About last night …

GalchBoston

My man Dave Stubbs probably knows this, but for me it’s a puzzler:
How often has the First Star been a player who didn’t get on the ice until the game was almost seven minutes old?
Take a bow, Alex Galchenyuk.
You may have made Canadiens history.
And the best is yet to come for the 19-year-old rookie.

Fearless prediction: Galchenyuk will be chosen First Star of many games during the 2014-’15 season. And he won’t often have to wait seven minutes to get into the action.

What took him so long to get off the bench in the 2-1 win over Boston?

During a conversation over pre-game dinner in the media lounge, my man Arpon Basu, who covers the Canadiens for NHL.com, was saying Michel Therrien does not try to match lines during games. The Canadiens’ coach focuses on situations when he makes his line changes. As an example, Basu pointed out that David Desharnais would not be sent out to take a faceoff in the defensive zone.

(And guess who lost the D-zone faceoff that led to Boston’s only goal?)

In his postgame press conference, Therrien said Galchenyuk spent the beginning of the game on the bench because of situations, including two minutes of four-on-four when Andrew Ference and Francis Bouillon took roughing minors a couple minutes into the game.

Galchenyuk made the most of his belated opportunity. He scored on his first shift – a fluke goal, like the other two scored in the game – and spent the rest of the game making positive plays with linemates Lars Eller and Brandon Prust.

Man, this kid is going to be good. Likewise Eller. And Brendan Gallagher.

The future is very bright for your Montreal Canadiens.

And the present isn’t bad, either. The team is three points off the Eastern Conference lead, with a game in hand on the Crosby-less Penguins. The teams meet April 17 in Pittsburgh, and the Canadiens will be looking for their first win in the season series, after two one-goal losses.

Thin margins have been the story of the season in games between the Canadiens and their main conference rivals. The win over Boston was the third in four meetings, and every game has been decided by a goal.

Won’t it be fun if they meet in the playoffs?

And won’t Carey Price be ready for it?

That, for me, was the big takeaway from Saturday night’s game. Price, who lost to the Bruins Feb. 6 at the Bell Centre and was yanked after 40 minutes in the March 27 game in Boston, got the Boston bear off his back with a stellar 26-save performance.

Price got a lot of help from his supporting cast, notably a depleted defence corps that blocked 23 shots. An first-period injury to Alexei Emelin forced Therrien and D coach Jean-Jacques Daigneault to deploy five players in various combinations, and the Dmen rose splendidly to the challenge.

Josh Gorges had the most ice time, 26:18, and blocked six shots. P.K. Subban was customarily brilliant in 25:03 and picked up another pair of assists to boost his point total to 32. In the defenceman scoring race, P.K. has opened up a four-point lead  over Ryan Suter and Kris Letang.

The defenceman who really stepped up, however, was Davis Drewiske. Acquired from L.A. for a fifth-round draft choice, Drewiske played 23:50 against the Bruins, blocked four shots, had a couple hits, made excellent first passes and was unflustered by the Boston thumpers who tried to forecheck him into errors.

If Emelin is out for a while – and the injury looked bad – Jarred Tinordi probably will be recalled from Hamilton – unless Raphael Diaz is ready to return. But in three games with the Canadiens, Drewiske has looked like a really good addition.

Of course, it helsp a man-down defence corps if they don’t have to kill many penalties. The Canadiens played a superbly disciplined game and were not shorthanded until the final minute, when Zdeno Chara embellished Eller’s tug on his size XXXXL jersey. Then with Tuukka Rask on the bench for a sixth attacker, the Boston power play couldn’t even attempt a shot on goal.

Of the Bruins’ 27 shots, Chara had four and Dennis Seidenberg had five – 33 per cent of their SoG from two defencemen, plus another three from Johnny Boychuk. Top-shooting Boston forward was Gregory Campbell, with three.

Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand had no shots. Milan Lucic and Jaromir Jagr had one each, Nathan Horton had two.

Contrast the impotence of the Boston forwards to the Canadiens: Michael Ryder and Max Pacioretty had four shots each. Ryan White was the only forward blanked on the shot sheet.

The Canadiens have a well deserved day off on Sunday. A year ago, they played their final game of a miserable season.

In the lineup on April 7, 2012: Chris Campoli, Brad Staubitz, Blake Geoffrion, Aaron Palushaj, Frédeeric St. Denis and Louis Leblanc.

They won’t be playing April 9, 2013, when the Washington Capitals come to town.

• My friend Chris O’Brien forced himself to watch Hockey Night in Canada and offered this observation:

Here on Leafs Corner on your local community cable network, let’s discuss the trade deadline, especially the impact on the Leafs.

Luongo or Kiprusoff, let’s talk about what they didn’t do anyways. In Coachs Corner, let’s replay last week’s where we brought in 3 Leafs players postgame to kiss and cuddle,  in case you missed it last week. Please TSN take over the rights next year.

 

723 Comments

  1. Jimmy9Toes says:

    Okay, i see us finishing 1st or 2nd in the conference. Lets say we can’t move up or down on the last game of the year. Who sits?

    • Storman says:

      Tomas Kaberle for one ,, and then as many as need rest and that can be filled by alternatives in the form of eliminated Bulldogs and then by seniority or bumps and bruises, Markov would be number 1 on that list …

  2. habsfan0 says:

    It might be time for members of the HIO community to list the opposing team they would prefer to see the Habs face off against in the opening round.

    My choice:

    The Laffs.

  3. Regarding the chat about whether we can afford to re-sign Ryder, I thought I’d check it out on Capgeek. Turns out that we can afford him and build a 22-man roster with $2.5M in cap space to fill out the 23rd spot, assuming we buy out Kaberle, call up Beaulieu and give Ryder $5.5M (probably around what he’d command on the open market — maybe we can sign him for a touch less):

    CAPGEEK.COM USER GENERATED ROSTER
    My Custom Lineup
    FORWARDS
    Michael Ryder ($5.500m) / Tomas Plekanec ($5.000m) / Brian Gionta ($5.000m)
    Max Pacioretty ($4.500m) / David Desharnais ($3.500m) / Brendan Gallagher ($0.870m)
    Alex Galchenyuk ($3.225m) / Lars Eller ($1.325m) / Rene Bourque ($3.333m)
    Travis Moen ($1.850m) / Jeff Halpern ($0.750m) / Brandon Prust ($2.500m)
    Ryan White ($0.700m)
    DEFENSEMEN
    Josh Gorges ($3.900m) / P.K. Subban ($2.875m)
    Andrei Markov ($5.750m) / Alexei Emelin ($2.000m)
    Raphael Diaz ($1.225m) / Nathan Beaulieu ($1.275m)
    Francis Bouillon ($1.500m) /
    GOALTENDERS
    Carey Price ($6.500m)
    Peter Budaj ($1.500m)
    OTHER
    Buyout: Tomas Kaberle ($0.000m)
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $64,578,333; BONUSES: $2,835,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $2,556,667

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

  4. Bardya says:

    Eller is our secret weapon.

  5. Mike D says:

    Looks like Beaulieu is the guy getting the call in light of Emelin’s injury.

    Would it be safe to assume NB goes back with Frankie and Drewiske moves up to play with Markov?

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • commandant says:

      I like that option best.

      But the team may consider

      Bouillion – PK
      Markov – Gorges
      Drewiskie – Beaulieu

      Since Gorges can play the right side

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

    • geo_habsgo says:

      That seems the most plausible but I would actually like to see Beaulieu get tried with Markov. Markov is the kind of defensemen that covers up his partners mistakes with his smart play so he could be a good partner for a rookie like Beaulieu.

      Besides that, Beaulieu is a great skater which means he can compensate for his errors somewhat with his speed and athleticism. I’d rather try him top four for a game or two and see how he handles the pressure. If its not working out, no harm in making an in-game adjustment. We’ve made the playoffs so we might as well take stock of our assets and see who we can trust going into the postseason.

  6. 24 Cups says:

    The Kaberle amnesty buyout would leave the Habs with 9.45M in cap space with 17 players signed. The team would still have to fill the following positions: back-up goalie, 7th defenseman and four secondary forwards. There would basically be 7M left to sign four forwards and have an injury cushion. Giving Ryder 4.5M would make it a very tight budget. (Bonus money and how it is factored in is also part of the picture).

    The following players are signed for next season and these listed cap hits includes their bonus money: Kristo (1.3M), Beaulieu (1.27M), Leblanc (1.17M) and Tinordi (1.1M). White (687,000) and Dumont (571,000) are RFAs who would get a 10% raise.

    2014-15 should see an increase in the cap but the Habs also have to re-sign Gionta (or his replacement), Eller, Markov, Subban, Emelin and Diaz. That’s when a four year deal for Ryder might become problematic.

    I think that the Habs should let Ryder walk.

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      Yep.
      They do have room to pay Ryder 4.5 per, but then will be hamstrung.
      That being said, a productive playoff by our favorite Newfie, would make it hard to let him go.

      Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

    • commandant says:

      Thats assuming no use of the bonus cushion

      With Gionta and Markov off the books in 2014 and a cap likely to rise (NHL revenues are much bigger than projections post lockout). This shouldnt be an issue.

      The Habs will sign a top 6 forward IMO only question is who.

      To me the list looks like this

      1) Clarkson
      2) Ryder

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

      • 24 Cups says:

        I always like to budget conservatively. The main bonus cushion issue would be Galchenyuk’s contract.

        I’d be very surprised if Clarkson signs with Montreal. It’s also tough to tell just where the true dollar value might be with this guy.

    • Sportfan says:

      I say if Ryder can agree to a 3.5-4 million somehow then throw it at him, if not then MB might have to make room, or not resign him, but right now it would be really stupid to let our best scorer go.

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Mike D says:

      If I was in MB’s shoes, I would re-sign Budaj to a 3 year deal at 1mil per. I know that’s a lot of term to give a back-up but he’s earned a new contract IMO and could get a higher annual dollar amount from another team. The ‘extra’ year would be his incentive to stay with us.

      Lots of 7th Dmen out there but all of them should be less than 1mil. I’d have no problem re-signing Drewiske for another year or two at say 850K per (currently making 650K I believe).

      As you said, that leaves 7mil to sign the rest.

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Steve! You could give some of your portfolio to help out. You would never miss it.
      We have to lower our older fellas contracts as they come up for renewal. In order to resign all our kids and be able to keep them.

      I think the day for 5 and 6 million dollar players are done. It has to be more in line with 5 tops, and below from here on.

