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Francis Bouillon unfit to start season

  • The Canadiens may be missing a couple of key players when their season gets underway in October.

    Francis Bouillon underwent knee surgery and will definitely miss the beginning of the season while news out of Finland indicates that Saku Koivu’s eye is still a problem and preventing him from training on ice.

    Bouillon is a very underated player and an important part of the Habs already questionable defence. Missing a month at the beginning of the season rather than 12 weeks at the end of the year is the smarter decision. But who can step up and fill his ice time and physical presence? Komisarek? Streit?

    The only area the Canadiens didn’t make any significant improvements was on defence and Bouillon’s absence could make for an even rockier start to the season.

    The news of Koivu is not surprising. Eye surgery is a serious thing and no one knows if and when he will come back and if he’ll be 100%. Knowing Koivu he’d have to be completely blind before not wanting to return so expect him to be ready for game 1.

21 Comments
  1. #1 Sly Vester says:
    August 6, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    Thats right, koivu will play with an eyepatch if he has to, i’m not worried about him. If he can come back and kick ass after cancer, he can do it for this. He’ll just walk it off, err blink it off. As for boullion i dont think it will hurt us too much. We still have Souray and Markov to rip it up and as long as our offense works as well as we’re hoping it does (knock on wood) then we can live with a tiny bit of a crapier defense for a month, its no big deal. I’d rather that than have him come play and injure himself even more and have him out for longer.

  2. As I understand it, David Tanabe (D) is now an unrestricted free agent since Boston has declined to offer him a contract. While most UFA signings are busts (and well past their primes), this guy is a young (26 years old), 1999 first round draft pick, with incredible speed and tremendous potential if he works the bugs out of his game. With proper coaching, he might be just worth the risk…

  3. I was thinking the same thing but last I checked the Canadiens were nearing the cap so I wonder how they could make it work.

  4. we need another experienced D man now that Bouillion is lost for at least 1 or 2 months. Ideas anyone?

  5. i think that the habs defence needs more speed.and we dont need Rivet on the team anymore.

  6. If a team as pourous on D as the Bruins walk away from a reasonable salary award (1.2M) it says a ton about the player and the person. Teams don’t give up on good D men too often. No teams ever has enough good ones. I was surprised Philly let Johnsson get away to Minny.

    Tanabe needs to play as a top 2 defenseman to refind the promise he showed in college. He won’t find a team that can offer him that. He’s destined to be a journeyman spare part at best.

    As Markov and Komisarek keep improving, the Habs D will strengthen. Bouillon is a 5 to 7 position player and his injury is best seen as an opportunity for someone else to step up.

  7. #7 koivu fan says:
    August 7, 2006 at 9:38 am

    No need for worries. Our D is good. Streit will fill the spot well. I used to worry about our D myself but every year we just keep getting better

  8. Koivu fan, you’ve got to be kidding! Our defence is so porous! opposing players walk thru it, like it’s paper! better, my ass! Just watch what happens without Bouillon.

  9. on http://www.canadeins.com it said that Francis Bouillon had surgery on his left knee last Wednesday in Colorado.and he said :“I’m feeling good. I may be facing a fair amount of rehabilitation, but getting this done is a good thing,� said Bouillon, who despite being prescribed pain killers by Dr. Steadman has yet to feel the need to break the seal on the bottle of pills. “I’ve been playing through this already for a couple of years and finally taking care of it so that I can come back 100 per cent is my top priority right now.�

  10. What’s the dirt on David Tanabe anyways? He was phenomenal in College Hockey. He was drafted in the first round in 1999. In his earlier years, people who saw him play talked about how he could outskate guys like Scott Niedermayer which he did prove on occasions. But, Carolina, Phoenix and now Boston have dumped the guy after brief stints with these respective teams even though he has never really commanded a high salary. Is the guy damaged goods like Bryan Fogarty was or what? I know that he has had some knee problems so he would likely fit in well with Kovalev, Bouillon, Streit, and the rest of the Orthopedic crew.

  11. #11 Joey says:
    August 8, 2006 at 6:51 pm

    Guys,

    Given we have 2 very good goaltenders, and were are ok on, we should be ok. Our offence should also come out kicking… so I would not worry about it.

