About last night …

Fehr

There’s an interesting sociological study to be done on the differences between English- and French-speaking Montreal Canadiens fans.
As is my habit on the drive home after nights at the Bell Centre, I flipped between the postgame broadcasts on TSN690 and 98,5 FM. The latter is the French radio voice of the Canadiens.
On Tuesday night, after the team’s 3-2 loss to Washington, Ron Fournier was on 98,5 offering a calm view that could be summarized by the phrase “You can’t win ‘em all.”
Over on 690, there were corresponding reasonable words from Conor McKenna and Tony Marinaro.
Then they opened the phone lines … and reason flew out the windows of 690’s Greene Ave. studios.

Why do the station’s callers take such delight in bashing Carey Price?

Was the Canadiens’ goaltender great against the Capitals?

Nope.

There might be a goal or two Price would want back … although Alex Ovechkin scores on many goaltenders these days, and the Eric Fehr goal was an epic schmozzle for which no individual should be blamed.

But for the first six-plus minutes of the first period – during which Washington had nine shots to none for the home team – Carey Price kept his team in the game with a series of excellent stops, the best of which was a lightning-quick leg save on Nicklas Backstrom.

The early heroics didn’t count for much among the Price-hating mouth-breathers. A subsequent caller described them as “morons” who are still second-guessing the choice of Price over Jaroslav Halak (currently the perennially injured number-three goaltender in St. Louis).

You don’t hear Price being raked on 98,5. Nor is he often a target on L’Antichambre.

But for a certain type of male, middle-aged (which you can discern from their voices) English radio listener, Montreal has a goaltending problem.

And the only way to shut them up is for Carey Price to lead the Canadiens on a deep playoff run.

We’re three weeks away from beginning to find out if that’s going to happen. But I would suggest the greatest challenge facing the Canadiens does not reside between the pipes.

Having avoided the injury bug for most of the season, the Canadiens are getting thin on D.

Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban were on for two of the Washington goals, Davis Drewiske and Andrei Markov for the other. Alexei Emelin’s physical presence was missed, as forwards Brandon Prust and Rene Bourque led the team in hits with six each. But the big hole in the blueline corps is the continuing absence of Raphael Diaz, who was concussed in a freak collision against Ottawa on Feb. 25 and hasn’t played since.

Diaz would give the team another offensive Dman to complement Markov and Subban.  As it is, however, teams can focus on the only two Canadiens blueliners who can hurt them.

Suban had one shot on goal and four blocked by the Capitals. Markov had two SoG and three blocked.

Brendan Gallagher had one shot on goal and four were blocked. His linemate, Max Pacioretty, had five SoG and seven blocked. Michael Ryder: two shots, five blocked.

Washington blocked 34 shots.  That was five more than Michal Neuvirth had to handle. John Erskine and John Carlson had seven blocks each. David Drewiske led the Canadiens with three of their 10 blocked shots.

Nine Washington shots missed the net, to 13 misses for the Canadiens. Opportunism, luck, bounces and, last but not least, officiating did not favour the home team.

But as Fournier told the non-morons listening to his show, you can’t win every game. The Canadiens battled, as they usually do, and there were some positives:

• The Canadiens were 41-24 on faceoffs.

• Faced with the league’s most dangerous power play, the Canadiens stayed out of the box and easily killed their one penalty, a first-period hook by Pacioretty.

• Lars Eller scored twice and continued to bring out the best in young Alex Galchenyuk, who assisted on both goals. Eller played 13:40, Galchenyuk 11:52. Compare this to David Desharnais’s 19:57, Brendan Gallagher’s 18:57 and Pacioretty’s 20:17. Or Plekanec’s 17:33 and Brian Gionta’s 16:25 and Michael Ryder’s 16:12.

Maybe the kids merit more ToI.

• Rene Bourque showed little rust and absolutely no timidity after his 21-game absence. He had the aforementioned six hits and went to the net consistently, playing 11:35 on the fourth line. Late in the third period, Michel Therrien put Bourque back on the Pleks line, moving Ryder to his natural RW with Eller and the kid and dropping Prust down with Travis Moen and Jeff Halpern. We’ll see if the coach goes with these combos in Buffalo on Thursday night.

By then, the Canadiens may be in fourth place.

Boston visits New Jersey Wednesday night to play the game they have in hand on the Canadiens. A win lifts the Bruins into first place in the Northeast Division.

That would be Carey Price’s fault.

 

 

 

 

 

400 Comments

  1. RetroMikey says:

    It was a good game for Montreal last night and for fans like myself that travelled down the QEW to see the game.
    Wings were great at the Hacienda in Niagara FAlls, New York to go along with the beer on the way back home.
    Still, talking to some Habs fans at the game who travelled from Windsor and London agree with me, we should be worried if we drop to 5th and play the Leafs in the first round, we should have picked up a bigger, physical body or two with some skill and grit up front if we plan to go past the second round in the playoffs.
    Happy, yes we made the playoffs in a shortened season, but unhappy we did not improve at the trade deadline if Bergevin is quite content just to make a round or two in the playoffs and worry about the”future” as he has stated. We heard this before when Gainey was GM.

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

  2. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    Goalies are paid to stop the puck. Price, even by Boone’s admission, let in a couple of goals he’d like back. That means the score would have been 2-1 for the Habs and they’d still be in 1st place. Rask almost never lets in soft goals. The Habs were lucky that the Ryder deflection took a weird bounce off the ice and went over his shoulder. Price makes some incredible saves but nothing that any of the top 10 goalies in the NHL don;t make on a regular basis. He has got to stop the other ‘softies’ he lets in or we are never going to win a Cup with him. Rinne, Niemi, Crawford, Quick and even Vokoun and Nabakov make saves like Price regularly and don’t let the bad ones in. The East is so tight that you can’t have your goalie let in a ‘couple he’d like to take back’. The commentators have been extremely easy on Price since he broke into the league. WHY? I’m glad we got rid of Halak; he is backing up a rookie now and always injured. Price could be better and when he plays poorly, he should be yanked for the next game. Price shouldn’t own the games at the Bell Centre. This is supposed to be about a team-first philosophy and he should be buying into it.

    • Stanley says:

      I know you’re as passionate about the Habs as the rest of us and it incenses you to see them lose on goals that maybe shouldn’t have happened, but your comments are way off base. Price is every bit the goaltender as every other tender you mentioned. Rask? Really? And Neimi?? My god, he’s the worst goalie to be on a winning team in recent memory. Quick and Crawford may be better, but if you want to see the odd horrible game between the pipes, just watch some of Nabakov’s games. Seriously. Flashes of brilliance interrupted by ages of WTFs?! Price is fine. And I hope to see your comments on here the next time he plays awesome. Too many habs’ fans have something to say only when it’s negative. Celebrate the team, bro, they’ve done amazing. Price is a huge part of that.

      “Good things happen to those who hustle.”

    • t1tan5 says:

      Didn’t Rinne get pulled like 5 times in the month of March?

  3. AceMagnum says:

    Budaj Movie!!!!

  4. AceMagnum says:

    Stating that Carey Price sucks, doesn’t constitute “Price hating” it’s simply stating a valid opinion based on multiple bad goaltending performances that can’t be ignored.

    If he were an elite goalie on a team like this, Habs would be in top spot in the East. They aren’t.

    I would love it if this guy could finally prove us “haters” wrong cause I love the Habs but unfortunately a first round bounce is very likely and without a doubt, it will be at least one softie a game that does the team in.

    But why should he care? Seemingly, a Calder Cup championship six freaking years ago is enough to earn a $6million contract in the NHL today

  5. steve29 says:

    Habs win and will continue to do so when Price is the 1st star.
    I for one am very happy he’s on our team instead of the Bruins or Pens

  6. jdemelo11 says:

    Perhaps the “Morons” are justifying TSN690 not being granted an exemption!

    I live in Ontario and its not often that any Habs player get positive comments here, but Price & Subban are changing that. While Riemer has improved his play it was common to hear Leaf fans call in & say if the Leafs had Price in nets they would win it all. Last week TSN 1050 had Jim Hughson on who said in his mind Price was the best goalie on the Eastern Conference & Mtl was his dark horse because of that.

    “Morons” like the guy Jerry who keeps calling in bashing Price & the other Price-Haters will do so even if he carried them to a cup win & wins MVP.

  7. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    Mr. Boone, it’s my belief that no matter how deep the Habs go in this years playoffs, will some people be happy with Price! Price would have to win the cup every year to please these people. I know some fans who were never happy with Roy in net! Price will never win them all over no matter what! I do believe that Price has another gear though and I hope he hits it in this years playoffs!!

  8. Hobie Hansen says:

    I’ve pretty much never weighed in on this ridiculous Carey Price bashing that goes on. But since it seems to be a hot topic, even though he continues to be among the league leaders in wins, I’ll put my two cents in the pot.

    Is the guy the best in the league, not in my opinion. However, he’s solid. So solid, that he’s the best goalie in this town since Patrick Roy left almost 20 years ago.

    We’ve seen what happens in places like Philadelphia and Tampa Bay when you have a very talented team but a half ass goalie. Yzerman has been scrambling trying to find a goalie since he arrived in Tampa and Philadelphia has been trying to find one for 20 years.

    Maybe Price isn’t the best in the league but he’s much better than average. Finding a better than average goalie and getting him under contract is a tough thing to do. Look at Toronto.

    Guaranteed if Price was ever traded it would come back to haunt the Canadiens. the guy is 25-years-old for “F” sakes. The Habs could get bounced in the playoffs the next two years in the first round and he’d still be just entering his prime after that point. He could go deep into the playoffs 5 years in a row and win the Stanley Cup from age 27-32.

    So if you’re bashing Price and think we could find a better goalie, good luck give your head a shake.

    Just wait and see what he does playing in the Olympics!

    • kyrest says:

      I’m going to put this out there,
      After the hate and aboriginal bashing which went on when Idle No More was on the news (on the english side esp), I’m beginning to think this irrational hatred of one of the top 3 Goaltenders in the NHL is due to racism. I really can’t figure out any other reason why so many would hate someone so irrationally. Considering the outrageous, horribly racist things I’ve heard about Native Canadians during INM in the West part of this island, It’s not entirely surprising.

  9. Dryden_29 says:

    I am very saddened, reading all the Price bashing that has been going on. The kid isn’t a superhero that can grab a shutout every game he plays nor can he be the sole reason a game is won. It is a team effort and requires all members buying in to what the coach is selling. We all have expectations of a win every game but in reality it just doesn’t happen. We posess a fairly good D but lack that net clearer who makes the other team think twice about crashing the crease. That will come, this year we exceeded what we set out to do and the pieces will be added and deleted as this very smart management team sees fit. Price will have bad games but the good ones will far outweigh them, so lets just enjoy the fun these guys have brought us so far and ride it as far as we can!

