1-0 after one

Best first period of the trip.

Heck, best first period of the month.

The game wasn’t a minute old when Max Pacioretty scored a fluke goal to put the Canadiens ahead.

James Wisniewski was excellent, especially on the PP>

The Canadiens had an 8-6 shot advantage and are 17-3-2 when scoring first.

Dare we hope?

•  •  •

Re our server issues:

I have no explanation. It’s been going on for weeks, like the Canadiens slump.

We’re working on it.

So are the Habs.

307 Comments

  1. 24 Cups says:

    JD – If you lived in Slowville, I would seriously ask you to join our ‘communal’  family.  You’re the man when it comes to H I/O posts.  Hee Haw!

    Sorry, but I must get back to the party (like it’s 1999).

  2. Propwash says:

    Looks like TripleX’s prediction of a coaching change would be the saving grace of the Devils is wrong.

  3. 24 Cups says:

    On a team with few defensive prospects, I hope to hell that Subban eventually becomes the next Markov.

    This guy is just 21 years old and in his first NHL year.  There may be quite a few things that are holding back the Habs, but Subban certainly isn’t one of them.

    I’ll evaluate Subban’s career around 2014.

  4. JD_ says:

    James “Newsy” Wisniewski. Run with it, run like the wind.

    Time for the boyz to step it up. Put some pucks on Dezzy. The kid’s fresh meat. Get to him hard ‘n’ early. Full Soberg, baby!

    (That was absolutely brutal. I noticed the poor guy almost skated off after the fourth goal, so it was no surprise when he did after the fifth. If I were him, I wouldn’t be too concerned that the incident will be repeatedly shown in various Top 10 WJC Goalie compilations for pretty much the balance of eternity. No, not at all.)

    *cough*

    Newsy’s no slouch and obviously got some good advice before speakin’ to the media. Will be interestin’ to see what new blood brings to the Habs’ game, includin’ some much-needed blueline grit at a time where the D-corps is lookin’ a bit banged up. Given Newsy clearly gets the whole Montreal thing, I expect he’ll play with some intensified smashmouthness, at least at the outset. Keep yer head up, Stevie S.

    Speakin’ of brutal, NJ has scored 3 and been scored on 12 times in the three games since Lemaire took over from MacLean. This was against the Isles, Loafs, and Sathers. What an effin’ mess. Truly unbelievable.

    Go Habs Go!

  5. PeterD says:

    Wizi is currently tied for 4th in team scoring with Gionta both with 21 points…and Wizi has done it in 5 fewer games than Gionta (32 to 37 games)…

    Either Pierre Gauthier just made the steal of the century to get Wizi for a couple of draft picks or this Wizi guy has some serious deficiencies that we haven’t seen yet.  Yeah, I know about the -18 in the plus/minus column…but you know what…on a team that can’t seem to score to saave their lives, Wizi could be a real breath of fresh air.

    My hope this New Year’s season is that we got one hell of a deal on a very tough, young, scoring defencman that will slide nicely into our line up…

    Now if Pierre can go out and get us the big scoring forward(s) we need that would really make hte season joyful and bright.

    GO HABS GO!

  6. punkster says:

    Come on Bill, let us old Leaf fans have our moments please. We were there and it was real at the time. 🙂

    ***Subbang!!!***

  7. punkster says:

    ’63. I was 12, Keon was my hero and their 3rd consecutive Cup was unreal. Wow, what a team.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  8. 24 Cups says:

    Hey, Bill – Let’s get real here.  Who knows more?  Your dad, a MD, or 24 Cups?

    🙂

  9. GrimJim says:

    You’re thinking like  Dustin Byflugen (sorry for the spelling) in Chicago. He might but it would probably be better for his development to let him concentrate on mastering one position at a time.

  10. Exit716 says:

    Nope. Concluded with the teams starting the games on Boxing Day.

  11. scrowe21 says:

    I think they should try it before making him a healthy scratch again. It couldn’t hurt to try it for a couple games instead of having him sit them out…not like any of the forwards are playing good either.

  12. arcosenate says:

    I am just thinking he might actually be a decent power forward he has good size, he’s strong, etc. He could still play the point on the pp.

     

  13. GrimJim says:

    Makes a lot of sense, especially long term. Even if Emelin doesn’t sign you could have Picard in the 7th role (or hope one of Nash or Carle shows enough improvement to slot in to that role).

