emotionally unstable” and his ego.
          I’m with you. You don’t bring in a green coach, even with his NHL pedigree.
          And now that he has a little NHL experience, I’d bring Carbo back. He clashed with Gainey, who (hopefully) has no decisional influence on coach selection.
          And everyone should remember that he led the 2008 Habs to 1st in the east. And he’s bilingual.

          • TommyB says:

            I don’t think Carbo clashed with Gainey at all. They are close friends. I think the players did Carbo in. Plain and simple. That would explain the housecleaning done by Gainey that summer. I also think Gainey was getting pressure from above to remove Carbo. Perhaps the higher ups were of the opinion that you can’t fire the team, so fire the coach. Gainey ended up doing both.

          • Bripro says:

            They WERE close friends.
            I watched l’Antichambre last spring, with Carbo as one of the guests, and he admitted that they haven’t spoken since.
            Gainey, after having fired Carbonneau, admitted that he had to do it out of concern that the team wasn’t going to make the playoffs.
            They were something like 2 and 15 or 3 and 15 that January, and Gainey had seen enough.
            But he didn’t do any better in controlling the likes of Kovalez.

      • mchenske4 says:


    • FuzE_gus says:

      Seems the most logical move. Bring in Larry Robinson!


      With Regards from FuzE_gus

    • 24 Cups says:

      I can’t think of one logical candidate that is presently available. I’m assuming the new guy would get a three year deal so who do you think is ready to take us down that road? Keeping in mind he will have to work with the five or six older guys who have rich, long-term deals.

      There’s a lot more involved here than just breaking the team out of a slump.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        I’d say name Cunneyworth interim HC for the season, have a formal search over the summer, scan the AHL for top names, give Kirk Muller a ring.

        Any experienced former NHL HC would want term and PG should not be held hostage ny the boneyard around. There is not a Peter Laviolette kicking around with nothing to do.

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

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Robinson as ass…to Muller the well spoken coach +Robinson never look comfortable behind the Devil bench and ours young D need him

      • 24 Cups says:

        I could live with that combo as long as Molson can live with the fact those two guys can’t speak French.

        In fact, they may just be two of the guys who could pull it off in light of their history. However, given time, the French media would start doing a number on them. History also proves that to be true.

  18. coldness81 says:

    so Peter Budaj gets the start. happy to see him get a game. i thought he should have played against the pens but i suppose it doesn’t really matter.

  19. RS says:

    Emelin has shown a few positives, but he’s also looked hesitant and unsure in the defensive zone. He’s adjusting to NHL size rinks. And he has never played anything like an NHL season. Plus, he didn’t exactly appear to be in greatest shape in training camp. The Habs need him to develop into a good NHL defenceman, but I don’t think sitting him once in a while is going to prevent that. Hopefully he plays 60+ games this year.

    Spacek is no Larry Robinson, but he is still a legit NHL defenceman. That might help the Habs.

  20. BJ says:

    Just a question. Would you trade PK and AK to Nashville for Shea Weber (assuming he would sign long term)?

  21. Hobie Hansen says:

    Martin is convinced that the best defense is a quick exit pass out of the defensive zone. That is why Spacek is in and Yemelin is out.

    I don’t agree with it myself, I like the old “hammer the guy into the boards and flip the puck out approach” but as we all know Martin and Gauthier think they can follow the Detroit Red Wings approach and pretty pass our way to the Stanley Cup.

    Only problem is that we don’t have Lidstrom, Datsyuk or Zetterberg, plus many others…

    • eric says:

      JM is convinced that Darche is better on the PP than Cole. Do you trust his judgement?

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Not at all man, I see what he is thinking sometimes, Darche is decent in front of the net and keeping the cycle alive on the PP, but I’m pretty sure Cole could surpass him in that regard with a little practice and PP minutes.

        I think Gauthier should be on the hot seat as much as Martin. he’s the one who willingly put together the softest team in NHL…

    • LA Loyalist says:

      We need to not panic with Emelin.

      It is no joke to switch to the small ice, especially for a D. The angles of approach from the wingers are all different and you have to make decisions fast as the forecheck is on you in a heartbeat. Emelin seems very skilled, he needs some time to get his game rhythm down and adjust to the NHL style of play. I’d say look for him to get comfortable by Christmas. And remember we were supposed to have Markov around to make him more comfortable, too. It’s a lot so let’s be patient.

      If JM panics it’s just one more reason for a short, cheap funeral for “Le Systeme”.

    • Interesting take on it, but Emelin is actually a very good passer.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      While Hammer and Out is a great defensive approach, it is not conducive to generating offensive with our small forwards.

      I do agree with JM on making quick tape to tape passes. If you have control of the puck, you can move it down the ice with speed and precision.

      If you just flip it up in the air, then you give the other team a chance to recover it. If they are bigger, they have a better chance of

      a) knocking it down and controlling it
      b) knocking the habs down and controlling it.

      Sorry, but this does not sound like the best idea for our team to use…. but at this point, I can’t really say the other way is working either.

  22. 24 Cups says:

    TommyB made a good point about Weber (see below). He played well enough last year to warrant a two year deal and then at the end of camp couldn’t make the team and had to be listed as a swing player for the 4th line. Diaz, Yemelin and Campoli beat him out of a spot. Now seven games later, he’s getting regular ice.

    What does this say about player evaluation? Or did Weber just have a lousy training camp?

    • RS says:

      Presumably he is still behind Campoli on the depth chart, but Campoli is hurt.

      Weber has simply and only moved beyond Emelin based on the early season. Plus, they weren’t going to make Emelin play forward or sit (to start the season).

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      A bad camp, he’s been better in RS play, certainly better than Diaz.

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

    • savethepuck says:

      I think he is playing much better now than he was in camp. He’s an important guy on our 2nd powerplay unit and I’ve actually seen him surprisingly getting more ice time lately on the pk, which tells me the coaching stafff has confidence in him defensively. No one ever questioned his offensive skills. i’ve watched every game but have not payed attention to D min 5 on 5, short handed, and on the pp, but I’ve noticed Weber has been playing pp and pk, Diaz has been playing pp and Emelin has been playing neither that I can see.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  23. CHimbote says:

    Sitting Emelin and have W. and Diaz tonight with Spacek make so soft the D and I am thinking that Canadiens are starting with more possibilities to lose this game 🙁 I hope that tonight will be the start of the end of JM age.

    Go Emelin Go

    Jean C

  24. Curtis O Habs says:

    Gomez and two first rounders for Rick Nash. Andre Kostitsyn,Webber and one first rounder for Rick Nash. Go get Rick Nash PG.

  25. FuzE_gus says:

    Man if the Habs don’t figure this out quick this is going to be one long, sh@tty winter…

    With Regards from FuzE_gus

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      The prospect of not watching hockey (or watching hockey and not caring what the out come is… or hoping for a loss) scares me!

      They are predicting a long a cold winter here in Calgary. What am I going to do without meaningful hockey? Talk to my wife?

      Anyone seen the shining? How did that end?

  26. DearyLeary says:

    Yakupov, Yakupov!

    I have a bad feeling that this is a ‘trap game’ for a team that’s struggling like Montreal, especially when they’re looking at a very tough stretch of games ahead.

    As long as we win the majority of our games against Boston I’ll be happy this year. We can lose the rest and get our 1A talent that we’ve been missing since the 70s.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      Isn’t every game a trap game? (at least on the wrong side of the oppositions blue line)

      Also, you would be happy if they finished with a record of 5-75-2 if 4 of those wins were against the B’s? Not me!

  27. Bash says:

    Sit Martin for a few games…or better yet put him on the DL. He is certifiably delusional.

    I don’t see the players looking to him with any confidence. And the kind of loyalty and determination inspired by Capt. Kirk is thinning.

    Is Gauthier willing and able to pull a serious trade? If not then he and Martin have to go.

    Our only chance with this group is a combination of inspired play by Price and a hot streak by one our forwards bridging the gap til a healthy Markov returns and plays at 85% plus.

    Okay…maybe I’m delusional.
    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • eric says:

      The scary thing is that any big trade would have to include Gainey’s input

    • LA Loyalist says:

      If PK, MaxPax and Price are untouchable, and arguably Plex, who can we possibly trade that would bring us a decent return and isn’t just shuffling the deck chairs?

      They won’t trade Eller because that would be admitting a mistake.
      Gomez is worth nothing and Gionta is a great 3rd line player. Oh crap, he’s our captain.

