A happy Habs homecoming for Greenfield Park’s Torrey Mitchell


Steve Mitchell and his wife, Sheila, were asleep in bed one cold winter morning more than 20 years ago at their home in Greenfield Park when they were awakened by a loud sound outside the bedroom window.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

Steve got up and looked out the window to see his son Torrey, who was about 9 at the time, skating on the backyard rink. Not all of the boy’s shots were hitting the net, some missing and banging into the boards behind.

“You know how the puck echoes,” Steve recalled. “One of the nets was right under the bedroom window. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!”

Torrey’s older brother, Josh, also woke up and walked into his parents’ bedroom, saying: “Your second son is crazy.”

“It was about 6 a.m.,” said Steve (on left in photo above with Torrey). “I watched him for a while and it was still dark out. He was deking chairs and making moves and shooting with his Team Canada sweater on into the net and then raising his hands and running on his skates. You know the story about Walter Mitty? … he was living the dream then.”

Torrey Mitchell is really living the dream now as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.

The Canadiens acquired Mitchell from the Buffalo Sabres at last season’s National Hockey League trade deadline and, on June 15, the 30-year-old centre — who could have become a free agent on July 1 — signed a three-year, US$3.6-million contract to stay in his hometown and play in front of the people he grew up with in Greenfield Park on Montreal’s South Shore.

It has been quite a summer for Mitchell. He signed his new contract, is busy moving into a new home near the Canadiens’ practice facility in Brossard, was the best man at his brother’s wedding in Montreal, and his wife, Brindy Robinson, is pregnant with their second child after the birth of daughter Kate 18 months ago. Last Friday, Mitchell was back on the South Shore to visit the kids taking part in the Greenfield Park Hockey School, which is run by his father and brother.

There’s a saying on the South Shore that you can take the boy out of “The Park” but you can’t take “The Park” out of the boy. Mitchell is living proof of that. His pet bulldog is named Parker.

While Mitchell’s off-season home is in Vermont — where he played university hockey — he returns to Greenfield Park regularly during the summer to visit family and friends.

“I like all the support that I get (in Greenfield Park),” Mitchell said last Friday afternoon while sitting in the basement of the home he grew up in. “It’s a really close-knit community that not a lot of people in Montreal know about.

“It just seems like there’s always a new person from Greenfield Park coming up to me telling me he’s been following my career . . . it’s pretty humbling,” Mitchell added.

And while you might not see a lot of Canadiens jerseys in downtown Montreal with No. 17 and “Mitchell” on the back, there are plenty of them in Greenfield Park.

“It’s really cool,” Mitchell said about seeing kids (and adults) wearing his sweater. “It’s not something I’m going to take for granted, needless to say.”

Mitchell grew up as a Canadiens fan, but his favourite player was Joe Sakic, so he also cheered for the Colorado Avalanche.

“You can’t grow up in Montreal not being a Habs fan,” Mitchell said.

When asked who his favourite Habs player was, Mitchell said: “Probably Patrick Roy. I liked playing goalie, too, sometimes on the backyard rink. So I’d always want to be Patrick Roy.”

Mitchell still has fond memories of the countless hours he spent on the family’s backyard rink while growing up. He’d skate on the rink before school, return home at recess and skate some more, and then hit the rink again after school. His biggest challenge was keeping up with big brother Josh, who is two years older.

“He’s a major, major reason why I am where I am today, for sure,” Mitchell said about his brother, who is a phys-ed instructor and hockey coach at Heritage Regional High School in Saint-Hubert. “He was an incredible athlete . . . he was high-school athlete of the year at the school that we went to (Selwyn House). He was unreal at hockey and I always just tried to keep up with him. I felt like I was always two or three steps behind, but as we got older in age I was catching up a little bit more and more to him.

“And finally, I surpassed him,” Mitchell added with a big smile.

But that was only after Torrey finished high school.

“No memories of me winning, I would say, growing up playing against him,” Torrey said.

Steve Mitchell — who retired four years ago as athletic director at Selwyn House School in Westmount — remembers times when Torrey would come into the house crying when his big brother was beating him in a game of one-on-one on the backyard rink.

“Josh would shove Torrey around a bit and slash him,” Steve recalled. “If Torrey got too far behind, he’d quit and come back into the house. He’d say: ‘It’s not fair.’ Josh would be upset because then he’d have nobody to play against, so Josh would say: ‘I’ll give you a two-goal lead if you come back out.’ If he could still compete, Torrey would go back out and play with him.”

Torrey was thrilled when Josh asked him to be the best man at his wedding last month to Jenn Prokosh, who grew up in Brossard and played university hockey at Bishop’s. Josh and Jenn met while playing in a coed hockey league on the South Shore, while Torrey met his wife, who is from Montana, while playing at the University of Vermont.

“That was exciting,” Torrey said about Josh’s wedding. “First best-man speech, too, so I was a little nervous, had a little anxiety. But I think I nailed it. It was fun . . . we had a good time, that’s for sure.”

Torrey also experienced some anxiety after he joined the Canadiens last season and was asked to do some interviews in French.

“I didn’t know how good my French was going to be because I hadn’t really spoken French since midget Triple-A (with the Collège Charles LeMoyne Riverains),” he said. “That was 14 years ago. I went to prep school, college and have been (living) in the U.S. My wife is American and I Iive in Vermont in the summer, so it was like: ‘Oh, boy!’ But I’m excited to start speaking (French) again and get it back a little bit.”

Torrey said he can still walk around downtown Montreal without being recognized — that will likely change in the near future — but not in Greenfield Park.

“All my friends were supporting me (before), but they’ve always been Montreal fans,” said Mitchell, who was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the fourth round (126th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and has also played for the Minnesota Wild and the Sabres. “So now to swing back around at age 30 and they get to cheer for me and their team … that’s probably the most exciting thing for me is to have that support now. To know they’re 100-per-cent behind me … that’s a pretty cool feeling.

“It’s pretty crazy,” he added. “Getting drafted by San Jose, I never thought I’d ever play in Montreal. It’s not really on your radar when you’re with another team. Eight or nine years later, now to look back, it’s a pretty exciting time for me. I feel energized.”

While his new house is only minutes from the Canadiens’ practice facility in Brossard, Torrey was asked if he thinks his father might rebuild the backyard rink he continued to skate on until his first season at the University of Vermont in 2004.

“I think I’ll be OK practising over there now,” Torrey said with a chuckle, “unless he’s building it for the new young kids around here, which wouldn’t surprise me.”




  1. B says:

    Emelin looking forward to the new season and playing with Semin again.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    Have any of you folks living in the Calgary area heard about this rumoured new arena/stadium being talked about?

    Sounds like quite the facility.


  3. The Jackal says:

    On the topic of the new Adidas jersey deal, I feel like the NHL is always out to lunch on these things. Are they really run poorly? That’s the problem with the old boys’ club – perhaps it’s time to get a couple of MBAs in there instead of former players who held positions in team offices.

    Why go for the struggling brand? Under Armor would’ve been a better choice, Bauer too – feels more aligned with hockey than Adidas! The dumb thing also is that they are basically making a horizontal move by going to Adidas, since they own Reebok. This thing about implementing the three stripes on uniforms sounds disastrous. Don’t you touch the CH!

    The worst part about this is that it supposedly opens the door for advertising on jerseys. Here we go… the NHL will be the first to allow that travesty on their uniforms.


    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Bilbo says:

      Why not? For the American owners, it’s not like the NHL is a major league. That’s reserved for baseball, football, basketball, and poker. The jerseys will soon look like the ones in Europe or the Nascar pilot uniforms.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The NHL is such a bottom-line league, never strategic or smart. It’s all lockouts and 20-year deals with networks like Versus that nobody actually watches. Unbelievably bad, short-sighted management.

      Gary Bettman always talks about partnerships, then gets into bed with the wrong ones. Or offends them, then locks them out.

  4. Rad says:

    Galchenyuk looks like he’s working really hard this Summer. I expect him to have a monster season. Playing with a finisher like Semin will help him up his offensive production considerably.

  5. Un Canadien errant says:

    Should be another disappointing year in this, the last season for the San Diego Chargers.


    Free Antonio Gates!


  6. Hockey Bob says:

    Must be a slow summer when a man who has topped out at 12 goals in his career from college to nhl gets back to back threads. Yawn

  7. Hobie says:

    Did Michel Therrien’s system change from the 2014 playoffs to the 2015 playoffs?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Have no idea, I am sure the system employed by him is far more complex than many of us think. All i do know is that I don’t think either year we had the clutch scoring required. We were helped a great deal by Tampa playing their backup in net instead of Bishop in 2014.

      I do like the team overall, I do like the changes MB has made. I just want to see the team do even better in the playoffs. And I think Kassian and DSP after having a full training camp with this team will add some nice dimensions to our team. I’m hopeful they can open up some room on the ice for our talented players.

