It’s been a while…

Well…it HAS been a while, but I find myself with a small amount of time while I wait out the horrible 401 traffic.

Here we sit.  The Habs are comfortable.  Possibly the worst place for any team to be when they are trying to gain an identity.  “Holding pat” is probably the worst course of action for this team.  

I, like everyone else, fall victim to my emotions as a Habs fan.  The thought of trading any of the players I love so much always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and a pit in the bottom of my stomach…

That being said, there is work to do.  I keep an optimistic mind, and leave my faith in tact for our leader, Marc Bergevin.  He has done a good job so far.  There has been some criticism for the signings of Murray and Parros, but while they haven’t necessarily helped us…have they hurt us?

First…the untouchables.  Carey Price.  Alex Galchenyuk.  Josh Gorges.  Tomas Plekanec.  PK.  That’s it.  2 forwards, 2 Defensemen and a goalie. Something to build a team around.  The rest, some I’d hate to see go, some not so much, are expendable.

Let’s take a look at who is not only tradable, but might get us some good bang for the buck.

1.  Max Pacioretty – Now don’t get excited.  I don’t want him to go, and I don’t think he’ll go anywhere, but imagine the package MB could get for him?  The thoughts are too enticing to avoid…

2.  Brandon Gallagher – People are gonna kill me now.  THIS is our trade chip.  Pair Gallagher with a proven veteran (more on that in a bit), and the future is ours!!!  Gallagher is great.  He might be my favourite Hab right now, but if a trade were to happen, he would HAVE to be part of the package that brings a superstar to Montreal.

3.  The Vets – Gionta, Markov and Briere.  Now I know that, outside of Markov, this is not a list that has proven itself so far this campaign. But these are proven guys.  These are guys that GM’s will come knocking for, when the time arises.  And if these names are paired with a prospect like Gallagher (I told you), THIS is the package that is going to do it for Bergevin.  

4.  The unprovens – Beaulieu, Tinordi, Bournival, Collberg, Leblanc.  If someone comes calling, you have to listen.  There isn’t likely going to be much offered for these guys, (yet) but you never know.

On that last note, these players absolutely NEED to be looked at a little more this year.  Beaulieu could very well be a direct replacement for Markov, but with more size.  Tinordi, could very well be the second coming of his father.  Leblanc, with all the shafting he has received in the last couple years, might actually prove to be the player past management saw him as.  Bournival needs to spend some time playing top 6 minutes.  He’s proven his worth everywhere else so far.  Collberg needs to show he can play in the NHL.

While I maintain, the future is BRIGHT in Montreal, this is a VERY crucial time for Bergevin.  His steps this season will prove to be his vault to legend, or his decent into the fate of recent managements…

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Gameday! Habs vs. Leafs

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs


Is it actually time? Is this really happening? My goodness I’m excited!

The day many thought wouldn’t happen has finally arrived. Opening night of the 2012/13 NHL season. So it took until 2013 to happen, so what? It’s back, they got a long fair deal, and we can carry on for at least 8 years without any of this nonsense to interrupt us.

Enough of that now.

Today welcomes the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Bell Centre. I’m not sure there were two teams who had more of a disappointing season last year. And bitter rivals to boot. Coming into this game with so much to prove, both these teams will be fired up, angry, and playing with a ton of aggression.

How about Prust in that shootout?  He's gonna be a beauty.

How about Prust in that shootout? He’s gonna be a beauty.

On that note, how do those signings of Brandon Prust, Colby Armstrong and Francis Boullion look right now? These 3 guys, along with Travis Moen and Ryan White are going to show the league that the Habs are no longer a team to be pushed around. Finally!
In other exciting news, Rookies Brandon Gallagher and future star Alex Galchenyuk made the team out of camp. Whether either player will be on tonights roster or where they will play if they are remains to be seen, but I imagine if they are being kept around, it is because Therrien and Bergevin want to see them play.

Who’s out?


• Petteri Nokalainen

Keys to the Game

Both teams are going to be rusty coming out of the gate. It’s been a long hockeyless time. The Habs need to come out aggressive and play a new game under a new system with a new philosophy. If they have learned Therrien’s new system well enough, their skill players should be able to outplay those of the Leafs.

My Prediction

Habs 3 – Leafs 2 OT

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And now…I’m back. Maybe the league will follow suit?

It’s been a long time, my internet friends.  

When the Habs season came off the rails last year, I was bitter.  I was disappointed.  I was angry.

I have always been a very positive thinking blogger, and I found myself in a state of mind that was not conducive to my blogging intentions.  So I backed away.  I took a breather.  I allowed all the naysayers, and “anti-everything” guys to have their day in the sun.

