HI/O Show: Nilan throws an elbow as Habs head to playoffs

The Canadiens are headed to the playoffs and it looks like the Tampa Bay Lightning will be their first-round opponents.

What kind of series will it be?

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

Other topics of discussion include:

Douglas Murray’s elbow that knocked out the Lightning’s Mike Kostka;

The extra days off coach Michel Therrien has given the Habs this season;

P.K. Subban’s limited ice time during the game in Tampa;

How Nilan would shut down Steven Stamkos;

A three-year contract for Andrei Markov?

Why Leafs fans are ‘the Charlie Brown of the NHL’;

Can the Habs win the Cup?

(Photo by Sterling Agres/HI/O Show)


  1. Sportfan says:

    3 games for Doug Murray, that’s what I said the other day.

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

  2. Sportfan says:

    When do we find out about Murray and are we calling any D up?

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

  3. krob1000 says:

    Commandant you are bringing up below re Murray and defense in general… the old best defense is offense argument ….while others will counter with the best offense is generated by the best defense. It really is not that simple…for some teams, and even further in detail for some particular payers and lines….they do not have the skillset to dominate the other line with puck posession. This is especially true in a Salary Cap league with 30 teams where there is a signifcant talent level drop from thetop 6 to bottom six. You then factor in the need for phsyical bodies in the arms race to prtect your teams offense and goalie and it is further watered down.

    This is where coaching comes into play…are the forwards guys that can dominate, can they attain posession themselves and control down low in other end, are they a neutral zone team that needs to rely on good sticks and skating to create transition opportunities; are they capable of winning one on one battles in their end or do they need to collapse and play a collective d game inside the dots (that is often frustrating but with such a small lineup has become a necessity), etc,etc

    Montreal has a lineup that is pretty well rounded, they are slightly above average in most areas of the game. That is their strength…depth and the ability to match styles. I personally believe there is more offesnivee potential to be tapped but that is irrelevant when MT has decided the game plan most nights is to counter attack. Can the team do this? Yup…becuase they have dmen willing to block shots, because they have Pk and Markov who can move the puck, because they have Price most importantly and because they have forwards who are for the most part pretty balanced and can support in the defensive zone and all are smart enough to be able to play in sync defensively.

    i will be the first one cursing at the tv when the cycle repeats…Habs collapse, Point shot through self generated traffic in front of own net, lose race to puck because inside dots and repeat…it drives me bananas. But at the same time I know that Gionta, Gally, Chcuky, Pleks, Briere, Dd …none of these guys can contain a large skilled forward in the defensive zone…so someone needs to support them and they need to concede the outer edges of the dzone sometimes. Theya re all good with their sticks and can still retrieve enough pucks from the interior position but we see the opposite happen when Montreal on offense.

    When on offense the Habs are not able to dominate for long stretches as they are often outsized and outmuscled. However, they attack in waves and have more skilled forwards then most teams to compensate. To make a long story short…I get frustrated with MT’s usage but at the same time I understand it quite often on 45 on 5. I have huge issues with his sheltering and who he shelters but that is working right now so I will support it until the offseason…..but to get back to what started this…Murray?

    Murray in that collapse game is a guy who can clear the crease and literally move bodies…and ina collapse style that needs to be done, he will also bock shots and with the collapse game comes a lot of scrumming around your net as it means your goaltender will be jumping on any puck he is able to….Murray helps keep things honest there as well. Murray is a platoon 6/7 guy ….that is not a fit on every team….but on a team that is looking for phsyicality that it is lacking elsewhere…he is an ideal fit. It would be great if he sklated better but if he did he wouldbe a 4 milliin dollar dman….he has strengths and weaknesses…more weaknesses then strengths hence him being a platoon dman…..but his strengths are something severely lacking in Montreal….so he is very, very necessary at themoment.

  4. Steeltown Hab says:

    Let’s give Desharnais the masterton nomination for bouncing back from a 19-game slump with 1st unit PP time and the best possible wingers available at all times.

    Not emelin who just came back close to a year of rehab.

    Don’t tell me MTL doesn’t have a francophone bias, this is embarassing.


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

    • Mattyleg says:

      Emelin’s season hasn’t been stellar since he’s come back.

      It’s not all about injuries, it’s about overcoming adversity.
      And DD has done that splendidly.

      And I don’t understand how anyone can support the Habs and complain about Francophones.
      It’s pathetic.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Ozmodiar says:

      You underestimate the resolve required to score at almost a point per game clip for 2/3 of a season while playing with the team’s top 2 wingers.

      Major knee reconstruction + rehab … pffft!!

    • JUST ME says:

      As much as i am not certain that D.D. fits in the category for a Masterton having just gone through a slump as many others do , i certainly do not think that Emelin deserves it. The quality of his game is just not there and although it has improved in the last games he did not have a good season.

      As for the french bias it`s comments like yours that justifies them. Hatred comes from what side you think ? With all due respect you should take a long look in the mirror.

  5. 24 Cups says:

    The Red Wings are about to rebuild on the fly.

    In the NHL:
    Abdelkader – 2/42
    Andersson – 3/88
    Jurco – 2/35
    Nyquist – 4/121
    Sheahan – 1/21
    Tatar – 2/60
    Dekeyser – UFA (college)
    Smith – 1/27

    Waiting in the wings:
    Mrazek – 5/141
    Mantha – 1/20
    Sproul – 2/55
    Ouellet – 2/48

    The only blunder appears to be the Weiss UFA contract.

  6. AceTen says:

    @CJ – in response to your post last night:

    “Fair enough. Honestly, what has Markov done since the trade deadline that would validate a three year extension? He will be turning 36 in December and is not likely to get better.
    From the comfort of my couch, I’ve seen two complete games since the trade deadline (ducks and second bruins game). Otherwise, I see a guy who still makes an excellent first pass, is capable on the PK, is a good set up man on the PP, but who makes a lot of mistakes and no longer has the speed or mobility to course correct.

    I’m not suggesting we should have given him away for nothing, but if we enter into a 3-4 year deal at $6 million plus per season I think we will be making a mistake. IMO, the best case scenario is somewhere in the middle. Either a 1-2 year extension, or move him for a strong younger player who could address another deficiency.”

    Like I’ve said many times before this team needs Markov. Without Markov I’m not sure we would have a playoff spot clinched at the moment. Who else do we have to play the point on the PP with Subban and 25 mins a game? Beaulieu? He is nowhere close to being ready for that kind of responsibility. In a perfect world yea we sign him for 1-2 years at 5-6 mil per season. You have to ask yourself this question: if it came down to signing Markov for 3 years at 6 mil per or letting him walk for nothing, which would you choose? This is the situation we are in at the moment. No way he is going to take a 1 year deal and I really don’t see him taking 2 (believe me I would love it if he did).

    Markov brings so much to the table and people seem to take it for granted. Not only does he play the most minutes out of any Dman for us but he makes everyone around him better. Remember how bad PK was in the 2011-2012 season when Markov was out for pretty much the whole year? He put up a measly 36 points in 81 games. The following year with Markov back, PK put up 38 points in 42 games and he won the Norris. Yes, he put up more points in half the games. Without Markov there would have been no Norris for PK and this big 64 million dollar contract everyone wants to give him, would be a complete waste.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Markov’s been the Habs best defenseman this year, and will have no trouble getting a 3 year deal, if not with the Habs, then elsewhere.

      • Habcouver says:

        I get this eerie feeling it’s the latter. Money talks, and there will be some team out there to throw the bucks at Marky, who I hope does the right thing :$.

