This week’s real, live HIO stories

two refs

Erik Cole excited to hit the ice, by Dave Stubbs

RDS delighted with the return of hockey, but … , by Brendan Kelly

Rene Bourque makes no excuses for last season, by Pat Hickey

NHL referees also will have to work on timing, by Pat Hickey

Future looks bright for QMJHL stars, by Brenda Branswell

New daddy Lars Eller happy to be back, by Dave Stubbs

Back to the grind for top prospect MacKinnon, by Brenda Branswell

Montreal actor wants Habs boycott, by Corinne Ton That

395 Comments

  1. Habs_4_ever says:

    Have they announced the official list of players invited to camp?

    If they need to wait for the players to sign the new CBA before they can negotiate with Subban do you think he will be in camp at all?

    ————————
    “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

    • Cardiac says:

      If he ain’t signed, don’t look for him to be at camp.

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

    • BJ says:

      Subban can stay home if he has an over inflated value of himself. I’m sure Bergevin is not trying to rip him off. Subban is one piece of the puzzle only.

      • Bripro says:

        The way I interpreted a CTV local news report on tuesday was that Subban and his agent Don Meehan had a long discussion trying to agree on what would be acceptable.
        I could be totally off the mark on this one, but it seemed that Meehan was trying to reel him in. If so, he might end up, as BJ says, staying home during a long negotiation process, or wait for an offer sheet.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          PK will be in camp the second it opens

          • Bripro says:

            Here’s hoping, my friend!

          • nunacanadien says:

            Cause Markov who is also Meehans is already on his way. Although I wil believe Molson when I see a signed Subban contract, I still have misgivings about what Therrien and then backed up by Bergevin had to say about Therrien wondering if Subban was a natural fit for Montreal.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        PK or the club cannot talk about a deal until the league has ratified there contract with the players association. PK want to but cannot go until then.

    • Gerry H says:

      I will be holding a twitchy finger over the panic button if a deal with PK is not signed by Tuesday at the latest.

    • derfab says:

      Subban has proven his ability and is in a position to insist on a big, long term deal, so the Habs are nervous. If they don’t treat him well, eventually, when whatever stupid short term compromise they may be looking for plays itself out, 31 other teams will lay out their versions of a red carpet for him and he will be gone to the best 6 yr. offer.

      Habs should go long, fast. Even if he doesn’t become a Norris trophy guy, he is already a quality nhl d-man to build around.

      • nunacanadien says:

        If Montreal doesn’t sign him Boston will and Subban will be another Ryder come back to haunt us when it counts most during the leadup to the playoffs.

  2. Propwash says:

    BrianWilde ‏@BWildeCTV

    I don’t want to scare anyone but Tomas Kaberle looks in much better shape. #pasdebedaine #habs

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  3. pmaraw says:

    on a side note, I was kinda hoping for no season, I think we had a really good shot at winning the draft lottery with no season

    • Ian Cobb says:

      We still do!

    • Habilis says:

      Actually, we would have had amongst the worst odds in the league if that were the case. We would only have had 1 ball in the lotto whereas some teams would have had 2 or 3. The Maple Leafs, for example, would have had 3 balls and therefore the best odds at the first pick.

      We have a better shot at finishing lower with a season than without. That being said, I hope we win the Cup and get a nice shiny asterisk to go beside it. If there was ever a season where a mediocre team (on paper) has a shot, it’s this one.

  4. ed lopaz says:

    reading some of the comments below re: line combinations.

    write this down, please:

    Desharnais and Pacioretty will be paired together – because they have always produced when played together.

    Sure, you can take Cole off that line if you want to experiment with spreading out the offence – although Therrien would be nuts to do it, and he should only consider it if the line is struggling.

    DD and Max understand each other – they play as a unit – and that is so valuable, so great for the team, that no coach will want to tamper with it.

    • Cal says:

      Only 1 line scoring points doesn’t bode well for team success. Cole must be put on another line if we follow your logic and I would be okay with that.

      • ed lopaz says:

        with a healthy Gionta we should have a 2nd line. He is still an excellent hockey player who is a natural goal scorer.

        • Cardiac says:

          Agreed! A huge reason for Pleks drop in offensive production last season was due to the ever revolving door linemates. Some consistency will serve him better.

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

          • K-hab25 says:

            He had his 3rd highest assist total last year, what dropped was his goals. He shot a woeful 7.7% last season. In fact he’s averaged 52 points over his 7 year career, his exact point total last season.

    • Gerry H says:

      I completely agree, Ed, and will be very disappointed to see that line split up. If the remainder of the top 9 cannot produce, the solution is to make changes to that group, not mess with the chemistry that has evolved between DD/MaxPac and Cole. If they falter, that’s a different matter.

      I also think that the Gio/Plekanec/Bourque combo has to be given another long look. I think Therrien might be just the guy to get more consistent effort from an injury-free Bourque, whose size and willingness to work the net should be a good fit with the quickness and work ethic of the other two. I’m not sure that Eller is a viable replacement for Bourque on that line, since he doesn’t have the grit to offset the other two’s lack of size. I’d be more inclined to move Eller into Gio’s spot if that combo sputters, and have Gio with Gomez and Prust on the third.

      I would also point out that no matter what happens in the middle six, the Habs will finally have a credible fourth line this year, which should also help overall production a bit.

      • ed lopaz says:

        breaking up a successful line to try and “stimulate” the creation of another line, is frankly, Jacques Martin coaching.

        the way to “build” is, you keep what works together, and “build” off of that as a “foundation”.

        • bwoar says:

          That a narrow way of looking at how players work on a team. I think DD belongs on a wing, but eh, I see why very few want to break up DD-Pacioretty.

          One thing working in favour of keeping that line together is the shortened season. Literally no time for experiments.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      “Desharnais and Pacioretty will be paired together – because they have always produced when played together.”

      Last season the Canadiens finished in 28th place. How do you measure production?

      • K-hab25 says:

        Team results have nothing to do with individual success or failure. All 3 of those players had career years, they did there part. It’s the other bums, precious Plekanec included, that need to improve.

        • ed lopaz says:

          K-Habs – you might need to hire some extra security with that kind of “precious Plekanec” remark!!

          For the record, I have posted here several times that the emergence of Galchenyuk will force the Habs to trade Plekanec.

          And that trade, if it is done properly, will make this team much better.

          • bwoar says:

            Ed: totally hoping that the Galchenyuk/Plekanec situation happens as you say. But I’d expect it to happen at next year’s deadline if it does, no?

          • K-hab25 says:

            Ya I have been saying the same thing for awhile now. To me he isn’t part of our young core and would prefer he be traded for someone 25 or under, who will grow with our young core.

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          “All 3 of those players had career years” playing for a losing team.

          • K-hab25 says:

            I still don’t get your point. Is it you wanna change the one thing that worked in a horrible season. If so, why? Oh I remember because the two guys who had there best seasos ever playing with DD, should be playing with our overpayed, overrated 2nd line center. Plekanecs career high in assists 45, DD had 44 in his first full season. On a “losing team” as you continue to point out.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        A guy named Stamkos had a 60 goal season and his team didn’t make the playoffs. Does that mean he didn’t actually produce?

        I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your thought at all.

  5. krob1000 says:

    Scoring logs show that Eller had 2 second assists last year….Desharnais 20, Eller had 3 pp points, Dd 17, Dd played 5 times as much on pp…which makes sense lookng at the numbers. I am really intrigued now with how well Eller really did when you look deeper into his stats and knowing his linemates…he got no assists for nearly a 2 month stretch and we all remember him never get any time with anyone capable of scoring a goal…over that stretch he still scored…just no assists which is hard to believe for a guy who passes as well as he does…not even any second assists because noone could score lol
    http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/e/ellerla01/scoring/2012/
    http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/d/deshada01/scoring/2012/

    • pmaraw says:

      I still remember that toe drag snipe he got from near the top of the circle, that was sick, cant wait to see how the boys have improved

    • Timo says:

      You have to have linemates who can actually score. DD had Cole and Max both of whom put puck in the net on a pretty consistent basis last year.

      Eller had a bunch of stiffs for linemates who couldn’t score to save their lives.

      Of course, that is not to say that Eller is not a stiff himself :)

  6. Beaco says:

    Ok, here’s a line combo suggestion(everyone’s got ‘em). The idea here is using what we are committed to(including Scotty) in terms of one way contracts.
    DD-MaxPac-Cole
    Plex-Eller-Gionta
    Gomez-Armstrong-Borque
    White-Prust-Moen

    I opted to keep the top line together as everything else is somewhat experimental. I ultimately see Eller as a center but want to get him top 6 minutes.
    Any thoughts? Anyone?

    • geo_habsgo says:

      I can’t believe how thin the lineup gets after Gionta.

      The only problem with the second line is that it is a pretty weak line physically. Eller is the only big body on that line so it would be about matching them up smart against other teams!

      • Beaco says:

        True. Eller has size but not exactly Lucic out there….I guess I was counting on the scrappiness of Gionta of Plex to make up for lack of size. To date they’ve played bigger than Borque game in game out lol. I was intrigued with the notion of Borque and Gomez not dragging anyone else down and possibly regaining a little of there previous form. Wishful thinking, huh?

    • derfab says:

      Bourque is a power forward-winger and one is really needed on an otherwise small 2nd line. If he can’t do it and provide offence he can be dropped to the bottom 2 and Moen or Prust move up. Eller needs to be developed (and then kept or traded) as a center. I see no problem with him at center on a 3rd line.

    • K-hab25 says:

      Pacioretty – DD – Cole
      Eller – Plekanec – Bourque
      Galchenyuk – Gomez – Gionta
      Armstrong – Prust – Moen

      Markov – Subban
      Kaberle – Gorges
      Emilin – Diaz

    • BJ says:

      Could work I wouldn’t mind seeing that combo for a few game to see how it would look. The fourth line would be one of the better ones we’ve had in recent memory. I don’t know how Moen would feel about being a fourth liner and Prust basically being told he’ll be a 3rd liner with overtures to line 2?

  7. pmaraw says:

    Im thinking, despite a short season, our boy, DD is gonna have an elite level type season.

