Over the Boards

These Are Not Your Daddy’s Canadiens

18 Feb 2023


11 Feb 2023


1 Feb 2023


10 January, 2023

Slafkovsky is No Barkov, Yet!

The talk this week is all about Slafkovsky and his development. What can I say, what I saw in September, is the same thing I see now. He’s big, not strong on the puck, under pressure he’s tosses up lemons, and hasn’t been able to hit the net and or even sniff it (played a good game last night). He’s an elite passer, and at times plays well on the boards. He can fix all that with time….how much, no idea. But right now he’s on pace to have lower numbers than Kotkaniemi and all the while playing on the 2nd line, which by itself is impressive, but really in Montreal, is there a 2nd line, or do they have three, 3rd lines?

As stated in Sept, Slafkovsky should play 4th line all season until he can keep up with the play (it’s improving), even better, play in Laval on either of the top two lines so he can play the puck at a lesser level, and work his way into the NHL. There’s nothing wrong with that concept, that’s hockey.
In Laval he get’s more time on ice, a larger Power Play role, he could play PK, work on his defensive game, play three on three, get shoot out opportunities, more time in the gym (he’s a soft 240 pounder), and I can go on and on about what he could do there. In the NHL he gets elite coaching (is it?), plays 2nd line, but as stated, are they really a 2nd line, and he gets all the pressure of “should he stay or should he go now.” In Laval, zero pressure to succeed. The NHL is not a development league, fans, media, sports personalities have been saying this for decades.

I get that he’s different from the CHL and College picks, but that entire draft class are all playing where they need to be because they can’t produce in the NHL, or aren’t ready for the NHL. Slafkovsky is not exceptional, but he’s being treated as is. This morning someone told me “look at Barkov, he played in the NHL at 17, and look at where he is now. Oh My Stars, check these numbers out for comparison.

Barkov: Tappara Tampere, 17 yrs old : 53GP, 48Pts and was drafted as a 17yr old just under the draft rules by 14 days.
Slafkovsky: TPS Turku, 17yrs old, 31GP, 10 pts
(Hockey DB)

To play in the NHL at 18 years old, you have to be exceptional. Slafkovsky is about as average as 1st overall pick as they come. Just send him down for the season, and let the Canadiens’ train wreck without him.

I get it, he’s no worse than over half the team, but over half the team are as good as they’re going to get. Slafkovsky has the potential for he to be the greatest Montreal power forward this club has ever seen, that’s huge! Not talking Lindros huge but I can’t think of a Montreal Canadiens example in the New New (not a typo) NHL (2005-2023).

How many decades have we Habs fans complained about not developing talent? This new front office is building something special, it’s Phase II. 2023 Draft is Phase III, 2024 draft is Phase IV, and that Free Agency summer is part of it (Sorokin). Hoping by the NHL 24-25 season the Habs will have built something special. So what’s the rush for Slafkovsky to play underwhelming shifts in the NHL now?

It’s as bad as it gets in Montreal. Fans are now cheering his passes, and any drive to the net. It’s hard to read, even harder to watch. Life of a fan watching a rebuild live.

This new Canadiens organization needs more offensive talent, it’s coming in the form of the next two drafts, here’s hoping it’s a Great Rebuild, and not a Coyotes rebuild.


Why The Canadiens Miss Out On Connor Bedard

22 Dec, 2022

When we fans look back on the 2022-23 season and ask yourselves why they didn’t draft in the top five, you can nail it with three direct factors.  3 on 3, Shootout, and Goaltending!

17 points!  So far this season the Canadiens have 17 direct points as a result of the All Star gimmick.  3 on 3 and Shootouts have zero factors in the playoffs yet they play an important role in ending extended games quickly.  While fun to watch, it’s providing most fans who aren’t capable of seeing the game that way with a false sense of security. 

  Currently the Canadiens have 33 points.  Not bad considering they are in the second phase of a rebuild.  How many phases does it take you ask?  It’s never ending.  But that’s a conversation for another day because I don’t want to squirrel on you, which is what I do because once I get going, I never stop, see my other videos for details. Squirrel!

  Where was I?  Yes, THIRTYTHREE POINTS!  I get it, you must play the game, and there’s no stopping a team from winning because that’s what players do, they never play to lose.  Which is why when Auston Matthews was up for grabs in 2016, the Toronto Maple Leafs did everything they could to not ice a good hockey team.  Back then there wasn’t a lottery, so their objective was reached in a few hockey months.  But now we have a lottery and even though there are cases of teams moving 8-10 places up in the draft, odds are against you.  So These 17 points that the Canadiens have collected over the last three months is doing more damage than a lot of fans think.  I get it though, fans want to win too, so cheering for them to lose is not normal.  Me, don’t even get a little excited for puck drop because I see the holes, and it takes time to fix what a decade of making the playoffs did the Canadiens.  The Carey Price factor, build around your strength, and they did, they almost won it all a couple times but but but, we’re beyond that now. 

  Ask yourself these questions.

  1. Why aren’t the Canadiens dominating in the regular season?
  2. How many games have Allen and Sammy Montembeault stolen from teams who outplayed them?
  3. Power Play!

  Your answers to the above questions are the key to why they are, where they are.

  The Canadiens are lacking in highly offensive talent.  Currently they have two players who classify as highly gifted.  Nick Suzuki, and Cole Caufield.  Then you have the Kirby Dach who is just below them but has an extremely high ceiling.  The contributing factor to him moving to the next level?  Time and another exceptionally gifted winger.  The kid has everything less high-end speed to succeed in the NHL, but when you have high IQ, great hands, and a snapshot that can pick corners like he can, it surpasses speed.

  The Canadiens need what?  More gifted forwards.  One high end defenseman and bottom six role players who can also provide secondary scoring.  I’m not asking for much am I?  I sure am.  That’s a lot of holes but they can be filled with drafting high and drafting often.  Which brings us back to 17 additional points in the standings that does nothing but keep the Canadiens from the above solution.

  Is that harsh?  It’s all good.  They’ll play out the season and instead of drafting 3-5, they’ll be 5-12.  Apparently the 2023 draft is loaded with talent (which means nothing if you pick the Galchenyuk’s, the Kotkaniemi’s or Patrick’s of the draft.)  So regardless of the above scenario, they’ll fill a lot of holes with the upcoming draft.  Especially since the Panthers and Flames decided to pass on their 2023 first round picks to the Canadiens. (This is not correct, Monahan was traded with a 2025 first round pick)

  Thanks for that and thanks to the Chicago Blackhawks for Kirby Pucking Dach! 

  That’s it, I answered one of three contributing factors to the question Why the Canadiens are where they are.  You could write an actual book to answer the above, goaltending, rookies on defense, passing on elite #1 centers at the 2022 draft, powerplay……but hey, I don’t want to sound like a complete downer, I love the direction they’re headed, I love the kids we have now, all I’m doing is stating the obvious.

Up Next, Fans Habs’ Blinders to Slafkovsky’s Play

11 Dec, 2022

Guy Boucher Strikes Again, and So Does the Media
We get it, you all want to sound like you know what the puck you’re talking about, but here’s the thing……Marty St. Louis was a member of the famous 1-3-1.  He’s not new to it, he pucking played it, hence, he knows who to beat it, but the perfect scenario was set for the Kings to use it and not one of you were capable of writing about it. 

IT’S THE WEAKEST PLAY IN HOCKEY, 1-3-1, there isn’t a single player on this planet who wants to play it and while it works, it’s a coach killer.  McLellin just told the hockey world, I can’t trust my team to forecheck, this is the only way we have a chance at winning this game.

And it almost backfired on them.  Had the Montreal Canadiens not employed three new lines, together a whole 90 min in practice (maybe more, I’m not there), there’s no way McLellin gets away with the most ridiculous coaches’ tactic in the game.

Yet another reason to never watch the Kings outside of them playing the Canadiens.

