Rolling along

That was the first back-to-back sweep since mid-October, and it lifted the Canadiens into sixth place.

More good news: The report Benoit Pouliot left the Bell Centre on crutches was erroneous.

Pat Hickey’s game story

Quotes from the room

Quick Hits and About last night …

• Dave Stubbs on Pierre Gervais and the Price pads crisis

What happened to Danny Kristo?

• Arpon Basu on what Pierre Gauthier may be planning

• Pierre Durocher on possible moves

• Heather Engel on Alex Auld

The goalie fight. Down goes DiPietro



  1. HabFanSince72 says:

    Some do some don’t.

  2. Bill H says:

    Absolutely right about JM.  We are without our top offensive dman, our top defensive dman, and now our top sniper.  And yet we keep on rolling.  14 points in the last 10 games.  For sure JM is doing a lot of things right.  We don’t see too much criticism today, but all it takes is 2 Ls in a row and people around here will be calling for his head.

  3. punkster says:

    I’m on a “No Gomez Arguments”  (NGA™) diet for the coming weeks so I won’t argue this. However, I will say the thought intrigues me…ignoring the contract length and amount.


  4. Bill H says:

    Yes, it would be easy but perhaps unfair to speculate about the circumstances.  For sure there is something unusual going on.  I hope its not too serious.

  5. HabFanSince72 says:

    Actually that one makes sense.

    Tallon doesn’t want to be remembered for his blunders as Hawks GM (Huet, Campbell, forgetting to fax those contracts), so he is going to make an even bigger blunder as Panthers GM.

  6. HabFanSince72 says:

    Weiss doesn’t have Gomez’s skills.

    Nor his sense of humour. He has a lot more points however.


  7. F Bomb says:

    At the present time we must be happy with the way the season is going.  There were so many decisions to be made regarding how Price would play, our aging defence, a young PK and whether or not JM’s path to the Conference Final was a “fluke”

    Sure personal stats are down for all of the stars but look at the standings.  We are in 6th place a few points above 8th and a few points away from 1st in the division.  We do not or have not lost many back to back games and we are seeing a team that is coming back in games to force OT and / or win the game! (last night)  One can only think about how the team would be playing with a healthy Markov.  The injuries to Georges and Cammalleri and tough to swallow, but losing Markov changes the shape of our team.  It makes PK the #1 guy (who has played great) but it puts alot more pressure to Hammer and Spach.  It also puts Weber as our #6 and he has played solid but hasn’t contributed offensively. 

    With Markov we would could be a top tier team and although they would still have a tough time with Pitsburg, Philly and battle Boston, we would have a stronger PP and 5 on 5, providing a more consistent offence.     

    At the same time I want to be greedy.  In a perfect world Kostitsyn would have 20 goals by now.  In a perfect world Eller would have 10 goals and be the 3rd line center with size.  In an even more perfect world Gomez would be on pace for 60 points!!! Oh well Price and PK will lead us!

    6th place boys and girls lets enjoy it


  8. Bill H says:

    LOL keep up the good work Tom. I didn’t catch the game myself, but hear it wasn’t exactly a barnburner.  To watch it 3 times start to finish and make notes shows a deep commitment on your part to find the flaws on our team.  I see a lot of bipolar behavior around here, but OCD is quite rare.  Oh wait, what about all those Gomez fans out there.  I take it back. 

  9. HabFanSince72 says:

    Do it. Then turn around and trade Kovy to the Sens.


  10. Mattyleg says:

    Yep, I agree with you on that.

    We’ve weathered (and are still weathering) some pretty tough injuries, and doing remarkably well with the callups and replacements we’ve had to use.

    I think that JM does a very good job, and we would be in a worse place without him, in my opinion.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  11. TomNickle says:

    Hamrlik had the least amount of shifts last night among our defensemen protecting a lead.

  12. 123456 says:

    Have to agree, he is a HUGE MINUS player and he does not lead the teams Dmen in points. While he is overpaid, Hammer is far from a terrible player. He is a solid 3/4 Dman – that’s just a fact.

  13. GrimJim says:

    We should nominate Eklund for a Hugo award…

  14. TomNickle says:

    Is it okay to not want that deal as a Habs fan?

  15. TomNickle says:

    Weber leveled Jody Shelley last week, playing scared is something he’s not doing.  Wisniewski is struggling, but didn’t last night and his struggles could easily be attributed to who he’s playing with right now.  Much like Spacek early in the year.  There’s definitely a pattern there.

  16. G-Man says:

    Wiz is pretty much the worst defenseman, closely followed by Weber.

    As you took notes on Hamrlik, do the same for these 2 and you’ll find their positioning is terrible and their reaction time poor. The Wiz is playing like he needs to take a wiz, and Weber is playing scared.

    Hamrlik is a fine top 4 vet, and yes, even Ray Bourque, Larry Robinson, Bobby Orr and Doug Harvey messed up. They wouldn’t be human otherwise.

  17. HardHabits says:

    Eklund says it’s gonna be Gomez for Kovalchuck.

  18. Habsrule1 says:

    Does that say only that he’s bad or that the rest are pretty good? I think at 15 minutes/game, he’s a good defenseman.I also think his leadership goes a long way. He seems like he is pretty well respected and always has a good take on the game when I have heard him speak.

    Not a fave of mine but I think he’s alright.

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

  19. TomNickle says:

    Kirk Muller is a good leader but he isn’t lacing his skates up on gameday.

  20. TomNickle says:

    This wasn’t me just watching the game and taking notes on Hamrlik.  I made the statement yesterday that he’s our worst defesenman and I stand by that.  I evaluated every player, noted their mistakes and what they did well.  He was by far the biggest liability among our defensemen last night.  I watched it three times start to finish and the most upsetting part of this for me is that I don’t feel this was one of his worst games this season.  He’s often more noticeable to me than he was last night.

  21. Habsrule1 says:

    Fair enough. Great eye for catching all of that but I don’t really think it’s all that fair.

    I also think he’s playing way more minutes than he should due to the injuries on D right now. I think he’s a top 4 on most teams though….arguable but top 6 for sure.

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

  22. Mark C says:

    Oh I agree, if you take Max-Pac’s scoring rate and apply it to 82 games, it comes out as 22 goals 48 points. That’s pretty much Penner right there. Add in age, contract, and whatever else you want and you quickly realize Montreal would be foolish to trade Max straight up for Penner.

  23. joeybarrie says:

    Actuallythe fact it is only in his big toe, if those are the facts, means he most likely had shoes on. A big contributor to frostbite is tight shoes. Restricting the blood flow to the big toe is common. ALSO if he had some sort of damage to his big toe already, which is probable.

    Either way. We are probably wrong about most of it anyways.

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

  24. wild flower says:

    St Paul Minnesota is a long way from the UND campus in Grand Forks ND – must be quite serious.

  25. Mark C says:

    It has to be Millbury, plus Enstrom’s contract lasts for one year more than Hemsky’s @$3.75M, talk about a steal.  

    Maybe Enstrom’s just underated around the league, not sure many people realize he’s tied for 4th in D-man scoring.

  26. Mark C says:

    The reason that Boyd was passed on may have been as simple as he was waiver eligible. Boyd would have had to pass waivers, again. This time he might have been claimed due to injuries on other team’s and Boyd playing better.

  27. CHsam says:

    I applaud you for your efforts bro, but seirously… you spent free time doing this??

  28. habs001 says:

    i like hammer way more than you do but i dont think we have a d in the organization that would be an upgrade..what is unacceptable from a professional hockey player is pyatts skill level with taking,giving a pass and his lack of hand skill with his stick..

  29. Rudy says:

    Max-Pac should be as untouchable as PK

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  30. TomNickle says:

    That’s funny considering Milbury is the only person in the World who would give up Enstrom for Hemsky or a 1st for Hemsky straight up.

  31. Hobie Hansen says:

    Yeah, Clarkson would be awesome for the 3rd and possibly spots on the 2nd line from time to time. He seems to be having a bit of an off year, not unlike most of the Devils, because the last couple years people were calling him the ultimate 3rd line player… 

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” – George Orwell

  32. Mark C says:

    He’s also talking more Penner crap. The Oilers blogger suggests Montreal trading Eller and/or Max-Pac or Leblanc and a pick.

    The best is the guy thinks Ales Hemsky is worth Enstrom AND a 1st.

  33. habs001 says:

    cbc also has the sunday game this week

  34. TomNickle says:

    Haha, my boy Spacek.  I think Spacek is better than Hamrlik so he’s my boy now eh.  Turnovers also don’t measure what zone they occur in, which is paramount in determining how effective a player is in respective zones throughout the ice.

  35. TomNickle says:

    I disagree Chris, at this point in the season we could finish anywhere from 1st in the conference to close to the bottom.  Our pick could end up being Matt Puempel, Gabriel Landeskog, something like Sean Couturier or Adam Larsson.  There’s no way I would trade our 1st for a player like Hemsky when our placement in the Standings is up in the air.

  36. Chris says:

    I would give up Montreal’s 1st round pick for Hemsky in a heart-beat.

  37. RiverviewCanadien says:

    You’re kidding right?

    Would Eklund even post something like that? Surely his rumors are laughable, but did he really say that?

  38. Chris says:

    Hemsky is forgotten around the league because of a string of unrelated and occasionally freak injuries.  When healthy, Hemsky is one of the few consistent point-per-game performers in the NHL…he is an All-Star calibre player and certainly amongst the best play-making wingers in the game.  Paired with a goal-scorer, Hemsky can be deadly.

