Yemelin in action

Well, not real action.
Just skating around on the practice ice in Brossard.
The Canadiens team site has video.

The Hockey News Fantasy Pool rates the Canadiens C- … and lists Carey Price as “the only thing this team has going for it.”

28 Canadiens games on HNIC15 on TSN and six on NBC. The full HNIC and TSN skeds

Bulldogs sked

Fantasy Focus on DD

Eric Engels on the Canadiens-Bruins rivalry

• At least one writer is “excited for the Benoit Pouliot era to begin in Boston”

AllHabs assesses the Room

EotP on Michaël Bournival

Canucks vs. Toronto Star on Rypien misquote

Shallower nets? More possible changes

Damien Cox sees dark clouds


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  2. Muckbringer says:

    just showing pride in my bro

  3. Neutral says:

    People still commenting on Gomez. I’ll put it to you this way, if you were guaranteed somewhere around 20 mil+ for the next 4 years would you go to work and bust your butt, do I need to say more don’t think so….

    • 1010 says:

      So the amount of money a person makes is in inverse proportion to the effort they’ll put into their job?

      GO HABS…

      • likehoy says:

        no, the amount of guaranteed money is inversely proportional to the “necessity” to put effort in your job.

        putting effort remains a choice and a matter of pride.

        – Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

        • 1010 says:

          Correct. There are many examples of high paid athletes that, although overpaid, still work hard every game. The big dollars do not create lethargy. Character flaws, however, will. I believe that Gomez is a proud man and he will give a better effort this season. Whether or not that will be good enough remains to be seen.

          GO HABS…

  4. Malreg says:

    Just read this on yahoo:

    Shanahan promises transparency as disciplinarian

    “And now, every time Shanahan and his colleagues announce a suspension, they will release a video simultaneously explaining what they saw, everything they deliberated and why they settled on that certain sanction. It might be on a case-by-case basis, but they hope to release a video after each disciplinary hearing, not just each suspension, so they can give an explanation when they decide not to take action, too.

    “You might not agree with our decision, but you’re going to understand how we got to that decision,” said Shanahan, the NHL’s vice president of player safety and hockey operations. “This is not a black-and-white job. ⦠It’s not completely predictive. But over a certain amount of time, I hope that they sort of start to understand what the strike zone is.”

    Great start for Shanny so far!

    • Wow. Big step in credibility for the NHL’s disciplinary committee.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Great improvement over Colin Campbell, who doesn’t know how to adjust the time reading on the clock of his top-loader VCR, and doesn’t know enough to not get on the ice when the Bruins were celebrating their misbegotten Cup (spit!) Hockey dad my foot, you crooked buffoon. You did your job as you played hockey, two steps behind, slashing and flailing and stumbling all the way, looking as ridiculous as you did wearing that orange Canucks jersey and 70’s perm.
      For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Very smart move by Shanahan, divorces himself from the closed-door Wheel of Justice regime of Campbell with a direct approach to explaining what is going on.

      Whether it holds water we’ll find out but this is good to see, transparency is badly needed in this area of the game.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

    • JD_ says:

      On the basis of pure practicality, I probably would not have gone as far as The Shanster. Swingin’ pendulums ‘n’ all that.

      Shanahan strikes me as an earnest guy. Goin’ too far, however. Could have achieved the same objective from a PR perspective – and there is some major PR required – without bustin’ his personal strategy bank.

      Who among you wants to work in a materially high-pressure and publicly visible position, in a private company, where the detailed rationale behind all your decisions is recorded and distributed to the public? Ok, and for how long do you want this to represent the 24-7-52 of your existence?

      Nah. You engender a more open atmosphere – Bettman is so on the same page right now, but he’s not goin’ to be the one to stick his neck out – through your actions as manager. Invite, however, the cameras in? No. Not a chance. Who does that?

      Maybe Brendan’s a visionary.

      To quote Pierre McGuire, prior to when he whiffed on the 855 UFAs Bob Gainey thankfully didn’t re-sign not too long ago, “Shanny’s just a human being, Mitch, just a human being.”

    • Captain aHab says:

      “Here we see Chara with his hand clearly on Paccioretty’s head pushing it into the stanchion while the puck is 30 feet away. To us that is clearly a hockey play so no suspension. The reason why there is no suspension is because Chara has always been a good guy and the NHLPA doesn’t give a )$&@.”

  5. showey47 says:

    Anybody going to the summit thinking about catching the bulldogs game at the bell center on the friday night?

  6. Castor says:

    Anybody have the streaming game center ice on ps3? I live in Toronto and last year I watched every game but mostly on the Internet.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      I asked the same question last night, got no replies. I would love to get all the Habs games in HD, but Im worried about buffering and choppy video.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • Jonson says:

      to the previous post about gomez……. those games he was injured proved only that ELLer was 10 times better than him. during some of those games montreal played really well. i remember the detroit game where they prob played their best game all season. Gomez brought down every player who played with him. Patches and Gionta were the two players that were responsible for gomez’s ” point per game status” . Are you telling me that gomez would have put up 82 points last season if patches were up and playing with him all season???? you say that he is the glue to the dressing room ?? oh yeah ask Pk subban how he felt being snubbed after the goal he scored against calgary in overtime??? the young guys keep that locker room tight. not an old school loser who cant play anymore. and by the way how would you know anything about that??? do you hang out in the locker room??? are you basing this on reports from the media??? thats a great soucre lol

  7. Marc10 says:

    Under Pat Burns, Pouliot wouldn’t have lasted 20 games. He would have played 5 games, sat for 10, played 3 shifts of another game and then been sent packing.

    The guy doesn’t seem to learn what it takes to be a pro. It’s a crying shame to watch him piss away his potential.

    Maybe he’ll figure it out in Boston, but I if ever there was a guy in need of a Gary Roberts intensive off ice arse kicking it be Benny.

    235lbs, 3% body fat, off the charts Vo2 max… Come into training camp like that and you’re in business. Bet you Benny is nowhere near there.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      To me it always seemed like Poo Poo couldn’t handle the pressure. If I’m remembering correctly, he did his best when playing on the 3rd or 4th lines. When he was put on the 2nd line, he started skating like me (very poorly). He may do well in boston if that is the case.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  8. Chrisadiens says:

    Where’s Bugsy? I was hoping for a Masterchef recap/reaction. Can’t believe Jen won. Over-achiever if ya ask me. Ben or Adrien should’ve won. The whole thing is rigged. When’s TopChef start?

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  9. Bripro says:

    Hey everybody (for the few who are connected), I want to introduce my grandson. Check out the image. He’s my hero. Let me know what you think. I’m trying to get him with his CH pyjamas on, but his dad (my young son…the GASP Bruins fan) is countering me at every corner. I’ll get him.

  10. jew4jah says:

    has bob cole retired yet?

    chara = חרה

  11. Un Canadien errant says:

    I can’t believe the Benoit Pouliot debate still rages.

    Spend a little time watching this episode of ‘Nos Canadiens’, starring the boy in question (

    Now imagine you’re in a dressing room full of alpha dogs and accomplished, determined, dedicated athletes. Ask yourself how does this young man fit in?

    Do all the Canadiens-management detractors think that Mr. Gauthier and Mr. Martin don’t see the size and shot and ‘potential’ of Mr. Pouliot? They are not blind, they are actually experts in the field of evaluating hockey players. They understand that the kid could develop into something, but is missing something critical. It’s possible that he could find that missing ingredient, but it’s a very, very long shot, and this game is all about making decisions based on the facts at hand. So Mr. Gauthier and Mr. Martin decide to fold on that hand, and gamble on David Desharnais and Lars Eller. That’s the right call to make. If there was no limit on roster sizes and players under contract and no salary cap, maybe you hold on to Benoit and hope to strike it rich, but there is and we can’t.

