Playoff math is still daunting

MaxScorse
Even after beating the Rangers, the Canadiens face a steep uphill climb toward playoff contention.

Pat Hickey’s game story

Quotes from the room

Red Fisher’s column

Dave Sidaway photo gallery

Pierre Ladouceur’s game report card

Jack Todd on Pierre Gauthier’s wacky week

Arpon Basu’s game story

807 Comments

  1. Strummer says:

    Engqvist is putting up great numbers in Hamilton recently.

    Perhaps he has earned another look with the big club.

    if you recall last year Paciorettty went down-not so quietly- and worked on his game and returned becoming a key contributor.

    ______________________________________________________
    “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
    -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Even more impressive is Avtsin is finally showing some promise as well. Guy has loads of talent.

      • Strummer says:

        Bulldogs- Marlies outdoor game this weekend at Ivor Wynne.

        is it televised ?

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Last years was on NHL network but I just checked here in the States and it doesn’t appear to be on this year.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Yes, but on Leaf TV, I regret to inform you that I do have that in my tv cable plan. Funny I subscribe through Cogeco Cable a Quebec based and owned cable company. They provide me Leaf TV in HD, but I can only get RDS in regular cable, very frustrating having to watch the Habs on my big screen in that antiquated old picture.

          • Strummer says:

            Cheers mate. I have Leafs TV on my Rogers package here in the GTA .
            Should be worth a look.

            ______________________________________________________
            “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
            -as posted in amusement parks across North America

      • ed lopaz says:

        cool thing about Avstin is he’s my neighbor in the summer.

        he comes to Montreal and spends the summer here with his girlfriend.

        he is a very polite and humble young man.

        the last few weeks of the summer he works out with some NHL dudes at a local rink.

        he has NHL skills – no doubt about it.

        his skating, hands, shot are off the charts.

        I know that Ron Reusch – who has been around hockey forever – has stated publicly that Avstin will be an NHL player very shortly.

        he had made the KHL as an 18 year old, and then came over.

        I agree.

        He might be someone that replaces AK46 eventually

        • HabinBurlington says:

          THat is really neat Ed! I am sure the adjustment to Canada and our size of rinks and style of play have been difficult. I am glad team is being patient with him and haven’t included him as a throw in for any trades. (ooops have I spoke to soon, i hope I didn’t just jinx that and we see him traded in next 6 weeks)

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Very cool Ed. I look forward to seeing him in action on Saturday.

        • neumann103 says:

          One of the few silver linings of my oh sooooo 24 hours ago strategy to TWANK TM would have been playing the heck out of the kids, including the Hamilton kids for the last 15 or so games of the season. If they really do fall out of the playoff hunt early I would love to see them call up Leblanc, Avtsin, St Denis, Palushaj etc and get some NHL experience without having to worry about being benched for one mistake.

          Same with a possible every second game low pressure conditioning stint for Markov. If he is ready to come back before the end, I would rather see him just try to test things and not try too hard and be ready to go full bore in September.

          “Et le but!”

        • Sal says:

          Ed, I’ve been to several Dogs games this year, trust me Avstin is VERY noticeable out there. He is going to play for the Habs by next season. He looks ready now, but, with the season going the way it is, they should leave him in Hamilton.

          Sal from the Hammer

        • Sal says:

          Ed, Avstin will be a Hab by next season. He is VERY noticeabe in Hamilton this season. Great hands, smooth skater, all the tools.

          Sal from the Hammer.

      • avatar_58 says:

        He looked good in sundays game, they gave the hardest worker award to Engqvist but I thought Avtsin was better.

    • Cardiac says:

      Problem is he’s a center. The most he can hope for next season is fourth line duty.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

      • Strummer says:

        That’s my original point.

        MaxPac went from Hamilton at the start of last year to top 6 on the Habs before he was injured.

        Maybe Engqvist takes the same path.

        We need a big centre.

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • avatar_58 says:

      We don’t need another centre. Let him light it up in hamilton.

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    This next game will be quite revealing to me as it relates to RC. We saw that RC benched AK and Lars during 2nd period and neither player appeared happy with this. JM was also prone to doing this same benching for similar reasons. However, I think RC is the type of coach to then spend time with the players (maybe individiually) and explain why the decision was made. I also think/hope RC will not have the same long term memory as JM had, and provide the player/s the opportunity to redeem themselves the very next game.

    I look forward in particular to next game in order to watch the AK/Lars line and see how the two players respond. It is this kind of coaching differences i am hopeful of.

    Anybody have a clue as to how serious injury to Moen is?

    • Propwash says:

      AFAIK, Moen should be back next game.

      _____________________________
      Don’t let the wultures getcha.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I do to but tend not to be so optimist about AK. There are times he appears to be uninterested and he’s seldom responded positively to benching. Lars on the other hand, another Scoring spurge coming?

    • savethepuck says:

      Last night Cunny said Moen and Plex were not expected to miss any time.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • G-Man says:

      Moen should be back Wednesday night.
      RC has to stop dressing 7 D and dress a full compliment of forwards. You can’t hide Campoli and Weber forever… :)

      _______________________________________________

      Tanking- The Losers way of winning.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree G, and hey big shout out to you and your GMen from Broadway, what a game! And nice job on the Queen rendition below. Impressive stuff.

      • ed lopaz says:

        dressing 7 d is necessary because Gil and Kaberle are only 1/2 a d-man each.

        Gil is a PK specialist

        Kaberle is a PP specialist

        they both struggle 5 on 5.

    • ed lopaz says:

      not only does RC explain his moves to the players, he explains his moves to the media.

      and Eller and Ak46 were back on the ice in the 3rd period.

  3. Propwash says:

    I’d rather see the team go down swinging than throw in the towel and give up.

    _____________________________
    Don’t let the wultures getcha.

  4. Does the Habs sit Rene Bourque for Wednesday nights game against Washington? Rene Bourque will have to answer the bell for his elbow to the head of Nicklus Backstrom. He will be target for Hendricks, Erskine and Co. There will be fire works and Washington has last change.

    • avatar_58 says:

      Then answer it like a man. Bourque is a big boy and can handle himself.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Huh? Lets not be intimidated anymore. He is a big guy and he can stand up for himself if neccessary. Or he can turtle like some we’ve seen in the past.

    • savethepuck says:

      Bouque should have to answer the Bell for the Backstrom hit. It was dirty and stupid. That will be up to Washington whether or not they make him do it, but sitting him is definitely not an option.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • neumann103 says:

        “dirty and stupid” is a good description. Most of the other suspendable hits I have seen this season were either guys “finishing a check” when they should have known better, or just psychos like Carcillo doing insane attempts to injure.

        The Bourque one was a “WTF?” moment. I mean what possesses you to stick the elbow out like that when you are skating by?

        I think Bourque understands. If anything resembling The Code exists in a post Laraque universe it will be one guy, one fight and over.

        I did like the minor statement made by Blunden in the first period last night when Bourque made a clean but crushing hit on Hegelin and the Rangers came back at him. I am generally against fighting but if the Capitals want to turn this into something more than the obligatory one on one fight with Bourque then I am actually reassured that Blunden is there. Will Moen be back?

        “Et le but!”

      • HardHabits says:

        That is why there are suspensions. Unless we want to see the NHL degenerate back to the 70’s and 80’s prior to the instigator rule where teams policed themselves.

        Bourque answered the bell by serving his 5 game suspension.

    • krob1000 says:

      Nope….not a chance…it they did that he would be a target for every other team in the league for as long as he played. If my gut is right the Caps will have someone …I doubt it is Erskine as he fights heavies (maybe it was Backstrom) but Hendricks sounds about right..and Bourque will likely answer the bell…especially with a new team.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Maybe they are going to send Roman Hamrlik after him…

        • krob1000 says:

          lol … I will say though i would not be surprised if Ovie comes after him too….not to fight but Ovie hits as well as anyone in the game and is no stranger to borderline hits himself….if I were Bourque I think I might actually be more concerned about Ovie with his size/closing speed…and a big hit as opposed to a fight with likely Hendricks. Who knows…not sure how Boutrque handled things after the hit,etc..but something is likely coming his way….maybe a few diff’t things. IF he shot his mouth off not thinking he would play them again for some time being in the West…yikes..

          • neumann103 says:

            Just yesterday I was looking at the 2010 Olympics Ovie open ice hit on Jagr play. Owww.

            And I don’t think Bourque has been shooting his mouth off. At the time of the Shanny hearing the story was that neither Bourque nor the Flames argued that it wasn’t a suspendable offence. If only Lucic had a conscience.

            “Et le but!”

    • habs12 says:

      Boston goes after Subban every game…should we sit him when we play them too?

    • habsolutely416 says:

      good chance for this team to show that things are changing and let the new know theye got his back.

      ill be in the slot ;)

  5. HabinBurlington says:

    Here is an article from Steve Hindle advising the Habs to be Sellers. It is a bit generic, but just pointing it out.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Steven-Hindle/From-Failing-HandsIs-it-Time-to-Pass-the-Torch/139/41374

    And for all those waiting, Eklund says he is nearly finished and will soon have his complete trade rumour chart up and running! Oh yay E1 to E4 and B3 BS rumuours will abound.

    • G-Man says:

      Aaaaaaaaaargh! Eklund and hockeybuzz should be made into cybercompost.

      _______________________________________________

      Tanking- The Losers way of winning.

    • GrimJim says:

      Regardless of what happens the Habs shouldn’t be “buyers” at the trade deadline, unless its a long-term improvement ( ie. a young player that fills a need long term). The Habs just haven’t drafted enough players over the past four years.

  6. krob1000 says:

    If I remember correctly the other night Boone said PG was talking to Minnesota’s super scout for quite some time…..pro scout? no big deal? possibly….but then today the news comes out that after Minnesota’s great start and them now trying to hang on to the last playoff spot in the West ….they are now without Mikko Koivu for at least a month…..

  7. HabFanSince72 says:

    What a bunch of foul-weather fans you all are.

    Just one win and all of a sudden everyone is off the tankwagon.

    Even HardHabits, who looked like he was driving the bloody thing, is flagging a bit, thinking “playoffs – what if”?

    Come on people! What kind of fans are you?

    It’s JUST ONE GAME.

    You don’t abandon the team after ONE GAME!


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

    • Mattyleg says:

      You mean, “You don’t abandon abandoning the team after ONE GAME!”, don’t you?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • C-Sword says:

      I’ve used the word ”tanking” before, but I don’t think they should lose on purpose, let the kids play and if they lose, they lose. I’m not even thinking about the playoffs right now, they should just focus on one game at a time.

      Let Budaj play more often, Price needs to rest, he seems to be tired mentally.

      Do not scratch Emelin unless you are trying to showcase Campoli and Weber for eventual trades.

  8. JayK-47 says:

    I think the Habs are going to squeak into the playoffs with the worst record of all playoff teams thus catering to the Tank and Fan camps but pleasing no one.

    Edit: Quotes I expect to see

    “We aren’t drafting high enuff” -99% chance
    “Great, the Habs are the 8th seed #sarcasm” -78% chance
    “Weeeee, they made it! those magnificent bastards made it!” – 0.01% chance

  9. habs03 says:

    Hate him all you want, but PG made a good point the other day. We have only played 6 games this seasons were on roster cap hit was over the cap floor. Maybe not this season but if we can just get health we should be fine going into next season. We will have money to spend on another top 9 forward, 2 if A.Kost isnt resigned and a top4 D-men. We could have a really deep forward group that can put some goals in the net.

    There are 6 guys that are surefire 20 goal scores, and possible a 7th…
    Bourque-Plek-Gionta
    Patches-DD-Cole
    XXX-Eller-A.Kost

    • HabinBurlington says:

      While that is true, many GM’s in the league can say the same thing. My criticism of PG is he did not use the cap space available this past offseason wisely in picking up key players in depth positions in advance. ex. O’Brien on D, some rugged forward for 4th line, etc.

      • habsperspective says:

        And the most ridiculous off season cap space blunder, the asterisk.

        Had he signed any other defence-man, we would be in the play-offs.

        This season is toast only because of the Markov situation, and its trickle down effect.

        And he likely wont even play again.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Habsp, of course you are right but I must admit I was in full support of resigning Markov at the time. Certainly in hindsight it might have more sense to pass and utilize the money elsewhere. I disqualify myself from objecting to the signing now. However, what I think PG has done since that time represents panic which has compounded the situation. Kabrele and to a lesser extent Campoli are examples of money not being well spent on top of as your argument supports, money not well spent.

        • kempie says:

          While I support PG and I think the moves he has made are mostly very good, I believe he has chosen to live or die based on the Markov contract. Only people on the inside, like PG, know all the details of what info was available at the time. But locking up $5.75 in cap space then trying to patch the hole with guys like Diaz, Campo & Kabs has left this team and PG in an ugly spot. I would think that, if we don’t at least get a look at Markov this year, well that’s not going to improve the optics on this thing. If I was Mr. Molson I think that’s where I would draw the line on PG.

  10. C-Sword says:

    Eller is my favorite Hab, but I do agree that he has been making selfish plays ever since scoring 4 goals against the Jets, he needs to realize that it’s a team effort. Budaj was great, I hope that his performance last night has earned him the right to be the starting goalie a bit more often. Btw, how serious is Plekanec’s injury?

  11. Lafrich says:

    Dear RetroMikey and everyone else that says “Let’s tank”,

    Stop posting.

    That is all.

    Lafrich

    • habs178 says:

      THIS! ^^^^

      “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

    • habs03 says:

      I’m not fan of “tanking”, and I don’t believe it, because wtv line-up you put, guys have pride, and everyone wants to win. But come the trade-line, and we are in the same position as we are now, PG should be trading off all the UFA guys he doesn’t plan on resigning, Campoli, Gill, Moen and A.Kost. And with that, your line for the last 20 something games is going to be pretty horrible which is what people mean by tanking imo.

    • G-Man says:

      Nah! Get an avatar like mine. And a signature to go with it.

      _______________________________________________

      Tanking- The Losers way of winning.

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    IF the Habs can stay on a roll here for a couple more games and the Leafs lose this week, next Saturday night is going to be a HUGE game. There could be alot of Leaf fans jumping in front of Street Cars by the end of the night if we pull off a victory.

  13. Bozo McBozo says:

    Making the playoffs would be a tragic mistake and merely insure yet another mediocre season in Montreal.

  14. Boomer says:

    Best we can hope for is 8th spot. first round vs the best team in the east. home ice DISadvantage, and oh yea… another 17th overall pick…brilliant..more mediocrity for years to come.

  15. price365 says:

    if they make the playoffs the year is not wasted – unless they make another trade for a good scorer – this team won’t have a chance of winning a cup – when you have a inexperience defence – 8 of your forwards have to be at least 15-20 goal scores IMO I don’t think we have that.

  16. JUST ME says:

    I do not give any credit to so called professionnals or amateurs experts who does not take into account into their analysis the 30 teams,the possible injuries,slumps and trades. Those factors also have to be considered to make a valuable picture of the future although it seems impossible.

    Nearly half the season to go,8 points behind in a league dominated with injuries (head shots) ,suspensions and so many other factors.

    So my guess is as good as any highly payed reporter and a quick look in the conference shows some definite possibilities.
    The Pens with all their injuries have some highs but some deep lows also. Buffalo is not as dangerous as we thought they would be. The Caps have serious issues also.Toronto is well…Toronto. Are the Sens playing over their head ? Winnipeg is at best a .500 team..I guess i could go on like this with every team and make my own scenario so until it is mathematically a done deal , those opinions are part of the problem .Stirring the pot for nothing.

  17. EastCoastJoe says:

    Captain Obvious here.
    Let’s see this week:
    Caps 3rd, but practically tied for 7th.
    Pens in 8th.
    Leafs in 9th.

    3 regulation wins against teams just above you and also fighting for a playoff spot would get the Habs to a point where they might at least see some of the ambient light reflecting off the 8th/9th place teams at the end of the tunnel.

  18. RetroMikey says:

    We will not make the playoffs, so everyone should stop wishing on that falling star.
    Tank I say! Tank!
    Years down the road, we all can agree that it was the best decision we made to salvage our once proud club we had.

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

    • BTVHabsFan says:

      Tell the people who pay 10K/year for season tickets and 100K on a suite that the team should tank

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I want to hear his speech to the players in the dressing room. Okay now guys please have zero self pride go out there and have zero integrity, play like putzes, and then in your contract renegotiation we will say you don’t deserve a raise because you tanked.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Ha!
          I love it:
          RC: “Management says we have to stop trying.”
          Players: “Okay”
          *In June*
          PG: “You only scored 9 goals”
          Player: “But you told me to stop trying!”
          PG: “Uh-huh, whatever. Take this contract for $800,000, it’s 300k more than anyone else will offer a 9 goal scorer.”
          Player: “D’oh?”

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Lizardking89 says:

        Wouldn’t they want a better product on the ice as well? The only way this team gets better is to shed it’s over priced vets, get bigger and draft high. One season of missing the playoffs is not the end of the world.

        • Lafrich says:

          Unloading which of our overpriced vets will make us worse?

        • BTVHabsFan says:

          We just shedded over-priced Cammy…got bigger too with Bourque. Picks are great but we all know most never materialize. I worry that we will give AK46 long-term and he will turn into a Kovalev…a stud for 3 games then nothing for 3 weeks.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Uhh, ask the Oilers how their rebuild is going.
          One season of missing the playoffs?
          Try icing a team with no veterans, and you’ll see how well they do.
          You ever watch the Juniors Championship?
          Next year’s draft won’t bring players for two years.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            In all fairness to the Oilers, they have been battling injuries all year.

            It isn’t fair to expect them to be consistent, but they have looked good at certain points this years. They do have some great young players on that roster. I mean, who wouldn’t want Hall or Eberle or the Nuge in a Habs uniform? Really, these guys just need to beef up a little…

            I am in no way saying Tank, but the Oilers have the potential to be good… at least they have the difficult pieces to acquire (Sniper (hall), Playmaker (nugent-Hopkins), Clutch performer(eberele)).

            Now, they need a goalie and a D (in all fairness, Whitney has been injured all year). These things are easier to buy.

      • RetroMikey says:

        There’s suckers born every minute and those suckers are the ones paying 10k/year or 100k for suites to watch pathetic hockey from our Habs.

    • Lafrich says:

      First of all, why are you trying to persuade fans to tank? How do we have anything to do with that?

      More importantly, what is it exactly that you think tanking entails? Please describe the next steps in this process? I would like to know.

      • Mattyleg says:

        He hasn’t got a clue. Look at his sig. The question mark used to read “Carey Price”, then “A Mature Carey Price”. Now he just admits he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • RetroMikey says:

          Keep dreaming if you think we’re going to do damage in the playoffs.
          Tanking is the only solution. I don;t have to explain why since I have explained many times on this site why it is the best solution.
          One day you and others will see the light and say RetroMIkey was correct in everything he wrote and Hard Habits will agree with me.

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

          • Lafrich says:

            OK. You win. Let’s tank. NOW PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT THAT ENTAILS!!!!

          • Mattyleg says:

            Did I say anything about the playoffs?
            I also notice that you haven’t tried to establish how the process of tanking would work.

            And I’m sure that HH wouldn’t appreciate the affiliation.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • The Jackal says:

            Haha.. oh he’s serious

          • Propwash says:

            Why? So you can brag and say you are right?

            _____________________________
            Don’t let the wultures getcha.

  19. Danno says:

    If we win the next three games which is entirely possible, the math won’t be looking so ugly anymore.

    The team should just rip off that standings board out of the dressing room and focus on one thing – winning. They shouldn’t even look at where the other teams are in the standings. Winning will take care of everything.

    Just focus on winning every single game.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  20. BTVHabsFan says:

    Is the playoff math really necessary after every win? Let’s win 5 out out 6 or something before we need to constantly analyze that the Habs gotta win 63.57654% of their remaining games to make playoffs.

  21. LA Loyalist says:

    Playoff math?

    We only have to look at New Jersey last year. They had an amazing run under Lemaire and still couldn’t squeak in.

    L’anne du Tanque ™ Bring it. We need a male #1 power forward, preferably a center.

    • Gerry H says:

      The Devils were 9-22-2 by Christmas last year. Hardly comparable.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      How many times will you repost this Devils comparison all the while not including the part where they were way worse the first half the year. I see your point LA, but come on, apples to apples at least. I don’t say this believing Habs will make it, but I sure am cheering like Mad hoping they do.

  22. Sportfan says:

    I am also really annoyed with TSN and that stupid spiting story it was nothing Del Zotto by chance passed by. Tsn lately has blown any story about the habs over board and its annoying.

    An example of how dim they are is when Calvillo got the Yards Record and Richardson threw the ball into the crowd and TSN was like oh that great fan who gave the ball back what a great person. I’ve been in the End Zone before you have to give the ball back.

  23. Gerry H says:

    It’s been a crazy month. The headlines of the past four or five weeks – the Markov setback, the Kaberle trade, the firing of JM, the language crap, 24 hours of Ellermania, the descent to the brink of playoff futility, the Cammalleri hissy fit and subsequent trade for Bourque – have been enough to make a clear-eyed assessment of the on-ice goings-on very difficult. Just who are these guys? What kind of hockey team is our Club de Hockey Canadiens?

    Let’s step back from the individual events and think instead of how this team played last night versus what we reasonably would have expected, say, at the end of last season. I think the contrast is striking and I like what I see.

    First and foremost, gone is the rigid, suffocating, defense-first system of Jacques Martin. Cunneyworth has unleashed the aggressive two-man forecheck that we saw only occassionally under the old coach (one wonders if the latter only allowed it to humour the former – or to try to prove him wrong). The visceral effect is that it now feels as though the Habs play to win instead of trying to avoid a loss (somone mentioned that to the press recently, though in the context of a broader analysis that didn’t go down so well in the room). I think that another part of the difference also goes back to Cunneyworth: his communication style. Under JM, a young player guilty (or suspected) of failing to adhere to the system, or of failing to perform to expectations more generally, would be consigned to indefinite stays in purgatory, be it on the pine or in the press box. Veterans got a pass. Cunneyworth’s approach is both more direct and more even-handed. Blow it, you sit. It doesn’t matter who you are (I’m looking at you, Mssrs. Cammalleri, Kaberle and Gill). Have a seat and think about what you’ve done, young man. But the punishments aren’t drawn out irrationally. Sooner rather than later, they get a chance to redeem themselves and help the team (step right up Mssrs. Weber, Emelin and Eller). It seems to work. It also makes sense when your bench is not exactly miles deep and you can ill afford to halt player development to make a point. The new system is tough and immediate enough to motivate change, but not so over the top as to make players afraid to be themselves.

    The other big change is that this team is bigger and plays bigger. Compared to the end of last season, four players make that difference; the returned and reinvigorated Pacioretty, pick-up-of-the-year Erik Cole, newcomer Rene Bourque and new-to-North America Alexei Emelin. Throw in a more consistent and motivated AK46 and an unchained Lars Eller and, ladies and gentlemen, smurfs-be-gone. Another punishing Dman would be nice, but without a doubt, this is no longer an obviously dainty team. Power forwards galore and some nasty on the blue line. If PK could shake off the JM effect and unleash a few more of those sledgehammer blows like the one he laid on Marchand last year, the Habs blue line would no longer be seen as a DMZ.

    The frustrating onoing absence of Markov and, now, the loss of the Captain for the long-term, means that the uphill climb is still pretty daunting. But ya never know. Maybe 79 comes back. Maybe even without him, they pul back into or near contention over the next four weeks. If so, and with the cap space provided by the LTIR, I say the Habs should be buyers at the deadline. The core looks good for the medium term. Put the pedal to the metal, damn the tanks and go for it!

    • LA Loyalist says:

      It’s been a healthy and most necessary month.

      But, just like when you have food poisoning, you won’t get over it until you barf up EVERYTHING and promise yourself you’re never going to THAT (thai/mexican/whatever) take-out dump again.

      And by EVERYTHING I mean the last two symbols of the Blow Up de Bob – Gionta and Gomez. Gionta probably deserves a better fate, but he was not and is not in the tradition of great Habs captains. And we can only afford one Smurf ™ and my money is on DD. Inexpensive, effective and hungry. Gionta can probably help a contender at the deadline if he’s given decent wingers. Gomez? He can drive the getaway car.

      Switzerland is lovely in the spring. Austria has fine spring skiing. The euro, for all the beating it is taking, is still worth more than USD.

      The 2 remaining G’s can play out their days in wealth and obscurity, and Montreal Canadiens can get back to being a real hockey team.

      I can hardly wait.

  24. Old Bald Bird says:

    The Gazette sports department must be a gloomy place if and when Red and Todd are both there. Tell me. Do they walk around with perpetual dark clouds hanging over their brows?

  25. Dennis says:

    The Gazette tech boys have been working to see why I haven’t been able to comment here in months. I’d given up but decided to try again. So if this works, they’ve fixed it.

    Dennis-Kane.com

  26. The Cat says:

    The fact that TSN goes after PK Subban isnt surprising, its a very english canadian thing to do to try and bring down the flamboyant people.

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

  27. The Dude says:

    Did someone here just say Price deserves more than 7 million a year and at a 10 year contract ? OK Pricebots … Time to take you meds and save 100 million dollars …and stay the f..k away from Vegas!

  28. Phil C says:

    How big are the Habs now up front now that Cammy is gone and Gionta is out? I had to check (from NHL.com). No doubt the numbers are inflated (No way Gomez is 5′ 11″, but I assume all teams do this. I doubt Bergeron is 6’2″.)
    Compared to the Bruins and the Blues, the Habs’ stack up well now. They still could use some size on defense.

    Player HT Wt
    Canadiens
    Mike Blunden 76 218
    Travis Moen 74 215
    M Darche 73 215
    A Kostitsyn 72 214
    Rene Bourque 74 211
    Erik Cole 74 205
    Nokelainen 73 202
    Lars Eller 74 198
    Scott Gomez 71 198
    T Plekanec 71 198
    Max Pacioretty 74 196
    D Desharnais 67 177
    Avg 72.8 203.9

    Bruins
    Patrice Bergeron 74 194
    Gregory Campbell 72 197
    Nathan Horton 74 229
    Chris Kelly 72 198
    Milan Lucic 76 220
    Brad Marchand 69 183
    Daniel Paille 72 200
    Rich Peverley 72 195
    Benoit Pouliot 75 199
    Tyler Seguin 73 182
    Shawn Thornton 74 217
    David Krejci 72 188
    Avg 72.9 200.2

    Blues
    Jason Arnott 77 220
    M D’Agostini 72 198
    Scott Nichol 69 180
    David Perron 72 200
    Ryan Reaves 73 229
    Chris Stewart 74 232
    V Sobotka 70 198
    P Berglund 76 219
    David Backes 75 225
    B.J. Crombeen 74 210
    Langenbrunner73 202
    T.J. Oshie 71 194
    Avg 73.0 208.9

  29. AndyF says:

    Hello Mods?? Can you hear me?

    Why are my posts being dropped so often? Please, is anyone home?

    http://andyfroncioni.com

  30. neumann103 says:

    At noon today this is still the cutline for the TSN story on last night’s game.

    NHL: NYR 1, MTL 4
    Max Pacioretty scored twice, but the Habs’ win was overshadowed by a P.K. Subban spitting incident

    I am not someone who feels there is the degree of anti-Hab bias many of you feel exists among the league, on ice officials and the media, but this is freaking ridiculous?

    “Overshadowed”??? They actually manufacture a story out of a piece of videotape that you could find 10 times per game when the actual story is “#1 Team Dispatched by Alleged Bottom Feeders, what up?”

    “Et le but!”

  31. idle says:

    Hey guys, I have just started working on a Music blog and it took me only 5 days to work in my first Habs reference. Keeping in mind that this is a very new blog and my first attempt at writing/blogging anything, I wouldn’t mind some feedback. I’m just using a stock template for now but will work on improving the layout over time.

    I’m a big boy, so feel free to be harsh if you like : )

    http://musiccavity.com

    CHeers

  32. Ian Cobb says:

    At least Cunneyworth uses his whole bench, keeping the whole team into the game, and it shows. You earn your ice time as each game is being played with him. Players that were spent, by the 3rd period, under Martin are still skating hard in the 3rd under Cunnyworth. If only Martin had of been replaced sooner, when it was plain to see, we may have had a shot at the play offs this year.
    We do have a very strong group of core young players that will benefit from playing time this year under Cunny. As under Martin, they would have bench sores. I am so pleased that he is not behind the bench any longer.

  33. AndyF says:

    Hello mods?

    Why oh why are none of my posts appearing?
    Am I on some secret “banned” list?

    http://andyfroncioni.com

  34. ZepFan2 says:

    You love yourself so much you felt the need to post this twice? :razz:

    Edit: this was to HH and his double post. WTH happened to it?
    ———————————————————————-
    Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  35. G-Man says:

    Canadiens Rhapsody

    Are these the real Habs?
    Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a long slump
    No escape from reality
    Open your eyes
    Look up the stats and see.
    I’m just a poor fan, I need no sympathy
    Because they’re easy win, easy lose
    A great big bat and a mickey of booze.
    Anyway the Habs score, doesn’t really matter to me, to me.

    PG, just traded a man
    Pulled a winger out of his hat,
    Thought we had a triggerman; now he’s a rat.
    PG, this season’s over half begun
    But, now you’ve gone and thrown it all away.
    PG, eww-eww-eww-eww
    Didn’t mean to make you cry
    If this season’s not on track by tomorrow
    Carry on, carry on; the playoffs don’t really matter.

    It’s not too late, there’s still time.
    Habs need to win and win; no excuses-they’re a crime.

    Goodbye you tankers- you’ve got to go
    Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
    PG, eww-eww-eww-eww
    The Habs don’t want to die
    I sometimes wish they’d never been born at all

    I see a little silhouetto of a man
    Jacques Martin, Jacques Martin, will you do the fandango?
    Thunderbolts and lightning – very very frightening to me
    Saku Koivu, Mike Ribiero,
    Cammalerri – magnifico-o-o-o

    I’m just a poor fan nobody loves me
    He’s just a poor fan from a poor family
    Spare him a season from this monstrosity.
    Easy win easy lose – will you not let me snooze?
    Bob Gainey says No! – we will not let you go – (let him go)
    Bob Gainey says No! – we will not let you go – (let him go)
    Bob Gainey says No! – we will not let you go – (let him go)
    Will not let you go – let me go (never)
    Never let you go – let me go
    Never let me go – ooo
    No, no, no, no, no, no, no –
    Oh Cammalerri, Cammalerri, Cammalerri let me go
    Lamoriello has a devil put aside for me
    for me
    for me
    for me

    (JM sings:) So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
    So you think you can love me and leave me to die?
    Oh baby – can’t do this to me baby
    Just gotta get out – just gotta get right outta here

    (PG sings) Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
    The playoffs really matter
    Any fan can see
    The playoffs really matter, but no player really matters, to me
    Anyway the wind blows..

  36. SmartDog says:

    When is hockey math NOT daunting?

    Take the fenwick, multiply by the corsi, subtract the guys’ age, divide by his cap hit… then put in the oven for 15 minutes at 375 and you have a half-baked answer to any hockey question!

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  37. montrealtilldeath says:

    Watched the video and Subban clearly does not spit on the Ranger player. Zotto is looking in the direction of Subban and he is not that close to the Habs bench. If the camera agle was from above it would be clearly evident. This is just the Trash Sports Network trying to start something. If some one spit on me from where Subban was sitting I would know it.

    • Bill says:

      The spitter and the supposed target both say it never happened. Why TSN puts up a video asking about it is beyond me.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Habfan10912 says:

        There has been a target on PK from day 1. Some of it is brought on by his behavior, not unlike most young people. Most of it is nothing more then passive racism. I find it disgusting and sad.

        “I have a dream.” Happy MLK day.

        • idle says:

          There are lots of players in the league who other teams, fans, media give a hard time to. Isn’t it just as racist to assume that it is because of racism? Like you are not allowed to not like P.K because he is black?

          The opposite of racism is not treating anyone differently for reasons outside of their personality & actions. Maybe P.K’s personality and actions are to blame. Maybe he is just fun to give the business to. He certainly likes the attention. The guys who are a little more coloufull (honestly no pun intented) are always the ones who get the most reaction. They give it out and they take it back.

          http://musiccavity.com

        • idle says:

          BTW, I don’t mean to suggest there are not isolated cases. The slipping on a banana peel comment is questionable. Some commentators were talking about it on the radio and suggested that the term is used all the time in hockey anytime players fall during a fight. Instead of them ‘being taken down’ they just say they slipped on a banana.

          Can anyone expand on that, because I find it hard to believe.

          It wasn’t directed at P.K, but there was that joker in London who threw the banana on the ice at Wayne Simmonds.

          http://musiccavity.com

        • habsolutely416 says:

          passive racism for sure.

          ill be in the slot ;)

      • avatar_58 says:

        THAT is one magic loogie

    • PrimeTime says:

      You can’t trust the media these days. Full of agenda, propaganda, pundits opinions stated as fact. Is confirmation before publication now a pratice of the past? In this instance TSN may have asked the players involved before deciding to make public the suspected incident. By doing the reverse they already make the “suspicion” a reality. No wonder Burke in TO tries to manipulate the media before they do the same to his team, or that PG pretty much ignores the Montreal media. The only Gazette journalist I enjoy on the subject of the Habs is Stubbs…..Boone is too far “cautious” for my liking and Hickey is just, well, blah (sorry). Elliot Friedman is good as well…….everyone else is just entertainment, not “news trustworthy”.

  38. PrimeTime says:

    If Jack Todd is going to continue to hide in Montreal I think he would be better off writing the city column again or about QC politics…..he could give the french nationalists some fun and stir things up that are more important than a hockey team. He has strong convictions which could be applied better elsewhere.

  39. avatar_58 says:

    Funny how Gomez worked well on a shutdown/energy line. At least that whats I assume the line was, given at one point it was Blunden – Gomez – Darche.

    I hate his contract but he may be effective with less ice time and specialized use.

    • dh says:

      Yeah. And listening to his post game inteview, you can see why he’s liked by the team. Not that I like his contract and not that I didn’t like Cammy, but the difference between the two players when talking to the press is pretty amazing.

  40. 24 Cups says:

    I wonder how Cunneyworth will utilize his goalies this week. Does Budaj start against Pittsburgh on Friday night? Would a gutsy coach give him the nod against Washington?

    AK46 continues to perplex. What to do with this guy between now and the deadline is still Mr. Gauthier’s biggest dilemma. The Habs are back to square one on the size issue of AK and Moen don’t come back (or are not replaced with similar players).

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The look on Kostitsyn`s face when he was sat for long periods of time last night didn`t look good. He had that “whatever“ look on his face.

      I hope he steps it back up and signs back with the Canadiens because he is reliable enough and adds a physical presence.

      • RGM says:

        He’s likely become accustomed to it.

        ———————–
        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
        Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

      • Le Jadester says:

        Ya I know. It was kinda funny seeing him and Eller hangin’ out at the end of the bench there. A picture is worth a 1000 words.

        He did start the game really well, until the NYR goal…but I thought Eller, Diaz and Emelin were to blame on that coverage ? Then after Randy threw him in at the end of the 2nd (cause Moen got hurt) he seemed good again. In fact that line of Plex, Bourque and AK looked pretty good too.

        I also thought that by default AK would get more opportunities with Cammy gone, but I guess Randy sees it differently ?

        There was lots of talk about AK on the Antichamber last night. Does anyone know what they were saying ?

        Either way, We definately have to sign him before the deadline and then PG can do what he wants with him after ?

        Habs, OLE !

        • dh says:

          I think that AK was sat because he was on Eller’s line and RC wanted to sit Eller. I think he is trying to maintain lines. This is probably not a bad idea.

          I wish they would sign AK so every time something like this happens he isn’t expecting a “call to the dressing room” and a tip out of town.

      • skoalbandit says:

        absolutly sign this guy. use bourques contract as comparison, 3.3/y 3/4 years is a steal for a consistant 20+ goal guy.
        I say play rene andrei and eller together. 75-80 goals a year(potential)
        and an 8 million dollar line

      • Phil C says:

        Interesting, I thought his eyes were throwing darts at RC. If looks could kill. He didn’t seem happy about it to me which shows he has some fight. His play in the third didn’t seem like apathy either.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Goalie Controversy in Montreal will be TSN’s next lead story after SpitGate dies down!

    • Pat8987 says:

      In my humble opinion the answer to your question about AK was answered the second MTL traded for Bourque…Similar player (big, strong, 20 goal scorer+, inconsistent and a care free attitude).

      Listen, I’m a fan of AK, however we can’t have too many AK types with a care free attitude if we want to be serious contenders. I say MTL got a better player in Bourque for a cheaper price.

      If the deal makes sense and what’s coming back has potential with heart make the deal at the deadline

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        There aren’t going to be any better free agents out there though, and it doesn’t seem like anybody else in the system is ready to move up.

        Devil you know vs. the Devil you don’t makes keeping him a no-brainer.

        ____________________________________________________
        Dear Mtl Canadiens,
        Please beat Boston to tie the season series. You are about to cost me three bottles of rum in a little over a year.
        Love,
        Michael

    • tophab says:

      we should run with budaj. no soft goals.

    • habsolutely416 says:

      its time to get rid of the floaters on this team and AK is the worst offender. streaky players are not that valueable. sure he scores 25 goals a year but a couple of hot streaks during the season really distort his stats/value. AK packaged with 1 or 2 dmen, could fetch a good winger in a deal. sad to say but pleks has turned into a bit of a floater as well.. he tends to play on the outside more often then not and his patent skate down the wing to the goal line and curl back with the puck is becoming very predictable. if this team could get that big center and somehow someway markov returns to the ice, this team could be very dangerous.

      ill be in the slot ;)

  41. ont fan says:

    Nice win. Shows maybe we aren’t that far away. I look at Tampa and don’t understand what they are doing.Boucher and Yzerman. Would you want them to lead your team, when they are so bad ,with the tallant they have?

    • Bill says:

      The talent they have is shallow. They’ve got Stamkos, who is a superstar. Then there’s St. Louis and Lecavalier who are good but declining (36 and 34 points). Malone is useful, but after that there’s not much up front.

      Their D is plain awful. Roster is shuddersome.

      Goaltending sucks too.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • AndyF says:

      They are doing what the Habs should be doing: increasing their chances of getting a good draft pick. It’s called “building a team”. We might not recognise that strategy because we’re Habs fans. :-)

      http://andyfroncioni.com

  42. Pat8987 says:

    For the first time since early 90’s Mtl has 5-6 legitimate 25+ goals scorers…So why does it feel like it’s not enough to get us to the next level? Well, after reflecting I sincerely believe Montreal is in lack of “premier playmakers”. Look at DD, he is still making his way into the league and his playmaking ability makes his line run like a well oiled machine! Think about it, a player who creates space for his line makes purely on his hockey intelligence: A type of player who can beat you 1 one 1, snipe or draw two defenders and slip a pass to someone else for an easy goal (what Gomez is paid to do LOL).

    That being said, without looking at MTL playoffs situations this year I believe THIS trade deadline can mold Montreal for the next 5 years!

    After looking at possible acquisitions I’m going to ask you guys 1) what you think it would take to get the following players 2) which option is most realistic and why. 3) which option is best and why

    1)Eric Staal
    2)Zach Parise
    3)Ryan Getslaf
    4)Jeff Carter

    My answer to 1)

    1)Eric Staal – Plekanec + Weber + Kristo + 2nd rounder
    2)Zach Parise – Plekanec + 2nd rounder + Holland
    3)Ryan Getzlaf – Plekanec + Weber + Gallagher + 2nd rounder
    4)Jeff Carter – Plekanec + 2nd rounder

    My answer to 2)

    Eric Staal – permits Carolina to rebuild the right way and frees up cap-space. He is locked up for a long time with a huge price tag…

    My answer to 3)

    Parise – Man if MTL can find a way to convince NJD to move him and then sign-him this guy would be lights out with the talent that surrounds him

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but all four of those guys would command a 1st rd pick (if not two or three) in a trade, and I doubt any of those teams want Pleks (nor do the Habs want to deal him).

      It might work on Playstation though.

      • Pat8987 says:

        2 or 3 first rounders (REALLY!)…Parise = UFA, Getzlaf = 1 season from UFA, Carter = not in same league as others and Staal = longterm + high pricetag…

        I sincerely think people overvalue players in this cap era…It’s not the mid 90’s where you can build a team via free agency LOL

        • RGM says:

          The 1st place New York Rangers say hi.

          ———————–
          GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
          Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

        • HFX-HabFan says:

          Consider the Hossa trade (Pittsburgh and Atlanta) in 2008.

          The Penguins traded two roster players, their first round pick of the previous year (Esposito), and their first round pick in ’08. Hossa was a pending UFA at the time.

          If any of the players you listed are to be dealt, their teams will want a significant package of prospects and picks, not a 1A centre who doesn’t save them that much in cap space, a fringe NHL-calibre D and a 2nd rd pick. Again, you can try it in Playstation, but it won’t work in real life.

          • Pat8987 says:

            Good point, but belive it or not things have changed since THAT mistake LOL. Also, you’re overlooking the talent Plekanec brings to a team.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I would make that deal for Getzlaf because he is only 26-years-old.

      But I`m not sure what the Ducks are looking for and Plekanec`s cap hit is basically the same as Getzlaf`s and for a loger term. So i don`t think they`d want Plekanec.

      It would be something like Subban, Gallagher and a 1st round pick. And that would be a tough deal to make.

    • jon514 says:

      3 Things.

      1) Plek has been playing with rotating line-mates for the past 5 seasons and has still managed to be in the top point scorers on this team. Who centered Kovalev in his resurgent 84 pt season? Who centered Kostitsyn to his career best season? These two supposedly ultra-talented, streaky, lazy players both fed off Plek’s skill and work ethic.

      2) Not one of those 4 players is considered a strong penalty-killing center. Plek, as well as being our top scorer 2 years in a row, has also played the first shift on our consistently league leading Penalty Kill. If you ship him out, you will be allowing more goals against on the PK which will negate any PP gains you bring in.

      3) When a team ships out it’s top scorer 2 years running because he’s having some difficulty, it sends a message to the players on the team and around the league that management is not willing to stick by star players when it’s not working. That in turn would negate top players ever wanting to come here, as if they don’t produce immediately, or if they slump, they will get immediate painting with the “gomez 2.0″ brush.

      Don’t forget, 25 games ago it looked like Plek was gonna have a career year. Now all of a sudden it’s his fault we’re losing? Bad idea to trade him, but I may be biased since he’s my favorite player.
      “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

  43. 24 Cups says:

    It would appear that Montreal won last night’s game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmBxVfQTuvI

  44. Hobie Hansen says:

    It’s one good game and declaring that this team is big and tough is a bit premature.

    But man, I was pretty impressed with Cole and Bourque hitting everything in site and Travis Moen also charging up the boys with that fight early in the first.

    There were a few very good shift in last night’s game where the Canadiens created offense by leaning on the Rangers in their own end creating turnovers. Something we’ve seen far too little of as far back as you can remember.

    Desharnais looks very good at the moment. His size is absolutely no issue and he has very good chemistry playing between Pacioretty and Cole.

    A small spark plug liker Desharnais or Gionta is fine but the Canadiens have been playing two or even three small players on the sames lines for years.

    I think Gomez deserves a shot at center after playing well the last couple games. He has a an extra step that we are not used to seeing and has surprisingly made a couple dazzling plays and passes.

    Defense remains our biggest issue. One real tough workhorse on the back end would greatly help.

    And about the playoffs, we need a four or five game winning streak to get within striking distance and another strong run after that. Very difficult but not unheard of .

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting times for our Habs. Rather than looking at how we need to play .700 or whatever, I am hopeful we can get on a tear like win 7 out of 8 see where we are in the standings then. Always difficult to make up ground in the new 3point era, but the saving grace is many teams in the East are playing like crap right now.

    Philly has big time injury issues as do the Penguins. Have the Caps really turned the corner on the season? TOronto suddenly isn’t sure if they have a number 1 goalie.

    What we need is for Boston and Rangers to roll through the rest of the East while hopefully we get a couple more injured players back.

    Do we dare to dream that Markov could be playing after all star break?

    And hopefully Price gets a mystery ailment that weekend and takes the weekend off. We can send Kaberle or Campoli as our representative, and really showcase the trade value of those two in that all star game.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Florida is starting to crack. And it is conceivable that NJ won`t continue their strong play.

      I can see the Habs playing well enough to make the last two weeks of the season very interesting, stressful and likely heartbreaking.

  46. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS:

    1. Has there been a better assist this year than Patches pass to DD for the goal? Gomez, eat your blind-pass-lovin’ heart out! (I know the pass was not blind.)
    2. Is this the real team? The real Cunneyworth team?
    3. Do we have a snowball’s chance in hell of making the playoffs?
    4. Who are our top 3 most expendable players?
    5. If Price were to sign a 7 year, $7 million/year contract today as rumoured, how would you feel about it? (I for one would be pissed at PG… he’s good but has not shown he’s worth that.)

    SD

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • pierre lapuck says:

      1. yes, the AK assist last week.
      2. maybe but still weak in their own zone.
      3. how big is the snowball?
      4. Weber, Nokia, and or Gill/Campoli/Gomez/Diaz.
      5. relieved.

    • DearyLeary says:

      1. No. Patches lives! Long live Patches!

      2. There is no ‘real Cunneyworth’ team. Because Cunneyworth, barring a long hidden prodigious talent for languages, is gone next year. It will be difficult to extract consistency from a team that knows this coach is done at the end of the season. This is despite the fact that I like his method, I love Eller, but there’s no doubt he wasn’t playing well last night and the benching definitely helped correct it. His willingness to do the same with veterans who aren’t performing is probably his most admirable attribute, oh well, bye bye Randy.

      3. No.

      4. Weber, Moen, Andrei. I would have said Diaz, but for some reason it seems that the team like him more than Weber.

      5. Too much of a cap hit. Term or dollars, they have to offer one, but not both.

    • petefleet says:

      1. Yes, lots of them. Very nice pass though.
      2. 60 minutes. If that’s what RC brings, then yes.
      3. Yes, a very big snowball and alot of luck.
      4. 17, 68, 21
      5. There’s not a team in the NHL that wouldn’t give him a contract like that, why shouldn’t PG and the Habs? Secure the back end and work out from there.

      ******************************************
      Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

      ***Habs Forever***

    • Phil C says:

      1. It was certainly one of the best. Patches knew he would be there, that’s chemistry.
      2. The forward lines seem to reflect RC’s beliefs and values. Hard-working, fast, physical. The defense could use one more top-four guy.
      3. Buffalo did it last year a someone else pointed out below. The 2010 Habs put together a few winning streaks to get it done. It is a long shot, but not impossible (like a snowball in hell). The vultures can keep circling for now.
      4. Campoli, Darche, and Weber if he can get us something good in return. Kaberle, Blunden, and Diaz are upgrades on those three, making them expendable. Once the Habs are officially eliminated, my top three are then AK, Gill, and Moen because they would bring the best return at the deadline.
      5. Price is an RFA so $7M seems a bit high to me, but I think he would get around $5.5-6.3M from an arbitrator based on comparables on this list http://capgeek.com/leaders.php?type=SALARY&position=G&limit=25 . Fleury and Ward would be a good comparison. So $6-7M if the Habs are buying into some UFA years, especially if the cap increases again. Less for a 1-2 year, but can they afford to let him become a UFA?

    • tbovs says:

      Price is now top 5 goalie in NHL…and probably the most depended on next to lundqvist. He deserves that money and more if we could. Gomez won’t be on the books past the summer so we will have lots of room.

    • tophab says:

      we will make the playoffs. we should draft a goalie malcom subban.price is not that good ,lets too many soft goals.

  47. JF says:

    The trade of Mike Cammalleri for Rene Bourque seems to have done more than add size and grit; it seems to have changed the dynamic of the team. Tomas Plekanec suddenly has a spring in his step and more conviction in his play, and the chemistry with his linemates is better. The whole team looks better – more determined, more aggressive, more intense, as though invigorated by a breath of fresh air.

    Has Randy Cunneyworth finally put together some lines that will stick? Insulated by a couple of big, bruising wingers, David Desharnais was able to give full play to his vision and creativity, playing perhaps his best game this season. That line was easily our best last night, but all four lines created chances. Pacioretty seems to be modelling his game on Erik Cole, and he couldn’t have a better mentor. Cole’s example is helping him emerge from the fog in which his suspension seemed to leave him.

    I loved the way Gomez played, and he seems to be developing good chemistry with Mike Blunden, who is becoming much more than an AHL fill-in. He is looking like a candidate for a permanent spot on the fourth line. I wish people would lay off Gomez; the Antichambre crew were going on about how long it is since he last scored. He may be the highest-paid 4th-line centre in the NHL, but, if he plays like last night, he’ll help us a lot.

    I like what Bourque brings – size, speed, a good shot, a willingness to hit and go into the dirty areas of the ice. I also liked his reaction on being traded much more than Cammalleri’s. He was initially hesitant and a bit negative; only after reaching Montreal and meeting his new team-mates did he start to realize what the trade meant. This seems a natural reaction; a player is bound to think first about the fact that his current team no longer wants him. Cammalleri, on the other hand, demanded right away exactly where the Flames were in the standings, and sounded as though he wanted nothing more than to be playing for Calgary and leading them to the playoffs. He said the right things about Montreal, but he is so glib I question his sincerity. He is good at saying the right things – which makes it all the more likely that his remarks the other day were designed to produce the result they did. Unlike some, I don’t really wish him well in Calgary; his behaviour this season has left a bad taste in my mouth and detracted from his electrifying performances in his first year with the Habs. I think Rene Bourque will be a solid addition to the team.

    Our offence is looking bigger and more dangerous; now we need to get bigger and tougher on the back end, as was glaringly obvious during the long sequences when the Rangers had us pinned in our zone. Another big, stay-at-home defenceman for one of our smaller, offensive defencemen would give us a more balanced defence.

    Kudos to Peter Budaj. Great concentration and focus after sitting for so many weeks on the bench. We may after all have a solid backup.

  48. HabFanSince72 says:

    OK, let’s talk hockey.

    Specifically, let’s talk Emelin vs Diaz.

    Cunneyworth and Martin seemed to prefer Diaz, and I have to admit he makes fewer mistakes than Emelin. Emelin is obviously more physical, and he is improving, but at this stage I would still choose Diaz, who is more consistent, and can play the point on the PP.

    Emelin is worse than Diaz in points (1 vs 13) and minus.


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

    • SmartDog says:

      I think it’s taken Emelin longer to get the hang of our league. I’d like to see just the more recent stats.

      If I had to keep one, I’d keep Emelin for his physicality. Though I agree Diaz has shown more steadiness, etc.

      But more to the point, I’d keep BOTH. Buh-bye Campoli. Buh-bye Weber (if we need the space).
      ————————————-

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Both. Diaz plays on the right, Emelin is better on the left. I´d rather keep Weber, Kaberle, Campoli and/or Gill out than any of these two, especially Emelin who can also play the point on the PP btw.

      Next year I´d like to have Emelin on the second pair with PK, Gorges with Markov on the first and Diaz with a big experienced physical dman on the third.

    • Phil C says:

      Diaz is also much better on his natural right side than Emelin on his off-wing. For this reason, he gets the edge over Emelin because, like most teams, we have so many left shots on D. But I really like Emelin and I would like him to stay in the line-up.

  49. Phil C says:

    If that is the best team in the East, I am starting to think that the Eastern conference is not very good right now. Both Boston and New York have gone on impressive streaks this year, so it’s plausible that Montreal could do the same. Pittsburgh, Philly, and Buffalo still have injury problems; Toronto, Florida, and Winnipeg seem to be regressing. The Lightning are tanking. So I think it’s there for the taking IF Montreal has turned the corner. Have they improved? I think so for the following reasons:

    – Moving Cammalleri was addition by subtraction. He was a HUGE defensive liability and with the PP not working, his value was significantly diminished. Not to mention his attitude which had to be hurting the team. Just by getting rid of him, the Habs are better;
    – Adding Bourque gives the Habs three lines with size and speed. If they keep playing like they did last night, they will be tough to defend against because you can’t stop all three lines. Girardi and McDonagh played 29 minutes and were even on plus/minus, but Montreal was able to exploit the other defensive pairings.
    – The defense are playing better, especially Subban, and when Subban improves, it lifts the whole team because he plays so many minutes in all situations. The 7 D system seems to be working, but I can’t help to think we could use one more top-four defenseman.
    – Gomez is playing better. If he can keep it up, this is another huge boost. Eller and Blunden have improved since the start of the season as well.
    – RC has them fore-checking more effectively. It was nice to see them not turn into the Washington Generals in the 3rd period last night. He also seems to be awarding ice time fairly. Having a meritocracy is a positive change for the team.

  50. aemarchand11 says:

    Playoffs?

  51. petefleet says:

    The view from my rec room:

    67 51 72 played an outstanding game, no surprise there. These three always bring their “A” game. They are not always successful though.
    Budaj played well. He made some key saves that saved the game from going the other way. That’s what goalies are supposed to do.
    There was no third period let up that has sunk this team all year. This is not a bad team. They don’t get “Toronto” beat. They have the stuff to stay with anyone in the NHL any night. Stamina for 60 minutes might be lacking. The game usually gets away from them in the third, not last night.
    Bourque looked good. I’m going to like this guy I think.
    Blunden scored 46 goals in one year in jr. and 12 goals in 37 games in the AHL. Really!! Give this guy a centreman and watch him go!!! The fourth line really? What the hell are we waiting for?
    Gomer was on fire. I have no notions that this play will continue but I really wish it would. With him healthy and firing on all cylinders this team has a chance to make the playoffs. A chance.
    Pleks and Darche did exactly what they do all night. It’s all left out there on the ice when the final buzzer sounds. Two totally different players with, I think, the same work ethic.
    Good to see Bourque out there killing penalties. Didn’t know that skill was in his bag of tricks. Maybe Pleks will get a rest after all.
    I think Eller fell in love with himself after the 5 point night because his play has become very selfish. I have noticed that he’s not using his wingers, always looking to take the shot. I think RC pointed it out in spades last night. The defensive gaffs didn’t help either.
    AK46 is AK46. I didn’t notice too much that he was doing wrong per say but that’s his MO isn’t it. A beast one night, a powder puff the next. I’ve learned to expect that from him. Maybe RC hasn’t.
    The defence:
    PK is playing better. Better decisions. Better puck movement.
    Gorges is “all that and a bag of chips”. Love this guy.
    Weber, Diaz, and Emelin played enough to keep their blood warm and did a pretty good job. Love Diaz’s puck moving skill.
    Kaberle was a calming effect on the PP as usual and got all the ES minutes he deserved.
    Poor Gill. His heart is always in it. No one tries harder on the PK. He’s probably not happy with his reduced time but he’s playing pretty well.
    I like the 7 D system. I don’t want a guy in the press box from the above group. #17 on the other hand in another story.
    Great game, fun to watch. I hope there’s more.

    ******************************************
    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    ***Habs Forever***

  52. croozer says:

    As much as missing the playoffs would be bitter – I think the more important issue is making sure that we have 20 competitors on the ice every game. All 20 competing – not because they’re afraid of getting benched – but because they don’t want to let their teammates down.
    Once we have a squad like that then we can look at improvements for speed, scoring talent and size – but only if the willingness to compete is there.
    We don’t need any more Kovalevs.
    It always frightens me to hear fans talk about getting Vinny from Tampa. Yes he’s big and has scoring numbers but the compete factor isn’t there. Marty St Louis would be better , not that it’s going to happen.
    Habs management needs to run through our prospect pool as well and make sure the competitive factor is there.
    The other item to address is language politics – and Gauthier (or his successor) needs to eliminate that. PG made a huge mistake apologizing and throwing Cunneyworth under the bus.
    It doesn’t matter what the French media says – the GM and coaching staff should ONLY be concerned with the performance of the team because that’s all that true Habs fans are worried about.
    Hockey people should be talking hockey and answering hockey questions only – yes, even if they need to hire an interpreter.
    Wanna ask stupid questions or create a “controversy” because the stick labels don’t have large enough French lettering? – go ask Mr. Molson.
    These petty language spats are a distraction and Habs ownership needs to make it crystal clear that all team personnel decisions will be based on what’s best for the team. Period.

  53. jon514 says:

    Funny how people focus on the fact that we needed to get bigger when 5’7″ David Desharnais was our best player on the ice last night!

    I don’t disagree btw that the size helps, I just think it should be noted that Gio was our top scorer last year… this year it’s looking like DD will be our top center/playmaker. Maybe it’s the medium sized guys we need to ditch, not the midgets… At least that’s the strategy which worked for me in original Nintendo Ice Hockey…

    “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

    • SmartDog says:

      Nothing wrong with a coupla small guys. It actually makes it tougher for the other team to play against a mix of big and small – small guys turn more quickly – they’re hard to contain. But too many small guys and you can get pushed around. And Bourque last night was a good example of how another big guy helps put pressure on the other team.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Heh heh.
      I think about Nintendo Ice Hockey whenever we talk about size.
      My buddies and I called them Fats Mediums and Skinnys.
      The Habs had far too many Skinnys. Got knocked off the puck with that ‘poingg!’ sound far too easily.

      I agree that DD has been playing an amazing game recently, but it’s important to note that too many of those kinds of players isn’t an advantage. DD can’t win battles along the boards, nor could Gionta or Cammy or Gomer. Four pretty much guaranteed takeaways on the top 2 (or so) lines is not good.

      Gotta get the balance right. The Booins are doing it (damn their eyes).

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • CanadienBoy says:

      The teams needed more balance with size and talent we could not beat Boston last year and Philly the year before but give them a run for it ,right now i think we one to two big D short (McDO and OB )will have done it funny , our D as now will get injure and roll over in the playoff witch will be the strategy off the opposition

    • DearyLeary says:

      Desharnais is playing well because he’s got two trees, who can score goals like they’re going out of style, on his wings. Those big bodies make room for him to be able to move the puck, and their releases make it easy for them to score goals whenever they’re in good shooting position, which is easier for them because they’re big enough to go to the net.

      Pleks played better last night, as did Gomez (shocker). You can put smaller players on the ice, but they need to be complemented with bigger bodies so that their speed, talent, vision, and playmaking doesn’t get swallowed up by bigger defencemen. The NHL is becoming more and more lenient on holding/hooking/interference etc. (aside: is that stopping the concussion epidemic, venerable hockey dinosaurs?) and that’s effecting small players’ utility.

      Gainey/Gauthier gambled that the league was going to stay true to its post-lockout nature (remember obstruction? when was the last time we saw a ref make that ‘O’ with his hands for a penalty) and they tried to load up on speed, almost exclusively. Without old slowing tactics speed seemed like the end-game characteristic for players.

      Gauthier is trying to correct that gamble. In landing Eller he got a young, big, fast, skilled center, a prized commodity in todays NHL (especially considering Halak is still struggling to find 50-60 game regular season form). In moving Cammalleri for Bourque, the Canadiens got bigger and cheaper, without having to sacrifice the potential goal scoring numbers that Cammy brought (I loved Cammy in the 2010 run, but he is not the 40 goal potential scorer that he was in Calgary or LA). Bourque might not have the ceiling that Cammy does, but his consistency is welcome (a consistency that is likely due to the fact that he can work close to the net, whereas Cammy had to work on the perimiter almost exclusively).

      Size is becoming more important as the game evolves (a game that evolves faster than any other in the world, in my opinion). Smaller players can survive, even thrive in the NHL, if they’re given complementary pieces that allow them the space to use their particular skillsets.

      I’m not entirely sold on Desharnais, but he’s putting up points right now and it’s hard to argue with that.

    • DearyLeary says:

      Oh, and props for the old Ice Hockey game. I always had all skinnies too. They were so fast and goaltending was nigh impossible so as long as you could get close their weak shot didn’t matter.

      • jon514 says:

        DD has been surprising and converting people to his cause at every level.

        I know that the big guys do a lot of work, digging the puck out in the corners, making room in front of the net. But it’s a team effort. The past 10 games, it’s actually fun to watch this team play hockey for the first time in 3 years. It’s not fun to watch them lose mind you, but Cunneyworth’s fore-checking style might bear fruit in a few more weeks. I hope we keep him around, playoffs and french media be damned… especially since we’re acquiring forwards who fit his mold.

        “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

  54. Mattyleg says:

    Mornin’ all!

    Yessir, we are on our way to Winsville! Toot-toot, all aboard!!
    Nice to see a game where we play well for 60mins and the opposition mails it in. Nice for a change, y’know?

    I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of the ol’ Blunderbuss every game. He’s big and unafraid. He’s the quiet success of recent months for me.

    I like the ‘small center, big winger’ approach. Keep it up!

    And as for Gomer… he had a great game. Always making plays, smart passes, good puck control. That’s the way he started the season — then he started his nifty backhand passes to nobody. Let’s hope those don’t start rearing their ugly heads anytime soon.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • ed lopaz says:

      Matty – I agree about Blunden.

      For me, he stands for “hard work pays off” on this team.

      And that’s what I like about RC as well.

      RC was always a meat and potatoes, blue collar, hockey player that clawed and worked his entire hockey career.

      I’m sure RC sees some of himself in Blunden.

      I really can live with the losing.

      I understand that we don’t have all of the pieces in place.

      What I want to see is my team working hard, shift after shift, period after period, game after game.

      Hockey is a game for athletes that like to work hard.

