HI/O Show: Habs will face more pressure next season

When Guy Lafleur is asked a question, you can count on getting an honest answer.

And that happened again this week when the Canadiens Hall of Famer was asked about the team’s elimination by the New York Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference final.

“It’s not enough to be happy with a good season,” Lafleur told La Presse. “You don’t play hockey to have a good season. You play to win the Stanley Cup.

“Let’s be objective,” he added. “Guys like (Thomas) Vanek and (Max) Pacioretty, you don’t keep those guys on your team. They should stay home if they’re not ready to pay the price. Your team will never win with players like this who fade when confronted by adversity.”

Lafleur’s comments are among the topics of conversation in our season-ending HI/O Show as former Hab Chris Nilan joins columnist Jack Todd, blogger Mike Boone and sports editor/host Stu Cowan.

The panel looks back on the biggest surprises and disappointments of the past season and ahead to next season, when the pressure will be even higher on a Canadiens team that came within two wins of a trip to the Stanley Cup final.

Other questions brought up include: How much is P.K. Subban worth? Will Andrei Markov and/or Brian Gionta be back in Montreal? How long should coach Michel Therrien’s contract extension be for? What’s the team’s biggest need during the off-season?

(Photo by Sterling Agres/HI/O Show)

Lafleur takes shot at Vanek, Pacioretty, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

3,339 Comments

  1. HardHabits says:

    Am I the only person who doesn’t like HIO’s new set up? I do not know what is wrong with web masters these days but they all seem to have graduated from the Microsoft School of Making Things Crappier.

    That image thing doesn’t even work either. The search for the killer app died way before hipsters thought it was cool.

  2. Habfan17 says:

    You do have to give something valuable to get something valuable in return. There are a few, not many potential UFA’s that would fill some holes, at least short term while some of the prospects develop.
    It is the last off season to use the amnesty buy outs, so a few more useful players may hit the open market.

    It may be worth while seeing if Florida would take Beaulieu and Ellis for Gudbranson. The Habs need a 2nd pair right defenceman. They have more than enough lefties right now. Bennett is another lefty that can play on the power play and is older. he played very well in University with Pateryn as his partner. The Habs still can resign Markov for another two seasons and that would still leave them with Emelin, Gorges and Tinordi. If they resign Weaver, that would give them PK, Gudranson, Pateryn, and Weaver.

    Beaulieu played with Huberdeau so it may be enticing. He has shown he is ready to play and Ellis, a captain in junior gives them a righty in the system. In Montreal, Ellis, seems to be stuck behind Nygren, Pateryn, and Dietz. Then add in Thrower so the Habs can afford to let him and Beaulieu move for a player like Gudbranson, who fills a big hole now!

    Then if Bergevin could swing a trade using Pleks to get a right wing to replace Vanek, the core could stay, even Gionta if he accepts to be a 3rd line player at a much lower salary and a one year contract.
    Habfan17

  3. Congrats to Team Canada says:

    3333!

  4. ari says:

    Jeff carter and kopitar should be very grateful that montreal had and still have the best head scout in the league.

  5. habs001 says:

    The Habs D would have been dominated in their zone by the Kings…It would have been very ugly as many of the Habs forwards would not have provided much board support for a D that struggles in its zone anyway…

  6. PK says:

    Congrats to the LA KIngs!
    Time to focus back on our Habs.
    Oh, do we get a new thread, now?

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  7. EL_PRESEDENTE says:

    Why the hell did CBC switch to NBC?

    If you are crazy, you can be discharged from the army. But you have to apply for the discharge, and applying demonstrates that you are not crazy. As a result, you will not be discharged.

  8. AH says:

    Watching the Kings skate around with the cup……sigh……how much longer do we have to wait……..

  9. Donkey Hoat says:

    The Stanley Cup gets hoisted and I get misty-eyed; it always happens, except when it was Boston.
    Well done, LA Kings!

  10. ClutchNGrab says:

    I was watching the game on nbc, they cut in the middle of Bettman’s speech, before Brown hoist the stanley cup. I really hope it’s because i’m watching from canada. Can’t imagine being an la fan and not seeing that.

  11. JF says:

    Last game of the season. And it was a great one.

  12. sheds88 says:

    what a game !

  13. UKRAINIANhab says:

    This. Will. Be. Us.

    Soon.

  14. habsfan0 says:

    Our buddy Pouliot should have been covering Martinez.

  15. PK says:

    Like I said a few nights ago ….
    Goodnight MSL, Goodnight Kreider, Goodnight Lundqvist,
    Goodnight AV (bridesmaid X 2), Goodnight Sather, Goodnight Rags,
    Goodnight Moon ….. And bye bye CBC.

    Martinez!!!

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  16. CH Marshall says:

    what the hell CBC? if you’re going to switch to NBC, at least do it properly lol

  17. C-Sword says:

    Lol, the D I wanted the Habs to trade for, score his 2nd OT winner and help the Kings win the cup. ALEC MARTINEZ!!!!

  18. hansolo says:

    The end of the game just took all the ill-will I felt towards the Rangers out of me. I’m glad the Kings won but I have to admit the Rangers played them tough. They were worthy opponents and I have to give them credit.

    The King and Quick saluting each other in the handshake line was good to see.

    • JF says:

      I agree. The Rangers played very well. For a series that ended 4-1, it was very close. Habs fans can surely relate to how the Rangers must feel, losing three games in OT.

  19. habsfaninboston says:

    OT goal by a D-man moving up on the play.

  20. CH Marshall says:

    WOW. What an ending. Kudos to the Kings!

    ps- Enjoy your moment, Kreider..

  21. PK says:

    Yeah Baby!!!!!!

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  22. habsfaninboston says:

    HUGE kill.

    • PK says:

      You bet.
      Open net miss … Wow!!

      >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
      _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

      – Nostradamus, 1552

  23. PK says:

    NHL=WWE

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  24. PK says:

    My prediction: Next goal wins!

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

    • hansolo says:

      Such perspicacity, such insight! It’s why I visit this place. :-)

      • PK says:

        Humour … good way to comment on various happenings!

        >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
        _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

        “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

        – Nostradamus, 1552

        • hansolo says:

          I know what you did there.

          • PK says:

            Good game despite the fact that our Habs are out ….

            >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
            _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

            “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

            – Nostradamus, 1552

  25. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Having fun yet?

    :)

  26. johnnylarue says:

    Just tuned in in time for the first OT.

    FUN STUFF!

    I love being able to watch such a frenetic, high stakes game without having a knot in my stomach over the potential outcome.

    That said, definitely relieved Kreider didn’t end it on that breakaway. That would have been pretty gross.

  27. hansolo says:

    If PK had let Kreider walk by him in a playoff OT, he would have been criticized to high heaven for his “selfish” play. He also probably would have had his butt stapled to the bench for at least a few shifts.

  28. PK says:

    Rags are praying on the bench ……
    Kings deserve this one game.

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  29. PK says:

    Good OT

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  30. CH Marshall says:

    OH MAN!! POST!! wow i thought it was over

  31. PK says:

    Will it be Justin Williams or Dustin Brown???

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  32. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Carter/Nash

  33. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Cherry the soccer expert.

  34. EricInStL says:

    I’ve said it before but Boyle is an UFA, MB has got to try and sign him.

  35. Luke says:

    Just checking in on the RW threshold. Good job! Let’s do this!

  36. TaxGuy says:

    So it appears that MB is going to try to sign AM and BG. If he is successful, it would leave us with more or less the same team as last year. I’m actually ok with this. Here’s how I’m seeing next year.

    Patches DD Gally
    Chucky Eller Bourque
    Bournival Plecks Gionta
    Prust Briere Weise
    Moen White

    Gorges PK
    Markov Emelin
    Tin/Beau Weaver
    Pateryn Drewiske

    Price
    Tokarski

    This is not a perfect team, of course, and if Bourque and Eller revert to last year’s form we could have problems, but I think this line up makes the playoffs and can win a round or 2 like this year. This would be a good result considering where we were a few years ago.

    The 4th line, spares and Bournival can be mixed and matched depending on the opposition. If Tinordi or Beaulieu show that they can handle top 4 minutes, Gorges or Emelin could be used in a trade to improve the top 9 if possible or build for the future.

    Meanwhile, our recently drafted forward prospects will be developing in Hamilton and MB’s plan to build a mature, consistently good team continues to develop.

    • Habsbill24 says:

      I am not ok with this lineup. Pretty much treading water. No need to bring Gionta or Markov back. Too expensive and too old. Use the kids in their place. We would have gotten killed against the Kings. Too big and fast.

      • Habsbill24 says:

        Plus Chucky needs to center a line next year.

      • TaxGuy says:

        I don’t think there is a kid to replace Gionta. Neither Tinordi nor Beaulieu have shown they are ready for top 4 minutes yet. We would probably take a step back, at least in the short term, if we let Markov go. This wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I prefer the slow, steady approach. I think MB does too.

  37. EricInStL says:

    Girardi tried so hard to win it for the Kings

  38. hansolo says:

    MSL wining that puck battle against Mitchell was a thing of beauty.

  39. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …as a goalie I used to keep My glove up like Lundqvist …I found I could react to high and low shots much quicker than keeping it at waist-level

    …Lundqvist is damn good, but not the best I feel, therefore a little sensitive to hearing him called ‘the King’

  40. EricInStL says:

    Nash is definitely the bust of the playoffs, if he played anywhere near the level he played in Columbus the Rangers would probably be tied or winning.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …I feel equal surprise he has not played to his Columbus days

    • hansolo says:

      It shows, I think that if you play with an edge, you won’t, in all likelihood, have a long career. Nash was the prototypical power forward and the darling of many on this board. Richards (Mike) is a 4th liner in LA as well.

      Should give us pause when we want Max to play in a similar fashion. I’d rather he kept on scoring goals with his “soft, perimeter play.” 39 goals scored that way are nothing to sneeze at.

  41. PK says:

    Another exciting third period in which the Rags are just hanging on ….

    >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Here Ye, Here Ye ! …’THE KING’ has abdicated !!!

  43. EricInStL says:

    Brown is a beast.

  44. Ian Cobb says:

    Rangers just won’t roll over!

  45. JF says:

    From 2007 to 2013, five of seven Stanley Cups have been won by teams from the Western Conference:

    2007 Anaheim beat Ottawa 4-1
    2008 Detroit beat Pittsburgh 4-2
    2010 Chicago beat Philadelphia 4-2
    2012 L.A. beat New Jersey 4-2
    2013 Chicago beat Boston 4-2

    None of these series even went seven games. I guess that’s a measure of how much stronger the Western Conference is than the Eastern. But I still don’t really understand why this is the case, or at least how it came to be the case. Western teams seem to be bigger and tougher and to have more skill at just about every position. Nor does it look as though the trend will be reversed any time soon. The Rangers are not all that far behind, but the Habs need to improve their defence a lot and to become a lot tougher – not necessarily bigger, though that would help, but harder to play against.

  46. Captain aHab says:

    I’m so glad to have Mike Milbury explaining the game to me.

    —————-
    Prepare to be boarded!!

  47. Mark C says:

    Quick and Doughty, both with HIO level goat performances on that goal.


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