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Claude Julien returns to Montreal

  • It wasn’t long ago that Claude Julien was the Coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

    Tonight he’ll return to the Bell Center for the first time as coach of the New Jersey Devils.

    The Habs are looking to win three straight for the first time this year, but have not beat the Devils since 2004. The Canadiens lost all 4 games against NJ last year.

    Cristobal Huet will get the call after his shut out in Carolina.

    A win would bring the Habs an 8-2-3 record. Only 3 other teams in the league have 2 or less regulation losses.

    Claude Julien got the Canadiens off to a very quick start last year, but struggled in the middle of the season ultimately costing him his job. The Canadiens are off to an identical 17 point start as they were last year.

    Considering the similarity thus far in the season, I’m introducing a new feature.

    Vintage Habs Blog.

    The first entry shows what a difference a year can make. According to the entry, the Sabres were fanless, Yann Danis was in goal and Niklas Sundstrom had a ‘clutch goal’.

    Vintage Habs Blog – 1 year ago today

    How were the Habs doing? What was I saying about them? What were YOU saying about them?
    How has the team changed?

  1. Saw the Devils play the Islanders the other night.. the Devils looked awful. No life, no energy. The Islanders did a great job to get the Devils out of their game early. Either NJ will come in still lifeless or full of energy to make up their poor performance. Either way, the Habs have to come out playing “higgy”, (refering the the energy Higgins brings). This will either futher deflate the energy of the Devils or short curcuit the energy they may have. Since the game will be televised in the NY area, (home of both Komo and Higgs) look for great energy from them….Gary Parks.

  2. No matter how NJ play, the threat is ever apparent with Broduer in the pipes. Agree that Higgins should have a big gam and someone else (not sure who) will too – maybe Latendresse or Begin.

    Also loving the new add – nostalgia rulz all!

  3. #3 Habs#1 says:
    November 4, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    The Habs sould win this game so long as Brodeur dosen’t have another one of his magical nights. Without Scott Gomez(man he’d look good as our other scoring centre with Koivu, he’s UFA at the end of the year) who did not make the trip with the Devils, their first line is not the same. Without him Gionta isn’t the same and Elias has to do more work than normal.

    Habs win 3-1.

  4. If would be great to get a w tonight. IT will really have us up and running in teh standings. HOwever teh Devils usually do a good job in suffocating us in MOntreal. Brodeur is obviously not the ame goalie anymore but returing to Mtl always gets his juices going. I agree with Habs1 a 3-1 victory, Brodeur will kep it close until a late thrid period goal by Ryder.

  5. OH and SOuray is first star. Rivet gets benched. J/K

  6. #6 Habs#1 says:
    November 4, 2006 at 2:54 pm

    Montreal’s free agent status at the end of the year:

    UFA’s: Craig Rivet/current salary:2.47 million(people are to hard on him, he’s a good #4 guy who brings a physical presence.If he wants to come back though he’s going to have to take a fairly big pay cut.)

    Sheldon Souray/current salary:2.432 million(Great on the powarplay, rocket shot, does make at least one or two mental errors a game and his temper can get the best of him at times and all signs point to him leaving at the end of the year. But if the Habs can re-sign him somehow, then they better damn well do it). Chris Pronger proved that personal issues override proffesional succes, so even if the Habs do really well this year dosen’t meen he’ll come back.

    Andrei Markov/current salary:2 million even:(best passing defenceman we have, has a great first pass out of their own end, plays solid defencesively, not a great shot but he can sneak in from the point well,Montreal’s best all around defenceman, will need a fairly large raise to bring him back 3.5-4 million is what he’s asking for)

    Janne Ninnamaa/current salary:2.5 million(I just plain don’t see the Habs bringing him back)

    Radek Bonk/current salary:2.394 million(Bonk’s situation is a bit of an enigma. While he’s drastically overpaid for his role, he’s embraced and really ran with his new role of a checking 3rd line centre and is clicking with linemate Mike Johnson, especially on the PK, so Gainey might consider giving him a new lower paying contract. However he’s over 30 and the Habs probably want Plekanec to take this role so I don’t see him coming back.)

    Mike Johnson/current salary:1.9 million(Johnson has been a very pleasant surprise. He’s blossomed in his third line role and on the PK. I see Gainey trying very hard to bring him back say at 2-2.5 million.)

    David Aebischer/current salary:1.9 million(He’s played very well so far although with Danis definitly ready to be a full time back up next season, also Carey Price is going to be in the AHL next year and they’re going to want him to play most of the games, and if Huet can regain his form from last season than Aebisher’s situation just continues to get more murky by the week.)

