About last night …

FrankieBuff

Hands up, everyone who thought your Montreal Canadiens would make the playoffs in Year 1 of the Marc Bergevin rebuild?
OK, I see we have a few liars in tonight’s audience. So let’s narrow this down a bit further:
Hands up everyone who thought the Canadiens would clinch a playoff berth with eight games left in their regular season?

Well, who thought the Canadiens would be winning in April with three rookies in the lineup?

Hmmm, I see we can’t award the gift certificate for a session with Patrick V. Hickey’s personal hair stylist just yet.

So here’s the big one that will eliminate all the faux experts and BS artists:
Who thought Peter Budaj would have more wins than Jaroslav Halak?

Is that crazy or what?

Look it up: Carey Price’s once and immediate-future backup won his seventh (in a row, BTW) Thursday night in Buffalo. Budaj is 7-1-1 on the season.

Halak is 6-5-1. Budaj has a better save percentage, .918-.899, and a slightly better goals-against average, 2.13 to 2.14, than his Slovakian homeboy.

It’s been that kind of season in Montreal. Everything is coming up roses … even though we’re getting crocus-killing snow on Friday.

To the utter and enduring astonishment of  us non-liars, the team that finished a full-value last in the Eastern Conference has become one of the best in the NHL.

The Canadiens have lost nine games in regulation time this season. They’re the only single-digit L team in the East, and it ties them with Anaheim for second fewest in the league, behind Chicago’s five regulation losses.

The Canadiens have scored 127 goals. That’s tied with one-dimensional Tampa Bay for third in the NHL, behind Pittsburgh and the Hawks.

The Canadiens plus-32 goal differential is third in the league, behind the Penguins and Chicago. They have opened the scoring in 28 of their 40 games – a cool 70 per cent of 1-0 action.

Are they a lock for a 25th Stanley Cup?

No, but your Canadiens have a shot. And that’s more than anyone – fans, team executives, players – was expecting this season.

In his postgame press conference, Michel Therrien was asked to single out a factor in the Canadiens’ success.

His players, the coach said, “accept the team concept.”

We see the concept in the Canadiens’ system. They chase the puck like hungry wolves; and when the Canadiens seize the biscuit, they’re off and skating in a transition game Buffalo’s Steve Ott praised as “unbelievable” during his Hockey Night in Canada interview.

The Canadiens stick up for each other, as exemplified by Francis Bouillon going right after Ott for the Sabre’s heavy hit on Brendan Gallagher.

Esprit de corps is reinforced by the fact that everyone is contributing to the Canadiens’ success.

My man Arpon Basu wrote a very prescient pre-game piece for NHL.com in which he pointed to the Canadiens’ superbly balanced attack. Unlike last season, when the David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty-Erik Cole line carried the team (to nowhere, but I digress), the current Canadiens have three bona-fide scoring lines. This is rare in the NHL, and it presents opponents with a daunting task: How do you shut down nine dangerous forwards?

Buffalo couldn’t do it. The Canadiens got goals from each line.

The scorers were:

• Rene Bourque, who has bounced back from his concussion and been reunited with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta

• Alex Galchenyuk, who has bounced back from a 17-game scoring drought with three goals in his last four games … not to mention moves that embarrass defencemen and tape-to-tape passes that make you droll thinking about  the kind of centre this 19-year-old phenom is going to be.

• Brendan Gallagher, who never stopped working while his linemates, DD and Pacioretty, struggled.

The other goals were scored, on the power play, by defencemen: Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban, who has more goals (11) and more points (34) than any other Dman in the league.

Again, I haven’t picked out my spot yet for the Cup parade. But if P.K. isn’t a Norris Trophy finalist, there ought to be a joint FBI-RCMP investigation.

And the coach definitely belongs in the Jack Adams Trophy discussion.

“It’s not easy to make the playoffs,” Therrien said. “Many good teams don’t.”

But when the postseason dance begins, every participant has a shot.

Would you want to be facing the Islanders or Washington in the first round? How about Minnesota, or the defending champion Kings?

There will be a playoff atmosphere at the Air Canada Centre Saturday night. And the home team will give a better account of itself than the woeful Sabres.

Outshot 42-15 in your own barn?

C’mon, man! That’s humiliating. Between this bunch and the NFL Bills, I pity Buffalo sports fans.

It’s nice to see an “x” beside Montreal in the standings. The Canadiens’ remaining eight games, however, will be more challenging.

The value of the game was Therrien’s luxury of rolling four lines and balancing ToI among his injury-wracked defence corps. Nathan Beaulieu played 16:50. He and Davis Drewiske (15:18) were plus-2.

And Andrei Markov played only 15:35 at even strength, a shade more than Bouillon, a shade less than Josh Gorges.

Oh, and the penalty killers pitched another shutout. That’s seven games without surrendering a power-play goal.

Hands up everyone who would have predicted that before Jeff Halpern joined the Canadiens?

• Let’s go to the highlight reel

 

687 Comments

  1. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    The Cube would have played more if he wasn’t in the The Box for taking down The Ott.

  2. twocents says:

    Despite Boone’s theatrical baiting, many here believed last year’s team was no where near as bad as its record told. Many pointed out that the simple addition of Markov and Gionta for a full season would have resulted in a shot at making the playoffs at the very least. Furthermore, the sideshow that was made of the head coaching situation served only to make a trying situation worse. Now, anyone who thought the team would be doing THIS well is full o’ caca.

