“This is the tightest group we’ve ever had,” Price says of Habs (Video)

(Photo: Peter McCabe/The Gazette)

The Canadiens cleared out their lockers on Saturday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard and fielded questions about their season and playoff run.

For some players, like unrestricted free agent Thomas Vanek, the questions were also about the future.

The Canadiens finished the season with an impressive 100 points and made it to the Eastern Conference final, losing the series in Game 6 on Thursday to the New York Rangers.

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price spoke to the media for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final when Rangers forward Chris Kreider lost his balance and crashed into him.

“I don’t think it was on purpose,” Price said.

“Hockey is a rough sport. Injuries happen all the time. Sometimes they’re intentional, sometimes it’s just bad luck. I don’t think he did it on purpose.”

“I actually got really lucky. It could have been a lot worse than it was,” he said of the injury which won’t require surgery.

Price said he would have been pushing his luck to come back really quickly. But he thought he would have been able to return to play in the Stanley Cup final if the Habs had made it there.

When Price got injured the Canadiens opted to go with rookie Dustin Tokarski instead of back-up goaltender Peter Budaj.

“Peter is one of the genuinely nicest human beings I’ve ever met,” Price said.

“He’s an unbelievable back-up. He’s a really good friend of mine. He’s one of the best friends I have on this team. He showed a lot of character. He never hung his head. He never pouted. And he showed the utmost support for everybody including Dustin. It takes a special person to do that.”

Tokarski did a great job, Price said.

“That’s probably one of the hardest situations you could ever throw a guy into. And he really excelled. He showed why he’s won at different levels.”

Price had an excellent season and won a goal medal backstopping Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics.

“During this playoff run it was really fun to play with these guys in this locker-room. I think this is the tightest group we’ve ever had. Obviously it’s sad to have it come to an end right now. But we’ve got to look forward to next year,” Price said.

Vanek struggled during the playoffs, but suggested he wasn’t suffering from a serious injury.

“Nothing big. In playoffs I think every player has bumps and bruises. I had a few, but overall that was not a reason (for) what happened,” Vanek said.

“It wasn’t great obviously,” Vanek said of his playoff performance. “Yesterday was tough waking up because I know I could have made a difference and it just–it wasn’t there.”

“When I first got moved here, I played a few games, struggled. Then I got moved with (David Desharnais) and (Max Pacioretty). I really found myself. I think I was put in a position to do well. And then once I got moved, I struggled to find chemistry. This game is all about chemistry and confidence. I slowly lost it. I thought the later part in the Rangers series, I played with Lars (Eller) a little bit and Danny (Brière) and I slowly found my game and I thought I was better.”

Asked he would have liked to stay playing with Desharnais and Pacioretty, Vanek said: “No, I mean, changes happen. I’m not ignorant to that…I’m not blaming anyone but myself. Chemistry doesn’t just happen overnight. Sometimes it does when you play with players that you feel right with. I think it happens quicker. But again, I just didn’t find it.”

You can watch what Price had to say here:

You can listen to what Vanek said here:

You can watch Canadiens captain Brian Gionta here:

You can watch P.K. Subban here:

You can watch what Mike Weaver had to say here:

You can watch what Max Pacioretty had to say here:

You can watch what rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski had to say here about his playoff experience and future:

You can watch Budaj here:

You can listen to Lars Eller here: (I hit ‘focus’ a second into the video.)

You can watch Francis Bouillon here:

(Video: Brenda Branswell)

985 Comments

  1. CH Marshall says:

    Difference between Vanek and Gallagher is that the latter doesn’t wait for chemistry to happen, he makes it happen. That said, I would mind seeing Vanek signing something like 5.5 per at term.

  2. habstrinifan says:

    We should sign Chara AND Iginla AND Ovechkin!

  3. Hobie says:

    See you in a month when all the UFA fun starts up! Have a great summer!

  4. Tomi says:

    Personally, I have no time for complainers.

  5. habstrinifan says:

    Where do I go to complain about people complaining about my complaining.

    I think all this complaining is getting OLD… almost as old as me.

  6. Paz says:

    Once we eliminated the Fruckin Bruins I packed up all of my complaints for the summer.

    We sent the Bruins packing, game 7, in their own barn!!

    Are you kidding me??

    I jumped the same that night as I did in 93 when we won the Cup.

  7. Dunboyne Mike says:

    So Vanek had no hand injury. Price has a knee, not a groin. Weise was concussed

    Any other medical revelations?

  8. TheCanadianDagger says:

    Wondering, there are a lot of complainers on this site. I generally think of the majority of the complainers to be in the older age bracket of the members of this site (have seen the dominant years). Is this opinion shared, or do folks think the complainers are spread over all age categories relatively equally?

    • Say Ash says:

      Get off my lawn!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      You may have to provide some age brackets! Because any perception of “older” and “younger” is entirely subjective.

      It also depends on the topic of complaint. To me, for example, it looks like there is a tendency among younger posters to want a Cup NOW, a feeling they reinforce with references to aiming high or there’s no point, and the like. They want a return to the successes of the 70s without full awareness of how teams like that are built; they don’t just decide suddenly that it’s time to start winning.

