Three down, five to go for Habs

The Canadiens finish the first half of their preseason schedule Saturday night against Ottawa at the Bell Centre.
The teams will be hard-pressed to match the drama and excitement of Friday’s game at Scotiabank Place, where the Canadiens came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in a shootout.

Pat Hickey’s take on the game and quotes from the room

• Game stories by Richard Labbé of La Presse and Jonathan Bernier of the Journal

Red Fisher asks where the magic has gone as he launches his Top 10 Canadiens Teams with the 1955-’56 Cup champs

Hickey on fan racism

• Mike Boone on the lonesome death of an all-sports station

• Stu Cowan on depression among athletes

• James Mirtle on advanced hockey stats

P.J. Stock backtracks


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  2. --Habs-- says:

    The NHL and the Leafs are in bed together! Just like Collin Campbell and the Boston Bruins were before he was fired! If not true why are the Leafs and NHL working so hard not to have a team in Hamilton. Fans around the world snub the Habs for so many Cup wins because of the draft option they had for some years. Well here’s the truth! Mr Clarence Campbell and his predecessor and the Maple Leafs wanted it this way! Their thought was if the Habs are selecting lowly french players in Quebec during the first 2 picks, they wouldn’t be busy pillaging Ontario and western Canada leaving more for them! Question? Did it backfire! Result! Well when you try to control a capitalistic economy it usually does backfire ending up with a socialistic economy, somewhere between capitalistic and communistic! Converted to sport isn’t that the NHL and its always been that way. Ask the Habs and Maurice Richard?

  3. Big Ted says:

    So the league is suspending Wisniewski for a head shot and they got a Minny player for a shot from behind. But are they letting Phaneuf get off scott-free? Seems like there might still be a two-tier system in place. The NHL is willing to suspend players, but only if it’s convenient for them. They wouldn’t want the Leafs captain to miss the home opener.

  4. cuzzie says:

    I’m enjoying watching Gallagher and Beaulieu but, this is the preseason. They are both not signed yet and it’s unfortunate they could not go to the AHL. Except for the junior tournament what do they have to prove in the juniors. Hypothetical, if Gallagher was to stay who’s place would he take, assuming he has to play top 6 minutes?

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  5. Marc10 says:

    Ah Red! They should make an extra float at the back of the parade for all the naysayers who bagged this team and I nominate you as the Captain of HMS Nego.

    It’s always much easier to call it for one of the other 29 every year. There are so many intangibles… Injuries, Colin Campbell, lucky bounces, bad calls, dumb penalties…

    It s***s me that when we’re finally showing a bit of promise with a couple of budding superstars, good team spirit and decent balance that all we get is crap asking where the magic has gone.

    Standby for your “I told you so” moment. Every dog has its day and ours just worked out all summer and is looking for something to chew on.

  6. NoTinFoilCups says:

    So to read any of Hickey’s or Boone’s articles we need an online subscription to the Gazette? Since when?

  7. Hali_Hab says:

    As per usual red offered up another depressing jem. I understand the importance of the past but why not move in to the now and write something current, for example the great pre season patches is having, or on some of the promising young talent at camp! Nope let’s write again about the “glory days” and ” where has all the magic gone.” ugh it’s old and played out.

    • Nina76 says:

      Hali Hab…..I agree with you I posted earlier about the same thing. I am older than Red & have seen every game .they were wonder games but even I from the old times get sick to death about the “Glory days”.let’s get on to the future with our young players

  8. New says:

    I am so impressed with how PK and his dad speak on issues. Guys like him and Crosby are a cut apart. The more players with character that the team can acquire the better.

    I think Weber looks lost as if he believes there is a lot on the line or that he will become a forward. I like it when the kids get plenty of minutes. They can relax a bit and focus on the game. Engqvist is a funny player. One minute you think he is doing well, the next he is struggling. Masse doesn’t appear to have it. Too bad. The team needs a center big time.

