The Leafs? Really??

Oh, the ignominy!

Leafs win special-teams battle

From the room

Red Fisher’s take

Sopel fills need

Stubbs on James Reimer

Quick Hits and About last night …

Chris Stevenson on what ails the Habs

• Pierre Durocher on the enigmatic AK46

JT on trust

Brilliant stuff from Down Goes Brown

• Great Wall Street Journal piece on the AHLing of bad contracts, eg. Souray, Redden

And Brent Sopel Tweets: Bonjour Habs Fans. Just landed her in Montreal. Let the fun begin. Can’t wait to put the Canadiens jersey on.

We’ll assume that by “her” he means “here”.

661 Comments

  1. SLYDER says:

    I would like to see Sopel played in every game the rest of the season – we need a Gorges clone.

     

    I say play Mara against teams with big bodies and net presence (Boston). Weber should still get some time, he’s developing nicely.

  2. SLYDER says:

    i feel like the commentariat missed out on this point last night (forgive me if im wrong)

     

    SO MANY STUPID PENALTIES!

     

    and youre right – the habs dominated 5-on-5. the sustained pressure made it look like a they were on a powerplay.

     

    Discipline….JM!!!!!!

  3. habsfannfld says:

    The fact that Breezer used to get booed in Montreal, and Gomer doesn’t is mind boggling. Breezer wasn’t great, but he was better on alot more nights than Gomez is. The more I watch this guy, the more PO’d i get every game. There is NO way we can bring him back next year. I’ve tried to lay off Gomez for a long time because i felt he was good in the room, his contract is not his fault etc…but at some point, we’ve all got to stop making excuses for him, and expect more than a half assed effort, which we get 9 out of every 10 games. There is no urgency in his game, he plays with little heart, takes bad penalties, is lousy on faceoffs, so why is he here? If there’s no way to trade him, then send him to the minors after this season, and let him ride the bus with a 7 million dollar bus pass. We let Koivu go, and bring in Gomez??? Really??? Atleast when you watched Saku play, you knew he was giving it everything he had. Oh, and Koivu is still outscoring Gomez this year too.

    Well that 2 years of Gomez frustration vented. Thanks for listening guys

  4. Mark C says:

    I think Mara heads to the press box before Weber does, assuming Weber rebounds from a poor game last night. Weber has gotten more ice time than Mara in all three of Mara’s games here. Also, a defense that includes Hamrlik, Gill, Mara, and Sopel would be hideously limited in puck moving and offense.

  5. 24 Cups says:

    Paul – Philly is in a class by themselves (although Pronger left last night’s game) and Boston has done a nice job of re-loading.  I can’t see Tampa going all the way with Roloson in net (too heavy a load) and Pittsburgh is dead in the water without a fully functional Crosby).  Washington?  Either Boudreau is captain of the Titanic or is getting his team ready for a great sleeper run.  Regardless, Varlamov is still the key to any success the Caps might have.

    The fact that G&G have brought in band-aids such as Sopel and Mara is a clear sign that we won’t be selling off guys such as Moen, Hamrlik and Gill.  I think the game plan for Montreal is simple – ride Price with a patch quilt defense and hope that the four comatose, highly paid forwards find their game come April.  In other words, the same strategy as last year except that you switch off Halak for Price.

  6. ed lopaz says:

    1) anything can happen once you make the playoffs and Price is your goalie. he is a difference maker

    2) sell Hamrlik? thats like blasphemy in this town! He played 28:30 minutes last night, and he has carried this team on his ageing shoulders for 2 seasons since Markov’s injuries – don’t you read HIO? :-)

    3) I have been taught to respect those who have age and wisdom. I know Mr. Fisher is hated here, but I will never write a bad word about him. He is an icon.

    4) Pendellis on Cote St Luc road, perhaps, for pepperoni pizza. Burgers? Dillalo’s maybe? or Mr. Steer!

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  7. StevieRay says:

    Webber sits ….
    Mara is a in your face tough ass.. that’s what we need !!
    Tons of Webbers around !

