HI/O Show: GM Bergevin’s new team culture paying off for Habs

The Canadiens keep putting points in the bank as they drive toward the playoffs.

And they keep beating the Boston Bruins, even when the odds look stacked against them.

Why can’t the Bruins beat the Canadiens?

That’s one of the questions discussed on this week’s HI/O Show as former Hab Chris Nilan joins columnist Jack Todd and sports editor/host Stu Cowan.

Other topics of discussion include how Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has changed the culture of the Habs, who look like they could be the only Canadian team to make the playoffs this season. There’s also talk about what coach Michel Therrien has done right and wrong this season and what the future might hold when it comes to his relationship with P.K. Subban.

The panel also weighs in on the concussion suffered by Travis Moen during a fight with the Bruins’ Kevan Miller and the key roles Douglas Murray and Mike Weaver have been playing on the blue line since Josh Gorges was sidelined with a broken hand.

Also, should Alex Galchenyuk be playing centre?

(Photo by Sterling Agres / HI/O Show)

581 Comments

  1. frontenac1 says:

    Atta boy Gally! Run the Goalie!

  2. Un Canadien errant says:

    New thread is up.

  3. Un Canadien errant says:

    Chris, when I was living in Montréal, like I said, I didn’t consider the Leafs a rival, or know that we were supposed to in this storied rivalry, until I learned English. And even then, before social media, and the advent of TSN, and when HNIC was still populated with good broadcasters like Dick Irvin, it was much more downplayed.

    Growing up, I read a lot of books on the history of the Canadiens, and the only rivalry that was described was the one with Maroons at the inception of the league, and the Red Wings in the 50’s. We were all inculcated in the great rivalry, how Gordie Howe was the usurper All-Star right winger and scoring champion, who stole Maurice Richard’s rightful title. We learned how Ted Lindsay was the Rocket’s sworn enemy, how he held himself back from killing him some nights. Then the story goes on to the Jean Béliveau years, and invariably, this period would be described as “Les Canadiens perdent en finale contre les Leafs, quatre matches à deux,” before moving on that at next year’s camp two young rookies named Yvan Cournoyer and Phil Goyette make the team. There’s never any great stories about wars or rivals, or anything, it’s just the Leafs winning an accidental, inexplicable Cup against a roster with Jean Béliveau, Henri Richard, Bernard Geoffrion, Doug Harvey, Jacques Plante, etc. It might as well have been the Rangers or Blackhawks winning, the main thrust of the story is that somehow the Canadiens lost.

    That’s the French-Canadian perspective, anyway. When we played them, there was a vague sense of civic rivalry with boring Toronto, the place where Sun Life moved to after the Parti Québécois won the election in 1976, we’d make jokes about rolling up the sidewalks at midnight over there, but that’s it.

    I only understood this rivalry, as one-side as it is, when I moved to B.C. Whistler is great, because we have people here from all over Canada, so you run across fans from every other team routinely, watching hockey at the hall or pub is lots of fun. Anyway, out here, I’ve seen some true blue fans, in their Gilmour or Clark jerseys, invade Tapley’s for an early game, and be unabashedly supportive of their team. Which was jarring to me at first, I kind of thought a Leafs fan would be kind of retiring, semi-apologetic, like a fan of the loveable loser Chicago Cubs. But no, they’re brash and they’re loud, and they think Wade Belak is amazing.

    I didn’t understand it. I saw a few beautiful girls, with long hair and fair skin and good teeth, seemingly happy to be wearing that ugly blue jersey. I felt sorry for them, like I do for North Koreans when they pantomime how great they think Kim Jong Un is. Either they’re forced to because of their surroundings, or they’ve been brainwashed into it, but no sane person would voluntarily wear that in public, and avow their fealty to such a ludicrous outfit.

    One of my coworkers Bob is a huge loudmouth, in a usually funny way, he’s short and strong as an ox. Once on a bus trip down to Vancouver to watch the Canucks take on the Leafs, all the Canucks fans set upon him and tried to duct tape him to his seat, and it was one of the most amazing Battle Royales I’ve ever seen. Try as they might they couldn’t get his arms pinned or grab his legs enough to subdue him, after fifteen or twenty minutes they gave up and got tired before he did. Anyway, Bob and I were roommates, and with him, I developed this rivalry, I started putting bets on games and on the season, but that was completely instigated by him, I wouldn’t have sought out a Leaf fan to tease or goad him or anything. It happened because of him, not the other way around.

    Meanwhile, when I first got to Whistler, I got a job working as a waiter in the restaurant of an upscale chain hotel. I met the chef, who was a big guy, and we asked each other if we played football and hockey and rugby, and on the first day developed a rapport, which was good because he was the usual tyrant you expect from a chef, but I got on his good side. Except a couple days later, we were talking, and I found out he was a Bruins fan, which made sense, because he was loud and a total bully to his underlings outside his little cadre of insiders, and he found out I was a Canadiens fan.

    It was instantly awkward, and we made a couple of jokes at each other team’s expense. I kind of gave as good as I got, and we got to a point eventually where we could bust each other’s chops about hockey, but there was a completely different dynamic than with your average Leaf fan.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  4. Psycho29 says:

    Don’t know if it was mentioned, but Marc Bergevin will be on Nilan’s show at 1:30 on TSN690

  5. B says:

    Goals per minute played in brackets:
    Ryder 17 goals in 1,143:00 TOI (.0148)
    Cole 16 goals in 1,065:51 TOI (.0150)
    Brière 13 goals in 782:29 TOI (.0166)

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • jimmy shaker says:

      At least MT is giving him regular shifts the last month or so. Now if he can get about 2 – 3 min more ice time, his productivity will be that much better. Very happy for Danny B……he never whined or complained at least publicly, he just went out and worked and is being rewarded for it. Looks better at centre than the wing too.

      Shaker out!

    • The_Truth says:

      Pretty even, but I am still partial to Cole out of all those guys for what he can bring when he is not scoring.

      Add Jagr and it’s a no brainer.

    • B says:

      Please ignore.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  6. punkster says:

    OK this Habs/Leafs rivalry discussion is getting out of hand as usual. You really have to look at it from different viewpoints although I realize that can be difficult. Your age, your home team passion level, your knowledge or experience either in the sport or simply as a fan, these all influence how you perceive this issue.

    I have the good fortune of being old enough to remember the 6 team league during my formative years in the 50s and 60s (I hesitate to use the term “Original 6″ as that is entirely a media generated tag). I was also fortunate enough to be a Leaf fan during those years, born and raised by Leaf fans of the 30s and 40s, who were in turn raised by Toronto fans of the St. Pats and through the Conn Smythe era. I lived and breathed Leafs, wore my #14 proudly, and along with every other Leaf fan I knew hated two rival teams in the league more than any other; Montreal and Detroit. Every single game with those two rivals was the pinnacle of skill and brutality, elite scoring and superb goal tending, exhilarating highs after a win and end of the world depression after a loss. And that rivalry was heightened by the fact that one of my brothers was a Montreal fan, a Jacques Plante wannabe, and the only kid in our town who had the balls to wear a Montreal jersey when we played pond hockey with the neighbors.

    Montreal/Toronto was a rivalry that lasted well beyond the stunning 1967 Cup win but was year by year diluted by unsound decisions and disgusting ownership crap of Ballard and his cronies. For me the end of my Leaf love slowly declined through the 70s and 80s to a point where I just gave up on the NHL entirely. The concept of a rivalry between Montreal and Toronto never left my mind but its importance was greatly diminished.

    It wasn’t until I moved to Montreal in late ’92, in time to catch the fever of that unreal last Cup run, that I rediscovered my passion for the game and, like my new found love for a Montreal lady, I fell for the Habs in a big way. As such Boston became the target of my rivalry passions since the Leafs were far from any threat. Out of sight, out of mind.

    My viewpoint changed so my perception changed. To this day, apart from one brother and a niece back in the old homestead in Ontario, my entire family remains loyal Leaf fans and consider the Habs to be their number one rival. I still see the Leafs as a rival, certainly, maybe number 2 or 3 on the list but due to their history and my experience only.

    Release the Subbang!!!

    • Maksimir says:

      Not to be rude Punkster… but you would be in your mid-60’s now?

    • Cal says:

      The laffs and the Habs don’t have much of a rivalry since the 60s like you mentioned. Toronto’s team has been too poor for too many decades to be rivals with any NHL team.
      Their fans, however, consider every win against the Habs as their Stanley Cup. Sad, but true.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Thanks for the story and context. I posted my view of things too, above this post.

    • Stewy.J. says:

      I was born accross the street from the old forum at the Reddy Memorial in’68. Since I can remember, it was always the Bruins who were our biggest rivalry and the Nordiques were a close second for awhile as well. I moved out west in ’89 and have met many fans from all over the league. Toronto fans have always been the least enjoyable to discuss hockey with without a question. While growing up in Mtl we always disliked the city of Toronto however we never really acknowledged the Leafs very often. From watching HNIC over the last couple of decades on CBC it seems as the media are trying to create some kind of rivalry that to me is not really that strong. The main reason I enjoy seeing the Leafs lose nowadays is simply because the HNIC crew is extremely biased towards Toronto and against Montreal. So much so that it is embarrassing. I now prefer to watch the games on RDS but the drawback is that the games are not in high def. I mute HNIC intermissions and won’t bother to listen to coaches corner. I am tired of the CBC trying to constantly attach the Leafs name to to the Habs organization and create some kind of big rivalry when everyone knows it is only Mtl/Bos and that’s it. When we lose to the Bruins I get physically angry and upset. When we lose to the Leafs is is only super annoying.

  7. Luke says:

    Is Price in the discussion for the Vezina? On the fringe of the discussion?

    Just curious what people are thinking. I haven’t heard much about the Vezina this year.

    • Forum Dog says:

      He should be at the head of the discussion. Easily the most valuable goalie in the league in my (biased) mind.

    • shiram says:

      He could be a candidate, but most seem to think Bishop will get it.

      • Forum Dog says:

        Hard to argue with his numbers. Rask as well. Like I said, I’m biased though, and have seen Price steal games with pairings like Bouillion and Diaz in front of him.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      It will be Bishop-Varlamov-Rask-Price.
      Vezina is only about the NHL regular season.

      The only hope Carey has is that this vote is done by the NHL GMs and not the Hockey Writers….but still, the numbers those 3 have put up are superior to Carey – especially Bishop.

      http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?gameType=2&position=G&season=20132014&sort=wins&status=A&viewName=summary

    • The_Truth says:

      I think he is close for the Vezina, but just on the outside.

      Rask and Bishop are locks for 1 and 2. I put Varlamov as a 3 and Price as 4.

      Sounds crazy, but I think Bernier is up there at maybe 5, if the Leafs can make the playoffs. He has stolen more games than any other goaltender this season, with one of the worst defensive teams in the league. He has very good numbers and comparing him to Reimer who has to deal with the same defence, it’s unbelievable the difference he makes.

      As always Lundqvist is in the top group as well, after struggling to start the year.

      Not in the running, but Halak has put up some nice numbers between St. Louis and Washington. If he can get the Caps into the playoffs, getting 30 wins in the process,While maintaining his .920 save %, that should solidify him as a legit #1 goaltender in the league.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Perhaps Bernier will be a candidate in the future, but not this year.
        His won/lost record is good, yet not elite… as is his GAA.

        Of course there is a blame towards a bad 6 man unit D, yet while Bernier has made many great saves this year, he has also let in some brain cramp goals and untimely, costly goals at the wrong times.

        Mental errors concerning the ability to concentrate and be sharp on a Consistent basis has been the downfall of many goaltenders and that usually shows up in Year 2-3 when handed the starting role.

        His BIG challenge will be next year.
        Coming into this year, the snipers didn’t really know him – his tendencies and weaknesses.

        Before joining the Leafs this year he ‘appeared’ in:
        4-3-25-16-14…games per year for the Kings spread out over 5 seasons

    • B says:

      Top 10 save% (over 40 games played):
      Rask .930
      Bishop .927
      Bernier .925
      Price .925
      Varlamov .924
      Miller .922
      Halak .920
      Bobrovsky .919
      Crawford .919
      Lundqvist .919

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • B says:

        I also noticed that since being traded for each other, Miller has a .913 and Halak has a .929 save%

        –Go Habs Go!–

        • The_Truth says:

          I think Washington is the perfect place for Halak. In St Louis he never had full confidence of Hitch and was mostly in a tandem role. In Washington he has thrived so far and should be the go to guy over Holtby down the stretch. If the Caps make the playoffs, look out, they could make some noise if Halak could get anywhere near to his 2010 form.

  8. CJ says:

    So, some new lines at the morning skate…

    PK with Markov
    Emelin with Murray
    Weaver with Tinordi

    Personally, I think this is a good mix and match. I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

    • Maksimir says:

      The problem is that unless you count Emelin… you don’t have a good puck moving Dman on the second or third pairings.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Emelin and Murray as the second pair is just terrible. Especially when Emelin plays on the right. Another bs Therrien move that will probably result in another win.

    • Steven Snell says:

      Apparently they’re saying now that Murray is skating as the extra. Good. The big problem, for me, with a Murray Emelin paring is their skating. How many times have we seen Emelin easily beaten wide this year?

    • Forum Dog says:

      Emelin has better skills than he gets credit for. I’ve seen him make a lot of nice passes, including one that sent Galchenyuk(?) in alone the other night. Not sure about him and Murray together, but it might take some of the physical burden off Emelin, which I think is what he has struggled with most since coming back from knee surgery.

  9. Marek says:

    Good morning everyone,

    Any one have any info on what will be the magic number to reach for the habs to clinch a spot? Just curious because I have the idea of it coming down to the final few games and a do or die situation, although the are 9 points up on c-bus, wash, det and toronto but i just have an uneasy feeling until that x is beside their name in the standings. Look at the laffs, just a few weeks ago they were ahead of the habs in the standings, although i don’t think we are nearly as bad as them, strange things do happen. I also get a queezy feeling when the thought of the leafs going on a little streak to squeek into the playoffs and gain some momnetum, it just seems to me like it could happen given that they have been so crappy all year and they can manage victories, just saying it would’t surprise me.

    Sorry to be the negative nelly but wondering what everyone else thinks

  10. Paz says:

    Two events turned this season around for me.

    1) the trade for Vanek! I really wanted to believe that we could compete with the big boys, I knew we needed another top 6 scorer, and we got one. The players must be pumped since the trade. This is the best move Bergevin has made, whether Vanek stays or not.