    But he’s suffered significant injuries to his right shoulder (8 games in 2006, and then another 10 in 2007), his knee (8 games total in 2007-08), a concussion (10 games in 2008-09), his left shoulder (57 games in 2009-10) and this season suffered another concussion (4 games) and a groin injury (13 games).

    He could easily be a HUGE difference maker for a team gearing up for a playoff run…how many point-per-game performers in the prime of their careers are available on the open market?  But whoever picks him up is rolling the dice that he can put that string of really bad luck behind him. 

  39. HardHabits says:

    It’s an HH1, meaning the source was my own imagination. Who else but Eklund would even consider such a thought? I had to pin it on him.

  40. Chris says:

    Hamrlik was certainly off.  And yet, on the season, here is how the Habs defencemen stack in the category of minutes of even-strength ice time played per even strength goal against (credit ebk with this particular stat, as he was the one that started posting it on here, at least):

    • Ryan O’Byrne:  41 minutes, 48 seconds
    • Andrei Markov:  40 minutes, 22 seconds
    • Roman Hamrlik:  32 minutes, 33 seconds
    • Yannick Weber:  31 minutes, 40 seconds
    • Jaroslav Spacek:  30 minutes, 4 seconds
    • James Wisniewski:  29 minutes, 52 seconds
    • Hal Gill:  25 minutes, 35 seconds
    • P.K. Subban:  24 minutes, 12 seconds
    • Alexandre Picard:  23 minutes, 53 seconds
    • Josh Gorges:  23 minutes, 9 seconds

    So despite all those mistakes he makes, he is still the best of the Habs defencemen at limiting the number of even-strength goals scored against the team.  Not bad for the old fella.

    The entire defensive corps is doing relatively well…anything over 25 minutes is quite good.  Over 30 is excellent.  Anybody under 20 minutes is usually really struggling.

    The biggest surprise is that Josh Gorges is the worst on the team in that category.  Gorges was usually very high up in this stat, but he wasn’t his usual self this year.  Subban is about where you’d expect…he takes a lot of risks and is a young player, and their mistakes tend to be more catastrophic.

  41. Max_a_million says:

    I agree with most of what you say, and I would like to put a special emphasis on the goat.  PG is doing a great job.

    I have been watching PK Subban play these past few weeks, and he is absolutely schooling people out there with his spin moves.  Much more judicial and effective with his point shots.  The line between this kid being a future star and a present star are quickly blurring.  I imagine by playoff time we will have a super star. Subbie Doo!

  42. Mark C says:

    If you’re a GM you have to be worried about his injuries, I understand that they are unrelated, but he seems to be a guy who always get hurts. His point production is high and impressive when healthy.

    Enstrom was a top-10 point producer last season and is in the top-5 this year, with an extra year under contract, he has a lot more value than Hemsky, IMO. You’re right about Hemsky’s ability to help some team, he’s a first line player on almost every team.  


  43. Max_a_million says:

    Too much talk about adding third liners.  We don’t need any more third liners.  If PG can’t get studs we are better off keeping our assets, and dancing with the boys who get us there.  Third liners don’t win you anything.

  44. Mattyleg says:

    I believe it had something to do with ….ALCOHOL.

    It’s happened to many a Canadian before.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  45. TomNickle says:

    And that begs the question, will these errors bite the team in the behind in the future?  They haven’t been with regularity yet.  Time on ice per even strength goal against is a very good statistic, but it doesn’t really show who’s playing with who when the goals are scored, doesn’t show what forwards are on the ice with that defenseman either.

    What I’m saying is you can’t hide behind your errors but you can hide behind a statistic that is built to make players out to look good defensively.

    Scott Gomez was -9 last time I looked, but I highly doubt he was responsible for 9 more goals against than he has been for goals for.

  46. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I wonder what the issue is with Boyd and the coaching staff? It seemed very strange to me that when the injury bug hit, he was passed over in favour of players with no NHL experience – Engqvist and White. I’m not too beaten up over it mind you, it just goes to show how easily replaceable bottom six players are – the key is finding the right mix for your team.

  47. SeriousFan09 says:

    I think the Canadiens have enough issues ATM worrying about players that seem to get caught by the injury bug without adding more, I know sometimes you need to roll the dice but the Habs have done that quite enough lately IMO.


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

  48. Propwash says:

    Looking at Fleury at the end of the video, his smile totally reminds me of Matt Dillon’s character in There’s Something About Mary after he gets the teeth implants, lol.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  49. Chris says:

    Have to be careful with the turnover stat.  The league is trying to standardize how turnovers are given, but they aren’t there yet.  Montreal is one of a handful of rinks that hand out a LOT of turnovers.  Phoenix’s scorekeepers have historically given very few of them.

  50. SLONCOLD says:

    well it all depends on the goalie. Vaughn pads tend to be a bit softer and i belive he’s using a custom vaughn velocity 4 pad(although i’m sure he has a custom set of foams being used in the pads).Traditionally pads with no breaks hold their form longer.

    he is playing like 5 times a week on those pads though, just might be wear and tear on the knee blocks as well

  51. joeybarrie says:

    If he showed that he could get 60 points with top 2 line minutes he would be getting them. You are right for what he is on pace for, 45 points. The problem is he had 26 goals in 2007-08 and we thought since he was so young he would become a 30+ goals scorer. He has not lived up to that season yet, and of course that is our expectation of him.

    I also think he will become a 25-30 goal scorer and possibly chip in a similar amount of assists. I think he would be an EXCELLENT 3rd line player for us. And moving up to the top 2 every once in a while.

    Pleks and Gomez are our centers. They play similar minutes. I do not believe we have a number 1 and a number 2 line. We have two top lines. Pleks picks up extra time on the PK, and that is why its important to have Gomez so Pleks can rest.

    We have Gionta and Cammalleri who score on the top 2 lines and what this team is missing are two other consistent wingers with similar capability. WHEN WE ACHEIVE THIS. WE WILL BE MAKING A RUN FOR THE CUP.


    Cammi, Pleks, IGINLA

    Gio, Gomez, SEMIN

    AK, Eller, Pouliot

    Darche, Halpern, Moen

    Markov, Gorges

    Spach, PK

    Gill, Wiz

    This would be a GREAT team. MaxPac will probably take a top 2 spot next season. Bring in a player like the ones above that can get 30+ goals a season and we have a good chance at a run.

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

  52. BoomBoom says:

    Anybody see the new hockey highlight show on TSN, which comes on at 10:30pm? Watched it last night and thought it was over the top…but not in a good way. The host (don’t know him) spent most of the time screaming I imagine in an effort to get the audience excited. Matt Barnaby and Kerry Fraser were alright but the host is just pathetic.

  53. F Bomb says:

    Lopez, please read above post re Kostitsyn!

  54. TomNickle says:

    I guess another way I could put it is that Boston is annually one of the top 5 best defensive hockey teams in the league.  Yet what defenseman on their roster would you like other than Chara?

  55. TorontoHabsFan says:

    If Tallon and Gauthier were talking trade between them (and not as Arpon theorizes), then Kostitsyn is precisely the kind of player that Tallon is looking for. Someone whose contract he can control, likely for a short period of time. Take a look at their roster, only 3 players are signed beyond next season (Booth, Olesz, and Weiss).

    That’s a team in a world of economic hurt, and for some reason nobody is talking about it. Instead we hear how Tallon is “building through the draft” and they’re “a team to watch”. To me, they look like a team keeping payroll down in order to be more attractive to buyers.

  56. CanadienBoy says:

    That right ,for Hossa and Fisher

  57. Bill says:

    Reading between the lines – as everyone is doing – it seems like Kristo had too much to drink and either walked without shoes or passed out in a snowbank or something. Some people are acting like this is scandalous. I think it’s just unfortunate, and if it affects his ability to play, it’s just sad. I passed out in many a snowbank when I was in university, just lucky I wasn’t alone! Also if i lost my big toe … let’s just say the Montreal Canadiens wouldn’t be missing me.

    Good luck to the kid and I hope he recovers without surgery and has a great semester and a great career. With or without the Habs, but preferably with.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  58. TorontoHabsFan says:

    That can’t be it…after all he cleared waivers to get sent down, it would be extremely unlikely that he’d be picked up off waivers when recalled.

    Again, I’m not too beat up over it. I’m loving the way our bottom six have been playing.

  59. habs365 says:

    Bill: best comment I’ve read on this site..I hope PG reads it……

  60. joeybarrie says:

    Very interesting article by Basu. I like his theory, and I think he might be on to something.

    A few things I have been reading. JM is a Jack Adams candidate. I think he has always been. In this city if your team wins a few games the coach is going to win the Jack Adams. Loses a few and he is going to be fired. There is no in between here. Problem with that is usually the JA winner is a coach who’s team makes a large move forward from the previous season. I don’t temember it going to a coach that kept a team in the same position for the most part despite injuries to key players. But he deserve to be considered.

    Who will win, I’m guessing Boucher or Crawford.

    Pleks is bringing Gio alive…. Well he was our leading scorer before, so I don’t think that is true. But its good to see we can move a player around and still have success cause after awhile you can figure out how they play together.

    Subban for the Calder… He is having a good season, however, not a Calder season. He is not in the top ten in points for rookies. He trails 2 other Rookie Defensemen in points. His plus minus is no where near the top. The only thing he is close to the top in is penalties. With John Carlson and Logan Couture he doesnt have a chance. He still has Hall, Stepan, Ennis, and Marchand in front of him.