And now…I’m back.

First off, I’m not going to get involved in the CBA negotiations.  I will not claim to know anything about what is going on.  I’m in the dark the same as everyone else on that matter.  I’ll leave the speculations and yammering to the Knowitalls.  I will only say this.  “I’m ready to watch hockey now!”


It’s been quite an eventful few months, hasn’t it?  Almost everyone in management has been sacked.  Except for Trevor Timmins.  Congrats to him on his extension!  I think his work at this years draft shows just how incapable, and hindering past bosses were, don’t you?  I wonder how much influence Bergevin had on Timmins in the short time they worked together leading up to the draft?  Or did Bergevin just say to Timmins, “Have at her!”

I think it is safe to say, the future looks much brighter than it has for a few years.  A legitimate offensive “superstar” talent in the ranks in Alex Galchenyuk.  Suprise picks (as in, “Why were they still available”) Sebastien Collberg and Dalton Thrower made this years draft an unbelievable success.  Round it out with some quality character picks in the later rounds, and the Habs prospect ranks (which looked pretty weak going in) are now filled and strong.  And not filled with Gaineyesque picks like Kostitsyn (pfft) either.  We’re talking ‘exciting/there’s hope in Montreal’ type prospects here.  On top of the new additions there is Beaulieu, Tinordi, Gallagher, Ellis, Holland and Bournival.  That’s a pretty good list.

Beyond that, Bergevin has done a great job of locking up Price and Pacioretty as well as bringing in some help for the bottom six in Prust and Armstrong.  No more pushing around this team.  I am a HUGE fan of bringing back Boullion as well.  I never wanted him to go in the first place.  “The Cube”, as I like to call him, will be a great mentor for Emelin.  I think he will also bring out a nastiness in Gorges that will make him that much better.

All that said, there is still work to be done.  Subban?  Get it done.  Get him locked up.  This of course will happen, I’m not worried about that.  If an offer sheet was coming for him, it would have already happened.  This reminds me completely of 2 years ago when Price was negotiating his first real contract.  It went on forever, didn’t it?  I expect Subban to sign a similar deal to that one.  2 years @ no more than $4 million per.  Why 2 years?  Because that is when the Gomez contract will come off the books.  And Subban will get his money.


Gomez.  Gomez, Gomez, Gomez.  The hate everyone has for this guy makes me a little sick to my stomach.  All his failings have been coaching.  Martin’s system is about as good a fit for him as a Ferrari in a Nascar race.  It’s like Zdeno Chara riding a horse.  It never made sense.  Blaming Gomez for this situation is unfair.  Sure I wish he put up more points in his time in Montreal, but he really hasn’t been that bad.  He really hasn’t!  I suspect he will be in the lineup come opening day, and he is going to have a good season.  No, he’s not going to have an 80-100 point season, but he is going to be a factor.  And this is a good thing.

So.  What’s next?  I don’t anticipate any big moves before the start of the season.  This team, and all its players, will get a chance to prove themselves.  With a new coach.  A new boss.  And an entirely new philosophy.


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In support of “Mr. Gomez”

I thought I was the only one.  I’m still not convinced I’m not.  Allow me to stand up now and announce myself like a new member at an A.A. meeting.

I, Marcus Henderson, am a fan of Scott Gomez.

It all began on a cold, wintery evening in 2008.  Rookie goaltender Carey Price was having an off night against the Rangers.  He let in 3 goals in the first period.  It happens.  Then coach Guy Carbonneau pulled Carey in favour of Cristobal Huet.  The hurting didn’t stop.  The Rangers piled on 2 more goals in the second period, seemingly putting the game out of reach.  As the third period started, the Rangers seemed to be asleep.  2 goals from Michael Ryder, a goal from Kovalev, and another from Ryder to complete the hat trick.  Suddenly it was a one goal game!  At 15:38 of the 3rd period Alex Kovalev scored a PP goal to tie up the game.  The Habs would eventually win it in a shootout, ending one of the greatest comebacks in NHL history.

Now, you are probably wondering.  “What the hell is he on about now?”  and “What on earth does this have to do with Scott Gomez?”  I will tell you.

While all this was going on, I was watching Gomez.  His incredible skating and puck handling skills were mind boggling.  While the rest of his team were sitting on their hands, Gomez was everywhere!  As the game wore on, and tempers flared, little Scotty Gomez was the first one in the pile, and was the mouthiest of the bunch.  Trying desperately to keep his team in it.

Even though the Rangers lost the game, and Gomez put a big fat zero on the scoreboard, he was the best player on the ice.  Bar none.  At that moment I thought, “Gainey’s gotta get this guy!”

It is well documented that the Habs had a broken locker room in their centennial season.  It cost Carbonneau his job, and was the reason for the massive rebuilding of the team in the off season.

Where did Gainey start?  Scott Gomez.  He was brought in to fix the broken locker room.  And fix it he did.  Money well spent.

I didn't see anyone else standing up to this giant goon, did you?

And so…here we sit.  1 year, no goals.  Limited points since his acquisition.  Every Hab fan on the planet calling for his head.  Calling for Gainey’s head.  Calling for “the Goat’s” head.

And me?  I still like him.  The team is better with him in the lineup, whether he’s putting up points or not.  Obviously, points would be better, but Scott has a large list of unquantifiable talents and benefits.  At this point, I’d say he’s more deserving of the “C” than Gionta.  Not more than Gorges, who clearly should have it, but deserving nonetheless.

What’s more?  While everyone else is counting the days until his contract is up, and he is erased from their memories and the team’s cap hit, I sit here hoping he is signed to an extension.  He would certainly be cheaper at that point wouldn’t he?

Here’s an intriguing option.  There are rumours that the new CBA will include a one time, penalty free, buyout on a single bad contract per team.  I  have an idea.  This happens, Molson buys out Scott’s contract taking him off the cap.  Scott gets the money he earned (that’s right, I said it) and everyone is happy.  No harm to the team.  This is where things get interesting.  Would the Habs be allowed to resign him?  If Gomez is allowed to sign, for say, $2.5 million per year?  Or does this defeat his buyout money?  Somehow it seems too good to be true.  The habs keep their locker room leader, and at a price that actually reflects his production, while he still gets the money he earned. (yep.  I said it again.)

I realize this is never going to happen.  I’m not that naive.  And the league is not that stupid.

What I ask at this point is this.  What are the Canadiens going to spend Gomez’ money on if they are allowed to buy him out penalty free?  Jeff Carter?  Rick Nash?  Don’t even try to tell me Getzlaf, Perry or Ryan.  Anaheim isn’t moving any of those guys.  And even if they did, it would cost the Habs something that they just can’t afford to part with right now. High draft picks and prospects.

Like it or not, Habs fans, this team is entering a rebuild stage.  What does this mean?  Money is not a problem.  Gomez’ contract means nothing.  The next few years should see the team obtaining and icing a young team comprised of entry level contracts.  It’s time to build some superstars.  Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty are your new ‘veterans’.

After 2 more season’s, Gomez’ contract is up.  At this point, the team has had a couple years to recuperate.  With 7.3 million in cap space suddenly available, the Canadiens can make a HUGE splash.  And they will be ready.

Now is NOT the time for panic.  Now is the time for clear thinking and a carefully laid out plan.  And this plan MUST include someone like Scott Gomez.

The guy is a leader. We need him.

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Great win in Toronto!

That was a great night of hockey, wasn’t it?  Rene Bourque scored his first as a Hab.  Lars Eller got his 10th, reaching double digits for the first time as a pro.  Carey Price was…Carey Price.  Gomez was double shifted, and deserved it.

Bourque gets his first. A dirty one in front of the net. Awesome!

Let’s hear it folks!  We’re #11!  We’re #11!  We’re #11!!!

All kidding aside, it feels great to be a Habs fan today.  3 out of a possible 4 points on the weekend.  No controversies.  It’s nice to see everyone celebrating a win, instead of crunching playoff percentages, and calling for heads.

Lets just sit back and listen to a good song from a true Canadiens fan.


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I’ve been pretty quiet lately.  Perhaps a little too quiet?

While Habs fans have reached a panic mode rivaling the final scenes of Titanic, throwing everyone and anyone under the bus, I have remained calm.  I have tried to see things through my own, ever optimistic eyes.

So quick everyone has been to place blame on Gomez, Price, Gauthier, Gainey, Cammalleri, the list goes on and on.  I’m not so eager to do the same.

Every team hits a crossroads. There are ups and downs, peaks and valleys, highs and lows.  It’s unavoidable.  In a fan base as hungry and demanding as ours, these summits create a state of Euphoria.  An invincibility that we no longer feel is earned, but owed.  When we find ourselves spinning into the abyss that we are now in, we feel wronged.  We feel cheated.  Someone must be at fault for this, right?

