The National Parity League

Gary Bettman’s dream has come true:
On any given night, any National Hockey League team can beat any other NHL team.
Your Montreal Canadiens are in tough Tuesday night against the young, fast Edmonton Oilers.

Dave Stubbs on Edmonton’s two Ryans

High draft picks boost Oilers

Red Fisher: Martin shouldn’t knock refs and Kerry Fraser’s take on Blunden call

Where will Gomez play?

Max Pacioretty launches foundation

Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts

Eric Engels on protective equipment

Crosby may be back Friday

Canadiens 20th in TSN ratings

This day in 1942, Canadiens legend Maurice Richard scored the first goal of his NHL career. Exactly 10 years later, he scored No. 325, passing Nels Stewart for No. 1 on the NHL’s all-time list. The Gazette’s summary and mention of goal No. 1, and video of Rocket’s 325th, from CBC as posted on YouTube:


  1. Sal says:

    In a league where the parody level is so close, where on any given night one team a can beat any other, and, the points are so hard to come by, a team needs to gain advantage wherever possible. The little details can go a long way over the course of a long season, that can add up to extra wins, which can be the difference between making the playoffs, finishing higher in the standing, etc. This week, the Laffs walked away with two road wins, FOUR gimme points, because M. Broadeur, and S. Mason, couldn’t stop your proverbial beachballs! Now is it the Laffs fault they were the recipient of sub-standard goal-tending for two road games in a row? Not really, it’s just an example of how good fortune, and not direct/indirect league intervention, can unintentionally favor one team over another, on any given night. Plus, I point it out because I hate when any team gets points handed to them, but, especially when it’s the Laffs.

    Things such as scheduling glitches, e.g., playing a road game one night while the team that you play the next night sits waiting at home, sub-standard goal-tending, injuries, three games in four nights, etc. These are areas that, more or less, can’t be controlled, and, that all teams have to content with over the course of a season. The much more common, and arguably controllable problem, especially these days, that plays an all too prevalent roll in the outcome of too many games, is on ice officiating!

    The Ranger game falls directly into the category of what can only be termed the rise of incompetant officiating in the NHL. Were the Habs guilty of a majority of the calls that went against them, absolutely? Is it an all too common site in the present NHL, to see calls which effect the outcome of games, that are subjectively arrived at, e.g., the Subban penalty, absolutely? NHL officiating these days, is beginning to resemble the NBA, where knowing what a given call was for, is a mystery rapped inside an enigma. Not really knowing what a call is for these days, is one of the more prevalent of the recent game changers, that emerged out of the lockout, and the new obstruction rule changes, that came into effect thereafter. Particalarly since the end of the lockout, level of incompetent reffing has become more apparent. The fall back position is to explain it away as “human folly”. That way no one needs to be held accountable. Restricting replay to just determining a goal, falls short of what’s necessary to bring the game back to an even palying field. Even baseball, the most dinosaur of all the major sports, is coming around to the reality that when humans make mistakes, that affect the outcome of games, it can, and should, be corrected. There’s too much at stake! The NFL, the most professionally reffed of all the leagues, uses replays to get it right. They have a system that works. It permits a compromise between getting it right and not slowing the game down to a crawl. The teams aren’t at the mercy of the officials, who make mistakes for any number of reasons. JM could have used such a signal system during the Ranger game, that may have prevented them form getting the early 5 on 3 advantage. These issues have been raised here and elsewhere. I believe it is inevitable that some form of replay will come into play in the next few years. The demand for a change will be unavoidable.

    When it comes to the NHL,or any league built around speed, no one is saying, that mistakes can be completely eliminated. The speed of the game, the size a quickness of the players, the smaller NHL ice surfaces, make reffing in the one of the more onerous tasks. Refs are, after all, human. However, like other sports, there are NHL Supervisors at all the games. Why can’t they be consulted when in doubt, or, if they see a blatant blown call, make a call down to the on ice refs, and offer some insite? NHL Officials, on and off the ice, get paid a very good salary to do their jobs, they are “professionals”, this is ALL they do! Therefore, it becomes incumbent on NHL team officials, coaches and management, to get the call right, before it turns into the disease of corruption. (See last years Bruin playoff run)

    In this parody laden league, it is a central issue, that must be addressed, and, it’s the one area where, if it can be minimized, would make a huge difference, and return hockey to a time when the teams on the ice decide the outcome of the game, instead of the refs.

    I have read many reports, some right here on HIO, and other sources, about how the Habs, one of the smallest, fastest, most skilled teams in the NHL, is among the league leaders in penalty minutes, over the course of the last few years. Which happens to coincide, by the way, with the hiring of the stoic JM as coach. Just saying…The Habs practically, lead the league in plus/minus, PPs to PKs, falling heavily into the minus bracket. They fall way short of say, the Laffs, that have a clear advantage when it comes to this very important category. Something is rotten in Denmark, so to speak, but clearly there does not appear to be a concerted effort on the part of either the coaching staff, nor the front office, to address this situation with the league!

