About last night …

This is why they don’t schedule Stick Night.

It was a great win for your Montreal Canadiens, and maybe dwelling on the officiating is a mug’s game.

But man, that was brutal – and one can only hope that Paul Devorski and Eric Furlatt bumbled their way out of consideration for working the Conference finals.

Shall we enumerate the screw-ups?

• Ruslan Fedotenko tackles P.K. Subban at the Pittsburgh blueline to set up Maxime Talbot’s breakaway goal. No call.

• Sidney Crosby, the most hated man in Montreal, trips Roman Hamrlik during a Pittsburgh power play that was to produce Chris Kunitz’s goal. No call.

• In a replay of the Kyle McClaren hit that KOed Richard Zednik in 2002, Mark Eaton tried to take off Andrei Kostitsyn’s head. No call.

• At the end of the second period, Crosby’s styrofoam stick breaks on a harmless Hal Gill tap. The best hockey player in the world looks beseechingly at the officials, Gill is called and the Canadiens, trailing 2-1, begin the third period on the PK.


Even Don Cherry called the refs out.

Talk about the seventh man, the Canadiens had to cope with Pittsburgh’s seventh and eighth men – an ungainly clone of a Penguin in zebra stripes.

Bring back Kerry Fraser!

Even Chris Lee isn’t this bad.

I mean, seriously … lace up Stevie Wonder and give him a whistle.

(Shout-out to Habber 86 for the Gary Bettman and Crosby Photo Shop)

OK, I’m feeling better now.

But for 40 minutes, 21,273 fans were ready to strangle Devorski and Furlatt with white souvenir towels, many of which showered the ice 11 minutes into the third period after three no-calls in the Pittsburgh zone.

SeriousFan09 posted the night’s best Comment:

To this day, I always think that the Rocket punching a referee should have been the statue we erected at Centennial Plaza, would’ve perfectly captured the city’s feelings about the NHL’s bush league officiating.

Bottom line: the playoffs deserve better.

Credit the character and maturity of the Canadiens. 

After being dinged with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties during the Washington series, the players kept their cool … and, as usual, Jaro Halak kept the Canadiens in the game while they were being outshot 26-9 through two periods.

Finding themselves trailing by only a goal after being utterly dominated for 40 minutes, the Canadiens, Jacques Martin said, “needed our best third period of the year – and we got it.”

Fresh legs might have had something to do with it. Unlike his deployments in previous games, Martin did not shorten his bench unduly. He got quality minutes from all four lines, particularly when the Canadiens did a yeoman job of protecting their lead against the desperate Penguins through the game’s final minutes.

Martin singled out “les joueurs de soutien”, the supporting cast who played solid minutes and contributed goals by Tom Pyatt and Max Lapierre.

Martin also heaped praise on his defensive corps.

“Our blueline has stepped it up,” the coach said, despite missing two Top Four Dmen – Andrei Markov and Jaro Spacek.

Martin singled out Hal Gill and Josh Gorges, mentioning they’ve been matched against top scorers in two playoff series. Their performance, he said, “speaks volumes about their character, determination and commitment to their teammates and the organization.”

And the organization gets at least one more playoff game, Monday night at the Bell Centre.


Did Geoff Molson expect the playoffs to turn into a financial bonanza?

Did Montreal fans expect the bleu-blanc-rouge to be playing hockey this month?

This is sweet.

The darling buds of May are blooming primarily because of Jaro, who was lights-out again in making 33 saves.

But everyone is contributing.

Almost certain to leave Sergei Kostitsyn in Montreal, the Canadiens travel to Pittsburgh as the feel-good story of the playoffs.

They’ve taklen the best shots the two most dangerous teams in the East can throw.

They’ve survived injuries and piss-poor officiating.

To the surprise – and, conspiracy theorists would suggest, disappointment – of the whole dang NHL, the Canadiens are in a best-of-three series.

Amazing … and really fun. 

•  •  •

Save of the Night: Jaro on Crosby at 10:30 of the third period.

Unsung Heroes: Max Lapierre and Pierre Gauthier’s best acquisition, Dominic Moore

Excellent Game: Andrei Kostitsyn, who took a vicious hit and, later, laid a thumper on Kris Letang


  1. 100HABS says:

    “What could be better than to see the Habs and the Bruins, both underdogs, competing in a seven-game series to decide who represents the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals?”

    I’ll tell you what could be better: the Habs and Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final.

  2. andrewberkshire says:

    Like Norm said Mike, how many defensive specialists put up 70 points in a year, or 8 points in 11 playoff games (60 point pace over a full season). Comparable players around the league include Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, Pavel Datsyuk, Mikko Koivu, Travis Zajac, Ryan Kesler and Jordan Staal. I’m not saying Plekanec should get 5 million a year, but that’s not what you said either. You said he was invisible. He’s not, far from it.

  3. Tis Himself says:

    Bettman, does not care in the least. He cut his teeth in the NBA where a cult of personality surrounding one player, i.e. Michael Jordan, was a hugely successful strategy. Given the nature of ice hockey, where players are not involved for the full time of a game, I think this is a very flawed strategy.  You have to promote teams and good stories. Hell, the New York Times sports writers can recognize a good story when they see it and ran a feature on Halak this week. If they can see the merit of the Habs run, why can’t Bettman? He may not realize it, but down here in the States people engaged in hockey soak in the history of the sport. What could be better than to see the Habs and the Bruins, both underdogs, competing in a seven-game series to decide who represents the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals?

  4. RetroMikey says:

    As my father said, a hockey player can be replaced anytime, no job is secure jus t like your job.

    And please tell me how much you think Pleks is worth?  Have you pulled out the calculator and budgeted this team and taken into consideration if we sign Halak to a big raise (he deserves every penny ), Bergeron, Moore, for example. Will we have enought to sign Pleks?

    I dunno but when I balance apples and oranges, Plekanec cannot be signed over 3.5M.  That is too much to sign a player especially being unproductive offensively in the playoffs.  He’s on this team to produce on the scoreboard. as well as Gomez and Andre Kostitsyn.

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

  5. Norm0770 says:

    Not too many minor leaguers will put up 70 points a season, be a great too way player and one of the best penalty killers on the team.

    Pleks is not just a defensive specialist, he is the whole package, with renewed anti-girlish play this year.

    Could he currently produce more, probably, but it is not like he is playing poorly.

  6. bwoar says:

    Cool another Roky fan!

  7. Just A Guy says:

    Perfect. Either/or is good for me, I just want the players that the habs sign on the same continent Playing in a format that leads to the NHL. Havign said that, given how much the habs have taken from Hamilton this year, I would hope he ends up playing for Guy Boucher next season.

  8. Hammer says:

    Wonderful post!!!

  9. dhenry1234 says:

    I agree. Thats an excellent way to put it. I definitely believe that Laps Bleeds Bleu Blanc et rouge

  10. RetroMikey says:

    So being a defensive specialist like Plekanec is worth a hefty raise?  There are many minor leaguers in the AHL that are defensive forwards that you can sign and pay cheap.

    How many defensive specialists do you know that are being paid over 5 Million a year in the NHL?  

    We got enough defensive forwards on this team, we need offense and one to step it up is Plekanec!

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

  11. phillyhab says:

    I’ve been ready to go off-the-grid renegade lunatic after some of
    these nights when the refs tilt the ice, but I’ve NEVER heard Boone say
    a nasty thing about it other than “the Commentariat” doesn’t like it,
    or it was suspect; sometimes a mention in an “about last night…”

    can’t say this is the worst called game I’ve seen, and maybe that’s
    because I don’t know the rules very well: I was pretty sure Maxime
    Talbot put the puck in with his foot; pushing of the back right foot
    and guiding with his left — not a “kicking” motion technically, but if
    the rule isn’t to stop goals like that…

    Gionta’s boarding was
    far less suspect then Begin’s boarding in the Flyers series,  the
    tripping on PK was more of a maybe then say the high-stick on Koivu,
    etc.  The tons of interference calls missed in the Washington series — far worse than what Malkin was put in for.

    It great that we overcame it tonight, and a few other games this run I can’t remember the number, but what happens when we can’t? 



    A lot of folks have been riding players that, to them, appear “invisible” — Andrei Kostitsyn, Tomas Plekanec, Lapierre (until tonight), Moore at times, Gomez at times, etc. — if they’re not on the scoresheet.  I don’t want to tell you how to watch or enjoy hockey, but there is some pretty great forechecking and defensive play these players have been doing — AK and Pleks the last two nights in particular — that have been just awesome. I’ve also got accustomed to Pleks lighting it up in the Wash series and am always hoping AK explodes like he did in Game 2, but I’m not going to knock the effort these players have put forth in this series because they’re not getting the bounces… yet.



  12. andrewberkshire says:

    I just hope this holds out! 10 more wins boys!

  13. Tis Himself says:

    Watching Hal Gill’s post-game interview on Versus, these guys give a $#!t and that’s what makes it easier for me to.

  14. 100HABS says:


    I’m looking for a means to bombard the NHL
    with complaints about the officiating. In a very quick check, I have no
    phone number of e-mail, but there is this form on their site:


    they have a Facebook site where we can bitch:


    make sure they know we’re angry. I want Bettman’s personal e-mail.

  15. Tis Himself says:

    True, if the heart gives out, nothing else matters!

  16. SeriousFan09 says:

    Quality technical work.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  17. andrewberkshire says:

    Agreed about keeping them focused. I think that’s the biggest reason we were able to come back tonight. In the second period it looked like the team was rattled a bit, but we came out in the third on a mission, ignoring the blatant cheating by the zebras.

  18. SeriousFan09 says:

    That was about Avtsin’s playing rights, originally the Quebec Ramparts had his CHL playing rights but the Juniors traded for him. It  means if he comes over next season, he may end up in the QMJHL, but depending upon transfer agreements and exceptions, he may be able to sign a deal with the Canadiens and jump right to the AHL.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  19. likehoy says:

    failure in epic proportions

    – What if Jaro Halak’s hand was indeed shaking? What if you took the CHOKE out of Ovechkin? — History Will Be Made

  20. Chuck says:



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

  21. likehoy says:

    great way of putting it. but don’t forget the size of the HEART that the body already has ;).

    – What if Jaro Halak’s hand was indeed shaking? What if you took the CHOKE out of Ovechkin? — History Will Be Made1

  22. Just A Guy says:

    Call me crazy, but I could sworn I heard a report on the team 990 that the montreal juniors had either interest or had signed him for next season. http://thefranchise.ca/juniors/montreal-juniors-acquire-alexander-avtsin.html

    I found that real quick, but I really like the idea of at least one of the habs over-seas drafts coming across the pond to play here.

  23. habmanj says:

    Amazing … and really fun.

    True dat Mr. Boone!  True dat!

  24. Tis Himself says:

    The real question is has Gainey left us with a skeleton that we can use to hang some organs and flesh on going forward? That is the real question in my mind’s eye.

  25. Tis Himself says:

    PK has to go “top rope” on these bastards!


    “The greater the odds, the greater the glory.”  George Armstrong Custer

  26. 11habs11 says:

    I was gonna mention on here early how invisible Pleks was tonight. Very disappointing, but I noticed he did make a very smart play with 10 secs left in the game, unexpectedly coming up and putting pressure on (Gonchar?) at centre, leaving him with nothing other than playing the puck into Halak, who was able to clear it out to end the game. But if we’re gonna go any further than this round, we definitely need more offense from him.

