Predictions, anyone?

HIO latest prediction pic

(File photo: John Mahoney, The Gazette)

On the eve of a new National Hockey League season, predictions abound about how clubs will fare in the 2013-14 campaign.

The Canadiens face a few new rivals in the Atlantic Division thanks to the realignment that takes effect this season. The new eight-team grouping includes their usual division foes like the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, but also the Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

The Hockey News put the Habs in fourth place in the Atlantic Division in its preseason predictions, behind the first-place Bruins, followed by the Red Wings and Ottawa Senators. A fourth-place finish would mean the Habs would need to secure a wild card spot to make the playoffs.

USA Today hockey columnist Kevin Allen put the Habs in the No. 4 spot, behind the Bruins, Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. But Allen also predicted the Senators at No. 5 “will be looking at the wild-card race all season” and project to be “third to fifth.”

A fifth-place finish for the Habs in the Atlantic Division was the consensus projection on TSN’s season preview show. Their consensus was that the Leafs, projected to finish in fourth place, would nab a wild card spot, with the Habs missing the playoffs.

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey predicted the Canadiens and Leafs will be in the hunt for the wild-card spots.

What are your predictions for the Canadiens’ this season? Are they a better team than they were last season? Have the off-season moves by Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin given them enough of an edge over some of their division rivals?

We’ll publish some of your responses in Thursday’s Hockey Inside/Out section in The Gazette.

The Canadiens got some bad news at practice Monday, announcing that defenceman Douglas Murray has an upper-body injury and will be out 4-6 weeks. Defenceman Davis Drewiske is expected to be sidelined another 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, defenceman Alexei Emelin – still recovering from major knee surgery – skated for about an hour before practice with Graham Rynbend, the team’s head athletic therapist, and looked good.

Coach Michel Therrien said the Canadiens would start the season with only six defencemen since they don’t have a heavy schedule to start things off. After opening the season Tuesday night at the Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690), the Canadiens play their next game Saturday at home against the Philadelphia Flyers before starting a four game road trip next Wednesday night in Calgary.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings  looked at practice:

Pacioretty – Desharnais – Briere
Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta
Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher
Moen – Prust – Parros
Bournival – White

Markov – Diaz
Gorges – Subban
Bouillon – Tinordi

You can watch Pat Hickey’s report from the Canadiens’ practice on Monday here.

(Video: The Gazette, John Mahoney)

Can Price regain his for for Habs? by Pat Hickey

Habs vs. Leafs should be on a Saturday night, by Dave Stubbs

Habs have something to prove, Canadiens.com

Galchenyuk next big thing for Habs? Sportsnet.ca

Leafs hope additions equal longer playoff run, torontomapleleafs.com

Rielly makes Maple Leafs roster, montrealgazette.com

NHL realignment solves some problems, montrealgazette.com

 

 

671 Comments

  1. boing007 says:

    AG27 will score a goal, assisted by DB48.

    Richard R

  2. habstrinifan says:

    I am noticing a slight shift in the temper of the room. People are suddenly replacing the bright, sunshine welcoming, honeycomb blinds of summer’s optimism with the opaque blinds of fatal reality.

    HABS, the team, have all the pieces to have a solid season and capture a playoff spot. We should not wish or feel the need right now for “one man more”. Without bankrupting our treasury of assets, Marc Bergevin has fully furnished his forces at EVERY position. There may be not be an acclaimed or legendary warrior at every position, or even at any position. But the fight is at hand and each player that, today is considered ordinary, will be hailed the hero tomorrow … if TONIGHT, he extracts from himself an extraordinary effort.

    Coach Therrien must become the inspiring General. Forget about identifying the honourable teammate and give each player the enthusiasm to reach for distinguishable honour.

    TONIGHT and for the rest of the season his message must create the mental attitude of the following quotes.

    1)If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. ~Maya Angelou

    2)You are as amazing as you let yourself be. Let me repeat that. You are as amazing as you let yourself be. ~Elizabeth Alraune

    3)You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are. ~Yogi Bhajan

    4)All things splendid have been achieved by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance. ~Bruce Barton

    Predictions? Predictions are for pundits and politicians and pencil pushers back at the home office. We make no predictions and thus have no forebodings. The bugle is at the bugler’s lips. Soon we fight!

