Therrien shakes up Habs’ lines again at practice

With three games in four nights, Friday looked like it might be an off-day for the Canadiens.

But after back-to-back losses to the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers, coach Michel Therrien held a practice Friday afternoon at Islanders Iceworks in Syosset, N.Y., as the club prepares to face the Islanders Saturday night (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

The Canadiens, who lost 2-1 to the Flyers in Philadelphia Thursday night, will wrap up the busy weekend with a 6 p.m. game Sunday at the Bell Centre against the Florida Panthers.

Therrien mixed up his lines again at Friday’s practice and they looked like this:

Gionta – Plekanec – Galchenyuk
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Briere
Gallagher – Eller – Bournival
Parros – Prust – Moen

Subban – Markov
Murray – Diaz
Emelin – Gorges

Therrien announced after practice that Carey Price will start in goal Saturday against the Islanders and that no decision has been made yet on who will be in goal against the Panthers Sunday. It looks like Ryan White and Francis Bouillon will be healthy scratches against the Islanders.

Alexei Emelin, who received a major penalty and a game misconduct for elbowing the Flyers’ Steve Downie at 16:45 of the second period Thursday, will not have an NHL hearing or be suspended for for his actions.

(Photo by Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

Canadiens vs. Islanders preview,

Canadiens need to find their identity, by Pat Hickey

Habs fail to earn day off, by Pat Hickey

Bergevin will have more money to spend next season, by Pat Hickey

Focus forward for Habs,

Post-practice interviews (video),

Habs lose second straight, by Pat Hickey

Flyers given too much time, space, by Pat Hickey

Philly a tough town for Habs,

Habs vs. Flyers photo gallery,

Happy 60th birthday to Bob Gainey, Stu on Sports blog



  1. Bill says:

    Oh, and Stevie Ray, you can depend on putting a lot of extra hours in. Dances, sports games, concerts, they all need to be supervised. I have run my school’s theatre program for a decade, which basically amounts to having a second job, about 30 hours a week, for free! It’s all fun though.

  2. petefleet says:


    Every good team can come out flat. Montreal is a good team. They went 9-0-1 recently. You have to be good in this NHL to do that. The one single thing I believe they are missing, is the same thing they were missing last year and it has nothing to do with size. It’s leadership. For all the good that Gionta brings to this team, he is not the leader they need. MB should trade him at the deadline or before and either find a new leader, like NYR did in the mid 90′s, or see what Gorges can do with this group. Hey even put an “A” on PK once in awhile and watch the show. Yes he’s young and makes some bad choices but he can carry this team and will someday.
    For now, the Habs are in a funk and need to get out fast. THat last game against Philly was painful to watch. Listless group out there, horrible zone coverage, no net pressure at all. That’s a lack of group confidence. Time for a change and not a line change.
    For all the hype about Gally being the catalyst for other players, he’s most effective with the other kids…leave him there. Bournival had hs best games with Pleks, I like that combo. DD and Max work well together so give them Prust or Moen to make some room. The fourth can fill in with what’s left.
    Go Habs.

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    “I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!”

    ***Go Habs Go***

  3. Bill says:

    Mark C: Ed’s been watching Duclair for years, knows his stuff in general. He probably has seen more of Duclair than your average NHL scout. If he says Duclair will score in the NHL, I’m inclined to believe it. Looks to me like Duclair’s slight frame hurt his draft position, but if he fills out …

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    Great stuff below as usual my friend!

  5. Bill says:

    Whereabouts in the world are you teaching? Where I’m at the marking used to be intense. But then the government decided we shouldn’t be giving homework, ha. Interning is really hard, but it all gets easier. I’ve got some tenth-graders this year myself, they’re adorable.

  6. jols101 says:

    Check out Ray Ferraro’s twitter account. He posted a video of Stamkos back on the ice for the first time doing some stick handling drills. Unbelievable.

  7. habbernack says:

    I think Nick Tarnasty with the ‘dogs has more of an upside Parros. He’s got 8 goals , he can fight, and he gets his goals from in front of the net.

    • Phil C says:

      He’s more of a middle weight though, a la Moen and Prust, he doesn’t really replace what Parros brings.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        What, other than his side shows with Colton Orr, and a reminder that the era of Cournoyer and Lafleur is long gone, does the big oaf bring?

        • Phil C says:

          He is there precisely to counter what guys like Orr, Scott, McLaren, and Kassian bring. All fights are side shows, Parros is not unique in that way.

          However it would be naive to think that permitting fighting has no impact on the outcomes of games. Hooking and interference are not integral to hockey either, but once they are allowed, it completely changes how the game is played. I see fighting the same way: while not integral to the sport as some may argue, it’s inclusion in the game allows it to be used as a tactic.

          Because fighting is permitted, players like Orr and McLaren will use intimidation to disrupt their opponents. With Parros in the lineup, that tactic becomes less useful, so both players either sit on the end of the bench, or sit in the penalty box, tactically neutral outcomes.

          I don’t think it was a coincidence that the Boston game was remarkably void of the normal cheapshots and post-whistle scrums with Parros and Murray in the lineup. Though the real test for Boston will be when the Habs play them at home.

