lakechamplain - (Thomas Harley)

Member since August 10, 2009


Habs fan since: 1969
Favorite current player: Brian Gionta
All-time favorite player:


Recent Comments

  • Comment on Rookie Sekac will be healthy scratch for Habs vs. Rangers (2014-10-25 14:19:13)
    Said it before and I'll say it again; Travis Moen is an intelligent hockey player who plays hard, but his abilities have declined to the point where his starting weakens the Habs and affects the development of a promising player. Last spring the Rangers had more speed and quickness than the Canadiens. Of the current Habs Moen seems the slowest forward out there, especially evident when the play shifts and the Rangers are breaking out. Weise would be far better on the checking line than Moen and Sekac would make the third line more of a threat. After all, forget the plus/minus crap, how many goals have 'experienced' Bourque and Eller had so far? As one commenter noted, here we go again, back to the conservative, safe attitude that could deaden what can be an exciting team. Moen isn't a disaster out there, but Sekac, and Bournival for that matter can help more now if given a chance, and have a much greater upside down the road.
  • Comment on Weise back in lineup, Sekac out for Habs vs. Red Wings (2014-10-21 13:40:19)
    Travis Moen is a hard-working nice guy but he should not be starting for this team. Here we go again: young player makes a few defensive mistakes, yank him from the lineup(as opposed to his two line mates who haven't scored a goal). Instill in him that whenever he plays for the Montreal Canadiens first and foremost in his mind when on the ice is Not to Make a Mistake! Put an older, slower player in who has 'experience' trouble is that while Moen knows what to do he can no longer do it. Must be conservative and remove any creativity or flair from young players game unless name is PK Subban. Six games into the season and we've already established that our style is to play not to lose.
  • Comment on Habs make Jacob de la Rose their final cut before season opener (2014-10-07 14:32:44)
    I don't care what anyone says(well actually I do) but Galchenyuk is ready to be a centre for this team. Preseason is not real, but the reality is this team again showed an inability to control the puck in the offensive end and to score goals. Sounds too familiar. The centre is the player with the most to say about that issue. Lars Eller had plenty of chances last year to 'take charge' and played some good hockey but never seemed to establish himself as a top-six centreman. To put it bluntly, I believe AG is more talented than Eller and offensively more so than Plekanac. Would Glachenyuk make errors, especially defensive, of inexperience? Of course. And if he didn't get ripped every time he did in the first part of the season by people here, the media, and the don't-you-dare-make-a-mistake Coach, then maybe he'd actually get better faster. Let's face it, his talent level is necessary to get this team to the proverbial next level. Move him to centre and let him grow.
  • Comment on Canadiens trade Peter Budaj to Winnipeg Jets (2014-10-05 13:28:35)
    OK, preseason is over so now supposedly the nagging problems that showed up during it will now magically disappear because the guys will be making an effort. Fine, to a degree. What bothers me is that most of this morning, and previous days, the focus has been on Tinordi and Emelin and all the weaknesses they showed. Excuse me, oh hockey faithful, who make sure even the slightest mistake is identified and repeated on here oft times. To me the problem in the preseason wasn't the defense, it's the OFFENSE, or lack of same. Speaking of same, same old, same old; rip the opponent's net for two goals and hope Carey comes through, which thankfully he does more often than not. The only forwards that rose above the rest seemed to be Max Pac and Galchenyuk who actually generated scoring pressure. Eller, Plekanac, Borque, DD, Gallagher, the 4th line(in fairness they're out there to defend but some scoring prescence would help)? And remember, several of the goals scored the last few weeks were kind of flukey. I think that is this team's main problem. I offer no magic wand but wonder if you folks have any. My hope is that the young players on the farm by mid season can offer a legitimate threat to the current starters by being able to score goals and more goals. Realistically a full season at Hamilton will provide a better measure of their abilities but I hope management puts some of our veterans feet(or skates if you will) to the fire to produce or else... And yes, I understand that Coach trends conservative in the style he coaches. Must we endure another season of 2-1's and 3-2's?
  • Comment on Canadiens separate contenders from pretenders at camp (2014-09-25 04:40:17)
    Back and forth we go; part of the fun of being a hockey fan. Here's my take: Magnus Nygren has much more of an upside than Bouillon, Weaver, or Gilbert. The Canadiens as usual get so damned conservative and get obsessed with defensive mistakes, you know, the kind that come with a d-man who can skate and shoot(read awesome slap shot) and, oh my god, takes risks. I just hope he's willing to hang around Hamilton until there's an opening. Travis Moen, like Brian Gionta did, brings character and class to this team, BUT, he's slowed down several steps and simply can't perform at the level he did a decade ago. There is no one skill set he has which sets him apart from other, younger, faster prospects. Think of teams like St. Louis, LA, & Chicago which come in and out skate us badly; Moen's time has come. Let Scherbak mature a year in the minors; we're letting his raw talent shape our fantasies. In this case management should be its usual over patient self. Who knows what the standings will look like come the trade deadline but depending how the younguns do at Hamilton, we could get some nice draft choices for some of our veterans and open up the future of the Habs for a pool of talent that we haven't seen in the junior ranks for some time. And finally, that means WE, the commentariat, here, in the press, on the radio social media, might pull back a bit in our endless criticism every time a player has a bad shift, much less a bad game. Yeah, right.
  • Comment on Habs hold practice in Florida without Plekanec (2014-03-29 05:41:49)
    For the legions of Hab's fans who can barely stomach the 'wisdom' of Don Cherry on Coaches Corner I would highly recommend tonight's edition because the nation will, I'm sure, get an erudite, reasoned, explanation of why his poor Maple Leafs are having such a hard time lately winning hockey games. Maybe the whole world isn't wondering, but Leaf nation certainly is, and it's comforting to know those troubled souls will sleep better tonight after his blather tonight. We all know he, thoughtful analyst that he is, laid some of the groundwork this week by noting that the Leafs oughta forget about those wimpy American college boys and stick to good old Canadian boys(French Canadians excepted of course and foreigners? Fugget about them, send those damn Russkies and the wimpy Finns and Swedes back home). Oh Don, what should Toronto do? By around 8:00 or so tonight we should know; I can hardly wait!!!
  • Comment on About last night … (2014-03-28 04:35:41)
    It bothers me to agree with our resident Negative Nellie--Timo--but I agree with his comments about Price's game. Subban deserved the disses Boonie laid on him but I think gave Price a free pass. Yes, he made some excellent saves and made them look easy but I think amidst the sunshine and the beach time in Florida Stephane Waite is going to have a sit down with Mr. Price and try to rid him of a return to an old bad habit: going down too soon. By the frenetic third period it seemed the Wings had it nailed; they were going top shelf, and scoring, because there was space there. Otherwise I think Boonie was spot on about the lines: chemistry meaning that the 3 top lines can move the puck up ice and in the zone with passing and position, and the 4th line out there now simply can skate much better than the previous trio, tho I think when Weise gets back I'd put him in for White. BTW Babcock couldn't have helped thinking as Subban played a pretty shoddy defensive game that that's why the guy didn't get a lot of ice time in Sochi.
  • Comment on About last night … (2014-03-23 11:30:13)
    I feel sorry for Galchenyuk not playing centre; in an interview I saw the day before the game it was obvious he looking forward to the opportunity, and of course the media hopped all over this, in part frankly, because McKinnon had put on a show. That said, the fact is at this time, and this game, I can't fault the coaching staff for going with experience, and I don't see many chances the rest of the way. When they make this move, and it will happen, he needs a chance to learn from experience and grow into the role. What would do far more harm than good would be to throw him in at centre for part of a game, or even just a game, and instill the fear of making mistakes which has broken more players on the Canadiens over the years than we'd probably want to admit. I wish the management would've tried doing this earlier in the season, but I agree this is a tough time for 'development'. If the lines from last night can build on what they did last night, maybe our scoring ability won't be such a big question mark heading into the playoffs.
  • Comment on About last night … (2014-03-21 05:40:58)
    Boonie, thanks again for your spot-on assessment. Guess we couldn't 'steal' this one like some games this year when we got outplayed. I also agree with your take on Lars Eller; I'm not sure he can make it in this organization and an important effect of his struggles at center is how the team's attempts--and there have been many--to wait for him to step up at centre is delaying and inhibiting the development of Galchenyuk. I am leery of those 'we could've/should've drafted this guy or that guy instead of....' because hindsight is always 20/20. But isn't it time to let Galchenyuk play centre, and not just in intermittent bursts but to hand him the puck and say Alex, you're centering this line for the next 5 games no matter how many mistakes you make. And that's part of the problem and always will be for talented young players here. As you pointed out with Tinordi's gaffe, practically any and every mistake a player makes goes through the ever-increasing media machine, including here. And what happens, over and over again, is that players play afraid, afraid to make a mistake, and that's what I see happening with Galchenyuk. And that's what I think has helped crush Eller but is not the main reason he's coming up short here; his skills are just not enough to be a top-six guy. And BTW, if Galchenyuk was moved to centre, please just don't shift Eller to wing; he's useless there. I'd prefer Borque(let him play off wing like he did in Calgary when he had 27 goals). Alas, I realize in the playoff race, and the relentless pressures of playing in Montreal this most likely will not happen and we'll yearn for the rising stars of other teams and think the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
  • Comment on Budaj gets start vs. Bruins; Bourque a healthy scratch (2014-03-12 11:59:37)
    OK, I don't read every word posted/printed about the Habs. What did Weise do to get in the doghouse? My opinion, and don't we all have them, is he's noticeably better than about 4 of the 'starters', mainly because he's more than a grinder; he can skate(and to start with this team's issues most teams do out skate us) and he has some offensive flair.