Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Nov
21
2015
But really. Why don't the Canadiens have cheer leaders at their home games???

Habs Fan in LeafLand: Self-Interview Part 1

[caption id="attachment_1482" align="aligncenter" width="605"] But really. Why don't the Canadiens have cheer leaders at their home games???[/caption] The popular and ego-inflated piece is back: the Habs Fan in LeafLand self-interview!!! There's been a lot of hockey talk lately (Semin, goalie pads, lack of scoring in the NHL, Duchesne on the trade block, the return of Price, etc.) so time to chime in with some thoughts. --------------------------------------------------- Q: Good to see you again. HFILL: It's good to be here. Q: You look good. HFILL: Thanks, I feel good. Q: Do you find this a bit awkward? HFILL: Yes, it can be…
Sep
20
2015
Pacioretty was named Captain of the Canadiens this year and it's up to him to lead this team, on and off the scoresheet.

Captain Max Pac

[caption id="attachment_1344" align="aligncenter" width="547"] The torch has now been passed to Max Pacioretty, as voted by the players.[/caption] Max Pacioretty was named the 29th captain of the Montreal Canadiens this week. As voted by the players -- the way it should be -- the Habs put this ongoing story to rest so the team can focus on more important tasks at hand. He was my choice as well. The story just seems be getting better and better for Max Pacioretty: coming back from a career-threatening, let alone life threatening injury at the hands of Zdeno Chara in 2011, Pacioretty has…
Sep
21
2014
Markov has slowly but surely found his game and served as a mentor to both Alexei Emelin and P.K. Subban. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Et tu Markov

[caption id="attachment_1237" align="aligncenter" width="575"] Andrei Markov is an experienced defenceman with a lot of gas left in the tank and the Canadiens would be hard pressed to replace him. (Icon SMI)[/caption] This week's announcement that the Canadiens will go captainless during the 2014-2015 season, opting instead to go with four Alternate Captains, combining leadership from the old (Markov, Plekanec) with the new (Pacioretty, Subban) only reinforces what Andrei Markov means to this team. Yes, he could have been made Captain outright, but it's not his style. A quiet leader on and off the ice, Markov prefers to lead by example…
Oct
02
2013
Habs Brendan Gallagher scores against Leafs' James Reimer in 4-3 loss to Toronto. AP

Habs Lose Season Opener to Leafs… AGAIN!!!

Canadiens play decent but not good enough to win season opener; fall to opportunistic Leafs 4-3 and lose tough guy Parros in the process [caption id="attachment_1179" align="aligncenter" width="512"] Habs Brendan Gallagher scores against Leafs' James Reimer in 4-3 loss to Toronto. AP[/caption] Yes, yes. Habs Fan in LeafLand is back. Where was he you ask? Well he's been hanging out at The Hockey Writers all summer, where he covers the Montreal Canadiens. But now that real hockey is back, Habs Fan in LeafLand likes to continue the conversation in the more intimate confines of this space to break down the…
Apr
21
2013
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Some Funny Habs Quotes From the Room

After a disappointing 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals to end their home season, I thought I'd give you some funny Habs quotes from the room:   Carey Price: "Hey, I spoke to my daddy and he says I just have to work harder to get through this." Max Pacioretty: "Well at least I scored tonight." Brandon Prust: "Look. I'm playing with a separated shoulder, a sore back and a funny rash on my leg. I can't speak for the others." Raphael Diaz: "It's not my fault. I haven't played since February." Brendan Gallagher: "I'm just a rook!" David Desharnais:…
Apr
02
2013
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Habs Trade Deadline? Anything?? Bueller!?

Canadiens close out 'Canes 4-1 in Montreal to sweep season series as trade deadline nears Nothing too fancy. Nothing too exciting. Unless you consider getting another 2 big points exciting. And you just might. [caption id="attachment_1096" align="alignleft" width="300"] Carey Price was sharp in the Canadiens 4-1 victory over the Hurricanes last night. AP[/caption] Especially considering that your 2012-2013 Montreal Canadiens, with their win last night against Kirk Muller's Carolina Hurricanes, are now relatively secure in the 2nd spot atop the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes seem to be just what the doctor ordered for Max Pacioretty, who broke out of his…
Mar
24
2013
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Sabres Foil Habs — Again!!

Buffalo takes all four points this week against Habs with 2-1 win in Montreal Saturday night Another lacklustre performance against the Sabres!? [caption id="attachment_1081" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tomas Vanek scores on a helpless Carey Price for his second of the game and game winner as Buffalo beat Montreal 2-1. AP[/caption] Nah!!! I don't believe it. No it's true.┬áDone in by that Tomas Vanek... again!! Well it took the Canadiens just over 48 minutes to put one past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller when Michael Ryder tipped home an Andrei Markov point shot. And they topped Buffalo on the shot clock, but if…
Feb
26
2013

Bishop Burns Habs

Ben Bishop stops 44 shots to steal win for Sens against Habs in shootout-------------------------Craig Anderson? Who's that guy? Oh yeah, starting goalie for the Ottawa Senators. You know, best goalie so far in the league this season; went down with an ankle sprain last week. Yeah yeah.Hey, he played a heck of a game, that Ben Bishop goalie person. APBen Bishop? Who is that guy? Isn't he the Canadian candidate for the papacy?Not even close.Unfortunately for the Habs, they probably wished they faced Craig Anderson in Ottawa Monday night, and that the 6"7 Ben Bishop was the papal candidate, because…
Feb
17
2013

Battle of the Backups

Budaj records first win of the year as Habs beat Flyers 4-1 in MontrealNO EXCUSESIt's the Canadiens' slogan this year, emblazoned in large letters in the dressing room. Habs continue their winning ways by beating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 in Montreal. APThe Flyers were coming off a loss in New Jersey last night while the Canadiens waited for them in Montreal, having won two straight in Florida.NO EXCUSES not to win.And they didn't disappoint. The Canadiens came out flying against the Flyers, taking the lead 1-0 on a goal by first star of the game Brendan Gallagher, who took a…
Feb
08
2013

Habs Tale of Two Cities

Canadiens drop 3 of 4 points in back to back games against Bruins and Sabres-------------------------------------------If I said Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller would give up four goals five straight games in a row, would you think I was crazy? Drunk? Just plain stupid?(Well I am fighting a cold right now.)But it's true. Yet still, the Canadiens unfortunately reminded us of the team we painfully watched last year Thursday night in Buffalo when they gave up a two goal lead in the third to lose in a shootout 5-4.For their part, the Canadiens came back strong after a disappointing loss to…
Jan
23
2013

THE NEW ALEX IN TOWN

GAME NUMERO 2: PK WHO? & GALCHENYUK POTS FIRST OF BEAUCOUP TO COME AS HABS DOWN PANTHERSOne game does not a season make. Err, or something like that.Maybe it's only a 48 game season this year but it's going to be intense and concentrated. Teams are going to play multiple games in multiple nights. That means there will be hockey on the tube practically every night.I like that.First goal for Alex Galchenyuk, first point for Brendan Gallagher and first win for the second coming of head coach Michel Therrien. Habs beat Florida Panthers 4-1 in Montreal. APSo the Habs who…
Jan
20
2013

RUT OR RUST?

GAME NUMERO 1: LEAFS SPOIL HABS HOME OPENERIt's a funny thing:The Canadiens kicking the season off against the Leafs usually results in a loss -- last year they went down 2-0.The Canadiens ending the season against the Leafs usually results in a win -- last year they won 4-1.And so far this year is no different even with a condensed schedule; the Habs lost the home opener and will finish the season here in Toronto, probably with a win. Hopefully it means something.It is universally accepted that the Habs' pregame ceremonies are the best in the business and last night…
Jan
19
2013

GET YOUR POPCORN READY!!!

GAME NUMERO 1: HABS VS. LEAFSWell it's finally arrived, the start of the 2012-2013 NHL season. Kings fans must be ecstatic -- they can at least raise their one and only Stanley Cup banner and get on with it. We know the media is jumping for joy -- they now get to do what they're paid to do.For us poor sod fans, we don't get much except what we wanted all along. That is, the chance to root for our home teams and debate about it at work. Is that so much to ask for???But what about those rumours of…
Jan
09
2013

WHY THE RADIO SILENCE? PART 2

THOUGHTS on the LOCKOUT, HOW THE NEW DEAL AFFECTS PLAY ON THE ICE, THE SHORTENED SEASON, and what it all means.So at least the hockey pundits on television are excited -- they have real hockey stuff to talk about.┬áLike Alex Kovalev -- he was invited to the Florida Panthers camp!! Why not!?Let's wish him well. The guy's 39 and hasn't played for over a year...So the lockout is over, though not officially. The NHL Board of Governors are voting tomorrow but it should be a forgone conclusion. Andrei Markov decided to stay in Russia... for one more game. He's expected…
Jan
07
2013

It was quite the summer… and fall… and winter…

WHY THE RADIO SILENCE?PART 1Yes the summer was off to a great start.The Kings were the deserved Stanley Cup champs, proving that any team in the big dance at season's end has a chance if they get on a roll. Clutch scoring throughout the lineup combined with great goaltending is usually a recipe for success.Oh man and when the Caps beat the Bruins in OT to win that series -- man that was good.Finally the long nightmare was over.Teams made some big-time signings, the biggest fish being Rick Nash who was nabbed by the Rangers. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter…