Nilan offers advice for Habs’ Bourque on HI/O Show

What can the Canadiens do to get Rene Bourque to produce more?

That’s one of the topics discussed on this week’s HI/O Show on The Gazette’s hockeyinsideout.com website as former Hab Chris (Knuckles) Nilan joins columnist Dave Stubbs and sports editor/host Stu Cowan.

Nilan recalls a little motivational talk gave to a group of rookies on the Canadiens’ 1986 Stanley Cup-winning team and offers some advice for Bourque and coach Michel Therrien.

There is also a discussion about whether the reaction to Therrien benching P.K. Subban last week in Philadelphia was overblown, and Nilan recalls the time former Habs coach Jacques Lemaire made him a healthy scratch and how he reacted.

Stubbs offers some advice for GM Marc Bergevin on what type of contract he might offer defenceman Andrei Markov, who becomes a free agent after this season, and on his Knuckles Knockout segment Nilan gives his take on disallowed goals in the NHL, like Brendan Gallagher’s Tuesday night in the Habs’ 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

(Photo by Sterling Agres/HI/O Show)

616 Comments

  1. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Don’t want to see 7 D-men again tonight. Pick six and cycle four complete lines. Would like to see Briere tried between Max and Gally instead of Eller. Hopefully they protect Price better tonight…

  2. Dunboyne Mike says:

    The Eagles:

    “There’s a new thread in town.”

  3. Would Jagr be a fit on a team that’s desperate for skill and size at RW? Absolutely.

    But does it make sense for a slightly above average team to give up a pick and/or a prospect for a UFA near the deadline — especially when his chances of re-signing are minimal? Not a chance.

    Fun fact: in the ’94 lockout, Jagr played one game in Germany’s third-best hockey league, just for the hell of it. He tallied 11 points — 10 of them assists.


    Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

    • adamkennelly says:

      the question was not – should the Habs sign Jagr as a UFA – it was – Do you think Jaromir Jagr would be a good fit with the Canadiens?

      answer – without question YES.

      could also ask – who would you rather have on the team for 2 years at $4M per – Briere or Jagr – results in that case should also be unanimous.

      • Gotta admit, I can’t argue with that. Would much rather we signed him than Briere, but dealing assets for him now would just compound that mistake.


        Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

        • dr. gesundheit says:

          Agree (easy to talk about this year and compare with Bri-are)…but, as for next year…no t(h)anks. He’ll be just another year older/closer to 50.

  4. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Hey Twilight.

  5. stevieray says:

    Which team shows up tonite I wonder ?
    …Darn frustrating

  6. JohnBellyful says:

    Don’t be surprised tonight if you see the Habs have a goal disallowed after the referees rule the player used a high stick to knock down a shot from the point and then pushed the goalie out of the way so he could kick the puck in as the official was about to blow his whistle.
    (That would be twice this season. Talk about refbitten.)

  7. mrhabby says:

    We get Kadri and give them back a first rounder…is that to much?

  8. Habfun says:

    I bet it is 40 to 50% Hab fans, I will be there 1st level 8 rows up behind the home end. My wife (an ex Hab fan now turned Snore fan) with her Karrlson Jersey and me with my Price Jersey. Free ticks. a friend has 4 season seats! and he’s a Hab fan (his wife Sens). but uses his ticks for business (most of the time) until I want a pair!
    I hope the Habs don’t break my heart tonight!!!!

    It\\\’s all about the CH

  9. RetroMikey says:

    Markov wants to stay in Montreal but my opinion is we should trade him to get a high draft pick or prospects in return.
    I can’t picture signing a 35 year old with a history of knee problems to a range of 5-7 million a season which he will get from other teams.
    There is no way you can have Subban and Markov on the D with high salaries.
    Let’s start the trades Bergevin, we are 3 years away from the 5 year plan you have to bring a Cup to Montreal.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • stevieray says:

      Markov is one of the reasons we are where we are tis year. I’d rather get rid of Briere and ,Gionta, freeing up some cap space to sign a couple of punishing D. There is no way we can go with 3 rookies next year on defence …2 at the most ..which ones ..it’s a crap shoot

    • dr. gesundheit says:

      For me…I don’t mind a higher salary if he can continue to perform at a reasonably high level (which he has proven capable of to date)…my issue would be term. No more than 2 years (max.)…he may not like it…better to find out asap…if he wants term trade him (for a good return)…no letting him walk for nuth’n a la Gainey/Goat.

  10. shiram says:

    Porjected lineup, with DD being a game time decision, though he did practice this morning.

    Moen-Plekanec-Gionta

    Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher

    Briere-Eller-Bourque

    Bournival-Prust-Parros

    Gorges-Subban

    Markov-Emelin

    Murray-Diaz

    Bouillon

  11. Bripro says:

    The Giant Tiger distribution centres and head office are in Ottawa.
    They’re one of my bigger (and very loyal) customers.
    When I used to service them and we’d talk hockey, most would express frustration, wondering what was wrong with the Habs.
    Now? As CJ (below) put it, the arrogance of their fans is front and centre.
    You’d swear you’re in Philly.
    Now when they ask what’s wrong with the Habs, I have to threaten them to “wipe that smirk off your face!”

    • twilighthours says:

      I never understood the ribbing of other teams to their fans, anyway. How are we in a position to pick on Leafs or Sens fans? We’re not great, neither are they. And when your team is on top, and you give bottom-feeding fans the gears, you just come off like a dink.

      It’s one of the reasons why I rarely wear Habs gear, too. For one day, after a playoff round. Or all summer after a cup win. (I’ve been naked many a summer)

      • shiram says:

        It’s part of the macho BS that goes along with sports.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I find it fun to jaw back & forth…trash talk, but I’ll do it and then stop. What gets me is someone who constantly does it. I watched the last Habs-sens game at a buddy’s place. He and a friend of his, who was also there, are both sens fans. The other guy must have said about 10 times throughout the game that he hates PK….never giving much of an answer why though.

        I like to joke around, but what I really enjoy is when the trash talking is done and we each give our honest opinions about our teams and the other guy’s team and discuss what we think should be done to improve them.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • punkster says:

        I only trash talk my Loaf fan relatives…couple of wayward brothers, a whole bunch of lost nephews, uncles, aunts and even my Mom…though with Mom it’s more cajoling than trash talk…there’s the inheritance to consider ya know.

        Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
        but…
        ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

    • CH Marshall says:

      Have the Sens ever won anything? Nope

  12. byrneoNL says:

    This team doesn’t need to overpay for any more OLD veterans.. Jagr included. NOT signing Jagr in the past may have been a mistake. But he is not the future, nor even the bandaid this team needs.

    We need to lose the OLD smurfs and stop resigning ineffective players. The ones whose youthful speed and agility once made up for their lack of size and toughness – Gionta, Briere, Bouillon. We have room for Gallagher (any team would) and thats fine. And we’re stuck with Desharnais, but if Gionta and Briere were gone then he wouldn’t be so detrimental. Frankly tho, I’d rather move him.

    We need to lose Parros, simply because he cannot skate. I’m a better skater than Parros. Murray is almost as bad. He’s minus 10, and we have no offense or even possession when he’s on the ice.

    Bourque has to go cause he doesn’t give a shit. Night in, night out, he’s worse than AK46 ever was. Josh Gorges is outscoring Rene Bourque this year.

    Claim Klesla off waivers, call up Tinordi, and move Diaz/Briere/Gionta/Bourque. Walk away from Parros and Bouillon end of season cause there’s no way anyone is taking any of those guys at the deadline.

  13. twilighthours says:

    Dunboyne, you still around?

  14. Luke says:

    Wow.

    DD has the same # of points (21 – 44 games) as (Edit): Gallagher – who has played 46 games.
    Galchenyuk has 23 points in 44GP.
    DD is 7 points behind Plekanec (28) with 3 fewer games played.

    Who’d have thunk that at the 20 game mark this season?

    Now, you may all discuss the mintes and starts and what not if you wish. I’m just looking at the big picture here. And that’s that our offense sucks. A lot.

  15. shiram says:

    Does anyone else not feel any kind of rivalry with the Sens?
    Sure I hate Neil, he’s a jerk, but most teams have at least one jerk.
    And it was only one playoffs round.

    It’s like Ottawa is Canada’s Buffalo.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The walrus has added a great deal to the rivalry. Also, I just can’t think of the Senators without thinking Ottawa, and that alone gives me reason to hope the Habs beat them every game. (Not a fan of politicians regardless of the party they represent)

    • scotland says:

      a rivalry ? if it is … its in the very preliminary early stages of one. sens clobbered the habs the first battle last spring. as rivalries are made in play offs. they have played once. in that series the hab vets were invisible. goaltending was average. and the scores were lop sided in several games. which team was going to wion was determined very early.

      and according to the habs coach the canadiens captain “was crying in my arms”

      i’de say the habs have a long way to go to turn this into a ‘rivalry”

      some real rivalries in the true sence of the word ….. 81-95 montreal vs quebec. 70’s to current montreal boston. old oilers and flames. islanders rangers. rangers flyers. islanders oilers leafs sens

      habs sens …. nah atleast not yet

  16. Scout says:

    We’re not winning tonight. It will be a clinic on perimeter hockey, bad refereeing, and getting manhandled by the team with the leagues worst jersies and fans. 4-0. Sens.

  17. CJ says:

    Drove over to the Bell Sensplex in hopes of catching the morning skate. Arrived just as the guys left the ice. Made up for my poor planning by allowing the little ones a treat consisting of McDonald’s fries and burgers. Waited around to see if anyone came out, but the boys got restless so we left. This is as close to the game as I’m going to get tonight. I tossed around the idea of buying tickets, but will settle for the game on TV and the live blog. I just don’t have a good feeling. People in Kanata have a bounce in their step. I used to like it so much more when only 2 in every 10 hockey fans in this city cheered for the home team. As much as I hate to admit it, the Sens fans are growing in both number and arrogance.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Yeah, this is true. As an Ottawa resident, I’ve often said that the Senators wouldn’t develop a “dyed-in-the-wool” fan base until the kids that were born into it reach the age of majority and generated some disposable income. 21 years later that milestone has been passed, and it is starting to ring true. Any hockey fan born prior to 1993 had probably already established their allegiances, usually to either the Habs or Leafs. Those generations are starting to get replaced by younger ones, and they love their Sens. My daughter is case in point…..

      • CJ says:

        I said something similar. I always thought it would take a playoff series win for the Sens to get out of either Montreal or Toronto’s shadow. Low and behold, here we are.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      I love the die-hard ness!

      ———————————

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

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Eventually, the sens fans will be greater in number, but last time I was there (last season), Habs fans still outnumbered them by a fair margin. It will take a long time for that to change because most Habs & leafs fans bring up their kids as Habs or leafs fans.

      My son is almost 5…..and he hates the sens.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  18. adamkennelly says:

    some (if not all) of these HIO poll questions are faking stupid.

    I’d like to know who on Earth doesn’t think Jagr would look good on the Habs – clearly they don’t watch any of our games.

  19. I want Eller on the powerplay. When I want something I get it.

    Got that Therrien?

    OK good talk.

    Coach Oliver

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  20. Habcouver says:

    Anyone out there know where I can purchase a game-used stick (PK or CP) in Montreal?

    Waiting patiently for #25

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    Today on radio heard Ray Ferarro, Noodles Mclennan and the TSN radio host reminiscing about playing on bad teams. Ferraro talks about his time on the Atlanta Thrashers, and how they kept a white board with Thrashers Masters. It was the leading player of Plus/Minus only the race was for worst plus/minus. The dman that won it injured back late in the year, and Ferraro and the boys ribbed the guy to get back on the ice as they feared they would pass him for worst plus minus. Yannick Tremblay wore the green jacket at their end of year get together party after finishing the year minus 42.

    Pretty funny to listen to these guys talk about their times on bad teams.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0017902000.html

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    So does the team appear to be dressing 7 dmen again? Any chance Whitey is ready to play?

  23. B says:

    Montreal (Subban), Ottawa (Karlsson) and Winnipeg (Byfuglien – tied with Little) are the only teams in the league with a D man leading them in scoring.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  24. Chuck says:

    Let’s do away with the shootout for a moment, shall we? Here’s what the point totals and standings would be if 2 points were awarded for a win in regulation or overtime, and 1 point for a tie after overtime instead of a shootout. (Current points are bracketed)

    Pittsburgh** 64 (70)
    Boston** 59 (60)
    Tampa Bay** 53 (60)
    Montreal** 52 (57)
    Philadelphia** 48 (52)
    Rangers** 47 (51)
    New Jersey 47 (50)
    Detroit 45 (50)
    ______________________
    Ottawa 45 (50)
    Toronto 43 (53)
    Columbus 42 (48)
    Washington 42 (52)
    Carolina 40 (47)
    Islanders 35 (43)
    Florida 35 (43)
    Buffalo 23 (32)

    The top 3 of each division are denoted by asterisks and are in the playoffs.

    • Habcouver says:

      Chuck, I’ll go one step further: bring back the “tie” 1 point each side.
      So much easier to track.

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      And if my aunt had cojones, she’d be my uncle! I hate the shootout so don’t remind me of how stupid it is, okay? ;)

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

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Thomas…..hockey is more important than guitars.

        You’re right about beer though.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

  25. Dunboyne Mike says:

    (This is an attempt to lure Bill — English teacher — out of hiding).

    Bill, I just listened to an amusing podcast from last year’s Stratford Festival where a group of current and retired members of the Canadian judiciary re-tried Shylock. It was great!

    do you want the link?….

  26. B says:

    Only 22 of the 282 D to have played in the NHL this season have a worse +/- than Erik Karlsson.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  27. krob1000 says:

    anyone wondering why the HAbs are never calling anyone up? saving that space for something…

    • Cal says:

      Last season, the Habs had almost reached their max amount of call ups. They are holding the fort right now. I have the feeling management wants/plans to be sellers at the deadline.

      • Phil C says:

        I’m not aware of any limit on injury call ups. Is this a CBA thing?

        Edit: The only rule I’m aware of is the four call up limit post trade deadline until your AHL team is out of the playoffs.

    • Forum Dog says:

      He’s had a great year out there. Hopefully they keep it going and make some noise in the playoffs. Be a good experience for all involved.

      • Habcouver says:

        I have watched him play a few times. He exudes leadership on the young squad. I only wish he was 2-3 inches taller… but I said the same thing about Gally when he was here, too.

        Waiting patiently for #25

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Thank you for posting. i wouldn’t have seen this if not for you. Good news, eh? Looking forward to him and Deitz reuniting in Hamilton!

      24 cups and counting….

  28. kempie says:

    Rene Bourque is the new Kostitsyn.

  29. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I’m sure this has been discussed ad nauseum (I’ve been absent all season and have missed the fireworks), but where does The Commentariat stand on the return of Cammalleri as a rental?

  30. Habfan17 says:

    If I were Bergevin, I would , if Briere agrees, trade Briere to Washington for Erat and a 3rd round pick. Erat makes $500,000 more than Briere, both of their contracts are up at the end of next season. Erat plays left wing and paired with Pleks may work well. Not too much risk, no more than Briere!

    Habfan17

    • Forum Dog says:

      You would also need Washington to agree, but I’d be interested in this trade. Not sure McPhee would add the 3rd rounder though.

      Bourque is another guy I’d be willing to swap for Erat, though he might not fit in well with Backstrom, Erskine et al….

      • Habfan17 says:

        Twice Erat has asked to be traded and he hasn’t produced, that should be worth the 3rd, not to mention McPhee frees up an extra half million in cap space. Take Bourque and Gionta and ship them to the devils for Jagr Erat, Pleks and Jagr!

        Habfan17

    • 24 Cups says:

      Check my stats out on Erat (see above). He’s much worse than Briere.

  31. Maksimir says:

    Its going to be so much fun around here come Sunday after the Habs put in two lackluster performances and lose to both the Sens & Leafs.

    But seriously, I have no confidence in this team to beat either of these teams right now. The Sens have their number and gotten into their heads, and I can’t envision another romp against Toronto like the last game.

  32. JUST ME says:

    Ah yes ! The classic 4 points game !

    Important one tonight. Let`s keep them as far away from us as possible in the standings. When your fate is in your hands you shouln`t need anything else to motivate you.

  33. Habfan17 says:

    Question!

    Right now, the Habs have the following left handed defencemen;
    Markov – Emelin – Gorges – Drewiske – Boullion – Murray.

    In the system: Tinordi – Beaulieu – Bennett

    On the right side;
    Subban – Diaz

    In the system: Pateryn – Dietz – Nygren – Ellis – Didier – Thrower – Sullivan

    The Habs could use a 2nd pairing right handed d-man. They do have time to draft and develop a couple of left handed defenseman, so…

    Do you think waiting until next season to see if players like Nygren and Dietz are close and promote Pateryn now is the best action?

    Guessing that Boullion and Murray will not be resigned and that Drewiske would be at best the 7th/8th d-man, would you, trade Gorges in a package to get a 2nd pairing right handed D-man, or
    Take a chance and trade Tinordi if the return would be Myers from Buffalo, or Eric Jo _ _ son from Colorado?

    Personally, I would rather a trade of perhaps Gorges for Schenn

    Habfan17

    • Maksimir says:

      I’d be very happy to trade Gorges for Schenn.

    • Cal says:

      I’d promote Pateryn. Gorges won’t get the team Schenn. Philly will not give up on him so soon.
      Generally, teams trade 1 problem for another, like the Bourque + for Cammy. Both teams hope that the trade shakes the player into performing. Cammy’s done ok, but Bourque has been underwhelming.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I figured the Habs may have to sweeten the pot, they could throw in Diaz. I am tired of the experiments moving Emelin and Gorges to the right side. Neither plays as well from there

        Habfan17

      • Habfan17 says:

        I would promote Pateryn too! Having the following pairings would be nice

        Markov, Subban
        Emelin, Schenn
        Boullion/Murray, Pateryn.

        Habfan17

  34. shiram says:

    E. Kane is placed on waivers.
    We can hold off on the trade proposals for now…

    edit : brainfart, meant to say injury reserve, my bad.

  35. D Mex says:

    Rate this on the courage, intelligence, or with-friends-like-this scales …
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pA5-WhsAfI

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  36. Ali says:

    good article on a maturing Tyler Seguin

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/10303618/nhl-tyler-seguin-making-most-second-chance-dallas-stars

    makes me wonder (not that the Bruins would have traded him to a division rival) what would be if the Habs had made a pitch…Pacioretty +?

    a future center duo of Gally + Seguin would have been incredible.

    • JUST ME says:

      I understand that the Habs are not the perfect example of patience for players that have behaviour problems off the ice but one can`t help to wonder what if…Nice thoughts !

      Have a hard time believing that you can be a winner in a deal that involves trading a first round draft pick let alone a second rank overall.

      The Stars have one of the bests for years to come !

  37. B says:

    Montreal has been near the top of the league all season on the PK with Gorges and Diaz leading their D in PK TOI.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  38. Lagerhab says:

    As CJ mentioned below it’s just about time we start bringing in some rookies. Next year, I’m hopping we see Gionta, Bourque, Cube, Murray, Briere and Diaz gone to be replaced with guys from the farm and maybe a FA or two. When you look at Ottawa, that is what they did, it sped up their rebuild!

    I wouldn’t mind if we started this year but I doubt MB would go for it for fear of missing the playoffs and the revenue it generates.

    • habsguru says:

      i don’t think that OTT has actually been in a rebuild, but always tinkering. their roster and identity changes every year, intentionally or a reflection of the budget Murray is working with. they haven’t made leaps and bounds, and their fans seem more frustrated than we are

    • JUST ME says:

      Not sure if we will be able to graduate that many players nor am i certain that that many veterans will leave.

      I think that this off season would be the perfect time to renew our stock of veterans and keep as many kids in Hamilton as possible .

      Unfortunately i am afraid that we will do what feels comfortable for us meaning keeping as many veterans as possible. I think that one must be ready to give up valuable players to get an equally valuable player in return.

      I really am not sure that the stakes are the same in Ottawa as they are in MTL market wise…

  39. B says:

    After 23 games, Dogs’ rookie Stefan Fournier is already tied for the team lead in fights with 5. It looks like the Dorval native realizes what he needs to do to try and increase his slim chance of ever playing in the NHL. I like what little I’ve seen of the kid, he was huge for Halifax in their run to the Memorial Cup last season (16 goals and 29 points in 17 games)..

    –Go Habs Go!–

  40. Ian Cobb says:

    We just seem to play up to the competition this year!
    We have won against Anaheim, Dallas twice, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Chicago. So we can play with these guys, when we want to play our A game.
    But then again, every team can beat any other team in this league now, especially if one team has players that just mail their shifts in on some nights.

  41. Strummer says:

    Why not send Bourque to Hamilton for a conditiong stint?
    He may just need to play top minutes to get back in shape and get his confidence back.
    I believe he may be eligible for a 14 day assignment?
    ————————————————————————————
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • bwoar says:

      Eh, he just has to follow Nilan’s brilliant advice, he’ll be fine.

      I’ve always dreamed of a secret chem lab, deep under the rink, at the Bell Centre. There, Habs Scientists are hard at work developing various secret supplements to be distributed into the players’ water bottles. I would be spiking his drinks with some serious amphetamines between shifts right about now.

      “thoroughbred”

    • Luke says:

      I think you actually have to have a reason to send them down. Such as return from an injury etc… not “his play’s been sub-par”.

      Which made me think of: “You can’t return an item based purely on spite.”

      • shiram says:

        Besides, Bourque would have to agree to report there, which I doubt he would.

      • bwoar says:

        Based on spite, I am going to make McCain give me a free Rising Crust pizza.

        Watching those commercials on Sportsnet last night, they all but assume I am a liar and that anyone taking them up on their money-back offer is dishonest. Great marketing!

        “thoroughbred”

  42. Habsrule1 says:

    I’m tired of losing to the sens. I find that the sens and Habs are pretty similar teams, besides the fact that the sens are bigger. I think our defense is better and when Spezza is healthy and on his game, he puts the sens forwards above ours. I also think Price is better than Anderson, but he doesn’t usually play that way against them.

    Let’s get it done this time!

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • CJ says:

      Price’s numbers against Ottawa are terrible. Check that, the entire team’s numbers against Ottawa are terrible. I can’t stand to think of what is likely to happen. I just can’t stand Ottawa….. Maybe I’m jealous as they are about 1-2 years ahead of us.

  43. JohnBellyful says:

    Getting Bourque motivated is a tough slog as this video shot before New Jersey game shows

  44. shiram says:

    So the coaches in Hamilton are running a four forward powerplay, I just found out.
    Seems weird to me, as usually they try to work the same system as the big club.

    I’d be interested to see it tried with the Habs, maybe just the second wave, get Eller near the blue line.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Urgh… I’ve always hated having forwards at defence on the powerplay.

      It just sets you up for shorthanded breakaways or, worse, attackers simply skating around forwards trying to play D.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • shiram says:

        Habs are very thin on D that can play the PP with any kind of success though, and the PP is faltering quite badly.

        I’m thinking Eller would not be awful there, with a mobile guy like Diaz.

