Abe Hefter Drops In With His Canadiens Playoff Analysis

Eastern Conference Quarter Finals

Eastern Conference Quarter Finals

If you live in the great city of Montréal, and have followed the Canadiens for any length of time, then there’s no doubt you know the name Abe Hefter. If you don’t live in Montréal and are unfamiliar with Abe – then you don’t know what your missing.

I can’t say that I have been much of a radio guy for a long time now – but when I saw the Tweet from @hefteronthehabs inviting comments on the CJAD Radio Dagwoods post-game show, I jumped at the chance to be heard.

I haven’t missed a post-game show with Abe since. His knowledge of the sport, and spot-on commentary, has me believing in radio again. And the class with which he treats his call-in guests is second to none.

So I was thrilled when Mr. Hefter agreed to do an “over the internet” interview for BBBR.

Here’s how it went:

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to “sit on the other side of the table” for once. I’m not sure I qualify enough to be asking the questions, but I’m keen to hear your in-depth analysis on the Canadiens post season.

So, Game 1 is in the books, and by no means does it cement the outcome of this series. But based on what you witnessed last night – who were the stand out and sit down players on both sides of the ice?

“The obvious game stars last night included Brian Gionta, with two goals, Scott Gomez with two assists, and Carey Price, with the shutout. I thought Tomas Plekanec was dangerous all night long and skated miles out there. Ryan White established a physical presence early; and Brent Sopel did everything but catch pucks in his teeth, in blocking four shots. I also thought Lars Ellers brought his ‘A’ game to the rink.”

The Bruins obviously will be looking to make some changes for Game 2. What adjustments do you expect to see from the Bruins on Saturday to try and ensure a series split leaving Boston?

“I think the Bruins will try to establish a physical presence early in game two. None of the nastiness that we saw in the 8-6 game in Boston earlier in the season…but the kind of gritty play that we saw out of the Habs’ Ryan White in game one”

On the topic of nastiness, there’s been a lot of scrutiny on the play of Zdeno Chara after his regular season hit on Pacioretty. The league has referred to him as a clean player with no history. Does his late game play against Tomas Plekanec at the Bruins blue line show us a truer picture of his game?

“Zdeno Chara is no goon. I think the play on Plekanec at the end of the game was as a result of a frustrating night for both Chara and the Bruins. Chara was beaten at every turn of the puck last night. He looked old. He looked tired. And he took it out on Plekanec.”

Scott Gomez (who I referred to as ‘Scape Goatmez’ during the regular season) as you noted, had 2 assists, and was clearly a defining player in game one. Does this exonerate him from his regular season play? What else do you expect to see from him throughout the balance the of the playoffs?

“Scott Gomez seemed to work hard enough out there during the regular season, but he generated precious little offense. The problem with Gomez is the fact that — fairly, or unfairly — he will always be tied to his salary. Making $8 million a season doesn’t guarantee you an 80-point season. Gomez had a very good playoff last season. The Canadiens need him to have a very good playoff THIS season. Last night was a good start.”

One last one for you … the 7-0 shellacking the Bruins placed on the Habs seems to have been absolved. Based on the results of Game 1, can this team drive deep into the playoffs and make a serious run for the Stanley Cup? What will the keys for that success look like?

“Going into this series, I called the Canadiens in six. Why? Let me take you back to my original series prediction, which I posted on CJAD.COM prior to game one:

‘Carey Price will be the difference in this series. I don’t care how well Tim Thomas played this season, the Canadiens will beat him like a rented mule in this series. Here’s something else to chew on: all you Jacques Martin bashers will eat crow after Martin out-coaches Claude Julien. And if you’re looking for the next Claude Lemieux or Bobby Nystrom (my all-time favourite playoff hero), try this name on for size: Mathieu Darche.’

I believed that then…and I believe it now.”

I truly feel privileged to have you do this with me – Thanks Abe …. You’re a kind soul!


So there you have it. Concise and to the point. And if there’s one comment that stood out the most to me, and that I couldn’t agree with more – it’s the thought on Mathieu Darche!

Now we move on to Game 2 against the Boston Bruins and try to steal two before coming home.

After the game on Saturday, make sure you do yourself a favour, and tune into the Dagwoods Post-Game Show. You won’t regret it one bit. Who knows? You may even hear a mention of Bleed Bleu, Blanc, Rouge!

I leave you now, with this snippet of Abe Hefter in action …

*Abe Hefter is a long-time Sportscaster and Show Host on CJAD Radio in Montreal who can be heard talking Habs weekday mornings and after each game, on the post-game Show; on the air, and online. He’s been in the radio sports biz for 30 years and has covered hockey extensively. Everything from the Miracle on Ice at Lake Placid, to the Edmonton Oilers’ Stanley Cup dynasty teams of the 80s, and, of course, the Montreal Canadiens.

You can follow him on Twitter: @hefteronthehabs


About Iain Carnegie (@emann_222 on Twitter)

I have followed the Montreal Canadiens for over twenty years, even while living in the heart of Toronto. I spent 5 years in the mecca of hockey, moving to the Plateau region of Montreal in the summer of 2009, I've been writing extensively on the Habs franchise at Bleed Blue Blanc Rouge BBBR has now moved to it's new home here at WordPress, , where content continues to matter.
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12 Responses to Abe Hefter Drops In With His Canadiens Playoff Analysis

  1. Melissa says:


    Sweet piece! Congrats on inking an interview with Abe. I think your questions were excellent, better than what I’ve seen some journalism students produce!

    I like that this analysis is different than any I’ve read so far. Abe definitely knows what he’s talking about and I loved reading his opinion.

    • Wow – I’ve been upgraded to a journalism student! Thanks Melissa – I mean that.

      I agree – it was fantastic for one of the masters of the craft here in Montréal to do this. I have great admiration for his thoughts and opinions – especially how he expresses them. Trust me when I say – it was a pleasant surprise that he agreed to do it. In reality though – that’s just the kind of man he is!

      Make sure you tune in Saturday night after the game … and Thanks for coming back here as such a faithful reader and contributor to the comment section!

  2. Andrew says:

    Nice job on the interview with Abe!

    I’ve been a talk radio junkie for years and as a former Montreal resident, I know Abe is one of the best in the business. I was also intrigued by his Darche comment. Last month, I interviewed Claude Lemieux and I asked him about the ’86 Cup run and his performances in the playoffs. He said that growing up watching Lafleur, Robinson and the rest of the Habs, he figured that you were supposed to win every year – it was natural. I expect Darche would love to bring home a Cup just as much as Claude did when he was a Hab!

    • Yes – I was happy with his Darche comment. I did a post back in September 28th Here where I stated that I wanted Darche kept in Montreal as a third line forward, while many stated that he should be heading back to Hamilton!
      There’s nothing that I would love more than to see Darche hoist the Cup – he is one of the most deserving players on the team.
      And you couldn’t be more accurate about Abe – Clearly one of the best!

  3. Jeff says:

    Hey Jeff here on my take to win against the Bruins.

    Well first off I say let the giants sleep but not ease up on them its of course playoffs and you have to play every shift as hard as you can. Taking dumb penalties will hurt and will lead to scoring chances for both teams. Play hard but not way too over the edge for get penalties. Special Teams of course have to click as in on the power play. Things you really want to see is Gomez and Pouliot step it up from below-par season this year and give a major contribution in the playoffs. Mike Cammalerri has had a frustrating season so a breath in the playoffs could help him. Also Carey Price has to continue his great season now he’s in Halaks shadow and an important thing is to not let the fans get on him too much if things arent going well because after all it takes 4 to win series!

    • There’s no doubt that the Bruins are going to be ready to play the physical game tonight. And you’re absolutely right – they have to stay disciplined and keep out of the penalty box. If they can get on the Power Play, then they’ll need to get back to rapid puck movement, with Wisniewski and Subban taking blistering shots from the point while bodies get in front of Thomas.

      Gomez has already stepped up his game … so continued play in that direction will be necessary. But judging from the post game interview Gomez gave, he seems more at ease after his performance, and that will result in him playing a more confident game. But Pouliot is a different story all together. He needs to step up his game and start contributing.

      I think the only shadow that remains of Halak, is the shadow of his playoff performance last year. Gone is the talk about how he got the Habs to the playoffs last year, and after the performance from the ice blooded Price on Thursday, that shadow is fading fast.

      Should be a sweet one tonight! Thanks for popping by and checking out the article – and thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts!

  4. topshelfbk says:

    Nice piece.

  5. Robert R says:

    Good interview! Have to say though, I was rather smug about the result of Game 1, re-watching highlights, seeing Price’s play and just thinking “This series will end in a sweep by Montreal.”

    • After what the team managed to do again last night in Boston, I have to say that I was thinking the exact same thing. Now I have to look at the comments that Abe made in regards to Thomas being “beaten like a mule”, as well as the statement of Martin out-coaching Julien as prophetic!

      Looking forward to seeing them dominate the Bruins further on home ice in front of 21,2371

  6. cokeaddict says:

    He might think that Chara’s no goon…but he took out his frustrations on Pleky…which makes him (in the most objective of terms) unprofessional. Had to get that out there since I think Pleky is by far our best all-around player. No Pleky in the line-up is bad bad bad. **end rant**

    This was a very touching piece. Great job! And I agree with Abe on most points. Our boys are going to make a definite strong showing…and if it’s5 or 6 or 7, I don’t care. As long as we take it! ^_^ GO HABS GO!!!

    • I agree that Plekanec is definitely one of the more important cogs in the wheel. He’s without doubt the best 2-way player on the team and he has incredible explosive speed. I’m hoping though – that he starts to bury some pucks in the back of the net. He’s leading the team with SOG (11), and if he maintains that pace, he’ll have a few in the “G” column.

      As far as Chara goes, I’m actually beginning to get tired of the whole thing. I’d rather that everyone move on and get to the matter at hand. Winning hockey games. My preference is to make the difference on the scoreboard and prove our point that way. I will say that I think the play on Plekanec was a “dirty” hockey play IMO. I despised seeing him do that, as much as I despised watching Lapierre and his antics when he played here in Montreal. I understand that players get frustrated, but it doesn’t give them the excuse to be somewhat abusive to other players. Case in point: Scott Gomez headbutting Evander Kane of the Thrashers.

      Just thought I’d throw that in there for everyone who was getting ready to hit the “Reply” button in angst, to tell me that I’m only commenting in this fashion because Chara is a Bruin etc etc etc.

  7. cokeaddict says:

    My intent wasn’t to pick on Chara. You see my tweets. You know I threaten waffle-peltings to *all* players of *any* team that touch Pleky. 😉 I was doing a “no beating up Pleky” rant than a “Chara is a goon” rant. I’m sick of all the Chara talk too…though the occassional dehydration joke is still kinda funny.

    Since you mentioned him, here’s my half cent on Lapierre. I know there’s a contingent that’s glad that Lapierre’s gone, but honestly…that awesome play last post-season, where he passed to himself off the boards to deek out a Dman, did a spin-o-rama and scored (I think it was on the Flyers – the one that became the “What if there were no home town heroes History will be made” advert)…that permanently bought his way into my Habs heart. I can get pissed at him for being an idiot sometimes, but I can’t hate. Just can’t.

    Scott Gomez headbutt someone? Really? Wow. I learn something new every day.

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