About last night …

PKIsles

This time around, the coach didn’t call out P.K. by name.
In his postgame remarks, Michel Therrien praised Subban for his effort in a third period dominated by the Canadiens en route to their 5-2 win.
And when questioned about a Too Many Men penalty in the second period, Therrien said there was miscommunication between two players, neither of whom he identified.
It was P.K. jumping on before Alexei Emelin left the ice.
The coach didn’t name names because one of the names is the best darn defenceman he’s got.
And I don’t mean Emelin.

Subban scored twice against the Islanders. His five shots on goal tied Michael Ryder for the team high on the game.

P.K. has nine goals. That’s tops among NHL defencemen. His six on the power-play – which went 2-for-4 on Long Island – tie Subban with Brian Campbell for the league lead.

Despite an overtime mistake against Buffalo that drew the ire of his coach and had everyone buzzing midweek in hockey-obsessed Montreal, P.K. has played himself into Norris Trophy consideration this season.

It’s a distinguished field: Kris Letang, Ryan Suter, François Beauchemin, that guy in Boston. But P.K. is definitely part of the conversation.

And there will be another conversation in about 12 months … or maybe less. The interlocutors will be Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin and Subban’s agent, Don Meehan.

Guy Carbonneau was on the postgame edition of L’Antichambre. Carbo rarely misses an opportunity to subtly slam the Canadiens management – notably his former friend, Bob Gainey – who fired him.

In this instance, Carbo blasted the Canadiens’ policy, under Gainey, of not negotiating contracts during the season. It had cost them Mark Streit, who liked Montreal and would have signed for less than he ended up getting from the Islanders as a UFA after the 2007-’08 season.

Other defencemen who were allowed to walk: Sheldon Souray, Mike Komisarek, Francis Bouillon.

P.K. is better – and younger – than all of them. And if Bergevin is as smart as I think he is, Subban will be signed long-term before his current two-year contract expires next season.

The joint brain fart with Emelin notwithstanding, Subban was brilliant on the Island. And he had a company, as the Canadiens showed some heart and cojones in a win that wasn’t as easy as the score suggests.

Carey Price probably won’t get enough Vezina Trophy votes to match P.K.’s Norris total.

Price has neither a dazzling GAA or save percentage. What he has is Ws – 16 of them, to tie Marc-André Fleury for the league lead.

And if Price isn’t brilliant during an Islanders power-play in the second period, maybe those third-period heroics never come to pass.

There may be more pressure-packed jobs than playing goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens. The Jeremy Renner character in The Hurt Locker worked up quite a sweat defusing IEDs. But no one went on Iraqi all-sports radio to crap on his glove-side technique.

Criticized for what looks like nonchalance, Price may have the perfect temperament so survive all the BS a Canadiens’ goalie has to endure. On L’Antichambre, Mathieu Darche praised his former teammate’s “mellow” personality.

Price has not let that mellow be harshed by all the grandstand goaltenders who pick over his technique, but the critics will not be silenced until he wins a playoff series … or four.

The Thursday night game did not offer much to indicate how your Montreal Canadiens will perform in May. For 40 minutes, they struggled under the relentless forecheck of a team that is not a Stanley Cup contender.

For a few shifts in the second period, Therrien dropped David Desharnais off his customary line, moving Lars Eller up between Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty. DD – whom Bergevin signed to a new contract this week – came back strong in the third period, set up Brian Gionta’s winner and ended the game with two assists and a plus-3.

It’s interesting, however, that Eller’s 18:41 of ice time exceeded Desharnais’ and Tomas Plekanec’s. So who’s the number-one centre on this team?

And do the Canadiens need one, or can the Pleks-DD-Eller troika carry the team through a postseason run?

We may get an early answer next week, when the Canadiens play that bellwether back-to-back in Pittsburgh and Boston.

Rene Bourque should be back by then. Anyone up for some line-shuffling?

I liked the lines floated on L’Antichambre: Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta, Max-DD-Ryder (back on his natural RW), Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher. Brandon Prust, when he comes back, would play on the fourth line and perhaps be spotted on the Top Three when the Canadiens need a spark.

Maybe I’m overthinking and compulsively tinkering here.

The Canadiens have won 20 of their 30 starts (a level it took 53 games to reach last season) and are 11-2-2 on the road. Since that 6-0 loss to the Leafs on Feb. 9, the Canadiens have lost once in regulation time, taking points in 18 of 19 games.

Consistency.

This with a lineup that’s too small, a goaltender who never steals games, no scorers among the NHL’s Top 40 … and four rookies in the lineup on Long Island.

