Second half begins

With a big four-pointer against Da Broons.

Goaltending, special teams lead way

Gorges will have to be patient

Dave Stubbs on Gorges

Second half will be a challenge

Red’s notebook

Arpon Basu on P.K.

• Philippe Cantin on Pierre Gauthier



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  2. habstrinifan says:

    Dont know what you mean by ‘great article’. You are right that as a HABS fan it is fun to follow the people who has insight into the room or the coaches. But Basu’s interpretaion of Martin’s comments shows either very liitle insight or just the tame acceptance of a pundit who wishes to retain his access to the coach. No critical analysis whatsoever.

    JM’s comments shows his discomfort with the type of player Subban is. It increases the questions re Subban’s development under Martin and hints at an unhappy and maybe short future with this organization for PK as long as Martin is the coach.

    I humbly invite you to read my more detailed take on Basu’s article and re-analyse JM’s comments.

  3. habstrinifan says:

    A. Basu to Martin, “So how do you feel about having to ‘replace’ Georges with Subban?”

    JM answers….

    “Hal has lots of experience, he’s one our main leaders in the dressing room. He’s a good influence on a player like P.K. You say they’re opposite, but I think in reality one of the strengths of Subban is to play good defence. People see him as an offensive player and that may come, but right now his production has come really on the power play. I think he has a lot to learn offensively, as well as defensively. But to be matched up and be given a certain role is probably good for him. It will help him focus on his game.”

    A Basu’s interpretation for the HIO community and other Habs fans.

    “First, the growing legion of Canadiens fans hoping Martin gets fired will likely pounce on that to prove he’s trying to turn Subban into some sort of defensive zombie. I really don’t feel that’s the case, and it’s actually a pretty glowing endorsement for a player who has seen the depths of Martin’s doghouse.”

    WOW! Incredible!

    I have read your article over and over Mr. Basu. Where is the glowing endorsement? Where is the positive message to a young prospect? Where is the acceptance by a coach to understand and be excited about the talent and potential of this player? Where is the coaching insight to nurture and manage P.K while not eliminating  (as Max Pacioretty so astutely put it) his natural game from that process.

    Compare, Mr Basu, JM’s words on say Weber ( now that was glowing) in earlier articles of yours to those on P.K Subban in this article. How can a young prospect reading JM’s words come away with any sense of positiveness about this coach’s attitude towards him.

    JM’s weak and, myopic and lame response was bad enough. But to be followed in the article by your categorization of that answer as “a glowing endorsement”. Incredible!.

    Maybe if you review the following one sentence in JM’s response, Mr Basu , you will change your mind.

    “I think in reality one of the strengths of Subban is to play good defence.”

    How convoluted?  Again how can you find glowing in this sentence? It is tantamount to Martin ridiculing P.K’s ‘offensive skills’ and laying down the gauntlet to the young man. Your offensive skills are overrated and under ‘my tutelage (rather Hal Gill’s tutelage), I will see to it you may develop “to play good defence”. Right now you are horsecrap! All JM needed to add was “be like Hal Gill and you will get my approval like Weber did”. You do Habs fans a disservice Mr. Basu when you try to find merit or positive coaching in such demoralising statements from a coach with a questionable record with young prospects.

    At least you have assured yourself that you will always have the ear of JM with such a fancifully favourable interpretation of his obtuseness when assessing his young players. Martin’s answer ranked with the one he earlier gave concerning AK46’s outstanding play at the start of the season. It certainly made ak46’s chest swell with pride and desire to make the extra effort for this coach.

    If I were P.K.s agent, I would be filing this answer as one of my top ten reasons why I want my client AWAY from this aridly uninspiring mind of Martin.

    Martin was right re Geroges. Georges had given all indications during the off-season that this was to be a threshold year in his career. Where he would add versatility and the full complement of skills and styles of play ‘characteristic’ of a multi-dimensional and impactful defenseman.

    What JM did was ‘match’ him with Hal Gill. That is JM’s word not mine. And I think the use of it reveals a lot a lot about JM. Other coaches may ‘play’ or ‘pair’ but JM needs to match.  And what the fans and the Canadiens got was another player who gained this coach’s eye but became a one dimensional player physically and mentally.

    Glowing endorsement my eye!

  4. Bugs says:

    Ooooooo, right in the labanza, that one.

    Happy New Year, signed

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

  5. JohnBellyful says:

    That’s hittin’ them where it hurts. Two minutes for messin’ with their heads.

  6. Danno says:

    Fun, fun, fun!

    Danno said…

    thought the Canadian Junior team must have felt like hell to have the
    gold medal in their grasp with a 3-0 lead only to have it snatched away
    by the Russians in their third period tidal wave attack.

    I thought it must be a breakdown like no other in hockey history.

    Then I remembered last year’s playoff between the Bruins and Flyers…


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  7. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Now we know what happened to AK. Will have to go back 16 games ago. Love it!

  8. SmartDog says:

    Great article by Basu on Subban’s (new) apprenticeship under Gill.

    Some intersting lines about Gill’s leadership:

    When Scott Gomez wanted the team to sacrifice defence to generate
    more at the other end, the player he butted heads with was Gill, and I
    think we can all ascertain who won that argument.

    When Carey Price was still showing up his defencemen by openly
    blaming them for goals, the player who took him aside and told him to
    stop was Gill.

    If you read between the lines of what Martin said about Gorges last
    season, about the commitment needed “off the ice in terms of
    preparation,” I think you can tell what he’s talking about. If Gill was
    the one who told Gorges it would be smart to arrive at the morning skate
    well rested and without a headache, then that’s another one.

    I find this stuff fascinating.  To those who think these guys are just paid, they come, they do their jobs, you’re totally lacking in imagination.  These kind of details are what make teams successful.  How well the team gels, how responsible the players are to each other, whether they get along or rub each other the wrong way – THAT’s what makes a team strong or weak.  The most powerful team is self-correcting internally… coaches, players, all talk and give direct feedback, share a vision, and are accountable.  Failin teams have failing leadership. 

    It does make you wonder, if Gill does this, what’s Gionta’s role? 

    (I’m also wondering what Gomez had to stand on to butt heads with Gill.)


  9. HFX-HabFan says:

    JB and JD are by far the best writers among the commentariat.  Chuck puts out some great stuff too.

  10. punkster says:

    Done. They want a reason to hate then I say we give them one.

    We need another spell Bugs, something without the hives though. Any suggestions? I’m thinking this is Capricorn, sign of the goat, and Brian Gionta is a Capricorn so there must be some significance to that.

    We’ve got a few hours. What do we need?


  11. Bugs says:

    Oh joy! Another NESN page. Today’s subject: who to hate on the Habs.

    I remind you there is no need to login. You know, if you’d like to favour those nice folk with an opinion of your own or sumpin.

    Happy New Year, signed

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

  12. RGM says:

    The team’s final placement in the standings will largely hinge upon the four remaining games against the Bruins. That’s a key swing of up to 8 points on the line – if the Habs are able to take three of these key games, I believe that they will win the division and thus get a top three seed. If they split, they’ll need to be more like the October-November Habs to store up the points and hope for the best. Bruins take 3 or more and the division is theirs, while the Habs will have to be solid against everybody else in the hopes of locking down one of the final three positions.

    Go Habs Go!

  13. punkster says:

    Beauty, eh? Good one JB.


  14. JohnBellyful says:

    Habs’ theme song: ‘All of me, why not take all of me …’

    MONTREAL – Members of the Montreal Canadiens’ training staff, including its chief physician, are under investigation after it was discovered that defenceman Josh Gorges has been “missing” an anterior cruciate ligament for several years.

    Police were called in after a series of in-depth physicals by specialists, ordered by concerned team owner Geoff Molson, revealed several more players are playing without various body parts.

    “This had to be more than coincidence or a combination of bad trading and bad drafting, although that hasn’t been ruled out,” said a police spokesman. “We’re investigating the possibility that members of the team’s training staff have been harvesting organs, bones, muscles and things too icky to mention for exchange on the international black market for body parts. Doctors refer to this as insider trading.”
    The missing body parts include cerebellums, vertebrae, intestines, ligaments, tendons, tibulas and fibulas.

    A team spokesman who requested anonymity wouldn’t identify the players who are not altogether there, but he suggested Hab followers reviewing videotapes of the team’s first 41 games could easily draw their own conclusions.

    “The experts tell us playing without certain body parts can have an effect on players’ scoring ability,” the spokesman said. “It can also affect their equilibrium, making it harder for them to remain on their feet. Those guys weren’t falling down to block shots, they were just falling down.”

    Although the investigation is continuing, preliminary inquiries indicate the removal of the body parts were conducted in the guise of routine physical check-ups. Several players interviewed admitted to having doubts as to why they had to be given anaesthetics for blood pressure checks and eye examinations but they were told the medical system considered it standard procedure.

    “It turns out that’s not the case,” said one player, whose right leg appears shorter than the other. “Now I know why I’m in a slump. I’m missing a few vertebrae.”

    The malpractice would also explain why some Canadien players perform much better after being traded to other teams. The newspaper has learned those players underwent secret transplants while being outfitted for new uniforms.
    “I didn’t question being put under, I never liked having to stand there while some guy took all these measurements,” said one former Hab.

