Singin’ the Blues

CammalleriPerron
Your Montreal Canadiens lost to a very good hockey team Tuesday night.
In posting his second shutout of the season, Jaroslav Halak faced only 19 shots.
Next up: A visit to Boston

Game story

Quotes from the room

Dave Stubbs on Halak

Red Fisher’s game column

Photo gallery

Red on Prof Caron

Stubbs on Ken Hitchcock

Pierre Ladouceur’s game report card

225 Comments

  1. HABZ24 says:

    we are toast pierre mcguire for gm

  2. Kimberly2u says:

    Just heard that Gionta had bicep surgery today…out indefinitely..I knew something happened last night after he threw his stick

  3. jhab93 says:

    Sit Cammy for a game.. he can do his jedi thing with his stick up there.

    Thats the way the cookie crumbles

  4. old fan says:

    Pierre Gauthier and his management “team” (Gainey?) have to go! Sure all the Habs problems are not his fault BUT nothing is going to improve with Gauthier calling the shots. One season in the tank is acceptable but under Gauthier there is very little hope for the future. The current Habs team is simply not good enough
    and without a new direction re: player movement decisions they won’t be for years to come. Far too many players who are past their prime and have lost the work effort that is needed every night to play sucessfully in the NHL. Two glaring examples of the lack leadership the team needs in a competent GM is Gauthier’s handling of Scott Gomez and the signing of Andre Markov. Neither player has contributed anything for 2 seasons. What other GM would let these two major problems carry on this long -right – none of them. It’s up to Mr. Molson to take an interest in the Habs and make some positive rebuilding moves right now before it’s too late for years to come.

    • CalgaryHab says:

      Every GM has good moves and bad moves and the bad moves have really been exposed this year. There is some talent to build on but I don’t think PG is the one to do it.

      It takes a smart man to know when he’s stupid – Barney Rubble

    • nellis13 says:

      don’t forget the kaberle trade. the guy played a painful 12 min last night, the PP’s dead last in the league AND we’re stuck with the dope for the next two seasons. i like randy but making him coach was the lazy thing to do, just like tolerating gomez. this is a badly managed team.

  5. dorvalhabsfan says:

    The dude you want him gone like JM being fired would change things? i disagree, looking at PG body of work i have no complaints… i dont hold gauthier responsible for Gomez playing 18 games, or Markov playing 0, or Gionta not being himself or Cammy not playing good at all.. give the man a break.. hes the only guy in god knows how long who got a PF free agent here, his tweaks were great (Wiz, Moore, Halpern) and he did bring Emelin over which others have not managed.. firing PG would be a mistake.. i think he can bring this team where it needs to go.. just cuz you dont like his style of work doesnt make him bad right? dont fire gauthier just to hire another GM to strip the parts… im sure if thats Molsons plan the gauthier is more then capable

    Go Habs Go

    • powdered toastmann says:

      Well, let’s see. I’ve always been one to believe that where a team sits in the standings is often a reflection of the effectiveness of the management team. (in particular the GM).

      Let’s see, the Goat is spending to the cap limit and the Habs are what?…26th out 30 teams (and three of the teams below them have games in hand)

      Yup, PG is doing a fine job

  6. The Dude says:

    Gauthier must be fired now!Put on Ken DRyden as interem G.M. or commit to a real deal G. M. And Trade and swap our Veterans for oversized prospects and let the 3year tank begin!

  7. Mike D says:

    New thread. —>

    – Honestly yours

  8. aemarchand11 says:

    1. Carey price is a better goalie than Jaroslav Halak. When a team only fires 19 shots at a goalie, they cant expect to get a good result. Both are high quality goaltenders, but when you look at St.Louis before the coaching change and their awful defensive coverage, Halak was an afterthought. Great Goalies still need support from their team, which Price is not receiving at this time.

    2. I am not happy with this years team, but long term this is the best thing to happen to the Canadiens. Lets face some facts, we need to draft some elite talent for our system. We have some highly skilled players there now, but no game breakers. (Status Quo on Gallagher, who has an Eberle factor) I would rather the team actually compete for the stanley cup then win a round and be eliminated by a contender. This draft is very deep and if we can acquire another 1st round pick we could be looking very dangerous in a year or two.

    Tinordi, Gallagher, Bournival (shut down guy), Beaulieu, Subban, Eller, Pacioretty, Emelin, Gorges and Price with the addition of a top 3-5 draft pick means a solid core.

    I would also like to see Chris Higgins come back at some point, when his contract is finished in Vancouver. He should have matured from his young days and his work ethic would be great to have around here again.

  9. So with Jaroslav Halak getting a standing ovation last night from the home crowd leaves a very little feeling or nothing for Carey Price and might have said it all for next season signing? Carey Price could request a trade or played his last game in a Habs uniform. Remember Patrick Roy? It could very easily happen?

    Who’s the starting goaltender for next season if that happens?
    Budaj??????? Let the rumbles begin.

    • shiram says:

      I think Price is more even-queeled than Roy.
      If he signes elsewhere, Habs gets picks in return, but I don’t see that happening.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        The entire planet is more even-keeled than Roy, but that said, Price is a Vancouver boy, I don’t think he has the competitive drive needed to thrive in Montreal – if he did, we would have had a 0-0 games last night with a shoot out.

        Sorry, I like Price and he’s matured greatly, but if we are looking 3 years down the road with thousand mile eyes, I no longer feel sure about him…

    • Mike D says:

      I doubt Carey is worried about fan support or thinks he doesn’t have it.

      Fans chant his name at every home game when he’s announced. He gets 1st star most games even if another Hab deserved it more. He wins the Molson Cup basically every month (to the point they should just re-name it the Carey Price Cup), even for December despite the poor record when it should have gone to Cole.

      – Honestly yours

    • The Cat says:

      So a few fans cheered for Halak… In the grand scheme of things, Price has been molly coddled beyond need by the organization.

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

    • Ton says:

      look at the poll results to date!. price was the right decision. the only concern i have is this> flower (guy) said in an interview he would have carried both goalies into the new year and perhaps gotten more for him in return. really its eller for halak straight up. could we have gotten more. I think so but certainly have no regrets keeping carey!

  10. J_P says:

    I am really starting to shift over the “we need size” camp. Last night was a perfect illustration of how easy the habs can be to play against. We couldnt get anything going on the PP because every time the puck came along the wall, our guys would simply get pushed off of it. It was hard for the habs to win 1 on 1 battles, and St louis is not even a particularly big team.

    Another observation from last night: the boys still have tremendous trouble hitting the net. Its unreal how many shots taken from quality shooting areas end up missing the net.

    Amazing how for two games it looked so encouraging, and than they go right back to same type of play we’ve seen all season.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      yikes – what took you so long re size…and yes I agree with your observation. At times their shooting accuracy is terrible (even from in close as you mention.

  11. Mustang says:

    Everyone here is looking at this situation from a “sports” context. Hockey is a business and the Montreal Canadiens are a very successful operation. The very expensive seats are full for every home game and the beer sells for $10 a pop. Why should management worry about winning when the team is one of the most financially successful in the NHL? There is no big rush to improve as long as the $$$$$$ keep rolling in. I hate to say it but Montreal appears to have become the new Toronto; crappy hockey team – full arena every night.

    • shiram says:

      From a business point of view, having a winning team is more profitable. You’ll sell more merch, and making the playoffs brings in tons of cash.
      Of course management is trying to improve the team, does not mean they will always make the right moves.

    • TomNickle says:

      You’re wrong. If the goal wasn’t to win, they wouldn’t make trades, they would just sign free agents and roll the dice.

      If the goal was to just keep butts in the seats they wouldn’t have fired the coach and promoted a unilingual coach.

      But think whatever hell ya want.

      • HardHabits says:

        The goal is to just keep butts in the seats. That is why they fired Pearn, traded for Kaberle and fired JM.

        The goal is to make the play-offs at any cost not to build an elite team. Building an elite team is painful and takes time. Putting together a mediocre team capable of squeaking into the play-offs can be done over the summer. Which path did Gainey choose? He should have cleaned house in the Centennial by trading UFA’s for picks and/or prospects but instead did nothing and Habs fans watched as their team got swept in the 1st round. He let 11 UFA’s walk for nothing. He made an ill advised stab at building a team via free agency in an attempt to create a leadership corps and a new dynamic but all that Habs fans got was a team too small and too soft to compete in the NHL.

        They sell the snake oil to the fans. Once you make the play-offs anything can happen. More like as long as you make the play-offs people will continue keeping the seats warm because they’ve bought the fabricated lie lock, stock and barrel.

        • TomNickle says:

          Building an elite team is not painful, but it does take time.

          Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, San Jose, Vancouver. None of those teams had consecutive top 10 picks to “tank”.

          • Chris says:

            Not entirely true. Vancouver had consecutive top 10 picks from 1997-1999 when they got both Henrik and Daniel Sedin at #2 and #3 overall in 1999, Bryan Allen at #4 in 1998 and Brad Ference at #10 in 1997. Allen was ultimately traded with Todd Bertuzzi and Alex Auld in the trade that brought the Canucks Roberto Luongo. The Sedins and Luongo have basically been the core of the Canucks’ current run at the top of the NHL standings post-lockout.

            From 2003 – 2008, Chicago drafted 14th overall (Brent Seabrook), 3rd overall (Cam Barker), 7th overall (Jack Skille), 3rd overall (Jonathan Toews), 1st overall (Patrick Kane) and 11th overall (Kyle Beach).

            Barker was a bit of a bust, but they still managed to turn him into Kim Johnsson (who suffered a career-ending concussion) and top defenceman prospect Nick Leddy (11th overall, 2009). Skille also never panned out and was the centrepiece in a package for depth forward Michael Frolik and minor-league goaltender Alexander Salak.

            Kyle Beach is still developing in the AHL, but many had him pegged as a top-5 pick in the 2008 draft but he slid due to perceived issues with discipline. Nonetheless, he remains a solid power forward prospect for the Blackhawks, who have the luxury of being able to develop him slowly.

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            EDIT* Looks like I was too slow. Someone beat me to it. Oh well*

            Chicago never had consecutive top 10 picks? Really? I am not going to accuse you of posting without thinking but….

            2000 – 10 overall
            2001 – 9th overall
            2004 – 3rd
            2005 – 7th
            2006 – 3rd (toews)
            2007 – 1st (Kane)

            They were horrible for so many years. They built their current team through drafts (seabrook, Kane, Toews). Yes, the Habs had a few picks before Chicago, but still, 2006/2007 drafts were priceless for the hawks! Imagine if we had Toews and Kane…

            I am not saying they “tanked”, but their sucktitude during the better part of the 2000’s gave them good draft positions.

            Boston sucked for consecutive years as well (as you might recall from our debate about instant contender vs 13th in the division)… and a quick check shows they had 5th in 2005 and 8th in 2006.

            So, I would disagree and say some of those teams DID have consecutive top ten picks in different draft years thanks to sucking.

            I am not on the Tank bandwagon… but it is one potential recipe for success.

        • mrhabby says:

          have to admit your consistent with your rants.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Amen. Amen. Amen.

          Bob rolled the dice and got snake eyes. And the fact that it was BOB who signed BGL proved he knew we were small and soft it and it was risky. Bob’s bad luck that BGL went vegan.

  12. price365 says:

    I wouldn’t want Habs management to build a home for me – they’d probably put the bathroom room in the garage.

  13. price365 says:

    Looks like a few posters on here are pointing the finger at price
    like I said before and I’ll say it again – a goalie is as good as the team in front of him – Halak had the better team in front of him last night.
    Thursday night Rask or Thomas will have the better team in front them we’ll see how that turns out.
    Get it through your heads – The Habs are not a very good team
    not going to make the playoffs and a long ways away from winning a cup.

    • shiram says:

      Hard to blame the goalie when the skaters barely shoot the puck at the opposing net, and don’t even score a goal.

    • J_P says:

      Its absolutely ridiculous. Its like some people think that our goalies should have shutouts every single night.

      You can never blame the goalie in a game where the team in front of them didnt even score one goal and went 0 for 6(?) on the powerplay.

  14. arcosenate says:

    Well, while I am trying to stay positive, I think by Sunday evening it might be evident that our Montreal Canadiens might not be competing for a playoff position anymore. Boston tomorrow, a very hard working Ottawa team Saturday, and a very good Rangers team on Sunday might just wrap this year up in a really disappointing package.

    The truly worst part of the whole thing is that not so very long ago I was sitting with a friend on a patio in the sunshine and we had such high hopes for the season, it seemed like the Habs had enough to be middle of the pack material. Now it appears they are in a race for the bottom.

    The only question is are they all having off – seasons or do they just plain old suck?

    Guess the next GM is going to have to figure that one out, and I don’t envy him (or her) the task at hand because it would appear they have been dealt a very poor hand indeed.

    • nunacanadien says:

      It looks like all of Gauthier’s gambles are not working out. The problem was going small to begin with, and also signing injury prone veterans like Campoli and not resolving smurf problem of Gionta, Gomez et al.

  15. Chris says:

    I always find it amusing how people claim that they knew how a particular season was going to go.

    Look at the Eastern Conference standings this morning…

    If we went back to October 1, I can almost guarantee that anybody who would have said the New York Rangers would be sitting in 1st place would have been laughed off the site.

    Anybody who said that the teams fighting for 8th place at the midway point of the season would be Buffalo (many people’s preseason pick to win the Northeast), Pittsburgh and Washington, you would have been scoffed as knowing nothing about hockey.

    If you had said Florida would be sitting solidly in 1st place in its division, with a 5 point lead over Winnipeg(!!??), you would have been mocked.

    If you had successfully projected that the teams on the outside looking in entering this season would include all three of Tampa Bay (conference semifinalist), Washington (President’s Trophy runner up), Montreal (gave Boston their stiffest test in the playoffs), you should be spending less time on this site and more time in Las Vegas.

    The reality is that injuries, inexplicable slumps and bad luck can derail teams. Montreal is one of them. I don’t deny that there are some issues with the roster that must be fixed, but I shudder at how many of you are willing to throw the baby out with the bath water. That type of over-reaction can lead to long-term ramnifications for a franchise.

    • HabsFan1111 says:

      +1

      Luckily, people on here are not involved in the decision making process

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Yeah, we’re just the fools that come in at the end of the banquet and pick up the check, look at it and say “Oh crap, who ordered the roasted Smurfs ™ ?”

    • shiram says:

      I thought Habs would improve slightly on last year.
      I was so very wrong.

      • Chris says:

        To be honest, I did too. But I was also prepared for some slumps (notably Subban) and short-term pain in exchange for building towards 2 seasons from now. We saw what we could get out of Cammalleri-Gionta-Plekanec-Gomez-Gill-Gorges-Hamrlik as the core. It is now time to try a new core and see what it can do, and I remain optimistic with the improvement of some of the kids.

        Eller is still a project, as is Emelin. But they’ve shown plenty of potential to become key players very, very soon. Pacioretty started out strong, but has faded. But we know the talent is there, if he can now find consistency. Diaz is a good third-pairing defenceman, Desharnais is a useful forward and Price has shown that he is good enough to backstop the team if he can get a good supporting cast.

        • shiram says:

          There’s some good piece, but alot of the supposed big cannons are not firing.
          Cammy, Gio and Gomez all had better seasons before, are they just slumping and can they bounce back next season? Tough questions for a GM to answer, and take the appropriate moves on.

          I’m glad to see the team has a good core of young players though, that’s at least one good thing going on for the Habs.

          • nunacanadien says:

            The truth is we are so small it is difficult for the forwards to get inside the zone to score. Gionta, Cammy, Desharnais are all too small. Gainey is making us suffer for some reason. Gainey is still probably running the ship for the Molson committee that owns the habs.

            No wonder we can’t watch the habs nationally, cause the team sucks so bad.

        • Seps says:

          Subban was no better at this time last year, there’s some crazy stat where 2/3 of his points last year came after the allstar game. But both great posts.

    • TomNickle says:

      This team isn’t nearly effective enough around its own net or the oppositions’. Plekanec, Cammalleri and Gionta, as a unit can only score on the powerplay or from the rush. They can’t establish and maintain puck possession to draw defenders out of position because they can’t protect the puck for long periods of time. Gill, Gorges, Kaberle, Campoli, Weber and Diaz can’t clear the crease. That doesn’t mean you get rid of all of them, but you probably need four guys who can do it.

      Injuries are a lovely excuse, but in reality, the job of the organization is to create enough depth to lessen the blow felt by injuries. I don’t see the Bruins complaining that Marc Savard hasn’t played in two years or the Penguins complaining that they lost the best hockey player to ever lace up the skates for significant periods of time.

      • Chris says:

        I agree with your first paragraph.

        As for the second, the label for 2011-12 season on Wikipedia for the Penguins is “Battling Through Injuries”. Since getting off to an 10-3-3 start, the Penguins are a decidedly average 11-12-1 since November 12. The Penguins are in free-fall themselves (5 straight losses, on the cusp of falling out of a playoff spot) and injuries are very much being blamed. Not just the loss of Crosby, but also the huge loss of Letang.

        The difference between Montreal and Pittsburgh is that when healthy, they have the horses to be a favourite to win the Cup while Montreal is probably a second tier contender (they could win if everything went their way, as was the case in 86 or 93 when the true favourites bombed out before Montreal ever saw them).

        As you say, the organization needs to create depth. But there isn’t a team in the league that has been forced to play 3 rookie defencemen (Emelin, Diaz, Weber) and a 2nd year defenceman (Subban) as heavily as Montreal. That those guys have done as well as they have is admirable.

        What is killing the Habs is a lack of scoring, as has been the case for a few year where the Habs were essentially a 1.5 line team. I thought the scoring would improve this season as the Habs had assembled a team that, in principle, had 3 lines that could exert pressure on the opposition.

        Unfortunately, injuries and slumps have played havoc with that. Gomez, Cammalleri and Gionta have all missed significant time, and Cammalleri still isn’t right. Pacioretty is playing tentative since his suspension for injuring Letang (something we previously saw with Latendresse after he ended DiMaio’s career) and Plekanec isn’t quite himself. In the absence of a truly elite offensive player, the Habs needed to score by committee (as they did in 2007-08) but the injuries have disrupted any offensive momentum as players are being juggled all over the lineup.

        • TomNickle says:

          The problem with the injury argument for our team is that we’ve really only had one significant injury, and that’s Markov.

          Gomez was playing no better than Eller or Desharnais last season. He seemed rededicated this to driving the net and creating more space for himself this season, so it’s a shame he’s been injured twice, but those are the breaks. As for the rookie defensemen. I don’t really but that. Diaz and Emelin have been professionals for quite some time and truth be told, have probably been our best defensemen this season. Scary thought if you agree with it.

          • Chris says:

            Emelin and Diaz have been professionals, but they are also adapting to a new culture, language and style of play.

            I’m pretty confident that if I took many of us out of our jobs and plunked us into Japan or Paraguay, there would be a substantial adjustment period. I don’t think it is unfair to assume the same for the players.

            Gomez may not have been playing better than Eller or Desharnais, but he is nonetheless a top-9 forward.

            Overall, Gionta has missed 11 games, Kostitsyn has missed 10 games, Gomez has missed 29 games (and was playing hurt before going on the shelf) and Cammalleri has missed 5 games and has been playing hurt. Eller came into the season rehabbing from shoulder surgery and got off to a slow start. To have 3 of your top 7 forwards miss at least 25% of the season is pretty significant, especially when you factor in the games required to get back up to mid-season game speed and timing.

            As a result, the team has had to call up Leblanc for 12 games (long before they probably intended). Instead of 3 lines with NHL-calibre players whose speed can gradually wear down the opposition, the Habs have been forced into double-shifting some of their better players (Plekanec, Cole), thereby wearing them down instead.

          • LA Loyalist says:

            Adjusting to the NHL ice for a D coming from Olympic ice is huge.

            You have to react much more quickly and have less real estate when you do. I think Diaz and Emelin will both be better by the end of the year and for next year, in fact I’m quite optimistic about both of them.

      • jimmyb001 says:

        excellent points.

        billy jackson

    • jimmyb001 says:

      well all I can say is that I could see from the beginning of season this team was not gonna make the playoffs. You talk about long term ramifications to the franchise…..sorry to late. With signing such as Gomez, Kaberle, Campoli, Markov (shall I go on) the Gm has already severely impacted this team for teams to come. Quite clearly they need to go the Sens route selloff the likes of Campoli, Gomez, Kaberle, Cammeleri and get some high draft picks. If the wonderful managment group there have drafted properly the likes of Gallagher, Tinordi can fill the spots. NEVER gonna win with this group.

      billy jackson

      • nunacanadien says:

        One day the habs will shine again. But not until Geoff Molson and Bob Gainey and Pierre Gauthier force us out of the playoffs and we get a decent draft pick, that Gauthier will sign away for another Gomez type player in the future. Since when have the habs ever enjoyed in recent times the value of a draft pick? Since when has any of the draft picks earned us a decent playoff spot?

    • J_P says:

      I think the most disappointing thing is that weve regressed over the last three seasons. We went from ECF, to elimination in the first round, and now we probably wont make the playoffs.

      Our young players are playing well I find, its our vets who are really letting the team down. Pleks is completely MIA lately, and lets not even get started on Cammy.

      Also, its completely unfair to PK subban that he is expected to be our number one defenseman each and every night. Way too much pressure to be putting on a kid playing in only his second full season.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      Having a pretty good idea concerning how the season will go pertains I think (for the most part) to your team only. I was like many on this site who predicted a poor season for the Habs based on the lineup/the issues last year and the fact that none of them were addressed by the GM. It is almost impossible to predict how the whole league (i.e. all the teams) will fare during the season, but because we follow the Habs (and know what their warts are) so closely it’s not that difficult (sometimes). All the know-it-all Pollyannas that jumped on the “negative nellies” for dire predictions are eating some crow now or are still hiding behind the bushes.

  16. Ian Cobb says:

    The bigger, better and very well coached team won last night. St. Louis will be a competitor for the cup this year. Hitchcock has always been a top coach. A lot of coaches bypass Montreal because this foolish language thing, as do a lot of players.

    That is not to say that we did not compete and play with heart. We are a better team since Cunnyworth has taken over and we are improving every outing. Going to be very tough to make the play offs but possible.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      The language thing may appear to be foolish but it is very real. This is a Quebec based team, after all. I keep wondering why we ever let Alain Vigneault go. Can someone remind me?

    • G-Man says:

      Foolish language thing? What foolish language thing?

      _______________________________________________

      11 more losses to 9th place…or worse

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Yeah Ian – it’s all ’cause of the language.

      That’s why we’re losing.

      And I just don’t see evidence that we’re better under Cunneyworth.

      Martin’s record was 13-13-7

      Cunneyworth’s is 3-6.

      • Mike D says:

        C’mon ’72, you’re better than that. Nowhere in Ian’s post did he say we are losing because of language. It’s also no secret that some talented players avoid Montreal. Language is likely not the main reason why, but is lumped in with taxes, high pressure, and bad weather.

        Don’t know that coaches avoid Montreal, but I’m sure there are good ones who aren’t considered because they only speak english.

        – Honestly yours

  17. HNS says:

    Nothing beats displacement. Habs WAY too small. Time to release the midgets.

  18. HardHabits says:

    Nothing to worry about. It’s only a loss. Did I say loss? I meant to say lost. As in lost season.

    I can’t wait for one of two things. Either for those in charge to make some other bone headed moves to try and make an ill advised stab at making the play-offs or to see them finally admit that their whole concept of building an NHL team was flawed and to see them start the rebuild proper.

    It will take a good 4-5 years just to get this team back to respectability and relevance in the NHL and only if the painful necessary steps are taken starting now.

    My hope is the Habs are well outside the play-off picture by the time the trade deadline approaches if only to tie their hands so that they have no choice but to bite the bullet.

    • adamkennelly says:

      gotta dump salaries and crap players – do it now..time to make the tough decisions…Cammy, Gomez, Campolli, Kaberle (this one will be tough), Darche, Noki, Blunden, DD – these guys have to go…they are not helping this team be better.

      Pax, Pleks, Cole, PK, Price, Gorges, Gionta (if we have to), keep these guys, build around them – suffer for a few years and move forward..this experiment did not work..can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results…

      • 24 Cups says:

        I fail to see how a player like DD (who makes $850,000 this year and next) is a “crap” player. I acknowledge his limitations. But without DD, Emelin and Diaz, we would be in the basement.

      • Willy says:

        Why the rush to get rid of DD? Who is going to replace him at that price? The rest, fine i suppose. I hate to get rid of Cammy but if he can fetch something decent at the deadline then do it.

  19. mjames says:

    Its discouraging to see players that previously played for us return to outplay us. I agree we need a bigger tougher team and yet we continue to give away players such as D’Agostini for nothing. Plushaj is a shell of D’Ags. Although D’Ag’s is not 6’2″ he is a solid 6′ footer. He would look good on the Plek’s line. Until we stop with this knee jerk band-aid strategy we will be a second tier team. Even when we had our run back in 2010 , it was based on a hot streak by one player. We were then a second tier team. It is time to focus on the future. I am for a high draft choice. Time to try to move some of the smurfs and get some draft choices. I would move them to at least try fix our cap mess created by Gainey and PG.