  8. Mattyleg says:

    I’m expecting the Habs to be better this season.
    Blue-collar players should be 24% better, we’ll see our 2nd and 3rd-liners being 10-20% better, while I forsee our top talent playing 3% better.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Hobie says:

      Great advanced stats there Matty!

    • The Jackal says:

      Trending in the right direction 😉

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • johnnyhockeylarue says:

      It’s nice to see the growth will be proportional to the amount of room for improvement for each line. But let’s keep these numbers in perspective: even a 100% improvement from the 4th line still wouldn’t make them as good as the 2nd line, for example. Which isn’t to diminish the impact of a 24% improvement, but, you know, it’s all relative.

      Besides, unless the D chip in with a minimum 12-13% improvement of their own, all of those improvements from the forward lines might not amount to much.

      Overall I expect the team as a whole will have improved up to 9% in some areas, but only 1% and 4% in others.

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    So the last 10 years have seen the Stanley Cup Champions finish as follows in the regular season based on Points.
    (From most recent to 10 years ago)
    7th, 9th, 1st, 13th, 7th, 3rd, Tied 8th, 1st, Tied 3rd, Tied 3rd.

    Montreal the past 3 seasons has finished 2nd, Tied 9th and 4th.

    Yet no Cup Final appearance.

    So long as regular season is good, I am guessing we are supposed to be thrilled and insist that no changes be made. As this would be improper fan behaviour to want better playoff successes as opposed to regular season success.

    • Cal says:

      Can’t make it to the Cup final with DD and Pleks eating up all the minutes. It’s not just the coach. The team needs better from center.
      It’s the last thing left for the team to do.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        My layman opinion is somewhat similar, in that I think we lack top end talent at the center ice position.

        I also wonder if our style of play is better suited for reg. season success than playoff success. 16 out of 30 teams make the postseason, there are no byes. Home ice advantage is not what it seemed to once be, therefore the only real purpose in the reg. season it get into that top 8 within each conference.

        It is all about how you play in the playoffs which determines the accomplishments of a team, from where I sit.

        I think MB, MT and the players have done an admirable job over the past 3 years, but I think this team is talented enough to look like a better team in the playoffs.

        I recognize Price was hurt in the Rangers series, but I am not convinced they win that series with Price, based on how little goal scoring that team produced. Last year, aside from two games in the Tampa series, I didn’t think we ever looked to be like much of a threat to score goals. And 3 seasons ago, well….. we lost to Ottawa in the first round.

        I am happy with this team in a general way, they are trending well. But I want to see this team get over the next hump, to me the coaching needs to be better (doesn’t mean fire MT) and an upgrade at center is required (be it from within or through trade).

    • chilli says:

      No changes be made? WTF are you talking about.
      The Habs are a completely different team from 2 years ago, from last year and even from last Christmas time.
      A way better bottom 6 (which for those of you who don’t quite understand is VERY important to a teams success)… and better D corp…..a better top 6.
      Yes, a better top 6.

      Playoff hockey is a crap-shoot. Any team can win a 7 series if things go their way and they have the right makeup.

      Tampa was better than us – better team. No ands, ifs or buts. So what. We can still beat them on any given night. We were better than every other team outside of Tampa.

      And if you don’t believe that, then you shouldn’t really get mad when they lose because they suck anyway right?

      I just happen to think they are a great team and I can’t wait to the season to start.

      You can talk playoff hockey all you want. The NHL is tough. The Stanley Cup champions didn’t even make the playoffs last year….

      You think we suck because of DD and Pleks – well we got father than the team with Sid and Geno.

      Can’t wait.

    • Phil C says:

      Interesting. Looking at your list, other than the LA anomaly, who were a much better team than their record, you pretty much have to be a top two team in your division to really have a chance. This is why I’m high on the Habs, even though there are 30 teams, realistically, only about 8 teams have a real shot. That is much better odds than 30-1. One centre iceman away, that’s close.

    • B says:

      Just because some here don’t agree with all of your assessments doesn’t mean they don’t want to see the team do even better (or god forbid even win the Cup).

      –Go Habs Go!–

  10. Mavid says:

    Do you realize its just a mere 35 days till pre season..a tad over a month..there is light at the end of the tunnel…hang in there kiddies

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  11. punkster says:

    Section 314
    Row C
    Seat 7

    Release the Subbang!!!

  12. GGtheHab says:

    Got my tickets: 308 ff 7 & 8

  13. Mattyleg says:

    Looking forward to getting my tickets.
    Have to see if I can get a batch of beer ready for the Summit.
    Think they’ll let me bring a few nondescript cases in to the hotel conference room?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  14. on2ndthought says:

    Section 308, row EE, seat 9
    see you there!!

    “a cannonading drive”

  15. krob1000 says:

    Has anyone ever really documented the relationship between MB and MT? IT seems they are adamant and staunch defenders of one another BUT…MB keeps bringing in players who MT/system seems to not bring best out of and or frustrate. At some point with BRiere, Vanek, Bourque, Sekac, all having been brought in to help offensively and basically none working out how does this bode for Kassian and Semin? Will MB decide enough is enough if these guys also do not work out? Does MT have any input into these things?

    It just seems MB keeps bringing in players to help offensively and MT keeps rejecting them like those squirrels in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory do to the bad nuts. At some point this pattern is going to have to be noticed and acknowledged as it will be undeniable if Semin/Kassian go same route as others….I wonder if they are even aware that their mindsets appear to somewhat clash when you really look at things.

    I can’t help but wonder if they are unaware of this because they have had some moderate success together….kind of like being early in a relationship aned so happy with the good you don’t really examine the things that need to be addressed? Anyway…just killing time on a weekday but after listing the players below and seeing the common thread re offensive players from Gomez, Cammi, Bourque, Vanek, BRiere, Sekac and to some extent Chucky and Subban it made me wonder if MB and MT even realize they are somewhat at odds as MB brings in the players and MT then puts them to use….or doesn’t…I am guessing because MT is having some level of success this is glossed over but it is pretty apparent that MB wants to upgrade the offense…

    • Blueberries says:

      Just wait for 3 on 3 when Da Coach puts out DLR Pateryn Barberio, good times.

    • Cal says:

      Brière signs after being bought out elsewhere. MT finds out he has no wheels and can’t play top 9. His fault?
      Parenteau gets traded for (where he was going to get bought out) and MT finds out he’s too slow to play top 9. His fault, too?
      Bourque doesn’t compete all season, yet has a decent playoff in 2014. MT’s fault again, right?
      Vanek lazes his way to the semifinals, but his heart isn’t in it because he’s a gambler with debts and serious people on his back. MT’s fault yet again!
      As long as Bergevin keeps bringing in stopgaps, this will happen. If the player under-performed elsewhere, why does Bergevin think the Habs can turn them around?
      Enough stopgaps. Let the kids earn the open spots.

      • SteverenO says:

        @ Cal: FACT CHECK ;you wrote Brière signs after being bought out elsewhere. MT finds out he has no wheels and can’t play top 9. His fault?
        The line of Briere ,Plekanec, and Gionta played together for 181 minutes in the 2013-2014 regular season. During that time the team scored 11 goals and allowed only one. By far the best two way line on the team that season.

        most of those 181 minutes occurred during games 20 to 30 of the season:;

        No less than 6 other players played left wing with the Plekanec and Gionta . here how they did:

        Prust – 45 minutes played 3 GF – 2 GA (=1)
        Bourque- 100 mins played 1 GF – 0 GA (+1)
        Pacioretty – 42 minutes played 1 GF – 1 GA (E)
        Bournival- 176 minutes played 5 GF – 6 GA (-1)
        Eller 50 minutes played 1 GF – 2 GA (-1)
        Galchenyuk – 137 minutes played 4 GF – 7 GA (-3)
        Briere: 181 minutes played 11 GF – 1 GA (+10)

        The data clearly shows that Briere was a great fit on the left wing with Plekanec and Gionta, but Therrien was so determined to find another solution that he tried 6 other options hoping to find someone who could do a better job than Briere. None of them came even close.

        So despite having “no wheels” Briere was a great fit in the top nine (top 6, even) yet Therrien refused to let him play there. Whose fault is that?

        In the playoffs Plekanec and Gionta were split up for the most part, They did play together for 52 minutes ( 44 minutes with Galchenyuk, and 8 minutes with Bourque) .

        Briere had a pretty decent playoffs playing mostly with Weise , Prust, Bournival ,and Moen. He score 3 goals and had 4 assists averaging 10 minutes per game ice time; Desharnais (for comparison) scored 2 goals and had 6 assists while averaging 18 minutes ice time per game. (playing mostly with Pacioretty, Gallagher, and Vanek)

        Whose fault, you ask?


