CTV’s Brian Wilde this week’s guest on HI/O Show

Brian Wilde, who covers the Canadiens for CTV, is the guest on this week’s HI/O Show, joining Gazette columnist Dave Stubbs and sports editor/host Stu Cowan

Among the topics discussed are whether the West is simply best in the NHL, or if Tuesday’s 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings was just an off-night for the Canadiens, and if the Habs can be looked at as legitimiate Stanley Cup contenders this season. There is also a discussion about who has been the best Canadiens defenceman this season – P.K. Subban or Andrei Markov.

Wilde also shares his favourite story from the days when he was covering the Oilers in Edmonton, Stubbs tells his favourite story from the Canadiens’ locker room, and there is a discussion about “The Code” in the NHL and what it means – if anything.


  1. 24 Cups says:

    Re players voting for team captain. I stand corrected, but I believe the Gionta “appointment” by management was the first time in Hab history that there wasn’t a player vote.

    If Gionta walks, then Pleks seems to be the best candidate. If Gionta re-signs for a few years, then it could open the door for one of the younger guys such as MaxPac or Gallagher.

    I think that Subban is destined to be like Lafleur. He’ll be the star of the team but never captain material.

  2. arcosenate says:

    If we don’t win tonight the season is over, kaput. It’s time to panic, it’s time to run madly through the streets with your hair on fire.

    Never mind this warning if we win.

  3. shiram says:

    Burly, I hope you see the worth in my suggestion as Pleks for the C, beyond just tagging the kids on the rink.
    I feel like none of the kids, the guys around and under 25, should really get the C.
    And of the vets, well out of the usual suspects, Pleks stands out to me.
    I’ll most likely be fine with any player they do choose, as leadership does not require the letter, but it would be a nice gesture to reward a player that’s been loyal to the franchise ever since his draft day.

  4. mdp2011 says:

    Wonder how long this Bell-Rogers marriage can last. Come on Bell, sell those lousy Leafs and bring back my Expos!!!!


  5. mksness says:

    @bripro a good accountant can make money disappear. Most teams are sub companies in a holding company and actually pay rent to themselves. they also use fun formulas to calculate loses. you can’t pay taxes when you don’t make money.

    • mrhabby says:

      rangers , flyers , bruins , wings (?) , kings , caps , san jose, minny sell out every night. now thats a cash cow.

      ps..i know accountants can get very creative.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The way the Florida Panthers have that arrangement with the city for running that arena, there is no way they will ever show a profit as a hockey team, nor am I sure they ever want to if they could.

  6. Garbo says:

    I’ll be in Montreal for the holidays, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been intimately familiar with its bar scene.

    Where’s a good bar to watch a hockey game – I’m looking for a real lively over the top Canadiens atmosphere to subject my wife to?

  7. Luke says:

    Re: Crisp/McCarron conversation from early in the page:

    Imoprtant to remember that Crisp is in his 3rd season in the OHL and is one of the go-to guys for his team while McCarron is in his first season and being used in a support role on his team.

    I saw them both play live last month and they both looked pretty decent, but didn’t do too much to stand out. McCarron threw a couple of huge hits in a game the Knight’s looked lack lustre and lost. Crisp looked solid, and scored goal #6 in a rout that lacked intensity.
    I actually thought they looked fairly equal. Skating-wise they seemed average at worst for the OHL. Positionally they were pretty sound. McCarron moved the puck better. Both went to the net.
    From my super brief sample (+ some TV games), and non-professional scouting abilities here’s what I came away with:

    Crisp looks more like a player at the end of his development. This is closer to what he will be as a hockey player. McCarron looks like he is still in the early stages of developing and has much more to go.

    In a way you could liken it to Gallagher and Galchenyuk. Last season you could argue that Gallagher was the better player, but he was also close to the final product. One look at Galchenyuk and you see that he still has so much further to grow.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Luke is it okay if I am hopeful for those two players? Seems everytime someone mentions something positive about Crisp or McCarron there are a handful of posters quick to make sure that none of us actually hope these guy make it.

      Don’t get me wrong, I recognize these are not bluechip prospects, that is what happens when drafting power forwards, it is a bigger gamble, I think most everyone gets that. But seems there is a crowd here pretty happy to slag the guys.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        You simply cannot be talking about HIO, Burly. You’re obviously confusing this with a different site. 😆 😈

      • aroma says:

        Didn’t sound to me like he was slagging them. I thought those were astute observations and the analogy with Gallagher/Galchenyuk a good one.

      • Luke says:

        Oh I’m hopeful too. I like them both. I think Crisp is a bubble guy, probably an AHLer for sure, But I love the guy. He seems like a real nice (Character!) guy. I think McCarron is an NHLer, but depth – 3rd line with a bump up to 2nd in times of need.

        I was just relaying my feelings having watched the two players live within a week of each other.

        I’m also pretty conservative with my expectations of players. Obviosuly, I am not a pro scout. And from talking to a few at the Icedogs games, they are looking at things I’d never consider (Niagara’s small rink causes many stoppages. One scout I talked to to was really looking at the visitor’s ability to keep the puck in play off the lower glass when clearing, but not getting icings on the shorter rink. Basically – his adaptiblity) and marginalizing things that seem so obviously important (same guy expected Ekblad to make great passes, so he didn’t care too much about them).

        I certainly hope that Crisp becomes the next Ray Sheppard (slow, but can somehow bag 400 goals) and that McCarron is the next John LeClair… but I’d rather be surprised than disappointed.

        I think most of fan frustration with player is their own fault. Look at this season: Max, a streaky 30-35 goal scorer, wasn’t scoring early and a fair number of folks wanted him traded. He goes on one of his predictable streaks and its all good… 35 goals scorers like Max don’t score in 50 or so of the games each year, but fans get all wound up by it. Not sure why… but it’s their fault.

        Holy tangent!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Okay, so I am not thinking Leclair, I am thinking like the Bickell we saw in the playoffs for Chicago last season. 15 – 30 goal scorers who play extremely physical. If either becomes more than that, we will have won the jackpot, never mind the lottery.

          And I don’t think it is far fetched to think one of them becomes a regular NHL player albeit 3rd line forward. But again, I will defer to the experts here who tell me they are terrible prospects. 😉

  8. RAM_TOUGH says:


    The Habs best playoff run in yrs was when Markov was out!


  9. Old Bald Bird says:

    I agree with the consensus that Pleks is playing really well and that he is our best forward. I am looking forward to him continuing his stellar play throughout the season. I will duck for cover after saying this next bit, but it seems to me that he usually plays much better in the first half of the season. Maybe it’s overuse in the past, or maybe my perception is just flat out wrong. If so, I will hear about it in no uncertain terms, but just remember the positives that I have mentioned before you heat the flames too hot.

    • Cal says:

      You’re right. Pleks’ first halfs are better because he’s been overused. That’s no longer the case. He should have lots left come playoff time (if the Habs make it).

    • shiram says:

      He’s been hot at the start of the season for a few seasons that I can recall, so it’s possible his play tapers off towards the end of the season.
      Hopefully it’s not an energy thing, and with the depth quantity we have we can spread the TOI and tough assignements.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t think you are being unfair at all Bird, however, I think the team as a whole has shown fatigue down the stretch the past couple years.

      Hopefully with a better supporting cast this year, we see less of a dropoff from everyone, including Plex.

  10. Bripro says:

    Shiram’s right in suggesting Plex as captain. I don’t know if anyone has noticed either during the game or on 24CH, but two things stand out for me.
    During the intro, as the players are,welcomed and skate out onto the ice, Chuky is the only player, from game to game who doesn’t acknowledge the little flag-bearers on either side of the doorway, and this year, Plex is always the last one on, and gives the kids an extra tap. Rookie vs. veteran.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Bill mentioned this last night as well, and I jokingly said that we should then bring back Spacek, no one gave those kids more attention than him. Are we really judging our teams abilities buy how much attention they give to the flag kids?

      • shiram says:

        Obvisouly, no.
        But it’s still a very nice gesture, and I think it fits in with the role of leadership on the team.
        Those guys with the little attention they give those kids can make their dreams of becoming hockey players bigger, and they will have affinity with the Habs franchise, well all the more so.

        Pleks would make a great leader because of talent and skills, his composure, his history with the team, etc…

        • B says:

          They should knock those little flag bearers flat on the ice and then give them an Ovechkin snow shower. This team is too soft!

          –Go Habs Go!–

        • Bripro says:

          If you’re a youngster who’s just succeeded in having your dad register you into the Habs’ fan club, this gives you the same chance as those two kids.
          What would impress you more? Watching another instance where two grown men either bash each other’s head in or attempting to maim the other….or seeing a team leader take the time to acknowledge a little guy like you, showing nothing but respect.
          When Koivu sat with my boy for those long minutes, it had enough of an impact that Mat changed allegiances when they didn’t re-sign him.
          In our markets, those guys are our kids’ heroes just as Gros Bill, Bobby Orr or Cournoyer were ours.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            It’s nice and all, but end of day could care less about interaction of our players and the flag kids….If they are better prepared to play hockey by ignoring the little gaffers good on them.

          • Bripro says:

            The players have to care. These kids are tomorrow’s fans. Or players.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            They can care all the rest of the time, that is game time baby, game face, game ready etc….

          • frontenac1 says:

            Hey Bri! Maybe we could get PK to sit with your boy for a bit to get him back to the CH,where he belongs?

    • Eddie says:

      Players have different superstitions when it comes to the intro.

      Has nothing to do with anything but what a player superstitiously believes has helped him in the past.

    • Say Ash says:

      Spacek used to give the kids the biggest tap. How he wasn’t captain is shocking.

  11. Bripro says:

    Listening to TSN 690 this morning, they discussed at length the new Rogers’ deal, and the money it has injected into most US-based financially-unstable teams, like Florida and Carolina.
    It works out to roughly $40mm in injected TV-deal money plus another $5-7mm in escrow.
    That means that roughly 18-20 teams need to inject $5-7mm to meet the cap floor, while the money-generating teams (mostly Canadian except for perhaps the Rangers, Bruins and Hawks) watch their share be yanked from their hands to support Butthead’s dream of a southern hockey belt.
    I’d love to be a fly in the corner of Geoff Molson’s office when this is discussed.

  12. shiram says:

    I like the idea of either Plekanec or Markov getting the C, they are both consummate pros and have played their whole career with the Habs, that sort of loyalty has alot of merit in my eyes.
    They might not make the best Captains, media and news reporting wise, they are not the most outspoken or colorful of players.
    I was annoyed when they took the A from Pleky, though I guess he now plays with the Captain, so they spread the letters elsewhere.
    I never was a fan of Gorges as Captain, his skill set is just much more average, he’s our 4th best D afterall.
    Prust is ok, but I don’t think his brand of leadership requires a letter, and besides, he’d get that A and C bloody eventually…

    But with Gio most likely not being a Habs next season, it will certainly be interesting to see what the team does, this will be another way for MT/MB to put their stamp on the team, by giving the Captain role to the player they figure best represent the ideal the players should look up to.

    • 24 Cups says:

      One of the things that I don’t like about Gorges is the notion that he has sort of auditioned for the role. Much like the way Cammy did.

      I would like to see MB & MT go back to a player vote.

      BTW, they had a player vote in Anaheim for captain and Koivu and Getzlaf came out tied. Koivu then asked management to give the “C” to Getzlaf because he thought it was the best move for the team going forward. And to think that Gainey and Gauthier traded McDonagh, Higgins and Koivu for Gomez.

      • shiram says:

        Well they sure could go with a player vote, but I think you already have to have a very strong locker room for that to be a valid avenue.
        Gorges getting the C, would just be another intangible added to his list, to justify his 6 year deal.

    • Eddie says:

      Markov has already been asked once, and reportedly was not interested in the media responsibilities.

    • kempie says:

      I completely agree with this. Plex would make a fine captain. Also, when I think of the C, I think of sucession planning and long-term timelines. It’s not that inconceivable that Subban could, one day, grow into such a role. Right now, PK for C is a terrible idea but 4 or 5 years from now he could be a logical choice. Guys like Gallagher and Galchenyuk could also blossom into those kind of players.

      Plekanec will likely be around for another 4 or 5 years. Thats enough time to see what kind of characters some of the younger guys will develop into.

      So, in summation, I endorse Plekanec for Captain 100%.

      Vote Plex 2014

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    Our next young power forward player to jump onto the Hamilton team is Connor Crisp. He is 19 & 6ft. 3in. 225lbs and can put the puck in the net.
    I give him one year in Hamilton before he plays for the Habs.

  14. Eddie says:

    Krob, are you Briere’s agent? I know he threw your kid a few pucks but come on, man!

    You really think this years version of Briere could step in and replace Plekanec if Plekanec was injured??

    Come on, man.

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Regarding the debate down below about Montreal’s depth at center, I would summarize as:

    Montreal has lots of centermen, a couple look like they will become very good. One presently is very good (Plex), one is past his prime (DB), one is too small to compliment this team (DD), one is much like most teams 5th center (Whitey), one is close to being very good (Eller), one we hope is going to be excellent (Galch).
    Edit: I forgot Bournival, he looks like he could become a good centerman, too early to say where he will slot in, probably a good to excellent 3rd line center, perhaps a ceiling of good 2nd line, but we haven’t seen much of him at center yet to really say.

    To me this isn’t great depth, but rather good qty. with some real opportunity. But at the present our centers aren’t 4 or 5 deep that can control a playoff series.

    • Eddie says:

      Bournival is going to become a terrific centerman, he’s just not getting that opportunity in this lineup.

      Agree with your post.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Bornival was a surprise to many folks this year. He should not have been a surprise to the organization. Is this another reason why the Briere signing made no sense?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          In fairness, does any team really know how a 3rd round pick is going to play his first year in the NHL? I don’t doubt they had high hopes, but they also couldn’t bank on the fact he would do as well as he has. I am not endorsing the signing of DB, but understand the concept of why they chose to bring a veteran UFA in. Perhaps not the right one, but I still have hope. Granted I had hopes for Gomez until the very end as well…….

        • Eddie says:

          Briere was signed because Bergevin over estimated what he had left in the tank.

          But we’re winning in spite of some questionable moves.

    • Bripro says:

      One more power centre Gerry, and we’re in the finals.
      ‘Morning bud!

  16. krob1000 says:

    Ozomodiar…Florida’s top 4 centers you listed have 14, 12,11 and 11 points….their top 7 guys you listed combine for a whopping 68 points.
    Montreals top 3 of guys I listed who cuold play center incl Pleks,Glachenyuk and Eller have 22,20 ann 17 points . The next trio in Montreal have 11,10 and 10 points (Briere, Dd and BOurnival). PRust has 6. Total among top 7 is 96 points…Montreal has 6 guys who are as good statistically as Florida’s number 3 and 4 centers.

    Montreal has serious depth up the middle….they do not have a top 10 guy but they are very,very deep……deep is the point I was trying to make and Florida IMO has zero depth and inf act would be one of the lower ranked teamws…their top guy has 14 points in 32 games and Montreals 4th,5th and 6th optiosn are all withing 4 points of their top center…not even close.

    Colorado has better top 4…top 3 are pretty similar statistically…Pleks ouscoring all of them, Galcheynuk and Eller also outscoring or equally them. They have a 17 point 4th liner thoguh and Montrela has 11,10,10….Colorado has a 5th,6th option of Motchell and Talbot..at 6 pts and Brad Malone has 1 pt…
    They total 85 points…Montreal has them too. I would definitely take their top 4 over Montreals for the potential…but people drastically underestimate the depth and quality of Montreal up the middle.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Wait, I thought you were taking about numbers, not quality.

      If we’re talking about quality, let’s go back to LAK, Col, StL, Pitts, etc…

      Any way you slice it, Montreal doesn’t have the best depth a C in the league. It’s ridiculous.

  17. frontenac1 says:

    Watched the Laff game on RDS last night. The Broadcast guys,I believe it was Yanick Bouchard and Marc Denis were having a great time chirping Clarkson”s $5mill.contract and 2 goals,which is funny, but I wonder if Bowen chirps DD”s $3.5mill. 3goal contract?

  18. MiltonHab says:

    For a city that spawned the likes of Dick Irvin, Danny Gallivan, Jacques Beauchamp, Red Fisher, Rene Lacavalier etc Brian Wilde and Tony Marinaro are two of the biggest clowns on the Montreal sports scene.

    • Eddie says:

      You should send in your cv.

      Fair warning: it is a little tougher than posting a comment on HIO.

    • JUST ME says:

      Totally agree with you MiltonHab. They are so far away from having the class and expertise that the legends had.
      Some will say that it is because now it`s 24 hours a day habs . To this i answer : CRAP.

      The thruth is that now the only way for them to get decent ratings is for them to criticize and provoque by negativity. You did not need to hear it in words from those old times professionals . You knew from the tone of their voices that something was not right in what they described. But they kept on going with class.

  19. Propwash says:

    Have you guys seen this awesome Foot Locker commercial? It’s hilarious.


  20. SmartDog says:


    Ya know what REALLY SUCKS? The headlines on TSN.

    I think of this almost every day.

    Today the main title is “Kings’ Court” about the Kings beating the Laffs. Um…. what?

    Whoever writes these things is always looking for some metaphor to play on and usually it ends up totally stupid.