      On the other hand, older guys (again, whoever they are) have their own beefs.

      In the end, there’s probably a good spread between the generations. HIO is a pretty diverse spot.

      Cheers

    • D Mex says:

      One of the biggest b!tchers here has stated his impatience to experience the success that the team is well known for, which appears to suggest a younger age category.
      The other permanent pessimist, who posts opposite us for the most part, should just walk away IMO. His schtick has run its course and he’s past his due date.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • JUST ME says:

      Are you talkin`to me ? Are you talkin`to me ?

      Although i probably am in this age bracket i tend to agree with your general view of who is (always) complaining.

      In a way you would think that they know what is needed to make it but the confusing factor (other than old age…) is that hockey changes soooo much that you really can`t compare even just from 10 years ago so…

    • shiram says:

      I’ll be 33 in a month, and I don’t think I’ve shown too much impatience as it relates to the Habs.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I use to think people got nicer as they aged. Not any more. A local supermarket gives a discount to seniors on Wednesday. Went there once. Never again. Meanest bunch of people this side of Flyer fans. ;)

    • Psycho29 says:

      @TCD
      There have been 14 Cup wins in my lifetime, I can remember ~10.
      I realize how spoiled we were. The league was a lot different when the Habs were winning. 6 teams, then 12. There were 24 teams the last time the Habs won the Cup.
      Now with 30 teams, it’s a lot more difficult just to get to the final, let alone win the Cup.
      I find it difficult to get upset over a bunch of multi-millionaires playing hockey, especially after “work stoppages” (Although when the team has a great playoff run like this season it’s easy to get pulled back in.)

      Your question is a good one, I would say that they are from all age groups.

    • Cal says:

      Complainers hail from all ages. Some of the younger crowd that hasn’t seen the team win and some of the older crowd that doesn’t understand that it’s a 30 team league now and not a question of winning two or three playoff rounds.

  9. DipsyDoodler says:

    Brazil might have to beat Spain, Uruguay, Germany and Argentina to win the world cup.

    Those might well be the four other best teams in the competition.

    http://tinyurl.com/n9zome4

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Luckily, 95th-ranked Qatar did not qualify and therefore will not pose a further threat to Brazil’s ambitions at the World Cup.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      My main concerns are:

      1) Which team will have the shiniest, satiny-est swishiest cutest little outfits.

      2) Which side is more likely to perish in a horrifying locker room hairspray combustion incident.

      3) Which team is most game-ready to surround a referee and wave its hands in exasperation, clutch at their breast, gnash their teeth in outrage at a decision that everyone can clearly see is well-deserved on the Jumbotron.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Actually, in seriousness Dipsy, how bad a World Cup would it be if only those five countries were in it?! Maybe throw in the Netherlands.

  10. John Q Public says:

    HIO 3 stars – comments

    1. Should I watch the Habs playoffs or NFL draft ?
    2. 45$ chicken wings !
    3. Fire MT

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    It’s hot baby !
    Salut

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Nice massaging of the facts, you have a future working at Fox News. Epic fail as the kids now say on MYspace.

      Here is the actual comment. See if you can spot the subtle differences.

      Un Canadien errant MAY 8, 2014 AT 3:14 PM

      So, what’s the strategy? Watch the game, and the NFL Draft later on PVR, or vice-versa?

      My main concern is spoilers, if I watch one will there be spoilers of the other to ruin my enjoyment.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Un Canadien errant MAY 8, 2014 AT 3:56 PM

        So it’s unanimous, I’m a weenie for even asking the question. Fine.

        You guys don’t understand how much I love the NFL and NHL draft. So much fun.

        As I’ve said, I’d rather be able to watch both, without spoilers. Give my PVR a workout.

        My normal inclination is to watch the Canadiens game first, obviously, and not only because it’ll start first. I also know that the ESPN feed will go through TSN, and they’ll have the game’s score on their crawl, and they’ll do frequent SportsCentre updates during commercials.

        Yet RDS is also airing the draft on RDS 2, so I’m afraid they’ll blurt out some picks once in a while, Pierre Houde is an NFL fan.

        • Clay says:

          Solution; watch to the game live – in Punjabi (assuming you don’t understand Punjabi). Then watch the draft on the PVR. Problem solved.

          __________________________
          ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  11. Maritime Ronn says:

    If you missed the Bergevin presser, you didn’t miss anything.
    Maybe 1 thing – he loves his Captain Gionta

  12. Dunboyne Mike says:

    (waiting with some trepidation for what happens when Timo finishes his Corn Flakes and sees my Bouillon love on the previous page…)

  13. CHicoHab says:

    I don’t pay any set amount specifically for RDS. I have had a French varieties for like $6.99 a month that happened to include RDS. That was about 7-8 years ago I got it. I don’t cancel it for the few months the Habs are out. No big deal cost wise. But TVA is in this package. So I’ll let things be until new season. See if I still get the games. P.S. I don’t speak French but enjoy the game in RDS just the same.

