One more until the break

The Canadiens practice today and then travel to Philadelphia to face the dastardly – and, it must be said, very good – Flyers.

And we apologize for recent technical issues.

Habs Inside/Out’s IT team is hard at work on a solution.

Dave Stubbs on bad reffing

Red Fisher on Saku Koivu

Jack Todd weighs in

François Gagnon’s take on Koivu

Martin Leclerc on discontent with RDS


  1. Chris says:
    • This post, I can agree with.  It is a business, and there are undoubtedly unsavoury sides to that.
    • However, all the major sports have refereeing “scandals”. 
    • The NFL is routinely accused of refereeing bias:  the league was accused of changing the defensive interference rules to benefity the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning, their marquee star.  The Tuck Rule lives on in infamy as a play that many believe was the NFL interfering to help out the New England Patriots, another marquee franchise.
    • In MLB, umpires are routinely criticised for giving larger strike zones to certain teams (the Atlanta Braves being the most oft-cited benefactors) than those given other teams.
    • The NBA is rife with preferential treatment criticisms, with the crescendo coming after the Miami Heat knocked off the Dallas Mavericks in a NBA final that saw the Heat get to the free throw line at will.
    • College sports might be the worst…I used to love the line that every time one of the BCS league teams (like say USC or Ohio State or Auburn) committed a violation, the NCAA felt it necessary to issue a stinging rebuke and lay the hammer down on Northern Illinois.
    • You can also go international…soccer, both domestically and internationally, is rife with claims of refereeing bias.
    • Are referees universally incompetent?  Of course not.  But passions get inflamed when it comes to sport, and an individual doing a borderline impossible job (refereeing a game without mistakes) becomes a scapegoat.  There will always be exceptions, referees that are obviously out of their league.  In general, those officials don’t last long in the profession.  If they aren’t replaced, it is often for the simple reason that no better officials are out there.  It is a hard job that few want.
  2. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Just a few words of French goes a long way in my experience. People who visit Quebec and come away with a bad experience are all too often the ones who go there and show a callous disregard for where they are. When the first words out of your mouth are in English that can raise the hackles of most. But even if you begin with an accented “bonjour” immediately you bring a smile, albeit often condescending. and a response in English  The average guy on the street or behind a counter could care less about language issues. Most of that is media driven.

  3. Chris says:
    • There is no conspiracy meant that the NHL does not have it out for the Montreal Canadiens.  I thought I made that clear, but I will simply state it and hope that my intended point is more clear.
    • Phantom calls are as old as the sport meant that referees are human and have occasional lapses in judgement, in much the same light that you sometimes scratch your head and wonder just who (insert Habs player name here) was passing to on that play.  Are there bad calls?  Yes.  Are there calls that make no sense?  Of course.  Are we experiencing the game through the perspective of the on-ice officials, trying to keep track of 10 players and the puck, all while also having to process the blatant diving and exagerration that every NHL player is guilty of?  No…and unless we do, sitting on our couches or in the stands really isn’t the same thing.  Try refereeing a sport sometime and deal with the constant player and fan abuse all while trying to do your job.  It is an awful, awful job that we should all be glad that somebody is willing to take on.
    • The Montreal Canadiens, as a team, are not getting stiffed any more or less than any other team.  We do have players that don’t get a call that we fans would like on occasion.  Many of those players fall into the category of guys who routinely show up the referees or who have not put in the requisite time to get star treatment.  So their treatment by the referees does not strike me as being different from young players around the NHL.
    • If the referees have this supposed bias, as evidenced by the oft cited fact that Montreal was last in PP opportunities last season and are 22nd overall this season, I have to wonder how in the world they managed to finish tied for 1st and tied for 5th in PP opportunities the two previous seasons, with the league populated by essentially the same refereeing corps. 
    • For years, Montreal was one of the least penalized teams in the NHL, to the point that fans around the league thought the fix was in and the Canadiens were the benefactors.  Now, with a different group of players and a different mentality, they are penalized more frequently and now our own fans assure me that the fix is in.  The truth is that both fans were simply venting their frustrations.  Bad refereeing calls go against all teams and they pretty much balance out.
  4. bigdave says:

    Add that JM is a non-participant with referees! He’s more or less a “voyeur”, “I like to watch and take notes”. Nearly every other NHL coach will voice his displeasure with officiating and lo and behold it does have effect. Think back to Bylsma and Lindy Ruff having heart to hearts with the referees between periods in games this month and the net effect on ice!



    …………………….”The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”

  5. PrimeTime says:

    The US in general will never grasp Hockey as a major sport simply because it is not “theirs”. From their viewpoint, it is a Canadian sport….it’s an import. Baseball, Football, and Basketball, although arguable, are sports originating in their country. Each has a chapter in US history (Basketball to a lesser degree) and legends of the past are long told and repeated stories to which they cling to….no different than we do with our Habs. The US is a protectionist country for the most part and they do not welcome imports easily.

    Yes, the NHL has pockets of fans in the East and to a lesser degree in the West but none of those teams are #1 sport teams in their cities. Come playoff time, if their team is in contention, sure the attention grows but it fades pretty quickly. They don’t talk hockey. It’s like Tennis, they get up for the Majors but not the rest of the tennis season…..and yes their are more tennis courts in the US than hockey rinks. Hockey is on the same level as Tennis in the eyes of the broadcasters. It is regional programming until playoff (majors) time when they can pick up as few viewers and hope a larger US matket team is in the finals.

    No bias officiating is ever going to grow the market. Ownership throughout the league would not tolerate any team having an advantage over another. They would scream like hell if they knew a bias existed because it hurts their business and the model. The NHL is a CAP league with some revenue sharing. The only hope for an owner to have a “very good spring” is that the league is fair and balanced throughout where  any team can win every 5-10 years if managed properly and with a little luck. Unlike Baseball where the MLB model does allow the larger market teams with money to have an unfair competitive advantage ie no cap. The philosophy there is the “lesser” teams will fill their stadiums when the “big” teams come to town and if you can beat them, it’s a story which feeds the sport. They dont care if Florida beat Minnesota for the Series, but beat the Yanks or the BoSox and you have success. The underdog prevails!! In the NBA they promote and allow their star players priveledges other players do not receive and very often it’s the teams with the stars that win. The money comes from watching the stars. The NFL survives on gambling… is the Las Vegas of all sports and would not be as big as it is if gambling was illegal.

    The NHL owners know they are a regional and playoff driven sport in the US but are sold on the the fact they have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. There can be money made in the NHL US  but if there was any bias towards the north, south, east, or west the league would crumble completely and return to much less than than 30 teams…..Hey, now that’s a thought!!! :)

    (Blame HI/O for the lack of paragraphs)


  6. Dennis says:

    It’s unfortunate that Koivu played at a time when the Canadiens couldn’t win the whole thing, because as much as he’s loved and remembered now, it would have been tenfold if he had held the Cup high. But he certainly made up for it in a big way with his off-ice big heart and generosity. Some guys take the paycheque and run. Koivu helped the hospital and the less fortunate.

    Also, I’m giving away a whole bunch of Habs stuff and a few other things too if you’re interested. Info at

  7. lavie says:

    So, is the server hosting back to a local company instead of outsourcing?

  8. joeybarrie says:

    To be fair, it was located in his abdomen which is pretty much his stomach, and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is in fact a cancer. I have to say Todd got that right.


  9. avatar_58 says:

    I don’t understand his article. When did fans ever boo or slam koivu? It was the media making it a big deal. As for Kovalev love – so what? It was stated right off the bat Koivu was not coming back. He moved on. Kovalev, on the other hand, was undecided. So fans wanted to weigh in with a “protest”. I thought it was ridiculous, but what’s the harm? It was not meant as a slight to the captain.

    Maybe we should go back through his archive and see if he slammed Koivu during his tenure?

  10. fbkj says:

    okay can you give danno link powers back cuz so hell cut down on these zingers :P

  11. Chris says:

    Mario Lemieux’s cancer was Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Saku’s was a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was located primarily in his abdomen.  Without detracting from Lemieux’s own recovery, which was amazing and courageous, Koivu’s was a much more deadly form (typically less than 50% survival rate) of lymphoma.

  12. joshua94k says:

    The month of January started on a bad note with the loss of their best defenceman this season, Josh Gorges. Then injuries to Halpern and Cammalleri and Markov of course, added to their woes. But this team played as a TEAM, and the result is 6-1-3. Only one regulation time loss. They had a point in 9 out of ten games this month. That is impressive.

    This team is playing 60 minutes. Earlier if they were down a couple of goals, then they would end up losing 3-0. Now they are keeping at it and despite bad officiating, they don’t give up hope and the result is like last Saturday night, a valuable point gained.

    “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

  13. joeybarrie says:

    Timo, it’s not cause you say Donkey Balls, but because you do not consistently keep up the proper tense in your sentences… Here at HIO we have very high grammatical expectations…

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

  14. The Teacher says:

    That was odd, everyone knows it was non-Hodgkins lymphoma, like Mario….right?

  15. Matt_in_TO says:

    I got as far as the headline.  What a tool.  


    - In Price We Trust

  16. joeybarrie says:

    AH Nuna…. sadly these posts are getting worse and worse. But one piece of friendly advice. When rooting for a player in a post, try at the very least, to spell his name correctly.

    It is interesting how you got Price’s name correct and not our former Captain’s… That being said i am not surprised as I do not really count you as a fan, in fact I don’t think you would know the Bell center if you were sitting inside it.


  17. joshua94k says:

    On Saturday night, the Ducks player clearly was holding PK Subban’s stick. When Subban pulled his stick to get it free, the stick went up and hence the high sticking call which shouldn’t have been a penalty and why Subban was suprised.

    There have been too many instances of poor officiating against the Canadiens dating back to last year’s play-offs.

    “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

  18. avatar_58 says:

    I disagree. It’s a stupid NHL rule that he had to clear waivers in the first place. ANYONE could have signed hm. Detroit does and suddenly he’s wanted? Would *you* want to play for the Islanders? How on earth will it help his career? They aren’t going to the playoffs and his numbers would be terrible. He’s better off staying in Europe.

    I don’t see the point in waivers for unsigned players.

  19. joeybarrie says:

    I am sorry to say, but I believe you are dead wrong about this. HE SIGNED WITH DETROIT. Not NYI, and look at what that team is doing. Tanking for the future. Trading Roloson and Wiz is proof of that. I mean what were they trying to do???? Cap space??? I wouldn’t join the NYI either if i was Nabokov. Where does that leave him for the next  so many years. Helping a team tank for the future then retire before he can compete for anthing??? Makes no sense.

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

  20. fbkj says:

    ummmm totally disagreed on so many levels

  21. nunacanadien says:

    Too bad Carey Price sucked so bad, Gainey had to blow up the team and let Sakku go.

  22. Mattyleg says:

    It is unbelievable how much of a little bitch Nabokov is being. “I wanted to help a team in the playoffs, and I don’t see how I could do that with the Islanders.” What a cheap, pointless, selfish, arrogant idiotic move. He’ll never be back in the NHL. Good riddance. —Hope Springs Eternal—

  23. The Cat says:

    Yes but surely you or anyone else can imagine the PR nightmare had Quebec gone deep or worse win the Cup? Later that summer we all learned of the relocation to Colorado. Im going to paraphrase an excerpt from canadian wrestling legend Brett Hart’s book about a conversation about the wrestling business he had with wrestling legend Lou Thesz. *As soon as someone pays -its entertainment, at one time (early 1900s) pro wrestling was a real and legit actual competition and it was popular, but then came a man (I forget his name, me the cat I forget, not lou thesz)) that was so good he never lost, matches would last up to 6 hours but he never lost. People stopped going because they figured itd be the same result. So one day, to get asses in the seats, he arranged to lose on purpose to drum up interest.*



    Pro sports are entertainment and a business. The refs in the nhl orchestrate a spectacle more than anything else, no one outside Canada really cares about the NHL, it isnt looked at with a microscope like the NFL. Its a business and its only normal they have a desired outcome when so many dollars are at stake. I dont think a bad team will get help, but if a team is good enough to have a chance and is in a key market, I think they do get preferable treatment, for the sake of money and interest.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

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