  8. SPATS says:

    Gio’s phantom hooking call was the turning point. period. A stupid penalty indeed, but it was the ref’s stupidity and it changed the outcome.

    To be fair, It did happen early and they should’ve overcome, but boy, what a bad call. The only call I’ve seen this yr that was worse was when Benny hustled back and lifted the opponents stick and got a similar phantom call a month or so ago…

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  9. ed lopaz says:

    I agree with you – entirely – and yes Weber played with a much lower level of confidence last night (maybe because he has something on his mind?).

    But time and again Martin goes with experience over talent.

    And Mara’s experience and limited talent MIGHT be more important to Martin than Weber’s talent and limited experience.

    I hope you are right. We’ll see.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  10. J_P says:

    WAY too many stupid penalties.  Unbelieveable how many dumb penalties this team takes.

    Two reasons for this:

    1 – Lazy play

    2 – The small forwards can’t stop the larger players on the other teams and have to result to stick infractions in an attempt to slow them down.

    All in all, if the habs are to have any success down the stretch and in the playoffs, they have to stop taking so many penalties. 

  11. shiram says:

    Well its not only about last night, its about a season.

    Last night the refs we’re bad, but it seemed to me they spread out their awful calls somewhat..

  12. avatar_58 says:

    Huh? Mara is an extra d man they signed. What does he have to do with Weber?

  13. observer says:

    Methinks Picard is the odd man out for good.

  14. observer says:

    keep fetishes out of hockey

  15. Mark C says:

    For me, someone who is on the Martin fence, this decision will be a big litmus test. Is his veteran favoritism blind or judged on a case-by-case basis.  

  16. avatar_58 says:

    They brought in Mara and Sopel, so that tells you what Gauthier thinks of selling

  17. Rudy says:

    God I miss Bar-B-Barn ribs

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  18. Habfan29 says:

    Easy to fix this must fire JM. Why is he only playing the young guys only 5 minutes a game, and those bums Gomez and Kostitsyn get a regular shift. On one of the power plays Kostitsyn could not even keep the puck in and Toronto has a scoring chance…..JM has got to go….

  19. observer says:

    you mean 80s! gauthier’s man – and gm gauthier is from the early nordiques of the 80s.

  20. observer says:

    only way martin is ever fired here is if his friend gauthier is fired first.

  21. ed lopaz says:

    Gill and Subban

    Hamrlik and The Wiz

    Weber, Mara, Sopel, Picard

    That’s 8 d-men on the active roster

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  22. ed lopaz says:

    exactly Mark!

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  23. moser17 says:

    Man, when it comes to liking Gomez, I’m in and out like a fiddler’s elbow, but, right now, I’m really feeling this post. Glad to listen.

  24. Habfan29 says:

    Then both have to go, if it keeps on like this no playoffs, and this might not be a bad thing, because Molson just might fire both of them. I heard that Jacques Lemaire was asked by Pierre Mcguire if he would ever coach in Montreal again and this time he said that you never know stranger thing have happened. Lemaire, Robinson and Muller for coaching staff next year, and maybe Lou as GM since ownership in New Jersey forced Kovalchuk upon him….

  25. Miltie01 says:

    While I think those young guys have not been playing well the last week or so it is weird that so many get so little time. Leads me to wonder if some of the young guys are in play for a deal and are being sat to avoid injury ?

  26. Habnofear says:

    All any team has too do since the Bruins beat down is smack the tiny Hab  forwards around for the first 5 minutes to take the sails out of the team. Peenuff and Krapasarik went after Gio ,Gomer and Plecs and that’s all she wrote…game over.Hello Gauthier hello,earth to Gauthier and Martin….do us all a favor and go to the KHL  or AHL  because the N.H.L. game has passed you by AND YOU TRULY  SUCK!

  27. joshua94k says:

    Last Sunday the Canadiens came out flying and were outplaying the Flames. Then two back to back penalties on tripping calls when players tripped by themselves. Two bad calls, the Canadiens two men short and the Flames get the important first goal on bad ice surface and took the momentum away.

