About last night …

BergevinMA

It makes me nervous when the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens is thinking the same way as I about his team.
At 4 p.m. on trade deadline day, Marc Bergevin was talking about why he hadn’t made any major moves.
The GM’s goal, when the truncated NHL season began, was making the playoffs.
And although they haven’t clinched a postseason spot, Bergevin’s team will be playing hockey in May.
I view my team as a team that put themselves in a good position to make the playoffs,” Bergevin said.
The GM didn’t say so, but anything else is gravy. He’s playing with house money.
Bergevin talked about building “a good team for years to come” – a plan that made him reluctant to part with young prospects and/or draft choices.
Six hours later, the Canadiens were licking their wounds – figuratively and literally – after a 5-3 spanking in Philadelphia.

And back in Montreal, the Winnipeg Jets, who play the Canadiens at the Bell Centre Thursday night, were watching the game and licking their chops.

Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane probably paid particular attention to the ease with which Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds moved their big bodies into Carey Price’s kitchen. The Flyers net-crashers were unencumbered by any Canadiens defenceman – least of all by Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin. Nor did newcomer David Drewiske impress me as someone who’s going to do much crease-clearing.

(Props to Josh Gorges: He wasn’t on for any Philadelphia goals. But his D partner has had better nights … up to and including the mistake that led to Voracek’s empoty-netter.)

The Jets also may have noted the performance of Lars Eller, who was on for every Philadelphia goal except Jakub Voracek’s empty-netter. Eller was minus-4 and went 1-6 in the faceoff circle.

Eller was attempting to fill in for Tomas Plekanec, who left the game early in the second period. Plekanec sustained a groin injury and is listed as day-to-day.

He wasn’t the game’s only casualty. Max Pacioretty took a shot off his left ankle. No word on whether he’ll be able to play against Winnipeg.

In his postgame remarks, Michel Therrien said the Canadiens “didn’t match the intensity level” of the Flyers. The coach said six shots in 40 minutes – the Canadiens had four in the second period, two in the third – weren’t enough to win many hockey games.

Certainly not this one.

Trailing 3-2 after 55 minutes, their shot advantage notwithstanding, the Flyers kept up the pressure until the Canadiens inevitably wilted. Carey Price had kept them in the game up to that point, making several brilliant stops and being victimized by a few bad bounces.

The Flyers played with more desperation. They are 11th in the Eastern Conference. And if the Flyers were scoreboard watching, they would have noted a big win by the Rangers, who are one of the teams Philadelphia will have to catch in order to make the playoffs.

A win by the Canadiens would have put them three points behind faltering Pittsburgh for the Eastern Conference lead. And they have two games in hand on the Penguins.

The loss left the Canadiens one point ahead of Boston, with the Bruins holding a game in hand.

While the Canadiens attempt to get back on the winning track against Winnipeg – probably without Plekanec and Pacioretty – the Bruins will be playing the Devils in Boston. Then the Bruins are at the Bell Centre Saturday night.

It’s a tough week, and the schedule may be taking a toll. On L’Antichambre, Michel Bergeron suggested fatigue was a factor in Philadelphia.

“They’re a small team,” the diminutive former Nordiques/Rangers coach added. “Small teams get tired.”

Tired and slow. On the same telecast, Gaston Therrien said in order to win games, the Canadiens have to be faster than their opponents. They were not faster than the Flyers, rarely getting to loose pucks ahead of a Philadelphia defence depleted by the loss of Andrej Meszaros, Braydon Coburn and, of course, Chris Pronger.

Playing on the day his team traded for Steve Mason, Ilya Bryzgalov looked beatable. But the Canadiens couldn’t muster any sustained pressure to test him.

One positive note: the Canadiens’ penalty-killers were a perfect 3-for-3 against a Flyers power play that is, statistically, the league’s best. But with three chances, the Canadiens’ PP was impotent as well.

Did the two stupid staged fights affect the outcome?

The pugilists got the Philadelphia crowd going. But I didn’t see a definitive momentum swing.

The Flyers won because they were hungrier. They wanted the game more, and the Flyers’ in-your-face style – exemplified by Hartnell and Simmonds – carried the day.

So do you suppose Marc Bergevin cried himself to sleep wishing he’d traded the Canadiens’ first-round draft choice for Ryan Clowe?

I doubt it. The general manager takes the long view, and his vision of the Canadiens’ future was not clouded by what transpired at the Wells fargo Center.

There are, however, short term challenges.

Tomas Plekanec is one of the players – Carey Price and P.K. Subban are the others – the Canadiens can’t win without. Pleks does so much – plays against the other team’s best centre, kills penalties, wins crucial faceoffs, plays on the PP.

If  Plekanec is out for a while, the team is in trouble.

But maybe you can say the same about Boston without Patrice Bergeron.

And speaking of recalls from Hamilton – which we weren’t – the Bulldogs are in Texas.

So Gabriel Dumont – and maybe Michäel Bournival – will have an interesting day of travel to face the Jets in Montreal.

 

 

 

 

397 Comments

  1. gehedan3 says:

    Finally a reporter than noticed Eller’s performance.

    By the way the TSN commentator was raving about him I thought I was watching a different game. The guy was a -4 on the night. Simmons caught a break for his goal because Eller missed his assignment, 1 of many he missed on the night including on the Couturier goal. Also he is now up there with snipers like Patrick Kane, Semin and Nik Backstrom on turnovers. He ranks 278th on +/_ on turnovers. I find it hard to believe that this isn’t noticed by Therrein and Bergevin. Yes, I’m not an Eller lover. Hard to like a guy that is soft, not much of a shot or eye for the net, little grit or heart. I think it’s his good looks that get all his support.

  2. homerbowen says:

    Interesting how Philly players can bitch slap our players yet when they’re up against a bigger team they play timid. Like tonight for example I doubt Simmonds or Hartnell will be pushing any of the big laffs around. Size matters and we need to get bigger to move beyond the first round.

  3. beckett_ian1979 says:

    Yes they had a rough night, but their record is still great..My god can you really exsect them to win every game. It will suck if Max and thomas are out long but I still think the Habs can handle the work load.. and I am sure they will be back for the playoffs. and last I looked and acorrding to Sports clubs stats http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern/Northeast/Montreal.html the Habs have a 99.995% chance of making playoffs. Who cares about the eastern confrence title…The cup is the only thing that counts.. It would be nice to have home advatage though..

    However it is nice seeing fans standing up for their team, most times when the Habs loose they throw in the towel, even if their record is still great… GO Habs GO!!!!

    Beckett

  4. Sassicaia says:

    Long time reader, haven’t commented in a while.

    I have one comment to make today. I know that the people at RDS had a huge hard-on for Pominville and talked about getting him constantly because he is a Francophone and they can’t help themselves, but can I at least not see that absurd thinking here, in a place where smart hockey minds congregate, given that the Sabres are part of our conference and that it makes NO SENSE for their GM to help our team?

    Thank you.

    • punkster says:

      Sassicaia…an awesome wine. Haven’t had this for 10 years but remember the first time, mid 90s, in a hot tub in Banff, after a round of golf I believe (or skiing…can’t remember which).

      Cheers!

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  5. von says:

    I agree with everything you wrote Mike except calling the 5-3 loss “a spanking”. Not sure that’s the right word for blowing a one goal lead with five or six minutes left in the third.

    There probably is something to the fatigue theory. They looked slow and sluggish – except for PK and Gally. The kid is like the energizer bunny.

