About last night …

Oompa-Loompas with Willy Wonka in the 1971 film of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Thanks to the great GG11, of  the late and lamented Four Habs Fans website,  for her Willy Wonka-themed Photoshop of  Michel Therrien and the Canadiens diminutive forwards.

Your Montreal Canadiens played the woeful Buffalo Sabres twice in five days.
Both games were at the Bell Centre.
Over the course of 122 minutes and 16 seconds – Game 1 went into overtime – the Canadiens had 73 shots on goal. The Sabres blocked 54 shots, and the Canadiens missed the Buffalo net 39 times.
Out of 166 opportunities, the Canadiens scored three goals.
Three. Goals.
Against a team that has allowed more goals than every team in the league except Calgary, the Islanders and Florida.
We’ll rag on the refs and lament Team Oompa-Loompa’s lack of net presence in a minute, but let’s just linger over that stat.
At the risk of repeating myself: 166 pucks on Canadiens’ sticks and the red light went on three times.

On Saturday night, the Sabres had 18 shots on Carey Price. The Canadiens blocked nine and four missed the net. So Buffalo cashed twice on 31 opportunities.

Comparable numbers for the home team: 39 SoG, Sabres blocked 31 and the Canadiens missed the net 15 times. 85 opportunities, one goal.

In Toronto, the Leafs were outshot 33-13 and won 3-2.

Vancouver had 13 shots in L.A. and beat the Kings 1-0. 

So, not a great Saturday for snipers … except Thomas Vanek, who had both Buffalo goals to run his season’s total to 16.

Ryan Miller has won eight of his last 10 starts against the Canadiens. He made 38 saves and was full value for selection as the game’s First Star, but I thought Miller was beatable.

There were rebounds. There were pucks sliding across the crease.

There was rarely a red jersey anywhere near these second-chance scoring opportunities. The Canadiens played primarily on the perimeter – a lacuna illustrated by two sequences in which Lars Eller went for a leisurely skate around the massed Buffalo defenders, ultimately losing the puck on both occasions and driving the crowd into howls of frustration.

Hey, we know the Canadiens can skate. But as the postseason approaches, can they crash, bang and score in the dirty areas where fancy skaters often fear to tread?

When the only forward with consistent net presence is a 5’8″ rookie, the Canadiens have a problem that Jeff Halpern isn’t going to solve.

Look, I love Brendan Gallagher. And you can’t fault Brian Gionta, David Desharnais and Gabriel Dumont for effort.

But I’m more than a little concerned about what will happen when Team Oompa-Loompa goes on the road to Pittsburgh and Boston for a back-to-back this week.

Is help on the way? Nope. The cavalry is stuck in traffic.

Rene Bourque has had a setback in his post-concussion rehab.

Brandon Prust, who was supposed to be out 10 to 14 days, has not played since March 5. There is no hint from the Canadiens on when he might return.

Nor is Raphael Diaz anywhere near ready to return. His absence means brutal power-play minutes for Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban. Both excel with the man advantage – would that Canadiens forwards were as dangerous – but it would be nice to have a better point shooter than Josh Gorges as a PP weapon.

The Canadiens cashed one of their three power-play chances against Buffalo. Markov picked out Michael Ryder on the lip of Miller’s crease, and Ryder did what Ryder does.

The Canadiens probably should have had more PPs. The Sabres did a fair bit of clutching and grabbing, driving the Bell Centre crowd into loud choruses of catcalls.

And for the second time in as many games against the Sabres, the refs blew a call on P.K.

In the Tuesday night game, it was a phantom high stick that sent Subban to the box and opened the door for Steve Ott’s OT winner.

In the second period on Saturday, Mike Blunden was penalized for interference – a dubious call that maybe wouldn’t have gone against a veteran of greater stature than the Bulldogs call-up. Then P.K. was penalized for Delay of Game on a clearing attempt that struck something – either a Buffalo stick or the edge of the glass – on its way out.

With the Canadiens’ penalty-killers protesting loudly, Brad Watson skated straight to the penalty box area and made the call, without consulting ref Justin St. Pierre or the two linesmen.

Barely over half a minute into the 5-on-3, Vanek tipped Christian Ehrhoff’s point shot past Carey Price to open the scoring. It was only the ninth time in 31 games the Canadiens failed to score first.

I think the NHL has to introduce a coach’s challenge. You can do worse than emulate the National Football League. And the speed and intensity of NHL hockey are such that calls will be blown.

There should be a mechanism to correct officiating errors. Give each team one challenge per game. And if the call is upheld, you take a two-minute minor.

I also want to get rid of staged fighting. But let’s start small.

Oops!

There’s that word “small” again.

 

 

 

 

 

774 Comments

  1. Bozo McBozo says:

    ND beating Michigan most likely gets Yale in as the last team in the NCAA D-1 Tournament.

  2. Hobie Hansen says:

    Mr. Boone – I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to call me an idiot below for suggesting the Habs send a 1st and two 2nds to Philadelphia for Scott Hartnell. :-).

    Maybe I’m a little thick headed, just opened myself up again, but I still wouldn’t complain if Bergevin pulled off that trade :-).

  3. commandant says:

    And Notre Dame wins the final CCHA Championship before the conference disbands.

    Michigan is not ranked high enough to get an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament, so Mac Bennett’s season is over.

    I hope people paid attention to Anders Lee on Notre Dame. Rumors are that he is going to “pull a Justin Schultz” on the Islanders and become a free agent. I’m a big fan of the power forward prospect. Kid can play, and I’d go after him for C/LW depth.

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

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I can’t blame a kid for exercising his options and choosing to become a free agent rather than play for the dysfunctional Islanders and their erratic owner Charles Wang. The man is a billionaire, he could by now have built a decent facility and a contending team, but instead tried to hold the good people of Long Island hostage so they’d build it for him instead. Well Charlie boy, you reap what you sow.

      I still don’t understand why John Tavares signed long-term with them, instead of the strict minimum to get himself to UFA status.

  4. punkster says:

    Great save by Summerhays and then ND scores. This one is over.

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  5. Bozo McBozo says:

    Gonna be an exciting end to this game!

  6. Loonie says:

    Not that I agree that the officiating was terrible, but Brad Watson and Kelly Sutherland have history with the Habs, and not the good kind.

    Say what you want about Jacques Martin, but if he yells at you, it’s pretty safe to say you’ve screwed up in a big way. And more than once.

  7. punkster says:

    ND is hot…2-1 early one in the third.

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  8. punkster says:

    Helmet cages don’t seem to hinder Michigan or ND from playing hard…not that the NHL would take notice.

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  9. Bogie Man says:

    If this was the way Therian likes to see his team play, I have some serious doubts about where this team is going. We had lots of shots but very few were inside of their defensive perimeter and no one was there for any rebounds. I think the speed was there but like last year we had a hard time due to lack of size to get into the scoring zones and this was clearly the case last night. No good working hard if you are not working smart. If we continue to play this way we will fall hard from the top of the eastern conference and I predict no success against team llike Pits and Boston. We need to trade some of that speed for size and intimidation. If we do not, we will go out in the first round. The team we have now cannot carry us too far bottomline. MT I feel is too soft, he needs the bigs players like Galchnyuk, Moen and Max Pac to force their way to the apposing net. No good if they are along the half boards or high in the slot.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      It seems like everytime we lose it’s because we aren’t big enough. It get’s a little tiresome. We are 20 – 6 this year and I am tremendously happy with their effort this year. We took the biggest, baddest team in the league (Boston) to 7 games a couple years and they had to win 3 in overtime to beat the Habs. I will take heart, hard work and commitment over size any time.

      • BJ says:

        You are correct, 20-6 is amazing (never would have thought a record like this before the season started). I also agree with heart, hard work and commitment but it would be a great asset to combine that with size (which we need). Bogie man has it right that we need to get in on net as both Bourque and Prust were doing before going down. I personally would like a Ryan Clowe type player (wether we can get one this year or next) and 1 tough D to round out the team.

      • Bogie Man says:

        Guys it is not just about size. I would take a team full of Gallaghers. It is about getting dirty and going to the front of the net with inimidation. Max Pac is not a dirty type player he stay on the perimiter, he needs to roll up the sleeves and get in deeper in front of the net and take a few for the team. Galchenyuk started the year off playing this way but now he becoming a perimier player and therefore his goal scoring has gone way down to reflect this. Size helpe but more importantly we need players to be there for rebounds and all the garbage goals we can get. Lots of speed in itself will not win hockey games. Getting dirty will!

        • HabFan in Edmonton says:

          If you have size to go along with heart, skill and determination than that is the ultimate. However guys like Lucic (who I can’t stand but wish the Habs had drafted) are hard to find and very expensive to trade for. You almost have to develop your own. That’s why I am excited about the 3 second round picks this year as big guys tend to be late bloomers and are quite often found later in the draft.

  10. 24 Cups says:

    I’m not sure I would want to take the Tampa job if I was Lindy Ruff. Not unless he plans on making a comeback on defense as player/coach. Tampa doesn’t even seem to have any players to move at the deadline outside of Garon.

    Yzerman might also want to ask whose decision it was to draft Connolly over Skinner or Koekkoek over Forsberg.

    • lavie says:

      Yzerman is an overrated GM. Look at the roster he created which is not going anywhere.

    • Loonie says:

      I agree with that in principal Steve. But you’re jumping the gun bigtime on the Koekkoek/Forsberg argument. Forsberg’s billed as a scorer, but he never has scored at a level that justified being a top pick. Koekkoek comes with the pedigree of a high pick and has demonstrated consistency and elite play at every level.

      He’s the real deal, the jury is still out on Forsberg.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        @ Loonie

        What are your thoughts of the Bourque setback? Say Bourque is a “no go” for the remainder of the season, are you comfortable with the forwards we’re left with heading into the playoffs?

        • Loonie says:

          I think so. This team isn’t going anywhere without the kind of balanced scoring they’ve had all season so one guy being out of the lineup isn’t going to make or break them.

          I wouldn’t object to a reasonably priced rental though.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Tom – I remember you not being very keen on Forsberg last year.

        My main point about Koekkoek is that Tampa drafted a guy who had a bum shoulder. I believe he had to have another operation this year. Connolly also had major injury concerns during his draft year. I just figure that it might be best to go with more of a sure thing.

        Of course that argument can quickly be countered with the Galchenyuk example.

        This morning, I made the point that the Habs will probably not know about the status of Diaz and Bourque come April 3rd. The Habs aren’t going anywhere in the playoffs without these two guys. So does MB make some big moves or stay the course and let the chips fall where they may. I think it’s a given that Pittsburgh will move some of their good defensive prospects to bring in another piece to the puzzle. The Bruins might try and do the same.

        • Loonie says:

          Forsberg yeah. I admittedly am skeptical. But it’s just because of the hype. What I’ve seen is a really nice player who will probably become a 20 goal guy who’s physical and adds strong defensive play. But I’d rather have an elite defenseman than that kind of player and that’s what I believe Koekkoek will be. I think the Caps got full value with their Forsberg pick. Had we taken him I would’ve been livid.

          We disagree about this team’s future without Diaz and Bourque though. I like both but this team’s success is built on depth, one guy at each position going down isn’t going to doom it.

          You can fill those holes at least temporarily with one of the 2nds and one of the 3rds.

          Some people may not like that and Bergevin may not do it, but he could pay worse prices to fill the holes injuries have caused.

    • ebk says:

      it will basically be the same team in 2013/2014. They are tight against the cap and unless the unload some of the big salaries, have no room to add a player

      Would love to see Sami Salo added for the playoffs. His contract is very reasonable and it only has one year left after this year.

      • 24 Cups says:

        That’s a tough call, Earl. Salo will be 39 at training camp. Cap hit is 3.75M and he’s usually hurt at some point in the season. It would also mean that Beaulieu and Tinordi stay in Hamilton next year but that’s fine by me.

        The good news is that he’s great in both ends, has a super shot on the PP and shoots right. He would be the perfect replacement for Diaz in the playoffs (if need be).

  11. punkster says:

    ND ties it up…quite the game.

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  12. Sportfan says:

    Out of Stamkos, Tavares and Crosby who would be the easier player to get? I say Tavares just because of the fact that bad management and frankly an owner who isn’t that great would probably let him go. Stamkos and Crosby would be much harder to get because of the Lightning and Penguins management know what they want and know those guys are what you build around.
    This is just for fun, but who do you think would be easier to get? Can also go off the board.

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  13. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Last night we dictated the pace of play but were not willing to get our nose dirty. I attribute that mostly to some key injuries and a bit of complacency from being so high in the standings. I would imagine that it might be hard to get motivated to go to war when there is nothing to battle for against a team fighting to make the playoffs. Pure speculation of course.
    On another note i would sure like to be Max-Pac use his size a bit more,like Cole last year. And Moen seems more then useless. 600th game last night? Did he even play?

  14. HabFanSince72 says:

    Aside from our winning number 25, one of my fondest hockey fantasies is that the NHL decides to forego its’ players’ participation at the Sochi games.

    Because this is what happens to those who cross Vladimir Putin.

    Dead, inside his own locked bathroom with no detectable signs of foul play, a broken man, and an object of scorn.

  15. The Jackal says:

    Now that I’m not under the influence of many pints, these are my thoughts on the game:

    We dominated and Sabres and looked good. Unfortunately, we did not take bodies to the net for second chances and dirty goals. We’ve done that before this season and they need to keep doing that to be successful. Should we trade for a forward that can do that? I don’t know, I would rather get a crease-clearing D man and improve on the D and PK. On offense we can adjust to get some players to get to the net.