    On Tuesday against the Canucks, the Canadiens are leading 3-1 and then two questionable calls back to back gives the Canucks some opportunity to get back in the game and they score to make it 3-2.

    Last night there were 3 penalites in a row against the Canadiens in the 1st period to set the tone. The Gionta call was really bad. Then when the Canadiens made a comeback in the 2nd period two more back to back penalties. They are the roughing, interfrence types. Sergio Mommesso of CJAD said that the Canadiens were getting bad calls against them last night and it is costing them.

    Ranked 29 in penalites. This has been the story of this team since last year’s play-offs. The problem is not a big forward or some offensive talent needed. The phantom officiating is hurting this team. It takes away the team away from its game plan and robs them of any momentum gained. If they are behind a questionalbe roughing, intererence type is always called against them making them play short-handed when they are trying to get back in the game.

    Unless they address this issue, it does not matter if they get a big power forward or a top offensive defenseman. The team has to get more vocal abut the questionable calls against them. I don’t belive veteran players like Hamrlik, Gionta, Gill will take stupid penalties.

    5 on 5 they can beat Philadelphia, Vancouver or any team. As long as they get a chance to play…

    “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

  28. CanadienBoy says:

    How many Coaches and assistants the Habs have develop for others teams in the league ,i bet by far the most then anybody else ,so what are we doing with Ottawa rejects

  29. 24 Cups says:

    I have a soft spot for Nashville in the West.  Great city, super management team and a franchise that ‘s turning the corner.  In fact, the Preds have the same record as the Habs in the East.  The only difference is they have a better GD of +10.  Last week they were in 4th spot.  They then hit a speed bump and lost three games in a row.  That dropped them into 9th place.  Only six points separate the 8 teams vying for the final four playoff spots. 

    Be thankful we play in the East!

  30. Everlasting1 says:

    Man, the Leafs are only 4 points out of 8th place. Could they possibly earn a playoff berth? That’d be ..surreal. The city will be in shock, bar owners will be floored, and the beer will turn to wine :-P

     

    Elohim:”Let us make an Adam in our image and after our likeness.” – Genesis 1:26

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  31. shiram says:

    Posted a bit down from here about indiscipline, and how I feel its a huge issue with the team, and it hinders our scoring and defence.

    So who is most penalized on the team? Pk Subban (88mins), but I’ll give him benefit of the doubt, he is a rookie, and everyone makes runs at him.

    Next, Travis Moen (82mins), our gritty tough guy… he’s bound to get penalized, its to be expected.

    Next, Hamrlik, Lapierre, Pouliot, Spacek, Plekanec. (69.63.59,45 and 44 mins respectively)

    MaxPac comes in next and a bit surprising considering he played alot less games, 39 minutes in 32 games.

    Next is Hal Gill (39 mins), and coming in 10th most penalized is everyone’s buddy Gomez(36 mins).

     

    So who’s to blame, and how can the team take less penalties… I franly have no clue about this, and I’m happy I dont have to deal with it, but it needs improving!

  32. Miltie01 says:

    You really think it is that simple ?

    The type of player we want are just not available. Every other team wants to get the players we want to get. The teams that have those types of players are not trading them. Even if they are trading them, we don’t have the assets to move to get them.

    You think there are issues with this team, you can rest assured that the GM and coach saw it a long time before we did.

  33. CanadienBoy says:

    May be Martin could let Muller coach again

  34. shiram says:

    To be fair we are ranked 19Th in penalty time per game. We are 29th when only considering minor penalties. Incliding majors and  misconducts we are 20th.

  35. Malreg says:

    Keep in mind PK has 4 fighting majors, so that accounts for 20 of his 88 minutes.  Same thing for Moen.

    I find Pacioretty takes a lot of stick penalties for a guy with his size and speed.  Something he will have to adjust.  Same goes for Eller, it feels like he takes a lot of silly hooking or tripping penalties.

