To practice or not on eve of Game 82?

The Canadiens have an 11 am meeting scheduled in Brossard, following which they might or might not practice for tomorrow’s final game of the regular season against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The players might be deciding where to gather tonight in a prayer group for the Rangers-Flyers game, needing the latter to win so the Habs can at least back into the playoffs.

The Leafs have ice booked for Brossard at 11:15 am, but it’s uncertain
that they’ll use it. Everyone’s kicked out of the Bell Centre today with Nickelback performing there tonight.


  1. notbigbird says:

    The big one is too far away to worry about right now, but a little win or two might be nice.

  2. Danno says:

    Bowling. That’ll work. Then golf. Lots of golf.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  3. Storm Man says:

    The Coach and Hammer would be a good start

  4. Say Ash says:

    He’s my favourite guy on AC.

  5. crabvader says:

    My bad. I don’t have a 1000-year-long memory like you do, oh master. 😛

  6. nunacanadien says:

    Remember it right, the Big Bird was going through some medical issues and he stated he did not want to coach anywhere at that time, he did not specifically slam Montreal. So who knows, maybe when Larry Robinson is healthy, he could be part of a senior management cleaning sweep that the Molsons are probably pondering at this time.

  7. nunacanadien says:

    Larry Robinson would trade, sign, draft real NHL players, unlike Gainey/Gauthier who seem to have a scientific experiment going on, to see if small forwards can win a stanley cup.  Well Gainey/Gauthier, small players cannot win a cup, not when they get pushed around like Gionta/Gomez like in last night’s game.

  8. TomNickle says:

    Actually Ron he had penalty killers on the ice for the first goal(I know Moore was one and I think the other was SK74) and then put Pleks, AK46 and Cammalleri on the ice for the 2nd one.


    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  9. crabvader says:

    My bad, I meant to say conference finals.

  10. crabvader says:

    So you want to be an NHL coach?

    Suck it up and find a way to find success in the NHL like in lower leagues.

    Same thing goes for players.

    These guys are paid to do a job. There is no reason, at this point in their lives (coaches & players) to suck when they demonstrate the ability to win.

    Simple as that. It isn’t cruel, it’s just the way it is.

  11. riazp says:

    Bob Hartley speaks french too which is the NUMBER ONE requirement for a coach in montreal.

  12. TomNickle says:

    When did Jacques Martin make the Finals?


    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  13. crabvader says:

    I agree.

  14. crabvader says:

    Hi Ron. To answer your question, Earth.

    Ottawa wasn’t rated an amazing team at the start of the year when they made the finals.

    In fact, they were pretty much a surprise like Buffalo are this year. JM did great with them. Florida, a great team? Hardly.

    His numbers speak for themselves though. He’s one of the winningest coaches in recent history.

    Had you taken the time to read everything though, you would’ve noticed that I said HE IS NOT FIT FOR THE NEW NHL. I guess I should’ve worded it exactly like that.

    Sorry for the mix-up, Ron.

  15. TPlow says:

    A meeting? Isn’t there a good bowling alley anywhere in Montreal?

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “Put your hand on the record player and say, ‘I’m gonna get my freedom!'” — King’s X

  16. crabvader says:

    Overrated, completely full of themselves (see beer toss incident on youtube) and well, they flat out suck.

    Then again… I can’t really stand alternative rock… just preference.

    Still, most people I know hate them, regardless of musical taste.

  17. Ron in Ottawa says:

    What planet do you live on? In Ottawa, where JM was handed a series of really strong teams year after year, he wasn’t able to motivate his players for the big games. So year after year they choked in the playoffs, and when they didn’t choke, JM got out coached. I still think back to the Buffalo game that the habs lost in the last three minutes. When Buffalo stormed backm the habs needed a break and a line change- they were still winning 2-1. But JM kept the same tired troops out there and they lost. Same thing last night: Bergeron was wasted and needed a break. So what did JM do- he kept Marc Andre on the ice and the team got burned. The habs will never win anything big with JM in the mix, And thanks to BG, he is signed for another 3 or 4 years.

  18. crabvader says:

    I could live with Spacek for another year. He’s still the leading +/- on our team.

    Gill is our leading PK’er.

    Moen is a great plugger.

    MAB is our leading PP guy.

    SK has loads more potential and could be signed relatively cheap. AK needs to step up.

    Basically I only agree with Hamr and Laps in your clean up.

    MAB will leave to get better money somewhere else. That’s about all that will happen with those guys unless we get lucky enough to dump Hamr’s salary onto another team.


