Tired Habs take a break to visit sick kids in hospitals

After playing three games in four nights – and eight games in 14 nights – Canadiens coach Michel Therrien gave his tired players a day away from the rink on Monday.

Instead the players headed to the Montreal Children’s and Sainte-Justine hospitals on Monday afternoon for their annual Christmas visits to bring some holiday cheer to sick kids and their families.  

 “To me it’s special,” Canadiens captain Brian Gionta told reporters at Sainte-Justine on Monday about the team’s annual hospital visits.

“Obviously with three young kids (at home) and we’ve spent some time … at the Children’s Hospital before. The work that they do and everything that they are. … It’s tough days when you’re there. Hopefully you can bring a smile to some of the kids faces. You range from people that are here long-term or short term. But if you can make them forget about things for a little bit, it’s special.”

The Canadiens will play their final home game before Christmas on Tuesday night when the Phoenix Coyotes visit the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

“We played 11 games in less than three weeks,” Therrien told reporters after Sunday night’s 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre. “Energy-wise, I could tell they were drained. And when you’re drained, there’s no more juice, physically, you’re tired. When you’re physically tired, your execution is not quite there. You make bad decisions mentally. It goes hand in hand. What we’ve been asking of that group in the last three weeks, it’s really demanding.

“They’re human beings. They’re good athletes, but they give what they’ve got. So tomorrow they’re going to have a day off at the rink. They’re going to go visit the young kids in the hospital and we’re going to regroup for our next game (against Phoenix) Tuesday.”

After Tuesday’s game, the Canadiens visit the St. Louis Blues on Thursday and the Nashville Predators on Saturday before enjoying a one-week break in the schedule. Their first post-Christmas game will be on Saturday, Dec. 28 in Tampa.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

Habs brighten day of sick children, by Brenda Branswell

Canadiens’ offence struggles again in loss to Panthers, by Pat Hickey

Canadiens get day off to regroup, by Pat Hickey

Habs bogged down, but not by snow, by Dave Stubbs

Winter of discontent, Canadiens.com

Parros sustains concussion, NHL.com

Hockey Night in Florida a real bargain, Stu on Sports blog

Coyotes’ road trip features must-win games, phoenixcoyotes.com

Q&A with Coyotes coach Tippett (video), phoenixcoyotes.com

Bruins’ Lucic involved in bar altercation, montrealgazette.com

Bruins’ Thornton appeals 15-game suspension, TSN.ca

637 Comments

  1. Propwash says:

    So now the players are disingenuous when they meet up with the children’s hospital?

    Wow.. just wow…

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  2. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    A poll:

    Pretend you’re a superstar free agent or draft eligible player. List the top three teams you’d want to play for? If it’s the Habs, great but don’t just say that because you’re a hardcore fan. Cheering for a team is one thing, playing for them and living in their city is another.

    Curious to see the responses.

  3. SmartDog says:

    Its bloody cold here and I have to go out to go to a horrible Christmas concert. Drat.

    On top of that Briere sucks even more than most of us thought he would, the coach is now pushing for more “chip and chase” (a bad idea unless this involves French fries), and the Boston Bruins are still making news as a-holes. Well, some things are kind of okay.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    It appears Detroit has 10 contracts with variations of NTC, Pittsburgh has 10, Boston has 11, San Jose 8, St. Louis 6, are all these GM’s complete idiots? How foolish can they be?

    I will say this, it appears the L.A. Kings have zero. This is very impressive, does this mean Lombardi removed the NTC/NMC from Richards and Carters deals? Because when they signed those long term deals in included NTC/NMC in both cases, but Holmgren traded them before the new contracts kicked in.

    I will give a ton of credit to Lombardi for operating without giving out the NTC’s that virtually every other GM in the league is indeed handing out.

  5. Grabbed The Cup says:

    Subbans top ten hits, I never tire of this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBU7R8Cj6PI

    You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Unger!

  6. Timo says:

    Man, I feel so fatigued today. I am practically drained. I will give all I have tonight, but I am running on empty. My boss should not expect whole lot today.

  7. scotland says:

    DD has a tough time playing at this level. plain and simple. when he does manage to he and the entire team are building are happy (and surprised as hell) not drafted, undersized, french kid makes it all the way to the canadiens. its a nice story……..but the first line center!!?? you gotta be kidding? gionta is already a pint size forward filling in for scott gomez.
    pleks at no 1 spot. elar at number two. and leave them there. therrien should stop pretending he has a choice when it come the the centerman on the top two lines.

    this team is no different than the team that got clobbered in the dirst round by the sens last april.

  8. Steeltown Hab says:

    Here’s the issue with “showcasing” Desharnais on a top line.

    The more ice, the more PP time, the linemates etc. Other pro-scouts around the league can easily see that too, and all we’re doing is giving them a clear picture of who DD is with all this focus on him.

    You think pro scouts can’t see what his is? A fringe NHL player, add in size, lack of production. No chance he can be moved, just like Gomez, need to end the experiment before it’s a massive distraction in the room.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

    • Timo says:

      Do you think anyone in the league is actually interested in DD? I seriously doubt there is another GM THAT stupid.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      100% agree
      my answer to Krob

      do you believe there is an NHL team in this day and age that doesn’t know ALL the players on all the other teams?
      That doesn’t know about size/strength and how many tools are in each player’s box?

      Do you believe someone can pull a ‘fast one’ such as was done in the past where many teams had few scouts and the ones they did were poor? ( Not too many Mike Milburys left…)

      As for looking at a larger sample of stats, well…Ryan White had 34 goals and 89 points with the Calgary Hitmen back in 2006-07.

      The follow up questions also thinking about Playoff Hockey because that’s what it’s all about:

      What team would have him in their top 6 and Top PP Unit?
      What team would sacrifice its 2 best-biggest or ‘all heart’ guys to play with because that’s the only way he can survive?
      Can/Would a trading partner be able to use him on a 4th line?
      If he goes cold, what other skills does he bring?
      Is 3 more years at $3.5M for a next season 28 year old with no upside worth it, or do teams have better and younger depth options?
      And lastly, does Max have to be part of the deal…?

      • krob1000 says:

        Plenty of teams are not playoff teams, plenty of teaems need some scoring help. Relaity is DD is a center ona very good team…do you not think a lesser team woudl want him?

    • krob1000 says:

      A fringe NHL player? This is the kind of stuff that gets me…he is not a fringe nhl player…he is a guy that was a 50 pty guy two seasons ago…he is the teams leading scorer or thereabouts in the last month or so (yes he’s been cold of late …but the whole team has been).
      Look I am the first to say move him but this nonsense he is a “fringe nhl player” is ridiculous….he is top 9 center on a top 8 NHL team in league

  9. Bill says:

    Sportfan: That Lucik video is great: “Do you know who you’re effing with?? I’ll kill you!”. He’s so pissed. I want to know who is the headcase who decided to punch him?? Can he skate?? Also, no way Thornton wins the appeal. This was not just Shanahan’s call. I’m thinking they were looking at 20 games to send a message, and maybe Bettman and Jacobs negotiated that down to 15. Just enough to look serious. An independent arbitrator would compare this to McSorley and Bertuzzi and say that 15 games seems fine.