  8. Bill says:

    I teach English, Stevie, why dude?

  9. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Don’t know if this was posted but good article on delay of Thorton’s suspension announcement:

    I still can’t believe Moore v. Bertuzzi has not gone to court yet. If Bertuzzi/Canucks/NHL were really sorry about what happened they would have written a check to him already. This should have been settled long time ago. I hope that jury buries Bertuzzi…

  10. Mavid says:

    Smartdog gets his posts deleted for no reason, but I have to look at a Santa in a sleigh floating across my screen..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Maybe the Doggie is on double secret probation? I remember a while back there was a problem with HIO that was deleting or holding post for potential spam. Maybe that problem has crept back into the system again?

      Free the Dog!

  11. Mavid says:

    Company Christmas party tonight..the fellow that runs the hall has offered to put the game on the big flat screen on the wall.. he knows how sick I am when it comes to my Habs…hope its a dandy..with a big W

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  12. Sportfan says:

    Canadiens bounce back tonight 3-2 win

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  13. JM says:

    MT can shake up the Habs lines all he wants. The Habs are what they are Sometimes good sometimes awful but they are holding their own in the regular season unless there’s changes made at the trade deadline. The Habs will have to be very lucky to make it out of the 1st round of the playoffs. They have some talent. Very good speed, Not enough tough Guys for playoff hockey. The team with the best combination of toughness and skill will win the cup.

  14. on2ndthought says:

    I don’t know why:
    1. Murray wasn’t dressed for LA at home. LA dumped the puck to Price’s left all night and took advantage of Franky, Marky and Josh, while avoiding the physical challenge of PK and Emelin.
    2. Gally11 was taken from DD and MaxPac. that line was a perfect set of complementary skills, and became our best line overnight. If you want to play, play with the other 9 forwards.
    3. Thornton’s attack wouldn’t be seen as egregious as Chris Simon’s. That was 30 games. I’m not sure if Thornton has a suspension record, though.

    “a cannonading drive”

  15. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    You know what? Although our team my suck from time to time, this site never does. My thanks to the knowledgeable, witty and just plain wacky folks who contribute to making this place what it is…the best waste of time ever invented (next to Coach’s Corner). Seriously, I really like it here. I think I’ll stick around…hope you do too.

    Have a great day everybody.

    Go Habs go.

  16. HabFab says:

    Weekly Prospect Stats Update;

    Fucale – 28GP – 19-8 – 2.51 GAA – .902 Svs%
    Gregoire – 31GP – 18G + 17A – 50 PIM
    Hudon – 33GP – 14G + 27A – 57 PIM
    Nevins – 35GP – 13G + 21A – 87 PIM
    Reway – 25GP – 14G + 27A – 28 PIM

    Crisp – 32GP – 16G + 10A – 67 PIM
    McCarron – 30GP – 4G + 8A – 59 PIM
    Vail – 31GP – 13G + 20A – 19 PIM

    Bozon – 35GP – 10G + 17A – 32 PIM
    Thrower – 29GP – 10G + 18A – 53 PIM

    Bennett – 14GP – 1G + 4A – 6 PIM
    Cichy – 13GP – 0 + 1A – 4 PIM
    Didier – 15GP – 0 + 3A – 24 PIM
    MacMillan – 13GP – 3G + 2A – 8 PIM

    Sullivan – 7GP – 1G + 1A – 21 PIM

    Collberg – 24GP – 1G + 3A – 6 PIM
    de la Rose – 31GP – 5G + 5A – 14 PIM
    Lehkonen – 32GP – 7G + 12A – 4 PIM
    Nygren – 4GP – 2G + 0 – 4 PIM
    Nystrom – 7GP – 0 + 0 – 0 PIM

  17. durocher says:

    As others have said, DD and Briere on the same line is a recipe for failure. They failed when they were together at the beginning of the season, and they are too similar and small to succeed now.

    Briere has had difficulty fitting in and has a really low compete level. I struggle to see where he would be good.

    I am still floored by the stat from the other night regarding how many players 5’9″ or below we have. Gallagher is the one one we should have on the roster next season. MT’s goal from now until then should be to get rid of the others, including DD and Briere.

  18. SmartDog says:

    I just had a comment marked by HIO as Spam and deleted.
    Absolutely no reason that I could see.
    This place is worse than Facebook.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  19. artartand says:

    Anyone attending the game on the Island tonight?

    We’ll be in Section 106, wife in a away Gallagher jersey, me in a blue Dryden sweatshirt.

    Once a Habs Fan Always a Habs Fan!

  20. Cal says:

    The Islanders, New York’s Sad Sacks, need a song. How’s about a little Wang(o) Tango?

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Nicely done, Cal.
      I was just thinkin’, if you did up a song for the 29 other teams, Canadien fans could serenade them when they played the Bell Centre.
      (and they’d be spending less time singing Ole, ole, ole. A win-win.)

  21. Phil C says:

    Over/under on Thornton: 12.5 games?

  22. Eddie says:

    Some times you don’t need to travel far to find a 200 foot player who can score goals.

    Anthony Duclair has 27 goals in 31 games for the Roy-less Quebec City team in Quebec Major Junior.

    3rd round pick for the Rangers will be an NHL scorer for them.

    • PrimeTime says:

      What’s your point? MTL should draft all Quebec future NHL players? I think they lost that right a few decades ago.

      • Eddie says:

        Prime Time, have you ever created your own post, using your own ideas?

        You’ve been here a long time and you hold the record for the poster who has added the least value.

        Now try reading my post again. Maybe you will understand the second time.

        Read slowly if that helps.

    • JUST ME says:

      Scoring in the Q does not mean you will be able to do the same in the NHL nor does it even mean you will succeed in the AHL. Two huge steps that most players do not pass or make and if they do quite often they become a different player once their goal is achieved. That being said ,nicely done for the kid !

    • Mark C says:

      How do you know his game will translate so well to the NHL?

    • sprague cleghorn says:

      I know the team needs to get bigger, but looking for 200 foot players is really setting the bar high:)

      … ‘ow could we forget that?

  23. Bill says:

    adadi: I see your point, I just don’t know if the NHL cares enough possible lawsuits or optics at all. You would think they would, but under Bettman and Jacobs this has always been an incredibly arrogant organization.

    Habfan10912: That is pretty optimistic! The union has never supported suspensions, and as a group it has had to be dragged kicking and screaming into every safety improvement the league has ever made. They are neutral in Orpik vs Thornton, and will appeal any suspension over ten games.

    • SmartDog says:

      Arrogant? If he was any more arrogant, Bettman would be the leader of a small fascist country (pun intended). But when you’re building a monument to the gods, who cares about a few slaves crushed under the rocks?

      What kills me is this argument that you can’t make the game more safe because you can’t change it. They change the game all the f-n time. And “the game” is about speed and skill, tenacity and grit. It’s not about driving guys heads into walls or punching their lights out. When this stuff is reduced by half or much more – and we all know it will be – the game will be as good or better.
      Bettman is focused on one thing – and these minor concerns of safety are just not worth his attention. I really and truly wish someone would pull his jacket over his head and punch him in the face until he needs to sit out a season. THAT would be policing the game.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Bill, what do you teach?

  24. habs001 says:

    The Habs d is under sized right now for playoff hockey…they also provide very limited 5 on 5 scoring…while other teams can activate their d to pinch and keep the Habs bottled in their zone the majority of the Habs d cannot do this consistently….It seems that PK is very limited by the coaching staff to provide 5 on 5 attack help…in the first period alone Doughty was deep in the Habs zone more than PK in the entire game…..Also the Hab forwards have major problems winning board battles in their zone and in the offensive zone…and this will be even harder in the playoffs…the forwards just dont tire out the opposition d enough and cause stress in front of the net…again this problem will be magnified in a series…

    • PrimeTime says:

      Just we when MB thought he had already built a contender in just 2 years. Damn….I hope he reads your comment.

    • Le Jadester says:

      Well said…I agree, especially when it comes to Gorges and Diaz.

      Habs, OLE !

      • Le Jadester says:

        Oh ya and RE: forwards……EGG line is pretty much the only line that can sustain pressure…..sometimes the 4th line of Moen,Prust and White, but they rarely score. I didn’t mind Plex, Gio and DB, but they created turnovers and really didn’t wear down opposing defensemen IMO.

        Habs, OLE !

  25. Eddie says:

    So Rene Bourque comes from a small town 2 hours from Edmonton…..

    He would be a great fit for their top 9, I think, and maybe playing so close to home would do him some good.

  26. Habfan10912 says:

    A little uplifting story this morning.
    I would have been the socks and underwear dude. Sigh.

  27. adamkennelly says:

    can’t have DD and Briere on the same team – period.

    with no DD – Briere could be playing center between Pax and Bourque and who knows…no Briere – and we only have to worry about having one tiny french-canadien in our top 9.

  28. habsfaninphx says:

    We just need to be patient with MB. His plan is right on track and MT is the perfect coach to develop and prepare the players to win the Cup.

    Only two things could derail the plan.
    1. Pittsburgh winning the cup.
    2. Uh . . .anyone know if Bylsma speaks french?

    • JUST ME says:

      How soon we forget ! If people were to go back to the golf tournament they would hear Bergevin say that we will have a hard time to make it in the playoffs with that team. Of course it gives him a little cushion but it also means that he knows where he is going and that he probably does not have all that it takes. It will take more time,more trades, more draft picks but i trust him to stick to the plan and get the best out of what he has.

  29. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning Friends. Seems as though I can put away my Farmers Almanac for its long term weather forecast. All you need to do is check the schedule and see when the Habs visit the Island.

    As usual a major snow event is forecast for today and tonight. Since the Habs play tomorrow I’m not sure the boys will escape out of Nassau County this evening. Fingers crossed they don’t have to fly out at the a## crack of dawn.

  30. JohnBellyful says:

    Bleep Bleep

    The NHL is such a joke,
    It seems a lawless sport
    But there are those with different views
    Who call me worrywart
    ‘There’s nothing wrong with miscreants
    Getting cheers in plying their trade
    [Toot! Toot!]
    As long as they live by The Code
    That’s how the game is played.’
    Bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! – bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! –
    The fans are bleep, bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! –

    The talking heads on TV shows
    Fans’ passions they inflame
    With idiot words and lunatic thoughts
    They bear a lot of blame
    For what’s become of hockey night
    [Sigh] In this day and age [Toot! Toot!]
    And heading the pack is a bitter old man
    Yeah, Grapes, is all the rage
    Bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! – bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! –
    His rants are bleep, bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! –

    The refs are such a sorry bunch
    Fans think of them as bums
    They’re okay with nonsense
    That often leads to scrums
    And when the game goes into the third
    Their duties they will shirk
    Why can’t they be like Seven Dwarfs
    And whistle while they work
    Bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! – bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! –
    The refs are bleep, bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! –

    League execs, from Bettman down
    They are a big disgrace
    They focus on the money
    And not a safe workplace
    Concussions are a fact of life
    They happen now and then
    As long as it’s a hockey play
    No reason to suspend
    Bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! –– bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! –
    The system’s bleep, bleep, bleep – Toot! Toot! –

    The players smash each other hard
    They do it from behind
    They haven’t any conscience
    And so they cross the line
    But one day they will surely learn
    The lesson of hard knocks
    When a player is carried off
    Inside. A. Wooden. Box.

  31. Eddie says:

    So David Perron is scoring goals in Edmonton, what a surprise? Too bad we could not get in on this trade, he would have been a terrific fit in our top 6. Been following him and his story for many years now. Perron is a massive talent, and if his concussions are behind him, he will score 30+ regularly.

    Talking about the Oilers, how obvious it is to me that what they are missing is some bigger bodies who can play top 9 minutes next to their talent.

    Nugent Hopkins is being tossed around last night, pushed off the puck, knocked to the ice, by the Sedins!! That’s how small and fragile the Oilers lineup is.

    Take a player like Moen for example, or Bourque, or Ryan White, or Prust, those are the types of players the Oilers need, and they need to mix and match them with their tiny, Junior sized talent, like Eberle.

    One for Hopkins, one for Eberle, and more experience on defence.

    It’s not rocket science, as they say.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Something must be really wrong in Edmonton. Another year totally down the drain. Dead last in the West and 28th overall in the NHL just ahead of the Islanders and the Sabres. This year’s first rounder will be their 7th top ten pick in 8 years. Ironically, the one year they missed out they were able to grab Eberle at #22. MacTavish and Lowe need to walk the plank.

      • Eddie says:

        It’s a management issue. They have talent. But talent can not survive and can not win if left exposed.

        They need players who have some size and can skate. Those players could forecheck and punish the other teams dmen, while opening up time and space for the creative players.

        They need experience on defence. Guys that have big bodies but don’t panic under pressure and move te puck. Their defensive zone play is horrendous against a hard forecheck.

    • JF says:

      During the summer, when there were rumours about Bergevin going after Lecavalier, I suggested that he should try to get David Perron instead, since it was known St. Louis wanted to trade him. He would have been much better value than Lecavalier at his age and with his recent history of injuries, and a much better fit than Brière.

  32. habstrinifan says:

    Browsing through the links and their associated videos. Under the item
    Post-practice interviews (video),, you will see some players’interviews and one video under the caption ‘5 on 5 intensity’.

    Here is the specific link. Impressed?

  33. petefleet says:

    Every good team can come out flat. Montreal is a good team. They went 9-0-1 recently. You have to be good in this NHL to do that. The one single thing I believe they are missing, is the same thing they were missing last year and it has nothing to do with size. It’s leadership. For all the good that Gionta brings to this team, he is not the leader they need. MB should trade him at the deadline or before and either find a new leader, like NYR did in the mid 90’s, or see what Gorges can do with this group. Hey even put an “A” on PK once in awhile and watch the show. Yes he’s young and makes some bad choices but he can carry this team and will someday.
    For now, the Habs are in a funk and need to get out fast. THat last game against Philly was painful to watch. Listless group out there, horrible zone coverage, no net pressure at all. That’s a lack of group confidence. Time for a change and not a line change.
    For all the hype about Gally being the catalyst for other players, he’s most effective with the other kids…leave him there. Bournival had hs best games with Pleks, I like that combo. DD and Max work well together so give them Prust or Moen to make some room. The fourth can fill in with what’s left.
    Go Habs.

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    “I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!”

    ***Go Habs Go***

  34. Bill says:

    I am sure they waited this long to suspend Thornton because they wanted to see how badly Orpik was injured. If Orpik were still in a hospital, Thornton would get 20. Orpik is out, so Thornton gets 10. Just my feeling.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I agree. I also agree with Maritime Ronn that Jacobs had a hand in the decision/delay.

    • Eddie says:

      If you are league that gives an extra 2 minutes for bleeding, it would stand to reason that the punishment handed out should match the injury

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hi Bill! There are two other theories out there. The pessimist in me thinks the Bruins are lobbying hard for the standard 10 or less punishment.

      The optimist in me thinks the League is involved in discussions to gather Union support to give this guy a year or more.

      I suspect we’ll (non Bruin fans and non Neanderthals) may be disappointed in the punishment.

    • adadi says:

      Actually I would expect a super harsh suspension. NHL is looking at thus through the optics of the lawsuit. They need to make a serious statement with this one. This had nothing to do with hockey, so if they do not properly penalize, the lawyers will be holding this up as an example of how the league does not take player safety seriously.

  35. habstrinifan says:

    Time for an earth-shattering trade. Trade someone… anyone except Price maybe.

  36. jols101 says:

    Big day here at HI/O. Thorton’s suspension is being announced today. The incident happened a week ago and HI/O members vow to complain about the decision for at least another week.

  37. habstrinifan says:

    Is anyone else having trouble with their edit function?

  38. habstrinifan says:

    Which is appropriate? Happy Festivus or Effin Happy Festivus you troll!

  39. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    So it’s Shawn Thornton Day in the NHL today.

    This one will be interesting.
    Expect something big with all the recent violence/head shots and the media microscope and below mentioned jurisprudence.
    The NHLPA will also be a big, behind the scenes factor…

    The possible scenarios. ( Boston does not play Pitt for the rest of the year)

    1) 16 Games:
    The ever media conscious NHL, would have Thornton to return against…Toronto. Wouldn’t bet too much on this one as 16 games just doesn’t sound sexy enough, yet it could be the number.

    2) 20 Games: That would bring him back for a game against Philadelphia and all the media hype that goes along with that.

    3) 22 Games: A home return against…the Habs.

    4) 27 Games: A big longshot here, yet that would fall into the Olympic Break and when that hockey is all over, everyone will already have forgotten about this incident…as you just know there will probably be newer and worse ones.

    Every 10 games lost to suspension will cost Thornton $ 110,000 of his salary – 20 games would be $220,000.

    Based on these below, 16-20 looks about to be the right number.
    In the post CBA era, these are the longest suspensions so far.

    30 Games
    Chris Simon of the New York Islanders, for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh’s Jarko Ruutu in December, 2007.
    It is the 7th suspension of Simon’s NHL career.

    25 Games
    Jesse Boulerice of the Philadelphia Flyers, for a crosscheck to the face of Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler in October, 2007.

    The Rest Of The Season (20 games)
    Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks, for serious injuries sustained by Colorado’s Steve Moore.

    20 games
    Steve Downie of the Philadelphia Flyers, for deliberately targeting the head with a body check on Ottawa’s Dean McAmmond in September, 2007.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Thornton wont get more than 12 games … just my opinion.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        You could be very right.
        The Pittsburgh press is reporting that Orpik skated this week and can drive his car….yet they also played it up by saying Crosby did the same but it still took him until the following year to return.

        Lots of politics in this one. Boston being Boston. Owner Jacobs giving Bettmen a long term contract. NHLPA. Father Campbell. Then again, they may not want to call in their favors for a Thornton. Much better to wait and use that capital on a Lucic when needed.

  40. DipsyDoodler says:

    4 point weekend. You heard it here.

  41. jsaz says:

    Egypt is getting a hockey team now I guess

  42. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Instead of Therrien shaking up the Habs lines how about Bergevin shaking up Therrien and give us an early xmas present by ditching him?

  43. myron.selby says:

    Bob Gainey turned 60 today. You know what that means? I am exactly 1 week younger than Bob, so holy shite – I must be turning 60 too. Very scary kids, as the count would say.

    Not sure why – I never blinked at 30, 40 or 50, but this one has me all shook up. Weird.

    Anyway, I just wanted to respond to the article saying Gainey was a great player but not such a good GM. I really think that Gainey would have been a brilliant GM if Geoffrey Molson would have been the owner.

    I think you have to divide Gainey’s moves between the hockey moves and the revenue moves. His hockey related trades (Rivet for Gorges and the pick for MaxPac) vs his revenue moves (letting Streit, Souray, Koivu … go for no return) show an incredible schizo personality.

    My theory is that Gillette (sp?) wanted to squeeze every penny out of the club and tied Bob’s hands. I’d love to see what Gainey could have done with ownership that valued winning as an end in itself.

    • The Dude says:

      Just follow the light…..

    • The_Truth says:

      Gillette didn’t tie anyone’s hands, he Gave Gainey full authority on hockey moves. Gainey was a bad Gm along with his buddy Gauthier and there isn’t any explaining that away.

      The Habs are, and have been, very unsuccessful the past many years in large part due to Gainey and Gauthier. It’s all on the record.

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        The truth is they are still unsuccessful and Gainey wasn’t part of the problem since 93……..success and failure seldom is tied to one person in a large organization…..there are many factors

    • twilighthours says:

      Bob was an ok GM, but a great man for the organization. My favourite gainey moments:

      1) telling brisebois booers to stop booing or stay home

      2) telling pk haters to shut up and play against him

    • VancouverHab says:

      Woah: disagree mightily. Loved Gainey as a GM (and a coach). And Gillette was an awesome owner: prefer him to the Molsons (who screwed it up last time).

      Despite being not only an Anglo owner but an American owner, even the Separatist media members in Quebec begrudgingly respected him. (Usually called him just “Uncle George.)

    • habstrinifan says:

      Totallt agree with The_Truth below… nothing then would have upheld your ‘theory’ that Gillette tied Gainey’s hand. I considered Gillette used the club to make money of course. But remember he WAS the ONLY investor who put up the dough and as such got himself a sweet deal. But he also allowed his hockey people free reign.

  44. Timo says:

    Andi Petrillo is short… like DD short.

  45. Timo says:

    There is that creepy Boone picture with “Who Are We” again….

  46. Timo says:

    Holy crap, they still haven’t decided on Thornton’s suspension? It’s been what… a week now?

  47. Timo says:

    Man, Edmonton are bad. The Sieve gets another shut out… his third.

    • Habilis says:

      Still some time to go, but it looks like it’ll be him for game one and Price for game two in Sochi. Though what they will be able to tell from that, I’m not sure. The first two games are vs Norway and Austria. Not exactly powerhouses.

  48. sweetmad says:

    Reading all the posts,and what has been said,I have come to the conclusion,that even if we won the cup,it would still be wrong for some people.

    We did really well last season,so we got knocked out in the first round,how many people thought we would even get that far,not many I am sure.We are near the top of our conference ,so far this season,at the start of the season,a lot of people thought we would be lucky if we made the playoffs.Of course we still might not make it, we might go all the way,none of us know,so whats the point of looking on the dark side,thats no fun.

    Now people are admitting, PG did not do a bad job, as far as personnel were concerned,if people had taken the time to look,they would have realised this when it was happening,but they were just second guessing.Just as they are doing now.MB has made some decisions, that I didn’t think were good,signing MT being one of them,but he has done a fair job with what he has to work with.Second in the conference last year,not bad from bottom.I wasn’t happy with Murray,but I have to admit I am pleasantly suprised,still not sure about DB,and still don’t like Parros.I will be patient,and not make up my mind for a while yet.But I will not sit and bemoan, whan I have no idea,what the outcome will be.

    We know that we have quite a good team, and they can do good things.So i for one will just keep supporting my team,and hope for the best.Because I can’t change any of it.

  49. JohnBellyful says:

    For the glass half-full, half-empty crowd, follow the link
    (and be sure to also click on the two young dudes playing Let It Be right below)

  50. Habilis says:

    Here’s the real problem with this team, IMHO: They’re not good enough yet, but they’re also not bad enough to not be kind of good. That was gibberish, but I’ve had 6 beer, so bear with me.

    Not good enough to contend for a Cup, barring some kind of magical run where Price stands on his head every night a la Roy. I think that’s pretty apparent.

    Not bad enough to finish in a good draft spot. Heck, probably not even bad enough to miss the playoffs in the East. Not with Price playing like he is.

    Being in the middle sucks because you’re not going to get any immediate help through the draft and you’re not going to go deep in the playoffs either. It’s pretty much the exact same spot we’ve been in since ’93. In fact, you could argue even longer, because that ’93 team wasn’t “expected” to win either. Roy won that.

    What’s my point? Don’t have one really. I’m just waiting like the rest of you. Waiting for this team to take the next step. Because with our goalie rounding into form like this, the proverbial window is now open. Time to build us a winner, MB.

    • kalevine says:

      I agree, prospects notwithstanding, and remember we have always had prospects. But let’s not completely smooth out the peaks. The Habs were certainly contenders in 1993 and it was more than Roy alone who won that Cup. Clutch scoring had a lot to do with it too. And they were contenders again in 1994 but the magic was gone. Not again until 2008 when they had to be considered contenders until Philly beat them into submission. Last year I think most of us knew they might not go far but still expected a better effort than a near sweep in round 1.

      • Habilis says:

        Fair points. I omitted the 2008 run because IMO, that was largely Halak. When he stopped stealing games, we ran out of gas. Plus no Cup obviously, which is all that matters in the end.

        As far as ’93, there were some great players on that team, no doubt but I don’t know if I can agree with your “clutch scoring” assertion. We won 10 games in OT. To me, it was more of a case of Roy keeping his team in the games until they could score.

        I’m biased because I was a goalie when I played, but to me that Cup was the best example of “There’s no more important single position in team sports than hockey goalie”. Of course, I was much younger then, but I still vividly remember being mesmerized by the man every other night. Good times.

        • kalevine says:

          certainly can’t argue with you that Roy was the #1 reason, but they also had Muller, Bellows and Damphousse potting big goals here and there, even little Paul Dipietro.

          I think you have 2008 mixed up with 2010. That was when they ran out of gas against Philly with Halak in goal and Cammaleri scoring non stop in the first 2 rounds. 2008 was when Gainey stupidly traded away Huet and went with Price, who played great down the stretch and the team landed first in the East under Carbonneau. They barely beat the Bruins in 7 and completely unraveled against Philly. They were obvious favourites having taken all 4 against the Flyers that season,. They won the first in OT and then price couldn’t stop a beachball, they hit about 4 posts a game on the way to getting beaten in 5 by RJ Umberger and Martin Biron. Sorry I remember it so clearly, must be PTSD

          • Habilis says:

            Riiiiight. Yeah, obviously I should stop drinking. Thanks for the reminder. Now I can go have nightmares. 😉


  51. SmartDog says:

    Amazeballs! New lines!

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  52. Storman says:

    Just got back from Wanda’s, there was no shortage of Festivus Poles, and girls performing feats of strength with and around them. I did not have many grievances to air though.