  9. Marc10 says:

    I love this Gallagher kid. Talk about making the most of his opportunity! Keep playing him JM.

    When he goes back to BC, i hope he picks up right where he left off and puts up record numbers. Go kid!

  10. slychard says:

    Dear crosseyed when I saw the fisher headline I rolled my eyes, then I saw your post and laughed my self silly. You crystallized my thoughts exactly, and I haven’t even read the article yet. Thanks for a great kick-off to my day.

  11. sane hockey fan says:

    I don’t really understand how so many people can rag on Red for being so negative about the Habs and hockey in general when thats what we do best here on HIO. We loveeee to complain and we do it all the time!!! Red just gets paid to do it. Seriously though, I agree, Red is old and the game has definitely passed him by. I don’t even read his articles anymore, I just see Boones headline and know I’m not interested in it.

  12. --Habs-- says:

    Red Fisher – Times have changed and all for the best for the league! The current Habs remind me very much of the 70-71 Habs. Mix of veteran players who have won and young kids. Remember that team? Dryden, Savard, Lapointe, Tardif, Roberto, Houle, Mahovlich, Lemaire, Myre, Vachon, Lefley, Murdock, Bouchard, Sheehan, Pleau, Redmond. The kicker! They were all under 24 years old!!
    Habs currently have some very good young players and I hope they are used! The upcoming D are looking very good! I could imagine a young PK & Nathan & Tinordi (the new Savard/Lapointe/Robinson) in the lineup & Price the young Dryden! Maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit but I’m not talking of those players in the 76-79 role but the 1971 role they played excluding Robinson! I hope current management gives these kids a chance to grow “on” the team as the Habs did back in 71. Give the young kids a chance. I would rather see a kid playing his heart out 82 games making mistakes than AK playing a lazy 40. Watching Max, he looks ready to explode. I watched him in his first game and he looked above and beyond anyone on the ice for both teams. I heard it was the same last night! Desharnais the young Cournoyer! Gallagher the young Tardif! Cole the stabilizing older Frank Mahovlich. Hal Gil the aging Harper & Spacek the JC Tremplay :). Gomez the aging Richard. You know its looking a lot better than I thought! There will be bumps like there were in the early 70’s. It wasn’t all smooth back then either but it does look bright and I do see light at the end of the tunnel!

    • Chris says:

      There is still a giant gulf between the quality of those teams, though. That’s a tough team to compare ANY of today’s NHL teams to, to be honest.

      The 70-71 Habs had two players in the top 15 in goals (Cournoyer and Mahovolich) and two in the top 15 in points (Beliveau and Cournoyer). They boasted one of the top defencemen in the NHL (J.C. Tremblay), a first-team All-Star that season who was named to the Summit Series roster before being cut for jumping to the WHA.

      The team featured two NHL legends at the end of their careers (Beliveau and Henri Richard), another NHL legend at the tail-end of his prime (Frank Mahovlich) three future Hall-of-Famers in their prime (Laperrierre, Lemaire and Cournoyer) and three more future Hall-of-Famers just starting their career (Lapointe, Dryden and Savard). Add in another guy who should be in the Hall of Fame (Vachon) and a couple more guys who were extremely good role players for a number of Stanley Cup winners (Houle, Pete Mahovlich).

      I see your point about being optimistic for the future. The Habs are blessed with some great young players right now. But other than Subban (who I can see being a top-10 defenceman) and Price (who is already a top-10 goalie), the other guys are all dreams at this point. Pacioretty still has to show that he can put it together for a season, that his run of last season wasn’t a fluke.

      Weber, Eller, Desharnais, White…all are good role players, but none of those guys is likely to become an NHL star. So the Habs Stanley Cup aspirations are firmly in the hands of 6 guys:

      Gomez, Plekanec, Markov and Cammalleri have to have good (and healthy!) seasons and lead the team offensively in the playoffs. Subban and Price have to continue to develop.

      • cuzzie says:

        If the prospects pan out Weber and Desharnais will not be with this team 2 yrs from now. White will have to accept that he’s a 4th liner. Eller has too show a lot more grit and toughness. Price,Subban, and patches look like studs. Build from there.

        Stay Thirsty My Friends!

        • frozengolf says:

          I agree about Weber, but not abour Desharnais. I think he will bloom into a very good offensive threat for us. If he plays the wing on the 3rd line with Eller and AK46, I could see him getting 50-60 points this year. He might be real mini- Martain St. Louis for us.

          The three important elements of hockey are: forecheck, backcheck and paycheck.

      • --Habs-- says:

        Chirs – ! I agree but you must look at it by putting yourself back in time when we didn’t know back then like today. The list of under 24 I mentioned, we had no idea what these players would be in that era! They were supposed to go down 4 – 0 against the Bruins that year and went 7 and won like the Habs this year going into round 1 against the Bruins going 7 and nearly pulling it off in OT in a series everyone predicted going 4 in favor of the Bruins. All i’m saying is I see similarities in today’s Habs and I’m not saying today’s Hab veterans compare to yesteryear and that we had no idea back then as we do now.

  13. Sal says:

    I must have missed it. Just wonder what’s the status of Ryan White?

    Sal from the Hammer

  14. TINMAN17 says:

    So anxious for the first habs vs. b’s regular season tilt. The Sox look like you know what, the pats are on fire, celtics are on strike, summers over and now all I hear about every goddamn day is the bruins. Vomit. I have 2 wishes for this season, an excellent Habs team and a less than mediocre one for the B’s. And maybe a non life threatening but career ending injury to Chara, preferably during a Habs game in Montreal. Oh, yes, I forgot, some kind of season long laryngitis for Jack Edwards.

    Born and Bred in Enemy Territory (Boston).

    • --Habs-- says:

      I live in Boston (Many years now) but Born and raised in Montreal and I agree. Jack Edwards must be the dumbest, ignorant, chauvinist commentator on TV, not to mention a HOMER beyond anyone’s imagination! Its sicken you unless your a HOMER just like him and believe me there are plenty in Boston! So much so I can’t even listen to NESN! When I do watch Bruins games I watch the screen and tune into 98.5 Goucher and Beers who are actually very good and not bias at all! Man I miss the days of Dick Irvin and Danny Gallivan who told it like it was. A good/bad play, penalty, goal for either team was just that!

      • TINMAN17 says:

        I’m still hoping NESN dumps him in favor of Gary Thorne. He used to do hockey games on ESPN2 with Kenny Mayne I think when ESPN2 first started now he does Orioles games. Brickley is ok, but Edwards is the worst I’ve ever heard. Thank God for the internet.

        Born and Bred in Enemy Territory (Boston).

  15. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Will another good night from Beaulieu earn him a 9 game taste of the NHL?

    Especially if Markov isn’t ready to go?

    • --Habs-- says:

      I hope so! Not for Markov’s sake but for our sake. I guess I’m a fan of young players who play with heart and haven’t been bloated with millions!

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Yeah, I’d be totally on board with it too. Provided that he absolutely goes back after the 9 games and doesn’t stay with the big squad all season long.

        Give the kid a taste, but don’t rush him.

        • --Habs-- says:

          I agree, kinda! Subban was 19 wasn’t he in the playoffs 2 years ago? He’s never looked back. I don’t think Beaulieu is far behind. Actually I think Bealieu is much “Smoother” than PK was 2 years ago. I love PK and his character but he is still a bit of a loose cannon (hot dog) when he starts carrying the puck up ice. I mean he gets the job done very very well but it ain’t always pretty!

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            True – but Subban had a year in the AHL if I recall correctly.

            Not that there hasn’t been many players to make the leap from Junior to the NHL…many of whom were defencemen too. I guess I’m worried about reading some article 3 years down the road about how Montreal rushed and ruined a blue-chip prospect.


  16. Sharks9 says:

    Did JM say when he’s going to make more cuts? Will it be after the Monday game with Boston?

    25 before 14

  17. Mark C says:

    In some prospect news. Darren Dietz had assists on three of his team’s four goals last night. Magnus Nygren, the overage draft choice this past June, had a goal and assist in his last action. Nygren has two goals and three points in his first three games.

    In other news, P.J. Stock should not be allowed to speak in public.

  18. Ton says:

    Ok Red your the man of the hour……….you what your doing………start writing some positive articles and bring up the past as you but praise the hockey world we live in today. I have seen many cup winners also………..I am not so sure Wayne, Guy, Rocket would do so well in today’s hockey. Today’s players are bigger, stronger, faster, and in much better shape. Building a winner today is much more difficult, you got 30 teams on a level playing field trying to accomplish the same. The formula is the same for all> build through the draft. In the old days habs had rights to french canadian hockey players and they also did a good job of ripping other teams off…….it all stopped with Bill Torey. We certainly have challenges today but look at the upsides to the game>better ice>better players>better equipment>better TV> its a totaly different game hence my reason for changing how you write> praise the past, make fair comparisons>but connect with your reading audience in a different way>or simply put and being nice of course> retire.

  19. PrimeTime says:

    LAST NIGHT WAS AN EMBARRASSMENT!!!…….not the hockey but the HIO commentariat. Too bad a few over overzealous fans on ego-pumping rush need to prove their superiority to one another on a blog no less. Trolling and antagonizing fellow Hab fans???….How bloody stupid is that!?!

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    Your Canadiens for tonight’s tilt from RDS’s Renaud Lavoie

    Forwards: Cammalleri, Plekanec, Gionta, Moen, Dumont, Schultz, DeSimone, Trotter, Palushaj, Archambeault, Masse, Lefebvre

    Defence: Spacek, Woywitka, Gorges, Mitera, Beaulieu, St Denis

    Price and Mayer split the duties in net.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  21. The Cat says:

    Ah Red Fisher, the only man I know who looks twice his age…

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  22. The Cat says:

    I’ll miss CKAC, used to listen to it while delivering trees, have to admit though if it was a long time driving(like over 2 hours) it got repetitive, like a one hour program looping which usually focused entirely on the ‘scandal of the day’. Ultimately their low creativity is what cost them I think. More of a habs station than a sports station.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  23. Johab says:

    Was at the game last night. Tinordi was invisible in my mind aside from his fight… which was actually a pretty good tilt. Gallagher really is quite the little spark plug. The kid will play in the NHL one day. Pacioretty is an absolute machine out there. I dont know if its simply the level of opposition his is playing right now, or if hes improved even more from last season… the guy is going to pot 30… no problem. Price is fine, dont worry. Hes been a victim of poor defense, not to much being out of positon.

    Again… this is all preseason… once we get OUR team together, things will be much different for the good.

    Call Detroit tell them bullsh!t!

  24. cuzzie says:

    Red’s first Cup while covering the Habs. You never forget your First!

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  25. Habs24 says:

    I love to talk about the Cups in the 70’s too, but come on Red, get over yourself…….bringing up the 50’s??? There was 6 teams….now therw is 30 teams…How old is Red? 85?

    Drive for 25!

  26. --Habs-- says:

    the lonesome death of an all-sports station – Good article! Living in Boston when the Habs came to town, I’d turn the TV to NESN and watch the game with volume off and with my antenna pointed north pick up the Habs French radio broadcast. Wasn’t always clear but worked most of the time. With the maturity of the internet and options we never had its all changed. We have NHL center ice now and thats also garbage and shuts down right after the last horn so now I tune into RDS who streams in almost every Habs games. Not only great broadcasting but very non biased and it keeps my french up to snuff.

  27. awesomerino says:

    Why does Zadie still get a column? I get it, the Habs of today aren’t as dominant as the the Habs of yore. But living in the past only prevents you from enjoying the present. Enough, Red.

  28. JohnBellyful says:

    It turns out it was pneumonia. What it is now I have no idea although the green tendrils growing out of my knees has me concerned (perhaps I shouldn’t be watering them), as does the energy level that begins to flag by late afternoon and has me in bed by early evening. This morning I only got half-way through last night’s HIO comments before succumbing to exhaustion. So what exactly triggered the Habsolutely-Bill J spat?
    Anyway, I’ve written out this Heuters news report I recorded off the radio you might find of interest …

    MONTREAL – With hospitals across the city and province reporting spikes in ER visits following two pre-season losses by the Montreal Canadiens, the team has set up a hotline for panicky fans.
    “We know our fans are among the most ardent in the league and take it hard when the team loses,” Canadiens president Geoff Molson said. “For that reason we’ve set up a hotline to help them cope with the agony of defeat. When they call 1-888-SOO-WHAT, they’ll have a choice of recorded messages from our players telling them to stay calm, the team will do just fine. Number one on the list is Carey Price’s ‘Relax, chill out.’ It seemed to do the trick last season.”
    The messages include a five-minute pep talk from coach Jacques Martin which team research has shown has a soporific effect that suppresses excited emotions.
    Molson said that in extreme cases the team will foot the bill for hysteriactomies.
    The Canadiens managed to record their first win in the preseason last night but it took a flukey goal by Scott Gomez with 36 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Long before then, however, alarmed fans overcome by panic attacks began showing up at emergency rooms after the Ottawa Senators took a 1-0 lead and the parade reached a peak when Montreal fell behind 3-0.

  29. ganized says:

    I miss the longer postgame interviews that used to be posted on HIO. 50 second video clips are not a fair trade-off! Does anyone know another site that posts interviews of the players?

  30. xchicksxwithxsticksx says:

    Considering the habs have been icing mostly rookie studded line ups, I think that they are showing a lot of potential. Most of the teams the habs have faced are looking much more like their opening game rosters. there is no point in getting all nervous that “we can’t score 5 on 5” or “our faceoffs are o for…”. we will only be able to judge the strengths and weaknesses of this team once the final cuts have been made, and we are 10-20 games into the season. At this point, im very happy with how erik cole has been clutch in important situations, gomez is showing some jump, and pacioretty ( i have to admit, i was at brossard watching the intra- squad games, and he looked out of place and position in the first scrimmage) is looking like he’s picking up where he left off last year. i feel that JM is really taking advantage of the pre- season games to really get a good look at the rookies in their organization. while some haven’t really stood out, it is easy to see that we have some really impressive rookies inching closer and closer to cracking the habs lineup in the next few years.

    Optimistic for the 2011-2012 season!

    Go Habs Go!

  31. dear red fisher.; you are old

    we get it

    • Lafrich says:

      Bravo. I literally laughed out loud.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      He really is. Injuries, lucky bounces and stuff like that play an important role in hockey. He should know that after what, 60 years?

      There´s also a lot to be positive about the current Habs. A decent team, two potential super stars and a lot of promising prospects for the next 2-4 years.

    • Habziefan09 says:

      I have always loved Red’s column ever since I can remember. With that said however, there have been times when I have read what Mr Fisher has written and all I can ask myself is “are you getting into Boone’s stash? While I will always regard him as a well respected and educated Montreal Sports Journalist, he does have me shaking my head at times wondering “what are you on, Red?”

      Twitter: Habziefan09

      Confucius says: “Baseball has it all wrong, Man with 4 balls cannot walk!”

    • Ton says:

      But Red has you reading his articles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Red has you commented on his articles!!!!!!!!!! He’s been around for a long time, maybe too long but how can you know the future if you don’t know the past………respect your elders that is what is missing in today’s society!

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