  14. Maritime Ronn says:

    Bergevin states the team is going in the right direction yet is far from a mature team.

    The goal next year is to…..make the playoffs.

    • shiram says:

      He might be trying to set low expectations for next season, but many will run wild with speculation.
      He might also know where he wants to go with the team, and if there is re-shuffle in the players it could lead to lower results.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I think you are right Shiram. If we go with more youth on the back end and let some of our vets go than we will probably take a step back. Better in the long run but hurts immediate results. I am ok with it cause this team looked spent after Boston

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          Look no further than Ottawa.
          They disposed themselves of veteran leadership and went with all youth at the back end (with the exception of Phillips). Did not go well for them.

          These changes have to be made gradually.

          • TheCanadianDagger says:

            True. But Price >>>>> Anderson.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I agree to a degree but Gorges, PK, Emelin are not going anywhere. I would resign Weaver as well. Markov if you can get on a two year deal go for it but not three years and he isn’t worth 6 mill a season anymore. He is too much of a liability. Emelin has to be better next year. You need to have Pateryn, Beaulieu and Tinordi starting to factor into the equation. Pateryn in my opinion should have been up this year. He is good in his own and and is a RH D man something we need. He is also mature. If they are not going to play him they should trade him.

            They also have Drewskie under contract

          • habs-fan-84 says:

            Good post, pretty much agree with everything you said Kooch

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        From here, no problem taking a few steps backwards to be able to leap forward and become truly elite.

        • shiram says:

          I agree, but the complainers won’t see the long term gains, if that’s the plan.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            The cool thing is that “long-term” is now WAY shorter than it used to be! I think we’re close, esp if what MRonn means by elite is perennial playoff contenders and always a threat for the Cup.

            But you’re right about complainers, shiram, who it’s easy to imagine whining about regular-season losses when our young D-men are on the ice. Steep learning curve, but someone like Beaulieu will be much more ready for playoff hockey. Tinordi won’t be too far behind.

  15. Maritime Ronn says:

    Bergevin said Weise suffered a concussion in Game 5, but the doctors and player only knew the day after…and they followed all NHL protocol….

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Funny how everybody else knew the minute he got to his feet.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Funny, Bergevin just said that if the player said he was OK and the doctors cleared him, that’s fine.

        He looks clearly uncomfortable talking about it.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I am going to spare HIO a monumental rant on this topic. But that episode sickened me. Players, management, media and fans know so much more now than even 5 years ago. We really have to start taking steps to distinguish ourselves from Colosseum patrons.

    • habsfan0 says:

      But MT said explicitly that that was NOT the case.
      I feel so…used.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      …here is a tip to the NHL…amend the protocol

    • Ron in Ottawa says:

      Let’s play GM. Name players you would keep, maybes, and those you would let go.
      Keepers: Price, Subban, Pacioretty, DD, Gallagher, Emelin ,Eller, Galchenyuk, Weiss, Weaver, Tokarsy, Bealieau, Bornival, Tinordi
      Maybe: Vanek, Markov, Gorges, Pleks, Prust, Briere
      Gone: Gionta, Bourque, White, Boullion, Budaj, Parros
      The big issue for me is coaching. No use getting big name players if you don’t put them on lines where they can succeed or play them at the wrong position.

      • steadyjake says:

        I like the list, especially keeping Eller and Pleks – who seem to be on a lost of people’s list for trade bait. Eller played to his size in playoff run and was strong on the puck. Pleks might have burned himself out but he is good in all zones and our best FO center.
        Only changes I would make to you list: Trade Toker while his value is high. He needs to play and Price’s backup gets like zero ice time. Plus, we are grooming Fucale. Vanek will walk. There is no amount of money that will keep him in Montreal. Prust and Markov are tough ones. Leave emotion out of it and Markov is an easier decision. Too old, too slow. Will miss his on-ice vision though. This team can ill-afford to lose gritty forwards with size but Prust is simply too fragile. He misses more games than he plays. Keep Gorges. He’s undersized and gets pounded so many nights but he’s a gamer and a shot-blocking machine.
        Bye bye Briere, Gio, White, Cube, Parros.
        Bourque is the only guy on the bubble IMO. When you get his best, he’s a keeper. But how often is that?

  16. habsfan0 says:

    I wonder if Marc Bergevin might have an unexpected announcement during today’s presser?
    Such as:

    “I would like to announce that Michel Therrien has been relieved of his duties as head coach effective immediately.”

    • Luke says:

      “The third jersey will allow us to reach a non-traditional hockey fan in the Montreal market, while still appealing to the classic sensibilities of our long term and dedicated fan base. That Labatt’s was willing to partner with us in designing the new look crest and Boston Pizza in sponsoring the shoulder patches speaks to the great spirit of partnership we enjoy within our corporate communities. These new revenue streams have allowed us to minimize the increase to ticket prices for next season.”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        You jest! But this is what the English Premiership is all about! Screwing parents by making them (or Santa) deliver new “Away” jerseys and “Third” jerseys and “Special” jerseys every few months.

        And the really sad thing? If hockey does it, we all roll over and eat it. We are Huxley’s “proles”.