That game stunk from start right up to the 16 minute mark of the third and nothing was going to fix that until they have more offensive talent in the lineup and you know where that talent is.  It’s not “hoping’ it’s Beck, Roy and Heineman, it’s hoping it’s a top ten pick in the 2023 draft, and maybe the 2024 draft.

Because it’s nights like last night where we need another Caufield, Slafkovsky, who walks on water in Montreal is no where near what we need right now, send him to the World Juniors, let him skate around destroying all thing hockey.  Goals, hits, and great wins. 

Stop the Habs Colored Glasses people, be objective, be patient and for the love of all things hockey, why Boo?  What’s wrong, you all want Bedard but can’t handle how to get him? 

I said this last year, Canadiens fans can’t handle a complete Rebuild and its only Dec.

The easiest part of their schedule is almost over and here you are booing.

Have you looked at Jan-April?  Save your boos Canadiens fans, Pain is Coming!

Okay that felt great

Guhle, is Shea Weber only Better!  Check

Nick and Cole together, is awesome! Check

Dach can play second line center.  Check!

We have a 21st century coach.  Check!

Now, all we need is one more elite scoring line.  Like I said two days ago.  Slafkovsky-Dach and our 2023 pick should do it.  The Kent and company can start on removing the riffraff and build two hockey lines that can compete.

Goaltending, Double D’s could do it, maybe it’s someone from 2024.

More offensive D, yet to be named, but I know this, he hasn’t been drafted yet.

This Week:  Flames @Mtt, @ Sens, Ducks in town and finish off the week with a Lightning game.  Then they hit the road for two weeks where maybe they win two games.  But hockey isn’t played on paper, so we’ll see but today, this is looking ugly, a rebuild type month.


Ep.5 OTB



centerline hockey strip

Why It’s Okay to Send Kovcevic Down Instead of Xhekaj

Excluding Edmundson as he’s still returning from inj.

#26:  Last in defense points

Last in PIM, he and Harris never put themselves in situations where they have to take penalties, that’s both good and bad.

6’4’’ and plays like Mete….that’s not good.

3rd in D hits however I haven’t seen him throw a hit that mattered all season.

14 Blocked Shots….last.

25 years old…..you can send him down, he’s shown zero offense, and when you’re not putting up offensive numbers then you have to be a major hitter or shot blocker, otherwise, all you are is a filler until someone else comes along that can replace you.

Edmundson has played 6 games and is already at 23 blocked shots, that’s twenty-three times the opposition did not get a puck to the next.  If you can’t produce offense you have to produce in other KEY areas of the defensive game.

Kovecvic would be the perfect third pairing on a Stanley Cup team…….on a rebuilding team I don’t think he’s a part of the solution.  Xhekaj is.  Young, hits, blocks shots, and has some offensive skill.  He makes mistakes because he’s always engaged, and when you make mistakes at the NHL level and on a rebuilding team, it’ll make him better and it won’t matter.  Costing them games?  Hardly.   Sending him to Laval where every knuckle dragger in the league will want a shot at him is useless to me.

Now, having said all that……I said it’s okay to send him down, if I’m the coach, I’m not, and I’m sending Wideman.

That’s Hockey!

centerline hockey strip

Month One In the Books

Thanks to all who attended or spent time watching the Let We forget ceremonies.  If you didn’t know, I spent 21 years in our country’s greatest Western Regiment, DO or DIE, PPCLI, and all with the 2nd  To NONE 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry…I’m a proud Canadian, An Actual Patriot who believes in helping all those can’t help themselves.  It’s a pucking Battle because there are so many in need, so when you can, help out your fellow man…and I hate that I have to say this.  By Fellow Man, that means everyone, every race, every gender.  It’s like saying hey guys in the dressing room when you have a mixed team.  Help all those in need, no matter the situation.  Just Help!


Who the puck saw this coming.

Bruins in first, Sens in Last, and every team in between is average.

To take a page from Bergevin’s book, “if you make the playoffs, anything can happen.”  And that statement is true.

When you look around the league and I mean watch many other team day in day out.  You see many teams playing at different levels.

Jets and Kings near the top of the West, Flames and Blues at the bottom.

Devils and Bruins kicking ass, Sens and Jackets, not even treading water.

Bedard is so far out of reach it’s not even a thought anymore.  It’s impossible to be as bad as those teams at the bottom……but we’ll rehash this at the deadline.  Pain is coming, be prepared.

Which statement is true? 

The Canadiens are Rock solid or The Canadiens are Rebuilding?

It’s a trick question, they’re rebuilding, and it’s excelled a little faster than I thought, Guhle and Dach have taken a couple years off the rebuild.  Beck and Mesar look like solid third line players, but that’s speculation until we see them in the NHL…..looking and believing isn’t a model I can get behind, but I like what I see in all fundamentals of their game.  My fav minor Pro, Emil Heineman is getting ready for his start to an already underway Swedish Hockey League.  Updates coming as soon as we have some video to see.

Be prepared for the worst.  While everyone is enjoying Wins!  It’s not solid in Mtl, you can’t be winning games stolen by goaltending and hoping to finish in the Bedard sweepstakes.  That’s the Carey Price model that I’m not onboard with.   But we can’t bench these guys so here we are, 15 games in , 8-6-1, and we’ve beaten How many Cup contenders?  ZERO……the weakest part of the NHL season for the Canadiens is now.  We’ve seen the Caps, and Stars, a drunken Pens team, and the Leafs, who while are a mess at times have just beaten a bunch of Cup contenders and will battle the Bruins for the top of the Adams Division.  Yes I didn’t include them in the “playoff teams we beat”  haha.

I’m waiting for the collapse, but unlike last season, I’m not angry, I don’t care because this team we see today will look nothing like the team of tomorrow.  Monahan, Drouin, Hoffman, Wideman, Allen, Dadonov, Edmundson, and Armia…..I don’t believe any of these players will be around for Tomorrow’s Cup runs.  That’s a hell of a lot of roster players to be replacing with prospects and future UFA…….but it’ll be worth the wait.  So fans think.  You need goals, goaltending, chemistry and SKILL…..not many Cups won with a team full of third liners.  We’re already two wins over where I thought they’d be this month, that’s crazy awesome….is it?  Nothing we can do about it.

Suzuki and Caufield……DynoMite!

Dach and Slafkovsky?  Fantastic!

Guhle, Harris, and Arber Xhaekaj………KABOOM!

Next summer’s draft is going to set this team up for a decade.  Many high end seats, and lots of room for movement.

The Pain will be worth it because the Future’s so bright I gotta wear Shades.


Marty St Louis:  Smart Smart Smart!  He thinks about every single answer, and he has them all banked, cocked locked and ready to roll.  I mean that.

There is zero pressure for him to succeed.  It’s win win for him.

But believe you Me, and this is for the Team Tank.  He played Xhekaj and Savard during the last OT (Wings) 3 on 3…..now, if this was a must win game, do you really think these two see the ice?

Me?  I’d have Gule or Harris out there every other shift……so trust me when I say this.  Marty is feeling out this team, he’s creating lines and scenarios not for today but for tomorrow, and tomorrow is the future.

Love the guy.

Rants Away!

Why?  Why are NHL teams responsible for telling the officials how to do their job?  What’s this aspect of the game I’m missing…..so I have to coach the game, and then tell the officials when they made a mistake.  I guess I’m your supervisor then.  Remove the coach’s challenge and replace it with an upstairs crew who are in charge of getting it right.

centerline hockey strip

8 Nov, 2022

Cole Caufield Young Guns Bounce Back

If you were a sucker and bought Cole’s YG (Young Gun) rookie card soon after release, well congrats, you and I have something in common.  We’re Sick Humans.

What on earth possesses grown men to do this?  We all knew the price was going to fall and it did.  Over the summer the same YG that we all paid 130.00 Ca for could have been had for as little as 80.00, and I think I saw some sell in the 60-70.00 range.

That’s the hobby in a nutshell.  Fans are crazed to have the next pretty thing, and believe you me, Cole is one Pretty Sniper, and his Young Guns rookie cards are going nowhere but up.

This past week his final eBay sales are between 130.00 Ca and 148.00 Ca, that’s a rebound from the summer of about 61%.  A great bounce back.

As long as Cole continues the trend of scoring high impact goals, the fans will eat up those YG and fans like you and I will laugh that we bought at 130.00.  Sure it sucked to see them fall over the summer but the kid is a winner.  His cards will hold value and increase over time like no other Canadiens YG before him……Minus Nick Suzuki, his YG’s are slowly out of my range now.  Oops, I missed the boat on that one.

Crosby Young Guns, Nov, 2005.  Final sales were around 300.00 ea and you could have them over the next summer for 150.00.  Now his YGs are in the 1800.00 range.  Oh My Stars!

Carey Price, I was buying (2008) his YG’s up at 25.00, sold them all (12-20, can’t remember, 2012) at 200.00 and that was a huge mistake.  This past summer his YG were selling as high as 800.00.  I have one remaining, it’s PC (private collection).  It’s a 9.5 grade and considering what new collectors are doing with high grade cards, his is money.

Slafkovsky’s YG doesn’t come out until UD Series II, sometime in Feb or March.  I won’t make the same mistake twice.  I’m not buying until June-August…..who am I kidding of course I will.  I’m a Sucker.

centerline hockey strip

2 Nov, 2022

Why?  Why Do The Wild Always Win?  

Seriously, they have one line that matters, and it’s been like that for years.  After beating the Blues, the Canadiens hit the bars in Mezzera, drinking the State dry, they floated into St. Paul and even though they outshot them, really it wasn’t much of a game.  I swear, I could have played goal last night and stopped most of those pucks.  Of course not, only the ones Cole didn’t shoot.  Jeez Louise.  Thank Puck I didn’t drive there for this one.

Slafkovsky.  Cancel last.  Don’t send him to the OHL (he was never going there), he’d get killed there.  Starting to think the NHL is safer for him.  That hit from The Beast last night could have been a killer.  Pretty sure he was trying to draw a penalty, the way he laid there, I thought he was dead.  Watched the play a gazillion times.  What on earth was he trying to do?  Tired?  Yep.  Frustrated at the stick work, Yep?  But come on kid, this isn’t peewee (U13 for you liberals out there).  You can’t let a little fella knock you silly.  You’re a beast on ice, use those legs that shook the earth during training camp and be ready 24/7 the second you hit the hoice.  That was embarrassing.  The world was laughing at Wright when he got tagged, at least his was an actual monster of a hit.  You got pushed and he flattened you.  Wake the Puck up, watch tons of contact video, and be ready.  This isn’t the first time a player has laid you out because of poor balance and situational awareness.

Hold your Horses Kids.  After going 5-4-0 in October.  Fans were ready to sign Monahan long term, and make trades for the playoffs, I say this.  Stick to the plan, we still don’t know what we have.  What we do have is this.  We’re a one-line team and we still need a stronger defense.  That’s a lot of holes to fill and it’ll suck trying to do it drafting in the teens to 20’s.    It would be great if Hughes could grab that Magic Eight Ball now and sucker in a couple teams who are anxious to not finish in the bottom half of the league.

Monahan has showed everyone that he can still play, it would be next to impossible to do but would love to move him to Vancouver, or Seattle.  I’ve been watching the Wright show, and Morgan Geekie has taken his place on the 4th line.  The kid is fast, talented and would love to see him in Montreal. Of course, additional economical moves would have to be made. Pull the trigger, suck em in Kent.  I know, I know, wishful thinking but I hate the idea of deadline picks from playoff teams.  Caufield and Guhle are awesome picks, but those two are cherry picking positions.  Over 90% of players picked from their seats (15,16) are below average pro hockey players.  I picked that number out of a hat, but I know it’s close.

Going to the Jets game on Thurs. The Canadiens are 17-11-4 vs the new Jets. Always fun being abused by drunken millennials.  Need to win there, because that HNIC game vs the Knights won’t be easy.  Wish me luck as I try to find parking downtown Winnipeg and dodge the criminals who walk amongst us. No worries, I got Snake Plissken’s cell number.

Caufield-Dach-Gallagher, DO IT MARTY!

centerline hockey strip

26 Oct, 2022

I’ve Seen Enough of These Canadiens

Where’s the line for Marty?  Ten game packs?  I’ve seen enough of these lines.  We’re going to lose a lot of hockey this season, my magic eight ball had three wins in Oct, and with trips to Buffalo and St. Louis, it’ll take some sort of horrible home play to ruin my prediction.  I’m not proud, I’m realistic.

But hey Marty, let’s have some of that fun you kept talking about, I’m tired of watching an entire line do nothing.  So break em up, spread em out and let’s have some real fun.  Who am I talking about, you tell me….or keep reading.

I figure after this weekend Marty will have seen enough to shake up the lines.  Especially if two NHL roster players return to the lineup.

Our so-called line two that the media keeps posting is an actual line 4 almost anywhere in the NHL.  I remove each player, and design all the lines around those three players.   A collective minus ten, and extremely hard to watch.  Hard to watch Gallagher bust his ass only to see offense die on his line’s twigs.

New Lines Marty?

Monahan-Suzuki-Dadonov, hey you got a promotion.




It won’t matter much, the Sabres and Blues are two high flying teams and like I say over and over, unless the other team takes the night off, our guys just can’t compete with NHL playoff teams.  That’s okay, you all know what’s going on.  You’re smurt fans.

centerline hockey strip

25 Oct, 2022

The Greatest Game of the Season

Wild @ Canadiens

The Greatest game of the season is about to be played in Montreal.  Not because either team is an NHL powerhouse, mostly because both teams are so similar in structure that it’s about to get ugly.

Both teams are one line away from last placed.

Both teams have a defense core that wouldn’t make any of the top end teams.

And both teams have goaltending most suited to be backups on top end teams.

Yet one fan base is in panic mode and the other is just going with the flow.  Why?  Because on our side we have Suzuki and Caufield leading the way, and both are under 24 years old.

Then we have Kirby Dach charging for the #2 center with #1 center qualities.  That’ll really pop with Slafkovsky or Bedard (plays either center or Wing)

2022 Canadiens are moving five players but will be replaced with five quality NHL players.  Hoffman, Dvorak, Monahan, Drouin, and Dadonov are all on last legs in Montreal.  All fine players who will play for years, yet all together on one team, it’s a pucking disaster.  One good game, five bad.  Can’t have that many players going through the motions every night.

Beck and Mesar look like future NHL players.  Slafkovsky and our high end 2023 draft pick will be future NHL players, and you can always pick up a filler in July to replace the fifth forward spot.

Not a bad start to the rebuild.

Fixing the defense core?  We’re halfway there.  Led by Guhle, Harris and Xhekaj, and hopefully a high-end puck mover at the 2024 NHL draft and Bob’s Your Uncle, or is he your daddy?  Well that’s not creepy at all.

Goaltending?  Yeah, Jake is more than happy to wait out the rebuild and then retire a Canadiens.  He’ll get a medal for what he’ll have to put up with. By then we have a couple European kids who could be NHL goaltenders.  For fun check out Dobes stats and video, plays for Ohio State and has killer numbers.

Just like the Yotes, the Wild are ripe for the picking tonight.  Playoffs?  You’re Talking about Playoffs?

Speaking of Ripe, you know who’s ripe for the picking right now?  The Vancouver Canucks.  You want to piss off the Montreal Canadiens fan base?  Trade Gallagher, Harris and a  first round (Cats) picks for Pettersson…..EA94 would do it, would you?  I know the Nucks wouldn’t.