  12. I disagree. Defense is going to be the problem. The Habs’ defense were a question mark before, but now, Bouillon has had knee surgery, and won’t be ready to go in September. Streit apparently has knee problems too. We don’t know which Souray is going to show up in September.

    Unless, there is a strong possibility that Alexei Emelin will play for the Habs in the upcoming season (unlikely since his Russian club has tripled his salary for next year to stay in Russia) or Dan Jancevski is ready to take on a regular spot with the club (also unlikely, given his limited experience in the NHL), the Canadiens should either sign David Tanabe, trade for Anaheim’s Vitaly Vishnevski or sign another available UFA defenseman.

    Anyone who is calling Boston’s D “porous” should give their head a shake, and look at what their lineup is for next season. Can the Habs match that???

  13. #13 ght120 says:
    August 9, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    Tanabe looks like a good fit, on paper.

    Found a comment from a Pheonix (Scotsdale) newspaper that may explain it:

    ON THE MOVE AGAIN

    The Bruins added Zdeno Chara and Paul Mara to their defense and that —
    along with yet another overpriced arbitration judgment ($1.275 million) —
    cost ex-Coyote David Tanabe a job when Boston walked away from the deal.
    Tanabe, who hasn’t been the same since a severe knee injury in 2003-04 and
    was shipped to the Bruins for Dave Scatchard last year, had only 16 points
    in 54 games and still got a $300,000 raise.

    There was also refernce elsewhere to him hurting a knee (don’t know if it was the same one) at the end of last season with Boston.

    This may explain Boston walking away from a relatively small salary.

  14. #14 ght120 says:
    August 9, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    Tanabe looks like a good fit, on paper.

    Found a comment from a Pheonix (Scotsdale) newspaper that may explain it:

    ON THE MOVE AGAIN

    The Bruins added Zdeno Chara and Paul Mara to their defense and that —
    along with yet another overpriced arbitration judgment ($1.275 million) —
    cost ex-Coyote David Tanabe a job when Boston walked away from the deal.
    Tanabe, who hasn’t been the same since a severe knee injury in 2003-04 and
    was shipped to the Bruins for Dave Scatchard last year, had only 16 points
    in 54 games and still got a $300,000 raise.
    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=71170

    There was also refernce elsewhere to him hurting a knee (don’t know if it was the same one) at the end of last season with Boston.

    This may explain Boston walking away from a relatively small salary.

  15. My head is spinning from suggestions the Habs D is porous and the Bruins D is strong. Let’s let facts speak some logic here. To start with, defense is a team concept, not simply the job of six guy playing the blueline and guarding the crease. If you measure the quality of a D-man by points production only, you’re missing half the job description.

    The Canadiens have 7 defenseman with at least a full season under their belt. Their prospects, Emelin, Cote, and Jancevic, are numbered 8, 9, and 10 on their depth chart. That could change quickly as these prospects have potential.

    The Bruins, on the other hand, have three bonafied NHLers. Chara, the best defenseman on either team, Paul Mara, who I’d rate somewhere between Souray and Rivet, and Brad Stuart, who is very good and will surely get better. After that it is paper thin folks. Andrew Alberts is akin to Mark Streit in NHL experience, but likely would not make the roster of any team making the playoffs last season. Nathan Dempsey, is a spare part – 6th or seventh on a teams depth chart at best. Mark Stuart, a former first rounder, is an unproved yet excellent prospect just beginning his career. Milan Jurcina, a former 241st overall pick, has suprised and shown some offensive flair to go along with his large frame.

    All in all, the Bruins have a decent top 3 anchored by a very good D-man. After that it’s all inexperience and question marks. Two of four prospects are fairly sure things. When the depth from 4 to 7 have if and if attached to their potential, it is not a playoff bound group by any means.

    The Canadiens will ice the same set of blueliners that held Carolina to 15 goals in six games in last years playoffs. For comparison purposes, against Carolina, Edmonton surrendered 19 goals in 7, Buffalo 22 in seven, and Jersey 16 in 5. Montreal does tend to allow more shots than it blocks, but they are perimeter shots. Buffalo, who arguably did the best against the Canes, were down 4 D by the 7th game and severly weakened by their “block ever shot” style.

