One more sleep

And then, finally, a Canadiens game.

And while we’re waiting, the Juniors go for Gold.

Price says he’s not tired

Team hopes worst is behind them

• François Gagnon on the impact of the wizardly Wiz

• Presse Canadienne feature on P.K.

Who is Brett Festerling?

Islanders winning

Dwayne Roloson hangs a goose egg on the mighty Caps

• Damien Cox writes nice stuff about the city of Buffalo

Jacques Lemaire loved this:



  1. lavie says:

    Sometimes, Well Rested = Rusty.

  2. weightman25 says:

    it could also be the reason they miss the playoffs… what do we have 3 loser pts? look at the teams ahead with 5 6 or 7

  3. Mattyleg says:

    Hmm, L’Avenue is an excellent place to stand in line wondering if you’re ever going to have breakfast, and then pay too much for nothing special.

    The BEST place for breakfast is La Petite Marche, on St. Denis between Laurier and St. Joseph (metro Laurier). Huge plates, not expensive, quick service, and never a wait.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  4. Mattyleg says:

    There’s a good pub for eats and pints pre-game called The Old Orchard on Montagne, just up from the Bell Centre.

    Hurley’s on Crescent (just below St. Catherine’s) or McKibbin’s on Bishop (below de Maisonneuve) are two good Irish pubs with food.

    If you’re staying downtown, there’s a decent watering-hole called McLean’s on Peel. Stay away from the Peel Pub, they recycle their beer.

    Any spot is good on Crescent street if you’re looking for partying with out-of-towners, and if you want something a bit hipper (and cheaper) head to the Plateau. Metro Mont-Royal, and there are lots of cool spots round there.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  5. rocketsglare says:

    Pittsburgh plays tonight against TB and will travel to Montreal to play a very well rested Habs team tomorrow

    night. The Habs need to come out with the same energy and intensity that they had against Atlanta and attack

    the Pens with their puck movement and speed, while clamping down on Crosby and Malkin. They seem to play

    well against the Pens and hopefully tomorrow night will be no different. A win against the Pens will add confi-

    dence and momentum that hopefully will launch this team’s drive to regain the Northeast Division and top bill-

    ing in the Eastern Conference. Let’s do it boys!

    Go Habs Go!

  6. Bill says:

    I checked the article and he really, really can’t. You can tell some editor struggled with that one.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  7. J_P says:

    Complaining that other people are going to complain before they actually complain is even more ridiculous lol

    PJ Stock is a blowhard. He says things just for the sake of stirring the pot. When he used to be on team 990, I never actually believed that he actually believed half the BS that came out of his mouth.

  8. Mattyleg says:

    Intreresting, but apart from the first couple of picks, the draft is a crap-shoot, as we all know.

    But yes, we did suck through that period.

    Strangely enough, it’s exactly the period I was living in Europe: ’95-’05.


    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  9. Mattyleg says:

    Love that 1937 video on the other thread. Dark Team vs. Dark Team. Damn, it was fast as hell! We can see how much people have grown in the past 70-some-odd years, as our current players fill up the rink significantly more than they did in the past. Yet another reason we should increase the size of the ice-surface. Open the game up a bit, while avoiding serious injuries.

    Oh, and in other news, I had the Caps-TB game on in the background last night, and the second (third?) string RDS commentators were absolutely fycking TERRIBLE. Annoyingly so. Just brutal. All they did was talk-talk-talk, no real commentary, no play-by-play, and anytime anything happened, the announcer would shout: “hold on! Look out!” and commentate the goalie covering the puck after a chance.

    Eesh. Let’s hope Pierre never gets sick.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  10. habs365 says:

    only thing the Habs would gain the cap hit and a younger player

  11. dicktracy says:

    I was given a dvd of the Canada-USSR 1972 series CBC documentary. While I am enjoying it I would also love to watch the entire series replay.

    Does anyone here know if the original game tapes are available for purchase?

  12. HabFarmer says:

    ……. “is bond” :-)

    Now I gotta do some work.

    A man’s attitude… a man’s attitude goes some ways. The way his life will be. Is that somethin’ you agree with?

  13. Omit says:


    The article shocked me.  I didn’t think PJ Stock knew how to write.

  14. habs03 says:

    That whole era under Houle was horrible, lol at Jason Ward, at one point he lead the AHL in points and looked like he would have a decent NHL future. I think the organaztion improved as a whole when Andre Savard become GM, I think one of his first moves was trading away Linden, Zubrus and a 2nd for Zednik,Bulis and a 1st, worked out pretty well for us.

  15. adam76 says:

    club downtown.

  16. HabFarmer says:

    It’ll be what it’ll be then.  I’m talking about the game, and the way it’s been messed with.  Not my favourite team.

    A man’s attitude… a man’s attitude goes some ways. The way his life will be. Is that somethin’ you agree with?

  17. HabFanSince72 says:

    I don’t think PJ is complaining about the lack of French talent, so much as warning  that others will complain if the Habs do poorly this year. (I agree with you about Saku – there was a minority of criticism).

    The way I would see it though is the Canadiens should be tapping into Quebec hockey more assiduously, not (only) for marketing reasons, but for sound hockey reasons. The fact that few Quebec players get drafted high these days is an opportunity. With better scouting they should be uncovering the hidden gems that other teams are missing. Players like Maxime Talbot for example.


  18. adam76 says:

    The “loser” point maybe the only reason Montreal makes the playoffs this year.

  19. HabFarmer says:

    Man, I hate the loser point.  The game is worth two points – you win it you get two points, you lose it, you get nada. 

    Make it so (again please).

    A man’s attitude… a man’s attitude goes some ways. The way his life will be. Is that somethin’ you agree with?

  20. Julie H says:

    Where in Montreal will you be staying? Near the Bell centre (I’m assuming by your words you will be at the second game) there are a variety of Resto’s and bars dedicated to the Habs.

    ♪Your cares and troubles are gone. There’ll be no more from now on. From now on happy days are here again, the skies above are so clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again♪

  21. HabFanSince72 says:

    A  special place to eat is Au Pied de Cochon, because it’s unlike most other restaurants and very typically Quebecois.

    The best place to have breakfast in Montreal is L’Avenue on Mont-Royal.

    There are tons of other restaurants you can read about on



  22. adam76 says:

    The Russian Goalie Dive vs Finland, anyone have the video?

  23. HabFanSince72 says:

    Just to pass the time … (or: why we sucked from the mid nineties to the mid noughties)

    Year / Draft Position / Pick / Who we could have had instead (must be within 10 picks of ours)

    1990 12. Turner Stevenson / Martin Brodeur

    1991 17. Brent Bilodeau / Glen Murray

    1992 20. David Wilkie / Boris Mironov (no one good that year)

    1993 21. Saku Koivu / No one better

    1994 18. Brad Brown / No one really until later (Patrick Elias, Chris Drury)

    1995 8. Terry Ryan / Jarome Iginla

    1996 18. Matt Higgins / Daniel Briere

    1997 11. jason Ward / Marian Hossa

    1998 16. Eric Chouinard / Simon Gagné, Scott Gomez

    1999 (no pick)


  24. dleb84 says:

    Hey Everyone,

    I’m travelling from NB to catch the next 2 games.

    I don’t know Montreal and was wondering if you guys had some tips on where to go before the games, after the games, best places to eat/drink etc. 

  25. joshua94k says:

    Beware this Saturday night on HNIC. PJ Stock will rant on about the Habs having no French Canadian identity. His recent article shows he is out of touch with hockey issues and has no business belonging in the media. He equates a couple of journalists with half the province of Quebec who felt Saku Koivu didn’t deseve to be captain of the Canadiens because he didn’t speak French. The fact is a large majority of Quebecois loved      Koivu because he played with heart, showed up every game and did a lot for the community.

    Stock finds the recent trade of Lapierre alarming as Darche is the only Quebec player left. What he fails to realize is the French Canadian talent has been in the decline for awhile around the NHL. The Canadiens have to put the best team on the ice, no matter where they come from. He fails to point out that Briere and Lecavalier have said they preferred not to play in Montreal.

    What about the recent addition of Desharnais and future prospect Leblanc? If there is a French Canadian talent, the Habs would love to have them on the team. But he fails to mention how recent additions of Halpern, Wisniewski and Pacioretty have helped the team.

    Like Ken Dryden said, the Canadiens will have to decide if they want a good team or a French Canadian team. I think GM Gauthier wants a good team and has done a good job thus far with Price, Plekanec, and the recent additions.

    Here is the link to the article by PJ Stock.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  26. says:

    No shoot out.

    No single point.

    OT decides the game, no ties.  Strongest team wins (strength and discipline).

    They Call Me Shane

  27. deuce6 says:

    He is pretty much singling himself out by saying he isn’t tired…If it isn’t fatigue, then why is his game slipping? It isn’t as though he is letting great goals..The goals he is letting in are goals a Junior B goalie would stop..

    I think he won the fans over with his early season stretch and then decided to take his foot off the pedal..We seen what this kid can do and it’s all fine and dandy to have a bad game here and there, but he hasn’t put in a great, or even good game, in weeks..Months even..

    He has lost 8 of his last 10, his S% slipped below the .870 mark for the entire month of December, and his GAA has risen to over 3…

    What is it about not being able to criticize, IMO, our best player? He gets a little flack and fans like you jump in and defend him no matter how bad he plays..What is the aura around this kid? He is a hockey player…Play up to your abilities or get lost..Simple..


    ..and Auld has been giving us better goal tending, as of late, BTW..Not saying go with him the rest of the way, by any means, but we simply will not being going anywhere without Price’s head actually in the game..Is it his fault or Martin’s? 

  28. Bill H says:

    I was reading an article at Hockey Buzz about the Olympic 3 point system of awarding 3 points per game.  As others have done in the past, the writer advocates for the same system to be used in the NHL.  I agree with the reasoning stated in the article.  Unfortunately, I don’t see it being used in the NHL.  The current system keeps teams bunched up in the standings, and it keeps bad teams in contention for a playoff spot right up until the last few games.  By keeping bad, undeserving teams in contention, fans keep buying tickets and hoping their team will make the cut.  Of course the other result is both teams playing for the tie in the third period, which guarantees 1 point each, with a shot at 2 in overtime.

    I know this has been discussed before, but how do folks feel about the current system?


  29. Jordio-oh says:

    Who cares how many teams there are? The fact remains that they still played 70 games and won the cup without getting ‘tired’.

    The only factor i can see about the few number of teams is the cut down in travel time.


  30. Hobie Hansen says:

    So you’re saying that those goalies played amazing hockey for 70 plus games, plus the playoffs, training camp, made it to the finals and then ran out of gas at that precise moment….far fetched.

  31. Price_Is_Right says:

    According to the mid-season report, they agree with you!’-mid-season-report-card/



    Good things come to those who wait…But only what’s left by those who hustle!

  32. HardHabits says:


  33. joeybarrie says:


    If he is playing in the Q, he is still not thru his first season in the AHL….. SO IM RIGHT…..

    Thanks for the correction. With some of the hopes in Montreal for our players, it’s hard to remember that they are all not in the NHL already…

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

  34. Everlasting1 says:

    Doug Armstrong isn’t that stupid..AK+ a lotto for Perron? lol You said it – steal. St.Louis have a higher regard for their home-grown talent.


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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  35. joeybarrie says:

    There is a flip side to that coin. We hit a slump and have been without our two best D. I am not happy with this team, but i don’t think the answers are to trade away all the components that have made us successful. With a few wins of our own we are right back in the thick of it. However, there does need to be some star alligment in order for that to happen. I would like to see some player progress, and we have seen that. In my estimation we are simply missing a top 2 player until the younger ones gain experience. You make an excellent point about AK. Offer sheet would not be terrible. 1st and 2nd round pick and the Cap Space to replace him. However I still believe he will find his groove and play a little better. 60-65 points a season from him for 3.5 million would not be terrible.

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

  36. HabsPEI31 says:

    Good question.


    “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

  37. MathMan says:

    Much like the appearane of hard work does not equate to effectiveness for players, so does the appearance of enthusiasm does not equate to effectiveness for coaches. I’d rather have an effective coach than a loud one and (much to my surprise) Martin has been very effective this year.

  38. MathMan says:

    That’s pretty funny, since the Oilers are a very strong candidate for worst-managed team in the league, and their coaching is, shall we say, suspect (that PK especially is an abomination to the eye, to the boxscore, and to the microstats, and I mean “Khabibulin is our MVP”? Really?).

  39. HabFanSince72 says:

    I’d even take Gomez to Islanders for a Molson.


  40. punkster says:



  41. HabsPEI31 says:

    LeBlanc isn’t in the AHL.  He’s in the QMJHL. But your point is otherwise bang-on.


    “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

  42. Everlasting1 says:

    Joke post of the day. I’m sure that was the norm back in the day, and the odds are much higher in winning the Cup with only 6-12 teams in the league! Give me a break.


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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  43. Mark C says:

    Stevie Y and Guy had nothing to do with that.

  44. HabFab says:

    “but because the coaching staff are making it clear they have no confidence in him”

    A common thread of thought these days, in regards to our coaching staff.


  45. Mark C says:

    6 goalies had 70+ games last year, another two played in 69 games and 10 goalies played 67 or more games. I agree, 70+ games might be too much for a goalie, would like to see some real analysis on the subject. However, it is ridiculous that you blame Martin for a practice done by almost a 1/3 of the league.

  46. jimmy shaker says:

    The one common piece of stat info I see, is these goalies played along time ago when the league wasn’t so big/fast/technologically inclined etc.  The bottom line is, besides Marty, a goalie that plays alot (70+games) in the regualr season does not bode well for a long playoff run come the spring time if there team gets to the dance that is.


  47. lenny says:

    No I said the others teams have coaches taking charge acting with enthusiasm and passion…there is a difference

  48. jimmy shaker says:

    So, do you want to win the cup or make it to the finals and lose?  Marty is a rare exception to the matter like I said before.  A 60 game season for a tender looks to be the best workload for a good playoff run in my opinion.  And based on what your post says, it does basically say those 3 goalies have played 70+ games and won cups, which is wrong.  Yes they have played 70+ games, but have not won the cup.  When they played fewer than 70 games, they have won bottom line. 


  49. thorandresson says:

    Ben Maxwell and Ryan White.  Granted I don’t see Maxwell playing with the habs, but I do think he’s an nhl caliber player.


    You can even add Palushaj and Carle to that list, Gainey might’ve said 7 players, I don’t remember what the exact number was but it was definitely encouraging.

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One more sleep!

Cough, please. It’s hockey season.

Training camp begins with medicals tomorrow.

Gillett passes the torch to the Molson family and their partners.

The day in Laval.

The language thing. Again.

• No captain? No problem.

Price predicts good chemistry.

Golf tournament gallery.

• From New Jersey and New York, via Four Habs Fans,  scouting reports on Brian Gionta  and Paul Mara.

The Phoenix show continues.

A Heatley deal that Bryan Murray is denying.

(Gazette photo by Pierre Obendrauf)

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One more sleep

I am TOTALLY stoked for the conference finals.

And yes, the live blog will be dusted off and revived for each of the games.

I can’t promise I’ll post as frequently (or as chemical-free) as for a Canadiens game, but the old college try will be given.

It should be off-the-charts great hockey.


My sentimental choice; the Penguins. Five Quebecers (I’m a bit of a chauvinist) and a superstar who’s in the process of grabbing the 2009 playoffs by the short fuzzies.

Sidney Crosby blew my mind in the Washington series. I had never appreciated his skill set (he hasn’t been that great against the Canadiens), but Crosby’s vision, his recognition of opportunities and instant acceleration into openings. Wow!

Then add surprising strength, toughness and an absolute refusal to lose …. especially to that Other Guy. Sid the Kid is the indisputable leader of a very talented and well-coached team.

If my man Gino shows up, I don’t think Carolina has a chance.

But that’s what Mr. Always Wrong-pants thought before the Hurricanes beat Boston. I’d have bet my house (if it were paid for) that the Bruins were going to win that Game 7 – and the result proved, once again, that if I gambled on sports I’d be living in my car.

I don’t know how Carolina does it, but their success offers hope for the Canadiens. Cam Ward is the best goaltender left in the playoffs, and maybe we’ll be saying that about Carey Price one of these years.

On the other hand, Tomas Plekanec isn’t Eric Staal. But still, a no-name defence, secondary scoring from a guy they plucked off the waiver wire, 82-year-old Rod Brind’Amour, Sergei F. Samsonov … and they’re eight wins from the Cup.

Props to Paul Maurice and the great Ron Francis for having their guys prepared every night. Carolina proves what hard work, dedication and a sound, disciplined system can accomplish.

As for the west …. well, regular readers of this blog know I love the Red Wings. And I hope I’m not alone, because of you don’t like the way Detroit plays, then you don’t like hockey.

Two anecdotes say it all about the greatest organization in hockey:

Hakan Andersson scouts his native Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic for Detroit. He’s responsible for such steals as Henrik Zetterberg (drafted 210th overall in 199) and Jonathan Ericsson (291st: THE LAST PLAYER DRAFTED in 2002).

A few years ago the Wings wanted to pay Andersson a six-figure bonus. The scout was thankful but turned it down because, Andersson explained, he made quite enough money to live well in Sweden.

Then there’s the story about Zetterberg’s first training camp. Scrimmages begin and Darren McCarty pounds the snot out of the Swedish rookie, cheap-shoting Zetterberg all over the ice.

Afterwards, McCarty apologizes, explaining that Ken Holland, Detroit’s genius GM, had instructed him to tune the kid up and see if he could handle the NHL.

There will be a fair bit of tuning up in the Detroit-Chicago series. 

For one thing, it’s the Western Conference, where they don’t screw around. This is not Canadiens-Senators in a 7-5 hot dog fest.

The Blackhawks and Red Wings will play smash-mouth hockey – the kind that wins in the playoffs. And the young Hawks are awfully good at it.

You have to like Detroit to advance, but they survived a brutal war of attrition against Anaheim. 

Chicago is rested – and they’re utterly fearless. A big key in the series will be goaltending, and Nikolai Khabibulin has the ability to outplay Chris Osgood.

God, I love that Jonathan Toews kid. Did he lose one single puck battle against Vancouver? An NHL captain at 21. What a horse!

Something to keep an eye on: I don’t know that Detroit will have a answer for the agitators, Ben Eager (who’s become a hockey player in Chicago) and Adam Burish. Then there’s that Dustin Byfuglien kid, who’s a cheeseburger shy of 250 but can skate and score.

It should be a great series.

Just seeing those two jerseys …

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