HI/O Show: Nilan returns from ‘upper-body’ injury

Former Canadien Chris Nilan, recovered from an upper-body injury (dental surgery), returns as the guest on this week’s HI/O Show on The Gazette’s hockeyinsideout.com website, joining columnist Dave Stubbs and sports editor/host Stu Cowan.

The main topic of conversation is the Canadiens’ four-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first-round playoff series and how they pulled it off.

Other topics discussed include:

The impact anthem singer Ginette Reno had or didn’t have on the Canadiens.

Will the long rest before the second round help or hurt the Habs?

What happened with Rene Bourque?

The four set lines and depth the Canadiens now enjoy.

Who should the Habs want to meet in the next round: Boston or Detroit?

Ron MacLean’s comments about French referees at the Bell Centre.

What play was more dirty: Matt Cooke’s knee or Milan Lucic’s spear?

(Photo by Sterling Agres / HI/O Show)

560 Comments

  1. zip by says:

    testing…. un… deux… un….deux……testing…..

    is there an actually video??? link??

    update: i have addblocker on my firefox browser – disabling that plugin allows the video link to work….

    too bad – insisting on pop up ads is not very user friendly – in addition the ad they want me to see so much is for montreal real estate…. not so relevant to someone who lives hundreds of miles away…. tant pis

  2. Hobie says:

    Great observation from Eric Engels:

    You can’t defend some of the curious decisions Therrien made throughout the season–at least not in the lens of immediate, minute-by-minute analysis. But, when you take the long view, it’s so painfully obvious that this team was being prepared to play the only style of game that renders a team successful in the post-season.

    Don’t mistake any of that “grinding” talk for a departure from the team playing to its strengths: Speed and skill. It was all about reinforcing work habits that would enable their speed and skill to win the day.

    “That’s a process, and that’s the way I see it,” Therrien said, justifying a mentality he intended to cultivate throughout the season. “For me, hard work is the most important thing. Skill–yes, you need skill. But hard work is always going to beat skill,” the coach surmised in explaining how he wanted his team to interpret that now-famous comment.

    • JF says:

      That was a very insightful piece by Engels. Most of us at one point or another during the season condemned the way Therrien was using his players and the kind of hockey we thought the team was playing. We were mystified by his telling the players they were a grinding team. We thought it meant endless dump-and-chase rather than attacking as a five-man unit. When you look at it the way Engels does, as a way of preparing the players for the only kind of hockey that can succeed in the playoffs, many things fall into place, including the apparent sacrifice of a lot of offence in order to firmly implant this style of play. This alone tells us something about the extent to which the players bought into Therrien’s system and were willing to make sacrifices.

  3. slyCH says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbrjRKB586s

    As usual I have nothing to say, but here’s a great song with the most sampled drum beat in the world. Enjoy.

  4. shiram says:

    Bergeron, Kopitar, Toews finalists for Selke

  5. ffenliv says:

    A fan on another site – not a Habs fan – complained that the Habs get more PPs in the last 5 minutes of the game than anyone else, and always has.

    Curious about this, I checked out all the game sheets from this regular season.

    Montreal PPs in the last 5 minutes: 27
    Opposition PPs in the last 5 minutes: 23

    4 is a totally irrelevant gap, as most teams won’t be even, there are going to be others with similar ‘advantage’.

    Just posting this in case any of you encounter that BS and want some numbers to back it up.

  6. Mattyleg says:

    Big day, HI/O Boys and Girls…

    It’s my first Brew-Day!
    Going all-grain, no extract.
    Got my home-made setup set up, got my grain, hops, and yeast.

    It’s the culmination of three months of research and building equipment (installing a ball-cock in a camp cooler, building a copper draining manifold, constructing an immersion chiller, setting up a carbon water filter) and buying 40-litre pots etc.
    The plumbing guy at Home Depot is my new bestie.

    It’s gonna be an interesting first try, should work out well though, I’m quietly confident. By this afternoon, I should have 20 litres of General Montgomery Pale Ale (name my own invention, look him up - amazing story) fermenting away.

    Wish me luck!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  7. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Shout-out to a poster from London (not Ontario) who appeared briefly here (during/after Game 1?).

    I’m going to be in London tomorrow and Saturday, St John’s Smith Square area. I’m with New Dublin Voices in a competition taking place there, so time won’t be my own. But any time I’m not in tuxedo I’ll be clearly identifiable as a Habs fan. Would love to say Hi if you’re around at all.

  8. Psycho29 says:

    Good Morning All,
    Thanks to 24 Cups for posting this article on the CBC:

    http://on.thestar.com/1ihORpD

    I found this part interesting, surprised nothing more was made of this:

    “Meanwhile, Hubert Lacroix, the president of the CBC, spent part of his winter addressing reports that he’d been compelled to return $30,000 in bogus living expenses. He called the matter an honest mistake. Just one in a string of many, to be sure.”

  9. frontenac1 says:

    Reports. Zetterberg back for Game 4. Interesting.

  10. Paz says:

    TV money, the rights to broadcast the games, is the main issue in hockey, and this was not the case back in the old days.

    The owners want a return on their investment. They have risked their money and they want to see their money work for them.

