About last night …


OMG, why use that photo to illustrate some reflections on the Northeast-leading Canadiens’ latest win?
Quick, pass some bleach for the eyes of Habs fans!
Well, Jacques Martin was at the Bell Centre to watch his former team beat the Jets.
And Perry Pearn – who played Sancho Panza to Martin’s Don Quixote (and Tessio to Pierre Gauthier’s Don Corleone) – has fetched up behind the Winnipeg bench.
So there was a bit of an old-timey atmosphere at the Bell Centre, what with the Ghosts of Last-Place Past in the house.

Let’s imagine, just for fun, that Martin was coaching the Canadiens Thursday night.

A shade over eight minutes into the first period, Alexander Burmistrov gives the visitors a 1-0 lead. Burmistrov is all alone in the slot to Peter Budaj’s right because Michael Ryder is not bothering to cover the Jet forward.

Also on for the Winnipeg goal are rookie Alex Galchenyuk and newly-acquired defenceman Davis Drewiske.

On a Jacques Martin team, how much ice time would the aforementioned players have seen for the balance of the evening?

But Martin does not coach your Montreal Canadiens.

Michel Therrien does. And this is what happened to the players who watched Burmistrov score his goal:

Michael Ryder, finally playing his natural right wing, scored the goal that tied the game at 1-1 and also bagged the winner and added an assist. Ryder has nine goals and 17 points in 17 games since joining the Canadiens in the trade that sent Erik Cole to Dallas. Cole has four points, all goals, since the trade.

Ryder is a sniper. Scoring goals is what he does. Ryder does not play no steenkin’ defence. He is not a Jacques Martin player.

Alex Galchenyuk played centre, between Ryder and Travis Moen, because of the Tomas Plekanec injury. It is the kid’s natural position, and he played an excellent game. Galchenyuk had three shots on goal (and none wide or blocked), scored the Canadiens’ fourth goal (breaking an 18-game drought) and won three of four faceoffs.

Davis Drewiske ended the night at minus-1. But the big guy from Wisconsin played 17:26 – including almost three minutes on the Canadiens’ impeccable penalty-kill – and blocked three shots.

There were other heroes.

Peter Budaj made 33 saves for his sixth win of the season. That’s one-quarter of the team’s W’s. Not bad for a backup goaltender who was 5-7-5 under Martin and Randy Cunneyworth last season.

Lars Eller centred Brian Gionta and Brandon Prust on a new line Therrien cooked up. Eller had two assists, stayed out of the box, played 2:40 on the PK and did not look out of place with new linemates.

Alexei Emelin took one for the team. Actually, he took about five right hands in a late-game fight with Evander Kane. But as was the case when he was jumped by Zdeno Chara, Emelin hung in, protected his surgically repaired kisser and landed a left on Kane. You have to admire Emelin’s courage … and you have to like his tendency to get under the skin of guys like Chara and Kane.

• Ho-hum, P.K. Subban had two assists to run his point total to 30, first among NHL defencemen. The fine play of Drewiske and Daycare Dad  Francis Bouillon allowed Therrien the luxury of dialing back on ToI for P.K. (22:02) and Andrei Markov (19:10).

Jeff Halpern had an uncharacteristically rough night in the faceoff circle, losing eight of 13. But Marc Bergevin’s waiver-wire steal was excellent on the PK and logged 15:45, which is impressive for a fourth-liner. Halpern was ably supported by his high-energy linemates, Michael Blunden, who blocked a couple shots, and Ryan White, who had three hits.

The only line that remained intact had a quiet night, although Brendan Gallagher was his customary Energizer Bunny self and Max Pacioretty led the Canadiens with four SoG.

Watching Eller and Galchenyuk, you wonder where David Desharnais will settle on the team’s depth chart in a year or two. But you can never have enough capable centres.

And what about Ryder? One-dimensional he may be, but it’s not like this team is overflowing with guys who can light the lamp. Will Bergevin re-sign the player who is on track to lead the Canadiens in goals?

That’s down the road.

The shorter-term picture has Boston at the Bell Centre on Saturday for the kind of high-stakes game Jacques Martin never got to coach at the end of his run in Montreal.

•  •  •

I don’t know where this is from, but it’s funny.


















And this from Propwash:



  1. krob1000 says:

    Anyone catch MT talking about Galchenyuk last night after the game…he made mention of knowing Glachenyuk is a center but could play junior this year and next and they are trying to get him experience. I would like him to play another year at wing and then the following year take a center role….you have less time and space on the wing and it will only be easier for him moving into the middle..and he’ll get chances periodically when guys get hurt,etc.
    After next year is when it becomes a problem IMO…but not as soon as next year..if the team is a true contender next eyar as it should be…there is no place for a 19 year old center on any cup contending team. He is still learning the pace, timing,physciality, tendencies, systems,etc so it will not harm him in any way.

  2. Sportfan says:

    Ghosts of Last-Place Past lol that made me laugh but although his coaching style was a snooze fest on most nights he did coach the team when they were having that great run!


  3. bellcentre hotdog says:

    I don’t think the Gainey regime ever showed Michael Ryder respect during his first tenure with the Habs. He received a series of one year ‘wait and see’ type contracts before they just let him walk. This despite the fact he had lead the team in goals for most of the seasons he played here.

    He is a proven goal scorer. And he’s a proven goal scorer in a Habs jersey. I really hope MB will re sign him.

    • issie74 says:

      BG should not get blamed for that,it was Carbo who let him sit for the last half of the season. When Ryder left it was Gainey who came to his defense when fans were giving him a hard time, I believe his words were ” Michael is a much maligned player ”


  4. Strummer says:

    Leafs dressed 2 tough guys last night in Orr and McLaren and their best player Lupul gets creamed.

    I thought these types of players are supposed to prevent this.

    Add insult to injury (literally) they have to give said goons more ice time cause they’re down a scorer.

    Was this a good strategy?

    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • shiram says:

      Tough guys are not about preventing injury, they are all about giving them out and that sweet sweet revenge.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Talk about cherry picking your argument. Did you even see the play, or are you just being facetious?

      • Strummer says:

        So then what purpose was served in dressing 2 players who are not skilled enough to play a regular shift but are there only to intimidate?

        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          The play Lupol was hurt on was a freak collision that had ZERO to do with tough guys. I’m not sure why you’re even talking about them. They’re not there to prevent accidents like that.

          Tough guys are there to intimidate, just as you mentioned.

          • Strummer says:

            But if they were there to intimidate they failed.
            Isn’t the idea that the opposition should be afraid to hit your star players?

            “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • krob1000 says:

      by a tough guy they just let go..well his shoulder anyway. There was nothing worng with that hit…he just happened to get into another player but the guy who made the hit did not contact his head

      • Luke says:

        Yah. And the announcers and Millard were all squirrely about a super suspension and what not… unfortunate play. Clean hit and he riccocheted into Rosehill’s shoulder.

        Loved Bowen’s line: “But Rosehill was GOING to hit him from behind!”

        Also loved the Phaneuf turtle… well instigate-flee-linesman intercept-attack!

    • D Mex says:

      Fact is, Boston goons conducted themselves very differently when BGL was in the lineup – still remember Lucic smokin’ a straight line to the Boston bench with Laraque whispering happy birthday into his ear.

      MB doesn’t miss much and, I suspect, will evaluate & address team needs ‘ en temps et lieu ‘. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t take a step or two to support Prust’s work during the off-season but we’ll have to wait & see to know for sure …

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  5. Storman says:

    As far as Emelin’s fighting goes he sure has been unlucky Chara and Evander Kane, maybe next time he fights he may try another Kane like Patrick Kane. Poor Guy has got jumped by two of the toughest guys to fight in the league.. As far as the plate goes he was not told not too fight but it was suggested to him not too fight, and you can see the Doctor is definetely in his head,, it is very hard to fight when you are completely bending and ducking to protect your face..

    Yemmy sure is in Evander Kane’s head as every time we play the Jets Kane spends a little too much time hunting Yemmy down..

  6. frontenac1 says:

    Looking for beasts? Trevor Gillies,Kip Brennan,Jablonski…..They all played for Vityaz Chekov . Markov”s KHL team.They are available.

    • BJ says:

      Too bad there is no reserve squad. All three would fit well as a 4th line vs, Flyers, Leafs and Burins.

    • Strummer says:

      Leafs dressed 2 beasts last night and still lost their best player.
      What’s the point?
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • Luke says:

      No thanks. Not necessary.

      It’ll be interesting to see what the Leafs do when they have a fourth line of Orr – McClement – McLaren in the playoffs and only one of them sees a semi-regular shift.
      If Orr and McLaren are getting 8ish minutes a game in the playoffs, they aren’t fighting and they aren’t scorer and the Leafs aren’t winning.

      So, Should we add a guy, who are you taking out of the lineup?

      If they have NHL value, why are they available?
      There are teams that are in worse shape than Montreal in terms of depth and standings that saw fit not to sign them.

    • krob1000 says:

      Gillies or Brennan would be perfect for all games vs Kane from here on in…that interview after with him is crap where he mentioned it was the first time Emelin took his cage off…he has admitted to targeting a guys face who ihe knows could be permanently injured …then he throws a helmet at him? I understand there can;t be a suspension for anything Kane did but that is inexcusable targeting him like that and openly admitting it…that is worthy of a tough guy visit for sure…

  7. shiram says:

    Man, I hope Budaj did not get nightmare about Big Buff’s keister! Based on comments made yesterday, it was supposed to be quite a terror in Budaj’s kitchen.

    • Luke says:

      He was lost out there. I barely noticed him at all. Except for the shots of him on the bench sucking air.

      If Buff is too slow to play D against MTL’s speedy forwards, at least he can block guys out from in front of the net. We think the Habs have size issues? Enstrom is smaller than my friend’s 4 year old! (Better hockey player though…)

      So: A thought about size. Tiny Gionta/Gallagher have both scored or been in fron of the net when goals have been scored. They are tiny.
      Perhaps they do not block the goalie’s vision as well as Buff (or another giant) would. But the goalie still has to look around them and deal with their traffic and the extra Dman they (should) attract.
      HOWEVER: They do not block the shooters view either. They do not block as much of the net when the puck is on route. More of the net is available for clean shots and deflections. If it was Buff in front of that Eller shot, it would have hit a much bigger thigh more to the front and deflected in a different direction.

      So perhaps, SIZE infront of the net is a Red Herring. It’s traffic that is necessary.

  8. CERF says:

    Good morning everyone,

    What is up with the Jets? They’ve been play very emotionless hockey for a team battling for a top spot in their division and a playoff spot. I like Noel but i don’t think the team is responding to what he is preaching. Big buff looks completely disinterested and unmotivated, especially at ~8-10 the camera was on him and he looked spaced out.

    Has any team in the last 10 years gone perfect vs a division? I see we’re 11-0 (hope i don’t jinx it) vs the SE division and think we got another 2-3 games to do(could be wrong). It’d be neat if we’d be the first!

    For the old timers around here, who know what happened to Bugs? Always enjoyed his comments and character her brought to HIO.

    Enjoy your Friday and weekend everyone!

    • JF says:

      We’ve got four games left against the Southeast, but two of those are against Washington, who are playing a lot better recently. Somehow I think we’ll lose at least one of those two.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Did Bugs talk about cooking (ie. talk knowledgeably about it)?

      • CERF says:

        he indeed did! would also rhyme pretty well also

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Yeah, it’s been a long time since he was on.

          A number of posters said last summer they’d never watch hockey again if there was another lock-out. Could it possibly be that he was one of them?

          Meantime, we should keep an eye out for posters with new or unfamiliar names whose comments occasionally have a culinary theme…

  9. adamkennelly says:

    Here is what needs to happen with Emelin. Either he learns to fight better- because he is going to get hurt being pounded on constantly or the Habs need to find someone to go destroy a player on the other team if someone goes after Emelin for what amounts to playing good, hard D. I like fighting, and if you play with an edge or chippy or whatever, you better learn to answer…remember Ulf Samuelson? same sorta deal. Last night, Habs could have sent someone to pound on Bogosian a bit (assuming we have a player capable of that) – which sends a message to the Jets and the league that we’ll defend our players but they didn’t….

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      You do know his face has been caved in from fighting and he has been told by medical staff that he shouldn’t do it anymore, right?

      So… I think the answer is not having him learn to fight, but teaching him to turtle better

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Posters (self included) were wondering about that below. Do you know where to read about Emelin’s medical advice?

        And I think AdamK was keeping turtling as one of the answers to his question.

        If the docs said, No fighting, then he should wear a cage and never fight. And if he keeps his big hits clean, then anyone who rages in response can take a breather in the penalty box.

  10. danp says:

    I just visited NHL.com to see what they had to say about the Jets-Canadiens game last night. There are links to headliner stories on the right. There is NOTHING about the Jets-Habs! Jagr’s goal is number 1, Bishop’s debut and so on….nothing Canadiens.


  11. Storman says:

    Apparently Michael Ryder wants a specific rider in his contract that will cover insuring the Stanley Cup (After We Win IT) when the cup in his stead.

  12. The Jackal says:

    Yeah Mikey. The struggling bottom half is coming. So afraid.

  13. SteverenO says:

    What a difference a PowerPaly can make!

    Against Philly 0 for 3, last night 2 for 2.

    Intersting that last night the “first line PP unit” (DD Gallagher and Patches) were 0 for 2. playing 1:26 the first opportunity and 1:07 the second time.

    The “second” line (Eller, Ryder, Gionta) were 2 for 2, taking only 6 seconds to score the first goal and 12 seconds for the second. Talk about efficiency!

    As was said yesterday the best thing to come from Plekanec’s injury is that Eller got a chance to prove he deserves some more time on the PP.

    I thought it was kind of obvious even without the injury to Plekanec, but whatever the reason, I hope when Plek is back Eller will still be given some PP time.


    Steve O.

    • Luke says:

      You’ll also note that the 1st Line PP plays against the 1 Line PK, which is a much tougher assignment. The second PP plays against the 2nd PK unit.

      Montreal’s PP’s are probably both equal in offensive capablilities. Depth is Montreal’s greatest asset right now. ‘Peg’s PK’s suffer a lack of depth and there is a dramatic drop off in the quality between their first and second special teams units.

      PP is nice, but 5-on-5 is where you make the money.

      • SteverenO says:

        “Peg’s PK’s suffer a lack of depth and there is a dramatic drop off in the quality between their first and second special teams units.”

        @Luke: why do you feel the need to post “rebuttals” of real factual statistical data with totally unfounded and unsupported rubbish statements like that?

        There is little, if any, drop off in quality between their first and second line penalty killers, and I doubt highly that you even know who are the Jets “first” and “second” line Penalty Killers.
        Did you even bother to check who was on the ice when the goals were scored?

        If you are ranking their penalty killers by time on ice when shorthanded, the first PP goal was scored against their number 1 and 2 most used forwards, and their number 2 and 3 most used defensemen. The second goal was scored against their number 1 and 2 most used defenseman and their number 2 and 3 most used forwards.

        “Montreal’s PP’s are probably both equal in offensive capablilities. ”

        On what do you base this statement? The facts and the data say otherwise. One line scores significantly more PP goals, with considerably more frequency than the other.
        How can you say they are “equal”? More rubbish.


        Steve O.

  14. krob1000 says:

    Ryder is playing well enough that if he isn’t going to be signed he would likely be worth a pick for negotiating rights

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Prior to Ryder’s current 2 year deal which pays him 3.5mill per season, he had a 4 year deal paying him 4mill per season. There is no way he is going to re-sign for less than 4, would expect him to ask for 5 at a minimum and see which bidder offers the most term. Perhaps the saving grace for the Habs will be the new lower cap next year in limiting some of the usual suspects who overbid.


    • Kooch7800 says:

      The bad part is he was let walk away cause him an Carbo didn’t get a long….

      But really we didn’t give up anything to get him. Getting rid of Cole was a smart move by MB

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  16. mrhabby says:

    Interesting opening statements from the headmaster (mb) regarding ex coach Martin. I would love to know how Martin feels about the Habs record and the 360 this organization has done this year from his reign of terror.

    • krob1000 says:

      I was not a fan of much of Martin’s style but in fairness he did not have this team, he had Gomez early in the trade where he was likely foirced to use him as much as possible. He also had many of the kids when they were less experienced. I think Martin could be a good coach again…he did start to reign in the free wheeling and wildside but he limited them too much but that was because the only chance the team had to survive unde4r him was to get stellar goaltending and try to score off turnovers. THE did not have the horses for an aggressive forecheck….and nowehere near the depth.

      • BJ says:

        PG, BG and Martin “Birds of the same feather fly together”. The color they brought to the Habs were not blue, blanc, rouge but a a colorless shade of gray that matched Mr. Gauthier’s style and complexion. I did not enjoy that regime.

      • JF says:

        He was also without Markov for most of his tenure. Given the circumstances, he got more out of the team than the sum of its parts. I don’t think he’s ever been given enough credit for our playoff run in 2010, but a run like that starts with coaching. When he was fired last year, we were a point or two out of a playoff spot despite injuries and Gauthier’s gaffes. It was after Cunneyworth took over that the team absolutely plummeted.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      I think you mean 180 😉

    • Why do I look at his work here as almost successful? He got them to the playoffs and his system built a great goalie in Halak which in turn got us Eller 🙂

      He was too composed for me 😆 I’m a happy guy and watching him after (or during) games was a real downer.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures

    • Luke says:

      (nothing to see here. Move along folks).

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      Not to sound petty. But the correct term is 180 degrees, not 360 degrees.

    • GuyDoon says:

      A 360 would put them right back at 15th. More like a 160, since they’re second now 🙂

  17. frontenac1 says:

    How about Budaj Bodhisattva? He understands The Six Perfections. The perfect backup goalie.

  18. krob1000 says:

    I obviously don’t watch KHL games and could be wrong but I was under the impression that Emelin was actaully a very tough customer but had to stop fighting due to the plate. It should be no surprise he can “hang in there” with the tougher guys…I don’t expect to open up and trade punches or initiate many if any fights but I am not at all surprised he can survive.

  19. Phil C says:

    For Emelin to be effective, he needs to play with some edge; play the body hard, abuse them physically when they have the puck (like he was doing to Kane before they fought), and get in the heads of the other team, make them worry about carrying the puck into the zone.

    Clearly, he was in Kane’s head last night even before the altercation. This is a very, very, very good thing. Whether or not he wins the fight is irrelevant as long as he doesn’t get hurt. The important part is that he continues to play his game, his style.

    Suggestions that he tone it down would be a huge mistake. He doesn’t need White coming in to defend him, he is 6’2″, 223 lbs, so he needs to handle himself like he did last night: hold on, tie the other guy up, protect his repaired face, and try to get a shot in himself if he can. I am just glad he does not turtle anymore. I would like him to get better at tying up the other guy, but otherwise he did fine.

    I have a lot of respect for Emelin after that. I hope he comes back with even more edge to his game (get his mojo going as Front would say), because that’s what can really affect the outcome of a game, not whether or not he wins a sideshow.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Absolutely agree.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Probably a dumb question, but will the plate have to stay in his face permanently? I assume if it’s replacing a cheekbone, the answer is yes…?

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree Phil, also was interesting to listen to Kane speak of how this was the first game he faced Emelin with no cage this season. Emelin is definitely in this guys head. I suspect many teams top players know that when playing Montreal beware the Russian Tank.

      So I brought up this question earlier, does PK not do a similar thing in his big hits on the opposition, perhaps to a lesser extent? Does he need to on occasion step up and stand up for himself?

      • krob1000 says:

        Personally I found that comment very disturbing…he basically admitted that he was knowingly targeting Emelins face…where he is well aware he has a plate…and then he threw a helmet at it. There are very few times I would ever call for a goon…but next time vs Winnepeg I would actually signthe toughest guy around..just to play Kane after openly admitting that…. that was classless and the equivalent in the real world to a premidtated assualt…what if he had hit him in the plate with that helmet? or he does again after that statement?

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I’d like to see PK fight a bit more, but perhaps it’s just not in his DNA. Not everyone can fight. He should not have to fight to justify dishing out big checks in the NHL.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Phil C says:

        I’m not sure about Subban. If he starts fighting, he will be targeted, as taking him to the box for 5 minutes is almost always a good trade-off for the other team. Subban is also a great agitator, so he draws a lot of penalties by getting under the opposition’s skin and then not fighting.

        For the most part, I don’t think he should drop them for the reasons I mentioned. But I agree with you that in I would like him to do well in a fight at least once so that players would know he can handle himself, if required, so they might think twice.

        • Cal says:

          PK can’t fight. Since he does everything else so well, it’s not a problem. It would be nice to have a Chris Nilan type on the team to look after him, but getting guys like Knuckles who can actually play the game is tough.

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        No one should have to fight because they landed a clean hit. I’m so sick of every good hit demanding a fight. Suck it up, they’re million dollar professionals acting like a school yard bully.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Which is why I believe, whenever we play the Bruins, EVERYONE from DD up should pile into Chara.

          He hates it, he plays worse, often goes to the box.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Same. We had Dmen in the past who did that, I like having it now.

      Anyone know the answer to Habsrule1’s medical question?

      (Anyone other than Dr Recchi, that is)

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    As it pertains to Ryder, perhaps watching Kristo in Hamilton for the remainder of the AHL season will play a role in how MB proceeds.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Sorry for my ignorance but what wing does he play?

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Phil C says:

      I see term being the sticking point with Ryder. A two year contract would be perfect, give the guys in Hamilton a little more time to develop. If they develop early and steal his spot on the roster, a two year deal is easy to move.

      I suspect Ryder will want more than 2 years and can probably get it. I would feel comfortable even with a 3 year term.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think the Ryder situation could perhaps be a real test of MB’s skills as a negotiator/provider to Ryder. If indeed Ryder really feels at home here in Montreal, and if MB can show him that this team moving forward is going somewhere. Well perhaps he can do some good selling job towards a 3 year contract. BUt as 24Cups points out below, this is Ryders big chance at his last monster contract with term, that is a right he has earned and most likely will take advantage of.

  21. BJ says:

    Reading some of the posts regarding the worries of meeting this team or that team in the playoffs is not really an issue. You have to win every series to get to #25 (in our case). I think “other” teams are probably also very concerned about playing “us” in the playoffs.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree! Listening to the talking heads here in Toronto, they are starting to whistle a different tune these days in reference to Montreal. People are starting to realize this team is not a fluke, that there is talent here and a team playing great together. How far it carries us? No idea, but should be fun to watch.

      • BJ says:

        And its already been fun all year. Remember last year when our “Stanley Cup” was how high a pick we would end up with.

      • GrosBill says:

        Was surprised that on one of the TSN panel peices I watched, all three had the Habs in top 5 for cup contendors, I think all had them slotted in 5th on the list but still surprising from TSN. Funny that most even admitted they didnt want to place them to high since at the start of the year they placed them out of a playoff spot.

    • And when you put up one stinker every ten days or so, that leads to one loss, and 4 wins = series winners!

      I’m excited and beating the Jets has nothing to do with it.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures

  22. frontenac1 says:

    TU-74 drops the mitts again? Hey , maybe his face won’t come apart if he gets punched.Maybe that rumoured plate is something different.Did he have the surgery in one of those secret commie bases in Siberia?Those guys did some weird stuff amigos.Either way, Knuckles Nilan should give him some pointers.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I would think Prust and moen would try and teach him how to protect himself. He isn’t a fighter but due to his style may have to protect himself more and more as seen this year and late last year.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  23. habs-fan-84 says:

    A few weeks back I suggested Ryder should be retained, assuming he’s not asking for something astronomical.

    The problem is, he’s a UFA this summer, in a summer where there aren’t many quality UFAs. Also, this may be his last chance to cash in big as a UFA…I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but if we could sign Ryder at between 4 and 5m I’d be happy (he’s been a consistent 30 goal scorer his ENTIRE career – they don’t come around that often).

    With regards to Kane last night, I’m not sure what people are up in arms about. If you watch the replay it’s Emelin who essentially initiated the whole thing, he had his hands up in his face twice as they started pushing. Kane was pissed (as a result of the score in the game, their losing streak and Emelin getting his arms and hands in high), so he took care of business. As usual this helmet thing is being blown way out of proportion…he didn’t use the helmet as a weapon, it got caught up in him and he threw it away in frustration. It’s hockey, in the heat of the moment sometimes guys get pissed and fight…I don’t understand this “Kane is an asshole” nonsense. Kane can play on my team any day.

    Lastly, Eller needs more PP time…it’s been obvious for so long now. For the little time he does get, he always seems to cash in. He’s a big player with supreme stick handling skills and a pretty good shot. Exactly what you want on the PP.


  24. habstrinifan says:

    Sholi2000 has added some saneness to the call to ink Ryder immediately to a 3 to 4 yr deal. Ryder is giving us what he was acquired for and I appreciate it and would welcome keeping him for a yr or two longer but not at an inflated ‘ufa driven’ cost.

    When the season is all done, and big money and long contract decisions are made which would impact this team for next 4 to 5 years, I would hope that MB looks at more upper echelon candidates.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      We have no one in our system that can replace ryders goals in the interim. The Hamilton bulldogs are one of the worst offensive teams in the AHL. If you can get Ryder on a 3 year deal at around 4.25 mill I would do and if he wants for years I would only give him 4 mill a season as he will be 37 at the end of the deal.

      30 plus goal scorers don’t grow on tree’s

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes Ryder has fit in and scores. I agree, there is no rush and it would depend on what term and salary he will want. Next season, some other prospects may be ready. Gallagher, will be a top 6, then there could be Ryder and Gionta. Bourque really should be playing at his natural right wing, his production is much better there, 27 goals twice. Frankly, I like Gallagher and Bourque as the top 2, and would trade Gionta in the off season. Give Kristo a shot and look at UFA’s for the 2nd line left wing. Stallberg may end up available and he has size, speed and can score.

      It will be an interesting summer for Bergevin and the Habs. Do they stick one more season with Gionta? Could Pleks be used at the deadline to obtain another good young prospect and picks?
      I still think there is something between Gorges and Subban so maybe trade Gorges for more depth. The kids they have brought up looked solid and Druiske is looking good so far. He may end up being a slightly bigger “Gorges”


  25. Say Ash says:

    Taking a guy’s helmet off and throwing it at him – is that worth a phone call from Shanny?

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      No it shouldn’t. Habs fans have a tendency to whine and it gets old.

      • Cal says:

        So, if Kane hit Emelin with the helmet what’s the call then? Hockey play?

        • Luke says:

          Didn’t hit him though… so the question is: Did he throw it or release it during his swing so as NOT to hit him with it?

          Either way:
          Emelin needs to stop cross checking and shoving people ion the face. Or he needs to learn to drop his gloves quickly. As an old Karate instructor once told me: “If it’s going to end with punches you may as well throw the first one.”

          • Cal says:

            Emelin’s hand is going for the chest and the receiving player deflects it up into his own face. Not Emelin’s fault. Really. 😉

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Are you including yourself “Habs fan”?

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

  26. von says:

    Was Jacques Martin there on his own or is he working for an NHL team these days?

    I hope MB is exploring a contract extension for Ryder. He scores wherever he goes. Two year extension?


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

    • GrosBill says:

      I always liked Ryder in Montreal. I remember how annoyed I was his last year here vs Philly in the playoffs and we couldnt score against them and Ryder watched from the pressbox. MT seems to have a better grasp on what Ryder can and cannot do then Carbo did.

      I would like to see him re sign here in the 4 million range for two years, but I would be really surprised to see him stay here. Plus, like others have said here, would not be surprised to see another team offer him a ridiculous offer, a short list of scoring UFAs this summer.

  27. twilighthours says:

    @Burly: the Liveblog is infuriating me lately. It’s really, really bad. So many quality posters being drowned out by so few cretins.

  28. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Great game. Some observations. The team last night looked neither that small or that tired. Ryder is a keeper. Galchenyuk is too and will be a good one for years to come. Kane is a prick. I thought the goaltender interference was a good call. The Jet player may have been pushed a little but it appeared to me that, as others do, he took advantage of or embellished the effect of the push and he also attempted to kick Budaj’s skates out from under him. Thus the call. Tough to fall from third to tenth in one night. Go Habs!

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

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      As for the Goaltender interference, habs fans including myself would be rattled if that happened against us. Very tight call, I’ll take whatever we can get from the refs though.


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

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Of course. I still think he tried, unsuccessfully albeit, to kick Budaj’s skates out from under him. I think that’s what the ref saw.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think Ryder should be retained. We don’t have any other true snipers and since he got here he has done what he has been asked to do and that is score goals even on his off wing.

      We have enough guys who play great two way hockey we do need to have someone who buries the goals when needed. I would lock him up for 4 years

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Luke says:

      Re: The Goalie interference call:
      1) I think it was a bad call. Goal should have counted. Contact was at best minimal and it was Gorges (I believe) who made direct contact with Budaj and brought the Jet in there with him.

      2) I did like that it was not a penalty, but a faceoff in the neutral zone instead. I think there could be a few marginal calls (like this) that result in faceoffs instead of penalties. Heck even make ’em defensive zone faceoffs. But then again, we suck on faceoffs. whether we win ’em or lose ’em, seems like we always have to go regroup.

      3) If you saw the ‘allowed’ goal vs the Leafs last night where the Flyer made “hip to nub of the goal stick” contact and spun Reimer while the Flyers scored, you’d think this was a different league with different rules!!

      Anyways, Good Beerday morning my friends!
      (Not that today is the only day of the week to have beers, it’s just the only day when It’s mandatory).

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        re: point 3

        I try to watch hockey as objectively as I can and I couldn’t agree more – looked like two different leagues. After the Habs game I switched over to the highlights on Sportsnet…how that wasn’t an interference call on Reimer is beyond me.

        That was a chincy ass call on the Jets last night, that goal should have counted….just like the goal Washington scored in the 3rd period of game 7 a few years back…that also should have counted…

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Re: Point number 4, Couldn’t be in more agreement. As for the other 3 points, fine I agree as well. But lets not underestimate the importance of point 4.

      • habsguy says:

        reemer is a leaf, he should be suspended for butt ending !!!

  29. HNS says:

    Facewash needs to get a life.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Assuming you are referencing Propwash and the diagram provided? If so, Prop found the chart and merely forwarded/posted on HI/O.

      Not sure I understand the need to denigrate his handle. If I am mistaken in what you are referencing, I apologize.

  30. Steeltown Hab says:

    Keep feeding Eller PP time, it will be huge for our PP and his confidence. Didn’t love this game against Philly, played well tonight.

    Galchenyuk what can you not love about this kid, my brother and I celebrated like we won game 7 when he dropped to #3 in the draft, and looking back it really was that big of a moment for the franchise.


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

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree Eller seems very comfortable having the puck on his stick. He needs to be a bit better in his decisions with it from time to time, but overall he is proving why he was a first round pick.


  31. Lafleurguy says:

    Late-breaking news*, the duo with “Best Hands on the Team” have tied Martin Erat for goals scored this season.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  32. Habsrule1 says:

    Mornin’ all! Great game last night!
    I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again…..it’s just as likely for teams to get tired out chasing the Habs in a 7-game series as it is the Habs get tired out facing bigger opponents in a 7-game series.

    I give the edge to speed & skill every time.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Mornin Habsrule1. Always a great morning after a win, eh? I think you’re right. Speed kills.

    • RetroMikey says:

      I tend to disagree.
      Speed and skill in the NHL was great hockey back in the days of glory with the Habs, but today’s game is built mostly on big, grittier players with some skillful players you want to assemble a competitive team in today’s NHL.
      I agree with you that I love a team of speed and skill but with the mass NHL teams and stronger, bigger players with less skill in today’s world, you have to build your team with bigger and physical players.
      Speed kills but come playoff time, only the big and physical players survive.
      Watch a KHL game on your dish and I love that type of hockey of speed and skill, I call it “Soccer on Ice”.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        There is no indication that MB is trying to make this team smaller. He presently has a core team which he inherited, the makeup of which is deemed to be small or smallish. However, all moves made point to a building of a larger team while maintaining speed and skill.

        It will take time for the transition, to just add large bodies at the deadline in order to appease the want for size, would not fit into the teams current scheme or system per se.

        Patience is required.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        We’ll see Mikey. I’ve seen many games where the bigger teams get tired out chasing the smaller, faster guys. In a 7-game series, the bigger guys see more and more that they can’t catch the faster guys and get fed up with it and tend to get frustrated and perhaps even take penalties.
        We’ll see if this holds true, and if it does in 1 series, if after a couple of them, the smaller guys do burn out or get injured.
        I think what a team needs is a good mix of speed & size, so a little more size may have been nice…or will be going forward.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I’ve been having a major worldview shift on the whole “bigger” thing this season. Can you be more specific about who poses a threat to us because of being “bigger”? And also what you mean, exactly, by “bigger”. I’m beginning to see “must-have-size” as a bit of a nebulous as well as cliched concept.

        • RetroMikey says:

          Read my post below on teams which will “peak”.
          Must have size you need in the NHL, not in the KHL or any European league where hockey is based on speed and skill.

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

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Hm, yeah, saw that below already. What I was hoping for was some names and heights/weights that you believe should make us “be very afraid”.

            Or — and I’m just putting it up to you, not trying to be a punk — are you just repeating an old idea that is now, well, old?

            Because I think the coaches of the teams you mention would be very concerned about meeting the Habs in the playoffs, that they won’t be thinking, “Cinch! We’re bigger.”

            (And I don’t see the NY Giants getting into the last 8!)

      • Cal says:

        The 50s, 60s and 70s Habs Dynasty teams were skillful and tough as nails. The NHL back then was a completely different game with players taking two minute shifts. Compared to today, much of the game was played at a walk. The biggest change was upping the schedule to 70 and then 80+ games, requiring first a 3rd line and then a 4th line, as well as going from 4 D up to 6.

        These days, with armour pads, the NHL game has evolved again into shot blocking festivals. Bigger players with a lot of skill are rare.

  33. JF says:

    One of the great things about the Habs this year is how well they rebound after a bad game. Not that there have been many of those (I count only about three really bad ones), but even a so-so game calls for a bounce-back effort. Gionta admitted that the team was thrown off balance in the Philly game by the injury to Plekanec and never really recovered. After a day to digest the injury, they were ready to go last night. Eller had a solid game and Therrien’s juggled lines were as effective as most things he’s tried this season.

    Drewiske looks good so far. A hiccup here and there, but strong on the puck, wins battles, and makes good passes. I’d like to hear an interview with him; I bet he’s just happy to be playing.

    I love how Galchenyuk is being handled, and the patience everyone (including the fans) is showing towards him. The kid has elite skills, but he is nineteen years old and made the NHL after a sometimes devastating injury and half a season in Junior. He has more scope playing his natural position, but I think Therrien is right to protect him, and I imagine that will continue next year, with time both at centre and on the wing.

    As for our potential logjam at centre, I can see the team going with the same group next year and then making a trade. If Eller continues to develop, Desharnais is the guy I can see being moved, with Galchenyuk eventually taking over the top spot. I like Gabriel Dumont as a fourth-line centre.

    On Michael Ryder: I think we should keep him. He’s a natural scorer, of which at the moment we have no others. Yes, he’s inconsistent and his defensive game leaves something to be desired, but he’s scored thirty goals in all but one season, and he’s on pace for thirty again if this were a full season. He’s also very good in the playoffs. If he becomes redundant in a couple of years, I’m sure Bergevin will find a way to trade him.

    The Jets did not really offer much last night, but it must be tough to tumble from third to tenth in the space of a few hours with the crazy ranking system the League has. I can’t see them making the playoffs. The team I’d like to see make it is the Islanders. John Tavares and Mark Streit deserve it, they’re an exciting team to watch, and they’ve been fairly consistent this season.

    • Clay says:

      I agree about the Isles (and everything else you wrote, really!). I was saying below that the Isles would scare me to play in the first round actually. So much talent there.
      As for Ryder, his situation was also being discussed below…he may be hard to sign to a shorter term deal due to his age, and someone will likely overpay for him. But I hope we can get at least 2 more years of him here on the Habs. I might even like 3…but 4 years? Not sure it’s worth it. But as you say; a trade is possible – as we saw with Cole.

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

    • I agree for the moist part, GM Bergevin made three really good accusations this past season, it completely turned this team around. However at 33 how does Ryder fit in? He is at the stage of career where you get what you can when his stock is high. I love him, he’s a fellow Islander living on the wrong island 🙂 But I don’t see him sticking around. He’s gonna want big money, and a long term deal……for now I am just going to enjoy his time here and hope he resigns a two year deal.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures

    • kerrgte says:

      I’m waiting for the ‘peaking at just the right time for the playoffs’ team to emerge.

      Who do you think the dark horses this year ??

      Rangers, Leafs, Devils, Flyers – all have proven themselves dangerous.


      • JF says:

        Rangers I think. Their new players add sandpaper and balance, and they have elite goaltending. Flyers look good at the moment, but their goaltending is still suspect. Same goes for the Leafs, and they’re in trouble if Lupul is gone for any length of time. The Devils look anemic.

      • Curtis O Habs says:

        The Wild.

      • RetroMikey says:

        Leafs, Rangers, Flyers, and Devils.
        They will peak as you say.
        Be very afraid our mighty Habs, the Giants are coming.
        We better be prepared to battle physically if we meet any of these teams.
        No lame excuses that we were tired or too small.
        Someone said speed kills if you have a team with speed and skill.
        We shall see.

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

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    Checked the standings this morning and I see the Capitols are now the 3 seed in the East. I understand the importance of having the division leader in the playoffs (I guess I do anyway) but having them automatically seeded third is a travesty. At the end of the day this team will be seeded higher then a Montreal or a Boston. Give all division leaders the seed based on their point standings. There already getting a break by automatically qualifying for a spot. having that division leader no matter who it is seeded third is just wrong and unfair.

  35. Hobie Hansen says:

    After Emelin got his ass kicked, with the Canadien having a comfortable lead, I’d have liked to see Therrien tell one of the guys to grab a Jets player and start pounding on him.

    Call me old fashioned or a thug but you don’t let someone do that in your own barn with zero response. What was the problem with giving White, Moen or Prust the green light to go and drop the gloves with someone at that point of the game?

    I hate seeing our players beat up!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I thought White should have stepped in.

      • Whitie (home town favourite) was tapped on the shoulder to go and “set the tone” a few times early on in the season, and ended up paying for it by hitting the press box. He probably doesn’t want to go back there for fear of making the same mistakes on the ice. I don’t blame him right now, he’s playing for a new contract and playing fourth line all he should be doing is skating his bajesus off and hitting everything in site. 😆 Oh and a few fights here and there without him starting them. 🙂

        Shane Oliver
        Twitter @Sholi2000
        Custom Sports Figures

    • Habfan17 says:

      Shows what a wanker Kane is, it is easy to fight a guy you know can’t fght due to a previous injury. Why is it some boneheads think that because a player can throw hard checks, he has to fight Last time I looked, hard checks are legal and the bablies that feel they need to fight after taking one, are just big sucks!!


    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      You are old fashioned 🙂

      Truly though, going after someone else, that late in the game with the score well in hand would be a distraction, a thugish play and worst of all … exactly what the Bruins would do.

      Emelin made the decision to go, he wasn’t jumped. He fought as he saw fit and good for him but that was one and done for the game.

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

  36. Psycho29 says:

    If this type of post doesn’t go against the HI/O rule of “behavior that we deem to be offensive”, I don’t know what does. Where are the mods when this crap goes on?

    habsperspective APRIL 5, 2013 AT 1:33 AM:
    “Im not sure if you know, what your issue is. But promise you this, im going to go out of my way to troll your comments, question your character, undoubtedly from this point on.

    See you soon BUDDY, you are going to be my personal bitch, I dont care how many friends you have on this site, cause youve disrespected me the last time without consequence.”

    • HardHabits says:

      I think is habsperspective is hockeyinsiderr. At any rate, whoever the kid is, he’s a tool.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      They get mad after midnight I guess, huh? Glad I go to bed early.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      None. We (‘ve) got your back Psycho 29.

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      1:33 a.m.? Must be the booze talkin`.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It is unfortunate, but LiveBlog nights are becoming almost intolerable. I need to really learn discipline in the use of my personal ignore button, as the quality of some posts/posters can be useless.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Yep. Sometimes you should pay attention to your elders. 🙂

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Are you saying shooting the messenger is okay sometimes?

        “May you live in interesting times.”

        • Clay says:

          Better to shoot the messenger than me. Unless I am the messenger, that is. 😮

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

      • Cal says:

        I am rarely on the site during the live blog. I watch the game and later read through Boone’s off the cuff observations.
        Live reaction to goals against and plays by certain posters here ain’t worth the aggravation.
        ALN is usually a lot better, but still there are too many that post to get a knee jerk reaction from others. An ignore feature would be appropriate, especially because it is ALWAYS the same handles stirring up crap.
        A last word on this: porn names for hockey players aren’t appropriate on this site. If this were a triple-X hockey site, sure, it’s all adults (seemingly). However, I keep looking at the rules posted and wonder why the moderaters don’t follow the site’s directives as to language and behavior.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I would agree. It could be bi-polar inside out with a hint of stupid sometimes

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • neumann103 says:

      I certainly understand your point, but actually prefer if these sorts of outbursts don’t get modded because they provide context. I went back and read the whole sequence to see what set this guy off and it is just bizarre. He doesn’t like Price. Okay. We get it. But then again “when you have seen thousands of hockey games” like him, your opinions must be flawless.

      So if the freakout was openly racist, or someone published threats and another poster’s home address (as actually happened on a boxing forum I frequented) then yes I would want the mods to strike it, but if it mainly shows context for why I should disregard this guy’s posts, I would let it stay.

      “Et le but!”

    • habstrinifan says:

      WOW! A rumble! I’m in. I got your back!

  37. Habfan17 says:

    So, Cole 16 games with Dallas, 4 goals and a minus 9. Ryder,
    17 games with Mtl, 9 goals 8 assists and even. Looks pretty good to me! Eller looked solid again and Galchenyuk pulled some great moves.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      As others have said, I wonder what has happened to Cole. He was arguable the MVP on our squad last year, in a season where nothing went right he provided grit, effort, skill and most of all leadership. I hope he can refind his game. I would love to see him have a big season, as from a Hab perspective we won the trade already with capspace and goal scoring Ryder.

      His provision of credit card for Louis Leblanc to get his parents out to San Jose to watch their sons first NHL game (hope I am correct in my memory) was a wonderful gesture displaying his leadership.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Yes, I am not knocking Cole, I like him as a a player, and loved the high five with the linesman. I too hope he gets things going again.
        I am just saying that Bergevin made a nice move, and there is still the draft pick that they got in the deal.


        • Habfan10912 says:

          Morning 17. That trade sure looks like a home run for MB.

          • Clay says:

            So far, the best trade of the year in the NHL. In my opinion, that is, and pending some of the recent ones that are too early to judge.

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

          • Habfan17 says:

            Morning 10912. It sure does. Now MB will have a tough time this summer deciding what to do, At least it is from a good place rather than last season.


          • Lafleurguy says:

            For immediate results, agree with you Clay but man did Buffalo ever get alot (just goofin’ around) for Jason Pominville.

            “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Curtis O Habs says:

        Bergevin and Therrien recognized a problem with Cole and I don`t think it was just his contract. Kudos to them for making the move. Perhaps they figured Cole`s back was or would be an issue.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        I’m just goofin’ around here, but one man’s San Jose is another man’s Anaheim! Thinking about it, Cole’s case is a good example of sports psychology. Entering last season, he was probably super-pumped, biggest payday ever, the most storied franchise in hockey history….

        This pre-season, labor-strife, intense personal immersion, indiscretion in disrespecting a veteran NHLPA member (the pre-Drewiske no. 44), and lingering memories of a dismal team performance last year despite his own remarkable season means his mindset was not primed for as much success.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

      • CanadienBoy says:

        Last night at l’anti Darche mention something about Cole atitude and quickly change topic ,something there that we don,t know

        • neumann103 says:

          That could be fascinating to hear since Darche had inside perspective on the NHL negotiating committee and the Hab’s room. I wonder if Darche was given the NHLPA mission of reaching out to Cole and encouraging him to tone it down during the lockout (see “Puck Bettman” hats). Fehr took huge steps to make sure that all players were -and appeared to be- informed and engaged so they avoided heavy handed silencing, but there must have been some intense behind the scenes efforts to de-escalate.

          I always liked Cole in Carolina. I thought he was the best available Free Agent to fill the specific need the Habs had for a top 6 scoring winger with size, speed and veteran presence and was delighted by his performance last year. At the time of his signing I opined that paying a bit too much for a bit too long to get exactly what they needed was true value (see: Prust, B) so I am releived that the Habs got out of what could be the back end of that contract, but I hope that Cole gets it together in Dallas and returns to form.

          “Et le but!”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Very interesting question you pose, wonder if Darche one day elaborates. Good point you brought up Canadien Boy!

      • habstrinifan says:

        Well said HabinBurlington!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      There is a mental aspect of the game that is often overlooked for the physical aspect. Recently, Scott Gomez was a very good example of this. At first glance his speed and skill still seemed intact but he seemed to have lost that competitive edge. Cole may be suffering from the same. Cole even talked about it prior to the season and after the lockout was settled. Doesn’t make him any less of a person in my book. Hope he recaptures his spirit or finds comfort somewhere else. A good guy in my eyes.

  38. Curtis O Habs says:

    Classy Evandaer Kane attempts to smash Emelin with his helmet. Nice attempt to injure, loser.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      It sure looked like he heaved the helmet at Emelin to me. Might be hard to prove though. Was a little disappointed in White for not coming to Emelin’s defense.

    • Clay says:

      Too bad though, but he plays for the Blues now, so can’t care that much. I will always appreciate what he did for this team though. Always gave his best when he played. And for 2 rounds that was a magical playoff run.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I feel the same Clay. What a run it was. I hope he can find his health and have a good career.

        • Clay says:

          Yeah, I definitely wish him all the success in the world – except when/if he plays the Habs.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Halak was brilliant in that magnificent playoff run. As a Hab fan I will always have fond memories of that time. It may be time for the fans who chose Halak over Price to admit they were wrong and Gainey was right. Halak appears to have issues standing the day to day grind of an NHL starting goaltending. I know it hurts to admit defeat but please find comfort inknowing you will always be welcome back into the Price fold.

    • showey47 says:

      Last week one of the st.louis sports announcers said he is a candidate for a compliace buyout.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Wow that seems unfathomable, he has played well for them in general, but just cannot buy a break from a health perspective.

      • neumann103 says:

        Not meaning to attack the messenger but that makes absolutely no sense.

        Unless the Blues suddenly got new owners who want to spend, St Louis sports announcers must be dim.

        The Blues are currently 29th in payroll in the NHL as defined by cap hit. And that is after adding Bouwmeester and his ridiculous contract. I suppose if you accounted for things like Tim Thomas “with” the Islanders the Blues might be 27th or 28th in actual salary but the point is they are a cheap, Cap floor skirting team.

        Teams like that will not use any compliance buyouts because they are nowhere close to needing any cap space.

        Next year will be the last on Halak’s contract. The parsimonious Blues owners will not pay him an actual $4.5M cash money to go away in order to save $3.75M of cap space they will not need or use.

        “Et le but!”

  39. SlovakHab says:

    Hang on, yesterday I read here that Habs are too small and that small teams get tired easily?
    Today I see they are 6-1-1 in the second games of back to back.

    Anyway, I am so stoked for this team. While I don’t expect the Stanley Cup just yet, this is the best regular season in a long time. Playoffs will be interesting.

    One team that I don’t want to face in the 1st round is Philadelphia. NJ, Toronto, Winnipeg and New York I am okay with.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      We have a very reactionary fan base don’t we Slovak? Philadelphia has seemed to find their game recently. The same may be said for Washington as well.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good post.
      Wouldn’t mind meeting Boston first round.
      If the post-Gaborik Rangers play like they did against Pittsburgh for the next 2 weeks, they become a team I don’t want to meet in the first round.

    • Clay says:

      It’s the Isles that scare me. We just always seem to play poorly against them, and they have a lot of firepower.
      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • HardHabits says:

      This is the best regular season since 1993. Yes even better than Carbo’s Conference Banner. The reason being is that Carbo’s team relied on the PP, PK and goaltending to get there. This team is winning 5 on 5 hockey and has much more organizational depth.

      Can’t see Bergevin dropping a 1st and a 2nd on a one year rental in a Tanguay type player over the summer either.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        HH is dead on. The 5 on 5 play of this team has been fantastic. I’ve noticed the puck support for this team has been as good as any team in the league. System? More talented players? Work ethic? Attitude? Probably a combination of all of those.

      • Cal says:

        A great season thus far, HH, for all the reasons you stated. Habs haven’t been this good 5 on 5 in a donkey’s age. (and that’s one ooooooooold donkey!)

    • ed says:

      it was Michel Bergeron on Antichambre who said the Habs were a small team and he’s not surprised small teams get tired. Boone referenced Bergeron in his text.

      Philadelphia is not an easy place to play hockey. They might not be doing well this year, but the Flyers were dominating us for that one night; 1st on the puck, controlling the play, going hard to the net.

      The team showed resiliency last night and bounced back very nicely from that loss in Philly.

      There is no doubt in my mind that the Habs, if healthy, can compete for a Cup this season.

      Until it is proven otherwise, I believe.

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    For those who continue to think Eklund has an ounce of integrity, here is an analysis recently done on his rumour mongering.


    Seems pretty evident there is no reason to give Eklund or the HockeyInsiderr any credit.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Gerald. Didn’t someone already blow the lid of this hockeyinsiderr guy? Thought I heard he was a kid in Quebec.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yes indeed, but every day it seems we are privileged with new guests who perhaps aren’t aware of the false prophets out there.

        • HardHabits says:

          I have a feeling that hockeyinsiderr has opened a few pseudonym accounts here but has been unceremoniously belittled into disappearance on many an occasion.

          The reality is this, neither Eklund nor hockeyinsiderr have any inside info. They are about as far away from knowing what is happening before it happens than even you or I.

          Then again, I have my Magic H-Ball.

    • thebonscott says:

      i only go there to read eric engels post game report, i can’t understand why he is associated with hockeybuzz though, he seems to be half decent writer, he should go to eyesontheprize

      Buck the Fruins.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree, there are actually a few good bloggers on that site, Steven Hindle does some good Habs/Caps writeups, and the fellow for the Sabres seems pretty good as well. Eklund is the source of my venom. 🙂

    • habstrinifan says:

      ” Insiderr decided to break from trade rumors and focus on medical rumors for a day last week. On March 30, a day after Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby took a puck to the face in a game, Insiderr reported that Crosby (who was still in the hospital) would be back in action in time for the next game, and that he did not suffer a broken jaw. Not long thereafter, the Penguins announced Crosby had suffered a broken jaw and would be out indefinitely.”

      This was one of the stupendously stoooopid tweets by HockeyyInsiderr, which he did with an emphatic “my sources tell me”.

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting referee calls last night, the Jets scored what I think should have or could have been ruled a good goal, but it was negated by goalie interference. Seems to me Gorges pushed the apparent perpetrator into Budaj, and perhaps Gorges himself interfered with the goalie most significantly. Then in the Leafs game, the Flyer player skates past Reimer and catches the butt end of the goalie stick and begins to spin him around as the shot approaches resulting in a goal. No interference and a big goal is scored.

    Two different games, two different calls and both perhaps affected the outcomes of each game.

    Edit: Both outcomes provided results I was pleased with. 😉

    • Clay says:

      I agree; that should have been a goal. And it was an important part of the game. Poor reffing there – I’m glad we were on the right end of it.

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

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Not as “lucky” as the Rangers incident where Dan Girardi accidently elbowed Lundqvist and the refs called one on the other team. And also, second among Habs lucky moments to the disallowed Ottawa goal way back when people thought the Habs were non-playoff contenders.

      Hey Burly, thanks for setting a nice tone and atmosphere on the site on this and lots of other days.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Fansincebirth says:

      From what I saw in the overhead shot, the Jet player was in the crease and when Budaj tried to slide over to make the save, he was impeded by the Jet player, thus no goal.

      No penalty, goal disallowed for being in the blue paint when the puck went in the net….

  42. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Sportsnet is running the ultimate Toronto headline : “Maple Leafs lose Lupul in costly loss…” .
    They managed to get “to lose” into the same sentence twice.

    That’s pathetic.

  43. 24 Cups says:

    Some Hab fans have stated that the Habs should re-sign Budaj and Ryder.

    No problem with Budaj although he will probably want two years. I can live with that seeing the team has limited options.

    As for Ryder, you might want to consider the Erik Cole factor. Ryder is now 33 and will command four years at 20M. Two years from now young players such as Kristo and Collberg may be knocking at the door. Or the team may wish to bring in someone who can do more than just be a one dimensional goal scorer.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Valuable perspective.
      Just glad I’m not GM! If Ryder were to keep potting them, I would find my resistance to one-dimensional players weakening….

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It certainly is a dilemma for our GM Steve. Ryder has done a wonderful job this season in doing what he does best, score goals and get points. I am leaning the same direction as yourself, as I can’t see Ryder giving a huge home town discount, and he can’t be blamed for that. This is his chance to cash in for what is most likely his last large contract, and the numbers he is putting up this year will warrant it.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Gerald – The recent history of the two lockouts plus the need for some GMs to go for the quick fix pretty well dictates that Ryder will get a fat contract. And why shouldn’t he? After all, it’s a great business decision on his part.

        As for home discounts, I can’t think of too many examples. Brodeur being one of the more obvious ones.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Very few hockey players, and people in general, are averse to “bad” contracts a la Roberto Luongo.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Clay says:

      We should make a push at Ryder for 2 years at a little more – $5.5 – 6 mil. Worth a shot…and if not, sad to see him go.

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

    • SlovakHab says:

      They are both very likeable. Budaj would be a good backup for a couple of years, and Tokarski looks like a capable no.3 goalie with upside.

      Ryder… I would love him to stay, just like I really liked Wiz or Mark Streit. Good, likeable guys. We’ll see what happens, but anything over 2 years might be a burden for this team moving forward.
      Having said that, Gionta’s contract is up next season, and we can’t let both go and have just youngsters on the RW.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I would trade Gionta during the off season, see who may be available as UFA’s, then decide on Ryder. If he would take a two year deal at $4.5 million/year, then I would take the chance, at least then if it didn’t work out, he would be tradeable in year two.
        That would leave room for Kristo or another player who may be ready for the 3rd line. Gallagher will be on one of the top two lines.


    • Cal says:

      This shortened season is skewing a lot of things. I can’t argue with Ryder’s production, but watching the young Oilers get schooled last night after an explosion of offense the night before convinces me more than ever that NHL experience and playoff experience is a valuable thing. Ryder was a big time scorer for the Gooins Cup run and even saved their series against us blocking that empty net try by Gionta. If we can get him for two years at $5 mil, I say go for it.


      • 24 Cups says:

        Cal & 17 – I can’t see Ryder’s agent letting him sign for two years. That would mean his next contract would be a +35 deal. Now is the time for Ryder to hit paydirt.

  44. HabinBurlington says:

    Watching Emelin get involved in skirmishes/fights has me wondering about a couple things. I think Emelin realizes that as a result of the style which he plays he may be required time to time to answer the bell per se. I don’t think he should have to do this often, but we have all watched hockey for years, and unfortunately there seems to be “code”. The dman who takes big runs/hits at players has to stand up for himself on occasion. We often comment on this as it relates to Dion Phaneuf, however, I do believe Dion is much more a headshot oriented hitter, and loves to pick on smallish players.

    I am not sure I am explaining myself well, but I do wonder if on occasion PK needs to do the same thing? This is not meant as an attack on PK but rather posing the question.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Daruis Kasparaitus made a long career out of hitting and not fighting. Bryan Marchment submarined a lot, fought seldom Ulf Samuelsson rarely fought. Not classy examples, but there they are. Currently, Niklas Kronwall does a lot of hitting, and seldom fights. I think P.K. is a bad fighter and why risk a broken hand or Tom Kotsopoulos’s plight?

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I understand what your saying, and I do not want to see PK becoming a regular combatant. Having said that, Marchment had 148 fights in his career, he however, was a very dirty player. It just seems to me that other players have to answer the bell for some of PK’s antagonizing. Perhaps on the rarest of occasions he should answer. I think specifically of the Flyer game, when Braydon Schenn was looking for some trouble. B Schenn is not the fighter his brother is and even if not an actual fight, he should be able to handle himself.

  45. Bash says:

    Interesting that it was Jay Rosehill who parlayed the pinball hit on Lupul. An old truculent Leaf comes back to haunt his former team.

    The injury list for many teams is becoming the focal point of a condensed season. And the players who are hurt are often first and second liners. Depth becomes your real strength.

    Who will ice a healthy lineup for the playoffs?

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  46. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Gees, you EDST guys are up early! And straight to HIO. Don’t you go running or anything, eat breakfast? Go to work? Feed the canary?

    Cal did you see I saw the Rogers and Hammerstein re-mash? I loved it, and so would they. You elevated it to a new aesthetic stratosphere.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It’s Boone’s fault, love to wake up after a win and read the About Last Night column, and of course we also get the bonus edition from UCe who provides a colourful description of the game as well. It’s like opening the Morning Paper. CHeers Mike, my buddy and his wife just got back from Ireland. His wife is born and raised there and is fortunate enough to be a St. Paddy baby, so they went back home for her 50th this year.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I laugh but I am the very same!
        Hope your friends enjoyed their trip and that RipOff Ireland hasn’t left them bankrupt! And that they brought you whiskey.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Would be even earlier without daylight saving time adjustment. Used to switch times at the end of April.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  47. Ferguson-22 says:

    It’s a real team effort all around this year. For the Habs players of course but there is also a great team of coaches behind MT and a great management team behind MB. Go Habs!,/b>

    • The Cat says:

      I think this year the habs have an irreproachable work ethic, so I think MT deserves a lot of credit for that.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  48. Danno says:

    I sorta miss the way The Count would stick his hands in his pockets FIRMLY as he would look up and stare at the clock while we were losing another game in the third period – NOT! –


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

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting to listen to Carlyle discussing Lupul’s status. Lupul had no balance after the hit, which one would think is pretty clearly a concussion, yet Carlyle goes on to talk about how Lupul felt good after the game.

    Just seems to be a trivial way of approaching what can be a devastating injury to an important part of their team.

  50. skillswithgritandviolenceforthecup says:

    Management can make 1 simple move that should help out..take moen or blunden outta the lineup..call up Ian Shultz from bulldogs and play that warrior 5-6 mins. Put him on with emelin and prust and we will see magic happen. We are gonna lose emelin one of these days from injury in a fight..prust is too valuable to scrap and we need to earn respect from other teams. Evander k has been in 3 fights this season…isn’t it ironic he fights against the habs? We need an enforcer or goon for just that purpose. Injuries, cheap shots, slashes, beatdowns…bring em on! We need this type of hockey to get through the playoffs 🙂

    • Cal says:


      Ian Schultz is in the ECHL and can’t skate.
      Moen played a smart game last night, doing the spade work for Ryder’s 2nd goal last night and Chucky’s goal. Slashing and fighting doesn’t win hockey games. What that line did last night, scoring, does.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      It’s good to keep up with the team for posting purposes. Cal’s post was dead on – the man’s in the East Coast league. If I recall, he’s been there for awhile.

      The call for goons is endless, like the howls of back alley cats in Springtime, but the team just keeps winning by having guys who can skate and score.
      Someday, a new Lyle Odelein will put on his cloak and ride in from the west, fixing his baleful stare on the Bruins, but for now, you’re stuck with watching hockey players and managing x-box teams if you want violence for the Cup.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Schultz cannot play in the NHL.
      End. Of. Story.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  51. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Great win last night. I think Evander Kane should get a suspension for attempting to hit Emelin with his helmet. That was completely classless & Bruin-esque.

  52. HabinBurlington says:

    Enjoyed the diagrams, would like to see a backdoor zone for Markov’s patented powerplay goals.

    Good game for Habs, against an opponent who should have been playing desperate hockey like the Flyers, but didn’t.

  53. HabFanSince72 says:


    I’ve been reading your liveblog to keep up with Habs games while in a very different time zone. It’s great.

    Good job and I hope you’re making good $$ from this site.

  54. HabFanSince72 says:

    What is the proper stance to take – ethically speaking – with respect to Patrice Bergeron’s 4th concussion?

    I once saw a guy driving on a scooter turn his head to look at a woman on the sidewalk. He looked too long and crashed into the vehicule in front of him, fell forward, and looked hurt ( not too badly but they still called an ambulance).

    If I was that woman I would have been concerned for the scooter driver but not displeased at the situation, on balance.

    I believe that is the proper stance to take, re: Mr Bergeron’s injury.

    • Clay says:

      hahaha! Yeah, that sounds about right. I like the cut of your jib.

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

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Seeing as I have Patrice Bergeron injured, as well as Ryan Getzlaf, Tomas Plekanec, and Max Pacioretty who gave me a scare, all on my fantasy team, my stance is even more conflicted than yours.

      And if you think that’s bad when it comes to injuries, I also had Erik Karlsson as my first-round draft pick.

      Right now, P.K., who I got cheap in the seventh round or so, is doing all the heavy lifting.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Afraid I’m soft on injuries, don’t like any of them (occasionally catch myself thinking “He who lives by the sword”etc when a dirty player goes down).

      But that said, I love your scenario, 72!

      Is this relevant?

      During the homily at Sunday mass, a lady in the choir gallery falls forward and is only prevented from falling all the way down onto the crowded pews below by her foot getting caught in the railing.

      She is left swinging, suspended upside down with her skirt hanging down around her head.

      The priest shouts: “May God strike blind any man who turns around to look up at the legs of that unfortunate woman!”

      A man in the pew turns winking to his friend and says, “Don’t know about you Paddy, but I think I’ll risk one eye.”

  55. Clay says:

    Was it just me, or was DD channeling his inner Gomez tonight? Lots of floating, and the occasional sortie into the offensive zone, only to lose the puck before making any sort of play. He needs to pull his head out of his nether regions, and start earning the contract he signed.
    No complaints other than him though. That was a solid game against a team we should have had no problems with. I think what impressed me most was that Galchenyuk showed some flashes of the brilliant player we all think he will become.

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

  56. rhino514 says:

    If they play Galchenyuk on the wing next year they are making a terrible mistake. Don´t screw up the kid.

    • HaBo says:

      I think they want to make sure he’s truly ready for center at this level before they keep him there full time.

      Btw, doesn’t Drewiske look solid out there! He’s a bit slow but he’s played an excellent all round game; finds the open man and his passes have been right on the mark. I can see him being resigned for a year or two bec he plays w alot more confidence and strength than Tinordi and Pateryn. In fact, he plays exactly as I’ve envisioned Pateryn would probably be like though Pateryn
      prob has alot more offensive upside.

    • Cal says:

      Remember which team he was playing against. He’s at center only because Pleks is hurt.


  57. Un Canadien errant says:

    Love the Canadiens’ rink diagram. How long before it’s printed out and posted in the dressing room? The boys will have fun with that. Below is a slightly cleaner image than provided by Mr. Boone, stolen from Propwash, who stoled it from somewheres else.


    We talk a lot about the pressures of playing hockey nowadays, with the huge contracts and unrelenting media attention, plus social media which allow fans to smother/berate their heroes, but how cool is it for these guys to have fun on Twitter, and have contact with fans, and laugh at Down Goes Brown and these charts, for example.

    An unfortunate typo reads that there is a “Ryder Snipping Range”, instead of a sniping range. Snipping range sounds painful somehow.

    Love the Highway 76 and Highway 81 too. Michel Therrien must love it, the fans are doing his coaching for him.



  58. Un Canadien errant says:

    We can see tonight’s game as exposition to some of the issues the Canadiens face in terms of building the team for the next couple of years.

    Let’s start with my favourite hobby horse this season, but in a good way compared to last season, and discuss P.K. Subban. He didn’t have an eye-catching night like he had against the Flyers, but his ordinary performance was still good enough to net him two assists and vault him into the points lead for defencemen despite having missed the start of the season due to his contract negotiations. Which is leading a lot of Chicken Littles to freak out that he’s surely going to be a Norris Trophy finalist, which leads them to argue that not signing P.K. to a Tyler Myers/Drew Doughty-style second contract, but rather the very modest bridge contract he received, is a huge mistake and will cost the team way more money in the long run. To which I reply that P.K. is not an automaton, performing in a sterile, controlled environment. He’s an emotional, impulsive, impressionable kid, who still needs a lot of direction and support. To hand him the keys to the city after the uneven performance of last season would most probably have been the wrong move to make.

    We can refer again to Messrs. Myers and Doughty as being kids who didn’t have to earn it, and were possibly ill-served by their munificient contracts at such an early point in their career. Unless a player is a full-formed superstar and team leader by the time their first contract expires (Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews), it’s not wise to put all this pressure on them and remove some of their incentive to continue working on their game.

    When P.K.’s turn comes to come to the cash window and get paid, sometime during next season probably, he’ll be a couple years better, wiser, and we’ll be happy to pay full price for a fledgling superstar, but one who is much closer to his apogee. To have rewarded him for last season’s rollercoaster ride would have been a gamble for the team, and the returns uncertain. Now, instead of picking a growth stock and hoping it pays off, we’ll buy a blue chip stock, pay more, but rake in the dividends for a decade.

    Michael Ryder is another player who’s playing for a big contract. He’s an Unrestricted Free Agent in July unless the Canadiens ink him, and he’s making a big push in that direction. Two goals and one assist tonight bring him to a point a game since he joined the team. As Gaston Therrien says on l’Antichambre, he’s the kind of player who has to score, since he doesn’t hit or play defence, so he’s doing that. The question now is whether the Canadiens can afford to pay him what he’ll be worth in July, or afford to let him walk.

    I’m afraid that this will be a James Wisniewski situation, where a player brought in to play a specific role does it excellently, but then prices himself out of the team’s salary structure. Some team out there will want to shower him with $5M/year for five years or more, and that’s too rich for our blood. They’ll use the Mikhail Grabovski and Ryan O’Reilly deals as comparables, and we’ll take the long view and reason that we’d regret that contract in the third year or so. What if his enthusiasm/motivation lags once he’s set, like happened to Erik Cole this year?

    Alex Galchenyuk played at centre tonight, a happy result of the unfortunate injury to Tomas Plekanec. Michel Therrien was quite clear in his post-game remarks that the organization and coaching staff are very aware that he’s a centreman, and that he played more freely due to having more ice to play with, but also tempered that by stating that he’s also quite young and being developed with care, noting that he could be playing junior this year and next. Again, Gaston Therrien summarized what has been hashed over online by fans for a couple seasons now, noting that the Canadiens have four centres who are offensively-minded and not really a fit for fourth-line duty, and a decision will need to be made next season.

    What that decision will be is a humdinger of a dilly (sorry, I was exposed to too many shots of Ned Flanders’ image on Peter Budaj’s mask). Lars Eller was moved to the top line and acquitted himself very well in Tomas Plekanec’s stead, tallying two assists on the powerplay and shutting down the Jets man-advantage along with the other penalty killers. Marc Bergevin told how Lars Eller is the player he was receiving the most calls about from other GM’s when he took the job. Obviously, these sly customers were trying to buy low on the kid, and that won’t be possible anymore, the secret’s out that he’s big and talented and getting better as the season advances. Lars just needs to find that extra gear. He can still be indecisive, either with the puck, or with his fists as he demonstrated against the Flyers. His tilt with Claude Giroux seemed to take him by surprise, he did nothing to dissuade his opponent, but once he was in it he responded late. Next time I would expect that when a pipsqueak like Mr. Giroux takes liberties, that Lars slaps him down.

    Which brings us to Alexei Emelin, who got into a fight again, with another tough customer, taking on Evander Kane after last tangling with Zdeno Chara. Alexei has to make up his mind. If he’s not going to fight, he needs to turn away from the tiresome post-whistle scrums, not ‘front’ players and crosscheck them. He can play tough but fair and refuse invitations to fight. If he’s going to fight, which we’re told he can’t because of previous facial reconstruction surgery, but anyway if he does, then he needs to fight, instead of dropping the gloves and half-turtling and just trying to survive. It has to be one or the other. If he’s a long-term piece on defence, he needs to play solid defence, hit the opposition, and grow his sneaky offensive game, but he can’t start fights that he can’t finish, because that job then falls onto other players. The Canadiens don’t have any gorillas who can take up that slack, we can’t have any of our players do unto others, then split.

