Road trip continues in Big D

Don’t look now, but your Montreal Canadiens are in a December Dive: 3-5-1 this month.

And the Stars await.

Kirk Muller plays bad cop

Avs trying to win back fans

• Pierre Ladouceur’s Habs report card

• JT on the absence of Markov

The red-hot Thrashers win again. Stu Hackel on Atlanta and Colorado

Should the Devils trade Martin F.?

158 Comments

  1. Storm Man says:

    You just made my day :).

  2. krob1000 says:

    ……and we are undefeated on tuesdays in november where the following thursday is a crescent moon and the wind is Northeastern and the temperature is above 41 degrees farenheit over teh last 71 years…….that is the most irrelevant response I have seen….what is our record since PK’s benching? Did Gomez find teh immunity idol in October and not tell anyone…..are there multiple idols and they were all coincidentally found by vets who are keeping it on the down low…..Rumour has it Spatch, Gomer, Gill< Hammer are all packing immunity idols and JM is just unable to do anything to them so he instead hurts them where it counts…on the ice….he isntead clips the wings of their tribesmen and punsihes them that way…that’s it….or at least that is about as relevant as that Gomez stat…..

  3. smiler2729 says:

    Proofread police alert: “lenny” should have a capital ‘L’ as in “Lenny” and of course, “there” should be used instead of “their”… just sayin’

  4. smiler2729 says:

    You’re right, it should read “The Avalanche ARE trying to lure…” and “The Avalanche HAVE solved one problem”.

    But within 25 years it’ll all be mute anyways, everything will be LOL, brb, c u l8ter… english is getting mangled beyond belief, sad.

  5. Mats Naslund says:

    I’m not talking about pluralising the proper name. I’m saying the sentence should read “The Avalanche ARE” instead of “The Avalanche IS“. Or “The Avalanche HAVE” instead of “The Avalanche HAS”.

     

  6. Bill says:

    Thank you for bringing this up. Grammatically and logically, it would make much more sense to consider a sports team’s name as a collective noun, just as “the nation” or “the public” or “the corporation” is. A sports team’s name embodies a group acting as a single entity, which is pretty much the definition of a collective noun. Usually, a collective noun will take a singular verb, especially when it refers to the action of the group as a whole.

    That said, while it makes sense to say, “The team is in the dressing room”, it sounds very odd to say, “The Canadiens is in the dressing room”. This is an example, I believe, where the sound of the words must override the grammatical rule.

    However, I don’t mind if someone wants to say, “The Avalanche is looking …” or ” … has found.” It’s actually the more correct construction.

     

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  7. smiler2729 says:

    don’t forget the NBA’s Miami Ego, er, Heat

  8. smiler2729 says:

    AK46 for Bieksa, straight up, let’s do it

  9. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Or the Hurricane versus the Thrasher? 

    (sounds like a WWE match, which would be a wet dream for Bettman…then he could really tap into that oh so desirable market in Alabama)

  10. krob1000 says:

    I like the defensive detail….just not the constant double standard.  JM/PG/BG  in a sense have done what they set out to do and that was to change the culture of the team and employ a team strategy and awareness…I love that aspect but he is poisoning his own delicious meal when he does this and someone has to stop it.  Surely he doesn;t believe that it is his treatment of the kids that is making it successful….it is the fact that he has vets buying in plain and simple….but the vets are actually making more mistakes or at least the same amount IMO as teh kids…so why is it the kids get punished…..I know the deal with pecking order etc but that isn;t really true on the ice…unless it is a rare circumstance like overstaying a pp,etc….everyone has an equal responsibility to backcheck, not turn pucks over,etc…that is a team.  I don;t want Martin fired…I want him coached too…even the shrinks need shrinks sometimes and I don;t know if we have anyone in the organization to do that and I am not sure if Muller says antyhing.  The other thing is that maybe Muller and JM are so far ito teh situation that they allow off ice maturity and what not to affect their opinions….which is natural…but someone has to be able to look from the outside and see that our success lives and dies with our youth and how tehy compliment our vet corps.  Frustrating and smothering them is not something that I see helping any of them….I have seen a decline in Pouliot, Subban and Andrei and even Picard and Pyatt since their punishments…..same happened to Boyd who looked real good in the preseason.  I have seen nowexample of this working yet…aside from Price who is in a whole diff’t catergory and was simply being outplayed and not focussing …the other guys all had success and then  one slip up caused their wheels to bepulled out from under them….it is not right Tommy…JM is not a bad coach but his in game discipline is over the top and hypocrtical and I can;t see many people on the butt end of it embracing it or playing better as a result…..and the frustrating thing is the defensive benefits to martin have been great…but JM needs to get the pickle out his arse when it comes to kids.