  10. New says:

    I think Price played very well. Washington played very well. I was amazed how well the Washington PK held position with minimal energy. You could see the Habs stuttering, trying to keep their feet moving, but without someone biting, not knowing where to go.

    Washington was good value for the win. They took away the slot and threw bodies at the bounces around the crease. Likewise their goals were all lucky and if I remember Markov even scored one, or it dropped in.

    But some people don’t really like the Canadiens team, they just like some of the players on it. They always look for a scapegoat to blame things on. Just like in life, politics, or work. Not the faintest clue what “team” is about, but they pay their money too. The players don’t like it but they’re paid to tolerate it. They just don’t come here as UFA if they can be paid to tolerate less for more somewhere else.

  11. Skeptical says:

    Against Buffalo just a little gesture so as everyone don’t get too excited. I would try.

    Ryder Plekanac Gionta
    Pacioretty Eller Gallagher
    Bourque Desharnais Galchenyuk
    Moen Halpern Prust

  12. Maritime Ron says:

    Can someone help me out here?
    Being a newbie caused me to miss a lot of the past conversations.

    I love everything Bergevin has done with one exception.
    I believe he blinked Big Time with David Desharnais.

    What was the big panic to give DD 4 years/$14M?
    He was only going to be an RFA this summer. Not a UFA.
    Sure, he had a nice year last year when most teams didn’t take the Habs seriously. And did he make Cole and Max, or did they make him?

    His points pace is way down from last year, yet he continues to get big Even Strength and PP minutes. He is also only 1 of 2 (Moen) Habs forwards that is in the Minus category. He has nice vision, but is not a good skater and is far from defensively responsible.

    Why didn’t Bergevin wait out the year?
    Plex is a known, superb player and if ever traded, how do you replace all his minutes on all sides of the puck?
    Eller and Chucky have all the tools to be #1 and 2-or 3 with Plex for the next 2-3 years and beyond that. DD is not a 4th ine energy center.

    Sorry if I don’t get the DD fit.
    No team would have him as a 3rd or 4th liner, and I don’t see him as a Top 6 on a Cup contending team.
    I also just don’t see him being any type of force in the playoffs either. Sure, he has character, but so do other centers that are 5″ inches taller and 40 pounds bigger.

    So help me out here.
    As I don’t live in Montreal and don’t get all the cultural linguistic things, did that play a part?
    I seem to remember Darche playing up to 22 minutes last year and a whole bunch of PP time yet could not find a 4th line job with any team this year.

    • New says:

      DD’s ice is down from last year and it corresponds directly to the decrease in points. He is 26 not 20 or 22 and was coming up on UFA. His price was in keeping with his production. He is paid properly for a guy who can bring in 60 or so points at 18 minutes and is movable with this contract if they end up with too many centers (if there is such a thing).

      • KenD29 says:

        Over 39 games this season, he has 9 goals and 13 assists = 22pts. Average that out over an 82 game schedule he would have just over 46 pts.
        Have to agree with Ron, what was the rush in signing DD? Allot of money tied up now for the next 3 years for 46 pts.

        All About Work Ethic

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Agreed. DD is replaceable. There was no reason to sign him this early.

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

  13. Old Bald Bird says:

    Friedman mentions Bergevin and PK near the end of his 30 Thoughts.

  14. wjc says:

    5% off ALL sports fans are completely nuts!

    That 5% make most of the noise and to them it is ‘life and death’.

    They expect victory ‘EVERY’ night, and if it does not happen ‘blame, reason’s must be found.

    This 5% are the loudest, have the best memories, and of course know everything regardless of age, intelligence or experience.

    They are easily offended and if they go to the games or pay for them in someway, then they feel cheated as well.

    Now because of age, or drinking (drug) habits reasoning with these people is fruitless. To tell them that the Canadiens are one of 30 teams chasing the same marble, is lost on them.

    If you tell them the players have locked in contracts and are rich even by their limited imagination is lost on them. If you tell them they play for many millions of dollars, that allows them to be separate from the lowly 5%. To go places where the 5% are not allowed and allows them to separate from doing the ‘best they could’ with a temporary set back, after all there is usually another game in which to pick up a victory.

    They tease each other of mistakes, because since they were 4 and realized perhaps they had a special ability, they also realized that mistakes are what make the game work. Every player makes a mistake or a miscalculation or mis-judgement and sometimes they get away with it.

    Next time you (the 5%) see a player being interviewed after a tough loss and is pretending to be all down about it. Notice that he is not crying, he is not screaming into the night, or blaming anybody. He is just fullfiling an obligation to talk into a microphone for 30 seconds.

    He has a fabulous car to drive to help cheer him up. He usually has a beautiful babe on his arm to help cheer him up. His wallet is swallen with large bills and credit cards. He lives in the best condo, home, money can buy, he is loved by 95% because he is a hockey player.

    You go home or are at home (most likely) or sit in a bar and rant on the radio, or write on H/O and your hero does not even know you exists and to him you never will.

    wjc

  15. habsfan0 says:

    VERY big game vs the Sabres tomorrow.
    For some reason,Buffalo seems to have the Habs number this year,save for that 6-1 game early in the season.
    The Canadiens must beat this team tomorrow,as Buffalo is not very good and basically,by trading Pominville,their captain,have all but conceded that they are not going to make the playoffs this year.
    It will be interesting to see if MT will give Budaj the start,just to give him some work.

