Tags Posts tagged with "NHL"


On this week’s episode of Road To Glory, host Nick Murdocco, along with Steven Hindle and Coach K discuss whether or not the Habs will be better or worse next season, they take a look at the NHL expansion proposals submitted by Quebec City and Las Vegas, and with the discussion about players already done, they question whether or not Michel Therrien and his coaching staff will see the end of next season from behind the Canadiens’ bench.




On this week’s edition of Road To Glory, host Nick Murdocco is joined in studio by Steven Hindle, Steve Farnham and Coach K, as they discuss some of the recent contract signings by the Montreal Canadiens.

Grant McCagg of McKeen’s Hockey joins the crew to discuss what upside the youth in the Canadiens’ organization can bring to the table.

Finally, Nick tells you what he thinks of jersey advertisements in this week’s #WhatBreaksMyStick.


On this week’s episode, Steve Farnham joins Nick Murdocco, Steven Hindle and Coach K to discuss the goings-on at the Montreal Canadiens Development Camp, the Alex Galchenyuk saga and the impact the contract given to Vladimir Tarasenko will have on the negociations, as well as the addition of Nick Carriere to the coaching staff of the St. John’s Ice Caps.


On this week’s Road To Glory, host Nick Murdocco, Steven Hindle and Coach K review the happenings at the 2015 NHL Draft, the NHL Free Agent Frenzy and trades involving the Montreal Canadiens.

barberio-166339093-640x427Speaking of free agency, the boys are joined in the second segment by new Canadiens’ defenseman Mark Barberio, as they discuss his time in Tampa Bay, the retirement of Martin St-Louis and his personal expectations going in Habs’ camp.


WhatBreakMyStickIn this week’s “What Break My Stick”, Coach goes off on all the armchair GMs on social media, and their vitriol towards those whose opinions differ from their own.




MHT Road To Glory – July 2nd, 2015


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Normally, when a team drafts as low as the Montreal Canadiens, with the 26th overall selection, chances are most of the top end talent is off the board.

Tonight’s 1st round of the 2015 NHL Draft was nothing like that. After the Boston Bruins traded defenceman Dougie Hamilton and hated winger Milan Lucic to acquire picks 13, 14 and 15, it was almost a foregone conclusion that most of the top 20 talent would be gone. To everyone’s surprise, new Bruins’ general manager Don Sweeney drafted D Jacob Zboril, LW Jake Debrusk and RW Zachary Senyshen (ranked  12th, 19th and 38th respectively by NHL Central Scouting), it created turmoil on the Draft floor.

As picks came and went, there were plenty of players available for the Canadiens to choose from. The cupboards are bare in most areas of the farm system right now, with the likes of Nikita Scherbak, Michael McCarron and Charles Hudon due to get serious consideration at Canadiens’ camp in the fall, as well as defenseman Jarred Tinordi and Dalton Thrower. With plenty of defensemen available in the draft through rounds 1 and 2, it was expected the Canadiens would draft a skillful, well-sized and skilled forward to help address their scoring down the road.

Charlottetown Islanders’ leading scorer Daniel Sprong (ranked 20nd by NHLCS) was available for the Canadiens, and despite holes in his defensive game, his offensive skill ranks among the top 5 players available in the draft.

juulsen-draftCanadiens’ general manager Marc Bergevin and Director of Amateur Scouting Trevor Timmons decided to bolster the back end, picking defenseman Noah Juulsen from the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. Juulsen (22nd – NHLCS) is 6′ 1″ and 176 lbs, shoots right handed and has a very respectable two-way game. The 18 year old from Abbotsford, BC is an excellent skater and plays a relatively physical game. He can provide excellent support to his teammates and has an above-average ability to anticipate the game.
Noah Juulsen’s Career Statistics:

Many aren’t thrilled with the selection, including yours truly, but time will tell if Juulsen will fit the bill for Montreal. He needs to put on some significant muscle to play at the professional level, but given his age, he will spend a couple of more years in the WHL and perhaps one or two with the Ice Caps, which should give him more than enough time to fill in.

The NHL Draft continues tomorrow in Sunrise, Florida. Hopefully, the Canadiens’ brain trust have a few more moves up their sleeve to pacify Habs’ fan, who expected a bigger splash on the draft floor.

