Tough week begins

It’s Canadiens schedule magnet night tonight at the Bell Centre! Surely you kept yours from 2002-03? (Habs know the new stainless steel fridges aren’t magnetic, right?)

The schedule-maker has piled it on to end the first month of the season.

Phoenix at the Bell Centre tonight, followed by the Islanders on Wednesday. Then the Canadiens visit the Island Friday night and scoot home to play Florida on Saturday. By this time next week, 11 games will be in the books. And we can begin drawing some preliminary conclusions about the team we’ll be following through another 71.

• Dave Stubbs on Alex Kovalev and Vladislav Tretiak teaming up for their respective charitable foundations. And a short Kovalev video discussing the importance to him of helping needy kids

• Red Fisher on the woeful Senators

• François Gagnon on Andrei Markov

• Marc de Foy on the week ahead

• Martin Leclerc on Scott Gomez

Kovy II’s return doesn’t help Devils. Yvon Pedneault’s take on the mess in NJ

Leafs showing true colours

A tribute, en français, to the great Maurice Richard:



  1. Mattyleg says:

    …in the nicest possible way.


    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  2. Mattyleg says:

    Yeah, I’ve heard that said about you…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  3. fbkj says:

    Habs know the new stainless steel fridges aren’t magnetic, right?”

    mine is…

  4. 24 Cups says:


    We all have heard the old adage about never underestimating any team but you have think that this is a week to pick up some slam dunk points. We are playing four games against teams that will probably not make the playoffs this year. A smart coach would make full use of his roster and might even be tempted to give Auld his first start on Friday or Saturday. Anything less than 6 out of 8 points will be considered failure.

    Speaking of failures, don’t look now but the bubble may have burst in Phoenix. Kudos to Dave Tippet but I don’t think he can pull off a repeat performance this season. Attendance is still abysmal and the ownership merry-go-round continues with Chicago based financier, Matthew Hulsizer, being the newest kid on th block. Glendale is going to eventually re-structure the team’s arena lease or see their main tenant move on to Winnipeg or Kansas City.

    The Coyotes are off to a rough start and have lost 4 of their last five games (two were in OT). Opening the season in the Czech Republic didn’t help and giving up an average of 36 shots a game (3rd highest) will eventually wear down their best player, Ilja Bryzgalov. The Habs have dominated Phoenix lately taking 11 of 14 points in their last 7 games. They also have out-scored the Coyotes 28-17. The other good news is that Phoenix’s PP (27th) is almost as bad as Montreal’s (30th). Most of Phoenix’s offense so far has been generated from the back-end.

    Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal will be out of the line-up tonight which also bodes well for Montreal. Wojtek Wolski (cost them Mueller) and Ray Whitney (+35 contract) are still scoreless while Eric Belanger is the team’s leading scorer (ouch). Derek Morris is once again playing like crap now that he has another long term contract.

    The two players to watch tonight are forward Kyle Turris (21)and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (19). Turris just had a three point game and OEL is every bit as good as Subban. Both these kids are still pretty green but they are elite prospects in every sense of the word. D-man, Keith Yandle (24), is another great looking young player who broke through with a 41 point season last year.

  5. secretdragonfly says:

    Excellent analysis, as usual, and you are spot-on about Yandle.  Our own d-men will need to play a shut-down game and not fall into the trap of underestimating their opponent.  Would love to hear Markov will be back at some point this week.

  6. kempie says:

    My fear is the Bryzgalov Montreal Vezina performance. 

  7. RGM says:

    So tonight is supposed to be the first game on the TSN regional broadcast. I still don’t have any clarification from Eastlink as to what they’ll be doing for it. Will there be a separate channel? Will the game simply override MNF? Will it be on TSN2? Grrr, argh.

    Go Habs Go!

  8. Bill J says:

    All’s I know, living a few hours from Toronto :( – TSN is not airing these extra Hab games in my area.

    Thankfully I have RDS and understand French (by far the best option if you do speak french).


  9. kempie says:

    I’m in Peterborough and Bell is showing it here on a separate channel (402). TSN is 400 and they’re showing Monday Night Football. TSN2 is 401 and, strangely enough, the guide says the’ll be showing the Kings/Wild game.

  10. Mattyleg says:

    Check out the TSN site.

    You should be able to get it.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  11. TommyB says:

    The beer fridge in the garage is not stainless steel.  Send me your fridge magnet!

  12. twocents says:

    A line I would like to see tried would be Eller centring Boyd and Lapierre. I think this would be an excellent third line. Of course with Boyd not currently dressing I doubt we’ll see it tonight. Hopefully, it’s tried at some point over the next few weeks.

    I also hope Pouliot is given time with the GG’s.

  13. RGM says:

    I do have the RDS subscription too – it’s a wonderful thing. But oh, 40 Habs games in English with TSN this year is just great. I’ve sent in an email to Eastlink, so hopefully they’ll get back to me before 8:30 tonight.

    Go Habs Go!

  14. BJT says:

    In other news, because I’m sure you all care, I’m 2-0 in the HIO fantasy league!


    Formerly known as Camel_Larry..
    ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  15. Storm Man says:

    Good stuff, Im glad you’re having fun. :)

  16. Bugs says:

    If the Giants beat my Cowboys tonight (hey, it’s business; what’re you gonna do?), I’ll be 10 and 4 on my Prédictions.

    10 and 4, baby!

    That won’t be enough, will it?


    So!…how ’bout them Habs, huh?

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  17. Tremblant Habs Fan says:

    Did you bet against your team, or is that worse case scenario, 10-4. Because you do know what happens when you bet against your team, don’t you. The Boys will win tonight and cover the 3.5 points.

  18. punkster says:

    GIANTS baby! GIANTS!!!

  19. Muckbringer says:

    i live in brampton and according to my rogers box there are no habs fans in t.o.  anyone know why they wouldnt show this in gta? i have rds but would like to understand some of the intermission.

  20. namgel says:

    If Toronto caught wind of a Good Hockey Team they may demand more from their Laffs.

    It would wreck the whole dynamic.

  21. habfan53 says:

    I will be a regional broadcast for TSN available to Eastern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.  This is basicaly what all the other Canadian teams have on either TSN or Sportsnet They are Regional only

  22. habfan53 says:

    Actually if Toronto caught wind of any hockey team they would want one too.

  23. Muckbringer says:

    ill just have to add it to my list of why i hate it here!!


  24. habfan53 says:

    A couple of thoughts for the upcoming week .

    -I’d be dissapointed with less than 5 points  and not surprised with 8 

    – Seeing NJ a couple of weeks ago play short handed and OTTAWA’S trouble with the cap now maybe we could have done worse than Gainey and Gauthier.

    – When Markov returns anybody else think ir will be O’Byrne going to Hamilton instead of Picard. 

    – Why is PK allowed to make mistakes and not Eller

    – Two biggest turnarounds this year Price and AK,  BOTH came to camp with new attitudes

  25. habaddict_andy says:

    P.K. is way superior player at the moment.  And everytime he makes a mistake, he becomes a monster and try to recover from his mistake.  To me the reason why he is with Picard is because he makes him a better player.  Eller needs to grow still.  It’s a good thing he is now playing center.


    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  26. JF says:

    O’Byrne would have to clear waivers to go to Hamilton, and it’s likely some other team would pick him up.  With Spacek becoming mistake-prone and Hamrlik and likely Gill gone next year, I don’t think we can afford to give up on O’Byrne just yet.  The fact that Ottawa outhit us in a game we dominated in every other category shows we’re still short of size and muscle.  O’Byrne has size and he took boxing lessons this summer.  I think he can still be useful to us, but he needs to stop making the same mistakes over and over again.  He hasn’t been bad this year, just hasn’t had as much impact as he should.  But I think he’ll get another chance.

    As for Eller and P.K., I think P.K. is more NHL-ready than Eller.  He’s expected to learn fast and correct his mistakes, and he’s doing it.  He was excellent last game, he’s taking fewer risks and bad penalties than he did in the pre-season, and he’s very good at protecting the puck.  He’s really only had one bad game, the one against Tampa Bay.  JM is managing Eller’s ice-time pretty well, but if he’s to play centre (and he’s clearly more comfortable there than on the wing), he needs some linemates who can score.  I’d like to see him with Boyd and maybe Lapierre.

  27. fbkj says:

    yeeeeeeah i <3 free magnet nite


  28. Mattyleg says:



    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  29. Mattyleg says:

    Leclerc’s article on Gomez is very good. And very telling. 3 GOALS IN 40 GAMES.

    I’ve been pretty happy letting Gomer play under the radar, but the facts are pretty plain.

    Do we put Gio with another couple of forwards?

    I’d like to see Gio play with Eller and A.N. other (Lappy, maybe?) and put Gomez on the third line and see how he does with the grinders.

    Big money doesn’t mean automatic top-3. Big performance gets you there, and Gomer hasn’t done it.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  30. MathMan says:

    Leclerc’s article is incredibly bad. He keeps pounding the silly goal total angle on Gomez and even though he’s been told that’s not the point of Gomez, he tries to justify his nonsense with Gionta’s assist total. Gomez’s game is to bring the puck in the offensive zone and keep it there so his linemates can take shots. And even though the Habs’ style last year heavily de-emphasized this skill, he still did pretty well.

    Gionta was on pace for a 37-goal, 71-point season alongside Gomez last year. His second-best year, after his magical 48-goal season where his center was… some guy named Gomez, I think?

    I have a lot of trouble seeing Gomez as a boat anchor for Gionta given that little tidbit.

    Add in his PK ability, ability to go up against tough matchups, etc… No, he’s never going to live up to his 7.3 million salary, but he’s easily a 5-million player.

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