      The short straw is Cammi, and from there it’s our prospects whom we don’t want to touch (Tinordi, Kristo, Leblanc et al).

      Who else is there that’s not just cannon fodder?

      Sorry guys, we are thinner than Kate Moss, shallower than a mafia grave and in a world of hurt.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        They won’t trade Eller because he’s our top prospect to become a Top-6 Centre for the team. Halak currently is playing behind Brian freakin’ Elliott in St Louis ATM.

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

        • PureGuava says:

          Are you kidding me? Eller is the one bright spot on this roster!

          Top six? He’s playing like the number one.

        • coldness81 says:

          it’s easy to say that about halak if you only read box scores. that whole team has been struggling; including halak. it’s funny how fast montreal fans turn on players when they leave. it’s a rather similar situation to montreal.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Just get tired of reading that Eller was a mistake to trade for. He’s growing at a very good rate, has all the aspects MTL have been looking for in a bigger centre and he’s just 22, that is a lot of time to grow.

            Not sure if that was what Loyalist was really infering but I felt like adding perspective.

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

          • coldness81 says:

            i’m still being patient with eller. he looked great last game. although stone hands moen will eventually stop scoring on break a ways lol what i have liked about eller is he has been creating some space for the players around to get some quality chances.

            the big question is is eller continues to produce points, will JM rearrange the world for a gomez return to the lineup.

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        Trading Eller does not mean you made a mistake. It all depends on the return. Maybe someone is in the market for a strong 3rd line center who can turn into a #2…. unlikely, but you can’t clain his trade would be admission to failure.

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    I think it is reasonable to re-insert Spacek, who for all his flaws does have experience.

    If you are going to sit one defenceman it can’t really be Gill, Gorges, or Subban. They are playing poorly but there’s every reason to expect they will do better.

    So it is one of the other three. Weber is doing well. That leaves Diaz and Emelin. My guess is they will take turns sitting. Can’t really say Emelin has been better than Diaz.

    • Propwash says:

      The thing is, JM can’t do anything right these days. There will be a six page article in the Journal de Montreal on how he didn’t sneeze the right way.


      • Tony McLean says:

        Yeah his Stanley Cups guarantee this slump is a passing thing.
        Bring Larry Robinson home.

        • Propwash says:

          All teams go through slumps.


          • HardHabits says:

            Hopefully thos one lastls until next drafy.

          • LA Loyalist says:

            My new theory is choking against Boston in the playoffs this year with a two game lead and coming home decimated the teams psyche.

            And because there is no leadership to mentally help them regroup and refocus. Someone pointed out that we used up training camp looking at kids, which I actually agreed with at the time, but in retrospect maybe it was a mistake.

            Most of these guys are not ready to play with grownups. It’s not even arguable, how do you not get psyched up for the 1st game in Toronto? The Leafs at home? Your home opener? it blows my tiny damaged mind.

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            @ HH

            Really? You want a season long slump (that is full of spelling mistakes)?

    • 24 Cups says:

      Exactly. You’re not going to win too many games with three rookies on the D.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Habsfan, I would love to agree with you but I haven’t had enough time to do “research”.


  29. doug says:

    I totally missed this Michael Blunden guy. He’s the no name we called up when we traded for the no-name from Phoenix and sent the other two no-names to Hamilton, right?

    Habs should dress me. Would ensure a path to the lottery pick, notwithstanding the fact I’d die of a heart attack the first time I had the puck and someone was about to check me. Maybe that explains Blunden… good enough to not panic and faint, not good enough to imperil our losing ways?

    PS I’m KIDDING. I still have hope they can win this game & begin the turnaround. Good Spacek is back.

    • Chuck says:

      I think that you’re on to something, Doug.

      The 4th line for every game should be comprised of a threesome of HI/O’ers drafted from our ranks. Just make sure that the cooler at the end of the bench is well-stocked. 🙂

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I started playing out after not playing for many years last spring and one of the first times I got the puck I backhanded it into my own bench nearly killing one of my own guys 🙂 so I feel your pain. And it was 4 or 5 games before I stopped feeling like I was going to throw up between shifts. 🙂

      The good news is they started paying more attention to the game after that.

  30. ooder says:

    emelin has NOT been our worst defence man this season
    i can honestly think of 2 mistakes he made.
    one against pittsburgh and one against the second game of the leafs, where he went for the hit and missed
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  31. MusicMutt says:

    I don’t think it’s a language thing (at least I hope not) but it does show that either JM is right or the rest of the world is.

