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. smiler2729 says:

    Picard is a veteran, no?

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

  2. G-Man says:

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. 

     

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

     

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. SeriousFan09 says:

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

     

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

  17. 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’

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  21. ctony says:

    Is it our system or is it Price?

  22. 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…

  23. BJ says:

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

  24. 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.

  25. krob1000 says:

    explain Gomez up until his injury then….

  26. shiram says:

    Well it is only speculation as of now.

  27. 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)

  28. 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/

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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…

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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—

  35. 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—

  36. mjames says:

     

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

     

    mjames

  37. 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…

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. avatar_58 says:

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

  41. 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.!!!

  42. 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.

     

     

     

  43. 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

  44. VancouverHab says:

    Well said. (Except now my flashbacks will return & I’ll wake up screaming like back over there.)

  45. VancouverHab says:

    No way. I wouldn’t trade Alex Henry for Bieksa.

  46. 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.

  47. SmartDog says:

    I loved Recchi.  When he was up for grabs I was wishing he’d come back.  I knew he was one of those guys who age wouldn’t stop.  He has an intensity you can’t teach – or stop.

    ——-

  48. The Cat says:

    I agree with you. I especially thought the habs would be extra patient with a 6’5 defenseman, heck I even called Obyrne a keeper last year, guess I was wrong.

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

  49. ooder says:

    bored much lol

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  50. Oddball says:

    Moot……….just kidding. ;)

     

    ..always with the negative waves, Moriarty, always with the negative waves..

     

     

     

  51. habs001 says:

    pouliot and ak46 are not clutch goal scorers..when the team needs a big goal they rarely produce..martin rather have non goal scorers in tight games as they are less likely to cause a goal on a defensive mistake…

  52. krob1000 says:

    can’t get a pickle out of an arse glued to a bench…if anything it might add splinters to an already troubled arse!

  53. avatar_58 says:

    I’m getting really sick of watching Martin bench rookies over mistakes, instead of working with them. Funny how easily Obyrne listens when he has steady ice time, versus being benched over a simple penalty or bad pass isn’t it?

    Maybe it’s me, but I would rather see us work through Subban’s issues than play guys like Picard who have no future here. Sorry, the guy’s a free agent we signed for 1 year. At best he moves on to a raise on some other team at the end of year. Weber and Subban are the prospect rookies.

    Picard was playing very well which justified keeping him in, but he’s been terrible the last few games. Subban has also had some brutal plays. To me it’s obvious, bench the UFA and play Weber. Don’t give me this left/right side BS either, I’m not suggesting Subban and Weber play on the same pairing. Each should be paired with a vet.

    But nah, let’s bench him. Worked wonders last time.

  54. habs001 says:

    we have to realize that the line up we have will be in the bottom 15 in the nhl in scoring..last year we were 23rd…this year will not be much better…martin knows there will be very few nights when we give up 3 or more goals and we win..even when trailing by one goal after two it is very rare that we can come back…of the top 18 teams in the nhl only nashville has scored fewer goals than the habs…

  55. TommyB says:

    Fair enough statement.  But I might disagree as to the degree of drop-off in the players who you have listed as being unwisely disciplined by JM.  There are times when a player needs to get the pickle out of his arse as well.  And sulking because of being disciplined, or singled out, by the coach, is one of those times.  Two-way street.

  56. Price_Is_Right says:

    I Know I don’t get it, Subban needs development not benching! Put him on a line with Hal Gill it’s just plain logics.

  57. alestar says:

    The Habs have not had a bonafide SUPERSTAR in their line-up since the Patrick Roy trade and the last offensive superstar we had wore # 10…

     

    XXIV…and counting

  58. ctony says:

    We’re in a 17 year lul, I could 10 games standing on my head.

  59. avatar_58 says:

    And Picard still plays? Huh?

  60. HabFanSince72 says:

    I wouldn’t defend that trade, but Recchi was one of our best players when he was here. I think he was always the top scorer on the team (or very close) and made the all-star team each year.

  61. ctony says:

    Richer was the last player we drafted that scored 80 points in Habs uniform.

  62. SeriousFan09 says:

    Bieksa? No thanks. Seen him play the last two times VAN was unceremoniusly dumped out of the playoffs by CHI, he wasn’t exactly doing much for the team.

     

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

  63. smiler2729 says:

    AK46 doesn’t play like a top 6 player. Plug Pouliot or anybody in there, a callup, whatever, Bieksa’s a hard nosed solid defenceman. Both these guys need a change of scenery.

  64. Mats Naslund says:

    I guess my problem with it is that teams with pluralised names are never referred to as a singular unit without specifying as such.

    ie. “The Canadiens organisation is trying to improve.” 

    Otherwise 

    “The Canadiens are trying to improve” is used. 

    The Avalanche is a team name commonly referring to a collective of people (just like the Canadiens), so to refer to it in the singular without specifying that you’re referring to the Organization as a singular entity defies conventional use.

     

     

     

  65. Malreg says:

    Hate to tell you, but every Stanley Cup winner from the past 5 seasons or so had a point in the year where they won the cup that they were struggling mightily, had a “lul”.  They showed the stat on TSN last night.  I don’t remember the exact numbers but when Detroit won the cup in 08, they had a stretch of 10 games without a win.  Pittsburgh the year after also had a stretch of something like 2-8-1, same for Chicago last year.

    They were discussing that maybe that’s why Washington has done horribly in the playoffs the last 2 years.  They just cruised through the regular season with no adversity, then went out in the 1st or 2nd round.

     

  66. habs001 says:

    when the majority of the games are tied or are one  goal differences in the third it does not take a lot to go on a bad streak…in close games you could be playing well but as we have seen one or two plays in the whole game can cost you. as long as we make the playoffs the position the team finishes will have little impact…best way to make the playoffs is to win the division….

  67. scrowe21 says:

    So that would leave a big whole in our top 6 for an average yet pretty expensive defensemen. You really want Moen back in the top lines again? :|

    Someone suggested AK and a pick to LA for Simmonds. That I would like to see. I know he’s not a top 6 forward yet, but hes still young and put up 40 points in his second nhl season. Hes a hard working gritty player with a nice shot, and I think he’d put up a lot more points playing with Cammy and Pleks. He could do what Maxpac is trying to do for the little G’s. Create space for them by hard forechecking and hitting, going to the net..plus he drops the gloves to protect his teammates.

  68. ctony says:

    For the umpteenth time, JM is behind Carbo, Julien, Vigneault and Demers by winning percentage.  He’s marginally ahead of Therrien and I don’t consider Tremblay.  He’s an average coach.  

    His prefers veterans and plays a conservative system.  Don’t expect great player development with him.  

  69. cautiousoptimist says:

    You’re right to a point, but if lousy Habs routinely excel elsewhere, and good players come here to suck, there’s a pretty strong argument that it’s not all on the players…

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  70. smiler2729 says:

    That smiler2729 eh! He’s a great bunch of guys!!

     

    …help me.

     

    …Christmas stress (cue Napoleon XIV, They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!)

  71. cautiousoptimist says:

    I think we need to address the real heart of the matter here: collective nouns make stupid names for sports teams. : )

  72. smiler2729 says:

    You’re right on, Smiler, from the sun belt expansion to the lockout to the shootout to the Coyotes crap, you are soooo right, you handsome, debonair hockey mind, you!

  73. ooder says:

    ohh i also misread your post.. my bad.. i agree it sounds weird reading it the way Mr. Hickey wrote it

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  74. G-Man says:

    At least the rants against Martin are good for a laugh.

    It’s the players. The scorers are below average and the D is average. The leaves the goalie stuck playing 2.00 GAA or his team loses. The lack of scoring on the Habs has been going on since the 90’s. Not once have they managed to rectify it. Players come here and get 30. On any other team, they get 40.

    John Leclair is treated like a bust in Montreal. He gets traded WITH Eric Dsjardins to Philly and both kick ass while Recchi barely makes a dent. Not since Damphousse have the Habs had anyone near 95 to 100pts. Sad, really, that we keep expecting it and the players don’t deliver the goods.

  75. Storm Man says:

    You just made my day :).

  76. ctony says:

    Gosh, same streaks as SK, a player we banished to a Tennessean gulag for Boyd and Ellis. 

  77. mike g says:

    You wanna send a message?….

    Bench AK tonight, make him a healthy scratch.

    He’s the only underacheiver who seems to be immune to that treatment. PK was scratched, so were Benny, Eller and a bunch of others.

    I’m tired of seeing him grabb his you know what, and then we have to hear people on this site defend him all the time. These people preach about his talent, his “physical play”, etc…BENCH HIM.

    In AK’s case, it’s always about blaming the others. 1st it was the language issue, then it was the excuse that he had to babysit his brother. Now this year, the mainstream excuse is that he was seperated from Pleks. Boo-hoo!

    I’m sorry, but I didn’t see Pleks grab his behind and go into a 3 week slump when AK was moved from his line. Why?, because of hard work and determination, and because he takes his job seriously and doesn’t blame others. When Pleks sucks, he says it himself and blames nobody but himself.

    It’s time for AK to look himself in the mirror, stop making excuses and stop blaming others. The blame game shows exactly what type of player this guy is.

    If he’d be working hard and playing properly, he wouldn’t be shuffled around.

    And if you wanna throw stats in my face and say that he’s got alot of points, is a +9, etc…Well, that’s what you get when you play with a complete player like Pleks. It reflects on your stats. It also helps when you have a goaltender playing the way CP is this year.

    So enough with the excuses, and bench the guy.

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  78. Mats Naslund says:

    Its very hard for me to get worked up about this team’s needs on defense considering how few goals we’ve given up (second in the league). Our problems are far more evident on offense where only th Predators have fewer goals of all 16 playoff teams. If we score even .25 more goals per game, a lot of these one goal losses go away. That is the area in which this team needs the most work.

  79. The Cat says:

    Absolutely, for some reason the top 6 forwards (except AK and Gomez) can do no wrong on this forum it seems.

     

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

  80. kirkiswork says:

    AK46 is a big boy. He should be nailing people at any oppurtunity. Go to the freakin net , use your size. If he starts hitting people he may get room to use his shot.

    Maybe AK46 is the big forward we are looking for. He just doesn’t seem to do it.

    He will probably do it…..just elsewhere.

  81. SeriousFan09 says:

    Francois Gagnon says AK is scratched and we’re due for another night of Picard, normally don’t like to start the coaching complaints until post-game but come on, could Weber be any worse than Picard has been lately?

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

  82. ooder says:

    due to school and exams and stuff i’ve missed a few habs games

    (and my posting has also gone down here.. which is devastating i know).. but from what i seen Picard isn’t that bad is he?

    I mean ya a few mistakes here and there.. but he hasn’t been to terrible.

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  83. SeriousFan09 says:

    He’s slipped considerably from when he was more or less being a steady partner for Subban to the point where he’s making some considerable gaffes or just being caught and burned. If Subban is going to have a defensive partner to balance out his high-risk play, he needs one who will be on the spot to clear up his mistakes and set examples of good, simple plays.

     

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

  84. ooder says:

    but common.. not MAB bad right.

    just a little out of position.. something he can play through..

    i mean i can see JM’s hesitation to play Webber and PK at the same time

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  85. SmartDog says:

    Plekanec said he was looking forward to playing with Eller. “He’s a strong player and he has a good hockey sense,” Plekanec said.

    Plekanec is not just THE MAN, he’s the freakin’ bell of the ball.  Play with Plekanec and you’re playing on a bona fide #1 NHL line almost bound to get points most games.  Play with anyone else and your likelihood of a goal or assist drops dramatically.  It’s great that Pleks is looking forward to playing with Eller. Eller deserves the shot – he works his tail off and is improving almost nightly. 

    I do wonder though, has Kostitsyn really been that bad?  I mean… worse than Cami or Gomez or Pouliot?   I guess what bothers me is that some guys seem to be quite exempt from criticism while other guys seem to be whipping boys.  And then I think of O’Byrne logging top-4 minutes and a +13 in Colorado and wonder if JM really could be making big mistakes with his biases.  All praise for JM’s system, he’s brought stability to the team, and seems to have a pretty good locker room, etc.  But we’ve lost some good players (JM bubble players) in the last couple of years for modest or no return.

    ——-

  86. TripleX says:

    If we ,the great ignorant, unwashed masses see the hypocrisy, then what about the players?

    No one is against discipline, but it has to be transparent and perceived as fair.  When it is not, then you have anarchy.

     

     

    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  87. olematelot says:

    Cammy is currently on a 7 game point streak. Gomez has also picked up his game so, yeah AK46 has been that bad when compared to them 

  88. Ian Cobb says:

    Happy Holidays to all our HIO family.!

    From Andree and Ian!!

    click here

  89. Ian Cobb says:

    We are in every game this year Tommy. And they keep us on the edge of our seat, unlike a few years ago. You are quite right, we are a piece or two short yet, but patience is indeed needed.

  90. TommyB says:

    Montreal sits 12th in overall league standings.  A quick glance at the goals against column tells us that we are by far the best in that top twelve.  In fact, only Nashville and Pittsburgh are even close.  Habs fans can mostly thank Carey Price for that privilege. 

    The bad news is the goals for column.  Habs have scored 87 goals.  Only Nashville, with 83, has scored less.  Most of the other 11 teams ahead of us are well over 100 goals for, with Colorado, Philly, and Atlanta leading the pack.

    So, what does this say about the percieved excess of line juggling by JM?  Well, there are two ways to look at it.  One being that he recognizes the lack of scoring and he is searching for some goal-scoring chemistry.  Is he trying to balance some offence throughout the lines, or is he trying to find one magic combination that will light it up every night?  You’d have to get that answer from him.  I don’t pretend to know it.  The other way to look at it, is that this “excessive” (for lack of a better word) line juggling is the cause of that low-scoring total.  The reason being that not enough time is being allowed for lines to find that chemistry.  Which train of thought is right?  Tough call.

    But what it does suggest to me, is that this team is not establishing it’s own style of play.  Therefore they are constantly trying to adjust to a different opponent every night instead of playing their own game, and forcing the opposition to make the adjustment.  Maybe I’m dead wrong on this, but this is how it looks to me.  One reason for not being able to dictate every game to their own style, is because they don’t have all the horses yet.  They have a very entertaining, and skilled, hockey team.  What’s missing?  The gamebreaker.  The Habs don’t have that one or two “exceptionally” skilled player(s).  There’s still a piece or two missing.  There are only two ways to get that player these days.  One is through the draft.  That option is a tough one for a team that finishes higher in the standings year after year.  The second option is through free agent signing.  The problem there is twofold.  One, where do you sit capwise…and two, are you a team that is attractive to free agents.  Meaning, are you competitive enough and do you have a shot at a cup.  Montreal has made big strides towards improving competitively.  They are an attractive team now.  Players will want to take a look at Montreal when they become free agents now.  So that’s a good thing.  But such is the way in life, it also makes them too good to finish low enough for a great draft pick.  Grrrrrr, too many things get in the way, don’t they.  For now, we just have to enjoy the entertaining team we have.  Watch them win some big games, and watch them lose some games they should have won.  I know a lot of you HIO guys and gals don’t like to hear this word, but patience is required once again.

     

  91. shiram says:

    Great post.

    I do also feel we need some gambreaker, or star player. We have Cammy and Pleky, and while both are great at what they do, they arent on pace for any offencive awards.

    I would like to see lines stable enough for some synergy and comfort to be created, but I think we might just be missing that one player in the top 6 to make it work. That also means if we are to aquire that player any time soon he will come either trough trade or free agency. Rookies are great and needed under the cap, but they need devellopment, and that can take some time.

    Patience is indeed the word of order right now, the team is not doing bad, but our weakness are clearly showing, and it is a bit unnerving to think of the late season and playoffs with those weakness still on the team.

  92. sholi2000.com says:

    That was great read Tommy.  I’d comment on the topic however I wanted Kovalchuk as I thought 50 goals would help this team.  I’ll stick to what I always Knew. 

    Price Rocks, and now he has to shoot more. :)

    They Call Me Shane

  93. Bugs says:

    We’re the best in the top12??? Just like that? I dunno, man…

    Cuz if you remember, Philly and Atlanter beat ten kinds of sh*te out’ve us this year (not to mention the smackdown Nashville gave us). Good chance they might not agree with your statement.

    Don’t know if I do either.

    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

  94. alestar says:

    Good post!

     

    XXIV…and counting

  95. notbigbird says:

    “JM has to loosen up in the ozone.”

    I think that’s the problem. He spends too much time up there in the ozone layer. He needs to come back down to earth.

     

  96. Ian Cobb says:

     

     

    Stats comparing how we place in this 30 team league this week.

     

    Goal Against—72,   We are in  2nd place.   Last week we were in  2nd place.

    Total Points—-40,   We are in 12th place.   Last week we were in  5th place.

    Goals For——-87,   We are in 19th place.   Last week we were in 17th place.

     

    We had better get this ship turned around with some wins, before we drop to far down in the over all points standings.

  97. 24 Cups says:

    Ian – The best way to turn this ship around is to get some of the team’s oars into the water.  Here’s a telling scoring stat:

    Habs in top 30 = none

    Habs in top 60 = two

    Habs in top 90 = three

    This team’s top six forwards need to start scoring some more goals.  Carey Price can’t win every game for us.

  98. icemachine says:

    A big thanks to Anaheim for last nights efforts

  99. secretdragonfly says:

    And don’t forget to cheer for Atlanta on Thursday!  Go Big Buf!

  100. Ian Cobb says:

    Happy Holidays to all our HIO family.! From Andree and Ian!!

    click here

  101. Mattyleg says:

    Thanks!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  102. avatar_58 says:

    Atta boy Muller, tell em what for

  103. HabFanSince72 says:

    When the Nordiques lost money they moved them to Denver.

    When the Avalanche lose money they get Canadian fans to bail out their billionaire owner.

    Why the NHL needs to be blown up and pro hockey start  from scratch.

  104. Number31 says:

    Yup.

    And about 33-thousand people rallied for the Winnipeg Jets and they were still moved.

    When Phoenix threatened to move? About 300 came to rally and they struck a deal for the city to pay for things it can’t really afford to sweeten the pot for some rich man weary of the investment…

  105. Ian Cobb says:

    We sold this league to the Americans years ago. They run her now!

  106. longtimehabsfan says:

    Boone:  They’re 4-4-1 in December.

  107. jimmy shaker says:

    I was just going to post something similar…..I wish Muller could be our next coach, but sadly he’s never going to get that chance.  He’ll leave us and move on to someone else and shine there.  Just as Boucher was let go ( I know there really wasn’t much that could be done) I fear Muller is going down the same path. 

    Shaker

  108. HabFanSince72 says:

    The best coaches don’t “go apeshit behind the bench”.

     

  109. avatar_58 says:

    Actually he has shown it before. If Muller has something to say, he says it.

  110. LA Loyalist says:

    I just thank g*d every day that we have Muller as a back-up and next HC while count chocula does whatever it is he does… not sure anyone knows…

     

    too small, too soft, too intangible

     

  111. joshua94k says:

    Here is the reason why Leafs GM Burke will not fire coach Ron Wilson. The guy is a hockey genius…

    Here are his impressions of last night’s game against Atlanta.

    “We never quit. We had an incredible number of scoring chances,” Wilson said. “Our problem was basically the first shift for every line and every pair of defence was a disaster and we ended up down 2-0.

    He got me a bit confused there.

    “God, we actually could have tied the game up, believe it or not,” Wilson said.

    What he is failing to understand is after a 5-1 lead Altanta got bored and went through the motions, a habit many teams have.

    In hindsight maybe I should have changed goalies a little bit earlier in the game, but I wanted him to battle through it and I didn’t want our players thinking the goalie was the excuse because it really wasn’t.”

    I think he should be more worried about the talented defense with Phaneuf, Kaberle etc.

    Habs fans who criticize coach Martin should continue to do so but should also be thankful that at least he continues to fine tune the team and is never satisfied with their results. 

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  112. smiler2729 says:

    I like the waffle thing, that’s just so apropos… Brian Burke’s so overrated and this Toronto gig is proving it, the moron is building the Bruins into a potential powerhouse, and what can you say about Ron Wilson except LOL!!!

  113. HabFanSince72 says:

     Hab fans criticized Scotty Bowman in the late 70’s.

    Hab fans booed Patrick Roy.

     

  114. Bugs says:

    Right after the waffles were tossed on the ice, they scored two goals. Just sayin. There’s something there.

    Burke should put all his money into waffles, imo.

    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

  115. Mattyleg says:

    Yeah, Boucher was going to be coach of the year when he left here, with the greatest team that humans ever assembled.

    TB are in 7th in the East.

    Kirk is great, but it’s debatable how good he would be as a coach. Carbo had a great tenure as an assistant coach, but his head coaching was not as strong. If you remember, Carbo would be going nuts behind the bench, boosting people, being visible, and when he became coach, he had to change his style. I have a feeling that Kirk would be the same.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  116. Mattyleg says:

    Uhhh… that’s not what we’re talking about here…

    And welfare isn’t just for ‘lazy bums’.

    (no need for the bold)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  117. avatar_58 says:

    While true Martin is no Bowman.

  118. HabFanSince72 says:

    That was the point.

     

  119. Ian Cobb says:

    I know! I know!,

    Steve,  maybe they will find some goals in their stockings this Christmas, before they change colour at the trade dead line.

  120. TommyB says:

    You don’t read very well, do you.

  121. Bugs says:

    What? What do you m…oohhhh, goals agai…

    Yeah! I knew that, actually. I was just uhh, makin sure everyone ELSE was paying attention to your great point.

    I got it. Kind of uhh odd that you’d think otherwise, Tommy.

    Little disappointed in ya.

    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

  122. HabFanSince72 says:

    And they hired lawyers to run it.

    And the NHLPA hired a lawyer too.

    When institutions built on  passion fall into the hands of lawyers  they are finished. Just like marriages.

     

  123. ctony says:

    Cammi was a gamebreaker – That’s why we signed him.  AK could be (elsewhere).  Gionta and (ugh) even Gomez have been during their careers.  Under different tutelage Pouliot and Patches could develop into those players.  

    Coaches need to let stars play an aggressive game.  First lines should be aggressive and play with defensive pairs to protect their breaks.  Second lines should be balanced.  If you have enough scoring depth as I believe we might, you can let them play aggressively as well – it turns up the pressure on the other team to put defensive lines out more often and causes their stars to be more cautious.  Third lines for defense and fourth lines for energy.  Martin has all the lines playing the same style – balanced.

    It’s a disservice to the offensive capabilities of some of our top 6 forwards and limits (OB’s recent word) our goal scoring potential as a team.

    For all the kudos to JM’s defense-first system, we let us 223 goals last year.  We let up 222 under Carbo in 2007-08.  Last we scored 217.  In 2007 we scored 262.  How much offense has to suffer to make this system work?  We were one of only two teams last year in the east to make the playoffs with a negative goal differential.  

  124. shiram says:

    Well if anything right now the goal differential is going for us still, and thats definately the silver lining on a black cloud of low scoring.

    About gambreakers, and thats from your words : Cammy was, Ak could, Gio Gomer have been, Pouliot and Patches could… so thats alot of past greatness, and potential, but we kinda need a working team now, or are we setting ourselves up for a cup run in 1 to 3 seasons? Those players are all skilled, but not one of them is playing as a gamebreaker right now. Cammy did in the last playoffs though, for sure.

  125. ctony says:

    My “was” for Cammi was a poor grammatical choice.  I meant he was a gamebreaker with Calgary and should be a gamebreaker here – now.  I fault JM’s system for Cammi’s lack of consistency.

    But, I think you’re point is a bigger and more important one that most people don’t realize/discuss.  This  team is not built for a long playoff run in 2-3 years.  Gill, Hamr, Spacek will be gone.  Gomez and Gionta will be older than typical first/second line players.  This team is built for a long playoff run – NOW.  Which means PG needs to make the moves to put them over the top or tread water waiting for prospects to develop that give us an even better shot at a Cup in 2-3 years.

    I also fear that the goal differential will evaporate if Price’s play transforms from stellar to merely great.  

     

     

     

     

  126. shiram says:

    It does feel like the window of opportunity is closing at the end of this season, so many free agents!!
    As for Cammy, thats my point as well, is playing in JM’s system ganking his style??

    And yea Price is a big reason for our goal differential, but let’s not forget some good D-man as well.

  127. ctony says:

    IMO, when EVERY PLAYER ON THE TEAM is asked to play defense first, it hampers the natural ability of goal scorers to produce.  Guys like Cammi fall out of the top 30, players like PK play contrary to their instincts – which leads to hesitation and (more) frustratingly stupid plays.

  128. ctony says:

    Excellent point.


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