Big Ted - (Ted H)Member since February 13, 2010
Habs fan since: 1985
Favorite current player: PK Subban, Ryan White, Mathieu Darche
All-time favorite player: Saku Koivu, Oleg Petrov, Lyle Odelein
- Comment on About last night … (2013-12-08 10:41:35)
I actually do believe Thornton regrets the injury he caused in retrospect. I don't think for a second he cared about Orpik's well-being at the time and in fact meant to hurt him at that moment. His actions were clearly intentional. He not only knocked him unconscious, he continued to hit him even after he was out cold. Without a doubt, I have more respect for Thornton apologizing after the fact than I do for a heinous criminal like Chara pretending that he didn't do anything and that he didn't even know who he hit. That makes Chara just about the lowest scum on the earth and I have no respect for such a disgrace of a human being. I can at least respect the statement Thornton made after and accept that he recognizes he was in the wrong. That being said, it does not absolve him of what he did. In the courts of justice, a murderer is not let off just because he apologizes. Thornton needs to be disciplined for his actions, and a suspension for the remainder of the season and playoffs is to me the only thing that makes sense. If you look at the list of the awful injury-inflicting cheapshots over the past few decades, it's pretty easy to see a pattern. McSorley on Brashear was a Bruin on a Canuck; Chara on Pacioretty was a Bruin on a Hab; Thornton on Orpik is now a Bruin on a Penguin. There's a definite theme, whereby 3 of the 5 worst hockey plays over that time can be traced back to the Bruins. I'm not talking here about guys playing reckless hockey or players crossing the line with a hit. These were all incidents where a Bruins player was seeking out and deliberately attempting to injure an opposition player. All 3 incidents were in my mind not part of the game of hockey but rather criminal in nature. There is no excuse for the NHL allowing such gestures to stand. Thornton should be heavily punished for such an act, and in truth, the league should look long and hard at the hockey culture in Boston that's allowed this to go on because it's certainly not normal that with 30 teams in the league, 60% of the worst cases come down to just one squad. After the Thornton incident, you could see Claude Julien not looking remorseful or concerned but actually swearing at the Penguins bench as if they deserved it or had brought it on themselves. That's a coach who despite his skill, has no degree of sportsmanship nor an ounce of integrity. If I were the commissioner, I would have a good mind to suspend Julien for a handful of games as well for failing to control his goon. The league has allowed Boston to run rampant with cheap shots and dives and attempts to injure for too long, and it's not only ruining the game of hockey, it's putting players lives at stake.
- Comment on Liveblog: Sabres at Canadiens (2013-03-23 21:44:53)
Second time this week that a phantom penalty call against P.K. Subban directly led to a goal in a one-goal Buffalo win. Tough pill to swallow when you know you were the better team tonight.
- Comment on Liveblog: Hurricanes at Canadiens (2013-02-18 16:55:00)
Therrien has the team playing well, but I don't think he's anywhere close to Jack Adams territory. Frankly, there was nowhere for him to go but up and much of the success he's had can be attributed to simply not having the bad luck we had last year. He's gotten Markov back, which has significantly helped the PP, compared to last year when our PP stank and we lost a ton of 1-goal games. He has Gionta back so that Plekanec actually has wingers who can score and isn't playing with Moen and Blunden half the time. He has Prust and Galchenyuk and Gallagher to give him secondary scoring and energy in place of where Cunneyworth had White, Nokelainen, Blunden, and Leblanc. And while he's gotten Bourque back on track, we can note that Cole, Pacioretty, and Desharnais are all playing worse than last year. We're still undisciplined and we're horrid in the face-off circle. So while Therrien is clearly a better coach than Cunneyworth was last year, he's also simply riding a wave of fewer injuries, a favorable home schedule, and better depth. He's done as well as could be hoped for, but this isn't a Jack Adams performance, this is to me, an expected regression to the mean that would have been achievable with most other coaches we could have hired. He gets some of the credit but I think most of our improvement has to do with how bad a situation we had last year and not how great we are this season. Let's wait until we see better opposition and play more road games before we throw Therrien's name into the Adams talk. I'm more impressed with the coaching jobs that are being done in Toronto, NJ, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Carolina, Anaheim, Nashville, and Dallas to be honest.
