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)


  1. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. I’m thinking of Cat this morning, or at least I think it was him, who had the signature about “I’m a hockey fan and like the Habs but probably not as much as you.”

    Although I love the Habs there are some games tonight that,quite frankly as a hockey fan, I have to see. Chicago vs Boston along with LA vs Pittsburgh are must watch games for me.

    I know the playoff implications are negligible with these matchups but I still have to see them.

    So with apologies to our resident poll taker, Smartdog, what should I do. My TV has split screen capability plus I have a tablet which I can get my Cable broadcast feed.

    What game get the big screen, which games gets the split screen, and which game goes to the tablet?

    Note: The Hab game get DVR’d (PVR’d) for later closer analysis. :)

  2. DipsyDoodler says:

    Funny DGB article on how everything you know is wrong.


    Moving. Forward.

  3. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Good morning, HIO.
    Great overnight chat on many topics — just skimmed through.
    Hope Twi, MRonn, Truro, McDougal and all the other maritimers are warm and safe this morning.
    Have a good one.

  4. DipsyDoodler says:

    Elliotte F. claims the ‘Canes (BTW good thing Kirk Muller never took those French lessons – bullet dodged there) might be interested in shedding Jeff Skinner’s salary ($5.75M/yr until 2019).

    Eller plus Pateryn good enough? Or do we have to make it Eller + Tinordi?

    Moving. Forward.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Morning, Dipsy.
      Would Carolina consider Eller a good fit?
      Skinner. Eyes dilating….

    • Habfan17 says:

      I would say it would have to be DD or Pleks. Skinner would be on one of the top two lines. I doubt Pleks would drop to the 3rd and DD would not fit on the 3rd. Then what do you do with Galchenyuk next season. If Bergevin is going to make a trade, I think he is better off finding a natural winger to fit on the top 2 lines with some sandpaper, speed and offence. Evander Kane or someone like him.


      • DipsyDoodler says:

        DD already is on the 3rd line.

        OK just kidding.

        Moving. Forward.

        • Habfan17 says:

          Lol… I took a look and Skinner can play left wing. Not sure where he is more comfortable. If they would trade him for Bourque and Eller, I would. I like Eller, but if DD is going to stick around and Galchenyuk is moving to centre next season, someone has to go.


    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Skinnerrrrrrr (in a Super Intendant Chalmers voice)

      I’d take’m

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  5. Marc10 says:

    Was stuck on a long bus ride home and enjoyed this thread quite a bit. A refreshing change from some of the more aggressive banter seen this season.

    Big game coming up and a decent preview of what to expect in the playoffs. Tight checking, hard skating and a seasoned opponent desperate for the win. Should be a good one.

    Without their stars in the line up, the Wings will trap like mad. Here’s hoping the boys stay patient and stick with what got them there. A goal or two on the power play would be nice.


  6. AliHaba says:

    Here’s a good one to start your day:–When asked about Dion Phaneuf’s play, a local sportswriter replied that he has the hockey IQ of a lobster.

  7. B says:

    Vancouver goes out in 4 straight games to end Thrower’s CHL season. I hope he recovers well from his ankle injury and comes back with a great camp to start his pro career.

    Kootenay is tied with Calgary at 2 games a piece. The Ice are hanging in there well against a team who finished 20 points ahead of them, even without one of their top scorers (Bozon).

    –Go Habs Go!–

  8. Un Canadien errant says:

    Elliotte Friedman on Team 1040 analyzing the Penguins’ recent woes, talks about James Neal, depth, third and fourth line woes, boredom due to being too far out front in their division…

    It staggers me that the absence of Kris Letang is so overlooked. He’s their #1 defenceman by far, and their offence has dried up markedly since he had his latest injury. And I know, because I have him and a bunch of Pens on my fantasy team, and I can see the effect tangibly. How hard is it to understand that when he’s on the ice, the puck leaves the defensive zone in a hurry, and goes the other way.

    Friedman also discusses the Rangers since Ryan Callahan has been traded. You’ll never guess which player he points out as the new leader of the team, as the guy everyone feeds off.

  9. Congrats to Team Canada says:

    Looking at the team stats, Montreal has only 3 players with a decent plus minus. Plex +11 Markov +8 Gorges +7. Subban, Max, and Gionta are even. Yet we have one of the best shot blocking teams in the league. Montreal’s team defense is one of the best. Its our scoring as usual thats the culprit, be it special teams or 5 on 5 is irrelevant.

    Do we need Carey Price. Nothing ive seen about this team this season suggests to me, that Price will make a difference in accomplishing in aid of as opposed to Budaj.

    That we spent 40 million dollars securing a pedigree goalie, to establish one of the best team defense, and shot blocking systems, seems ridiculous.

    This team, will accomplish all they can regardless of whos in net, Price is not an intangible goalie, especially when you consider his playoff lackluster.

    Why not, take that money, and spend in on what could make a difference in being a Stanley Cup contender. More offence. More rugged scoring. Not Bourque, or Eller.

    I think were spending way to much on a goalie, that will make no difference as to winning a cup with who his cast is in front of him.

    I can see it now, just like last season, Price wasnt the problem, the defense, blah, blah, blah. When really we should be saying, Price wasnt the problem its the offence. Team defense is quite good.

    Time to move the money away from goal-tending, and put it in the form of proven scoring.

    • Timo says:

      So you’re saying Habs need to give DD a raise?

      • Congrats to Team Canada says:

        &&& resign Therien for 5 more years, before hes lured elsewhere where idiot fans dont presume to know anything about coaching an NHL team in Montreal.

    • Betelgeuse says:

      So you’re saying that we would be in the same position if Budaj was our #1? Please elaborate…

      • Congrats to Team Canada says:

        Yes we would be. Budaj cost 1,5 million dollars, and that would give us another 5 million dollars to spend on scoring. Team defense is going to take us as far as possible, regardless whos in net.

        • slyCH says:

          I was a defensive type forward, a sh!t disturber, the type of player who took the corners and planted himself in the crease, I thrived and loved the role. The coach played me in net once, out of necessity… I hated it! Never again! I told him.
          You try the position…

          • Congrats to Team Canada says:

            This isnt about Price, this about money being allocated better, when goaltending isnt going to make the difference in wining the cup or not or even a series even.

            Scoring is, especially on this defensive team.

          • slyCH says:

            Ken Dryden won us a cup in his rookie season. Roy did it as well in 86, 93 was a stand up goalie cup performance for him as well. The bruins won their last cup largely due to bunker boy goalie… I can list countless goalie performances that won a cup. It is, simply put, money well spent on a key position. Price has become an elite in the position. Kiss the olympic gold medal hanging on his neck.

          • Congrats to Team Canada says:

            Im not sure I put Price in that company you mentioned in terms of quality or strength, but hes compensated as so, perhaps even moreso. Team Canada did not win Gold because of him. I think Luongo, or Smith, could of done the same. Price was not a difference maker.

            But again this isnt about Price, but more so how much hes compensated, this team is good enough you could have a pair of number 2 goaltenders, and take 5 million on a proven scorer. Money better spent.

    • Bmon44 says:

      sorry but cannot agree with this. our team defense hasn’t been that solid this year; we are 19th in shots against, even with all those blocked shots. That means that teams are having extended time in our own zone for long stretches. Price has been making our defense look good, we saw what happens when price gets hurt and budaj has to be a starter (we get a 3-4-1 record, with toker getting one of the wins). we also averaged 3.50 goals against per game, much lower than our season average of 2.49. I concede that we were facing above average competition during that time, but that cannot account for a full goal per game higher. Also, look how many playoff teams win because of the goalie: quick, ward, thomas, giguere were main the reasons why those teams won the cup; roloson was the only reason that the oilers reached the cup final, halak was the only reason we reached the conference final. crawford had to be lights out last year and i thought he deserved the conn smythe. also, look at fleury and how a goalie can blow it for a team if he’s not good. Bishop has taken the lightning from 14th in the east to 3rd (with stamkos injured i might add). The goalie is by far the most important position. I agree our main issue is 5-on-5 scoring, but Price makes a huge difference to this team.

  10. FANHABULOUS says:

    Remember when Eller called the Oilers a minor-league team, and Eakins acted like it was blasphemy?!


    “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

  11. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Bouillion being the pick of the 4 to sit over Murray, Tinordi and Weaver is no surprise @ 65 %

    …what is a surprise is Weaver @ 4 % compared to Tinordi @ 13 % and Murray @ 18 %

    …I was one whose initial reaction to acquiring Weaver was a big WHY ???

    …seems most of Us have subsequently learned the ‘why’

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      His first couple of games were pretty rough, I thought he might not be able to help, but he’s found his groove and been pretty useful.

  12. sprague cleghorn says:

    Know there’s a lot of Expos fans on here, though you might like this:


    … ‘ow could we forget that?

    • Chris says:

      Sadly, baseball has been dead to me since MLB and bad ownership murdered the team.

      Not sure I would come back even if they brought back the Expos. Its been too long since I’ve cared.

      (I’ve also given up on basketball since posing and preening after a basket has taken precedence over, say, getting back and defending.)

    • slyCH says:

      That vid just made me sick…er. Those countless trips to Montreal from Boston I took in 94, specifically to see the team when in town. To treat my dad (God rest his soul) to a fantastic experience. Only to have the league bank my ticket price and lock up.

      Haven’t paid attention to that league since…

  13. Un Canadien errant says:

    Chris, if you’re still around, what can you tell us about Dane Fox? The Canucks broadcast did an intermission feature on their OHL prospects, like Brendan Gaunce, Bo Horvat, Jordan Subban, Cole Cassels, …

    Dane Fox scored a bunch of goals (62), wondering if that’s due to Connor McDavid?

    EDIT: http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2014/03/13/what-are-realistic-expectations-for-dane-fox/

    Good article linked above, answers a lot of questions. And yes, the guy plays on a line with Connor McDavid.

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


    • Chris says:

      Not so much due to McDavid. McDavid missed time for the World Juniors, and they’ve been using Gaunce with Fox and Connor Brown of late, while McDavid has been playing with Burakowsky.

      I haven’t really focussed on Fox as much, to be honest. I was more impressed with Brown and obviously with McDavid.

      Nobody really knows what his ceiling is. He shocked everybody this year…he was almost a point per game last year, but that was a very truncated season. The eye-popping goal-per-game rate of this season was the shocker…he had never scored at anything close to the rate before.

      He’s this year’s Reid Boucher, who exploded last season with Galchenyuk and Charles Sarault.

      By the way, take the playoff numbers with a grain of salt. That Saginaw-Erie series has featured absolutely dreadful defence so far. OHL fans have been really puzzled because they expected a defensive battle and both teams are laying eggs in their own zone.

      EDIT: I see they reunited that line tonight, and they had a big game, combining for 5 goals.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        So that team had a Connor McDavid, Connor Brown, and Connor Crisp at the start of the season? No wonder they traded Crispy to Sudbury.

        • Chris says:

          Brown is an intriguing player. He is very reminiscent of Gallagher. That is looking like a great late-round pick for the Leafs.

          I imagine the Otters are kicking themselves on the Crisp trade, but I don’t think they imagined they would be contending this year. They were looking at next season. It is funny how often that happens. London was building towards this season, but they managed to win the OHL championship in each of the last two seasons. The first one was a bit of a shock to everybody, the Knights included.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Another one that surprised me was the Halifax Mooseheads. I may have misread the signs, but I thought they were going to drop off a cliff this season, with too many players graduating, but I guess keeping Jonathan Drouin was a huge boon. They were discussed on a recent broadcast as a likely representative from the LHJMQ to Memorial Cup. I thought this season would be a training opportunity for Zachary Fucale, because he’d see a lot of rubber.

          • B says:

            Nikolaj Ehlers for Halifax is an exciting young player (great wheels) who finished 4th in scoring in the Q in his rookie season (just behind Drouin at #3). He should go high in the next draft.

            –Go Habs Go!–

    • Chris says:

      I’ve seen a lot more of Gaunce, by the way, as my brother has season tickets with the Bulls. He’s honestly never impressed me. All the tools seem to be there, but man does he float sometimes.

      His other big knock is that he is pretty slow for an offensive player. He was a popular pick to lead the OHL in scoring in each of the last two summers, but he never really put it together.

      Gaunce will probably shape up to be a decent third line player, provided they can fix his skating. He is a workout freak (probably the strongest forward in his draft class), so I wonder if he is just playing too heavy.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I sometimes wonder if some of these kids overtrain. Workouts and practices or games every day, bus rides, homework, irregular sleep, I’d be very careful that a well-meaning kid didn’t drain off too much energy in the gym. I’m sure some teams are on top of this, but others with a more shoestring budget could miss on that aspect. Certainly, I’d want the workouts to be short, high-intensity, compound movements, working on functional strength, not bench press marathons.

        On another matter, it’s the first time in a long, long time that I saw a Canucks broadcast concern itself with its prospect pool, and in a hopeful manner, not just in a ‘there’s no help on the way’ manner. I guess it’s normal to do that when your team is about to be eliminated, you look to the future, but for the longest time, the average Canucks fan barely knew their prospects beyond the most recent 1st rounder, let alone had high hopes for them.

        Brendan Gaunce is one guy the team is hoping pans out, like everyone else, they’re looking for big centres. There was some serious discussion that he could win a job outright at the last camp, if he performed. Which he didn’t.

        • Chris says:

          I’ll be surprised if he plays centre in the NHL. He’s just too slow.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I think the Shawn Matthias acquisition will relieve a lot of the pressure on him, he can go to the minors for a couple of seasons at least now, and work on his game, they won’t try to force him into the lineup.

  14. ClutchNGrab says:

    When the Flyers fired Peter Laviolette, I thought Holmgrem was buying some time and was trying to find a scapegoat.

    After signing his core players (Richard/Carter) to huge contracts, he traded them to sign other big contracts (Bryzgalov, Briere) to buy them out to sign other big contracts (Lecavalier, Streit). I was expecting to see him fired after the season.

    Looks like they’ll make the playoff, again. I’m stunned.

  15. JohnBellyful says:

    I’m beginning to think waiting around for a new thread to show up so I can grab first post ain’t such a good idea.

  16. Un Canadien errant says:

    Not to go around shouting “Beetlejuice!” here, but this is one of the more enjoyable evenings to be had on HIO in a long, long time.

    Maybe going back to the pizza discussion, or the book suggestion thread.

    Or the Timmy O’Toole Commentathon.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …took the words out of My mouth Norm …some interesting discussions …I only went 2/3rds down the page, but pretty solid

      …one Guy that particularily intrigues Me is Professor Chris …always intelligent and lucid, and must be one hell of a speed typist :)

      …err, sorry Norm …for the :)

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        You’re just winkying on purpose, trying to get me all riled up, goading my superciliousness.

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          …You know it !

          …by the way …will be taking My children (if You can call teen-agers ‘children)) to Whistler over-night for skiing before Spring Break is over …how is the snow and ambience right now up there ?

          …any recommendations ?

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Okay, we have to meet for a beverage when you’re here.

            We got 32 cm of fresh snow last night, and sun today, but I couldn’t partake, I have a mild MCL sprain, suffered the last time we had a dump of powder.

            If you’re asking about accommodation, my connections aren’t what they used to be, not sure I can help during March break. Just make sure you get a place in the Village, not in Creekside, so you can park your car and walk, and the kids can be a little bit independent and explore.

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            …if possible I was intending to stay in the village if not an arm and a leg

            …will let You know if a go …My Son just started a part-time job, and just told Me He may have to work this week-end :(

        • Habitant in Surrey says:

          P.S.: …MCL sprain ? …are You sure it wasn’t Your young girlfriend ?

          …(You have no idea how hard it was for Me to resist placing a :) at the end)

  17. Mattyleg says:

    Interesting food for thought on l’AC for the anti-Therrien/anti-Bergevin crowd:

    Since the new management took over, the CH have the 7th best record in the league.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • JohnBellyful says:

      And for dessert:
      Does the CH stand for CHampion or CHimera?

    • punkster says:

      Blasphemy, Matty…THEY SUCK…everyone knows that!!!

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • The_Truth says:

      I called for Therien before the hiring process began, taking into consideration the Coach needs to speak French. Then I was torn between MT and Roy. I was always a fan of MT because of his passion, his tendency to be strict and not give much leeway and his recognition of character players.

      He gets a bad rap by some and I never understood why, even when the team struggled. At least not to the extent it has been vocalised. It’s usually nonsense like someone is playing a few mins more than people want or he changes the lines too much. In general his moves have payed off much more than not and he runs a tight ship. He rewards character and results, rather than “potential”. Different than some, I like his slow approach with the youngsters and prefer that than another Latendresse situation or price early in his career. I really can’t see another coach in the league getting much better results out of this group. 7th best record since he has been hired is an excellent result.

      I was a little worried about MB, but he has impressed me as well. The Weisse and Weaver pick ups look very good, as was Murray’s signing, DD contract, and he came through with Vanek without overpaying. A blunder with Briere and a few others, but overall he seems to understand building a balanced team, and will not do anything stupid.

    • habsfan0 says:

      In a 6 team league,that is a no so good!

  18. jols says:

    Flyers losing 3-1 to the Rangers. It’s a good thing. The Flyers next game is against TO. If they had won tonight they would be busy patting each other on the back an feeling comfortable in the standings. Losing tonight should piss them off and they should come out with something to prove Friday night against the Leafs. Hoping the Leaf’s losing streak lasts a few more games so the city, CBC, Sportsnet and TSN will all self-destruct.

  19. JohnBellyful says:

    As I was saying …
    If you check the stats for this site, you’ll find that 1.27 per cent of my posts over the past three years have had to do with hockey stats. I’m going to try to nudge that up infinitesimally with this observation: Plus-minus seems to be the accepted standard of measuring a player’s value, outside goals and assists, although it’s not without its flaws.
    Its defects could be considerably reduced, however, if an element of subjectivity were introduced into the calculations, which are notoriously simple: a player who is on the ice when his team scores is plus-one; if the other team scores, he’s minus-one. In both instances, the teams must be playing at even strength.
    The system is inherently unfair, of course, because it attaches the same amount of credit or blame to the players when a goal scored, when many times it’s the direct result of a mistake by one or two players, whose culpability, often apparent at first sight, can easily be confirmed upon further review.
    For example, Phaneuf makes a terrible pass that’s intercepted and the puck ends up in the Leaf net, or Kadri gets stripped of the puck in his own end and two passes later Toronto’s down a goal.
    All the players in blue are assigned a minus, even though replay shows other Leafs had their man covered, were in the right spot, or had made a valiant effort to prevent the harm that ultimately resulted from a teammate’s blunder.
    They should not be held accountable for the failings of another, when the sequence of events clearly shows they had done what was expected of them.
    If the league insists on handing out that kind of blame indiscriminately, it should also award third and fourth assists on the plus side of the ledger.
    The exemption of blame, or minus, would not be granted to certain players on every goal, only in those situations where it’s evident errors were committed by one or more on the defending side.
    The same thinking would apply to ‘soft’ goals yielded by a goalie, say, Reimer. Why should I as a forward who has his man covered or I a defenceman who cleared the front of the net to give the goalie a clear view of the shot be assigned a minus because the *#)F&_+$ goalie let in a wrister from an awkward angle?
    I recognize this tweaking would require additional resources to make those kind of judgment calls by way of a consensus but I’m sure there’s a good number of people with PVRs and a strong sense of impartiality available in each city who could be recruited to serve in this advisory capacity.
    It would be volunteer work, of course, their only recognition being a lapel pin perhaps, plus-minus signs overlapping, with the horizontal bar being a different colour to delineate two symbols are being represented.
    NB: The use of Leaf players as examples was purely for illustrative purposes and not intended, for the most part, to portray their talents in a negative way. Honest.)

    • scamorza says:

      Right purely for illustrative purposes…I take no delight from your examples no really . I respect the laffs er leafs no really. I won’ t take great delight in reading the Toronto rags and the centre of the media after they are eliminated no I will feel sad, empathetic and genuinely concerned . Oh the humanity as Les Nesman describes the falling leafs er turkey’s falling from the sky boohoo hoo! No really….

      come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

    • Say Ash says:

      What percentage of this post should I read to get an accurate gist of it?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Taking your post strictly on the level, the beauty of plus-minus is that it is objective. If you’re on the ice when the event occurs, it goes on your record. No corrupt French judge to worry about.

      The odd undeserved goal either way will even out over a long season. Stats-heads also work in poor goaltending, by comparing a player’s plus-minus versus the team’s overall goal differential. So if you’re just coasting along on a strong team, you have a seemingly good plus-minus but it doesn’t look so good compared to what everyone else on the team has.

      A technical point: it’s not just even-strength goals that count. A short-handed goal gives a +1 to all the players on the ice killing the penalty, and a -1 to the five skaters who were on the powerplay.

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


      • JohnBellyful says:

        I stand corrected: You’re tagged with a minus when you’re killing a penalty and the other team scores! I did not know that. (That’s the ninth time I’ve said that today. But first in italics.)
        Hardly seems fair, seeing as you’re playing shorthanded, which is bit of a disadvantage not of your making, like having Parros on your line
        To my way of thinking the only minus should go to the player who got the penalty; at the very least he should get the black mark along with his teammates on the ice … even if he was given a penalty that ‘saved’ a goal, because as it turns out, he didn’t, in which case he would have ended up with a minus anyway.
        I’m not one of those who believes fate administers justice with an even hand over time. Its reputation for having a finger that’s fickle is well-deserved.
        Lastly — because I’ve pretty much given up another thread is going to materialize before midnight — I should have attached a figure as to the number of volunteer advisers who would determine, again by way of consensus, pluses and minuses upon further review: 1,000, possibly 1,250, 1,500 tops. Their sheer number — and anonymity to guard against having their favour be courted — would ensure rulings that most right-thinking hockey fans would find reasonable.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Not quite. You don’t get a minus when you’re killing a penalty, but you do get one when the other team is shorthanded and scores on you.

          from Wikipedia:

          when an even-strength or shorthanded goal is scored, the plus–minus statistic is increased by one (“plus”) for those players on the ice for the team scoring the goal; the plus–minus statistic is decreased by one (“minus”) for those players on the ice for the team allowing the goal.[1] Whether or not the net is empty does not matter for purposes of plus–minus.

  20. frontenac1 says:

    Ouch! Hartnell takes a slapper square in the nuts.

  21. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Questioning if you’re old?

    Do you enjoy and relate to Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen?
    There’s your answer.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  22. Sportfan says:

    Remember ex Hab Gordie Dwyer? He’s a juniors coach now!

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

  23. twilighthours says:

    Apologies if this has been posted, but it appears Windsor is doing everything properly with this weird goalie-walk-out situation.


  24. Un Canadien errant says:

    Lots of smiles on the Vancouver bench, as Ryan Kesler pots a powerplay goal on a pass from Chris Higgins.

    Except Nino Niederreiter has just made it 5-2 now.

    Astro-Freak Ilya Bryzgalov isn’t looking too grounded in this one. Came in in relief in the third, has let in two goals he didn’t look too good on.

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


  25. Un Canadien errant says:

    Daniel Sedin scores one after a 24-game scoring drought. All the Canucks who’ve been struggling are breaking slumps. David Booth, Alex Burrows recently…

  26. B says:

    Nevins with a goal and 2 assists, RN wins the game 4-1 and now leads the series vs favoured Quebec 3 games to 1.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  27. B says:

    Grégoire with 2 goals and an assist, Hudon with a goal and 2 assists. BC wins the game 6-2 and the series 4-0 over Shawinigan.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • CJ says:

      Thanks for the update B. Gregorie remains my sleeper pick. As much as I hate making comparisons, as they can be entirely unfair, he could be a bigger Galley. I’m very high on this prospect.

      • B says:

        Grégoire had 4 goals and 3 assists in the 4 games series, Hudon had 3 goals and 4 assists. Good stuff!

        –Go Habs Go!–

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        If we’re picking sleeper picks, I think Magnus Nygren makes the team out of camp next season as the 6th defenceman. He’s mature at 23, and has played in the tougher SHL, compared to Raphaël Diaz who came from the Swiss league.

        He’d be a piece we’re lacking, a right-handed puck-moving defenceman with a bomb from the point for our powerplay, he’d help out on the second wave. Work him in the lineup gradually, ease him in against the right teams, with manageable minutes, see how he responds, sit him when necessary at first.

        It can’t fail.

        • CJ says:

          I like the offensive element of his game. I’m not sure how that translates within our system though. That’s not a knock on our system, but I simply don’t see a lot of guys producing big point totals. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of appetite the team has for change next year. I fully expect to see a number of new faces in the lineup. Nygren could be one of them.

  28. Un Canadien errant says:

    Zack Kassian scores one to put his team up 3-1, after his four assist game against the Sabres. Man, with him and David Booth clicking, the Canucks are a different team.

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


  29. Habilis says:

    How we stack up vs the Bolts, IMHO:

    Goaltending: Habs
    Overall Defense: Habs
    D-Men: Habs
    Overall Offense: Bolts
    Forwards: Habs
    PP: Habs
    PK: Habs
    Players named Stamkos: Bolts

    So, pretty even then.

    • Chris says:

      Hmm…I think you are being optimistic.

      Tampa’s PP, when Stamkos is healthy is lethal. Montreal is sitting at 18.8% and have been falling steadily since New Year’s. Tampa Bay is at 18.3% and have only recently gotten Stamkos back.

      Montreal’s PK is hands down better.