    Back to JM. This team is a few points away from 3rd or 5th. Imagine how good we would be WITH Gorges, Markov and Cammi…. How anyone could have said we wouldn’t make the playoffs I have no clue. How anyone can say this is not a top 10 team or better with a full roster I also have no clue…

    Lastly this team is doing with Gill, Gomez, Spach, Hamr, JM and all the other typically bashed players. Let’s be happy. We are doing GREAT considering… ENJOY the run to the playoffs cause it will be over before you know it.


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

  61. The Cat says:

    Not just frosbite but severe frostbite…I once had frostbite on my ears from hitchhiking the morning after a bender in my younger days lol Its either 3 things: drugs, alcohol or that hes a headcase.

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

  62. The Cat says:

    Wouldnt that imply he passed out without shoes? Cause if he had shoes, hed have frosbite elsewhere too, like his face etc


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

  63. gmd says:

    I like Halpern and the fact that he has 8 goals with not a lot of ice time.  I’d like to see the PhD line put back together.  However it would mean have DD on the 4th line with Moen and Pyatt.

  64. Bill says:

    On another note, Andrei Kostitsyn is still fourth on the team in scoring, ahead of Gionta and Gomez (not slagging, just comparing) DESPITE having about 3-4 minutes per game less than the other top forwards. He will probably finish 3rd on the team in goals probably 4th in points. He hits, he skates, he’s big, he’s young, he’s +12. Why do some people still have a problem with this guy?

    It’s because we “think” he could do so much more. Well, he doesn’t, this is what he does, and I think it’s just fine. He’s on pace for 20 goals, 45 points, and with top-six minutes and power-play time he’d probably be on pace for 25 goals, 60 points. A solid top-six winger, in other words.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  65. joeybarrie says:

    When its cold like that even a drunken walk back to the dorm or whatever can potentially be bad. Lose a shoe like you said. Walked in sneakers and cold wet feet. To be honest could even be a playing outdoors on skates issue. MAN my feet were cold in Montreal many nights… But I doubt he would be playing outdoors.

    I think you are right though. Unfortunate, I don’t understand why people are, like you said, in scandal mode.

    With Frostbite, it depends on how severe it is of course. Frostnip or 1st degree is no big deal, the toe would be numb but thats about it. Second degree is more likely and more damaging, but it should be healed in about a month. If its 3rd degree he should still be fine as it seems he got to a hospital sooner rather than later and its only when it goes untreated will any kind of permanent damage or amputation occur.

    I also think he might have done himself some harm by getting inside and rubbing it, or trying to warm it up too quickly. When you warm it up too quickly you can cause yourself to pass out, have heart palpitation or even a heart attack.

    My bet is he is back on the ice in a month, and learned not to walk around in -30 degree weather in Minnesota.

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

  66. HabFanSince72 says:

    Why do some people still have a problem with this guy?

    Because stats don’t tell much of a story.

  67. shiram says:

    Depends on the shoe… if it was indeed just shoe, that doesnt offer much protection from the cold, especially if he passed out on a snowbank. I guess his hands, nose and ears would be other place where frostbite could settle in.

    The story does seem to point to a drunken stupor moment, but they obviously will not release such details

  68. HabFanSince72 says:

    1. Many teams now have injuries

    2. He did very well in Hamilton

    3. He costs half as much on the way back.

  69. avatar_58 says:

    Not, but it’s what people use to condemn Gomez

  70. habs03 says:


    When he is on his game he is a very good player, and when he is not, it shows A LOT, if he isn’t scoring he isn’t doing anything else, his hockey IQ is very  very low. He played well last night, but it took that hit from Ellerby, after getting hit he had a little more jump in his game. The sad part is that if A.kost is traded to the right team he could easily put up a  30-30 season. Issue with trading him is that his vaule isn’t very high, and you must find a replacement before geting rid of him.

  71. wild flower says:

    The University of North Dakota says sophomore hockey forward Danny Kristo is now listed in fair condition at a St. Paul, Minn., hospital.

    The Eden Prairie, Minn., native was taken to Regions Hospital after suffering frostbite to toes on his right foot while walking near campus Sunday evening. The university has not provided any further details about the incident, citing student privacy.

    Coach Dave Hakstol tells the Grand Forks Herald that Kristo did not break any team rules.

    Kristo ranks second on the team in assists, with 17 in 29 games. The university says he’s out indefinitely.

    Kristo is a draft pick of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.

    Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

  72. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Fair enough, but if he wasn’t picked up for $650,000 then I kinda doubt teams are just waiting for his price to drop to $325,000 :)

  73. ManApart says:

    Oh ya like what i said about Gomez is a stretch in any respect. You are as dumb as Gainey was, and a complete waste of time, if you can’t see the point.

  74. Bill H says:

    I enjoyed the Arpon Basu piece on Gauthier and Tallon.  Sure its speculation, but his logic is flawless.

    Our own Dave Stubbs wrote another good one too.  Equipment isn’t the most exciting subject to write about, but Dave managed to weave a story that brought in Roy, a skate sharpening machine in Hawaii, and some of the team working behind the scenes.  Nice work Dave.

    I like that we have won 14 points in the last 10 games.  In doing so, we have kept pace with hot teams in Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay while gaining ground on Washington, NYR and Atlanta.

    I like that there is still upside to this team.  We can improve on the PP and PK.  We can improve on 5-on-5 scoring.  I am hoping that Cammy will round out our top 6 very nicely when he comes back.  Its time for him to step it up.

    I like that Guathier brought in the Wiz and didn’t pay through the nose to get him.  What a great addition.  I am not a fan of bringing in a rental at the trade deadline unless its going to be that final piece of the puzzle.  I don’t like it because you usually have to sell out your future by trading prospects or high draft picks and that is no way to win long term.  But I am waiting to see what Guathier will do with our extra cap space.  If he can do a trade that will bring someone who can help us with scoring or on defence and who will not be gone next season due to our own cap restrictions or because the guy just has no desire to play with us, then I am all for it.

    I like that we have 63 pts in 52 games.  We are within striking distance of Boston for 3rd place.  And they just lost one of their best players, likely for the season.  We are 10 points ahead of our pace last season when we just squeeked into the playoffs and then upset the Caps and the Pens.  We are 1 point behind the pace we set 2 seasons ago when we were #1 in the East.  We’ve done all that in spite of all the problems we have had.  I say there is a lot that is right with this team.  And we are getting better.

  75. Storm Man says:

    Now if we could have this guy pick lotto numbers:). Peter King from SI picked the Steelers and the Packers to be in this years super bowl…. Some may say so what is the big deal? He did it on Sept 6, 2010.



    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  76. TomNickle says:

    I agree with you on what they’ll do, I think a defenseman and a left winger with size and skill will be the priorities.  But they could always go to a centerman and transition him to the wing.  My only point here is that in such a defensemen rich draft, there’s no point in acquiring a pick to get one considering what you give up to get there and what will be available if you stay put.

  77. SeriousFan09 says:

    This is just idle speculation by me on a non-gameday. The thing is I don’t expect Carle to figure into the team’s future really, IMO Brendon Nash is hopping over him on the depth chart and I don’t see anyone else in HAM capable of making the jump. Of the remainder defencemen on the depth chart, I’d like to think Mac Bennett after 2 or 3 years at Michigan will be ready to join the AHL but then he’s got development time there as well and who knows if he can keep growing his game. Greg Pateryn is at best a maybe, Yemelin may not come over this summer either. At that point, the defensive future of the team is Jarred Tinordi and Morgan Ellis. I have nothing against those guys, but I think some defensive depth would be nice.


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

  78. SeriousFan09 says:

    Thanks for the thoughts, this was just idle chatter based on scanning player rankings. I still think the Habs need to add a couple Ds on this draft day, I’d say save the 1st-round pick for a forward with real offensive flair but later rounds I’d like to see a couple of Ds added, very little in what I like being available in a few years save Bennett and Tinordi.


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

  79. LA Loyalist says:

    Whether Ouellet is the real cornichon or not, I believe that Serious’ point is that with Weber, PK, Tonordi coming up, we need to restock the trout pond.

    Look how fast Markov and Jorges went down. Depth. Depth. Depth. And when you get that down, add some more depth.

  80. TomNickle says:

    The thing with defensemen in the system to consider also is that with Weber, Subban, Ellis and Bennett they have puck moving types who can play the powerplay.  Tinordi is really the only guy in the system who can or is expected to strike fear into opponents, they need a few more of him in case he doesn’t pan out.

    And I think Nash will be an NHL player soon.

  81. Mark C says:

    The more that I think of it, the better that OB trade looks compared to the Meszaros trade. The difference in value between Bournival and Philly’s 2nd round pick is marginal at best. Meszaros isn’t 26 until next Oct. and he’s had 5 pretty good NHL seasons, he’s way ahead of OB, and his easily worth the extra $3M in cap hit.

  82. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    Yes, they seem to have a goalie NOW. However, let’s not forget that Roloson is in his 40s. Have they solved their goaltending issue going forward? I don’t think so, unless Tokarski is the answer, and he’s probably a couple of years away from maybe answering that question.

    Also, on defence, they have only Hedman who projects as a keeper going forward.

    They are doing great right now, no doubt, but we will see in the playoffs what they are made of. One thing’s for sure, any team that has Stamkos and St-Louis on it will have a chance to do some damage.

  83. SmartDog says:

    AND… Boucher is still teaching them how to make his system work.  Lots of mistakes while you’re learning and Boucher is okay with that.

    Remember Martin said it took all of last year to get our guys to learn his defensive system… so give Mr. B time.  He’s going to create a winner… well actuallly, already has, but they’ll go more.  As Cat says, they have a goalie now.

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  84. The Cat says:

    You may be right about Boucher being coach of the year. Someone on tv was showing TB in their own end and they were very responsible and aggresive defensively. I guess Boucher is the cat’s ass like so many thought he was.


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

  85. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    Actually, you also had something along the lines of “if Meszaros for a 2nd is a great deal, O’Byrne for a 3rd is the trade of the year.” That was nice.

  86. Mark C says:

    edit: it was all said below. The glass is always greener somewhere else.

  87. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    It’s the absolutes that are killing you here. I think Yzerman has done a decent job this year, and I’m sure he will continue to improve year after year, as he is a great hockey mind. However, I don’t understand why you feel the need to defend everything he does. Meszaros for a 2nd, and then replacing him with Kubina was a great move? Seriously? Meszaros is 8 years younger, leading the league in +/-, has 1 less point than Kubina, and twice as many hits in 2 fewer games. The cap savings between them is $150,000.

    I think picking up Roloson was also a fantastic move, but it was only done because he totally blew it on goaltenders over the summer. The same way you give Gainey no credit for blowing up the team that he built, why give Yzerman laurels for fixing a problem he created himself?

    All GMs make good and bad moves. I like some of what Yzerman’s done, but other moves have been terrible. There are no absolutes.

  88. ManApart says:

    Mezaros was traded for a second round pick, not Gagne, and it was a great move. Yzerman dumped 18.25 million of salary over 4 years that he was owed. He then brought in Kubina and Brett Clark to make up for that loss, which is worked out nicely. He then got Gagne for Walker and a 2nd. Gagne has not been great yet this year, but he will come in very handy come playoff time. Only one year left on his deal anyway. Ellis is n big deal. Yzerman just made a great move in picking up Roloson because Ellis and Smith weren’t doing the job. It’s better than trading SK74 for Ellis and Boyd and then dumping the two, essentially giving Sergei away for free. Yzerman has made a bunch of great smaller moves to bolster his line-up in a very short time and it is showing in the standings. They’ve jumped Montreal, who’ve been stuck in 3rd gear for 7 or so years.

  89. Mark C says:

    Exactly, that was simply my point; it is a very strange anomaly. Goal differential is a highly accurate predictor of a team’s record and Tampa has been a huge outliner all year.

    As long as St. Louis, Stamkos, Roloson all stay healthy and productive this team is fine going forward.


  90. Mark C says:

    What is it with you guys being so defensive of Boucher? I didn’t mention him or even allude to Tampa’s coaching. Just stated that based on goal differential and the Pythagorean expectation, Tampa’s record shouldn’t be as good as it is.

    It’s pretty simple stuff, if a team scores as many goals as it allows, the team shouldn’t have 17 more wins than losses.



  91. HabFanSince72 says:

    Well, certainly hiring Boucher was better than trading Meszaros for Gagné or signing Dan Ellis.

    Not trading Stamkos was pretty smart too.

  92. ManApart says:

    Very strange anomaly. I don’t have much of an explanation except maybe they’ve had some big blow out losses that may have skewed that goal diff. stat. Their goaltending was just horrible at the start of the year. With Roloson already having 3 shutouts since joining the team, that is starting to change.

  93. SmartDog says:



    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  94. Mark C says:

    My point was their record is way better than it should be given their goal differential.

    In the past ten NHL seasons, only 12 negative goal differential teams made the playoffs, that’s 7.5% of the playoff teams. Until 2 games ago Tampa was a negative goal differential team and had been most of the year.


  95. The Cat says:

    Youre right, but with Roloson, this is changing. TB will continue with their style of play but will allow less goals than before. Whereas MTL and FLA, theres no sign of anything changing because of their style of play.

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

  96. Mark C says:

    This is hockey, you can’t just rationalize goaltending out of the equation. Tampa has scored 4 more goals than they’ve allowed, yet are 32-15-5, that’s simply amazing. Tampa is 4th in points; in the top-5 the Red Wings have the next worse goal differential a whopping 21 goals better than Tampa.

    As for shots allowed, Tampa is near the top of the league, but that stat really doesn’t matter much. The top-5 are the Devils, Kings, Flames, and Blues, making Tampa the only current playoff team in the top-5.


  97. ManApart says:

    Not with Boucher and Yzerman at the helm. Those guys have done outstanding jobs so far. This is a team that has missed the playoffs the last 3 years and had some major holes. They are right there competeing for best team in the league in just half a year with the new dynamic-duo. I think Boucher is certainly a front-runner for coach of the year. Best thing Tampa ever did was hire Yzerman. Best thing Yzerman has done in his short tenure was hire Boucher.

  98. The Cat says:

    TB have had irregular goaltending, they were allowing the least amount of shots if Im not mistaking, so they were playing fairly consistently. Florida and Montreal havent had irregular goaltending. FLA and MTL both put the other teams to sleep, MTL is a slightly better version of Florida. It seems teams have crappy games against them. But it works though.


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

  99. MTLForever says:

    Columbus goaltender Steve Mason (the 2009 NHL rookie of the year), young forward Jakub Voracek (selected seventh overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft) and 28-year-old defenceman Rostislav Klesla – the Blue Jackets’ first ever draft pick (4th overall in 2000) are believed to be drawing trade interest.


    Bob Mckenzie tweeted that Mason was on the block. I was surprised by this. Also he mentioned Ducks and Flyers with Emery

  100. LA Loyalist says:

    I don’t think Ducks need a goalie, Hiller has been terrific and the #2 guy (forgive me for whiffing on his name) is young but talented also.

    Do you guys think Emery can make a comeback in this “flooded” goalie market?

  101. savethepuck says:

    Mason has had terrible #’s since his rookie season, but I thought they would be more patient with him.  They’ve gone thru a few Canadian World Junior goaltenders that haven’t panned out for them. Marc Denis and Pascal LeClaire too.

  102. HabFanSince72 says:

    Someone can just tell Timmins Ouelet’s mom is from Minnesota.

  103. ed lopaz says:

    Here’s my take on Ouellet.

    he was the 2nd 1st round pick the Juniors made under new ownwership

    he was “touted, promoted” as a “sure fire” NHL player from day 1

    he was given power play time as a 16 year old, and this year, 1st line power play time every game

    is he good?

    well, he makes good decisions – whatever that means?? – he plays power play with some very talented players, including Leblanc etc..

    I have seen him play many times over the last 2 years.

    He does not overly impress me.

    I think he has been “promoted” by a team hungry for attendance and fan support.

    A new owner wants to get his draft picks into the NHL – this builds credibility in the team – and adds substance to the fans support.

    Its all marketing really.

    Any d-man who gets to play 1st line minutes on the PP every game is going to get points.

    It almost always adds up to 0.5 points per game – which makes the d-man look amazing.

    When you look at some of the young d-men that have hit the NHL lately – including Subban and Weber – 

    Ouellet does not have nearly their skill sets or upside.

    He should be a 4th or 5th round pick, in my opinion – not higher.

    central scouting has him # 39 in NORTH AMERICAN SKATERS.

    that excludes all goalies, and excludes all non-North American skaters.

  104. TomNickle says:

    One more thing about Oullet.  While he is a nice player, the defensemen in this years’ draft are definitely the strong point, there are a ton of quality prospects at defense available in June and trading up specifically for one of them would be a mistake unless they think they’re hitting a homerun.

  105. mbplekfan says:

    Im not sure that a slightly undersized defenseman from the Q is actually what the habs need. Considering that the Q is not known for its quality defence or even quality of play.

    Chances are good that he could still be around in the 3rd round. I would pass on trading an asset for another long term project from the Q.

  106. TomNickle says:

    At this time last year Stephen Silas of the Belleville Bulls was ranked in the exact neighbourhood Oullet is in now and went to Colorado in the 4th round.

  107. SeriousFan09 says:

    Looking at the draft (as am I doing more and more of these days) I think the Canadiens need to trade for a 2nd-round pick in the draft to go after Xaiver Ouellet, a defencemen with the Montreal Juniors. Granted, this could be an expensive 2nd-round acquisition pick as Central Scouting has him ranked 39th, The Scouting Report has him at 53 and he’s from the Q so that’s not a ringing endorsement of his quality to NHL teams so he could slip to the middle of the round if not later.

    He’s not overly big at 6′ (he’s also ranked 6’1″ but the draft often adds 1″ and 10 pounds :D ) but he’s 3rd in team scoring and both guys ahead of him are 1990, 91 birthdates to his 1993. Credited for being smart in his own end and making good decisions. 6G, 29A in 51GP. Canadiens haven’t drafted any PMD-types since 2007 save Mac Bennett, time to start adding new personnel on the farm IMO.


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

  108. Storm Man says:

    Im with you on this also. The last things the habs need are more undersized defenseman. PG did well moving up spots to grab JT we need a few more like him coming up in the next 3-4 years.

    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  109. Storm Man says:

    Also have to look at what other teams needs are. It would great to draft him as we don’t have a second round pick this year..



    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  110. SeriousFan09 says:

    Guess we’ll see, The Scouting Report has him 9th, TSN at 15th, Central Scouting’s got him at 2nd among INT skaters, he’d have to take a tumble or others would have to seriously outplay him in the final stretch I think for the Habs to get a shot at him w/o trading up.

    Than again, who would’ve thought Cam Fowler would go 12th?


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

  111. Storm Man says:

    I like Joel Armia, not sure if he will be around when we pick but who knows.

    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  112. SeriousFan09 says:

    No one truly outstanding, due to the weakness of the 2011 draft by the time you’re in the 2nd half of the first round everyone either has lack of size, consistency issues, a skating problem or they’re playing in Junior A.

