Snow!

There was a little dusting of the white stuff last night in Montreal.

With lots more to come.

On the Lord’s day, let’s thank the heavens for hockey – an alternative to hibernation.

Today’s argument-starter: How about a Triple-G Geezer Line: Gomez, Gionta and … Bill Guerin?

Firepower fizzles – Pat Hickey

Quotes from the room

Arpon Basu’s game story from NHL.com

Pierre Ladouceur’s analysis

Marc de Foy’s game story

• Damien Cox on the punchless Leafs

Video scout Jarred Friedman thinks Canadiens fans need a laugh today.

 

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300 Comments

  1. SeriousFan09 says:

    What I like about Leblanc’s season? Twice he bagged the SO winner for the Juniors. Seems to be coming up big for his team at the right times. Can’t wait to see him at the WJC, hopefully along with Gallagher, that kid is tearing up the WHL.

    I eagerly await his Hamilton debut next season, or this one if he’s signed like Dumont was to play the AHL Playoffs if the Juniors playoffs end early and don’t make the Memorial Cup. His playing with Kristo in 2011 could be quite a show.

     

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

  2. ed lopaz says:

    when Louis was in grade 10, as a 15 year old, he was the best midget AAA player in Quebec.

    He was ready for the Q as a 15 year old.

    Instead, he was convinced to return to midget AAA, where he promptly broke record after record.

    Then he went to play a season in the USHL – instead of year 2 in the Q – and was rookie of the year; averaging a point per game in a league filled with 18, 19, year old top notch prospects.

    Instead of year 3 in the Q, he played a year at Harvard – and did quite well. – I believe he was rookie of the year again

    so this should be HIS 4TH year in major junior hockey.

    SF, if louis does not average AT LEAST 1.5 points per game, he will be very disappointed.

    20 points so far in 13 games seems about right.

    there are 16 year old defenceman in the league – he is only playing there so he can play 1 tournament for Canada’s under 20 this Christmas – a lifetime dream, no doubt.

    he would be perfect in Hamilton right now.

    I really like Eller, by the way – the talent is obvious – but what I really like is his work ethic, his maturity, and his drive.

    In the Q, a 1993 who will not be eligible until 2012, that I really like is Martin Frk. (Halifax)

    I’m following him quite closely.

     

     

     

    I love my country, that does not mean I support the present government.
    I love the Habs, that does not mean I support the present Habs management.

  3. VancouverHab says:

    Let’s agree to disagree over this, SD buddy.

  4. VancouverHab says:

    ‘Preciate that, gentlemen. Positivity in positive times makes sense :–)

  5. HFX-HabFan says:

    It’s Mikko, not Mikka.  And the opportunity was “missed” because the Wild took him one pick before we picked in ’01.

  6. LA Loyalist says:

    Not only would the team be better with Koivu and Streit, we’d have some cap room (though I don’t remember what Streit cost). And I guess we can’t count that Streit is severely injured.

    We have not replaced Streit (who replaced Souray successfully), and of course we miss Koivu. As Serious has pointed out, the opportunity was missed to have both Saku and Mikka.

    there’s some guy out there wearing #11, but Saku he’s not.

     

  7. SeriousFan09 says:

    Ed! You’re still here after all, how are you liking Leblanc’s numbers in the Q?

     

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

  8. Duracell3 says:

    In fairness you can’t really compare Streit to Spacek, they fill totally different roles and their pay to a  large degree also represents that.

     

    Aside from that, Boullion, Koivu, and Kovalev a couple games a month.

  9. ed lopaz says:

    although the smart dog knows his poop, we should let Gomez and Gionta work out their issues.

    the team is doing well; that’s the big picture.

    you need to “tweak” a few things here and there, but now is not the time to do anything too drastic –

    we need to keep “working” things out – you’re right.

    but when a team is winning, you don’t mess with that winning formula too much.

    its a “cardinal” rule of sports management.

    I love my country, that does not mean I support the present government.
    I love the Habs, that does not mean I support the present Habs management.

  10. Mikey_39 says:

    I agree with you on the first point.  Any experimenting on the power-play that JM wants to do, should have been done before Markov came back.  What a dumbass move that was not having Markov out there.  We’ve all seen what he’s capable of especially when given some space.  Markov should have been at the left point, with cammallieri at the right face off circle, to be set up with a cross ice one timer.  Plecky at center, and Gionta was exactly where he needed to be.  

    Which brings us to the next point.  I don’t see why we’re so hard on Gionta.  He is working his butt off. And the chances are all there he just can’t seem to buy a goal.  It’s almost unreal.  Anyone who watches enough hockey knows that this stuff happens.  You just get into these periods where it seems like nothing can go in.  But if he keeps playing the way he’s playing things will start clicking for the poor guy.  Gomez needs to be scratched for a game or too, because contrary to Gionta, it doesn’t look like he’s trying hard enough to break out of that slump.  He seems to have gotten a little too comfortable.  I think sitting Spacek would be a good idea too.  

  11. Danno says:

    Or steal one.

    Even a garbage goal would do. A nice greasy one.

     

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

  12. joeybarrie says:

    I don’t think we are watching the same games. Gomez is getting the puck to WHERE THE OTHER PLAYERS ARE. The timing is off there is no doubt about that. And I don’t want to make it seem as if Gomez is playing brilliantly out there. However, He is playing the same game as he did last year. His passes are in different areas and in spots where the players can put the puck on the net. Problem is we are MISSING the net. Gomez set up Cammi twice last night and twice Cammi missed the net. Twice Gomez got the puck to Gio and twice Gio couldnt put it in. How can you say Gomez is not trying new things when he normally passes no matter what and last night he led the team in shots?

    Makes no sense.

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

  13. joeybarrie says:

    Make sure you put the whole statement i said from the post. What message do you send when you bench your Captain, and your team is in first place in the league……….

    Very important.

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

  14. punkster says:

    So let me get this straight and play “silly bugger” at the same time, OK SD ;)… you want to bench a couple of the hardest working guys in the league because they’re working hard but not scoring yet? You think that penalizing, shaming, embarrassing a couple of the top dogs in the game today, one of them the “C” of this proud team, that this will teach them a lesson, wake them up, make them…what’s the phrase I’m looking for…hmmm, let me see…WORK HARDER?

    This has to be one of the very worst suggestions I have seen on this site for dealing with the issue. They’re a duo, one of the more successful in the league and one of the most experienced tandems around, a pair of players with all the tools required to make an impact every single shift. You give talent time, space and trust and that talent will come through for you. They’ll work it out. You don’t try to control, manipulate, denigrate or punish talented people for doing what they do best (ie…working hard and oh-oh there’s that phrase again).

     

  15. HabsTrueBlue says:

    I agree.

    Despite their lack of offensive results Gomez is +1 and Gionta is even (0). Martin is doing the right thing giving them time to work themselves out of their slumps.

  16. aemarchand11 says:

    The team could not score last night, Gomez does need to switch things up. But we’re 7-3-1, 2nd in the conference at the end of October. This team has bounced back after each loss with a few wins, so I am expecting the same after this with a few days rest.

    My comment didn’t even have anything to do with you, its a general opinion and many agree with me. Nothing more, and nothing less.

  17. punkster says:

    I take your suggestion of benching the Gs, or at least one of them, as being very reactionary. I’m sure others do as well. Bordering on freak out.

    A sensitive dog is not a contented dog. Have a cookie and chill.

     

  18. HardHabits says:

    This is a really good post. I concur.

  19. otter649 says:

    Buffalo has benched/not dressed their captain Craig Rivet the last two games as he has struggled to game form since coming back from a pre-season injury ?

  20. VancouverHab says:

    Obviously I disagree–180 degrees. Martin would be an “ASS” to bench Gionta & Gomez. Obviously he is as far from an ‘ASS” when it comes to coaching in the National Hockey League as it is possible to be. Hence, he, quite correctly (in fact, all-but unarguably) is not benching that pair.

    But one doesn’t need to be a coach of Martin’s elite and well-authenticated stature to know that it would take an “ASS” to bench two consistemly hard-working, grinding, high-leadership providing, unassailably established and invaluable (near the top of the League as) shutdown players in crunch situations.

    It is with amateur fans — those of us who absolutely lack credential, credibility or experience — where one will find the use of mere individual totals (and that at the nascent stage of the 82-game season, not the Stanley Cup playoffs) as a item determinate of playing time.

    Players doing what Gomez & Gionta are doing on the ice & in the locker room (i.e. contributing to our current FIRST PLACE position) need to be praised & rewarded, not punished.

    Fortunately, Martin is at a level where this is obvious to him.

    Just my two cents….

  21. HardHabits says:

    Sounds like you’re freaking out to me. Not about Gomez, which is a given for SD, but about his post. 😉

  22. HFX-HabFan says:

    I don’t think his post mentioned you at all- relax, the sky isn’t falling.

  23. HFX-HabFan says:

    I wholeheartedly agree.  To win seven out of ten without our most important player, and then suffer a brief hiccup upon his return, is fine in my books.  I’d rather iron out the kinks now and have Markov in the lineup when we face the bigger boys in the schedule.

  24. SmartDog says:

    It really bugs me when people post things like this. YOUR post is the reactive one.

    No-one (myself included) is freaking out.  If you rea my posts they’re not at all like that. I was suggesting the 2nd line needs a wake-up call before we lost our last game.  It’s obvious to me.  And doesn’t take away from the fact that 3/4 of our team is playing well and that the team as a whole is (obviously) succeeding.

    Successful teams keep working on things even when they are winning.

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  25. Danno says:

    I think that’s right FB. And that shot only missed by a hair if I recall correctly.

    Combine that with Gionta’s two close-but-no-cigar chances and we could have won this one, if only.

     

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

  26. SmartDog says:

    What kind of message are you sending the WHOLE TEAM when you bench your Captain?

    You’re sending a message that no-one is untouchable.  Though I wasn’t saying he should be benched necessarily.  But he and Gomez need to be seperated at the very least, to shake things up.  Whether Gionta goes to the third line or the first to me matters less than that SOMETHING is done to change the (failing) chemistry of these guys.

    You guys are ALL seeing this as some kind of “crazy” punishment I am proposing. What I am saying is that players NEED the coach to DO SOMETHING when they are in a funk, and Martin is not helping them.  

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  27. aemarchand11 says:

    Just one game, the sky has not fallen.

    Go Habs Go!
    2010-2011

  28. SmartDog says:

    Worth every koruna – and then some!

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  29. otter649 says:

    Isn’t MAB still rehabbing from knee surgery & not ready to play NHL hockey ?

  30. SmartDog says:

    Sending Hamrlik “to the minors” is one thing (and you have a point), but shaking up the 2nd line by either moving someone onto the 3rd line or even benching a guy who’s not performing for a game is totally different and needs to be done.  Benching a guy for one game is no big deal in the scheme of things.  In fact, leaving him out there to try over and over again to try and try something that isn’t working is like not pulling your goalie after the 5th goal on 15 shots.

    Related, the idea that Gomez and Gionta BELONG together is to me, part of the problem. 

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  31. FB says:

     If Cammy buries one of his two open-in-the-slot chances that he completely misses the net on both times it’s a different game

    I thought he missed the net twice as well but the goalie got lucky on one of them and got the shaft of his stick on the puck and sent the puck over the net.  It would have been top corner if he had not.

  32. mrhabby says:

    Martin is a veterans coach. There is very little chance he would bench Gomez or Gionta and for that matter Spacek or Hammer. I think i read some where that Hammer should be sent to the minors so the habs could clear his salary. Thats laughable. That would really send a great message to the team not to mention other players around the league. Hockey players have long memories. Let the players who are in a slump work it out.

  33. mrhabby says:

    Martin is a veterans coach. There is very little chance he would bench Gomez or Gionta and for that matter Spacek or Hammer. I think i read some where that Hammer should be sent to the minors so the habs could clear his salary. Thats laughable. That would really send a great message to the team not to mention other players around the league. Hockey players have long memories. Let the players who are in a slump work it out.

  34. FB says:

    Gionta can’t buy a goal!

  35. SmartDog says:

    It’s impossible not to be happy with our play overall this year and especially our record.  But I disgree with both of you about being complacent about our 2nd line’s failrure to perform.  Remember our centennial year when we started out something like 7-and-1?   The team has to keep working on its weakenesses because the strengths won’t always carry the day.  And our biggest weakness is our 2nd line.  I’m not saying trade somebody or even necessarily bench somebody.  But Martin needs to do SOMETHING to shake them up.  For their own good and the teams.  Change wakes up players. 

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    Joey, I think we are on the same boat.

  37. Ian Cobb says:

    Still a great game to watch last night Dog. If we win 4 and lose 1 coming up again, I’ll be very pleased. We are getting better every game. I don’t want to peak to early. I know we are only in first place right now. We won’t have anything to cry about on here if they did not drop a game or two.

  38. joeybarrie says:

    I disagree with number 1. JM did the right thing. The guys have limited chemistry on the PP agreed, however in his first game back I would not have put him there either. Not a big deal at all. i don’t know why we are making a big thing of it. It’s not the reason we lost. Gionta not scoreing on those two gifts is the reason. Not blaming him, I love him and his game, but he is incredible unlucky lately.

    2. How can you bench veterans when your team is number 1 in the league? They are not scoring because they are floating around not caring, they are just unlucky… Sitting a guy who is working hard is stupid and sends a BAD message to the rest of the guys when they will eventually go thru their slump. JM is a smart coach, smarter than simply benching a guy when he doesn’t score. As for the 3 who were benched scoring their goals. Goal number 2 was a penalty shot. Bad turnover and a 50% chance to score. The third goal was the results of a lucky bounce that Price had to stretch to save the first and he found himself in the right spot to score. What kind of message are you sending the WHOLE TEAM when you bench your Captain?

    3. I don’t agree with Eller being better having spent this season in the minors. Playing against the best is how you become the best. No reason to keep him there when he is pbviously ready to play in the NHL. His production will come, just like Gio’s, Gomez and the rest.

    Pouliot is doing well on the depth lines, and thats not a bad thing. I think he will get back up to the top two, but while he is making it happend with the guys on 3, keep him there. He is learning valuable lessons and showing his depth which is GREAT for his confidence.

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

  39. ZepFan2 says:

    We’ll soon find out…

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=339418

    ————————————————————————

    “Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.”

  40. Danno says:

    Rewarding to the last rupee

     

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

  41. otter649 says:

    I believe you’re trying to communicate with Mr Tony & one of his many usernames……….

  42. SmartDog says:

    Anyone thinking Gomez is the problem on that line is clueless

    Gionta is snake bitten no question.  But Gomez does the EXACT SAME PLAY EVERY TIME.  He skates behind the net and dumps it out.  You think that other teams havent’ figured that out?   Duh-uh.  The center needs to be creative, and needs to change things up.   Last year even Gomez was doing more… this year, it’s the same, same, same.  Terrible, just terrible.  Oh – and with 3 minutes to go I love his breaking into offensive zone.  Gomez crosses the blue line… blind pass back to… oops!  To a Panther forward, puck goes the other way… game over.   Gomez is lousy this year.  Much worse than last year.  He just is. The numbers aren’t lying.

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!


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