They must be doing something right.

Unlike some teams …

 

545 Comments

  1. Old Bald Bird says:

    I can’t figure out why HIO refuses to tell us this, but there is a new thread.

  2. Stephen York says:

    D’Agostini to Devils for a conditional pick.

    Chara diving vs. Gonchar:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEb3_xTQi1w

  3. Stephen York says:

    Moen for John Scott.

  4. habs001 says:

    Eller has one of the worst shooting percentage for a forward on the team…I know his play has improved this year but there is no indication so far that he will score goals consistently….He looks to me as a very valuable third line centre…

    • Loonie says:

      Yesterday he was on his way to becoming an elite centreman and today he’ll never score goals consistently?

      Edit: Last season only three Habs forwards scored more goals while not on the powerplay than Eller.

      Whoops.

    • Mustang says:

      Has his name come up for a trade yet this week? What is more important, the shooting percentage of one player or having a team that is winning? Personally, I prefer to see our Habs winning over and above any individual stats.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Until he shows more, he is a 3rd line centre. I personally think he will show that he can be a good 2nd line centre.
      He’s still only 23 years old, isn’t he?

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Habfan17 says:

      What Eller has shown since his time in the press box is that if he continues to play the way he has been, he is a legitimate 2nd line centre. There have been many 1st and 2nd line centres that were set up men first and scorers second. How about Hull and Oates!

      In fact with the signing of DD to a cap friendly salary and with his continued solid play, and the emergence of Eller, I would be comfortable, if St. Louis is still looking to trade Stewar, to send Pleks, Pulashaj and Holland to get him and a 2nd round pick. That way next season the centres would be DD, Eller Galchenyuk, 3rd line for a season for development, and White or Nattinen on the 4th line.

      If Bergevin could sign Stalberg as a UFA in the off season, I would say let Ryder go and trade Gionta and have Stewart, Gallagher and if he makes it, Kristo on the top 3 lines. Then the Habs would have Patches, Stalberg and Bourque on the top 3 on the left side. with Prust, White and any one of a posiible 3 players on the 4th line

      Habfan17

      • B says:

        If they can add Palushaj (a Colorado player) in a trade with the Blues, then why stop there, sweeten up the deal by adding Duchene and/or Parenteau :)

        –Go Habs Go!–

  5. Habsrule1 says:

    Now hindsight is 20/20, but many of us felt this way before.

    Can we come out and say now that giving PK the bridge contract was a mistake by MB? Obviously, we don’t know what PK was looking for over the long term, but I’d venture to guess we could have gotten him for under 6M/year on a 6 year contract.
    Well, that ship has now sailed and if PK continues improving like most have always thought he would, he will be one of, or THE highest paid defenseman in the league when this contract is over.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Loonie says:

      He’s proving his maturity and exceeding expectations.

      Something that players should have to do in order to earn the huge contract.

    • Cal says:

      No. It was not a mistake. Thanks to some smart negotiating the Habs have PK for 1 more season as the cap drops. There is nothing to stop MB from negotiating during the season next year. Meehan will see to it that PK is making huge bucks anyway.
      Lots of contracts coming off the Cap at the end of 13/14.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I still think it’s likely that if we would have given him a long term deal, we would have saved a fair bit in the long run.
        But then, maybe sticking to their guns was the more valuable statement anyway.
        All I know is that I’m glad PK is a Hab, and I hope it’s for a long, long time.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • Cal says:

          The word to PK’s agent (and all the others) is that MB is not going to sacrifice the overall quality of his team for 1 player (despite how great PK is). He has a plan to ensure his players aren’t overpaid (like what the Oilers have done) and he has flexibility within the Cap.
          I am fairly certain PK’s next contract will keep he and his family happy for generations.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The truth is we will never know what PK was asking for in a long term term deal. His agent was the guy who got Drew Doughty 7 million per. Maybe his long term demands were too high for MB to take that risk…who knows…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The problem with that theory is that it assumes that P.K. would be performing exactly the same if he had received a massive Drew Doughty contract. I’m of the opinion that some of the tough love he received from management and veterans sank in, and he has made changes to the way he approaches the team and the game. So making him prove himself has been salutary to both parties. If we have to pay full value next time around for the Norris Trophy candidate we all knew he could become, I’m all for it. I prefer that to gambling on the uneven, undisciplined player of last season in order to get a modest discount.

    • Habfan17 says:

      No it was not a mistake. bergevin has shown he will negotiate contracts during the season and if PK starts next season off the same way he is playing now and of course keeps it up this season, Bergevin can sign him to an extension which would kick in with a salary cap that may be back to where it was before the lock out. It also sends a message to all rookies that they will be asked to take a bridge deal and that if they do and they play well, they will be rewarded.

      Habfan17

  6. commandant says:

    Matt D’Agostini headed to Jersey.

    Jeff Halpern on waivers.

    Former 9th overall pick Brian Lee on waivers.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  7. Hoegaarden says:

    Have to agree with the comments of D.Potvin during the Sens game last night when he mentioned that getting Kassian was the best move made by B.Murray this year. Kassian stared down Turd-ton and he just disappeared. He also invited Lu$hit a couple of times and he of course refused. But Lulu still managed to go after a couple of smaller guys at the end of the game. Neil must be the happiest Sen in town.

  8. Loonie says:

    D’Agostini traded to the Devils.

  9. habs-fan-84 says:

    As per Stubbs, Blunden is filling in for White who is out with a lower body injury

  10. Loonie says:

    Dave Stubbs just tweeted it’s Ryan White who’s hurt.

  11. likehoy says:

    to the lineup changes, I don’t think Gionta and Pleks won’t be paired up for the rest of the season.

    They complement each other perfectly in the sense that they are two-way forwards and have veteran leadership.. that line is consistently playing well every night even when the Eller and Desharnais line aren’t having their best game.

  12. Propwash says:

    Rangers placed Halpern on waivers. Could help on the faceoff department.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  13. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Tavares is Ryan Smyth’s doppelganger

  14. bel33 says:

    RDS reporting… Blunden called up from Hamilton?

  15. Habfan10912 says:

    Off to stock up on some fishing gear. Trout season opens soon. Spring is in the air and the Habs sit high in the standings. Life is good. Enjoy friends.

  16. HabFanSince72 says:

    Randy Carlyle sent out all his goons on the ice to go after Kaleta. Colton Orr basically jumped him and punched him in the head repeatedly. This is how Bourque got injured too – an Orr sucker punch to the head.

    Why is that not a suspension? It’s altogether worse than a hit to the head that occurs during play.

    Anyway, thug team that I really hope to see finish 9th.

    • Cal says:

      I’d love to see the laffs miss out by 1 point just so we can hear all summer about how “good” they are. Bleeping thug bastages!

    • Loonie says:

      I’d prefer they make the playoffs and we, the Bruins or Penguins trounce them in four games.

      I want no part of them having a shot at the lottery.

    • Luke says:

      But the Sabres have Scott. No one would jump anyone if Scott was on the team. You must surely be mistaken.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      The fact remains, this kind of “thuggery” has not and continues to not be addressed by the league. (I don’t advocate it…but) The facts are clear…as much as some of the people who continue to wring their hands and (justifiably) complain about league inaction…maybe they need to admit the possible value of someone on a team (who, against certain repeat offender teams) needs to be available to insert into the lineup in order to send a clear message which would make them think twice about targeting one of the productive players on a squad. (i.e. someone might come a-looking for a productive player on your squad)…sorry for the run-on and on sentence.

      As opposed to doing nothing, while this type of action continues.

      • Loonie says:

        Yeah hey I’m on board with you. In fact, can we get Alexander Perezoghin on the phone?

        Maybe we could have him travel with the team to Toronto on April 13th and ask him to take a Barry Bonds like swing at Orr’s face.

      • Luke says:

        I don’t think it’s necessary… because the Habs DO NOT have a thug, the Islanders last night did not dress Boulton or Finley.

        Carkner was dressed, but he can play a bit.

        If the Habs had a glove-dropper, the Islanders would have dressed Boulton and they would have fought and it would have meant nothing.

        • powdered toastmann says:

          The possible solution is making a team/player think twice about possibly intentionally/flagrantly taking out a productive player on the opposing squad…if there may be a response which might be similar.

          • Luke says:

            Sort of like how having Chara on the Ice convinced Emelin he shouldn’t break a stick across Seguin’s flank?

            oh wait…

          • Mattyleg says:

            Oh God, no.
            As I’ve said many many times before:
            Do you really think that if we had… John Scott on our team, that Brad Marchand would think twice about slew-footing Subban?
            John Scott would not fight Marchand. He would fight Lucic or Thornton, and Marchand would continue on his merry way.

            If, however, PK went after Marchand for doing it to Emelin, for instance, then that’s a much stronger message.

            We don’t need a thug to win games.
            If anything, sacrificing a roster spot for one would make us less productive and threatening.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Yep. But with Lucic in the box, someone else could go after Marchand. : )

            Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

          • powdered toastmann says:

            The problem is that we don’t want Subban to be engaged in this manner. The types of situations which may justify the type of response I mentioned are the flagrant (not fragrant) ones. I don’t know if you can compare the Colton Orr stuff against Pleks and Bourque with Emelin’s hit. (sometimes hits are not delivered as they are attempted…the result being a questionable hit (maybe not blatatntly intentional)…as opposed to Orr’s obviously intentional knee attempt on Pleks).

        • Mattyleg says:

          YES.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. habfan11 says:

    Habs roll on, not a pretty win, but 2 pts none the less. We need to wait till late next week to see if our Habs are for real, but I said that at the beginning of the month as well and we walk away with 3 points out of 4. I’m not sure if we need to change the locker room, the team is playing well the locker room is tight. Just wait till thursday!

    #11 for the rafters! Guess that’ll have to wait!

    • habfan53 says:

      Why do we have to wait ?
      After 10 games it was because we played more home games.
      After 20 games it was because we had not played a long road trip.
      Now after 30 games we have to wait till we play Pittsburgh and Boston again?
      The team IS for real. do we have all the parts? NO 3 are injured.
      MT has been able to adjust. I don’t expect the type of game as the last time we played the Penguins. and I expect Julien to make adjustments after be beat Boston.

  18. aj says:

    I am not happy the way NHL.com show this kind of discriminatory polls:
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=661465&navid=DL|NHL|home.

    You look at the stats of Chara and compare it with Subban, you get appalled by the bias that’s surrounding the NHL:

    Zdeno Chara – GOALS: 6 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 14
    P.K. Subban – GOALS: 9 | ASST: 13 | PTS: 22

    I’m starting to see why the Habs are the most discriminated team in the league.

    • Bun E. Laroque says:

      and P.K is the most discriminated against player.

      • aj says:

        Sadly, its becoming that way! The guy deserves a shot as a Norris Trophy Candidate. I don’t know why idiot pundits who put that report don’t see the kid’s talent.

      • I’ve long resisted the discrimination accusations, but I’ve got to admit, his accomplishments do get pushed aside time and again, while the focus stays on some perceived lack of maturity because he makes an ill-advised play now and then. You’ve got to wonder why that is.

        I’m having to start to agree that if P.K. were a white kid, he’d get a lot more respect — not just from buffoons like Don Cherry, but in rankings like these and all across the league.

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • Luke says:

      It’s more than points.

      Chara is the best defenseman in the league. Not the best offensive defenseman in the league.
      Chara is a better defenseman than PK Subban right now. He just happens to score fewer points.

      I think you are looking too hard for something to be upset about. Just be happy the Habs have a star to cheer for who looks like he’s only getting better and may one day be in the Norris discussion.

      Discrimination? haha

      • aj says:

        I don’t think so! Best Dman trying to put a beating on our boy Emelin? You call that ‘best’? His a goon like the rest of those Bruins players. Also, 14 pts. does not translate as a best Dman IMO.

        I would agree if Letang, Suter, or Karlson be on that #1 spot. Better if Subban is on the the top. But Chara, haha! Yeah right!!

        • Mattyleg says:

          Chara’s probably the best overall defenceman in the league.
          Points are less important for a d-man than d-zone awareness and coverage. Points are important for offensive players.

          Oh, and the fact that he can beat up any player in the NHL makes him even better.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Bun E. Laroque says:

            Could he take Lucic though.

          • Mattyleg says:

            I’d love to see that.
            Looch gets traded to Florida and Chara mashes his face into the boards, they drop their gloves and the power of their face-punching detaches Florida from the mainland.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Luke says:

          He’s not a goon. You are so blinded by this dislaike you have for BOston and Chara that you can’t see that Chara is simply the best Defenseman in the NHL.

          “14points doesn’t translate as a best Dman”

          Neither does 22.

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            No he’s a guin. He may be talented but our “dislaike” is well placed. He nearly killed one of our players and got away free. BOston and Chara can drop dead, for all we care.

            There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

          • Luke says:

            You may have justifiable dislike for the dude, but that don’t make him a goon or a bad hockey player.

            He’s probably tghe best at his postition.
            He will be in the Hall of Fame.

          • Cal says:

            Chara is a big piece of shit that stains the ice of the NHL. He is a goon that can shoot. That is all.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      At the moment there isn´t a better defensemen in this league than Subban. Certainly not that giant c… from Boston. BUT: The voting took place in mid-February to be fair. No one would pick Markov ahead of Subban now.

      • Luke says:

        Chara either doesn’t make, or doesn’t miss, that hit in OT.

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          First of all, it wasn´t a bad play as Subban separated the Buffalo player from the puck. It´s also not his fault that a penalty was given. Clearly a mistake by the refs.

          Picking out one play that wasn´t perfect is also a little bit ridiculous…

          • Luke says:

            Not saying it was a bad play. Saying Chara plays it safe unless he is 100% he’ll complete the hit.

            Man… touchy touchy about PK around here.

            Sorry. Yes, PK should win the PK award (formerly Norris) because he is so super duper perfect at being a defenseman that anyone who doesn’t play defense just like him is doing it wrong.
            Also he invented rainbows and rides a unicorn to work.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          While I agree Chara is a good Dman and is better than Subban (for now), Chara literally can’t make that hit – he couldn’t even if he wanted to.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      As a Habs fan, I think PK should be praised by his fanbase.

      In that poll, no one even appeared to consider Subban, but, for some reason, Subban is booed in arenas around the league.

      This could be interpreted as he is such a hated player that he deserves the booing (like Chara in Mtl), but then again, no one boos Cooke or Marchand every time they touch the puck.

      The other interpretation is that this treatment is reserved for very talented players that can get under the other team’s skin. I like to think this is the case with Subban, and also add that Subban isn’t a dirty player in the least (isn’t a goon, doesn’t lose his temper often) and isn’t deserving of even being considered near the NHL’s most hated players.

    • HFL says:

      PK might not be in the top 8 for that poll, but if he continues on his present pace he will certainly be contending for the top position by the end of the season

  19. Rooster says:

    Might I add that without change that lineup is A Stanley cup contender

  20. Rooster says:

    Come playoffs I believe this will be the lineup we will see (barring injury)
    Gally – DD – maxpac
    Bourque – pleks – Ryder
    Chucky – Eller – Gio
    Prust – White – Moen
    Armstrong

    Pk – gorges
    Markov – Yemelin
    Tinordi – Diaz
    Boullion

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Armstrong will be in for White, I guess. I´d personally prefer this:

      Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gallagher
      Galchenyuk – Eller – Ryder
      Bourque – Desharnais – Gionta
      Prust – Dumont – White

      Moen, Armstrong

    • Skepticism says:

      Not a bad lineup BOB

    • HFL says:

      Id like to see
      Gally – DD – Maxpac
      Ryder – Plek – Gio
      Bourque – Eller – Chucky
      Prust – White – Moen

      PK – Gorges
      Markov – Emelin
      Diaz – Boullion
      Tinordi
      I think bourque playing with Eller and chucky could be a great combo.

  21. alfieturcotte says:

    Kovy Retires…..I would take Kovy over Ryder, today. Limit his minutes, play him on the power play and most importantly in the shootouts. Something tells me we would have gotten some decent hockey out of him.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Liked Kovy in his day with Montreal (most nights) but his days are over. Would gladly take todays Ryder over todays Kovy in a heartbeat. But it is nice to reminisce!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Better than Ryder?
      How many points does Ryder have with us?
      Do you really think Kovy would subscribe to MT’s ‘team’ concept?
      I loved ‘L’Artiste’, but his time is past.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Luke says:

      Yes Alfie, I agree.

      Removing a productive goal scoring forward from the line up, adding an enigmatic career underacheiver who’s too old and slow to play on the worst team in the league is our best chance at winning #25!

      Do it MB!!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Florida is horrible and even they gave up on him…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      You can have him. No more Kovaloaf is a good thing. At least Ryder isn’t an arsehole who gives up on a play over a boo boo, takes out one of his own defencemen and causes the team to lose. That is my lingering memory of Kovaloaf.

      There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

  22. Un Canadien errant says:

    Apologies if this link has already been posted, but Cam Charron of the Backhand Shelf blog (these guys are just excellent, him and Justin Bourne and Ellen Etchingham especially) examines what the Canadiens should/will do with Alexei Emelin when his contract is up for renewal, in light of the Maple Leafs sending Mike Komisarek to the minors.

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/03/22/the-andrei-markov-effect/

    • Gerry H says:

      Yup. Excellent point. Interesting that all three (Emelin, Komisarek and Souray) play a hard-hitting game. The bonus factor with Sheldon was that canon of his.

      I really hope Markov can play his whole career in Montreal. Those that limit their assessment of him to points and +/- will never get a real measure of his value.

    • ed says:

      Markov is still a very smart player, and extremely valuable to the team. But Markov is no where near the player he was for Souray or Komisarek. No where near that player.

      Markov can not burst with the same speed, nor can he pivot quickly to his left side – technical skating difficulties that limit his effectiveness.

      With very little insight, sorry to say, these guys have lumped Emelin in a pile next to Souray and Komisarek.

      I disagree.

      Emelin is a much better all around player. His skating is miles ahead of Komisarek, his positional play and decision making with and without the puck, miles ahead of both of these players when they played with Markov.

      I believe Emelin is still improving his NHL game.

      He should be kept by the Habs and he will move comfortably into a top 4 role even when Markov sadly has to leave.

      Emelin is one of the pleasant reasons why the Habs are doing so well this season. He has made mistakes, but he has carried a load of responsibility and carried it well.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        It’s just incredible to me that Markov can still be as effective as he is today when he is basically playing on one leg, with very little speed and agility.

        Just goes to show how intelligent he is, and how dominant he could have been if it hadn’t been for his injuries.

        Are there any other players in the NHL that could have those elements of their game removed and still be even remotely effective?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I’m not sure the Markov effect applies to Emelin. Emelin was already a successful d-man in a pro league before he got here. Actually playing with Markov has been partly a disadvantage for him as he is forced to play on his wrong side. It is a lot easier to receive a pass right-handed playing on the right side than left-handed (ask Komisarek…lol!). Emelin was playing basically the same last year with Diaz while he was on his natural left side. He would be attractive trade bait however…

      BTW the Chargers signed another back-up O-lineman…woowho!

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Bill H says:

      Interesting link. Thanks.

  23. habstrinifan says:

    Does not surprise me that Demers is a P.K fan. Demers has always been a fan of the ‘skilled’ player and how to fit them into his team.

    I think that MB, without much fanfare, has made some fundamental decisions about the team which will impact it near future.

    By extending both Desharnis and Bouillion MB(and MT?) has penciled them as ‘not being traded’ for the near future. His callup of Pateyrn and now Tinordi also signify that he WONT be looking to add that HIO recommended big D from trade or pick-up and will stay within the organization.

    I really dont know what to make of the Dumont call up or the Ryder acquisition… as fas as ‘near future and playoffs’ impact.

    Nothing against Dumont but I dont see him as the ‘missing’ piece for the playoffs. And I dont buy the ‘show-casing callup argument’. Also what does the Blunden recall and immediate demotion mean to Blunden and to the ‘need’ for injecting some sort of upgrade into our 5 on 5 offense.

    I think we need either a bonafide goal scorer or a Doug Weight type. Wonder if MB is ‘searching’ to upgrade our 5 on 5 and if so.. which player/s he may make available…the easy answer are Weber/Kaberle but I dont think he will get bites there.

    • Cal says:

      Looks like Dumont is trying to fill Prust’s role as best as he can. Unfortunately, he isn’t much of a philosopher.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I worry you may be over analyzing the moves made. Dumont has been Hamiltons top centerman all season, thus when the time came to make another callup he deserved a shot. Blunden was the next callup and he was called upon when needed and presently is not needed.

      Bouillion has been effective this season and was available cheap for 1 more year and MB capitalized on it. DD, well this one is a bit different, but essentially I think MB felt it was cheaper to sign him now than would have been come summer.

      Pateryn and Tinordi have been given tryout periods to the Parent club to see if either is ready to help.

      As for what this does to trade talk, we have no idea what MB is looking for. None of us saw Ryder for Cole coming….

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I don’t think offense is the Habs’s problem. I would like another gritty forward who can kill penalties and has playoff experience (e.g., Max Talbot). They needed size on defense too but it looks like Tinordi will take care of that.

      BTW it is obvious that MB’s #1 short term priority is cap management. Whatever he does, the effect on the cap seems to be a major factor behind it.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  24. Xkhann says:

    - this team was better last season than their record indicated. With that being said, is this team able to win it all this year? Standings don’t mean shit..that being said, do we mortgage the future for 1 or 2 key players. This Draft is going to be deep.. could pick up more than a few gems, but then again this year could be ours..if sending picks is the option I’d like to see Ryan Clowe.. he’s big,nasty and just the type of physical player we need to face the bruins, and add Morrow to that as well..bye bye to gionta, a 2nd and a 3rd and weber..I propose trying eller at that point on PPs

  25. Timo says:

    Oh man, they’re playing Buffalo on Sat again? This must have been the most boring week of the season so far.

  26. SteverenO says:

    Was the score indicative of the play last night?

    Even though we won 5 -2 if you take away the two goals that the Isles scored in their own net it was not a lop-sided game by nay means.

    We scored 2 PP goals and they scored none, but in reality their PP was as good, if not more dominating their ours. our best penalty killer was our goalie.

    Dumont is making it hard to be the one who gets sent down when Bourque and Prust return. In my opinion he is performing better at every facet of the game then Moen, Armstrong, White, and even Galchenyuk. The fact is only three of Moen , Armstrong , White, Dumont and Galchenyuk can be in the line-up when our injured forwards return.

    I would sit White and Moen .
    Who would you sit?

    regards,

    Steve O.

  27. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    I like:

    Bourque-Eller-Prust

    No idea how the other lines would role out though, haha

  28. shiram says:

    PP time should be taken from DD/Pleks and given to Eller.

  29. Mr_MacDougall says:

    On TSN the Habs game was the 6th shown on Thats Hockey (5 other Canadian teams had more important games apparently, including Calgary?? Winnipeg???

    Oh, to top it off it wasn’t shown until AFTER the second commercial break.

    • Sportfan says:

      Lol reading into something too much, but I guess they figure since we are first and the other teams are trying their best to be a playoff contender maybe thats why if not its TSN so yeah haha

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Luke says:

      TSN does have a whole channel that they dedicate to Montreal Coverage.

      Do you suppose Jets fans are complaining about the order RDS showed the hilites in today?

      Additionally:
      Were any games in Progress? They get priority.
      Had the Habs game been previously covered on TSN? If so it drops & games not yet covered move up.

      And yes, the Leafs get top billing. They make up the majority of the TSN English speaking audience. RDS doesn’t lead with the Leafs on a Habs game night…

      • Stephen York says:

        Luke is a stereotypical Loafs fan name…as is Gord.
        Grab me a double double at Timmy’s, eh!

        Troll.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        Uuuh, RDS is a TOTALLY different story. It’s a FRANCOPHONE network – the correlation should be immediately and painfully obvious.

        TSN is a national network. So you agree that the Leafs get top billing because they have the largest audience. But then, you fail to acknowledge the other 4-5 game highlights that went before the Habs… are the Habs the smallest TV audience even in English? I don’t think so.

        CBC is also supposedly a national network, but their main interest is obviously the Leafs and, perversely, the Bruins. The hockey pundits and reporters aren’t impartial and certainly do not hide their loyalties.

        Sportsnet Ontario is a regional network and the bias there is completely obvious (Joe Bowen sees everything through Leaf-coloured glasses). But at least it isn’t a purported national network.

        Also That’s Hockey airs AFTER all games end, so there goes that excuse.

        You are almost certainly a troll.

    • habfan53 says:

      Was’nt it on after the Basketball? They were catering to the western fans. So other than Toronto who is almost always first on thr Toronto Sports Network what else could they do?

      Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      That’s Hockey Tonight tends to recap the Western games first, I think that’s their way of appealing to fans out here who watch the late game and don’t want to watch Sportscentre if they’re going to choke them with Leafs stuff every night. The alternative is the Sporstsnet recap, which in each market in which they own the local rights starts with the local team, so Vancouver gets Canucks highlights first, Edmonton gets Oilers at the top of their show, and so on. They use this modular approach and it’s effective, all the guys at work want to tune in Sportsnet for their news.

  30. SteverenO says:

    Hapoy with the win, not happy with some coaching decisions.

    PP scored first two opportuniteis ,No need for second wave. No Gallagher .
    Third PP with 2 minutes left in the second game tied 2-2 Gallagher starts the PP , and the second wave has Josh Gorges.

    Gallagher may be our best offensive threat at even strength, but he has not been effective on the powerplay. Josh Gorges does not belong on an NHL powerplay. period.

    We managed to kill off allour penalties last night but it sure wasn`t pretty. We almost never touched the puck and the Isles camped out in our zone for the full two minutes on almost every opportunity.

    yesterday was a perfect opportunity (especially in the third period) to see what Gallagher could do on the penalty kill. At some point MT is going to have to address the second wave of the PP. He can just wait for Diaz to return ,but that could be a while.

    AT some point Eller ( played 10 seconds) on the PP last night should be given an opportunity to play some PP minutes.

    Gallagher has played close to 60 minutes of PP time versus Ellers 20 minutes. The HABs have scored the same number of goals (3) with each of them, In other words we have been three times as successful at scoring a PP goal with Eller on the PP unit than with Gallagher.

    Its easy after a win to say the coach did a great job, and easy to blame him after a loss. I prefer to analyze the moves he makes and
    try to determine if they were the “right” ones. Yesterday, the coach failed to address two obvious weaknesses we have.
    1) second wave PP
    2) penalty killing

    Even if we win every single game till the end of the year and sweep every playoff series in four straight games, if the coach does not even attempt to address, and improve on, the obvious weaknesses how can he be given credit for being a great, or even a good, coach?

    To be fair he did give some Penalty Kill minutes to Gionta and Dumont yesterday so it could be argued that he made an effort to try “something different” on the penalty kill team.

    I have yet to see Gallagher on the ice and go more than 15 seconds without touching the puck. He seems to be the ideal guy to help clear the puck out of the zone. I cannot understand why he does not get chance to see if he could help the team kill penalties.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  31. habfan53 says:

    I asked this last night.
    Is there anybody in the league right now more fun to watch than Brandon Gallagher?
    The energy, the smile, the JOY. He is like the proverbiable kid in the candy store.

    • habs-hampton says:

      “I’m getting a lot of lucky bounces but I’ll take them,” said Gallagher.

      You know how you get lucky bounces? Go to the net. Lucky bounces usually happen within 5 feet of the net. A lot of players could learn from him.

      • shiram says:

        I thought maybe he’s having great luck with an unsustainable shooting %, but that’s not the case, at 12.9%
        That’s high but not out of norm high.
        Pleks at 13.3%, Gio and Ryder both at 13%.
        And DD with a ludicrous 19.5%, the little guy sure knows when to take his shot.

        • New says:

          Or he doesn’t hardly shoot but one in five bounces in off him.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          Look at Kadri’s %: 18.84% (If there were such a thing as assist percentage, I’m sure it would also be off the charts.)
          Lupul: 18.75% (okay, very small sample)
          Bozak: 18%
          Frattin: 25% (used to be 38% before he returned from injury)
          MacArthur: 14.58%
          JVR: 14.74%

          (I’m in Toronto, so I hear about the Leafs and the greatness of their players all the time)

    • Danno says:

      That he is. I’m only worried about him getting hurt. He took a few big hits last night.

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
      Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

      • secretdragonfly says:

        He’s a tough little bugger, all right. When he ran into the back of Visnovsky and came out of it with just a bloody nose, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        was thinking the same thing watching that game. He got smoked twice. I have a bad feeling he will have more concussions in the future due to the style he plays and his size.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Operation “Papa Prust” will help protect him from big hits.. Also, the laws of momentum suggest that given his smaller stature the impact of the hits will be less substantial given the relationship between mass and inertia.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Yes, He needs Prust (on his return) and or White (if he’s allowed to fight) to lay a beating on the transgressor the next time someone mishandles BGally. Yes we may get a few extra 2 min instugator penaltys but a message has to be sent be it on the same shift or the next time the culprit comes on the ice.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Outside of PK I can’t think of anyone who comes close. What a joy indeed.

    • Timo says:

      … and you got two outstanding answers. Yes – Carey Price and Scott Gomez.

    • Cal says:

      Apparently, according to TOI during PP stats, he sucks. Whodathunkit? Besides some insane hyper stat freak, I mean.

  32. HNS says:

    “a goaltender who never steals games, ”
    Right from the horses mouth!

    • The Jackal says:

      Glad you stopped cheering for the Leafs, but that concussion you sustained after being punched in the head clearly left some lasting effects on your cognitive abilities.

  33. Loonie says:

    So Pierre Lebrun says that Ryan Getzlaf’s contract drives up Derek Roy’s value.

    Ummmm…….well……..okay Pierre.

  34. habs-hampton says:

    Looking at the box score. Colton Orr – 0:02 minutes played and 29 minutes in penalties. Wanna bet he’ll be Cherry’s 1st star of the week on Saturday night? a great guy… standing up for his teammates!

    You get suspended for instigating a fight in the last 5 minutes of a game. What about in your first shift! If you call 2 seconds a shift!

    • krob1000 says:

      It all looked kind of intentional to me…an intentional avoiding of John Scott. Orr beat Scott earlier in the year…everyone assumed they would be fighting. Instead Mclaren taps Scott and invites him to fight…then Orr goes haywire on Kaleta who isn’t even aware he is in the fight. Easy way for Orr to avoid Scott and have someoen get at Kaleta at the same time…was pretty sketchy and looked very planned..by the LEafs anyway.

    • Sportfan says:

      WHATTA YA MEAN HE ONLY GOT 2 seconds!! THOSE TWO SEOCNDS WERE IMPORTANT TO THE TEAM, NOW KIDS…. IF there still are kids dumb enough to listen to me….DO WHAT ORR DID AND YOULL BE A WINNER! – Cherry

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/


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