The dread Dec. 23

Tough road trip continues

Ward is good against Habs

A slide to eighth? – François Gagnon

Datsyuk breaks wrist in Wings’ win

• Michael Farber’s Top 10 of 2010

ESPN Trophy tracker


  1. mjames says:

    I had the good fortune of watching our Dallas effort the other night. Over the past day I have had the opportunity to read some of the posts and  columns regarding our performance . I will say that I was relieved to read that Jacques saw some real positive things in the Dallas game. I feel so much better knowing that goals are secondary to sound play “without” the puck. 

    Below are some of my observations on the game, the team and the analysis put forth by the experts.

    (1) It appeared to me that Dallas was toying with the Habs during most of the game. In this game shots on goal was a totally misleading and irrelevant statistic. One is kidding oneself if one takes comfort in the fact that the Habs limited Dallas scoring chances. It appeared to me from watching the game that Dallas could have done anything it wanted to do. We were that outclassed. Either Martin is just plain lying or he is a bigger incompetent than I thought if he took some positives from this game.

    (2) The benching of AK46 confirmed one thing in my opinion. AK’s passing creates the chances for the Pleks line. I have nothing against the effort put forth by Cammy, Eller and Pleks but the guy who makes that line go is AK and his passing.  I am not talking about his effort without the puck i am talking when he has the puck. I would say more than 90% of his passes are tape to tape.  Someone should ask Cammy and Pleks what AK’s contribution to this line is.

    (3) Gomez must have one heck of contract. I think the contract must absolve him from back-checking responsibility. Unlike Eller, Pleks and others, Gomez is never down low in our end trying to check. The only time I see him in our end is when circles to pick up the puck and begin one of his patented rushes to “nowhere”. Sure he got an assist but so did AK in his last game. It is obvious that Gomez is an untouchable on the team.

    (4) Who was that #26 on our team. He looked like one of the Dmen from our Tier 3 men’s hockey league. That was the worst display of hockey that I have ever seen on a professional level. It was pointed out in the various posts and columns that Gorges was playing hurt and it was implied that we should discount his performance due to this injury. That is pure hogwash. If the guy is that hurt then Martin should have sat him out and played Weber. If Gorges insisted on playing in that state then he was selfish and not thinking of the team. Martin was irresponsible for letting him play. If it turns out that Gorges was not hurt then he deserves to be benched for that performance.

    (5) In AK’s absence I see where Boone trotted out his second favorite whipping boy and partially pinned the blame for this loss on Pouliot’s inability to convert Laps pass into a goal. I agree that Pouliot should have buried that pass but in no way is he even remotely responsible for this loss. Boone is clearly distracted by the presence of Pouliot and AK on this team. If he was an impartial reporter/columist/observer he would have pointed out that Moen, Gorges and numerous others were just as, if not more responsible for this loss. Moen committed at least three turnovers one of which resulted in Dallas’ third goal. How come only Pouliot and AK get signaled out by Boone for their play.

    (6) What is up with Boone? Here we have a guy in AK who is benched and not even playing yet Boone sees fit to call him out at least five times in his blog, QH and ALN. 

    (7) Turning to AK, I will not disagree that he is weak along the boards at times. his back-checking is inconsistent and he occasionally appears to lack interest. We are forever lamenting the fact the we drafted this guy. To rescue AK from this malaise our coach either assigns him to the 4th line duty or benches him. I see where some have used the definition of insanity to explain the effectiveness of Martin’s actions. Well Martin’s motivational strategies with respect to AK is another example of that famous insanity definition. Maybe just maybe this is how AK plays. We have seen example after example of Russian players being accused of floating. Kovy , Kovey2 , Semin, Zerdev, and Frolov are examples of Russian players who have been accused of floating. As i said maybe just maybe this is how they play. We seem to want to change the way these guy play to that of Saskatchewan farm boys. If the Habs want Saskatchewan farm boys them draft them and stay away from the Russians. We could use more Moens I guess. 


  2. SmartDog says:

    …and a Happy New Winger!


  3. SmartDog says:

    You know, if you don’t stop, you’re going to get kicked off for being reasonable. 

    People want baseless “feel good” inuendo not facts and reasoned speculation.


  4. The Cat says:

    I dont think he sucks either, but for sure he doesnt make those around him better. I dont want to say hes problematic or a cancer but he seems to fit the bill.

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

  5. shiram says:

    He is 31 actually, my holiday haddled brain, can barely function.