    Almost like it’s a “I’ll show them approach” and if we win tonight, hey it could happen, he’ll say, “Look how smart I was”…

    I’ve never in my life hope the Habs would loose but for the long term good of this great franchise the man has to go and if it takes a blow out loss in the sunshine state for it to happen well I can live with that…

  32. TommyB says:

    With Spacek coming back someone has to sit, so whether it’s Emelin or Diaz it really doesn’t matter much. Both are new to the NHL, and both are learning. The only question mark in my mind is, if Weber couldn’t crack the top six D seven games ago, how does he make it now? Have I missed some spectacular play from him that explains his moving up the chart?

  33. HardHabits says:

    Habs are obviously tanking on purpose.

  34. J_P says:

    I cant believe Emelin is the one who sits for spacek. Emelin is getting better each and every game in my opinion, and at least he hits. Spacek is as soft as warm butter.

  35. Propwash says:

    The ends justify the means, I’m gonna see how this all plays out before passing judgement, as meaningless as it may be.


  36. habs4ever2894 says:

    Saw price and nokelainen at movies last night , Price must’ve been showing Nokelainen the only place to get peace from the crazy attention hell be getting. Lol

  37. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  38. cashbagg says:

    So Spacek is back tonight….

    I wonder who’s turn it is to replace him on the DL tonight.

    Plekanec is due.

  39. Habitant in Surrey says:


    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  40. durocher says:

    This is a serious charge, but I wonder if JM’s irrational decisionmaking can be attributed, at least in part, to favoritism towards French-speaking players.

    Darche on the PP over Cole?
    Weber and Diaz over Emelin?

    Both cannot be supported on logic. Maybe something else is in the works.

  41. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …haha …got to laugh at Jack Todd …he woke-up this morning deciding to join the can-the-Jacko bandwagon …peaked into HIO’s comments and PLAGIARIZED every friggin’ One of Us …hahaha !!!
    …what a turnip

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  42. arcosenate says:

    I’ll never be a coach, the only guy who should sit is the guy that just made two massive errors, Gorges.

    Guess you can’t send a message to the regulars, which is why Gomez never had to take a seat.

    Anyway, JM knows best.

  43. r says:

    maybe martin is keeping him for phili and boston?

    if not, martin will start ruining another young prospect

  44. durocher says:

    Please read Jack Todd’s piece — it is excellent. It reads like the manifesto of Occupy Bell Centre.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Except he screws up the the ‘team getting older’ part, that the team isn’t good at drafting (Player retention is their issue, not how they draft) and that the team’s future is barren.

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

      • durocher says:

        Good point

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        But otherwise he’s bang on.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I think Todd’s point was that the Habs loaded up on core players that were older – Gomez, Gionta, Gill and Cole. In that regard, they are older when compared to the Leafs.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          He argues the team is getting older, when the trend is actually youth though.

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

          • 24 Cups says:

            It’s half and half, Robert. We have a lot of money and regular ice time tied up in six players who have at least three years to run on their contracts (Toronto really doesn’t). At the same time, we have some good young players (five or six) to augment the veteran core. Hence, the new five year plan.

            The third component would be the kids in the system but right now they are strictly ‘what if” for another day down the road. None will have an impact for the next year or two.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Yes but we have two rising stars in Pacioretty, Eller at forward. We have Bournival, Kristo, Leblanc, Avtsin, Gallagher to develop and compete for forward spots as the veteran forwards reach the end of their contracts as well. I imagine Pleks, Cammalleri will get new deals but their will be opportunities for these prospects to all step up and get themselves in the NHL.

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

      • eric says:

        From 1997 t0 2007 the habs have had 12 FIRST round picks .Three are in the line up. Pricr, AK and Max Pac. 2nd round picks in that same time frame PK, Benmaxwell, latendresse, cory urquhart, tomas linhart, Duncan milroy, marcel hossa, alex burturlin, matt carkner, ribeiro, gregor gartner. Get serious , serious

      • Tony McLean says:

        Sort of agree Sakless, except that what’s the difference? D’Agostini’s looking better and better in St. Lou, O’Byrne is impressing with his physical play in Col, on and on… their handling of Price since day one has not helped him develop….sheesh.
        Bring Larry Robinson home.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Shouldn’t technically an UnOccupy Bell Centre be the mantra? How many losses till seats begin looking empty.