    I truly believe that at least half the posters on HIO could have done a better job than PG and Gainey. They have created a disaster. Since Molson is not going to hire us he should consider bringing Andre Savard back.

    mjames

    • Chris says:

      D’Agostini might be 6′ tall, but he has always been softer than the Pillsbury Doughboy.

      A fixation with height and/or weight is not particularly useful. D’Agostini has been credited with 30 hits all season. The scouting report on him since junior is that he can be neutralized by physical play and that he isn’t particularly fond of going into high-traffic areas of the ice.

      In the defensive zone, I’ll take the 5’10” and 194 pound Kimmo Timonen over the 6’7″ and 241 pound Hal Gill any day of the week. Size is irrelevant…how the player plays is what I care about.

      • mjames says:

        Maybe but he did outplay us last night . I kind of think he might be tougher than Cammy, Gomez, Gionta, Kaberle and others. I could be wrong but he strikes as a skilled Travis Moen type. In any event I would much rather have him over a Plushaj, Gomez , Darche, Blunden, Nickolien, Cammy.

        mjames

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Good points. Look at Penner (who I originally wanted). Undone by a pancake…

  20. 24 Cups says:

    “If you fixate on the worst-case scenario and it actually happens, you’ve lived it twice.” (Michael J. Fox)

    It doesn’t appear that anything major is going to happen in Hab land during the next month. I can’t see any high priced players getting traded until we get closer to the deadline (if then). It also doesn’t seem likely that Markov will be back anytime soon. Not to mention that Gionta appears to be re-injured. I also doubt that Molson will fire Mr. Gauthier before Valentine’s Day (although some posters appear to be prepping for a massacre).

    Let the games play out as the chips may fall as they may. There’s no need to re-live it twice.

    • TomNickle says:

      The dillema Molson has is that if a failing season will result in Gauthier’s termination, he can’t afford to wait until May to let him go. It should be done prior to the deadline, and the sooner the better. This month is critical with all of the home games. If this team isn’t well over .500 by February 1st, they should become sellers. And you don’t want a guy pulling the strings for you in a rebuilding phase when he and you both know that he’s on borrowed time.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Tom – That’s the real question of the day, who is going to call the shots and make the crucial decisions of the next few months? As you mentioned, it’s basically a matter of timing. Everything else that is discussed here on HI/O is secondary in nature.

        The first order of business has to be AK46 and Moen. On a team that lacks size, do we let them walk away? Or do we overpay in terms of coin and term for two guys who hold the UFA card?

        Sellers? I’m not sure we’re going to see some of the guys with two years left on their contracts moved at the deadline. Historically, that’s not what happens. I think it will start with the previously mentioned AK and Moen and then move along to lesser lights such as Campoli, Gill or Weber.

        I’m against trading the team’s captain and any discussion of moving Pleks is pure folly. He would only go in a blockbuster deal that would totally change the make-up of the team. Montreal doesn’t make those kind of moves.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Unless it has always been Geoff Molson’s intent that the habs perform terribly, either for a devalued price value, or for a decent draft pick position. No wonder then they signed the players that they did. But why keep Price? Why chase after Emelin if that is your plan? You’ll only end up losing your good players in the end. Since when has Montreal ever been about winning since Gilette bought it before the lockout?

    • shiram says:

      Nicely said 24 Cups.

    • avatar_58 says:

      That’s pretty much been my thought process. I haven’t even cared if I make plans on gamedays anymore. I just don’t care anymore, less stressful.

  21. Here’s another question for the so call top 6 players with a NMC?

    How many are willing to lift their NMC and be dealt in the next couple of weeks to a contender?

    Would love to see PG & CO. pose that question right now?

    Who do you think are favoured to to be moved?

    • TomNickle says:

      It would be shocking if a guy with a no trade or no move clause gets moved first. Much more likely that a pending UFA goes first because it’s the easiest thing to do. Making these moves doesn’t happen for the sake of doing it. It’s to open a roster spot to fill for evaluation purposes and trying to get a decent asset(s) in return. Cammalleri, Plekanec, Gomez, Gionta and others like them are by far the most difficult to trade, even if there’s a longer list of suitors for their services.

  22. TomNickle says:

    The same management being blamed for Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri are the same guys who brought in Pacioretty, Eller, Emelin, Cole, Subban and Price.

    This thing doesn’t need to be torn down and rebuilt over a three year period, but it certainly needs some fine tuning. Our defense is the biggest problem. Emelin, Subban and Gorges should be kept long term and everyone else should be available right now. At forward, we don’t have a single player who is untouchable. I wouldn’t be in any hurry to move Eller, Cole, Pacioretty, Kostitsyn or Plekanec but I would listen to any offer that came available.

    The guys who are likely to be involved in seller trades are Gill, Campoli, Moen and Kostitsyn.

    Guys who could be involved in “hockey” trades could be Plekanec, Cammalleri, Gionta, Desharnais.

    Guys who had better get you a massive return are Price, Subban, Emelin, Pacioretty and Eller. I wouldn’t be rushing to move any of these guys and would avoid it at all costs.

    I’m sure people will say, there’s no replacement for x player if he’s traded. This team is at a point where x player doesn’t need to be replaced. You know what the ceiling is for Plekanec, Cammalleri, Gionta, Markov, Gill, Gorges, Campoli and some of the others. But with Eller, Pacioretty, Emelin, Subban and Price, you can’t be sure.

    My point here is that giving the younger players more time and possibly more responsibility will reveal what they can do for you long term. And if you’re going to rebuild on the fly, which this team almost certainly will be doing, you need to find out what your kids have by elevating their roles. The veterans aren’t going get any better(unsure about Cole), so move the ones whose peaks are lower than your kids ceilings.

    • Ton says:

      good points here, question we need to ask ourselves>whom will be our spezza and alfredson, take a pick of the players you mention because getting rid of them all is impossible.

    • Mike D says:

      Good post, man.

      While I would never “want” the team to lose, if we’re not going to make the playoffs (and I’m positive we won’t) this year, I hope that’s also crystal clear to PG and Co. come February so the right type of moves can be made. We need to be sellers, not buyers.

      I personally would like to keep Pleks because I think he could be great as a legit #2 Center with a legit #1 Center on the roster. The problem is who do you move to get him, and what becomes of the DD/Eller scenario.

      – Honestly yours

    • LA Loyalist says:

      great post.

      No one wants to advocate for le tanque, but your analysis to me indicates that our only hope is the draft, and swapping out a few mid-level vets isn’t going to do squat. We need to accumulate draft picks and use them well.

      L’Anne du Tanque

  23. Lets raise a trade question here on HI/O?

    Would you think St Loius would trade Halak for Price?

    That’s a million dollar question here today?

    You’ll all know what the outcome would be?

    Let the debate begin…….

    My answer is YES…….St Louis would do it in a heartbeat. Right or wrong?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      St. Louis would dump Halak and Elliot and start Price in an instant.

    • Chris says:

      Why would/should they? They have a pair of goaltenders who have combined to give up the second fewest goals in the NHL, behind only Boston’s tandem of Thomas and Rask.

      If Price were a proven playoff goalie, then sure. But he hasn’t won anything in the NHL either. No knock against him, as I think he’s a great goaltender. But he’s not exactly a guy who is going to make a team with already strong goaltending salivate.

      Teams roll the dice if (i) they are weak in goaltending or (ii) contending for the Stanley Cup and worry that their goaltender’s lack of experience might become an issue. The Blues are strong in goaltending and Halak has won more playoff rounds than Price. Elliott was a Hobey Baker finalist and backstopped his Wisconsin-Madison Badgers team to the NCAA Division I championship. I don’t think either category really applies to them.

      If they go fishing at the deadline, it will be for scoring, not goaltenders.

    • Clay says:

      Who knows – but I think any Montreal fan would trade our whole team for their whole team. I would in a heartbeat.

      __________________________
      ☞ “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau. ☜

    • headbanger33 says:

      I agree, and Carey would probably play at the level we all expect him to play – his issue is between his ears.

    • kempie says:

      Yep, in a heartbeat. Most teams would trade their backup for Price.

    • HardHabits says:

      No. But I would trade the Habs for the Blues straight up. Like E1 did.

  24. shiram says:

    So now Habs need to win twice as many games as they lose over the next 40 games to have a chance at the playoffs.
    26 wins, 13 losses, I say they can’t do it, but it would quite a ride if they could.

    Alot of complaints around here about size and grit and toughness, and those elements would certainly help out, it seems to me the one major problem is the team not clicking on the powerplay, having the worst PP in the league makes it so the Habs cannot compete on most games.

    They fired Pearn since the PP was not working, his replacement did not improve the PP though.
    Who runs the PP right now, I am curious?

    They got Kaberle and he seems to have helped a smidgen, but not enough to really make an impact.

    Subban can’t hit the broad side of a barn with his shot, and that’s no help either.

    Still, there’s some good, DD is a great bargain for the team right now, Emelin brings a missing element to the team, Eller is coming into his game, Diaz is a nice surprise and Cole is everything we could have expected from him.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Shiram,

      You sound like Pierre Gauthier. Oh our PP isn’t clicking so I’ll bring in Kaberle and that will fix everything.

      Unfortunately Kaberle is useless as a defenseman. He might help the PP a tad on paper but he’s completely soft. And on top of it his contract is brutal.

      Sure Diaz is a nice little surprise but who cares. He is one of four smallish defenseman we have with a little offensive upside. I would rather a defensive defenseman with size and strength that keep the puck out of our end over him any day.

      Forget about fixing things on a stat sheet like 5 on 5 goals or the power play or even the penalty kill.

      First you need a stable team that is all on the same page with size, grit and determination.

      • shiram says:

        You are just saying that, but bring no argument as to why that would help the team.
        Do you mean to say that having the worst PP in the league would be ok if only the Habs players were bigger and tougher?
        I was not sold on Kaberle and I still dislike his deal.

        How can you fix problems on the team if you do not look at their areas of weakness?

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I just think it is ridiculous at this point to worry about certain areas of the game. The personnel is the major issue.

          The overall play, the mentality, the entire outlook must be changed first.

          People are so consumed by the stats sheet. Get the right guys in place first and those things take care of themselves. And once you have a solid team you can then maybe go out and make a trade to improve a certain area. But we’re not even close so worrying about certain areas like you mentioned makes no sense.

          • shiram says:

            I’m not worried, I’m just saying one of the greatest weakness of the Habs is their PP, and that improving the PP would greatly improve the team and it’s record.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I see your point. maybe we improve our PP and wind a couple more games.

            But then we face a big, strong and well-rounded team and just get steamrolled.

          • HabsFan1111 says:

            Although I hate to agree with ‘stats’ I do agree with Shiram 100%. We’ve had top 5 PP numbers for 5 of the last 6 years and it has kept us competitive. We live and die by the PP, unfortunately, currently the latter…

          • shiram says:

            I’m not looking at this season anymore, I mean whatever improvement they can make now is welcome, but the focus should be on making sure they have a competitive team next season.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Cool, lets add another smurf to make our PP better over the summer and see where it takes us. I’m sure will win the cup next year!

          • shiram says:

            In my first post I acknowledge that a player with size and toughness would help out the team, why do you feel the need to come back with the smurf thing?

  25. HabFanSince72 says:

    This place is like the Tea Party. Incoherent anger.

  26. smiler2729 says:

    Hey ManApart,

    Grow the F up, it’s hockey, it’s a game, it’s entertainment…

    My dear father-in-law was just told he has three months to live, my 7 year old struggles with mild dysphraxia, the economy is kicking a lot of people’s asses and YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT HOW YOU ARE RIGHT AND WE’RE ALL WRONG ABOUT A FREAKIN’ HOCKEY TEAM????

    I don’t know if I speak for others here but GET A LIFE.

    __________________________________
    Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

    • BJ says:

      For your father in law, as it looks like a last resort. If he’s open to this:
      http://phoenixtears.ca/video-library/
      And sorry to hear about your 7 year old. Hopefully some of the stem cell research might help in the near future.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      What’s up with you? Do you own the franchise on personal tragedy?

      The essential idea of The Montreal Canadiens is an idealism of human effort, sacrifice and team work, where individuals work together for an ideal of excellence. When people like you and I are discouraged, stressed and dismayed, we can take a couple of hours off and watch our team, with all its great tradition, play an exciting hockey game. Of course they won’t always win, but I think it is reasonable for us to expect that they will show up, compete, and leave it on the ice. And that management will conduct itself with class and honor our heritage.

      It is in bad times especially that sports provide a brief respite for people. Conn Smythe built Maple Leaf Gardens in the utter depths of the depression. Look at the joy he brought millions – at least until Dougie Gilmour retired.

      I am especially sorry about your son. My own boy is just a little older, he was born at 32 weeks weighing 3 1/2 pounds. 9 years later he is the #1 center on his hockey team.

      These things can, with God’s help, be overcome, and it’s the heroics of our sports heros – TimTebow – Saku with his cancer or his cut eyebell – that can inspire us and give us strength to fight our own battles.

      So when our sports heros turn out to be lazy over priced dickwads and management is the wizard of oz – well, it’s personal. It doesn’t mean we don’t have a life.

      Is perspective necessary, of course. But it doesn’t hurt to remember why we are sports fans in the first place.

      I hope you have some Saku-esque medical heroics in your future.

      • smiler2729 says:

        No, no, never meant it as a personal poor me thing, just meant we all have real life right in our faces every day, the bad stuff and the good stuff and to go over the top over a simple hockey game with name calling and condescending attitude is ridiculous!

        Didn’t mean to sound so dramatic, just used some examples that I’m positive we ALL face to make that point.

        And yeah, sports, hockey and the Habs are nice diversions but the kindergarten bullcrap spewed by some here is freakin’ annoying and so insignificant!!

        ___________________________________
        Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

    • sillywalk says:

      My son died. May I now have permission to comment on a hockey board?

  27. xaverian001 says:

    Question of the day: When the time comes for our lottery pick do we tote the company line and pick “the best player available”, or do we fill a need like a top line forward with size and finishing skill? There are a lot of d-men projected in the Top 10 of this year’s draft so do we pass up a guy like Dumba or Murray to take a forward? We do have Tinordi and Beaulieu coming up in the next couple years and Diaz and Emelin are coming along nicely now that they’re getting the ice time.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      There is an uneven supply of different positions in general (not in this draft but in general).

      For us, the need is a big center with brains, character and reasonably soft hands. If one is available, and we don’t draft him. I think I will walk in front of a bus (a parked bus, but a bus all the same).

      :-)

    • pottymonster says:

      i know absolutely nothing about his play style or character, but just from looking at the ISS top 30, i like:

      7. Brendan Gaunce, C 3/25/94 L 6.02 215 Belleville OHL

      i like him because hes big, hes a center, and hes canadian. if you’re ranked number 7, you must have some upside. knowing absolutely none of the other players except yakupov, and i wouldnt be so hyped about him because hes small and russian, i would take gaunce.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Make a post and ask Ian – he lives in Belleville, I believe, that’s where PK’s brother is goalie and Ian has posted about that. Probably sees your kid a lot.

        Serious reviews these kids, too. Interesting.

      • Chris says:

        Gaunce is very good. I’ve seen him play live about 7 or 8 times now (my brother is a season ticket holder for the Bulls).

        Good skater, great size (although I think 6’2″ is probably a bit exagerrated…I’m 5’11” and he’s not 3 inches taller than me) and good stick-handler. I haven’t found him to be overly physical (he doesn’t look for hits), but he can throw a big hit on occasion, especially when he gets mad. Still haven’t seen him be absolutely dominant on the ice, which is what I look for in junior players. Ryan Callahan, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty…all of those guys were people who absolutely controlled the play in most games when they were on the ice. Haven’t seen that from Gaunce, yet.

        As for small and Russian, Yakupov is 5’11” and 170 pounds. There’s this other 5’11” Russian guy who turned out to be an okay two-way hockey player…Datsyuk, or something like that… ;)

  28. PrimeTime says:

    Why does Halak get more love than than Theodore……..?? Because of Price. In Montreal the 2 will always be linked unless Price can hit another level and be “the guy” on a winning team. People tend to forget forget that Price is still a young goalie and has much experience to gain yet. He should still have his best years ahead of him. But like any of the potential stars on this team they have to battle history to be accepted by some fans. Due to the fact that Price has not achieved “Roy” like success in a Habs uni is not fair. Halak’s game peaked at a time when Price was learning and a legend was born. It was fun when it was happening but the over love for Halak was very much circumstantial on Price’s situation as opposed to great success. Besides, Price is English Canadian………would be admired by all fans in the West!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Montreal fans love a soap opera. The love to boo their own team and cause a ruckus by doing dumb s*&t like giving Halak a standing ovation.

      Someone should have tossed a beer at his head.

    • The Cat says:

      Theos relatives were in some shady dealings. Halak was like the bad news bears.

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

  29. Hobie Hansen says:

    It is just funny to have witnessed a strong contingent of HIO posters on here for the last several years who cry wolf when we play big teams, curse the NHL for not suspending players from big and strong teams when they play us, state that we have enough power forwards, and think that Gionta, Plekanec and Cammalleri are going to light up the other teams with their amazing speed and offense. Backing up management in their redicolous moves and thinking our blueprint of a speedly little team is correct.

    We need a bigger center, we need another power forward or two on the wing, we need a couple of brawlers on the 4th line, and we need some big and tough defenseman!

    END OF STORY!

    Firewagon hockey simply does not work! Especially with a bunch of smurfs.

    I love the team and that’s why I’m so harsh and talk about size and toughness day in and out.

    There was a time when this team had guys like Corson, Muller, Keane, Skrudland, Lemieux, Odelein…TOUGH!

    For over a decade we’ve been suffering with smurfs like Gionta, Petrov, Bure, Koivu, Cammalleri, Dackell and so many more.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Great post. The thing is these days, the big guys are fast, too.

      I’m fine with a couple of small players if they are highly skilled, but not a whole freaking team.

  30. psyko514 says:

    Anyone know Price’s record in games where they give him the Molson Cup? I’m convinced it’s a losing record.

  31. roady says:

    Habs lay an egg..nuthin’ new…expected it …Halak played well we made him look good, he is good but… 19 shots is pretty sad…bring on the Bruins I guess…should be a good one… got a real kick with the hype on Halak…think he’d won a cup er’ something…he’s still a back up…we kept the starter… Price is our man all the way and will be here a long time …like it or not…another loss and closer to the lottery …yippee.. they don’t have to tank, they’re just not that good folks, get over it…

    take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

  32. headbanger33 says:

    I’m not sure if I’m more embarassed at being a Habs’ fan or a Steelers’ fan right now.

    Equally depressing and pathetic seasons.

    • roady says:

      more embarassed for the Habs than the Steeler’s…Tebow is better than ppl think….if he were a muslim the press would love ‘em…but he is a bloody Christian who keeps to himself and doesn’t shove religion down your thraot…off on a tangent there…really tho’ the Habs just are not very good and it has nuthin’ to do with the coach…Go Denver…knock them all off and believe…John Elway is no fool…

      take your drink to the end of the bar buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

  33. aj says:

    its possible, like I said – its Gauthier who needs to fill in the blanks (or make trades: Subban probably).

    EDIT: Oh cool! my repost just got erased lol!!

  34. smiler2729 says:

    Typical Habs fans, one loss and you all freak out like hysterical kids, one win and you’re all talking proud.

    It’s a loss, it happens to all teams.

    The only loss that really f***ing bugged me was last season’s 7-0 embarrassment in Boston, all others are superficial.

    ___________________________________
    Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

  35. I read on Twitter that Chris Campoli has been traded to Tampa Bay for a 4th round draft pick. Is this true? Not mentioned on HI/0 yet?

  36. HabFanSince72 says:

    Lots of hate today.

  37. habs03 says:

    So glad this Halak thing is done, and he won’t see him for a while now. Only reason he is so “loved” is because he went out on a high note. I don’t remember Theodore being greeted with any cheers in his first return, that man did just as much as Halak and more IMO.

  38. AllHailTheFlower says:

    After watching last night’s one-sided match, I should think it would be obvious to all that the Habs are now sellers at the trade deadline. Certainly, there are players we’d like to retain (Eller, Subban, Price, Cole, Pacioretty, Emelin), but excluding those names, I’d have no problem with an all-out fire sale to end the season. What we have doesn’t work – it’s just that simple.

  39. JF says:

    Last night demonstrated clearly how far we are from being contenders. Thoroughly dominated all over the ice by a bigger, better, tougher team. Painful as it is, I think we now have to hope the Habs don’t make the playoffs. If we do, it will simply perpetuate the illusion that the team as presently constructed can compete in this league. Finishing near the bottom will not only land us a high draft pick, it will also give us the opportunity to start rebuilding in a different direction.

    It’s time for Bob Gainey to accept most of the blame for this situation. Since he took over about nine years ago, the team has improved enough to compete (barely) for the last couple of playoff spots – not much of an achievement when you consider how quickly other teams have managed to turn things around – Philly a few years ago, Florida and Ottawa this year, Toronto over the last couple of years.

    Not only does building through free agency not work, but relying on skill and speed while overlooking size and toughness is a recipe for disaster. The long contracts that Gainey handed out to small players have crippled the team and will do so for another couple of years unless Gauthier (or whoever takes over) can trade them. If he can’t, we face two more seasons of watching our team lose.

    • mrhabby says:

      Toronto has done nothing in years only this year they may have turned it around.
      Florida..sure this year is good..but what have they done the last 10 years.
      Philly..there bold.

    • aj says:

      Like I said from my previous post below, it’s Gainey’s fault that the Habs are on this mess now and Gauthier is getting the heat of it.

    • Chris says:

      I’m reluctant to read too much into this season…I very much doubt that the Habs make the playoffs this season, and it has appeared that way for about a month. They just haven’t gotten any traction.

      But part of that is unquestionably injury-related. As much as some here would like to say that injuries are an excuse, the reality is that injuries can quickly destroy whatever hope a team might have had going into the season.

      Pittsburgh has assembled some of the most talented players in the NHL. But they can’t keep them healthy, and are plummeting down the standings right now after a great start.

      Washington has assembled some of the most talented players in the NHL. But they couldn’t figure out how to get it done, and now the team is in the midst of a crippling identity crisis.

      Philadelphia is everybody’s favourite team this year, yet they struggled to get into the playoffs two years ago with a roster that included Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Danny Briere, Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux, Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, and Matt Carle. How was that even possible?!? Why? Slumps and poor goaltending. Last year, they were playing lights out for most of the season, saw Pronger go down to injury and promptly imploded in the playoffs.

      Chicago went from the Stanley Cup finals and many people’s pick as a new dynasty in the making two years ago to squeaking into the playoffs as the 8th seed and losing in the first round, all despite a collection of supremely talented and productive players (Kane, Toews, Keith, Seabrook, Sharp, Hossa, Bolland and Campbell) and only suffering injuries to three key players (Hossa, Campbell and Bolland).

      From my vantage point, this season hasn’t necessarily proved that the formula is wrong. But there are players that are clearly not working out in Montreal and it is time to cut bait. Scott Gomez obviously sits at the top of that pile, and I think most would argue that it is time to part with Hal Gill, Mathieu Darche, and potentially even Mike Cammalleri, whose playoff performances the past two years have been fantastic but who has demonstrated a maddening inconsistency the past two regular seasons.

      But there are bright spots. Pacioretty, Eller, Subban, Diaz, Emelin, Desharnais, Plekanec, Gorges, and Price give the team a solid, under-30 core on which to build. Leblanc showed potential to contribute as early as next season.

      What the team needs now is some bona fide goal scorers. Cammalleri and Gionta were brought in to fulfill that role but they have been disappointing in the regular seasons. If there is no salary cap amnesty included in the CBA this summer, it is time to bury Gomez in the minors. He is finished as an NHL player. With the $7 million from Gomez plus the $5 or $6 million one saves by trading either Cammalleri or Gionta (more likely Cammalleri), you’ve got a solid amount of money with which to pursue a top-notch player via trade.

      And it is via trades that the Habs have to get more proactive. Losing all that talent after Gainey let all those free agents walk was the critical mistake. Gauthier is new on the job and showed a willingness to deal when it might not be popular (Halak for Eller). The big question is whether he can pull the trigger on one of his struggling core players. If he can’t, the team needs to find somebody who will.

      And fans must become patient with the idea that a “star” might be traded for a collection of prospects and younger players that take a year or two to develop.

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        Excellent post Chris. Nice to see a calm, reasoned approach compared to the hysteria often found in posts (my own included).

        People seem to forget that it wasn’t all that long ago that the Habs weren’t making the play-offs at all. In the 4 seasons from 1999-2003 the Habs were a sub-.500 team (129-140-37-22)Gainey fixed that to a degree, but he was never able to find the combination that took them to “elite” team status. Now some of his moves are beginning to backfire as players get older and lose that 1/10 of a step that is often the difference between getting results and not. He, and the Habs, have not been lucky on the injury front either. Say what you will, but had Markov been 100% healthy over the past few years, the team’s results would have been different. The difference between now and the dark days of 2002-2003 is that this team has some young, exciting players who should only get better. I don’t remember the 2002-03 version of the team having an upside like that.

        I think you’re spot on that they should accept that this version of the team is no longer a viable contender. perserve the pieces they see as being part of a viable contender in a year or two, and start getting rid of the rest, hopefully getting something in return. The Sens and others are proof how quickly a team can turn things around if you keep the “right” veterans, get rid of those that are not part of your “future’ and let the young players play.

  40. ed lopaz says:

    I don’t understand the posters that are so “upset”, or so “surprised” by last night.

    there are 30 teams in this league – 30!!

    of the 30, on paper, player for player, the Habs are not top 10.

    we do not have a clear, established, star #1 center – plekanec is a #2 center.

    we do not have a clear, established, star #1 d-man – Subban is not ready to assume that role (although I am a big fan)

    we do not have a power play to speak of.

    we are not getting “stand on your head”, “I’m top 5 in the world”, goaltending from Price.

    so we are missing so many key pieces right now, there is almost no chance to beat a team like St Louis.

    sure, if we catch a few breaks, anything can happen.

    if Plekanec buries that breakaway we would have seen a much better game.

    but when Gainey was building a SMALL TEAM WITH SPEED, other teams were busy building BIG TEAMS WITH SPEED.

    we are slowly moving in the right direction – but it will take time.

    RC is a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

    Cole is a great addition.

    Yemelin looks like he will be a solid #3 or #4 d-man.

    but let’s not freak out over being beaten by a better team.

    that Blues team is looking real good.

  41. Hobie Hansen says:

    That David Backes is just amazing, even better under Ken Hitchcock.

    I turned the game on in the second period and the first thing I see is him on the forecheck just close in on Chris Campoli, body check him off the puck and create a scoring chance.

    Shortly after, I believe it was Eller along the boards, Backes nails him in the Montreal zone, takes the puck and makes a sweet pass to Stewart in the slot and he buries the puck.

    Montreal has Eric Cole who on occasion can forecheck like that but nowhere close to a guy like Backes. Andrei Kostitsyn can do the same on occasion. But that’s where it ends.

    Boston won the cup last year with a big and strong team, in the playoffs last year they held the puck in our zone for two minutes at a time! St. Louis is another team like that and it seems all the most successful teams follow their model.

    Our defense is too small and timid as well as a good chunk of our forwards.

  42. smiler2729 says:

    What an irrelevant, indistinct team… last night…

    Gut feeling: Habs beat Boston, Ottawa and NY Rangers

    ___________________________________
    Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

  43. BLACK ICE says:

    That’s fine. When Carey Price leaves Montreal then the Habs can get Halak back!

  44. mrhabby says:

    Kudo’s to the Blues for putting together a very good team with a nice blend of vets and young players. Fast, big and skilled, a team habs fans want there team to be like.
    Given parity in the league most teams just need to add the right pieces and hope for the best. Habs are not that far off. just have to ship a few out the door and get something better back with a higher ceiling who those players are i have no idea. i don’t think radical surgery is needed.

  45. stevieray says:

    a alround poor effort against a big fast opponet. Gentleman/Ladies we have ” work to do “…things aren’t good and the near future does not seem rosy .

  46. BLACK ICE says:

    Boone’s love affair of Halak last night is pathetic! He is not fit to write for a School paper.

    By the way that people are reacting to Halak you would think that Halak won a Cup for Montreal.

    Halak never won a Gold metal. Halak never won a Calder Cup where he was the MVP. Hell Halak never even won a Molson Cup!

    Is Halak better than Price? HELL NO! Price has played twice as many games as Halak this season.

    If anyone out there think for one solitary second that Halak would put up better numbers than Price on the Habs this season then U need to go back under your rock!

    • stevieray says:

      Maybe..just maybe Price is playing to many games.

    • Chris says:

      I wasn’t aware that Jaroslav Halak played for a country that was a legitimate threat to win an Olympic Gold medal. Carey Price never won that either, nor has he ever played for Canada in the Olympics.

      Halak never won a Calder Cup where he was the MVP. Of course, he never had a chance to do so, as the only year he might have been the goaltender for Hamilton in the playoffs, he was sent off to play for the Slovakian national team in the World Championships so that Price could get the starts in Hamilton.

      It is true that Halak never won a Molson Cup. Of course, he was only the starter in one season (2009-10), the year he stole Price’s #1 job after Price got injured and struggled upon his return.

      Both guys are good goalies. But you are comparing apples to oranges. I can 100% assure you that if Carey Price had been born Miroslav Pricic and was the starting goalie for Slovakia in 2006-07 instead of Canada at the World Juniors, he probably would never have received the opportunities he did as a professional hockey player, and he certainly would not have the hype.

      Tim Thomas also never won a gold medal at the Olympics, he never even made his World Juniors team for the US. He never got out of the first round in the AHL playoffs. He is small, not Canadian and plays an ugly style of goaltending.

      But he wins. Halak is no Tim Thomas, but Thomas might actually be a better guy for him to emulate. Thomas does not play 70 games a season, but he wins when he does play.

    • RGM says:

      I overreacted on the Internet once. It was fun.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • sillywalk says:

      “Hell Halak never even won a Molson Cup!”
      Sure he did; for December 2009.

      edited month.

      And for the year to boot. He must have won it more than once to win it for the year.
      http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=524630

  47. adamkennelly says:

    Where are all (and there are plenty of them) the HIOers who consistently say that the Habs lack of size and grit are non issues – perhaps they forgot to watch the game last night…MEN against BOYS..embarrassing really…Habs had no chance..Blues are huge and it really really matters – this the NHL..maybe the Habs should try to transfer over to the Swiss league where this team could have a chance.

    • HardHabits says:

      They are too busy studying deep stats.

    • G-Man says:

      It was more of an effort vs a lazy-ass-don’t-fight-for-anything effort. Piss poor as they say.

      _______________________________________________

      11 more losses to 9th place…or worse

    • Chris says:

      And yet the Blues, with all that speed and size, were chumps last season and played so poorly this season that they had to fire their coach.

      The Blues are riding excellent goaltending and a strong commitment to team defence to rocket up the standings. Basically, they are playing Jacques Martin or Jacques Lemaire hockey now and the results are following. The Blues are 17th in goals per game, right in the middle of the pack. Many of their wins are of the 1-0 or 2-1 variety.

      If their goaltending drops back just a bit, those wins suddenly become shootout victories and losses. No question they are playing well and firing on all cylinders, but do you really think Montreal is playing at optimal efficiency?

      Gionta was playing hurt and is out again. Plekanec appears to be dealing with nagging issues. Gomez is out. Markov is out. Cammalleri is in a funk. Subban is struggling offensively.

      There isn’t a team in the NHL that can withstand over $30 million of its payroll being either injured or slumping horribly. If you want proof, look no further than the Pittsburgh Penguins, who still boast a generational talent in Malkin, a #1 pick goaltender (Fleury), a top-notch two-way center (Staal) and a great power forward (Neal), all playing near the top of their ability. And yet they are in a complete free-fall down the standings due to long-term injuries to Crosby, Letang and Michalek as well as shorter-term injuries to key players like Martin, Orpik and Kennedy.

      • ed lopaz says:

        staal and neal both were hurt 2 games ago.

        otherwise, yes, I agree.

        • Chris says:

          Yeah, but they were already struggling.

          That being said, the Habs get knocked for being brittle but look at the Penguins. Malkin, Staal and Crosby can’t stay on the ice for any length of time, it seems. Martin, Michalek, Orpik, Kennedy…that team always has a number of guys sitting in the press box. It is crazy.

  48. John Q Public says:

    Na Na na NA Hey hey Goodbye!
    See you next season.

  49. avatar_58 says:

    BOSTON???

    30-0. Ugh.

    • HardHabits says:

      Boston lead the league in goals for and goals against for an outstanding +70 goal differential. At the friggin’ half way point!!!! +70 is almost double the next team at +36.

  50. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Just an awful game to watch last night.

    Gauthier has some big decisions to make in the coming weeks. Glad its him and not me.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      Just talking about the return on the players and the desperation in trying to rid this once great club of the players that would not make a Q team.

      I am with you though, quite a few players need to go. Cammalleri would be 1st removal.

    • mrhabby says:

      suggestions HH?

      • HardHabits says:

        Stay the course. A very painful course.

        Nobody will touch Gomez, Cammy or Gionta in a trade. So in the meantime sign any and everybody that comes in cheap that has size and grit. Put some meat to insulate the little big 3. Don’t play Price more than 60 games for next two seasons. Try as best to trade whatever you can for picks between here and 2015. Do not rush the kids. Draft high, draft often, develop slowly, use the growing leverage to start making trades for quality players that fit the mould of big, strong, skilled and speedy. Do not over-pay for veterans. Do not delve too deeply into free agency unless it is for elite talent or complimentary players at a good value. If Subban, Eller, Price or anybody else gets an offer sheet that exceeds the player’s value take the picks. Even if it is Price or Subban. The Flyers let Carter and Richards go. The Bruins let Kessel go. They could afford to. The Habs do not have the depth yet and must also follow suit. There is no way they will build a championship following the failed business model they have been pursuing since Roy was traded.

        Rebuild from within. Forget the play-offs for a few seasons if need be. Explain the reality of today’s NHL to the fans. Tell them it will better to have an elite team in a few years than a mediocre one for perpetuity.

        The Habs could come up smelling like roses by 2015. If not they will continue to look like sh!t.

  51. aj says:

    This game is a good example, out of all examples, of just how bad this team is poorly structured right from the get go.

    I can already say that regardless of Bob Gainey’s intentions of rebuilding the team back in ’09, he really destroyed the team itself. I can’t blame Gauthier for doing a lot of patch work since he took the GM position back in 2010. Why? Because he has to take the flak of what the last person did.

    Here’s the present: we have 2 lines that can work and move forward, 1 line that’s useless and 1 line that’s a question mark

    Gionta-Plekanec-Cammalleri
    Cole-Desharnais-Pacioretty/Gomez
    Kostitsyn-Eller-Moen
    Darche-Nokelainen-Blunden/Leblanc

    Its funny! I have to insert Gomez’s name in the 2nd unit since RC considered him as a “top 6 forward”.

    Our Dmen have the same issue: 2 or 3 players are just as useless as the 3-4 attackers in front

    Gill
    Kaberle
    Campoli
    Subban
    Gorges
    Diaz
    Emelin

    Cunneyworth’s work got streched last night because he was trying to find a fix on the first line. but the Blues kept pushing and our Habs team don’t have the right pieces to make goal and play good defence. 19 SOG! Pathetic!

    If Gauthier should assess this team right now, IMHO this is what he must be looking at: Look at the lines this team work and remove the ones that don’t. Next, he should make trades and rebuild this team even though the season has not yet finished. The way I see it, this might look well for the Habs lineup right now:

    Cole-Desharnais-Pacioretty
    Kostitsyn-Eller-Moen
    Darche-Nokelainen-Blunden
    Leblanc-Plekanec-???

    Subban-Gorges
    Emelin-Diaz
    ???-???

    Must trades: Gionta, Plekanec (if included), Cammalleri, Gill, Kaberle, Campoli
    Must be sent to the Minors: Gomez

    With those question marks that are already in the lineup, I would like to see the Habs 2012-2013 season look like this:

    Cole-Desharnais-Pacioretty
    Kostitsyn-Eller-Moen
    Gallagher-Leblanc-??? (probably Bournival or Blunden)
    ???-???-??? (Optional: Plekanec as Centre if he doesn’t get traded)

    Subban-Gorges
    Emelin-Diaz
    Bealieu-Tinordi

    2012 MidSeason Trades: Darche, Nokelainen, Budaj, White
    2012 Buyouts: Gomez

    The question right now is how can Gauthier fill in those blanks.

  52. pierre lapuck says:

    I don’t speak French so I don’t understand the comments in the “report card” section; but what I cannot iunderstand is whyt anyone other than #31 got a passing grade. Some of my scores wold be:
    Cammy-3.5
    Gionta- 4.0
    Plek- 5.5
    DD- 3.5
    what a bunch of weak-wristed figure skaters masquerading as hockey players

  53. habstrinifan says:

    I do not want us to make the playoffs.

    I want EVERYONE (management) associated with this year gone. Sorry re RC but while he is a good coach and a better person, HABS needs more.

    I want Timmins to be put in charge of hiring a person specifically assigned to player development.

    I want a new GM, a new coach, new assistant coaches, and a team psychologist hired.

    I do not want us to ‘TANK’…. just play out the season with one purpose… real player evaluation and fit on the team going forward….Every player!

    I want to hire (hush hush like) someone to stop my brother-in-law from phoning me and asking if I heard anything new on the rumours that Montreal was gonna get an NHL TEAM! He thinks he’s funny!!!

  54. joewindsor habfan says:

    Ugly game! Desharnais has been bitten with the gomer-initous syndrome skating up the ice making passes to his imaginary friends or half ass passes that do not get through. Darche, continues to suck wind and take space and of course Cammaleri is just missing in action. Felt sorry for Price again hung out to dry…

  55. DrunkenKeith says:

    Somewhat of a sobering game to watch last night – Habs were simply beaten by a better team. On a brighter note, Emelin seems to get better and better, and is now one of the leading hitters in the league. I’m looking forward to Markov returning and seeing this tandem in action!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He is a good hitter but he makes a ton of mistakes in his own end. I hope that improves

      • DrunkenKeith says:

        Yeah, had a couple of gaffs last night, too. But I think he’s improving and has potential. Diaz looks promising, as well.

        • Ton says:

          Diaz!!?? One of the mistakes we made (serious one) when we were building our team is that we needed to understand that you cannot build the entire team (or core) with small players. Nothing wrong with small players but having too many will hurt you. We have too many small players on this team and more coming in gallager. pick and select a couple and build with 6 footers!

        • habstrinifan says:

          I agree with Ton below re Diaz. I only watched he first period, he was among the most horrible.

          • Mad Habber says:

            Yeah I honestly haven`t watched a lot of games this year but the ones I have watched Diaz has not impressed me. I just don`t see why everyone thinks he is so great. Him and Kaberle together are a train wreck waiting to happen, but then Kaberle is train wreck by himself.

    • Ton says:

      I agree that Emelin has developed but he did not play a good game yesterday! I judge players on the amount of team pressure they get from opposing teams. Certainly the cracks showed playing against a bigger team that forechecks extremely well. With this said Emelin is certainly a keeper but we need changes and a clean up a la cliff fletcher<Brian Murray!

    • The Cat says:

      I love Emelin, yeah he made a booboo and will make more but hes one of the best on the habs right now.

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

  56. HardHabits says:

    I am still here fighting the good fight. Winning too.

  57. aj says:

    We should not put the blame on Gauthier for making it worse. The only decision I think he did wrong like Gainey is the Kaberle trade. JM’s firing and RC’s upgrade to “interim” head coach is a good move (I don’t care about the language politics).

  58. Seps says:

    I never liked Martin because he never won anything with good teams in Ottawa, yet I didn’t see him fired until the GM saw fit, weird. You’d think what we say on this website has direct impact on Habs managements thoughts…

  59. habs03 says:

    Please name me the bad moves PG has done since being GM, bring examples, give me trades, show me what’s lopsided, I hate ppl that bash with no examples. He has be a so-so GM. For sure not as bad as some make him seem. Kaberle trade, 4.25M 6.75% of the cap for a guy that as 8 points in 13 games, and only is -2. Kept the right goalie, slowly is making the team bigger…..

  60. The Cat says:

    Yes, the gm has made all the right moves, yes they kept the better goalie and yet theyre close to last place?

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

  61. smiler2729 says:

    Hey ignoramus,

    Grow the F up, it’s hockey, it’s a game, it’s entertainment…

    Get a life.
    ___________________________________
    Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

  62. smiler2729 says:

    You don’t give a crap about hockey, just about being “right”.

    ___________________________________
    Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

  63. Ton says:

    PG acted alone, bob g is an advisor only. actually i think BG did a good job and way better than what PG is doing now. I do agree with you PG made some bad moves especially in the last 8 months.

  64. Chris says:

    Yeah, but the surprise is that they are both better than Washington and Tampa Bay. I don’t think many people saw THAT coming. :) I had Winnipeg fighting for Yakupov and figured that Florida would be better.

    But I didn’t see them doing nearly as well as they are.

  65. LA Loyalist says:

    Harsh, dude, not like the bus is moving or anything… :-)

  66. LA Loyalist says:

    Garon beat us. What does that tell you?

  67. Chris says:

    LA: He’s also beat Florida (3 times), the Rangers and Philly this season. What does that tell me?

    Absolutely nothing. :)

  68. LA Loyalist says:

    Sigh. You can take all the money from the rich once. Then what?

    I don’t know what you do for a living, but an evil capitalist probably created your job.

    The Tea Party is our last hope or we will slide into a Trudeau/Obama wet dream – Europe. How did that work out?


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