    Okay, I get the idea, and yah, you don’t have a lot of space because of the size of the font and the way that area is structured. How about just “Leafs Lose” or “LA on a Roll” or “LA Tops Leafs” or if you want to get more playful “Bernier Beaten” or “Kings Rule!” (which is the same idea as today’s headline but makes sense) or how about this… “The Last Laff”.

    But Kings’ Court? How about Kings’ Crown next time? Or Kings’ Queen? King Kong? King Me? King-a-Ding? Kingsley? King Pow?

    If your standards are low enough, there are endless possibilities.

    I’m really amazed this guy still has a job.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  21. Ian Cobb says:

    Stu & Dave!!
    Another great HIO video,Thanks.
    I particularly liked the fighting conversation, your guest was correct. Players will never police fighting, they will stick together as a mens fraternity.
    The refereeing is the weakest part of the NHL today. It is up to the NHL to come down harder on non hockey plays by the players.

    Talk about non leadership in an industry. The NHL has to empower and get the refereeing and the discipline correct!

  22. habsguru says:

    for the job assignment that he has, Gorges hasn’t hurt the team at all. leadership, shot blocking machine, healthy, well liked, hard worker. most teams would love to have a D like him. amazing how many want him traded on HIO. blue line would struggle without him. he takes a lot of pressure, and hard minutes off of 76/79

    • krob1000 says:

      HE has played well…it is strictly numbers with him…he and DIaz are pretty similar and Diaz could be had for less. Gorges would also generate a decent return. Gorges was slo not an MB signing and the left side of the D is where Montreal has depth and up and coming players. If you start looking at the cap and remove GIotna and one of Bourque/Briere or DD then syou still need to remove one dman to make things work…comes down to Diaz/Gorges IMO assuming BOuillon is already gone. That decision gets impacted by Diaz being a righty and likely more affordable. IT is definitely something to consider….he has played fine though and by all accounts is a stand up guy and a player teammates would definitely miss if it dd come to that.

  23. RAM_TOUGH says:

    I love Price but the Habs could get a HUGE return for him! Budaj is playing better than he ever has. He is lights out this season. Could Budaj hold the fort till Fucale is NHL ready?

    By the time Montreal is able to win a Stanley Cup Price’s contract will be done.


  24. third generation haber says:

    Good news on the prospect front!

    Connor Crisp (2013, rnd. 3), has scored in 6 straight games, and has 8 goals in those 6 games. He’s 6-3, 226, built like an LA King. No idea if he’ll ever make it to the bigs, but he’s turning heads now.


    j.p. murray

    • krob1000 says:

      in his last 9 games he has 10 goals….the thing that sticks out for me is that he has 0 fighting majors in that time. HE is concentrating on playing hockey…he has only 8 pim’s in that time

    • 24 Cups says:

      It’s strange how things go sometimes. Last July, most people (including me) thought that the Crisp pick was a bit too early. McCarron was the darling at that point in time. Now the tables are turned. Crisp is lighting it up and McCarron is totally stymied.

  25. krob1000 says:

    MOntreal is deepest team in NHL at center position..no t exaclty the worlds toughest problem to have….MOntreal has 7 players that could play center in teh NHL easily. Ranking them for Montreal system I would say MT has them right for now Pleks is best all round, Eller is 2nd, DD is 3rd and Briere could sub in but who is better at wing if one must not be center? White/PRust and then

    Galchenyuk who will likely end up the best of the bunch but is not ready for MT’s system that requires a ton of responsibility of the center in the slot area and throught the middle of the ice in general. Very few centers actually can play MT’s way…Staal got it in Pitts but it was hard to keep the reins on both Cros and MAlkin. Montreal has Eller, Pleks and White who play it the way he wants and even Prust. SO that leaves a choice between DD and BRiere on who to give the sheltered minutes and ozone starts and offesnvie responsibility to. Teams best winger likes to play with DD, DD is healthy and BRiere has been injured. DD has shown more compete level thus far but probably unfair given BRiere not had opportunity to play his game. He is being expected to cause turnovers, forecheck relentlessly,etc and has never been that guy and especially not at 36 yrs old.

    Also, who would have thought at this point all of the teams centers would be healthy for the most part through 30 games? There is still plenty of time for something to happne and there is more time to have BRiere get his shot but right now the team is playing well and while it is frustrating to BRiere it is a luxury for the coach.

    If Pleks,DD or Eller were to go down for an extended period then BRiere is there and that to me is a better option thatn moving Glachneyuyk into that role at this point. WHo knows maybe a deal is in the works or was in place but right now I would not be concerned.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      >MOntreal is deepest team in NHL at center position.

      Lemme stop you there. 😆

      Did you happen to see the last game? LAK has more center depth. So does St Louis and Colorado. Heck, you could even make a case for Florida with Barkov, Matthias, Goc, Bjugstad, Gomez, Winchester, and Shore waiting his turn.

      • krob1000 says:

        I disagree copmpletely…are you serous about Florida?
        Colorado is better in the top 4 but not top 7 and same with St Louis.

        IF either of those teams lost wto centers they would be royally screwed…Montreal could sustain t2 top center injuries and still ice an NHL calibre top 3 centers and 4th line center.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          Yes, as I said, a case could be made for FLA having more depth @ C. The listed players is argument enough if you’re at all familiar with these players.

          Colorado – top 3?!
          Try top 4: Stastny, O’Reilly, MacKinnon, Duchene. Then there’s Talbot, Mitchell and Malone (who can step in) in the bottom part of the line-up.

          • krob1000 says:

            I aready edited it to top 4 sorry….re florida…those guys are not yet ready as evidenced byt heir stats and place in the standings…in 2 years they may have a cse but now….they don;t even have 3 top 9 centers IMO. They are playing guys in rolse above their heads beause they have to…Montreal is playing guys out of position because they can…big difference.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            The 2 guys who might not be ready based on their stats are outproducing DD. :)

            They don’t have to play them at C. It’s by choice, not by need. Matthias, a center, is playing on the wing to accommodate.

    • Lagerhab says:

      Agreed, contrast this with the Leafs, the quality of their centermen is mediocre and two of the better ones are injured but I don’t see MB doing them any favours by trading them any of our depth.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Crosby Malkin Sutter
      Kopitar richards stoll carter
      Thornton Marleau pavelski couture
      Statsny, Duchene, Mackinnon, O’Reilly
      Giroux Lecavalier Coutourier Schenn

      Thats just off the top + Van, st louis, and other easily on par with MTL down the middle.

      We’re not close to the deepest team at center.


      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

      • krob1000 says:

        My point was depth…not top 3 or 4…if MOntreal has an injury or even two to any of their top 3 centers they have two guys in Galchenyuk and Briere who could easily step in….do any of those other teams? and if they did would they have anyone for their 4th line…Montreal has 5 top 9 nine centers and 3 4th line centers if you inlcude Bournival.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          All these teams have Prust/White type players to round out the top 6 or 7.

          Depth at the top of the line-up is important as well. If a #1 or 2 goes down, someone has to step up.

          For example, if Pleks goes down, the Habs are screwed because the depth isn’t great.

          • krob1000 says:

            Disagree completely…Pleks is team most valuable rforward I agree…but Briere can jump in and so can Galchenyuk…also BOurnival is a center. Eller would be forced into a defensive role and is pretty dran close to being able to match against top guys if not tehre already. We’ll have to agree to disagree…because to me Florida is not even in the conversation adn hurting up the middle at this point in time, Coloarado is about to lse Stastny (possibly for nothing) and is pretty darn deep so they are at least in contention but I still think they could not sustain two top 9 injuries up the middle. I think the same of LA….Montreal has 5 tiop 9 ceneters….no other team of the top of my head has that including the ones you mentioned. glachenyuk could play center on most teams and in most systems…just not yet ready for MT’s ultra conservative and d based one…but could play DD”s role if asked.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Briere can step in to replace Pleks?!? Oh gawd. I’m going to stop there.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      You sure got taken to task krob. Next argument: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  26. mrhabby says:

    From the interesting file…Leafs matched up quite well against the Kings last night even though they eventually lost. Size and speed and of course some decent goaltending on both sides was in play.

    Heres hoping the Canadiens bounce back, the team does not need a slump nor do we.

  27. 24 Cups says:

    I realize it’s way too early to be thinking about playoff opponents but the new format helps narrow it down. If the Habs finish 2nd or 3rd in their division they will probably meet either Detroit or Tampa. If they qualify for 7th or 8th, then they will face Boston or Pittsburgh. There would also be a good chance that these two teams would be Montreal’s opponents if they make it out of the first round. The only real variable right now would seem to be the eventual seeding of Toronto. I also find it fascinating that Tampa keeps hanging in there in light of all their injuries.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Tampa is hanging around cause they finally have a goalie in Ben Bishop. That goalie is much better than people give him credit for

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • RAM_TOUGH says:

        He should be! He is the size of an apartment building!


      • krob1000 says:

        Don’t discount their coach Jon Cooper….won the AHL coach of tyear in 2012 and done wonders with a Stamkos less team. Goaltending obviously a factor but you never hear anything about this Jon Cooper guy yet IMO right now he would be coach of the year in the NHL.I think the team has bought into whatever it is he is selling.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I agree he has done a good job as well. I think Berube in Philly has done a good job turning them around this year as well. I hate the flyers

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I have been told by a Hockey authority that the reason Philly is playing better is completely related to Emery beating the tar out of Holtby, it is that simple. 😉

          • Kooch7800 says:

            That good hockey authority never reminds his viewers the few times he thinks he is right….but you will never hear about the rest of the time when he is wrong LOL

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  28. habsfan0 says:

    This will be an important bounce back game for the Habs tonight.
    The Flyers will be tired,having been throttled in Chicago last night;Briere will be fired up for obvious reasons. Last year,after the Canadiens lost 6-0 at home to Toronto,they embarked on a prolonged run which eventually propelled them into the upper echelons of the Eastern Conference.
    Let’s hope history repeats itself.

  29. Steeltown Hab says:

    In response to Maritime Ronn’s post about Briere vs Desharnais usage/production.

    Nothing about those stats are shocking, that’s how Desharnais has always been used, despite stats and merit always getting every possible opportunity.

    I can’t see it changing, but I’m really curious what the agenda really is, because if they believe he’s some special kind of hockey player we really have a lost management team and lack of talent evaluators.

    Briere out of his natural position at the end of his career is better than DD in his prime playing in a positon that coudn’t possibly be further catered for success with this roster.


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  30. 24 Cups says:

    Even though things are rolling along quite nicely for this edition of the Habs, I wanted to bring up a few questions as the team heads to the half way mark of the season.

    I still firmly believe that Montreal should trade DD in the next few months. The only way to move him is when his market value is high (not that I’m looking to get anything in return). This would set up the scenario whereby the Habs could move Galchenyuk to center. It would also be the first move to rectify the size question. Bouillon is definitely on his last legs while MT will also have to make a decision on the Gionta contract. As well, Briere’s contract ends in the summer of 2015. At that point in time, Gallagher would be the only small player on the team. Pleks and Bournival would be the only other two players under 6′. Problem solved.

    The second issue for me is the defensive pairings. I totally understand the benefit of having a top duo such as Subban/Markov. I also accept the pairing of Diaz and the Bouillon/Murray rotation. However, the Gorges/Emelin pairing doesn’t appear to be working out that well. Gorges can’t really play with Bouillon or Murray, the Habs would never get the puck out of their own end. The only other answer appears to be redistributing Markov and Subban. Gorges would then move to the right side of Markov. This also leads to the question of what to do with the Diaz contract. He’s unrestricted so that means he’s going after term. Where will Beaulieu fit in if Diaz signs for 3 or 4 years? Would a Beaulieu/Diaz pairing work? Isn’t that just more of the same thing?

    Lastly, there is the issue of player development in Hamilton. I don’t watch any Bulldog games so I can only go by what I read and hear. Is Lefebvre a good coach in terms of player development? Are Leblanc, Beaulieu and Tinordi being prepared to make the Habs next year? Should one of the Dmen be moved to the right side so they gain experience before moving to the NHL? Is the team making good use of it’s 1st rounders? I don’t know but I trust that MB has a handle on it. The team has already lost first round selections such as Fischer, McDonagh and the Tanguay pick. It can’t afford to lose any more.

    • knob says:

      You raise some good points…

      I doubt that DD will be traded, this is MB baby. Gionta should be traded simply because he is an expiring contract, a vet, and could bring back a couple of pieces.

      With respect to Diaz, he does play a decent game and does a good job for a bottom pair d-man but I think that room has to be made for Beaulieu and Tinordi. I think that they will hold onto the d-men that they have and let Murray and Diaz walk and Bouillon retire. It would be nice though if they were able to trade gorges at the draft and resign Murray but I doubt that will happen.

      I have no comments on player development as I do not watch Bull Dog games.

    • Cal says:

      Hey Steve. The size issue will be solved by attrition (I hope). DD does need to go, but where and for what? The Cube is playing out his “thank you” contract. Murray may earn another 1 year deal. Diaz, who should be signed and traded, is another issue.
      I want Pateryn to be given a proper 10 game trial at right D on the 3rd pairing. Then, Subban-Markov, Emelin- ?, and Murray- Pateryn, would be given a chance to show what they have. I have never been high on Gorges, either, so losing Diaz and Gorges wouldn’t be that big a deal. Love to see Diaz and Gorges traded away in a package deal.
      Quite the quandary, eh?

    • Lagerhab says:

      I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. We really need to reduce the number of small forwards, I like Gionta and Gally, Davy is okay but moving forward into next season it would be nice if Gio and Davy moved on. I don’t get the feeling that MB feels the same way. I think he is committed to Davy and that means that we will have two small forwards with Davy and Gally for the long term.

      As for the D, I would really like to see one of the Hamilton guys step up, it sounds like Pateryn is playing well in the Hammer. He needs to have a 10 game trial to assess if he can take over for one of the bottom pairing guys, I think our depth at the moment prevents that.

    • wjc says:

      The future does not include: DOES NOT INCLUDE: DD, Bullion, Gionta,

      The future does include: DOES INCLUDE: Galchenuk, Plecanic, Eller, Bornavil…….4 centers.

      Choices on defence: Emilin, Subban, Beaulea, Tinordi, Pateryn, A dark horse possibly Ellis. Limited and possibly no role. Markov,(but likeley kept as stabilizing factor) Murray (toughness) Georges (experience, if he can make the team with the new kids coming up Bullion…finished Diaz, possibly traded or makes a case for himself for a few years.


      • AliHaba says:


        • wjc says:

          To the head of the class, you get an ‘A’ plus for spelling and a ‘D’ minus for making any kind of counter argument.


          • AliHaba says:

            For me your posts lose all credibility with your inability to spell correctly. It only takes a minute to go to hockeydb.com. If the Habs are truly your team then you should take the time to learn.

  31. wjc says:

    L.A Game:

    My two cents for what it is worth:

    Canadiens started fast and strong, they had many chances but could not score. Their efforts 11 or 12 shots should have resulted in at least a 1-0 lead.

    If this had of happened L.A.’s goal later would have tied the game.

    If Canadiens had not of iced the puck with 15 seconds to go the period would have ended 1-1.

    The second period goal could have been called back because of the goaly interference, but wasn’t. The score would still have been 1-1. L.A.’s next goal would have made it 2-1.

    So instead of being behind 2-1, they fell behind 3-0. L.A. was able to take control at 3-0. Big difference between losing by 2-1 and losing by 3-0. It was possible Canadiens could have checked hard and bidded their time and maybe went into the 3rd period tied 2-2.

    The game could have been anybodies at this point, if L.A. had of scored a couple it would have been 4-2. Montreal could have very well scored the next one and who knows.

    Factors: They played a goalie that is so new they do not know his weaknesses.

    They lost the crowd, people leaving in droves, silent building, this is not Montreal, this is now Florida.

    Murry could have helped clear the crease, but that is second guessing.

    So the first goal was a big one and Montreal did not get it. L.A. did and were able to build on it.

    Montreal was due for a loss, and I know there is a lot of if, maybe’s, what if, bad breaks, but that is life.

    The Canadiens are not ready for prime time, but they are on the right track and can learn and grow from this.


  32. Phil C says:

    The whole Briere thing seems weird to me. He definitely seems like a spare part that doesn’t fit. It makes me wonder If Bergevin had a plan to trade DD that fell through either in the off-season or after DD’s brutal start. We know MB was active at the draft and has been involved in many trade rumours to date and there are a lot of teams who struggle to score that might be interested. It’s unfortunate because Briere’s talents are being wasted on the wing and on the fourth line.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      > If Bergevin had a plan to trade DD

      Was the torch bearer brought in to replace the flag bearer? Maybe.

      I’ve wondered the same thing myself. After the DB signing I kept asking “has DD been traded yet?”.

      • wjc says:

        The plan in my opinion is to bring in veteran help and wait for the young talent to mature. A big trade could happen, but it takes two parties with needs to seal the deal.

        Briere is a stop gap and has not found his niche on this team, in my opinion. The next game could be the break through.

        Montreal is buying time and not trading their future for a quick fix. Other teams are not willing to give up futures for veterans. Canadiens are building the slow safe way. This is the only way to get the team you crave in Montreal. Stay the course, do not over analysis things. It takes time and progress is being made.

        Toronto played L.A. pretty even last night, which proves to me that Montreal on the right night could handle L.A. as well. After all if Montreal can handle Toronto and Toronto can hold their own against L.A. with a hot goalie then you have your proof that Montreal had an off night.


        • Ozmodiar says:

          True – he’s a stop-gap, but ideally, he’d be a 3rd line C stop-gap.

        • dr. gesundheit says:

          LA was playing their 2nd game in 2 nights. This would partially explain the Leaf’s playing well against them.

          When a visiting team (no matter how good they are) are playing their 2nd in 2 nights, more often than not they are in “rope a dope” mode.

  33. savethepuck says:

    I think today is a great day to start another long winning streak.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  34. ihabto says:

    Anybody know where PK went on this trip he got fined for?

  35. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Habitant in Surrey:

    …the LA-Habs game was not a fluke …over a 7 game Stanley Cup series We would have no chance against Chicago, LA, San Jose, St. Louis or Anaheim

    Don’t be to sure about that!


    • ihabto says:

      In my opinion, the current iteration of this team is infinitely better than the one that stole two series we had NO chance of winning not so long ago.

      Believe it or not, LA has lost a few games this year, a couple of them to the Flames, so they are not unbeatable.

      Sometime you get the bull, sometimes you get the horns.

    • wjc says:

      I would not say ‘no chance’ but I agree, Montreal is still a work in progress. Do not underestimate what you have in Montreal.

      The team is being built and many of the parts are in place. So a couple more years with a little more tinkering will do the trick.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hmmm, interesting indeed. Like it or not, the Leafs are the team driving this entire TV deal as that is where the bulk of ratings will be sourced from, yet that team doesn’t approve of the deal.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Interesting to note that Cox made reference to the notion that there was little difference between the two bids. I find that hard to believe.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          That is interesting, why make a deal like that for 1million a year more and in the process kick out the two networks who have been building the game for such a long time?

      • Kooch7800 says:

        could it be some of the Bell people in the MLSE are not too happy!

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • wjc says:

        As I see it TSN got shoved aside by Sportsnet. One is owned by Bell and the other by Rogers. This is a conflict of interest and does not sit well with Toronto.

        Toronto is worth well over a billion dollars and 30 way split of 5 billion dollars does not impress them that much.

        They lose big time because of TSN losing out to Sportsnet. This does not sit well with Toronto enterprises corporation. They do not feel that TSN was given a fair chance to compete on the new deal.

        If you can see past Toronto/Montreal rivalry on the ice, you could realize that Toronto has a point.

        In my opinion Bell and Rogers should not be in bed together.


        • HabinBurlington says:

          I couldn’t believe it when they jumped in bed together, things will only get worse, as the split between those two will really show next year when the new deal kicks in.

  36. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    An interesting stat from last night’s Anti-Chambre…

    22 players in the NHL are 5ft 9in or less
    18 are in the Eastern Conference
    5 are on Montreal’s roster (DD, Boo, Gally, Gio, Briere)
    That’s one more than the entire Western Conference!!!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      If you move the bar to 5’11”, the Habs have 8.
      40% of the Habs 20 skaters are between


    • Habfan10912 says:

      Interesting stat. I was just talking about two of those players on that list to friends this morning. Frankie B is easily corrected. You have Murray as an immediate option with Tinordi down on the farm. The other key player is a bit more difficult.

      We need to get bigger up the middle. It’s the teams biggest weakness when playing some of the leagues elite. We’ve all cheered on DD when he gets on a role. When he’s making his way onto the score sheet he can be an effective player. When he isn’t there is little else of value to his game. The teams other smallish center, Pleks, has other facets to his game such as penalty killing, shutdown role, that help the team e=even if he’s not producing offensively. Therefore, IMHO DD is the one who must go. This is not so much a knock on his game but his stature. There is no one on the farm who can replace him so MB will need to work a trade or sigh a free agent to rectify the situation.

      I’ve ignored Gio and Briere because I think there short timers here. Gallagher has a role on this team and he’s not going anywhere.

      • Walmyr says:

        Hey Jim,

        Galchenyuk will be centering a line next year (I hope)…
        So Eller Galchenyuk and Plekanec as our top 3 centers…yep, I still don’t think DD has a place in our lineup (at least as a center)….

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Morning! You’re right. I forgot about Galchenyuk. Good call.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          re Desharnais
          Think playoffs
          Last year in 5 games against Ottawa, zero goals 1 assist 3 shots on goal playing an average of 17:14 playing time a game.
          His previous playoffs?
          5 games 1 assist.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Yep. His movement is a big step in the right direction.

          • SteverenO says:

            That’s not a very accurate description of Desharnais’ performance in the playoffs last year, Ron. Noone on the team produced any significant offense. we scored a total of 6 ES goals in 5 games and 3 PP goals- Desharnais was arguably our best two way performer. He and Halpern were the only players to have a positive +/- record in the series.

            5 games 0 goals, 1 Assist ave TOI /G 17:04
            He was on the ice for 2 even strength goals for and 1 Goal against , plus 1
            5 games 2 goals, 0 Assists ave TOI /G 14:26
            He was on the ice for 1 even strength goals for and 8 Goals against , minus 7. He was also on for 1 PPG.

            5 games 0 goals, 4 Assist ave TOI /G 20:56
            He was on the ice for 1 even strength goals for and 6 Goals Against ,
            Minus 5
            He was also on for 3 PP Goals Scored and 5 SH goals allowed


            Steve O.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Ronn cited stats , which are accurate.

            No accompanying description, thus nothing there to be inaccurate.

          • SteverenO says:

            I didn’t question the accuracy if the stas he cited. I indicated that the stats were not indicative of his performance/value to the team.

            The truth is that if every player had been as effective as Desharnais, on both offense and defense, we may have won the series.


            Steve O.

    • Walmyr says:

      So… there are still 17 players under 5ft 9in for Mr. Bergevin to go after…


    • adamkennelly says:

      ya ya ya but it does’t matter at all in a physical game played in a confined area where all you worry about is taking away a player’s time and space…size makes no difference…

    • Mustang says:

      The worst part is that size is not as important in the regular season as it is in the playoffs. Smaller faster players have more room to move and perform during the regular season when the refs tend to make more interference calls. During the playoffs, the bigger players can wear down a small team by clutching, grabbing, slashing, and banging while the refs seem to use a different set of rules.

      • savethepuck says:

        And that’s what is very wrong with the NHL. How many professional sports have different rulebooks for regular season and playoffs? How many have different rulebooks for early and late in a game or OT? It is ridiculous.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

        • wjc says:

          My take is a little different then yours. Here goes, teams that are geared for playoffs cannot play at that tempo, toughness for 82 games.

          But in a short best of seven series they can play that every night. In an 82 game season you could do it for 40 50 games but burnout becomes a factor, so they coast at certanin times during the season. Thus, the season can be deceiving and playoffs catch you off guard.

          The refs call the best they can, in my opinion. You could call everything and ruin the game, you can let too much go and ruin the game. It is a fine line they walk, how they do it, I will never know.

          Refs I am sure have off games sometimes and are made aware of missed calls, what are you going to do. Not easy with 20,000 biased people screaming and sometimes millions viewing on T.V. with slow motion, endlless replays. You need the human touch and mistakes will be made.


      • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

        Hmm, you’re assuming small equates with fast and big with slow. Sorry but that’s increasingly NOT the case in today’s NHL. Take our small guys for example: Briere is not fast, neither is DD although he’s had a bit more jump lately. And Gio has slowed down considerably the last couple or three years. Frankie Boo is mobile but not fast. That leaves Gally. I’d consider him speedy, not flat out quick like say, a Patrick Kane. Indeed, our fastest players are also our bigger players — e.g., Patches, Larry, and Chucky. We need more players of their ilk. (An understatement or what? Pun intended!)

    • Phil C says:

      It’s not necessarily a problem to have small players. Any team would take Gio or Gally. But 5 on the same roster is way out of balance. Even just switching a guy like Matthias for DD would transform the look of the forwards.

  37. Maritime Ronn says:

    Is there a little trouble in HabsLand?

    Some rumors floating around that Briere wants a meeting with Bergevin and Therrien in Philadelphia today.

    OK – Briere hasn’t been ‘lights out’ and many question(ed) his signing, but if his argument is because he is being unfairly treated/hasn’t been given a good look compared to some “others”, he does have a solid case.

    Briere has not had the chance to play on a stable line all year, and his Time on Ice is not there even in PP situations.

    A comparison with Desharnais:

    Briere………:GP:22. 5G-5A 10 points.
    Desharnais:GP:30. 3G-7A 10 points.

    Total Time On Ice:
    Briere……..: 280 Minutes
    Desharnais: 476 Minutes
    Based on 45 second shifts, Desharnais has played about 260 shifts more than Briere…and has the same amount of points.

