Number two goaltender gets number 30


Peter Budaj will wear the sainted jersey number immortalized by Chris Nilan … not to mention Mathieu Garon and, uh-oh, David Aebischer.

But two great Canadiens goaltenders, Gump Worsley and Rogie Vachon, wore number 30.

So did  Tony Esposito (fleetingly), Phil Myre and Wayne Thomas..

Other notable 30s: Turner Stevenson and  Keith Acton.

• Justin Goldman at Dobber Hockey thinks Budaj will be good. So does the Goalie Guild. Both highlight the positive influence of goaltending coach Pierre Groulx.

Souray seeks a fresh start in Big D

What’s ahead for HNIC? (More Bruins-blowers, no doubt)

An interesting take on fighting

Arbitration set to begin

A video tribute to Numero 30:


  1. gfdygthygtf says:

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  2. JohnBellyful says:

    Sorry, wrong number.

  3. B915 says:

    What questions will they ask him?

  4. ProHabs says:

    WHat ever happened to the police questioning Chara about his assault on Max. I want that criminal to spend some time behind bars for his actions.

    • OneTimer says:

      I’d rather we keep that horrible incident dead and buried, and move on once and for all.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      That embarrassment was laughed off by the rest of the league. Assaults/fights are accepted by the players, coaches, owners and rabid fans alike.

      “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  5. HardHabits says:

    I miss Tony242, Radio Free Timo and the Magnificent 47%.

  6. Chris says:

    Regarding Markov’s knee injury:

    The last time I saw one of my favourite teams receive negative press for a risky signing of an elite athlete coming off a major reconstruction of a critical joint, the team was the New Orleans Saints and the player was Drew Brees.

    Not saying there aren’t risks. But as Brees has shown (a Super Bowl, a co-MVP, one of the league leaders in most QB stats in each of his 5 seasons with the Saints), there can be great rewards for having a little faith.

  7. 24 Cups says:

    The Sabres are now 2.4M over the cap and they still have to sign RFAs, Enroth and Gragnani.

    Drunken sailors.

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    Here is a link to an insightful article on the effects of Concussion on the former NFL star Dave Duerson who took his own life. Very sad story, but very enlightening on just how severe concussions are.

  9. SyntaxLove says:

    Even if Markov plays every single game for the next 3 years I still won’t like his contract. It’s a numbers game, and the probability that he plays as well as he did two years ago is more low than high. A three year deal for $1 mil less each year, or even a two year deal at the current rate would have reassured me. We know he’s committed to Montreal. “So, we love you and we want you to stay with us but we also need some insurance based on your injuries. How’s $4.5 mil over 3 sound?”

    Almost every complaint I have with Montreal management seems to boil down to efficiency. Too often I feel that we’re on the losing side of trades, UFAs, signings. Markov’s contract is another example of that for me.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      The 3rd year had me a little concerned. I think once we see good ole Marky skating and shooting we will remember how valuable he is.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, the first and only father-son tandem on HIO.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I think Andrei Markov is more of a cerebral defenceman, and is diligent with his physical conditioning, as are most Russians this side of Vladimir Krutov. I think his game is the kind that ages well, as opposed to a defenceman who is more of a banger. The three-year deal is just about right.

      Do you guys notice that with a salary cap we now begrudge our favourite players their contracts even more. Pre-cap, some of us would rail that they made more than doctors and police officers, but most of us would just say if that’s what the team is willing to pay it’s fine with us.

      Now we’re all Uncle Scrooges, pinching every nickle. What, we’re paying the backup goalie $200 000 more than the last guy? Why don’t we just build a huge bonfire and dump-truck the money in there then! Back in my day, Yvon Lambert made $50 000 and ate rubber for dinner, and he was glad to have it….
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      • Chorske says:

        Hahaha, and us older guys are the Monty Python Yorkshiremen.

        Old poster 1:Players in OUR day got paid six dollars a year.
        Old poster 2: LUXURY! OUR players couldn’t afford skates, so they tied knives to the soles of their shoes.
        Old poster 3: HAH! WE couldn’t even afford shoes!
        Old poster 4: and you try telling that to a 22 year old making $4 million per over three seasons… and they won’t believe you.

    • skoalbandit says:

      At 5.5 markov took a discount. On the open market he would have gotten 6.5 easy. Look at wiz. Teams were lined up for a less skilled player with the same past injuries.
      I am happy with the contract and will live to see him and PK light it up this season. Combined 120pts, watch!

    • avatar_58 says:

      I worry he plays like he did just before he was injured. If you ask me he was a little slow and made several “un markov” like errors.

      HOWEVER – the team is better with him than without.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      This guy could be quite a nice surprise. He is a true darkhorse. Looking forward to following this upcoming season of his.

      Kind of funny though, i translated the article through Google translate and it referred to Berger as “her” in one of the first paragraphs.

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      Thanks for the link. I’ve been working on regaining my French – articles like this are a god-send.

      A couple of weird phrases though that tripped me up, like this one: “La politique de transfert récente des Canadiens démontre bien qu’ils ne prennent pas sous contrat des jeunes joueurs tombés du ciel.”

      Does this basically translate to “the recent transfer policy of the Canadiens shows that contracts for young players aren’t falling from the sky”?

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        French is my mother tongue, and it confuses me too. I think there’s an issue with technical terms, they’re using the term ‘transfer’ which is a European soccer term, whereas here we trade players. The author also uses the word “drafté “, instead of repêché.

        I think the reporter is trying to say that the Canadiens don’t just take anybody off the street, so that they specifically showed interest in him is a good sign. It’s confusing, maybe the usage is different, but I guess for them the term “falling from the sky” implies common or easily available, as opposed to here, we think of it as more special, a gift from the gods. That’s my take anyway.

        Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      • boing007 says:

        Richard R
        No it does not. It means that they aren’t prepared to put under contract just any young player that falls from the sky. Or thereabouts.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Thanks guys!

        Looks like my summer project to regain the French that I so pathetically lost over the years might take a little longer than I had initially thought! 😀


  10. Chrisadiens says:

    Props to Chorske for the sig.

    “Chrisadiens and HabFan10912,” the first and only father-son tandem on HIO.

    • JD_ says:

      Ah, Chorske, is there anythin’ he can’t do?

      • Chrisadiens says:

        Apparently not. He’s gonna do my taxes in February too.

        Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, the first and only father-son tandem on HIO.

        • Chorske says:

          Believe me, the last thing you want is for me to do your taxes, haha.

          • punkster says:

            Oh, I know…I know.
            By the by, when are and Mom visiting next? The guys here in Cell Block H say Mom’s cake is the best ever.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • Chorske says:

            Apparently Revenue Canada gets cranky when you don’t file for eight consecutive years. Who knew? The joke was on them because I was a student at the time, and I went from owing them about $5k to them owing ME about $3K. If it wasn’t for the lovely and talented JMac (aka Mrs Chorske) I’d be posting from a sponging-house.

  11. JohnnyBEast says:

    From @ArponBasu, Markov ranks as the worst signing of the summer. While Tanguay is in the top 5 best contracts. #Guysoffhisrocker–and–worst-fa-signings

    • Mike Boone says:

      Nice to credit our friend Arpon, but HIO posted this link days ago.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yah this tools article was discussed a couple days ago. The writer has zero hockey background of any substance. Somebody posted a bit of background on him.

      When Markov leads our PP to top 5 in the league again this year, people will be saying how smart PG was to resign him.

      Now, somebody please tell me if they have heard from John Bellyful, he was supposed to go to PG’s place in Vermont today and fix his fax machine so Gorges signed contract can be announced. Haven’t heard from him all day, I am concerned he took wrong exit and is in the same back woods where Julian Bubbles and Ricky were building there train to smuggle dope across the Canada US border. I can only imagine the trouble he has gotten himself into.

    • Chorske says:

      I’m normally all over Basu’s posts, but his definition of “horrible season” needs work. It’s horrible that Markov got hurt so early in the season, but that hardly makes his performance horrible, which is what counts.

      I’ll take a Markov at 75% health over most of the other top 2 guys in the league (with a couple notable obvious exceptions).

      So yeah, an uncharacteristically weak post by Basu.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I did see that on HIO days ago and I have a few thoughts on that ranking.

      Just like in the business world, which I unfortunately know all about, people go by numbers and percentages.

      Deep down inside we all know Markov lives and breathes the city of Montreal and the hockey club. He wants to come back this year and tear the roof off the building.

      However, it is a very large gamble and that’s why you see his injuries and his possibility of putting a product on the ice worth that salary as a possible bad contract/situation.

      I’m a massive Markov fan but he has a huge chore in living up to that contract ahead of him.

      • JohnnyBEast says:

        I agree it is risky, but to be called the worst signing of the summer is preposterous. I’m sure there are 5 worst signings(in FLA alone).

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hobie, i think we would agree though, that as long as he stays healthy (knee related, hang nails are fine) he will prove that contract fine. The risk is in those knees I think, not in the players abilities.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          That’s true for sure.

          Everyone has the jitters a little because of other bad contracts, don’t even have to mention his name, and because the current style of play in the NHL.

          You know that not only the Bruins are going to be really trying to line Markov up when he’s in their sights. Teams know that Montreal is knocking on the door and if they take out their best defenseman it is a real plus. Markov’s legs will have a real target on them.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            And unfortunately I have zero faith in Brendan Shanahan changing that. I mean no disrespect to Brendan, I just think that the Leagues Head Office is so full of New York Lawyers, it is become a complete cesspool. There is no way he will be given a clear slate to begin with. Colon will be looking over his shoulder from the beginning. I hope I am wrong, but nothing has given me any reason to believe otherwise.

            Teams will definitely be taking their liberties with Montreal. White, Moen, and somebody please, have to be ready.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Hobie, any contract to a 32 year old is a risk, but I really think we at HIO make too much of his injury. He had an ACL reconstruction, which is almost routine these days. Granted, it’s his second in two years, but apparently the first one was not a success, so they didn’t take any chances this time and sent him to Dr. Andrews in Atlanta.

        With an ACL, they take some tissue, usually some muscle from the hamstring, and suture it into where the ligament used to be. In a few months the tissue dies off and is replaced with collagen, the connective tissue ligaments are made of. It acts as a normal ligament from there on.

        Complications are not uncommon, but are manageable. One is the risk of infection. We haven’t heard that this was a problem, as it was with Tom Brady two seasons ago.

        Another issue is if the cartilage was damaged during the initial injury. We haven’t heard anything about that, so we can be confident there is low risk of arthritis setting in. If Mr. Gauthier felt comfortable signing a three year deal, then the doctors must have assured him that the injury is clean.

        A big factor in knee injuries is being diligent about rehab. That means following your doctor’s and physio staff’s direction. Some patients do too little and end up with lots of scar tissue, and looseness. Mr. Markov has always been in good physical condition, and we have video evidence of him working out in the gym, so we can put that concern to rest.

        Some rush the process or get careless and damage the knee before it is ready. This can happen during rehab when you are bored and climbing the walls and decide to go for a ‘light skate’ or a ‘couple runs’ on your snowboard. Let’s hope that the Canadiens are patient with Mr. Markov and don’t rely on him for 25 minutes a game right off the bat. Let’s ease him and Mr. Gorges back in, and give the minutes to Mr. Weber and Yemelin. All of these players and the team will benefit once the playoffs come around.
        Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

  12. LA Loyalist says:

    Stamkos just signed. 5 years at 7.5 $

    Burke is crying now :-)

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Thank god. Those rumors can be put to bed now

    • Chorske says:

      This should be surprising to no one.

      I think even Burke knew enough to stay away on this one.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      His trade value is now solidifed however. I think Stevie Y will go 2 years with the core he has and then he will need to start retooling. St. Louis and Lecavalier will be past their prime. Very very solid core there in Tampa, really is now time for them, especially considering they have only a short term goalie.

  13. HardHabits says:


  14. pat s says:

    i say its time for the habs to retire Nilan’s number for all the hard work and sacrifices he made for the habs

    • DearyLeary says:

      I think you need to go to rehab, like Nilan did.

      • pat s says:

        that is is offensive its not even funny–rather than give him a praise for getting his life back toghether, you ridicule him–only goofs do that

      • pat s says:

        another thing, if people don’t respond to this we ll these are not the habs i knew–thats the low of the low Leary—-i will not even read your comments anymore

      • Chorske says:

        Leary, I hate you because you are making me side with Pat S. Can the rehab talk, OK? Guys like Nilan who have worked their asses off to make good deserve respect. It’s mean spirited and ignorant to crap on someone because they sought help.

        • pat s says:

          Chorske–come on it can’t be that bad–keep in mind, maybe we see different things, but i love my habs, i’m just mad and frustrated with their managment—if one of those rare times took place where i agreed with you, it wouldn’t bother me at all, actually, i would like it

          i wouldn’t even say that about my worst enemy–to ridicule a difficult and unfortunate situation that someone needs to beat is the lowest of lowest

          • Chorske says:

            Haha, it IS pretty bad. I think Habs management have one of the clearest, most consistent team philosophies in the NHL, and they make moves accordingly. And I happen to enjoy the kind of skilled, fast hockey the Habs have almost always favoured historically as an organization. So when I read endless posts about smurfs and size and grit and sand and jam and europeans and NAG (where the f is that guy anyway) and PG and BG and how the Habs let good prospects go and draft badly and have bad coaching and bad drafting ARRRGH it makes me say FECK OFF ALL YE GLOOMY GUSSES. I like this team, I think this team is WAY more fun that the Kovalev Koivu edition, and HEAPS more fun than the dismal 90s teams post Patrick Roy (*makes sign of cross*). So you and JayBee need to lighten up.

