‘Knuckles’ Nilan defines ‘The Code’ on this week’s HI/O Show

Former Canadien Chris (Knuckles) Nilan is back as the guest on this week’s HI/O Show, joining columnist Dave Stubbs and sports editor/host Stu Cowan

Nilan, who knows a thing or two about dropping the gloves, weighs in on a couple of current enforcers and answers the questions: should the Canadiens’ George Parros retire after suffering his second concussion this season, and was the 15-game suspension given to the Boston Bruins’ Shawn Thornton for his attack on Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik too little or too much?

Nilan also gives his opinion on whether Orpik should have dropped the gloves and willingly fought Thornton and gives his own definition of “The Code”.

The Canadiens’ Daniel Brière only got 4:27 of ice time in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes and the question is asked if the 36-year-old is finished and whether it’s time for GM Marc Bergevin to make another move.

Stubbs tells a story about speaking with former Canadiens captain Yvan Cournoyer recently, who told Stubbs what he thinks the problem is with this year’s team, and Nilan talks about former teammate Mats Naslund, the last Hab to finish in the top 10 in NHL scoring way back in 1985-86 — a season that ended with a Stanley Cup parade in Montreal.

Coach Michel Therrien said this week that his team was tired and “there’s no more juice” after losing to the Florida Panthers on Sunday.

The HI/O panel asks: What happened to “No Excuses”?

You can watch a new HI/O Show every week.

Next week’s special holiday edition of the HI/O Show will feature Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated and TSN as the guest.

(Photo Sterling Agres/HIO Show)

289 Comments

  1. Ian Cobb says:

    Bob Lemieux.
    I will be talking to Chris Nilan in a couple days. I will try to get him to meet you Bob. When you get to Montreal in a couple weeks.

  2. CH Marshall says:

    Wonder if management ihas noticed that nobody is buying Briere jerseys these days lol

  3. Hobie Hansen says:

    Hockey is like driving a car. You either except the fact that there are car accidents and people are killed and injured or you don’t. You accept the fact you are taking a risk each time you get behind the wheel or put on skates or you don’t.

    If you don’t want concussions, remove hitting and fighting to reduce the risk. If you don’t want to risk being injured or killed behind the wheel of a car, walk to take the bus.

    There is no way possible to reduce concussions by telling people what way they can hit and what way they can’t. Or by giving out massive suspensions. You either remove hitting or keep it.

    • scuba says:

      By this logic, introducing seatbelts and air bags was a waist of time.

    • Cal says:

      Sorry, Hobie. “Charging” has been on the books for decades. You hit to take the puck off the player, not to injure or maim him.
      The other issue lately has been the “finishing your check” nonsense, even if it up to 3 seconds after the player has made the pass. A player without the puck should not be body checked nor interfered with, period.

  4. olegpetrov says:

    There are a few posts here about the hitting and how, to reduce concussions, they need to eliminate hitting (paraphrasing a little…obviously).

    I disagree with this. The level of hitting has increased exponentially over the last 10 years. In my opinion (which is obviously the best one!), there is a DIRECT correlation with the padding. I’ll use Lucic as an example. That guy wears the SAME kind of shoulder pads that NFL/CFL players wear. It’s kevlar. Of course players will hit harder when they don’t have to worry about hurting themselves. Take away that kevlar padding and you will see a decrease in concussions because guys won’t be going full speed at other guys to hit them for fear of injuring their own shoulders/back/arms.

    Take the kevlar padding out and go back to what we used to wear when we played hockey….just padding.

    Habs fan…Nuff said

  5. Propwash says:

    Well lookie here, Briere a healthy scratch. Let’s see how this pans out.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  6. Timo says:

    So, who is better – Halak or Price?

  7. mdp2011 says:

    John Bartlett ‏@BartsBytes 2m
    #Habs Daniel Briere is a healthy scratch tonight. Ryan White is in. #habson690

  8. Hobie Hansen says:

    It’s very simple. There has been hitting, fighting and concussions in the NHL for a 100 years. You either shut up and deal with it or completely remove hitting and fighting from the game to prevent concussions. There is no in between.

    I’d vote for shut up and deal with it :-).

    • olegpetrov says:

      Not sure if you are serious or not but, if you are, it’s pretty easy to say when you aren’t receiving the concussions and/or being hit in the face. How about you go on the ice, get hit illegally, get a concussion and have to go through what these guys are going through.

      Habs fan…Nuff said

    • shiram says:

      Sucks to hear that stuff can’t be improved at all.
      No grey zones here…

    • frontenac1 says:

      So true amigo. Some posters think it is a recent phenomena. NHL hockey is a rough, brutal,and wonderfully Fast and skilled game. The way it has always been and the way it always will be. Saludos!

    • Cal says:

      145lb players a century ago.
      245lb players today.
      You don’t have to remove hitting from the game. Like football, the league has to impose limits to prevent serious injuries.
      Fighting has to go, though. It does nothing to enhance the game. In fact, it takes away from it, considering many fights are staged or for no reason at all.

  9. krob1000 says:

    I think everyone looks at the PItts model of Crosby, Malkin Staal (though not there anymore)…my point is if you have stellar d and goaltending then the role of the top 2 centers can be spread amongst the top 3. Also important are the special teams, the two way play,etc. IF you look at past cup winners and finalists many did so with different makeups.
    Boston, St Louis, Anaheim, Edmonton finals team, Devils teams, Canucks (Kesler not a pt machine), LA…Richards was not used in a scoring role as much as a two way guy and had 44 pts year they won, Flames 04.

    All of these teams can be dissected and looked at and their 2nd and/or 3rd line centers are not what is considered “elite” on here. Those teams succeeded with depth, strong D and goaltending. HAbs have two of the top 15 d in the league and PRice this season has been all world. The team also has a good mix and their only real weakness is size/physicality amongst top players. I personally believe center is one of the teams biggest strengths because of their depth…I think the wingers and especially the right side have been underperforming.

  10. shiram says:

    On protecting players, and the exam after a possible concussion.

    “Holmgren said doctors examined Schenn in the dressing room and did not administer a concussion test based on their exam and how Schenn said he was feeling. ”
    http://www.csnphilly.com/hockey-philadelphia-flyers/holmgren-schenn-wilson-share-blame-hit

    And here Scheen says he does not remember the hit at all.
    http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2013/12/19/5227614/brayden-schenn-injury-concussion-nhl

    sounds like a concussion to me….

  11. Bash says:

    On Eller…

    Very strong on the puck with a developing physical game. He can stickhandle in traffic and passes well but his timing is often off – he holds the puck a little too long, not long enough etc.

    As his confidence builds he will continue to improve and he will become a solid #2 centre with ideal skills for playoff competition.

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

    • bwoar says:

      Can’t see his offensive game rounding out under the current coach, but I agree that he’s got the tools to be an effective playoff player.

      “thoroughbred”

  12. Maritime Ronn says:

    krob1000 asks:
    “… I wonder how many Points Crosby would have if they played him wth Neal and Malkin all year? they stick him with Kunitz and Dupuis?”
    ——-
    Of Crosby’s 19 goals and 30 assists this year, 6 goals and 13 assists have been scored on the Power Play.
    That equates to 39% of his total points.

    On the Pens PP, Crosby plays with Malkin and Kunitz for the most part along with Neal and Jokinen.

    http://www.leftwinglock.com/line-combinations/index.php?season=2013&team=PIT&strength=PP&playertype=F&gametype=ALL

    • DickandDanny says:

      krob1000 comments are based on what exactly? When the stats clearly don’t add up in his favor. Thanks for showing the true stats.

      “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

      • krob1000 says:

        so..wait he can play with guys other than Kunitz..I thought he was “hard to play with”. IF he is putting up those points with those guys than how many would he have with Malkin and Neal all year at 5 on 5 too…thanks guys for supprting what I originally wrote. This place sometimes feels like the twilight zone…good thing I enjoy that stuff.
        So what we have concluded is that Crosby can play withthose guys but their coach opts only for him too on pp’s(hmmm I wonder if I wrote that somehwere here today). The point was Kuntiz’s stats and saying that Eller or anyone who is a 40 point guy could be more with Corsby..not the other way around.
        Was never knocking Crosby…or RIchards…in fact the opposite..I must learn to communicate better because something appears to be lost in translation? Point was EEller is good….his points do not tell the whole story (although they do say he is 2nd best scoring center on team 2 seasons ina row so far despite other role). Where is this other stuff coming from…is this all just Lars Eller quality stickhandling (don’t worry that would be a compliment…he is a great stickhandler)

        So As I originally wrote…PItts separates their talents and spreads them out…difference is they load the pp….MT rolls lines as they play at 5 on 5 for his pp’s.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        I wasn’t trying to dump on poster krob.
        Sometimes stuff in the bigger picture gets lost.