  7. Haberoooo13 says:

    CBC in the 1st round
    Based on winning percentage, currently the 1st round would have Bruins vs Leafs…what does the on air “TALENT” cheer, I mean comment, for?
    I guess it will be glass half empty and glass half full if that happens.

    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  8. t1tan5 says:

    I’ve been reading on this site and others that the Leafs are riding a huge percentage wave and are benefitting from luck this season. I’m curious…what are the numbers that are backing this assertion up?

  9. twilighthours says:

    Lest there be no confusion, I am not one of HH’s negative nellies who will find something to complain about. I’m not even complaining about patches – not really, anyway. Teams need one-shot scores like max. I really like him. I was just responding to a piece of data posted by B.

    But I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect more from max. He could forecheck harder, drive to the net harder, throw some body checks, receive some body checks. Generally, be more involved in the game. Basically, play more like Gallagher, which is advice that any player could use.
    ,

    • Loonie says:

      Both Desharnais and Pacioretty are trying to replicate what they did last year for the most part.

      Pacioretty accumulated a lot of his points early in the season playing low on the powerplay and feeding the puck to the point.

      Their game has become less difficult to defend because they’re doing the same thing they did last year. Pacioretty drops high into the slot and Desharnais looks for him there.

      A not so wise member of HIO pointed out a few times before the season began that they along with Cole would have to add more creativity to how they attack to sustain their success from last year.

      Each of those three had a go to move. Cole would drive wide, Desharnais would stop on a dime in the offensive zone and move the puck into the high slot and Pacioretty was shooting from beyond 40 feet routinely. All of those moves were successful last year, but if you don’t change how you attack teams catch on, and that’s happened to a certain extent this season because those players relied on what made them successful last year.

      Pacioretty’s adjusted his game more than Desharnais and Cole(did) in my opinion. He’s taking the puck to the net more this season and drawing defenders out of position more which opens up his linemates for more uncontested opportunities. Probably a reason for Desharnais’ goal pace increasing.

      • VONLEBARON says:

        I agree with you on the DD topic. I dont think that they are playing well enought to get the pp time they are getting.On the pp I see three things that are killing themon the pp. DD dont shoot the puck, to many times in the slot for a one timer but choses to pass off. Eller or Galchenuck would fire the puck on those kind of chance’s. The major problem with this is that the oponents pk does not consisder him a threat to shoot so they cover the shooters creating a four on four still. Another is that max is not a great at passing the puck, so he should be in front of the screening the goalie, not Gall or DD. Third with this line is there size down low with the dump in. If you watch this line, its just pass to the point and PK fire it. There’s not that much creativety. Now in the winepeg game, Eller got a shot and had two assiston the pp, so why would you not give him a chance. Thats what i dont understand. If the DD line was producing then i would not have an issue, but there not and when they do its from the point. So why not give Eller or Galchenuck a shot, not thirty seconds, they are the most skilled players on the team.

    • habs_54321 says:

      with regard to pacioretty i think hes an effective sniper, but i think people expect more than just goals off the rush from him i personally would like to see him drive the net alot more and use some power moves like he did for that one goal against the canes. i think he can bring his game to a higher level but if he can’t hes still like i said a useful sniper but id personally like to see more of a powergame from him especially without cole and bourque

  10. Chuck says:

    Does anyone know off the top of their head when the last time was that we had 55 points after 38 games? I’m guessing that it ended with a parade down Ste. Catherine.

  11. commandant says:

    Patches is scoring at a better PPG clip than last season. I dont get the complaints.

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

    • twilighthours says:

      But I pointless in more games (percentage-wise).

      See my post, below

      • habstrinifan says:

        I think this is the more important factor than the one quoted by Commandant. It goes to his ‘real’ effectiveness compared to last year and therefore to projections for this year. But it must also be stated that the loss of Cole is a factor.

        • commandant says:

          I dont think its made him less effective. Fact was last year we had 1 line that was always the go to line no matter what.

          This year we see individual games where Pleks line or Eller’s line is really playing great. When this happens our coaches now have the option to increase the ice time of the line that is performing the best

          Its a reaction to having a deeper team and not being stuck to the same well every night

          Patches (16:13) and DD (16:29)

          vs 18:15 and 18:23 per game last year shows how this is having an effect.

          2 minutes less ice time per game should be considered, and the Pts per minute of ice time are up for Patches and close to even for DD
          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • B says:

        44% vs 43%? Not much difference there.

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • pmaraw says:

      instead of comparing it to all of last season, how bout compare it to when the dd patches and cole line was formed from last year

  12. Gormdog says:

    Don’t worry guys, PK won’t win the Norris this year. He’s taken the league by storm but the old school veiled racism of the NHL will still be able to hide behind his fewer GP and TOI than the other nominees.

    He will have his time to shine for many, may seasons, where there WONT be any “legitimate” reasons to hold him back from hardware.

    PK Subban isn’t just a top notch Dman – He’s an absolute game breaker. How 15 D men were drafted before him will forever remain a mystery to me. Even more of a mystery than guys like Datsyuk and Markov who got drafted very late and turned into stars.

    These guys are more sneaky players, positional, crafted overseas at a time when scouting wasn’t quite to the level it is now. Pk is an absolute beast. The first minute of his first shift I ever saw him play as a Bulldog my jaw dropped and I couldn’t believe how skilled and athletic he was. Yes, he took big risks, but when you analyze any “problem” with a player (lack of skills, bad attitude, lazy, injury prone) there is nothing as easily rectified as coaching a player to simplify his game and take less chances.

    I find it absolutely astounding how so many scouts seemed to miss what I found blatantly obvious 30 seconds into the first shift I ever saw… That PK Subban is an all world talent and with a little polish could easily become a top 10 D man in this league…

    • Strummer says:

      Do you have any examples of

      ” old school veiled racism of the NHL”

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

      • Mattyleg says:

        No.
        It’s far too veiled.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Gormdog says:

          Lets see here… No Europeans winning the Norris until Nicky Lid ( as if he was the first to ever merit it), Guys like Don Cherry and their blatant dislike for European hockey players, doing things the “white” way… Shall I go on Strummer?

    • commandant says:

      You saw him 2 years after he was drafted.

      In those two years PK had one of the most amazing post draft development curves of any player I’ve ever seen.

      He was weak defensively as a 17 year old. By his last year of junior he was the best defender in the OHL.

      This is not normal and the fact he keeps improving to this day is what makes Subban special

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

      • Loonie says:

        I’m curious how much you saw PK Subban before his time in Hamilton Ben.

        Subban’s defensive game was picked on by pundits who I never saw at the Yardmen arena in Belleville.

        Maybe they followed the Bulls around Ontario when they were on the road.

        • commandant says:

          At the time I was living in Kingston (2006-09) so quite a bit actually. More than most other Jr teams at that time.

          The one guy from that era I was convinced would be better than he is, was Ethan Werek of the Fronts but it looks like concussion issues derailed his career.

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

          • Loonie says:

            I’m not sure how you could call Subban’s defensive game weak relative to his competition while in junior.

            If for no other reason than his speed he was almost never beat off of the rush and was a rock in front of his net too.

          • commandant says:

            By the time he was 19, absolutely.

            Even at 18 his first year post draft he had become an above average defender.

            The issue was his draft year. The 06-07 season, he took too many chances with the puck and looking for hits. He was a riverboat gambler especially in the first half of that season.

            As he grew he improved A LOT

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

          • Loonie says:

            Taking chances with the puck doesn’t make a player bad defensively Ben.

            Especially when they’re near a point per game from defense in junior and a plus player.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Loonie, maybe we should accept commandant first-hand report. He doesn’t say that P.K. was taking chances with the puck and that made him bad defensively, he says, very clearly, that he took “too many” chances. That’s the point he’s making.

          • Loonie says:

            Normand, the analysis is speculative as it’s eerily similar to the experts who saw him play around a half dozen times. Not indicative of the numerous people who said from the start that Subban’s defensive game was underrated and effectively not a weakness.

            And speaking as someone who attended in the neigbourhood of 60 of Subban’s games in junior. I disagree.

            My analysis is first hand as a former shared season ticket holder.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Look at me trying to keep the HIO family happy and purring, and getting my finger caught in the gearbox. I hesitate to go further down this rabbit hole however.

            Loonie, think of my post as a gentle reminder to not bulldog a point. commandant has an informed opinion, you asked for his bona fides and he provided them. Yours is a mild difference of opinion, he believes that P.K. was weak defensively earlier in his draft year, by taking too many chances with the puck and going for big hits, and you don’t. You both agree that he was great defensively as a 19 year old.

      • habstrinifan says:

        This is what I find hard to accept when I see some remarks even among the faithful here. P.K (and now Gallagher) have been 100% the best draft picks by the HABS in maybe 10 years.. based on the following simple fact. These two players have filled and surpassed ANY expectations/goals that could possibly have been considered for them when the reasons for drafting them were set out by mngmnt.
        Name me 1 player who has outstipped his draft ‘status’ more than P.K has. And I include Price and Pacs etc.. who in themselves are good drafts.

        • Loonie says:

          Do you mean with the Habs?

          Jaroslav Halak, Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec.

          • habstrinifan says:

            Are you saying that Halak, Markov, or Plekanec have more ‘outstripped’ draft expectations than P.K (or Gallagher) in as short a time. I am going on record as saying that in these two players HABS got out of the ordinary lucky.. and we probably wont enjoy it for another few drafts. We will draft well of course.. but not this kind of ‘homerun level’ well. It just doesnt happen.

          • Loonie says:

            They weren’t as effective as early no.

            But in terms of value Subban has work to do to match bang for the buck.

      • Gormdog says:

        Cheers, always with the good info! Even with being “weak defensively” I’m sure it was apparent how skilled and athletic he was… Still a head scratcher to me!

    • Mike D says:

      Two corrections:

      1) I think there were 17 Dmen taken ahead of PK.
      2) Maybe it’s the Habs fan in me, but I already think he’s a top-10 Dman in the NHL and I truly think he’ll become the best period. Not one Dman in the league can match his skill set in entirety. Not. One. :-)

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • Gormdog says:

        I’m at work so no time to actually fact check… Haha… Knew it was somethign around that number…

        And to clarify.. I do think, now, he’s top 10. Easily. What I meant was that even back then, when I watched him for the first time in Hamilton, I had a sneaking suspicion this guy would turn into a huge star.