  10. Bill says:

    Just a Habs Fan: I cant tell if you are being serious or ironic, but just in case, all I’m saying is that I don’t think the guys on the Montreal Canadiens need to have their arms twisted or be reminded about contractual obligations to go cheer up some sick kids. I just honestly believe they actually do it out of common human decency. I wouldn’t mind. I don’t think you would either. I would go so far as to say that even Brad Marchand, Matt Cooke, and Steve Downie don’t mind doing it. Maybe I’m naive. Anyway, maybe I misunderstood your post, but I’m just clarifying. George Parros seems like an obvious Good Guy.

  11. CF says:

    Not to re-state the obvious but….
    We are seeing the exact same result over the past few years. A team that is way to small is getting beat down and tired against bigger, stronger teams.
    We are seeing teams adjust to our PP by over playing the only two point men on the team that can create offense, and we not longer have a Kovalev down low who can create on his own.
    DD is getting wayyyyy to much PP time. I don’t care if he is playing better. Christ almighty, I would eventually come out of a slump to if I got that much ice time with the best winger on the team.
    How do you think others feel about DD’s TOI, when his numbers just don’t warrant them? It’s a numbers game, but what I fear is that he continually gets preferential treatment based on his heritage. I really don’t care that he’s a nice guy and everyone likes him. He simply doesn’t deserve first line PP time. He can’t win those battles along the boards that are necessary to keep position.
    Now, I’m not saying other players on our team will win “all” those battles, but nobody can convince me that Plekanecs shouldn’t be on the first wave of the PP. Except in those situations where he’s at the end of the shift.
    I don’t agree with MT keeping lines together for the PP either, what’s to say that Pleks wouldn’t have more results given some time with Pacioretty for example?? This method is a little simplistic if you ask me–it’s what atom coaches do simply to give equal playing time to all.
    I don’t see Briere as being as ineffectual as others, I think he’s better with the puck than DD, and he certainly should be given a chance to play PP with the teams best.
    I like a fourth line of White, Moen, and Prust. But…when things are not going, I mean three games should be enough, try something different. Give White a chance with some players. We all know what Moen and Prust have done with better linemates, and to some extent they’ve been effective. White deserves a carrot once in a while, especially when nobody is scoring anyway.
    Budaj has been great, the second goal last game however was not.

    • third generation haber says:

      From what I can tell, u do need to restate the obvious to a lot of us hab fans who are still confused about our 2010 miracle run. Here are my top 6 beefs.

      1) Offensive forwards who make big money and don’t produce much offensively (DD, Briere, Gionta, Bourque)

      2) Soft defenders who can’t clear our goal crease. (Diaz, cube)

      3) Soft forwards that hide on the perimeter (too many to name)

      4) Constantly drafting mid range because we do whatever it takes to make the playoffs and get bounced early (bad trades).

      5) Continuing to draft too many undersized softies.

      6) A lack of Quebecois talent on our team, forcing us to ice DD, Briere, and the cube.

      Thank-u for enduring my latest rant…

      j.p. murray

    • The Dude says:

      Been the same for twenty years ….Every player on the Habs have to have Gallagher mojo or ‘see you ‘ and one tough guy don’t do jack but 6 heavy weights and we be GREAT!

  12. Bill says:

    Dipsy, you can say Therrien and Bergevin are doing well, and I won’t argue. But to your larger point, I don’t see why the Habs can’t be one of the top teams in the league. We shouldn’t compare them to perennial dud teams: that is a low standard. Look instead at perennial contenders, and let’s ask why the Habs can’t be as good as those teams. They have the same money to spend, in fact, they may have more. Teams like Chicago, Boston, Detroit, LA … these and others are contenders every year. It’s all about organizational management. Scout well, draft well, trade well, sign well, coach well. That said, I think the team has turned the corner and is improving it’s organizational efficacy. I’m hoping Bergevin will evaluate the team after this year and make better decisions to improve it.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Detroit yes, but surely you remember when Chicago and LA were perennial doormats. As recently as 2008, LA were consistently in the bottom 5 of the league.

      • Strummer says:

        Coaching changes in Chicago and LA were instrumental in their turnarounds as well.

        In Detroit, Chicago and Boston GM’s have made excellent personnel moves.

        Can the same be said about our squad?
        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

      • Ali says:

        Lombardi took over in April 2006. I think a two season turnaround from drafting second overall (Doughty) to being a cup contender is pretty good management.

    • SPATS says:

      All those contenders you mention have one thing in common. Established head coaches who’ve been around the game a good long while. Coaches who are always in demand. But other than Julien, none would have gotten a call (maybe Babcock cuz he went to McGill and can likely get by en francais) It’s the language factor plain and simple. Scotty Bowman, Toe Blake, Dick Irvin, Al Arbour… none of the greats would have gotten a call from MB. We have to settle for less or roll the dice with newbies. It’s the way it’s gonna be from here to eternity.

      OOH AAH – ULTRAMAN’S ON THE WARPATH
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc_kqPcRVIo!

      • Eddie says:

        We had Julien and we had Vigneault. Both are very good coaches.

        There are some very good coaches who speak French.

        Guy Boucher is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. He as had great success in Hamilton and great success in Tampa.

        If you spent 5 minutes listening to Boucher here we would all want him to coach this team.

        • Cal says:

          Yeah, Boucher’s 1-3-1 was excellent. Sure.

          • Eddie says:

            Cal, you should try and get past that. It was used only in certain situations. Tampa scored consistently under Boucher.

            I have personally had the pleasure of listening to Boucher talk hockey.

            He is unique. He is a players coach. He is really smart and talented.

          • Cal says:

            @Eddie- I am certain he is engaging and intelligent, especially talking hockey.
            As far as I know, he hasn’t been hired elsewhere in the NHL, so that may or may not bode well.

        • Luke says:

          Boucher had Great Success in Tampa? Please define “Great Success”

          Now, that said, I do not think Therrien has been bad. His teams certainly go into big lulls and than pull them selves out of it in spectacular fashion. It’s no 7 wins evenly spread out in 10 games. Its 10 wins in a row. 3 Losses. 5 Wins 2 losses… bizarre.

          I like that Boucher has gone off somewhere, coached at the NHL level, seen what the league actually is like… what does and doesn’t work (0 man forechecks for example) instead of the typical “Rookie Quebecois coach in MOntreal who learns here then gets fired and goes off to success elsewhere”.
          Maybe Boucher is the next guy in Montreal.

    • piper says:

      Bill, I’m hoping Bergevin will evaluate the team before the trade deadline this year and make better decisions to improve it.

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Two things:

      1) Montreal has a lot of trouble attracting marquee free agents. Why is that? How about the eff’d up politics (in particular, the language laws? The higher taxes (which the team compensates for but at the expense of overall payroll, meaning less money for other players). The fishbowl atmosphere where everything and everybody gets scrutinized, publicized, and criticized beyond all reason (ask Carey about that).

      2) Montreal hasn’t been bad long enough to stockpile high draft picks. We need to suck like 5-6 years in a row!

  13. krob1000 says:

    Points to consider…if team is planning to move DD then it makes sense to boost his production and/or adjust things to inflate value
    Other PRos:
    -Dd extra ice at same time keeps Eller’s stats down and may help in negotiation for hsi contract, may mean easier to rid team of contract and move DD for assets ( I think he is a better hockey player than people give him credit for but on a team with size issues and a backlog at center…he is the ideal odd man out).
    -DD has scored or been part of some clutch plays…his 2 big shootout goals show nowhere but they were improtant and team not been doing well in that dept.
    – Re his stats if you remove the first chunk of the season he is outscoring most of the team the last month or so….if you think that is unfair or cherrypicking and don’t like that sample size then make it larger and go back to the beginning of his career in MOntreal…he is doing alright.
    -DD for whatever reason seems to be the guy that the teams best goalscorer plays best with (or so he believes).

    Cons:
    -DD is small on an overly small team and signed too long with Galch in the wings and Eller ready to step up his role.
    -Dd is getting in the way of development (although as mentioned that could positively affect cap space moving forward).
    -DD/Max thing seem to limit options on team (because team lets this g on)
    -DD on the pp is very limiting as he is not a shooting threat (could be but opts not to) and this effectively makes it a 4 on 4 with an inbounder.

    • third generation haber says:

      Planning to move him??? Other teams know him as the overpaid midget in Montreal who gets benched and falls down a lot. There is no market for him outside of Switzerland.

      j.p. murray

      • krob1000 says:

        there is always room for a 50 pt centermen …the issue is whether or not the teams trusts its’s depth right now without him…the cold hard reality is that removing him from the lineup and not replacing him (likely won;t get a top nine guy back) hurst the team more than it helps at this point. Everyone says woohoo Galchenyuk goes to center…great….then who fills Galchneyuk’s shoes at wing? On an offensviely starved team it is a tough call to move a Franco centermen with no replacement for the offense he does bring, upsettingt he teams best winger and depleting the teams biggest asset which is depth….tougher call then we let on. For the record I wouls till try to…but I can see the delay even if a trade was on the table to move him.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Would Briere moving to center for the short term be a downgrade…IF Briere had the same minutes opportunities and PP time?

        • third generation haber says:

          But would he be a 50 point center on another team where he wouldn’t be sheltered and would have to earn his ice time??? He’s not even strong defensively. I don’t understand why he’s in the NHL.

          j.p. murray

          • krob1000 says:

            Valid question,,,or..could he be like Grabovski and given a longer leash offensiely and a more offensive system and flourish? also a valid question

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Krob

      All good points, yet do you believe there is an NHL team in this day and age that doesn’t know ALL the players on all the other teams?
      That doesn’t know about size/strength and how many tools are in each player’s box?

      Do you believe someone can pull a ‘fast one’ such as was done in the past where many teams had few scouts and the ones they did were poor? ( Not too many Mike Milburys left…)

      As for looking at a larger sample of stats, well…Ryan White had 34 goals and 89 points with the Calgary Hitmen back in 2006-07.
      :-)

      The follow up questions also thinking about Playoff Hockey because that’s what it’s all about:

      What team would have him in their top 6 and Top PP Unit?
      What team would sacrifice its 2 best-biggest or ‘all heart’ guys to play with because that’s the only way he can survive?
      Can/Would a trading partner be able to use him on a 4th line?
      If he goes cold, what other skills does he bring?
      Is 3 more years at $3.5M for a next season 28 year old with no upside worth it, or do teams have better and younger depth options?
      And lastly, does Max have to be part of the deal…?

  14. Sportfan says:

    Anyone ever have a flea problem before?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  15. Sportfan says:

    So two Boston things apparently Lucic was punched a couple of times in Vancouver?

    and

    Thorntons appealing, which I think he shouldn’t, he should be suspended longer, but do you think he will win?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  16. CSIASN says:

    Habs fans should concentrate on their own team rather than be concerned about other teams. Habs not looking so good right now. They’re having a hard time beating the weak teams what’s gonna happen when they have to take on the Good teams. This team has nothing more to give. They are what they are. Until changes are made to better this team. They’re record will not improve and the play-offs will always be a ?????????.

  17. Maritime Ronn says:

    Amazing effort by the Penguins last night ( ah…3rd game in 4 nights) and a tribute to some great management that has built up some incredible depth.

    OK- it was just the Leafs, yet the Pens were playing without ALL of their Top 4 Dmen in Letang-Martin-Orpik-Scuderi, and 5 of 6 if you include 3rd pairing guy Engelland.

    They were also missing Malkin and Neal up front.
    That’s 9 wins out of the last 10 games for the Pens that have also used 3rd string goalie Jeff Zatkoff (?) in 3 of those wins because Vokoun is also out.

  18. port elgin says:

    Kadri trying to chicken wing Sid last night and then laughing on the bench. He now replaces Marchand as someone who I would like to see put through the boards head first.

  19. DipsyDoodler says:

    One of the truest signs of intelligence is the ability to keep two contradictory ideas in the mind at the same time.

    Marc Bergevin is incompetent, because the team he built is inadequate.

    Michel Therrien is incompetent, because the team is potentially better than its league position (2nd overall in the East under his tenure).

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hah, now when you put it that way I get easily confused.

      Damn You!

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Myself, I think both Bergevin and Therrien are doing well. There are thirty teams, all are trying to win, even the Islanders and Oilers, despite the objective evidence.

        All 30 teams can only draft players and make the odd trade. 20 or so of the teams are limited by the cap.

        So to complain that we aren’t the Black Hawks is a bit unfair.

        We’re also not a whole slew of teams like Philly, NYR, Toronto, who flail around year after year.

        Complaining about minor moves like the Briere signing (a low risk gamble that didn’t work out… up to now) misses the main point which is that they aren’t panicking after every slump, aren’t making stupid trades, aren’t messing up the development of young players.

        • Mustang says:

          Valid points.

          We must also remember that from a business point-of-view, the habs are doing very well with every game sold out.

        • Eddie says:

          It does not take a hockey trained mind to avoid panic. It does take a good GM to avoid the Desharnais and Briere signings. Those together are NOT minor moves.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Good post Dipsy. Having said that, I don’t mind posters making valid questions regarding moves or coaching techniques.

        • Cal says:

          Problem is DD paired with the Brière signing is $7.5 mil that could have been spent on someone that earns the money. Spending money on Drewiske was another poor move, especially with three good prospects at D down on the farm.
          The other thing is you can’t say, “We need to get bigger” and then sign DD and Brière. IF there is dead wood on this team, the GM’s job is to jettison it, by whatever means. Not sit there and watch as the team fails to compete thanks to your dumb deals.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I don’ t think the Drewskie money is really an issue. Briere and DD is another story though

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Luke says:

            Drewiske wasn’t a poor move. He’s a zero contract.
            A complete non-factor.

            If he was healthy, and someone from Hamilton showed themselves to be more qualified to be a consistant healthy scratch in Montreal, it would be exceptionally easy to bury his contract in Hamilton with no Cap hit.

            In no way would Drewiske be getting in the way of any prospects.

            DD & Briere at 7.5 may be bad, but it could be Clarkson and Bozak at 9.4…
            DD’s is fine. At 3.5 million, he’s not an anchor. I agree though, his usage is at times mind numbing… but he’s played well and put up decent points recently… so… yah.
            Briere was weird. But again, it’s not brutal. The term on it is reasonable. It only looks terrible because Bournival jumped out of nowhere to steal his spot.
            (Hey, we are all brilliant hockey minds and only one guy here called this one in the summer).

        • JF says:

          Very good points. A lot of ink has been spilled here in complaints about Bergevin’s off-season signings, but these complaints tend to miss the main point, which is that all these signings are stop-gap measures. None will handcuff the team long-term. Bergevin is sticking to his plan, and will make a big trade or sign an impact free-agent only if he thinks the move will help the team become a contender.

          At the same time, the Brière signing is not looking good. I have to think there were better and cheaper options out there.