Today’s TankAthon Spin:  Seattle won, moved up 8 places.

centerline hockey strip

23 Oct, 2022

Stars 5 @  Canadiens Bedard

For the third time in this very young season, an NHL team has played the Canadiens hard and skated away with an easy victory.  Do not be fooled by stats.  This is a bottom five team, and their goals for, and where they came from is why.

We all loved beating the Pens, but if you can look at the Pens play through objective eyes, you would have saw a Pens team who played nowhere near what they did in the previous two games, and their last two.  Six goals vs the Yotes, Lightning, Kings and Jackets.  They skated into Montreal, and while the game was very entertaining from a Habs seat, it really was a letdown (holy shit I had no idea “letdown” was one word) for the Pens.

After the Pens and Yotes victories, fans were screaming playoffs and signing all the potential UFA’s.  Well not all, just Monahan.  I tried to temper their expectations, but all that does is get you labelled as a pro tanker, and I’m not.  I hate losing, and I also hate tanking, but here’s the difference.

The unwritten Shane Oliver definition to “The Hockey Tank,” is this.

“Any team who dumps, sits, or trades enough talent away from their roster to finish the NHL season in last place.”

During the McDavid sweepstakes, Buffalo traded away as much talent as they could for a run at McDavid.  The Oilers?  During those key years to prepare for McDavid, they traded away 7 NHL roster players for no or little return.  Go ahead, research players moved in the two years prior to that draft.  SEVEN NHL PLAYERS FOR NO RETURN, now that’s tanking without fans noticing.

During the Matthew’s draft, the Leafs for the last half of the season sat as many players they could to finish dead last.  Near the end they were putting players on IR with hangnail injuries (which in hockey is a crappy injury to get, fingers can get infected in your stinky gloves.)

Regardless of the cherry picking, The Montreal Canadiens didn’t do this (tank).  All they did was lose the one player who has saved their asses for over a decade (The Price was Right).  Todays NHL Goals wins games, and the Montreal Canadiens need lots of them and those goals are not found by drafting in the 20’s.  So off we go.

The factors that will stop the Canadiens from finishing last are completely out of their control.  Sharks, Nucks, Yotes, Hawks, Ducks, and many other teams are just as bad, so what should Hughes do?  Nothing!  Just keep icing this team.  Outside the Yotes game, Montreal can’t produce at the playoff/compete level.

Feel Great Players

Arber Xhekaj, I’ve been preaching about this kid since September.  He’s just awesome, a great hockey buddy and I really hope he stays the season.

Dach is a possession machine, no I don’t use stats, I have eyes and when you need him to control the play, he does.  21 years old, he’s a gift from the hockey gods that will save this franchise.  He and Slafkovsky together will be better than Nick and Cole.  Now that’s a fearless prediction.

Owen Beck, could be a great pick.  His team beat up on the last placed Bulldogs, and he had a six point game.  That’s impressive.

centerline hockey strip

21 Oct, 2022

It’s Happening, Everyone Stay Calm! 



When you shoot a thousand pucks in your life, eventually you score.  That’s Me when predicting Montreal Canadiens Wins!

And then there’s player predictions.  Arber Pucking Xhekaj!  The Kid, the Myth, the Legend!  I do not care how many mistakes this Young Gun Defender Makes!  Not in the slightest.  Every single mistake that kid makes is money!  You can see it, he learns from his mistakes, he feels for them, it bothers him, and you just know he wants to be better.  Anyone, with a work ethic like Arber is going to succeed in life.  Enter Brendan Gallagher, rinse, repeat.

I hate fighting (over 10 concussions, Retired Infantry), but it’s a necessary evil in this game we all love.  You know what I’m talking about.  Every single time you hit the ice, there’s that one pucking asshole who runs players, never shuts his pucking mouth, sticking you, tapping the back of your knee, subtle (Subtle?  I’ve never spelled that word in my life) little gabs at the ribs and my personal favourite, a little butt end to the kidneys.  Oh and let’s not Forget about the lickers, kissers, biters, mitts to the face and Mama’s So Fat jokes, that we all had to endure while playing this game at almost every single level from U15 (Bantam) to Senior.

Pucking heard them all, and if players like Wilson, Kassian, Gudas, and many other Yard Apes are out there, patrolling, stalking our talent, then Avengers like Arber Xhekaj will always be a necessity.

Love Arber Xhekaj!  Slafkovsky took a hit in the corner and who comes flying in to save the day, Arber! He was the most important player on Slafkovsky’s goal, and what a goal it was.  A goal you can be proud of, because the two young guns combined for something special, and like I always tell the kids, “High and Hard scores Goals.”  Beauty!

centerline hockey strip

20 Oct, 2022

They Can’t Lose to the Yotes, Can They?

Lose to the Yotes?  Bah, that’s crazy talk. Really?  Do Not Bet on this Game, it may seem like a gimmie, but like I’ve said a hundred times, you see it, you look at the standings, you look at the stats, and you say, “I’m gonna fill er up tonight, these guys suck,” and then you go out and lose to teams like Seattle, Yotes, and Hawks.  So Savard, Gallagher and Anderson need to ensure the kids are ready for action.  COCKED, LOCKED, AND READY TO ROCK!

It happens every single night in the NHL, upsets happen because teams are mentally prepared for a weaker team to “Hard Work Beats Talent, When Talent Fails to Work Hard.”


Development, What the puck are you talking About.  Development didn’t destroy Kotkanieimi’s career in Montreal, Kotkanieimi destroyed his career in Montreal.  The second he put the Black Aces in his hands, coaches and management react, and the reaction was, go ahead, see ya later.

And what was the lesson learnt (is this even a word)?  Two important picks, Galchenyuk and then Kotkaniemi, both 3rd rounders, and both problem between the ears players.  No freaking wonder the org did their due diligence with Slafkovsky.  We don’t know what Wright said in the interview, but we do know it was enough for two teams to pass on him (Ducks/Cooley, Habs/Slaf, Devils were taking Nemec regardless).

Me?  I’ve seen enough from day one to know where Slafkovsky needs to be.  In Laval (would love to see him in Erie, but too outside of the box for most, or maybe not even possible.)  In Laval, he’s a freaking Rock Star, money in the seats, money in the pro shop and at the same time it will allow players to play in Montreal, hiya Pez.

Holy Nick Suzuki!  On pace for 102 points.  That’s elite #1 center status.  Great for him, I’ve been calling hm a #2 center his entire career, no offense to Nick, but he’s a product of his draft position, but if he’s not, and Kirby Dach continues to progress in the direction of his draft status, well holy Puck, the Montreal Canadiens in a very short time (and without tanking) filled a major component to winning long term.  I’m a big fan of Dach, now add in 2025 Slafkovsky and whomever we get next year at the draft and then that’s two solid top lines.

Win tonight?  No idea.  I called a loss vs the Leafs, Caps, Pens and wins vs the Wings, and Yotes to start the season.  Unexpected Wins are awesome, Unexpected Losses Suck to High Heaven.

Slafkovsky said he wants to score on home ice, you better believe it baby, it’s coming, probably tonight.

centerline hockey strip

18 Oct, 2022

Marty St. Louis The Hockey Genius 

Like Many Hockey Goofs, we don’t use open-source analytical sites to know how good players and lines are.  Marty St. Louis won the game last night.  He matched Nick up with Crosby all night long, and with the exception of parts of the 2nd period, outmatched the Pens’ #1 line.  Dvorak’s #2 line got the Malkin line and again except for two shifts, shut them down and the best move (which I wrote about yesterday) moving Slafkovsky to the fourth line to play vs players more his caliber, and it showed.  He was a fracking powerhouse out there last night.

The NHL isn’t a development league, so to kill two birds with one stone you must let these players (youth missing components of the game) play at a level where they can 1.  Compete and 2. Build Confidence.  Slafkovsky and Evans were good together and the second Marty allows Slafkovsky to possess the puck more then fans will start to see more of his strengths but he’s not ready for top line assignments, you must see that.

You Can’t Stop Kirby Dach (his line was okay, but the GWG was the Bomb).  I’ll preach this until the cows come home.  If he can be that Guy that is a game changer, then one more piece of the puzzle was found last summer.

My preseason prediction of Guhle being the Canadiens best defenseman, I’m a Hockey Goof, a pucking Legend in my own Mind, he’s awesome.

Sammy……beautiful reactive left pad save, save of the game.

So here we are.  They beat the Pens, will this motivate them to play next game or will they take the next five games off, regardless, with the Canadiens beating one of the best teams in the league and the Lafs losing to the worst team in the league, she’s a fine day to be a Canadiens fan.

centerline hockey strip

17 Oct, 2022

Week One Montreal Canadiens, Not A Recap

25th in the league, 30th in Goals For

This Week, Pens, Yotes, Stars.  Loss, Win, Loss

No one is proud when they make predictions against their favorite team.  I take no joy in predicting Montreal finishing last in the Adam’s Division (Did you know that Div was named for the late Charles Adams, founder of the Baaaston Bruins, Puck the Bruins!), I’m 51 years old, too old to be a cheerleader, but I don’t want to be known as that Grumpy Old Man screaming at other fans for their opinions, so this week I’m going to do my best and not laugh at the Wilde & McCagg Shane Wright Watch Show.  I SAID TRY, NOT DO, Young Jedi.  Do, or Do Not, there is no Try.

I wanted Shane Wright, but believe you me, I’m fine with Slafkovsky, especially if Kirby Dach becomes the steal of the draft.  Yes, Yes, I am aware he’s not a 2022 pick, but that deal to get him is Highway Pucking Robbery!   Kirby Is pucking awesome, and unlike other fans who are calling Slafkovsky Brilliant for making a common play in the NHL, Kirby is an actual impressive NHL hockey player.  I’m not comparing the two picks.  You just can’t (3 yrs dif), but Kirby and Slafkovsky together is going to be fun and as the losses pile up, Marty St. Louis will try it until he’s forced to send Juraj down to Laval, and trust me, that day is coming, probably the second Armia is ready to play but until then, we will see Juraj play with better options……but not tonight.

You can’t play Slafkovsky vs either of the top two lines of the Penguins.  You just can’t.  Unlike the Habs Colored Glasses Fans, who are not seeing this kid through Objective eyes.  Juraj has excellent power and speed, and then twenty seconds later he’s gassed.  Too much weight, too soon.  That can be fixed.  His stride is not NHL calibre, his blades are coming off the ice too early, and he’s not using his height to maximize stride.  That also can be fixed.

I’m going to stop there because if I listed everything that needs to improve, it’ll appear that I do not like the pick, and Montreal fans will drop me like a bad habit and what a shame that would be.  I love talking hockey, even if it’s with myself, and Ollie (my alter ego). Ollie is that crazy dude who drinks too much Pepsi and hits twitter every Saturday night.  He’s extremely fun and one of The fastest 51 year old centers in all of Brandon, MB.  Last year he scored eight goals in a game, didn’t hurt that his winger was Michael Ferland,  (also coached his lil bro) but hey, Ollie is a pucking rock star.  Squirrel!

Where the puck was I?  Wright!  Wilde and McCagg Shane Wright Show.  Oh my Stars.  They’re obsessed with that kid.  Do an advanced search on either of them and Shane Wright and man oh man, the comments and replies are outstanding entertainment.  I highly recommend them as follows, because Slafkovsky can do no wrong, and Wright?  They take every opportunity to ensure the twitter world knows he’s benched……never actually telling us why?  I know the answer, it’s the same situation as Montreal and Slafkovsky, only in Montreal, there’s no one to replace Salf and in Seattle they have other options when Hakstol wants other lines playing.  Currently it’s Morgan Geekie, a kid six years older, and 4th line center.  But hey, what do I know, I only watch two games a night, and surf many more.  The world’s craziest armchair GM.  I watch them all boys and girls, and I tell it like it is, some fans should Do, or Do Not, there is no Try.

We’ve seen what happened Week One, Game One was Awesome, a game I had them losing.  I had them winning in Det and losing in Washington.  I figured 3 wins in Oct, so even though the order was changed, I pretty confident in my magic eight ball calls.

Slafkovsky-Dach-Gallagher, This is the Way!  It’s coming.

centerline hockey strip

14 Oct, 2022

It’s Pucking Game Day, Who Are WE

One pucking Game, that’s all it took to completely mess with all logical offseason thinking.  Every year fans look at their teams’ previous season and on paper try and predict what will happen in the new season.  I do it every year and every year I’m wrong but that doesn’t represent who you are as a fan, it just means you aren’t able to predict the future.  Well no shit Sherlock, imagine if we could predict outcomes.  Yeah, we’d all be trillionaires, so it should be no surprise when fans’ predictions are wrong.  At least we had the ballz to predict in the first place, that’s the difference between You, and I.  NO BALLZ!  What are you afraid of?  Have some fun.

I didn’t bet on the Leafs/Habs game.  Had it been played in Toronto I would have easily put 20 bucks on the Leafs, it’s a home game thing vs one of the projected worst teams in the league.  But at home, opening night, no a chance in hell would I bet on the Leafs and we were right.

I am a social gambler.  A couple bucks here and there.  Last season I won just over 200 dollars making two-dollar wagers.  Mostly against the Habs.  It was easy pickings because everything that could go wrong with this team did.  But Mama Oliver never raised no fool.  I’m not putting money on or against them this season.  Too many factors scare the Bajesus outta me.

Why You Don’t Bet on the Habs

  1. They’re the underdog, I really don’t think teams will play them hard, and judging by game one, that’s a safe assumption.  Every game will be a coin toss, that’s just throwing your toonies away.
  2. Defense Core: Guhle just looks right, the rest?  Not so much.
  3. Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki! Cole can pretty much score from wherever he wants and along with Nick, if a team turns it over to them, that pucker is going in.
  4. You Can’t Stop, Kirby Dach. Two factors that will speed up the rebuild.  Kirby Dach and Kaiden Guhle.  If those two players play above their potential for the prolonged future, the Habs are Mint.
  5. Sean Monahan: We all said it.  It’s win win with Monahan.  If he produces, we’ll be entertained all season long.  If he doesn’t, he gets to move to a playoff team and we get another pick at the 2023 draft.
  6. Regardless of the Big win vs the Mighty Leafs, We Don’t Know what we have yet. I think it’s a bottom three finish, a lottery team for sure…..oh my stars the Hawks suck!

What am I calling tonight?  I Am Not!  I’m trying to ignore all things fundamental, and watch these guys play but I’ll know how that will turn out.  I haven’t coached kids in five years, but every single shift these eyes see practice drills.  I see players doing things I don’t like, so I want to correct them.  It’s a horrible way to watch them because you miss a good chunk of hockey doing it.  But that’s my brain.  It’s a hockey thing, I’m geared for delivery.  You play this game all your life, you watched hundreds of kids play at different levels and you see what it takes to go all the way.  It’s a hard game to master, let alone predict and I love it!

Week Three with the after affects from Covid.  Get the Pucking boosters everyone, it’s a lot less painful.

centerline hockey strip

13 Oct, 2022

I Won’t Be Fooled    

WoW, what a game.  Players I expected to do well exploded with greatness, and players I expected to mess it up, did exactly that.  But to win with 17 seconds left on a shot by a player whose fan base loves to trash him, it was Poetic Justice…….Suck on that Mike, you like apples, how do you like dem apples?

I was worried, I was worried that Cole Caufield was going to be a one trick pony and thankfully I was wrong.  Last night, those shots were earth moving.  I went from watching a couple misses and saying, yep, here we go, to Holy Puck, what a Shot!  Sure, Matt Murray was in goal, made a career out of one Stanley Cup and more famous for forcing the Pens to trade Marc Andre Fleury, and yeah, it was the Leafs’ crappy defense, something every fan outside of Taranna was telling them for years.  But come on, the Leafs were flatter than a Trans Canada Highway from Regina to Calgary (I pucking dare ya, do that drive once and you’ll fly for life.), and I loved it!

