About last night …

martin_jacques640_640

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.

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And this from Propwash:

NewChart

474 Comments

  1. dasbooth says:

    I was always a big Ryder fan, was dissapointed when he left, devastated when he went to Boston.
    Hopefully we re-sign him, adds balance to the team.

    “Shutouts are really more of a team stat” – Carey Price

  2. deggy24 says:

    I’ve always thought that if Galchenyuk is going to play wing, he should play right wing. Most players best move is the opposite of stick side, left handers to right, and better angle on the shot. For those who say Ryder was in his natural position on rw, I think he got both goals on the left half of the ice.
    (think Winnipeg is disinterested now, playing for a longer summer holiday)

    Habs Win!

  3. Mr. Biter says:

    Saturday’s night game with the Bruins will be huge. Fearless prediction, winner wins the division. Reason Habs win Boston 3 points down (even with 1 game in hand). If Bruins win 1 up with game in hand. Should be a preview of playoff hockey. Lets hope Chris Lee is somewhere in Florida or California.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  4. frontenac1 says:

    I saw the hit Lupol took last night and his attempt to find the door to get off the ice. He looked like me trying to find the front door after an afternoon at the Saloon. I think he got a Conky.

  5. SteverenO says:

    I thing this rebuttal was too good to be buried down so low:

    Luke wrote:
    “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.

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

    @Luke:
    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.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    P.S.Sorry for calling you out, Luke. I’ve had enough of well researched insights, being besmirched by unsubstantiated comments.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Interesting rebuttal. Two questions:
      1) where do you get all your stats? (and the time to gather them!)
      2) do you realise how hostile your otherwise entirely reasonable post reads? Unnecessarily, I would have thought…

      • SteverenO says:

        Stats are from NHL.com and I use a software program, available for free
        that automatically updates the stats after each game. The program allows the user to create their own formulas and queries: for example I get the Time ON Ice data from one page, and the goals scored on a different page. A simple formula dividing minutes/goals (in different situations) gives me numbers that make sense. I prefer to look at frequency of events to determine efficiency rather than just totals.

        I realize that my remarks were hostile and I apologized to Luke for calling him out. Despite the mostly automated system it does take me time to post relevant data here, and Luke seems to feel that it is his job to always “belittle” the data. I relish good arguments and I know that the numbers “can” be sometimes deceptive. There is often factors that can explain why some players have better numbers than others (such as their opponents, linemates, etc.) I would expect that if someone is going to “challenge” the data that they at least spend a moment to check if their claim has any merit.
        esting for example that the Bruins score one goal every 18 minutes at even strength when Chara is on the ice, and allow one every 32 minutes:
        its almost identical to Subban,s numbers – GF every 18 minutes and GA every 31 minutes.

        Both are much better than Markov’s numbers: GF every 25 minutes and GA every 22 minutes.

        I actually enjoy reading most of Luke’s posts here, and I find him, and the majority of posters here to be quite knowledgeable, and of course passionate about the Habs. Again’ to Luke, I apologize for my aggressive tone. I guess I was having a bad day.

        regards,

        Steve O.

        • SteverenO says:

          I actually sent an email to Stu Cowan the editor, thinking that it may be worthwhile for the Gazette, or HockeyInsideOut to offer this data discovery tool on their website. There are a lot of great sites where one can go to get the data, but I have not seen one yet that allows the user to really drill down into the data and create there own queries, compare two players/lines/or teams, side by side, etc.

          If anyone is interested in getting together to create the ultimate hockey stats website, just let me know.

          regards,

          Steve O.

  6. habsfan0 says:

    It’s good to see the Habs rectifying one of the weaknesses on the team during an otherwise superlative performance this season,i.e.,the penalty kill. This augurs extremely well heading into the postseason 3 weeks from now.

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    Lupul not at Leafs practise today, if indeed they have lost him for some time due to a concussion could be quite a setback for them.

  8. Loonie says:

    Everything about Ryder other than his offensive production leaves me feeling indifferent about him. The trade, his salary, his consistency.

    With Gionta only having one year left on his contract I would give him an extension within reason though. Lots of kids coming through the pipeline on the right wing and most of our wingers are capable of playing either side.

    I’d keep Ryder at anything near or under $5 million annually.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Aggree. 30+ goal scorers don’t grow on trees.

    • SteverenO says:

      Not all that much difference between Ryder’s and Gionta’s games, statistically speaking. Ryder is better offensively, and Gionta is better defensively .
      Here is a break down of their numbers this year:

      Category/Ryder/Gionta == edge

      Minutes per blocked shot: 42 /42 tie
      Minutes per hit : 22 /24 Ryder
      Minutes per Take Away: 36/38 Ryder
      Minutes per Give Away: 49 /52 Gionta
      Minutes per Shot (on net): 7.1 /7.4 Ryder
      Minutes per Shot attempt: 5.5 /5.5 Tie
      ES Minutes per TEAM GF 20/25 Ryder
      ES Minutes per TEAM GA 24/32 Gionta
      ES plus/Minus: +4/+5 Gionta

      PPMinutes per Team PPG: 5.3/ 5.9 Ryder
      SH Minutes per PPGA : NA / 8.5 Gionta

      Ryder: 15 G 16 A ,31 Pts
      Gionta: 11 G 11 A 22 Pts

      Basically we score more frequently when Ryder is on the ice and we allow goals less frequently when Gionta is on the ice. In both their cases we score more frequently then we allow goals which, to me, is the most important statistic of all.

      *Note that the numbers include all games played this year, which in Ryder’s case include games played for Dallas.

      regards,

      Steve O.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      Agree with all that was said, and am really impressed with his play, but is Ryder not approaching UFA status, and if so are we not just getting a preview of the “pre cash in” version?

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Yes he’s a UFA. Going to give MB a major headache if he keeps performing at his current level and the fans want him back as he’s not going to come cheap.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  9. habsfor25 says:

    Personally I believe that Ryder won’t resign after this year. I don’t think we would be able to afford him going forward with the tight cap. I would though love to secure budaj as the back up for a couple more years

  10. Ian Cobb says:

    This celebrating stuff by young players after scoring a goal is what we all have dreamed about. As kids we have all raised out sticks, given high fives, and fist pumped. No greater feeling!
    So for the ones who criticize kids for being excited and exuberant after scoring, is just plain jealous or is the opposition’s fan.

    And besides!, their smile’s and excitement is contagious throughout the line up and in fact throughout the whole fan population.
    I say let it out kids, it is wonderful to be able to enjoy your fun and celebration with you!

    Piss on guys attitude, like Don Cherry, he is for himself, fighting and Toronto anyways.! Once we eliminate his Leafs, he will jump onto our bandwagon like the two faced fella he is anyway.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      To me, Ian?
      I completely agree with you.
      But I just thought maybe Gally turned away for a private celebration first. However, as BJ pointed out, and I accept, it had been a long, long drought.
      And you know what I mean about soccer, right?!

  11. Bill says:

    Looks like Ottawa and Toronto are duelling for that sweet 6th place finish, haha. I will bet you a beer that if those teams are still 5th and 6th with a point between them on the last day of the season, they’ll both be dressing their backup goalies and scratching regulars “to rest them”.

  12. krob1000 says:

    So anyone see Chucky and Yak in Sarnia?
    I am wondering if there were any goals scored where the other deflected it? Just curious if Yakupov slid to the other end of the ice while Glacheneyuk ran into the corner byhimself…both thinking they scored..would be awesome to see!!

  13. issie74 says:

    2 things worth mentioning, Jack Edwards pimping for Chara winning the Norris Trophy and Habfan 72 reply to Timo’s rant.

    NorthTOHab

  14. frontenac1 says:

    @Timo. You appear to be the quality Hair guy.Will Jagr”s Mullet or lack there of be a factor in the game Sat? Also ,I think Whitey should grow his hair long again. It just looked good when he was punching guys out.Saludos!

  15. Kfourn says:

    Wow! not even one vote for Therrien in the top 8 coaches of the league. He took a last place team to second in the conference, and of the 10 “analysts” polled, not even a single vote. Disgraceful.

    _______________________________________________________
    Well, he’s kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace “accidentally” with “repeatedly” and replace “dog” with “son.”

    “It’s sad when our rookies have no NHL experience before they jump up to the NHL.” – nunacanadien

  16. Habfan10912 says:

    I see a lot of love for Ryder on this site today and with good reason. But don’t agree with many post about letting him go originally. Ryder 1 that I saw was disinterested in playing any kind of defense, seemed slow, and lost nearly every battle for the puck. He hurt the team much more then his scoring helped and for the money he was expecting it was time to say goodbye.
    Now Ryder 2 will never be known for his defensive skill, you see effort from him, he appears faster, and certainly stronger, winning many puck battles he use to lose. So far he’s been a different player then Ryder1. Carbo and Gainey saw something in him but couldn’t bring it out. Looks like he’s found it on his own. He always was a goal scorer. Now he looks like a hockey player.