    Other than that, we’re a pretty good team. It was an unlucky loss for us. One thing that sucks is seeing the refs blow all these calls. Now the Sabres are 2 from a playoff spot. It really makes you wonder if they put the whistles away for teams that are close or on the fringe just to make the race tighter and more exciting.

  16. Stevie.Ray says:

    Imagine on trade deadline day Bergevin walked up to a podium to announce the acquisition of Tavares and Stamkos… one can dream.

  17. s33saw says:

    My biggest problem with our Canadiens is the lack of creativity. Last night, you see them charging down the wing and taking low % shots from the perimeter. That simply isn’t going to work on a goalie like Ryan Miller when he’s playing his A-game. Sure you might get a lucky bounce to the front but that seemed to be the exception and not the rule. I’d like to see some more creativity in their play to cut to the middle of the ice and make something happen. Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Subban and sometimes Eller are the only guys I see making a consistent effort to pull a move to get to the middle.

    • The Jackal says:

      I don’t know man, it was frustrating to see Eller and DD try to be too creative. I think their problem was, apart from the perimeter shots, was waiting too long to shoot… being too creative or waiting for a perfect play. I’m glad they have the confidence to try to pull that off, but save it for when we are winning!

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      “Last night, you see them charging down the wing and taking low % shots from the perimeter.”

      That was mostly just #67

    • s33saw says:

      Fair enough…to a certain extent, I agree with both of your responses. I guess they’re still trying to find the balance (e.g. Eller circling the net 2 times before coughing up the puck) and Pacioretty taking a hundred shots that will never go in.

  18. jimmy shaker says:

    Looks like iggy is coming to the east……and I pray it’s not in bean town. Please Pitts make it happen, although I have no idea how they can keep him with their salary cap. That’s where the cubs have the advantage and the money to spend. Oh yeah and jaro’s back with a donut…..just stirring the pot.

    Shaker out!

    • The Jackal says:

      Jaro, Jake Allen’s backup, is back with a donut. Just to make that statement more accurate. Now you can stir the pot… the St. Louis pot, not ours, because we’re set in net.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Sure, whatever u want to call him, but the he will be their starting tender come playoff time……anyway back to more important matters……what’s the injury update on prust?

        Shaker out!

    • He’s the league’s biggest trade bait. Jake Allen completely blew the staff away over the last two weeks, Elliot and Halak will be on new teams soon. Halak a Maple Leaf, man oh man imagine that!

      And they are the type of team to overpay for talent. Yikes!

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

      • The Jackal says:

        Halak a Laff… man…. Imagine this site whenever the Laffs beat us with him in net? Troll heaven.

      • otter649 says:

        It seems when Hitchcock gets hold of a new goalie they seem to play well in his system in the beginning – LeClaire-Mason-Elliott-Halak & now Allen long term success does appear to last……

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Not only do I hate the thought of him playing with the Bruins, and he would fall off a cliff in my esteem (I know, I know, huge concern for him), I’d love to see him on the wing with Sidney Crosby. I hope he ends up with L.A. or Chicago though.

  19. RazzleDazzle says:

    Is mac Bennet playing for Michigan today? I haven’t heard his name mentioned once.

  20. Boomer says:

    Calgary should look into a deal with LA involving iginla for Bernier. Toronto is rumoured to want a vetran goaltender, how bout Kipper?

  21. Bozo McBozo says:

    Michigan 1 – ND 0 on a shorty. Mac Bennett (37-A) is a Habs prospect.

  22. jedimyrmidon says:

    From TSN’s Mark Masters:
    “Bruins-killer Kadri had no idea the last Leafs win v Boston in TO was the game he got his 1st NHL goal”
    ‘We were getting pretty sick & tired of it': Leafs react to finally beating the Bruins

    Pff, getting outshot 13-31 or something like that, yeah, that’s something to brag about. Same for any Sabres fans gloating about winning a 2-1 victory getting outshot 39-18.

    And Bruins-killer Kadri? Really?! I hope the Bruins go nuclear on them tomorrow, and that they leave all the goon sideshows aside when they face the Habs this week and just play hockey.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I saw a more measured report in the Star.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Mark Masters is underwhelming, he seems like a high school kid intern.

      • christophor says:

        This is the perfect description.

        Jonas What’s-his-name isn’t any better. Those two leaf clowns clog up the internet with gigabytes of content devoid drivel.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          Leaf fans get to enjoy two Leaf-centric perspectives on TSN.

          Kadri, according to them, shut down Stamkos (and got 3A in very little ice time) and is a Bruins killer.

          What other player gets hyped as much as him on a day-by-day basis? Probably rivaling Crosby at this point.

    • The Jackal says:

      I hope the Laffs take it to the loser Bruins again tomorrow.
      3-2 was almost the perfect outcome. Laffs got outshot and almost blew the lead but did not let the Buffoons get 2 points – works for me.
      Hopefully they can pull off another win like that on Monday.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        Yeah, ideally the Bruins would lose.

        The hype in the media over the Leafs is quite annoying to always see when looking at the content of the ‘national’ networks.

        • The Jackal says:

          Yeah, that’s what annoys me the most about the Laffs and their fans. They think everyone cares so much about them but its only because they get most of the national coverage… Makes no sense to me why that is.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          I completely understand the attention they get. It’s the overhyping that gets to me even though it shouldn’t. If I insulated what I read to only stuff about the Habs… well, it would still be frustrating because people like to unfairly trash the team including their own fans.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        What you said, Jackal.
        Plus, I like Kadri.

    • otter649 says:

      Kadri has not seen a microphone he does not like – Seems he has became The Leafs spoke person with all the interviews he does that end up on radio & TV…….

  23. big al says:

    I like patch a lot but I think he could be a lot more productive if he displayed more hunger and drive to the net more. He has all the tools to be a 40 goal scorer. Size , speed and a great shot. He just needs to drive to net more and not always be on perimeter.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      He is pertty well just shooting from any sort of angle and position, not like Cole when he drove to the net last year. I thought Pacs would be more like that this year.

    • Rad says:

      More hunger is right. More truculence. More testosterone. More cajones. More edge. Remember the video of Max training during the Summer, towing a car by a rope that was strapped onto his waist? The kid is a horse, but he wants to play like a gentleman.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        What are those spikey things on the hide-side of rodeo saddles?
        Can we get some for Patches’ kidney pads?

        • Rad says:

          Spurs? Somebody needs to remind Max about what the term “Power Forward” means. I think Therrien needs to pull him aside for a little chat, like he did with Eller at the beginning of the year.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Spurs need somebody to apply them! Analagous perhaps to MT chatting with Max.

            The ones I mean are on the saddles for riding broncos, just there all the time, making the bronco angry and dangerous.

  24. Mark C says:

    In news that should make the Size Patrol happy, word is Timmins and Boisvert took in the Gatineau Rimouski game yesterday. Gauthier and Morin would make more than a few here happy.

  25. Hamayoune says:

    Is there anyway to make room for Guy Boucher in the Habs organization. This guy is gold and could very well be the ideal coach for Montreal in the future.