  13. HardHabits says:

    The HIO malaise:

    Last year the Habs sucked yet there was no end to the praise heaped on all members of the Patches-DD-Cole line. This year the team is playing elite hockey yet people find time to harp on DD or Pacioretty as being unproductive. Hockey is a team game. When the team wins all players contribute.

    Next is the infamous Price hasn’t stole a game or hasn’t proven anything yet and is the Habs supposed weak link walking into the play-offs. Wow. Just wow!!

    The Habs played a flawless game last night against their nemesis and one of the top 10 teams in the league. The only blips being PK coughing up the puck at the blue line in the 2nd when the Habs for one of the few times this season managed an opportunistic line change (for a 2nd period) into the O-Zone, a move that created a scoring chance at the other end. Stuff happens and that mistake was obviously negated by Subbans two assists.

    The other blip was DD losing a face-off that led to a gratuitous bounce and a goal against. Last time a team went 82-0 with no goals against was never.

    There’s nothing to harp on. This is as good as it gets and the Habs are rebuilding. Some people need to un-knot their britches.

    • Loonie says:

      I don’t have a gripe with Desharnais other than to say that he’s used too often considering his lack of productivity offensively in those situations.

      Is the team putting its best foot forward with him racking up minutes on the powerplay instead of Eller or Galchenyuk?

      Furthermore, is this team better with him centering a line instead of Galchenyuk centering a line?

      My opinion is no, and while I’m very appreciative of how the team is playing, I believe scaling back Desharnais’ minutes on the powerplay and moving him to the wing in favour of Galchenyuk would make this team better.

      • HardHabits says:

        That will happen, but not yet. DD has earned his spot. He’s doing the little things right. Galchenyuk is young and will grow into his role.

        You should check out en attendant les nordiques if you can read French it is possibly the best statistical analysis of Habs games on the Internet.

        DD is playing well. Regardless of what the HIO Michel Bergerons are saying.

        • Loonie says:

          He earned his role coming into this season Dave but in my opinion hasn’t played well enough to keep it.

          His powerplay production quite frankly has been bad, his puck possession in the offensive zone was one of the great strengths in his game over the last 18 months of play but has been far less impressive this season.

          At this point in the season I believe it’s very fair to say that he goes as Pacioretty goes. And that’s not good for this team long term. The Habs can’t keep Desharnais in a top six and powerplay role just because Pacioretty makes him tick(if that’s the case).

        • habstrinifan says:

          I dont understand spoken french enough to know all that Bergeron says but I find him a good and fair critic. I thought he was a great coach too so I am biased.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I don’t think I’m retarded because I believe DD should not be taking defensive zone face-offs. He’s the worst defensive zone center on the team by far…

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

      • HardHabits says:

        I changed that to malaise.

        I recommend this blog for stats junkies. This is the shiznit.

        Let me translate:

        Desharnais avait le trio de Jagr à surveiller. Malgré un léger avantage aux mises, ils n’ont pu rester dans le vert aux TVF mais ont quand même tenu (ben, outre le but de Paillé). Peut-être est-ce moi qui ai la berlue, mais il me semble que Therrien commence à s’appuyer un peu plus sur DD en défensive. Je suppose que s’il veut être certain de ce qu’il a en main pour les séries, ça se défend. Ça, pis l’équipe gagne toujours, alors il a beau jeu d’expérimenter.

        Desharnais had the of Jagr line to cover. Despite a slight advantage in face-offs, DD’s line could not stay in the positive ledger with regards to shots on net but still were defensively responsible (well, besides the Paillé goal). Perhaps it is I who is reading to much into things, but it seems to me that Therrien is beginning to rely a little more on DD defensively. I guess he wants to be sure with what he is holding in his hand for the play-offs, if that line can defend well enough. Since the team is winning, Therrien has opportunities to experiment.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          Sorry…missed the change. The Bruins always kill the Habs off face-offs…DD should not be in those situations.

          BTW I’m not an expert but that is horrible french. The biggest issue I have with separatists is that they can’t even speak and write their own language…

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

          • HardHabits says:

            Now that comment was retarded.

            Nothing wrong with a jaunty joual and buddy’s French is written better than well enough. If you want impeccable French go to the comments section of le Devoir.

          • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

            Sorry but it’s true. Ask anyone from France what they think of how French Quebecers speak. If you’re going to push your language onto people, at least use it properly. It also makes it easier for those who take classes to understand and integrate better.

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

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      +1 +1 +1

      Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  14. likehoy says:

    regarding re-signing Michael Ryder:
    he’s the type of player that can succeed into his late 30s because his game was never about speed. Not that his skating is terrible, but it’s his ability to pop up when needed, which is why he’s such a PP success.

    I think we should re-sign him cause he can be a good player with managed minutes in the future, but at the same time, after the last 2 seasons he’s had, he might be looking for a big pay day that we won’t be able to afford.

    The ball is in his court.

    • mrhabby says:

      With the cap going down..I would be very surprised if mb resigns him and you just know he wants a 4-5 year deal….I just cannot see it.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        According to Cap Geek, he’s the #2 UFA and the number one UFA is Ribero. Only 1 UFA under 30 years of age. So unfortunately Ryder will command big bucks however with the Cap going down he might not get as much as he would have this year. It would be a shame to let our leading scorer go for nothing.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  15. SmartDog says:

    Claude Julien cartoon from a Canucks blogger:

    http://forum.canucks.com/topic/321286-latest-straightjab-b-oz-ton/

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  16. Loonie says:

    MDP,

    I wouldn’t go as far as to say that you’re revising history regarding the Halak trade but I think there are some things you’re forgetting.

    Halak didn’t have a contract
    And Eller was a premium prospect with good reason. A first round pick who had just completed an excellent season in the Swedish Elite League and another excellent season with Peoria which was also his first in North America. He put up 57 points in 70 games both ill and injured for the majority of that season.

    In my view, looking back there are only three players I would prefer to Eller if I could re-do that deal today. Berglund, Tarasenko or Pietrangelo.

    Berglund had just finished a disappointing season, Tarasenko had just been drafted and Pietrangelo was a 4th overall pick, or in other words, untouchable.

    There are some other factors to consider here too. Niemi had just won a stanley cup against Michael Leighton. That kind of finish to a season doesn’t exactly strengthen the market for goaltenders.

    Eller was considered a blue chip prospect when he was acquired. And he was acquired for a goaltender without a contract who had no chance of unseating Carey Price as the starter.

    That in my opinion was an excellent trade by Pierre Gauthier.

    • Mike D says:

      I’ll also add that Eller was/is a Center (and a big one) which was a huge organizational need at that time.

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • toinz says:

      If you want to look at a similar trade regarding a blue chip prospect, look at the Martin Erat for Filip Forsberg trade from last week.

      To get an elite prospect, you generally need to trade a good player. Both Erat and Halak are good players. Except as Loonie points out, Halak was in need of a new contract, and Erat is signed for 2 more years.

      Before anyone jumps on McPhee, this is a guy who traded Semyon Varlamov for a first and second round pick to a non-playoff team.

      Coincidentally, that pick was used to draft, yep, Filip Forsberg.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Biggest issue with getting Eller was how he has been used. If they were not going to play him then they should have got someone who would play regularly. Should have got a draft pick instead of Shultz too…

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

  17. Bill says:

    Pacioretty is a goal scorer.

    Almost every goal scorer is streaky.

    • likehoy says:

      disagree that Pacioretty is a goal scorer.
      he said himself he only became a goal scorer when he turned pro, before that he was just a good hockey player.

      Statistically, at every level, he was never a “goal scorer” until the last 3 years..

      • RockinRey says:

        I disagree. He had a breakout year last year.

        After one season you can call Patches a goal scorer??

        Ovechkin is a scorer.

        That said the reason you call someone a goal scorer is they score frequently and over a long period of time they put the puck in the net. Most goal scorers score consistently. If you agree a goal scorer is someone who is in the 35-50 range then they have to score on average once every 2 games.

        I expect more from him. Use his body and be more consistent. Bury his chances. Maybe a little more intensity. Maybe that is not in him.

    • Sportfan says:

      correction every goal scorer is streaky haha

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • toinz says:

      For evidence supporting what Bill is saying, please google Ryder, Michael

    • RockinRey says:

      Patches needs to be more consistent with his game. One poster said he has to use his body and size more. If he was as tenacious as Gallagher and was in the dirty areas a little more he could bang home those rebounds.

    • twilighthours says:

      I get all that, bill. I’m not sure I believe it. I would like some numerical proof to show me (but I’m too lazy to look for it).

      My beef is that pacioretty has had zero impact most games recently. True, he did score that big one against Carolina I believe, but on the games where he doesn’t get on the score sheet, it’s like he didnt even get on the game sheet.

      Contrast this to a player like Eller, who will go long stretches without a point, yet still have a big impact on a game.

      I’m not suggesting patches is or should be the same type of player as Eller, but I am also not a fan of him doing absolutely nothing (no hitting, no puck pressure, no playmaking, poor defensive work in his own end) when the puck doesn’t go in,

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Only issue I have with him is that I wish he would be more physical. D-men would think twice when they go back to get the puck…

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

  18. Haberoooo13 says:

    Re: The complaints about Patches and DD

    The perceived lack of production by these 2 from some HIO posters, could it be less ice time and less PP icetime because they are more than a 1 line team this year?

    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

    • Mike D says:

      No, I’ve watched pretty closely and they have both looked fairly bad as of late. Last year they were the only productive line so perhaps that skews things a little, but they seem unable to maintain O-zone presence for the most part even though they get a huge chunk of O-zone faceoffs (which DD usually loses).

      I’m not anti-DD or anti-Max by any means either. If anything my frustration comes from having Max in my pool and him not doing much recently, lol.

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • Loonie says:

      Desharnais is the fourth most used forward on the Powerplay and was the second most used forward until three or so games ago.

      • Haberoooo13 says:

        But last year there was no doubt which 3 forwards would get about 65% (yeah I made that up) of the PP time

        Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  19. SmartDog says:

    Elliot Friedman, the best of that stupid “Hotstove” panel said last night that trading Cole was partly because he was anti-PK. He said it like it was simple fact. Anyone else note this?

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • D Mex says:

      Sure did.

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

    • Mike D says:

      I missed it cuz I think the Habs 2nd period was still on when the 2nd intermission started on the leafs game.

      If I’m not mistaken Stubbs said yesterday on his Twitter Q & A that Cole was anti-PK but it wasn’t the reason he was traded.

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • RockinRey says:

      Actually it was PJ stock who said Cole was traded because he was not a fan of PK

      • habstrinifan says:

        That’s what I thought.