    Winning is about taking care of the details. JM, a little rant at the officials every now and then wouldn’t hurt. PG a call to the league regarding the disparity between penalties called against, vs those called for, wouldn’t hurt, either. If the Habs are truly the dirtiest team in the league by definition, then we’ll get what we deserve.

    Sal from the Hammer

    • 44har48 says:

      Nice post but I still believe there is no conspiracy to screw the Habs from the league or officials standpoint. Do we get bad calls, yeah, so does everyone else at times. Do they miss stuff, yeah, they are human. Does the league handout inconsistant punishment, yeah, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the Habs. When you play the trap and sit back with the small speedy guys we have, you play defence most of the night and chase the puck. That’s what causes penalties and that is why the Habs are one of the most penalized teams in Hockey since JM got here. You can yell and rant all you want to the league and the officials, your going to keep going to the box playing this style of hockey, with this group of guys.

  2. slychard says:

    Red…ugh. How many times have a coach questioned the calls after a game. Many. Tortorella yells at refs during the games all the time. Martin chose the post game route. So what. It’s not as if he does that regularly, quite the contrary he usually sides with the refs. So after confusing calls all game long he was right to question this out in the open, with Martin’s track record regarding ref relations I beleive he has earned that, besides, I’m sure the refs got an earful themselves from the head office in their game review. My point is Martin has nothing to worry about since he is not known to publicly chastise refs. I think Red, with all due respect, is reaching. Perhaps I’m reaching simply to make a post but I’m not a paid pro now am I. Perhaps his view is genuine but it’s not the Red of old, just old Red. I stopped reading him regularly since he compared this current team with the Canadiens of the glory days, as if he was shooing the current players off his lawn. Ya can’t live in the past. We’ll never get teams like this again in this city. Red I love ya but your’re like a player past his prime hanging on for more glory none to come.


    The HABelicious HABe (pr. babe) leaned forward and told the bruins fan; “Kiss my HABS!” He took one look at her displayed HABS and realized her HABS were indeed quite kissable, as opposed to his Big Bud ugly Bruinettes with their hair teased sky-high and excessive make-up. A tear ran down his cheek knowing her suggestion was a tease so he did what any red blooded man could do, he converted to HABSnation. All is well.

  3. --Habs-- says:

    How long of a leash will the Habs give Gomez before something is done! Yes I do question management! Also wasn’t it our own management that told newspapers that Ryan McDonagh was turning into a bust in our farm system. Hmm look at him today playing 26 minutes a game with the Rangers, with + 6 with 3 goals, 3 assists carrying a 6’1″ 222 lb body! Then there is Ryan O’Byrne at 6’5″ 234 lbs playing 19 minutes a game.

  4. Chris F says:

    What Martin said was less than nothing. What he did during the farce in the first period was less than that.
    Your standing on the bench behind the players for a reason, to back them up at every turn.
    I think Un Canadien Errant said it best when he said with passion and conviction. The players need to hear at times, and the refs need to hear every time that your on the game, you know when they’ve messed up. And you absolutely have to tell them so. It’s not about embarassing them, it’s about being behind your team at every turn. The shrug of the shoulders from the count is not getting it done. Martin turning down this oppportunity at the beginning of the game, a call that ultimately decided the outcome, set the tone for the rest of the match. The tone was, we are gettting screwed and once again we will turn the other cheek. It’s 2011, that sh*t doesn’t work. Players need to hear something to feel better about the situation. I’m tired of moral victories, it amounts to nothing.
    If Martin chooses to say nothing, it’s like he’s saying it’s OK. Maybe the next time the Habs have six players on the ice the ref will turn the other cheek and say it’s OK too! Yeah right.
    Stop reading Red Fisher, c’mon, he’s lost touch in several areas. Telling Martin to say nothing at all is just wrong.
    The players on the bench are men, but nobody wants to be treated unfairly, it’s no different in elementary school. One student treats another unfairly, and the entire class looks to you to say or do something. It makes them feel better, it shows leadership, it improves discipline, and it increases confidence in the person running the show.
    I truly believe the players need a new voice, sometimes that’s all it takes. A younger voice who is a master communicator. JM knows his hockey, no doubt, but his relationships or lack thereof with his players are a detriment to the team.

    • G-Man says:

      From Un Canadien errant’s earlier post:
      “The camera work on TSN didn’t really show Mr. Martin having that conversation, only Mr. Tortorella, who chews up the scenery and is more TV-friendly. All we got to see on TSN was Mr. Martin shrugging ineffectually, which adds grist to the mill for naysayers, whereas MSG’s feed shows Mr. Martin having a conversation with the refs briefly.”

      JM did talk to the refs about it. The tv feed we get doesn’t give us the whole story. This “players need a new voice” stuff is just that: stuff.
      Here at HIO, everyone called for an experienced coach. The moment JM was hired, the chant became, “Anyone but JM.” Every victory is given to the assistant coaches, but JM owns all the losses. The perspective is so biased, it’s an embarassment.


      When in doubt, blame PP.

      • Chris F says:

        Settle down, biased would mean based on no factual evidence. Several players have said the coach does not speak to them…………..even our latest big free agent who seems like a stand up guy. JM should be upstairs, not behind the bench. I didn’t say he couldn’t be praised for their victories, if you read what I said I admit he knows hockey. He knows how to coach a five man system as well as anyone. Except for one thing, players are not machines, they play at a higher level when inspired, motivated, energized by external factors. One in which can and should be the coach.

  5. myron.selby says:

    I think Red Fisher is out to lunch on this one. His idea that a coach can scream at the ref after a bad call with no repercussions doesn’t hold up. The problem is not that the ref will retaliate later in the game or in future games (although that is a distinct possibility).

    The real issue is that when a coach starts yelling and whining about the refs, he pulls his players heads out of the game. Instead of focusing on playing and trying to get back on track, the players start feeling like victims and worrying about how the refs are costing them the game.

    My policy when coaching my son’s teams was that nobody on the bench was allowed to whine about the refs. I always took pretty much the line Cammalleri uses – everybody has a job to do, players play, referees ref. Everyone is doing their best and we all make mistakes. If you get a penalty, you shut up and go to the box.

    I saw far too many teams implode when the coach went apeshit over ref errors.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Reply removed by poster.

      • myron.selby says:

        Let’s see, here’s the exact quote:

        “A coach can yell and scream all he wants at officials during a game without getting anything more than a mild warning from a referee.”

        Which is exactly what I was responding to. Perhaps you should go back and re-read the column, read my comments and then do a massive editing on your response.

        I wasn’t talking about the affect of comments after the game, I was discussing the affect that screaming at the ref DURING the game has on your players. Normally, I find your comments well thought out and informed, but you missed the boat on this one completely.

  6. Old Bald Bird says:

    National Parody League

  7. ZepFan2 says:

    “Embarrass the refs, pay the price.”

    Punkster, did you even read the article?

    First, the senile one writes…

    A coach can yell and scream all he wants at officials during a game without getting anything more than a mild warning from a referee. However, that’s where it ends. Go public with criticism of the officials after the game and you’re begging for trouble.”

    Then switches his tune…

    “Furthermore, you might have noticed Martin’s players had the next four minor penalties – two to David Desharnais for hooking and holding in the first period, and others to Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta in the second period.

    Btw, he should have added PK’s penalty for a snow shower. That one happens all the time…NOT!

    Which is it Red? Yell and scream at the refs during the game and still get the shitty end of the stick, or wait till after the game and get the shitty end of the stick the next game?

    You can’t have it both ways you senile old coot!

    Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  8. the twitterz told me that gomez aint playin tonite : (

  9. Un Canadien errant says:

    For the last couple of days we’ve seen a lot of debate on how Mr. Martin should have reacted to the blown call on Mr. Blunden against the Rangers. We’ve again coalesced in two factions, one which believes he should have blown a gasket and thrown stuff on the ice, and another that says he shouldn’t have spoken on the matter so as not to antagonize the refs who would exact revenge with future phantom calls.

    I think it’s reasonable that the correct response is somewhere in the middle. He should have explained to the refs at the time with passion and conviction, but without anger, how they had not called the play correctly, especially as he had seen the play occur right in front of him, and was probably getting word from upstairs on what the replays showed. This way, the refs know they possibly/probably messed up, and that enters the equation next time they have to make a subjective call, but they are not offended or humiliated and less likely to develop a personal agenda.

    The camera work on TSN didn’t really show Mr. Martin having that conversation, only Mr. Tortorella, who chews up the scenery and is more TV-friendly. All we got to see on TSN was Mr. Martin shrugging ineffectually, which adds grist to the mill for naysayers, whereas MSG’s feed shows Mr. Martin having a conversation with the refs briefly.

    The press conference was handled properly, and I’m sure the League office got to hear about this through official channels, as opposed to through the media.

    This is another opportunity the NHL has to emulate the NFL and make a public statement that the call was blown. It doesn’t do anything about the 2 points in the standings that the Canadiens didn’t have a fair opportunity to compete for, but it does repair the credibility of the league to an extent, a dire need after the Colon Campbell Reign of Error.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  10. Exit716 says:

    Red apparently has never witnessed Lindy Ruff blow a gasket on a regular basis when the Sabres don’t get the calls. Funny, Buffalo ALWAYS gets even up calls shortly afterwards.

  11. mrhabby says:

    should be fast paced game tonight with lots of pressure on both defences . will some of our older guys like gill and spacek to the speed and the youth of the oilers. will be fun to watch.

  12. shiram says:

    For anyone interested this was posted on Reddit’s Iama, basically a USA hockey ref started a thread and answered anyone’s question about his profession.
    Can make for a good read.

    Moen for powerforward 2011/12!!

  13. SmartDog says:

    Of Friedman’s 30 things, the most interesting one is near the bottom (and not an earth shaker but…):
    29. Josh Gorges of the Canadiens said he had a lengthy conversation with assistant coach Randy Ladouceur about simplifying his game. You could see Gorges pressing — trying to do so much — when Montreal was struggling early.

    Seems at least our new assistant coaches are having impact. Jorges has played well.

    And…. Red Fisher is old and from a different time. Coaches need to stand up for their players and for the fairness of the game. Sure, AFTER, turn the page and move on. But I guarantee you that if Martin had’ve told the refs how INSANE that 5-on-3 was, PK wouldn’tve been penalized for the snow shower later. That’s how it works. The refs need to be told SERIOUSLY told when they screw up or they think they didn’t. And in the words of XTC “people will wipe their fee on anything with welcome written on it”. That’s Martin last Saturday night.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Blouin says:

      Gorges puts a lot of pressure on himself. He knew last year that he was looked upon as one of the leaders of this squad and that continued to this year.

      I’m guessing he’s just trying to do it all. Thankfully Ladouceur knows how to communicate effectively enough where Gorges doesn’t take a step back.

      • SmartDog says:

        Yeah, makes sense. And I’ll get crap for this from someone but do you think Martin would have that (much needed and helpful) conversation? Noooooooo…. It reminds me of some advice I read in a business book a long time ago. It said a lot of people in senior management leave the hiring up to their underlings because no-one likes to do it. But it’s the most important thing because it involves a lot of wisdom and judgement and has the biggest implications for the companies success. You could say the same of communication in a situation where everyone is so mission critical (i.e. a hockey team). Not that Martin would believe this. The only thing I can think (as a positive) is maybe Martin looks for guys who are really good communicators to be his assistants.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • But I guarantee you that if Martin had’ve told the refs how INSANE that 5-on-3 was, PK wouldn’tve been penalized for the snow shower later. That’s how it works. The refs need to be told SERIOUSLY told when they screw up or they think they didn’t.

      Couldn’t agree more. When a ref screws up, the coach has to give it to him. It’s almost like in Montreal, they (the org) think they are Harvard Gentlemen.

      Shane Oliver
      Brandon, MB,Canada
      R7B 2R7
      Ph- 204 724 8418

  14. Stev.R says:

    I don’t think what Martin said was all that bad. He said he was confused with the call. If thats calling out the refs, thats the weakest way its ever been done. JM can’t win. You get on his case for not trying to get refs to give us calls, and you get on his case when he does try.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree, have to believe that the refs have looked back at the call and realize it was a mistake, especially in light of Kerry Fraser publically explaining how it was wrong.

      JM could have easily embarrassed the refs far more after the fact.

  15. Blouin says:

    HA! Gotta love the opening line of Fraser’s response: “WOW – Almost Too Many Bloggers on the page!”

    Life imitating art? Sports fans imitating their squad?

  16. habsnyc says:

    I agree about the parity. For the middle of the pack, the year comes down to a five game winning or losing streak. It does not make great hockey. But, it totally fits the way JM coaches.

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

    • pierre lapuck says:

      Sad to hear of Smokin’ Joe’s passing. Perhaps the greatest individual rivalry in individual sports was that between he and Muhammed Ali, those two men are and will be forever linked.

  17. Un Canadien errant says:

    Seen this morning on TSN’s crawl at the bottom of the screen.

    “Tim Connolly missed practice (…) and is out 10-14 days with an upper body sustained Saturday.”

    I suffer from an upper body, but I sustained mine over the last couple of years, from too much pizza and beer. Lower body’s a’ight.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  18. HabFanSince72 says:

    Since it’s “pick on sports columnists day” can I say I don’t get the Eliotte Freedman love?

    A column titled ’30 Thoughts’ promises, implicitly at least, to be original.

    But all it is is clichés and boring facts (a journeyman hockey player invited his skate rep to a party?), served without a hint of wit.

    In fairness, he never said they were “his” thoughts.

    I guess this is why sports blogs exist.

    • avatar_58 says:

      Friedman works for CBC and thus gets a lot of this fluff nonsense. HNIC is full of it, trying to make you “care”. I prefer TSN’s no bs no frills approach. Just give the damn sports and spare the sob stories and macleans puns.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      A lot of columnists overlap on their subject matter. We’re a pretty knowledgeable bunch, and not much happens in the NHL and specifically about the Canadiens that we don’t hear or read about. It will be difficult for Mr. Friedman to wow us, but the average fan will get a few insights from his work.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That is very well put and accurate. I have a buddy who is a really big Leaf fan, is quite intelligent about hockey and is amazed constantly at how knowledgeable Hab fans are.

        I took him to a Montreal/ Toronto game in Montreal last year which we got crushed in. He was in amazement how quickly the fans were angry at the habs, how smart most were, and how completley devastated the fans were after the game.

        Complete different atmosphere from a Leaf game.

