Rabid Habs

The 24: Phil, Craig, and the Swamp Rabbits

Craig Ramsay Credit: NHL.com

Welcome to The 24! Our Habs-centric ripoff of Elliotte Friedman’s must read 30 Thoughts column. Except in our case it has six less thoughts and 100% less insider information.

Each week Sean O’Neill and Zach Vanasse of The Montreal Bias podcast will mush their collective thinkings together on all things Habs and the NHL and spew them out right here.

1) The Canadiens have hired Craig Ramsay! You may remember him as the Skeletor/James Carville looking man behind the bench with the Sabres, Flyers, Senators, Panthers, Lightning, Bruins, Thrashers and Oilers.

2) What role will he play? According to reports Ramsay is going to be a coaching consultant. Marc Bergevin said he’ll be called upon regularly during the season to “share his knowledge with our coaching group.”

3) While we’re not 100% sure what that means, he did talk to TSN 690 about getting the Canadiens to generate a little more offence saying, “Something I’ve talked to Habs about is scoring more goals, I’m a big believer in more offense for this group.” That’s reason to hold out hope, right?

4) Because it’s late August, there’s not a lot of real player news to discuss around the NHL (at least none that do not involve law enforcement), so we’re mostly left clinging to rumours and speculation. That being said, speculation out there is that the Coyotes might be willing to move the young blue line great – and Swedish citizen – Oliver Ekman-Larrson. If there’s any truth to this, Bergevin should move heaven and earth to add him.

5) Heaven and earth = Alex Galchenyuk + Tinordi/Emelin

6) True, the Canadiens already have A LOT of money invested in their blueliners at the moment, but who cares. If you’re throwing out something like Subban – Ekman-Larrson, Petry – Beaulieu, Markov – Emelin playing in front of Carey Price then maybe you don’t need that much offence from your forwards. Besides, you’re defencemen will be pushing the puck out of your zone all the time, generating more offensive opportunities. Just sayin’….

7) Another titillating rumour/speculation: Winnipeg might be considering moving Dustin Byfuglien. Once again, MB should move heaven and earth for this guy. Mostly because Big Byfug can physically move heaven and earth himself if he wants. That is to say, he is a force to be reckoned with, even if he plays a little over the edge sometimes.

8) Speaking of moving talent, Jessica Lynn-Saunders has landed at A Winning Habit on a full time basis. All the best to one of our favourite former Rabid Habs team members!

9) We haven’t been able to hand out our Marchand of the Week since the podcast has been on summer vacation hiatus, but Hockey Twitter has certainly been deserving of the Rat-Faced Ones Title so far this summer. Why? If you’re on it, you know what it’s like. If you’re not, then good for you, we’ll spare you the nonsense.

10) And if we were still handing out our Three Stars the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors would be worthy of a position.

11) Why? Because they rebranded as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits!

12) What’s a Swamp Rabbit? Well it sounds offensive, but it isn’t. The name comes from the Swamp Rabbit railroad line that ran through Greenville County and a local restaurant, brewery and “popular pedestrian trail” carry the name today.

13) Also, swamp rabbits are a real animal.

14) Fun little list from Yahoo! Sports NHL Twitter account: Most points by Canadian NHL defensemen over past five seasons – Shea Weber 226; PK Subban 225; Duncan Keith 218; Alex Pietrangelo 215; Brent Burns 211; Kris Letang 206; Dennis Wideman 185

15) Another fun little list from those same folks: Most shutouts by Canadian NHL goalies over past 5 seasons: Carey Price 30; Brian Elliott 24; MA Fleury 22; Braden Holtby 20; Roberto Luongo 17; Mike Smith 17; Martin Brodeur 15; Devan Dubnyk 14

16) Scott Gomez’s NHL career may be over. The Devils won’t be giving him another tryout this season. He’ll be okay because, as you may recall, he made a lot of money during his career.

17) One of the smartest folks in analytics, Eric Tulsky (@NHLEricT) has been hired by the Carolina Hurricanes. If you’re still bucking against analytics, you should probably quit. The war is over and it was always obvious who was going to win.

18) $6.75 million a season for Mark Giordano is a hell of a deal. The guy could have one each of the last two Norris Trophies if he’d managed to stay healthy.

19) Instead, the award for the best defenceman in the NHL went to this guy.

20) He might be the best player in the world, but many analysts have long claimed that Sidney Crosby’s playing-style is not suited for all linemates (remember how Chris Kunitz *had to be on Team Canada because he was the only player in the world capable of playing with #87?) When Phil Kessel was traded to Pittsburgh, many guessed that he would ultimately be paired with Evgeni Malkin rather than Sid. That doesn’t appear to be the case, at least for now. The Penguins have announced that Kessel and Crosby will be linemates to open training camp.

21) It’s possible that the two simply won’t mesh, but it seems even more likely that the best playmaker on the planet finds a way to gel with one of the top five goal scorers on the planet.

22) If you put the over/under on Kessel goals at 60, I’d take the over.

23) Phil Kessel!

24) Now that we don’t have to pretend to hate him because he plays for our arch-rivals, let’s all admit we kind of love the goofy bastard?

You can follow The Montreal Bias on Twitter @TheMontrealBias and you can follow its co-hosts @TheONeillFactor and @ZachVanasse