        [Edit: Orwell's proles. Mixed up my totalitarian utopias.]

    • Cal says:

      Stop teasing Timo!

  17. steadyjake says:

    Joe Thornton is on the way out in San Jose. He’d be a nice fit.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Doesn’t he ALWAYS disappear come playoff time?
      We already have that type of a player in Vanek.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I thought that was a myth so I looked it up.

        He has 100 pts in 132 playoff games. So not bad.

        This year however he only had 3 points in the 7 game collapse against LA. And that is out of 22 goals for San Jose.

        He turns 35 this summer and is signed for two more years at $6.75M.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Your usual factual based comments are intriguing.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Mentioned that a few weeks ago, would love to see Thornton on the Habs. Alternatively, Mike Richards may also be bought out in LA, could be a decent 3rd or 4th line center for the Habs. Richards has regressed when you look at his point totals the last couple seasons but he may have those intangibles MB looks for.

      Richards and Subban could be best friends :D

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        84, I haven’t been following, so I’m asking if you know: did Richards leave his richard-head persona behind in Philly?

        I do allow for the possibility of a guy growing up (Seguin is a good example). But if Richards is still the way he was, I’d prefer not to see him in Montreal.

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          lol good question Mike.
          Who knows, but I have to believe assimilating into a 3rd or 4th line depth role as he’s done the past few years in LA has helped in that regard. He’s 3 years older and won a Cup (possibly a second on its way). Assuming, he’s changed a bit, I think he’d be a great fit with the habs.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Ok, qualified agreement.
            (I still like my HILARIOUS comment from yesterday: I’d prefer Brad Richards. Hell, I’d prefer Keith!)

    • B says:

      Didn’t San Jose re-sign “on the way out” Thornton to a new 3 year deal this year?

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Cal says:

        Yup. Dumb move that included Marleau for 3 more as well.

        • Luke says:

          Liek the Leafs… looking to move the Phaneuf before the first year of his 7 year extension starts.

          That’s why i like to see sources on these rumours.

          I heard that Montreal was going to sign everyone. and trade all the rest of them.

  18. 21 AND WAITING says:

    LA beat 3-Good teams with Good defensive hockey and they are going to win the cup the same way.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Rangers will be lucky to win a game. Montreal could not beat LA or Chi town in a 7 game series either. It should be pretty Quick (no pun intended)

      • GrosBill says:

        I would like to agree about the Rangers being lucky to win one game. Only thing is, LA seems to like to make it as difficult as possible.

        LA in 6 or 7.

  19. Newf_Habster says:

    Who has won the voting of NHL 2015 cover? I hope it is PK Subban! :)

  20. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @rhino514
    Yes, live in Ireland. Why?
    You? Long-time Alouettes fan in the greater Montreal phone-code area?
    (Still sniggering here btw!)

  21. habsfan0 says:

    Press conference delayed?
    For tennis?

  22. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @nuna
    You mention a significant number: 20 years.
    Possibly for the first time in that span, the Habs won’t be hanging their hopes on the signing of an individual. Instead, there is an evolving world-class core which now restores us to a team that always makes the playoffs and will be Cup-contenders more often than not. The core will achieve that, while individual signings may or may not have an impact on how deep we go each year.

    If the past two decades shattered your faith, nuna, it is now safe to believe again.

    GHG

  23. Ton says:

    Talk of Markov getting a 3 contract with option on the 4th. (some sort of buyout in place)

    • Luke says:

      Who’s talking about that?

      I’d be shocked. He’s in Goncharland now. I’d be surprised if a GM was to offer him 4.
      Mind you… they are pretty dumb.

      • JUST ME says:

        Better think twice Luke . Although i understand what you mean in regards to Gonchar look where the Sens ended up when they got rid of him and Alfie. Out of the playoffs. Now tell me just for fun how much Molson made this season in the playoffs and tell me if they would rather not repeat.
        If Markov and Bouillon go then it`s 30 + years of experience gone with them. For a d-squad it is priceless…

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Always possible for either 3 or 4 years

      Higher salaries in first 2 years can be achieved by Contract variability:

      CONTRACT VARIABILITY

      ” Front-loaded contracts where the average of salary plus bonuses over the first half of the contract exceeds the cap hit, variability rules apply.

      Year-to-year variability is limited to 35 per cent of the first-year compensation.

      If a player earns $10M in Year 1, the contract cannot subsequently increase/decrease by more than $3.5M from year to year.
      Meanwhile, the lowest year’s compensation cannot be less than 50 per cent of the highest year’s compensation.”

      Markov will be signing a + 35 contract:
      ” Players who sign multi-year contracts when they are age 35 or older (calculated on June 30 of the season the contract begins) count toward the cap under all circumstances, regardless of where (or if) the player is playing.
      The only cap relief is $100,000 from the player’s cap hit if he is assigned to the minors after the first year of the contract or in the event of a buyout.”

      + 35 contracts can be bought out.

  24. Psycho29 says:

    WOW…Habs must have lost! Nuna is back!

  25. nunacanadien says:

    Typical Montreal, waste a chance with Vanek. It was only when we got Vanek that our playoff hopes rose. If we lose Vanek we’ll be back to 20 more years of nothing hockey.

    • kalevine says:

      I don’t know about that. Ryder was a huge contributer in the regular season in 2013, and they managed to rise above his loss

    • Chelios24 says:

      They’ll sign someone else

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      In a perfect world, the Habs would try and sign Vanek for 3 years – after that there is a great chance of a huge production slide.
      Everyone knows that will never happen.

      That said, the loss of a Top 6 Vanek style player creates a huge hole.
      When he arrived, there was a domino effect that made the other lines stronger.

      If the Habs cannot somehow replace his Top 6 presence – and with a fading Gionta, the depth of Top 6-9 just isn’t there.

      • Luke says:

        I’ve never been much of a Vanek fan, this is about what I expected of him… He’s basically a less flashy, but more productive Kovalev.

        One thing he did show us is that the team needs a second elite offensive threat. I’m counting Max as one, but I’m not so sure if he really is a game breaker. He’s close, so that’s worth discussion, but the team needs another guy who is a threat everytime he has the puck.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Nuna,

      How are things?
      Haven’t seen you around much this season. I was genuinely worried. (same with the Dude). Hope all is well.

    • habs_54321 says:

      NUNA!!!!

  26. WVHabsfan says:

    RDS is only in French, right Ronn?

  27. CHicoHab says:

    Remember Sather in Montreal with his feet up chewing that cigar?? That sight alone makes me want LA to win!!

  28. Maritime Ronn says:

    GM Bergevin will give his year end presser at 10:30 Montreal time.

    You can see it here online:
    http://www.rds.ca/en-direct

    Also TSN.ca, TSN GO and TSN Radio 690 Montreal at 11am et/

  29. Dunboyne Mike says:

    I am a persistent detractor of the NHL, a body I despise.

    However, never let it be said that I allow hatred to blind me to the faults in other sporting organisations. For instance, how about the hoopla surrounding FIFA’s selection of Qatar for the 2022 Soccer World Cup!!!

    The FIFA suits have their scapegoat in Hammam (who bribed EVERYONE and his granny), and now are all pretending to be immersed in reading their newspapers as if they had nothing to do with it. Would love for the house of cards to tumble.

    50-degree temperatures, NO infrastructure, and a national soccer team ranked 95th in the world. Just as in the NHL, pure greed makes idiots of us all.

  30. Un Canadien errant says:

    An interesting point about the NY-LA final is that while we think that it will be great for ratings in the U.S., various analysts say the opposite, that Chicago would have driven more viewership. One angle is the time zone advantage. Another is that while L.A. is the #2 market in the States, a vastly inferior proportion of that market actually watches hockey, whereas Chicago is a hockey town, and the whole region would have gotten on board for a final.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Paz says:

      Absolutely. Short term, Chicago area drives more advertising dollars.

      But longer term, the success of the California teams has to be terrific for the NHL.

      LA, San Jose, Anaheim, anywhere you go in that state there is a successful hockey team.

    • boonie says:

      Good points.

      Success in the LA market will — over a long period of time — foster grassroots interest in hockey. Boston is an original 6 city. The region started really producing players (lots of them) after Orr made the Bruins important. Chicago, another original 6 town, saw attendance drop and interest wane when they took a long hiatus from relevance until Rocky Wertz changed everything.

      LA won a Cup a recently. They have showed consistent playoff success since then. They’re favored to win another Cup and they played an entertaining series against their local rival, Anaheim. That’s good for hockey in SoCal. Not that I care.

      The ratings will come.

    • habs-hampton says:

      The NHL is all about growing interest. That is why Bettman has no interest in adding Canadian franchises. While a Montreal-Chicago would have been fantastic with the fan-bases in both cities, the history, the original-six stuff, it does nothing to grow the sport. You get very few new fans, cause we’re already on board.

      It’s kinda like your cable company. They’ll give you great deals to signup, but after you’re connected, they’re moving on to the next guy who’s not a customer.

      • boonie says:

        The better news for Bettman and fans is that the teams both play fast and like to score. It’s much better than the finals where two teams would show and trap each other until people tuned out.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I will watch the highlights in the morning…that will be about my interest level in the series

  31. hitgurl says:

    I don’t want to be insensitive. But screw it – I’m tired of Saint Louis and his dead mother story. Stop making a public show of it.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      yeah….still think that is pretty insensitive. It isn’t like St Louis was even really talking about it. It was the coaching staff and the team using it as a rallying point against the Pens.

      If you want to hate him, hate him for demanding a trade and giving tampa a list of one team

  32. habstrinifan says:

    Much discussion about individual players etc prompted by Vanek’s comments which no doubt have put him in a bad light.

    But an unemotional analysis of his words puts a spotlight on Vanek, Plekanec, Therrien as symbols of the priorities, emphasis and fears entailed in the use of players.

    I have one very subjective and personal opinion which I know will meet with criticism.. and cries of my ingratitude for the job that the coaches/players did in this year’s run.