    ATM, looking at RW Tomas Jurco from the QMJHL Saint John Sea Dogs, RW Seth Ambroz from the USHL Omaha Lancers, RW Nicklas Jensen from the the OHL Oshawa Generals, RW Tyler Biggs from the US Under-18 Team, C Marc McNeill from the WHL Prince Albert Raiders are the forwards I’ve spotted.


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

  113. Storm Man says:

    Who would be the forwards you are looking at? at spots the Habs could draft from? So far I don’t like anything I see yet.

    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  114. SeriousFan09 says:

    He’s had a much better 2nd half of his season, not ideal but he’s still a player adapting to being his size and against higher competition, going from Junior A to the best Major Junior league there is.


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

  115. HabFanSince72 says:

    Tinordi is a big disappointment in the OHL.



  116. SeriousFan09 says:

    If you want another Tinordi he can be had, Jamie Oleksiak, 6’7″, 242 pounds playing for Northeastern University in the NCAA. Could be in range of where the Canadiens are selecting, ranked 23rd by TSN, 27th by Central Scouting for NA skaters. Other than him, there aren’t many big defencemen in the first two rounds. There’s also 6’4″ Scott Mayfield, but he’s projected to go at 15, or 25 so who knows.

    I think the 1st-round pick priority needs to be selecting the best 6’+ forward available with the best goal scoring hands.


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

  117. Storm Man says:

    Ouch….. Yah the last thing we need is more draft picks from Minnesota.

    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like

    storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  118. REB says:

    I’m not sure what you are talking about.  Yes, Fisher was a dud, but McDonaugh looks like a real deal.  That means we are batting .500 in 1st round picks from Minnesota…baseball players make gazillions for batting .500.  and isn’t Kristo from Minnesota too?

  119. F Bomb says:

    2 questions:

    At this poing in the season, what forward would you bring in and a reasonable package to get him?

    And what defencemen would you bring in and what kind of package would it take?


  120. A. Berke says:

    I’d go with “NONE” as well.

    For the simple reason that no matter who we can trade for (considering all the limitations and I’m not talking about getting Sid) we don’t look like being in a position to get to the cup yet. Accordingly I’d rather see our young ones continue getting experience for the future.

    There are about two players that I wouldn’t mind parting ways (one forward and one D – nobody wants the forward and whatever the D man’s shortcomings are we still need him), so I’ll stick with what we have.

    Ali B.

  121. DearyLeary says:

    Justin Williams is another RW with decent numbers this year that goes UFA next year on a young bubble team in the LA Kings.

  122. DearyLeary says:

    Milan Hedjuk.   Colorado’s a bubble team, and with lots of young talent on their team loading up on a prospect or another draft pick doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

    Hedjuk is a perennial performer on the right wing, a cup winner, and at 6′ he’s not going to make our team any smaller.  He’s UFA next year, and fits into our cap for this year.  If we’re serious about a push, Hedjuk is likely the best player available to us.

    Oh, and he’s Plekanec, Hamr, and Jaro’s homeboy from the Czech Republic.  

    We’ve also got history with the Avalanche with the O’Byrne deal, and with this year looking like a long shot for them minus Fleischmann, I’d say this is a doable deal.

  123. J_P says:

    RJ Umberger: Ak46, mid-level prospect, 3rd round pick

    Chris Phillips: Mathieu Carle and a 5th OR a third round pick. I would not give up a 2nd rounder to ottawa for phillips, but i am sure someone else will. 

  124. andrewberkshire says:

    None, let Pacioretty continue to develop.

  125. savethepuck says:

    Maybe I wouldn’t mind another forward, but don”t want to give up our future for it.

    What surprises me is all the talk of us needing a defenseman.  I am happy with our D as it is.  I definitely don’t want to lose PK, Weber or the Wiz, I think they are playing well.  That leaves Gill, Spac and Hamr.  Anyone selling at the deadline is not going to take any of these guys.  So if we pick up a Dman, who sits in the pressbox?  When Gauthier traded for the Wiz it was to take care of our defense injuries.

    All in all< I wouldn’t be surprised if we made no deals.

  126. zaq007 says:

    Iginla would be the only one I would want but not even cause I don’t want to give up any of our future :S

  127. blu3chip says:

    We will probably make the playoffs even if we go .500 from now on  :D

  128. joshua94k says:

    Here are some interesting stats to ponder…

    Brian Gionta has 19 goals so far. The same amount as Alex Ovechkin and Claude Giroux. And neither of them had Scott Gomez as a line mate.

    Tom Plekanec with 42 points is keeping company with the likes of Jonathan Toews, Jeff Carter, Rick Nash, Dana Heatly and Danny Briere with a couple of points between them. Not bad for a two-way player in the Jacques Martin system.

    Great decision by GM Gauthier. Instead of signing Halak, he signed Plekanec and Price.

    “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

  129. J_P says:

    If Ryan Kesler wasn’t having a career year, I would have said pleks was a lock for the selke.  I definitely think pleks deserves to be a selke finalist. 

    Keeping Price and Pleks over halak was definitely the right move, its just unfortunate that so many people were jacked up over the run to the ECF to see it.  Price is making all the haters eat crow right now.   

  130. 123456 says:

    thank you – all this doom and gloom. i like to ask fans of others teams who on the habs scares them. they all say price is very good and they differ on the forwards – so yea the habs do not have a super star but maybe they have a few “stars”.

  131. The Cat says:

    That was a horrible game last night. Im stunned these two teams have the amount of wins that they do.

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

  132. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Because most other teams never play horrible games, especially on back to back nights, right?

  133. blu3chip says:

    I think only the Nordiques deserve they wins they have.

  134. Julie H says:

    I was at the game and I was bored out of my mind. People kept texting for updates, and my copy-paste default answer was “nothing is happening, we are playing like crap”

    ♪Your cares and troubles are gone. There’ll be no more from now on. From now on happy days are here again, the skies above are so clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again♪

  135. Mark C says:

    Both teams have a goal differentials that are highly reflective of their record. Want to see a stunning amount of wins? Take a look at Tampa, they should be slightly above .500.

  136. Bill H says:

    Paul, I agree that the PP is the way to punish goonery.  When a PP starts firing up around 25%, the goons have to back off.

    It seems like successful PP in the past has had a quarterback, a point man with a hard accurate shot, and a sniper up front.  e.g Markov, Streit/MAB/Souray, Kovalev.  Right now, we miss Markov but we have the Wiz and Subban.  Maybe Cammy will start to light it up when he comes back.  We can only hope as Markov is not rushing back into the line up.

  137. Rudy says:

    This is going to be a long month of speculation. I hope it isn’t a distraction to the players.

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  138. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    I guess that’s the bottom line right there. No point in arguing, you don’t like AK. Fair enough. As I said in another post, if we got a great offer for AK, I’d have no problem seeing him go. In my opinion, Penner is a downgrade – especially in JM’s system – and therefore not worth the trade. Agree to disagree. Cheers. Go Habs Go!

  139. Ayan_SB says:

    Who knew Dallas and Boston had a bitter history?

  140. Mark C says:

    It’s all from one game back in 2008, here are the highlights:

    Crazy game with Ott and Avery going wild, looks like tonight will end up in the same way, again.

  141. Mattyleg says:

    Heh heh. Just like Grabovski, SK is only able to do as well as he’s doing because Nashville’s offense is freaking brutal.

    He’d never get top-six in Montreal, and his babyish attitude wasn’t helped by his brother’s presence.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  142. Mark C says:

    So much for that, this is one of the most one side NHL games I’ve never seen.

  143. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    Ah, this time you beat me. I’m starting to suspect that we’re really just the same poster with multiple accounts. I’ll be watching us in the future.

  144. wild flower says:

    Nashville’s offence is slightly (two goals) better than Montreal’s.

  145. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    I like big hits too, but any check that takes your man out of the play is fine by me.

  146. Exit716 says:

    Sergei didn’t want to bother to conform to Martin’s system. If he had, he would have been kept around as well. At least he’s figured it out in Nashville.

  147. Mark C says:

    Word is there will be a Rask-Raycroft match up tonight. Thanks Leafs!

  148. habs365 says:

    Either Pouliot or Darche should be on the 2nd line with Gomez and Kostitsyn..nothing against Eller, may turn out to be a great player but he hasn’t being doing much with Gomez and Kostitsyn..3rd line would be better for him..Cammallerie on the second line when he returns..leave the 1st line intact, they’re doing fine…….

  149. habs365 says:

    don’t move any of our top-6 players..try to add one or two good long term players that can score..if that can’t be done..leave the team as it is..rental players is not the answer…..

  150. Malreg says:

    I think Eller needs to play Center to be succesful in the NHL.  Not every Center is able to easily switch to the wing, a lot of them find that you are just standing still way too much in comparison. 

    The problem is the C position on the top two lines is set for the next 3 years, you can’t have him center the 4th line and expect him put up points playing 8 minutes a night with Moen and Pyatt, and the Desharnais-Darche-Pouliot line is playing very well together.

    At least for once we have some solid depth down the middle.  Plekanec, Gomez, Eller, Halpern, Desharnais, Engqvist, Maxwell, Leblanc… 

  151. rhino514 says:

    Habs can put together a good first line (centred by by Plekanec) and a good third line. The problem they have to solve from here on till the end of the season is creating a consistent second line (without doing it at the expense of the first line). While Gomez did O.K. with Gio and Max-Pac, Plekanec does AMAZING. While Plekanec does just O.K. with kostitsyn and Camalleri, Gomez would do MUCH LESS with yet another inconsistent winger (KOST) on his line. Gomez seems to have the most productive forwards on the team playing with him on the team just to do O.K. If you put a weaker link on the line, he can´t carry the line. Pleks, on the other hand, can; he can play with just about anyone. I´m not saying Gomez is a bad or a good player. I´m just saying they have to find, somehow, a good fit for him. I don´t think it can happen with Kostitsyn on the wing. Pouliot seems to need Darche “coaching” him in order to perform. And I also think it would be a pity to switch wingers back to his line when the current first line is becoming so explosive and seems to have very good chemistry.

    What will happen when teams start to hone in on the new Plekanec line which is currently producing most of the goals since being put together?

    Tough, tough job, but not impossible. Gomez can perform in the right kind of situation.

  152. SuperYogurt says:

    Why is Penner so much better than AK? Because he has 3 more goals?

  153. SmartDog says:

    Yeah, and we’re knee-deep in 30-goal scorers.  Right.

    Little ‘tits is doing well because he’s getting the encouragement to do well without the axe hanging over his head.  Motivation is ultimately not that complicated.  Martin should read a few books on it.  Let me qualify that.  He should read a few books written sometime well AFTER “how to win friends and influence people”.  Something from this century maybe.

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  154. Mark C says:

    Yeah, for the same reason his team has 15 wins: they stink.

    Sure, Penner would be asset, however given the acquisition cost and his marginal value as an upgrade; he just isn’t worth trading for.


  155. Bogie Man says:

    Dude he is getting more PP and PK time for a reason. I think you need to get your head out of the sand. Penner would be an asset to our team with no doubt.

  156. wild flower says:

    Penner an upgrade on AK – what a joke. He possesses very few elite skills and was never drafted for a reason. Has anyone been watching little tits in Nashville? He is basically their most dominant player and has almost surpassed Cary Wilson’s kid Colin (a 7th over all pick) in terms of value to the team. Be prepared to watch an even worse scenario unfold with big tits as he lights it up with the young fast Oilers while be bitch about Penner the bum who doesn’t fit in any where and costs even more money.



  157. Bogie Man says:

    Does not matter about the number of hits I would take Penner any day twice on Sunday over AK. Sorry not a big fan of AK although AK is better statistically than he was last year but he is not Penner. You can argue till you turn blue, but AK is dispensible period.

  158. The Cat says:

    Youre probably right, I was talking generally and not about Penner in particular. In fact Ive always said that with the speed and lack of muscle, the habs forwards would be well served to not waste energy hitting as much as they do.

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

  159. Mark C says:

    I’d take AK46 over Penner any day, and at this point I don’t view Penner as a player who would/should get playing time over Max-Pac. Once Cammalleri returns Penner would be a 3rd liner on my depth chart. I know not everyone shares that opinion, but it can’t be argued that Penner is anything more than the slightest upgrade on AK46 and/or Max-Pac, at best. Given the likely cost of acquiring him, this Penner talk is a non-starter.  

  160. Ayan_SB says:

    Game to follow tonight:

    Dallas at Boston.

    Both teams are 3rd in their respective conferences with 65 points each.

    The Habs sit two points behind the Bruins for the division lead.

  161. Mark C says:

    Even if all of his hits are super-hard-awesome hits, he’s doing it less than once a game. And if he gives such hard and effective hits, why can’t he do it more? Is he lazy, unwilling to play physical or just doesn’t realize how his physical play can help his team win? Any way you cut it, Penner’s lack of hitting and willingness to play physical hockey is pretty damning.

  162. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    I don’t think he would be a strong fit with JM’s style of play, but it’s not even about Penner on his own for me. It’s the talk of Penner over AK that I vehemently disagree with.

    That being said, two guys who idolized Naslund may not be the best ones to ask about getting a 6’4″, 245 pound winger.

  163. The Cat says:

    Its not the amount of hits but the effect of those hits. Id rather a guy dishes out 5 hard ones than 10 half-assed ones or ones that have no effect. Case in point: last night Montreal outhit FLA in the 1st period, but FLA did more damage with their hits.

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

  164. Mike D says:

    I’m not sure that Penner is much of an upgrade on AK46. I think we sometimes over-value size due to our teams lack of it up front, but AK is pretty big himself and the stats show he clearly hits more than Penner does. PLUS he’s faster on his skates. Penner is also 2 years older than AK and his cap hit is 1mil higher too. While I concede that he MIGHT be a good fit, I’m less than conviced that he’s an improvement on AK. With the emergence of Max-Pac (assuming he can keep doing what he’s doing), the need for that type of player isn’t as high as it was just a month or so ago.

    – Honestly yours

  165. Mark C says:

    Is now a bad time to say Le Petit Viking was my favorite Hab growing up?

    Hey, I think Mario Tremblay’s joke about Naslund being half a player, with the other half arriving later, applies to Penner. A lot of people would be disappointed when Penner’s other half never shows up.

    I have nothing against Penner as a player, but he’s such a bad fit for Montreal for many reasons.  


  166. Mark C says:

    Yay! He has one more point than an 18 year old. While getting more PP time and ice time.

  167. shiram says:

    Great news for a young guy. It seems it wasnt as bad as it was suspected.

  168. SeriousFan09 says:

    Prospect Update RE Danny Kristo:

    From University of North Dakota Press Release:

    “Kristo, who is suffering from frostbite on the toes of his right foot, maintains full use of all of his extremities and is in the early stages of recovery.”

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

  169. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    Yes, also AK has more than double the hits and just over half the PIMs. And AK is able to do it with about 3 mins less ice time/game.

  170. Mark C says:

    If he’s such an anti-Smurf, how come he’s 11th on his team in hits? Brule and Cogliano hit more than Penner, what’s up with that?

    If Montreal trades considerable resources for a big man I hope it’s not for Penner, whose a big man in size only. I’m sorry but there is no excuse for a player the size of Penner not to at least average one hit a game.  HIO would have a field day as soon as he had a goalless drought, with his apparent lack of effort and physical play.


  171. Bogie Man says:

    He has more points than Taylor Hall and is leading the Oilers, hmmm I would say that the lazy comment is not supported by his stats.

  172. LA Loyalist says:

    I recently saw Penner play live against LA from the 7th row, I went specifically to watch him.

    I did not see any lazy (the past I don’t know). He is the anti-Smurf, exactly what we need (or his equivalent) if we hope to have a prayer in the playoffs.

    The Wiz deal from PG gave me some hope that PG understands what we need to do and he is quietly working on it.

    We’ll know Feb 28th how serious management is about improving this team.

  173. shiram says:

    His stats are similar to AK46, except the +/-, and ak46 is called lazy all the time.

  174. Displaced says:

    He has the size, knows how to score, but —- IMHO —- what little I’ve seen of him, I don’t think he has he speed to play with our other top forwards.  I just don’t think he be a good addition here.  That said, we could trade AK for him, abosrb the cap hit.  Edmonton gets a top 6-ish forward with potential to be improved a la his kid brother.

    Who’s leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  175. Bogie Man says:

    If we let Penner go to LA without making atleast an offer it will be disappointing. Penner 16 goals so far and big. I think he just what we need!

  176. The Teacher says:

    He is also known to be lazy.

  177. The Cat says:

    Ive defended Gomez a lot, but last night I found him lazy on the forechecking. He goes through the motions just, he’ll skate but wont take the body, nor try to knock loose the puck like he should.

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

  178. Mattyleg says:

    I was SO irritated with Gomez last night. He played pretty well, getting some shots on net, etc, but his penalty!!!

    This has to be knocked out of him. He is UNABLE to take a solid bodycheck, remember a number, and get even later on in the game. Unable. He has to swing his stick, throw a punch, or retaliate immediately in some completely immature and unprofessional way. And get the penalty for it.

    I was astounded that JM put him back on the ice at the end of the game. I would’ve sat him next to the dog-bowl. Selfish, stupid play that he himself admitted to only a few games ago with his “bonehead” penalty. Well kudos for owning up, big fella, but if you’re not going to actually, oh, I don’t know… CHANGE and LEARN from your stupidity, then you’re pretty sad.

    God, what a doofus.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  179. SmartDog says:

    MaxPac was awesome. Aside from his just being aggressive on the play he just looked BIGGER than in any game I’ve seen him.  You could tell he wanted the puck and he was there to score or be damned trying. If he plays like he did last night, we finally have a true power forward.

    Sadly though, as I posted last night, we don’t have a top 6, we have a top 3, including who-ever’s playing with Plekanec.  Pleks has lit a fire under Gionta and MaxPac.  Amazing what playing with a TRULY great player and great passer can do for a guy’s game.

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  180. Kooch7800 says:

    He is just getting started.  He will be a good power forward for a long time.  He can skate hit and isn’t afraid to stand in front of the net.

    I applaud Darche for that as well

  181. Mattyleg says:

    Max is turning into the power-forward we’ve been looking for for…uhhh… ever…?

    His drive to the net and his getting his nose dirty is really useful. He’s got good hands and a great shot to boot.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  182. habs03 says:

    Max has impressed big time, last year he was getting knocked around often, couldn’t stay on his feet. The thing that has impressed me most of Patches play is on the boards, his decision making while playing on the boards is one of the best on the team. And ya Pouliot has been playing well, but have you ever seen a guy get knocked off his feet so easily, it’s like he is his body is too big for him.

  183. Habfan29 says:

    Is anyone impressed with thenplay of MAX PAC last night? The 3rd goal that he created was a thing of beauty, drive the net This kid seems to get it this time around and I can only see him getting better. He just might be that power Forward that we have needed, and Bennie is playing great with Darche. Now if we can only get someone to take Gomez!!!!!!

  184. Max_a_million says:

    Who’d have figured Dipietro had a glass jaw.