    As for rookies they are part of every season and counting 3 this year is a stretch until Beaulieu plays enough games to burn that status. Two rookies is not a phenomenal amount, but again the quality and performance of the two is what’s remarkable.

    As for the Halak, Budaj thing, that IS something only a bs artist would claim to have called.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I thought I was seeing the team with Habs coloured glasses when I was suggesting they’d finish 6th in the East. I thought they’d be better because Markov would probably play most of the season, and Gionta would be healthy as well. I never thought that the rookies would have much impact or that Eller would be as good as he’s been. Oh, and I was VERY skeptical about the hiring of MT.
      I’m super happy at what I’m seeing…enjoying the ride.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Perhaps I am in the minority, but I find myself enjoying watching this team regardless of who is in net (Price or Budaj) and regardless of who is centering the line on the ice (DD or Eller).

    • Loonie says:

      How could you not enjoying watching this team play?

      Gallagher and Subban are worth the price of admission and when they’re moving the puck like they did last night they’re magic.

    • Cal says:

      This season has been one intense ride heightened by success never dreamed of. I watch without expectations, but with a lot of hope. I am being paid back for last season’s nightmare.
      Go Habs Go!

    • Sportfan says:

      You’re not alone, I feel the same way, there are somtimes where I think oh would be cool if we saw these guys together but haven’t been worried about who plays.

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Not only regarding the goalie, but I have no worries going into any games, regardless of the line combos or who’s playing or who’s not playing.
      I feel that we can win every game….and even if the Habs go down a couple goals, I don’t worry.
      So much different from last year.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  4. Cal says:

    This one’s for you, Jim!

    Note to Danno- Yours will get done tomorrow. ;)

  5. Blade says:

    First time user….great website. Hab fan since ’68, moved to Toronto in ’94, hate the “Leaves”. Habs are looking great and I am enjoying the view from T.O.

  6. For the the record, Steve Ott is not an Islander.

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

  7. So what do we need to go deep into the playoffs? My take on it from almost 50 years as a fan;

    1) Protect our youth as they will be targeted: i.e. Gallagher last night and Chucky and Beaulieu (who had some sweet moves). Loves Frankie’s chipping in to get back for a big hit on the kid!
    2) Solid consistant goaltending (let the Price debates begin)
    3) Health of our Norris candidate and veteran Markov and PK.
    4) Strong penalty Kill which is currently good not great.
    5) Continued three line contributions to offense, keeping opponents on their heels all game long
    6) Continue the feel good, smiling attitude which seems to permeate most games (not Washington. You could feel it).
    7) In Prust we trust. Anyone else that has been such a big contribution to the attitude of this reborn team?
    8) More time for the rookies. Look what they are doing on roughly 11 minutes a game? Bump them up to 18 and let’s see how many more points are scored.
    9) Keep the rush and fore-checking going all game long. Those lulls are always trouble, resulting in periods where they go into a shell or just a few minutes where 2-3 goals are scored against.
    10) Crash the opposing teams net, play in their crease, drive them crazy, likes flies on your face, ants on your food in the summer. Just protect Gally as he can’t take all those cross-checks, hits and dirt forever. He will go down as he did for 10 day earlier with a concussion and that would suck.

    Did I miss anything?

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

    • Loonie says:

      Balanced scoring or as you put it three lines scoring is probably among the two most important contributions needed.

      As for the forechecking idea. A team can’t apply pressure in the other team’s zone for sixty minutes. There are going to be lulls, it’s a matter of surviving them and responding.

      • True. I just hate when the other team spends a minute and a half in our zone, cycling around the net. Often ends in a goal and the weak attempts to clear also add acid to my stomach!

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

        • Habfan10912 says:

          That’s all we saw last season. Not so much this year.

        • krob1000 says:

          Just imagine how the other teams feel then bfecause it is normally mOntreal doing that in the other zone for the majority of the games this year. When the other team does it is an uncomfortable feeling…that is a testament to how good this team is playing…regular pressure is so rare that when it happens you wonder what the hell is happening.

  8. Loonie says:

    Gonna be pretty funny if the Habs end up drafting Jordan Subban and Mads Eller.

    • geo_habsgo says:

      Eller has a brother? Good prospect?

      • Loonie says:

        Yeah. He was very highly regarded as a fifteen and sixteen year old. His offense has dropped off significantly in the last couple of years though.

        http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=93351

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Thanks Tom. I was getting ready to google him. The Habs have had pretty good luck with brother tandems in the past, eh?

          Georges & Pierre Vézina 1911-12
          Odie & Sprague Cleghorn 1921-22/1924-25
          Billy & Robert Boucher 1923-24
          Aurèle & René Joliat 1924-25
          Pit & Hec Lépine 1925-26
          Sylvio & Georges Mantha 1928-29/1935-36
          Ken & Terry Reardon 1941-42
          Maurice & Henri Richard 1955-56/1959-60
          Frank & Pete Mahovlich 1970-71/1973-74
          Larry & Moe Robinson 1979-80
          Claude & Jocelyn Lemieux 1988-89/1989-90
          Stephan & Patrick Lebeau 1990-91
          Andrei & Sergei Kostitsyn 2007-08

        • Habsrule1 says:

          See Loonie….
          while we often don’t see eye to eye, this is why I like reading your posts. I would not have known Eller had a brother prospect if not for reading it here.
          I hope you don’t take our disagreements too personally. I don’t. I think we’re both very passionate and love our Habs, but often see things in a different way….which is totally normal and can be said for most fans.
          I now we can agree on last night’s game though. It was, as MT would say “mens against boys”.
          And DD got too much PP time, but I think MT is desperate to get those guys going and is not worrying about Eller one bit.
          Does that make sense?