  6. habaholic68NJ says:

    Devils Fans?  You mean all 12 of them?

  7. HabFanSince72 says:

    Thing is – I don’t think Kovalchuk is a floater.

    He wasn’t for the Devils last year, and he’s been pretty consistent in his career.



  8. G-Man says:

    The Devils owner is getting precisely what he deserves for forcing Lamorillo to sign a guy who has done nothing and will continue to do nothing. The Thrashers are happy that Mr. Float is gone. How long before what’s left of Devils Fans revolt?

  9. Malreg says:

    My guess is Pyatt and Picard.

    As long as your boy shows a little emotion tonight…

  10. Bugs says:

    Is my boy Poolio gettin scratched tonight?

    Unquestionably unquestionable, I think I’m

    L. Bugs Potter, esq., Herzog of ze Abominable Habsuchtig Brigade, Markgraf of ze Fearsome Flanell Flausen Flank, und devoted minion of ze Habsbros Order:

  11. J_P says:

    Excellent points.  Also, the cap space and salary not committed to kovalchuk allowed atlanta to gets guys like ladd and big buff.

  12. SeriousFan09 says:

    Brad Marchand in Boston still feeling the impact of the Subban hit folks, injured and couldn’t take a full skate today.


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

  13. HabFanSince72 says:

    The problem with the whiners  is that the rest of us can’t bitch and moan. We all know the team is slumping and it might feel good to come here and complain a bit, but you just can’t. You can’t ’cause you’d only be empowering those idiots.


  14. HabFanSince72 says:

    Off topic but I watched a bit of the Wings – Nucks game last night. On the Wings’ late tying goal Tomas Holmstrom got creamed against the boards real hard and fell down. He picked himself up, went straight to the front of the net, and created the screen that led to the goal. I thought to myself, wow not bad for a 33 year old.

    Except I just checked and he’s 37!

    That’s a hockey player.


  15. G-Man says:

    After the first 20 games, Martin is a genius. Now, after 34 games, he can do no right.

    I have to laugh at all the coach wannabes here who bitch and moan.

  16. joeybarrie says:

    Although I don’t mean to say Atlanta aren’t good. I do not believe they are as good as they have been playing. I think Buf and Ladd (both from Chi) were great additions and are playing great. The question is will it last? Are these guys playing to their potential or simply HOT. Oduya is a solid D with good experience and so is Sopel. And Bergfors is not doing too badly.

    One of the things about having a superstar on your team is how often do you rely on him to do everything? How many plays are based on getting him the puck? So once he is gone, you can see what the others were capable of if giving the puck more often.

    The other thing is the young guys they have acquired are starting to come into their prime. Getting 4 players from the Stanley Cup Champions and having 2 of them lead your team in scoring is a good adjustment.

    I just don’t know if they have a season long team to be in the top five. They are the scoring leader in the East, and their goalie is playing great since his big faint. But their Defence is weak, and if their forwards and BUFFY cool off, they might not make the playoffs.

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

  17. longtimehabsfan says:

    McLean out and Lemaire back in as coach of the Devils.

  18. JohnBellyful says:

    I can give you a place to stay temporarily. Does it have to be in the Western provinces?

  19. Chris79 says:

    Mike Cammalleri can’t really perform with feelin a sense of security in our team…a sense of toughness..not be a big team like the Brunettes or the Flyers  but atleast have a guy that is dedicated to the Organization…that will stand up for anybody but mostly for the team..A Local guy maybe..?

    i don’t know just puttin it outthere….


  20. BJ says:

    I don’t know about Belarus but a french variant could be Martini est fini…..

  21. 123456 says:

    i need game tickets, air fare as well as a place to stay.

  22. gohabsgo25 says:

    does anyone here need tickets to the heritage classic.

    e mail me for more details

  23. Say Ash says:

    Merry Pacioretty, Scott.

  24. shiram says:

    Let’s wish a happy birthday to our much maligned center, who seems to have picked up his play recently, Scott Gomez. He is 32 today.


  25. Mark C says:

    Don’t forget Montreal management should have had the foresight to tell Halak was a future #1 after one season in the Q. Halak had 47 games of N.A. experiance when Montreal drafted Price.

  26. The Cat says:

    Its interesting that without kovalchuk (and some other adjustments), Atlanta went from bad to good, and NJ with Kovalchuk went from good to bad.


