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. Un Canadien errant says:

    I don’t understand this trade on Carolina’s part.

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/09/29/hurricanes-and-canucks-swap-prospects-and-a-pick/

    They dealt Zac Dalpe and a low-grade 6’3″ prospect in exchange for a kid I’ve never heard of who will probably never make the NHL, and a fourth-round draft pick.

    The Canucks get the third-line centre they’ve been desperately searching for, especially when it became obvious that Brendan Gaunce and Bo Horvat were not him. They might have hoped that they’d find a treasure on the waiver wire, but that didn’t materialize. Then the Hurricanes happened by, and Mike Gillis picked their pocket.

    While he was rummaging in there, he pried loose a 6’3″, 200 lbs forward who was a point per game player in the NCAA. The Canucks are perennially bereft of size in their forward corps, so this throw-in actually fills a need, and could contribute down the line.

    So the Canucks are up two. In return the Hurricanes get what, half a mill in cap room? The kid was in the AHL anyway, his salary wouldn’t have counted against their cap. Are they such a shoestring operation that they’re going to give up on a player with size and scoring ability and upside to save $800 000?

    It really doesn’t add up. Kellen Tochkin is a player who I’d literally never heard of, he was never brought up in any of the most optimistic articles on the Canucks prospects. Hockey’s Future didn’t have him among the Canucks Top 20 prospects. So the Canucks give up a fourth-round pick for a low-end prospect, which would be even-steven, but then get their third-line centre for free?

    Can someone explain this to me?

    • Mattyleg says:

      They want the Quebec franchise to fail.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Bill says:

      Dalpe has been a pretty good scorer in the AHL, but he’s been in Carolina’s system a long time and you have to think they know him well. If they are giving up on him, chances are they’re pretty sure he won’t pan out.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        You’re probably right. The ‘Canes have seen enough and threw in the towel, but the Canucks think a change of scenery and a different opportunity and system might make him click.

    • Luke says:

      Could it be a pro contract# shuffle? Are they near the limit of 50?

      McKenzie just tweeted that they are offering Dvorak a contract.

      Why they’d do that, I cannot explain though…

  2. JF says:

    Too many unforeseens enter into an 82-game schedule for predictions to be anything but a somewhat well-informed guess, so I’ll keep mine a bit vague. I think the Habs will be in tough to make the playoffs, finishing likely fourth or fifth in the division. If the Senators stay healthy and Anderson performs close to the level he did last year, they could be in a dogfight with the Bruins for the division title. The Redwings are still a very good team despite an aging core, they have an excellent coach, and Jimmy Howard gets better from year to year. The only question is how they’ll handle all the crashing and banging that goes on in their new division. The Leafs look as though they improved significantly in the off-season, though I still don’t much like their defence. But they were able to keep Cody Franson, and picking up Paul Ranger was a smart move. Their main question mark is in goal. Can Reimer be as good as he was last year, and will Bernier start to achieve his potential? Will the two form a good tandem, or will there be a goaltending controversy in Leafland? If all goes well for them, I fear the Leafs will finish ahead of us this year but will still have a struggle to make the playoffs.

    As for the Habs, a lot will depend on Carey Price and a lot on the defence. For us to have a chance of grabbing even a wild-card spot, Price will have to improve under Stephane Waite and avoid the kind of meltdown he suffered late last season.

    The defence is another question mark. Therrien has indicated that the team will be using pretty much the same systems as last year. If this means they’re not going to abandon or modify the “swarm” defence that became so permeable in the second half of last season, then I’m afraid we’ll be giving up a lot of goals. The penalty kill also has to be a great deal better.

    The Habs have probably improved a bit over last year. Bergevin added size and toughness, and I think Brière is an upgrade over both last year’s version of Erik Cole and Michael Ryder. But we’re still a bit small, especially up front, and I expect the team to wear down over the course of the season. So we’ll be on the bubble, but that’s as far as I’ll go.

    One more prediction: Habs will lose the opener to the Leafs because we nearly always do.

  3. knob says:

    Playing Galchenyuk and Eller on the third line behind Desharnais and Gionta coupled with Prust as your 4th line centre will be enough of a reason for why the Habs will miss the playoffs this year. Before I forget to mention it, playing Diaz on the penalty kill while PK sits on the bench is no help either. Oh…and Gorges and Bouillon on the power play is laughable as well.

    • JUST ME says:

      Did i miss a game here ? Is the regular season on ? I thought i slept well this week end but not that well !

      I understand predictions are difficult to make with 30 teams times 23 players times 82 games but unless you have a crystal ball your predictions are wrong and any comment from now on from you should be honest and include who you predicted today would play with who. If not then it`s worth nothing unless you mention that the coaches are brilliant !

      • knob says:

        My comments are based on the line-up from the original article (see above). My comment was honest and simply an opinion, one that suggests that I’m not convinced that the above mentioned line-up is ideal for the players that we have. The coaches, imho, are far from brilliant btw.

        • JUST ME says:

          You mean the same coaches we had last year that did not bad at all ? The same coaches that can be blamed for P.K. getting the Norris ? The same coaches that led the team to a second place in the conference ?
          Yes they can improve like any human beings but being overly negative is not realistic either.

  4. krob1000 says:

    Wondering if I can get some advice from someone. Taking little guy (5yrs old)to HAbs opener tomorrow…am I better off to take public transit in to game or park near the bell centre. I need to get to the 401 west which is also 720 O and autoroute 20 O to get home. Any suggestions? I am hoping to get there early enough to grab a bite to eat, check out HHOF and see warm up. Any suggestions that are easy and don’t involve crazy directions would be much appreciated?

    According to mapquest going to the game I am taking auto 30 O via ex 29 toward mirabel/aut 40/ott/gat/Mon, It becomes auto 40E…then merge onto AUT 15s via ex 66s on left and AUT 10/Mon?Centre-ville/pont Champlain
    Holy crap…all of the roads seem to have multiple names…

    • Timo says:

      I never found parking around Bell a problem if you are ok with paying about $20 (that’s on the south side of Bell Center). Of course, Metro goes right under Bell. As someone who does not like public transit I do park :)

    • slyCH says:

      Last time I went I did as Timo and paid for the parking. It’s much less of a headache and you’re right there. No fuss no muss. It’s worth the $20.00.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Traffic around the Bell Centre any time before/after game-time is an absolute nightmare.
        Public transit is always the way to go… especially as you can feel the buzz of other Habs fans in the metro cars, and it gets better and better as you get closer!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • slyCH says:

          Reminds me of going to concerts at the old forum from Laval. Boy was that a fun metro ride. Even made photo-police mag with a bar across my eyes after an Aerosmith concert. Good times.

          • Mattyleg says:

            I’d hate to ask what you were doing to tickle that reputable journal’s paparazzi’s attention…

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • slyCH says:

            Simple, we were hanging out at the atwater park before the concert, he said he was a photographer for Cream or some other rock mag and asked if he could take pictures. By the next publication of photo-police those pictures of us were published with bars across our eyes calling us dope dealers at concert events. Ya.
            Sure we were smoking, but dealing?
            Call it “creative license”. LOL.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Hey Krob,
      So the best bet is public transit.
      If you’re coming in from the west, the best bet is to get off the 20 (Ville Marie) at the Atwater exit, turn left on St. Jacques (2nd traffic lights) and park anywhere around the Atwater intersection.

      Take the Orange line at Lionel Groulx to Lucien L’Allier, and you’re there.

      Getting home, all you have to do is go north on Atwater, right onto Rene Levesque, then turn right at the exit to the 20 (west) at Fort.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • JUST ME says:

      Public transit no question about it .Fast ,efficient and problems free. No turning around before and after the game, no parking fee and no subway for your kid ?

      From the looks of it you do not seem to come from MTL so park close to any subway station and enjoy the ride. You won`t regret it cause it gets frustrating every time close to Bell center when it`s game tiime.

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      Without a doubt, the metro. Park near a metro station (the further out on the metro line you are, the easier it is) and then hop on the subway. No hassle, and very quick. And when you leave, you won’t have to battle traffic — just a bit of a queue to get back into the metro.
      And as Matty says, it adds to the experience to be a part of that buzz to and from.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • Cal says:

      Park on Rene Levesque about 1 block west of Guy and pay $0. IF you are early and want to stretch your legs, that is. If not, closer costs almost enough dollars to eat. (I am sooooo cheap)

  5. frontenac1 says:

    @adamkennely.Agreed amigo! Soft D has been a problem for awhile now. Murray would help but we need 2 more nasty.

    • TheDagger says:

      The 2013-14 Habs don’t have Kaberle, that immediately makes the D tougher to play against. A raw hot dog is tougher than Kaberle.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Tinordi is 21-years old. Unless the 4th line is on the ice, he’s going to have every tough guy on the other team running at him, knocking him down and trying to fight him.

      Subban should draw some of the attention but Murray would have added that 2nd big man back their to not only punish the other team but also defelct some of the attention away from Tinordi.

  6. Hobie Hansen says:

    Well, for the moment, we have the same defence that was overwhelmed down the stretch and in the playoffs by the Ottawa Senators.

    Jarred Tinordi seems to have picked up his game, put on some weight and matured a little. However, I was really hoping Douglas Murray would have shown us something in the preseason, and at the minimum, would have been an option for Montreal until Alex Emelin returned.

    Now, other coaches and teams look at the Montreal blue line and see Tinordi as the only obstacle between them and Carey Price. Subban will be good, Gorges will rebound but these guys are not exactly a wall in front of Price.

    Murray would have come in handy for key faceoffs in the Montreal end. Picture Lucic and Iginla or Hartnall and Simmonds on the ice, the puck drops, and one of the wingers backs in with their rear end in front of Price. Who besides Tinordi is going to move these guys?

  7. Sportfan says:

    Hey guys this was a fantasy team I drafted in a league i joined what do you think? In order
    Eric Staal, Claude Giroux, Dustin Byfuglien, Shea Weber, Marian Hossa, Alex Pietrangelo, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Evgeni Nabokov, Ray Emery, Patrice Bergeron, Dan Hamhuis, Ryan McDonagh, David Perron, Jordan Staal and Brandon Saad

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

  8. Timo says:

    I say Habs should move DD on… D.

  9. adamkennelly says:

    I’m pretty concerned about our D-corps…and our ability to deal with a forecheck and get the puck outta our zone…sketchy at best, if I’m MB – I’m looking for make a deal and get a legit NHL D-man – not talking about Murray – looked good on paper but he cannot deal with NHL speed anymore – I don’t care that he is hurt – would not have played much anyways…

  10. Sportfan says:

    I say Montreal will be Second, or Third this year and not have to deal with the “wildcard” I hate that term for hockey…

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

  11. habs-fan-84 says:

    I really don’t understand the love in for Detroit. They’re old and barely squeaked in last year. Those old boys aren’t going to like going up against Boston and Toronto on a regular basis.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      No one played the Chicago BlackHawks tougher in the playoffs, does that count for anything? I am not saying they are the powerhouses they once were, but don’t underestimate them. Last year was huge adjustment in short season with the loss of Lidstrom. Last half of year they played much better to get in the playoffs and made it to Conference Semi Finals, Game 7 against cup winner, doesn’t seem like an old team to me.

    • Luke says:

      They’ve made the playoffs for the last 20 years. You never bet against a streak…

      Detroit has earned their love.

      Don’t overlook Columbus as well in the wildcard chase. They only missed the playoffs due to a tie breaker.

      Well, it took all of -1 (minus one) days this season, and we’ve already found an issue with 14 teams in one division playing for 8 spots and 16 in the other…

  12. Mr. Biter says:

    Watched NHL Networks Atlantic Division show last night. Panthers with Thomas practicing on a curling rink. Which is odder:
    a) Panthers practicing on a curling rink or
    b) a curling rink found anywhere in Southern Florida with boards around it?

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    This is going to be a wing ding exciting year for all of us to watch our team play hockey. Our speed game is going to be creative and some fun play making. But the boys are going to have to keep their heads up as others try to slow us down By laying on the body.!

  14. soperman says:

    TSN picked the Habs 5th and out of the playoffs. Shocker.

  15. Strummer says:

    Looking at our top 6- we traded Cole for Briere.

    Is this an upgrade?
    I predict not.

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Gallagher, Galchenyuk, and Eller a year older sure is though. And didn’t we finish fourth in GF last season?

    • shiram says:

      Cole last season had 9g/7a for 16 points in 47 games.
      Brière had 6g/10a for 16 points in 34 games.

      I think Brière can contribute to an equal measure point-wise, but the style of play he brings is less needed than what a healthy focused Cole could bring.
      That’s moot though, as Bergevin felt it was needed to move Cole.
      Must have been a caracter issue…

      • Strummer says:

        Character (mindset, attitude, pick one) was a factor but based on age, size, injury issues and power-forward capabilities I take Cole over Briere.

        Too bad Bergevin’s new psychological therapist couldn’t have fixed Cole.
        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

        • shiram says:

          Well I can’t confirm, but I’m pretty sure Cole was also a distraction for the other players, he did not gel in the locker room…
          Here’s hoping Brière gels well.

    • Mattyleg says:

      The way Cole played last season…?
      I can’t imagine a down-grade.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Taking last year out of the picture, where both players had a bad year, I’d take Briere any day — and he’s (moderately) cheaper.

      Combine that with the playoff pedigree of Briere and I think that’s definitely an upgrade.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Cole is bigger and plays bigger. Briere is more talented and plays with more talent.

      Last season was a write off for both of them. They are one year apart, so lets compare.

      One has had two 30 goal seasons in his career, the other has had 4 30 goal seasons.
      One has scored 6 career playoff goals, and has a Stanley Cup, with 43 games played in the playoffs. The other has 50 goals scored in the playoffs, but no Cup even though averaging a point per game in 108 career playoff games.

      I will let you tell me which is an upgrade on who. Do I wish Briere had all his talents in Cole’s size? Absolutely, but he doesn’t, however, he does bring significant talent to the ice. Cole may indeed have a better year, but Briere may also have a comeback year.

    • alain58 says:

      Cole, 13 pts in 47 games vs Brière’s 16 pts in 34 games. About the same I would say.

  16. Mattyleg says:

    For those who see too many players who aren’t amazing on our team, I would invite you, in order to create perspective, to look at any other team in the league.

    The Habs won’t be playing against teams made up of only the best players in the league this season, you know.
    We’ll be playing against teams with problem players, with floaters, with streaky types, with undersized/oversized players, with blind goalies with bad knees and shakey blockers…

    Put all of this together, and we have a very competitive team with a good balance, which can finish in the top three. The factors that go into an 82-game season are far, far too many to take into account, so all we can do is look at the guys we have, and hope for the best!

    Anyone who feels negative about the Habs has problems that I am not qualified to cure.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. shiram says:

    My only prediction (hope) is that a Canadian team will win the Stanley Cup.
    The Leafs are of course excluded from said prediction.

  18. slyCH says:

    Is BILL around? I’d like to know if he has an update on the McCarron injury. Or if anyone here has one that would be good.

  19. frankcasting says:

    Puzzled by “experts” predictions of a) Habs struggling to make the playoffs and b) Wings/Blues success. The Wings barely made the playoffs last season, lost some guys, replaced them with Alfie (old and brittle) and Weiss (not quite as old, but certainly brittle) and that’s about it, pretty much the same old. Blues had two players who scored more than 10 goals last year and a good D group. So what?

    As for the Habs, they’ve improved their depth, their size, their pugnacity, the PP should be devastating this season if Markov and Briere stay healthy, Chuck and Gally are a year older and stronger, Tinrodi is the new Larry Robinson (as a rookie, of course) and Price’s late-season woes were as much due to injury as to anything else. The Habs were hunting for first most of last year, and will do it again.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

    • alain58 says:

      Totally agree with your assessment frank. Of Boston, Detroit, Ottawa and Toronto, only two will finish ahead of Montreal who will secure one of the top 3 spots in the division. My bet is on Ottawa and Detroit (if Weiss pan out). 5th or 6th in the East. Toronto and Boston will fight it off for the last two wild card spots.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think that it is because we are counting on the youth to not take any steps back this year as most do and we are also assuming Briere will be healthy all season which he hasn’t been in recent years. Carey Price is also a major x factor.

      I think the habs will be ok and will make the playoffs but i do think we will have our struggles this year. I think we will be 7th or 8th in the East

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • I agree on Detroit, but St. Louis can be a beast. Behind that rock-solid D, their goalies only have to be pretty good, which means they don’t have to score a ton of goals. But they can score, with Pietrangelo as good a PP QB as anyone, and Backes, Berglund, Morrow, Oshie, Derek Roy, Steen, Stewart, Tarasenko and Paajarvi have got to be one of the best top-nine forward groups in the league. Nobody needs to score 40 goals if everyone scores 20. : )


      Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

    • 123456 says:

      I am not one of those doom and gloom guys….. but look at the habs backend. in the awesome group you have subban. in the kinda old and not as good as they once were you have markov and georges and the cube. in the not sure what you are going to get you have tinordi and diaz. subban is top pair for sure…. markov big question mark – the others are 5/6 dmen.

      if georges and markov play as well as they have in the past we will have a good group of dmen – if not we are in trouble.

      I say habs challenge for a wildcard

  20. Un Canadien errant says:

    Video of New York Post columnist and his thoughts on covering John Tortorella as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Torts and Brooksie had a famously tempestuous relationship in New York.

    http://www.theprovince.com/sports/hockey/canucks-hockey/Video+Larry+Brooks+York+Post+Canucks+coach+John+Tortorella/8963981/story.html

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi uce

      Larry Brooks loved every minute of it…and pumped it for every hit on his articles he could get.

      It’s New York, and he’s with the NY Post…then again, that Rag may just be more legitimate than the bought off Rag that considers itself the ‘Newspaper of Record’ as it spews its preferred Party’s Doctrine with unquestionable obedience from the ownership Masters where Editorial compliance means nothing less than accepted Orwellian dogma from the the top…or a lost job.

      Yikes!
      :-)
      Rumor has it you don’t like those Smilies or any other Emoticon
      Can you CONFIRM?
      :-)

  21. If you’re predicting Wild Card for the boys, it’s the same as fence-sitting. Pick one: in or out.

    I believe they’ll be in, maybe not by much or even comfortably, but I believe.

    Go Habs Go!

    DDonais

  22. Habfan10912 says:

    Is there any reason to believe the team won’t perform as good or better then last season? My vote is there is not. If anything we’ll see a more productive Galchenyuk an even more confident PK and Briere will be a strong asset to the power play IF he can stay healthy. 95 points is probably where the team ends up. That should put us comfortably in the playoffs.
    This is a team on the rise. Baring injury we’re in!

  23. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    John Lu ‏@JohnLuTSNMtl 57m
    #Habs Therrien says the team doesn’t plan to call up any defencemen because of their light schedule until their Western swing next week.

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    The team with the best medical staff and least injuries will take 1st spot in our division. After having said that!

    Our Hab’s have as good a shot as anyone to finish 1st ahead of Boston and Detroit. This year we also have a little depth, waiting for a shot to fill in for any injuries playing the same system in Hamilton.

    The weakest area of our team is our goals against. Both Penalty Kill and 5 on 5. And I am not knocking Price, this is a team stat that must be corrected if we go anywhere this year. We have all kinds of scoring to carry the day!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi Ian

      Price HAS to step up this year and be a goalie that at least performs and becomes a Top Half goalie in the SP category.
      If not, the Habs are in deep trouble.

      GM Bergevin has done everything possible to set the table for Price to succeed in acquiring Goalie Coach Waite, and getting bigger/tougher on the back end with Tinordi and Murray for both even strength and the PK.

      No doubt the Habs will score goals, yet will Carey keep them out of the net and steal a few games?

      In a great interview last week, Ron Fournier asked Bergevin how many games does a great goalie steal each year when the team truly doesn’t show up?
      Bergevin said between 6-8 points….yet Fournier never asked him the so important follow up question being, ” Can Carey Price do that?”

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Ron,
        we all know that Carey did not battle as hard last year, ( I think due to injury) and yes he let in some softies, but I also feel that the D did not do the proper job keeping shots from the outsides and clean house in front. The forwards did not come back all the way every time to help out! We were beaten in our own end, not mid ice or in their end. Team support in our own end was weak.

  25. Mattyleg says:

    My prediction (apart from Pain) is that HI/Oers will use this season to:
    a) Search for individual scapegoats in a team sport
    2) Read their personal agendas and vendettas into every play in an attempt to justify their bias
    iii) Undervalue every member of the Canadiens organization at least once

    Looking forward to some fun!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  26. sweetmad says:

    What a lot of faithful fnas we have here,we are dead before the season starts.

    Everyone saying that we are still too small,that we don’t stand a chance,I don’t know how many of you are small people like me,but let me tell you, small people usually have more stamina,than bigger people,that’s why the best long distance runners in the world are small,so an 82 game season will not affect them as much as a lot of people think,because they are fast they will be able to keep out of the way of the big hits,dirty plays might give them trouble,but they are able to bounce back quicker.

    Our D are nowhere near as bad as is advertised,Markov already looks better than last year,and the competition for a spot will keep them on their toes.

    Carey will start the season like last year,but not have the end of season fall,he wants to go to Soshi and will follow through after he gets the gold,don’t know if it’s been done before,but it would be great if he won Stanley after the gold,something for him to play for.

    Alright so I have rose coloured glasses,but it’s more fun,if we don’t do it, there is always next season.

    We will make the playoffs,and we will continue to suprise all season,there is no way I am going to give up before the season starts,I thinks it’s time to fill your glasses and keep them full all season,you only get what you believe you can.
    GO HABS GO

  27. Kooch7800 says:

    So the question is does Beaulieu come up?

    I can’ t believe Murray has now been hurt twice and the season hasn’t started. That doesn’t sound good for him.

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      My guess would be they’d lean toward Pateryn as he’s a bit more defensive minded. If Diaz, Markov or PK went down, I think Beaulieau would be more likely to get the call.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Whomever it is will be the 7th D. I am glad Tinordi had such a strong showing in the preseason cause I think he is going to be tested for the next 6 weeks. I don’t think he will be going to the AHL at all this year now.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Ghosts of the Forum says:

          Agree — I think Tinordi will stay up regardless of the situation. Or it’s certainly in his power to make sure the brass can’t justify sending him down. Eventually, he’s exactly the type of partner that PK needs. Stay at home, gritty and can step in and take care of business when teams start going after PK when he flattens someone.

          Perhaps not this season (maybe next?) he’ll complement PK’s game very well. And that’s a physical, effective and dangerous (because of PK) pairing to face in the playoffs.

    • slyCH says:

      Not that I really care but, what’s up with Drewiski, is he still hurt?

    • Cal says:

      Pateryn for physicality? Or Beaulieu for being bodacious?
      Hmmmmmmmm.

  28. frontenac1 says:

    Is there a big D on the Farm that can be called up to clear the crease and hurt people?

  29. DuckDodgers says:

    P.K. Subban playing in the first six games of this season in place of Yannick Weber should be an improvement.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  30. Habsrule1 says:

    Habs will finish 2nd in the division to the bruins.
    The sens are NOT that good. they lost Affredsson who, even now, is better than Ryan.
    Take a look who Ryan played with in Anaheim. Yes, Spezza is also good (when actually healthy), but Michalek is no Getzlaf or Perry.
    Sens squeeze into the playoffs on a wild card.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think Ryan is a better player than you give him credit for. I would bet Ryan leads that team in scoring. Spezza is a good passer and when he is back I am sure that they will click. Michalek will benefit from Ryan if they are paired as well.

      The other evil thing about Ottawa is Anderson. We had our full squad against basically their AHL team and Anderson and the habs barely won. Yes, Ottawa just made it last year but that was mainly cause Anderson was hurt. If he was healthy they would have been a much higher seed I think.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Anderson is another one. 10 years in the league and has only played more than 33 games twice. He’s good but I think he played way over his head last season. Time will tell.

        As for Ryan, I guess we’ll see if he can make his linemates better because his linemates certainly made him better for a few years.

        Michalek is not the same player as Ryan is used to paying with. Spezza is a great passer and if he plays more than 50 games, Ryan will definitely benefit from it.

        I still think the Habs are the better team on paper. Problem is they play it on the ice. We’ll have to wait and see how it translates there.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Will be fun to watch. I can’t stand the Sens so I hope you are right.

          Regardless we have to make sure we don’t get smoked by the leafs by large margins like the habs did last year the two games. i never heard the end of it

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  31. RetroMikey says:

    My prediction is we will fight for the last 2 positions in the Eastern Conference.
    The teamis a work in progress and it will be as the season progresses.
    Year 2 of 5 for Bergevin. (I’ve heard this before when Bobby was GM)
    Boston is the team to beat in the East again.
    The key is Price. He’s going to have to step it up this year and prove me wrong and other skeptics out there.
    Yeah, we got physical by signing Parros and we got smaller by signing Briere. So where is the improvement?
    Better load up on Tumms or Peptmo Bismol again this year.
    Our stomachs will be turning again with some good games and bad games as well.
    The team has to be consistent game in and out but I see us as a fragile team when the season progresses.
    But as I have always said for years……BIG IS BETTER!!!!
    I’ll stick to it.
    Enjoy the season fans, we still have a way to go before we are a contender for the Holy Grail, Lord Stanley’s Cup.
    Gorges for Captain I say, and GIonta demoted to an “A: since this is last year!

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

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Wow….nice to be so negative. Is it so you will be happy when (not if) you’re wrong?
      How is it that none of the kids or core of the team get better? Not to mention Price.

      My fearless prediction is that you are way, WAY off.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  32. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Oh hey, totally forgot to ask this on the last Live Game Blog against the Sens. Why does Boone call Alfie, Daniel F.? I’ve been following the Blog since its inception and always meant to ask. Anyone know?

  33. Ron says:

    Guess it really helps to marry into a family that can open up doors. The laffs signed Troy Bodie less than a year ago. He was at laffs camp and did not look overly great. Low and behold he is being kept up with the club while others were sent to the minors. It turns out he is married to the daughter of laffs CEO Tim Leiweke. Was there any strings pulled here :D :D

    • Strummer says:

      Leiweke is CEO of MLS&E- which includes all their sports teams not only the Leafs.

      Also Brodie was put on waivers yesterday.
      So much for your nepotism theory.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • Ron says:

        He was put on wavers but was not sent down according to laffs pundits. So my nepotism theory is full blown Strummer. Try reading some stories out there, you just might learn a few things.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Perhaps the reason waivers yesterday, was to protect him, with so many players on waivers that day better chance of slipping through unclaimed. Doesn’t this now mean the Leafs are free to bring him up and down without waivers later?

          Lieweke is so arrogant I have a hard time believing he wasn’t fully aware and involved in the handling of daughter’s boytoy.

          • Ron says:

            I believe they can keep him up now but are able to send him down later without having to declare wavers again. Once down in the minors he would have to clear each time after that. He is a 6’5 220 lb enforcer. With McLaren hurt he is filling in his spot. If dressed tomorrow look for him to start crap to prove his worth.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Nepotism seems to work in the NHL, huh Ron? From Daddy Campbell to Bodie. Just the appearance is enough for me. Cheers!

  34. Maritime Ronn says:

    “Predictions” are at best a fun thing to do, yet are based on a perfect world of NO injuries, no team turmoil or trades, and anything else that can/could derail a team and become a distraction.

    A documented example of the TSN experts from Last Year:
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=413838

    Headline:
    TSN Predicts The Penguins Will Beat The Kings For The Stanley Cup.
    ( The Pens were certainly threats with their Goaltending/Defense prowness… not)

    Other stuff:

    – ” The Ottawa Senators were picked as the only Canadian team to make the playoffs in the East.”

    – ” The Montreal Canadiens were predicted to finish the season in 12th place, with the Toronto Maple Leafs projected to place 13th.”

    – ” McKenzie…. what he believes are the elite four teams in the east: the Rangers, Penguins, Bruins and Flyers.”
    (Close like 99.99% of hockey fans had the Pens and Bruins, yet the Flyers? Nothing expert about that.)

    – ” Ferraro and McKenzie leaned on the Oilers to be the team to raise eyebrows in the west.”
    “Most people will know and expect the Oilers to be a high-flying team,” said Ferraro…”this team will score enough that they can be a surprise.”
    ( Right on, and the Oilers finished 24th in the NHL. Did they believe that the Oiers would win a majority of games by 8-7 with a brutal D and iffy goaltending at best ?)
    ——————–

    The bottom line is that the season is so bloody long where raw talent, injuries to key guys, then NHL depth to replace and cover for those key guys determine what team does what.

    That is why HABS GMMB signed so many Dmen with NHL experience. Injuries, and not having to depend upon raw, mistake-laden rookie Dmen when those most surely injuries happen.

    So how could injuries derail a team -not a true Cup contending team, yet a legitimate Playoff contending team?

    EX: How would Carolina have done if BOTH their #1 goalie in Cam Ward, and #2 in Dan Ellis were not injured at the same time forcing their #3 goalie Justin Peters to play 19 of the 48 games?
    At one point, Caro was 13-8-1 and well on their way to the post season…

    That’s why the NHL and NFL are such great games.

    It becomes overcoming adversity along with Coaching/Management decisions…and how they adjust and step in without doing questionable things such as pulling the trigger on a panic trade when the team is nowhere ready for a legitimate post season run….such as a few HIO posters that were clamoring to acquire a Douglas Murray at the trade deadline for 2/2nd Round picks that the Pens paid….Perhaps those same would be vilifying Bergevin for sacrificing the same.

  35. Un Canadien errant says:

    I don’t know if this was ever posted, but RDS has footage of Andrei Markov’s rocket laser beam howitzer cannon shot off the crossbar at practice that made the coaches skate their very slow five laps. Listen for the ping at about the 15 second mark of the video.

    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/canadiens/%C3%A7a-se-passe-%C3%A0-brossard-1.665844

  36. FishOutOfWater says:

    I just dont get this whole “oh the leafs will make the playoffs because they did last year so its only natural” but “the habs wont cause they suck, and a 48 game season doesnt mean anything”

    these are the same people who scoffed at me when i said pk is a top 5 dman in the league last year before playoffs started. i got laughed at when i said he’d make team canada. “he’ll have to beat out pietrangelo” ahha whos laughing now, pietrangelo who?

    Pernell Norris Karl that’s who

    http://945thesmooth.tumblr.com/

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Do you have the link to the news article that P.K. made Team Canada? That’s great news indeed. Kudos to you.

      Too bad about Mr. Pietrangelo, better luck in 2018.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi fish

      As much as I disagree with the Carlyle-1970s Flyers style, and his premier and primary contribution to the “Arms Buildup” in the East, one of the few honest things he did mention was that it will be more difficult for the Leafs this year because other teams know it will not be an automatic 1-2 points as it most always was in the past.

      Other teams will ‘be ready’ for the Leafs this year contrary to the past where they played their 2nd string goalies.

      Let’s see how it all plays itself out.

      • FishOutOfWater says:

        Do I think the leafs got better this year. yes. very much so. do I think they’re a shoe in for a playoff spot. no. that be silly. do I think they’ll be more competitive than in recent memory yes. yes I do.

        your right in that they wont be playing backups every night. like they so often did. that definitely played into their favour in the last few season of “tears” the leafs have gone through

        Im sick of speculating. the media gets paid millions to speculate. and stir up controversy. there’s been NHL “predictions” for 6 weeks now.
        when’s the puck dropping already?
        http://945thesmooth.tumblr.com/

  37. Timo says:

    How many do Habs play against Bruins, Laffs and Sens in the span of 6 weeks?

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Not sure about in that span, but they way they are dividing it up, intra-divisional teams play 4 games against three teams one year and 5 games against them the next year (and vice versa with the other three teams in the division).

      I believe that’s correct…could 5 and 6 games.

  38. CHasman says:

    Since we’re all making predictions I will throw my opinion into the pot. Montreal will battle for first in their division all year and will finish in the top three. We could have the best third line in the league with all of them potential 20 goal scores. Markov looks like he is skating much better this year than last and teamed with Subban will lead a much stronger D. Diaz also looks better and Tinordi (if Therrion doesn’t reel him in) will be crushing opponents regularly. Our fourth line is way tougher and will now match up against any fourth line in the league.
    The top two lines will be just fine because Pleks still has it and Patches is set to show the world that he is a star in the making with 40+ goals this year. Last year we finished first in the division and Bergeron has added a couple of key pieces. The wild card is Price and I believe he will have a great year. (And I am not a huge Price supporter, but will be after this season).
    One more thing. Boston will not be kicking the snot out of us this year. But I’d like to see them try.
    These are my predictions. They are no worse than the TSN’s panel of experts. At least they come from someone who has been watching the Habs. Take them to the bank but remember, they are called predictions for a reason.

    • Love the optimism, and I mostly agree. I’m not sure Desharnais can take Pacioretty to a 40-goal season, but I do hope I’m wrong (happens a lot). The Bourque-Pleks-Gionta line is rock-solid in both ends, and can shut down the stars as well as anyone.

      Most importantly, we finally have three strong offensive lines AND three strong defensive ones, which should make life a bit more difficult for opposing coaches trying to match lines.


      “Until we get an apology we’re not going to win a game. We vow not to win until we get an apology from Bettman.” -Sabre Dixon Ward

  39. SmartDog says:

    Murray out six weeks… from the press release:

    ‘The Montreal Canadiens have announced that Douglas Murray will be out for 4-6 weeks. Said Marc Bergevin: “As well as being a hockey club, the Canadiens are known for their charity work. Everyone knows about our work with the children’s hospital but we also like to take the opportunity to support old, washed-up, and otherwise useless players by giving them a home whether they are suited to the pace of the NHL or not.”

    Go figure.

    ————————————-
    Can you smell what the dog is sniffin?

  40. krob1000 says:

    WOW….http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=433129
    Zibanejad sent down….that is an indication itself how deep Ottawa’s forward group is

  41. Mavid says:

    Sens squeeked into the playoff’s last season..they are not that good..some of you are nuts..stop smokin the spice rack

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Squeaked in without Anderson, Karlsson and Spezza (amongst others) for extended periods of time. If they stay healthy, the Sens are the strongest Canadian team in the league. Their D is airtight and we all were forced to watch how good Anderson can be.

      Add in elite scoring with Bobby Ryan and they’re a helluva team.

  42. ooder says:

    seriously, how on earth do people think the leafs will be better then the habs

  43. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    So both habs hard hitting d-men are out for the beginning of the season. Might not be a bad thing. We can rely on our speed,transition,puck moving game in the early season when the games seem to be played a little looser. Plus Tinordi gets to cut his teeth a little more,some added responsibilities. And when the season wears on and games tighten up we get the luxury of adding fresh legs on the back end. Two big bone crushing bodies waiting in the sidelines.
    Of course it could be a big disaster as well. I’m going to remain optimistic until the first loss,then let the “our defense is small and weak” b!#*hing begin.

  44. JUST ME says:

    This thing should be very tight and as i see it the Habs could be first or out of the playoffs by a matter of a few points only. I am not overly optimistic cause this is not the year we start the cup run. Next season should see a lot of major changes but still i feel that we have a chance cause that team works hard every games.
    Of course there are ifs …injuries,82 games schedule…the usual psychotic nervousness but as long as they work hard the have a chance.

    The way i see it most of the other teams also have ifs and buts so…

    Ok so i go for third in the division after the Bruins and the Wings.

  45. Habilis says:

    1. Montreal
    2. Boston
    3. Ottawa
    4. Detroit
    5. Toronto
    6. Tampa Bay
    7. Buffalo
    8. Florida

    We finish first, the Wings get a wildcard, the Loafs finish out of the playoffs, and all is well with the universe.

  46. MtlCANADIENS93 says:

    our team better stay healthy or else were going no where.

    murray already out a month. great signing!

    • It was a great signing — depth, physicality and PK contributions for 1 year at $1.5M. A low-risk high-reward move if there ever was one. The fact he got hurt in the pre-season doesn’t change that — could have happened to anybody.


      “Until we get an apology we’re not going to win a game. We vow not to win until we get an apology from Bettman.” -Sabre Dixon Ward

  47. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Predictions

    The Playoff Race: The Habs will be in the thick of it, battling primarily against the Leafs and the Red Wings for the third spot and a wildcard. The Bruins (it pains me to admit) are going to lock up first (though, as per usual, will have a losing record head-to-head against the Habs) and Ottawa (if they remain healthy) will secure second place based on a monster top line, incredible defence and great goaltending.

    The X Factor: No surprise here. All eyes on Carey Price and he has the ability to take this team from a wildcard spot to contending for the divisional title.

    The Kids: No sophomore slumps here. But let’s remember Galchenyuk is still 19 going on 20, so he’s not going to be contending for the Art Ross….yet. Gallagher will continue to annoy opponents and chip in timely goals, hopefully while not getting his head caved in.

    The Franchise: Don’t see anything but another stellar year from PK, especially with the Olympics on the horizon. The biggest change will be his evolution into part of the team’s leadership group. A guy with a Norris Trophy suddenly commands a lot more respect in the dressing room: can PK run with that?

    The Darkhorse: which least talked about player can have the biggest impact? My eyes are on Rene Bourque. He looked very good in the playoffs last year (or not as bad as everyone else). If his head is in the game, he can be an impact forward. He’s not that far removed from consecutive 27-goal seasons. I’m very curious to see how he plays this year, but it seems like he has some chemistry with Pleks, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up leading the team in goals.

    The Management Team: The biggest off season acquisition could go down in the history books as being Stephane Waite. Other than that, even if the Habs train completely derails, MB and MT are secure in their posts this season. It’s year two in a pretty significant overhaul and with all the early accolades, even a speedbump this season won’t cost them their jobs.

    Depth: if the injury bug hits, who will we see make an impact out of Hamilton? Looks like up front it’s Bournival’s to lose, though if Leblanc is as PO’d as he seems to be and starts off on a tear, we could see him. And the grit and speed Dumont brings as a bottom tier forward seems to have impressed the brass.

    On D, oh man if anyone goes down, the Habs are in trouble. But after Murray, the most likely callups are Pateryn and Beaulieau. Which one of the two will likely depend on who gets hurt and what gap needs to be filled. Defensive dman, look for Pateryn, but if it’s a PP guy, Beaulieau will likely get the call.

    In goal: Tokarski is intriguing. Pretty big junior star with stellar AHL numbers. But let’s not kid ourselves, if Pricey gets hurt the playoffs are a dream.

  48. VancouverHab says:

    OldSchoolHockey gives the hint to the Habs’ fortunes for the coming season:

    “Therrien gone next year”

    If a good coach is hired in the second half of the season then we have a decent shot for the top four or five. Otherwise, no hope.

    • habsfan55 says:

      agree with you VancouverHab

      habs fan but will cheer for any team that beats the leafs

    • Timo says:

      Oh please let it be so.

    • Clay says:

      Wasn’t Therrien the same coach who took us to the first in the division and second in the conference last season?
      Must have been someone else I guess…

      __________________________
      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

      • Not sure who you’re talking about Clay, but I think it may be the same guy who did all that with a team that finished dead last the year before, and leading his team to a 0.656 point percentage — good for fourth in the league. I could be crazy, but I think his team was fourth in league scoring too, and sixth in GF:GA ratio.

        We should google it to be sure. : )


        “Until we get an apology we’re not going to win a game. We vow not to win until we get an apology from Bettman.” -Sabre Dixon Ward

      • VancouverHab says:

        It was the team that dragged the incompetent clueless coach kicking a screaming to its final league position: a position that the team’s talent & intangibles (TM) warranted.

        The previous season’s misery was a complete charlie foxtrot: no way that would happen twice in a row with the core group that they had.

        Therrien will make the right coaching move ONLY after all his wrong moves are proven damaging (although so far he still retains the laughably worthless JJ Daigneault as defense “coach.”)

        Oh, and playing Deharnais with Patches? Hahahahahahaha! Gosh, if only we already had centres on our roster who are 100X superior to DD. Oh, wait: we do…..

    • Habs_Norway says:

      good day! do you have a link to this oldschoolhockey site?
      Tried to google, but ended up at a webstore.

      ______________________________________
      Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

  49. Rudy says:

    Wow, Murray is a piece of glass, injured in training camp and practice. Who checked this guy out before getting him?

  50. Cal says:

    Habs will be hard pressed to make the playoffs. The 48 game season did not expose their true weaknesses, but the Senators sure did, didn’t they?
    Ottawa and Boston will be fighting over 1st in the division. Both teams have a lot of skill and toughness, along with solid hard hitting D and good to great goaltending. The Habs don’t match up to those two teams yet.
    Detroit is pretty much a lock for the post season. They are good to great up and down the roster and Howard’s goaltending keeps improving noticeably.
    Toronto will struggle, but will probably be better than the Habs this year.
    I look to January to see the Habs begin to have a lot of trouble competing. They are too loaded with small forwards to succeed.
    Prediction for the Habs: 9th to 12th in the East.

    • veryhabby says:

      HUGE Price fan here. If Price plays like a top tender then we will be a playoff team, and finish 3rd in our division.

      If Price plays average or worst….we end up battling for a wild-card and most likely miss the playoffs.

      I do like Ott, but still think that after their top line that MTL forwards are just as good if not better. Add to that, that our D corp is very comparable to them, I can see us passing OTT in the standings no problem.

      Leafs have much more scoring ability then the habs. Their goalie can play poor, let in 3-4 goals a game and they can still win. That’s what worries me about them. So if Price doesn’t play great, Leafs can pass us in standings

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      You know we were 3-1 against the Bruins last season, right?

  51. Lil Snapper says:

    Murray to miss 6 weeks! Really? Cursed already? lol

    • naweed235 says:

      It Sucks. I remember he said that missing the training camp is really hard on a player in terms of coming back in shape rather than getting injured mid season. Well try missing the first month and half then buddy. His natural lack of speed won’t help him much there either… poor bastard

  52. Ron says:

    Tim Gleason out of line up with a concussion, wonder if Tinordi fight might have been the cause ?

  53. Stevie.Ray says:

    I’m predicting a top 3 finish in the East.

  54. BigB says:

    In my humble opinion:
    Boston, Ottawa and Detroit will have the 1, 2, 3 spots with the hated bears possibly in the top. I believe the Habs will probably have periods of excellence, but over the long season we may see the overall-smaller habs fade away a bit leaving us in the 4th place.

    I believe success in today’s NHL requires a combincation of skill and toughness. We definitely have the skill, but I think we’re still lacking a bit in the other department over an 82-game season. We are surely a better team than last year’s but not by much.

    I sure hope I’m wrong as I am craving number 25 :(

    Habs forever!

  55. Say Ash says:

    Over/under on Patches scoring 35 goals?

  56. Ron says:

    Douglas Murray out 4 to 6 weeks with upper body injury. Poop, I thought he was the one to give out those type injuries not get one before he even got the season underway.

    EDIT: Got it in yesterdays practice. Poop again.
    Also see mdp posted the same 4 mins ago.

  57. Rugger says:

    First in division, followed by Stanley Cup (of course I expect this to happen every year and was half right last year!)

  58. Timo says:

    I still don’t see why people think Sens are oh so good. Habs sucked big time last year in playoffs – nothing to do with Sens being any good. Effing columbus would have beaten them. Sens are not a terrible team but they are NOTHING scary.

    • krob1000 says:

      Adding Bobby Ryan is huge…gamechanger that guy is.

    • Les-Habitants says:

      Because they were decimated last year and still had a pretty good season. Karlsson is healthy, Anderson is a beast, Bobby Ryan, and Spezza seems to be back. They’re deep across all positions too…yah, we also did $hit the bed but the Sens are very good

      • Mavid says:

        decimated? I think not, a couple of key injuries yes..Karlsson and Anderson, Spezza was declining when he was injured he still has to prove the hype..by my count that is only 2 top players..hardly a decimation.in the playoffs (for the most part) we dominated them, it came down to goaltending.. Bobby Ryan COULD be a gamechanger, that remains to be seen. I am with Timo too much credit, they are not that good..I guess we shall see who is right

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • mr_jmac says:

      With 8 million in cap space they could get scary quick!

    • Timo says:

      They don’t DD. They are going nowhere.

    • Cal says:

      Better than the Habs by quite a bit. Their youth cost them last spring, but they still have more than the Habs up front and in net.
      It’ll be up to Ottawa’s D to carry them as far as they can.

    • FishOutOfWater says:

      see i feel the opposite, its the respect for the wings i dont get.

      they barely scrapped up a playoff spot and they weren’t nearly in the shape that Ottawa was last season.

      the habs are completely underrated just as Detroit, Ottawa, Tor and even Boston are overrated. too me the only spot that’s even close to being spoken for is Boston (and wouldn’t it be nice to see that blow up in their faces this year(unlikely but one can dream)). after that its a toss up

      http://945thesmooth.tumblr.com/

  59. I’ll bite and duck the Price-bots and dreamers and likely have a drink with Timo.

    Fifth place – Price just average

    PK a little better than last year, but Diaz shows more signs of his Swiss cheese season and Markov needs more oxygen. Tiny improving, but still needs some skill and experience

    Mini-offence barely keeping up to scoring in 2012-13. Still being knocked around in front of the net, seem to always have a bad second or third period. Watching with hands covering my eyes most nights

    Therrien gone next year

    Still fighting for playoff spot. Which means we aren’t a Stanley Cup team. Playing well against top teams and still poorly against bad teams. Can’t figure that out.

    Injuries. Our AHL players don’t perform like Ottawa’s did in 2012-13.

    Everyone trading Pleks (still one of the best well rounded players in the league), dumping on Bourque who plays just OK, the two Gally’s and reconstructed Eller don’t jell, Gionta shows his age and fragility, Gorges is a bust (doesn’t even block shots like he did in 2011, not mobile, can’t score, etc…), Emelin not like he was when he came back. DD needs to go.

    Briere is a pleasant surprise, Max is steady, if not a consistent goal scorer, Subban continues to dominate, Bournival is a pleasant surprise, Prust is injured again, but not before he shows us how to play again,

    Non-factors: White, Parros, Drewiske, Moen for too much dead-wood.

    Overall, a c+ and very little happiness from the vocal trade’em and tank’em drumbeaters. Hey, I’m not trying to be a downer, it is what it is. No breakout stars, just a steady improvement from soem young bucks and a steady diminishing return for veterans like Gionta, Pleks, Markov. Anyone pretending it’ll tun out differently while competing against Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Ottawa in our own division? Not to mention the other power-houses

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

  60. mdp2011 says:

    Renaud Lavoie ‏@LavoieRenaud 49s
    Douglas Murray out 4 to 6 weeks. Upper body injury. #canadiens

  61. habs-fan-84 says:

    Not to sound like a pollyanna, but I’m really not that intimidated by Detroit. Sure, they’ve been a powerhouse and a perennial playoff team for 20 years, but all good things must come to an end. I just don’t see that veteran lineup being able to hold up through a full 82 game season (especially playing in Northeast).

  62. Rad says:

    I predict the Habs will make the Playoffs. Seems like a safe assumption, given the personnel improvements made over the Summer.

  63. Les-Habitants says:

    The Sens, Bruins, and Wings are going to be the top 3 teams in our division – but I don’t see Montreal finishing out of the top 8 in the East. Erkisson is a huge upgrade for the Bruins, and Iggy replaces Horton more or less. The Sens are healthy, which is scary, and Detroit has a ton of firepower although their D isn’t as scary as it once was.

    Leafs are still a project, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Bozak can play up to his new contract. Clarkson is going have to to score, which is no sure thing, but they have upgraded their D which will make them tougher. That said, they got out of this world goaltending last year, so unless Bernier/Reimer repeat that they’ll be hard pressed to make the playoffs.
    Tampa hasn’t replaced Vinny, and their D is still in shambles. I have almost no idea what Florida will be like – are they going the money-ball route? Gilbert, Boyes, Whitney all add to that team, but what worries me is Tim Thomas. He’s going to be good again this year, mark my words.

  64. habsfan0 says:

    Seems like just a few weeks ago when the Habs and Leafs opened up the previous season at the Bell Centre with a 2-1 loss by the Habs on January 19,2013.
    Mind you,eventual Norris Trophy winning defenceman PK Subban was not in the lineup that night due to his contract dispute.
    His presence in the lineup tomorrow night should be the difference.

  65. Lil Snapper says:

    I really believe that The Habs will finish second, Bruins are done folks..Leafs will become to hyped and choke as usual. Ottawa will finish first, Detroit third. Just my predictions…

  66. habs11s says:

    I love these ‘experts’ and their predictions

    pick the ‘top rated’ teams from the respective conferences and flip a coin as to who wins the cup… they never seem to look beyond the face value of the team and make a more bold selection…

    _____________________________________________________________

    “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

    • bwoar says:

      How bad were the predictions? They were so bad, that when Habs captain Brian Gionta heard them, he broke down and cried in coach Therrien’s arms.

      “thoroughbred”

  67. Propwash says:

    I predict we are going to see a full season of hockey.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  68. krob1000 says:

    Interviewer: What’s your prediction for the fight (oops I mean game)?

    Clubber Lang: My prediction?

    Interviewer: Yes, your prediction.

    Clubber Lang: Pain!

  69. HabinBurlington says:

    Bob Mckenzie tweets only Ryan Stanton claimed on waivers, so the big pile of players put through on waivers yesterday cleared.

    TSN has tweeted out today’s practise lines for Habs and Leafs. Appears Parros indeed on 4th line with Prust and Moen.

    Of interest, the Leafs are still practising with Clarkson on the third line. Given he will miss 10 games, surprised they wouldn’t be practising with his replacement on that line. Maybe Carlyle still thinks NHL will rescind suspension.

  70. B says:

    If Florida and Tampa relocate to Quebec City and Markham then their new division won’t look as silly.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  71. Mattyleg says:

    PAIN!

    (mind you, that’s my prediction for nearly everything)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  72. HabinBurlington says:

    Habs 3 Leafs 2, game is settled in OT/Shootout.

  73. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Hey, whaddya know? I was right! Anybody want the winning numbers for the next Super 7 draw?

  74. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    I’m gonna have the first comment on this thread.


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