Plenty to smile about

Fromage!

The Canadiens take their team photo this morning, no doubt still stoked by winning that excellent game last night.

There was nothing cheesy about beating a fast-skating quality opponent in OT. The crowd at the Bell Centre and fans watching the Canadiens and Coyotes on TV were treated to April hockey in October.

It augurs well for November and beyond

Carey Price is solid, Tomas Plekanec is earning his $$$ and AK46 has two game-winning goals – matching his total last season.

Red Fisher on AK46

Pat Hickey’s game story

Quotes from the room

Markov almost ready

• François Gagnon on your first-place Canadiens

Tuesday Video Theatre

And how long will Josh Gorges have to star on the Canadiens D before Bauer learns how to spell his name? (Shout out to ddawwidd)

And another head shot, this time by LA captain Dustin Brown

7qBeA8v_dWA

287 Comments

  1. LA Loyalist says:

    At some point we have to be able to beat Philly and New Jersey. We’re not there yet.

     

     

     

    insert tagline here.

     

     

     

  2. Fant-HAB-ulous says:

    Josh Bailey (injured right now, but should be back this week).

     

    http://www.ladyloveshockey.com

  3. fbkj says:

    nope, cammy was our second FA signed that day after spacek

  4. adam76 says:

    OH YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

  5. K-hab25 says:

    Boston is not a stacked team and they’re about to lose some guys do to the cap. I’ll agree they’re our top competition in the division, but stacked is hyperbole. PHI, I know is your second favorite team, but they’re a better team in the playoffs than they are in the regular season. IMO, PIT and WAS are the cream of the crop and we match up well with both of them. If the PP gets going and G & G get going, both I’m sure will, there is no doubt in my mind we can finish near the top of the eastern conference.

  6. adam76 says:

    Outstanding post – so will Montreal win the cup this year or next?  

  7. habaddict_andy says:

    Boston is already on fire.  They have one less game than us and they are 2 points behind.  It may not be long for us to stay on top of our division but we just need to keep winning.  And I hope we do this week.

     

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  8. Everlasting1 says:

    Price has played 2 more games than Halak. Not to mention they’ve (Blues) had it tough playing Chicago three times, Pitts, Philly, Nashville. I look forward to Thurs. game, where the Blues have the opportunity to end the Preds undefeated record.

     

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

    Don’t pollute the water.

  9. TomNickle says:

    It’s a great point you make Ian.  I too was very critical of him.  The only thing I really game him credit for was preaching consistency and developing young players.

    His in game coaching I wasn’t a fan of.  But he overcame some demons of his own by winning a couple of playoff series’ and winning his first two game sevens.

    He’s got quite a bit of rope with me.

  10. RGM says:

    Follow this link: http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?type=con#&navid=nav-stn-conf

    You’re a good guy, Mike, I enjoy reading your posts, but if the NHL says that the Montreal Canadiens are the #1 team in the East, well, I’m going to take their word over yours.

    Go Habs Go!

  11. pic1983 says:

    Yeah you got it right. 

    30 goals last year in 82 GP, and 4 in 8GP so far this year.  Not too shabby for a 9th rounder from 2003.

  12. mike g says:

    I’ll agree with you that it was a blindside hit….

    But can you agree with me that it wasn’t a wreckless play, and it’s being called a blindside hit simple because the new rule created states that it’s blindside?

    That’s where I have the problem. It wasn’t a wreckless hit, yet he’s thrown out of the game.

    So you can be in an unlucky situation like Dustin found himself in last night and get thrown out, yet Milan Lucic can grab Komisarek’s head from behind 2 years ago and yank it backwards like a Stone-Cold Stunner, and recieve only a 2 minute minor.

    One was a wreckless play with intent to injure, and the other was just one guy finishing his check. Yet, the logically more legal incident gets the match penalty.

    That’s where I have a problem. There’s just no consistency in the NHL’s disciplinary actions.