In anticipation of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, and possible moves that can be made on the draft floor by the Montreal Canadiens, join Nick Murdocco, Steven Hindle and Coach K, who are joined in studio by James Stephan, as they give you their take on what may transpire.

We also got a hold of Gus Katsaros of McKeen’s Hockey to talk about possible Habs’ targets, and what can be expected from some of the Canadiens’ draft choices graduating to the AHL.



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As if there was any doubt?

To many in HabsNation, tonight’s affirmation at the 2015 NHL Awards of Carey Price was nothing more than a formality. Canadiens’ fans near and far all know how great Price is, while others know of his abilities from his gold medal performance at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi for Team Canada.

The night started with the presentation of the Ted Lindsay Award, which goes to the player voted most valuable by their peers. To some players, this award means more that the Hart Memorial Trophy, because the players decide the winner.

Price went up to the stage, looking sharp in a tuxedo and bowtie, and thanked everyone, from his teammates to his parents, and of course, his wife Angela. Price accepted the award with his usual humility, jokingly saying, “I’m more nervous up here than when I’m playing.”

Voting Total for the Vezina Trophy

Next up was the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league’s best goaltender. The choice was easy. Price led the league in wins with 44, save percentage at .933 and goals against average of 1.96. Despite a great season by Devon Dubnyk, who single handedly resurrected the Minnesota Wild’s season, there’s no disputing Price’s dominance between the pipes.

Again, Price went up on stage to accept his award, except this time, his message was different. Sure, he thanked his teammates, as he always does, but instead of adding to the list of people to thank, the Canadiens’ netminder spoke about the First Nations’ Youth.

It’s well known throughout Canada that First Nations’ children struggle to succeed in life, often getting caught up in drugs and alcoholism. Tears flowed from Price’s eyes as he tried to encourage youngster to follow their dreams, and if he could make it this far in life, so could they. It was just a glimpse into the life Carey Price led in rural B.C., but one that moved everyone that was watching.

The Jennings Trophy is awarded to the team that allows the lowest goal against during the regular season. That honour was split between the Montreal Canadiens and the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Finally, it was time to award the Hart Memorial Trophy for the league’s most valuable player. Many thought because Price was a goaltender, and had the Vezina and Lindsay Trophies all but secured, that Alexander Ovechkin, who led the league win 53 goals, would be his biggest competition.

Hart Trophy Voting

As the chart to the left shows, it wasn’t even close. Price blew away the competition, beating Ovechkin in voting by over 600 votes. John Tavares of the New York Islanders finished third.

World Junior Gold, a Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs, a gold medal in 2014 and not a slew of NHL hardware. All that’s left for Care Price is to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a Stanley Cup and his career would be complete…hopefully next season at the age of 28.


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At the NHL General Managers’ meetings in Las Vegas yesterday, it was voted that, coming next season, 3-on-3 overtime be adopted. 4-on-4 would be a thing of the past, as the National Hockey League Players’ Association scored a major victory, refusing to adopt the hybrid model overtime used in the AHL, where 4-on-4 was played until the first whistle after the 3 minute mark of OT, then 3-on-3 for another 4 minutes.

The NHLPA contended that the players would be more susceptible to injury with the 3-4 model, so the NHL GMs, desperate to have more games decided in overtime, agreed.

Coming out of the first NHL lockout in 2004-2005, the league decided to implement a shootout after 5 minutes of 4-on 4 overtime to have a winner decided for every game. At the time, everyone was abuzz, as the penalty shot/shootout is “the most exciting play in hockey”. It was a novel idea, that fans enjoyed for the first little while, but after the first couple of seasons, fans grew tired of it.

Now, the league and players’ union are going to 3-on-3 to avoid the shootout more often. the USHL adopted the same model last season, and saw a modest 10% change in games decided in OT. The AHL, which used the hybrid 3-4 model, saw its numbers drop from 66% of games going to a shootout to under 25%, a change of over 40%. The change in the AHL, however, was more evident early in the season, and as the teams adapted, the numbers flatlined.

The league and the union can tinker all they want with overtime formats and rules, but until they can figure out a way to eliminate defensive-oriented hockey from the game, scoring will continue to remain low.

No matter the rule changes, coaches have been notorious for adapting the “trap” in game situations. With the removal of the 2-line offside after 2004-2005, some teams began using their own blue line as their defensive front, with a single forechecker in the neutral zone and stacking the remaining 4 players to quell zone entries. Others, who carry more offensively gifted, quick and skilled players among the forwards would play a 2-3 stack, but the logic was still the same. If you force your opponent to relinquish the puck on zone entry, you’ve already won half the battle.

I have no doubt that after an initial upturn in overtime scoring, the same adaptation will take place. Coaches work tirelessly analyzing video and creating strategies to reduce scoring chances. 3-on-3 overtime will be no different.

So what can be done to change the coaching fraternity’s thought process to encourage more scoring? Rules can be created until people are blue in the face, but those are only temporary measures. The best way to get coaches and teams away from sitting back in a defensive shell is to reward them properly for playing an offensive game. That can only happen through an adjustment of the points system.

The system would be fairly simple:

3 points to the team that wins in regulation time.
2 points to the winner in overtime, and a single point to the losing team.
1 point to the winner in a shootout, and NOTHING awarded to the losing team.

Simple logic dictates that teams that know they can end up with nothing in the coffers after over 65 minutes of play will play a more aggressive, offensively minded style to ensure they maximize the possibility of getting points in regular season games. It would also guarantee the effort and integrity of the 3-on-3 overtime, ensuring teams remain aggressive to avoid the chance of ending games empty-handed.

More points being rewarded would also ensure that teams place a higher importance on their specialty teams. Along with an expected increase in offensive aggressiveness at even-strength, the man-advantage would once again become a major factor in team success, especially for teams that don’t have the offensive firepower to dominate 5-on-5.

If teams didn’t play a point-rewarding style, it would mean missing the playoffs more often and, ultimately, coaching changes to hire staffs with more offensively minded people.

Coaches always say it’s the end result that matters. Well, if success is measured by playoff appearances, then rewarding them that produce more offence is the ideal scenario.

And the silver lining:

With more offensive hockey throughout the regular season, can you imagine a scenario where teams revert back to a defensive shell after a full regular season of pushing the pace?

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Everyone has an opinion about who the Canadiens’ Director of Amateur Scouting Trevor Timmons should select in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. Scouting is never an exact science, so no one persons opinion is wrong. It just doesn’t go along with the organization’s drafting strategy or needs.

That said, with the lack of offensive production on the Montreal Canadiens’ current roster, as well as the limited scoring punch they carry with their AHL affiliate, the St. John’s Ice Caps, it makes sense to look at draft prospects that can bring much needed offence to a team that struggles to score on a consistent basis.

Below are the top 5 1st round prospects that, in my opinion, the Habs should be looking at in order to augment some of their missing goal production down the road.

daniel sprong

Daniel Sprong – RW – Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)

The Dutch-born forward led the Islanders in points for the 2nd straight season (39G-49A-88PTS). He is an incredibly gifted offensive forward, who doesn’t get pushed around easily, and has slick mitts to go along with his already NHL shot.

Defensively, Sprong leaves a lot to be desired. However, if the old hockey adage is true, then Canadiens’ brass needn’t worry, because when Daniel is on the ice, it’s more than likely he has the puck 200 feet away from your net.

The only other problem with Daniel is his attitude, as he oftentimes disregards his coach’s instructions. That said, if the Habs are looking to add firepower to their farm system, this is the player to do that.

Joel Eriksson Ek – C – Farjestad (SWE)

While the definition of power forward suggests that they normally have to be wingers, Joel Eriksson Ek is the exception to the rule.

Hugely competitive, Joel creates scoring opportunities uses the unique combination of size, skill and skating to open up scoring opportunities for himself and his linemates. The one skill that he possesses over other power-forwards is his puck handling skills. While he has the size to drive the puck to the net, he can also leave defenders looking rather inept with a skillful deke.

Add to that his above-average defensive awareness and elite-level shot, and you possibly have the centre the Montreal Canadiens have been searching for for over a decade.



Brock Boeser – RW – Waterloo/USHL

If the Canadiens are looking to add scoring depth to the organization, Brock Boeser is another good selection.

He’s a gifted natural goal scorer, much like Patrick Sharp. He has a knack for getting into prime real estate, and a quick release on his shot that rarely misses its mark.

What sets him apart from other snipers is that he is always aware of where his linemates are and can find them with above average passing precision.

Although his defensive game needs some work, the obvious A+ offensive skill he has would be an integral addition to the Habs’ lack of finish among their forwards.

Thomas Chabot – Defence – St. John’s Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

Chabot was one of the best two-way defensemen in the Quebec Major Junior League last season. His ability to react to the play, along with his deceptive speed and skill for a player of his size, make him a threat in transition.

His 6′ 1″, 181 lbs. frame also lent to his physical game, which still needs to progress.

Chabot has all the tools to become a unique defenseman, with both top-end offensive skill and a physical game, that any NHL team would be frothing at the mouth to get their hands on.

Thomas Chabot


Brandon Carlo – D – Tri-City (WHL)

If adding another big mobile defenseman is what the Canadiens are thinking, Brandon Carlo fits the bill nicely.

He carries a 6′ 5″ 196lbs. frame onto the ice. A right handed defenseman, he skates very well for his size and can move laterally much better than most defensemen with his height. Along with offensive skill that allows him to join the rush and get into go shooting positions, Carlo’s nastiness and physical dominance is a huge part of his game.

He shows veteran poise by allowing the game to develop in front of him, and let’s the game dictate what he needs to do.

He is the total package when it comes to defensive prospects, as should definitely be on the Canadiens’ short list.

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Photo: Michael J. Cohen/EMSB

In a day and age when athletes and executives in professional sports like to shy away from the spotlight during the off-season, the same cannot be said about the General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Marc Bergevin.

Bergevin was at James Lyng High School on Friday, June 19th to view the huge likeness of himself on display on the side of the building, as part of the “Bringing History to Life” program at the school.

The mural, created by the staff and students at James Lyng, gives life to some of the area’s most influential people, from famed jazz pianist Oliver Jones, James Lyng alumni and actor Jaa Smith-Johnson to Verdun city counsellor Sterling Downey.

Bergevin had the opportunity to view a book created by the program that looked at various historical elements from Little Burgundy, through Pointe St-Charles and into St-Henri. Bergevin showed his in-depth knowledge of the area’s deep history as he looked through the book, pointing out where his father worked when he grew up, and talking about some of the various area restaurants that “are landmarks” as far as he is concerned.

He even asked about the Turcotte interchange reconstruction and the beautification projects that are lined up to help rejuvenate his neighbourhood and the area surrounding James Lyng. The most impressive part was the undivided attention he gave to each student, answering their questions (unless they had to anything with trades or the draft, of course), and giving them his personal perspective on how the neighbourhood has changed and grown in many ways.

In turn, the Canadiens’ general manager gave the students in attendance at history lesson on the difficulties he had growing up in St-Henri. The well-documented linguistic feuds that divided the Little Burgundy, Pointe St-Charles and St-Henri neighbourhood was a subject that Bergevin lived through and didn’t avoid talking about.

“I played my minor hockey right next door”, said the Canadiens GM, referring to Le Centre Gadbois, located adjacent to the school. “It was tough for those of us from the other side of the tracks to come here, because of the whole English – French situation.”

When asked whether being a hometown boy puts added pressure on him to get the Canadiens more success, he shook it off. “No matter who is the general manager of the Canadiens, from this city or not, the team’s history will put pressure on you.”

The Canadiens’ Director of Player Development Martin Lapointe, who played 14 season in the National Hockey League, and has an arena sporting his name in Lachine (Ville St-Pierre). When asked about when the Gadbois Centre will carry his name, Bergevin laughed and responded, “I think you’ll have to ask the mayor about that.”

Oftentimes we associate people in highly regarded position as untouchable as well as unapproachable. Marc Bergevin is the polar opposite of that. Regardless of the decisions he makes from his office high above St-Antoine Street, he, above all others, really has MONTREAL’s best interest at heart.


Listen in to the interview I did with Marc Bergevin.

Sorry, I couldn’t ask about the draft and potential trades. You’ll have to listen to Montreal Hockey Talk; Road To Glory this Thursday night at 8 PM to get that information.