    The TV broadcasters understand that the speed of hockey, the skating, is mostly lost on television. You can not sell the speed to the average viewer, the new viewer, the guy who has never played the game, because the skating does not impress nearly as much on TV as it does live in the arena. Like ski racing, or car racing, television usually does not pick up the speed.

    So where is the money? How can the NHL draw bigger TV ratings and therefore more TV revenue?

    Physical play, hitting, the harder the better, fills the need.

    I would guess that many thousands of people have been asked to judge the entertainment value of the NHL on TV, and the numbers who
    are interested in physical play are probably very high.

    Big, physical, players are here to stay. Amongst this new generation of bigger, stronger players we will find the minority who play over the edge, break the rules, show little respect, and they need to be stopped.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Isn’t goals what the average viewer wants?

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Paz says:

        Yes, that’s true. But no matter how much the viewer wants goals the game of hockey can only provide about 5 per game.

        Hits? 80- 100 per game.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          I think viewers also want their team to be competitive. I’d guess Colorado is making more money this year than last.

          In my opinion the major problem isn’t the owners, it’s the players and the culture of the game. It’s the players who are opposed to longer suspensions. It’s the NHLPA that made Cooke a non repeat offender.

          —–
          Moving. Forward.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            The collusion of the NHLPA suits the suits just fine.

          • Paz says:

            The GM’s are looking to draft Lucic’s in every draft, just ask Bergevin.

            They work for the owners.

          • Old Bald Bird says:

            Yes Paz, I agree, but it has become a game of catch-up. You have to bulk up to survive because of the way that the game has gone. Otherwise, would McCarron have been our #1 choice? (I like the choice btw.)

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Ed, I’d say you are pretty close to the NHL’s view of hockey and the business plan that has evolved. I don’t think they’re right, and I curse them for their lack of faith in the game itself. I also believe their actual view is even a bit darker than this, in that they tacitly approve dirty play and retribution, and the media interest it generates. No such thing as bad publicity.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Makes no sense.

        From a pure business standpoint you wouldn’t want Toews or Crosby to be sidelined with concussions.

        The average viewer probably wants to see exciting plays and goals more than anything.

        Teams make more money when they win. Teams that finish at the bottom lose money, teams that make the playoffs make money.

        Concussions and dirty plays are not good for business. Just ask St.Louis or Colorado.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I’m with you Dipsy. But just try telling that to Bettman and the suits.

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            Furthermore, I don’t think many of the owners care about the game one way or another.

            Stan Kroenke the owner of Colorado Avalanche owns a handful of teams in several sports (including the NFL St.Louis Rams, and Arsenal FC in England), plus arenas, shopping malls, etc etc…

            Do you honestly think he’s concerned about the offside rule in soccer or whether there’s more or less hitting in hockey?

            —–
            Moving. Forward.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Are you asking me that?

            Of course they don’t care. Like I said, the formula is simple: revenues up = good.

          • Paz says:

            Some owners are clearly more involved and more interested than others.

            Geoff Molson still plays hockey regularly, full equipment, for example.

      • Paz says:

        100% agree with your last statement, Mike.

        That is the nature of the beast.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Lots of potentially or originally good things get hijacked by suits: healthcare; senior citizen programmes; food; universities; voluntary organisations; political parties.

          Professional hockey is another.

          There is no regulation, right? Therefore, the purity of the thing is extremely straightforward: anything that increases revenue = good. That includes notoriety and horrendous injuries. Just hear Michael Douglas saying it in Wall Street: “Good”.

          • Paz says:

            And who can afford to go to the games? For the most part it’s the other suits, and not the average Joe is it? Who can afford the 10 dollar beers or the 10 dollar smoked meat?

            I went to game 3 vs Flyers in 2010, which we won! by the way.

            6 of us. Total cost? 2000 dollars for tickets and refreshments.

            The average fan has to watch on TV. Many in the States have probably never played, or even skated. But they know about aggressive, even violent play, for sure.

            This is where the growth is. At home. On TV. Watching big men hit each other into oblivion.

  11. JF says:

    Eric Engels on the series and the implications of Therrien’s now-famous “grinding” remark:

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eric-Engels/Habs-Deserve-Credit-in-Every-Department-for-Sweeping-Tampa/82/59607

  12. habsfan0 says:

    When Carey Price won his 1st playoff round as a rookie in 2008, who among us thought it would be another 6 years! before he would win his next one. Now that he has,one hopes he’s got 3 more under his belt for this season.

  13. Butterface says:

    I am bored.

    You think Tampa would show up to play a game tonight if we asked ?

    Maybe tell them we’ll make it a best of nine.

    We promise not to disallow any of their goals this time. They can even play Gudļevskis or Bishop or maybe Arturs Irbe and if Stamkos breaks his stick we can give him a do-over.

    We’ll even throw in a ref from Florida.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  14. DipsyDoodler says:

    OK Mike Babcock – time to prove your mettle.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  15. Bash says:

    Our Habs responded to the Broadstreet Bullies by icing a lineup that could respond physically. I remember when one series opened in Philly; Bowman started his 5 biggest/toughest players including Savard and Lapointe on the wings! Anyone know who the others were?

    But I totally agree with other posters that the level of goonery has reached new heights.

    The players cannot police themselves. There are no deterrents, just payback.

    The NHL refuses to hand out suspensions that would act as deterrents or at least get the idiots out of the league. 7 Games??? What a joke! The victim is gone for the playoffs.