  27. HardHabits says:

    Nah Plex is laying big minutes, but he’s not as effective as Cammy, Gio and Gomer have been.

  28. andrewberkshire says:

    Sometimes Mike, I wonder if you’re sane. Not everything is about goals and assists, which you should know when you’re saying Gorges should be captain. Plekanec has played unbelievably excellent defensively throughout these playoffs. He was also 9-5 in the faceoff circle tonight, usually facing off against Crosby, who happens to be one of the top 5 faceoff guys in the NHL. He does all the little things right 100% of the time and never quits on a play. He played more than anyone else on the PK tonight as well. Plekanec is to the forwards what Gorges is to the defense.

  29. habsoul says:

    Ghosts in the house?

    Before tonight, Montreal was 13-24 at home in the playoffs since abandoning the Forum in 1996.

    Is it possible that the spirits of Howie Morenz, Rocket, Toe Blake, Doug Harvey, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Jacques Plante, and others are no longer pissed off about the closing of the Forum.

    My theme song for the 2010 playoffs: Psychedelic Shamanistic Texan Roky Erickson and The Aliens – If You Have Ghosts






  30. 24 Cups says:

    Andrew – Dick Duff.

    Trade this guy at your peril.

    Edit:  Make that Richard:-)

  31. Chuck says:

    Details, details…


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

  32. Chuck says:

    I watched the game with a wrestling referee tonight. When you make one of THOSE guys say, “WTF!”…

    He was waiting for a steel chair to get thrown onto the ice!



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

  33. BeachHabFan says:

    i think laps strggled with the new faces, changing roles, high expectations, bigger profile. his style is best suited to playoffs, and i believe that moore’s presence (decent size, speed, responsible) has helped as well (leadership/sharing the load). glad to see lapierre playing hard and getting rewarded for it.

  34. light_n_tasty says:

    Cherry loves Subban.  During Coaches Corner in game 1, he berated the Leafs for not drafting him.

  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    Find out I guess, he did play in the KHL so that could give him a professional qualification of some sort, having already played in a professional league.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  36. andrewberkshire says:

    I think you might be right, and that’s why all season I’ve been saying people shouldn’t be giving up on Lapierre. He’s one of those guys that seems to play his best when it’s needed most. Both his goals in the playoffs thus far have been massive.

  37. light_n_tasty says:

    Congratulations!  You have achieved the goal to which all us lowly posters aspire!

  38. 24 Cups says:

    Tis – Short term, yes.  Long term, not so sure.

    I also think we have to give Martin his due.  Hab fans like to ride the teeter-totter when it comes to Martin but he has done the job so far. 

    That’s enough hockey and Drambuie for one night. 

    “Saturday night is alright for fighting….”

  39. Norm0770 says:

    The Habs don’t quit.  The best thing the coaching staff has done is keeping them focused.  In the face of piss poor officiating the players don’t get down, whine or complain in the press after the game.  I thin kthat has been one of the biggest keys:  “worry about us not what we can’t control.”

  40. andrewberkshire says:

    There might be a different standard for Europeans though, Yannick Weber was allowed in the AHL at 19.

  41. likehoy says:

    and who do you suggest covers for our boy pleky if we let him walk or we trade him?

    your boy marcel?

    – What if Jaro Halak’s hand was indeed shaking? What if you took the CHOKE out of Ovechkin? — History Will Be Made

  42. Tis Himself says:

    The Habs must win this series for the good of all sport! The way the officiating was in tonight’s game the NHL is looking more crooked than harness racing or wrestling!

  43. likehoy says:

    i think he bleeds bleu blanc rouge and shows up when it matters. i think he might have had a bit of a miscommunication with jacques martin over his role, and it seems that through his desire to help his team, he’s found his role.

    – What if Jaro Halak’s hand was indeed shaking? What if you took the CHOKE out of Ovechkin? — History Will Be Made

  44. RetroMikey says:

    Plekanec…..the invisible 6 million dollar man in the playoffs, where’s his offensive output???

    He is not worth over 3 Million in my books.  Either he walks or we trade him, a big disappointment so far.

    Glad to see this team finally want little Sergei off this team, I would have let him go last year along with the other party boys we got rid of last year.  Martin is finally getting sick of the little runt.

    And yes, I truly believe Josh Gorges should be named Captain on this team, a true warrior.

    Like I have said, Halak is the real deal, sign him ASAP.



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

  45. oldasdirt says:

    Ghosts were spotted walking from Ste.Catherine & Atwater to le Centre Bell .


    Predictions are for gypsies-Toe Blake

  46. Norm0770 says:

    A parallell with this series and Washington is that the Habs how have stayed focused on the games rather than what they can’t control.  No one from the coaches down has done anything to complain about officiating after a game.

    Boudreau complained about officiating and I think it distracted his team or made them feel more entitled, or that they have somehow been wronged.  Blysma complaing tonight may have the same effect.  On top of the fact that the officiating was so clearly in Pittsburgh’s favour.

    Crosby is clearly off his game whining and looking for retribution rather than bearing down and using his immense talent to change the game.

  47. oldasdirt says:

    Wouldn’t Bettman have a nervous breakdown with aHABS/CANUCKS final???11


    Predictions are for gypsies-Toe Blake

  48. Chuck says:

    That’s what I thought, too. And Friedman didn’t come off looking like a dumbass, either.


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

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    Damn, was hoping to go see him play for Hamilton next year, just checked he is 19 so he will likely end up in the Q next year.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  50. andrewberkshire says:

    Hey Steve, why do you think that is? Did it take Lapierre the whole season to recover from his surgery, or has he just willed himself to play better?

  51. Tis Himself says:

    You know, watching tonight’s game on tape delay I’m thinking that Gainey dude might actually have been on to something!

  52. andrewberkshire says:

    I definitely wasn’t relaxed, I had to double take and stop myself from throwing a remote through the tv, but I know what you mean. There seemed to be such a finality to things in the second period, but the team didn’t take note, so they battled back and won.

  53. 24 Cups says:

    Gilbert – Good point. It’s probably the main story of the playoffs for the Habs so far along with the play of Halak.

    I also think that we should be giving more credit to Lapierre. He stunk during the regular season but has really steppped up during the playoffs.

  54. andrewberkshire says:

    I think due to his age if he doesn’t crack the Hab’s lineup he has to play for the Montreal Juniors.

  55. 11habs11 says:

    same here…my heart is usually up in my throat for the full 60 mins, but after the pens 2 goals after the non-calls, i gave up hope and kind of accepted that the refs weren’t gonna let us win…probably the most relaxed 30 mins of hockey i’ve watched since the playoffs started lol, until the comeback began

  56. SPATS says:

    It’s the feel good story of the season. Even Leafs fans are pulling for us. Tonight we gained the respect of the hockey world. Utter class in the face of blatant whining and misofficiating. The Band Wagon will need at least 2 more flat bed trailers  attached to keep everyone on board.

    How sweet would it be to face the Bruins in the next round and sweep them? How sweet would it then be to then face the Blackhawks and run Niemi (did I spell it right?) and then face Huet and open a can of whuppass? All the pieces are coming together folks…. Stay tuned

  57. MikeL says:

    He should give Sergei a call so they can split a return flight.

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    Excellent news, look forward to his joining the Bulldogs next season, probably not quite ready for NHL action.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  59. G-Man says:

    CHaracter. Habs don’t quit. Gotta love it.

  60. SeriousFan09 says:

    Awesome, I got the Mike Boone Plug 🙂

    I hope Geoff Molson takes some of that nice playoff revenue cash and sinks it into the scouting department, I’d like the Canadiens to sneak another P.K. Subban out of this year’s draft.

    Halak is just beyond incredible right now, you can feel the momentum work for Montreal every time he denies the Penguins a sure goal, frustrates them to no end and that’s how Washington was won, demoralized and frustrated scorers.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  61. MikeL says:

    I’d say there’s two reasons Don stood up for the Habs tonight

    1) It was too blatant to ignore.

    2) He’s hates Sid more than the Habs.

  62. 24 Cups says:

    FHF – You may want to reconsider and go with a Penelope Cruz or Catherine Zeta-Jones tattoo. Hell, I’d take Hal Gill or Jaro Halak over the headmaster. Who would have dreamt that we would beat Pittsburgh without Markov or Spacek in the line-up? Let’s really be honest with each other as Hab fans. Forget the ‘Be True To Your School’ crap. Who thought we would beat Washington and be tied 2-2 with the Cup champs at this stage of the post season?

    White Rabbit.  Feed your head.

  63. yathehabsrule says:

    Even the Russians are interested in the Habs:

    As per a tweet from Yahoo! Puck Daddy’s Dmitri Chesnokov: “According to reports in Russia, Habs prospect Alexander Avtsin set to leave Russia this summer to join Montreal.”



    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  64. SPATS says:

    We’ve come too far now to settle for less. The boys showed unbelievable class all night and overcame tremendous odds stacked against them. Karma came through for them in the end, how else do you explain Gio’s goal? How sweet would it have been if Jaro scored on the last second clearout, you could see it in his eyes, he was going for the goal!

  65. andrewberkshire says:

    In the second period tonight, I’ll admit that I lost hope. The officiating was garbage, the defense and Halak were doing all they could to keep us in it, but the transition game was breaking down. Pittsburgh looked bigger and stronger in every way, and all the while we were shorthanded 7-5.

    After a blitz to open the 3rd, and Lapierre doing a better wraparound than Latendresse has ever done, I realized once and for all that this team can do anything. With the way Halak, Gill and Gorges are playing on the back end, and the character shown by everyone who’s dressed, even Andrei Kostitsyn, this team can fight through anything.

  66. yathehabsrule says:

    Real turning point of the game was Friedman interviewing Jean Beliveau just before the start of the third period… Yeah I know the Habs players didn’t see it, but you know…



    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  67. TripleX says:

    It is truly funny watching the CBC slowly jump on the Montreal Express.  Even Cherry seemed to be on the Habs side tonight.

    Montreal Canadiens ARE CANADA’s TEAM!



    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  68. chilehabfan says:

    You know the refs are bad when DON CHERRY brings it up!!!


    GO HABS!!!

  69. joeybarrie says:

    I mean if DON CHERRY is defending the Canadiens against Reffing. Then you KNOW its gotta be BAD. REALLY REALLY BAD. I mean were taking about Don “loves anything Bruins and Leafs’ Cherry…

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

  70. yathehabsrule says:

    What, you missed that sudden jolt when the Earth stopped turning? LOL Yeah it was unbeleivable… Guess Bettman said something about Cherry’s jacket or something.


    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  71. yathehabsrule says:

    LMAO at Serious09’s suggestion.

    The artist who did the Centennial Plaza sculptures completed them in a matter of months. Unreal.

    I should email him and see if he could do that one. If the Habs get to the Finals, he might have it ready in time.


    Ya! The Habs Rule! now on Twitter!

  72. Castor says:

    It must be tough for Andrei K. Seriously.
    His pig headed brother is being pushed off of the team and AK still has to go home and see him and hear him complain. Meanwhile he’s hearing it from his coach about playing better. Not an easy position to be in. 
    Hopefully SK stays in MTL this trip.

  73. Habs Fan in Hogtown says:

    The best though was Don Cherry defending us on Coach’s Corner. I never thought I’d live to see the day!

  74. Fargo Habs Fan says:

    I’ve been debating a second tattoo, and I’ve decided on a portrait of the greatness that is Boone.  Man Crush On. 


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