    Brewski looked great up until the end. Too bad that spoiled what was looking like a solid debut.
    _________________________________

    “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

    • The Good Hab-bit says:

      I couldn’t agree more. The Habs were far from spanked by anyone. In fact they were winning the game until Philly got Philthy lucky! Complete coincidences on some of those pucks ending up in the net. Price would have stolen that game had it not been for Simmons and Subbans skates – lets not forget that!

  6. Rainrocket16 says:

    Does anyone ever notice that when a big star who is about to be traded provides a list of teams he would waive his NTC for, never lists Montreal?

    • The Good Hab-bit says:

      Its not like those lists are public so what do we know? Everyone talks about players not wanting to go to MTL but noone knows anything except they heard about it from somewhere else. What athlete would not play for one of the greatest franchises, the most winning and in a city which is nice!? Seriosly, whats there to do in NJ, Philly and Pitsburg!? Come on kids lets go for a walk and watch some concrete!

  7. DickandDanny says:

    This is our year to contend. Next year also. Maybe the one after that also. But we needed to do something this year to improve our chances. The players are no different than the fans on trade deadline day. They all watch in anticipation. They hope for something for their team just like we do. I’ve been there and been at that level and I know that is true. So, to suggest the players didn’t take it hard that the mgmt didn’t think this was the year to do something big, after the players battled hard all season to reach second place in the conference, and they didn’t get a player or two to help them for a cup run is just complete BS. They are upset and they are somewhat disenchanted by the outcome just as we are. Hence their lacksadaisical play last night. I’ll bet any amount of money the funk we witnessed last night will last awhile. Until they snap out of it and start to play like before you can bet the slump they are about to endure relates back to the lack of conviction shown for this group by mgmt . Trust me the lack of support shown by mgmt for this team to win now does have an impact on the players and they too feel like they were let down by MB and his buddies on deadline day. The message sent was you guys get us into the play-offs and we’ll be satisfied with that this year. Um, wrong message their MB. You don’t think that one hurts a few egos in that dressing room. You bet it does. Ouch. I can just see Markov, Gionta, Gorges and Plekanec faces now. Long and drawn. Price too.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  8. DickandDanny says:

    I’m not sure if I’m being impatient, or am I just hungry for a contender, for a cup now. Why are we always waiting? Who is going to be picked in the late first round of this years draft who is going to help us next year, or a year after that? Are they that tangible that they can replace having a Pominville, or Clowe right now on our roster? Where is Louis Leblanc for instance? Stuck in the minors and likely never to emerge. Wasn’t he picked in the high teens of the first round three years ago? He should be starring on our club now based on everyone’s theory about not trading these picks away. I’d much rather have a tried and tested legitimate top 6 player now than wait for some miraculous Trevor Timmins pick. Wouldn’t it be fun to see our team loaded up for a play-off run. It’s not like were trading a top ten pick away boys. Were going to pick really late in the first round and get a project. long term..

    \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

    • John Frodo says:

      Development seems to be/was a weak spot. For sure Leblanc and Chucky need serious help with there skating fundementals. The leaf and other teams have a puck machine thats proven to take a half second off a release, there are other computer programs that increase hockey sense and decison making by half seconds, as far as I know we still work by the code.

  9. Long time reader, haven’t commented in probably over a year.

    Regarding last nights game. Sometimes that just the way the puck bounces (and bounces, and bounces, and bounces!) That was some seriously craptacular ™ ice in Philly last night. When the puck bounces all over the place the skill game is useless because you are constantly fighting the puck. As a result the home team who is used to this ice and the super bouncy end boards (seriously what are those things made of, I’ve never seen a soft wrister rebound off the boards that way) acme out with the win.

    Look at the goals scored against last night. 1 – good shot actually, good save, lucky bounce of PK’s skate. 2 – wrist shot misses the net takes a miraculous bounce right on the stick of a Flyer, easy goal but the angle and speed that shot went into the boards and came out was strange. 3 – shot/pass misses the net to the back side of a Flyers player, hits skate and goes in. 4 – bouncing puck weak shot heading wide hits Frankie in the skate and goes in. 5 – bouncing puck along the boards squirts out of the zone in a last desperation effort to tie the game resulting in an EN goal, game over.

    Again it’s all about the bounces, literally! We can over analyze the trade deadline non acquisitions to death or complain that this team is too small on the back end all day long, but the reality is even with 2 fighters in the lineup and 2 massive d-men last night (given the law of averages) at least 2 of these crappy goals still would have happened.

    • TheLogician says:

      Nice post and I agree with much of it.

      But must say that it was the crap effort, not crap goals, that are my biggest concern. 5 shots (or whatever it was) over 40 minutes is still crap, whether pucks went in off of skates or not.

      Also crap was something that Loonie has repeatedly, and correctly IMO, identified as a major deficiency – namely, our lack of crease clearers. The Flyers have clearly identified it as well, as they were relentless in their crowding of Carey, with nothing we could do about it (other than let in crap goals off of skates near the crease). That could be a major, if not THE, problem in the playoffs. And that would be total crap.

      • True it was a crap game. With regards to crease clearing d-men wouldn’t teams just match up their speedy forwards against them, especially on the road where you get to choose your match ups much easier. Big physical d-men aren’t really known for their speed, in fact they tend to really help out in PP situations (which the Habs actually did well last night) but they can be a liability 5 on 5 (even worse 4 on 4.)

        Last night I didn’t see too many guys standing with their rear end in the face of Price. Most of the nasty net crashing was done after the whistle (something the Flyers do to every team in the league not just the Habs, that is their system after all.)

        But why go “all in” at the deadline to pick up these guys anyway. They can be had for cheap in the FA market in the summer or you can draft and develop in your own system (harder to do if you don’t ride the tank wagon for a couple of years, see Pittsburgh/Chicago.) I know everyone is clamoring for a cup now, but in reality only 1 team wins every year. Whoever goes into the playoffs this year with the hot goaltender and has a streaky sniper get hot is likely to walk out the victor.

  10. Rainrocket16 says:

    Habs are a solid team this year, first time we have been consistent in a very long time, a run at the Cup is always possible when getting into the playoffs especially seeded the way we may end up. Clowe was costly if you consider the draft this coming summer so I see why MB was reluctant. It is wise to hold our picks and possibly trade at a later time. However, Habs are building the future, the only reason I was upset that they didn’t do ANYthing is because of where they stand right now with injuries! They have a chance to make a run, if you don’t believe that some depth could help then you are not seeing the playoff picture, but maybe you saw it last night. With the roster that is playing tonight there is no chance the Habs go deep. Maybe MB will look at Waivers, maybe Kristo is ready for the big stage. Who knows will happen leading up but no depth no Cup, nuff said!!

  11. Habsrule1 says:

    I’m getting tired of this attitude about trading players or acquiring players. It’s not the Habs God-given right to get whatever they want!
    The Habs made an inquiry about Clowe but didn’t get him. Perhaps MB offered virtually the same as the Rangers, but SJ opted for the Ranger deal. Who here knows what else happened? No reason to give things up when Bourque & Diaz are coming back. The team should be better with them than without them.
    The Habs have 8 regulation losses. Why change the team? Why mess with success. Really surprised none of you are NHL GM’s with such intelligent posts.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I think a lot of this chatter about deadline acquisitions is the result of
      1) the Habs having a poor game last night in which they were admittedly outshot, but also the victim of THREE deflections off skates
      2) looking enviously at the Rangers who had three new acquisitions, most notably Clowe, have phenomenal nights (*against Fleury)

      People can’t get passed that, and it disturbs them. Unsettles them. Makes them edgy.

      It’s not as if Clowe was there for the taking. A simple pickup. He had ZERO goals before yesterday’s fortuitously timed offensive explosion.

      • DickandDanny says:

        Can we get over this Clowe had no goals thing already. The guy is a proven NHL top 6 power forawrd who can score. he was worth a second and thirs round pick. End of story. We needed him and we should have gone harder for him. He played Jr hockey in Montreal and would have been a great fit.

        \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

    • Mattyleg says:

      Wh..wh..wha..?

      Doesn’t every player want to play for the Habs?
      Doesn’t every GM want to do a deal with Montreal so they can say “I did a deal with Montreal” to their grandkids?

      ..don’t… don’t do this to me…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • DickandDanny says:

      Amazing insight if you are the same age as your photo. We don’t ever get anyone because we are too afraid to make a deal. No balls as many other posters have said. Do you think Chiarelli, or Shero feel that way. Nope, they do the deals and win cups.

      \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        You can challenge anyone’s opinion you want.

        If you’re going to insult someone because they have a different opinion from you, I suggest you drop the “andDanny” part of your name.

  12. John Frodo says:

    Why Winnipeg will never win the cup.
    The wives, the wives will refuse to stay until June.

  13. Loonie says:

    If the Stanley Cup isn’t a reasonable expectation right now or in the near future.

    What are Markov, Gionta and Plekanec doing on this team still?

    We’d make the playoffs without them with around four more wins.

    So why not stock up on prospects and picks if “the future” is the goal?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Loonie, do you buy that whole anything-can-happen-in-the-playoffs/playoffs-are-a-whole-other-season thing?

      If you do, then that’s why M, G and P are still Habs.

      If you don’t — ah, I can’t finish it.

      (I’m trying to answer your loaded question! Feels like a “grasshopper”scene from “Kung Foo”…)

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Got it (even though there are already 100+ posts on the new thread).

        If you DON’T buy it, then the playoffs are in fact redundant. Just give the Cup to whoever finishes the season with the most points.

    • DickandDanny says:

      Great point Loonie. Totally get ya.

      \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

  14. DickandDanny says:

    Your missing the point if you don’t think when your team is in second place with 12 games to go and are looking like a legitimate cup contender that you don’t make at least one top 6 forward, and one top 6 d-man acquisition. If we consider what everyone is saying here, basically not making deadline deal trades, and not mortgagaing the future on the pending UFA’s, like other team have done because other teams players deserve that based on their age, tenure, injuries they’ve suffered and so on. I am reading those type of comments in so many posts, suggesting we are not deserving of having that same opportunity to win now. The time is right for the other teams, the Pittsburgh’s, the Rangers, the Bruins to do this now, for their players, their fans but not us? Why? Apply that same thinking to Montreal situation. We also have players who have been here awhile and want to win now. Players that have been through the rough times, and who have sustained injuries also, incl Plekanec, Markov, Pacioretty, Moen, Gorges, and Gionta etc. So, how long exactly do you have to toll in mediocrity before you win the Cup. We have not contended for a cup in 20 years. Is that long enough? How long should we rebuild for? 25 years, 30, how about 50 years. C’mon people smell the coffee. A hockey players career is relatively short. If your continually building for the future you are also continulaly losing integral parts because of age, retirement, UFA, injury. Build it for now. Build it to win. No excuses. Just because we changed management suddenly doesn’t re-set the re-build clock. Timmins hasn’t been replaced. He’s still the same guy who has been drafting and building our team for more than 5 years now. How much time does he need? The young kids in Chicago all won a cup by the time they were 20-23 years. The same thing happened in Pittsburgh. It happened to the boys in Anaheim also. The time to win is when the kids are still young, not old tired worn out veterans. If you don’t believe that then your not watching the same league I am. Just check these aforementioned cup winners and see how old their star players were when they won the Cup. Crosby, Kane, Seabrook, Toews, Getzlaf, Perry, Keith, Doughty etc etc. Do you think Carey Price, PK Subban want to wait 4-5 more years. Hell no. I completely agree witht the poster that thought the club looked like it took one to the belly because all the other teams made some good acquisitions, which can help their teams on the road to the cup, and well, we did basically nothing. Message to players, “well thanks for the effort boys but not this year. Maybe next year, or the year after that, but boy are we ever going to be good on draft day”. Please, I’m tired of the same old rhetoric. Im sure Price and some of the other kids are too.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”\”A cannoting blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

    • Loonie says:

      You’re bang f’in on.

      People like to point to a lack of a big move as a message to the team that they’re good enough and don’t need help.

      That’s funny. Because the GM essentially said yesterday that the playoffs were the goal.

      That’s tip toeing into the playoffs. How about saying, I believe this team as it’s composed can win a Stanley Cup?

      Nope, just the playoffs, let’s just get that $8 million in revenue and wait till next year, then the next year, then the next year.

      The Leafs have been doing that for years and the irony is that the best chance they had at a Cup was when they added players to their group.

      Teams that have the balls to make their roster better win.

      Wasn’t the message at the beginning of the year that we have to do what’s best for the club? Wasn’t that the point of sending Gomez home after telling him he was part of the team?

      Mixed messages, failure to seize opportunities.

      I’ve seen this movie,, it doesn’t end well.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        I seem to remember you writing that whoever won the SC in a lockout-shortened season would have an asterix beside their name on the Cup.

        I guess that line of thought doesn’t matter anymore.

        A team that was expected by many to miss the playoffs or squeak in has been having a phenomenal season so far. Who would be replaced on the current roster? What about Bourque and Diaz? Most teams wouldn’t have guys like them sitting around should they come back healthy.

        As for the Leafs, they haven’t even made the playoffs yet… Just making them is their goal. They have also given up a ton of prospects and picks prior to the past little while.

        • DickandDanny says:

          Are you reffering to myself, or Loonie. I never suggested an asterisk on the Cup for a shortened year. The rest of your post is lost on me? What are you trying to say? Do you really have such lack of vision that two top 6 players couldn’t fit in on this club? Wow, exactly why we don’t compete for the Cup. Do you think the Penguins worried about moving in 4 starting top 6 players (F&D)in place of some of their regulars. Not a chance.

          \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

        • Loonie says:

          I did say that, but I’d rather win it all with an asterisk than toil along.

      • DickandDanny says:

        Nice to see you get it also. I think there is a changing attitude amongst the fans and they want the team to be competitive now. The old Canadiens, the ones who won cups, were the leaders not the followers when it came to making deals. They made trades (thank God for Sammy) which were impressive and the rest of the league tried to emulate, ones which helped the habs get better and win cups. We, as you mentioned don’t seem to have the balls anymore to do that. Your right, we don’t.

        \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

      • D Mex says:

        Molson has already stated the Cup is the end game, and MB has the game plan to make it so.
        If you think this is Laffland, take a walk on Ste Catherine or, better yet, sneak a peek at the rafters inside the Bell.

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

      • Al aboo says:

        So who are these players we could have got yesterday that would have guaranteed us a cup this year? Ryan Clowe, who scored his first 2 goals yesterday!!!!!!……And what could we have parted with?

