Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
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…
Feb
28
2013

Pacioretty Bites Back

Ryder returns, Pacioretty scores two as Habs down Leafs in LeafLand 5-2---------------------------What did that crime dog MacGruff used to say?Take a bite outta crime!?Well luckily there wasn't any biting going on, but there was a dose of revenge for the Canadiens as they marched in to Toronto and dominated the Leafs 5-2 at the ACC.Max Pacioretty continued his tear of late with his first goal of two on the night helping the Habs to a 5-2 win against the Leafs in Toronto. AP Newly acquired Michael Ryder was not a factor, but newly minted #11 was: Brendan Gallagher gave the…
Feb
10
2013

Habs Make Leafs Look Like Cup Contenders

Embarrassing performance by Canadiens at home against Leafs leaves team looking for answers----------------------------------Wha happen?Huh?Err... is this the Mongolian bar-b-q!? Last night's game in Montreal against the Leafs -- was it one big "wake up and find Bobby in the shower" type dream!?No. Unfortunately not.But was it reality? Not entirely...The Habs were looking to bounce back after two disappointing losses this week and maybe get some revenge for their opening night loss against the Leafs; instead they laid one very large egg in front of their hometown supporters, losing 6-0, their worst home loss since 1996.Embarrassing is one way of looking…
Jan
17
2013

The Big Day… Well Sort Of

Intersquad game at Molson Centre; Scott Gomez Saga Continues; No News on P.K.; Who Will Win the Habs/Leafs Season Series??Spirits and optimism runs high as the Canadiens continue their training camp. Today the big news was the return of Tomas Plekanec, whose status for the season opener on Saturday is still up in the air. But with his return we were provided a glimpse into what the starting forward lines might shake up to look like:Cole - Desharnais - PaciorettyGionta - Plekanec - GalchenyukMoen - Eller - BourqueArmstrong - White - PrustGalchenyuk definitely looks like he's going to get his…
Jan
13
2013

GOMEZ TOLD TO STAY HOME

Scott Gomez Told to Stay Home; CBA Memo of Understanding Signed-Off; Training Camps Open; Classic Habs vs. Soviets '75What was to be the big news Sunday was that the CBA Memo of Understanding was approved by the NHLPA and that training camps would officially begin -- but this morning Habs GM Marc Bergevin informed the media that veteran forward Scott Gomez was told to stay home and that he would be bought out this summer.A surprise move to me at first given I felt the coaching and management staff would at least give the guy a chance. But with the…
Jan
11
2013

WHY THE RADIO SILENCE? PART 3

HOW the HABS will SHAPE UP in 2013I'd like to see an NHL where the Oilers and Habs are the top teams once again.Good times.Well according to some, half of that equation might come to see the light this year. Some are actually picking the Oilers to breakthrough in this lockout-shortened 2013 season. With three first round picks overall in a row, joined by Mr. Clutch Jordan Eberle and a host of other, young and promising talent, you never know.And the Habs!? You just never know too...This is going to be a bizaare, crapshoot of a season. So who's the say…
May
02
2012

Bergevin New GM, Gomez a Goner

The Canadiens are holding a press conference at 2pm today to introduce their new General Manager, Marc Bergevin. Montrealer. Former player. Bilingual. Seems to meet the baseline criteria.Bergevin spent the past season as assistant GM in Chicago for the Blackhawks, working with GM Stan Bowman and obviously rubbing elbows with Scotty Bowman.He's spent the last 7 seasons with the Hawks as a scout and as director of player personnel and we can trust he has an eye for talent, given Chicago's draft record of recent years (Toews, Kane, Keith). And he knows what it takes to win in the post-lockout NHL.Bergevin spent…
Mar
21
2012

Paging Dr. Recchi…Dr. Mark Recchi

Paging Dr. Recchi. Dr. Mark Recchi: This is great. I love it when telecasts have a sense of humour. And I also love the fact that this nickname is following the ex-Habs player into his retirement. For sure, my anger towards Mark Recchi has diminished somewhat from last year after his completely offside comments about Max Paccioretty's injury -- something I'm sure (well I hope) he now regrets. After all, at the time he was coccooned within the warm and goonish confines of the Boston Bruins. Ultimately, I like you Mark Recchi. You were good player for the Canadiens and had an excellent, probably Hall…
Feb
03
2012

Groundhog Day Habs Style

Yesterday was Groundhog Day. How fitting was that given the Canadiens did what they seem to be good at doing this year, over and over... and over? That is of course, losing a game where on 2 separate occasions they were up by 2 goals.Punxsutawney Phil. This cute and well fed little critter saw his shadow yesterday. We saw the Habs's season go straight to the devil based on another repeat performance.When will this stop? Certainly not this year. Yes, it's all about next year folks. I'm fine with it too. Sure I wanted to be bold and brash and…
Feb
01
2012

Top 5 Pick, Here We Come!!

Wasted!No I'm not talking about me... well maybe a little bit. It's true. I'm wasted for having wasted my time watching last night's 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. What I mean is wasted (i.e. opportunity)... again! The Habs continue to waste any opportunities they have to crawl back into the playoff hunt.Pricer had a solid outing for his team, but geez! Score some goals for the guy. Pic: Dario Ayala, The GazetteHere they are, at home and fresh from the All-Star break. Everyone's happy and feeling good coming after 2 solid wins with the last being the 7-2 drubbing of…
Jan
21
2012

A Familiar Refrain

Everyone all together now:One-two-three, Habs take the lead.Four-five-six, their opponents tie it late.Seven-eight-nine, nothing in overtime.Ten-eleven-twelve, Habs in shootout hell.Scotty Gomez getting rubbed out along the boards. He's good at that.Peter Budaj made the start in Pittsburgh last night and even with two separate two goal leads, the result was the same. The Penguins tied the game with less than 3 minutes left and we could all predict the final result from there.I for one was hoping the team would press hard in the five minute OT period to do anything to avoid going to a shootout.Another shorthanded goal allowed,…
Nov
24
2011

Start Weak Finish Strong?

Start weak finish strong? A metaphor for the Canadiens' 2011-2012 season?Perhaps.But it was exactly just that with last night's 4-3 shootout win in Carolina over the struggling Hurricanes.Carey Price and his team started slow, fell behind early 2-0 but fought back to tie the game on two separate occasions to eventually win in a shootout. A few positives from this game:a) Nice to see the team come back from behind to win, especially in the third period;b) The team finally won a shootout on Brian Gionta's goal (even if he was -3 on the night);c) The team won a game when Carey Price didn't…
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
16
2011

DESPERATION!!

DESPERATION!!! And I don't mean Habs Nation should be desperate. I'm talking about the way the Canadiens need to play to be successful.Carey Price makes the save against the Avalanche's Milan Hejduk last night at the Bell Centre. Montreal lost the game in a shootout 6-5.Off to a slow start last night and down 1-0 early on, the Canadiens ramped up their energies and began playing with desperation. And it started to show results.For stretches last night, the Habs put a lot of pressure on Colorado and generated many scoring opportunities. There was desperation to their play and they were…
Oct
02
2011

Finishing Strong for an Even Stronger Start

Onwards and upwards for the Montreal Canadiens' 2011-2012 season.Josh Gorges means business last night after taking on Ryan Malone in the third period last night in Quebec City. Habs won the game 5-1. Photo: REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger.The Habs in Quebec City? Used to be quite the game when the Nords were still in town. Now backing the team from Montreal, Quebec City residents did their job pushing the Habs to their strongest outing of the preseason with a 5-1 romp in the rubber match against the Tampa Bay Lightning.This is what we want to see all season: Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez,…