Two back-to-backs

Beginning with a rare Monday night game, and a rarer visit by the Calgary Flames.

A full week begins

The King’s spat

Red Fisher on crunch time

Arpon Basu on AK46

Canadiens community rink program

How are ex-Habs doing?

NHL could use some mustard

75 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Right…take lessons from the NFL.  The often described “no-fun league” that seems more interested in cracking down on touchdown celebrations than on the worrisome head trauma issues that are cropping up in the game.  The league which is so befuddled on what way its going to call things that Scott Fujita of the Cleveland Browns recently opined that the players come out of rules meetings with the league knowing less than they did going in. 

    Everybody points to the NFL as some sort of beautifully run league, but choose to ignore that there are just as many officiating disasters (the Tuck Rule, extra downs, blown fumble recovery calls, etc.) as any other league.  They ignore that the NFL, NFLPA and the retired veterans are locked in a very public and very bitter fight over who is responsible for the massive medical costs that many of the older players are facing now due to the extensive head trauma issues.  They ignore that guys like Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco seem to draw more ire for being self-centered attention hogs or Ricky Williams drawing league scorn for his early-career marijuana habits than some of the other guys in the league who have been involved in some very serious criminal behaviour or being slapped on the wrist for steroid use.  You’ve got a former superstar quarterback who is looking more and more like he is involved in stalking a female team employee (at the very least) getting a fine that amounts to peanuts for refusing to cooperate with the investigation into his behaviour.  You’ve got players openly admitting attempts to injure their opponents.

    The one and only lesson the NHL, or any other league, can learn from the NFL is hype.  Make gambling a big part of your sport, hold cities hostage for massive stadium bills, hype the living crap out of it, and you’ve got the popularity of the NFL.  And before you think I hate football, I’ve been watching my New Orleans Saints since the mid-1980’s.  I just don’t see why everybody thinks that league is so masterfully run.

  2. LA Loyalist says:

    thank you for thoughtful insightful posts. I am also hopeful about MaxPax and I’m liking Poo a lot. Eller I don’t know. You’ve seen Leblanc/Avtsin/Kristo so if even one of them is a home run, that’s great. Yemilin is kind of a wild card but it would be nice!

    You know, if we can do it more through developing those guys carefully, I’m all for that. Cross our fingers.

  3. LA Loyalist says:

    See, the pen is mightier than the sword. 

  4. LA Loyalist says:

    You guys are probably 100% right. I just have heard stories over the years that are probably unfounded (I hope) but I always wondered because it’s a strange sort of rumor to just make up, that’s all.

  5. CanadienBoy says:

    The 4 p. got  a good one Malkin for Nash !

  6. Tremblant Habs Fan says:

    Play in Montreal? He didn’t want to play in Pittsburgh and look how that turned out.

  7. thebigguy says:

    Just a little note about Yannick Perrault.

    On NHL 2008 (I think), he was amazing! He never lost faceoffs and had enough offensive skills that he was often my first line centre. He’d always lead the league in assists. I’d have him at centre and Souray at the point. It was an unstoppable combination.

  8. thebigguy says:

    Just a little note about Yannick Perrault.

    On NHL 2008 (I think), he was amazing! He never lost faceoffs and had enough offensive skills that he was often my first line centre. He’d always lead the league in assists. I’d have him at centre and Souray at the point. It was an unstoppable combination.

  9. Everlasting1 says:

    Refused to report..violated his contract.. Good for him! He and his agent knew the consequences..turned out to be for the better. Right or wrong is subjective.

     

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  10. Everlasting1 says:

    And sometimes management mismanages and coaches aren’t always right in how they deal with certain players – and that’s acceptable? It goes both ways.

     

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  11. Mark C says:

    I do not mean being obedient, however there is a right and a wrong why about doing things. Grabovsky skipped a team flight less than 30 games into his NHL career to meet with his agent after being scratched for a game. Do you honestly think there is one coach or one team that would have been fine with that behavior?  

    I have no issue with him wanting more ice time, however skipping team flights is the worst way to go about it. He put himself miles ahead of the team that day, which is unacceptable in professional team sports.

    Added about SK74: He refused to report to the AHL, which was a violation of his contract. He joined the team only to leave again after a few games. Again, there is a right and wrong way to do things, and SK74 kept going about it in the wrong way.

  12. Everlasting1 says:

     UNTOLD by you, no less? And sometimes players feel they are not getting a fair shake, misunderstood, and utilized ineffectively. After all, it’s a business, and some players aren’t satisfied in their current situation, and have the right to express it. By selfless you mean obedient? The organization would love that, but it takes both sides to build a winning team. And if SK74 turned out to be a productive model player in Mtl he’d be guaranteed a lifer contract? Pft.

     

     “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  13. twocents says:

    I don’t disagree with some of your team needs for improving, but I disagree with many of your conclusions.

    Firstly, you can dismiss last spring as a matter of two players carrying the team if you like, they certainly had big roles, but your logic omits a key point: Cammalleri still plays for us. That and the fact that Price is playing every bit as well as Halak did, if not better, means we still have those two strengths.

    Each part of the team, is part of the team.

    I also am not ready to dismiss Martin’s ability. He got us to the ECF last year, let’s se what he can do this year. PK, Weber and Desharnais are doing fine and besides Desharnais may only turn out to be another of those middling players.

    I see Pacioretty growing into the role you described and I still think AK can be a big part of this team. This along with Pouliot’s continued development changes the look of our top two lines greatly. The defensive D can be picked up as a UFA if necessary as I agree that ther’s no one on the verge of filling that role short term. Unless of course Yemelin comes over and has an immediate impact.

    As far as your crackola comment, I heard garbage like that from other posters about Pittsburgh and Washington last year. How did that turn out? Philly has weaknesses, a glaring one in nets, and they can’t match our speed, these can be preyed upon. Besides they have to meet us to beat us.

    And notice I used the word “hope”. Realistically I think we need a couple more years to get to the next level. I think Gomez will be movable by the end of next year as his salary drops dramatically. Gionta I’d be happy to keep for longer.

  14. LA Loyalist says:

    Exactly.

    A great coach adjusts to the weapons he has. What an exercise in ego to try and adjust 20 players to a system they don’t even have the right skills to execute.

    Yeah, it’s a million times better to lose 40 games 1-0 than it is to lose 40 games 5-3. Sheesh. I’m done with Count Chocula, if you haven’t notice.

    Bring back Pat Burns… oh crap…

     

  15. SeriousFan09 says:

    To reach the next level, I blogged on this if you check my link out.

    Basically it comes down to 4 things

    1. Adding a true power forwrd in thr Clowe/Malone/Knuble archtype, someone who can play on the Top-6 and jam in the dirty goals like that’s what he was born to do.

    2. Adding the defencemen who loves to hit, but doesn’t get caught out of position, hopefully this can be filled by luring over Alexei Yemelin, if not it’s free agency/trade or hoping Tinordi develops quicker.

    3. Tertiary offence, creating a 3rd line that can score 30+ goals, so say Lars Eller with more development, than Ben Pouliot and one of the developed prospects like Leblanc, Avtsin or Kristo down the line.

    4. Return of Andrei Markov, the team needs Andrei to be the master of the blue line and mentor PK, if the team can get extra years out of him, that’s a strong puck-moving weapon who can manage an elite PP.

    Ideally, this is around 12-13, 13-14 that this comes together.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  16. punkster says:

    Pffft…next yer gonna say there’s no Easter Bunny.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  17. LA Loyalist says:

    How do we get to the next level, in your opinion? I think we need (order doesn’t matter, we need all of it).

    a big mean winger with soft hands (sorry, I saw Penner Saturday night live and just imagined him hanging Gomez and Gionta up on hooks in the dressing room, just for laughs).

    a craig ludwig/rick green type defencemen (Tinordi, a few years out)

    Markov and Gorges back healthy (2011-12)

    Two male hockey players to replace Gionta and Gomez (one of whom is a decent size slick center) and if we have to sit here and wait for Gomez to expire it’s not going to happen next year, so that’s 2012-13.

    a new coach who is not afraid to let his players leave our zone and doesn’t play bullsh*t head games (asap)

    …and to not screw up the development of PK, Weber and Desharnais et cie (asap)

    That’s a lot, what do you think we can get done in 1 year? (aside from getting Markov and Gorges back hopefully at 100%)

    I think we’re 3 years out, assuming Tinordi turns out to be the defencemen we need.

    And that’s if we start chopping the deadwood at the trade deadline for draft picks and cap space we can use later to get who we need. I actually have faint hope that PG may have the balls to get it rolling, the Wiz move was clever and encouraging.

    Yes short term pain, probably, but how can that be worse than flailing about in mediocrity as we have for years? (and don’t talk about last spring, that was Halak, Halak, Halak and Cammy show)

    If you think we can beat Philly this year in a series you are on crackola.

    Sorry to actually have a plan. I know that’s not popular around here.

     

    too small, too soft, too fungible, too intangible


  18. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Totally unsubstantiated, but there are rumours swirling here in Calgary that a deal for Regher fell through at the last minute last night, but still might be completed after the game tonight.  As I said completely unsubstantiated rumours, but a lot of talk about it at the office today.

  19. Mark C says:

    I agree 99%, Perrault had such face-off skill that a first rate team could use him in a small role. It helps to not have to use Chad Kilger on a key draw.

    People also tend to forget the context and reasoning behind the trades.

    D’Agostini was out of options at the time of his trade and had scored 2 goals, 4 points and was -12 in 40 games with the Habs that season. Montreal moved him for a former 2nd rounder instead of risking losing him on waivers, or wasting a line-up spot on him.

    Grabovski missed a team flight so he could talk with his agent about his playing time as a rookie.

    SK74 failed to report to Hamilton and created untold locker room distractions in his time here.  

    A winning culture is important for any pro sports team, especially a sport like hockey that demands players to be selfless and team first. Some of these players but themselves first and were rightly booted out of town.  

     

  20. fbkj says:

    of course he didnt like hockey

    the two telling signs was when he came back after cancer

    and then when he came out of retirement

    however him being really good at it was just a rumour

  21. HabsFanInTampa says:

    Great series with a not-so-great outcome for our Habs. I remember living in Rochester, NY at the time. I scheduled a couple of days off work and got a room at the Four Seasons on Dorchester (or is it Sherbrooke?) to coincide with the “victory parade” the Canadiens would have in Montreal after the Habs would win the Stanley Cup. I arrived the day after we got eliminated. No Stanley Cup, no parade and a feeling that I “jinxed” the team.

  22. SeriousFan09 says:

    Playing in MTL? I imagine if he’d been drafted by the Canadiens in ’84 he would’ve went along with it but he became a franchise face in PIT and lived there from the time he was 18, he became a Pittsburgian(?). I don’t think Lemieux would have battled injury as he did to play hockey if he didn’t love the game, not to mention move mountains to make sure the Penguins stayed in PIT.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  23. fbkj says:

    LOL its funny cuz its true 🙁

  24. joeybarrie says:

    WAIT……… Did Jack Todd write that article calling for more mustard in the NHL? HEY BOONE, did you re-write that article after Jack went home last night?????

    Cause I think I am going to agree with Jack and say………EXACTLY.

    Why are we so against these individual celebrations and such. Calling the players juvenile, and immature… BLAH BLAH BLAH… That exactly what the game is like when these things disappear.

    I don’t blame Lundqvist one bit for going after MaxPac, I woul dhave loved it if it was Price. IF IT WAS HOWEVER, I think the NHL would have ended. If it had been PK, same thing. He deserved a match penalty, and its absolutely ridiculous he didn’t get one. But good for him for going after MaxPac after he crash into him ON PURPOSE, even though he was clearly pushed. Good for MaxPac for crashing into him. But how we ended up on the PK I will never understand. Thats one of the BIG reasons hockey is not viewed higher in the USA.

    HEY BETTMAN, you want more ratings, more viewers, and more money. START RUNNING THE NHL LIKE IT IS A PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE….. Take a few notes during the SuperBowl and then try to apply it to your league. Cause I know that I may only see things one way when it comes to the Habs, I have seen some REAL inconsistencies including your so called disciplinarian… You remember the NBA, try applying some of that.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  25. Mattyleg says:

    Yeah, I’ve had that. A buzz followed by a little anticipatory tingle down below…

    and suddenly you’re looking at Spacek’s glowering mug.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  26. Rugger says:

    That was the play-off run with the Philly Brawl wasn’t it?  Was it also the Philly series where Hextall attempted to Tommyhawk Chelios with his stick while chelios was flat on his back like MaxPac, or was that a different year?

  27. Mattyleg says:

    Nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, acid reflux, sweating, abdominal cramping, sensitivity to light, uncontrollable shivering, dry heaves, blotchy skin, high blood pressure…

    All that from a Jack Todd article.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  28. LA Loyalist says:

    We love Calgary but unfortunately have yet to get to a Flames game. We just seem to drive through on our way to Lake Louise, but you have damn fine beer in Big Rock, excellent stuff. And I just bought my kid a “Hitmen” jersey for his birthday as they are just so coolio.

    I remember last January going to Tim Horton’s during one of your weird warm spells and there was girl in front of me in platform flip flops – with 2 feet of slush all around outside waiting for the next freeze. 🙂 Hope you get to go to the outdoor game, I tried very hard to get tix but no luck.

     

    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  29. twocents says:

    The record isn’t so bad. It’s merely a reflection of what other people acknowledge when considering other related aspects.

    We have been a middling team for a long time. Because of that, we have had a lot of middling drafting positions, which means we’ve drafted a lot of middling players. We have a glut of third line players. So some have to be moved. They are played for a while, assessed and either kept or moved based on how they compare with others of their level.

    The fact that we have so many around the league, actually points to some solid, if unspectacular, drafting/developing by the organization. But there are only 3 third line positions on a team. What we’ve failed in is drafting and developing first and second line players that can take a team to the next level. Which is harder to do when you compete for a playoff spot every year.

    Look at all our castaways, how many are playing on truly competitive teams? Teams that have made the playoffs most of the last 5 years and who have advanced beyond the first round when the do? Nearly none of our drafted players are. That’s because on a competitive team these players would not be getting the roles and ice-time they get by playing on less competitive teams.

    Oh, but it’s so easy to reduce it to, “Ten points in ten games…. seems so.”. Ignoring the fact that even on a healthy St. Loius team a player like D’Agostini may not get the ice-time he requires to keep his production level up. The author of Steve’s link points this out clearly. But, many here want to ignore that.

    You want a good example from the past, Yanick Perrault. On a third rate team the guy is a first or second liner. On a second rate team, he’s a third liner and role player. On a first rate team he has no role.

    To me it’s a good sign we move these players along. It shows we are aiming for more than the St. Louis’s, Minnesota’s, Nashville’s of the world… and for two out of the last three seasons we’ve achieved more. I hope this season proves to be another one that can be included as a season when more than a middling result is achieved. And, I hope that by next year we can establish ouselves as legitimate contenders.

  30. fbkj says:

    plus i thought it was the missus “sexting” me 🙁

  31. LA Loyalist says:

    Nice one, Serious. Question. Do you think Lemieux ever really wanted to play in Montreal? Do you think the rumour has any foundation that he really didn’t like hockey, he was just really good at it?

    Curious.

     

    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  32. Mattyleg says:

    Yeah, I switched the buzzer off.

    I get the info when I damnwell feel like it!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  33. fbkj says:

    buzzed again

    pouliot out as well, also sick

    #thisappisannoying

  34. LA Loyalist says:

    I watched that entire series in a room in the back of Caesar’s Palace in Los Vegas (dont’ ask) with about 20 screaming Canadians, everyone thought we were crazy. Plus American beer really sucked in those days, “Coors” was considered exotic.

    We had a great team, far better than this one, IMHO and it was a hard fought series. The only good thing was Lanny Macdonald getting a ring, a class guy, but heartbreak for us. 

    I miss that team, it was pretty special. It had tangibles AND intangibles.

     

    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  35. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    On TSN.ca they laud King Henrik for “dropping the gloves with Pacioretty”

    He jumped on a guy who was down on the ice and tried to blocker his head into the ice.  How the hell do they get dropping the gloves from that?  So much for journalistic integrity on the internet.

  36. fbkj says:

    RDS buzzed in my pants once more

    wizz out, sick

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs I/O if it existed in 1989 post SC Finals…

    That useless bum Roy! I swear I can’t believe we kept this guy, ’86 was a fluke and we’re paying for Savard not trading for Fuhr when Roy’s stock was high.

    I see I was right about one-hit wonder Claude Lemieux, reels off 10 goals in ’86 playoffs but can only manage 4 this year? Come on!

              – Take that back about Lemieux! it’s not his fault Burns doesn’t like and won’t use him properly.

    This never would have happened if we’d just tanked in ’83 to get Mario Lemieux did you see his stats this year? Probably best French-Canadian since Lafleur and we blew our chance to draft him! And look at Luc Robitaille! You think we could’ve used his 46 freaking goals this year! Perfect opportunity to do a late-round pick with the hometown boy and Savard blows it!

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  38. Everlasting1 says:

    Just my two cents.

     

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  39. Rugger says:

    And what a heartbreaking finals it was after such a great regular season and play-offs.

  40. Mats Naslund says:

    The Habs and Flames played in the last Stanley Cup Final to consist of ONLY Canadian teams in 1989.

    PK Subban was born the day before that series started.

  41. Rugger says:

    When you look at the moves as a whole, it doesn’t look as bad as when the focus is only on the ones who have performed elsewhere.

  42. twocents says:

    Well, your record on player evaluation seals the deal.

  43. Everlasting1 says:

    I’ve seen all but 3 games..he’s for real.

     

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  44. notbigbird says:

    For a so-so team, we seem to have strict requirements for playing with us. We try to change players from what they are naturally.

  45. Marvin says:

    I don’t know how many of the people posting live in Cgy or have seen Flames games, but I do live in Cgy, and have seen probably 90% of their games. Yes they are at the bottom of the standings, but points-wise, they’re not that far off from the Habs. Believe me, if they play their in-your-face game, and Kipper is on his game, they will beat the Habs. This coming from a tried and true Habs fan!

  46. twocents says:

    Kevin, nice look at the ex-Habs.

    For the record, Gui was a second round pick.

  47. SmartDog says:

    Ten points in ten games…. seems so.  Is Grabovski for real?  Is O’Byrne for real?

    If you read most posters here they’d rather start believing in Santa Claus than that the Habs organization has been turfing guys who have quality skills that don’t blossom here. 

    ——-

  48. 24 Cups says:

    Great overview of why Toronto is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    The laffs gave Burke the keys to the city and he blew it by trying to make an immediate splash.  The Kessel deal has aready defined his legacy down here in Toronto.  Burke could have had Seguin.  He then could have drafted Couturier and rubbed it in Canadien fans’ faces for years to come.

    All is not lost, but the window of opportunity has already closed.

  49. Jbird says:

    Robidas is missing from the list of Ex Habs.  He is the man in Texas.

  50. Izzy says:

    In the “just sayin” category, I see that Maxim Lapierre has fallen from 23 mins in his first few games with the ducks to 11-12 mins in his last 2 games……………..again……just sayin….

  51. 24 Cups says:

    Is Dags for real in St. Louis?

  52. RGM says:

    Another excellent summary by our great and good friend Kevin – when I look around the League at the Habs diaspora, I can honestly say that I really only miss Koivu on the team. Recchi seems like a lifetime ago so that one doesn’t really count. But for all the hand-wringing that gets done around here at the slightest observation that D’Agostini scored a goal in his last game or O’Byrne played 24 minutes and had 3 hits, I just remember how they were when they were with the team and I simply shrug my shoulders. It’s a similar story I’m sure for 29 other teams around the League – players move on and sometimes they blossom.

    Go Habs Go!


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