The road trip resumes

Canadiens goaltender Budaj is scored on in the third period of their pre-season NHL hockey game against the Bruins in Halifax
Your Montreal Canadiens are in Chicago, where the Blackhawks will be smarting after losing in Pittsburgh Tuesday night.
Peter Budaj, who had some success against the Hawks when he was with Colorado, gets the start.

First off, some audio clips from the Canadiens Tuesday practice.

They fell through the cracks because Patrick V. Hickey transmitted them during the HIO Christmas party, when the audio receiving staff was well into the eggnog:

Randy Cunneyworth | Josh Gorges | Hal Gill | Tomas Kaberle | Erik Cole

Team needs more from Cammalleri

Hickey: It’s about winning, not language

Guy Carbonneau weighs in

Gauthier’s 10 decisions

Philippe Cantin on front-office decay

Stu Hackel on the uniqueness of Montreal and the Canadiens


  1. Sheldon says:

    You knew it was just a matter of time before SUCK came to town!

  2. habsnyc says:

    This team has been mediocre at best for 15 years. The value of the franchise is growing steadily. The value is growing because the fans are willing to pay more than ever to associate with what remains a mediocre and declining product. Fans to pay more money each year for such a mediocre product because in a past life, that can never be recreated, this team was wildly successful.

    Winning is secondary to value creation. Winning by departing from the past is actually value destructive. Ownership is not in the hockey business. They are in the keeping the dream alive business, a way better business than hockey. PG and the Molsons just kicked that dream in the groin by hiring RC.

    This team can fill the arena for decades with a mediocre product because this town sees every Lars Eller as a possible Guy Lafleur and every PK Subban as a possible Larry Robinson. The greatest marketing blunder of all time is for ownership to say the focus is on winning. The focus is on maintianing the illusion that this team has some meaningful connection to prior glory. Winning is for losers.

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

  3. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    I agree that the problem with the language issue is media driven in the extreme. Hopefully nothing that a 5 game winning streak will not deal with. Go Habs Go

  4. Gindan69 says:

    Like Jerry jones did in Dallas when he bought the cowboys and was asked what he would do with “their team”. He answered “it ain’t your team, it’s my team!”. If the French wanted an all PQ team, then they should have ponied up the cash for it. Just like they didnt with the Al’s, or the Impact. Big talkers who can’t back up squat.

    • zorro says:

      Its all good, the next guy to go now will be Mr. Gauthier . He has been the problem from day one, look at this team, can’t score, can’t fight, can’t win, always injured, now a unilingual controversy, thats taking us back to the dark ages. Please Mr. Gauthier get lost.

      • dr. gesundheit says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Gainey may have started the ball rolling during his tenure as GM, but Gauthier was part of that as well. Since becoming G.M. he has stayed the course. Most notably, seeming to take great pains in avoiding an injection of size, effective and punishing toughness, (on a 4th line) and a deterrent to roughing up our small forwards/defense and running our goaltenders.

  5. wd40 says:

    I highly doubt that Geoff Molson (and Gauthier, for that matter) is at all surprised about the backlash regarding Cunneyworth. Mr. Molson knows all too well about the realities of living in Quebec, and how big of an issue is language is.

  6. wall2bay says:

    I wish this team would rally around Cunnyworth and tell the world that they play to win and for their coach…..not for some friggin language police!

    It’s high time the veterans and leaders on this team rally together and tell the media to back off this God foresaken isssue!

    I know the liklihood of this won’t happen but what if this team somehow makes it into the playoff makes a run and wins the cup…..then what!?!?!

    “Just Win, Baby” – Al Davis

    • OneTimer says:

      attaboy, Mr. Gecko

    • javaman says:

      You’re right, it would be too much to expect, but it certainly would be nice if the players made a statement.

      What the French press is doing is racism, pure and simple. Letters in the French press make reference to what would people in Toronto say if they hired a unilingual French coach – the people would say, what are you nuts, nobody on the team speaks French, why would you do that?

      How about the insulting comments about Vigneault & Julien and how it’s the Canadiens responsibilty to let these coaches cut their teeth in our organization so that they can go out and compete for another team in the Stanley Cup finals. As if they wouldn’t have accomplished this goal, without coaching the Habs.

      And, my all time favorite – how many French players in the NHL refuse to sign in Montreal because of the scrutiny (Michel Briere) and still get fawned over by the French press whenever they play at the Bell Center (oops, Centre Bell)? At least the fans know and they boo him when he plays here.

      I agree that the coach of the Montreal Canadiens should be able to speak passable French, but these a-holes, don’t deserve the courtesy.l

    • banjo bernie says:

      If this “TEAM” doesn’t make it into the playoffs, it won’nt be because the coach doesn’t speak French……..and it won’t be because he coached in English…….it will be the result of a bunch of overspoiled underachievers not being coached properly……let’s face it, you can’t get blood out of a stone

  7. ont fan says:

    I’d like to know if the fans thought Cunneyworth was going to be named coach would they have run JM out of town.

  8. New says:

    Boy everyone is sensitive! Why don’t they just hire one of the 50%+ who can’t speak any english as the head coach, put him in a suit, and let him stand around answering questions.

    • Whip29 says:

      language probably wouldn`t even be an issue if Muller weas still here and he got promoted……………

      How about Denis Savard ??????

      not sure Saint Patrick is ready

      lived 25 years in Ont. being a habs fan moved back and the years T.O. (leafs) as nothing on this city 🙂

      Why can`t everyone just get along….. And all the B.S. now you know why no one wants to sign here…..

  9. habfan53 says:

    I am hoping that the P K Subban from last year comes back.
    This year no attitude, no emotion no points no good.
    last year ATTITUDE, LOTS of EMOTION, POINTS and somewhat dependable

    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

  10. habfan01 says:

    How much of this outrage from the politicians was caused by the media blowing it out of proportion? Then the pols feel they have to weigh in so the voters think they are doing their job.

  11. HabFanSince72 says:

    Here’s another take (just what you all need). (By the way, despite my statements here I do not personally care if the coach speaks French.)

    I realize this thing has almost certainly taken Molson and Gauthier by surprise, and it has blown up with an intensity that is surprising.

    But if they wanted Cunney as coach couldn’t they have said OK buddy you take the next 6 months to learn some French (200 words is all you need – just ask TV personality PJ Stock) at our expense. We’ll assign an attractive Quebecoise to be your personal teacher if you want. Next July we announce you as coach, and you give a presser in both official languages. Then we reveal how you wanted the job so much that you’ve actually been learning French for 6 months.

    Whatever one thinks of the fan and media reaction (and it has been over the top) they should have foreseen this.

    • OneTimer says:

      Why not?

      I don’t necessarily believe that Molson’s official press release from a few days ago means Cunny is going to be a “one and done” coach. If he coaches the Habs to success – dare I dream, a playoff spot? – and the players seem to respond well to him, I would say your scenario is quite plausible!

  12. BramptonHab says:

    Why don’t we let the fans decided if we need a fluently bilingual coach. I say they should put ballot boxes at the Bell Centre for the next 5 games or so and tally up the votes. They could then publish the results. If the results are that a fluently bilingual coach isn’t necessary as long as we win then that should shut the media up however if the results show the opposite, then they know what the fans want (the fans are the ones who help pay for the players’ and the management’s salaries).

    • likehoy says:

      we should also have ballot boxes to determine who we want traded from the team, and what to do with scott gomez and who we should have drafted in 2003.

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

    • nick says:

      The same fans who called 911 to ask that charges be laid out against Chara? Thanks but no thanks.

    • RGM says:

      We know that Habs fans love voting. This is, after all, a fanbase that got Mike Komisarek voted as a starter in an NHL All Star Game.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • ABHabsfan says:

      While you are installing ballot boxes and taking polls, let’s see how many journalists and politicians pay for season tickets or even own a Habs jersey that they bought personally.