        • DickandDanny says:

          Pominville is worth a first round pick. Clowe is worth a second and third. No argument about that. Both are huge upgrades on some of our top 6 players. You need to evaluate talent and then make trades or obtain free agents in order to get better and to win. That’s the objective. Clowe and or, Pominville both would have helped our club now, and for several more years if we were able to sign them. What do summer FA signings bring us? Long term hopes of ‘possibe’ and ‘maybe’. Dead line deals can win you cups now.

          \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

    • New says:

      As they presently play the Canadiens are not Cup contenders. They play dirty enough but not mean enough. You need Chelios types to bring it together and a Chelios type wouldn’t survive under the current system.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      DandD, Loonie,

      With respect, aren’t you both underestimating the significance of all the many pieces of the big picture that you/we can’t see, don’t even know exist? Unless of course you believe you have the same panorama view as Bergevin and Molson….

      Loonie, I’m cynical about the League and the owners, but I find it hard to believe that the current edition of the club is basing its decisions on that $8 million.

      DandD, I often think similarly to what you wrote about players deserving their chance, having earned it by working hard through the crap times. Most recently, any time someone suggested trading Gorges I thought of it.

      So I share the feeling of impatience. However, for the first time in many, many years, I feel in a position to give credit and therefore a bit of faith to those making the decisions.

      My pre-deadline view was, no blockbusters, but perhaps an inexpensive upgrade (at the same positions you outlined, DandD), but ONLY if it was a good fit and price.

      It’s a pity we didn’t get a big forward or Dman, but I’m deferring to the wider knowledge and experience of MB.

      (And I wouldn’t take Torres for free!)

      • DickandDanny says:

        I’m not sure if I’m being impatient, or am I just hungry for a contender, for a cup? Why are we always waiting. Who is going to be picked in the late first round of this years draft who is going to help us next year, or a year after that? Are they that tangible that they can replace having a Pominville, or Clowe right now? Where is Louis Leblanc for instance? Stuck in the minors and likely never to emerge. Wasn’t he picked in the high teens of the first round? I’d much rather have a tried and tested legitimate top 6 player now than wait for some miraculous Trevor Timmins pick. It’s not like were trading a top ten pick away boys. Were going to pick really late.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I agree with all of that and feel more or less exactly the same way. Think of how skinny you were and how cheap gas was in 1993!

          Only thing I take issue with is that either MB or the Club got it wrong this week.

  15. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Was anyone else watching the stream (NBC? — definitely a homer affiliate) that had Rinaldo mic’d up?

    What a puke. Maybe I had a sheltered childhood — but if you want to fight (angry, vengeful, coach told you to), just fight.

    Rinaldo’s way in was to trash Prust about his shoulder, ‘Which one was it?’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWeifSqX18M

    Commentator seems to suggest Rinaldo asked about the shoulder out of HONOUR, so to avoid it… Convince me.

    What’s Rinaldo? Second year punk trying to dance his way into the team’s affections? Glad Prust didn’t have to do much to convert a punk’s pathetic effort into an embarrassing televised fail.

  16. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    the game was over when HARTNELL face washed, slapped out and spit on our players in front of our goalie, in our crease in our end of the ice.

    done…loss…and its a bad message of fear and weakness that echoed across the league after that.

    you don’t believe in “phantoms”?

    its the same deal with the “phantom” hit/check that Subban labeled for Lucic the other night…even without the contact, it was brilliant, and the Subban effect reverberated throughout the league…in fact its still being talked about.

    because a hit like that can end a career…LEGALLY.

    so don’t underestimate when a player (Hartnell) can slap us silly and not have to answer for his actions… our bench sinks 6″ lower and they all grow 6″ taller and pack on another 25lbs of muscle.

    just look at that little punk Marchand who plays like he is a UFC champ.

    HOW? look at his teammates thats how.


    The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
    GALLAGER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

    • punkster says:

      Stopped reading after I got to “slapped out and spit on our players”.

      With so much hyperbole oozing from your butt it’s hard to take anything you say seriously.

      “Slapped out and spit”? Really?

      Really?

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

      • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

        thats what it felt like…that was the intended effect…
        and it was insulting.


        The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
        GALLAGER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

        • Mattyleg says:

          “That’s what it felt like”
          Brilliant.

          Hartnell didn’t do it to you, Prof.

          Even though it may have felt like he did.
          And if you were insulted, the Habs didn’t notice.

          Ahh, lots of funny posts keeping me chuckling this morning…

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      H-P, don’t agree with your overall hockey philosophy but do agree with your assessment of Hartnell’s value and effectiveness — he does what he does really well. In fact, when we were all floating fantasy trades, I like the idea of Hartnell in Montreal.

      Also agree that it would be nice have some motha’ blast his ass out of the blue paint and into the blue seats.

      Maybe, as Front suggests below, it’s something we can work on with the personnel we have. Emelin could learn. Cube has the right mentality…

      (I also don’t share your apparent excitement for ending a career, even by legal means).

      • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

        Hartnell is so good at what he does, his name has a TM behind it…

        he has taken on the persona of a “DOMI” where you can see him in no other jersey than a flyer (or leaf)…he is that strong of a character.

        same deal with those bruins…you know what your up against.

        and that is the only equation we are missing…

        Larger than life CHARACTER.

        (actually we are getting very close, the best Habs team in a decade, we are a CLOWE or BYFUGLIEN short of winning many cups)


        The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
        GALLAGER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          “same deal with those bruins…you know what your up against.”

          Size is not the issue with the Bruins. What, 3 guys?

          The issue with Boston is their skill players, notably Marchand and Krejci; maybe Horton’s waking up. Kelly is injured; something wrong with Lucic now, but who knows, he might recover for May.

          Dougie Hamilton looking good, too.

          But we can outskill them when we bring our A game. And when Boston sees that happening, yeah they might send out Thornton (ho hum) or Lucic might get angry. But it doesn’t usually alter the course of the game (yes, there have been exceptions).

          The Rangers are scarier if all those stars start waking up and get hot in the absence of Gaborik, and Lundquist is himself.

      • New says:

        A Hartnell type would be great. He isn’t afraid. He does what he does because he can, it is allowed. Try and get him to go and he ignores you. He goes when he loses it not when you lose it. He doesn’t care if he gets a couple stitches or a few bruises in front of the net, he just wants to win and knows you shake the minor stuff off. Guys like him are what championship teams are built on.

    • Chwinsy says:

      I imagine it must be a very hard slap in order to knock out, echo and reverberate at such a grand scale

      • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

        even Boone said the Jets where in Montreal watching the game, licking their chops….

        do you think a first place club isn’t watched and probed for weakness?


        The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
        GALLAGER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

        • The Jackal says:

          Dude…. Boone is like all other fans. We lose, and it’s doom and gloom. In every ALN after a win he has not said anything about size or lack of grit, in fact, he has praised the team as tough.

          The Habs did not lose because they lacked grit or toughness, just let it go. If that is the key, why are the flyers not even in a playoff spot, why is Toronto not in 1st place?

          The Habs have not been slapped around at all… where do you get this view?

    • The Jackal says:

      Dude, we get it, NAG.
      But the thing is, what you’re saying is not true.
      Habs were not slapped around, they played a crap game. The fights were not even one-sided…. what are you on????
      The Habs tried to get away with a 1 goal lead against a desperate team, it did not work. Intimidation or whatever was not a factor in their bad play.

      Oh and when you see a hit that can end a career “legally” as a good thing… well, that ain’t right. PK hits well but I wouldn’t be happy if anyone of our guys ended someone’s career even if the hit was clean. That would not be grit, that’s just horrible.