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  13. TomNickle says:

    Isn’t beating the teams you’re supposed to beat a big part of getting to the playoffs with a high seed?

    I’d like to see some wins over good competition but don’t kid yourself about Phoenix, that’s a good hockey team.  Very physical, very fast, very skilled and very well coached at both ends of the ice.

     

  14. habsguy says:

    Can’t people just sit back and enjoy the way the team is playing,  why do you have to pick apart every game.

    The Habs this the Habs that,  Carey is terrible,  PK is making too many mistakes.

    MAYBE,  just maybe this team that went to the semi’s last year and is sitting on top this year isn’t quite as bad as you think !!!!!!!!!!

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    Oh ya! Moulson, (is that How you spell his name?) I do like the way this guy plays.

     

    (Molson)–?

  16. TomNickle says:

    What is Martin doing this job for at $2 million per?  Gainey hosed him.

  17. Ian Cobb says:

    Teams that seem to be most dangerous for us are the wounded and floundering ones. If we can maintain the same intensity as last night, I will be happy.

  18. HFX-HabFan says:

    It was available with Aliant…

  19. pic1983 says:

    Matt moulson and Josh Bailey have been solid this year so far, and were also solid for stretches last year.  They show a lot of promise.  Im not sure if Bailey is back from injury yet, but Moulson is definitely someone the habs have to keep their eye on. 

  20. RGM says:

    Awesome! Love it!

    Go Habs Go!

  21. light_n_tasty says:

    If Gomez wasn’t a panic move, I don’t know what is.

  22. mike g says:

    We are not the #1 team in the East….

    Like MAN APART said, it’s still very early in the year. Most teams and players haven’t even shifted into second gear yet.

    We’ve started out strong which is always good, points in the bank. But expect teams like Philly, Pittsburgh, Washington and Boston to catch fire sometime soon. Those teams are loaded and will enjoy alot of success this year.

    And we won’t finish 1st in the East because Boston will win our division. They’ve got a stacked team.

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  23. kool-aid says:

    HH is swimming in it!!!

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    I am one of those who questioned Jacques coaching style, but after his great run last spring, he left me with, Oh! now I know what he is trying to do feeling. 

    This is why I have to keep my emotions in check. We just don’t know everything going on behind the scenes, do we?

    The greatest sports franchise in history, does not stay behind for long. We have had super management for the past 6 years now.

    It takes time to right the ship after so many years of abuse. But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.

  25. Xtrahabsfan says:

    And too think all those years of abuse nuna put up with too end up making more sense than any of the  Price Cult by miles! A very proud moment and one HH should look up too…..

  26. light_n_tasty says:

    Gionta actually signed a few hours before Cammy.  But, sure, maybe Gionta was the replacement (since he plays the same position as Kovy).  But that doesn’t change my point.

    The rest is semantics.

  27. RGM says:

    Why can’t some people just be allowed to make stuff up because it suits their agenda? Come on, man!

    If he truly wants to think that signing a guy that had just come off a 39-goal year to a five-year contract was somethng Gainey did in a panic (because who doesn’t throw around $30M when they’re in a panic?), rather than as part of a well-orchestrated plan to make over the team in the summer of 2009, let him have his grand delusion.  

    What would have resulted in a panic mode would have been Gainey waiting around for Kovalev to dither, losing out on Cammalleri and/or Gionta, only to have Kovalev sign elsewhere anyways. When you have to reach all the way to Plan C, it’s scramblin’ time!

    Go Habs Go!

  28. pic1983 says:

    100%. 

    Thats why ive said many times, as much as I like Boucher, no GM in their right mind would make that move.  I don’t even like Martin, and I still wouldnt make that move if I was in PG’s shoes. 

  29. mike g says:

    Alot of their guys are injured, Ian…

    Kyle Okposo is one heck of a player, out with a shoulder injury for a couple of months.

    Same goes for Streit, out till January.

    Nino N is a good young player, but 2 years away from being a big impact guy.

    Apart from that, watch out for James Wiesnewski tomorrow night. He’s a solid PP d-man, who’s got a good shot and is really racking up the points this year.

     

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  30. K-hab25 says:

    All 5 wins were against playoff teams from a year ago, and since when are BOS and PHI measuring sticks. I’ll give you the 2 one goal losses to non playoff teams was disturbing, but the TOR game we were missing our 2 best players and TB is definitely a better team than a year ago. Facts are, they’re still 5-2-1, despite missing there best player, having 1 line producing and having issues with half there defenseman. I know it’s hard for you to give the guy credit, but Price has been better than “solid”, he’s been very good. If, and I’ll give you it’s a big if, he continues to play at this high level, we’ll win our division. Why? Well because the G & G line will get going, Markovs coming back and our PP won’t stay last in the league. I know you like to claim to be a realist by always pointing out the negative, but considering we’ve got about half our team in a funk, are last on the PP, haven’t had Markov all year and are still 5-2-1 in 8 games, 6 of which were playoff teams last year, I’d say they’ve done pretty damn well.

  31. RGM says:

    “Not saying were the #1 team in the East, but so far we look like a top 6 team….”

    Why not? We are, at this very moment, the #1 team in the East. Say it loud & proud: the first-place Montreal Canadiens!

    Go Habs Go!

  32. pic1983 says:

    That was the main risk with the new rule, that it would eliminate physicality.  Can we at least agree that the hit was from the Blindside? Thats what the NHL has taken issue with, hitting guys from the blindside.  It Brown cranked Miettinen from the front, even if the shoulder hit the head, its a clean check and no penalty.  The only reason its a penalty is become brown came from the side, a situation that he could have avoided. 

    You’re 100% right that brown will finish his checks every time (the main reason I am a huge fan of the guy), and I dont think Miettinen was injured, but the hit was from the blindside and is technically against the rules.

    It doesnt look like he’s going to be suspended though because I havent read anything indicating he has a hearing or anything like that. 

  33. RGM says:

    Josh’s old Kelowna teammate Blake Comeau is playing pretty well. He’s already had a couple of multi-goal games this season. Streit’s still out with an injury, isn’t he? Haven’t heard anything about him for a while.

    In net, assuming he hasn’t injured himself yet, is Rick DiPietro, he of the 15-year contract that will be an albatross for a decade yet. Backup is Dwayne Roloson.

    All in all, hopefully 2 points for the good guys.

    Go Habs Go!

  34. HardHabits says:

    You have your facts wrong. Cammy was already signed. Gionta was signed when Kovalev balked.

    I still don’t see how they are knee-jerk reactions. Having a plan “B” means exploring other options which is what Gainey did. The fact is BG doesn’t wear his intentions on his face like an emoting bad actor. Since there was a method to these actions I’d say they were already in the works. Gainey offers Kovalev, Kovy balks, Gainey signs Gionta because he already had him lined up. It’s more like playing chess. I’d say the moves were well thought out, weighing in all the options and prepared for surprises.

    They were good moves I am glad you agree but I don’t think they were of the “Oh sh*t, now what” variety.

    They were more like, “so you you want to play hard ball, eh, lemme show you my fastball, strike 3 yerout” moves.

     

  35. mike g says:

    Nice points, but…

    6 out of our 8 games were vs playoff teams from last year.

    Toronto can be the worst team in the league, and they’ll still give us a hard time.

    Tampa, according to many, are the most improved team in the league and will make the top 8 this year.

    And, we’ve got 5 wins and points in 6 out of 8 games without our best/most important player in Markov.

    So if you ask me, it’s a great way to start the year. Especially when you look at how much pressure there was on the unstable Carey Price we were all expecting.

    Not saying were the #1 team in the East, but so far we look like a top 6 team….

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  36. mike g says:

    Well…

    All I’m trying to say is that if Mietinen doesn’t shoot and instead takes the puck to the net, the hit is a good/clean solid hit.

    But because he dropped his head and shot the puck, it’s a match penalty and a head shot.

    Those 2 scenario’s play themselves out in less than one second. And there’s no way in heck that Brown has enough time to change his mind and not hit him on that play.

    So the only way Brown doesn’t get a penalty is if he doesn’t even go for the hit. And that’s not his game, he’s a physical player who needs to make big hits.

    That’s where my issue is with this…

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  37. Ian Cobb says:

    Time to start to look at the Islanders. But I just can not see anything but Mark Streit and Traveres. Who else do they have that might be playing well for them. I don’t even know who is in their net.  Read Ian Cobb’s HI/O Blog

     

  38. G-Man says:

    “Price is proving himself to be a bonafide number 1 in the league, if not showing the potential to be the best of his generation.”

    Kool-Aid Alert! Kool-Aid Alert!

    :)

  39. ZepFan2 says:

    LMFAO

    I really love your replies to nuttercanadien!

    ————————————————————————

    “Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.”

  40. LA Loyalist says:

    I actually agree with both Tom and Man — we’ve historically shot ourselves in the skate the last number of years beating good teams and losing to bad teams. So far a big improvement.

    The ultimate test, if you remember, is road trips to Florida in January/February which historically have been absolute black holes for us. I haven’t checked the sked when we’re going this year but it’s always terrifying.

    and Tom’s right, Phoenix was the most improved team in the league last year and we did well to beat them.

     

    “insert tagline here”

  41. HardHabits says:

    It would be nice. I think more along the lines that the Habs look like a stable franchise.

    Look at teams like New Jersey or Ottawa. These teams look like they are where the Habs were 10 years ago.

    The best teams in the league currently are the ones that were awful enough to draft high and stock themselves with highly drafted young talent. But even that is beginning to look like a short-term strategy, and a major gamble.

    The Habs have gone the slow deliberate and determined route laying rest to my tanking theory.

    I will say that my only prognistication is that they are building a bonfide contender. Like a said earlier on, many moons ago, back in the late 80’s up until the Roy trade, the Habs always gave us the feeling that they could be there and give other teams a run for their money come playoff time.

    There are many good teams in the league but if the stars align why not the Habs.

  42. RGM says:

    Really? Now that’s something to look into further – did they have the game on a separate channel?

    Go Habs Go!

  43. RGM says:

    Indeed you don’t.

    Go Habs Go!

  44. fbkj says:

    his salary sucks, but playerwise we won that trade

  45. light_n_tasty says:

    I was thinking of how Gainey blew up the entire team.  It wasn’t a planned rebuild.

    The Lecavalier deal fell apart (granted, a blessing in disguise), so Gainey made the panicked, knee-jerk reaction of acquiring Gomez.

    Komisarek failed to sign Gainey’s offer at the last minute, and so Gainey had the panicked, knee-jerk reaction of signing Spacek to a huge contract (hey, not saying it was a bad signing…but it certainly wasn’t PLANNED).

    Kovalev failed to sign Gainey’s offer at the last minute, and so Gainey signed Cammy (what a fortunate turn of events).

    All of these moves were NOT planned.  They were “Oh sh*t, now what” moves. 

    And they were good ones.

  46. ZepFan2 says:

    Great story but not surprising.

    Mr. Beliveau oozes class. If you look up the word class in the dictionary, there’s not only a picture of Beliveau, his bio is also included.

    I used to see him all the time, and every time I said hello he’d stop and ask me how I was. Really, really great man!!

    ————————————————————————

    “Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.”

  47. Fant-HAB-ulous says:

    I liked Mike Johnson when he was here, so I was excited for his colour commentary. Sadly, I think he fell a little flat. Maybe with time…don’t want to burn the guy too hard on his first showing.

    http://www.ladyloveshockey.com

  48. HabsTrueBlue says:

    The rule is good and it was appropriately applied. Anti’s was not irresponsible. He dropped his head to take a slap shot and got hit to the head from someone he didn’t see coming. Everyone looks at the puck when taking a slap shot. Good call and good rule!

  49. Mike Boone says:

    Not to mention paying Martin for three yaears at an estimated $2 million per and installing yet another rookie into the NHL’s most pressure-packed coaching job – a meat-grinder that ate up Carbo, Therrien, Vigneault, Julien, Tremblay

  50. ManApart says:

    Good to see we can finally agree on something. I’ll leave it at that and see you guys later.

  51. forskis says:

    I agree…I demand to hear the calls for a five-year tank job!

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  52. pic1983 says:

    Ill be honest with you buddy, its kind of hard to see eye to eye with you when it comes to violence in hockey when your second favorite team is, in my opinion, the dirtiest team in hockey by far.

    That aside, I agree that players put themselves in vulnerable positions, but Browns hit came from the side, and was late.  Those two things are the definition of the headshot rule.  You’re correct that it wasn’t the most brutal blindside hit I have ever seen, but it was still a late, blindside hit, and brown should get one game just for the sake of upholding the rule. 

    and I am a big fan of Dustin Brown by the way.

  53. 24 Cups says:

    Dave – what the hell has happened to you?  Did the H I/O brass force you to change your way of thinking?  I miss the old HH:-)

  54. forskis says:

    This is nit-picking but here is my response:

    1)  Phoenix is a Western team…a Western team that had 104 pts last season;
    2)  The Habs could never beat Ottawa no matter what shape the Sens were in;
    3)  Buffalo has also always stuck it to the Habs;

    In any case, I get and agree with your point:  so far so good…he/they have to keep it up.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  55. Psycho29 says:

    Oyoyoyoye!!!

    Tony242, Antoinette and Observer just called, they’d like you to stop imitating them!!!!!!

  56. fbkj says:

    nobody can argue that

  57. pic1983 says:

    Couldnt agree more.

  58. ManApart says:

    Jerstey bad loss, and the other two were agaisnt teams that have been garbage the last bunch of years. My point is, let’s not get carried away. The jury is still out. Not to be chicken little, but there are some worrisome things going on. Specifically the Offense.

  59. forskis says:

    Good to hear…Randorf always got to do the call of the “small” events…nice to see that he is getting his shot on “bigger events”…I figured Johnson would have some growing pains, all I ever saw him on was the TSN panel…good for him as well to get his feet wet on color commentary…he will probably take as much time as Kevin Weekes on CBC (but Weekes gets the national late-game so criticism comes in faster and harder).

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  60. pic1983 says:

    Well said. 

  61. fbkj says:

    ennnnnnnd scene

  62. fbkj says:

    but if you break down the losses, none of them were bad outings, cept for the devils, but thats the marty curse of lulz and has been since hes been in the league

    but yes, lets see how they stack up against some of the better teams

  63. pic1983 says:

    Not to nit-pic, but retaining jacques Martin vs Guy Boucher, considering the age difference between the two, and the fact that Boucher has more future potential, by definition makes retaining Martin a more short-term strategy.  Retaining Boucher and putting martin in some office job would have been more of a long-term strategy.

    Not that I think any GM in their right mind could put boucher and coach and re-assign martin after making the ECF.  Too big of a gamble.   

     

  64. mike g says:

    You see, that’s exactly the problem….

    You’re shocked to see Brown do it, because he didn’t do anything wrong! The person who was wrong was Mietinen!

    Head down in between your legs in the open ice. Anti’s head was up all the way, and then he drops it to take a shot on net. 0.2 seconds later, Brown continues his motion to hit him and it’s all of a sudden an illegal hit.

    The simple fact that it surprises you that Brown would do this, proves that it’s a BS rule. He’s not that type of player, not one bit. He was just victimized by one player’s irresponsable way of dropping his head open ice. And what sucks is that you can’t punish the guy with the puck, so the NHL decided that because they had to do SOMETHING, they penalize the player who’s intentions were to give a clean bodycheck and perfectly legal.

    Look at Brown’s hit at the very beginning of the clip. If Zannon turns or falls, or drops his head a little, that very clean and great hockey hit all of a sudden becomes a vicious “head shot” and dirty hit.

    The definition of the rule is what’s wrong. Guys will be getting suspended left and right this year, because once you’ve mad up your mind and you’re in-motion to bodycheck someone, 0.2 seconds isn’t enough time to react and change your motion not to hit him anymore.

    Good/hard hits are being turned into “head shots” because of the players with the puck….

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  65. ManApart says:

    I agree with you that the Habs are playing well, and Price has been very solid so far. Let’s not forget it’s only 8 games. More importantly it’s 8 games against weak opposition. The habs have beaten Ottawa (2), Buffalo, Phoenix and Pitts. They’ve lost to Toronto, New Jersey and Tampa. The Pen game was a good win, in which I think Price stole the game. The other’s were very close (outside of shutout) against teams that had injuries and looked terrible. Tbay hurt them, let’s not forget this team has missed the playoffs the last few years. Crap Jersey dominated them and Crap Toronto beat them. I think things may not be as good as they seem. i want to see this team play some real competition before proclaim them a success, as well as Price. Let’s see some Caps, some Bruins, some Flyers, another TO game, some Western teams etc.

  66. pic1983 says:

    At least Mike Johnson is just getting started, and will probably improve.  Id listen to johnson over Benoit Brunet any day of the week. 

  67. HardHabits says:

    Nice trollish reply. You wanna be more specific? You can’t because there was no panicked, knee-jerk reaction.

  68. fbkj says:

    this season, wins dont count

    so say we all

  69. pic1983 says:

    Brown is known as one of the cleanest hitters in the league.  The guy only had 41 PIMs last season in 82 games, while being one of the leagues most physical players. 

    The hit was a definition blindside hit though, and I was kind of shocked to see Brown do that because its not usually his style.  He generally loves to crush people head on.   

  70. HardHabits says:

    Hilarious!

  71. light_n_tasty says:

    You’re right.  The panicked, knee-jerk reaction happened before last season.

  72. mike g says:

    They were surprisingly very solid….

    I wasn’t too anxious about having Dave Randorf doing the play-by-play, but he surprised me. I remember him doing alot of Team Canada games a while back. But anyways, he was good and alot better than most TSN guys.

    And Mike Johnson was great too. I like his smart attitude and non-biased approach. He will never bash a player and pretend he knows everything like McGuire does. Nor will he go crazy on a player and always mention that he once played in the NHL like Ferraro and Brunet always do. He’s a cool guy, and I’m really looking forward to him doing all our games on TSN.

    I think I might even write TSN an e-mail, thanking them for providing us with rock-solid english HD broadcasts….

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  73. pic1983 says:

    I enjoyed it a lot actually.  Dave randorf is always a great play by play guy, and mike johnson just needs a little time to find his rhythm as a color analyst, otherwise he was very good as well.  It wasnt big and drawn out like the national broadcasts, so i actually enjoyed it.  Although i missed the “et le buuuuuuuuuuut”, I can certainly live without Brunet and his “oyoyoy”.

    As far as smaller, local broadcasts go, the broadcaster’s in the states can take some serious lessons from TSN.  Have you ever watched a local broadcast on center ice for like a boston or carolina game? SOOOO brutal. 

  74. HardHabits says:

    So. Let’s see. Price has more wins than Halak and The Habs are a +2 goals differential ahead of the Lightning, with both teams at 5-2-1.

    Yes Halak is proving himself to be a bonafide number 1 in the league.

    Yes Boucher has the potential to be a great coach in the NHL.

    However, Price is proving himself to be a bonafide number 1 in the league, if not showing the potential to be the best of his generation.

    Martin already is a great coach in the NHL.

    Bottom line is the Habs made deliberate moves based on a long-term strategy and did not panic or react in a knee-jerk fashion to appease the fans, le media, or the HIO whiner-trolls for that matter.

     


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