          • Cal says:

            Why handcuff the team at all? Why sign players to take spots on the Habs when prospects could use the look see? Stop gap measures are, in essence, a waste of time.

          • JF says:

            @ Cal: The reason for stop-gap measures is that the prospects are not ready. Neither Beaulieu nor Tinordi is doing particularly well in Hamilton. Up front, there’s really only Louis Leblanc, who certainly looked at the start of the season as though he needed at least a half-season in the AHL. He was brought up two years ago because of injuries and lack of depth, but it might have been better for him to have spent that whole year in Hamilton.

    • christophor says:

      When you skew both claims TO BE contradictory, then yes, they contradict. Surprise, surprise. But claims that people who disagree with you might actually be making don’t contradict. For example:

      Bergevin didn’t make this team better in the summer when he could have.
      +
      Therrien has been coaching poorly for over a month.

      The latter claim can be supported by, oh I don’t know, the team’s possession numbers being near the bottom of the league since the beginning of November. One might argue that this is because he’s switched his team’s system to a dump and chase game when, in fact, he doesn’t have the team for that… and the results have caught up.

      But it’s far easier to pull the high school move of painting those who disagree with you as holding an incoherent position. I believe you pulled a similar move a few threads back. Really, you seem to pull it whenever you decide to make political analogies/allusions, which is fairly often.

      It’s unfortunate because what you have to say otherwise is generally insightful.

      • christophor says:

        I should also mention that people have good reasons for thinking Bergevin didn’t have a good summer. There was a possibility for more than stop gap signings.

        They might think there was no pressure to sign Desharnais as early as Bergevin did. Desharnais’ negotiating position wasn’t great, and so maybe the smart thing to do was wait a while and see. People might argue that his signings have failed, as lots did predict they would. Some of those same people thought a Dman like Gilbert was a better option than Murray and a forward like Penner or Jagr was a better option than Briere. Gilbert can play defence, was undervalued, and is right handed, and Penner was going to be, at worst a cheap, big, serviceable third liner. Anyway, all of Gilbert, Jagr, and Penner have turned up for their teams, and some.

  20. Habfan10912 says:

    If my understanding is correct the Thorton appeal could be a two parter.

    First, he has a face to face with Bettman who will hear the appeal and offer a ruling.

    Thorton then can go to an neutral arbitrator if he desires.

    I suspect Bettman has already heard from his buddy Jacobs so he’s not likely to hear anything he hasn’t already heard during the hearing. The arbitrator hearing could be interesting though, huh? Seems as though most of the suspension will already have taken place by the time the process plays out leaving me with the impression that it’s all about money for Mr. Thorton. Surprise!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You are correct, technically his presentation to Bettman is not an appeal but rather it is Bettman being provided Thornton’s defense and Bettman makes his own independant ruling. Then if Thornton is still not satisfied with this decision, an official appeal can be filed and an independent arbitrator makes a decision.

      (Heard his agent on the radio the other day explain this)

      Morning Jim!

    • Ian Cobb says:

      If they increase his suspension at the appeal, the correct message might get out there.
      He has not a prayer of a reduction! He could have taken this mans life with his actions. Let alone that it might have already cost him his career.

  21. Ian Cobb says:

    Family Christmas Shopping Is Done!
    I finished my shopping months ago!
    I decided that everyone will be getting the same gift this year.
    They can keep it, for about one month, before passing it onto the next family member!
    They all get ME!

  22. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ 24 Cups

    Great points about Dave Tippett being one of the better NHL coaches and flying under the radar screen being in Phoenix.

    Not only does his team have one of the most brutal travel schedules with multiple time zone changes, yet he has accomplished this with other team castoffs and budgets that consistently rank in the lower 1/3 of the NHL.

    Since Tippett’s time in Phoenix, the team has ranked the following in terms of spending to Cap Ceiling:
    29-22-22-30 and 22nd again this year.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Never hurts a coach and a GM when you operate in a city with virtually zero fan and/or media pressure to be successful.

      I have always wondered how the Poile/Trotz combo similar to the Maloney/Tippett combo would perform in a city where more than 63 people care about the hockey club.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Burli

        Good points, yet hard to know.
        It could go 2 ways.
        Perhaps some players would be better and more charged up, while some ‘on ice cheaters’ would be exposed…or just couldn’t take what comes with playing in a fishbowl.

    • krob1000 says:

      Moneypuck? maybe they are all Corsi, Fenwick , Wayne and Shuster stars?

  23. aroma says:

    Methinks the mods will quickly purge this comment, but it must be said: I am sick and tired of all those links to Montreal Gazette articles that can’t be read without a subscription. It’s laughable that the worst English language newspaper in the country requires a subscription in order to read more than five articles whereas the New York Times is accessible. If you respect the commentariat, then by all means stop putting up links for articles that few in their right mind would pay to read. With all due respect to PV Hickey.

  24. Hobie Hansen says:

    A couple random thoughts before starting the day…

    If there is even a 1% chance that Winnipeg is pondering over trading Evander Kane I hope Marc Bergevin is allover it. He had a good game last night and can flat out play hockey. He’s the total package and will one day be one of the top 5-10 players in the NHL. I’d easily be OK with trading Beaulieu, our 1st rounder this year and anybody on our roster except 4 or 5 obvious no’s.

    Milan Lucic. That video of him outside the Vancouver club late Saturday is pretty crazy to watch. He actually showed he at least has some brains in his head and didn’t beat his attacker to a bloody pulp. Pretty harsh words Lucic had for the city of Vancouver. I think Vancouver is wrestling the title away from Montreal as the wildest and sometimes dumbest place to be after a hockey game.

  25. 24 Cups says:

    Guess who’s coming to dinner tonight? That’s right, Mikey Ribs (#63). His stats are 9/17/26/2 PPG/2GWG. Love him or hate him, this guy has put up solid numbers ever since he left down. Raise your hand if you remember who came the other way in the trade. One of Bob Gainey’s worst trades.

    You also might want to keep an eye on Martin Hanzel (#11). Why you ask? Even though this guy is 6’6″, I still think he’s the player that Lars Eller should eventually emulate and turn into once he hits his peak in a few years.

    The rookie to watch is Connor Murphy (#5). He may not even play if Derek Morris returns to he line-up, but this kid can fly. Shoots right, 6’3″, 195, moves the puck well and skates like the wind.

    Remember Jeff Halpern(#14)? He’s here, too. This is his 14th season in the NHL. Nothing stellar, just doing a lot of little things without being a liability. A depth player who is in ad out of the line-up but still plays like a real pro. Halpern is a four year man from Princeton. I bet Louis Leblanc wishes he went down the same road at Harvard.

    Shout-out to Mike Boone. We need the reverse jinx tonight. I’ve got a bad feeling in my gut about this game.

    • Cal says:

      Ribs straightened out after leaving Montreal. Too many snow days and his ego was out of control. That “fit” on the ice he pulled against the Gooins was disgusting, especially after he was laughing about it on the bench afterwards.
      He was a disgrace to the jersey, but the Habs could certainly use his offense these days , eh?

    • Eddie says:

      Janne Ninnimaa

      • 24 Cups says:

        Bingo. A total panic move by Gainey.

        I realize that Ribs and Grabovski are knuckleheads but every team has one of those guys. Even if you didn’t want to keep them long term, at least put them in the limelight so you can get a decent return. In a very, very indirect way, pushing these guys out of town led to another panic move, the trade for Gomez.