  17. frontenac1 says:

    I thought the new Wiske lad looked pretty good out there last night. Gaston pointed out on AC , Flyers kept putting their big forwards right in Carey”s paint behind Markov and Emelin,leading to a Berlin Wall,and a couple of goals. I”m hope JJ will fix this soon.

  18. Luke says:

    From the Tonight’s game thing:

    Montreal (23-8-5)

    What happens to this place when (oh I mean, IF) that middle numbers hits double digits?

  19. New says:

    I don’t think you need to look much farther than reality to see why the Habs lost. First off Bryzgalov was terrible and the Flyers recognized it almost immediately. The Mason thing and having a kid who no one had ever met for a backup left them only one option, do not let the Habs get shots. When you get on the puck first you get to play in the opponent’s end more. Philly knows how to cycle the puck through the Habs, not around them. So they out sweated the Habs and won…again.

    The GM was smart not to trade away draft choices for rentals. Lots of teams have the Habs figured out. One or two rentals won’t make a difference.

  20. KenD29 says:

    Flyers crashing the net… took a page from the Bruins and they have more than just Simmonds and Hartnell.
    Another grinder addition to help Prust would have been nice.

    All About Work Ethic

  21. Loonie says:

    Gainey tip toes into the playoffs and he’s a loser, Bergevin does it and it’s all part of the plan.

    • Mattyleg says:

      (stir-stir-stir)
      Needs more eye of newt.
      (stir-stir-stir)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Luke says:

      Bergevin is tip toeing?

      MB took the helm of a team expected to finish in the bottom of the league and has them right at the top of it.
      Perhaps the team is good enough as is. It’s a better team now than the one that went to the ECF.
      Perhaps it’s easier to be grumpy and think about what may have been instead of thinking that what you were hoping for wasn’t available or reasonable.
      I would have loved for MB to get a stud centre and a stud Dman.
      I would have hated for MB to trade Galchenyuk to get one.

      But you’ve got the scoops. What didn’t he do?

      • Loonie says:

        Yeah, tip toeing.

        Clowe for a second and third? That is a great price.
        O’Byrne for a 4th
        Torres for a 3rd
        Comeau for a 5th
        Smithson for a 4th
        Hannan for a conditional 7th
        Bouwmeester for a 1st

        There were deals to be made. He chose not to make them Luke.

        • D Mex says:

          And you know this because, as we see again and again, you are all-knowing – right ?
          My neighbour paid $1M for his house – does that mean someone else would have paid the same price ? Someone else might have gone in with a higher opening bid, and another person might have played hardball and saved 100K.
          You should really consider letting the dog post : value of the loonie is dropping fast, much as the nickel did not long ago …

          ALWAYS Habs -
          D Mex

          • Loonie says:

            I’m sorry but I didn’t realize it was more short sighted to assume a deal could be made then to assume a deal couldn’t be made.

            Who’s all knowing again?

          • D Mex says:

            Woof Woof …

            ALWAYS Habs -
            D Mex

    • New says:

      Bergevin gets a pass because of last year’s mess. It is in his interests to get the 8th or 7th seed. Progress that permits a 9th or 10th to be accepted next season with only grumbles.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Who has said this? And that’s a gross oversimplification of the comparison Tom. The circumstances around one team were completely different than the other.

      I don’t understand the benefit of exaggerated, across-the-board blanket statements, especially from someone like you who is usually knowledgeable about the game and well spoken.

      • Loonie says:

        Gainey was in a very similar position to Bergevin on several occasions. When Gainey didn’t act it was seen as weakness, Bergevin didn’t act and it’s seen as a stroke of genius and patience.

        That’s all I’m saying, not condemning one or the other. Just having a chuckle about the perception.

    • Cal says:

      A lot alarmist. First, Kristo won’t get signed, now MB doesn’t do enough. relax, take a deep breath. Did you really expect the Habs to be this good this soon?
      Neither did all of the Habs’ brain trust.

      • Loonie says:

        Cal, we both know I did not say Kristo wouldn’t be signed(I said long ago that it’s likely he’d test the market).

        You were in agreement about this exact issue yesterday funny enough.

        • Cal says:

          Short term memory isn’t what it once was. ;)

          I do agree to contend the Habs needed a crease clearing Dman + 1 forward like Prust, but larger.
          Alas, all we can do now is watch and wait. A second round exit (perhaps, even a first round exit) is more likely now.
          Future looks rosy. Don’t things always look rosy when they are far off and vague?

  22. Sportfan says:

    Habs will be the Jets in flying fashion maybe repeat the game I went to earlier this season.

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  23. habsguy says:

    ho hum one loss

    • KenD29 says:

      ho hum one loss? Lost to the Pens not too long ago. If Plecs goes down for any length of time, will Eller be the one to step in?!
      Jets tonight and another net crashing team (Bruins) Saturday.

      Hopefully it is just “one loss”!

      All About Work Ethic

      • commandant says:

        Yeah we lost to the Pens, then won 3 in a row

        So three wins in the last 5. A team that goes 600 over a season will compete for first place

        At 6-3-1 in our last 10 games, we are fine taking 13 out of a possible 20 points. You cant expect perfection. Too much parity in the league

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

  24. Luke says:

    To the folks who know all about the Trades that MB should have, but didn’t make:

    Please fill us in. You have the insider scoops and I hate being in the dark. I want to know how terrible MB really is.

    The way I look at it, and I only see the stuff actually reported by TSN and the like, but the prices were exceptionally high.

    Any major deal, like a real impact player coming back, probably would have cost us one of Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Beaulieu or Tinordi. Based on what the other teams gave up. Based on what CLB gave up for a aging Elite player, it may have cost the Habs a couple of those players.

    But that’s my opinion, you guys have the facts, so I’d love to know what was turned down.

    • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

      CLOWE cost only 3 distant draft picks


      The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
      GALLAGER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

    • New says:

      I think the price is high because the shorter season means less revenue. Going farther in the playoffs will eat some of the loss the stupid lock-out caused. It doesn’t really matter if you have draft picks when you’ll be out of a job before they arrive to play.

  25. Kooch7800 says:

    Wow, For those asking what Ryane Clowe brings to the table…please see last nights game. I am not a fan of what the Rangers gave up for him but I will say players like that don’t come around very often

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    Just because MB didn’t make lots of moves this week, it doesn’t mean he can’t make moves in the offseason in order to keep the team improving next season.

  27. Les-Habitants says:

    Man, Pleky…Dumont has showed some poise, but we don’t have anyone to fill that hole, as much as Eller as progressed.

    Does Chuck play 3rd line center till he comes back?

  28. leehammer says:

    Take Pleks out of Canadiens, Bergeron out of Bruins and Crosby out of Penguins. Fair right?

  29. habs-fan-84 says:

    No sense getting dramatic here.

    Philly is playing for their lives right now, they needed those points like oxygen and they got ‘em.

    Habs registered something like 16 shots last night. Simply not good enough, but after that reality check last night they’ll be back tonight.

    Cheers,
    Go Habs Go!

    • geo_habsgo says:

      Totally agree, they’ll be out flying tonight I think. Good opportunity for a bounce back game and Budaj is playing so I expect the D to play one of its better games in their own end.

  30. geo_habsgo says:

    Can’t help but notice a lot of new faces on HIO the last few days. This place has changed a lot over the years, huh?

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    Will be curious to see when Ryan White next draws into the lineup. If indeed he continues to be a “healthy” scratch, I wonder if he was dangled in trade talks the past few days. I know he made some mistakes earlier in the season, but would like to see him given another chance. He is still young and offers some sandpaper which I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing. I think last nights game would have suited him just fine.

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      I’d expect we’ll see him in the lineup tonight. It’s unlikely Plekanec will be playing, so with Eller and Halpern each moving up a spot in the lineup I should think White will be centering Blunden and Moen. I like White, and I think he’s “learned his lesson” as far as going off half-cocked and costing the Habs in penalties – hopefully Therrien agrees.

  32. The Dude says:

    Well….. I’m starting to feel sorry for Prust. It’s MIND Fking to me how this Canadiens Orginazation continually find X-nhler’s to run the team who don’t believe the Team needs a couple of Heavy Weights”who can play” to protect our small team. Eller and Moen were brave but got tom the bombed and it was sad. I AM PISSED!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Hold on Dude.
      Take a deep toke and hold it.

      We don’t need to be protected.
      We weren’t bullied last night, we just didn’t play hard enough.
      Moen fell over throwing a haymaker that missed. There was no knockout there.
      Eller scrapped (wrestled) with Giroux, and I was happy to see that.

      We. Don’t. Need. Heavyweights.

      Buffalo put Scott on bricks during the game we played against them. Teams know we don’t have a staged fighter, so they don’t dress theirs.

      Have a Caucasian and abide, Dude.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • jrshabs1 says:

      you are right on Dude..don’t listen mattyleg..or take any bs from the pacifist. Habs were bullied last night..2 legit heavy weights would have made the difference. All any team with size and toughness has to do is follow the 6-0 maple leaf game plan. Habs will wilt..they did again last night..tell mattleg to put that in his pipe and smoke it

      Go Habs Go!!

  33. Bill says:

    Loonie (aka poster below, sorry, on my phone) you are right about the window. This is a team heading into major rebuild in a couple seasons. Unless Bergevin has some amazing seamless transition plan.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Bill, I don’t agree.
      I think we’ve got lots in the bank.
      We have a bunch of good-looking d-men coming up in Beaulieu and Tinordi, we have a number who will be experienced vets by then, like Gorges and Emelin, PK will be hitting his prime…
      As for forwards, we have Eller, Gally, and Chuckie, who will all be hitting their primes alongside vets like Pleks and Bourque, while guys like Dumont and Blunden will be filling in on the bottom lines.

      The only concern I have is if Price gets hurt.

      I think we’re looking good for the long-term.

      And your argument that people can get hurt or slump is the same for every team, surely.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Loonie says:

        Counting on Gorges as a top pairing defenseman and a dollar will get you a small coffee.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Did I say that?

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Loonie says:

            No Matty but it’s a process of elimination. Who’s gonna step in there? Beaulieu? As a kid? If he does we’re rebuilding.

            Same for Tinordi or Ellis or any prospect you can name.

            Bergevin showed us yesterday that he won’t give up a big piece for a big piece.

            When Markov’s done, we’re re-tooling or rebuilding while young players gain experience.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I mentioned in a post above, MB’s lack of movement this week, does not preclude trades/moves in the summer.

          • Mattyleg says:

            I dunno, Loon.
            Bergevin can always get another big name defenceman if needs be.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Major rebuild?
      They already have most of the integral pieces, either on the team or in the minors.

      Perhaps I don’t understand your definition of “rebuild” Bill…

  34. punkster says:

    I support the SWAG movement.

    Do you?

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  35. Bill says:

    Ok I’m over the no trade thing. I assume The Berg made some calls and didn’t want to give up his picks or guys like Beaulieu or Tinordi or whomever. Totally understandable.

    But I still agree with the poster below who stated that there is no way to know that the Habs will be even this good, much less better next season. They could have injuries, sophomores could slump, rookies may falter. This is most likely the Habs’ best chance for a while. Lets hope they can get healthy and have a magical playoff.

    • Loonie says:

      Looking at Markov and how far away Beaulieu is, this team has a one or two year window before it’s closed for another three or four years in my opinion.

      When you’re the guy selling tickets instead of the guy buying tickets patience is a virtue.

      Edit: If i were a season ticket holder yesterday’s lack of events would have pissed me off royally.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Why would it be closed when Beaulieu, Tinordi, and maybe Ellis are on their way up? They are not all 4 years away.
        If Markov retires in 2-4 years, and we will have relief already in place.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • Loonie says:

          They’re at least four years away from being the kind of contributors that Cup winners need.

          Neither is going to walk in and replace Markov at the drop of a hat.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Losing Markov is not going to set us back that far, is it? He can be replaced without us falling out of contention, in my opinion.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

          • geo_habsgo says:

            While I think those D could become big contributors much sooner than you think they will, I agree that they won’t replace Markov for a while. I realized watching the game last night that for whatever he has lost in mobility he has retained his hockey IQ. He sees the play exceptionally well and makes tough plays look easy. That is something I find PK, for all his skill and talent, is only beginning to develop a bit this season!

          • Loonie says:

            Losing Markov will be a huge blow.

            His decisions with the puck are phenomenal. Can’t replace that with a kid.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            I love Markov and I think his hockey IQ is through the roof, but I still think the Habs can contend without him….with some adjustments and additions as required.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I don’t agree, but understand where you are coming from. I think we continue to get stronger. While Beualieu may not step in next year to become Markov, he and Tinordi could step in and become regular members of a 6 man rotation. They will only continue to improve, just as PK will continue to improve. Markov is declining, but others around will improve.

    • Mattyleg says:

      We could have added a bunch of big-name players like Pitt did.

      Look at how well that’s worked out for them.

      They’re still the same “without Sid we’re nothing” team they always were.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      “there is no way to know that the Habs will be even this good, much less better next season. They could have injuries, sophomores could slump, rookies may falter.”

      Bill, while you’re correct in that statement, it’s also applicable to nearly every team in sports that makes the playoffs. Ever. Some more or less than others, but every team.

      And I’d say we’re looking fine with the influx of talent coming up.

  36. Thomas Le Fan says:

    You can’t win ‘em all but that was fairly ugly. At least we didn’t miss the net all that often. Mostly because we didn’t shoot. Heh
    There must be some way to blame Price for that, no?

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

  37. Mattyleg says:

    Didn’t watch the game last night, happy in retrospect.

    Thoughts:
    Worried about Plex missing games.
    Moen didn’t lose the fight to Simmonds, he threw a wild punch that put him off balance and they both fell down.
    We’ll pick it back up again tonight.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  38. RetroMikey says:

    We are a small team, Philly pushed us around last night.
    Hate to say it but the bigger teams are gonna tear us 6 feet underground if we meet them in the playoffs.
    Even if Philly makes it in the playoffs, be very scared Habs fans, the regular season means squat.
    Bergevin always mentions the “future” as Bobby mentioned in his tenure as GM.
    What is the future? 5 years of entertaining hockey for the fans and regular season ticket holders?
    Or is it a Cup in Montreal?
    If it is the latter, me thinks we blew on some trades to make last night to get bigger up front, could have picked Clowe or even Hartnell.
    Other teams got bigger and stronger, what the heck did we do?
    Hate to see what happens if we get eliminated early in the playoffs and hear what Bergevin and fans say what our demise was.
    Last night was the start of what to expect heading into the playoffs, tired weaker forwards up front and a defense which will be very tired as well with Markov logging way too many minutes for a guy his age. Watch out for your knees Andre!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • Mattyleg says:

      Ah, the predictable ‘Bigger is Better’ post.

