About last night …

So close.

Preserve a one-goal lead for two minutes against the sixth-worst team in the NHL and the Canadiens would have punched their ticket to the dance.

Didn’t happen.

The Canadiens blew 2-1 and 3-2 leads.

Jaro Halak faced 42 shots.

Andrei Kostitsyn took a penalty in OT.

And first up in the shootout was Maxim Lapierre, followed by snakebit Mike Cammalleri.

Is there anything more tear-out-your-hair maddening in sports than being a Montreal Canadiens fan?

I haven’t been teased like this since Grade 11.

I’m watching Michel Bergeron on l’Antichambre, where he’s ragging on the goal-scorers who are missing in action.

Mike Cammalleri has been blanked in the 10 games since he returned from his knee injury.

Scott Gomez hasn’t scored in 12 games.

Benoit Pouliot has one goal in a dozen games.

But the problem is more profound and troubling than anemic offence.

The team lacks killer instinct.

It’s one thing to blow a 2-0 lead late against Buffalo. The Sabres are an elite team.

But the New York Islanders?

With a defence consisting of Mark Streit and five guys you’ve never heard of … including Mark Flood, whom the Canadiens drafted out of Peterborough in the sixth round, 188th overall, seven years ago?

For the first period and the latter part of the third, it was hard to tell which team was heading for the playoffs and which for a lottery draft pick.

In addition to their 42 shots, the Islanders missed the net 13 times and had 26 blocked. Corresponding numbers for the Canadiens were 31, seven and 14.

That’s 81-52, and it corresponds roughly to the NFL’s time of possession stat as an indicator of dominance.

Brutal.

Yes, the Islanders have been giant-killers. Playing with no pressure, they had knocked off Ottawa and Calgary. 

Credit the Canadiens with bouncing back from a dismal first period to seize momentum and take the lead. Huge goals by Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta, who have been clutch all season. And a brilliant individual effort by Max, recently paroled from the pressbox.

With the Rangers getting pasted in Buffalo, all the Canadiens had to do was preserve their lead and, woo hoo!, they’re in.

Didn’t happen.

Maybe Jacques Martin should have called timeout with five minutes left and invoted Alec Baldwin to address the troops.

Remember Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, invoking the salesman’s creed:

“ABC. Always Be Closing.”

The Canadiens couldn’t close. And now they go to Carolina and return hom for a game against the Leafs that they may still need for either the postseason or a favourable seeding.

Positivity?

• The third and fourth lines gave everything they’ve got. They always do.

• The power play had some decent puck control. But everything happens on the right side, to the too-frequent exclusion of Markov.

• The PK – especially the oft-maligned Hal Gill – was heroic in OT.

• Ryan O’Byrne had 10 hits and blocked six shots, leading both teams in both categories. O’B outplayed his Norrisworthy partner. Along with Josh Gorges, he forms the B.C.-born heart of the Canadiens’ D.

• Jaro Halak made some brilliant saves, notably a robbery of John Tavares. 

Was the third Islanders’ goal stoppable? Was Jaro brutal in the shootout?

Will we see Carey Price in Carolina?

Yes, yes and no.

But no matter who’s in nets, the Canadiens will have a tough time with the Hurricanes – and, God save us, the Leafs – if the top two lines continue to spin their wheels.

Barring a total, pointless collapse and a miracle Rangers revival, the Canadiens will be playing hockey next week.

But if they play with the phlegmatic lack of intensity we saw on the Island, it will be another very quick exit, regardless of first-round opponent.

Such a frustrating team.

161 Comments

  1. Cable Guy says:

    All I can say is thank god there are no shootouts in the playoffs as Halak is brutal.

  2. Matt_in_TO says:

    Would they be as clueless as those who blamed Price for the loss in Buffalo or the loss to Carolina?

     

    - Guy Boucher for head coach

  3. Richrebellion says:

    I think everyone needs to calm down about JM and the team, our biggest problem has been scoring since our best scorer hasnt been scoring! Its only a matter of time until he breaks out of this slump. This team has become very good defensively allowing 3 goals or more only twice over the last 11 games. Once the scoring starts coming around with pouliot and cammi we will be fine. The good thing is weve been winning alot of close games and thats what the playoffs is all about.

    Really starting to like o’byrne at one point i thot he was a lost cause but he starting to show that he can be a very good shutdown d. Very happy to see him come around.

  4. Chuck says:

    Well, thank God that shootouts aren’t a part of the playoffs.

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  5. Tis Himself says:

    All in can say right now is GO LEAFS GO!!!

  6. J. Ambrose says:

    Oops. Just realized that the Bruins have three left. Damn.

  7. Matt_in_TO says:

    Results which Jaro didn’t deliver tonight

     

    - Guy Boucher for head coach

  8. zozotheclown says:

    I actually think Laps was a good idea for the shootout, he had a great game, he scored on a breakaway and on top of all that he has a decent shootout record, 1-3 at the time I think. Its a good way for a coach to reward hard work, and he did deserve it this time. Plus theres nothing really to lose, shootout is pretty much a crapshoot, and most if not all of our players are pretty awful at it, so your chances are as good with Laps as they are with Gomez, if not better because he was hot.

  9. J. Ambrose says:

    Alright, I’m ending my evening with positive thoughts.

     

    • Pleks continues to play inspired hockey. 
    • AK46 looked mighty good right up until that idiotic penalty in OT. Was winning most of the battles along the boards and behind the net, and made a sick pass on Pleks’ goal. 
    • Brother Sergei again tantalized us with flashes of how dominating he can be. And not just in the offensive end. He did some great work in the defensive zone.
    • Gionta continues to confound those who measure talent by height. Standing amongst three Isles towering over him like Sequoias, and he still gets to the puck, and scores!
    • Gorges was brilliant. Our best defenseman tonight by far.
    • Laps showed why, when he keeps his trap shut, and just skates, hits, and skates, he is a genuine threat out there. That’s not the first highlight goal we’ve seen from him. He has real talent.
    • O’Byrne continues to develop as a physical presence in our end. He is quietly, effectively doing his job.
    • Most important of all: we got a road point, and the Bruins need to win both of their remaining games to pass us. And the Rangers need to win all 3 of their last games (including against the Caps) just to have a chance of passing us.  

     

     

  10. MocaJoe says:

    Get Patrick Roy behind the bench… we all know he’s not a passive coach.

  11. megagoten says:

    i wonder if price was in nets and playing at the bell centre, what would’ve happened..

    oh wait, it did happen, and he got booed

    the city is clearly biased against price ( gainey’s legacy )

  12. rogieshan says:

    Let’s hope Ron Wilson & his Leafs don’t do his Team USA buddy Tortarella any favours tomorrow. 

  13. Rainrocket16 says:

    Agreed, Why Max was in the shootout is redicoulus. SK, AK, Pouliot, Gomez, WTF??

    ——-US Born Habs fan, Proud to be a traitor (when it comes to Hockey).

  14. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    I thought the Buffalo shutout was good.

  15. megagoten says:

    haha some guys on rds talkback posted that the habs had in fact clinched playoff due to rangers and flyers facing off twice..

    they got struck by the lightning hammer that is math

  16. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Thank you Mr. Boone for not taking a shot at JM.  