  13. RJ says:

    The REAL problem with this team is upper management. Case in point, 2003 draft, Round 2. Habs Pick Cory Urquhart at #40, Max Lapierre at #61. Two opportunities to select DAVID BACKES who went at #62. The guy is a monster who scores and hits like crazy. But he does not fit our ideal profile somehow.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

    • RGM says:

      Hindsight is always 50/50. While you could fill a superstar roster for the Habs of the “could have had him” drafts over the years, the same statement applies to 29 other teams. Who would have thought, for example, that PK Subban would be available at the #43 spot in 2007 – and how many teams would go back on their first or second picks if they could have a mulligan? Same goes for Shea Weber at #49 in that 2003 draft you mentioned.
      If Backes went #62, that means all 30 teams passed on him…TWICE. It seems that all 30 NHL clubs addressed other “ideal profile” issues before one finally selected Backes.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • Chris says:

      I hate revisionist drafting, because it is absolutely pointless. Of COURSE teams would do things differently. Montreal probably should have drafted Getzlaf over Kostitsyn, but of course if the draft was redone, Getzlaf wouldn’t be available anymore at #10.

      Drafting is an art, not a science. As the #62 overall pick, every team in the NHL (other than those who drafted 1st or 2nd round picks) had a chance to draft David Backes at least once and took a pass.

      It is always easier years later to re-do drafts.

      When Montreal made their picks, they chose 6’2″, 195 pounds Cory Urquhart (ranked 32nd amongst NA skaters) and 6’1.5″, 174 pound Maxim Lapierre (ranked 23rd amongst NA skaters) over David Backes (6’3″, 192 pounds, ranked 38th amongst NHL skaters). On the day of the draft, many people felt Montreal had a VERY strong 2003 draft. Andrei Kostitsyn was considered a wild-card going into the draft…some scouts had him as a top-5 pick who only slipped to #10 because of the concerns about his epilepsy-like symptoms.

      Lapierre was a bargain for where he was drafted, given his pre-draft ranking, and carried the bonus of being a Quebec-born player, a feature that certainly must have appealed to the Habs.

      The team reached for Ryan O’Byrne at #79, but he certainly fit your desire for a big body that seemed intent on hitting. He was also a player with a rising stock on draft day.

      4th round pick Corey Locke was a scoring dynamo in the OHL coming off a 63 goal and 151 point campaign in 66 games with the Brian Kilrea Ottawa 67s. He was undersized and a high-risk, high-reward player that ultimately didn’t work out, but it wasn’t a bad pick at #113 (he was ranked #61 amongst NA skaters entering the draft). If it had panned out, the team would look like geniuses.

      • RJ says:

        All great points. You and others are right about draft wins and losses. You can go crazy analyzing what ifs. I just look at this team as it is composed and wish we had a guy like Backes on our team. Thanks for your comments.

        “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

    • Strummer says:

      What finding these later round gems either by us or another team (Boston -Lucic and Marchand) shows is that we need to do is invest money and personnel into scouting.

      Brian Burke, the knob that he is- beefed -up the Leaf player personnel dept. with so many bodies you can’t keep track.

      By doing so I believe you strengthen your player-acquisition knowledge base that helps you find the 2nd and 3rd rounders.

      Detroit has also been successful in this strategy.


    • dr. gesundheit says:

      Backes…yes he has toughness. That would never do.

  14. Jocko says:

    I would just like to wade into the Randy Cunneyworth French/English fracas. Normally, I would not say a thing because the language issue with the Montreal Canadiens is meaningless to me because winning is the most important language when it comes to this team. The bruhaha that is being made of this is ridiculous. I understand the importance of bilingualism in Montreal, but there are many people who could translate. I think that this issue is a bunch of nonsense! The press need to step back, leave the guy alone, and hope that the team pulls out of this slump. If everyone in the press wants to be critical, criticize the team and not the language the coach speaks!

    I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  15. Le Jadester says:

    OK just throwing this out there as a thought ? (I can’t believe I got dragged into this because I’m 50/50 on the whole issue and I don’t think my opinion the whole matter really makes a big deal one way or another……….but I respect individuals who are passionate about the language issue regardless of what side they’re on…..I gets that makes me a pretty lame fence sitter)


    Why don’t the people of Quebec want their own National Hockey team to represent them at the Olympics ?

    Kinda like Wales participates in the World Cup of Soccer even though they’re part of the UK or better yet England ?

    Wouldn’t that take some of the pressure of the Habs ?

    Habs, OLE !

  16. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:


    while Dallas certainly has a high number of spanish speakers, it is not the majority language of the city, and not of the fan-base either.

    In addition, there are so few Hispanics in the NFL in any capacity, I would say it would be pretty tough to find any qualified spanish coach.

    In general, though, yes I think it would be good business and marketing for the voice of a team to be able to communicate directly with their market, if possible.

  17. Habs Notes says:

    According to TSN, Alexei Emelin will not play tonight … again.


    I would much rather see Diaz or Campoli sit out.

  18. HabsFan1111 says:

    How bout some glass half full comments folks:

    – Cole is working out better than we expected
    – So are Desharnais, Eller and Diaz (and Kaberle for that matter)
    – We’re 3 pts out of 7th in the East following a horrendous start
    – We have elite goaltending
    – As everyone wanted, JM is gone
    – 5 prospects in the WJC’s including 3 on team Canada
    – Markov will be back eventually
    – So will Cammalleri…

    Things can only get better from here, let rally for the troops, support Nos Amours! On paper, our roster is stronger than that which came within one lucky bounce of eliminating last years champs. This team CAN succeed.

    • habsnyc says:

      I mean this with respect, fans like you are the reason a team that has barely shown up for 15+ years is one of the most valuable in the sport. This team could start the season 0-40-0 and half the province would still think they make the playoffs. The other half would be busy planning the parade route.

      90 points is not out of the question. But it is too early to say if that will be enough to make the playoffs.

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

      • G-Man says:

        Blaming fans for the state of the team is utter nonsense. The Chicago Cubs haven’t won since 1906, yet keep getting crowds. The people of Montreal and environs are Habs hockey fans.

      • HabsFan1111 says:

        Trying to drum up a little optimism and this is the response. Wow.

        • G-Man says:

          I know- how’s this? GO HABS GO!!!!

          • HabsFan1111 says:

            Effin right G-Man! now if we can put all the petty useless crap aside and support the team and whoever the bloody coach is, maybe we can string some wins together and get back to the tradition we call know and love … the tradition of winning!

      • SmartDog says:

        Dude, you can say “I’m not trying to pick a fight” or “I don’t mean this to be rude” but to say “I mean this with respect” and then blame the guy and guys like him for the teams failure the last 15 years is like saying “I don’t mean to cause you harm” just before you punch a guy in the nose. You didn’t make any rude remarks or anything like that. But it’s not ‘respectful’.

        Alright, I’m nit-picking, it just popped into my head. I mean it with admiration. 🙂

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • habsnyc says:

          I did not blame anyone. You misread my comment.

          The team has been mediocre for 15+ years. That is a fact.
          Its value only increases, at a rate higher than most franchises. That is a fact. The value creation for ownership is entirely from the fan base who supports the product with endless, boundless optimism, even when ownership kicks them in the teeth, gets some of the worst players in the league and makes a laughing stock of the organization. There is an irony to that.

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

    • ManApart says:

      – Cole is doing pretty good. He was the #1 guy I wanted this off season, so is working out how I thought he would.

      -Desharnais is not doing as well as I had hoped. Although he isn’t bad. I love the guy, but I don’t think you can contend without upgrading his position. Eller is a joke. he’s got 3 goals through almot half a season. If you think that’s better than we had expected, what in the hell did you expect? Diaz is pretty much what we thought. Nothing to get excited about.

      – We are only 3 points clear of a playoffspot, which is shocking. It doesn’t matter since this team isn’t very good. Whether they finish 7th or 12th, that won’t change.

      – Sorry, Price’s goaltending has not been elite this year. Boston’s has, The Ranger’s has, Detroit’s has. Not the Habs.

      -JM is gone and we have Cunnyworth. Big deal. The real problem, Gainey and Gauthier are still here.

      – Ok, that’s nice. The team has prospects. Doesn’t make a difference to the current team at all. They all may or may not help future editions of the team.

      – Markov. Are you sure? Even so, who know how he will be?

      _Cammalleri has been a complete joke this season. Will he be better? He has to be. Hopefully he does so befre it’s too late.

      _This team is not a contender, never was. THey will not be doing anything spectacular this season and they are not stronger than last years team. The downgrade at D, took care of that and Price came back to reality. Keeping it real.

    • bwoar says:

      I’m not sure about your last statement, but I like your optimism and agree with you 99%. I don’t know if we’ll be a 2nd half team (optimism is hard to muster these days), but the potential is certainly there.

      Looking forward to an exciting WJC tourney, and if we’re fortunate, some better days from Le Tricolore! Keep keeping that chin up, HF1111.

  19. Bash says:

    Thanks for that Adam!

    You and Pat can line up with dinosaurs over here.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  20. HABZ24 says:

    wonder what kind of system cunnyworth will impliment offence first? hope subban and others over flu. need a win desperatly. go habs go !

  21. HabFanSince72 says:

    We all remember how contrite the NY Rangers were at the news of Derek Boogaard’s death (well, actually they weren’t but bear with me).

    Last night, the starting lineups in the NJ-NYR game featured two enforcers on each team. The goons lined up next to each other and started grunting at each other, much like the opening scene of 2001 A Space Odyssey.

    Sure enough there was a fight as soon as the puck dropped.

    It is obvious that the players are being sent out on the ice to fight, despite what we know happens to NHL fighters.

    It’s the Roman Circus.

  22. SBAH says:

    GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!

  23. likehoy says:

    in other hockey news..
    I’m convinced crosby’s career is over

    barely took a couple of hits, got his bell rung, and he’s been out for 7+ games.. If regular contact knocks him out, then what’s the point? no one is going to baby him.

    – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

    • Neutral says:

      montreal ace: well said – I’ve been to montreal many times and was treated with the utmost respect and I can only speak a few french words – beautiful people there and a beautiful city – the problem in montreal is the media jerks – get over it – this is not a language issue – it’s a team issue – put a winning team in montreal and it won’t matter who coaches them – that’s what the fan’s want to see – it would be nice to have a coach that could speak english and french if he’s not a winner who cares – that’s what I want to see – players and coaches that can win – not this language Bs.

    • habsnyc says:

      Sad about Crosby. I hope he chooses quality of life over entertaining the fans.

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

  24. montreal ace says:

    I hope that PG is at Cunneys side, when he gets back to Montreal for his press conferences, for support and to help in news bites, which is want reporters want. These press conferences have taken on a new meaning with the advent of 24/7 sports channels, and the need to fill time. This can turn into a good situation still, if it is handled with diplomacy and understanding. In my experience growing up in a working class mixed neighborhood, the Habs were about french and english working together and that good things were possible when doing so. I am a common sense type of guy, and for a great job there is not too much I would not do, learning another language would be one of the enjoyable perks. Last thing to people that dont live in Montreal and want to visit, dont let this bruha turn you off, its a great city with lovely people and lots to do.

  25. athanor says:

    Has anyone heard whether P.K. is healthy again?

    This “playing with the flu” thing doesn’t do anybody any favours.

  26. Old Bald Bird says:

    To me, Emelin sitting indicates that the new guy is just as clueless as the former guy. I know that there’s some right-lefty going on, but a way has to be found IMO.

    What does the staff see that almost all of the rest of us don’t? Is he a dressing room problem maybe? Will he go the way of SK, Lats, Laps, OB and AK (soon): another lost asset?

    • habs03 says:

      While I think Emelin does need to be worked into the lineup specially vs a team like Boston, he was been very poor defensively in regards to positioning. The system the team is using is based on positioning to block shots and passing lanes, and Emelin has been out of position to many times. He needs to improve his positioning before he becomes a top 6 D-men and possible a top 4 which I think he can be.

      • Cardiac says:

        And what better way to improve his game than by sitting in the pressbox?

        “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
        – Jerry Maguire

        • habs03 says:

          He has played 24/34 games, watching from the pressbox isn’t a bad thing for a young d-men that has raw talent but still needs to learn how to play D in regards to positioning.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          too be honest he needs to be in Hamilton. He is way to raw currently and needs to still work on the switch over to North America. That isn’t easy when you can’t speak the language and you learning a different game.

          The major issue is in the contract he can flee back to the KHL if he gets demoted to the AHL.

          He would have been better off playing the first 25 games with the bulldogs and then coming up.

  27. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Yankees coach should speak English.

    Habs coach should speak French.

    They can speak as many additional languages as they like.

    • Cardiac says:

      And should the Dallas Cowboys coach speak Spanish?

      What about all pro sports teams in southern California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico where the Mexican immigration population is huuuuuuuuuuge!

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

  28. parkex says:

    Is the head coaching job for the boonieland Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Qmjhl or for the Montreal Canadiens of the world’s top hockey league?

  29. lenny says:

    I am embarrassed to be a Habs fan.

    I am disgusted by the headline in English “ANOTHER LOSS FOR CUNNINGWORTH” from that despicable French tabloid

    Mr Molson, stop hiding in your protected ivory tower, stop hiding behind that BS press releases, and stop throwing your employee under the bus.

    You should be ashamed of what your team has turned into. Everything about the Habs has become a joke. Every step a huge blunder. Everything from the lousy “opening ceremony” opening night, to the way you have mishandled the appointment of your new coach has been one big gong show….

    I thought you were a smart businessman, but one who sells a team at a low price and buys it back at a higher price can’t be that smart….

    Shame on you

    • TomNickle says:

      Cunneyworth is auditioning for a job with another team if he doesn’t take the time to learn french. But can we please stop pretending that it’s some sort of hardship on him to have reached the pinnacle of coaching please?

      He’s in a no lose situation, contrary to public opinion. He’s taken over a team that was underachieving, if they get worse, it’s Gauthier’s fault. If they get better, it’s because of him and he’ll be rewarded financially by somebody for that potential turnaround.

      He isn’t being nailed to a cross here, and I would wager he feels the same way.

      • hab1970 says:

        This can be a very good opportunity for cunnyworth…..really if you can handle the pressure here…then anywhere else will be much better…after all look at all the other coaches we trained for the NHL.
        also what I find interesting is reading the RDS site and the comments from people….even they are more accommodating to the fact he’s anglo…they want a wining team…..again its the french press that stirs these situations and we get caught in the flurry ourselves.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Can you be more dramatic?
      I don’t like this whole language issue, but for people to treat it like it’s the end of the world, etc, etc is ridiculous.
      The Habs have had trouble getting UFA’s for many better reasons than this.
      As long as the team WINS, UFA’s will come like they did before. As a matter of fact, a few recently came here and the team wasn’t exactly a contender.
      If players don’t want to come here, it’s usually because they can’t take the pressure of a team where hockey is all that matters, and to be honest, I don’t want that type of player here anyway.
      You think Patrick Roy cared about the additional pressure? Or Bob Gainey? Or any other of our great players, regardless of what language they spoke. They welcomed the pressure and the best ones THRIVED on it.
      Getting a Francophone coach is not going to kill this team. What will is if that coach once again is not given a proper chance. The Habs hire coaches they know have little or no experience, then they fire them when they go through their first or second losing streak.
      If they hire Patrick Roy or another unexperienced coach, leave him there 3 seasons MINIMUM….even if they lose 10 games in a row! Let them learn and become good here, instead of somewhere else.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Malreg says:

      I don’t think Geoff Molson was even working for Molson when they sold the team in 2001, so it’s not like HE decided to sell the team and then rebuy it for 4 times the price.

  30. Habsrule1 says:

    Ok….who’s ready to watch this game and start believing in this team again. If wecan have the top 2 lines playing like we know they can, we can win this game, just like we would have won against the bruins!

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • likehoy says:

      The team doesn’t have the confidence to beat the Blackhawks. I don’t even think the team believes they can do it after the last week or two.

      We need to play against some weak teams and string wins together to build some confidence.

      bad timing to fire a coach have a string of tough games to play.

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Budaj has played well against the hawks in the past. If he can make key saves and we can get a couple goals, anything can happen.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • athanor says:

        On the other hand, they have played well for the most part against good teams and poorly against weak teams. Beating Chicago could be a spur to improved play overall.

  31. Old Bald Bird says:

    Just passing this on FWIW.

    Some tweets from someone earlier suggest how happy SK is in Nashville. Apparently, he reports that it is a positive environment and that the players share a camaraderie unlike in Montreal. His reference to AK seemed to me to be saying how much AK would enjoy himself once he moved on.

