No help for the Habs

Sabres celevrate
The Leafs won Wednesday night and moved int seventh place.
Florida won to move back into the third seeding, dropping Washington to ninth.
The Sabres lost … but in a shootout, which gave them a point.
And when the dust settled, the Canadiens were in 14th place – 10 out of a playoff spot with 32 to play.

Pacioretty plays down trash talk

Pat Hickey doubts Markov will play this season

Red Fisher on Ken Dryden

Marc Antoine Godin on the Plekanec slump

The Parise problem

The Brooklyn Islanders?

And how would you like to be coaching Alexander Radulov?

90 Comments

  1. podbay says:

    .: Indeed, time’s up, the season’s over. Play hard with integrity, do some housecleaning afterward, dump Gauthier and Bo Gainey, make a decision on Randy, and move on to 2012-13.

  2. petrov14 says:

    Habs season is going down faster than a Subban slew foot. Heres hoping for a juicy lottery pick.

    ______________________________________
    Long live Captain Gionta.

  3. nellis13 says:

    Let’s be realistic. It’s time to start talking about who we’re hoping to get in the draft. Every win is a loss at this point. Nial Yakupov is too small, unless he’s still going to grow another 2 to 3 inches (he’s only 5’10”). Assuming we want help up front that leaves Mikhail Grigorenko (6’2″, 183lps), Philip Fosberg (6’1″, 175lbs), or Alex Galchenyuk (6’2″, 185lbs) that might go in the top 5. Notice it’s not a very good year for North Americans. I can’t help but feel we picked the wrong year to suck. There are some good D prospects but I don’ think that’swhat we need, unless the Antichambre guys get their wish and we do trade Subban.

    • DearyLeary says:

      No. If Montreal somehow lucks out on the first overall pick and they don’t take Yakupov I’d give up on the scouting team.

    • Chris says:

      Galchenyuk is unlikely to go in the top 5 unless a team is desperate for offence. He’s coming off major knee surgery and hasn’t played a game this season, although he might return at the very end of the year. He represents a **HUGE** risk, but he also has crazy upside.

      Good article on the draft by Damien Cox today…worth reading. The upshot is that there are so many injured top draft prospects this season that the draft is going to be one of the craziest in recent memory.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Would be a nice year to have an early and a mid to late 1st pick. (Obviously every year nice to have 2 picks) The reason I say this, is because of these injuries, teams will skip on some players and a diamond may get overlooked.

        This reminds me of the NFL Draft in the Year of the Quarterback. Everybody skipped Dan Marino because in his junior yeat at Pitt he had an ACL injury. I couldn’t believe my own Steelers didn’t take him (instead winding up through trade with Todd “I went to Linebacker U” Blackledge) and Miami stole him late in the 1st round.

        One of these top end talents will be passed over and some team in the mid to late draft (probably the RedWings) will take the risk and be huge winners.

        • DearyLeary says:

          Which is why Gauthier should be shopping a guy like Kostitsyn to a team on the playoff bubble. A mid round first rounder is worth a lot in a deep draft like people are predicting this one to be.

    • gK_HabsFan says:

      Galchunyek is actually American Born… If he is available and we pick anywhere between 3-7 we should take him.

      -GK-

      • Chris says:

        Can you imagine the uproar if he isn’t ready to go? Or what if he blows out his knee again the following season?

        Timmins would have to be very secure in his job and be a very confident guy to make that pick given what’s happened with Markov. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be the right pick, but you KNOW that some corners of the media would have a field day with that one.

  4. DorvalTony says:

    If Larry Robinson was coach Zach Parise` would sign here in a heartbeat.

    http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/player/Larry-Robinson

  5. Chorske says:

    Dontcha all just want Radulov to be a Hab? He’d provide much needed grit, size, sand, muscle, and grit. And sand. And size. And maybe some muscle.

    And there’s always a chance he’d take out a coach or two with his marvelous stickwork

  6. arcosenate says:

    Looking at Parise for next season, that would require a solution to the Gomez situation but he would be a tremendous pick up, he’s definitely not returning to Jersey next year, it’s a perfect opportunity. Now will the Habs be creative enough to do it?

    • Chris says:

      The catch is whether Zach Parise wants to come to Montreal. The scuttlebutt is that he has not been particulary interested in the spotlight of Canadian hockey markets, so the Habs’ creativity (or lack thereof) may not be relevant.

      • arcosenate says:

        I know, but perhaps someone like Gionta could convince him it’s a pretty good place to play, that and a couple of changes to convince him the organnization is serious about winning. in my opinion, they need to do something now when a player like Parise is available, nothing insane but he would be a huge help.

        • ABHabsfan says:

          Sending Gomez to the minors would not help get Parise that’s for sure. He might see it as possible fore-shadowing. ” Is that going to be me in a few years?” He may not want to be with a club that kicks him down to the farm for the last few years of his assuredly mammoth contract. I’m not saying the Habs shouldn’t try to get him, I have been supporting that move for over a year now, or that the habs shouldn’t cut Gomez, they should. It’s just a factor

          • slychard says:

            No it’s not. Gomer would be sent (if they would ever do such a thing) after Parise would be signed. So. Non factor.

            +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
            Kiss my hAbSS!!!

          • Natrous says:

            How so? Sending Redden to the A hasn’t stopped the Rangers from signing top talent. Bottom line is, if you’re not putting up points while collecting $7.3 million dollars, you don’t deserve to occupy a roster spot in the NHL.

        • ont fan says:

          I can’t imagine that there are any top free agents even giving the Habs a second thought unless the money and term were out of sight.Not much chance of a cup in the near future and way to much drama with the press and the fans. If you weren’t a big fan would you come here?

      • Stev.R says:

        Parise’s dad is from Montreal isn’t he? Incentive…

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Signing Parise would be another massive commitment. He will be looking for $7 mill for five or six years, I think?

      Parise looks like the type of player that would live up to a big contract but you just never know. Those long contracts can get ugly as Canadiens fans are well aware of.

      I think the Habs should be cautious and probably be unloading any big contracts they can for drafts picks instead of digging themselves any deeper.

    • G-Man says:

      Gomez after this season will still be owed $10mil, though his cap hit remains $7.357mil. Molson won’t buy out or bury him in Hamilton only to spend more on another player.

  7. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I’m watching tonight’s game and, as always, expecting and hoping for a win. I’m also hoping to enjoy a decent contest no matter the outcome. As always … Go Habs!

  8. Chris says:

    Last night, a discussion evolved into looking at player development. Many NHL teams have begun engaging respected alumni in the player development process.

    Former players such as Todd Marchant, Derian Hatcher, Brian Skrudland, Mike Ricchi, Dave Gagner, Keith Carney, Craig Conroy, Eric Weinrich, Glen Wesley, etc. are working in some official capacity to help develop the young players for their respective franchises.

    Looking through the Montreal Canadiens executive hierarchy, I don’t see a similar role in Montreal. For a franchise that has struggled as much in recent years with young players adjusting to becoming professionals (think Latendresse, Lapierre, S. Kostitsyn, Ribeiro, Price, Perezhogin, etc.), it shocks me that Montreal has not hired a respected ex-player to try and help the kids learn to be professional athletes. From nutrition to dealing with the nightlife to dealing with the media, there are a slew of aspects of being a professional athlete that probably don’t come in the CHL manual. I doubt that Montreal is completely throwing the kids to the wolves, but it is strange how little formal structure the team has.

    What is really odd is that it wasn’t always like this. Young players were often taken under the wing of the veterans; Mats Naslund lived with Bob Gainey and his family when he first came to Montreal in the early 1980’s, for example.

    Given the history and the wealth of the Montreal Canadiens, they should be leading the pack in this area, not bringing up the rear.

    The inevitable question is “Well, since you are suggesting it, who would you recommend?”. Glad you asked! ;)

    I like Carolina’s model of hiring separate development coaches for the defencemen (Glen Wesley) and for the team as a whole (Rod Brind’Amour). For defencemen, the natural choice might be Eric Desjardins, who was serving in this role in Philadelphia when he resigned to spend more time on his own business interests. Given that many of those business interests are based out of Quebec, I wonder if he might be interested in serving this role, at least part-time, for Habs’ defencemen. Desjardins was a team captain in the NHL and had a distinguished career. If Desjardins were not available, perhaps Mathieu Dandenault could be convinced to take this role. He won Stanley Cups in Detroit and played in Montreal, so he knows what pressure is like. He played for some excellent and demanding coaches, so he has some experience that could be useful.

    Up front, I had a few people in mind. Claude Lapointe never played in Montreal, but he is a compelling individual. A hard working plucky player that survived a cocaine addiction to enjoy a long career in the NHL, Lapointe is currently working as a coach for Midget-age hockey players where he has had some success in player skill development. More importantly, he is regularly employed as a motivational speaker based on his experiences. Who better to counsel players about some of the pitfalls awaiting them than somebody who fell into the holes but managed to come back out the other side?