  53. twilighthours says:

    It’s Festivus every day on HIO. We are always airing our grievances!

  54. habs001 says:

    The team was a disaster in 2011-2012….based on the teams record in 2013 and so far this season why are some posters advocating the firing of the coach?…based on the talent level on the team he has not under achieved…he very well may have over achieved…..this teams talent is not as good as many posters think…

  55. Psycho29 says:

    Probably posted earlier here but just in case:

    NHL Player Safety ‏@NHLPlayerSafety
    Toronto’s David Clarkson will have a hearing tomorrow for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis forward Vladimir Sobotka.

  56. theox_8 says:

    Don’t mess with Matty he n
    Knows it all . So much that he spends most time posting on this site .

  57. Arnou Ruelle says:

    The LW forwards suddenly become RW forwards and the RW forwards becomes LW forwards? Or how about make the Forwards work as Defencemen and the vise-versa.

  58. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    How about these lines?

    Balanced, huh?

  59. habstrinifan says:

    School shootings suck!

  60. jsaz says:

    Mattyleg lol settle down. No where have I ever said I know more than an NHL coach, this is why I am
    A welder from alberta. The line combo I gave was a something I’d like to see and is something for fun. I am a fan of MT relax

  61. habstrinifan says:

    Festivus is around the corner. The cacophony could reach record levels in HIO.

  62. jsaz says:

    Mad max-Gionta-galchenyuk

    I’d feel bad for bourque. My spelling of names is probably off a bit.

  63. B says:

    Nevins scores his 13th, Charlottetown beats Saint John 2-1

    –Go Habs Go!–

  64. JM says:

    Maybe MT should try:

    Pacioretty Pleks Galchenyuk
    Gallagher Eller Gionta
    Bournival Desharnais Briere
    Moen White Prust


    Try it. If it doesn’t work make changes (Could be a pleasant surprise)

  65. frontenac1 says:

    Erie vs Rochester or Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders on HD Hifi network? Time for a single malt and take me away Chrissie!

  66. adadi says:

    Everyone blogging here and most of the fans in Montreal understand that the Patches-DD line can never work with Briere. The only one clued out is the coach. Really sad.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Why can’t it work?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • adadi says:

        It cannot work because of the type of player Patches is. He is a soft forward with a good shot that still has not learned the meaning of forecheck or crashing the net. DD wants to be that grinding player but he does not have it in him. Cole had it in him. Galley has it in him. Prust is a better fit for this line. Even Moen. But Briere will NEVER work on this line. I appreciate you guys want to be positive but not withstanding the recent wins, the team has not played well in the last 5 games regardless of the outcome. I’m a Hab fan through and through but when something is as evident as the coach’s inability to understand what is going on, he needs to be called out on it. Frankly it is time for MT to move on. We can never win with him at the helm. I forecast that we will struggle mightily to even make the playoffs.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I think you’re dealing too much in absolutes.

          I don’t think your analysis of the players works because nobody is as one-sided as you portray them to be.

          As far as Therrien goes, we are #2 in our division, and just came off a win-streak. He managed to get DD playing well again, and he also managed to motivate Pacioretty at the same time, which takes some doing. That being said, I don’t see how he’s doing a bad job.

          And I think it’s a bit naive for a simple fan to claim to know what is going on more than an NHL coach.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • adadi says:

            I never claimed to be clairvoyant but let’s talk in April. In the meantime you can keep hoping and I will keep complaining.

          • vegas says:

            he Got DD to play well 2-3 ga,es. i still don`t think he deserves his ice time. DOn`t like him sorry

    • JUST ME says:

      Ya real sad ! He`s been stuck on that line for what ? One game ? Thank god the so called fans are patient !

      • habstrinifan says:

        I don’t want to join this árgument’. But if you gonna respond to hi spost don’t be disingenuous. MT started the season with Briere/DD/Pacs claiming he ‘has a vision’. It is not One game.

        • Mattyleg says:

          What was the ‘vision’?

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • adadi says:

            That is the point. The only one with the vision is MT but it really does not exist.

          • habstrinifan says:

            Ask MT, he’s the one who used the term in training camp (day 1 I think) and maybe a month or so ago. Or did you miss it?

          • habs_54321 says:

            i think MT’s vision was patch being the guy that digs the puck from corners and crashing the net going for rebounds while briere and DD use there skill to cycle the puck and generate plays almost simular to the sedin,sedin burrows line. however it doesnt work because patch just isn’t that type of player even though his size suggests he could be

        • JUST ME says:

          Maybe so but still to say that MT has to go after two losses and after a 9 -0-1 streak is bad faith. So far this season MT has tried and succeeded most of the time so he is not part of the problem not as much as fans that think they know it all and are basically negative cause as far as i know the team has been doing good this season.
          Oh wait now is the time for the classic yes but in the second half of the season they usually…Or the timeless if they squeeze in the playoffs they won`t get through the first round. So what ?

          Did anyone from the management staff say that we would win the cup this year ? Go and listen to the first comments from Bergevin at the golf tournament he said and i quote » we will struggle to make it in the playoffs this season». Re building is far from being completed and what we see is a good outlook for the future.