    • krob1000 says:

      Disagree…he worked his butt off and played better defensively trying to work his way back in…ironically enough they tossed him for not producing goals…while playing 4th line minutes and with 4th line mates. He worked on everything he was asked to at the time and he was definiely much faster then. Goal scorers are streaky and sometimes they just need time…Ryder was getting his chances…that is all you can ask…when they disappear you have a problem.

    • His track record scares the crap out of me (Cole), no likes “what if”, but do we give the man big coin because he’s on track this season to have his best season ever at 33?

      However, if these Canadiens go deep in the post season because of him, then that has to be rewarded.

      All this Ryder talk is way too early for my liking.

      If I wear GM right now this very second, I would give him 4.5/2yrs as an extension to ease his mental well being. But would he accept that?

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

      • D Mex says:

        Part of what I like about the Cole-Ryder swap is that MR is less expensive than Cole and producing way more. Going forward, it’s a status quo I would prefer to see continue …

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

  17. frontenac1 says:

    Whatever happened to JM? He was on L”Antichambre a few times after he was fired but its like he just disappeared.

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    Mike Boone covered most points well, so there is not to much else that one can say, except to cover up that scary picture on top.

    The one other question that needs answering is about our rather lengthy injury list of players, that we are going to need back. To help carry us over the remaining season games and into play offs.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Barring further setbacks it sounds like Bourque and Pleks will return next week. Pleks may even be in the lineup against the Bruins. Diaz is getting there as well. It will be great to be healthy for the playoffs, eh?

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Need to be healthy Jim. We have little depth at key positions this year.
        But unlike the Pens, Bergevin is spreading the cap around more evenly throughout the lineup and is building a team first approach.
        I thought it would take 3 years to be where we are right now, but we are still a little thin in the depth dept yet. He is developing the kids on the farm one player at a time, which I think is great!

  19. mark-ID says:

    Man it must suck to be a Penguins fan right now. I mean they give up their future for vets and then get blown out two straight games after coming off 15 straight wins with their old team.

    At least I assume that’s what’s being said on pensinsideout.
    :)
    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  20. Loonie says:

    Off-Season Priorities.

    1. Brandon Prust spends the entire summer teaching Alexei Emelin how to fight.

    2. Andrei Markov spends the entire summer with BOTH hands taped to a hockey stick.

    3. PK Subban takes figure skating lessons to improve his balance on his skates.

    4. Michel Therrien takes a break from life coach work to help Jack Capuano re-address his wardrobe. Introducing him to the wonderful world of tailored suits instead of the off the rack clothing at Sears.

    5. Alex Galchenyuk works on his goal celebrations.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      No. 3
      What’s with him on balance?
      So good at emerging from behind the net with puck, fending off would-be forecheck, deking etc etc.
      But falls a lot. And limbs in all directions sometime when he hits (or NEARLY hits)!
      Is correction actually possible there?
      No. 5
      Agreed — a bit European-looking: I celebrate myself first, then with my team-mates…

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Re: 5

      I wish he didn’t have that tendency to want to skate away and celebrate himself. He’ll learn. It’s just awkward when your teammates have to skate after you to celebrate together.

    • Jocko says:

      I would prefer that the whole Habs team work with GSP to create a new way to fight hockey style. No, I do not mean grappling on the ice, just some new form of grab and smash.

      Man, what’s happened with Leblanc? Is it me, or has the kid regressed?

      I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

    • krob1000 says:

      I prefer Moen teachiing him how to hang on…he should not open up andfight anyone..but if he continues to hold on and tie up anyone that takes him that is just fine.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        How about Prust?!

        A sweet air of condescension as he held down Rinaldo like he was squeezing the air out of a beach ball after a bbq!

        • krob1000 says:

          He is coming off a shuolder injury on a first place team with 3 weeks to go until playoffs…would have been stupid to risk injury….but he is not normally the hang on type.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            No, no! Wasn’t doing him down.
            Was IMPRESSED at how easy it looked. Rinaldo looked pathetic.
            ANd no one got hurt.
            Did you see the Rinaldo “mic’d up” clip?
            He was asking Prust which shoulder was injured.
            Homer commentators said he asked out of honour, to avoid reinjury.
            I thought he was taunting him.The 2 have history.

          • D Mex says:

            Got a link to that clip – ?
            The only Prust-Rinaldo bout I found on Youtube is from APR 2012

            ALWAYS Habs -
            D Mex

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

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

            Interested in what you make of it, DMex.

          • D Mex says:

            Interesting one : at first blush, Rinaldo comes across as a stand-up (concerned -?) guy, unknown if he went easy or not (?).
            Flip side, Rinaldo knew he was wearing the mic and that the video would eventually be analyzed, so maybe he just wanted to come across as a swell guy here on HI/O lol (?)
            Love the on-ice ‘ reality ‘ stuff / thanks for the clip DM ! :-)

            ALWAYS Habs -
            D Mex

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Cheers DM.
            The impression I already had of Rinaldo was that he is a dork. I think it was reinforced by that clip.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Moen completely flubbed the Simmonds fight. He missed “the grab” and started twirling to avoid getting hit. Prust knew he was fighting a guy who gets off quick and fires machine gun punches. That is why he “double-grabbed” him close right away. Prust cleary does his homework.

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

    • Habsrule1 says:

      1. First Prust continues his lessons from Nilan…or perhaps Nilan just teaches them both.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  21. ross says:

    Boone: the image was created by a member of a hockey online community (“/r/hockey”, as credited in the image), as part of a discussion here:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/hockey/comments/1birbd/the_rhockey_nhl_ice_rink_lets_get_it_made/

    The original, high-quality version is here:
    http://i.imgur.com/pMFZ85I.jpg

  22. frontenac1 says:

    TU74 lost his Mojo to that punk Malone last year.He regained some of it with his scrap with Chara. He will regain more of it from his tilt with Kane. He is getting stronger with each fight.He will be a Force in the Playoffs amigos.The Tank is back!

  23. Cape Breton says:

    Aside from being “one-dimensional” Ryder is also a presence in the corners with his size. And he made
    quite a defensive play in the Carolina game coming back and taking a Hurricane nicely out of the play on a partial breakaway.

    Sign him Marc.

  24. Timo says:

    So, are Habs going back with Price tomorrow?

    • Habsrule1 says:

      My guess would be yes. Personally, I think it’s the right thing to do. Should be a good one.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Cape Breton says:

      Budaj played well last nite, give him another start.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Who are the coaches here?

      Is there more than one philosophy regarding back-up goalies?

      1) Play back-up because he “earned” it with previous game.
      2) Never play back-up (unless starter injured or shelled)
      3) Play back-up as often as required to keep his head involved.

      The Timo Line: always play back-up, not starter
      The Capitalist-Shocker Line: play back-up because his family traveled a long way to se him play.

      Me, I like 3, with back-up preferably more games rather than fewer. Don’t believe there should be punishment/reward at all. Was delighted that a non-hockey but nevertheless important human factor influenced Budaj’s start last night.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        My personal feeling is:

        4) Play back-up in order to give starter a break. How much that is would depend on the coach’s evaluation of the starter.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • Timo says:

          Also on Price’s calorie burning rate. What a clever innovative approach.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Budaj’s hair is as good as Price’s.
            I’m not afraid to bring that up.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            So true. I think that was really cool for him to do. Unreal how many calories he burns in a game.

            I want to get myself one of those counters and see how long it takes me to burn that many. My guess is a week.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I agree HR1. Although I reckon if you do my 3), your 4) happens.

          (btw did you see I had your back yesterday? And the little rebuke – honestly – I put on someone, he never reappeared at all. I actually feel a little guilty!)

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Damn I missed that….and I was sooo nice yesterday :-P

            Go Habs Go!!

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

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            ALN April 4, after your comment at 11.31.

  25. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Pronger travelled with the Flyers to Toronto.

    Rest of the NHL feels like the Chiefs did when they found out Ooglethorp was in the lineup…

    • shiram says:

      There’s no way Pronger plays pro again, and if he does the Flyers are an even worst organization then I thought they were.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Heard the Flyers beat reporter on radio here, Pronger happened to be in Toronto with a buddy and the timing worked out to see the Flyers and his buddy. He did not travel with the team.

  26. Puck Bard says:

    On that question “do you think the Habs have a team that could win the cup”. I voted yes, because any team that gets to the playoffs has a good shot. Price gets hot, scoring gets hot, some lucky bounces, fortunate calls… They can do it as much as anyone.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Hell, they’ve played the bruins & the pens extremely well all year and I could see them winning in a 7-game series against either team.
      To me, that tells me that they can make the Cup final. How they’d fare against the hawks or ducks, I’m not sure.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  27. Bill says:

    Defenders of Jacques Martin take note. Yes, the Habs went to the third round in his first year. Granted.

    Question: did they look good doing it? Answer: hell no. That playoff run was the Halak show. He was just on fire, AND he was extremely lucky. For two rounds. Cammalleri scored the goals, Hal Gill blocked as many shots as Halak, and there you have it.

    My point is, it was not Martin’s coaching that took the Habs to the ECF. At the time we were in shock how they were getting absolutely dominated and yet winning games. Let us remember this.