  19. joshua94k says:

    Red Fisher should look back at the time Scotty Bowman coached the Canadiens. He spoke to the media after the games and criticized the officiating if it didn’t please him. Check the Google archives, most of the old newspapers are archived there. Scotty also led the team to Stanley Cups in 73, 76, 77, 78, and 79.

    Pat Burns also criticized the referees in the media. So did Keenan, Sather and others.

    It’s time the team takes a stand. Sure they may take some undisicplined penalties, but most are the borderline stuff. And what about the numerous non-calls against them. On most nights the officiating put their whistles in their pockets during the 2nd half when the Canadiens are trailing. If the Canadiens are ahead, the opposing team is sure to get a powerplay.

    “Those wins didn’t take the pressure off of us; wins never do that. We’re playing in the NHL and we’re trying to win the Stanley Cup,” – Mike Cammalleri

    • Tony McLean says:

      There is no excusing the execrable officiating in the first period, those officials should be on the carpet at head office. And Sol has the temerity to say Mohandas “Speak no Evil” Martin shouldn’t criticize them? THAT is a loser’s game. Took Geoff Molson to speak out after the Pacioretty assault to breaks years of Gainey ‘turn the other cheek’ philosophy. Losing quietly is institutionalized in Montreal.

      Bring Larry Robinson home.

    • habsnyc says:

      Now that is ironic, telling Red Fisher to look back into Canadiens history. Aren’t his best articles retrospectives?

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

  20. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Never have I heard before until the last couple of years that you have to start the starting goalie almost every game. Not until brodeur, who was over played IMO has that become a trend now a days in hockey. A starring goalie shouldn’t have to play More than 60-65 games. They are needed more in the play offs, keep them mentally sharp for that time.

  21. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    Perhaps Gomez needs to have a chat with Khabibulin to get some insight on how to refind his old self. Perhaps back surgery and/or some time in the slammer is all that’s needed…

    Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

  22. Thomas Le Fan says:

    The referees blow it from time to time just like players, coaches and fans do and sort of like, you know, most humans do. As far as them sticking together and sticking it to you if you complain too much or attempt to make them publically look bad, if so, that’s fairly human as well. Let’s move on.
    As much as I like the young Oilers, they have to fall tonight. Go Habs!

  23. novahab says:

    Breaking news Red Fisher Writes that NHL Refs will fix games. If you don’t beieve me read for your self.

    National Hockey League referees and linesmen are a close family. Always have been. On-ice officials regard criticism directed at one group as a condemnation of the entire family, which doesn’t sit well with any of them. Word gets around quickly, with the result that offending coaches are skating on thin ice long after they’ve gone public with their criticism.

    Get the picture?

    You don’t mess with people who have the final say in a game. A coach can yell and scream all he wants at officials during a game without getting anything more than a mild warning from a referee. However, that’s where it ends. Go public with criticism of the officials after the game and you’re begging for trouble.

    M your begging for trouble. Well I like to believe MR. Fisher who has been around long enough and has earned the trust that he tells the truth. So Red your saying a Refs may get revenage against a team which means he trying to fix the out come. Doesn’t matter what his reason is this is illegal. Fixing a pro spoting event is against the law and Red has written what I have complained about for years. The league has the job of policing the coaching and players through proper channels. The NHL has a real problem if refs are getting even with coaches and players by deciding out comes of games.

    • habsfan reduxit says:

      … there is a groundswell of opinion among the vast majority of hockey fans that hockey as we know it has to change, but that groundswell ends there.

      … consideration of how to effect that change is divided into two camps, both inside the professional ranks and among fan-dom. One side believes in the ability of people to do what’s right for the game even if the immediate alterations proposed appear as masks against the intended goal. The other view, as espoused by the likes of the geriatric Red Fisher, is held by those who are afraid of anything which moves the game forward, preferring instead a return to what they see as the time when the game was perfect – that is, going back twenty years before today … whenever day today is.

      “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

    • Tony McLean says:


      Bring Larry Robinson home.

  24. 44har48 says:

    I agree with Red Fisher and agree with Fraser to an extent. You can blame the refs for all your problems or you can face the fact that you play a trap and play defence most of the night, thus, you will be penalized more than the other team. Most penalties happen in the defensive zone and when you are smaller and play the entire game in your end, you will pay the price. Also, blaming the refs publicly makes you look like a whiner and does nothing to change the outcome of the game. It’s fruitless and certainly not very classy.

    Blundin came off the bench early and put a hit on a player that if he had not jumped off early, would never have happend. It’s a penalty in my mind for too many men and then another for a cheap hit in my opinion. It’s a clean hit that I like if he is on the ice legally, it’s one that disgusts me becuase he was not on the ice legally. I call it roughing or make something up, but its 4 mins for him. My only problem was the lack of an instigator cal on the Rangers.

    As for many of the other 9 or 10 penalties, most looked like undiscplined penalties by us, period. The refs might have missed some penalties on the rangers, but it didn’t look to me like they made up calls against the habs, and frankly, I saw a few that were not called on the habs.

    Let’s stop the conspiracy theories and the “poor us” talk. Deal with the adversity by focusing on playing a clean game and controlling what we can control. Maybe forecheck two guys and play the game in the other team’s end for a bit. Perhaps having our biggest and most aggresive dman in the game against the big teams would be a start instead of having him come over here for the first time in 7 years only to watch in the press box. Oh, I forgot, he’ll play tonight against a fast team and after he lets one of the kids by him he will sit for another 5 games.

    I’ve tried to support Martin, I just can’t anymore, and worse, if this team tanked we might be rid of him, but I can only root for them to win each and every night, thus keeping this bafoon’s job.

    • G-Man says:

      Is a “bafoon” one half baboon and one half buffoon?


      When in doubt, blame PP.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      You wrote: “It’s a penalty in my mind for too many men and then another for a cheap hit in my opinion. It’s a clean hit that I like if he is on the ice legally, it’s one that disgusts me becuase he was not on the ice legally. I call it roughing or make something up, but its 4 mins for him. My only problem was the lack of an instigator cal on the Rangers.”

      The rules aren’t there for you to interpret and have opinions about. You can’t “make something up” if a play offends your sensibilities.

      I stopped reading your post at this point.

      There is a rulebook where offences are spelled out in black and white. I’m one of the bewildered many who wrote TSN and asked retired NHL referee Kerry Fraser to analyze the play, and he responded with his judgment based on his expertise and experience. I’ll treat this as the final word unless the NHL makes a statement on the cluster Saturday night.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  25. HabFanSince72 says:

    I’m a bit curious whether those of you calling for Jacques Martin to yell and scream at the refs, if you also live your lives this way, and how it’s working out for you.

    Because I came to the conclusion when I was like 17 years old that yelling at people doesn’t work. Maybe I’m wrong.

    • 44har48 says:

      Hehehehehe…I too learned you get more with sugar then with vineger. You also don’t look like a loser doing it 🙂

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        On the other hand we all know people who go off half cocked all the time AND get their way.

        Maybe the trick is to establish it as a normal pattern.

        Then when you throw a tantrum people say “oh it’s just the way he/she is”, but the emotional message still gets through.

    • habsfan reduxit says:

      … keeping quiet in the face of that which is wrong is no way to live one’s life either. There comes a time, and always will, when the right way to proceed is to stand up and be counted, come what may. If that means yelling, because nothing else will get their attention, so be it.

      “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

  26. jimmy shaker says:

    Do the habs have a back up tender this year? If so, what’s his name? And will he be playing anytime soon, like tonight? Thanks JM!


    • fun police says:

      if i’m not mistaken, Lundquist has started over 35 straight games. carey is younger, his positioning means less tim thomas like energy expenditures and most likely wants to play every game. some of the more successful teams have their backup play less than 15 games a year. I don’t think it is a big of a deal as it is made out to be.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        And which of those successful teams have won cups in the year where there back up tender only played 15 games or less. Over the last 30 years the only teams to have won a cup with a back up tender getting 10-15 starts is newjersey and dallas. A back up is there to play at least 20 games i say, look how well it worked out for the boys last year with auld! Learn from your mistakes JM please, for the love of GOD!


        • you have repeated your point about goaltending for well over a year
          and there are MANY fair criticisms to be made of JM… but the team has played 3 games in 10 days… this is not the most intelligent gripe to be vocal about at this juncture?

          • jimmy shaker says:

            So again, with budaj’s projecting starts to be less than Auld played last year, doesn’t that warrent some head scratching? With budaj brought in as an upgrade from auld and to allow price to be a spectator a little bit more often than last year. If this isn’t an “intelligent gripe” to be talking about, then please let me know what is?


          • an intelligent gripe would be complaining about goaltending workloads when it isnt the least busiest part of the seasons schedule

        • DEANDALLEY says:

          Give it a rest Jim!

          “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

          • jimmy shaker says:

            Just want another cup…..don’t like settling for mediocrity, as I see many chaps on here are okay with!


          • jimmy shaker says:

            hey crosseyed…..when the sched was busy, did budaj play? Or did we not get to that part of the schedule yet? The schedule is busy and slow throughout the year…..maybe you guys just don’t see the big picture. I can handle that!


          • does big picture also include the ability to see where you should reply? 😉

            alls im saying is choose your times to complain correctly, you are worried about price being overused right? this is valid

            its beyond bizarre when you do so when most people are concerned about the rustiness of the team because

            wait for it


            picking your battles more appropriately is some understated advice dude

    • Vladdy Mondavi says:

      With Budaj coming from Colorado he must have played his fair share of games against EDM. Does anybody know what his stats are against the Oil?

      Depending on the stats, it may factor in the team’s decision to play him or not. With upcoming road games against less offensively explosive teams (Phoenix, Nashville), perhaps Budaj will get a start then.
      Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The times when a backup is needed for Carey is when they have back to back and heavy scheduled weeks. Carey just came off almost a complete weekoff, then played 2 games and again had 2 days off. As we now get into the heavier part of the schedule we will see more of Price. Why play Budaj now, so that both goalies can get rusty?