  26. Skeptical says:

    Don’t think about winning a cup. Not gonna happen. Just be happy we have a good enough team to make the playoffs and enjoy how far they can go. Big change from last year. They win more than they lose.

  27. Curtis O Habs says:

    As long as fantasy trades are being discussed, the name Martin Hanzal has not come up.

  28. habsfan0 says:

    Steve Yzerman MUST know what he’s doing,firing Boucher so close to end of season.
    Then again,maybe he doesn’t.
    Stamkos,therefore,might be in play.

  29. The Netted Jim is the nick name for Russet Burbank is the best tasting Frenchfry.

    In 1999 my time for one lap around the rink was 12 seconds, in 2013 it was 14 seconds and I am 50 pounds heavier.

    I once drove three kms with Meagan’s car seat on top of the roof, she was safe inside but you should have seen people’s faces as the honked their horns and yelled out the window.

    During the Grey Cup in 1991, I volunteered to be a VIP driver. I did not know Winnipeg very well and took Matt Dunagan and Richard Dean Anderson down a one way street the wrong way(I drove super slow). I told them to relax as I honked my horn and yelled “now this is entertainment”, they hired me to be their personal driver for the rest of the evening.

    Adrienne Clarkson gave me my citation for courage under fire, but all it reminds me of is pain.

    In 2007 I once told a goalie’s billet that when he goes to Hamilton to wear 29 to piss people off. He did but it was because the other three goalie numbers wear taken, but I laughed anyways.

    My favourite group in the 80’s was Platinum Blonde. In the 90’s in was Guns N Roses. In 2000’s I didn’t care much about music and now I listen to everything, but mostly whatever the kids listen too.

    In 1993 when I signed my second contract my dad sold his shares of the potato farm and bought an ocean side resort in PEI.

    I am not a fan of Manitoba. I hate their government, I hate the winters, and I hate the fact that everything is a major road trip. I love my street, my house, my 400/month mortgage, and our school. Everything is 5-10 minutes in this city. We are staying here.

    At 41 I still love Star Wars and retro teletoon.

    I hate negative people or people who slam others online. I’m a hypocrite because I treat those trolls like crap.

    Only two Habs come to mind that I have never supported.

    I shoot right, and still have my 1999 Bauer Vapor, and Easton Graphite Light 100. The blade on the Easton is a Shanny and cost more than the actual stick. I hold one or the other each game as I watch the Habs.

    I eat and fire my rifles left handed. I fire my pistols right handed and both eyes open.

    Big Carey Price fan, before him I was a Shayne Corson fan, before him I was and still am the biggest Ken Dryden Fan ever!

    Because of my concussions my son never plays in the corners, he led our team in goals, and assists, and never got a single penalty all season. We finished third in the Provincials, and second in the city playoffs. Best season ever, I love coaching minor hockey, it’s a lot of fun.

    Shane Oliver
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    http://www.Sholi2000.com
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  30. H.Upmann says:

    I like to troll around on here, but have to agree with some of you: we shouldn’t have too many small players.

    I’m not sold on DD, and if we had to sign him, what does that say about Leblanc? Is he a 1st round bust? Only to be a 4tg liner?

    Re Boucher, I like him and like the idea of 1-3-1. Seemed to help them reach conference finals first time. Maybe he just needs to modify the system, add a bit of Therrien elements or for échec king. Any system won’t work if your D is soft or goalie sucks. And if i recall reading here, he deployed Subban to advantage with the Bulldogs. If there’s one reason why I’d like to see Boucher as coach, it’s to see Subban get creative in the 1-3-1.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Roloson was huge for TB in the playoffs…

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

  31. The Dude says:

    From what I gathered last night from watching snippets of the Laff’s -Booins game, there was not too much ruff stuff going on due to an unwillingness to attain mutual destruction and T.O. won,very interesting…….

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I was wondering if anyone thought that it was a M-S* game for the Leafs? (Or possibly for the Bruins, either).

      *some posters have expressed irritation with the term to which these initials refer!

  32. wild flower says:

    So..is the hockey media group going to rip all over Yzerman for firing the head coach on game day. Seems a lot like a Gauthier move.

  33. habs001 says:

    Scoring in the playoffs will be minimal…The biggest concern for me is the pk for the Habs and if they loose a series i am pretty sure this will be one of the main factors if it is not fixed…

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    So in talking about my old dvd collection, I checked out the final game of the Forum against Dallas. The curse of the Habs moving down to the Bell Center is plain obvious to me now.

    Final Habs goal scored in Forum was by none other than Andrei Kovalenko, yup that stiff we got in the Roy trade. Obviously this is a sign from the Hockey Gods that the team will be cursed for trading Roy. Clearly the only way to rid the curse will be the re-introduction of Roy to the family by way of being Head Coach.

    So MB, with much regret it is time to fire Therrien (do it now, we lost last night, you have a justified excuse) and introduce Roy tomorrow to the media as coach.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      You jest, Burly. Yet there were plenty of summer posts asserting that MT’s appointment was really an interregnum, would last a year, two tops, before the REAL next coach of the Montreal Canadiens would be appointed!

      Any confessions out there?!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        …Sigh… Guilty.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Your argument was convincingly presented, and based on just about everyone’s recollection of Therrien first-time round.

          Aren’t we both pleasantly surprised?!

          Aren’t we all.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Crow has been on the menu for me, every night.

            Still like Patrick Roy though, he’s matured a lot, he’s impressive in interviews with his smarts and grasp of the nuances.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            The crow pie needs to be big, UCE, and lots of forks to share around. You were not alone on that one!

            About Roy — didn’t estimations of his fitness take a massive dip after the big Remparts fight in the playoffs, his kid playing. Is it since then that he has matured?

            But it’s a good point: coaches mature. Look at Therrien. Hopefully Boucher.

            (But I think KMuller matures quicker — I’m more interested in him than Boucher).

  35. habs001 says:

    The Habs were not as bad last year as their record indicated but
    it resulted in getting a potential number one centre…Right now the Habs are not as good as their record indicates but have made solid advances to be an elite team in a couple of years…I hope posters realize the big picture and not look at playoff results…Can the Habs go to the final?…sure, many breaks have to happen but that is true for most teams..On the other hand the Habs can play 4 first round games that look like yesterdays game and lose them all….The majority of playoffs games will come down to breaks,who is better on the pk,pp and who scores in o/t…For the majority of teams in the playoffs talent level will be pretty well the same(Pitts has the most talent but did not help them last year)…

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    Not much said about the acquisition of Jeff Halpern so far! I remember that I liked the kid when he was here. I do not know how his game is these days and if it suits Therriean”s style.

    But if our scouting dept stills likes this guy, to take him off wavers, then he must be still able to play here.

    I think he was good at winning face offs and he handles the puck well if I remember correctly. What is your opinion!

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    If all the Habs players are using wooden sticks we get at least an OT point. Clearly this team needs to go back to wooden sticks. The money saved can be used on 4th line goons, Habs then win Cup. Make it happen MB.

  38. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Hobie,
    re “Size”: care to clarify?
    Are you suggesting an overall bulk-up? (Leafs-style).
    Or individual pieces?
    I think even one Malone/Hartnell/etc type could make a very big difference.

  39. slickrick says:

    Oompa Loompa Team?? Really come on with the degrading all the time wow. The relative size of our team did not loose us the game last nite. Get over it Boone geez

  40. 24 Cups says:

    Looks like Nate Thompson won’t be coming to Montreal.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/story/?id=418925&hubname=nhl-lightning

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Need some muscle on the cheap? Remember when Markov went to play in Russia and he chose Vityaz Chekhov in the KHL? Nobody touched him. They had Gillies ,Yablonski and homeboy Kip Brennan riding shotgun. Kipper is playing in Arizona now,he is a good Lad who used to help out in the kids summer hockey camps here in the off season. Give him a call Marc.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3C5BiqvN8kw/ULvddxbohfI/AAAAAAAAAsg/-l8deXrGIXo/s1600/knightsbrennan.jpg

  42. Bozo McBozo says:

    Just one NCAA D-1 Championship to watch at 2:00pm: Michigan/Notre Dame. After this one, it’s on to the national championship: http://www.uscho.com/bracketology/2013/03/24/one-game-left-two-scenarios-two-brackets/

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    Anaheim sign Radek Dvorak for 675k from Swiss league, must now clear waivers.

  44. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Are there still apartment buildings and hotels where superstitious architects/builders allowed no 13th floor? (ie. elevator goes straight from 12th to 14th).

    For our remaining home games, perhaps we could shift to a four-period format: 1, 2, 4…

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Commonly the 13th floor is not used or numbered as such. Even if the builders/architects aren’t superstitious, they fear their clientele will be, and business will be affected.

      Vancouver realtors have found that the Chinese community, for example, value certain numbers as lucky, and bend over backwards to include these in their civic addresses, appartment numbers, etc.

  45. sergio30 says:

    Did you know, Montreal has allowed more goals than every team in the league except San Jose, Vancouver, Detroit, Nashville, St louis, New jersey, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Edmonton, Carolina, Washington, Dallas, Toronto, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg, Colorado, Buffalo, Calgary, New York Islanders and Florida?

  46. Habfan10912 says:

    Larry Brooks on the culture of the NHL thanks to Daddy and Shanny.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/culture_schlock_in_nhl_u0C0xWOk7djmikJjCIH1xO

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      There is much to agree with here: that the default position is to look for excuses etc. If a puck is fired over the glass it’s 2 minutes. If a player accidentally gets his stick up it’s 2 minutes. Intention does not matter in these cases. Maybe we have to treat bad hits the same way. And while we’re at it, I think only puck carriers should be hit. Enough with this delayed finishing of the check.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I watched my dvd of Montreal vs Boston 1979 game 7 this weekend, virtually zero contact between players not carrying puck. The game is no longer remotely the same. The violence in hits, the intent to punish other players regardless of involvement with play is so different.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Is that in a box-set, Burly?
          (I’m feeling a major abnegation of domestic responsibilities coming on…)

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I have a box set entitled Memorable Games in Canadiens History.

            Includes, 1960 Habs vs Leafs Game 4 Cup Final
            1976 Red Army vs Habs
            1977 Habs vs Bruins Cup Final Game 4
            1984 Quebec vs. Habs Adams Div. Final Game 6
            86 Cup final game 5 vs Flames
            93 Kings Habs Game 5 cup final
            96 Dallas vs Habs Final game at Forum (How could the league schedule Dallas as final game?)
            03 Heritage Classic vs Edmonton
            08 Rangers comeback game

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            YES! Have it!
            Those I left behind in Canada have SUCH an easy time buying me birthday presents!
            Never got to that Boston game having stopped at the “best game in the history of hockey”.
            Time to dust that baby off.
            Cheers

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        You make perfect sense.

        But the league is banking on a significant proportion of hockey fans being like rubberneckers on the highway. And hits from behind, shots to the head, cross-checks into the boards or glass simply produce too much profitable viewing (as well as feeding a vengeance culture).

  47. Propwash says:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the Bolts hired Jacques Martin to replace Guy Boucher?

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  48. HabFanSince72 says:

    It’s amazing how much some of you hate this team.

    This is a really exciting team, in first place for most of the season, and all some of you can do is bitch and moan.

    When Hobie looks back at our playoff runs of the recent past he sees a team that was hard to like. I see two exciting teams that fell short but still provided much enjoyment in 2010 and 2008.

    Last night we completely dominated puck possession. We outfought Buffalo from start to finish. They were extremely fortunate to win.

    But yeah if only we had Jared Boll on the team.

    What’s bleu blanc rouge on the outside and black and gold on the inside?

    • kirbhabs says:

      I do not hate my HABS, just see it different than you. They are exciting, love them, playing great team game. Much better than the last few years.

      But 1st place, seriously? Pits and Bos had games in hand all season. Please… and 1st of what; the east…. do we just ignore the 2-3 teams in the west with better stats than us all season.

      Just see it different, no hate

    • shiram says:

      ” Big, strong, talented…” always listing talented last, as if it were the least important of the 3.
      The smurf thing is getting so very old, it’s something I expect from our rivals, leafs and bruins.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        The Smurf this is soooo old. Been going on in MTL for over a decade. Bergevin will fix it though. Be patient. You’ll see this summer during the UFA period and draft. He got started with Prust last summer…

    • gumper says:

      More size, last night, would only have helped us play the Sabre’s game. I hope that’s not what MT aspires to. We’re missing some important players right now, due to injury. Let’s not push the panic trade button till the team is healthy, and still not competing with the likes of the Bruins and Pens. So far this year the Habs have played both those teams pretty evenly. I’m not opposed to adding a piece or two at the deadline, but it has to be the right fit, and we can’t be giving away valuable assets and tons of draft picks for short-term bandaid solutions. Makes absolutely no sense.

      The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
      Mark Twain

      • JF says:

        Good post. Size was not the problem last night; in fact, it hasn’t been the problem in any of our losses this season. We are often out-hit, but that tends to happen when you have more of the puck than your opponent. As P.J. Stock remarked with surprising acumen, you aren’t going to hit yourself when you have the puck. The only time we really got roughed up this season was in a game that was basically over when the rough stuff started.

        Not that I’m opposed to adding more muscle, but, as you say, the player not only has to be able to play, he also has to fit. I think Bergevin will wait to see what the injury situation looks like being before taking a decision. If Bourque and/or Diaz are done for the season, he may look for help.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Believe me, I LOVE this team.

      I’m thrilled to watch Gallagher, I was picking up the phone and calling 10 people a night and bragging about Galchenyuk.

      I was in the pubs partying like a mad man when the Habs went on their run a few years ago.

      But if you don’t see a pattern on what happens to small teams in the playoffs, I really don’t know what to tell you man.

      And I think there a bit of a difference between Jared Boll and Scott Hartnell.

      Would I take Boll on the team instead of Moen or White, sure, but nobody is suggesting Boll is going to make a difference in the playoffs.

      Are you going to pull out the Brain Burke truculence line or call me a Don Cherry fan next for wanting to add size and toughness, a very important ingredient, for the playoffs, lol.

      And Black and Gold? You might as well call me a Penguins, Ducks, Blackhawks and Kings fan too because I like the mix of size and skill on those Stanley Cup teams as well.

      • wjc says:

        Hobie, please stop calling me, take me off your speed dial.

        You should never act like a ‘mad man’ in a pub, try to act mature.

        ‘Brian Burk’, very misunderstood, and as for ‘Cherry’ one of the greatest Canadians ever. Why are you ‘laughing out loud’ was there a punch line I missed.

        Okay, you are a ‘duck’…..you are a Penguin, you are a ‘black hawk’ and you are a ‘king’….happy now.

        You do not love the Canadiens…..you can not fool me!

        ‘laugh out loud’, hey it feels good, but why are people looking at me funny.

        One last thought, why can’t they win every game, is that too much to ask for.

        wjc

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I agree with all of that, 72, but ask you to conduct this thought experiment:

      It’s last night again, the puck is drifting unattended across the crease. Freeze the frame, wave a magic wand, and replace one of the Habs currently on the ice.

      But with what kind of player?….

      I don’t consider myself a hater in any way. I just think that to build on the success and, yes excitement, so far, we need to add at least one industrial strength forward that we can park on the doorstep.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Stamkos or Crosby.

        It’s a magic wand isn’t it?

      • wjc says:

        You cannot park anybody on the door step. Think about what you are saying. Parking on the door step is illegal and bad hockey, when the puck goes the other way, you have to head to your door step.

        Now lets do some magical thinking and pretend Montreal won last night. Everyone would be talking playoffs and Stanley cup.

        Magical thinking does not work only reality works. If you want certain types of players you have to trade for them (if possible and available and not too expensive). You have to get them as UFA ( if they are willing to come and do not want too much moola.) or you have to draft them and then wait patiently….vwery patiently as Mr. Fudd would say.

        They do not walk through the front door and say, “I saw your add for big robust forward who parks on doorsteps and cannot be moved.

        wjc

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Good points WJC.
          We could quibble over the “parking” metaphor, and “magic” was only to conjure up the kind of player who was missing last night, who would have made Miller and the Sabres pay for those rebounds and loose pucks. Last night, no one was being that player, either because they couldn’t or weren’t trying to be.
          You’re right, of course, that that kind of player does not grow on trees. But I suggest it’s something important missing from the big picture.

  49. kirbhabs says:

    Injuries are taking their toll on our beloved HABS, whether we want to admit it or not. In our team concept to succeed… as we clearly do not have a superstar forward, we need all hands on deck… and unfortunately we do not have all hands. We were never a #1 team… just a stats moment and a media frenzy to believe.

    We are a 4-5th place team in the east and likely a 7-8th overall IMO. Which is a hell of a lot better than last year. This trade deadline is our moment, either we build via the draft or we go all in… we will know soon enough. We will need some pretty big peices for a true cup run… we just do not have the horses yet.

  50. Hobie Hansen says:

    Someone mentioned Scott Hartnell below. You add him to the Habs are we’re instant cup contenders.

    I would trade a 1st and two 2nd rounders to Philadelphia for Hartnell.

  51. punkster says:

    Interesting stats page on NHL.com…go check the TEAMS stats page and click on each column one at a time…you see the team rankings for all the basic stats.

    Montreal is in the top 5 for almost everything (a couple of rankings fall to top 10) except PK% (20th ranked) and faceoff percent (22nd).

    Now switch the report to PENALTIES using the drop down at the top. Montreal has received the 5th or so highest number and minutes of penalties…tied to 6th highest penalty minutes per game.

    Just a thought but in my view size and pugnaciousness is not going to improve our ability to cut down on penalties or improve our penalty kill. That’s our achilles heel at the moment.

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  52. HabFab says:

    The Hockey Writers weigh in on Montreal and the upcoming Trade deadline;
    http://thehockeywriters.com/montreal-canadiens-at-the-trade-deadline-who-what-where/

  53. adamkennelly says:

    Find a way to get Umberger and Boll from Columbus – and I’d try for Theo Peckham as well. We have picks, plenty of prospects and a few roster players that we can improve upon (Moen, White, Gorges)

    • commandant says:

      Given that we dumped Cole at 4.5 million because we didn’t want that salary next season… why would we take on a worse player in Umberger with a similar salary?

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

      • adamkennelly says:

        worse player? that’s extremely debatable…also Umberger is 4 years younger…pretty sure no one would agree with you that Cole at 4.5 is better than Umberger at 4.5

  54. gumper says:

    Just wanted to add a nickle’s worth to the thread below about Habs being too small. Certainly agree that this team needs to beef up somewhat to contend over a long playoff series against the likes of…well just about anybody. I just don’t agree with those who say it has to happen now. It needs to be accomplished through the slow process of wise trades and careful drafting. I know it’s tough to be patient since it’s been going on for so long now, but we’ve all seen what blowing up a team accomplishes. We need to give MT the benefit of the doubt for a couple of years. Face it folks, even though we’ve enjoyed our lengthy stay in first place, we’re not likely to finish there, and we’re not likely to go deep in the playoffs this year. Looking at the team, many solid pieces are in place, but there are a few more to go before we are a serious cup contender. We should enjoy this turnaround year, whatever it brings, and try not to become negative and pessimistic every time the team hits some bumps in the road. I mean, who would have predicted we’d be sitting where we are right now? Not many.

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

    • Timo says:

      “we’re not likely to go deep in the playoffs this year”

      That’s all I’m saying.

    • BJ says:

      Hobie Hansen has got it right, he lists the years and players, size wise we are just too small. I can’t understand that managements get paid to see the obvious and still cannot address the problem. Its been decades and they still don’t get it?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I agree 100%. I don’t want Bergevin trading away a pile of young players to add size of the rental variety.

      I was just trying to point out that with the injury to Bourque, we’re literally left with Pacioretty and Eller, who have some size, in our top nine heading into the playoffs.

      I can just see it now, the rules become less enforced and guys like Gionta, Gallagher, Desharnais and Plekanec are going to get knocked around and blocked from getting to the net.

      And then all the people bitching abut Moen and Armstrong are going to find them playing on the wings on the top lines to add some size and create some space.

      We need another guy with some size with and offensive touch. If it doesn’t happen this year, I’m cool with it but eventually we’re going to need five or six guys with size and strength in our top 9, not two or three.

      • gumper says:

        Don’t forget about Prust, too. And Galchenyuk will fill out. Already we can see signs of a truculent attitude from the young man. In a couple of years he’ll be the whole package.

        The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
        Mark Twain

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Last night Julien keep Chara on Kessel only to free Kadri to get behind the D and score so why can Pac do the same beside Gallagher nobody do it ,that ,s why missing Prust and Bourque hurthing us right now

      • gumper says:

        Vraiment. We aren’t as far away as some people think. A panic move right now would neither be wise, nor in keeping with the sort of person I hope and believe MT is.

        The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
        Mark Twain

  55. habsfan0 says:

    I wonder if Jacques Martin is in the running to be permanent HC in Tampa?

  56. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If I’m Calgary and Boston calls for Iginla, I’m asking for Malcom…

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

  57. Hamayoune says:

    If it be becomes clear that Bourque won’t be playing this year, then would it be sane to trade for any of these players:

    -Scott Hartnell: he’s having a bad year so his value might be down, and philly is out of playoffs
    -Kyle Okposo: he seems to be pretty popular with HIO commentators
    -Iginla: keep dreaming?
    -Edmonton: Ryan Smyth? He’s having a poor year so he might come cheap. But is he any good anymore?

  58. HabinBurlington says:

    Sabres in Tampa on Tuesday, might they be facing an old coach?

  59. Sportfan says:

    Boucher relieved of his duties, I’m sure he’ll find work soon.

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  60. Sportfan says:

    There was effort last night as many have said bounces just didn’t go our way. I feel that guys like Prust/Bourque are really missed on the ice. They were big and they created space. Gio Plek Bourque was a great line and Prust was our energizer Bunny if they don’t come back soon, I really hope they’ll be back for the playoffs. If not MB will have to go out and get another guy like Bourque or Prust to help this team.

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  61. frontenac1 says:

    The bartender in the Saloon stares at me just like Boucher. I’m glad he got canned.

  62. HardHabits says:

    Lightning fire Boucher.

  63. Ton says:

    Just reading the posts on Bourque> how did he get the concussion? Don’t tell me its the punch to the head from the that low life leaf> Colton Orr!

  64. commandant says:

    Part 2 of the College Free Agents to watch.

    6 more scouting reports on sought after college players.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/03/24/college-free-agents-to-watch-part-2/

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

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      It would be nice for the Habs to get another goalie without having to draft one.

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

      • BJ says:

        Have you had a chance to watch Dustin Tokarski in Hamilton? He looks very very good.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          He was a great pick-up but after him what do they have? I think maybe a Finnish goalie (Com would know better than me)? It would be nice to have a little more depth in the organization…no?

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

          • commandant says:

            The finnish goalie was traded to Calgary. With Mayer headed to Switzerland next year we have three goalies under contract for next year.

            Price (NHL Starter)
            Tokarski (NHL backup, or exposed to waivers if sent to the AHL)
            Delmas (Can he be an AHL backup? We don’t know).

            I expect Tokarski to be the NHL backup.

            I expect a goalie like Desjardins, MacIntyre, Danis, Sanford, (like those guys a journeyman vet) to be signed as AHL starter.

            I hope that a guy like Hartzell (or a 20 year old CHL free agent) can be signed to compete with the vet for AHL minutes and develop and that Delmas is pushed to the ECHL to finish his contract.

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

      • commandant says:

        Still think you need to draft one.

        A guy like Hartzell is 24 and will likely spend 1 year in the AHL, max 2 before being called up to be a back up if thats what he is to be.

        Tokarski is likely headed for backup duties next year due to age and needing waivers for AHL duty.

        The drafted goalie is minimum 4 years away from being a backup.

        Its all different development stages.

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

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          Agreed…need to draft one…thank goodness for the extra picks this year.

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

        • Boomer says:

          Some decent goalies in the draft this year ;)
          But i don’t need to tell you that lol.

          Comm what do you think of Zykov as a mid to late first rounder? Not necessarily for the Habs but in general. I like his puck skills and his play down low

          • commandant says:

            I had him as a late first rounder (29th) in my February rankings, and he’s done nothing to lower his stock. If anything the guy just keeps going up and up. He’s been impressive.

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

  65. habsfan0 says:

    From the sound of it,it’s just a matter of time before Boone comes over to the “dark side” and starts questioning Carey Price’s abilities as a “money goalie”.

    The day that happens, havoc will ensue on these boards.

  66. ont fan says:

    Why would anybody choose to be a Ref or an Umpire? What tough jobs.

    • ProHabs says:

      Some things are just really hard to understand. Such as why the Habs would pick up another small, soft player like Halpern with a game against the Bruins coming up shortly. Ridiculous move.

      • gumper says:

        Disagree. It would only be ridiculous if there were a better player available (a Colton Orr or Scott Thornton for example) for $700k, and they passed him up for Halpern. Add to that the Habs’ deficiencies in the face off circle and on the PK, and it only makes sense to grab a guy like Halpern. Very little is invested (maybe 200k), so even if he sits in the press box for the balance of the season, nothing is lost. If a better player magically appears on waivers, just waive Halpern and grab that one. It’s a minor move that might have minor positive consequences. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

        The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
        Mark Twain

    • Sportfan says:

      I was an Umpire for a few years couldn’t stand the Job parents were awful! Can only imagine how hard the national jobs are. The funny part was my mom said “you’ll appreciate the refs more!” yeah that didn’t happen.

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      At the amateur level…no way…lunatic parents. At the pro level…$$$ makes up for it.

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

    • scott9002ca says:

      reffed hockey for years. Gave up when a crappy bantam B team in cote saint luc that was getting blown out kept telling me to go F**k myself then accusing me of anti-semitism for throwing them out (I had one (terrible) dad standing outside my dressing room waiting for me).

      Adult hockey is worse, cuz they get in your face over every little call. And when it comes down to it between showing up to the rink early, ice time, and undressing/showering you make less than 10$/h, and even if its a bit more, a night of multiple games won’t get you more than 40-50$.

  67. Hamayoune says:

    Yesterday’s game was largely dominated by the Habs with 38 shots, but there was something about the game that made it boring. Not sure what, but there’s something with playing the Sabres…

    • gumper says:

      The Sabres are big and slow. They clog up the middle to slow down opposing forwards so they can’t gain the zone either with speed or with the puck under control. It leads to crap hockey, but if you’re the Sabres coach, scratching toward a playoff spot, you don’t get fancy, you just get in the way.

      The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
      Mark Twain

  68. HabinBurlington says:

    Meanwhile on L.A. Kings chat boards this morning they are wishing they were more diminutive in order to enhance scoring chances.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The Kings will be fine in the playoffs again because they have the perfect mixture of size, skill and experience.

      Kinda like the Bruins did the year before.

      And unfortunately, the Habs aren’t quite there yet. They’ll need some luck.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Honestly…what do they know? They just won the Cup and they’re complaining. They arguably have the best size in the league. It is one thing to do well in the regular season, it is another to beat the same good opponent in a seven game marathon. It will all come down to health…

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

  69. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Bourque’s performance this year facilitated Cole’s exit from the Habs as he provided a physical presence in front of the net. Our best scorers, Max and Ryder, are perimeter shooters. Gionta and Gallagher are not going to cut it in the long term. MB needs to make a decision on Bourque now. If he does not think he can come back, shut him down and make a deal.

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

    • habstrinifan says:

      Agree on the Bourque item. Especially since it can be plausibly argued that Bourque’s play last year was due to him not being completely well. If there is any doubt that his return will be in full health and therefore at the level of his early season play… then MB has to do what you suggest.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Yesterday, when it appeared Bourque would find his way back I thought we could roll into the playoffs with what we’ve got up front. Now, with only Pacioretty possessing any size on the top two lines, hopefully Bergevin can do something.

  70. Old Bald Bird says:

    The boys put in the effort last night, but for whatever reason they weren’t sharp. Can’t fault the effort and the other comes and goes. Bounces and calls certainly played a factor too — for both teams but in opposite ways.

  71. Boomer says:

    It’s all good saying The habs need to get bigger/tougher but it is much different story going out and doing it. This isn’t NHL 13 on our Playstation 3’s… You can’t radically change a team at the trade deadline. And the biggest thing people here forget… You have to have something the other team WANTS and they have to be willing to PART with their player in order to trade. MAYBE we’ll get one or two pieces but this “change” the habs need to do is not going to be done in one season. MB and Therrien have done an excellent job turning this team around with what they had but if MB has a vision for this team(Ie getting bigger or what have you) it’s not going to happen short term.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I think it would have been easier to change the nature of the team thru deals if they had been out of contention as many of us expected. But you can’t really tear things down as things stand. Or can you? That would take guts for sure.

  72. Skeptical says:

    We’re not losing because of injuries. we lose when we can’t put the puck in the net. Last night was a good example.

    The team is playing great. From last in the Eastern conference last year to 2nd so far. We’re doing something right.

    I think we have a very good team but. I wouldn’t make any plans for a parade till we see what happens at trade deadline and maybe not than. Have to wait and see. LA fooled a lot of people last year.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Too much Desharnais in crucial moments. I don’t love how we always roll out regular lines as PP units, how about putting some specialists out there. For ex) Pacioretty is one of our best 5 on 5 fwds, not the greatest passer etc, it wouldn’t be out of line to have a guy like Eller or Galchenyuk with some more PP time.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Is there any problem in your mind that isn’t cause by too much Desharnais?

        I still wish I knew what that little guy id to you. Must’ve stolen your girlfriend when he passed through Hamilton.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          I’ve explained to you a thousand times, nothing against him. Let’s just not use him like he’s a top center on this team. That’s just where I stand – good top 9 guy, not top 6 game breaker.

          ———————————

          Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • TB is the second highest scoring team in the entire league. They are next to last.

      Most nights the Canadiens do put the puck in the net, and 6 games of 31 the Habs couldn’t score.

      I think the Habs can plan whatever they want right now because this team is going to the playoffs, and that’s exciting!

      Shane Oliver
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  73. Hobie Hansen says:

    So here we go again. This has been going on for over a decade in Montreal and it seems like we’re headed down the same path again.

    2001/02 – Canadiens lose in the 2nd round to a bigger and stronger Carolina Hurricanes team with a smallish team being led by the likes of Koivu, Perreault, Petrov, Gilmour, Dackell and Juneau.

    2003/04 – After another thrilling 1st round victory in a tough series against Boston, another small Canadiens team runs out of gas after being knocked around against TB. Leading the way for the Habs that year: Koivu, Ryder, Perreault, Bulis, Ribeiro and Zednick.

    2007/08 – Maybe a little bigger but with nothing close to a power forward, the Canadiens make it to the 2nd round again on raw emotion, led by Kovalev, Koivu, Higgins, Ryder, Plekanec and Smolinski. A big, strong and talented Philadelphia team walks all over them in the 2nd round.

    2009/10- With another cast of Smurfs including, Gomez, Cammalleri, Gionta, Plekanec, the Canadiens ride the emotion and get a bit lucky and make it all the way to the 3rd round. Only to be knocked off by a bigger, tougher and more talented Flyers team.

    2013 – Led by Gionta, Desharnais, Gallagher, Plekanec, Ryder and finally one power forward, Pacioretty, the latest version of the Smurfs…

    This team needs to get bigger and tougher at the deadline, period! I think this version of the Habs is the best we’ve had a while but after 2 or 3 rounds of playoff hockey, without some reinforcements, we could be in big trouble and out of gas again. The news of Bourque suffering a setback increases our need to find more size.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Eller and Bourque aren’t smurfs but I get you’re point. Gallagher and Gionta play more than gritty enough to hold their own, the issue comes when you’re small AND soft like Desharnais’ case.

      With Hudon, Colberg, Kristo, etc. we need bring in some size this draft year.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Like I said, this is our best lineup in many years but we’re still on the small side and it’s going to catch up to us in the playoffs. Do we have a shot at the cup, sure, but those chances would improve with a bigger and more durable team.

        Eller is playing great this year, but who knows if Bourque is even going to make it back now?

        Montreal now has to go after a power forward along with the physical defenseman they already needed, IMO.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          I know, with the Cole deal no Bourque really puts us in a predicament, Armstrong isn’t the answer and should keep a clean distance from the top-9

          ———————————

          Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      In 2002 we simply didn’t have a very good team and Carolina went to the finals.

      In 2004 we lost to the eventual cup winners. They didn’t beat us because of size, but talent.

      In 2008 we seriously outplayed Philly but their keeper Martin Biron stood on his head while our rookie keeper let in every floating wrist shot directed at the net.

      Again in 2010 our “smurfs” beat the much bigger and more talented Caps and Pens, thanks largely, it has to be admitted, to Halak.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        How many pairs of rose colour glasses do you own? You really need to take your head out of your…

        Go back and read any article or watch any highlight pagage after the Habs were knocked out and they’ll all say the Habs were beat by a BIGGER and STRONGER team.

        But as you constantly mention, nobody on the radio or television who either played the game or covers it for a living knows anything about hockey right?

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          I’ve actually NEVER mentioned that “nobody on the radio or television who either played the game or covers it for a living knows anything about hockey”.

          Never is somewhat different than constantly.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            OK so when 95% of the people in the media say the Canadiens are too small, what don’t you understand?

          • Danno says:

            Also – in 2011 we almost beat the Bruins who went on to win the cup. But only after winning three overtime games. But if Pacioretty had not been taken out by Chara prior to the playoffs it would have a been completely different story.

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    • Hamayoune says:

      Don’t count out Rene Bourque as power forward, and Eller as a bigger center man

    • smiley says:

      AGREED. Playoff hockey is DIFFERENT from the regular season. It’s alomst like two different sports. It’s a war of attrition. The bigger and more physical teams tend to survive.

    • Phil C says:

      In 2010, what would have been the outcome if Pronger had been our for the series instead of Markov? We both know that the Habs would have won. Your co-relation to size is spurious.


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