    Sorry I didn’t have much time when I read it, so I can’t recall who reported this, and I don’t know whether it’s a reliable source. However, it seems to add credence to the notion that it’s not a happy bunch and that things may be worse than we think.

  32. HabFanSince72 says:

    Gilles Villeneuve interview in Italian.

  33. Jordio-oh says:

    I know I’m not alone when I say I’m so sick of reading and hearing about this language issue. It’s starting to become an unwanted distraction to the team. I just want to watch hockey.

    Crazy notion, I know.

  34. ZepFan2 says:

    Two quick questions.

    When the Canadiens win/lose, is it in French or English?


    Shouldn’t a coach be required to speak “hockey”?

    Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  35. HabsFansince49 says:

    While I fully believe a Habs coach should speak French, I equally believe that there are far more English speaking Habs fans in Canada than French speaking fans.

    • G-Man says:

      Great. Move to Montreal and buy season’s tickets, please. All of you.

      • dr. gesundheit says:

        I don’t believe that it’s the coach who announces the penalties, goals and assists for season ticket holders sitting @ the Bell Centre watching the game. Besides that, correct me if I’m wrong, but the penalties, goals, assists etc. are announced in French (first) and then English.

  36. dhenry1234 says:

    Another Loss tonight. Gonna be a tough pill to swallow. 4 losses in a row? That really sucks. 🙁 I really wish this team would go on a tear but it just isn’t in the cards. Gonna be a long season, and an even longer off season with no playoffs.

    • MTLCANADIENS says:

      I agree, i knew it was going to be a long season after we lost to the leafs the second time we played them when grabovski scored in o.t

    • Al aboo says:

      8.5 hrs before the game and your already sulking about a loss………….fairweather?

      • dhenry1234 says:

        I definitely hope that the Habs can bust out a win tonight. I just don’t see it realistically happening. Especially with BOOOOO in net.

        I miss the big bald alex auld.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Don’t trip on yor way off the bandwagon.
      3 points out of the playoffs with 48 games left does not an impossible task make.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • HabsFan1111 says:

        The negativity on here is unbelievable. Thanks for a positive comment Habsrule1!!!

        I think it’s lucky we’re on the road right now cause clearly, if we were at the BC, the fans would be booing everything.

        Turnaround begins tonight. GHG!

      • dhenry1234 says:

        Damn right you’re sorry. You started the insults when you claimed that I was no longer a fan because I feel the habs are losing.

  37. HabsFan1111 says:

    Geez you guys couldn’t find a picture of Budaj making a save?!?

  38. SteverenO says:

    Rather than talk about language, I prefer to talk about Arithmetic.

    Here are up to date PowerPlay Effectiveness numbers.
    The numbers represent the PP efficiency of each player.

    example: If a player has 50 minutes of PP ice time and the team has scored 5 PP goals while this player has been on the ice his “Effectiveness Number” would be 20%. (50 /2 =25 “full Power Plays and 5 goals scored equals a ratio of one goal for every 5 PPS, or 20%)

    Here are the numbers (from Good to Bad)

    1. Pacioretti – 21.27%
    2. Kaberle* – 21.05% (includes both Carolina and Mtl)
    3. Cole- 19.8%
    4. Desharnais- 19.5 %
    5. Weber – 16.25%
    6. Plekanec- 16%
    TEAM AVERAGE: 13.15%
    7. Subban – 12.9 %
    8. Gionta – 11.25%
    9. Cammalleri- 9%
    10. Diaz – 8.7%
    11. Andre K.- 8.5%
    12.Darche- 6.9%
    13. Gomez- 5.4%

    14. Gorges- 0% 12 PPs (24 minutes PP TOI) 0 Goals
    15. Eller – 0% 7 PPS (14 minutes PP TOI) O Goals
    16. Campoli – 0% 5 PPS (10 minutes PP TOI) O goals.

    What does all this mean?
    Our power play is not really as bad as it has shown. IF the coach utilized our most effective players we would score our fair share of power play goals. The PP time on ice shoud not be distributed equally.

    Desharnais, Cole, and Pacioretty, is our best offensive line, These three guys are also our most effective Power Play performers (among the forwards). It makes no sense in any of the official languages for the coach to split up these three guys when we are on the powerplay. This line should get 70% or more of the of the PP ice time together as a unit.

    Any coach who does not realize this should NOT have a job coaching in the NHL, whether they speak French, English, Russian, or Pig Latin.

    Question: Is it possible that Cunnneyworth, and JM before him are NOT aware of these numbers?

    I assume that someone being paid an extremely healthy salary to do a job would spend the few minutes necessary to do their homework.

    Happy Holidays to ALL.

    Steve O.
    Qlik View – Data Discovery.
    Every team needs it- Every coach needs it.
    Every fan needs it!

    • TomNickle says:

      But what your data doesn’t take into consideration is that the Desharnais, Pacioretty and Cole numbers are inflated due to them getting a crack at more fatigued goaltenders and penalty killers, or are scoring on the powerplay against weaker penalty killers, with them being out on the second unit.

      You can interpret numbers however you like, and twist them to suit your theory. By your logic, Weber is a better option on the powerplay than Subban.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        On the PP I would currently rather have Weber than PK. PK needs to get more rest as he is being over used and Weber has almost as many points with way less ice time and has a better shot.

        PK needs to change his wind up. You might as well write a letter when you are going to shoot with that wind up

        • TomNickle says:

          I’d rather take him off of the penalty kill and use Gorges, Gill, Diaz and Emelin than take Subban off of the Powerplay.

          He scored 14 goals last season and is our top offensive threat on defense.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            last season is last season. Scott Gomez also had 80 points a few seasons ago…doesn’t help us right now

            PK is still developing and is being way over used and his confidence is shaken. he is making so many brutal mistakes you can tell mentally he has losts his confidence. He will be great on the PP down the road but currently our PP sucks and he is part of the problem. We need wins.

            PG really screwed up the defense this year unfortunately.

          • TomNickle says:

            Ummm….the way to restore his confidence probably isn’t to take him off of the powerplay.

            He also scored a powerplay goal on Saturday night.

      • krob1000 says:

        I disagree Tom…the 2nd pp unit has a far tougher time scoring….
        as they are almost guaranteed to be facing fresh penalty killers and will be starting from outside the offeensive zone more times than not. The first unit of any pp usually does not change until they have had the pucked dumped on them on or after the one muinute mark of the pp. The second unit usually comes on once the puck has been iced, a dman will wait for the change, hand the puck off and change himself more often than not, then usually with abuot 30-45 seconds to go they try to gain the zone…the other team will most likely have changed at this point as well….when the puck is dumped. The first unit has a faceoff in the zone to start and is almost always given at least the first minute and often more…they are also more likely to be facing the top pk pairng and a fresh group too but the second unit has the disadvantage…not an advantage. IF that were the case teams would load their second unit.

        • TomNickle says:

          Several teams use players for a full two minute penalty kill, have their weaker penalty killers on the second unit(much like the Habs) and line changes don’t uniformally come from a stoppage of play.

          2nd units by large majority go up against weaker penalty killers and more fatigued goaltenders.

          • krob1000 says:

            2 minute penalty kill? I have never in my life seen that intentionally done …that is something that the most fit player around should not be able to do…unless he is a very lazy penalty killer. That is exaclty point regarding the second unit….it is not normally done on a stoppage and it usually results from the pk team having iced the puck……which means the second unit most of the time is starting from 200 feet away with time running…whereas the first unit is always starting from a faceoff inside the offensive zone. Whatever…it is not a big deal but I do believe that a second unit pp player is at a huge disadvantage in the great majority of cases.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Thanks! Really interesting. However to be fair, you need to have a large enough sample size per player for it to be statistically useful (sort of what Tom was saying) and to average out for opponents and so on.

      Kind of like plus/minus – where a guy can get dinged or bumped up without actually having anything material to do with the play resulting in the goal – i.e. the game where PK stepped on a stick and fell out of the play behind the net and the other team scored. All the guys on the ice get a minus for a play that was pure bad luck. Same on PP, you need a decent sample size of opportunities. Or just list the guys below a fair sample size separately.

      Anyway, certainly good cannon fodder especially as your post has nothing to do with language 🙂

    • Phil C says:

      I am pretty sure Cunneyworth sent the MaxPac-DD-Cole out at least once on the first PP wave last game, so I would wait before judging the new coach. One of JM’s failings was to sick with his vets rather than make in-game adjustments. I suspect he was aware, but was sticking with his game plan.

      Pacioretty and Cole’s numbers are impressive. I would say your sample size is too small for Kaberle and Campoli to draw any conclusions, but I think it’s safe to say Kaberle has been good for the powerplay without stats. Imagine if he starts shooting the puck!

  39. LafleurFan says:

    Going to watch the Chicago team like a hawk. Only know they have passable goaltending, couple of good defencemen, Keith, Seabrook, and elite forwards, Toews, Sharp, and Taxi-Boy Kane. Not a bad team for the Habs to emulate.

    And here’s a credo we fans abide, “Passion over Reason!”

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • LA Loyalist says:

      More than passable goaltending. Emery has been so good he’s bumped Crawford, whom they really like.

      I have a lot of friends who are maniac Hawks fans and they are pretty happy right now.

  40. Al aboo says:

    Even tho we are under intense scrutiny for not being from Montreal, and many are under the impression that we are of a lower caste because of this. I am really starting to believe we are also the most reasonable and intelligent fans. We do not drive star players form OUR team because finnish is their second language, not french, We do not put up a wall against possible free agents by criticizing their linguistic skills, and when we do have a young french prospect we don’t throw him under the bus when he isn’t on the top of his game( lattendresse). Get your heads out of your asses! “something has to change”, of course the attitudes of the fans who do nothing but demoralize and destroy this team. The great thing about hockey is that it is a game, not politics……a game!

  41. bellcentre hotdog says:

    Former Canadiens coach Alain Vigneault yesterday:

    “I’d like to think that the reason I got the job in Montreal, or the reason that Michel Therien got the job in Montreal, or Claude Julien got the job in Montreal was at the time the GM there thought that we were the best guys for the job.

    I don’t think it’s any different than … last year Steve Yzerman thinking that Guy Boucher was the right guy for that job or a couple years ago when Shero thought Dan Bylsma was the best guy for the Pittsburgh job.

    It’s a province that is close to 90% French. But I think as far as hockey goes, the number one probably most important thing has to be the hockey … in my mind. I think any coach anywhere … if you win … you’re good!”

  42. bleedhabs81 says:

    Damn… I see we are still talking about this.

    Oh well, I guess this deflects the much deserved criticism from the on ice product… that has to be nice for the players, right?

  43. BeachHabFan says:

    I would hazard a guess that 90% of the politicians and noisemakers complaining about the coach situation cannot name more than 1 player on the team (if that) and that player would either be subban or price. They are not fans and are jumping on the issue because they have been starved of a good “discrimination” story too long. They have no intest or commitment to the team beyond using them as a wedge. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

    • Psycho29 says:

      On Sunday, LCN had the PQ’s language expert on, complaining about the ‘situation’.
      A couple of times the interviewer asked hockey related questions, and each time he replied, “I don’t follow hockey, so I am no expert”.

  44. Phil C says:

    Good article about Cammalleri. This is a guy who led the league in playoff goals scored two years ago (only playing three rounds) and had 10 points in 7 games last year, so he is a good asset in the line up and he is one of the few Habs with above-average hands. Its only a matter of time before he breaks out of his slump.

    I think the problem with the team this year is on defense, especially on the right side. In many games this year, at least one goal has been scored by defensive breakdowns and errors (as opposed to the other team making a good play). The Habs really only have one guy playing like a true top-four d-man in Gorges. Subban is close and he will only get better, but I think asking him to play against the top lines in the league in all situations is too much to ask at this point in his career. If Kaberle can return to top form (he used to play huge minutes in Toronto and is a career plus player) and get Markov back, this team could be better than people think.

    We really need a d-man who can play big minutes on the right side. Subban and Diaz would look much better in the 2nd and 3rd pairing. Gorges can be effective on his off-wing, so I would try him as the number 1 D-man on the right side. IMO, a right shooting, first line defenseman is the biggest hole in the Habs’ line up.

    • TomNickle says:

      The most level-headed fans, media and coaches will give a player the benefit of the doubt when they bring something other than scoring to the lineup. Whether that be effort, responsible defensive play, physical game or leadership.

      What is unacceptable, at any level, is dragging your ass around the ice like it’s a chore to get paid $6 million to play hockey for living every year. A little hustle, a little effort, and Cammalleri escapes criticism. But quite frankly, he’s been coated in teflon while Gomez has been in the lineup, and it took an injury for people to start calling his play what it is. Disgraceful.

      • Phil C says:

        I can’t argue with the fact that Cammalleri could show more hustle. I believe that was the point Cole was trying to make in the article; that when in a scoring slump, you need to being doing other things well. I agree that he deserves criticism, but I also think he deserves some patience from the fans until he sorts it out because I think the talent is still there.

    • athanor says:

      I’m sorry for the pedantry, but you seem to have fallen prey to a word usage that drives me crazy because it happens so frequently.

      As a noun for the metal, lead rhymes with wed.

      As a verb in the present tense, lead rhymes with weed.

      Where this runs into trouble is when the verb goes into the past tense. Then it rhymes with wed, as it should since it is then spelled led (no a).

  45. SeanMalone says:

    Remember when Scotty Bowman addressed the Quebec media & Habs players in French after each game? Neither do I. 5 cups in 8 years gives political extremists have zero ground to stand on.

    What these idiotic political extremists have done is make the Canadiens unattractive to UFA market and I imagine some of the current players. All the work Gillette & Gainey did putting the class & stability back into the organization from the disgrace it as in 1999 was ripped down and peed on by these political extremists. What happens when Price says I have had enough and refuses to re-sign. I am sure there will be plenty of offer sheets come July 1 if he hints that. Do you think Briere & Gagne care if their coach speaks french? Clearly not, they went to were they felt they had the best chance to win. Politics & the Highest taxes in the league handy cap this organization as it is…let’s keep the extremist out of this great game!

    ~I never said it. Honest.~

    • TomNickle says:

      Had you stopped to consider for a moment that it isn’t idiotic political extremism?

      Gagne wanted to play here by the way. Gauthier said no thank you.

      • Canayens says:

        When a UFA, especially if he’s from Quebec, uses the media to express his “desire” to play for MTL, knowing the Habs will have to overpay to acquire him, it’s just a tactic to drive up his asking price for the other 29 teams.

        • TomNickle says:

          Gagne’s agent asked if they would have interest in him. Gauthier said no. Making it public that a GM has no interest in your client doesn’t give you any leverage. Or at least it didn’t the last time I went to Business School.

      • Clay says:

        I stopped to consider it Tom, but I do think it is political extremism, with a good amount of ethnocentrism.

        However, I’m willing to listen to what you think it is.

        “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau.

        • TomNickle says:

          It’s a large group of people with a significant cultural attachment to what has become an institution reflective of their heritage. That’s the argument from their perspective, and not an inappropriate one.

          From the team perspective. These people are such a significant part of what has made it successful both past, present and future both financially and in terms of productivity that turning a blind eye to their demand(if you want to call it that), would be ignorant.

          • Clay says:

            Well, I like how you put it, Tom. But to me it’s just a PC way to say the same thing.
            And from my perspective, the team was founded by an Irish immigrant, and this past should be respected in the form of an Anglo coach.

            Now, I don’t really care about language either way, but I think you get my point. The French can claim all they want, but it’s not just their team – it belongs to the Molson’s first, and the fans (of which I am one) second. If the French would like to purchase the team, then they are free to hire whomever they please. But until that time, they should shut up and stop creating problems that will assuredly scare off both potential good coaches and good players.

            “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau.

          • TomNickle says:

            I see this team’s foundation in a much different way than you do. And I don’t feel that the fans are out of line in their request. The heritage minister calling for a boycott of all Molson products needs to be put in their place, but not the fans.

          • Clay says:

            I really don’t think that this outcry comes from ‘the fans’, Tom; I think it comes from political opportunists and racists – some of whom may be fans, but only incidently. Real fans want the team to win, period.

            “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau.

    • athanor says:

      I don’t know if he did or didn’t, but, assuming your were watching an English-speaking channel, I would suggest that they simply didn’t bother showing the parts that were in French.