    If Benoit had half the character of a Mario Tremblay or Lyle Odelein or Steve Begin, he’d be a superstar in this league, but he doesn’t and floats around unable to marshal his considerable gifts. Il lui manque du ‘chien’.

    These decisions are not taken in a vacuum. Just as there was an overt campaign in the dressing room to re-sign Hal Gill for another season, there was no word spoken in favour of Mr. Pouliot. Think about this. All the players in the room and on the bench can also see how tall and broad Mr. Pouliot is, how lethal his shot is. None of them spoke up for him.

    I just finished reading Larry Robinson’s autobiography “Robinson For The Defence”, and in it he describes how regulars at training camp look at the new kids, hopeful for some help to make the team better. I’ve experienced that in my team sports background, the new kids who show up and wow everyone and who are pleasant surprises during the first few games of the season. If Mr. Pouliot had been one of those kids, he would have stuck with the team. As it was, he wore out his welcome, and the regulars started looking past him at Mr. Desharnais and White and Eller.

    Now let’s never speak of him again, in his cursed new jersey (spit!)

    For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Well, interesting post. And I’m so glad you’ve read Larry Robinson’s book, very worthwhile and should, along with The Game, be top of mind with every poster on here.

      That said, I take a broader perspective with respect to the Pouliot debacle.

      1. He was an acknowledged risk. We traded our head case, The Tender One, for their (Minnesota’s) head case. I think we all pretty much accepted that risk as equitable on both sides.

      2. Pouliot didn’t work out, talent notwithstanding. Talent is not everything. HOWEVER – and this is where I think much of the angst comes from: with Latendresse and Pouliot both falling through the cracks like cars falling through the holes in a Quebec bridge – we have to show for both those guys:

      nothing. nada. squat. bupkus.

      And to some of us, that is pretty damning on our coaching, management, or both.

      Me personally, I blame Martin. I think Pat Burns or Jacques Demers could have gotten Pouliot going. The proof will be how he does with Claude Juien. We play them 6 times. If he lights us up, it’s not going to be pretty around here.

      That’s all.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Yeah, smart*ss, all teams lose assets, but WINNING teams don’t lose them for NOTHING.

          • Mark C says:

            Yeah, like when Philly and Detroit lose Leino for nothing in back to back years. Or when the Blackhawks lost the Cup winning goalie for nothing.

            Montreal got ride of a non-male hockey player, shouldn’t that make you happy?

          • saskhabfan says:

            Really? As i recall the bruins lost kaberle for nothing after trading a first rounder and a drafted first rounder for him. When it was all said and done he was playing 3rd pairing minutes. Ryder also left and the bruins got nothing in return. Playoff teams lose assets for nothing much more often then non playoff teams,its a fact. Non playoff teams trade potential ufa’s at the deadline every year which is why non playoff teams generally have more draft picks then playoff teams at the draft in the summer. Anybody who knows a shred about hockey would know that. But i guess since your just some schmuck from l.a. who drives a car taylor made for the golden girls it explains why you are so clueless.

          • how is me pointing out daylight existing on a non cloudy day, me being a smartass?

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I wasn’t even aware that Larry had written a book, I owe the credit to reading it from posters on HIO. While I was at it, I also got ‘The Game’ by Dryden, it’s been at least 15 years since I read it last. Our Library in Whistler is beautiful but pretty small, so the collection is pretty small, but we can get books from other libraries in BC through Inter-Library Loans, which must be the best possible use of my tax dollars and a great example of beneficial government services.

        Any other book written by players I should read? The next sports book on my list is ‘Ball Four’ by Jim Bouton, another one I haven’t read for years, and which I highly recommend. Hilarious, with great insights on what grown men with lots of money who play games for a living get up to.
        For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

        • GrimJim says:

          Might be hard to find but Roy McGregor did a book about the Sens first season called Road Games. DAve Bidini wrote one on hockey around the world (unusual places like Hong Kong or Saudi Arabia) called Tropic of Hockey. I didn’t read it but the title always makes me smile, Al Strachan’s “Why the Leafs Suck” 🙂

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Crank a Kokanee for us there in Whistler, Knight Errant.

          “For summer is gone, and we are not saved.”
          Jeremiah (was a bullfrog) 17

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Another great sport book is the original novel “North Dallas 40” (Peter Gent, I think). Both the book and the movie (Nick Nolte and Mac Davis) are great fun. It’s cool to read the book and then screen it right after.

          FYI, Nick Nolte’s love interest is played by Dayle Haddon – a quite famous Canadian model from the 70’s who also was in my personal favorite hockey movie “Paperback Hero” with Kier Dullea.

          If you can remember the 70’s, you weren’t really there.

        • Psycho29 says:

          @ Un Canadien Errant:

          If you’re going to read “Ball Four”, you have to follow it up with Jim Bouton’s “I’m Glad You Didn’t Take It Personally”, which deals with the fallout and reaction to “Ball Four”….

          Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:


          If it doesn’t have to be hockey, it would be worth getting the BC Public Libraries Inter-library loan service to chase “Never Die Easy”, Walter Payton’s autobiography, and “The Fight”, Norman Mailer’s classic account of the Ali-Foreman fight in Zaire. I also thought “Leafs Abomination” (Feychuk) was good, but I’m not a Leafs-hater.

          Is the Robinson book really in the same class as “The Game”? Or is it perhaps more for fans only?

          Also, has anyone read the Habs history by D’Arcy Jenish? Is it good? I LOVED Dick Irvin’s “The Habs”.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            No, the Robinson book is not as insightful or have the same quality of writing that ‘The Game’ has. Also, while Ken Dryden really allows us to get to know the players (through good accounts of their antics, for one), Robinson’s book is more superficial. I would say it is a good read for the completist fan, but no more.

            For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.


      • Bill J says:

        He had a one year contract, played like a putz. WTF did you think PG would have gotten for PouPou ? In your words, Bumpkus!

        Get a grip man, as someone else said. Many teams lose assets for nothing.

        How do you think, Gionta, Cammalleri, Gill, Cole came to the Habs. The other teams lost them for Bumpkus!

        If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page:

        Go Habs Go!

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Mr Harvey, I believe you are spot on, as far as management is concerned. And Pouliot was missing something alright.

    • HabFab says:

      I love the spit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. pants buzzed

    rds is broadcasting 7 pre-season games

    thats a first

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Cool, the pre-season games are awesome to watch!

    • punkster says:

      By the way, just catching up.
      Asphalt? Hilarious.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Bripro says:

      I’m going through withdrawls. I even watched part of a hockey classic between the oilers and the islanders a few days ago….oye!

    • JD_ says:

      Well, that sux.

      I was lookin’ forward to once again subscribin’ to RIS for a month, all for the pleasure of watchin’ their awkwardly stilted, quote-unquote coverage of the games.

      I mean, there’s nothin’ quite like a night of hockey filled with that guy who kinda looks like Magic Tom talkin’ yer effin’ head off, because the station is effectively weaselin’ itself through some regulatory loophole in order to deliver some semblance of a live broadcast.


      • HabFab says:

        RIS had to be the most frustrating experience ever! Tried it once and never again.

      • Chuck says:

        Magic Tom! When I was 5, he pulled a quarter from behind by ear during a show at the arena in Waterloo. I forgot about that until you just jogged my memory!

        • JD_ says:

          That’s magic, baby.

          About 20 years ago or so, I bought a few pieces of his durin’ an estate auction.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            My little brother was on Magic Tom in Montreal. Forgot til now. Thanks.

            And while there are people my age on here today, did anyone watch lots of the ’76 Olympics on CBC? For years and years I’ve been trying to remember, what was the name of the classic sports highlights programme they showed every morning til the games started for the day? Anyone?

  13. Hobie Hansen says:

    We’re going beat those Bruins this year with a healthy Markov,
    Gorges and Pacioretty.

