Price will be in goal against Maple Leafs

What a difference a year makes.

After finishing in last place in the Eastern Conference last season with a 31-35-16 record, the Canadiens clinched a playoff spot with Thursday’s 5-1 win over the Sabres in Buffalo. The Canadiens (26-9-5) also moved into first place in the Northeast Division, one point ahead of the Boston Bruins (26-10-4) with eight games remaining in the regular season.

“We’re proud to make the playoffs,” coach Michel Therrien said after the game in Buffalo.

“It’s not easy to make the playoffs, there are good teams that don’t make the playoffs,” Therrien added. “It’s a good accomplishment, but it’s only the first step. We realize there’s a lot of hockey to be played and there are more steps coming.”

The Canadiens will be back in action Saturday when they face the Maple Leafs in Toronto (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Carey Price will be back in goal for the Canadiens after backup Peter Budaj extended his winning streak to seven games in Buffalo.

The lines at practice Friday in Toronto were: Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta; Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher; Galchenyuk-Eller-Ryder; Prust-Halpern-Moen; White-Dumont-Blunden.

The defence pairings were: Markov-Bouillon; Subban-Gorges; Beaulieu-Drewiske; Weber-Kaberle.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

Habs guarantee playoff spot with win, by Pat Hickey

Balanced attack promising for postseason, by Pat Hickey

Habs vs. Sabres photo gallery

Habs become X-men, canadiens.com

Subban burning to prove ‘em wrong, sportsnet.ca

Bring it on Habs fans, torontomapleleafs.com

Leafs’ Grabovski out with stomach ailment, Toronto Star

Twelve questions for the stretch run, nhl.com

 

470 Comments

  1. ccdeal46 says:

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  2. wall2bay says:

    As per the Subban sportsnet article…..I think Subban is referring to guys like Francois Gagnon, Bergie and the rest of the usual cronies on Antichambre.

    These guys would’ve traded him for Lecavlier and his contract. They’ve always been a PK hater and doubter!

  3. lakechamplain says:

    So just try to think, and it won’t be easy, if tonight on ‘Coaches Corner’ Don Cherry could for once get beyond his jingoistic, one-sided love fest with all things Toronto, and do these segments that he could use to explain to people how hockey is supposed to be played:

    “First Ron(and remember you just sit there and nod your head) I want to show you youngsters out there how to be a man and take a hit. Watch here as Buffalo bully-boy nails Brendan Gallagher with a hard check on the boards. Gallagher, a good Canadian boy, gets labeled but gets up, even smiles, and waves off his linemate from going after him. Then here’s what makes the Canadians a tougher team than people give them credit for. Boullion, or whats his name, no fighter, stands up for his teammate and even gets that punk Ott down on the ice. It’s guys like this who’re letting the league know that the Canadians aren’t going to be pushed around and let other teams go after their smaller guys.
    And how about the guy who’s really reshaped the character issues of the Canadians, Brandon Prust? Every guy on the team knows that he’s got their back. And hey, he’s more than just a tough guy; I mean the guy leads the team in penalty minutes but is +13! That’s right, another good Canadian boy!
    You know Ron, I usually diss guys like this but I’ve got to give some credit to those fancy dancers on the Canadians, Galchenpuk, or whatever his foreigner name is, and that Subban kid, who by the way is a good Toronto boy. Subban seems to add little touches every game
    that make his game go towards another level. And that kid; Ron, is he really 19, well they made me watch the last few Canadians games for tonight’s show(a few ‘pops’ made the time go by) and I have to tell ya
    that the kid has potential. He’s made some moves and some passes in those games I saw that in a few years could be game changers and crowd pleasers too.
    What do you mean we only have a minute? Well, stay tuned after the game and I’ll show you how my good Toronto boys put it to those wusses from Montreal.
    Yeah, right.

  4. Danno says:

    New thread…

    ________________________________________

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

  5. JF says:

    One of the stats that is always given during games is the number of hits delivered by each team, but I have yet to see anyone correlate hits with victories. Does the team delivering the most hits always win the game? Usually? Sometimes? Almost never? Anyone know? BTW, I think the only category in which the Sabres beat us last game was hits.

    I don’t think the Habs have lost a single game this year because they weren’t big enough or tough enough or didn’t deliver enough hits. The Leafs will almost certainly out-hit us, but if we play our speed and puck-possession game, we should have the upper hand. The only thing that worries me, not so much tonight but if we meet them in the playoffs, is that their goons might try to injure some of our skilled players.

    • Supersonic says:

      the team that owns the puck usually gets out-hit

    • Caesar says:

      Absolutely hits = wins. Scoring goals is a close second. In fact many teams that control the puck 98% of the time often hit the opposition just to pad this stat so that they can win the game. We need to hit way more than score goals.

      In fact the reason we are in last place is because we are too small up front an have made sure only to hit and not score.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      The top 5 teams with the most hits are Toronto-LA-Winnipeg-Rangers-Flyers.
      The teams with the least hits are Chicago-Detroit-Calgary-NJ-Minnesota.

      Remember too, that is a subjective and sometimes homer stat.

    • Danno says:

      This stat is doesn’t always tell the whole story. The team that has possession of the puck most of the time (Habs) doesn’t have as many opportunities to hit during the game. So while it might appear the Habs are less physical and aren’t hitting it’s just a simple fact that they can’t if they are in possession of the puck for most of the game.

