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. 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. 

  2. RGM says:

    Why settle for Franson? Go after Weber!

    Go Habs Go!

  3. habstrinifan says:

    Great article. Many here will condemn the observations because they refuse to see the evidence, and continue to believe in JM. Like JM, they probably are sure, he and his system are responsible for their palyoff run last year.

  4. Malreg says:

    I belive that max cap hit of $1.8 million still accounts for Spacek’s $3.8 million.  If the rumors are true, and Spacek is done for the year, that means our max cap hit is $5.6 million.

    I think Spacek’s injury is very serious, or else PG wouldn’t have acquired both Mara and Sopel.

  5. shiram says:

    I’m pretty sure we will make the playoffs, and if we do it could be the final test for a good number of players on this team. Last year Gomez was great in the playoffs, and if he repeats his performance from last year,  it could earn some value back for him. But having him drag his skates just about all season long while centering a top line is just painful to see.

    Mara and Sopel might have been small moves, but they should have a good impact on the team, distributing TOI, adding some grit and giving our small forwards some protection. Mara seemed quite willing to drop em last night, and maybe teams will stop trying to break our play with physical attacks.

  6. Displaced says:

    You nailed it.  We don’t have enough scoring and that meager GF/GA difference evaporates when half our starting D are on the shelf.  Add to that a couple of goals Price would have stopped and you get a disappointing loss to the Leafs.  Adding scorers would cost us too much so we are stockpiling serviceable D for cheap assets to give us the appearance of a team with a shot for the balance of the season and the playoffs. 

    As fans all we can do is bitch about the weaknesses that have been exposed to varying degrees throughout the season.  The noise just ratchets up several levels after a loss.

     

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  7. alestar says:

    Yup…that pretty much sums it up.

    Thanks

     

    XXIV…and counting

  8. habsfannfld says:

    Those same wise fans booed and jeered a 21 year old Carey Price. They’ll boo a young kid trying to find his way, but cheer for a veteran who puts in 0 effort most nights. Wisdom truly is a virtue isn’t it??

  9. smiler2729 says:

    Where’re you gettin’ this stuff? The Eklunds of the world or the Dregers? There is a difference.

  10. habs365 says:

    Mr. Molson doesn’t care, the bell center is full house every game

  11. HabsFansince49 says:

    To answer your ‘WTF”, read JT’s article above. There’s the problem

     

    I don’t pretend to be an expert; just a die-hard Habs fan passing my opinion

  12. alestar says:

    Habs are playing like they don’t want to be in the play-offs. In spite of the bad officiating and beer league goaltending from Auld, the Habs should have crushed the Laffs last night… WTF?!!?!

     

    XXIV…and counting

  13. observer says:

    it shows you the wisdom of those who go to habs games. they want gomez out of here too but they know if they boo him it will be EVEN harder to trade him.

  14. punkster says:

    I’ve read most of the comments from last night and this morning the the general consensus is…well, there’s no general consensus really. We have, in no particular order:

    • Auld sucks, the loss is his fault
    • Hamrlik sucks, the loss is his fault
    • Gomez sucks, the loss is his fault
    • Gill sucks, the loss is his fault
    • AK sucks, the loss is his fault
    • JM sucks for not playing Pouliot and DD more, for starting Auld and not Price, for continuing to give Gomez top 6 minutes, the loss is his fault
    • Officiating sucks, the loss is their fault
    • Habs D is atrocious, the loss is their fault (exacerbated by the injuries to Markov and Gorges)
    • Habs forwards can’t score enough, the loss is their fault
    • Not enough talent on the team, the loss is the fault of PG and BG 

    That’s quite an impressive list of whines and I know I’ve probably missed a few but you get the point.

    Just makes me wonder how the hell this team managed to make it this far in the season and sitting in 6th place. Not one of these issues has improved as the season progresses. So how is it they’re still hanging around? You would think that by now a team with this many problems would have completely folded and management would have given up hope and started selling off assets.