  185. Mattyleg says:

    I’d say that’s him gone for another year or two.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  186. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Why should someone have stepped up against a completely legal hit? It’s that kind of faux-machismo that drives me crazy. A clean hit is a clean hit. The way to get back at them is to deliver your own devastating, clean hit. And we have a lot of players (including Kostitsyn I might add) who can do that just fine.

  187. jimmy shaker says:

    I get what your saying, but 10 X out of 10 when a guy (in our case AK46) gets hit, legally, and a teammate goes over and sticks his nose in the business, the ref always calls a penalty on that team.  If it’s a dirty hit, then I have no problem with sticking up for your teammates at all, but on clean hits, as much as we want guys to retaliate, it’s the wrong move.  Gomez has gotton more stupid calls and selfish calls this year than any other on the team.  He being a vet, needs to have far more composure in those situations and just take the guys number and get him later during the game.  He knows and we all know the refs are just salivating at making a retaliation call after a  clean hit.  It’s there easiest call on the ice to make.  So, I like gomer and his feistiness, but he’s got to settle down, because those type of penalties really will hurt the team in the playoffs.  But addressing your issue of toughness, Chris Neil for a 3rd rounder would be a nice addition, and as long as JM can settle him down as well.  He’s a bit of a loose cannon, but on a different team, a winning team, I think he can be very effective for the habs.


  188. HabFanSince72 says:

    Sorry to disagree but for years the way to punish goonery has been with a great power play.

    And that is the real problem with the Habs. If we add anything it should be help on the pp – we thought we’d done that with the Wiz but he seems to have slowed down.

    Part of the problem is a lack of confidence and rushing plays, so maybe that will fix itself without the addition of a sniper.

  189. habs03 says:

    I think the toughness excuse is bs, you need team toughness, Wash and Pitts were bigger/tougher than us and we beat them, Philly won because we couldn’t score. What we need is another PWF to play along with Pleck and Cammy. Look at Det, what toughness do they have, don’t see them having any issue in a tougher/bigger Western Conf.

  190. Sportfan says:

    I agree with you that we need added toughness thats a given, but I feel we didnt need a scrum after AK got hit cause like you point out it was a clean hit. If it had been a dirty hit then a scrum would have happened but you dont need a scrum ever time someone gets hit i mean thats whats going to take hitting out of the game the constant scrums


  191. Mark C says:

    No one fights in the playoffs, so not having someone to “step up” really doesn’t matter at that time of year. Philly had 1 playoff fight last year, Boston 3, the Hawks 0.

  192. habsguy says:

    thank god those bullies wont make the playoffs!!!!

  193. McPhee35 says:

    Last night’s game is exactly why we will not make it deep into the playoffs unless we add (at lease SOME) toughness.  I realize we won, but they had their way with us physically.  Exelby’s hit on AK46 was totally legal, but in most other NHL games, someone would have stepped up… we do not have that player, and teams know it.  In a seven game series against a hard hitting team, we would acrue a lot of injuries – so in the event of a win, we would be crippled moving forward.

    And as much as I hated that Gomez kept shooting from the outside on the power play (what’s that about?!), and his cheap penalties… I feel for him, because even as a fan its been frustrating to watch how often teams run us over with no response. At least he’s showing some *albeit cheap, poorly timed, selfish* form of response.

    BUT, congrats on the win!  Go habs go!

  194. wild flower says:

    Those two have been around the block and they know when crank it up a notch.

  195. shiram says:

    Yup i always liked Hamrlik, especially when he dropped the gloves in the playoffs against Scott Hartnell, it was kinda non-fight, but the fact that he was willing to tango, and I recall his interview after the match, he was pumped and saying he’d drop em anytime it was needed.

    Good times.

  196. wild flower says:

    I would say the same for Gomez and possibly Crosby and Ovechkin too.  Some the HIO crowd want points during the “All Star” game and other focus on The Cup.

  197. andrewberkshire says:

    Kovalchuk’s contract doesn’t bug me as much as his effect on a Devil’s team that has always performed above expectations. While I’m sure that Kovalchuk would outpoint Gomez in Montreal, I don’t think we would be a better team, so I would not do that trade.

  198. shiram says:

    Gomez for the win, not only on contracts, but you gotta figure Kovalchuk would not thrive under JM and his system.

  199. J_P says:

    I know Hardhabits was kidding down below, but HIO quick poll:

    Would anyone here trade Gomez for Kovalchuk straight up, leaving their current contracts as is?

    Personally, I wouldn’t, which is saying a lot because I would dump gomez’ contract in a heartbeat….just not for kovalchuks. 

  200. LA Loyalist says:

    Good point about putting Kovalchuk in JM’s system – recipe for death.

    I watched Kovalchuk carefully live earlier in the season (before McCain was fired), I admit the sample size is not adequate to make a full conclusion, but that’s what scouts are for:

    1. He watched the play when he was on the ice like a laser beam, you can feel the focus.

    2. He just oozes skill, when you see him live against other players he’s really impressive, god can he skate beautifully.

    3. Obviously I don’t know the guy, but the expressions on his face were  uncertainty, not sure what to do, and thus trying to do everything himself.

    My personal opinion is that Jacques Lemaire, god of defense, is not an idiot and will find a way to use him effectively and that should worry us, more for next year.

    You can’t teach what Kovalchuk has, like you can’t teach what PK has – but you can ruin it.

    Finally, Kovalchuk for Gomez? Straight up? I’ll drive Gomez and Martin to the airport – you hold the gun. 


  201. REB says:

    I agree with you, Jacques Lemaire is not an idiot, and he played with several players who were fairly challenged defensively (Lafleur and shutt come to mind); yes, he will definitely find a way to use him effectivel, and you are right, that should worry us, not only for next year, but also for the remainder of this year.

  202. bandaide says:

    umm I’ll take Shutt and Lafleur today and tell them it’s ok you don’t need to do anything defensively lol just keep gettin 50 goals its ALLLLLL riiiight by me. BUT in JM’s system Lafleur would ride the pine lol

  203. Wayne says:

    Here I am sifting through previous comments you know, just reading through. I start yawning looking up at the ceiling while thinking exactly what you wrote and wondering why nobody has posted words to that effect ,… yet. Of course, I look back at the screen and it deja vu.


    I also have the feeling that PG will again, NOT make huge waves at the deadline and chance losing something for nothing and because he’s proven himself not to be “knee jerky” at these deadlines. That doesn’t mean he won’t make a reasonable deal if it surfaces to help go as deep into the post-season as possible. But mostly, you’re right about the Habs no in a position to snag a Stanley Cup. Anybody who sees with eyes and not their heart, knows this.


    About the two players. I’m taking a guess (and I speak for me here) that they are Gomez and Spacek. Again, if they indeed are they guys your referring to, I agree. I cannot keep my heart rate down when they’re on the ice. Gomez boils my blood because he is AWFUL… plain and simple. I choose not to be as generous or forgiving with him than others simply because to me, he would be as sickening to watch if only made 500K a year. But he doesn’t. He’s a liability when he’s on the ice. He has not played smart and makes bad choices when he’s in the Ozone that, more often than not, kills Ozone plays or and deflates an attack. He’s the worst at pinching and board work on the team and he’s soft… yes, I could go on. Spatch is the same but on D. More often than not, Spacek’s play and decision making wreaks havoc. He’s a disaster area in front of the net. He’s probably assisted on 10 goals in one form or another for the opposition this year alone. I know, this rant is full of negativity but usually I shut up about and not mention it. They’re both momentum killers making too much scratch that can be better spent.

  204. larisalapointe says:


  205. Rudy says:

    Great post (without naming names!) and I agree 100%

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  206. The Cat says:

    Chris Neil took less money to stay in Ottawa. He’ll spend his whole career there I bet. he loves Ottawa and they love him back.

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

  207. Chris says:

    Hejduk is not going anywhere. The Avalanche convinced him to stay on for 2009-10 (he was intending to retire from the NHL and return to the Czech league) as he wasn’t interested in going elsewhere and wasn’t sure he wanted to be part of a rebuilding process.

    Rumours are that he is retiring this summer, as he is struggling with a bad knee and is a guy who has no problem walking away from the game if the body tells him it is time to go.

  208. DearyLeary says:

    For a UFA about to retire?  Don’t have to give much up.

  209. Mike D says:

    I prefer the idea of getting Hedjuk over Umberger. I guess it all depends on what we’d have to give in return. Obviously, AK46 plus something in either case. One thing I wonder is that at age 25, is AK46 done “developing” or is there more in store we can get out of him if we choose to be patient, and of so, how much more? If we choose to keep AK, I hope PG doesn’t offer him any more that he’s getting paid right now (3.25mil) and nothing longer than 2 years.

    – Honestly yours

  210. Mattyleg says:

    I’m not one to go on about his contract… if I was paid more, I’d work just as hard as if I was paid less. His contract isn’t his fault. But his lazy play and selfish penalties are an issue.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  211. HabFanSince72 says:

    And he loses the puck as easily as I will lose my lunch if Philly wins the Stanley Cup.

  212. StevieRay says:

    What’s to defend … he’s been doing that all year .. In hindsight why wouldn’t he take 7 – 8 mil a year can’t blame him for that to ask the “reasoning ” behind BG acquiring .. leadership ?? doesn’t show it … if it was only so Gionta would sign ?? I’m not buying that one either . Meanwhile guys like DD and Benny play reduced minutes . Both of whom last nite drew penalties… something that a throughbreed like Gomez can’t seem to do ..

