HI/O Show: Bring on the Rangers!

Columnist Jack Todd and HI/O blogger Mike Boone join Gazette sports editor/host Stu Cowan on this week’s HI/O Show to discuss the Canadiens’ Game 7 victory over the Boston Bruins and look ahead to the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers.

Todd, who correctly predicted the Canadiens would beat the Bruins in seven games on the HI/O Show before the series started, gives his prediction for Habs vs. Rangers and is asked if Montreal fans can get ready for a Stanley Cup parade this year.

Boone and Cowan also give their predictions for the series and the panel looks back on some of the highlights and lowlights  of the Bruins series, including Milan Lucic’s comments during the post-game handshakes.

(Photo by Sterling Agres / HI/O Show)


  1. Imagine Shero being fired so quickly and Syd sitting there with his hands crossed and waiting for a new GM to skewer. It’s real tough to deal with a princess like that. I’d much rather have a few skilled players on my team then one or two stars. That’s what you get. See Washington and Ovie….

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  2. Enough with the respect thing already! We shouldn’t give a hoot if we get respect from garbage like Boston. If you know who you and your team members are, the consideration and respect in the room is the most important. The rest of the talking head blowhards and putrid whiners are irrelevant.

    That said, the 29 teams that aren’t named for that little provincial city with a bad attitude named Boston are all miles ahead of them as far as respect for the game and just being decent human beings. What has happened to the black and jaundiced yellow is a damn shame since they themselves don’t deserve any of this respect that PK and others are calling for. Again, we don’t need it from these loathsome people, just our own family and friends.


    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  3. Chris says:

    The Rangers present a far more formidable challenge than they are being given credit for. One of the rallying cries for the Canadiens in the previous two rounds has been the lack of respect for them as a potential Stanley Cup contender.

    If Subban and the others publicly espousing that view are correct, than the Rangers can use that as a motivator as well. Nobody seems to give the Rangers much of a chance.

    Like the Habs, the Rangers have three balanced lines that are all chipping in goals. The top line of Nash, Stepan, and the recently recalled Chris Krieder has been struggling to find goals, much like the Habs’ top line of Paciorettty-Desharnais-Vanek. Nash really hasn’t had it going all season long, but he remains a dangerous player that can score timely goals. Stepan is heavily underrated, and Krieder is a big, fast power forward that has struggled over the past couple of seasons since his nice run in the 2012 playoffs.

    The second line of Hagelin, Richards and St. Louis is the danger line. Richards has not had a good season, but he’s a guy with a history of coming up big in the playoffs. Martin St. Louis has struggled since joining the Rangers, but the emotional loss of his mother has become a rallying point for the Rangers, and St. Louis has broken a personal 7-game scoring drought by picking up points in each of the last two Rangers games. Hagelin is another top-end skater, but he’s more of a two-way forward to complement his more famous linemates.

    The third line of Pouliot, Brassard and Zuccarello has been the most dangerous of the Rangers’ lines throughout the playoffs, combining for 10 goals in their 14 games. Habs fans are familiar with the frustrating Benoit Pouliot, a big forward with decent speed who can be amazing and brutal in the same game. Derick Brassard was a popular trade target after his first couple of seasons, but fell on hard times in Columbus before resurrecting his career when traded to the Rangers last season. Mats Zuccarello is a waterbug, an excellent skater with good speed, but he is prone to being awfully selfish with the puck. Together, that line has speed to burn, and provide match-up problems for most teams when they are on their game, just like the Bourque-Eller-Gionta line has given the Lightning and Bruins fits at times.

    The fourth line has played surprisingly well. Again, Habs fans are familiar with Dominic Moore, a hard-working defensive forward that can skate very well. Brian Boyle has shown the skills to be a second- or third- line forward on a not so great team, but his lack of consistency makes him more suited to the fourth line, where he can excel. Boyle played a big part in shutting down Crosby at even-strength, and he’s an agitator that can get under the skin of his opponents. The third forward position has rotated between defensive speedster Jesper Fast, goon Daniel Carcillo and prototypical checking line forward Derek Dorsett. I don’t expect to see Carcillo in this series, but don’t be suprised to see Fast replace Dorsett if the Rangers decide to counter the Habs’ speed with speed of their own.

    On defence, the Rangers feature a pretty impressive group of defenceman at the top. Daniel Girardi, like Josh Gorges, is a shot-blocking machine that will play the body, block shots and play sound positional defence. Ryan McDonagh, like P.K. Subban, is their elite stud defenceman: big, strong, very mobile and providing far more offence than was expected at the NHL level, McDonagh will be a vying with Subban and some of the other elite young defenceman currently in the game for the Norris Trophy for the rest of his career. Finally, Marc Staal is a big, mobile stay-at-home defenceman that is going to be tough to beat off the rush. He hasn’t been quite the same player since his concussion issues, but he’s s till a very good defender.

    Their bottom 3 is their perceived weakness. Anton Stralman is an undersized defenceman that isn’t likely to scare any of the Habs forwards. Kevin Klein is a very good shot-blocker, but he can be beaten with speed and he’s not particularly physical.

    The last position has been mostly John Moore, a smooth-skating defenceman with some size. Moore is still quite young and learning the game, so he is prone to gaffes. If one of Moore, Stralman or Klein falter, especially if the Rangers’ power play is struggling, we may see old friend Raphael Diaz on the point for the Rangers. The Rangers’ power play has been abysmal, partially due to having 5 left-handed shots on the roster. Diaz looked decent in his fist playoff game, getting off 6 shots that helped spur some life into the power play.

    Finally, they’ve got Lundqvist, who has earned his reputation as an all-world goaltender.

    The Habs have beaten the Bruins and the Lightning with depth and speed. In the Rangers, they are meeting another team that has decent depth, with scoring talent spread across all four lines, and a team that can skate. The Rangers are perhaps harshly judged by their slow start against the Penguins, but the 5 games in 7 nights that they played leading to that 3-1 deficit was surely a contributing factor. In this series, there should be no energy disadvantage, and Vigneault is an excellent coach.

    The Habs cannot take the Rangers likely. Beating the Bruins was awesome, but they have accomplished squat thus far. There are a few players on that team (Pouliot, Moore, Diaz) who might have some extra motivation to stick it to the Habs. St. Louis has been a Hab killer throughout his career.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Chris, I agree with all of your points and I also think that the games will be really close I still feel the habs have the edge.

      It may be a 6 game series but I do think the habs will pull this out. There is something special about this group.

    • Cal says:

      I don’t think anyone on the Habs is looking past the Rags.
      They match up very well, but I give a small edge to the Habs. After all, Ginette Reno is on their side. 😉

  4. DipsyDoodler says:

    In 2010 we were massive underdogs against the Pens and Caps. Remember the chatter that year was “who wins the cup, Pittsburgh or Washington?”. There was no other possibility.

    However, against the Flyers we were slight favourites. I think we had won the season series. Plus, we had super-Jaro in nets and they had …. Michael Leighton.

    Moving. Forward.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I believe it was Biron in net.

      24.6 Cups

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Season series was tied 2-2. And I think Philly was a slight favorite, they were the 7 seed after all. Habs being the 8. I remember thinking the Habs would have no problems against Philly though. Kinda the same feeling a lot of us have now, facing the Rangers.

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

      • kalevine says:

        Habs, Halak included, had nothing left that series, shut out in games 1, 2 and 4, and only winning game 3, rather convincingly I might add. I believe Carey came in for Jaro a few times during that and the previous series’, but never played beyond average. Game 5 could have gone either way but it was not to be

    • kalevine says:

      2008 was the year of Biron. The Habs were first in the conference and had swept their 4 games against Flyers. They started with a come from behind overtime game 1, and dropped the next 4. They were hitting posts as much as the Bruins did last series, and the Flyers rattled Price. Because Huet had been traded, there was no experienced goalie to spot him with. Halak came in for one game and fared no better. I still regard the trading of Huet by Gainey as one of his big mid season gaffes, made worse because it looked like a bit of showboating – taking a risk so he could look like Sam Pollock at the end. Didn’t work out too well

  5. D Mex says:

    News out of SJ : Boyle and Havlat won’t be back next season.
    Anyone think Boyle would be viable with us ?

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  6. HabFab says:

    So yesterday Ray Shero was the boy genius… but not today!

    • D Mex says:

      If Bylsma ‘ survives ‘, and continues forward, I half-expect it will be under terms similar to Carlyle in TO.
      Crosby is the key there, and I suspect his influence extends well beyond what happens on the ice.
      Could be interesting times ahead in PITT – Lemieux has had at least one ” talk ” with Sid about attitude – more to follow ?

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  7. Ian Cobb says:

    No round 3 tickets left. But once we win the 1st two games in round 3, I can apply to purchase cup tickets for our group. I have to pay in advance, about $250 a seat which will include a preseason ticket for next year. I just wonder if we want to have our SUMMIT trip to Mtl. at a preseason game.??? But the deal is that for every Cup ticket, I need to purchase a preseason ticket.!

    Does this work for us,? please discuss it here on site!!!
    Tell me how many tickets,1 or 2 only!
    If we get them I will pay for all up front, but I must have your money orders here within a week. I will let you know!

  8. CranbrookEd says:

    “Lucic is a Fraudulent Tough Guy” . . . by Paul Stewart:


    Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . .

    • D Mex says:

      Stewart played in the NHL before he became a referee.
      And he wasn’t a finesse player …

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Nice rant!

      Moving. Forward.

    • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

      Some folks on radio here in Southern Ontario are claiming that the whole Milan Lucic thing is being blown way out of proportion, and are blaming Dale Weise for squealing to the media. I don’t agree.

      Lucic made it VERY apparent that he was saying something outside of the norm when in the line, making a point to pull Weise back after they had passed each other. The question as to what he said was raised by the media. Weise wouldn’t say exactly what Lucic said, only that it wasn’t flattering and befit for a good loser. When asked, Lucic didn’t say, probably realizing that he went over the line and deferred to Weise, calling him a ‘baby’ in the process. So they go to the HD video and read lips.

      Lucic should have shut his pie hole, or at the very least tried not to draw any attention to himself in the lineup. Either that, or skip the lineup altogether. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

      The post-series lineup is all about good sportsmanship. You don’t have to like the guy whose hand you’re shaking, but suck it up and be a man. We use the lineup to teach kids about being a good sport, not a whining, petulant punk.

      Lucic called Weise a baby. Something tells me that he should look in the mirror.

      X X X X X X X X 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

      • Sportfan says:

        Lucy has been a pain in the butt for years now, people in southern Ontario are mostly Leaf fans and can’t stand it that Montreal has made it this far while every team right now in Toronto aren’t doing anything, except for the Jays.

        Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

      • habs-hampton says:

        isn’t he the Dictionary definistion of a Bully? Threatening someone, and then calling them a baby when they report it. I sure hope this guy isn’t visiting local schools. What a role model! Seriously, what would you do if your 10-year old wanted a Lucic sweater for Christmas?

        • yesterday, one of the posters linked to Lucic being lauded for a book he and his wife (imagine being married to this thick headed moron?) wrote about bullying and he goes to schools to talk about it. Wow, if that isn’t hypocrisy, then what isn’t?

          More importantly, many have brought up the Bertuzzi hit and the concern that this mentally challenged brute may indeed seriously injure someone since the league just isn’t interested in preventing any serious damage, especially from a Bruins player. I mean just look at Marchaaaan. What a little puke! This fart of a human would have been laid out on a daily basis at the schoolyard and yet he’s still playing in the league.

          Sadly, both are Canadian…

          I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

      • D Mex says:

        Lucic called Weise a baby.
        Lucic called Emelin a chicken.

        I wonder what Lucic fears with babies and chickens.
        Does he seem himself in those descriptors ?
        Plenty of people do …

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

    • Cal says:

      Paul Stewart hits the nail on the head again. I am certain there’s a hockey panel somewhere where he could discuss things like this. I wonder where that could be? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

  9. habs-hampton says:

    I’m assuming Ginette will do the anthem right into mid-June. I would suggest that Kate Upton be in the house as well as a backup good luck charm. (Verlander can stay home).

  10. Marc10 says:

    The emotional let down is the worry here. We need to get Lundqvist off his game. Do that and we’ll be fine. I look to the usual suspects in these playoffs (Eller, Bourque and Weise) to get us started and for PK to do his thing. If the first line gets going, well then it will be a quick affair.

    Realistically, it will be tough and I would venture NYR play a boring, trap game. With The Franchise playing on another level, we should be good. Go Carey Go!


  11. JUST ME says:

    So far only Shero has been fired in Pitt. His replacement will decide on Bylsma`s fate. I am O.K. with this but still…Problem is the Pens are a great team in regular season but ever since being Halaked in playoffs have no mystery for anyone so…A new coach would bring new tactics and new ways to an otherwise talented bunch of athletes wouldn`t he ? Also they made a very lousy move in trading Max Talbot. If not for his athletic abilities at least because he was a big big part of the spirit of that team.
    Some say that ever since his concussion(s?) Crosby has lost a second…maybe it`s true but still he is a superior athlete. I think he needs a better system of play that would not put everything depending on him.

    • Cal says:

      Throwing Shero under the bus is complete folly.
      If I own the Islanders, I am making the call right this second if I haven’t already.

    • joeybarrie says:

      To me if the team loses to a lower seeded team 5 straight years its on the coach, not the GM. If the team is good enough to do well in the regular season and falls short every single year in the playoffs, ALL COACH…
      But while Dan is safe for now. I cant imagine a GM coming in and keeping him and his staff.
      I would have tried firing Bylsma before Shero… But either way. Pretty sure both are gone.

  12. Sportfan says:

    I’m so happy right now, cause every media outlet that talks about hockey jumped the gun with Bylsma being fired and he’s its so funny, now everyone has to fix their stories, this is what you get for believing in twitter to much.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  13. D Mex says:

    Shero gone.
    Bylsma safe – for now.
    Crosby not a coach killer – yet.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

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