    Alternatively, but less likely, Mike Keane would be a great choice. Keane is going to be a coach some day…I am sure of it. A guy who is as passionate about hockey as he is and who experienced as much success as he did would be fantastic in that role. And perhaps he would appreciate an “in” to the coaching profession for a year or two. The question is whether he is still on good terms with the franchise after the grief he went through as an anglophone captain.

    I’m not looking for more coaches, per se. In my proposal, these development consultants would ideally be separated from the coaching structure, perhaps under Trevor Timmins in the Player Development portfolio. The key is that there be discretion…I would much rather give the kids a sympathetic ear to vent about their frustrations with playing time or coaching or whatever is on their mind that letting the word leak out via anonymous friends or sources to the media. Sometimes they just need to talk, sometimes they need advice, and sometimes they need a kick in the rear by somebody who has been where they were once.

    What they don’t need is public humiliation through the media.

    • slychard says:

      Hey thanks for that link on Loiselle last night. He should be our next GM, hands down. I’m sold on the guy.

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Kiss my hAbSS!!!

      • Chris says:

        I’ve liked what I’ve read and heard about him, as well. He certainly has assembled a good resume, and could do a very good job. The question is how he would handle the Montreal market pressure, and you can’t ever know the answer to that until you put the individual into the spotlight.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          As the trade deadline is approaching, I am hearing more and more media people referencing Loiselle in being key for Toronto as they look to make moves. I don’t know the specifics of which Asst. GM’s are doing what under Burke, but I think Loiselle is a big part of the day to day operations. I suspect Dudley is more in the scouting area and Nonis perhaps more in the contractual area.

          He has an impressive resume from player to mgmt and many facets in between.

          • Chris says:

            My understanding is that Loiselle is the point man on contract negotiations and salary arbitration, but through the season he has a bit more time to dedicate to scouting as well. He’s their “capologist”, as well.

    • JF says:

      Great post. I started thinking something like that a few years ago, when Price was clearly out of his depth living alone in a big city for the first time. Kids who come from small towns or from Europe, or who have never lived on their own need a lot of help dealing with their lives off the ice. The team really needs to take more responsibility in this area.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Post Chris, if I could provide a Sarcastic answer would Gomez be good for this task?

      Someone in the offseason made a post about how the Habs need to maximize their wealth as a franchise (historically and financially) and be leaders in every possible facet. This is just another example where the organization appears to not be doing so.

      We cannot exceed the Cap on player spending, but we can exceeed the rest of the league in being first class and not leaving stones unturned in finding ways to be the best organziation in hockey.

      CHeers

    • montreal ace says:

      I really enjoyed this post Chris, as I have felt for awhile, someone with the team should be making sure all our prospects needs were met.

  9. habfan01 says:

    2-0 tonight. Maybe 3-0 with an empty netter.

  10. 44har48 says:

    omfg..I had to watch that 3 times. How is this guy even dressing for games after that? That was disgusting to watch and he needs to get his clock cleaned in the parking lot to understand that %^&@ won’t fly.

  11. Don’t worry guys. When Markov and White come back then…

    i can’t even get through that whole line anymore.

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  12. New says:

    I think the team is playing better lately. Buffalo maybe not so much but overall better. They are in 26th spot now. If they continue to play like this they might get to 20th. Probably Anaheim will push past them and they will get the fourth overall pick in each round. With a fire sale they might catch Carolina for third but fire sales bring in players looking for jobs, they try too hard, and suddenly points accumulate.

  13. Hobie Hansen says:

    So the dagger is pulled and pretty much ready to drive through the hearts of the Canadiens. I did have some optimism during the All-Star break that we could win our first game out of the gate and with a little luck be heading into tonight’s game being only 6pts out. now we’re 10pts out.

    The effort Tuesday night was nowhere close to being enough to make any kind of a run and the % of us making the playoffs is pretty much insurmountable. Being somewhat of a poker player, the Habs would basically have to hit a gutshot straight on the river (4 outs) which equates to a 13% chance. I think their chance is even lower!

    So who knows what they should do at the deadline and in the off-season? It is such a mess and clouded picture with Gomez and Markov in the equation.

    Will there be a penalty free buyout before the new CBA where the Canadiens can get rid of Gomez? Will they send him to Hamilton? Or could the team possibly be thinking of playing him again next year?

    And Markov. Will he ever play again? Will he come back and be a shadow of his former self? Or will he actually pick up where he left off two years ago?

    The one thing that is certain is that there are not a heck of a lot of UFAs available this summer. So if the Habs dump/trade Kostitsyn, Gomez, Moen and some are suggesting that they trade other marquee players for draft picks, There are not 2 or 3 really good UFAs ready and waiting to sign and come in for next season.

    In that case we will need Desharnais, Subban, Eller, Pacioretty and others to all take big step in their development and improve. We will probably have to accept the fact that we’ll be an 8th place team again next season with hopes that Tinordi, Beaulieu and Gallagher and a better pool of UFAs the following summer make us a good team in 2013/2014.

    Be patient to 2014 boys.

    • G-Man says:

      Relying on rookies and youth to improve the team won’t work. If you think the D makes mistakes now, wait until Beaulieu and Tinordi show up.
      Don’t see why everyone is so high on tiny tot Gallagher. He skated on the perimeter with the puck in pre-season (against AHLers and other juniors) and didn’t score.

    • slychard says:

      I made the calculation, of 32 games remaining we only need to win the next 46 games to make the 8th seed…it’s do-able. I for one still have the faith. Go Habs go!

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  14. Propwash says:

    Kinda sums it all up eh?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZVmV7c2TY4

    _____________________________
    Don’t let the wultures getcha.

  15. HardHabits says:

    Holy friggamolie that Central division is elite. No wonder Columbus has 1st locked up.

  16. G-Man says:

    Didn’t I read a post where someone wanted Radulov? That makes as much sense as giving up for some vague shadow of a prospect that may help the Habs 3 years from now, leading the team to glory.

  17. HardHabits says:

    Habs are officially a draft lottery team. Time to sit Price every other game and double shift Gomez.

  18. JF says:

    If Jacques Martin had not been fired, we would likely be in a playoff spot by now. He was keeping the team more or less afloat despite a disastrous start, injuries to key players, and an inexperienced blue line. Randy Cunneyworth’s record is a dismal 6-10-2. We’ve been shut out three times and blown out another two, which, over a full season, would amount to more than a dozen shutouts and about ten blowouts. Cunneyworth has made a few positive changes, but personnel decisions are still sometimes baffling, and the mentality of the team has not changed. More often than not, we still play a passive, defensive style, we are incapable of protecting a lead, and the powerplay is totally inept. There are more listless, indifferent games than there were under Jacques Martin.

    Any chance of making the playoffs went down the tubes with the coaching change. We, the fans, are reduced to turning the season on its head, so that last place becomes first, and we talk about beating out Columbus rather than making the playoffs. Interest in watching the games is waning, the level of discussion on HIO is slipping… The end of the season can’t come soon enough. Training camp is not much more than seven months away.

    • HardHabits says:

      C’mon JF. Don’t tell me you’ve tired of hearing HH’s tanking diatribes. Just call me the Oracle at DelpHIO.

    • Clay says:

      I agree about making the playoffs with Martin.
      However, think it was for the best he was fired…what’s the point of another early first round exit and a middle of the pack draft pick?

      This team needs a superstar badly – we have had none since Roy, and none at forward since Lafleur. Maybe we can get one at the draft this year…

      __________________________
      ☞ “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau. ☜
      http://www.celebrations-gomez.com/en/

      • JF says:

        I would have kept Martin for the rest of the season, then made wholesale changes. However, if we end up drafting a superstar, I guess it will have been worth it. But it’s a big if. Even high draft picks can flame out or not turn into the impact players they were projected to be. Meanwhile the season sucks.

  19. CanadienBoy says:

    If we had the first pick, do we really pick a Russian

  20. Habs_4_ever says:

    WOW! Imagine if Subban had pulled a Radulov on Ladouceur.

    ————————
    “Can we lose the parade float?…..Thank you!”

  21. Guy-Guy-Guy says:

    We must have the deal of the hour with Desharnais:

    David Desharnais MTL C 50 9 26 35 +11
    Henrik Zetterberg DET L 51 9 26 35 +3
    Ryan Kesler VAN C 45 14 20 34 +12
    Ryan Getzlaf ANA C 50 8 26 34 -16
    Mike Ribeiro DAL C 42 10 23 33 +2
    Mikko Koivu MIN C 41 9 24 33 +9

    • geo_habsgo says:

      Thats pretty impressive. I think he’s destined to be a career 55-60 point player. Kind of similar to Saku in his numbers. Not numbers that will ever set the league on fire but definitely a positive contributor. He’s a dangerous player and certainly worth respecting for his play!

