Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Jan
07
2012

Midseason Ramblings

It's amazing what one decisive win can do.But one win does not make a season. And as the 2011-2012 Montreal Canadiens reach the halfway mark tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Habs sit in 13th place in the Eastern Conference.Yet many of the Montreal Canadiens media and pundits are now beginning to laud the work of interim Head Coach Randy Cunneyworth as they begin to see his stamp on this team, a stamp that many seem to be onside with. If only Canada Post could get into the action, eh? Geoff Molson didn't help things with his statement about…
Dec
28
2011

Hard Reboot

After losing five straight games, four with Randy Cunneyworth as Head Coach, the Canadiens to a man could go home and take some time during the Xmas break to recharge, refocus and think about what they need to do to get back to winning ways and try to give themselves a chance at playing in the 2012 postseason.Erik Cole celebrates his powerplay goal with Tomas Plekanec last night in Ottawa. The Habs won the game 6-2. Photo by: Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images. So starting off their first game back from the break against the Senators in Kanata, what did the team…
Dec
17
2011

Martin’s Firing Needs to Produce Results

The axe has fallen. The head has rolled.The open letter from Habs Fan in LeafLand to GM Pierre Gauthier... received and apparently, heard.Habs Fan in LeafLand poster "Anonymous," as did much of Habs nation, finally got their wish.Jacques Martin is out as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens after 2 1/2 seasons. Randy Cunneyworth steps as interim head coach."It's disappointing. We've been underachieving for the entire season. Jacques' not the reason we weren't winning games," an ashen faced Erik Cole said this morning. "This is a good wakeup call to us here in the room that we have to play better." And better play,…
Nov
27
2011

Mired in Mediocrity

1 out of 4 possible points over the weekend is just not good enough.Not when the Canadiens keep losing ground to teams in the Eastern Conference.Not when they are about to embark on a tough western road trip and needed to take 2 points at home.The Montreal Canadiens are mired in mediocrity, teams have games in hand on them, and if they can't come out of their upcoming western swing with a minimum of 4 points, the team will be in serious trouble. The Philly game on Friday afternoon, I knew from experience that scheduling didn't favour the Habs.But last…
Nov
13
2011

Nailbiters Will Be the Norm

It's tough to win games when you're only scoring 2-3 goals a game.But the Canadiens were able to pull out 2 wins doing just that, with subsequent OT winners first in Phoenix then in Nashville last night. The Habs finally ended their scoring futility against Predators goalie Pekka Rinne and got out of Nashville with 2 big points because of a nice wrister by Max Pacioretty in OT.For the second game in a row the Habs had to battle through adversity with players coming back into the game after spending time in the dressing room, only to then come back…
Oct
27
2011

The Goal That Saved The Season!?

Ay-yoy it was an eventful day yesterday for Montreal Canadiens fans, as well as the team and organization itself.First, we heard conflicting reports about Max Pacioretty's wrist injury from the previous game. He may require surgery. No he doesn't need surgery. He's for sure not playing against the Flyers. No, he'll be a game-time decision. Well as it turns out, he did play -- thank goodness for that. Ended up, he was key to the Habs' 5-1 win last night against the Philadelphia Flyers in Montreal last night. Yannick Weber et al celebrate his goal with 2.6 seconds on the clock…
Oct
25
2011

An Open Letter to Pierre Gauthier

Mnsr Pierre GauthierGeneral ManagerMontreal Canadiens Hockey ClubBell CentreMontreal, QCDear Mr. Gauthier,First off let me say that I do not envy you. Your job is very difficult. Especially when there are millions of people who think they could do it better than you. It's easy for me to sit back, crack open a cold one and shout at the television screen and pretend that I know what I'm talking about. It's easy for me to think that I would have made all the right moves for the Canadiens in the offseason.Although I must say, I have been watching and playing hockey…
Oct
23
2011

The GOOD, the GREAT and the NOT SO GREAT

My evening last night can be summarized by the good, the great and the not so great.It started with dinner with my brothers at Fabbrica, Mark McEwen's take on artisanal Italian food here in Hogtown. We tried a bunch of different plates. Washed it down with Italian beer and San Pellegrino. It was good.Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals pounded 3 home runs in Game 3 of the World Series. First ever National League player to do so. Joined the ranks of Babe Ruth (who did it twice) and Reggie Jackson as the only players to achieve the feat.…
Oct
21
2011

Anemic Performance Has Finger Hovering Over Panic Button

So get this. My brother who lives in Chicago came to town on Thursday and we watched that night's game against the Penguins. He enjoys hockey and goes to see the BlackHawks every once in awhile especially when the Habs are in town, but he leads a busy life and has other pursuits. Aaron Asham scores on a borderline highstick for Pittsburgh's 3rd goal October 20, 2011. He always seems to get one of his 5 per season goals against the Habs. The Pens won the game 3-1. And although he still is (and always will be) a Habs fan…
Apr
03
2011

Play the System = Habs Win

Last night's 3-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils in Jersey last night was more of a morale booster than anything. But it also showed that the team took a step to evaluate themselves, and return to the kind of hockey that has proven to be successful for this team. Carey Price checks out what's behind him on Mattias Tedenby's penalty shot last night in New Jersey. The puck hit the post before touching Price's right pad to keep it out of the net. Photo by: Paul Bereswill, Getty Images. Jacques Martin's squad played a solid, 60 minute performance that…
Mar
31
2011

Gonna Lose!? Lose Big!!!

And that's what the Habs have been doing of late... losing big. And the funny thing is, it's not the goalie's fault, as coach Jacques Martin put it after the 6-2 drubbing his team took at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes last night in Raleigh. P.K. Subban falls on his derriere last night in Raleigh against the Carolina Hurricanes. Hopefully this isn't a harbinger of their play as they limp towards the playoffs. Photo: AP Costly turnovers and a lack of energy and desperation was what did the Habs in last night. And some solid saves by Cam Ward…
Mar
27
2011

Gonna Hurt More Before It Gets Better

Hockey is a funny game sometimes. It's amazing how a team can look so good one night, only to look pathetic the next. Just ask Leaf fans about that... Andrei Kostitsyn misses last night against Caps' Holtby. Photo by Pierre Obendrauf, The Gazette. But lately, Habs fans could only wish such a fate, because the team has looked pathetic in its last 3 outings with last night's latest blanking at home to the Washington Capitals 2-0. It's very simple. No matter how good your team is, if you don't score, you're not going to win. And the Habs have now…
Mar
17
2011

Pacioretty Practicing in 4-6 Weeks!!!!

Update on Max Pacioretty: according to Jacques Martin, Max Pacioretty will be ready to assume practicing -- with contact -- in 4 to 6 weeks. That could bring him back potentially for the 1st but most likely 2nd round of the playoffs. Imagine what a boost that'd be to the team!!Even if he wasn't as effective as he was pre-Cherry, I mean pre-Chara, just think of the Koivu-like emotional boost the team would get with him back in the lineup!!!Martin looked giddy reporting the news.Habs vs. Lightning tonight at the Bell Centre.
Dec
29
2010

Habs Nosedive Continues

Two teams going in two very different directions met last night in a snowy D.C. Unfortunately, it's the Canadiens going the direction of the wastepile, falling 3-0 to a resurging Capitals team. They're now 1-5 with two more games left on this roadtrip. Looks like Mario Tremblay was correct when he said last week that if the Habs started this trip 0-2, it wouldn't turn out well for the team. Darn him for being so right!! This time. Can't really say the Habs played a poor game, but once again, avoidable mistakes cost them. The first period was relatively even,…
Dec
22
2010

Gamus Horribilis — Habs Shot Down in Dallas

Sure, you can't win 'em all.And I have no problem with the Habs losing a game where they are soundly defeated.But last night's game left a bad taste in my mouth for a variety of reasons. This was the kind of game that makes me wonder "Why the hell do I waste my time watching this shit!?"The Habs beat themselves in this one and were never in the game. From the first shift where Spacek took a puck right off his knee, to Benoit Pouliot missing an open net, to Carey Price looking quite mortal, nothing went right for the…