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. jimmy shaker says:

    I did hear that there were issues sometimes in the locker room with Dandy, but from what you get from that guy on the ice is way worth the issues that were reported.  A french guy who loves the habs, plays great in his zone, blocks shots, takes the body well, could still be one of the fastest guys on the team today and would play for almost nothing….and played a whole shift with a dangling arm as it was broken against the boards during a play if I remember correctly.  THat’s a guy I like and the team needs.  He’s a Hal Gill, Gorges mixed into one but with better hitting and skating to his skillset.  I say stupid move on Gainey’s part, but yes, I agree with you as well, I could very well be wrong too!


  2. jimmy shaker says:

    Well, they didn’t win……so something happened right?  Outduelled by the other tender, maybe a soft goal or two allowed for a game changing momentum turning point in the game/series.  At the end of the day, they didn’t hoist the cup and had to watch the other team parade around with Stanley.  I think Carey can play 70+ games, but if he does, I don’t think we will even make it to the finals let alone win.  I’m going by the stats and the stats don’t lie.


  3. habs365 says:

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

  4. 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? 

  5. 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.


  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. HardHabits says:


  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. HabsPEI31 says:

    Good question.


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

  13. 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.

  14. 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?).

  15. HabFanSince72 says:

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


  16. punkster says:



  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Mark C says:

    Stevie Y and Guy had nothing to do with that.

  20. 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.


  21. 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.

  22. 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.


  23. lenny says:

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

  24. 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. 


  25. 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.

  26. HabFab says:

    Me thinks you have been “Subbanged” once too often!!

  27. CHsam says:

    who are the other two again?

  28. PeterD says:

    Si I hear you saying you are happy with this team the way it is. Maintain the status quo and even re-sign the UFA’s and RFA’s for next season…
    I don’t think that is good enough…as it sits right now a few wins for Carolina and we are out of the play-offs right now.
    AK is an RFA and will be due an atuomatic raise next year and I assume he is eligible of arbitration…if we don’t wign him he can sign an offer sheet, but at his salary and performance if he does sign for even his current salary we would get a 1st and 2nd round pick in compensation.

  29. Will Longlade says:

    I would try to steal Perron from St. Louis by sending AK and possibly another body or pick the other way. I don’t think Gomez is going anywhere, and what he brings to the team is underappreciated. His performance tends to be measured only in relation to his contract and nothing else. Another young Canadian d-man. AK for Brayden Schenn?   

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    You were arguing that their coaching was great.

    The fact that they have prospects is not the result of good coaching ( the opposite in the case of Taylor Hall).



  31. thorandresson says:

    You’d be surprised at AK’s value, last year I thought Latendresse wasn’t worth very much and was very surprised we got Pouliot, granted he’s been a bit of a dissapointment.  He did play well after the trade and that added offense made a big difference down the stretch.


    Gill is staying, besides he’s the kind of guy who only gets his legs going after december, he’s a second half/playoff player, if we’re going to make a run like last year he’s needed.


    PG doesn’t have his hands tied, he has tons of cap room to work with and some decent prospect he can move. Don’t know if you heard Bob Gainey mentioning earlier this season that the Habs have at least 5 guys in Hamilton who are NHL ready (3 are currently with the Habs).  

  32. PeterD says:

    Related to the Gomez $7.3M cap hit, the Islanders have a problem that they have only $40.8M under contract and need at least $43.4M just to come up to the league minimum cap “floor”…Gomez likes New York area, Islanders need salary and need veteran help to stabalize the larger number of young players and take pressure off Tavares…

    I would like to see Gomez to Islanders for Moulson $2.4M…Would improvew both teams cap hit…raise Islanders to the cap floor and drop ours by about $5M…

  33. JF says:

    Agree absolutely.  I said the other day that pundits who argued that the signing of Auld would cost us a playoff berth might turn out to be right, not because Auld has been playing badly, but because the coaching staff are making it clear they have no confidence in him.  His numbers for us have been good; he had one bad period against Toronto, but otherwise has done well.  If the team did not have confidence he could play between 15 and 20 games for us and win a good percentage of those, they should not have signed him.

    As you say, the real problems are failure to capitalize on scoring opportunities and defensive breakdowns.  The first in particular drives me crazy.  I flung the remote on the floor after the Colorado game, I was so angry at all the missed chances.  It seems this team has an inordinate amount of trouble scoring and wastes many more scoring chances than other teams do.  This is probably subjective, but lately I’ve been finding it incredibly frustrating to watch the Habs.

  34. LA Loyalist says:

    No one can play 70+ games in goal in the modern game with the flying and time zones etc., and it’s got to be discouraging playing behind a mediocre defense. Price and Markov covered up a lot of sins, without Markov the pressure is even more.

    This is 100% on Count Chocula. Price needs to rest, even if he doesn’t think so, if he’s going to have a good edge for the playoffs.