  17. J. Ambrose says:

    One thing is clear, er, no clear-er after tonight: this team is capable of success only when their goaltender plays lights-out, kitty-bar-the-door, stone-wall tending. If he lets up just a bit, we are sunk because we simply haven’t the 60 minutes juice to out-skate, and especially out-hit our opponents. By the 43 minute mark, our guys are peeling away from checks and by-passing the corners. Except for Pleks and Moen who play hard all the time. When the push-back comes from the other team, we can’t resist, and we can’t up the tempo. And JM clearly is incapable of making in-game adjustments. His between game prep is first-rate. But thinking on his feet is not his forté.

  18. fun police says:

    this is the nhl.  washington beats pittsburgh who beats toronto who beats washington.  parity, get used to it.  this is why there is no sure easy pick for the stanley cup.  

  19. fun police says:

    why do you even cheer for the habs?  why come back game after game if you can’t find any positives?  you are like the anti-tony robbins.  i don’t think there is a more negative person on here.  rest assured, after every loss, you 1)bash gainey 2)Bash Gomez 3)bring up the amount of money hockey players make and show no pride.  i used to enjoy your posts, but they are old now.  if there is absolutely nothing about the habs you like, move on.  you have that right.

  20. joeybarrie says:

    Usually I see a ridiculous gloomy outlook on a particular subect from you. A doomsday worst. This time, you are off base, overdramatic and just plain naive. And so far im putting it nicely. To say players like Cammi and Gomez have no heart, no shame, and no pride is just stupid. AND AGAIN IM PUTTING IT NICELY. You clearly have no clue what your talking about, and obviously have never paid attention to either players careers. Pouliot has not yet had time to get a proper reputation. Things have always been like this here. First Ryder is a brilliant players, diamond in the rough.  Then he is useless ad should shove on for a bag of pucks. THEN he does well in Boston, and its Gainey is an idiot for letting him go. Now all of a sudden he is quiet and he was always useless.  Pleks, same thing, Cammalleri was one of the hottest scorers in the league, and the best this team has seen in a long while. He got injured and before we give him a chance to get back into it, he is a waste. I mean come on. LETS GET BACK TO REALITY. What a croc.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  21. hab lifer says:

    trouble is, this team is a clone of their coach- PASSIVE!

    and until JM is gone, this team will not have a killer instinct, and will continue to blow leads in 3rd periods, by playing games NOT TO LOSE, rather  than playing games TO WIN.

    this team gives you gray hair, if you don’t already have some.

    they are exasperating. We never know which team will show up, if they show up at all.

    their D was awful tonight, and I’ve never seen a team with more difficulty in completing passes. I watch other teams play and marvel how they string passes together. When I watch the habs, I’m always holding my breath wondering if they’ll put the puck on their teammate’s stick.

    theoffence: on offence, they never look like they’re going to score as ther’s a huge lack of cohesion and chemistry.

    the defence: can never clear the puck out of their own end. Even NYI look better with their clearing attempts and much better passing team. I can honestly see 2 years from now, the Isles better than the habs.

    and habs have absolutely no talent on this team. In fact I will go as far as saying this is the worst offence habs team in about 50 years.

    it’s not a fluke that the habs are 30th in the league in even strength goals. THEY JUST CAN’T SCORE!

    if they could score they would be putting away teams like the Islanders. and don’t expect major changes next year. Gainey assured that by his ridiculous contracts, and taking away all cap space.

    This team is a mess as a result of Gainey’s actions. He is the 1 to blame. I see dark days ahead with bottom finishes for this team. It’s downhill the next few years thanks to Gainey. To bad he turned out to be a  coward, refusing to stick around long enough to accept responsibility  for this crappy team.

    just fed up with this team. next week at this time, habs will be eliminated from the playoffs, so all this was for nothing. Next Thursday will be tee off time on the links for these bums anyways.

  22. habaholic68NJ says:

    Habs are not allowed to finish.  It does not exist within JM’s ‘SYSTEM’

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    Excuses for his post-game press scrum to explain the loss.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    I can’t see Martin retiring to become a motivational speaker, can you! I always wondered what he constantly writes in his note pad on the bench. Maybe he is putting down notes for a book later in retirement.

  25. coachdoug says:

    Was traveling to Denver during the game cathing the ticker on ESPN…Rough night for the Habs…This team does not know how to finish…

    Hoping they are all saving it up for the playoffs…if they make it!

    “Power to the Turtleneck!”

  26. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    Yahooo! Ryan who? No goalie can stop us now. 

    Considering all the injuries, I thought this team wouldn’t make it. But, you know what would be the icing on the cake? You know it too, Timo. Patrice F. Brisebois to a 1-year deal.

  27. Harani says:

    Cammi…I think he wants it but is afraid about his leg. He seems to have lost his jump but still trying. As long as he can deblock come playoff time and if gomez can perform like he always does in the playoffs, it would all come together well. 

    If I’m not mistaken, Gomez is one of the top playoff performers post-lockout with 39 pts in 37 games.

  28. habaholic68NJ says:

    Timo.  The team is not as bad a you paint it.  The main problem is this joke of a coach who has no clue how to use the assests that he actually has on the team.  Third period defensive shell and shoot-out lineup tonight are prefect examples.  JM has cost us at least 10 points in the standings this year.

  29. SeriousFan09 says:

    Right because the New York Rangers, Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild are such well-known Contender teams with brilliant foresight about what makes a Winning team with brilliant management and top coaching?

    Timo, I’ve grown used to your negativity and attitude towards the NHL players getting paid their massive salaries but avoid the delusional nonsense, those three teams wouldn’t know quality players or how to develop them if they sat in their front offices and offered to work for free.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  30. Harani says:

    Timo…I do have tickets to the last game. As a matter of fact, they were the first pair purchased for this season because my family wanted me to go at any cost in case our playoff hopes came down to it. I’ve got all my bases covered!

    “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  31. zozotheclown says:

    This team has trouble winning without absolutely perfect goaltending, which is unfair to expect, but probably somethign we’ll need for at least this year. We should be very thankful we have two solid netminders, imagine this team with Philly goaltending, we’d be below Toronto.

    We should still make the playoffs, but once again we’re backing in and our recent lack of success (minus games Jaro stole) points towards a very tough opening series. I would be very surprised to see us in round two, but its the playoffs and anything can happen, so go habs go.

  32. ProHabs says:

    I hate this team for not letting me go to bed tonight with the peace of mind knowing that they will at least make the playoffs this year.

  33. G-Man says:

    Fighting it out until the end is a good thing. Watching a team like this season’s edition is frustrating. Pouliot, where have you gone?

  34. G-Man says:

    The 3 you mentioned are NOT a problem. They replaced others that could NOT win. Mediocrity is the NY Islanders, Atlanta, etc.

  35. Rob says:

    i know you didn’t intend it that way, but your comment is right on the money.  He IS one of the few fans who actually likes this team….you know, the HABS?!?!?!  Alot of ye seem to fall into one of those “other” categories: Hab fans because your parents told you to be. Hab fans when you’re not to busy listening to emo music. Hab fans who aren’t actually hockey fans.  I don’t know…there’s a bunch.  Either that or you’re just a bunch of whinny little …….nah, can’t be that. :P

  36. badbalance says:

    All i can say is GOLF LEAFS GOLF!!!

  37. The M says:

    You seem to be one of the few fans who actually likes this team.

    He was making a reference to how Gomez, Gionta, Camalleri will be around for five years because of their ridiculous contracts and locking the Canadiens down into a position of mediocrity.

    Gainey should be blamed, along with the coach and the average players who will be around for the next half-decade.

  38. andrewberkshire says:

    Obviously less skilled? Bit of a stretch, even if it is just to make a point.

  39. andrewberkshire says:

    And he’s let in about 4 straight goals now, back to his normal.

  40. Matt_in_TO says:

    LOL.  I may be one of the biggest Price fanboys here, so what.

    I’m a fan of the team first.  The logo on the front means more than any of the names on the back.  I don’t care who’s in net as long as the team wins.  Carey happens to be my favourite player on the team so naturally I cheer a little more for him.  Much like I did with Patrick growing up followed by Saku.

    To be honest I like both our goalies and have nothing against Jaro.  He’s played great this year.  The only reason I like to spout off is because of the Price-haters who are so quick to lay blame of his feet even when it’s not his fault.  It’s almost become like a sport onto itself.

     

    - Guy Boucher for head coach / Member of Team Price

  41. Clay4bc says:

    Ah…now I understand! For the longest time I just couldn’t figure out why you preferred the obviously less skilled Price over Halak. And the answer is…xenophobia! Don Cherry would be proud of your comment!

    _________________

    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  42. Clay4bc says:

    I think you need to check into Halak’s record in shootouts…he has been spectacular this season.

    _________________

    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  43. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Classic.  Blame Gainey… cause the team sucks right?  Neglect to mention how 14 other teams don’t make it?

  44. Kristopher7 says:

    ??? They need to suck it up. If they keep like this they will clearly be swept in 4-5 games in the first round.

  45. Exit716 says:

    Jaro hasn’t delivered anything yet.

    A chance at the playoffs two minutes away, and a weak assed sissy boy goal.

    Wow. That’s the guy you pin your hopes on?

    Jaro Huet, Cristobal Halak.

    Dime a dozen Euro flash in the pans.

     

  46. Matt_in_TO says:

    I think it’s the way in which they lost that’s the reason.

     

    - Guy Boucher for head coach

  47. Fargo Habs Fan says:

    Perhaps it was Gainey’s strategy all along to handcuff us with huge, immovable contracts and two ”top” lines that can’t score.  Maybe he signed these players in order to get the next five years worth of lottery picks like so many here advocate.  Hell, that’s probably why he defended Price so vigorously, knowing he’d have a rough year.  Gainey’s plan just went to crap when Jaro played lights out.

    So, rather than blame Gainey, who had a plan, we should really blame Jaro for ruining the whole darn thing.

    :-)  Nothing like backing in to the playoffs year after freaking year.

    -Dustin-

    “The good thing about drinking during games is if they lose, you’re too drunk to care during and too hungover to care after.” – J.T.

  48. Matt_in_TO says:

    Things will be a little different next year (PK) and who knows what PG will try and do in the off season. 

     

    - Guy Boucher for head coach

  49. andrewberkshire says:

    So much negativity, you’d think we’d gotten blown out, not lost a skills competition.

  50. Matt_in_TO says:

    I’m still very much a member of Team Price.  However this team has a bigger issue and that’s behind the bench.  I can revert back to it if you want.

     

    - Guy Boucher for head coach

  51. dicktracy says:

    Yes I agree absolutely. It seems to me we are missing that leadership that the captain brings to a team. The guys should finally choose their leader.

  52. The Juice says:

    I agree with you. Compare this team’s offense to the 07-08 team that could seemingly score at will and led the NHL in goals…no contest.

  53. Exit716 says:

    Why worry?

    This is the team Montreal has and will have for the next five years thanks in large part to Gainey.

    By the way, Mr. Boone, great reference to Glengarry Glen Ross…

     

  54. showey47 says:

    I don’t know timo,the flames are minutes from being eliminated cause they can’t score goals,sounds like they might miss the guy who scored 39 goals for them last year. Lats has like 3 goals in his last 15 or something and looks like the rangers will probably be the team on the outside looking in unless they win their last 3 in regulation and everybody else loses in regulation. Just saying. Obviously tonight sucked and it was frustrating to lose the way we did. But we didn’t get to where we are by having no heart,pride or shame. Cause if we did,what does this say about the teams below us in the standing?

  55. SeriousFan09 says:

    Naming the Captain should never fall to the coach with the Montreal Canadiens, traditionally it was a players vote that selected the new captain of the team. I say if the playoffs are clinched, hold a team vote for the new captain, we need a leader for the playoffs.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  56. dicktracy says:

    Perhaps if we named/had a captain. If Martin doesn’t have the style to wake up/motivate the team.. lets say between periods or even on the bench, then maybe having a designated ‘C’ who the guys respect and is not afraid to do a bit of yelling when needed wouldn’t hurt. Anyway why not name a captain now, its not as if they will have a better idea of who to give the ‘C’ next year. And next year is next year anyway.

  57. Danno says:

    Leafs are trying to lose against the Rangers. Something that comes
    naturally to them.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  58. benjo says:

    Mike,

    I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your coverage and play analysis of each game. About last night is my favourite read folloiwing each game. Your comments are insightful, objective and never disparaging even after frustrating, disappointing and inconsistant games like last night. I know you bleed red, white, and blue like most of us do and objectivity when you are in your seat has to be difficult. Your handling of the goaltending issue has been great. We are blessed with two of the best goalies in the league and we should be grateful for that. I wish the bloggers would get a grip and stop the Price bashing. I have been a Halak supporter since Huet played here but I also realize the worth of Price. Carey’s problem originated with general management when they put him on such a high pedestal without really having proven himself. This young man will develop into a great one, too bad we never gave him the time. And Mike…as for you…keep up the good work and I hope JM and company read your stuff because they could learn something.

  59. likehoy says:

    if we want to upset someone in the playoffs…we have to play tight defensively and score opportunistic goals. we have some fire power, but our style or something i dont’ know has hindered a lot of the talent that we have. Last night was a good example of what the K brother can bring to offensive flair ON OCCASION, but it doesn’t happen every night or every shit but it can be there. Gomez and Gionta play North South games, but we need a bit of the East-West game to open up the North-South and as long as Cammy’s not clicking, I can’t see us doing any real playoff damage regardless of who we face.

    we say we want to play buffalo in the first round, but buffalo faces the exact same situation as we do, except that they’ve been playing the style since day 1 and have been getting ready for this all year, while we lacked identity for the most part (gelling period)

    - Team Halak V.S. Team Price…Montreal Canadiens Fans are similar to 14 year-old Girls going through Puberty.

  60. Chris says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with you on that front. I’ve looked into that stat as well. People point to the “miracle” Habs of 1993 and 1986, but don’t realize that those were actually very, very good NHL teams that benefitted from the elite teams getting upset by other teams.

    In a seven game series, ANY team in the NHL can beat anybody else. A goalie can get hot or cold, an offence can slump badly, a key injury can derail a team’s momentum, etc. But the statistics of a mediocre team having everything go right for a month or more really start to work against those lower ranked teams winning it all. Edmonton and Calgary are two recent examples of lower seeded teams that did make a run at the Stanley Cup. But generally, the cream will rise to the top over the course of the playoffs.

    If the Habs were a consistent team, than I could make an argument that they have a chance. But the fact of the matter is that they are wildly inconsistent, often playing like Stanley Cup contenders and lottery-pick contenders in the same game. Teams with that level of inconsistency rarely make deep runs in the playoffs.

    There are other ways to build than the popular tank: great (and unbelievably lucky!) drafting, smart forays into free agency and trades. But there is no question that high (top-5) draft picks are often an easy way to contention.

  61. GrimJim says:

    For the record, Hobbits are bigger than smurfs…

    But I get what you’re saying, the Habs are not Brobdingnagian

  62. B says:

    Nit Pick: While Cammalleri has not scored in his last 10 games, he has only been back from his knee injury for 7 games.

  63. likehoy says:

    the guy has incredible offensive talent..but he’s not shooting, not hitting the net, and not getting open. he tries to do stuff himself a little too much a la kovalev…but let’s be honest, cammalleri is soft like pudding and not 6’1 like kovy. cammy’s gotta let kostitsyn and pleks get the puck and just get open, KISS philosophy

    - Team Halak V.S. Team Price…Montreal Canadiens Fans are similar to 14 year-old Girls going through Puberty.

  64. petrov14 says:

    I totally agree, and Martin F. Brodeur is just looking to score a few more goals….

    ______________________________________ Lets name a Captain…..or does it even matter anymore?

  65. petrov14 says:

    I like Gio as well, but I might be biased…

    ______________________________________ Lets name a Captain…..or does it even matter anymore?

  66. B says:

    Cammalleri is taking about as many shots as he usually does, but his aim and timing are still not right yet. I agree that he does not seem to be finding his open shooting spot either lately. Hopefully all that stuff returns in the next two games. He is a soft player, but that can be overlooked when he is producing. Unfortunately when he is not producing, he does not seem to offer much else. Oh and Kovalev is 6’2″ (sorry, I am a nit picker).

  67. Chris says:

    Hamrlik can not take less money next year…he has one year remaining on his current deal and NHL contracts can not be re-negotiated.  So he is chewing up $5.5 Million of the Habs’ cap unless they can find a buyer for him.  And to be honest, I really can’t see anybody taking him off the Habs’ hands until the trade deadline because of the size of his contract and the lack of offensive production.

    My two cents:

    Not going anywhere:

    • Gionta, Gomez, Hamrlik, Spacek ==>  unmovable due to contracts
    • Cammalleri ==>  invaluable sniper
    • O’Byrne, Gorges, Moen  ==> useful role players on affordable deals
    • Halak and Price ==>  Halak is the #1 for now, and Price isn’t going anywhere while his trade value is so low
    • Pacioretty, Subban, White ==>  will get their chances next season.  White is higher than Pyatt on my depth chart because he brings some much needed physical play, unlike Pyatt.

    Pretty much have to re-sign:

    • SK74, Lapierre and Pouliot ==>  young and probably still relatively cheap, they must be re-signed if the team has any hope of signing everybody and still having some offensive punch.  The team also doesn’t have any real upgrades in the system.

    What do you do with these guys?

    • Plekanec ==>  same player as Gomez…can the team afford to keep him?  Better question…can they afford to lose him with no viable scoring line centers in the system ready to make the jump?
    • Bergeron ==>  hard to say…Subban is NOT the answer on the first-wave power play as he and Markov will not play well together (Subban needs to be on the left-point for one-timers as a right handed shot, but Markov is ineffective at the right point) so there might still be space for Bergeron on a cheap contract after a summer of working on his forward positioning.
    • Pyatt and Maxwell ==>  smply not showing much that suggests they are going to amount to much in the NHL, and they are just more of the same type of player of which the team already has a surplus.
    • Moore ==>  probably re-signed unless he asks for a stupid amount of money.
    • Darche ==>  useful player, but his role could be filled by a younger player with upside.  Darche has reached his career potential.

    Trade bait

    • Gill ==>  might have some trade value as a veteran, somewhat affordable defenceman with a Stanley Cup ring, freeing up a spot for Subban.
    • AK46 ==> barring a big playoff push from Kostitsyn, I think his time in Montreal might be drawing to a close…his inconsistency is giving the coaching staff and administration premature gray hairs.  Style of play and attention to defensive duties really does not fit a Jacques Marting coached or managed team.
    • Carle ==>  too many players in front of him, and I suspect he’s chomping at the bit for a real shot at an NHL job.  Subban has passed him on the depth chart, so he’s the odd-man out for at least another year.
  68. Rick Chartraw says:

    The biggest problem I see with this team is exactly what MB pointed out, the inability to close out games.  I wish that I would’ve made a note of the number of games in which the opposition scored to either tie the game or take a one-goal lead.  Does someone with time on their hands want to review the 82 game season to see how many points were given up in the final five minutes.  I just assume they are going to let in a goal in the last few minutes. Contrast this with the Eastern Conference champs from two years ago when they scored numerous times to win games they had no business winning.  This is the difference between a top team and a team struggling to make the playoffs.  

  69. Chris says:

    Speaking of Kovalev, the stat that always blew me away about him is that he is now listed at 6’1″ or 6’2″ (depending on the site you reference) and 215-222 pounds. His peak playing weight was up around 230 pounds while with Montreal, but then he dropped a fair bit of weight.

    The crazy thing…when Kovalev was drafted he weighed something like 175-180 pounds. So over his career, he put on 40-50 pounds, almost all of it muscle. Wow.

    When you see pictures of him in his rookie season he is a little beanpole. Just incredible how hard some of these guys work to get into peak shape during their careers.

  70. B says:

    I was always suspicious of the huge amount of muscle he added after his rookie season. I read that he works out hard, but that much added muscle (40+ pounds?) made me wonder about something like steroids.

  71. Shublips says:

    Habs offense needs to get going and, in particular, Cammalleri and Kostitsyn.  If those two can find the net over the next two games and beginning of playoffs, AND the 4/3th lines keep scoring, this could become a lethal team, a la the 6-game winning streak.

    Here is what Habs Addict.com has to say about it:
    http://www.habsaddict.com/2010/04/montreal-long-island-habs-blow-lead.html

  72. B says:

    I am too lazy to calculate your final 5 minute query, but Montreal is ranked 15th in win% (.867) when leading after 2 periods. This is actually better than their 23rd ranking in win% (.655) when leading after 1 period.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/teamstats.htm?fetchKey=20102ALLAAAAll&sort=winPctAfterLead2P&viewName=recordWhenLeading

  73. Bob Barker says:

    Anyone think Pouliot can be moved back to center in case Pleks walks? He played center all through junior. He’s going through a slump right now but so is basically everyone on the team. 

    Also, as Boone pointed out, O’Byrne was great last night. He threw some huge hits. Exactly the type of physical presence we need. Halak wasn’t perfect but that save on Tavares was. 

  74. B says:

    It was great to see O’Byrne play well and not be shaken by stumbling and almost putting it in his own net the game before. He never seemed to get his game properly back last season after putting it in his own empty net.

  75. Hammer says:

    Great teams go for the juggler, mediocre, bubble teams try to hold on for a win. Unfortunately, the Habs are in the second group. They are living up to their billing.

  76. RetroMikey says:

    I’d like us to play Buffalo to  Washington( yes, we can play them skill for skill), that means finishing in 6th or 8th place.

    We cannot beat Pittsburgh or New Jersey, but as everyone Tom, Dick or Harry Habs fan on this site says, ” Yes , we can!”

    It’s all up to the players, we are healthy, strong, have grit, have character, know the system?, it all falls onto the players.  No excuses.

    Easier said than done.

    Our playoff comes down to the last game, I feel it will be closer than what is expected, no gimme W here.

    Last night’s game was pathetic and how can you have high expectactions for this team if they make the playoffs?

    Bah humbug I say!  Have we really improved in the 5 years of this club compared to to other NHL teams who were weaker than us seasons ago  like Washington, Pittsburgh, Chicago to name a few?

    How to you build a playoff contender?  I wanna know.

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  77. G-Man says:

    The Rangers and Thrashers are toast. Habs will be 8th at worst.

  78. The Cat says:

    Of all the teams fighting for a playoff spot last night, only the habs and thrashers got outshot. But what hurts is that the habs were playing against a team that has nothing to play for.

  79. habsfan0 says:

    If you listen to WGR 550 in Buffalo,the one team fans in that city seem to dread meeting in the opening round is Montreal,not Ottawa even though the Senators have owned the Sabres this year. I also believe the Habs’ best chance for an upset in the first round is against Buffalo.

  80. JF says:

    It seems we like to do things the hard way.  Playing a lottery-pick team and with a chance to clinch a playoff spot, we came out flat, and the Islanders were all over us in the first period.  A very good second period, in which we went up by a goal and seemed to take control of the play, was followed by an up-and-down third period.  Hamrlik’s mistake allowed the Islanders to tie it at 2, and Halak was less than stellar on their third goal, ditto in the shootout.  But I knew that had to happen after two outstanding performances.  It’s worrying that our top scorers are snakebitten but heartening that the powerplay scored and that we again got a contribution from our fourth line.  I also find it encouraging that Cammalleri hit the post in the shootout; it’s the closest he’s come in his seven games back from injury.

    To clinch a playoff berth we need one mosre point, which may not be easy to get against Carolina and Toronto.  But even as things are, there is only one scenario which would see us miss the playoffs: the Rangers would have to beat Toronto tonight and win both games against Philly, one of them in overtime.  Possible, but not as likely as our getting one point out of our last two games.  But I’m hoping the leafs will settle it tonight by doing to the Rangers what they did to us three years ago.

  81. Big Ted says:

    Watching this team down the stretch, let’s ask ourselves who we would want to bring back to form the nucleus of the club for next year. This is not the question of who would you trade for whom to make your ideal roster, I just want to know which players you would build around if you’re Pierre Gauthier. Here’s what I think (line combinations not necessarily how I would use them)

     

    Halak- Price

     

    Markov – O’Byrne

    ?- Subban

    Gorges- ?

     

    ?- Plekanec- Cammalleri

    Pouliot-Gomez-Gionta

    SK74-Moore-?

    Pyatt-Lapierre-?

     

    I think at this point, you can’t keep all of Hamrlik, Spacek, and Gill, and Mara is gone for sure. I’d like to see Hamrlik stay if he took less money though. Up front, AK46 has worn out his welcome. He plays some good games from time to time but he has Alex Kovalev’s enigmatic performances without any of the flare. Moore is a younger player than Metropolit, and Moen plays with heart but he is not fast and in my opinion, doesn’t use his size enough. Would like to see guys like Weber, Carle, White, Desharnais, etc. get a shot at making the club, but we need to find a power forward (what’s new) for the first line or we’re toast.

     

     

     

  82. Danno says:

    Boone, you were teased like that in Grade 11? You poor, poor man… Now I understand.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  83. RetroMikey says:

    We lack consistency on this team.

    I expected tough games in the last 2 weeks, only the Canadiens can determine their fate.

    But if they make the playoffs, we’re going to get physically punished and our smurfs are going to be Hobbitts and there will not be no offensive power or defense on this team.

    Poor Jaro, poor Jaro.

    But at least the Montreal fans get to see this team 2 more times at the Bell Centre.

    Whatever I say, whatever.

     

     

     

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  84. Mike Boone says:

    Dude, you don’t know the half of it. It was 1965 and … I don’t want to talk about it.

  85. SlovakHab says:

    I don’t have any comments about the last night. I am just really frustrated by Cammalleri, Gomez and Pouliot. Clutch time of the season and they can’t score. Pathetic.

  86. habs001 says:

    i think we can beat the sabres….if you look at the capitals forwards roster it is very impressive both scoring  stats wise and physical  size wise…i would rather play them in the second round as in the first round the majority of the games would like the third period in philly…in the first round we will not get the same caps we saw in the reg season series…

  87. docketrocket says:

    Let’s play Halak in regulation and OT and Price for shootouts. Halak played a great game but made himself smaller than even he already is as he backed into the net.

  88. HardHabits says:

    A sobering stat for everybody who’s excited about the Habs making the playoffs. In the last 10 years only one team that finished lower than 4th over-all has won the Stanley Cup. Can you name that team? I’ll give you a hint; last year’s Pittsburgh Penguins at 9th over-all. The Devils won the Cup twice in that 10 year span coming in at 4th both times, the Red Wings twice coming in 1st, every other team was 3rd over-all or better. 

    Everybody gets on my case because I am supposedly the tanking guy. It’s more complicated than that. Tanking alone isn’t the answer, but drafting high is the first step, and without assetts to trade and a willingness to trade them there is only one other way to draft high. The Habs are going to squeek into the playoffs higher than 8th only because the East is so weak. Over-all the Habs are 16th-17th. If you look back almost every team that has won the Cup since 1980 has been in the top 10 over-all. That’s the place to be. Can the Habs get there and stay there is the question. 10th to 20th is not good enough certainly not the bottom half of that section which is where the Habs are, playoffs or not. 

    If 10th to 20th is all the Habs can muster than 20th to 30th for a few seasons would be better because with that a team can conceivably build a top 10 team via the draft. Can this team be a top 10 team in the upcoming years with the current nucleus? I don’t think they can without a better defensive corps and more size up front. I love Cammy, Plex, Gio, and Gomez as Habs because they are each individually great players. They’re all small however, and in the crunch that size differential spread out over two lines could prove to be the Habs undoing not just this year in the play-offs but in the upcoming seasons.

    I want the Habs to be a contender for the Cup not a contender for the playoffs. 16th place teams don’t win championships.

  89. Cee_8ch says:

    After watching all the Habs games on RDS this season, I would hope that many others would agree with me that if you had to name the one Hab player who game in and game out was their steadiest player, with never an off night – it would have to be Josh Gorges. Let alone the fact he never misses a game, never seems to get hurt, always available.

    I just don’t think fans give him the credit he deserves or appreciate him to the extent they should. Sure other guys play well here and there and score goals, but Gorges never has a bad game. And I am not related to him nor has he ever dated my sister!!!!!

  90. DearyLeary says:

    Another case of we lose in spite of Jaro, and lose because of Price.  I can’t wait to see the package we get for Halak, just to see him implode just like every other goalie that has overachieved in Montreal.

  91. likehoy says:

    sorry, have to go with tomas plekanec.

    there was a stretch in december/january where gorges was TERRIBLE. giveaway after giveaway, and losing puck battles galore behind the goal line and pinching in from the point or joining the rush when markov’s on the ice and getting caught for it. when markov’s your partner, you let markov jump in the rush. Gorges has found his stride playing along gill, but didn’t work out with markov.

    - Team Halak V.S. Team Price…Montreal Canadiens Fans are similar to 14 year-old Girls going through Puberty.

  92. Danno says:

    In spite of all the gloom and doom, we have raised our chances to make the playoffs to almost 100 per cent.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  93. JD_ says:

     “A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.” – Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross

    Clinch.

    What a great word.

    It is derived from a combination of clin, from the Latin clinus - which loosely translates into choke with a late third-period, one-goal lead - and, of course, CH.

    It’d be easy to blame Halak except for the fact he cannot possibly be expected to stand on his head every single game. I’m most certainly not complaining; 3 goals on 42 shots is a 0.929 SV%. (I grudgingly employ 0.929 despite the fact the % label technically implies 92.9 should be used. If 0.929 were the actual SV% , then we’d be talking Ron Low, mid-1970s.)

    I am, however, complaining about the Habs’ chronic inability to close. No, we didn’t get blown out of the Nassau Coliseum – which, by the way, is actually the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, for those among you who relish resonating irony – but we handed back a game we had very slickly taken away.

    I’m not worried about making the team making playoffs nor having it all come down to Saturday night’s dance with the Loafs - *chest tightening* - but a favourable seeding is just that: a favourable seeding. When the Habs slapped Buffalo around in that 3-0 effort, they never backed off. Even late in the third, with the game seemingly well in hand, they continued to lay it on. Right up until the final siren. As such, there’s no reason to think the guys don’t have what it takes to close.

    I’d give the Isles props, and they are 6-3-1 over their last 10, but let’s just call it like it is: They suck s***cakes. I don’t give a flying F about a light sprinkling of sageful veterans mixed in with young, developing talent, playing nothing-to-lose, freewheeling spoiler hockey and other gushy, feel-good platitudes. They’re 24th in the league with a -31 goal differential for a reason. That reason is that they’re crap. And they’ll probably remain so for the foreseeable future. F them.

    Play an elite team and you can make excuses, as well.

    Why, when you think about it, the Habs should really never win a game.

    No more excuses. And that goes for Thursday and Saturday, as well.

    On a positive note, one has to be really happy for OB and the way he’s come along, in particular after some difficult episodes over the last couple of years. He isn’t perfect, but he’s clearly defining a solid niche for himself and should have a long and rewarding NHL career. Aside from his game-leading 6 blocked shots, this guy laid out 10 hits last night. That’s 10 hits, people. That’s more than Jason Spezza dishes out on the residents of an elderly residential home during one of his wood-alcohol binge blackouts.

    (Speaking of Jason Spezza, if you haven’t already seen this, and many of you probably already have, then you’re missing something. If this doesn’t make you crack a smile, let alone laugh out loud, you may have inadvertently passed away and should immediately make arrangements to have yourself cremated or otherwise.)

    And speaking of Glengarry Glen Ross, if you like well-scripted acting, it’s worth a look. Jack Lemmon’s Shelley Levene alone is worth the price of admission. The guy had chops, man.

    Let’s witness the Habs bring on a good ol’ fashioned canin’ tomorrow night, whaddaya say?

     JD

  94. Mr.Hazard says:

    Too bad Price couldn’t overachieve. Maybe Halak can teach him how.

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  95. Mike from Ktown says:

    From a fans standpoint I think we can put an X beside the habs.  There is one senario where we don’t make it into the dance.  We are playing for positioning now.

  96. somerslovesthehabs says:

    anybody think we can win more than 1 game in the first round???

    I hope so, but really who do we hope to play???

    Ottawa is the only matchup I would like and that’s not possible so I think we are in trouble, hate to say it, but that’s reality…unless Jaro pulls a HUGE Roger Rabbit Easter Bugs Bunny out of his ***

  97. DearyLeary says:

    All I want is Price to play to his potential, which takes some time for most elite goaltenders in this league.  You take your flash in the pan, I’ll take a long term winner.

  98. Chris F says:

    Bottom Line, we have to finish in 6th place. We can beat Buffalo. If we finish 7th or 8th, forget it. This is coaching time, you have two games remaining after playing 80. If you win both you are the 6th seed. Your opponents are at the bottom of the league. We must win the next two games. Especially against the loser leafs. This is when coaches earn their money, we’ll see if JM can earn his.

    Go Rangers Tonight, when they beat the leafs it will gaurantee the loser leafs finish in last, giving up a huge draft pick!!! Go Rangers!!!

  99. Chris says:

    Hard to say…the weight gain took place over a number of years (he played at 200 pounds through a lot of the 90′s I believe) and he is pretty reknown as a work-out fanatic in the Zdeno Chara mold.

    Throw in that a lot of these kids really ARE beanpoles at 18 and pack on the weight over the next couple of years and its possible he did it without steroids.  I’ve seen pretty massive weight gains time and time again for the kids in the OHL over a summer.  The most striking was Drew Doughty in the summer before his last OHL season…he had put on a crazy amount of weight.  In his case, a lot of it was unfortunately not muscle and he smartly dropped most of it again before his rookie NHL season.

  100. Jbell10 says:

    So close….I was looking forward to having a celebration brew! Instead a salty taste going to bed…

    Really surprised the boys let the Isles back in that game, unacceptable really.

    1. GET THE PUCK DEEP! If the Habs are going to play the shutdown game in the 3rd period make sure that puck gets behind the oppositions net. Too many times the habs were moving the puck up softly through the neutral zone and losing it at the NYI blueline…this just cannot happen.

    2. Killer instinct is a great way to describe the piece that is missing in CLOSING out these games, sitting back just doesnt work. Look at there defense!!!!! How can we give them so much room?! Gionta is the smallest guy on the team yet he plays the biggest in the corners and doesnt lose battles, give the guy the C already.

    3. Lapierre cannot shoot ahead of; Cammy, Gomez, Gionta, AK46, Sergei, Pleks, Markov, Pouliot. Heck I would rather see Big Hall coming down on a shootout instead of Laps…at least it will bring some comic relief along with it LOL.

     

  101. leafs67_andcounting says:

    We have to somehow hope the stars align and we play Buffalo in the first round. Yes, Ryan Miller is great, but he’s the only non-Quebec goalie in our potential 1st round opponents. And (with the exception of Gilles Gilbert) we all know how well home-grown goalies do when they visit. Theo’s great in the first round, but I’ll take my chances against him in round 2 (yes, perhaps a pipe dream) where he has a lifetime 2-16 record including a 15 game losing streak. (His 2nd round losing streak started in the same game as Michel Therrien was given an extra 2 minutes by Kerry Fraser)

  102. linp says:

    I’ll go with Gionta when he is healthy. Gorges assisted on the 2nd goal. But he and Gill were quite weak yesterday.

  103. linp says:

    I don’t care whether we play Washington, Buffalo or Pittsburgh. I just don’t want the team to play NJ. I want to see exciting playoff hockey.

  104. Habscore says:

    Imagine if each of them scored one goal, just one more goal last week and this week..we wouldn’t worry about a playoff spot right now…
    but then again, what if Cammi, Gio, and MAB weren’t injured… :S

  105. somerslovesthehabs says:

    surprised it took that long for someone to say Buffalo, I agree with you that we need to finish 6th but I am not so sure we can beat Buffalo just because we outplayed them the last couple of times…the playoffs are a different story I am afraid, winning in Buffalo would be tough and then having to come home to our home fans expectations, but hey who knows, never thought the Isles would dump the Pens to open up the way to the promised land in 93 either

     

    Go Habs Go

     

    that includes you too Cammy

     

     

  106. jbroderi says:

    regardless of who we keep in the summer, we’re riding Halak this year, so save the baseless criticism for the summer please, we have a cup to win!!!

     

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  107. Matt_in_TO says:

    I would rather see the Rangers lose tonight allowing us to clinch.  As much as I hate the Leafs and love seeing them at the bottom of the standings, let’s not forget who has that pick of theirs.  I would rather see Boston picking 4th or 5th rather than 2nd.

     

     

    - Guy Boucher for head coach

  108. Danno says:

    We can’t place our fate in the hands of the Leafs. My heart can’t take it.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  109. jbroderi says:

    No, you are right, they tend not to win, but look at Edmonton, Calgary, carolina last year, Anaheim and Minnesota a few years back.  even philly when they beat out the habs.  All these teams were at best 6th in the conference but all made noise.  Is montreal the best team, hell no, but after the first round, it is all up in the air.  Heroes are born, heroes fall.  The first round we will be underdogs for sure, and if we play like last night, we are complete toast, but once you make the dance and scrpae past the first round, you can start flipping coins, cause its all up in the air

    We do need a bonifide top pick though, we all know that for sure.

     

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  110. jbroderi says:

    Oh, I assumed that you were being teased by the ladies for looking so good!  My bad!

     

    “Do the day and let the day do you” JB

  111. Will Longlade says:

    I’ve watched the majority of the Hab’s games on RDS this season as well and have to agree that Gorges is one of the team’s unsung heroes and probably the second best d-man on the team. Unlike others on the team, he doesn’t take nights off. Small for a D-man, but plays big. Heart of a lion. I would never trade this guy although I’m certain he’s on other team’s wish lists (who hope to get him as an extra piece in a deal the same way the Habs did). 

     

  112. Will Longlade says:

    I watched the replay of the goal closely. IMO, Gorges moved out of the way to give Halak a good look at the puck. It was a perfectly placed shot and Halak had an off night. 

  113. Mr.Hazard says:

    I understand your point, but look at the stats. Halak has been steadily improving every season in the NHL, for three seasons, while playing more and more. That can hardly be considered a flash in the pan. Look at his SV% and GAA all the way back to junior! 

    Barring the Olympics, his GAA never went below 2.89 in his CAREER! All the way back to HC Slovan Harvard NINE YEARS AGO (he was what, 15?), and including N.A. junior, Slovak junior, Hamilton, his rookie season, and international competitions!

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  114. Danno says:

    Yes they are.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  115. Tis Himself says:

    The Toronto Maple Leafs are absolutely useless!!!

  116. HardHabits says:

    I disagree with what you’re saying. Read my post up above: Submitted by HardHabits on Wed, 04/07/2010 – 08:25.

  117. HardHabits says:

    Oddly enough, both NJ and Detroit won the Cup twice each in the last 10 years and that’s including the missed year of the lock-out. Detroit took a long time to get out of being on of the worse teams ever, back in the 80′s, but give Scotty Bowman credit and they’re scouting department, because they scored big time by going Russian in one era and Swedish in another. New Jersey was built upon early picks for the the whole of the 80′s. They got lucky with Brodeur but Lou kept the same concept going since Jacques Lemaire was coach and won their 1st Cup to this year’s full circle deja vu all over again with JL back behind their bench.

    Without a doubt those two organizations are the best run in the NHL. They are today what the Habs were yesterday. It still takes years to build an organization like that. The Habs miss the boat becuase they think they are a great organization by virtue of their history. Well they’re not by virtue of their recent past. They are in fact merely a well marketed franchise luckily in a hockey hotbed.

    The bottom line is both those teams at one point in their recent history were bottom feeders and for years at that.

    For example:

    Steve Yzerman >> Selected by Detroit Red Wings round 1 #4 overall 1983 NHL Entry Draft

    Scott Niedermayer >> Selected by New Jersey Devils round 1 #3 overall 1991 NHL Entry Draft

    Don’t tell me those teams never drafted high.

  118. HardHabits says:

    He’s being optimistic, unrealistically so. No lottery picks, no Cup. The Habs are forever a bubble team. The next 100 year’s legacy will be all about the Habs barely making the playoffs and never going far in them when they do. In the last 10 years only one team that wasn’t top 5 won it all and that was Pittsburgh last year at 9th. Devils won twice at 4th. Wings twice at 1st. Every other team was 3rd or better. 16th place teams don’t win Cups and rarely if ever compete for them (Edmonton being the anomoly).

  119. DMAN says:

    How many lottery picks have Detroit and New Jersey have.  Lottery picks are only one possible solution of many.  They haven’t seemed to help Atlanta for example.  Just because Pittsburgh and Washington have done it does not mean it is the only way to go.  I think with a few minor adjustments over the next couple of years and with smart draft picks (with whatever position we are left with) we can have a perrennial contender.  In my opinion Carey Price is going to be a huge part of this.  Now we may keep him and he turn into a great goaltender or we may trade him and get a high pick (due to his potential) or great prospect.

  120. TOEmastro says:

    did you forget that 2 years ago the habs finished 1st in the east?

    Bubble team my foot, this year we lost more man hours than a coma patient, and still made the playoffs

     

    I’m sick of you and the others whining, have YOU ever come back from knee surgery? it’s like getting used to walking on crutches, Cammy et al. has had a rough campaign and don’t give me this BS that we were only getting hurt because were small. Pouliot is a big boy who busted a wrist, Markov had is heel CUT, Cammy as mentioned went into the boards from a dangerous hit, Moen took a skate in the face, I CAN GO ON.

    This gloomy stat; the 16th place business, you can sell it in as many posts as you want, I’m not buying, nor should you because we’re NOT a 16th place team, we’re 6th on our side and that’s all thats matters

  121. Tis Himself says:

    The Leafs want Saturday night’s game to matter. It will be up to the Habs to make sure it doesn’t!

  122. HUDSONHAB says:

    Is there anything more tear-out-your-hair maddening in sports than being a Montreal Canadiens fan?

    NO!

    Since I lost my hair I have been afflicted with turrets. F**K! comes out of my mouth uncontrollably many times a game…..Hab4life

  123. Gr8stFranchizEvr says:

    Nothing nailbiting about any of this.  Habs make the playoffs no matter what.  It’s just a matter of seeding.  But, no matter who they play, they will bow out in 5 games or less. 

    I’m a die-hard fan, but (outside of sheer luck) this team is not cup-bound or even close to being a true contender.  I’m hoping for much more next year… a familiar tune for Habs’ fans over the last 17 years!

  124. DOAHABS says:

    Yes I agree the last 17 years plus another 13 on top of that, has not been impressive ,to say the least (again two exceptions ’86 & ’93 ……..and I don’t count losing to Calgary on Forum Ice as a good year in ’89,.the only team to win on Forum Ice otherthan the HAbs

     The Familiar battle Cry ,which was owned by both the Maple Leafs & the Canucks over the years is now the Habs annual noise maker….”Wait till Next Year” .Sadly ,as much as a Habs Fan as I’ve been over the decades and thats lots of them, I have to finally come to terms with te fact that the HAbs are Mediocre at Best….

    I suppose Cups throughout the 50′s 60′s 70′s has spoiled me, Only Two in the last few decades is not acceptable……..

     and aside from that tonight the leafs are not helping the cause….

  125. showey47 says:

    lmao al bundy,i love it. Polk high,4 touchdowns in one game.

  126. danedmunds says:

    JM sucks

  127. ooder says:

    no playoffs for the sutter brothers…

    ——————

    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  128. SeriousFan09 says:

    Wow, talk about a season of promises that ended badly, West Coast version of the Maple Loafs!

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  129. Matt_in_TO says:

    Literally too!  I think Sutter panicked hence the rebuilding half-way through the season.  You have to wonder what he was thinking when he took on so many players from the leafs, like they would know anything about winning.

     

    I wonder if he’ll try and move Jerome during the summer and start a rebuild.

     

    - Guy Boucher for head coach

  130. SeriousFan09 says:

    I don’t think he’ll have his job long enough to move Iginla.

     

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  131. Matt_in_TO says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens there.  I work with a guy who’s a Flames fan and he doesn’t think anything is going happen to Sutter.  I can see Sutter getting another shot at making it work but I wonder how patient they are going to be out there.

     

     

    - Guy Boucher for head coach

  132. 12cournoyer says:

    Same song as last year-back in and hope for the best.

    I do not want to make the playoffs this year. We need to be embarassed to make serious changes from the coach down.

    Time to move Spacek and Hamrlik. Bring up Subban and Weber.

    Sign Halak and Price.

    Move the brothers K.

    Trade for some prospects and let’s rebuild properly.

    This experiment has failed.

  133. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Ok.  You don’t have to watch when they make it.  We’ll watch and you can tune in again in October.

     

  134. Iceberg84 says:

    Yeah, all things considered, the only way we’ll miss the playoffs (if we lose the final two games) is if the Rangers win the next two in overtime giving the flyers two points. Unless I’m mistaken, but with Atlanta’s loss, then that’s all that matters.

    All the habs need to do is win the next two games and they play Buffalo in the first round, which shouldn’t be a bad matchup!

     

    Go Habs Go!

  135. Mr.Hazard says:

    My thoughts:

    O’Byrne has been excellent of late. He’s playing smart and physically.

    AK46 has also been good recently. I liked his hustle in today’s game. He made some mistakes, but it looked like he was trying more than usual.

    I would have liked Halak to have stopped at least ONE of those goals. My expectations of Jaro are stupidly high, but he’s the one that put them there! And whenever he delivers a sub-spectacular performance, it feels to me like he’s only playing average. GREAT EFFORT on the Tavares glove-save, highlight reel material.

    Speaking of which, Lapierre’s breakaway goal was BEAUTIFUL. But choosing him in the shootout was BAD IDEA. So was choosing snakebit Cammy. I would think generally Gionta is first-choice.

    Speaking of which, Gionta is gold. He was surrounded on ALL sides when he scored his goal: (goalie + 3 players). They were all about a head taller than him, but he fights for the puck nonetheless and pots the rebound. I’m feeling similar feelings toward him that I felt for Saku. (no homo!)

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  136. habs001 says:

    right now our formula to beat an elite team in the playoffs is to get out shot 2-1 …goal scoring chances 3-1 by the other team…be dominated most of the game ..have real problems getting out of our zone ..get unbelievable goaltending and score a few bad/flukey goals…how many years are we away when we can beat an elite team because we are better or just as good? looking at the roster and futures at least 4 years

  137. G-Man says:

    Need some more whine with your whine?

  138. habs001 says:

    the flyers and islanders made us look really bad in the third…how bad will we look if we play a fully motivated washington team with their 4 lines flying in to our zone…the islanders were pressing and taking chances yet we could not get too many offensive chances….

  139. SeriousFan09 says:

    I still say the best History Will Be Made commerical you can make about the Canadiens is featuring the infamous ’95 game and go with “What if Houle fired Tremblay than Quit?”

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  140. G-Man says:

    What if THE PLAYERS did that?

  141. The Cat says:

    JM takes away their icetime.

  142. petrov14 says:

    Id love to see that.

    ______________________________________ Lets name a Captain…..or does it even matter anymore?

  143. STZA says:

    I smell playoffs. And free wingz on Laffs Day. 

  144. bsl says:

    JM is the worst 3rd period coach I’ve ever seen. Even 1 more bloody point would likely assure the Habs 6th.

    And
    6th is huge. They can take Buffalo, and Pens or Caps could be knocked
    off by someone else, or suffer a big injury first round.

    JM you FAIL.

  145. deuce6 says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Mike…

    ..and I agree with danedmunds..

    ————– BRING THE JETS BACK TO WINNIPEG!!

  146. Cape Breton says:

    Could see it coming, though. A lead of any kind, particulary in the 3rd means defense coverage galore with this team.

    Too bad it doesn’t work a lot eh!

    So, who is the dude preaching this sickening style? 

    Answer: Jake the Benchboss, that’s who.

  147. SeriousFan09 says:

    Such a frustrating coach, a strategy when it comes to leads has been made obsolete by the compostion of post-lockout hockey. He will not change and our playoff fortunes will not change until we have better job requirement for coaching this team than “Parlez Francais?”

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  148. J. Ambrose says:

    I was cheering your statements right up until the final two words. You had to play the language card, didn’t you?!

  149. Willy the bum says:

    I have the feeling Brian Burke saw this site, noticing that we wanted the Leafs to win.

    Therefore, he informed the Leafs to lose on purpose.

    Losing to the Rangers to bring hard luck to the Habs…

    I think that game should be one of the greatest Leafs games in history.

  150. dwr vancouver says:

    Hasn’t anyone figured out that the Habs are already in the playoffs?  The only way for New York to pass Montreal is for NYR to win their last 2 games against Philly and if they do, then Philly will still be a point behind Montreal even if the Habs don’t pick up another point.

  151. megagoten says:

    i hate this bad creeping feeling.. the one where you get sucker punched out of the playoffs by the leafs

  152. Wamsley01 says:

    The only way that happens is if the Rangers sweep their final 3 games and the Flyers don’t lose both in regulation.

    If the Rangers lose 1 point they are out.

  153. thepriceiswrong says:

    uhh.. i guess the team doesnt play that much better in front of Halak… now do they????

    Dumbest statement ever.

    This team is simply mediocre bordering on becoming a bottom-dweller. Deal with it.

  154. Harani says:

    Like I mentioned in the other thread, the Islanders are NOT the second worst. They are the 6th worst team in the NHL, sitting ahead of Carolina, Columbus, Florida, Tampa, Toronto and the Oilers. 


  155. LongIslandHabsFan says:

    My brother and I were at the game tonight. With the exception of a brief flash in the 2nd and Max’s outstanding individual effort in the 3rd, where was the intensity? The Habs were the ones that looked like they had nothing to play for, not the Isles. Came out totally flat in the 1st in a game that could have clinched the playoffs. Sad.

  156. DMAN says:

    We have a captain – Josh Gorges – Don Cherry said so!

  157. Seven Days says:

    Check out the new 2010 Montreal Canadians Playoff Anthem CAlled Faster from SEVEN DAYS.

    GO check it out on youtube and spread the word

    GO HABS GO

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcKZeKBm6PI

  158. Krons says:

    If New York wins both games in Philly in OT or SO then the Rangers AND the Flyers are in… thus, the Habs would be out!!!

  159. bsl says:

    Exactly. Wrote the same thing 3 weeks ago…JM is the worst 3rd period coach I’ve ever seen. Even 1 more bloody point would likely assure the Habs 6th.

    And 6th is huge. They can take Buffalo, and Pens or Caps could be knocked off by someone else, or suffer a big injury first round.

    JM you FAIL.

  160. habs001 says:

    look at the leafs line up…if sat is a must game at home and we loose…we dont deserve to be in the playoffs…posters are more scared of the leafs than the capitals


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