        Steve O.

        • Cal says:

          Stevereno- Fact check: 25 points in 69 games. Wow! What a producer! Give that man top minutes!
          EDIT- One other thing. I hope you realize the NHL season becomes more difficult as it rolls along. A game in October is less intense than a game in February.

          • SteverenO says:


            Not sure what your point is; If a player (Briere) significantly outproduced six other wingers that played “top 6 minutes” with Plekanec and Gionta, then he was relegated to play fewer minutes with lesser players, how do you blame this “lack of production” on the player but not the coach?


            Steve O.

    • myron.selby says:

      I think I’d want to see a player have more success after leaving Montreal before saying that Therrien didn’t get the best out of them. None of the ones you cite have upped their game even marginally after moving on. Bourque rode the bench as did Sekac. Briere is now retired and Vanek’s stats show that he actually scored more with Montreal than Minnesota (regular season .83 Montreal vs .65 Minnesota, playoffs .59 vs .4).

      So I think you could realistically argue that Therrien actually increased Vanek’s production.

      • joeybarrie says:

        Because we play to our strengths and have a defensive system with a phenomenal goalie, we simply assume the coach can play a different system that will increase our production two fold and decrease our goals against….

        Unrealistic expectations rule Montreal and really any other city that is emotionally invested in a particular team.

        Look at it.
        look at how many games we have won compared the other teams. We dont have an Ovechkin, Crosby, Toews, Kane, Seguin, Benn, Backstrom, Tavares, Getzlaf, Giroux….

        Our Elite players are Price and PK. With MaxPac a close third.

        Honestly given the roster, MT is doing an excellent job using players to our advantage.

        • krob1000 says:

          List the top 3 players on any of those teams…Montreal arguably had the best 3 players in any NHL last year with seasons PRice, PK and Patch had….

    • Dust says:

      Vanek played well under MT in the regular season. He just went cold in the playoffs.’
      Briere was way passed prime when he got here and didn’t do any better in colorado
      Bourque played as well under MT as he does under any coach
      Sekac just isn’t that good as was shown when he went to the ducks and was healthy scratched/4th liner

    • Bilbo says:

      As others all pointed out, Therrien had more success than the other coaches with the guys you named, so no problem there. He is also behind the constant progression of Galchenyuk. Again no problem there. As for their “some moderate success”, it doesn’t reflect the actual level of success achieved over the last 3 years: going from 28th in the league to 4th in the league, then going to the final four in the Stanley cup playoff, and finally last year finishing 2nd in the league standing.
      As a matter of fact, their partnership is thriving.

      • krob1000 says:

        The “going from 28th” thing is a crock…they tanked that year once hey knew they were out…look at the seasons before that…this wasn’t some struggling franchise….
        They went to semi finals and were near top of league before that one year blip

        • Bilbo says:

          Point taken Krob. That season was not really reflective of the team’s talent but rather the lack of stewardship at the helm.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          The Canadiens didn’t tank. They didn’t intentionally lose. They were just plain bad. We had a lineup with Mathieu Darche in the Top 6, Aaron Palushaj, Blake Geoffrion, Louis Leblanc, Frédéric St-Denis…

          The only bright spot was the 2 1/2 Men line. Maybe another is that they never quite threw in the towel, they played hard mostly every game, just wilted if they’d get too far behind in some games.

          Maybe the Brad Staubitz-Ryan White bromance was entertaining.

          But as far as tanking, the Canadiens only divested themselves of Hal Gill and Andrei Kostitsyn that season. They botched the Mike Cammalleri trade, but didn’t firesale him for prospects and picks to land lower in the standings, they got back René Bourque, a veteran who was supposed to replace his offence.

          Early in the season, Pierre Gauthier even acquired Tomas Kaberle to attempt to revive the powerplay, so there was no strategic sink-to-the-bottom tactic there.

          The thing is, we weren’t in a good position to tank, we didn’t have valuable veterans on expiring contracts like the Sabres had this year, and the Coyotes, we had Scott Gomez and his cohorts with big fat deals we had to wait out.

  16. JohnBellyful says:

    Question: Who would be first-ballot inductees into Canadiens Hall of Shame (players wing only)?

  17. Ian Cobb says:

    Did anyone get their Summit game tickets today! Who are you sitting beside?



    • Timo says:

      I will be comfortably wedged between Boone and you Ian. Lots of body warmth from both sides.

    • BriPro says:

      Got mine yesterday.
      I have to confess, I didn’t open the envelope yet, but I’m assuming that I’m still sitting next to Jim and Chris.
      I think Jim just likes to rub kneezies…
      Better than last year …. he wanted me on his lap.
      I know I’m short, but c’mon!!!

      And if we have the (mis) fortune of having Matty right behind us again, that will make for another interesting photo shoot!
      Anyone who wants a laugh, just let me know. I’ll email you Matty’s 15 seconds of fame!

      • Mattyleg says:

        I bought a 9-ticket package for the Montreal Impact this summer, and have had the same seats for all the games.

        I recently went to a match, and had a woman stop me on the way to my seat and ask me where I’d been. When it became clear that I didn’t understand what she was talking about, she explained that the section was depressingly quiet and lacking in entertainment when I wasn’t around.

        I make a lot of noise.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Mavid says:

      309 EE SEAT 4 & 5

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  18. ProHabs says:

    As Dust mentioned below, I would be really curious as to why absolutely no team in the NHL has ever expressed any interest in hiring Guy Carbonneau for any capacity or position in their organization.

    (I mean even John Ferguson JR, perhaps the worst GM in NHL history even continues to get jobs as does Pierre Gauthier an awkward duck if there ever was one).

    • krob1000 says:

      Carbo was also rumoured to not communicate with the players…similar to MT many players made comments later on that they had never spoken to him, didn’t know their roles,etc. Carbo IMO is a perfect assistant coach…or could be a head coach with a great assistant and supporting staff…but it is pretty apparent around the league anymore and in this day and age that communicating with the players is key and something they all expect.

    • Mattyleg says:

      After getting fired, he didn’t attempt to improve as a coach.
      He didn’t go to Europe or to the lower levels to hone his game, so he didn’t learn anything. No team is going to hire a coach that doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  19. ProHabs says:

    Rene Bourque saying he wasn’t aware of his role or what was expected of him??????

    How about using common sense Rene. You were expected to show up every game, skate, try hard, put in some effort and play like you cared. It wasn’t very complicated what was expected of you and what is expected of every player on a team in the NHL.

    Bourque is really starting to remind me of Terry Ryan. Guys who use excuses and blame others for their lack of success. Pas d’excuse.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Maybe it was more a case he knew his role but couldn’t remember his lines:
      “Rene, Rene! Get back here! You’re on with Eller, not Desharnais!”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah. Never disliked René personally, and based on his appearances on 24CH and teammates’ Instagram shots, he was well-liked, but this statement by him is a little rich.

      Yesterday, there was some heat about Robert Griffin III stating he thought of himself as the best QB in the NFL. Now going beyond the headline, he couched it properly, explaining that you have to want to be the best, believe you are the best, and then go out and prove it, and that was his job this season, to actualize the potential he believes he has. Analysts grudgingly went along after a quibble or two, saying an NFL player has to have this unshakable self-confidence to be successful, something which Jonathan Martin didn’t have, for one example. This belief in oneself has to border or go beyond the reasonable into the delusional sometimes.

      And maybe that’s where we are with René. He can’t say “For some reason, I’ve been playing like crap for a few seasons now, not delivering like I should. I mean, I try hard, or at least I think I do, and it’s not like I’m not in shape or anything, but for some reason I’m not very good right now.” Instead, he has to dwell on nebulous concepts like expectations not being well-defined, assignments.

      Dale Weise can play that card believably though. He was definitely looked at as a fringe fourth-liner and middleweight enforcer with the Canucks, and ‘stapled’ to the bench when he didn’t fight or hit enough. Once with the Canadiens, he says he got told clearly what the expectations were for him, and I have to believe Michel Therrien told him what he told P.K. on camera in 24CH: “The hits will come naturally, as part of the game. Don’t look for hits. If you have a chance at the puck or giving a hit, take the puck. Always try to get the puck.” It’s not unreasonable to believe he was told the same about dropping the gloves.

      But René, I don’t think you’re a bad guy, not wishing you ill, but a guy your size and ability, it’s pretty clear what the expectations were for you. The Canadiens famously explained that they tried everything to get you going, and credited some talks with Scott Mellanby for the explosion in the 2014 playoffs. Good luck to you in Columbus, but I’m not buying your excuses.

      And apparently neither did the Ducks, who found you unsuitable to play with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, a clearly defined role if ever there was one.

  20. Un Canadien errant says:

    Puck Daddy has a story on Adidas winning the uniform contract for the NHL:


    …and a link to how they messed up other leagues’ uniforms.


    Free Antonio Gates!


  21. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Suppose then if Therrien does get his job at risk if things don’t turn out, then this next article should be an option to consider (if the Habs needed a coaching change):


    – The top two candidates are the best option for the Habs: Guy Boucher or Benoit Groulx. If Therrien could be replaced (w/c we’ll see if he does make another successful regular season, no need), the only candidate that’s worth considering is Guy Boucher. Boucher ‘could’ bring the Habs’ offensive woes to rest and fix the PP. If that happens, fans will stop complaining to MB about the ‘system’.

    (let’s call this unnecessary hypothesis. But hey, Sportsnet started it)

  22. Arnou Ruelle says:


    – The way this article was written, it seems that Sportsnet is now giving the analytics (in advance) regarding to MT. Here’s the problem: has the season started this summer? – Nope.

    To me, until we see tensions with players and coaching staff within midway through-to-end of the regular season, then we can say this article was right. However, its too early to tell whether the players are not yet sold under Therrien’s system. I don’t like his ‘dump-n-chase’/defensive hockey system. But, he’s proven his critics wrong. Also, the article cites former Habs players like Jiri Sekac and Rene Bourque where they complain that they don’t know what their roles were with the team. But then, they lagged out of minutes and did not get enough production time. So it seems misleading what the article wants to prove. One player they forgot to mention is Jeff Petry, who, signed a 6-year deal b/c he claimed the Canadiens ‘system of play’ works for him.

    • JF says:

      The assumption underlying the article is that Therrien has always been dictatorial and a poor communicator and is unlikely to change. The writer is barely even willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when he says that he’s changing his approach. And, as you point out, he chooses his quotes very selectively – two players who didn’t do well here as opposed to players who were brought over in a trade or signed here as free agents and did do well, like Dale Weise, Jeff Petry, and Torrey Mitchell. He also fails to mention all the evidence that the locker room is very tight with a great dynamic among the players – which would hardly be the case if the coach were leaving his players in doubt as to what their roles were.

      • krob1000 says:

        We also know Scott Gomez said the system didn’t help a player like him. We also know Terry Ryan, Jiri Sekac and Rene Bourque have all made comments. We know Briere was unhappy. Thomas Vanek complained. The Larionov article indicates Chucky had some issues , Subban had a rough go earlier in his time. Now I will admit players who are no longer around are more likely to say things that players here as long as HIO other half is willing to acknowledge that a player still with Montreal is going to say the opposite.

        I think MT is right to have a dfirst mentality…but I think it is too lopsided….if you look at the list of players who allegedly have beefs…there is a very common thread./..they all like (or liked) to score goals and or play offensive hockey. To me this pretty well means the blame is somewhere in the middle….are the players willing to play a d first system? well I am sure they are if they are allowed to take calculated risks and I think this is likely where the issues come about if I were to guess.

        I truly do not believe the HAbs coaching staff has the capacity right now to understand that side of the game…offensive players see things differently and they know when to roll the dice…sure it will occasionally backfire but to a dminded person those offensive players will occasionally look like they are out to lunch…because they spent their whole careers trying to find ways to trick defensive minds like Therrien and the rest of the staff….they just clash and I would be fine if the staff just had one person of high offensive IQ to balance things out.

    • New says:

      I am not sure Sekac or Bourque knew their roles on their new team(s) either.

      I am not now, nor have I ever been, a MT fan. But you have to give the man his due. His teams regular season records look good on paper.

      Imagine if Therrien was fired today. What on earth could the new coaching staff do? They would be doomed. He would sit on the Antichambre and calmly point out that in the two and a half seasons in Montreal his teams were 125, 64, and 23 taking 275 of a possible 449 points. No matter how you figure that it is a winning record. How do you follow that?

      Now his record in the playoffs is not great. Without Price the team is gone in a blink. For two games against Tampa this last playoffs the team played well. Did they get angry, ignore Therrien and play? Or did they get angry, listen to Therrien and execute? Whatever it is it is the difference between championships and ho-hum footnotes in Habs history.

      Therrien is solid in Montreal until he does what he usually does: publically blame everyone around him for purposefully causing his troubles. I hope it never happens. But history tends to repeat itself.

  23. JohnBellyful says:

    Finally got back to working on my lines for next season. Mavid’s countdown tells me I only got 50 days left before real life resumes so I need to step it up to make sure all my combinations are the right mix.
    Here’s what I’ve got so far:
    SEW what, you say?
    Well, they’re all big boys who won’t get pushed around but could do some pushing of their own. With checks hard enough that their opponents require stitches.
    I think this suggestion should have its own thread.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Trying too hard. A thimble of restraint goes a long way sometimes.

      Pierre Houde would say that “Il joue dans la dentelle. L’entraineur va le prendre par la boutonière. Son jeu est cousu d’erreurs.”

      • JohnBellyful says:

        “He plays in lace. The coach will take the buttonhole. His game is sewn error.”
        What the dickens does that mean?
        Next time quote Pete Houde. Sheesh!

  24. JohnBellyful says:

    More headlines:

    Therrien doing a good job: Harper
    Trump says U.S. teams should sign only Americans
    Subban no regrets being first openly black hockey player
    Leafs name Conte new director of scouting advice
    Sedins agree to switch positions ‘to shake things up’
    NHL won’t suspend Kane ‘until he’s served his time’
    Canadiens replacing chip-and-chase with lob-and-clobber
    Galchenyuk hopes being named rover puts end to centre controversy
    Jockstraps recalled over reports they contain asbestos
    Eller, Desharnais undergoing therapy for passing, shooting issues
    Trump files ‘air’ claim for Earth’s entire atmosphere
    Teams scramble after accounting error found, putting salary cap at $49 M
    League holds firm, ads not to cover more than 80 per cent of jerseys
    Rules committee supports coach’s challenge on interference calls
    Briere says he will go in Hall of Fame as a Canadien
    Breakthrough in analytics could cut 82-game schedule in half
    The ‘Republic of Donald’ will have its own constitution
    Rubber shortage forcing NHL to go with half-vulcanized, half-humanized pucks
    Canadiens will open Bell Centre on election day to show results on big screen
    Bettman no comment on rumour next commish will be another #%$^& lawyer
    Replays to include product placements
    Peladeau still mulling whether coach of Quebec team will need to speak English
    CEO of stick maker dies when shaft of broken golf club pierces brain
    Trump refuses to retract statement Canadien women are ‘godawful ugly’
    Habs’ Hall of Fame now a ‘cubbyhole of Canadiena’

  25. Mavid says:


    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  26. Cal says:

    Reading all the anti-MT comments, I have to wonder when the goalie ceased being part of the team.

    • DAVE. N says:

      Maybe with an extra 30-40 goals in the lineup next year (we hope) C.P will not be called on to stand on his head every night. M.T gets a lot of criticism, deservedly at times, but he does do well with the resources he’s been given. I don’t think C.P will be too out of sorts if the win is 4-3 instead of being called on for a shut out.
      I would like to see a more offensive minded coach besides Dan Lacroix or Clement Jodoin in support; We need a reminder now and then that as in any team game, there is a team behind the one on the ice, and that is where it should be tweaked IMO.

      Save the planet. Compost a Leaf.

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      What we can credit Michel Therrien for is the fact that his MVP – Carey Price, will start working for him all season long.

      Carey Price will thank MT for allowing him to be the workhorse for this team. Plus, he doesn’t have to worry of a “Halak” type of player competing against him.

    • JUST ME says:

      It’ a mystery to me also. Habs were lucky to have Price ! Lucky ? as far as i know ,every team has at least one of those !

      Habs were criticized for picking him as a first round draft choice. Had his share of critics,survived the Halak era and now that he has reached his peak now the Habs are lucky ?

      The guy is paid to stop the f…pucks and he’ s lucky ?

      From the immortal words of a famous athlete wich shall remain nameless…Chill out people !

  27. DAVE. N says:

    IMHO, the reason for the Habs success last year was the goaltending, and C.P is as great a player as he is because of Bergevins’ decision to hire Stephane Waite. Pierre Groulx and Roland Melanson never were able to tap C.P’s potential.
    Applause for well deserved hardware to Price, but Waite deserves a raise. Coaches that develop a talented athlete into a star athlete keep M.T’s job secure.

  28. rhino514 says:

    Habs have a good team, even very good.
    The tough thing is that the best team in the conference is in our division.
    It will be tough to get out of the econd round unless Tampa has injury issues.
    I like the gamble, overall, on the Kassian and Semin moves (plus the fact we retained, even increased, cap space)
    I think between them and a couple of the promising youngsters we have, we can shore up two spots on the wing. We always have the edge in goal. We´ll have a fighting chance.
    I also think this is the last year we will see significant production out of Markov, and perhaps Plekanec as well. We should try and capitalize on that possibility.