    • pmaraw says:

      am i the only desharnais fan? he’s our #1 center till he loses it to gally :P

      • helluva habs fan says:

        Hell no you’re not the only fan. I love him. He’s as hard a working player as we have, he’s creative and he’s not afraid to take the puck to the net. I’m surprised at people suggesting we should have anyone else centering the top line. I know two guys who would have something to say about that. They’re names are Erik and Max.

      • K-hab25 says:

        He gets caught up in the Plekanec love affair, he of the career high 45 assists. Who despite playing with Cammy, AK46, Kovalev, Bourque, Gionta and Cole and Pacioretty seperately over his career, is being held back because he doesn’t have any good wingers. When he centered Kovalev & AK46 that one great season, he had 40 assists, despite his wingers scoring over 60 goals. He’s averaged 32 assists a year in his 7 seasons. He is not a guy who makes his linemates better. He’s a good 2nd line center, but the excuses made for him not producing more assists are mind boggling. His shooting % has been over 10% once in the last 4 years. For his career he’s averaged 20 goals and 32 assists for 52 points and we’ll paying him 5 mill for 4 1/2 more years. Who should we be looking to trade, well if DD and Eller continue to improve, I think that’s an easy answer.

  8. JF says:

    If I were the Leafs, I wouldn’t go after Robert Luongo. He’s a very good goaltender, but he’s 33; and he’s implied that he would prefer a smaller market like Florida. He would also cost a lot – likely at least a second round pick, a good prospect, and a roster player. I would instead target Jonathan Bernier, who can’t be happy now that Jonathan Quick has signed a long-term deal with the Kings. I would get an older veteran to back him up, and I would be patient. It’s not like the Leafs are winning the Cup any time soon.

    • mark-ID says:

      Well don’t tell the Leafs that, haha

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Luke says:

      But Bernier is another Goalie with limited experience and “potential”.
      They need a known quantity in net. They’ve done the “potential” thing for so long… They have to get someone that they know is a solid goalie. He doesn’t have to be 35… he can be 26… whatever… they just need a goalie that they know they can count on.
      Mind you, It’d make my work day less fun.

  9. christophor says:

    Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gionta
    Galchenyuk – Desharnais – Cole
    Armstrong – Eller – Bourque
    Moen – Gomez – Prust

    Plekanec’s line can eat tough minutes (against opposing top lines), Eller’s line can eat the next toughest minutes (against opposing next-best lines), and Desharnais’ line can exploit easy minutes.

    Might need to reconfigure for road games.

    If Galchenyuk doesn’t stick, put Bourque in his place and bump Gomez up to the third line.

    • jols101 says:

      Bravo!!! I’ve seen many line combos since new CBA was reached. This is my favorite so far.

    • mark-ID says:

      Not too shabby at all!

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Say Ash says:

      Eller fans won’t like it.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        we’ll just pretend it is the 2nd line.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        White fans even less, I guess.

      • krob1000 says:

        That would be the best pair of linemates he has ever been given as sad as that is so we would be fine with it

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          Is Bourque better than Kostitsyn? I don´t think so and a 30-year old Armstrong after all his injury problems better than Moen? I don´t think so either.

          It is a decent combination but I like this one better:

          Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gionta
          Galchenyuk – Eller – Cole
          Moen – Desharnais – Bourque
          Prust – Gomez – White

          A very talented and fast first line, a big, fast and skilled second line. Desharnais still protected by two big wingers and Gomez between two very physical players.

          No matter what, I think this team will do better than many expect.

          • nunacanadien says:

            What about reuniting Gomez, Gionta and Prust on a line? See if they create sparks or at least a bit of attention around the NHL, watch the board of governors would twitter Molson asking, “are you for real putting a midget line on the ice against Charra?”….man wouldn’t that be golden?

          • krob1000 says:

            Bourque could be said to be the equivalent of Kostistyn statistically and Armstrong is definitely better than Moen…Moen has a career high of 11 and Armstrong has put up 22 and 15…I think Eller deserves better and if Galchenyuk makess the squad he may get better but that would be the best combo he has ever had sadly. I think playoffs are a very real possibility..all depends on the D imo.

    • Beaco says:

      Yeah I like this. I was toying with this one too. I like the notion of road reconfiguration. Our 1st wave PP could be last years #1 line.

  10. mark-ID says:

    So what number is Galchenyuk going to wear in Montreal?

    a) 94(number in Sarnia)
    b)15(number at world juniors)
    c)27(He had during rookie camp, but I guess Bourque is wearing it)
    d) different

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  11. jols101 says:

    If one of DD, Pleks or Eller has to go to make room for Galchenyuk next year lets evaluate each guy on what they do during this short 48 game schedule. I’m sure that is what Bergevin et al are going to do.

    If they had to make a decision today, I would hope they keep Pleks and Eller but they don’t, they have 48 games plus a full off season to make that call.

    • commandant says:

      1 can move to wing.

      Its not like this team has an excess of top 9 fowards.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I would agree. We have more of an excess of bottom 6

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Okay, so following that thought, what wing would DD play, or does he have experience at a particular wing? Eller looks better at center than wing (of course MT is apparantly thinking otherwise) perhaps DD on the wing helps the team throughout the lineup, better than just having an effective top line.

        Clearly we are going to see some line juggling this season, will be interesting to watch.

        • commandant says:

          DD doesn’t have much experience at wing, but I thought he looked good at LW in the 2011 playoff series vs Boston.

          I also think that with less defensive responsibility on the wing, his size is less of a liability (see his home/road +/- splits last season to see what I mean, when Cunneyworth didn’t have last change).

          DD’s game is built on hockey sense and smarts, and that is why he’ll adapt best to wing IMO.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • jols101 says:

        Agreed, but everyone on here seems to think that the guy they like has a birth right to play the center position. The whole it is his “natural” position is hogwash. Put the players where the Team needs them to play, it may take a little time but they will adjust and become effective in that position.

  12. Propwash says:

    Some gratuitous Leaf bashing…

    http://imgur.com/gallery/i6klJ

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  13. twilighthours says:

    Alright Sacamano, I see where you’re at. I rarely debate anyone on this site, and today is no different.

    You’re free to disagree with with an NHL coach if you want. But please don’t imply that you know more about hockey than him. Frankly, I don’t think that you do.

    And let’s not trump up Eller until he has shown something. 16 goals last year? 4 came in one game. With the exception of the silly spinorama penalty shot and when he walked Phaneuf, I can’t recall any of his goals that required or demonstrated skill.

    I like the kid. I wouldn’t deal him. I would grudgingly choose him over DD if I had to make that choice today. But at the end of last season, DD was a more effective, accomplished player, and deserved to be playing with better linemates than Eller did. Eller hasn’t shown an ability to finish. He holds on to the puck too long and hasn’t shown an ability to distribute or use his wingers. He takes bad hooking penalties when – with his size and speed – he could use his body instead. He’s got a long way to go, frankly. And I suspect that’s what two different NHL coaches saw in him, too (speculation, obviously).

    I guess I did feel like a debate.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      And your practically in mid-season form already also. :)

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I don´t have much time today but I don´t mind a debate that isn´t really supposed to be a debate…

      The fact that Jacques Martin (for example) knows more about hockey than me doesn´t make every of his decisions right. Maybe he (and even Cunneyworth) was/were also right to keep that Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole together but we have to see the whole picture here.

      In my point of view they were not only kept together because Desharnais did well between our best two wingers but also because Desharnais was trusted less with worse wingers and tougher matchups than Plekanec and Eller.

      That has nothing to do with “deserving”. If that was the case Plekanec would have played between Pacioretty and Cole. Well, now it´s obviously a new season and what might have been right last season, doesn´t have to be now and I don´t think it is.

      If 16 goals on the third line aren´t at least half-decent, 16 goals on the first line with a lot of PP time are poor. I also never said Eller is a perfect or anything but once again: He did produce with Kostitsyn and Moen and that line overall was really good. Now, imagine him playing with even better wingers…

      Desharnais also has some bigger weaknesses than Eller starting with him being pushed of the puck too easily.

      I also still don´t really know what you and others expected of Eller given the wingers and matchups he had…

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    I propose that DD vs. Eller is our new Price vs. Halak, this should be good throughout the season. Certainly its good for HI/O.

    • K-hab25 says:

      I’m torn then, because I really like both, more than Plekanec or Gomez. I think I’d rather buyout Gomez and trade Plekanec, than get rid of, or stunt the growth of, any of our 3 young centers. Just my opinion anyway.

      • Bripro says:

        Plex is 30 years old, and a dedicated work horse.
        Pushes 100% every shift. Top 5 on the PK in the NHL.
        Never complained about the fiasco of wingmen last year.
        DD was paired with Max and Cole.
        The luxury Pleks rarely had.
        When he did, he pointed every time.
        Saying you would keep the kids and trade Plexs?….. really?
        Thank you for not applying for the GM job.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I am pleks fan as well but when people rate DD they forget that the year before he was on the third line and was the habs leading point producer after the all star game. DD makes his wingers better. Pleks used to as well just last year was a little off

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • krob1000 says:

            http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/e/ellerla01/scoring/2012/
            This is Ellers scoring log from 2011-12..you can see from the beginning of JAnuary until mid march he never gets and assists aside from 2 pleks goals…we have all seen Eller play…that is pretty curious since he is a puck distributor..but then again his linemates once broke up from Kostistyn were horrendous..so it appears he decided to try and do it himself lol look at the logs it is interesting..

        • bleedhabs81 says:

          While I do agree with your reasoning, I think you are missing the most important aspect in all this….

          Who/what do we get if we trade Pleks? If it is judged to be equal to that or exceeds his value (which is high, IMO) then I think you just might consider it.

        • K-hab25 says:

          Why people like you insist on being when people have a different opinion than yours, I’ll never know, insecurity I guess. Back on topic, Plekanec is an overrated, overpriced 2nd line center, who in a few years will be a 5 mill 3rd line center. DD is already better offensively and it won’t take long before Galchenyuk is as well. Plekanec is a great penalty killer, who scores 20 to 25 goals, but a playmaker who improves his linemates, he is not. You can say he’s only 30, but this teams contention window is 2 or 3 years away. By then he certainly will begin to lose a step and will be a 5 mill 3rd line center albatross. Trade him this summer, while we still can.

    • Bripro says:

      ELLLLLLLLEEEEERRRRRRR!
      DEEEEEEDEEEEEEEEEEEE!
      I can’t make up my mind.

  15. habstrinifan says:

    Maybe old news but it seems Gomez and Price are in Brossard.

  16. habstrinifan says:

    You have all followed all the rumours, speculation, conjectures etc etc.

    So straight up! No ranting one way or another. And no stating the obvious re RFA status etc.

    Your GUT feeling, aware of all the perceptions good or bad.

    Do you think HABS/Subban will come to terms where he reamins a HAB?

    YES or NO???

  17. wjc says:

    Burke firing is a handy distraction. Fans upset over lockout are now distracted. Next Subban signing, then what? Stay tuned.

    wjc

  18. commandant says:

    Max takes a look at five studs and five to avoid in fantasy drafts.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/01/10/nhl-fantasy-spin-five-players-to-sizzle-and-five-to-fizzle/

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  19. HabFanSince72 says:

    The latest from the Tronna Media is that Burke was fired because the new owners (Rogers and Bell) didn’t like his style – too brash, bad publicity.

    So the fact that his team never made the playoffs, and has no real future wasn’t it?


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Just like poor Pierre Gauthier.
      That man had style…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Gerry H says:

      I still ain’t buying. Something happened. Maybe he blew up at the wrong guy at that Marlies game. Maybe he broke the rules. Whatever it was, something forced a precipitous decision. Even MLSE is not capable of the incompetence required to choose this moment to fire their GM.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Well the same MLSE just hired a guy to coach their soccer team even though he still plays for a team in the Premiereship League and he has never ever coached a team. The same MLSE seems happy with a President and GM of a basketball team that doesn’t make the playoffs nor appear to be threatening to do so anytime in the future.

        I would say this decision falls right in line with MLSE.

  20. twilighthours says:

    Bob Sacamano, if you’re still around…. maybe, just maybe, Desharnais deserved the minutes on the top line that Eller didn’t get. Just maybe. His coach thought so, anyway.

    I’d also add that Both Pacioretty and Cole think he is one of the best players they’ve ever played with. MaxPac thinks he’s the best.

    I’m guessing Randy, Max, and Erik know more than we do about this sort of thing.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Some people (inexplicably) have pet players who they will support regardless of the impact they may have on the team.
      It’s not something that makes sense.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Look, I made my points and explained them well enough I reckon. You don´t have to agree (and I don´t really care about that) but you should at least be able to understand them. So don´t start with bs like “inexplicably” or “It´s not something that makes sense”.

    • krob1000 says:

      Yup…and Dd is better than PLeks..or the coach (the coach who lost his job I may add) would have played him there too right?Who else has centered MAx? They have obvious chemistry …that is great ..but DD reminds of the year the Leafs had Kyle Wellwood play a ton of top minutes and got 42 points in 48 games…or Grabovski’s breakout year…doesn’t mean either of them is right to be a top center or will get that opportunity forever. Good for DD…he has exceeded all expectations and is a crafty and relentless player ..I enjoy watching him…but he is 3 years older than Eller, about 8 inches shorter, about 40 pounds lighter and I consider their skill levels to be comparable…add in Ellers skating and ability down the road to line match…for me Eller is the keeper long term.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      The same coach that was fired or the one which was the worst Habs coach I remember?

      I´m impressed. When did you ever hear a player say something bad about a linemate? I´m also not saying that line didn´t work. It did. So yes, of course Pacioretty and Cole have good things to say about Desharnais.

      I only think we can do better and we´re about to waste a very capable second line center by persisting to keep an overall inferior center on the first line.

      Eller is younger, faster, bigger and stronger. The same Eller btw who was drafted in the first round in 2007 when Desharnais played in the ECHL.

      One more thing: I really like David Desharnais. He has good vision, he´s a very good passer and I think he can be a decent second line winger or third line center for years to come but Eller has more potential and should be a bigger part of our future plans.

  21. Garbo says:

    I like watching hockey and the lockout has prevented me from enjoying what I like to do.

    The players and the league are so greedy for preventing me from getting what I want.

    • twilighthours says:

      It is all about us, isn’t it?

    • New says:

      Actually you’re right. I like using electricity but it is selfish to pay to do so, just like premier league hockey. So run out there, use as much as you can of the product and know in your heart that you are paying for someone in a nice warm state to get the same thing at 33% of the price, and take the trophy home as well.

  22. New says:

    Now that the owners have graciously ratified the CBA and indications from the players are that they will follow suit I find I have been remiss. Therefore, I take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to the owners and players. I am sorry. I regret not buying tickets (in my defense the doors were locked or concerts were playing instead) to those Sep-Jan dates. I am ashamed to not buy Canadiens or NHL souvenirs , magazines, or Bash-em-dead #101 video collections. I acknowledge I did not watch RDS or TSN as much as before and do miss seeing Jen give the updates. I hope we can still be friends and forge a bond that will allow me one day to again do those things. Saturday fortnight, those three empty seats, that’s me. Sorry.

  23. arcosenate says:

    Any chance that the Gomez traded to the Pirates today was Scott?

    • wjc says:

      Timo, any chance you can shut up about Gomez?

      Find a new whipping boy, his comeback is about to begin, you will only look foolish!

      wjc

      • Luke says:

        haha.

        His comeback has been three years in the making.

        • frontenac1 says:

          Don”t want to Jinx him now. Senior Gomez este un hombre muy macho.Viva Gomez!

        • wjc says:

          Hey Luke…ha ha right back at you.

          Your comment comeback 3 years in the making proves that you do not have the facts, just hyperbole.

          3 years ago Gomez had 12 goals and 47 assists in 78 games and the year before that he had 16 goals and 42 assists in 77 games.

          Jean Beliveau had in 1961/62 …18 goals and 23 assists
          In 1962/63 he had 18 goals and 49 assists
          In 1966/67 Beliveau had 12 goals and 26 assists

          In his second last season he had 19 goals and 30 assists and they begged him to come back for one more year.

          Not comparing Gomez to Beliveau but saying players have off years and bounce back. Injuries, coaching philosophy, or just a slump (they happen)

          You people seem to be rooting for him to fail, and yes I get that. But let the season start and then evaluate. Therien will sort it out, different style, and different linemates could make a big difference.

          To judge a week before the season starts is not something I will participate in. If he is ineffective he will be sent somewhere, but Galchenyuk will go back to Sarnia where he belongs.
          wjc

      • Ron says:

        wjc, if your answering to the comment above your post about the Pirates today for Scott, its not Timo’s it is by arcosenate. If I’m incorrect then I withdraw my post :D

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    Thankfully it appears we have a good problem. 3 Centers – Plex, DD, Eller who all appear to fit on a teams top 6.

    Galchenyuk down the road projects 1st line Center. So perhaps we may have to accept one day having 3 very good lines and a 4th line. Wouldn’t that be novel!

    And oh yah we got Scotty! :)

    • Ron says:

      Scotty landed in Montreal late last night to make your day even better. :D

      • Timo says:

        That’s great news. Just for that TSN should move Habs up in ranking

        • krob1000 says:

          Timo….if you were to guess… what position the Hwould you guess the Habs will finish?…serious answer please. I don’t see the tanking thing working out again with Markov and a healthy lineup. The team has some speed, added a lot of grit, has solid goaltending. The D is the question mark..I think the forwards are a middle of the pack group, the goaltending is slightly above middle of the pack, the D is dependant upon PK’s growth and Markov’s health. IF you pair Kaberle with Bouillon, Gorges with PK, Markov with Emelin ….that is three very good puck movers which should help the offense out. Three stay at home guys…..we just miss having one ultra tough dman who can also move the puck….

          • Timo says:

            Well, they are healthy now… History shows that they rarely stay healthy though.

            I don’t know, man. I suck at predictions. The only thing I can say is that I think Habs will not do well this season… Maybe not second last but definitely they won’t be the team making any noise.

            None of the changes that Bergevin made aspire any kind of enthusiasm in me. Neither does Therrien.

            The way I see it, we may have gotten a couple of tougher pluggers in our lineup, but the core players are still the same and I don’t see guys like Pleks, Gionta, Gomer and Co. having magical seasons. So even if Cole line has another decent season it’s just one line.

            Markov will probably not play the full “season” either.

            So that brings us to goaltending. It will be simple – if Price goes 2009 Halak for the 40 some games maybe they have a chance to squeak into playoffs. If not – top 10 pick, spit, rinse and repeat next year.

    • krob1000 says:

      I cannot satnd this idea of having too many good centers. As bad as Gomez has been…when is your fourth line center IMO you have a playoff team…..the issue for the HAbs is on D….I think Gorges contract sucks and too many of the same guys on D make it tough…but at least we have some muscle up front to handle some of the scrums,etc…but if we had one bad ass D man then I see the HAbs as a 5-7 seed for sure…as it is…could still be a playoff team. All the core guys are a year older…this season could be a bit of a surprise if that is the plan and there isn’t an underlying plotline.

      Markov/Subban…if healthy that is a dynamic duo,
      Markov-Emelin, subban-Bouillon, Gorges-Kaberle , Diaz
      DD-PAcs-COle, Pleks-Bourque(rw)-Eller, Gomez-Gio-Armstrong, White-Prust-Moen …leblanc. That is a pretty interesting lineup…obviously it can be arranged several ways and will be but even without Galchenyuk that to me looks like aplayoff team if healthy….sure it isn’t a top contender on paper…but that is definitely a team that if healthy competes for a playoff spot even if the season had been full.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        not sure they could put Gio on the third line….not saying it isn’t warranted but with him being the captain. I expect a good year from gio

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • krob1000 says:

          Sorry..I am not really making lines..just writing out the depth…we may not have top end talent…..but we have serious depth. Which is usually enough to get a team into the playoffs if the goaltending and D are average or better. With Markov back…assuming he is 80 percent of himself the D should be ok while still missing a tough stay at home guy.

    • B says:

      Eller has yet to produce at the level of a top 2 NHL center, but he does have the potential.

      Today I have been wondering about Eller on the wing with Galchenyuk on the other wing and Plekanec in the middle? That could be an interesting line, but then it only leaves Gomez, White, and Nokeleinen (and perhaps Dumont?) remaining as centers for the last 2 lines. Would Gomez, Gionta and Bourque then make a good (albeit very highly paid) 3rd line? Gomez and Gionta do have some history and chemistry together. That would then leave White, Moen, Prust and Armstrong for the 4th line (with White the only center among those 4):

      Desharnais-Pacioretty-Cole
      Plekanec-Eller-Galchenyuk
      Gomez-Gionta-Bourque
      White-Moen-Prust (Armstrong)

      Not sure if or how that would work out, but I find that 2nd line intriguing today.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  25. Timo says:

    I think expecting that Habs will play players in their natural positions is just absurd. Except for Gomer it will be musical chairs, especially once Therrien puts a solid losing streak together.

  26. bwoar says:

    Interesting, and encouraging piece on Rene Bourque. It’d be nice if he did rebound to score some goals this year.

  27. commandant says:

    On Bourque. I really think that playing him at LW last season was detrimental to his production.

    Like Erik Cole, he is a natural RW and when he was scoring 27 goals per season that is where he was in Calgary. We saw Cole struggle mightily when he was playing LW in Edmonton, only picking it up when he was moved back to RW in December of that year.

    IMO Bourque should play with Eller and line up in his natural spot at RW if we are going to get the most effectiveness out of him.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Time will tell. I think he will have a better year regardless but playing on the off wing does not help. It will be interesting to see what MT does with the top three lines. We have a lot of bottom 6 type guys

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • DorvalTony says:

      If he was injured that’s the reason. No deep theories necessary.

      //Multi millionaire union fat cat$ like Eric Cole just don’t get it.//

    • 24 Cups says:

      With Bourque on RW, it would pretty well necessitate moving Galchenyuk up to the big team. I mean who’s left? And what happens to Gomez? Can the Habs afford to pay a 4th line centre a 7.3M cap hit? Then there’s the issue of injuries, which are bound to happen with a six day camp.

      Simply put, Ben, this team still needs more parts. Ii fear we’re going to see some off the wall line combos before April rolls around.

      • Cal says:

        Gomez can watch from the press box.
        I have to think that MB will engineer a trade or two for LW. Who goes or stays? Who knows?

        • 24 Cups says:

          IF DD, Pleks and Eller stay healthy then I can honestly see Gomez playing the 4th line pivot spot. He may not like it but tough shit. He certainly has to be better than Noke or White/Leblanc playing back where they may not belong. Gomez used to win faceoffs and kill penalties in Jersey so….. He could have protection on the flanks with guys such as Prust, Moen or White. Maybe even form a decent PK team with Prust to help out Pleks/Moen. If Gomez stays on the top three lines it means Eller spends another year on the wing. Or as some suggest, DD moves over. Which basically means we are screwing up other players to accommodate a player who already is screwed up.

      • B says:

        Something like this?:

        Desharnais-Pacioretty-Cole
        Plekanec-Gionta-Galchenyuk
        Eller-Bourque-Moen
        Gomez/White-Prust/Armstrong

        –Go Habs Go!–

  28. habsnyc says:

    Let’s recap the offseason.

    Due to cultural pressue, ownership cast an extremely narrow net in searching for new management and coaches. It was so narrow a search that the best coach they could find was a retread who was an abject failure in his first tenure with the club.

    At the deadline management traded Kostitsyn and Gill. Durring the offseason they signed Prust, Armstrong and Bouillon to replace them. They replaced a guy who can score 20 goals with a guy who can get into 20 fights and a big body in front of the net with a small body in front of the net.

    Half the skaters on the roster are over thirty and hence a year older, not a year better. Several young NHL goalies proved themselves last season with great stats and playoff victories. Price was not one of them. Maybe this will be his year. Maybe other guys are just a lot better.

    The team is not getting better. But before it gets better, it has to get younger. Overpaying for grit has never worked in the NHL. Maybe some of the draft picks will improve the team. I’m hoping that is the bright spot. However, the salary cap situation is a mess. The organization has a history of acquiring declining assets in order to meet the playoffs. Montreal is possibly the only last place team that ever traded midseason for underperforming veterans.

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

  29. Morenz7 says:

    I guess it’s giving PG too much credit to think he’d ask about Bourque’s health before yanking Cammy off the ice and pulling the trigger on that deal.

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    A funny pic which McKenzie tweeted earlier. Apparantly Claude Noel laughed.
    http://twitter.com/aladd16/status/289085315421986816/photo/1

  31. krob1000 says:

    If given a choice of only keeping one…DD, Eller or LEblanc….who would you choose? mine would be Eller. I admit being wrong about DD ..as I never thought he could skate well enough and didn;t think he had enough heart but the guy never quits…that being said…neither does Eller. Eller is several years younger, far stronger, incredibly skilled …but not utilized correctly..he is a playmaker…who never gets anyone to make plays with. Would he have outscored DD if given his linemates all year? maybe not…at this point…but it would have been close IMO. Leblanc? I don’t think he would be anywhere near either of them.

    Dd had 20 power play points……Eller had 3 ……reverse those numbers and look at what the stats would have been…and that isn’t counting the top wingers playing 5 on 5 as well.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      You put Eller or Plekanec between Cole and Pacioretty and they’d have the same or better numbers than Desharnais did last year.

      I’d keep Eller for sure!

      And there’s still time for Leblanc. He’s been off his game this year after that high ankle sprain. Hopefully he doesn’t miss his window.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I disagree hobbie, DD-Cole and Max just have good chemistry and they all had career years. You change one person on that line and I highly doubt you get the same result. Pleks didn’t have a good year and Eller they have tried in the top six but it just hasn’t clicked yet. I think if it was Eller in between them last year we might have had the first overall pick last year.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • krob1000 says:

          Their “career years” were enough to finish 28th overall and all put up points that people criticzie Pleks and Koivu for…yet somehow they were a “first line” as people like to call it…yet PLeks-AK-Kovy and even Koivu-Ryder-whoever,etc were all more productive and were never given any credit. If Koivu put up 60 points with Cole and Pacs he would be run out of town…oh wait he was. I think i tis awesome DD has done this unexpectedly but let’s not overstate his achievements and annoint him star status when we have had 2 more complete centers in recent years tat were treated lig dog piss by fans. HEc even Gomez has had a 59 point season with the Habs recently

          • Kooch7800 says:

            In the same light Krob…look at the points of our other centres. We only had one line producing and our defense was laughable hence the 28th place finish. You have to have multiple lines producing and the habs just didn’t have it last year.

            Is DD a number one centre on a good team…no but neither is pleks or Eller

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            You put Eller in the middle and the size and strength and skill of that line would be awesome.

            Desharnais will be moved in my opinion. He is up for a new contract next season and there simply isn’t enough room for Desharnais, Eller, Plekanec and Galchenyuk. None of them will play on the 4th line.

            The reason Plekanec didn’t have a good year is because Bourque was playing hurt and Gionta was in and out of the lineup.

            Desharnais might end up staying though because he’s French…

    • 24 Cups says:

      Rob – Leblanc is an interesting case. Posters were estatic when he was chosen. If fact, he kind of fell into Montreal’s lap due to a few moves by other teams. He was never going to be a star but he did have a nice comination of skill, effort and attitude. Not to mention the French factor.

      It’s still way too early to judge and his injury has basically cost him a year of real development. In the end, there’s nothing wrong if guys like Eller and Leblanc eventually turn into solid 2nd and 3rd liners.

      The real issue is getting some top end talent up front. MaxPac shows promise and Galchenyuk is a top three pick but the team needs more than that. I’m not a tanker, per se, but I wouldn’t mind if the team gets a top five pick this summer.

      • krob1000 says:

        2nd liner is where I see Eller..a larger verson of Plekanec…a second line center on a good team who eventually could be a Jokinen type first liner on a poor team..let’s hope we are not a poor team! I would like to see GAlchenyuk play with Eller if he comes up…would be good for both of them I think. I don’t quite see LEblanc ever as a second liner on a good team…maybe for a year or two during his peak..but I see Eller as having a good long run as a productive top six forward…or elite third line center if a teamrolls three scoring lines. That is just my opinion and you have been on here long enough to know I am wrong as often as the next guy ..but I think Eller is the teams top offensive prospect for the next 6-8 years not named Galchenyuk.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Leblanc is decent and I see him as a third line winger long term who can play on the top two lines when there are injuries. He is having an off year this year with the high ankle injury. They are really hard to come back from so I don’t expect much from him this season.

        From what i have seen of him though he has great hockey sense

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think the reality is that due to the different things Eller can do on the ice he has in someways been penalized, thus 3rd line duty etc….

      Having said that, he will get his chances, simply too much talent there to be neglected. Eventually this team/coaches/mgmt will have to make some tough decisions in order to allow the players to play at the position best for them.

      • krob1000 says:

        Good point…..we have seen that happen to Pleks as well over the year….because he is a glue guy that is safe for the coach to put out there with any two wingers he often gets put out there with any two wingers.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Eller and it´s not even close. Completely agree with the rest as well. I´d like to keep all of them though. Eller as our second line center, Desharnais as our third line center or second line winger and Leblanc for now in Hamilton.

    • This is a great time to trade DD to a team willing to overpay for a 2nd-line center. Any trade is a gamble, but I’d guess that his value will never be higher, and that Eller’s development requires him to play with better linemates than Moen and Armstrong.

      That also solves the problem of what to do with Gomez until we can buy him out this summer — put him on the third line, and like him or not, he’s one of the faster, more talented third-line centres in the league. Let White centre the fourth line — or better yet, pick up Jason Arnott as a UFA.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Heh heh.
        Trade players who play well.
        Why didn’t the Habs trade Richard the year after he scored 50? Bad move, right?
        Why didn’t we trade Guy Lafleur, or, better yet, Bob Gainey?
        All bad moves by Montreal, who overlooked the value of the player.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • krob1000 says:

          60 points is what he got..not 50 goals…. in a top line role..that is 1 point diff from Gomez a couple years back as a Hab, less than Koivu, less than Pleks, so to summarize…that is less than or 1 point more than our last 3 “number 1″ centers…you do realize that right..his season was not that great…it was a breakout season for him…but looking at the larger picture it was a 60 point season from a number 1 center….on a 28th place team…

          • Mattyleg says:

            That’s neither here nor there.
            The concept of trading a player who is doing well to maximise ‘value’ is foolish.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          “better yet, Bob Gainey”

          Better than the Flower? Sacrilege!


          Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Not talking about who’s better, just about players who had ‘value’.
            Gainey invented a new role in the NHL, and any team would have killed to have him.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  32. AliHaba says:

    Maybe one of the experts here can answer this question for me….after what season does PK become eligible to be an unrestricted free agent?

  33. Cal says:

    9 more days. Drop the puck already!!

  34. habstrinifan says:

    Just watched the whole Philly-Habs pre-game brawl. When Lemieux shot the puck into the Philly net in practice.

    Man it sent chills!

    Nilan;Corson;Kordic; etc… in same lineup. WOW!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I found a rare video of the 93 Stanley cup run with highlights from all the games and interviews in the dressing rooms with guys like Roy, Gretzky and both coaches. Fascinating to watch.

      Lyle Odelien was a beauty on that cup winning defense!

  35. Mattyleg says:

    So, my first Habs post since the Lockout. Here goes:

    What I’m going to find most interesting this season is watching a coach work with a system that he will have built around the players he has at his disposal. Therrien has had more than enough time to look at his players and figure out how to use them to their best advantage.

    Watching JM’s horrible, negative system which ignored the offensive advantages of players like Cammalleri and Paccioretti was bad, but what was worse was watching Cunneyworth’s non-system use nobody to their advantage.

    New GM and new coach plus more back-end grit. I’m going to be very interested to see how this develops.

    Players I’m going to be watching and why:

    Lars Eller – Will he finally start producing the way that his promoters believe he can? I see him moving to the wing to make room for a faster decision-maker, and see how he works as a trigger-man.

    Rene Bourque – Will he ever do anything with the Habs?

    Alexei Emelin – Will he be the physical force he was last year, or will opponents be better warned this time around? Will he be targeted?

    Tomas Kaberle – Will he continue to be crapped on by ‘fans’ despite putting up decent numbers?

    As for the newbies: I have very little doubt that they will have any problems fitting in and being effective in their roles. Can’t wait to see Prust and Armstrong parked in the crease.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Kooch7800 says:

      There is a lot of open Questions Matty which makes this 1/2 season intriguing.

      I think Emelin will be back and will be physical again. We have some other players who can take some of the heat off of him if he is targeted now which will help.

      Kabrele, does put up decent numbers but it is his defense that is questionable. He also didn’t play well in Carolina.

      I really hope Eller breaks out. You see flashes of it but hopefully it comes together this year. Maybe he needs to play with DD

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Eller already did produce when he played with Moen and Kostitsyn. On most nights he had worse wingers though. If we waste him with mediocre wingers like Prust, people will keep questioning him. He has the speed, skill and the size to be a very decent second line center for years to come but he is no Crosby. He needs decent linemates.

      I can see a second line with him, Galchenyuk on the left and Cole on the right working well. Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gionta would be the first line and Moen-Desharnais-Bourque the third. I know the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole line worked well but I don´t think this is the way to go.

      We could also play DD LW on the second line with Eller and Cole and try Leblanc or Gomez (yes, I know) on the 3rd.

      As for the rest: I don´t worry about Emelin at all. When it comes to Bourque: He should be at least a decent third line winger now he´s fully fit. Kaberle? He´s so damn soft and weak in his own zone, his PP points can´t make up for that. I hope he doesn´t play much.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I was thnking the same thing about Eller. DD is a natural fit with MaxPac and Cole so why tamper with it. Gomez is a career killer. Outside of Gionta, nobody wants to play with him. Because Montreal lacks some decent offensive wingers, guys like Eller get stuck playing with stiffs. Pleks does too, sometimes, but then people realize what he can really accomplish.

        Eventually, it’s going to shake down that one of DD, Eller or Galchenyuk is going to have to become a permanent winger.

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          Why tamper with it? That´s easy. Because DD is no first line center and we could be a better team with Plekanec and Eller being our first two centers.

          Galchenyuk might start his NHL career on the wing but he will surely move back to the middle sooner or later. Moving Eller to the wing would be a waste.

          • Mattyleg says:

            How can you say that DD is no first line centre when he played centre on our first line for most of the second half of the season, and put up amazing points?!

            Unfathomable.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @Matty, playing devils advocate, he did that on a 28th place team.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            DD has been our best centre for the past season and a half.

            DD is also a major reason why Max P finally broke out as a player. I don’t see him going anywhere. Pleks is a better all round player than him but hasn’t had the success in the last couple years and that isn’t all on him though. Problem is currently with this team is pleks and DD are both really second line centre’s. Hopefully in the future Galchenyuk will be our first line centre. All depends on his skating and if they don’t move him to the wing

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Mattyleg says:

            Burly, did people say that about Martin St. Louis when Tampa was doing badly? I don’t really buy that concept, Mr. Devil!

            Breaking up lines that have good chemistry is always a bad idea. No players play the same way, so you have to stick with what works.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Mattyleg says:

        I’ve heard that said about Eller before, but Plekanec has played with a much more varied array of players, and has always got the job done. I know Eller’s young, but…. I dunno, I just don’t see it.

        You don’t think that going with a consitently productive line is the way to go? Look at what happened when JM broke up Pleks/Kost/Idon’tremember. Rather than spreading production around, the team lost the limited production it had.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          Plekanec is a very talented and experienced player. Yet he often went pointless last season when he was wasted with mediocre wingers.

          I think we could dress two equally good lines if we don´t persist with Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Kovy?

          As for DD, to me it makes perfect sense to line him up with good sized wingers. He’s basically a free “pick-up” for the team who also just happens to be French. He also seems to have good chemistry with MaxPac so what’s not to like?

    • Cal says:

      Eller- it’s now or probably never for him. His past points production points to a 3rd liner, and probably as a winger.
      Bourque- Hab fans can’t admit that sometimes players just have off or bad years.
      Emelin- targeted? Yes, but he will others there to defend him.
      Kaberle- he is like Gomez around here: he can do no right. IT would be nice if he puts up 50 points and shuts people up, but they will bray about him no matter what.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Unbelievable. What do you think: How many points would Desharnais probably have put up with Eller´s wingers and Eller´s PP time last season? And how many points would Eller probably have had playing with Pacioretty and Cole most of the time?

        People thinking that Desharnais should be on the first line again while Eller is not more than a third line player are really making me sad.

        • Mattyleg says:

          DD has proven his ability to play with a number of different wingers, and earned his right to play on the top line.
          Eller has done the opposite, and those who blame his wingers are compounding the problem by pointing the finger at everyone else but the one who needs to improve his game.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • krob1000 says:

            who else did he play with and put up points?

          • Bob_Sacamano says:

            I couldn´t disagree more. Desharnais and Eller had both 16 goals last season, Desharnais had 32 assists more. Why? Because he played two more games, had much more PP time, played three minutes more per game and had the much better wingers throughout the season and not because he´s the better player.

            32 points (not 50 like some seem to believe) in 80 games are not that much when you take all that into account.

            DD really only proved himself with Pacioretty and Cole. Eller had never the change to play with wingers of that calibre for more than a couple of shifts.

            Another thing is that DD wasn´t trusted to play on the top two lines with lesser (and smaller) wingers while Eller had to play tough minutes with mediocre wingers.

            Once again, Eller did produce when playing with Moen and Kostitsyn. HE DID! Most of the time he unfortunately had worse wingers and that´s not his fault. Can you imagine what he would have done playing with Pacioretty and Cole all the time?

            I´m not saying Eller doesn´t need to improve his game. Still only being 23, I´m sure he will but if we play him on the third line with guys like Prust, it will be very hard for him to get more than 30 points like it would be for anyone else.

        • Cal says:

          C Lars Eller GP79 G16 A12 PTS 28 +/- -5 Average Time on Ice:15:18
          C DD GP 81 G16 A44 PTS 60 Average Time on Ice 18:23

          DD earned his spot on the 1st or 2nd line. Eller’s numbers tell another story. I’m not saying he can’t improve his points production, but all the evidence shows otherwise.

      • krob1000 says:

        Eller has played 2 seasons in the NHL? Dd had even palyed inthe NHL by this point in his career….neither had Pleks….and we are giving up on him?

  36. 24 Cups says:

    The Burke firing has me wondering a bit about the Habs and Bergevin. Will Montreal’s new GM really be given a solid five year run at trying to build a Cup contending team?

    There is a notion on this site that anything can happen once the playoffs start. I really don’t buy into that belief. Even LA’s improbable win was built on moves that had been made over the past five years. All four of their building blocks were part of Lombardi’s long term plan.

    I think it’s fair to say that four years from now players such as Gionta, Cole and Markov will be long gone from the Montreal scene. Maybe one of them hangs on as a grizzled veteran who provides leadership and experience. The real core of the team will be the building blocks that Bergevin hopefully puts in place. Price is already there. Subban has tons of talent and upside but still is a bit of a untamed stallion. MaxPac had a breakthrough season and may well become a building block if he can add two more. Galchenyuk has everyone falling all over themselves but at this point in time is strictly a high end prospect. He has yet to accomplish anything at the pro level. Lots of reasons to be hopeful but it’s really just in the beginning stages.

    I just hope that Bergevin is given enough time to see it through. If not, we might be very quickly back to the past 20 years where the team did all in it’s power to just finish 7th or 8th.

    • habitual says:

      That depends on whether the team gets worse under Bergevin, like it did with Burke. If three years from now the team is still mediocre then the trend line is set and he should go.

      No business can afford to wait 5 years for things to get better.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Most people on this site like to crap all over Burke so that’s basically a deadend. But what about the LA example?