    Brian Gionta has attracted some muted criticism from fans this season for being short. That’s about the, ahem, size of it. He’s quietly done the job expected of him, which is to work tirelessly, be the quiet selfless leader, and score some goals, which he has, potting another one tonight on a deflection while he was screening Ondrej Pavelec, and eleven so far this season, and being fifth in team scoring. His size, however, and the size of his contract, are like a red flag for fans with Bruins issues, and they fantasize about trading him away. Of course, his No Trade Clause is a bit of a hurdle, as well as the fact that he’s done everything that’s been asked of him. Expect Mr. Gionta to at least finish out his contract with the team.

    So a big two-pointer, the team needed this win, which was backstopped by Peter Budaj, who split the back-to-back with Carey. Much was made of the decision Michel Therrien took to start him at the New Forum, and how nice it was to allow him to play in front of family members who traveled from Slovakia to visit. I’m starting to wonder about the guy, I had my doubts about him last season. We were told how he didn’t have a full-time goalie coach with the Avalanche, and what a hard worker he was, and that he was a perfect backup. We can now see all that work and coaching paying off, he’s more solid, visibly more assured in front of the net than last season’s early adventures. He improved at the end, and we gave him the benefit of the doubt, but now I’m wondering whether he’s doing too well. Will he also be in line for a big raise in July? One we can’t afford on a backup goalie?

    Looking at CagGeek, his $1.15M salary is right in line with clear backups like Martin Biron and Johan Hedberg, veterans who don’t have any pretensions to the #1 spot. He has a good, productive, supportive relationship with Carey Price, clearly accepts his role, and is unfailingly described as a hard worker who’ll put in the extra minutes before and after practice. He’s well liked by his teammates, and seems to have gained the confidence of the coaching staff, a big improvement over last season, when we felt we were conceding a game when starting him in nets. Let’s hope that the Canadiens can treat him fairly and retain him, we need a guy like that, to spell Carey, and heaven forfend, step in and play competently if he’s injured.

    Up next, the dirty Bruins, who since Patrice Bergeron is injured and off their roster, have absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsover. Let’s hope we can skate them into submission and run circles around aging mastodon Zdeno Chara.



    • jols101 says:

      Great read. Well done.

    • HaBo says:

      Many excellent points. I can see Eller taking over Plek’s eventually, ie. in 3 to 4 years, bec he’s going to be a really good 2-way player at some point but I wonder if he may eventually have to be sacrificed in a trade for a big, robust yet talented winger some day.

      I dream of getting Simmonds on the Habs some day however Phily doesn’t really need centers but god I love Simmonds play;
      he’s exactly what we need !

    • Buzz Lightbeer says:

      Fantastic read.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Good stuff UCE.

      Ryder’s two best career years are this year and last year. $5M for 5 years would be acceptable to me.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great perception and expression as ever, UCE.

      If those are plausible figures re Ryder, let’s see how he goes in the playoffs. If he keeps scoring, he makes the decision a tough one for MB.

      I wonder is it the case with Emelin that he simply has a fighter’s instinct — or maybe just that he’s always played that way — and he isn’t finding the self-control he needs to protect his reconstructed face. I wonder would Dr Recchi post some thoughts here on what exactly the hazards are of receiving blows to a face held together with a plate. Presumably Emelin’s surgeon wouldn’t be encouraging it. Have to say, I love the way he hits big players.

      Re. Cole: do we know “his enthusiasm/motivation lags”? Maybe that’s all that happened this year, and it can happen. But I just find it so hard to square with the incredible work-rate and competitiveness he played with last year in dire circumstances. The huge gratitude I still feel for him for last year makes it very hard for me to believe that he just lost interest. It would be easier to think there must have been some difficulty in his life off-ice. Whichever, I hope he sorts it. Great guy.

      Good thoughts on Gionta. Which brings up size and Boston: how I would love to see the Habs annihilate the Bruins in front of the home crowd Saturday, something like 5-0. I simply don’t believe that Boston is the superior team, nor that we need concern ourselves with their so-called size — of hugely overinflated value in many imaginations. I would love a result that puts that irrational argument to rest, or at least on indefinite hold.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Thanks for the good morning read UCE.

    • HardHabits says:

      Your articles are infinitesimally more readable when you use player’s full names rather than the Pierre Goatian Mr. LastName.

      I think it’s fair to say that I agree with your PK Subban assessment as I have been saying the same in rebuttal to Bill’s recent comments on the matter.

      Very good read. Thx.

  59. The Juice says:

    Habs are now 6-1-1 in second game of B2B’s…


    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  60. jols101 says:

    Since Halak has become an injury-prone backup in St.Louis and Lars Eller makes the trade look more and more lopsided in the Habs favor with every game he plays, something interesting is happening at HI/O.

    Halakalites have abandoned the Price vs Halak debate because even with their distorted view they can no longer make any sensible argument without being mocked and ridiculed.

    The new approach – Price vs Budaj – create a goal tending controversy.
    The problem is this is even more laughable then Halak being the better goalie. There will never be a goal tending controversy between Price and Budaj. Budja has, however, proven to be a trustworthy backup and has probably earned a contract extension. Price is and will be the Habs # 1 goalie for many years to come. Deal with it haters. He isn’t going anywhere.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Price vs. Budaj, how ridiculous. I saw that on the Liveblog thread, and have now relegated the blue square poster to the ‘ignore’ file. Perspective indeed.

      • Clay says:

        True – there is no question as to who the starter is. Price is certainly playing very well this year. However, I do think Budaj could play a little more often. He’s earned a few more starts with his solid play, and can help Price be well rested for the playoffs.

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

    • HardHabits says:

      Halak played himself into the starting role a few years back. I fully supported it at the time and was saddened when he was traded. It’s pretty obvious now that the Habs kept the right goalie and the Eller trade is looking better by the day. Budaj is playing solid as Price’s back-up. It’s actually comforting to know that if and when Carey falters that Budaj can step in and kick ass. It is much more comforting to know that Price is a Hab and is their #1 goalie, because let’s face it, he is one of the best in the world today and he hasn’t yet hit his stride. The blue icon guy should call himself lacksperpsective.

  61. HabFanSince72 says:

    We laughed at the Bruins when Iggy snubbed them, but it might turn out OK for them. They apparently gave up a lot less for Jagr than they were offering for Iggy, and Jagr just might do the trick for them.

    Nonetheless, with Trevor Timmins making the decisions, 2nd and 3rd round picks are worth a lot more for us than they are for other teams. I am happy we kept those picks.

    Check out his 2nd and 3rd round choices (starting in 2003 – his first draft). Normally no more than one third to one quarter of these players become NHL regulars. About 2/3 of his picks in rounds 2 and 3 have become regulars.


  62. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    Whatever his faults, Martin took this team further than they had been in years, beating the President’s Trophy winners and the defending SC champions consecutively. And in the second year, his severely undermatched team gave the Cup winners the hardest series they encountered in the entire playoffs.

    Not saying he was great or was gonna get the job done, but come on, a little perspective please.

  63. Propwash says:

    Timo, still mad bruh?? 😉


    • Timo says:

      Lets just say I will hold off buying parade tickets.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Timo’s recent rants brought this Seinfeld line to mind:

      “You know you really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn’t even help you. You need to go to like Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the University level. Like where Freud studied and have all those people looking at you and checking up on you. That’s the kind of help you need. Not the once a week for eighty bucks. No. You need a team. A team of psychiatrists working round the clock thinking about you, having conferences, observing you, like the way they did with the Elephant Man. That’s what I’m talking about because that’s the only way you’re going to get better.”

  64. Timo says:

    So is the parade back on?

    It was an OK game. Defense still to be desired, but Budaj in means a win can we just ride that puppy please?

    Most of the Habs played fine but I just can’t stand Desharnais. The guy doesn’t do anything useful out there in any aspect of the game. It’s too bad Therrien’s meritocracy doesn’t extend to some players. I mean, honestly, would Galchenyuk do any worse centering that line when Bourque and Plekanec are back?

    And I never remember Pacioretty being such a perimeter player… Maybe Desharnais is sucking a life out of him (not an excuse) but for a dude his size, Paciorrety needs to have his rear and parked in front of opposition goalies and know defensemen down like dominos.

    Oh well… let’s see what happens on Saturday. I imagine Price will be back in.

  65. The Teacher says:

    As much as I love subban. I think karlsson gives him a run for his money. Letang ain’t too shabby either.

    • Bill says:

      Honestly wouldn’t trade Subban for either Karlsson or Letang. Wonder if Pittsburgh and Ottawa would feel the same way. We can never know.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      PK is a combination of skating ability, power (point shot), quick passes, stick handling ability, physicality (strong guy, very hard to knock off the puck) and hitter (clean, too).

      Very rare, and more valuable, I say, than Letang and Karlsson who are great, but don’t have PK’s strength and ability to hit.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      You know, it’s great that we can now envision this sanely, debate which is going to be the best D-man in the league. I grew up with the Big Three, and guys who weren’t too shabby and had cool names like John Van Boxmeer and Jean-Claude Tremblay, but since Chris Chelios and Eric Desjardins, it’s been slim pickings. We had the great year of Sheldon Souray, and Andrei Markov has flown under the radar for many years in the discussion of best defenceman, it seems that whenever his Q-rating was getting there he’d get injured again. Now we have a kid who’s got all the tools and will be a stalwart on the blue line for the next decade.



  66. The Teacher says:

    I love that propwash!!!

  67. PeterD says:

    PK is now at 30 pts after tonights game.
    Could be his highest scoring season in half a season of games …not bad for the kid.

  68. Propwash says:

    @Boone, here is the Habs version of the NHL rink!



  69. Garbo says:

    Boston has yet to win a game when 1st place in the division is on the line. Montreal will continue that tradition and beat them on saturday.

  70. Habilis says:

    PK Subban is not only in the process of playing his way into Norris contention. IMO, he is playing his way onto the Canadian Olympic team as well.

    If he continues to play at this level, he’s a lock for Sochi.

    PS: Boone, PK now has 30 pts.

  71. Propwash says:

    Lookit that, an ALN!


  72. RobertLefebvre says:

    Logged in saw the Martin picture. Almost had a heart attack!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.