  29. ProHabs says:

    Would really like to see Mr. Stubbs do an article on Guy Carbonneau and find out what he is up to these days. Really thought Guy was going to be the next big coach and was going to guide this team for years and years. It still puzzles me to this day as to what happened with him and his coaching career.

    • FenceSurfer says:

      Guy is now a somewhat hesitant word and thought stumbling analyst on RDS. I cringe listening to him at times. But when he gets a train of thought started that he can actually co-ordinate out of his mouth he can be very insightful. I root for him everytime.

      As for his coaching career? Ask Gainey why he threw his golden boy under the bus mere months after praising him. Odd. Guy has hinted he will reveal the inside story one day. I can go on and on as for why he decided to quit coaching his Q team or build himself as a coach in the AHL… I’m tired.
      The whole thing about Carbo is weird.

    • Dust says:

      Not sure what happened, but you never hear his name mentioned for any coaching job in the nhl. (except the habs) Seems like no other team in the league wants to touch him

  30. jrshabs1 says:

    MT raked over the coals over at sportsnet. Sportsnet went so low as to have Terry Ryan give the MT analysis. I guess it will be another year of public enemy #1 for our Habs. The Toronto media fanboys are ruining hockey for me.

    Go Habs Go!!!!!

    • Dust says:

      Really, Public enemy #1?
      You have to be kidding.
      On sportsnet, whether it’s the website, the tv, or their toronto 590 radio station, always get praised as the best canadian hockey team. They also get talked about as a stanley cup contender

  31. Marc10 says:

    Hey guys,

    I met up with fellow poster Luke last night and we had a great laugh here on the far side of the world chatting about the ‘Classic HIO Threads’ like this one. (Incidentally, Luke is cool dude. I trust he’s had a great last day in Sydney running on the beach this morning Baywatch style, wind in his hair with Pamela at his side… On ya Luke!)

    Maybe JB should come up with the HIO box set from the past couple of years of great HIO topics… For my money, nothing will rival the Pricebots vs the Halakites, but the MT Wars deserve an honourable mention.

    Marc’s HIO boxset

    – Picebots vs Halakites
    – The MT Wars – How Michel Therrien ‘ruins’ everything
    – DD, An Unexpected Journey
    – Untapped Potential, the Lars Eller Story
    – Worst Trades Ever – starring Ryan McDonaugh and Patrick Roy
    – PK Subban: How he became a better person
    – Advanced Statistics for Weenies
    – Konopka

  32. F50Marco says:

    All right it seems HIO needs another well concocted trade scenario!! No EK5 rumour, simply food for thought.
    (Similar to the Sedins trade I mentioned a couple threads ago to help dissipate the negative DD-a-thon that was going on at the time). Your welcome.

    Since coach Therrien seems to be today’s special du jour. This trade scenario comes from Hockeyscap.com from earlier on today:

    To MTL
    Gabriel Landeskog

    To COL
    1st round pick 2016

    …………and for dessert we have this succulent Davybegone’:

    To CHI
    Desharnais (500K retained)
    4th round pick 2017

    TO MTL
    1st round pick 2016

    Don’t forget to tip your waiter by explaining why this is “The stupidest trade ever” or “Andrighetto is worth at least a 1st and a prospect”.

  33. Un Canadien errant says:

    About Alex Galchenyuk needing to train harder this summer, and the bridge contract providing motivation for him…


    Free Antonio Gates!


  34. Phil C says:

    It’s okay to like Therrien. What bothers me is using the team record to show what a great job he has done instead of talking about the things the coach is responsible for. As far as I’m concerned, the areas that need the most improvement all centre around coaching, such as special teams, improving the offense, player deployment, making better in-game adjustments. The perception that the coach has done a great job may be a barrier to the team taking it to the next level.

    • Price07 says:

      Totally agree….I mean woah, not only Therrien but the whole team’s performance has to be taken with a grain of salt. When you have a goalie as dominant as Price, your wins and losses are going to be a little skewed. After all, if your goalie doesn’t let in goals, you can’t lose. However, put another number 1 (but not all star) goalie in nets, I think people would be singing a different tune about the habs’ results this season.

      Just being realistic.

      • Phil C says:

        Exactly, the Price factor was huge last season. Coaches always get too much credit for the winning and too much blame for the losing.

        • piper says:

          Agree, I really think the Habs would have struggled to make the playoffs last season if Price was just good. As far as the coach goes, with the limited selection they had to choose from, he’s probably close to the top.

    • Hobie says:

      What about the things Therrien does do well? I’ve heard countless NHL analysts say that the true measure of a strong team is the goal differential at 5-5. Weren’t the Habs 4th or 5th in the league? Didn’t the Habs allow the fewest goals against in the league?

      Also, I don’t recall any circus like atmosphere in the dressing room? There’s no dirty laundry being aired in public. Therrien has the team focused, working their buts off and it seems they’re happy to do it.

      There have been a couple players who haven’t performed in years or, ever, that have had some negative things to say out of spite cuz the Habs sent them packing. Aside from a couple of those nobody’s, all the good players like Pacioretty, Gallagher, Subban and Crosby say Therrien is a great.

      People mention Carey Price as the reason Therrien has a great record. If I recall, Price had a pretty average record before Therrien and Bergevin came to town. Does Therrien get no credit for applying a system that helped Price blossom?

      Say they bring in another coach, is the team going to be as good five on five? Are they going to be as strong defensively? Is the new coach going to have such solid control over the room and keep everyone focused and hungry?

      Firing Therrien would be the dumbest thing ever. They need another sniper for the PP and that’s it. So when the team is 10th overall on the PP this year is Therrien all of a sudden a good coach?

      I can just see it now. All the amateur media types, the negative Nellies and the rest of the people that have nothing better to do on a hot day in August than bitch, will eventually make Marc Bergevin so sick and tired about answering questions about Therrien that he’ll fire him.

      A new coach won’t be half as good as Therrien, the Habs lose, Bergevin eventually gets fired and the new regime comes in and destroys everything.

      Sound crazy? Not so much I’d say.

      I know it’s never good to just settle but I think people SERIOUSLY underestimate just how fine of a line keeping a team working hard and competing year round is. Michel Therrien and Marc Bergevin have that right now. Don’t “F” with it.

      Just a rant there Phil, not directed right at ya :-).

      • frontenac1 says:

        I like your rants Hobie. Most days I’m too messed up to do a good rant. I just wallow in my own weirdness and pass out.

        • Hobie says:

          Well you can rant all you want at the Summit in two months. Got my tickets in the mail today!

          • Mavid says:

            me too..seat numbers are below..

            Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

          • frontenac1 says:

            Got mine today too amigo. I’m heading over to Europe for a few weeks in Sept.with Mrs Front . Hope I make it back in one piece.Doing another Whiskey tour in Scotland at some point apparently.

          • Hobie says:

            My seats are 309-DD-11-12. Don’t they serve Scotch in Scotland front?

          • frontenac1 says:

            The finest Single Malts in the world amigo. Scotland is Heaven on Earth for me. Fine people, Fine Whiskey.

          • UKRAINIANhab says:

            not to interrupt here, but Edinburgh is just the nicest little town in Europe, enjoy front.

        • Mavid says:

          Scotland is amazing, we rented a car drove all the way up to Inverness (my grandfathers birthplace)..took a boat ride on Loc Ness, stayed in a B&B..and checked out a castle.. and your right UK we stayed in Edinburgh (birthplace of my grandmother) a couple of days it was wonderful, the royal mile the Edinburgh Castle….tons of places to by Scotch..and Haggis if your so inclined.
          Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • JF says:

        Nice rant, Hobie. I see things the same way.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        “Didn’t the Habs allow the fewest goals against in the league?” The Habs were in the bottom third in shots against and their goalie won the MVP, players MVP and Vezina trophy. I don’t think Therrien can be given credit for this (Waite should get some). Like Phil, I think overall MT is a good coach but not a great coach. Calling MT a great coach in an organization that has had Bowman, Blake, Irwin, etc. is ridiculous.

        • Hobie says:

          I will admit that is a strong point (averaging 30 shots against) DDO. I would have thought they’d have averaged closer to the top in the league in that department. 30 shots against is definitely a lot for Price to still be able to win all that hardware.

          Next thing you’d have to look at though is where did all those shots come from? How many were desperation or shots from the outside that the defence kept to low a %.

          How did the Habs compare to the other 29 in allowing prime scoring chances?

          Very fair point for sure though.

          • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

            To be fair also, it’s not MT’s fault his 3 and 4th D-men were Emelin and Gilbert. I’m sure that did not help the shots against; especially short-handed.

          • twilighthours says:

            You’ve got to start reading my posts, Hobie. I’ve discussed that stuff many times.

      • Phil C says:

        Rant away, at least you are identifying things he does well, which is better than most posts and moves the discussion forward. The 5-on-5 goal differential had a lot to do with Price as well. If Price has average numbers, that ratio really suffers. But yes, he deserves a lot of credit for how he manages the dressing room and media. A veteran coach was exactly what that room needed at the time. He’s done a great job with guys like Weise and Gallagher. Subban benefitted from the diciplinarian approach, although I don’t think they’re getting enough offensively from Subban. Petry did well in a structured system like Therrien’s. Icetime management is pretty strong, which, along with a focus on fitness, helped with the lack of injuries.

        I don’t think they can fire him, that’s part of the problem! I’ve mainly advocated adding an offensive coach rather than getting rid of Therrien, someone that Therrien might listen to. But in coaching you’e only as good as your worst mistake. If he can’t get the offense going, it doesn’t matter what he does great otherwise.

        And don’t worry about the bitchers, whiners, and negative nellies, there are enough pom-pom waivers to keep Bergevin happy. 😉

      • F50Marco says:

        Well said Hobie.

        Funny enough though, Phil said one thing perfectly “Coaches always get too much credit for the winning and too much blame for the losing.” I agree whole heartedly. The thing with this statement is that, personally at least, Therrien gets put down way more than he gets praised around here which triggers the posters who feel he’s getting a bad rap to defend him. So I wonder if it’s really just a few posters overstating things that gives anti-Therrienites or pro-Therrienites fits about his coaching ability.

    • JUST ME says:

      Most of what people think is wrong with Therrien can be said of 28 other coaches in the NHL. To bring back his past is irrelevant as most of us benefited from a second chance in life so why not him ?
      To even consider as serious comments the ones coming from a party guy who did not even make a career in the NHL is just plain mean.

      He is not perfect, in fact he may not be the one who will lead us to the cup but he has done the job as good if not better than anyone would have done. Do you just remember in what shape that team was when he was hired ? A little fairness would do a lot don’ t you think ?

      Can’t wait for the season to begin so you guys get on Semin’ s case when he disapears…Oh yeah right ! For that price it’ s o.k.! Sure !

      • Phil C says:

        I agree the Engels article brings up a lot of ancient history that is not relevant. Even his famous rant is often misunderstood as a fiery outburst of anger instead of a calculated and pre-meditated move to light a fire under his team.

        But here’s a question. If you don’t think he can bring the Cup, do you think he should be coach? The roster next year is strong, this team is no longer in a rebuilding phase.

        • JUST ME says:

          I do not think that we are quite there yet and this season is still a time for kids to gain experience and ice time and next season will be graduation time for McCarron and Sherback . I trust Bergevin to move if it looks like we can make it to the final but there are still major changes to come naturally with a few veterans moving on and others joining the roster.
          I felt that coach Therrien was the best guy to put a structure in place and deal with the NHL’s team while Bergevin built the farm team from scratch. Usually the shelf life of a coach is rather brief 3 to 4 years. M.T. will do better and stay longer and maybe he is the guy to lead us to the cup. So far he has pushed all the right buttons ,took all the good decisions while the core of this team is growing. When he was hired i thought he was there for phase 1. He achieved much more than i expected from him so maybe he is the guy after all…

          I think that this team was passed the rebuilding phase when Bergevin took over. They needed to build from the foundations and change most of the lineup.

    • Slack says:

      We are very glad you deem it OK to like Therrien. I was getting worried for a second there… What would my man Philly Cheesesteak think?

      But the problem with here is that you to separate the coach from the team’s record. Many of the harsher Therrien critics swear by the fact that this team would be in deep trouble without Price. This is true. How deep the trouble, and how many points Price has ‘stolen’ for us is not quantifiable. Yet I still hear about how Price stole us about 15 points this season, and if not for him, Therrien would be unemployed.

      The record is a fine indicator of how well the coach has done. I don’t see how this can possibly bother you other than you being sick of hearing about it.

      Therrien’s coaching is conservative and defensive, but this is best for this team. Therrien knows how to identify his players’ strengths and weaknesses, and ices the best possible line-up night in and night out. He knows when to mix up his lines, to get a certain player out of a funk, or to promote an overachieving bottom 6er. Quick examples off the top of my head would be what Chris pointed out the other day concerning Tomas Plekanec’s time against most top centermen in the league except for Bergeron, because Bergeron seems to get the better of Plex. Another example is the balance distributed throughout the roster. This irks many posters because their favourite players are not getting the ice-time and zone starts that a more ‘spoiled’ player like Desharnais would get. Regardless, the lineup works. There hasn’t been a very long stretch of embarrassing losses in a while.

      The players have bought into Therrien’s system. This is not a country club, this is a hockey team. Therrien is strict, but he is fair. Work hard and you will be a valued member of the team. Some players need to play offensive roles, others, defensive roles. Therrien identifies this and acts upon it. The result is a winning record.

      This winning record is undeniably a fine argument for the pro-Therrien side of this endless debate.

      The offense? Do you expect the man to wave a magic wand and create ‘offense’ out of nowhere? The man works with what he has. A crude analogy would be bringing a pickup truck to a NASCAR race. The pickup isn’t faster than the race cars, but it does a fine job of boxing them out, keeping them from passing it. This season will be interesting with the addition of Semin and Kassian, but should either of these players not immediately dazzle us, I predict the blame will be laid at Therrien’s feet for his terrible usage of them, rather than the players themselves, both of whom have no guarantees attached to them as a player like Max Pacioretty, or Alex Galchenyuk would.

      And one thing that I can absolutely guarantee is that Therrien is not the ‘one thing’ holding this team back from a cup. There is no ‘one thing’. There are too many factors, too much luck that comes into play to peg Therrien as the slow buffalo.

      “Some people like cupcakes exclusively…

      • on2ndthought says:

        I don’t think you need to like Therrien and/or his system in order to appreciate the effects it has had on the team’s performance.

        “a cannonading drive”

      • Phil C says:

        Ignorance always bothers me I guess. You seem quite comfortable with it though.

        Advanced stats stats suggest the team relies heavily on it’s goaltending. Chose what you want to believe about that. But that is what the stats say, it’s not really that complicated.

        So if the team is soooooo bad offensively according to you, how did they manage to score over 3 goals/game in 12-13, and have one of the best regular season offenses in the league?


  35. NightRyder says:

    When is Stubbs going to catch us up on how Andreas Dackell is doing?

  36. Slack says:

    ‘Therrien says he’s changed, but has he?’

    I think he has. He is often referred to around here as Therrien 2.0. His coaching approach might not be very popular around these parts, but it works. What does the man need to win over his detractors? A Cup? 3 Cups in a row? The team has managed to end 2nd over-all despite hovering around bottom third in the league in shots attempts taken, and there are still some out there who still cling to the idea that the man is not a good coach. You can speculate until you are blue in the face if a different coach would have a different impact on this team, if another guy could have eked more success, a better record, out of this lineup, but the man has done extremely well thus far, and he deserves the credit.

    Whatever, though. Hate the guy’s guts for all I care. But can we please refrain from acting like we know what a certain player is saying? I’m sick of reading ‘What do you expect Pacioretty/Crosby to say?! He wants to be/was captain’, implying he’s lying, implying he dislikes Therrien’s coaching style/system/face, implying that said poster was right all along and we all should have known better.

    To be fair, we ought not to reduce his detractors to nothing more than bitter, washed up has-beens who had a bone to pick with him. There are fair criticisms to be made on either side of the argument, but there is also a lot of hard-nosed, uncompromising, singular hate thrown his way based on things that have very little to do with hockey.

    “Some people like cupcakes exclusively…

  37. Mavid says:

    308 EE seat 4 and 5

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  38. zephyr says:

    I think mt is a very competent coach. mb obviously likes him & he’s all that matters thank goodness. coaches that change the game like don Coryell & chip Kelly are rare. be nice to get one but it’d also be nice to get a big #1 center too. I thought babcock, acknowledged as maybe the best coach in the game, was an idiot for not playing subban in the olympics. can u imagine the heat he’d be taking here if he was our coach? mt has coached 3 excellent seasons & the team is making progress every year. remember all the smurfs we had a couple yrs back? every yr the team has been upgraded in terms of talent. that’s giving mt more to work with. the toughest upgrades of all, like a big #1 ctr, are going to have to come thru the draft. we have some really nice prospects coming along & there’s more hope there than there’s been in decades. our goaltending & def are solid. we also have a solid group of forwards with no glaring weaknesses like lack of size or speed. our pp needs improving & still Chicago only scored 7 more goals last yr than we did. if the pp gets fixed & I believe it’s going to be fixed, then we could have a very deep playoff run. factor in the continued improvement of our young guys & things are looking very good. we’ll see how semin & kassian pan out on the wing. Gallagher may still have room for improvement. ag, dlr & s-p certainly do. we might even see McCarron or scherbak this yr.. mac is a guy that is very intriguing. he’s so tough on the puck & can be physically overwhelming. he’ll go to the front of the net & dmen will have difficulty with him. that kind of physicality can make a difference in tight-checking games like the playoffs. we’ll see.
    I think much of the criticism I read on this site results from impatience &/or wishful thinking. for instance, we’ll have a new #1 ctr when someone else can beat out dd. it’s not going to be lars eller.

  39. frontenac1 says:

    So some players like Mike and some don’t? Big deal.Its not Days of our Lives. I could give a flying fu#k as long as he wins. He’s doing ok by me, so far.

  40. shiram says:

    Adidas lands NHL jersey deal.


    -new designs?
    -dreaded ads on the jerseys?
    -pricier jerseys?

    “The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears that this is true.”

  41. deggy24 says:

    One of my favorite Scotty Bowman stories.
    He is coaching in St. Louis with the Plager brothers as some of his better players.
    The team is in a slump and on a rare practice day, Barclay Plager is having a bit too much fun.
    Bowman instructs him to meet him in his office after practice.
    Plager sits in his office from 3:30 to 4:30 before Bowman finally shows up, only to say, “You can go home now”.
    Around 6:00 pm Bowman phones Plager at home.
    Bowman: “Hi Barclay you all right”
    Plager: “Yeah coach but I’ll tell you it took me an hour and half through traffic to get home”
    Bowman: “Some people do that every day.”
    Habs (Nashville Predators North) Win!

  42. frontenac1 says:

    Damn! Hotter than The Hubs of Hades outside today.
    Stay hydrated amigos and Smoke’em if ya got’em.

  43. The Jackal says:

    Can’t wait for the season to begin!!

    Interesting article about MT. Looks like the jury is still out there, but as others have said, don’t forget that those who spoke out against him have an axe to grind and are no longer on the team. Plus, Crosby had nothing to gain when he praised MT. Some players like him, others don’t. I imagine that it’s the same thing with all other coaches.

    What I’m concerned about is the system – will it change to allow more offence and creativity should or new additions prove to change the team for the better?

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  44. FenceSurfer says:

    Scotty Bowman was never known as a player friendly coach, he wanted to trade everyone if they ticked him off, isn’t that why he was passed over as GM for Irv? MT dosent have the personnel Scotty had but he doesn’t have the coaching genius he had. Dump and chase was never in Scotty’s vocabulary.0

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Dump and chase is a perfectly reasonable and common response to the neutral zone trap and five players stacked up on the blue line ready to interfere and hold and hook and slash. Michel Therrien didn’t invent the dump-in, and he didn’t create the left-wing lock. He’s responding to the NHL rules as they’re being enforced, with the personnel he has. Like every other coach.

      • habcertain says:

        Difference being it is his sole approach to the game, as a tactic it can be effective, as a strategy, it is predictable. I think over the last 2 playoff years, Cooper and Vigneault have shown us the value of changing your strategy to win, and we were out coached.

      • FenceSurfer says:

        One of my points was the pampering and coddling of players which I do not agree with. But this is new NHL. So be it. As for t’esrien I’m still on the fence, but it’s getting mighty uncomfortable up here. I’m hoping for a little more creativity in the O and special teams this season or I’m off that fence.

  45. Kooch7800 says:

    On the previous thread someone asked why we got DSP. Here are two reasons:



    We didn’t have anyone in the forward group who was a really hard hitter and wasn’t afraid of the front of the net.

    DSP, Eller and Kassian would make a really big line that would be tough to contain due to size

    • Forum Dog says:

      Absolutely. DSP is never going to be a scoring star, but if he can make life miserable for the opposing defence with his forecheck and cycling abilities, and if he can find a way to pot 12-15 goals a year, he will have accomplished all they need him to. I think people forget that this guy has only recently turned 23 and has 150 NHL games under his belt. We have not seen the best of him yet.

  46. theflukester says:


    Good article about Therrien. Talks about his crappy system and relationship with players.

    Play every game as if it is your last one. Guy Lafleur

    • Habfan17 says:

      Nice column, Engels has been a solid read for the most part.

      I would tend towards believing the players who have left over the ones still here. Patches wants to be captain, what will he say?

      I also tend to believe what I see, and it mirrors the comment by the anonymour player who said, ” having Price, Masks a lot of problems”

      Even Crosby needs to be taken with a grain of salt being one of the “faces” of the NHL. Especially if he one day wants to play for his favourite childhood team.


      • theflukester says:

        Exactly why would Max say anything bad? He’s going for Captain, Crosby, not like Therrien would be dumb enough to sit him. Not like Gally’s would say anything bad because they know MT won’t take kind to it. They’re young and MT would teach them a lesson. Price masking a lot and taking the heat off Therrien. If it wasn’t for him our team would have not done as well as it did. Most don’t see that. Price has saved this team more times than I can count. MT wont change, he’s a dinosaur, he should have stayed extinct.

        Play every game as if it is your last one. Guy Lafleur

        • Habfan17 says:

          Sometimes things work in spite of, not because of. That is not to say that Therrien hasn’t done some positive things, but I think he has provided the team with all he can and a different coach is needed to get them to the next level and to bring in a system that exploits the offensive abilities, while maintaining the defensive side.

          Under Therrien, the PP has tanked and the PK has become less effective in each year since he took over.


          • Timo says:

            Whoever said it is spot on… having Carey Price on your team masks a lot of problems.

          • S13 says:

            Having price in nets does help A LOT but at the same time the coach is unfairly blamed for the PP woes. A part of being on the ice is anticipation and adjusting. Galchenyuk can’t do much on the PP and most expect him to the the messiah on the first line 5 on 5. Same for Eller but on second line. Maxpac mostly waits for passes and doesn’t move around as much. Subban still thinks he has the force with him and will try to shoot through redwoods even if he barely has an angle.

            If Subban were french and not a fan favourite, would we be blaming the coach or the player?? I think we all know the answer to that

            hopefully a shooter like Semin can get a few in October and make teams second guess.

          • on2ndthought says:

            Having Crosby masks problems,, having Toews masks problems…

            c’mon don’t blame the coach for his best player being his best player…

            “a cannonading drive”

        • Mavid says:

          I don’t think you have stumbled accoss a well kept secret, most Habs fans know that Price is the reason why the team has done so well, but that can be said for most teams with a superstar. You build your team around your best players. Our is in nets and on defence..I also do not agree that Price has taken the heat off of MT, for a coach that has taken this team to the ECF and the second round he most certainly takes alot of heat and critisizim..

          Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

          • on2ndthought says:

            Which is pretty much what I just said – 8 hours later 😉
            I should read the full thread before I post, but I won’t…

            “a cannonading drive”

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        We’ll tend to adjust the narrative to fit our opinion.

        René Bourque was an exasperating player who never delivered on his promise in Montréal. He’s now doing much the same in Columbus, they have him penned in as one the many big talented forwards they have there, banking on his skillset, that he lately has failed to turn into tangible results. Yet we’ll believe him when he says that his problem was that he didn’t know what was expected of him here.

        Same as when Dale Weise proclaims to all who’ll hear him that the biggest change for him upon moving from the Canucks is how the expectations were clearly explained to him, clearly defined, and that’s why he had the best season of his career in Montréal, we’ll underplay if not downright ignore him. This thumbs up for the coach is swept under the rug, dismissed, willfully forgotten.

        One of the tropes that’s cropping up lately is how Michel Therrien refuses to play Alex Galchenyuk on the right wing, like he refused to do with Jiri Sekac and Thomas Vanek. And that’s revisionist history, it distorts the facts when it doesn’t get them plain wrong.

        Thomas Vanek explained to everyone when he landed in Montréal that he preferred playing on the left wing, even though he’s a right shot. Much handwringing ensued about where he’d slot in. Michel Therrien calmly explained that he sit down in his office for a cup of coffee with Thomas and they’d figure it out, that he’d put him in a position to succeed, where he felt comfortable.

        Sure enough, Thomas first played on Tomas Plekanec’s left wing with Brian Gionta on the right, it was a natural fit, a roster hole that needed to be filled anyway. Except he didn’t mesh with those two, and after five games or so, the Head Coach put him on David Desharnais’ right with Max on the left. The coach was roundly criticized for not acceding with his new pupil’s wishes.

        But then after a couple games the line started to click, piling up points. We finally had our #1 line that was difficult to counter. The critics who assailed Michel Therrien didn’t step forward and now proclaim him a genius, admit they were too quick to judge, too harsh. They probably moved on to other issues to bash him with.