I take us back a few short years.  To the summer of 2009.  This is where Bob Gainey, former GM of the Canadiens, found himself at this crossroads I speak of.  He had an aging group of veterans.  They had found marginal regular season success, but continually proved not to be contenders in the playoffs.  It was time to make a decision.

With players like Alex Kovalev, Mike Komasarik and long time captain Saku Koivu becoming UFA’s, Gainey had a chance to step back and take a look at what he had, and what direction the team was heading.  I have to tell you folks, he couldn’t have liked what he saw.  This team had passed it’s apex.  It was into the later years of it’s current lifespan and had begun its decent into the darkness that accompanies every GM’s biggest nightmare.  A rebuild.

No assets to move for picks.  No young studs under contract to build around.  Nothing.

Gainey saw an opportunity.  The free agent list that year showed something that could be magical.  What would a team look like that had a Gomez/Gionta reunion?  What would Cammalleri bring to this mix?  It was an interesting thought.  One that, if it worked, could put off that dreaded rebuild and give the team life again.

Most importantly, it could appease this rabid fanbase.

So this team was assembled.  It even had some success.  I think everyone can agree that playoff run was one of the more magical stories in this franchise’s bulging diary.  So everything was grand.  Even last year, the team showed improvement and looked to defeat the hated Bruins and maybe go on to another run.  It was not meant to be.

In the background to all this, the rebuild remained.  Forgotten, but growing in need.  The cupboards were still somewhat bare.  The Kostitsyn’s were failures.  David Fischer was, well, David Fischer.

Really want to blow things up? Think of the implications!

And so…the rebuild.

No one in this fan base is willing to sit through 5 – 10 years of bottom 5 finishes.  Don’t try and pretend.  You are lying.

We aren’t about to see a Gomez for Alex Ovechkin trade anytime soon either, so suck it up!

There are some quality pieces in this organization that need some time to grow.  The underachieving team we are icing will allow this to happen.

Does anyone actually think Nail Yakupov or Mikhail Grigorenko is Sidney Crosby or Alex  Ovechkin?  Get real!  This is a very deep draft and any 1st or 2nd round pick could end up being gold.

What do the Habs need right now?  How about a little patience and support from their fans?  How about a vote of confidence?  How about everyone takes a breath for a second, and sees the big picture?  We’ll be alright.  We have some very good pieces here now.  It is not the time to panic.

The future is already here. Well...almost.

Here is a gentle reminder.

  • Carey Price
  • PK Subban
  • Eric Cole
  • David Desharnais
  • Max Pacioretty
  • Louis LeBlanc
  • Jarred Tinordi
  • Nathan Beaulieu
  • Lars Eller
  • Tomas Plekanec
  • Alexei Emelin
  • Brendan Gallagher

Is this really a list worth panicking about?  Quietly, Gainey and Gauthier have stocked the cupboards.  We will be alright.  Just chill out.

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The return of Roy?

There are rumblings that Derek Roy is on his way to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for….well…that hasn’t really been stated.

While Roy has had decent numbers over the years, scoring 20 – 30 goals consistently (other than last years injury shortened season, but he did have 35 points in 35 games), there are numbers on his stat sheet that tell me this acquisition doesn’t make a lot of sense.

5′-09″ and 188lbs.

Really?  A small centerman?  That’s what this team is in need of?

I suppose what the team is actually in need of, is some offense.  I suppose Roy does fulfill this need, so I suppose at the right price, this could be a good acquisition.  Who would it be though?

I’m not sure what expendable asset we have that would make this trade work.  I’m not buying it.

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Cammalleri not happy with current situation. Ya think?

Yesterday news came out that Habs’ supposed “Super Sniper” Mike Cammalleri had some harsh words for his teammates and the organization as a whole in a semi private, locker room interview, with correspondant Arpon Basu and Francois Gagnon of La Presse.

“I can’t accept that we will display a losing attitude as we’re doing this year. We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it’s no wonder why we lose,” Cammalleri said after asked about the teams recent efforts.

He also spoke of his ice time, which has been less in recent games, and less overall since the promotion of Randy Cunneyworth, stating “I’m not playing as much, so I need to get a little work here in practice to stay in shape” and when asked about 2 glaring missed assignments, “On the Arnott goal, he was my guy, I wasn’t sharp there,” Cammalleri said. “But it was my fifth shift of the game and it was the second period. Usually I’ve made 15 good plays by that point.”

Wow.  Some harsh words from someone who isn’t living up to his contract, eh? Exactly what 15 good plays have you made this year, Mike?

The worst part?  He’s absolutely right!  About some of it anyways.

I can get on board with his comments about the team’s “losing attitude”.  A defeatists approach will never bear fruit.  I think this was a good veteran move, trying to get his teammates compete level up.  Anyone want to argue that that’s not a good thing?  I don’t think so.

It’s one thing to say these things, but Mr. Cammalleri needs to be a solution on the ice.  Not in quiet meetings with reporters off it.  I appreciate the passion, but for the love of all that is holy, SCORE SOME GOALS ALREADY!

Does Mike want out of Montreal?  That’s not something I’m willing to speculate on.  Here’s what I know.  We aren’t likely to get fair return on our investment if we move him now.  There’s not a lot of teams beating down Gauthier’s door for a “Sniper” with 9 goals in 37 games.  Even if he has been “money” in the playoffs in recent years.

My thoughts?  At this point, Cammalleri’s contract looks about on par with everyone’s favourite Hab to hate, Scott Gomez.  Difference is, everyone on the team likes Scott and he’s been great in the dressing room over the years.  Mike?  Not so much.  Maybe PK needs to have a scrap with him in practice to straighten him out?

Time to put up or shut up Mike.  We get it.  Hopefully the team gets it.  Do you?

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Gameday! Habs vs Blues

Tuesday January 10, 2012

Montreal Canadiens vs. St. Louis Blues

Halak is coming!  Halak is coming!

Guess what?  I couldn’t care less.  It’s become painfully obvious that Gauthier made the right choice in these two goalies and there is one stat that explains why.

  • Carey Price – Games played = 36
  • Jaroslav Halak – Games played = 21

The big question with Mr. Halak during the great goalie debate was, could he handle a bigger workload.  It is clear now, that this workload was intended to be monstrous as shown by the amount of games played by Carey Price over the last two seasons.  Anyone questioning how he is handling it?  I don’t think so.

And so…that is the last I will speak of this supposed “goalie controversy”.  Wait.  One more point.  Brian Elliot has been better.  That’s right.  Brian Fricken’ Elliot.

Getting onto an actual topic, Scott Gomez has been cleared for play.  “So what?” is everyone’s response.  The real question is, “Where will he play?”  Will he dislodge one of the other top 3 centermen as he has in the past?  Will he slot in on the wing on one of the top two lines?  Will he sit in the press box?

If Martin was still at the helm, you can bet he would immediately be thrown back into a top line role.  It seems, since Randy Cunneyworth has been handed the reigns, things are different now.  Desharnais and Eller are seeing much more time in offensive situations, where their skill sets will allow them to succeed.  Plekanec has been used more defensively as of late, a situation where he has always excelled.  This makes Gomez the odd man out.  Even Nokalainen is better at faceoffs than Gomez, so putting him there isn’t the best idea either.

This means he should be on the wing then, right?  Maybe.  But where?  Pacioretty is sick so if he is unable to go, he could get plopped into his spot with Desharnais and Cole.  I’d be interested to see that.  On the other hand, you could move Cammalleri over there and have a Gomez, Plekanec and Gionta line.  If Pacioretty does play tonight, what then?  How about moving Moen to the 4th line and putting him on Eller’s wing?

Or is Scott Gomez just destined to be thrown on the 4th line wing, hoping some other team will feel sorry for him and offer a trade?  How about Rick Nash for Gomez straight up? (insert LOL here)

Here’s what I think.  Gomez will start in Pacioretty’s spot tonight, and Patches will get a rest.  From there, Cunneyworth will move him around seeing if he has developed a spark in his time off.  (Gomez hasn’t missed many games since he’s come to Montreal)  Two things can happen from this.  He can be rejuvenated and start playing like the 7 million dollar man his contract demands of him, earning him a permanent spot on the roster, or attracting a trade offer from a team looking to reach the cap floor next season.  On the other hand, he could continue to be ineffective.  This could force the hand of Gauthier or even Geoff Molson himself.  Will Gomez be the next Wade Reddon?  Sent down to Hamilton to fester, and talk about what could have been.

Only time will tell…..

Who’s out?


  • Andrei Markov
  • Ryan White
  • Max Pacioretty (illness)

Keys to the Game

Keep the ball rolling.  The Habs have started 2012 with a bang, winning both games they’ve played thus far in convincing fashions, but find themselves a LONG ways out of playoff contention.  Nothing a good winning streak couldn’t fix though, right?

My Prediction

Habs 6 – Blues 4

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Gorges signs 6 year contract extension.

Breaking news!!!!  The Montreal Canadiens announced that Josh Gorges has been signed to a 6 year contract extension.  Details to follow.

Is this the move that turns the tide and saves a lot of peoples jobs?  We’ll see….

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