Next up for Habs: red-hot Capitals

The Canadiens return to Brossard practice ice this morning at 11 am to begin preparations for Tuesday’s home game against the Washington Capitals. The Caps, making their first visit to Montreal since Game 6 of last season’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal, have won eight straight.

Pat Hickey will file news and audio from the practice later today.

Price makes case for Vézina

NHL fails to protect players

Red Fisher on a Bruins-Canadiens playoff

Arpon Basu on the Chara-Pacioretty fallout

RIP, Rick Martin

189 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    There was an increased penalty assessed on the play:  a 5 minute interference major and game misconduct, instead of a 2 minute interference minor, as it would have been anywhere else on the ice.

    Therefore the question isn’t whether supplemental discipline was given (it was), but how much more should be given.  And I won’t disagree that a suspension of a few games might have been warranted.  But I’ve long been amazed at the unwillingness of the NHL and NHLPA to agree on stiffer suspensions for dangerous play, so I’m not surprised.  Similar plays have gone unpunished over the years, so I didn’t expect this one to pay out differently.

    A second point would be that what happens off-ice is somewhat irrelevant.  You and I can not fight one another off the ice, yet that aspect of hockey has become entrenched.  The NHL has long held the right to police itself, with the courts only stepping in for plays that CLEARLY lie outside the bounds of what one might expect in a hockey game.  A late hit, even when it is interference, is something you see every night in the NHL.  So it would be up to the police to demonstrate that this one was premeditated, and I doubt they will get enough to go with on that, particularly with Pacioretty stating that he does not want the matter to go to the police.

    I don’t disagree that the NHL made a mistake in not suspending Chara.  But the original question was Bugs asking if Habs fans are hypocrites for their reaction to this incident, and I replied yes.  Kostopolous and Latendresse both ended a player’s career:  Kostopoulos received a 3-game suspension for his hit on van Ryn, while Latendresse received no additional punishment.  I don’t recall too many cries around player safety at that point…there certainly were some, but in van Ryn’s case many blamed him for his own injury, while DiMaio’s was blamed largely on the seamless glass.

    One of the most gruesome plays in recent memory involved Alexander Perezhogin high-sticking an opponent in the face during an AHL game, earning a season-long suspension, which Bob Gainey side-stepped by encouraging and allowing him to return to the KHL for the rest of the season.  Not too many Habs fans were protesting or threatening to cancel their season tickets over Perezhogin somewhat ducking his punishment.

  2. Storm Man says:

    I will bite, I have no clue why but here it goes. You were talking about headshots right? Concussions will always be part of football no matter what you do and having played it at the NCAA level i know it is part of the game. So the headshot deal you had going in the post, i dont see where you have despite what i had said about that fact of the NFL been miles ahead of the NHL in that matter. I like discussions btw not big into doing the copy and paste thing.

     

    Edit.. Most of the concussions players suffer when playing football come from making tackles. Like when a player takes a knee to the head or a shoulder and when a player is making a hard hit a drives the other playing into the ground, are a part of making a tackle. Headshots are a matter of respect and NFL players have that now. I hope the NHL will do something about headshots soon.

  3. Chris says:

    Through the first eight weeks of the 2010 season, 154 concussions were reported in the NFL.  It doesn’t take much insight to see that there is a head injury problem in the game of football, despite various rules being adoptied to address this very issue in recent years.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81cdf2d6/article/concussions-reported-in-nfl-up-21-percent-from-last-season 

    Why I’m bothering is beyond me.  I know where this discussion is going to go.

  4. Former Jets Fan says:

    Since the Flyers and Bruins won their last Cups, they have combined to go 0-11 in Stanley Cup Finals appearances.

    Trust me. yours is the broken theory.

  5. Danno says:

    With all due respect, where is your evidence to the contrary?

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  6. fbkj says:

    stills from videos are used all the time as evidence in the court of law

    we all saw the hit, it can be debated as to whether or not it was intentional because of the speed

    however grabbing a still from said hit clearly shows what was happening

    it also corroborates what max said, that chara was guiding his head into the stanchion

    i am baffled at how people are spinning this

     

  7. Habnofear says:

    I am not looking forward to the Habs bringing knives to a Bean town Gunfight especially when game one is in Boston and if you are let me kick you in the no no’s and then stomp on your rose coloured glasses,lol

  8. Mad Habber says:

    I find it funny that the Baawstonian keep coming up with all these highlights of hits by habs. What exactly are they trying to prove?