    • arcosenate says:

      The sad part is that with the exception of Ribeiro I bet 90% of us would take the rest of them before Desharnais…

      • geo_habsgo says:

        I would take Zetterberg and maybe Koivu but I think the other ones aren’t THAT special. I think Kesler just had a magical season last year and won’t repeat those kind of numbers again.

        • Chris says:

          Kesler’s season got derailed from trying to come back from off-season hip surgery. This isn’t a good year to judge him off.

          But he is a strong defensive forward who had back-to-back seasons of 70+ points. I don’t think he is a perennial 40 goal scorer, but 25-35 goals and 60 – 70 points for a guy who can shut down Toews or Datsyuk is awfully impressive.

          • geo_habsgo says:

            You and arcosenate make some good points. I haven’t really looked into Kesler’s total career to be honest but I know he’s a good player. Hell, I’d take all of these guys on my team in a heartbeat. I think the Habs will take a crack at a player like Parise in the near future. They need to get an established player and start building around him.

            I think having an established offensively gifted player and then building around Price and Subban is a recipe for success. The team is a few pieces short of looking really good but it might take a while to get those few pieces together.

        • arcosenate says:

          I don’t know, I fear you are in the minority, Kesler and Getzlaf would be way up on a GM’s list compared to Desharnais which is sad, especially if he continues to put up decent numbers…

        • Rad says:

          Kesler’s a great player. He is probably the best #2 Center in the league. He hits, stands in front of the net on the PP, usually covers the opposing team’s best center. He skates exceptionally well, and most importantly, he plays with intensity and grit every shift. He is a leader and a winner.

  22. Clay says:

    Lol, only 4 points up on the Oilers, with the same amount of wins. And both teams have played 50 games. In fact, only Carolina and Columbus have less wins than the Habs this season…

    Time to sell.

    __________________________
    ☞ “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau. ☜
    http://www.celebrations-gomez.com/en/

    • HardHabits says:

      No way dude. This team is not that far. If they make the play-offs they’ll be the hottest team in the league. Nobody will want to meet them. If their PP starts clicking they’d be elite. I am telling you. Markov’s return will immediately push this team over the edge. A 10 game winning streak and we’re back in business baby. PG has to make a move now to get us into the play-offs. I say trade Tinordi, Beaulieu, Gallagher and our 1st round draft pick for either Iginla or Lecavalier and the Cup is ours. What kind of a fan are you? Tanking is for losers.

      Oh yeah. Almost forgot. Gomez’ is a puck possession magnet. Have you seen his effort. He keeps on doing the right things. I am talking he could hit a goal per game pace in no time. His Fenwick and Corsi say so. His suckitude is unsustainable. He’s bound to regress to the mean and the flood gates will open.

      Gomez is an impact centre. I mean winger.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Agree next year without Gomez ,Gionta,,Gill and dare say Markov will be the new Habs team and our top draft pick

  23. BeeGee says:

    For the record, I’m hoping for a PHI 2007 style rebuild… not for the WAS, PIT, CHI, EDM… tank for decades sort…

    Only who’s our Peter Forsberg?

    • BeeGee says:

      For Ol’ Peter, PHI got Parent, Upshall, a 1st rounder (later traded back to NAS for Harnell and Timonen) and a 3rd rounder (one Kevin Marshall ?) in that deal… Crazy!

  24. Habsman1970 says:

    We need to sell at the trade deadline and get draft picks! This is the only way we are going to rebuild this team as “buying the cup” hasn’t worked out that well for us over the past 20 years…. Now, we just need to hire the scouting staff away from Detroit and replace what we currently have…

    ONCE A HAB, FOREVER A HAB!!!

  25. jonnyp says:

    Pleasee trade gilllll

    • Habsman1970 says:

      He is already gone even thou he still has the CH jersey on… Just comes down to which team for which picks (hopefully).

      ONCE A HAB, FOREVER A HAB!!!

  26. Bogie Man says:

    I think we are at the lowest point of the season right now. I am not sure it could get worse. However looking at the bright side it is only up from here and a chance to see in the future a completely new look for the Canadiens. My guess this time next year we will have only 6 players on the team that are on the team today and hopefully in a better position for the playoffs.

  27. BeeGee says:

    It just keeps getting better! Odds are currently at 7.14% of snatching the 1st overall pick! Also, we’d be guaranteed to pick in the top 6… Not too shabby!

    Every loss brings us closer to #1… it’s a lose-win situation!

  28. Corson27 says:

    Sinking like a sunset, it is over time to clean house from the top to the bottom and prepare for next year.

  29. G-Man says:

    Get the feeling the Dryden used a typewriter when he wrote The Game or do you really think he crapped on paper?


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