          • Chorske says:

            Also: all this whining and complaining is cluttering up this site, which has been an important part of my life for what four, five years now? And it’s making it hard for me to be here. And I resent that. So yeah, JayBee says I am condescending, but I think I don’t suffer fools and complainers lightly. *shrugs*

          • pat s says:

            chorske–point taken—we have different beliefs on the direction of the habs–big deal—its our right as fans to tell how we fell

          • Chorske says:

            Totally agree with that, Pat.

          • boing007 says:

            Richard R
            I had a great time listening to the 2007-2008 edition Canadiens on CKAC. Pretty exciting club.

        • DearyLeary says:

          On the contrary, I have nothing but respect for Nilan. But this knucklehead has to be an abuser of some kind of substance to think his jersey should be retired.

          • Chorske says:

            So then ask him if he’s on crack, which is a fair question, and leave the rehab jokes at the door, maybe?

          • DearyLeary says:

            Nah, I’d like for him to go get help so I don’t have to see this kind of nonsense anymore.

          • pat s says:

            so people can not improve themselves or given a second chance—i wish i was as perect as you–forget leary, your name should be called mr. perfect

            if you have any understanding of people, you would realize nilan has a very big heart

          • DearyLeary says:

            Maybe you should go to school too and learn how to read.

          • pat s says:

            Leary—you are nothing but a clown that sits behind a computer and trash talks–you have no class and you are nothing but a donkey and coward

    • Chris79 says:

      Totally understand what you mean.. Nilan being recognized.. For sure no doubt. But there are some Idiots the recognize him for his messed up side.. not the side where Nilan always stuck up for his teammates and got people out there seats everytime he did so and Absolutely Loved Playin in Montreal.. especially against the Bruins.. lol. So yeah.. that dude went to reHab.. who cares about Chris *Knuckles* Nilan right..? Jean Believeau said We always won because there are so many different types of players that Lead you to the Stanley Cup.. and Win. Maybe Knuckles should knuckle your face DearyLeary…!??!!?

    • Chorske says:

      LOVED Nilan when he played for us. But this isn’t an expansion team. Next time you’re in the Bell, look up at the rafters and look at the names on the retired jerseys. If you can honestly say, after doing so, that Nilan belongs up there, you are seriously overestimating what a pair of hardworking cement hands can do for a team. He’s a background hero and a fan fave, and (knowing him) that is probably enough.

      • pat s says:

        I say he was a big reason we won the cup in 86 with nilan in the lineup–i’n not saying he was a game breaker but his play gave confidence to the players that needed to produce–the little things–roy at that age felt secure on the ice with nilan and that allowed him to play without fear—game 1 against calgary he told calgary this team is under my watch so don’t even think about it

        he did his job to perfection–players loved him

        • HabinBurlington says:

          The checking line of Gainey Carboneau Nilan was as good a checking line as this team has ever had.

          • pat s says:

            best checking line in the league–i have no problems with gainey as a player—he played hard everygame

        • Chorske says:

          I think everyone loved him. That don’t put him in the rafters. But it does mean that wearing a Nilan jersey earns the wearer knowing nods of approval, which is the next best thing.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            That’s a cool way to phrase it Chorske! I actually really enjoyed listening to Knuckles on Team 990 during playoffs last year. Sure there were times he went overboard, but really made me appreciate even more how this kid from Boston learned to hate the Bruins and has a hab logo tattooed to his ass!

        • G-Man says:

          Nilan was a lionheart for the Habs who hated to lose.

          1984-85 Montreal Canadiens NHL GP 77 G 21 A 16 Pts 37 358 PIM

          20 goals and 358 penalty minutes. That was his best season. Total anarchy on ice. What a fun player to watch.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Not sure they will ever do it Pat, but I agree he deserves some kind of recognition. Was a great player for the Habs!

      • DearyLeary says:

        You’re starting to sound like a Leafs fan.

        He’s getting plenty of recognition. He’s a great personality on the TEAM, I tune in to listen to him every time he’s on the air (I wouldn’t be surprised for him to get a job with the station, which I would be delighted to hear about). He was a serviceable player who knew his role. No more, no less.

        Let’s stop this nonsense claiming he’s unappreciated, let alone retiring his jersey.

        This notion the Canadiens are soft is a bunch of horse manure, and now we romanticize guys like Nilan and make up some mythology around how people were petrified of Larry Robinson instead of him being one of the best defencemen to ever play the game.

        The sooner people stop glorifying this kind of violence and get to playing hockey the better off the NHL will be. You guys can keep on watching crazy racist uncle Don, I’ll be watching the hockey games.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Deary, I never said he should have his jersey retired. I politely said I don’t think that is going to happen. I think he deserves some kind of recognition. That can be dropping a ceremonial puck before a game, a little montage one night maybe on 30th anniversary year from his 86 cup, that kind of stuff. I never said he was unappreciated either.

          I love the team we got, I wish we had one more big strong Defenceman. I am not a proponent of fighting, but until it is removed from the game completely, the odd night we need a couple guys that can go. Moen/white are fine players by me. Just want a big strong dman. I am hopeful Emelin is that guy, but that is just speculation right now.

          And if you go back through my posts, I have never said anything nice about Uncle Don, 15 years ago, i didn’t mind him, but he is now a crotchety old man embarrassing himself and the entire old boys club.

          Leafs fan….. ahh yah. okay deary

        • TorontoHabsFan says:

          Well put.

  15. Chrisadiens says:

    Hello everyone! First time poster here but I’ve been an avid reader of this site for about 3 years. My father and I are huge hab fans and have even become fans of the personalities that comment here as well. It’s actually funny, (and maybe creepy) we talk about you guys like we know you.

    Anyways. First question. I’d like to add an avatar but Im a little hesitant. I remember someone mentioning that Gravatar is notorious for spam? Can anyone confirm or deny?

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Ovechkin on Subban was the hit of the year. If Chara on Max Pac, and Steckel on Crosby were “clean hits” they should be on that list too.

      “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
      – Sean Bonjovi

  16. Chris says:

    Normally I don’t like line proposals. But I’m intrigued by what Jacques Martin is going to do in the fall.

    I think most people agree on the likely top-6. The 3rd/4th lines are more murky. I’m guessing the two odds-on-favourites for Martin are:



    Eller-Desharnais-Kostitsyn (or Desharnais-Eller-Kostitsyn)

    I think Jacques Martin, who likes defensive responsibility, would prefer the former, as Darche can anchor Eller and Kostitsyn.

    I think that I, who believes that scoring potential on the 3rd line is crucial for success, prefer the latter option. Desharnais might have too much offense to bury on the 4th line and is better on faceoffs than Eller. Kostitsyn and Eller are a pair of big bodies, Desharnais brings some serious speed to the line and all three guys are heads-up players that can dish out a pretty pass.

    And the alternate 4th line is a TRUE 4th line. Darche, White and Moen are all 4th line, energy guys that are unlikely to need nor clamour for more ice time. Darche and Moen will get more ice time because of their PK abilities, obviously.

    So to those who were saying that Desharnais should be on the 3rd line the other day, you have convinced me. I forgot that White is a natural centre, and the accounts I’ve read from Hamilton had him as being reasonably adept at face offs. He has also had a reputation in junior and the AHL of being defensively responsible…if he can rein in his aggression and play smart (and I think he is very coachable in this regard), he could be the perfect candidate here.

    White might not be a great hockey player, but you don’t have to be a great player to be on the 4th line. You just have to have the right mental make-up, and everything I’ve seen of White suggests that he does.

    • HabFab says:

      I like the idea of DD playing with Eller and AK. It would give us 3 lines that can score, something sorely missed for awhile. I also think that due to his size and being not the fastest guy to match, DD would have a much better career as a winger.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if JM starts AK on the 1st or 2nd line ahead of MaxPac. JM is always giving benefit of doubt to the veterans.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Pacioretty – Eller – Desharnais
      Moen – White – Darche

      “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
      – Sean Bonjovi

      • HabFab says:

        AK does not play well with Gomez but seems to play very well with Eller. Nothing against AK here.

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          I want AK46 with Pleks and Gio. Not sure it’s going to happen, but I’d like to see it.

          “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
          – Sean Bonjovi

    • Castor says:

      Yeah it’s hard to imagine DareDevil on the 4th line. If he can play wing then I kind of agree to put him with Eller and AK… at least if AK plays his size. If not we need Darche on that line to go to the net..

      IF they decide to go with a fourth line of Darche, White and Moen then they will never, ever score…but they can agitate.

      • savethepuck says:

        All 3 of those guys on the 4th are hungry. They will get goals by going to the net. Just not a lot of them.

        “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

    • pat s says:

      sorry to be negative but unless prices stands on his head we will be a 1sr casuality at best with this linep

  17. Everlasting1 says:

    A two-headed snake.. for all the ophidiophobia cases out there 😛

    “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  18. Bripro says:

    The CBC have Cherry, Milburry and Stock. A Toronto cake with bruins icing. Maybe they should sign Savard, now that he’s incapacitated.
    I have a better idea. Shut CBC down, and save our tax dollars.

    • Keith says:

      Hear, Hear!!! I totally agree with you. HNIT has been irrelevant for MANY years now. It is time for them to lose Saturday night hockey for good in 2014.

  19. SmartDog says:

    For those of you who are saying that the Lighting are a 1-line team so not a threat, give your head a shake.

    Consider this:
    – The Bolts top 4 players make 25 mil/season.
    – The Habs top 4 players make 24 mil/seaon.

    A ONE million $ difference.

    AND…. two of their guys are named Stamkos and Saint Louis: MVP calibre players. While their “huge” contract “albatross” scored 25 goals last season… meanwhile the gomatross scored 7.

    The Bolts have an incredible top line. We don’t. They’re a threat for along time to come with our without Captain Vinny (who still has a lot of good hockey left in him).

    • shiram says:

      Alot of truth in there, the only solace is Gomez’s contract will be up long before Lecavalier’s contract.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • el heffe says:

      Pleks, Cole, Cammy. hmmm. mediocre at best. right? isn’t that right?

      nobody knows the pain of being a Habs fan in a world of Habs fans…

      • ooder says:

        not that i’m a hater or wtvr but
        stamkos-st. louis – ???
        not even close lol
        The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      What you say is true. However the remainder of Tampa Bay’s forwards leave A LOT to be desired:

      Steve Downie, Nate Thompson, Dominic Moore, Dana Tyrell, Ryan Shannon, Adam Hall, Mattias Ritola, Teddy Purcell (RFA) and 2 free spaces (one to be filled by Tom Pyatt?).

      Outside of Downie (and *maybe* Moore) that’s a rogue’s gallery of AHL-calibre talent.

      I’d argue that’s a team that’s going to find it very difficult to excel and take advantage of that stellar top 4 before St Louis’ play drops off (he’s now 36)

      • Nine1one says:

        Purcell had 51 points. How is that only AHL calibre?

        a few others had like 30 including moore.

        all ahl-ers ?

        • TorontoHabsFan says:

          I know, Purcell’s not signed and there’s some question as to whether TB will be able to sign him. That’s why I added that he’s RFA in my list.

          (Maybe “AHL-calibre” was a bit hyperbolic on my part…but my point still stands – Tampa Bay’s depth is a major concern and will hinder their ability to excel before St Louis’ play drops off)

          p.s. I was actually kind of hoping that Montreal would try and swing a deal for Purcell. He’d be a nice addition to our 3rd line

          • Mark C says:

            I’d love to get Purcell. Frankly, doesn’t Tampa owe us at this point?

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            Heh – I’d say they certainly do!

            I was talking with someone earlier about what it would take to get Purcell. I suggested offering a 2nd round pick – it’s more than they’d receive if Montreal made an offer sheet (anything between $1.5m-$3m is a 3rd round pick), it would avoid any offer sheet unpleasantness and it would give TB an asset that doesn’t count against the cap.

            See? Being Pretend GM is easy!


    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Of the final four in last year’s playoffs, St.Louis and Lecavalier had the most points per game.

      One simply cannot compare Gomez to Lecavalier.

    • SyntaxLove says:

      They haven’t replaced Bergenheim or Gagne yet though. The quality of their depth players is what makes them a front loaded, 2 line team, like the Sharks and Ducks are.

      • Nine1one says:

        Bergenheim did very little in the regular season. They replaced him with shannon.

        Gagne they don’t have a replacement but purcell will take his spot

        Downie Stamkos St. Louis
        Purcell Lecavalier Malone
        Thompson Moore Shannon
        Hall Tyrell Picard maybe?

        • SyntaxLove says:

          30 points is nothing to scoff at and he did ridiculously well in the post-season. But right now Shannon is comparable, you’re right. My point still stands though.

    • mdp2011 says:

      yes, but what you fail to mention is that Tampa lost something like 20 million last year, how long will they be able to survive with that kind of payroll?

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      How’s the TBL D? Oh right, utterly without hope going forward aside from Victor Hedman.

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

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I was actually having an optimistic day until I ready that! But it’s no secret. And Bolts improved over the summer.

      I think we did also, but our division is going to be brutal.

      There have been many posts shuffling our 3rd and 4th lines, which generally puts me in a coma, but the truth is they will be important as our first two lines have, um, gaps. Crevices. Canyons… We’ll have to roll 4 lines, have scoring spread out, and a killer power play (which we should).

    • Mark C says:

      I’d say Tampa is more of a 1-line team than Montreal. Tampa got 41% of their goals from 3 players, and a crazy 31% from Stamkos and St. Louis alone. Montreal got 33% of their goals from the top 3.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yikes Smart Dog, thanks for yanking off my rose-coloured glasses. I think you gave me whiplash.

      Why do some of you have to crush my preconceived notions with facts and figures?

      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

  20. Bripro says:

    I read Ed Lopaz’ post on the Expos.
    I’m 5 years older than you, but your memories bring them back for me too.
    Two events which “traumatized” me, if sports can do that.
    I was in the bleachers for Blue Monday. You could hear a pin drop after Steve Rogers gave up that home run.
    Then, the walk out in ’94, with the best team in baseball burrowing through everyone. Today, team 990 announced that the Washington Nationals were having a $2 seat sale and hot dogs for a buck.
    What memories. Now if the habs could at least do that for exhibition games….instead of $12 beers.
    As for the Red Sox, I would rather root for them. At least that organization is class. Not like the Bruins. Besides, would you rather root for the hated Yankees, even with Russell Martin?

    • boing007 says:

      Richard R
      I was sitting along the right field foul line and watched with horror as the ball passed over Dawson’s outstretched glove. The sinker ball that didn’t sink sank the Expos. Even Youppi looked sad. I forget the starting pitcher’s name, but he was doing a great job. So why did Williams take him out?

      • ed lopaz says:

        to bring in Steve Rogers – a brilliant starter who was miscast as a reliever that day!!

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • ed lopaz says:

      Was watching Blue Monday at Vanier Ste Croix campus.

      I was at the friday night game vs the Dodgers when Jerry Whites homer led us to our only home playoff win.

      When i left that night, the crowd was as loud (or louder) than any Habs crowd I have ever heard.

      I dont touch the red sox or yankees and their 200+ million payrolls which ruined baseball for guys like me and you.

      a curse on BOTH the Red Sox and Yankees!! :-)

      Go TWINKEES GO!!

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  21. Neutral says:

    Boston’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line plus goaltending is what beat Vancouver…

  22. j2c says:

    I have a question for people who have been to the Bell Centre before. I have just purchased 4 Red Goal, section 106, row W tickets to the Tampa Bay game in January.

    Is the view from these tickets good?

    Thanks in advance.

  23. avatar_58 says:

    Wow that Stamkos deal is a bargain if I ever saw one

    • Gerry H says:

      Yes and No. It means he is a free agent at 26, so Tampa will lose him for zip (if they could go big bucks long term, they would). I doubt he lasts more than 3-4 years in Tampa now.

      • Rugger says:

        No more than 3 years, his value in trade will be highest with at least two years left on the contract, 3 would be better. Once you get to the trade deadline of his 4th year, his value drops for anyone but teams needing the one peace of help short term. Any mention of a no trade clause?

        • Sakus Evil Twin says:

          …so by that logic, Pittsburgh is about to lose Crosby?

          No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

          • Rugger says:

            Do you really think Crosby would get to FA without getting re-signed by Mario – Crosby is already near the max rate and has a very positive relationship with an owner that is willing to pay to keep him. That is not the case in TB. If TB had been willing to spend to the limit, it would have been a 10 year deal.

          • Chorske says:

            Rugger, I think you’re trying to have it both ways here. I think Paul is making a valid point that a key player like Stamkos is likely to be retained until the end of his contract. And the structure of THIS contract (and the notion that Stevie Y is not on crack) suggests that Stamkos isn’t going anywhere.

  24. Gerry H says:

    Stamkos 5/$7.5MM per Eklund

    DeBoer to coach Jersey

  25. TheKarl says:

    *** From an article SF09 mentioned earlier in Danish ***

    After a bitter playoff exit and shoulder surgery, 22 year old Lars Eller is looking forward to a new season with the Montreal Canadiens

    Shoulder injury, surgery, missing the World Championships and Montreal’s bitter exit in OT of game 7 in the first round against the team that represents everything that is soul-less and evil in the world… (OK, the last part might not have been an exact translation)

    But despite the misfortunes at the end of April, hockey life for Lars Eller still looks bright.

    The Canadien’s 22 year old playmaker is so far ahead of his rehabilitation after right shoulder surgery on May 12th that he is expected to be ready for the start of the NHL season in early October.

    Eller is home during the offseason at his family’s place. meets him at Sports Place where he does strength training daily. Three times a week he supplements that with interval training on a bike, technical exercises and hangs out with fellow Danish squad teammates.

    He has put on 5kg since the end of the season and today weighs 92kg [202lbs]. His goal is to put an extra 2-3 kg before returning to Montreal.

    “Rehab is going perfectly. I am a little ahead of schedule” he says.
    Eller has earlier in his career had surgery on his left shoulder. In game 6 against Boston his other shoulder went into the boards after a check in his first shift.

    “I have had issues with my right shoulder a couple of years and would probably have had surgery sooner or later. Luck when unlucky I guess, that this didn’t happen at the beginning or in the middle of the season. Instead I missed the WC, just that was tough. I love playing for the national squad and being apart of the great camaraderie there. If I’m healthy then only the playoffs will ever prevent me from playing.”

    After three years with the Blues’ organization, Eller was traded to the 24 time Stanley Cup champions Montreal before last season – and went down in history as the first Dane to play for two NHL clubs.

    In his rookie season he played 77 regular season games (7 goals and 10 assists) and 7 playoff games and gained a strong reputation with the coaches, teammates and fans as an intelligent, hard working and battle strong center on the 3rd line.

    Montreal is the hockey city above all others. In Canada and globally. And Eller noticed this quickly.

    “As a rookie and new arrival I’m lowest on the hierarchy, but seldom can I walk down the street without writing autographs or posing for pictures with people. Some of the stars on the team have to have people do their groceries for them. ”

    “I’ve had a good and educating year in Montreal. It can only go upwards from here. I look forward to next season with even more playing time and more responsibility. I know expectations from the coaches will be bigger but I’m working hard here this summer to reach my goals.

    As a side note, can reveal that Eller during the season mostly does not read sports in Canadian Newspapers, where hockey is is often the bulk of the sports section.

    “I do not want to let it affect me. Firstly, newspapers tend to cover things as black and white and secondly, a small confession, I’m not that good at French” Eller admits.

    Eller followed his friend Jannik Hansen throughout the playoffs and is full of admiration. “Jannik was one of Vancouver’s best in the finals. His play in the finals beats everything, at least when it comes to Danish accomplishments in the NHL. He has taken a huge step forward.”

    Next best Dane in the NHL?
    “Frans Nielsen. I’m impressed with his season with the Islanders. He is getting better and better and his value for the team cannot be overstated”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Thanks again Karl, much nicer read than the google translation. I had thought he had Shoulder injury on same arm before. So now he has hurt each side. Hopefully the end of shoulder problems for him.

      Another 200lb forward for the team…. hhmmmmm sounds good looks like we are getting wider and thicker!

      • TheKarl says:

        Yeah, I was kinda surprised to read that too, but the article clearly states his “venstre skulder” which either means he had surgery on a) his left shoulder or b) the liabilities of the Left/Liberal political party…. I’m gonna guess its a) ha!

        • HabitantQuebec says:

          Okay please let me clarify exactly what the article says: It says that he had surgery on his left shoulder earlier, however the injury that he just suffered was on his right should. He also mention that he already had troble with the right shoulder, so he would have needed to have a sugery at some point anyhow. In that light he feels that he was “lucky” with the injury.

          • GrimJim says:

            My reading of the article is that Eller has been having nagging problems with his right shoulder for a couple of years and suspected that he would need surgery eventually. Eller then says IMO that he feels it was unlucky that the injury happened in April because it prevented him from playing in the World Championships which he enjoys.

  26. Psycho29 says:

    Not sure if it was mentioned elsewhere here but it seems that Alexei Yashin’s KHL contract is up and he might consider coming back to the NHL. In fact, his agent says that at least one team is interested.
    What would you guys think if the Habs…….OH NEVER MIND! :-)

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

  27. deimers says:

    So I was in Vegas almost 3 weeks ago, and, being an optimistic kind of guy, put $100 down on the Habs to win the Cup next season.

    The best part is I tried to do it at the MGM at 18-1, but their sportsbook was closed for the night. The next day I made the bet at the Venetian (just as Cole was signed) and got 25-1. I do suppose that’s -$100 no matter what the odds, but hey, you never know :)

    Anyways, what kind of odds do you think they deserve? I think that given the parity in the league they have almost as good of a chance as anybody else does. Surely even a pessimist would admit 25-1 is a bit high, no?

  28. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Stamkos re-signs with Tampa Bay. 5 year deal. No financials disclosed yet.

    That’s a mighty expensive Top 4 they got there.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Stamkos will be worth every penny but it just shows you the major hole in the CBA. Guys in their early 20’s hit pay dirt and then hit it again when they become UFAs at 27.

      This could be a major sticking point with the new contract as the NHL has to close this loophole. Should be interesting when we go to sign Price and Subban.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Oh I agree. But as we’ve seen in the playoffs – a 1 line team will eventually get shut down.

        I just took a look at their roster on capgeek – it’s pretty ugly after Stamkos-St Louis-Lecavalier-Malone-Downie.

        I wonder what they’ll do with that loophole – I think it would be a MAJOR sticking point (as you say) and the PA would not budge on it. I suspect the NHL wants a smooth negotiation (and no stoppage in play) and will not touch it.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Bettman can’t change it, Fehr will destroy Bettman in the next round of negotiations. It was widely held that the NHL got what they wanted in the last CBA. For the Owners/Bettman to reopen the CBA and say they need more, I just have to think Fehr would be licking his chops and I think Bettman knows it.

          • 24 Cups says:

            I’m just wondering what kind of power Fehr and the players have that would ‘destroy’ Bettman and the league.

            It has to be a cat and mouse game for both sides. The players have basically done OK even though they initially lost out. Outside of escrow, I can’t think of one thing that they need to improve on (outside of the the notion that any union wants to improve on any new contract).

        • HabinBurlington says:

          And next year they have to resign Hedman. Vinny will be given away by the this club very soon. Wonder if Burke is going to take a try this way for his new Center!

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            Hedman and Downie. It would seem that the only way out is to dump Lecavalier or buy him out IF they institute a penalty-free buy-out period after the next CBA is signed (like they did last time).

            Even still, $64m is a LOT of clams to give up for nothing.

    • Willy says:

      5 years, 37.5 Mil. I guess that’s fair but they certainly do have a ton of money tied up in their top 6 now.

  29. longbow says:

    Stamkos signs. 5 years,37.5m

    “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

  30. pants buzzed

    stamkos signed for 5 years

  31. PrimeTime says:

    The almighty HH has spoken……Oooops and a little dis by Rob who should know better….or does he?? :)

    July 18, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm

    No. It’s punkster and PrimeTime trying to stifle debate or criticism and at the same time thinking that they are superior by attempting to belittle others. It’s a classic example of people with inferiority complexes. Put others down to try and elevate oneself. At least punskter tries to be funny.
    July 18, 2011 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm

    Is HH’s post the most hypocritical post of the day? I think so.

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • Rob says:

      you’re right i should know better. I should just let him have his fun. But i’ll be honest….HH is my least favorite poster on this site, and i’ve lived through every irritating poster in the history of this site. so…what can i say.

      The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

      • PrimeTime says:

        He’s by far my favorite but strictly on an entertainment level. I wish he would go on stage so I can laugh at his act live. He can’t take himself that seriously, can he??

      • HardHabits says:

        Rob. If you didn’t reply to me I would have never even known you existed. At least PrimeTime has some oomph.

        • Rob says:

          Don’t post a lot anymore because, over the past couple of years, the quality of posts on this site has deteriorated to the level of, well, your posts. But i’ve “existed” on this site since way before you were around. Thanks.

          The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Allow me to rephrase your question.
      Is this HH’s most hypoctritical post of the day?

      because he has at least one a day.. with his whole spiel about having a mature debate and then below in the replies personally attacking someone’s opinion.

      • HardHabits says:

        Oh geez. The idiot crew is trying to gang up on me. It was so much easier for you intellectual pygmies when you could thumb down me anonymously.

  32. ed lopaz says:

    I would pay every Hab forward a “Bonus” of $50,000 for each goal scored from the crease and blue paint area.

    watch how quickly AK 46 goes to the net looking for the garbage!! :-)

    mathieu darche would have doubled his salary last season.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  33. 24 Cups says:

    Cogliano gets new three year deal from Anaheim. Over $7M for underachieving and getting traded away for a pick.

    Chris Osgood retires. Could the Hall of Fame be next?

    • mbplekfan says:

      Chipchura 2-way deal with Phoenix. The end is near. He should start looking outside of hockey for a career.

      I remember when Habs were so high on him coming off WJC. Things never really worked out after that injury killed his mobility.

    • Chris says:

      Chris Osgood is going to be a defining guy for the Hall of Fame…if they are serious about maintaining some sort of bar, where does Osgood belong?

      1) In only one or two seasons of his career could he have been included amongst the statistical leaders at his position.
      2) He was not terribly effective outside of Detroit.
      3) He won a lot of Stanley Cups, but behind a stacked team.

      The guy has tons of wins, a testament to his longevity and good fortune. He was a solid goaltender for a team that was not easy to play behind at times, as Ken Dryden discovered behind the 1970’s Canadiens.

      But was he ever considered an “elite” goalie? I would go with no.

      And if we’re keeping out Pavel Bure because he didn’t play long enough despite being the best goal-scorer in the league for his short career, I have a hard time letting Chris Osgood in based on longevity and Stanley Cup rings.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Chris – I wondered the same thing, which is why I put in that thought along with the link.

        Having said that, Osgood is 10th in NHL wins and 4th in GAA for those in the all time top ten. His WPCT is 3rd all time, with only Brodeur and Dryden ahead of him. He also has three Cup rings. Yet I never thought of him as being a great goalie.

        Bure? I wonder if the fact that he quit on Vancouver in the playoffs has held him back (demanded a higher contract). I bet Pat Quinn still has some clout around the league.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        After they voted in Clarke Gillies I guess anything is possible…even Osgood getting in. 😀

        In all seriousness though, my gut says that Osgood doesn’t belong in the Hall. I don’t think he was ever considered one of the top 5 goalies in the game. I think one could argue that Kolzig has a better case for the HOF.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        No on Osgood. Gee, that was easy.

      • Andrew65 says:

        Question. Was Osgood better than Mike Vernon?

    • osgood, solid dependable goaliie, had an incredible career, but HOF?

      hellllll no

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    CNNSI did a look at the beards in sport all time. Very dissppointed our own Paul Mara did not make the list. Also cannot believe they didn’t include Scott Hartnell in the list.

    However, Bill Lee in an expos uniform did make the list!

    • Rugger says:

      Only sports memorabilia I have is a baseball signed by the Spaceman!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Possibly one of the most genuinely entertaining, eccentric sports athlete of all time. I still love to hear him on the radio. The Fan590 in Toronto used to have him on every 2-3 months. His stories and opinions are priceless!

        • Rugger says:

          A true classic, one of the many reasons why I no longer am a Red Sox fan, trading away all my favorites going all the way back to 1967. George Scott, Hawk Harellson, Bill Lee, Reggie Smith…list goes on and on.

          • ed lopaz says:

            how can any habs fan cheer for the red sox?

            same guys sitting behind home plate at Fenway, are the fans who cheered when Max was almost killed by Chara.

            too bad Chara never has any at bats in hockey.

            I would have my pitcher throw one about 6 inches behind his head.

            replying to posts below;

            born in 64, my first solid baseball memory was Willie Stargell (RIP) hitting a monster shot into the swimming pool over the right field stands at Parc Jarry.

            huge Expos fan!!

            If there was an Expos Inside Out I would apply to be a “volunteer” moderator, just to talk the game all day!!

            I remember Yankees games being televised on Sunday afternoons in Chomedey – we had an antenna on our roof so we got CBS, ABC, NBC.

            Of Course Wednesday nights and Saturday nights the Expos were on – I would never miss a televised game.

            Later in my teens. I would take the metro and sit in the bleachers at the Big O.

            Miss Nos Amours, thats for sure.

            I follow the Twins today – they survived contraction, built a beautiful park, and seem to play baseball the old fashioned way with a payroll under 70 million . :-)

            Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

          • Rugger says:

            Easy Ed, growing up in VT in the 60’s, the three teams on TV all the time were the Canadiens, Red Sox and New York Giants. Still love the Habs & Giants, left the sox behind long ago.

          • D Mex says:

            @ ed lopaz : Geography.
            Boston had the closest MLB franchise to Montreal before the Expos rolled into town. Their exhibition game at Jarry Park, which featured Carl Yastrzemski in a cameo appearance at 1B (scheduled day off for both teams – I was there), was hugely popular and successful.

            ALWAYS Habs –
            D Mex

        • I loved when he called Don Zimmer the “designated Gerbil”. lol

  35. Ali says:

    question that popped into my head, who is this year’s MAB/Wiz to play the right point on the first PP unit? Is Weber ready? Markov and PK both are better on the left point (I still remember that rocket PK scored to send game 7 against the B’s to OT).

    Oh Captain my Captain…

    • habs03 says:

      Not true about Markov not playing well on the right point, it didn’t work out because that year they wanted Tangy to be the passer and Markov to the shooter. I think he’ll be even better on the right point with Subban tie off one timers on the left side, and Cammy on the half way on the right of him, both ready for one-timers.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      I think last season JM experimented with Plex on the right point. If that stays true then we might see Plex feeding PK for the slapper on one unit and Markov on the left side paired with someone else on the another unit.

      • Andrew65 says:

        Exactly. That someone else being Cammy. I’ve opined previously that 2 PP units would be awesome. 1 and 1A. The “second” unit would go up against the 2nd PK units. Can’t wait. Killing them on the PK is a much better solution than getting a goon to beat ’em up.

    • myron.selby says:

      Well if I were running the PP (and who’s going to now that Muller is gone?), I’d put Markov and Weber out as the first pairing. Weber has a cannon, and with him and Cammalleri waiting for those pinpoint passes the first unit will be deadly.

      I know a lot of people here think he has no offensive upside, but I’d put Gorges out there with PK on the second unit. Having Gorges backing him up would allow Subban to gamble even more on the power play.

      • Chris says:

        Unfortunately, Weber has the same issue as Subban: both right-handed shots.

        After years of having not RH defencemen, the Habs suddenly have a pair of potentially good ones in Subban and Weber.

  36. PrimeTime says:

    @HH and others of his ilk;
    Not everyone comes here to “debate” which really is impossible on a blog anyhow. But I understand how some feel the need to exercise their ego by repeatedly posting the same points. What I don’t understand is how some to do it all day – everyday! Is there not other things to do with all this time?? I find it amusing but also rather sad. Perhaps it’s due to an illness and if so, then I truly feel sad although you would tell me not to.

    Others, such as myself, come here primarily for hockey news and more specifically Habs news /updates. The comments I review are mostly for my own amusement. My opinions posted are in no way intended to insult or imply I have a greater knowledge than another….just a difference in opinion. Like the sport itself, it’s all entertainment…..and some participants shine more than others.
    You my friend HH, are very entertaining. I told you before, you should take this schtick on the road….just try and build more material. Tanking and Grit is getting stale.

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    Chatter from an interview Lars Eller did in Denmark indicates he is ahead of his rehabilitation schedule and expects to be ready for the pre-season.

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

  38. HardHabits says:

    What the Habs need is more Depth and Width.

  39. krob1000 says:

    You know what would be really cool…….summer hockey…..yup….summer hockey. Why is there no summer league? Kind of a farm system or basketball D league equivalent….aseball has winter ball.
    AHL or lower calibre players or guys who are still tring to strut their stuff and improve their game……sure would beat talking about what we’ve been talking about on here.
    With so much competition in the winter lower level leagues get no air time or print…..if a league were to come in and play from say july to mid august….I know I would check it out.
    Instead of summer camps and rookie camps…a league…baby habs vs baby leafs,etc….there would be market…..think about how awesome it would be to have Krist-Trotter-Leblanc playing against Kadri and Gardiner.

    I know the injury risk is always there but really…it is in camps too….so why not profit from it and have something to satisfy fans hunger for hockey…..hell there are message boards all over the interent still full whenever a 4th liner is signed…I am sure they would rather be watching hockey.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Not sure they could find enough grit and size guys to play over the summer though?

      • HardHabits says:

        I’d rather play soccer out doors in the winter.

        • krob1000 says:

          I think hockey is missing a great opportunity to showcase something…think about the Spengler Cup that gets buried by the Wolrd Juniors, the World Championships that get buried by the playoffs, the great AHL hockey that gets buried by better NHL hockey. There is too much competition and anyone who started something like this would have the stage all to themselves….instead there are development camps, tryoutr camps for the Juniors,etc…..why not ahve some games?

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            I like the idea as well. But I suspect that the risk of injury is too much for teams to get on board with the idea.

            Maybe even have a playoffs? Add 1 US team (Buffalo?) and have an 8 team, best of 7 tournament with all the Canadian teams.

            That might be interesting.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      No summer hockey? Go to any rink.

      Maybe it’s not on TV, but it’s there. Especially on a hot day, it’s a great outing. Depending on what week and where you live, you may very well see some NHL guys. There were a dozen of them, including Cammy, in Toronto at St Mike’s last august. And you’ll see some very exciting kids’ hockey, all ages.

      And if it has to be TV, pull out your box set of Habs 100 anniversary 10 greatest games. See us battle the Red Army, the Nordiques — you can’t go wrong. Watch Saku deke Lundqvist into next week in the Habs greatest comeback.

      Otherwise you can just sit here posting on HIO and quietly go insane :-)

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Intriguing idea. Most serious hockey players need an off-season to recover from the winter, so NHL, AHL and CHL players are out of the question.

      How about we make it a Senior League, and turn it into a high-scoring league with non-stop end-to-end action. No hooking or holding allowed whatsoever, we give out penalties and penalty shots like they’re candy. If they’re playing four on four or three on three half the time, great. Discourage goonerism, escalating suspensions for guys who take too many minors, so we weed out the slow grinders.

      It’s a semi-pro league, but once in a while some guy comes out of nowhere and gets noticed in our new league and gets signed by Columbus or Nashville, so there’s an incentive to play hard.

      I’d buy tickets for that, or watch on RDS. I wouldn’t disconnect my cable in the summer as I’ve been doing for years now.

      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

  40. cheezboie says:

    Mike Keane for assistant?

    My armchair GM 11/12 Habs –
    cap hit of 61.419 mill
    leaving 2.881 million for adding sandpaper (cap ceiling 64.3 million)

    Camm 6 – Pleks 5 – Cole 4.5
    MaxPac 1.625 – Gomez 7.357– Gio 5
    Darche 0.7 – Desharnais 0.850 – AK46 (off-wing) 3.25
    Moen 1.5 – Engqvist 0.900 – White 0.625
    Eller 1.27 (Plug into 3rd line center duty when healthy – then White centers Darche & Moen on 4th line & Desharnais moves to LW on 3rd line)

    First call up – Palushaj

    Markov (lefty) 5.75 – Gorges (lefty) (3)
    Gill (lefty) 2.25 – Subban (righty) 0.875
    Yemelin (lefty) 0.984 – Spacek (lefty) 3.833
    Weber (righty) 0.850 (can also use as RW/PP specialist a la Streit)
    Diaz (righty) 0.9

    first call up – Nash (lefty)

    Price 2.75
    Budaj 1.15

    -0.5 Laraque buyout

    • HabinBurlington says:

      THat’s an interesting name. Kind of thought Wpg would snap him up by now given he is from there andplayed for the Moose recently. Guy has played long enough that I suspect he could transition to Asst. Coach pretty quick.

    • Chris says:

      Mike Keane is one guy that I suspect would make an excellent coach. He was a very good positional hockey player and had to work his tail off for everything he achieved.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agreed, usually the make up of an excellent coach. Rarely do we see the the gifted talented players become the good coaches.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Chris – Keane’s history with Montreal is ancient. Not sure he would want to come back to the team that crapped all over him. I wonder if Winnipeg would be interested seeing he had such a great AHL career in that town.

    • G-Man says:

      Great choice, but the language cloud will follow him around.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Mike Keane for an assistant? That’s brilliant. The first thing he’d do is take Gomez out in the parking lot for a whooping. :-)

      Speaking of Alaska, talked to a guy at the rink last week who had just come back from working on a film. He got into some p/up games and said it was really hard core, they take it seriously up there.

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    Okay instead of talking about the same thing we’ve been talking about forever (Toughness, or the lack of perception of what that actually means), let’s shift topics.

    Who would you like to see Kirk Muller be replaced with behind the bench and please try to avoid names under contract?

    I’m personally a big fan of Cunneyworth as they bring a lot of the same qualities to the table, but I don’t like the idea of switching coachs in Hamilton for a 4th straight season.

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

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      What about Pascal Vincent? Could he be pried loose from the QMJHL?

      Or maybe hire him to replace Cunneyworth and have Randy as the Ass’t Coach?

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        From what I’ve read, Vincent is not interested in the A and from critiques I have read about him, he is one of most defence-obsessed coachs in the Q not sure he really fits the role that Muller had here.

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

        • TorontoHabsFan says:

          In my extremely limited opinion then, I’d agree that Cunneyworth is the most obvious choice.

        • longbow says:

          If Vincent is obsessed with defense then it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s the first guy Martin talks to. I think Martin and Patrick Roy behind the same bench would be hilarious…just joking. Pascal Vincent is the first guy I thought of. What about Gerard Gallant of the Sea Dogs ?

          “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Keith Acton.

      “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    • gerrybell says:

      i would love to know why kirk muller is qualified to coach the AHL team of another franchise and not ours. okay ya, he doesnt speak french – who cares. in this global market we will in we could say he doesnt speak russian for markov or yemelin or swiss for diaz. the greatest coaches in habs history were bowan and toe blake – dont sound too french to me.

      • shiram says:

        Bulldogs already have a coach, you can’t just fire the guy, especially since he’s done good so far.

        If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Apparently he was offered the job last off-season and turned it down.

        (not sure why they wouldn’t swtich Cunneyworth and Muller for the upcoming season though…)

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Muller was offered HC of Hamilton the previous summer and turned it down from reports. Cunneyworth holds and Don Lever held that spot while not speaking French.

        Sometimes you have to let these guys go as well as they’re going out to try and make their mark somewhere else to raise their profile. DET has lost two Assistants to HC jobs in the last 3 years now.

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

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        For the same reason they didn’t offer Boucher the head coaching job in Montreal last year. Firing Martin last year or Cunneyworth this year would have been unfair. They figure treating employees well pays off in th long run.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        En Suisse, they either speak a French dialect in Geneva or a German dialect “Scharz-Deutsche” in Zurich. And many speak English and multiple languages.

        A lovely country, by the way, if you ever get the chance.

        My position on French is the coach needs to acknowledge it and make an effort. If he learns the basic Catholic swear words (Calice, tabernac, etc.) and uses them effectively, heck, he’s golden.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      No idea, but I am sure JM will bring some former cronies from Ottawa/Florida days.

    • G-Man says:

      Cunneyworth is the obvious choice, so leave it to JM and PG to surprise us.

    • Rugger says:

      I understand Dr. Recchi is available.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Rugger, like your thinking! Another name is Mike Murphy, he assisted with JM in Ottawa i think 1 or 2 years. Between Murph and Recchi we should get most calls our way and league discipline rulings would also go our way!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Don Hay has NHL experience, although he did get beaten down. He is doing some good work with the Vancouver Giants, I think he should be on the radar. He doesn’t have a Montreal connection, but if we drive away the Carbonneaus, Gaineys, Robinsons, Lemaires, etc, then we need to start looking further afield.

      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

  42. Habfan10912 says:

    NJ Ledger reports devils to name new coach at 330 press conference any guesses who gets the job?

  43. Propwash says:

    Pie and grits, washing it down with some kool-aid, sounds like a good lunch to me!

  44. homerbowen says:

    Nice signing by the Jets, Blake Wheeler 6’5″ 210lbs for 2 years.
    I expect their home opener agains us will be trouble as their fans are similar to ours, they are true fans unlike Laff fans. In fact I think they win that opener, so we better beat the thug laffs first.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Issue is Wheeler doesn’t know, or doesn’t care he’s 6’5″. Doesn’t use his size at all in a game and he’s a money-grubber.

      He’s fortunate his name isn’t Boris Fetisov.

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

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        In his defence, he did seem to do a bit better in Atlanta than Boston. (7g 10a in 23 games).

        But he is a strange player – his stats have declined every year since his rookie year.

        Here’s hoping he finds his game in Winnipeg! How awesome is it to say that?? 😀

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Yup, it is awesome, heading out to the homestead tomorrow for a week. Looking forward to hearing from the excited fans. Found out a buddy I grew up with has a very significant role with the office staff of the team. Will definitely have to chat with him and plant the seed for Christmas tix!

          I look for Wheeler to get his career on track there.

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            I am unbelievably excited to see Winnipeg play this year. And I don’t even have any real connection to the city (a high school buddy moved there – visited twice, that’s it)…and yet, their return is easily the highlight of the year.

            Now if we can only get a team in Quebec and another in Hamilton, everything will be right in the world 😀

          • shiram says:

            I agree with that, and will add that I’m also interesting in seeing what Jagr can do this season. For all the rumours, and posting done, it’ll be fun to see if he lives up to expectations.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            Shiram – If I had to guess, I’d say that Jagr will put up numbers similar to Kovalev’s last season (16g 15a).

            Maybe closer to 40 pts total…but I don’t think much more than that.

          • shiram says:

            Rather have ak46 at around the same cap hit if that’s what Jagr manages…

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • DearyLeary says:

        Oh wow, I would have never guessed he was 6’5″. I always thought he was a small speedy forward from how he played.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Leaf fans are fine.
      It’s just that the ACC fills up with corporate tickets who don’t really give a crap about the team.
      Most TO fans are pretty down-to-earth, love their team, bleed blue-and-white, but are resigned to the fact that they perennially suck.
      The media pumps them up, but every team’s media does that.
      Aaaand Brian Burke is a douche. But that’s not the fans’ fault.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  45. JD_ says:

    * Interestin’ read on HNIC but nothin’ particularly new. I will, however, admit to havin’ missed this explosive item: “This summer, the show lost Jeff Marek”. Jeff who? Oh, yeah, the co-host of HNIC’s deeply rivetin’ intermission segment, Nerd Desk. Don’t know about you, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve encountered blood in my urine from wilfully ignorin’ the searin’ pain of a bladder ready to burst, all just to ensure I don’t miss one prized second of Nerd Desk. Godspeed CBC; try to carry on without him.

    * HNIC’s contract with the NHL is up in 2014 and CTV/TSN will wipe the floor with them. I am unable to give a damn about the CBC, and its predilection for insultingly st00pid McLean-Cherry Phantom of the Opera vignettes, and look forward to a far superior product from the bright folks over at TSN.

    * At least the CBC still has Pierre LeBrun on board. Wait. What? Strike that.

    * The one thing you can say with certainty about #30: It has been worn by an absolute shiteload of goalies. From Gump to Crozier, Cheevers to Gilbert, Barrasso to Belfour, and the list goes on and on and on. Even that strange story, Jim Carey, is on there.

    * Has Teemu signed with the Jets yet?

    * Is Darcy Tucker self-aware?

    * Just a quick reminder for those who are sometimes bewildered by the perpetual inanity and rampant displays of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) around here: HI/O’s doors are wiiiiiiiide open. Come on in, baby!

    * Brian Burkie sux.

  46. HardHabits says:

    What the Habs really need is more TIME AND SPACE.

    • Mattyleg says:

      What you’re saying is that we need to sign Stephen Hawking.

      That IS what you’re saying, right?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • longbow says:

        Einstein I think. Hawking is the Black Hole guy.

        “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

        • shiram says:

          Hawking also wrote a book titled, A Brief history of time and space.
          Think he qualifies on any question related to time and space.
          He just happens to also be the black hole guy.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • G-Man says:

            A brief History of Time.
            Space not included.

          • shiram says:

            Gak!! My bad!
            But Hawking does dabble in space related science!

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • Mattyleg says:

            Yep, it’ll have to be Hawking, seeing as how Carl Sagan is dead.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • longbow says:

            Funny thing about Hawking is if you ask physicists today they’ll tell you he’s kinda irrelevant.Pretty much everything he did has been proven wrong.He’s been left behind.

            “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

          • Chris says:

            Longbow: I’m not a theoretical physicist or general relativity guy, but the Perimiter Institute thought enough of Hawking to bring him in for a month or two each year to bounce ideas off of.

            He’s more celebrity than serious scientist at this point of his career, but he’s still an intimidatingly intelligent person that has a pretty good grasp of a very difficult field.

        • Chris says:

          Since black holes distort the space-time continuum, you end up being an expert in both when you work in general relativity. I never liked that stuff in grad school…way too many tensors and hard math. I’ll stay with my experimental science. :)

    • Favorite Son says:

      I think having Cole on one line and Pacioretty on the other will certainly help with that aspect of the game.

  47. TorontoHabsFan says:

    A friendly tip – if you have a fundamental issue with the way the current management group has assembled this version of the Montreal Canadiens, then might I suggest you go and find a team that does fit the general contours of a team you’d prefer to see.

    The cold, hard, truth (or FACT, if you will) is that nothing, absolutely nothing you say or write or do can affect any change. You might as well be howling at the moon for all the good it will do.

    Therefore, for your, and our, sanity’s sake…go find a different team to follow – come back to Montreal if/when they have a shift in organizational focus.


    • JayBee says:

      Might as well shut this site down then….oh, get rid of team messageboards a well.

      Don’t tell me who to cheer for. Get off your pedastal.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Interesting definition of “cheering” you got there 😀

        • HardHabits says:

          Don’t tell me which team to support. I find it quite offensive for a person not living in Montreal telling me how to support my team or implying that I shouldn’t criticize it.

          People who try to stifle a debate, like punskter, PrimeTime, Chorske, might as well admit that the POV they are opposing is correct.

          It’s only people like Chris or SF09 that actually reply according to the rules of debating and generally they see that the Habs are building in an area they are lacking.

          The best posters here like Talik Sanis, Un Canadien Errant, JayBee, SmartDog have much more to offer than others like Habsrule1, punkster, PrimeTime or the rest who lambaste those who are critical and mock their POV’s to the point of blatantly misrepresenting their ideas or exaggerating them.

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            I see we have Angry HH today…finding offense at every turn.


          • HardHabits says:

            @dhenry1234: That was possibly the most offensive comment of the day. Good job.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            I tend to lean more towards JayBee & HH’s pov on the lack of grit issue… but a few points

            1) Where someone lives is completely irrelavant. So what if they live outside of Montreal. I live in Halifax, does that make you a better or more entitled fan than me?

            2) No offence to anyone listed as your “best posters”, because they are all good posters, but really you’re just listing some regular posters that tend to agree with you. I’ve seen a few of those posters have bad days on here just like the rest of us. Post huge rants, get personal, all that stuff.

            3) When you call out posters who disagree and say they blatently misrepresent ideas, or exagerate them… uh, it’s pretty obvious that goes both ways. I’ve seen lots of pro-size and grit posters(including ones you’ve listed) go on their rants about the “kool-aid drinkers”, and how everyone will freak out on them if they say anything about grit, which is a huge exageration. Many people here(like some of the posters you listed) will happily debate those points.

            I don’t even know why I responded to you HH, because I tend to agree with you. So don’t take this as an attack, I guess there were just some points in your last post that got my goat. It’s probably because I’m having a major sh1t day at work!!!

          • christophor says:

            So if I follow these rules of debating you speak of, I’ll eventually agree with you?

            O’ teach me how to do things properly, please.

          • punkster says:

            I find your POV, um…er…confusing at best. Thing is I don’t mock opinions but I do mock holier-than-thou, I-know-better-than-you, superiority complex attitudes. Someone has an opinion then please state it without the denigration of their fellow Habs fans.

            Sorry Dave but I just can’t stand self important, egotistical people who flaunt their self worth to the world. A flaw in my character I suppose. Like my former love of the Leafs.

            So don’t tell me not to criticize the critics who criticize my team. I don’t rank posters but I will continue to respond respectfully to any comment that rubs me the wrong way.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • G-Man says:

            It’s not the POV; it’s the almost daily repetition.
            Gets kind of redundant.

          • punkster says:

            @dhenry…I am in full agreement with HH. Your comment is atrocious and offensive. Remove it please.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • huge_polar_bear says:

            @dhenry1234 …

            You should be banned from this site for stupid comments like the one you posted above. There is nothing funny about mentally and physically challenged individuals. If anything you should be inspired by their courage and determination in overcoming their conditions.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            HardHabits – for someone always calling for grit, you’re being a bit of a crybaby here. Come on mate. What would Zenon Konopka do?

          • habs178 says:

            “Don’t tell me which team to support. I find it quite offensive for a person not living in Montreal telling me how to support my team or implying that I shouldn’t criticize it.”

            So if I lived in Montreal and told you how to support your team or told you you shouldn’t criticize it, that would be less offensive?

            THAT was a dumb remark….just sayin.

            “How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?”
            ~Jacques Plante

          • dhenry1234 says:


          • Chorske says:

            You lost me at JayBee and SmartDog. Hee. Come ON. Broken records.

            But you lumped me in with some excellent company, people with whom I am have had beers and solid hockey discussions. And I am glad to see you throw props to SF09, who is one of the finest posters on this site and a decent guy to boot. And Un Canadien, who is a fantastic addition. But besides that… well, Gawd gave you two ears and one mouth, but you aren’t taking the hint.

    • Favorite Son says:

      Oh, so blindly approve and support any move management makes to your favourite team or gtfo?? What a stupid comment!

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        There’s a difference between not liking this move or that move and having a fundamental difference in philosophy.

        I might not like having so much money tied up in a 2nd line centre – but I generally prefer to watch a game predicated on speed and outstanding goaltending. If Montreal started playing a brand of hockey I didn’t enjoy I wouldn’t follow them quite so closely. I wouldn’t make yearly trips to see them play and I certainly wouldn’t waste my time yelling to strangers that I’m right and the GM is wrong.

        There are 29 other teams in the league I can choose from, and while I have a special fondness for Montreal (they form a tangible link between me and my deceased father), I’d survive a switch to rooting for another team. I have no problem finding a team to cheer for in the playoffs when Montreal is eliminated.

        The anger and vitriol that seeps from the keyboards of some seems like such a waste of energy – especially when you consider that the rage is impotent.


        • Favorite Son says:

          Yes well, when you’re from Montreal and have known nothing else but the Habs as your favourite team and couldn’t fathom ever supporting another, you’re entitled to expect and criticize as much as you want. You love this team and want to see it succeed, I think that’s pretty normal. Also, with the history of this organization, settling for mediocrity is not an option.

          Point is, support any team you want, that’s your right to choose, but you also have the right to support them anyway you want while not having anyone telling you how to do so.

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            And all I’m suggesting is that the only option you have if the team is mediocre, or not performing in a manner you see fit is to stop following them so closely or start following one that does.

            Frustration is one thing, but when you see/read the vitriolic comments coming from some corners it confounds me that people would prefer to spend their leisure time/energy in such a fashion. They really seem to HATE this version of the Canadiens. I don’t get it, this is supposed to be fun, remember?

            (of course I do realize that some posters are just trolling for arguments to pass the time at work)

        • JayBee says:

          LOL…what kind of fan would you be if you abandoned your team because you disliked how they played? LOL.

          • punkster says:

            LOL…one like me who dropped the Leafs after years of frustration and turned to the Habs…for more years of frustration LOL.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            Seems to me that not abandoning a team based on their play is precisely the charge leveled at Leafs fans who fill up the arena regardless of how poorly they play.


        • Favorite Son says:

          To answer your post above:

          I’m sorry, but your suggestion is just too ridiculous for me. I can’t just jump ship from team to team. I grew up a Habs fan and will die one too. To the vitriol you refer to, I guess some people lose control sometimes, but I’m not one of them. But you just can’t tell people to go follow another team when they say things you don’t agree with…

  48. HardHabits says:

    The size and grit debate is not unlike debating the existence of Santa Claus with a 5 year old. The size and gritters know that Santa doesn’t exist but the anti-size and gritters keep on believing. Nothing at the end of the day is settled.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Those who endlessly post repetitive comments about the need for size and grit are like people who debate the existence of Santa with a 5-year-old:

      What are you doing debating with a five-year-old??
      And also, what do you hope to acheive if nothing is settled at the end of the day?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • RGM says:

        It’s like the dog in Back to The Future says, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

        During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

      • longbow says:

        On average the Bruins are 1″ taller but the Habs are 2lbs heavier so size has nothing to do with it.Either our team doesn’t defend itself or Martin won’t allow them to.If anyone wants to argue about size and grit then I would suggest you drop the size aspect and stick to the grit argument.

        “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

    • christophor says:

      Please stop belittling those who disagree with you and then flip out (above) on those who do the same but the other way.

      Hypocrisy at its finest. You’re on a roll today, Aitch ma’boy.

      Also, the issue if FAR more complex than this silly ‘size and grit’ cover-all tag suggests. But keep propping yourself up as the resident genius.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Based on your analogy, you appear to be having a difficult time winning a debate against a 5 year old. Sorry to hear that, there are many different evening school programs that you could enroll in.

      All the best!

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    No word yet out of New York on a Callahan signing. Will be interesting if Rangers end up going through the arbitration process with both Callahan and Dubinsky. Not really the ideal solution having 2 of your heart and soul players have to go through that in order to get a contract.

    Thankfully PG has signed Gorges already and is just trying to figure out how to fax the paperwork from Vermont back to Montreal and league office. He apparantly continually is dialing 9 first to get a line out and forgets his cottage only has one line. It is my understanding John Bellyful is on his way down to Vermont now to help PG with this technical issue.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I can’t believe it is taking this long to sign Gorges. I am thinking it must be over term. Hopefully it is done soon.

      • HardHabits says:

        I read an article which speculated that Gorges doesn’t fit into the Habs long term plans.

        I raised this point a while back suggesting that in a few years with all the talent coming up Gorges will have a hard time cracking the line-up.

        Gorges IMO shouldn’t get anything more than 2.75M per year for a maximum of 4 years. It’ll hopefully be 3 years for 8M.

        • longbow says:

          3 years would be perfect.We could trade him at the trade deadline of the 3rd year of the contract instead of seeing him go for nothing.We’ll probably have 3 younger guys ready to take his spot for less money.Business is business.

          “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

        • Mattyleg says:

          I can’t see how Gorges wouldn’t fit into the plans of a team that believes in building from the back forward. He’s a solid defensive d-man, which is what Martin seems to like.

          That whole article seemed like rampant speculation to me.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • longbow says:

            He certainly fits into the Habs plans but eventually other guys come along. Sometimes sooner rather than later.We have guys in the system that will soon replace what he has and they are bigger,younger and cheaper.When they are ready to take his place he will be moved for an asset or draft pick.It’s good asset management.

            “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

          • Mattyleg says:

            Perhaps, but by the time they come through, we will need grizzled vets to show them the ropes à la Hal Gill.
            Don’t forget, defencemen improve with age as their play-reading skills get better. Younger, cheaper d-men are rarely (if ever) the way forward.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • RGM says:

        This is nothing. Remember last year when it took the goalie until September?

        During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

      • Malreg says:

        I think the recent signings have led Gauthier to believe that he can sign Gorges for less than he maybe could have a month ago. Back in June I don’t think anyone would have had a problem with giving Gorges $3m a season, but can that be justified after looking at contracts like these:

        Karl Alzner 2 years at $1.285m season.
        Anton Babchuk 2 years at $2.5m season
        Andy Greene 4 years at $3m season
        Ian White 2 years at $2.875m season

        Keep in mind that Greene, White, and Babchuk were UFA’s, so their salaries are more inflated than an RFA’s.

    • savethepuck says:

      I had yesterday for Josh signing in SD’s pool. Hope I don’t get screwed because of a fax problem.

      “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

  50. SmartDog says:

    Chris, your points are always well supported and well-thought out.

    But if Chara doesn’t hammer Max into the pole, the Habs, instead of losing the 7 game series by one shot, more likely make the Bruins their beeotch, like they had up to that point in the regular season.

    So tell me that Chara isn’t “dominant” (your words) because he’s a physical monster. And now tell me that isn’t a key part of the Bruins make-up. And tell me too that they beat the Canucks with their depth of skill and NOT with physical play and goal-tending.

    The toughness factor is an integral aspect of that Broons team. For you to say it’s not a factor is just wrong.

    • JayBee says:

      Some Hab fans simply refuse to give the Bruins credit.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        While I hate/despise/loathe whatever term you want the Bruins, they simply were the deepest team in the NHL last year.

        We can thank Ottawa for screwing up with Chara letting him go to Boston, and we can thank Burke for the future of Boston with Seguin and the other players they picked up.

        Hopefully Thomas had his magic year and will return to Earth to goaltend next year. Bruins will probably have far more injuries this year since they no longer have that travelling medic on the team anymore.

        And no doubt we will be better this year. Please Andrei Markov remain major injury free this year.

      • naweed235 says:

        F The Goons

    • shiram says:

      Habs won the games when Chara was sick and dehydrated, it got tougher when he came back.
      Him and Thomas were key for th Bruins for sure.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Montreal lost to the Bruins cause they couldn’t score. Plain and Simple. Thomas played great. Lets face it we don’t have a lot of snipers on our team. Cammy, Plek’s, Gio, AK are really the only guys who can score consistently. Without Max P and another goal scorer we ran into trouble. I think with Max and Cole now we should be a lot more competitive agains the Bruins. They are a good physical team but the habs system shuts them down.

        I am still a guy who agrees we need a bit more toughness on our 4th line. We need another guy who can lay the body and chip in offensively

    • Chris says:

      SmartDog: I don’t deny for a second that Chara is dominant because he’s a physical monster. He hits hard, he has a 100 MPH slap-shot and he has great mobility. I will point out here that this is not a requisite for being a dominant player…Pavel Bure dominated with speed, Wayne Gretzky dominated with vision and Nicklas Lidstrom has dominated with positioning and skating, and not one of those guys has even a remotely physical aspect to their game.

      Nor have I stated anywhere in that tome that the Bruins are not a tough and physical team. Thornton, Lucic, Horton, Chara, McQuaid…these are all tough customers. So I have not said that the toughness factor is not an integral part of that Bruins team, as it has long been in that market, just that it was not that toughness factor that made the difference.

      As mentioned below, I find that many people do not give the Bruins enough credit, focussing on how they thug it up with the other teams. But for whatever reason, people don’t acknowledge the depth of the Bruins, their excellent positional play and their coaching.

      Rich Peverley was a third line winger in Boston after having been on the top line in Atlanta. Michael Ryder was a third line winger in Boston after having been on one of the top two lines in Montreal for the first few years of his career. Patrice Bergeron, their second line center, is every bit as good as our top line center, both offensively and defensively.

      The Bruins defence is big and, more importantly in my estimation, relatively mobile. Montreal’s defence was loaded with guys that quite simply struggle with speed, and the Bruins have enough speed (Krejci, Marchand, Recchi, Kelly, Bergeron) to cause problems.

      And then throw in that EVERYBODY on the Bruins seemed to buy into what Julien wanted them to do, while Jacques Martin was still struggling to find four lines of players who fit what he’s trying to do.

      Like you say, if Pacioretty, Markov and Gorges are healthy, I have my suspicions that Boston is in trouble. If Marc Savard isn’t gone for the year, maybe they never have the ability to pick up Kelly and Peverley, who played such a key role in their Stanley Cup run. Injuries happen, and the ability to call on your franchise depth or acquire players to fill in the hole is often what separates the winner from the teams that were oh-so-close.

  51. Mattyleg says:

    Can we talk about the Habs’ perceived lack of size and toughness please?

    Oh, and I would like to make sure that things like “It’s an accepted fact” are said. It makes it more authoritative.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      Percieved?? PERCEIVED?? It’s not perceived, it’s observed!!

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • HardHabits says:

      You obviously have a problem with FACTS.

      It is an accepted FACT that the league and other fans see the Habs as a soft and small team. Can you deny this? Do you want me to link to the numerous articles wear the writer comments on the Habs lack of physicality in their line up? How about the numerous comments all across sport boards where the consensus is the Habs are perceived as small and soft.

      It is a FACT. One that is denied by the rose coloured lens wearers on this site who also happen to have their heads in the sand.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I forgot to mention the importance of ‘facts’. Or, sorry, FACTs.

        Ahh, this site kills me… :)

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • HardHabits says:

          I have read numerous articles on the Habs and almost every one mentions their lack of physicality. If it was not the case I wouldn’t have made such a bold statement. I am only reporting what I read and not what I believe. That it agrees with my POV is only circumstantial.

      • Chris says:

        That others see the team as soft and small means about as much as my opinions. What the team itself believes and achieves is all that actually matters.

        That is pretty much the only fact worth a pinch of coon poo.

        A team full of Europeans could never win the Stanley Cup. That was an observation of the league and fans around the league that Detroit absolutely obliterated.

        Steve Yzerman will never learn to be a two-way player, he’s a selfish prima donna who is more interested in points than winning. That was one of those little facts too. Oops.

        I heard all sorts of people talk about how the Bruins could never win with Claude Julien as their coach. Oops.

        Washington and Pittsburgh were supposed to obliterate poor, offensively challenged Montreal (and I group myself in that group of fans). Oops.

        You like to accuse people of burying their head in the sand. At some point, you will hopefully realize that many of those people simply don’t share your point of view. Doesn’t make them right or wrong. Doesn’t mean that one side has facts and the other doesn’t.

        This is a website full of opinionated people with varying amounts of hockey knowledge shooting the breeze about the Montreal Canadiens. As the old saying goes, hockey isn’t played on paper. As it turns out, it isn’t played in discussion forums either.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Cole even said it in his interview that the habs are looked at as a small team around the NHL. All of our so called goal scorer’s are pretty tiny minus Max and AK (now cole).

  52. smiler2729 says:

    I remember Keith Acton wearing 12.

    “If the Bruins played the Taliban, I’d root for the Taliban”

  53. BONZOHABS says:

    Last year was tough to watch because of the injuries…but because of those injuries, it gave our younger core group time to experience and grow an future NHL players, maybe even stars. Everything happens for a reason, and I think because of the injury riddled year the Habs had, they now know what all their players can do, young or a vet. PG addressed the area Habs were lacking…depth and a top 6 power forward. Cole is a great addition and that will give the Habs basically 3 power forwards on the roster. Cole, Patches and Kush. Patches hopefully recovered 110% from that horrific hit and Kush was coming into his own…sometimes. Kush just needs to use his body and wicked shot. Kush, Eller and DD are a good depth line with skill speed and size. Our top 2 lines are pretty common. Both have creative skilled centers, smart skilled snipers and big, fast and skilled power forwards. 4th line will be gritty, skilled and fast. The D are upgraded as well. Budaj fills a position that is very important. Price cannot play 72 games every season. Price is a HUGE asset for the Habs. 55-65 is more reasonable and Budaj needs to shine in those 20 or so games. Habs have the makings for a sussessful team. I can’t wait! Go Habs Go!

  54. mister-bation says:

    I am not sure why over the past year I have been reading negative reviews on alex Bauld, I think he is decent , mediocre at least.
    On the other hand I do believe Budaj will do a good job this year and given that our core players are healthy, we will be a scary team to face.
    The toughness BS is just a scapegoat, we destroyed the “physical bruins” during the season without our top Dmen(a 7-0 loss is the same as a 1-0 loss… it is a loss) and we lost in the playoffs to a lucky shot when we clearly had the momentum.
    If that bounce did not happen and we had won game 7, or any of those overtime games this whole board would not be smeared with stupid comments about getting tougher. fast skilled players are harder to play against.

    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

  55. JayBee says:

    There was a lack of toughness/size before Boston came into the picture. The Pacioretty incident and 7-0 beatdown just cemented that. I’m not sure why everyone’s comparing the Habs to the Bruins. There are other tough teams in the league the Habs struggle against.

    • habaddict_andy says:

      We were competing for the division when Pacioretty went down. After that we struggled to win and ended up with 6th spot in the east. I don’t think we lack toughness, just size. Our smallest player in Gionta Cammalleri and Desharnais play tough when I watch them. They just lack size.

      Go! Hockey! Go!

      • JayBee says:

        Right… when I say size/toughness I mean we need more size and more team toughness.

        The problem is the small guys play tough and the bigger guys do not.

        Size means nothing if there’s no toughness/grit. Look at Pouillot. Big guy, but soft. He was ineffective. We’ll see how he plays in Boston cuz if he plays the same way, he won’t last past November.

        • habaddict_andy says:

          That’s why I do not entirely agree with you when you say we are soft. One of the soft ones is gone in Pouliot and Hammer was not a tough physical player either. Let’s hope Yemelin turns out to be what they say he is. In that alone we get tougher, and also in Cole we get tougher. Habs being soft was what we had 3 years ago.

          Go! Hockey! Go!

    • naweed235 says:

      toughness schmuckness… I think we are well stacked in that department with guys like Gomez and Spacek arround to keep other teams calm

    • Chris says:

      Simply because I’m pretty sure it is Boston and Philly that people are measuring the Habs against.

      The NHL will always be a rock-paper-scissors league, especially in this salary cap era. There is always a team out there that, despite your best efforts, has a style of play that frustrates you.

      With 30 teams in the league, you build to beat the vast majority of them. If you get unlucky and draw one of those teams, then you could be in trouble. But Montreal going to OT in the 7th game against one of those teams (Boston) is not anything to sneeze at, and they have made strides to improve the team.

      Montreal’s speed and PP generally gives those big, strong teams fits. Unfortunately, they lost Andrei Markov in both of the last two playoff years to injury, and he’s the engine of the Habs’ most lethal PP.

  56. HardHabits says:

    @JayBee: Good post and I agree. It is an accepted fact that the league and other fans see the Habs as a soft and small team. In the last two years the Habs have been able to skate with the best teams, Detroit, Vancouver, Washington, and Pittsburgh but seem to hit a brick wall when they face Columbus, Phoenix, Atlanta or any other team that uses it’s size to clog up the middle. Against those teams the Habs are a peripheral team unable to penetrate the dirty zones with any authority.

    My contention is that the Habs might have to sacrifice some of their defensive play and up the offensive ante in order to accomplish the following; reduce injuries. It’s no secret that I make a direct correlation between the Habs run and gun injury free year to the last 3 which focused on defence and saw a parade of players make it to the infirmary.

    The flip side is IMO Gauthier sees what the Habs lack and is addressing this issue. As much as I have called for more size and grit on the team I also don’t want to see the Habs compromise their skill and speed entirely.

    • JayBee says:

      “As much as I have called for more size and grit on the team I also don’t want to see the Habs compromise their skill and speed entirely.”

      Exactly. I don’t think anyone pining for more size/grit wants it to come at the expense of skill and speed. I’d much rather have a bigger/grittier guy on the 4th line than Tom Pyatt. And I guess you can say White replaced him which is a good thing. Cole…a speedy, top 6 guy who is grit and has size…he will really help create room for our speedy forwards. So right there, we upgraded 2 positions with guys with size who can also play hockey. So it can be done.

      I personally would like to see more of it but Gauthier seems to be going in the right direction. I fear that as long as Martin’s here, we will be complaining about a lack of toughness. Martin teams have always been on the softer side….the players weren’t necessarily soft but the overall team was on the softer side. It’s all about identity and players play to the temperment of their coaches. If Horton came to Montreal, he probably wouldn’t have had a single fight this year and would have been called soft.

      It will be interesting to see how Pouillot plays.

      • ed lopaz says:

        I agree about Martin.

        Guys like Horton play to the “culture” of their team and coach.

        Even Marchand and Recci and Krejci play tough in Boston.

        When Habs try to play “on the edge” they are often benched.

        Change Martin for Larry Robinson.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

        • JayBee says:

          I think with White in the lineup, Travis will play nastier. Moen seems to be Montreal’s resident “goon” and he isn’t that kind of player. He’s probably tired of having to be the one guy who always has to fight.

          But you’re right, imagine Moen on the Bruins or Philly?

          I’m one of the few who actually likes Moen too. Not sure why he gets such a bad wrap.

          • shiram says:

            Moen gets a bad rap because his stats do not tell the whole of his usefulness.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • Mattyleg says:

            It’s a bad ‘rap’.
            Comes from ‘RAP sheet’ (Record of Arrest and Prosecution).

            Just a friendly heads-up!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Marchand plays tough? Oh Ed someone slipped you some Beantown Kool Aid. He dives like an Olympic swimmer and had one fight all of last season while ‘acting tough’. Krejci’s ‘tough’ act had him scrapping with Mike Cammalleri and Ben Pouliot.

          Robinson has had to previously quit coaching due to stress issues, I don’t think HC of MTL is the ideal position for him.

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

          • ed lopaz says:

            sf – when I say marchand plays tough in a Boston uniform, I am not referring to his fighting.

            he is allowed to “act” tough – because his teammates are there to support him.

            re: Robinson

            Its true he had some stress issues – maybe those are behind him now.

            When you get to be around 50, you will understand what I mean. :-)

            Robinson is my choice.

            He is a perfect blend of Habs history, talent, championships, and coaching experience and championships.

            A Robinson led team would be far more dangerous than a Martin team.

            Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  57. HabFanSince72 says:

    OK it’s not hockey related but looks like Rupert Murdoch is just getting destroyed today in the British parliament. He will not go to jail but he has been seriously diminished. A good day.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Cheers to that!

    • G-Man says:

      The puveyor of Fox “News” is finally getting his. A VERY good day.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Yea, his lawyer fees will diminish his quality of life with his net worth being $6.2 billion.

      “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  58. Chris says:

    Oh, wonderful…more discussions about the Habs’ missing element of toughness and grit.

    For the record, I think the perceived lack of toughness is a red herring for a whole host of reasons.

    1) The Habs (and everybody else, if we’re being honest) lost to Boston because Boston had one of the most dominant players in the league (Zdeno Chara) backed up by a VERY deep offence.

    The second and third lines of the Bruins played extremely well, generally carrying the play to the Habs. The Bergeron-Marchand-Recchi line put up a lot of points, while the Kelly-Peverley-Ryder line chipped in some timely offence and were always dangerous while on the ice. Not one of those 6 guys could be accused of being a tough, physical player in general, yet they were the ones that did the most damage.

    The tough, physical lines were the Bruins top line of Krejci-Horton-Lucic, who combined for the “dominating” total of 4 goals and 2 assists in 7 games, and the fourth line of Campbell-Thornton-Paille line, who combined for the dominating total of 0 goals, 0 points and a combined -6 rating. I fully agree that the Bruins’ 4th line was very good at pinning the Habs in their own end at times, but their impact was negligible on the score sheet.

    2) The Habs simply don’t have enough offensive depth. Plekanec was taxed in keeping the Krejci line in check, so his offence dried up. Cammalleri did his part, as he often does. Kostitsyn was hampered by an injury.

    The Gomez-Gionta line did okay offensively, but completely wet the bed defensively and ended up with a -6 differential versus their opponents.

    The third and fourth lines played okay, limiting the offensive damage of the Bruins, but contributed no offence of their own. And anybody expecting offence from scrubs like Moen, Pyatt, Darche, White, etc. would be crazy. The problem with the Habs is that you can’t load your third AND fourth lines with offensively challenged players. All the grit and toughness in the world can’t save a team if they can’t score goals. See the Toronto Maple Leafs if you want to see what happens to teams that lack upper-tier talent and try to make up for it with toughness and grit.

    3) The Habs defence, taxed as it was by the injuries to Gorges and Markov, was simply not good enough. Carey Price was generally exceptional, but was let down by a defence corps that was too often caught flat-footed, out of position or just plain gassed. Subban and Wisniewski were exciting in the offensive end, but somewhat error prone in their own zone, possibly due to being overplayed. Spacek, Hamrlik and Gill were all too slow to be given the heavy, heavy minutes they were asked to play. Sopel was somewhat ineffective.

    The toughness thing makes for a good narrative but it ultimately masks where I think the true problems lay. The Habs lost to a very good Boston Bruins team that was quite simply a little better than the Habs were when it mattered most. With anything approaching a competent two-way second line, who knows what the Habs can do? With Gorges and Markov healthy, who knows what the Habs can do? How would the Habs have done if their own third line could have chipped in 6 goals and 14 points through the series, like the Bruins received from the Kelly-Peverley-Ryder line?

    I’m perfectly okay with the Montreal Canadiens’ approach of going for speed and skill. And the first thing that must transpire is that Scott Gomez must either earn his cap hit or be unceremoniously dumped. The team can ill-afford another wasted year from a guy who should be much more valuable in the kind of close hockey games that we saw in the first round against the Bruins.

    Keeping the team’s only truly elite player, Andrei Markov, healthy should be a must as well. Other teams that saw their own elite players knocked out by injuries (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia come to mind) didn’t fare much better than the Habs did.

    The further development of Lars Eller, who I suspect will take a step forward offensively this season, and David Desharnais will help. The addition of Erik Cole and return of Max Pacioretty mean that the Habs have the luxury of putting Pacioretty or Kostitsyn on the 3rd line, which makes that line much more dangerous.

    On defence, the team’s speed SHOULD be much better with the addition of Yemelin, Markov and Gorges and the further maturation of Subban and Weber.

    I don’t think that Carey Price will have to do save the world every night as he had to last season, but he does need to maintain his excellence.

    The pressure is on Scott Gomez and Andrei Markov, two of the teams veteran leaders and their highest paid players at each position. If Gomez can resurrect his faltering career, the Habs have an offence that features some potential depth, but the team can’t afford another lost season from Markov in his prime.

    Apologies for the tome.

    • ed lopaz says:

      offensive depth often comes from scoring in the blue paint.

      each time we bring up a lack of toughness, someone should be pointing this out

      1) habs can not score 5 on 5

      2) 5 on 5 scoring in hockey is very often a function of so called garbage goals, rebounds, and winning the PHYSICAL BATTLES especially in front of the net.

      Gomez will put up points IF HE HAS SOMEONE ON HIS LINE WHO GOES TO THE NET – which I believe Max PAc can definitely be

      Plekanec will put up more points IF COLE GOES TO THE NET and scores on rebounds, loose pucks, by winning battles down low.

      In summary – it is DEFINITELY TRUE that the Habs have come up short because of a lack of scoring.

      But that lack of scoring can be attributed to a lack of physicality in the key scoring area of the ice – in front of the net

      Since our competition figured out that we will not score goals down low in the blue paint, they have spread out their defence and cut the time and space our peripheral forwards require to create plays 5 on 5.

      Now that we have Cole and Max for a full season, I hope this will improve.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • JayBee says:

        Bingo. Toughness is not just about hitting and fighting. It’s about finding space in front of the net..winning puck battles…going into the corners, doing the dirty work, etc…

        Cole and Pacioretty are guys who have no issue doing the dirty work.

        How many times do you see the Habs dump the puck into the zone and give the defenceman retrievign the puck nothing more than a weak slash or Cammy’s “I will back into you with my butt” check?

        Habs have the most innefective dump and chase and it has nothing to do with skill.

        • Chris says:

          The Habs have an ineffective dump and chase because it is not the style for which their team was built. They are built as a puck-possession team, but unfortunately lost their best quarterback (Markov) to injury, saw their second-best quarterback (Gomez) rendered ineffective by a horrible slump and their third-best quarterback (Plekanec) gassed from having to neutralize the best player on the other team.

          While I agree that the Habs are missing many of the things you state, I simply don’t see that as the underlying problem. The Habs were a 1.5-line team in a league where you need three lines to compete with the best teams.

          You can win one-off games with that kind of setup. But if you aren’t getting offence from your third line and some quality minutes from your fourth line, it will eventually burn you.

      • Chris says:

        I agree that the Habs have an unwillingness to go to the front of the net. Where I disagree is that this is a matter of “toughness” as most people define the word.

        Saku Koivu was often the guy screening the goalie when he played here. That was ludicrous given his size and the fact that he was the team’s best passer, but he was the only guy who actually didn’t want to dangle out by the boards. Mathieu Darche goes to the net. In his limited appearances last year, David Desharnais showed a propensity for getting to the net. You don’t have to be tough or physical to go to the front of the net…you just have to want to go there. The Habs simply had too many guys whose game was geared around playing out of traffic and looking for shots.

        I do agree that Cole and Pacioretty will give the Habs a bit more net presence, although I think Cole is over-rated in that regard. I see him out by the boards more often than I see him in front of the net, to be honest.

        Too much of the Habs’ offence became predictable: everything was geared around the big point-shots of Subban and Wisniewski, and everybody knew it. That is part of what makes Markov so brilliant: you HAVE to take away his space because he is such an excellent skater, but he is an absolute magician when passing the puck and sets up great shots for his teammates. Subban and Wisniewski often held onto the puck or dumped it at the net in the same situation where Markov would have made a beautiful cross-ice pass.

        • ed lopaz says:

          if we depend on Mathieu Darche and DD to go to the net – we should take a long look at our lineup.

          I happen to be a huge fan of both of those guys – precisely because of their work ethic and balls,

          but we need more from cole and max and AK46.

          Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • habsgirl74 says:

        has everyone already forgot that the habs took boston to overtime in game 7, if not for a bounce their way they would have beat boston and that was without some key players, thats pretty good to me…Montreal almost beat them out and didn’t have to be dirty to do it

        • JayBee says:

          Then I guess they should have kept the team as is then. Taking Boston to 7 games means nothing. Moral victories mean nothing. They lost, period.

    • habaddict_andy says:

      I haven’t heard about Kostitsyn’s injury. He just usually seem not there during playoffs.

      Go! Hockey! Go!

    • JF says:

      Very good post. I think the 8-6 slugfest in Boston left such a bad taste in everyone’s mouth that the resultant perception that the Habs are not tough enough has obscured for many of us what actually happened in the playoffs. Missing key players, our defence made errors at critical moments, and our offence simply was not deep enough. Our penalty kill was immaculate and our powerplay reasonably good, but what killed us was our inability to score at even strength and our weakness in the faceoff circle. We didn’t lose because we lacked grit or physical toughness.

      Just for the record, our bottom six scored three goals in the series: Darche scored one and Weber had two while playing on the fourth line.

      • Chris says:

        One of Weber’s goals was on the PP, so I did not count that. But I did see that our third and fourth lines chipped in a couple of goals, but it just didn’t match up with the totals put up by the Bruins third line.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Chris I agree with you on your post. The only thing I would add/amend is not to downplay the momentum changing ability of Boston’s 4th line. When that Thornton line came out flying it shifted momentum in the games and I think the series. Not only against Montreal but in the Vancouver series also.

      Boston as a result of their depth where top 3 lines can be rolled constantly have the luxury of deploying a 4th line for 6-8 mins. per game to just go out there and bang. Thornton is very effective at this. This is where the depth on D being better this year will hopefully render that 4th line of Boston to much less effectiveness. A sharp Markov pass out of d zone catches that line flat footed and we are off to the races. Our D was unable to get those first passes out of the zone against their 4th line thus allowing them to have their way in our zone physically.

    • adamkennelly says:

      Habs do lack size, grit and toughness. those are facts. The element which some posters miss is that it creates an environment in which the Habs skilled players have to work which is less conducive to them being successful. Its an attitude, and in most instances – one which opponents have and Habs do not. When bad teams can come into our building and dictate the tone of a game – that’s a problem…we may win but in the long run its bad for the players and the team to play in that kind of environment. And don’t tell me about the Bergeron and Crosby hits – fact is those type of things will always happen, unavoidable but teams do not go into Pittsburgh and rough them up, they don’t do it in Boston, Philly, Toronto and many other places but they do it in MTL – and it needs to stop.

  59. savethepuck says:

    I don’t remember number 30 working out too good for the last European goalie we got from Colorado

    “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

  60. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay so the NYI still have 4 seasons of buyout contract remaining on their books for Yashin. Yashin has confirmed he has a 2 year offer on the table from an NHL team. It is widely speculated this offer is from NYI as they apparantly tried to get him last year.

    Only 1 team in the NHL could be stupid enough to buyout a contract as big as his last one, still be paying it and then give him another one. Garth Snow if this is true, you have fully achieved Islander greatness, following in the footsteps of that big boob Milbury.

    • HabFab says:

      Makes sense (not) but the Islanders have a long ways to go to make minimum cap!
      Only in Long Island, you say!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I can just imagine the conversation between Snow and Wang,

        Snow: I found a way to get us closer to the cap and we don’t have to add anyone to our payroll Mr. Wang.
        Wang: Oh Garth, you have done very well for us, good job. Please make it happen
        Snow: Okay I will contact Mr. Yashin now and tell him about his 2nd contract
        Wang: What! You stupid piece of S*&T, I hate that man almost as much as Dipietro. Out of my office now. Secretary get Milbury on the phone now!

  61. habitual says:

    Hi Mike Boone: Not sure who at the Gazette this should be sent to, so hoping to use your good offices to make the point.

    Much that Spector said about HNIC applies to HIO: great site, great commentary. This is the best thing of its kind out there. So … ?

    This idiotic monthly view limits of the Gazette per month without paid subscription represents an annoying and unnecessary impediment to readers. As the Spector article noted, if I want up to the minute updates, I go to TSN; if I want comprehensive coverage of the Habs, I can go to the CTV site that hosts Mr. Basu, and in hockey season also get game summaries. If I want easy referral to other newspapers articles, I go to Spector. No limits to accessing the G & M, the Van Sun, CBC (ironically) or any other site I can think of based on a demand for subscription.

    I say again Mike, this site is fantastic. You and Dave Stubbs in particular produce consistently great stuff. But if readers can access so many other sites for information and content without having access blocked, HIO (really the Gazette “brain trust”), risks us going elsewhere. I already know to go to TSN for breaking news.

    Hope you pass this on, and I hope you discuss this at your previously references in house conference on this site in, was it September?

    Thanks Mike.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      You realize this has nothing to do with Boone and the others. It’s a corporate decision.

      In any case they haven’t implemented the page limit very well. You can set your odometer back to zero by resetting your browser. I use Firefox for almost everything so I just use another browser (safari in my case, but chrome or – dare I say it – Explorer will do the trick) that I reset every time I reach the page limit.

    • colin_nowra says:

      Once i reach my limit with Chrome i fire up IE 9, I also check it out on the iPad.

      You have many ways to bypass it 😛

  62. Mattyleg says:

    Should be an interesting season for ol’ Shelly in Dally.
    But I had to laugh when I read

    “Some of those things were freak accidents. He got in a fight and broke his hand,” Nieuwendyk said.”

    I remember holding my breath and praying to all the gods of the big world religions whenever Souray got into a scrap for the Habs, praying that he wouldn’t break his hand again. Or his wrist. Or his arm.

    Is it a freak accident when it’s happened regularly all your career? Hmmm…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  63. JayBee says:

    My response about size/toughness got lost….so here’s a repost

    Some people simply don’t get it. You can throw out as many stats as you want. You can talk about hit stats. You can talk about George Laraque not panning out. You can talk about Bruins being cowards because they go after non-fighters.

    The fact of the matter is, there’s a perception around the league, in the media and among fans of other teams that the Habs are small and soft. This goes beyond the Boston games. Over the last several years, the Habs have struggled agaisnt big, physical teams. They’re good against less physical, talented teams (Pitt, Washington) but the problem with the Habs is they NEVER seem to dictate the pace of any game. They let the other team dictate and they adapt. If you’re going to use this philosophy you need to be well rounded. So you need to be built to play against the speedy skilled teams as well as against the more physical teams. Look at all the cup winners…they all had well rounded teams. Even the non-physical ones…if the game did get physical, they would not be pushed all over the ice.

    Look at the lack of 5 on 5 scoring. Look at how Cam’s numbers have dipped, the smaller skilled guys need bigger guys to create space for them.

    This is not rocket science. If you want to be a contender, you need a well rounded team. Heart/character, leadership, size, skill, toughness.

    We frankly don’t have enough talent/skill to compensate for the lack of physicality. And a lot of times skill just isn’t enough. Canucks finish their checks but they’re soft, and their lack of team toughness is what lost them the cup.

    Perception is reality. We’re a soft team… However, Gauthier has taken steps to address that. I hope he goes a little further.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think PG has made some steps to address this. And if Emelin is good enough to take regular shifts, he will help lead the way in providing physical checking. PK is also an excellent hitter as we have seen. Gill/Gorges are not imposing physically but both will play in the dirty areas.

      The big change will be a guy like Cole leading the charge to play the body, MaxPac will do the same and this should motivate our Russian tank AK to throw the body. Our 4th line should provide consistent shift of bodychecking. If the mentality of the team gets tougher this whole team will play tougher.

      No doubt 1-2 more physical players will help, especially in the area of Dmen. Just not sure where this player comes from.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I don’t agree with the Canucks losing the Cup because they were ‘soft’. In my opinion, they lost because they decided to play Boston’s game rather than Vancouver’s. When we did that we lost too.

      And it’s not because Boston are bigger or tougher that they beat teams that try to out-muscle them, it’s because the other teams aren’t used to playing like that, and they get penalties for reckless play. They can’t effectively use what size and toughness they have because they’re not accustomed to it. Boston, on the other hand, goes ahead and plays the kind of grindy way they always do – using the size and toughness that they have effectively.

      When they’re forced to play a finesse or speed style of another team, like Montreal made them do on a number of occasions, they proved to be good at adapting, but struggled significantly.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Chorske says:

        Absolutely agree. Vancouver lost not because they were thrown off their game by Boston, but rather because they got away from the game plan that had brought them success (against tougher teams!) during the regular season.

        But don’t try telling that to the size-obsessed gritmonkeys on here. They won’t listen.

        • JayBee says:

          Vancouver has always been a soft team and so have the Sedins. Boston intimidated them all over the ice.

          Chorske, I tend to laugh at your condescending remarks….so keep it up.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        They lost ’cause Timmy stopped everything and Lou choked. Simple as that. In the four games the Bruins won the ‘Nucks always started out well, but a couple of softies by Luongo turned the the tide.

      • DD says:

        I agree with you on your contention about teams changing their style to the ol’ ‘Boston’ goon hockey, but I would counter that it has more to do with the NHL’s change of rules from play-off to regular season officiating rather than Vancouver’s or Montreal’s about face . The lack of interfernce calls and the blatant disregard for violent infractions forced teams to play into Boston’s trap.

        In my opinion, the Boston win was mandated by bettman, and campbell months before the play-offs even started, just about ther same time Chara tried to decapitate Paccioretty and nothing was done about it.

      • habaddict_andy says:

        I would also add the Sedins didn’t play big. Unlike Cammalleri who is excellent in playoffs despite his size, the Sedins disappeared. It was Kesler who was their MVP throughout the playoffs.

        I think Kostitsyn is short a like that too. He never really stands out during playoffs. That’s why it is awesome that we got Cole to come to Montreal. And over all with work ethics and everything put into perspective, Pacioretty is a better player than AK.

        Go! Hockey! Go!

      • G-Man says:

        Boston was allowed to f!ck around after the whistle while the other teams weren’t. Easy to be tough when the refs allow infraction after infraction to go unpunished.

        • JayBee says:

          That’s true, but Vancouver just sat there and took it and looked at the refs for support. I mean c’mon, they allowed Boston to goon the hell out of them. Marchand was allowed to run around doing his usual crap and not one Canuck stood up to him.

          • G-Man says:

            The refs shouldn’t have swallowed their whistles. The rules are the rules. Not 1 set for the Gooins and another for everyone else. That’s what made their “win” the most despicable sh!t I’ve ever witnessed in a Cup Final.
            Frankly, I hope Marchand meets a big fist to his schnoz this season and is concussed.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Boston also had probably the deepest roster in the NHL last year. Throughout the grind of a long season and playoffs it was proven. When you can bring a Seguin out of the press box midway through playoffs, and have a 3rd line as effective as theirs was, it is very helpful.

        Max and Higgins did little in the Final compared to earlier in playoffs.

    • BobDobbs says:

      Perhaps after the Cole singing Gauthier should be content with the amount of grit on the habs have and refrain from adding more, but should also launch a psy-ops campaign to shift the perception (reality) of other teams so they don’t perceive the habs to be less gritty than in reality they are.

    • HabFab says:

      We certainly have upgraded in the hits department;

      Cole averaged 2.5 per game.
      Max averaged 2 per game in his shortened season.
      White averaged 2.5 in his short season.
      Gorges averaged 1.5 in his short season.
      AK averaged 2+ per game after JM told him to start hitting and shooting more.
      Yemelin has a reputation of loving to hit.
      Eller started hitting as the year progressed.

      So we have the ability to play a much more physical game this season.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      We did well against Pitt and Wash ’cause Jaro stopped everything. Washington dominated us far more than Philly last year. The only difference is Jaro was outta gas by the time we reached the final.

    • Chorske says:

      It’s about time someone on this site complained about the Habs perceived lack of size and grit.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      X2 X3 X4………..

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      I get Deja-Vu when I read this post Jaybee… you haven’t posted anything exactly like this before have you?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      What cost the Canucks the Cup was their abysmal goaltending.

      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

  64. HabinBurlington says:

    Anaheim signed Mathieu Carle, couldn’t see if 1 or 2 way contract. Let the explanations begin that he will become Bobby Orr now that he is left to develop elsewhere!

  65. hansolo says:

    Sorry, this was meant to be a reply — the HIO gods are not smiling on me today.

  66. HabinBurlington says:

    I do actually believe that CBC will try and find a way to add Mark Recchi to their group. He is revered god like by all the personalities they currently have. Has played on many teams, “was” respected for most of those years, and most importantly he will fit into the Bruins mold/culture that HNIC seems to love. Not trying to be cynical, and I have no idea if Recchi wants to get into broadcasting, but I expect to hear that they will have him on their panel.

    • HabFab says:

      And a medical degree to offer instant assessment of any injuries. Your right, he can’t miss!
      And I’m being sarcastic, always admired Recchi until past season.

    • Rugger says:

      Can’t see where he will have the time with his growing private practice and consulting on all things medical to the NHL.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        One really just has to marvel at the all around skill set this guy posesses. We may be over estimating his medical prowess, when in reality the day he made his diagnosis on Max-Pac he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express the night before.

        (hopefully people have seen the commercial years ago I refer too, otherwise my attempt at humour last left me empty again…)

    • Bugs says:

      Plus, he’s another Bruin with a beef against Montreal.
      Should fit in nicely.

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Aren’t the Tories planning to shut down the CBC anyway? I don’t follow politics much – too depressing – but I do remember reading that the dweeb in charge has a thing against the CBC.

  67. JF says:

    Interesting about Peter Budaj. He never quite made it with the Avalanche, but obviously the Habs and others saw a lot of potential in him. Both links suggest that part of his problem was lack of solid, consistent coaching, and that working with Pierre Groulx will improve his game. The Habs have historically been good at developing goaltenders, so it’s possible they could turn Budaj into a good starter and then trade him.

    • Bugs says:

      Yeah, that’s right, after Teebot and Crapisher, third time’s the charm!
      We are historically good at takin bottom-feeders from crap teams and turnin them to gods, yessir, that’s us. Track record speaks for itself.

      Though…I seemed to have misplaced it for the moment…because I would gladly list all our great coups…

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Bugs, we can be cynical in this or any situation, and I know you’re going for comic effect here, but you can’t be seriously thinking that this was not an upgrade over last year?

        Alex Auld is a career backup on the downslope of his career. His best attribute according to most is that he is well-liked by his teammates, including Mr. Price. We are told that Mr. Budaj is good in the dressing room as well, so that’s a wash, but he’s also bigger, younger, and has untapped potential. That’s a win in my books. I’ll feel marginally better if Mr. Price pulls his groin in November with the new backup on the bench.

        Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

  68. Habfan10912 says:

    Daily Canadiens just tweeted that Lars Eller will be ready for opening night. If true thats great news.

  69. HalifaxHabs says:

    Nice link header Boone

    “What’s ahead for HNIC? (More Bruins-blowers, no doubt)”

    hilarious and true

  70. hansolo says:

    Rene Lecavalier and Gilles Tremblay on Radio Canada were just as good. I also miss them.

  71. Un Canadien errant says:

    Hear hear.

    Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

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