Red Wings in battle to keep playoff streak alive vs. Habs

The NHL record for consecutive years making the playoffs is 29, set by the Boston Bruins from 1967-68 through 1995-96.

The Detroit Red Wings have made the playoffs for 22 consecutive seasons, but that streak is in jeopardy this year. 

Heading into Thursday’s game against the Canadiens at Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690) the Red Wings were barely holding on to the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference standings with a 33-25-14 record. The Canadiens are on a three-game winning streak.

“The focus has to be on tonight’s game,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told reporters after Thursday’s morning skate in Detroit. “There are two points on the line for us. It’s the same thing for the Red Wings. I like the way we’ve played lately. We’ve done a lot of good things. We just have to keep focusing to play some solid hockey.”

This will be the third of four meetings between the two teams this season and the Red Wings have won the first two. It’s the first game of a four-game road trip for the Canadiens, who enter the game sitting in second place in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of Tampa Bay. The Lightning plays host to the New York Islanders Thursday night.

After Thursday’s morning skate, Therrien announced that Carey Price will start in goal, while Douglas Murray will be a healthy scratch on defence and forward George Parros will also sit out.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings are expected to look against the Wings:

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek
Galchenyuk-Plekanec-Gallagher
Bourque-Briere-Gionta
Bournival-Eller-White

Markov-Emelin
Bouillon-Subban
Weaver-Tinordi

During his morning press conference, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had some interesting things to say about Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban and his experience at the Sochi Olympics. See the video below:

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

(Videos by Dave Stubbs/The Gazette)

Canadiens vs. Wings preview, NHL.com

Game Notes

Game Day Report, Canadiens.com

Wings desperate to keep playoff streak alive, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Habs aren’t taking playoff spot for granted, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

All of Canada could be cheering Go Habs go! by Cam Cole of Postmedia News

Game Day Blog, detroitredwings.com

Wings know game vs. Habs is a big one, Detroit Free Press

290 Comments

  1. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Chris,
    Enjoyed your post about Habs and rivals. I share your distaste for Calgary and for the some reason you mention, to the extent that I was shouting for Tampa when they met in the finals. I also lament that Iginla spent most of his career there, a tragedy surpassed only by the fact that he is now with the Bruins, the only team I really dislike.

    That’s right, not even the Leafs. I grew up always wanting other Canadian teams to win, which meant cheering for the Leafs and Canucks whenever Montreal wasn’t playing. (see UnkleGary’s post below about cheering for Canadian teams).

    Not too long ago I began finding it difficult to cheer for the Canucks and Senators. I wasn’t able to sustain any belief or positive regard for them, try as I might. I spent the 2011 finals just wishing a large sink-hole would open up and devour both clubs! In last year’s playoffs, choosing the Leafs over the Bruins presented no dilemma for me. I also had no trouble shouting for them in their high-intensity 1st Round tilt with the Islanders in 2002, led by Gary Roberts.

    To me it’s interesting then that you reserve major opprobrium for the Flyers. You previously mentioned it the other night and I had been meaning to ask you was it for historical reasons? In today’s post you mention all the players that made the club contemptible (as well as some exceptions, though you left out Bernie Parent), but I just don’t see that ethos any more, despite the sinister presence of Clarke. And once Pronger and Mike Richards were gone, I found them quite easy to admire. Love their captain. Love what they did to Boston in the playoffs not too long ago — down 3-0 on the scoreboard and in games, yet eliminated the Bruins! WOW!)

    Them having our number, though, is the top-priority monkey I would like to get off our backs.

  2. TheCanadianDagger says:

    I grew up playing “street” hockey on a gravel road. We had a two week window where the road was worn bare and when the grader came by and ruined it.

  3. Dunboyne Mike says:

    There are too many interesting points to reply to on this thread.

    (You know when Randolph Duke has a heart attack in the NY Stock Exchange near the end of Trading Places? That’s me reading this thread. Can you cue that one up, Prop?)

  4. jimmy shaker says:

    Heading to the joe in about an hour…..hoping this game will be better than the last game I took in. That was a 3-2 loss with Lidstrom scoring 5 on 3 PP goal and Moen and Pouliot replying for the habs. That must have been what 3 years ago? 6 rows behind the habs bench, should be sweet! Hoping PK and Vanek put on a nice show……Carey takes care of the crease and danny b chips in with a timely goal as well. Let’s go boys, make this worth my time and money please! Can’t wait to hear TSN commenting on how many habs fans there are at the joe, it’s almost half and half when montreal comes to town…..

    Shake and bake and I’m gone!

  5. Maritime Ronn says:

    Perhaps few would argue that Coach Babcock is among the elite coaches in the NHL.

    That mentioned, he had some interesting observations concerning Subban in the included HIO video – and VERY many were Subban compliments, yet the following statements were interesting and may provoke more questions than answers:

    And not to forget, some great Subban talent/character compliments PRIOR to these observations…
    ———————————

    ” ….He didn’t play much but he was a big part of the team.
    He probably took some things away about preparation – being composed – about execution and about understanding the game…about HOW managing the clock is…he’s learned a lot about those things.”

    “Anytime you’re a high end player but you’re a KID, it takes you a while to get as good as you can….
    —————-

    Just curious.
    – What was Coach MB saying when he mentioned about Subban, ” …Managing the clock?”

    – Coach Babcock ( and Team Canada Management/Coaching staff) still considers Subban “A Kid”… yet the “Kid” will turn 25 years old in a little over 1 month, and already has 302 NHL games played including playoffs.

    Age?
    Drew Doughty turns 25 in December.
    Pietrangelo turns 25 next January.
    Ryan McDonagh turns 25 in June
    Cam Fowler turns 23 in December
    Slava Voynov turns 25 next December
    …then the young 18-22 year old young gun troop coming such as Seth Jones, Maatta, Trouba, Lindholm, Reilly, Murray, Hedman, Gelinas, and about 20 others?

    What does it all mean?
    Is it at all possible that Subban’s million dollar smile – his flamboyance – his ability to excite fans with an ‘entertainment’ rush (good or useless?)….is perceived more valuable than the hockey player he could possibly be when compared to others?

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Ronn, I am guessing he meant in terms of international/SC Finals … and possibly not trying to make the big end to end rush at the end of a 100 second shift

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      [removed in order to chase MRonn's re-post, next thread]

  6. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Hobie and Johnny!
    Crying in Ireland! ANd a special shoutout to Henry, master of understatement. Excellent.

    Is there a sense here of nature abhorring a vacuum? That in the absence of naturally occurring hostile idiocy we are obliged to fabricate/mimic some??!!

    (Really, Johnny: flaming with Hobie, connecting sexual intimacy and viewing Bruins games, AND a detailed reference to a 1960s Rankin/Bass holiday special. Is there anything you can’t do?

  7. habs001 says:

    A fully healthy Detroit line up would be very dangerous…They may be the favourites to win the division next year…

  8. WVHabsfan says:

    I grew up playing road hockey here in West Virginia. We used the orange Mylec ball. Taught myself how to play goal by watching Roy!!