        I guess you would have to judge Bergevin’s moves on an individual basis and then see how they impact the whole picture.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          The advantage of a non-traditional hockey market helps the L.A. example. While there was pressure for the team to perform over those years, fans are not applying the pressure for immediate success like we see in Canadian markets, particularly Toronto and Montreal.

          Funny thing though about BUrke, I still think his greatest mistake was the early rush for success with Kessel trade, Beauchemin and Komisarek signings. I live with the enemy here (just as you do) and the Leaf fans I knew, were 100% ready to be patient when Burke walked in the door. They knew JFJ left the cupboard barren, Burke miscalculated the talent on the Leafs and eventually it caught up to him. Granted in a twisted way if we are to believe the rumours for his dismissal.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Burke really had a mandate and a lot of leeway/support/capital when he first arrived. You say that there is pressure to win in Toronto but I always felt that Burke was the one guy who had the time to really rebuild the team. Having said that, the Kessel deal was a mind blower. Sadly, it’s his legacy. Funny thing is that he skunked Calgary and Anaheim when trading with them.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I say in general there is fan pressure in Toronto and Montreal. Having said that, there are times when the fans do realize things are broken and a patient rebuild is required. Burke had that situation, he rushed it.

            Yes his Calgary and Anaheim trades were winners, but still pale in my opinion with the loss he suffered in the Boston trade.

          • JF says:

            I think Burke over-estimated the Leafs and believed Kessel could be the game-breaker who could lift them into the playoffs. Unfortunately for him, that deal defines his tenure. The contract to Komisarek was also a blunder, but less costly; and his other free-agent signings were not a lot more successful. Then there is his failure to do anything serious about goaltending.

            But he did make some good trades. He robbed Anaheim in the Beauchemin deal, and he got Phaneuf from Calgary for what amounted to a bunch of scraps. But it was a mistake to make Phaneuf captain when he did.

            In the end, Burke showed the same fault that has bedevilled Leafs management for decades (and that we hope has been banished from our own management with this summer’s house-cleaning) – impatience and an unwillingness to rebuild properly and to think long-term. But he did not deserve to have the rug pulled from under his feet in this unceremonious way and without even a chance to see what his team could do this season. They should either have fired him at the end of last season – there was certainly a strong case for it – or let him start this season.

      • Morenz7 says:

        Short of a Gauthier-calibre sh*t show, I think Bergevin gets the benefit of patience. You have to give the man three or four drafts, trade deadlines and UFA markets to have any sense of his acumen.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You pose a fair question 24. As habitual points out, if the fans see a trend in a positive direction, I believe he gets the 5 or 6 year term to see this through.

      Also, while there are numerous partners in ownership of the Habs (Yes even some evil Toronto businessmen) it seems to me that Molson is steering the ship. As a lifelong fan of the team, he has seen the good and bad times, he also has watched his entire life how quality teams operate. I believe we have an advantage as Habs fans, in that a single person is truly making the ownership decisions.

      I have empathy for my leaf friends who have had to watch as their team shuffles from bizarro world ownership of Ballard all the way through the corporate suits who have represented pension funds and now opposing networks.

      It is always in the best interest of a teams success to have an individual at the top who can make decisions, be it right or wrong decisions. At least I believe this.

    • krob1000 says:

      “Anything” almost happened for the Flames, Oilers, Habs with Halak….and all of those teams had great runs..there can only be one winner but those seasons and playoff runs were incredible and while falling slightly short they were all great and can only be deemed as successful… those underdog teams are more exciting.
      Both the Devils and Kings were surprise finalists last year…and were definietly both expamples of the anything can happen adage…not sure why you don’t think the Kings were. The year the Sens made the final was actually a far worse team than their other better higher finishing teams that were knocked out earlier. The OIlers, the Flames, The Canucks (vs Rangers), the Panthers, the Flyers after beating the Habs,the Hurricanes who missed the playoffs the next year, Lightning of 04 were not that great either,95 Devils were a middle of the pack team,86 Habs, 90 Oilers, etc….these are plenty of examples of teams that happened because “anything can happen”….that is quite a few when you consider only 2 teams make the final….that’s a quarter of finalists in the last 20 or so years that were “not supposed” to be playing the finals.

      On Galchenyuk…I know our opinions differ there…I would play him now…I don’t care about the year….if he is as good as we expect he will be the year doesn’t matter and he’ll get his big money a year or 2 early anyways. As far as him only being a high end prospect…he is more than a high end prospect…now that the injury questions have been answered…he is a minimum second line guy and potential franchise player…..that is more than a typical high end prospect….we are talking about a kid who may have supplanted Yakupov had he been healthy.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Rob – My point about the Kings was that they really had great building blocks in place (Kopitar/Quick/Doughty/maybe Brown) who all seemed to come together. Montreal isn’t in that position yet.

        I want to win the Cup, getting to the final isn’t good enough. Having said that, your examples of Carolina and Tampa ring true.

        I think any reference to “anything can happen” might apply to the Habs once they have more pieces in place. Nothing extraordinary is going to happen as long as the team has Kaberle/Weber/Diaz/Bouillon on the D.

  37. Ian Cobb says:

    Damm! We have suffered our first very painful injury of the year!

    Ultrasound shows torn rotator cup, left shoulder! Extensive rehab might work, if not, under the knife we go.
    I blew a tire going around the net and wiped out on the boards. Very difficult to even work my mouse!! So line changes will be sloppy for a while.!
    But I’ll fight through it, the team needs me!

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    Thanks again to Dave Stubbs for the excellent article regarding Cole. I read it carefully and am happy to read his explanation of how the whole exercise shook down, including the Hats and the Hamrlik comments. The fact that Hammer and Cole were on practise ice together this week and nothing happened speaks alot to the professionalism of Cole.

    Glad I am back to cheering for him as a passionate player who plays for the Habs.

    Kudos Dave.

  39. Kooch7800 says:

    Nice Article by Hickey on Bourque. Glad to hear he isn’t using his injury last season as an excuse and he is ready to go and says he is ready to prove his critics wrong and he knows he sucked in Montreal last year

    I know a lot of people on here don’t like Bourque but I think he will show everyone this year that he can still put 25 goals up (48 games I would say 15) and is awesome on the shootout.

    Time will tell but I have a feeling

    If Bourque puts up more than

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  40. habsfan0 says:

    Interesting that Burke’s firing was the lead item on “CTV National News”
    last night. Which begs the question, when The Goat was terminated,why didn’t he get the same treatment?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The apparant complete Toronto ownership of the Habs must not have felt it to be such a story of significance. Now perhaps if there were a Vegan Veggie Shop at the Bell Center equivalent to Burkie’s Hot Dog Shop at the ACC it may have been different.

    • coutNY says:

      The Goat had a total loss of confidence throughout the org and fan base, not firing him would have been bigger news. While no one in the Laffs organization expected this ousting of Burke, especially the timing of it IMO. He was hanging out with the brass in Hamilton the night before… gone the next day.

  41. derfab says:

    Guys, please, please, please don’t shell out any of your very hard earned dough to go to any of these games. Cable fees are already outrageous enough and these corporate dudes, players, Habs and McGill included, need to be cut down several notches. I will watch but I will not go—Idle No More–Go Eli Freedman, etc. It’s all dead on…who would have thought that politics has found its way into the realm of those who would deny it… maybe there is hope for us?

    • Luke says:

      Watching is just as bad as going. You provide the ratings which fuels the demand… possibly worse. There will only be 40,000 fans at each Leaf & Habs. There will be millions watching them on TV.

      Please don’t tell me where & how I should find my entertainment.

  42. Mattyleg says:

    Anybody notice that Nonis doesn’t do up his tie either?
    Perhaps we were all wrong; perhaps it wasn’t Burke after all. Perhaps it was MLSE policy.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I read the articles that 24 provided below. Thanks 24. I’m wondering if it’s possible the decision was actually made over the summer but somehow because of Burke’s involvement in the CBA talks, the league asked the Leaf’s to wait on the dismissal.

      ———————————–

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Matty! It,s only Toronto, HOG town, no class there my friend.!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What will be interesting to watch Steve, is the way Leafs news is reported. Damien Cox writes for the Star, but is also a regular employee/contract employee for Rogers Sportsnet radio. As such, I have already noticed from him and others at Sportsnet report with slanted comments towards the Bell ownership representation at MLSE.

      Then one switches the dial to TSN and they appear to be taking Tom Anselmi (whom by the way I have watched slither to this position, all the while his first franchise TFC which he oversaw failed miserably) at his word and not poking jabs at the ownership as critically.

      I hate the fact Media Giants and especially consortiums are now owning major league sports franchises. Now when we watch our sports highlights or papers, we have to first remember who signs this journalists/talking heads paycheques, in order to understand which slant they are taking.

      Edit: Seems the sports media will now be more concerned with making their station/owner look better rather than report the facts as they find out.

      • krob1000 says:

        Sounds like the makings of a New Sports Channel…ISN ..the Impartial Sports Network. All sotries are reprted and then a devils advocate comes in and reports the same story from another angle. THis would be done with all sports stories and even highlights…”what a beautiful goal” would be followed by..”.the goaltender was in horrible position and the shooter was lucky again in this instance…that was his 5th fortunate goal this season”!

      • frontenac1 says:

        “Objective journalism,with the possible exception of Box Scores and Stock Quotes is a Pompous Contradiction of terms”. …Hunter S. Thompson. Saludos Amigo!

  43. CCL says:

    This team won’t be passing the torch anytime soon. don’t have the horses. a few years down the road maybe. there’s 30 teams out there doing the same as the Habs. best management wins.

    • Phil C says:

      If the Burke firing brings in a new era of owner interference with hockey operations in Toronto, I don’t think we will have to worry about the Leafs competing anytime soon. As a Habs fan, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

  44. Marc10 says:

    Hmm… Redden, eh? We already have plenty of marginal Ds. I can’t stand Gomer, but that trade doesn’t change anything.

    NYR don’t need Scottie and in any event, they’re both heading for a buyout.

    If we need to play Gomez, I’d give him PK time and let him use his speed. It might be the only way to keep him from being cannon fodder for the fans.