    If there boy is as innocent as the believe him to be, why are they trying to justify what he did by with all these highlights.

    Same as the lame excuse of a guy could get hit in the head with a puck and get concussion. Well there is a difference between guiding someone into a stanchion (Chara did this regardless if he meant to or not), and accidently hitting someone with a puck.

  9. jimmy shaker says:

    halpie is done after this year, but moen has 1 more I believe.  Gill bought his extension after last year’s playoff and his mentoring of young PK and his own PK abilities, so he’s a lock to be back next year along with gorges and marky, so by the looks of it there is only 1 d spot open for next year.

    marky, subban, gorges, gill, spacek with anyone of these guys coming back……picard, weber, mara, sopel, wiz……  i think weber will be penciled in that 6th d-spot with picard coming back again as the 7th.

    Shaker

  10. Bugs says:

    NESN’s pulling out the Gill skating backwards and side-swiping Sim into the stanchion as an indictment of Hab fans hypocrisy. Thoughts?

    http://www.nesn.com/2011/03/canadiens-fan-plans-rally-against-violent-hits-in-nhl-after-zdeno-charas-hit-on-max-pacioretty.html

  11. Bugs says:

    Yeah, wanting to keep the most electrifying forward we’ve had since Guy Lafleur sure was stupid, eh?

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Absolutely agree!  This game means a tonne to the Caps!  Habs need to be ready for a hungry Caps squad.  If we can be up 1-0 at end of 1st it will already start getting in their heads they can’t score.  Maybe Price should wear Halak’s old number tonight!  (kidding, but perhaps it would confuse Semin)

  13. habstrinifan says:

    They are waiting for the Language committee to ok the warning labels which reAD,

    Aussi épais que TETE DE CHARA”/ “As thick as CHARA’S HEAD”.

    What’s french for CHARA?

    Vile sobriquets are encouraged!

  14. Rudy says:

    So we kind of have to root for Toranna tonight. It’s not like they will catch up to us.

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  15. Hoegarden says:

    Emelin has to be included in the big picture here. He has not rejected the possibility of signing with the Habs.

  16. habstrinifan says:

    I think Tim Horton has already discreetly and carefully ‘suggested’ to the NHL re safety etc. And I think the fans’ outburst and the frequency of concussions are being monitored by Tim Horton. I think this incident will have its long lasting ramifications.

    Tim Horton is not as invincible in Canada as they once were. McDonald’s is making a big comeback and a huge push to gain some of the morning coffee market.

    While I am at it, I will add a pet peeve. The drive-thrus at some Tim Hortons which result in traffic jams on adjoining streets.. believe it or not.  Anyone familiar with Montreal Rd/St. Laurent here in Ottawa would understand.

  17. oldrrty says:

    This was Sopel’s team as a child. You can never discount that when it comes to resigning.

    I don’t care who wins as long as Toronto doesn’t!

  18. mrhabby says:

    i guess i agree to a certain extent. the maddening thing is if the nhl was more agressive instead of always being passive we might not have all these mini crisis always on the go. nhl always seems to be a step or two behind….the whole thing is far to reactive…why not be in front of the curve on some of these issues.

     

  19. Chris says:

    No, I have not anywhere called Pacioretty a liar.  All I’ve said is that there is room for different interpretations, and that I’m not in any position to call one intepretation right or wrong. 

    Does Pacioretty’s opinion carry more weight?  Sure.  He’s the guy that got hurt.  But that also makes him a non-objective witness. 

    Habs fans have had no problem accepting Pacioretty’s feelings that Chara’s actions were deliberate, but have curiously decided that Pacioretty was, in your words, a liar.  Because Pacioretty also stated in that same interview that he did not believe that he and Chara’s prior history had anything to do with the incident.  Despite that belief, Habs fans have been using that prior history as evidence of Chara’s malicious intent.

    I’m not playing devil’s advocate on this one.  I simply thought it was an unfortunate accident that resulted from a league-wide emphasis on hitting to hurt (something I’ve commented on for years) combined with bad timing.  I’m happy to see hockey fans so much in uproar right now:  I truly hope it changes the league for the better.  I posted a slew of rule changes I would love to see, many of which I’m sure would be unpopular with many of the most distraught fans right now.

    I AM cynical that Habs fans would have cared if it was Zdeno Chara whose face was smashed into the glass by Max Pacioretty.  Some fans would be, but I suspect that the majority of people would be taking the view that it was an accident.  They might agree with extra padding and agree that it was a bit of a reckless play, but would have come out very strongly against any supplementary discipline.  Just like they did when it was Latendresse or Kostopoulos or Andrei Kostitsyn that was the perpetrator of a relatively dirty hit.