      When Blunden stepped into that Ranger off the bench I jumped out of my chair and yelled, “ya baby!. this guy can play on my team any day!”.

      I promise you – mark my words – that Gomez will be “pulling splinters” if he starts with nonsense again.

      There are no free rides on this team any longer.

      This is no longer a team of Elites (read veterans) and everyone else.

      This is a team of players that will be treated equally by their coach.

      I believe in this style of coaching.

      Let’s hope it leads to 10 wins in a row!!

  55. Seps says:

    This is what the Habs are missing and need to replace in order to be an elite team in the league, this could be a projection for 2013-2014…

    (young Superstar) – (Legitimate #1 Centre) – Cole
    Grigorenko? Leblanc?

    Kostitsyn – Eller – Bourque

    Pacioretty – Desharnais – Blunden

    Moen – White – (Tough Guy who can skate )

    (Big shutdown D) – Gorges
    Tinordi?

    Markov – Subban

    Emelin – (Big tough D-guy)

    Price

    • DearyLeary says:

      Doesn’t look bad to me. The problem is getting a guy like Grigorenko when they have outbursts of pride like last night.

      also, much as I like Leblanc, Pacioretty is much better, if you flip those two it’s much easier to see that team compete.

      It’s going to be very difficult to retain Andrei’s services, but moving him at the deadline as a rental might be a good way to stock our coffers for what’s supposed to be a very strong draft.

      I also wouldn’t discount Beaulieu making that team. Very strong skater, good puck mover, PP quarterback, and big and athletic.

      But frankly, your base analysis is pretty strong, and I think a team built like that can compete. This has to be a long term process of rebuilding. None of the teams that have won the Cup magically rebuilt their teams overnight.

      The strength of all the teams that have won over the past 5 years has been their youth cores. Naturally those cores have been complemented by some key veterans (that I believe we possess now, and will possess in 3 years time: Gorges, Markov, Cole, Plekanec).

      We’re going to have to suck up our pride for a year or two while some players develop, and we don’t want to rush them into primetime. Not all of them will have the same flair and confidence that PK had when he burst onto the scene. But picking up some high level talent in the next couple of drafts is going to help solidify a young core of players that can sustain success over a long period of time.

      Unless you’re the Detroit Red Wings, and find Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk in the depths of the draft, you need to suck for a while to build a core that’s going to last.

    • SmartDog says:

      Why would anyone in their right mind break up Cole-DD-Patches?
      And where’s Plecky?

      You don’t get my vote for GM.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • DearyLeary says:

        Frankly, Pleks should take Desy’s place in the lineup. I still don’t believe in Desharnais’ longterm viability as a top two centerman in the NHL, and that’s the only place that he can possibly survive with his skillset.

  56. slimjim111 says:

    Aren’t we easy to give up and tank? Jeez! A little optimism, someone.

    Anything can happen (good or bad!) in hockey. Instead of dwelling on what might happen in 30 some odd games, focus on the issue. I know we’re not the best team this season, but we’ve only come halfway into it.

    How many times have we seen teams flourish in the 1st half of the season and fade out towards the end of the season to barely make (or even miss) the playoffs?

    Chill out folks.

  57. HabsFan1111 says:

    Can anyone confirm or deny (or shed some light maybe) what RDS was reporting during the 1st intermission? They said Price apparently rejected a 7 year, 49M contract offer.

  58. rogieshan says:

    Now that the Diva is gone, I expect Subban’s game will take off. I’ve always believed that Cammalleri was resentful towards P.K. for stealing his thunder with the media/fans.

    • G-Man says:

      Absurd.

      _______________________________________________

      Tanking- The Losers way of winning.

      • Mike Boone says:

        Not so absurd. Cammalleri teased Subban relentlessly about the kid’s celebrity. Never underestimate the ego of a professional athlete.

        Mike Boone
        Hockey Inside/Out blogger
        Gazette City columnist
        mboone@montrealgazette.com

        • SmartDog says:

          I was thinking that too. “Prime-time” is not really a nice nickname. And Cami is the only one who seemed to use it. (I have 3 older brothers, I know the art of subtle attack by nickname!)

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • DorvalTony says:

          Neither one delivered this year.

          ——————————————————————
          ”First of all, you have to have continuity if you are to have success,” Pollock told the New York Times. ”I think it gets the manager and the players to become more attached to each other.” – Sam Pollock

          • Propwash says:

            I’d argue that aside from a few gaffs, PK has been doing well defensively.

            _____________________________
            Don’t let the wultures getcha.

          • idle says:

            @ Propwash

            You mean a few gaffs per game? At least for awhile there.

          • Propwash says:

            @ Idle, the same could be said for the rest of the d-corps.

            _____________________________
            Don’t let the wultures getcha.

  59. SmartDog says:

    I JUST GOTS TO BARK A COUPLA THINGS!
    In no particular order….

    1. RED FISHER. People are still reading this guy? Regardless that half his columns come out of left field, I can’t take one more “let me tell you, on this night” or “there’s a certain fella by the name of”.

    2. BOURQUE. Welcome dude! If he plays half his games like he did last night, this was probably a good trade. He upped the physicality level and gave extra wind to his line and (I would argue) to the DD line too by creating a second aggressive attack wave (practically on his own). Awesome! Consider this – those who thought we needed a Sean Avery type… I think this is him (but better).

    3. PLEKS. Leave Pleky aloooonnnnneeeeee!!! I meeeaaan iiittttt!!! Watch him on the PK and you’ll forgive a slow-down in offensive production from a guy who gives so much to this team. Anyway, he’s getting his mojo back, I can feel it.

    4. BUDAJ. We won? Plan the parade, we have TWO goalies!

    5. GOMEZ. I havent’ seen Gomez play this way since… the last game against the Rangers. Maybe we need to get a hypnotist in there so that he always thinks he’s playing the Rangers. Of course he might wake up and go “who are you?….who AM I? what is this THING on my head?”

    6. COLE. Before the game, my son – lamenting his second ‘favorite’ in a row to leave (first it was Lapierre, then Cami) has picked Cole for his new favorite. And Cole responded with a 3 point game! What a guy!

    7. PLAYOFFS? We still ain’t makin the stinkin’ playoffs. But hoping that Cunneyworth keeps this team clicking and it carries them (and him) into next year.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • J_P says:

      Agree with all points. Gomez definitely played a strong game last night, and if he can provide that level of effort every night, it makes the habs a better team. Cole has been our best player all season. so nothing new over there.

      What about patches? The guy was an absolute beast last night. He went into a bit of a slump after the suspension, but it looks like he’s got his game back. Very encouraging.

      Man does winning feel good!

      • SmartDog says:

        Patches was clutch. That pass to Desharnais was SICK!

        And I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that my comment about Gomez is moderately positive.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • LafleurFan says:

      Mr. Fisher has done great work for a long, long time. If his present writing in his 80’s doesn’t appeal to individuals then abide without denouncing. Thank you for all your great work Mr. Fisher even if the locks are no longer red.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  60. HabFanSince72 says:

    Good old bipolar H I/O.


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

    • Cardiac says:

      All it takes is a win now and then…

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

    • SmartDog says:

      I know, this place really sucks, it’s depressing…
      …but doncha just freakin’ LOVE IT!!

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  61. Chris says:

    Weird stat of the day…

    With Jason Blake in the lineup, the Anaheim Ducks are 7-2-1.

    Without Jason Blake in the lineup, the Ducks are 8-20-6.

    The Ducks have probably left it WAY too late and dug far too deep a hole, but they are the team out of the playoffs most capable of making a sustained charge, as long as Hiller continues to not be the chump he was in November and December.

  62. novahab says:

    Cammy might have scored but I believe I read he was -3. Thats means he was on for all 4 goals against. If you want to pay 7 mil a year for that then I say god bless you. As for PG he making the team bigger with speed and you know what, he not a no nothing GM. I am likeing this guy more and more and I Ithink we should support him. Aso if the CBC. sportnet and TSN are trying to get him fired thats tells me he the right guy for the job.

    • habs03 says:

      He has -2, and his goal was a PP goal so that doesnt count in his +/-. There is no doubt that Cammy is the better player, but it was a very good deal, we got the cheaper player, that brings size, can match Cammy production, and we get a 2 good pick and save money. The only thing we loss is talent.

      Oh ya, some on tweeter, quoted Cammy agent, saying that Cammy is not a dump and chase guy. So he clearly wasn’t like the system RC was installing and so you gotta think he didn’t mind the trade at all.

      • HabsFan1111 says:

        Cammy is no doubt the better player on paper (hence his contract), but Bourque has a much more rounded game. Cammy will float around and finds spots to snipe goals, paired with good playmakers he can do some real damage, but he’s one dimensional. Bourque can score from anywhere, he’s fast and physical. I think this trade was a win-win for both teams and I personally could not be happier with what we got in return.

        • habs03 says:

          Of for sure, I couldn’t believe you got a 2nd round pick also. But Bourque does a lot of the lazy stupid stuff that Cammy does, but 6M vs 3.3 is the bigger difference and what makes it a good deal for us.

      • tophab says:

        have you been watching cammy play?why would you say cammy is the better player?he has done nothing this year.playing like a bum.

  63. Another Recent Rumour Round-up. the jokes are made up but the rumours are real, or as real any rumours online can be anyway.

  64. Will Vincent Lacavalier face a suspension for his sunker punch on Evgeni Malkin?

  65. habs03 says:

    I like what PG is doing, making the bigger but we have not lost any speed and also going with a full top 9, we have no elite talent, and no true number 1 line, so you make 3 “2nd lines”.

    XXX-Pleck-Gio
    Patches-DD-Cole
    Bourque-Eller-A.Kost
    XXX-XXX-XXX
    XXX-4-5M Winger, ex Ruutu and a 4th line.

    Markov-Emelin
    XXX-Subban
    Kaberle-Gorges
    Diaz

    Price
    XXX-3-4M Stay at home D-men, Ex, Bryan Allen,Time Gleason

  66. habs4ever says:

    I fully agree with you novahab, Mr Fisher you should seriously consider retirement. Your columns are becoming more and more ridiculous. If you had any scruples you would see that part of the problem is chemistry.Cammileri was a selfish player who only cares about himself. He made those comments because he was’t performing and had to blame someone other than himself. Lets wait awhile and the real truth will surface, someone will tell the truth about Cammileri and his poor attitude. Right now everyone is quiet because what happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. Why do you think Calgary traded him before?I say we got the better of the deal , at least Bourque contributes with his actions not his mouth.