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    So Sportsnet is reporting that Burke refused to pull trigger on Luongo trade with the asking price what it was, while Burke’s advisor were pushing hard to make the deal.

    So the question is, how does the Board of MLSE find out this scenario? Does an Asst. GM run to a member and tell him, if so doesn’t this seem quite dirty. Of course given Burke’s personality, he may have bragged to the Board what the trade offer was, and that he refused to make it.

    I hope the new regime in Montreal doesn’t have a scenario where the leader wants one thing, the assistants want another and that the Board then makes firing decisions because of such.

    • ed lopaz says:

      I think it would be quite common for Burke himself to discuss the details of a trade for such a long term commitment to the team’s cap.

      I would suspect that the Luongo trade was part of a management – Board of Directors meeting that would have included Burke.

      If millions are being committed to a player years and years down the road, that takes ownership approval.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        You are probably right Ed, however, Burke was always adamant about how he had complete autonomy over this club, and given he was not making the trade, in theory the deal would not have been brought forward to the board. I just like my theory of smelling a rat in the room is probably all.

        But your perspective is usually more balanced and correct than mine, I am all about the sensationalisation of things like this. :)

        • ed lopaz says:

          there are usually lower level management personnel looking to score points – so the “rat in the room” theory is often more accurate then people would like to admit.

          • commandant says:

            Remember that the Luongo deal is being speculated in the media too.

            Its not like its something coming out of left field.

            While Burke has the autonomy to make trades. That doesn’t mean he works in a bubble either. A board member might have phoned him up and said. Hey Burke, I heard on TSN that we are in talks for Luongo, what is the status on that? and being his boss Burke would have to answer.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • habstrinifan says:

      I absolutely believe the Luongo trade was the catalyst.

      Burke historically has never cottoned to paying top assets for his goaltender. He lucked intto Guigere in his stint at Anaheim.

      I think he resisted making the deal.

      It may be viewed as proof if we see Luongo in Toronto under the ‘new regime’.

  46. Marc10 says:

    Shame about Burkie. Pronger’s wife couldn’t save him this time…

    I’m very curious to see how MT deals with our resident floaters, Monsieurs Gomez, Bourque and Kaberle.

    That’s a lot of baggage for a team that cannot afford passengers. Tall order. It’s going to be interesting.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I expect a decent season from Bork Bjork. Not a popular opinion, I know. However, if you consider the #’s he put up in Calgary, it’s not a stretch to think he can score 25 goals (pro-rated) this year.

      I say ‘decent’ because I still expect to see the shortcomings in his game – inconsistent, not always physical, etc… Hey, players who score 27 goals and do every right make 5M ++.

  47. jon514 says:

    I’d like to dangle something out there. Trade Gomez for Redden.

    They both have two years left on their contracts.
    Redden has a slightly higher salary vs a slightly lower cap hit.
    NYR have no plans to play Redden and I believe the habs have little interest in playing Gomez.

    I love Frankie the Bull, but Redden is a definite upgrade on him.
    Thoughts?

    • twilighthours says:

      The problem with all that is Redden is actually not an upgrade on Bouillon.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree with you Twi’, Redden is no upgrade on Boullion, we know what we got, and we should be rid of that issue this upcoming offseason.

        This 48 game season will be a transitional year, no sense trading chopped liver for chicken salad at this point.

      • jon514 says:

        Thanks for the response. I disagree though. Redden is a better all around player than Bouillon. He brings both offense and defense. Redden never knocked Chara on his ass though, while Bouillon did and it was awesome. Gotta love when short guys make center of gravity work for them.

  48. AH says:

    Wow!, the Leafs hired Sam Gamgee as their new GM! I had no idea they played hockey in Middle Earth.

  49. commandant says:

    Bozon with another goal today. He is quickly approaching last year’s totals for points.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  50. ooder says:

    so apparently price for tickets went up… 63$ for molson ex

    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  51. ths says:

    That’s it guys, Keep pimping this NHL Ho…….

    Johnny et la danseuse nue

    Quand j’étais jeune, il y a des siècles de cela, je suis allé dans un bar de danseuses avec des amis.
    Un de nos chums (appelons-le Johnny) est tombé sous le charme d’une danseuse serbo-croate, et s’est mis en tête de la séduire.
    Alors il l’a fait danser à sa table — une fois, deux fois, trois fois…

    UN BON CLIENT

    À un moment donné, la fille a arrêté de danser, s’est accroupie devant mon chum et a commencé à lui parler.
    « C’est quoi ton nom ? Qu’est-ce que tu fais dans la vie ? Viens-tu souvent ici ? », les questions habituelles des gens qui n’ont pas de conversation.
    Notre Johnny, tout fier de son coup, était sûr qu’il avait mis la belle danseuse dans sa petite poche d’en arrière et qu’elle finirait par lui donner son numéro de téléphone.
    Il nous lançait des sourires entendus, genre : « Je vous l’avais bien dit, elle n’a pas pu résister à mon charme… »
    Manque de chance : après 45 minutes, la fille s’est levée, a regardé Johnny dans les yeux et lui a dit froidement : « Tu me dois l’équivalent de 15 danses… »
    Johnny pensait qu’elle était intéressée à lui, mais tout le long de la conversation, la danseuse avait gardé son compteur à « On ».
    Il pensait qu’il l’avait harponnée, mais c’est elle qui, finalement, l’a plumé.
    Mon pauvre Johnny est allé chercher de l’argent dans le guichet ATM, il a payé sa belle Serbo-croate puis on a sacré le camp en essayant de ne pas trop rire de lui…

    PAUVRES FANS

    Pourquoi je vous raconte ça ?
    Parce que les fans de hockey me font penser à mon chum Johnny.
    Vous êtes sûrs que les hockeyeurs que vous applaudissez tous les samedis soirs ont de l’estime pour vous. Mais dans le fond, ce n’est pas vrai : tout ce que ces athlètes veulent, c’est votre fric.
    Vous avez beau aller voir votre club préféré une fois par semaine, porter le chandail de votre joueur fétiche à votre travail et tapisser les murs de votre chambre d’affiches géantes aux couleurs de votre équipe, vous n’êtes rien d’autre qu’un pauvre Johnny qui pense que parce qu’une belle danseuse se trémousse les fesses deux heures devant sa face, il va finir par coucher avec elle.
    Pauvre, pauvre fan…

    LE TOUR DU POTEAU

    Le lock-out de la LNH a duré 113 jours.
    Savez-vous combien de fois les joueurs et les propriétaires d’équipes ont pensé à vous, pendant cette longue période ?
    Zéro. Ils n’ont pas pensé à vous deux secondes.
    Vous savez pourquoi ?
    Parce qu’ils savent que dès qu’ils vont monter de nouveau sur la scène pour s’étendre sur leur doudoune et tourner autour du poteau sur une chanson cochonne de Barry White, vous allez mouiller votre pantalon et sortir votre portefeuille.
    Vous êtes tous des Johnny. Et ils le savent.

    LA PASSE

    Les discussions entre les proprios et les joueurs, c’était comme des discussions entre des pimps et des putes.
    Ils ont revu la façon dont ils vont partager le fric entre eux, puis ils vont se tourner vers vous et vont vous demander de payer plus cher pour une passe…

    • HardHabits says:

      That was the best post I’ve read here in ages. Bien dit!!!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      You could say the same thing about any entertainer.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Chris says:

      Sadly, this is all true.

      And like HabFanSince72 points out, it is true of all entertainers. Actors, musicians, athletes, dancers…it is their job. When most people go to their place of work, they don’t spend all that much time thinking about the people they are working for. We sometimes pay lip service to how much we care, waxing eloquently that we do this work because it is our passion or some other nonsense, but at the end of the day, money talks.

      • HardHabits says:

        His point is that the fans are being seduced, suckered, duped and eventually ripped off, yet they keep coming back for more. NHL fans suffer from a most perfect variant of the Stockholm Syndrome.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I read and enjoyed your post for one of three reasons. I am not sure which was que la raison m’a séduit plus.

      A) It was very good ‘story telling’ Nicely done.
      B) I kept saying wow.. I am actually reading this french quite well and so it was a good mental exercise for me.
      C)I, like Johnny have fallen prey to the charms of a gorgeous stripper who I am sure ‘still rememebers me’

      Edit: Isnt it strange that when you ‘fall for stripper’ the very last thing that stays in your mind about her were her boobs or figure etc…which is really what you went there to see. For me it was her lips. They were gorgeous… but I have said too much already.

    • Blondie says:

      Great post. If we weren’t all a little bit like Johnny we wouldn’t be fans.

  52. jols101 says:

    My wish for who scores Montreal’s first goal – Picture this:

    First shift in the NHL, Alex Galchenyuk takes a pass from Pleks in the high slot and unloads his laser beam of a wrist shot. Top Shelve. Knocking Reimer’s water bottle into the air. 21,000 passionate Hab fans rise and welcome the kid to the NHL with a standing ovation. Goose Bumps.

  53. Rightwing says:

    …And, in other fantasy news at HIO, the NHL will, in fact have a fantasy season. We’re ready to pretend that teams are playing in Florida, Arizona and even California too.

    And, if you get too bored here, we’ll even pretend that you are interested for you.

  54. habstrinifan says:

    Hope someone helps me out. I saw on RDS Molson commenting in French re Subban’s contract. Anyone can translate accurately for me if you saw it!

    • Habilis says:

      Molson was asked if he’s confident that we will see PK in the lineup. His response, translated by me:

      “Yes I’m confident. I hope it goes well. Like you said, they will be meeting very soon and we’re crossing our fingers that it will work out before the season starts.”

    • habstrinifan says:

      Thank you sir! He didnt look or sound confident.

  55. habsfan0 says:

    Rogers Internet finally running again in southern Ontario after 4+ hours out. I suspect Brian Burke has exacted his revenge.

  56. habstrinifan says:

    It’s arrant condescension for Gary Bettman to say “sorry” and assume that his apology is seen as noble and exculpatory.

    He just added another blot to his image. His “I’m sorry” line will be used to caricature him in the future. Bet on it.

  57. 24 Cups says:

    Believe it or not but rumour has it that the Flyers might be interested in Luongo.