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • Loonie says:

            Yeah it’s all good. It seems the only thing we disagree about here is what constitutes proof.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Hope we never get on a jury together.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

          • Loonie says:

            Haha. For the sake of the Crown you mean right?

            ;)

  9. Small_Town_Boy says:

    WOW … The number of immature, ignorant, anserine, duncical comments on the TSN site. I could go on for days. Habs are playing well. Will the Leafs destroy the Habs again? NO. Budaj is playing well. He will not replace Carey Price. Why? Cause Price can play 70 + games a season. Budaj could not handle the starting job in Colorado that is why he is a backup. Budaj is good for 20 games a season & he will be good doing just that. Why bonehead comments even make it past the mods there are beyond me!

    • Loonie says:

      You just asked the question of which goalie should start in the playoffs.

      • Small_Town_Boy says:

        I asked that ??? because many Hab & non Hab fans are thinking it!

        • Loonie says:

          Small_Town_BoyAPRIL 12, 2013 AT 8:05 AM

          With Budaj playing great, who should MT start the playoffs with?

          You’re spinning like a top.

          • Small_Town_Boy says:

            So. I asked a question. Did I say that I wanted Budaj to start? Learn to read my friend!

          • Loonie says:

            Learn to read?

            You asked the question, not me. Asking the question in and of itself is requesting opinion on the subject and implies a degree of uncertainty pertaining to the issue.

            Put your claws back in your paws and heed your own directive.

          • Strummer says:

            “Why bonehead comments even make it past the mods there are beyond me! ”

            Pot meet kettle.
            Moderators aren’t there to to block comments you don’t agree with. Their purpose is to filter out racist, profane and other socially unacceptable content.

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

    • Danno says:

      Just out of curiosity, is there a link to this site?

      ________________________________________

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

  10. Clay says:

    Re: the poll question; I would love to see them meet up, but I voted no because playing TO in the first round would likely mean we finished in 4th place instead of 2nd (or even first). Trick question…

    __________________________
    ☞ Montreal is the better of these two teams. No excuses for Bruins. Montreal is better.☜ ~ Jack Edwards

  11. Singaporehabsfan says:

    Gallagher is the epitome of this team….like a buzz-saw…it never quits. The nucleus was there, (in fairness to Gainey and Gauthier) but sometimes it takes some new perspective to make the small but monumental tweaks, tweaks which make the difference between being a contender and a pretender. The likes of Prust, Gallagher and Galchenyuk have brought incredible intangibles and heart, which teams would love to bottle. I remember Gallagher’s few games at last season’s training camp and frankly I am not surprised with his success.

    On another note, because we love to watch the 2013 Edition of the Bruin Diving team…feast your eyes. Jack Edwards, are you watching?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zPBALn1ggM
    Pathetic leafs flatulent bruins

  12. adamkennelly says:

    You know what – I got no problem with Steve Ott..he’s a good hockey player and a p—-…thats a nice combination…very well spoken – his interview was really good – especially the part where he was talking about how incredibly good and fast our team is….nice.

  13. Danno says:

    Will Shanahan review Ott’s lick on Halpern?

    ________________________________________

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

  14. geo_habsgo says:

    Why is everyone here always so keen to start a goalie controversy? Budaj is having a great season and has picked up some big wins AS A BACKUP. He has been great in relief of Price and gives the team the chance to win. That’s what an awesome backup goaltender does. The team plays really tight checking defense in the few games that he plays. Watch closely and you’ll see how much more insulated he is. Price does a lot on his own that we don’t notice because he makes stops look easy. He is having a great season but we don’t seem to be satisfied unless he is putting up Tim Thomas numbers. Ridiculous. Honestly, how many of you watch a game with Price and worry that he is going to screw everything up? I know I don’t.
    Let’s stop proving to everyone else that we aren’t, in fact, the most intelligent hockey fans around.

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      Tim Floppy Thomas was very lucky not good!

    • As for how I feel when Price is in the net… I feel like at any time, he is thinking about riding his broco and unless he is being peppered by shots, he does look shaky, not always making stops look easy. That is the announcers cry for Price.

      Oh and why shouldn’t he be expected to put up TIm THomas numbers? He’s touted as a “Franchise Goaltender”, The future of the team, backstop to a Cup, etc…

      I for one am sick of those that are always promoting him as a Roy, Dryden, Hextall and other greats when he is currently NOT great. He is good. Flashes of greatness and isn’t carrying the team by a long shot. Will he get there? I hope, otherwise, he’s good with expectations. It isn’t about him or Halak anymore, IMO, but the debate continues because people take such extreme sides. I’m in the middle, happy to have him and I wouldn’t cry if he was gone… Look at Miller (an elite goalie getting bombed last night), Nieme’s up and down career, Nabokov who is carrying the Islanders now… Fleury who is a sieve, but has played well behind an awesome team… Bottom line is that any starting NHL goalie is already elite, then we put them up to a microscope and look for a Phil Esposito or Bunny Laroque (Now that was a backup goalie!)

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

      • Loonie says:

        Price is described routinely as the most calm goaltender in the net in the NHL.

        The people who compare him to Roy and Dryden are the people crapping on him daily.

        You’re in the middle about as much as Rush Limbaugh.

      • geo_habsgo says:

        The fact that you say he is not on Roy’s level shows your ignorance on the matter. When was the last time you looked at Roy’s stat lines over his career? I’ll leave a link to his stat page over his career at the end of this post. Price has put up consistently good numbers and his win column proves that he is of the right make up to be a franchise goaltender. You really think Budaj, with 60-75 starts a season, could give Price a run for his money?

        http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=4688

      • Small_Town_Boy says:

        So Carey Price gets bashed & put down because he was labled the next Dryden / Roy combined? Did Price want that lable? No. He even came out & said that he did not want to be called as such.

        Price gets the heat cause the media. It is freakin stupid.

  15. TommyB says:

    There are so many positive things to point to when trying to explain the success of this year’s Habs, but certainly near the top of those reasons would be the addition of Gallagher and Galchenyuk. Two rookies who bring such positive energy to the rink every day/night. Not so long ago, management would keep the youngsters in the minors for a few years of seasoning regardless of whether they had the talent to contribute in the NHL. Who broke the mold? Was it Bergevin, with a fresh new philosophy of how to put a contending team on the ice? Or was it the rookies themselves, who defied and dared not to be sent to Hamilton game in and game out? You look at the other rookies who have come in when summoned for a game or two, and they have fit in just perfectly and you have to feel comfortable that this team should continue to improve and contend for a few years to come. It’s nice to see.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree with this post 100%. I remember after our first game vs the Devils, Marty B was asked about the difference in this years Hab team and he said team speed. He mentioned the two teenagers. Gallagher is just an energizer bunny out there and Galchenyuk reeks talent.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      It was the myriad words of wisdom of HIO posters that telepathically transmitted to the brains of MB, Rick D, and Larry C.

      Or it may have been you guys putting on the right jerseys and underwear at the right time, and not screwing up like you did last year.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Mike Boone says:

      I think necessity was the mother of innovation.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • Habfan17 says:

      I’d say it is Beregevin and the new, refreshing philosophy he and the development team have brought in, Players can only work their butts off to prove they belong, the Gm can still stick them in the minors if for no other reason than to not burn a year off of their contracts and have them around longer. Not many players would refuse to go down to the farm.

      Habfan17

  16. piter says:

    It’s a great feeling, knowing we’re in the playoffs. The boys are playing their butts off this year. The rookies are playing amazing, the D have stood up to the challenge, the coaching and the system are also bang on. Seems to me, we’re about ready for the playoffs. That being said, it was only Buffalo we beat last night. It’s a team thats just playing out the year. Kinda reminds me of us, last year. Sure any team can beat any other team from night to night, but they really did mailed it in last night. It was a game we HAD to win and I’m glad they rebounded from the previous game and did it. On another note, that visor lick is really creepy. When I first read it, I thought he did it to smudge spit on the visor, and partially blind Halpern to have a better chance to win the faceoff. Maybe Ott has a mancrush on Halpern, lol. Well, if he has any questions about his sexuality, the league just announced a program for homosexuals in the league. Anyway, lets get off that subject. It was a good game last night all in all, but the competition was nowhere near the quality of team we will be facing in the playoffs. I’m sure we’ll be prepared for the playoffs, we have 3 scoring lines, an experienced 4th line(glad they elevated Bourque though), and a D thats showing they can step up. Price has been average this year, showing up for most games, but has looked distracted for a few others. I hope he doesn’t have anymore of them games. Anyway, Go Habs Go

  17. Loonie says:

    If I were an outsider to this team, and that’s to say that I wasn’t a fan of the Habs and just happened to stumble onto this page I would really have a good laugh.

    The lack of appreciation for Price’s skill level, development and response to adversity from a good chunk of the folks here is hilarious.

    The debate about Price was settled a long time ago when he had a Vezina quality season immediately following losing his starting job.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      The lack of appreciation from some fans for a lot (alot) of players is humorous. Not just Price. We can add, Gionta, Markov, Moen, DD, Frankie B, along with Price to this list. Hard to believe the team sits 1st in its division this morning by reading some of these post.

      • Loonie says:

        In the case of Price if we ever have a goalie who is better overall I will be fully on board with him losing his starting job.

        But to do that the team will have to find a goalie who is in the top 5 or better in the World.

        I doubt that’s going to happen.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      A quick study of goaltending history in the cities of Philadelphia, Tampa Bay (they had the “good” Roloson one season), Edmonton, and Toronto would orient some among us as to what steady, winning goaltending encompasses. Bonus: if we can muster a seminar on this subject, we will invite Ilya Bryzgalov to lead the nap session.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  18. HNS says:

    Forget the playoffs right now. How’s about playing goal till you lose ? GO HABS GO!

  19. Small_Town_Boy says:

    With Budaj playing great, who should MT start the playoffs with?

    If MT started Budaj & he played great, what do you think would happen to Carey’s mind set?

  20. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Boone obsessed with Price? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Last game Boone did not feel the Price love.

  21. Habfan10912 says:

    Isn’t Gallagher a pleasure to watch play? Every shift he brings it. Every friggin shift.

  22. Curtis O Habs says:

    Credit Danno, who at 10:24 pm April 10 posted ” They are due for a shallacking from us 5-1. ” Well done!

  23. habs-hampton says:

    Hey Mike! Can you talk to your contacts at TSN and tell them to put that little “x” beside the Habs. Its not there, and the boys earned it.