      Price has the name, but Bishop has been outstanding all season. He is likely a Vezina finalist, and perhaps even the winner, this season.

      I also like Tampa’s defence. Their top-5 (Hedman, Carle, Salo, Brewer, Gudkas) is pretty solid.

      If healthy, Montreal has more depth and Tampa Bay has Stamkos. He scares the crap out of me, because all he needs to cement himself with Crosby as the best in the game is a coming out party in the playoffs. Think he’d get up for a series in Montreal? Shudder.

      But I would give Montreal the edge because the Lightning are relying on a lot of young players in key positions who haven’t really gotten NHL playoff experience. That counts for a lot in the playoffs.

      • CJ says:

        Gotta agree Chris, for all the reasons you have mentioned. Truth be told, I’d prefer to go into the series as the lower seed. Get a split or better in Tampa then head home and expose the Lightning to the Bell Centre. I like Montreal in six. It won’t be easy and injuries could dramatically impact the outcome. Bishop has historically played well against the Habs. As such, I’d envision a number of one goal games.

        Just my two cents…..

      • Habilis says:

        Yeah, that’s a great point about the PP’s. I was going straight ranking there, but I did forget that the Bolts % is mostly without Stamkos.

        Bishop has been great this season, but his stats have dropped since the Olympic break. I don’t know the exact numbers or anything, but to me we have a goalie who is getting better every game while they have one who is cooling off after a hot streak. Sure, he could get hot again. But if I’m picking the goalie who I think will be playing better in 3 weeks, it’s Price.

        I still think we have a better D corps, but that is mostly based on the top guys with us being able to ice P.K. for half the game and Markov for the other half. Hedman is very good, but he’s not on P.K.’s level yet and they don’t have a 1-A guy like we do.

        But yeah, Stamkos… He’s just good. They call players like that “game-changers” for a reason. He is what scares me about them.

  30. Chris says:

    Weird game. Guelph trounced Plymouth 7-2 to take a 3-1 lead in their series. After getting the lead to 7-2 with 12 minutes to play, Guelph proceeded to concede 5 straight penalties (excepting a coincidental minor in there) to finish the game.

    I guess his teammates wanted Justin Nichols (who has really upped his game in the playoffs) to earn this one!

  31. Un Canadien errant says:

    David Booth on the forecheck pressures a defenceman into flubbing a pass, grabs the puck and instantly roofs it. Where has this been all season?

    The Canucks have been a disaster lately, but like I said, if it wasn’t for injuries to the brothers Sedin, and if David Booth had been playing like this all season, they’d be in the thick of the race.

    Amazing what ‘adding’ another Top 9 forward can do for a team.

    EDIT: Man, he has a bee in his bonnet. Now he’s jawing at Nino Niederreiter at the faceoff, undoubtedly about a check to the head he just delivered on Alex Burrows.

    Maybe he doesn’t want to be amnestied this summer after all, maybe he wants to play in the NHL.

    • CJ says:

      Reminds me of the forecheck pressure Bourque applied to set up Briere’s goal against the Sabres. I basically asked the same thing and noted as much in the game blog. Where is the consistency? So much as Eller frustrates some, at least the effort is consistently on display. Bourque’s effort is as hot and cold as the weather. Much like the weather, it’s mostly cold.

  32. JohnBellyful says:

    Is there any way Boston and Philadelphia will play the first round? Any?
    Whoever can make it happen — God, God Almighty, Good God, the hockey gods — please make it so.

    • BriPro says:

      That would be sweet, wouldn’t it.
      Let them all land in the hospital, and they have to forfeit the series because there’s no one left to play after game 3.

    • Chris says:

      Not likely. Philadelphia isn’t falling to 7th or 8th.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        O ye of little faith.

        • Chris says:

          I hate Philly more than Boston. But I think they and Boston might be the class of the East when it comes to being built for the playoffs.

          Boston is, without doubt, the prohibitive favourite in the East. But if Mason and Emery can give the Flyers even average goaltending, they are going to be one tough team to knock out. Their top-9 forwards are right up there with the best teams in the league.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Well, Philly is just synonymous with uneven, average goaltending so…

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Montreal would not fare well against the Flyers. It would take a superior effort by Price, a herculean effort by the defence corps, and an opportunistic offence for Montreal to prevail.
            That’s pretty much the formula for winning every game, although the Canadiens have defied the odds by achieving the same result with a deformed equation that included numerous giveaways, shoddy play in their own end and terrible shooting. None of that can happen in a series with the Flyers, or the outcome will be predictable and disheartening.

          • Chris says:

            Normand: Unfortunately, can you remember a single Montreal-Philly series where the Flyers weren’t getting decent goaltending? For some reason, they are to Montreal what the Habs are to Boston.

            No matter what, they always get up for the Habs. And they are the rock to our scissors.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I agree Chris, I was being flippant and nihilistic. If Timo can do it, why can’t I?

          • twilighthours says:

            Screw it: dynamite!

          • Chris says:

            No worries, Normand.

            I just hate the Flyers. Pure, irrational hatred.

            Check that. It isn’t at all irrational.

            Bobby Clarke. Dave Schulz. Tim Kerr (nice guy, but I hated that he scored 50 goals every bloody year). Dave Poulin (don’t know why I disliked him so much, but I did). Ron Hextall. Eric Lindros. Ed Snider. Chris Pronger.

            Lately, Wayne Simmonds seems to have been infected with the thuggery bug. His cheap antics have been bothering me this season.

            Did I mention Chris Pronger? :)

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Not sure it’s “lately” with Wayne Simmonds, but yeah, if he was on our team, he wouldn’t wallow in organizational violence, like Milan Lucic with the Bruins, and could be redeemed.

            I’ve always had a grudging admiration for Tim Kerr too, as much as I hate the Flyers. Rick Tocchet too, and Rick MacLeish before that.

  33. frontenac1 says:

    McDonough scores and that little pr#ck Mcguire reminds us of the Worst Trade in Montreal History!

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    Thank you Pierre McGuire for describing McDonagh as one of the worst trades in Montreal Canadiens history.

    Let me top that by saying the worst hiring in Montreal Canadiens history would have been you as GM.

    Enjoy your gig, hope your heart wasn’t set on being GM in Montreal. ANd oh yah, I just hit mute on my remote Pierre!

    • BriPro says:

      Frustrated, are we?
      I can’t stop laughing at your and front….
      … pick me up, please … 😀

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I just turned the game on and first thing I hear is Pierre blabbering about McDonagh. It isn’t that I don’t think it was a bad trade, it was, it is the way he enjoys saying it.

        I wish he would also regale the listeners with stories of his abject failure in Hartford, or maybe he could tell us what technique he used to open the gate for Mario or Jaromir as an Asst. Coach in Pittsburgh.

        • BriPro says:

          Hey Mario, check out the Flyer’s rookie over there. Jeff Carter.
          As you know, he comes from the OHL’s Sault Saint marie Greyhounds.
          He racked up 74 points last year, but I have it on good authority…..

          Pierre? ….

          Yeah Mario?

          Shut up!

  35. Chris says:

    Want to clean up the NHL? Hire David Branch to take care of NHL suspensions. He does not mess around.

    So far, he has handed down the following suspensions:

    London’s Anthony Stolarz received 8 games for a slash to the head of Josh Ho-Sang. The slash wasn’t hard, and Ho-Sang was not seriously hurt (he returned to the game) but it was intentional.

    Brock McGinn received an 8 game suspension for a check to the head after he caught an unaware Plymouth forward from the blind-side.

    Peterborough’s Michael Clarke got 8 games for a cross-checking match penalty against Kingston.

    Windsor’s Cristiano DiGiacinto was suspended 5 games for chasing down London’s Gemel Smith from behind to instigate a fight. The league suspended him for “bullying behaviour”. (Note that McCarron received a third-man in game misconduct on this same play for coming to Smith’s defence!)

    Plymouth’s Yannick Rathgeb got 10 games for catching an unsuspecting and very vulnerable Robbie Fabbri in the head. The play resulted in an injury, which got him the extra games.

    Plymouth’s Carter Sandlak got 4 games for slashing Guelph’s Ryan Horvat in the shoulder. I didn’t like this suspension…Horvat was celebrating a teammate’s goal and gave Sandlak a shot in the face as they were celebrating and Sandlak was skating by. Sandlak retaliated with the slash.

    That is 6 suspensions, and 4 of them for 8 games or more, and we haven’t gotten out of the first round yet. In the NHL, you would have to all-but murder somebody on the ice to get more than 4 games in the playoffs.

    Branch has almost zero-tolerance for any idiocy in the OHL the past 2-3 years. Kids will be kids, and they keep doing stuff, but I think you would see the pros take note when they start eating 8-20 game suspensions.

    Good for him. I know some people love the rough-and-tumble of junior hockey, but one of the downsides is that the players let their emotions run unchecked and do very stupid things. Branch is trying to clean that crap up.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Kudos indeed to Mr. Branch, considering how long he has been involved in the CHL, it is amazing he has been willing to make tough decisions to try and change the culture in the OHL and CHL.

      • Chris says:

        Branch has typically been very much willing to embrace changes to the game. He was granted much broader control of the OHL about ten years ago and really started to put his stamp on things.

        I don’t always agree with what he does, but I do admire his willingness to come down VERY hard on violent play. I think they still need to do more to clean up the amount of fighting in the OHL, but they have certainly taken nice steps.

        The OHL has been very much front and centre when it comes to head injuries, both in terms of charting the problem, raising awareness, and changing the rules to protect the players.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I suppose my point was that he is part of what many would consider the “old boys club” in Canadian hockey. Don Cherry used to often praise David Branch, not so much anymore, from my perspective.

          More change needs to happen, but his willingness to stand up to that old boys club that he was once part of is what I have the most respect for.

          • Chris says:

            I’m not sure I agree. He just never had all that much power. I remember there being some opposition to his power grab back around 2000, as people weren’t entirely sure what he was intending to do with it.

            We know now. He just wanted to make decisions without reporting to anybody. That is what a league commissioner ultimately should do. I don’t blame Bettman for what he’s done, because he has not got anything close to the kind of unquestioned control that Branch has in the OHL.

            It might be interesting to see what he would do on the discipline file if he didn’t have Jacobs and Snider, the two most vocal and powerful owners in the league, basically dictating league policies on that front. Given his long apprenticeship in the NBA, which has no patience for violence, I suspect people might be surprised how much Bettman would gladly crack down on shenanigans in the NHL.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Wouldn’t be HI/O if we agreed on everything. I think Bettman has more than enough power, he has made enough deals with each owner that he can do most anything he wants. As for whether he wants to cut down on shenanigans, perhaps he would first have to have a better grasp on the game.

            Hockey to me is unique from the other Big 3 sports, and I don’t think Bettman has that innate understanding of the game to be able to make the hard decisions needed when standing up to the old boys club of Colin Campbell, Jacobs etc….

            From a business perspective, he is brilliant, from a hockey perspective, I think he is brutal.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            A hired CEO like Gary Bettman has lots of autonomy, he just has to choose where to spend his influence capital. With Gary Bettman, it’s been spent on presentations to the owners to get them onside for battles with the NHLPA. He could just as easily have spent this capital on forging a real partnership with the PA, and on improving the product to draw more bums in the seats and eyeballs on the TV’s. His condescending, abrasive demeanor has been targeted against the players from the start.

  36. B says:

    Grégoire with 2 goals, Hudon 2 assists. BC up 3-1 after 2
    Nevins with 2 assists, RN up 2-1 after 2.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  37. BriPro says:


    You’re right in your observation that it’s not cut and dry when it comes to stats observers.

    But the same goes for your two camps.

    There aren’t just two camps to satisfy the fans. It’s more complex than that.

    There’s also a group, somewhere in between, which relies on stats to an extent, mostly for progression and comparisons. But this same group also has a high hockey EQ based on years of following the game.

    That doesn’t make us dinosaurs. And that goes for many on here, for example. As well as a large portion of the Habs’ fandom, in general.

    A smart fan base such as Montreal can gauge someone like, as Nilan commented on, Douglas Murray.
    He’s as slow as molasses, but so was Gill and everyone loved him.
    In fact, as Nilan stated, the guy is a statistical bust who brings a whole new (reminiscent of the old days) dimension of physicality that the team hasn’t had in a while.
    Does he show up on any stat sheet, save for hits and blocked shots?
    Definitely not. But the stats he does provide, IMO, are just as important.

    I agree that he’ll be needed come playoff time, especially if we meet the Bruins. But at risk of upsetting a few, I think I’d rather have the Cube against Tampa. He doesn’t show stats either, but he’s a smart D who still has some moves, and knows how to clear the zone.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      “There’s also a group, somewhere in between”


      Good comment.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Further to your points, you have to consider the skill set of the player relative to your current roster. So for a smallish roster with a history of getting abused by more physical clubs, Douglas Murray’s contribution is more dearly prized than on a roster that already had Derryk Engelland and Brooks Orpik on their blue line.

      Conversely, a player like Mike Ribeiro or Michael Ryder who can create offence but whose work ethic or defence or ability to cause dissension in the dressing room can’t be countenanced on the Canadiens, but on a roster like the Kings or the Blues, who already have all the size and character they’ll ever need but seek more offence, he would be welcomed.

      I maintain that a Douglas Murray shouldn’t be compared, with advanced stats or otherwise, against a top defenceman like a P.K. Subban, or even the average defenceman in the NHL, but rather against a Deryk Engelland or a Todd Gill or a Terry Carkner.

      • BriPro says:

        You’re absolutely right, Norm. Which is why I stated that there’s a group somewhere in the grey zone.

        What’s good for one team, might not be good for another. Agreed. Which is why it’s important to consider that stats only go so far.

        And your examples were bang on. Cheers!

    • Chris says:

      I think you missed ffenliv’s point. He, like you, was arguing that there weren’t just two camps, but that people have this strange need to divide other fans into these camps.

      I’ve always hated having “stats guy” seeing thrown around as an epithet. It is almost as inane as the “Have you ever played the game?” argument that some people love to trot out. As soon as you throw either of those around, you might as well just bow out of the discussion. You aren’t going to contribute anything meaningful, and you’ve outed yourself as being incapable of intelligent discussion.

      People form opinions using a variety of tools at their disposal. I would argue that the vast majority of “stats guys” DO in fact use their eyes and simply don’t like the player. They are then going to look for evidence to give that gut feeling more credibility. I would also argue that some of those people who hate stats will nonetheless trot them out when it is convenient to their own argument. If it doesn’t, then they can be safely ignored.

      The need to divide into camps is basically a kindergarten tactic. I suppose that it is entirely appropriate for an internet discussion board, where he that trolls loudest and longest can claim victory, but it sure does make for uninspired discussions.

      Douglas Murray is a useful player, but I sure as heck wouldn’t re-sign him. He’s given the team depth, but I simply would have preferred playing Tinordi from the outset. I’m not as sold on Tinordi’s mobility and decision making as many here are, but I think he would easily be Murray’s equivalent had the team run with him throughout the season.

      I can state that I don’t feel like Murray adds all that much value to the team and leave it at that. But when you run a site that makes its living off discussing the Habs, you are always going to have favourites and whipping boys. It’s the nature of the beast.

      Murray happens to be the guy that the people over at EotP just get their knickers in a knot about. I’m fine with that. Gomez was that guy for me when he was acquired, and I can’t say that I’ve been anything close to a Travis Moen fan during the past 3-4 seasons. We all have players that we like and dislike, throwing rationality out the window. I think we all know that Chris Higgins can never do wrong for me. 😉

      It wouldn’t be a problem except the guys over at EotP seem to cause a lot of HI/O posters to get their own knickers in a knot.

      • BriPro says:

        Chris, I went back and re-read his post. And you’re right. I had mis-interpreted it.

        As for your boy Higgins, an interesting stat …. he’s fourth on the team in scoring.


        • Chris says:

          Oh, I know.

          And wouldn’t he just look freaking awesome on Montreal’s third line, the role he should have been playing from day one? Man…

          Higgins’ example is precisely why I am very hesitant to give up on Eller. I see a lot of the same qualities: good work ethic, great skater, decent size, and an inability to shoot the puck in an ocean from the beach during games. :)

          People wrote Higgins off after a couple of disastrous seasons, but he has since sorted himself out off the ice and reclaimed his career. The effort never waned, and the defensive play was always there. He just needed time.

          • BriPro says:

            Let’s hope it doesn’t take Eller that long to settle down.
            I don’t think the team will wait that long.

    • punkster says:

      Good points Bri.

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree Bri, especially in how you further developed ffenliv’s point.

      Good post, good descriptors.

      • ffenliv says:

        Ya, Bri took my post and made it a lot more useful.

        I tend to go all rage-y when I see people throwing around names like ‘stats nerd’, when they mean it in a bad way, just as I dislike when ‘stats nerds’ dismiss observation without numbers.

        I wish there was room in the minds of a lot of HiO posters to allow for both.

        Of course, the worst thing about stats is the way they’re so often abused. Don’t just give me a number. Put it in context. Give me other numbers, cite observed instances of the play you’re describing. You know? Sure, it’s not easy, but it makes a much more useful discussion!