    The sad part is that many fans want that shit. I asked a guy last night if he would rather watch a Philly LA final with 100 hits a game or a Montreal Chicago final with 100 shots. Guess what the answer was.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      Bash I think many hockey fans enjoy hitting afterall it is a neutralizer for speed of the opposing team. It has been a part of hockey since inception…I like hitting but not goonery…legal hitting is not goonery.

      • Bash says:

        Agreed! But in the playoffs many of those “hits” go well beyond physical play. Do you think Lapierre’s “hit” last night warranted a 2 minute penalty?

        We are not talking about honest tough hockey here. This is more often deliberate attempt to injure with way too much stuff let go because “it’s the playoffs.”

        “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

      • Phil C says:

        They didn’t hit like this in the 60s. Maybe it was because they didn’t wear helmets so naturally there was more respect. Sometime since then, the NHL lost control of what is acceptable.

        Specifically to your point, I agree hitting to slow down a player is a part of hockey. The problem is the hits where the puck carrier is not moving and the hitter is coming with speed. These are the dangerous hits that are against the rules but never called.

        • BJ says:

          You are correct regarding the 60′s. If you happen to watch games from that era, the players mostly held back going into the boards. I was at the Forum the night Lou Fontinato had his neck broken on a play where Vic Hadfield did not hold up, this was a rarer occasion where a player wanted to decapitate and Hadfield was that type of a player. But the real stupid business started when the WHA was created and due to a serious lack of talent the goons and 5th line players was mostly what was available and a type of “Roller Ball hockey” was born. Also the NHL expansion contibuted to a certain degree and the two cloned into a type of Broad Street Bullies, which was finally tempered with the Habs trumping brawn with skill.

          • Phil C says:

            Good point about expansion diluting the talent and allowing more goons into the league.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Get rid of the Instigator Rule. Guys like Cooke, and Lucic would have been dealt with a long time ago.

      • Phil C says:

        I don’t know Front, if someone speared you in the berries, would you let the instigator rule stop you from going after him? One PP is not that big a deal, especially in the regular season.

        • frontenac1 says:

          It would allow somebody else to tune him up amigo. Worked great for Gretzky. He admitted it. Instant Justice.

        • Fansincebirth says:

          The issue here is that Lucic will never spear anyone in the nads who is big enough to fight him so he has no fear of retaliation. Emelin or DeKeyser would have taken a beating from Lucic (or Chara stepping in) for trying to stick up for themselves.

          As much as I hate the violence in the league, it’s time and long overdue for one of these idiots to be on the receiving end of the type of hit that makes you wince….a bit hypocritical, I know.

    • Fansincebirth says:

      Every time I see something serious happen on the ice due to some asshole on skates, I cringe and say to myself, “okay, they have to suspend him for ___ number of games for that if they want to prove they are serious about cleaning up the game”. Unfortunately, I have been proven wrong many more times than I have been proven right.

      I’ve watched hockey for a lot of years and I clearly remember the days of the Broad Street Bullies. Teams would ice big strong players, a lot of fast guys too and generally the two didn’t mix. The big boys beat up other big boys and things went on like that. Today, it’s all about trying to injure. Elbows and shoulders to the head, knee on knee, crushing hits from behind and so on. When Max was taken out by Chara, I honestly thought I had just witnessed my first fatality in a hockey game.

      Maybe the league will finally get a grip when someone is killed on the ice….or maybe not.

  16. Cal says:

    Have you all noticed the level of thuggery rising this year’s playoffs?
    I guess it must be because Colin Campbell is back in charge, right? You know, the same idiot that called the assault on Patches by Chara a “hockey play”?
    It is no wonder fans of the sport are sickened by the crap that’s been going on.
    In other news, Fleury is terrible and should be replaced by a shooter tutor.

    http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  17. Mavid says:

    I am kinda lost right now..I have been watching the other games..but I still feel…lost..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  18. JF says:

    Looking back to the last few weeks of the regular season, I’m starting to realize what a truly remarkable feat it is that the Habs accomplished in sweeping their series. This is a team that was regularly out-shot and out-chanced during the season, a team that needed its goaltender to be outstanding night after night, a team whose defence was more often than not shaky and subject to major gaffes. We would often have a dominant start to games, but our glaring ineptitude or lack of opportunism five-on-five usually prevented our taking a commanding lead. And when we got down by more than a goal, we more often than not had no answer. We were carried by one line, with secondary scoring almost non-existent. And the powerplay, which scored the series-clinching goal with less than a minute to play, had been hopeless since about halfway through the season. No one on the planet would have predicted that we would sweep the Lightning, even without Ben Bishop.

    There were perhaps a handful of games out of the entire 82 in which we played for sixty minutes the way we played each of our four games against Tampa. The two games against the Blackhawks come to mind; our last two games against Detroit were also pretty good and three of the four games against the Bruins. But there was nothing to suggest that we’d be able to play like this consistently, nothing to suggest we’d get scoring from all four lines, nothing to suggest we’d be able to win when Price was not at his best – and I maintain he hasn’t yet reached his best in these playoffs.

    Looking at our season series against the Lightning in particular, it was reasonable to expect that the games would be low-scoring, very defensive, very tight-checking, with little open ice and no opportunities for odd-man rushes by the Habs. That was how the Bolts played us during the season. The games were close, but they usually had the upper hand, out-shooting us and keeping us for the most part to the outside.