      • Strummer says:

        it was PJ- Friedman told PJ to stop attacking PK

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

        • RockinRey says:

          Actually that was before the game. He is refering to Hotstove segment in the second period when they were talking about draft picks and for some reason he said the Habs had done their business before the trade deadline by setting a tone with the PK negotiation by adding him and then pieces like Ryder, Stewiske.

          He didn’t articulate it very well. Which PJ never does.

    • Boomer says:

      I think that it’s been blown way out of proportion (imagine that in MTL). If Cole was anti pk why did they speak on the phone to say their goodbyes when cole was traded?

    • otter649 says:

      How can you confuse Stock & Freideman if you were really watching The CBC….

  20. Boomer says:

    Funny tweet:
    Doug‏@Drdougboston24m
    Bruins claimed this morning Habs have unfair advantage at home because the blue lines are in French.

  21. HabFab says:

    Our PK has climbed to 14th overall. Believe we haven’t given up a PP goal in 4 games now.
    Checking all the other stats, we are 2nd to 6th consistently across the board except face-offs.
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/teamstats.htm?fetchKey=20132ALLSAAAll&sort=faceOffWinPercentage&viewName=summary

  22. toinz says:

    Some interesting Penalty Kill statistics..

    The vaunted Bruins PK has allowed 12 goals all season while killing penalties, including 4 (one in each game) to Montreal

    Their 90.3% is tops in the league.
    Their 75% PK rate (12/16) against Montreal would make them 29th.
    Their 92.6% PK rate against the rest of the league would make them first by over 3% points.

    Another interesting PK statistic. The top 3 penalty killing teams in the league this season are in the Northeast Division:Boston, Ottawa, Toronto. In spite of that, Montreal’s PP sits 6th.

    How have the other PPs fared in our tough PK division:
    Ottawa 13th
    Toronto 16th
    Boston 24th
    Buffalo 30th

    My apologies for the wall of text. Next time someone tells you Boston has the best PK in the league, you can simply answer “Yes, except when they play Montreal.”

  23. B says:

    Pacioretty was a .82 ppg player last season. So far this season he is a .88 ppg player.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • twilighthours says:

      I’d be interested in seeing the number of pointless games he has played in, and compare that number to other .8/.9 ppg players and see how many pointless games they’ve had.

      Patches is streaky, and he’s been invisible of late

      • B says:

        Pacioretty seems consistent overall:

        2013…pointless in 15 of 34 (44%)
        11/12..pointless in 34 of 72 (43%)

        This season:
        8 points in his 1st 10 games.
        8 points in his last 10 games.

        –Go Habs Go!–

        • Danno says:

          In spite of the above, pointless criticisms of Pacioretty are on the increase

          ________________________________________

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

        • twilighthours says:

          Thanks. So hes upped his ppg while at the same time upping his pointless game rate. Intersting,

          I also meant I was looking for a comparison against other league players, but that sounds like a lot of work

          • B says:

            This season:
            Pacioretty (.88ppg)
            15 of 34 games pointless
            Corey Perry (.88ppg)
            13 of 34 games pointless
            Michael Ryder (.87ppg)
            17 of 37 games pointless
            Patrice Bergeron (.89ppg)
            16 of 35 games pointless

            –Go Habs Go!–

          • twilighthours says:

            Thanks B. is this the full list of patches’ peers? Are are you cherry picking?

          • B says:

            Perry is the only other .88 ppg player, there are 3 at .89 and 2 at .86, so I picked two familiar names in Ryder and Bergeron. I did not count any others, but wouldn’t expect any surprises there. Please feel free to count some more yourself if you have doubts.

            –Go Habs Go!–

          • twilighthours says:

            Send me your data, or the site you use, and I probably will

          • B says:

            http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20132ALLSASALL&viewName=points&sort=avgPointsPerGame&pg=2

            The above shows ppg. Click on a players name to get their page and then click on game log. You can then count up the pointless games. I did this for D.Sedin (.87ppg and 16 of 38 pointless) while double checking these instructions. Do you really expect to find anything much different than what has been counted so far?

            –Go Habs Go!–

          • twilighthours says:

            No idea. But I’m quite good with Excel so it’s possible I can find a quick way and discover something interesting. We throw around the streaky scorer label and it would be nice to back that up

          • B says:

            …or debunk it? :)

            –Go Habs Go!–

      • commandant says:

        The reality when you look around the NHL is nearly every guy who is considered a goal scorer is streaky. This is not a phenomenom unique to Max or to the Habs. We’ve seen it in Gio, Cammy, Kovalev, AK46, Ryder, Zednick and all our goal guys in the last decade

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

  24. kerrgte says:

    There was a segment on HNIC (aka Leafs corner) that commented on June drafts. Of all Cdn teams, Mtl is richest with a 1st rounder and 3 2nd rounders.

    i’m amazed that Gallagher, a 5th rounder, was still available, but not amazed that our mgt had the smarts to draft him.

    If Cristo (22 yrs old) works out, and we get another couple of superbo picks in June, everyone else better look out.

    I’ll remain hopeful for a 2013 successful playoff run, but I really think MB is building a team that will be even stronger in 2014 and 2015. When you think of it, it’s a bit of a Cinderella story for a team to go from nearly last place in 2012 to a cup winner in 1 season. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    • pmaraw says:

      can you say ‘dynasty’

    • SmartDog says:

      Habs cupboard is looking very full.

      One thing Bergevin does is he adds players where he either only picks up assets or at least breaks even. Amazing. The Ryder-Cole deal is so awesome. Better player, better cap space. But even the Halpern pick-up, the Prust signing – give up nothing and fill a huge need. So awesome.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  25. Boomer says:

    Bill

    April 7, 2013 at 11:50 am

    “@24 Cups: Can’t see re-signing Ryder next year. It’s the worst Cap year in recent memory. The trade was all about clearing salary next season, it’s just that Ryder’s incredible production has clouded the picture.

    The Habs just can’t afford to give Ryder a long-term deal, and he will get an offer from someone else. Next season, Bourque switches to RW, where he is way more effective, and he and Gionta are the top two. Gallagher is third and we shall see who is 4th.

    It’s LW where they need some help.”

    One resolution to the cap issue and the weakness on LW is down the middle. Plekanec, Eller, DD, Galchenyuk all have something in common. Natural centers that are so much more effective at center and NOT on the left wing. Neither of these guys are going to center the 4th line either. A trade for assets could help the cap situation moving into the summer to either sign Ryder or sign a Left Winger. Or they could trade straight up for a Left winger and keep Gio, Gallagher and Prust on the right

  26. SmartDog says:

    FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT PLAYERS:
    1. ELLER. I hated Gauthier and how he managed this team… but can we now say that the Eller-Halak trade was something he did right?
    2. PK. Is PK a 50-50 bet or better for the Norris?
    3. RYDER. If Ryder does at least okay in the playoffs, should he be resigned if he wants 4 mil/3 years (or resigned now)?
    4. GIONTA. Gionta has 1 year left on his contract. Who’s most likely to wear the C when he goes?
    5. PRICE. How much better is Price now, than he was in February? (And is it just me or did Cassie Campbell (usually good) throw Price off when she said “no-one would say you’re a bad goalie but…”).
    BONUS QUESTION: Weird to see Jagr in a B uniform. What is your most monumental wrong-jersey player experience?

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Boomer says:

      1. Great Trade
      2. The only hesitation i’ve heard panelists say about PK winning the Norris is his ice-time needs to increase.
      3. Tough one, would like to see him in the line up myself moving forward.
      4. Gorges
      5. Price has always been good. A LOT of the goals against him would have given any goaltender in the league difficulty.

      How about you Smartdog?

      • SmartDog says:

        1. Good trade.
        2. I think he’s 50-50. I think playing on the team with Markov is what might make him NOT win since they split the top minutes and duties.
        3. I love what Ryder brings, and hope they sign him but not for 3 years. 2 years sure.
        4. I honestly don’t know. Gorges has faded a bit in my mind. Patches maybe.
        5. Yes, I think he’s better. He’s more steady in tense situations, sticks to his game.
        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Mike D says:

      1) Considering Halak’s play declining and Eller’s improving, yes.
      2) Yes. Or at least he should be.
      3) Not re-signed til the offseason to keep him hungry. 3.5mil per for 3 years.
      4) Gorges or Plek, but most likely Gorges.
      5) Price is playing great.

      Bonus: Koivu in a Ducks uniform.

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • mdp2011 says:

      1-No, still didn’t get enough for Halak, no matter how good Eller becomes.
      2-He should win it hands down, but I hope he doesn’t. See my post below.
      3- Ryder will not sign for that, he’ll get much more as a UFA
      4-Prust
      5-Not sure what you mean, Price is having a good year.

      Bonus- Lafleur in a Nordiques jersey, it made me puke. I burned all my Lafleur memorabilia I had as a kid.

      • twilighthours says:

        1) if halak were dealt today, the blues would get a couple scrubs and a 2nd rounder for him. The Eller deal was a steal

        • mdp2011 says:

          I don’t care what Halak would fetch today. He was coming off a spectacular run and his value was sky high. PG didn’t even bother shopping him around. There were teams in need of goaltending at the time; San Jose, Philly, etc…

          • twilighthours says:

            We have no idea if Gauthier shopped around or not. None.

            It is entirely possible (some might say likely) that NHL GMs knew halak to be a one hit wonder.

            Gauthier is to be commended for turning this average goalie into such a fine young player.

            I hope this trade is how we remember Gauthier. I’m trying to forget most else, anyway

          • Boomer says:

            He did shop him around to SJ, they tried to get Logan Couture for him but no way SJ was biting

          • Mark C says:

            Funny you mention San Jose they got their goalie, Niemi, that year by giving up nothing! The goalie market sucked when the Habs traded Halak. Too bad Stevie Y wasn’t a GM yet. The package Montreal got was good market value at the time.

    • twilighthours says:

      1) yep. Eller is a beast
      2) no. He will be nominated but has no chance of winning. Factors that will keep him from winning: not enough penalty kill time, not enough overall time on ice, possible sheltered matchups, and him being counter-culture.
      3) oh yes
      4) no idea, but I’d give it to plekanec. If doesn’t play like a captain, then I don’t know who does
      5) he was good then, too. And the Cassie thing didn’t bother him at all
      Bonus) sundin in Vancouver or bourque in Colorado

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Sheltered matchups, seriously?

        • twilighthours says:

          Well I’m no matchups-charting guy, but it seems like therrien goes with Markov and Emelin against the other team’s top line. And those guys never get benched while pK does.

          You got some evidence that shows me pK plays against top competition? I could easily be wrong

    • Danno says:

      1) Spectacular
      2) Should be but the league has good old boys who won’t vote for him
      3)Yes
      4)Promote Gorges and give PK the A
      5)Non issue

      Bonus – Gomez wearing the CH

      ________________________________________

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

    • GrimJim says:

      1. Yup,goat won that trade
      2.he should be but I think the old stick-in-the-MUDs might stonewall him for being too “flashy”
      3. First thought is yes but habs have a lot of right-wingers
      4. Gorges
      5. I thought he was pretty good in feb (didn’t see Cassie’s interview)
      B. Lafleur in a Nordiques uniform. Wrong,wrong,wrong…

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      1. Nope. Eller is good but he should have gotten an established player. At least a draft pick instead of Schultz who is a stiff.
      2. Better…no contest if he plays like last month.
      3. 4 mil/3 years…yes…give Plekanec a steady scoring winger.
      4. No doubt Gorges…I would prefer Prust.
      5. Basically the same…who cares what anyone from the CBC thinks (except Friedman).

      Bonus: Gretzky in St. Louis…

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

    • Whatever says:

      1. I liked it at the time.
      2. He’s definitely a finalist.
      3. Tough call. He is greatly exceeding expectations.
      4. The most respected leader on/off the ice. Fans don’t have a clue.
      5. Price always has my support.
      Bonus: Muller in Leaf rags.

    • Rugger says:

      I’ll just answer the bonus since most of my answers are covered above: Big Bird in a Kings jersey.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1. Great trade. Maybe Gauthier is OK as an evaluator of talent.
      2. Less than 50/50. Right now it is a 4 horse race plus a few also rans so he’s at best 20%. (Letang, Suter, Kronwall, and the also rans)
      3. Sign him.
      4. Maybe no one gets the C. Maybe Plekanec. Not Gorges. He just isn’t good enough of a hockey player (played great last night though).
      5. Yes he’s better.
      6. Lafleur, Rangers and Nordiques.

  27. Rugger says:

    Just had an enjoyable few minutes reading the comments on the Boston Globe site, some highlights:
    Fire the Fat Man now!
    But it was their 5th game in 7 nights (repeated after every negative comment)
    Emilen should get a 3 game suspension for trying to injure Lucik
    Lucik sucks
    Lucik was just retaliating for a Plek attempted slash
    Trade Jagr to Montreal
    Ref’s waited until B’s were fatigued to call penalty

  28. Mark C says:

    Sounds like Collberg is now in Montreal and will sign a PTO, playing with the Bulldogs as soon as Friday.

  29. HabFab says:

    RenLavoieRDS – Sebastain Collberg will join the Hamilton Bulldogs on a PTO.

  30. Mike D says:

    Not hockey related, but an interesting tweet from Robert Rice (SeriousFan09):

    Robert Rice ‏@SeriousFan09 2h

    RBC replaces Canadian staff with foreign workers http://cbc.sh/21Hqa1P – Disgusting.

    FYI to the RBC customers among us.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  31. SmartDog says:

    A NOTE Re PK:
    Am I late to the party, or was PK incredible last night in how time after time he would lose the fore-checker just inside our end. Spin a bit one way, wait for the guy to commit, spin the other way and GONE. It was like a clinic. Outstanding.

    Re JAGR:
    Sad to watch one of my 3 all-time favorite players in a B uniform. Anyone see what he was saying to Moen in the 1st period? Seemed almost friendly, or maybe that was a sneer.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Danno says:

      Was also yucking it up with the refs too

      ________________________________________

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

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      PK made Lucic and Thorton look bad when he had the puck. As for Jagr, he should have been playing with Seguin…not 4th liners. Speaking of the 4th line…why did Julien have Thorton and Campbell on with less than 2 minutes to go? If it wasn’t for the Eller penalty, the Habs would have run out the clock easily.

      BTW Jagr is a player who is above all the BS (see Philly last year…)

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

    • mdp2011 says:

      PK has been doing that all year, he’s making it look so easy. One thing that worries me though is if he continues to play the way he’s played all year, he will win the Norris. That would be really bad for the Habs, it could be a difference of 1.5-2mil cap hit if he wins it this year.Once he signs he’s long term extension, I hope he wins 8 Norris trophies in a row, just not this year.

    • petefleet says:

      Smartdog, I’m going to say it or ask it. Is it just me or does anyone else get the idea that the hockey world does not want PK Subban to win the Norris trophy. I keep hearing all this stuff about needing to mature and tighten up his own end. I too thought he put on a clinic AGAIN last night. That outlet pass to Max was insane!! Max didn’t cash but holy mackerel!! There’s not another “D”man in the league that can match this kids everything.
      Period. The future looks bright.

      ******************************************
      I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

      ***Go Habs Go***

      • SmartDog says:

        Absolutely. And as someone said above, it might be better if he doesn’t win it this year.

        I don’t think it’s prejudice though (or mostly not). I think it’s the same way they’ve been saying that Pleks “flies under the radar” for years. How is it some players just get more attention. I think it’s to do with their “personal brand”. Pleks is so quiet, not a talker, very efficient and out of the limelight. PK is so well known for being a big friendly voice, it’s almost like people are surprised that he CAN play hockey.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  32. 100HABS says:

    Just watched the post-game reactions on TSN.ca. I could barely believe my ears – the Bruins players gave credit to the Habs for being good. No whining, only a single comment (Lucic) about officiating, and a lot of compliments on our team being skilled up front and really tight defensively.

    Unreal! Maybe because it was the last game with us in the regular season? I don’t know but I never expected that bunch to come to their senses…

    • SmartDog says:

      Maybe after Julien’s epic whine and the ridicule afterwards they looked in the mirror and decided that whining was just not the way to go. If so, it would be about time.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • geo_habsgo says:

      A team that admits defeat and credits his opponent is a team that will be better in the long run because they’ve taken stock of the situation. Whining stops you from learning. The show of respect by the Bruins just tells us that we will need to be even more ready for them if we meet in the postseason.

  33. Bill says:

    First round meeting between Habs and Leafs is inevitable. Written in the stars. It’ll be fun, but I don’t really relish the idea of our Habs going up against the most astonishingly lucky team in the league first round.

    • mrhabby says:

      I for one would hate that match up. Can you imagine the leafs who have not made the playoffs in years win the opening series against the Habs. We would never hear the end of it…never.

  34. mdp2011 says:

    So seems like Dr.Carlyle has cleared Lupil for practice today.

    @jonasTSN1050: Joffrey Lupul has taken to the ice this morning. Will see if he sticks around for practice. Definitely a positive sign.

    But I guess Dr.Carlyle thought his head was overheating so Lupil left practice after only 10 minutes.

    @jonasTSN1050: Lupul departs practice after about 10 minutes.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      At least they aren’t rushing him back at the expense of his health…..

    • Phil C says:

      It is appauling on two fronts, first for the utter disregard for the young man’s long-term health, second for the horrible asset management. If he gets bumped again in the next week, he could be gone for a year like Crosby was, whereas if they just shut him down for a week, give him another week to get back in shape and he is back by the playoffs. Losers.

      Stuff like this convinces me that the ex-NHL injured players are going to sue the NHL into oblivion someday.

  35. New says:

    Well the Canadiens learned a couple things while winning again. One, there is no rule that requires an opposition player to accept your thundering body check and go flying into the boards to the cheer of the crowds. Two, it hurts.

    I hope Lucic takes a moment to text Subban or Emelin and ask if it is something he said or did. It will be interesting to see if Gallagher learns from Krejci’s hit.

    • petefleet says:

      I just learned something about you as well!!! My hope is that someone actually connects with Lucic and shows him a thing or two. It may well be PK, I don’t think he’s intimidated by Lucic. As for Gallagher, he’s on his way to stardom in this league. He’ll be just fine.

      ******************************************
      I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

      ***Go Habs Go***

    • rehab says:

      2 points and another win cures a lot of pain

      rehab

    • GrimJim says:

      Yeah, I saw last night’s game too. Chara embellishes, the bruins’ trade deadline pickup is as slow as cold molasses, not one player smart enough to take a shot at goal in the last minute of a one goal game. I guess the only thing a bruins’ fan can be proud of is accidentally injuring someone…

    • Alvin says:

      New… Sorry I do not understand your post but regarding Gallagher don;t think there was much to learn except that Krejci likes to hit players smaller than himself late and that nobody on the Habs made Krejci pay the price later in the game. I kept waiting for someone to nail him real good but it just didn’t happen.

      • New says:

        That’s ok. Lucic is a big lad who plays big against 29 teams. He is hit, hit, and hits. You don’t run at a man like that, you wait. The time will come. Trying to nail him will just result in pain because every game, every shift, others are trying the same thing. You just take him out of the play and his temper will take him out of the game.

        Krejci purposely nailed Gallagher to the head. Marchand said it two years ago, because he could. The refs won’t call that or a Chara stick to a 5′ 7″ player’s head. When Gallagher learns that, that he is at a disadvantage, and couples mean with fast, he will be something to see, get more space, and draw more retaliation penalties. He is too respectful right now. The respect won’t be returned by opponents. He has to get low and mean, like Marchand.

  36. Bill says:

    @24 Cups: Can’t see re-signing Ryder next year. It’s the worst Cap year in recent memory. The trade was all about clearing salary next season, it’s just that Ryder’s incredible production has clouded the picture.

    The Habs just can’t afford to give Ryder a long-term deal, and he will get an offer from someone else. Next season, Bourque switches to RW, where he is way more effective, and he and Gionta are the top two. Gallagher is third and we shall see who is 4th.

    It’s LW where they need some help.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Ryder should be offered a 1 or 2-year deal. He probably wouldn´t sign but we should at least try. With Kristo and Leblanc also in the mix on the right, I´m sure Bourque stays on the left. I also think Gallagher has secured a top 6 job for years to come.

    • New says:

      The thing about Ryder that gets overlooked is that he is a very good hockey player. He has succeeded at every level even though he was always late arriving or playing skills catch up. He has a Cup and a string of 30 goal seasons. Bourque can’t hold a candle to that but brings other skills. The thing I like about the new management is that they aren’t afraid to try and make things work for the right people. You have to figure that so far that appears to be working out for both them and Ryder. He may not be a stop gap measure in their plans.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I agree, Bill. I’m sure that MB realizes the big challenge with the cap will come in 2014-15 so he can’t tie himself down next year.