  16. gK_HabsFan says:

    THoughts:

    -The issue with DD is that he is a one dimensional player. If you split him and Max up, who do you play him with so that he is somewhat valuable?

    -I was reading a stat yesterday that Eller and DD were tied in PP points, but Eller had only played 20 mins on the pp, whereas DD 120 mins…

    -Really liked the way Beaulieu played in the 3rd. Made a good play on the second goal. Like the fact that MT put him out on the ice when we needed a goal. He played 14:00 without any pp time.

    – The practice lines for today had Bourque slip in with pleks and gio. I would have much rather prefer having pleks play with ryder and bourque, and have gionta move in with Eller and Galchenyuk…

    – I would have preferred to have Eller out on the ice in the last minute than DD. He was having a much better game to that point.

    – re: DD and Max struggles. I would rather they struggle now than in the playoffs. Hopefully they get going soon and carry that momentum into the playoffs.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Rather have Gally back with Eller/AG. Bourque with Max/DD. Leave the Pleks line alone.

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

    • The Dude says:

      If DD was 6’4″ and 240 he would be the best hockey player in the world,but instead he’s one of the smallest athlete’s in the NHL ,so cut him some slack….one of the three : Gally ,Gionta or DD has too go next year. Who do you pick?

      • Strummer says:

        Gionta-
        Gally can do for $850K what Gionta is being paid $5 million for. The cap goes down to $64 million next year after all.

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

      • gK_HabsFan says:

        I am by no means a DD basher. I am equally critical of Max as well, who doesnt seem to have the same drive as last season. My feeling is that he came back from the appendectomy surgery too quick, and lost some muscle that he hasnt been able to recover.

        Further, Coaches and management have stressed accountability and “no excuses”. DD played 20 mins last night, was -1 and had one shot on goal. Yes he’s a playmaker, and was setting up Max, but he’s got to do more.

        I feel that this whole season, they’ve been trying to get him going.

        And by all means, I agree, if he was 6’4 he would be the best player in the league, but he is not. Simple as that. Shorter players need to be faster and strong defensively in order to succeed in the NHL. Is he? I’m not sure

  17. halifaxhab says:

    So to be clear here…it’s Price’s fault? If Halak were here then whose fault would it be? Because Eller wouldn’t have had the 2 goals and now it’s 3-0.

    I have a thought….it could possibly be any or all of the 5 players on the ice’s fault. I mean, Price made some doozies to keep the team in it. Is he now supposed to score 4 goals to win it too.

    This crap is getting really old. Price is here, he’s a top end starter. Deal with it. Name one goalie who never let in soft ones or pitched a shutout every game….that’s right, none. Not even St-Patrick….jeez, did he kick everyone’s dog?

    I love Barry Manilow .

    -Scotty Bowman

  18. Maksimir says:

    Lets forget about Price for a bit…

    Does Ryder’s move to a line with E & G mean they might get more ice time?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Probably not. Did not like the chemistry between Ryder and E/AG last time…not crazy about removing Prust from that line.

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

  19. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I can’t believe we are still debating about Price. He’s NOT the problem. Major decisions will have to be made about personnel this summer and next year. The biggest issue is who is going to play center going forward. If the playoffs end like last night, the DD vs Eller/AG debate will make the Price/Halak debate look like thumb wrestling…

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

  20. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Halak will be remembered for:

    – That great two rounds of the playoffs he helped win in 2010.
    – Being a backup in St.Louis
    – Being injury prone.

  21. JUST ME says:

    I just do not understand why we have to find one player to take the blame for the losses. It has been a team affair this year and everyone has their part to do with the succes of the team as they should have in the defeats but to point out one individual is unfair.

    In both languages medias blame Price cause of the famous Halak trade that many have not accepted yet . But i must admit that some around here are doing a great job on David Desharnais. Let it go already ! He is part of the team and does the best he can . Even if it is not up to par with what we saw last year maybe it is less individually driven.

    You win as a team and lose as a team. A cliché maybe but comes to think of it maybe not. Just look at the individual stats and you will find a pretty even group of players .

  22. KenD29 says:

    On an unrelated topic, how the heck does one get a picture for the avatar?

    All About Work Ethic

  23. habsguru says:

    habs blocked 10 shots vs caps 34 blocks. Price had to deal with almost every puck sent in his direction, including the arial attack goal. Gorges normally block 10 shots during the intermisison… how invested were the habs last night. for all the Price haters… if you became leafs fans, you would have twice as much to complain about. try it!

  24. Irishhabsfan says:

    Please do not think all middle aged guys are Price knockers. There is a reason my framed signed jersey has his name and number on it.

    If he were as bad as the moron naysayers preach, why is the scuttlebutt saying that Team Canada next year have him between the pipes. These morons should become Leaf fans, then they will truly have something to complain about!

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    Some line juggling at practise.
    JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs practice lines: Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher Galchenyuk – Eller – Ryder Moen – Halpern – Prust
    Retweet | Follow

    JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs practice pairs: Gorges – Subban Markov – Bouillon Beaulieu – Drewiske Kaberle – Weber
    Retweet | Follow

  26. habsguru says:

    must be Price’s fault that Pleks was invisiable

  27. The Dude says:

    I think they should trade Price just so the Pricebots can have a chance at a life without Carey ‘the Enabler’ screwing with their addiction issues . These Carey Price fans have obviously crossed the forbidding line placing loved ones ,pets ,exotic dancers,beer and even Christ behind the line on this average Goalie…ENOUGH !
    And if you want to really get them going besirk then show them a ‘real Goaltender ‘ like this one: http://tinyurl.com/c8hnv5n

  28. Timo says:

    Going into the playoffs here are my predictions

    1. Plekanec will not be a factor
    2. Eller will
    3. The rest of the team will be kept to the perimeter
    4. Price will be a factor – in a bad way

  29. Sportfan says:

    Reading what Boone wrote he’s right in the english community many people are going insane over Price and the worst part is even with a deep playoff run they’ll probably still ignore and blame Price. He is one of the best and we are lucky to have him for now it should be point-finale

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  30. Hobie Hansen says:

    Was listening to TSN 690 AM while on the road last night and Sergio Momesso stated that Max Pacioretty should take a look at Brendan Gallagher in front of the net and in the corners and mimic him. He stated for such a big body he’s been on the soft side this season.

    He went on to say that last year he looked at Eric Cole and often drove hard to the net like Cole. This year, not so much.

    I love Max but I think everyone would like to see him be a bit more physical and aggressive in the offensive zone.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Something doesn’t seem right with MaxPac, not sure what it is. He seems to be taking a ton of low percentage shots from the outside instead of driving to the net. Also as someone else mentioned earlier, the chemistry he had with DD doesn’t seem to be there anymore, maybe time for a little shakeup. With 9 games left in the season, now might be a good time to try some different line combos, especially since Bourque is back now.

      • Timo says:

        There is nothing wrong with Max. He got a big contract – no need to bust his hump anymore. Notice that the only players that are truly laying everything on the line are those that are NOT paid more than 2-3 mil. The rest decide to show up when the mood strikes them.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Agreed. You don’t have to score every night but you have to be noticeable every night. Max can be easily with his physicality…

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

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I thought Max would take a step up this year, but he seems to have taken a step back. Unlike some, however, I am not ready to run him out of town. :)

    • Body_of_Price_Repels_You says:

      I agree but I will say that despite his freakish healing factor he might not be playing at 100%

  31. Sportfan says:

    The funny thing about last nights game it was like watching the Caps play like the Habs in the 2010 playoffs against the Caps, it was just reversed.

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  32. Aaron13 says:

    Aside from blocking shots, The Caps kept the Habs on the outside near the boards not allowing the team to gain foot speed to get good shots on net.

    As usual, Plecs was absent. As my friend would say…”his line is the donut with no center”. I’ve never seen his value – he can’t win a faceoff, afraid to hit or be hit and, using his stick not within poke-checking an opponent and and away constantly floating far from the action. He’s useless and should have been traded.

    We are definitely thin on defence but there’s nothing we can do about that.

    • Newf_Habster says:

      Hey… Can you do the 2013 NHL mock draft?

      • commandant says:

        It will be done, closer to the actual draft…. once draft positioning has been determined.

        I’m gonna go with the same format people liked last year. Rankings (usually 1 per day) interupted only for specials like the Mem Cup preview and a couple others (such as the mock draft) before we reach the big day.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Maritime Ron says:

      I enjoy very much reading your web site

    • John Frodo says:

      Hi Ben really like your blogs. What do you think it would take to get a top five pick this year. Might Calgary take our first and two seconds?

      • commandant says:

        Thanks for the support.

        As for a trade up like that…. I dont think they will

        Quality > quantity every time.

        A top 5 pick in this draft has a very good chance of being a top end player

        A late first and even two early seconds (say CGY and Nash).. is about a 33% chance to even make the NHL as a regular (ie play 200 or more career games), and even lower than that to be a top end guy.

        I think teams in the top 5 generally don’t trade down, and if they do, its not down to the 20s which is where montreal is picking.

        Best case scenario if you want to move up is probably the 12-15 range not top 5 without giving up someone like PK, Price, Max, or Chucky. Thats just the reality, unfortunately.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

  33. L Elle says:

    I thought Cups were only true in 70s tales
    Meant for someone else but not for me
    Habs were out to get me
    That’s the way it seemed
    Disappointment haunted all my dreams

    Then I saw our team, now I’m a believer
    Not a trace of doubt in my mind
    I’m in awe, I’m a believer
    I couldn’t switch Habs if I tried

    Thought Fandom was more or less a givin’ thing
    Seems the more I gave the less I got
    What’s the use in cheering,
    All you get is pain
    When I needed Stanley, I got pain

    Then I saw our team, now I’m a believer
    Not a trace of doubt in my mind
    I’m in awe, I’m a believer
    I couldn’t leave Habs if I tried

    Habs were out to get me
    Now that’s the way it seemed
    Disappointment haunted all my dreams

    Oh then I saw our team,now I’m a believer
    Not a trace of doubt in my mind
    I’m in awe, I’m a believer
    I couldn’t leave Habs if I tried

    Chorus

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

  34. philip says:

    I’ve been reading the comments here for a while, but never signed-up because I’m a french-speaking guy and I was nervous about my grammar. I’ve finally decided to join the discussion, so please, go easy on me.

    I think that Price is a good but not great goalie. He is not there yet. But I have every hope that he will be. These playoffs will be the measure stick for me. I don’t expect Halak numbers, let’s face it it was an anomaly for the league, for the team and evidently for him personally. But if he plays like he played against Boston the last time, or like in the first period of last night game in the playoff, I’ll be convince. If he is able to bring that kind of performance more consistently and for longer stretches, we are golden. Even if it’s only for one round. He can’t and won’t win alone. Nor should he have to. Right now, I don’t care much about the wins, I care more about the work, about laying out the foundation for the future. I started to watch hockey about 4 or 5 years ago (I was a huge NFL fan and now I barely watch a game, once I understood the strategies in hockey, I was hooked), so maybe I’m just more patient than some cause I haven’t been waiting as long.

    If this year is all bonus and experience, let’s hope next year we level up

    • Cal says:

      Welcome, philip. Well thought out post and don’t worry too much about grammar.

    • ari says:

      sometimes I think he loses his focus and look stoned.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Welcome!
      Very good post. I think Price is a very good goalie that has gotten very little help from his teammates until this season. I think the fact that the team is so much better is actually hurting him in the short term though. He is used to seeing a lot more shots. Some games he’s not busy for long stretches and he doesn’t seem ready when he gets a few. He needs to work on that and adjust and he’ll be fine.

      Your grammar was fine, by the way!

      Cheers!

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • HardHabits says:

      Ton grammaire est meilleur que les plupart des anglophones qui poste des commentaires ici. Bienvenue au maison de fous.

    • Bonjour Philip,

      Welcome aboard. Most here are pretty savvy. Those that are angry cynics are called “Trolls” and while that may apply to some who just want to stir the pot with no or little knowledge, you are in your right to express your opinion for sure, which I for one, share.
      True, Price should not and cannot be blamed for every loss. Is he the sharpest and luckiest he’s ever been? No. Is he playing lights out? No.
      However, the team in front of him has had off nights as well as off shifts too. They need to keep opposing teams out of their zone and cycling which almost always leads to a goal against us. I felt it, Boone feels it and most of the contributors on here sense it too during a game. If we collapse into our zone and let any team spend long stretches of time throwing the puck around, goals like the second one last night, will eventually go in, either off someone in front of traffic by Price or off Price himself.
      BY the way, your English is excellent! Keep posting and share your knowledge and don’t worry about a guy names Timo, he also just calls it the way he sees it!

      Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

    • sprague cleghorn says:

      Bienvenue. And don’t worry about your grammar. It’s better than half the anglo commenters here.

      … ‘ow could we forget that?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Welcome to the site! All points of view welcome. Grammar is not important…I’m still here…

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I’ve got your grammar covered Philip. I speak only English and I’m pretty sure my grammar, spelling and typing are all worse then yours. Be respectful of others and you will be fine. Welcome aboard and keep posting. CHeers.

  35. Hobie Hansen says:

    Several weeks ago Galchenyuk looked exhausted. We’d see maybe one spurt of energy from him a game, if that. The last week or so he’s got that extra step back, great to see.

  36. adamkennelly says:

    for all you golf fans…how’s this for the lamest Master’s dinner menu ever thanks to Bubba Watson: Grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, mac and cheese. If I ever win the Masters – we won’t be having a lame Wednesday, trying to get the kids to soccer meal.

  37. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Don’t know if this was posted. Here is an excerpt of player scores from LaPresse today about last night’s game:

    Lars Eller 7,5
    Ses présences au filet ont été payantes pour compléter le travail des Prust, Galchenyuk et Beaulieu.

    Alex Galchenyuk 7,6
    A été impliqué directement sur les 2 buts des siens avec une belle passe et une belle intensité à la rondelle.

    What about DD?
    David Desharnais 7,6
    Il a passé la plupart de son temps en zone offensive en appliquant la loi des passes courtes malgré une fiche de -1.

    I guess LaPresse agrees with MT’s playing time allocation. DD played as well as AG and Eller? Funny, I thought the objective of the game was to score…

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

  38. Ali says:

    I’ll be honest, count me among the many that have so far been very impressed (and surprised) at the growth and maturity Therrien has shown since his last go around, and even since his run with the Pens. Same with Daigneault, who has done a great job with the dmen and the aggressive style they have them playing.

    BUT – for the love of all things good in this world, PLEASE start playing Lars Eller more than David Desharnais, at least till he finds his game.

  39. shiram says:

    Eller is doing what many said he needed to do, he’s forcing Therrien to play him, at least that’s what it seems to me.
    Combined with a Desharnais that cannot live up to the hype created last season, you’d expect Eller to play lots of minutes and special team.
    Meritocracy is lacking.

    • Loonie says:

      :) or :( ?

      Good that he’s playing so well, not good that he isn’t getting an increase in ice-time quality and quantity.

      • shiram says:

        Depth is great, and having 3 good centers that can play top 6 is a luxury.
        I always prefered Eller and still do, just hoping the coach gives him a better chance to shine.
        I can’t wait to see how he plays in the playoffs, should be great!

  40. 24 Cups says:

    I think an important thought to keep in mind is the Habs performance in relation to the length of the season. Right now, the Habs would normally be reaching the half way point of the year. The lockout has them playing the last nine games before the playoffs start.

    I wonder if the Habs would be able to stay in the race for the divisional lead (or top four in the conference) if they had to play an entire 82 game season. Of course you could say the same thing about the other 29 teams, whether it be in a positive or negative light.

    • Loonie says:

      Hard to say. If Boston is the(forgive me)measuring stick it’s important to remember that Tukka Rask hasn’t played anything near a full season yet in his career.

      I think it’s too hard to judge how a full season would unfold.

      • 24 Cups says:

        A few points on an 82 game schedule.
        – Diaz would be back for the last third of the season (which would also help the PP)
        – Emelin wouldn’t be back but the Habs would be able to make a trade to replace him
        – Gallagher and Galchenyuk might well hit the rookie wall
        – the wear and tear on Markov might be an issue
        – MaxPac might rediscover his scoring touch
        – there would be implications based on a schedule that included the western conference

        It’s all ‘what if’ but I do think the season might have unfolded in a different light. It also depends on what impact there would be on the other eastern teams.

        • JF says:

          Steve – I guess the inference to be drawn from your comments is that next season could be totally different. The totally different schedule, longer but a bit less intense, the games against the Western Conference, the potentially smaller impact of what this season are major injuries (the concussions to Bourque and Diaz, for example) – these factors and others could affect the outcome. So this season’s results could be to some extent anomalous; and maybe we shouldn’t expect next season to go as well.

  41. HabsFansince49 says:

    A few bad bounces and a hot goalie result in a close loss. Just think about where we were last year this time.
    Couple of concerns – (a) DD looks pretty ordinary out there. Perhaps Eller should be on that line. (b) Eller doesn’t get enough ice time. (c) Markov looks slow(er) (d) Not an excuse, but some strange officiating in that game. (e) Agree with Mr Boone, D is missing Diaz and Emelin big time. (f) I like PK’s fancy “dancing” but he has a tendency to cough up puck at the most inappropriate times. Still, he is the best we have.

    • nunacanadien says:

      The habs are way to small still, and losing one tough player like Emelin only points to our dismal weakness. Our bigger guys like Gorges (Gorges is big?) and Patches, buckle when they see our mighty shrimp of a captain Gionta and superstar DD being plastered on the boards with no consequence. Don’t blame it all on Price, blame Bergevin for giving us Drewie when we needed a bigger tougher player. Emelin kept a balance and signing bigger players brought a greater balance, but losing the tough guy on the team means we are a wimpy team. Maybe the sport psych needs to bring in all the bigger players on the habs and remind them they are real NHL players, not some triple A hockey team ala Gionta DD…..Prust….Bouillion….heck wouldn’t be suprised if Youppi also gets downsized.

      We need to get bigger Bergevin, are you listening? You wasted the trade deadline on Drewie who is mild stay at home player it seems. We have Mild Markov, and Yoga Gorges….maybe we need a real NHL player on defense. Bouillion is tough but he can’t give the classic Emelin hit.

  42. @clay

    True, plus the Caps did block a lot of shots which made it appear they weren’t getting pucks to the net. I guess in a way we should be giving the Caps some credit here. They played really great defense last night, and were first to the puck on my situations.

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

  43. Skeptical says:

    as of today. Playoff teams in the eastern conference over all rating.

    1st – Pittsburgh
    2nd – washington
    3rd – Montreal Canadiens
    4th – Toronto
    5th – Boston
    6th – New York Islanders
    7th – Ottawa
    8th – New York Rangers

    In regards to Montreals game last night. I think they are holding their own against the other 7-teams and we should all be proud of where they are at. Losing a 3-2 game is not a shame against any of these teams. Any team on this list can beat the other on any given night ….

    … HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MATTY …

    • 24 Cups says:

      I thought we were in 2nd, with an eleven point lead on Washington.

    • Skeptical says:

      24 cups – The Ratings is based on how the over all team is playing. if they go on what place the team is sitting IE 2nd place. it would be because that team is playing better right now. it don’t mean they are a better over all team …. maybe their first line is keeping them in their or Goal tending not the over all team.

      I don’t know how the sports world figure’s this out. Like most people . I go on what I read ….Maybe I shouldn’t read this stuff.

  44. Strummer says:

    Interesting stat last night- none of the Hab defencemen registered a hit.

    Are hits overrated or did they fall short?

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

      • nunacanadien says:

        I guess they were too short and too skinny, when the habs get real NHL defensemen then we can gripe about Price. Price is the only thing keeping the defense up.

    • TheLogician says:

      I think they fell short last night, and also hope the pattern doesn’t extend to the playoffs. The D’s general lack of physicality looks to me as a trait that is among the most likely to cost them a series.

      Sure, Carey could’ve maybe done a bit better on some of those shots last night. But consider the traffic around and in front of him, which leads not only to him being screened, but also to all those “flukey” goals we’ve been seeing lately – pucks changing direction, off of skates (see Flyers game), etc. This has become a bit too much of a regular theme for comfort lately and I just hope they can address it heading into the playoffs.

      Turn the space around Price from a comfort zone into a house of pain and our chances of making a deep run improve greatly (IMO).

    • SteverenO says:

      They sure took a few hits. Gorges especially got plastered by Ovechkin.

      regards,

      Steve O.

  45. 24 Cups says:

    Gauthier is projected to go around the 20th spot in this summer’s draft. We’ll have to wait and see where the Habs ultimately finish but it might be worth keeping an eye on St Louis’ pick which is owned by Calgary. Montreal might be able to move up a half dozen spots in the draft to grab Gauthier.

    Frederik Gauthier
    Ht/Wt:6′ 5″/210 lbs
    Position:C
    Team: Rimouski (QMJHL)

    • Loonie says:

      Is Gauthier worth moving up for though Steve?

      Some really exciting prospects like Curtis Lazar, Max Domi and Kerby Rychel have fallen out of grace this season and one could well be available without trading up.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Tom – Let’s be honest here, most of us (including those with their own websites) really don’t get to see most of these kids play on a regular basis. Living in Ontario I’ve only watched Gauthier play on short video pieces. I’m just looking at him in terms of being 6’5″ and French-Canadien.

        I know I’ll get killed for saying this but does Montreal want to use top picks on guys like Domi, Subban and Petan who are just 5’9″?

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Not sure if already mentioned or not. But Happy Birthday to Mattyleg today!

    How fitting that this should be the first post of the page!

    CHeers Matty!

  47. Captain aHab says:

    Perspective: this team was supposed to finish on the bubble. What we’re seeing right now is gravy. People say we’re missing key d-men but I see this as important auditions for our kids. Also an important year for our young forwards. All of this is great for MB as he gets to evaluate what he has going forward really well. Notsaying he doesn’t want the Cup this year but I think there’s lots of positives for him regardless of what happens.

    One thing that I’m pretty sure will happen next year if the kids continue improving: you will see Pleks get traded for young size on the wing. Gionta will also get traded for what we can get for him. MB won’t let assets just go away. Yes Pleks is one of the best 2 way forwards in the league but he ain’t getting younger. I think his trade value will be very high and MB knows it.

    Eller still has a fair bit to learn defensively but that can be taught. I like his progression this year and want him to see lots of ice time. Same with Galchenyuk. Once that kid puts a few pounds of muscle on, he’ll be something else. Should not be a problem since he’s a gym rat.

    So people can bellyache all they want but I love where this team seems to be heading regardless of the results over the next few weeks.

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

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    Hungry players win hockey games , Washington were much hungrier for points that we were.

  49. Danno says:

    They scratched and clawed until the final siren and it was almost another miraculous night. Canadiens Capped

    ________________________________________

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

  50. Loonie says:

    Don’t look now but Nathan Beaulieu has two points in his first three games.

  51. punkster says:

    I’m ashamed of myself.

    Here I was all ready to leap into the Price blaming furor…until, that is, I read below the real reason for our loss was clearly due to the NHLREF SYNDICATE.

    Man, this place after a loss just never ceases to amaze.

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Good losers are hard to find Dave!! Main thing is, we have PRIDE!

    • FlyAngler says:

      I did not blame the loss on the Refs. If however, you do any kind of objective analysis of the data regarding Habs losses this year and the way that two officials that I mentioned have figured in those losses you have to be troubled in the same way that you should have been troubled by Mr. Murphy’s failure to suspend Chara for the Pacioretty hit given who his boss was and what team his bosses son plays for. Again, just sayin’
      Keep in mind as well that unconscious bias can be just as damaging as the conscious kind if it is not kept in check. All human beings have unconscious biases and motives for doing lots of things. Officials are human like the rest of us. That is why top notch leadership and supervision for officials are essential in any professional sport. In my opinion the NHL was on the right track with Stephen Walkom and took a great leap backward into the dark ages with Gregson.
      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  52. Mattyleg says:

    Chris, you said something below that I don’t agree with:
    “If [Price] doesn’t win, it’s the team that didn’t do enough. If he wins, there’s rarely mention of the team in front of him.

    I don’t think that Price has ‘won’ many games this year. Most of the talk this year, when the team wins, has been about the players scoring the goals. PK, Ryder, Eller, Gallagher, etc.

    I believe that Price doesn’t get enough credit for keeping us in games that we win, and a disproportionate amount of criticism for games that the team loses in front of him.

    That being said, I don’t think he’s the end-all-and-be-all of goalies, but I do think we’re lucky to have him.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • von says:

      I agree.

      I think it’s funny when people blame the goalie when you lose yet your top two lines don’t score a point. They conveniently don’t talk about those players.
      _________________________________

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

    • Chris says:

      I agree Matty.

      My point is that one crowd always denigrates his efforts, while another extols his virtues unnecessarily.

      The kid is good. He is a key part of a good team. Why people constantly need to make it anything more or less than that is beyond me. The only thing I would say about Price is that he is somewhat akin to Roberto Luongo. He will always be subject to BS from some elements until he wins a Stanley Cup.

      Unfortunately, for many fans, they can’t look past Stanley Cup rings. Ray Bourque somehow became an infinitely more complete hockey player when he won a Stanley Cup in Colorado at the tail end of his career. That was the biggest load of crap that I’ve ever seen in the hockey world.

    • So true Matty. For the last three years Carey was the one main factor, where this season he’s good, but not jaw dropping like the other years.

      This season’s wins are all about the system and scoring from three lines.

      When we lose, that’s usually why. I’ll take our loss here and there, in a 7 game series a loss here and there means a longer series, but most likely the Habs will win it in the end.

      Stay positive!

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

  53. Habitoban says:

    We have a pretty good power play (5th in %) and have had more power play opportunities than any team by a good margin. Our PP has been carrying us for much of the season, but we don’t seem to have the finishers for 5 on 5. Last night a case in point. Teams may start playing more discilpned against us becasue they know that if they stay our of the box they can beat us most nights 5 on 5. Hope I’m fussing for nothing.

    • JF says:

      I don’t agree that the powerplay has been carrying us. That was the case in 2008 when we had the best powerplay in the League and finished on top of the Conference. The Flyers shut our powerplay down in the playoffs and that was the series. This year we are scoring much more 5-on-5 than we have in any recent year. The powerplay is good and has been getting better (as has the PK), but we are not dependent on it.


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