    I consider us posters here to be armchair critics who most certainly do not know the finer points of playing, goaltending, coaching, or managing in professional hockey. Apologies to any posters here with pro hockey experience, but really we are just passionate fans who don’t know much.

    AND YET: there were many if us dunces who said when JM was coach that he was having the team play a style completely unsuited to his roster. He had a small, skilled team with speed trying to play a grinding defensive game. This so obviously didn’t work well that even WE noticed it. Yet he persisted.

    The least I would expect from a coach is that he would know better than you or I. Basic test that he failed is it not?

    Therrien created a system that works with the players he has. It plays to their strengths. Lots of good forwards but no superstars? Okay, spread the depth and roll four lines. Smallish D corps? Puck moving game. Have speed? Use it. Small team has trouble not giving up wide open chances? Well, lucky you have excellent goalies.

    The only weakness the Habs have right now is when the other team beats their puck movement and manages to set up around the net: they can’t move them out. This is where all the frigging bounce-in goals come from. Not much Therrien can do about that.

    Point is, Jacques, for all his good career stuff, was a really bad coach in Montreal. Therrien is way better and thank God those JM days are gone.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Are there any defenders of Jacques Martin?

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Timo says:

        There were a few last night.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Admittedly, I probably defended him for longer than I should have, but that ship sailed a long time ago.

          As for what they got for Halak, I think he’s a pretty good player. Blues fans were almost as pissed as we were. The goalie market is ever-fluctuating.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • shiram says:

            Goalie don’t often net great returns in trade.
            If anything, it’s Schultz that was the disappointing piece in that deal.

    • Timo says:

      And this is exactly why Habs should have gotten more for Halak at THAT time.

    • H.Upmann says:

      great assessment of Therrien’s system. As for THE SYSTEM:

      Lots of good forwards but no superstars? Bench the fourth line and roll with your highest paid Alaskan. Smallish D corps? Forget forechecking, every man back all the time. Have speed? Only the smurfs can use it. Small team has trouble not giving up wide open chances? Don’t know if that Halak but let’s try.
      :)

    • shiram says:

      Spacek and Hamrlik were doing a great job then also.
      But it was a flukey run.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Let’s be honest, Halak was great, but A LOT of the shots he faced were from the perimeter. Habs were great at collapsing and keeping Washington and Pittsburgh to the outside. Ovechkin and Crosby were shut down for the most part.

      In fact I believe in game 1 of the Washington series, it was the first time all year (that year) that Ovechkin had failed to register a single shot on net (thank you Spacek).

      Cammalleri also provided clutch scoring.

      That said, watching the team collapse in our end was painful, even when most of the shots were from the perimeter. We held on for dear life and I almost suffered a heart attack in my 20s. I don’t miss JM.

      • New says:

        Remember Crosby sitting there, beaten. He said “You can’t win like that.” He was totally right. You can’t win a cup that way. Philly demolished them in the next series, no contest, and Philly didn’t even have a goaltender.

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          I remember it very clearly. I was pissed when Philly came back against Boston in Game 7…I knew it was the beginning of the end for the Habs that year.

    • JUST ME says:

      I was not a big fan of Jacques Martin and now that we seem to have a coach that is part of a real management team that has a vision i am even less a fan of JM. But as a naive fan of the Habs i did not see the one man show ran by Pierre Gauthier. When all these coaches were hired by Bergevin i understood that the system basically hung on nothing else than miracles so no wonder that the atmoshere was rotten and the moral was negative.

      The key word missing here is vision. Nobody had any under the Gauthier team . So all that 5 year plan crap was just that.

      So far Bergevin did what he said he would and did not react on impulse . He has a plan and sticks to it. Therrien is being fair towards all players equally wich makes his experiences always succesfull.

      Year one is a succes.
      Year two will probably see a few trades here and there preparing for year three when the youngsters will take much more space .
      The Habs will be in a good position cause quite a few teams will have to make painfull sacrifices to stay at the salary cap starting next year.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I agree very much with your analysis. JM and his system were problematic from the get go. His team simply caught lightning in a bottle, as it were, for two series.

      I am not sure, however, whether MT created a system specifically for the Habs or whether his system simply suits this team much better. I posed this question some time ago, and those who responded seemd to feel that he imported his pre-existing Pittsburgh system. I really don’t know, which is why I asked the question, so I’ll toss it out there again. It’s not that it matters as the results are there, but I am still curious.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Excellent work Bill. Agree with everything you say.

      It is funny that we punted around the idea that the collapse around the goalie style was probably wrong for a small, speedy team, and might be the cause of many dings and injuries, but we weren’t convinced ourselves, I mean, we’re so often wrong on so many things. Plus, the guy got some results in 2010.


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