    Power Play Time:
    Briere……..: 41:53
    Desharnais: 59:57 (4th highest for all Habs forwards)

    Briere has 2 PP goals 1 PP assist.
    Davey has 1 PP goal 2 PP assists.

    In the first 20 games when Desharnais had zero goals and 3 assists, he never played under 12:37, and played as high as 18:29 with preferred PP time.

    The reward for that?
    Play with 2 of the best wingers in Max and Gallagher.

    In his last 11 games, he has had ToI of 8:48-7:45-9:33-6:29.

    If Briere wants a trade, the Habs will not be worse off and the precious dollars saved would help.

    At the end of the day, it becomes a question of fairness….and if I’m Douglas Murray and I wasn’t hurt last Tuesday against the Kings, I would also want to know why I was sat out.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ronn. Problem with trading someone like Briere is you’ll get an equal cap hit in return. This looks like a bad signing.

    • RAM_TOUGH says:

      Good on MB. He was drunk when he signed him anyway!


    • Ozmodiar says:

      Yeah, I don’t blame Briere, TBH. (let’s assume for a moment this rumor is true)

      I don’t blame MT either. This one’s on the GM. I’d like to know what MB was thinking – having DD and DB on the same team…. let alone the same line!! If DD weren’t on the team, I could see why he might sign DB to center the 3rd line until Chucky is ready…. but to play on the wing with DD?

      Anyway, I’ll bet DB isn’t the only one that isn’t very pleased. Eller/Gally/Chucky line was broken to accommodate DD. The whole line-up revolves around giving DD what he needs to succeed.

      • wjc says:

        He was thinking ‘stop gap’ solution, buying some time. Don’t forget Briere could be bought out as early as next year, if this does not turn around. He could be a trade deadline offering to some team….stay tuned.


    • adamkennelly says:

      if Briere stopped showing up for work – nobody would notice…does’t give him much leverage in complaining.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        I think the Habs will let Briere vent his frustrations to an 8×10 picture of Bergevin. (I’ll bet there are a few in MB’s office.)

      • wjc says:

        You need ‘ice time’…..you need ‘opportunity’….you need the right line mates…..you need a team that needs him a little more then Montreal appears to at the moment. Things change quickly…injuries, big trades, suspensions…….stay tuned…..Canadiens are well into the playoffs, so they can take their time to make decisions.


    • Kooch7800 says:

      trade them both and we would be better off

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • wjc says:

        Don’t quit your day job and keep your finger away from that button.

        I predicted correctly one or two loses and we would have trade this guy, demote that guy, fire that coach, the G.M. is an idiot etc.

        Pretty predictable around here.


        • Kooch7800 says:

          Briere and DD have under performed. Anyone can see that. Do you really think you would miss their combined 20 points this season for 7.5 mill worth of cap space?

          Also, I would be saying trade them both regardless of a win streak or a losing streak. That part is irrelevant to me.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  38. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Kerry Fraser supports coaches challenge and video reviews for goaltender interference …as well he is displeased with current inconsistency how refs are calling the infraction


    • Habfan10912 says:

      Maybe the focus should be on hiring better officials and getting rid of the bad ones. We’ve all watched referees such as Tim Peel and Chris Lee for years blowing call after call. Their reward? Playoff games and promotions. Makes little sense to me.

      • savethepuck says:

        Paul Maurice on TSN Tuesday said he was against coach’s challenges, but he thought every goal should be reviewed ( just like every TD in football). I like that idea better because a goal is so important and a review will only take long if there is any question as to whether or not it was good.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

        • ihabto says:

          I agree with reviewing every goal. The only problem I have with that is the same as in the NFL. If the referee on the field doesn’t signal a TD or a turnover then it isn’t automatically reviewed. I think there needs to be a provision for this but I haven’t given it enough thought to have any good ideas as to what the criteria might be.

          • savethepuck says:

            Good point.

            “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
            Carey Price

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Hi Dale! Yes I agree but now we have that “intent to blow whistle” crap that has crept its way into these no goal calls now.

          • savethepuck says:

            But at least they would be able to determine goalie interference or incidental contact.

            “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
            Carey Price

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        The focus is on selling the game to US markets. Why you can’t have that and respect for the rules of the game I’m not quite sure, but it seems you can’t.

      • Cal says:

        Hi Jim.
        The only way to get better officials is to change the prevailing attitudes throughout hockey. I’ve been to atom games (aged 6 to 8) and I’ve heard parents yelling, “Kill him!” at their kid, admonishing him to hit the player with the puck, and to hit hard. I’ve seen parents literally frothing at the mouth over penalty calls, screaming at the ref and calling the ref all kinds of names I can’t type in this space.
        Until that part of the game is cleaned up, and coaches teaching kids realize they are there FOR THE FUN OF IT, I think the refs will continue to be treated with no respect and a lot of good ones will quit at a very young age.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Morning Cal! Peeling away the onion this morning to get at the heart of the issue, eh? Good post.

        • Mustang says:

          Cal, I used to ref some garage league games on nights when I wasn’t playing. I basically did this for conditioning and to improve my skating since I was a goaltender. I gave some thought to trying to ref some games for minor hockey but quickly changed my mind after watching a few games where 14 and 15 year olds concentrated far more on hitting than they did on anything else. The parents were screaming at the refs like idiots for every perceived injustice. I figured that I would have lasted about 5 minutes as a ref before every parent in the arena would want to kill me. Kids in minor hockey should be learning how to skate, how to play the game, how to compete, and how to get along as a member of a team. Part of the problem is that just about every parent thinls that Johnney is going to be the next NHL star, and of course that is not the case.

      • RAM_TOUGH says:

        That is the way it goes in any Unionized environment. The more U screw up the bigger the promotion!


        • Curtis O Habs says:

          ….and in a non unionized environment executives are allowed to carry out personal vendettas on employees who receive crappy wages and no benefits.

          • Cal says:

            That’s what Ram calls the “natural order of things.” 😉
            Just kidding, guys. It’s a hockey site, not a socio-capitalistic free for all!

      • wjc says:

        Homers do not get to decide referees. The job is easy, why don’t you apply…..that would be a laugh. I have seen guys walk away after trying to ref pee wee games. You need to be a special person to handle the bull. So easy on T.V………so easy. It is so clear on the replay…..so high up, not in the middle of the action.

        Do not forget refs are not usually stationary, but moving with the play, trying to stay of out the way, dodging bodies and pucks, with people screaming at them, players hitting, delections, noise…are ya kidding me?

        They did a test they had a expert basket ball player throw baskets at a hoop, he consistently got 10 out 10 and 9 out of ten. Then they added noise, a rock band and it dropped to 8 of of ten, then they added clowns jumping up and down and it went down further, then they added lights flashing etc. By the time they were finished he could barely do 4 out of ten. Something about too much stimulation.

        Oh it is so easy………ha ha.


  39. slyCH says:

    Anybody remember this hurdling beauty? I haven’t forgotten her. God bless Australia.


  40. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …return of the Expos ?

    …players’ agent Scott Boras thinks Montreal would be ideal for relocation of the Tampa Bay Rays


  41. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …the LA-Habs game was not a fluke …over a 7 game Stanley Cup series We would have no chance against Chicago, LA, San Jose, St. Louis or Anaheim

    …but agree with the consensus of Cowan, Stubbs and Wilde, We have what it takes to make it to the second or third round if not hit by injuries

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I can’t say enough what a great addition to HIO are Cowan’s and Stubb’s weekly shows

  43. Habilis says:

    Leafers man… Seems like the entire fan base including their beat guys are lauding tonight as their best game of the season.

    I agree with the statement, but what I don’t understand is why people are happy about this. If my team had just played it’s best game and lost 3-1, with that 1 coming on a 5 on 3… I’d be pretty miserable.

    But roll through twitter or the tsn boards (I know, I know, but people still have to write the posts), and it’s like they just won a playoff game.

    No wonder they haven’t won anything in 50 years. The fans aren’t just content with mediocrity, they’re ecstatic with it.

    • savethepuck says:

      It’s the Leafs fans losing mentality vs the Habs fans winning mentality. The other side of the coin would be the Habs outshooting an opponent 50-20, losing 1-0 in a shootout, and 20% of the fanbase would say they played horrible because they lost.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  44. Timo says:

    Hahaha… Markov and Ovi discussing in a hallway after the game who pushed who and why… Hilarious. 18+ language :)

  45. Timo says:

    Watching CH24… God, Markov looks like Mr. Bean.