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    New Thread, but no need to rush, Shane was evidently sitting around waiting for the thread to open.

  4. Habs_4_ever says:

    although I’m exited about tonight, I don’t have a good feeling about it. I didn’t see enough during the preseason to reassure me about the upcoming season. I know…the preseason doesn’t mean anything! I know that one game does not make a season but tonight will be very telling.

    ————————
    “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

    • olematelot says:

      Telling in what way, it’s one game. If the Habs win and look good doing it are we to assume that’s the way they’ll look every game or contrary if they stink the joint out they’re doomed?

  5. Bripro says:

    I have seen the future.
    Thanks to Noni’s brain-dead Kessel contract, PK will command yet more money.

    You have to wonder if the Blue Jays are covering part of Kessel’s salary given the way he swings lumber.

    • The Jackal says:

      Leafs will be in cap hell next year.
      They won’t be able to keep Kadri and Franson.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      8 million for Kessel. This league is getting way out of hand with their contracts. No wonder it is almost a grand to take a family to a hockey game. Just insane.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Bripro says:

        Totally agree Kooch.
        And like Shane said, is he another Crosby?
        Not even close.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Kooch, Kessel is a consistent top point getter in this league and a sniper. I agree all pro sports contracts are getting out of hand, but Kessel is indeed one of the best point gettng forwards in the league. He should be among top 10 paid forwards roughly. It will be interesting to see where the Cap does come in for next year, many teams and many of us are expecting to see it rise. If it doesn’t rise much some teams will be in for more cap pain next year.

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          Agreed HB.
          One only needs to look at the linemates Kessel has played with during his tenure Toronto and then look at his point totals to realize he is one gifted player.

        • Bripro says:

          I’m not disputing his abilities, but let’s be honest.
          He’s not Sidney Crosby. But he’ll be commanding the same money.
          We just went through another lockout, and what have the league executive taken from this? Not much, it seems.
          And from what I read in last weekend’s Gazette, the cap increase should be somewhere around $3MM.
          That won’t even come close to saving the Leafs, Flyers and whoever else is struggling with the current cap.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay folks, Game Day, time to Stand Up and CHeer!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK0l0XEW3Dw

  7. DuckDodgers says:

    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
    Mika Zibanejad (best kicker in the NHL), 6’01″; Jean Gabriel Pageau, 5’9″; Stephane Da Costa, 5’11”, Cory Conacher, 5’08.”*

    Brian Burke said, “Sven Baertschi is a one dimensional player with holes in that one dimension. (I DID say my face won’t be the one in front of TV cameras, but I didn’t say anything about microphones).”

    “May you live in interesting times.”
    *Zibanejad was cut

  8. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Predictions?…how about reality.

    4 of our top 6 forwards are under 6′, under powered and under strength.

    the third line hasn’t had their first shave yet and will be ripped apart by the opponents checking lines. This was prevented by having Prust with our young talent, but the coach wants a powerhouse 4th line….

    the 4th, our only respectable line…hope they play good minutes.

    As for Defence.. Diaz is a wet noodle and Gorges is past his expiry date.
    …the other D are stellar.

    Going against the gritty teams (Phil/Bost/Ott/Tor/Flor/Tamp) if they bring their toughness, we are done.

    Sorry folks…we did get tougher, with Parros and Murray, but the latter is not in the lineup, either is White… as for Briere?, we needed another little forward!?!!…..tonight we are playing the leafs who have certified prison, ex-convicts as players…and added more in the off season.

    If the refs don’t save us, it will get embarrassing, fast.


    The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…

  9. habs-fan-84 says:

    How am I supposed to work today? Too damn excited! Can’t wait!

    GO HABS GO

  10. Mavid says:

    Happy Opening Habs Day everyone!!!!

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  11. Hobie Hansen says:

    Phil Kessel just signed for something like $8 mill a year for 8 years…

  12. PrimeTime says:

    Paranoia and anxiety, anyone?

  13. habstrinifan says:

    Hope you dont mind SlyCH. Posting link here so video doesnt get lost in lengthy thread.

    This was absolutely great! That girl (with the Sandy Duncan kinda look) has spunk and originality and yes soul.

    Just a plain ‘make me smile video. I hope Boone posts ties it in somehow with his post or pre game stuff thus givving it HIO honorary status.

    slyCH September 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Any guy into an attractive girl with glasses that dances her way out of a job should take the time…

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/worker-creates-interpretive-dance-video-for-162232152.html

  14. Hstands4Hockey says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Detroit is in for a huge wake up call this year? No more playing 20% of their schedule against Columbus and Nashville. They are going to get banged around every night by Bruins, Leafs, Sens, Sabres, Flyers and (to a much lesser extent) Montreal. Their soft Euro forwards are going to fold like Superman on laundry day.

    I’ll make a bold prediction and say they miss the playoffs.

    ——————————————————————–
    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
    @Hstands4Hockey

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      You could be right, and the other past division rival in Chicago were also a non hitting team as they ranked last in hits at 840 last year while the Leafs had 1646. Nashville ranked 25th in hits.

      While the red wings had a great playoff against the Hawks, they only qualified by 1 point to make the playoffs.

      The other team that may get a rude awakening is Vancouver
      They had Minny-Calgary-Colorado and Edmonton in their Division.
      Now along with brutal Calgary and up and coming Edmonton, they’ll also have to deal with LA, San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix and Roberto mood.

      • Kfourn says:

        Teams position in total hits for the last 3 years:

        Chi 15th, 30th, 30th
        Nsh 23rd, 28th, 25th
        CLB 2nd, 8th, 12th
        STL 8th, 12th, 14th

        Bos 21st, 20th, 10th
        Buf 30th, 29th, 19th
        Flo 11th, 14th, 15th
        MTL 26th, 17th, 20th
        TB 27th, 19th, 16th
        Tor 7th, 4th, 1st

        To me there is not much of a difference. Toronto will be just like what they faced against Columbus.

        _______________________________________________________
        Well, he’s kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace “accidentally” with “repeatedly” and replace “dog” with “son.”

        “It’s sad when our rookies have no NHL experience before they jump up to the NHL.” – nunacanadien

        • Luke says:

          Hits are subjective.

          You can’t throw a hit when you have the puck.

          That’s why DET & CHI don’t throw many hits.

          TOR also benefits from questionable stats tracking on home ice.

          • Kfourn says:

            Exactly my point though, I don’t think they’ll have a tougher time just because they moved into a “harder hitting” or “tougher” division, they are a possession team and will face similar hits and intimidation to what they faced with Columbus or St. Louis.

            _______________________________________________________
            Well, he’s kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace “accidentally” with “repeatedly” and replace “dog” with “son.”

            “It’s sad when our rookies have no NHL experience before they jump up to the NHL.” – nunacanadien

  15. Hobie Hansen says:

    Free agent frenzy, training camp and all the talk is over. We bitched, some more than others, about what the team needed and what Marc Bergevin did or didn’t do. Now it’s time to get behind the team and cheer them on.

    I Honestly like our group of forwards. A bit small down the middle and on the right side but three capable scoring lines. I really like the Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta line myself!

    The defence isn’t any different than the group that struggled last year down the stretch and into the playoffs. However, Tinordi looks better, Gorges should improve and maybe Diaz was laboring a bit after coming off a concussion last year? Hopefully Markov has fine tuned his game a little as well? It will be a huge boost when Emelin returns and lines up with Markov and either Diaz or Bouillon sits.

    Price will be better, no question!

    GO HABS GO!

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I agree the question marks are mostly on D. Best case scenario Marky and Gorges are back to their best. Worst case, they aren’t, Diaz neither, and PK has a post Norris slump from trying to do too much on the ice.

      Hopefully our powerplay remains a potent force. That is how you make undisciplined teams pay.

      And then there’s Big George to take care of “mad dogs” like Colton Orr.

      Bring’em on.

  16. frontenac1 says:

    Hola amigos! It’s been 5 long months since the Habs last played. Tonight they kick Leaf arse on the Ice and in the Alley! Saludos!

