Habs practise after Price named Molson Cup Player of the Year

The Canadiens announced on Monday morning that goaltender Carey Price is the Molson Cup Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season based on three-star voting by fans. Rookie forward Alex Galchenyuk is the Molson Cup recipient for the April segment of three-star voting.

Price, who was the Canadiens’ player of the month in February, finished ahead of Brendan Gallagher and Galchenyuk. The netminder played 39 games during the regular season, for a career total of 310, ranking him eighth on the Canadiens’ all-time list for most games played by a goaltender.

Price finished the regular season with a 21-13-4 record with a 2.59 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. He recorded three shutouts this season, giving him 19 for his career to rank ninth in team history.

 Price was voted one of the three stars 15 times this season by fans. He was the first star four times, second star six times and third star five times. Gallagher was selected as a star 13 times (4-5-4) and Galchenyuk was a star eight times (5-1-2).

Price was on the ice with his teammates Monday morning in Brossard as the Canadiens held their first practice since learning they will face the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs, with Game 1 slated for Thursday night at the Bell Centre and Game 2 on Friday.

“It’s going to be a hard-nosed series … and a tight-checking game,” coach Michel Therrien said after the 50-minute practice. “That’s how we’ve had success.”

The Canadiens had a 2-1-1 record against the Senators this season and this will mark the first playoff meeting between the teams since the Senators returned to the NHL in 1992.

“Rivalries are born in the playoffs,” Therrien said. “There’s about to be one with the Senators and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Therrien said he was confident heading into the playoffs and liked the way Price played in his last two games, saying “he’s our best player.”

The coach added that he appreciates having three days of practice before Game 1, but noted it’s the same for both teams.

The lines at Monday’s practice were: Gallagher-Eller-Galchenyuk; Prust-White-Moen; Desharnais-Bourque-Pacioretty; Gionta-Plekanec-Ryder; Halpern-Armstrong.

Defence pairings were: Gorges-Diaz; Markov-Subban; Bouillon-Tinordi; Kaberle-Weber.

Michael Blunden and Gabriel Dumont weren’t on the ice with the rest of the Canadiens but were expected to practise separately with Greg Pateryn, Nathan Beaulieu, Michael Bournival, Petteri Nokelainen, Dustin Tokarski, Robert Mayer and Louis Leblanc, who were all called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Hear what P.K. Subban had to say after practice by clicking here.

Hear what Jarred Tinordi had to say by clicking here.

Hear what Brendan Gallagher had to say by clicking here.

Get ready for a 417 playoff matchup, by Jack Todd

Sports psychologist put Eller on right track, by Dave Stubbs

Canadiens vs. Senators series preview, NHL.com

NHL playoff preview capsules, montrealgazette.com

Ten players to watch in the postseason, montrealgazette.com

Round One playoff schedule, NHL.com

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

1,311 Comments

  1. Danno says:

    The similarities are striking between the 2013 edition Habs and the Champions of 1993

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  2. pmaraw says:

    so yesterday at work I greeted all the leaf fans with ‘Ole Steve’ or whatever their name was. anyways the one leafs fan started rambling on about how the leafs didn’t show up. I was like ‘one team started their #1 goalie, one team didn’t, who do you think wanted to win that game more’? now I don’t believe Montreal wanted to lose that game or anything, I think they think they got a chance to win no matter who’s in net.

    now what really shocked me is when this guy said ‘And that little punk kid, whats his name Gallagher? he’s not making it past 2 playoff games, i’ll tell you that right now.’ I asked him why, he said the leafs were gonna murder him. I simply wished him good luck with the bruins in the first round and he seemed completely stunned.

    my issue is why would they want to injure Gally? is it out of fear of goal contribution? I certainly don’t feel like he crosses the line out on the ice as far as unsportsmanship goes, not that I know what he’s saying on the ice but he, to me, appears to carry himself well and plays a hard grinding game. He’s not a dirty player either, if out of the 2 rosters anyone should be hurt… oh nevermind they’re not even playing each other lol

    • Alex_425 says:

      Skill, combined with net crashing and having a good time on the ice, makes fans like that take it personally, thinking a player like Gally is “rubbing it in our faces” or something unfocused like that. That’s my guess.

      But I’m no expert….

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      It is strange, isn’t it?

      I think I can objectively say that Gallagher’s mentality is what all players should strive for. He is a pure hockey player: grit, tenacity, goes into the dirty areas, but isn’t dirty himself.

      It angers me to see others wish harm on him as if he were in the class of Marchand, the Bruins, or the Leaf goons.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      I’d say it speaks volumes concerning the character/gamesmanship (is that a word?) of your Leaf-fan friend. (and a host of fans (of other teams) out there…i.e. I don’t necessarily mean Leaf fans in general)

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    New Thread folks.

  4. pmaraw says:

    Did you vote?

    http://covervote.nhl.com/#/ballot

    please don’t let the leafs win. last year philly ended up with 2 players in the 2nd round, this year the leafs did…. I don’t know how i’ll be able to live with myself if a leaf player is on the cover, please vote guys and gals

  5. Penneywize says:

    So, apparently Markov is a smoker? This is according to a lawsuit filed against his insurer. Apparently, the policy was based on the “incorrect assumptions” that “Markov was a resident of Ontario and a non-smoker”. Well, I’ll be damned.

    By the way, I very much enjoy the video segments put together by Hickey and co. Keep it up.

  6. nickster13 says:

    Swedish twins anyone?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=v1TRXOPL_vU&feature=fvwp

    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

  7. Timo says:

    Habs site shows these lines at practice.

    Gallagher – Eller – Galchenyuk
    Prust – White – Moen
    Desharnais – Bourque – Pacioretty
    Gionta – Plekanec – Ryder
    Halpern – Armstrong

    I asked this yesterday and don’t think got an answer – was DD actually moved to a wing?

  8. HabFanSince72 says:

    I just put up that Fenwick thing for fun. I have no idea if it has predictive power.

    The logic is sound. It’s thought to be a measure of puck possession, and one that is a better measure of a team’s skill than wins and losses since it is less influenced by luck or noise. But whether it works in practice I don’t know. At least it has more face validity than “grit”.

    HH quotes Mark Twain’s famous dictum regarding lies, damn lies and statistics. But there isn’t a branch of modern science that isn’t fundamentally unthinkable without statistics from quantum mechanics, to psychology, to medicine, to economics and finance. Even music (well John Cage at any rate).

    • Cal says:

      How about this one by Scotty Bowman? “Statistics are for losers.”

      • Loonie says:

        Easy thing to say when the Rings you have are a result of hall of fame lineups.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        As I said I have no idea if these particular stats are even valid, but to reflexively dismiss the approach is ignorant.

        It’s like climate change denialism: – “I don’t need no data – I know how often I shoveled the driveway last winter.”

        • Cal says:

          I’m sorry, but possession time in hockey is stupid, to be blunt.
          For example, Toews strips the puck off a Dman and shoots it into the net in one motion. How much “possession time” did Toews have and is it measured in thousandths of a second?

    • christophor says:

      If you can find one person who has smoked their whole life and didn’t die of cancer, then there definitely can’t be a link between smoking and cancer.

      Air tight that reasoning is.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        That doesn’t even make any sense.

        • christophor says:

          Exactly. Saying what I did is like saying that because the Leafs are the exception to the rule, the rule is nonsense. Talk Sanis was just more explicit with his sarcasm. My bad.

          There is obviously a very informative link between certain advanced stats and success. Pointing to an exception misses the point.

      • The Jackal says:

        LOL that does not even make sense… see that is an example of sophistry.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Storman says:

      Wins Above Replacement WAR my favorite new sabermetric baseball statistic , stats in every sport can be used to spin any argument you wish,, It all comes down to who best helps you to win baby…

      • Loonie says:

        Wins above replacement is a projection based on significantly lower talent than the starter.

        It’s a useful stat but not without holes.

        For example, take my favourite baseball team the Reds. Last season Joey Votto went down due to injury. His WAR was 5.7.

        The Reds won 22 of 27 games without him. You gonna tell me that they would have won 27 of 27 with him?

        Doubtful.

    • Talik Sanis says:

      Fenwick is useless. The Devils and Maple Leafs demonstrate this fact. The field of statistics does not acknowledge the possibility of randomness or outliers. No. No siree.

      It’s not like it correlates with success or anything.

      http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2013/4/4/4178716/why-possession-matters-a-visual-guide-to-fenwick

      Nope. No correlation whatsoever. Useless.

      All that matters is heart. Heart!

      • punkster says:

        Well played.

        ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

      • twilighthours says:

        You are also spending to much time on EOTP. You’ve even got that whole sarcasm thing nailed – an EOTP hallmark.

        • Talik Sanis says:

          When responding to an argument that is essentially “outliers invalidate a conclusion derived from a consideration of the statistical norm,” sarcasm on this level is one of the few appropriate responses.

          I don’t think that the folks over at EOTP would intend to reference Captain Planet, however, while poking fun at the pervading obsession over character.

          Also, go check out the comments in their article on Subban Vs. Karlsson. I am but a neophyte in the schools of satire and internet tough-guy-ism.

    • The Jackal says:

      They have predictive power so long as they are contextualized and not just thrown out there.
      Obviously there are many other factors but as you said, possession generally indicates how a team plays and usually, teams with high possession tend to take more shots and allow fewer shots against, which is a pretty solid game plan :D

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • B says:

      Twain “borrowed” that quote from Benjamin Disraeli.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • punkster says:

      HFS…good points… a counter quote to Twain… “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”.

      Stats are nothing more than history expressed numerically…accurate tracking and interpretation are key.

      Now, we can’t be sure that today’s advanced stats are being developed based on 100% accurate basic stats but most are based on stats the league tracks and publishes.

      How the resulting advanced stats are interpreted is an area that seems to be more widely accepted.

      Personally I’m an observer and not a statistician though years of working with stats in business made me very aware of their value for forecasting…if not predicting…future trends.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    What are predictions for Rangers vs. Capitals? Both teams hot going into playoffs. I want to give the edge to Rangers with Lundqvist but something tells me Washington is going to win.

    • Bripro says:

      The predictions are mirrored by your sentiment.
      Rangers if Lundqvist is on his head, and their prima-donnas show up.
      Caps if Ovi is still on his run.
      In the local papers it’s pretty much 50/50.

    • Clay says:

      I’ve got the Caps in that one. They are playing great hockey lately. Of course, stellar netminding by Lundqvist can change all that.

      __________________________
      ☞ “And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” ~ William Wordsworth ☜

  10. Bripro says:

    So our home-town boy Corey Crawford will be anchoring the Hawks (IMO) all the way to the final.
    Seeing that he’s a friend of the family, I’m wondering if I’d be considered a blood-sucking leach/mooch/freeloader if I drove to his mom’s house, to get a free pass into the finals at the Bell centre.
    Am I getting ahead of myself here?

  11. B says:

    We have to wait until Thursday to start the series because the league felt a Tuesday start was too early for Ottawa after playing Sunday. Odd then that it is ok for the first two games of the series to be on consecutive days. I also noticed that all but one of the Montreal vs Ottawa games are not on the same day as Toronto games, I believe this was at the request of the CBC. The only time they could both play on the same day would be Sunday April 12th (another consecutive day game for Habs vs Sens). I think the Montreal vs Ottawa series should have started tonight.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • Loonie says:

      Geoff Molson should hire a forensics expert to investigate.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      And the Leafs start Wed. with game 2 on Saturday, this makes no sense. I suspect CBC has flexed what muscle it can as it relates to scheduling of these two series.

      • B says:

        Habs / Sens could have gone Tues, Thurs, Sat, Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
        Leafs / Bruins could have gone Wed, Fri, Sun, Tues, Thurs, Sat, Mon

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • Storman says:

      In a perfect world where lunatics that bomb and kill children and innocent victims during a wonderful sporting event like the Boston Marathon,, when these lunatics do not exist, and the NHL does not have to postpone multiple games,, to help and aid in the capture of these said lunatics,, I would agree with you, but if that was Montreal who had to change their schedule to play a day after everyone else finished their regular season schedule, i do not think you would be singing the same song,,

  12. Storman says:

    2 Obvious Bruin fan embellishments, first he embellishes boarding or hit from behind without even being touched, awesome embellishment I might add..,, and then later he takes a rather obvious dive on a phantom trip…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EdrnJX1Io8

  13. Habs_Fan_In_San_Diego says:

    Have you guys seen this? Montreal fan drops Habs puck into foundation of future Quebec arena:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/montreal-fan-drops-canadiens-puck-foundation-quebec-city-162236527.html

    LOL …

  14. jols101 says:

    Thursday evening 7:00 pm until Friday night 10:00 pm – It will be nice to be ahead 2-0 in the series in a mere 27 hour span.

  15. Mattyleg says:

    People are saying that Montreal and Ottawa are FINALLY going to develop a rivalry because we’re finally going to play a playoff series against them.

    Does Ottawa have a rivalry with anyone?
    They strike me as being as bland a team as Ottawa itself.
    Pretty, historical… but bland.

    Hard to get worked up about that.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Ozmodiar says:

      They’re the vegetable lasagna of the NHL.

    • twilighthours says:

      I love Ottawa! Beautiful city.

      • Mavid says:

        that it is..I drive for Bluesfest and the artists are always commenting on how beautiful it is..downtown with the parliment buildings, canal, the market, and sparks street ..when we drive them from the airport to the site or their hotel I always take the Canal route..it is a georgous drive..very impressive

        • Bripro says:

          You should try biking it.
          Some years back, my wife and I camped on the grounds below the parliament buildings, within walking distance of the market and the path.
          It was wonderful. The facilities could have been a little cleaner however.

          • Mavid says:

            unfortunatly the homeless and druggies like the downtown core as well..the market is an odd mixture of trendy bars and restaurants and people begging for money..actually its boarders more on harassement..so there are some less than beautiful spots as well..

    • Loonie says:

      Ottawa and Toronto HAD a rivalry when both were making the playoffs in the late nineties and early two-thousands.

      They’re the red headed step child among the NHL’s Canadian teams. Nobody really pays them much mind outside of their die hard fans.

    • Mavid says:

      they think they have a rivalry..reality is there is none..you need history and a fair amount of hate for that

  16. jon514 says:

    This video made me smile so I thought I’d share!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp1DMQ-x33k

  17. Timo says:

    Much love for PK and Gallagher based on the poll. Well deserving. Man, Molson will have to open his wallet big time for PK… and there will be no home team discount. Punk me once…

  18. SteverenO says:

    Season series;

    We tied twice and split the two shootouts. We won once in regulation by a score of 2-1- they won once in regulation by a score of 5 -1.

    The Habs scored 4 PP goals (4- 20 on the PP vs, Ottawa), and the Sens scored 5 PP goals (5 -12) on the PP versus the Habs).

    In regulation scoring The HAbs scored 3 goals while allowing 5 in 4 games versus the Senators this year.

    Overall the HAbs outshot Ottawa by a wide margin 154-116 yet were outscored 10 to 7.

    As is normally the case, the series is likely to be decided by special teams. All season long I have been critical of MTs personnel deployment on the PP.

    What will the PP lines be going into the playoffs?
    based on the reg season it would be:
    Pacioretty/DD/Gallagher with MArkov/SUbban 1st wave
    Ryder/Plek/Gionta with Diaz and either Bouillon or Gorges 2nd wave.

    If the team plays the series against Ottawa with that PP line up, I am afraid we have almost no chance to win the series.

    Should MT have suddenly consulted the available stats and decided to base the playing time on how the players have produced during the season we should see:

    Ryder/Plek/Gionta
    Pacioretty/Eller/ Bourque or some combination of those 6 forwards making up the first two forward lines on the PP.

    Based on his recent production at even strength Galchenyuk, deserves a chance to see if he can be effective, (Too bad we wasted the opportunity to find out in the last 8 games of the season).

    My hunch is that the second line MT will be starting with will be Pacioretty/DD/ Bourque and there is a good chance that they will be successful.Why it took over 100 minutes of futility with almost no productivity (8 goals) for MT to put an end to the Paciorety/DD/ Gallagher PowerPlay fiasco is something I will never understand.

    I am willing to forgive, however, just so long as we never see that combo in the playoffs.

    On the back end it looks Markov, Subban , and Diaz are the “top” three, and MT seems to prefer Gorges over Bullion as the 4th.

    In my opinion unless we are leading by two or more goals with less than 10 minutes remaining in the third period there is NEVER a reason that Gorges should appear on the PP.

    To increase our chances of winning ( A single PP goal can easily be the difference between a win and a loss) I have been advocating the use of a forward, preferably Eller, on the point for wave two, ESPECIALLY if Eller is not in the mix as a forward. Alternatively, I recommend that we dress Weber (perhaps even Beaulieu?) as a forward either can play 5 to 8 minutes at even strength and be utilized as the 4th pointman on the PP. we would get the added advantage of NOT having to use Gorges,Tinordi, and Diaz, in the last 10 minutes of the game should we find ourselves trailing and needing a goal. I cant see how the absence of either Moen or Armstrong can possibly hurt as much adding Weber could help.

    I doubt that this will happen, but I would like to see anyone make a good argument as to the downside of such a move.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  19. christophor says:

    Pacioretty should be with Plekanec eventually, or immediately after they run into trouble in the playoffs. He can handle the tough minutes, as can Gionta. Throw these guys out against tough competition and they’ll still end up with the majority of possession:

    Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gionta

    The next line isn’t necessarily line 2. But I’m mentioning them first because we’re already on the theme of competition toughness. This line has been handling secondary competition – fairly tough for their age – and they can continue to do so:

    Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher

    That leaves the purely exploitative line. Start them almost exclusively in the offensive zone. If this line needs a shot of energy, switch Bourque and Gallagher. Bourque can handle the tougher competition and Gallagher can never be accused of dogging it.

    Bourque – Desharnais – Ryder

    The fourth line doesn’t need to be talked about other than to say it’s a good one.

  20. Timo says:

    Are these guys practicing today? Is HIO crew awake?

  21. B says:

    Why isn’t Shea Weber on team Canada’s roster for the World Championships? Is he injured? Giordano? Team Canada looks a bit thin on D:
    http://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/Team-Canada/Men/World-Championship/2013/Rosters/CAN

    –Go Habs Go!–

  22. Bripro says:

    I was listening to Randy Tieman and Tony Marinaro on the lunch hour drive.
    They’re saying if the Habs played the Laffs or Bs and lost in the first round, it would be a disaster.
    But if they lose to the Sens, it’ll be unfortunate, but not that big of a deal.
    What the he** is wrong with these guys?
    I don’t understand the love for the Sens. Fine, they’ve flown under the Habs’ radar since their inception, but now, THEY ARE THE ENNEMY!
    Take no prisoners.

  23. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I never looked to see if this was posted yet, but a co-worker (Caps fan), sent me this link:

    Canadiens Puck Drop

    LOL

  24. jols101 says:

    TSN is having a Play of the Year showdown and they have Lupul vs Eller up right now. The Lupul goal is nicer then Ellers but of course I still voted for Eller. If anyone else wants to vote just go to the TSN website it is top right on the main page.

  25. Mark C says:

    Timo’s earlier sarcastic post about DD easing fears heading into this series, might be his best post ever. Because he’s right! DD only had one less point than the Sens top centre, and 8 more than their #2. On Montreal DD’s point total ranked him third among centres. Montreal has a huge advantage in terms of forward depth.

  26. habsfan0 says:

    In years gone by,when the Habs were winning Stanley Cups on a regular basis, a coach like Scotty Bowman would have the team sequestered in a hotel outside of Montreal during the playoffs so their focus wouldn’t be diverted by outside influences and they would also have an opportunity to bond as a cohesive unit. Since this strategy seemed to have paid off in numerous championships, I wonder why they don’t do it anymore.

    • von says:

      NHLPA rules maybe?

      _________________________________

      “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      I would assume their union would have something to say about that.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Don’t think the circumstances warrant squestration at this time. The severly limite dpractice opportuinites until now, the addition of Brossard as a practice venue, the shortened season, the requirement to smoothly transition into the first round of the playoff maintaining a ‘business as usual approach’ at this early stage all lead to the route they are taking being very possibly the best approach. Once the team proceeds past the 2nd round and the city starts to go mad and the pressure builds etc etc … then a day or two get away will be ideal.
      I like their approach right now.

    • donmarco says:

      They never did it in the first round. They disappeared in the finals. Which I’d predict they’d do again if they made it that far.

    • SmartDog says:

      Times and expectations have changed… not necessarily for the better.

      Were women reporters allowed in the locker rooms then?

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

  27. von says:

    Revel as underdogs, my friends. All the ‘experts’ predicted we’d either just miss the playoffs or finish near the bottom of the East. Why should they pick us now?

    Remember when they thought Washington would roll through us? Or we wouldn’t stand a chance against Pittsburgh? Let’s shock ‘em again.

    Bring on the Sens.
    _________________________________

    “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

    • habstrinifan says:

      To be fair, HABS are almost universally NOT the underdogs in this series. So they may as well not reach for that crutch as motivation. In fact I listened to Therrien and he is taking the right approach… two even teams which must take their game to a higer level game by game.

      Once we meet CHI in the finals then we can play the underdog card.

      • von says:

        I mean underdogs more in terms of how the media views the Habs.

        But they wouldn’t be underdogs against Pittsburgh? We’ve played them close but Pitts has dominated much more overall and missing a lot of their big offensive players. We only lost Emelin and pretty much collapsed for 10 games.

        _________________________________

        “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  28. 24 Cups says:

    Top NHL player sweater sales for 2013.

    BTW, I was in Niagara Falls NY last week and the top five uniform sales were: Miller, Vanek, Lundqvist, Kessel and Chara.

    1. Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews
    2. Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk
    3. Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby
    4. New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash
    5. Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane
    6. Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa
    7. Philadelphia Flyers right wing Claude Giroux
    8. New York Rangers right wing Ryan Callahan
    9. Pittsburgh Penguins left wing James Neal
    10. Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise
    11. Detroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg
    12. Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Joffrey Lupul
    13. New Jersey Devils right wing Ilya Kovalchuk
    14. Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand
    15. Boston Bruins center Tyler Seguin
    16. Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp
    17. New York Islanders center John Tavares
    18. Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron
    19. Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin
    20. Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Wow, I am amazed at how dominated that list is by U.S. based teams. Evidently the lockout had little residual affect in the Original 6 U.S. cities.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Gerald – I was also reading about average attendance in the NHL and TV viewership but it was awhile ago. There wasn’t much of a dip so I think your point is well taken. Maybe not this summer, but the cap should start to rise very soon.

        Watch for guys like Clarkson, Roy, Horton, Flipuula and Ryder to be the canaries in the coalmine.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          What an excellent analogy, Canaries in the Coalmine. Brilliant Steve!

          Hey next time you are going to Niagara Falls, send me a message, your driving right through my town on the way there. Pop in for a drink Steve!

    • johnnylarue says:

      Seriously though, can you imagine anyone, Bruins fans included, actually wanting to wear a Marchand jersey??

      Must be a popular gag gift or something… (double entendre intended.)

    • habsfan0 says:

      How come Scott Gomez’s sweater is not on this list?

    • Mattyleg says:

      So, is that numbers of jerseys sold, or money spent on jerseys?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  29. frontenac1 says:

    Jeesh! Get a load of these playoff ticket prices amigos! Glad I have the $7/mo. RDS and the $49 Whole Year Centre Ice package . Wow.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/30/2013-nhl-playoff-ticket-prices-_n_3158367.html#slide=2393175

  30. 24 Cups says:

    “Devils GM Lou Lamoriello announced on Monday they will be keeping their No. 1 pick this year and forfeiting their 2014 first rounder as part of the punishment for the Ilya Kovalchuk/cap circumvention saga two summers ago. It makes sense seeing as how the draft this June is at Prudential Center.” (Puck Daddy)

  31. habs001 says:

    If Ottawa wins this series it will be because their goaltender outplays the Habs goaltender by a fair margin as i stated before the Habs will get much more quality scoring chances over the course of the series…The other factor could be the pp/pk …On the season Habs pp good and pk poor..Ottawa pp poor…pk good…but the Senators pp vs the Habs is over 40%…

    • HardHabits says:

      The series will be decided by whether the Habs bury their chances or not.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That is something we have been brutal at against Ottawa. I especially think back to the game with Bishop in net, we hit 3 posts I think and Bishop was outstanding, while we also didn’t bury chances when available despite outplaying them.

        • HardHabits says:

          My opinion is if the Habs offence connects the series will be over quickly. If not it could go either way. I don’t see goal tending as being as significant as many people are suggesting.

          • habstrinifan says:

            I have to add one bit of caution re the goaltending. I dont know if Price’s oft identified fragility is real or not. But there are some amazing statistics that show his ‘bounce back’ within game is not as strong as it should be. If this happens then goaltending will play a huge part.
            And please dont accus eme of Price baiting etc. I earnestly believ that Price need NOT be outta this world.. but he cannot on the other hand be a deflated goalie and thus a deflating influence. Which is why Therrien is deliberatley using “the best playe ron the team” phrase often and often in public pronouncements. I had sided with Loonie on his criticism of this tactic before. But having heard the context etc and the delivery tone, I am 100% sure that this is a psychological tool recommended by motivational experts within the organizatio who are intimately aware of the psyches of all the players.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Dave – Paging Ryder, MaxPac Gionta and Bourque in that order.

        Their ability to score plus Price’s goaltending will decide Montreal’s fate.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Dear 24CUPS, I dont think Bpurque scoring is as important as Bourque remaining for a cosiderable period on a line with Pas and DD. I frimly believe that if this continies, (it was put togetehr for Toronto), then you will see a HUGE and I mean HUGE resugence of Pacs and DD to the level of production they enjoyed last year under Cole. And if that happens no way can the SENS withstand them.

          I dont think it will happen, but I say the same type of triumvirate improevement will be had if Gallagher/Pleks/Gionta became a line.

          Under no circumstances should Gallagher be paired with DD to get DD going. Totally incompatible players.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Who would have thoughts (just a few brief years ago) that Montreal would be counting on Ryder to help win a playoff series. Life can sure be strange.

            Your point about Bourque is well made. The Habs are going to need some offensive production seeing that they may be overmatched on the defensive side of the game.

            Montreal doesn’t have time to fart around so I hope that MT goes with the guys who are having a hot hand. No time to wait for players to “find their game”. I’d roll the dice on Eller and Galchenyuk.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Craig Anderson has the best GAA and save % in the NHL,and he is a huge goalie. Someone as diminutive as DD won’t be able to screen him effectively,so it’s up to other players to get in front of him and disrupt him.

    • donmarco says:

      This has all the makings of a prolonged chess match on ice. Neither team will want to make a mistake leading to lots of low scoring games. If both teams play to their full potential (starting with the goalies), I think the advantage goes to Montreal because of the secondary scoring depth. This could, however, be the most boring of all the first round series.

  32. SmartDog says:

    I’d like to see the Pens lose just to prove you can’t buy your way to a cup.

