Silver for Diaz, bronze for Galchenyuk at world championship

 A couple of Canadiens players and a Habs prospect will be coming home from the World Hockey Championship in Sweden with medals.

Raphael Diaz was part of the Switzerland team that settled for silver after losing 5-1 to Sweden in Sunday’s final. It marked the first medal at the tournament for Switzerland in 60 years. Diaz logged 20:45 of ice time in the gold-medal game.

Alex Galchenyuk was the star for the United States in the bronze-medal game, scoring twice in the shootout during a 3-2 win over Finland after the Americans blew a 2-0 third-period lead. Canadiens prospect Danny Kristo, a second-round draft pick in 2008 (56th overall) was also on Team USA.

Other Canadiens players who participated at the world championship were Tomas Plekanec (Czech Republic), P.K. Subban (Canada) and prospect Tim Bozon (France), a third-round pick (64th overall) at last year’s NHL entry draft..

(Photo by Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

 

642 Comments

  1. ebk says:

    another night of the NHL officials deciding the outcome of games.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I showed the clip/link earlier this morning. No way that is goalie interference.

      • Strummer says:

        How are you able to better determine from a youtube clip as opposed to a referee who was 2 feet away?

        Why do the ref’s bother working at ice level. Why don’t they just call the games at home from their TV screens?

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    Much credit to the Red Wings, after the game 1 loss Mike Babcock had an exchange with the media explaining to them not to worry. The team is now proving his point, if the Wings do upset the Hawks this will be perhaps Babcock’s finest coaching performance.

    The beauty of Detroit is their consistency as an organization. Even when significant transitions occurred in leadership on the ice or in the board rooms the team has been seamless throughout. They truly are an organization to be modelled after. Perhaps why Jim Nill’s name was always popping up when GM positions were available.

  3. Maritime Ron says:

    For some lamenting the fact that we didn’t trade draft picks for players at the deadline, those type of moves can set a franchise backwards if they are not a bonafide Cup contender such as the Pens this year.

    Although the Alex Tanguay deal was done in the summer, Gainey gave up a 2008 1st and 2009 2nd.
    We all know Gainey did not resign Tanguay, (we lost him for nothing) but what is interesting are the players taken in that 2008 draft between the traded choice to Calgary at 25 and when the Habs picked next.

    How would the Habs look with 1 of the following that were picked and could have been our own (not even bothering with the 2009 2nd rounder)

    Goaltender: How’s about a Jacob Markstrom pushing Price?
    Or, Top 4 Dmen on any NHL team in Slava Voynov and John Carlson along with an up and coming Justin Schultz.
    Or forward Derek Stepan that had 44 pts in 48 games this year?

    Draft picks are precious and are usually the core of a well built Cup winning team. You move them when you are close – not when hoping for a miracle.

    • 24 Cups says:

      In fairness to Gainey, the Habs thought they were pretty close at that time. After all, they had just won the conference title. There also was the centennial pressure.

      Gainey traded for Tanguay. I remember how great he was on the point when we held our Summit meeting that year. Expectations ran high. Lang was also brought in for a 2nd rounder while Laraque was a UFA signing. I was against the Lang and Laraque moves which meant I was batting .500. Tanguay eventually became a huge disappointment who went on to be one of those players who makes good coin but never really makes a difference (aka Olli Jokinen). Carbo gets fired, Gainey takes over, the team still does nothing and all is lost.

      Last year, the Habs had all the stars align in their favour. It was a perfect scenario in every way. Then reality set in and the team fell back down to earth. As you stated, there was no miracle.

      This team is still rebuilding. They are only one year into the process. They need to bring in more forward prospects and fill three major holes in the line-up. A serious Cup run is still probably about three years away.

      I know I’m overplaying the French-Canadien card but I’d love to see MB make some moves so the team can draft Gauthier and Morin.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Hi,
        There was no intent to slag Gainey and was just showing how overrating a team and trading away precious pics causes harm down the road.
        Perhaps Gainey felt that Habs fans have no patience, or possibly it was also his thought process.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        And actually Tanguay played well for us. As I recall his main issue was injuries.

    • JF says:

      It’s surprising that the Alex Tanguay deal is not mentioned more often as one of Gainey’s failures. As you suggest, one of the picks he gave up could have landed us a very good player. What makes it even worse is that Tanguay ended up playing only half a season for us. You could argue that that deal worked out worse for us than the Kessel trade did for Toronto.

      • Chris says:

        What always killed me in the Alex Tanguay experiment was how resistant Carbonneau was to using Tanguay with Kovalev and Koivu. Gainey finally did it at the end of the season after the season had completely imploded, and they delivered as one of the most productive lines in the league while they were together.

        Tanguay needs to play with a scorer to be effective, yet they most commonly used him with Koivu, the team’s other top playmaker that year. He saw very spot duty with Kovalev.

        The Tanguay deal ended up awful, but I think the team really screwed themselves over by not recognizing Taguay’s strengths and weaknesses and placing him in the best position to succeed.

  4. Psycho29 says:

    34 years ago today in 1979 I was with my Dad at the Forum watching the Habs hoist the Cup! Great memories!

    • Clay says:

      Nice! I was not at the Forum, but was watching on CBC with my dad as well.

      __________________________
      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  5. 24 Cups says:

    Patrick Roy is ready to take over as coach in Colorado.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I am a huge Roy fan and I think it’s great he’s getting some NHL coaching experience. Perhaps a certain team will be in the market for a head coach in a few years.

  6. 24 Cups says:

    Dobber’s Fantasy Hockey still has Price ranked as the second best net minder to own in a long-term hockey draft.

    In order they are: Lundqvist, Price, Quick and Rinne.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      That’s sure to ruffle a few feathers here today, eh Steve?

    • Chris says:

      Price is a good goalie, but fantasy rankings are not particularly useful.

      Price ranks highly because you know, barring injury, that he is getting 70 starts a year. This doesn’t mean that he’s the 2nd best goaltender, just that he is going to give his fantasy owners a lot of wins because of the volume of games that he plays.

      From a fantasy point of view, not including Jimmy Howard in that mix is a bit questionable. He gets wins, shutouts and his save percentage has been outstanding the past two seasons. He plays in an excellent defensive system for a top coach.

  7. Chris says:

    For those that continue to espouse the view that Bergevin should have been dangling assets at the deadline to make a run at the Stanley Cup, I can only offer up this year’s edition of the Toronto Blue Jays as a counter-argument.

    I’m a casual baseball fan. But that roster never struck me as being anywhere close to as good as it was made out to be. Nonetheless, GM Alex Anthopoulos rolled the dice and made a series of trades that supposedly vaulted the Jays into top contender for the World Series.

    They can still turn around their train-wreck of a season, but thus far none of those deals has worked out particularly well. Buehrle has been a disaster, Josh Johnson (the workhorse that could eat innings) only made 4 starts before going down to injury, Jose Reyes was lost early due to injury. R.A. Dickey has been the “ace” of the staff, but solely by process of elimination. 4-5, 4.50 ERA was not what anybody expected from him.

    Montreal was not a Stanley Cup contender, and Bergevin knew it. They didn’t have the balance and they didn’t have the depth. They were not one Ryane Clowe away from contention. They realistically would have needed at least 1 top-4 defenceman and probably 2 or 3 forwards, including a top-6 forward, to have a shot at contending with the likes of Chicago or Pittsburgh, let alone Boston.

    The franchise is just in the process of rebuilding its system. Look at the minors right now…the forward depth is atrocious. 2012-13 was not the time to go for it because they don’t have sufficient depth to weather the inevitable injuries that a deep playoff run always seems to cause. Trades for players like Clowe or Bouwmeester would have removed even more of that depth from the system, and they still wouldn’t have been able to survive the injuries to Emelin, Pacioretty, Price and Eller.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think you and Bergevin shared the same opinion. Several fans wanted to add a Jagr or an Iginla or a big dman at the deadline. What we got was Drewskie which was terribly disappointing. I wonder what the effect on the players were when Bergevin refused to add some needed pieces. Is it possible they felt the management had no hope for them?

      • Maritime Ron says:

        @ Chris
        Totally agree.
        When you are a Pittsburgh and have Crosby-Malkin-Kunitz-Neal-Letang-Dupuis…. – do you really care to give up a 1st round pick (26-30) and a few 2nd rounders and a few prospects for Iginla- Morrow-Murray and have a very solid chance of a Cup run.

        Our Habs were in no position to pay that price for rentals.
        I remember being happy when MB came to the podium announcing nothing happened

        • Trisomy 21 says:

          Does it matter how the players interpret these things? They’re not teenage girls who will get their feelings hurt. Not to come off as I’m arguing with you but let’s not forget these are profesisonal hockey players.

          Edit: Woops this was in response to Habfan

      • Chris says:

        It is hard to say.

        Players can either take it as admission that the team isn’t good enough, or they could take it as faith on the part of their management that the players that achieved that standing were better than the guys that were being dangled.

        With the exception of Iginla, who had no interest in Montreal, and Bouwmeester, who had a NTC and could very well of nixed a lot of teams, there was nobody on the market this year that I felt was a significant upgrade. When you saw the costs (2nd and 3rd + conditional 2nd for Clowe, two second round picks for Murray, solid defence prospect Joe Morrow for Brenden Morrow, etc.), Bergevin ultimately made the right decision on the long-term.

        • ebk says:

          yes, he did. The price for upgrades was outrageous this year.

          The silver lining in that is if the Habs falter a bit next year, they should be able to reap a huge reward for Markov. They would also have potential UFA’s Bouillon,Diaz and Gionta to move. Maybe even Emelin, if they feel he will be to expensive to sign.

    • JF says:

      Chris – We can certainly see with hindsight that Bergevin was right. There are a few stubborn posters here who maintain that the Habs were the better team in their series with the Senators, and only lost because of bad luck and bad officiating. This is nonsense. The Habs were beaten cleanly in every category – goaltending, special teams, even-strength scoring. The Senators started their rebuild a year earlier and had more depth in their system than the Habs. I think we’re following a similar trajectory, but we’re probably a couple of years away from being even where they are. Our prospects on defence are not ready and, as you point out, we have almost no forward depth, although last year’s draft helped a little. Hopefully this year’s will do the same.

      I imagine Bergevin did not expect the team to make the playoffs this year, and was pleasantly surprised but not blinded when they did. At his season-ending press conference, he reiterated his long-term plan and his determination to stick to it – creating depth and balance through drafting and development. His philosophy is that there are no shortcuts and that dealing assets for rentals and expensive free agents only removes depth. So I don’t expect him to make any big moves this summer.

      • Chris says:

        I can see Bergevin being active, but only if there is a good player that becomes available via compliance buyouts. There are a few teams that are tight against next year’s falling salary cap number, so there very well could be some decent players available via trade or free agency.

        Bergevin does not sound like a guy who is going to be dealing 1st or 2nd round draft picks unless absolutely necessary, but there are some log-jams (defence, centre) that maybe need to be rectified.

        If trading one of the centres (Eller, Plekanec, or Desharnais) and some of the depth defencemen (Weber, Diaz, Gorges) could net a good player, I could see Bergevin biting if only to open up opportunities for Galchenyuk at centre and Tinordi on defence.

        • JF says:

          I was thinking of free-agent signings, but you’re right, there could be trades. Bergevin promised Weber he’d help him if there is no spot for him on the team, so he’ll be looking for a trade there. If another defenceman is traded, I’d rather it were Gorges than Diaz, who is an excellent puck-mover. Bergevin will also need to sign a winger to replace Ryder, since it’s unlikely Danny Kristo will be ready. I can see either Desharnais or Plekanec being traded, but more likely next year than this.

        • Maritime Ron says:

          You bring up a good point about compliance buyouts or trades forced by the lowered Salary Cap.
          Take Vancouver as an example. Even if they move/buyout Luongo, they are still in serious Cap trouble.
          I’m getting this feeling that there is going to be some crazy stuff going on in the 2 week buyout period and around draft day

          • Chris says:

            Chicago is another one to watch…they’ve got $62 million committed already for next season, and they’ve still got to sign Bickell, Emery, Handzus, Stalberg, Kruger, Rozsival and Leddy (or their replacements).

            There will be some significant talent shed by the Blackhawks, one way or the other, this summer.

    • formerly known as the hc says:

      Absolutely. It’s not that MB and Co didn’t go looking for players, including the big d-man, etc. Did folks see the cost for those players? Other than Boumeester (sp?), what ‘big’ d-man was traded? Iginla, a first rounder and NTC (he chose his destination)…. And on and on I could go. By all media reports, these fading stars with NTC’s all seemed to be looking at Rangers, Ruins, Penguins and not Mtl. These players all fetched 1st rounders and then some. Anyone thinking the Habs were close enough to chance trading first rounders for a ‘run’ know much less about sport than they think they know. Perhaps this team has been mediocre at best for so long because management has acted like fans. More than once I have heard big league managers say “if you think like a fan when you do this job, you will very shortly be out of a job”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      My opinion on the Jays, is they don’t have Leaders and/or baseball people in key positions. Paul Beeston was a beancounter on the World Series winning teams, Pat Gillick was the baseball guy, the one who had foresight to see when the time was right. He earned the nickname Stand Pat for a reason as he slowly built a championship team. Then when the time was right he added pieces from outside.

      A.A. has a great eye for talent, but simply hasn’t had enough grooming to be a top level GM in MLB, yet. This isn’t to say he can’t become that, but a few years working under an impatient J.P. Riccardi isn’t exactly working for Pat Gillick.

      Then we have a manager on the field who appears to manage very passively. The players brought in, do not include many if any “winners”. Buehrle did win in Chicago, but that was years ago and perhaps all of his best days are behind him. I won’t even get into the leadership or lack thereof on the field. Reyes was a Huge loss early, but few people on this team have stepped up, nor do I expect any of them to do so.

      • Chris says:

        Too many power hitters, too few average hitters.

        The Blue Jays fell in love with the home run, and they’ve loaded their roster with guys who can hit them. Unfortunately, it is too often the case for the Blue Jays hitters that it is home run or nothing.

        Having people on-base changes the dynamic of the game. Pitchers have to worry about stolen bases, defences get shifted and the type of pitches the batters see is often more cautious to avoid passed balls.

    • Marc10 says:

      MB did the right thing. We’re nowhere near a contender (especially the way the game is played in the postseason). We’re probably 3 dominant players and half a team away really.

      Lots of work to be done to retool and reboot this team. Prust was a great pick up this year, but lots more is needed. I suspect we’re in for a fairly rough ride next year. We’ll be tight against the cap without the ability to move some ageing vets.

      Just out of curiosity, how many years do you think it will take to turn us into a legitimate contender. I say 3, and somewhere in there… MB is going to need to fleece another GM in a significant trade.

      • Chris says:

        I honestly couldn’t tell you.

        It is really going to depend on the development of Galchenyuk. If he can become a star within 2 years, the Habs are in much, much better shape. Subban is already there, and Price can be behind a stronger team.

        I truly believe their two biggest issues are the lack of a sniper and a lack of work ethic when they don’t have the puck. The latter can change in a hurry…Therrien and his staff didn’t get much practice time this season, so I’m curious to see what they do next year. I’m not a big fan of Therrien or his defensive system, but I’m willing to concede that it might have been the best option given the lack of practice time.

        The scary thing is that while we’re developing, so are the Islanders, the Leafs, the Senators and the Jets. And the Flyers getting another high pick this year scares the crap out of me, because they are seemingly always able to convince top UFA’s to come to Philly, and they’ve got some GREAT young players to build around (Voracek, both Schenns, Simmonds, Giroux, Couturier).

        I hate the Flyers, but this year was an aberration. For me, they are the better team and they have a brighter future, at the moment. Their defence corps and goaltending was an issue last year, but they’ve got the money and the wherewithal to fix that in a hurry, should they choose.

  8. Maritime Ron says:

    A question for the HIO folks.

    Has the Habs organization/management made things just a little too easy for Carey?
    Is he too comfortable and not challenged enough by internal competition and his personal goalie coach?

    Now before I get jumped, there is an understanding of the immense pressure of following in the footsteps of Plante, Worsley, Dryden, Roy.
    It can’t be (hobbit) easy…

    When we look around the NHL, several starters are challenged by back-ups that want to be number 1 either on their own team or somewhere else.
    In Montreal, Price does not have that challenge from Budaj.
    Is that a good thing?
    Is that too comfortable?

    Next, and this is not a knock against goaltender coach Pierre Groulx, yet is he the best man for the job, and does he have the ability to challenge Price?
    Is Price too comfortable with him?

    Realizing that some of the best NHL Head Coaches either never played at the NHL level or had at most a few games/seasons,
    ( Sutter-Muller-Carlyle being some of the exceptions) is it at all possible that an NHL goaltending coach actually needs to be a former NHL goalie?

    Take the LA Kings as an example.
    Bill Ranford has been there for 7 years and Quick and Bernier have turned out well…..”Bill Ranford not only helps Quick with continuing to develop his game, but he helps sharpen his skates in such a way that benefits his natural lateral movement talents.”

    Another example is Toronto.
    Reimer was at the statistical bottom of the barrel under Allaire.
    This year Rick St. Croix took over and Reimer ended up with the 8th best SP in the entire NHL for goaltenders that played at least half of their team’s games!

    Perhaps Carey also needs to talk to someone…
    There is no doubt he has all the physical qualities located below the neck, but what about above the neck?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Can’t speak for the organziation, but we can be assured that the fans and media haven’t been too easy on Price.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Good Morning,
        Overall, there appears to be more good vibes than bad for Carey.
        Here’s also believing that Carey has 2 more years to show his stuff and hopefully he will.
        He doesn’t have to win a Cup or even a Conference final, but has to get back to that 2010-11 form.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      He gets more starts than any other NHL number one. He plays in Montreal.

      Nothing easy about that.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        He does play a lot of games, yet according to NHL stats, he was ranked 10th in games played both this year and last year.

        In terms of actual minutes played, he also ranked 10th this year some 330 minutes behind league leader Antti Niemi.

    • Cal says:

      Good points, Ron.
      I’ve always found that people with laid back, easygoing attitudes need the occasional kick in the ass to refocus. Price, for a goalie, is, imo, way too chillax.
      The other point is that he has been handed the job without any real competition. When there was competition, that goalie got traded.
      I am hopeful he finally plays solid goal for the Habs, but after this long my expectations for Price are low. He is a big, average goalie and not the superstar many here see him being.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Good Morning Cal
        As you state and almost in any profession, being too comfortable in a job is sometimes problematic. Add in the factors of 25 year old youth along with guaranteed millions regardless of present or future performance, and those types of problems could arise.
        It takes a very special and mature character way beyond his physical age to perform and survive.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good post Ron and good morning to you, sir. I agree with you, Burly, Cal and 72. Isn’t it ironic that the closer the team gets to the top the more emphasis is placed on the goaltender. Price seems to be able to deal with that OK.
      I hope the key to his success lies with our ability to put better and stronger defenseman in front of him.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Good morning Jim,
        I like the Ottawa blueprint for a D make-up.
        2 talented offensive puck handlers and 4 other big strong guys.
        With that, all situations be that PP,PK, end of game push back and shut down are covered.
        Not difficult to see where we are in that process.

    • JUST ME says:

      You may have something there. I believe that in today`s NHL a goaler needs to be challenged by a strong second goaler that has his share of the work to be done. In that sense yes Price has been spoiled. He should sit at least 30 games to be in top shape.

      But i think we are too harsh on Carey who at his young age is already piling up stats doing the toughest job in the NHL, goaler in MTL. He has matured a lot in the last two years and is getting more and more on top of his game.

      Would a new coach help ? Of course it would help to have a different view of what needs to be worked on. Not blaming Pierre Groulx just stating that when you do a job you do not see what you need to change unless you are told to do so.

      Price needs to take his share of the blame,that`s part of growing up but hopefully he will keep his calm and i am releived to know that he understands that some in MTL need to chill !

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Good points
        Carey will need to step up in the next 2 years, and Habs management will also have to step up and better protect him on the back end.

  9. rogus says:

    Met up with Marc Bergevin tonight at the Memorial Cup, very nice man, has a grasp on the teams needs and I am confident he will get the job done! It’s nice to be able to wear the jersey with pride after the comeback season this year! Good job Mr. Bergevin!!!

    • ProHabs says:

      Did he tell you which tough guys he is going to get to join the team next year.

    • H.Upmann says:

      awesommmme!

    • The Cat says:

      It bugs me he didnt try to get Clowe. This building through the draft is good if youre last like Pittsburgh, but I do feel the habs were as close as anybody to win it all had they pulled the trigger on a trade or something.

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

      • HardHabits says:

        *face palm*

        … the habs were as close as anybody to win it all had they pulled the trigger on a trade or something.

        You obviously don’t watch much hockey. Certainly not the other teams still in it.

      • Mark C says:

        I recall it being reported that Montreal were in on Clowe until almost the end, but the price was too high. Which it was.

        http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/22972/rumblings-bs-habs-canucks-like-clowe

        • I would shake my head if I didn’t have a brain injury. How on earth do some of these posters know what we after at the deadline.

          How come we didn’t get so and so, we’re the Habs, they should want to come here!

          :lol:

          Back to reality on your regular slam Price program.

          Shane Oliver
          Twitter @Sholi2000
          http://www.Sholi2000.com
          Custom Sports Figures
          Summit Member 00029.31

          • Chris says:

            The same way that we know that the Habs were hot on the heels of Hossa, Briere, Smyth, Sundin, Lecavalier and countless other guys.

            Tongues wag. Montreal fans like to believe that they are an airtight franchise, but this simply isn’t the case. You can’t keep all the parties in both franchises from not leaking trade discussions. It is nearly impossible.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      That’s cool rogus. He does eem like a personable guy. Now I hope he continues to build a solid contender. CHeers.

  10. Un Canadien errant says:

    According to a report in the Denver Post, Stéphane Roy stated that his brother Patrick would be the next Avalanche head coach. The contract isn’t signed yet.

    http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_23287188/patrick-roy-will-be-new-avs-coach-according

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am not adverse to Patrick Roy one day coaching our Habs, but I do believe it was imperative his first NHL coaching experience occur outside of Montreal. Colorado is probably a perfect first job for Roy, as the fans and media there will most likely extend a longer rope for him there than he would receive in Montreal or even in Quebec City if they had a franchise.

      If this report is true, I wish him well.

  11. Bill says:

    Spent a little time reading up on Dalton Thrower, the Habs prospect much-maligned this year for off-ice problems and a stumble in his development.

    I don’t know what his troubles were this year, but I hope it’s nothing that Sylvain Lefebvre can’t straighten out next year. Like Thrower’s story, and he’s looked tough as nails and mean to boot at the Mem Cup this year.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I looked for clues in the “Road to the Memorial Cup” documentaries, and there was precious little camera time for Dalton. Through other channels we heard of his suspension for not playing according to team rules, and of the rumoured fight in practice during which he supposedly suffered a concussion, a fight that stemmed from the fractured dressing room. In the episodes, nothing.

      Watching the episodes, I feel that Lorne Molleken is the kind of coach who some players might have problems with. He seems very passionate and dedicated, he cares about his players and winning, but he definitely is old-school, a ‘my way or the highway’ guy, and if you got on his wrong side he might have a hard time getting to the ‘forgive and forget’ stage. I never heard him say anything that was creative or insightful, he just insisted on complete effort and making the safe dump-and-chase play all the time.

      Some posters posited that Dalton Thrower and his coach had differences that affected his play. That’s plausible. Going forward, I think he needs another season in Junior, and with another team. As I’ve said before, Saskatoon’s cupboard of picks and prospects is bare, they blew their wad on this Cup run, so they need to restock. Hopefully, they trade Dalton to a contending team, one with a strong coaching staff and he can put his game back together. Considering that Hamilton has a lot of young defencemen already, and Magnus Nygren and Darren Dietz will be heading there next fall, I don’t know if Dalton Thrower has a spot there.

      Let’s hope that this year is a hiccup, and the kid delivers on last season’s promise. He says he patterns his game after Kevin Bieksa’s, and I’d take anything approaching that in a heartbeat.

      ———————————————————————–

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  12. Un Canadien errant says:

    It’s a little surprising, looking at the Montréal Canadiens year-end statistics, that P.K. Subban only had 23:15 minutes Average Time on Ice, less than the 24:18 he amassed in 2011-12, and less than veteran Andrei Markov did this year with 24:08. P.K. is a strong, dynamic player with excellent conditioning, lots of energy, and is equally adept in the offensive or defensive zone, in virtually all situations. He seemed like he could easily have taken more of a load, especially at the end of the season when the team was struggling with injuries.

    Some commentors on the blogosphere are positing that there may have been a plan/conspiracy by Canadiens management to keep his icetime down to not hand P.K.’s agents too much ammunition before the next contract negotiations. I disagree with the reasons given for his relatively low icetime, but I do think it was managed, if not restricted to that ‘low’ number.

    When Marc Bergevin was hired by Geoff Molson, he took as Job #1 the task to change the culture of the team. The first gesture he made in that direction was to remove Scott Gomez from the roster at the first opportunity. It’s obvious that bringing P.K. back in line was another item on the to-do list to achieve that.

    It’s hard to blame the player or the management team for this, since the circumstances of the previous season kind of set the stage for P.K. to run wild a little bit. The team had few reliable defencemen, having let Roman Hamrlik walk in free agency in favour of playing more young players. This was a decision I supported, but compounded with the surprise medical setbacks of Andrei Markov, it left the team bereft of credible blueliners. Add to that Jacques Martin’s reluctance to use rookies, and P.K., as a second-year and talented player, got more than his share of minutes. Enter lameduck Randy Cunneyworth as Head Coach midway through the season, and you now have to factor in lack of control and leadership.

    This led to some static in the dressing room, and some ruffled feathers. Denis Gauthier of RDS explained that “if there are five team rules, P.K. will break seven.” There was the famous curt response from Andrei Markov when questioned about P.K (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/04/andrei-markov-does-not-comment-on-pk.html). P.K. was viewed as being too big for his britches, maybe loving the limelight a little too much for a young player. The nail was sticking out and needed to be hammered down.

    When Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien discussed P.K., it’s clear to me that they agreed on a plan of action to provide him with direction, with leadership, and discipline. As I’ve talked about before, discipline doesn’t mean punishment, but clear guidelines to adhere to, and consequences when they’re not (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/08/can-michel-therrien-discipline-pk-subban.html). They felt that the previous régime had let P.K. run wild, that the Hal Gill ‘mother hen’ approach could only go so far, and they took a firm grasp of the reins.

    Other than the way the contract negotiations went, and the way the team veterans explained that they didn’t want to answer questions about P.K. while he was absent, another way this iron hand in a velvet glove manifested itself was in the limited icetime P.K. received, especially at first. Michel Therrien tried to explain it away at first by the fact that P.K. didn’t have a training camp, didn’t know the system, and needed to be brought into the fold slowly. Then, the fact that the team was winning insulated the head coach from any questions in that regard, for why would anyone want to upset the applecart?

    To his credit, P.K. reacted like a champion to this new approach, saying all the right things from the get-go, playing hard and keeping his nose clean. He took to the new system and gave it all he had and thrived. He never complained, and we didn’t see the outbursts that occurred on the bench last season. He took to his role and kept his nose to the grindstone. He should be applauded for this.

    Now that the season’s over, we look back and think that it was unwise to limit P.K. thus, that he’s far and away the best defenceman on the team, and that we should have played him more.

    This is where the relationship between Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien is crucial, and where Michel Therrien’s job security is key. The head coach, being newly minted, has a couple seasons of leeway before he’s under any pressure to produce results. This season, with this security as his shield, he was immune to any ‘win this game at all costs’ philosophy, and ‘now we have to win the next game at all costs’ corollaries. He could afford to develop his system, create and strengthen his team, groom his future champions. So he remained impervious to the siren songs, steered clear of the reefs of short-term thinking, and stubbornly protected Alex Galchenyuk, for example, limiting his minutes and exposure, keeping him hungry, ensuring that the kid always felt he could do more and wanted to show it on the ice.

    When applied to P.K., this philosophy led to his diminished icetime, and an equitable distribution of this icetime among his blueline partners. P.K. was not bigger or better than the team. The ‘team concept’ was more important, and developing this was more important to the Canadiens’ management team than any single victory or loss. The team would ultimately benefit if P.K. understood this, and so would he.

    As the season wore on and P.K. proved himself, and developed into the player that so many thought he would become, we saw the reins relax on him, his ATOI slowly creep up, and his responsibilities increase. When Alexei Emelin went down to injury, P.K. took a bigger bite, but still within the team concept, he wasn’t treated as if he was the only solution to the problem.

    While some see this management of P.K. as a great injustice, a slight he’ll never forget and guarantee he’ll skip town at his earliest possibility, I think the Canadiens provided P.K. with an environment in which he could progress and thrive. The results speak for themselves. P.K. amassed a lot of points, created a new and improved image for himself, and now seems to be a lock for inclusion in the Canadian Olympic Team for next February. He’s a finalist for the Norris Trophy. These are worthy accomplishments for the young man, and bode well for the future.

    P.K. will never be the steady-eddie type like Bob Gainey, Trevor Linden or Jonathan Toews, that’s not who he is. He’s more of a fiery guy, a bucking bronco, more Guy Lafleur or Chris Chelios, and that’s not a bad thing. We need many types of players on a team. What he proved this season is that he can, when pointed in the right direction, cut down on the distractions and be an even greater contributor than he was last year. And we can thank the Canadiens coaching staff and management team for their plan in this regard.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      You make a lot of great points but I think people are over analyzing his ice time stats. Don’t forget that with a shortened season and the games closer together, Therrien tried to spread things out so his defenceman wouldn’t get too tired. I am a big fan of PK, not many have his kind of passion.

    • JUST ME says:

      Stop with the conspiracy theory . People go through so much trouble to explain simple things. P.K. got to play less because we finally have a coach that coaches. That means not overplaying an athlete,spreading the job between the d- men ,resting a player when needed , playing an athlete more or less depending on his shape and so on. Remember also that P.K. took a while to join the team because of contract negociation. That simple ,no conspiracy,no hate,no racism,no injustice or outer space abduction.

  13. Gally365 says:

    Boston could be one of the finalists for the cup if they beat the Rangers. They are the type of team that can turn it on when they want to. Like against Toronto in the last game.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      Boston could win it, ideally they beat the Rangers and then lose in the next round. By winning 2 rounds they have to give up a 1st round pick for Jagr. I would rather see Dallas have it.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Nice. I’d rather they lose right now, but I’ll take that if necessary. The kicker is, Mr. Jagr so far is not providing the return worthy of a first round pick.

        • HabFan in Edmonton says:

          Jagr has done very little. I would also hate to see the Bruins win the cup. Seeing Marchand skate around with the cup is enough to make me vomit or worse.

  14. jols101 says:

    We have an interesting Memorial Cup brewing.

    All 4 teams are 1-1 after 2 games.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Love it. The Blades have a chance to play in the playoffs, so more experience for Darren Dietz and Dalton Thrower. Also, after tonight, bad things have a greater chance of happening to Dale Hunter. Plus, I still can’t digest the whole Max Domi thing.

      • jols101 says:

        Did you see Domi’s assist in the losing effort tonight? If you haven’t, watch Sportsnet or Sports Center, it will be on every highlight reel. It was special.

        • HabFan in Edmonton says:

          Domi is a player, only 5’9” but very sturdy. London has some great prospects. Bo Horvat is very impressive. The Hunter’s definitely know how to build a hockey team.

          • Le Jadester says:

            Yes sir they do.
            It’s crazy how many players have come from the Knights and are impact players in the NHL!

            My favourite is the huge banner they have of Tinordi hoisting the OHL trophy outside of the JLC!
            Habs, OLE !

          • Chris says:

            Perhaps it is jealousy, but rumours of skullduggery when it comes to recruiting have surrounded the London Knights since the Hunters took over.

            Domi, for example, was drafted by the Kingston Frontenacs,but he had already told all the other teams that he would only report to the London Knights. Doug Gilmour thought he could convince the son of his good friend Tie Domi to change his mind, but to no avail.

            London has also been the king of convincing top prospects that had committed to NCAA teams to change their mind. The rumours around Patrick Kane have always been pretty hot.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I did. Still not sitting well. I wouldn’t want to have to see Tie Domi regularly at the New Forum. I can’t bury that hatchet.

          • HabFan in Edmonton says:

            You wouldn’t want too see Max in a Habs uniform ? It probably won’t happen but he can sure play.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            My take is, he’s probably a fine player, but he doesn’t need to wear the bleu-blanc-rouge. When our turn to pick comes up, if he’s still on the board, let’s pick another guy who has equivalent potential.

  15. Sportfan says:

    Freaking Red Wings

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  16. habstrinifan says:

    CBC National doing bit about temporary foreign workers taking jobs.

  17. Gally365 says:

    Couldn’t care who wins the cup. The Habs are not in it.

  18. jols101 says:

    Man, I am still waiting for the Habs Scouting staff to draft a Datsyuk in the 6th round and a Zetterberg in the 7th round.

    How Detroit’s scouts ever pulled that off is mind blowing.

    Without those two, that team would be very average at best.

    • SlovakHab says:

      If you think about it, there was a massive portion of luck there. If they were so sure that they will be stars, Detroit would have drafted those players earlier.
      Detroit’s early round drafting hasn’t been this stellar.

      Having said that, all credit to their Euro scouts, they seem to have it covered. Even recent picks of Tatar, Jurco and other talented Europeans look all right, although admittedly aren’t in Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Zetterberg league.

    • Sportfan says:

      Anyone know what the scouting reports were like back then when these guys were drafted?

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Hey, I’m down for that too, but to be fair, the Canadiens have done pretty well in late rounds. Cherry-picking, we find:
      Year # Rd. Pos.
      1978 Amateur 231 19 Chris Nilan F
      1980 Entry 124 6 Mike McPhee F (we need one again)
      1981 Entry 145 7 Tom Kurvers D
      1986 Entry 141 7 Lyle Odelein D (Dietz can fill this role?)
      1991 Entry 171 8 Brian Savage L
      1994 Entry 226 9 Tomas Vokoun G
      1998 Entry 216 8 Michael Ryder R
      1998 Entry 162 6 Andrei Markov D (best late pick ever)
      2003 Entry 271 9 Jaroslav Halak G
      2004 Entry 262 9 Mark Streit D

      ———————————————————————–

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  19. habstrinifan says:

    Playoffs are very good this year. Usually I watch the playoffs without the HABS in disgust. This year I watch and get excited that HABS may be headed that way.

    Would be great to see HABS have to compete against Detroit and therefore build a team and system to match them.

  20. Un Canadien errant says:

    Chris, just catching up on the day’s posts, and am overjoyed to see that I’m not the only one who can’t stand Peter King. He was the subject of one of the first posts on my blog a couple years ago. I was taken aback at what a shoddy job he did reporting on the Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault scandal.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2010/09/peter-king-like-lendale-white-and-rush.html

    • habstrinifan says:

      Good stuff!

    • Chris says:

      King is quite simply a sycophant. He can’t say enough good things about the league’s power-brokers (the Krafts, Rooneys and Maras, as well as Roger Goodell who has been a train-wreck as a commissioner but you would never know it from King).

      I could tolerate that if it weren’t for his blatant sucking up to the star players as well, even if their play no longer justifies their reputation. I can understand sucking up to Peyton Manning, but his cheerleading for late-career Brett Favre was a bit over-the-top.

  21. habstrinifan says:

    Great game! Kinda deteriorated into lots of shoving-pushing-face-washing in last 2 mins but no one tried to hurt the opponent. I was ok with it all.

    Point 1: Are goalie pads measured as a matter of course or the othe rteam has to make a challenge. Howard’s pads look kind aiffy.

    Point2 : Chicago’s Shaw… did absolutely the wrong thing with the ‘flip in’ puck by taking a useless shot on goal…he had room to take the puck deep and allow his guys to gain the zone and go from there. Played a bad last 2 minute or two.. Shaw.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I think the League conducts ‘surprise’ inspections throughout the season. I don’t believe there’s an opportunity to challenge pads like there is for a stick’s curve.

      Speaking of curve-measuring, it must be years since I’ve seen one, but there’s some real bananas that I see out there every game. Why is that? The Code doesn’t allow for challenges anymore? More to the point, why don’t we just allow players to use whatever curve they want? I know it was thought to be a safety issue, but now that slap shots are common, and everyone wears helmets, isn’t it an antiquated rule?

      ———————————————————————–

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26287

      11.9 League Inspections – These inspections can take place at any time, before, during, or after any game. A member of the League’s Hockey Operations, Officiating and/or Security departments may obtain equipment from all of the four participating goalkeepers. This equipment may be removed to a secure location for measuring.

  22. HabFanSince72 says:

    To those who want the Habs to be built like the Wings: who do they have who can drop’em? Who’s gonna go with Colton Orr?

    • The Jackal says:

      Does it look like they need some goon? No.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • ProHabs says:

      The last 4 Stanley Cup winners all have a number of guys that can drop the gloves and scrap. Those are the teams we should be trying to immitate.

      • commandant says:

        The Bruins did….

        But the Blackhawks merely had Ben Eager, who is no tougher than a Prust, or dare I say it even Moen.

        The Kings did not play Kevin Westgarth in a single playoff game, and only used Kyle Clifford in 3 playoff games.

        The Penguins did not use Eric Goodard in a single playoff game, and had no other scrapper.

        The 08 Red Wings did not use Aaron Downey in a single playoff game and had no other scrapper.

        The 07 Ducks used George Parros in 5 playoff games. Travis Moen was their toughest guy who actually played in the playoffs on a regular basis.

        The 06 Hurricanes had no scrapper.

        So pretty much 1 Stanley Cup winner has used a goon in the playoffs since the 2005 lockout. And all the others feature no more scrappers than a team with Prust, White, Moen, Bouillion, and Tinordi.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • jon514 says:

          Chicago also had Dustin Byfuglien. Who is not a goon, but IS a deterrent.

        • adamkennelly says:

          right – except none of those teams fit into the category of – easily intimidated. the Habs are very easy targets for opponents….which is why we – more than other teams – need players around to stop that from happening. Why don’t you go up and down the Kings line up and compare it to ours? literally no comparison.

    • Bill says:

      Haha, well the Hawks can worry about that once they meet the Leafs in the Cup Finals this year … oh wait …

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  23. habstrinifan says:

    Whooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee what hockey????

  24. H.Upmann says:

    wow Datsyuk….

  25. habstrinifan says:

    WOW! Refs have been rightly criticised in the playoffs but these two incidents are tough!

    Was the hit before Kane’s goal illegal? I dont know.

    And was the 2nd CHI goal real goalie inteference? I dont know.

    2 tough plays to ref.

  26. Propwash says:

    That was brutal. A non call turns into a goal for the Hawks

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  27. jols101 says:

    Domi. Wow. What a pass.

  28. habstrinifan says:

    I may be viewed as an arrogant SOB by some, but I cannot understand the hesitation to do empirical but balanced criticism on some things HABS. But let the criticism be as straightforward as possible. I hope, and believe, that MB and Therrien, will evaluate the areas where criticism was warranted and respond accordingly. Everything in the past season indicates that these two men have a high capacity for self evaluation and a great ambition for self-improvement.

    For example the discussion as to Therrien not using Subban on the PK.

    Therrien did a superb job in many instances. One of the areas where he erred is in his over reliance on veterans in many situations. He made it a priority to allocate a ‘veterans’ quota of ice time to players like Markov and Gionta and Jorges etc.

    There was no conspiracy. There was no real mistrust. He was following up on his initial approach, as he himself stated… to coach the team through Gionta and the ‘leadership’. His words not mine.

    Was this an abject coaching error on his part. I dont think so. I think there were two factors: The dynamics of the room as presented to him by that leadership (which he emphasised that he had consulted) and the abridged season which forced him to coach with a heavy reliance on those he had approached and ‘approved’ as leaders. As the season concluded, you saw the independent Therrien coming to the fore and the fear of antagonising veterans became a lesser concern. Which is one reason why P.K’S PK minutes increased in the last couple weeks.

    I have already posted one glaring instance of this factor in Therrien’s coaching. It was the game when he inserted Weber into the line up and paired him with Markov.

    TOI up to the midway point of the 1st period. Markov 7+;Weber 6+ an Subban 4+. Was this suddenly because Weber had superceded Subban on the D depth chart. NO! It was because Therrien was following the principle outlined above… and making sure that Markov got his TOI. As the game progressed badly for the HABS THE TOI was adjusted and Subban ended up with approx 2 mins more time than Weber. If I recall correctly the game was against NJD.

    So you see the evidence was there.. straightforward and simple. No profound interpretation need be applied. And no hallucinatory statements like “Subban played the first and last minute of every period” be concocted either.

    Luckily there is every sign that Therrien and MB are smart and progressive enough to admit errors and do their very best to correct them.

    And while I am on this thread I will cite another instance of what my arrogance tells me is a failure of coaching, both by JM and the previous regime and by MT. I remember distinctly in a live blog of a game last year Mike Boone writing something to the effect “they will give P.K those rushes every time”. He of course was remarking on the often fantastic but unproductive length of the ice rush by P.K.
    Well dont take this arrogant fool’s opinion on this one item. Take the word of one of the wisest D-MEN who ever played this game. On remarking on the vast repertoire of skills possessed by P.K, Denis Potvin said that the one thing he would like to see P.K incorporate in his game is the ability ‘to make plays’ when he gains the offensive zone on those rushes.
    It would be good if Potvin’s comments fell on ears in the HABS coaching fraternity who then coach the team so that forwards on the team make themselves available for plays from one of the league’s best rushing defensemen and that that defenseman refine his game to see the opportunities then presented.

    Over and out! Long winded but to hell with it… one can only suppress the arrogance of studied insight for so long.

    • commandant says:

      I agree.

      Our entire PK strategy, from the system, to the players used, was a failure of the coaching staff this year.

      The coaching staff was generally good, but not infallible.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • The Jackal says:

        Yeah. And IMO their other mistake or shortcoming was getting the PP going. We had a decent PP but despite scoring at about a 20% rate we squandered many opportunities, had a difficult time setting up and gaining the zone, and had few options. It was either to PK or down low to try to do NOTHING…. move the puck a bit down low then what? They never followed up with that, they just kept trying to get it back to the point for a shot. They need to make more passing plays when it opens up instead of relying on the big shot from the point.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Exactly to both you and Commander. This doesnt make our coaches bad. In fact I think it was a very good first season for them. But if Habs are to become elite, then they have to look/correct; look/correct etc… and you know something… I think they will. I mean Gallant; Daigneault; Brosebois and MT.. these are not moribund thinkers.

    • The Jackal says:

      Word.
      Free PK!

      PK is the Habs’ kraken and they need to unleash the kraken.
      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Chris says:

      Your logic is fine, with the exception that Alexei Emelin, who has less NHL experience than Subban and less penalty killing experience than Subban, averaged almost double Subban’s time in that role before he went down to injury.

      Therrien had no problem breaking up the pairings on the power play. He had no problem playing Gorges with defencemen other than his partner.

      But Subban was not afforded that luxury. As mentioned by others, this was Therrien’s single greatest error as a coach.

      Playing Gionta was the smart play because Gionta was one of his top-6 options.

      Not playing Subban was not a smart play because Subban was one of the top-2 defenders on the team, and had demonstrated excellent chemistry on the PK with Gorges all through last season.

      As for the last two weeks of the season, Subban’s minutes went up because Emelin was down with an injury and Diaz only came back for the last four games, and had to be eased in after missing over a month with his concussion. That had nothing to do with not worrying about antagonising veterans anymore. He had no choice but to play Subban in every situation in March, and Subban’s play forced him to keep him there.

    • Mark C says:

      For all the empirical talk, I think you grossly misremember or are making something up about that game.

      Was it a different game, because none of that stuff happened against the devils?

      http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20122013/TV020681.HTM

      • habstrinifan says:

        I monitored the game and the ice times very carefully. And I posted ‘during’ the game. I may be mis-remembering the game but I used NHL.com to follow the TOI. The purpose wa sto monitor the assignment of the defense with Weber’s insertion as questions were raised prior to the game as to who was gonna sit out.
        A check of the archives and posts will bear me out.

        • Mark C says:

          Well, Weber and PK only played together five times this season. I’ve just looked at those five NHL.com game logs I can’t find any game as you described above.

    • Bill says:

      Ok, I get all that, but my question is … why are you such an arrogant SOB?

      :)

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  29. Propwash says:

    I’m glad that Detroit is coming to the Eastern Conference, Habs vs Det has always been good games to watch.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  30. The Jackal says:

    I hope the Habs build themselves like Detroit.
    Always a contender, super skilled, fast, but tough as nails.
    We have the foundation for such a team identity on the ice, in the pipes, and in the front office.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  31. Mavid says:

    watching the Detroit/Chicago game and I noticed that Quinville has one of those little notebooks..like JM had..he whipped it out as soon as that first goal went in…
    I also saw some woman in the crowd wearing a giant red wing nut on her head..I mean WTF??

  32. habs1992 says:

    I love BOB COLE

    I support Carey Price

  33. Steven says:

    I always wondered, if the host team of the Memorial Cup is also one of the champions, which team is the 4th?

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Pretty sure it is 2nd place in the host team’s league, not 100% on that however

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

      • commandant says:

        Its the team that loses the League Final… not necessarily the 2nd place club.

        This has been criticized as “unfair” at times. Lets do a hypothetical to show why.

        Imagine for example London is hosting the 2014 Mem Cup. Imagine all season long they are 1-2 for first in the league with Kitchener. They progress through the OHL playoffs and play Kitchener in the Western Conference Final. Its a tough 7 game series and London wins in 7 games and OT.

        Meanwhile there are some upsets in the Eastern conference and a weaker team makes the OHL final. London steamrolls them in 4 games.

        The Eastern Team makes it to the Mem Cup, instead of the arguably more deserving Kitchener team.

        Not sure how you fix this (and its a rare occurence anyway) but it has been an issue before.

        The last time a team won their league and was host was Kitchener in 2008 though.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Chris says:

          It is very, very rare that the other conference champion isn’t a worthy addition.

          Belleville went in that 2008 Memorial Cup in Kitchener, and they had a superb team that season. In 2006, the Quebec Remparts were runner up to the Moncton Wildcats in the Q, who were hosting the Memorial Cup. Quebec was no slouch, however, winning the Memorial Cup in Patrick Roy’s first year as coach.

          2005 was probably the last time you saw an upset team sneak in through the runner-up route, when the Ottawa 67′s made it as the runner-up to the host London Knights.

          • commandant says:

            Its not a problem in the QMJHL, as they seed teams 1-16 in the playoffs, and don’t use conference champions. In fact they don’t even have 2 conference, just 3 divisions.

            Also didn’t mean to imply that the 2008 Belleville squad was weak…. just that this was the last year it was even possible with a league champ hosting.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Chris says:

            I understood your point Ben. But it has generally been a bit moot because of the way that the rest of the leagues help their top 2 or 3 teams load up. Belleville and Barrie were the class of the East this year, and they were right there with every team in the West except for London. And Barrie surprised by taking London to 7 games.

            I agree that the Q is less of a problem, and I think it would be great to use such a seeding system in the OHL. I can’t tell you how tired I am of seeing Guelph have to face off with Kitchener, London, Saginaw or Plymouth every year. :)

  34. jols101 says:

    Next Memorial Cup is being hosted by London. That will make 3 appearances in a row for the London Knights. I wonder if any team has ever done that before?

    • Chris says:

      Kelowna did it from 2003-2005.

      The Kamloops Blazers came close in the mid 1990′s, winning the Memorial Cup in 3 of 4 seasons. But they missed one in the middle there, so they don’t make the cut.

  35. jols101 says:

    Well, they made sure they got it right this time.

  36. jols101 says:

    Brandon Saad is a great young player. It is easy to see why he was nominated for the Calder Trophy. He is a beauty. Looks great out there.

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    Stalberg appears to have concussed himself.

    • jols101 says:

      He will be back after 5 minutes in the ‘quiet’ room.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That is what I am curious to see, the look on his face was one of dazed and confused. I am skeptical like you and expect to see him on ice shortly.

        • jols101 says:

          It is a real shame they don’t treat concussions with more respect. He was clearly dazed and confused. Not pointing at any team in particular, it is a league wide epidemic. Too many dinosaurs like Randy Carlyle putting pressure on players to return quickly and ignore the symptoms.

  38. Strummer says:

    “Keyboardist Ray Manzarek, founding Doors member, dies at 74 from cancer”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/keyboardist-ray-manzarek-founding-doors-member-dies-at-74-from-cancer/article12031176/
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  39. HabFanSince72 says:

    Played golf this afternoon. It was glorious. Had a beer in the clubhouse afterwards and the great número 16 was at the table next to us in a fetching Canadiens polo shirt.

    He looked good

    Didn’t see him play.

  40. Chuck says:

    So Grabovski admitted to biting Pacioretty. Maybe Patches’ production drop off was due to whatever he picked up from Grabs. He should have gotten that tetanus shot!

    __________________________________________________
    Anyone but the Sens! And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too.

  41. Sportfan says:

    Don’t like fox but I agree with this!
    http://video.us.msn.com/watch/video/morosi-bring-baseball-back-to-montreal/12pdpzo6

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The Expos coming back is directly tied to one thing: a downtown stadium. Without that stadium, there is zero chance of them coming back. Something near the water would be nice…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

      • ed says:

        I was just around the area yesterday thinking how great it would be.

        As much as I love hockey, I am a bigger baseball fan.

        Played, coached, and of course cheered on the ‘Spos.

        Last game I saw was a Saturday night, $1 hot dog night, vs the Atlanta braves, and we were fighting for a Wild card spot.

        I was with my late father and my two sons. We knew it would be his last game.

        Back, to back, to back “jacks” by Wilkerson, Floyd, and Guerrero, had the huge crowd on its feet, “hanging from the rafters”.

        I remember the moment vividly.

  42. jols101 says:

    Anyone know the rules on trading injured players?

    I thought teams were not allowed to trade injured players but when the Rangers shipped Gaborik(sp) to Columbus one of the players they got in return had a broken collar bone. So, I am confused. Anyone know what the CBA says about this?

  43. C-Sword says:

    I like Subban, he played great this season, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that he’s already better than Doughty

    • petefleet says:

      Really?

      Look very closely at their stats and how their minutes are played. You might change your mind.

      ******************************************
      I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

      ***Go Habs Go***

      • Chris says:

        The number that kills Subban in this conversation is his short-handed time on ice. Subban’s 60:54 ranked 116th among NHL defencemen last year.

        It is mostly on Therrien, but it is hard to give the title of best defenceman to a guy whose own coach didn’t exactly trust him in the key defensive situations.

        I’d even go so far as to offer up that it is so inexplicable how little ice-time Subban received in those situations that I have to question whether it was an organizational decision to limit his impact to try and keep his next salary as low as possible.

        If this was the plan, it backfired because Subban went out and posted ridiculous offensive numbers to earn the Norris nomination.

        • petefleet says:

          That was this year. Last year he was the go-to-guy in all situations.

          ******************************************
          I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

          ***Go Habs Go***

          • habstrinifan says:

            Chris I dont mean to be fractious, but why is it so difficult to admit that Therrien had many miscues in how he used several players(in some situations).. and one of them was Subban.

            There was no great conspiracy. It showed throughout the season.. and the biggest reason is that Therrien gave priority to giving some veterans ice time.

            Now this could be explained by the fact that he didnt have a training camp and the irregular season. I will wait to see what happens in 2013-2014.

          • Chris says:

            For the very reason that pete mentioned: Subban had already established himself as the go-to defensive guy last season, excelling in that role.

            It was obvious that Subban could handle the load. Yet Therrien refused to use him there. Like I say, it is somewhat inexplicable.

        • ABHabsfan says:

          I don’t think it was a matter of trust or dis-trust by MT but rather keeping Pk’s ice time to a manageable level. Given he was playing PP and every other even strength shift, if he played PK as well he would be over 30 min every game. He played first and last shift of every period so I don’t think trust was a factor IMO

          “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
          Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

          • habstrinifan says:

            He often did NOT play first and last shift of every period. Why make thing up?

          • neumann103 says:

            This might be true if Therrien had been managing the ice time of other defensemen but when you see how much Markov or Boullion was played respective to his current physical stamina (markov) or basic ability (bouillon) it calls that into question.

            One of the things that most concerned me about Therrien 2.0 was the potential for ssticking to lunatic theories like “Eller is the problem” or “this penalty killing scheme makes sense”.

            “Et le but!”

        • HammerHab says:

          Karlsson’s SH numbers in his Norris year was 0:33/game yet many place him as the league’s top d-man.

          ———————————–

          It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

          • Chris says:

            Karlsson finished with 25 more points than the second best Dustin Byfuglien (albeit Byfuglien’s numbers were low due to only playing 66 games), and Karlsson was first in even-strength points and 2nd in PP points.

            Subban finished tied with Letang for the scoring lead, with Letang playing 7 fewer games, and 6 points up on Suter. Pro-rated over a full-season, the gap between Letang and Suter would have been about 10 points, less than half the gap that Karlsson put up. Subban led the league in PP points, but he was only 34th in even-strength points.

            Karlsson won because his offensive season was one for the ages. Subban’s doesn’t quite meet that same level of excellence, as good as it was, so I think people will look behind the numbers a bit more.

        • Adidess says:

          You know what, Chris, I actually thought the same thing as most people were wondering during the season why Subban wasn’t being used more. All defenders of his caliber (Suter, Karlsson, Letang) are used in all situations around the league, until they can’t take any more minutes. Subban, though it was obvious he could take quite a bit more, was left on the bench in favor of inferior defenders in many key defensive situations during the season and he would almost never play more minutes than Markov (maybe until the last few games).

          It’s as if Subban’s agent made a point of using the ‘most used defender on the team’ as a strong bargaining chip during the unfriendly negotiations of last summer and management thought they could save themselves some trouble by using him less this year in anticipation of next year’s contract discussion. That said, I have a very hard time believing a coach would risk undermining team’s success by using an effective defender less, just so he could save the team a couple of millions, when his own survival depends on getting the most results. But the idea did cross my mind as one potential explanation for MT’s ‘limited’ use of Subban. Either that or he was trying to teach him a lesson, since he was clearly the most effective Habs defender last year in both zones.

    • Sportfan says:

      At this point I’d prefer PK over Drew

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  44. Wintercount says:

    Loved Commandant’s comments concerning the entry draft earlier today. Great flow!

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      Yes, I enjoyed his comments as well, the draft will certainly be the next interesting time for Hab fans. I would love to see the Habs get Morin. I also love watching Max Domi play, I know the Habs are looking for size and he will be gone by the time they pick, but he sure is skilled and he plays big. He sure laid out that guy from Saskatoon will a perfectly clean check.

  45. Steven says:

    Okay, got a nice little scenario for you guys, here.

    The Minnesota Wild are badly up against the cap(They have a leeway of under 80,000$). They have some young d-men like Faulk and Spurgeon to potentially re-up and they’re going to demand raises greater than 80,000 between the two.

    They’re surely gonna need to use their compliance buyout to make some room. Their most expensive player, after Suter and Parise, and also their most likely to be bought out due to a bit of a drop in performance is Dany Heatley.

    Granted, he’s not the 50 goal scorer he used to be, but if he hit free agency, would you sign him for 3.5 mill or less? He’s still a mid-20 goal scorer at worst and he’s 6’4″

    • habs_54321 says:

      i think minnie will be able to trade heatley if thats what they want to do yes his cap is high but it’s only 1 year remaining, some team will take him look at carolina signing semin at 7mil last summer. can see calgary taking him for some reason

      • Steven says:

        If I’m Calgary I don’t go there. They’d probably have to forfeit picks and prospects in return and they’re bare enough as it is.

        Though I could see them doing it, too :)

        • commandant says:

          Minny has 9 million in cap space and 17 players under contract for next season.

          You are looking at this season, not 2013-14.

          This season they had extra players up for the playoffs “Black Aces” which ate up their remaining space at the end of the season.

          Go Habs Go!
          Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Chris says:

      No. Absolutely not.

      Heatley’s personality is one of the most toxic in the NHL when it comes to work ethic and coachability.

      • ebk says:

        you know, It would be funny for the Habs to acquire Heatley, just for your reaction to it. :)

        Make it happen, Mark!

        • Chris says:

          You are a cruel man, Earl. ;)

          To be honest, Heatley is just a better version of Cammalleri. He’s often completely invisible and then you look at the score-sheet and see that he posted 2 points.

          I just think his off-ice attitude is one that Bergevin has been trying to avoid, so I can’t see him coming to Montreal.

  46. Bill says:

    @New: I am one hundred percent positive that if O’Reilly had been an obvious better pick at 18 than Leblanc, the Habs would have chosen him. He just wasn’t. It was a shallow draft, and where the Habs were picking, it was a total crapshoot. Leblanc was a highly rated prospect … higher rated than O’Reilly … the Habs thought they were taking the best player available, and in fairness no other player drafted behind Leblanc in the 1st round had made an impact.

    • Chris says:

      And the book isn’t yet written on Louis Leblanc. Leblanc is still only 22 years old.

      Let’s put this in context. At the same age, Max Pacioretty was coming off a bit of a disastrous season, putting up only 3 goals and 14 points in 52 games and openly professing that he wasn’t sure what the team wanted from him. He was demoted and got some ice-time on the top line, where he formed a strong bond with Desharnais that he rode into the NHL, where he eventually found some nice chemistry with Scott Gomez before having his year ended by Chara.

      Leblanc is a smart kid with some talent and a great work ethic. This past year was a disaster for him, but there are still plenty of people that think he can be a useful third or fourth line NHL player once he gets his confidence back.

      • ed says:

        Leblanc is a talented scorer. He has a nose for the net; he has excellent hands, and he plays a scrappy game with an edge.

        That was the Leblanc that I knew. The one that got him drafted in the 1st round by the Habs.

        Now I read that Leblanc is being told by the Habs brass he’s a 3rd or 4th liner. He’s been injured; first his shoulder, then his ankle.

        He must be upset.

        I hope he can regain his old form, but I think this is a make or break season for him.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Pat Hickey had some comments re LeBlanc on TSN 690.. and one of the concerns that LeBlanc was causing was his work ethic. The phrase not “willing to do the littel things” that the organization has asked him to do” was used.

        • habstrinifan says:

          You are right. Again it was reported that the organization was tryig to impress upon LeBlanc the useful career he can have as a 3rd line forward… they tried to have him tone down his self-evaluation as a top line NHL scorer. Apparently LeBlanc is balking at that description.

        • Bill says:

          Nothing wrong being a 3rd-liner.

          I know it’s stupid to make comparisons, but Leblanc always reminded me of another really smart, scrappy, skilled scorer who became a great defensive centre for the Habs, namely Carbonneau. If Leblanc could be anything close to that, he’d be a huge success.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      A part of me still believes if Louis wasn’t a Quebecer, Timmins might have taken Chris Kreider instead. Much bigger and faster…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  47. Bill says:

    @Chris: the dead puck era sucks mainly because it’s predicated on interference and failure to referee the game adequately.

    I will admit that goaltending and F are better now than before, but I really think that if interference were outlawed completely, the good offensive players of the league would score more than 80 points … which is now a banner year.

    Which is why I don’t understand Bettman’s unwillingness to make it happen. Let the players play!

    • ebk says:

      The thing I most remember about the dead puck era, besides the interference you mention, was the rampant hooking that was allowed. The bigger skilled players like Modano, Jagr, Lindros and Lemieux might as well have had a saddle mounted to their backs. It made for a horrible game to watch and I’d image, to play.

    • Chris says:

      No question. I look at a player like Sidney Crosby and see somebody who is perhaps as talented as anybody I’ve seen play the game, including Gretzky, Lemieux and Yzerman. But his offensive numbers are just drastically lower because of the style of play that the NHL now allows.

      Making the nets a bit bigger (maybe 2-4″ in all dimensions) would also be a good start, as far as I’m concerned. But this would have to be done early to give the goaltenders a chance to adjust.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Parity.

  48. Psycho29 says:

    Those of you looking for the ideal gift for the family this summer; how about ‘One Direction’ at the Bell Centre…

    4 tickets…………$12,995 Cdn

    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/4-TICKETS-One-Direction-7-4-Centre-Bell-Sec-FLR-/171020120164?pt=US_Tickets_all_in_one&hash=item27d197f064&_uhb=1

  49. Bill says:

    @Loonie: would packaging their highest second rounder with the 25th pick be enough to get the 20th pick? They’d have a solid chance of getting one of Gauthier, Morin, Mantha, or Rychel at 20th.

    • Loonie says:

      It obviously depends on who holds the 20th pick but the 25th pick and a third round pick would probably be enough to move up five spots.

      If I were Marc Bergevin I’d be more inclined to use the 34th and 36th picks to get a second first rounder.

      • 24 Cups says:

        It cost us a 2nd rounder to move up for Tinordi.

        I’d give our 2nd rounder but not Calgary’s or Nashville’s. There have been a lot of great players who go in the 31-36 slots.

        • Loonie says:

          That’s kinda where I’m coming from here. I’d bet a third rounder gets it done with a reasonable GM. That’s five spots in the bottom third of the first round. Maybe our second again is more realistic but I’d like to think Dallas’ third gets that done.

          I wouldn’t give up the Nashville or Calgary picks in a deal that didn’t land me a first round pick or a roster player that I wanted.

      • neumann103 says:

        Tom
        Interested in your opinon [and ben's] as resident HIO draft guys on the “depth”
        Of this draft and how that affects Habs trade choices.

        The conventional wisdom on drafts tends to go through cycles and while I don’t hear as much rapture about 2013 as there was a year ago it still appears o have some general strengths. While not possesing an obvious generationsl talent, the top end features 3 or 4 plausible #1 choices, 4 – 10 seems stronger than typical, and the dropoff from about 15 to about 40 seems smaller than typical.

        So I guess I am wondering how that affects the habs options. Trading up for a top 5 pick is unlikely but is a move for #12 more attractive than most years. Or is the difference between 35 and 20 less than normal so why not hang onto that pick?

        That sort of tradeoff potential outlook.

        “Et le but!”

        • commandant says:

          I think that it is an above average, but not generational draft. I wrote about that earlier.

          I think its about equal to 2012.

          Of course I really liked 2012, especially the number of defencemen available and rated it better than most. I also thought that there were a lot of players in 2012 underrated due to injuries suffered that season.

          I rank 2013 slightly below conventional wisdom (however conventional wisdom is now seemingly starting to closer align itself to the view I’ve held for several months.

          Go Habs Go!
          Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      It seems the values of draft picks basically decrease exponentially with draft position therefore to go to 25 from 20, you would need to give up another pick fairly close…around 40th maybe. The 57th won’t be enough unless there is a GM who wants to trade down desperately and believes there is depth in the draft.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  50. Maritime Ron says:

    Good Afternoon,

    I have read all the comments concerning Jack Todd – both the negative and the less so…

    That mentioned, one of the most beautiful gifts in life we possess is the ability to choose…to have ‘free choice’ concerning many subjects and items – including what we choose, or not choose to actually read in today’s mega information online world.

    Once upon a time I used to read Mr. Todd and it was perhaps for his off the wall style and what I deemed comical endings with the “hero and zero’ play.
    They appeared somewhat playful at the beginning….

    While some or several may disagree, from this singular point of view and as time moved forward, my reading was that a certain degree of ‘Disdain’ seemed to enter into his columns that forged into a recurring characteristic.

    From here, I also felt the ‘heroes and zeros’ were somewhat amusing in the beginning – almost comical, yet as time moved on they appeared to become decades long grudges that had absolutely nothing to do with light hearted banter.

    It is well known in the mental health arena that certain things just need to be put to rest, left alone, forgotten, and perhaps most importantly, forgiven….

    I am not a psychiatrist nor here to judge the character or private life of Mr. Todd, yet from a lay man’s point of view, there appeared to be a certain ‘Anger and Unbalance’ in his posted columns before my free choice decision was made to NOT read his musings going forward.

    Again, please know this is no judgement, yet one has to wonder about the long term effects of leaving one’s country at the ripe age of 20 – leaving everything behind, and the choice to avoid fighting a MOST UNJUST Vietnam War.
    Perhaps Mr. Todd lives with that ‘choice’ today and its possible repercussions

    I have never met Mr. Todd and also have no desire to meet him, and I do wish him happiness and ‘Spiritual Tranquility’….yet I do have free choice as to what I read – as ALL of us do, and the choice for several years has been NOT to read Mr. Todd’s columns.

    As mentioned, I only wish him well…as I would wish any other human being that may possibly be tormented because of decisions past…

    • Chris says:

      Given how much people talk about Todd’s decision to leave the United State, I would definitely recommend his book “The Taste of Metal”. It is very much a worthwhile read to see what a difficult decision this is for people.

      My father was also a “draft-dodger”. In his case, he left Denmark in the 1950′s, having grown up in the era immediately following two world wars. He was a pacifist through and through; he would pass out at the sight of blood, and he couldn’t bear to see anything killed, whether it be the groundhogs that were terrorizing our gardens, birds that were wounded crashing into the windows on our house or even snakes that we accidentally ran over with our lawnmowers.

      Military service was mandatory in Denmark, but the option for pacifists to serve in the civil service was not yet there. So he made the difficult decision to leave his family behind at the age of 22 years old (the same age as Jack Todd). He only saw his mother one more time before her death 15 years after he left, and he never again saw any of his relatives, as airfare was beyond the means of average people in those days and few could afford the time commitment to travel by boat.

      In Todd’s case, he willingly joined the army, but abandoned the cause after his best friend growing up came home absolutely traumatized by Vietnam and encourage Todd to get out any way he could.

      People frequently condemn Jack Todd for his columns, which are full of devices that he has brought in over the years. That is the reader’s prerogative. Many of the athletes also didn’t like Todd because he was absolutely one to pick whipping boys and regularly lay into them with his columns.

      But Jack Todd has been successful. His columns frequently cause discussion, and he has been recognized by his peers for the quality of his journalism, having won one National Newspaper Award for sports-writing and been nominated two additional times.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Hi Chris
        Thanks so much for sharing what surely are less than pleasant stories and memories. Your most eloquent post is all about courage.
        Perhaps we have different thoughts/notions about Mr. Todd, yet what is so heartening is the ability to respectfully exchange without the need to be confrontational…

        • Chris says:

          I liked Jack Todd when I was younger, but to be honest I barely read any journalists anymore. Journalism has turned more into infotainment, and that’s great for a lot of people. They wouldn’t have done it if there wasn’t a market.

          But I miss the days of journalists who were perhaps a little less close to the players and more objective. Using the NFL as an example, I’ll take a guy like Paul Zimmermann (Dr. Z) any day over a guy like Peter King. King is in pretty tight with a lot of the players and gets all sorts of access that a guy like Dr. Z probably didn’t, but King simply fawns over 80% of the players, regardless of whether it is deserved or not.

          The catch is that he’s also a bit of an NFL patsy, as he showed in his coverage of Bountygate.

          • Maritime Ron says:

            It is a disease or conformity which is not exclusive to the sports pages. If anything most sports columnists are the very last bastion of what could be perceived as independent ‘thought’ to a minor degree
            Whenever in doubt, just scour the political columnists of the New York Times that have already admitted to printing the talking points of government lest they lose access.

  51. petefleet says:

    You know what really bothers me about how we bowed out of the playoffs? It’s how many guys played hurt because of the lack of (forward) depth in the organization. It’s disheartening that there was no one to call up and fill in for the guys who obviously were not 100% or even close to it. Dumont is just another small forward who can’t play a power game. I look at teams like Ottawa and even Toronto who have guys on the farm who can come up and play when needed. I think our farm is along way away from that. I do believe that the time is close that we will be in that position but it is really unfortunate it couldn’t be now. If there had been two or three newbies who were ready to step up, the Habs may very well have gotten by Ottawa and be playing into June.

    ******************************************
    I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

    ***Go Habs Go***

    • Loonie says:

      Which organization can replace Eller, Emelin, Gionta, Pacioretty, Price and Prust?

      • petefleet says:

        None I imagine. My point is we couldn’t even try to replace them with the farm we have. My hope is in the next few years that will change.

        ******************************************
        I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

        ***Go Habs Go***

        • Loonie says:

          I hear what you’re saying but it’s near impossible to have a farm system in that kind of shape. Players who are capable of replacing important regulars are important regulars 99% of the time.

          I’d settle for having the best NHL team instead of the best AHL team.

          :)

          • petefleet says:

            Wouldn’t it be nice to have a guy who was 2 years out to replace Max when he’s hurt, even for a few games? I’m not talking about guys who are already there but not playing. Obviously they would be already playing. But from who would you pick in Ham to replace the guys listed above for 3-4 games? No one.

            ******************************************
            I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

            ***Go Habs Go***

          • Loonie says:

            Well not to split hairs but maybe your frustration should be directed at Marc Bergevin.

            Michael Bournival and Louis Leblanc were left with the Aces through those injuries.

            I wouldn’t necessarily agree that the playoffs are the right time to have them serve as replacements but if that’s what you’re looking for the option was in fact there.

    • New says:

      It is what it is. For instance in 2009 they chose Louis Leblanc at 18. He should be ready now, like O’Reilley (also a center chosen 33rd by Colorado). He isn’t and O’Reilley obviously is. Sometimes being told who you have to draft can slow down production, like hiring relatives: fine if they’re good, but not so fine if it’s just that idiot nephew. Regardless you have to live with the choice you made.

  52. commandant says:

    The Three Stars series continues with the best players from teams in the Northwest Division.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/05/20/three-stars-all-time-northwest-division-teams/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  53. ebk says:

    from Online Bookmaker
    Odds to win the Norris:
    P.K. Subban 4/5
    Ryan Suter 9/4
    Kris Letang 13/4

    rest of the odds here:
    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/05/20/online-bookmaker-crosby-favored-to-win-hart-trophy/

    • 24 Cups says:

      Earl – If Subban wins the Norris it will mean a Doughty like contract. That runs around 7M, long term.

      • ebk says:

        Steve- I agree, I was hoping Bergevin would have done the six year, $30m contract that was rumored in January. Maybe he tops out at Karlsson money $6.5/year for 8 years.

      • petefleet says:

        Subban is already better than Doughty in my opinion. I would much sooner have PK than Drew. That said, Doughty isn’t worth 7mil and neither is PK but you’re right, someone will give it to him but probably not MB.

        edit: Don’t get me wrong, the market will dictate what PK gets and it’s going to be a lot. I don’t think anyone is worth that kind of money (in pricipal).

        ******************************************
        I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

        ***Go Habs Go***

        • Loonie says:

          If Subban keeps scoring near a point per game pace and can maintain the effective defensive play he has he’s worth every penny of $7 million annually and will be considered the best defenseman in the game, rightfully so.

    • Loonie says:

      The only thing I really take from that is that it would be a huge upset if Letang were to win it.

    • Chris says:

      I think Suter wins. Subban and Letang split the Eastern writers’ votes, and Suter will pick up the votes of the journalists who just don’t like Subban’s on-ice personality (and there are a number of those people around the league).

      Regardless, Subban is in line for a huge raise.

      • ebk says:

        absolutely to the Subban raise! He is the best defenseman in the game.

        • Chris says:

          I’m not sure that I agree that he is the best quite yet, but he’s certainly in that pantheon.

          I still think Shea Weber is the best overall defenceman in the NHL. Subban and his shot are one of the league’s greatest weapon, as shown by his ability to generate a massive number of PP points, but his 5-on-5 offence is still developing (he ranked 34th this season only marginally better than his rank of T35th last season).

          Weber is complete: he is a tremendous defender, he hits, he shuts down opposing forwards and he chips in offence (his numbers suffered last season from playing on a completely inept team in Nashville).

          And to be honest, despite what was a very off-year for him, Zdeno Chara remains one of the biggest difference makers in the league. Teams play around Chara. He remains the biggest deterrent in the NHL for opposing forwards, who generally avoid his side of the ice, and opposing coaches work him into their game-plan more than just about any other player in terms of match-ups.

          Subban is almost there. If anything, Therrien held him back this year. Subban is capable of playing 25-30 minutes per night, so it would be nice to see the reins removed to see what he can do logging those huge minutes.

  54. Gally365 says:

    If you’re tough and enough talent on your team. The team will have a good chance winning it all. (Depending on the officiating) They decide who wins in today’s NHL.

    a lot of changes needed for the Habs to make it that far. Probably 5-10 years.

  55. Habfan17 says:

    Based on where the Habs should be drafting, unless they trade up, Players who would look good in the first round
    Samuel Morin
    Rasmus, Ristolainen
    Anthony Mantha

    In the 2nd
    Frederik Gauthier
    Jacob De La Rosa, should they drop enough
    J.T. Compher
    Dillon Heatherington
    Zach Sanford

    In the 3rd
    Carl Dahlstrom
    Nick Baptiste
    Mason Geertsen
    Remi Elie
    Mitchell Wheaton
    Adam Tambellini

    I would like to see Bergevin trade some players that don’t fit in like Weber, and some of the older players who won’t be around once the Habs are actually able to compete for the cup consistently. Gorges, Gionta, and DD. The Habs need upgrades and if they could get a couple of extra draft picks this season and sign a couple of depth UFA’s like they did with Boullion and Armstrong last season, they should be able to accelerate the retooling. Maybe one long term player as well. Bickell, if the Black Hawks don’t resign him. If they can sign a true 2nd line left wing, even Stalberg, then they could move Bourque back to his natural right side where he scores more goals.

    Habfan17

    • habs_54321 says:

      trading diaz and our 1st for the islanders 1st is a scenario i could see happening islanders get a 1-2 pairing of swiss dmen and diaz gets to play with his idol, Yes we lose a skilled dman but we have so many coming up through the ranks its an acceptable loss. we go from drafting 27th to drafting 15th.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I agree, Diaz is a player that could be moved. Markov will be around another season and with Subban, there is offence. Boullion being resigned adds a mentor for the young, so Gorges can also go. That still leaves Emelin, when he is back, Subban, Markov and Boullion with experience. Tinordi should be back and possibly Beaulieu. There are a few UFA dmen that could be signed to fill in for depth and experience.

        Habfan17

      • ebk says:

        I see Diaz being moved more for a player who is already in the NHL. I’d like to see him traded for a player like Erskine or packaged with someone like Gorges to get a big physical top four d-man

    • Ncognito says:

      Tambellini is not much. Just watched him play in the RBC cup in Summerside PEI.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I doubt Ritsolainen will be around when Montreal drafts 25th. Same goes for Gauthier in the 2nd.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I doubt it too, but they are players the Habs could really use.

        Habfan17

        • 24 Cups says:

          If MB wants to get creative he can land both Gauthier and Morin.

          He should at least be ready to trade Montreal’s 2nd rounder to move up and take Morin if need be. Or just pray he can grab him with the 25th pick.

      • ebk says:

        Steve- I’m thinking they will be lucky if Gauthier is there when the make their first selection. How high do you think they have to go to get a shot at Gauthier?

        • Habfan17 says:

          It is hard to say! Some teams go off the board to make their picks. It seems each draft at least one GM takes a player that was only expected to go much later. I think it will also depend on whether any other teams make trades to pick higher. I would say they will need to be around the 14th/15th pick, but strange things can happen.

          Habfan17

    • Loonie says:

      It would be a huge upset if Ristolainen were available when the Habs pick in the first round. It would be less noteworthy but still a big surprise if Gauthier were available at that same pick.

      JT Compher is a realistic choice for the Habs but probably more so in the first round than the second.

      • Habfan17 says:

        It is hard to predict. International scouting has him at 10 and in the Hockey news, which ver the years has most closely identified where players will be taken has him at 22. They don’t have Gauthier until 30. International scouting has him at 20. If that is the case the Habs should have a shot at him.

        Habfan17

        • Loonie says:

          Gauthier is actually the eighth ranked North American skater with CSS which probably slots him around 13th to 14th overall in their eyes give or take a couple of picks.

          He’s 20th with ISS.

          It would be a huge upset if he made it to the Habs.

        • 24 Cups says:

          H17 – A final thought on the subject.

          Certain teams are going to jump ahead on these two players (Gauthier & Morin) due to their size. Both Toronto and Boston draft ahead of Montreal. Columbus and Calgary will have a second 1st round pick they can utilize before Montreal selects. One of those teams could easily take a run at Morin. And as Tom mentioned, Gauthier’s stock is going to only rise. Philly picks 11th so who knows.

          I’ve studied this stuff for quite awhile now. Bob McKenzie’s final draft rankings are the most accurate around. That should give us an idea where these two French-Canadien players might eventually go in the draft.

          • Habfan17 says:

            Thanks 24 cups.
            I was using McKenzie’s rankings from the Hockey news draft issue. They also show the International Scouting rankings, but not Central scouting. Not sure why. I agree, some teams will definitely be drawn by their size, although, if they already have a big team and feel a smaller player has more skill when it is their turn, who knows. I have seen some bizarre picks made over the years. It is also possible the teams with two first round picks, may trade them for a higher pick!

            Habfan17

          • habs_54321 says:

            based on iss latest rankings
            http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=92324

            adam erne isn’t in the top 30 somehow i thought he was basically a consensus top 15 pick?

          • commandant says:

            @H17

            McKenzie is no longer part of THN (hasn’t been for several years). The THN rankings are not his.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

  56. Dr.Rex says:

    What is most likely to happen this summer:
    a) Habs sign David Clarkson
    b) Habs sign Kaberle to a 4 year extension and ambassador status.
    c) MLSE makes a bronze statue of Grabitski eating Pacioretty.
    d) Selanne signs will the Jets.
    e) Habs trade either TInordi or Beaulieu.
    f) CBC announce Milbury will take over Coachs corner for Cherry.
    g) Roy becomes new coach in Denver.
    h) Rick Dudley becomes GM for another team.

  57. slapshot777 says:

    I guess just more proof that Tim Peel is a complete f$%king asshole and moron. Compleely ignored Max Pacioretty when he showed the bite mark to him and the linsemen as well. Now Grabvosky admits to it. I think the League should be doing more to make the officials more accountable for their calls on the ice and interpetation of the rules.

    Everyone is saying that the players should be accountable for thier hits and look to see where a payer is before hitting him. Well the League should do the same for the officials and have a official disipilarian for the officials. If they are keep making the same mistakes over and over or not using proper judgement then they should be missing assigments. I bet then we will see more by the book calls and the officials be more down the line than this bullsh!t we have seen over the last several years and even into this years playoffs.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

    • aroma says:

      Couldn’t agree more. There are issues with officiating in many major sports, but in NHL hockey the refereeing seems particularly weak. Accountability is a must. How hard can it be, especially with easy access to videos that can demonstrate what is and is not a correct call, to reach a reasonable consistency in how games are called? Maybe those who referee the referrees should be accountable as well.

    • ebk says:

      The NHL needs to decide which version of the rule book they are going to use and then apply it consistently. The way they do it now, you have no idea what a penalty is. If it’s not going to be called in the 3rd period, then it shouldn’t be call in the first. It’s absolutely ridiculous how the rules are applied.

      It’s a great game but in no other sport that I can think of, is there 16 different versions of the rule book. Makes the referees look very incompentant(they might actually be) and leads to tons of fan speculation about the integrity of the game. Neither is good for the image of the NHL.

      • Chris says:

        Good post!

        New rules aren’t needed, simply a consistent application of the rules that are already there, regardless of situation.

        I don’t care if we go back to 10 power plays per game if the teams are actually guilty of the fouls. The sport needs to be cleaned up because we’re approaching the bottom of the dead puck era. Last year was the 5th lowest scoring season of the modern era (since 1967):

        2003-04: 5.136
        2001-02: 5.237
        1997-98: 5.266
        1998-99: 5.276
        2012-13: 5.307
        2002-03: 5.309
        2011-12: 5.320

        Goals are getting harder and harder to score. Improved goaltending and less space are big contributors, but rampant interference is still a major issue.

    • mr_jmac says:

      It’s hockey and things happen in the heat of the moment. Pacioretty seemed like a whiny bitch this season. The Habs future looks bright but with 6 more years at 4.5 million Pacioretty needs to toughen up and play more physical. Seemed to go through spurts where he was feeling sorry for him self.

      • Saintpatrick33 says:

        You do know he played all of the playoffs with a dislocated shoulder right? Tim Peel is one of the most incompetent refs in the NHL and the officiating in general is a joke. They tried their best to give Pittsburgh the win last night in that game. To me the officiating in this league just smells fishy and EBK is right they need to decide on a rule book and call the damn games constantly regardless of what period the game is in and if its the playoffs or not.

  58. SlimDiggity says:

    Commandant – Would you take Compher over say Rychel or Hartman, assuming all are available?

    • commandant says:

      Many would say no, but I say yes.

      I have Compher ranked higher than most analysts do (at 17) and ahead of both Rychel and Hartman. I’m a really big fan of how he plays the game, and the talent level he has.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • habs_54321 says:

        so rychel,campher,mantha,morin fair to say those 4 are the target assuming at least one will be left by the time our pick is up.

        in the second if morin is available still we GRAB him asap if he’s not carrier,gauthier,dickinson are all good pickups if any are still around.

        Top that off with jordan subban in the 3rd or late 2nd and we have a real nice bag of treats going forward.

        for the 6th round pick i like jason salvaggio good college prospect from what i have read.

  59. Sportfan says:

    Jays only play two games in New York still lose both
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/05/20/yankees-take-two-in-rain-shortened-series-with-jays/

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  60. Hab No Fear says:

    Matt Pelec is a UFA, he played for San Jose’s AHL team 6.5 227lbs Dman shoots right was a first round pick by flames #26 overall 2005 draft. 58 games 228 PIM. good for dept as a 7th d and toughness. played with P.K on Belleville Bulls 2006/2007

  61. commandant says:

    #39 on the list is Steven Santini, a big, rough defenceman who was on the US NTDP this year and should be at Boston College next season.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/05/20/steven-santini-2013-nhl-draft-player-profile-39/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      Thanks Commandant, who is on your wish list for the Habs to take with their 1st three picks, (probably 24-25, 34 and 36). Thanks again.

      • commandant says:

        I’d be very happy to walk away with Compher, Morin and Dickinson.

        However there is always a chance a guy I have higher falls on draft day and will have me with a last minute change of mind, ala Beaulieu and Collberg who I never expected to be available. These lists are my personal ranking of Best Player available so if someone starts to fall, I’ll be hoping that guy is the guy we take.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

  62. YOWHab says:

    one thing I noticed about the Blades-Mooseheads game is that the Blades won by taking it to McKinnon and Drouin all game. Our boy Dietz had some pretty impressive hits and crosschecks.

    I would like to see the Habs use a simaler strategy going forward, if we were to sign Fistric, Bordelaeu and Clowe, we could have six guys (Fistric, Clowe, Bordealu, Prust, White, and Tinordi) who would be able to smack around the Kadris and Seguins of the league, neutralise them, and give us a real shot at winning.

    • commandant says:

      It worked because Dietz can play 30 minutes a game at the Junior hockey level and his skating is good enough to keep up with elite players.

      A guy like Fistric played less than 15 minutes a game on an Oilers team that desperately needed both defence and toughness. He was not matched up against top lines, but rather played very easy matchups against third and fourth lines. Match him up against a Kadri or a Seguin and this defensive liability is going to be exposed. Same with a Bordeleau who played 6 minutes a night for the Avs and against very bad opposition. Clowe scored 3 goals in over 40 games this season…. take him away from Joe Thornton’s wing and you have Glen Murray/Devon Setogucchi/Jonathan Cheechoo, etc… syndrome. He’s going to get overpaid based on his goal scoring stats from previous years, and not on who he is. Look at what the Rangers gave up to trade for him, it was too much.

      Do we need tough players? Yes. But find me a Clarkson who can actually play hockey, or another Brandon Prust, or a defenceman who can actually play the game like a Brooks Orpik.

      You can’t hit what you can’t catch, and these guys are borderline skaters and hockey players. When you can’t earn a big role on Edmonton’s D, or are the least used forward on Colorado’s fourth line, you know that you are a borderline NHLer at best, and not a guy who is going to be able to shut down a Seguin or a Kadri through your physical play.

      The theory that we need to hit these guys is sound, and it does work. But you need a player who can execute that strategy.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  63. Dust says:

    I really think this offseason will be very interesting. THis draft is said to be very deep. THe salary cap is going down so some teams will need to make moves. The compliance buyout may lead to some surprising names become free agents who will sign cheaper than normal contracts. I am excited hope to see MB make some good moves

  64. frontenac1 says:

    Hey ,Queen Victoria married her first Cousin? Wtf? Was she a redneck too?

  65. Old Bald Bird says:

    I see we have another Todd/HIO tempest-in-a-teapot brewing nicely today.

  66. frontenac1 says:

    Rednecks? Can’t stand the crap they call music and that cousin dating stuff.

  67. Exit716 says:

    I love the fact that freelancer Jack Todd finally found Price’s bio on Twitter. That bio has been up there for pretty much the whole season and now he latches on to it as some sort of negative comment on the kid? Oh and the whole thing about it being perceived as racist to natives. Doesn’t Jack realize that Carey Price’s mother is aboriginal?

  68. thebonscott says:

    gander,nfld 58 cms of snow yesterday, yikes eh

    GET BIGGER, GET TOUGHER, GET EVEN.

  69. Chuck says:

    By the way, I’ve been following the Alfieturcotte ‘trade Price at all costs’ rants over the last little while. And while I don’t think that any player is truly untouchable (any player should be available for trade if the right package comes back in return) I do think that Alfie should be careful what he wishes for. I mean, who is a better goaltender, in the same age range, that the Canadiens could realistically acquire?

    __________________________________________________
    Anyone but the Sens! And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too.

    • Strummer says:

      This will be the first opportunity for the new management team to monitor Price in the off-season and in training camp.
      There is now a chance to right the ship and get a return the vast resources invested in their 5th overall pick from 8 years ago.

      It’s now or never.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • alfieturcotte says:

      Glad to have a “follower” – though they are not rants, rather statements. Check the stats out Chuck – there are many, many goalies with far better stats makes far less than Pricey.

      • Chuck says:

        Yet you still refuse to answer my question: Who is a better goaltender, in the same age range, that the Canadiens could realistically acquire?

        Name names and back up your statements, alfie.

        __________________________________________________
        Anyone but the Sens! And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too.

        • alfieturcotte says:

          Chuck – too many to list. Go to NHL.com, pull up goalie stats and rank them by Save %. You will note that Carey Price’s paltry .905 ranked him 51st. That means there are 50 better goalies out there by save %. Pick 10 of them, they’ll do.

          Can you get the point? Price is so not special but for his monster contract. He is NOT worth $7MM and there are 50 goalies out there to pick from.

  70. Dust says:

    I wonder if Tampa ends up getting MacKinnon in the draft if they will end up buying out lecavalier.
    Habs could then sign him to a cheaper contract.

    All hypothetical but would be interesting

  71. billylove says:

    Could care less whether Price calls himself a “redneck.” I want my goalies to stop pucks and if they do that, they can call themselves whatever they want. Hate to say it, but the Goons look ready for another run at the cup. The rookie dman Krug is impressive.


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