      • Vladdy Mondavi says:

        Unfortunately, I bought my tickets back in September. Had I known they were going to reach this level of suckitude, I wouldn’t have spent my money.

    • J_P says:

      I dont usually like jack todd, but in this case hes not wrong on any points really except for the fact that our team is actually quite young.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      Todd typed a reasonable assessment even if he forgot to decry the development/retention issue. Fact is, the organization has not drafted as well as it could have, P.K and Max excepted.

    • Mattyleg says:

      You lost me at “Todd”.

      He’s always the last, and least eloquent/intellectually developed jumper-onner of The Bandwagon.

      @@@ he’s annoying.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • savethepuck says:

      I thought his article was a joke. Sounded like an emotional crying fan to me.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  45. matraque says:

    Anyone heard Lars Eller not knowing about the goalie switch on Saturday?

    Either the guy don’t pay attention or no one told him… But either way, you gotta be aware of what’s going on no?

    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard

    • savethepuck says:

      Pretty minor detail you are using to criticize the guy who’s been our best forward the last 3 games. Who’s in net is irrelavent. The guy is focused on doing his job and who’s in net doesn’t change that.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Quite a big detail to miss. I know a lot of posters moan about the fact that Jacques Martin is aloof and doesn’t communicate well, I didn’t think that was a huge problem, but the way he stood behind the bench and had a back and forth with Mr. Cunneyworth instead of settling down his players during the timeout last game has me reconsidering. Also, the fact that the Leafs had changed goalies and the new one looked clearly uncomfortable and someone on the team didn’t know this illustrates that fact again.

      I’ve had coaches who you couldn’t shut up, sometimes it wore you down, but I know that they were trying to keep our heads in the game and getting us to focus. I can just imagine what they would have said:

      “Okay boys, new goalie, new goalie, next shot in wins!… Let’s get to him before he gets warmed up!… Skillsie (that was my nickname before Hall Gill appropriated it, kind of like Ladainian Tomlinson did to Lawrence Taylor with LT), get that big cannon of yours ready, if it’s not in it’s a big rebound!….”

      Lars Eller should have been situationally aware, so that in his next shift or two he might have considered the option of a quick sneaky wrist shot more seriously than usual. We’re seeing a lot of mental mistakes from the guys, and sometimes you wonder what they are thinking. It’s kind of like when a ball carrier on a team trying to run out the clock runs out of bounds instead of falling inbounds. Your first instinct is to call him a dumbass, but then you have to consider that the QB in the huddle and the coaches haven’t gotten their message through: “Okay guys, we’re not fighting for extra yards here, just get the first down and fall down, keep that clock running, don’t fumble, protect the ball….” That’s the essence of coaching, repeating things over and over again, and keeping the dullards (Andrei Kostitsyn) focused.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      That is probably why they lost. Eller didn’t know where he should shoot.

  46. PureGuava says:

    The only D-man that wasn’t on for a goal against Toronto sits!??!?
    How does this continue to take place?


  47. durocher says:

    Further proof that JM doesn’t know what he’s doing — sitting Emelin. He’s been consistently solid, strong on opposing forwards, makes good decisions with the puck, and brings some toughness to a blueline that is very soft. Yes, he had a weak clearing pass that led to a goal, but that was after a very long shift.

    Weber or Diaz should have sat in my opinion. We just saw the Leafs run Price with impunity, and now JM decides to sit one of our toughest defensemen. It’s not like we need Weber or Diaz for the PP, the PP has sucked with them in.

  48. Le Jadester says:

    JM is a donkey !
    Plain and simple.

    Habs, OLE !

  49. stevieboy says:

    Sitting Emelein is clear evidence that JM is delusional and is out to ‘show’ the fans. What a loser.


  50. Mattyleg says:

    I don’t get the Emelin scratch.
    I just don’t.
    Does anyone have a theory as to why this might be a good idea?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      The secret is in JM’s notepad.
      (I don’t get it either)

      Moen for powerforward 2011/12!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I mentioned on the last thread that perhaps because Florida plays a less physical game than the next 3 opponents, JM is using tonight to test Spacek in game duty. IF Emelin sits against BOston and/or Philly, then he indeed has gone completely insane.