    And on the Habs front, I’m happy to see that Therrien listened to me and reunited Ryder with Pleks. Bourque can do more damage on a depth line too. Bigger and will have more time against the opponents 3rd pairing.
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think the Pens are strong and can do some damage in the East BUT against a team like LA in a 7 game series they might not fair so well.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • HardHabits says:

      J Larue and others can confirm that I suggested:

      Ryder-Plekanec-Gionta
      Pacioretty-Desharnais-Bourque
      Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher

      a while back. I also gave a pretty detailed explanation as to why.

      HardHabits APRIL 10, 2013 AT 7:39 PM

      I dusted off my HIO13 and decided to play line-combo mode:

      Ryder-Plekanec-Gionta
      Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher
      Pacioretty-Desharnais-Bourque
      Moen/White-Halpern-Prust

      Here’s my logic.

      The Ryder-Plekanec-Gionta line has already proven to be extremely productive. Why mess with a good thing? This is a legitimate top line capable of playing against anybody in the league.

      Moving Gallagher to the Galchenyuk-Eller combo puts together a very potent combo. A true kid line. The future of the Habs top 6.

      Bourque added to the Pacioretty-Desharnais combo puts DD back where he is best; between two power forwards. The added bonus is that Bourque gets to play his natural wing.

      I would also set the middle 6 (there’s a new expression denoting the 2nd and 3rd lines) at ice equal time during the 1st and 2nd periods and reward the better of the two with more ice time in the 3rd and/or power play shifts should they occur.

      Moen-White-Prust is as crash and bang as they come and the combo of Moen/White-Halpern-Prust is a defensively responsible trio capable of grinding and scoring and playing penalty kill minutes.

      The big change here is to separate DD and Gallagher putting DD back between two big bodies, and equalizing time between his and Eller’s lines and give more TOI based on merit and on a per game basis if need be.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t know why people say that about Pittsburgh? I am not a fan of the team in any way, but Ray Shero has simply been a very bright GM who realizes his window with both Crosby and Malkin could be closing. Therefore, he has made sacrifices to do all he can to give this current roster a chance at another cup.

      I don’t think Malkin re-signs for the same money, they can’t afford to pay him more, so perhaps he gets traded.

      They haven’t bought anything, cap system prevents that. I do take issue with the League giving them lottery pick coming out of strike, that was BS.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        He already lost Staal last year.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • HardHabits says:

          He was an UFA and they got a 1st round draft pick for him. How is that losing?

          • Kooch7800 says:

            losing as he is a heck of a hockey player and to have him on the 3rd line makes any team that much better.

            Cause players like Staal don’t grow on tree’s and he is proven. a 1st rounder is still a gamble

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • HardHabits says:

            He was gone any ways. He wanted to play with his brother.

      • J Haul says:

        It might not be exactly “buying” a team, but it’s certainly acts as a form “legal cap circumvention” because they don’t have to assume the entire cap hit of these late season acquisitions. There’s no way they should have been able to fit more stars under their salary cap, yet they added a couple huge ones. It’s tres annoying.

  33. Bill says:

    Hey Storman, maybe we wish Pacioretty would do that, but he never has and never will. It’s not his game. He is a sniper who scores from at least ten feet out by getting open and taking a pass. He’s not gonna turn into the creash-crashing dirty goal type.

    The Habs do need that, but it will never be him. On the bright side, he is the Habs leading scorer two years in a row playing the way he plays.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      and is locked up long term on a reasonable cap hit.

      PK is in for a major raise. I bet they lock him up in the summer but now for close to 7 mill a season.

      I never thought PK would blossom this quickly. Everyone knew he was good but the effect Markov and MT have had on him and his natural talent is scary.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Storman says:

      @ HeyBill read what i said again, I want him to compete for dirty ice ie corners, and also blue paint in which makes his case much easier to free himself up for open looks from 10 -20 feet, go to the dirty area, then find away to back out into an area of getting your self open to receive A pass all part of the process, was not trying to re invent anything for him,, he will not play like Lucic or Clarkson, still his game has to get a little tougher and dirtier in playoff season action,, to be successful,,, Getting open looks to snipe is all part of entering exiting tough areas of ice and then finding open ice to accept a pass,, but he also has the speed and power to get dirty as well and as A leader we will need him to do it more frequently for a long playoff run, sniper type goals in playoffs are much harder to come by, but dirty goals, which he scores as well,,, will be there for some big time opportunities, just from being in tough areas around the net which i would argue he does do quite well when he is on a tear..

  34. habsfan0 says:

    16 victories over the next 28 games.
    A winning percentage of .571.
    Doable.

  35. HabFanSince72 says:

    I think the stats geeks like Fenwick Close (ratio of shots for and against when the score is within two goals). Apparently it has very good predictive power.

    The top teams are, in order:

    LA, Chi, NJ, Bos, Det, StL, NYR, Mtl, SJ, Ott.

    The bottom teams are (starting with the worst):

    Buf, Tor, Edm, TB, CBJ, NSH, COl, Dal

    The two outliers are NJ and Toronto. Suggests Toronto will not do well in the playoffs, and NJ were unlucky not to make it.

    The other surprise is Pittsburgh, in 15th place.

    • HardHabits says:

      Which goes to show you that stat is meaningless. There is one stat that counts during a game… goal differential. The rest is sophistry.

      • SmartDog says:

        Yes… sophistry. If there’s a hockey game on and 2 women going at it on the other channel, that is a really tough choice.

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

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        That’s the kind of argument the Republicans used against Nate Silver remember?

        • HardHabits says:

          I don’t follow American politics. One of my fave sites however is http://www.threehundredeight.com/ and even he gets it wrong. Case in point the last Quebec election where he was way off.

          Another one of my favourite sites is http://enattendantlesnordiques.blogspot.ca/

          Both sites are excellent at analysis but nether proves anything.

          Stats on their own are meaningless. As premises they are weak, offering tepid and marginal support for any argument.

          The phrase “lies, damn lies and statistics” was coined for a reason.

          Put away the pie charts.

          • The Jackal says:

            That’s what they all say.
            With the relevant context stats can have lots of predictive force.
            Speaking from experience and my work with stats, they are useful instruments to add depth to any analysis so long as the stats are not used in a contrived manner – if they do not fit, making them fit won’t work.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • HardHabits says:

            Yeah, I was a little harsh. I love mathematics and psychology, but always loathed statistics which is like their mutated off-spring. I’ve seen too many arguments build to conclusions based solely on statistical data while conveniently leaving out loads of other relevant information based on observation or analysis.

      • punkster says:

        Stats are relevant in helping determine an outcome prior to the event based on a series of actual past events. The number of goals scored for or against determines the eventual winner…stats can help a team become that winner.

        ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

    • Cal says:

      Fenwick and Corsi. 2 math nuts with too much time on their hands.

    • Cal says:

      Trying to “Moneyball” hockey simply doesn’t work. In fact, most of the stats recorded at hockey games are a joke. Individual “scorers” in home rinks decide what a “hit” is. What a “giveaway” and a takeaway” is. Even the shots on net. Telling me how many shots were directed at net but went wide is another joke. Do the statisticians get in the heads of the Dmen shooting the puck? Do the statisticians know where the player is shooting?
      There’s really no way to accurately decipher the nonsense from the scorers who just make it up as they go along.

  36. BJ says:

    @Mattyleg. Further to our exchange a few days ago I thought you might have interest in this. You can get a free DVD from the producer. It might give you an alternative perspective. And no its not about NHL refs.
    http://www.waronwhistleblowers.com/

  37. mark-ID says:

    I find it funny that all of a sudden most “experts” are calling for the Sens to take this series. Only a month ago before our little slide, most people had Habs as one of the top five teams in the league. Then all of a sudden, they lose a few game in a row(like most teams this year) and we all of a sudden aren’t able to beat a team who has a lot of trouble scoring. It just goes to show most experts still don’t give the Habs respect, and believe they are the same team that finished 15th in the East.

    Living in Ottawa I watch just about as many Sens games as I do Habs. I have a ton of respect for them, and believe that we have a very similar style team as them. A bunch of you were making comparisons yesterday, all of which were very accurate. However, the only way I see them taking this series from the Habs is if Anderson stands on his head and Price is sub par.

    Montreal has wayyyy more forward depth, I just don’t see them losing personally. The Habs have been a very resiliant bunch, and I can see them really stepping up to the plate this first round.

    My x-factor player to look for this series: Michael Ryder

    He is still playing for a new long term contract next year, and he has had success in the playoffs. Ottawa doesn’t have one sniper at his level. He will be the difference in my mind.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Habsrule1 says:

      The Habs are the better team. If both teams play as well as they possibly can, the Habs will win, likely easily. The problem is if the Habs don’t bring their A game, the sens will…and the Habs at 75% are not better than the sens at 100%.

      I also live in Ottawa (actually 30 minutes east), and watch a fair amount of sens games and hear about them non-stop at work.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • mark-ID says:

        where are you, in Vars or Limoges or something? Better being East then West I guess…..lol

        “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

        • Fansincebirth says:

          I’m in Orleans and it’s bad enough out there. Kanata would be insufferable but my Canadiens flag would fly proudly!

          I just hope we can beat the Sens (soundly) to shut their fan base up.

          • mark-ID says:

            I hear ya! All my friends are Sens fans.

            “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  38. sg81 says:

    Kaberle should be playing, at LEAST instead of Bouillon. To think Bouillon is better than Kaberle is a joke. I’m not really sure what Kaberle has done wrong. Even this season in limited action he’s +4. I think at the very least he should be playing on the 3rd line with Tinordi instead of Bouillon.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Bouillon is more valuable to the Habs than Kaberle. If you don’t see that, the joke is you.

      Not to mention Kaberle is to be bought out so he won’t play unless 6 defensemen get injured.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Garbo says:

      Bouillon is much tougher, which is something the Habs need badly, especially going into the playoffs.

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      Geeze sg81, have you even watched a game this year? Bouillon is better than Kaberle in almost every aspect of the game. Your position is nuttier thana fruitcake.

      • sg81 says:

        Amazing to claim Bouillon is better than Kaberle in almost every aspect of the game lol. Just amazing… Essentially the only aspect where one could argue he’s better is that he’s “tougher”. Kaberle is 5 times the player Bouillon is the only thing he doesn’t bring is physicality. Which is why he needs to be paired with a defensive d-man like Gorges or Tinordi. Bouillon has been an unremarkable player his entire career. Have you watched any games this year? I guess Bouillon’s occasional useless “tough” check is worth the garbage time he’s played on the PP achieving absolutely nothing. Bouillon couldn’t make 10% of the plays Kaberle makes in his dreams.

    • HardHabits says:

      Pierre Gauthier? Is that you?

    • New says:

      Too close to the summer buy out. If he got hurt they can’t buy him out and would lose the opportunity. Nothing to do with Kaberle (35) and everything to do with the CBA provisions. He’ll catch on next year with another team and his bank account will be fatter.

  39. frontenac1 says:

    The Pens,The Pens……anybody else smell an upset? Fleury vs Nabakov. Just maybe

    • Maksimir says:

      That would be SO SWEET!

      But I just can’t see it unless Pens go in waay overconfident, Fleury/Vokoun both crap the bed and Isles manage to get scoring support from anyone other than Tavares’ line.

      Too many ‘if’s'?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Front, I won’t go as far as say the Isle’s will win the series but I think they will make it interesting. CHeers!

  40. Skeptical says:

    No prediction. Team that plays the best wins. It’s a new season. They don’t have to be concerned about finishing 1st or 8th that’s behind them. Now it’s about winning 4 out of 7 games for 4 rounds. The team that can accomplish that. Wins the cup.

    where you finished from 1-8 don’t count anymore. Team that plays best in the playoffs is what it’s about now.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Way to go out on a limb.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • HardHabits says:

      … and history shows us (since 1994 when the Conference format was introduced) that teams within the top 5 over-all win the Cup 4 times out of 5.

      BTW. The Habs are 4th over-all.

  41. Storman says:

    What I will be looking for early as puck drops, Price to make an early save and confidently backstop team from that point on.. Subban to be Subban almost a given.. But my big time deciding factor early will be watching Pacioretty compete level for dirty ice and corner battles which i have not seen this year consistently from him,, and hopefully watching him up his game big time, get to the paint where dirty playoff goals are scored, free himself in the slot, open himself up on the PP,, when need be,,and get on a nice pro longed Pacioretty hot streak…..

  42. Loonie says:

    Carey Price’s stats against Ottawa this season…..

    Five goals allowed on 89 shots for a .944 save percentage.

  43. habs12 says:

    I don’t see this series being as long as people believe, regardless of the winner:

    If the Habs play like they played the last 2-3 weeks or so (besides the leafs game) its over early — Sens win; if the Habs play their game from the rest of the season (and Price is on point) its over really early as well, with the Habs winning.

    Plus, with the back-to-backs to start, if the Habs win the first, I see them winning the second based off momentum and home ice alone.

    • Garbo says:

      And if they play somewhere in between or a mix of two… do you see where the series might go?

      • habs12 says:

        imo, i see their play this year as extremely polarizing; very good for most of the season, and very bad at the end. Since they have not shown much of the in between throughout the year, i don’t see it happening now. I may be wrong, obviously.

  44. HabFanSince72 says:

    OK on Sunday I was rooting for Ottawa.

    1. Vanity – I wanted us to win the division.

    2. I was looking ahead to avoiding Pitts in round two.

    3. Always Always cheer against the Bruins, without exception.

    But now I am a little worried. Anderson, Karlsson, Daniel F.

    Can anyone ease my troubled mind?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      In full agreement here. Trotz is probably an above average coach, but when running or coaching a team with zero expectations, sometimes the measuring sticks used to evaluate them get skewed.

      I find it not that much different with the Sabres. Now they have an owner with deep pockets, expecations change and voila Coach is fired and Regier suddenly looks stupid.

    • Loonie says:

      Yep. The Senators will have to rely on Zibanejad, Silfverberg, Regin and their bottom six players for secondary scoring. We’re relying on Desharnais, Pacioretty, Eller, Gallagher, Bourque and Galchenyuk for that secondary scoring.

      Jared Cowen and Erik Karlsson have just returned from awful injuries and aren’t 100% healthy. We’re going into the series 100% healthy.

      Carey Price has shown flashes of brilliance in every NHL season he’s had so far, he hasn’t shown it yet this year, so he’s due.

      Craig Anderson hasn’t had a save percentage over .920 when playing more than thirty games in a season. He’s due, to struggle.

      Ottawa really struggles to generate scoring chances against the Habs. The Senators have been god awful on the road for the most part and they aren’t in a position to expose the Habs’ weaknesses(net presence and faceoffs).

    • Mattyleg says:

      You’ve only named three players, and you forgot Neil.

      That’s four.

      The Sens have a lot more Habs than that to worry about.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Loonie says:

        Chris Neil shouldn’t cause any concern from an offensive standpoint. His role in this series will be to agitate and disturb our defensemen on the forecheck.

        If our puck movement is sharp and we don’t retaliate he’s a non-factor.

    • Sportfan says:

      We’ll be fine they are young and yes Karl is back but we usually dominate them even the big bad Neil isn’t that bad.

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

    • Timo says:

      David Desharnais. That should put your mind at ease.

      You’re welcome.

    • BJ says:

      HFS72 the Senators are worried about Eller-Galchenyuk-Gallagher (playing against their third line). Subban-Markov on the PP. And I think Price has usually had good games against them. Feel better?

  45. habsfan0 says:

    Kaberle has some playoff experience and a Stanley Cup ring to show for it.

    I wonder if MT will play him in the postseason,or is the risk of injury too great in terms of his probable buyout this summer?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Unless 5 defenseman get injured, the next game Kabrele plays in he’ll be wearing a different sweater.

    • wjc says:

      Cap is the issue, he has to be bought out. Nothing will change. M.T. loves Bullion they go way back, he is the mentor for rookie defencemen, and he must have some good teaching methods.

      Kabrale train has left the station.

      wjc

  46. Marc10 says:

    Not a great year for Belorussians it would seem. Sure AK46 was a star in that overpaid garage league in Russia, but Little Bro and Grabo were awful this year. So sad…

    That’s your Schadenfreude update.

    http://www.985sports.ca/hockey/nouvelles/trotz-jette-le-blame-sur-kostitsyn-235582.html

  47. Bill says:

    People saying Ottawa can’t score … Karlsson is back. Don’t be too sure about that.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He will help. The sad part is they match up pretty well against the habs. It will be a tight series. Price will have to be on his game and our vets are going to step up.

      My bet is Gionta will be big in this series. He is a big game player.

      I also hope Ryder reappears. He has been awol since Buffalo

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Clay says:

        And Moen needs to step up. Role players like him can make or break a series.

        __________________________
        ☞ “And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” ~ William Wordsworth ☜

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Moen looked good int he last couple games. I like having white in for Energy as well. Armstrong doesn’t bring enough energy on the ice.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Mattyleg says:

            But Army reads the play very well.
            He’s hilarious – just like Moen used to be – he often intercepts passes because of his vision… but then… well… it’s Colby Armstrong on a partial breakaway.

            And we all know how that ends.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I just like the energy White brings but Halpern also is needed for his faceoffs and also for his energy. Armstrong to me needs to bring a bit more than he does. I don’t see him back next year

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • wjc says:

        You have to think Montreal has the edge in experience and depth. But, the series has to be won on the ice.

        I think Price will give Montreal and edge in net. It could be a 5 game series if Montreal plays their ‘A’ game.

        Ottawa should be happy to have made it to the post season.

        wjc

    • GrosBill says:

      Teams have underestimated th Sens all year. I agree with Kooch, they match up well against the Habs and it will be a tight series. Sure they did not score alot (especially without Karlson and Spezza) but they also do not let too many in. A great matchup IMO. I cannot wait, sooo long till Thursday.

      • wjc says:

        I am thnking Montreal in ’5′ if things go according to logic. To much inexperience for Ottawa.

        Price will be a factor, Montreal has more balance on their 4 lines, they are rested and have put the slump behind them. I see Montreal coming into their own in this series, with home ice advantage as another plus.

        wjc

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Should be fun to watch! Have to remember to pick up some beer on the way home to make sure it is nice and cold for Thursday LOL

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Even with Karllson, Bill, the Sens don’t score a lot. I think its more caused by their system then lack of offensive skill. They focus on keeping the puck out if the net 1st 2nd and 3rd. They are the NJ Devils of 2013.

  48. Habitoban says:

    On Jason Collins coming out, best line from a pro athlete belongs to LA’s Dustin Penner who tweeted: “Honestly I don’t care if you are gay or straight as my teammate. As long as you don’t listen to Nickelback.”

  49. leehammer says:

    I really don’t foresee that this series will be as close as people say. One team can score, the other can’t. If we get even halfway decent tending from Price it should be 5 or 6 games max. Particularly if we sweep the back to back to open. Everybody’s questioning the Habs based on their play the last few weeks. But a little adversity makes a team stronger and more humble. Plus what did they really have to play for.

    • Strummer says:

      They seem to have righted the ship in Winnipeg and Toronto.
      If they play like they did Saturday against the Leafs they will just fine.

      I would like to thank Joffrey Lupul for his statements that provided the motivation for Therrien to turn things around in that game.
      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Is it just me or does Lupul seem like a major D bag.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I didn’t notice him much before, in the media, quotes etc… But this year after he came back from his injury, he indeed suddenly seemed to be major D bag!

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Big time. I think he loves himself a lot. He will get injured in the Boston series…I would put money on it

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Strummer says:

          He is totally. I remember during the lockout he lasted 3 games in the KHL.

          He didn’t like the food so he came home.

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

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Didn’t he also complain about some bar that the players in toronto go to and they were told they couldn’t come in during the lockout?

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • wjc says:

      We agree, you said exactly what I think, and I have only been wrong a couple of times and they were dewsies.

      Gomez would make a comeback in Montreal, Galchenuk (sp?) would play the season in Sarnia.

      I predicted Montreal would have a comeback season with healthy lineup and Bourque would be a factor.

      Montreal in 5 or less.

      wjc

  50. commandant says:

    #21 on the draft board is Frederik Gauthier, a huge, 2 way Centre in the QMJHL playing for Rimouski; and the man who scored the Gold Medal winning goal for Canada on Sunday at the U18.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/04/30/frederik-gauthier-2013-nhl-draft-player-profile-21/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Marc10 says:

      Damn that’s early… Huge 2-way centre, eh. Hmm…

      How much are you looking forward to this draft? It’s going to be sick. I hope it works out for us. Lord knows we hit a homerun with #3 last year…

    • Storman says:

      Gauthier is worth moving up to get , but I have a feeling he will be selected closer to pick 10,, than pick 20 or beyond.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      The habs def need some more scoring punch for the future. The dogs were last place in scoring in the entire AHL.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • wjc says:

        Rookie team in Hamilton, no surprises there. Played against players that would have been in the NHL if there had been no lockout.

        Looking for Hamilton to dominate next year, this year was a learning year.

        wjc

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Maybe rookies but looking at their current roster I don’t see any real top 6 potential guys on there (not counting Kristo or Colberg as they played only a handful of games).

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Keeper64 says:

      I watched this kid play in that gold medal game on Sunday and was very impressed. Got great size and touch around the net. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the wing in the NHL. I also agree that he won’t last in the first round much past the 10-12 spot. Guys like that are not a dime a dozen.

    • Carta-Hab says:

      Doesn’t he sound like EXACTLY the type of player the Habs need? He is big, plays a sound two way game, and has offensive upside as well. He is also from Quebec, and we all know how those players are coveted.

      Commandant, can you speak to his physical play? Does he hit? Can he cause issues for opponents on the forecheck with his play? Is he a perimeter player?

      Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, and PJ Stock….The three stooges of HNIC.

      • commandant says:

        He’s not a perimeter player, he goes in on the forecheck, he goes to the front of the net, he works in the corners, etc….

        But he’s not a devastating body checker either. He isn’t afraid to get hit, or to go to tough areas, but he isn’t much of a hitter either.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

  51. twilighthours says:

    Montreal has two bad weeks and every pundit loses his mind. No way the habs are the underdog in this series.

    I’m in the waiting room at the hospital ready for a knee scope. Hmm, what to do while recovering all week? Maybe watch some playoff hockey?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I wouldn’t say montreal is an underdog but I think Ottawa will be a tough team to play against and they have three players back from injury that will make them better. They play great D and have a top tier goalie. Their coach is also quite good.

      It will not be a cakewalk. The fact that they even made the playoffs speaks to the character that they have

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • wjc says:

      You picked a good week to tweek the knees, should be interesting week with Toronto playing Boston on opposite nights as a bonus.

      wjc

  52. Cal says:

    All right, fellow HIOers (e-i-e-i-o-ers)
    To my dismay, there aren’t many songs that pertain to the Senators outside of Sandler’s own parody of his Hannukah song called the Ottawa song. (Google it- it is funny.)

    I’m looking for inspiration. Any and all song suggestions are welcome.
    Either reply here or make a comment on my blog: http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    Thanks!

  53. Loonie says:

    I think the key to our upcoming playoff series will be the first two games Thursday and Friday.

    The more wins we get without Spezza in the Senators lineup the better off we’ll be. That’s redundant I know but his return gives them similar scoring balance as us and makes them harder to beat.

  54. Mike D says:

    In case this hasn’t been posted yet (sorry if it has)….

    Some not-so-good news involving Nathan Beaulieu…and his dad:

    http://www.lfpress.com/2013/04/29/sarnia-sting-coach-faces-assault-charges

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yah Showey posted that last night, that is disappointing news. Most intriguing is the involvement of his father, one would think he would have better judgement. But given they were at what appears to be an all day quasi party, I suspect alcohol and the wisdom that comes with it was a factor.

      Not everyone can hold their booze like our boy Frontenac!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Not the kind of press habs management like.

      Not smart either

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • wjc says:

      Not enough information to draw any conclusions. Could have been totally justified, there are not enough facts.

      Being charged is one thing, being convicted is another. Assault, can be over blown, it could have been touching the shoulder, it could be throwing a drink in some ones face, it could be a threat.

      Charges could be dropped, who knows. The father is better known then the other two, so reporters sensationalize him for a better story.

      If he has never been charged with anything before, could be reasons to let him off lightly. There was no mention of anyone being hurt so he could have slugged someone for stepping over a line.

      wjc

  55. derfab says:

    One seemingly leftover irritant of the Martin era is that Plekanec still doesn’t get the best wingers and is treated like a second center when he has been the #1 for the last 5 years. Respect starts at home. He should have Pacioretty.

    • Loonie says:

      He’s had Gionta, Ryder and Bourque this season. He occasionally gets Brandon Prust but everyone else has too.

      Plekanec has been given a raw deal in the past but I don’t think it’s happened this season.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think what makes him our #1 center at present is his all around game. As such he is expected to have a great deal of defensive responsibilities thus the reason he gets another responsible forward in Gionta. As for the other winger he gets, perhaps you have a point. But one could argue that at present Ryder is our most accomplished goal scorer (historically speaking) and as such, that isn’t such a bad winger to get. Problem is the extra defensive pressure this puts on Plex and Gio.

      • Loonie says:

        Is Plekanec our number one centreman? Jim Hughson told me David Desharnais is.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I was going to respond with Plex is our highest paid center thus proving he is number one, but I am not sure Kaberle is still our 2nd best D-man.

      • derfab says:

        Gionta is not a top 6 anymore and Ryder is what he is, a journeyman who has lost a step. Bourque is trying to reestablish himself. One of these 3 is fine as they are all decent players but the other spot begs for better speed and strength to keep up with Pleks.

  56. Strummer says:

    Some interesting observations on Spotrsnet Hockey Central

    Don Taylor at Sportsnet Pacific picked the Habs to win the Cup

    Damien Cox picked Hawks to beat the Bruins in the final

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

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    1,000!!!!

    • Psycho29 says:

      It only makes sense that HI/O’s most senior member would get that milestone post! ;-)

      Good Morning Burly!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Upon further review, the call on the board stands…..good post!

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hey turns out post 1,000 was at 9:12am, you predicted 9:13. This gives you seniority on all prognosticators here today. So go ahead and tell us what happens in the Habs/Sens series.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Quick question Burly, is it the 1000th post on this thread, or the 1000th post you’ve made?

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Both?

      • Psycho29 says:

        I found his very first post made on HI/O:

        Posted by Burly on February 17, 1924:

        “You Veziniacs make me sick. You’ve obviously never played the game!
        Any serious fan of this hockey game can plainly see that Hainsworth is a Thoroughbred and will be a star in nets for years to come.
        Vezina is a flash in the pan. How many playoff series has he won?
        The only positive thing he has going for him is he has a fine head of hair.

        Give your craniums a shake my friends.”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Crap, I thought that was well buried and archived, who gave you the keys, and how were you able to read the punch cards we used back then?

  58. Ian Cobb says:

    Top teams in the NHL this season.

    1 Chicago
    2 Pittsburgh
    3 Anaheim
    4 Montreal

    Finals between Anaheim (Koivu) and Montreal. My Dream series!.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125


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