- Comment on Pacioretty out 3 to 4 weeks following surgery to remove appendix (2013-01-26 22:18:06)
Dr. Recchi says it's just constipation. We'll agree with the actual doctors. Get well soon, Max.
- Comment on Markov creates controversy by playing in KHL game (2013-01-08 20:59:36)
Leblanc is more likely to stick. It doesn't mean he deserves it more, but Gallagher really needs to play in the top 6, and it'll be hard to find him a spot there with Desharnais and Gionta already playing there and lacking size. Leblanc could play the 2nd or 3rd line, so it would make it easier to find a spot for him. That said, I'm not sure either guy will make the team out of camp. I'd like to see Gallagher make it, but I think they're fighting for the first call-up.
- Comment on Habs players talk about the shortened season that awaits them (2013-01-07 21:12:00)
And P.K. could say he wants out of Montreal because he's been put down by management several times, most recently by Bergevin dishing out long-term deals to the likes of Price, Gorges, Pacioretty, Prust, and Moen, but not wanting to give Subban a multi-year deal. Now I'm hoping that was just M.B. banking on getting a better deal post-lockout, but then why not do that with other guys too? Why sign Eller pre-lockout and not P.K.? We've always had the feeling the coaches and G.M.'s had something against Subban, rightly or wrongly. But we've seen it too many times with guys deemed to be troubled athletes here going on to have great success elsewhere. Subban is not Sergei Kostitsyn and he's not Shayne Corson or Chris Chelios; so far as we can tell, his only fault is being too flamboyant for our conservative coaching style (which has gotten us nowhere frankly). I'm not saying P.K.'s going to hold out to play with Malcolm (or Jordan when he comes along), but if he's being pushed out the door, all I'm saying is that there's precedence for brothers wanting to play together. Saku's come out on record saying he'd love to have played with Mikko, but didn't want to infringe on his having built up his own identity there. Jordan may be playing second fiddle to Sid and Geno in Pittsburgh, but that line-up's been tinkered many times and Jordan's had plenty of opportunity to play the top two lines when one of those was shifted to the wing AND with all the injuries those other two have had the past few years. In Carolina, he'll still be sitting behind his brother on the depth chart. No matter what percentage of the decision you attribute to ice time or to brotherly love, it was a factor in his decision and a major reason Pit had little bargaining power in the trade, as other teams knew he would bolt to Carolina once a free agent anyways.
- Comment on Habs players talk about the shortened season that awaits them (2013-01-07 19:38:19)
Sometimes it's a factor, sometimes it isn't. Jordan Staal refused to sign with Pittsburgh because he wanted to go and play with Eric in Carolina, so it happens from time to time. I don't see P.K. jumping ship to the Bruins, I think it's more just a question of Marc Bergevin not making him feel welcome here to date. I like some of the things Bergevin has done, but if he lets P.K. get away, he should be fired the same day.
- Comment on Therrien reaction mixed (2012-06-06 16:30:27)
There's no doubt in my mind either that Bertrand Raymond is racist and values hiring someone who speaks French above all else. Good on Tony Marinaro for calling him out on it. With people like Raymond and Chantelois and Brunet pressuring the team publicly to put language first, it's no wonder we start out at a disadvantage in terms of options. Then the very same people chastise the team for not winning, when their own bigotry and impatience are what direct us their in the first place. Give me Houde, Lavoie, Damphousse, Denis, etc. any day, but someone needs to put a muzzle on those other idiots doing their best to put politics ahead of winning.
- Comment on Liveblog: Kings win 4-0, dust off the brooms (2012-06-04 22:07:44)
I'm by no means lumping Quebecers into raymond's corner. I wouldn't even lump all of the french media together, as I stated. But so long as raymond and Brunet and Chantelois continue to be given a public forum, their voices will ring louder than those we hear on fan forums or on the street. Unfortunately, Bergevin and molson have a much greater chance at hearing (and feeling inclined to respond to) those voices of bigotry than those of reason. I don't see any reason why Therrien and Carbonneau would or should be in consideration unless the language factor played a role in limiting the candidate pool.
- Comment on Liveblog: Kings win 4-0, dust off the brooms (2012-06-04 19:46:32)
There is this belief that Bergevin will make the best choice for the Habs and that he won't limit himself to a short-list of unimpressive candidates dictated by language or his contacts. But we actually don't know this to be the case because we don't know anything about Bergevin's practice of hiring coaches. Yes, we'd all like to give Bergevin the benefit of the doubt, but what hasn't been accounted for nearly enough is the pressure the organization is under from the francophone media. Let's keep in mind that Bergevin still has to answer to Geoff molson and that molson just went through a season where he and his last general manager were lambasted in the press for promoting the team's top assistant coach to an interim head coach position, this a move that most cities would judge to be common sense if you're not planning on picking a permanent coach yet which was met with hostility here because of one issue alone: language. Then molson's own adviser (Serge Savard) came out saying the next general manager and coach would speak french. No wiggle room. it certainly painted the team into a corner. In his continually-bigoted column, Bertrand raymond continues to dismiss anglophones as being second-tier citizens who do not understand french culture and who should have no say in hiring the next coach. He notes that Tony marinaro accused him of being racist and brushes this off, essentially because marinaro is not a pure laine Quebecer. Of course, raymond goes on to say that he would not be pleased with hiring Crawford because an anglophone who has learned french is not the same thing as a true francophone (in this case Therrien). Never mind that Crawford was good enough to coach in Quebec City, where the percentage of french-speaking residents is higher. Never mind that Crawford has gone back to taking french lessons and is showing an effort to improve in that area. To raymond and many like him, it's clear that they won't be happy unless there is a Quebec-born, first-language francophone coaching the team. On the 5 a 7 today, Alain Chantelois basically came out saying the same thing, noting that he would be against hiring a somewhat-bilingual anglophone like Crawford but implying that he would be okay with the other candidates he mentioned (Therrien and Lemaire, even though the latter is not going to happen). So when you ask yourselves why the two candidates we seem to be down to are who they are, you can thank the racists in the french media. Bergevin is in a position where he's being pressured, even bullied, to hire a francophone candidate, of which the good candidates are already employed (Julien, Vigneault, etc.), not willing to come here (Lemaire, roy, etc.) or lack the experience the team seems to be looking for (Groulx, Veilleux, etc.). This is why no one seems to have come up with a better list of candidates than those who have already been fired from the very post we are looking to fill (Therrien, Tremblay, Carbo, even martin). And if Bergevin were to stray from the list of candidates acceptable to the french media, I believe he knows that he would have to opt for someone with a track record on which he could defend his decision, hence the reason we've seen Hartley and Crawford interviewed. But surely there are other candidates out there who haven't been out of hockey for a few years. Surely there are some up-and-coming coaches in the AHL or juniors who could at the very least be candidates and bring something new to the table. Now I don't want to seem like I've pinned this all on Bergevin without anything having been decided yet. I have no inside information here, and for all I know, Bergevin may be set to name a mystery candidate as his next coach, someone who can bring optimism whether they be french or English. I also don't want to make it out like the entire french media shares the opinions of raymond, Chantelois, and Brunet. There are good people working in the media, like Lavoie, Damphousse, Denis, and Houde, who seem to have kept an open mind or at the very least not tried to intimidate the team into making a choice based on language. But it doesn't take away from the fact that we are where we are today in part because there are a few loud voices who continue to spew bigotry and influence rather than simply report on the team. I'll be elated to find out we hired someone with good credentials and I'll be somewhat relieved (albeit not happy) to know it's Crawford, whom I see as the lesser of two evils. But if it's Therrien, then the questions have to be asked about what part of the hire was made because of Bergevin falling into a rut of focusing on people he knows well and questions have to be asked about whether the pressure exerted by the media helped to limit the candidate pool and direct our choice to a coach with no system, no composure, and no reason to be given a second chance here when there is a wealth of alternative choices that could have been made.