  46. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …SmartDog (Rob) below thinks Plekanec should have an ‘A’

    …in My opinion, at least an ‘A’, if not the ‘C’

    …My ‘ideal’ is a ‘C’ for Plekanec …and an ‘A’ for Subban & Gorges

    …I was thinking ‘C’ for Subby now, but maybe needs more ‘personal development’ :)

    …but seriously, I think PK Subban would make an excellent Captain in near future …the ‘C’ would also give Him more maturity and confidence I believe

    …I left out Markov because I believe He prefers not having that responsibility

    …ideally, at this time; ‘A’s for Markov and Subban …a ‘C’ for Plekanec, but Gorges staying an ‘A’ is fine too

  47. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …SmartDog (Rob) below thinks Plekanec should have an ‘A’

    …in My opinion, at least an ‘A’, if not the ‘C’

    …My ‘ideal’ is a ‘C’ for Plekanec …and an ‘A’ for Subban & Gorges

    …I was thinking ‘C’ for Subby now, but maybe needs more ‘personal development’ :)

    …but seriously, I think PK Subban would make an excellent Captain …the ‘C’ would also give Him more maturity and confidence I believe

    …I left out Markov because I believe He prefers not having that responsibility

    …ideally, at this time; ‘A’s for Markov and Subban …a ‘C’ for Plekanec, but Gorges staying an ‘A’ is fine too

    …for the foreseeable future I will be annoyingly and shamelessly crusading for Our Montreal Canadiens to retire Toe Blake’s number 6 …and add His banner in the rafters next to Our other former Greats
    …now some of You may believe Toe was only a Great Coach, and as a Player, did not quite rate such an honor …and/or do not want yet another low-number unavailable to contemporary Players
    …maybe forgetting Toe Blake won an NHL scoring championship, the Hart Trophy and a Lady Byng, and led Our Habs in scoring in 6 seasons of His Hall Of Fame playing career …He was an essential component with The Rocket and Elmer Lach on ‘The Punch Line’ which was the most feared scoring line of it’s day
    …most remember Toe Blake as the genius Coach of the Montreal Canadiens at the cusp of Our Golden Era …the Golden Era that most of Us were inspired by to follow Our Habs as if it was ‘a religion’ unto It’s own
    …Toe Blake’s name is on 11 rings of the Stanley Cup; 8 as Our Coach, 2 as a Player for the Montreal Canadiens and one as a Montreal Maroon
    …Toe Blake was the ‘heart and soul’ Whom inspired and ‘showed the way’ to Our great Players of the time, both as a Player and as Our Coach
    …His Legacy is greatly taken for granted, I strongly believe, by the fact Toe Blake’s number 6 is not represented yet in the rafters of the Bell Centre
    …the totality of Toe Blake’s legacy, as a Player and Our Coach, to the History and exceptional success of the Montreal Canadiens as the most famous brand in the hockey world is way past the overdue stage
    …I wish to request all Montreal Canadiens Fans to join with Ian Cobb and I to right a wrong
    …I suggested to Ian to theme this year’s Summit on Toe Blake …to incorporate some homage to Toe …maybe even make a request to Hurley’s Tavern to try to replicate the ambiance of the famed former Toe Blake’s Tavern
    …I will leave that to Ian, of what is doable in that regard …knowing Ian, He is more than capable (Note Bene: such may not be possible this October, because of the projected lock-out)
    …meanwhile, some clear input must be made by Habs’ Fans that agree with the objective, to let Their feelings and opinions be known to Geoff Molson and Montreal Canadiens Management
    …that means You !!! Boys and Girls
    …if this is something You would like to make right as I and Ian do, I provide the following mail contacts to send Your requests to ‘Retire Number 6 !!!’
    …if anyOne out there have other suggestions please let Ian and I know …they will be considered and appreciated

    The following are the most relevant to send your testimonial to Retire Number 6 !!!:
    Geoff Molson: President and Owner (Twitter; @gmolsonchc)
    Kevin Gilmore: VP Operations

    Send your testimonial to:

    [Name of person]
    c/o The Montreal Canadiens
    1909, avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
    Montreal, QC, CANADA
    H3C 5L2

    Michel F.Therrien ???: HIS’ new Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey/The Smiths ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfkvPnjb9hs

    HIS’ alternative HIO Official Theme Song: ‘MTL Stand-up !’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK0l0XEW3Dw

    HIS’ Get It Up ! pre-game musical intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=R5mMRiiCwak&NR=1
    HIO’s BC Odd Couple: UCe, the supercilious stickler; and HIS, the stubbornly relentless ‘schismatist’ :)
    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

  48. Timo says:

    E. Kane is injured… again.

    Maybe Habs can trade Bourque for Kane straight up now.

  49. Timo says:

    Wow… Philly gets beat up big time tonight. Tomorrow battle of two teams coming from big loses.

  50. Timo says:

    Anyone seen Schenn’s crosscheck to Versteeg’s head? Suspandable?

  51. Habitant in Surrey says:

    A Norman Rockwell painting; circa 2014 ? : http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g5bz6Oq84RE/UqiqT76jesI/AAAAAAAA6B0/7r9UX602rI4/s1600/subban+family.jpg
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    …and, last, but not least: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

    To those participating in past and future ‘We Are Fans Summits’, you are invited to keep track of Summit developments on Our Facebook site; feel free to upload relevant photos and videos from past Summits to Our message board, and we will review before posting …We have enhanced many photos, and You may download as souvenirs

  52. Phil C says:

    So Phaneuf sits for his suspension and without his 24 minutes a night, the Leafs outshoot their opponent for only the 2nd time in the last 28 games. Addition by subtraction?

  53. The Dude says:

    So where is it written that in order to be a good fan you must have on BLINDERS? The sh*t I’ve been reading and hearing here since yesterday’s reality check is borderline insane and does not help the future of this team. Yes we have the building blocks, but they are useless unless the rest of the components of a Stanley Cup team are acquired and the Kings” a Stanley Cup” winner thankfully pointed that out to us all to witness .To say last nights mismatch was an anomaly is utter fantasy and not worthy of the life skills and experience required by said fan or reporter…never mind coach.The Habs will never rise to “creme du la creme” again unless the team’s shortcomings are corrected. The Habs are a very good team…but they need to be a GREAT TEAM like L.A. or Chicago and way better than Boston for the Cup to come home to Montreal… And that’s the truth.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …agree with everything You said Stephen, but to be a miserable-mood type Fan 24/7 must suck

      …Rome was not built in a day

      …I’m satisfied with the progress under Bergevin so far

    • nbsjfan says:

      They’re 2 years removed from being a last place team.I consider it a great achievement that they’re battling for 1st place in the conference. To expect them to go from last to cup contender is a little on the unrealistic side. They’ve got some valuable building blocks and some good youngsters on the way. It takes time to build a contender we should all be patient and enjoy what success they do have. It is a slow process but I think they’ve made great strides.

  54. munch17 says:

    Bill: the player who was always the nicest to the flag-bearers was Spacek.
    He used to stop and give them a pat. Seemed like a really nice guy.

  55. Cal says:

    Another 15 minutes well spent. Good to see more reporters joining in on the fun.
    Sumo’s suggestions would make this feature more interactive.
    Go for it, Stu.

  56. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    This Martin Jones is starting to get on my nerves…someone tell me it’s the team doing that….

    24 cups and counting….

    • Bill says:

      Wait a month and you will never hear this guy’s name again.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Habilis says:

      Looks at the facts. Quick has been pretty good in the Kings net since right around the same time as when they went on that crazy Cup run from the 8 seed. Been solid since then. Then he goes down and ten games later, everyone is on the Ben Scrivens train because he has ridiculous numbers. Now this kid Jones plays a few games in a row, and would you look at that? Great numbers.

      I know they’re all talented goalies, and I still think that Quick is a top ten guy. But it just seems to me like maybe the system being played by the very good hockey players (and great coach) they have in LA has something to do with all of this.

  57. SUMO says:


    Just a suggestion. Have you ever considered announcing the coming week’s guest in advance (maybe at the end of each show), then allowing the HIO commentariat an opportunity to tweet or send in a question for the guest to answer? You would screen and select only the most pertinent question to be presented?

    Brian Wilde is a regular guest on TSN690 and he spoke with Tony Marinaro a few weeks back. He mentioned he’s done extensive reading into the subject of concussions and based on his research he believes Rene Bourque should retire. He reminisced about speaking to Bourque after his concussion last season, courtesy of a Colton Orr knockout punch and discussed how bad his symptoms were, how it was affecting his daily life and even suggested it was influencing his style of play.

    A question I would have liked to have asked him; “Does he think Rene Bourque is struggling through injuries or lingering concussion issues to regain his form of back to back 27-goal seasons or is he simply a player on the decline?” Considering his age (just turned 32), injury history and is signed for 2 more seasons at $3.3mill with a limited NTC, its worth discussing.

    Also, maybe have a quarterly Prospects Show to discuss how the guys are playing in Hamilton? Get someone like Derek Wills, the voice of the Bulldogs or the Sports Writer from the Hamilton Spectator. Or even Pat Hickey, who in the old HIO Podcast days, would occasionally discuss the developments on the farm team.

    Anyway just some ideas. I enjoy your show. Thanks.

  58. Hobie Hansen says:

    Nothing like watching the woman put up the Christmas tree and decorations while I drink beer, watch hockey and checkout HIO.

  59. jols101 says:

    It’s been all Leafs in the 2nd and 3rd. Still 1-1 though. Hopefully the Kings can pot a late one and take this in regulation.

  60. Arnou Ruelle says:

    HIO show guest Brian Wilde of CTV Montreal seems to emphasize the obvious issue of the Habs: a big power forward.

    Ok. RDS before pointed that Paul Stasny is the guy MB would want to have on this team. $6.6M and a UFA for next year, I would wonder if he would ask for a price tag of $7-8M/yr for a multiyear contract deal.

    • Bill says:

      Stastny looked brilliant his first three years in the league.

      Since then, he’s been a 50 point forward at best.

      He’s 27, in his prime, and so far this year, his numbers are basically identical to Eller’s.

      He’s not a power-forward, not particularly big, and not demonstrably more productive than any of our top three centers.

      He’d be the worst guy to trade for out of any of the names I’ve heard thrown around lately.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Arnou Ruelle says:

        I don’t think there will be a trade. I’m sensing maybe Gionta would not come back next season. By then, Bergevin may give Stasny a deal.

        Assuming he won’t get a contract offer in Colorado.

        I don’t think there will be a move come trade deadline.

  61. Bill says:

    Watching 24CH: Guys who tapped the flag-bearers (8 years old) were Desharnais, Gionta, Moen, Subban (solid taps), and Plekanec (took the most time with the kids).

    Price skated by and almost knocked one of them over, ha.

    I am not saying any of this means anything, it’s just interesting.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • SmartDog says:

      Plekanec seems like such a mensch. It frustrates me that he doesn’t wear an A for all he does for the team, and how he carries himself.

      Total macho Eastern European but a really smart and nice guy too. If you get what I mean by that blatant stereotype.
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Bill says:

        He should wear an A at the least, as the team’s best overall forward, and the guy that coaches always choose to play in the critical moments. I would skip the A and just give him the C when Gionta moves on.

        Don’t say Gorges. He should be playing 14 minutes a game.

        Guys I would consider would be Pleks, Markov, Prust, and Gallagher (no chance because of his youth, but still).

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • SmartDog says:

          I was for Pleks as Captain last time.

          Gorges… I can see (and hear) he talks a lot in the room. But I agree he’s not enough of any impact guy in any way – except for stopping pucks with his face.

          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • monmick says:

        Little girls don’t get to wear “A”…

        ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Sounds like we should talk Spacek out of retirement then, he seemed to really enjoy stick tapping the flag kids. :)

  62. HardHabits says:

    The Stanley Cup Finals could conceivably be two Western teams.

    EDIT: I read somewhere, it was a while back, that the 4 Conference Finalists would be seeded 1-4 for the last two rounds. It isn’t the case. From what I gather they went back to the old division championships followed by those teams playing for the conference and the winners of those onto the finals. This is going to get tired fast. Let me add… that I still can’t stand the name Metropolitan for a division.

  63. Mark C says:

    So let me get this straight. Montreal lost 6-0. Diaz was not on the ice for any of the 6 goals, and Franky was only on for 1, yet MT is a moron because these guys played instead of a player who hasn’t been on the ice for a goal yet this year?

    Murray wouldn’t have made one bit of difference.

  64. RAM_TOUGH says:


    The Leafs putting up a much better fight than Montreal vs the Kings!



  65. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Would have liked to have seen McCarron picked for the US World Juniour team…..however I do see Lehkonon there for Finland and our 2 Swedes will participate. Fucale and Hudon are on the home side which is nice. I’m guessing Andrighetto is too old to play for the Swiss this year. First pre tournament game involving Canada is set for Friday Dec 20 and that’s only 9 shopping days away. Be there or be square!

    24 cups and counting….

  66. Marc10 says:

    Just trying to come to terms with that clinical display from the Kings yesterday.

    MOAR bigger players sure to capitalize on rebounds, eh. They also have little difficulty in clearing their crease so their goalie can see shots.

    What a beatdown. Am glad we won’t see those guys for a bit…

    • Bripro says:

      Personally, I think it was a fluke.
      Price couldn’t do much on the first goal and after playing a very good first period, (I believe) Gorges did the brain-dead manoeuvre of icing the puck with what…. 12 seconds left. Then bang! Instead of going off down one, they’re down two even though they were the better team.
      And once Price was interfered on the non-call which resulted in the third goal, you could hear the air leak out of the tires.
      I don’t know if you watch the HIO show for this week, but both Brian Wilde (whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for) and Dave Stubbs (ditto) nailed it in their analogy.
      The Habs are a better team than that, and there’s no question in my mind that the Kings won’t have it nearly so easy next time.

      • SmartDog says:

        Exactly. Sh!t happens. A bad bounce, guys try to hard to make it up… a bad call… the same starts to get away, frustration sets in. It kills me that the Habs can win 9 games out of 10 and they lay their first egg of the season 30 games in and people are acting like the sky his falling. LOLL

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • third generation haber says:

      Could u imagine if we played a play-off series against them? Richards is their smallest player and he’s a tough SOB. We had about 6 softies in the lineup, they had zero! Their only Europeans are Kopitar and Voyonov, and their tough too.

      For those of us still suffering from koolaid rush, we are NOT built for the playoffs. NOT even f#$@&n close!!!

      Our winning streak was fun, but it’s only getting us closer to another low draft position and no closer to cup contention.

      By the way, is there a coach in the league who wouldn’t have played Murray over Diaz or the cube???

      j.p. murray

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Yeah that was rough. Let’s just forget it and move on. It’s one game and not a trend. The before was very good and hopefully the after (Philly, Islanders etc) will be very good too. would Murray have helped. He wouldn’t have made it worse I don’t think. Hopefully he gets more games going forward. Bork should be back soon too and that’s another big body….

      24 cups and counting….

    • Marc10 says:

      Thanks for the feedback guys. It puts things in perspective. The game highlighted some issues, but perhaps we shouldn’t all head for the nearest bridge.

      I just wish, in spite of our obvious ‘shortcomings’ (good choice of words), that our talent could have converted an early goal to perhaps take the game in a different direction.

      The cup isn’t won in December, but if it was… I’d be backing the Kings to go far. They are indeed built for the post season. We need upgrades.

    • Bill says:

      Fluke city. It’s one game. The Habs were on a rip where they didn’t lose in regulation for ten frigging games. How easy it is to forget, eh? Just one of those games – and there are about ten losses a year like it – where everything the other team shoots goes in, and nothing you do works.

      People act like the Habs are in last place after one regulation loss in eleven games!

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Marc10 says:

        Agree about the fluky goals and how everyone has a bad game in the system. I just thought the Kings showed what a solid team can accomplish and their balanced lineup (which wasn’t built in a day… but greatly helped by the additions of Richards and Carter) is something we should aim for.

        I didn’t see many chinks in their armor and they can pretty much play any style of game. I trust MB was taking notes… but yeah, we sucked.

  67. Lil Snapper says:

    Why the hell is the league taking their time with suspending Thornton. Seriously its been what 5 days now? If it was a Hab it would have been the next day! God I hate this league!

    • Marc10 says:

      It’s an in person hearing and Shanny had a scheduling conflict with the Board of Gov’s meeting where he is presenting.

      So they suspended Thornton indefinitely pending the hearing which is to be held next Tuesday I believe.

      Minimum 10 games I would gather. Should be 25 straight up. I don’t care how nice a guy he is or what ‘the code’ says.

      • Bripro says:

        The meeting is scheduled this friday, Marc.
        And you’re absolutely right. Thornton is suspended indefinitely, and won’t be playing at all, even if the hearing is postponed.
        The number of games in the verdict will take into consideration the games he will have missed and it will be suspension less time served.

      • Lil Snapper says:

        Thanks man, I have heard nothing

  68. Timo says:

    I have to say… laffs’ D looks better without Phaneuf

  69. frontenac1 says:

    1-0 Kings. Here we go.

  70. Timo says:

    Wild will let Dumba represent Canada at WJ. Good.

  71. GGtheHab says:

    Any chance we can get Rivet back for Gorges and Max Pax?

  72. scavanau says:

    Just watched an NBC Sports commentary. Millbury AND Roenick together.

    I vomited, then died a little inside.

  73. Say Ash says:

    Second to none!

  74. Bill says:


    EDIT: Yes!

    Full Breezer 4 Life

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