    Yesterday’s penalties were hardly from a lack of discipline though.  Gionta for making a stick lift,  Mara had a guy skate into him and fall for an interference penalty, Wizniewski’s interference penalty on the PP was just incidental contact.  Of course I’m not saying that’s the case in every game, we usually deserve most of our penalties.

  36. Malreg says:

    Keep in mind Buffalo is still ahead of them in 9th, by 1 point, with two games in hand, and they also have more wins than Toronto.  Toronto is also tied with Atlanta.  I seriously doubt they will be able to leap frog Buffalo and Carolina, while staying ahead of Toronto.

    It’s a typical Toronto season.  Get killed for the first half of the year, and then once there is no more pressure of making the playoffs start to win games to finish in 9th-11th and let the mediocrity continue.  Of course this year 9th is exactly where we want them to finish so that Boston does not get another lottery pick.

  37. J_P says:

    re-read my post again lol

     

    I was implying that although NHL players arent more important than anyone else “in theory”, they are “in reality”.  Your story confirms that. 

  38. Habnofear says:

    Miltie,these players have been available and have been passed on for the team we have (be it the draft or on the open market) ….excuses are for losers . Not to mention if you stock pile said players ,their in demand  and you can  have more options through trades . No one wants our tiny forwards at the price we’re paying for them and if your stuck your dead in the water=Habs.

  39. Storm Man says:

    You forgot 2 things…. Great coach and SK.

  40. observer says:

    last game of year habs at tor. habs got their own problems if carolina wins tonight they are 4 points back of habs having played the same amount of games. so if carolina then beat habs tomorrow night habs are 2 points ahead of 8th place team and head out on the road where habs have a losing record.

  41. observer says:

    can nj continue this unbelievable run? if they do lemaire is hands down coach of the year winner.

  42. Miltie01 says:

    Again, do you think it is easy…..If I am the GM of another team the players I want from the Habs are Price, PK, Pleks, or Pacs……..how do we replace that if we give it away ?

    Decisions were made in past drafts that you can question but there is nothing that can be done about something that happened 3-5 years ago. 

    We are living in the now here, what honestly can be done right now to make this team better without gutting and tanking which just won’t happen in this market ?

  43. observer says:

    by monday night they could have 2 kostitsyns?

  44. observer says:

    habs have a flunkie former nord, former bad ducks, former sens gm – 30 years in business on 3rd gm job, never once with a team in any capacity that even got as far as the stanley cup finals. he is habs gm. the most prestigious hockey franchise ever with a 30 year loser who learned the nhl game in quebec city and ottawa.

  45. Rudy says:

    That’s too bad about Bar-B. Both the downtown and West Island ones aren’t what they were?

    Baton Rouge was just coming out when I left, I don’t remember being overly impressed with it.

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  46. Miltie01 says:

    Trotz is a good coach for sure, but great ?

    The big thing Trotz has going for him though is a GM who backs him up.

    If a player has issues with Trotz he is gone, not the coach. You play the way he wants you to, not how you think you should be played. 

    If his GM can get him some offense Trotz could win a cup.

  47. Everlasting1 says:

    Way to cast the clouds on the long range forecast here lol

     

     

    Elohim:”Let us make an Adam in our image and after our likeness.” – Genesis 1:26

     ”We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  48. observer says:

    problem is and year long because forwards are not big enough – 5 on 5 habs cant score A- END OF STORY! Although gainey again defended his building this small team of forwards by saying the other day, “oh maybe in reg season but not playoffs – you saw last year.” all i remember was halak last playoffs and gainey the fraud running in glee like a pig in —- out of the pressbox like “you see we were right” after halak had beat pitts.

  49. Storm Man says:

    Trotz is a great coach top 3 in my books the past few years.

  50. observer says:

    just stating the truth. before impossible everyone said vancouver game i said “habs beat canucks 3 of the 4 previous meetings.” and before the toronto game i said “reimer is 9-4 and best thing that could happen to habs is they lose to leafs so gauthier wont be able to do nothing to address the big weakness -size of a scorer up front.”


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