        I need to live in the present and stop dwelling on the Habs’ past, sad as it may be at times.

        • krob1000 says:

          I sleep easier thinking that is what they are doing with DD right now….every now and then I wake up screaming as my subconscious fears they will move Eller or Pleks instead…but at least it helps me get to sleep

  26. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Any GM that would sign a player to NTC is foolish.

    Guts-Glory-Ram

    • Habfan10912 says:

      It reminds me of that song by Meatloaf, “Let me sleep on it.” They are so into the courtship they can’t help themselves. Hockey GM’s are not alone in this as well. Perhaps there was a life lesson in that song after all?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Well looks to me then like you are indeed smarter than virtually every GM in the league given every team has players littered with NTC’s.

      How is life up on that perch which you can oversee everyone from?

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        HabinBurlington : Quite a sarcastic reply to a statement that is so true for many player/gm deals. I’d say Habfan 10912 makes a very realistic point. Perhaps you will someday be able to qualify for a higher level on the hockey knowledge tree. I don’t mean to be impolite but really there are so many instances where ntc has been a disaster

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Yes it was sarcastic and was intended to be so. Every GM in the league is handing them out like candy these days. Very rarely do NTC’s actually prevent a player from being traded.

          It isn’t that I like them, but to make a blanket statement like every GM who does this is foolish, while intending to particularly blemish MB as Ram Tough clearly was intending is ridiculous. This post by Ram Tough then insinuates that Ken Holland in Detroit is foolish, that Chiarelli in Boston is foolish, do you think those are foolish GM’s?

  27. Maritime Ronn says:

    Bill says:
    This is a nice thing he’s doing, good for him. Parros is a class act.

    wjc says:
    Hate to be the guy that rattles the cage, but this is in their contracts. Sorry to burst any bubbles.
    ——————————

    Right on, Bill.

    On Page 310 of the new CBA, the Standard Players’ Contract is set out with all the clauses.

    Nowhere to be found in the CBA is a player legally bound to cooperate in Community Services and visit hospitals.

    The closest clause is the following:

    ” 2 d) to co-operate with the Club and participate in any and all reasonable promotional activities of the Club which will in the opinion of the Club promote the welfare of the Club and
    to cooperate in the promotion of the League and professional hockey generally.”

    http://cdn.agilitycms.com/nhlpacom/PDF/NHL_NHLPA_2013_CBA.pdf

    While we hear about these specific Christmas visits, the guys give much more time doing some great stuff that is under the radar screen and rarely reported.

    To state that this is ” part of their contract” is both erroneous and misleading.
    The clause is vague and players can easily opt out for any reason – but they don’t.

    Sorry to burst that bubble!

    BRAVO Habs players!

  28. 24 Cups says:

    Who’s the best coach in the NHL – Babcock, Quenneville, Hitchcock or Julien? They are all great coaches but the best just might be Dave Tippett.

    When you consider all the uncertainly and turmoil that has surrounded his team, as well as a lack of high end talent and salary, you quickly come to realize that this guy must be something special. Including his years in Dallas, his overall record is 818/445/261/112. This year his team is 18/9/5 with an 8/6/3 road record. Not too shabby. The Coyotes have three games in hand as their 41 point total puts them just two points out of a playoff spot. It also puts them just two points behind the Habs (with three games in hand on Montreal).

    Here’s hoping the Hab forwards get the lead out of their arses and start scoring some goals.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I wouldn’t have put a goon coach in that group. I think the manner in which Pop and Fresh coaches his team is disgusting and his press conferences even worse. He reminds me of an American Politician. You pick the party.

      Tibbets doesn’t get enough credit. I do agree.

    • RAM_TOUGH says:

      Julien is far from great. His Cup win was hand picked by the NHL Brass.

      Guts-Glory-Ram

      • 24 Cups says:

        We’re all homers here but Julien’s track record speaks for itself. He also came within a Jagr whisker of getting Cup #2. He’s certainly better than all the coaches that replaced him since he was behind the Hab bench. Hab fans need to stop bitching about the Bruins and Julien and do something about it. Crocodile tears as far as I’m concerned.

        The high road in today’s NHL leads straight to Palookaville.

        • JF says:

          I agree, Steve. Julien is an excellent coach and the Bruins are a very good team. I hated them briefly after Chara’s hit on Pacioretty, but I find now that I have to respect both the team and the coach. I think the Habs are doing something about it, but we’re a long way from there yet.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Jane – The hit on MaxPac was totally based on spite. Chara could see the danger involved and took advantage of his abnormal height and weight.

            However, when it comes to the most despised player in the league that “recognition” has to go to Brad Marchand. Not even the spirit of Christmas can change that notion.

        • Bill says:

          Julien certainly is a good coach, as much as we or at least I cannot stand him.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

        • Cal says:

          I’ll never have an ounce of respect for Julien the A-hole. Dunkin’ Donut Boy can go to hell with all his bs “embellishment” excuses. He’s a miserable piece of crap.

    • Cal says:

      No time like the present to get the team back on the right track. Coach should never talk about fatigue when he manages players’ minutes like an idiot. Better players than DD are on the team and they don’t get ice time when they are needed. If I were the coach, DD would be watching from the press box. Centers would be Eller, Chucky, Pleks and White, with Brière taking some O zone face-offs (if he’s on Chucky’s line).

      • 24 Cups says:

        Great post, Cal. I believe that DD has one point in his last six games.

        A line of MaxPac/Galchenyuk and Briere would be interesting, especially seeing Briere could cover Galchenyuk’s Achilles Heel. The only problem is that Montréal doesn’t have 12 forwards to play if MT sits DD. That could all change once Bourque returns.

        • krob1000 says:

          MTL has 8 goals in last 6 games..plenty of blame to go around…I still blame breaking up the 4 balanced lines. They had a variety of combos but were consistently producing when they rolled 4 scoring capable lines. Purst line had 2 goals one game and that was it…never again have we seen 4 lines whihch is teams biggest strength.

      • aroma says:

        Especially when the team motto is NO EXCUSES.

    • krob1000 says:

      Jon Cooper in Tampa right now. Julien, Hitchcock and Quenneville have pretty stacked lineups …right now I would say it is between Tippet and Cooper.

  29. adamkennelly says:

    so what do the Habs do about Parros? He will miss the next 2 weeks for sure and likely more. also – having a 34 year old enforcer with concussion problems is far from ideal – is it time to call it a day and look elsewhere for some help.

    or do we ignore his absence and work with what we have. likely the route we’ll end up going down.

  30. Maritime Ronn says:

    Was the Therrien ‘excuse’ of a tired team the real truth….or was the old coach protecting his players because of his own Time on Ice miscues and what can easily be seen as brutal decisions?

    Therrien had 2 choices after the game in his post presser comments:
    1) Protect the guys.
    2) Do a supposed planned meltdown as he did in his time in Pittsburgh where he called his D “Soff” and claimed the half the team did not care.

    In case anyone forgot, here is the meltdown classic.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agL3NHgb8Rk

    If the team was “tired and energy empty’ why did the following happen?

    1) The line of White-Prust-Moen did not see any ice action after the 6-7 minute mark of the 3rd period. Yes, the Habs were behind on the scoreboard, yet that line has been no better or worse recently than the Top 9.

    2) Lars Eller (24 years old) and Alex Galchenyuk (19 years old) should have been fresh as daisies.
    Entering the 3rd period, they had only played 10:44 and 11:00 minutes respectively.
    In that crucial last 1:10 and looking for a big goal, they were both left on the bench having played only 14:34 and 16:28.

    3) Brendan Gallagher.
    While no one can ever question his compete level and will to win – and if fatigue was a factor, he had no business playing that last minute.
    That final shift was his 9th of the period, and Gallagher was 10 seconds short of playing an insane 9 minutes in the 3rd period alone.
    Meanwhile. Galchenyuk was on the bench….

    4) Desharnais.
    Ranks 214 in scoring for all NHL forwards and 107th for all NHL centers – 4th line numbers.

    He was given a total of 20:28 of playing time including 3:28 of PP time – most for all Habs centers.

    Put in perspective, there are only 13 NHL centers that play more than 20:38 per game and that includes the likes of Crosby-Toews-Tavares-Datsyuk-Getzlaf-Sedin…you get the picture.

    Instead of using the well-rested, big body of a better skilled Lars Eller – who also has superior Faceoff win percentage stats in case Plex was thrown out of the circle, he was also left on the bench.

    Hopefully Coach T realizes his mistakes because if he does not, he will lose the room.
    The guys know what’s going on…

    Time on Ice Details:
    http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20132014/TH020501.HTM

    • Eddie says:

      When we had the 5 on 3 and then the 5 on 4 power play sequence, Eller did not get 1 shift.

      Ronn, I love this team. But I have my limits.

      A team that features Desharnais is never going to win a Cup. Never!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ronn. I just calmed down from Sunday night and i read this post and my blood is boiling again.

      @ Eddie I said something similar yesterday. Right on. Grrrr.

      • Eddie says:

        Good morning Jim,

        If I could spend 30 seconds with Therrien here’s what I would say:

        Coach, lets go back to what we were doing last year offensively. The team is healthy now. It stands to reason that we will find last years success offensively, and we have Price playing the best hockey of his career this year.

        Is that too much to ask? Asking a coach to simply do what he did last year.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      All good points except maybe for our favourite whipping boy, DD. His numbers in the last 10-15 games are very different from the seasonal average.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Bird

        Respect what you say, yet a player cannot be judged on a 5-8 game burst.
        It’s all about consistency over a period of time.
        Looking at the huge time and preferred PP time, in the last 52 games he has 4 goals and 14 assists.

    • habsguru says:

      well said MR

      i mentioned this yesterday in a much abreiviated version. i was thinking tunnel vision, but against the Sabres MT milked his 4th line for huge minutes, so we know it’s in his playbook.

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    St. Louis Blues lost their Captain last night with what appears to be a concussion, on what looked like an innocuous hit. Not sure if he has a history of concussions but that is a significant piece of their team.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=696289

    • Cal says:

      Morning, Burly. That was a helmet to helmet hit, with the Senator following through on his check. It doesn’t look like the Senator meant to do it, but he still did. This kind of hit should be looked at by the league as well.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Morning Cal, yah watched it again closer, he indeed does make helmet to helmet contact. I agree that it didn’t look intentional. But the affects can be dramatic. Backes was really woozy getting off the ice.

  32. wjc says:

    Think of the Habs as a product.

    Think of the fans as consumers

    Think of the NHL as a huge conglomerate made up of 30 corporations.

    Think of the team colours and logo’s as branding.

    Think of the players as one team…the players association team.

    Think of the players association as a union protecting jobs.

    Think of hockey as entertainment, much like a soap opera, with plot twists, cliff hangers, plot changes, surprises and awards for performances.

    Remember everybody wins and if you feel cheated, then look away.

    wjc

  33. --Habs-- says:

    I guess without the analytics I’ve been saying it all along! Thank the lord for solid goaltending or this record could easily be reversed. The scarey part is as the season progresses every game will get even tougher. You can’t only rely on the PP to win games.
    My gut feeling is it won’t be a pretty spring!
    “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

    • wjc says:

      Timely goaltending, good defence, timely scoring, excellent coaching has the Habs in good condition heading into Christmas.

      Come spring, come early summer there will be 29 teams bowing out. So you will have lots of company.

      wjc

  34. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Parros: He hit me real hard & it hurt” …

    Little Girl: “Suck it up buttercup! Would you like to trade places”…

    Guts-Glory-Ram

    • Bill says:

      This is a nice thing he’s doing, good for him. Parros is a class act.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • wjc says:

        Hate to be the guy that rattles the cage, but this is in their contracts. Sorry to burst any bubbles.

        wjc

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Whew, here I thought NHL players may be human and had hearts and perhaps even emotions.

        • Bill says:

          I’m sure it is in their contracts, but do you really think any of them object or grumble about doing it? Or do ya think maybe Parros is happy to go cheer up some children and families who could really use a few minutes of happiness and excitement?

          Can’t see Parros getting out of bed in the morning, yawning, having a coffee, and then doing a spit take and saying “Dammit, I forgot I have to go visit those sick kids. Stupid contract BS %$#!”.

          Apparently there are limits to my cynicism, thank you for helping me find them!
          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • Just a Habs Fan says:

            Always the know it all Bill….did you ever think that on a team of 23 or so there may be a a few players that would rather not take the time out of their day to visit anyone…children or not. Are that insulated from reality ????

        • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

          Sad but true.

          Paragraph 2, Item D of the Standard Players’ Contract stipulates the following”

          to co-operate with the Club and participate in any and all reasonable promotional activities of the Club which will in the opinion of the Club promote the welfare of the Club and
          to cooperate in the promotion of the League and professional hockey generally,

          Link to latest CBA:
          http://www.nhlpa.com/inside-nhlpa/collective-bargaining-agreement

        • Mavid says:

          wow that was harsh…these are family men who I am sure would do it regardless..lighten up

          Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • RAM_TOUGH says:

        I agree Bill.

        Guts-Glory-Ram

  35. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    While Coach Therrien mentioned his team was tired and out of gas – and while that may or may not be true, the Habs are not alone in facing a tough schedule this year.

    A web site (link below) has plotted out each team’s travel mileage for the year and the number of back to back games… and the Habs are definitely far from the worst favoured team in those categories.

    http://www.ontheforecheck.com/2013/7/19/4539874/2013-2014-nhl-schedule-super-travel-miles-back-to-back-games

    Total Travel Miles for The Season:

    Habs:….39,327
    Sharks: 57,612 + Time Zone Changes

    Back To Back Games:

    While the NHL average is 15, the Habs will play 17 back-to-back, yet there are 10 other teams playing at least that with New Jersey leaading the NHL with 22 back to back games this year.

    • RAM_TOUGH says:

      So much for “No Excuses”

      Guts-Glory-Ram

      • wjc says:

        It might rain is an excuse.

        It is raining is a reason.

        I cannot go because it might rain….excuse.

        I cannot go because it is raining…..a reason.

        Cancel the game it might rain……excuse.

        Cancel the game it is raining…..reason.

        I can’t go I might get sick……excuse

        I can’t go I am barfing my guts out……reason.

        You cannot win every game….is reasonable.

        You must win every game is insane.

        You watch Don Cherry and quote him and complain is a hobby.

        You watch Don Cherry and quote him and chuckle/nod seriously is reasonable behavior.

        Now pat your belly and say an 80 inch waste line is healthy….that is delusional. Now pat your belly and say 80 inches, I should exercise more is wishful thinking.

        People should work on their own short comings and not try to find happiness in hockey game.

        wjc

    • wjc says:

      Question 1. Why would Therien lie.

      Question 2. Teams get fatiqued and they lose to poorer teams that are fresh, happens all the time.

      I am glad that Therien said, the players left it all out on the ice.

      wjc

  36. SUMO says:

    Not sure if anyone has posted this link. The latest from “The Fourth Period” on GM Bergevin’s quest for a top-6 winger;

    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/mtl131216.html

    Basically saying nothing that hasn’t already been covered numerous times in the past few wks. MB is looking to add a big, top-6 scoring winger, but hard to find these guys in mid-season. Both Bourque and GIo mentioned but each has a NTC so would hv to sign off.

    Conclusion, a whole lot about nothing. Probably trying to generate more hits to their site by mentioning the Habs in trade talks.

    • The_Truth says:

      The Habs definitely need a bigger scoring winger if they have plans to win in the Playoffs. The time to do that was the offseason and I think MB tried on draft day. It’s been hammered to death, but the DB signing was awful. It was the last thing the Habs needed. I can even understand the DD longterm extension, but the DB signing still baffles me.

      In any case, nothing can be done now as DB is untradeable IMO. I don’t get why MB wasn’t in on Bobby Ryan. That guy is a first line big winger that can score, is young, and a right handed shot for the PP. His calibre doesn’t come around very often.

      To get a similar type player is going to cost and the Habs will have to give up something good. A 1st, one of Beaulieu and Tinordi and Hopefully Bourque. That may work for a Matt Moulson because he is a UFA, but if you want Evander Kane, Eller or Gallagher will have to be in that deal. Besides that, no first line big wingers out there that realistically are up for grabs. Maybe Wayne Simmonds.

      More likely, they will have to settle for 2nd tier guys like, Foligno, McGinn or a Chimera kind of guy. If not, there is always Jagr lol.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      You are correct in that Gionta has a full no trade clause but Bourque is somewhat different.

      Bourque has/had a ‘partial’ NTC meaning he chose 10 teams to whom he cannot be traded – meaning there are 19 teams he can be moved to.

      This clause may also be obsolete as that was when he was in Calgary and ‘sometimes’ these clauses become null and void after a player is traded for the first time.

  37. SlovakHab says:

    Here’s a decent read for all Fenwick lovers:

    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2013/12/16/5214910/canadiens-vs-panthers-game-recap-excuses-and-embarrassment

    Nicely shows how Habs were carried by goaltending and good shooting luck, and that the last 4 games were no fluke.

    For those that don’t like Therrien and his system, this shows why he is ineffective and how we are destined for another mediocre season if nothing changes,

  38. Jed says:

    Pietrangelo got totally undressed by Spezza, leading to a scoring chance in the Sens-Blues game. I fully expect there to be endless analysis and a leading article on TSN on if he’s too risky to pick for Team Canada. Oh wait, he has the “white attitude”. Nevermind.

    • Mavid says:

      you know the saying..even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then”..no way he is good enough for Team Canada..way too much better talent with players who are not also known for blind pass’s and give aways..there are plenty of Sens fans who would like to see him gone too

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Pietrangelo is a media darling.
      The other item is that his St. Louis Coach Ken Hitchcock is the right hand assistant to Team Canada coach Babcock.
      No doubt he’ll be pushing for his duo of Pietrangelo AND Bouwmeester

  39. scotland says:

    so is therrien saying the habs were “tired,drained, physically and mentally” kings game, flyers game, isles game and panthers game? they stunk in all four…….. where did the fatigue set it………….and what will be his next excuse? so far he has coffed up “injuries”… “not having an identidity” ….”pk cost us the game when he coffed up the puck in our zone”….”dumb penalties” and now “fatigue’….”crazy schedule”…”we are very demanding of them for last 3 weeks”…..and the best one “the players are human” …………………. lol….same guy that had “no excuses” hung in the dressing room at the beginning of the season.

  40. The Jackal says:

    God, HIO during a losing streak is unbelievably unbearable.
    Same old BS spouted every other post. “What happened to no excuses?”
    “Trade DD” or “stop playing DD so much!”
    There are also the bad comparisons to other teams and the bemoaning of our draftees or free agents.
    At least I have plenty of beers… Hopefully they’ll be enough to keep the sane ones going until the next win streak.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  41. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    I shaved my winter beard and put $20 against the habs tomorrow. If that doesn’t get a win or at least more than one pathetic goal i’m out of ideas.

  42. Timo says:

    You people all went to bed?

  43. Timo says:

    Laffs lose – good. Senaturds win… not so good but who gives a crap really.

  44. Timo says:

    Love that picture of Parros with a little girl at the hospital. That’s fantastic. Habs should do this more often than once a year.

  45. Bogie Man says:

    I am really getting tired of hearing how tired the habs are.

  46. frontenac1 says:

    Tucker just kicked a 61 yard Field Goal? Are you kidding? Ravens win.
    Damn.

  47. JohnBellyful says:

    I think it’s time we got organized around here, if we truly want to exercise any kind of influence with the Canadiens. I hate seeing all the accumulated wisdom of this site go to waste because it’s presented in such a scattershot fashion.
    HIO needs to speak with one clear voice, not the clamour of a thousand.
    That’s why I’m setting up a bunch of subcommittees, to focus on various aspects of the hockey team we love, in order to produce a report by the end of the year. The document will offer in detail a series of recommendations for improving the club that GM Marc Bergevin will find too compelling to ignore.
    (I may need help with the graphics for the cover).
    Please volunteer for ONLY one of the following subcommittees as there are sufficient numbers of experienced hockey observers on this site that membership in more than one group is not required:

    Trades
    Lines
    Draft picks
    Player TOI allocations
    Breakout plays
    O-Zone attacks
    Power play units
    Positioning in front of the other team’s net
    Contract negotiations
    Hockey Code reforms
    Goal celebrations
    Shootouts
    Goalie mask designs
    Team-building exercises
    Icing
    What to do while the Olympics are on
    Farm team scouting reports
    Corsi, Fenwick and other vital statistics
    Road trip recreational activities
    Players’ wives/girlfriends ratings
    Long-term/immediate coach succession strategy
    Stanley Cup parade

    The deadline to sign up is this Friday. It will be left to each subcommittee to choose a chair and draft a work plan. Single spaced, large font. Use diagrams or photographs where necessary. More details will follow as events unfold.

  48. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    For those of you living in the real world, this from hockey fiction writer Eklund: “Quick update to last night’s rumor. Apparently the Rangers and Canadiens may be coming close to something here. Not since the infamous Scott Gomez trade has there been rumors of these teams possibly hooking up.”

    Maybe Kristo for Thomas? Love to get that Kristo kid into the Habs system!

  49. punkster says:

    All they got to do is find a groove:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmYRllome8Q&list=RDL9eW6V_Slgs

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  50. HardHabits says:

    I think it’s great the way the kid is consoling Parros.

  51. WAR72 says:

    If i had the pressure of picking team Canada’s defensemen, the following would allow me to sleep pretty good at night. Its almost a no-brainer in my eyes…

    In no particular order-
    Keith
    Seabrook
    Subban
    Boyle
    Bouwmeester
    Weber
    Doughty
    Suter

    Starting six?
    Good question.

  52. frontenac1 says:

    Megatron working his magic again tonight. Go Lions!

  53. AH says:

    Where’s Timo?, did he read the exciting news? Drewiski is back mid-Feb! Loll!

  54. Eddie says:

    So the Pens played Maata, Despres, Dumoulin, and Samuelsson, all tonight.

    That was because of injuries and suspensions.

    I think all of them looked real good.

    Big and Mobile. That’s how you draft dmen.

  55. FormalWare says:

    It feels weird to write this on such an anti-Leafs site, despite my anti-Leafs bias – but the Leafs got jobbed! Bortuzzo should have been chucked from the game. Two minutes for that predatory headshot is a joke!

    If the Leafs get a 5-min PP, there, they likely score at least once, and come away with at least a point. Instead, Bortuzzo comes out and picks on poor D’Amigo, some more! (Not that there was anything wrong with that check; simply that Bortuzzo should never have had the opportunity to deliver it.)


    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  56. Sportfan says:

    Short and Sweet Bengals-Steelers wrap up right here!
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/12/16/bengals-road-woes-continue-in-pittsburgh/

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  57. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    I’m not a fan of two more points for PIT unless it comes at the expense of zero points for TOR.

    When did PIT become PHI? All knuckle-dragging and fighting…

  58. Eddie says:

    How about 19 year old Oli Maata on the Pens! On the ice for the last shift 4 on 6. Wow!

  59. zorro says:

    Bodie and D’amigo, welcome to the NHL.

  60. zorro says:

    I see George Parros was in hospital today, making youngster’s smile. George making new friends, he’s now a friend of mine.

  61. punkster says:

    When in doubt make Phaneuf the target of a clearing attempt.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  62. punkster says:

    Bit of a dive by Kadri?

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  63. punkster says:

    Pens with a one goal lead, 4 minutes left, still carry the puck into Loafs zone.

    Not dump, not chase…carry.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  64. Seps says:

    Our main problem is we have 3 similar lines, so you shut down one line, you shut down them all. We’re in dire need of a defensive checking line, and having one scoring line above the others. Trade Desharnais and a 2nd round pick/Christian Thomas for Gaustad. Lineup looks like this

    Pacioretty – Pleks – Gio (Bournival next year)
    Chucky – Eller – Gallagher
    Prust – Gaustad – Bourque
    Moen – White – Some other 4th liner

    I think it’s a realistic and necessary trade, we can’t win anything major with 3 2nd lines that don’t develop chemistry because they’re always getting switched around.

  65. Highspeed969 says:

    Thought I would share this, very interesting that the celebration didn’t make a bigger news splash:
    “In Saturday’s game, Bruins forward Brad Marchand celebrated a goal by mimicking lifting the Cup and pretending to kiss his championship ring.”

  66. showey47 says:

    MT’s excuse of the team being tired is so weak. How about instead of giving DD almost 21 mins of ice time like he got last night and try giving minutes to much better and productive players who are playing 5 to 7 minutes less like eller and galchenyuk. Bournival who only gets about 11 mins a game has more goals and the same amount of points. Another idea would be to scale back markov’s ice time and give it to the Norris trophy winner who can handle 28 to 30 mins instead of 24 mins. Lastly is it really a habs powerplay when it starts with DD and ends with moen and either or gorges/bouillon on it?

  67. FlyAngler says:

    I wouldn’t blame Briere if he is unhappy. DD is averaging 3 more minutes per game and 4 shifts more than Briere is and yet DD has only one more point. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Briere hasn’t been great, but he has been better of late and given the opportunity he could do more to help the club. I certainly would have had him on the ice in the last minute of the game last night instead of DD. This Patches, DD, Therrien love fest is starting to make me puke!!! No effing way is DD a better hockey player than Daniel Briere!

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  68. CERF says:

    Slacker,

    You posted on a boy in Dallas that i’ve really enjoyed to watch this season. Decent size, nice hands and has a nice grittyness to his plays the wing.

    I was watching his shootout vs Chicago, a beaut by the way.. and came across him mixing it up.. and boy.. does he ever fill this guy in. Really didn’t expect it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8VIDXu06Bw

  69. Ron says:

    And Princess gets tough with a smaller player and Bowen and the boys wet themselves..

  70. Danno says:

    How can you not care about doing your best to help the team when you can bring such joy to young fans?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  71. JohninTruro says:

    Nice Kadri leaps at Crosby’s head on a check and misses so Crosby gives him a good shove back and Crosby goes for 2. You want to stop head shots? Kadri should be sitting for 2 or 5 for the attempt.

  72. HabinBurlington says:

    Watching the Penguins it is amazing to see the compete in the team and the team speed despite so much talent missing from lineup.

    No Malkin, Neal, Letang, Orpik, Paul Martin and a few others. Impressive compete and depth. You can see they struggle to create the great shots they might normally create, but playing all 200 ft. of the ice with fire.

  73. gmoan says:

    Cause trading your only big center makes a lot of sense…. Not very in depth analysis if you don’t consider ice time, wingers, and pp…. Don’t you think … They just choose to not address the obvious… Give eller the same opportunities and then discuss trade possibilities…

    • Eddie says:

      Two years ago Tom Nickle (where s that guy) predicted the Habs would trade Eller to protect Desharnais.

      I like how Eller is starting to hit! He is playing like he wants to prove something to somebody.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        His physical game is amazing, all he needed was a couple offseasons with no shoulder surgeries to get some weight on that frame.

        Lets keep in mind this is RDS talking not MB. If MB traded Eller to keep DD, I would be extremely dissappointed.

        • The_Truth says:

          MB wouldn’t trade Eller to keep DD. He would trade Eller, if he thought he would get a piece back that would improve the team.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I understand that concept, but I also feel there is some truth in this case to that phrase, addition by subtraction. We simply have too many diminuitive players. Gallagher is a keeper, we may indeed have Briere for next year as well. I expect Gionta to be gone, and would prefer DD was moved. I am not anti DD, but anti so many forwards/centers who limit our ability to create net presence.

          • Eddie says:

            I have an auntie who absolutely agrees with you. An uncle too.

            I understand its only RDS. Lets hope!

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        I fear that Tom might be proved correct. Habs seem to be committed to DD and likely to Pleks.

        Eller is far too good to keep in his present third line role, and it would be fair to give the guy an opportunity elsewhere, especially with Chucky, presumably, in future plans for centre.

        I really like Eller, but I think either he or Pleks could be used in a trade to bring an overall better balance to the team. And if the team holds the same position as HIO that Pleks is sacred, then it has to be Eller that goes. I prefer it the other way round, but that’s just me.

        Of course, I really think it should be DD that goes, but I don’t believe it’s going to happen. Besides, he has no trade value anyway, but Eller and Pleks do IMO.

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          The only trade value I can see for DD is if he could be packaged with Patches because DD is the best centre Patches has ever played with.

          • Eddie says:

            I tend to agree with you. I definitely would trade Pekanec and I would give that job to Eller without any hesitation.

          • kalevine says:

            yeah, like I said before, to Dallas, to get them back together with Cole. The question is what to get in return.

            But seriously, I believe Pacs has some of the ingredients that could make a difference in a playoff run. He needs to let of go of it having to be DD who feeds him, and start excelling regardless of whom he is playing with

          • The_Truth says:

            You move Pleks and put Eller in his role and this team misses the Playoffs. Eller is a good player but is no Pleks

        • boing007 says:

          Not only does DD have no trade value, he has no value whatsoever. Having him on the team borders on the farcical. No time for sentimentality. Get rid of him.

          Richard R

  74. Ron says:

    Haha you’d think that laff player would have learned the first time he got beat but no being a laff he had to try the second time..same result


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