      • jimmy shaker says:

        They just had a set of back to back and no sign of Budaj in any of those games. THere is always going to be a scenario where Carey needs to start…….the teams been off for a week, carey’s got a great record vs a specific team, he’s hot right now, so go with the hot hand, carey’s the number one, so he needs to play the majority of the games, the team dug itself a big whole early in the season, so they need to play there best players everynight to get back into the race. etc, etc, etc. The excuses to play price over budaj are neverending, but the bottom line is budaj needs to play, carey’s needs to be a spectator for about 20 games and that ratio will be a huge help coming down the stretch for the boys! So since Budaj is going to fall over soon from all the rust he’s accumulated so far, what does JM do with him?


  27. habsfan reduxit says:

    … according to the aged Red Fisher, in regards to coach martin’s assessment of the refs’ behaviour, “What you do is maintain a stiff, upper lip. Live with it. It’s one game. File and forget it.”

    … and of course, therein lies the problem. Until someone, anyone, is willing to step up, put their career on the line, and identify the emperor’s new clothes in public, such a sorry state of affairs will continue.

    … if baseball is considering replays to ‘help’ the normally intransigent umpires get it right, surely hockey can withstand an improvement on their own on-ice officials’ judgement.

    “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

  28. RGM says:

    Habs fans are citing Kerry Fraser as somebody that they can agree with while calling Red Fisher an idiot. These are strange times indeed.

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
    RGM’s Movember page:

    • TommyB says:

      I always felt that Fraser was one of the best, as was Koharski. Especially in the one-referee era. Think back to which refs seemingly always got the call for an important playoff game. You might not have always agreed with the call, but inevitably the game was called fairly. When you doubled the number of refs to accomodate the two-ref system, it only stands to reason that the quality drops off.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think most importantly when those guys were reffing a game, the players did have a good feel for what was or wasn’t going to be called.

        With the current 2 referee system and the fact many of today’s ref’s are new and never worked a single ref system, players no longer have that feel of what is and isn’t going to be called.

      • HabFab says:

        Don’t forget Storey for the old timers and Stewart was also good IMO. He was a player and tough guy, who turned into a pretty good referee.

      • Derek2 says:

        Koharsky may have been adequate before the lockout, but he was way too overweight and slow after the lockout. I remember him actually impeding Koivu’s progress down the ice, thwarting a breakaway chance, because he just couldn’t get out of the way. He was perpetually out of position to make calls, unable to gain position to properly see slashing, hooking and holding calls. Missed a lot of calls and made a lot of phantom calls because he assumed something was happening when it wasn’t. Was really happy when he hung them up. Not that crew today is any great shakes.

        Our chief weapons are fear and surprise

  29. HabFanSince72 says:

    Are we a cup contender this year? Hard to see it. The last couple of championships were a bit unexpected, but in 86 we had 4 future hall of famers on the team, plus guys like Claude Lemieux, Ryan Walter, Bobby Smith, Mats Naslund, Stephane Richer and Guy Carbonneau.

    In 93 we lucked out from the top teams all getting knocked out by someone else, and our keeper was out of his mind. And our top 3 centres were Carbo, Denis Savard and Vincent Damphousse – a tad superior to Plex, DD and Eller.

    Both of those teams relied extensively on rookies (11 in 1986), some of whom played insane hockey (Paul DiPietro?).

    On the other hand teams that have recently made it to game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals include the ’11 Bruins, the ’06 Oilers, the ’06 Canes, the ’04 Flames and the ’03 Ducks. None of those teams was particularly great.

    • 24 Cups says:

      “Are we a Cup contender this year?” That basically depends on how well Markov can play when he returns.

    • chemic says:

      i actually meet Paul DiPietro a couple of weeks ago before his Jersey-retirement on his former club EV Zug because my employment had some vip-packages and i was lucky to get a tic! a very nice guy and even in his age still an insane player who truly love this sport. glad i always wear a Habs-Jersey when i go to the games and as soon he saw this he starting to smile even more that he did normal.

      • kempie says:

        My best memory of DiPietro was after game 5 in 93, long after the cup presentation, after wandering the halls of the Forum hugging and high-fiving strangers cops & ushers, after we had purchased all our SC Champs shirts & hats, we wandered back in to gaze at the ice surface one last time. Here was DiPietro, dressed in just a T-shirt & hockey pants, all by himself skating laps around the centre ice face-off circle, whooping at the top of his lungs. Of course, we answered, which led to a little back-and-forth whooping. You’re right, the guy smiled a lot, but that night he could have swallowed a banana sideways.

