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…
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…
Oct
31
2015
Smith-Pelly skates off after scoring against the Flames, followed by Mitchell, Paul Byron and Tom Gilbert. All were low-key signings by Habs GM Marc Bergevin and are giving the Canadiens the depth they need to go to the next level as a team. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Master of Low-Key Signings

[caption id="attachment_1471" align="alignleft" width="240"] Low-key signing forward Dale Weise scores one of his three goals to carry the Canadiens to a 6-2 win last night in Calgary. Weise is a shining example of GM Marc Bergevin's under the radar signings. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)[/caption] Hockey fans like when their team makes a big splash in terms of a big free agent signing or blockbuster trade. Since Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has been in charge, the only splash he makes is when he puts on his cologne. It's pretty much common knowledge now that if the team was to…
Oct
03
2015
He shoots, he scores?

Scoring Woes Already?

Last year's edition of the Montreal Canadiens struggled to put the puck in the net. [caption id="attachment_1433" align="alignright" width="300"] This dynamic duo can't do it alone.[/caption] A woeful powerplay didn't help. The Habs were 20th in the league with 214 goals scored and their power play ranked 23rd at a measly 16.5 per cent. This summer, GM Marc Bergevin stayed pat, opting to keep his team relatively intact. He shipped Brandon Prust out to Vancouver for under performing forward Zach Kassian; then signed the enigmatic and Kovalev-ian forward Alexander Semin to a relatively no-risk contract. Kassian seems to be embracing the…
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…
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…
Sep
13
2014

P.K. Subban & How Racism Has Changed Its Stripes

As we approach the opening of the 2014 training camp, let's revisit my piece on arguably one of the Montreal Canadiens' flashiest, polarizing and colourful players the team has had in a long time: P.K. Subban. The Ontario native possesses the skill and ability to pull Habs fans right out of their seats, but can also frustrate his coaching staff and teammates alike. Whatever the case may be, Subban has already proven that he's a gamer, raising his game in last year's Stanley Cup playoffs while others (caff, caff Pacioretty) receded into the shadows. Now the highest paid d-man in…
Aug
24
2014
Lars Eller is helping Habs fans forget Jaroslav Halak. (Photo: Andy Martin Jr)

The “Gars” That Is “Lars”

This past July centre Lars Eller and the Montreal Canadiens agreed to a four-year, $14 million contract avoiding arbitration and in the process, further solidified the fact that the acquisition of Lars Eller for Jaroslav Halak back in the summer of 2010 -- though unpopular at the time -- was a win by the Montreal Canadiens and most notably, one of former GM Pierre Gauthier's savviest moves. Eller is now locked in with the Habs as he enters his prime, while Halak is on his fourth team since, after signing with the Brooklyn New York Islanders this summer. Here's my…
Apr
16
2013
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Habs Fan in LeafLand Profile: Peter Chen

With the Canadiens having a  bit of a downturn following their playoff clinching game last week, losing to both the Leafs and Flyers in not so good fashions, it's time for a bit of nice. Because you know... Habs Fan in LeafLand is nice.  So here's a nice story about Peter Chen, Habs Fan in LeafLand. Habs Fans in LeafLand, we're made in all sorts of ways!!! Peter was born in a land far, far away. In China to be exact. That is far. Pretty far from any hockey, that's for sure. Then when he was five years old, his…
Apr
12
2013
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Habs Clinch Playoff Spot!!

Montreal wins its way into the postseason with a decisive 5-1 win over the hapless Sabres I challenge anyone right now to come out and say that they picked the Canadiens to make the playoffs this season. Maybe the completely biased fans that make up Habs Nation might have; but certainly not any of the "professional" pundits. Of course, the proof is right here on this blog that Habs Fan in LeafLand did indeed pick the Habs to make the playoffs, finishing 7th in the conference. [caption id="attachment_1127" align="alignleft" width="300"] Brendan Gallagher outwaits Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller to put the puck…
Apr
05
2013
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Habs Bounce Back with Budaj

Canadiens best Jets 4-1 in Montreal to hand Winnipeg their fifth straight loss Peter Budaj's father and brother were in Montreal to see him. Coach Therrien said "Yah sure, you can play." So backup goalie Peter Budaj not only played but played well in a 4-1 Habs win over the Jets at the Bell Centre. [caption id="attachment_1107" align="alignleft" width="254"] Michael Ryder scored two goals helping the Habs to a 4-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets. AP[/caption] The win allowed the Canadiens to notch two points and climb a step closer to conference leading Pittsburgh in the end of season sprint.…