  17. Duke_Rauol says:

    Hello out there, we’re on the air, its Hockey Night Tonight!

    ——————————————————————-
    We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

  18. Cal says:

    Tonight, the Habs get a chance to prove me (and a few others) wrong.
    Let’s hope they do. It’s the home opener, after all.
    The laffs goonery is less than twelve hours away.

  19. Shackles says:

    Happy, happy, happy Habs season opener day!

    Anyone else feel that tonight’s game will be relatively tame? With a few of the Toronto sideshow regulars out of the lineup, I have a feeling that Parros will only find one partner to dance with to test the waters. Gallagher may rough it up a bit with a few meatballs as well but overall, Toronto will behave because most of their muscle is missing and they need that gang mentality to push others around.

    I read an article that the Habs haven’t had a player in the top 10 scoring since Naslund in ’86. Anyone figure Galchenyuk will change that in about 5 years time?

    Prediction: “When he heard the news that he had been fired, our coach was crying in Timo’s arms.”

  20. TheMostCupsPeriod says:

    Rumour has Kessel getting 8yrs 64 million…
    That’s a lot for a one dimensional player

    • Jeff O’Neil was on twitter slamming the rumor. I like it! haha

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 00029.31
      8th Annual Hockey Pool, Email for details.
      Live draft 30 Sep, 6pm CDT

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      By this time next year, pending UFA Kessel will be in Minnesota playing with his Team USA buddies Parise and Suter and replacing the Heatley $7.5M Cap Hit that comes off the books next summer.
      When Kessel is interviewed by the Toronto media horde, doesn’t he always look happy….

    • Luke says:

      But that one dimension is exceptional offense.

      The guy is a top end scorer in the league. Puts up 30 goals with out trying and has been top ten in points for a few years in a row.

      He’s good enough to be in that price range.

  21. Maritime Ronn says:

    Wondering what’s the over/under for the Carlyle inspired goon idiocy to happen.
    2 minutes?

    I was happy to notice McLaren placed on IR, but of course Carlyle has a back up for him to compliment that other brilliant hockey player in Colty Orr.

    Try Troy Bodie 6’5″-226 lbs
    His fight card for the last 4 years shows 14-15-12-18.

    Here’s hoping they get the Carlyle stupidity out of the game early so maybe a real hockey game could break out.

  22. Habfan10912 says:

    Happy game day and good morning to all! We’re all looking forward to see the boys tonight. Some things I’ll be watching:

    Is Galchenyuk close to assuming the top Center spot?
    Is Eller going to become a consistent point producer?
    Can Price take a step forward and become a star?
    Will Tinordi make us all forget about Emelin?
    Can Gallagher last the entire season without getting decapitated?
    And last but not least, I’ll be watching the most exciting player in the NHL every night. He wears #76.

    “What day is it?
    “It’s today,” squeaked piglet.
    “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

    Go Habs Go!

  23. HabsAreBous says:

    My prediction: there will be a game tonight.
    My bold prediction: Galchenyuk will lead the Habs in points. lol

    go Habs go ole ole ole!

  24. jols101 says:

    Go Habs Go !!! Very excited. Huge day. Can’t wait for 7 bells.

    Lots of negativity towards our D. I think we will be alright. Obviously, we will be much better when Emelin is back.

    Subban, Markov, Gorges, Emelin, Tinordi, and Diaz is a solid top 6.

    When Beaulieu is ready, delete Diaz, and we have a very strong top 6.

  25. The Cat says:

    Predicting a team will be in the hunt for a playoff spot is obvious, with the loser point and parity; almost every team is in the race pretty much til the end. My prediction is I think Toronto will start slow but I think they will win it all this year. As for the habs, I dont think they’ll make the playoffs. No depth in the physicality department, thus the old resistance problem will surface again with the long season.

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

  26. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good Morning and Happy Opening Habs Day

    Habs were quite lucky surviving training camp with only Murray getting hurt.
    We could have been the Pens who have lost Vokoun and now Letang for a long period….

    If we can avoid further injuries to the D corps, and play a few points over .500 hockey until Emelin/Murray get back – about 20-25 games, we’ll be just fine.

    As for the negative nervous nellies and the continuous call for a trade for “the big right hand Dman brute that can also score 20 goals” or the whine ” The Habs did nothing” why is it so hard to understand that Top 4 Dmen today are almost NEVER available except via a rare UFA or Salary dump…and NO you don’t get these guys offering DD-Moen-Diaz-5th round pick.

    IF a Top 4 Dman ever became available, you’re talking some combo of Galchenyuk/Tinordi/Top Level Prospects/1st Round picks… and then get in line with the other 28 teams.
    With few exceptions, Top 4 Dmen are drafted and developed as the Habs did with Subban, and now doing with Tinordi-Beaulieu, possibly Nygren and Dietz.

    • Eddie says:

      If we offered Plekanec we could conceivably find a team ready to part with a top 4 d-man; and clearly that is the move to make once the coach and GM have decided to move Galchenyuk to center.

      For example, Plekanec for Byfuglien might be the beginning of a package deal that could work for both teams.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi eddie

        It would have to be a perfect fit for the other team and it could be a marginal 3/4 guy that is IF the trading partner was loaded on the back end.
        Just an opinion, but it may take more than TP.

        • Eddie says:

          Winnipeg is short on centers and they have some interesting prospects on defence with Trouba moving up right into their top 4.

          Bergevin also has a history with Byfuglien in Chicago – maybe not a good one, I grant you that! ha! ha!

          But yes, I conceded that it would take more than Plekanec. But offering a solid #2 center is a very good start in the negotiating.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Plex is indeed worth a great deal in a trade. My concern with that is twofold. Is Galchenyuk ready to be an everyday center in the NHL? We have some potential depth on D both on the injured list (Emelin) and in Hamilton (Beaulieu, and hopefully one of Pateryn, Dietz, Ellis)

        I am not sure this present team/roster is good enough to sacrifice the loss Plex to shore up an area which we may be able to shore up with our own current prospects.

        However, sometimes a GM needs to know when it is time to make a trade like you suggest, and you could be right. Thankfully I am just a fan who has access to the internet, as I have no idea what MB should do.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Good morning Burly, Eddie and Ronn. If you are to look long term and I hope Bergevin is doing just that, he looks for help at the forward position. As Burly points out we seem to have a bunch of dman in the pipeline, not so much up front.
          If you look to move Pleks I’d like to see them fill holes in the organization and not make a panic move. Stay the course. It’s a long season and hopefully Emelin returns within a blink of an eye.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          hi burli
          Way way too early to even consider a Plex move
          Plex is the only known entity at this moment at the C position.

          The questions still remain:
          -Who is the real DD?
          -Who is the real Eller?
          -When does Chuckie move to C. This year or next?

          We still don’t know what we really have.

          • Eddie says:

            I don’t think it’s too early. What would we be risking exactly?

            By suggesting it’s too early, the implication is that the team would fail with Galcheyuk and Eller as our two top centers?

            So we still have Briere who could easily step in and carry a heavy load if we needed him there.

        • JF says:

          I don’t think this is the year to trade Plekanec. He is simply too important to the team right now, our most consistent forward in just about every aspect of the game except faceoffs. Galchenyuk is nowhere near ready to become our no.1 centre and Eller is likely to have a few more ups and downs before establishing himself. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes a step back early this season from where he was when he was injured. It could take him a while to get his confidence back.

          Trading Plekanec at this point would weaken us down the middle even if we managed to fill a couple of holes elsewhere. I think we need to be patient this year, go with the team we have, and not make any panic moves.

          In fact, this may be Bergevin’s biggest challenge right now. If things go as he foresees, it will be easy for him to stick with his long-term plan, as he has said he intends to do. But if something happens to derail the team or if we don’t seem to be progressing as he expects, he may be tempted to pull the trigger on a big trade. I’m not sure this is the time to be packaging multiple assets for any kind of return. We don’t have enough depth yet.

          • Eddie says:

            People seem to forget that we have Daniel Briere, whose natural position is at center.

            Briere is an excellent centreman.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Eddie
            I’m respectfully with JF on this one
            Still too many ‘unknown unknowns’

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Briere is a terrible option @ C in a defensive role.