I’m listening to TSN1050 right now and it’s Must Hear Radio, to lose to Montreal is the absolute worse thing on the planet for them.  Losing to a team who was just gutted in one season.  No Carey Price, No Shea Weber, and then add in Edmundson and Matheson, all to be replaced my less than perfect NHL scenarios but ideal for the ultimate story.

Guhle was my favourite player to watch (yes yes Cole was awesome) that one player will (we hope) expedite the Montreal Canadiens 2023 rebuild.  As mentioned in one of my many rants, to win it all in the NHL you must have that one defenseman who can take the game by the throat and shove it down your enemies’ headless corpse (too much?).  Shea Weber was that man, that man every single player in the NHL looked up to.  Guhle is that guy.  A natural leader at every level he’s ever played, not to mention U20’s Team Canada, where the Elite juniors showcase they’re all.  Kaiden Guhle will save us all and put the Canadiens back on track.  But we still need more, and we all know where “more is.”

But But, of course there will be Buts.  I am not fooled.  We were sloppy, the Leafs were flat, but for one game of 82, The Montreal Canadiens upset the mighty Leafs.  The Tradition Continues, You Are Not Caanda’s Team, just a skidmark for the rest of the country to wash out throughout the season.

You deserve this Maple Leafs, you deserve everything that comes your way today.  You lost, be better tomorrow and never forget, IT WAS THREE TO ONE!

OT: Hats off to Sportsnet, that game was so disturbing to them they spent their entire final game segment telling us all how bad the Leafs were completely ignoring our Canadiens and their three stars.  The Tradition Continues, It’s All Leafs, All the Time.  Hockey Karma, Canada hates you.

OT2:  This family Loves Carey Price, it’s a goalie thing.  See here for details.

centerline hockey strip

12 Oct, 2022

Are You Not Entertained

How the Puck did they do that?  Well one, the Leafs were horrible, they played scared all night long and who could blame them.  You got X-Man and Guhle out there, both taller than California Redwoods, and hit harder than Mac Trucks.  Then you got the entire Sportsnet world telling us all that the Habs are the worst team in the league (and they were, but not tonight) and then you have all the clowns online having this game won before the warmup was even over.

That’s Called Karma Bitches.

Not sure who the three stars of the game were, Sportsnet couldn’t wait to get the puck outta there.

Here’s NHL.com 3 Stars

1st Star Caufield          2nd Suzuki          3rd  Allen

centerline hockey strip

Full Out Damage Control, The Montreal Canadiens

“If we do what we said when we drafted him, we weren’t looking for the best 18-year-old, we were looking for the best NHL player down the road.”-Kent Hughes

“We’re not concerned about wins, we’re concerned about player progression.”-Marty St. Louis.

The 2022-2023 Montreal Canadiens season is here, and you could say this is the beginning of the end. Twenty-nine Years of Cupless Torture.  Year after year trying to make the playoffs, drafting in the 20’s and failing hard at winning the Cup.  They had three really nice runs in the last go around.  2010, 2014, and 2021 and that’s more impressive than over half the NHL teams and especially the Toronto Maple Leafs, who, thanks to The Sportsnet, have made them their #1 rival.  No No boys, it’s the Bruins, and unless you’re in your 70’s it’ll always be the Bruins.

I am ready for a new plan, a plan that wants to win based on speed, skill, and Goals Galore.  If you want to be a contender, you must be able to produce 275-300 goals.   The Canadiens and their 220 goals/sns was all about Carey Price, and like I said above it almost worked, until it didn’t.

New front office, new mission, new team.  One by one, players from the Bergevin era are dropping like snowflakes in a Manitoba October.  Up next, Jonathan Drouin.  The most controversial trade made by the old regime.  I feel for the kid.  He’s never fit in, and if you watched the last two Montreal Canadiens playoff years, you saw what it took for this team to play and win and Drouin was not a piece of that puzzle.

I never take anything from pre-season.  Ever.  Different players, different skillsets all mixed in and playing together for the first time.  The only thing that does for the regular season is get you in physical game shape and to show coaches how not to do to win.  But Drouin didn’t put any effort in.  Maybe he was playing the Veteran card but clearly that didn’t work with Marty.  So here we are.  Playing the “should I stay or should I go now.”

Drouin is better than Slafkovsky, so I figure Slaf is going to get some games in before the world figures out what’s wrong with Drouin (find out today at the Noon presser) or at least until Armia is healthy.  Then Slaf will be sent down to the Laval where he can truly work on being the player of the future.

Masters of PR Manipulation, at every comment Marty and his gang are well prepared on what to say and how to say it.  I see it, they’re not sugar coating anything.  They know, they are prepared for the worst, and so am I.  It’s why I started this Hockey Blog, something to keep me entertained while we sit through a season that could equal last season, and you know what that means, One Great Player, the true beginning of the End.  But there will be Pain, I can Handle it, can You?

centerline hockey strip

11 Oct, 2022

The Tradition Does Not Continue

I was born in 1971, so most of the Canadiens Cups I’ve lived through were happening while I was in bed.  I remember starting the periods of hockey, but I never made it to the end.  Waking up each Sunday morning asking daddy if they won.  The answer was usually the same.

Every single Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada’s song would come on and I’d have all my hockey cards lined up on the living room floor, sorting , and stacking, making sure I had the proper players laid out for the big game.  I’d hear the Late Great Danny Gallivan say someone’s name and then I’d search for his hockey card, read the back and remember his profile for life.  The good old days when the Canadiens made it look easy.  Those days are dead and gone, such is life, that’s hockey.

There’s no set formula to winning in the NHL but a few characteristics can be looked at as starting points.  If you want to win the Cup, you must have an explosive, offensive top line.  Every single cup in the new new NHL (not a typo, “new new NHL” is my reference to 2005 to present day) has been won with Superstars leafing the Way, I mean leading the way.  Okay not every single one.  The Canes, and Kings are two of the most blue-collar winners hockey history has ever seen.  But they are the exception.  Stanley Cup winners are led with players like Crosby, Zetterberg, Malkin, Kane, Fleury, Ovechkin, Stamkos, and MacKinnon.  More than a few examples, so if you don’t have “that guy,” you’re not winning Shizen!

Chemistry is the #2 hockey characteristic to winning.  It takes years, maybe decades to find the perfect lineup.  Chemistry is not built on paper, it’s etched in ice!  It’s a hockey thing.  You must have players who complement one another and that includes off ice.  I don’t know too many Cup winners who didn’t have a great group of guys off ice…..again, usually led by the Captain, who’s usually a Superstar.  Yes, Yes there are exceptions.

#3, the game!  No not the actual game, but rather the game of manipulation.  Chess on ice.  Coaching is a huge factor, see the Kings victories for details.  As much as it sucks for the opposing fans to watch, the perfect game played on ice involved as little hockey to be played as possible.  I pucking hate those teams who won that way, but hey you have to play to your strengths and if you are a team built by shut down offense and goaltending then off you go.

#4, Goaltending!  Do I really need to talk about this?  With the exception of Avalanche, most Cup winners have exceptional goaltending……but here’s the thing, you can’t build around the goalie, you can start with him, but he can’t be the only man, see the above three points for details.  The Montreal Canadiens have been trying to win around defense and goaltending for over a decade, thankfully those day are over….but we’ll talk about that tomorrow.

#5, Defense.  Every Cup winner has a that one go to defender who leads the way.  Every single one.  If you don’t have a guy like that, you aren’t winning Shizen!  I’m not listing them, you know exactly who they are.  It’s a Must!  A defenseman who can move that puck, who can knock you silly, and block shots.  That’s my perfect defenseman.  I love looking back at the 2021 Epic Collapse for details.  Ben Chiarot and She Weber absolutely, single handedly destroyed any Leaf attack.  You could almost hear the Leafs’ girl like screams when they were breaking out of their own end.  It was beautiful.  Had that Montreal team been able to score in the finals, then we’d be talking about how great Bergevin was…..instead, the Lightning’s offense was the story and the Montreal Canadiens are now in complete rebuild.

OS there it is, Five Characteristics to winning in the NHL.  Sure, there are many more, but I’m not writing a book here, just leading into why the Montreal Canadiens haven’t won a cup since 1993.

We need this, we need offense, we need that one player who is going to light the lamp night after night, who is the easy choice for the All Star game, the Hart front runner.  We haven’t had a player like that since, holy Puck, Guy LaFleur!  We’ve had lots of stars lead the way, but not since Guy have we seen lights out explosive play.

The Canadiens tried to win around Carey Price, it almost worked a couple times, but in the end, it all came down to scoring more than the other guy, and this team didn’t have that go to guy to do it.

That will change.  After this season the Montreal Canadiens will be a couple moves closer to winning it all.  Guhle is the start point.  Caufield is the middle and hopefully the player we draft in 2023 will be the “the guy.”  After that, we pull a Colorado and pick up a goalie who can complement the rest of the lesson.

There will be pain but hockey isn’t played on paper, so hey, maybe this 2022-2023 Montreal Canadiens will fool us all…….but I doubt it.

Prediction Time, the Final One for 2022-2023 season.

Adam’s Division

  1. Maple Leafs
  2. Panthers
  3. Lightning
  4. Senators
  5. Red Wings
  6. Sabres
  7. Bruins
  8. Canadiens (32nd in the league, 2023 lottery winner)

See you on the hoice.

centerline hockey strip

9 Oct, 2022

Oh Look I’m a Pucking NHL Scout

“The Twitter” is the best source of hockey information.  I can go there and pull up a dozen different fans posts and instantly read how great so and so is, or how horrible blah blah is.  The Twitter does it all for me.  I love it, it’s THE greatest source of off ice hockey entertainment on The World Wide Web.

The Twitter is where it’s at!  If you can read a stat line, you absolutely must have an opinion on the matter because you know, the stat line does all the evaluations on the “fundamentals of the game,” for you.

What the Puck is wrong with fans?  Stat lines do not represent the current evaluation or any evaluation of a hockey player other than how they produced offensively/defensively during any given game.  You can’t see how they skate, you can’t see how they skate within their lines, you can’t see how they read the ice, and you certainly can’t see any of the main “hockey fundamentals” that we are all taught from day one (usually three years old) to today (50 years old and playing my guts out).  You can’t see any  of that by reading a stat line.

SO when you call out Shane Wright’s stat line for the preseason, and then report nothing else on the matter, you have one agenda, to prove to the hockey world that you know absolutely shit about the game outside of Montreal.

You want to voice an opinion on the game, fine, but using a stat line to evaluate your player is weak, lazy and 100% not something any scout would do.

I’ve watched every single Shane Wright/Kraken preseason game.  He’s silky smooth with some rough patches and spent most of the preseason playing the 2nd line for the Kraken, and powerplay.  You watch him skate out there and you say, holy fork, this kid is gonna be awesome.  One of the smartest kids out there this preseason season (only the Devils’ Holtz impressed me more), you watch them (Kraken) breakout, you watch him take that first pass and you see him move the puck to his wingers (Eberle was his main winger all camp, others mixed in on the right side) and you immediately see him searching out the open ice for the ideal play.  He’s a chess master on ice, and it’s beautiful to watch.  You can see why he was ranked #1 by Central Scouting for the entire 2022 draft ranking.

But you can’t see it if you don’t watch other young guns in the NHL.  Savoie, Holtz, Nemic (never compare defense with forwards) Slafkovsky, Holloway, Beniers (actually Beniers was the most impressive player of the preseason’s young guns) and every other kid I watched over the preseason.  Once you see them all skate and play different assignments, you can easily see who’s who in the zoo.  It pops out to you like those magical make yourself sick “magic eye” pieces of art.  But it only works if you WATCH MORE THAN THE MONTREAL CANADIENS, you pucking Trolls!  Ah that felt Great!

centerline hockey strip

5 Oct, 2022

Oh My Pucking God! Hockey Is Mistakes

What the Puck is wrong with fans?  That one sentence tells you everything that is wrong with NHL hockey.  Fans!  They drive whether your favorite NHL team is financially successful or not, and because of that, their voice must be heard.  Oh look at me, I wear a jersey so I must know what’s going on.  No, No you don’t.  I’m gonna tell you, what I’ve told youth hockey parents for years.  “YOUR PERSONAL SUCCESS DOES NOT DEPEND ON HOW GOOD YOUR CHILD PLAYS.” (unknown quote I found on some small town arena wall) “Your only mission on this team is to ensure your player gets to the rink on time, with all their gear, ready to hit the ice, ballz to the wall and to cheer as loud as you can.”

The same could be said for being a hockey fan, but that would suck to high heaven and I wouldn’t have anything to write about.  But really, fans have no pucking clue how this game is played.  They don’t know what it’s like to be sitting in a dressing room at 0700, completely hungover and trying to tie your skates, or what the first thirty seconds of suicides feels like.  So for the love of god, don’t be giving tips on how to take a hit unless you’ve taken a could couple thousand in your life time.  You sound ridiculous.

Oh I’m sorry did I anger you?  It’s the Covid19 talking.  It does something to your brain that creates an illusion of brain fog.  Today is the first day of ten that I can actually sit here and write something that’s somewhat hockey coherent.

Mistakes happen, that’s hockey!  Stop counting every single mistake a player makes.  Hockey is mistakes, it’s how goals are scored.  If you’re twitting “defense so and so, just made a huge mistake there, costing us a goal.”  Well thanks tips.  As an opposing player, every single inch of ice we play on is our personal playground and I’m the most manipulative jackass out there.  My sole purpose is to make you look silly, and if I am good at what I do, your defense is going to make mistakes in three separate parts of the ice, and my line is going to score.  Every single shift player A through F is going to make mistakes.  You know what you call a mistake free game, a zero zero tie game, and “puck that shizen,” I want no part of it.  Mistakes, risks, and chances are all part of the game.  So when a rookie makes a mistake, I can god darn guarantee you a trip out of the bush, in a body bag……HOOO LEE SQUIRELL!

Most Serious Man in the Hockey

Choo Choo, Big Train Coming Through

Through through, through, we get that train through……..I bet there isn’t a single fan under the age of 30 who knows what that’s in reference to.  I’ll give you a hint (yeah like anyone under the age of thirty is on THE TWITTER).  “C” is for cookie, it’s good enough for me.  Damn I love this, I can write anything and entertain myself.

Arber Xhakej is no worse or better than Kaiden Guhle, and Kaiden is no more worse or better than Wideman.  What does an NHL team who’s about to go through a catastrophic train crash need?  One big Pucked off locomotive that can scare the bajesus out of the rest of the locomotives that rail into our town.  Arber makes my Canadiens team.  I have nothing against the other Canadiens’ defense, each one of them trying to make this team is hockey “fine,” but Arber will ensure games don’t get out of hand, and with what this team is about to go through, Arber Xhekaj is Needed!  Take a seat Bunting, you’re embarrassing yourself!  Pucking Rookie!

centerline hockey strip

What Are you Afraid Of?

Warning, The Truth Be Told, Remember I’m writing this in my underwear, and my third coffee.

There is something seriously wrong about the Montreal Canadiens’ fanbase.  “But they’re fun to watch.”