      • avatar_58 says:

        I think a blowout loss to Boston, who also isn’t exactly doing that well, will be the bell sounding Martin’s end

      • Bripro says:

        HB, I don’t think size is the issue. They’re playing Blunden, who’s a beast.
        Besides, since Webber played D on saturday, you would think he’d be the one sitting out if JM wanted to omit the smallest guy.
        JM just plays favourites. He’s always got Diaz on…
        And look at what he’s doing (or not doing) to Cole.
        I’m at a loss. He’s got some very good talent playing low minutes, and some rookies playing all the time.
        I’m wondering if this year, he really knows what he’s going.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yeah, I’ll buy that.
        Seems a bit odd tho.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

  51. JoeC says:

    So our defence is full of wusses and people scared to hit and we bench the ONLY person hitting and not being someones little bitch over and over. IM sorry, PK only hits small players and turtles when someone comes at him. This is a terrible choice Emelin was finally starting to be physical, but alas, JM is a wuss just like he likes his team.

    Wow, team toughness my ass

  52. Sitting Emelin and starting Diaz tells me Martin continues to play favourites to ill effect. Diaz was solely responsible for two goals against last game and aside from one goal created by two other players, he’s been terrible all year. What JM sees in this guy that puts him so high on the depth chart is beyond me.

    Pretty much every stat you look at, especially microstats, tells you Diaz is our worse defenseman. Yet he’s playing top 4 minutes for no reason.

    • JoeC says:

      Gorges /PK/ Gill are the bad defence we have, not ANY of the young guys, well maybe Weber, but Emelin brings something to the game NONE of the rest of the D does. But what did JM< say, oh ya, phenuf can throw around our guys but we have jack shit that can do it to other team.

      GET OUT JM

    • 123456 says:

      diaz worst? granted it’s very eary but emilin no points and minus 2. diax plus 1 and 2 points. . . .

      • That’s all well and good to talk numbers without context, but it doesn’t provide anything.

        Alexei Emelin has the 3rd best Corsi score on the team, without the benefit of playing with Subban (which is why Gorges is #2). This means that while Emelin is on, more shots are being directed toward the opposition’s net than our own.

        Diaz has the absolute WORST Corsi score on our team, and has since game one. Diaz is also benefiting from a lot of luck in comparison to Emelin, as Price’s save percentage while Diaz is on the ice is .945 while it’s just .895 while Emelin is on the ice. This would be why Emelin is a negative in +/-.

        Diaz is also getting tons of PP time in spite of being largely ineffective, while Emelin gets none.

        Emelin is playing against a higher quality of competition as well. Add in to this that Emelin has yet to take a penalty and has been drawing them at a higher rate than all our other defensemen, and this just becomes more ridiculous.

        Look at what Diaz did when he lost his stick last game on the PK. Instead of making a play when the puck came near him, or smothering it, he just stood there and let Toronto get possession. It directly caused Dion Phaneuf’s goal.

        Look at how awkward he was on the game winner. Gill made a play to go after the puck carrier, and instead of covering for him Diaz stood there and watched as the puck went to Grabovski and he scored. In fact Cole was the one who made a diving effort to check Grabovski.

        The guy is playing out of his depth.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      I’m starting to think PG and JM are diverging. JM doesn’t want to use AK who PG extended, Cole who he gave a generous deal to or Emelin who after 7 years finally arrived in NA after PG got him signed.

      I know people say PG has a loyalty to JM but if his HC won’t agree with what he thinks makes the team better…

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

    • poomba1 says:

      Diaz looked shakey vs the leafs but he has been a standout for most of the start of the season. Emelin has delivered a handful of hits but has been worse in his defensive zone. The Blind love Emelin gets is hilarious. Anyway he will find his way back in the line up soon enough.

    • J_P says:

      Its especially funny because JM made a comment about how could anyone expect Diaz to step up to Phaneuf, yet he goes ahead and benches our only defenseman who probably would have stood up to phaneuf for Price…

      This guy has to go man…I know ive been beating on this drum for the last two years (since the day JM was hired), but man does he have to go. Frankly, PG has to go also now for keeping JM for so long and letting it come to this. Truth of the matter is, PG probably wont fire Martin any time soon precisely because that is what the entire fan base is calling for.

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