About last night …

This is what diminished expectations have come to in the city of 24 Stanley Cups:

An overtime loss to the second-worst team in the league is the occasion for sighs of relief, high-fives and much merriment in the watering holes of Crescent St., the Main and St. Denis.

And why not?

Your Montreal Canadiens are riding their three-game losing streak right into the playoffs.

 

nszR0tfp4Es

 

After throwing my back out doing a celebratory handspring, I’m day-to-day for The Dance, partners for which are still undetermined.

Depending on what happens in Philadelphia, the Canadiens will finish seventh (if the Rangers win) or eighth (if it’s the Flyers).

A seven seeding means either the Devils or Sabres as first-round opponents.

Eighth place is … gulp! … Washington, which will finish with at least a 32-point bulge on the Canadiens, while scoring 98 more goals, with a game to go.

On the other hand, the Canadiens have allowed six fewer goals, with the Caps playing Boston tomorrow.

Possible first series goaltenders: Ryan Miller, Martin Brodeur or – wait for it – José Theodore.

 

And at the other end of the ice, on Wednesday or Thursday night: Jaro Halak.

I guess.

You dance with the girl what brung ya, but Jaro was beaten four times  by the Leafs, did not look great and was a rare no-show in the dressing room.

He was outplayed by Jean-Sébastien Giguère, the latest Québécois goalie to give the Canadiens fits. Giggy made 34 stops and was helped by his goalposts, which the Canadiens managed to ding four times.

Mike Zeissberger, who writes for the Toronto Sun, said the ultimate playoff series would be a Canadiens-Leafs best-of-seven. There’s always something special in the air when the two rivals hook up, and this game was no exception.

Toronto always plays the Canadiens tough.

But let’s be serious: the Leafs suck. And the difficulty with which the Cnaadiens managed to secure the point they needed does not augur well for a deep run in the postseason.

On the other hand (I hate that phrase and I’ve used it twice; what HIO needs is a one-armed hockey blogger), the playoffs are a new season. Everyone starts with a clean slate and the opportunity to redeem himself.

Redemption started early for some Canadiens’ veterans:

• Scott Gomez was spectacular against the Leafs. Four shots on goal while centring the team’s most effective line, 15-11 on faceoffs and a continually dangerous presence in the Leafs’ end. In a must wine (or tie) game, Gomez played like a winner.

• Andrei Markov scored a goal, assisted on two others and was in total mastery for every minute of the 25 he played. This was vintage Markov, maybe the best he’s been since the Olympics.

• Brian Gionta had 10 shots on goal and was in Giguère’s face all night.

• Benoit Pouliot elevated his game to match the do-or-die efforts of his veteran linemates. This was a very positive development, because Benny has been struggling for a while, raising the spectre of his chronic underachievement  in Minnesota.

• Mike Cammalleri played like his hair was on fire. He had six shots on goal and looked very much like the dangerous sniper he was before the knee injury.

• Marc-André Bergeron, who began the season out of hockey, ended it playing 24:22 – second only to Markov. MAB scored the most important goal of the game, giving the Canadiens a 3-2 lead heading into the final 20 minutes, and made several alert plays and crisp first passes on D. 

Enough with the fourth-line nonsense: MAB is a defenceman. And he had to be because Ryan O’Byrne played a grand total of 1:46 – one shift in each period.

Jacques Martin used a short bench all night, mostly rolling three lines. It worked because final score notwithstanding, the Canadiens held a territorial advantage and would have won easily were it not for Giguère … and, it must be said, sub-par Jaro.

To protect the lead in the third period, Martin benched Andrei Kostitsyn and promoted Mathieu Darche to Tomas Plekanec’s line. The move paid off in several nice puck-possession shifts, but the enigmatic AK will be back for the playoffs.

Sergei?

I don’t know. Martin made the odd assertion that a team needs “25 or 26 players” during the postseason. Maybe BGL is coming back.

Can this team make some noise?

Beats me.

I thought they’d lose in regulation to Toronto, setting up a city-wide nervous breakdown on Sunday afternoon.

As it is, we can spend the Lord’s day not giving a rip what happens around the league.

The Canadiens spent a week chasing that bloody elusive point.

They finally got it, and that’s cause for modest celebration.

•  •  •

Classy:

The Canadiens lined up to shake Dan Marouelli’s hand after the game.

Scott Gomez hugged him.

They won’t be doing that for Chris Lee.

•  •  •

Fight of the Night: Evander Kane makes Marc Savard and many others happy by demolishing Matt Cooke.

155 Comments

  1. SeriousFan09 says:

    Rather lose gloriously in an entertaining series with the Capitals than be bored into a playoff exit by the New Jersey Trappers. Martin Brodeur may not be at his best anymore but against Les Habitants? He’ll be nightmarish.

    And Kovalchuk is a Devil now, he’s a notorious pain in the ass for us.