    Take a look at the Boston and NYR series and the players MT had to ‘finally’ play in some situations or insert anew into the line up in others….. with good success.

    Necessity became the mother of invention and also allowed a revelation of some unused assets.

    The question can be asked. If the shift in usage of these assets had been made earlier and more confidence shown in what players could do rather than protecting against their perceived shortcomings…. would the team have been more capable offensively…. and a more dangerous foe to NYR.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      With the backdrop of Carey Price-nullification by the Rangers’ Chris Kreider, it’s hard to see a scenario whereby the Canadiens win that series. Dustin Tokarski would have had to play like Steve Penney for us to have a shot. Instead, he was, to paraphrase Randy Carlyle, “good, just good.”

      I was one of those who thought the splitting up of Thomas Vanek from the David Desharnais line was necessary during the Boston series, the coaches saw these guys going nowhere and had to react. And like many others here on HIO, I also thought that they could/should have been re-united against a very different Ranger squad, especially once we were down 0-2. We needed to pull out all the stops at that point.

      Generally, I believe that coaches and GM’s are better equipped to make these decisions than fans are, they have access to all the info, but in practice coaching staffs mess up all the time. A great current example is Alain Vigneault and John Tortorella with their respective teams. Every decision these guys make is defensible, you can see their side of it, but bottom line one head coach got results, while one cratered. So coaches are usually right, but they also are sometimes biased, fearful to change, have long memories, have comfort zones, etc., and it affects the team in ways that are hard to tease apart.

      I understand Thomas Vanek when he mentions chemistry and lack thereof, and I partially agree with him that he should have played on the #1 line, but I also understand the coaches wanting to see more effort, more passion from him, and not seeing it. They possibly decided that placating him, putting him back with David and Max, might get him jump-started, but would also have an overall negative effect on the team, and stood pat.

      ———————————————————————–
      My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • boonie says:

        It’s a stick/carrot thing. MT tried the stick to motivate Vanek. It didn’t work. We’ll never know if motivating Vanek by playing him with his preferred linemates might have worked.

        Blame the player. But the coach didn’t press the right buttons. Vanek is (likely) gone in the off-season. MT is back for another season (or more). I would like to believe that Therrien learns something from this off-season.

        Price said everyone needs to be 1% to 10% better. That includes coaches.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Ronn, agree with all your line points but disagree with Carlyle’s assessment of Tokarski.

        Tokarski’s play was excellent. The real cost to losing Price was psychological imo: the shock of seeing him unable to continue, and the impact on players’ mindsets as they, witting or otherwise, played differently because of who now was behind them in the crease — even had it been a time-warped Ken Dryden.

        • boonie says:

          With Tokarski, we lost one in OT and lost game 6 1-0.

          Most G-men won’t stop an Art Ross winner unchecked from the faceoff circle. And, most teams won’t win when they don’t score.

          Hard to blame Dustin and hard to believe that — with due respect to Price — that the outcome might have been different.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Dustin started five games, won 2 and lost 3, one of which was in OT.

          His GAA was 2.60, and save % .916. I think that reflects good play, maybe not excellent.

          And I agree that the psychological impact of the loss of Carey was a huge part of the reason we lost that series.

          I still think I’m right in saying that for us to win, we needed a miraculous performance from our super-sub, not one where he made highlight save after highlight save, then allowed one that maybe he should have had. I’m not blaming Dustin for the loss, it’s quite clear I’m blaming Chris Kreider and the NHL.

          Dustin did his job. And for us to win this thing, we would have needed him to do much more than that.

          http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?season=20132014&gameType=3&team=&position=G&country=&status=&viewName=summary#

  33. Paz says:

    When a player refuses to move his feet, it is not a sign of a lack of chemistry.
    Choosing not to shoot when you are alone on a goalie, is not a lack of chemistry.
    These are personal, selfish decisions taken by a selfish player.
    In the 6th game against the Rangers Vanek began to move better. He backchecked on a few plays, he forechecked on a few plays, and his WORK was starting to pay off.
    Playing hockey is about bursts of energy, moving your feet, determination, effort.
    Ryan White would have been much more useful to the Habs than Vanek against the Rangers.
    Vanek failed the “heart test”, and he should not be offered a contract.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      With you, even though I was initially seduced by the success he had with Patches and DD. Twas fleeting….

      Long shot: in similar vein you were not much of a fan of Ryder, Cammalleri, or either Kostitsyn? Or Bourque during the season?

      Such are guys we love whenever they score. Other guys — as I posted previous page about Frankie — you love whenever they’re on the ice.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Don’t forget in the Boston series he was taking some really short shifts and I agree his back check left a lot to be desired.

      I will agree with him in the sense that putting him with Pleks was not a great idea either. Any winger in the last couple years really see’s their point totals drop when they play with pleks.

      • Paz says:

        his play was so bad that many here believed he had a broken hand.
        then I wondered why would he be in the lineup with a broken hand?
        why wouldn’t he skate hard, was his hand stopping his feet from moving?
        maybe he had a broken hand AND a broken foot?
        He became like the Monty Python character is The Holy Grail; the Black Knight.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Perhaps all you mention is true, yet there is also a ‘confidence’ factor to consider – especially where goal scorers are concerned.

      From here, it seemed as though he lost his confidence – something he alluded to in his post season thoughts.
      Some doubt must have crept in when moved from the 1st line to the 2nd line to the 3rd line in a very short period of time.

      • Paz says:

        You know Ronn that could be true.

        But a guy who has come so far in his career needs to look in the mirror, shake it off, jump on the ice, and skate his butt off.

        When a hockey player is slumping, and confidence is an issue, the fastest way to get back his success is by skating harder, working harder.

    • boonie says:

      There’s two schools of thought about Vanek related to Therrien. The standard approach to “the guy’s not playing…” is to demote, bench and ridicule him. A different approach might be to motivate him by playing Vanek with guys with whom he produced.

      Carrot… Stick… hmmm….

      MT’s approach didn’t work. Sure, it’s the player’s fault too. We’ll never know if a different approach might be have inspired Vanek and produced results.

  34. JUST ME says:

    Well , at least all sports media took the week-end off in MTL before hallucinating. Here what i really hate about those so called experts,TSN tadio to name them , they go worse case senario first and stick to it as if it was official,done deal,suivant next..

    Here are their view of some negociation expected to be delt with over the summer. P.K. will be the highest paid canadian player in history making close to 14 mil a year. Now Weise and Weaver are out of range budget wise for the Habs because all the other teams will want them now ! 4 th line guy plus a number 6 d-man and everybody wants them now…

    • boonie says:

      Ok, $14m is a stretch. The NHL Network guys pegged PK’s new deal somewhere between $8m and $9m.

      PK’s salary won’t be the only reason other teams pick off our depth guys. Teams target players who step up in the playoffs for teams that make it deep into the dance. And, they tend to offer those players more money than they’re probably worth.

      Weaver showed up. Weiss too. They upped demand for their services.

      Gauthier turned a hero of our last ECF appearance into Eller. Maybe Bergy will trade player’s whose stock appreciated in the past few weeks into other parts he believes we need.

  35. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Good morning guys, another fantastic day for everyone to enjoy (I hope).

    As we examine and dissect our Montréal Canadiens’ past travails and its future plans, we become more attached to our team as a Web Community at HIO.

    Now, for today’s subject that I wish to discuss, let us examine the eventual change in leadership behind the player’s roles in this team.

    As of now, th 32nd Captain of the Montréal Canadiens and two Alternate Captain roles have been in placed by 3 individuals. They are: Brian Gionta (C), Andrei Markov (A), and Josh Gorges (A) respectively.

    The present captain as we know is an Unrestricted Free Agent and most likely be gone due to the team’s need to add size and grit at the top 2 lines. Gionta has always been a good steward of this team for the past 5 years since Bob Gainey took him from the New Jersey Devils back in 2009. His Captaincy was, by far, silent, never outspoken in front of the Media. However, Gionta made his presence well known to the team. When the Habs need a clutch player during those 5 regular seasons, he stepped up to the challenge and gave this team a reason to battle with tougher teams like Boston or Toronto. His leadership was credited due his experiences in his early years with the Devils organization. What makes him lack in size, he makes it up for his skills and abilities as a hockey player. If he does go to free agency since Marc Bergevin shows little interest in signing him, I like to thank him for being one of the builders of this franchise. I hope he signs is a respectable NHL team (Maybe Detroit, or somewhere in the West). If not, I believe the best team he may end up will be going back to New Jersey.

    Another potential marquee player that may leave the Habs is Markov. Due to contract negations that could potentially turn sour, one of team’s best defencemen will be forced to test the free agent market come July 1st. Another factor why Markov may leave this team is the declining speed and physical play he has. Markov’s age is not helping him play the style of hockey he use to do during his early years. What brought Markov’s slow decline is the previous injuries he had and the number of operations with his right knee (I believe its 2 operations to repair the ACL). One upside to Markov is his hockey sense and his IQ. His ability to read plays and be a team player is a huge asset to the team’s success. Markov’s offensive scoring abilities and his capability to make quick passes or “quarterback” the team has become a key to the Habs’ success during regular and post-season. As I said before, a contract extension of 1-2 years will be the best way to give Markov a chance to play with the Habs. However, if he and his agent demands a 3-4 year lease on his services, Marc Bergevin and his management will most likely waive their hands goodbye and thank him for his contribution for the CH brand.

    Josh Gorges is the younger of the 3 leaders and could probably be traded. Gorges came to Montréal in 2007 via trade deadline with the San Hose Sharks. His trade came with a 1st Round pick for 2007, which, the Canadiens drafted our current top scoring player, Max Pacioretty. His leadership skills go back from his experiences in junior hockey. He served as Captain of the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL back in 2004. In his tenure with the Habs, Gorges became a voice for the team when things go down. When the Habs needed a guy who can speak and represent the team for the media, Gorges has been that guy. In his hockey style, Gorges is one of best shot blockers of this team, and the entire NHL. He is credited to shield the crease and protect the goalie when shots are fired. Yet despite his capabilities, Gorges showed lapses in his game. In this post-season, he did not exemplify the leadership role that we have accustomed to him. Instead, that leadership went to one of our best D-man, PK Subban. If Gorges will be traded this year, Bergevin may ask for a package like the previous trade back in 2007. A possibility is Gorges plus a first round draft pick or a second round pick for 2015.

    Moving forward, the 2014-2015 Montréal Canadiens will introduce a new leadership structure with the players. If my hunch tells me where the team may get its leadership on the ice, it will come from the young crop of players. To me, they will be the following:

    #76 PK Subban (Possible 33rd Captain of this team)

    During the last two seasons of Michel Therrien’s coaching with this Team, Subban has thrived to become a top two defenceman, possibly the best dman right now. The 2014 playoffs showed that Subban has leadership qualities which are exemplars of a Captain.

    #31 Carey Price (1st Alternate Captain)

    In his time as a goaltender for the Habs, Price has become one of the key people. His leadership roles began to come up during the 34th playoff series with the Boston Bruins. Price and Subban are the two cornerstones of this team moving onward.

    #67 Max Pacioretty (2nd Alternate Captain)

    As a top scoring left winger, Pacioretty is now baring the responsibility of a forward that most other forwards may look up to in the Habs lineup. I feel this is the time Max should be given a leadership role in order to backbone the Habs’ forward lineup.

    These are my selection for the next leaders of this team. So what do you think guys…

  36. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Fearless prediction:

    This year we will not be witnesses to yet another Original Six team ending a lengthy Cup-drought before we do.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think LA will win. They are such a strong fast and physical team. The rangers had a tough time when the habs played physical. LA is much more physical and equally as fast. I can also put money on it if Krieder goes near quick he will be eating punches to the face.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Am I correct in thinking it’s you who has been posting about punches and Krieder’s face several times since Thursday’s loss?!

        Meantime, yes. I’ll be amazed if LA doesn’t walk away with this.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Actually Mike, it hasn’t been me about the punches to Krieder’s face. I have not been on in a few days. Had too many things that have needed to get done in the yard and for work.

          The reason I say it is LA doesn’t let anyone get in Quick’s kitchen and that is the way it should be with Price. The habs were really really unprepared mentally for the first game of the series and that is the one that killed them as they also lost Price.

          They will also be watching for Kreider as he has went into a goalie twice in two series. The Rangers were going into the Habs crease even with Toker in way to easy and sadly they were never in the King’s crease.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Ok, Kooch. Bu there is somebody out there who really REALLY wants to see Krieder punched!

            If Krieder doesn’t kamikaze Quick’s crease, will it be because he learnt a valuable moral lesson vs Montreal? Or because LA have guys capable of converting him into the ninth planet?

          • Luke says:

            Poor Pluto.

            So sad, really.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            LOL kind of a combo of both. LA has some capable D and I am sure Clifford would be out to say hello as well.

            I was dissapointed with Prust taking all those penalty minutes and just slashing him. If you are going to take a penalty make it count. He should have just dropped the gloves and sent a message. Instead he took just as many penalty minutes and gave him some stick whacks

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            I guess I was being ironic about the moral lesson!
            Maybe if Murray had been on the ice at that moment our solar system might have been expanded…

            And Luke: could be a suitable nickname if LA makes it happen: Chris Pluto Krieder.

            Kooch: totally agree about Stepan below. Great player. Broken jaw is no picnic.

          • boing007 says:

            That’s why the Habs need bigger D.

            Richard R

  37. Luke says:

    Good Morning folks!

    Go LA!

    Their defeat of CHI landed us a better draft pick. So ya! (Conference Final tanking!)

    Once upon a time, Gaborik won me a hockey pool almost singlehandedly. So, it’s his turn to win.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I have to filter out people like Justin Williams and Mike Richard-Head-Richards, and enjoy Doughty and Quick.

      • Luke says:

        I hate Glen Sather.
        I think he is a terrible GM, and for some odd reason, no one on the Inside has noticed.

        He must throw a loverly BarB-Q at his cottage during the summer or something.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I can’t stand McD. I don’t want to see him get a cup before PK.

          I am also a little bitter about the Price injury and St Louis demanding a trade and winning a cup doesn’t sit well either

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            NO chance McD gets that Cup ahead of PK this year, none. After that though, it becomes an interesting race. Rangers will make off-season changes, too.

            That said, Montreal has a way superior GM.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Agree about he GM Mike and that the Rangers will make changes. The East will be tough again next year but the Habs have a strong core and one of the best goalies in the world. couple more pieces added and I think this team really can step up even further.

        • jamman says:

          Kings are godly, managed to mop up my work pool thanks to Kopitar, Quick and company. It must feel good knowing Sather is screwed with Kreider, Zuccarello, Brassard becoming RFA’s + Boyle, D. Moore, Pouliot and more becoming UFA’s at the end of this year. Many will want hefty raises. And then next year, St. Louis, Hagelin Stepan and Staal all hit free agency.


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