      I’m not sure the team has the courage to trade it’s only French-Canadien player but it makes so much sense on so many levels. Barring that, bringing in a winger on a one year deal makes the most sense. The three equal lines philosophy means the signing doesn’t have to be a big name or even a July 1st move. Just a nice stop gap signing.

      http://www.capgeek.com/ufa-finder

    • petefleet says:

      I haven’t looked at the numbers but I hope you’re wrong. I would sign Ryder now if possible and hope the cap increases next year, like it always does, and then extend his contract again. I think he’s got 3-4 more good years in him. It would be a shame to see him go somewhere else.

      ******************************************
      I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

      ***Go Habs Go***

  37. 24 Cups says:

    Another cheap hit from behind into the boards. Somebody wake up Shanahan.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNNCjvWE7pE&feature=player_embedded

  38. frontenac1 says:

    Meeting my buddy the Hawks fan at the Saloon today for the Blues/Wings game. We both want to see a Habs/Hawks Cup Final.It would be one for the ages amigos. FAST or what eh?Saludos!

  39. twocents says:

    Max’s first 18 games: 8 goals, 20 points

    His last 16 games: 3 goals, 10 points

    Pretty much coincides with Cole’s departure, though Max did have three great games directly following Cole’s departure.

    Again, I am not trying to say anything as ridiculous as he should be traded or is useless, simply saying he has been less effective of late and think Cole’s leaving has had an impact on this.

    • HabFab says:

      IMO Max, DD, Moen and Gorges all suffered from Cole this season. Both after he left and prior to him leaving.

      • twocents says:

        I absolutely agree with DD, and can see what you mean with Moen, though I would hope that Prust would provide sufficient inspiration. However, in Gorges’s case I would never have made a connection.

        • HabFab says:

          Those were the four players that he was closest to. He had became extremely negative during the lock out, I suspect there was a clash for control of the dressing room with the new coaches and as one of the talking heads said last night, apparently he was also the leader of the anti PK group of players.

    • B says:

      Pacioretty had 8 point in his first 10 games. He has 8 points in his last 10 games.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • Alvin says:

      2 cents your observation is spot on. Patches looks pretty well spastic out there most of the time.

  40. Skeptical says:

    Upon Bourques return these would be my lines

    Pacioetty Plekanac Ryder
    Galchenyuk Eller Gallaghar
    Bourque Desharnais Gionta
    Moen Halpern Prust

    In MO If this lineup played their cards right with no injuries Price or Budaj in net. I have faith in both of them. We just may see a parade in Montreal come June.

    • mdp2011 says:

      So the Habs have won 5 of the last 6 games and because one guy comes back in the lineup, you change all 4 lines? Brilliant plan.

      • Skeptical says:

        With the Skill this team has. any line combination will work. Just Saying. Gotta fit Bourque back in. we have three scoring lines and possible a 4th with Moen Halpern Prust. Kinda funny you didn’t make any suggestions about the lines other Commentors suggested.

        • mdp2011 says:

          my guess is that Bouque, who hasn’t played in nearly 2 months, and is returning for a concussion will be integrated slowly onto the 4th line for 5-6 games.

    • Alvin says:

      Those look like great lines to me and the weak link there is Moen for sure. Need more talent & grit in his place.

  41. YoNiko says:

    I think what Chucky has accomplished as an 18 year old/19 year old is quite impressive.

    If we can use Gally as a comparaison, whos 2 years older and plays major powerplay minutes. Chucky only has 3 points less all in the while playing out of position.. lets not forget, Chucky is a Center… playing LW. He has had tons of shots that just barely missed the net and has made tons of plays that didnt come through.

    This is without mentioning that Chucky spent 6 games playing with Armdog. Nothing against Colby but he is no Ptches or dd

  42. The Cat says:

    Maybe I had my hopes set too high but the bruins-habs games this year havent been that good. I got to wonder what was the bruins game plan last night: dont be physical and shoot from the point with no traffic?

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

    • SmartDog says:

      The Bruins problem last night is they actually tried to play hockey. With Bergeron out, that takes away about half of their skill.

      What I LOVE is the whining after. It’s almost epic. Julien really has them following his lead. hahahaha
      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Gormdog says:

      On the whole they have been a bit underwhelming but our shootout win was one of THE most exciting (regular season) games I’ve ever seen!

  43. calvee123 says:

    CBC, the Toronto broadcasting station, had a game on no one except the ones from Ontario would care about. Once again the rest of Canada was shut out. Thank you RDS, what would we do without you. Too bad I can’t understand 99% of it. I can make out more and more though. Go Habs Go!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I thought CBC aired the Habs/Bruins game national with only Ontario watching Toronto vs New Jersey last night?

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      not sure what you’re talking about the habs game was the national game last night. only Ontario residents saw the leaf game

    • Bardya says:

      Habs bruins game was aired nationwide…

    • Alvin says:

      Hi Calvee and it is true you will begin to understand more and more relating the words to the actions you see. I can only give you a few words, and others here can give you many many more but here;s a few, phonetically spelled for you.
      Boozekillyay – body check or roughed up
      rat le fillet – missed the net
      Bagarr – fight
      la ron dell – the puck
      sur la glace – on the ice
      Jet lay gaunt – drops the gloves
      o coin – in the corner
      la ligne – the line

  44. 24 Cups says:

    I was just looking on CapGeek to see who would be Ryder’s competition on RW this summer in terms of the UFA market. Unless the Habs are willing to go all in on Kristo, it would appear they will need to sign someone to fill Ryder’s spot. (Or Bourque could always move to the right side which then means the team would need another LW)

    Ryder (33) will probably want a four year deal in the 4.5-5M range. I seriously doubt that Montreal would take that bait. The RW candidates appear to fall into three distinct categories.

    Ryder’s peers – Dupuis, Iginla, Horton and Clarkson.

    Lesser lights – Boyes, Bouchard, Brunner and Jagr.

    Not moving – Selanne, Alfredsson and Hejduk.

    So where will Ryder go and who will MB pick up to fill Ryder’s spot (keeping in mind that a trade is always an option)?

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      I agree that either a 3 year deal at 5 mil or 4 years at 4 to 4.5 are probably the market, and I can’t see MB going there with him.

      Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The other thought I had was for MB to take advantage of the new CBA by front loading a 4 year deal as much as possible. (20% variance allowed?) The money paid is not an issue for the Habs, by frontloading the dollars it would make Ryder far more tradeable in years 3 and 4 to a team that would like to add a veteran scorer but are more concerned with actual cost than caphit. I think specifically of a team like Winnipeg or Florida etc… who from a budget perspective view their payroll completely different from Montreal.

      Perhaps 5Mill years 1 and scaling down to 3Mill in year 4.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Ryder’s the type of player whose game can go south quickly. He’s the type of player you give a short term deal to. I’d be shocked if MB signs him to more than three years (I would only two). BTW I have a feeling MB will regret the DD contract at the end of this season…

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

      • Haberoooo13 says:

        In a vacuum, the contract is ok (not great, not bad), but on a team with an excellent 2 way center (Pleks) and 2 up and coming and bigger offensive centers (L’Harceleur and Gals 27), it is then less than an ok contract.

        Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

    • punkster says:

      With all due respect Steve, and believe me I quite understand your question/concern, but…
      - they’re presently in the NHL’s elite team range in all but a few stats
      - they’re playing lights out at almost all positions
      - they’re scoring goals and taking away opposition chances when required
      - it’s almost time for guys like you and I to hit the links

      WTF are you worrying about this now?

      :)

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

      • HabinBurlington says:

        1 more week and Myrtle for me Dave! Then hopefully courses are open here at home upon my return. Hopefully I run into lots of Leaves at the course!

    • Alvin says:

      PLUS ONE FOR KRISTO

  45. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Great game by our boys. MT has everyone accountable.
    Fantastic to see our lightening speed just baffle the now gutted Bruins.

    they seem to have lost character and attitude… they were playing
    with no intent… the HABS first period just made them realize that
    they are not of the elite calibre… in the game of speed and intellect.

    If the Habs can maintain that ‘speed – passing – puck possession’ game
    then they will continue having success,,,,BUT, they did let off, and the Bruins didn’t attack them violently as is their way…

    take the pts and move on…PItts is the real target.

    …special mention for WHITE, played an excellent, disciplined game


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

  46. Habfan17 says:

    Anyone know what is happening with the remaining NCAA free agents?

    Habfan17

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    For all the frustration many of us have with the CBC, they are adding the Sabres/Habs game this Thursday to their broadcast schedule. That is good news.

    CBC dodged a bullet last night with Toronto winning. New Jersey really carried most of the play and James Reimer played a very strong game for the Blue and White. A loss last night by the Leafs and suddenly they are part of the race to make the playoffs.

  48. frontenac1 says:

    Knee brace and crutches? Damn!

  49. Bill H says:

    Great team effort last night.

    I love the Chuckie – Eller – Prust line. Fantastic to #27 break out of his slump. I find myself wondering how much of #27′s slump coincides with the injuries to Prust and Bourque. I think Prust makes just about everyone play better.

    Anyone know the deal on getting playoff tickets? Obviously they don’t go on sale until it is mathematically a sure thing that we play at least the first round. So do I need to keep my eye on the Habs web page and then order by phone or internet? Is this a difficult and time consuming process? Are good seats available?

    Sorry for all the questions. I’d love to get up to see a game though. I am based in Toronto so it would be a real treat to see a playoff game.

  50. Lafleurguy says:

    What happened to our recruiting picture?

    Did Marc Bergevin intervene ’cause someone leaked the picture he was going to use on UFA’s (“Be part of the Good Hands Team”)?

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  51. HFL says:

    SO I have been following this site for about three years now. I think ive posted a few times. Anyways just wanna say that this season has been terrific! and many of the contributors to this site have a great appreciation and insight to the game. SO thank you to those of you that I have enjoyed reading over the years.

    Anyways nuff of that.

    Id like to see max play like he did that shift when he hit the two Boston players should be his intesity every shift. Also, I find he’s not driving the net like he did last saeson. He is always looking to shoot from the perimeter it seems, when he has the speed and size to take it to the net. Hopefully this changes for the play offs, because Max is a scary player when he wants to be.

