Tanking? Habs play like tanks in win over Oilers, roll on to Vancouver

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A bedsheet becomes an editorial comment for Habs fans in Rexall Place last night.
Andy Devlin, NHLI via Getty Images

So, Canadiens fans went to bed with smiles on their faces last night and cried themselves to sleep. Such is being a Habs supporter this season, the team 14 games from its offseason and every win that defends club pride potentially damaging chances come the entry draft.

The Habs’ 5-3 win over the Oilers in Edmonton Thursday night was Montreal’s first victory in the city since the outdoor Heritage Classic in 2003. Max Pacioretty scored twice Thursday, his empty-net 30th of the season making him the franchise’s first American-born player to score 30.

The dark cloud, and you knew there’d be one: centreman David Desharnais left the game in the second period, returned for one shift in the third, then disappeared with a lower-body injury. Update to come today; on the tube last night, he appeared to be favouring a leg, perhaps a hamstring.

The Habs chartered to Vancouver after the game and have a 1:15 p.m. PT practice scheduled. Colleague Mike Boone is hitchhiking across the Rockies as we speak in an attempt to get there. (This just in: Boone has encountered a Sasquatch that looked exactly like Zdeno Chara. Thinking quickly, Boone yelled “Max-Pax has 30!” and the ugly critter ran back into the woods.)

As for tanking: Fans saying the Habs should roll over to improve draft position shouldn’t kid themselves: with the physical and mental pounding these players have taken this season, and will take for another 14 games, they’re not going to lose intentionally. Having been groomed since novice hockey to win hockey games, they’re not simply going to lose to ultimately benefit what might be the Canadiens’ most dysfunctional management team in club history.

Béliveau update: I spoke Thursday night with Élise Béliveau, who said her husband, Jean, continues to make slow but steady progress in hospital from the stroke he suffered Feb. 27.

Mike Boone’s game report

More from Boone on the game

NHL.com recap, game summary

Director Philippe Falardeau (left) of the film Monsieur Lazhar, poses with actor Viggo Mortensen of the film A Dangerous Method as they hold their Genie awards behind a  Canadiens flag at the 32nd Genie Awards in Toronto, Thursday night. Mortensen, a huge Habs fans, said his team would be back “with a vengeance” next season.
Mark Blinch, Reuters

337 Comments

  1. habsnyc says:

    30% chance Habs draft first overall.
    70% chance Gainey says to pick a goalie.

    Anyone who thinks PG is good should look at Montreal’s defense. In 2010, it was clear that three of the teams’s defensemen – Hamrik, Sapcek and Gill were getting older and needed to be replaced over the next two seasons. This was further complicated by injuries to Gorges and Markov.

    Last season, PG rented three defensemen in WIz, Mara, and Sopel and used Picard as a one season stop gap. In the offseason, he did not sign any defenseman to a long term contract or trade for one. He brought in three untested players in Diaz, Weber and Emelin and signed Campoli who does not make the roster most nights. He traded Spacek for Kaberle and Gill for a pick.

    PG has taken this team from Markov, Gill, Spacek and Hamrlik to Kaberle, Campoli, Emelin/DIaz, Weber. The drop off in veteran defensive ability is massive and he had two years to fix it.

    On top of not replacing the defensemen, he failed to get a third line center to support the defense. He rented Moore and Halpern, but did not get a legitimate third line center for this season.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  2. Forum Dog says:

    It won’t surprise me if, in 365 days, Gauthier is having the last laugh on those jokers with the banner. Although some of his moves might make you scratch your head at first, there is a method there.

    He signed Campoli when it was clear Markov was not coming back at the start of the year. Campoli got hurt and has failed to contribute when healthy. Not a good move, but a necessary one at the time. Remember, the season hadn’t started and there were no trade options available.

    Fired the Assistant Coach when the special teams struggled and the team was in need of a shakeup. Put the coach on notice. People get upset about the timing of it, but I say it doesn’t matter when it was done. If you’re Pearn, the only thing that matters is that you got canned. When it happened is incidental.

    He traded for Kaberle when Campoli was hurt and it was clear Markov was gone long-term. Not necessarily the player you want, but the best he could get under the circumstances. All that was given up was a pending UFA. People think Kaberle is an albatross, but his contract is not that bad and he has put up points with Montreal. There is some value there, even if his defence is horrible. If there isn’t a place for him next year, some team may well take a chance.

    Fired the Coach. The team was playing uninspired .500 hockey and the fans were all calling for his head. Players were unhappy and something had to give. Allowed the anglo assistant coach to take over as interim. Despite howls from the peanut-gallery, this is a no-brainer. Why would you go out and sign someone else to an expensive contract at an important position when you don’t even know what kind of team you have? Cunneyworth knew the system, knew the players, was under contract, and deserved a shot. It hasn’t worked out, but the loss is minimal. Good move.

    Traded a disgruntled, undersized $6M scorer who couldn’t snipe for a $3M winger with size and speed who is comfortable on the 3rd line. Freed up a tonne of cap-space at a time when he needs to resign Subban and Price to long-term deals. Plus got a promising offensive prospect who is now under contract. Good trade.

    Traded a pending UFA D-man and an underachieving UFA forward for two 2nd rounders and a serviceable forward prospect with some upside. This trade was done when it was clear the playoffs were out of the question and that the rebuild was on. Good trade.

    Bottom line: This year has been a tumultuous one, but I think Gauthier deserve a chance to rectify things. Big picture, he has shed salary, made the team bigger and more physical, and worked with the scouting staff to deepen the prospect pool. A couple more moves (adding strength at D and moving Gomez) combined with healthy seasons from the Captain and the franchise D-man will go a long way toward getting the Habs back in the thick of things next year. Phew. Long post….

    • habfan53 says:

      This is just one crappy post.
      What you say is correct and it makes sense PLUS you are defending Gauthier . Be prepared to be tarred , Feathered and run off this site.

      to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

      • Forum Dog says:

        Bahahaha!!! I expect nothing less. I’ve scratched my head about Gauthier’s moves myself at times. Unfortunately, the big picture brought me around in the end. If the Habs still suck this time next year, I’ll join the mob….

        • habfan53 says:

          Agree. I liken the Markov situation to Crosby’s in Pittsburg .
          Who would have thought that Sid the Kid would have played only 8 games in 14 months.
          If Markov and Gionta had been healthy and played all year we would be challenging Boston.

          to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

          • Cardiac says:

            Whoa, whoa, whoa… let’s not get delusional here.

            A) Gionta had 15 points in 31 games, hardly significant numbers.
            B) Markov has played 52 games since 2009. He’s 33 going on 34 and coming off back-to-back knee surgeries and will not be the dominating player we remember.

            “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
            – Jerry Maguire

          • Forum Dog says:

            @Cardiac

            a) True that Gionta is not a top-flight point producer, but that doesn’t dimish what he brings to the team. He has an infectious work ethic, kills penalties, and consistently pots betwee 20 and 30 goals. There is a reason he is the Captain. He gets knicked up because of the difference between the size of his heart and the size of his stature, but there is no question he is a top-six NHL forward. Imagine the team with him in the lineup instead of Palushaj or Darche. Huge step up in overall ability.

            b) Markov has been the single most important part of the Habs franchise for quite a while now. The last two years have been brutal for him, and the effect on the team has been evident, especially this year when it was expected he would be back from the start. How many times have analysts pointed out the Habs record with him in the lineup vis-a-vis without him? Many. It may be that his knee is never the same, but as long as it is structurally sound, I for one won’t be too worried. His game has never been based solely on his legs. His strengths are his smarts and puck skills. Those you don’t lose.

          • fastfreddy says:

            Markov’s situation is nothing like Crosby’s in Pitt. Crosby was already signed,just injured. Markov was unsigned and injured.

            CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • dsturge10 says:

      One of the most realistic and logical posts I have read here in a long time. Granted this season has been painful to watch as fans, the future is much brighter. It is very easy for all of us “arm chair” coaches and GM’s to sit back and complain day after day. Let’s not forget how many man hours have been lost in this season due to injury. Under the circumstances, I think Gauthier has responded well, however I also believe that he and RC will be seeking employement elsewhere next season.
      Let’s face it, Montreal has never been a patient place for players, coaches, and GM’s. Let us remember that it was not all that long ago that the Sens appeared to be in a position where it seemed that Murray would be getting the axe. Upper management showed patience in the process and stood by their GM. That confidence has helped turn that team around in a short period of time.

    • Mike D says:

      PG should print your post and bring it into his end-of-season meeting with Geoff Molson. Seriously – it might just save his job!

      Very good, very sound post, Forum Dog.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • Propwash says:

      This whole post is sigworthy.

      _____________________________
      Don’t let the wultures getcha.

    • habsnyc says:

      All of PG’s moves were reactions to shortcomings he failed to anticipate in a timely manner. The issue is not how he reacts to the shortcomings, but his inability to anticipate or plan for these shortcomings.

      PG began the season with a roster bereft of NHL talent. He struggled to find roster players as the exhibition season ended. He began the season without two of the three top powerplay defensemen from the prior season and wondered why the powerplay did not work. He failed to sign a defensive center and wondered why the team could not hold a lead.

      PG led this team to last place in the conference. That is the bottom line.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • habfan53 says:

        The Canadiens started the season without 4 of the defencemen from last year: Hamarlik, Wiznewski, Picard and Sopel.
        Sopel ended up going to Europe
        Picard ?????
        Wiznewski at 5+ mil per year FORGET IT
        Wiz this year 40 games 4 goals -19
        Diaz 59 games 3 goals -7 and what 880k cap hit
        The one we miss in hindsight is Hamarlik

        to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

        • Cardiac says:

          Between Wiz and Hammer, that’s 59 points that walked away from the team for nothing in return.

          That’s 59 points that Gauthier made no move to replace during the offseason.

          “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
          – Jerry Maguire

          • habfan53 says:

            Again I miss Hammer but seriously would you have signed Wiz to 5 million + .
            He is not worth that.
            He was replaced by Diaz poit difference 3 (1G 2A)
            Cap Difference 4.2 mil

            to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

          • habsnyc says:

            he was never going to re-sign Wiz. Wiz was a rental. but he did not sign anyone who could qb the powerplay. then he fired the powerplay coach.

            Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

          • GrimJim says:

            A 100% Markov replaces 60 of those 59 points, Markov at 75% replace 45 points. You would expect a second-year player to improve and Subban has improved his assist totals and +/- but his goal scoring has dropped off. Five more points would have been a reasonable improvement for PK. Emelin had 11 goals and 16 assists in the KHL and has 6 points. Markov*75 (45) + Subban (5) + Emelin (6) = 56 points. Oh, and Weber is an offensive d-man (insert joke here) who has scored 6 more points than last year.
            Signing Markov was a risk, I fully agree, but the claim that PG did nothing to replace Hammer and Wiz is wrong.