  9. The Jackal says:

    Pretty decent article by one of the more reasonable and well-spoken Leaf fans, Sean McIndoe.

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/canada-teams-nhl-playoffs-terrible/

  10. Dunboyne Mike says:

    UCE, very glad you re-posted about rivalries and your divergent experiences between Montreal and BC. Great post, both in articulation and content, and I identify with a great deal of what you say.

    I’m not saying this to pump your tires (which you don’t need), but rather to suggest that the ideas behind your post would be of considerable interest to commentators who stand slightly apart from regular sports journalism or allegiance-based hockey writing. I’m thinking of people with a wider interest in the overall phenomenon of hockey, perhaps throwing in a little bit about Canadian identity. Dave Bidini comes to mind.

    What would it take to get your post — or an expansion of it — into his hands?

    Cheers

  11. DipsyDoodler says:

    OK since we’re dancing around this, let me be the one to say it.

    I hope we help put the Wings out of the playoffs because Babcock dissed PK.

    Yes it’s immature.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  12. The Jackal says:

    Should the Habs try to acquire/sign Bobby Ryan next year?

    /Discuss

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Danno says:

      Bourque for Ryan?

      ________________________________________

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

    • ffenliv says:

      I’m curious what other Ryan-esque players might be out there. He always did well in Anaheim, but has had a poor year. Of course, the entire team has been poor, but you get and you give on a bad team.

      Not sure I’d want him with the stench of a one-year bomb on him.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        You know who was great for suggesting under-the-radar players for consideration? A poster from last year called Franconia or Franc- something or other. Anyone remember? Knew a LOT of players, lots of interesting ideas.

        I know he traveled a lot for work, but kind of surprised (and disappointed) that he seems to have stopped checking in.

        • ffenliv says:

          Well Mike, it’s up to you. No sense complaining about a problem and not solving it. You’re gonna have to start memorizing stats for all 700+ players on active rosters. Might want to consider the AHL and ECHL, too. Get back to me when you’ve got it all committed to memory!

          :) :)

    • Caesar says:

      he would have to learn to spell intensity in 2 laguages….

  13. ffenliv says:

    A hockey question for everyone, but not related to this game:

    During a game, you might get riled up at a call, and alter, perhaps after the game, realize it was probably the right call. But, even knowing that, you get all riled up next game too. Certainly this happens to me from time to time, and I imagine it does others.

    So, the question: Is anger/hatred/insert emotion here a part of how you enjoy the game, or afterwards do you wish you could be more level-headed?

    Not judging either side, just curious!

    • twilighthours says:

      Always wished I remained calm. Often apologized to the refs afterwards.

      • ffenliv says:

        Wait, are you apologizing to NHL refs that can’t hear you apologize, or are you that guy freaking out at the local kid’s game? :P

        • twilighthours says:

          I meant when I played. Now? I get worked up sometimes at high school games. Rarely when I watch NHL games. Guess I like my students better than professional athletes I’ve never met.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I will say in all seriousness that a team like Boston brings out the very worst in me–i.e. I find myself having some pretty disturbing “retaliation fantasies” following the Bruins’ repeated transgressions against our players.

      This is usually a sign that I need to get laid.

      But definitely, frustrations from bad calls, bad goals, bad goaltending, blown scoring chances–all those things definitely add to the excitement. Otherwise you might as well be watching an endless home run derby…

      • ffenliv says:

        I’d agree with you on most of that. Except I just love the Bs. Kidding! Kidding!

        I enjoy getting into it on marginal bad calls (missed high sticks, come on, was that really tripping!) but find on the bigger plays (Ex: the Emelin/Lucic hit in the 1st period the other night) I tend to want to just stay on the fence, knowing someday I’ll be on the other side of it.

        What confuses me is when the ‘negative’ feelings experienced during the game persist for people – and this is particularly noticeable on the internet. The vitriol, the hate, the anger … it mystifies me.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        “This is usually a sign that I need to get laid.”

        Left field, right there. That and “Bruins” in consecutive lines — it’s stunning, JL!

        (“Why don’t you slip into something a little more comfortable, Mrs Larue? I am about to watch the Bruins game.”

        “Ok, gotcha, Johnny. I’ll be cleaning the oven, so if Marchand cheap-shots anyone you’ll know where to find me.”

        Like that??!!)

    • ffenliv says:

      You misunderstand. Those happy faces are me, when you report back that you’re a living hockey encyclopedia. Get to it!

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Hey, there’s no more space on my ass. Lafeurguy is already stomping on it telling me to get more sleep! Now I have to be an encyclopedia as well.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          On a selfish note, always good to bavarde, even 2:46 a.m. Greenwich, but the kids, the kids, the inanity, the inanity, the horror, the horror (if teach is yawning too much).

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Hello there, my friend!
            1st period only tonight, promise.
            It’s funny, I mostly get such a buzz from teaching that it energises me even after extremely short nights. The problem is when I get home after! Falling asleep and drooling into the work you’re correcting = not good!
            A long time ago I perfected the art of viewing the nhl.com highlights without allowing myself to see the score first!

  14. twilighthours says:

    On the matter of road hockey balls:

    Mylec used to make three colours of balls: orange, pink, and yellow. Each designed for a particular temperature range. We used orange for spring, summer, and fall. Pink for winter. Rarely did it get cold enough to use yellow. The key was picking the ball that would be hard enough to dangle, but not so hard it bounced like a golf ball. The goalies’ feelings were not a factor in our decision. Slap shots were legal from anywhere.

    We experimented with all manner of balls, including frozen tennis balls. The mylec balls were the best, by far.

    I’m mostly a middling athlete at all sports, but if I was ever good at anything, it was road hockey.

    • Paz says:

      When my late father played road hockey in the 30′s they used to wait for the horses to ride by and drop a load on the streets.

      They used the frozen horse crap as pucks.

      • twilighthours says:

        The hip named an album after those. And a damn good album it is.

      • The Jackal says:

        Wow! Wouldn’t want to be the goalie!

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • Bash says:

          That’s where the saying “ Goalies have to take their lumps,” came from.

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

      • shiram says:

        Makes one truly appreciate technology.

        • Paz says:

          During the summer, the poor kids would all stay in town, out of school, and play baseball. Those were the years of the Montreal Royals, and eventually Jackie Robinson.

          Problem was there was only 1 field, and it was a full out brawl every day just to take the field. Mostly English vs French.

          My father was big. He fought hard. But he also took a beating.

          All just to play a little hardball.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Great, great stories, Paz! Oh man! Can they be written down? Preserved? Hungry for more.

    • ffenliv says:

      I was a pretty talented road hockey player in me area. Never played on ice as a kid.

      We mostly used tennis balls, but a few kids had the orange variety of the road hockey balls. I straight up refused to play in goal when we used those, and was very careful not to injure the goalie when we did, as payment for refusing to play net myself.

      Crazy things, those road hockey balls. Crazy!

    • Buzz Lightbeer says:

      That made me lol.
      My “sports” were always playing guitar,flyfishing,hiking etc. But in my mind at least i was and still am one of the premier road hockey left wingers west of the continental divide. Still get together with the old gang and play a few games a year. A lot more wheezing now but still a blast.
      Goalies are still fair game and Mylec orange is still the ball of choice.

    • habcertain says:

      I was a fan of the tennis ball, with the outside fur rubbed down a little. those mylec things stung like hell,

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Car!

  15. Luke says:

    Perhaps it has been posted, but here’s an article about the Windsor Goalie who walked out explaining the situation:

    http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2014/03/27/windsor-spitfires-goalie-explains-ditching-team-mid-game

    • JUST ME says:

      Thanks for the link. Did not get to see the follow up on the story.
      Still not a brilliant move and to say add that they shouldn`t have kept him in goals in front of his fans shows that he is a bit me, myself and i…Should have waited once the period was over to have a talk with the coach or do a technique à la Patrick Roy…

      Even if he thought he was right , you just do not do that. He probably will be known as a spoiled brat from now on.

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    So the NCAA is also investigating Univ. of North Carolina, as a whistleblower has exposed the sham of athletes not attending classes etc….. Here is a copy of a final paper a student athlete turned in and received an A-.

    https://twitter.com/BryanAGraham/status/448946511896797184/photo/1

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=10671809

  17. Donkey Hoat says:

    mmm…wings…

  18. zephyr says:

    I could care less about the leafs. I hope they don’t play the bruins in the 1st round because they’re too easy. I have a good friend who is a lifelong leafs fan & he told me they’re done. no way they make the playoffs. he can’t stand phaneuf or his contract & hates Clarkson & his contract too. in other words, he knows what he’s talking about. their defense is a shambles. reilly & gardner are def liabilities. gunnarson is soft & they’re starting the guy they got from Carolina who was a healthy scratch for the canes. add in phaneuf & they’re ripe for the picking.
    looks like mt is looking for a mobile def for 2nite. notable that tinordi starts over murray. he certainly benefits more for the experience vs murray. plus his whole career is ahead of him. I like murray a lot but I really hope tinordi plays solid hockey 2nite.
    I hope gio is not resigned next year. rather spend $ on vanek. we have too many midgets on this team & gio & briere are near the end of their careers. dd & Gallagher are more effective now anyway. I do hope we resign markov.

  19. Hobie Hansen says:

    @ johnnylarue

    I was obviously joking. Just mimicking what happens here if someone dares to make a real mistake. I was just playing your comment up pal. I know you already know that. :-).

  20. Timo says:

    Do Wings have any resident goons?

  21. johnnylarue says:

    Sorry for my “benign trolling”, you guys. Slow day at the office. ;)

  22. AceTen says:

    I thought Nilan had some really great points on the last HIO episode regarding Galchenyuk. “They can’t let him get mugged” I believe are the words he used. They need to put him on a line with a big mean winger who can protect him.

    Sadly, putting him on a line with Pleks and Gallagher is the furthest thing from this. Don’t get me wrong I love Pleks but he is as soft as they come. Anyone notice him at the end of our last game? We had our top defenseman and our star goalie taking on four sabres alone. Heck even Gio eventually got there and jumped in the pile. What did Pleks do? Skated up as slow as possible and practically held hands with the Buffalo player on the outside. Almost looking as if he was too scared to break a nail.

    • zephyr says:

      my thoughts exactly. chuck is a gifted playmaker. I suppose that’s why prust played with him. it’s not like we have many big, talented guys to play with him. bourque & eller are the closest we have.
      ever notice how dd doesn’t get abused now? he has 2 big wingers. he’s even a bit cocky. he knocked phaneuf on his can & challenged him.
      Gallagher needs protection too. I can’t believe it’s good for a team to see their guys get abused & do nothing.

      • jamman says:

        I know criticizing a guy like Pleks is frowned upon here but I have to say one of my knocks on the guy besides the softness is he just can’t bury.

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    So apparantly Marty Brodeur and Sean Avery are at it again. Apparantly Brodeur took a shot at Avery after being voted of Dancing with the Stars, well Avery took to twitter and increased the level of the feud tenfold.

    http://deadspin.com/sean-avery-and-marty-brodeur-are-chirping-about-dancing-1552951196

  24. Strummer says:

    As part of Moen’s rehab do they make him wear a helmet 24/7?
    At the grocery store, while brushing his teeth..
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  25. DipsyDoodler says:

    Back in 1967 what would people have guessed would occur first: a computer in every home that delivers news, weather, and video telephone, or the next Maple Leaf Stanley Cup?

    http://consumerist.com/2013/01/30/how-far-off-were-the-predictions-of-1967s-home-of-the-future/

    The former seemed a far off miracle while the latter was bound to occur soon enough.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  26. johnnylarue says:

    I’ve been poring over Detroit’s roster and have come to the conclusion that the key to beating them tonight will be shutting down Datsyuk and Zetterberg, and keeping Abdelkader and Cleary away from Price’s crease.

    Habs certainly have their work cut out for them, but if they can just key in on those four players they should be alright!

    Who’s with me?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      What are you an Idiot? God! The people here are so stupid sometimes! Those guys are all injured…DUH!!! Do you even watch the games? What a moron!!

      • dhenry1234 says:

        That escalated quickly.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Hobie is just poking fun at Johnny, as most of us do realize the players he mentioned are injured, as Johnny is well aware of.

          Edit: Hobie, despite objections from UCe, sometimes that sarcasm font is required. ;-)

          • BJ says:

            Good, I was worried there for a second…and expressed it below.

          • shiram says:

            Sometimes I feel like that smiley face is just like canned laughter on a tv show… good jokes and good comedy should require neither.
            But I’ve been guilty of using the smiley face as well, sometimes it’s just too difficult to convey sarcasm or other ways of speech in text.

          • BriPro says:

            :D
            I don’t know where to start.
            That was too funny!
            That whole sequence went by …. BANG!
            Henry’s was the funniest.

            Oh god, my stomach…..

            EDIT: Ah Crap!
            And then I read Shiram’s about the smiley face (guilty as charged).
            Well, too bad! It’s staying!

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            That’s the way it hit me, too, Bripro. Still laughing here.

      • joeybarrie says:

        WOW… try to breathe before you pass out.

      • BJ says:

        If these comments about JL are serious, take a deep breath, rewind and offer the information without being a drama queen.

      • johnnylarue says:

        Wow, Hobie.

        You know, it took me hours of intensive study and number crunching to arrive at this conclusion–which I chose to share with you absolutely free of charge, I might add!–and there you are Johnny-Come-Lately waltzing onto this forum like you own the place and pooping all over my hard work like a vindictive poodle!

        The nerve…

    • joeybarrie says:

      Dont discount Franzen. He tends to get his goals and assists in bunches. He can single handedly be responsible for 3-4 goals.

    • Strummer says:

      Maybe Parros and Murray could engage the 4 Wings you mention in a hot-dog eating contest or bun fight.

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

    • Phil C says:

      Maybe you are on to something, they should match Gorges-Diaz against Datsyuk and Zetterberg, and offset Abdelkader’s and Cleary’s toughness with Prust and Moen. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

      • johnnylarue says:

        Bingo.

        You know, all it would take is for ONE stinking person on this forum to have MT’s cellphone number and this team’s troubles would be over for good. I really do think that.

    • Danno says:

      Group hug everyone!

      ________________________________________

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

  27. Paz says:

    I don’t get playing Galchenyuk and Gallagher with Plekanec.

    Plekanec is one of the best defensive centers in the game. He reminds me of a left handed shooting Guy Carbonneau, who was unreal in a defensive role and chipped in about 20 goals a season to boot.

    This is not a line that will play together in the playoffs.

    No way Galchenyuk and Gallagher can play on a shut down defensive line.

    • Strummer says:

      Why can’t Plek generate offense and shut down the opposing centre on the same shift?
      Toews does it for the Hawks.

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

      • joeybarrie says:

        Cause its that easy…

      • Habfan17 says:

        I agree, Pleks should be able to generate more offence. Toews is not the only player who does both. Datsyuk and Zetterberg do it, Bergeron, the list goes on. That has always been my issue when some HIO members say that he can’t be traded he is too valuable.
        I agree, he is a sound defensive forward, but he has not done well in the playoffs and never seems to generate much offence. It isn’t the wingers he is given either. Alfredson went through the same things as Pleks does. he was always given kids to mentor on his line ot players in a funk that needed help to get out of it. All while playing against the oppositions top lines. I like Pleks, but in the off season, if he would bring an Evander Kane in a trade, I would do it!

        For those who say the Jets would never trade Kane straight up for Pleks, I say, please don’t ever tell me how great Pleks is and that the Habs can’t trade him, he can’t be replaced. You can’t have it both ways!

        Habfan17

    • Cal says:

      Brière, Bourque and Gionta is working. DD- Vanek and Patches is working. Eller- White and Bournival is working. What should MT do with them besides upsetting all the lines again?
      MT is trying to balance the lines. When 3 of 4 work, do you keep tweaking until nothing works? Give them another game or two to figure out that they’re supposed to put the puck in the net every game or two. Eller’s line is the energy and shutdown line. Pleks can only do so much with players that don’t realize the consequences of high risk play. (They’re young; it’s expected.)

    • johnnylarue says:

      Another way of looking at it: Plekanec is good enough that he can at least somewhat compensate for kids’ weaknesses in the D zone. And if Chucky’s destined to play centre eventually, being able to learn how Plekanec thinks and reacts first-hand is some very valuable tutelage.

      That being said, I expect Therrien will sub in Gionta on that line as needed when the going gets tough.

    • Bash says:

      It’s all about the speed. These three can motor and their transition game keeps opponent’s D from pressing.
      Besides, Pleks pairs with several others for PK . The GooGoo Dolls don’t get PK time so that works out as well, while keeping the kids minutes under control.

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

    • BriPro says:

      You also have to consider the mentorship of those two kids.
      They have to develop a rounded game. And who better than Plex to show them defensive techniques?

      And I agree with Bash.
      That line is fast. Sometimes, it’s easier to shut down the opposing top line by out-gunning them.
      I like the combination. Let them build some chemistry.

      Those two sophomores are smart players. They’ll only get better with him, and they’ll be netting a few along the way.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Hey Paz,

      I would say Carbo was better. He had a bit of an edge and elevated his game in the playoffs. Not so Pleks! Carbo was also much better on draws!

      Habfan17

      • Paz says:

        Carbo was unreal. Check out his numbers playing with Gainey and Nilan.

        Gainey had no hands and no finish, and Nilan was of course Nilan.

        But somehow, because of Carbos play, the line was very productive.

        In the defensive play Plekanec reminds me of Carbo.

  28. crane says:

    Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek
    Galchenyuk-Plekanec-Gallagher
    Bourque-Briere-Gionta
    Bournival-Eller-Prust

    Parros,Moen done for year,White, Wiese spares for bottom two lines

    Markov-Emelin
    Georges-Subban
    Weaver-Tinordi

    Murray, Boullion spares

    This is our playoff line up folks, not to shabby.

  29. krob1000 says:

    wow..just caught the new st hatt last night NEvins had 3 points, Hudon had 3 poitns and Gregoire had 3 points…wuite the night for the prospects in playoff hockey as well.

    • B says:

      Reway and Gatineau’s game was snowed out in Cape Breton last night, he had 2 goals and 7 assists in the first 3 games of that series.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  30. B says:

    McCarron and London looking to eliminate Vail and Windsor in 4 straight tonight. Barrie also looking to eliminate Crisp and the Wolves in 4 straight games tonight. No matter what happens, McCarron and London will be in the Memorial Cup as they are the hosts. I hope Grégoire, Hudon and the Drakkar end up being London’s guests from the Q.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  31. Paz says:

    I think Babcock needs to see his dentist.

    He’s got no teeth!!

  32. BriPro says:

    For those who watched the videos above, during the interview with Max,
    did you notice the size of the elbow pads that Gallagher was sporting?

    No wonder there are claims of them wearing suits of armour.

    I still have bone fragments in my forearms from wearing real elbow pads, back in the day, when they only covered the elbows.

    • UnkleGary says:

      My best friend growing up had two older brother, we all played hockey and I was the smallest. I remember always having fourth hand me down equipment, and elbow pads that we pretty much a layer of cloth by the time I got em.

      The equipment one is a tough one in my books, the less the better for body contact, (except the head) but you also have that vulcanized rubber puck coming at you at 100 miles an hour.

      CH-eers!

      • BriPro says:

        That’s too funny, Gary. When we played ball hockey outside in January, since I was the smallest in the neighbourhood, I was always goalie. No pads, and an ice-covered tennis ball.
        It’s a wonder my voice is still baritone.

        • BJ says:

          Probably from taking it in the northern head more often than the southern brother holding the marbles.

        • UnkleGary says:

          I think ball hockey goalie was the most dangerous position in youth sports. People felt they could tee up a one timer from ten feet out cause ‘ahhh, it’s only a tennis ball!’ Even though you had no mask and no jock. Plus the sticks wailing around your face, a bloody nose, a black eye and like you said crunches to the softest of areas were real common. But I’m sure Bri that you wouldn’t take back any of those awesome moments!

          CH-eers!

          • Ncognito says:

            I used to play ball/road hockey in nets with limited gear as well. One of the shooters I used to face every day after school made it te the NHL…and is now behind the habs bench. Gerard Gallant could make a tennis ball or ball hockey ball curve 6 ft!

          • BriPro says:

            I loved them all Gary. Memories that last a lifetime.

        • twilighthours says:

          Tennis ball? Come on… Gotta go with the pink road hockey ball.

          • shiram says:

            They were orange when I grew up.

          • Chris says:

            I was the youngest of three brothers. My brothers would always make a point of making me the goalie. The would soak the tennis ball in water before we went out. You can guess the rest.