    The tables were turned in the playoffs. It was the Bolts who had no open ice, couldn’t generate any speed through the neutral zone, couldn’t solve our aggressive forecheck; while we dominated most of the thirteen periods that were played and had by far the better of the scoring chances.

    So forget about the excuses the rest of the hockey world is making. This was an extremely impressive performance, and Michel Therrien and his assistants should take a bow. They did a masterful job of preparing the team.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Sure, but we only outplayed Tampa Bay because their starting goalie was injured, and they had a disallowed goal.

      Didn’t you hear? Don’t you watch the CBC? Read HiO? We got all the breaks, dontcha know.

      • 24 Cups says:

        LOL, Ozmodiar!

        The re-emergence of Gorges, Bourque and Eller was also well timed. It’s so great to see Eller find his game.

        24.4 Cups

      • rhino514 says:

        I think there is truth to both points.
        We seem to have a core of guys who elevate their play come playoff time. Ironically, we have lambasted management for acquiring two of them; Bourque and Briere.
        On the other hand, Lindback had a .890 save percentage. You figure if Bishop plays to his average, he nullifies, what, 2, maybe 3 goals? Considering 3 of the games were decided by one goal, that is huge.
        I will never understand how we were one of the lowest scoring teams during the regular season. If it was a conscious plan to be able to carry that style into the playoffs, I didn´t see see the stifling, boring brand of hockey that we saw throughout most of the season. We won playing the type of hockey that best suits us.
        Eller said it best recently “You saw two teams with pretty good offences”. Why, then, didn´t Montreal show it during the regular season?
        EVERY single forward on the habs except Pacioretty and Desharnais, apart from his first twenty games, had an off year.Gues what; it wasn´t an off year, it was part of implementing a very rigid system. I don´t think you can motivate players to play this way for more than a season, but I guess we´ll see.

    • BJ says:

      A good analysis JF. And maybe we can add to that the fact that our first line did not fill the net and that Carey was solid but did not steal any games. I think thats a plus in the sense that it was really a team effort rather than relying on one line and a hot goalie. Its more a team effort that will take us to the next level.

      • JF says:

        Exactly. And that is perhaps the most remarkable thing about the series. The players are all absolutely on the same page, playing for each other in a way we’ve rarely seen in recent decades.

  19. montreal ace says:

    I have not seen Roy’s reaction to the 7 games Cook got for taking Barrie out of the playoffs. It should be an interesting game tonight

    • Kooch7800 says:

      how can you give a repeat offender such a light slap on the wrist when he just put out Colorado’s best puck moving D and could essentially kill them in this playoffs

      • montreal ace says:

        I think the NHL plays around with suspensions for the publicity factor, the kind that would be expensive to buy. Tonight its going to be the good guys against the bad guys, and if I’m a Colorado fan I want revenge. I think the lack of discipline from the NHl, is a cheap way for them to get interest at the expense of the stars.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Who knows why they do it but it is BS. If I am colorado’s owner I would be pissed cause this really hurts his chances at more revenue because of a thug who gets 10 goals a year and has ruined more than one career.

          The worst part is if they retaliate tonight they will get a bigger suspension.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhnptY29ZZM

          They have not learned anything from the Bertuzzi – Moore situation. Moore should have been suspended for his hit on Nasland. I doubt the situation would have ended up as badly as if he would have got a few games.

  20. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Why are there no little Youppi’s ?

    • 24 Cups says:

      This could be an interesting summer for goalie movement in the NHL. Pittsburgh, Washington, Carolina, NYI, St Louis, Minnesota, Winnipeg and Vancouver all need to upgrade or sign UFAs.

      24.4 Cups

  21. D Man says:

    Probably this thought has been posted several times, but in light of Mclean’s comments are we to assume that it would be better if no referee from Ontario let alone Toronto should ref a Leafs game? I wonder how many time refs from the TO area are used in Toronto games. My guess is it happens often.

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

    • BJ says:

      A real person that found his true Love. I really hope one day that people wake up and refuse all military BS in favor of providing constructive technology rather than destructive ones. Money should go,exclusively to facilitate life and not be part of a destructive process. Illness and starvation should be the top priorities to eliminate. And stories like Moore’s and his wife are a reminder of that for me.

    • kalevine says:

      very touching. What a stand up guy that Moore is. Too bad he didn’t settle here. I still remember his key goals in the 2010 playoff run

  22. montreal ace says:

    I am finding the playoffs like an open season on good players. I watched Rouselle going after Getzlaf, after his 52 stitches in the face, and could not believe it. Backes gets rocked and before you know it tied series, Cook he is a weapon, when it comes to taking out players. This year if the Habs play the Bruins, I am hoping that the team will not be looking for mercy and are just able to defend themselves, cause I have felt like a victimized fan after some of their games.

  23. Habfan10912 says:

    Poo poo has the coaches confidence even after Poo poo boo boo’s.

    http://nypost.com/2014/04/24/mistakes-dont-get-pouliot-benched/

  24. Black Horse says:

    I am going out on a limb here & I am ready for the negative comments towards me BUT here it goes …

    Keep Chucky & Moen out! The Habs are doing well & don’t mess it up!

