Chris Nilan and Jack Todd guests on this week’s HI/O show

Former Canadien Chris (Knuckles) Nilan is back as a guest on this week’s HI/O Show, joining columnist Jack Todd and sports editor/host Stu Cowan.

Nilan, who celebrated his 56th birthday on Tuesday, got a surprise when he was presented with a special Montreal gift: a smoked-meat sandwich.

Among the topics discussed are Team Canada’s decision to start Carey Price in goal for Game 1 at the Olympics and the fact P.K. Subban looks like he will be a healthy scratch against Norway on Thursday.

The panel also answers a number of questions from the HI/O community — including whether the Canadiens should trade one of their young defenceman for a forward who can score — and gives Canadiens coach Michel Therrien a grade on his performance behind the bench so far this season.

Nilan also reveals who he’d like to see in goal for Team Canada — and it’s not Price or Roberto Luongo.

(Photo by Sterling Agres/HI/O Show)

310 Comments

  1. krob1000 says:

    On PK…PK has struggled mightily the last month. In Montreal he is given a stay at home guya dn gets 1st pp minutes. HE has been prone to untimely giveaways (his fault), he has been hanging on to the puck way too long (his fault) and he has taken many bad penalties (not convinced there are not oother forces at play here as he does seem to never get the benefit of the doubt here).
    Team Canada si not oign to ice the 2o most skilled palyers and hope to win 12-11. Theya re making a hockey team. The fact Canada has so many options is actually what complicates things and makes gameplan and projections of importance tot eh coaching stakk.

    The team must look at possible opponents, assess their rosters and ensure that Canada has a team that can compete in all 3 facets of the game offense, defesne and goaltending. Against most opponents Canada should have a pretty clear advantag ein the offfensive category. However, there ar e a hdnful of teams where this advantage is minimal or the teams are on par…I am looking at both Russain and the US and thinking neither team should have difficulty finding the back of the ent. The US also has a strong D and the Russians seem to be weak thee. SSeveral other teams are at levels lightly below in all three areas…maybe some on pas in net.

    SO when building a team that will b e able to neutralize the offens of a team like the Russians you have to have both a sizeable forward unit and strong enough skating unit to keep up with the likes OVechkin, Malkin and Kovalchuk. YOur best line is also going to have to contend with Pavel Datsyul…scary stuff really. Good new sis the defense of teh Russians is not as good as either the US or Canada or even Sweden for that matter. THis does not mean you are still not going to need the defense to address those big Russian forwards and protect your team from them at 5 on 5 AND fromt hem on the PK…that is one scary pp they can ice. One may argue PK may be needed on the PP as a specialst and who knows maybe he does get sued but my gut says that if he does it will be second wave. Doughty and Kieth are better qb’s and in fact I think Markov is a better Qb and wish less of the pp would run through PK in Montreal. His shot is an aset but that cannot be the focal point. Stamkos has St Louis on the other side operating to offset him. Washington has a very smart BAckstrom along with an everroaming Mike Green on the other side to help free OVie. On the plus side though the larger ice could mean more room and better ines to tee of on fromslightly further but in theory that oculd help PK. But…PK will not likely be palying on the pk or against other teams top units….unless the Team Caanda brass sees something MT does not. PK has the talent but has not played well enough of late. HE will get his shot in Game 2 to show that he has more to offer than his play of late.

    Against the US….they have speed and skill on all 4 lines and an extremely mobile defense. A game against them like the Russians may again come down to limiting mistakes and discipline. These ar areas where PK is not quite at teh level of the other Team Canada payers. Hamhuis? that is the interesting one…I agree with the top 6. I am wondering if they are concerned about Pieterangelos ability. The fact PK plays the right side is the clincher though…he is behind Weber, Doughty and that is deserved based on their play this season. Where PK has the opportunity to strut his stuff is with the larger rink…but we as fans cannot get fooled by the falsh of long rushes or fancy one on one moves…those are not always the best play and in fact are negative impact plays sometimes. The PK who played the first 10-15 games of this season was unbelievable…he controlled games. He rushed when necessary but moved the puck up ice as well as anyone in the game. If that PK returns…then rest assured PK will have value against any team in the tournament…however, if taht game is not clicking at 100 precent….then what does PK bring that is better than Pieterangelo, Doughty or Weber? Doughty and Weber are locks and not going anywhere …..it comes down to Alex vs PK..and right now I understand the nod going to Alex. That could change though if Alex shows some nerve and PK some poise. I thinkt he team is more concerned witht eh left side with Bouqmeester and Vlasic along with HAmhuis and may need more time to evaluate that situation. BAbcock is a guy who strongly favours dmen playig on their correct side and if there is one position of weakness ( I use that term only realtive to the rest of the team) it is left D. I have no problem with Babcoack addressing that right off the bat and getting all 4 in the game to see where they all fit in.

  2. Luke is Canadian says:

    Well, 12 o’clock high.

    Team Canada gets set to start! So exciting.

    Well… off to my 3 hour meeting.

    Enjoy the game folks.

    I’ll check in when I can.

  3. Old Bald Bird says:

    Hey Timo. I guess Babcock bathes in holy water and PK wallows in mud. I dunno, I’m even dumber than you, but I think you put PK in the top 4 and work around that.

  4. L Elle says:

    GO TEAM CANADA GO!

  5. GrimJim is Canadian says:

    This is one bandwagon that I’ll jump on…

  6. Timo says:

    Great to read that now PK’s play hasn’t been good all that time. You know, the PK who is leading crappy Habs in +/- and up until recently in points too. Terrible player, indeed.

    • Shiram.ca says:

      He played great at the start, and his play dropped recently, that’s not such a hard concept to understand.

    • CJ says:

      PK is a terrific player, who has struggled the past month. Coincidently or not, you can trace back to the benching in Philly and the Olympic announcement. I’m not suggesting that this is the source, but it is about the time that I noticed PK’s play drop.

      PK’s point totals have suffered, the result of the PP not clicking with the efficiency it enjoyed during the first three months of the season. Advanced scouting has the opposition crowding PK and forcing the rest of the PP to try and score. Thus far, the results have not been great.

      As I noted last week, PK is the equivilent of a blue chip stock. He has tremendous value and terrific staying power. However, even blue chip stocks are susceptible to volatility. PK’s star is on the rise, even in light of his recent play. The best is still yet to come.

      With respect to the Olympic tournament, I have no issue with PK starting as the 8th defencemen. PK will be given his chance and I have every confidence that he will make it count.

  7. Habcouver says:

    #heartpounding

    Waiting patiently for #25

  8. Mavid is a Canadian says:

    test

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  9. monmick is Canadian says:

    It’s going viral!

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  10. HabinBurlington is Canadian says:

    Go Canada Go!

  11. twilighthours says:

    Luke is Canadian…..

    hmmm….

    He looks like Luke. He sounds like Luke. He smells like Luke (what?).

    Is he Luke?

  12. habsfan0 says:

    I’m not that familiar with Olympic rules.
    What happens if today’s game is tied after 3 periods?
    Do they play O/T until somebody scores,or would there be a ridiculous shoot out as well?

  13. Doooooomed says:

    Well hey, wouldja look it that…

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  14. Habfan10912 says:

    An avatar change in honor of Timo. :)

  15. habs-fan-84 says:

    One last thing on PK:

    For those of you who complained the last few days that it would be ridiculous to start Luongo in game 1 because Price has been so good lately, does the same also not apply to Subban?

    Subban has had a rough month. If you can’t admit that, you’re not being honest with yourself. Babcock is starting the tournament with guys who are playing really well right now, it’s as simple as that.

    At the end of the day PK will crack the lineup (most likely in the next game), making the current hand wringing redundant and irrelevant.

    Lastly, it’s quite possible Subban works his way into the top four like Doughty did in 2010.

    Chill.

  16. habsfan0 says:

    Halak allowed 5 goals to US,Budaj only 2.
    I’d start Budaj next game.

    • Strummer says:

      If I were the Slovak coach I’d start some other country.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  17. jols says:

    Did Boone forget to set the alarm clock?

  18. monmick is Canadian says:

    C’mon people. Show some patriotism!

    == posted by Luke is Canadian==

    Hey Dunboyne Mike!

    In the previous thread you asked how I changed my name.
    It’s pretty simple.

    If you go to “edit your profile” you can change your nickname.
    Then you select the new name from the dropdown “Display name as” box and save/update the profile.

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  19. jo_maka says:

    The Habs are my team.

    But the Internet guys for the Canucks are just awesome !!!

    http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2014/02/11/team-canada-cheat-sheet-meet-the-defencemen-and-goalies/
    http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2014/02/11/team-canada-cheat-sheet-meet-the-forwards/

    “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time”

  20. Timo says:

    Why is Babcock even a coach of this team? Because he (barely) won last olympics on a fluke goal? Since they are all about merit and previous results, what has Detroit done under Babcock? Were guys like Sutter and Quenville even considered to coach this team… you know the coach of Chicago who won 2 cups in last 4 years and is always competitive? Sure, Babcock can squint which makes him look very smart and thoughtful but what else?

    Hamhuis over Subban must be the most ridiculous joke ever. Subban not in the top 6 is an even bigger joke.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Reads like this to me “Whah whah wah, wah wah whah whah wha!”

      Edit: Sutter’s coach resume is nowhere near as long and impressive, and his defensive first mantra would probably make it even harder for PK to make team or get significant minutes.

      Quenville I really like as a coach, but why suddenly have issues with Babcock. No one complained when he coached team to gold last time. What has he done to lose the job?

      • Cal says:

        Needs more cheese with that whine.

      • Timo says:

        I know Burly. You are too wise for my non sense. What I am wondering is why do you always have to agree with every decision a coach makes that is to the detriment of the player(s) you supposedly support. And notice, I am not advocating that Bouillon be on this team, am I?
        Do you always have that blind faith that the coach/manager knows better?

        I cannot rationally explain Subban not being top 6 on the team that consists of Vlasic, Boumeester, Pieterangelo, and now what it seems Dan Hamhuis.

        I will continue with my whah whah whah and feel free to ignore it.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I admit that I don’t think Hamhuis should be ahead of PK, but reality is that both PK and Hamhuis made this team as 7th or 8th dmen and it is up to their play on the ice to move up the charts.

          If PK is indeed the great player whom he is acclaimed to be here, then he will slide up the chart. Why would a coach not play the players who best perform to the wills of the coach?

          • D Mex says:

            It’s probably safe to say that the position Subban and Hamhuis find themselves in doesn’t look all that bad to the likes of Ryan Seabrook.

            Your attempts to rationalize the situation to a permanent PITA are admirable but, if I’m correct that you pointed out recently how it is such a waste of time, you might want to contemplate your own advice here. I have a different remedy in mind.

            ALWAYS Habs -
            D Mex

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I can’t claim to have watched guys like Pieterangelo, Hamuis or Vlasic very often. I have seen 90% of the Habs games Subban has played in over his career.

          This season, there is no disputing Subban has made some pretty bad mistakes at crucial points in the game. He’s coughed up the puck late in games that have resulted in goals and several close calls as well.

          I’m guessing the other defencemen on team Canada play more of a mistake free game than Subban. Subban might have a more offensive upside but there’s already so much offense on team Canada so it’s not that important.

        • Luke is Canadian says:

          You can’t explain it rationally because you’ve never tried to think of it rationally.

          Your BFF didn’t get to play in game 1. so you are all sad.

          He’ll play in game 2. It’s already been announced.

          You can’t see him starting over Vlasic, JBo, AP or DH because you won’t give any of them credit.

          There is one terrific argument to make about why PK sitting is dumb. But you haven’t thought of it yet. I doubt you will, because it requires thinking about hockey, not about PK.

      • Psycho29 says:

        Weird….it read to me like:
        “Whah whah MAB wah, wah Is Therrien still coach wah whah brain dead Bergevin whah wah massage whah nice hair wha!”

    • stevieray says:

      Stevie Y and the Pizza King connection maybe ?

    • jols says:

      It’s not only Babcock that can pull off the squint which makes him look very smart and thoughtful, Josh Gorges pulls that off in every post-game interview. People eat that sh!t up.

    • scarboro_habitant says:

      hes the coach because he had nik lidstrom on his team

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Sigh, Habs fans whining like sniffling babies…again.

      Subban’s play over the past month was a joke, and that’s why he’s sitting today. Subban will get his opportunity, and it’ll probably be in the next game.

      This is a great learning experience for him and he’ll no doubt take a lot out of this.

      • Mavid says:

        His play declined a bit but it is hardly a joke..he is stitting because he is young, and its his first Olympic..he will get his chance tomorow.. were not cry babies..just excited to see him play, and perhaps a little disapointed that he is not on till tomorow..

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • chemic says:

      you forgot the biggest joke of them all, your post!

    • Propwash says:

      Subban apparently has a forearm injury since November.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  21. Say Ash says:

    So Budaj gets the rest of the games?

  22. frontenac1 says:

    Off to the Saloon to meet the Lads for the game. WTF? Gas $1.32? Smokes up too? Was there a budget or something? Pit stop at the Reservation for cheap gas and smokes. Time to support my Mohawk amigos. Saludos!

  23. commandant says:

    Henrik Zetterberg has herniated Disc, status unclear
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/02/13/henrik-zetterberg-has-herniated-disc-status-for-olympics-unknown/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Just my opinion but he shouldn’t play then if he isn’t 100%. The Red Wings pay him millions to play hockey and the Olympics is a privilege not a right to play in. He should try and get healthy for his employer who is paying his bills.

      The NHL is already weary about Korea for the next Olympics as they really don’t see any opportunity for growth in following by playing there.

      They don’t need ammo like this

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • jols says:

        Detroit is vulnerable. Datzuk is also still nursing some injury that he missed NHL games for and is playing in the Olympics. I know it is a big deal but the teams paying the millions should have priority.

      • Luke is Canadian says:

        I thought the Maxim of Hockey was play through pain? Play hurt. Win at all costs. This is the Olympics. It’s for Pride and Country.

        If we are going to expect guys to block shots in a February club game, we really shouldn’t be expecting them sit it out when they are playing for their Country in a best-on-best tournament that happens once every four years.

        This opinion really does baffle me.

        We talk about players playing for the love of the game and doing whatever it takes to win. We want them to take hometown discounts and sacrifice it all for the team. We applaud Bergeron for playing with broken ribs and a punctured lung. Now we have Zetterburg with a bad back and ‘we’ want him to shut it down… because of money?

        Naw… Country tops Club. If you would play hurt for your yearly club championship (be it KHL, NHL, Swiss League etc) you should play hurt for the Olympic gold.

        And yes, if PK comes back with a broken foot and misses 20 games. I’m OK with it.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Like i said previously Luke…it is a privilege for NHL players to be even allowed to go to the Olympics so their NHL clubs should come first. They get paid millions of dollars by these clubs. The NHL can easily not allow them to go to the next Olympics and I bet it does happen as it is in Korea.

          You might be ok with as a fan but if you were paying millions of dollars and your star employee goes out and gets hurt for something your companies is not seeing cash from I think you would be a little ticked off and when that options comes up again the NHL can remove it as an option. Hockey is a business. The other athletes that are not professionals in the Olympics is another story but since the NHL players are actual professional hockey players it changes the situation

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  24. jols says:

    Any prominent NHL’ers on Team Norway?


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