    The additions of Cole and Yemelin are not going to help in a center ice scrap but will improve our ability to take hits and dish them out too.

    Drop the puck already!!! GOD!!!!

  14. shiram says:

    Just saw a video of the clear window on top of the nets, and that’s one minor change I like, shows a very clear image of what’s going on from the top down perspective.

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  15. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Hoping for the best from (Y)Emelin but gee I don’t like the “LADA” on his chest. 😉

  16. Chorske says:

    About the pool rankings, uh, well, they are kind of right. I’m a pretty dedicated Hab fan, but I almost never pick Habs in my pools. I should also add that I haven’t finished worse than third place in the past six years in any of my pools, for what that’s worth, the point being that I consider myself a good poolie. There are a couple of decent Habs to pick in pools: Carey is a pool monster because he gets 80%+ of the starts, sees a ton of shots, and still maintains a decent SV%; Pleks and Marky are decent picks, but they are sleepers who go in middle pool rounds (especially in the points-only pools). The larger point is that pool ranking is a HORRIBLE way to assess the value of a player; it completely ignores the all important chemistry factor that determines team success (see the recent discussion about the room in Washington); and it also is a horrible way to assess the real world quality of a team, especially a defensive-oriented team that doesn’t tend to score a lot of goals.

    So POOH POOH to the pool rankings. They are correct, the Habs generally don’t make good pool choices. But that doesn’t matter in the real world.

    • J_P says:

      Good post.

      Sorry for being blunt, but anyone who judges the prospective quality of a team on the ice, in the real world, by their FANTASY rating by a FANTASY pool specialist is an idiot.

      Dobber definitely knows fantasy hockey though, and I completely agree with him. From a fantasy standpoint, the habs arent so hot, especially because he was grading teams for their fantasy value in dynasty pools.

  17. twilighthours says:

    28 games on CBC, but not really. Every Saturday at 8 (in Halifax), I sit down and flick on the CBC and wait to see which feed I get, and it is apat always the Leafs’ feed.

    So yeah, CBC has a crew in mtl for 28 games, but haligonians get mtl games much less than that.

    Whatever. F CBC. Gimme RDS any day.

    If you’re sick of not being able to view the HIO comment structure from your iPhone, try downloading Mercury browser. If you have alternative suggestions, please send them along!

    • savethepuck says:

      I am in Saint john in the same boat as you. I have Rogers so I used to check all the other CBC channels ( Pacific, Central etc…) and sometimes you can find a Habs game on 1 of those when the Ontario and Atlantic channels are showing the Laffs. The problem is that only the Ontario CBC channel is offered on HD. So glad I got the RDS package 1 1/2 years ago. If the game isn’t on TSN or CBC HD, I always have RDS HD. I have to be doing something very important to miss a game and if I do, I stay away from sports news and checking scores on my blackberry so I can watch it on Canadiens Express without knowing the score.

      “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Same in Ontario. Problem with my cable provider is I only get the Ontario CBC feed in HD. Non HD i can go to a western CBC feed and sometimes get the Hab feed.

        • Goderichab says:

          After years of frustration, gave up on CBC. I have my cable provider link me to RDS so I can get a direct feed.
          Used to be able to link to RDS via ‘puter, for a fee, but they discontinued that last year!
          Between Cherry, and Maguire (thank God he’s gone)
          It was getting ridiculous to try and watch a hockey game.
          Some of us just like the game, without all the BS from so called “experts”
          Save that for between periods, at least then we can get our nachos and P** if need be, without missing the action.

          I remember the dynasties…

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        I am the same as you. I think I only missed 6 or 7 games last year (some because I accidentally saw the score at the bar and then didn’t want to watch it).

        Set the PVR and start watching after I get home from work… (I live in Calgary so most games start while I am in traffic).

        RDS HD is my saviour and my wifes curse.

    • Say Ash says:

      Haligonians. I did not know that.

    • RGM says:

      Likewise. Usually once the Leafs are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs (no December jokes! LOL) they usually change the focus more to the Habs. So we may get a heavier diet of them in 2012, but for the first few months of the year the only time we’ll see them in Halifax on CBC is if they’re playing the Leafs.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  18. HabinBurlington says:

    Looks like we will have the PM watching the Habs at the Jets Home Opener in Wpg.

    Will he be wearing the Jets Jersey?

    • Bripro says:

      Oh well, I guess we should yell out: “stop the presses!”.
      The PM’s in town. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing better than sitting next the Harper, watching a Jets’ game, swilling back a Kokanee!
      (enter sarcastic reply here)

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I would love to be the obnoxious Hab fan behind him in the stands spilling beer on him, yelling at the refs and cheering positively for the Habs!

        Edit: I would enjoy doing that behind most politicians in this country regardless of their party.

        • Bripro says:

          LOL. And considering how he got his a** whooped by Jack Layton in Quebec, we should show up wearing orange. You bring to spilling beer, I’ll bring the spilling nachos and cheese. And if he gives us a hard time, just tell him: “it’s not cho cheese!”.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            haha Deal.

          • JD_ says:

            For the record, ’twas Duceppe who got his hairnet handed to him in QC.

          • all parties not coloured orange got hosed

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Crosseyed is right. Ignatieff also lost big.

            In fairness to the Conservatives they didn’t try too hard in Quebec.

          • ignatief i believe was red, red is not orange, rendering my comment completely valid (that and the fact he wasnt in a quebec riding 😛 )

            as for the conservative in my riding, he campaigned the hardest, double decker busses up and down victoria av, planes with his name on banners, kissin babies in the village etc.

            the ndp chick had 2 signs

            1 sorta near an iga and the other was kinda on the property of miss italia

            she never made any public appearances

            here were the snot bubble inducing results


  19. HabinBurlington says:

    High Expectations for Streit in New York on the Island this year. (No not dry island, that was broken up between LA and Columbus)

  20. DearyLeary says:

    TSN is riding this ‘bearhug’ rule hard. So dies the ‘new NHL’.

    • MathMan says:

      Brian Burke is pursuing it, so it gets a lot of press time from Toronto-based media. Of course, Burke is all about player safety, and the fact that a return to clutch-and-grab would favor the Leaf’s famous truculent blueline (which is short on puck skills but big on size) has nothing to do with his insistence.

      In practice, though, it has to be accepted by the league and there will be more voices involved than Brian Burke’s.

      • GrimJim says:

        The thing about the bearhug/obstruction thing is that Shanahan is the guy in charge of reviewing rules and it was his Summit during the 2004 lockout that provided the impetus for the league to crackdown on obstruction in the first place. Shanny would look kinda odd if he was the guy that let obstruction creep back in.

      • Malreg says:

        Burke said that he isn’t going to nominate the rule for this year, and wants to see it again at next summer’s R&D camp, so I guess we don’t have to worry about it until next year.

  21. Hobie Hansen says:

    Man oh Man I can’t wait to see this Yemelin play in the NHL.

    I’m really hoping that Gauthier ends up looking good on this one.

    If Subban picks up where he left off, Markov of old is back, Gorges and Gill are shutting down the stars, this could be a very good defensive unit!

    It would also be a big help if Spacek never sees the ice!

    • Shane1313 says:

      Yemelin looks like he’s gonna be a lot of fun. I hope he brings the physical edge thats everyone’s talking about. The D corps looks very strong, but hey let’s not rag on Spaceman!

      He seems to get a lot of slack that he doesn’t deserve, he is a good vet. To be fair he was thrown in to a role with too many mintues. I hope he starts 60 games playing 10-12 minutes. He’s older now, but he can still play.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        The image I have of Spacek is him scrambling for his life, coughing up the puck and getting leveled.

        I couldn’t count the amount of times, either killing a penalty or in a pressure situation, where Spacek either got knocked off the puck in the corner or couldn’t clear the zone.

        Maybe he could bounce back with reduced minutes but he looked like he was done by the end of the playoffs.

        • everything you said was a RESULT of the minutes he had to bare

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Yeah I dunno, I personally am very nervous when he is matched up against players like a Lucic, Perry or Lecavalier.

            He is easy overpowered in the defensive zone. Even on his first shift of the game. He’s old, slow, smallish and timid.

            My opinion, he could prove me wrong. I hope he does because he seems like a super nice guy and he loves playing for the Canadiens and being in Montreal.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Absolutely overplayed, but he still had that scared crapless look on his face in our end. I like Spacek, but his minutes have to be managed far better. Any slight overplaying of him and the Geritol wears out immediatlely and he is left stuck on the ice without a walker.

      • G-Man says:

        Maybe if they let him play Left D like he’s done everywhere except Montreal he’d have a shot at playing a lot better?

        • Bripro says:

          I’m with you. Give him a break. You have to feel for him. He played kingsized minutes with geriatric legs.
          At the beginning of the year, he had me pulling out my six hair follicles. By the end of the year, he seemed to have settled down. 10-12 minutes per game, and he’ll do OK.

  22. MathMan says:

    “• The Hockey News Fantasy Pool rates the Canadiens C- … and lists Carey Price as “the only thing this team has going for it.””

    Well, it’s a fantasy grade and it’s from the Hockey News. So you can’t expect in-depth analysis that involves ability to win hockey games. And the dogged “Montreal has no talent and is all goaltending” narrative is well-accepted, and for fantasy he’s not all wrong, as the Habs have few high-end fantasy players (Markov doesn’t get enough PIMs and Subban hasn’t established himself as a premier PP guy).

    I do think he’s underestimating the fantasy potential of the Habs though; a lot of poolers are likely to be unaware of Montreal’s strong possession/outshooting game and abysmal shooting percentage, or realize that the shooting percentage heavily regresses to the mean. Montreal doesn’t really have any major fantasy stars, but it seems to me there’s an opportunity for a canny pooler to pick up undervalued players from the Habs.

  23. InPriceWeTrust31 says:

    Well that is a big bummer, was really hopingg we could of got some veteran center depth on our team , but none the less we will still be contending for the top 5 spots in the eastern conference

    Quelle arrete de carey price!

  24. Propwash says:

    Let them give the Habs a low grading. Hockey is a game with so many variables that it’s nearly impossible to predict anything.

  25. OneTimer says:

    Haha, so is Dobber saying we’re worse than the Minnesota Wild? Riiiight…

    • Viruk42 says:

      He’s not saying Montreal will finish lower in the standings than Minnesota, he’s saying don’t pick Habs players for your fantasy pools. Since most fantasy pools are based on points, I kind of agree with him. Other than Price and Plekanec, I wouldn’t pick any Habs for a points based pool.

      • FishOutOfWater says:


        • Viruk42 says:

          I love Subban as much as the rest of you, but I’d be worried about a sophomore slump, possible reduction in ice time with Markov back, not getting PP time because Martin is saving him for the PK. It was his first season, it’s not enough for me to justify picking him ahead of guys who maybe had less points, but have produced similar numbers 5 years in a row.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I am guessing you would have shied away from Crosby his second year as well then, because of the “sophomore slump” jinx?

          • samTHEman says:

            Subban WILL get PP time. Who do you expect to be at the point with Markov on the 1st wave? Gorges? Gill? HELL NO. Martin is more likely to use Markov Subban Yemelin and Weber, maybe Spacek. Gill and Gorges should log most of the PK minutes

          • Dude, Subban scored more goals than almost any other defenseman in the NHL. Defensemen who can score are very valuable. Not to mention his PIM totals make him even more attractive as a fantasy player. He nearly won me a pool on his own last year.

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            I am with Sam the man! PK is definetly getting PP time!! Your crazy to think he is more of an asset on the PK than PP. Have you forgotten about that shot he put past Tim Thomas in game 7?

            He will have the second highest PP time on the team (next to Markov).

      • OneTimer says:

        OK, I understand that, but who’s any good on Minny? Koivu? Also, I have Subban in my keeper league, I think he’s going to be a fantasy stud.

        • Viruk42 says:

          In a keeper league, sure, add Subban.

          Minnesota has Koivu and Heatley, and, well, that’s about it. The only reason I can see them getting a higher ranking is that they might be doing away with the defense-first system they had under Lemaire. If so, they’ll probably put up more points than the Habs.

  26. Habs_4_ever says:

    Will the Bell sponsored show “Nos Canadiens” be back this season. I rather enjoyed it last year. A great way to get to know the players on a more personal level. Of course I would really love to see a HBO “24/7” type show on the Habs. I think that would be the ultimate for all diehard fans.

    “That’s the save of the year and it’s not even the year yet!”

  27. jew4jah says:

    does anyone have experience with specifically their on-demand streams.
    heading back to the holyland, into a timezone 7 hours ahead of EST so watching live streaming starting at 2:30am is not always possible & never convenient.

    chara = חרה

    • sy0409 says:

      *it’s חרא 🙂

    • OneTimer says:

      I do, my jewish friend…

      I started out with it when I moved to the States two years ago and it was a crappy service. On a good night it worked fine, on a bad night the stream was choppy or defective. I never missed an entire game, but sometimes a period here and there. WORST part was the customer service, or lack thereof. If you have a problem, they pretty much treated you like dirt. Taking your money is all that they care(d) for. You will NEVER get a reimbursement from them, period… As an ironic aside, I get the impression these guys are operating in a huge internet grey area… the site’s membership works by “donation”, for whatever legal reason…

      Anyways last year the stream quality improved, but still had it’s kinks. Customer service was still terrible. Oh and I forgot to mention, during the playoffs it really sucks because these guys’ servers couldn’t handle a much higher amount of viewers for huge games.

      All that being said, I’ll probably sign up again this year. It’s not THAT bad, if you watch all 82+ like me, you’ll probably watch 70 or so totally problem free, the others with a few snags once in a while. Also, it’s fun if you’re a pooler like me, because you have access to non-Habs games. I started following the Ducks and Sharks a lot last year. Finally, the most important reason I’m going back to them: it’s the only game in town. If a better service came around, I’d be on it in a heartbeat.


      • jew4jah says:

        thanks so much for the info. i’ve sent them 3 emails over the past 2 months & have not received a reply. that kind of tipped me into thinking they had customer service problems. i figure if they can’t be bothered to answer me before they get my $, it can only get worse.
        the other option i’m considering is slingboxing my parent’s PVR in montreal.

        chara = חרה

  28. D Mex says:

    CBC reporting that Chris Drury has announced his retirement.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    I agree and removed it.!

  30. Rudy says:

    I would think the guys with kids (Gionta and Gill especially) should be back in Montreal now for the start of school. Hopefully that means some sightings at Brossard over the next couple of weeks.

  31. dasbooth says:

    As per Allhabs Article

    When one of your best players (Pleks) consistently puts the needs of the team before his own personal goal scoring desires first that shows tremendous leadership and commitment to the team. Hard for up and comers to exhibit selfish behaviors when the best of the team do what is asked of them on a consistent basis. Look at Subban’s reaction to being benched last year, never complained, and took it to heart (IMO) and improved his all around game.

    Great article, I could not agree more.
    “Shutouts are really more of a team stat” – Carey Price

  32. samTHEman says:

    WOW C-? Really?

    When THN made their B- assessment of the habs last year:

    1. Price was totally unproven coming off his worst career year. No one knew which Price we would see…
    2. Subban had about 20 games under his belt including only 2 regular season games. His impact on the team was unknown.
    3. No one knew Pacioretty’s potential which is obviously clear now. Same could be said for DD. He was penciled-in as too small to score but he has notched up a decent amount of points despite his limited ice-time and role.
    4. Wiz and Sopel weren’t on the team yet.

    On the back end, how is a healthier Markov, Gorges + adding 6’2 220lbs Yemelin, a more experienced Subban worse than losing Hamrlik and O’Byrne?

    On the front end, how is having a new and confident Pacioretty (although we haven’t seen him since in action since his injury) and adding size and scoring punch in Cole possibly any worse than last year? Heck we only lost Pyatt and Halpern. Plus Price just came off a career year, arguably should have been one of the 3 Vezina finalists (many of us think he definately deserved it even Brodeur).

    C-? Really? I wonder how much Toronto gets.

    • j0nHABS says:

      yeah, also I had Pleks the last two years in my pool (which is based on all stats not just points) and he does well in almost every stat! The comment that Price is the only star is a joke, even if it is only based on fantasy pools. The hockey news never gets it right! Their projections of the Habs always has them out of the playoffs and all they comment on about the Habs is that they are small… when is this going to stop? So there is a few small players on the team, the whole team isn’t small and besides they prove time and time again that they can compete with the best teams in the league!

      Is it October Yet??

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Don’t worry about predictions….they mean squat. All the predictors thought Price could succeed in Montreal

    • Shadizl says:

      It’s not even a prediction, it’s a fantasy assessment… and they’re absolutely right. Aside from Price, who would have any fantasy value whatsoever? Gomez? Gionta? Most leagues aren’t deep enough for players like them to even be considered.

      At most, Subban, Markov, Pleks could be later round picks… Subban earlier if it were a keeper.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Cammalleri has a LOT of fantasy value – he’s a goal scoring LW, a position that is notoriously shallow in fantasy leagues. He’s not a first rounder, but he’s definitely a 3rd/4th round pick.

        Subban and Markov both have significant fantasy value as they’re point producing defencmen who promise to both see significant time on the PP.

        Pacioretty, Weber, and Eller would all be very valuable in a keeper league – not early round value, but mid-round for sure.

        (not that any of this really matters – we’re talking fantasy hockey value here 😀 )

      • Kooch7800 says:

        depends on the categories. Markov would be a great pick if you were looking for a D man. Gets points, has a good plus minus and PP points.

        Price is a great goalie, and Cammy if he comes back into form

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Someone’s a Leafs booster at THN.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

    • kempie says:

      I need to say that I understand that this is a poolie thing as Shadizl pointed out. But I wanted to ask who would have traded Pyatt, Halpern & Pouliot for Cole (& a healthy Pacioretty)? Or how about Wiz, Sopel, Mara & Hamr for Markov, Gorges & Emelin? This is a significantly improved team. And you know Toronto will score no lower than a B.

  33. joeybarrie says:

    Daryl Dobbs. Just look at his picture. Not exactly what I would call journalistic elite…

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

  34. Habs_4_ever says:

    Does anyone know if the Habs will be going off to some retreat this pre-season like they did two seasons ago. A little team bonding sure couldn’t hurt, especially for the newcumers.

    “That’s the save of the year and it’s not even the year yet!”

    • j0nHABS says:

      It would be a good idea but it most likely won’t happen. Martin did that two years ago because no one knew anyone on the team, this team is now going on three years and everyone is experienced with each other. Plus all you hear is how tight the Habs room is, which I don’t have a hard time believing, everyone seems to be getting along.

      Is it October Yet??

  35. SmartDog says:

    I make mistakes. I’m sometimes wrong.

    But… I was right that Plekanec would come back strong after his one bad year, I was right that Gomez would be worse than most people thought, I was right that Boucher would excel in Tamp in his first NHL year, I was right that Grabovski would do well and that SK would quickly prove his worth on a new team.

    And I’m right that Pouliot will do well in Boston. And that PG is an idiot for letting ANOTHER young player who’s finding his feet go. (Not to mention that we tossed away another first line forward in Lats to get him.) The Habs should only pick up free agents who are 26 and up. That way they don’t need to toss half of them for being not quite mature enough yet.

    Above all else, above Gomez, and aging defensemen, freak injuries and a sometimes stifling defensive system – I am AMAZED this team does as well as it does while throwing away so many good young players. Truly amazed.

    *****WARNING: Testing out new dog icons for the coming season. *****

    • drivefor25 says:

      “Finding his feet” was Pouliot’s problem…all that falling down LOL!

      Fan since ’71

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      The only way Pouliot makes it to the 2nd line is if Julien places him above Seguin on the depth chart/insists on keeping Seguin as the 3rd line Centre and doesn’t move him to the wing. And with both Krejci and Bergeron signed long term it’s extremely likely that Seguin will be moved to the wing sooner rather than later.

      I think we’re FAR more likely to see a Boston lineup of:


      With those linemates and playing 3rd line minutes, it would seem extremely unlikely that Benoit Pouliot will be able to top his career high of 39 points (split between Mtl and Min).

    • samTHEman says:

      I lol’d @ Lats as a first line forward.

      Pouliot finding his feet? How exactly does failing to score a goal in the last 30 games of his last 2 seasons + playoffs in MTL indicate improvement?

    • tobbs says:

      LOL please…Grabovski and SK are two big fish in a little pond. Look at TO’s offensive players, pretty low on the charts. Not hard to put #’s like he did when he was TO’s only option. I think you have blinders on, the musical chairs issue of players goes on all around the league. Sometimes a change of scenery helps a player, sometimes it doesnt. I think the habs have done just fine with player development.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Pouliot has severe confidence issues, Boston is not going to fix that for him, Julien is not some special coach who makes everyone stand up and believe in themselves, except that they can be a bigger piece of garbage than they were the day before. And Neither he nor Guimauve are ‘first-line forwards’ on any serious team, or any half-serious team for that matter unless the C and other wing are dragging him behind them to relevance. Half the reason Grabovski and Sergei succeed because their teams have no choice BUT to play them in the Top-6 because they are limited for talent. Dominic Moore once had a 40-point season in Toronto b/c they were so short of bodies they had to use him. Also, Sergei went invisible in the playoffs for Nashville while no one knows if Grabovski will ever be worth a damn in them because he’s in Toronto.

      Aging defencemen? Subban is 22 as is Weber, Yemelin is 25 and Gorges just hit 27. 4 of our 7 are under 30 and we have what, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Nash, Mitera, Pateryn, Ellis, Bennett, Diaz, Nygren, Dietz, Mitera all set to balance for a place over the next few years?

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        After the Bruins signed him Julien said one of the main reasons is they were impressed when he fought against them.

        That’s the same Julien who said maybe hockey is too violent after Giroux knocked out Bergeron with a legal hit.

        He sent out his goons at the end of that 8-6 game. He put Chara on the ice after the icing when MaxPac was already on the ice (and the game was essentially over), possibly because it was time for revenge.

    • Propwash says:

      Separation anxiety strikes again!

  36. HabinBurlington says:

    @malreg, absolute agreement. Steckel may not have thought he would concuss Sidney, but he wanted to give him a pop. This is as good example there is of how the elbow/shoulder pads are weapons. I am sure Steckel hardly even felt it and thought oh I just gave him a little bell ringing is all.

    • Malreg says:

      Ya, I don’t think he was trying to injure Crosby, but the way I see it is he definitely knew it was him, and he could have easily avoided him.

      Good thing the Pens have enforcers on their roster to make other teams think twice about running their star players *cough cough*.

  37. The Dude says:

    My Habs faith tells me that the Habs are the biggest ,toughest,fastest, scrappiest, best defensive goal scoring machine ever assembled”who won’t lose a face-off or a fight!” But my realities say the Habs are a C-.

  38. Talik Sanis says:

    I don’t know if anyone is interested or if most already know about this, but, if you don’t mind Russian commentating and you do want to actually see Yemelin play, you can watch archived KHL and International games over at

    For instance, some AK Bars Kazan games are here:

    And some National Team Games:

  39. HardHabits says:

    Damien Cox sounds like he just only recently got transferred over from reporting on figure skating and curling to hockey. I mean all this aggression and alpha male behaviour in a contact sport is disgusting.

    Maybe they should just eliminate hitting, checking and all contact from hockey altogether. Why not just dress the players up in little tutus and have them work on things like axels, lutz’ and salchows. Make hockey a skills competition. All this fighting for pucks in the corner and bruises from blocking shots has got to stop. These players are full of bruises by year’s end.

    But to appease the grunt in all of us the CBC can air a new show along side of Battle of the Blades with figure skaters playing hockey and dropping them at centre ice for the main attraction.

    • 123456 says:

      With the whiel Crosby may not be ready stuff peopel will talk about headshots more – the thing is the hits to crosby were not cheap shots. All the leage has to do is severly penalize any direct contact to the head – blindside or not. I actually think it is that simple… there will always be human interpretation but a lot of dirty hits go unpunsihed…. I love the hitting, I just do not like cheap shots.

      • Malreg says:

        I still think the Steckel hit wasn’t an accident.

        • christophor says:

          I thought it was for a while, but then Don the Cherry of all people convinced me otherwise when he was ripping the Ferrence cheapshot on Halpern: if I accidentally collide with someone, my natural reaction will be to at least glance in that direction.

    • christophor says:

      If someone says you want a team full of goons, you slag them for misrepresenting you.
      If someone says something you disagree with, they apparently have a secret agenda of removing hitting from the game.
      Misrepresentation all ’round.

      • HardHabits says:

        In this regard I agree with Don Cherry. The instigator rule is responsible for an increase in stick work, dirty plays and head shots. Those things existed in the past but fighting had a way of levelling the playing field.

        To lambaste players for trash talking, even if that trash talk is filled with threats of violence, is ludicrous. As for the league, it is clear they could care less about the players, star or otherwise. It’s about the almighty buck and appeasing the American market.

        • G-Man says:

          Rules have never prevented stick work and cheap shots.

          This is an OLD PROBLEM. The players NEVER have respected each other all that much.

        • TorontoHabsFan says:

          Instigator Penalty = Single Greatest Red Herring in Hockey.

          How can something that was called on 3% of all fights last season be such a scourge on the game? Either nobody is instigating (and judging from the number of times I see a player roaring roaring in to defend a teammate after a legal hit, that seems unlikely), or referees just aren’t calling it.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            They are selective on when they call it…kind of like every other rule

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            They called it 48 times last season. Out of a total of 2480 games. I’d say that’s a bit more than being “selective”.

            If you look at the 10 players with the most fighting majors – Parros, Konopka, Boll, Clifford, Prust, Crombeen, Dorsett, Janssen, McCormick, Staubitz – who between them had 198 fighting majors…the instigator was called on them (heavyweights all) only 6 times.

            The talking point from Cherry and his ilk is that the Instigator Rule, or more specifically the threat of getting an additional 2 minute minor, is what is preventing hockey players from policing themselves. From where I stand, the numbers just don’t add up.

            Heck, even Sean Freaking Avery only had 2 instigator penalties called against him last year!

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Ken Linesman says ‘what’s up dude?”

          I’d ask Bobby Clarke for his opinion, but he was hiding behind three Philly goons washing the blood off his stick blade.

          Brian Propp would find this suggestion a bit questionable, well he would if he remembered what exactly it is Chelios did to him in the ’89 playoffs.

          Oh and ask Cam Neely what the Instigator did for him just before Ulf Samuelsson put his knee on a steady path to a dead career.

          – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
          SF09 on Twitter

          • HardHabits says:

            Remember I never said eliminates I said mitigates. Big difference. Nobody denies that cheap shots existed before the instigator rule. My perception is that they’ve increased since its inception.

    • savethepuck says:

      Had to agree with Cox on the fact that promoting the Isles Pens game is a joke and makes the sport look like a joke. Can’t argue with the fact either that it is discouraging to see NHL stars being lost to head injuries also. I plan on going on-line September 10th to get Habs tickets and have Feb. 7th circled v. Pittsburgh. The problem is on Sept. 10th, I probably won’t know for sure Crosby will be cleared to play by then( because of a cheap shot to the head), so I will probably change to another game . I prefer to watch an exhibition of skill to a brawl anyday.
      I do see now, however that you are obviously a closet figure skating fan. I consider my self an educated guy, but having never read a single thing about figure skating in my life. I didn’t know how to spell “salchow”

      “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      HH, if you don’t see the writing on the wall right now, you’re blind.

      Fighting will soon be eliminated from hockey. The evidence is mounting that head shots produce irreversible brain damage, and that fact cannot be reconciled with the current tolerance of two guys hammering each other in the head. It might take one year or even ten, or another catastrophic injury (player involved in fight subsequently dies as result of his injuries), but it will be banned. And hockey and the NHL will be improved by this, despite the NHL’s best intentions.

      For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

      • HardHabits says:

        I would be all for fighting being banned from NHL hockey as it is in the Canada and World Cups, Olympics, IIHF tournaments, etc.

        In fact my favourite hockey is International Hockey because it doesn’t have fighting.

        I will admit however that my adrenalin gets flowing and I enjoy the spectacle when I see one.

        However, I don’t have faith in the league. I have stated on this page that IMO it is all about attracting the American buck to the game and it’s probably been that way since the Americans found out that Canadians fight on the ice.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I think the NHL will get its act together or have its rules changed by external legislation. It will happen in one or ten years, but it will happen. Once it does, the NHL will notice that its revenues are going up and will credit itself with clever marketing campaigns.

          For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

  40. 123456 says:

    RE: THN C- rating

    It’s for fantasy. The Habs do not have a 40 goals scorer, neither so they have a point per game guy. Obviously with Price’s workload and ability he is a great pick for goalie. But for leagues that reward DMen points more than forward points to not mention PK or Markov is a huge miss.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I always have to laugh about that 40 goal scorer nonsense. 26 teams didn´t have a 40 goal scorer last season…

      • 123456 says:

        I actually meant to put in a “threat” to score 40. Most teams do have this type of guy. While I do prefer balanced (4 guys scoring 30 goals is better than one scoring 50) in fantasy terms you want goals – or rather the threat or potential of goals when you draft.

  41. Chris says:

    Some random thoughts for this August day based on the roster that is now in place.

    Most likely to disappoint: Erik Cole

    I quite like Cole, and think that he will be a very valuable top-6 player in Montreal. But he carries a couple of significant risks…he has been a slow starter in recent years, a trait that could get the Bell Centre faithful and the media on his back in a hurry, and I think that expectations for him might be too high. Cole is a good player that excels in his role, but he has never been the kind of guy who is going to elevate the play of his linemates, but is more of a complimentary player.

    Most likely to surprise: Yannick Weber

    All the focus has been on Subban and Yemelin, which is probably quite alright as far as Weber is concerned. Weber played quite well in the playoffs, in my opinion, and he’s taken the more traditional route of being groomed for an NHL roster spot. I think he’s ready.

    Most likely to bounce back: Mike Cammalleri

    Cammalleri is the most talented forward on the team. He had an off year for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which was injuries, but I think that coming into this season with a clean slate will be a god-send for Cammalleri. The return of Markov should benefit Cammalleri the most, as those cross-ice feeds of Markov’s are best-suited to the one-timer from the right face-off dot by Cammalleri.

    Breaking out party: Carey Price

    Price has already shown that he can be absolutely brilliant. Now he will show that he is consistently brilliant.

    Might be a bumpy ride: P.K. Subban

    High expectations and a second tour through the loop might combine to set Subban back a smidge from the second-half heroics that many are taking as a given. With the return of Markov, it is not clear to me what Subban’s role is going to be on the PP or if he and Markov can even play together. The sophomore jinx is a real thing, as a very similar talent in Drew Doughty discovered, and Subban has hopefully spent the summer working at becoming less predictable: shortening his slap-shot wind-ups, trying to rid himself of some of his “patented” but all-too-predictable plays and continuing to improve his positioning and timing on his rushes will be key for him.

    Most likely to be missed: Roman Hamrlik

    It is going to be incredibly hard to replace Hamrlik’s minutes against top-flight opposing lines. He was durable, dependable and chipped in a significant amount of offence…he wasn’t always popular, especially in this forum, but he was perhaps the Habs most important position player the past two seasons. If Markov and Gorges can come back up to speed, the loss will be mitigated…but Hamrlik was a very important piece of the puzzle.

    Most intriguing: Andrei Markov

    How will he bounce back? If we get the 2007-2009 Andrei Markov, life gets a whole lot sunnier in Montreal. If he’s a 75% version, he’s still a good player but the Habs might have a problem. Markov’s vision won’t be impaired, and that is fortunately the biggest part of his game. But if he’s lost a step or two, as we saw with Koivu after his knee injuries, he will certainly be a much less effective player.

    Most improved: Lars Eller

    How will he bounce back? Eller is young and coming off shoulder surgery. But he made great strides in the second half last season, and was one of the team’s most consistent workers in the playoffs. With the addition of Cole and return of Pacioretty, Eller stands to gain the most, as he should be playing with guys with some offensive skills (Kostitsyn and Desharnais, potentially) as opposed to stone-handed pluggers. I don’t think Gomez gets as long a rope to suck this season either, so Eller (or Desharnais) stand to jump up the depth chart if #11 has another terrible start.

    Most likely to make me throw my remote control through my television screen: Scott Gomez

    I don’t even need an explanation here.

    So, my predictions…

    Team MVP – Carey Price
    Highest scorer – Mike Cammalleri
    Jacques Beauchamp Trophy Winner – Ryan White
    Most Improved Player – Lars Eller

    • shenanigans, due to simple math, gomez cant NOT have a bounce back season 😀

    • 123456 says:

      Good comments. I’m actually most excited about (weber, gomez and eller)… who would have thought that???

      Gomez because I will be rooting hard for him to have a good season. He brings a lot to the team but most only see the shortfall in points – if he gets his points up it could be a great year for hte team.

      Eller – I’ll be honest… I did not see all the potential that others did last year. I did not think he was that effective… BUT… I do think he does a lot of the little things that make him a good all around player (defensive end, dump the puck in deep when needed, etc). Once he starts adding point production to his all around game he will start to stand out.

      Weber – I think he will be the biggest surprise this season. He looked very good at times last year with limited experience.

    • G-Man says:

      A lot rides on Price. He has proven he can be a good to great regular season performer. It’s the playoffs where he has to take the Habs to the promised land. Thus far his playoff performance overall has been very disappointing. Whether or not he becomes another Luongo will depend on a stellar playoff performance. Many will argue he doesn’t have the team in front of him to be a Cup finalist, but we all saw what Ward did for the Hurricanes. Price simply has to do it this season to merit his “elite” status.

      • RGM says:

        It’s not a fair statement to say that his playoff performance this past spring was “very disappointing.” He had the best GAA & SV% in the playoffs of any regular starter not named Tim Thomas. To allow a mere 16 goals in a 7 game series, 3 of which went to OT, is very strong. Sure, 3 of those GA were in overtime and thus key parts of the Canadiens’ fate, but the team didn’t capitalize on their chances in the OT sessions either.
        I understand where you’re coming from when you say that a stellar playoff performance will elevate Carey to elite status, and I definitely agree. But so much depends on things beyond his control (i.e. scoring goals) that calling him a playoff disappointment overlooks the club around him. I’m sure that every player in that locker room will say that there’s a thing or two they could have done better to give the team a better chance to win, and that group includes Price, and overcome the B’s in that series.

        During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • sauster says:

      Great post! I couldn’t agree more on Eller continuing to grow this season and gaining in maturity will help him tons. Chances are he will also have more stable linemates and hopefully he can develop some chemistry with the likes of AK46 and DD.
      However, on the subject of Hamrlik, the habs have gone lengths in increasing depth on the blue line and that will help in filling the void left by the veteran. If anything, it’ll give a chance to all the runner-ups (diaz, webber, subban, etc.).
      I’m excited for all this to start.
      Recalling hockey records daily and taking an in-depth look at what they mean for the game of hockey.

    • SmartDog says:

      Fun post Chris.

      I agree with your caution about Cole. He’s being talked about like he’s a 40-goal scorer instead of a 20-goal guy. Who knows? He might be the right piece and do well here, but it’s just as likely he does “okay” and that the most we’ll be able to say is he fits in well with our balanced attack.

      I’d be tempted to put DD as most intriguing or more likely to surprise. He’s so smooth and has such good hockey smarts, I wonder what this kid can do with a full year of NHL play to reflect on.

      *****WARNING: Testing out new dog icons for the coming season. *****

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      I agree with most, if not all, of what you say. I think that as long as expectations for Cole are tempered, he’ll be fine. I see him as playing a very similar role for us as Horton plays for Boston. Horton is a very spotty regular season player that becomes much more valuable in the post season.

      Any combination of goals and assists that gets Cole to 50 pts will make me happy – anything beyond that is golden. I think his real value will come in the playoffs, when his style of play becomes more prized.

      I’m also very worried about the loss of Hamrlik. I agree that his minutes will be very hard to replace. However I agree that Gauthier was right to balk at 2 years…and Hamrlik was right to insist on finding a team that would give him that 2nd year.

      Weber and Eller are going to be very pleasant surprises – I wouldn’t be surprised to see Weber getting significant PP minutes (I don’t think that Subban and Markov will be on the same PP unit). Eller has Plekanec 2.0 written all over him. I see him continuing to develop into a very good 2 way Centre.

      • HabsFanInOttawa says:

        I agree with the Hamrlik assessment. He was right to go and PG was right to let him go, but his minutes are tough ones to replace. He was an underappreciated workhorse to say the least.

        All the best to him in Washington… right up until we meet them in the 2nd round, of course ; )

      • savethepuck says:

        Looking at Eller’s development, the first person I compare him too is Plex as well. If he continues to improve to the level of Plex, I’ll be very happy.

        “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

  42. Marc10 says:

    I think Benny will play well against the Habs just as he played inspired hockey in Minny or against Lemaire’s Devils. But he likely won’t last the season…

  43. caladin says:

    @Nuetral. Really? Seems that very few of the players we’ve not resigned have worked out for their new teams recently.

  44. HabsPEI31 says:

    I can’t believe I read the whole article on the Bruins. I need to have my head checked.

    Now, you can’t take the classroom out of the teacher, so… did the editors fall asleep before posting this error-filled article?

    Among many other… cough… interesting things to quote, “With no other players to scapegoat, Boychuk could be next in line to join an under-performing list of former Bruins that most recently includes Ryder, Kaberle, Dennis Wideman, Glen Murray and Hal Gill.”

    ‘Under-performing’ Hal Gill? What were the Bruins expecting from an eighth-round, 207th overall pick? Pavel Datsyuk?

    My, they are an over-confident and self-absorbed bunch. Almost as bad as the Leafs.

    “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

  45. Neutral says:

    Gotta say if it’s true Pouliot is gonna play on Boston’s 4th line, he would have looked pretty good on our 4th line I’m sure he could put up more points than the two we have there right now, a little more scoring on the 4th line would help it sure helped Boston win a cup. I think Pouliot will do alright in Boston most of the players we’ve gotton rid of always seems to do better no worst for sure on another team wonder why.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Pouliot hated the role of 4th line. He wants to be the high flyer on 1st and 2nd line. We shall see. Had he gone somewhere else I may have pulled for him, but given he went to Boston, sorry, wish nothing but bad luck.

  46. HabsRepresente says:

    Yemelin looked sharp in the video. im exited

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Really could be quite a darkhorse for us. Hate to get too excited, but to all of a sudden be able to add a rookie Dman who could play physical role like a veteran due to his experience in KHL.

      Need the season to start soon, starting to get way to excited about the different possibilities, and I need to see the reality of how this team is going to gel!

      • ed lopaz says:

        the team has to prove that it can score 5 on 5.

        in the 2 seasons that Martin has been here, the team has been 30th and 23rd in 5 on 5 scoring.

        how are goals scored 5 on 5??

        well, many are scored in the “blue paint” area.

        if Cole and Max and Ak are scoring goals in the “blue paint” consistently,

        this team will be extremely competitive.

        I am assuming that Markov and Gorges and Max have recovered fully from their injuries of course.

        But……and I am sorry to point this out ….Martin is a stubborn old man.

        if his “system” does not allow this lineup to score, I would change coaches.

        furthermore, Martin has ZERO experience in Stanley Cup finals or winning anything since since the mid-80s.

        martins playoff record is also well under .500

        but I believe your “excitement” is warranted.

        I still can not believe that Price, Subban, and Max have all blossomed the way they have together.

        I am a big fan of Max – a big, big fan.

        he is a kid who was not afraid to stand up to the organization and he is tremendously gifted.

        max has a great attitude and a great work ethic.

        of course, Subban is Subban – to me he IS THE FRANCHISE!!

        lots to get excited about, but we might need to make 1 coaching change before we win the Cup.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

        • G-Man says:

          The “system” does not stop players from scoring. Shooting wide and hitting posts and crossbars when the player has an open net in front of him does. The Habs are not very good at cashing in on their opportunities, but they do get a lot of them. Adding Cole gives the Habs depth in scoring those close-in chances. I am seeing 250 to 260 goals with only 210 allowed. That kind of scoring paired with great D and goaltending can make the Habs a contender this season.

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    Here is an article from the article from the Globe discussing JR’s new career as the U.S. version of Donald S.

    Edit: A couple days ago the name Gaustad in Buffalo was bandied about, perhaps he is available in a trade from Buffalo. Sure would be a nice big body at center for us. No way Buffalo trades him direct to Montreal though I fear.

    • 123456 says:

      too bad the sabres were not a bigger team because gaustad for DD could be good for both teams.

      while on the sabres – i think they will surprise and win the division while the habs and ruins fight for second with the laughs very close behind

  48. HabinBurlington says:

    What is funny about the Pouliot article is they are talking about him playing a role on their 4th line. Oh yah Benny just loves those 4th line duties. Backchecking was his favourite task, afterall that was what made him JM’s favourite!

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    I recognize the Hockey News article was from a fantasy perspective, individuals to get you points. But to say Nashville is a C+ with that roster versus Montreals as a C- is in itself incorrect. How can the Geoffrion kid be a better pick than Cammalleri? Again, I could see Shea Weber as the best point getter of the two teams, but in Montreal you have PK and AM to choose from, on a team with a consistently good PP. Whatever, why do I and the rest of us worry about the TOronto Hockey News, as DearyLeary correctly stated!

    Have to go soon, after reading last nights comments I think a vaccine shot is in order!

  50. RobertAlanFord says:

    C-, eh?! Looks like we’ll just have to prove you wrong……….. again. Seriously, where does THN get their big reputation from?

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”, Hunter S. Thompson.

    • RGM says:

      Don’t get too concerned about this. It’s a fantasy pool, and when the guy says this: “The Habs have decent scoring depth, but nobody you can call ‘elite'” he’s not talking about whether the team will finish 1st, 4th, or 10th; he’s talking about fantasy pool projections. The Habs do have some solid guys that will make for good mid-to-late round picks, but beyond Price, who would you take in the first or second round of your pool?

      That’s all it’s saying.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  51. JohnBellyful says:

    NESN exec: “You’re not gonna believe this! Our receptionist said we just got a call from Crosby. Said he’s in the area and willing to do our show sometime. He gave us his number. Unbelievable! Guess he’s easing his way back into the lineup, doing commercials and whatnot, and has some time to kill.”
    Jack Edwards: “Hey, we’re broadcasting an exhibition game in 15 minutes. Set it up so we can do a short interview over the phone from his hotel room.”
    NESN exec: “Great idea. I’ll arrange it.”

    Game time: Montreal at Boston.

    “Well, fans, it should be interesting tonight to see what the French flies have in store for our heroes, who toyed with them for seven games before administering the coup disgrace back in April. But enough about the past and how the West was whomped, it’s on to season number two of The Legend Grows.
    “And, Bruiniacs, we have a real treat for you. Joining me on tonight’s show is none other than Pittsburgh’s 87 — Mr. Crosby. Glad you could make it, Sid.”
    “Thanks for having me. But I should set the record straight, Jack, I’m 83 and live in Palm Beach. Guess I’m startin’ to show my age. Make it sid? What’s that, the latest slang? I was just gettin’ used to ‘sick’.”
    “Okaaaay. Sounds like you got bit of a cold there, Cros’. Tell me, whaddya think of the Bruins’ chances of repeatin’?”
    “I dunno. Whad they say the first time? Some words are hard to nounce, you know, pro or con, and if they have too many salables they’re really hard to renunciate.”
    “I couldn’t agree with you more, 87. What about Tim Thomas, think he can duplicate last season’s playoff MVP performance?”
    “I doubt it. You dupe somebody once, they’re pretty hard to placate. As for his infamy, I wouldn’t be too hard on the guy. We all make mistakes. Adam listened to Eve (which is why men haven’t listened to women since) and people voted for Dubya – twice, despite the maximum, a Bush in command will flip us the bird.
    But my model has always been, let pilons be pilons, and move on – but around. Don’t dwell on the past, look to the future.”
    “Sid, surely you’re not saying Boston is going to be worse this season?”
    “No, I said, ‘Don’t dwell on the past, look to the future.’ Was that so hard to understand? And don’t call me Sid. Or Shirley.”
    “What a joker, eh, gang. Okay, time to hear from our sponsors. Back in five.”
    [Jack Edwards to NESN exec in studio: “That went well, a lot better than I thought it would. Crosby’s been through a lot, with one hockey play after another, but you know what, he sounded normal.”]
    Broadcast crew member: Anyone wanna take this call? Guy says HE’S Crosby and he sounds ticked. I dunno, maybe it’s the son.

    (This is for those who remember the Dean Martin roasts.
    Well, I’m outta here. Holidays beckon. Post ya in September.)

    – “Now with 43 per cent fewer typing, grammatical and factual errors!” –

  52. RGM says:

    From a fantasy hockey perspective, it’s a debatable point as to whether Price is the “only” thing the Habs have going, given that both Markov and Subban are known for putting up good numbers. If they have very good seasons, Cammalleri and Gionta can get some goals and PP points. Beyond that, there’s not a lot of guys that will be going in the first two to three rounds.

    About the TV schedules, I emailed TSN yesterday and they will be making an announcement in the coming weeks about their TSN Alternate feed that carries all the Habs games. So expect to see a strong dose of Habs en anglais this year.

    The idea of a “Benoit Pouliot era” happening anywherev is as laughable as the notion that there was ever an “Alex Kovalev era” in Montreal.

    Toronto who? Bring on the Bruins and let the intensity continue. These two will be true rivals for years to come, continually battling for top spot in the division, probably in the playoffs, and the on- and off-ice bad blood makes for great entertainment. Especially true when the Habs do what they do best: beat the Bruins.

    During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  53. 100HABS says:

    I’m totally annoyed that we gave up on Pouliot, like I was annoyed when we gave up on Lats. Now all we got for Lats is one full year of Pouliot.

    Our GM has made some good moves, but Gainey/Gauthier totally messed up this one. I wish we had a little more patience and then we would still have Lats.

  54. DearyLeary says:

    Toronto Hockey News doesn’t like the Canadiens? Shocking.

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