    This extended rest will do Montreal a world of good. Gally & Prust gets time to rest!

    Carey Price gets a rest & few days to go over the Tampa series with Waite to fine tune his game!

    Rask will be a non-factor. Montreal is in his head! Rask is 2-9-2 with a 2.77 GAA – .903 SAV%

    Montreal is fast & they will use their speed to blow past Bawston. Let Bawston play their game as long as Montreal keeps playing their speed game!

    I say Montreal get another Sweep.

    Ok ok ok .. 5 at the most!

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

    • Habfan10912 says:

      There is no way in heck that Galchenyuk isn’t in the lineup when he is healthy. No way.

      I’m with you on Moen but Chucky has to play.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I truly wonder about Moen’s future. His concussion history may limit his overall ability to perform as a 4th line plumber.

        As for Galchenyuk, I think HI/O posters need to judge his performance this year on what he is actually doing out on the ice, not his potential down the road to be an excellent player.

        Sitting Bournival for either one of these guys would be a mistake. I think the decision will ultimately come down to how certain players perform in the second round. A lot will also depend on how Briere is deployed during the next few weeks.

        I could live with Galchenyuk in for Prust on the second line with a 4th line comprised of Prust/Bournival/Weise.

        24.4 Cups

      • Ozmodiar says:

        I agree with zipcode.

        There’s no way Galchenyuk is a “healthy” scratch.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      As is Coach MT’s history, he will probably start Game 1 with the same lineup that played in the Tampa series.

      After that 1 game – the score, and how it was played will dictate any changes necessary.
      The Bruins will probably goon the net area, so the first change may see Murray for Bouillon or Weaver.

    • Xsteve50 says:

      is the no chance they could be playing Detroit ?

  25. montreal ace says:

    Fleury played that puck like a guy who just does not care, talk about being casual with not a worry in the world. In my world when I am doing something that people depend on, that job gets my full attention. I find Fleury to be a little too nonchalant with his play,

  26. Black Horse says:

    Man OH Man!

    I am glad we have Carey Price & not McFleury. He is SO overated!

    ” and the fun begins” – Carey Price

  27. Maritime Ronn says:

    Re Matt Cooke suspension of 7 games.

    I just listened to the explanation on the NHL video below…had to listen a few times because it was hard to believe.

    What was interesting was the following quote at the 2 minute mark:
    “Under the CBA, Matt Cooke is NOT considered a repeat offender as he has not been subjected to supplemental discipline since March 2011. However, he has been fined or suspened 9 times….”

    Therefore, Cooke is officially NOT considered a repeat offender under the new CBA.
    You can’t make this stuff up….

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=60&id=608692

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Well that’s a bit better then my best guess was. I thought we’d hear a line of crap about how Cooke has worked hard to became a “better” person both on and off the ice and how we shouldn’t let one brief moment tarnish all of the good work he has done since rehabbing himself.

      My gosh, just writing that makes me want to vomit.

      When the NHL produces these disciplinary explanation videos they should come with that circus music piped in.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D5Sa2Yq-2g

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Jim,

        It makes no sense at all.
        Barrie is out most probably for the rest of the playoffs, yet theoretically, Cooke could be available to play in Round 2 if Dallas moves on…and go ‘hunting’ once again.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good morning MRonn and Jim.

      My initial response was that Quintal made all the correct observations but levied an extraordinarily limp sanction.

      Then I realised I had swallowed the NHL doublespeak about “repeat offender” — it is truly Orwellian.

      And a total crock. Sorry to bang on, but the ONLY logical explanation (other than incriminating photographs of NHL suits in salacious situations, gangland/mob involvement etc) for the league’s reluctance to deal more severely with players who regularly and deliberately put other players’ careers at risk is that the league WANTS those kinds of players.

  28. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all! I love the morning crew here on HIO. Although I visit this site during the day and early evening hours, its the morning crew who has the best hockey discussions. Late yesterday the 7 game suspension for serial offender, Matt Cooke was announced.

    I’d love to hear some of the am crews reaction. Anybody?

  29. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    A little fun stat….maybe not for Pittsburgh.

    In the, ” It’s hard to believe” category, who needs Crosby and Malkin in the playoffs when you have… Rene Bourque.

    Bourque has 5 goals in his 9 playoff games with the Habs.
    Crosby has 0 goals in his last 9 playoff games.
    Malkin has 0 goals in his last 8 playoff games.

    It looks like $17.4M of Crosby/Malkin Cap space just doesn’t buy you what it used to.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I think it was you last night, who brought up what I have already been thinking. Having Crosby and Malkin on the same team is maybe not the best way to construct a team.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Especially when you have Fleury. His boneheaded “What the heck are you doing” moment cost his team a game last night and very well have cost his team a playoff series.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi OBB

        It wasn’t me, yet it may be more about the goaltender that cannot stop a playoff beachball.
        If he continues on, this will be the 5th playoff year in a row where his SP is below < .899.
        No wonder the Penguins have lost more playoff series than they have won since their Cup win .

      • JF says:

        I’ve thought for several years that it would be better for both the Penguins and Malkin himself if they moved him. When Crosby and Malkin are both in the lineup, Malkin nearly always plays second fiddle to Crosby. But when Crosby is injured, Malkin becomes a leader and a truly dominant player. I think the team would be better in terms of balance with just one of them. They also couldn’t rely on having two superstars to win games; they’d have to actually have a solid goaltender and play a good system.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Weird how that works sometimes, eh Ron. I’ve even noticed that the whinning and chirping to the officials by Crosby has been a lot below normal as well.

      Morning Ron!

    • 24 Cups says:

      I wonder how old Rene Bourque would do if he had Dubinsky joined to his hip!

      I also think it’s important to note that Columbus is beating Pittsburgh without the services of Horton, Gaborik, Murray and Tyutin.

      After last night’s games, it’s almost a certainty that there will be a seventh game somewhere in the NHL next week.
      24.4 Cups

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      The best teams are built like the Bruins or the Habs – two potential 50 goal scorers are nice, but money-wise, most superstars aren’t team players. 8 million dollar players can cripple a franchise and make a Cup impossible. If you have 4 or 5 potential 20 goal guys, and maybe one or two 30 goal range players, you have a stronger attack than if you have the one or two go to guys who can get hurt, a la Stamkos, develop howling a-hole habits like Ovechkin or just occasionally struggle like humans as Crosby and Malkin seem to have.
      The Habs still could use more size, but Pacioretty, Vanek, Desharnais, Plekanic, Eller, Gallagher, Bourque, Galchenyuk, Markov and Subban provide a lot of dangers to a defence.
      Two injuries would hurt the Habs badly, but two injuries can devastate the Pens.
      The spreading of the talent pool and the exhorbitant salaries in the hockey business mean teams like the Habs from the 50s to early 80s can’t happen. Can you imagine what Larry Robinson would be able to get now, if our young and erratic wonder PK can talk of 8 million? Robinson would have a load of ponies if he played in 2014.

      I like the way the team has been built. They’ve worked well with the players available, and I see it getting better if the draft picks pan out. We’re on the road. It’s fun to watch.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        As you mention, Cap management is huge in this day.
        The Hawks really know how to do it as do the Bruins.
        The Habs are getting there.
        One thing you notice about all the top teams is that they rarely waste cap space or overpay.

  30. Habfan17 says:

    Isn’t that wild? All the games in the Pittsburgh – Columbus series have ended 4 to 3!! Has that ever happened before?

    Habfan17

  31. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Who gives a fuk about what Ron Mclean says or means or any other pundit for that matter. We won,we were better. Next.

  32. JUST ME says:

    There is one feeling about the Pens that i do not have that i do have for most of the other teams it`s fear . Is it because of the Fleury factor or the fact that you can have Sid the kid lose his calm and composure but i just do not see them going very far in the playoffs. Now, as usual i may be wrong but although they have a star filled lineup , there is no fear,no mystery involved a bit like the way i feel about the Bruins. I want to meet them whatever happens when actually maybe i should fear them …

    • rhino514 says:

      I too would rather face the Pens than a few other teams in the conference. We have beaten them in the playoffs with a weaker team than we have now. Fleury always lets in bad goals in the playoffs, and I don´t think he handles the hometown pressure very well. Plekanec would also do a good job of blanketing Crosby.
      I hate to say it but I think we would definitely have a better chance against the Pens than against the Bruins. Having said that, Montreal always has a chance at beating the Bruins, but I feel Pitts would have been easier; also less players going to hospital for the third round.

  33. naweed235 says:

    I don’t know why I did this to myself but I somehow ended up watching the Chara / MaxPac incident on youtube again… I feel just as angry now as I did when it happened. What a piece of sh@$ this gorilla is… I’m counting on the old saying “what goes around, comes around” to bring some justice.

  34. Un Canadien errant says:

    I hate Duncan Keith, but like the Blackhawks generally, so good job Patrick Kane.

    Timo, Dean Brown says this series can be no shorter than six games.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  35. Timo says:

    Patrick Kane!

    Someone DID win this game 4 to 3. How did that guy know?

  36. Un Canadien errant says:

    The problem with Marc-André Fleury is that the Penguins see/saw potential there, and not just based on hope. They’ve won a Cup with him before, he’s shown that he can do it. He’s a .915 save percentage guy roughly over his career, and has turned it on in the playoffs. He’d let in weak-ish goals, but also make game-savers when it counted, like the one that clinched the Cup for them.

    His numbers have not been great in the playoffs, he’s not been above .900 in save percentage the last four seasons, but they would try to look farther down the tunnel to see the light. Over the summer, they could have made a big move, but how do you turn your back on a first-overall draft pick and Cup champion? Instead, he was asked to make some changes, notably to work with a sports psychologist.

    I think anyone can see that his issues are of confidence, of focus, that the physical skills are there, and just need to be allowed to shine through. And he came into the season and showed great improvement, racking up wins for this guy’s fantasy team.

    So with him cruising, and under contract for another couple of seasons, there didn’t seem to be a need for a trade at the deadline. And that’s when he started fading a little bit. And crashing at the end of the season. And now all the hard work from this summer seems to be crumbling.

    The Penguins have been remarkably patient with him, trying to keep their core together, but unless he turns into Martin Brodeur the rest of the way, we have to guess he’s gone this summer, traded away to another team. It will be tough for him to be in that dressing room and look guys in the eye at training camp if he gift wraps this series for the Jackets.

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/f/fleurma01.html

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • johnnylarue says:

      I really do feel for the guy. People seem to derive a sort of sick pleasure from watching him fail (I’m certainly guilty of this myself), primarily because he’s Sidney Crosby’s Goalie, and playing on a team which has long been perceived as sort of unfairly stacked with talent. Perennial contenders.

      Fleury humanizes the Pittsburgh Penguins–he becomes their de facto Achilles heel come playoff time, like clockwork, every year. It’s kind of his “thing” now. And it’s easy to imagine that lack of confidence having a trickle down effect on the rest of the roster–the Reaganomics of team sports psychology.

      Based on tonight’s performance, it seems like he’s in major need of a change of scenery–perhaps to play for a team with a less weighty expectations on its shoulders. ‘Cause that looked almost comfortingly familiar.

      • The Jackal says:

        I don’t like to bask in Fleury’s meltdowns but he really ticked me off when he mocked Price a couple of times after the Pens beat us.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I didn’t think it was mocking as much as one-upmanship. More good-natured than mean-spirited, that’s the way I took it. Two proud competitors joshing each other, knowing the other wouldn’t respond the wrong way (read: Dominic Hasek or Ron Hextall). And, Carey started it anyway.

          I was actually hoping we’d get more games, maybe a series against the Pens, and these two would battle and the victor would get the spoils. And the gangsta pose.

          http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=92210

  37. Timo says:

    Are they for real with these ticket prices? Holy crap.

    All you folks who go to these games I’d like what you have in your bank accounts.

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=97863

  38. AceMagnum says:

    MacLean pimping the Leafs again …yes they won the cup 200 years ago.

  39. Timo says:

    Who is the play by play for the Hawks game. “Someone will win this game 4 to 3″

    Wow, no sh!t. Where do they find these people?

  40. Timo says:

    That Tarasenko kid is pretty good.

  41. St. Louis putting on a clinic in the third against Chicago. Strong on the puck, fast, standing up. They would be a tough opponent

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  42. Timo says:

    Heh, I just realized that Pietrangelo isn’t playing. What’s wrong with him?

  43. Just A Guy says:

    I think every single Blackhawks fan wants to kill Max Lapierre right now lol.

  44. Willy the bum says:

    It’s been one day and I’m bored outta my mind. And I do consider watching other teams boring.

    • Nothing like watching the Habs when they fly, but hop boy, Chicago and St. Louis are also flying. Playoff hockey is far more exciting to watch. Checking out the game now and I gotta say, fun to watch skill, finished checking, great goaltending and end to end action. Not like the sluggish, penalty laden BS of the regular season.

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  45. DipsyDoodler says:

    You can tell when a goalie screws up because the red light hoes on. But why is no one blaming Crosby? He’s been poor.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  46. 24AW says:

    The cooke suspension is a joke. if a player is injured deliberately, how ever long the injured player is out, the guilty party should be suspended till the injured player returns. Do that Mr. Bettman and you’ll see this Bs cut by 85% – 90%. there’s still the odd idiot that will do it.

    • D Mex says:

      The Cooke suspension is, indeed, a joke.
      However, Buttman is unable to do something like this unless Jacobs approves and, given the goon-squad on his NHL payroll, that’s not likely to happen.

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

  47. habkin says:

    What bugs me about Fleury is when he smiles after a save or after winning. Price rarely does this.

  48. 24AW says:

    it is what it is tonight in Dallas. Dallas is getting the Goaltending Anaheim is not.

  49. Cal says:

    Great HIO show, gents. Always fun to listen to Hab talk.
    Fleury prevents the Pens from being competitive. He is costing them games. They should have done in the Blue Jackets in five.
    Good to see Dallas climb back into their series, as well.
    Cooke getting only 7 games is a bleeping joke.

    http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  50. Butterface says:

    Glenn Healy .887 NHL Career Save Percentage….. mocking a goalie ?

    People in glass houses Glenn. You, sir, are a douche.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8447709

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

    • Tyhudg says:

      To be fair when he played the average save% was a bit lower than it is today, but I still agree completely with your point. When he was bashing Lindback I wanted to reach into my TV and slap him. Glenn Healy is the epitome of what is wrong with CBC…. uninformed, loud and utterly disrespectful to anything not maple leaved. If Sportsnet picks him up the contents of my bowels will shift to my pants in disgust.

  51. AceMagnum says:

    Fleury is getting what he deserves. After he mocked Carey with the crossed arms thing and then laughed about it on After Hours with the CBC clowns….he’s getting his now. Enjoy it Marc Andre.

    Healy and Stock throwing around the only phrases they know again “stoppable puck” and “unacceptable” “inexcusable”

  52. DipsyDoodler says:

    Healy and Stock, journeymen hockey players, teeing off with great gusto on Fleury.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  53. DipsyDoodler says:

    Warning: this article in Canada’s national rag on the MacLean ref controversy is very very idiotic. Read at your peril:

    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/04/23/did-the-nhl-deploy-the-wrong-ref-for-canadiens-vs-lightning-game-ron-maclean-raised-a-perfectly-fair-question/

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Lost me at “nationalpost.com”.

      • D Mex says:

        As advertised, idiotic.
        I’m guessing that, like MacLean, Cam Cole is not bilingual, and quite possibly not a proponent of the concept …

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

    • Willy the bum says:

      I love Canada.

    • Cal says:

      That guy’s as big an idiot as MacLean.

    • Marc10 says:

      Yeah, National Post…

      Let’s stay away. I don’t agree with MacLean in that the league should look at a guy’s background before selecting someone for a game. That’s far too subjective and their are too many variables to consider… you’re bound to be inconsistent in making those calls. But worst of all, you’re giving in to a line of reasoning that challenges your league’s integrity. That’s just plain stupid. You’d be saying if you follow MacLean’s logic that there’s a belief that your officials are not on the level all the time and that to avoid this perception, you’re going to alter your standard operating procedures and give into that line of reasoning to appease outsiders. Dumb. Just dumb.

      Now as to this belief the Habs get a different standard of officiating, I think the guys who believe this should prove it. Yes it’s a tough building to play in. Yes a lot of officials grew up idolizing the team as fans (I would imagine with all the brain washing that’s going on across the country, the Leafs would fit in a similar category…)

      Bringing the guy’s last name into it is simply bigoted, especially if you’re dealing with a visible minority or if you’re not willing to make the same point for people from other regions. I don’t know that you can escape the premise that this stereotype is born out of prejudice.

      The whole ‘francos be biased’ but locals from other parts working high positions of authority being beyond reproach speaks for itself really. I didn’t see you bitch about Daddy Campbell, eh. Well then you really shouldn’t be opening your mouth about some ref with a franco name… N’est-ce pas?

      I feel better… Back to hockey from here on in.

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        Maclean never questioned whether French-Canadian refs should be trusted to ref a game in Montreal. He was questioning whether or not it was a good decision to have a French-Canadian official ref game four specifically as Tampa fans were already blaming (incorrectly) that it was hometown bias that cost the game three. If perchance another equally controversial call was made in game four, it could have led to a very ugly and racist controversy that would overshadow the whole series. If anything Maclean was simply thinking about how to prevent derogatory remarks toward French-Canadians. There are a lot of reasons to dislike Maclean, and especially CBC Sports, but this is not one of them. This was just a host stumbling over his words and accidentally saying something that was easily misinterpreted. He has apologized and clarified his remarks. Time to move on from this phony issue.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          But really, he didn’t say what you said. He focused on French-Canadian refs, he never brought up his Alberta example, which he pulled out of thin air during his apology. He’s been at this job for decades, but never worried about a Toronto ref doing a Sens or Hab or Leaf game before. He’s a smart guy, he’s well-spoken, usually, but now we’re supposed to believe that what he meant to say had “nothing to do with francophones”, whereas that’s exactly, textually, what he said.

        • Marc10 says:

          That’s one way to look at it Steve. I think the fact that he even thought a ref needed protecting in this instance from a potentially ‘racist’ scenario is interesting. I don’t agree with his proposed solution. If anything it gives credence to that nefarious view and gives it legitimacy.

          That said, I get he didn’t have ill intent, but I do question him bringing the topic up about replacing an official because of their perceived hometown status. That has never come up before from Mr MacLean… Ever. As far as I know, he never commented on Colin Campbell running the league’s discipline in spite of the email trail and documented bias. The latter is much more damning in terms of problems that need to be addressed, but you’ve never seen MacLean bring that up… ever. So from my perspective, his comments are odd to say the least. That he feels the need to bring it up vs other much more dramatic instances of perceived bias says something, non?

          Hey, but I’m happy to move on. This little tempest was news to me. I had heard racist crap before… I just didn’t believe it was so mainstream that it would get this kind of air time or required any kind of action. You learn something every day.

    • habsfan0 says:

      This was Ron MacLean’s own “Charter of Values.”

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      The article isn’t idiotic but the ones that are whining are…….there is absolutely nothing in what he says to cause “grown up ” and reasonably “mature ” people to act like there is. A bunch of kids posting on here…….

  54. naweed235 says:

    I think every team dreams of facing Fleury in the playoffs…
    He is an all year-round Santa Clause in nets

  55. HabsPooch says:

    No disrespect but I cannot listen to Dean Brown. Could they not find a better play by play guy?

  56. monmick says:

    Dallas putting on a clinic…

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  57. habkin says:

    What a encouraging story that brought tears to my eyes. The Hab organization is so classy.

  58. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    MAF should be the goalie for the BJ’s because he chokes so much…

  59. habsfan0 says:

    In all likelihood,this will be Fleury’s last year in Pittsburgh.
    The Laffs will probably pick him up to replace the soon to be gone James Reimer.

  60. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    MB went out and got the hottest goaltending coach for Price. What did Shero get for MAF? The psychologist from the Simpsons? If Shero beats out MB again for best GM, I’m going to be sick…

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Marvin Monroe?

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • johnnylarue says:

        Guy knows his stuff! But for Marc-Andre’s sake, I hope Marvin’s electro-shock therapy voltage generator goes to 11…

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          With the number of injuries the Pens had this season, and Kris Letang having a stroke (!), you wonder if they have Nick Riviera as their team doctor.

          PA: Doctor Riviera, Doctor Nick Riviera. Please report to the coroner immediately!

          Dr. Nick: The coroner? I’m so sick of that guy! Well, see you in the operating place!

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

          http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  61. johnnylarue says:

    Also of note: Chicago are now guilty by association for sheltering such an unrepentant douchebag as Punkin’ Duncan Keith. I hope they lose spectacularly.


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