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

      • CJ says:

        If PK is not even the best defenceman in Montreal, why are we going to give him a contract for 8 years at $8 – $9 million dollars? Things aren’t adding up IMO.

        Sorry folks, not trying to be a wet mop, I just want to get the creative juices flowing. Some of these decisions have left me scratching my head.

        IMO, I am all but sure we resign Markov and Gionta. Likely Weaver too. I don’t like it, but hey, take it or leave it right?

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          PK’s not being in a position to show he’s the best defensemen. No PK time (no clue how that’s justified when he played on the PK his whole career prior) and pairing him with an #8 Dman in Bouillon


          Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

    • jamman says:

      I agree without a healthy Markov for the full 48 games last season, P.K would not have won the Norris. He is the General!

    • CJ says:

      Good afternoon Ace.

      Firstly, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. You have made a number of good points. Allow me, to the of my ability, to offer a reply.

      You are right, we have no clue what we have with respect to Beaulieu. He was tried at the beginning of the year, but didn’t last. His most recent call up provided glimpses of hope, yet again, it didn’t stick. I will not debate the merits of why he is up or not further, however will say that I think we have provided this young man a disservice and by extension, have taken an opportunity away from the team. Beaulieu, like any other player, has played in a structured system in a defined role for many years. He is a 1/2 defenceman, who is offensively gifted. So, when he comes up, he should be provided the opportunity to test his skills and abilities against the best competition in the world with a partner befitting his abilites. Instead, we bring him up and play him on the third unit with Murray or Frankie. Compounding the issue, we force him to play the wrong side, the same thing we have done to Tinordi. When Hamilton was brought up in Boston, he was paired with Chara. Beaulieu, at his best, was playing with PK in the third period against the leafs. If you recall he started the game with Frankie, who was quickly benched following a very poor zone coverage. Beaulieu had an assist, was plus 1 and looked excellent with PK on the PP. However, instead of building on this sucess, he is immediately returned the very next game to the third pairing. What message is that?

      So, as a result of not effectively graduating and supporting our future, we are FORCED into resigning Markov. I agree, we have no choice now. None. Markov now holds all the cards. If we would have brought up Beaulieu and committed to him from day 1 – agreed to live with his mistakes and pair him with PK (on the correct side) – than at the deadline we would be in a position to make a decision on Markov. If the decision was – after 60 games that Beaulieu was not ready and not anticipated to be ready next year, I can live with that. No problem whatsoever. However, by not bringing him along and testing it out, we have mismanaged this porfolio and it will cost us. Imagine buying a new corvette convertible and not testing it in fourth or fifth gear? That’s what we have done with Nate on the third pairing, on his wrong side.

      Look, I like Markov, but I like the team better. It’s really as simply as that. I agree, he will not take a 1-2 year deal, so in all likelihood we are stuck with 3-4 years at $6 million + annually.

      I am not here to slam Markie. Some of what you say is undeniably true. His minutes, his responsibilities. That said, to be fair, he also makes a lot of mistakes, many of which are being covered up by exceptional goaltending. I watch a lot of hockey. I get that he is held on a pedastal in Montreal, but if you compare him around the league, I think you might be surprised at the number of players who could replace the General.

      Lastly, keep in mind we were one goal, one overtime goal away from beating the Bruins in game seven without Markov. He played 7 games for us all year. Our success is on the back of our goaltending, not Markov.

      Just my two cents. Thank you again for sharing. Cheers, CJ

      • jamman says:

        Good post CJ

      • HabsPooch says:

        Not to mention Markov missed 11 games in the 2010 playoff run and the Habs went deep without him…

      • AceTen says:

        Great post CJ. I completely agree we have not handled the development of our prospects the best. I would have liked to see Beaulieu, Tinordi and possibly Pateryn with the big club from the start of the season. Hopefully next year they will get a legitimate shot. PK will be our best Dman for many years to come but for this to happen we need to get him a partner. I still can’t believe they’re playing him with Bouillon. I really hope in the offseason they go out and get a big, reliable, steady Dman for him to play with. Kind of like what Ottawa did with Methot and Karlsson. That way PK could have more freedom on the ice and when he does turn it over, someone will be there to cover. It is for this reason I’m not sure Beaulieu would be the best for him (I’d still take him over Bouillon in a hearbeat).

        We have been backed into a corner regarding Markov. I do however think we are very fortunate he wants to stay in Montreal. I also believe he will sign for a reasonable price. Keep in mind the cap is going up by a little over 9%. If he signs for 6 mil a year, it’s the same as roughly a 5.4 million hit under the current cap. For what Markov brings to the table, I think that’s a bargain.

  7. 24 Cups says:

    Let’s assume for discussion sake that the Vancouver Canucks face reality and acknowledge that they have no hope for the future. That it’s time for a total teardown and rebuild. Which teams could be willing and able to trade for the Sedin twins and their combined salaries of 14M a season that extend for the next three years?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The Canucks won’t trade the Sedins. Their rebuild won’t be a total teardown, they’re not going scorched-earth like the Sabres are doing. Plus, the Sedin brothers don’t want to leave Vancouver, they’re involved in the community, they won’t waive their no-trade clause.

      What the Canucks can do is trade away a few good veterans, like Ryan Kesler and Dan Hamhuis and Alex Edler, to contenders looking to load up for a Cup run, and bring in younger players that way. They have good pieces to deal away with reasonable contracts, not aging veterans with expiring contracts like the Flames had.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I’m sure that’s true but it’s the Sedin contracts that will hurt the team moving forward. Normand, I realize you live in BC but here in the East it sure looks like the rest of the conference has passed the Canucks and killed any chance of a Vancouver Cup in the next five years.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Their window has slammed shut, that’s for sure. Bad drafting, deadline trades bringing in rentals that didn’t do much and weren’t retained, poor asset management (Corey Schneider, Roberto), the Canucks frittered away a lot of strengths and they have nothing immediate to look to in their system.

          The Sedin contracts could hurt, but it’s not catastrophic in my opinion. The system the team has been playing under Coach Tortorella is all wrong for the team and especially for the Sedin brothers. Next season, with a different coach and system, they could both avoid injuries, play as they have their whole career, and pick up 70 points a season or so and finish out their ‘riding into the sunset’ contract with decent production in return, and providing leadership for a team that will try to get younger and may struggle.

    • Mattyleg says:

      They do lots of stupid things.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habcouver says:

      The Rangers.
      If Sedins stay healthy, they’d thrive in the Le Grande Pomme (excuse my attempt) with AV.
      Slats would do it.

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

  8. Un Canadien errant says:

    There isn’t enough talk about the Gustav Nyquist goal last night, where he made Zdeno Chara look brutish and impotent again. It’s like the Red Wing had to skate around a lawn sprinkler. An inconvenience, it adds half a second to your trip to the net.


    If all of Chara’s crosschecks and slashes and holds and cheap thuggery after the whistle were called, there’d be no talk of him as a great or even good defenceman, he’d be a specialist like Douglas Murray, Hal Gill or Yannick Weber.

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


    • Phil C says:

      Chara is now 37, so he is perhaps beyond his best before date. He may be even getting close to his expiry date. There are only a handful of defensemen in the league older than him who play any meaningful minutes.

    • bwoar says:

      I can’t recall who posted last night that Nyquist would win it (was right when DET tied, I think), but I remember thinking that person would be right and sure enough, he scored a real beauty.

      I think you’re harsh on Chara, but only a tiny bit. I can’t stomach him so there’s a bias there.

  9. Storman says:

    Pavel Datsyuk, back in Red Wings line up will play Friday against the Sabres and Saturday vs Habs..

    • bwoar says:

      He was coming back sooner or later…

    • krob1000 says:

      I have seen a few red wings games lately..wathced last night too….they have managed to find real gems in Jurco, Tatar and most importantly Nyqvist. Nyqvist many are saying will be a flash in the pan…not so sure…what is making him effective is what made Zetterbeg and Datysuk effective…a beautiful combination of skill and relentless motors. Nyqvist is everywhere adn he never appears to gve anything elss than 100 eprcent on every play, he doesn;t glide into a backcheck, he keeps his feet moving, he didn’t glide to go around Chara to protect he puck, he kept his feet moving…Tatar’r work out frnt on Jurco’s goal was all heart and effort as well. Those kids can play.

    • DominicanHab says:

      We still aren’t clear of Detroit yet. Don’t forget, 2 of their last 6 games are against Buffalo

    • Habcouver says:

      Yep, Pricey with his black cowboy hat… I could see that.
      The guy in the vid has rhythm… but stick to hockey (maybe).

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

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    I do sometimes think that their are some fans of the Habs whom actually enjoy watching the Habs get beaten to a pulp by certain teams. Some kind of Masochist type Hab love I guess.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      For the record, I did not enjoy watching Colon Campbells son beat the living turd out of a Hab…. to me that was not a positive for the Habs, but statistically it probably was nearly as positive as Lafleur scoring 50 goals a season.

      • Commandant says:

        Tinordi is a tough kid. By the time the playoffs come around, with him on defence, and Prust, Weise, Moen all back and healthy, I don’t see the need for a Murray. Thats four guys who all have a long history of rough stuff.

        In addition, the fact is that the number of fights actually drops in the playoffs.

        Go Habs Go!


        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Murray will never make the mental errors of Tinordi.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            Because he’s too slow.

            Moving. Forward.

          • Commandant says:

            Thats fine…. Tinordi can only learn by playing.

            However Tinordi will make more plays that lead to the Canadiens clearing their zone successfully and maintaining possession of the puck in the long run. The fact that we will have far more puck possession will lead to less goals against (and more goals for) even with the odd rookie mistake.

            Go Habs Go!


          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I disagree, Tinordi has done more to show he’s not ready for the playoffs.. Unless this season is just a learning experience for the team.. If they are in it to win it, play a vet. However, against Tampa, perhaps Tinordi-Weaver would be better.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Ozmodiar says:

          “By the time the playoffs come around, with him on defence, … ”

          Hold the phone. Tinordi’s going to play in the playoffs? This is news to me. Why isn’t he playing now, then? MT keeping him fresh? 😉

      • bwoar says:

        It’s a travesty whenever he play the Bruins. We need the muscle and there’s no two ways about it.

        The game’s got fighting and dirty hits, ergo, our team needs to be able to fight and have the expendable depth guys to throw dirty hits. Hopefully in retaliation rather than starting the ball rolling, but eh, sometimes the ice just tilts that way.

        There’s no need to complicate that very simple fact of life with a mountain of Excel sheets, it simply is the way the game is played.

    • Habcouver says:

      5 games left, and I’m hoping there is no Habs pulp-beated. It could still happen.

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

    • Phil C says:

      I don’t like seeing the Habs get beaten to a pulp. But I don’t want them to turn into a team like Toronto last year where their 4th line wouldn’t even be in the AHL without fighting. It’s a balance. I think the Habs are 10 times tougher than when the Boston Beatdown happened, (measured on the official toughness scale).

      I actually like having a defender as your tough guy because you can put him out there in more situations, play more minutes, and a lack of speed is less important for a defenseman compared to a forward. As long as his minutes are managed, Murray is a valuable addition. The fact that he can also kill penalties as good as anyone of the team (which is what the numbers below suggest), is a huge bonus as he can now play even more valuable minutes.

      If the Habs play the Bruins in the 2nd round, we will all be very thankful for a guy like Murray on the team.

  11. Storman says:

    Man could we use a player like Lyle Odelein on this addition of the Habs..

    Gerard Gallant tells a funny story, says he was never one shy away from a fight,, and also thought he played better after an early or 1st period fight,, was telling a story about playing for the Red Wings against the Habs,, and was asking someone on the Wings bench who that rookie Swede on the Habs was,, he was running around hitting everyone,, well that Swede turned out to be a Swedish sounding name only in Odelein,, and luckily for Gallant he did not end up fighting Odelein next shift,, but Randy Mckay did and it was a slugfest,, and as it turned out Lyle Odelein turned out to be one the guys on the Habs you did not want to drop your gloves with…

  12. JUST ME says:

    You do not ask a Habs fan who he chooses between Boston and Taranna. But since my choice involves being close to the great final nail in the coffin and that i still will not root for either of them then i go against Taranna .

  13. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    Goin out on a limb, 0 games for Murray.

  14. Commandant says:

    Re: Doug Murray’s supposed great penalty kill ability.

    The Montreal Canadiens as a team have given up .083 goals/minute of shorthanded time.

    With Douglas Murray on the ice, the team has given up .089 goals/minute of shorthanded time.

    The team actually kills penalties better without Douglas Murray (slightly). At best you can argue that there is no appreciable difference in numbers with Doug Murray on the ice or off the ice.

    His great PKing? its a myth.

    Go Habs Go!

    • Mattyleg says:

      I would venture that he is better on the PK than Bouillon or Emelin would be, but not as good as Gorges, or perhaps Weaver.

      -edit- And to be part of the 3rd best PK in the league means that you’re not good at killing penalties? Hmmm….

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • punkster says:


      Release the Subbang!!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Why don’t you ask Price if he likes Murray on the team, I am damn sure he disagrees with you 100%

      The level of despisement towards Murray is pretty comical actual. Watch Price and how he is always tapping Murray on the rear thanking him for making his life better.

      Also did your stats recognize that Murray usually starts the PK, therefore plays against the #1 powerplay unit….. Nevermind just keep on spreading the word how bad he is.

      • Commandant says:

        Murray has missed approximately 30 games this season…. given that, the fact that he “plays against the first unit” is kind of factored into those stats. He has played less than 1/3 of the total PK minutes for the Habs, so his level of competition evens out.

        As for the team, its all about who should be back next year. There is really only room for one of Murray, Bouillion and Weaver. I think its quite clear who the best defencemen of those three is… and thats Weaver.

        Murray is clearly horrible 5 on 5… there is absolutely no doubt about that. His best skill is PKing, and even there what he brings to the lineup is negligible.

        Keep in mind the team was 19/19 including killing two 5 on 3s, in three recent games that Murray was scratched.

        At this point he is so sheltered 5 on 5, getting a huge offensive/defensive zone start ratio, and playing against the other teams worst players. He is actually detracting from our play 5 on 5… and the one thing he brings, PKing… we are fine without him. I don’t see why he’s in the lineup, especially when Gorges returns.

        Gorges – PK
        Markov – Emelin
        Tinordi – Weaver

        is our best six for the playoffs and for next season.

        yes we need a seventh dman next year, but its time for one of Pateryn/Beaulieu to make it to the big club full time too…. can’t be in the AHL forever.

        Go Habs Go!


        • HabinBurlington says:

          Once Gorges is back, happy to see him in place of Murray. However, if we are in a series with Boston, I want Murray on the ice instead of someone.

          No one is trying to sell Murray as permanent top 6 dman, just not sure why people go out of there way to bash a #6, 7 , 8 dman.

          I got much bigger issues with PK’s play recently, than I do with Murray, but we aren’t allowed to criticize PK on this site.

          • Old El Pozzo says:

            I couldn’t agree more, HabinBurlington. Murray wasn’t brought in for his incredible 5-on-5 play, nor was he brought in to be a top 4 (or even top 6) defenseman. His role is simple: bring toughness to the lineup. I don’t think you can argue that he’s failed in that assignment. What Murray brings to the lineup can’t be measured in +/-, TOI, or even advanced statistics. His impact on the game is intangible, but I guarantee you his teammates are more comfortable playing when he’s in the lineup.

            Fire it up, get ‘er goin’. Grind it up, Travis Moen.

          • Cal says:

            PK’s gone more than a little dumbass lately, what with his constant circling and taking too long to pass the effing puck.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Great post HIB. You don’t live and die by a 6-8 D…

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Commandant says:

            When Murray is on the ice, in 5 on 5 situations, the Habs spend 75% of their time in their own end of the ice. He plays about 10 minutes per game of even strength. This is despite the fact that Therrien manages Murray’s minutes closely… giving him a huge percentage of offensive zone starts (ie when he is put on the ice, the faceoff is in the other team’s end more often than not) and gives him third and fourth line opposition.

            Take it this way…. If the Habs as a team played 7.5 minutes of a 10 minute stretch in their own end of the ice, with the other team possessing the puck, would we say they are playing well defensively? or would we be pissed at the fact they can’t get the puck out of their own end.

            This is what is frustrating about him. For all the hits, for all the blocked shots, for all the crease clearing… what good is it when we can’t clear the zone while Murray is on the ice.

            I’m a very, very firm believer in the fact that the best way to play defence, is to have the puck on your stick. Is to have the puck deep in the other teams end. Is to maintain possession and play offence. The more times the puck is in your end, the more chances there are for things to go wrong… for a puck to hit a skate and go in the net, for something weird to happen and result in a goal. Thats what Murray costs you vs other defenders….

            Go Habs Go!


        • punkster says:

          Man, you’re treading on thin ice here but hey, we haven’t had a good witch burning in some time so this should be fun to watch:

          Release the Subbang!!!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So just to confirm you must be right about Murray and i must be wrong?

            If so I will call it a push and revert back to watching players reaction, like Price and how he seems to enjoy Murray on the ice.

          • punkster says:

            HiB…what did I say about Murray here?

            Chill bro, my comments were directed to Commandant who has broken a cardinal rule here by devaluing Murray.

            My opinion of Murray, past, present or future, do not enter in to this.

            Release the Subbang!!!

        • Mattyleg says:

          I don’t understand how you can say that Weaver is simply ‘better’ than Murray.

          Can Weaver grab opposition players and stop them dead in their tracks from starting stuff after the whistle? Can Weaver physically move opponents from in front of the net? Can Weaver hold the puck up against the boards while immobilizing two opposing players?

          Weaver has other strengths, but to say that he is simply ‘better’ than Murray shows a lack of understanding of hockey and an unbalanced dependence on statistics.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I (Edit Like) Weaver, he brings a great deal, but until Tinordi is up to speed, the only Dman who can prevent crap after the whistle (which we know in the playoffs happens a great deal) is Murray.

            Emelin can’t get in a scrap, PK won’t scrap, Markov will try as he might, Weaver may try with little success, Gorges will get the crap pounded out of him and then he will go back for more.

            Frankie will try……

            Seems to leave us with Murray. But then again I dont have stats to back this up, too bad the stats folks can’t track BS crap after the whistle…..

          • Mattyleg says:

            …which means that it’s irrelevant, right?

            The thing I like about Murray over Tiny is that people will still fight Tiny, but one look at Murray, and one squeeze of his mighty hands, and opponents suddenly remember that they left clothes in the washing machine…

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Cal says:

          No other Dman on the team, including Emelin, hits like him. Mr. Horrible is on the 3rd pairing with Weaver. I rather like the fact that opposing forwards have a worried look when he’s near them. It is the total opposite of when Diaz and Weber would be nearby. At his cap hit, Murray’s ferocity is worth every penny.

        • Phil C says:

          Tinordi is almost there, but his puck handling under pressure is not at an NHL standard yet. At this level of competition, you are only as good as your worst mistake. I think Tinordi will cost the Habs games if he plays a lot in the playoffs. That’s why I think he will sit. Next year may be a different story.

        • krob1000 says:

          Murray cannot go until the Habs have someone who can play 15 minutes a night and handle all comers in a pinch. When Tinordi is ready for that role..or when MUrray is replaced by a like bodied player then he can go …until then he is a necessity.
          I have read your 1/3 of games things several times over and cannot for the life of me figure out wahat you are saying about that and it’s relevance to the first pp unit….whether he plays 5 games or 80 games he is always used in first unit pk situations when he dresses….how many games is not relative to your per game stat at all…..his competition level 1st pp vs 2nd pp is huge…as is the case with guys who play offense on a 2nd pp.
          Noone is going to argue Murray is the greatest dman but to ignore the other presence he brings on a team void of such players is akin to people claiming Murray is the best dman on the team. The truth is he offers more than his statisitics….and the truth is he is not anymore than a no 6/7 dman. I am sure the organization would like to have more guys capable of handling things physically but …PArros, Moen, Prust, Weise…all hurt…the only one standing and still defending his teammates that need defending? Douglas Murray…willing to stand up against anyone for his teammates…that is not measurable by statistics.
          Is Budaj’s atttitude benefical to his teammates and Price? there is no statisitcal proof
          Does having a guy like Brandon Prust on a team make other guys be more accountable knowing what he will do for a teammate?
          Is a positive attitude of any value?
          Is negativity actually detrimental?
          IS intimidation a factor in hockey?
          Is confidence real and does it affect decision making in players?

          Statistically speaking…all crap….however, anyone who has ever played a sport would disagree completely if someone said these things did not matter.

    • Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

      After 50 minor penalties he’d give .6 more goals.
      Gotta let him go.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      You know who’s good on the PK, if you look at the numbers?


      • HabinBurlington says:

        Greatest Swiss Dman in history, Rangers are considering taking the Captaincy and giving it to him. Also they are planning on renaming Broadway after him. 🙂

      • Phil C says:

        It’s not just the numbers, Diaz was an excellent PKer. His strengths were reading the play and playing sound positional hockey which is very important when playing the box on the PK. Other than on the initial dump in, the PK is not about physical play or forechecking where Diaz struggled 5-on-5. Defending on the PK played to Diaz’s strengths as a defender.

        It seems like you are saying that Diaz was not a good PKer, despite the numbers that say otherwise.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        The point is, if the Habs put as much importance on these stats as some people around here, then Diaz might still be around.

        Obviously, the Habs think Murray brings a much needed element to this small team.

        edit: great! now I’m talking to myself … 🙄

  15. Storman says:

    Gillis ripping Tortorella’s coaching in Vancouver,, timing kind of strange,, this could have waited till season’s end..Gillis a complete joke of a GM

  16. Mattyleg says:

    This is good for a post-lunch chuckle:
    Newfoundland family gets snowed in, son tries to get out the door and gets stuck.



    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. Luke says:

    ya, probably a shwarma day.

  18. frontenac1 says:

    @Matty. I used to love those Quebec Muni Elections. Do the candidates still buy rounds in the Tavernes? Or Brasseries? Man, our Mayor in Lery was a nutjob but we would always vote for him because he was the only guy to buy rounds for the house.

    • Mattyleg says:

      The QS candidate was in my pub the other night, hammered, and he kept pestering my friend and I and dancing.

      Seems like a good sort, though, so I’ll vote for him.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  19. TheCanadianDagger says:

    I heard Mike Kostka watched some TV last night so how could he have had a concussion. He probably read some e-mails and tweets too. Faker.

  20. shiram says:

    Desharnais was Habs nominee for the Masterton, if anyone missed it.

  21. Habfun says:

    Why did Kostca hit Murray in the elbow with his head? I did that once, I hit this big guy right in the toe of his boot with my nads! now I talk 2 octaves higher!!

    It’s all about the CH

  22. Storman says:

    Video of Evander Kane arriving at the docks , trying to evade media attention and or police decides to get into his boat as quickly as possible..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBuLy0sOtxU

  23. Prop says:

    Matty, do you have a Parti Nul candidate in your riding? The Quebec electoral system never counts spoiled ballots properly and it’s a good way to show that you’re not happy with any of the parties and their policies.


    • Mattyleg says:

      Not sure.
      I’d rather encourage another party to take Poirier’s place rather than just spoil my ballot.

      And I’d probably vote Liberal if I were in a riding in which my vote made any difference, or where the PQ was a sure thing, but in my riding, I believe the QS really have a chance to unseat the PQ.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. OptimystiCH says:

    H I/O grapevine is slacking. It’s 11:25 and still no news about Murray’s disciplinary hearing. WAKE UP GUYS!!

    Repent ye doubters. Our time is near.

  25. jimmy shaker says:

    Here’s one: the habs are the best at 2 d-men leaving the front of the net wide open to double team a guy in the corner, when there isn’t anybody covering the slot to back them up or our tenders for that matter. Also they are the best at getting all confused in D-zone coverage and lastly, the best at picking up trailers gliding into the slot for wide open looks. Other than that they are good in their own zone defending.

    Shaker out!

    • tougalor says:

      totally agree!…How often do the habs get these kinds of chances? I feel sorry for Price..the quality scoring chances he has to face almost every game are ridiculous.He has to play great every game for them to have a chance to win as opposed to say New Jersey in their heyday where Brodeur didn’t need to bring his A game every night because they has a solid (if not stifling ) defence in front of him.I’m not saying i want a team like New Jersey but let’s tighten up this defence!! sheesh!!

  26. habsr4ever says:

    We are not going to re-sign Gionta UNLESS we get rid of another small forward. Size Size SIZE SIZE is the obvious reason. Gionta is clearly on the back nine and would want a three year deal or four year deal like Cole did. gotta fill the pockets before you retire and he has all the rights to do it. Be happy for him but let him walk. We need to get younger and bigger. gionta can’t finish any more. Tired of over paying for guys with little size. He was a solid captain but its time to move on. spend the money and over pay for Vanek if we have to or Moulson. We need some finish/goal scorers with some size. Scooby doo better pick up his game or I am afraid the habs are going to low ball him again and he’ll walk or get traded. Oilers would give us a fortune for him but dmen like PK are impossible to replace.

    • HabsPooch says:

      Agree about Gionta. The only thing I question is how effective of a captain he really is. I think that gets over-played a bit.

    • CJ says:

      As much as some might disagree with you, I do agree about Gionta. If we sign him for three more years (I hope we don’t) we are blocking Andrighetto. Now, as others have suggested, perhaps it’s best to have a veteran team. Maybe we keep all our young players in Hamilton another 2-3 years. I personally don’t agree, but I’m not the GM. At various points I have read from multiple posters that we want to keep Murray, Weaver, Gionta and Markov. It seems as though the vast majority are in favor of cutting ties with Frankie and Parros. IMO, if we are committed to the veterans now, does that not indicate that we are trying to win now? Or, is it a case where we are sheltering our prospects and don’t want to integrate until they are over ripe? Seems to me to be conflicting mandates. At some point again, IMO, we need to graduate some of our younger players. I am not suggesting that we need to have a roster filled with 25 and under players as I know that won’t work. However, there is also a risk to holding onto the old guard too long. If we get bounced in the first round and resign essentially the same team, I will be confused as to the short and long term plan.

      Regarding PK, I want him on the team. No question about it. That said, he could be replaced. There are a number of players, or combinations of players that would replace PK. The last season’s version of PK would be much more difficult to replace than this season’s version, but both could be replaced.

      Just my two cents….

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Hey CJ, who would u rather have? PK or Karlson? I don’t think Ottawa would trade Karlson for anything. Do you?

        Shaker out!

        • CJ says:

          Wow, tough question. I think PK is the better all around player, but Karlsson is gifted offensively. He is the best offensive defenceman since Paul Coffey and a game breaker. They have a number of similarities, but also some significant differences. The deciding factor, IMO, would be contract. Karlsson is signed long term at $6.5 million. PK is rumoured by many here to be in the $8-$9 million range. Based on that, I would – gulp – say Karlsson.

          I would be interested to see them both under a coach like Babcock. I think they would both be much improved. Personally I don’t think MacLean is all he is cracked up to be. Therien is getting results with the system he uses, but I don’t think he is maximizing the talent he has. Not unlike a number of good teams, we are relying very heavily on strong goaltending. In the absence of strong goaltending we would not be a playoff team. On the other hand Detroit gets it done in the absence of a having a strong goaltender. Howard has been good, but not great.

          IMO, it’s like relying on putting in golf. I have played with some average players, who slap it around, but are awesome on the greens. It is the great equalizer. It doesn’t mean that they are good players, they are simply great putters. I sometimes wonder if Montreal has the team to survive if our goaltenders are less than excellent. Painfully, I think the answer is no.

          • jimmy shaker says:

            Very good analysis. Agree on all of it. I don’t know what to give PK. 7.5 over 8 years is where I would go. 8mill just seems crazy to me!

            Shaker out!

          • CJ says:

            Personally, as much as I recognize PK’s potential, it is a huge gamble giving him $8 million. I would shutter to think we lock into an 8 year deal at $8 million + a season and he doesn’t improve next season. Tyler Myers had me fooled, as Dion fooled the management team in Toronto. I am not suggesting that PK is going to sink to that depth, however I really wish he would have at least improved his consistency. Sadly, I fear that PK may not work well under Therien.

      • Casanova says:

        Maybe they want to go with the Red Wings model of letting the young guys develop in the minors… Do you like that approach?

        • CJ says:

          I think that works for Detroit. Again, Detroit has a major advantage in Holland and Babcock, who, IMO are better (perhaps that’s unfair – more experienced) than Bergevin and Therien.

          Many systems work. Boston and their youth and inexperience on defence has worked. Ottawa, with a very good defence core, very young, is not getting the results despite strong play. IMO, old players are the past practice. The future of professional sports is having young players integrated into the lineup and who can hit the ground running. The Seahawks in the NFL are a very good example. In a hard cap era, you can not have a team loaded with veterans, the same way you can not have a team loaded with rookies (although the Islanders are playing the best hockey of the season, however I digress). It’s all about systems and balance. IMO, despite our results this year, I still don’t know what our system is. Here we are at game 77 and our defence is held together with scotch tape and paper clips.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Detroit has had many Euros drafted in late rounds go to US college, and have more players in their system than other teams.. Euro players can go to the NCAA where CHL players can’t, the wings take advantage of that.. Take NyQuist for example, he didn’t have a pro contract until 3-4 years after he was drafted.. An interesting concept.. Draft a Swede, help him into college and evaluate him for another 2-4 years…

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  27. Mattyleg says:

    An awesome Leafs take on a very addictive game that I’ve been stuck on for the past two weeks:


    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  28. DipsyDoodler says:

    I really wish Detroit would finish 8th. They have a chance of beating the Bruins. The Jackets not so much.

    On the other hand, if Detroit goes on a tear and we finish 7th I won’t mind. Higher draft pick and I think the Pens are easier to beat than the Bolts right now. Subsequent rounds would be unchanged.

    Moving. Forward.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think it is dangerous for a team to ever start picking/choosing/wishing which opponent they get.

      In listening to players over the years, the 1st round is the hardest round to win. Both teams jacked up, etc… Habs in my opinion have just as good a chance with Tampa as Pitt or Boston, reality is they have to play well. Now it seems Boston brings that out in Montreal, well the Habs need to show they can get up for a series with Tampa.

    • HabsPooch says:

      I think the Jackets might have difficulty sealing the deal given their tough schedule and might allow the Leafs to sneak in. The Wings I believe have cemented their position and will be facing the Penguins in the first round.

  29. Phil C says:

    Of all the teams the Habs have played this year, I was the most impressed with San Jose. Well coached, and a nice combination of size, speed, skill, and team play. It looks like they will be matched up with LA in the first round. I watched some of the LA game last night and Gaborik and Kopitar were really clicking. Gaborik really gives their offense a boost if he stays healthy. That first round matchup will be the best if it happens.

    • CJ says:

      Good point. The most improved team, IMO, was Philly. They may not yet be in the same category as St. Louis, San Jose, Boston, Chicago or LA, but they are knocking on the door.

      • HabsPooch says:

        I just don’t think Mason can carry them deep in the playoffs. His rebound control is very questionable and he makes routines saves look awkward at times. Philly will never get it right in goal. The scary thing though is they almost won the Cup with Leighton a few years ago…go figure!

        • CJ says:

          I’m not sold on Mason either Pooch. This is probably the only reason I don’t have them a part of the upper echelon in the NHL. Other than goaltending, they are a very complete team right now. Again, IMO, they are a step below the top 5 teams, but they are getting close. Games against Boston and St. Louis proved that point this week.

  30. Mr_MacDougall says:

    RE Ovi talk from below..

    I don’t think he has an even strength goal since February… I’d never take him on my team.. Probably a worse contract than Clarkson IMO

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • shiram says:

      I don’t know, the Clarkson deal is structured in a way that even a buyout would be of little relief for the Loafs.
      24 millions out of his 36 millions contract are signing bonuses.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        I just mean that you can hide a contract like Clarkson.. Just need one entry level player i. Your top 6.. Ovi is a Sergie Berezin kinda player that scores way more.. He can’t pass, he can’t dig, he can carry the puck decent.. His saving grace is scoring goals. He will never be a winner because he makes far too much for a team to surround him.

        I don’t have Ovi in my top 20 forwards.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • shiram says:

          I’m not so sure Ovechkin is what the Habs need, but I know Clarkson and his contract are awful and would be awful here too.

          Ovie certainly has holes in his game, but goal scoring is the name of the game and he certainly can score.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Where would he rank for you? I know I’d take Logan Couture, Toews, Kane, Kopitar, Crosby, Malkin, Doughty, Weber, Keith, Price, Stamkos, MacKinnon, Karlson, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Hossa, Bergeron, Benn, Quick, Renne, N Backstrom (wsh), Thornton.. And many others over Ovi.. I think he’s the worst goal scorer I’ve ever watched… He doesn’t know how to play hockey, just score.

            Bure was a goal scorer that floated a bit, but when playoffs came around he remained a game changer, had a 200′ game.. This guy has been overblown from day 1.. Stamkos scores just as much and didn’t get a sniff of the hype Ovi got..
            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • habsguru says:

          agree, but even with a stacked olympic team around him, he failed. he is simply a one way player no matter who is around him to help.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You may be right MacDougall, but I would be curious to see Ovi on a different team before I write him off into David Clarkson territory. (Who did by the way score game winning goal to start the Leafs Huge Winning Streak).

      THe whole Washington team seems in a bad way…. desperate trade moves every season, massive coaching changes, just seems like a bad environment period that organization.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        I just think 10 million cap hit makes him terrible.. At 6-7 I’d take him in a heartbeat for the Powerplay alone, at least you could insulate him on a line with two defensive minded players at that price.. But man.. If he were a Hab he’d be booed off the ice many, many, many times IMO

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  31. Timo says:

    Kane is accused of assault – http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=448163

    Man, if anyone could benefit from Michael Therrien personal development program…

  32. montreal ace says:

    I don’t want to see Eller traded, especially considering his off year might be due to his playoff injury. I also think he has been moved around too much, but it was for the good of the team point wise. He is 24 has nearly 300 NHL games under his belt and is a -17 over these games. My hope is that he preforms well during the playoffs and is retained next year.

    • FormalWare says:

      ^^^ Voice of Reason.

      Eller may very well need a complete change of scenery, but he’s still too (potentially) valuable to trade for what might amount to little more than a bag of pucks.

      Treat him as a member of the Black Aces for the remainder of this season and playoffs. Put him in the lineup only if you (MT) feel he can help you win.

      Next year, let him know that he will have to show something a bit better in the preseason even to be assured of a place on the Habs, rather than the ‘Dogs. The idea is to do all you (MB & MT & rest of Habs/’Dogs staff) can to “press the reset button” on Eller’s development and on his career. After that – it’s all up to him.

      WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  33. Timo says:

    Tough day for Habs today… traveling from florida to ottawa. I hope there is no practice.

  34. jimmy shaker says:

    Even though the boys aren’t playing, it’s still a big night for viewing. We need calgary to help us out with tampa in regulation. C-bus to get 2 points anyway possible vs philly and of course the cubs to pound the piss out of the buds, literally and figuratively. Which will lead us into tomorrow night, where CBC will be showing the habs/sens game and where the boys need to come out and really handle these jabroni’s, which sets up for a great tilt the next night at home vs the wings who are on a role and will be welcoming back Pavel and Danny from the injured list. Should be a dandy!

    Budashe vs the sens
    Carey vs the wings.

    Shaker out!

  35. Mr_MacDougall says:

    People talking of Gionta replacements.. I’d keep him. He is a valuable two way player that is important to the PK. He plays responsible and rarely cause goals, can score 10-15 goals without PP time. Kassian can not come close to replacing what Gionta brings as posters below have suggested.

    UFA players I’d be interested in.. B Morrow to replace Prust (who will be hurt 60% of the time minimum) Jussi Jokkinen (very under rated Finnish two way player, and a lethal shootout weapon) Obviosly Vanek..

    If the team wants to get bigger, I’d consider moving Gallgher if a young player with size was coming back. I live Gallagher, but that would be an option I’d explore.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • jimmy shaker says:

      I didn’t want him back while he was a top 6, but since he’s in that 3rd line role, I think he is very serviceable there with a 3 year 3.25/per contract.

      Shaker out!

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        I wish he had a more physical Center than Briere.. But you have to work with what you got!

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • jimmy shaker says:

          That would be ideal, but I wish MT would give this guy more of a chance than 8-11 minutes of ice a night, and chucky as well for that matter.

          Shaker out!

        • HabsPooch says:

          Well see that’s the thing. Briere, Gionta, Desharnais, too many small forwards. A team like San Jose, LA, or Anaheim will feast on these types of players. Gionta needs to work his butt off every shift to have a chance of being effective given his size and age. Like any other player, Gionta has had his good moments but I’ve seen numerous times him being late on the back check and having his man score goals. The playoffs will tell all…

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Look closer at ANH.. They have 3 small forwards in their top 9.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Cogliano (spelling) Saku and the other guys name evades me.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • athanor says:

            Perreault or Palmieri?

          • HabsPooch says:

            Cogliano, Perreault and Koivu are all at 5″10. We have three forwards 5′ 9″ and under.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            So 5’10” is the benchmark? I’m not trying to start an argument.. But the Habs size thing has been overblown.. They do need to replace 1-2 of Gally, DD, Gionta, Briere to stack up against the bigger teams physically, but you don’t have to outhit teams to win..

            I think part of it is a “Habs Fan Complex”

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • HabsPooch says:

            Lol. 5′ 10″ is not the benchmark but imagine our small players are even smaller then their small players. Some by three inches!

            And exactly to your point, you have to get rid of 1-2 of those four under-sized players. DD you can’t touch now, Gallagher I wouldn’t touch because of all his intangibles and youth ( but would trade for a top six big physical scorer) so it would come down to Briere and/or Gionta.
            Sorry but I just don’t like a 35 year old 5′ 7″ Gionta shadowing a top line player that’s five inches and 30 lbs heavier than him. it won’t work in the playoffs.
            Just my thoughts…we’ll agree to disagree. I admire your loyalty to Gionta. He’s been a very respectable hockey player in his career and a champion. I just think it’s time to phase out a few players and add some sizeable wingers to the team to insulate our core.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I do not think the loss of Gionta would be devastating. But, how reliable are Prust and Moen? I think those two are an absolute waste.. They are top notch PK players that can not, and I’d bet will not be healthy for an extended period again. Gionta is a much more durable PK guy.. I suppose I think of a roster as Special teams first, then fill in the rest. There has never been a team miss the playoffs being top 8 in combined PK and PP. Also, in the playoffs the team that wins the special teams battle by 3+ goals wins near every time (Bruins are a huge exception).

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • HabsPooch says:

      I agree with regards to Gallagher. Might not be a popular choice because he is a fan favourite but I just think besides his effectiveness crashing the net and antagonizing opponents, he’s a little body that gets worn out too easily. He doesn’t have much of a shot and his defensive play is marginal at best.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        But he has value, a great attitude and nose for the net. The only reason I’d suggest that is because the return could be a top 6 player.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • HabsPooch says:

          Yes a top 6 player in return or a 2-3 defenceman in return. I’m not diminishing his value. The qualities he does bring have an impact on the rest of the players. His fearlessness doesn’t go unnoticed, However, there is a reason he was picked in the fifth round. If he doesn’t give his ALL on every shift he is not that effective. His individual skills are average. He gets worn down easy. Those are facts.

          • athanor says:

            You call it a fact, but….
            When has he shown that he gets worn down easily?

          • HabsPooch says:

            Watch how easily he gets tired after every shift. I’ve seen him live and seen the same thing. He gives his all every shift but those hard battles in front of the net wear him down. His skills are average. He’s a poor man’s Cammalleri. However his intangibles are what keeps in the top six.
            Don’t get me wrong. He’s a good player to have but if he netted us a 2-3 defenseman or a big physical top six player, the deal would be done.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I’d take Cammy over him in a heartbeat, nice comparison.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • toneez says:

      Mr_MacDougall , trading Gallagher is a non starter , players his size with the heart he has do not come around often and are way too valuable to any team , plus 19 goals in his 2nd season isn’t too shabby either with the minimal playing time he gets compared to others … I would rather have him , we drafted him we keep him , someone else Please …


      All Habs all the Time

      • Stimpy007 says:

        Not trading BGally, too much heart. Maybe in 7 years after he is torn down. He is exactly the type of player we want. Try and find the same heart in a bigger frame.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        I am a huge Gallagher fan too, he is on an entry level deal, is an excellent person (which counts for a lot as far as I’m concerned) and seems to be willing to do anything to win. With that said, wouldn’t opposing Gm’s see the same thing? So the simple fact that he is this valuable, and the Habs “need size” according to most, then he could be a part of a deal that could improve the Habs. I’m not suggesting giving him away, but the kid is FAR FROM UNTOUCHABLE.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  36. D Mex says:

    Question for WHL buffs :
    > Can anyone provide or direct me to background on the Prince Albert Raiders. I know where PA is and their website shows Cory Clouston and Dave Manson on the bench, but there is nothing about their prospects (who, how old, where from) etc.

    They called last night about my son, seems he’s on their list for the upcoming draft. I think this signals high(er) round potential pick that they would not want to lose, so I’d like to gather some independent info about who they are as a group and what their approach is etc.

    Merci à l’avance !

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  37. shiram says:

    On trade talks, they certainly are fun, but I feel like the playoffs will be where Bergevin evaluates what he has in place, and what he needs to change to keep improving.

    On another note, it feels like going through the motions now that the team has clinched, sure the games could mean home ice advantage, but it’s pretty much settled the Habs will face the Bolts.

    And I think Bergevin will have at least 2 rounds to evaluate his team.

  38. Mattyleg says:

    Going to be a strange hockeyless Thursday night.

    That being said, the four candidates up for election in my area are having an informal debate tonight at a café around the corner from my house.

    Going to go check that out and see what it offers.

    I’ll probably end up voting QS, seeing as how they are the only possible candidate to unseat the PQ candidate in my very separatist (yet also VERY socialist/anarchist) neighbourhood.

    Funny how Carole Poirier seems to have got heavier and heavier as the years have gone by with her in l’Assemblée Nationale… if you wrote it or put it in a film, people would say you were going to heavy on the symbolism…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  39. Hobie Hansen says:

    Great HIO show Stu! I listen to TSN 690 to get my Habs fix, watch 24CH on occasion but having 15 minutes of solid Habs talk from three guys who know the team very well is awesome.

  40. Jimmy9Toes says:

    Someone posted on this thread about trading Eller to the Canucks for Kassian. Can’t see the Canucks doing it straight up, have to be other players or picks involved. I would like to see Eller + our second for Matt Martin + the Isles second.

    • HabsPooch says:

      ProHabs posted it last night and I suggested it as well a while back.
      We don’t have a second round pick to give (see Vanek trade). I like Matt Martin too but Kassian shoots right and could be the guy that takes over Gionta’s spot scoring-wise but with much-needed size and some craziness too.
      We already have an abundance of left wingers.

      • Jimmy9Toes says:

        Okay, wasn’t really into the righty, lefty thing. I watched a bunch of his fights and he is the kind of player we need. I would take either one on the Habs, as I fear Larry’s time is over this summer. Hopefully he isn’t traded for a pick.

        • HabsPooch says:

          If Gionta were not to be re-signed, which I hope is the case, Kassian who is naturally a right winger would fill in his spot perfectly as he can score goals too.. I like Matt Martin too as I was hoping they would have gone after him a few years ago. Although a Martin, White, Weisse line sounds like a great fourth line!

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Gionta absolutely should be resigned as our 3rd line RW. He is an awesome PK guy that will score 12+ goals with no PP time.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • HabsPooch says:

            I can see what you’re saying but I really think we still need to address the size issue on the wings…especially right wing. Let’s see how effective Gionta will be in the playoffs when things start to get really physical and nasty. It will be Bergevin’s homework to find us a big and physical right winger in the off-season…especially if we lose Vanek.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Kasian hasn’t exactly been setting the league on fire offensively either though

    • CJ says:

      I like Matt Martin, and watch him play quite often, but that is a major step down. IMO, if we end up getting Martin for Eller in what amounts to a straight up deal, we will have really moved an asset at his lowest possible point. Martin is not unlike Kyle Clifford in LA, Jones in Edmonton or Colin Greening in Ottawa. Some of those players would be good fits, but they are the kind of guys you try and land in a deal involving Bourque. If Eller’s value is that low, than I suggest keeping him and trying to build some value back next year. If we are committed to trading him, then unload him in November when his value will hopefully be much higher than it is today.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Hey CJ! Things are about to get more interesting in the Flames organization. Abbotsford heat have signed Trevor Gillies.

      • HabsPooch says:

        I’m not sure Eller will ever be the player we hoped for. He’s had four full seasons to figure it out and honestly I think his hockey IQ is very low. Kassian would be the type of player we need to replace Gionta. I think even with Eller maximizing his potential (60 points at best) it would still be a good trade for the Habs.
        As for Martin, I agree I’d rather hold on to Eller. But a Martin, White, Weisse line would be something.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Kassian could not replace Gionta.. Do you watch Nucks games? He has a lower Hockey IQ than Eller, can not PK and has no anticipation.. Keep Gionta..

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • HabsPooch says:

            I wouldn’t necessarily want Kassian for his PK but I would want his 20 goals and physical play along the boards as well as his nastiness.. I believe Weisse can fill Gionta’s role with the PK next year. He’s bigger, and faster than Gionta and younger!

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            The Devil you know is better then the Devil you don’t.. I’m a Gionta fan.. He seems to score series changing goals his entire career.. Maybe Weiss is great, I’ll leave it to you as I’ve not paid too much attention to him.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t see the Canucks even looking to move Kassian, he is young, big and has shown flashes of talent. That 4 assist game a while back showed it. They gave up a good young player in Hodgson to get him, he is a building block for them. It also would appear Kesler wants out, and that may happen this offseason. Even more reason Vancouver doesn’t look to trade Kassian. Knock their socks off with an offer and sure they will think about it. But I think we would over pay.

      • HabsPooch says:

        I think you’re right. If I’m Vancouver I’m keeping Kassian. You don’t find packages like that often in the NHL. He’s only 23 and going to get better too.

    • Pieboy says:

      I doubt the Canucks would trade Kassian. As others have said, Kassian recently has begun showing that he might be a keeper after all: Hard hitting forward, nasty, creates trouble along the boards, hard to move in front of the net, and maybe he can score. Canucks trading Schneider to draft Bo Horvath last year was another sign that this is exactly the type of player with which they want to rebuild. Trading Kassian would also be an admission that the trade for Cody Hodgins was a mistake.

      As others have said, I also don’t think you trade Eller when his value is low. He’ll be better than he has played recently.

    • Habitforming says:

      The Isles already have our second now that we have made the playoffs. (Part of the Vanek deal)

  41. Storman says:

    ESPN NHL Power Rankings #6 Canadiens, #30 Leafs
    TSN NHL Power rankings #10 Canadiens, #23 Leafs

  42. HabsPooch says:

    We know Tampa’s top pairing d will be focused on the Desharnais line in the playoffs. We’re going to need secondary scoring to keep their defence honest. Thoughts on who you think will surprise us for the Habs or who you expect to have a good playoffs.
    I’m thinking Galchenyuk will be the guy. He hasn’t had a great season…as a matter of fact I think he’s regressed..but i think this being a whole new season, he’s going to shine for us. Just a hunch…

  43. Caesar says:


    Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
    Weight 84 kg (185 lb; 13 st 3 lb)


    Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
    Weight 176 lb (80 kg; 12 st 8 lb

    Height: 178 cm / 5’10” Weight: 79 kg / 174 lbs

    hopefully Reway compares well with these guys. They are not too small for Detroit.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Sure puts things in perspective, thanks Caesar. Unfortunately we have a few of those players. I think by the time Reway is ready for NHL, Gionta is no longer in our lineup, Frankie must forsure be gone by then and DD will have grown at least 4″. 😉

    • CJ says:

      I’ve seen Reway live this season on multiple occasions. There is no way he weighs 175lbs, or is 5’10”. He has an unbelievable skill set, but he is SMALL. Standing beside Poirier, he looks very tiny. Honestly, his skates appear to be size 6 or 7.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Perhaps our next Mats Naslund!

        • CJ says:

          Could be. So hard to say. I’ve seen so many super talented players go through this area (Ottawa / Gatineau) who never make it. He could be Corey Locke or he could be Claude Giroux. He makes passes and plays that I have not seen in a very long time. I might hold a somewhat slanted opinion as I think he has put up a minimum of 3 points or more every time I’ve seen him play. The last three games I’ve seen live he had 5, 4 and 4 points. It’s not just the points though. The kid has an amazing hockey IQ. In the same period he is on defence, the wing and at centre. He comes into both ends of the bench and out the other. It really is amazing to watch.

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      That is encouraging eh? Reway appears to have the puck skills…

      24 cups and counting….

  44. naweed235 says:

    We usually struggle against 2 types of teams:
    1) Teams that fore check hard and put constant pressure on our D-men
    2) Teams with hot goalies

    Guess what? Tampa is one of (If not the best) in both of those categories. This might be the worst 1st round match up we could’ve possibly got.
    P.S. I still think we’ll win

    • JF says:

      Agree that Tampa is a bad match up. I think we’d have a better chance against Pittsburgh or even Boston. We have to put a lot of pressure on Bishop, get him moving from side to side, pounce on rebounds, etc. Gallagher’s goal in the last game is the kind we’ll have to be looking to score, or the two goals Patch scored against Florida, tap-ins off great passes.

      I don’t feel optimistic that we’ll win. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Tampa won in six, with at least one of the games being a shutout.

  45. Mattyleg says:

    Oh man, this was great last night:
    Another Ovechkin backchecking moment for the ages!


    Blog is okay, but the vid is priceless.
    Right up there with the ‘controller disconnected’ one of Ovie doing the same thing…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      Ovie’s staying in the neutral zone thinking there might be a quick outlet pass for him to break away…
      But that’s not a good team concept.
      Leaves the D to the other guys.
      Have to wonder how his team mates feel about him?

    • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

      Ha! No wonder his +/- sucks so hard!

      • Luke says:

        I’m not much of a +/- fan, as so many goofy things can get you a plus or a minus you didn’t deserve, but I think if your +/- is past the 10 mark (+10 or -10) there is some truth to the number.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Ovie has only had 3 seasons (including this one) where he finished a minus. He has his shortfalls, but the problems in Washington I think are much deeper than just Ovie backchecking.

          I think the problem may be tied to Ovie, in that the owner hitched everything to him, too soon. BUt I put more of this on the owner and how GM etc…. have developed this whole scenario.

          I would take Ovie on my team….

          • shiram says:

            Have to wonder if he can change his game and tendencies though.

            You think those lapse in intensity and back checking would fly with Therrien?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I see your point, I don’t recall seeing him getting away with that during Hunter’s time as Head Coach, at least not in playoffs.

            Washington has many deficient players on defence as well.

            I don’t see him ever being traded, he is the face of the franchise, massive contract etc….

            I think the Capitals will eventually need to replace McPhee, whether his fault or not, a clean slate may be needed there. BUt given they are in our conference, I am happy to watch that team underachieve.

    • New says:

      Ovechkin sure can score. Karlsson can as well. Man, in a run and gun league those guys would shine. But their teams would still flutter about. Guys with big shots, guys that the crowd can see, they get a lot of media and fan attention. They’re like goalies. Team works as hard as possible to keep the shots against low percentage and the goalie is “hot”. Goalie plays superhuman but there are just too many high percentage opportunities, he collapsed.

      Teams win stuff. Individuals get consolation awards. Ovie might win a cup someday but it will be as an add on not an essential piece.

  46. Luke says:

    Next weeks Habs games:
    Wednesday’s Chicago game is National on TSN.
    Islanders Friday. Rangers Saturday.

    Game of Thrones starts up again this Sunday.
    Cable package will be re-jigged, 2 Habs games missed.

    This is under the assumption that the Habs will be CBC’s (or someone’s) primary 1st round playoff broadcast.

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