Waiting for the Bruins

And it’s hockey weather.

Montreal has been wallopped by a late-winter snowstorm.

Red Fisher on the Big Game against Boston

Dave Stubbs wonders, is one hat trick too much to ask?

Jack Todd on Jacques Martin

Arpon Basu on the showdown

Pierre Ladouceur’s Canadiens report card

François Gagnon the home stretch

Is Mike Milbury getting soft?

Stephen Brunt on the Phoenix mess

139 Comments

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  2. bigdave says:

    The NHL will create a franchise which will have more difficulty signing free agents than Montreal.

    Think Ilya Bryzgalov will resign to play in Winnipeg?

    Winnipeg has its own charm but it disappears when its 40 below and a north wind is blowing!

     

    PS. also a former Winnipegger: a former season’s ticket holder for the Nats, The WHA Jets and the NHL Jets!

     

     

    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of the Jerry Springer Show”

  3. Duracell3 says:

    If Hiller comes back and the ducks make the PO, hiller. Then again, if the devils make the PO and Illya keeps doing what he has been, then yeah.

  4. Omit says:

    Do you mean all the people like fighting in hockey?  You might want to check out the majority of polls in Canada and the States that indicate that you are wrong. 

  5. Duracell3 says:

    Balsillie doesn’t have a case for that. He was rejected on grounds that the other NHL owners didn’t think he was good enough in a vote. Which, while obviously a joke, had nothing to do with relocation technically.

  6. RiverviewCanadien says:

    No problem, thanks for the posts you provide here on a daily basis (not only the prospects updates).

    Exactly what I was thinking on why they occur.

    It really has to start at the NHL level. If the NHL shows that there is no place for this type of player, these players will eventually go away from the professional level.

    The NHL has a huge task right now. Hopefully they can right the ship.

  7. Mattyleg says:

    No way.

    The concept of an ‘international’ league like that is ludicrous. Think of the travel times and costs. Think of jet-lag. Think of how long that would extend an already over-long season.

    That kind of concept is typical of the idiotic, money-driven, cash-grabbing, business-first, no-heart management style that has taken over the NHL.

    I don’t care about the NHL. Not one damn bit. I couldn’t care less if that megalomaniacal mess collapsed tomorrow. As a matter of fact, considering where it has dragged hockey, I say the sooner the NHL falls apart, the better.

    Then we can start again and do it properly.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  8. Ian Cobb says:

    Just one month to go, and it is a race for all the marbles now. We are in it this year and we are coming together at the right time of year.

    Here is where we fit in the 30 team league with only 1 month to go. Compared to where we were last week.

    I am giving the same stats for the 15 team conference as well.

     

    LEAGUE 30 TEAMS

    Goals Against–167.  We are in   8th place.  Last week we were in  11th place with 164 Goals Against.

    Total Points—- 79.   We are in 10th place.  Last week we were in  12th place with  73 Points.

    Goals For——176.   We are in 23rd place.  Last week we were in  25th place with 165 Goals For.

     

    CONFERENCE–15 TEAMS

    Goals Against–167.  We are in   5th place.

    Total points—- 79.   We are in   6th place.

    Goals For——176.    We are in 11th place.

     

     

  9. ZepFan2 says:

    I agree, except for one player.

    I hope White puts a beating on Campbell.

    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  10. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Thanks Robert (for the link)!

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  13. punkster says:

    Haha…I’ll never live down those years of being lost in the wilderness of SW Ontario Leaf Fandom. I offer no excuses and no apologies. I thank the Powers That Be each day that I have seen the light and now follow the true path! But I will never advocate violence is sports.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  14. punkster says:

    Twisted logic. Taking penalties to exact revenge can be 100% guaranteed as well but I doubt you would recommend that, would you? If you do then are you willing to live with the consequences of a loss? If so then the win is not your #1 priority is it? The desire to have revenge fulfilled in a sporting event via violence is unacceptable.

    ***Subbang!!!***

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  16. Chris says:

    To be honest, I think the research being done right now on brain injuries might signal the end of hockey (at least as we know it) and North American football as sports.  It might take a couple or even a few decades, but I do believe that the mounting evidence of severe brain issues is becoming a big threat to these sports.  At the junior levels, soccer coaches are already being asked to minimize the amount of heading practice we give the kids as there is growing evidence of long-term brain injuries amongst professional soccer players in the U.K.

    What insurance companies are going to be willing to put themselves on the line to protect players in those sports?  What universitites/schools are going to be willing to risk litigation over the long-term by continuing to field teams in sports where there is growing evidence of serious brain trauma even for players who didn’t suffer a single “concussion”?  Waiver forms obviously save the universities/schools from much of that risk, but it is not hard to see how this might become ugly in a hurry.

  17. mrhabby says:

    habs win game against boston if…stay out of box, price has a solid  night and we can keep our speed through neutral zone.

    bruins will win..if they stay out of the box, be physical without the goon crap and thomas has a great night.

  18. Danno says:

    Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there

     

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

  19. kempie says:

    thanks for having DIGNITY and HONOR in support of your HABS

  20. Clay4bc says:

    I hope Balsillie does…I was really pulling for him to bring another team to Canada.

    But for the record, Bettman doesn’t need Balsillie to make him look like a fool – he does a pretty good job of that all on his own.

    __________________________

    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  21. The Cat says:

    I couldnt disagree more with Arpon Basu. Yes the bruins laid out the blueprint to beat the habs, just because the other teams aint using it doesnt mean the blueprint doesnt exist! And correct me if Im wrong but didnt most of the players say (before the deadline) that theyd welcome some muscle on the team with open arms?

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

  22. mrhabby says:

    Avs..are not going anywhere…there owned by Walmart folks  a fixture in Denver.

    Sabres were just recently bought by another billionaire..not going anywhere.

    Ottawa..not going anywhere..just need to get the house in order…nothing wrong with a rebuild.

    all the rest i suppose need help in some way…florida, atlanta for sure.

  23. Displaced says:

    Unless you own the sports outlet that carries your team’s game and get all the revenue from the stadium, owing an NHL team in most markets is just a hobby.  Buffalo is on its second billionaire – perhaps third, did the Rigas make it to ten figures before they bust? –.  I suppose dumping money down a well gets old even for the ultra-wealthy.    

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  24. Displaced says:

    They were struggling paying less than $10m in US (about $14m in Canadian terms) for most of their final years.  The cap is multiple of that.  Even with a C$ slightly above par, that would mean at least 3x MORE salary than they were paying.  If they draw an extra 3000 people (to the max capacity the MTSC), they would probably still come up way short.

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  25. Displaced says:

    North American companies are going global and the NHL IS a money-driven business (other than inexplicably forcing its owners to subsidize Phoenix). 

    Yes, it would take some smart scheduling with more regional play, but I don’t think an international division it’s that far-fetched. 

    Travel is tough (great HNIC piece on the Canucks sleep strategy), but flying from Montreal to Stockholm is about 8 hours.  Montreal to Phoenix is about 6 hours.  Teams would travel to the International (Alpo Suhonen) Division for a couple of weeks and play all six teams.  NHL teams have already started the season there, so it’s not impossible.

    And, I know NHL fly charters so this is largely irrelevant, but I can fly from NY to London cheaper than NY to Chicago, so the costs would be similar.

    Beyond that, we embrace knowledgeable and passionate hockey fans in markets that supply some of the best talent in NHL.  Guys like Lidstrom might play until his 50 and a take real home town discount to play in Sweden.  Jagr could lace them up at home. 

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  26. wd40 says:

    From the first paragraph of the Red Fisher article:

    One day short of a month ago, the Boston Bruins, ho visit tomorrow in yet anther all-important game, enaged with the Canadiens in brawl that had fans in both ities re-living it for days.”

    That’s gotta be a record..  ho visit?  yet anther?  both ities?   Digital media doesn’t have to mean no proof-reading/editing.

  27. DearyLeary says:

    Just to stomp out this clamoring for ‘toughness’ that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of days.  Francois Gangon was smart enough to respond to a question about whether we should call up Bonneau and/or Henry.  He tweeted: Not if the Canadiens want to win.

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    a vastly improved Canadian dollar

     

    And there’s your answer.

  29. HabFanSince72 says:

    I think he’s had enough.

    The NHL had the chance to have a team owner who is (1) very succesful at marketing, (2) creative in business, and (3) a lover of the game. Rather than welcome him with open arms these little mafiosi decided to exclude him instead, and then  slander him for good measure.

     

  30. Ian Cobb says:

    NO.  If anything they should go to the Peg. Not Quebec or Hamilton.

  31. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    I would say that there is a difference in polling the public and asking them if they like fighting in hockey and asking hockey fans if they like fighting in hockey.

    And if someone is already not a fan, getting rid of fighting will hardly bring them around. For instance, my mom thinks the fighting is stupid, so she would answer no. But she will never watch hockey unless i forced her to anyhow, so theres nothing to gain for her if its banned.

  32. Chuck says:

    Heck, he might have a shot at the Hart. Let’s start rhyming off names of players that have been more valuable to the success of their respective teams…

  33. G-Man says:

    Considered for it- probably yes. But at 31-21-6 (a team stat that does not reflect his play this year.), probably not. He would have to string a lot of zeroes together for serious consideration. With the Habs D the way it is now, with all the injuries, I don’t see too many shutouts upcoming. Still, he has had a great year. Let’s hope the playoffs are even better.

  34. The Cat says:

    I think the physical might be the defacto winner if its applied smartly. It may force the other team to adapt to do what you want or thats to your advantage. ie like last game, perhaps to get out of the bruteness the habs went into run and gun against the Bruins.

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

  35. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    I have heard this a few times. It’s really quite insane to think this would work. The logistics alone are crazy to think about especially in one of the poorest big league sports around.

  36. Omit says:

    Let’s not backtrack.  You quoted Milbury and said he spoke the truth.  But, apparently, all those people who were polled lied. That’s an odd way to justify an opinion.

  37. kempie says:

    I can’t think of 3 names that have a better shot at it. I think most would agree that it’s down to him and Thomas. Funny that, in their last meeting, they allowed 14 goals and both had fighting majors.

  38. The Cat says:

    Its not just the fighting, Lucic was in Price’s face all night.

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

  39. adam76 says:

    He should and will be nominated.  

  40. wd40 says:

    With 16 games left, does anyone think Price has a legitimate shot at the Vezina?   

  41. Ian Cobb says:

    Parity is great for the game, but the organisation that knows how this game is to be played properly, will be the team at the cup. We have 100 years of experience my friend.

    But parity sure keeps us on the edge of our seats.

  42. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Rigas family didn’t sell just because they were broke. They were criminals, and Adelphia, the telecom company they owned was floundering. They got caught in an Enron type scandal and owner’s son went to federal prison. Tom Golisano was a joke and bought the team to make PR inroads as a former gubernatorial candidate who at one point was going to run again, but used all his money to run puppets instead. He’s still got his greasy hands in WNY politics.

    Basically there are probably 10-15 teams that would move before the Sabres, and its just not gonna happen with the new owner. Period. He’s got more money than Geoff Molson and hes owned the team less than a month. Frankly the franchise is among the more successful in the league and is a bigger market than at least 2 current Canadian teams, and would be bigger than either Winnipeg or QC.

    This region, however, is pathetic in many other ways… just not in team support.

  43. RGM says:

    I would be shocked if he was not one of the three finalists. That said, barring a Bruins collapse down the stretch, I don’t see how it doesn’t go to Thomas. With a GAA under 2.00, a ridiculous .939SV%, tied for 2nd in shutouts, and only 2 back of the NHL lead in wins despite having fewer games than both Price and Luongo – he’s just been very very good this year. The flopper.

    Go Habs Go!

  44. Ian Cobb says:

    Over my head! Explain

  45. Mark C says:

    Even if it is a blueprint, something I disagree with, isn’t the blueprint useless if no team uses it? Also, what Boston did in that game isn’t sustainable, Montreal at some point (hopefully next time it happens) will walk away from mismatched fights, which will force the Bruins players into taking penalties or not fighting. I know the league doesn’t want to punish any Bruin, but one more game like that and they might be forced too.

    The Habs just need to be smart and skate away from any lopsided fight, Detroit players did this in their back-to-back following the last Montreal game and Tampa just did last week.

     

  46. habs03 says:

    Boston has won 2 games in the last 10 games (start of last season), we don’t need to change a thing. The funny thing is until the last 2 min of the game where the Bruins 4th liners fought Pyatt, and Spacek, MTL players had won the fights, Pouliot KO’d Kreici, Price could have killed Thomas when he was down, and Moen beat Ference.


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