    2) Lars Eller’s goal to ignite the comeback against Ottawa. I’m a big Eller fan. I like his story. I like his work ethic. So good for him that he can take something positive out of this season.

    • Jocko says:

      I agree. I really like Eller and have said here before that he plays well against Boston, which puts him in my good book to stay! Wish he could just be given a line to stay on!

      I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

    • The_Truth says:

      I agree on the Vanek trade.

      As for Eller, it really has been a bad season and now he is our 4th centerman on the depth list, not counting Chucky. If he doesn’t do anything positive the rest of the way, I am not sure where he fits in next season. I don’t think him scoring a goal once, to make it 4-2 against Ottawa, is really enough. If there is trade available leading up to the draft, to move up or something, it’s something that has to be considered.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Eller has taken a lot of flack this year, and quite a bit of it is deserved. That said, he has been shuffled around as much or more than anybody, and has had his skillset poorly managed by the coach (IMO). My hope is that they keep him through this next contract and give him a legitimate chance to develop. That means some PP time, a pair of stable wingers, and a clear and defined sense of purpose. Basically, give him the Desharnais treatment and he’ll be fine.

      6’2″, 215lb centres who can win draws, skate, hit, stickhandle and shoot are hard to come by, as the Habs lineup over the last 10 years can attest to. They’ve got one now, and they just need to develop him properly.

      • The_Truth says:

        I think Eller has been given a lot of opportunity and just hasn’t seized it. He was playing more mins than any forward, outside of Pleks, early on, and still is almost tied with DD in ice time. His wingers moved around a lot because nothing ever worked. Not only that, but Eller’s line frequently hurt the team defensively.

        DD’s only treatment was putting him with Patch and Gally and the results were immediate and consistent, remaining so now with Vanek on the RW. He earned what he got. He is also a better offensive player than Eller, so should be given more PP time and better wingers. Also, DD is +21 better than Eller is 5 on 5. That’s very significant.

        Eller isn’t a good enough offensive player to be labelled a scoring center and now has been given the role of checking center which suits his skillset better and relieves any pressure to score.

        • Forum Dog says:

          I agree with a lot of what you say here. I just think that Eller has been kind of mishandled. Early in the season he and his line were doing just fine, and DD was being called out by the mayor. Because of his ties to Pacioretty, and because of his contract, the Habs had no choice but to do whatever it took to get him and that line going. And it worked out as the season wore on, which is good! Now DD skates with two front line wingers. Unfortunately for Eller, the investment in DD cost him offensive ice time and likely damaged his confidence (not surprising when you consider he was already seeing a psychologist).

          True that he needs to earn his opportunities. All I’m saying is that they stuck with and encouraged DD through his struggles, and I can’t say I’ve seen the same approach with Eller. At the end of the day, Lars is currently as old as DD was when he first broke into the league. If they invest in him and the skills he brings to the table, I still think he can be a very valuable 2nd line centre for them by the time he is 27. I’m just not sure they’ll give him that chance.

  11. jimmy shaker says:

    New thread before or after 12:30pm?

    I say before.

    Shaker out!

  12. Hammer says:

    I want to throw a shoe through the boob tube every time I see the Dman we gave to the Rangers school someone aka last night. ” Where have you gone Scott Gomez…..”

    • Jocko says:

      I picked him in my hockey pool. 14 goals, not bad, looking like a genius! I feel that pain you have as well, same pain I had when Leclaire was shipped off.

      I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  13. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS – MULTIPLE CHOICE (easy version!)

    1. Why are the Bruins so damn whiny??
    a. Claude Julien (I hated that about him in Montreal)
    b. Team culture
    c. Like the psychologists say, that’s what bullies are really like
    d. They are born that way

    2. What’s the best thing you’ve learned about Vanek now that he’s on our team?
    a. He’s amazing to watch with the puck
    b. He’s a great passer
    c. He has a hot wife
    d. Seems like a good guy

    3. If you were Bergevin, which veteran depth D-men would you be most likely to ask back next year
    a. Murray
    b. Weaver
    c. Cube
    d. Other

    4. Below, MaritimeRon outlines the differences between our team now and last year as reason for more optimism in the playoffs. What is the single BIGGEST difference?
    a. a better bottom 6
    b. better top 6
    c. better D
    d. other

    5. How far do you think we’ll go:
    a. 1st round
    b. 2nd round
    c. semi-finals
    d. cup final or better!

    SD
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Cardiac says:

      1) B
      2) All of the above
      3) B
      4) A
      5) C (fingers-crossed!)

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      In my mind, bringing back Douglas Murray for situational use as a #7 D is a no-brainer.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      #1) None of the above: Because of their piece of shite, ball sucker puke of an announcer Edwards. The biggest mistake in the history of the NHL. What an arsehole douche of a human being. There I’m better now!

      #2) None of the above: He’s a game changer and a scoring threat.

      #3) I would ask any of them, but I think they are all gone based on Beaulieu and Tinordi or pateryn or bennet taking spots on the big club. Not sure any of them want to be “dep” guys

      #4) C and D = better ‘Dep”

      #5) C…..but D is a strong possibility if the injured players return.

      Sorry for going off the board a bit. First time for me!

      Shaker out!

    • Shackles says:

      1. C Bullies
      2. All of the above
      3. B Weaver…but my heart says Murray
      4. A Well rounded bottom…no pun intended.
      5. C Dream Big

    • gumper says:

      1. a, and b. Team attitude reflects attitude of its leadership
      2. All of the above. Add timely scoring. Subtract, gives up on the play too easily in puck battles, and doesn’t have enough hustle without the puck.
      3. a No question he has the toughness and strength we really need.
      4. a Because the fourth line has looked great when not injured.
      c Bergevin’s depth moves have turned out better than I expected, and Tinordi and Beaulieu have both looked pretty good at times.
      5. b or c I’d say c if we can get healthy and stay healthy

      The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
      Mark Twain

    • Steven Snell says:

      1. B — I don’t know if they’re this whiney with regards to other teams, but they can’t accept the fact that losing to us is they’re own fault. We’re in their heads and not going anywhere.

      2. E — He knows where to hide in the O-zone. I’m so used to watching our blunt force trauma offence, then along comes this guy who has that sense and creativity and ability to create plays just by going to the right spot. I’d love to keep him, but I’m not sure about the price… gotta be bold from time to time though.

      3. B — God yes, B!!

      4. C — Better all-round team D. All 6 players on the ice. Last year we often looked confused in the defensive zone, which was surprising given that it was traditionally a strength of the team. This year things are generally much more structured and organized. Let’s not forget how awful we were playing just prior to the playoffs. Important stretch of games coming up, gotta keep the pedal to the metal.

      5. B — I just don’t think we can survive the Bruins over a series. Last game was a heroic effort and I expect much of the same in the playoffs. But lets face it, those first two periods were terrifying. They swarm our players so quickly, leading to broken passes and icings galore. But if there’s a team better prepared to upset them, it’s Les Boys.

    • The_Truth says:

      1. They are not used to losing and not used to not having their way physically. Montreal doesn’t back down and gives right back. The Bruins don’t know what is happening, so complain. Montreal is in their heads.

      2. Best thing I learned about Vanek is how good a passer he is and his positional play without the puck in the offensive zone. Not a perimeter player!

      3. Have to see the playoffs first, But Weaver or Murray could be good depth options.

      4. With Prust, Weisse, Eller, Gio, Briere, Bourque, White, Moen and Bounival I think the bottom 6 depth is a lot better.

      5. I’ll say B, 2nd round, but am hoping for something special.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      1 culture of bullying. Pizza the Hutt future right in.

      2. Passing

      3. None. Two of Tinordi, Beaulieu and Nygren will make it.

      4. Hopefully the better top line. But I’m not optimistic about the playoffs.

      5. If I had to bet, I’d say 1st round. Tampa will be favoured.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

  14. Chris says:

    Wow. The recent National Labour Relations Board ruling in the United States that the Northwestern University football team’s players can unionize can finally be the nail that blows up the absolute travesty that is the NCAA and its insistence on “amateurism” while it rakes in billions of dollars off those students.

    Right now, the ruling (which will undoubtedly be challenged by the school and, perhaps, the NCAA) is limited only to private schools. State schools are exempt as the NLRB is superseded in those cases by state labour boards. If this spreads to other sports, especially basketball, the NCAA is in big trouble.

    Private schools like Notre Dame, Duke, Stanford, the University of Miami, Wake Forest, Boston College, Boston University, Marquette, and Georgetown are all very important schools in certain NCAA sports. If unionization ultimately led to the players negotiating pay, then the amateurism of NCAA athletes becomes moot unless those programs were expelled from the NCAA. Add in the legal precedent and you could see state schools follow suit.

    I’m watching this one with interest because I think the NCAA is beyond corrupt and would like nothing more than to see its demise.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Testify, brother!

      An Athletic Director makes millions of dollars in salary, as well as football coaches, everyone gets rich, except the players. A scholarship is not compensation equivalent to the revenue those guys bring in.

      Rock bottom: every NCAA football player, or at least Division 1 players, gets lifetime health coverage for himself and his wife and kids for having had to go through the meat grinder that is college football. And top notch coverage too. From there, they should bargain for more.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Watching how the colleges drool over 1 and done players like Wiggins (basketball player from Toronto) is proof positive that the programs have nothing to do with education.

        Wiggins was nothing but a money making marketing machine for Kansas this season. They didn’t give a give a rats ass about his development, nor did Wiggins give a rats ass about his education.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Lots of college Presidents nervous over this one. For years its been all about money for these guys. The pretence of “Spirit if Sports” and “Education” has long since taken a back seat to greed.

    • D Mex says:

      It’s my understanding this same sport body (NCAA) deems young hockey players ” professional ” once their names appear on a CHL game sheet, or they receive guidance from an ‘ agent ‘, rendering them ineligible for ‘ amateur ‘ scholarship funding.

      Is this your understanding as well ?

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • HabinBurlington says:

      NCAA has nicely fit themselves into the same level of hypocrisy as the Olympics, FIFA when it comes to corruption.

      I love watching the product, but dislike the corruption as well.

      • D Mex says:

        A different dimension that has jumped out at me numerous times is their alleged academic standards.
        A high number of college ‘ graduates ‘ who have gone on to pro careers are seriously challenged to conjugate verbs or construct simple sentences in front of a microphone. Doesn’t compute.

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

    • Jocko says:

      Chris, I agree. I really wonder what effects this will have on the case brought forward by Ed O’Bannan? That ruling could have some major ripple effects in that particular case, and a lot of cash may be changing hands. Interesting time to be a University student athlete in the USA.

      I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  15. boing007 says:

    Habs need a RW. Bring up Louis Leblanc. You never know, he might be a pleasant surprise. His last hurrah.

    Richard R

  16. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Ah man, I know it’s old news now but I’m still loving that Clarkson deal by Leafs. One time career high 46 points player and still signed him to that big contract. And I remember some ppl here commenting how Leafs just got a whole lot better. He made tons of headlines during the offseason and look at them now.

    I was loving the signing in the off season and then Habs signed Briere…but atleast it’s only for 2 years eh and it looks he’s gotten into playoff form just at right time.

    • The Dark Side says:

      Just think we might have had Lecavalier. Whew

    • Strummer says:

      There were 10 teams interested in Clarkson. Who is to say he would have had the same meltdown anywhere else but Toronto?

      No one wanted to pay that kind of money other than the Oilers.

      He could still bounce back next season and beyond. He’s a hard-nosed 3rd liner with offenseive capability that would be an asset for the right price.

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

  17. The Dark Side says:

    What do the laffs and Bitcoin have in common.
    They are falling fast!

  18. arcosenate says:

    Don’t know how Vanek can sign with the Wild next season, they do have $23 million in space but need to sign like 8 forwards and 2 d men and perhaps a goalie depending on what happens with Harding, and I hope he can come back.

    http://www.capgeek.com/wild

    • Chris says:

      Vanek slots in one-for-one for Heatley’s cap hit, as there is no way that Heatley is back next season.

      • The_Truth says:

        Amazing the decline of Heatley. He basically had 6 straight 40 goal seasons and now just is a shadow of his former self. At 33 he should have a few years left, but his lack of speed and one dimensional play may find him having a hard time finding an NHL job next season.

        He always was a strange guy, who looked uncomfortable in any kind of spotlight. Some definite character issues there.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Anybody else think that Heatley was just an extension of Alfredsson?
          Always thought Alfie was good, but when you see how amazing Heater was in Ottawa compared with how crap he was once he left…

          It’s reminiscent of Markov’s effect on Komisarek.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • B says:

            41 goals & 89 points last full season in Atlanta

            39 goals & 72 points (-11) last season in Ottawa

            39 goals & 82 points (+14) first season in San Jose.

            Not everything outside of Ottawa was crap and he improved at first after leaving Ottawa (before tailing off after that). I don’t agree with the extension of Alfredsson theory.

            –Go Habs Go!–

  19. 5Footer says:

    Am I the only out there that falls into a light depression whenever I here McDonagh’s name?

    • Chris says:

      Might want to invest in some medication…he’s a strong candidate for the Norris Trophy this season. His offensive production has improved to the point that he is a Chara-esque candidate now: not quite in the top tier offensively, but overwhelmingly in the top tier defensively.

      • CJ says:

        He is certainly inside the top five. It is a unique defenceman who can contribute offensively, while not sacrificing his defensive responsibility. PK was able to manage both ends of the ice last year and RM is doing it this year, as well or better than anyone else in the league.

    • JUST ME says:

      I don`t. I just find it pathetic that we talk about those trades for decades after the fact. Yes there are some bad ones and there are some good ones . How about that Niniima Ribeiro trade ?

      I just do not see the point cause some traded player will do better elsewhere anyway like Leclair did in Philly that he would have never achieved with the Habs so we have to get over it at some point. But i know who is talking about that this morning in the medias and he is well known to stir the pot to let the aroma flow…

      • arcosenate says:

        Really, I think that worked about pretty well for us, Gomez is still three or four times the player McDonagh is, he only made about $3 million per goal while he was here and there were all those Stanley Cups we won.

    • Jocko says:

      Depression…not so much. A flat of beer does numb the pain a little.

      I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  20. CJ says:

    Good morning folks!

    I have been invited to a luncheon/meet and greet with Ray Bourque this afternoon. Any questions that you would like me to ask? I always respected his skills and abilities, however he was never a favorite player of mine.

    I will share answers this afternoon.

    Looking forward to the game tonight. Truth is, I look forward to every game, but there is something special about an original six match-up, perhaps more so as I have been to Joe Louis and really enjoyed the atmosphere.

    Gotta run, but will be checking in throughout the day. Cheers, CJ

  21. ffenliv says:

    Praying for a 3-point game tonight. Having many friends and family members who are Leafs fans, I usually place them ahead of the rivalry, and don’t actively root for the Leafs to lose.

    However, they’re all so raging angry at the Leafs now, they’re basically begging for more losses to encourage ownership to rid itself of all the dead wood. So, tonight their happiness means me rooting against Toronto.

  22. habs001 says:

    Based on the talent level the Habs have done as well as they can do in the last 2 regular seasons..The playoffs are hard to predict…last year the Habs outplayed Ottawa in the first 2 games badly yet were tied at 1-1 in games because of a goalie and D meltdown in the 3rd period of game one..2 year prior they won the first 2 games in Boston but lost the next 2 at home again because of goaltending and D issues..

    • The_Truth says:

      I agree. With how the roster looked throughout the season, I think The Habs would hit their ceiling if they can finish top 4 in the Conference. It is a very good result. I thought a bubble team finish would be likely, maybe squeaking in as an 7th or 8th seed.

      I also agree the playoffs are a very difficult thing to predict with this team. When they win, the games are always so close and in a playoff style atmosphere, Montreal still isn’t built to thrive. They can beat a Tbay or Toronto or Rangers, but I could see them losing to those teams as well. Very hard to say. If Price plays like he did during the regular season and the team D holds strong, I could put them as a slight 1st round favorite. Unless they face Boston, The Pens or Philly, which is a very bad matchup. Whoever it is, It will be a very tough series and likely to go 6 or 7.

      There are no easy opponenst, but style wise maybe Tbay is the best matchup. The Habs really struggle against tight checking teams and do better against more offensive minded ones, where they can play the shutdown role. Bishop is a Vezina candidate and has stoned Montreal in the past though.

  23. Mattyleg says:

    Know what’s kinda funny?
    We go on and on and on about the Leafs, and the media bangs on and on about our rivalry, and people on here get very excited with the idea of TO not making the playoffs again…

    In the Francophone media/comment section, there is nowhere near the kinds of apoplexy and schadenfreude over our neighbours in Hogtown.

    They recognize the rivalry, but it just doesn’t have the extra oomph that it does on the Anglo side of the fence.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • frontenac1 says:

      Not so much here in Kingston either Matty. Fanbase is Leafs,Habs,Sens, Boston. Except for the Media(which is all Toronto based)

      • Chris says:

        Lots of Leafs fans in Toronto due to Gilmour. There is a nice Montreal Canadiens fanbase there, especially due to the old Kingston Canadians connection.

        For the 2 or 3 Frontenacs games I’ve attended, there were plenty of Leafs jerseys and hats to be seen.

        • frontenac1 says:

          It’s kind of a strange area Chris. Lots of older Habs fans because of that farm club connection as well as older Bruins fans who also had a farm club here. Younger Hab fans due to the large Quebec presence from CFB Kingston and RMC. This is Sens territory for minor hockey promos so a lot of kids are fans of them. Leaf fans are here but they are usually in a foul mood. Saludos!

          • krob1000 says:

            Don’t forget the Penguins….I have coached minor hockey for 10 years now and the Penguins may actually be the most popular team amongst the kids.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Good point Krob. It has been 8 yrs since I coached minor hockey. Back then we would get all the promos from the Sens. I coached the old Inter-City League. North Frontenac,Kingston,Amherstview, Gan, were in the loop. Times change eh?

          • Chris says:

            Kingston has always been a strange area for me. Such an absolutely wonderful hockey town, yet a strange lack of success in the OHL.

            Rob: Penguins fans everywhere. Kids cheer for the team with the best players. My brothers were both Oilers fans because of Gretzky, Kurri and Coffey. I was the black sheep in the family because I chose the Habs.

            Chicago is starting to become really popular with younger kids now because of the two Stanley Cups plus Toews, Kane, Hossa, and Keith.

            My current hometown, Guelph, is pretty much a Leafs town although there are a lot of Habs fans and an increasing number of Kings fans because of Drew Doughty. Doughty still has a strong connection with the city…he sent his jersey and gold medal from Sochi to Guelph and they were on display on the concourse during Game 1 of the playoffs, and he still sponsors a private box to get disadvantaged kids out to Storm games.

            Doughty is a great guy.

          • frontenac1 says:

            The Fronts? Tell me about it Amigo! It has been brutal. Finally this year we have a respectable team. Here”s hoping!

    • Chris says:

      So…what kind of apoplexy and schadenfreude is there about any team not named Montreal in the francophone media? Be fair…they have a mandate, which is to cater to the whims of their readership.

      If there is one group in Canada that is almost certainly NOT particularly interested in the Toronto Maple Leafs, it is safe to say that it is francophone Canadians.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Boston amigo. The Bruins.

        • Chris says:

          Not from my perusals of the francophone media outlets. They cover the Bruins extensively when there is a game between the Habs and the Bruins. Other than that, pretty much zippo coverage.

          Basically, the francophone media treats the Bruins the same way they treat the Leafs: they ignore them until they are relevant within the Montreal Canadiens sphere of influence, and then they hype them up.

          I’m not denying that Boston-Montreal is more of a rivalry right now because of the recent playoff history. But attempts to de-emphasize the Leafs-Habs rivalry are laughable. This site is proof-positive: if there were no rivalry, why would Habs fans spend so much brain sweat thinking about the Leafs?

          Most Habs fans revel in the Leafs’ miseries. That is simply fact, and it is also pretty strong proof that the rivalry exists. When the two teams play each other, a very loud and vocal contingent from the other team is always present in the other’s barn. I’ve been to a few Habs-Leafs games in Montreal and have always been annoyed at how many Leafs fans manage to get tickets.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Most Anglo Habs fans revel in the Leafs’ miseries.

            The only rivalry that matters for French-Canadian Habs fans is that against the Nordiques, and that makes any Habs-Toronto rivalry look like two kids in a sandbox.

            I went to the Colorado game, and was astounded at how many Nordiques jerseys there were, and how many Avs jerseys as well, with Sakic and Forsberg names on the backs.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Chris says:

            I don’t get the connection to the Avalanche. If I was a Nordiques fan, that would be the last team I would cheer for. Not only did they take the Nordiques away, but they also refuse to retire the numbers of any of the Nordiques’ greats (Stastny and Goulet both deserve to have their numbers retired by that franchise).

            I could never cheer for the Washington Nationals.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Chris, it’s more about anger over their over representation in the media.. I know I’m not into Hab-Leaf games as much as I am Bruins games.. And it’s unanimous.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Chris says:

            Mr_MacDougall: Right now, the Bruins are the team to beat in the East so I am absolutely more into those games.

            But when the Bruins were at the bottom, I never really dreaded losing to the Bruins. It doesn’t matter how bad the Leafs are , I always dread losing to them.