      That’s like what RDS did during Martin’s tenure — when he switched to English, they went away.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Bowman spoke french, albeit not beautifully. No one besides the extreme dogmatics are asking for a francophone coach, they just want someone who can speak in french or at least attempts to. It’s not really that much to ask.

    • Habfan29 says:

      Agree, the Canadians and the province are the laughing stock of North America right now. It is about winning and nothing else!!!
      When the Nordiques decided to go all french what happened? Last place, thats what. These language extremists are ruining the team and future prospects for the team. After this who will want to sign here? If I were Price and Subban I would be telling my agent to get me outta here as it is only a matter of time before everyone turns on them because they don’t parlez vous!

      Get you collective heads out of the sand, it is globalization to regionalization and English is the Universal language spoken all over the World.

      Gauthier just did this to deflect criticism from himself, shame on him and shame on those that have thrown Cunneyworth under the bus, lame duck coach who is going to listen to him? Furthermore what about the anglo’s on the team? would you want to stay?

      Quebec refugee 1st wave 1977….

  46. habs03 says:

    Looks like Tinordi is a lock to make the USA Juniors team. Another prospect that going to be playing a key role on a team expected to win.

  47. Al aboo says:

    Bring back demers….problem solved

  48. habs-hampton says:

    I understand the need for a French-speaking coach, but with what I have seen in the media over the last few days, I have a better understanding of why it is so hard to get free agents to come here (even French free agents). I really feel bad for Cunneyworth, and I think back the crap Saku had to put with.

    Only in Montreal would winning the Stanley Cup lead to a head coach being fired (Al MacNeil).

  49. HabsFanNorway says:

    I think this situation is a lot like the one Englands national soccer team was in. They needed a good coach who could make them win. They found an italian to do that job since there where no english coaches who had the same reputation.

    If England can have an italian coach in soccer would it be out of this world to have a coach that speaks english in Montreal?

  50. LA Loyalist says:

    I’m sorry to repeat this argument from yesterday, but it totally cuts the Quebec media off at the knees, so I believe it is worth making again:

    If Enzo Ferrari had declined to hire Gilles Villeneuve for Ferrari, saying he wanted to hire an Italian, the Quebec media would have SCREAMED, saying “Hire the best.”

    I rest my case.

    • TomNickle says:

      Car racing and North American hockey are two very different animals. I’m sorry Brad, but if I were you, I’d be looking for a better comparable.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        OK. Soccer. All the top teams have coaches from all over the place. Their priority is winning.

        And I think my comparable is excellent. Why not? It’s about a choice to appease a vocal minority rather than choosing on merit. How is it different? Italians, and particularly Ferrari fans, are just as lunatic in their fanaticism as Habs fans — maybe more so. And they lived with a hated German – Schumacher, and Lauda, an Austrian – – because they brought glory to Ferrari and thus Italy.

        Please explain why the comparable is not applicable. I think it is dead nuts on, but of course you may have an angle I’ve not thought of.

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        See, now everyone is saying that “it’s HOCKEY, not (insert comparative)….”

        Guess what, it is hockey, but it is just hockey. A game… A money making machine. Maybe I am the delusional one…

        As an aside, is Quebec really that oppressed these days? (I am asking honestly, as I don’t know)

        Is their culture any more threatened than anyone elses? (with the world at our fingertips, we will see many cultures begin to bleed into one)

  51. Strummer says:

    When I click a link to french language article whats the quickest way to translate it?



  52. Habsrule1 says:

    the only french “analyst” that got it right was Damphousse. He said the team should not worry about language but take the best coach available, basically saying not giving an English only speaking coach a chance is equal to discrimination (I’m paraphrasing).

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  53. The Dude says:

    Here’s my problem with the Cunneyworth head coach thing…He was part of the coaching staff that failed this Habs team which proves to me he’s having the same issues motivating the team.This Habs team needs a Barry Trotz type coach who can take any player and thier baggage and play winning hockey.And since the coachs don’t acquire players and our last two G.M’s got us veterans no one else really wanted for a number of reasons like: too soft, small,injury prone,old or one dimensional we need a coach that can do the impossible …while being Bilingual ,lol

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I’m not ready to hang Cunneyworth yet. THe players are institutionalized from “Le System” and need time to adjust back to playing normal hockey.

      Plenty of time to hang him in the summer, if he’s around 🙂 — though I guess in Quebec it is the Guillotine.

      • G-Man says:

        RC is a student of JM. If you think much is going to change, think again. The only difference is that the D will jump up occasionally. This will cause a mad scramble for coverage once the puck is lost or turned over. It’s not going to be pretty.

        • TomNickle says:

          I think you’ll also see more aggression from the players. Like leaving position to finish a check. Both good and bad can be taken from that, for what it’s worth.

          Funny thing is that our biggest problem, other than scoring of course, is not protecting our own crease.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          I am not familiar with RC and you may well be right. My priority in a coach is one who can adjust to the players he actually has and optimize their skills together.

          Whether he screams or is quiet I don’t particularly care.

          If RC is just a custodian and doesn’t put some joy back into playing hockey (which is in the attack) then it is just sad.

      • TomNickle says:

        Here’s my problem with your analysis Brad(it isn’t limited to this post either). You’ve been giving a free pass to a lot of players on this team but not #11.

        If Martin was at fault for the lack of or inconsistent production from Cammalleri, Plekanec, Kostitsyn, Eller, Pacioretty, Gionta and Subban. Then he must be with Gomez.

        You can’t pick and choose which players he was responsible for without knowing the work habits of those players. And by all accounts from the room, Gomez is one of the best and hardest working practice players on the team.

        Time for some of the veteran players to be accountable for their results.

        My opinion is that his style, not system created a lack of offensive output from the majority of players on the team. Plekanec, Cammalleri and Gionta are the three with no excuse. The three of them, from day one, have been put in a position to be successful offensively.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Gomez hasn’t scored in 50+ games. He doesn’t go near the net. He rarely shoots, which makes his wingers easier to defend. I’ve watched him in games, his idea of checking is waving his stick at someone as they blow by. As for working hard in practice, well, I don’t know what to say to that, except that it isn’t translating into a benefit in games except perhaps conditioning.

          That said, certainly you have a point that there is plenty of blame to go around. Cammi, particularly, just seems less interested. I remember seeing him work out in the summer in Toronto with a small group of NHL guys and he was really intense — this was in August 2010 — he seems to have no fire. What is your theory?

          Are our stars just coasting and cashing their checks?

          How do you feel about the role of the constant line juggling?

          It made me crazy with Carbo and more so with JM, I don’t know how guys can learn to feel each other on the ice instinctively when they don’t even know who they are on a line with.

          My personal theory is that the team was cobbled together in a panic out of spare parts and JM was not the right coach to give it an identity. Hopefully the next guy can do it.

          That’s just my own pet theory, not scientific. What do you guys think?

          • TomNickle says:

            Line juggling early in the season is a practice that I’ve often utilized and has paid huge dividens late in the year and in the playoffs when you sustain injuries or suspensions. It creates chemistry among all four of your lines and defensemen, so I’m not the best person to ask about that if you’re looking for objective opinion. And I will add that I stopped doing it unless forced at the halfway mark of each season.

            As for Cammalleri, with the exception of a couple of seasons, and not just here, he’s been all talk. I followed him very closely when he came to Montreal because of the perceived notion that he was a locker room problem in Calgary and Los Angeles. He was very vocal in his belief that putting on the red, white and blue jersey every night was motivation enough to leave everything on the ice and be the best player possible for teammates and fans. And that to give anything less was disrespectful to the great tradition of this franchise.

            Personal theory? He had a very close friend on this team last season, that friend is gone. That’s as far as I’m willing to take it for fear of getting caught in a holy war.

            Bottom line, he stands out because of a lack of effort, and that’s pretty sad when you consider how far away the room had gotten from Martin.

    • pat s says:

      Dude—I understand what you are saying. I like cunney and i say if montreal does hire another coach keep him as an assistant if he wants to stay . You are completely accurate about the previous GMs, especially gainey. I laugh now at the same people on this website that said the opposite prior to all this mess happening. I don’t think cunney will last however, if they keep losing the media is going to tear him apart about the language issue, and the politics will take over

  54. JF says:

    The Blackhawks played in Pittsburgh last night and wouldn’t have gotten home until about 2 A.M. That should make this a winnable game, but I’m afraid it will follow the course we’ve become accustomed to lately. We’ll play reasonably well, even very well, score a few goals, and be right in it until the third period. Then someone will make a bone-headed play, the Hawks will score, and it will be game over.