Do you all understand how pathetic that sounds.  It’s okay to admit it.  We’re going to stink this season, so please, stop saying “we’re fun to watch.”  No we’re not, it’s fun to watch the young guns progress throughout the season, but this team lacking in so many professional positions is not fun to watch.  It’s horrible to lose.  It’s a hockey thing, you shoot enough pucks in your life, and you’ll understand. You work hard all summer.  You are pumped for your chance to show the hockey world and then you realize, “holy frack, the NHL is fast, I have work to do.”  Management knows, they can’t say it, but they know.  This team is lacking in all areas of the game, and come trade deadline day, it’ll be worse than it already is.  It’s not fun at all.  I pucking hate losing.  I’m on the ice playing shinny twice a week and I get bummed right out when we lose in that, and there’s no pucking refs, it’s for fun, but every single one of us played this perfect game at a high level, it’s not in our nature to accept loss.  So I’ll only say this once (bets on that?)  They are not fun to watch.  Good, I needed to rant there.

Every year we see fans chant “the steal of the draft,” only to be wrong year after year.  If you’re raving about 2nd and 3rd round picks, guess what.  Over 99% of them spend their careers as professional journeyman.  There’s no shame in that, it’s why they went in those rounds or later, in the first place.  I get it, you don’t want to lose followers, you don’t want to sound like a whiner.  So don’t.  Write it how it is, and end on all the high notes and if it still comes off as negative, go to video so that your appearance, tone, and enthusiasm is showcased.  The biggest problem with “some” fans is that they’re always angry, and they put their emotions into other twitter posts.  I see it all the time. Jackasses commenting on my twits, making asses out of themselves, then others pile on,  only to see later on that I’m 100% genuine, happy go lucky Shane Oliver, all the time.  Meet me once (Hello HIO) or work with me and you’ll know it to be true.

So tell the hockey truth, I’ll respect you more.  “Oh, you don’t like that.  Go Puck Yourself.”   This just in, Pucking analytics will not make Victor Mete a better hockey player.  Squirrel!

Devils at Canadiens

WoW, what a first period, the Canadiens were all over them from start to finish, and then the Devils woke up, played their game, and it was basically a Devils game from there on out.

Jake Allen was awesome.  Did everything he was built to do.  A fine oiled machine.  Sign him to a four-year extension.  Otherwise, you can bank on searching for a #1 goalie for the next four years.  What’s the plan Jeff, Kent?  If it’s to play out the season, then move him to a contender, move Hoffman now and move the rest at the deadline.  That’ll add some years to the plan, but hey, “they’re fun to watch.”

The Young Guns Arrived in Full Force

Guhle is a freaking Rock Star, a National Captain, a Junior Captain, he’ll be the player the entire team looks up to.   Yes he got undressed a couple times, but his skillset sticks out like no other player out there and he wasn’t picked first overall, you want to talk steals, that’s a win so far in our books, and it’s been a long time since we’ve had a 16th overall do that.    Are you on crack, it hasn’t been a long time, the year before we got Cole Caufield at 15…..now that’s a steal.  What a pucking shot!  He could travel around the country playing in 3 on 3 tournaments and make a fortune, or he could just play for the Montreal Canadiens, and be set for life.  The kid is money, and he got to wear an “A” last night, oh how times have changed.

Beck?  I love the kid.  An artist on the dot.  Smart in all areas of the hoice.  Going to have a lethal shot.  Can’t wait to see him in a couple years.

If Slafkovsky is staying, play him on the third line until he’s able to keep up.  Better yet, Laval for the year and don’t get sucked into bringing him up unless you have to.  This is not the season to be developing him in the NHL.

If he’s staying then I pencil in with a heavy eraser, Slafkovsky-Dach-Gallagher, that’s my 3rd line, but with all these injuries who knows what the blender produces.

I’m already sick of Pre-season.  I bet I watched four games, the last two days.  I’m too old for this shit!

We got Kirby Dach for Alexander Romanov, I can’t say this enough, Wow, what a trade.

centerline hockey strip

25 Sept, 2020

Predictions are Fun

It’s okay to be wrong people or is it?  I find it very laughable that fans refuse to post predictions to standings because they fear they will be wrong.  I bet 99% of all standing’s predictions are wrong.  Why?  Because hockey never changes, you cannot predict what’s going to happen in hockey.  The ice changes every single stride, every inch of ice changes the game as they play.  It’s never identical unless you’re Guy Boucher and coaching the Lightning.  Thanks for that Guy, sigh, what a waste of space that was.  So predict away, see what comes true.

2022-2023 Adams’ Div Standings

  1. Leafs:  That makes me barf.
  2. Panthers:  That makes me gag.
  3. Lightning:
  4. Senators: They added 60+ goals to their ever improving young guns squad! That’s 280GF, TB Lightning status.
  5. Wings: They made improvements, just not enough for me to see them move up into the playoffs.
  6. Bruins: Key injuries will keep them out of the race, thank god, because they make me sick!
  7. Sabres: Just not enough improvements.  Love Power, he’ll help, and Alex Tuch will be watched closely.  Loved Savoie’s game at the Rookie Tournament.
  8. Montreal Canadiens: Lacking on defense, lacking between the pipes.  No true #1 offensive center, and our #2 is Dvorak.  Dach will pass them all and become the greatest offensive center this club has seen since Damphousenhousen.   Yes yes, I know that’s not how you spell it, thanks for contributing.

centerline hockey strip

23 Sept, 2020

Fighting Has Changed the Game

Fighting has changed the game, not because there’s no need for it, there is.  As long as the ass-wipes continue to troll the surface, there will always be fighting.  It’s a hockey thing.  You know what I’m talking about.  You’re skating with the puck, your wingers are driving to the net, and somewhere behind the play, Brad Marchand’s trying to punch you in the head or give you a kiss.  There’s no Kissing in Hockey, so you nail that bag of hammers and off you go to the Sin Bin to feel Shame.  But fighting has changed the game, gone are the days of that fourth line going out there to clear the benches.  So those pugilists are no longer needed on a regular basis, but they are needed.  That will never change.

I have a new favourite noun, XHEKAJ!  I hope this kid has a nice long career, being called up and down from Laval to Montreal year after year.  As long as the butt-wipes continue to troll, Arber will have a role to play in any Canadiens success and it’s an important one.  He’s no troll, he’s got skill, he’s got style, he’s Da Man!  XHEKAJ!


Troll the Flyers!

Remember when? Or course not.  Back when the Montreal Canadiens were kicking the living covid crap out of the Penguins, the Flyers were on a path to the end of days.  I said as much to their fanbase on the Athletic (which I was banned for, thanks), that was over three years ago and now you see why.  Voracek, Giroux, Couturier, all were on the verge of final stages of their careers, and here we are.  Not only will they have Torts yakking at them for 82 or less games, their fan base will be cheering “Fall Hard for Bedard” all season long and I love it!  Puck the Flyers Fans, most horrible fan base in the league.  You Were Told Then, Listen to all who Know.


The Battle of Quebec

Bring back the Pucking Nordiques………the Yotes are going to play in an arena suited for a Lego Hockey Tournament.  Pack it up, pack it in, Send them to Quebec.  Why, why does the NHL continue to support a losing product.  They’re attendance over the last decade was worse than the Thrashers and look what happened there.  Grow the game?  No No Owners, build rivalries and that will sell merc.  That will do more for the game than a few thousand Yotes fans watching a horrible product.  Picture this, two of the worst teams in the league, Montreal Canadiens and Quebec Nordiques……facing off, you know it’ll be a sell out.  Come on Geoff, get er Done!


2022-2023 is Gonna Suck

This season is gonna suck!  It’s gonna suck worse than any other season we’ve ever had.  Why?  For as bad is this team is, there’s a small chance that players like Gallagher, Drouin, Monahan, Hoffman, and Anderson all step up, and as great as that is for our paying fan base, falling short of the playoffs is why we are where we are today.  NHL players that get it done are not found drafting outside the top 15 seats.  Sure, there are exceptions, but we’ve all seen what happens when you fall short of making the playoffs or worse, make it and then win a couple rounds year after year.  You draft a whole pile of players who are career minor leaguers but that’s another story, and I’ll write about that the second someone mentions it on “The Twitter.”


Tags: ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply