The calm before the storm

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Ondrej Pavelec | Craig Ramsay | Anthony Stewart

There were two relaxed teams on the ice at the Phillips Arena this morning as the Canadiens and the Atlanta Thrashers worked off some of the Thanksgiving turkey in preparation for tonight’s game (7:30 p.m., RDS, CJAD Radio-800).

Both teams are coming off big wins Wednesday. The Canadiens beat Los Angeles 4-1 while the Thrashers won their third in a row with an impressive 5-1 win over Detroit. While Jacques Martin is known for putting together teams which are defensively responsible, Atlanta’s Craig Ramsay says he wants to create an up-tempo style. The Thrashers have the No. 3 power play in the league with Dustin Byfuglien leading the way with four of his eight goals on the PP. They’ll provide a test for the Canadiens, who boast the No. 2 penalty-killing unit in the NHL.

Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal for Atlanta while Alex Auld gets a rare start for the Canadiens, Pavelec’s 4-4-2 recrd is deceiving because he’s among the league leaders in goals-against average (1.84) and save percentage (.942).


  1. LA Loyalist says:

    I’m in Hawaii and can’t catch the game. Is it as bad as it sounds? Don’t we have any freaking pride?

    Bag skate em on the St. Lawrence – – before it freezes!

  2. habstrinifan says:



  3. habstrinifan says:

    So how can i watch the game on puter and follow Boone’s Blog. Does RDS stream it? Dont have any fancy electronics like my brother so dont suggest watching TV via puter. Think I’ll hang out with the gang here and enjoy Boone’s Blog instead of going downstairs in the basement where I am relegated for hockey watching.

  4. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    I kinda had a similar feeling, but didn’t want to Jinx it – instead I made this new avatar!

  5. habstrinifan says:

    A STAR will be borned tonight and hab fans shalt rightfullly annoint him to carry a HINT of Les Gros Bill on the ice. Just a hint not in anyway a comparison. But a hint of the grace of Les Gros Bill. If any player on the team can be described as a graceful player … it is Lars Eller. Tonight 2 goals 2 assists.

  6. observer says:

    waved his hand after kiprusoff was hacking away at his ankles. but i repeat in that case should have whistled or waved as soon as pronger did it which was at least a couple of seconds before the goal was scored. this young unheard of ref to me at least only waved it off after the goal was scored. i was watching on the calgary sportsnet telecast , homer announcers – both said it was a chintzy call!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. observer says:

    then the “young” greenhorn offificial should have whistled the play dead 2 seconds BEFORE the goal. sick anmd tired of refs and officials in todays sports determining momentum and/or who wins each game. the problem starts at the commissioners of all these sports – happy to fine or suspend players for their actions yet refuse to even publically expose their own incompetant hirelings.



    boy! i did not just fall off the turnip truck! like a greenhorn likre you did. pro sports today have nmore games determined by officials who have been instructed by commissioners to get involved. do you have a clue about nbettmans gambling ties? boots del baggio? bettmans own vegas connections? for one with the casino owner who owns the sacremento baskets team? the place he holds the nhl awards in vegas? or his brother las vegas world series of poker his own brother pollock who is that commissioner? the same one toccet played poker at during the year he was on trial then pled guilty o0nly to be allowed by bettman to coach again? do you know anything about andy van hellemond longtime ref and former bettman head of refs?


    made that way – tax free money. a lot of politicians have been caught for much less.

  8. JIMVINNY says:

    You clearly have no comprehension of the rules of the game, so please restrain yourself from commenting on matters which you do not understand.  That call was absolutely the right call, and good on that official for making it.

  9. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    It all averages out at the end of the season and by that point the stats don’t matter anymore.

  10. habsgirl74 says:

    i really wish they would come up with a different way to do the stats for goalies, a goalie that plays 9 games and a goalie that plays 20 games isn’t a fair calculation for stats if it went by the best stats for goalies that played the most games Price would be number 1 

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    Following The Sean Avery antics in the 2008 playoffs of NYR-NJD, waving your hands in front of the goalie to distract him was officially made an extension of Unsportsmanlike Conduct.


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

  12. observer says:

    THE GAME WAS FIXED. Richards scored in overtime. some 12 year old hired by bettman to officiate from quebec disallowed the winning goal due to “unsportsmanlike conduct.”

  13. Corio says:

    Ya well at least it will hopefully get them off their game some!

  14. savethepuck says:

    In a shootout so they still got a point

  15. Corio says:

    Ya Flyers lost today!

  16. canadiens26 says:

    I wonder how many more people will be attending this game tonight then any other night. I unfortunately will be missing this one as I am going to watch our young guns play against Binghamton tonight at Scotiabank.

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    Cool, haven’t had a chance to watch the Bulldogs live this year, my planned trips to the Habs emptied my discretionary hockey fund. Keep an eye on #23 Max Pacioretty!


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

  18. Say Ash says:

    This was posted by “B” earlier this morning but is worth another read. Timo, get on it!

    “When does the campaign to get MAB on the All Star list start? :) If an unsigned player got voted in would he represent his last team or would he have to have some sort of a neutral or a general league affiliation? Perhaps they would just not let him play? Oh heck, why not vote Yemelin in to see if he shows up (is Kazan playing that night?”

  19. joshua94k says:

    Happy Birthday to Mathieu Darche!

    Here is a player who truly values being a Montreal Canadien. A home grown boy who grew up in Ville St. Laurent and played for McGill, he realized his dream coming true – playing for the HABS. He is one player who has made the team through his hard work, and attitude. Every practice, shift, game is equally important to him. No matter who his linemates are, amount of ice time, playing or not, he has an optimistic attitude.

    Let’s wish him all ther best and hope he could help the HABS win the Stanley Cup.

    Now that would be a story.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  20. avatar_58 says:

    No kidding

  21. Former Jets Fan says:

    Indeed, many happy returns to M. Darche, who has been a revelation this season, and is exactly the type of player Cup-winning teams have toiling among their bottom-6.

    I feel a little sheepish linking to a Scott Cullen article, but if you scroll down the page, you’ll see an almost unbelievable testament to Darche’s value.

  22. 24 Cups says:

    Atlanta and Andrew Ladd.  Excuse me for playing the what if game, but this is the one guy that I wished G&G had of gone after this summer.  He was available because of the Chicago cap sale, and we probably could have had him for Kristo and a 2nd rounder (Chicago settled for Vishnevsky and a 2nd).  That’s a deal I would have made in a heartbeat.  I would have found the cap space by moving Hamrlik and bringing in another 2nd/3rd Dman with the leftover coin (Morrisonn?).

    It’s all for not now, but Ladd would have given us a solid 2nd line as he would have been just hitting his prime at 24.  It’s not like we would have been trading for a guy in his mid 30’s.

    What if, indeed.

  23. andrewberkshire says:

    Steve, judging by where Chicago made trades with, there’s no way that trade was available to Montreal. They were selling to specific teams, the bottom feeders of the east. Not contenders.

  24. Corio says:

    I find MTL struggles with defensive system teams, hope they can make some room through the neutral zone tonight and take it to them!

  25. Maksimir says:

    True dat.

    The Habs’ offence can get smothered fairly easily by a well organized defense first team. But then again, that is what the Habs have been doing to others this season so it is almost a wash.

  26. rocketsglare says:

    Tonight’s game is going to be a test of the team’s ability to keep the 3rd best PP off the ice. The Habs have

    the 2nd best PK, but should not tempt fate. They must continue to play intense and focused while smother-

    ing the Thrashers with a tight checking game. If the Habs are disciplined, patient, and opportunistic on their

    opportunities on the PP and other scoring chances, then they should prevail tonight. I have a feeling this will

    be a closely fought game and probably decided by a late goal. Should be a great game.


    Go Habs Go!

  27. andrewberkshire says:

    The Habs have the #1 PK in the league.

  28. Wayne says:

    I was going to post something like that too. It could boil down to a special teams contest but, if the Habs still have some of the L.A. game fire-in-the-belly left, it should go our way nicely.


    4-3 Habs

  29. 24 Cups says:

    Valid point. 

  30. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    I don’t know if it was so much that they were dealing with “the bottom-feeders of the East” so much as it was dealing with Rick Dudley and Dale Tallon, two former Blackhawks front-office guys. I know they dealt Versteeg to Toronto, but that actually landed them their only NHL-ready replacement in Viktor Stalberg.

    Either way, I don’t think the Habs were in their trading plans, but if we were, I also would have like to see us land Ladd, as he would have been a nice addition to the 2nd line and has also won 2 cups with 2 different teams.

  31. andrewberkshire says:

    Replied to you on the liveblog as well, Steve.

  32. andrewberkshire says:

    Could very well be what you’ve said here. Did they make a trade with Florida though? I don’t remember that off the top of my head.

  33. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    They traded Marty Reasoner to the Panthers. They also made two trades with Rick Dudley and Atlanta, who got the best players Chicago shipped out (Byfuglien and Ladd).

  34. andrewberkshire says:

    Reasoner, right. The two trades with Atlanta were obviously the biggest ones. Sopel and Eager also got sent to Atlanta.

  35. 24 Cups says:

    JY – Ladd was traded for a good prospect and a 2nd rounder.  The Byfuglien deal, which was seperate,  also included a 1st and a 2nd rounder, as well as Jeremy Morin who is a decent looking kid.  Personally, I thought Atlanta over paid seeing that Chicago had it’s back to the cap wall. 

    We probably would have had to overpay ourselves which may have been counter productive.  All the same, Ladd would have been a great pick-up in the summer. 

  36. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    I agree that we should not have overpaid. If Ladd would have cost us Kristo, I would have said no thanks. Dudley was probably more willing to overpay, seeing as he knew and really wanted Ladd, especially after getting Byfuglien. It’s not often you can add two young cup winners to your team, especially when they both play big roles (Top 6 gritty forward and Top PP defenseman).

    I was really hoping teams would play hardball with the Hawks this summer and that we could get either Ladd or Byfuglien on the cheap.

  37. 24 Cups says:

    JY – Here’s my take on the Kristo deal.  He’s a good prospect but certainly not a blue-chipper.  Great speed with hockey smarts who’s a bit undersized.  He was a mid-level 2nd rounder from high school hockey.  At this poin tin time, he may or may not make it.  He certainly isn’t a Subban type 2nd round gem.  Ladd is just 24 and is (was) ready to blossom.  Good size and in a position to give us lots of years of solid hockey.  Even if Kristo becomes a solid top six guy, we still have a major asset in Ladd.  The 2nd rounder?  I think it’s safe to say we will have to give up something like that this spring to bring in another UFA rental forward.  The forward that already would have been Ladd.

  38. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    Well, last summer, when the deal would have been made, Kristo was looking like our top offensive prospect. He had a great year at North Dakota and was fantastic in the WJC, so to me, he did look like a potential 2nd round steal a la Subban. This year, when he is struggling, he looks more expendable. When I say I woul dnot have offered Kristo, it is more because I believe the Hawks were in such a bad position, that we could have tried to play hardball and deal a lesser prospect. Unfortunately, Atlanta was willing to play nice with the Hawks.

    I definitely would not have considered it a bad trade had we gotten Ladd for Kristo and a 2nd though, because, like you, I am very high on Ladd.

    As for Kristo, I’m not sure what is going on this year, but I will be curious to see what he looks like next to Leblanc and maybe Avtsin in Hamilton next year. I think he is still a potential game-breaker. He was too good in the WJC to think that he won’t be an impact player.

  39. 24 Cups says:

    Kristo is certainly still on our A  list.  If we have learned anything, it’s that we shouldn’t rush our young players (paging MaxPac:-)

    I hope that Leblanc and Tinordi follow a well thought out develop plan that isn’t short-circuited by any immediate need or emergency on the big team.

    Nice talking to you.  I have to go now before the grunts and trolls come out on the site:-)

  40. habstrinifan says:

    I think you are saying you would have given up Kristo for Ladd. I agree.

  41. secretdragonfly says:

    Totally unrelated but on a lighter note, read about Guy Lafleur’s first car purchase. Boy, those were the days.–my-first-car-guy-lafleur-s-cadillac

  42. Former Jets Fan says:

    Off-topic, but a big “Ha-Ha!” to the Devils, who are so bad, they’re mere minutes away from being shut-out by the lowly Islanders.  Yes, the Islanders, they of the 14 game losing streak.  Somewhere, members of the 1980-1981 Winnipeg Jets are readying to uncork the champagne, as their epic 30 game winless streak will live at least another year in the record books 😉

  43. canadiens26 says:

    Boston and Ottawa both lost in regulation today too!

  44. Chuck says:

    Don’t be so quick to rule the Isles out. They’ve got well over 30 games to play this season.  :)

    Markov’s doctor describes injury as “disturbing”

  45. observer says:

    One of Bettman’s best fix jobs by his refs today in OT in Philly. The league is run by crooked shysters.

  46. rocketsglare says:

    Andrew, according to Hickey it’s #2 in the league, but I will take your word that it is indeed #1. Apparently Hickey

    got this stat wrong. His goof, my bad.


    Go Habs Go!

  47. observer says: telecast of flyers game had habs as #2 pk but #1 in east. atlanta #1 pp in east, #3 overall.

  48. rocketsglare says:

    So, I guess Andrew and Pat were both right.


    Go Habs Go!

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The calm before the storm

There was little news to report from the morning skate today. The Canadiens were able to start early because the Blackhawks took the day off after losing 2-0 in Nashville last night. (Cristobal Huet stopped 25 of 26 shots and the second Nashville goal went into an empty Chicago empty net.

Carey Price will start in goal and there will be some changes on the top two lines. Scott Gomez will centre Andrei Kostitsyn and Brian Gionta while Mike Cammalleri will be on the second line with Tomas Plekanec and Maxim Lapierre.

AUDIO: Mike Cammalleri | Josh Gorges

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