      Paired with the ‘small guys get tired quicker’ theory.

      Sorry Mikey, but the NHL isn’t about being big.
      It’s about being good.
      And we’re good.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • byrneoNL says:

        Completely disagree. Mass is mass. Our defence cannot move their forwards out of the crease. Our forwards are not strong enough on the puck to win battles of create fear on the forecheck. Citing the exceptions when Gallagher bats in a loose puck doesn’t make you right

        • Mattyleg says:

          I never cited any examples.

          And the rest of this post is gobbledegook.

          Our forwards regularly win battles for pucks. We’re 2nd in the East. A team doesn’t get there by being soft. We do create fear on the forecheck. You create fear on the forecheck by being fast, not by being big. Nobody cares about being checked. They care about being stripped of the puck.

          Our defencemen are fine in our crease. How did two goals go in last night? Off our defencemen in the crease.

          Do yer homework, NL.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I think what we lack in size we do have in heart! A little more size and grit wouldn’t hurt though. But heck, finishing in last place one year and having an outside shot at winning it all the next, I’ll take it.

            Hopefully the Habs can run on adrenaline and heart and surprise us all this playoffs.

            Bergevin will eventually have this team possessing the same skill but be a couple inches taller and a few pounds heavier but I’m happy with what we’ve got now.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Hear hear.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • RetroMikey says:

            I’m doing my homework and in order to get an A+ in the playoffs, we should have gotten bigger with more grit, and we can give our regular season a big fat F grade if we fail ffat in the playoffs.
            No more being optimistic on this site, winners are created by making bold moves in life whether in sports or in our everyday decisions in life.

            “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

        • bwoar says:

          Coming in and chirping after a loss, then disappearing, doesn’t make you right either. Why not show up after a victory and try telling us why they won? A person’s opinion has more credibility if they are able to see both sides.

          “thoroughbred”

          • RetroMikey says:

            We went through this after the 2007-08 season when we went first overall in our conference in the regular season and high expectations and praised Gainey what he did with the club and in Hamilton with the prospects…..but the playoffs came, we eked out a series against Boston and played a more more physical team in Philadelphia and got knocked out which we should have won. The series was ours but we just were way too small and tired was our excuse.
            Have we not learned form our past mistakes?
            Firewagon hockey is no more in Montreal!
            Build this team a winner with more bigger grittier players to go with skillful players, not have a bunch of smaller players….this is a totally different NHL where the bigger and stronger survive in this league and become champions.

            “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

      • Cal says:

        You mean the predictable “he’s back after a loss” post. Yawn.

      • RetroMikey says:

        No question we have the skill and speed but this is Bettman’s NHL and as along as he is still prez, big and better theory will stick with us for many years and make champions for those teams who suck up to him.

        “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Until someone here is actually privvy to the trade convesations, I’d prefer we just say what we would have liked, instead of assuming the Habs did nothing. Some of you may not realize this, but a trade involves 2 teams (sometimes more). Sometimes a team takes on offer over another for any number of reasons. The Habs were in on Clowe but at the end of the day, didn’t get him.
      We are seeing what we have, and just because the flyers won last night, don’t start with the size factor. The Habs have beaten teams that are bigger than them all year. In the playoffs, we can judge the team even more. Can other teams keep up with the Habs for 1 game? Yes. Can they do it for 4 games out of 7…perhaps not. Same can be said of the Habs keeping up with big, bad teams. We’ll see….we’ll evaluate….and we’ll get better if need be.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Luke says:

      Ok,

      Quick question:

      Which trades exactly did we blow on last night?

      The reality is this:
      Gaborik cost CLB 3 young roster players. Who on Montreal would they have been? Probably the equivalent to Eller, Gallagher and Tinordi? For a waning Elite talent.

      Pominville cost a 1st rounder and two solid prospects. So probably a 1st plus the equivalent of Collberg and Tinordi. For a solid tier 2 player.

      Asking price for Yandle was apparantly a top flight prospect. Gallagher or Galchenyuk?

      Clowe was 3 picks and he’s not the type of player who changes one’s fortunes. He’s a nice piece, that’s all.

      Hartnell? Where did you pull that name from? Did you like the game he played last night so now you want him?

      • RetroMikey says:

        Did you like the game we played last night?
        Philly with their no name players can beat any team on any given night with their big grittier players pound for pound against any skilled team. This is North America hockey, not the KHL where speed and skill is in their league.

        “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  39. The Jackal says:

    Morning Habs faithful. I hope you are all over last night. It was just a lucky win for the flyers, we did not play too well but the bounces did not go our way. Get ready to start a new win streak tonight.

    Anyone still thinking we need NAG, you must not have been watching the games we won this season!

  40. commandant says:

    Dumont called up but with the Dogs in Texas will he arrive in time?

    If two forwards are out

    Is White ready? Do we play Weber at wing again?

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

  41. Stevie.Ray says:

    Charles Hudon signs an Amateur Tryout Contract

  42. frontenac1 says:

    Don’t think bad luck had anything to do with last nights result. First period Habs outshot Flyers 11-8. Start of second,2 fights,Moen loses his and Prust with a draw. Flyers then outshoot Habs 28-6 in second and Third period.Flyers made their own luck.

    • bwoar says:

      We watched the same game Front. As much as my Jets need a win tonight, I really need the Habs to bounce back; losing that game was especially hard to take after not adding any kind of size yesterday.

      One thing: Although he was overmatched yesterday, I’m very, very glad we didn’t trade Eller for a rental.

      “thoroughbred”

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Seriously Front – if you think that the outcome of these staged fights changed how the Habs played then by your logic, they should fight 20 times a game.

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

  43. La Duke 16 says:

    I watched Drewiskie play a lot in college at Wisconsin and he was a stud. Of course he was playing against kids.

    If given some time and opportunities this kid is going to be really good and Price will be very happy finally having someone who can clear the crease.

  44. Hobie Hansen says:

    A few thoughts about the last 48hrs.

    I didn’t think Clowe would be as affective in his first game with the Rangers and I’m glad Montreal didn’t overpay for him. But after the dust settled on trade deadline day I had a feeling Sather did what was necessary to fix his club.

    The Rangers traded away a good chunk of their 2nd and 3rd line for Nash and left themselves with a line and a half for a hockey team. So by picking up Clowe, Brassard and Dorsett and getting rid of a one dimensional scorer, they brought themselves back to where they were last year.

    And as of today, we’d be playing the Rangers in the 1st round and should expect a scrappy, in your face club, that was expected to challenge for the conference lead before the season started.

    We had a taste of what the playoffs are going to look like last night from the Flyers and the Rangers are even better.

    I liked Drewiske, good to see some spunk from Moen and Prust, Subban and Emelin were throwing their weight around and Eller looks like he’ll provide some jam in the playoffs!

    Not sure why Boone called those fights staged last night because the game was getting intense and the players simply lost their cool? I don’t consider those staged fights.

    Anyway, we should expect a different brand of hockey in the playoffs and it will be interesting to see if we’re up for the physical demand of it all.

    I agree with TSN last night that we have an outside shot at winning it all.

    • adamkennelly says:

      I agree – I think that was a taste of the playoffs and we didn’t fare too well. I am not concerned about last night’s game but I am concerned about expectations and what MB didn’t do at the deadline. Is it over paying if you give your team a great chance at the Cup? Clowe would have been a great addition to this team – didn’t cost a first round pick.