            Older brothers are terrible, terrible creatures when you are young!

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Orange all the way!

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • BriPro says:

            You’re obviously a lot younger than me, twi.
            By the time those balls came out, I was graduating high school.

            And Chris, that’s hilarious. That’s exactly what my neighbour “friends” would do to me. Bullies.

          • sprague cleghorn says:

            It was the totally bald tennis ball in my day. Stung like the bejeebers once it froze up.

            … ‘ow could we forget that?

    • twilighthours says:

      He he. Bone fragments. Me too. But that was more not being able to skate and always landing on the elbows.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hey Brian! Those winter ball hockey games were a blast eh? Just minor injuries. The autumn cowboys and Indians with pellet guns down in Lery were just nuts. The only protection was our over inflated egos and belief we were bullet proof.Saludos!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        In college we discovered how hockey equipment with an old Jofa helmet (no visor) was ample protection when playing dodgeball using Roman Candles, those were the good ol’ days!

      • BriPro says:

        Saludos Front!
        In the station, we used to use the tracks as a battle ground between the french and the english.
        They’d be on the school side, which was a drag because the local rink was on that side.
        But on our side, we had the creek that led to Saint John’s river, and on to Lery along the back highway and through the swamp fields.
        Skating, cross-country skiing or snow shoing into Lery.
        Those were indeed the good old days. Every kid was outdoors, all winter.
        Back at the tracks, it wasn’t uncommon for a kid to get injured by a rock from the tracks, and would go running home with an open gash.
        And I still have the scar on my shin to prove it.
        Hockey helmets came in handy back then. ;)

  33. B says:

    Baie-Commeau, Halifax and Gatineau are all up 3 games to none and playing tonight looking to sweep their first round series. Rouyn-Noranda plays at home tomorrow night with a chance to knock out favoured Quebec in five games.

    It looks like RN over Quebec may be the only upset in the 1st round of playoffs in the Q. If that holds, then Nevins and RN would face Grégoire, Hudon and BC in the 2nd round. It would also mean that Fucale and Halifax would face Reway and Gatineau in the 2nd round.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  34. Chris says:

    I would actually like to see the Leafs make the playoffs…a first round rematch from last year with the Bruins and the Leafs could be entertaining. Especially if the Leafs could win the first game. The Bruins would be sweating!

    And I would love to see the Capitals meet the Penguins in the first round just for the fireworks that that series could provide. From a pure entertainment point of view, Ovechkin-Crosby/Malkin is tough to top.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Bet they don’t want to see Halak again.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Leafs v. Bruins would be entertaining, I agree.

      More entertaining: 18 wheeler goes off the cliff again, Leafs miss playoffs.

      • ianism says:

        as long as whoever wins is wrecked by the end of the series and crashes out in round two (to us, ha!)

        either way, i’ll be watching the Habs and the West, where the teams are actually good… Colorado vs Chicago will be AMAZING. LA-ANA will be good too – those teams despise each other

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Pits. Vs Phi trumps pits wsh IMO

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Cal says:

      I want the Bruins to meet the Flyers. I want to see the accrued damage heading into round 2.
      Capitals will have a real tough time getting in, but wouldn’t it be a laugh to see Halak repeat 2010?

      • Chris says:

        How so? It is a four-way drag race now between Washington, Columbus, Toronto and Detroit.

        With their injuries, I think Detroit is in toughest. And Toronto is simply imploding. Columbus probably has the best chance, but the addition of Kuznetsov has been very important for the Capitals, as they are getting some secondary scoring. If Grabovski can make it back (he’s practicing), they become a much more dangerous team.

        • ianism says:

          the BJs have a frickin ridiculous schedule though. 8 games in 12 days including 4 in the last 5 nights to finish up the season… they’re going to be dead by the end of that.

          it’s a toss-up as far as i’m concerned. all the teams have serious factors working against them.

          but yeah, Philly-Pitts almost certainly won’t happen until 2nd round. similiarly, Philly-Boston would be the Conference Finals

      • HammerHab says:

        If that happens the Habs are out. The way the playoffs work is that they dont reseed. If the playoffs began right now the winner of Habs/TBay would play the winner of Bos/Det….only way one of these teams plays Pitt/Phil/NYR/Clb is in the Eastern final

        ———————————–

        It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  35. Black Horse says:

    In the Babcock interview, the old guy with the beard looks like Markov!

  36. Alex says:

    Great interview by Chris Nilan with Marc Bergevin just now. Talked about PK and contract talks, Therrien, relationship with players.

  37. CJ says:

    Good afternoon.

    Just back from having had the chance to speak with Ray Bourque.

    First impressions, wow! Very solid and still very athletic.

    He shared a very cool story regarding the #7 jersey. Many people don’t know, but he actually wore three numbers. When he arrived at camp as a rookie, he was assigned #29. He had a great camp and made the team. On opening night, he arrived to the rink and #7 was in his locker. Side note, he said the Bruins were terrible communicators. Nobody had any clue what the other guy was doing. So, fast forward to 1987 and the fued with Sinden and Espo has blown over and they decide to retire the number 7. Still, nobody has mentioned any of this to Bourque, so he has no clue what they are doing with his jersey – will he still wear it, or what.

    Day of the game, Terry O’Reilly and Harry Sinden call him at 1:00pm and ask if he would mind changing to #77. Bourque agrees. Again, they don’t tell anyone, even the players. So when Bourque took off that jersey, aside from O’Reilly, Sinden the equipment trainers, Bourque and his wife, nobody knew what was going on.

    He had a great deal of stories about winning the cup and playing at the Forum. I also asked him about the skills competition. He told me that he idolized the Canadiens and always loved playing at the Forum.

    Funny, he was asked who the toughest guy to play against was and the two names were Pat Verbeek and Kevin Dineen (both former Whalers – who he said were the biggest rivals while he was in Boston).

    Anyway, great luncheon and great guy. Cheers, CJ

    I got a cool picture, but I can’t seem to attach it.

    • Habcouver says:

      Thanks for sharing, CJ.
      It s great to know more behind former superstars.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • Chris says:

      I think a lot of defencemen would cite Verbeek and Dineen as the toughest to play against. Those guys were very good at driving opposing players bonkers.

    • Cal says:

      Thanks for the report, CJ. Always good to hear from the greats, no matter their affiliation.

    • BJ says:

      Thanks for sharing that. Its always nice to get stories first hand from the horses mouth. I saw Bourque play in his junior rookie season with les Eperviers de Sorel. He was dominant against older players even as the youngest. You could see he was a no miss talent.

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Very good stories right from the horse’s mouth too! Thank you for sharing CJ!

      Do the math……..7 x 6 = 42…Love our PK!
      24 cups and counting….

  38. Max says:

    I want to see both The Leafs and The Wings miss the playoffs.The Leafs because I hate them/their fans and The Wings because they have made the playoffs for too long and their fans need a taste of disappointment for a change.
    I hope The Boo Jackets get in as no one cares about them and they will continue to wallow in obscurity until they are relocated in the near future.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      The people of Detroit and area are likely very familiar with disappointment.
      I’d like the Jackets to get in just because I’m a fan of JD, he has done a fantastic job there, just like he did in St L.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  39. UnkleGary says:

    How do you guys feel about the ‘cheering for any Canadian team in the playoffs’ mantra?
    I really don’t see it. In NHL hockey, I like cheering for teams with that
    A) I have a past with (my father and grandfather are huge Habs fan, named after a Habs player)
    B) I like the players on a certain team. (My second favourite team would be Chicago, I love Teows, I love Kane’s moves, they are exciting and hard working.
    C) I like their players and like the city. Been to Chicago, great city, great sports city.
    I think the only Canadian team I would really support is Winnipeg, I think they have good fans and deserve some playoff games. Obviously I can’t stand Ottawa and Toronto, I would never ever cheer for them. I’ve been to quite a few Habs Flames games, so I’ve grown to dislike their team and fans (in a good way). I love the city of Vancouver and used to like them around 94 with Bure and Linden, but recently I don’t like the organization. Edmonton, don’t really like or dislike them, but what a mess they are. Don’t think well have to worry about them in the playoffs any time soon.
    I guess I just feel like that when I want to support Canada, there is the Olympics and world championships. I do find it a bit saddening that only one Canadian team is gonna make the playoffs. They should all make it in my mind, I just won’t cheer for most of them when they do. :). Rant over.

    CH-eers!

    • Habcouver says:

      I’m onside with you, Unk.
      Habs all the way.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

      • UnkleGary says:

        In my dad’s Habs basement shrine, there is a lot of Habs memerobilia, from Forum seats to mini Stanley cups. I had to have a discussion with him to put a Black Hawks puck in a tiny hole in the corner. Habs or bust!

        CH-eers!

  40. BJ says:

    For a little change of pace here is a video of someone thats been deaf her whole life (40 years old) and is filmed hearing for the first time. I love when money is well spent on helpful technologies instead of wasting on war related destruction.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7LcNUxcQ8Y

    • HammerHab says:

      thanks for that link. My parents are both deaf and it’s truly amazing to see someone hear for the first time.

      ———————————–

      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  41. Hobie Hansen says:

    Marc Bergevin is coming up on Chris Nilan’s show. Nilan is playing an audio clip of him decking Bergevin lol.

    Here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22wrJn_AX-k

  42. habsfan0 says:

    Another measuring stick game tonight.

    • Habcouver says:

      The first goal will be big (to beat Boone to the punch).

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

      • Rugger says:

        Statistically, would it be better to always score the first goal of a game or the last goal of a game?

        edit: excluding OT and Shoot outs

        • ffenliv says:

          I read a report just now from the 2011 playoffs that cited first goal as an overwhelmingly important thing to get. Through 35 first-round games, the team scoring the first goal won 82.9% of games. Of course, in some of those games they also scored the last goal, and the other 12.1% of the time, they did go on to lose.

          IN general, I’d be willing to wager that first goal correlates better to wins than does last goal

    • Sportfan says:

      My friend will be at that game I hope they win, his gf is a wings fan too.

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

  43. Steven Snell says:

    I really hope the Leafs make the playoffs. It’s such a perfect storm scenario. Think about it for a second. Despite the odds, Leafs pull it together, get on a roll and make the dance. Fans everywhere rejoice, expectations soar, hopes are raised on rationals like, “they’re on a roll, playing their best hockey of the year, can’t be beat!” Revenge is on everyone’s mind. And best of all, Habs fans get to watch a great series that doesn’t have an unsatisfactory ending! Leafs lose – great!! Bruins lose – more-ther great!!

  44. Sportfan says:

    I know there isn’t much of a rivalry from the Wings and Habs, but I don’t like the Wings at all I haven’t for a long time and if we became one of the reasons why they missed the playoffs I’d be happy.

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

  45. DipsyDoodler says:

    If I’m not too late for the Ray Bourque questions.

    1. How does it feel to know the only reason you have your name on the Stanley Cup is that a Canadiens great won it for you?

    2. Did your mother still cut your hair when you were a pro hockey player?

    And if we’re also allowed comments:

    3. DipsyDoodler thinks the whole notion of the “classy Bruin” is a lie. You had a choice.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Cal says:

      I think Joe Sakic, Forsberg, Hejduk, Tanguay, Foote and Blake, as well as Bourque himself gave Roy a hand. Remember, Roy didn’t win it in 2000 when Bourque arrived.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ha! Love the gist of the questions, afterall Bourque is still a Bruin in my mind. (was a great player indeed, but it is impossible for me not to dislike a Bruin, especially a near lifetime Bruin)

  46. This Guy says:

    Seems like we’re destined to face Tampa Bay in the first round.

    In the three games played against them this year, Tampa bay managed to score 4 goals, while the Habs scored 3. We were 1-1-1.

    This match up scares me, considering our lack of scoring 5 on 5. We place 21st in terms of GF/GA 5vs5, while they rank 7th. Having said that, their PK is 24th in the league, so powerplays might be vital.

    Overall though, the series looks like to be a battle of goaltenders once again. Carey Price gained some big game experience last years, good or bad. He was a champ at the Olympics and has proven to be a stud in front of 21,273 Mtlers regularly this season. When he’s let in soft goals, these rarely costed the W. Ben Bishop, on the other, has played in one Pro level playoff game since 2006… in the AHL. This intangible could be an interesting factor in the post-season series. Having said that, he’s a bigtime stud.

    • Cal says:

      Bishop is enjoying a breakout year, making all of Ottawa’s management look pretty, um, befuddled. It will be a very compelling and tight series, with leads of 1 goal or playing tied being the norm. It shall be a lot of fun to watch. TBay has a pretty damned good team.

    • Steven Snell says:

      This sounds like HNIC analysis, but Price will have to be better than Bishop for us to win. I feel like 5v5 play is our glaring weakness for playoff success, so the guys will need to step up in that regard. The big test for Bishop as you say will be how he handles the pressure in the playoffs. Could say the same for Price, but for the first time I have no doubt he’ll be sensational.

      • ffenliv says:

        I think the addition of Vanek will really help vs. the Bolts, at least as far a outscoring them goes, rather than out-defending them. The top two lines are legit scoring threats, which I hope balances out Stamkos’ ability to score 10 goals any given night.

  47. B says:

    I hope Detroit misses the playoffs after the pundits figured they would easily be one of the top teams in the East when they were moved here. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Alfredsson missing out after going there for his “shot at the cup”.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • Cal says:

      They are certainly in a dog fight, what with all their injuries. Time for their playoff appearance streak to end, methinks.

      Alas poor Datsyuk, I knew him well.

    • Habcouver says:

      B, here’s my personal view:
      I would like the Habs to “stick it” to the Wings for being the team that shellacked Roy in his final game here. Yes, I hold grudges… Wings could have kept the game respectable back then.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

      • ffenliv says:

        You’re mad at an NHL club for running up the score?