    If Luongo goes anywhere but TO, does that mean that Burke was fired prematurely?

    • habstrinifan says:

      Some say Burke didnt want to expend the money for Luongo.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I don’t know – 5 years of futility and a team that isn’t looking like a challenger any time soon.

      Sure the same goes for the Habs but we’re on our 3rd GM in that period.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  58. Psycho29 says:

    WOW…Burke firing makes the top story on the CTV “National” News…

    • habsfan0 says:

      If Greece defaulted on their debt today AND war in the Middle East broke out today, Burke firing would STILL be top story on CTV “National” News.

  59. commandant says:

    First goal of the season…. Colby Armstrong.

    Burning the team who bought him out.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  60. Psycho29 says:

    From our friends at NESN, home of the Bruins…..

    Tyler Seguin Tried to Wash Clothes in Dishwasher, Lived Like Slob Reports Swiss Tabloid

    Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/01/tyler-seguin-tried-to-wash-clothes-in-dishwasher-lived-like-slob-reports-swiss-tabloid/

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      That still makes him Mr Class for the Bruins. At least he washed his clothes.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  61. Nina76 says:

    Wear the paper bags over your heads guys at the first game or more the CHL has really hurt the fans, I wish that I had the money they have

  62. Andy and the habs says:

    Who scores first? Desharnais, they never saw it coming!

  63. Chrisadiens says:

    Oh good Dave is here now. So, HH what’s the plan this short season? Are we tanking or playin it by ear? I wouldn’t mimd drafting Drouin ya know…

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • HardHabits says:

      The Habs have to go with what they’ve got and not get ahead of themselves. This isn’t the team that’s been passing the torch of championships from team to team. Instead its been the team content with passing the torch of mediocrity ad nauseum. Hopefully it’s becoming the team that will reignite that winning torch again.

      If a turn around happens, and yes tweaks can be made to instigate it and yes tweaks can be made to make things better if it looks like its actually happening, then so be it. Let it happen of its own accord. As long as there isn’t a selling off of the farm in the hopes of going all in now on another or more over-priced and aging has beens. I don’t see the Habs as being contenders yet and even given this shortened season they will need to start fast with much winning out of the gate, as does most everybody else, if they are to have a realistic hope of making the 2nd season.

      The Habs still have to navigate out of the Gomez contract. There are question marks with Kaberle and Markov… not to mention Weber and Diaz which essentially equates to a poor mans’ Markov and Kaberle light. That leaves Subban and Gorges eating lots of minutes and potentially either coughing up pucks leading to goals against or much falling all over of Price in the crease.

      The days where just pretending that any group of schleps can just don the sweater and it’ll be enough because the crowd will somehow will them to the holy grail are over… thankfully. Oh, they will probably be rumblings about how not going all in now is all sacrilege. Remember when the prophecy was that if the Habs Tanked™ the world would end from the ensuing riot?

      It’s stay the course as I see it. However, a good Tanking™ would not be a disaster and would be less painful than last in this shortened season. Remember. The Tank™ is not a strategy. Teams do not play to lose. However, teams that suck do lose. That Habs…..well, they sucked last season. The Gainey rebuild has been a mitigated disaster with the only slight respite being the Halakian play-off performance of lore and the subsequent surprise that the Habs actually made a pretty decent trade with the other guy, albeit under strenuous and suspect circumstances, a theme we’ve seen too often, only to get more proportionally absurd as the treads fell off the armoured vehicle.

      It’s year one of the new CBA. The Habs have 8 years to make noise.

      However, stay at home grit on the back-end is still area of concern. One area where the Habs have a nice advantage is not having to worry about over-playing Price. He could play 40 games and still be in game shape for the play-offs should the Habs be so tenacious. Then. Anything can happen. :-D

  64. Sportfan says:

    Not going to lie wasn’t expecting Burke to get fired just yet, at least they gave him a chance, is it bad that I laughed when I found out?

    His legacy is giving Seguin to the Bruins, stealing Kadry (who isn’t very good :P) from Ottawa, hiring a hist Coach like Wilson and the firing him at the wrong time ahh thanks for the memories/helping the leafs stay awful and not make the playoffs burke!

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Habilis says:

      Yeah the timing is really odd. If I were a Leaf fan, I would be scared out of my socks after today’s events. They (MLSE) said outright that it took them months to make this decision. Months during which nothing could possibly change. Not to mention the fact that Nonis looked like a zombie at the presser. Just compare that to the look on Bergevin’s face when he was introduced. No contest.

      I laughed too. The Habs had their turn last season with poorly timed management decisions so I doubt anyone here will feel bad for the Leafs.

      • Sportfan says:

        Well if you are a Habs fan you’d probably laugh especially with so much media attention to the Leafs which gets annoying, it’s also funny to hear that Burke was one of the reasons why Luongo hasn’t been shipped to Toronto. You think if he went to the leafs he’d make a difference also is Kadri actually a good player I feel like he’s beyond over hyped and Brian Murray should thank Burke

        http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  65. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …it may be a lot like ‘waiting for Godot’, …but, it would be a very pleasant revelation for the renewal of Habs hockey if Gomez can find His game again

    …One must admit when Gomer has built up speed into the offensive end there is excitement that only a few in the NHL can match …at least until He veers off into the corner, leaving You frustrated and tearing Your hair out

    …until He’s gone, he’s Ours, and all We can be is hopeful

    …Gomer and son oncle Therrien should be a fun story-line for Hick and Stubbs to follow this hectic short season

    • Chrisadiens says:

      It’s so hard to even fathom a successful season from Gomez. So many empty promises and loathsome performances. Fool me once….

      From one Chris to another though, it would be something to behold should he somehow muster up a campaign worthy of praise.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …I don’t know if the timing is right for Galchenyuk being ready for the NHL, but I would like to see what Gomez and Gally can do together …Gally has the skill, speed and range that Gomer has not had in a line-mate on the Canadiens up to now, to compensate for Gomer’s eccentricities in the offensive zone

        …We know that Gomer can get it into the O zone, …a Player like Gally will find the spots and has the wheels and hands to potentially finish what Gomez started

    • Bill J says:

      You know what? Very good point!

      This is Gomez’s contract year sotospeak. If he can’t prove he deserves to play in the NHL, he’ll be hanging out in Alaska a lot more.


      Go Habs Go!

  66. Bill says:

    Wow, as if I could hate Rogers anymore than I already do … Internet down across half the country. 4th time in recent memory. Funny how I always get my bill in time. Good thing I use Bell for my iPhone or I wouldn’t even be able to complain about it.

  67. Chrisadiens says:

    I always get nervous about hockey players becoming first time fathers. It seems to me that their production normally goes down that following season. I’m no Berkshire so I have no stats to back that up.

    That said I still believe that this is The Year of the Eller. Seriously, I’ve had a hunch all year that he would have a breakout year this season. No shoulder rehab this offseason and no more JM to stiffle him. I really hope he stays at centre all year long, that is where he is most effective.

    Let’s just hope the baby sleeps through the night, every night
    :)

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  68. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …nice to see Stubbs and Hickey busy again :) …nice to be reading Their stories on Our Habs

    …still wish Hickey was assigned to Hamilton and writing more in-depth on Our prospects during the lock-out …but, that’s water under the bridge for at least the next 10 years, We hope

    and, that leaves Me wondering what ??? in the Hell will I have to complain about for the next 10 years ? :(

    …ah, never mind, I’ll find sumptin’ :)

    …Hamrlik and Cole skating together in Brossard must have been interesting …does Hamrlik live in Montreal in the off-season ?

  69. Habilis says:

    As far as I know, Nathan MacKinnon is not a Habs prospect. Yet.

    Edit: Nice editing ;)

  70. Mustang says:

    Why not the 7 million dollar man?

  71. Chrisadiens says:

    Eller. ;)

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  72. Andy and the habs says:

    Desharnais, the other team never saw it coming!

  73. Marc10 says:

    MaxPac on the PP. Rebound from a Markov howitzer.

  74. HardHabits says:

    Here are a few:
    4.2.2.1
    4.2.2.2
    4.2.2.3
    4.2.2.4
    4.2.2.5
    4.2.2.6

    http://theos.in/windows-xp/free-fast-public-dns-server-list/

  75. Habitant in Surrey says:

    :)

    …yeah, hear You Brad, …but We’re still paying Him this season …and, like it not, We can only hope We can get some kind of a return

  76. kempie says:

    Or the Kessel trade, or the Komisarek contract or the goaltending probs or the void at centre, yeah, it was definitely a style & image problem.

  77. HabinBurlington says:

    Kempie your points are valid, but given they have left everything else the same, I actually believe this did have everything to do with Brian Burke the personality.

    No one ever said the Leafs have to do things the right way. ;-)

  78. 24 Cups says:

    I read that somewhere, too but wouldn’t LTIR kick in at that point just like it does with players such as Savard and Pronger? And even if a player such as Gomez returned part way through the year, I wonder if he can still be bought out (during on ongoing season) in order for the team to meet the cap?

  79. commandant says:

    I don’t buy that McKenzie piece today.

    You can still LTIR him if hurt. With 1 year left on the deal anyway… it doesn’t matter.

    This is only a big deal if the contract you want to buy out has multiple years remaining (after this season).

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  80. twilighthours says:

    It’s curious. A player who knows he is going to be bought out at 2/3 salary could just fake an injury to guarantee full salary instead. Doesn’t make sense to me.

  81. 24 Cups says:

    That could be a sweet deal for Redden and sure beats playing in Albany.

    His cap hit is 5.6M which the Rangers will need off the books next year. They haven’t signed Del Zotto but can still come in at 70M this year.

    Redden’s salary is 5M a season for the next two years. So with a 2/3 buyout for 2014 he would collect 8.4M for not playing this year. He would then have the option of signing on somewhere in 2013-14 for Armstrong like coin. Or just say screw it and take his 26M from the Rangers and ride into the sunset.

  82. commandant says:

    Player has to prove injury and be unable to pass medicals if trying to avoid buyout.

    since insurance companies are gonna pay salary if on LTIR… they will be strict on this.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/


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