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

  27. Mark C says:

    Not like he has any Norris or Selke winners playing on that team.

  28. ths says:

    He’ll have him retired by Christmas. Just like he did with Flower

  29. shiram says:

    For all the talk of rose colored glasses, there sure alot of people with “crap” colored glasses…

  30. ths says:

    Hes there for one reason only – To teach Kovy the Trap

  31. Jordio-oh says:

    Interesting point. But I’m not entirely convinced of something that can’t be quantified. Howard and Price face the similar amount of shots per game. However, its difficult to assess the quality of said shots. I’m too lazy too add up the blocked shots of each player on each team, and if I did it wouldn’t tell the whole story.

    I’m not trying to make it a Price vs Howard thing, but I’m also not ready to say that we have a certain system down to a tee that allows Price to play better and that such a system isn’t in place for Detroit. Its impossible to tell. We all watch montreal alot so we see how the system they play and it makes it easy for us to generalize. I’m assuming we all don’t watch the red wings enough to know that they just don’t protect Howard at all.

  32. Chuck says:

    You’d think that someone who played with the greatest player of the 70’s would know a thing or two about getting his top forward to do some scoring.

    The 2010 Montreal Canadians Christmas Card

  33. Chuck says:

    Yeah, poor Jimmy Howard. He only gets to play behind the strongest team in the NHL over the past 10 years. Poor guy. No wonder his numbers suck.

    The 2010 Montreal Canadians Christmas Card

  34. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s a good thing they brought in Jacques Lemaire to be the interim head coach of the NJD, I mean if there’s one guy who understands how to let dynamic and gifted scoring forwards play their game, it’s him…


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

  35. lenny says:

    How does one say in Belarusian it’s time to fire the coach?

  36. WestHab says:

    Sorry no and I could only get singles. did you try one at a time?

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  37. GrimJim says:

    Have you got an extra ticket?

  38. SmartDog says:

    I heard he was convening a meeting of Count Chocula and The Count from Sesame Street.  One!  One player benched ah-ahh-ahhh!!!


  39. WestHab says:

    Just in case I don’t find time to post before “Little baby Jesus’ birthday” I wanna whish all Hioers and Hab fans all over the universe a Merry Xmas and a Stanley cup in 2011.

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  40. The Cat says:

    The thing is with the system the habs now have down to a tee (collapsing on the goalie and blocking shots), is most goalies will look good. Look at Brodeur in NJ and how hes doing lately. Howard doesnt really have such benefits.


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

  41. HabFanSince72 says:

    That seems to be the interpretation.

    Anything good is luck, anything bad is incompetence.

  42. Jordio-oh says:

    Normally people are so distracted by the first round of 2003, and rightfully so, that they sometimes might forget we took Corey Urquhart (who never played a single nhl game) in the second round 9 picks before Shea Weber. And to a lesser extent, five picks before Patrice Bergeron.

    I don’t tend to get too caught up in the ‘we could have have player A instead of player B’ hype because its pointless and aggrevating. But my friends and I like to take runs at each other every now and then about the poor drafting history of our favorite teams. One is a Sens fan and the other is a Leafs fan so i normally have alot of material to work with 🙂

  43. JohnBellyful says:

    Montreal forward Andrei Kostitsyn has become a maligned figure of late for his indifferent play. Coach Jacques Martin has tried to catch his attention by first demoting him to the fourth line, and then sitting him out the last game.

    Unlike his teammates, Kostitsyn has been unable to explain himself to reporters as his grasp of the English language is limited. However, in a recent interview with a newspaper from his native Belarus, Kostitsyn spelled out what his season has been like thus far:

    Belarus Gazettesky: Tell me, Andrei, what has this season been like for you thus far?

    Kostitsyn: I feel like I’m channelling Dante and have entered the five face-off circles of Hell. I’m trying hard not to abandon hope, but the team’s recent skid and my being chosen the convenient scapegoat – as if I’m solely to blame for the slide – has left me thoroughly demoralized. I now know how my brother Sergei must have felt at the end of his career with the Canadiens.

    Belarus Gazettesky: Fans are saying, and the coaching staff apparently agrees with them, that you don’t give a full effort every game, that you’re maddeningly inconsistent. You are immensely talented, so why don’t you put up better numbers?