     

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

  2. Chris says:

    Honestly can’t see it this year.  Last year, I think the Habs would have given the Caps a handful, but the caps have that crucial year of playoff experience under their belts now and are simply too deep for the Habs.

    I would be more than content to see them play the Devils in the first round.  Since the Olympic break, that is the team I fear the least of the top 4 seeds (who are all good, as evidenced by their being the top 4 seeds!).  They are effectively a one-line team with Elias, Parise and Zajac providing most of their offence (although Langenbrunner is a solid vet).  Their no-name defence does not terrify with size or speed (although we saw what a no-name defence corps CAN do to the Habs the other night in Carolina).  And Martin F. Brodeur has not played like himself in the playoffs in either of the last two seasons.

  3. phillyhab says:

    It’s really about how he plays, but Jaro has EARNED without a doubt the first two, maybe three starts in a series. 

  4. phillyhab says:

    It’s the ears!

  5. TripleX says:

    Probably has nothing to do with the shabby treatment of his brother by this organization.

  6. TripleX says:

    Yeah those two consecutive shutouts of Buffalo and Philly were throwaway games.  Give your head a shake.

  7. TripleX says:

    You’re crazy!

  8. Chris says:

    Excellent point. Completely forgot about him, which is amazingly stupid on my part.

    Kovalchuk would be, by a country mile, the best player in the series. He has fit in reasonably well with New Jersey (10 G, 25 points and +8 in 26 games with the Devils) although he’s probably still not even close to his peak production due to the Devils’ style of play.

  9. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Hmm…..

  10. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    I guess I didn’t do anything… but it’s nice to pretend :) 

  11. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    WE DID IT!  

     

    Great post tonight Mr. Boone.

  12. andrewberkshire says:

    Something has clearly gone on between them behind the scenes, because Sergei has been our 3rd best forward the last 20 games, scratching him is insane.

  13. t1tan5 says:

    You do realize that if your words betray your lack of knowledge, it means that you are making sense, right?

  14. TOEmastro says:

    good on Kane for not letting the schmuck’s head hit the ice. class act after a good beating

  15. Richrebellion says:

    I agree although he has carried us all season does not mean once were in the playoffs he can slack. You can make excuses for the past 3 games but its simple he wasnt good enough to help us win. If he plays like this first game of the playoffs and we lose id play Price.

  16. SeriousFan09 says:

    Hamrlik and Spacek were admirable in their time as 1-2 Ds for the team, but the toll is evident at this time of year. Taking on Markov’s workload was more than they could handle and it showed. Did all they could, but it wore them down to this point. JM should consider alternatively resting Hammer and Spacek while shifting OB in.

     

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

  17. J. Ambrose says:

    With all due respect to the yeoman work Hammer put in this season anchoring the D while Markov was out, it sure would be nice to have that 5 1/2 million to play with.

  18. EricInStL says:

    No killer instinct on this team.

    Boston needs to get it done, does it

    NJ puts their feet down, they get it done.

    Buffalo kicks ass with a pretender.

    MTL lays a couple of goose eggs.

    We canot put sustained pressure on anyone. We need size dammit…… Trade the K brothers for size. I don’t care if they score a billion goals with the other team.

    In Guy Boucher I trust.

  19. Shiloh says:

    Agree with most of what you’ve written – he fought the puck all night. The backhander may have been deflected by Hamrlik but it was still gettable. I agree with Martin’s decision not to pull him – if he put Price in and we lost the point it would have been one of the most questionable decisions in franchise history.

    Halak should bounce back – but that may not be enough if we don’t stop hitting posts instead of twine. O’Byrne has to play too.

  20. Richrebellion says:

    Pretty simple Halak has been sub par for the past 3 games and everyone wonders why we lost to the scum of the east. This teams wont score 5 goals a game so if Halak plays like he did these past 3 games against new jersey or washington we will be out quickly.

    I dont think Halak deals well with pressure, the past 3 games should have been easy wins and should have left us in 6th with a matchup against buffalo. Instead we got mediocre goaltending and barely clinched a playoff spot! When will people see that Halak is not a big game goalie, unlike ward, roy, brodeur and the rest of the greats?

  21. J. Ambrose says:

    I’m starting to think Sergei had an affair with Jacques’ wife… or daughter, ’cause his dislike is palpable and ridiculous.

  22. EricInStL says:

    Next year Kane gets a standing O in Beantown

    In Guy Boucher I trust.

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    Hamrlik’s not able to play full NHL seasons anymore, 18 years in the NHL has worn him down with over 1200 GP, no real shame in it but he’s too old now unfortunately to handle the strain. Canadiens need to get him off the roster if only to make room for Subban and re-signing our players.

     

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

  24. J. Ambrose says:

    Gotta feel for Pleks. He came out flying. Worked in the corners. Stole the puck. Was always fighting to get free going forward. But once he got free, he’d be all alone. Don’t understand what has become of AK, but he has clearly quit.

  25. J. Ambrose says:

    He looks spent. And is Spacek the worst shooting d-man you’ve ever seen?! My God. 

  26. J. Ambrose says:

    Agree. I love Jaro, but if your head’s not in it — and his clearly wasn’t for some reason — you should expect to get the fold-out chair in the corridor. 

  27. habs-hampton says:

    Boone, you failed to mention how bad Hammer looked. Turning the wrong way on Hansens last goal? I learned not to do that in PeeWee!!!

  28. SeriousFan09 says:

    Disturbing Stat from the night: Ryan O’Byrne, the best physical deterrent the Canadiens have had all year in their defensive zone turned in 1:46 against one of their most physical, aggressive adversaries.

    You think we could’ve used him a little, dressing 7 Ds is only useful if the 7th D does something besides hand the 6 others their water bottles.

     

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

  29. J. Ambrose says:

    Yup. This ain’t 07-08 when, no matter how our goalie was playing, we were always in it. One PP, and we were back. Now goals are as rare and precious as a Wall Street trader with a conscience. 

  30. The Cat says:

    Neither Halak or Price can be blamed for much, sure theyll have slumps they cant be lights out everytime. The habs are like the Florida panthers: good goaltending and rare are the times the team will score 3 goals or more in one game.

  31. J. Ambrose says:

    And he’s only 18!!! Just imagine what a force he’ll be when his pubes grow in. Man!

  32. andrewberkshire says:

    Seems like a much better conversation can be had when criticism is kept civil. I think your respective responses to my comment and Primetime’s comment are a great example of this. Approach an issue honestly and with respect, you get a thoughtful reply in return. Try to be a bit of a jerk and pull an “I told you so”, and you get vitriol.

  33. diehardhab says:

    With our team our margins for winning and losing are so small that 1 bad goal can easily do us in. We don’t have the firepower to be able to stay in games. Whoever is in nets better be stopping anything that they see!

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  34. Shiloh says:

    You are asinine – almost every word you write betrays your lack of knowledge about hockey. Some of your words go farther and betray your lack of knowledge about the world around you.  I don’t know if you are suffering from the shock of having your idol stink for two years – or are just generally dimwitted. Either way, it must suck.

  35. PrimeTime says:

    Halaka played as I expected….he had a good run and got us into the playoffs but now it’s time to start a Canadian goalie who single-handedly won the AHL cup. PG probably “has” to sign Halak over Price unless the latter steals a round or two in the playoffs. If not he will likely be get an Offer Sheet by PHI and will win it all again in a few years and you idiots will choke on crow while Halaka plays to keep the Habs right where they are now year after year. Those who disagree are simply WRONG and it will be proven

     

     

    Bipolar or Manic-Depressive Disorder is a disease than can treated.

  36. andrewberkshire says:

    It’s what happens when you’re the starter! Nobody can take his season away from him, it’s been a breakout year and a damn impressive one, but I’m worried by the way it ended. A new season starts tomorrow, and Halak needs to be in top form.

  37. andrewberkshire says:

    I think it has to be subjective. Stats won’t tell the story. If he ends up saving 40 of 44 shots in the first game in a loss, and looks as shaky as he did tonight, and fights the puck, I’d be going to Price the second game, even though his stats would look ok. We can’t afford to make the same mistake as last year and ride a goalie into the ground. We have two excellent goalies, if we need to use both it’s not a big deal.

  38. ooder says:

    he definitely has set the bar pretty high for himself eh

    ——————

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

  39. andrewberkshire says:

    Thanks Topher, means a lot considering we don’t always see eye-to-eye!

  40. andrewberkshire says:

    O’Byrne TOI today was criminal, as was the scratching of Sergei. We absolutely need to start scoring as well. I don’t want to put too much blame on Halak, because let’s face it, he’s also the biggest reason we have a chance to be where we are, but he has to be better.

  41. andrewberkshire says:

    I completely agree that the team has sucked, I just think Halak, through most of the rest of the season, could have won or kept us in both those games.

  42. andrewberkshire says:

    Sorry Clay, legion sounds a lot better! 

  43. habs001 says:

    the biggest upset in playoff history if we play the caps and beat them…looking at some of these stats from a couple of days ago it looks impossible to beat the caps…

    it is very important we do not finish 8th..while we had some success vs capitals reg season in the playoffs the intensity and physicality revs up to another level
    the caps have scored 98 more goals while giving up 13 more than us ..but if you look at their secondary forwards it is impressive
     
                                                             laich         height  6-2    25 goals
                                                             knuble                 6-3    28
                                                         Fleischmann            6-1    23   
                                                              fehr                    6-4    21
                                                           chimera                 6-2    14
                                                             bradley                6-3    10
                                                             steckel                6-5     5     
     
       plus they have morrison 42 points and belanger  39 points who are also physical players…plus their big 3 forwards all  about 6-2…there is no way we can match up with them if they are playing up to par….in contrast we have secondary forwards pyatt  5 points….darche 10 points….lapps 14 points….sk74 18 points…..moen 18 points 
    pouliot 27 points….moore 27 points….plus a slow footed d and questionable physical abilities… 
  44. topher5468 says:

    Dont get me wrong your are exactly right, this team had no fight when they should have been beating teams to secure a spot. I know halak can be better and I hope that he is. I just don’t want to be emarrassed

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  45. bigbighabsfan says:

    Well they made it, one way or another. I think the appropriate thing to say now is Go Habs :)

     

    (edit: seems I was drunker than I thought last night..aw hell go habs anyway)

  46. Beaco says:

    This is the best “Halaka” vs Price argument starter EVER! Wildly insane! I love it and I say this as a Price fan…lol too much!

  47. ooder says:

    i dunno, the islanders and canes games the hwole team laid an egg.

    but i get what you and andrew are saying.

    1 one game trial to see where he stands

    ——————

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

  48. nova scotia vees says:

    I am a Halak fan, but he is not up to par and tonight he was poor.  Mind you…what were Hamerlik and Spazchek doing on that break-away goal??? Hamerlik needs a rest or something.  He is not playing well…

    The Koz brothers are home-sick…no interest in staying around for two more weeks.  Did you see AK’s face on the bench after we clinched?  Morose….

    Don’t play either of them again…and no Moen (moan)…and more Moore…and Darche and Pyatt…players who work hard.

     

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    Andrew has said Halak should be our No. 1 guy but he is raising a valid point about Halak’s performance in what was our most important week of the year.

     

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

  50. topher5468 says:

    I think that was a fair and impartial comment. Halak deserves to start but he can’t play like he did this past week and not get some pine.

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  51. Da Hema says:

    The Penguins certianly have some human pukes on their club. That little knockout is wonderful to see!

    ————————

    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  52. SeriousFan09 says:

    Everyone in the league owes this kid a beer, giving a D-bag what’s coming to him.

     

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

  53. Da Hema says:

    No doubt the team’s lack of physicality will mean a short playoff experience. That said, I haven’t seen a Hab player so explicitly go out of her way to avoid going into the corners as little Sergei–or at least since Kjell Dahlin. You can’t do what Sergei’s been doing. It is, well, cowardly–and everyone sees it.

    ————————

    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  54. matraque says:

    Tu connais rien! Canadiens en 5.

    We will beat the Caps.

    ——

    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  55. matraque says:

    We know you are in the Price super fanclub so why should we expect you to preach for Halak?

    Did Price allowed us to make it to the playoffs?

    Hopefully, this is worst Price season ever.

    ——

    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  56. Bob Barker says:

    ya he’s playing noticeably better. 

  57. Bob Barker says:

    Highlight of the night. Evander Kane bringing the pain. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW9Sp-WndwA

  58. Clay4bc says:

    You’re right…I would have even pulled him tonight after the third goal – it was obvious that he was fighting the puck. 1 game of grace in the playoffs, but another like tonight and Price has to get the nod.

    But for the record, it’s the “Legion of Halak”, not “Halak’s super fanclub”  :)

    _________________

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

  59. bigbighabsfan says:

    If this losing streak didn’t expose the Habs as a pretender then the Caps sure will.  They will annihilate Montreal. They have scored nearly 50 more goals than the next team, 100 more than Montreal. They are big. On that alone Montreal is no match. I wouldn’t mind that being illustrated in no uncertain terms, like say to the tune of losing by 5 goals each night, in case Gauthier shares Gainey’s fetish for tiny hockey players. They are on a roll right now too. The goaltending is suspect but so is the Habs. The games wont be close enough for that to be a factor.

    I hate saying things “will” happen. Habs played them well so obviously it isn’t impossible. But that looks to me like the biggest mismatch. I’d be amazed to see them win one game against the Caps. I agree there are zero expectations though. They have certainly earned that level of respect lately.

  60. topher5468 says:

    I agree with Andrew, Halak laid a giant egg, all week. A short leash is fair

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  61. Sehs says:

    We’re going to be the only team going into the playoffs with a negative goal differential for the season save for the Senators (who actually have a worse(?) differential than us).

  62. TOEmastro says:

    is anyone else really impressed with Max the last few games? I was getting used to spitting at his name but I really came around on him

  63. topher5468 says:

    I have to say Timo that I agree with you, other than a clean slate, this team has nothig going for them not evev a hot goalie because Halak sucked this past week. this team is horrible and shoud be going home, I hope they dont embarrass like last year

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  64. ooder says:

    even though halak was not good tonight at all, i think it’s unfari to say that he is the biggest reason.

    the teams did not show up against the islanders or hurricanes.

    the fact that we even got to overtime was a mircale agasint the islanders.

    as for the hurricanes… well maybe 1 goal was weak, 

    halak was deffinately been sub par, which is a good reason why we didn’t trade price

    ——————

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

  65. Da Hema says:

    If he is so injured that he cannot make routine contact with opponents, he should not be playing. I think everyone knows the reason why he avoids physical contact on the ice. Either way, eating hot dogs in the press box is where he belongs–until he can be moved.

    ————————

    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  66. andrewberkshire says:

    I know many of Halak’s super fanclub will be all over me for this, but Halak has been the biggest reason we’ve lost the last three games. All season he’s been spectacular and making everything look easy, and despite the team hanging him out to dry, he’s always come up big and made the big save at key times. That isn’t happening anymore. He’s made higher standards for himself and he’s failing. Two weak goals against the Islanders, followed by one of the worst shootout performances I’ve ever seen, deflating goals against the Canes, and 3 weak ones tonight in a game we should have won 3-1 with Halak having an AVERAGE game. He should start the first game of the playoffs, but he’s on a damn short leash in my opinion. Thankfully we have two good goalies, so if one chokes we can go with the other.

  67. Caper says:

    It could be ugly. I’ll take anyone but the Caps.

  68. topher5468 says:

    Halak laid an egg, was not impressed with down the stretch at all. This team played scared all night, AK 46 to me is terrible. I dont think this team belongs in the post season. I hope this team can at least make the most of this undeserving opportunity. 

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  69. Instant Karma says:

    The habs have noone to blame but themselves if SK walks to the khl next year.

  70. rogieshan says:

    Someone here must’ve mentioned this already, but there were many occasions over the last half-dozen games where you can clearly see Sergei Kostitsyn letting up on plays along the boards and in corners, as if he was deliberately trying to avoid contact. Perhaps he’s still favouring an injury, or he his play had become indifferent again (much like his brother). 

  71. Instant Karma says:

    that would mean JM using players correctly and in the right roles… highly unlikely

  72. mfDx says:

    Q: How much would you allow Halak to slide in the playoffs before pulling him?

    - Losing the first two games w/ 6 goals against?

    - Losing the first three games w/ 4 goals against?

    - 4 goals in a period?

    - scandalous photos popping up on the internet? 

  73. howtathor says:

    My reply to Hickey is: It’s better to be winning a Calder Cup and a Junior gold medal than playing for the Long Beach Ice Dogs. Granted Halak played almost a full season in the AHL prior to the Habs but what has HE ever won??? 

  74. howtathor says:

    I don’t know why Halak get’s a free pass while Price get’s booed out of the Bell Centre.

  75. howtathor says:

    If you’re talking about Halak, it was the Bronze medal game and they blew a 3-1 lead in the third period. Slovakia finished fourth. Halak’s olympics were a lot like the regular season. He’s great until it matters and then loses three in a row to three of the worse teams in the league. I know it’s a team game but it starts and ends between the pipes. If Halak can’t get us to the next level it’s time to go back to Price.

  76. Matt_in_TO says:

    Well according to Pat Hickey it might have something to do with everything being handed to Price on a silver platter and the fact that he hasn’t put in one second of work to get the where he is where as Halak has.

  77. bigbighabsfan says:

    Yeah because that is exactly what Hickey said right?

  78. Matt_in_TO says:

    I might be paraphrasing but that’s pretty much what he was eluding to.

  79. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    The word I used was “stamina”, not “toughness:. I like Halak’s toughness, and I disagree with the usual crowd piling on him now. The kid’s a good goalie, but he shows fatigue after a string of games. A good coach would rest him more consistently.

  80. linp says:

    Tonight’s game is high pressure. Halak played bad. I think he is mentally exhausted.

  81. zozotheclown says:

    Beep Beep Beep…

    The sound of the Habs backing into the playoffs. But seriously, we got what we wanted, and anything can happen from this point on. Cammy played much better, but still needs that one goal to really get going. Halak starts game 1 no matter what, but another showing like this and maybe Price gets game 2, especially since he has a good record against both Wsh and Buf. I still have tons of confidence in Halak though, he’s a proven battler, I’m actually excited to see what he does in the high pressure playoffs, because he’s definitely the kind of guy that can eliminate a team. 

  82. RJ says:

    Leave it to the hockey geniuses on this board to blame last night on Halak…

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  83. Caper says:

    He’s not to blame but he was weak and fighting the puck.

  84. Instant Karma says:

    If that was Price who gave up the weak tying goal in the 3rd, this website would have imploded!

  85. idle says:

    Neil FTW

     

    It’s a MAB MAB world.

  86. Don Carnage says:

    Neil Young Rocks !!

  87. RJ says:

    I suppose there is no mental toughness guiding your country to the Silver Medal Game in the Olympics…Hmmm.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  88. linp says:

    I like this sentence:”If players have flaws, you work with that to bring forward their
    strengths
    “. Instead of developing young players for our future, he punishes them and forces them to be afraid to make mistakes. He didn’t protect Price when he was booed by the fan. He was the best player on the team that night. I don’t like this coach.

  89. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    All right, an unexciting season rolls to an end. I have one observation of Halak here, and it’s one that makes me worry more about Jacques Martin than I do about Jaro. Throughout the season, it was clear that Halak’s greatest weakness was fatigue. When he had a string of games in a row, he would periodically lose focus. If he is to be the first string goalie, he won’t be a workhorse like Brodeur. He’s a good goalie, right now the best on the team, but he lacks mental stamina. The habs will need a backup they can use, and the coaching staff is going to have to figure out how to use him effectively.

    Martin’s like a guy who gets an oil change on his car and drives it til it’s dry, then stands beside the highway wondering what happened to cause the breakdown. We have a perfectly acceptable second string goalie in Price. He will have to be used, not in competition to replace Jaro (yet) but as a backup. If you observe a tendency to fatigue in a young goalie, why play him til he gets shelled and loses his confidence?

    The problem with Price is focus and confidence. Jaro is more or less in the the same boat at this moment, although he’s more likely to recover quickly. Someone buy J.M. a baseball program so he can play it and consider how to use starting and relief pitchers. If players have flaws, you work with that to bring forward their strengths. You don’t grind them down in the hopes they’ll get over it and be someone else.

  90. darcy1 says:

    and with any luck at all we’ll hire a coach that doesn’t bench young players for making a mistake.

  91. SeriousFan09 says:

    Playoffs will be extremely hard and if we exit early, at least we can count on JM likely getting the boot.

     

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

  92. Habsrule1 says:

    I haven’t read all the posts yet, but I wanted to give my 2 cents.

    Last night the Habs played well. The easiest, and cheapest thing to say is that they played bad cause it was leafs and they should have blown them out. The fact is, the leafs were loose and the Habs were on edge. These games are not easy for the team that has to win. I’m sure if this game was against another team fighting for a playoff spot, it would have been an easier game for the Habs to win.

    All that being said, the Habs hit 4 or 5 posts and dominated about two thirds to three quarters of the game. Some players who had been playing somewhat poorly really showed up, like Cammalleri & Pouliot. That bodes well for the playoffs.

    Halak has not been great recently, but saying Price should start game 1 is beyond ridiculous in my opinion. If Halak has a sub-par performance, though….all bets are off for game 2. I think that’s why we’re privileged to have 2 very good goalies. If one faulters, we can play the other with no worries.

    The Habs were predicted by many experts (including some so-called ones on this site) to finish way out of the playoffs when the season started, and now, after having lost close to 100 man games to injury from their 5 best players alone, are in. Sure, that may not seem like much on the surface, but they managed to win some tough games through injuries to allow them to be in a spot to still be able to clinch with a point last night.

    I think they have a chance against a couple teams in round one, namely Buffalo & Washington. Hell, they even played Jersey really well the last 2 games.

    And that completes my glass half full report :-)

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  93. rogieshan says:

    I distinctly remember Gainey on that fateful day saying he believed Andrei Kostitsyn was a potential “steal of the draft.” 

  94. SeriousFan09 says:

    AK won’t work for another year under Martin at all, but if we make Boucher head coach, I’d say see how it goes with AK and then if necessary, move him mid-season. Boucher got SK to where he is now, we should see if he can have the same effect on Andrei.

     

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

  95. Exit716 says:

    Sergei’s a seventh round pick. So if he doesn’t pan out it’s no big deal.

    The problem is that Timmins and Andre Savard decided to be “the smartest guys in the room” in 2003 and picked Andrei.

    It’s pretty clear that they’re both headed out of town this summer if Gauthier can get a warm body in return.

     

  96. Don Carnage says:

    10?  your age or maybe IQ?

  97. MikeL says:

    Neil Young beats quad aces every day of the week.

  98. howtathor says:

    Halak melted down in the olympics in the third period versus Finland in the bronze medal game. Either he is fatigued or doesn’t have the mental toughness when all the money is on the line. Granted, we wouldn’t be in the playoffs if it weren’t for Halak but do you think Price would have ever been allowed to lose three in a row? Hopefully the three or four days off will help but JM should have Halak on a short leash.

  99. JF says:

    We should have won that game about 5-1.  We dominated the leafs in every facet of the game except goaltending, but it seemed they scored on just about every one of the few chances they had.  Had it not been a must-get-a-point game, I think JM would certainly have started Price in goal, because Halak has struggled all week and looked extremely nervous last night.  I don’t know whether he’s just tired and needs a few days off, or whether re really doesn’t have the nerves for the big games, but I guess we’ll find out.  He’ll start the first game, but if he doesn’t look any better than he did last night, hopefully JM will have the sense to go to Price.  Last year Gainey’s obstinacy kept Price in goal when he wasn’t playing well; lets hope JM will be less obstinate.  I don’t think he could have risked starting Price last night, with the certainty of his being booed off the ice (and likely out of Montreal) if we lost; but we need goaltending that will at least give us a chance to win, and what we’ve seen this week won’t do it.

    My other concern is the way we squander our scoring chances.  We must have created at least a dozen great chances last night but kept finding ways not to score – missing, hitting the goalpost, fanning on the shot.  Giguere made some very good saves, particularly in the third period and overtime, but we should still have been able to bury more of our chances.  This is a concern because it seems to be a pattern recently, and whichever team we face – the Caps with their high-octane offence, the Devils with their neutral-zone trap or the Sabres who have one of the best goaltenders in the League – we need to be able to finish.  In most games we won’t get as many glorious chances as we had last night.

    On the positive side, our best players were our best players, as the cliché has it.  Markov, Gomez, and Gionta were outstanding.  Cammalleri had by far his best game since returning from injury, and Pouliot looked a lot more confident than he has recently.  It concerns me that JM benched Sergei Kostitsyn, who has been consistently good since the Olympic break, and effectively did the same to Ryan O’Byrne who, despite mistakes, has had a very good season and looks twice the player he did last year.  It’s OK to bench someone for not trying, but players make mistakes; benching them as punishment only hurts their confidence and makes them play nervously.  I hope both Sergei and O’Byrne will get their share of ice-time in the playoffs.

    Our botton two lines were again very good, and for people who like to hurl insults at Maxim Lapierre, he’s been playing his best hockey of the year recently.

  100. The Cat says:

    Halak is slumping, he picked a bad time to do it but hes only human, usually hes been pretty solid after a loss. He had a few big games in the Olympics so I doubt this one was because of nerves…

    I havent watched the games religiously lately because of commitments but I, like others, am scratching my head as to what Obyrne has done to deserve this treatment.

  101. linp says:

    I agree with your post except this sentence: “Our botton two lines were again very good” We were playing with effectively 3 lines only. JM played O’Byrne 1.46 minutes and Pyatt 5+ minutes. We didn’t have a forth line.

  102. Clay4bc says:

    For fuck sakes, Priceberg, you are such a loser. How can you type with your tongue buried firmly in Price’s ass? Saying Halak has no class is a joke – but not as big of a joke as you are. Go away now.

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

  103. SeriousFan09 says:

    We have one in Hamilton already.

     

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

  104. darcy1 says:

    but with all the coaching opperitunities that will be avaliable this summer (I count 5 or 6), will he still be in Hamilton come September?

  105. Sakus Bionic Leg says:

    Mr B

    While I agree mostly with your assessment – I’m not sure we were watching the same Scott Gomez last night… don’t get me wrong, I’m a Gomez fan, but he frustrated the bejesus out of me last night… his 4 shots last night were about as dangerous as the Komisarek point shot.

    And most times he had a shotting lane he dribbled and drop-passed.  For a guy who has as much on ice vision as he does, not shooting when you have a quality opportunity just raises questions about his intensity. And he’s a guy who needs to be a difference maker every game… 

    Its also another reason I hope that the Habs end up with a 1st round matchup vs Washington. 

    I don’t have the answer. Just an opinion.

  106. linp says:

    Gomez has played his best game since the Olympic break. He was all over the ice. He was carrying the puck a lot. His line dominated the opponent. Shooting is not his strength.

  107. Don Carnage says:

    Take heed in your own signature

  108. Clay4bc says:

    right you are – thanks.

    _________________

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

  109. longtimehabsfan says:

    Habs’ D giving up too much space this last week.  Forwards also out of position.  And then you have Hamrlik who all of a sudden has no legs left.  Best pairing is Gill and Georges who give it their all every night.  And Jaro needs to get back to form.  

    Good to see Cammy and Benny elevate their games.  Where were they?  Don’t know which version we’ll get in the playoffs as the Habs have displayed a half dozen personalities this year.

  110. Matt_in_TO says:

    Nevermind the third goal, it would have happened after the first one.

  111. Matt_in_TO says:

    I don’t think it’s because he can’t handle the workload, it’s he can’t win when it matters.

  112. Habsrule1 says:

    You don’t think those 2 shutouts mattered? Without those, the Habs are golfing today. And, be honest…how many games did Price win when it really mattered? They are both young, so they haven’t had all that many games that “mattered” anyway. considering Halak has never played when it REALLY matters (playoffs), I think it’s unfair to say he can’t win when it matters.

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  113. Matt_in_TO says:

    If you really want to get technical, every game matters.  Points you piss away in November can come back to haunt you.  There were three games this week where we needed just two points to clinch against non-playoff teams and Jaro played poorly in all three.  Like I said before, he gets a mulligan for the Carolina game as the whole team pretty much sucked. 

     

  114. Habsrule1 says:

    So, if they all matter, I think Jaro played well in most of them. I agree he hasn’t been at his best lately, but it’s still unfair to say he can’t win when it matters. i think we’ll see how true that is by the way he plays in the next few games. If the team plays like they did last night, I think Jaro has to back them up, but then again, he’ll need a lot of help from his defense if we play Washington.

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  115. kempie says:

    Can anybody shed some light on what OB has done to get himeslf nailed to the bench at this time of year? And while we’re at it what about Sergi? JM is really starting to fry my ham. This time of year is stressful enough without having to deal with him. At the end of the game last night he looked like a guy who floated a big stinky fart and was hoping nobody was gonna smell it.

  116. cjhousegirl says:

    Really, really happy about Pouliot’s game last night. I was starting to worry about him but he proved to me last night that (a) he does have heart and (b) he shows up for the big games. He should’ve had a goal last night. He was staring at a wide open net and only had to re-direct the puck into it but somehow shovelled it into Giguere.

    We should’ve creamed the Leafs last night. Overall the team played well but Jaro was not good. 2 bad goals: the 1st one and the 3rd one. I’m a little worried about Jaro now. He was awful in the 3rd period of the Bronze medal game and hasn’t been his super self in the three games where all we needed was a point. Last night was a not a good night for him.

    I’m also not too happy he was a no show in the dressing room. He should have been there win or lose. Halak wanted to be a #1 and now he is. The pressure and expectations are different over that of being the back-up. Price has lived with those pressures and expectations now it’s Halak’s turn.

    We’ll see how things turn from here but I have to think based on the last few games, but especially the Leafs’ game, Halak may have a short leash in the playoffs, especially if we play Washington. Price has always played well against the Capitals.

    Glad we’re there even if it is only for one round. April without playoff hockey just sucks.

     

     

  117. Caper says:

    It comes down to how bad do they want it. Our top 6 despite their size are easily one the the top 10 groups. Our third line has been playing very well for weeks. We have one of the top D-man in Markov and Halak despite his mini-meltdown this week has played very well. This team has talent to compete with any team on any given night. This team is much better than last year’s however it has not had a chance to gel properly. Anyone remember the  84-85 habs? I know I live in the past too much.  I think that we can  beat anyone in the Eastern conference however Washington stands alone. If we do lose, I just hope they do us proud and work their tails off.

  118. matrags says:

    the last was about playoff positioning not making it ,although we managed to turn it into that.We failed to pick up one win against three teams out of it . So you thought the great goal debate was over , well think again.Halik was given the ball to run with it and dropped it and now we are stuck with nothing but uncertainty where it matters most in nets.So we start Halik with crossed fingers and if he faulters we can give Jeasus the cross to bear with assurances that all will be forgiven if he performes just one more maricle or else.

  119. ghg31price says:

    Thanks Boone!

  120. filincal says:

    I don’t think Cooke knew what he was getting into. He just left his chin out there to get crushed, and did it ever…twice ,the second one landed before he hit the ice.

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  121. mrhabby says:

    nice to see cooke get pounded..it was about time.

  122. fun police says:

    just as on some nights the only reason we won was halak, last night the only reason we lost was halak.  lets face it, he was brutal.  the leafs had three good scoring chances last night, that is about it.  i would have halak on a very short leash.  he has earned the start, but this is professional sports and “what have you done for me lately”.  halak, who has been a winner all year, couldn’t get the job done against the islander, carolina or toronto.  each of those games, he let in softies.  maybe he’s played too much, or maybe the pressure is too much.  regardless, he hasn’t gotten it done in the last week.

    i would also have no problem putting obyrne in and sitting hammer.  for the last month, hammer has looked slow and tired.  he was brutal on two goals last night.

    say what you want, but gainey’s ufa signings were our best players by far last night.

  123. 21BIGGionta says:

    If the reason is that he played too much…then he shouldn’t be a number one goalie because he’s only played 45 games while other number one goalies are playing 60-75 games

  124. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    i just wish Sergei and JM could kiss and make up. then put lapierre or moore bwteen the Kos and lets get on with winning.

  125. DearyLeary says:

    It appears Halak is catching European Goalie Syndrome.  Another stinker.

  126. notbigbird says:

    Bold move: start Price in game 1. On one hand visitors normally lose that game anyway, so it’s not much of a gamble, and Halak should be back in his groove for game 2. On the other hand, Halak has gone cold, and Price has the chance of getting hot and pulling an upset.

  127. ProHabs says:

     What is the story with Sergei. There has to be something.

    I guess I have to be happy with the team just barely making the playoffs because at the beginning of the year, I said there were 2 key players that needed to have solid years and carry the team this year. The 2 players were: Carey Price and AK46.

    THey both sucked this year and the team made the playoffs so that is an accomplishement I guess.

  128. matraque says:

    18pts… thats 3rd line at best with no PP time.  Nothing wrong there.

    ——

    Canadien en 5!

    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  129. ganderhab says:

    Perhaps the team can use the same “nothing to lose attitude” we just faced against our last three opponents to make some noise in the playoffs. Since the Olympic break we beat Boston twice, Buffalo, the Rangers and Philadelphia with a lot riding on it. Now that we are in and playing other teams with something to lose, maybe they won’t like the prospect of playing a fast, albeit small team with good goaltending and better than average special teams. Lets cut the boys some slack and enjoy the ride!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.