    Aaron Downey/current salary:475,000 (On the wrong side of 30 and Garth Murray can easily fill his role.)

    RFA’s: Mike Komisarek(current salary:946,900), Chris Higgins(current salary:673,00), Micheal Ryder(current salary:2.2 million), Alexander Perezhogin(current salary:627,000), Tomas Plekanec(current salary: 450,000)

    Out of all the RFA’s only Higgins is going to get a significant raise.(If Cheechoo makes 3 milion, than Ryder’s only worth 2.5)

    Who would you like to see brought back and at what price?

  7. #7 sly vester says:
    November 4, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    Everybody but Niinimaa, Aebeischer and Downey. I just love our team right now, and our superstar in the making (Higgins) must be kept at all costs. Souray our powerplay blaster as well, and lets not forget Markov. These are important players to the core of the team, and i think Gainey would have a hard time replacing what they bring to the team (energy, strength, depth etc.) As for payroles i totally agree with whats going on right now. Wouldn’t change anything… noone is really deserving more than they’re making (this doesn’t mean they aren’t playing well… Except higgins of course who will probably be making 3 million pretty soon

  8. #8 kazmojo says:
    November 4, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    Nice job, Habs#1. I agree with most of what you say. Rivet, Markov, Johnson, and Bonk should definitely be brought back. Downey could be replaced by Murray or even some youngsters.

    Souray is gone after next season — who wouldn’t want to work closer to their loved ones? So a trade would be best. Maybe package him with Aebischer? Aebischer has been mostly solid, but he has had some gaffes too. Against Ottawa, Yvon Pedneault had just finished saying Aebischer had been “impeccable” since the second period of the Toronto game, and then he lets in that last goal. Huet started out rocky, but is on a steady climb.

    In any case one of them has to go if Danis is ready, and a package with Souray ought to bring in a much needed top 2 dman or #2 centre.

    BTW, our erstwhile #2 centreman Mike Ribeiro is doing quite well in Big D (3G, 7A, +4). I doubt Gainey has any regrets though. Niinimaa has been definitely needed with the injuries to the blueline and Patrick Traverse (yikes!) as the only experienced backup.

  9. #9 kazmojo says:
    November 4, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    And as far as where Souray ends up next season (trade or not) he doesn’t have to sign with LA to be closer to his daughter. Anaheim is only an hour away. If Souray were to join Pronger, Beauchemin and Niedermayer, that would be one helluva top 4.

    As far as Julien, I think the Habs would have been farther along had he not been fired midway. I think the capper was when he benched Theo. Gainey took over, gave Theo another shot — and then traded his sorry @$$.

  10. #10 Gumper says:
    November 4, 2006 at 5:46 pm

    I’d rather stay on topic rather than speculate on mid-season or end of year player status. While it’s fine to do this and we all have an opinion, it bugs the shit out of me when i have to scroll through irrelevant stuff to get to an opinion based on the real post’s topic. I know i’m ticking some people off by saying this but i don’t care. Enough with the micro-managing, hair-splitting and anal-retention… it’s only the start of the season.

    Flat out, I wasn’t impressed with Julien or Vigneault when they were here. However, they were both “Scotty Bowman” compared to Mario Tremblay. Tremblay was disgusting. Julien isn’t a bad coach, he just doesn’t strike me as a great coach. I don’t even think his being a (returning for the first time) former Hab coach will be a factor. Sure, some teams use this as motivation,.. to win one for the Gipper but, Julien ain’t a Gipper. Alas, I tend to think that, at this point, Brodeur will have a tough time using the Bell centre / native land angle to get it up tonight.

    5 – 2 Habs

  11. #11 smiler2729 says:
    November 4, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    Hopefully bring back everybody… let go of Niinimaa (too soft), Radek Bonk (too expensive for a 3rd liner) and Aaron Downey (there’s no use for him now that the ‘goon’ is obsolete). I’d like to see Aebischer and Huet continue the Moog-Fuhr/Smith-Resch tandem thing, maybe trade Yann Danis who is probably decent but with Carey Price coming within three years, why keep him?

    As for Claude Julien, whatever. Seemed like a good guy, it’s too bad he didn’t work out but hey, this is the NHL and winning is everything especially in the center of the hockey universe (Montreal NOT Toronto).

  12. #12 t8ter says:
    November 4, 2006 at 7:15 pm

    I just don’t see the Habs hanging on to two starting goalies and as the season plays out my guess would be deal one and keep one. It will be a year anyway before Price is ready to come up. Could get a pretty good player for either goalie if they keep competing like they have been and goalies hold there value. Should be another barn burner tonight.

    GO HABS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. #13 Habs#1 says:
    November 4, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    Can the Habs beat New Jersey? That’s 0-5 the past two years. Brodeur always owns them. Man that get’s on your nerves.

  14. #14 habs hearland 1 says:
    November 4, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    same old habs! same old devils! WE JUST CAN’T BEAT THEM!!! EVER!!Why do we play our worst games against the devils?I personally think we are intimidated by Brodeur, because we can never beat him! How long has it been since we beat him? 2years? PATHETIC!We will never be considered a great team until we beat the devils!Are we ever going to win 3 games in a row?It is so frustrating to never win against NJ!oh, and by the way, the 1 goal we scored tonight, was a fluke! As far as I’m concerned it was a shutout!Can we just forfeit the other games against the devils, because we’re going to lose anyways. I’ll make sure when I play Mise au jeu, and our opposition are the devils, that I bet on the devils. Isn’t it funny that Brodeur looks so bad against the Islanders, yet a world beater against us! SHAMEFUL!

  15. #15 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 4, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    Would you people quit your whining.We lost.We cant win them all.Go join leafs nation because they always have an excuse when they lose.WE LOST get over it.Its funny because it seems its the same people after every game and shoot their mouths off.Great way to support your team by using words like pathetic and shameful.Do us all a favour and hop in your car and drive west down the 401 you seem to be a better fit there

  16. #16 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 4, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    Oh ya by the way we know your a leaf fan you fucking idiot

  17. #17 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 4, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    Sorry HB but it had to be said

  18. #18 Jack Tornton says:
    November 4, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    Next game we play the devils, we should smoke, i really mean SMOKE this frickin brodeur. Win that game 12-0………i mean it.

  19. #19 habs hearland 1 says:
    November 5, 2006 at 1:21 am

    HeyPS, I’m not a leaf fan you f@$&*king idiot! Talk about a big mouth! Shut yours! I have every right to express my opinion as you! If you don’t like controversy, go jump off a bridge, you moron! Isn’t it funny, how a habs supporter think everything is just fine and dandy for the habs TO LOSE EVERY SINGLE GAME AGAINST THE DEVILS! I MEAN EVERY SINGLE GAME!!! WE NEVER BEAT THEM! yet, that’s okay with him. what kind of person, should accept defeat so easily? that’s not a fan! That’s a complacent loser! If you like losing, then you’re a loser too! Where do you get off, telling me ( with your vulgar, dirty mouth) to FO. Go screw yourself, you idiot. Just for that comment, I will INTENTIONALLY write the opposite of your comments, JUST TO PISS YOU OFF,you MORON!!! At least the Laffs won, and handed the Sabres their first defeat of the season; something the mighty habs couldn’t do! Also, we can’t beat the leafs EITHER!But I’m not a leafs fan; fortunately, I don’t accept defeat easily, and neither should anyone else! Only losers are happy and satisfied with losses! Usually, their lives are the same. Do you know what I mean? losers, totally unsuccesful, and unfulfilled!

  20. #20 habsland here says:
    November 5, 2006 at 1:31 am

    I agree with the last comment. It’s not as though we beat NJ sometimes. we should be tired of losing to that team. Geez, take some pride in your team; don’t accept defeat so readily. Nobody likes to lose. strive for better play and more wins; that’s the sign of a champion. Don’t accept excuses! do better the next time around. Why shouldn’t we win 9 or 10 in a row? Let’s do it!Then we will act like champions, and people won’t get all over our team. Also, this blog is free for anyone and everyone to express opinions, right or wrong!If you don’t agree, that’s okay. Makes life more exciting, and not so dull!But the language has to go! not necessary!

  21. #21 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 5, 2006 at 8:40 am


  22. #22 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 5, 2006 at 8:44 am

    Anyone eles find 19th and 20th post kind of odd considering the names are Habs hearland and Habsland here lol probably a couple of sausage jockeys from laff land lol

  23. #23 smiler2729 says:
    November 5, 2006 at 9:45 am

    Along the same sentiment… we lost, it happens. Big deal. Not for a lack of trying though so no shame there. Brodeur was amazing as usual and the Devils’ forecheck and team defense got even stronger as the game wore on. Huet was also amazing and boy can we skate! This team rocks! Elsewhere, the Mighty Leafs beat the Sabres and the Stanley Cup parade is being planned down Bay Street as we speak! All bow to the Maple Leafs!!! (

  24. #24 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 5, 2006 at 9:48 am

    lol thanks smiler2729 finally a guy who understands that we cant win them all.

  25. #25 smiler2729 says:
    November 5, 2006 at 9:54 am

    The above comments on the Falling Leaves (Leafs isn’t even a proper word) is SARCASM for those who thought otherwise. I’m 42 years old (born and raised in MOntreal) and I’ve seen the Habs win a lot of Cups (in colour, I might add for Leaf Nation) so I’m spoiled and blesssed… the sick twisted thing is that I almost enjoy watching the Leafs lose more than seeing the Habs win sometimes. My second favourite team is whoever’s playing the Leafs! I don’t know why my hatred for that team is so strong but since moving to south central Ontario a decade or so ago, their fans and media just bug the crap out of me, so un-informed and classless… and their personnel over the years are just as bad (Pat Burns, Pat Quinn, Roberts, Belfour, Tucker, the list goes on…) Ever notice how the Leaf organization always goes after Montreal’s scrap? When’s the last the Habs had an ex-Leaf (other than Gilmour who made his name as a Calgary Flame anyway)??? Vent over. Phew.

  26. #26 tricolor true says:
    November 5, 2006 at 11:26 am

    well, it’s too bad some people don’t mind losing; kind of sets the tone for this blog. habs heartland, don’t mind Pactum Serva, or whatever his stupid name is. I know that uneducated people can’t understand rational comments. as you can tell by his grammar, he probably never finished high school, and doesn’t know what hockey is all about. let’s not pay attention to him, because he’s simply illiterate! bet he can’t even spell that word. I love your comments, because you exemplify a winner, something we should all try and do. all we ask, is for our team to give 100% effort, every game, win or lose. No, we’re not the team of 1978(who lost only 8 games), but we must be competitive in every game. It does bother me, when I see lazy players. After all, they make millions. they are spoiled, lazy players who only want to collect their pay.when I see players such as Chris Higgins, I feel good, because he wears the CH proud! Vince Lombardi said it all:” Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing!” he was right. Wish we had more coaches like him. he refused to accept defeat! neither should we. that’s all Habs heartland says. Understand Pactum? So stop denegrating other people on this site, simply because you don’t agree!

  27. #27 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 5, 2006 at 11:45 am

    lol lol

  28. #28 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 5, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    ok so what you are saying is that we didnt play a good game last night?I thought we played a great game but we ran into a hot goalie.My point is that even when we win people are still not happy.Speaking of rational comments so you are trying to tell me just because we have had a tough time against the devils that we will never be a good team intill we beat them.There is nothing wrong with losing.Ya i would love the habs to win every game too but its not gonna happen.It must be nice to live in a perfect world like you guys.Have you ever lost at something or have ever made a mistake.I admit and i am truly sorry for the language it was uncalled for.We cant win every game.I want the habs to win just as much as the next guy but if you THINK OR EXPECT the season to be a cake walk well boys i hate to break it to you because it not going to be so expect a few losses.Only in a perfect world

  29. #29 tricolor true says:
    November 5, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    that’s not what we’re saying. If you lose, but gave 100% that’s okay.It’s when you don’t put in the effort, that’s upsetting. Of course, we’re not going to win every game! That’s unheard of.But should we be happy when we lose? remember, this is not the 1st time we have failed to beat Brodeur. We haven’t beaten the devils in 2 YEARS! IT”S GETTING OLD! don’t you agree? what’s so special about the devils, that we can’t beat them? I know Brodeur is a great goalie, but c’mon! it’s too much.Other teams beat him, and they don’t even have a good record this year. I think it’s now psychological! we believe we aren’t going to beat him! Anyways, lately we’ve been falling behind early almost every game, (spotting the opponent a 2 or 3 goal lead)and that doesn’t help. It’s too hard to play catch up every game. Last night, all we did was shoot the puck in, and chase. Dump and chase is not the answer. Did you notice how they always had at least 3 players back, waiting to grab the puck. They constantly were getting to the puck before us. I have no answers, except maybe for les habs to undergo hypnotherapy before we play the devils.

  30. #30 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 5, 2006 at 12:38 pm

    Brodeur always plays his A game in his home town he stood on his head last night.I thought the habs gave a great effort last night.Its just one of those things i guess.

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