  35. Hobie Hansen says:

    Lets not split hairs here but i didn’t say they played 70 games the year the won the cup. Making the finals, winning the cup…whatever. Price can easily play 70.

  36. joeybarrie says:

    First off doing any of that to Gomez will ensure no free agent signs with Montreal for at least 5-10 years. Also interesting enough, why would you do it when he is our hottest point getter? That being said, Gomez is a HUGE addition to this team, and we would be much worse off without him.

    As for Eller he is already on the team.

    Desharnais is a 1 in 100 chance.

    Leblanc is still a work in progress. How can you kill a guys potential when he isnt even thru his first season in the AHL?

    NOW, as for all 3 of these players, their cap hit is LOW, and we will have no problem signing ANY of them and fitting them in next season.

    In my opinion we keep AK and try to sign him for under 3 million next season. He hasn’t lived up to his numbers and if he is willing to sign for that I will say I am all in. If not, trade him. NOW, LATER, makes no difference we wont get anything decent for him. He is not playing like a game changer and no one will be interested in picking him up for this season when they can potentially get him in July for nothing.

    We will also not get a good return for Gill, and he is one of our better players. So no reason to get rid of him.

    MOEN is a great player, and losing him would only hurt this team. Unless he is part of a package, why would we get rid of him?


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

  37. punkster says:

    Grab him now before anyone notices. DO IT PG!


  38. LA Loyalist says:

    He had a serious injury, it’s not a “demotion”. I would want to do the same thing before facing NHL speed and hitting.

  39. light_n_tasty says:

    You mean the predecessors who won a cup in 2004?

  40. LA Loyalist says:

    Gomez is un-moveable until Mike Milbury gets a GM job… in other words, we are screwed until his contract expires.

    I have a 1982 first growth Bordeaux I will open on that happy day. 

    Or maybe a miracle will happen, I guess there is always hope. 

  41. Mark C says:

    It’s important to read the other side of the coin too. That being that Montreal has scored an average of 1.55 goals a game in the losses during the recent slump.  Including two shutouts and one one goal game out of the last 8 losses.

  42. light_n_tasty says:

    It’s because the ONLY difference between this team and the one that was winning in October and November is Carey Price.  He has been fine, not lights-out amazing.  Nothing else has changed.  So, when he’s not lights-out amazing, the team loses, and the glaring difference is Price.

    I’m not bashing him, but he was covering the suspect defence and anemic offense earlier in the season, and is no longer able to do so.  That is why people single him out.

  43. joeybarrie says:

    It’s interesting, because Yzerman can send him to the AHL for 2 weeks on a conditioning assigment without putting him through waivers. So clearly they want him to play in the AHL for at least the next 6-7 games. I imagine it will be more. Also interesting is the contract is for 1 million.

    Interesting moves for a team that can score fairly easily, but is scored on fairly easily as well. I don’t know if Roloson at 41 can play all their games, but I am sure Ellis is not happy about that signing.

    I guess we will see what the league thinks of MAB in the next 24 hours. Cause after picked up on waivers it would cost a team less than 500k in cap space to have him.

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

  44. PeterD says:

    I agree with moving AK, Moen and Gill before the deadline…but I think for hte longer term future of the team we need to do something about Gomez and his big contract…either buy him out and get nothing in return, demote im to Hamilton and hope he gets picked up on waivers (again nothing in return) But on re-entry waivers someone may pick him up for half his salary so taht would cut some of our cap space by on;y paying half hsi salary…but that too would suck…Finding a team with lots of cap space like the Islanders and making a player and cash offer for them to take his contract might make some sense…

    By moving Gomez, we open up space for young guys like Eller, Gesharnais, LeBlanc…which needs to happen next year or we will kill these guys potetntial with the team.

  45. light_n_tasty says:

    Is that a bad thing or a good thing?

  46. jrshabs1 says:

     Agreed. #31 is not the player he was during Oct and Nov. This is his 4th season as an up and down goalie and the natives are just plain restless with his inconsistent play. I ran out of excuses for him 2 seasons ago which is why I’m baffled by the amount of mollycoddle #31 gets from the rest of the faithful.



    Go Habs Go!!

  47. lenny says:

    get rid of AK, although I doubt you would get more then a draft pick.

    Moen, he is a dime a dozen in the NHL

    Gill may only be good for a team heading to the playoffs that need a vetran whos been there and done that

    Gomez, no one will touch his contract

    all in all hands a re pretty tied

    shed the old and let the guys from hamilton take over

  48. jrshabs1 says:

     Now that he’s healthy and “off the shelf”and ready to resume his carrer as a pp specialist.



    Go Habs Go!!

  49. lenny says:

    yes, the same one with a ton of young prospects with managable salaries that will be a powerhouse in a couple of years!

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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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