    So why are they still hanging in there?

    (Oh, and my take is lack of goal scoring. The top 6 is not producing as expected. There may be a dozen reasons or excuses for this but it remains our biggest problem.)

    ***Subbang***

  15. ed lopaz says:

    The Barn is not what it used to be.

    I used to line up on Guy street for an hour for those ribs.

    Baton Rouge is very tasty.

    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.

  16. shiram says:

    I missed most of the first and the start of the second. I started to watch and the Habs scored 2 quick goals.

  17. J_P says:

    1. Highly unlikely.  Its been proven over the last few seasons that teams who rely SOULY on goaltending to win games can’t do it, especially when their goalie starts over 70 games in the season (halak only started between 40 and 50 i believe).  We would need our forwards to play to their pay level, and our veteran defensemen to play like they are 5 years younger.  Both situations are highly unlikely IMO.

    2.  Seeing as you arent going to get anything significant for any of them, they’re probably more valuable to have in the line-up, especially in the playoffs.

    3. I dont even read his columns anymore because about 4 years ago he decided to go on lunch and never came back.   

    4. Pizza is a tough one because there are so many different types and styles.  I like Napoletana on Dante(?).  As for Burgers, MBurger is good but a but a bit pricey for a burger.  If you want the ambiance and are ready to pay for it, MBurger is for you.  I like Burger de ville on Westminster, and Pick’s burger on St Marc for a good burger that’s reasonably priced (Pick’s is more for takeout). 

  18. SPATS says:

    Agreed, our back to back PP’s in the 2nd evened it out. But back to the Gio call,  he would’ve had a great chance to score with the odd man rush that would’ve ensued, and with the result being a 2 goal swing, who knows eh?

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  19. HalifaxHabs says:

    1) It doesn’t appear that way when they play undisciplined hockey like last night, but hey, the word unexpected suggests we can’t see it coming…. could you see last years run coming at this point?

    2) Great question, but since we know PG isn’t about to give up on the season, we know it won’t happen… I wouldn’t mind knowing what we could get for a Hamrlik rental though now that we have 8 defenceman.

    3) The guy’s articles are bitter, and a complete joke… and it’s insulting to all of us that he still get a column.

    4) I’m going to pass on burgers and pizza and head down to Bar-B-Barn for some chicken and ribs.

  20. SLYDER says:

    1. Yes. (and no for so many obvious reasons – but i love me habs….so YES)

     

    2. No. Halpern is a useful killer and key draw-man. Moen can be a very effective 3rd/4th liner, plays hard, big body, will drop em for anybody on his team. Hammer’s minutes ive always thought should be managed a little better (granted that stupid injury bug), he would be a wonderful compliment to our top 4 on the 3rd pair playing 10-12 minutes MAX. GILL can go for picks…doesnt fit into my top 4, i dont like that he cant skate, never have, never will.

     

    3. I’m going to sleep through reading his column

     

    4. “M.Burger” – I believe on Crescent? (not from montreal) – Had a burger and a beer there with my good buddy Greg Stewart the day over the 2009 halloween 4-3 SO victory over the leafs. Wicked custom burgers. Ran into Hal Gill with his wife and two daughters!

  21. VintageFan says:

    Everybody settle down.  There were only two small problems in last night’s game

    • JM is still coaching 90’s hockey
    • Dave Jackson
  22. 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.

  23. 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!!!!!!

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. StevieRay says:

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

  29. 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!

  30. 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.

  31. 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. 

  32. 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..

  33. avatar_58 says:

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

  34. observer says:

    Methinks Picard is the odd man out for good.

  35. observer says:

    keep fetishes out of hockey

  36. 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.  

  37. avatar_58 says:

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

  38. Rudy says:

    God I miss Bar-B-Barn ribs

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

  39. 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….

  40. observer says:

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

  41. observer says:

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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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….

  46. 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 ?

  47. 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!

  48. 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

  49. 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


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