Authors Posts by Kosta Papoulias

Kosta Papoulias

Coach K is the producer of the Montreal Hockey Talk pre and post game shows, to which he is a regular contributor. His 15 years of coaching experience, along with his passion for the game, give him a unique perspective. You can follow Coach on Twitter @CoachRules

Tomas Plekanec lead the way with 2 goals early in the game, and Mike Condon made 20 stops en route to his first NHL victory, as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators by a score of 3-1.

Join Corey Collard, along with Coach K and Steven Hindle, as they breakdown what went right, what went wrong, and how the Habs need to continue improving despite a 3-0 record to start the season.


Despite going 1-for-6 on the man advantage, the ice at the TD Garden was tilted in the Montreal Canadiens’ favour, leading to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.

Join you hosts Nick Murdocco and Coach K, along with Global Montreal’s Kelly Greig, as they breakdown the action, including another Coach’s Challenge, this time lost by Claude Julien, as well as what could be done going into tomorrow’s matchup with the Ottawa Senators.


Join your hosts Steven Hindle and Steve Farnham, along with Global Montreal’s Kelly Grieg and Coach K, as they look forward to tonight’s battle between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

Our old friend, Jimmy Murphy from joins the crew to give us the low-down on what the chatter is in Beantown from ‘Behind Enemy Lines’, brought to you by Telsys.


The Montreal Canadiens, despite being outplayed by a hungry Toronto Maple Leafs’ team, got a pair of goals from Max Pacioretty and the game winner from Alex Galchenyuk, and left the ACC with a 3-1 victory.

Join hosts Nick Murdocco and Coach K, along with Steve Farnham as they breakdown what went right, what went wrong, and what the Habs should do moving forward to their game this Saturday against the hated Boston Bruins.


The season is about to open, as the Montreal Canadiens get set to face the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre, and that means the Montreal Hockey Talk Pre-Game show is back!

Join your hosts Steven Hindle and Steve Farnham, along with Coach K, as they break down the lineups, who’s in, who’s out, and everything that should be in store for Habs’ fans.

The gang is joined by Corey Landsberg of TSN frim “Behind Enemy Lines’, brought to you by Telsys.


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The Montreal Canadiens announced Monday evening that newly acquired forward Zach Kassian has been suspended without pay. The right winger will also be enrolled in Stage 2 of the joint NHL-NHLPA Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health program.

The organization’s decision stems from an incident early Sunday morning, when Kassian’s Ford F-350 slammed into a tree in the Notre-Dame-de-Grace. Kassian was not driving the vehicle, but was in the truck along with two women, aged 20 and 18 years respectively.

With the long-standing rumours of substance abuse and erratic behaviour that has followed the 24 year-old Windsor, Ontario native, it comes as no surprise that the Canadiens’ organization, which values character, would come to this decision.

It remains to be seen whether or not successful completion of the program will allow Kassian to rejoin the Canadiens at some point in the future, but more importanly, let’s all hope he can clean up his act and get back to living a reasonably normal life.


After a flawless training camp, former Hamilton Bulldogs’ number 1 goaltender, Mike Condon, has usurped Dustin Tokarski for the job as Carey Price’s backup. Tokarski, along with newly acquired defenseman Mark Barberio, was placed on waivers earlier today.

In a press conference on Monday at noon, Canadiens’ general manager Marc Bergevin cited Condon’s strong camp and Tokarski’s less than stellar performance were definitely the determining factor in the move.

There has been a severe dip in Tokarski’s game since his extraordinary playoff performance against the New York Rangers in the 2014 Eastern Conference finals. Despite losing the series, the goaltender’s work replacing an injured Carey Price gave the Canadiens a fighting chance in the series.

Since then, however, Tokarski hasn’t even shown flashes of his former self. Oftentimes, he would get caught out of position, with his back turned to the oncoming play, or simply letting pucks going through him.

As for Condon, he did everything he needed to do to earn the backup job. He looked technically sound, which is a huge plus for any backup goaltender, and he showed excellent reactionary skills when they were called upon to stop pucks fired at him.

Despite Tokarski’s experience, Condon showed veteran poise beyond his career experience, never looking flustered. That type of demeanor in goal is a character trait not held by many at this level. It wasn’t too long ago that Carey Price was vilified for having a laid back, un-phased mindset in goal. And as well all know, that worked out just fine for the Canadiens.

Mike Condon will now not only get much needed NHL experience, but he’ll be under the tutelage of two great goaltending minds. If Habs’ goalie coach Stephane Waite can make him great, with better tools than he had to work with in the case of Chicago Blackhawks’ goalie Corey Crawford, and Price can show him the NHL ropes, the Canadiens’ goaltending will be almost as strong as when they had Patrick Roy and Pat Jablonski as their goaltending tandem.

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Despite the 2-3-2 record the Montreal Canadiens sported in the 2015-2016 pre-season, there were a plethora of positives to take away. Their puck possession has been much better than in recent years and their specialty teams are starting to look much more effective.

But now comes the difficult part. Decisions have to be made prior to 5 PM on October 7th, and there are plenty of them the Habs have to make before the puck drops versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tomas Fleischman

Has the former Ducks’ and Capitals’ forward done anything to discourage the Canadiens from offering him a contract?

Fleischman has not only played very well on David Desharnais‘ left wing, he has been a solid team player throughout the pre-season. Granted when a player in on a professional try-out with any team, you know to expect an A+ effort from him, since he’s playing to show his career isn’t done.

He’s scored, killed penalties, thrown the body….

If there were any questions about Fleischman’s ability to remain an effective NHL player, he’s answered all of them. Montreal GM Marc Bergevin should get a contract ready and get that bit of business done sooner rather than later.

Jarred Tinordi 

The 6’6″, 218 lbs defenceman has endeared himself with the Canadiens’ front office. He’s played nervous throughout training camp, and looks like his development curve has pulled a U-turn.

Tinordi’s size and occasional mean streak has been a source of hope for the Habs, but he has been able to put it together.

He continues to make the same mistakes by either pinching into the offensive zone at inopportune times, or making ill-advised passes in his own zone. The latter is due to his shortcoming in being able to play the game at the NHL’s pace, and reading the play accordingly.

His inability to use his long reach for better gap control and non-physical play have everyone wondering where his fate lies. Instead of playing to his strengths, he has tried to do too much and therein lie the problem.

Mark Barberio

As a native Montrealer, you know the former Tampa Bay Lightning prospect wear the ‘CH’ with pride, and given his 102 games of NHL experience, Barberio should remain with the big club.

His strengths lie in his position play and puck distribution skills, which would compliment the Canadiens’ offence nicely.

Barberio has been solid in his own zone, shows great play recognition, and rarely makes a mistake that puts his team in a precarious position.

GM Bergevin has often said he wants players to force him to make difficult decisions. Barberio has done just that.

Dustin Tokarski

As this picture from Bruce Bennett depicts, Dustin Tokarski has had a less-than-stellar pre-season and has put himself at risk of being sent to the AHL.

After his masterful performance in the 2013-2014 Eastern Conference final, Carey Price’s backup has looked more like a beer-league goalie than a professional one.

Diminutive for his craft, Tokarski’s passive approach to goaltending has become his Achilles’ heel. Instead of playing at the top of his crease, he remains deep in the blue paint, giving opponents way to much twine to shoot at.

Beyond that, his technique has suffered recently. His poor puck tracking often leads to him being out of position, unprepared for an incoming shot or, worst of all, with his back completely turned to oncoming opponents.

With the stellar and technically sound play of Mike Condon, who has been perfect in his 90 minutes of pre-season action, Tokarski may very well have played his way into the backup role…with the Ice Caps.

Once again, the Montreal Canadiens dominated play, but didn’t get the desired result, as Dustin Tokarski allowed 5 goals on 15 shots, giving the Ottawa Senators a 5-4 win in the Habs’ final pre-season game.

Join hosts Nick Murdocco and ‘Coach K’, along with Steve Farnham and CJIM morning man Graeme McDonald, as they take a look at the game’s key moments, who stays and who goes, and so much more.