    I would LOVE to see Bourque play with Galchenyuck and Eller once he returns. I think that would be a scary and powerful line. Bourque would take it to the net, and drive down the wing with speed. Eller with his speed, strength skill and size, and galchenyuck using his skills, vision and quick passes. I think that would be a terrific line.
    Unfortunate for Prust, because I dont see where he fits in with the top three lines, and I certainly do not want to see him on the fourth line because I would like to see him get frequent ice time. Then again, thats a pretty solid fourth line of Halpern, Prust and Moen.
    Damn this team is looking good. Lets just hope all our players are injury free come play off time.
    Cheers to everyone, this has been a terrific season! and I cannot wait for the playoffs!

  52. sheds88 says:

    i think we may have just found another name for Rat-boy !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2m4cFe_s50

  53. Timo says:

    Stubbs tweet: ” Expect #Habs to call up Beaulieu to fill in for Emelin. Status report on latter probably coming Monday after 11 am Brossard “

  54. frontenac1 says:

    @BJ. That’s what it looked like to me too,a charlie horse. Carbo said the same on AC last night too. Here”s hoping it wasn’t his knee.

  55. christophor says:

    The reason I suspect that Boston gets very few power plays is that the refs put away their whistles when the Bruins play. We’ve seen the vids of them diving, and even if they didn’t dive, that kind of discrepancy is not made up by diving.

    There’s pressure to ‘let the Bruins play their game’, and their strength is 5v5. I’d be interested to see whether it’s just penalties to the Bruins that are down or penalties in games involving them.

    This idea popped into my mind during their cup run, when it seemed that almost all Bruins games contained no special teams. Paradigm example: game 7 vs Tampa, when there were zero penalties and it was common knowledge that the Bruins were by far the best 5v5 team in the league and Stamkos the best PP scorer.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      This is my thought exactly. The officials are more forgiving in Boston games. They almost have to be, or there would be a penalty per minute.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree, it is a complete different game with Boston and the refs seem to adjust with it. Full credit to the refs, however, last night in calling the cross check from Lucic on Plex. I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least to see them not call that. Turned out to be pivotal.

  56. Cape Breton says:

    It’s amazing that Don Cherry has yet to jump on Brendon Gallagher’s bandwagon during his weekly sermon. Although the young man is the type of player that Cherry adores, Grapes has ignored Gallagher. However, if Gally was a Leaf, Don would surely be kissing him on HNIC.

    • t1tan5 says:

      CBC’s broadcast last night was hilariously bad. First, we have Cherry showing the “behind the scenes” from LAST WEEK’s post-game interviews which confirmed what has already been confirmed more times than the answer to 1/0: Cherry is a Leafs fan extraordinaire. Then after the games, instead of focusing on the biggest NHL game so far this season; a battle between two elite division rivals, they spent the ENTIRE time talking about the Leafs-Devils game. On top of that, the ONLY Bruins-Habs highlight shown on a night the Habs won was from the game 7 OT loss from two years ago!

    • christophor says:

      and then replaying the whole ordeal during the Habs national broadcast the following week

    • SensFanSpezza says:

      That’s true. So, lucky for us, Gally’s flying under the Cherry radar. He doesn’t need herpes derailing his season.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      It’s rare that I watch Coach’s Corner, but last year Cherry spotlighted Gally after a Giants game. Said he loved the kid, etc…

      “Over an ocean and over a sea…”

  57. habzfan2003 says:

    Maybe I’m eating the “troll soup” ;)

    But I agree with some posters on here saying that Max is playing real soft physically for the majority of the season… Not hitting, not taking it hard to the net very often…

    Is it just me or did he get hit with a high stick that was uncalled? Afterwards he hit somebody then 5 seconds later ran somebody else over… It also seems as though he took it to the net real hard for the remainder of the game… I think he was mad at the no-call and took his frustration out on the Bruin players and crashed the net to show he wasn’t pleased.

    Does that what it takes for him to start playing more physical and to stop with those dreaded perimeter shots?

  58. HardHabits says:

    Habs by period goal differential:

    1st Period +18
    2nd Period -2
    3rd Period +13

    I’ve been paying extra close attention to the Habs line changing patterns as of late. The bench being away from their D-Zone in the 2nd has caused them to get hemmed in, out-played, caught with their pants down or disorganized in their own end more than a few times this season. On the other side of the ice though, tonight on one occasion in the 2nd the Habs made a nice transition change (2nd period bench is near the O-Zone) and started pressing the Bruins in their own end. I said to myself finally a decent change causing pressure. Sadly Subban tried a high risk move at the blue line which cost a scoring opportunity at the other end.

    I think if the Habs can make this adjustment and turn around their 2nd period line changes in a way that they don’t get trapped, tired or out of the play and concentrate on gaining those opportunistic changes that create offensive chances, so that they can end up with a positive goal differential for the 2nd period to finish the season, it will make the Habs a force to reckon with more than people might want to admit. The play-offs are a different animal so I will still take a wait and see approach.

    Nevertheless as much as this is a rebuilding team, I still think they look like they can go deep in the 2nd season. All the way even.

    And I do not, I repeat DO NOT, see the world through bleu-blanc-rouge coloured lenses.

  59. SensFanSpezza says:

    All you married, old, bald, fat guys posting or drooling over that picture are kinda gross, really. Those are probably your daughter’s friends.

    On topic, the Habs are terrible hosts. The Bruins were badly mistreated with the rotten ice and the blatant fouling of Chara by that monster Lars Eller. They wouldn’t even take a shot at the end in protest. If the Habs keep treating their guests like that, the next thing you know, someone will give them a big old silver Cup just to get rid of them.

  60. twocents says:

    It seems to me that calling players useless, when a team is doing as well as this one, is an indication that the accuser does not have a strong grasp of how teams work.

    Having said that, I agree Max’s game is off(not that he is useless), and this may be an additional cost of losing the Erik Cole of last year. Cole really showed Max how to be effective. When Cole’s game slipped this year, Max slowly lost his edge and since Cole’s departure his physical/driving game has further eroded. I hope Max can connect the dots and assimilate Cole’s lessons into a permanent part of his game.

    If I was betting, I would put my money on him doing so.

    • ed says:

      30 pts for Max in 34 games. where is his game off?

      • HardHabits says:

        He has to get 5 points next game to be at a point per game pace. :-) Apparently DD sucks too and Price can’t win a game all on his own either.

        • twocents says:

          Come now, HH you know me better than that.

          But if you want my view on these two.
          Price has been excellent.
          DD, well, I’ll put it this way, when the time comes to let Galchenyuk play centre, as he should, I’d rather have Eller and Pleks as my other two offensive centres. And I don’t think DD should be a forth line centre. So, if he can adjust his game to wing and still add his playmaking capacity skills to a line, then great.

      • twocents says:

        I haven’t watched games as religiously as I have in other years, but in the games and periods that I have seen, Max has not been as aggressively driving the net and forcing the play as he was last year.

        His stats are great, but it seems to me that his game has changed to some degree. He is getting his nose dirty less. Since I think this team could use as much of that as we can muster, I would like to see him do it more. But again, I haven’t seen more than a quarter of the games, and if this is not true game in game, then great.

        As I stated at the start, I think it’s missing the point to pick apart individuals when a team is playing this well. But that doesn’t exclude making observations where improvements could be found or discussing details.

      • sheds88 says:

        If DD was better, Max would be lighting it up.

        • twocents says:

          Very likely true, but does no one else think he is less aggressive and playing from the outside more than last year.

          • sheds88 says:

            100% agree Max needs to crash the net more. but i think there would be trickle effect if DD started turning things around. or of course, if Max turns it around it could affect DD…imo

  61. Ian Cobb says:

    3 points behind Pittsburgh, we have a game in hand on them, and we play them on the 17th for top spot in the conference! Whood a thunk it?

    Here is where we place in stats throughout the 30 team league.

    Points………55, In 3rd place. Last week 49 points for 4th.
    Goals For..120, In 3rd place. Last week 107 goals for 4th.
    Goals A…….91, In 4th place. Last week 83 against for 4th.
    Goals Diff..+29, In 3rd place. Last week +24 for 4th.

    We have come a very long way back this year boys and girls.
    We are watching the most riveting hockey played in Montreal in many years.

  62. HabinBurlington says:

    Question for the Commentariat, how would you set the forward lines assuming Bourque is now ready to join the lineup.

    Gionta/Plex/Ryder
    Galchenyuk/Eller/Prust
    Max/DD/Bourque
    Moen/Halpern/Gally

    I hate to put Gally on 4th line, but also don’t want to disrupt the top two lines.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Gallagher and Prust need to be flipped. Prust can also take the occasional shift on one of the top three lines to shake things up once in a while.

    • Timo says:

      here is how i would place it:

      Gionta/Plex/Ryder
      Max/Eller/Bourque
      A bucket of pucks instead of DD/Galchenyuk/Prust
      Moen/Halpern/White

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Prust is a luxury because he can play on any line, switch him and gallagher

    • habstrinifan says:

      I really want to see Max and DD separated bit. I think they are ‘looking’ for the same type of play they shared as a line with Cole and that of course is no longer available. I dont think they have adjusted to ‘reinvent’ themselves. Put DD with Moen and Bourque and put Max with Gally and Halpern.
      So:
      Gionta/Plex/Ryder
      Galchenyuk/Eller/Prust/
      Bourque/DD/Moen
      Gally/Max/Halpern.

      Of course this brings into play ice time etc which I wont even get into. But Bourque and Moen may give DD some ‘comfort’ in doing his stuff.. skating dipsy-doodling and making plays with experienced wingers. I think Cole brought that experience which Max doesnt yet have.
      Then the line of Gally/Max/Halpern would be dangerous and also defensively capable. And you would have the feistiness of Gallagher spurring Max and the all around usefulness of Halpern being made more dangerous by two above average finishers.

      Max can then do his stuff. North- South skating like a bull.

  63. frontenac1 says:

    Great to see Chucky getting Mojo .I loved how TU-74 crushed Thornton in the end boards,hope he”s back for the playoffs.Jagr? Are you frikkin kidding.?He’s like watching a slo-mo replay!

    • BJ says:

      I think I head correctly on the RDS feed that Marc Denis (commentator bet ween the benches) overheard Thornton telling Budaj at the end of the bench, that he didn’t realize how heavy Emelin was (after the board bite Thornton took after colliding with #74). On the injury side of Emelin, I thought he took a knee to the side of the thigh and it could be a “charley horse” as opposed to a knee injury, hoping its the case.

  64. BJ says:

    Timo suggested some people offered the “poor” Bruins fan in the photo above some comfort. I would suggest volunteering to remove the Boston t-shirt with a proper fitting of the right colors.

  65. Timo says:

    Tinordi is slower than Moen. Unless they are going to instruct him to stay in on spot and not move I don’t see why he is being called up. Beaulieu was much more impressive in both ends of the ice.

    I also haven’t seen anything physical from Tinordi that I haven’t seen from David Desharnais.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I thought you’d be in a better mood today Timo after all its been reported you were behind the curtain in the photo above. No need to confirm or deny. :)

    • Cal says:

      Yawn. Aren’t you supposed to crawl out of your hole after a loss?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Timo, I have watched quite a few games in Hamilton and really watched Tinordi and Beaulieu closely during these games. Tinordi is not fast, nor is anyone reporting him to be so. However, he really has a grasp on positional hockey and knows how to edge players away from effective zones. It is too early for him to be a regular in the NHL, but our choices are limited at this time.

      I think if he does get recalled you will see that he rarely puts himself into a bad position defensively and uses his size well. He does throw big hits when they come to him, as opposed to trying to manufacture big hits. There was a link posted earlier showing Tinordi making a big hit in his game last night. Add to that, the opposition then started a fight with him, which he also handled himself very well.

      Speed will never be his game, being positioned properly, using his size effectively and keeping the opposition away from Price will be his role.

      • HardHabits says:

        Timo really doesn’t know anything about hockey. Timo only knows how to sit in discomfort. He suffers from stickuphisassitis.

      • Timo says:

        I guess we’ll see. I wasn’t knocking Tinordi down or anything. Was just saying that I was impressed by Beaulieu more and thought that he was more NHL ready.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think Beaulieu brings more risk/reward. He definitely can bring more offensively, but he still makes many more mistakes defensively than Tinordi. In my opinion only of course. CHeers bud, nice work on the photo as well. Had no idea you were such a pro photographer. ;-)

  66. Habfan10912 says:

    Why do I have this urge to throw crap at the Price haters, Patch haters, Markov haters, Gionta haters, PK haters, Gorge haters today? Did I miss anyone? This friggin team has not only met any bodies dreams but has exceeded them! Yet on many days you read some of these post and you’d think we were having a miserake season. Where are you all today? Come out from under those bridges! Put your drinks down for a minute! You are losing out in enjoying a once In a decade type season.

  67. ed says:

    in 235 career NHL games, PJ Stock racked up a grand total of 5 goals.
    He was a terrible NHL hockey player – absolutely, unequivocally, and by anyone’s standard, flat out, terrible.

    the fact that he is now a nationally based, NHL hockey commentator falls entirely on Mitch Melnyk – who never should have given this clown a break on Montreal radio.

    This is a message to CBC, to their Hockey Night in Canada producers, and especially to the sponsors:

    Once Cherry retires, fire PJ Stock’s butt right out of the studio, make it a clean sweep, and start fresh with ex-players and ex-coaches who “know the game”, who “respect the game”, and who add real value to an NHL broadcast.

    Or better yet, I hope the CBC loses its HNIC rights all together.

    That station, those producers, no longer deserve the right to broadcast NHL hockey.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Have not watched a CBC intermission show of any kind all season. I get my fill of Habs bashers here in HIO.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ed, many of us have wondered here before why the various Sports Networks and other Hockey broadcast productions continue to hire ex-thugs and backup goalies to be their featured hockey analysts. I am surprised that for some reason the more intelligent players of various eras are not enticed to take on these roles.

      I really enjoy Kevin Weekes on the CBC telecast, as he seems to bring a very strong and intelligent perspective to the show. Healy at times can make good points, but is far too interested in making grandiose statements I think. PJ on the other hand is just a blathering fool, who only knows one way to analyze the game and that is to compare every play to the role he used to play. A goon and supposed tough guy. I agree on the Melnyk perspective, I used to listen to Melnyk a great deal but when he became a complete shill for Pierre MacGuire to get the GM position I lost respect for his perspectives.

      • ed says:

        if we are going to improve the long term product of hockey in this country, it starts at the top, with the NHL, their league rules and standards, and their television broadcasts and broadcasters.

        let’s go back to talking hockey on the broadcasts; what makes the Habs so good this year as opposed to last year; what makes Subban such a terrific player, and Price an outstanding goalie?

        in other words, the HNIC broadcasts should be focusing on hockey skill development, on the talents the players bring to the games.

        If you spent 10 hours watching Stock, you would never get one word out of him that made you understand the game any better.
        So he adds zero value.

        And his 523 career penalty minutes vs 5 goals in 235 career NHL games just proves that Stock was a goon, who watched almost all of his NHL career from the bench or the penalty box.

        What can a goon teach the viewers about the game?

  68. Habfan10912 says:

    From the “Where are you fans who bashed player *fill in the blank*? Many post the last couple years here stating Pleks as an overrated overpaid never be any more then a third line center. Oh how wrong you all were. Many nights Plejs us our best forward. Last night he showed his toughness. I am glad GE’s getting the respect he deserves. An important two way player that any team would love to have in his lineup.

  69. Danno says:

    Habs 2, Bruins 1. Now that’s hockey! Habs Reign Supreme

    ________________________________________

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

  70. habs-hampton says:

    Maybe this has already been discussed, but why wasn’t Halpern out thee for the last minute? Isn’t that why we picked him up? I know the 4 guys did the job exceptionally and won the game, but I’m just curious why Halpern was on the bench?

  71. CranbrookEd says:

    Simply put, Lars Eller will become a top line centre for many years to come. While I could say it is based on his play from the last two games, the talent has been there (albeit) in flashes since he arrived.

    Max Pac only played 14 minutes . . . there is something missing from his game. Fine and dandy to spend the off season training (which I would expect of all of these overpaid millionaires) but he needs to use his size on each and every shift, not just when he feels that he has been “wronged” as happened on one shift in the Boston game and Max followed-up with two hits before heading off of the ice . . .

    Have I missed something somewhere . . . it used to be that if a player stopped skating and putting in a full effort to get to a puck before it crossed the goal line to negate an icing, then it would be waved off . . . the last couple years, it sure seems that this is no longer the case and icings are seldom waved off . . .

    CranbrookEd
    Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . . What ever happened to Johnny Jelly-Bean!?

    • Strummer says:

      Unfortunately for Eller he didn’t get enough seasoning in the AHL.
      I guess Gainey felt he had to justify the acquisition by keeping him with the big club .

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

      • ed says:

        I think Eller showed during his AHL season that he was ready to make the jump to the NHL as a CENTER.

        unfortunately., after he made the Habs, the coach decided Eller would be a winger.

        big mistake. that effected Eller’s production, and especially his confidence.

        Eller was born to be and has worked all of his life to be an NHL CENTER.

        Keep the young man at center and he will emerge as a 3 zone “beast”.

  72. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Eller’s penalty was justified, but the game as a TV show would have been more entertaining if Chara had been given an equally justified diving penalty. The NHL has no comic timing. Jeez, we would have laughed.

    Only on HIO would we have a fan name himself “non – insert name of new player” and then spell Drewiske wrongly. Drewiske won’t be Larry Robinson or Doug Harvey, but he did a credible job in difficult circumstances.

    Gallagher’s interview was one of a bright guy. Excellent hockey players are bright people – I hope the Habs never go back to drafting players like the K-bros or the purse snatcher.

    Finally, with that photo up above, would it be disloyal for someone to offer to comfort that poor girl in the Bruins sweater?

  73. Strummer says:

    Re: PJ Stock

    Don’t get too worked up folks.

    The HNIC panel is meant to be partly entertainment. If you have 4 dour looking ex-goalies all agreeing on everything what’s the appeal?
    So you have a guy in PJ who is there for comic relief, acts the fool (stupid collars) and says things that are off the charts. He a younger version of Grapes.

    HNIC copied the Fox NFL panel for their model. Problem is they don’t have the talent to pull it off. PJ is no Terry Bradshaw.

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

  74. adamkennelly says:

    prolly been asked and answered 100 times but – Lucic intentionally bringing up his knee prior to Emelin making contact with him – why is it not considered intent to injure? Why is no one talking about a hearing w/ Shanny? Rhetorical question – but seriously – Don Cheery pointed it out, he was right and it was dirty.

    • ArmyFan says:

      He indeed pointed out the knee, but clearly saw nothing wrong with it. No mention at all of it being a dirty move by a meat-headed Neanderthal. “Folks, don’t try to hit a guy like Lucic – you’re gonna get hurt.” If that had been Lars Eller’s knee on Johnny Boychuk, Cherry would be calling for his head while pointing out that all Europeans are filthy dirty players.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t see how Lucic can be viewed as intent to injure. I have watched the replay many times, he braces himself and unfortunately their knees make direct contact. I think it is an unfortunate injury, I in no way choose to defend Lucic, but in being reasonable I don’t know how he can be blamed for what he did.

      • adamkennelly says:

        these guys are professional hockey players – they know what they are doing. His knee came up intentionally in order to defend himself from the hit..no different than a stick, or elbow – just happens to be a knee – less noticeable but he knew what he was doing. dirty.

        • geo_habsgo says:

          It is easy to claim that when you watch the play in slow motion. In reality, the play happened very fast and Lucic only saw Emelin at the last second. While it is a dangerous play, I think it was very much an immediate reaction and he did look like he was trying to brace himself. Nothing wrong with the hit and nothing wrong with the outcome. Just sucks that one of our own had to go down like that.

        • Alvin says:

          100% agree. He raised his knee specifically to hit Emelin.
          Grapes said that John Ferguson used to do the very same thing.
          Apparently it is a known ” hockey play “

      • ArmyFan says:

        Also being a reasonable person, I don’t believe Lucic truly intended to injure Emelin. However, it was an irresponsible and dangerous reaction to an impending hit that created a risk of injury that, unfortunately, came into being. No different with high sticks that open a guy’s mouth up, or a check to the head that results in a concussion – in 99% of these cases I am certain that the offender did not have “injure this guy” on his mind. The litmus test is the action, not the result. Lucic could have done what everyone else does, which is to brace himself and get low. Instead he brought his knee up, resulting in an injury.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      There was no time to think. Emelin hits like a train and Lucic was curling in a defensive posture. It was an accident, and I hope Emelin’s okay.
      You have to think about the speed of these things. I dislike Lucic as a player, but.

    • pmaraw says:

      im of the same opinion as you since he left his feet, and such, if you look at it like he threw the check… then I think it’s suspension worthy.


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