Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Jan
31
2011

The NHL All-Star Game: Better, But Still Boring

Back from my own personal All-Star break. I figured I'd take the breather in the NHL schedule to recharge my batteries for what's sure to be an exciting season's end.Next stop, February's trade deadline.Personally, I do think the Canadiens will be active. For who, and for what? That I'm not sure of. I need to better assess the situation.The All-Star Game: Better, But Still Boring: I think Shanahan's player-driven improvement to the NHL All-Star game were well received and made the proceedings more engaging and fun.Carey Price and P.K. Subban during the NHL All-Star game skills competition. Getty Images The…
Jan
26
2011

Habs Limp Towards All-Star Break With Loss in Philly

The Habs have nobody to blame but themselves for last night's 5-2 loss to the Flyers in Philly.They were playing a good game up until they started falling back into bad habits, namely taking bad penalties. Three penalties in a row and three goals in a 4 minute stretch between the 1st and 2nd periods essentially did them in.Special teams were the difference. Habs went 0-7 with the extra man, while the Flyers were 3-5. Can't say Bobrovski was peppered or had to be at his best, but he was solid, and got a bit lucky on a few occasions…
Jan
23
2011

Saku! Saku! Saku!

Well with a relief we're all happy that this one is over. The heralded return of Captain Koivu to Montreal was a success, more for him than the Habs to be sure, but all in all a nice way to once again share some love and admiration with him. He has been and always will be total class, which puts him at the head of the class for Canadiens alumni.It was nice what the Canadiens did at the end of the anthems by showing images of Koivu when he came back from cancer, then showing him on the ice with…
Jan
22
2011

My Cousin, Habs Good Luck Charm!!!

This story begins earlier in the season when the Habs beat the Senators in Ottawa 4-1.Great game by the troups, made better for me because my good buddy and cousin Warren Kleiner was in attendance -- with his best bud Charles -- but also because they were in primo position to be shot by RDS cameras on television. Nice one Warren. No this guy's not Warren!!! But in any case this gent, wearing Subban's number, was funny looking enough to capture my attention, celebrating the Canadiens' first goal less than two minutes in last night by Benny Pouliot. The story…
Jan
20
2011

Habs at the Crossroads

Some updates while the Habs continue to lick their wounds on another off day for the team.The reinforcements are on their way to MontrealWe knew this was going to happen.Forwards Andreas Engqvist and Ryan White have been called up from Hamilton. Engqvist is big and Swedish. White is gritty and Canadian. You may recall White from previous call-ups but this is Engqvist's first call-up to the big show. White probably had the best camp of all the Habs' prospects -- in my opinion -- and possesses the ability to finish plays and score potentially big goals. He could be the…
Jan
19
2011

A Point in the Very Least!!!

If you thought Monday night's game against Calgary was weird, last night's game took the cake.I've posted previously how certain losses are just unacceptable and reek of a lack of effort. Last night's 2-1 OT loss to the Buffalo Sabres was not one of those losses. The Canadiens have nothing to be ashamed of as the effort was there. In fact, they should be proud of the way they performed and almost eked out 2 points.Canadiens head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend helps Michael Cammalleri (left) and Max Pacioretty off HSBC Center ice in Buffalo. Note photo at left: Pacioretty on…
Jan
16
2011

Big Win Keeps Habs A-Rollin’

The Habs needed a bounce back game to further solidify their spot in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, and that's exactly what they provided last night winning 3-2 against the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre last night.Habs goaltender Carey Price eyeballs the puck before grabbing it against the New York Rangers, January 15, 2010. Photo by John Kenney, The Gazette. Things were stacked against the Canadiens in their previous game against the Pens: 2nd game in two nights; Pens looking to avenge the sloppy loss against the Bruins; Fleury looking to show up Price and give…
Jan
12
2011

Habs Hang Around Long Enough to Pull Out Win in NYC

The Canadiens have had a tough time on the road lately. But they're slowly starting to find their game, proof with a tight 2-1 win over the New York Rangers last night at MSG. Sometimes if you hang around long enough, you can pull out a game or two when you don't have your best stuff. Last night was one of those games for Montreal. This one certainly won't be going into the books as a classic. The Habs started slow and the Rangers took a 1-0 lead when Brandon Dubinsky took advantage of Hal Gill's slow feet to speed…
Jan
09
2011

Bruins the Tonic that Does the Habs Body Good

So yesterday afternoon I was filling in a good buddy of mine about the Habs' progress, or lack of such, over the last few weeks because he was out of town. Ultimately, the conversation concluded with my assertion that the game later that night against the Bruins was exactly what the Habs needed as a team.Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins watches as the puck flies past him to give the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 OT win last night in Montreal. AP What's that you say? Well hey! I've been watching the Habs somehow shaft the Bruins year after year.…
Jan
07
2011

Habs Win Despite Themselves

Don't you just love hockey?I sure do. It's really the only thing that gets me through the winter.It's been a fun and entertaining NHL season so far, with the Kovalchuk affair, trades, teams struggling etc. And it looks like it'll only continue, especially for the Canadiens, in the second half.Lots of news, let's get to it:HABS WIN IN SHOOTOUT AGAINST THE CROSBY-LESS PENSWell 2 points are 2 points. The team sorely needed this win, even if it was in a shootout, and even if they really didn't play a great game. And with a Bruins losers last night (well, they're…
Jan
03
2011

I’ve Seen This One Before

It's funny how certain games repeat themselves, like a story or film you've seen before. Yesterday afternoon's tilt at the Bell Centre against the Atlanta Thrashers was one of those games. Once the game started, I had that funny feeling no matter what the Habs threw at the Thrashers, they were going to come up short. When I get that feeling, I keep watching, hoping I'm wrong and that I got the read wrong, like in poker or something. But unfortunately last night my read was right. The Canadiens deserved a better fate, for sure, but can at least be…
Jan
01
2011

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Habs win important game on heels of Lapierre trade to DucksOut with the old, in with the new.The plane ride home must have been a good time at least -- the Canadiens ringing in the New Year with a 3-2 OT win against the Florida Panthers last night.Just what the doctor ordered. Now the team can go home, regroup and get their mojo on again after completing a painful 2-5 roadtrip.What's been missing in their play of late has been the compete level, a passion to win. Last night, thankfully they showed up wanting to do what it took to…