        • Mattyleg says:

          True, true.
          I don’t like the concept, but it might not be so bad in practice.
          Practice, as in, reality.
          Not as in ‘at a practice.’

          Although we should probably practice it before putting it into practice.

          In a game.

          ugh.
          You know what I mean…

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  45. ClutchNGrab says:

    From TSN

    “TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger believes that Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri is available in trade discussions, but that the club is not eager to move him because of their weakness at the centre position.”

    Now that’s useful information! Happy TSN is keeping all their insiders.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I like how Dreger goes on to say they want a better center in return for a center who will be better moving forward. Ah the mighty fence post lodged in Dregers derriere!

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        They have to fill the silence with words.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Just like Marinaro.

          But he also has a lot of silence on his show, which we’re supposed to fill with images of him staring intently at us to emphasise his ‘points’, but which are probably actually just moments where he’s stuffing a michigan into his mouth.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habsrule1 says:

      They actually are the best team in the business, but every so often they don’t think before they write.

      I’m actually looking forward to the hockey talk that will replace the actual games next season, especially given the talent (or lack thereof-so far) on Sportsnet.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Strummer says:

        I think the TSN insiders Dreger and McKenzie are over rated.
        I don’t recalll anything significant from either recently.
        They aren’t qualifed to be game analysts so they thrive on talk from the league or their “insider rumours” which are available form each team’s own reporters/bloggers.
        Sportsnet has just began the process of assembling talent, so it remains to be seen how their final product will compare with TSN.

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

  46. smiley says:

    Let’s finally notch a win against the Sens like we did against Florida recently(were 0-2 against both teams). Sens just coming home from a 4 day right trip. I hope the old adage holds true.

    And please start Carey Price Saturday night against the Leafs.

  47. habstrinifan says:

    Can I post now? Oh wait better not!

    How stooopid I would look asking if there is any reasonable grounds to question the organization’s direction when a well-detailed analysis reveals that EVERY PLAYER BUT ONE (MARKOV) has regressed this year.

    Everyone knows that this is a smoke screen. The HABS are really performing above expectations.

    How stooopid of me to fall for their presentation.

    Statistics they say are for losers… wait now …

    • Timo says:

      Is that because you are… stupid? :) Don’t fall into the stats trap. Believe in Habs leadership and heed what they say. Buy Molson beer and subscribe to TVA. Life will be better, you’ll see.

      • B says:

        RDS is the Hab’s affiliate. TVA paid off Rogers and the league to get some Habs games on their fledgling sports channel, but RDS remains the Habs broadcaster of choice.

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So while I think Habs do need much improvement, how do the stats explain the present standings? Or are the cold hard facts of current divisional standings not applicable to statsland and the foil hat wearing folks currently gulping up that religous mix of hockey morsels.

      • Timo says:

        What is so fantastic about Habs present standings? Is the fact that they are about to fight for the last 2 playoffs spots inspiring?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Where did I use fantastic? And what is so bad about the present standings. I realize you much prefer to wade in a cesspool of fecal matter thus making life more enjoyable, but presently the Habs are in a decent spot in the standings. That was my only point.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          I, for one, am extremely satisfied with us being 3 points out of 1st in our division and 2nd in our conference. Sure I’m not thrilled at how far ahead the pens are, but if you’re not pleased with where the Habs are right now, you either expected too much or just prefer to be upset.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

    • habs-hampton says:

      I doubt that every player except Markov has regressed. Price has obviously PRO-gressed, and he is the main reason that the Habs are where they are now.

    • Phil C says:

      I have been experimenting with a new statistical analysis called “Points For”. I can’t say for certain yet, but the three teams with the most points in each division at the end of the season seem very strongly correlated to making the playoffs. Further analysis is required, but it looks promising. One of the advantages of “Points For” is that it focuses on outcomes. It also seems really strongly correlated to outscoring your opponent in each game, but I don’t want to go far here, it is still being developed. More to follow…

  48. Timo says:

    When will it be Habs turn?

  49. Psycho29 says:

    Good day all…

    Ouch…Ducks 9 Canuckleheads 1..

    Ducks scored 6 PPGs, and even had a 7 minute 5 on 3.

    Anaheim is the first team to win 18 out of 19 since the 1967-68 Canadiens..

    Canucks Inside/Out must have imploded last night ;-)

  50. Timo says:

    Is Mavid going to the game tonight? Do I think it would make a difference? No, I do not. Habs will lose to the disgusting senators again.

  51. Mattyleg says:

    I’m with Shiram; Bourque needs a Hot-Dog Night at the Bell Centre.
    He looks like he could use the energy.

    Seriously, though, he is proving to be, as many including myself predicted, PouPou 2.0. A skillful guy whose success is severely hindered by a lack of mental fortitude.

    I was at the game on Tuesday, and I focused on Bourque for a few shifts, because I wanted to see what the hell was going on with that guy.

    He showed signs of what he can do; there were moments, usually at the beginning of his shift, when he turned on the jets and sped past defencemen, there were times when he took threatening shots (he’s hit a ton of posts recently), and moments where he stickhandled well or dug at pucks hard along the boards.

    …and if the play didn’t result in a goal, he’d get sad.

    You could see it in his body-language.
    He would deflate and give up, which means that he wouldn’t backcheck effectively.

    Bourque needs some success, but something tells me that it’s not a DD or Max situation; one goal will not unblock a torrent of productivity. He is too weak mentally, in my opinion.

    If anyone is in need of a serious session with a Sports Psychologist, it’s old RB.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Timo says:

      Bourque is a great candidate to be re-signed by Bergevin for another 4 years at 4 per.

    • shiram says:

      Thing is he is a veteran, never drafted but still made the NHL guy, he should know that it takes effort and consistency to continue to play.

      Alot of fans and analyst have ragged on him, and it’s clear his play started to decline when he signed his contract, 6 years of assured millions coming in was all it took.

      He’s still got 2 years left after this one, and in a small bit of luck his salary is inferior to his cap hit then, making him maybe attractive to a team willing to take a risk.
      But with the way the Canadiens are gearing up he is fast becoming an hinderance.

    • arcosenate says:

      I have the same reaction watching the Habs at home, when they give up a goal, I get sad, and you can see it in my body language. My shoulders sag and I shuffle to the refrigerator to get a beer, sometimes they sag so low I have to get my cat to open it. Then I cry. But then I remember on BBC Canada Holmes on Homes is on and he can fix anything. Then I inflate. Then I remember the Habs aren’t a home. And I deflate.

    • CJ says:

      I will say this about Bourque, he looks better live then on television. He has all the tools, aside from desire. His best shift was his first game when he fought Matt Hendricks. I was prepared to buy his jersey…..

    • boing007 says:

      Bourque should buy a round of hot dogs for each fan that calls him out while he sits in the nose bleeds.

      Richard R

    • Max says:

      That’s the funny thing about Bourque.He’s got it all:size,speed,and good skill.It’s 90% mental with that guy.If he could harness the proper mental fortitude,he could be a consistent top 25 point getter in the NHL.

      Unfortunately,at 33 and in the twilight of his career,he’ll continuously be case of “what could have been”.

      I remember that outdoor game when he was still a Flame against the habs a few years ago.The guy was dominant and I thought it’d be great if Montreal could acquire him.

      Alas he is what he is at this point.

  52. adamkennelly says:

    I love how TSN is already trying to hype up trade deadline – which is 2 months away and normally produces nothing of any interest.

    is there that little happening in actual hockey right now they need to make stuff up.

  53. Sportfan says:

    You know with the in juries and bugs going around why not call up Blunden?

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

  54. Sportfan says:

    Would you trade Diaz at the trade deadline, or would you keep him and sign him? If you sign him for how much/how long.

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

    • Forum Dog says:

      If they could deal him I’d do it. I am thinking it is pretty much time to get some of the younger blood in Hamilton flowing, particularly Pateryn. He might not be as effective with the puck as Diaz, but he would certainly be a better physical deterrent. His play with the Dogs has warranted a call-up, and if you don’t show your prospects that they have a legitimate shot at making it, they stop developing.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Pateryn might surprise us, he plays on the power play in Hamilton and on the PK. He has the third most power play goals in Hamilton and the top plus/minus,

        Habfan17

        • boing007 says:

          Surely he has a nastier shot than Diaz?

          Richard R

          • Forum Dog says:

            Diaz has a decent shot I think. Its more his size, strength and decision making that pose problems. Pateryn could address at least two of those issues. Hard to say how his shot and decision making translate to the NHL game since he hasn’t really played yet at that level.

            The other thing about bringing up Pateryn is that it would give Bouillion a more complementary partner. I think Bouillion is better all around than Murray, but you can’t play him and Diaz together because they are simply too small. If you have Pateryn on the right side instead, it might make Bouillion’s play a little more palatable. All forward looking however, and not based on evidence.

    • shiram says:

      With only Gorges and Emelin signed for next year, decisions on how to shape up our D for the future are going to be made soon.

      If you consider that both Markov and Subban will be re-signed, for a combined cap hit of around 14 millions, well tough decisions are going to have to be made.
      I know the cap is rising, but still, no sense in taking undue risk.

      It might be lead to the loss of an asset, but I’d keep him for now, and evaluate the situation after dealing with Subban and Markov. I doubt Diaz will be a hot commodity this summer, so if need be, he could be signed then.
      If he prefers to move somewhere else, that’s a small loss for the team, we did not lose a pick drafting that guy.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I would trade him, perhaps add him in a package to move Gionta if it will get a better return. I would also move any other UFA’s, with the exception of Markov, and I would move Briere!

      Habfan17

    • Timo says:

      I would trade, buy out, demote, move him Siberia or get rid off him in any other way imaginable any day of the week, any time, any date, forever and ever.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Move em. Resign Crankshaft and let the cube retire. Let Tinordi, Pateryn or Beaulieu play up next year and fight over the last spot

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  55. Forum Dog says:

    Hoping for a good game, but the Sens always play the Habs tough. Probably because, on average, their d-men are about 4 inches taller and 30lbs heavier than most Montreal forwards. And they play with a mean streak….

    If they’re gonna play chip and chase, they’ll need to keep the puck away from Karlsson and make sure they finish their checks on Methot, Gryba, Cowen, Phillips, basically any d-man who isn’t great at handling the biscuit. They’re also gonna need to put a big aggressive body on Zibanejad (i.e. Eller), and make sure Plekanec’s line smothers Spezza and Ryan. If they can get some clean breakouts they have a chance to beat the Ottawa D wide, so PK should be looking for that pass and not focus too much on skating it himself.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Are finally going to see the Grybapocalypse?

      The only positive in getting Parros (I’m not as into mustaches as most of you seem to be) was the possibility that he would put Mr Gryba in the same intensive care unit that Lars was in.

  56. Lagerhab says:

    When Chucky gets back I would like to see the following lines:

    Max – DD – Bournival
    Chucky – Eller- Gally
    Bourque – Pleks – Gionta
    Prust – Briere – Moen

    • shiram says:

      Why not sit Bourque a game or two? He seems to me to have earned a night of hot-dogs to me. Could play Brière on the top 9, and then hopefully White is healthy enough to slide into the C spot on the 4th line.

      • CJ says:

        Get rid of Gionta and Bourque. Move Moen and Briere up. Replace Gionta and Bourque with prospects and play out the remainder of the year. Move Boulion, Murry and Diaz, also replacing with prospects.

        Trade Budaj and bring up tokarski. Replace Tokarski with Mike Condon.

        My crazy idea for the day.

        • shiram says:

          Why?
          I know Gio is small, but he’s not slacking.
          Budaj is doing great and is working out great with the team and Price, and moving him won’t garner much in return.

          • CJ says:

            You’ll see after tonight. The Sens are two years ahead in their rebuild. If we want a different long term result, we need to be willing to part with older players who won’t be here when we make a push in 2-3 years. It’s an out of the box thought that I hoped might spark conversation. I don’t know if Budaj’s value will ever be higher then it is now.

          • CJ says:

            Sorry, I meant to also note that I agree that Gionta is giving us everything he has. He is not a slacker. I like his game, but there is limited upside. If we don’t see as part of the future, then it’s better to move him now when he still holds value. It’s simply an exercise in progressive growth with the goal of making a serious push forward in the near future.

          • shiram says:

            Gio’s deal expire after this season, and I doubt he returns.
            I understand getting rid of Bourque, but there’s no trade market for the guy, I’m thinking he’d be waiver stuff.

            And even if Budaj as it his highest value, maybe a 4th round pick if we’re lucky? Not worth rocking the boat for.

          • Luke says:

            I think there are GMs & Coaches out there that think they’d be able to “fix” Bourque or accept what he is – a complimentary piece that should score ~20 goals.

            And he’d be quite useful on a contending team that needs a bump on the wing. Same with Gionta, actually.

          • Lagerhab says:

            CJ, I like the way you think and your suggestion definitely has merit if we want to speed up the rebuild. Unfortunately, the team would never go for it. They still want to make the playoffs because of the revenue it generates. Might be to risky to get ride of the vets going into a playoff. Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise me if the team does well with a few more rookies!

          • CJ says:

            Great points. Oddly, I still think we make the playoffs even after unloading the names mentioned above. That said, we would need a willing trade partner. I don’t see a scenario that involves any kind of return for Franky. The others could likely net picks and/or prospects. Anyway, food for thought. Again, I’m on the couch, not in the GM chair – not by accident either. Bergevin has a very difficult job, more so because the team has been winning. If they would have been out of the playoffs last year, or out of the picture this year then the exercise is certainly very straightforward. The success runs contrary to the notion that we build through the draft. Historically the likelihood of finding a gem in the mid to late first round vs the top ten is diminished significantly. Fortunately, he will have a much clearer indication of what this team is all about by the end of the month. The picture will be crystallized by the Olympic break.

      • Lagerhab says:

        I have no problem with that set up either. I would just like to see the EGG Line back together and I think that Bournival would do well with Max and DD. Plays similar to Gally.

    • scotland says:

      would like to see that line up …….. and mt could probably keep it for that way for 4 or 5 periods. (his max)


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