        And observations can be just as easily abused. For example, ‘remember that time that a player did that thing I did or did not like?’ I’m going to take that and blow it all our of proportion, because I SAW it happen, and I need it to make a point.

        I think often posters form a conclusion about a player or a coach, or a system, or the opposition, then go all post-facto proof hunting to support it.

        I’ve been guilty of this. At the start of the year, I was ready to buy DD a one-way ticket to Neptune. Now? I love the guy, but even as he was turning it around, I was convinced by my emotional dislike of him that he sucked.

    • ffenliv says:

      Hey Bri, is there an easy way to get ahold of you via email? Of course, no worries if you don’t want to share. It is the internet after all, and I might just be some hockey-loving nutjob.

  38. laGrandeTerreur says:


    I use it. It’s pretty good, superior to the TV deals like Center Ice.

    I also use a VPN, HotSpot Shield, and I can watch any game, regardless of local blackouts. Games being broadcast on the NHL Network are still blacked out however, as they simply are not available to anyone via nhl.com’s GameCenter.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      So of all the Habs games, how many are blacked out?

      I used GameCenter during the shortened season last year when it was cheap. I noticed quite a few games were blacked over a US IP address?

      • laGrandeTerreur says:

        well i live in the falls, so all games against the sabres are blacked out. anything on nbc or nhl network is blacked out. this year, i have gone to both habs games in buffalo, and one in montreal. so ive had to deal with a blackout maybe 4 times this year.

        so, for example, the last 2 bruins games i had to find an alternate method of watching.
        the last sabres game, i just used the vpn. it makes them think im in connecticut, or japan, or australia… etc. a few options to choose from with the paid version. the free version of hotpspot shield almost always works fine tho.

        i dont know where you live, but if you are in the states and get CBC, those might require a vpn as well. i always watch cbc game over the air, so i dont know for sure.

  39. Habfan17 says:

    It has been rumoured that Beaulieu has had some attitude issues.
    I would think Tinordi will be staying in Montreal next season so perhaps the Bennett signing is also an insurance policy in case the Habs decide to part ways with Beaulieu and maybe make him part of a package for Evander Kane or another top forward.

    The Habs are short on left handed prospects on defence after Tinordi and Beaulieu, however, unless they are planning on moving out someone from the Habs roster, they can afford to draft a few more and let them develop. Markov may or may not be resigned. Even if he isn’t. the Habs are left with Gorges, Tinordi, Emelin and Drewiskie. They could also resign Murray for one more season.

    Nygren has been a top defenceman in the Swedish Elite league and Pateryn, who made a great tandem with Bennett in University, may be ready to make the jump next season. Dietz and Ellis need more time it seems and then there will be Thrower and Didier, who appears to be in the mold of Craig Ludwig.

    I am not concerned about the blue line. I would like to see at least two top 9 players in the mold of a Gary Roberts, Shayne Corson, Jarome Iginla, added. Evander Kane would be a big help if he has matured. I believe it will be a fun off season. I can wait, bring on the playoffs!!


    • MacHenri says:

      Everything starts from behind the blue line – a big mobile defensive core who can handle the puck is critical to be a Cup contender. And this is a priority before giving up on a guy like Beaulieu. He fits the profile.

      Let’s hope whatever is keeping him down-on-the-farm will pass and he will prefer the Bell Centre.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’ve riffed on the leftie-rightie defence prospect distribution before, and I see it a little bit different. I don’t see it as if we’re short on the left side, because our blue chippers Jarred and Nathan are lefties. It’s almost like we have a 75% chance of hitting on those guys. All our other prospects, who are righties, are more longshots, they have a let’s say 50% or lower chance of making it to the NHL. So on the left we have quality, on the right we have a quantity of longshots. It should work itself out that we end up with an equal number of lefties and righties from that crop on our team/in the NHL.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I would agree with that, except that I think Nygren is a solid prospect. He was the equivalent of a Norris trophy winner in his leage two seasons back and had a very strong season again this year. I would also say Dietz will come around, I remember McDonough, no one thought much of him until he was gone. I see a comparison there. Pateryn looks to be a solid 3rd pairing guy, he is coming around very nicely. Ellis, not sure, Thrower may end up being a Prust type on the back end, but size may make him injury prone.


  40. Danno says:

    Rangers score.

    NYR 1 Flyers 0


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Senor Diaz on the ice for the Rags. Just got plastered into his own net by Torres.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      front, I’ve got to buy you a beer one day buddy. Or another drink of your choice. We all know you have many choices. You give me a good few laughs a week pal.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      You should be watching Canucks-Wild, it’s shaping up to be a real barn-burner.

      Tom Sestito just took on Cody McCormick, landed a couple of heavy rights before being taken down.

      EDIT: I’m a little behind because I’m watching on PVR, but David Booth just scored a goal that shouldn’t be an anomaly for him. He won a battle for a loose puck off a faceoff in the defensive zone, batted it forward and raced down the ice chasing it, caught up to it and took a good shot at net that beat the Wild keeper. A guy that big and fast should have lots of those.

      And now Charlie Coyle gets a gift puck from a weird carom off the glass, and wrists one top corner on Eddie Lack.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I believe that McCormick is a UFA this summer? Perhaps a possible replacement for George Parros?

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I don’t know too much about him, except that he was touch and go to make the Sabres roster this season, last season he spent mostly in the AHL. Of course, we’re not really thinking of his skills if we see him as a George Parros replacement. In that department, I don’t think he’s a true-blue heavyweight, he’s like a tougher Travis Moen at 220 lbs, but with no other redeeming value.

    • Danno says:

      I think that was Rinaldo who mugged Diaz


      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
      Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  42. Un Canadien errant says:

    From Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts” column:

    “For all the complaints Montreal fans have about Michel Therrien, the Canadiens are headed to their second straight playoffs after finishing last in the east. Next year is the final season of his current contract. Will Bergevin choose to extend it rather than create uncertainty and debate?”


    My safe bet is that unless some catastrophe happens before the end of the season, Michel Therrien will get two years tacked on to his contract this summer. There’s no way the Canadiens go into next season led by a coach with an expiring contract. The very fact would create turmoil, undermine the coach, and guarantee that he would be let go. You might as well just go ahead and fire him this summer instead, essentially you’d get the same result.

    Michel Therrien will most probably get fired by the Canadiens at some point, but it won’t be with less than a year left on his contract.

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


    • Habfan17 says:

      I would not agree with your assumption Therrien would in effect, undermined. Many times coaches have been left until part way through the last year of their contract to see if they can continue to make the team better. If the Habs do not win the cup, and depending on how they exited the play offs, I believe Bergevin would be doing the right thing by not giving Therrien an extension.

      Therrien has not won in the playoffs, and Bergevin could go one of two ways if they get ousted again this season. One, move Therrien to another position within the organization for the last year of his contract, two, if he felt he warranted it, is another chance next season to prove he can make the team better and win in the play offs. Then if the wheels fall off during the season, he can fire him.

      The Habs have the coin to extend him and then fire him, but so far Bergevin has shown he does not make frivolous decisions.

      Some players are given one year contracts to prove themselves and coaches get the interim title to prove they belong. Letting Therrien go into his last year does not undermine him. It is the verbal message that Bergevin sends through the organization that would undermine him.


      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I fully agree with your third paragraph. The Canadiens can always fire a coach, at any time, and afford to pay him out, they’re not the Senators or Predators. So why tempt fate, and have your team think your coach is a lame duck? Instead, put the odds in your favour, give him the security, have the players understand that he’s going to be around for a while, and they better listen, that an end run to the GM or owner won’t work. If the wheels fall off, it won’t be because you cunneyworthed your coach.

        As far as players getting one year contract to prove themselves, known in these parts as being Andrei Kostitsyned, that only works because he’s a foot soldier, and not a leader of men. He’s expected to work hard, listen, and keep his nose clean. That’s not the situation a coach faces. A coach has to inspire, he has to be respected and feared a little bit.

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


        • Habfan17 says:

          Yes, but you can do that without extending him. there are more examples of GM’s giving extensions and having it backfire, than there are of coaches having to coach into their final year.

          I am sure with the culture that Bergevin has brought in, that he would let the players know, the lack of extension does not mean they do not have to listen and play for their coach.

          For all we know, the plan all along was to have Therrien coach for one contract and then be moved to another role.

          I think you are not giving enough credit to Bergevin or the players to be the professionals that they are and to have the pride and character to play for the fans and to win. More than for the coach, the players want to win and know they only get so many kicks at the can. The majority would not throw this away just because a coach is in the last year of his contract.