        • krob1000 says:

          Think things have veered way off course…if posts aren’t read in order than mine don’t make any sense….not dumping on Richards in fact oppositie. Same with Crosby.

          Eller is good at what he does…best comparable is probably Jordan Staal but I think if Eller in a 2nd slot could outscore Staal..do I care if he does? nope…not if team is faring well. I think Richards is a prime example of the difference in roles…when given a primary scoring role and be on top lineand top situations he was a 70 pt guy…when asked to paly a 200ft game he does that well too….this is what I think Eller is like. Easiest example ofr HAbs to process is one that is always given…a bigger version of Pleks. Pleks when asked to be offensvie pushed a pt per game..when given diff’t roles is a 50-65 pt guy and great all ove rthe ice…no matter how you slice it…Eller is a good player…despite what label he is given by fans…the role that matters is what he is given…and he has been great in every role for 2 years now.

  13. SteverenO says:

    Offensive production stats, going into tonight’s game, here is the breakdown of offensive production.

    For each player I list the Even Strength TOI (minutes) the number of Goals Scored by the team while the player was on the ice and the average minutes per goal for (MpGF).

    Overall the Canadiens have played 1,765 minutes of even strength hockey this season and they have scored 55 even strength goals, an average of 32 Minutes per (ES) Goal For.

    Forwards:

    Plekanec: 534 mins / 22 Goals / 24 MpGF
    Gallagher: 474 mins/ 18 Goals/ 26 MpGF
    Bournival: 316 mins/ 12 Goals/ 26 MpGF
    Eller: 505 mins / 19 Goals / 27 MpGF
    Galchenyuk; 467 mins / 17 Goals/ 27 MpGF
    Pacioretty: 382 mins / 14 Goals / 27 MpGF
    Gionta; 532 mins / 19 Goals / 28 MpGF
    Briere: 281 mins/ 10 Goals / 28 MpGF
    Prust: 268 mins / 9 Goals / 30 MpGF
    White 224 mins / 7 Goals / 32 MpGF
    Moen 295 mins / 8 Goals / 37 MpGF
    Desharnais 469 mins / 12 Goals/ 39 MpGF
    Bourque: 333 mins / 8 Goals / 42 MpGF

    Defensemen:

    Markov: 655 mins / 34 Goals/ 20 MpGF
    Subban: 719 mins / 34 Goals/ 21 MpGF
    Gorges: 638 mins / 24 Goals / 27 MpGF
    Diaz: 546 mins / 15 Goals / 36 MpGF
    Emelin: 268 mins / 6 Goals / 45 MpGF
    Bouillon: 388 mins/ 5 Goals / 78 MpGF
    Murray: 203 mins / ZERO / 203 MpGF ******

    I hope that all the “Briere bashers” will notice that he has NOT been the cause for any scoring problems that the team is having,in fact he is tied for 7th among Habs forwards despite never having been part of a set line, and often playing only a handful of minutes per game.

    If the objective is to score more even strength goals, the team will have to get more production from their bottom defense pairing and from DD and Bourque.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • B says:

      What are the average minutes per goal against (MpGA)? They have 55 even strength goals against so far. That’s the same number of goals for and against at even strength, although they are -3 5-on-5 and +3 4-on-4.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • bwoar says:

      My only problem with Briere is that he isn’t even trying out there. Sure, he’s picking up a few points *when he’s on* but he rarely turns it on. The real reason I’ll bash him is for that – it’s a terrible example from someone who can and should be a veteran leader showing the kids how to win. That sweet contract of his should compel him to lead by example on the ice, but he’s far from doing that.

      The hope, beyond hope, is that he’s saving it up for the playoffs, but if that’s the case I hope Galchenyuk & Co. are taking notes from someone else.

      “thoroughbred”

  14. Garbo says:

    I remember at the beginning of the year people here ranting about how Lars will be a top 10 scorer in the league. That is ridiculous. He is nowhere near that.

    I really like him and like his game, but right now he’s a third line center and nothing more. I hope he can be more, but he’s been in a funk since the EGG line broke up, while the other members of the EGG line have still managed to excel. I think that speaks a lot about what value Eller brought to his wingers as opposed to vice versa.

    • DickandDanny says:

      ” but right now he’s a third line center and nothing more.”

      Couldn’t agree more. My point earlier is if we over rate our talent we won’t win a Cup. It wasn’t meant to be a slight against Eller, but more to show if we want to be an elite team in this league we can’t have a number three center as our number one or two. I think he could get to number two if he improves in the following areas; improves his consistency, his lack of scoring touch improves, his passing ability improves, his continual turnovers (#1 on team I believe) decreases and his average hands improve. Those things have all added up to reduce his overall potential level.

      “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

      • bwoar says:

        Well said. He’s a good 3rd centre but very overrated here. Not a 5M centre in my books, but maybe with the cap going up that’s going to change.

        One thing: he handles the puck well, I think the turnovers are due to the fact that he does most of the lugging on his line. Turnover stats are misleading at best; the most busy puck handlers are naturally going to turn the puck over more.

        “thoroughbred”

  15. krob1000 says:

    HAbs rule you posted this

    In fairness being a 2nd line centre on this team right now does not mean he will be a 2nd line centre for his whole career. He’s a very good 2-way centre, who will likely max out at 20-25 goals. If that’s the best option for our 2nd line in 2-3 years, fine, but on a contender, I think he’s a 3rd line centre.

    This is not true…teams have different makeups…who were the Devils centers? Can eller be as good as Mike Richards? I think so. Who was Anaheims second line center when they won the cup? who was their 3rd? Chicago right now is using Patrick Sharp as their second line center. Whoare St Louis’s centers? Who is Bostons “first line center”? Teams are all built differently and holding everyone to the Pittsburgh standard is not really fair.

    • DickandDanny says:

      Mike Richards the morning talk show host ? Maybe Eller can be as good as him. Mike Richards, the Stanley Cup Winning Hockey player, and Olympic Gold Medal winner. I think not.

      “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

      • krob1000 says:

        No you have the right Mike Richards but stats are everything right? Well that Mike Richards got 18 goals and 26 assists and totalled 44 poitns in 74 games the year the Kings won the cup…but he isn’t a good player right? or wait you said he is…which is it? I thought becuase Eller doesn’t score like the “elite” centers he is no good? You said your tv must be out of focus? was it out of focus when you watched Richrads win his cup or was your profile of a good hockey player different back then?

        • DickandDanny says:

          You are the one who compared Eller to Richards, and hoped that one day Eller could be like him. Now your cutting down Richards? Make up your mind. The Kings are a low scoring grinding team and that is what Mike Richards does as well as anyone in the League. That is also why they selected him for the Olympic team to play 4th line minutes. Eller is nothing like Mike Richards.

          “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

          • krob1000 says:

            Lars Eller has laid several players out in recent weaks, is a beast onthe boards….AND puts up respectable points. When Richards was given the lead offensive role he used to put up points….he can do it..he is a great palyera nd one that any team would want. When asked to grind it out he is succeeding in that orle…too….sounds a lot like Lars…only difference is he has yet to be given a lead offensive role. saying he did with two kids without a full season under the belt does not qualify. Patches is the teams best goalscorer and if you put Eller with Gallagher and Patches for a season…or later on with Galchenyuk…you just may end up buying me that steak dinner. Until then Eller’s points are irrelevant becuase he contributes in all 3 zones. But …he is still scoring at the rate of the teams second best center , did last year and so far is this year.

        • DickandDanny says:

          Oh, and BTW Mike Richards scored 75, 80, 62 and 66 points with a more offensive minded Flyer team. Lofty heights that Mr Eller will never reach on this team, or any other.

          “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

          • krob1000 says:

            exaclty my point…how many points would eller score if given a 40 goal guy like Carter and a lead offensive role…you are talking in circles and have yet to say antyhing that does not support everything I have written. Your view that Eller is not a good centerman has been squashed by his play …not by what I write…you asked if your tv was out of focus…I tried to help you out in time for Christmas…amybe someone will ante up and bring you some HD? That was how this started but how any HAb Fan can not like a player like Lars Eller is beyond me. I have to ask althogh I am afriad to…what do you think of Pleks?

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I just see Eller as more of a 3rd line guy for his defensive responsibilities. You have a point though….if he can score 25, that’s good production for a 2nd line centre.

      I hope he can do that.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  16. Timo says:

    Re Briere… was listening to an exchange between 4 RDS panelists last night. They were essentially saying that Bergevin probably signed Briere more for marketing than hockey skills (Duh!) and that Therrien doesn’t necessarily want to have Briere on the team. Interesting, if that’s indeed the case.

    • boing007 says:

      MB must have been smoking some of that funny black stuff before he decided to sign Briere. A pipe dream that went up in a puff of smoke.

      Richard R

    • Garbo says:

      If that was the case, I would expect he would have been benched more often.

      • Timo says:

        They brought up the fact that when Desharnais was struggling he got all he help from Therrien. Not the case with Briere. So they figure that Therrien didn’t want Briere on the team to begin with. I don’t know. It’s all speculation. Who the f knows what really happened.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Do the Habs really need any marketing ploys though? Are they really going to sell more hockey tickets or create more hockey fans in Quebec? I’d say that market is maxed out.

      I think he signed Briere because he wanted to sign an attacking player and DB was all that was available. It’s a bizarre choice and a clear misstep but it’s nothing more sinister than that. The reason he doesn’t play much is he’s no good anymore.

    • olegpetrov says:

      I unfortunately agree that this is probably the case. The contract value and timeframe is ludicrous for a guy who hasn’t produced in ages. Unfortunately though, the media and city have an orgasm when Quebecois players are introduced to the team.

      Habs fan…Nuff said

  17. frontenac1 says:

    Danny Boy on 4th Line? Fer Chissakes,sit him and play Whitey or call up Dumont! Watch what Gabby did to J.C. Lipon last week. Saludos!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBdLPrWHeig

  18. Luke says:

    Trade Proposal:

    The Entire Montreal Canadiens roster + a 3rd round pick

    for The Entire St. Louis Blues roster.

    (Or change the 3rd to a 2nd, and trade for the Kings).

    Do it MB.

    Man, fixing this team was so easy.

  19. boing007 says:

    What happened to straight money trades? We will give you x amount of dollars for one of your players? No exchanging of prospects, etc.

    Richard R

  20. krob1000 says:

    I wonder how many Points Crosby would have if they played him wth Neal and Malkin all year? they stick him with Kunitz and Dupuis?
    Why does Detroit not always play Zetterberg with Datsyuk?
    Kane and Toews don’t play with Hossa all the time and get Saad?
    Kopitar gets Brown and WIlliams? why does RIchards get Carter?

    Has anyone asked these coaches why they are out to get these star players and don’t play their top 3 players together all of the time? Are they looking out for these players or the team? Could these players not be used better and have better stats? where are their agents?

    • Habsrule1 says:

      But poor Eller….can’t seem to catch a break.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      If we’re comparing Desharnais’ offensive numbers vs Eller’s. Linemates, PP time, etc. play a factor…and Desharnais is still behind….

      ———————————

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

      • krob1000 says:

        NOPt comparing anything like that…saying that teams spread out their weapons….people become fans of individual players and worry more about them than team results. Even the best teams spread things out even with the best palyers in the world….there is nothing wrong with having Elelr adn Dd where they are for now. Once better options come along then fine dow aht you ave to do…but for now let’s enjoy the depth. Eller desptite all of that still outscored DD last year and so far this year. DOes it matter though? Even when not scoring Eller is still valuable and a very good player.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          I can appreciate distributing the talent. I just think Desharnais with our two best wingers is wasting their talent, because 5 on 5 they haven’t been impressive and if we’re loading that much talent on 1 line I expect them to be dominant.

          ———————————

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

    • DickandDanny says:

      Kunitz has 35pts and is 11th in league scoring. And, Crosby is very tough to play with apparently, according to the TSN panel of experts, and Kunitz has been the perfect fit for him. You have to play, score, and win, on the ice not on paper.

      “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

      • krob1000 says:

        lol…..how many points would Kunitz have playing with DD, Eller or PLeks? Malkin has played just fine with Crosby over the years when they need him too…late in periods,when down, on pp’s,etc. The point is they spread it out…as do the HAbs but if you trulty believe Eller is not a good hockey player all I can show will not help you.
        When Kunitz was Eller’s age he played in the AHl…he didn’t score his first NHl goal until he was 26 years old. When he was 27 he had his best Crosbyless season…60 pts.

    • SteverenO says:

      @Krob;
      Great points; that is exactly why I only pay attention to MpGF and MpGA. I don’t care, and I don’t believe that the coach should care WHO scores the goals and who gets the assists . The ONLY two objectives that a line has when going on the ice for a shift are A) to score a goal, and B) to NOT allow the other team to score.

      As one of the greatest coaches in basketball history once said: “it’s amazing just how much a team can achieve if noone cares about who gets the credit.

      regards,

      Steve O.

  21. habs-fan-84 says:

    A win tonight should tell the league we’re for real.

  22. adamkennelly says:

    first HIO segment I’ve bothered watching. I’m impressed w/ Nilan – he’s getting good at this talking stuff…

  23. DickandDanny says:

    I am reading with almost complete astonishment comments such as these about Lars Eller; “Eller is a great player, he has size and skill, he gets better each game, he’s the complete package.” I must be watching from a different angle, maybe my screen is out of focus. Are you kidding me. This guy is as spotty as a leopard. He has the worst hands in the league. He is the cause of more turn overs than Pillsbury. He couldn’t make a pass if his life depended on it. Until we stop over rating our players we won’t win a Cup. Simple as that. He’s a very good third line center who will take the body, is ok at face-offs, and effective on the penalty kill. Offensive threat, I think not.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      I guess your screen is out of focus.

      • DickandDanny says:

        Based on what? 17 pts in 36 games. Provide some rationale for your comment. If that is a first or second line center stats then were in trouble. Compare Eller’s stats with a team who has two ‘elite’ centers: Crosby 49 pts, Malkin 41 pts. Now compare again with a team that is presently out of the play-offs: Spezza 28pts, Turris 27pts. Do your homework before you make ludicrous comments. Eller is comfortably a third line center.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

        • Habsrule1 says:

          But he doesn’t get to play with the best players on the team all the time. You can’t expect the guy to be good without playing with good players, can you? I mean Turris plays with Milan Michalek & Jason Spezza…and that superstar Mika Zibanejad sometimes.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • krob1000 says:

          well…he is the second leading scorer for centres on the tam is that rationale enough? he is the 5th leading forward scorer on the team..does that help? Last yea rmay make it easier…he was the 33rd leading forward on the team….and once again 2nd center in team scoring again behind Pleks. COmparing anyone to Malkin?Cros is ridiculous. Are you not seeing that Montreal is spreading out their offense…that is why they are winning…re Eler having no hands…until Glachenyuk Eller was the best stickhandler on the team. Seriously…RDS does have high def.

          • DickandDanny says:

            Then we are a very poor team for comparison sake. I provided an elite team and an average team for comparison, not just the Pens, but perhaps you over looked that on purpose. Eller got first line minutes for a almost a third of the season playing with Galchenyuk and Gallagher. He didn’t produce. Simple as that. All your argument tells me is that we don’t have very good players for him to play with.

            “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          Your initial comments are way off base:

          “He has the worst hands in the league. He is the cause of more turn overs than Pillsbury. He couldn’t make a pass if his life depended on it.”

          Look, I don’t think anyone is rating Lars a superstar. Let’s drop the hyperbole, he is a relatively young and talented two-way center who will probably pot you 20-25 goals per year (and there’s nothing wrong with that). He has quick movements down low and a decent set of hands. To me he is the perfect 2nd or 3rd line center. Nothing more, nothing less.

          • DickandDanny says:

            Yup, perfect 3’rd line center. That’s my point. Quit trying to make him out to be the next Pete Mahovolich, because he isn’t in that league. The comments about his numerous turnovers and his hands of stone are taken directly from the stats supplied by the experts who analyse the games, and can be viewed first hand any night the habs are on. Try watching and listening.

            “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I agree with you to an extent. I think he is a good player with size & skill. I doubt he’ll ever be a star in this league, but he can be a very good 3rd line centre. Think about Guy Carbonneau. Guy was a great defensive player but also had the smarts to score in & around 20 goals a few times.
      Maybe Eller is more than that, but I’d be happy if he scored 20 and was only half the defensive player Guy was.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • DickandDanny says:

        I think you agree with me completely. He is a good third line center as you and I have pointed out.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

        • krob1000 says:

          then why does he keep being the second leading scorer among centers on the team? despite being used in a diff’t role? The bottom line is as long as the team is doing well who cares…..but he is a very good palyer and only appears to be trending upward.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            In fairness being a 2nd line centre on this team right now does not mean he will be a 2nd line centre for his whole career. He’s a very good 2-way centre, who will likely max out at 20-25 goals. If that’s the best option for our 2nd line in 2-3 years, fine, but on a contender, I think he’s a 3rd line centre.

            Go Habs Go!!

            “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

          • DickandDanny says:

            I hope your right but given the number of opportunities he has been given I don’t project him getting any better than where he is presently. Yes, plenty of talent and potential but he has failed to improve or produce at a higher level. By his fourth full year if he was truly a top first or second line center we would see much better offensive stats coming from him. Don’t forget he has also had lots of second line PP chances also on a team that ranks high in that category.

            “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

      • boing007 says:

        Why isn’t Eller on the second wave of the PP more often?

        Richard R

    • krob1000 says:

      yikes….RDS does have high a high def channel you know…

  24. Timo says:

    That’s how I like to start my day… open email and voila – invitation for some beers and cleavage. Fantastique!

  25. Steeltown Hab says:

    Leblanc is producing at 0.67 PPG while his garbage linemates are producing at 0.33 PPG….

    Why do they play him with grinders but give the push to players like Holland and Thomas and have them play with St. Pierre.

    Organization is full of politics. Some guys are given a featured opportunity (DD, Thomas, Diaz) while others are hand picked to have to prove themselves under the least ideal circumstances (Eller, Leblanc, Subban).
    ———————————

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

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Or maybe professional coaches know more than you do.

      Nah, that can’t be it.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Well considering Gallagher, Bournival’s production is somehow better at NHL level vs AHL, tells me a different story.

        ———————————

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

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Has nothing to do with the level of talent they are playing with.

          Sometime I wonder why I even reply to you. I guess I like to laugh at your replies to me. You are very entertaining.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            We’re talking AHL vs NHL thats a massive difference in talent. But not that linemates matter right, didnt Davey earn it all himself?

            ———————————

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

    • Max_a_million says:

      Because they see him as a grinder if he ever makes the big boy club. They don’t want to groom him as a first liner, they want him to be a 34rd-4th line pest who play on both ends.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        He’s a solid 2-way guy, don’t think it’s ever been in question, I think what they want is to see the offense from him which is why I don’t get the point of playing him with grinders/ECHLers.

        In training camp with Gionta out they gave Thomas every shot with that line, and Leblanc who came into camp ready wasn’t given the same opportunity seems weird they treat a 1st rounder like that.

        ———————————

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

    • wjc says:

      Talent usually prevails. You can’t keep a good man down, same with a prospect. Have faith they know what they are doing.

      wjc

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        I have a lot of respect for Bournival who did it without the ideal situation, but you can’t expect that from everyone. They do so much to get a 27 yr old DD going. Some prospects could use a little help too.

        ———————————

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

    • krob1000 says:

      I am assuming it is because they want him to develop defensviely and work harder. I think he has been mistreated but at the same time there is some blame for LL as well…he does not appear to be putting in the work they want him to. I am no tsure if that relationship is past the point of no return or not but if someone gets hurt I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the lineup. Guys who have offensive ability in the AHL often get stifled beecause there is a lack of offensive depth and often unless phsyically dominant they suffer in production because they think the game different. I thought LL played well in his stint witth the HAbs and can’t help but wonder if he could step in and fill a top nine role. I think if you played LL in Gio’s spot with PLeks and Galchenyuk you would get similar production at this point…but LL’s defesnive game? I don’t know haven’t seen enough of him. The team is lacking in right handed wingers….he appears to fit the profile of a typical Hab…two way guy,etc…gonna have to wait for the sequel

    • Habsbill24 says:

      The problem is LL is not particularly good at anything. He gets knocked down a lot, slight build, not super defensively. Somewhat like Ben Maxwell, Matt D’Agostini, and Aaron Palushaj all of whom failed in Montreal. He has been unimpressive in Montreal and I think management has decided that his best shot to make it is as a third line defensive player with some offensive skill. I think he sees himself differently which is the problem.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        LL is a solid two-way guy who’s never reallly got an offensive shot. Maxwell, D’ago and Palushaj were all soft and bad skaters. Not that same case at all for LL.

        Holland is more in line with those guys mentioned.

        ———————————

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

      • JF says:

        I think Leblanc is stronger physically and better defensively than any of Maxwell, D’Agostini, and Palushaj.

  26. Max_a_million says:

    Can you imagine when Galchenyuk gets top line minutes and top line partners and he still has a few years before he can drink in the states. Seems like he is quietly producing offensively.

  27. SmartDog says:

    @ Old Bald Bird
    Exactly. Eller is that rare thing on this team – a big forward who plays with size and has skill…. and who COMPETES. And if he’s in a bit of a slump, so what – you can see him doing the right things and he also is a key player defensively. (And consider that Therrien’s been playing musical wingers with him all year.) It’s RIDICULOUS that people don’t see him as one of the important players on this team. Eller is the whole package. Maybe not first line but absolutely second line Center if Therrien would only give him two decent and steady guys to play with.

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

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Eller is learning a bit from Galligher. He is starting to drive to the net a lot more. I just love this guy as he gets better each game.

    • krob1000 says:

      Eller is just a really good hockey player…the kind where it really doesn;t matter who he plays with, if he gets points or wahtever…he is just a good player. He is a bigger version of Pleks and is above average in everything …a guy coaches love to have. PEople get caught up in numbers but numbers at the NHL level are often as much a result of circumstance in most cases as anything else. IF Eller was fortunate enoguh to play 20 mins/game, get 1st unit pp mins, get ozone starts with OVechkin in a top line role could he put up 70 pts? I would figure yes he could…. is that the best use of him? for him personally…probably…but if your goal is what is best for your team….and you realize this guy is good no matter who he plays with…what would you do with him? Some fans are too focussed on goals and point and forgetting the other 59 minutes and 55 seconds of an average NHL game that takes place.

  28. The Dude says:

    The Briere acquisition was informative because it showed all that again we have a GM that can’t read HOCKEY and that’s with a year to figure out what the good ship Habs didn’t need…Just fking great eh!

    • wjc says:

      First, the season is not over. Still lots of time. With that said, he was never considered a long term solution, just a stop gap fill in while the youth prospects move up to prime time.

      If the Brier move turns out to be a bust, which at this point I would still wait and see, then he can be moved, bought out etc. He has 5 goals and is on course for 15 or 20 not that terrible. He got hurt so that slowed things down, so it is still up in the air.

      To feel disappointed is understandable, but to say Canadiens management can’t figure out this game is not right. Is it possible that you and a couple of talking heads have it wrong. That they will do the usual ‘Biere is surpiseing the critics lately with his great play….stay tuned and try to be positive.

      wjc

      • kalevine says:

        Agreed we needed a stopgap, but more on defense or in the big forward mold. Not an undersized over the hill finesse sniper and playmaker. THAT should be been obvious

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    Parros’s career is over, another shot to the head might even kill the man! There is already a lot of permanent damage there.!

    • chanchilla says:

      2 concussions in the span of a couple months is a pretty good indicator, hopefully he’ll put that education to use and throw in the towel.

    • wjc says:

      Dr. Cobb (the gate keeper) please enough hyperbole already. Nilan seems to be functioning quite fine with all the action he has been in.

      We need to step back and let them worry about all this themselves. They are big boys making ‘big boy’ money. It is their road to travel and free advice is well…….free advice for a reason.

      wjc

    • The Juice says:

      We need Parros for 5 more games: 3 Boston and 2 Toronto, after that he can retire….

      __________________________________________________________________________

      “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  30. Ian Cobb says:

    Here’s how the lines looked at Wednesday’s practice for the two game road trip:

    Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
    Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gionta
    Bourque – Eller – Prust
    Bournival – Brière – Moen

    I would change Briere for White !

    Tonight on the D pairings it will be.
    Markov & Emilin
    PK & Gorges
    Diaz & Murray

    We will have to roll 4 lines and the three pair of D for the whole 60 min. If we play our full court press A game, by the 3rd period we should be right there with this very good Blue’s team.

    • third generation haber says:

      I agree, White shouldn’t be left out of the lineup just because he’s tough!

      DD, Pleks (I know he’s very good), Gionta (big heart), Briere; exactly how many soft forwards do we need to ice each game???

      Not to mention Diaz!

      Would it be a crime for us to be difficult to play against???
      j.p. murray

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Swap Eller in Daveys spot. Bournival in Ellers spot. White in Briere. and Take your pick with Davey and Briere, and they can play some minutes on the 3rd line and tail end PP time.

      ———————————

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

      • doc359 says:

        Maybe 3rd line be Bournival-DD-Bourque instead of Bourque-Bournival-DD though, since I would be reluctant to make a rookie play center, even Galchenyuk has struggled defensively with center duties in the limited time has played there. Gotta easy them in

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          If someone plays center I see no issue skating them there rookie or not. Bournival has been a 2-way guy his whole career, I trust him more than Desharnais in the defensive zone.

          ———————————

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

    • adamkennelly says:

      Blue’s are giant beasts….Habs can play giant killer but its gonna be tough…

    • wjc says:

      Let me get this straight, you are changing a 5 goal scorer, playmaker potentially for a 0 goal scorer with no play making ability…2 assists.

      You know what you have in White and are giving up on Briere.

      34 games, a season it does not make. Still have48 games to go, a lot can happen. That little change will result in nothing. When a goal could be the difference, you go with the odds.

      wjc

  31. Luke says:

    Good Morning Folks!

  32. Mavid says:

    If the Sens can beat St. Louis then there is no reason why we cannot.
    And what is with the one word per line posts?

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  33. Habsssssssswin says:

    Replace Coaches Corner with Chris’ Corner immediately.
    Nilan is the total package. CBC or Sportsnet better sign this
    man, because his humour, insight and hockey savy is priceless !

  34. krob1000 says:

    I know we get frustrated for guys like Eller, SUbban and Galchenyuk etc for their personal interests and we place blame on guys like DD and BRiere, etc….but there are two very simple points to always keep in mind

    1. The team comes first…all of the forwards “production” numbers will be down as the team relies on depth and they get fewer minutes and the matchups are spread out.

    2. All I hear on here is French significance and tradition and the importance of the team to Quebec,etc,etc……I get that from the organziations prespective but at some point they should abandon the philosophy ….why? because any French player who is not Jean Beliveau will get chewed up and spit out in Montreal. DD, BRiere, Tanguay, Latendresse, Pierre Turgeon, Louis Leblanc, Mike Ribeiro, Jose Theodore, Patrice Brsiebois, Pierre Dagenais, Mathieu Darche…I am trying to figure out which one of these guys fans actually liked….doesn’t matter who it is the fans spit them out. Then fans have the nerve to wonder why a guy like Lecavelier never wanted to play in Montreal? If he went through a 5 game slump with that contract he wouldn’t be able to leave his house….so everyone who wants French stars to play in Montreal….go home today…look in the mirror and have a chat with yourself and you will understand more clearly why they do not want to play in Montreal.

    • JUST ME says:

      I am sorry but you haven`t heard the french issue in the french medias for a long long time. It is like everyone said, when you win it does not matter what language you speak . Quite honestly. i have only seen the french issue on HIO lately and really do not understand why if not a grudge that has been held for too long.

      Bring me as many french players as you want , but there are not many available in the league even less many talented guys available . Hockey is an international sport now and as much as we would like to have many gars de chez nous ,one must choose with his head when the time comes to pick the best.

      • krob1000 says:

        OF course you haven’t heard it..they spetn 4 m on a guy playing on the 4th line (I think a waste) and DD who is getting mintues that are driving many fans nuts. THese two guys most hypothesize would not be in Montreal if not for their heritage ..debateable but that is the consensus it appeasrs based on HIO> Yet the same people who with the Muller thing were saying the team needed to honour its French heritage are the first ones to knock their production. YOur point about winning is what I was getting at….the team comes first…not individual stats so who really cares that Glachenyuk gets 15 minutes and could have more points or that Pleks or Eller could have more…right now the strength is in depth and team is faring well. Yet it is the same two guys that get blasted daily on here…DD an Briere.
        I don’t care what nationality players are but I dind it ironic that people go an and on about needing Franco representation are teh same ones in many cases blasting Dd and Briere and saying LL is done at an early age, the Fucale will never make it,etc,etc. I am indifferent myself to who plays for Montreal…give me the best players possible and a balanced lineup and I am happy.

      • SmartDog says:

        When the new GM says he realizes we need to get bigger.
        THEN he signs a player that has been in decline for 2 years – a small French player – and THEN they hand him the F-N torch. And NOW he’s where even armchair GMs thought he would be – making a hole in the team, in the doghouse or on the 4th line, and a waste of 8 million bucks in cap space.

        You don’t need to be a rocket surgeon to see this is Bergevin’s Gomez and the motivation is clear. And it’s gonna sting until he’s f-n gone like Gomez is. If it doesn’t frustrate you, you’re either not a fan, INSANELY optimistic, or you’re denying what went down.

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

  35. SmartDog says:

    24 Cups,

    Yeah but don’t say the Briere signing has ANYTHING to do with him being French. Because that would be unfair.

    Different year, same political bullshit messing up our team.

    Hey but there’s a bright side! You won’t have to change your name anytime soon.

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

    • 24 Cups says:

      The point was made further down the line that maybe some of these other players may not have wanted to come to Montreal. Fair enough.

      Frolik, 6’1″/190/25 years old, was obtained for a 3rd round pick (and a 5th). I’m pretty sure the Habs could have picked him up for their 2nd rounder, Lehkonen. Or maybe Kristo. I’d make that deal in a heartbeat.

      MacArthur signed with Ottawa (not exactly New York or LA) for two
      years at around 8M. Would he have come to Montreal for an extra 1.0-1.5M? I don’t see why not, especially in light of the fact that the team had a guaranteed spot open for him on the roster.

      It took me about 8 years to get over the AK46 draft fiasco. I’m still pissed at the Gomez trade so it might take awhile for me to get over signing Briere. I realize that all teams make blunders, but these three are inexcusable.

      Time for me to take my beloved golden, Faith, for a nice winter’s walk. You’re welcome to join us, Smartdog.

  36. SmartDog says:

    Every now and then this thing comes up about Eller not being a top 6 forward. It’s nutso.

    If Rene Bourque is a top 6 forward, Eller is a FIRST LINE CENTER. If Brian Gionta and David Desharnais are top 6 forwards today, Eller is an ALL STAR.

    Eller is young and still putting it together. But he’s learning to be better in every way while playing with a revolving door of wingers.

    Speaking of, Therrien needs to stop all the juggling. He should know by now who works with who and not need to do all of this moving around. The idea that this is somehow good for the team is laughable and he should know it.

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

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Hear hear. A pretty complete top 6 IMO.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I’ve always read career projections and hear analysts say he will probably be a 3rd line centre. From what I’ve seen, he can be a decent 2nd line centre or a very good 3rd line centre. He has offensive skill, but he seems to be similar to Plekanec in that he can score some goals and make some plays as well as be pretty good in his own end.

      I don’t think he’ll ever be a star in the NHL. I hope I’m wrong, but even as a complete player playing on a 3rd line, he can really help the team.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        It almost looks like they are setting him up/training him to take the place of Plekanec when he moves along in….this summer after the playoffs are over?

        Eller is getting big minutes on the PK. He now has the 3rd most overall PK minutes on the Habs and is always a threat to score.

        If and when Plex moves on, it looks like they want an almost seamless transition

  37. JUST ME says:

    Although quite often i find comments on HIO are senseless and /or negative i tell myself that those come from amateurs that have the right to voice their opinion and that we can`t always agree.

    But when people are getting paid to say stupid things i just can`t understand and let`s not even talk about Marinaro o.k. ?
    This morning on TSN 690 they were talking about trading Tinordi,Beaulieu,Fucale and a 1st round draft choice for Evander Kane. Now how stupid can this be ? Trade your tomorrow for a right now or a maybe it will do the job ?

    On the french side a big drama was made around Michel Bergeron leaving RDS and joining TVAsports. He was acting like he was in shock. Come on . I was to be expected that he would join the ranks of the rejects that TVA sports stacked since now they will get the NHL games. Ah well…Well have a Michel Bergeron break for quite a few months that`s positive !

    As for Nuckles comments about the code i have no doubt that there was a « gentleman`s agreement « between enforcers of his era and that there was a line not to cross but in 2014 the big difference is that the players have no respect for each other anymore and that there is a lot of money in stake and also their equipment is solid as a brick now and protect them from being hurt while trying to hurt someone…

    • Cal says:

      On TSN690- it’s radio and they have to say something- even if it is a little (or a lot ) stupid.
      Bergy leaving for greener (or more hockey-filled) pastures. Not a question, really. He’s very popular.
      There has never been much respect in the professional hockey world. What can you say about a game that refs allow to get out of hand despite a myriad of rules on the subject?

    • frontenac1 says:

      Le Tigre left RDS? AC won’t be the same,too bad. He was nuts,but I enjoyed him, much like I enjoy Grapes.he”s nuts too. I would like to see Grapes and Le Tigre on Coaches Corner.Ditch McClean and put in Andi Petrillo.
      Saludos!

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I listen to the morning show EVERY DAY, and I think they are generally great. They were throwing out that trade idea today. Why is it that other people can’t have opinions?
      I would seriously consider throwing some of those players in a trade for a guy like Kane. Kane is actually not just a “right now” as you call him. Are you aware he’s 22 years old? Again, I’m not sure I’d want to part ways with all of those players, but Kane is pretty special and could be what the Habs have been looking for all these years.
      I just love how only you know what a good trade is. Forget about people who have actually analyzed hockey for a living for years. I’m not saying the analysts always know better, but in this case, it’s not as crazy as you suggest. Pehaps you prefer when people suggest trades like Diaz, Desharnais and a 3rd rounder for Malkin…?

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • ari says:

      I enjoy listening the morning show.but about kane.if they want to get him,they can’t get him with briere , bourque and desharnais.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I hope you’re kidding. They are not getting Kane unless they give up something very good and your list contains none of that. That would be a terrible trade for Winnipeg.
        I could see 2 very good prospects and a #1 pick at the very least.

        Why not just throw in Bouillon to your list and get Malkin?

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • boing007 says:

      Right. Today’s hockey equipment is almost bulletproof.

      Richard R

  38. 24 Cups says:

    We’ve all had enough of the Briere saga but I just can’t help myself.

    On July 1st it was obvious that Montreal needed to dip into the free agent pool to replace the departed Ryder/Cole spot on RW. At the time, there were five legitimate candidates: Jagr, MacArthur, Brunner, Stalberg and Frolik (draft picks). I had no interest in Boyes and Raymond really wasn’t on the horizon at the time as most people (including Raymond) thought he would re-sign with Vancouver. I thought Jagr was washed up after watching him play for Boston in the playoffs. Obviously, I was wrong. Let me say that again. I was wrong. As for Stalberg, there was no way in hell I’d be giving him a four year deal. What GM would ever give out four year deals when there is no need to do so? Here’s the lowdown on the above mentioned players. Salary isn’t a consideration in light of Briere’s 4M a season price tag.

    Briere – 5/5/10
    Jagr – 12/17/29
    Brunner – 8/5/13
    MacArthur – 11/14/25
    Frolik – 8/11/19
    Raymond – 11/14/25
    Stalberg – 4/6/10

    To be fair, Briere has missed 10 games so far this year. As well, a player like Jagr is getting top line minutes and PP time. My personal choice was Frolik with MacArthur a close second. Some will say that the Briere signing is only a stop-gap measure but I can’t help but feel that MB failed miserably when it came to filling this need. Not to mention the secondary issues of concussions, player size and a +35 contract.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      I was with you with Frolik-Mac Arthur, yet had them flipped.

      The thing we really don’t know in all this speculation is that did the players you mention above actually have Montreal on their own list?

      Do we even know if Bergevin took a run at them and they politely declined for whatever reason be it promised playing time-taxes-city culture-coaches and systems-fit on the team-fishbowl?

      Perhaps we sometimes forget that just because Montreal wants a player, doesn’t necessarily mean the player wants Montreal.

      • kalevine says:

        doesn’t matter if nobody else was interested. Since he obviously isn’t interested in what we fans do or don’t want, he should not have felt pressure to sign ANY free agent, but instead let the youngsters come along. Give more ice time to guys like Bournival.

    • Cal says:

      Hey Steve. As far as I’m concerned, 7.5 mil spent on 2 local guys that aren’t producing is really annoying. Youth would have been better served by playing Chucky at center and giving LL or a high performing Bulldog a chance to play.
      Passing the torch to an over the hill player is ridiculous.

    • JF says:

      Steve – At the time, I was just relieved we weren’t getting Lecavalier for five years. And I thought Brière as a stop-gap measure would at least not be a liability and could help on the powerplay and in the playoffs. But it certainly looks like I was wrong. I think my choice would have been either MacArthur or Frolik. I don’t know too much about Brunner, but there had to be a reason the Wings let him go. I’ve watched a few Devils games and haven’t noticed him much. Raymond for a year at what the Leafs are giving him would have been a steal, but, as you say, he wasn’t really on the radar at the time. Brière certainly looks to have been a mistake, but at least he’s not a seven-year mistake.

    • JUST ME says:

      The problem i have with the Briere soap opera is that now he is our brand new Gomez as D.D. was a month ago! It`s outrageous , will he go the whole season without scoring again ? We always have to find the worst one and pick on the situation as if the whole organization was to be judged by it`s weakest link.
      As far as i know Gallagher ,Moen,Eller,Gio,Moen,White and others are not getting on the scoring sheet more often. Let it go and what must happen will happen. D.D. is back on track and strangely nobody complains as they did daily here so let`s follow the situation closely but not make a big fuss with it.

    • Cal says:

      #5 is bs. The writer doesn’t take into account the Habs salary cap for last season and this.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        It was obvious the moment it was signed it would end up costing the habs a lot more. Did anyone really think Subban wasn’t going to be a star after the 2010 cup run?

        ———————————

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

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Who’s to say PK goes out with the exact same fire with an 8 year contract in his back pocket. I think he probably would have, but they made him earn it. He has and now he’ll get paid.

          I wasn’t crazy about the decision but I think that’s how they felt….and it keeps the precedent intact for future negotiations. I don’t think Bergevin or Molson are upset by this.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • Cal says:

          It’s not about “star” power. It’s about having a set way of doing things when it comes to contracts. Price had a “bridge” contract, too. It’s how the Habs operate, not like the moronic Oilers, doling out big money to players not even out of their ELC.

  39. SmartDog says:

    I always thought is was “Nos excuses”….

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

  40. Lafleurguy says:

    Would be front-dooring fantastic if Eller suddenly “gets it” like Alex Steen.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  41. Maritime Ronn says:

    There is never a great time to play the Blues at home (13-3-2)
    The Blues have also destroyed their Eastern opponents so far this year with a record of 11-2-1, yet this may be the Habs best chance.

    St. Louis will play tonight without 2 of their Top 6 in Captain Backes/Schwartz – 3 of the Top 9 if you include Sobotka.

    Halak gets the start, yet has not been very good lately.

    In his last 3 starts he was very lucky to win 1 game and was pulled against Anaheim after only playing 7:29 and giving up 3 goals on 8 shots ( Imagine if Carey did that?)
    His last game was Tuesday posting an .852 SP and another loss.

    Then again, this is the Habs for Halak.
    Against the Habs he is career 3-0-0 with an SP of .959 and GAA of 0.97, and has only given up 1 Even Strength goal in those 3 games.

    • Cal says:

      It’s going to be a very tough away game, and, with the Blues missing key players, I am expecting them to play kitty bar the door hockey. It’s going to be a close one, especially if Price and Halak are on their games.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Ron, indeed catching that team without Backes will help. But as you say, there is never a good time to play the Blues as they play a steady and sound game. Hitchcock truly has that team playing a 200 foot game.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      good morning Cal-burli.

      Smells like a 2-1 game, but you never know.
      Kind of reminds my baseball when the 2 aces meet up in a supposed pitcher’s duel, then one or both get pulled early.

  42. Cal says:

    Is it just me or is the HIO Show getting better and better. Great job Stu and Dave! Kudos to Knuckles and Farber and all the guests.
    15 minutes very well spent. Why isn’t this on TV? With 1 more segment- like a 5 minute bio on a Hab player, trainer or coaching staff and voila, a 22 minute show- or 30 with commercials.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi Cal

      Stu and Dave host a nice show, yet it would be great to expand the guest list outside of Nilan and Momesso.

      I don’t know about contractual obligations and costs, yet there are so many ex-Habs-hockey players-officials-team management past and present around Montreal.

      One night, RDS antichambre had Lafleur, Houle, Lambert, Damphousse, Carbonneau, and some real funny stuff came out such as Lafleur never listening to Scotty when he was talking about strategy – especially defensive strategy.
      Then the guys would tell Scotty they didn’t understand and could Lafleur explain it to them?

      Those guys have stories – not cliches.

  43. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. This team is hard to score against. Have you noticed how infrequent the teams defensive zone breakdowns have become since Emelin has returned? Have you noticed how we finally have a crease clearing defenseman? Have you noticed the improved play of Josh Gorges in the last month?

    Now we need to put a puck or two into the net and we’ll be off on another 10 game streak in no time.

    CHeers all.

    • Cal says:

      Hey Jim. The combination of Price and Budaj at their best with a balanced D squad makes a huge difference. My take on the team is that the Habs don’t have enough Gallaghers. Two more like him and the Habs score 3 and 4 every night. There are still too many perimeter players not willing to pay the price. Where’s a Mike McPhee when we need him, eh?

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Merry Christmas J. The meltdown against L.A. showed Coach Therrien and assistants that tight defence is the best strategy for this offensively-challenged team to win.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Jim, Cal and Guy. Jim who hacked your HI/O and wrote this?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi Jim

      Emelin replacing Diaz in the Top 4 is huge. No disrespect to Diaz, yet he was over his head playing the tough, Top 4 even strength minutes.
      There was no fear for opposing forwards to get crunched anywhere on the ice, nor was there any concern for puck battles.
      Diaz also had some panic in his game, and now is much better suited playing with Murray the protector on the 3rd pair along with some Specialty Team minutes.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      I have noticed Emelin has made many bad plays…giving the puck up easily in my eyes. I must be seeing the game differently then some. I did think he played well in general after his return for a 3-4 game stretch.

  44. Lafleurguy says:

    A Christmas wish, a second guy who can pick the top corners.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  45. scotland says:

    knuckles is awesome as usual.

    larry robinson on nilan after he was traded to rangers. “every team needs an enforcer and chris is one of the best. our team is gonna miss him”

    watched pens rangers tonight. sid plays pp and reg shift but noticed the coach does not use him on the pk. not even the best player in the game plays all three situations. yet habs have gionta and plekanic playing all three. gimme a break. even if it was a good game plan……they will be ‘out of gas and useless by play offs. …………… well actually according to therrien they already are.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      There might be a bigger picture here.

      Ave. minutes played per game for all NHL Forwards:

      # 1 – Crosby: 22:14
      # 54 – Plekanec: 19:11
      # 97 – Gionta: 17:57 (3rd on the Habs)

      As for Gionta and his PK time, he ranks 7th for all Habs forwards.
      While Sid is not a PK guy – how can he be with all those other minutes, he still ranks 5th on the Pens for PK time by forwards with over 22 minutes of PK time this year.

      2 others to note concerning ToI:

      # 58- Jaromir Jagr: 19:04 (soon to be 42 years old)
      # 304 – Danny Briere: 12:38

    • PrimeTime says:

      You watch 1 other game and you’re drawing conclusions to support you bias. Give me a break!

      FYI – the “enforcer” will be slowly removed from hockey but more rapidly than you wish.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Agree…and it will be done by copycat and not rules.

        If you need size and strength on the Bottom 6, the LA Kings are the template. They can all play.
        Same goes with the Hawks, and even Bruins haters have to admit they have a strong solid Bottom 6…and no I didn’t forget Thornton.
        The year the Bruins won the Cup, he had 10 goals and 20 points and also played in every single playoff game.

        The Carlyle Leafs took another direction and are paying the price having 2 guys in Orr and McLaren that can’t play.

  46. Timo says:

    Captain Pike has spoken. My day is now complete.

  47. Sportfan says:

    For those who haven’t heard this is the goal song this season, I miss the other one.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  48. savethepuck says:

    Knuckles saying Murray is “no Eric Heiden but” was hilarious. I am curious to know how many younger posters had to google him to understand the reference. His 5 gold medals in Lake Placid in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, and 10,000m would be the equivalent of Usain Bolt winning the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1500m at the next Olympics.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  49. Captain Pike says:

    @ Front, I assume you must be on a phone and can’t see the picture.
    The answer to your question is yes.
    Or rather,

    Not so much a vegetable, amigo. More like, motion impaired.
    At least I can still drink through a straw. Though I take all my single malts intravenously.

  50. SUMO says:

    Hey Stu, since you’re speaking with Michael Faber next week can you maybe consider asking him any one of the following;

    HABS
    >How would he evaluate GM Marc Bergevin’s work, 84 games into his tenure? Bergy has overseen; 2 Amateur Drafts, 2 Free Agencys (Prust, Briere, Murray, Bouillon), 2 Contract Buyouts (Gomez/Kaberle), RFA signings (Subban, Desharnais), some trades (Cole/Ryder, Parros/Lefebvre, Drewiske/5RD Pick) and rebuilt the entire front office and coaching staff (MTL & HAM) under his watch. Are the Habs getting wise stewardship from Bergevin?

    >Two seasons removed from the Pierre Gauthier era, what does he think of “The Ghost’s” legacy as the Habs GM? No GM is perfect (Kaberle, Bourque, Cunneyworth hiring) but some of Gauthier’s moves have turned out to be pretty shrewd; Eller/Halak Trade, Bournival/O’Byrne Trade, signing Emelin from the KHL, Diaz/Budaj UFA signings and gambling on Markov’s knee. Was Gauthier really that bad of a GM?

    >When does he think Galchenyuk will be moved to Centre?

    NHL
    >How much of a factor has the removal of the Red Line been to the recent rash of suspensions and reckless play? Since the last lockout the NHL took out the red line in an attempt to encourage more speed and offense but it hasn’t translated into more goals just more dangerous play.

    PERSONAL
    >How is his health? I believe its been a year since his cancer has been in remission so, in the spirit of the season, I can’t think of anyone better suited to put into proper perspective of what this holiday really means than an articulate, cancer survivor, like Michael Faber. (Unless he is unwilling to share his thoughts on such a personal matter which is completely understandable.)

    Thanks again. Good show as always.

    >PS. Anyway we can start a petition to get the site re-named to its original incarnation, Habsinsideout? It just has a better ring to it.

  51. Cal says:

    Only 2 more games until the dreaded break and 7 long days without the Habs.
    May as well fake it, right?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      It’s brill, Cal.

      But oh man! Then I scrolled down to “Huberdeau, Huberdeau, Huberdeau” which I missed when it was “released”.

      Just epic!

    • 24 Cups says:

      Cal – Tis’ the season and all, so if I said that I love you for all that you bring to the site, would you understand and accept my true intentions?

      I’m a huge Elvis fan so this morning’s song choice just made my day. And it’s only 8:18! All the best to you and yours throughout the Christmas season.

  52. habs001 says:

    Eller is physical and has skills that help a team…but i believe posters way over estimate his offensive potential…Eller will be 25 in may and i am not sure how much more of an upside he has…if you look at his last 8 years of stats at every level he has been basically a mid teen goal scorer and on pace for 40-45 points every year…He is not shown that he can put the puck in the net regularly…For a cup winning team he is the perfect 3rd line centre…

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Sounds reasonable. To what extent have you factored in his merry-go-round linemates since his arrival in Montreal? Is it possible he is approaching his peak on an individual level, but that we won’t actually max out until he plays consistently with high-quality wingers?

    • Captain Pike says:

      I could live with Eller as the perfect 3rd line centre for a cup winning team…
      as long as that team is the Habs.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I agree that he might not light the lamp like some are hoping. However, I still figure him for a 15-20 goal a year guy with 50 pts a season.

      I think the points with Eller are not as his important as his two way game. He might even be in the Selke conversation one day. You need to put a couple other 15-20 goal grinders with size on his wings on the 3rd line.

  53. jols101 says:

    Bulldogs lost 5-2 to the Chicago farm team.

    Tinordi got his first goal and got into another fight. He fought Kyle Beach. That is his 4th fight in 2 weeks and all against tough customers. I haven’t seen the video on it yet but his father’s mean streak is alive and well.

    Edit: The guy he fought was Cody Beach. Don’t know anything about him. Just assumed it was Kyle.

    • Ron says:

      I believe their brothers. (Cody/Kyle)

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Big family. You got Vero and Miami as well, but they don’t play.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Great to hear Tinordi is getting nasty! I don’t mind the route the Habs are taking with Tinordi, Beaulieu and the other defensemen in the system. We all want them up with the Habs ASAP and for them to develop as quickly as Subban, Gachenyuk and Gallagher, but those three are special players.

        It’s totally acceptable for defensemen to take a couple more years to come along and start making an impact in the NHL around 23 years of age.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Sounds like you are in the Patience Brigade, Hobie. I believe Molson, MB and possibly MT will patiently grow a winning culture in Montreal for the first time since 1986. I realise some people have used up their patience quotas and want results now. I understand that, but I’m prepared to wait. The new order has only been established for two half seasons. That may be long enough to microwave a pizza, but not to…

          [someone else finish my metaphor. It's 3am here]

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Tinordi could still use another 15 or 20 pounds on him. With all the fights lately it shows that he’s pissed off down in Hamilton and he’s trying to make an impression.

            With Parros out, Murray and Bouillon not exactly portraying a lot of confidence to their coaches, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Tinordi can make the playoff roster. Plus there’s always injuries. His toughness is urgently needed on this team.

            If not this year, he’ll hit the weights over the summer, get more experience down in the AHL and most likely make the club next year.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            You not happy with Murray?

            As for Cube, even the many here who love him (self included) suspect what he can offer is steadily diminishing, and that it would be very interesting if Tinordi got the call up.

            Interesting it would be. But not patient — which is what I think MB is doing. Your own forecast sounds very feasible.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I love Murray’s heart and his big impact shifts from time to time. Unfortunately the eyes don’t lie. One good shift can be followed up with a bad one with Murray.

            With Bouillon, he’s got spunk as well but with Diaz, Gorges and Markov also in the lineup, that’s just too small to consistently keep teams to the outside.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            What would be ideal would be Murray minus 10 years, Bouillon plus a little more size (and minus a few years, too).

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            That’s where Tinordi comes into play ;-).

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Agreed.
            But hopefully not til next season.
            He’ll be better, heavier and stronger, and VERY hungry!
            Cheers

  54. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Do we like/respect the Blues?

    I liked/respected them last game. Same category as Hawks and Red Wings. This is a category that automatically excludes teams like the Bruins and Leafs. I would not be unhappy if teams like the Hawks, WIngs, or Blues is what MB is aiming for (especially given his long connection to Chicago). I could live with that.

    I say we win in St Louis. Take em by surprise.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      An upset then by the weaker team you say.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I’m a fan not an analyst.
        Like Timo!
        His projection will differ markedly from mine.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Surprising to me that I feel a little sorry for Timo for the shots he’s getting. I don’t like the shots, but this is the world wide web and packed full of pseudonyms. Heck, Mantei Te’o’s girlfriend may be reading this right now.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Don’t worry about our Timo!
            He efficiently converts abuse into power in the same way a quadruple black-belt martial arts exponent converts the opponent’s offensive energy into defensive force.
            Yes, it is my belief that Timo is a black-belt.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I have been waiting and waiting to earn one of your super succinct observations, oh poster whose handle so poetically complements my own.

        • Captain Pike says:

          At your service, my good man.

          … oops, I mean

          • Lafleurguy says:

            A Sputnik moment, and so few on board to read. Hurray, Pike. Hurray Dunboyne.

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Captain Pike says:

            heh heh, like Mike, I’ve been grading. It’s caused me to contract a case of space fever, and made me break character.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Ha! What (not very good) movie is it where Gene Wilder is a cowboy on the run who hides in the monastery of a silent order in California? During his first meal in the refectory, Wilder says “Thank you very much” to the monk who passes him the bread who then replies “You’re welcome” before clapping his hand over his mouth as he realises he has broken a silence he has held for 25 years. BEST moment in the movie, comes quite early, rest is downhill after that…
            Cheers

          • Lafleurguy says:

            The final frontier has been breached. Our universe will never be the same going forward.

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Captain Pike says:

            Cheers
            Long life and prosperity to you both.

          • Lafleurguy says:

            Blazing Saddles? The “Where the white women at?” movie?

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Ok, so I’m of an age when I do NOT take the internet for granted like my kids do. So I remain gobsmacked that I can half-remember a scene from a crappy movie I saw once about 30 years ago, mention it to the Captain and Guy, and then actually find the clip (albeit dubbed in Hungarian). It’s like having access to your own memory banks. Amazing.

            2 minutes, check it out. Was I right (30 years ago when I was a whippersnapper)?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rml4Yn9mm8

          • Captain Pike says:

            holy crap!
            Han solo was in the Frisco Kid?

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            If you watch the whole movie, Wilder eventually says to Harrison, “I love you”, and Harrison answers, “I know”.

            Raising the glass again to you, O Captain, My Captain, and to No. 10.

          • Captain Pike says:

            Ha!
            Made me do a spit take there Mike.
            Wasted some good drink.

            cheers,

          • frontenac1 says:

            Hey amigo! Are you that vegetable in that fancy wheelchair?

  55. huge_polar_bear says:

    Can you feel the love on the panel?

    It’s funny to see Jeff O’Neil’s facial expressions and his clear dislike for Aaron Ward.

    http://www.tsn.ca/videohub/Default.aspx?collection=71&show=262798&section=Sports

  56. Phil C says:

    Why is it so quiet? Technical difficulties?

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Redundant petty posts, not yours. No real entertainment. Wait, I see Dunboyne has posted. Since being slagged for making puns, I have noted numerous puns without subsequent put-downs.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Only one of my eyes will open, I keep missing the keyboard with my fingers, and I feel like I’m responding to HIO from the far end of an extra-long empty Christmas wrapping paper tube. These conditions triggered by sleep deprivation and exam corrections, not alcohol, but I am withdrawing for two minutes to rectify that.

        Who slagged your puns? Let me at him! He should be XXXXXX on the runned.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Man o’ man, you are a jolt of energy on this irony board for dirty laundry done in public! Tip o’ the cocked hat for staying up to chime in. No one sets the table for cordiality like yourself, Dun..

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            The pleasure is always mine, Monsieur Lafleur. I’ve selected a double Black Bush as night-cap — must catch more zeds before ploughing deeper into my exam pile tomorrow (while simultaneously supervising others — I wonder if Bill, Stevie and Twi et al feel that this is acceptable…).

            I am also trying to memorise my lines for what could well be the Irish premiere of Bob and Doug’s 12 Days of Christmas which I am performing twice on Saturday. I am Doug, who has the best line:

            “It should be ‘The TWO Days of Christmas: this is too hard for us.”

            Cheers (raising glass) (really, Guy, in real life, to you).

          • Lafleurguy says:

            Bravo…in absentia for your sure to be resounding upcoming performance.

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Thank you.
            I at least won’t have to fake the accent.

  57. DipsyDoodler says:

    Total number of fights by Detroit and Chicago in the last TWO seasons: 41

    Total number of fights by the Maple Leafs last season: 44

  58. GGtheHab says:

    A lot of people against Ribeiro, BUT what if the poll was: would you prefer Ribeiro or Briere? I didnt like his antics, but he is a PPG man…and little danny is on the way out

  59. shiram says:

    Steen signs extension for 3 years, totalling 17.4 millions.

    • mark-ID says:

      That’s a great deal for St-Louis. They aren’t stuck with him for more then 3 years if he falters after this season. Plus he isn’t even going to be making 6mil a season…….

      considering how much players get as UFA’s these days….I have to think that Steen took a bit of a discount to stay with a good Blues team.

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

  60. bwoar says:

    Anyone tell Knuckles what we think of his intelligence?

    “thoroughbred”

  61. Habsrule1 says:

    Habsolutely….Habs management thought Gomez would do better too.
    Just because people make a mistake (or 10), it doesn’t mean they can never be right again. I love how you are the judge and jury on who has credibility and who doesn’t.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  62. Habsrule1 says:

    Habsolutley, with that comment, you just lost all credibility.

    You can say anything you want on here….apparently intelligence is not a prerequisite.

    No offense…just sayin’.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  63. Habsrule1 says:

    You’re funny Habsolutely.

    Sorry I don’t read every single post. I don’t like any of the dumb ones, including wjc’s, and yours.

    Have a great day….thanks for the laugh but that seems like pretty heavy language for a 12 year old.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock


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