            MB sees this team as being 3 years away. In the meantime, Pleks will handle the defensive chores while DD chips in with the offense. This shelters both Eller and Galchenyuk in these capacities.

            3 years from now, more D prospects will be ready, including some right-handed d-men.

            At some point MB will pull the trigger (FA or trade), but not yet.

    • Phil C says:

      I would say top two defensemen rarely come available, but top four guys are easier to get. Chicago got Oduya for draft picks, Ottawa got Methot for Foligno, Sabres got McBain for Sekera, Coyotes got Michalek for prospects, Flyers got Schenn for Van Riemsdyk.

      • Eddie says:

        Phil, now you’re talking., excellent post.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Phil

        When Oduya was traded, he was playing 5th man D minutes for Winnipeg
        When Luke Schenn was traded, he was playing 6th Man D minutes for the Leafs
        When Methot was traded, he was playing 5th man D minutes for Columbus
        When the Sabres got McBain, he was playing 5th-6th minutes for Carolina
        Michalek was playing 4th minutes for the Pens but that $4M Cap Hit was moved to make room for Niskanen

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          pHIL

          Maybe it’s more like finding that 5th Dman that is not working out for the other organization and where he can crack the top 4 for another

          • Phil C says:

            That’s fair, any team that is willing to move a top four guy will likely have too many of them.

  27. Bill says:

    Pierre LeBrun has started referring to the Leafs as the “Bay Street Bullies”: this must stop.

  28. Bill says:

    Burly, be reasonable: No one argued that there weren’t or shouldn’t be NHL players who bring a “physical component” to their game. It was argued that there shouldn’t be one-dimensional thugs like Scott in the NHL.

    And you may believe that Scott is too honourable to punch Kessel, but I think that’s naive, and let me add that Kessel looked quite sure he was gonna get punched.

    It is really odd that Rolston can get fined for having Scott on the ice when Scott himself apparently did nothing to warrant discipline. What is the logic there??

    And you’re absolutely right, Rolston took a page right out of Carlyle’s book, and you just know Carlyle will do the same thing tonight and not get fined, right?

    • yakhab says:

      Maybe Kessel called Scott’s mother a bad name …
      & should get punched !

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I believe the gist of my initial point has been blurred. I don’t want the game to play out the way that Sabres vs. Leafs game played. I am completely against having hired thugs/goons play 2 mins. a game. However, the league has shown that they indeed are good with these types of players in the game. And what Buffalo did in leaving Scott on the ice was completely within their rights to do so.

      The fact that Bufalo’s coach was fined was ridiculous based on how this league has enforced its loosey/goosey form of rules.

      And now unfortunately, our own Habs have again had to bring in one of these one dimensional thugs onto our own roster. I take some grace in that at least Parros appears to have more “class” than some of the other thugs.

      Watching last season as Colton Orr was targeting and going after Plex, I have zero sympathy how Scott intimidated Kessel. Carlyle can live and die by the sword with which he coaches his team.

  29. Bash says:

    Naysayers be damned! It’s a new season and anything is possible.

    Believe! Dismiss! Support! Curse! Cheer! Rant! Hope! Despair! Commit!

    Oh yeah…and Drink of course.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  30. Mavid says:

    Tonight’s the night baby..have to try to stay focused today..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  31. habs1992 says:

    time to go to school but……….. ITS GAMEDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

  32. Marc10 says:

    My rankings…

    1. NYR
    2. Pittsburgh
    3. Ottawa
    4. Detroit
    5. Boston

    Then there’s the gang fighting to get in:

    6.7.8. Washington, Toronto, Philly, NYI and our Habs

    It’s going to be tough.

    Thoughts?

    • habstrinifan says:

      NYR too high?Although Vigneault is probably gonna make a difference. He is a good coach in calmness which should be the Rangers environment this season. I dont see him upping his game for a CUP though when the gooing gets heavy.

      And you have ranked Boston so low? I think Iginla will help Boston more than he expected. I think they have improved.

  33. DickandDanny says:

    Our D, I’m sorry to say will be our downfall this year. How did we improve it from last year? We didn’t. And now we will be playing a full season, none of this shortened lets tune up for the play-offs stuff like last year. By the play-offs our team was gassed, and hurt, and had nothing left in the tank. We need to have a bigger tougher D, and right now that isn’t apparent. As for the present D, I agree with other’s who don’t want Markov and Diaz as a pairing. They are one dimensional and fairly soft. I could easily give up Diaz for a more experienced tougher D-man, who may be around just for a year or two, but that is fine with Emelin coming back and Tinordi stepping in. Also Pateryn is waiting in the wings and has more upside than Diaz.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • third generation haber says:

      Agreed!!!

      Diaz is a cream-puff! Subban and Markov are all the offence we need from the back-end. Plus, Beaulieu has a much higher ceiling than Diaz.

      Diaz and the cube should be replaced with some stay at home crease clearers.

      j.p. murray

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Diaz, Diaz, Diaz, yawn. When Emelin is back, our Top 5 will be Subban, Markov, Emelin, Gorges, Tinordi which is a pretty strong group. If Murray, Bouillon or Diaz get the last spot won´t matter that much.

  34. slyCH says:

    Any guy into an attractive girl with glasses that dances her way out of a job should take the time…

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/worker-creates-interpretive-dance-video-for-162232152.html

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …love it !

      …I never made a video of it, but I’ve done that a few times in My younger dayz :)

      …never stay in a job that kills Your soul

  35. habsfan0 says:

    When the Habs lost 6-0 to the Laffs at the Bell Centre last year,the reaction on these boards was nothing short of nuclear.

    However,that game was a turning point in the season for the Habs as they went on a prolonged winning streak after it.

    • third generation haber says:

      Winning streak or not, we are clearly not built for the playoffs. If we can’t win the cup (that should be our bar), then we should at least carry enough muscle to not get our asses kicked, or have young players (Pacioretty, Eller) seriously injured. I can envision Galchenyuk as the next hab unconcious, bleeding all over the ice.

      j.p. murray

  36. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Sweet Jebus! If Phil Kessel signs a contract of any length that’s worth $50,000,000 I’m going to be a very happy Montreal Canadiens fan for a good long time. :)!

  37. Timo says:

    With all that talk about Murray and Price and Parros, you are all forgetting that tomorrow is the beginning of the Dany I-always-wanted-to-play-in-Montreal Briere era. Should be fantastic.

  38. Timo says:

    So far Bergevin’s record with free agent dman is rather a-sucks. I like Murray as much as the next guy but man, can he get a guy that is not injured.

  39. habs11s says:

    It’s like Christmas Eve!!

    _____________________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  40. JO says:

    Tomorrow night will be their 1st big test. Toronto will be coming with toughness and we know what toughness can do all to well.

    • piper says:

      better dress all of Prust, Moen, Parros, and White.

      • third generation haber says:

        White won’t be playing.

        DD, Briere, Diaz, Markov, Gionta will be.

        Does anyone think we’re going to get pushed around???

        What can Parros and Prust do when so many of our players need babysitting?

        j.p. murray

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      If Parros does not get challenged coming off an injury, I will be shocked. I would not be surprised if multiple Leafs went after him just to send the Habs a message.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  41. piper says:

    What would it take to get Gleason from the Canes or Erskine from the Caps? Gleason makes about 4 mil and worth every penny. Erskine I think is around 2+.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Gleason is their only defenseman…not happening. Erskine…nobody in the East is trading their tough players (that can play) with Boston and Toronto around.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

      • piper says:

        I just read that Gleason is concussed. I wonder if it happened in the fight with Tinordi. I’m pretty sure Tinner caught him with a couple of good shots with that long reach.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          Probably. Look what happened to Bourque with Orr and Thorton with Scott last year.

          “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  42. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    @Burly…comparing John Scott to Charles Oakley is not right. Charles Oakley was a solid defensive basketball player. He played a 1000 games, was an all-star and made the all-defense team. Even though he was not offensive, he had a good stand-up jumper. His equivalent in hockey would be a shut-down third-line power forward.

    John Scott can not play hockey. If there was no fighting allowed, he would not be in the league. Comparing hard fouls in basketball to fighting also is wrong. The NBA implemented “flagrant fouls” long time ago. If you do anything intentionally to hurt an opponent, even during play, you’re thrown out. Multiple flagrant fouls also lead to suspensions. Same thing is happening now in football (fines then suspensions). I am sorry but the fact that it is someone’s “job” to go on the ice and jump good players is a problem. It is simply not sport.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • habstrinifan says:

      Very Very good post on the side of abolishing fighting.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The reason I drew the comparative is that there are players in the NBA who do bring a physical component as their primary tool in the NBA. Probably not a fair comparison, I agree with you. I am not in favour of players like John Scott either. The premise of my disagreement was, however, that John Scott in this case did nothing to Kessel. Watch the video, Kessel makes the first movement towards Scott. My entire problem with the B.S. of that game, was that Buffalo did exactly what Toronto did all last season with their goons. The league never once came down on Carlyle for dressing and playing their goons. Carlyle knew Scott was on the ice and put Kessel out, almost as a dare to Scott. Yet Carlyle the rest of this season will put Orr and Mclaren out in the exact same scenario.

      I don’t believe Scott would have fought Kessel, he may have grabbed his sweater and shook him around, but he was never going to throw punches at a tiny Kessel.

  43. ProHabs says:

    Bergevin should be checking the waiver wire to see if there is a big tough defenceman that can take Murray spot for the next 6 weeks.

  44. Chuck says:

    If the Habs’ D can keep the opposition from setting up camp in the slot and giving up too many point-blank chances against Price and Budaj, we’ll be fine. That happened WAY too often last year. That 8×8 box in front of the net has to be controlled by the guys in bleu, blanc et rouge, or it’s going to be a long year.

    I’m not so worried about the offense; they’ll score their share of goals. But they’ll be better of not having to score an extra one or two per game because no one was getting knocked on their but in front of our goaltenders.

    _______________________
    Anything is possible.

    • third generation haber says:

      They can’t and they won’t!
      Diaz and Markov are cream puffs, and Bouillion (tough as nails) is a bit too small to handle the power forwards.

      Please get rid of Diaz!!!! Subban and Markov provide enough offence. Let the forwards do the scoring and the defence put up a wall in front of Price.

      j.p. murray

  45. jedimyrmidon says:

    Pierre LeBrun on RDS called the Leafs the second toughest team in the league with Boston being the first.

    How did they get that reputation? Is it justified? Do they have McQuaid, Seidenberg and Chara on defense supplemented by the Ott-like disturber in Ference? Do they have a Lucic, Thornton and Campbell?

    The answer: it’s a mix. On defense they have Phaneuf (who is slow, but can hit) and Fraser. I think that’s it. Forwards: they have Orr and McLaren. I guess Bolland is good defensively, not sure what kind of hitter he is or if he’s considered a tough player. McClement again is the same story.

    I think the biggest reason the Leafs are viewed as a tough team is
    because of the two goons, Orr and McLaren who like to initiate a whole bunch of shenanigans like taking runs at other players and being [literally] dangerous out there. If those two 4th liners were gone (as they should be), I think the Leafs’ team toughness would be gone.

    • piper says:

      Clarkson, Bodie.
      Kadri plays a lot tougher with the back up he has.

    • Sportfan says:

      They aren’t tough they are the biggest pansies in the league, they go after smaller players, but never stand up to the big guys. They double teamed Scott and Kessel slashed him constantly. Then there is the fack Neon Dion kept going after the little guys, yeah they are tough… they are more like the pathetic bullies on the play ground that can’t handle being stood up too.

      Remember when Gio hit Reimer, he was shoved by a leaf into that soft headed freak.

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • habstrinifan says:

      Come on! Read your last sentence again.

      “If those two 4th liners were gone (as they should be), I think the Leafs’ team toughness would be gone.”

      If Parros and ?? were gone I think the HABS toughness would be gone. See my point. Debate that the Leafs are not the 2nd or 3rd toughest, but you cant then prove your point by taking away their toughness.

  46. Dickie9 says:

    Offense will be fine..defense is horrible except for PK and Tinordi…the rest of the D is absolute crap.


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