  14. Bill says:

    My Dad remembers it. He’s an MD, and he says it coulnd’t have been much of a break if Baun could come on and score a goal, and that Leaf fans make a big deal out of for want of anything else to make a big deal of. Obviously, Dad is a big Habs fan.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  15. punkster says:

    Some day.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  16. TripleX says:

    Has anyone seen the latest HBO 24/7?  Just wondering if the Montreal game is covered or not.

     

     

     

    “I don’t like to keep kids like that out of the lineup. They need to play; that’s how they’re going to get better.” Jacques Martin

  17. kempie says:

    He’d make a much better Dman.

  18. punkster says:

    Exactly. Trade him, while his value is high. DO IT PG.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  19. arcosenate says:

    Anyone think PK might make a decent forward?

  20. JD_ says:

    Very thoughtful. Love the kid.

    But let’s be honest here, these wings of goodwill might be just the kind of mo’ PG needs to move PK. Great opportunity to salvage some value in a trade.

  21. ths says:

    He will score even more when Gomez gets down there

  22. darcy1 says:

    it sounds like you need to put it in the closet and let it stay there… that’s what i did before the season with a price jersey i bought 18 months ago.

  23. kempie says:

    Damn disrespectful showboat.

  24. punkster says:

    Beautiful post, P-A.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  25. punkster says:

    PK. Lovely and thoughtful gesture by a wise young man.

    Long may he rule in a Habs uni!

    ***Subbang!!!***

  26. 24 Cups says:

    As was mentioned before, Canadian forward Jaden Schwartz will miss the rest of the World Junior Championship with a fractured ankle.  What may not have been mentioned was the fact that he scored a goal after breaking his ankle.

    Raise your hand if you can remember Bobby Baun doing the same thing for Toronto back in the ’60s.

    True grit, indeed.

  27. OneTimer says:

    Man, a fully-healthy defense with Markov is a dream for us. That’s all I’ve got to say.

  28. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Aside from the D pairings tonight (Wiz/Weber – Gill/PK – Hammer/Spacek)..

    Wiz, PK, and Weber all RHD. Does Spacek shift back to LD side and split from Hammer to avoid burnout of both? Future pairings?

    Hammer – Gorges

    Spacek – Wiz

    Gill – Pk

    Picard – Weber as required.

    Gorges better suited to #4 or likely #5 D, so top pair not top shelf. Gorges and Hammer do not generate offense, but are steady. Spacek and Wiz a decent 2nd pair as Spacek would contribute steady D from left side and Wiz to provide offense and grit. PK on 3rd pair to limit exposure and take advantage of weaker assignments. Gill not a great long term partner as not quick enough to make up for rookie mistakes. Wiz and PK to provide PP offense.

    Not a cup contending D, but playoff worthy – Markov injury was a killer.

    Wondering what the Habs D could look like by next fall? Older Dmen (Hammer / Gill) gone. RFA Picard gone? UFA Markov and RFA’s Gorges / Weber likely retained? Wiz works out and is signed to replace Hammer? No team will take Spacek in a trade – stays / plays top 4 as is paid top 4. PK on EL contract.

    2011/12?

    Markov – PK

    Spacek – Wiz

    Gorges – Weber

    Pk would hopefully have enough games in to assume the #2 role and provide significant offense if Markov fed. Markov able to limit PK’s mistakes and remains healthy due to PK’s agressive nature. Even at less than 100% recovered, Markov still a top pair D. 23-25 mins possible here.

    LD Spacek now 1/2 season with Wiz. Spacek provides steady D and Wiz provides grit and offense. Hold just under 20 mins.

    Gorges a perfect #5D on natural left side (if Habs could sign him for #5D $$), and mentor for Weber. Weber able to provide offense against weaker assigments and hold his own on D with Gorges as partner. 16 mins per game.

    ·      LD/RD balance 1st time in many years.

    ·      Markov, Pk, Wiz, and Weber provide 5 on 5 and PP offense.

    ·      Markov, Spacek, and Gorges provide steady D.

    ·      PK and Wiz provide grit.

    ·      Markov and Gorges support the PK.

    ·      Gorges moves up to top 4 role on LD or RD if injuries occur. 

    ·      4 of 6 D have several yrs of experience, and 4 of 6 D under 30.

    ·      Sign Emelin as 7th D. Provides injury support, rotate with Weber and adds more grit when needed.

    ·      Roughly same or less D $$ as this season.

    thoughts?

     

  29. keepthefaith says:

    I hope Dejardins does start. Then maybe we can stop cying over the 26 year old prospect that got away . Or the guy will shut us out and we will never hear the end of it. On second thought lets have Dan “let them eat cake” Ellis instead.

  30. keepthefaith says:

    I dont think people can get past the 8 million. We all know its an atrocious contract, but we are a better team with him than without him. His production has picked up since he has two real linemates that play together the whole game. Mostly it was just him with one other scorer and Moen, who we all know isnt a top 6 guy. We don’t have another player that carries the puck and gain s the line as he does as you mentioned. 

  31. krob1000 says:

    I wouldn’t …but I think we have seen that Gomez gets preferential treatment and is given every possible opportunity to succeed offensively and it is not warranted by his play. I think he would be far more valuable to us on aline like you suggest or even with Poluiot or Pacioretty,etc.  I think Gomez brings severral abilities and talents tot he table that are very beneficial to the team, his speed, his ability to easily gain the blueline, his smarts defensively, his PK ability…but his offensive game is just not there …so why is it we keep punishing other wingers by pairing them with him.  Let him work himself out of his funk…..at least his has been a three year funk…not a 5 or 10 game stretch which many kids don’t even get.  Gomez is palying better of late but still turns tons of pucks over and clearly has a get out of jail free card with JM…and I can;t help but believe that his contract affords him some leeway to show his value.  We also don;t really have any other options at center…or do we? Cammi has been a center everywhere else……but it never even gets mentioned….instead we talk of Desharnais…even Eller could produce more tahn Gomez right now if given his minutes, linemates and situations. I like Gomez…but I am really getting sick of the favouritism towards a handful of vets and Gomez is the poster boy of that group….Spacek was for the first 6 weeks but since it ahs to be Gomez (last 5 games not included)…..

  32. TommyB says:

    While that may be true, he should back up his big yap once in awhile with his boxing-trained fists.   But like I said above, that is just me.

  33. Max_a_million says:

    You can’t let that number get in the way of fielding the best team. 

    I think Halpern, Moen, and Gomez would be a formidable 3rd line. 

    Gomez doesn’t have to take faceoffs, doesn’t have to score … 

  34. le_vrai_jacques says:

    Max leads the team for hits (yes, on guys).

  35. krob1000 says:

    but if it did work out…who would gomez play with…we can’t have an 8 million odllar checker…or at least we can’t acknowledge it.

  36. Max_a_million says:

    Size and speed are not everything.  Good to have have, but not a guarantee. 

    What is lost by trying to see if it works. 

    No one can score this year on Gomez’s wing!  Not AK, not Cammy, not Gionta, not Patches, not Pouliot, … what’s the common denominator here?

    What is lost in trying it?!?  Really … we can’t score less. 

  37. TommyB says:

    My comment had nothing to do with your sexual preference, son.  It meant pink for girl’s, which is what Lapierre plays like.  But hey, if your mind is on gay, that’s your prerogative.  When you get out of the arcade, you might get out a dicitonary and look that up.

  38. Harani says:

    Here is James Wiz and his few words in french.  Personally, I think it’s super cute. Have a feeling we’re gonna like him! Seems like a really down to earth guy.

    And Boone…tonight’s game is 7:30pm start.

    “It must be love!”

  39. keepthefaith says:

    How many times has a guy scored like crazy in the minors and then came to the big show and scores nothing? Too many. How about Max-pac right now. One goal he scored from behind the net. An even smaller center is not going to help him i wouldnt say.

  40. Max_a_million says:

    There is a big difference between scoring goals, and not as well.

    In fact the entire outcome of hockey games is based upon scoring goals.

  41. zak says:

    Dustin Boyd is scoring like mad in the Ahl and guess who his center is.

  42. keepthefaith says:

    Theres a big difference between AHL and NHL.

  43. Max_a_million says:

    That Desharnais kid seems to do it everyone. 

    Lower the pressure on Gomez, and move him to left wing on the third ‘energy’ line.  He wouldn’t have to take faceoffs either. 

    Let’s score some goals here.

  44. avatar_58 says:

    OH….terrible goal against the czechs.

  45. Max_a_million says:

    doublepost sorry … weird

  46. krob1000 says:

    geez I thought it was more of a girl vs guy thing myself…how did you draw that conclusion?

  47. OneTimer says:

    gay joke! haha, awesome! hey, want to go to the video arcade after math class? My mom says I have to be home by 5:00, how about you?

  48. Ed says:

    What a great thing for PK to do, especially on Christmas Day! It has to be a big boost for the sick children, & their families.

  49. Barts says:

    On another note, there should be a fair number of Habs fans there tonight, and Florida tomorrow, I guarantee will be like a home game.

  50. Barts says:

    I would like to see Desharnais get a shot as well, quite simply because he may be the catalyst to get Pacioretty going. I think Max is getting a bit of a pass because he is working hard, and going to the net, but with top six minutes you have to produce, and his one bank shot in seven games isn’t getting the job done. Perhaps a reunion with his Hamilton set-up man might be just the tonic? I’ve seen several Bulldogs games this year, and they work extremely well together.

    And yes, I know he’s not the only one slumping, but he’s the only one on the top two lines who doesn’t have a Montreal mailing address.

  51. avatar_58 says:

    The day after I ordered mine he was benched 🙁 We haven’t won a game since I started wearing it.

  52. AH says:

    I mentioned before in another comment, my son bought me a PK jersey for Christmas….I’m going to be wearing it even prouder now! Well done PK.

    GO HABS GO!

  53. Max_a_million says:

    I want Desharnais … everyone who plays with him scores goals.  We need to start banging the drum until we get him. 

     

  54. Max_a_million says:

    PK Rocks

  55. avatar_58 says:

    That’s funny, that PK story seems to insinuate he’s a good guy. I thought he was a cocky arrogant type? That’s what the media and fans of other teams tell me.

  56. darcy1 says:

    a trade for calgary’s lottery pick? 🙂

  57. Just A Guy says:

    Relativity. Problems. Relative problems. Who is to say which is greater? At any rate its hardly a topic to discuss when comparing your problems to that of a
    little girl with leukemia. I just wanted to make a passive comment about making such comparisons. I thought it was great for PK to do something that most of us could never even dream of doing, maybe even if we had the opportunity.

  58. TommyB says:

    If those slippers were pink, I’d be asking if they were supposed to be Lapierre.  But that’s just me.

  59. Max_a_million says:

    It was funny in the hospital videos they showed when a kid had big puffy Canadiens slippers, and Lapierre asked if those were supposed to be Spacek. 

  60. Max_a_million says:

     

    Not sure how that is ironic.  He was great in Physics, but needed help to work out the math. 

  61. Just A Guy says:

    Conversely I have always seen the irony when the father of relativity said “Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater”

    But a kidness nonetheless, I got a bit choked up, I was listening to a country soung at the time too haha. Good on PK.

  62. notbigbird says:

    Frankly, I am a mess after reading the PK story and thinking about that poor child (and her parents) stuck in the hospital for so long. Makes my problems seem … not like problems.

  63. HUDSONHAB says:

    How about it boys, two juicy wins to end 2010.

    I’ll be toasting the Habs with vodka and OJ.

    Let’s Wiz all over Tampa and Florida.

    Let’s take the sunshine out of the sunshine state. 

    HAPPY NEW YEAR……..please.

    ….Hab4life….

  64. habsfan0 says:

    Last year,the Habs went 6-1 during their late December road trip,a record which would eventually propel them into the playoffs and the success they enjoyed there. This season,it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this road trip will have an inverse record to last year’s..a result which will propel them to….?

  65. Arrow77 says:

    For the life of me I cannot understand why the Hamrlik-Spacek pairing has to be unbreakable. We can finally have three right-handed defensemen on the team and 2 of them play together.

  66. king ddd says:

    imo, and like many other habs fans the best d-pairing is hammer-pk, spackey-WIZ gill-webber

    .::DON’T MESS WITH THE MOENATOR!::.

  67. Kristopher7 says:

    Don’t fool yourself bro, we gave them all the vibrations we could during the Philly series in May, and they failed at life. Sorry to burst your philosophical bubble.

  68. TommyB says:

    Holy smokes…look what the wind blew in….Plek-Andrew!  And I have to say, with a great post. 

  69. habs001 says:

    6 goals for the habs if it was a three game series…

  70. Plek-Andrew says:

    Happy holidays, everyone! And a happy new year to all!

    I decided to assess the Habs almost halfway through the season…

    OVERALL, I would have to agree with everyone when the notions of “lack of heart” or “grit” are used to describe our team. However, I’m not sure I agree with the reasoning…

    Watching the Habs play at the beginning of the season and up until around the 20th game, I was of the opinion that this team was a SERIOUS Stanley Cup contender. I’m sure the players themselves knew deep down in their hearts minds and bodies that they were too.Pardon my French, but they were playing their ASSES off and EVERYBODY was contributing! Yes, Price stood on his head but guys like Pouliot and Kostitsyn also showed that they really love what they do by looking “interested” as Boone likes to put it. It wasn’t rare for me to read the ALN section and notice Boone being desensitized to winning. A powerful opinion in Montreal’s hockey world critically praising individual and collective efforts, where there were often “no passengers on the bus”, caused many of us to actually start taking this team for granted… I speak for myself first and foremost, of course.

    After watching the playoffs last season, I was treated to some of the most intense and gratifying Canadiens’ hockey that I had not seen in my 23 years of age…. Regardless of who the real heroes were, this is a team sport and overall, I’d be a fool to not be pleased with the way they eliminated the Caps AND THE FREAKING PITTSBURGH PENGUINS…

    What really put a smile on my face, however, was watching the sheer JOY being expressed by a team of players that had grown to actually love and respect each other and, in so doing, WIN against all odds.

    So what happened? For those of you know know me, I NEVER talk about coaches or their systems but I do have to make a comment concerning Jacques Martin’s handling of the absolutely normal yearly Canadiens’ slump… If I were him, I would dust off the videos of the playoff run and show them to the players with a specific area of focus; the emotional aspect of the game.

    What happened to players respecting each other and standing up for one another, during the game and in the media? What happened to hearing about or watching a camera cut to the bench and witnessing players like Gomez directing the young guns?  But most of all, what happened to the LOVE for WINNING?!

    I believe these are the REAL issues, not a lack of size or skill… I think players have started playing for themselves, with inflated egoes and selfishness. I hate to say this but just to give an example, my beloved Plekanec is showing signs of arrogance… a quiet, exemplary leader like himself should stop trying to do everything himself and go back to being the set-up player that he is.

    Look, I still truly believe that after close to 40 games, they are still a cup contender. I’ll get into individual assessments halfway through the season…

    Yes, we lost Markov and to be quite blunt I believe he’s replaceable. The moment he went down and crashed into the boards, I looked at my buddies and said “we will NOT be re-signing him”… On a personal note, I’m already mentally prepared to watch a team without Markov… and I think we should all hope for the best but expect the worse when it comes to #79…

    One last thing… As a musician, someone suggested that I read the book “The Music Lesson” by Victor Wooten. If there is one thing that I will forever keep in my mind and heart, it’s the idea of how someone playing music can create such POWERFUL physical and spiritual vibrations that send out auras of energy and strike the human souls, thus inspiring them in ways that they cannot comprehend or even acknowledge sometimes….

    Why don’t we try sending out positive vibes during the Habs games? Why don’t we actually sit in front of our television sets and actually BELIEVE that those guys will win?

     

    They’ll feel it, believe me….

  71. dhenry1234 says:

    I wonder what kind of Stinker the Habs are going to pull out tonight.
    No matter how much I want them to win, I just can’t see them beating
    the Lightning tonight. This will be a game where passion is necessary
    and I haven’t seen that from these habs in a very long time.

  72. Anonymous says:

    I think we would like spacek if he played on his proper side.

  73. Harani says:

    Same lines as against the Caps. BUT the big change on defense. Looks like JM finally woke up and realized that Picard has been horrible the past few games. So defense pairings:

    Hammr-spacek

    Gill- PK

    Wiz – Weber

    “It must be love!”

  74. Shiloh says:

    We’re due for a big game. If Price plays a good first period we win 6-2. If he lets in a softie early, we go to a shootout and AK46 scores the winner.


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