Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Feb
12
2017
Marc Bergevin

Habs Got the Blues

It's a bit misleading, right!? What's that you ask? I said, it's a bit misleading... the Habs, in first place atop of the Atlantic division. Sure, they have 70 points and a six point lead over the never-say-die Ottawa Senators. But what's that? The Senators have 4 games in hand? Four games...hmm, 2 times 4 equals 8. 8 plus 4 equals 12. Wait a second!? That's right, the Senators could indeed catch us sooner than you think. That's what's misleading. But let's forget about the math -- never my favourite subject anyhow. Let's talk hockey. Like the hockey our beloved…
Dec
03
2016
I don't think Max Pacioretty will start the season as a Montreal Canadien.

So What if Habs Are First!?

[caption id="attachment_1623" align="aligncenter" width="570"] Max Pacioretty is off to the worst offensive start to a season of his career.[/caption] The Montreal Canadiens are tops in the Atlantic division. Great right? And, they've been tops in the NHL for most of the season (as of writing, the Rangers and Blackhawks lead them by two points, but the Habs have two games in hand on both). So far so good right? But so what!? We remember all too well what happened last year once Carey Price went down, so we know it's MUCH too early to get ahead of ourselves. And it's…
Oct
09
2016
This has nothing to do with this post, except for making me nostalgic about watching the Habs when I was a kid...

“Celle qui se prend en douceur.”

[caption id="attachment_1597" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Has nothing to do with this post, except for making me nostalgic about watching the Habs when I was a kid...[/caption] All quiet on the Montreal Canadiens front as they await the opening of the 2016-2017 season. After completing their preseason with a resounding 6-1 victoire over the Maple Leafs, the Habs have a few days of rest and practice before kicking the year off against the Buffalo Sabres in Fluffalo. Interesting enough this year marks the first time in quite a few seasons that Montreal has opened the year against someone other than the Maple…
Sep
04
2016
GomezSubban

Le Calme Before the Storm

It's been a quiet little while for the Montreal Canadiens -- and for the NHL -- as summer comes to an end and things ramp up for the inaugural World Cup of Hockey and the 2016-17 season. The "big news" this week was the retirement of Scotty Gomez after 16 seasons, a Calder trophy, two Stanley Cups, and over a year without scoring a goal (a period in which he was outscored by Hal Gill). As bad as his acquisition proved to be, people forget he still had a respectable 59 points in his first season with the Habs, and…
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…
Aug
06
2015
Nikita Scherbak will get a good look this preseason. He might not make the squad right away, but if he continues to produce, don't be surprised if we see him with the Canadiens this year at some point.

Habs Roll the Dice

[caption id="attachment_1323" align="aligncenter" width="399"] Carey Price is firmly in his prime and with his treasure trove of trophies won this year, he's ready for the one that got away and lead the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup. But he can't do it all by himself.[/caption] Ahh, summer. It's great eh? I've always been a warm-weather person. For me one of the few good things about the winter is the NHL. I'm just back from Chicago where residents there are basking in another cup win, their third in 6 seasons. Not bad. And this is a team that will be around…
Apr
04
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.

Stumbling To The Finish?

[caption id="attachment_1344" align="aligncenter" width="539"] Max Pacioretty leads the Habs once again in goals, but will he lead the Habs towards a deeper playoff run than in 2014?[/caption] Just as I was about to publish this post the death of Montreal Canadiens legend Elmer Lach, at the age of 97, was made public. RIP. ------------------------------------------- "Our love is a flame /¬†Burnin' within / Now and then / Fire light will catch us / Stumblin' in."¬†-- Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman (1978) It's come to that time of year for our Montreal Canadiens to ready themselves for hopefully, a deep playoff run,…
Mar
15
2015
Nevermind the naysayers, the Montreal Canadiens have improved year after year with Michel Therrien behind the bench.

Michel Therrien: Therrific or Therrible?

[caption id="attachment_1206" align="aligncenter" width="420"] Nevermind the naysayers, the Montreal Canadiens have improved year after year with Michel Therrien behind the bench.[/caption] Last time in this space I discussed and speculated the moves that Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin might make at the trade deadline. Picking up a defenseman in Jeff Petry was no surprise, but perhaps the pickups of gritty 3rd and 4th line players Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn were. With the lack of real high impact scorers out there, Bergevin picked up character performers who could play a central role in the team's push this playoff season. And Bergevin…
Mar
01
2015
Carey Price will win some hardware this year, but for him to win the only hardware that counts, GM Bergevin still has some work to do.

Habs at the Trade Deadline: What’s Next?

[caption id="attachment_1204" align="alignleft" width="300"] Carey Price will win some hardware this year, but for him to win the only hardware that counts, GM Bergevin still has some work to do.[/caption] 48 hours to the NHL's 2015 trade deadline. What earth shattering deals will occur if any, and will the Habs be a part of the fun? Last year, GM Marc Bergevin pulled one of the deftest moves right at the buzzer scoring Thomas Vanek. Nobody saw that coming. While Vanek wasn't much set in staying in Montreal, he did help the team down the stretch and provided -- in theory…
Jan
31
2015
Carey Price is firmly in his prime and with his treasure trove of trophies won this year, he's ready to get the holy grail of hockey trophies.

Perfect Price “Careys” Habs

Carey Price posts his second shutout in a row helping the Canadiens beat the Washington Capitals 1-0. The Canadiens have now won five straight. There's been a lot of talk about Carey Price lately. Good talk. But also lots of talk how the Canadiens seem to be relying on him too much. Hard to argue with that I guess. Take the last two games. On Thursday in New York City facing the Rangers at MSG, he out dueled Henrik Lundqvist and the Canadiens walked away with a 1-0 win on Max Pacioretty's late goal. Then this afternoon in the now…
Oct
26
2014
Depth scoring helped the Canadiens early, and it can help them again.

Habby Times in Montreal

[caption id="attachment_1283" align="aligncenter" width="586"] "Hmm, it's true what they say about Montreal." Dale Weise showed that his input in last year's playoffs was no fluke, potting two assists against his former squad in last night's 3-1 win against the Rangers. Montreal is undefeated at home so far this year.[/caption] It was a relatively slow week for the Montreal Canadiens. They had a solid outing against Patrick Roy's Colorado Avalanche squad, beating them 3-2. Then they beat the Red Wings in comeback fashion, tying it late and winning in OT 2-1. So they could have brought their 6-1, 3-0 home record…
Oct
18
2014
He shoots, he scores?

Still Not Their Best Game

[caption id="attachment_1273" align="aligncenter" width="577"] Habs are off to a strong 4-1 start, but we've still yet to see their best game.[/caption] Kinda hard to complain, or kvetch, whine -- whatever, about a 4-1 record to start the NHL season. But I do, I shall, I will. Your Montreal Canadiens: the team that shook up its leadership over the summer; the team that gets under Milan Lucic's boorish skin; the team that should have made the cup finals last year; yes that team, has started off the season with 8 points of a possible 10. Pretty good, right? You'd then naturally…
Oct
10
2014
Tomas Plekanec

Turtleneck Time

[caption id="attachment_1253" align="aligncenter" width="504"] Tomas Plekanec's time has arrived. The veteran forward is poised to take his game and the Canadiens to the next level.[/caption] The crunch of the leaves. The crisp, fall air with a hint of burnt wood. Pumpkins beginning to pop up on porches. Yes, it can only mean one thing: the start of a new NHL season. The cooler air also means it's turtleneck time. But this year it's even more appropriate. The 2014-15 edition of the Montreal Canadiens is now very much perennial turtleneck-toting Tomas Plekanec's team. The jettisoning of former team captain Brian Gionta…
Oct
05
2014
Thanks Buds, you're a good man and a real pro. Good luck in the Peg, you are going to need it.

Preseason Done. Are Habs Ready?

[caption id="attachment_1245" align="aligncenter" width="585"] Thanks Buds, you're a good man and a real pro. Good luck in the Peg, you are going to need it.[/caption] The Montreal Canadiens closed out the preseason with two losses to the lowly, and now much maligned Ottawa Senators, the most recent coming in last night's 4-2 loss. Montreal finished the preseason with a 4-2-1 record and it don't mean much of a damn anyhow. But two losses in a row to the Sens, a division rival no less, isn't a good thing. So is this a case of the Canadiens not taking the Sens…