        Remember the other night, when we came back from 4-1 down in the last 3 minutes, or that 5-0 comeback against the Rangers?

        That’s why you keep the pedal down. Being mad at Detroit for running it up is just being mad at hockey players for playing hockey. These guys are pros.

        • Habcouver says:

          Thanks for your view.
          I respect that players are pros. I also figure pros should respect fellow players and avoid over-embarrassing a result.
          I also believe what goes around, comes around, too. :)

          Cheers.

          We Are (Not) All Canucks.
          Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

          • ffenliv says:

            Ya, I usually like to include the comment that it’s purely my opinion. I certainly don’t think you’re ‘wrong’, just .. um … nuts.

            One thing I’ve noticed in games that get out of control on the scoreboard is, that as it progresses, the losing team takes liberties. We’ve all seen that. Maybe at 4-0, a team gets chippy, make a run at someone. The opposition sees that and says, “screw these guys, we’re gonna run it up”

            In fact, it happened in last year’s playoffs. A lot of fans here got riled up at Maclean over his use of a timeout, when Maclean was just pissed at perceived slights from the Habs (as borne out by the reaction of Sens fans).

            Now, this is just an idea, and one lousy example, but I sure recall feeling that way while watching games before.

          • Habcouver says:

            Yep, nuts over the Habs. :D

            We Are (Not) All Canucks.
            Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • Caesar says:

      yeah they seem to be mirroring WPG. That was supposed to be the “thing” to watch in the east . WPG out Det in bad news for the entire east. Looks pretty even to me

  48. bwoar says:

    I know Nyquist has been hot lately, but watch the F out for TaThomas Tatar, he scores when you least expect it and has a great name to alliterate.

  49. Un Canadien errant says:

    Re-posted from the previous thread. Next time, when everybody leaves to go to the other party, can someone wake me up and tell me please?

    **************************************

    Chris, when I was living in Montréal, like I said, I didn’t consider the Leafs a rival, or know that we were supposed to in this storied rivalry, until I learned English. And even then, before social media, and the advent of TSN, and when HNIC was still populated with good broadcasters like Dick Irvin, it was much more downplayed.

    Growing up, I read a lot of books on the history of the Canadiens, and the only rivalry that was described was the one with Maroons at the inception of the league, and the Red Wings in the 50′s. We were all inculcated in the great rivalry, how Gordie Howe was the usurper All-Star right winger and scoring champion, who stole Maurice Richard’s rightful title. We learned how Ted Lindsay was the Rocket’s sworn enemy, how he held himself back from killing him some nights. Then the story goes on to the Jean Béliveau years, and invariably, this period would be described as “Les Canadiens perdent en finale contre les Leafs, quatre matches à deux,” before moving on that at next year’s camp two young rookies named Yvan Cournoyer and Phil Goyette make the team. There’s never any great stories about wars or rivals, or anything, it’s just the Leafs winning an accidental, inexplicable Cup against a roster with Jean Béliveau, Henri Richard, Bernard Geoffrion, Doug Harvey, Jacques Plante, etc. It might as well have been the Rangers or Blackhawks winning, the main thrust of the story is that somehow the Canadiens lost.

    That’s the French-Canadian perspective, anyway. When we played them, there was a vague sense of civic rivalry with boring Toronto, the place where Sun Life moved to after the Parti Québécois won the election in 1976, we’d make jokes about rolling up the sidewalks at midnight over there, but that’s it.

    I only understood this rivalry, as one-side as it is, when I moved to B.C. Whistler is great, because we have people here from all over Canada, so you run across fans from every other team routinely, watching hockey at the hall or pub is lots of fun. Anyway, out here, I’ve seen some true blue fans, in their Gilmour or Clark jerseys, invade Tapley’s for an early game, and be unabashedly supportive of their team. Which was jarring to me at first, I kind of thought a Leafs fan would be kind of retiring, semi-apologetic, like a fan of the loveable loser Chicago Cubs. But no, they’re brash and they’re loud, and they think Wade Belak is amazing.

    I didn’t understand it. I saw a few beautiful girls, with long hair and fair skin and good teeth, seemingly happy to be wearing that ugly blue jersey. I felt sorry for them, like I do for North Koreans when they pantomime how great they think Kim Jong Un is. Either they’re forced to because of their surroundings, or they’ve been brainwashed into it, but no sane person would voluntarily wear that in public, and avow their fealty to such a ludicrous outfit.

    One of my coworkers Bob is a huge loudmouth, in a usually funny way, he’s short and strong as an ox. Once on a bus trip down to Vancouver to watch the Canucks take on the Leafs, all the Canucks fans set upon him and tried to duct tape him to his seat, and it was one of the most amazing Battle Royales I’ve ever seen. Try as they might they couldn’t get his arms pinned or grab his legs enough to subdue him, after fifteen or twenty minutes they gave up and got tired before he did. Anyway, Bob and I were roommates, and with him, I developed this rivalry, I started putting bets on games and on the season, but that was completely instigated by him, I wouldn’t have sought out a Leaf fan to tease or goad him or anything. It happened because of him, not the other way around.

    Meanwhile, when I first got to Whistler, I got a job working as a waiter in the restaurant of an upscale chain hotel. I met the chef, who was a big guy, and we asked each other if we played football and hockey and rugby, and on the first day developed a rapport, which was good because he was the usual tyrant you expect from a chef, but I got on his good side. Except a couple days later, we were talking, and I found out he was a Bruins fan, which made sense, because he was loud and a total bully to his underlings outside his little cadre of insiders, and he found out I was a Canadiens fan.

    It was instantly awkward, and we made a couple of jokes at each other team’s expense. I kind of gave as good as I got, and we got to a point eventually where we could bust each other’s chops about hockey, but there was a completely different dynamic than with your average Leaf fan.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Deserved to be reposted. North Korea indeed.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • Chris says:

      Great post, Normand.

      As Dave said on the other page, it really depends on your age and where you are. For me, I disliked the Leafs but never really hated them. I did hate dealing with all the ridiculous Leafs fans whenever they beat the Habs…the Leafs were generally a terrible team, yet you had to deal with their crap when they won one of their 20 games for the season against the Habs. Ugh.

      I also never felt any rivalry for the Nordiques. That makes me weird, but they were just another team for me. Even Boston wasn’t a team I particularly hated until more recently. I recognized that those three teams were Montreal’s three primary rivals, but the teams I grew up hating and still can’t stomach are Philadelphia (by a country mile), the Islanders (I really despised Tonelli), Calgary (how dare they win the Stanley Cup in Montreal?!!!???) and Edmonton (simply because everybody and their dog loved the Oilers in the 1980′s). Those were the games I got up for…unfortunately, the Habs often didn’t. :)

      Now, I just pity the Islanders and the Oilers. I think I am the only Habs fan in Ontario that is reveling in the struggles of the Flames (although it pained me to see Iginla’s career wasted).

      Boston is the big rival today because familiarity breeds contempt. Since I became a Habs fan in 1985, the Habs have met the Bruins 14 times in the playoffs, and have gone 7-7. They have met the Flyers four times over that time period and have gone 1-3. Those two teams have been responsible for knocking the Habs out of the playoffs 10 times out of the Habs’ 21 playoff trips. And they both play goon hockey.

      Grr.

    • BriPro says:

      I was going to comment on your long post, pointing out how you had subjected your wrists to potential carpal tunnel with such a long rendition, but I got side-tracked, and then went into dream land thinking of your reminiscence.

      You talk of Bruins’ fans.
      My wife and I camp in Provincetown, MA every summer, and being roughly 90 minutes to 4 hours south of Boston (depending on traffic, and how many Quebecers are invading during the construction holidays), there’s obviously a huge contingent of Bs fans. But I have to say, in general, it makes for some amusing fodder.

      The year it cost me was the last time our Habs took them out in the first round. The owner of the site, who usually gave us a privileged spot, charges us the extra. Very serious, that one.

      But the most challenging (I’ve told this story on here before) was last winter when we took a cruise to Bermuda out of the port of Boston.

      80% of the passengers (or it seemed that way) were from Boston. One night, our little Canadian group of 9 went to see a comedy show in the ship’s theatre.

      At one point, he does a mime skit where he gives everyone a roll to play. It’s hilarious.

      Well this one particular participant is bumbling his role, and of course, he becomes subject for ridicule. The comedian asks him where he’s from. “Montreal” he answers, so our little row cheers and starts to applaud.

      The comedian looks over in our direction and noticed us sitting in the front row, but more importantly, me… defiantly wearing my CH hat.

      “How many hockey fans in the audience?” Loud cheers.
      “How many Bruins fans in the audience?” Much louder cheers.

      During this cheering, he storms across the stage in our direction, jumps off the stage, shoves the mike in my face and says
      “I suppose you’re a Canadiens fan!”
      “Go Habs Go?” I whisper, while sinking lower in my seat.

      BOOOOO! Not a happy crowd.

      “But I’m a huge Patriots fan!!!”

      Dead air…. 3-4-5…. Standing ovation! It was hilarious. And I can say that I became an overnight sensation with the other passengers. “Hey, there’s the Canadien’s fan!”

  50. Caesar says:

    We need 2 points tonight. I don’t understand the idea that we need the Laffs out of the playoffs. Would people on here prefer facing the Wings over TO in the playoffs?

    Not me not even close. I would love a MTL / Tor series. Especially with their goaltending so crappy lately. Not to mention the bonus of an HNIC crew commentating on the 4 straight losses the Laffs would take.

  51. The Dark Side says:

    In Price we trust.

  52. arcosenate says:

    I don’t think even half of Canada will be cheering for the Habs. They’ll be cheering for whoever plays the Habs though.

    Tonight would be a very good game to win against a team that needs the game more than we do but has so many injuries we should, on paper, win this thing.

    I say 5-3 Habs and free chicken wings.

  53. Hstands4Hockey says:

    I did a double take when I saw Murray/Emelin paired together. Should be interesting!

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

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Dave Stubbs ‏@Dave_Stubbs 2m

      Bouillon in, Murray out. Gorges skated after team. Told me with a grin that his broken thumb is mending “slowly but surely” #HabsIO #Habs

      • Hstands4Hockey says:

        Well now you’ve gone and ruined all the fun.

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

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I was hoping for that pairing too buddy! Maybe against the Bruins one day!

          • UnkleGary says:

            I think that would be a great pair against the Bruins. Boston isn’t the fastest team so they wouldn’t be exposed too badly, and Emelin could really hit at will (not that he doesn’t regardless) and if anyone didn’t like it they would have to deal with one big tough mother in Murray.

            CH-eers!

  54. JUST ME says:

    Yet another big game tonight .Until the Habs are officialy in every game is big but they have to beat the teams they have little succes against. Detroit being one of them and tonight they know that the stakes are high for the Red Wings so they should play their game and spoil their hopes and play their game plan. Detroit always finds a way but now let `s take charge.

  55. 24 Cups says:

    Detroit’s probable line-up. Please note they have seven regulars out of the line-up. A split with the two games against Detroit basically gives Montreal 3rd place in their division.

    Forwards:
    Johan Franzen David Legwand Daniel Alfredsson
    Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Gustav Nyquist (player to watch)
    Drew Miller Luke Glendening Darren Helm
    Tomas Jurco Joakim Andersson Todd Bertuzzi

    Defensemen:
    Niklas Kronwall Brendan Smith
    Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
    Brian Lashoff Jakub Kindl

    Goaltenders:
    Jimmy Howard (starting)
    Jonas Gustavsson

    Injuries: Jonathan Ericsson (finger), Justin Abdelkader (cut leg), Daniel Cleary (knee), Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Stephen Weiss (groin), Henrik Zetterberg (back) & Mikael Samuelsson (lower body)

    • jimmy shaker says:

      That’s a lot of quality players not playing. They could be real greasy if they squeak in and get some bodies back for sure!

      Shaker out!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Funny how a team like Detroit can be excused for their current position because of their injuries, but when it’s the Habs who get them, (like the spate of injuries we got late last season) then it’s “every team gets injuries – no excuses.”

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Habcouver says:

        Props to the Babs for getting the most outta his players, sans Dats and Zett.
        Do we cut MT this slack? Naaaa… we are Hab fans! :)

        We Are (Not) All Canucks.
        Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

      • arcosenate says:

        That’s not funny at all.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yeah, but then again those are real man-games lost, like the Pens losing Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis and James Neal among others for long stretches of the season. Davis Drewiske and Brandon Prust pale in comparison.

  56. AceTen says:

    Finally they’ve got Markov and Subban back together! That pairing is a threat every single time they step on the ice. Really like the other two pairings as well, for the first time in a while opposing forwards will have to to keep their head up at all times. Of our 6 D, 5 of them can throw a serious hit. Love it!

    Also, how bout that 4th line? Even with all the injuries we’ve had our 4th line is pretty stacked with Bournival – Eller – White. Bergevin has really done an amazing job.

  57. Gerry_j6j says:

    Anybody else wish we had a coach that would ANSWER questions like Mike Babcock does? I get the impression that all of our press conferences and such are a complete waste of time. Could you even imagine MT saying that one of our youngsters has “hockey IQ off the charts”?

  58. Mattyleg says:

    Wow, Jimmy Shaker with the win:
    New thread first post @ 12:29.

    Maksimir loses!

    What a nailbiter!!!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  59. 25 while im alive says:

    We have to win one of these last two games against the wings may meet them in the playoff and confidence is huge

  60. Cal says:

    Hoping for tie after regulation and a Habs OT win. Detroit gets 1 point so the laffs’ chances sink a little more.

  61. gexx says:

    montreal 2-1 overtime..

  62. Habcouver says:

    Wings will be tough and if they win, they put the Laffs further behind!

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  63. Maksimir says:

    Dammit Shiram!

  64. Habcouver says:

    Still too soon.
    How ’bout Michael Jackson?

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!


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