     

  11. joeybarrie says:

    So you want to fire the most successful coach the Montreal Canadiens have had in 17 years? After making the Eastern Conference Finals and currently being number one in our division? All done without our number one player for the most part… Does this make any kind of sense? Do you think that having the most experienced coach currently in the NHL and despite the fact he is winning and leading this team to levels we have not had since our last cup, firing him with less than half of his contract up, would maybe not help us sign new coaches? Who would want to sign with Montreal when they would get fired for being number three in the league DIRECTLY after going to the Eastern Finals????

    JM wants his players to be able to play a certain type of game. This is the type of game that has lead us where we are currently. If you cannot play that style of game, you have to sit. It’s simple.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  12. newbrunswick troy says:

    J.T said it right to a tee….the habs are in desperate need of a top 4 scoring d-man who can gain the zone ..via skilled pass.   I hope P.G isn,t going to wait and spend Markovs cap money later at trade deadline..they need to shake things up now….I for one don,t agree with people who say its just there normal December lul……….Stanley cup contenders don,t have Luls…yes they lose some games but they don,t have LULS!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Max_a_million says:

    I think JM has two great strengths.  (1) Attention to detail (2) Even Keeled and dispassionate

    A coach with too much passion in Montreal will hurt the team and himself very quickly.  A loss is a loss, big deal.  The media and fans are already crazily the sky is falling suicidal everytime the team loses.  The last thing we need is a coach riding the waves of passion as well. 

    Carbo was a little too passionate, and I think that was his downfall here. 

    There is too much scrutiny, too much media, too much internet, too many fans at practices, too many arm-chair GM’s and coaches, just much too much.  Slow and steady will win this race.  Yes JM has failings in dealing with players, but every coach does.  Each individual responds to different unique stimuli.  The cream of the crop will rise regardless …  Some of the also rans can be coaxed into being contributors with the right coaching, but those with the drive and fortitude to be great will be great of their own volition.

    Do you think all of his players loved Scotty Bowman?  Responded to Scotty Bowman?

    Off the top of my head Marc Tardif played for Scotty Bowman, and was a number 2 overall pick.  He was a 50 pt player every year.  I know there are worse examples. 

    Perfection is too much to ask of anyone.  Success is a pretty darn good result.

  14. Bugs says:

    You mean like the Minnesota WildS and Tampa Bay LightningS?

    I wouldn’t mind. Should be good for a laugh.

    Unquestionably unquestionable, I think I’m

    L. Bugs Potter, esq., Herzog of ze Abominable Habsuchtig Brigade, Markgraf of ze Fearsome Flanell Flausen Flank, und devoted minion of ze Habsbros Order: http://habsbros.blogspot.com

  15. TommyB says:

    Coaching is the Habs problem?  Okay, let’s change the coach.  Now, tell me, how many more goals is that going to translate into from the same roster of players?  Players who are happy with their coach are going to be more productive?  That would be just plain speculation, and I doubt it would improve this team’s offence.  And, you had better hope that this new coach is going to have the team playing as responsible defensively as Martin has them playing. 

  16. ooder says:

    well the avalanche along with the lightning, wild and utah jazz is a rare bread of sports teams whose name doesnt end with an “s”

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  17. joeybarrie says:

    The Montreal Canadiens have won ONE game without Gomez in the past 2 years…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  18. joeybarrie says:

    I don’t want to take anything away from Price. He is BRILLIANT. BUT:

    Last season our shots for average was 28.6 and against 32.1. This season 31.7 for and 30.5 against.

    The save percentage difference from Price this season and Halak last season was .05%. Very very similar.

    Also not to take anything away from Halak, but the Habs last season during the playoffs finally played into Martin’s system. This made the shots against much easier to stop. Now both Halak and Price have had their fair share of spectacular saves. But in the end I have to say that a very large portion of the dangerous shots are being blocked by our guys and the ones that get thru and from further out and seem less dangerous to me. Sometimes I want the bombardment of shots in a particular period and think back to not being very nervous about being scored upon. It just seemed like only a fluke or soft goal would get through.

    Now even though I like my stats, they don’t tell the whole story. I have to say that if you take an extra 3 shots and have 2 fewer the 5 shot swing at the end of a 82 game season makes a big point. At an average of 1 goal for every 15 shots thats a 27 goal difference. one goal difference for every 3 games. Go back and see what kind of difference that makes in getting to overtime, and winning the game instead of going to overtime.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  19. lenny says:

    Is Their a market for AK46?

  20. nick says:

    Haha, missed that one. Good catch.

  21. Mats Naslund says:

    This is supremely picky of me, but I can’t let it go. 

    Mr. Hickey’s story on the Avalanche, on two occasions, refers to the team in the singular.

    ie. “The Avalanche is trying to lure fans back..” and “The Avalanche has solved one problem…”

    I could absolutely be wrong.. but shouldn’t the team and organisation be referred to in the plural – even though the proper name is not pluralised. The team name in both cases refers to a group of people.

    Later in the article, a reference to the Dallas Stars is pluralized “Tonight’s opponents, the Dallas Stars, are also winning”.. I noticed that the other day and then again today.

    Am I losing my marble(s)?

  22. krob1000 says:

    but he is developing all of these guys defensively amazingly but he needs to give some leeway offensively and find a happy medium…but he won’t.  I think in his mind offenser willt ake care of itself as long as the team plays their best defensively….sort of makes sense but not when you factor in that the other team plays pretty good d too and you need to take chances sometimes to score goals…..I still don;t think Subban ever did anything on ice to warrant his treatment of late….he had one game where a couple of his chances backfired…the slide was illa dvised but I am sure he probably thoght he would at least take that guy out with the slide …oh well.  Since then he has looked nervous, tentative, and not the same player he was before.  I think Eller has been great this year but like OB last year every time he turns the puck over he gets benched despite doing more little things right than many of the vets…..then the vets dow hat they want and go unpenalized…it is not a great environment for the kids …. it is the ol do as I say not as I do……it is a tough sell. It would be great if someone on the team would just tell JM to lossen up because the guys have bought in….tehy don;t need to see a kid sat every night to keep the ball rollin…they get it now…..let them play and move on…when anyone messes up, point it out after the game, or quietly on the bench, see if tehy correct it next time…sometimes it may take a few times…..but it is getting frustrating seeing guys like POuliot, Eller, PK and Andrei in this situation.  When any three of those 4 were playing well we were contending for top spot in the NHL, when they are not……

  23. ctony says:

    I agree.  I don’t see Weber as a good D partner for PK at this stage.  Which leaves Gill, Hamr, Spacek or Georges (my preference). 

  24. Max_a_million says:

    or even the injustices …

  25. smiler2729 says:

    Just in case anyone needs a reminder, GARY BETTMAN SUCKS ASS.

  26. TommyB says:

    krob I know what people are referring to when they label JM as old school, but I don’t mind you taking the time to explain it to me, as you usually do make sense and this time is no different.  However, and you are quite right when you point to the vets not being treated the same way, like it or not there is a pecking order in the NHL.  It may be true that new thinking is starting to take hold, but it is far from being the dominant direction that some think it is.  And I’m speaking of at the NHL level.  Go down through minor hockey systems, junior level, and minor pro…and you will find many coaches who are among that newer, philosophical, if you will, way of coaching.  But in the NHL this has not taken a firm hold yet, and it will take quite some time longer still.  Hockey coaching, (any sport actually), is an evolution of sort.  When it comes to the NHL evolving, it can take as long as the evolution of man.  And you know how long it has been since we first crawled out of the sea.  So while I don’t necessarily disagree with some people’s view towards old school coaches like Martin, I don’t have the same problem with it that some do.  Martin is a good coach.  He may not be what some percieve to be as the ideal coach.  But, who is?  I gave the example of Clouston in Ottawa further down the posts here, and if I took the time, I’m sure I could come up with a few others.

  27. Max_a_million says:

    So, I was looking at the average age of players to see where we stood in the league.

    I think this is the beginning of the year, so we are younger than this currently with Markov being replaced by our young defencemen.  What surprised me most was how many bad old teams there are Calgary, New Jersey, Ottawa, Florida, Minnesota, Buffalo  … that would be discouraging. 

     

    #   Team   Average
    Age  
    1 COL   25.8
    2 TOR  26.0
    3 EDM  26.0
    4 LAK  26.1
    5 STL  26.2
    6 CAR  26.2
    7 WAS  26.5
    8 ATL  26.8
    9 NYR  27.3
    10 NAS  27.3
    11 CLB  27.3
    12 CHI  27.5
    13 PIT  27.6
    14 SJS  27.6
    15 TBL  27.6
    16 BOS  27.7
    17 DAL  27.7
    18 NYI  27.7
    19 VAN  27.8
    20 MTL  27.8
    21 BUF  27.9
    22 MIN  27.9
    23 FLA  28.2
    24 PHI  28.2
    25 PHX  28.3
    26 ANA  28.8
    27 OTT  28.8
    28 NJD  29.0
    29 CGY  29.7
    30 DET  31.0
  28. ctony says:

    Carbo had a better record as Habs coach and better career record than JM.   

  29. ctony says:

    Whether or not PK plays, this is just JM preference for a team of conservative veterans over young players.  Fewer mistakes, less upside.  

    Again, JM is the right coach for an older team.  Not the coach for player development.  

    Gainey picked JM and signed players that suited his style.  Guys like PK, AK, Pouliot, Patches (specially last year), Eller, OB, are not JM types.  That’s why they get shifted from line to line (or D-pairing), sit out games and get called out in the media; while players like Spacek, Gill, Hamr, Gomez and others are given time to find their game and rarely chastised publicly. 

    PG and BG choose this route.  People just need to fall in line behind them or complain from the outside (likely for a long time) that they would prefer a different approach.

  30. habsruleworld says:

    “JM has to go” ??

     

    no offense, But Fack your Stupid eh!

  31. smiler2729 says:

    Picard is a veteran, no?

    I have no problem overall with JM though I’d love Kirk Muller as head coach someday…

  32. G-Man says:

    Mario Tremblay had passion, too. No clue, but lots of passion.

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    The PK-Picard pairing worked for a while, Subban settled down his game with him following the L against TBL where his rookie mistakes first really bit the team and the Canadiens won 6 of 8 for the rest of October. he had 4A and went +6 on that stretch.

    The problem is Picard is no longer setting a good example for PK with simple plays (Which he was before) but now he’s just a liabiltiy on the back end and not being around to help cover up when Subban gets too adventerous. Unfortunately we’re at the point where we are finding Picard is less of a steal in his signing and more of the Habs got what they paid for.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  34. Price_Is_Right says:

    Let’s hope Jacques Martin has a change of heart before the game tonight, I’m really tired of this lack of development with our young players.

  35. ctony says:

    JM has plusses and minuses.  He wouldn’t have coached 1000+ games in the NHL if he wasn’t bringing something to the table (or have pictures of every GM with goats).  Overall his career record is average (when adjusted for OTL inflation).  

    He plays a defensive style that worked for many years leading up the lock out.  He is a safe pick as a coach – not flashy, doesn’t seek out the spotlight and has a credible record.  And, in places like Montreal and Ottawa, it doesn’t hurt that he’s bilingual. 

    But he’s known to prefer a conservative style and veterans over young players.  It’s fits his conservative personality.  

    I was disappointed when arrived and would like to see him gone.  If you want to build an organization through drafting and developing players, I don’t think he’s the man.  That’s the way I would like to see this team evolve. 

  36. ed lopaz says:

    Gomez plays terrible for 30 games – not benched.

    Spacek is playing horrible these days – not benched.

    Gill needs a rest now and then – not rested.

    Coaching IS THE HABS PROBLEM.

    The only thing saving the coaching is the out of this world goaltending.

  37. nick says:

    I remember a couple games ago, folks were throwing %$#$ fits because AK was demoted to the 4th line.

    That lasted how long? 2 faceoffs before he was back with the first line?

    I know this sounds crazy, but lets wait an see what the pairing are on the ice tonight before writing 20 pages worth of comments on the unjustices of life – and why we’re all more qualified to coach the team than JM.

  38. SeriousFan09 says:

    Yes put a coach behind the bench with passion! Because that passion shown by Bruce Boudreau has done so much for the Washington Capitals in the post-season, or this one.

    Assistant coachs rarely, if ever take over the bench. The relationship between an assistant coach and the players is far different from a HC and the players and the transition doesn’t often work out. Muller is great where he is no doubt, but I don’t think him taking over the bench would be the best move.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  39. krob1000 says:

    tommy…whyw as Spacek or Hammer not benched, Gill, Cammi, Gomez, Gio?   All have had terrible stretches this year…..theya re all vets and that is the diff and I think what people are referring to…JM’s got us playing teh tightest d hockey I have ever witnessed by a Habs team….but his “old school” mentality with young players is waht I believe people are referring too…times have changed and these kids are not treated like rookies of yesteryear….they will talk to the media, they will do promos, tehy are padi far more, they have more options than in years past, form that perspective things are diff’t.  I think the vets in this day and age should be the ones setting the examples  off  the ice and handling the lockerroom, the weakening of our team repeatedly to punish these players does no good to anyone.  People point to Price last year…well there is only one goal;ie spot and one gaolie was playing better than the other…..who do we have playing better than Pouliot, PK, Eller and Andrei? What have they done that is so awful? The in game punishment should be a tactic used as a last resort nowadays not an every game thing.  every game someone ends up in his doghouse…that is ridiculous…..especially considering that age seems to mean you are immune to it….

    If JM benched Spacek or Cammi or Gomez then maybe people wouldbn;t lose it but he has his Mutts and they are always young….and this Tommy is what people mean by “old school”…unfortunately in our teams case these young guys are the diff between us being a fringe team and a very good team.

  40. ctony says:

    Because it is normal to place young, offensive-minded defenseman with a penchant for making mistakes with a stabilizing partner who can cover for miscues and let him develop – that’s why.  You can’t possible think the best pairing for PK is a journey man.  Can you?

    Sometimes, I think JM’s hubris gets in the way of thoughtful D-pairings.  As if he can put them on the ice against only weaker opposition to protect them.  Like other coaches won’t make line changes to take advantage of inexperience. 

     

  41. anotherhab says:

    Martin would froth at the mouth and wiggle his ears if he could dress 3 Pyatts and 2 Darches!!!

    Move over Martin and let Muller take over! A coach that would show some passion, emotion and not stand there like a Neanderthal.

  42. HabFanSince72 says:

    Another aspect of these Jacques Martin posts that hasn’t been mentioned yet is how boring they are.

    They’re like when people describe their dreams: fascinating to the person who had the dream, but uninteresting to everyone else. “Oh, you dreamt your feet were birds did you? How interesting!”

    More boring than a Jacques Martin press conference.

    “I think Jacques Martin bla bla bla …”

    Dull dull dull.

     

  43. Maksimir says:

    Wow – whole lot of JM bashing going on… don’t you kids remember the Mario Tremblay years? Don’t you remember the Carbo days when a player would only be on a line for one shift – forget about one day.

    I’m not saying JM is Scotty Bowman but he is good at line matching. Aside from that I kind of wish he would give some players a little more of a chance like Pouliot and keep Kots with Plek & Cams.

  44. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    yes, the line juggling bothers me as well.  Particularly when he split up Cammy and Pleks.  Seemed like a real bonehead move.  If I remember correctly that was a common lament about Carbo as well. 

    I wonder if other coaches do it as often? It seems somewhat common during the course of the game, but JM seems to change the starting line up fairly regularly going into the game

  45. TommyB says:

    There’s a lot to be said for “new school” coaches, right?  I mean, Cory Clouston in Ottawa is new school, isn’t he?  How long did it take for his act to fizzle out with the players?  You can selectively pick out examples on both sides of that coin, and be right, I think.  Regardless of whether you are old school or new wave, you have to work with what you have.  The Habs don’t have the firepower needed to be an elite team, so team defence is critical to their success.  Jacques Martin fits the bill for that kind of team.  So when players do not perform accordingly, whether it’s a defenceman like PK, or a forward like Pouliot, he has to take some kind of action.  If benching a player is considered old school, I’d like to ask you what is new school today……Asking a player if he wouldn’t mind turning down his Ipod for a sec, and listen to what I have to say?  I apologize in advance for the sarcasm, and I don’t intend to demean your view.  I just don’t think coaching is the Habs problem.

  46. SeriousFan09 says:

    Because you said so is in fact, not a good reason.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  47. TripleX says:

    JM either consciously or unconsciously puts young players in positions to fail.  This results in a loss of confidence in the player which causes even more errors.

    How does PK go from playing OVER 20  minutes a game to a benched player?

    EVERYONE knows that PK HAD to be paired with a veteran Dman.  JM stubbornly refuses to do the obvious after how many games now. 

    Do you understand now why JM has to GO?

    Anyways going back to sleep too early.

     

     

    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  48. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Perhaps so.  But like I said, I don’t think you can really argue with his record thus far.  And I’ve been very impressed by the play of the team when they are playing well.  Particularly in their own end, and that was a big problem prior to Martin for the Habs. It’s the type of system that’s built for the playoffs; however, only time will tell as I don’t see him being fired anytime soon

  49. joeybarrie says:

    Pouliot for Latendresse….  Plus when you got players who’s contracts are expiring or are getting close to retirement it gets easier. We would have to give up some picks, but it would be worth it for a go this season at the Cup. Plus with a top player we will most likely be giving up a 50+ overall pick.

    For me its not about getting a band aid. We have to think about the possibility of not being able to sign Markov next season. Plus the kids are still a few years away from being top players. A quick fix like Knuble would be welcomed. Lets remember that we can make it to the finals. Why would we KEEP waiting for the future. We can do it now, and not give up the farm. Teams need to get rid of Salary, and try to get something for a potential UFA.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  50. shiram says:

    The main issue with JM seems to be his handling of young players, his juggling of lines, and his system. Some would say his lack of emotion as well, but thats a minor issue to me.

    My only true issue is the line juggling, but then I dont have locker room access and I dont know whats going on beyond the ice.

    He is a successful coach, but his play philosophy isnt the most exciting or over the top, so it can create that annoyed fan.

  51. ctony says:

    Is it our system or is it Price?

  52. krob1000 says:

    probably because of that rush intot he left side last game, where gomez was in front of the net, Subban didn’t get teh puck to him and he orlled his eyes…yes Gomez rolled his eyes and actually appeared to have said something to the guy on the other team about it….the same gomez who turns every other puck over and misses every single pass that is ever made to him, the same guy who wouldn’t shoot for fear of damaging the twine if his life depended on it…Gomez has played better as of late but after I saw him do that I had a feeling he was part of the in house anti Subban movement as well and that something may happen. I guess it is only ok to have one guys slaloming through three zones with no desire to do shoot or attack a net…but man he cold be gold medalist in the Super G……sigh…

  53. BJ says:

    Neither Carbo or Martin have the proper mind set for 2010 era. Too old school.

  54. BJ says:

    I agree with “mjames” below. The problem is the coaching and player development. The antiquated “old school” methods don’t work anymore and the only reason they ever did was the talent pool available in the pre-1967 expansion. Also through the 70’s but thats over, someone should make the Habs management aware of that. There are 30 teams in the league and they are all trying to win games. Its not always a few players fault, its sometimes the other team played a bit better (as apart from 5-6 teams there is not a whole lot of difference talent wise on each team). So player development is essential and the guys are so up tight with Martin’s psychological unconsciousness that they can’t progress. Much the same can be said with Carbonneau previously (same old school). Next coaching change I would like to see a more conscious approach to player selection and development.

  55. krob1000 says:

    explain Gomez up until his injury then….

  56. shiram says:

    Well it is only speculation as of now.

  57. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    The backlash against Martin seems a little out of place to me. This isn’t an attack against those criticizing him, but considering he took the team to the Eastern Conference Final in his first season, and has them atop the division (albeit by their fingernails) over a third of the way through his second, doesn’t he deserve some credit and the benefit of the doubt?

    I know there are mitigating factors (Halak’s play in the playoffs, Price’s this year etc), but I mean, he’s tenure has been pretty successful thus far.  Is it really fair to say that the team’s recent success has been achieved in spite of the coach instead of, in part, because of the coach?

    I love Carbo, but do you remember trying to watch the Habs’ get the puck out of their end during his time? (I know, I know, we had Komi then, but still, you get my point)

  58. Price_Is_Right says:

    I just read on the site bellow that PK Subban is benched tonight? WHY NOW?

     

    http://www.habstalkradio.com/2077/p-k-subban-benched-again/

  59. SeriousFan09 says:

    To warm up before DAL-MTL folks, Team Canada plays Sweden at 7:30 tonight on TSN.

     

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  60. krob1000 says:

    worst O coach ever, worst o coach ever!!! I’m in….best D coach in years, best d coach in years…I’m in for that too…. I just wish he would give more freedom to the guys in the Ozone….ultimately in the end I would choose d over O but the teams that we need to overcome come playoff time are good at both…we need to score as well.  I like that he has guys playing defensively aware….but we have a group of “Martin’s Mutts” that want to contribute offensively but are not apparently allowed to (Pouliot, Eller, Subban, Andrei) …..this group is the diff between us being offensively competent or not IMO…..they have all proven they can adhere to the system in the defensive zone and in the neutral zone…an occasional chance is need though when your best 4 forwards are under 6 feet tall in the NHL though….so in summation I like Jeckyl JAcques defensively but I despise HYde ont he perimter Martin in the Ozone….because his stress on puck possession with zero room for chances ultimately leads to that.

  61. joeybarrie says:

    Its not AK’s mistakes that get him dropped to the 4th line. Its his indifference. How can you expect all the guys to keep playing HARD if you keep a floater up on the top lines???? When has Martin ever dumped on a player to the press? I have never seen anything the shows a lack of respect for the player by JM. O’Byrne is a +19 on a team that is on fire. He is also paired with their Markov… MUCH LIKE KOMISAREK (he went down 23 p/m without Markov in 2 seasons) Colorado also sit in 27th place in PK and Komi has PLENTY of PK time with them. (Where you don’t get minus points)…

    Its not about getting that type of play out of OByrne, its getting the type of play that has our team in the top of the league in goals against. Not that hard to play for a team that is at the bottom of the pile…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  62. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    I never, ever thought I’d repost a comment from a Laff’s fan, but I saw this on TSN and couldn’t help my self:

    “I’ve been training a turtle to hold a hockey stick for the past 7 months – it’s almost ready to replace Komisarek.Just waiting for your call Burke”

    Too good.  Losing 3 in a row sucks, especially with the way the Eastern Conference is tightening up.  But hey, at least the Leafs still suck!

  63. krob1000 says:

    you play about 95 percent of the game without the puck Bugs……if the guys who didn’t have the puck were positioned better away from the puck and ready thye may have capitalized on those chances.  Cammallerri is always ready to shoot….as soon as he passes the puck he positions himself for a return pass or a rebound, whatever the most likely scenario is…he is a sniper without the puck too.  Defensively without the puck is far more important though obviously…..but any hockey player who cannot play away fromt he puck is not actually a hockey player and would be better suited playing keepaway. One criticism I have about JM’s puck possession gameplan as oppowsed to say a Detroit is that JM appears to not have attacking in mind and gets peeved when a chance tomake something happen is turned over…..the goal has to be a goal…sure sometimes it is wiser to get it deep, or retreat, or maintain possession but the other guys are pretty good too and at some point “a play” has to be made…..problem is if it isn’t a ten year vet trying to make a play they get benched if the other team does their job and disrupts the play.  So that leaves us with about 5 guys with permission to score or make plays…..pretty easy to defend. 

    I like our responsibility defensively and our play for the most part away from the puck defensively but offensively we have to have some freedom given to the players….how can they go to the net when they’ll get benched if they try and score and are stopped, how can we penetrate the goal area when all of our players appear mandated to maintain safe possession around the perimeter of the offensive zone? At some point JM has to loosen up in the ozone….from the other blueline out and tunrovers right at the other blueline…fine JM, actually great work JM because we are one heck of a team in the neutral zone and our play in our end this year is miles ahead of any Hab team in recent memory actually.  Our play in the ozone at times seems tentative and when guys like Eller, Pouliot, Andrei K ( a little longer leash than the other two), Subban, etc slip up they are penalized.  The sad thing is these are our oly forwards with a combination of size and skill…..these are the guys we want on the interior, these are the guys we want down low generating pressure and chances..I’d actually like to see us make a line out the three of them and see how well they controlled the play…..I bet tehy could be a force down low…..but by the end of the game they would all be benched so….that could be the best bang and crash scoring line in recent memory…but Jm would have convulsions on the bench.

  64. Mattyleg says:

    There’s a lot of trade-talk, but who are we going to trade for these ‘top’ players?

    AK! Give ’em AK!

    I don’t think any team would trade a ‘top’ player for a player who isn’t producing, and doesn’t have a solid consistency record.

    We’ve got a lot of good prospects, and getting a band-aid player now for someone who could help us in the future doesn’t seem like a good idea.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  65. Mattyleg says:

    Yeah! Worst Coach Ever!

    C’mon guys! Everyone together! “Worst Coach Ever!”

    Yeah, boy oh boy does he ever suck.

    The way he ruins players. Wow. Worst Ever!!

    C’mon!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  66. mjames says:

     

    Rush him into the waiting arms of JM who will proceed to demorlize and mess him up.

     

    mjames

  67. joeybarrie says:

    We are doing just fine. All teams go thru a slump. At lease ours wasnt like the Caps. We had only 3 straight loses. We have to keep playing well, and stay reasonably fit from injury (aside from Markov).Guys like Cammalleri, Gomez, AK, PK, and Pouliot have not been playing their best hockey. I think we can only get better from where we are, and we are pretty good.

    But that is where we need to figure something out. At this rate we will end up in the top 6 in the East and probably do ok in the Playoffs. But without a top defence and possibly another top 6 forward, we will not do any real damage in the Playoffs unless we surprise like last season. With both these holes filled, we can win. Without it is doubtful. MaxPac might be able to step up and continue to play very well, and we might get by without another top 6. But picking up someone like Langenbrunner, Knuble, or Brunette and/or on D Kaberle, McCabe, Tyutin, or Jack Johnson. (It might be tough, but LA might have to trade a player. They have to resign 9-10 players and have 24 million in cap space. Johnson, Doughty, Handzus, Williams, Ponikarovski, Simmonds, and Sturm are all expiring)

    I also just noticed something, we are this season NJ Devils. Leading in the East, Lowest GA average and lowest GF average…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  68. mjames says:

    The coach says he wants more from Pouliot and AK but he either benches them or puts them on the 4th line. Brilliant tactical move coach.  I predict that if you watch the game tonight you will see AK46 make some good passes and create some chances for Moen and nothing will come of it. AK46 of course will make a mistake and he will be benched. Martin will come out and dump on him in press. If the Habs should lose it will be reported by the Gazette that the loss was partly, largely or entirely due to AK46. Lap and Moen will be praise for their gritty play. Even if Pouliot is benched he will also be somehow tied into the loss. 

     I have read what O’Bryne had to say. I see how Subban is playing. I read what Pac had to say. The common denominator in all this is the coach. You can say what you want but where there is smoke there is fire. It would refreshing to have coach who encouraged players instead of using disrespect and punishment as his motivational tools.  Martin’s methods of handling players is outdated. It does not work. You can say that O’Bryne was a poor Dman and we do not miss him  but you can’t ignore the fact that he is +19. He must be doing something right. If I am PG I would be asking JM why he could not get that type of play out of O’Bryne. 

     

    mjames

  69. Ian Cobb says:

    I believe that Pouliot could, but will not reach a better level of his game. Both he and AK 46 will be used as trade pieces come the dead line.

  70. avatar_58 says:

    I hope I’m wrong but I see him going on an AHL tear and being rushed

  71. Ian Cobb says:

    Leblanc, playing for the juniors, will be our next year’s rookie. If not right off the hop, then 6 months in Hamilton and he will be NHL ready.!!!

  72. ctony says:

    Speaking of making something happen, look at Colorado.  They needed pieces and picked up players who fit their system – OB on defense (I’m not saying he would have played to this level in Montreal) and Fleischmann to score (who many regular posters here trashed, interestingly the same one who defend GM and Gomez).  The cost was a prospect and over the hill Hannan. And, these players cost less, so the Avs can add more later.

    Good management sees problems and opportunities and makes things happen.

    PG did some of this during the offseason.  Halpern and Darche are good examples of players that fit the system.  Pouliot has played better for us than Gui did.  It would be nice to see this type of maneuvering from PG when we need upgrades to improve our playoff prospects.

     

     

     

  73. Bugs says:

    If Jack Marty wasn’t so obsessed with his “play without the puck” mantra and concentrated a little bit on “play WITH the puck”, maybe we woulda potted a few of those empty-netters the other night.

    Unquestionably unquestionable, I think I’m

    L. Bugs Potter, esq., Herzog of ze Abominable Habsuchtig Brigade, Markgraf of ze Fearsome Flanell Flausen Flank, und devoted minion of ze Habsbros Order: http://habsbros.blogspot.com

  74. adamkennelly says:

    I will be very disappointed if PG does nothing till the trade dealine.  We have the CAP space with Markov out – and team has plenty of money.  We have obvious gaps – lack of size up front, offensive D man and toughness – its his job as GM to go make it happen.

    I would not be surprised at all to see AK go the other way in a fairly big trade.


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