    A top official with another team said the Canadiens are known throughout the league for “playing God with their players” and that restorative surgery is required whenever one of their players is acquired in a trade.
    It doesn’t work all the time, he added. “Some damaged goods are just too damaged to make good again.”

    The police spokesman said the investigation is likely to continue for several more weeks and will likely include a review of Andrei Markov’s medical records over the past two years.

    `A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.

  15. HabFanSince72 says:

    Leafs 11 points behind the Habs with one game in hand.

    I wonder if they will finish above us.

    Tony will have a field day.

  16. Bugs says:

    So anyway, I did some research, and I found out that the leafers scored as many goals last night as they did all last year. Isn’t that amazing?

    Happy New Year, signed

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

  17. MTLForever says:

    Tonight is a huge game. 

  18. says:


    Do you Ya Figure?

    It’s like saying tomorrow will be Sunday.

    They Call Me Shane

  19. Fab K says:

    So i keep hearing that we should acquire another D due to Gorges season ending surgery… Is this really true? i think our D is good as is and we don’t need to take any action until we see that they are not up to par… But really, what is our ultimate need for this team? I think we need another top 6 (or maybe a top 3), because we are not scoring as many goals as we should to contend and stay in the playoff race. Maybe sniper winger that can do the job Kostitsyn is not.

    Does anyone else agree? Who would you have in mind that could be acquired to fullfil that role?

  20. CanadienBoy says:

    Kesler will have been that guy to bad .

  21. notbigbird says:

    Now this site is giving me fits about logging in — at least in Firefox. I’m in IE right now. Le sigh.

  22. Danno says:

    The same thing happened to me in Firefox little bird. I just switched over to IE. I also advised the Hampster Master — AKA Mr. Boone — about the issue.

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  23. HabsInsideOut says:

    Try logging out and logging back in. We installed some new software, and in some cases you may have to clear your cache or re-log in.

  24. adam76 says:

    Seems ok with Google Crome.

  25. 24 Cups says:

    Mike Boone pretty well sums up where our D is at in terms of their ability levels.

    If Arpon Basu is right, it looks like Hal Gill will be back for another year.  That would give us three signed NHL defensemen for 2011-12.  With Markov and Gorges being in limbo, I could also see the Habs bringing Hamrlik back on a lower priced one year deal.  It was only a few years ago that everyone on the site was bragging about our bountiful crop of defensive prospects.  Not pretty.

    The Langenbrunner trade will be for a conditional 2nd or 3rd round pick.  There’s no way the Habs could have given up two 2nd rounders in the same year.  I still can’t see how Dallas is playing so well.  It’s the biggest shocker as far as the West is concerned this season.

    I realize that it’s only the cap hit that really matters, but some Toronto players are making huge coin this year.  I didn’t realize that Komisarek is being paid 6M, the same as Kessel.  Phaneuf and Giguere are both nailing down 7M.  Yikes!

    Jersey is 8 points behind the Islanders.  It will be so ironic if they get to draft a franchise player like Couturier after having blown their entire budget on Kolvalchuk. (I hope that the laffs continue their winning ways so that the Bruins get knocked out of the top five picks for the entry draft)

    Speaking of the Bruins, Montreal and Boston are on the full national stage tonight.  This should be a field day for Don Cherry.  This also could be Mike Boone’s biggest night of the year in terms of hits.

  26. The Cat says:

    As if the server will handle it…

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

  27. mrhabby says:

    Steve..capgeek says ….komi at 4.5m and kessel at 5.4m this does not include bonus money.

  28. HabsFansince49 says:

    I have to admit it irks me to see Grabovski pouring in goals when at the same time Cammalleri and AK46 can’t put a puck in a soccer net.  I know Grabovski is hardly a great 2-way player and I didn’t much care for him in Montreal but …

    Sour grapes on my part, I guess but when will we ever see the Habs knock in 9 goals in a game?



    I don’t pretend to be an expert; just a die-hard Habs fan passing my opinion

  29. Hobie Hansen says:

    Certainly when one looks back to the situation with the Canadiens heading into the season, you have to be content with where the team currently sits. With all the drama surrounding Carey Price even the biggest believers had their doubts.

    He looked plain bad and uninterested at many points over the previous two seasons and I would never go as far as booing him, but I thought it may have taken him a season or two to fully find his game, if at all in Montreal. I thought the pressure and negative attitude of some of the fans may have pushed him past his breaking point and it might take a trade for him to totally recover. He proved everyone wrong.

    Price having a next to stellar season has to be the biggest story about the team during the first half.

    Great job Carey Price! Go Habs GO!

  30. RGM says:

    ” With all the drama surrounding Carey Price even the biggest believers had their doubts.”

    No. I think I speak for Shane as well when I say that. Mrs. RGM also confirms that she did not have any doubts.

    Go Habs Go!

  31. 24 Cups says:

    Dave – I’m pretty sure that capgeek only shows the cap hit, not the real year-to-year salaries. 

    This is where I went for my info.

    BTW, I’m reading Todd Denault’s The Greatest Game.  Well worth it, too.




  32. mrhabby says:

    wow…komi is so overpaid..christ its unreal.

  33. 24 Cups says:

    I love that Tucker is on a five year buyout of 1M a season.  That buys you a back-up goalie (Auld) or two secondary depth players (Pyatt, Picard).  Every bit counts when you have a defined budget (does our federal govt need a hard cap:-)

    Then there’s the Islanders.  They are paying 5.7M in buyouts to Yashin and Witt.  And they still can barely get to the cap floor!

    All of a sudden Laraque’s 500,000 (this year and next) doesn’t look so bad.

  34. HabFanSince72 says:

    Mike Milbury.

  35. mrhabby says:

    i saw that to and gave my head a shake. Tucker is retired and getting paid nicely to sit around and play video games. i picked the wrong occupation.

    your right on larocks 500k its really peanuts in the big scheme of things.

    hope all is well.


  36. habs365 says:

    we might as well face the facts..with the offence we have right now..can’t see the Habs being around after 82 games..we can kid ourself and we can believe but that’s 2-cents to PG..don’t give away our assets just to make the playoffs..we have proven so far most of the players we’ve traded..are doing very well on other teams..if we keep doing this..we are making other teams better and we’re going nowhere.

  37. says:

    I don’t have any stats to back this up but I am pretty sure we have the same offense that went to the ECF last year. 

    I say, Go All the Way Baby!

    Kill The Bruins

    They Call Me Shane

  38. twocents says:

    Price is key, that’s for sure.

    But I predict, and I don’t do this often, that the offense comes alive in the second half and the Habs add a dimension the pundits aren’t considering.

    There’s plenty of potential for every single forward to step up their production. Not one forward played to their offensive potential in the first half. Law of averages says that can’t continue. Some of them will up their pace and none of them are likely to slow much.

    The D… well it has to hold on.

    Mark my words, ’nuff said… discuss

  39. Hobie Hansen says:

    I tend to agree with you about the offense. Gionta, Cammalleri and Plekanec are all too gifted offensively to not pick up the pace a bit more. Gomez has been averaging a point a game the last ten and I think guys like Pouliot and Pacioretty are going to surprise people…a trade for a solid top six forward would be nice but we’re better than we have been before, regardless.  

  40. 24 Cups says:

    Eric – You call that a prediction?  I’m glad to see that you went way out on the ledge:-)

    Right now, we’re the lowest scoring team of all the contenders in the East.  I hope and pray that this won’t go on all year.  We have pretty well spent our entire UFA budget on a new offense so they better do something.

    Here’s are my benchmarks for the 2nd half (not saying they will be reached).

    Cammy = 20

    Gionta = 14

    AK46 = 16

    Pleks = 13

    Pouliot = 11

    MaxPac = 11

  41. punkster says:

    Seems reasonable.

    Like I’ve been saying all along.

    Just sayin’.


  42. JohnBellyful says:

    What kind of world is it that the Leafs can score nine times in one game and better teams go starving for goals?

  43. Danno says:

    JB, it’s a MAB, MAB world…


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  44. Psycho29 says:

    Even an ugly girl/guy can get lucky once in a while! :-)

  45. twocents says:

    Hey, at least I leaned out the window.

    Your numbers look about right to me. I might add another 10 or so from Eller/Desharnais and I think Subban/Weber/Wiz can kick in more from the back end.

  46. habs365 says:

    At the rate we’re going right now..the Habs are on pace for around 95pts that would be an improvement by 7pts over last year. we finished with 88pts as you can see we’re going nowhere point is..bringing in players at the end of their careers just to make the playoffs don’t cut it and we’re giving up our assets..the habs will hoover in the standings between 8 – 12 for years to come if management keep doing this..when you look at it, all common sense.

  47. Omit says:

    The only team that will hoover in the standings for that long is the leafs. They’ve been sucking for 43 years already.

  48. drivefor25 says:

    Zing! The Leafs suck because they operate in a vacuum.


    Fan since ’71

  49. larisalapointe says:

    Cool avatar. Native warrior-totem pole. Sure did piss PJ Stock off though…..haha

  50. Sith says:

    Why so mean!!

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