  213. adamkennelly says:

    I agree – this team needs to add “character” or “jam” or whatever you want to call it.  not a goon but a player or 2 preferably who can earn this team some respect from opponents and make us tougher to play against.  and the red wings have size and skilled forwards who have respect from opponents – as you have listed…not the same as Cammy, Pleks, Gionta and Gomez…I would take Hartnell over Giroux for this team right now…

    David Clarkson, Brandon Prust, Chris Neil, Mike Rupp, Ben Eager, Brad Winchester, BJ Combeen…or on the back end Theo Peckham, Deryk Engelland…these are the guys this team needs…

  214. The Cat says:

    Other than Subban, does anyone try to dish out that momentum changing big hit? I mean youd think Gill could lay out somebody just once.

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

  215. McPhee35 says:

    Agreed – (per response below), i don’t think we need a goon – but we do need “team toughness”, which we don’t have enough of.  The redwings don’t have an enforcer, but between Abdelkader, Bertuzzi, Holmstrom and even Franzen … they can play tought right back with most teams.

  216. HabFanSince72 says:


    Put another way, if you gave me a choice between Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell right now I’d take Giroux.



  217. The Cat says:

    No its not a good one! Youre spending the night outside tonight smartdog *builds inadequate doghouse* ^_^


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

  218. SmartDog says:

    Good one!

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  219. McPhee35 says:

    For sure … but, many teams would have had someone go over and at least deliver a little whisper to Exelby (if not a fist), so that he tought twice before running someone on the boards again (which he did!). 

    To be clear…  I don’t like the idea of having an enforcer (who most likely cannot skate), but will throw with the heavyweights. To me, that is a waste of a skater because most heavyweights won’t waste their time with typical NHLers.  Staged fights off the faceoff won’t help.. but a blue coller tough guy who can hit hard and throw would be great.

    To be honest, that’s what I thought we were getting with Moen, and as much as I like his play, I don’t see him as intimidating (or even trying to be).

  220. MTLForever says:

    you should get names right…its ellerby

  221. SmartDog says:

    Full credit for the faceoffs, that’s something we need and shows he’s trying to bring it at least. 

    But sadly his shot practice doesn’t seem to be doing anything.  Of his six goals this year 2 or 3 of them have been lucky bounces.  They guy just can’t score.  Sigh.

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  222. MTLForever says:

    5 – Number of shots fired by set-up artist Scott Gomez in the contest, with the veteran pivot also winning 12 of his 18 draws on the night.”


  223. StevieRay says:

    -1 also ….again

  224. ed lopaz says:

    another outstanding game by my man, Subban!

    As many of us were saying early on in the season – when the Habs were rolling like they are today – Subban is one

    of the great young players in the game, worthy of consideration for Rookie of the Year honors.

    He is absolutely amazing to watch – I’m so impressed with his skill, his poise,  (as are the 21,273 at the Bell)..

    Mike Richards and Don Cherry are such blow hards, it was making me sick that Subban’s benching coincided with their bashing of him.

    Now that Markov and Gorges are hurt, my man has been given back his rightful spot in the lineup, Spacek has been demoted to the 15 minutes a night he so rightfully deserves, and……

    I will write my first nice words about Jacques Martin – his defence first, disciplined approach, when followed, really limits the opposing teams’ scoring opportunities,

    and when the d-men can move the puck quickly and up to the forwards,

    the habs are clearing their zone much better, and getting far few shots against.


    “Habs hockey is Smart Hockey” – we play 5 man defence not just 2; we move up the ice as a 5 man unit and we back check as a 5 man unit.


  225. GrimJim says:

    Rammo has already done his entry level contract. He’s an RFA Habs own the rights to.

  226. DearyLeary says:

    Sign to entry level 2-way, and give him a few games to ease Price’s load if he performs well in the AHL.

  227. SeriousFan09 says:

    Yemelin will be on a 1 EL contract if he comes over, if he doesn’t work out it’s not like the team is out a ton of cap space, considering his skill set it’s a worthwhile gamble IMO.


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

  228. Mark C says:

    It’s easily worth the gamble. His cap hit would be in line with bottom pairing D around the league. The KHL isn’t the NHL, but one would think an elite/very good level KHL player could at least be a 5-6 D in the NHL. Taking a chance on an unproven player with large upside is just what Montreal needs to do.

  229. SeriousFan09 says:

    He’s a flip of the coin IMO, if he’s not over this summer I’m scratching him off of Habs Future.


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

  230. shiram says:

    I would too, but with the numbers he is putting up, he might want a #1 goalie job. If he can work as a #2, we could maybe rest Price some more.

    If not, and he is willing to come to America, well we could trade his rights…

  231. DearyLeary says:

    With outgoing older Dmen he might have a spot for him on the Canadiens.  The problem is that we have absolutely no idea how he measures up in the North American game.

    The positives are that a lot of people think he’s overly physical for the Russian game, which feels about normal, to above average for NA players.  And he’s got great offensive skills.  It’s hard to say how he did at the Olympics, simply because Canada rag-dolled the Russians, and it’s a little reactionary to put some of that on his shoulders.

    I just would have liked to see him for a season in the A before we committed to anything, but our hand is kind of being forced.  I don’t like it when a player ‘holds a team hostage’, and I’d be wary of giving him a roster spot, and considering the investment made (very late draft pick) I wouldn’t be averse to letting him walk if he didn’t agree to play a season in the A.


  232. HabFanSince72 says:

    Plus Basu shows a Machiavellian streak in today’s article.

  233. habs03 says:

    The Arpon Basu article is a must read, no offense to the guys here that write blogs and post them here, writing about players, rumors, management etc, while I know that stuff takes a lot of work and researched, it will never have much creditability due to the fact that guys like Arpon Basu have a better feel and more inside knowledge to the players, coaches, etc.  

  234. The Cat says:

    I thought Max and Subban were the only ones that showed up for a full 60 minutes last night

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

  235. LA Loyalist says:

    Yes. And I can still run the video in my head of him being decapitated in the playoffs against Boston.

    That was it. Like Komisarek’s fight with Lucy. 

    We had some rotten luck in the 90’s, that’s for sure.

  236. GuyDoon says:

    Zednik, was that in the last decade?

  237. J_P says:

    I don’t know if no one could, they just never wanted to.  AK46 certainly has the size, speed, and power to charge the net, he just chooses not to. 

    It was nice to see maxpac drop his shoulder and charge the net, that’s for sure.  He may have taken a lot of flack for running his mouth, but boy did he come to play. 

  238. TomNickle says:

    Our best forward last night I thought, including Pleks.  Beating out icings, driving the net, dominant on the walls and very good defensively, the best defensive game he’s played since his call up.

    He’s really looking good.

  239. andrewberkshire says:

    The power move Pacioretty pulled on the game winning goal by Gionta, I can’t remember any player on the Habs in the last decade that could do that.

  240. Mike D says:

    Not sure why all this hype exists for Chris Philips. TSN and other sports networks keep mentioning him but I don’t see anything about him that really impresses me. Just because he’s classified as a stay-at-home type, doesn’t mean he’s good at it. I realize one game doesn’t tell a player’s whole story but he had a bunch of brutal givaways in yesterday’s game.

    The only way I would make that deal is if we could send Spacek to Ottawa. Even though I think Spacho is better than Phillips come playoff time, it would be a big plus to have him off the books for next season to free up cap space so we can sign what we’re really after.

    – Honestly yours

  241. Mark C says:

    Seems like a lot for the Berger, no? How much more value does he have than AK46?  Let alone a 3rd and a Maxwell/Avtsin/White type prospect.

  242. GuyDoon says:

    RJ: no need for the mid-level prospect in that trade.

    Phillips: I could live with that.

  243. The Cat says:

    I know it happens, I know its a long season as well. But last night…come on, there was the allstar break.


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

  244. DearyLeary says:

    Would love to see Ramo come over next year. 

    Unfortunately I just don’t see Yemelin coming over.

  245. SeriousFan09 says:

    KHL Update: Only 5 games remain in the 56-game KHL regular season, playoffs will be coming soon.

    D Alexei Yemelin has a 5-game point streak of 4G, 2A. His KHL Ak Bars Kazan team is 1st in the Kharlamov Division, 4th in the KHL.

    G Karri Ramo hasn’t lost in regulation December 1st, his record is 32-6-3. Ramo’s Avangard Omsk club is 1st in the KHL.



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

  246. Say Ash says:

    It wasn’t meant to be a knock. I wanted to point out any ranking of defencemen that puts 29 guys ahead of Lidstrom is highly suspect.

  247. andrewberkshire says:

    He’s not dead last, he’s 30th out of 270 NHL defensemen who’ve laced them up for a game. At 40.

  248. wild flower says:

    I don’t watch him as much as I watch the Hammer, but I can imagine that he is bit over hyped. Most of the media guys are parrots with very few offering much original. It is original to list Lidstrom last.

  249. Say Ash says:

    Nick Lidstrom – dead last.

  250. shiram says:

    Wow I guess we should trade high then! Nah… they might be loved by all around here, but Hamrlik is usually solid, and Spacek is just plain fun.

  251. andrewberkshire says:

    You’re absolutely right. If they trade Mason, they’ll regret it for a decade.

  252. J_P says:

    They don’t exactly have a world-beating defense corps either, nor do they have many defensive-minded forwards. 

    That franchise is a mess. 

  253. Storm Man says:

    The Iginla trade talk has been on here for a bit now. I find it amusing and so does Jay Feaster. 



    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  254. wild flower says:

    Penner? I’m not sure a southern Manitoba Mennonite is a good fit in Montreal. If the Habs go after one, I’d vote for Toews. 

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