        At the conclusion of the playoffs, the Head Coach was pilloried for failing to put Thomas back on the right wing of the #1 line. Despite his shameful disappearance in the series against the Bruins, when the other Canadiens were weathering the crosschecks and muggings to defeat them. Now the coach’s stubbornness wasn’t in ignoring Thomas’ request to play on the left, it was in his flexibility and adaptability in the face of diminished output and effort from his star winger. Now the coach had been fallibly flexible in adjusting his roster. And then stubborn for not returning to his first, and our favourite mistake.

        When Michel Therrien openly states that he’s trying to improve, trying to communicate better, when he says he’ll arrive at a plan on how to use Thomas Vanek after consulting with him, when he gets encomiums from Dale Weise about communicating clear expectations and this is backed up with a career year, when he says he’ll play Alex Galchenyuk in such a way as to not lose his confidence as a player, shouldn’t we give him the benefit of the doubt? Meet him a quarter of the way? Especially when there are tangible demonstrations of that behaviour change? Even if it goes against our ‘stapled to the bench’ and ‘ruining young players’ leitmotif?

        • Habfan17 says:

          Painting everything a person has to say as tainted based on past issues or on ice performance, is dangerous. I saw Ryan speak and he says it is his fault for wasting his career.

          Just because he was did some questionable things, perhaps even being a drunk, does not mean that he was not speaking the truth. When one person says something, it may not have merit, when many people have the same experience, then perhaps their is truth.

          There are two sides to every story and Bourque was a frustrating player to watch, but again, that does not mean he isn’t being honest with his comments. It jus may be that some of that frustration we experienced was due to the poor communication from the coach!

          Habfan17First of Therrien dod not use Vanek correctly. Vanek is another player that voiced his displeasure over the way Therrien used him. So did I!

          Why would you give or ask us to give Therrien the benefit of the doubt and then right off Bourque because he was a frustrating player to watch. Whom many of us thought, was not engaged and wasted his talents on too many nights, and Ryan, who may have had issues, but I have never heard that one of those issues, was a propensity to lie!

          To your points of some players doing well, it may just be, that they did well because they are growing as players and it is their natural evolution.

          Using your logic, why does it have to be because of Therrien and not in spite of him.

          It irks me when people judge others that they don’t know based on what they read and on past issues. I know a few people who are amazing, generous and talented that went through some tough, and self inflicted times and have turned them around. Haven’t we been told, never judge a book by it’s cover!

          • habcertain says:

            Actually, Ryans’s comments align with Therrien, almost self admitted, feedback of using the dictator approach to coaching, not sure why this would be a revelation, pretty much common knowledge.

            We are to believe that new Therrien, 2.0, is user friendly, but some of the dearly departed questioned his communication skills, but their character is questioned also (by some),because they are not Crosby-like.

            Therrien will never be, what they call, a players coach, just not in his DNA, not to say he can’t be successful, I think his dump and chase system to be a bigger issue than him being a bit of an a-hole.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            17, your post is a perfect illustration of what I’m trying to get at. I found that the responses to the article were too negative on Michel Therrien, were focusing on perceived errors on his part. So I brought up some examples where it can be argued he had success. I concluded that we should maybe be more lenient on him, accept that he is trying to change at least the perception people have of him, and that we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

            Somehow, you read that as a one-sided elegy for the coach, that I’m saying he can do no wrong. Your post proceeds to pick apart some examples I brought up, yet staying mum on others that maybe there’s nothing to object to. No “…maybe you’re right on Dale Weise, maybe he means it when…” Those examples are glossed over, ignored.

            You’re quite right that Thomas Vanek had problems with his usage while a Canadien. He continued to have problems with the Wild this season. But I take it you want me, you want us to take his view as valid, but in the same thread, in a previous post, your take was that we should dismiss Max Pacioretty’s view.

            I assume you’re bringing up Terry Ryan because of my reply to Cal. I didn’t say anything about drinking. I didn’t judge. I read his book and wrote a review of it, I’m well aware of what he went through and how he’s very forthright about his mistakes.


            I just tried to bring up the paradox that we’re supposed to view Terry as completely objective and truthful, but not Sidney Crosby, he’s biased. Somehow that’s supposed to makes sense. Usually when Wayne Gretzky speaks, we listen, but when Normand Dupont speaks, we listen.. less? But if Michel Therrien is involved, somehow we now must ignore Sidney Crosby, but pay close attention to Terry Ryan. Sidney Crosby is politically-expedient and has ulterior motives, while Terry doesn’t. It doesn’t add up.

            You yourself remind me that there are two sides to a story, but harp on René Bourque and Thomas Vanek’s dissatisfaction, but fail to deal with Dale or Max, just introduce the hypothesis that maybe they were just growing and progressing as players. Can I not mirror that back and say maybe René and Thomas were just getting old and losing their skills as hockey players?

            So which is it? Are there two sides to a story or just a narrative that we must pursue, hyping some facts and ignoring others? We’re going to take Thomas Vanek, René Bourque, Terry Ryan and another unnamed player at face value, as being correct in their evaluation, but find fault with Max, Brendan Gallagher, Sidney Crosby, and Dale Weise? Why can’t we build a picture with both viewpoints?

            I’d encourage you to re-read my post. I wasn’t ‘arguing at you’, denying everything you’re saying, rattling your cage. I was simply, after you introduced a few negative points and thoughts on Michel Therrien’s communication and coaching style, bringing up some others for consideration. I didn’t say Michel Therrien walks on water. I didn’t accuse Terry Ryan of lying.

            I’d also encourage you that if someone says something you want to object to, reply to them, not to me. It just makes things clearer that way.

            And I’ll repeat that, with the tone of your reply, I suspect that Michel Therrien isn’t getting a fair shake generally on HIO, isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt. He says he’s trying to change, trying to learn. Mr. Engels was convinced enough to write an article on the subject. Maybe we should follow suit.

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          But when Vanek went wrong, was he put back on left and tried there, or was he relegated to right wing on the bottom lines.

          Yes, the suspicion of MT is deep and likely too deep, but where there’s smoke, there also might be at least a tiny fire.

          Probably no one believes that his forte is now, ever was ,or ever will be communication. Which isn’t to say that he doesn’t know this and isn’t trying to improve.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I have to say that after his embarrassing performance against the Bruins, I completely understand that the coaching staff and management wrote off Thomas Vanek, they weren’t going to reward him with time on the #1 line any more. There might have been a mutiny from the players who soldiered through the Boston series, the Gallaghers and the Weises.

            It’s noteworthy how during his end-of-season press conference, Marc Bergevin tersely replied “No” when asked if Thomas Vanek might return the following season. No hesitation, no “we’ll talk with his agent, study the situation,” it was a flat, definitive no, with an expression that left no doubt. With Brian Gionta, a good soldier, he held out hope. Not with Thomas.

            Often, the GM will be very clear about players not returning. This season he said Manny and Sergei and Mike Weaver wouldn’t return, last summer it was George Parros and Douglas Murray, but in those cases, it was obvious why, they couldn’t help our team any longer.

            In Thomas’ case, it was clearly personal.

          • Old Bald Bird says:

            It would have been deserved had they sat him, but playing him how and where they did was futile. Trying him at left wing on the second line was worth the shot IMO.

    • Cal says:

      The article using Terry Ryan as an example of Therrien’s coaching style is a joke, right? Ryan was nothing but a drunken failure.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yeah, let’s dismiss best-player-on-Earth Sidney Crosby’s words as politically correct fluff, but take into account Terry’s views as objective, since he has no axe to grind. Let’s not inject proportionality into the discussion here.

      • Hobie says:

        There you go. And ya, Sekac and Bourque. Real winners there as well. I really respect what they say! If I wanted someone’s opinion on a coach those two would be the 1st two on my list for sure.

    • Forum Dog says:

      I absolutely love this quote (from Terry Ryan):

      “Once, he called me in for a meeting and he just lit a cigarette, smoked it and told me to get the [expletive] out of his office”. “Obviously there was a message being sent. I didn’t really know what it was…There was obviously a thing where he wanted mental dominance.”

      Therrien is saying all the right things, and his record is pretty damned good. But it will be hard for many fans to get past his type A-hole personality. A Cup win would probably do it, but anything less and I’m not sure he’ll ever be embraced by the masses.

    • CH Sam says:

      Looking forward to another season of grinding, but this time with Semin.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He should have two years ago. He was a great player with Buffalo and most of his time in Philly. I was never a fan after he snubbed the habs for Philly and then it was his ultimate dream to play for the habs when he was well past his expiry.

      I am not a fan of his but he was a good player and hats off to him on a really good career

  47. Un Canadien errant says:

    What, two new threads devoted to Torrey? Overkill maybe?

    Free Antonio Gates!


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