      I also have a huge problem with the picture Boone (or someone else) chose…talk about making someone look like a moron.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I wouldn’t want to face the rangers in the first round. They have a world class goalie who could get hot and now have much more jam again.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Nice post. I’d like to add that the Habs had an off night, and losing their top center (by a considerable margin, Eller was -3 filling in for Plek) made match-ups very unfavorable. Just a bad game in a building that haunts the team.

      We all know that for the Habs to win the cup they will need to take their PP from good to great, and PK from average to great. Add to that Conn Smythe performance by Price.

      Is this likely? No. Is it possible? Yes.

      Other concerns, Markov has been playing well, but risky. Very risky. I hope he manages his risks more in the stretch drive, rather than all out attack all the time.

      Excited to see the beat down the Habs put on the Jets tonight, I smell a blowout!

  45. Loonie says:

    I’ll say this about yesterday’s deadline. If Marc Bergevin thinks his words are going to keep expectations of the team at bay, he’s in for a rude awakening.

    • ed says:

      The team has not stopped winning all freakin season. It’s been a ridiculous run.

      Every team (GM) should start the season thinking (hoping) that a run like the Habs have enjoyed is possible, and then react accordingly.

      If your team wins at home, wins on the road, and shows no signs of letting up, then why not embrace those results and expect greatness?

      There are 6 or 7 legitimate contenders for the Cup and the Habs are most definitely on that list.

  46. SteverenO says:

    No shame in losing to the Flyers in Philly. They are one of the best “home” teams in the league.

    Some of our guys especially Price, P.K., and Eller, Gionta and Ryder seemed like they did not have their usual focus, and the Flyers got some lucky bounces.

    On the plus side , It was nice to see the coach actually play Drewiske in the third period when the game was on the line. While he (drewiske) didnt look great on the Flyers go ahead goal in the third period , overall I thought he played a solid game. While we lost last night, at least Markov was not overused and that will give us a better chance this evening. Another move that MT made which I liked was when he did not “bench” Blunden for taking a “bad” penalty. In the long run if the team does not feel that every mistake will lead to them being sat down, they will play a better game.

    I only wish he was a right handed shot. Emelin played one shift on the left side and you could see that he would be better on his natural side. For that reason only, I wish we had picked up O’Byrne.

    I thought the color man on TSN was excellent. (The play-by-play guy was not). I had never heard of a goal being scored in the 6 -hole before. ( over the goalies head but under the cross bar).

    Hopefully Plek won,t be out too long, and while he’s out Eller will rise to the occasion and also earn a spot on the PP.

    If we are going to go with Drewiske as the 6th D-Man. they will either have to let him play the point on the second wave of the PP, or (my preference) use either Galchenyuk, or Eller in that role.

    Just think, going just one for three on the PP last night would have gotten us at least a chance to win in OT and at worse one point.

    Kudos the Penalty kill unit which kept the league leading Flyers PP off the scoresheet.

    The bottom line, to me, is that the remaining guys should be considered preparation for the playoffs, and yesterday, despite the loss, was a step in the right direction. The Penalty killing is improving, and the PP will benefit from having other guys get some experience while Plekanec is healing.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Loonie says:

      Bouillon cork screws himself into the ice and it’s Drewiske who didn’t look good on the goal.

      You aren’t the only one with that opinion about Drewiske but this place makes me laugh some times.

  47. Propwash says:

    DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!!!!!!!

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  48. Sportfan says:

    The biggest challenge for the Habs is next season to continue from where ever they leave off this season. They will want to play the same (ignoring last night) and get better.

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Loonie says:

      Which will be a challenge, Markov and Gionta will be a year older, Galchenyuk and Gallagher could well suffer sophomore slumps, Kristo will presumably assume a right wing role as a rookie and with Therrien’s past it’s entirely possible that the hard-ass message wears off earlier than expected.

      You can’t spit in the face of winning opportunities, nobody has a crystal ball that can tell when their team will have this good of a chance again.

  49. Bogie Man says:

    As far as I am concerned this team has been rebuilding since the last time we won the stanley cup. It is now time to stop rebuilding and put a team on the ice that can contend.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Aside from Serge Savard, we had incompetent people running this team since we last won the cup. Bob Gainey & company, as excited as most of us were when he came in as GM, set this team back many many years. I’ve been a fan since early 70′s & I can honestly say that this team has the best people running it from owner, GM & down to coaching/scouting.

  50. Loonie says:

    With due respect Mr. Boone when it comes to Davis Drewiske we weren’t watching the same player. I was watching #44. He cleared the crease routinely, was physical with anyone hanging around the crease after whistles, he won all but one puck battle along the boards and may have been our best puck moving defenseman last night.

    I will admit that I wasn’t a big fan of the acquisition(due to Timmins being dynamite with 5th rounders more than anything else) but Drewiske acquitted himself very well I thought.

    If we’re going to pick on a defenseman from last night how bout my favourite, Andrei Markov. Soft checking on every goal he was on the ice for and one hand on his stick.

    Marc Bergevin showed with the Drewiske trade that he knows what the team needs to win in the playoffs. What we need is Michel Therrien, who is doing a great job for the most part, to make adjustments to how the even strength ice-time among our defensemen is dispersed. Markov needs to be sheltered like Desharnais is. Offensive zone starts, quick shifts and strong defensive forwards on the ice with him.

    I don’t expect a repeat performance tonight, The Flyers had every bounce go their way in the third period, bad luck.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Feel the same way too. Boone’s articles sometimes are doom & gloom.

    • Sportfan says:

      I agree with you and Drewiske is really new to the team for the time being lets give the guy a few weeks. We won’t repeat last night mainly because Philly and their fans have such a unique effect on the habs the past couple of seasons.

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I think Boone is heavily influenced by the perspectives offered on the AC who have their own biases. Bergeron (I think) was talking about adjusting D pairs and putting Bouillon with Markov instead of Emelin, not so that the two would be sheltered, but instead as a promotion for Bouillon.

      • Loonie says:

        A promotion of Bouillon isn’t necessarily unwarranted, but a demotion of Emelin is in my opinion.

        Markov’s been brutal defensively lately, Emelin carries them in two of the three zones of the ice.

  51. habstrinifan says:

    Federation of American Scientists, CIA World Factbook, Nuclear Threat!!!

    CountrY : Estimated warhead:
    ===================================
    USA 7,650
    Russia 8,420
    U.K 225
    France 300
    China 240
    India 80-100
    Pakistan 90-110
    Israel 80.
    N Korea <10.
    Iran 0.

    B-nation 4.
    Leaf Nation 4.
    Philly-nation 4.
    Sens-nation 2.
    Habs-Nation 0.

  52. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Gotta say I didn’t like the way they lost this one. Know they can’t win every game, but there are losses that can be stomached (the 2-1 loss to the Bs or that one where Bishop stood on his head while juggling knives with his feet) and ones you can’t (6-0 to TO).

    No way they deserved to be in that game last night. Score flatters the Habs. Price was excellent in the first two periods.

    This team has responded well this season — tonight is key. Need a 60 minute effort, no matter who is in the lineup.

  53. shiram says:

    Bergevin, by his actions and words, does not believe the Habs are a legitimate Stanley Cup contender this year.
    He made some small moves to improve some weak areas (Halpern, 44DD) but nothing to push the team over the top.
    He stated the goal is still, as of yesterday, to make the playoffs.

    Also, keeping picks ensures he can build a team to his liking.


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