  24. Habfan10912 says:

    Playoffs? I was with Chris, Retro and Ed in voting NO, that this team had little chance of being a playoff team. Little did I know of the wonderful ride this team would take us on.
    I wish I were as talented as Cal or L and could write a song parody or the tremendous sense of humor of a JB to write a humorous story to mark the occasion. Since I have neither I’ll just congratulate my fellow Hab fans on sharing this wonderful season. I wonder where the boys will take us next?
    CHeers.

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    Recognizing the Sabres did not provide the greatest challenge, still looked to me like the line of Max/DD/Gally is really about to break it open. Max had many good looks and appears to be squeezing the stick per se, but just like a flip shot from center ice broke him out of his last funk, one goal and I think he will go on a tear.

    The line had many good shifts. Question to the stats wizards, are other teams matching up their #1 checking line against this line? Heard CBC mention a few times that the DD/Max/Gally line is our #1 line, just wondering if other teams are strategizing the same way?

    • Loonie says:

      It’s been hit and miss. A lot of teams are trying to match their best offensive lines against the Desharnais/Pacioretty/Gallagher line.

      With Emelin out I think that will change a bit and we’ll see teams matching to get their best forwards on the ice against our third defensive pairing.

    • ed says:

      I would suggest that given the success of last season, many teams focused their attention 5 on 5 to stop Max and DD. The first 15-20 games certainly as we played teams for the 1st and 2nd time.

      One of the many reasons why I feel like the DD bashing around here is so ridiculous.

      The team has gelled so nicely this season, and getting production which is extremely balanced from all three lines is certainly a huge factor.

      DD has contributed to this success and especially to the 5 on 5 success the team has rarely seen in the past 20 years.

      I think DD deserves some respect and he gets very little, almost none around here.

      • Loonie says:

        The violins for Desharnais don’t give way to the bashing from where I’m sitting.

        It’s not only that Desharnais hasn’t produced at a level to justify his usage this season, that’s compounded by Eller having been better in every phase of the game.

  26. Loonie says:

    I have to admit that I thought the Sabres would play their most inspired game of the season. They had hope with a win last night and their performance was nothing short of pathetic.

    Full marks to the Habs though, those are the kind of games that previous editions of our club would have left in doubt. This one doesn’t do that.

  27. JUST ME says:

    Great feeling this morning after officially making it to the playoffs and a dominating performance from the Habs. Funny cause afterwards i was thinking exactly the same thing as mr Boone is about the so called experts who all season long had more than doubts. Like it or not but D.D.,Moen,Markov,Price,White,Bourque and the rest of the team got you there. It`s a team affair and everyone is necessary to make it happen so i would say…IN YOUR FACE !

    But we fans are a team too so i guess it take all sorts of us to make a tight group …

    Did not personaly think that they would make it in the playoffs even though it was impossible that the team was as bad as is was last season. Hats off to Markov and Gionta who made the difference big time with their experience and their ice time. But once again some of you will complain …Go habs go !

  28. Captain aHab says:

    The snow. Make it stop. Please.

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

  29. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Let me just clarify my “no” to the poll question. I just don’t want to see Toronto in the playoffs – period, I’m not afraid of them. Mind you if Toronto’s in the playoffs, then all that media will stay down there at that end of the 401 and we can have our own little party down here.

  30. The Cat says:

    Montreal with yet another 3+ goal margin win, plus with scoring spread around which is a great sign. Ca sent la Coupe!

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

  31. 24 Cups says:

    http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o761/doooms/hh_zps6d1bdf73.png

    This is a must see photo. Great stuff. (Art work done by Dr. Habs)

  32. MrNax says:

    There was a distinct licking motion!

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    Watching PK and Markov on the powerplay is quite impressive, PK is now showing the same patience as Andrei in order to get the right shot away.

    Can’t wait for Saturday, now I just have to find a bar in Myrtle Beach who will show an all Canadian Hockey Matchup!

    • Chris says:

      I agree whole-heartedly. While watching the game last night, that was the thing that struck me the most…Subban’s shot-selection has really improved this season.

      Subban is maturing as a hockey player, but I also think that having Markov back and frequently pulling Subban aside and talking to him is a big part of that. Over the last couple of seasons, we had extolled the teaching that Hal Gill was doing with Subban. But Gill can’t teach offence.

      Markov sees the game in a different way than most defencemen. Having Markov around to discuss plays and what to do has been a blessing for Subban.

    • Habsdino says:

      Overtimes in North Myrtle, always have CBC on the big screen Saturday nights.

  34. saskhabfan says:

    Hey retro,remember this post? LOL

    RetroMikey

    January 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Wow….70% of fans here in the latest poll think our once mighty Canadiens will make the playoffs this season. Unbelievable

    • The Cat says:

      Now now, dont pick on Retro cause hes unpopular, theres lots of popular members whove made dumbass predictions that dont get called out.

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

      • Chris says:

        I will freely admit that I was one of the people who did not think the Habs would make the playoffs.

        So people can feel free to add me to the dunce pile. :)

        • Cal says:

          I am generally optimistic about the Habs. Last year was the worst clusterbleep of a season I have ever witnessed. I thought the Habs would be a bubble team at best. Whodathunk that adding some Beef, a strongarm and a philosopher would change everything? Not to mention two special rookies.

        • ed says:

          right with you Chris.

          but who could have predicted the contribution from so many?

          watching Gallagher last night I just found myself shaking my head in disbelief.
          Galchenyuk is now improving with every shift, and passing dozens and dozens of NHL players up the ladder; he will not stop improving until there are maybe a handful of players left who are more dangerous.
          And I have to say that last night I saw Beaulieu as a future force in this league. Awesome skater!

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            SO true, Ed!

            When Ott hit Gally, who disappeared from view at the near boards, and then bounced up SMILING, I knew it was love!

            And the beating he took from Myers in the crease! Still smiling!

            He just looks like a kid who was playing shinny in the car-park before game-time and someone said let’s give him a go. And he just keep doing what he does!

            And what you say about Galchenyuk and Beaulieu — they are the future, except the future’s already started!

    • Mike Boone says:

      I was not among the 70 per cent.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  35. gmur says:

    When Gomez was bought out and rookies were given a chance to crack the lineup at the beginning of the season, it seemed like Montreal was taking the long road to building a team the right way. Get rid of old problems and give young players a chance. Who would have thought the Canadiens would have so much success. It really shows how important it is to play as a team in today’s league. It always has been, but especially today it’s hard to pull out wins on talent alone. There are no magic bullet players… The Kings were a pretty good example of a team that came together and had good talent and played as a team.

    Watching Montreal skate and pass is a tribute to new hockey in the NHL. They swarm the other team… Small, fast players can’t be hooked and mauled by neanderthal slowfoots. As long as referees don’t put away their whistles in the playoffs, who knows what Montreal will accomplish post-season?

    Ott’s a licker… who knew? pass the disinfectant.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Steve did you see that the young amateur (14 years old) shot a 1 over par round yesterday? Unbelievable!

      • 24 Cups says:

        That would be like a 14 year old playing his first game in the NHL and getting a hat trick.

        Consider this when trying to evaluate this boy’s achievement. He’s in a foreign land, faces language issues, is playing an elite course for the first time and has to give up a fair amount of length to the big hitters on the course. Not to mention all the pressure and media coverage.

        Unbelievable, indeed!

  36. 24 Cups says:

    What to know how Hab players might have done during a regular season? Just double up these stats.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/statistics/?hubname=nhl-canadiens

  37. 24 Cups says:

    P.K. Subban. Enough said.

  38. Cal says:

    Last night was the complete opposite of when I went to the BC in March. Total domination and control pretty much from start to finish.
    Ott has to be suspended. Complete lack of respect for Halpern, who was playing his 900th game.

  39. Danno says:

    Just a great night for the Canadiens, in many ways, from start to finish.
    Domination In Buffalo

    ________________________________________

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

  40. Mavid says:

    5-1 that means not only a coffee but a breakfast sandwich with a hash brown..from that Buffalo fan…makes me almost excited to get to work…
    Playoff’s here we come!!!! GO HABS GO!!!!!!

  41. Cal says:

    Spooky!
    Cal
    April 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Bold prediction: Ottawa going to show up Philly tonight and win 3-1. Empty netter for Habs killer Alfredsson.

    http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  42. HABZ24 says:

    No golf clubs in april for us this year !! Playoffs are going to be a blast to watch this year !!

    GO HABS GO

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    Could Briere be a buyout in Philly, making him a UFA this summer.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/frequentflyers/Danny-Briere-Amnesty-buyout-is-Reality.html

    • Marc10 says:

      I find the posts on HIO often ridiculously negative, but reading what they’re saying in Philly… Wow! Classy bunch down there.

      Briz and Danny Boy would be two prime candidates for a Gomez-Redden special I would wager.

    • Cal says:

      Not if he is on Injured Reserve.
      It’s the reason Habs are not playing Kaberle.

  44. Captain aHab says:

    Nice to see dd break out of his new contract funk. With Galchenyuk getting back on track, this is a dangerous team. I wonder if he’s been focussing so much on his D that he put aside the O a little bit too much?

    And Nathan Beaulieu has 2 assists and is a +6 already. He was showing off the sick vision he had when playing in the Q. I saw him play a bit and always thought he looked more dominant than Huberdeau. I was ecstatic when he fell to us at the draft. No need to rush Diaz back just like there was no need to rush Bourque back.

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

  45. Captain aHab says:

    So how much will the Habs be paying Subban after this contract?

    What. A. Player.

    The thing about him is that when he has the puck you know -and so does the other team – that he’ll pull off that move where he shields off the opponent with one hand as he heads back up ice. Everyone knows it but they can’t stop him most times. He has unbelieveable strength and vision.

    The guy is almost top 30 in points and he’s played fewer games than most ahead of him and wasn’t getting huge minutes in his first games back. Oh, and he’s a D-Man.

    People have been saying that MB should have signed him to longer term and paid less than he now will. I think MB realized this would happen but he had to make a point about team first. Anyway the way Subban is playing now, he’ll be happy to give him top dollars.

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

  46. rhino514 says:

    Confused…the boxscore says Bourque scored, but it loked like Gionta. Will that be changed?

  47. habs001 says:

    While the Sabres helped it still was one of the most complete games the Habs played this year…..Hopefully Carolina snaps its losing streak saturday…If DD plays like he played yest he is still the number 2 centre….Plecks and DD are the two centres on the team that can be calm and control the puck on the pp…

  48. The Cat says:

    I agree. I know lots can happen like injuries etc but the Habs are a great team, I dont see who in the east can touch them other than Pittsburgh.

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

  49. Timo says:

    Chantal looked kind of sweaty in that close up shot. Wonder why.

  50. Bun E. Laroque says:

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a Habs team looking so relaxed and playing so confidently. The culture of the team has completely changed from the previous year. Granted that Buffalo team is bad. I’m really hoping to see the team at their best on Saturday and that they set the tone for any possible meeting with the leafs in the playoffs. And I also hope that someone thumps Grabovski.

  51. AceMagnum says:

    Price rules!

  52. Storman says:

    I know i am fffffffff wasted when i am watching military channel lol

  53. stevied123 says:

    Hey Da Hema, last time we played the leafs we won ,,, i believe it finished 5-2, get ready for more of that saturday night , habs win 3-1, book it.

    • Da Hema says:

      Oops. That 6-0 game left quite the rotten taste in my mouth! Evidently I cannot rid myself of its evil impression.

      I am still willing to wager money CBC will spend 10 minutes talking about that game though.

  54. Da Hema says:

    I truly hope the Habs use as motivation the incessant references yet (but assuredly) to come about the Leaves’ improbable 6-0 victory the last time they played. We can be as certain as the sun will rise tomorrow morning that game is all HNIC will discuss until the puck drops. It will be nauseating, so I’ll skip that part of the broadcast. The Habs were embarrassed on national television — and I hope this time they are prepared and ready to play a team that almost always brings its best game against the Canadiens.

  55. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    Way to go Habs. What a great team and what a great turnaround.

  56. habsfan0 says:

    “Who thought Peter Budaj would have more wins than Jaroslav Halak?”

    That IS stunning.

  57. 27kovi says:

    “moves that embarrass defencemen and tape-to-tape passes that make you drool thinking about the kind of centre this 19-year-old phenom is going to be.”

    You were bang on there!

  58. Storman says:

    Drewiske a + 2 tonight, yah baby, i eat crow , he is awesome, lol Timo that is for you

  59. Richrebellion says:

    I believe I did preach that this was a playoff team before this season began, all the pieces were there to be in the race and have a great shot at making it. I will admit I didn’t see the habs sitting 2nd in the conference and in such a dominant way! But who would of guessed that both Gallys would be contributing the way they are.

    The system and team spirit has done wonders in leading us this way but what an impact a health Markov has made, Subban is getting Norris talk but would he really be there without Markov? On the PP together it is simply magic and its no wonder why they sit 1, 2 in PPP. Offense is generated from your D and with a young Subban and no1 else really capable of generating consistent offense last year its no wonder they struggled. Add in 2 young high energy players, Gionta and Ryder to your offense along with some character and its created one of the deepest offenses in the league.

    Bergevin has made some great moves but watching the team last year it was clear they had good pieces and were a few players away from being a good team. Problem with media and most fans is they can’t separate the win-loss column from the individual pieces and strengths of a team. Without the injuries last year they definitely would not have finished last in the east. Bergevin saw it from the start and must be laughing at the fact that he walked into a team with such talent already in the system. 90% of this team was drafted, developed and assembled by Gauthier and Gainey. Besides Ryder, Boullion, Prust and Galchenyuk the rest of the team was put together by them and I think they deserve some credit for doing a good job at developing talent! He did a great job at identifying it and adding the right pieces and voila a second place team. I love the new management and the fact that the future is very bright for the Canadiens.

  60. Timo says:

    Just this one night I will not complain about the Habs. THIS is how you put away crappy teams – no context. Everyone played well and as Therrien said, it looked like a team.

    And man, I know it was just a lousy Sabres team but did Beaulieu look awesome or what? PK # 2? His skating is amazing. And his vision is very good too. He will probably get bumped when Diaz comes back but, I’d give him a chance for the playoffs run. You never know… he may (and will) surprise.

  61. HammerHab says:

    Now that was a game! 11th row behind the Buffalo net, great view of a few goals including Chucky’s and a perfect view of Bouillions beatdown on Ott! If I’m not mistaked Eller got more ice time than DD, if not it was pretty close. Or maybe it’s just that Eller stands out more….

    One thing that really stood out to me….Price didn’t make a single save….he needs to start earning that contract

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  62. stevied123 says:

    Wow, can you just imagine what this team will look like when tinordi fills out and beaulieu is more comftorble? Collberg?? Hudon?, bozon, kristo, also , that calgary 2and rounder is basically gold. I think we will trade up on the draft this year to go after a baby lucic, and as previously stated buy other HIO members even if we loose in the first round im a happy camper knowing what lies ahead.. You know what you attract with a team like this? If you said a top ten player when its time to go all in for a cup push then you’re right!

  63. Storman says:

    This is how good PK is, late in a game if we need a goal the one guy MT goes to and says, ignore system do what it takes you see an option for an offensive chance take it. let your absolute skill set take over, he is our Sidney Crosby

  64. RobertLefebvre says:

    Props to Mike for an article that truly captures what myself and many Canadiens fans must be feeling right at this moment.

  65. SC27 says:

    Happy playoffs everyone!

    Attended the game last night, and I have to say it was so much more entertaining to watch Subban and the rookies play live. Some things i noticed:
    Watching Subban closely is another form of entertainment on its own. The way he protects the puck in his own zone and the moves on the offensive blue line are a talent that maybe no one else in the league possesses.
    Gallagher just does NOT stop moving his feet, besides Subban he was the most entertaining player on the ice tonight.
    DD had some shifts where he was gritty and won some puck battles, but he has to be one of the most inconsistent players on the roster. Some shifts he gets in the corners, but he floats way too often.
    Other than that, Beaulieu has tons of confidence, and the Ryder-Eller-Galchenyuk line may be dangerous in the playoffs. Three lines that have goal-scorers on them will be tough to contain for 60 minutes.
    Night all!

  66. HardHabits says:

    Given the impending snow storm about to hit the city, at the very least I can bask in the afterglow of a very convincing win.

    It’s nice to see the quantum shift in not just the identity of the Habs team but also in the competence of the Habs hockey operations.

    I am not even weighing this season against last season (which as a die hard Habs fan really didn’t bother me that much given the Galchenyuk pick). I am weighing this season against the last 19 seasons (which bothered me considerably).

    • Storman says:

      Hockey operations good point big time, no blind faith in one leader or GM anymore, it is a team operation now,,,

    • Richrebellion says:

      I see so much bashing of hockey operations from the last regime but who do you think developed, drafted and signed most of this team? Subban, Patches, Price, Emelin, Desharnais, Gallagher, Beaulieu, Diaz, Markov, Pleks, Gionta, Gorges, Bourque, Eller, Budaj and Moen all play a huge role on this team and are all here because of the previous hockey operations not Bergevin! Not to mention the numerous other NHL caliber players they have drafted and either traded or lost to free agency in Streit, Halak, S. Kostitsyn, Grabovski, Latendresse, Mcdonagh and Lapierre. They were definitely very competent in terms of development, did they make some mistakes? Yes of course but everyone does and towards the end they made a few too many and with some key injuries they lost their job. However, they didn’t leave the organization bone dry and in need of a serious rebuild! The shelves were stocked with talent and they even gave Bergevin the chance to draft a world class player in Galchenyuk. Thank them for what they have done.

      Don’t get me wrong the moves Bergevin has made have been gold and definitely play a big role in the success of the team. Hiring Therrien a move which most thought was crazy has paid off big and his trades and signings have all paid off.

      • HardHabits says:

        For the past regime it was too late to do the right thing and all panic. Take for example the Kaberle acquisition. PG liked to conjecture that he was tradeable. Looks like he’ll be the 2nd amnesty buy-out. You say they were good at development and I will disagree. The amateur scouting was excellent. It was the pro-scouting that faltered, on many occasions.

        The cupboards are filling up for a change rather than constantly being depleted for ill gotten short term gains. The reflex to trade young assets appears to be a thing of the past.

        It was 19 years of mediocrity with the only two seasons to cheer about and precarious ones to say the least. The Conference win had BGL picked up and Tanguay acquired for a 1st and 2nd. The debacle that followed was enough top harden us fans so that last season was actually a welcome relief. Finally rather than finish outside the playoffs and outside the choice draft picks the Habs drafted a player worthy of going straight from the draft to the NHL.

        I have no doubt that if the old regime was here, so would be Gomez and the Habs would have been teetering on the cusp of playoff contention.

        The rebuild wasn’t needed on the ice, it was upstairs where it occurred.

        • Richrebellion says:

          I don’t think you understand the term development… They developed the likes of Subban (Potential Norris Candidate), Patches, Price, Gallagher, Emelin, Desharnais, Pleks, Beaulieu and many others who are a big part of this team and the future. They also made great signings in Diaz, Moen, Gionta and Budaj and even some solid trades that brought Eller, Gorges (and a 1st that became Patches) and Bourque ( Holland and Flames 2nd in 2013) to the team. Did they make mistakes? Yes i mentioned that above and trades like the Gomez one has hurt the team. They made trades to try and push this team to the top instead of letting their drafted talent do it for them. However, they were nowhere near as bad as people make them out to be. The Canadiens have produced more NHL caliber players than any other team in the NHL in the past 10 years and that’s while only picking in the top 5 once! Of those NHL caliber players more than a few of come in the later rounds of the draft ( Halak, Streit, S. Kostitsyn and Gallagher). They set up Bergevin with everything to build a successful team and he put the finishing touches on it with a coach and some character players. It was Gainey and Gauthier who made this team possible and for people to come on here and act as if they were the worst thing to ever happen to the organization is ridiculous! People forget what state the team was in when Gainey took over and although he didn’t bring us a cup he did a damn fine job of setting up the organization for the future.

  67. 100HABS says:

    The poll. I wonder how it would pan out if it were asked on a leafs’ blog?

  68. I am having *so* much fun watching the Habs this year. Just awesome.

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

  69. jedimyrmidon says:

    From the previous thread:

    Ott licks Halpern’s visor:
    vid

    What the heck?!

  70. Propwash says:

    Even if they get bounced in the first round of the playoffs, I will still be furiously proud of this team.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  71. TheDagger says:

    First. That is all.

  72. christophor says:

    I’m trying to post a link to your own profile, where it shows that all YOU talk about is Price. But HIO is not letting my posts through. Readers can click on it for themselves.

    Anyway, point is this: surely you see the ridiculousness of your own comment. I mean, you do, don’t you?

  73. TheLogician says:

    seems to me like Boone isn’t the only one obsessed with Price.

    a nice, positive piece on a great game and the team’s surprising season, and *that* is what you took away from it?

    obsessed indeed.

  74. HabinBurlington says:

    Last anything was said i believe was “knee” injury, hope to have him for playoffs. Seems like the team is somewhat optimistic he could be back in about 3 weeks.

  75. Cal says:

    I miss his tenacity, too. The Armdog is missed!


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