Thursday, February 28, 2008

Links & Junk

Marc-Antoine Godin has a very interesting piece on the Habs new goaltending tandem of Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak and how they are the youngest pair in the league and the youngest in Canadiens team history. Worth noting that although Halak has seen virtually no time between the pipes this year, he has good numbers when he's played and has an unbelievable 7-0 record and .935 save percentage at the Bell Centre in his career.

Speaking of Halak, the Gazette's Pat Hickey writes today that the Slovak netminder hopes to give Price a run for his money when it comes to the starting job. Halak doesn't have Price's ridiculous pedigree or hype but has performed admirably for over a year and shouldn't be overlooked. He got the Habs back into the playoff hunt last year when it looked like season was all but lost only to see a might-not-have been ready Cristobal Huet start the infamous last game of the year in Toronto. Halak could be the next Dominik Hasek!!

Now Jim Matheson, who writes for the Edmonton Journal, decided to do a piece on a team that's got some good things going for it. It's a real shame how far the Oilers have fallen since their Stanley Cup run a few years back. With a new owner in place, things could be looking up soon, although they have a lot of money tied up in questionable deals. In any case, Matheson writes about Carey Price having history on his side as he tries to get the Habs into the postseason and beyond. You've gotta love the Dryden and Roy comparisons being drawn here, I wonder if the kid reads any of this stuff....

And that's it. Huge back-to-back games this weekend in Buffalo and hosting the Devils on Saturday. Should give the Habs a better idea of where they stand in the East right now. With Toronto making a push, the games at the end of the season may yet have some meaning. I'm not saying they're making the playoffs but stranger things have happened. With the Philadelphia Flyers experiencing a New York Mets-like meltdown, there are spots up for grabs and you can bet Mats Sundin would love to grab one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Deadline Debacle?

The Canadiens were for the most part inactive today, adding Mikhail Grabovski and Jaroslav Halak from the farm. Grabovski has been tearing up the AHL for several weeks but his ability to compete at an NHL level is questionable.

The big news is that the Cristobal Huet era is officially over. It ended with a whimper, much the way it started. Huet was subdued in his comments to the assembled members of the media and made it clear that he was disappointed to be shipped out for a 2009 2nd rounder, what amounts to peanuts as far as most fans are concerned.

On the plus side, with the way Trevor Timmins handles the Habs scouting, that pick could easily become a blue-chip prospect, unfortunately not until well after the Canadiens centennial year in 2009.

Bob Gainey made it abundantly clear that he doesn't see his team as a Stanley Cup contender at this point. Mortgaging the future for a Hossa or Richards wasn't in the cards. Bob Gainey may catch some flak for his inactivity right now, but his is a longview.

Pittsburgh payed through the nose for Hossa and he's a rental player. With all of their young talent, the Penguins can afford to lose a few cogs like Erik Christensen and Colby Armstrong. They want to win now. Their priority is now to re-sign Evgeni Malkin and possibly Jordan Staal to long term deals. Hossa is reportedly looking for a 4 year deal in the neighbourhood of $34 million. If the Habs want him, they can offer him those terms when he's a UFA.

The chemistry in the Montreal room is something you can't easily quantify with trade terms. This is a team that's winning together and growing together. The next few years look just as bright as they did two weeks ago. Brighter! They have a 2009 second round pick!!

Keep the faith, Bob knows better than any of us.