  19. Say Ash says:

    Disagree. Getting hungry kids to skate their bags off for a chance to make it to the show is a lot easier than motivating 30-something millionaires. That’s not to say Boucher doesn’t eventually warrant an opportunity. But there are guys here turning him into the Carey Price of coaches.

  20. slapshot777 says:

    Agree Harani, the Habs need to show that sense of urgency that has been mssing from their game for the past couple of weeks. I don’t know how a team who reeled off 6 straight wins and played good defensive hockey along with good puck movement and offensive scoring goes straight into the toilet with crappy defensive play, a pretty much non existent offensive with no passing. Just plain out sucks


    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  21. crabvader says:

    Who needs the stress at that age, anyway?

    You want to live out your golden years. He has a family to think about and he already did enough for this organization.

    One of my all-time favorite Habs.

  22. TomNickle says:

    I can’t really say that I blame the Big Bird for not wanting to coach here.


    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  23. Say Ash says:

    Wow, that’s pretty sobering. But, yes.

  24. crabvader says:

    Don…Lever was his name?

    People were mad.


  25. crabvader says:

    With all due respect, Hamilton is not the team that we watch 82 times a year.

    We need wins up here. Coaching the AHL, while not an easy job, is far from the hardest. Boucher knows how to get the best out of his players.

    I consider him the PK Subban of coaches; he excels with every new challenge.

    I wouldn’t mind that he stay in Hammy for a while, I just think he’s a better option than Hartley or Savard. I didn’t mention Robinson because he doesn’t seem to want to coach in Montreal anyway from what I heard.

  26. TomNickle says:

    Better than the guy we’ve got now.



    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  27. TomNickle says:

    I think bringing Boucher up would be a mistake.  He only has one year of coaching professionals under his belt and he’s doing a great job in Hamilton.  Why not keep him with our prospects?  It looks to me like a bright future is ahead with him developing younger players.


    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  28. Harani says:

    Insult to injury that it’s freakin’ Nickelback! PU! 

  29. TomNickle says:

    But we have a system Ian.  It mainly consists of sitting back on our heels until we’re trailing, and then not knowing what to do with the puck down low because we aren’t allowed to have two forecheckers below the oppositions goal line.

    It also consists of benching players like Sergei Kostitsyn who work their asses off and are dangerous offensively.  Tom Pyatt has been getting takeaways left, right and centre but we’ll give him 3 shifts in the third period.  Why don’t we put a guy with no scoring touch up on the first line when we’re a goal starved team?


    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  30. Harani says:

    You know what? 2 wins by Halak, 2 losses to the Isles and Canes and a convincing WIN tomoro and I’m sure everyone here will shut up and think about the playoffs. This is also a chance for us to see what the Flyers are made of. If they lose both their games in regulation, they’re out for sure. I better see more urgency than I saw with the Habs. I think I will. And Habs better realize that everything is on the line or it will be a LONG summer for them. 

    “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  31. SLONCOLD says:

    i could but you really ticked me off. Like many let’s blame the goalie for the night. If the Habs were to bring this into overtime, you needed 2 more fabulous saves from halak. i know i would have loved for that to happen. However you have to be realistic.

    we are competing for a playoff spot because halak and price have kept us in just about every game this year. Yet the minute we lose posters here pin it on them.


  32. Lafrich says:

    Denis Savard?!?!?! Really?!?!?!

  33. crabvader says:

    What a terrible band, too.

    There are many a great things from Canada…Nickelback is not one of them.

  34. Rudy says:

    I hope JM gets pounded in the press up there.

  35. crabvader says:

    Neither is Guy Boucher.

    I don’t really fault the Habs organization with hiring JM. I mean look at his track record. It’s pretty damned good.

    Still, his “system” doesn’t work in our team nor do I think it does it the new NHL.

    We need to cut our losses and get Guy up here next season if at all possible. Unless the Habs somehow make the playoffs and SOMEHOW do well, I wouldn’t want JM next year.

  36. fofe510 says:

    That’s kind of the Bell Centre staff to kick everyone out before Nickleback starts playing.

  37. crabvader says:

    Two words: bag skate.

  38. Ian Cobb says:

    I have a couple of left over fire crackers that might fit!

  39. Matt_in_TO says:

    All this talk about practice





    – Priceians and Halakites need to unit against the real enemy, J.M.

  40. Ian Cobb says:

    Hard work without implementing a system is waisted energy!

  41. habssince1909 says:

    Practice?? How about a good old fashioned arse kicking instead??

  42. TomNickle says:

    Larry Robinson, Denis Savard, Bob Hartley and Ken Hitchcock aren’t coaching in the NHL right now.




    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  43. habsguy says:

    I’d bag skate them…..make them understand, you don’t skate in a game,  you’ll skate at practice.  And how in hell could they be tired,  they haven’t put out an effort for a while now…

  44. Ian Cobb says:

    You are not smoking Aces my friend!

  45. TomNickle says:

    Motivation isn’t the problem.  Andrei Kostitsyn is the only guy not trying.  I think everyone else is trying too hard.



    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  46. Ian Cobb says:

    Halak is the only one that has kept this team from being blowen out every night.

  47. SLONCOLD says:

    if the 7 figure salaries (8 figure for gomez) aren’t enough to motivate them, nothing is….

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    Practice! Practice!…Putting or iron shots??

    Are you kidding me! Practice, more like a visit to a motivational or shrinks office is needed.

    We have a much better team than what they are showing on the ice. Need to get them out of neutral. The stick shift is between the EARS!

  49. SLONCOLD says:

    awwww… group hug? :-p

  50. SLONCOLD says:

    bloody hell, halak sucks… he didn’t get a shutout yesterday. By the way smarty going high blocker side or glove side is the key to beating every goalie in the league… WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!

    i didn’t see bad goals last night, i saw countless odd man rushes, bad defensive pinches, no offense

    you’re a crappy fan… looks liek you’re hoping for halak to crash…. by the way retard, should we expect more from our goalies or from the 18M on the first line?

    maybe your wife should stick with baking bread….

  51. jimmy shaker says:

    Apologies go out to Deuce and slapshot this morning as I overstepped my boundaries last night and got into some verbal jousting after the loss.  I’ll argue more diplomatically next time.


  52. TommyB says:

    A meeting?  Yeah, Jacques, that’s going to fix it.

  53. jimmy shaker says:

    Wow, that could start off one of the biggest riots that Montreal has ever seen, and maybe a bench clearing brawl to boot.  Wilson would pummel Martin but I think Muller could throw down and kick some skulls in.  To the ice brawl, I think we get handled as well, but it will be very entertaining.


  54. Danno says:

    His Truculence loves the way you think.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  55. C-Dawg says:

    I agree with most, but we have a sniper in Cammy, what we really need is the big center, as Pouliot hasn’t been filling that role very well lately.

    BTW, Greetings from across the Lake, I live in Burlington 🙂

  56. TomNickle says:

    As for the easy schedule.  I consider the Canes and Leafs tougher teams to beat this time of year than the Caps and Sharks.  The former are motivated to make rosters the following season while the other two have nothing to play for.

    Gionta and Cammalleri have proven to me that they can score 40 goals in a season when healthy.  We need a huge improvement over our current 3rd defenseman(Hamrlik) and Andrei Kostitsyn’s roster spot needs to be occupied by somebody who cares.


    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  57. C-Dawg says:

    The System is broken!!!! I just don’t understand JM….to play with a shortened bench like that, when Sergei has been one of the players really giving an effort lately, and the team is physically tired from a long season. Moves like that just make the players play tight, worrying about making a mistake and getting benched. This is the time of year that you want your team loose and playing as a team, not looking over their shoulders, worrying about their place. The last couple of games, you could see with the missed passes, missed open nets etc that the team is playing too tight, and that’s the coach’s fault.

    JM is not the answer….we need another Pat Burns, a coach that the team wants to go to war with. I hope they offer JM a front office position in the off season, and either bring up Boucher or find the best coach they can hockey-wise.

  58. Maketheplayoffs says:

    Question of the Day:

    If the Toronto game is tied late in the third, knowing that MTL needs only 1 point will they pull their goalie in hopes of getting the w?

  59. HabsFansince49 says:

    The lost last night had nothing to do with goaltending; even Cam Ward didn’t have much to do. The Hurricanes could have won with an empty net all night.

    You know something is wrong when

    – you’re juggling lines this late in the season while playing a basement team

    – you bench one of your starting D’s for half the game.

    – a player who did NOT have a job in the first two months of the season is your main D-man in the 3rd period.

    – when your $8m player couldn’t make the 3rd line of the Halifax Mooseheads

    – when the “coach” (using that word loosely) concludes that they didn’t follow the plan

    – when you have the worse (tied) 5-5 goal scoring record in the league

    – when the men standing behind your team’s bench have the same “oh-my-what’s going on?” expressions on their faces.

    Finally, to suggest that the Habs should be praying for a Flyers win tonight is utterly repulsive and a sorry reflection of how this organization has fallen in recent years.



    I don’t pretend to be an expert; just a die-hard Habs fan passing my opinion

  60. lakechamplain says:

    Sure, we all hope the Habs make the playoffs, and then hope that the team will miraculously play at a level not seen this year and win a round or two. And of course that means there’ll be much more of the posts here and on call-ins sharing our wisdom.

       But as has been noted here earlier, the Habs have the easiest schedule to end the year, and if you can’t beat even one of three teams that aren’t in the playoffs, I mean, where does this team deserve to be? 

        Here’s my two cents:  Martin is competent but incapable of getting this team to play at a higher level, short term or long term(Carbo wasn’t any better((and is a terrible announcer to boot)) ).  Here’s why the team has to trade Halak or Price;  because we’re so lacking at other skill positions. We have two very good goalies and we need to get some strength in other areas.  Speaking of other areas, a SNIPER is needed.  Even when we put up decent shots on goal totals why do we seem to make most of our opponents goalies seem like Martin Brodeour?  Finally, our defense is neither quick nor fast, and that is one of the main reasons why we have so much trouble controlling the puck and getting it out of our own end.  Does anyone have the guts in this organization to let a bunch of veterans go and bring up the kids, understanding that this means next season would be a wash?  And oh yeah, do we hab fans have the guts to tolerate that and not drive the young guns out of town?  

  61. Matt_in_TO says:

    What he said.


    – Priceians and Halakites need to unit against the real enemy, J.M.

  62. TomNickle says:

    Don’t tease me with comments like that, it isn’t Christmas for another 8 months. 🙂



    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  63. Shublips says:

    I think the noose around Jacques Martin’s neck might be getting tighter and tighter.  He just doesn’t fit with the players he has and ha can’t adapt and is asking them to adapt.

    Recipe for disaster, imo.

    Montreal-Carolina: Habs Fail to Clinch in 5-2 Loss to Canes:

  64. Harani says:

    Should I go jinx the Leafs before I leave for Toronto? And bring luck to my Habs. I just might do that. I still believe we can check in at 6th place. Rangers win 1 in regulation, Flyers win one in regulation, we win tomoro and Bruins win 1 of their remaining two (Carolina and Caps). We still check in 6th. BELIEVE! 

  65. Danno says:

    The decision to practice or not should have been made clear to the players prior to the game against the Canes. Win and you get tomorrow off. Lose and you will bag skate. Maybe that would have made a difference. Maybe offering a new Mercedes to whoever scores the winning goal. No, that won’t work. They’re all millionaires. Can’t motivate them with the carrot or the stick.


    Sergei benched, Jaro throws his arms up in disgust, Gill has a verbal fight on ice with Lapierre. The 8 million dollar man invisible. Are the wheels falling off the wagon yet?


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  66. BJ says:

    1) Yes

    2) Plekanec

    3) Neither

    4) Yes 

    5) The heart says yes the intellect says no

  67. TomNickle says:

    I guess I misunderstood your comment BBQ comment then.  Sorry.



    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  68. TomNickle says:

    Almost everything about that post is not ok pal.

    You don’t bag skate your players this deep into the season.  They’re kinda tired right now.

    Teams have found a spot on Halak but that doesn’t mean he isn’t the #1 right now, justifiably or not.  I would say that him staying on the ice when he lets out a rebound has got more to do with the last two losses than his weakness on the blocker side.


    To your last point.  Halak hasn’t created a mess, it isn’t his to clean up.  Ultimately the Coach is responsible for having the team prepared to play.  He hasn’t had them prepared to play in the last two games.  This is on him.


    With Jacques Martin at the helm, we are doomed to be a good team instead of a great one

  69. HABWARRIOR says:

    Yo take the time and answer my morning survey…just cuz im bored :
    1)Is K.Tkachuk a hall of famer?
    2)Who would u rather have as a UFA?:T.Plekanec or P.Marleau
    3)Right now who would you rather have behind the habs bench?
    J.Martin or Guy Carbonneau
    4)Would you bring back Metropolit at 1 mil to 1.5 mil next season?
    5)Will we advance to round 2?Assuming we make(and we will) the playoffS?

  70. jabber39 says:

    The Canadiens need Jesus!

    So what now we sit around waiting for Philly to send any of their next two games to overtime? Tie Bitches Tie!!!! This SUCKS!!!

    Knowing is Half the Battle…

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