  30. 24 Cups says:

    Bruce Arthur, National Post: “My thumb is up to Georges Laraque, for a revelation in his autobiography that deserves some scrutiny. In his unflinching memoir, Laraque not only says that he witnessed the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the NHL, but that early in his career he told the NHLPA it was going on. The union didn’t do anything, of course, in the interest of collective bargaining; a drug testing plan didn’t arrive until 2005, but it’s impossible to think it closed all the holes. Laraque didn’t just point at enforcers; he said some star players were using, too. Laraque could have gone public at the time and put the pressure on, sure. But in an age where too many people hid behind the old ‘our-players-wouldn’t-do-that’ line, at least someone tried to do something.”

  31. Old Bald Bird says:

    Honestly Red, you jump on JM for saying, “There were too many penalties in the first period, but I didn’t understand the call that led to the five-on-three. I thought it should have been even.”

    Y’know, it was after the game, hardly over the top, and pretty darn mild. Oh well.

    BTW Red, you never did explain the call. But Kerry did. He didn’t understand it either in point of fact.

  32. punkster says:

    You can disagree with Red at every turn, discount anything he says simply because he’s old etc, etc, etc…and there are bound to be people here today who will do just that. Thing is in this case he’s bang on.

    Embarrass the refs, pay the price. The Habs will be targeted for payback by the officials in a coming game.

    You can bet on it. I know the refs will.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Seriously. Do you see the refs getting on Torts or Rupp for showing them up DURING a game? All he said was that he didn’t understand the penalty.

      • punkster says:

        During the game is acceptable and understandable as you point out. After the game to the media where the words go public, in print, on video and the officials will give payback.

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Coca Cola Kid says:

      It can’t get any worse. I think that Red is full of it. It’s not like JM went crazy on them, hell even Kerry Fraser doesn’t understand those calls

    • HardHabits says:

      Typical reply from you. You suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.

      I suppose a battered wife should just shut up. Don’t provoke her husband because it could me another smack.

      Or maybe the Americans were wrong and should have let Britain rape them with taxes.

      Or maybe we should just let the banks in-debt us all and our children for the next 100 years.

      Red is so off base that it’s getting tiring listening to his words of wisdom that are soon approaching senility.

    • kempie says:

      The Habs are targeted for “payback” almost every bloody night anyway. I don’t see the difference. It couldn’t get much worse. What previous indiscretion caused the Saturday night spanking they received?

  33. Marc10 says:

    Ah Red is now excusing the refs for that farce at NYR. We got stiffed and bad too. They know it. We all know it.

    If anything Peel should apologize to Jacques for stiffing his team and then piling it on.

    Oh man it’s going to be a long night on D with the young Oilers on song. Not a great match up, but we’ll hopefully find a crack in the Wall. Go Eller!

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    So the Bulldogs are giving all members of my slopitch league discounts on tickets for this Friday’s game against Grand Rapids. $12 instead of the usual $26, also $3 draught beer (not sure what brand of horse piss). The special will also be in effect for the Bulldogs/Marlies game Dec. 9th.

    Apparantly this offer is good for players, families and friends. If there are any “friends” in the area who want this special let me know and we can co-ordinate.

  35. HardHabits says:

    Red Fisher is such an idiot. Plain and simple. If anything Martin’s response didn’t go far enough. Maybe Red should read Fraser’s interpretation. Martin should have berated the officials then and there and the Habs should take this matter up with the league and make a stink about it.

    That Rangers game was one of the worst officiated games I’ve seen in memory and the 5 on 3 early on was nothing short of a travesty. Tim Peel should not have a job in the NHL.

    Just retire Red. You’re best before date was up in the 90’s.


    To you from middling hands we pass
    The buck; be yours to turn the stiles.

    • punkster says:

      Dave…you’re half right. Read the article again, particularly where he writes:
      “A coach can yell and scream all he wants at officials during a game without getting anything more than a mild warning from a referee. However, that’s where it ends. Go public with criticism of the officials after the game and you’re begging for trouble.”

      Red’s position is JM should have vented his displeasure in the moment where it’s acceptable to do so. Criticize the refs to the media and he’s just set the Habs up to get jobbed again in a future game and not by incompetence. Next time it will be entirely on purpose.

      You’re right it was horrible officiating, incompetent and embarrassing to the officials, costly to the Habs. And you’re right PG should likely have filed a complaint with the league. JM’s post game comments simply assure we get targeted again and any official complaint gets ignored.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  36. PureGuava says:

    Hickey is dreaming if he thinks that Desharnais is more “creative” than Eller. If Martin bumps the most promising young center this team has seen in decades to the wing for Scott Gomez and his contract, then he needs to be dismissed.

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
    – Robert Anton Wilson

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would think the thought process on moving Eller to Wing as opposed to DD, is that Eller is more effective as a winger than DD is as a winger.

      • PureGuava says:

        I understand that mindset, but think it’s a mistake to bump either.

        “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
        – Robert Anton Wilson

  37. Curtis O Habs says:

    Gomez should play in Columbus. Rick Nash deserves to play in Montreal.

  38. jjpod says:

    hey HIO just a FYI – your time stamp on the article appears not to have adjusted to the hour change.

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