          • dr. schmutzdeker says:

            eggs-zachery

    • JUST ME says:

      You can say the same thing about the Therrien drama and the D.D. apocalypse that shook HIO earlier this season. Nowhere else than here was it ever so present. I do not know if people realize it really…That`s what they call the two solitudes i guess…

      I for one wake up to hate the Leafs… This week end should do it. Detroit friday and Flyers saturday… Actually doctor it dates back to when i was 7 years old when the Leafs won the cup. Is there a couch i could lie on ?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      from http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/01/maple-leaf-blues.html

      The whole Toronto-Montreal ‘rivalry’ is a Toronto media creation anyway. Growing up as a French Canadian kid watching hockey in the 70′s and 80′s, the only teams that mattered were the Islanders, the Oilers, the usurpers who were trying to break the Canadiens records. We hated the Bruins and the Flyers. We hated the Nordiques very quickly after they joined the league, and hated them with white hot intensity. I still seethe and clench my fists when I see Dale Hunter. I still think he should be in jail.

      When I started speaking English and having to watch hockey on CBC, I was dumbfounded to hear that we were embroiled in this great rivalry with the Toronto Maple Leafs. I had never heard a peep about that on La Soirée du Hockey. I never had an inkling that this ridiculous team with Tiger Williams and Mike Palmateer and Harold Ballard that we swept two years in a row in the opening series of the playoffs was one of our rivals.

      from http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2013/04/there-is-no-habs-leafs-rivalry.html

      If anything, maybe anglophone fans have been brain-washed into believing that a rivalry now exists, after many fallow years, subjected as they are to TSN hype and HNIC’s resident lunatic’s homoerotic crimes. Most French-Canadian fans though are insulated from the Toronto media’s attempts to validate their team by comparing it to ours, and wouldn’t think of the Leafs as a rival. They’re a regular annoyance that has to be dealt with, like the Sabres or Senators. C’est tout.

      • Mattyleg says:

        YES.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • frontenac1 says:

        Agree 100% UCE!

      • Chris says:

        The big rivalry in Canada has always been between the cities of Montreal and Toronto, whether it be sports, politics, or culture.

        The rivalry dates back to the origins of the NHL. It was waged on the ice, in the stands, and very much between the ownership groups. Conn Smythe always played up the rivalry while building the Leafs.

        I know it is trendy to deny the existence of a rivalry. But it is simply wrong. Has it faded? Yes.

        Is it the same as the Sabres or Senators? Not even close. Ask the players.

        Go to a Leafs-Habs game…the atmosphere in those games tends to be the most electric of any visiting team to the Bell Centre.

        Montreal fans want the Habs to beat the Bruins or Flyers because we hate what they stand for as hockey teams. Montreal fans DESPERATELY don’t want to lose to the Leafs because we know we are hearing about it from every other hockey fan the following morning.

        Lose to the Sabres, no worries. Lose to the Leafs, and you have to deal with it for a week. :)

        • Mattyleg says:

          I think you’re missing the point, Chris.
          You’re saying that the attitude toward the Habs-Leafs rivalry is unanimous amongst Habs fans, and it’s simply not true.

          There is a rivalry, but the Francophones don’t care about it so much because they aren’t exposed to Anglo media, and they don’t ‘hear about it from every other hockey fan the following morning’ because Leafs fans don’t read/comment on French media.

          If you go on TSN, then for sure, you get what you deserve.
          Go on RDS, and there’s none of that nonsense.

          To say that the rivalry is as intense is disingenuous.
          Even I don’t care so much about the Leafs.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Chris says:

            I got the point.

            Do some francophone fans not care about the Leafs? Of course. Does the Quebec media not report on the Leafs? Of course…I love them for it. Their sports coverage actually understands that some of us care about things other than the NHL. Their coverage of the Olympic sports is so vastly superior to anything in the rest of Canada.

            But the notion that a Toronto-Montreal rivalry is a media creation is patently absurd and groundless. Lots of people care about the Montreal-Toronto rivalry. The CBC sure does. The ad execs do. The fans around the country do. So I disagree with Normand that it is a media creation.

            Your initial point that it does not carry as much weight in the francophone media is valid, but I addressed that by saying that they don’t really play up ANY rivalries. They play up the Montreal Canadiens. The hockey coverage in the francophone media is all Canadiens, all the time. If there were another Quebec based team, then things would of course be different. But there isn’t, and the coverage is very one-sided.

            Lots of Anglophone hockey fans hate the plethora of Leafs coverage. If you think that is gross, imagine being a francophone fan that hates the Habs! One of my good friends grew up near Quebec City and absolutely despises the Habs. He is beyond sick of all the Habs coverage in the media in Quebec. :)

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        I’m not French, but the rivalry is not near as intense as the Bruins. Just have to make a couple pints and Leaf fans cower. Bruins exchanges get heated.. Quickly.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • frontenac1 says:

          Yup. I lived in TO for 8yrs so I get what Chris is saying about being a Hab fan down there, but outside of the GTA most Hab fans just scratch their heads at that”rivalry”. It’s Boston big time. So many Playoff Wars.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Yep.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Chris says:

            I grew up in your neck of the woods, Front. I was born and raised in Hastings County. :)

            We were split 50/50 Habs/Leafs, largely because of CHEX TV playing Habs games in the 1980’s. Now, it is increasingly more Toronto fans and hardly any Habs fans left.

            There were no Boston fans whatsoever. I never met a Boston fan until I got to Guelph in my 20’s, when I met two guys: one because he grew up cheering for Bobby Orr in the 1970’s, and the other because he is from Nova Scotia and there are a ton of Bruins fans down there.

    • Mondou6 says:

      What’s the francophone equivalent to HIO?

  24. The Dark Side says:

    Somebody has been moonlighting.

  25. Mattyleg says:

    Good morning everyone!
    Sunny days here in Mtl; hope all our Maritime friends are doing okay…

    Just want to repost something mentioned on L’AC last night:

    Since the new management took over, Habs have the 7th best record in the NHL, behind (in no order) Boston, Anaheim, LA, San Jose, Pitt, and one other I can’t remember.

    7th best. Not too shabby for a terrible coach and a GM who doesn’t know what he’s doing!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Out of curiosity, did they mention how we rank in playoff victories over that same time? :)

    • JUST ME says:

      We tend to see that with time, opinions change and eyes open as much on Bergevin`s work,Therrien job or D.D. `s play.
      The problem is that we tend to judge too quickly or compare with the glorious era that has nothing to do with today`s hockey. Again a few days ago we were praising Weaver like a god. He does play well and seems to surpass our expectations but still we judged him on a few good games wich by the way he should be able to deliver having graduated up to the NHL…

      Mind you we had a serious question mark with the Habs. Which team did we have this year ? The one that finished 28 th in the league 2 years ago or the one that finished 2nd in his conference during the short season ? I think we have the answer. Remains now the difficult phase to keep on reaching new grounds…

  26. Black Horse says:

    For a player to fight another player wearing a visor is just plain stupid! The only thing that will happen is he gets his knuckles bashed & bloody.

  27. AA - #25 says:

    Should be a good one tonight, teams are fairly even, maybe not in the standings and Detroit is gonna be going all out for the two points if they want to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot. I think this is gonna come down to a Goalies win …

  28. Un Canadien errant says:

    Reply to UnkleGary, who was asking about the chances of trading for Zack Kassian on the previous page:

    I’d say the chances are virtually nil. They knowingly gave up a better player in Cody Hodgson to get him, hoping his physical stature would improve the mix on the team, and that there’d be greater synergy. There was a Hail Mary-ish hope that he might immediately fit in on the Sedins’ right wing, which hasn’t panned out. But the thought was that Cody Hodgson, while a nice player, would by necessity be a third-line centre, playing behind Henrik and Ryan Kesler, whereas Zack would be a Top 6 winger who brought what they needed: size and toughness and an ability to score goals.

    So it’s taken a while, but he’s slowly coming along this season, and had a huge uptick the last couple of games: 4 assists against the Sabres, some of them beauties, and a goal yesterday against the Wild. Plus, he seems to have re-animated the corpse of what used to be David Booth.

    The Canucks still need size, still need scoring, still need toughness, so Zack Kassian is not a spare part. He’s young and improving. In the deep dark depths of the team crisis a few games back, maybe there could have been a panic trade, but even then I don’t think they’d have parted with a young winger, veterans would have been more likely.

    It’s always instructive to go visit another team’s boards when you’re interested in a player for trade scenarios. For example, we like to think we could get Evander Kane from the Jets for a Jarred Tinordi, a Daniel Brière and a first-round pick, and frankly, that’s a non-starter for a Winnipeg fan. They know the kid is huge, tough and can score, was drafted third overall, and has huge cachet. So when they bat around trade scenarios, they’re thinking Claude Giroux, or Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier and two first-rounders.

    Same for the Canucks, they know Zack’s a first-rounder who reached the NHL and is still developing, they gave up a first-rounder to get him, they’d want a Max Pacioretty or some other non-starter piece in return.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • UnkleGary says:

      Thanks UCE! He seems to be playing pretty well of late, and I feel like he, or a similar player would fit well and provide good balance on our top 6/9. I guess it was a Hail Mary thought, you’re exactly right, why would the Canucks give up on a big tough winger with a scoring touch, unless they had a deal they couldn’t turn down.
      Hopefully MaCaron or Crisp fills that void in the future, I guess time will tell. Anyways thanks so much for the response, I always enjoy reading your post. Do you live in Vancouver?

      CH-eers!

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Well said as always UCE, the fine fans of this board should always bear in mind that in today’s parity/fear of mistake trade league, you only trade stars for stars.

      You want a young top flight centre? Better have a young top flight dman or winger to spare in return.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  29. The Dark Side says:

    Larry, you will go to the net and score many goals!

  30. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Only sad thing about a Habs victory tonight is that Leafs nation is chanting Go Habs Go. Yikes.

  31. Maritime Ronn says:

    Looking at the Habs lineup this year going into the playoffs vs. the players the Habs had going into the playoffs last year is quite different.

    The bottom 6:
    Last year, Colby Armstrong, Mike Blunden, Halpern, and Gabby Dumont all saw action. That is not good NHL depth.

    This will be the 2 Gallys second time at it so they will know what to expect.
    Briere replaces Ryder.

    Defence:
    Raphael Diaz played the 3rd most minutes of all Habs Dmen.
    He was also 1st Unit PK.
    While this is certainly not blaming him or his softness for the less than good PK last year, there is a reason why he is/was a sub or 6th Dman this year for Van and now the NYRangers.

    Emelin was also injured and there was no depth Dmen such as Murray and Weaver this year.

    With the great hiring of Stephane Waite last summer, Price (and Budaj) appear to have better mechanics and confidence.
    Of course, the ‘playoff performance’ is what counts, and Carey has some catching up to do…

    • SmartDog says:

      Good post Ron. Nice to see the specifics and you’re right – very different. Let’s hope for a different result to match.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Chris says:

      Lots of good points there. My only quibble is that I felt that the penalty kill was at its best last year when Raphael Diaz was getting called upon. I felt he played very well in that role, as the D get pounded less and good positioning and shot-blocking becomes a premium, the two biggest strengths of Diaz’s game.

      Diaz was at least as good as Subban on the penalty kill last season, and that is pretty heady company. His play suffered in the playoffs, but I think a large part of that is attributable to rust from only getting 4 games in after suffering his concussion, and then promptly getting rattled by seeing his dangerous pass result in a teammate getting knocked out of the playoffs with a pretty nasty injury.

      Diaz is a good player when he finds the right fit. Being the sixth defenceman in New York is not that big an insult. McDonagh, Girardi, Staal and Stralman would be the top 4 on the majority of the teams in the NHL. And Klein and Diaz could make a nice pairing…Klein is a good, underrated defenceman that makes smart plays and can move the puck. The Rangers can pick and choose when they want to use that pairing, as McDonagh, Girardi and Staal can all play 25-30 minutes per night and dominate.

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    If you want to watch something entertaining click on link below, then click on “Tim and Sid rant on Leafs, Phaneuf”

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/tim-and-sid/

    Now Phaneuf did later call into the station in light of this rant.

    But it is quite a rant!

    • Strummer says:

      I heard Phaneuf’s call while in the car. It was all cliches and he used “times like this” a lot.
      Tim and Sid did take it easy on him and didn’t ask any really tough questions.
      Such as “why do the Leafs play so badly in their own end after 74 games?”

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

    • Cal says:

      That was a pretty damned good rant.

  33. Hobie Hansen says:

    Marc Bergevin is doing a fine job. I’ve said on here several times that he’s right around a B+ grade.

    I’ve been a bit annoyed, actually furious, with a couple things he’s done. Like the Desharnias and Briere contracts. As the year has progressed I’ve realized I was wrong about Desharnais, he’s been fantastic! Briere has also had some decent performances and his two year deal isn’t looking so terrible.

    If you watch the above video you hear the guys talking about CHARACTER. Something that doesn’t show up on a stat sheet. Bergevin has character, Michel Therrien has a lot of pride and it shows. Guys like Brandon Prust, George Parros and Douglas Murray have character!

    The culture of this team has changed. We went from the softest bunch of babies, who used to watch their teammates get roughed up, to a scrappy and hard nosed team. We’re still a bit small but a guy like Travis Moen isn’t alone out there anymore. Brandon Prust, Douglas Murray or Jarred Tinordi are also there to inflict some punishment and stand up for the CH! That goes a long way towards team pride, a positive attitude and winning!

    High marks for Bergevin for making the Habs a REAL hockey team again and for not trading away all our picks or talented young players for a temporary fix! The team under Gauthier, even with that miracle playoff run, made me sick.

  34. Strummer says:

    A Hab victory tonight only helps the Leafs (sigh)

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

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Best case scenario: Habs win in overtime, Wings get a point out of it.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hey Norm, there is quite an article on Vancouver, Luongo etc… on deadspin, saw it this morning and thought of you. Check it out, I think you may find it intriguing.

        http://deadspin.com/how-roberto-luongo-saved-vancouver-1551349464

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Wow, great stuff, I’ll read more from this guy. I’m not sure if I agree with his central thesis, or even understand what it is, I’ll set the article aside and re-read it tonight. I do think it captures some of the drama of Roberto, how he’d look so amazing, miraculous on some nights, but wouldn’t necessarily inspire confidence that he’ll get it done, like Carey or Henrik Lundqvist. And some other nights just collapse ignominiously. Too often in the playoffs.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would like to see the Leafs finish 8th actually. Perhaps because living in the GTA I have friends with sports bars etc… and they could make some good revenue on a 1st round appearance.

      Either way, I am far more concerned about where we as Habs finish. My ideal wish is for Philly to flounder enough to fall to 8th and have an epic war with Boston.

      • Phil C says:

        I think Detroit could give Boston all they could handle, so that is my plan B.

      • JF says:

        I was thinking the same thing about Philly last night – how sweet it would be if the Bruins and Flyers could meet and beat the crap out of each other. Failing that I think it’s likely the Rangers will take Philly out. No one is talking about that Rangers team, but they’re seriously good. Excellent goaltending and defence, and they play a much more dynamic game than they did under Tortorella.

  35. Maritime Ronn says:

    Should be a good ‘hockey’ game tonight minus the idiot Bruins stuff.

    Wings are always tough, but injuries to all stars Datsyuk-Zetterberg and Abdelkader can’t help.
    Also missing will be Top 4 Damn Jonathan Ericsson

    Detroit at home 15-11-10.
    Habs road record:20-14-2.
    …but, Detroit has won both games against the Habs this year.
    Time to change the trend.

  36. Maksimir says:

    Just looking at the standings and seeing Dallas in a fight to make the playoffs.. I checked out their team stats… remember Cole? He has 16 g & 12 a… which is ok.. but he’s also -17! Yikes!

    • Maksimir says:

      Similarly – Ryder has 17g 14a but is -11.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Addition by subtraction?

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • 24 Cups says:

        Might as well finish off the equation:

        Danny Briere has 13 goals, 11 assists and is -3.

        Whether we like his overinflated contract or not, this is the time of year that Briere was brought in for in terms of clutch goal scoring. One of the major differences from last playoff season will be having Briere and Vanek in the top nine.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Funny how all of a sudden the Briere signing is either a wash, or if he performs in the playoffs it is an above average deal.

          I don’t think Jagr/Iginla were ever “really” interested in Montreal unless gross overpayment.

          • The_Truth says:

            Iginla wasn’t interested yes, but Jagr was definitely willing to come here for the same deal he signed in Jersey. It was actually his first choice.

            Briere is looking a little better lately and now is back at his natural center position with some decent wingers, but I would trade him for Jagr in a second.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Plus/Minus is probably one of the most deceiving stats that almost tells no story.

      Sometimes goalies that can’t stop beachballs don’t help.
      Then there are teams playing with 2nd-3rd string goalies because of injury.
      Add to that teams that have a brutal 6 man D unit.

      Yakupov is Minus 33
      Ovie is minus 31
      Cammalleri is minus 18
      Lecavalier is minus 16
      Taylor Hall is minus 15
      Kessler is minus 15
      John Tavares is minus 6
      Evander Kane is minus 5

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        I think in Ovi’s case it’s true.. He is the most horrific defender I have seen in person.. Was beyond unimpressed seeing him at the Bell.

        Plus-minus is an amazing stat to quantify team play 5 on 5.. As an individual stat there are limitations.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      I think Cole was off to a horrendous start so he may have picked it up lately. Sometimes it is the line that goes and no one player is responsible but the complete line. Power plays also….what line you play on 1st/2nd/3rd etc…..I watched him a couple of times and he looked okay….

  37. 24 Cups says:

    Take a good look at the faces in this photo. They speak volumes.

    http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/30732657/480357031.0_standard_783.0.jpg

    I don’t think Moen or Parros should ever be in a situation where they have to fight or take a vicious hit from some lowlife like Lucic. Parros’s situation is simple – wait out the year in the pressbox and then retire. As for Moen, he has two years left at 1.85M. Maybe he should be like Marc Savard and just sit on the sidelines until his contract runs out. Montreal would get LTIR if they need it.

    • Phil C says:

      Watching the Moen fight, I remember an interview with Parros where his something to the effect that he never fights out of anger because that’s when you get hurt. Moen took a big right at the beginning of this fight which got him riled up, so he was trying to hurt Miller after that. He had a chance to pin Miller, but he picked him up again and took a big right shortly after which did the damage. I get what Parros was saying now.

      Hope it’s not a career ender for him, but even if he comes back, he probably won’t be fighting much. Luckily there is usually little fighting in the playoffs.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Excellent point by Parros and you illustrated it perfectly, when I saw Moen pick him back up, I thought uh oh, this could be bad. The fact he stepped in initially was enough to show that Habs were defending each other.

        Hindsight is always 20/20 though.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Another thing Phil, is that Travis went down early in the fight, and could have stayed down, but got back up and kept swinging, catching Kevan Miller with a good one that staggered him too. So yeah, he could have stayed down, could have wrestled him, but he went in with guns blazing. It might be pride that made him do that, but he showed some courage, just caught two good rights and got KO’ed.

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      I understand the need that players feel to fight to “not back down” or defend a team mate, but at what point is the cost simply too high? With what we know about concussions now can we really continue the status quo?

    • Strummer says:

      Fighting someone with helmet and visor intact after losing your own is never a good idea.
      The Boston player Miller didn’t observe the “code”

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

  38. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Who needs Prozac? Look at the difference in here after beating the b’s and Laffs!

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  39. Cal says:

    Here is wishing all Maritimers a warm and safe today.
    Detroit tonight. Ought to be an intense and fun game.

    A word on the HIO show:Booooo! Kidding!
    Seriously guys, this could be expanded to a 30 minute format and packaged to be on tv. (Habs-oriented first and foremost, with commentary on other important league news and/or incidents.
    I think it would be a hit.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi Cal

      The show is fun to watch.
      Nilan is a character, yet he brings only 1 perspective that being how he played.
      It would be great if there were some different invited guests that bring other perspectives to the show.

      There is no shortage of past greats living in Montreal.
      Lafleur, Serge Savard,….or how’s about a guy like Rejean Houle who could give some insight on his short career as the Habs GM?
      Cournoyer-Carbonneau-Tremblay-Lambert (funny guy)…there must be several others still living in the Province. Lemaire?

      • Cal says:

        I agree that Knuckles has his own perspective on things, but he has a great sense of humour that helps make the show more entertaining. I like the idea of a reporter/commentator with a former player going over things. Varying the guests a little more would be a good thing, too. However, this is not to say that the current edition of the show isn’t good to great. (The Dick Irvin episode comes to mind)

        The most pressing matter is this: where in hell can we get those HIO mugs? ;)

      • gmur says:

        I know what you mean about Nilan in terms of his perspective, but I liked his hockey analysis of players like Galchenyuk and Tinordi. Decent chops for a guy who spent most of his NHL career in the box or on the bench. Come to think of it, those are two great vantage points for learning the game… Miles better than PJ Stink

  40. Ian Cobb says:

    Good morning and especially good morning to my best friend, Andree, it is her 29th birthday today!

  41. BriPro says:

    To our Maritime friends.
    Hope you’re all safe and warm.
    Spring is started and I have a call out to Mother Nature for warm weather without the flooding.
    It’ll be a good day and our Habs will cap off another good one!

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Thanks! Still 70km winds with 100km gusts here on “The Island,” snow has stopped.. Yesterday morning I could see!half my lawn.. Not so much now… Sigh… Worst part is that I was $100 apart from a snowmobile purchase in late Jan, but it was a yellow and black Skidoo (is it even legal for me to ride a sled those colours?)

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Nice thoughts, Bri

        Mr M.-looks like you guys got the worst of it with the exception of Cape Breton that allows gets hammered

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Yeah, it’s not near as bad as “White Juan” … Mostly drifts.. Our two cars are connected by one huge drift.. Ahh well.. You faired out okay?

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  42. Black Horse says:

    Our boys better bring their “A” game tonight. The Wings are fighting for their playoff lives. They will be coming out with all guns a Blazin.


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