          It is my opinion, you may not agree, and I respect that. I have played for coaches I did not agree with or respect, but I still went out every game and did my best for myself and the team. There will always be a few that try to cheat.

          Unless Bergevin was interfering with coaching decisions, I don’t think it would impact the players at all. If they drag their butts, Therrien would have them in the press box. Problems start when the GM starts coaching the team.

  43. AA - #25 says:

    Tonight’s winning predictions:

    Van – NYR – ANA

  44. Ken Hitchcock’s comment on how to shut down potent offensive lines; “Make them play defensively”… exactly

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  45. Notice how Nilan say that MT was doing a great job. Who was saying that he should be considered as a contender for best coach? If everyone pegged the Habs as a 7 or 8 seed fighting to play in the post season, we aren’t that far away from that. With 74 games and 89 points, we have plenty of teams at 80 points and games 8 games to play. Florida, Ottawa, Tampa should be games we can win, the Ottawa always giving us fits and Tampa being a scoring machine (but we have a great goalie tandem). Detroit will be tough tomorrow. So for all the good feeling, I’d like to see this team finish strong, like Boston down the line, not lose 4 of eight to just hang in there. This year end will be character building, unlike the collapse last year and feh to the year before that.

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  46. B says:

    London goalie Stolarz gets an 8 games suspension for smacking Windsor forward Ho-Sang in the back of the head with his goalie stick last night:


    For those who missed this link earlier, here is the incident:

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • Habcouver says:

      Love tap?
      The kid is a Flyer draftee, so perhaps Emery could teach him to box instead.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  47. Hobie Hansen says:

    I didn’t start watching the HI/O show until recently. Being outside of the Montreal area I don’t get to see much TV talk on the Habs. I see the occasional 24CH episode, listen to TSN690 (get it in Ottawa) and of course watch the games. So ya, the HI/O show is a welcomed addition!

    So who’s correct? Nilan, Cowan and Todd or the stats freaks? It seems that the boys on the HI/O show have a high praise for Douglas Murray? The stats freaks think he sucks? What gives?

    I turned on RDS last night and before the game and in the intermission, it was Murray this and Murray that. They love the guy!

    So I’m a bit confused? ;-).

    • frontenac1 says:

      Stick with the Real People amigo. Stats nerds are like those southern preachers,except the preachers get laid once in a while.

    • Habcouver says:

      I guess the important question these days is what does MT think of Crankshaft?

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • ffenliv says:

      The proper answer, as I see it is that neither is entirely right or wrong. I’d say the ‘advanced’ stats have their place, but they’re not everything you need to evaluate a player.

      This is true for two reasons

      1) Stats need context. Fans don’t usually have it, and journalists don’t usually bother offering it.

      2) Advanced stats in the NHL are a fairly recent concept, and they need to mature first.

      Of course, just like the Habs are clean, honest hockey players, and the Bruins are goons, divers, and thugs (sarcasm there, in case you missed it), fans want things to be black and white, so you get two camps

      1) The ‘I only need to see a player play to understand him’.crowd. Just tell me how many goals he scored.

      2) The ‘advanced stats are the way of the future; get out of my way, dinosaurs’ people.

      No one is willing to admit that judging a player on what you see has its place along with stats. Why? Because it’s harder to argue with.

  48. habcertain says:

    the $49.95, watch on any device deal on NHL.COM, does anyone use that or know if it is any good?

    • Phil C says:

      I have it. It’s good as long as you have a good internet connection (800 kbps gets you a good picture on a laptop), it loads quickly, you can watch either feed or any game.

      It is not very good for watching games in Canada as there are a lot of blackouts. Any game that is on CBC, for example, will be blacked out. You can probably get around this with a VPN service to log in from a server in another country, but I haven’t tried that yet. But that is an extra cost. For some reason the Canadian feeds do not show the intermission shows. But that’s a good chance to flip to another game.

  49. joewindsor habfan says:

    Going to the Habs vs Red Wings game tomorrow night! Section 123, row 16, SWEET! Datsyuk is practicing but no word whether he will play. Got my Montreal gear out of the closet and just ironing the jersey as I type. Go Habs!

  50. Habcouver says:

    I can listen about the Laffs’ woes everyday, like a good dose of sunshine vitamin D(ion).

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  51. matrags says:

    oh my the knawing and mashing of teeth on thats hockey.leaf doom in free fall. so much moaning ,wailing, a sad dark funeral possession.I feel bad for laughing, lol”but I can’t help it? sick bastard I guess.!!!

  52. Habfan10912 says:

    Gotta love Knuckes. Which came first? The Buffoon or the Chicken?
    Great job guys!

  53. Strom Man says:

    I have to disagree with Manny. This is one of the worst winters in recent history.. If I want to complain I WILL COMPLAIN!

  54. Un Canadien errant says:

    With the University of Michigan hockey team’s season over, Canadiens prospect Mac Bennett was now free to sign a pro contract, having finished his four-year career there. Which raised the question as to whether he would actually receive a contract offer from Les Glorieux.

    On the one hand, we’d read nothing but glowing reviews about the kid’s skating and smarts and work ethic. Last summer he showed up at the rookie camp proud that he’d met Player Development Coach Patrice Brisebois’ target weight of 195 lbs. He was enthusiastic about his experience at the camp, and was looking forward to applying a lot of what he’d learned there during his final season at Michigan.

    On the other, his final season hasn’t been a triumph. He served as captain on a team that underachieved in the eyes of their coach, the legendary Red Berenson. The Wolverines weren’t included in the NCAA tournament, the second consecutive season this has happened after 22 straight seasons of being in. This is so disappointing that Mr. Berenson has had to field questions about whether he will retire.

    Further, Mac’s point totals have been relatively stagnant in his four years at Michigan. While a defenceman is not strictly evaluated on goals and assists tallies, the normal progression for a college player is to gradually increase these numbers as you progress. A Senior in College is often 22 or 23, playing against players three or four years younger, and derives an advantage from that which is usually reflected by the points he amasses. In contrast, Mac’s points went from 18 points last year to 14 this year, in one fewer game.

    So in his case being signed was not a foregone conclusion, at least in the eyes of this hockeydb-reliant expert, and depended on the number of contracts the Canadiens have available to offer out of their 50-contract limit, among other factors. With the news that he’s now entered into an Entry Level Contract with the team, it’s apparent that the scouts and Canadiens brass have evaluated him and have decided he fits in the team’s plans, and he’ll join the Bulldogs in the fall.

    Mac will be in a curious position, in that being left-handed will be an advantage for him in trying to make the Bulldogs roster, but a disadvantage if he were to have an unbelievably good training camp and were being considered to make the Canadiens.

    We all know that we have only P.K. Subban and stopgap measure Mike Weaver as right-handed defencemen currently with the Canadiens. Everyone else is a leftie, and this has forced players such as Francis Bouillon, Alexei Emelin and Jarred Tinordi to play on their off side, with mixed results. So even if Mac Bennett looked like the second coming of Tom Kurvers next September, he’d have a tough time to crack the lineup.

    In Hamilton though, when it comes to our prospects, the situation is somewhat reversed. Trevor Timmins seems to have made a concerted effort to draft righties on the blue line in the lower rounds. The blue chippers, Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu are lefties, but everyone else shoots right: Greg Pateryn, Morgan Ellis and Darren Dietz. Magnus Nygren, who was a Bulldog for half a season before he defected back to Sweden, is also a rightie. So is Dalton Thrower, who should also receive a contract offer and joint the Bulldogs next fall.

    I’m also thinking there’s a chance Josiah Didier could make the jump to the AHL next season and forego his Senior season in college, and this is pure speculation on my part based on the fact that his game may be better suited to the pros than the NCAA, and the Canadiens brass may encourage him in that direction.

    So on the right side, we have Pateryn, Ellis, Dietz, and potentially Thrower, Nygren and Didier.

    Meanwhile, on the left we have Tinordi, Beaulieu, Davis Drewiske and Mac Bennett, but in reality we should expect that at least one of Jarred or Nathan will be in Montréal full time next season.

    So Mac will, possibly for the first time in his career, since it’s rare for a defenceman to be in this situation, be valuable because he’s a leftie. He’ll be playing on his natural side, and not be asked to play the right side once in a while, that will be covered by all the other righties.

    This scenario also doesn’t include any veteran AHL defenceman, to calm the waters and ensure the rookies aren’t being led to slaughter. This season, Nathan McIver, Drew Schiestel and Joël Chouinard were brought in to guide the youngsters and provide experience and a more competitive club. Next season, we should expect that a couple of these vets will be brought in again.