    The Habs D is superior to the Bruins by far. Anyone not realizing this simply hasn’t watched enough hockey in their lifetime.

  16. #16 PACTUM SERVA says:
    August 10, 2006 at 8:06 am

    Reality check i could’nt have said it better myself.Experience goes a long way.

  17. Try to be a bit objective here.

    I still don’t know how you can call a defense that consists of Chara, Brad Stuart, Paul Mara and Jason York as porous. I have also seen Jurcina play frequently since his time in the QJMHL, and I am not suprised by his abilites although I am surprised by how late that he went in terms of draft position. If you are saying that the Bruins defense lacks “experience” because none of these guys have played together before then perhaps you should say that, but those former four (Chara, Stuart, Mara, and York) are established premiere NHL defenders with a ton of individual experience.

    You obviously have a higher estimation of Souray than I do. I think Souray is quite inconsistent who has quite weak defensive skills. Markov is clearly the Habs’ best defender. Huet also had more to do with the 15 goals in 6 games against Carolina than the Habs blueliners did.

    A bit of good news today for Habs’ defensive prospects are that the Canadiens have signed Cornell defenseman Ryan O’Byrne (6’5″, 225 lbs.) and David Fischer is making strides at the US development camp.

    Links to the below are:

    http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-hockey/stories/081006aaa.html

    http://hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=8982&mode=threaded&order=0

  18. Rob…you make very good points!

    Understand I am not the one who said the Boston D was porous originally, I was defending that term being used inreference to the Habs.

    As for the Bruins, I rated Mara pretty much the same as you see Souray. I haven’t seen Mara enough to judge either one as being superior. With Souray, there was an adjustment period last season where he looked absolutely lost out there. The new syle of game and marital woes were probably the cause of his head not being in the game at times. Not to compare players, but Pronger has a similar adjustment to make that was well documented in the first half of the season. Souray, in our own end, is likely to continue having trouble with fleetfooted guys making him look foolish – like Spezza last year, for one. I imagine Spezza made many fools out of D men with moves like that.

    I totally forgot Jason York as he’d just been signed. I always like York and had a higher estimation of him than some of the team he played for. I never thought Ottawa should have let him get away. However, he is merely a 5th or 6th guy down until he proves otherwise.

    Still I find the Bruins have a collection of blueliners nobody else wanted in a sense. Not a bad group, not porous, just adequate and somewhat inexperienced.

    True with Huet covering for the Habs D’s mistakes, they looked better than they were on some nights. The quality of shots and opportunities he faces are in their hands. As a group the Habs top 6 are maybe not as mobile as some but I’d rate them as a whole still better than half the leagues teams. For arguments sake – call it middle of the pack. The experience is there, but there is room for big time improvement.

  19. let’s face it. We don’t have a great offence and we don’t have a great offence, period! We need a bonafide centerman, and now we need a stay at home defenceman. If Gainey doesn’t make a trade of some sort, we’re in deep trouble!I don’t care what all the optomists are saying; we will be scored on, alot! There is no way Huet will be as good as last year. He is a flash in the pan! Remember, he only played for half the season. He will never be able to make it thru the entire season. with as good a goals against as last year, and his true self will come through! just an average goaltender!In fact we are a very average team, and mediocre teams don’t accomplish much, and they certainly don’t win stanley cups!

  20. #20 PACTIM SERVA says:
    August 11, 2006 at 7:21 am

    Edmonton?

  21. Wow. Comment #19 really depressed me. Can you take the knife out of my heart now, slapshot212. That was a little too objective!!! There is a certain truth in what you say, but the Habs at least have a team concept again (which had been missing in Montreal for quite awhile.) Our entire future no longer rides on the shoulders of one inconsistent goaltender. The core of the team will improve yearly even though a couple of characters are likely to be replaced or elect to go elsewhere each year. We have prospects in the farm system who have at least a chance of being quite talented players one day (Price, Kotsisyn, Emelin, Fischer, Chipchurra, and Latendresse to name a few.) If Huet tanks, we’ll have Aebischer there to challenge him to play better or he becomes a backup goaltender again. Plus, Sidney Crosby, the future of Canadian hockey, wants to be a Hab when he becomes a free agent. So, cheer up, man, and down those anti-depressants…

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