    Kostitstyn: Consistency requires consistency on many levels, not just on a personal plane. Having the same linemates for an extended period certainly helps, through thick and thin. And while I haven’t collected huge numbers of goals over the course of a season I have contributed in many other ways, such as delivering big hits and making nifty little passes. It’s also doing the little things, like knowing where to sit on the bench and when to pass the water bottle – what the organization likes to call the intangibles. I’m as good as anyone on the team when it comes to those kinds of infinitesimal contributions, which, I’ve been led to believe, apparently produce championships.

    Belarus Gazettesky: How did you receive being told you were going to sit out a game?

    Kostitsyn: My anger knew no bounds. I was livid. In our country, we have a saying: You don’t scratch an elbow when it’s your knee that’s itchy. I resented being scratched, elbowed out, whatever. I am neither the cause nor a symptom of the team’s current dysfunctional state, and while I vehemently disagreed with the team’s prescribed remedy, I took my medicine like a man, and I am fully prepared to redouble my efforts to be a scorer the Canadiens can count upon as we compete for a playoff spot down the stretch drive.

    Belarus Gazettesky: So, Andrei, just to make clear what you’re saying, when you return to the lineup it will be as a re-energized player determined to succeed?

    Kostitsyn: Indubitably.

    — “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” —

  44. coachdoug says:

    Just got tickets to the game…Habs need to come out of the slump tonight…

    “Six more years…God Bless You Turtleneck Man!”

  45. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    See, I tend to tune out any argument you have when you can’t even be bothered to check if what you’re stating as fact is indeed that. Getzlaf was drafted two years before Price.

    It’s hard to take any of your posts seriously when you don’t bother building your argument on facts.

  46. avatar_58 says:

    See thing is it’s easy to complain about drafts, but if we drafted differently – the UFAs would be targetted differently. We might not have had Cammy or Gorges. Priorities would be different, cap space would be different as well.

    So it’s not as black and white as – add Getzlaf, Parise, etc to our current roster. The team would be VERY different

  47. SeriousFan09 says:

    Except that Ryan Getzlaf was drafted in 2003…

    You want to start draft griping, you need to mention Carter, Parise, Kesler and the like compared to AK46 in the 2003 convseration that involves Getzlaf.


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

  48. LA Loyalist says:

    Why? No one’s ego is on the line for having burned a #5 overall draft pick – our highest pick since the 14th Century — for a goalie instead of Ryan Getzlaf or Kopitar.

    We could have been sitting here with Halak and Getzlaf.

    That said, Price may lead us to the promised land, he’s come along very well, but he was rushed and put us through hell last year, and for all the credit BG deserves for getting him he also has to accept responsibility for developing him so incompetently.

    The above is for entertainment value only. Save the death threats for posts about Gomez.

    As for Auld, your sample size is too small to be statistically valid.

    I feel sorry for Auld, I don’t care who you are, if you only face live ammo 3 times a season you could be Jacques Plante and not play well. And Price may be mentally exhausted by the Spring and then we’ll really be toast…

    Sorry, I wanted to write something funny, but when your millionaires are messing the bed for existentially mysterious reasons it’s hard to laugh.


    too small, too soft, too intangible.



  49. Jordio-oh says:

    1) Getzlaf was drafted in 2003. Carey Price was drafted in 2005.

    2) I didn’t realize having a 2.77 and a .912 was putting fans ‘through hell’. Jimmy Howard must be killing his fans since he has similar numbers right now (only with a way better goal support than Carey had last year)

    3) He even mentioned his thing about Auld starting over Carey was a joke, yet you still told him his sample size was too small, as if you were taking him seriously.

    4) statistics and facts are surprisingly useful when debating and discussing on and online form. give it a shot sometime.

  50. shiram says:

    So management sucks for getting Carey, but then we’d be fine with Halak, who we drafted and trained and managed??

  51. LA Loyalist says:

    thank you. my own post below depressed me, and now you crack me up. Thanks!


    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  52. LA Loyalist says:

    Sorry, posto dooblo.

    too small, too soft, too intangible.



  53. avatar_58 says:

    Healthy scratches: Carey Price, Alex Auld

  54. Storm Man says:

    I hear that Lord Martin is going to pick two names from a hat…

  55. StevieRay says:

    Any word on who’s sitting tonite ?

  56. 123456 says:

    Please note this post is for entertainment value only:

    Why are the Habs not starting the better goalie more often? Auld has a better GAA (2.01 Vs 2.23) and better Save% (.941 Vs .925). Is Martin really that blind or stubborn?

    Aulds GAA is 10% better !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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