    Which will make for a crowded blue line, and brings us to the point poster Chris has made on a couple of occasions, which is that having such a glut of defenceman isn’t that great actually, in terms of their development, since there are only so many minutes available in a game to spread around, there’s only so much powerplay time and critical situations to dole out, someone’s going to be left wanting.

    So yeah, maybe my hunch doesn’t make sense. Maybe Josiah Didier stays in college for another year. And most probably Magnus Nygren will compete for a job with the Canadiens in training camp, and if he doesn’t make the team, he’ll be allowed to go back to Sweden, since we can’t really force him to stay in Hamilton.

    And which probably means that Marc Bergevin will try to deal some of our prospects on the blue line for prospects in areas of need in our organization, namely wingers with size, and scorers.

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


  55. Timo says:

    Rob Blake has been named as a GM for team Canada at the world with Ron Hextall as his assistance. Loved the comments begging them not to pick Phaneuf on the team.


  56. Ian Cobb says:

    Great HIO Show this week!!

  57. JohnInTruro says:

    Where’s Bill been these days?

  58. Timo says:

    Saw a conversation about utilities bills on my phone while waiting for my lunch date. Yeah, I would like to chime in with a big WTF for the utility companies too. A freaking ripoff of a bill this month.

    • stevieray says:

      It’s the same in NS..on my spread partner we get a power bill every 2 months . for the last 10 months my bill has read …I assume the meter reader can read !…but you know what assume does
      $ 335
      $ 487
      $ 139
      $ 421
      $ 178
      I requested my meter be checked …and was told ” a review of your bill shows consistent readings and at this time no check is required !.. I guess when you have a monopoly …the definition of ” consistent “…differs !!

  59. jimmy shaker says:

    Just got my ticket……6 rows behind the habs bench baby……I’ll be sporting an orange hat and an alex kovalev t-shirt!

    Sahker out!

    • Danno says:

      Cool! We’ll be looking for you Shaker!


      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
      Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Man, I was always a Kovalev fan, became a far greater fan after he became a Hab (Darcy Tucker, Spin-O-Rama deke on Chara, tying goal in Ranger comeback). His Powerplay presence was so evident, defenders feared him so much they backed off and gave him even more time. That presence has never been replaced, imagine the passes he’d make to PK!

      A,huge weakness on the team is a forward that has the stones to take over a powerplay and make it revolve around him.

      Def keep an eye out for ya!

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  60. kempie says:

    I was at the game last night with my wife. Tickets sort of fell into our lap and, while it didn’t really fit comfortably into our schedule, they had to be used. We didn’t have time to stay over & really do it right but here’s the thing:

    I absolutely love the city and the people of Montreal. We were walking down Ste. Catherine, looking for a place to stop for a bite & pint, a stranger approaches my wife from behind holding an outstretched $20. “You dropped this” he says and takes off. About 2 minutes later, standing on the corner at Crescent we’re approached by a middle-age woman who asks if we need help because we look lost. I asked her to point us to Hurley’s and thanked her for her help. We had literally been in the city for less than 10 minutes.

    We’re from Peterborough but I often find myself in downtown Toronto because it’s only an hour away. None of this kind of stuff would ever happen there. It’s very grey, anonymous and not overly friendly. From the moment we set foot in Montreal we can feel the stress begin to slide off our shoulders. The food, pubs, shops, music, hockey, architecture, traffic, culture, hospitality, everything is so much better. TO has all the same things to offer I suppose, but it comes with more stress, less smiles and lower quality. Even if it’s only for a few hours, Montreal is an extremely refreshing break.

    So, thank you Montrealers for making every visit like this for us. Our French is very bad but we try and you’re very patient. We will be back soon because we can’t stay away, even in the off season.

  61. Un Canadien errant says:

    Nick Sorkin better succeed in his tryout, or else be forced to go back to his hometown of Rockville, MD.


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


  62. Thomas Le Fan says:

    The way I see the Eastern Conference playoff picture playing out has no one catching Boston or Pittsburgh who will remain first and second, Toronto on the outside looking in with Detroit, who were always going to make it, in seven or eighth and Columbus who have outplayed the Leafs down the stretch grabbing the other. The Rangers and Philly will do the same alternating dance as will The Lightning and Canadiens. Go Habs!

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  63. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    In that picture above, it looks like Nilan passed gas.

  64. Habcouver says:

    Stu, I really looking forward to your HI/O shows.
    They are informative, entertaining and a joy to watch.
    I’m going to have to dig out my CN30 jersey because this guy has transitioned from Knuckles to Knowledge superbly.

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  65. MikeHabs says:

    Who is Mac Bennett and what does he bring to the table? Mitch Brown writes about it here: http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/habs-sign-prospect-mac-bennett-two-year-elc/

  66. HabsFanInTampa says:

    If the Canadiens are the only Canadian team to make the playoffs, the heads of PJ Stock, Don Cherry, Ron McLean, HNIC, et al will all explode. I love it!

  67. Old Bald Bird says:

    Mac Bennett signs for 2 years.

  68. Danno says:

    We can beat anyone in the East. The character of this team can take them deep and then anything can happen. Stay tuned.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  69. jimmy shaker says:

    Anyone know how I would get in touch with the assistant to the travelling secretary in charge of booking hotel accommodations for the players? Not that I’m a stalker or anything…..but it would be super fun and a coincidence that I just happen to run into the team in Detroit tomorrow before the game. I don’t think they’re staying at the holiday inn! Anyone else going to the JOE for the tilt tomorrow?

    Shaker out!

    • CH Marshall says:

      That’s probably info that’s next to impossible to obtain

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      I doubt very much they would give that information out to anybody who requests it.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        But I don’t even know who I would even begin to try and ask. I’m sure someone would be able to tell you at least what airport they are flying into and the arrival time or departure time, no?

        Shaker out!

        • Danno says:

          The media know. Our friends at HI/O know.


          “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
          Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

          • jimmy shaker says:

            So what ur sayin is, if I can butter up old booner with something he can’t resist he might accidentally on purpose divulge that information? Hmmm. OH Mr. Boone!!!! Where are you? Help guys, what should I say or bribe him with?

            Shaker out!

        • mark-ID says:

          Change your avatar to Boone’s face lol

          “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

          • jimmy shaker says:

            I barely was able to get this avatar to work……and have no idea what I did to make it work, so what is plan B…..maybe ask Stubby or Stu?

            was that the episode where george suggested cotton uni’s to steinbrenner to save money?

            shaker out!

          • mark-ID says:

            It is not. It is the episode where George leaves his car at Yankee stadium while he leaves town with Susan. Everyone sees his car there at all hours of the day…..and he’s been told that he is next in line to become the assistant GM.

            Birds crap on his car….so Jerry goes to wash it and accidently crashes it. Yadda yadda yadda……George gets back to work, and Steinbrennar already hired someone else, because they think he is dead.

            “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

          • mark-ID says:

            Funny enough……George’s job with the Yankees is the assistant to the traveling secretary, lol

            “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

          • Danno says:

            An offering of Medicated Goo would be an irresistible inducement


            “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
            Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

          • jimmy shaker says:

            That’s what I was going with, I remember that one! Great episode…come to think of it they were all freaking great!

            Shaker out!

  70. secretdragonfly says:

    Speaking of Boston, these people should have just slapped a pair of skates on it and traded it to the Bruins – would have fit right in.

  71. ooder says:

    habs sign mac bennet.. 2 year contract

  72. habs001 says:

    If it is Tampa in the first round..who is the winger checking Stamkos?.

  73. Donkey Hoat says:

    Whatever his apparent shortcomings, Mr Therrien has managed to coax some wins out of this team. I’ve been critical of him in the past, but he deserves a lot of credit for getting us to where we are now.
    Yes, Alex Galchenyuk should play centre; let the kid fly.
    The acquisitions of Wiese and Weaver were not only timely, but smart moves as well.
    Can the Bruins beat us? Yes, over a 7-game series, if we play their style of hockey.
    We hung on for dear life in our last encounter, and I think we’d be hard-pressed to play that way for a best-of-seven.
    I’d also love to see us less reliant on our goaltender for wins, and less reliant on shot-blocking as a game strategy in general.
    More puck possession and a more offensive mindset will keep our troops healthier and winning…er.

    • johnnylarue says:

      No doubt we’d be in tough against Boston, but having to rely on three lines against a team with a very good fourth made that game more lopsided than it might have been otherwise.

      I still like the Habs more than just about any other team in the East for their ability to give Boston’s goon-tards nightmares. You just never know…

  74. 25 cups says:

    Fire the system! – TheMostCupsPeriod

  75. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Now and next year are two different scenarios.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

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