  67. Todd says:

    For those of you still clinging to playoff hopes, consider this.

    Last season on January 16th the Buffalo Sabres were in 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings and were eight points in arrears of the eighth place Atlanta Thrashers. By season’s end, the Sabres finished in seventh place in the Conference standings.

    Your Canadiens are currently in 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings and are eight points in arrears of the eighth place Pittsburgh Penguins. By season’s end ……

    • Cardiac says:

      Yeah, after they changed ownership in February, Buffalo also finished the season with a record of 16–4–4, never losing two consecutive games. We have yet to win more than two games in a row all season. If you ask me, I don’t see it happening.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

  68. Psycho29 says:

    Concerning the SSS (Supposed-Subban-Spit) :

    If you look at the slow motion video….you can clearly see that Roger McDowell is the second spitter from the grassy knoll :-)

  69. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Both Jack Todd’s and Red Fisher’s columns are pretty much nonsense. Waste of ink, bits and bytes.

  70. Chris says:

    Figuring this team out will give you ulcers.

    They are 2-3-0 this season against Boston, winning 4-2 and 2-1 while losing 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. So they have an even goal differential in 5 games against a team that is +69 in their other 36 games this season.

    Then you have a 2-1-0 record against the New York Rangers, posting 4-0 and 4-1 wins to go against a 5-3 loss. So a +5 goal differential against a team that is otherwise +37 in 40 games.

    Against Philly, they are 1-2-0 with a 5-1 win against 4-3 and 3-1 losses.

    Against Ottawa, they are 2-0-1 with 6-2 and 2-1 wins against a 3-2 shootout loss.

    So against the top 4 teams in the East this morning, Montreal is 7-6-1 with a goal differential of +11. So clearly, this team can compete with the big boys in the Eastern Conference. They just can’t seem to bag the points against the teams that aren’t at the top of the heap. And they’re experiencing their usual troubles against Western Conference teams, somewhat puzzling given that most of the Eastern teams have winning records against the West thus far this season.

    • Say Ash says:

      Yup, we suck.

    • J_P says:

      Very interesting numbers. Thanks for posting them.

    • G-Man says:

      That’s been the most frustrating thing about the Habs this season. We all know they should be better. The players know they should be better. Let’s hope they do get better. And right bleeping now!

      _______________________________________________

      Tanking- The Losers way of winning.

    • montrealtilldeath says:

      And please note that in the last Boston game if you take away the BS bounce off the glass and the tip in by Josh Gorges the score is 1-0. Of course the Price haters will say he blew the game.

      How about the team supporting Price the way they supported Budaj last night. I thought Budaj was steady for not having played for a while but I do not remember what I would call any outstanding saves for a goalie at the NHL level. The D played well for a change in our end with the exception of the times they were pinned in for an extended period. Even then the rangers did not get any real quality chances.

      Bourque looked good and so did Gomez. Hope they keep bringing the same game every night.

      • tophab says:

        how about we win more if price dosen,t let the first shot in every game and he could stop the puck when the game is on the line.price has not stole any games for us this year. draft malcome subban.

  71. Psycho29 says:

    Concerning the SSS (Supposed-Subban-Spit) :

    If you look at the slow motion video you can see Roger McDowell spitting from the grassy knoll :-)

  72. novahab says:

    Stop thinking playoffs and take it one game at a time. Great game now get ready for Washington. WTF with the schedule they play the Pens on Friday and have the Leafs waiting or them on Saturday. Talk about Gary the crook Bettman catering to the Leafs here your proof.

    • avatar_58 says:

      Not really, since he had no clue the leafs would be good this year. Schedules are done before the season begins remember?

      • novahab says:

        I suggest you check the schedules over the years. This is not about knowing if the Leafs will suck or not. Its about soffening the Habs up to give the Leafs a better chance to win. Its alll about catering to the CBC and there love for the Leafs. They need to beat the Habs on Saturday night to convice, the tax payers not to notice how our money goes to support the marketing of this team. Leafs win see they’re the team we have to show every Saturday night to make money.

    • Bobcat Bob says:

      Bobcat Bob
      35 games left in the season – thats a potential 70 points to be had. We are a better team than Toronto, Pittsburg, Winnipeg, even Ottawa and the Devils. I think the chances to make the playoffs are much better than people think they are.

  73. novahab says:

    Well first Mr. Fisher I totally disagree with you, as you always love to make a excuse when the Habs win. So your saying the most demanding coach in the NHL., who knows his team record at the Bell centre, allowed his team to cake walk. Boy that something considering what he done with this team all season. I rather think the Habs played up to their coach’s new system that fits them better than JM’s system. Then again time will tell and if they continue to win you’ll will most certainly apologize for these comments.

  74. Cardiac says:

    Holy crap, you’re right! It was end of October/early November. With everything that’s happened this season, it really does seem like an eternity.

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    – Jerry Maguire

  75. If 5-6 points out a playoff spot is ‘right in the thick of things’.

    NB: I’m still hoping for a miracle run

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  76. HabsFan1111 says:

    Agreed. 8 pts out of 7th with THIRTY SEVEN (37!) games remaining. String together a few, let some line combos start gelling, maybe Markov back, anything can happen. Hopefully the players are thinking the same and not reading the papers…

  77. I’m with ya.

    Tanking is for losers.

    Strive to make the post season! That’s the goal right now.

    Until they are out of the hunt (insert Columbus here) cheer for the “W”.

    GO HABS GO

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
    Custom Sports Figures
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  78. That’s my FAN!

    That’s exactly how you look at it. Plus the teams in front are no better than our Canadiens, and they in my opinion have a better talent pool.

    The Boys have something to prove. Tanking is for Losers!

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
    Custom Sports Figures
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  79. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I guess. On the other hand, Todd’s an idiot and you defend him. Quod erat demonstrandum.

  80. Hobie Hansen says:

    I have hit the 4-year-mark as a member of this site and have been preaching the same philosophy with the same name my good man.

  81. tophab says:

    if price could stop the puck when the game is on the line we would have many more wins. he has not been very good.

  82. HabsfanoftheHabs says:

    I liked Mara too, but the fact that he couldnt find a job in this league anymore gives you an idea of his value.

  83. Sportfan says:

    Always felt Mara didn’t get used like he should have here i liked him too

  84. Hobie Hansen says:

    A player like Mara, hopefully a tad better, is what we need on our back end.

    Emelin nails people, Subban throws his share of hits too but we really don`t have a guy back there that will pop someone in the head if they`re getting carried away in front of Price.

  85. avatar_58 says:

    I’d take Mara over Campoli

  86. Phil C says:

    I am surprised Mara couldn’t find a job. 6′ 4″ , 211 lbs and only 32 years old, he would have been cheap for a depth defenseman.
    But the Habs already have too many one-dimensional depth defensemen. They need someone who can play top-four minutes who ideally brings some size and grit to compliment their current defense roster.

  87. HabFanSince72 says:

    Didn’t they lose a lot of games at the end? I seem to remember that they got close at some point.


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

  88. HabinBurlington says:

    I wonder if RC would have found a way to use him more. End of day JM never liked players whom played with physical edge. I think he felt they always took themselves out of position from ‘the system”

  89. DearyLeary says:

    Jarred Tinordi.

  90. HabFanSince72 says:

    The Bourque 2nd rounder is for 2013.

    Our 2012 2nd rounder will likely be traded soon for a rental, as per protocol.


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

  91. HabinBurlington says:

    “as per protocol”, very funny. Every GM that takes the job in Mtl. gets a manual with these protocols listed.

    well done HF72

  92. avatar_58 says:

    I’m very curious to see how he’d do in an extended playoff run. Cole as well.

  93. habs03 says:

    This, I admit that I never thought he would be able to do it, but I would have no issue with him being our 2nd line Centre next season with Patches and Cole. The size thing is not an issue any more in MTL. I think starting next season only Gionta/DD and Plek (5’11 aint small) are going to be the only forwards on our team under 6’1.

  94. Strummer says:

    DD is small but he is talented.

    Playing between 2 large guys certainly helps his game.

    However too many small guys will create problems.

    That’s why having all of Gio, DD, Cammy, Gallagher, Diaz, Weber etc. on the team at once won’t work.

    ______________________________________________________
    “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
    -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  95. avatar_58 says:

    They started the year with Woywitka (sp?) so how does one explain that?

  96. Habfan10912 says:

    Would you propose Pleks as a 3 and bringing in someone to center 1? Or Pleks 1 Dd 2?

  97. REB says:

    Gallagher….?

  98. Phil C says:

    I wonder if Woywitka would still be here if RC was coach at the time. They tried to keep him but lost him on waivers.

  99. Habfan10912 says:

    I think they just have to continue to ignore it. It will go away on its own. To demand action of TSN will do more to keep it going sadly enough. Keep the high ground PK.

  100. Habfan10912 says:

    Thanks 84.

  101. Habfan10912 says:

    In the NHL he’d be doing 3 games as a first time offender or if he was a Bruin he’d get nothing.

  102. 24 Cups says:

    I can’t say that I was impressed with Kristo, both in terms of his Lucic like hit as well as his immature, assine behaviour.

    Gallagher is going to blow right by this guy on the depth chart (if he already hasn’t).

  103. Habfan10912 says:

    @24 Was not a good night for the youngster for sure. He does have a nonstop motor and he’s not shy of contact. Maybe not the offensives potential of Gallagher, but I still think he’s got a chance to be a very good player for the Habs in the future.

  104. Stev.R says:

    I was never a big fan of Kristo. I don’t like the hit, I don’t really care about the freak out part but it is a little embarrassing (especially because the hit was so obvious.). I remember the day he got drafted somebody interviewed him and every couple words was either “um” or “yuh”. Hope he’s a good player though

  105. Mattyleg says:

    Yep.
    And he doesn’t make mistakes.
    Which is key, along with his PP work.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  106. otter649 says:

    Toronto should have signed Cammy then they wouldn’t have had to give up those draft picks they did for Kessel in a trade…..

  107. Mike Boone says:

    Thanks, guys. I try

    Mike Boone
    Hockey Inside/Out blogger
    Gazette City columnist
    mboone@montrealgazette.com

  108. Bill says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty much what I see too.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  109. Chris says:

    Here is Brian Gionta’s answer to “Who is the NHL’s best or worst trash talker?”

    Gionta – “Most hated has got to be P.K. Subban, at least on our team. He’s not very well liked around the league, I guess.”


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