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    Translated from French newspaper.
    Belleville’s OHL head coach George Burnett is behind the bench with our Junior National team in Calgary. And a potential candidate for the Hab’s.

    The brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman PK Subban, Malcolm, has many eyes open wide since the beginning of the season in the League Ontario Hockey (OHL). The Farrese Sébastien Laval is part of this equation that impresses.

    The 32 year old man is the goaltending coach of the Belleville Bulls in 2005. He sees the development of caretaker of 17 years was chosen twice in November the best goalkeeper of the week in Canada in the junior and the guardian of the month in the OHL.

    “Malcolm is a natural! began by talking about the coach who led, dated December 20, the OHL in the number of guards for goals allowed per game with an average of 1.93. I quickly adapted to his style and we work well together. ”

    Speaking of the work ethic of his protege, Farrese, said he had seen his brother PK practice when the latter played for the Bulls. “He already knew our work dynamic and it is melted completely.”

    Developing talent

    In recent years, the coach has worked with some excellent young players who were drafted into the NHL as Kevin Lalande (Calgary Flames), Mike Murphy (Carolina Hurricanes), Edward Pasquale (Thrashers to Atlanta), Philipp Grubauer (Washington Capitals) and now Subban, who will be eligible next June. Modest, the 35 year old man lifts his hat instead of scouts in the organization.

    “They do good work and always unearth talented players and with whom it is easy to work.”

    Asked about the number of guards Quebec accessing the NHL has decreased in recent years, the man who works with the guardians of the Canadian national team does not believe that the guards in the province have fallen out of favor.

    “There are so many good guards in Quebec, but the other provinces and even other countries are developing more and more their guardian. There’s more competition that’s all. ”

  56. krob1000 says:

    Has anyone considered taht with all of the very good caoches who were blingual that have passed through Montreal that their langauge may have been a contrbuting factor to their own demise?
    Think about it…..a French coach does have to be accountable to the media after every game and we know how much of the media runs in Montreal post Expos and Nordiques….
    I think it has tobe assumed that the extra attention and accountability puts an unnecessary burden on the coach who should instead be focussed on his team and not have to double as the PR guy for the team. If they want to satisfy this segment (the media and Franco fans)…then hire an assistant…hire someone extra…whose sole purpose is post game pressers,etc and dealing with the media after games….the person woul dhave to be involved in every day operations, practices, and be a bonafide assistant coach but this would be part of the job description.

    I find it no coincidence that several great coaches have passed through Montreal who spoke the langauge and then went on to succeed elsewhere…sure they went on to great organizations like Pittsburgh, Boston, Vancouver….but those organizations all hired them knowing Montreal is the best coaching farm team in the league.

  57. Rudy says:

    I had just started turning my Leaf-lover New Brunswick friends into Habs fans because of Nathan Beaulieu – they were watching RDS for Fack sake. Now they are like “these people are nuts, poor Nathan”.

  58. habs03 says:

    I know this place is always negative, but I think good will come out of this. IMO this year is going to be huge. Let the season play out, by the deadline if you are not in the playoffs, sell all the guys that aren’t coming back, Gill, Campoli, Moen,A.Kost, ror picks. Hopeful we need up with a 6-10 pick in the draft, which is a really good draft, and PG hired some really good scouts since he became GM, so they should do a good job.

    This is a good team having a bad year, ex Flyers in 2007

    After resigning all the key guys, we should have enough money to add a 4M Dmen, ex Tim Gleason, 2 very good 4th lines for 1.5M each, Prust. And 1 good 2-3 line winger in the price range of 3-4M, Stoll, Stempniak..



    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Problem is, as Stu mentions, each playoff game brings $5M to the team.

      If we are in 10th place in late January it’s more likely we do something stupid to try to squeak into the playoffs.

      • habs03 says:

        To be honest with you, I don’t think that would be the case because there simply won’t be any room once guys get health.

        Once everyone is health we would have too many D-men and Forward. So anyone coming in, someone else is going out.

        Also I think PG has shown that he won’t sell the farmer for a quick fix. A few years ago rumors were the Kings want Patches and Weber for Frolov but he PG said no and last year the Oilers want Tinrodi and a 1st for Penner and PG said no.

  59. twilighthours says:

    This French/coach drama, with its “the team belongs to the people” rhetoric, is pathetic.

    When I visited Tampa last year for a bolts-habs game, I watched the warmup with about 5000 other habs fans. We were there at ice level an hour before the game started. The place was flooded with red, white, blue jerseys. I thought, “no other NHL team has this kind of following”. I had never felt so proud to be a habs fan, and that was after witnessing 2 cups, too.

    This language drama makes me feel the exact opposite. Man it’s hard to be a habs fan sometimes. Really hard. And it has nothing to do with the losing, either. Unfortunately, us sports fans know that it’s impossible to stop rooting for your childhood team. So I’m stuck with them and they are stuck with me, despite these sad times.

    I hope my son thinks long and hard before he picks his team.


  60. CranbrookEd says:

    One more “loser” in this mess may turn out to be LeBlanc who should be playing in Hamilton, but now will not be sent down. Instead, he will learn on the job as are Subban and Eller. With that said, RC will from the sounds of it, provide Louis with more actual playing time than JM would have . . .

    Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . . What ever happened to Johnny Jelly-Bean!?

  61. ralphkim says:

    Randy has a tough job and Gauthier needs to support this guy as does Molson…. Why does he deserve to be treated this way… Language does not make a coach a success otherwise he would speak Russian as well etc
    This team needs to win and fans and media need to back off on this Language crap… Look at the line of Bilingual coaches who have not had success in Montreal !!! Carbo is just being bitter with his suggestion… Also Bergeron and the gang on the Antichambre need to get more positive about this team and the good things they do in a game.. I thought they played with spark and grit VS Boston..The best in a long time … Let’s help this team not hinder them and their coach…

  62. HabFanSince72 says:

    Another aspect of this that I’ve alluded to is that Gauthier could do a lot to help this situation by being the media face of the team, a la Brian Burke.

    If he continues to hide in his Vermont cabin then he really is throwing Cunney to the wolves.

  63. Canayens says:

    When the team had in one time or another, David Aebischer, Mark Streit, Cristobal Huet, Dominic Moore, Tom Kostopoulos, Yannick Weber, Raphael Diaz, who all spoke French, none were mentioned as an effort (although unknowingly) by the team to bring more French speaking players.

    You can have the WHOLE team composed of non-Québécois players and coaches fluent in French, it won’t matter, because by then it’s not about the language anymore, they’ll rather bring up the identity issue.

    • mount royal says:

      Not really true. Bowman, Gainey, Blake, Robinson, etc were all respected because they took the effort to learn French, which, by itself, is a mark of respect for the fans who pay their salaries. Not only is it a simple matter of respect, it is also practical. The Habs coach has to be in close touch with the Quebec public; it is not like Phoenix, where the job is limited to the ice and the bench. Imagine the fuss in Toronto if their cocah could not be interviewed in English. Its totally understandable. What is enbarassing to me, as an anglo, is not that francophones re upset; of course they are. What embarrasses me is the number of anglos who still think that they know what is best for their francophone compatriats. This legacy of paternalism is shameful.

      • Canayens says:

        All valid points.

        What I’m trying to play with is the idea of having an entire team of European and ROC staff who can all speak French, and see what the reactions will be.

        This stemmed from watching the defunct 110%, where Michel Bergeron once said, refering to Aebischer and Huet, with a mocking tone (I’m paraphrasing): “On a un Swiss puis un Français comme gardiens? Nous autre les Canadiens de Montréal, on est rendu avec un Swiss puis un Français? Ç’a pas bon sens…”

        It does not matter which language the player speaks, if he’s not Québécois, it’s louche. The same Bergeron was talking to David Lemieux (a typical Québécois name) the boxer, who speaks with an accent, and asked: “T’as un drôle d’accent toé…”, in which Lemieux replied: “Ma mère est Arménienne”. Bergeron goes “ah…”

        I have both Québécois friends and those from France, and many of them don’t hang out together, they don’t mix.

  64. montreal ace says:

    I am looking at our UFA, we will not be able to afford Gorges,and thats a shame as most people on here wanted him locked in. AK if were going to sign him lets do it now, or he walks for nothing. Moen is in the same boat, if we dont take a chance on him he walks, I would sign him with a raise. I think Campoli has NHL wheels and a good shot, I think he could work out here. This team has to stop letting talent slip away for nothing.

  65. aegyder says:

    It is difficult to see how any of this can turn out positively. One feels sorry for two coaches that were set up to fail by the incompetence of the general manager(s). At least JM has his $2+ million payoff, but poor RC will end up being blamed for the inevitable failure of the team. No system/coach can overcome the absence of talent and lack of talent is the biggest problem with this version of the Habs. I was in agreement with BG blowing up the team a few seasons ago, however, the way it was done then and since leaves a lot to be desired.

    Good luck Mr. C.!
    Your serve Mr. M.!


  66. HabFanSince72 says:

    Great balanced article by Stu.

    One tiny quibble: soccer is a poor example, for two reasons.

    First, as I’ve mentioned once or twice, managers of big clubs or national teams ARE required to speak the local language. There was an uproar when a non-Brit (Sven Goran Ericksson) who spoke fluent English was hired for England, and a bigger one when a non English speaker (Fabio Capello) later took the same job. (Capello then took his English from rudimentary to very good in a few months.) The counter-example of – say – Korea hiring a Dutch coach misses the point as Korea has no footballing tradition.

    Second, in any case, we should not be taking our cue from Europe, a land that has taken ethnocentrism to murderous extremes, on many occasions.

    The example of Notre Dame is also somewhat incorrect since what most (but not all) people are asking for is a coach who speaks passable French, not an ethnic Quebecker. (Yes, our local Don Cherrys are asking for this but they don’t count.)

    • TomNickle says:

      I agree, however Notre Dame came up as a comparable in my mind last night but things have changed dramatically in South Bend since as far back as the 70’s and doesn’t really compare in terms of heritage.

    • DorvalTony says:

      Bullsht. I’d like to see a poll of ALL Quebeckers (and English Quebeckers and Allophones are just as much Quebeckers as the so-called Pur Laine ones) and see who prefers a losing French coach to a winning Anglo or bilingual Anglo one.

  67. 4m3y2j says:

    Hickey’s column this morning is spot on,.Those politicians using this situation as a lightning rod are only thinking about advancement of their own careers ,nothing else.Even Francois Gagnon went on HNIC kl=last Saturday night saying if Mike Babcock became available it would be accepted because of his ties to McGill which is bs and shows the blatent hypocrisy of those pushing for a french coach .

    Let Cunneyworth focus of righting this ship,tat is all that matters in the immediate future,nothing else.

  68. habs03 says:

    I knew that if there was even someone to hire an english coach it would be PG, the guy does not give a flying fck about what the media thinks, which makes me like the guy.

    But overall, I think this summer we will see an French speaking coach like Benoit Groulx, Martin Raymond or maybe Roy. But I think PG would hire someone like Babcock if he was available but we all know that he won’t be.

    • TomNickle says:

      Not that it’s a good idea to add fuel to this fire, but never say never. If I were Babcock, and Lidstrom retired after this season, I’d be following him out the door if I were Babcock. Smart career move in my opinion.

      • Storm Man says:

        How would it be a smart career move for Babcock to come and deal with this mess? I’m not sure what he has left on his contract. I think this team will lose PK and Price in 2 years as they don’t speak french.

        • TomNickle says:

          Did I say it would be a smart career move to come to Montreal?

          No I didn’t Tim. I said it would be a smart career move to follow Lidstrom out the door.

          • Storm Man says:

            Maybe not in so many words… But anyone looking at your post would think that is what you are saying.

          • TomNickle says:

            No, somebody looking to put words in my mouth would.

          • Storm Man says:

            You need to read that post again Tom.

          • TomNickle says:

            Smart career move to leave when Lidstrom leaves is exactly what I said. Nothing there saying it would be smart to gain employment with the Habs. With the young talent this team has, he could make worse moves, but I’m not saying a move here would be anything other than lateral.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          “I think this team will lose PK and Price in 2 years as they don’t speak french.”

          Just like Dryden and Robinson.

          • Storm Man says:

            Hmmm you must have been on some good drugs in the 70s.. Dryden and Robinson could speak french BTW…

          • TomNickle says:

            And there’s nothing to indicate that Price and Subban won’t. In fact, Subban has spoken french to the media on several occasions.

      • habs03 says:

        I disagree because the Wings just keep winning, but your your right, you never know.

        For me ideally, Molson fires PG (even though I think he has done a decent job), hires Julien Brisebois as GM, but he is more of a money guy, so Jim Nill from Det is also hired as “ast GM”. IMO that the best chance of getting Babcock.

        • TomNickle says:

          Be careful what you wish for with Wings management. Steve Yzerman isn’t off to the greatest start and has made several questionable decisions.

          • Cardiac says:


            Steve Yzerman ≠ Ken Holland

            “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
            – Jerry Maguire

          • habs03 says:

            Jim Nill has been there for years, and years, not a short intern ship that Yzerman had.

          • TomNickle says:

            Steve Yzerman drafted a kid who refused an MRI, has had trouble getting along with teammates and now has injured a teammate at the WJHC with a questionable hit.

            He added a goalie approaching his mid-fourties and hasn’t adequately addressed that need long term. Unless you consider Dustin Tokarski a long term solution.

            In addition, he hired a coach who was very green to apply a style of hockey that doesn’t aid in selling tickets in a bare bones market.

            Boucher is quietly doing one of the worst coaching jobs in the NHL right now considering his talent. They were incredibly fortunate that Vladislav Namestnikov fell into their laps in the draft too.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      PG may not be in a position to hire the next coach.

    • Canayens says:

      Add to the fact the PG lives in Vermont, commutes daily to Montreal for his job, may insulate him a bit to the schizophrenic QC politics.

  69. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    Still only a small winning streak out of the playoffs with more and 1/2 of the season to play. Never out of any game, never blown out by any team, players working hard.
    Get all the wounded back, a few guys start to score — I don’t see the big cause for all this worry. Habs are a better team than
    Ottawa, Buffalo, Toronto, New Jersey, Tampa — just keep working
    hard. The others will slide back.
    I can see this team hot going into the playoffs ( with everyone
    injured back and producing) going a long way.

    Go Habs Go — Beat Chicago

  70. Neutral says:

    cunneyworth is a good coach – give him some good players to work with and he’ll bring a cup to Montreal – too much overpaid deadwood is the problem – I guess molson’s don’t mind wasteing money.

  71. Caper says:

    This language thing is going international. I know nothing about Internationsal soccer but discussion on the radio and papers notes that coaches come from other countries to coach soccer team overseas and that the many do not speak the local language. It appears the Habs situation is being seen as a bit of a joke.

    This is starting to get ugly and could could once again setback the Habs ability to attract free agents. I guess Cammy, Gionta and Cole get to see what its all about now.

  72. CanadienBoy says:

    GM 10 Decision is accurate but missing a couple like not resigning Moore and then Helpen to keep them between the 3 and 4 line duty depending of injury’s because last game than Noki guy was on 2 goals and is just not that good defensively

  73. parkex says:

    Was easier for Dave King to coach a Russian team – hey, they know nothing about hockey there, eh?

  74. G-Man says:

    So, let’s leave that lingo thread behind and worry about how awful this team’s been this season. With our good Buddy in nets, it’s going to be painful.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      we are losing regardless. The sad part is our goaltending has not been an issue this year.

      I am now more rooting for Cunneyworth than the habs. He is in a really tough spot and I would like to see him succeed

    • Habfan10912 says:

      At least we have the Jr. Tournament to look forward to. I think the players effort is there on most nights but frankly we are not that good. Agree that goaltending is not part if the problem.

    • habsnyc says:

      Curious how much worse you think Budaj has been than Price. They have pretty much the same save percentage. For a back-up, Budaj is pretty good. This mess is not his fault.

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

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