Tale Of The Tape: Are The Habs So Much Smaller?

They say Montreal’s playing a different animal now, a bigger team, too much to handle. But they said the same about the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins – too big for the Habs. So I decided to have a look.

The Washington Capitals had only three forwards under six feet – Eric Belanger and Brendan Morrison at 5’11”, and Scott Walker at 5’10”.

Backstrom is 6’1″, Knuble 6’3, Ovechkin 6’2, Laich 6’2, Fehr 6’4, Semin 6’2, Stechel 6’5, Fleischmann 6’1.

On defence, the Caps have Erskine at 6’4, Green 6’1, Morrison 6’4, Poti 6’3, Shultz 6’6, and Sloane 6’4.

Seems like a big team to me. Are they smaller than the Flyers?

The Pittsburgh Penguins have five players who stand 5’11” – Crosby, Cooke, Kennedy, Letestu, and Talbot.

Pascal Dupuis is 6’1, Fedotenko and Guerin are 6’2, Malkin is 6’3, Godard, Ponikarovsky, Tangradi and Staal are all 6’4, and Rupp is 6’5.

On defence, there’s a 5’11, a six footer, one at 6’1, 6 at 6’2, and Jay McKee at 6’4.

Are they much smaller than the Flyers?

Then there’s the Philadelphia Flyers:

Jared Ross is 5’9, Dan Briere is 5’10, and Richards, Powe, Giroux and Asham stand at 5’11.

Dan Carcillo is 6’0, there’s four at 6’1, two at 6’2, and three at 6’3,

On defence, Chris Pronger is 6’6, Braydon Coburn 6’5, Ryan Parent 6’3, Lukas Krajicek 6’3, and Matt Carle is 6’0.

Are they so much bigger than the Caps and Pens?

Now Montreal:

Brian Gionta is 5’7, Cammalleri 5’9, Glen Metropolit 5’10, and three guys – Tom Pyatt, Tomas Plekanec, and Scott Gomez are 5’11.

Andre Kostitsyn and Dominic Moore stand six feet tall, Darche is 6’1, Lapierre and Moen are 6’2, and Pouliot is 6’3.

On defence, Bergeron is 5’9, Spacek and Subban 6’0, Gorges is 6’1, Hamrlik 6’2, Ryan O’Byrne 6’5, and Hal Gill is 6’7.

Are they so much smaller than everybody else?

It boils down to this:

Philadelphia has six forwards under six feet and seven forwards who range from six feet to six feet, three inches.

On defence, they have a 6’6, 6’5, two at 6’3, and 6’0.

Montreal also has six forwards under six feet and seven forwards who range from six feet to six feet three inches. The same as the Flyers.

On defence, they have a 6’7, 6’5, 6’2, 6’1, 6’0, and 5’9. Very similar to the Flyers.

So why is Philadelphia considered so much bigger? And why was Washington and Pittsburgh considered so much bigger than the Habs? It’s because Brian Gionta at 5’7 and Mike Cammalleri at 5’9 distort vision. It looks like a small team, but numbers don’t lie.

Gionta is the smallest of all players mentioned, but he’s also one of the most talented of any above.. Same with Cammelleri at 5’9. Small, but only an inch smaller than Daniel Briere and the same as Jared Ross.

I think it’s a crock. Throw this size thing out the window. I don’t see much difference.

Philadelphia plays a physical game, tougher than Montreal, but the Canadiens just need to find their legs. They’re the faster of the two teams, and you can’t hit what you can’t catch.

14 thoughts on “Tale Of The Tape: Are The Habs So Much Smaller?”

  1. Interesting how an impression can become accepted as a fact just because those so-called experts in the sports media keep on repeating it over and over again.

    — OR —

    “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

    – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

  2. nice research sherlock………….. u better tell mecker wha’ is………. who would old dum dum be on the habs?….. at some point in the series we may need a barilkonion goal.
    go habs

  3. I was wondering if anybody ever bothered doing the math. I think the reason why the habs are considered a small team is because of their small centers. Moore is the tallest of them all at 6 feet. A clip they showed last night did a good job showing the difference. The clip was Brian Gionta standing in front of the net and their 6’3″ goalie just need to stand up a bit to see right over gionta’s head. If the habs wanna win, they got to stick Pouliot or Moen in front of the net and let guys like plek or gomez work the boards for guys like Cammalleri to rifle it through traffic.

    So maybe the habs aren’t a small team, but they aren’t putting the size where they need it, and that’s in front of the net.

    Philly did that well last night and I think that’s one of the main reasons they won. Not only did they get those big guys like Hartnell in front of the net, but they made Halak at 5’11” look like a shrimp out there, looking through people’s legs to try and see where the puck is. I actually think Martin should start Price tomorrow night because he is a lot bigger, he sees well through traffic and he gives the guys in front of him a hard time. When anybody stands in front of Halak, he sinks further into his net so he can see the puck better. The Caps and Pens were all about tic tac goal passing which Halak constantly shut down with his speedy legs. He doesn’t need to worry about the with the flyers, they’ll just crash the net, and it’s just a matter of seeing the puck and standing your ground, which something I think Price is better at then Halak

  4. Someone at this site did the calculations….



    (totals include players on the active roster and on the injured reserve; NHL Experience: regular season only, including current season)
    Height average 6-1 6-1
    Weight average 205 199
    Age average 28.7 28.4


  5. Gillis, great points. I doubt they start Price but it does make sense. Our guys will have to grow some and get in front of the net. I guess to do that we need to get in in their end and keep it there. Price didn’t look too sharp in there but then again he hasn’t played a lot. I think they will start Halak and the boys will play different and the outcome will be better.

  6. Good news (rumour); looks like O’Byrrne in and MAB may be moved to forward. Thanks god. even on the PP he isn’t contributing. He needs to shoot and he’s not even doing that. maybe he felt the pressure of playing D and PP. If he’s only 5’9, why are they playing him on D? That’s just not good coaching.

  7. Mayo, at the risk of sounding like a blowhard, I’ve said since Bergeron arrived in Montreal that he should be a forward. And you’re absolutely right – he’s not shooting and hitting the net, which is his bread and butter. They need to drill it into him.

  8. Danno – maybe if the “experts” read this, they’ll stop calling the Flyers bigger. The Habs are an optical illusion. Seeing Gionta out there makes them seem smaller.

  9. Gillis, that’s the difference all right. They’re getting their big guys in front of the net and we’re not. They need to adjust. Good points all round, Gillis.

  10. For those who missed it, Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliot Friedman did a profile on the Habs’ Brian Gionta:

  11. Montreal’s problem is that some of their big guys don’t play big. Watch Pouliot, Kostitsyn and Gionta play and you’d never guess which one is 5’7″. And other big guys just don’t play. Does the Montreal’s Tale of the Tape include Mara, O’Byrne, Price and Georges? That’s a lot of size not getting thrown around.
    But it won’t matter if Gionta, Cammalleri and Plekanec skate, pass and shoot the puck like they can it won’t matter how big the Flyers are, the puck will already be in the net.

    I think Gillis made several good points about the goalies. Halak sometimes gets flustered when his net is crashed. Problem is that although Price should be better, his confidence is shot and so far he has failed to make the big save when needed.

  12. Gio doesn’t go to the net to screen. He goes there sniffing for rebounds. His size is irrelevant but beneficial because he’s below the line of sight of many players so they end up forgetting about him. Most of his goals are tip ins or second/third efforts on net scrambles or batted out of the air type goals. Except the guys keep missing the net so that ends up being redundant…

    Flyers don’t care how much you try to push them to the perimeter. They’ll find a way to the net. They’ll go through you if they have to. They usually have two guys there more often than not. If Rhino isn’t there to help clear the net (Gill playing with an injury means he can’t do it himself) Jaro will stay hiding on his goal line doing his best Henrik Lundqvist impression. Price bothers net crashers as much as they bother him. Plus, his ability to move the puck out faster helps relieve the pressure of a hard forechecking team, which usually means the guys spend less time in their zone but no one on his side seems capable of taking a pass from a goalie so they end up running around. (Noticed when he was in the D switched to a “can’t clear the zone, help, PASS IT TO PRICE, let him do it” system?)

    Size only matters when you’re not using it properly. Guys got outskated by a dude with a broken foot too. Not cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *