About last night …


Help wanted: Sniper
Experience at making red lights go on essential.
CV should include goal totals, shooting percentage and some indication of willingness to go into dirty areas.
Apply to Marc Bergevin, Bell Centre.

Let’s forget about the game on Long Island, when your Montreal Canadiens beat poor Kevin Poulin five times with 29 shots.

In games against Ryan Miller and the tandem of Marc-André Fleury and Tomas Vokoun, the Canadiens had 76 shots on goal.

They scored once.

Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, against the hottest team in the league, the Canadiens fired 25 shots at Fleury and 12 at Vokoun: 37 shots and the red light stayed off.

They lost because the only goal of the game was what Michel Therrien accurately described as “a perfect shot by the best player on the planet.” Given one of the very few good scoring chances conceded by the Canadiens in an intense, playoff-calibre game, Sidney Crosby made no mistake.

“We did many good things,” Therrien said in his postgame remarks. “We deserved better, and we have to stay positive.”

Positivity will help at the TD Garden, where the Canadiens will try to recapture first place in the Northeast Division when they face the Bruins Wednesday night. The currently anemic offence will be facing another quality goaltender, Tuukka Rask.

Maybe someone will step up and score.

Maybe that someone will be Max Pacioretty, who has seven shots on goal against the Sabres on Saturday and another seven in Pittsburgh. I think the stat – 14 SoG in two games – is deceptive because unlike the best player on the planet, the best player from Connecticut is not burying his chances.

Despite the Canadiens’ excellent performance in Pittsburgh – the only criticism the coach offered was the team’s inability to build any momentum off the power play – Therrien might consider some line changes to light a fire under his slumping scorers.

On L’Antichambre after the Tuesday game, Michel Bergeron said Alex Galchenyuk hasn’t been the same player since Brendan Gallagher was promoted to David Desharnais’s line. Perhaps Lars Eller should be centring the reunited kids.

The problem is a lack of depth. With neither Rene Bourque nor Brandon Prust available, Therrien doesn’t have many cards to play in shuffling the deck with his forward lines. Playing with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta might shake Pacioretty out of his doldrums, and Ryder is a natural RW who would benefit from DD’s playmaking skill if he replaced Gallagher. But who would play on the left side?

And don’t suggest Travis Moen.

Or Jeff Halpern.

The team’s latest addition played a terrific game in Pittsburgh. Halpern had four hits and won 11 of 18 faceoffs – a 61 per cent success rate Canadiens fans haven’t seen since the glory days of Yanic Perreault.

But Halpern, who had been averaging nine minutes ToI with the Rangers, played 14:51 against Pittsburgh. That was three minutes more than Eller and only 38 seconds less than DD. Halpern had more ToI than either Tyler Kennedy or Brenden Morrow did for Pittsburgh.

Again, you can’t fault Halpern for his effort. But when a waiver wire pickup who’ll turn 37 in May is seeing that much ice time …

OK, I’m being too negative.

Therrien is right. The Canadiens played well and deserved better than to be shut out and – for the first time this season – suffer a second consecutive loss in regulation time.

Carey Price had no chance on the Crosby goal. And he was brilliant during a Pittsburgh PP that saw the puck zipped around the Canadiens’ zone for the full two minutes.

At even strength, however, the Canadiens defencemen and forwards did a superb job of containing the explosive Pittsburgh offence. Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, James Neal, Kris Letang and the incomparable number 87 were not allowed to wheel and deal with the reckless abandon they displayed during that crazy 7-6 game at the Bell Centre.

This was playoff hockey: tight, hard-hitting (but substantially clean), intense in all three zones.

The Canadiens’ game plan was to chip pucks behind the ponderous Pittsburgh D, and they enjoyed substantial success in doing so. The Plekanec and Eller lines – heck, even the fourth liners – exerted prolonged periods of pressure in the Pittsburgh zone.

Again, however, the absence of Bourque and Prust deprived the Canadiens of two players who might have caused some consternation in the Pittsburgh crease – a role that has devolved to Gallagher and Gionta because Pacioretty and Ryder seem uninterested in getting their mouthguards rattled.

And now, the Bruins …




  1. nunacanadien says:

    Imagine getting rid of the rest of the smaller guys, look at the vast improvement getting rid of Gomez had right away. The habs have a great playbook, all they need are players of decent size and any collection of mid to large size players merits stanley cups. Anytime the habs have gone small, they’ve always been locked out of the cup series.

  2. Skeptical says:

    Habs played great last night. Not quite as good a team as Pittsburgh but. Last night could have gone either way.

    I don’t think they’re quite as good as boston and expect the same type of game as last night could go either way.

    Habs have a very good team this year. Two good scores away from having a very good chance of going to the Stanley cup finals.

  3. HabFanSince72 says:

    Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a Calgary Flames fan for a second (Don’t worry – it’s just for one second).

    Lots of talk of trading Jarome.

    Sure if you get a keeper like Bernier or Malcolm Subban.

    But what if all that is on offer is a first round pick – likely a late one given the teams that are interested?

    As a Flames’ fan I’d say keep Iggy and sign him to one last contract in the summer. He’s your capt. and possibly the greatest player who ever wore the flaming C (with apologies to Lanny MacDonald). Let him be part of the rebuild as mentor.

    What do you think?

    • Loonie says:

      I think it’s a tough call. I probably wouldn’t take a late first round pick for him for the reasons you mentioned and because it’s going to take a lot more than that pick to get them turned around.

      I don’t think they’ll have that problem though. There will be a bidding war for Iginla and if he’s already given a list of teams it’s because both the Flames and Iginla himself are ready to move on from each other.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Does he want to re-sign? Or does he want to pull a Ray Bourque and go get a cup. I would trade him, hope he gets his cup and re-sign him in the summer.

      • 123456 says:

        bingo – there are a lot of unwritten agreements – if i’m the flames I trade iggy for a first or a second round and resign him in the summer. of course if its not in writing you never know but players have certainly done this before.

        but I don’t want him here

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      They’re in such a hole you just need to get assets even if it’s just a 1st, but I think they’ll get a 1st, a prospect, and maybe another mid-tier pick or prospect


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

    • habstrinifan says:

      There comes a time in the situation of a player like Iginla in Calgary (comparable to Koivu in Montreal) when the years of futility and disappointment become a scar on the relationship of player to team and player to fans, which lingers and evokes doubts after every lost game or every failingly ended-season.

      The player doesnt want to desert the team. Wants to ‘finish’ the job. The team doesnt want to dismiss the player from his family. And the fans dont want to seem ungrateful. So everyone walks around on eggshells wondering what is the best thing to do without hurting the other and without risking pangs of remorse. And then, as it was, in Koivu’s case, it ends in a sad and ungainly but inevitable departure, where no bridges are burnt but there is only one way out and no way back.

      Trading Iginla NOW will be best for the city and the team and for Iginla. And he can return, if he wishes, like Bourque can for Boston and Koivu cant(easily) for Montreal.

      Just please please dont make it Boston!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      I have to think that the writing is on the wall for the Flames and they need to stoke the bidding war and clean up.

      Go to Iginla and Kipper (they already have for Iginla) and tell them flat out that they will always be in the hearts of the Flames fans and organization but the team needs to teardown and they will not likely be seeing the playoffs in that uniform but they will get a chance to play for a cup with another team.

      You get either Bernier or Subban in nets, 2 number one picks and 2 NHL ready prospects. Add that to what you might get for JB et al and they will still be back before that mess in Edmonton; the Pittsburgh opposite when it comes to reaping the benefits first overall picks.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Bah! You triggered my Lanny ’89 memories. Can’t find my prescription, need a quiet room. Thanks “alot”.

  4. habfan53 says:

    It is interesting to see everbody yelling for more scoring. Please tell me which team does’nt want more scoring. The fact is though that Montreal is fourth in goals per game behind only Pittsburgh who has some guy named Crosby, Chicago and Tampa with Stamkos and St-Louis.
    No Montreal does not have the BIG sniper but they do have a balanced attack . During the course of a season whether it be 48 games or 82 games you will hit a spot where the bounces do not go your way.
    Last night Ryder hit the post AND the crossbar, Fleury made a big save on Pacioretti and another on Markov during a PP.

  5. Cape Breton says:

    Wasn’t pleased with Pac’s effort last nite. He actually gave up on a play in the Pens zone that I replayed at least 5 times. Instead of bearing down with some serious backchecking, he waved his stick at the Pens player carrying the puck and headed to the bench. That’s only one incident. Overall, the man named Pax seemed uninterested all game.

  6. Torsion Shear says:

    With all this talk of adding a sniper, am I the only one that would love to see Jagr in this years line up. I know he’s 41, but he’s UFA at seasons end and we’ve already made a deal this season with Dallas.

    I heard earlier that Dallas was trying to sign him to an extension, but lack if news since could lead one to believe that it isn’t going as planned.

    He played with Pleks on the off season and has stated he wanted to play in Montreal at the seasons start. I would love to see Pleks finally be rewarded with his childhood hero as his winger.

    Plus from all reports last year out of Philly his work ethic is off the charts and is a good role model fir the young guns.

  7. Loonie says:

    I’m sorry but it’s time for Desharnais to be moved to the wing or have responsibility removed in favour of Eller.

    Even Strength Points per minute played at even strength….

    Desharnais – 1 for every 30 minutes
    Eller – 1 for every 29 minutes

    Powerplay points per powerplay minute played…..

    Desharnais – 1 for every 20 minutes
    Eller – 1 for every 6 minutes

    In addition. Desharnais has more often than not had the team’s two leading even strength scorers on his line with Pacioretty and Gallagher.

    Eller’s had #6 and #16 since the Gallagher move with Galchenyuk and Armstrong.

    Eller has not only proven that he’s better defensively, but he’s now proving that he’s better offensively.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      ” Desharnais has more often than not had the team’s two leading even strength scorers on his line with Pacioretty and Gallagher.”

      I dare say one might look at this data and come to a different conclusion.

      • Loonie says:

        That’s everyone’s right. I’m not sure what argument can be made that Desharnais is at this point a better fit on the powerplay or with more even strength ice-time. But I’m all ears.

        If the argument’s going to be that they’re scoring in large part because of Desharnais I think it should be noted that Gallagher’s slowed down considerably since being placed on that line.

        “If he’s such a good hitter why doesn’t he hit good”

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          It’s not a question of rights. I also have the right to say war is peace.

          Both Eller and Desharnais have their good points and bad points.

          Therrien’s plan is obviously to try to roll three balanced lines, which makes it hard to defend against. That plan is thrown off by injuries right now. Splitting up MaxPac and DD might happen but it’s reasonable to keep them together for obvious reasons.

          I would also say that both Desharnais and Eller have struggled in the last couple of games. Eller remains a work in progress but one that should leave us optimistic about his future. His ability to think fast on his skates is still his main problem.

          • Loonie says:

            Rolling three balanced lines is something that I agree with. But Desharnais’ powerplay production has been nothing short of abysmal while Eller’s has been excellent.

            There should probably be a change to the powerplay personnel if not at even strength as well.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            A small caveat – Eller’s PP production is based on too little data to be reflective. 3 PP points so far, and only 39 sec/game.

          • Loonie says:

            Fair enough but that production in limited time coupled with his being better offensively and defensively at even strength would in most cases warrant more powerplay time if for no other reason than to see if he’d be an upgrade.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Regardless if you watch this team its obvious at this point. We need to win games, and it’s time to put our best players on the ice when we need a strong performance, and that means Eller in key situations, and playing on a feature line over Desharnais.


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

    • pottymonster says:

      He just signed a new contract based on the work he has done at center. As much as it pains me to say, the Canadiens clearly view Desharnais as a top line center.

  8. derfab says:

    Armstrong sucked yesterday, as usual. Moen, White, Dumont, even an unemployed guy like Darche(!) are better hockey players. This guy is there for his goofy smile and loyalty to Therrien, but he is a marginal 4th liner at best who should be in the press box.

  9. habstrinifan says:

    I am asking, without disrespect, what is meant by “not going for it?”. What are the goals for this team for the rest of the hockey year if we decide to ‘not go for it’.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think going for it, is trading a 1st round pick or the majority of our 2nd round picks for players to help this season who then walk away in the offseason.

      • habstrinifan says:

        OK then that’s wrong! But, and I dont want to rile you I am asking this with full respect for YOU and for Gionta. Would you consider, scouring the NHL for a big, ‘promising’ forward (not a rental or a too old guy like say Jagr) and try and get that player even if it means parting with someone like Gionta… who may be perceived by a GM as a smart addition to augemnt his team NOW. We get a player to change the landscape of our offense presently and in the future and we part with a VERY GOOD veteran, who may not be exactly what we need in our top 6 now.

        Note: May I add that I think we have Gallagher and maybe another couple players who can fill Gionta’s role, of course not as fully now, but sufficiently so.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I have no issue with the team trading Gionta if it is a good deal for the club. I just shiver at how often he is tossed around as garbage by many here, not you.

          One does have to be a bit more careful than usual though, as trading a captain has significance in the room I feel.

          • habstrinifan says:

            I wont deny that I compare Gionta unfavourably with captains like the pocket Richard. I have posted before that if Richard was with Mtl the tenureship of JM (salient example of sh$$#@ was the Cammallieri thing) and the contribution of Gomez and maybe even the reputed transgressions of P.K. ) would have been ‘dealt with’. Gionta’s favourability as Captain sank real low with me when he said ‘flat out’ “never happened” re the Markov/Price incident. He could handled this 100 percent more honourably and truthfully and not seem as giving up his individual integrity to appearing to fall in line with PG and JM’s cover-up style.

            But my remarks re any trade for him is simply this. I have always seen Gallagher as his replacement. And I think we have players in our system who can become ‘work ethic’ ‘industrious’ type players on the ice. We also have lots of leadership material on the team.
            I would absolutely explore trading Gionta for some real good presnt and future player. And I think it may even be good for Gionta. Last point. Can you see the HABS re-signing Gionta at the end of his contract….and consider it a ‘wise move’?

            Thank you for the give and take. No sense posting if such doesnt happen so I enjoy it.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Isn’t there a middle-path? I think Loonie talks about acquiring someone who WON’T be a rental but would become a Hab. Can we do that?

    • Loonie says:

      In my view going for it is trying to fill the holes on the roster.

      In my opinion those are another versatile scoring winger and a defenseman that sends Gorges to the third pairing and Tinordi back to Hamilton.

      If those can’t be had it isn’t the end of the world but that’s what I would consider going for it.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I agree with the gist. For instance if I can get a prototypical young power forward for Gorges, I would do it. But not for Tinordi. That is giving up too big (no pun here) a prospect.

  10. habs-fan-84 says:

    Eller needs more PP time!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He should have been potty trained by now, I have no idea why he gets so little pp time. I’m worried he eventually gets a bladder infection at this rate.

  11. Habitforming says:

    Jussi Jokenin has a cap hit of $3M for next season. I can’t see him not being picked by another team off waivers, but if he falls to us, would he be better fit than Moen or Armstrong, with the ability to move up and down the lineup for injuries etc? I would think this is a no brainer move. Anyone else have thoughts as to why we shouldn’t try to get him?

  12. Steeltown Hab says:

    It will be pretty amazing if Armstrong goes the entire year without being a scratch, after White, Eller, Armstrong, Gallagher have all sat in the press box.


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

  13. habstrinifan says:

    Boone is right re the surprising stats on TOI for Halpern and Eller.
    Coaches for MTL, and this ha sbeen the case for the last so many years, have to start reconsidering their propensity to devalue offensive players.

  14. Luke says:

    Good Morning folks!
    I’m seeing the word ‘untouchables’ thrown around today… How untouchable are people’s untouchables?
    for example:
    Beaulieu in a package for Shea Weber? Is he still untouchable?

  15. Hobie Hansen says:

    Montreal should have and played well enough to win last night. In saying that, very much looking forward to the return of Prust and hopefully Bourque. And on top of that, hoping we can land either a top 6 player with some size and a scoring touch or to a lesser extent, a 3rd or 4th liner with similar qualities.

    We could have used someone in Fleury’s grill last night when guys like Ryder were firing all those shots. And the same time, we could use a guy like Bourque or another player at the deadline driving to the net and knocking in rebounds.

    Can’t wait for tonight’s game, looking at the watch already!

  16. habstrinifan says:

    Good Morning to everyone!

    I am going to start this morning by admitting that some of my posts, particularly about Gionta, were over the top and too unfairly critical. I will also acknowledge that the HABS gave it their ALL and so should be appreciated for their efforts.

    However, I would be dishonest if I dont, in a more tempered way, restate some of my, and again they are only that… my non-expert opinion.

    The Habs will make the playoffs and there it is incumbent on management to try and do everything possible to give them a better chance in the playoffs. What this team is lacking most of all is true scoring ability/acumen/drive.

    So as a fan, this is simply my take.

    There is no other player that at the level of experience, ability and NHL respect on our teamand that we can part with, with the least destructive impact to our whole, than Gionta. We have players like Gallagher and Dumont etc ready to be groomed to replace him. We can’t part with Plekanec for instance caus eit would seriously affect our P.K ETC. And of course there are many ‘untouchables’ who would bring value but would be too huge a loss.
    The HABS need to upgrade their scoring… period. Maybe a young not so proven but bigger candidate. I think HABS best ‘asset’ to obtain such is Gionta… maybe combined with other assets. That’s it!

    Secondly. I am going to concede that the Ryder trade was sound based on cap issues… allowing for future monies to be available for our ‘must resigns’. So as far as trading big money for small money …sound. But I do not believe that the player, Ryder, was a good pickup based on the needs of our team.

    So mea-culpa re ‘unfair’ posts but I stand by my un-informed and un-expert opionions above.

    I remind you of the story of Sisyphus. A forward, like Gallagher is a great addition and will be with us for a long and good future, but not getting that ‘sniper’ quality to add to our forward corps is assigning a player like Gallagher the labours of a Sisyphus.

    • 123456 says:

      i like gionta as a player and a person. and while some dump on him it must be stated he is second on the team in goals. like that you pointed out he is a good asset. for the betterment of the team he can certainly be moved.

      looks to me like the habs are being built to have a solid team for a number of years. i have faith in this management and unlike many on this site I would not trade away prospects for a cup run this season.

    • hockeymaniac31 says:

      Ryder has a point per game with the Habs. He’s good but needs space to play and he’s not getting that with plecky and gionta.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      The question becomes “Who the heck is willing to give up what we might want for Gionta?” Sorry, but I can’t see too many people wanting to add a Gionta. The same can apply to much of our team.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I doubt anyone was bothered by heated posts last night since everyone knows you also post like this!

      Solid argument. MB’s thing about “always” looking to improve the team notwithstanding, does any team trade its captain at this point in the season? Aren’t there possible, intangible knock-on effects?

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Gionta has a NTC … whether a trade is merited or not, it is simply a non starter.

      Next year when he is in the final year of his contract, and with a sufficient lead time, it may be a possibility, however unlikely.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  17. habs12 says:

    Interested to see where J. Jokinen ends up.

    • hockeymaniac31 says:

      Don’t won’t him in Montreal. Just another LAZY player who only plays when he feels like it. Don’t need that on this team

      • habs12 says:

        Dont want him either, but interested to see who picks him up. Im sure Boston put in a claim to try and fix their PP, but he was probably claimed earlier.

  18. hockeymaniac31 says:

    The Habs are finally feeling the effects of their injuries now. Hope MB can make a trade for a top six forward. I’ve said it a week ago they need to change up the lines to get QUALITY scroring chances not QUANTITY.



    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Poor Eller…

      • hockeymaniac31 says:

        Hey if eller was as good as people say he is he would lighting up the red light now wouldn’t he? If a trade comes up I would offer him in a heartbeat

        • Loonie says:

          Ha. With a quarter of Desharnais’ powerplay time he has one less point on the man advantage. With around fifty less minutes of ice-time overall on the season he has two less points.

          And he’s better by a country mile defensively.

          If this team trades him and he gets an opportunity to be a top six player with another organization, he’ll make us regret for the remainder of his career.

          • hockeymaniac31 says:

            For the record I’m not a DD fan either. Only reason they signed him was because he’s a french Canadien or close to it. That’s the sad part we only sign someone because of their name. And that’s the reason why this team hasn’t won a cup in 20 years.

          • bel33 says:

            Agree completely!

            … with Loonie.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Hmmm. You would have to convince a lot of people that there’s room in the profit-oriented, capitalist worldview of hockey managers and owners for a bit of sentimental “positive discrimination” re French players. If you’re not able to do that convincing, then what you’ve posted just strongly resembles a kind of empty assertion based on nothing rational (though perhaps on a political viewpoint?).

            Pro hockey’s a business. Business is never sentimental.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          Quality of linemates, defensive zone starts, lack of PP time. DD is sheltered like a 19 year old rookie.


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

        • Eller and Galchenyuk work like dogs on that line, and are almost never scored against, that’s pretty good.

          Shane Oliver
          Twitter @Sholi2000
          Custom Sports Figures

          • hockeymaniac31 says:

            But they can’t put the puck in the back of the net. You can’t have 2 playmakers on the same line. Split them up and results will come. Or if they put either MaxPac or Gally on that line then I have them stay together

          • Old Bald Bird says:

            The team has one goal in two games. Nobody is putting the puck in the net rigt now: not Pacs, Pleks, Gally, Sooby, Markov or anybody.

        • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

          If?, he is the most coveted player on the habs by other GMs … his time is usually more shut down than opportunity.

          And when you go the “french name” card for DD, you are just another yammmerer on 690 …

          “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

          • hockeymaniac31 says:

            Hey i dont want hear it. If it wasnt for people like you we wouldn’t have to limit ourselves with coaches and GM’s that can only speak french! The Habs can have a team full of American’s or Rssian’s for all I care as long as they WIN! But that’s never good enough for people like you.

    • Put Armstrong on the fourth line,and Dumont on the third and I’d be happy to watch them play for one game or two. I’m guessing Therrien doesn’t shake the lines up until he can get a Brossard practice in. Friday?

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures

  19. Ton says:

    My prediction on how management will proceed in regards to players trades etc.> our team’s performance this year is a surprize, this would suggest were ahead of MB’s plan. He was clear his team will be built through the draft and not by free agency and trades. With this said we have many draft picks in the bank along with last years draft picks. I shall add we have used up prospects from the Gainey era with the exception on Leblanc/Kristo are some of the few. One of the elements we don’t have is an elite french canadian player they long to have for that market……….watch us put together a couple of seconds along with our 1st to move up in the top three positions in this years draft or next years. Simply put we cannot employ all of these prospects in organization. By the way we are not going to go after another 6 million dollar player. We have gone back to how the habs have always built their teams………through the draft! Developing, molding players, systems, and hopefully win!

  20. The Habs checked the them perfectly last night.

    I don’t care we were last last season. In in a very short time this team is now one of the best.

    We don’t have a Crosby, Malkin, or Neil….I can’t imagine how good we’d be if we did.

    Dear Therrien

    Max-Galchenyuk-Eller or Max-Eller-Galchenyuk

    I figured out why I’m not an Armstrong fan. Watch him very closely, he does the absolute minimum on every shift. Galchenyuk and Eller working both offensive corners like dogs on their line and Ol Colby hangs around hoping for a freeB not my style of player.

    Play like they did last night and the Bruins are going down!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      I’d love to see Pac-Eller-Galchenyuk or Gallagher, but the issue that you run into who plays with DD, it’s pretty much a guaranteed bad line at that point.

      Plekanec/Eller have the play flow through them and can play with different types of players. Desharnais needs physical and fast wingers and even then he might not produce.


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

  21. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Hitting the post is part of the game, and there are swings and roundabouts.

    That said, and looking ahead to the possibility of a series with the Pens, if one or especially two of those 1st period posts go in, the game takes on an entirely different psychology.

    For us: hey, all our hard work, forechecking and defense is paying off. Keep going!

    For them: hey, we’re the unbeatable Penguins at home with 12 consecutive wins — how come Montreal is beating us?

    Isn’t that what we did in 2010?

    Of course, it would help if we could somehow acquire a scorer, someone to capitalize on all the excellent work done everywhere else on the ice and behind the bench.

    Very enjoyable game, alas the wrong outcome.

    • Loonie says:

      I spat coffee out of my mouth when I read that Lane Mcdermaid was “a high end prospect”.

    • habs12 says:

      Cant wait till they send one of Spooner/Subban, one of the 4 average prospects listed and a 1st round pick.

      • 24 Cups says:

        If I’m Calgary I’d say it’s Spooner and Subban. Period. Take it or leave it.

        If it’s Pittsburgh, I’d say Bennett and Maatta.

        If it’s LA, then I want Bernier.

        The irony in all of this is how Iginla originally landed up in Calgary many years ago. To hell with picks, I want prospects who look like they are almost sure things.

        • habs12 says:

          I still think Calgary wants a 1st round pick regardless, considering how deep the draft is this year. Even if its a low pick, if you have enough picks, you can try and move up on draft day. The only way I see them getting Spooner and Subban is if the clock is ticking to 3 pm and Boston still hasn’t done anything.

  22. Marc10 says:

    Ryder and Max could have easily had two goals apiece against the Pens… and the save on Markov! To say the snipers on the team are snakebit would be an understatement. This little period of adversity is just what the doctor ordered. The guys aren’t panicking and playing well, and they’ll come out of it stronger.

    Good teams find a way to win and the Pens did tonight, but they were outplayed. Letang and Fleury are injured so their D is now going to get a real workout.

    … and yes, Halpern was a great pick up. He won’t win us the cup, but he just made us better. MB knows his stuff. I’m curious if he has one last rabbit to pull out of his hat in time for the stretch run.

    Bear hunting season is on. Go Habs Go!

    • Arrow77 says:

      I perfectly agree. If this is how look when we play bad, we might actually go far this year. We held a very potent offensive team to one goal and only bad luck kept Ryder from scoring. Whoever kick us out of contention will have to work VERY hard to do so.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Agree with all except I didn’t think we played bad(ly — Gram Police are in the area!) at all. I thought, in fact, we played an excellent game against the league’s hottest team, the only shortcoming being — as you go on to say — the absence of scoring.

        I say the Bruins will find it hard to play with us tonight. I’d say most Habs’ heads are in a good place this morning.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Yup I love this analysis.

  23. derfab says:

    There is a cost to the new and necessary discipline on the Habs. That Moen is tuned out on the 4th line is part of it. Therrien has been able to play hardball because the team is doing so well. But he should be smart and flexible enough to put his best players in the right places, whatever the crew on L’antichambre says. Moen should be in Bourque’s/Prust’s spot right now. Ryder with DD and Pacs; Gallagher with his roomie and Eller.

  24. ed says:

    we went into their barn, with the Pens having won 12 in a row, and seriously outplayed and out-shot them.
    if our group can compete like that, we should be very excited about our chances come playoff time.
    that is what I learned from last night’s game.
    we are a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.

  25. Price07 says:

    The ducks are looking for a centreman to play behind Getzlaf…we have many. We also have many picks and prospects we can add…Bobby Ryan is expendable with young cheaper wingers like Etem and Palmieri….match for both sides?

  26. Captain aHab says:

    I also don’t get the “Clowe at all cost” crew. I might see “Clowe at reasonable cost” but all cost? I think we would regret “Clowe at all cost” personally.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  27. frankcasting says:

    Well all I was able to watch was the NHL.com highlight package, and from where I sat, it looked like the Habs had excellent offensive momentum and were off by a hair/post/great save a dozen times. Columns like today’s make you think this team didn’t start the night 4th in the NHL in scoring, or that it didn’t have nearly 40 shots with ample opportunities from in close. You get nights like that over a season or playoff series. Therrien’s right – lots of positives, let’s see what happens in beantown, and yeah, 14 minutes for Halpern is a little much, I agree. We have to keep riding the Eller bus, turn him into the no.1 he has the real potential to be.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  28. Steeltown Hab says:

    When Pacioretty/Desharnais are as ineffective as they have been, we shouldn’t keep going back to the for PP and to tie the game late. It’s sad that Gallagher is the one-man show on this line right now.

    Eller’s TOI: 11:39, pretty simple, give him DDs spot, PP time, or bring Gallagher to his line and let them go to work. Galchenyuk has looked strong, and Armstrong is not even close to keeping up or even just having a neutral effect on the line.

    Split up DD, Pacioretty, only thing that will wake those guys up. The 20 year old rookie, playing more physical than 67 and creating more than 51 can’t do it alone.


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

  29. adamkennelly says:

    Team is back to being the panzie squad. Lets go ahead and let Matt Cooke rough up your 5’6″ captain, twice..with no response. That type of behavior is what delivers wins in the playoffs.


    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Armstrong can’t skate, rarely hits, and doesn’t drop the gloves, no way this guy deserves an NHL contract.


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

    • 44har48 says:

      Yup, that’s my only knock right now, they are exceeding my expectations and you’ll have nights like last night, memory loss does a lot to help move on. This team is not a scoring machine, they have done well for themselves to this point. They do need to be tougher though and Prust being out of the lineup is not helping. Cooke on Gionta should not have been left alone. That needed a response. and in the playoffs, you can’t win if you allow that stuff to happen with no response.

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      I am sorry that you are embarrased but this is about discipline. It’s what real team toughness is. Cooke got a penalty in a one goal game – that’s what the Habs needed, that’s what they got but they couldn’t capitalize.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  30. Ozmodiar says:

    Good game by the Habs. Sid did what superstars do – make the other team pay when given the chance. Meanwhile, our top scorer failed to capitalize on his chances, hitting the post a couple of times.

    Next time it might go the other way, but last night, their ace beat our king.

  31. Captain aHab says:

    I don’t want to see the Habs trade assets for rentals. On the RDS broadcast last night they said something that is absolutely true: by acting first and snapping up a couple of player rentals early, Pittsburgh has now increased the price for all remaining rentals. Quite frankly, I think prices will be ridiculous so I would rather we sit tight and let the chip falls. We played the apparent best team in the NHL really tight last night and with a little luck, could have won.

    Things that need to happen:

    1) Split up DD and Pacioretty. My guess is that they are getting too comfortable together and maybe are expecting things to happen on their own. They mailed it in big time last night.

    2) I really like Gionta but his contract will need to be cleared away for us to bring in someone actually worth $5M bones.

    3) Give Eller more ice time with some of our top wingers, or put him with Galchenyuk and Gallagher and see what happens. The way DD and Max are playing right now, they are wasting Gallagher’s energy anyway. Playing with Armstrong might work once in a while but it isn’t sustainable.

    4) Moen needs to sit….that was a bad signing by MB…his contract is way too long and he simply isn’t playing for it. I think he still thinks he’s playing for JM and is sulking since he’s not seeing top 2 line work and significant PP time. My guess is that he’ll be sitting most games out in coming years as kids mature.

    5) Although I understand why Kaberle is sitting, I’m not sure why Weber never plays. I think Gorges is wearing out personally. He plays with a big heart but his play this year is suffering. I think if he got a break from time to time it would do him some good. I think Weber is good enough to play from time to time to give guys breathers. Weber is an RFA next year and I have no idea what they’re going to do with him. If you don’t trust him to play him, then trade his rights to another team for a bag of pucks and get a cheap stay at home d who can rotate in and out. Right now we have 2 of our d positions taken up by guys not playing.

    That being said, this team is playing way better than I was expecting and I think within a couple of years, we’ll have cleared away most of the bad contracts and will be in even better shape.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • Loonie says:

      Their comments about the trade market are wrong in my opinion. The Sharks and Stars aren’t full blown sellers but even if they prove to be in a week they weren’t this week. Neither team had a gun to their head forcing a trade.

      If the BlueJackets get a second round pick and at least a third rounder to go along with it for Adrian Aucoin I’ll humbly apologize and concede that the Penguins did in fact set the market.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great post.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Gionta isn’t the problem he’s actually playing well. I agree with #1 and #3, #4 I don’t get if anyone needs to sit it’s painfully obvious it’s Armstrong.


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

  32. Thomas Le Fan says:

    We were all over them in the first period. If Ryder was Crosby or Stamkos … we’d have won. Heh.

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

  33. Habfan10912 says:

    @Clay Thanks for sharing that link. I appreciated it alot. 🙂 CHeers.

  34. Bogie Man says:

    The boys fought hard and skated hard but how long will they do this for if our forwards cannot put the puck in the net. we keep asking what MB wants to do, does he want to go for the Cup or keep rebuilding. I think what should be happening is that we ask those players who are giving their soul every night what they want to do. I bet the answer is “The Cup”. If that is the case then MB should put everything he can into getting someone who can put the puck in the net at no matter what cost. (With some small limitations of course). We lost Morrow, we lost Murray, it sound like Iginla is going to Boston. We need to put everything we into securing a player like Ryan Clowe. If we do not get a player like him and I am not sure there are any more like him availible then close the bank doors and close the dresssing doors and tell the boys that this year is going to be a rebuilding year whether you like it or not. If MB drives his decision making by the size of the heart of this team he will know what to do!

  35. Richard B says:

    That video Boone posted is Priceless!

    Richard B

  36. lafleursmoke says:

    Well, it looks like Bourque and Diaz will be out for the season. Does this mean that MB should add something up front in the way of toughness? I’ve noticed in the last 2 games, that the Habs have had a hard time getting to the net and pouncing on rebounds.

    Reminds me of 2 playoff series against Philly. Come playoff time, will this team be able to manufacture goals?

    Winning the Conference is not important or likely at this point. Winning the division will come down to tonite, IMO. Another regulation loss, and that’s all she wrote. The Sens are on our tails as well.

    This is a good team, but far from a Cup Contender.

  37. JohnBellyful says:

    This one’s for Bripro and the posters he loves, a song by Hank Williams tribute artist, Dusty Butts
    (For some reason I couldn’t get this to post on my Weebly blog. I said Weebly, suh, not Wobbly.)

    The news is out
    All over town
    Hab fans despair,
    Their sorrows drown
    But drink won’t help
    Remove their pain
    Their heroes suck
    They lose again.

    Two in a row
    Is a disgrace
    Another loss
    There goes first place
    The Habs are toast
    They’ll break not bend
    Against the Bruins
    They’ll lose again

    I’m sorry that
    You feel this way
    Why do you watch
    Your ‘favourites’ play?
    They try their best
    But when in vain
    You crow to all
    ‘They lose again!’

    You have no heart
    You have no shame
    You take delight
    In giving blame
    A win or loss
    You still complain
    No matter what
    You’ll whine again

  38. Loonie says:

    Just a couple of thoughts with the first morning coffee.

    A few of us were advocating for scoring help not too long ago because the rookies are being relied on a bit too much. In a perfect scenario Gallagher plays on the third line with Eller and Galchenyuk and if Galchenyuk needs a trip the pressbox, another two forwards with scoring ability make that move easier.

    The most impressive thing about this team in the first half(quarter?) of the season was that when the best players weren’t contributing offensively other players were stepping up. Well Plekanec, Pacioretty, Gionta and Ryder have gone into hiding a little bit lately and nobody’s picked up that slack. That’s been the biggest issue for me.

    How bad was that decision by Plecky to turn his back to the net following a shot in the dying seconds last night? Bad luck I suppose but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what he was doing there. He may have turned away from the tying goal when that huge rebound dropped between the hashmarks.

    As far as deadline help, moving one second and one third would still leave the club with three picks in the top 60 and possibly 3 in the top 35 depending on how it all plays out.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Love Gionta but how many time did he miss the net last night , him and Moen could get us a good return at this time of the year and cap relieve for next year and just let the kids play

  39. Chris says:

    Yeats put it best a while back: if a goalie gives up 2 or less, he did his job and the loss is on his team.

    If the goalie gives up 3 or more, you’re asking a lot of the team in the way of offence.

    It is rarely the goalie alone who keeps it to two or less, just as it is rarely the goalie alone that is to blame when the score exceeds 3.

    Credit where it is due…Vokoun and especially Fleury stole that game.

  40. showey47 says:

    Boone’s ALN pretty much hit it on the head. Probably deserved a better outcome but didn’t get it. Though individually this team isn’t the most talented,they definatley play a very strong team game considering every night they outshoot their opponent and are among the best in the league in fewest shots against. IMHO i would be looking to add another top 6 forward over a defenceman.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Can’t we add both? I love DD but it’s becoming very apparent even to me as a huge supporter, that he isn’t a top 6 forward. He works very hard and is a good playmaker but has so many deficiencies in his game that hurts. His contract pays him at a very high level for a third liner.
      Is Josh Gorges hurt? His play this season has taken such a huge drop off that something is amiss. He clearly is not the Gorges of old. He too has a contract which his current play does not justify.

  41. Habfan10912 says:

    Those post that were hit in the first sure did hurt, eh? Other then that we really can’t play much better then we did last night. Nearly every night this team shows up to play and I expect them to do the same this evening.
    Dan Bylsma is a goon coach. He purposely sent Cooke for the opening face off in the third next to Gionta for the purpose of cheap shotting him. Of course the WWE refs (yeah, call me a thumb sucker) allowed it. When the league decides to GROW UP he would have gotten a 2 minute unsportsmanlike and Byslma would have got a bench minor and ejected from the game. Bush league tactics for a major sport league.
    BTW – I see the grammar police are out this morning so I apologize in advance for failing the exam. I am old and tired and don’t care if I look dumb. Sorry.

    • Clay says:

      Hey now! I was just having some fun. I always laugh reading that ‘alot” piece. Brilliant and witty writing. You should give it a read.

      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • 24 Cups says:

      Dear old and tired Jim,
      First of all, let’s give credit where credit is due – Pittsburgh is one hell of a team. Having said, the Habs had good puck possession, lots of scoring opportunities and were right in the game from start to finish. Price was great and the team held its own in the face-off circle. No sign of quit or throwing in the towel like the players in Buffalo and Tampa. If Ryder’s dinger off the post goes in, then the game is in overtime. Montreal could have come away with a point against the best team in the conference while playing in Pittsburgh’s own barn.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Dear old and tired Jim,
      Chin up young man, you’re (your?) not old. My Grammar was 91 when she passed away.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    Mike Cammalleri did his best Sergei Kostitsyn shift last night, leaving the defensive zone to get a new stick while the Hawks had the puck and proceeded to score.

  43. Cal says:

    Today, Claude Julien introduces the Embellish Mint™. By the Bruins for Bruins Fans.
    Tired of tasting your after binge barf? Embellish Mint™.
    Can’t think of any reason your team lost? Embellish Mint™.
    Available now in Beantown at the game!


  44. Phil C says:

    Sometimes you have to wonder about pro scouting in the NHL. How can a player that was picked up on waivers ( Halpern) totally outplay a guy who was traded for a 1st round prospect (Morrow)? I’m glad the Habs improved their scouting department, little things can make a difference.

    The rental market is tricky, there are often good reasons why the player is unsigned or good reason why their team sucks. Our GM did better straight up, the loss of a prospect is just extra insult.

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    So I wonder if Daryl Sutter got a chance to discuss his oil pipeline agenda with Obama. Somehow I can imagine Daryl started talking about it with his mumbling style and Obama probably figured Sutter was talking about line combinations….

  46. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Sniper wanted? Some shooting luck would be nice. Other than that: Halpern played well as did most of the team. Happy for him.

    Would Ryder benefit from DD’s playmaking skill? Maybe but even more interesting: What has to happen that DD finally loses his place on the first two lines? He clearly doesn´t belong there anymore.

    I´d play Plekanec between Pacioretty and Gallagher, Ryder with Galchenyuk and Eller and Desharnais with Moen (Prust or Bourque when either one of them is back of course) and Gionta.

    Not using Eller or Emelin on the PP instead of Gorges and Bouillon has definitely to stop, too.

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    For those asking about Jokinen in Carolina, here is a Carolina bloggers perspective on the decision to place him on waivers.


    • 24 Cups says:

      It’s not about Jokinen’s talent or efforts but rather about mismanagement of assets. Re-signing Semin for so much coin and term and then cutting this guy loose for no return shows that Rutherford is back in his Kaberle mode.

      This deal reminds me a lot of when the Habs dumped Ribeiro for nothing.

  48. Mick says:

    “I know very little about hockey or anything else for that matter. But I know that Habs will never win a Stanley Cup with Carey Price in goal. Neither with David Desharnais as #1 center (idiotic move by Bergevin giving Desharais ridiculous money).

    Sure, it was a perfect shot by the best player blah blah, yadda, yadda. Perhaps in Price’s contract it states that he is only responsible for stopping pucks that hit him square in the chest. I don’t know. But you’d think that one of the highest paid goalies in the game should every once in a while bail his team out and at least win them a point when the rest of the stiffs are firing blanks.”


    One time.

    The goal on Price was more because of a bad line change that saw our forwards all behind the play and Tinordi being caught flat-footed against Crosby who scored with a clean look from about 10 feet out.
    To suggest that this game is on Price shows your “I know very little about hockey” statement to be true.
    We have one of the best goalies in the world.
    W=16. L=6. OT=4.
    ” Little David”. That is another story. And you are correct on that one.

    “Price better be sharp”

    • Bill J says:

      Maybe, just maybe… If you don’t know anything about something (hockey in this case) you should keep your opinions to yourself.

      I guess Price could have stolen this game. It’s not like the Penguins are the NHL juggernaut that they are. Not like they have the greatest hockey player on the planet, not like said best hockey payer on the planet was the ONLY one to score on Price… And only once mind you.

      But in order for him to steal a game, offense still needs to happen. Because NO goalie has EVER, even Brodeur and his goal scoring self has NEVER won a game all by himself.

      Edit: my appologies, it seemed I completely miss read your post. My reply is now directed at any fool who thinks this loss was on Price.

      Go Habs Go!

  49. 24 Cups says:

    The Habs have to finish first in their division to do anything in the playoffs this spring. That means Price has to start tonight even if it’s back-to-back games for him.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Disagree and agree.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Bob – I’m just trying to apply logic with that statement. Strictly a case of trying to play the odds (even though there are always a few upsets in the first round).

        Pittsburgh and Boston are the favourites in the conference. A SE division champ as well as Ottawa and Toronto are basically in the playoffs as of today. That just leaves the SE and Atlantic teams and none of those teams scare me (maybe NYR).

        Finishing first in our division means the Habs may not have to play the Bruins or Pens in the first two rounds (if the SE seed can win their first round). Who knows, maybe one of those two might face an upset. I know it’s a lot of what ifs but that was my line of thinking behind my statement.

  50. Danno says:

    WARNING – An all-donut diet can lead to poor judgment, impaired perception, hallucinations and memory loss


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

  51. HabFanSince72 says:

    Is hockey a dumb sport?

    We heard about the Pens announcers yesterday, and we all know Jack Edwards, Mike Milbury etc … Generally speaking hockey commentators tend to be very stupid.

    This is not the case in any other sport, where commentators tend to be fair minded and articulate. It was also not the case when I was young – for CBC and Radio-Canada.

    What is it about hockey?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Have often wondered why the NHL seems to hire former goons and cheesy backup goalies to be their broadcasters. Do the skilled players just have no interest or don’t need the money? Don’t know the reasons, but the networks keep hiring the boneheads it seems.

      • Chris says:

        The problem has been that the colour commentators have been given an increasingly large role.

        But the biggest problem is the fans themselves. CBC caters to the masses. People want infotainment now…they want the news dumbed down and made more “fun”. They want splashy graphics and pithy comments. As a society, we largely get what we ask for and deserve.

        • Greg says:

          I agree. I can’t STAND color commentary. After every play they feel the need to explain to me what I just watched. I hate how after every goal, they rewind 3 minutes to a missed zone clear and say “now here’s where that goal started… it’s on the defenceman to clear the zone”. oh my god shut the hell up.

    • Clay says:

      Too many blows to the head? Although if that’s the case, how do we explain the NFL, where there are a myriad of intelligent commentators…

      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • twilighthours says:

      I can only conclude that you don’t watch basketball

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Listening to Charles Barkley try to discuss statistics during March Madness has been complete madness indeed.

      • Clay says:

        Ugghh…I loathe that ‘sport’. It’s right up there with ballroom dancing or synchronized swimming for me.
        Each to their own, I suppose…

        ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

        • Ozmodiar says:

          I can understand not liking basketball, but why “sport” in quotes?

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Uh-oh, Oz just dunked on you Clay, or shall we say “you’ve been grammarized*!”…..**

          “May you live in interesting times.”

        • athanor says:

          I can’t say I enjoy watching it either, though I think the sport would be improved by raising the basket a foot or 18 inches to compensate for the much taller players nowadays. That, at least, would cut out a lot of the ridiculous ‘look at me, i can hold the rim’ activities and require more players to be able to do layups.
          The dunk shot really is like a two-inch putt in golf, although golfers don’t pretend like they’ve accomplished something when they sink that two-incher.

    • John Q Public says:

      By asking the questions you will find the answers.
      Of course while you still have a choice exercise it !
      It’s all connected.

    • adamkennelly says:

      watch an NFL game and you will change your mind about hockey commentators…most of them would have a hard time getting out of elementary school.

  52. topher5468 says:

    So Bylsma thinks Gio pushed thier guy into Fleury on purpose, Things happen when players go to the net, nothing about that play was Gio’s fault. Contact was incidental and it was unfortunate that Fleury was injured. I do however think it was ludicrous for POS Matt Cooke to take exception, is there another player in the league that has ended more players seasons then him.

    I woke up this AM feeling better than expected, Team played really well and like Price said in his post game remarks, if they continue to play like they did , they will not lose to many games, I hope he’s right.

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

    • Clay says:

      It doesn’t help when TSN offers “journalism” like this:
      “Fleury appeared woozy after he was slammed into by teammate Tyler Kennedy and Montreal’s Brian Gionta with less than a minute to go in the second.”
      Despite video evidence to the contrary, they still claim that Gio slammed into him. Unreal.

      (Link to the story: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=419188 )

      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

      • topher5468 says:

        You should listen to the Pitt telecast,
        “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

        • Clay says:

          I caught it live. They gave Jack Edwards some healthy competition as far as idiotic comments go. Not quite as bad, but close enough.

          ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

        • jmsheehy19 says:

          Wow, the comments on that link are ridiculous. Gionta went to the net for a rebound and stopped well before Fleury, then Kennedy barrels into him. Then Letang starts crosschecking Gio, who responds and knocks him down. That’s it.

          Unfortunate play and I hope Fleury isn’t seriously injured, but my god even with the video RIGHT THERE some are claiming Gio pushed Kennedy and then hit him again onto Fleuyy.

          One makes a claim about Gio’s skate angle as clear intent. That’s moon landing conspiracy level delusions. Not to mention the revisionist view turning the incident when Gio skated by Reimer outside of the crease and bumped him with his burt without looking at him into, “Flying Elbow.”

  53. Propwash says:

    This game was decided by a matter of a couple of inches. I’m disappointed by the loss, but not at the team.


  54. HaBo says:

    The Habs did indeed deserve better; they outplayed Pitt tonight.
    Halpern played a bunch bec he deserved it. He competed in all 3 zones, was very physical, played smart. I was very impressed. Plus, he seemed to light a fire under Moen who I thought played perhaps his best game overall this season…but could still be better.
    DD and Pac need to be benched and seperated. I get that DD isn’t strong along the boards or physical, but Patches has been
    very uncommitted and most underwhelming since Feb. MT and the vets need to wake him up, now!
    And we need some actual net presence aside from Gally. Even if Bourque returns, and Prust,, we can’t wait. Someone who’ll go straight there and Stay! It should be Pac.
    I agree w those who say the lines need adjusting. Plus, get Eller
    alot more ice time. He’s just waiting to explode. His play lately is
    showing major advancement. He needs to be let loose.
    Thought the result was frustrating tonight, the team played very
    very well imho.

  55. Corson27 says:

    Here is an interesting tweet from habswatch

    (David Desharnais has played 56 road games last 2 years with prime PP mins: 0 G, 7A and 0 road PP points so far this year #Habs)

  56. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Ya wanna sniper ??? …I’ve gotta sniper !!!

    …Mr. T !!! http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2013/03/did-you-see-that-mr-t-scores-from-centre-ice.html

    …plus, Beantown will never be the same 🙂

  57. DickandDanny says:

    Is it just me, or are the rest of you as tired of this same old story already. For the past several seasons we regularly outplay the opposition, carry the play, outshoot, out chance them, but for some unknown reason pucks we shoot won’t go in. When i watch the other game hi-lites there are goals scored that we just don’t get. Call it unlucky, call it misfortune, call it jinxed but i’ve got to believe someone had the hockey gods put a hex on us. Somewhere, back around the time P. Roy left town I think this happened. It just hasn’t been the same since then and we have had an awful amount of bad luck and hard tomes scoring goals during that time. Yes, we had the amazing run in 2010 play-offs, but otherwise we haven’t had much luck in the past 20 years. Maybe we need to have an excorism of all habs player’s sticks and pucks. Something has to start going our way again and we need to have the odd lucky bounce or fluky goal. A post and a cross bar for Ryder tonight. Both could have been goals. Markov robbed by Fleury which should have been a goal. Pacioretty has a good scoring chance but can’t convert on a short break-away. Plekanec is stoned point blank. All, may have been goals had we had a wee amount of luck, or perhaps better shooting. Especially in Plekanec and Pacioretty case. As for the posters comment that Ryder doesn’t go to the dirty ice, I have to ask what game were you watching? Ryder was around the front of the net all night, and in the crease on the one he put off the cross bar, so totally unsupprted comment about his play. The guy who has looked indifferent lately, and is completely a peripheral player most nights, is Pacioretty. Sometimes his deep slot stuff works when he waits for the puck to come to him in that spot, but not often enough for a guy with his size and strength. He sure doesn’t do much else out there and he seems to have no real hockey sense. The most important thing I was taught back when i was playing competitively was anticipation. All the great players had/have it. Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, Brett Hull, Oates, they all had that great sense of where to be, where to go, and where the puck was going next. And now guys like Crosby, Datsyuk, St Louis, Stamkos, the Sedin’s all have that same gift also. That one instinct, anticipation is what sets them apart from the rest of the players. Knowing where the puck is going to go next, how to get open at that perfect moment. Hence Crosby’s goal tonight. This is something that our so called snipers are lacking. Some nights I can see Ryder has it, sometimes Gionta, Plekanec also sometimes, but Paciroetty, I just don’t see enough of that ability from him. Tonight was another example of this. Max seemed to chase the puck all night, save for that one nice set up he had from Gallagher. When your anticipating the play well the puck comes to you. It didn’t for him tonight and if he isn’t scoring what is he doing. Not much else really, because he’s not the most gifted passer, he’s not a physical player throwing big checks, so really if he’s not scoring he is sort of one dimensional. We need a pure scorer like Boone has commented. I also agree with the post made about DD since his contract got signed. This guy has not played at the same level he has shown in the past. Honestly, i think the problem is his face off deficiency is reeking havic on the rest of his game. He is so consciious about winning face-offs right now, he has forgotten everything else about his game. He was non existant tonight.
    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • The Dude says:

      The Pens were without Malkin”1 of the planets best” and the Habs have nothing like a Crosby so there’s no way we stack up …to be the best you have too have the best!

    • savethepuck says:

      What I have to question is you saying over the past few years, we have constantly outplayed opposition to come out on the losing end. Over the past 4 or 5 years, this is the first time I’ve seen this happening with the Habs. They have always had a system, and had goaltending, that have always had to stand on their heads to win hockey games. This year is actually a treat to watch the team be the best team on the ice most nights. Their goaltender does not have to steal a game for them to win every night.
      I am not totally enthused about the way MaxP is playing lately either, but I know he is a very streaky goal scorer. What I don’t understand, is why MT doesn’t take an opportunity to sit his a$$ on the bench for a few shifts at an opportune time, to send him a message that he needs to give his 110% every freaking shift, like he seems to have no problem doing with other players.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  58. Timo says:

    Everyone is awaiting Prust and Bourque’s return like messiah. First, while Bourque was clearly better than last season I never thought he was THAT spectacular. Second, what if they come back and nothing essentially changes? Especially in case of Bourque who will be coming off a concussion and might not be as inclined to crush and bang and drive the net.

    I am just saying that the expectation that their return will turn things around might not be met.

    • deuce6 says:

      Well, they are a step up from guys like Dumont and Blunden in the line up..Injuries are starting to catch up…

      Brandon Prust doesn’t have hair on his testicles, because hair does not grow on steel….

    • Clay says:

      It’s not just having the injured players coming back Timo – it’s also the fact that we remove the same amount of AHL players from the roster at the same time. And as well as this team is playing, that may have made all the difference in a game like this one

      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      So you’re saying one of two possible outcomes might occur? Fascinating

  59. Feraco says:

    Team is looking good and entertaining to watch. Management seems in control an the ship is in the right direction. Prost, Bourque and Diaz will be ready for the playoffs. Pactioretty slumps and for a big guy disappears. They will bounce back and sit in a playoff position.

    Great team

  60. Timo says:

    Is it Carey and his gorgeous hair in net again tomorrow?

  61. christophor says:

    Jussi Jokinen, if by some miracle that he isn’t claimed before reaching the Habs, would round out the top 9 until Bourque returns.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Tell me more about Jokinen. All I know about him is his shootouts moves. He’s another small soft player isn’t he?

      • christophor says:

        5’11 200lbs.

        Can play wing or center, very good defensively, on the PK, and at faceoffs, and can chip in a decent amount of offence. At this point in his career, I’m guessing he’s a 35-45 point guy on the 2nd/3rd line.

        Importantly, he can step up into a more important role if need be (unlike Moen, Armstrong, and he can do so more effectively than Prust, though I’m going against the HIO grain in saying that). He, Plek, and Gionta might be a good shut down line in the playoffs against a line like Crosby’s or Bergeron’s/Seguin’s.

        But he’ll be claimed by some other team.

        • Timo says:

          Why is Carolina letting him go?

          • christophor says:

            Haven’t read a good reason. Most people are surprised, especially given that they probably could have gotten something for him in a trade. They probably need to make room because the Staals and Semin take up a lot of cap space next year, but I don’t know why the rush. Maybe some other move or something.

            He’s not off to a great start [edit: and by ‘start’, I mean ‘first 2/3 of the short season’], but he’s been helpful for them and given they’re in a race for the playoffs, this is weird.

          • savethepuck says:

            Chris, I have also heard it was for CAP reasons due to the Semin signing, but am curious as to why they couldn’t get something for him in a trade

            “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
            Carey Price

          • christophor says:

            Don’t know why, and don’t know why he’s not more valuable to Carolina than nothing, given their situation. He could be moved in the offseason.

            Maybe they undervalue him or think he’s over the hill… but he’s not even 30.

        • savethepuck says:

          I thought he was primarily an offensive player, but you seem to be putting him on a shut down line. Not questioning what you are saying, because I have no idea how his defensive game is not following his career closely. Does he have defensive attributes also?.

          “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
          Carey Price

          • christophor says:

            He’s been starting most of his shifts in the defensive zone, against top competition, and doing well possession-wise and not getting scored on while he’s on the ice. Usually a very good sign.

            Granted, he’s not on the same level this year, but he’s still very serviceable. I think he’s closer to last year’s numbers than this year’s. J.Staal has kind of taken some of his role.

            Edit: and you’re right; he’s got a good offensive side too. Something better than his 5 goals and 5 assists suggest.

          • savethepuck says:

            Your avatar is so confusing, every time you answer me or someone else, it looks like you are giving a thumbs up, even when you are not agreeing with them. I find it a little humorous.

            “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
            Carey Price

  62. Un Canadien errant says:

    The boys on the pre-game show on RDS were evaluating the chances that Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin will pull off a trade to improve the team and prepare for a playoff run. They offered that the next two games, against Eastern Conference powerhouses Pittsburgh and Boston, would provide a good indication of what course he should take. Well then, after tonight’s close loss against a Penguin squad energized by the return from injury of a positively rust-free Kris Letang, we can almost forego tomorrow’s result and state that yes, this year’s team is worth investing in.

    One aspect is that while they’re missing two big, physical pieces in Brandon Prust and René Bourque at forward, they still forechecked and buzzed around the Penguins’ zone relentlessly. The forwards, decried by many as too small to make a difference, were too quick for the Pens defencemen and were often first on the loose pucks. Michael Ryder hit two posts, and missed a couple more clear chances. Generally the Canadiens could easily have won this game. Yes, they measure up. They are good enough.

    Another way of looking at the result is that while Les Glorieux came close, they’ve been coming up short recently, whereas earlier in the season they’d find ways to win. So while they’re still competing and still in it, they seem like they could use a hand.

    There’s always a worry that newcomers may upset the chemistry of the team, but I have a hunch that the boys would welcome some reinforcements. Fresh faces don’t inevitably ruffle feathers, they can sometimes bring a jolt of energy and renewed enthusiasm.

    I remember Brad Staubitz’s impact last season. While he didn’t play big minutes or contribute offensively, he seemed to re-energize a team that was drifting and going through the motions. His bromance with Ryan White was endearing. I’m not saying that the Canadiens need to bring in an enforcer, but if this year’s team saw a new player or two as bringing skills or attributes that are in need, they’d be seen as brothers-in-arms instead of job stealers.

    I like watching defencemen play, and tonight paid close attention to Kris Letang, and what a player he is. Too many see his point totals, offensive acumen, smooth-skating stride, and they dismiss him as strictly an offensive defenceman, a finesse guy, a member of the fast-paced Penguins who benefits from playing with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Of course, that’s selling him way short. We saw tonight how effective he is in his zone, and not only in breaking the puck out, but also in the corners and in front of the net. He blew up both Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller when he bodychecked them while battling for the puck. It looks like all the work in the gym over the summer is bearing fruit on the ice.


    And speaking of physical and talented defencemen, P.K. Subban played a strong game tonight. Time and again, when there was a loose puck in his zone, he’d explode and beat his opponent to the puck. His first three strides are so quick and powerful, especially for a guy his size, it makes him very hard to forecheck effectively. He was effective carrying the puck, protecting it and feinting this way and that, and sure-handed when stickhandling and trying to create something in the offensive zone. If he continues to play like this, and tries to replicate Kris Letang’s all-effort, all-business approach to the game, we’ll be sitting pretty on the blue line in Sochi.

    Jeff Halpern paid early dividends in a strong night at the faceoff circle and killing penalties. Pierre Houde highlighted his value when the Canadiens were able to put the Tomas Plekanec line on the ice right after a penalty, since Mr. Halpern had done most of the penalty kill work. If he can relieve some of the pressure on Tomas on the PK, it’s going to allow Michel Therrien more flexibility with his scoring lines.

    It’s impossible for me to ignore the idiocy of Matt Cooke, and the NHL in general. Late in the second period, Tyler Kennedy, possibly still woozy from getting punched in the head by Gabriel Dumont in the first period, crashed hard into his own goalie. Marc-André Fleury was shaken up, finished the period, but didn’t return in the third. A scuffle had ensued after the incident, because, well.. because it’s the NHL. Hilariously, the Penguins tried to go after Brian Gionta, who was standing in front of Mr. Fleury but had nothing to do with this. Big, bad, dirty Brian Gionta. In the third, Matt Cooke was lined up across Mr. Gionta for a faceoff and started beaking at him, so much so that a referee approached him and warned him to cut it out. Even so, right after the puck was dropped, Mr. Cooke proceeded to slash and crosscheck Mr. Gionta, repeatedly, with no response from the referee. Only after a second display of thuggery ten seconds later did the refs finally decide to hand out a two-minute penalty.

    Why talentless hacks such as Matt Cooke are allowed to pollute the NHL, repeat offence after repeat offence, is beyond me.



  63. hockeyRAT says:

    Ryder two posts. One goes in and it’s different game

    • savethepuck says:

      I made a post earlier that how many times is Ryder going to beat Fleury cleanly twice and not get a goal. If one of those goes in, this is a completely different game IMO too.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  64. Timo says:

    I know very little about hockey or anything else for that matter. But I know that Habs will never win a Stanley Cup with Carey Price in goal. Neither with David Desharnais as #1 center (idiotic move by Bergevin giving Desharais ridiculous money).

    Sure, it was a perfect shot by the best player blah blah, yadda, yadda. Perhaps in Price’s contract it states that he is only responsible for stopping pucks that hit him square in the chest. I don’t know. But you’d think that one of the highest paid goalies in the game should every once in a while bail his team out and at least win them a point when the rest of the stiffs are firing blanks.


    One time.

    Post contract Desharnais sucks. Get rid off him.

    • The Jackal says:

      Yeah… a team that finished last just a season ago is now in the fight for the division title and maybe the conference… then they take it to one of the best teams in the league, and lose literally by chance.
      Take a breather Timo, come back tomorrow.

      Habs are no longer a question, they’re a good team that is getting better.

    • Rad says:

      I don’t think I’ve noticed Desharnais on the ice since he signed the extension. He’s been AWOL. (Not that I noticed him all that much BEFORE he signed the contract either.) IMO, the Desharnais signing is the one mistake that Bergevin has made so far as GM.

    • hockeyRAT says:

      If we don’t score a single goal……. Issue is not Price.

      • Timo says:

        I totally agree. But like I said ONE time it would be nice to see Price winning a close battle where both goalies are playing really well.
        As far as I see it he is not a clutch goaltender.

    • savethepuck says:

      You should of stopped at ” I know I know very little about hockey” 😉
      Price was definitely not to blame for this loss, and to correct you just a little, he made a lot of great saves to keep it a 1 goal game after the best player in the world scored a goal on him.
      Another thing I have to question is you saying DD was overpaid and was given 1st line center money. First line centers in the NHL are given a lot more than 3.5 million per year. They are usually given well over 5 Million. Nothing has shown me that DD has been even anointed as the #1 center for the Habs, some people just seem to assume that it’s just the case for some reason.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • Timo says:

        So if DD is not an NHL caliber #1 center what was wrong continuing to pay him what he was making or hey, even double his salary? I don’t know about you but if anyone offered me double what I make now I’d take it.

        • savethepuck says:

          After last year’s season, his value went up, around 60 pts is not too shabby. MB obviously thought signing him now would be much more beneficial than signing him at the end of the season, or competing with other teams. Trust me, I’m not arguing with you about him because I also doubt he’s worth even that much money, but I also think he’s signed at a contract that may be attractive to other GM’s if our other centers ( Eller, Galchenyuk) develop past him in the next 2 to 3 years. I think he is an insurance policy. Aside from that, he may actually turn out to be one of our proven top centers too. He is still only 26 years old..I am not a professional scout or a great hockey mind, but I have no problem with keeping options open.

          “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
          Carey Price

    • Guy Robinson says:

      You’re right … you do know very little about hockey.

    • Mick says:

      The goal on Price was more because of a bad line change that saw our forwards all behind the play and Tinordi being caught flat-footed against Crosby who scored with a clean look from about 10 feet out.
      To suggest that this game is on Price shows your “I know very little about hockey” statement to be true.
      We have one of the best goalies in the world.
      W=16. L=6. OT=4.
      ” Little David”. That is another story. And you are correct on that one.

      “Price better be sharp”

  65. sheds88 says:

    For Julien to rant about embellishment when your team is just as guilty is baffling me. He is just plain ol’ stupid ???

  66. savethepuck says:

    I would have absolutely no problem Mr. Boone with seeing an Eller, Chucky, Gally line. With the meritocracy of MT, benching players who don’t seem to be constantly showing they are giving 110% of their heart every shift, why not send a message to MaxP? It has seemed to work for Eller, it has seemed to work for PK ( both drafted in the same year as him ) and even DD has missed a few shifts. What makes Max immune ( even though I love the guy ). He had a lot of assists early, but no goals, followed by a grouping of a lot of goals, where is the consistency? Putting Gally with Eller and Chucky helps to also even up the size of the lines. Max is the only player with any size on the DD-MaxP-Gally line, even though Gally plays big (he’s a spark plug ).
    I think it’s worth a shot.
    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  67. Rad says:

    The pressure is on to win tomorrow night, but it will be an uphill battle against a physical Boston team that had tonight off and is 11-2-1 in their own barn. Habs have to be the underdog going into Boston without Prust and Bourque. If we lose, this becomes a 3-game losing streak, and the bloom is off the rose. Tougher days lie ahead for this team as the playoffs beckon. Will be interesting to see how the boys perform in April.

    • savethepuck says:

      Definitely bad timing to face them with the 2nd game of a back to back. I am confident Les Boys will come out firing on all cylinders, just hoping they have enough left in the tank to finish. Unlike others here, I am not blinded by the Bruins record in their first 20 games, I think they’ve been very mediocre in their last 10.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  68. Sportfan says:

    Glory days of Yanic 😛 Although he wasn’t awful. Come on MB pick up the phone and steal Ott from the Sabres! Ott and Prust would make our team scary!


  69. Sportfan says:

    I say help wanted Prust 2.0 needed in case of Prust not being ready!


  70. Hockey Bob says:

    Goal scorers don’t grow on trees, when is the last time this team had a true sniper?

  71. j2w4habs25 says:

    Fluery owned us tonight…

    Carey Price #31

  72. billylove says:

    It’s just a crazy year. The Ducks go 3-0-1 with Perry suspended, he signs a big deal, comes back and the Ducks lose three straight. With a couple of favorable bouces Habs could have easily won tonight. One thing should be clear, we can play with the best.

    • savethepuck says:

      I have no doubt that the Habs can play with any other team. A small scoring slump, but the team is still top 5 in scoring in the NHL, and 1 of the teams who have more goals per game is the Lightening, who could easily be a lottery pick, meaning that IMO, they are only skating in one direction.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  73. Corson27 says:

    The Bruins looked pathetic against the Laffs, Habs 4-2.

  74. monmick says:


    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

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