On the bus with the Hamilton Bulldogs


What’s life like on the road to the National Hockey League?

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey jumped on the bus with the Hamilton Bulldogs last week as the Canadiens’ American Hockey League affiliate travelled for games in Cleveland and Rochester. Hickey discovered that while bus trips in the middle of the night are far removed from the charter flights that ferry the Canadiens from city to city, the NHL hopefuls are treated well.

You can read Hickey’s feature story by clicking here.

While on the road with the Bulldogs, Hickey met up with 38-year-old Montreal native Olivier Sedra, a public-address announcer who does work with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters and the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. You can read Hickey’s story on Sedra by clicking here.

While the NHL labour talks continued Wednesday night in New York, Canadiens captain Brian Gionta was skating during the day with seven other locked-0ut players in Candiac.

“I’ve got excited before and I’m not going to get excited until a deal is signed,”  Gionta told Bill Beacon of The Canadian Press.

You can read Beacon’s story by clicking here.

Talks were to continue Thursday in New York. You can read a column by Bruce Arthur of Postmedia News on the lockout talks by clicking here.

Meanwhile, Canada will play for bronze at the World Junior Hockey Championship after losing 5-1 to the United States in Thursday’s semifinals. The U.S. will face Sweden, which beat Russia 3-2 in a semifinal shootout, in the gold-medal game at 8 a.m. ET Saturday. Canada and Russia will play for bronze at 4 a.m. Saturday.

For all the latest news from the world junior tournament, click here.


  1. commandant says:


    I’d just like to point out that Riga is the only one mentionning that Subban’s brother plays for the Habs.

    None of the rest of us have even bothered to bring that up.

    In fact I haven’t made it part of my analysis at all.

    My analysis was that Canada was outplayed for 40 minutes, and Canada’s own defence screening their goalie was a huge reason for the first three goals. Blaming those on the goaltender seems like a cop out to me.

    It always drives me nuts when a fan can’t explain all the things that led to the scoring chance and made a save difficult to make, and instead blames every goal on the goaltender. There is a lot more to this game than just the guy in net.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Timo says:

      There is one stiff in the net. 20 some stiffs in front of him and three stiffs behind the bench. Pretty much describes 2012-2013 junior team Canada edition.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Point taken. I still think Subban appears to have the makings of a good goalie, but he certainly didn’t steal a win for the team. The team indeed crapped the bed.

    • habstrinifan says:

      “and Canada’s own defence screening their goalie was a huge reason for the first three goals.”

      This is the new normal in Canadian hockey. Lets all play at goalie. I know I exaggerate but….

      Forgive me Commandant for using your wise analysis to rant pointlessly. I just am fed up with boring hockey.

      • commandant says:

        Defencemen are being taught more and more to block shots, and that makes sense. The problem though is that when they don’t block the shot they become a hindrance instead of a help.

        The key to blocking shots (as we’ve seen with greats like Carbonneau, Gorges, and others in Montreal) is to cut down the space between the shooter and the defender. The shotblocker needs to be close to the puck to be effective.

        When the D back in on the goalie (as they did today), they don’t do much of anything… too far away to block the shot, and they just get in their vision.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  2. Timo says:

    Now I know for sure that I would be ok if NHL never returned or did not return for a few years. These juniors should go pour coffee at Timmies rather than make millions.

  3. RetroMikey says:

    The C for Canada…… C H O K E D when it comes to a big game.
    I love to hear all the lame excuses people are making here for Canada’s loss such as officiating.
    We are way too overrated in these tournaments.
    US-Russia Final……Those Americans deserve the Gold with their consistent play throughout the tournament.
    Gibson the best goalie in the tournament, the Mighty Ducks are going to have a great goaltender for years to come!
    Better luck next year and Hockey Canada better look into changing their program.

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

    • commandant says:

      I don’t call it choking.

      I think we need to give Credit to the USA being a better team on this day.

      We aren’t the only country in the world producing good hockey players.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • habfan01 says:

        It’s our game too.

      • RetroMikey says:

        We chocked period. Can’t win the clutch game when it matters.
        No excuses for the loss especially the lame ones.
        Kudos to the US, they would win even if there was a best of 7 series on any given day or night.
        I am a proud Canadian but let’s give credit where it’s due.
        Sure many of you Canadian fans are blaming the officiating but accept the loss and move forward.

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

  4. Timo says:

    2-0 Sweden 10 minutes in.

  5. Timo says:

    “It wasnt anyone’s fault, they just caught us in bad positions,” Subban said. “It’s tough to lose like this, but it happens… They’re a good team, you got to give credit where credit it is due.”

    Oh boy… he has an NHLer written all over him (Subban). Dumb. Blameless. Speaks cliches.

    And who’s fault you all were caught in the bed position all game long, Mr. Subban?

  6. 24 Cups says:

    Not much mention of the role Steve Spott played in this debacle.

    You have to wonder if this is another example of how a well co-ordinated team effort can beat a cast of all-stars.

    • HardHabits says:

      Studies have shown that if you put a group of C students together on a project they will have a better over-all grade than a group of A students working together on the same project.

    • Timo says:

      That team was brutal from beginning to end from top to bottom. You could see that they came to that tournament believing their own hype and had zero desire to sacrifice in order to win.

      Just a bunch of homers who should have stuck to reading TSN articles about how great they are while polishing their knowledge of CBA just in time for the next lockout.

  7. Timo says:

    Can’t believe I got up at 5:30 to watch these aholes. There is no pride that Canadian juniors have playing for their country. Might as well just shat on the flag and went home. Pathetic losers well suited for being NHLPA gold members.

    Subban sucked. D sucked more. The Nudge and his ilk sucked the biggest one.

    I don’t know. It seems like the only enjoyable hockey these days is watching some timbits boys and girls tumble around prior to my own shinny. The rest of the up and coming hockey players in Canada got $$$ in their eyes and their minds as soon as they hit adams level.

    Once again – F junior team Canada. F them big time.

    • habstrinifan says:

      No mention of the coaching Timo. The coaching right around the hockey world sucks. It is killing our game. Take a look at the Hamilton Bulldogs. I had heard great things about SL and was ecstatic when MB hired him, but the two Bulldogs gamea I have watched completely has turned me off.

      • Timo says:

        I am yet to be excited about anything Bergivin’s done. How do you think Therrien is going to do?

        • habstrinifan says:

          Really unsure here. I am scared of some sort of ‘blow up’ scenario.
          However, he is a passionate hockey guy. The last coach we had whom I would described as a ‘hockey passionate’ was J Demers. If he couples that passion with improve personnel skills ( they seem to think that he matured this requirement in Pittburgh althogh his RDS stint didnt show it) and if he shows willingness to use all his lieutenants in guiding the team, I think we may be in for good exciting hockey.

  8. Habfan10912 says:

    In others news the NHLPA let’s disclaimer deadline pass. Are we getting close?


  9. habstrinifan says:

    Why are so many so tied in knots re Malcolm Subban’s performance. This tournament has neither made nor broken his career. He had a so-so, maybe even weak, tournament, but so did many Canadien juniors. In fact many of the top drafts from all the countries have been fairly underwhelming.

    One of the big problems with this tournament right across the board has been coaching. I think the kids are being coached to play the game like 3rd liners all.

    I have been wary all along of how many ‘veteran’ and ‘star’ juniors are being used in secondary roles or assigned limited ice time. One reason why the tournament has not created many highlight reel memories.

    • Timo says:

      Of course not. Their careers is not about winning. It’s about getting $$$ contracts and he will get it. I am not worried about neither Subban nor about any other $hithead that wore Canada’s uniform today.

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    Was impressed with how Housley dealt with the Canadian goal. The Referree clearly screwed up the play by blowing whistle for absolute zero reason. As a result goal should not have counted, regardless of the fact it should have been a good goal.

    Rather than making a big scene about it, Housley accepted call without going overboard, thus keeping his bench focused and composed. Many here including myself criticized Housley’s handling of lines, ice time etc… but end of day he got his team ready for the last two big games with dominating performances.

    I do also think his coaching style highlight the skill on his team, just as he played a high skill game throughout his career.

  11. Last time I make negative predictions on here! Al least Gally winning gold will be good for Habs.

  12. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Subban was screened on the first goal because most of his teammates were standing in front of the net because they all had to because Subban left his crease to square up to a player who was behind the net. Subban doesn’t get a pass on the first goal.

  13. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay so I watched game without computer on, wanted to be focused. Read through the thread, don’t understand why commenting on a poor performance by Subban is not allowed. Yes the whole team sucked today, but that is when you want a great performance from goalie. Doesn’t mean Subban isn’t a good goalie but he also didn’t save the team either.

    When Mark Hunter played for the Habs, did everyone love Dale Hunter? Just seems Subban the goalie gets a free pass, lets remember he is a Bruin not a Hab.

    • Blondie says:

      Subban could have been better no question, but putting the full blame for this loss on him absolves way too many other players. We didn’t only get outplayed in nets, we got outplayed all over the ice.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Actually, it’s the other way round. I always had doubts about Mark Hunter.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • kempie says:

      Lots of blame to go around but I’m hanging this one mostly on the defence. Gibson was very good. So was the rest of his team. But Canada’s D was a big mess.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Scoring one goal on a blown call doesn’t help. Momentum is huge part of hockey, shutting down other team and scoring goals yourselves. I was extremely dissappointed in the finishing ability of Team Canada. Seemed like Canada was trying to stickcheck USA instead of beating them to the spots on the ice with hard skating.

        But you watch the Team USA goals and they put shots where they are hard to stop, granted USA goalie played very good but shots were not to top corners, rather mid top corners, much easier saves.

        Too bad nobody stood out for Canada. Can’t help but think overconfident going in, and in adversity didnt know how to respond.

  14. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …before I do sleep, I just want to comment to Riga’ s inference that Binnington in nets rather than Malcolm would have resulted in a different result
    …as they say, BOLLOCKS. !
    …the team in front of Subban lost this game, not the goalie
    …anyhow, good night guys

  15. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …it’s 3:45 am here, and Quent and I, likely like Yourselves, are hitting the hay disappointed by the loss to the US
    …at this time in the morning there is not much more to say but ‘ complete domination ‘
    …sleep tight

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Well watched the game, and seemed to me Canada was chasing the play the whole time, while US played a good controlled game. Add to the fact that Subban didn’t make big saves when needed. He goes down early in my opinion, and if you are going to do that, you need to have a great glove.

    When Patrick Roy really popularized the butterfly style his tall body and great glove protected the high shots.

    Canada, also needs to bury the biscuit, yes US goalie played great, but where is the high end skill that should bury the shots in the top corners instead most shots were middle high.

    Too bad, but I think Canada went into game overconfident. Also believe US played a great high skill game. Better passing, better finishing and much better discipline.

    Edit: And from my mother in Winnipeg whom at the age of 75 got up early to watch game, “Looks like our boys got into the Vodka too much before the game”

  17. HabFanSince72 says:

    I didn’t watch the game but I was wondering how our boy Gally did?

    Go Sweden!

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  18. Cal says:

    Yet another homage to the Canadian junior team:

  19. BJ says:

    How would you guys rate the MacKinnon (I haven’t seen him play other than this tournament) Jones or Drouin derby for 1st pick overall? For me I think Jones but I would also scout one Russian player I thought may have all the tools for the NHL #15 Valeri Nichuskin (speed, strength, size, stick handling and finish).

  20. Cal says:

    Well, that was a trip to the dentist to have a molar pulled without any anesthetic. Better luck next year, I guess. Most over-rated yet unimpressive Canadian? Mine is Huberdeau, who seemed to have nothing going for him this tournament despite starting with N-H and Shief.

  21. BJ says:

    Well now that Canada is out of the gold I’ll be cheering for Galchenyuk.

  22. Blondie says:

    Ah well, full marks to the Americans. They’ve been the better team by far today, good luck in the gold medal game.

  23. twilighthours says:

    This was a beat down, start to finish. USA was just the better team. Nothing more to it.

  24. BJ says:

    RIP Canada. Game over.

  25. commandant says:

    Breakaway by Gaudreau.

    Are we gonna blame that one on Binnington?

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  26. commandant says:

    Gibson playing huge.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  27. BJ says:

    Great goaltending by Gibson.

  28. BJ says:

    The players should have WWF blood capsules in their gloves to pick up 4 instead of 2.

  29. twilighthours says:

    Lots of great opportunities where we have just missed the net.

  30. commandant says:

    I don’t know what happened, or how that counts

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  31. twilighthours says:

    Awful officiating

  32. Psycho29 says:

    Brutal call all around….

  33. Blondie says:

    Because we need it so bad we probably won’t get it.

  34. BJ says:

    Hello! Hello! Has everyone gone back to bed?

    • Just A Guy says:

      Not everyone, not too many people here posting. Also not much to be said either. Canada is playing horribly.

      Let’s hope for an entertaining 3rd at least.

  35. Cal says:

    It’s too bad Canada waited for the semis to deliver their worst game of the tournament.
    There should be a lot of players looking in the mirror just about now.
    Good thing I have work in a little bit, otherwise I would have gotten up for nothing.

  36. BJ says:

    Its not just goaltending. A collective non effort or just dominated by a better team?

    • bigjames says:

      i have to hand it to the americans… they are playing great hockey. great poise and confidence. as soon as i saw that they had beat the czechs 7-0 i had a pit in my stomach. i figured they would come out loosey goosey with a swagger and it was right. canada is being run off the ice… i hope they can turn it around in the 3rd!

  37. bigjames says:

    i sure picked a bad month to give up drinking… and it is cocktail hour here…

  38. Blondie says:

    On the bright side Galley’s having a pretty good game.

  39. bigjames says:

    how on earth can we come off such a strong game against russia and then come up with this crap? i just can’t believe it!

  40. Blondie says:

    Brutal – I don’t know if we come back from this.

  41. commandant says:

    Ryan Murphy is terrible.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  42. BJ says:

    Again shooting wide. You can only score between the pipes not around them.

  43. pmaraw says:

    w t f was that?

  44. BJ says:

    Need one now on the PP.

  45. Blondie says:

    Alright, power play. Time to get back in this game.

  46. Blondie says:

    Time for a shorty. That’ll pick up everyone’s spirits. 🙂

  47. BJ says:

    Anyone else notice how we can’t puck on the net? It seems to me a rather important part of the game!

  48. Blondie says:

    That’s bleak, better wake up now.

  49. habs001 says:

    Hopefully they can come back but no excuse for this type of effort in the first..first period looked like men vs boys…

  50. habs001 says:

    The team was totally not prepared for the first period.. The star forwards look totally out of it so far …

  51. Just A Guy says:

    Ferraro says 8 turnovers in the D-zone. I say more considering some of the pin-balls going around especially what went on for the first goal against.

  52. habs001 says:

    The US team looks way bigger and faster overall…The d for Canada looks suprisingly small..its like there is 4 Diaz type players…

  53. Blondie says:

    Riley says they have to be smarter in their own zone. True, they also shouldn’t play so much of the game there.

  54. kempie says:

    Canada is doing an awesome job of screening Subban. Also, do I ever not miss P. McGuire’s incessant ramblings about family businesses and hometown minutiae.

    • Ron says:

      In order for Subban to see those 2 shots he would have to played 8 feet out in front of the crease. Being screened bad. D are backing in instead of pushing forwards to the sides.

  55. pmaraw says:

    and…. canada’s not giving the u.s. goalie any kind of respect, just shooting 1st chance they get as they cross the blueline, it’s not working. Also the u.s. is playing a lot smarter, making smart passes forcing the canadian players to skate a lot further and cover more ground. The last thing I noticed was that the canadian players all think they’re the one thats gonna win the game, while the american players are passing and using everyone, like a team. but that’s just the 1st period.

  56. habs001 says:

    The d for Canada looks slow and small…the forwards have trouble putting a pass together..right now the US looks faster,bigger and stronger…

  57. twilighthours says:

    USA by far the better team in the first.

    Blaming subban for the first goal is amazing. It takes a lot of guts to write that.

  58. Ron says:

    Going be a long game I think. Showing signs of picking up speed and then the 2nd goal. Two periods to go to redeem themselves. The Yanks have more hustle so far.

  59. commandant says:

    If you blame Subban on either of the first two goals, you quite simply don’t understand goaltending.

    His defencemen have been HORRID, and have screened him on both plays.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  60. BJ says:

    2-0 not good. If we don’t pick it up we’re done. We need to keep the crease cleaner so Subban can see the puck. If we come back we deserve it otherwise…….

  61. BJ says:

    So far not the intensity of play we had vs the Russians. Too many turkey legs. We need to get post holiday cheer here.

    • BJ says:

      We need more puck control to keep zone advantage. Lets see if the USA can keep its skating legs throughout the game. The commentator remarked that its USA’s 6th game in 8 days.

  62. Blondie says:

    Good morning folks, damn it’s early!

  63. Ron says:

    Whose up and ready for this game this morning ? Hope I’m not the only bug eyed one here.

    • Set my alarm to watch the game, and lo and behold, there’s a TSN/RDS outage on my Cogeco cable in eastern Ontario. No other networks are showing the games – wonderful!

      Unpleasant prediction – the U.S. juniors take this game, I’m afraid. No particular reason, just a feeling. As much as I have been baflled by Housley’s coaching at times, the U.S. kids just seem to want this really bad.

  64. Psycho29 says:

    Good morning all…
    This is nuts I tell ya…

  65. habs001 says:

    I know posters are saying that the Bulldogs have a young team but they are in 30th place in points..30th place in scoring and about 28th in goals given up…Rogers community channel had the game on last night and the Bulldogs again looked inept and seem to have very limited scoring forward talent ….

  66. The Dude says:

    What a bunch of spoiled BABY’s…all of them! Just drop the f’n puck instead of dicking around with your fan base.

  67. Habilis says:

    So from all indications, the PA decided not to file a disclaimer and to continue negotiating. They are still at it in NYC. Don Fehr has just gone up a notch in my book.

    “That puts you at notch one” -Huggy Bear

  68. HabinBurlington says:

    Kudos to Mr. Hickey, thanks for the articles and more importantly thanks for spending some time with the boys on the bus. I am sure some of the kids from Dogs enjoyed that the beat writer for the parent Habs took some time to watch the kids play.

    CHeers Pat!

  69. ooder says:

    so whats the latest on CBA talks and filing the disclaimer thingy

    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • Habilis says:

      Ten minutes and we’ll know one way or the other.

      Edit: Or maybe not, it’s past midnight and the meeting is still going, no word on the disclaimer though. Most assume that if the PA had disclaimed, they would have left the building by now. Fingers crossed I guess.

  70. Sean Bonjovi says:

    I like red squirrels, and chipmunks, and Richardson’s ground squirrels, and gray squirrels are OK, and I really like Prairie dogs, but Flying squirrels come out at night and thats really, really creepy.

    P.S. HUGE thumbs up!!! to Pat Hickey and Stu Cowan for writing and posting some original stories that are worth reading.

  71. Boomer says:

    I’d like to dedicate this first post to all those before me that have posted “first”

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.