    Look at it this way:  one of the most celebrated memories in recent years in the Habs fan base was an intentionally high forearm/elbow on Darcy Tucker, a move that could easily have caused a serious injury.  That it was a response to a similar play by Tucker is immaterial…we certainly celebrate the fact that Kovalev went head-hunting in retaliaton.

  20. DrewCareyPriceIsRight says:

    had i read that there was going to be some sort of quiet rally against headshots/Chara’s hit by fans before the game?  Would be cool if all 21,000 ticket holders come together to send some sort of message to keep the discussion alive and incite change of some sort…

  21. observer says:

    Huge game concerning Eastern playoff spots or positioning tonight. Tampa Bay at MAPLE LEAFS. ——c/p globe and mail—-  

    For most of the roster, these are the biggest NHL games they’ve ever been a part of.

    This, after all, is a group with 13 players without a single NHL postseason game played, including all four centres, three of six defencemen and starting netminder James Reimer.

    The Leafs’ most experienced playoff performer is third-pairing defenceman Brett Lebda, he of 62 games as a bit player with the Detroit Red Wings, followed by backup goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère (52 games).

    Beyond that, the pickings are slim, with Phil Kessel’s 15 career playoff games ranking seventh on the team.

    To put things in perspective, Toronto’s 257 total playoff games played is only 10 more than Red Wings captain Nick Lidstrom has under his belt

  22. Ron in Ottawa says:

    Money speaks louder than words. Air Canada has withdrawn their sponsorship of the NHL and Bettman yawned. That’s because Air Canada is a minor sponsor. But if Timmy’s dropped or suspended their sponsorship- that would get a reaction from the owners because the small market teams rely on those sponsorships to make up for small gates. So what can we do? I think that if for one week, people stopped going to Timmy’s, and let Timmy’s know why, there would be a reaction from the GM’s and the league. What do we have to lose- other than Timmy’s for 7 days?

  23. ProHabs says:

    Does anyone know if the Habs are going to be practicing in Brossard on Wednesday morning. Merci.

  24. jimmy shaker says:

    In a perfect injury free habs world, take a look at this potential lineup taking to the ice next year!

    Cammy/Pleks/Halpern……Patch/Gomer/Gio…..AK46/Eller/Moen…….Pouliot/DD/Darche…..pyatt/white = extra

    Markov/Subban…..Gill/Gorges…..Wiz/Sopel or Spacek or Weber or Picard or Mara.

    Price and most likely Sanford

    Don’t think Sopel, Picard or Mara will be back and maybe even Wisniewski because of his potential asking price.

     

    Shaker

     

  25. Mattyleg says:

    I could see Sopel and Wiz back here next year.

    Wiz more than Sopel, but it’s possible.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  26. Mattyleg says:

    I don’t think Air Canada actually withdrew their sponsorship.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  27. G-Man says:

    Hamrlik may be back, too- depending on salary. Wiz is the least likely because his offensive numbers= great big contract.

  28. observer says:

    malkin and crosby plus others all year long are more. yet both habs and pens are up there in the standings. green bay had more players (23 i think) on injury reserve which in nfl is out for the season yet they won the super bowl.

  29. habstrinifan says:

    I hope we dont overpay for WIZ if we keep him. He fills a need for us now but I think his defense is suspect.

     

  30. jimmy shaker says:

    After this year Hammer will be put out to graze in the field with his money going to Gorges and Marky’s new deals.  He’s done decent for this team, but his time much like spacek’s time has come and gone.  Too bad we have to deal with Spacek for one more year.

     

    Shaker

  31. Storm Man says:

    The ESPN fantasy season is over, Here come 2 weeks of playoffs now for the championship. i would like to thank all 40 teams that played in the 2 leagues and good luck in the playoffs.

     

    HIO 2010 Habs Fans Only.

    (1) * K-Hab 25 (17-4)

    (2) * BleuBlancRouge (16-5)

    (3) Global Killers (15-6)

    (4) Haboo K-dog (14-7)     The other 16 teams play in the consolation playoffs.

     

    HIO Unlimited.

    (1) * Global Killers (20-1)

    (2) * Bill J (14-7)

    (3) Kirbhabs (17-4)

    (4) Erehwon Ruggers (15-6)         * means Division Winners

  32. Jonson says:

    If Halpern is our top line solution and if Gomez is still our second line center then we have 2 too many problems.

  33. adam76 says:

    any report on the Bell Centre?  Seems rinks are being proactive and adding additional padding to the turnbuckle or “dasher boards”. 

     

     

     

    I would like to know – cause if you look at the padding they now have at the ACC, me thinks future hits like the Chara one will not end in a trip to the hospital.

  34. observer says:

    ESPN now becomes March Madness 24-7 till it’s over.

  35. Jonson says:

    that would be, almost, as embarrassing as the KOvalev rally.

  36. TheDagger says:

    NHL is switching their zamboni designs in a cost-saving effort. It also better represents their stance on the way the NHL is played…

    http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/brucemackinnon/mackinnon-cartoon-2011-03-13

  37. jimmy shaker says:

    Can’t see them both back, but what does PG do?  Pay more for a younger more offensive D’man in the wiz or save a liittle cash and sign the more established vet who excels in his own d-zone.  With marky and gorges back next year, we have basically 4 of the same type d-men, and I use the word basically very loosley.  If spacek were gone like hammer, than I might think PG would sign both, but since we have spacek for another year, I’m leaning towards the Wiz coming back more than sopel.  (actually Mara has impressed me in his second stint and Picard comes in out of the blue on some nights and plays solid too)

    Shaker

  38. DearyLeary says:

    Morbid, but a good chuckle.

  39. NL_habs_fan says:

    I’m not a Gomez basher, he is what he is, and in some way he does have value with this team.  However, with the way Eller is coming along the past month, in the future I’d like to see

    Cammy/Pleks/Gionta
    Patch/Eller/AK46
    Pouliot/DD/Darche
    White/Halpern/Moen

    in a year or two, that second line could be a very dangerous line for years to come for the habs.

    I like the defensive pairings you have.

  40. DearyLeary says:

    We plan to further weaponize our stanchions.  The NHL has obviously set a precedent that trying to ruin someone else’s career will go unpunished, so why not capitalize on our home ice advantage?

    I think putting spikes on the stanchion will give the Bell Center an appropriately barbaric feeling to it.

  41. jimmy shaker says:

    Well, since we all know that gomer isn’t going anywhere, he’s in that second line centre and we all have to deal with it! Secondly, Halpern has been I believe PG’s best acquisition to date, with the Wiz coming in a close second. He’s been solid and consistent wherever he’s played. A great face off man, pk’er and at what cost? 600 grand? What a bargain. And since the money that is available this summer is going to marky, gorges and gill, the forwards will look the same by default, because there won’t be any money left to make changes up front. But again, I’m more than comfortable with Halpern up top with Cammy and pleks. Ideally Ak46 should be up there, tearing it up with pleks and cammy, but he’s not, he doing well with eller and halpern is doing the same on that line.

    Shaker

  42. DearyLeary says:

    I’d bring Sopel back in a second.  Picard, Mara, and Wisniewski are all expendable.

  43. habstrinifan says:

    No. The Kovalev rally was worse. We will never live that down. I think the Forum ghosts went back to the Forum after that. They only came back because of Max Pac and Subban… I think they are keeping their eyes on those two…. have a jersey ready for them or whatever it is great undead hockecy legends wear.

  44. j2c says:

    I will be going to the Tampa vs. Toronto game…I got free tickets, but I will be rooting for Tampa I could never root for the Leafs/ 

  45. Chuck says:

    Let’s go, boys… time to prove to these guys that adversity is your friend and that last spring wasn’t a fluke!

  46. Storm Man says:

    Oh Tony, You should put a team in next year. I look forward to seen what Team Observer can do :).

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    Watching the Habs this year deal with so much adversity and still play well as a team really has me believing in our teams chemistry.  I know we have a few players with large contracts who aren’t producing the points we would like to see, but this group seems to really be gelling (looks weird to type that word) as complete unit.  I don’t think it can be overestimated just how important that is for a team going into the playoffs.  Even among the players who are taking turns being a healthy scratch (okay so that list has become extremely short this year) I have not heard any complaints etc…

    If Price can maintain this composure and the team continues to get timely goals, well it just looks really promising.

    Find myself cheering for New Jersey in the hopes that they could knock out the Flyers for us in Round one.

  48. Storm Man says:

    you need to flush now.

  49. ProHabs says:

    Could someone pass along Patches twitter account. Thanks.

  50. Maksimir says:

    If Markov is healthy – I would to see him paired up with Wiz on the PP. After that Wiz can drop down to the 3rd pairing and not play too many minutes if Habs are protecting a lead.

  51. habsguy says:

    NEVER,  can’t,  nope,  wont do it,  sooner slash my wrists,  gimme a gun….

  52. habstrinifan says:

    No way! If you think TSN and other Leafs centric coverage is HELL now wait till the Leafs sneak into the playoffs and manage to fluke out a series… You wont be able to find a hab highlight anywhere on TSN or CBC. Imagine Cherry!

     

    No. Tampa beat the LEAFS 8-0 and then lose next 2 games.. against whomever. It’s already been a bad news year. Cant take anymore ‘bad news’ like Leafs in playoffs.

     

  53. Jonson says:

    you want the twitter accounts for all the starving kids in the world too??

  54. SPATS says:

    You can be sure that in Washington’s room, this is the “big” test. They’ve completely revamped their style of play this year to mirror ours. The sincerest form of flattery. I’ll take Carey over Ovie. They’re as fragile (or more so) as we were 2 yrs ago this time. We’ll put em back in their place with our depleted uranium D.

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    Shoot Out to Dave Stubbs.—-

    Is the General Manager’s meeting’s in Florida to-day.? And will we get any info from it or is it all closed to the media.???

    And are you going to announce the Anna Gainey response to our HIO fan Summit donation to the Gainey Children Foundation.

    ATTENTION

    DAVE STUBBS

  56. Jonson says:

    Halpern is not bad yeah  but a top line winger? no thank you.

  57. Jonson says:

    i dont think we can rely on Markov. it will be a miracle if he comes back 100% next and is able to play at the same level. 2 knee operations is not a good thing. its a tough injury to come back from. ask Pavel Bure. he went from scoring 60 goals to 20-25. and eventually had to retire.

  58. habstrinifan says:

    I too like Sopel and Mara before Wiz and Picard.

  59. JesusPrice31 says:

    Habs must win tonight! 

     

     

    Go Habs!

  60. Bugs says:

    I’ll root for Grabby but that’s it.

  61. habstrinifan says:

    It’s tomorrow night! You scared me there. Thought I would have to miss it.

     

  62. joeybarrie says:

    FEAR LESS PREDICTION:

    The Habs absolutely will not win a game tonight…

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

  63. PrimeTime says:

    Imagine if we had a near healthy roster! JM has had them playing a successful playoff style all year. Timely goals are always needed but the biggest concern has to be Defense. Price will do his part but it has to be in concert the the D. I hope Sopel and Specak are back. We will only go as far as the D will take us.

  64. observer says:

    I have enough trouble just picking the right winner of a game, let alone pick players who then some Chara will go out and end his season. Tonight I took Toronto.

  65. Bugs says:

    Do the Halpie and Mo contracts not give out this summer?

    Mara, Sopie gone fersure, probably Jimmy, possibly Gill and Picard as well. …possibly Markov too.

    Whereas there is no “or” in Spacek’s case. He’s in the line-up.

    No Sandford. It’ll be a decent num2, kinda like Conklin or somethin, acquired on the FA market in the off-season. The price has gone down dramatically for players like that. A million bucks get you Biron ferpetessakes; why give it to Sandford?

  66. observer says:

    Richard Martin ==== 1968–69 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 52 22 21 43 ====
     1969–70 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 34 23 32 55 ====
     1970–71 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 60 71 51 122

  67. Danno says:

    They absolutely cannot lose tonight. I’ll bet everything I own on it.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  68. G-Man says:

    D needs experience. Hamrlik will not be put out to pasture. Gorges’ and Markov’s deals depend a lot upon their health. Gorges spent 6 additional seasons damaging his knee- don’t expect him back until January or so. Ditto wih Markov- he came back too soon and will take a long time getting it back to playing condition. As to Spacek, I like the way he shut Ovechkin down during last season’s playoffs, didn’t you?

    There is a reason Martin depends upon the old farts. They are dependable and make less mistakes. These days, with one additional mistake or two in a game costing 2 points, don’t expect too many young Dmen on this team.

  69. Bugs says:

    No one has ever seen his FACE and he “has to be included”? Hell with that. For all we know, he’s another Karri Ramo, Thoreson and Morozov: greatest guy in the world in the KHL; doesn’t mean jack-squat over here.

    Hell with Emelin. There, I said it.

  70. Psycho29 says:

    Chara in french is “Gros Tarla”


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