          • habstrinifan says:

            “MT has to go”…. as I said I wasn’t getting involved with the whole debate. I just find it dishonest to say that the line of Briere/DD/Pacs was a one game thing.

  67. Dunboyne Mike says:


    Which is worse? Or are they equally bad?:

    a) losing your professional self-control and brain-injuring someone who’s flat on his back à la Thornton?

    b) remaining in control but biding your time until the perfect, cold-blooded moment to exact potentially lethal revenge à la Chara?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      But Thornton apologized, and Chara’s was a hockey play, aren’t they both therefore just the same as dumping the puck out of your own end?

      Seriously, Chara’s play to me was pure evil, and only Habs fans get it, because we knew how steamed he was at Max and how the rivalry etc… fuelled his revenge.

      Thankfully the ending was not what we all thought for so many minutes and hours after seeing it.

  68. Stooof says:

    the question remains why briere, whose only success came with playing on pleks gionta line, is not on their line.

  69. Danno says:

    That goal should have been called back.


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

  70. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    I think one thing that’s been lost in the discussions of our teams couple losses is how much the leafs are sucking and only seem to have more suck on their horizon.

  71. HabinBurlington says:

    Some Friday thoughts before I head back to the bar (Yes back to the Saloon Front):

    Our team is presently in the midst of a 2 game losing streak where all looks bad, just as the previous 10 games all looked good. Does MB see and/or recognize what is happening?

    There are a few moves MB has made which have many here at HI/O shaking their heads at (some are shaking fists, some have pitchforks, while others are ready to torch his office). Having said that, MB strikes me as a person who will indeed learn from his mistakes, he does not have that PG persona about him where no matter what he does he believes it is right and therefore nothing to learn from.

    The Desharnais contract could indeed be his largest blunder, the signing of Danny boy could be right behind. However, I like to recognize we hired a rookie GM, he was hired based on his pedigree as a person, a former player and a former mgmt. member of the current best organization in hockey.

    The best time for him to make mistakes was in his first and second year, at a time when this team was not expected to win a Cup or even go deep on a Playoff run. The guy can not be so ignorant as to not recognize that the present makeup of the team has some glaring issues. While the contracts to DB and DD are not positive at the moment, these are not impossible to move out and away from.

    So long as he recognizes the bad moves and the good moves from his first year and a half on the job, the future I believe will indeed be bright. I am not so foolish as to not recognize we have been promised or told about a rebuild for 20 some odd years, but to me the rebuild or makeover is different this time. We have an owner who is committed, who is passionate and is a fan. He indeed sees the frustration of the fans just as I think MB sees the frustrations and himself can empathize as a former player in this league.

    This season is a crapshoot, we may indeed finish the season with a nice record, or perhaps a mediocre record. The playoffs I expect (if we make/assume we make) will be relatively short lived, but I am hopeful that our next couple seasons will indeed improve.

    The mindset in drafting is to change the present makeup, and we do have some good building blocks in the system, while still short on goalscoring. But with an increase in the Cap changes can occur to our benefit.

    After this 2nd season with MB in charge I believe we will be able to actually be able to get a better read on how well he is learning on the job. I remain optimistic, while presently questioning some of the moves.

    So long as MB is willing to look at his moves with an open mind, I think the future bodes well.

    Anyways, I need a another drink and have rambled far too long.

    Happy Friday everyone!

    • CH Marshall says:

      Good points. I take solace in knowing MB didn’t give up assets to sign DD and DB. Eventually Gio, Cube, Briere, will not be with the team. Maybe Gorges. I’m sure the plan is to draft well and sign guys with some more size etc etc. However, my feeling is that it’ll be next to IMPOSSIBLE to trade DD…and unfortunately, that will affect the balance of the team make-up.

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        Aren’t you kind of losing sight of what MB might have got for an asset with the money spent on DD and Briere….why does MB get a pass on being dumb because he is a relative new Administrator,,,,,do you really think that he will be brilliant in a year from now…….give your heads a shake……think on what you are trying to convince others…….

    • JF says:

      Excellent post. It’s nice to read a well-thought out and reasonable assessment of the situation that does more than simply belabour Bergevin’s perceived blunders and Therrien’s shortcomings as a coach.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great post, Burly (or is it BurlUCE?!) .

      • habstrinifan says:

        Do you mind if I throw this question to you and through to HabinBurlington. His comparison of MB with PG put the question in my mind.

        Recently many posters here have been listing the team’s assets and recognizing/admitting that many of those assets were accumulated under PG.

        Could PG’s biggest mistake then be his choice for coach (which adds another twist cause he inherited JM)…and since HabinBurlington was itemizing MB’s record… on which side of the ledger is the choice of coach weighing now?

  72. habs_54321 says:

    couldn’t we just keep the lines as they were when they were winning?

    patch,desh,gallagher just work well together dont touch it.

    galchenyuk was playing great with plex and gionta and had 7 shots on goal vs LA keep that line intact (which they did apparently)

    and put briere with eller and bourque or prust to make a solid 3rd line

  73. Danno says:



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

  74. HabFab says:

    Dave Stubbs – These boneheaded NHLers are doing some good: wages lost in suspensions go to Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, helping needy alumni

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