About last night …

If he were alive, John Lennon would be 70.

Carey Price is 23.

P.K. Subban is 21.

Based on how they played in Pittsburgh, imagine how good these young studs are going to be?

Fans have been waiting for Price to steal a game.

The wait is over.

In game played as though it were Game 8 of last year’s conference semi-final, Price made 36 saves – many spectacular.

They key: After giving up a five-hole goal to Mark Letestu, Price resumed being the best goaltender on the ice at the Consol Energy whatever.

How often, in the past, has Price sagged – and his team along with him – after a bad goal?

Not this time.

This was Carey Price’s statement game.

And the statement was two words of one syllable, directed at his detractors.

The first word starts with F. The second with Y.

And I think Subban may have used that exact phrase in chirping back at the Penguins, who tried to run the kid all night.

With the crowd booing every time he touched the puck, P.K. played 24:20  – high for both teams, and almost three minutes more than Sidney Crosby.

Oh, and welcome back, Mike Cammalleri. He torched the Penguins in the playoffs and had two tonight.

In other news, Scott Gomez had his first shot on goal, a mere 118 minutes and 12 seconds into the season.

And it went in … because on this night, at least, Marc-André Fleury was not Carey Price.


So, happy days are here again, right.

Wrong. Critics of the Canadiens can point to:

• a horrible second period

• a parade to the penalty box, product of indiscipline, chasing the puck and brain farts on the bench (two Too Many Men calls)

• Gomez scored, but his line has started the season in neutral

• Tomas Plekanec, Benoit Pouliot and Andrei Kostitsyn each had one SoG

• Lars Eller played a shade over nine minutes, after 16:27 in the opener, and was a non-factor.

• Ryan O’Byrne had five hits, but man, he is an adventure on D

• Hits were 47-27 Pittsburgh.

• Max Lapierre’s hit on Kris Letang was something the league is trying to eliminate. 

Enough negativity.

This was a HUGE win. Had the Canadiens come home 0-2, the Bell Centre would have been a tense building on Wednesday night.

As it is, the player introductions will engender a good deal of roof-raising applause … none louder than what we’ll hear for number 31.

Some positive notes:

• Jeff Halpern, playing for the NHL equivalent of chump change this season, was 8-2 on faceoffs and heroic on the PK.

• Josh Gorges played 23:51, including a team-high 3:35 on the PK. He was plus-2 and took the shot that Cammalleri tipped in to tie the game. Three words od advice: SIGN HIM, PIERRE!

• Dustin Boyd skates like the wind and does all the little things well. Bonus to the pro scout who recommended him to Gauthier.

• After a horrible pre-season and a rough night in Toronto, Jaro Spacek played like the heady, steady vet that he is.

• AK46 skated, hit and had two assists. And don’t overlook his play at the blueline to keep the puck in the Pittsburgh zone on the typing goal.

• Benny had five hits. Great, but I don’t think he’s supposed to be a francophone Travis Moen. Gotta credit his energy, though.

• The power-play was blanked in three man advantages and is 0-6 on the season. But there were signs of life, particularly with the first wave. Subban was a magician, and the PP is going to be beyond sweet when Andrei Markov returns.

• Alexandre Picard had a clean stat line: no hits, no blocked shots. But I thought he was smart with the puck (his pinch began the sequence that led to the typing goal in the third period) and may force O’B into the pressbox when Roman Hamrlik returns.

Markov, Subban, Gorges, Gill, Spatch and Hamrlik: imagine that D playing in front of Carey Price.



  1. nightmare_49 says:


       W –  Benny has really improved his all around play, the added muscle has made him sturdier on his blades and with that his confidence will slowly appear and i have no problem with him on the Gom & Gio line.

       His linemates are off to a slow start but these vets will be in the groove very shortly and then you can make an evaluation of his play but with a little patience which JM has surprisingly shown things will work out. If Benny clicks on this line then our road to the playoffs looks good and that void in our roster is eliminated.

       Everybody claims that our season hedges on Price’s play but the improvement of Benny & AK46 are almost as vital.

       Great work Mr. Boone on the About Last Night and the only part i disagree with is your assessment of OB,

       IMO it’s Picard that is being caught on the right side too often and makes him hard to play with. Besides Picard positional play in his end, he keeps it simple,a la Jay Leach, which i like for a third pairing and if he keeps it up he will be a serviceable player during the season when injuries happen.

       If Hammer can play Wednesday, i’ll pair him with PK and have Spacek play with OB. 

  2. Chuck says:

    Yeah… and it contains a lot more colours that just blue and white.  🙂

  3. Born in a Bad Year says:

    It wasn’t the mistakes that were the issue, I expect players to make them.  I was just astonished that Boone was saying that Picard was playing well enough to take a spot over O’Byrne.


  4. Danno says:

    Cherry has an Archie-Bunker outlook on things.


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

  5. 4loorplay says:

    cherry never said he deserved it….he said someone is gonna get him

  6. RGM says:

    For all the Pouliot knocking that’s been going on, the kid has more points than Crosby & Malkin right now.

    Go Habs Go!

  7. JF says:

    That was probably the best game I’ve seen Price play since before the all-star break in 2009.  He said he loved playing in Pittsburgh, and it certainly showed; you could feel his confidence every time he touchd the puck.  There’s no question that he stole the game for us, but I thought that, considering it’s early in the season when there are usually kinks to be ironed out, the rest of the team was for the most part OK.  I loved the intensity and the effort, in particular the way we seemed to raise our game after the second Pittsburgh goal.  We had been on our heels for most of that period, but after that, we started creating a few chances.  I also thought that defensively we were better than against Toronto and generally in the pre-season.  I didn’t notice huge gaffes from anyone and I was relieved to see a strong game from Spacek after a worrying first game and pre-season. P.K. was spectacular and deserves a lot of credit for simply absorbing all the hits and boos he was getting and not being thrown off his game.

    Cammalleri paid his dues.  His actions in the last pre-season game were ill-judged if not selfish, and he owed his team-mates a great game for probably costing them a chance to win the first game.  His timing and position on the first goal were perfect, although it was Plekanec’s strong play that created the chance.  One chance, and the puck was in the net.  That’s what a natural goal-scorer does.

    Pouliot looked like that kind of scorer when he started out with us, and I hope he finds his touch.  But otherwise I thought both he and Kostitsyn played strong games and are looking better than the end of last year.  Kostitsyn assisted on both goals and made a nice move to keep the puck in on the second and get it to Gorges.

    Jeff Halpern and Dustin Boyd are solid additions.  Winning more faceoffs should mean more time in possession of the puck and more scoring chances.  Dustin Boyd is very fast and has more offensive skill than he was given credit for; people tend to forget that he made the national junior team.  For the moment, the trade for SK74 looks like being a good move.

    I can’t wait for Markov to be back so our powerplay can get going.  It had some good-looking moments, but we really moss his vision and creativity.  Thankfully the penalty kill seems to be continuing pretty well where it left off in the playoffs.

  8. twocents says:

    I didn’t get to see much of the game, guests, the non hockey watching kind. But, what I did see, 7 or 8 minutes of the 1st, 10 of the second and 5 of the third, looked very encouraging to me. The Habs were skating, making quick decisions with confidence and moving as a unit. Martin has clearly loosened the reins some or the players are feeling very comfortable with the approach and their teammates. They look confident and cohesive, sort of the antithesis of what we’ve seen for most of the past decade, excepting the wonderful spring of ’08.  

  9. smiler2729 says:

    From a Habs goaltending standpoint, that was a fun game to watch. It was the most fun watching Carey Price play net since that game in San Jose last season, the only difference being the Sharks won that one and last night the Habs won… what a difference a little luck can do.

  10. smiler2729 says:

    They have a parade down Yonge St. every June in Toronto, it’s just not for the Laffs…

  11. smiler2729 says:

    No hockey player, not Picard, Crosby, Gretzky, Orr, Sawchuk or Morenz can be or were perfect all the time every time. What separates the bad from the mediocre from the good from the great is the frequency of mistakes.

  12. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …have been preoccupied with more important things lately, but it certainly is wonderful We are playing hockey again
    …this summer I was trying to go to sleep in a netted-bed during a hot humid night in Ubud, Indonesia …My Son, from His bed, talking softly trying not to wake My sleeping Daughter, whispers “Dad !, …I REALLY like it here, BUT …can We go home ?” …I was taken aback because I thought My Kids were both enjoying Our adventure in Asia …so I asked him “Why Son ? …He explained, “I miss hockey, I miss ICE, I miss knowing what The Habs are doing, I miss reading HIO, …and Carey hasn’t signed His contract yet …I’m worried !”
    …I was half-concious from a wonderful but energy-sapping day …I think I basically explained that Carey and the rest of Our Habs’ Players are enjoying Their summers as much as We should be …and, if it makes Him sleep more peacefully at night, I will unlock the laptop We were carrying around with Us so He can briefly check-in on The Zoo in HIO
    …well, We survived …Hockey has FINALLY recommenced, …AND that humid night seems so far away
    …I may have mentioned a little while ago that We unexpectedly found Cary Price competing in a rodeo We visited in Chilliwack later this summer …I thought at the time, how risky it was (…doesn’t take much for a horse to stumble in the best of circumstances, let alone while chasing down spooked calves)
    …but I think without his cowboy fantasies, it would be near impossible for Carey to deal with The Lugnuts & Meatheads that are the loud-minority of Habs Fans
    …I love His new goalie-mask …and I hope it remains His personna
    ….Carey is a proud competitor …with all the skills in the world, if His mind is not f**ked-with …He needs to play and feel He is No.1
    …the more He plays, the more His instincts will flow …and His confidence and swagger will play in the heads of His opponents rather than His own
    …Carey will certainly have His off-nights …He is still
    young at the NHL-level for a goalie
    …I hope the Usual Suspects will button-it and stop freakin’ out …because most of You, Yourselves, couldn’t stop a beachball from entering a corner-pocket on a pool table
    …I feel the same about o’Byrne …He NEEDS to play to become the Player I believe He has potential to become
    …in My absense, Our Team has become a better Team …better balanced, faster, a little more physically robust …It already was an intelligent Team with lots of character …it doesn’t have an Ovechkin, Crosby, Hall or Eberle …but it WILL be a playoff team
    …My only regret We don’t have a Guy Boucher to mold Our Team as much as I think It’s potential is
    …I hope Jacques will ponderously but resolutely use what He has to get from what I think is a character Team
    …and DAMN …I’m sure as Heck happy I’m not sleeping tonight in Ubud
    …same with My Son

  13. Born in a Bad Year says:

    Hey Boone, what’s with the man-love for Picard? 

    All he’s done is be completely out of position and brain dead on two goals in the last two games.  In both cases he did not even attempt to pick up the goal scorers. Take a look at those goals again.

    Look at Toronto’s first goal yesterday, O’Byrne went into the near corner to support Plex, who just got slammed into the corner by Orr after clearing the puck up the boards.  O’Byrne did the right thing protecting Plex against Orr, who was playing nasty.  When the shot came in from the point, Picard was watching the game from the far boards, not even moving towards Brent who managed to deflect the shot wide open in front of the net.

    On Lestestu’s goal last night, Picard should have had the shooter, all he did was turn and watch the player score. He never played the man at all.

    No hits, no blocked shots were a direct result of not a NHL caliber level of play.  Henry should have been the one to stay up until we get some defensemen back.


  14. Fargo Habs Fan says:

    Until next game…  God, I love these Habs.


    “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.

  15. Fargo Habs Fan says:

    So…  we just beat a contender….  🙂  Perhaps it is the win, or the Chardonnay, but life feels good tonight.  🙂  GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!


    “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.

  16. Clay4bc says:

    I think you are reading too much into it…Eller got less time because Cammy was back. I think it’s as simple as that.

    As well, Pouliot and Kostitsyn played well enough to not sit on the end of the bench.


    I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend your right to make yourself look stupid.

  17. Clay4bc says:

    Why does Price playing well have to detract from what Halak did for this team? Halak had a spectacular playoffgoaltending performance, which we all hope Price can emulate when it’s his time to shine. He made a good start of it tonight, and showed how well he can play. We all hope he can keep it up.

    Actually, I hope that Price never HAS TO play as well as Halak in the last playoffs. More support from the team can only be a good thing. Unfortunately, Price didn’t get a ton of support tonight, even with the 3 goals scored (we can thank Fleury). Our team needs to play better than this, or we will be on the wrong end of a lot of close games. It really sucks that we need goalies to play lights-out hockey to win. Our D is in rough shape now though, and should improve when the injuried come back – which will only help our offence as well.


    I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend your right to make yourself look stupid.

  18. forskis says:

    I do not mind Cherry and agree with some of what he says, but I cannot believe that he thinks (during the post-game) that Subban deserved that high-stick for chirping too much and not showing enough respect to the players when he was mouthing off to Crosby and a couple of Leafs in the previous game.  He said he was gonna get it bad if he did not stop mouthing off.  This despite the fact that he loves the kid and how he plays.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  19. SeriousFan09 says:

    It was a solid night for team-building, Price kept them in the game all night and then they came out and got him the win in the last 5 minutes, creates a solid feeling in the room knowing both players and goalies will help each other out for the win.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  20. shootdapuck says:

    Look on the bright side!

    The Burke moonies in TO are already planning the parade and have conceded the Vezina to Giguere, the Hart to Kessel and the Norris to all their blueline corps.

    After 2 games no less!

    Keep drinking the Koolaid!



    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  21. HabsProf says:

    I thought both Benny and AK46 had decent games tonight.  I was particularly pleased with how Benny was generally willing to battle along the boards – unwillingness to do so is the first sign of someone floating.  He didn’t float. 

    Ditto Kostitsyn.  I suspect he is gone after this season, but there is a chance he can pull it together.  He was certainly willing to use his size and to go into traffic.  Now if he can just harness that incredible shot that we know he has, but which we so rarely see.

    “Deserves” got nothin’ to do with it.

  22. diehardhab says:

    Loved this quote from cammy:

    “Carey was really good, but you know what? We expect him to be that way,” Cammalleri said. “I don’t think that was anything out of the ordinary for him — that’s Carey Price. I loved his body language, he made some game-winning saves throughout the game, so well done by him.”

    Sends a great message.

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  23. likehoy says:

    pretty much until the next game.

    – I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  24. Chuck Chuck Goose says:

    Come on now Mike, it’s not really fair to knock Eller for reduced ice time, he was playing in the bottom six.

    Other than that, very excited about tonight’s result.  Couldn’t be happier for Gorges having a particularly great two-way game tonight, as the boxscore shows.

    The revamped Lightning had a big first game against the Thrashers, but hopefully Price’s confidence will be through the roof on Wednesday and the crowd will lay off him for 60 minutes and just let him do his thing, early goal(s) or not.

  25. Wayne says:

    Nice re-cap as usual Mike. Thanks for your efforts tonight.

    I thought Eller looked good though. What are we going to do with Pou? I don’t think he’ll break for us. Just gotta feelin’…

  26. VancouverHab says:

    Hey! Reason, logic & common sense! 

    Don’t tell Jack Todd — he’ll have you barr’d (But Mr. Boone will over-rule him.)

    Keep up the good work.

  27. VancouverHab says:

    Amen, SF09!


  28. VancouverHab says:

    I’d describe it as “the same kind of goal that all goalies give up”, dude.

  29. Scott in Montreal says:

    I totally agree with you. Price had one of his better games and on a couple of occasions made saves Halak couldn’t have. That shows he came to play. He must keep it up and I think he just might. It looks like his pride is taking over and that is a very good thing for him.

  30. G-Man says:

    Really good game by Price and the team came through. Price steals it while Fleury blows it big time. That’s why it’s important the goalie doesn’t suck.

    Cammi’s back and has that serious look. Subban, booed the entire night for the Staal cut from last season, ignored it and played like a champ. This ringing endorsement went off the post behind Fleury.

    Laps did his job. The team can play better as a  unit, but it’s still early.

    1-1 after 2 road games? Take it in a second. Good start.

  31. mfDx says:

    Carey Price did have a great game tonight. his first in a long, long time. However, how would you describe the weak low shot that beat him five hole in  the last 10 minutes of a tie game?  Had the habs lost, that would be all we’d remember from the game.

    Q: why do their forecheckers slam our D into the end boards, while our forecheckers try the one-handed poke check and the occasional push?

    (I actually had nothing much to say. I just wanted to see if my little picture thingy-thing works)


  32. Shiloh says:

    Price did not play very well last year – and he wasn’t that great the year before. He’s had two games this year, one good and one great. I hope he has 80 more great ones.

  33. forskis says:

    For those belittling Price’s effort tonight…since when were stopping backdoor shots and cross-ice plays supposed to be routine?  Those are the kind of saves that make highlight reels….besides one of you said that if it weren’t for Fleury’s softie, Price’s effort means nothing…um, considering that you were ripping Price for those kind of softies, the opponent gets a pass because it isn’t Price?  Also, you said that Price had to steal a game or keep his team in it….tonight’s game sure looked like one of those “keeping the team in it” type games….Halak had these types of games and he got all the credit for the wins and deservedly so…Price gets the win and gets ZERO credit?  There’s disliking the player and then there is going overboard since the player did what you demanded he do and it still isn’t good enough.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  34. Scott in Montreal says:

    AK47: the last time he played this well it only lasted a few games, or until someone injured him. He best year so far was his contract year. This is another contract year. So if he stays healthy, he could blow people away, given his skill.

    Subban: great. He might even be better than Markov. I remember when Markov first came up – touted as the best young defenseman in Russia at the time. He was not quite this talented and going through growing pains his first two pro seasons. Subban is ahead of that and may even have the potential to become one of the Habs 4 best D of all time.

    Price: what I said of Subban, but transpose Halak for Markov, keeping in mind Halak wasn’t supposed to become much of anything.

    Cammi: another day at the office.

    Pens: not a great start to the season. If they finish 10th in the East, that would not surprise me, the way this crazy league goes.

  35. FormalWare says:

    Hear, hear! I was shaking my head, during the off- and the pre-season, at all the posters questioning the need for a Dustin Boyd or a Jeff Halpern on this team. Perhaps a bit of salt will make their words go down better.

  36. quentin_stuckley says:

    maybe j.m. is going to ease him in slow, but don’t you think eller deserves more minutes than nine and change?  he was a bright spot in the toronto game, so i don’t know why martin chose to keep him on the bench?  he had one penalty, true.  plus others were getting penalties and he doesn’t play any on the p.k.  maybe i’m reading too much into the minutes played as being negative?

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    Two-way street Sid, you want respect in the NHL take it like a man when you’re losing.

    Toews is like 10x the role model he is.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  38. OneTimer says:

    Ouch, Kopitar just got it in the mouth and it was bloody…the trainer was looking for teeth on the ice! 🙁

  39. Harani says:

    Everyone I expected to play well did. But Dustin Boyd proving to be a heck of an addition to our bottom 6. Love the intensity he brought and he’s got a decent pair of hand to boot. Halpern is very reliable defensively and very good at face-offs. Very happy with these guys specially because they bring it every night!

    “It must be love!”

  40. OneTimer says:

    So, I guess it wasn’t all Halak in the spring after all

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    I love our checkers in general tonight it was…

    Eller, Boyd, Lapierre, Halpern, Moen and Pyatt.

    Last year at this time 3 of our ‘checking forwards’ on the roster were Laraque, Stewart and D’Agostini, not to mention a comatose Latendresse and Laps on his bad ankle. That kind of roster on the bottom 6 will flip a few games for MTL this season.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  42. Number31 says:

    Thing is, Price stole many games last year. Just most of them had no goal support and ended in a loss. This one could have ended up exactly like that if not for Fleury being Fleury……

    Loving Dustin Boyd. And I love Lapierre. Talbot totally fell for his trap 😀

  43. king ddd says:

    so halak can beat the flyers with another team but not with us 😮



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