      Which brings me to my second point. Why doesn’t the NHL keep stats on the teams’ puck-possession time like they do in soccer and NFL football? It’s an important stat that reveals a lot more than many of the more meaningless stats they keep track of – and it would be cheap and easy to set that up.

      ________________________________________

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

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Jane ! it is how we respond to the tough play that will determine if we win.! If we stay disciplined and out of the box, we can continue to roll our lines. But if we retaliate, it breaks up our lines and ice time flow.

  6. Ian Cobb says:

    Not one other team in the Eastern conference can do what the Hab’s can now do. And that is, roll 4 lines at you with great speed and scoring. They change lines like clockwork every 45 seconds and by the 3rd period the opposition is out of gas and we keep firming on all cylinders.

    The bigger teams only defense is to pound our smaller bodies, if they can catch us. As long as we do not get caught up in their type of goonery and stay disciplined out of the box, we will go a very long way.

    All the players and even the three 1st year rookies have bought into Therrien’s speed game plan. And brother! is it ever fun hockey to watch when we stick to the game plan and put in total effort from all.

    We do not have any all-stars on board, we have an all-star TEAM and plan.
    Scoring is spread over the whole train roster, and you know!, it is hard to stop a train!

    • 24 Cups says:

      Ian – It’s all going to come down to the defense. The team needs to get Diaz back in play.

      I can’t see us going very far with a bottom three comprised of Bouillon, Drewiske and Beaulieu.

      BTW, I noticed that Subban’s brother is 5’9″. Do your people in Belleville see that as a big problem?

      • Clay says:

        With Emelin gone though, even when Diaz comes back we are forced to have one of Drewiske or Beaulieu in the lineup. My vote is for Beaulieu to play, and Drewiske to sit.

        __________________________
        ☞ Montreal is the better of these two teams. No excuses for Bruins. Montreal is better.☜ ~ Jack Edwards

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Steve! he is only 17, time to grow a little, but he has the same shot as PK, speed end to end and he comes up with the puck off the boards.

    • Supersonic says:

      I think you’re right about being able to play 4 lines. Our 4th liners can play around 10-12 minutes a game against any opposition line. Only the bruins and pens have that depth and I like our chances against them. If we meet the leafs it’ll end up being the difference as Orr and Mclaren average about 4 minutes a game

  7. otter649 says:

    So looking forward to tonight instead of my usual routine watching Habs/Leafs on a saturday night in a sports bar – My brother was able to get a couple of seats for tonights game from a coworker(at cost) – Can hardly wait for the puck drop as it’s been a few years since I’ve had the opp to see The Habs live & inperson……

  8. Sportfan says:

    Jays slowly hit a brick wall Jose Reyes out for 3 months

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • LizardKing12 says:

      Yeah I was watching when it happened, looked pretty brutal. Hopefully Lawrie gets back soon and lessens the blow a bit. Reyes was playing damn well though…big loss.

  9. Maritime Ron says:

    If this is the playoff match-up to be, watch for the completely different strategies. Habs have much more speed on Offense and Defence. The Leafs have some speed up front but are terribly slow on the back end and prone to giveaways and panic.

    You just know Carlyle will try and slow things down as much as possible and try to goon the Habs out of the ACC. They will try and take advantage of the 3 little guys on our top 9. Leafs will outhit us 3X1. Over the past 10 games it seems as though the refs have put their whistles in their pockets and that is advantage Leafs.
    Desharnais will be a non factor again, and I fear for Gallagher and Price. Habs can’t have 3 of their top 9 at 5’7 and under 179 lbs and a Defence that isn’t physical overall. Maybe good during the regular season, but that won’t work for 4 playoff series. Look at the last 2 SC winners and the size of their total roster.

    • JUST ME says:

      And the Leafs will take lots of penalties ,get scored against at will lose and come back as the maple laughs.

      Their big guys seem to be important for you even though it has been proven that they have the mobility of an orange cone.

      If we play your game it`s much more simple. We take care of Kessel and you are done ! On the habs side how many players are a threath ?

      The habs will play their own game and the opponent better be ready to skate.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        You did notice I mentioned that their D is ” terribly slow on the back end and prone to giveaways and panic.”

        As for the penalties, last game we beat them we had 1 minor and they had no minors. The lame brain Mike Brown had a major and GMis and we scored 1 PP goal there. in the 6-0 loss, besides all the fights, we had 10 minors and the Leafs had 8. Leafs had 2 pp goals and we had none.

    • Marc10 says:

      It could go that way, but I think, for once against TO, Les Boys will roll 4 lines and skate them right out of their own rink. It will be like the Boston comeback, except this time, it’ll be one way traffic at warp speed with no comeback necessary. Halpern will be a great asset on draws.

      As for DD being ineffective, we’ll see. Max is finally starting to go to the net… When he does that, good things happen and it opens up the ice for DD. Gally will be fine.

      I feel bad, well almost, for the poor bastards matched up against Eller and Chucky. That’s going to be the match up to watch. Ryder will do his thing, Prust will do his, Pleky and Gio as per usual, and PK… Well he’s on another plane of existence right now. We’re going to win.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Agree with you and Carlyle knows his team can’t skate with the Habs. So what do you think he will try to do? If we can turn the other cheek we’ll be OK. And don’t forget, they probably won’t mind taking a penalty for some big hit. Their PK is 3rd best in the league and we are 13th.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Leafs almost always come out very motivated against the Habs, and the reverse is not always true. If Habs are on their game, they should win. But they don’t have the best history of being “up” for the Leafs.

    • SmartDog says:

      If that happens, Prust will earn his pay 10x. And Moen will need to step it up in the physical department.

      If I were the coach my game plan would be – if they take down our little guys we take down their best forwards. Take away Kadri, Lupul and Kessel and they are dead. Teams need to remind the Leafs they are vulnerable. They don’t have the depth to risk their best players by brutal attacks on ours. I think they’ll find that out in the playoffs whoever they play.
      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  10. habsdoc says:

    So how does one get an avatar pic with their name?

  11. habs-hampton says:

    Anyone understand what is going on in Augusta? Tiger Woods signs an incorrect scorecard and DOESN’T get DQed? Sounds like NHL justice. Nobody is going to bite the hand that feeds them!

  12. Mike D says:

    24 Cups posted below about DET signing goalie Jimmy Howard to a 6 year deal at 5.3mil per season. I first heard about that as a “reported rumour” about 3 days ago but decided to wait until it was official before posting some thoughts on it. There’s a few nuggets in here for the Price bashers too, especially those who think he was supremely overpaid.
    ——————
    - Jimmy Howard, at least IMHO, is far from a franchise goalie. I can think of at least 10 ‘tenders that are clearly better than Howard (currently), and there’s about another 5-10 that are as good, or possibly better, than Howard. There’s also a few youngsters who project to be better than Howard too, but I’ll leave them out of it.

    - Carey Price is one of the goalies who is clearly better than Howard – period.

    ———

    - With the exception of this year, Howard has had the benefit of playing behind a very good team who is very solid defensively. Nick Lidstrom anyone?

    - With the exception of this year, Montreal has not been a very strong team overall and constantly struggled to score goals. Not to mention we’ve been without Andrei Markov (our Lidstrom, or Lidstrom-lite) for the better part of 3 seasons. We did have a good team in the 2007-08 season, but Price was also a rookie and only played half the games.

    ———

    - Howard had the benefit of being “brought along slowly to develop properly” as is the Detroit way.

    - Price was thrust into the arguably the hardest position in all of sports – not just A goalie, but the goalie for the Montreal Canadiens – as a 20 year old kid.

    ———

    - Howard is already 29 years old. His first real season (63 games) wasn’t until ’09-’10

    - Price is 4 years younger than Howard (25), yet has played 76 more NHL games. As stated above, his first real season (41 games) was ’07-08, which is two years earlier than Howard.

    ———

    - Everyone in their right mind would trade Jimmy Howard for Carey Price.

    - Nobody in their right mind would trade Carey Price for Jimmy Howard.

    ——————

    So, despite all those factors and facts, Carey only makes 1.2mil per season more than Howard. A mere 1.2mil extra for all of that above – oh and let’s remember Carey hasn’t hit his prime yet.

    Both players have 6 year deals, signed one year apart from each other. If this is representative of the goalie market in today’s NHL, Carey’s deal is, at the very least, fair.

    Sorry, just wanted to point those things out for the Price-bashers out there. Not to mention the Habs-bashers.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Agreed. Jimmy Howard’s deal makes me feel even better than I already did about Carey’s.

    • Marc10 says:

      Ouch. Now that’s perspective.

    • Clay says:

      Personally, the only problem I have with the Price contract is that it takes more than 10% of the cap. I don’t think any player’s salary should do this (except maybe Crosby). It becomes difficult to keep other stars and afford a good supporting cast. Let’s hope the cap rises considerably in the next few seasons.

      __________________________
      ☞ Montreal is the better of these two teams. No excuses for Bruins. Montreal is better.☜ ~ Jack Edwards

    • Caesar says:

      yeah but Price does not steal games …..

  13. Whatever says:

    As for a rivalry with Toronto, I grew up in the age of Toronto being in another conference and never saw a playoff series between the two. Also remember the Bill Derlago years and commemorative videos of winning two playoff rounds. In the hockey world, I see Toronto as the little brother to Montreal. Always bugging the shit out of you just to be noticed when in reality you have better things to do, with better people.

    Leaf Nation – The envy that unites us all.

  14. habs-hampton says:

    “There is no Toronto-Montreal rivalry. The Leafs killed it.” – Ken Dryden

  15. habsdoc says:

    Habs for me and Leafs for my sister and her girls (in TO)…family pride and bragging rights at stake here!

  16. Lafleurguy says:

    I’m a poor substitute for Burly, but he would have pointed out the Dave Stubbs’ “Tiger is a cheetah” tweet 48 minutes ago.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  17. Mavid says:

    Rivalry’s for me are Boston..Toronto..Nordiques..thats it..

  18. Sportfan says:

    Few things that would be funny in a sick twisted kind of way. One Gionta gets shoved into Reimer knocking him out once again and two Subban hits Kadri the way he tried for Lucic, this time connecting.

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Grabbed The Cup says:

      I disagree, there’s nothing sick or twisted about that.

      You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Unger!

  19. Un Canadien errant says:

    I need to say this again: there is no Habs-Leafs rivalry. I have never seen them as a rival. It’s always been Nordiques, Bruins, Flyers, in that order. The other teams are mere opponents. Schedule fillers. They provide a different colour, a contrasting jersey on the telecasts.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/01/maple-leaf-blues.html

    If anything, maybe anglophone fans have been brain-washed into believing that a rivalry now exists, after many fallow years, subjected as they are to TSN hype and HNIC’s resident lunatic’s homoerotic crimes. Most French-Canadian fans though are insulated from the Toronto media’s attempts to validate their team by comparing it to ours, and wouldn’t think of the Leafs as a rival. They’re a regular annoyance that has to be dealt with, like the Sabres or Senators. C’est tout.

    • Marc10 says:

      “HNIC’s resident lunatic’s homoerotic crimes”

      That is priceless! Are you channeling JohnnyB?

      I nearly spat out my coffee laughing out loud. Woke the kids with my subsequent coughing fit…

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      There is certainly a rivalry for those of us who lived thru the 60s — especially right in TO. :)

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Normand

      Your dating yourself my friend! Back in the day, Toronto and Montreal was the biggest rivalry in sport. When they traveled by train, every train station along the 401 corridor had people wearing their colors and cheering! Some throwing stones! Never the Hab fans though.!
      Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yeah, I probably am. I was lucky enough to grow up in the seventies, became ‘aware’ of my surroundings the final year of Jean Béliveau’s career. So for my generation and going forward, I argue that there isn’t a Leafs rivalry, or at least there wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for the life support the Toronto-centric media has provided for decades. And again, this is ineffective for the franco fans, who feel just a general dislike for Toronto and anything associated, but no real feelings of rivalry with the Leafs.

    • piper says:

      It is a huge rivalry if you live in outside of Quebec. Believe it or not the Habs do have a lot of fans outside of Quebec.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        It all depends on how you define “huge rivalry”, and I suspect you and I differ. There is a huge rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox. They compete with each other on a yearly basis. This is not the case between the buffoons in blue and Nos Glorieux.

        As someone else put it, there is no rivalry between the boxer and his punching bag.

        I suspect what a lot of people are seeing as a rivalry is more of a lot of one-way hype.

        • piper says:

          call it what you want.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          UCE, I think you meant Red Sox.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Noted. I will edit. Thanks bro.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            I would also chime in with the others that there is a real rivalry between the two clubs. No matter where the Leafs have been in the standings over the years, most often well below the Canadiens, they have usually provided stiffer competition for the Habs in head-to-head encounters than their ranking would suggest would be the case. In those instances they’re no longer punching bags but a team punching above its weight and I don’t think the Canadiens should ever take them lightly. Perhaps the games aren’t /weren’t contested at the same fever pitch as those involving the Bruins, Flyers and Nordiques but the will to win is more pronounced when playing the Leafs than it is when facing the 26 other teams. And certainly for Hab fans in Ontario the intensity goes up a few notches.

    • punkster says:

      Context, UCE…context.

      As a former Leaf fan who became disillusioned with them in the 80s and finally saw the true light of the Habs 20 years ago I can attest to the existence of a rivalry. My many family members and life long friends who still live in Ontario can attest to the existence of a rivalry.

      Bear in mind that Leaf fans have so very little to hold on to and that fans of their 4 Cup wins in the 60s are of an age, as I am myself, that looks back wistfully on those halcyon days. The rivalry existed then and in their minds it exists today. They have passed it on to their children so that many of today’s Leaf fans still see the Canadiens as their number one rival.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I guess I’ve provided my context and we differ there. My experience of the Leafs is of ridiculous team, as I linked above, with Tiger Williams and Harold Ballard robbing it of any credibility, despite the presence of Darryl Sittler, Borje Salming, and Ian Turnbull.

        It was odd to this kid that players like Valiquette and Boutette and Quenneville didn’t speak French.

        The Leafs were a speedbump on the way to Stanley Cup wins. We swept them out of the first round two years straight in the 70′s, and I remember one series ending with Tiger Williams trying to physically get at a referee, to avenge the fact that he’d called a much-deserved penalty at the end of the game on the idiot in question. As if that penalty hadn’t been called, the Leafs would have won the game and the next three. Right. Larry Robinson held Tiger back and talked some sense into him, which I found odd since none of his own teammates were doing so. René Lecavalier and Gilles Tremblay both solemnly intoned that Larry had just saved Tiger’s career, that if he’d been allowed he’d have assaulted him and would have been expelled from the league. Even as a boy, I idly wondered if Larry had done the right thing. I would have let him go crazy. Or rather, more crazy than he normally was. It would have been good riddance.

    • Danno says:

      Are you saying Don Cherry is gay?
      Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

      ________________________________________

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

  20. Skeptical says:

    The Habs and the Leafs are pretty evenly matched. The edge maybe goes to the Habs. Tonight will be a goalies game. For “Danno” I’m predicting a Habs win 4-3

  21. Mavid says:

    :-) sorry I forgot my happy faces :-) :-)

  22. Old Bald Bird says:

    That third to last link in the post, Bring it on Habs Fans, is perhaps more truthful than we care to admit. I mistakenly wore my Habs sweater to Tim’s a few weeks ago — as in a real woolen sweater and not a jersey — and was immediately accosted by a fellow Habs fan. He thought of me as a brother and made a pest of himself. He was loud, rude and obnoxious. Everyone in the restaurant could hear his drivel. He denigrated the Sens and their fans (I live near Ottawa) and took much pride in going to the games just to be a sh!7 disturber. He could barely fathom why he was thrown out of a game for tossing something on the ice because, afterall, it was a soft and harmless object. He was a total embarrassment.

    Of course, we know he wasn’t typical, but we hear much dissing of fans of other teams on this site, and I am just reminding everyone that all fandoms are the same. There’s good and bad supporters of all teams — except maybe in Boston and Philly. ;)

    Anyway, here’s the link to the Leaf Nation post repeated.
    http://blog.mapleleafs.com/hab-fans-this-ones-for-you/

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Good points, eagleman. Ulmer has a soft spot for the Habs based on what I’ve read of his past work, including book-writing. Obnoxious is what obnoxious does, and just because many folks hitch their wagons to a great team or cause does not fool all of the people all of the time. Another Toronto sportswriter who has a soft spot for the Habs is Damien Cox, but that’s a topic for another day.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Nice post Eagle. Idiot people are idiot people regardless of which team they root for. We’ve seen examples of that here on HI/O. Although I’ve never met a decent Bruin fan I’m sure they exist somewhere. :)

      • Marc10 says:

        I did have a nice chat with a morbidly obese family from Beantown back in the eighties in the nosebleeds up in the old Forum. Knuckles and Jay Miller went at it, Skrudland tried to kill Ken ‘The Rat’ Linesman, there was a full bench clearing brawl at the end of the game… and the Habs won the game.

        They were a lovely bunch, so I can say there are nice fans in Boston.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Hey so sorry Man! I was completely sotted!

    • wildwilly says:

      “In the intervening years, the Leafs have made the final four three times. The Canadiens just once. Just thought I should mention that.”

      Is that how Maple Leaf fans live with the fact they haven’t won a cup in 46 years?

      I hope “We’re number 4!” doesn’t replace the “Ole! Ole!” song anytime soon in Montreal.

      We are lucky to have a rich hockey history and I agree the fans should look to Beliveau and Richard as models for their actions. They are classy people.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Thanks for bringing up the incomparable Jean Beliveau, a giant among mortals, and one whose dignity and aura transcends his profession. Of course, we idolize Maurice Richard, but he could be a dirty SOB, mostly out of necessity in order to survive the vicious dirty play of that era (no TV cameras to capture things like what Taylor Hall did).

        Unfortunately, the younger generations will never get to fully appreciate the full legend of Mr. Beliveau. (Some of them have only seen a torch in a movie).*

        “May you live in interesting times.”
        *justgotane-mailfromgentlmanjim,postyoulater

    • Matt04 says:

      Hi Everyone. First post in a long time. The little lady and I have tickets for the game tonight. Fifteen rows up. I. Cannot. Wait. Quick question: Does anyone know what time the game day skate/practice is and if it’s open to the public? Would love to go down and get some John Hancocks.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Just an addendum: pretty well all of the Leaf and Sens fans that I have met are pretty good folk … and most Hab fans too — naturally.

    • Mavid says:

      :-) Living in the area Old Bald one you know there are more than a few Sens fans who fall in this category too..I was only a couple of seasons ago that they booed Spezza so bad there was talk of him moving on out.. in my own personal experience they are far more jerk like than any leaf fans I know, or work with and there are plenty.. :-)

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        It sounds like you have had some bad experiences, but you just can’t stereotype. That’s my main point. If you could, based on my experience with that loudmouth, one would conclude that Habs fans are a pretty vile lot.

        • Mavid says:

          :-) I try not to..but its hard..my hate is deep (in case you did not notice)

          :-) :-)

          • Old Bald Bird says:

            I understand to some degree. I moved from Montreal to TO in the early sixties when the Leafs were winning three cups in a row. The attitude was pretty hard to take.

        • Mavid says:

          :-) they need to be reminded that :

          they have not won a cup either..80+ if you count the really old ones
          their corporate boxes sit empty on many nights too
          not every player on their team is the best in the NHL
          they have jerks too who boo players, get drunk and fight, and say stupid things..
          they don’t riot because its too late, they have all left before the game is over to get out of the parking lot…however they do beat people up outside their rink.
          they seem to have forgotten all of that stuff.. :-)

  23. JohnBellyful says:

    :)
    NEW YORK – Several hundred people picketed outside the head office of the National Hockey League Friday morning, one day after the league and players’ union announced they are partnering with an organization that targets homophobia in athletics.
    ‘Hypocrites, that’s what they are,” shouted one of the more vocal protesters visibly upset with the league and NHL Players’ Association for joining forces with You Can Play Project.
    “Our motto is ‘Hockey Is For Everyone,’ and our partnership with You Can Play certifies that position in a clear and unequivocal way,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “While we believe that our actions in the past have shown our support for the LGBT community, we are delighted to reaffirm through this joint venture with the NHL Players’ Association that the official policy of the NHL is one of inclusion on the ice, in our locker-rooms and in the stands.”
    But the league and union appear to have opened up a can of worms they never expected when they linked arms in a politically correct stance that asserts a fundamental human right.
    Here’s what the spokesperson for the picketers had to say when questioned about why they would protest the NHL becoming the first professional sports league to publicly express its support of athletes and fans who are homosexuals.
    “Why do we hate gays? What are you talking about!!!? I’m gay. Dozens of us here are either gay or lesbian. But all of us – All. Of. Us – are huge supporters of hockey – the way it should be played,” said Tony Ambercrombie Highsmith (not his real name; he requested a pseudonym because he works in a profession that’s widely known to be biased against gays).
    “We endorse what the NHL and players’ association did yesterday – in principle. Our beef is that they didn’t go far enough. You Can Play Project is all fine and dandy but you can’t play if you’re injured, or realize your full potential if you’re in fear of your health every time you take the ice,” Highsmith said. “It’s why we’ve started the You Can Play Safely Project that takes aim at the goons who are ruining the game. The league doesn’t need to concern itself with players’ sexual orientation, but it should be concerned about their problems with orientation, after they’ve had ‘their bell rung.’ Most of the time they need help to find their way back to the bench.”
    Highsmith scoffed at the NHL motto, ‘Hockey is for Everyone’, and Bettman’s assertion the league’s official policy is one of inclusion.
    “In practice, it’s one of concussion for everyone,” he said, “which does make it non-discriminatory. Superstars and pluggers are equally at risk of getting dinged in the head and having their career cut short.”
    Highsmith said You Can Play Safely Project hopes to shame the NHL into doing more to protect its players by wearing head bandages to games, and creating a website that spoofs director of player safety Brendan Shanahan’s videos explaining why little or no supplementary disciplinary is administered in cases that clearly warrant severe punishment.
    “We fear that won’t be enough, however,” Highsmith said. “What we need is a high profile player of talent to step forward and openly admit he’s afraid for his well-being every shift he plays because of the headhunters out there. A player who’s respected by his peers and by the fans who’s willing to toss aside the sport’s bluster of machismo and expose his vulnerability.
    “Like when he’s facing the boards trying to corral a puck.”
    The NHL and NHLPA issued a joint statement saying players have nothing to worry about because their disability insurance plan is one of the best in the world.

    – “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” – :)

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning JB. When Mario spoke out a couple seasons ago about the head hunting I thought it would gain some momentum but here we are two years later and the problem, if anything, has gotten worse. I hate to even think this, yet alone say it, but I’m convinced it is going to take a death on the ice for the league and the NHLPA to seriously rid themselves of these types of hits.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Morning, mon amis.
        Would never want to see that happen, but maybe the next worst thing could achieve the same end: a faked death. One of the teams takes a courageous stand by setting up a ruse where one of its players collapses after getting fouled and remains motionless as he’s taken off the ice. Nothing is released for 12 hours fuelling speculation that he’s dead. We’ll see how many crocodile tears are shed then.
        Which brings me to players rapping their sticks on the boards and the ice and the fans cheering when a player is carried off the ice. What are they saying? “Way to go for taking a cheap shot. And thanks for not giving us the finger for letting this crap continue for so long.”
        Edit: BTW, he was speaking as an owner and so could be viewed as protecting his assets (which, admittedly, is more than what other owners are prepared to do.) Wouldn’t it be great if the top 12 skilled players selected by fans used the all-star weekend to decry violence in hockey by issuing a statement that censures the idiots among within their ranks.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It’s high time the You Can Play Safely Project was launched. Nice work.

      ———————————————————————–

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  24. Habfan10912 says:

    I see TSN has finally got around to putting an X next to Montreal in the standings this morning. :)

    • Marc10 says:

      Had to get confirmation from Dr Recchi first.

    • Mavid says:

      :-) TSN is one of the worst sites I stopped commenting years ago..they garbage that they put on is mind boggling..like 12 year olds are running it..and any posts that criticizes the two beloved Ontario teams never gets put on..I also recently visited Sportsnet (which is not a hell of alot better) and they have us 6th in the power ranking?? Now I know smart folks don’t put alot of stock in these things but honestly 6th?? Everyone else including the horrible TSN have us in the top 3..
      I realize this is a Habs forum, but this is one of the best places…there are a few bias fans but for the most part everyone here is very realistic..except for Timo of course..he is our special one.. :-)

  25. Habfan10912 says:

    I watched the Devils last night and like Buffalo, they seem to have mailed it in even though they’re right in a hunt for a playoff spot. It looks like there are 4 teams fighting it out for the last 3 spots if you’re like me and think the Leafs and Sens are in and the Devils are now out. The west is more interesting. It looks like 5 teams fighting for 2 spots. Some great hockey to watch in these next two weeks.

    • Marc10 says:

      NYR v Isles is pretty much where it’s at.

      The West is nuts. Detroit won’t make it I would guess. They are up against it.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Since Brodeur got his 666th win The Devils have not won. Coincidence? I think not.

      There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

      • Captain aHab says:

        I would have thought getting the 666th win on a Devils team would have been a positive.

        —————-
        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

        • Thomas Le Fan says:

          Weird or what? Maybe there’s a higher power that disagrees? ;)

          There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      No team in the NHL depends more on 1 player than the Devils and Kovalchuk.
      Before he was injured the Devils were 15-11-6.
      Since he was injured they are 0-5-4.

  26. 24 Cups says:

    I’m not sure if it has been mentioned but Jimmy Howard just re-signed with Detroit for six years at 5.3M a season.

    The Wings are an interesting team right now. Instead of being the usual Cup favourites they are in a major battle to just make the playoffs (two point lead on three other teams). Do they keep applying Band-Aids or start the rebuild before it’s too late?

    • Marc10 says:

      They’ll tweak I think and go with some kids. Their biggest concern would be to partially replace Lidstrom via free agency and prepare in a similar fashion for a post Datsyuk future.

      If the UFA gambit fails, they’ll rebuild for real. My guess anyway…

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Interesting question on the best way to proceed. Pittsburgh smelled the place up for a few years and collected some stars via the draft. Islanders have tried a similar route and may just now be reaping the benefits. I think I’d agree with Marc that Detroit will try to rebuild while remaining in the playoff hunt. I wonder if it will work?

        • 24 Cups says:

          There are no UFAs this summer that could be considered major building blocks for a team to quickly re-tool around. The Wings may have lots of cap space but who would they spend it on?

          It’s interesting to compare them to Montreal. Howard is no Price and there certainly isn’t a Subban or Galchenyuk on their horizon.

          I think they need to face the music soon but giving Howard a six year deal might signify that the Wings will try to rebuild on the fly.

    • Captain aHab says:

      I still think Detroit lucked out big time on Datsyuk and Zetterberg. I don’t care that Detroit fans say their scouting was just that much better than anyone else’s, they still lucked out just as we did on Markov. If they had any inkling that these two guys would be as good as they turned out does anyone seriously think they would have taken a chance and picked a bunch of stiffs before them? My guess is that their scouting isn’t that great when you look at what they’ve picked since.

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Steve, Marc, Jim, good morning. Thanks for inspiring me to look up Niklas Lidstrom’s career. 3rd round pick in ’89. Ordinary stats over 3 seasons in the Swedish Elite League (4G 19A in the final season). Similar stats to P.K. Subban in his 3rd NHL season as a 24 yr. old (10G 46A). Good thing for Steve Yzerman that Devallano (Holland’s mentor) got Lidstrom with a 3rd round pick. Just to add one more point about the Red Wings, they won 4 Cups since 1997 with only Lidstrom on all four teams, their goalies were Mike Vernon, Chris Osgood, and a past prime Dominek Hasek. Curtis Joseph sat on the bench in 2008. Our current goaltending is equal to what the Wings had.
      Peace/Out

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Marc10 says:

        They had a couple of all-stars/hall of famers on some of those teams… Stevie Y, Shanny (now Shanasham), Lidstrom, Federov, Larionov, and a decent supporting cast each time out.

        I don’t know that we have players of that calibre with the exception of PK, Markov, Price, Chucky down the road… (and I’m not saying any Hab is a hall of famer on that list…)

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Morning bud. Detroit always seemed to have a stellar defense to make up for somewhat average goaltending. That formula seemed to work well for them.

  27. Captain aHab says:

    Am I to understand that Hall got away without any suspension for his slash? If so, then this is yet another example of stars getting preferential treatment. If a guy like Parros does this, he is gone at least 5 games.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • Marc10 says:

      More of the same eh… Disgraceful, but not surprising.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Didn’t even receive a minor penalty. Daddy must like Hall. For those that haven’t seen the hit or the two handed slash, here it is.

      http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/11/videos-taylor-hall-takes-a-huge-hit-unleashes-a-big-slash/

      • Clay says:

        Thanks for the link – I missed that one. can’t believe both refs and both linesmen missed that (linesmen can still call major penalties, if I’m not mistaken). That is definitely a suspendable offense.

        __________________________
        ☞ Montreal is the better of these two teams. No excuses for Bruins. Montreal is better.☜ ~ Jack Edwards

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Agree Clay. Captain seems to think there is no suspension either. I would have thought we’d hear one by now. If I’m not mistaken Hall would also be a repeat offender as well.

          • Captain aHab says:

            He would indeed so he would be gone 6-7 at least as I think he got 5 the first time. Think the Edmonton owner called Shanny?

            —————-
            Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • Captain aHab says:

        But, but, but Kerry Fraser says it isn’t suspension worthy because Hall did it out of frustration. So I guess next time Chara hits one of our guys hard, it’s OK to two-hand slash him on the knee out of frustration?

        That had to be one of Fraser’s stupider columns. I also like how he uses about 25 lines to explain something that could have been explained as: the refs blew the call on Hall’s slash.

        —————-
        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Unbelievable Captain. Do you think the fact that 4 on ice officials missed what everybody else in the building saw, played a part in no suspension?

          • Captain aHab says:

            Could be. Or if Hall had slashed Stamkos, he’d be gone. I have no doubt that Shanahan’s office likely called him and told him not to do this again or they wouldn’t cover for him.

            —————-
            Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  28. Danno says:

    The Vezina went to Ken Dryden and Michel Larocque; the Hart, the Art Ross, and the Lester B. Pearson trophies were collected by Guy Lafleur; the Conn Smythe was awarded to Larry Robinson; and Bob Gainey won the Selke. It was 1977-78 and the Habs won their third straight Stanley Cup

    ________________________________________

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

  29. Marc10 says:

    Pretty cryptic observations by PK in the Sportsnet link above.

    I don’t know who bagged him or doubted him in the press during his hold out besides the odd fan… Is he referencing PJ? As far as MB or MT, they were always complimentary… And now they’ll pay him too.

    • habstrinifan says:

      WOW!

    • downd says:

      I usually don’t post on HIO but I logged into to post something about that Sportsnet article. Sounds to me that PK is secretly holding a grudge against everyone that made comments against him while he was holding out. Probably won’t be a Habs after two years.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        PK is not going anywhere.

      • Marc10 says:

        I have zero worries about that. He’s a building block along with Price, Max, Chucky, etc, if he wants it. The veterans will be replaced in terms of leadership these next two to three years and PK will lead the D.

        He’s going to be a Hab for a very long time. It’s his team and his season is a statement to that affect. As to who denigrated him, I would imagine he has some media in mind in TO.

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      PK took a lot of crap last year on Antechambre. I remember Denis Gauthier declaring that the Habs would never win anything as long as he was on the team. Don’t know if that would have gotten back to PK though.

  30. habsguy says:

    wouldnt it be nice to see the habs SMOKE the laffs tonight and start their slide out of the playoffs !!!!!!!!

    • Clay says:

      It wasn’t much of a rivalry with the Leafs perennially outside of the playoff picture. I’m actually happy to see this rivalry take off again.

      __________________________
      ☞ Montreal is the better of these two teams. No excuses for Bruins. Montreal is better.☜ ~ Jack Edwards

    • Danno says:

      “These are the Canadiens of P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher and Brandon Prust; of balanced offence and dynamic special teams, and Carey Price, a terrific goaltender who is seeing fewer shots these days.”

      The article assumes they have clinched a spot “Maple Leafs have snuggled up to a playoff spot” but there isn’t an X beside the Leafs in the standings yet. If the Habs beat them tonight we could possibly kick them out of the spot they feel is in the bag by beating them again in the last game of the regular season. Wouldn’t that be something?

      ________________________________________

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

    • Clay says:

      It’s true – he does merit ‘consideration’. But that’s all. This award will most likely be won by the coach of one of 2 other original six teams. Chicago and the Habs have had too good of seasons for either Joel Quenneville or Michel Therrien not to get the nod.
      My vote goes to Michel Therrien though, because of the dramatic turnaround. Am biased? Maybe, but I think I’m being fair in this instance.

      __________________________
      ☞ Montreal is the better of these two teams. No excuses for Bruins. Montreal is better.☜ ~ Jack Edwards

    • Marc10 says:

      Math says Therrien, but Boudreau and Carlyle have done an amazing job… And Maclean in Ottawa. That’s just insane was occurred there in OTT the last two years.

      • 24 Cups says:

        For me it comes down to Therrien, Boudreau or MacLean.

        Carlyle’s laffs are still a bubble team and there’s lots of those in both conferences. Quenneville’s Black Hawks have had a great core for the past few years so it’s not so much about coaching in Chicago. Having said that, I look at their roster (past their big five) and I’m not overly impressed. So coaching must be part of it.

  31. jols101 says:

    Big tilt tonight!!! I’m pumped!!!

    See ya all back here at 7 bells.

    Go Habs Go!!!.

  32. Bash says:

    Tonight’s contest will give us a pretty good indication of potential playoff success. I fully expect the Leafs to be physical especially on our D and against G G G. Fair enough. We will not be intimidated by that.
    But we have to play to our strengths…speed and transition will solve the aggressive forecheck and tenacity in their zone will bring some PP opportunities. If our PP is going we win this game handily.
    In any event we do have some balanced attack from three lines and our fourth line looks good with Halpern and Prust. I would love to see Moen raise his level – It’s time Travis!

    What I find amazing is that so many posters fear an improved Leafs team that is not in any way a cup contender.

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

    • The Cat says:

      Habs have nothing to fear from the leafs in a playoff series. And I agree Id like to see Moen’s ass get inspired a little.

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

      • JF says:

        The main thing I fear from the Leafs is that their goons will try to take out some of our skilled players by elbows to the head, heavy hits into the boards, etc. Even if we win the series, we could emerge so battered and bruised that we’ll be easy prey in the next round

        • Bash says:

          Yep! They have a couple of idiots who are capable of that. It brings us back to the need for an enforcer during regular season but that argument has been pretty much drained.

          But these Leafs are hardly the Flyers of the 70′s. There might be a few moments tonight but that is all.

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

  33. sweetmad says:

    Klondike there are several places on Robson street where you can watch the game,there is a French place on Davie street where they have RDS,I would ask you to my place to watch the game but my other half will be in bed,as he has to go to work at 12 he is a baker,so I have to watch the games quietly,so that wouldn’t be any fun for you.
    Anybody going to the game my other half hangs a little maple leaf from the front of his HABS ballcap by a piece of string and blows it from his face,cool if all HABS fans did this would make them mad.
    GO HABS GO

  34. Marc10 says:

    Leaf fans are shameless. I’d say they lost their dignity a while ago, but let’s face it, they were born without it.

    They talk about having ‘a nation’, but really it’s a marketing slogan thought up by the soulless suits that fleece them year after year.

    You know that most of these clowns would jump ship were a new team to show up in North York and win a round.

    Leaf Blowers see making it to the final four as some kind of achievement. It’s not. That’s a measuring stick for the chronically mediocre.

    I can’t wait for Les Boys to put them to the sword so they can go back to talking about the Blue Jays.

    • The Cat says:

      The riots when winning or losing, fans gang piling on certain players like Brisebois, booing ex-players…Please, hab fans have no lessons in proper conduct to give.

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

      • Marc10 says:

        You’re the guy who insults other posters so I guess you have a point… (Referencing your recent post on unwavering Price supporters…)

        Then again, not sure what team you actually support as a hockey fan… Detroit? The 80′s Oilers? Maybe the Habs?
        :)

        • Clay says:

          Come on now Marc – despite your personal animosity towards The Cat, everything he said in his post are verifiable facts.

          __________________________
          ☞ Montreal is the better of these two teams. No excuses for Bruins. Montreal is better.☜ ~ Jack Edwards

          • Marc10 says:

            I agree. No worries. Was mostly referencing the Leaf Blog linked above before Gros Minou chimed in with a reasonable observation and quality troll. Thought I’d troll him back as he was begging for it.

        • habstrinifan says:

          The cat is right on all the instances he brought up.

  35. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Hello west coast!
    Hey I am flying down from Whitehorse to Vancouver tomorrow. Are there any recommended places downtown to watch the game with some fellow Habs support group members? Aka HiO?


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