        • Trackpants says:

          Gents, I love the discussion about the Defense in Montreal, but in all seriousness Picard, Sopel, Mara, O’Byrne aren’t good enough to compete at the NHL level. The Hammer, has always played a steady game on the blue line but this guy was drafted first overall by Tampa in 1992… I wouldn’t count on him to log major minutes…
          The Wiz, what can we say about that guy, 5 million plus… I hope he has enjoyed his time with the CBJ this year. There was a seroius need for some moves to be made on the blueline AND for several years ol’ PG never quite pulled the trigger. We are lacking guys that show up every game and quietly do their jobs. For example: Dennis Wideman, Mark Stuart, Rybon Regehr or Dan Girardi.
          If we were able to sign a few of these type of guys we never would have had to deal with the antics of defensive parings; Kaberle and Diaz and or Yemelin and Webber or Campoti and Gill. Not having these guys on the blueline would have made a big difference in the 23 blown leads the habs given up this season.
          =TP ” Defense wins Championships”

          • Forum Dog says:

            Yeah, I agree with this completely. This year saw too many D who brought the same thing: some offensive skill coupled with size, strength and awareness deficiencies. Thing is, guys like Girardi, Regehr and Stuart are hard to come by. Two of them were homegrown prospects (Stuart and Girardi), while Regehr has only ever played for two teams. What I’m trying to say I guess is that this type of player, the hard-nosed, responsible and effective defenceman, is not readily available. It takes years for them to fully develop. Hopefully the Habs can remedy it in the short term through a trade or free-agency. Long-term I think they are fine with guys like Dietz, Tinordi, Ellis, Beaulieu, etc. Short term, they desperately need someone on the RH-side.

          • Trackpants says:

            Agreed Fourm Dog, these guys are hard to come by, but not impossible. When you had the Defense core that MTL has had over the past 4 years, I think you have fault Gainey and PG for not going out and finding a few guys to fill this type of role. Ryan McDonagh would have went along way to helping this team… but lets not talk about Gomez.
            Pretty sure Wideman was available 2010 FA market, and Regehr was avilable 2011. I know Stuart was traded a few years back, so at very least Boston would have delt him for the right player or draft pick. In my mind this should have been a priority number 1 for this organization and they have had 4 years to do something. Instead we end up with Kaberle, a step that couldn’t have landed us any further in the wrong direction of where we needed to go, 4.3 million a season could have went along way when trying to attact one of these guys.
            This draft year is full of young D men that can help build the future back end of a good Habs team. But developing D men is a really tough thing to do in the NHL, and takes a great deal of patience.(something MTL is not known for having)
            I am really hoping that there is a big shake up next year, and at very least the lottery pick favours us. I don’t think we need another re-tooling, it is time we face the facts, a rebuild is what we need.. Look at Florida though… it can be done.

            =TP “Defense Wins Championships”

    • 44har48 says:

      Very nice, well thought out post. I don’t agree with all your points, nor do I think this dabbler will be able to take us to the next level, but he has not been as aweful as some of us have noted.

      I wish I had more time to go after you, this could be a good debate.

    • Cardiac says:

      While I agree with your points on Gill and Kostisyn, the others not so much…

      1) It was Gauthier shortsightedness with Markov health that forced him to get Campoli and Kaberle. How much did he know, or not know about Markov’s knee? I tend to lean towards the latter since he ended up signing him at top dollar for three years.

      2) The firings of Pearn and Martin were unavoidable. What you failed to mention is how he and Molson threw RC under the bus during the whole language hoopla instead of standing by his man. Gutless..

      3) I will always say that we should have held onto Cammaleri until the trade deadline. I’m happy with Bourque and the cap space saved, but we could have and should have gotten more.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

      • Forum Dog says:

        These are legitimate gripes, and I am not interested in defending everything Gauthier has ever done or thought about doing. What I would say is:

        1) How do you plan or anticipate losing your franchise defenceman? You can’t sign another franchise defenceman. You basically have to hope that the next one in line steps their game up. It didn’t happen. Subban is playing better now, but he was not ready to assume all of Markov’s duties. I bet Gauthier was told Markov’s knee would be fine and, once he started working it hard, it turned out it wasn’t. A lost year, absolutely. But if Markov comes back healthy, the $5M won’t seem like such a bad gamble.

        2) I don’t think Gauthier and Molson were obligated to do anything more for Cunneyworth than they did. He is the interim coach. He was being given a chance to prove what he could do, so why would they make him or the fans any promises? He is still a good and improving coach and will likely one day be an NHL head coach. Will it be with Montreal? Probably not, especially given the outcry from the French media. Unconditional support for Cunneyworth may have hamstrung the organization or skewed the optics even more. I don’t think Cunneyworth is back next year, even if I do like what he brings.

        3) Holding onto Cammalleri until the deadline probably would have backfired. There was very little movement on deadline day, and the only player with a significant contract that got moved was Carter (and that was before the deadline as well). I honestly don’t think that the market for Cammalleri was that great, and I think that Gauthier got the most he could.

    • Bill says:

      Word.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • fastfreddy says:

      @Forum Dog
      Gauthier should have been fired as soon as it was apparent that Markov was going to be a long term injury. Who signs an injured player with 2 bad knee injuries to a huge gauranteed contract? He did not do his homework wisely, he should be fired.

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • fastfreddy says:

      GAUTHIER goofed when he signed an injured MARKOV .

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        fastfreddy, you sound like you have an axe to grind with these two posts. One thing you should be aware of is that all contracts in the NHL are guaranteed, so it’s not a goof on Mr. Gauthier’s part to sign him to such a contract. That’s the only kind that exists.

        As far as doing his homework wisely, he did everything you and I would have done. He talked to the docs and physios, asked them “What do you think?”, and acted on that info. At worst, he rolled the dice based on the advice of his staff and came up snake eyes. A calculated risk sometimes doesn’t turn out.

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  3. Propwash says:

    (This just in: Boone has encountered a Sasquatch that looked exactly like Zdeno Chara. Thinking quickly, Boone yelled “Max-Pax has 30!” and the ugly critter ran back into the woods.)

    HAA! Awesome.

    _____________________________
    Don’t let the wultures getcha.

  4. shiram says:

    It’s weird seeing so much passion for a sports club from a celibrity.
    Viggo is always pimping the Habs.

  5. LafleurGuy says:

    Scanning the draft picks since year 2000, some depressing facts: 2 picks after Kyle Chipchura, Devils selected Travis Zajac; we had two first round picks in 2001, Komisarek 7th, Alexander Perezhokin 25th; Ben Maxwell was chosen ahead of Lucic, 2 picks after we chose David Fisher, the Flyers selected Claude Giroux. Patrice Bergeron was a 2nd round pick. Another recent top 3 bust besides Filatov is Cam Barker.

    Some oddities: Lars Eller was chosen one pick after Ryan McDonagh. Along with Pacioretty, we have two 1st rounders from the only successful draft we had since 2001, viz. 2007. Aaron Palushaj was selected one spot after P.K. in the 2nd round, 2007.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • RGM says:

      2005 was no good eh?

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

      • LafleurGuy says:

        Good for The Franchise pick, but hey consensus is that Gainey didn’t do anything worthwhile for the team. Latendresse was given up for, wait for it, NADA. Pouliot walked away for NADA. Price was the no. 1 goalie. Michael Blunden was the no. 20 rated skater, ahead of Latendresse.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

        • Forum Dog says:

          Not sure if there is consensus on Gainey’s work. The Gomez trade stinks, but beyond that the team improved during his time in Montreal.

          The Latendresse/Pouliot trade hasn’t worked for either side. Pouliot never developed for the Habs (and he isn’t lights out in Boston either), and Latendresse played well enough to get a decent contract, and is now firmly entrenched on the LIR.

    • fun police says:

      you can go through every draft and find the best players and then point out how the teams right before that pick screwed up. it happens every year. how many other teams missed giroux? how many teams missed PK? every team missed out.

      • TomNickle says:

        Jamie Benn was a 5th round pick.

        Perfect example

        • Mike D says:

          Nick Lidstrom, who is arguably the best defenseman of all time, was drafted in the 3rd round (53rd overall). The THIRD round!

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

          • LafleurGuy says:

            +1

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I can’t go along with that. Mr. Lidstrom is an elite defenceman who has played at a consistently high level for a very long time, but he’s not in the running for best all-time. Not with Eddie Shore and Doug Harvey in the running (granted, I never saw them play, but they dominated their times in the league), and with Bobby Orr, Larry Robinson, Denis Potvin, Paul Coffey…. He’s in the Top Ten discussion.

            ———————————
            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • ont fan says:

      Wonder how many fans on other teams lament, on where were our scouts when they didn’t pick Subban or Pacioretty when they had the chance?

    • GrimJim says:

      You could play this game for every team: I’m sure NYR would much rather have picked Dustin Brown or Brent Seabrook than Hugh Jessiman; or the NYI or SJ would much rather have picked Zach Parise than Robert Nilsson or Steve Bernier; maybe Wash would rather have picked Ryan Getzlaf than Eric Fehr; bet Edm is regretting picking Marc-Antoine Pouliot instead of Ryan Kesler; LA picked Brian Boyle and Jeff Tambellini back to back while the next pick was Cory Perry. And all this is only from the 2003 draft. The draft is at best a crapshoot. The best team turns 30% of their draft picks into NHL players. It’s time to start focussing on the future.
      You don’t get ahead by constantly looking behind.

    • savethepuck says:

      Find me 1 NHL team that you can’t give the same examples of better players being selected later, you won’t be able to find one. Drafting 17 and 18 year old kids is not an exact science by far.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  6. HabsFan82 says:

    I hate to say this. it will probably stur up the nest. we need more good french players on this team Remember the key word Good the better the team will be.
    nothing against anyone on this team that’s not french some fine examples Cole, Pacioretty Pleks Price Pk Emelin and so on, but DD is a good example of why being good also french. He’s from Quebec and plays every game 110% for the CH proud to be a Montreal Canadien so don’t jump all over this it’s a pride thing.
    That’s whats wrong today it’s more about money than pride. if your from Toronto and playing for the leafs when philly, Boston whom ever comes to town think pride and winning for your city the money will take care of it’s self besides you’ll be able to settle in for awhile and not get traded so easily.

  7. habfan53 says:

    OK lets have some fun. For all those out there that keep lamenting on who we let get away he is a fantasy roster.

    GOAL: Halak, Garon and Vokoun
    DEFENCE: McDonagh, Robidas, MAB, WIZ, Souray, Hainsey,Komisarek and this year Spacek, Hamarlik and Gill.
    CENTRER: Lapierre, Saku, Ribiero and Grabowski.
    RIGHT WING: Cammy, Ryder, AK and Latendresse
    LEFT WING : Higgins, Tanguay and SK.

    In Goal I would take Price over all three not convinced Jaro can play 70 games.
    On Defence the only one I would want back is McDonagh and this year with 20/20 hindsight Hammarlik,. Robidas would also fit in as number 5/6 assuming Markov played.

    At Centre I’ll take the 3 we have. Yes Saku is better than Gomez but you were not going to put him on the 3rd or 4th line.

    On the right side I always liked Ryder he IS a GOAL SCORER, I was sad to see AK go but it was not working out.

    On Left No improvement over what we have.

    So where are these great players that we let go

    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

    • joshbenn says:

      you forgot ribero. and btw you are forgeting that we would have some of those guys mixed in with the core players we have today, they wouldn’t only make a roster themselves.

      • habfan53 says:

        You are right I did forget Mike. I will edit him in.
        What I was saying is that there are only 3-4 of the players that are better than what we have

        to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

      • habsnyc says:

        streit

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • Mattyleg says:

      You know what I was thinking this morning?
      I feel bad, yes, I admit it, I feel bad for Mike Komisarek.
      He had his best years here, and proved that chasing the almighty dollar isn’t always the best way to develop your personal career arc.

      He would have been considerably better off staying and developing in the system he knew under a coach that he had progressed with rather than throw himself after the biggest paycheck without considering the coach, the system, etc.

      The Free Agent system has ruined as many players as it has benefited, and as many teams.

      I’ve been saaaaved!!
      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • habfan53 says:

        I remember 4 years ago that I thought Komisarek and Higgins were the future of the franchise and that one of the two would be captain. Boy did things change fast.

        to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

      • savethepuck says:

        Everytime Komi comes to Montreal he should buy Marky dinner and a hooker because playing beside him is the only reason Komi got that big contract from Burke.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

    • habsnyc says:

      I do not lament that we let them go. I lament the return we received for them.

      Boston traded Joe Thornton who won a Hart and an Art Ross the very year they traded him. They traded Samsonov, a rookie of the year. They traded Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler, Mark Stuart, Denis Wideman, Marco Stur, two first round picks and a second round pick. But Boston got sufficient value in return.

      Remember when Montreal traded a big young forward who showed flashed of brilliance in return for a tired veteran? And that forward went on to record multiple 50 goal seasons and was selected as a first team All-star. I mean Mickey Redmond, who was traded to Detroit for Frank Mahovlich. Mahovlich was the top scorer in the playoffs and helped lead Montreal to the Cup. No one laments losing Mickey Redmond. But everyone laments LeClair.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  8. Mattyleg says:

    Now for the second installment of…

    March 1, 2012
    (With apologies to WH Auden)

    Exiled Gill knew
    All that a locker-room speech can say
    About Commitment,
    And what ‘drifters’ do,
    The looping circles that they skate
    To an apathetic grave;
    Analysed all by JM in his notebook,
    The enlightenment driven away,
    The habit-forming pain,
    Mismanagement and grief:
    We must suffer them all again.

    Into the neutral zone
    Where blind passes used
    And intercepted proclaim
    The weakness of The Eight Million Dollar Man,
    Both languages pour their vain
    Competitive excuse:
    But who can live for long
    In a post-Dynastic dream;
    Out of the mirror fans stare,
    Bettman’s face
    And the NHL gone wrong.

    ***More to come!!***

    I’ve been saaaaved!!
    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  9. 24 Cups says:

    Mike Green, who has had two concussions, doles out a bs hit to a player already being checked by another Capital.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_fKdsg7d20

    THe NHL’s concussion count as of today stands at 23. That does not count any ‘upper body injuries’ as the phrase goes.

  10. HabsFan82 says:

    Why bother drafting if you’re gonna keep giving them to other teams. once in awhile yes if we can get something good in return to improve our team for 5-10 years other than that stick within. I have too many bad memories of the Gomez deal.
    That’s one of the reasons we are where we are. getting rid of our good young players.

    • TomNickle says:

      Subban, Emelin, Markov, Weber, Price, Pacioretty, White, Plekanec. All drafted by the Habs.

      Diaz and Desharnais playing their first pro contracts out with the Canadiens.

      Eller acquired with less than a quarter of a season worth of NHL experience.

      When was the last time this team traded a prospect?

    • ont fan says:

      So why do we have Bourque,Cole,Eller, Gionta,Moen, Gorges just to name a few, who have been other peoples property who just let them go. Everybody gives players to other teams.

  11. Mattyleg says:

    Glad our Tank Drivers got a chance last night to see how well their theory works.
    Edmonton have really done well with their picks.
    So well, in fact, that by the time the kids they drafted grow up into adult hockey players, the Oilers won’t be able to sign them anymore.
    Nothing succeeds like top picks, eh?
    Atlanta would agree.

    I’ve been saaaaved!!
    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • krob1000 says:

      that is a post that will come back to haunt you…I know..many of mine have. To write the Oilers off when their top 3 players are under 22 is a little premature…if in the period 2-5 years from now they do not go to the semis 2 times I will be surprised. The kids are running on talent alone right now…once they learn what it takes to play in the NHL they will be a force and the cap shuld not be muc of an issue as they will be the players they spend their space on and will simply build around….you don;t need much when you have 4 superstars which they should have by then.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I dunno, I’m just skeptical of Edmonton’s capacity to keep them all under contract until they develop, while also having enough money in the bank to sign other players that those kids can play with.
        Oh, and a goalie.

        I’ve been saaaaved!!
        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Cal says:

        Too much can go wrong between now and then to know whether or not their “superstars” (hate that term) will pan out and if their management can make astute UFA signings and get that excellent Dman the Oilers so desperately need.
        The Oilers are playing wide open, mistake-filled hockey. They don’t backcheck worth a damn, either. Player agents will drive up the salaries of their young guns so much they won’t have any choice but to lose 1 or 2 along the way, seriously crippling any playoffs they might make.
        Edmonton’s biggest problem is their younger players are too young and their older core is too old and not talented enough. The have a very tough road to hoe.

  12. 24 Cups says:

    A sunbelt team that is doing well.

    http://www.ontheforecheck.com/2012/3/8/2852805/nashville-predators-paid-attendance-numbers-continue-strong-growth

    Bob McKenzie ‏ @TSNBobMcKenzie
    IF Alex Radulov was inclined to return to NHL THIS season, it’s my understanding, subject to NHLPA approval, he would be eligible to play…

    • GrimJim says:

      re Radulov – he would have to clear waivers first at least – CBA Section 13.23
      Also I don’t think he is under NHL contract. He was signed in 2006 to an entry level contract which is three years in duration. In the normal course of events the contract would have ended in 2009. He was suspended in 2008 (the second year of the contract) but given that I don’t know if the contract would have been suspended (in other words he would owe one more year) or have been voided for non-performance. If he isn’t under contract, hew would have to sign a new contract a la Marty Turco and players signing new contracts after the trading deadline are ineligible for post season play.

      • bel33 says:

        They talked about last night on Sportsnet… he would be eligible for the rest of the season and the playoffs because technically he’s on the Preds reserve roster.
        You are correct about him having to go through waivers but apparently because he’s technically a reserve member already… the NHL can ask the Players association (sounds wrong way around to me oddly) to make him exempt from the waiver process. Other GMs wouldn’t have a say in it…
        Just what I remember them saying about it.
        Cheers.

        • 24 Cups says:

          That’s what McKenzie said. His opinion is that Radulov wouldn’t have to pass waivers if the NHLPA gave approval.

          Radulov still has a year to go as an RFA and would have to honour that. The same thing happened with Semin in Washington. They worked out an extension and he then played for the Caps.

  13. LafleurGuy says:

    Just like how the Hab’s found Markov, Ottawa took a chance on Karlsson. NOT in Central Scouting’s top 30 which listed 4 Europeans, Filatov, Petrov, Boedker, Tedenby from Sweden. They did raise Karlsson’s ranking from 13th best skater in Sweden to 4th best in Europe in the time between November, 2007 to April, 2008. 7th ranked European was none other than Viktor Tikhonov who I believe the Canadiens’ selected in a late round.

    Also, Karlsson is 5’11”, 180 lbs., and smaller than Subban.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Mattyleg says:

      Nonono.. you don’t get it.
      ONLY the top 5 (or three, yeah, three actually) picks are worthwhile.
      Those players are THE ones that you can pin the entire hopes and dreams of your lives upon, and build the future Eternal Dynasty upon.
      All other picks are worthless and should be traded (possibly all at once) to move the #1 pick up one notch.
      The higher the notch, the greater the dreams.

      I’ve been saaaaved!!
      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  14. jon514 says:

    So Corey Perry is one of my favorite players. Obviously every team in the NHL wants to have guys like this, BUT I want to know what YOU guys think would be an offer that might actually bring him back to montreal.

    I would offer Plek, Gionta, and 1st round pick in 2012.

    Now I want to add that I love both of these players which is why I put them on the offer. I believe you have to make an honest offer and “overpay” to bring back a guy like Perry. I think he would fit in great on a line with Patches and DD next season. Then we’d have a second line of Eller Bourque and Cole. Hopefully Cole can light up Bourque and Eller the way he did DD and Patches.

    I’d rather have Perry than Nash.
    “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

    • HardHabits says:

      No. Anaheim wins that trade by a wide margin. The Habs should never in their history ever trade another 1st pick.

      • jon514 says:

        Ok. I know it’s a LOT. But Perry’s got 10 years of great hockey left.

        What do you think would be a fair trade for Perry then, but still leave the habs a better team?

        “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

        • HardHabits says:

          Anybody the Habs have of value I would rather keep. If it was McDonagh, Valentenko and Higgins for Corey Perry I would maybe agree. Sad to think the Habs threw all that at Scott Gomez.

          I’d rather the Habs build from within and not squander the future on a final play-off berth. I want to see the Habs skate a contender for the Cup and not a pretender for the play-offs.

          If the Habs were smart, IMO, they would keep cap space open for top flight A-list free agents when they hit market. Apart from that build from within.

          If you look at all the players the Habs drafted and let go for nothing who are still active in the NHL and put them on a team together, they’d look better than what the Habs have now. And they’d have cap space to play with.

          As it stands the Habs are spending to the cap to finish in the draft lottery.

          All that to say I do not covet Corey Perry but if he were to join the Habs I`d rather they don`t give anything up for him and sign him if and when he comes to free agency.

          • jon514 says:

            I can respect that. I just see it different. You’ve got two guys signed for a few more years who you are trading for 1 guy signed for one or more years. I also see Perry as a 40 goal scorer who is ready to play next season AND 3 years down the road when the Beaulieus and Tinordis and Hollands of the habs organization are ready.

            I also think that Corey’s 6′ 3 frame would fit in better with the style of hockey that we’re playing these days, plus you free up about 4 million in cap space.

            I guess I don’t really believe the habs need to live in the basement for the next 3 years. I think we can come back next season and make the playoffs.
            “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

          • HardHabits says:

            Fair enough and I too respect your POV.

            The Habs remaining in the cellar depends on what they do over the summer. I’d rather that than just squeek in with 88 points. I want to see the Habs finish with 100 points or more. If it means one more putrid season so be it.

            IMO coming back strong for 2015 with a real team capable of finishing top 5 over-all is better than making the play-offs 10 years in a row without ever make the Cup finals.

            Habs fans are tired of the cycle of mediocrity that has become this team’s new identity.

        • jon514 says:

          You know what though. 2 more years of results like this are going to spoil guys like PK, Gorges and Price. I don’t think there will be much of this “team” left after 2 years of the Montreal media tearing them apart. I think we need to get incrementally better, not go into a cocoon and expect that we will come out a butterfly.

          “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

    • The Cat says:

      Id do a trade like that, but for a proven top notch D-man.

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

      • jon514 says:

        Oh I’d love to trade for Shea Weber. But I can’t think what Montreal could give that Nashville would accept. They’ve already got all the players they want from us.

        “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      That’s giving up a lot. Perry is a great goal scorer, but the Habs traded away so many of their NHL-level goal scorers that there are already holes on wing going into next year. Trading away Pleks and Gionta would essentially mean that they would be missing a center after the trade as well. Kinda hard to rebuild if you end up making more holes.

      Plus, many are placing high hopes on this draft pick. The Habs could get a player that is as valuable as Perry in the long run. One can try to add a superstar later on once the team is slightly more stabilized. Isn’t 2013 a big year for UFAs?

      • jon514 says:

        You don’t think Eller is ready to step up to a 2nd line center role? I think White would make a great 3rd line center with sandpaper for any team which is why people were trying to get him at the deadline… plus there’s always Gomez.

        “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

    • TomNickle says:

      The problem with your deal is that you offer a 20 goal scorer, 30 goal scorer and a 1st round pick for a 30-40 goal scorer. Negative goals for margin of 10.

      In addition, Plekanec is one of the better two way players in the Eastern Conference.

      The 2012 first round pick will in all likelihood be a top 5. Meaning it will be one of Yakupov, Grigorenko, Murray, Galchenyuk or Forsberg/Faksa/Dumba.

      So you’re trading an excellent two way player and 20 goal scorer, a 25-30 goal scorer and a top 5 pick for a 30-40 goal scorer.

      Bad move however you look at it.

      A more equitable offer would be one of Plekanec or Gionta and a first round pick in 2013.

      Now that’s a fair offer. You can’t overpay for the sake of adding a player who may not be any better than Max Pacioretty.

      • jon514 says:

        Yeah. I guess I believe that young guys given space to grow can get the job done. I think Eller for example can do 25 goals and 50 pts as a second line guy. I also think that adding Perry can make DD and Patches even better, and I believe his big body will help our defense by back checking. I also would hope that White could add some production as a 3rd line center who plays similar to Lapierre but more rugged.

        I know the price is high, but Perry had 50 goals last year. Perry is going to have 40 goals this year. Perry is less prone to injury than say Gio and he plays more in the style the habs are putting in place.

        “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

    • Chorske says:

      This would be an astonishingly stupid trade. The Habs #1 pick, their best two-way forward, and their 110% effort captain… for 30-40 goals, i.e., Pacioretty-level output. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

      Put it this way: the habs pick this year is shaping up to be a #3 overall. That is as close to a sure bet as you’ll ever see in a draft. Top 3 guys become franchise players- heck, look at #5 overall Carey Price.

      No, that trade would be astronomically stupid.

      • TomNickle says:

        And with Edmonton having the #2 pick you can bet the Habs will end up with either Yakupov or Grigorenko. They are highly comparable to the Hall/Seguin draft.

        We have the luxury of Edmonton having a gaping organizational need that they won’t be able to ignore. That need will give the Habs an elite forward.

      • LafleurGuy says:

        Nikita Filatov was second overall, 2008.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

      • jon514 says:

        Thanks for your opinion. I love Plek and Gio. I just think Perry is a better 2 way forward than Plek and a better goal scorer than Gio, and is ready to produce next year instead of 3 years down the line like Grigorenko or Dumba.

        Plus the only 110% captain I need is Erik Cole.

        “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Lots of past rumours about the availability of Bobby Ryan and none about Perry or Getzlaff, who both have Stanley Cup rings more recent than Lecavalier’s and St. Louis’. Any blockbuster trade would have to start with Carey Price from les Canadiens and have secondary pieces added. Anaheim is probably OK with their young Swiss goalie. Non-starter as trade possibilities go.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  15. habfan53 says:

    Sorry double post

  16. habfan53 says:

    Thought Eller played a good game last night (however I only saw tghe 3rd period).
    Pleks fit in nicely with Cole and Max.
    It goes with what I’ve been saying all year that DD, Pleks and Eller are almost interchangeable.
    In other words bonafide 2nd line centres that could carry a first line with the right wingers.
    Each however has a plus, In Plekanecs case it is his penalty killing skills, Eller is develloping this side of his game and may soon replace Pleks as the number 1 PK centre next year.
    Eller seems to take critism well and bounces back I wish the coaching staff would let make a mistike without benching him and work on building his confidence.
    Desharnais wow if Kostitsyn had a 1/4 of the drive and heart that DD has he could score 40-45 goals . David works hard each shift and along with Cole and Pacieretti wear the CH with pride the way it should always be worn.

    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

    • Le Jadester says:

      I watched AK play last night before our game.
      He was much different (in a good way…..i.e. moving his feet and taking chances offensively with confidence……..in other words, you knew wasn’t afraid of getting benched if he effed up on a play) flourishing under a different style.
      Reminded me of the good ole days here with Pleks, Kovy, Cammy.

      Obviously he’s playing for a contract and he probably saw the writing on the wall for him here in MTL>

      Either way…….Management and Coaching clearly effed that one up, along with his SK.

      Habs, OLE !

      • habfan53 says:

        Cammy never played with Kovalev.
        Kovy was part of the summer clear out that brought Cammy in.

        to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

        • Le Jadester says:

          I know……I was referring to Cammy-AK and Pleks when they were the # 1 line and were alowed to be creative (somewhat under JM)

          My mistake for not being clearer.

          As well, I forgot to mention when Lang centered the K-bros under Carbo. That line always buzzed too. IN fact they were on the PP with Legwand last night and they looked good. Obviously it helps to have Suter and Weber back there but donkey JM never wanted to that with probably two of the better passers we had on the team back in ’10

          Habs, OLE !

  17. Bill says:

    @habsfanforever I don’t think Lucik fights guys his own size, much less bigger guys like Tinordi. That said, Tinordi isn’t a natural fighter, despite his size.

  18. Jon L says:

    Did anyone see the Mike Green cheap shot on Connolly last night? Pure dirt! A lot of these suspendible head shots, I believe, are accidental. It’s hard to hit someone with pinpoint accuracy at high speed. But this one, Green takes aim and swings his arm directly at the head. Connolly was already half pinned on the boards and couldn’t have protected himself if he wanted to. I hope Shanny sends a message on this one.

  19. habsfanforever7631 says:

    Hey guys anyone think Tinordi could pound Lucic in the coming years?
    Just wondering. lol

  20. habbernack says:

    If we had all the players we released or traded away we’d have a pretty good team

    ability is what you’re capable of doing.
    attitude determines how you do it

  21. Shane1313 says:

    Man, you gotta love last night. PK shows some brilliance and nicely passes it off to Max Pac. So fitting, he gets 30 a year to the day. What a come back.

    • DorvalTony says:

      That’s a great line, Max DD and ColeTrain, it’s been a lot of fun watching them this year.

      “A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is
      a proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.” – Jean Crooktien

  22. Mattyleg says:

    Yuck.
    Didn’t like seeing DD leave the game last night holding his hamstring.
    Those injuries are notoriously tough to shake, especially for speed players like DD.
    Luckily we’re near the end of the season; he’ll have the summer to recuperate properly.

    I’ve been saaaaved!!
    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      But the injury seems to be downplayed, all reports say it’s nothing major?
      I guess we won’t know untill he is back…

      • DorvalTony says:

        He’s going to see Markov’s miracle doctor.

        “A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is
        a proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.” – Jean Crooktien

      • krob1000 says:

        standard procedure ..we don’t want anyone taking runs at him down the pre golf stretch…an injury like that could really affect his ability to drive the ball and play any tough shots in the bunkers.

  23. Strummer says:

    Who will be in charge at the table in this our most significant draft in years?____________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  24. 24 Cups says:

    I wonder if the Pens are making a mistake by starting Crosby against Boston. These two teams (along with the Rangers) are the top eastern teams to make a run for the finals and you have to wonder if the Bruin headhunters will be out in full force. Crosby (and Markov) have to eventually face the music, but I’d pass on the Bruins for the first game back. Word is that there might be some pressure from NBC to have him play.

    Speaking of the playoffs, some recent injuries may squash a few teams’ hopes. Duchene, Garon, Lupul, N. Backstrom, Cammalleri and Bogosian are all on the shelf at the worst possible time.

    Lots of talk about the Habs picking in the top five but their 2nd rounder should also be a good bet. There is a 25% success rate in the 2nd round and the Habs should be selecting around the 35th spot (Nashville’s should be around the 50th mark). Subban, Neal, Stastny, Eriksson, Bolland and Roy have all been picked early in the second round.

    Some UFA signings are all about leverage and timing. The best example of that for the Habs was Cammalleri. That also might explain why the laffs gave Grabovski such a rich deal. They don’t have any other high end centres and really only one prospect (Colbourne). The next best UFA centre is Jokinen. He’ll be putting a gun to Calgary’s head between now and July 1st. What a guy, 13 years, six teams and one playoff round to show for it.

    Are there any better building blocks in the NHL right now than Stamkos or Karlsson? Both guys are 21, Stamkos has 28 goals in his last 33 games while Karlsson is tied for 6th in the NHL scoring race. Not 6th for Dmen, but rather the entire league! This guy is lapping the field when it comes to young defensemen.

    • krob1000 says:

      We have 5 2nd round picks in the next 2 years … given Timmins history I would say 2 of those should be regular Nhlers somewhere down the road…that is if we keep them becuase history has also shown that 2nd rounders can easily be converted into real players in a hurry at deadline day or on draft day.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good question as it relates to Crosby. I think I would avoid Boston as first game back, and I think my response to NBC would be banned from this site.

      If indeed a TV Network is behind the pressure at all to play Crosby in a Reg. Season game that is pathetic.

      I think we will see Burke trade his top pick this year, the heat is on him now, he played his last card firing Wilson. He needs the Leafs to be improved next year. He will do anything to improve that squad for the now.

    • DorvalTony says:

      Word is Dr. Recchi gave him the okay.

      “A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is
      a proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.” – Jean Crooktien

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Good stuff. Very thoughtful. Look at the wide gap between Stamkos’ and Karlsson’s salaries. I think Jokinen, the Ollie variety, had only played previously for the Panthers. Jussi Jokinen?

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Les Canayens says:

      Seeing that NBC scheduled many Penguins games and Crosby’s been a no show most of this season, it’s very plausible they want their money’s worth by pressuring Crosby’s return.

    • Malreg says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC was pressuring them in someway, but I extremely doubt it has any effect on the decision. If he’s ready, he will play, simple as that.

      They’ve been this patient for him, they aren’t going to rush him now because of NBC.

  25. dre1744 says:

    Does anyone think Patches has a chance at 40 goals?????

  26. HabsFan82 says:

    when you look at this team. we have 6- forwards that don’t do anything on the scoreboard half of our defence is weak shouldn’t even be on the team soon as we improve in those two areas everyone on here is gonna be commenting on how good we are.
    possibly as early as next year. stay away from picking up deadwood and we will be the best once again.

  27. Habsolutely says:

    gotta luv Viggo, whippin out the Habs flag on the red carpet in Toronto. :lol:

  28. Habfan29 says:

    Just heard patches mother on team 990, wow what a person, now we can understand the strength of Patches. Time for the habs to resign this guy. 5 years for Max……a bright spot in a bad season……WTG Max

  29. faninCalgary says:

    Gotta love Viggo! A real fan, through and through!

  30. Mattyleg says:

    Heya tout le monde,
    Unfortunately missed last night’s game.

    I was at the ballet.

    Swan Lake.
    No, really.
    And you know what? Despite my expectations… I enjoyed it! All three hours of it.

    Would’ve been nice to see a rare Habs win, tho…

    I’ve been saaaaved!!
    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  31. FuzE_gus says:

    “… to ultimately benefit what might be the Canadiens’ most dysfunctional management team in club history.”

    Famous last words brother…Famous last words…
    With Regards from FuzE_gus

  32. HabsFan82 says:

    This team is not tanking. this is as good as you’re gonna get from this team. look at the over all picture. very little skill up front at best five players. on the back end half of the defence are weak. Goaltending I think is pretty Darn good. maybe not the best but if they had a little better Defence and another 6 or 7 good forwards this team would be in the running for the cup every year. I hope whom ever takes over can do a better job. I want our real Montreal Canadiens Back. RC how can you tell if he’s good or not. He has very little to work with. give him the right players and than we’ll know….Gautier. No comment.

    • Cal says:

      RC’s 7-11 tells me he is crap. Almost like Boucher’s 1-3-1. ;)

    • habsnyc says:

      that sums up 80% of the teams in the NHL. maybe 90%. a bunch of good players, some holes in the lineup, not far from contending if only they could get that elusive fill in the blank.

      TO NYI Edmonton and Tampa would be great if they had a goalie. Montreal needs a center. Every team in the NHL is flawed because of the salary cap and the lack of talent.

      Look at the list of pending free agents under 30 years old. There is Semin, Parise, Suter and Parenteau. Nash probably gets traded. There is not much elite talent available.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • Cal says:

        Agree. I think Parenteau will be signed (unless he really wants to leave). Semin, for all his points does not care to win the Cup- it’s all about the money with him. Only a desperate team, Columbus (?) will take him. Parise will cause an overspending frenzy and will go to a contender. Same with Suter. The thing is, how will Holmgren afford them? ;)

      • boing007 says:

        One word to describe the situation: Parity. Mediocrity, evenly spread throughout the league. Two good offensive lines, if you’re lucky, and weaknesses in the defensive pairings.

        Richard R

  33. twilighthours says:

    Enjoyable win last night, and still unlikely to harm our draft position. Best of both worlds.

  34. habsnyc says:

    Lars Eller is fourth on the team in goals. But he takes only 1.6 shots per game. To increase his scoring, he is going to need to take more shots. Either he needs someone to set him up more often or he needs more offensive zone starts. It is not like he is a pass first shoot second kind of player. He has more career goals than assists.

    Paciouretty has 30 goals because he is in the top 15 in shots. He gets the most scoring chances of any Hab and is great at capitalizing on them.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  35. AliHaba says:

    I’ve read a few reports on the projected first rounders and I must say that the only negative one that I’ve seen on Grigorenko has come from McCagg at TSN. All other reports are very favorable. Actually he has been compared well with Malkin and Ovechkin with others putting him on a par with Kovalev. I’d feel quite comfortable with his selection.

  36. Malreg says:

    26 of Pacioretty’s 30 goals were scored at even-strength. Only two players have more even-strength goals than he does this season. Those two players? Malkin and Stamkos.

  37. Price07 says:

    Aw man, I was really hoping for a loss last night, we need to get the second overall pick to choose the big russian centre Grigorenko!!

    • habsfanforever7631 says:

      Oilers will probably draft a dman. so it’s ok.

    • roady says:

      we don’t need another lazy Russian forward who plays when he wants to play and that is the book on Grigorenko…we just got rid of one !!….Stay away from him is my opinion

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

  38. SmartDog says:

    How does Gauthier still have a job? How????

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If you look real closely in the picture above you can see through the bedsheet, I think that is Timo holding up the message asking the same question as you.

    • shiram says:

      His contract has not expired yet?

    • RGM says:

      Fear not. Housecleaning begins April 8th.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • habsnyc says:

      PG is entrenched in the NHL. He started as a scout in 1981. He has been a GM or Assistant GM for almost 20 years. He and Gainey have dominated Montreal’s front office since 2003.

      Molson has owned the team for less than a year. Perhaps he bought the team because of its marketing value to Molson Coors and not because he wanted to run a franchise.

      Management is entrenched and ownership is focused elsewhere.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • New says:

      I think he still has a job because the ownership is getting what it wants from him: A product to fill 42 nights at the Bell and sells advertizing.

      Stand outside the team and look at it. 23rd,23rd, 25th, 23rd, 28th, standing in each month of the season. Terrible training camp. Fire an assistant coach game day. Fire the coach game day. Go with assistant coaches for more than half the saeson. Players speak out, gone. That doesn’t sound like a hockey team but really sounds like a corporation.

      Which is likely as well why a lot of good players don’t want to come to the team. It is a big deal to win a Cup to a lot of hockey players.

  39. nellis13 says:

    Am I the only one that thinks Yakupov is too small? 5’10 and 170lbs and he plays a physical game. Maybe he puts on 10lbs. How’s that going to work in the NHL? I’m not saying he’ll be a good player, I just don’t think he has the size to be a super star given his style of play.

    • LNev says:

      How big is Patrick Kane or Jeff Skinner?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Bigger than Pavel Bure, he wasn’t too small.

      • PEC Hab says:

        That is about 30lbs smaller than Gomez, a supposed smurf. Size is overrated at times. What people mean is the size of the fight in the dog. Dale Hunter is about 5’9″, Pat Verbeek the same, Theo Fleury, even Knuckles Nilan is not tall. They all were strong though, and more importantly they arrived at the game with an ugly mood.

      • nellis13 says:

        agreed you can be small and tough or small and skilled. it`s not often you find both in the same player. if he was bigger he`d be a slam dunk…if he was bigger.

        • habsnyc says:

          pavel bure 702 games. bad knees. bobby orr 657 games. cam neely 726 games. bad knee and hip.

          so bure played as much as orr and neely who were two of the toughest players in NHL history.

          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  40. shiram says:

    Watched the first period only last night, could not really muster the will to keep watching after that, it seems I missed the best parts of the game.
    I know he got a bad penalty last night, but it seems to me that Subban really improves his game and discipline in the latter parts of the season, last year he was more focused and played better at season’s ends than in the start, I’d say the same thing is happening this time around.
    Gotta love what Pacioretty brings to this team, it feels good to have a prolific goal scorer on the team, and so young still.
    DD should be back pretty soon from what is reported, in the meantime, hopefully Eller gets the boost in TOI.

    • habsfanforever7631 says:

      Yeah Subban has 30 points 8 more and he’d reach last seasons total. Trade him, trade him!
      It was cool when AK27 hit 30, but it feals better about Pac because he’ll will be with the Habs for a long time.

    • Bill says:

      Subban got a “bad penalty” alright, that was a ridiculous call. Total BS. And then, some people start slamming him for taking a penalty that should not have been a penalty … it’s just hate.

      Francois Gagnon called his play “indefensible” and “immature” … again, this is for a bogus penalty. It’s too bad there are so many pukes like Gagnon out there to influence gullible listeners, because PK is a gem.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Having read through the comments after the game, I am of the impression Bill that Francois Gagnon will not be receiving a Christmas Card from you this year, am I correct?

        • Bill says:

          Haha, I just can’t BELIEVE that guy!! EDIT: I mean, he rips Subban apart for this penalty … but it’s not even a penalty. I seriously doubt he was watching. And … trade Subban? Lemme guess … for MAB?

          Full Breezer 4 Life

      • shiram says:

        I never listen to the Antichambre.
        I also love Subban, and would like to rewatch that penalty, I guess I was not paying enough attention.

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Both TOronto Sports Radio Stations this morning are discussing endlessly that Toronto tank the rest of the season. They will be stiff competition, plus don’t forget they get to choose either Reimer or Gustavsson, each provides equal opportunity to maximize their tanks speed.

  42. jon514 says:

    I love watching Eller accept checks and contain the puck along the sideboards. So much the opposite of all our other centers who give the puck away as soon as, or right before, they’re checked. Eller is gonna be so good in coming years, and how the RDS guys have him slated as a perennial 3rd liner, is beyond me.

    • krob1000 says:

      The cool thing is that as recently as last year he did not have that skill….he was not effectively using his body…now that he is he is a different player…if he had a goal hungry winger like Patches who is always looking to get into scoring poistion he would be an assist machine. Eller is the real deal and just may end up being the best center this team has had in a long, long time. I posted his stats the other day showing how his offensive numbers in both the AHL and NHL are on par or above Dd and Pleks at the same age, this is despite the fact he is relatively new to North American hockey and despite the fact that larger bodied guys typically take longer to learn to effectively utilize their size. He is further ahead of both defensively at the same age and when you factor in his skillset….he is more exciting to me than Subban, Pacioretty or Price…I know that sounds absurd but I truly believe he is the better complete package

    • rhino514 says:

      Right now he looks like he is going to be along the lines of AK, i.e. maddeningly inconsistent, with some decent, not great results. He may in future rack up 40 points and 18-20 goals and do so without you really noticing him. He goes for huuuge stretches where he doesn´t do anything. He doesn´t seem to have that “something” where you say “this guy is going to bring it every night”. I´m still not sure wether he will be a decent second line centre, though he will for sure be better than an average third line centre.

      • krob1000 says:

        100 percent disagree…I have never …and I mean never viewed him as inconsistent. That is probably the best quality he has is that his effort has been incredibly consistent regardless of icetime, role, score, linemates. He is on pace to rack up 18 goals now in a confused and underused deveopment role. Of all of the teams centers if I had to keep one I would choose Eller

        • JF says:

          Agreed. Eller’s results have been inconsistent, but not his effort. We saw flashes of his skill and his ability to protect the puck right from the beginning, but this year he’s really started to put it all together. He’s still only 22; over the next couple of years, if he’s used in a way that allows him to develop properly rather than being benched or relegated to the fourth line when he makes a mistake, he might well develop into that big, dominant centre the team has been missing for a couple of decades. He’s not unlike Plekanec, but bigger and stronger.

        • rhino514 says:

          If he were incredibly consistent he would have beat out DD for the second line centre spot. DD EARNED that spot over Eller plain and simple. He´s under used because he is a third line centre plain and simple. He doesn´t deserve to dislodge DD or Plekanec. Maybe someday he will deserve better but right now he doesn´t. takes many bonehead penalties which cause him to be benched periodically.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        He’s in his second season with the Habs. And his second season just happens to be amidst a team-wide meltdown. He is also forced to play with continuously changing wingmates like Pleks. Hard to conclude that he will not be great.

        I think Eller has actually shown a lot of promise. He’s able to puck handle better than most on the team, and is able to carry it. With decent and consistent wingers, I think he will be able to thrive. If DD is out, he and Pleks get bumped up one line. Should be good experience for him.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        When AK had his dissappearing acts, it was not just on the scoresheet it was everything. Eller may not yet be consistent point getter, but his on ice efforts are excellent. Also, he is effective as Penalty Killer and checking forward. To compare him to AK is unfair, IMHO.

      • GrimJim says:

        At one point last night the Sportsnet West colour guy predicted Eller would be a “top six, possibly a top three, player in a few years”
        Of course, he watchs the Oilers regularly so experience might have beaten down his expectations…

      • jon514 says:

        I think Eller has a decent shot at 18-20 goals this season and probably 30-35pts. If you were to look at 3rd line centers around the league you’d be hard pressed to find more than 5 who are sitting there. Also Eller had numerous games where he played less than 8 minutes… meaning he’s being used as a 4th line guy. I think given a 2nd line role, he’d hit 50pts next season for sure.

        “Let’s be clear on the facts…”

    • Cal says:

      That’s because his points production points to Eller being a 3rd liner. One outstanding 4 goal night does not make him a top 6 in my books.
      He scores 0.161 Goals Per Game thus far in the NHL. That means he can be a tough to play against 3rd liner. Besides, it’s around the net where most players score, not along the boards.

  43. LafleurGuy says:

    Have to bring up Ottawa in this current thread. They have gone from 25th place overall to 10th in one year. They have I believe, the best pick of the last 5+ years in choosing Erik Karlsson 15th in 2008, the year the Leafs picked Luke Schenn 5th, and we “chose” Alex Tanguay.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Les Canayens says:

      The thing is this was supposed to be another re-building year for the Senators after last year. They admitted it. There was not much expectation coming into this season, so it was a surprise, and a bonus for them to be doing that well in the standing.

      Same thing happened to the Leafs, except in the opposite way. When they were 1st in the East early in this season, it was thought as finally their year to shine. Wilson’s contract got extended. Look where they are now.

    • Malreg says:

      You’re right, we could have held onto our pick in 2008 and chosen the all-star Greg Nemisz.

      Would have made such a huge difference.

  44. Les Canayens says:

    Will we see for the 1st time a 40 goals scorer since Stéphane Richer?

    • LafleurGuy says:

      On pace for 37 goals, which is about double what I pictured Max producing on a line with Gomez and Captain Brian. At one point last season, Max had 10 goals in 14 games, and then Chara “hockey-played” him onto the disabled list. Police, Air Canada executives, Members of Parliament, and members of the public were very concerned, but not good ole Colin Campbell (don’t call me biased) and Little Napoleon ( I know, I know… Napoleon was bigger).

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  45. AndyF says:

    Just thought I’d repost this item. It’s been on here before, but I think it’s important to keep this in mind:
    http://articles.courant.com/1994-05-21/features/9405210429_1_pierre-mcguire-whalers-general-manager-paul-holmgren

    Fail to Fail for Nail

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed watching that game last night. Many positives in that game, PK, MaxPac, Eller and perhaps most intriguing Mr. Gomez.

    Scotty had a jump in his step, his vision seemed clear and made things happen with the tremendous speed we all knew he had.

    So, begs the question, Why Now? What was the early season injury, was it a Groin issue?

    I am trying to temper my thoughts and not be irrational. But if for 10 games we can watch him center a Max and Cole, I am curious to see the results.

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Feels great ANYTIME the team wins. I get miffed even with exhibition season losses.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • joeybarrie says:

      If we center MaxPac and Cole with Gomez, we will probably end up making the playoffs.

    • krob1000 says:

      I would bet the results would not be that different from Dd…. Pacioretty played well with Gomez before. Cole can play with anyone. regardless the issue is that we need cap relief and Gomez’s salary in one move makes the room needed to sign Subban, Eller, Emelin and Price. What would make it really interesting is if Gomez played well enough that we got something back for him.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Gomez looked especially great on that one play in the second (I think) when he spun away from one defensmen and stick handled/ passed the puck past another to a wide open Patches in front of the net.

      I was also impressed with Palushaj, who created some great chances (despite not cashing in on some that seemed a sure thing) If he can get some confidence and play like he has in Hamilton it could create some extra competition for next year.

  47. Les Canayens says:

    Viggo Mortensen unveiling his Habs flag on stage while accepting his award:
    http://youtu.be/jrEBsP8xBGg

  48. 44har48 says:

    Is our top 5 pick a lock? and by that I mean IF we were to pick in the top 5, are these kids a lock? It’s my understanding that this draft will not produce a Crosby or Malkin, but I have to admit, I know nothing about the top 10 rated players in this draft.

    Having said that, Poiloit was #4 (not by the Habs), Price #5 (I personally still love this pick), Kostisten #10, etc. My point is, we are gushing over this great pick with inferioir management.

    What are the real odds we actually get a stud in this draft?

    • Cal says:

      No pick is a lock excepting Yakupov. However, the odds should be 70/30 that the Habs can get a player that can be top 6 within a couple seasons at most.

      Getzlaf and Kopitar would have looked great in Habs unis.

      • LafleurGuy says:

        Ryan Getzlaff, 19th in 2003. We took Kostitsyn (EVERY1 knows who he supports). Jeff Carter went 11th, Ryan Kesler 23rd, Mike Richards 24th. Kopitar was chosen 11th in 2005, Sidney and Carey’s draft year.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

        • Malreg says:

          We could have taken Hugh Jessiman, or Zherdev, or Nilsson, or Steve Bernier, or Fehr, or Stuart, or Marc-Antoine Pouliot, or Anthony Stewart, or Brian Boyle, or Jeff Tambellini, or Patrick Eaves, or Shawn Belle.

          Hindsight works both ways.

        • Strummer says:

          so 17 other clubs were no smarter than us?

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

    • krob1000 says:

      Odds are better than they are drafting 17th or whatever. We have many 2nd rounders which are pretty good as well….5 in the the next two drafts althoguh I don’t expect us to have that many moving forward. We did not draft Pouliot and Timmins has been pretty lights out with his picks.

    • third generation haber says:

      From everything I’ve read about the top ten, Yakupov, Forsberg, Galchenyuk (though he’s got a bad knee), and Faksa are solid picks up-front,

      but Grigorenko is a bust! Check out the link:

      http://tsn.ca/draftcentre/story/?id=388658

      To be safe, we could go with one of the D-men. Trouba, Murray, Dumba, Reinhart, Rielly are considered safe picks.

      j.p. murray

      • Stev.R says:

        It’s pretty split on Grigorenko but I would say more than half of scouts still expect Grigorenko to turn out. Craig Button and Gregg Mcragg think differently, but they both admit he has tremendous skill. I suspect Timmins will have a better opinion than both of them.

        I like Grigs and Galchenyuk. Forsberg has been growing on me. Faksa is a solid pick but I think he’ll end up around 7-10.

        Honestly whether we take Grigorenko, Forsberg, Galchenyuk, Dumba, Murray, Faksa, Reilly, or Trouba, the odds are pretty much the same that they will turn out well.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        Grigorenko could turn out, but on which team is the question. A top 3-5 pick for the Habs will undergo a much more strenuous and rigorous experience in Montreal than, say, in Pheonix or Columbus. It takes a player with a good work ethic and attitude to success in Montreal.

        Not sure if Grigorenko could handle the pressure especially if there is doubts about his motivation level. He could bolt for the KHL if things don’t go his way. Better to pick a very good player who will remain with the team and perform well than a guy who might be better overall, but might leave the team or cause issues.

      • Bill says:

        Way to base your whole opinion off one tsn article. Very discerning.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Good points. Some sabermetric, moola-ball type could post a summary of impact of the past 12 to 15 years of the top picks. 2005 is a great example. Top 5 were Sidney Crosby, Bobby Ryan, Jack Johnson, Benoit Pouliot, and good ole’ Carey. Bear in mind Pricey was rated further down and Central Scouting’s 5th-ranked 18 yr. old was Gilbert Brule who went 6th. That was a strong draft group; 2012?, who knows?

      Another analysis would be to review the top 50 scoring leaders and what their rankings were when they were 18 year olds.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Stev.R says:

        Even I knew Pouliot would bust in 05. There is always one guy in the draft who comes out of nowhere and puts up big numbers (usually in the BCHL or something low) and scouts gamble on him after one good year. I never understand why they do that.

        Bobby Ryan took a long time to develop but he’s pretty legit now.

        Jack Johnson is steady, maybe not quite where he was expected to be, but close.

        Brule was ruined with injuries.

        So was the Croz

    • savethepuck says:

      The answer is no, a top 5 pick is not a lock. You referring to them as kids is correct, they are still developing. Right now the 2012 draft class rankings are fluctuating. Nail Yakupov is the only consistent #1 choice, the others drop or rise in the rankings from month to month. Last year Jonathan Huberdeau was not even in the top 30 in his draft year’s September rankings and he ended up going 3rd overall. As much as things change in the rankings for these 18 year old kids over their draft season( some are drafted at 17), the draft is far from an exact science or sure bet. Radek Faksa of Kitchener wasn’t in the top 30 last September, or even named as someone to watch, and now he may be in the top 10. How players develop differently over this year should tell everyone there is no guarantee how they will develop after they arre drafted.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Bill says:

      Timmins has always done well in the first round, and he’s never had a pick this high, so I’m not worried about it.

      No, only Yakupov has superstar potential, but there are plenty of solid players. The Habs won’t be getting a Malkin or an Ovechkin so they need to start accepting that.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  49. Mondou6 says:

    So this pretty much guarantees that we’ll finish ahead of the Oilers now.

    Watch Edmonton finish 29th, win the #1 pick lottery, and pick Nail.

  50. Malreg says:

    Who would you rather build a team around? Hall, RNH, and Eberle, or Pacioretty, Subban, and Price?

    • neumann103 says:

      Depends. Do you want to build a team or a first line?

      “Et le but!”

    • third generation haber says:

      U just summed things up!

      Regardless of how we answer, it can’t be denied that our 3 kids deserve similar billing to Edmonton’s.

      This is especially great because Edmonton’s 3 picks came 1st, 1st, and (I believe Eberle was) 14th overall.
      While ours came 5th, 25th, and a second rounder!

      Every team in the league would like to have Pacs, Price, and Subban!

      Imagine what we could be adding with a top 3 pick this year!!!
      And wake-up people! We have some promising young talent on our team and in the pipeline!

      Plus, in 2012, 2013 we will draft 7 times in the top 60!
      Our team has a bright future and it could start as early as next year!

      j.p. murray

      • LafleurGuy says:

        Eberle was chosen 23rd overall in 2008, the year Gainey gave up our first round pick to acquire Alex Tanguay. The traded pick turned out to be no. 25 and Calgary chose Greg Nemisz.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • LNev says:

      Eberle, Price… and probably RNH would be my picks.

      But i cheated.

  51. Say Ash says:

    Gotta hand it to coach Renney for taking a key timeout at 4-2 to slow the Oilers down from getting back into the game. We were out-tanked last night, plain and simple.

    • krob1000 says:

      Another solid game from Eller….I am still leaning towards him being my new favourtie Hab…I haven’t really had one since Koivu left… always appreciate Pleks, Pk is flashy, Cole is a workhorse but his time in Montreal weill be likely 2 more years as I don’t know if he makes it to that fourth year. I think Eller has the tools and the hockey sense/smarts to be that missing center we have wanted for so long. I can’t believe some people don’t see the speed, skill, smarts, physicality,hustle and heart this kid has…he has it all. It was also nice to see Patches showing some patience along with PK….these guys are also starting to reap the rewards of slight hesitation and moving laterally to buy teammates and themselves time. There were many positives last night ….I know they played the Oilers and neither team was contesting the ice too much but it was still fun to watch PK, Eller and Patches appear so dominant at times with their skating and raw skill.
      On the Oilers side…is there anyone in the NHl as explosive as Taylor Hall? That one play where he darted through the middle of the offensive zone was unreal…his first two strides are not of this world.

      • third generation haber says:

        Totally agree with u on Eller, he’s all class!

        He remains a secret b/c he’s largely used for defensive assignments.

        In a couple of years he’ll be unshackled and get the PP time he deserves.

        Habs are turning him into a 2 way gem and keeping his price tag low in the process.

        Unlike S. Kostitsyn and Grabovski he’s not whining to the media about it.

        j.p. murray

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        He puts me in mind of Pacs before he put it all together. I think his upside is great. Will he be allowed to reach it?

  52. novahab says:

    Wow Gomez showed up last night and looked good. So is he show casing because he knows he headling to the AHL next year. We’ll see how he plays again a elite team. If DD is out then I think you’ll see him put on the first line should be intersting.

    • Bad Digestion says:

      I think it’s one last “middle finger” to all Habs fan! He knows how much people dislike him and his ridiculous contract , so he wants to make sure we do not get that much needed high draft pick. + he shows that he can still play, but just could not be bothered making a real effort since hes here.

      • third generation haber says:

        If that were true, he had his finger fully extended to the Rangers fans for 2 full years, before we mindlessly acquired him.

        j.p. murray

    • stevieray says:

      Showcasing ….I’m thinking more of ” well rested ” or ” to little to late “…I can only wish he goes…first Hab in over 50 years of watching this team that I don’t really care much for ..as a player ..of course ! he may be a OK guy but he never has really shown to me a love a fare with the city or fans …+ wearing # 11 doesn’t help !

  53. H.Upmann says:

    7 11 7 11… Used to be tha place to be

  54. ABHabsfan says:

    So we have all heard that the league would like an amnesty clause in the next CBA to walk away from 1 contract for free, no buy out. If this comes to bear, I submit Kaberle. That guy is the worst player I’ve seen in a long time. Throw it up the middle from behind your own net, really? Oh yes, he got a goal. Well even a blind squirrel can sometimes find a nut. Any player above the level of bantam could have scored that goal.
    Gomez costs a roster spot for a guy that could produce more plus sucks up cap space, but Kaberle does all that and actually causes goals against. Absolutely terrible.
    I hope everyone has a nice day!

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

    • Malreg says:

      You would still buy that player out, it just wouldn’t count against the cap.

    • 44har48 says:

      When they roll the the cap back next year there will be compliance buyouts. You won’t be able to just walk away form teh contract but you can buy it out and pay it off over the length without it being a cap hit. I have been saying this for weeks, and I am sure this is why Gauthier went and got Kaberle. He knows that contract won;t be with us long. Gomez should be gone too.

      I’ll also ask my question again, becuase I am almost certain Molson will have these opportunities, does he eat the Gomez, Kaberle, and Gauthier contracts and replace them, or does he keep them and save his money?

      • JimBob says:

        “When they roll the the cap back next year there will be compliance buyouts.”

        Is there even a guarantee there will be a ‘next year’?

        Considering who the player’s association brought in to negotiate with the owners, I wouldn’t be so sure about that….

    • Bill says:

      So, focus on the bad play, then when Kaberle score, it’s the old “blind squirrel” cliché …

      The only reason I defend Kaberle is because there is so much irrational criticism it bugs me. It makes no sense. Is there an actual statistical measure that would support your argument that Kaberle has been terrible since joining the Habs?

      His worst his -8, but he’s not leading the team on that, not even close, and he’s not even leading D-men. Everyone loves Emelin, well, his -11 is none too pretty.

      Kaberle has 22 points in 39 games as a Hab, 12 of them on the power-play, which has improved from 12 to 19 percent since he arrived. No, he shouldn’t play against top lines at even strength, but that’s not his job. And yeah, he made a lousy pass last night. Show me a player who doesn’t.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Strummer says:

        I would also add that retaining Spacek would not have kept us out of 15th place.
        At the the time of the trade we got a better player for about the same money.
        Kaberle is also tradeable. Look how desperate we were for D-Men last fall. A few injuries and any team could be as desperate.
        At $4.25 and only 2 more years his contract is reasonable compared to what some of the UFA”s are going for (Grabovski, Hemsky, Ruutu)

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

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        I agree. Kaberle is putting up points, and quite a few at that… which is exactly what he is billed as: an offensive defenseman. The problem is the pairing of Campoli and Kaberle… not that RC has any choice. Put a solid physical Dman with Kaberle and it’s not all that bad. Markov on 1st PP unit. Kaberle on 2nd.

  55. habsfanforever7631 says:

    How can anyone be mad that we lost, we can’t go 0-15.
    It’s nice to see a win once in a while.
    A lot of Hab fans stay up for these games, whatever they tell us I think everyone enjoys a win because winning rocks and losing sucks.
    It’s good that we’re gona get a top 3 pick and all but it still hurts after all the losses.

    Go Habs Go

  56. HardHabits says:

    Maybe somebody can help me clarify something. Hypothetical of course.

    Let’s say the Habs send Gomez to Hamilton next season and he starts lighting it up and ends up leading the AHL scoring race by the mid way mark. And given this possibility, other teams start expressing interest in him.

    If he gets traded to another team, would that new team still need to pass him through waivers to be able to call him up?

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Yes that’s right. Then another team can claim him; though I’m not sure if the Habs get the tab for half his salary or if the team who traded for him sucks it up.
      I’m not much help, am I?

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

    • Malreg says:

      Why would a team trade for him if they could just claim him off re-entry waivers at half the price?

      I think if he goes down to the AHL, he’s staying there for the full season. We can’t afford the risk of being on the hook for half of his cap hit if he gets claimed.

  57. HardHabits says:

    I can see it now. The last game of the season. Habs and Leafs tied for 26th place.

  58. Marc10 says:

    Out-tanked! Congrats to Max and well done by PK to make sure he got number 30. Now to pass Kovalev’s high water mark from 08… Loving the way Patches has rebounded and ramped it up. Out-fricken standing!

    BTW, who was the guy wearing 11? That kid can skate, eh! ;-)

  59. RGM says:

    Awesome fact of the morning: only 7 players in the entire NHL have more goals than Max Pacioretty.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • The Cat says:

      Im just afraid that next year, he’ll get into a slump and have a couple of games where he’ll be a minus, then theyll start trying to improve his defensive game as a result.

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

  60. Nova Scotia Voyageurs says:

    That is great news about Monsieur Béliveau. Does anyone have an update on Jean-Guy Talbot? He had a stroke a week ago. I was checking the sites this morning looking for an update and found none.

  61. Cal says:

    I still think Houle is the worst ever GM in the Habs history. He single-handedly ruined the Habs. BG righted the ship until the untimely death of his daughter and PG has been very, um, so-so.
    The media, always eager to dispense hyperbole on all things Canadiens, continues a campaign to dismantle the management team. PG, an eccentric among the cavemen running hockey clubs, will more than likely be dropped after the regular season ends. Let’s all hope the next GM has a very thick skin. And is a good judge of talent.

    • slamtherimtim says:

      sad to say but very true about BG , the year his daughter passed , hurt the habs more

    • Mustang says:

      I can still clearly remember the day that Houle was introduced as the new GM. I immediately began to wonder who would become the new coach. He would have to be someone with lots of experience as Houle was totally inexperienced. When the announcement was made that Mario Trembley was the new head coach, I almost fell off my chair. I told my wife that the Habs were going to be in for a very difficult time but I had no idea just how bad it would get. Yes, I am referring to the Patrick Roy mess and everything that followed.

    • third generation haber says:

      I agree 100% Gauthier/ Gainey have made both good and bad moves.

      Under Houle’s regime we both lost every trade we made and seemed to have been drafting dead people!

      We were still climbing out of the rubble of his idiocy when Gainey took-over and had very little to work with.

      Houle lost us Patrick Roy for nothing, while Gainey got us out of the Theodore contract.

      j.p. murray

    • ont fan says:

      Houle and trembley..the worst by far..BG had a lot on his plate..100 anniversary, pressure from the owner for a big push, new CBA, plus family.

  62. neumann103 says:

    I hope it is not considered bad form to post links to other paper’s sites but here is an interesting What might have been thread
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/6/coach-kirk-muller-changed-hurricanes-culture/

    Read the descriptions that Jamie McBain and Derek Joslin give of Muller’s impact. Doesn’t that sound like the kind of hockey and kind of team you would want to watch?

    A couple of seasons back when the Habs were being coached by Muller to use their speed and skill to play a puck possession game I used to watch in wonder. You would see them head into overtime and wonder “will the other team even touch the puck in the prolongation?”

    Chasing Kirk Muller away to keep Jacques Martin feeling secure will be regarded as one of the stupidest actions of this management regime.

    “Et le but!”

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      You’re talking about the same Hurricanes that will be joining us on the sidelines come April? Oh, along with Boucher’s Bolts? Saviours are so hard to come by, ain’t they?

      • HardHabits says:

        We’re still waiting for the Second Coming of Markov.

      • neumann103 says:

        es I am talking about the very-not-talented Hurricanes team that was in worse disarray than the Habs and has gone 16-14-10 while the Habs have gone 12-20-3 over a similar period running some mutant version of Le Systeme under Randy Cunneyworth.

        I was never a big booster of the fire Jacques Martin meme but I did think he was the wrong coach for this team. However the time to make the change was in the offseason. Tolet Muller go and then fire Martin days after Muller is hired by the ‘Canes is a missed opportunity for less suckitude.

        “Et le but!”

        • Thomas Le Fan says:

          Less suckitude? Now there’s a goal. So far it’s way too soon to give Muller much credit. Did the Herks improve because of him of is it just a dead cat bounce? I think we miss the playoffs either way with this team, as it stands. Coaching wasn’t the number one issue. It’s hard to win in this league and the difference between suckitude and success is not that large.

          • neumann103 says:

            Agreed with that. Particularly this season there is a logjam of suckitude. Normally in the East you have something like 5 or 6 real teams and then 3 or 4 duking it out for the last 2 playoff spots, and then true suckitude below that. This season you have essentially 7 or 8 teams who completely suck and deserve to be nowhere near the playoffs and yet are still in contention for those last two spots.

            I don’t think coaching was the number 1 issue. One of the hallmarks of a bad team is consistently losing close games. Good teams find a way to win 1 goal games (or not blow third period leads). And do think that coaching plays a significant role in that.

            The main impact that I think Muller would have had are:
            More appropriate use of the talents in place rather than trying to shoehorn them into the system.
            Motivating the “yutes” and dealing with adversity in development. I mean I don’t think I was alone or particularly insightful in saying that Emelin and Diaz would have a rocky first 20 games or so but would emerge if you gave them time to adjust to the North American ice and game. Benching Emelin (or Lars Eller for that matter) for whatever perceived failing was never a good move and I don’t think we would have seen that from Muller.

            “Et le but!”

  63. Ian Cobb says:

    Coaching and management in the new NHL is worth more than 50% of a teams success or failure!

    For example, St. Louis changed coaches mid stream. Hitchcock now has the #1 team in the NHL with the same players that were faltering earlier.

    • You’re right Ian. They have to be set up properly for sure.

      As bad as the Canadiens are since they shipped out Cammalleri, Gill, and Kostitsyn, they still aren’t as bad as the Edmonton Oilers.

      The Oilers with players like Hall, Hopkins, and Eberle could all well be 100 point players but on that team and that management they never will be. The Oil are proving that right now. God Bless them fans though, they deserve better.

      They’ve been sucking for years, and they still suck. How bad are they? They’re about to get another top 3 pick and it still won’t help them.

      Hall, Eberle, and Hopkins, to our Pacioretty, Subban, Desharnais, and Price.

      Were the Habs set up to draft these guys automatically? No, they were chosen and that’s what management does. They set up the team, play the season, and adjust accordingly.

      Doesn’t matter now, the Habs are well on there way to a top three pick and that will help, but remember watching the Oilers games the next time you hope they lose! Tanking is for losers who can’t manage themselves. It’s the easy way out and if you’re any man at all, you take the challenge head on and attempt to win.

      Canadiens Management built this team and I laugh every time I read a fan talking down on any member of the Habs, both on and off the ice.

      I’m looking forward to a season with Markov.

      I’m looking forward to a season with the new defensive core that will make Price play better. Remember last season with a good defense? Price was incredible almost every game. Why? Because he didn’t have to feel he had to do everything. Not so much now.

      Look forward people…..never back!

      Manitoba Peewee Provincials today, three days of watching Matthew play hockey, that’s the life!

      They Call Me Shane
      “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

  64. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    I’d just like to say that I have 2 hockey-playing boys, both defencemen, and watching Subban play with the amount of spirit that he has, he has made playing defence cool in their eyes. He also does a lot of little things right, most of the time, and they are learning from watching him play. Watching him fight off that Oiler as he carried the puck out of the zone before he passed it to Pacioretty was inspirational. Thank you P.K.

  65. Ian Cobb says:

    I am very excited to see this morning that we won the battle for last place last night, trying to stay away from that dreaded task of selecting a 1st over all draft pick!!!

  66. Haligonian-Hab says:

    We must not lose our pt cushion between 2nd last and third! Damn Pacioretty and his stupid goal scoring skillz

  67. Mattyleg says:

    Stubbs wrote that.

    I’ve been saaaaved!!
    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  68. krob1000 says:

    I agree that they are all good centers with one being great but as of this moment Pleks is the most versatile and complete, Dd is perhaps the most offensively gifted and Eller has the potential to be a combination of the two. The Cap has to be a factor here and given what Grabovski just got….if DD has another great year next year what will his salary be? At that point if he requires Pleks money…then I go with Pleks as he is more versatile and complete. If we trade Pleks yes the return would be pretty good and things could work out if Eller lives up to the promise he is showing but I thnk I would prefer two centers that can play both ends and any situation (that would mean Eller and Pleks). DD is ever imporving though so next eyar will tell the tale but I hope the plan isn’t to jettison Pleks right away because should we stay healthy and guys play to their abilities or close to them we should be aplayoff team and Pleks woud come in mighty handy there.
    It will beintersting but you are right …the fact we have 3 pretty good centers despite our highest paid one playing horribly and two others having less than 2 years under their belt can only be viewed as a positive.

  69. Mike D says:

    Buzz-killer.
    hahaha

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  70. TomNickle says:

    Not many prospects are sniffing their thirties pal.

    Kostitsyn hasn’t been a prospect for five years.

  71. Mike D says:

    27 year olds with 6 years of NHL experience under their belt aren’t prospects anymore, but I will give you that he was a Habs-drafted player.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  72. Mattyleg says:

    I know, I detected a glimmer of hope in your post.

    I’ve been saaaaved!!
    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  73. LafleurGuy says:

    Amazing that we had three YOUNG Belarussians on the team at one time, and now they are above average players for other teams. We got Nada in return. Greg Pateryn, Dustin Boyd, Dan Ellis, future 2nd rounder. As far as utility of a 2nd round pick, we got P.K. and Guillaume Latendresse, but also Ben Maxwell, Cory Urqhart, Duncan Milroy, and Tomas Linhart. Yeah, about 30% chance of finding an NHLer.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  74. TomNickle says:

    Are you trying to insult me by spelling my name incorrectly?

    The Habs trading players or losing them to free agency is not foreign to the other 29 teams in the NHL in case you hadn’t noticed.

    There are very few teams that are able to keep the majority of their drafted players into their thirties.

    Asking me to compile a list of players the Canadiens have drafted who played in Montreal longer than any other organization is an attempt to attack the point of view that this franchise has a significant core of players drafted by the same organization without rebuttle.

    You aren’t looking for conversation, you’re looking to shout displeasure from the rooftops without logical counter-point being tossed your way.

    This team hasn’t traded a prospect of any significance since Sergei Kostitsyn. And he was such a pain in the ass that nobody in the room(his brother included) could stand to be around him anymore.

    The Bruins and Red Wings are are among the select few who have successfully retained their young players into their primes. And the Bruins and Red Wings would each have nothing to show for it if not for Chara and Lidstrom respectively.

    You may think by the way that the sun rises and sets out of McDonagh’s ass. But his career has been very brief and like so many other young players, things change quickly.

  75. Forum Dog says:

    Not a great list. None of those players are particularly special, and all come with qualifications.

    – Vokoun wasn’t going to get much crease time anyway, and didn’t even come into his own until about his 4th year with Nashville.

    – Robidas was a solid player, but even today is no screaming hell

    – Ribeiro is a headcase. Nuff said.

    – Hainsey makes $5M per year to put up middling points and play average D. Nuff said.

    – Higgins is a career 3rd liner who played top minutes on crappy Montreal teams.

    – Grabovski is a headcase.

    – Streit was a nice player, but not worth the jack that Montreal would have had to pay him. You might not see a player like Subban now if they had kept him.

    – Kostitsyn was a headcase and probably still is. Just that he plays on a much better all around team right now.

    – D’Agostini is not that great.

    – Latendresse has played about 10 games in two years.

    I would hesitate to suggest that keeping those players then would make Montreal better now. Bit of a stretch I think.

  76. Cal says:

    Asham? Really?
    Vokoun- nice, average goalie.
    Robidas- solid 2nd or 3rd pairing guy – excellent career.
    Beauchemin- over-rated and overpaid.
    Ribiero- Mr. Twitch on the ice in a playoff game and then sit on bench laughing about it? Bye-bye, A-hole.
    Hainsey- average 3rd pairing guy.
    Higgins- 3rd liner blossoming into a 4th liner- too much partying can ruin a promising career.
    Grabs- Class 1 a-hole- $27.5 mil wasted on a knob
    Streit- over-paid 1 dimensional Dman.

    Most had very good reasons for being let go, not the least of which is a non-professional attitude. Grabo, SK and Lats fit that
    category.
    All teams move players out rightly or wrongly. All trades come from “problem” players.
    Hainsey and Beauchemin could not both be protected and kept.
    Perezhogin wanted to play close to home and he does. Nothing to do with the Habs “culture.”

  77. TomNickle says:

    Hard to get a decent return for a player who was told to leave practice on more than one occasion due to a piss poor attitude and another player who openly refused to play the style of game that the coaching staff and management were requesting he play.

    He was by the way close to thirty pounds overweight which goes to show just how seriously he takes his profession.

  78. TomNickle says:

    The Penguins are hardly a model to follow and their roster is littered with players not drafted by their organization. They’ve also made a Lions share of mistakes in their drafting. I’m not going to get into a debate about their top 5 picks other than to say anyone who believes that Marc Andre Fleury was a better selection than Eric Staal needs their head examined. They also took Jordan Staal ahead of Jonathan Toews and Nick Backstrom.

    Every team has lost players considered to be valuable for a number of reasons. The excellent teams keep their core players, and that’s something this organization seems to be focused on now.

  79. TomNickle says:

    Not a hissy fit Dave. Just trying to sprinkle some common sense onto this Jambalaya.

  80. TomNickle says:

    You mean the culture that largely contributed to a quarter-century worth of Stanley Cup victories? That culture?

    I’ve got news for you. To the players, it’s a job. They want to be the best they can at their profession for the most part, but it’s a job. It’s not something they live and die with.

    What exactly about the culture of being a Hab made Latendresse treat his body like a dumpster? What about playing under the microscope caused Sergei Kostitsyn to talk to teammates and coaches like they were lower than dirt?

    You’re making excuses for immature people. Have you not noticed a theme with the roster players that get traded away from this organization? The large majority of them are bad in the locker room or don’t know what it means to be a professional.

  81. TomNickle says:

    I’m not living in the past in any way. It’s you who is living in the past by pointing to present day players drafted by the Montreal Canadiens currently enjoying success with other organizations.

    What you don’t seem to realize is that young people are immature. And that’s one of the biggest factors in the draft process. Young players of good character learn from veterans and conduct themselves accordingly. The young players who don’t wind up being traded or not sustaining success at the professional level.

    These kids that were traded were moved in large part because of their lack of maturity and dedication to their craft. And that’s why second chances work so well in other locations, because being moved is usually a last chance for young players.


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