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. Mattyleg says:

    Huh?
    As per Tweet from Renaud Lavoie:

    Tyler Myers out for the rest of the season with a broken leg.
    Got it last night.
    Anyone remember Myers breaking his leg?
    I don’t.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  2. CHasman says:

    I PVR most of the Montreal games because I’m not available for the start of the games but I usually catch up to live TV by the end of the third period. Anyway this means I read Boone’s live blog after the fact but I still love it, especially after a win which is mostly the norm. Even when I know what has happened I love to read the blog and the ‘About last night’ column. Thanks Mr. Boone for making the game more fun for us fans. And thanks to our Habs for playing so well. Now for the Leafs.

  3. The Juice says:

    More nonsense on Hockey Central today:
    -Fait accompli that Boston wins division (Darren Millard)
    -Habs are ideal matchup for Leafs given Leafs perceived advantage in size, ability to match speed, Leafs have played well against Habs this year. (Doug MacLean)

    __________________________________________________________________________

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

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      It’s true that compared to the Bruins, I can see teams wanting to face the Habs.

      HOWEVER, I feel it’s often said in a sort of way that implies that the Leafs have an advantage over the Habs.

      The Leafs’ advantage in size, and matching in speed is just over-hyping by Toronto media again. Their defense is slow, some of their forwards are fast. If the Habs face the Leafs in the playoffs, I hope they find a way to exploit that as a 5-man unit.

    • ont fan says:

      To be honest…Mclean doesn’t want to play Boston…the leafs have a terrible time beating the Bruins.

  4. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Leafs have: Montreal, NJD, Wasington, NYI and Ott

    Time for a five-game losing streak?

  5. Rudy says:

    That article about PK worries me. Will he be an RFA or UFA when negotioating his next deal. He could just say to Montreal media/fans screw you I’m outta here.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      He’ll be an RFA…I think most of the hate came from outside Montreal. Fans stuck behind him pretty good and gave him a huge ovation when he returned. I’m sure he wants to stick with this team. Who wouldn’t ;)

    • HardHabits says:

      Or he could say, “I love it here, where do I sign.”

      I’d be willing to bet that I am right and you are wrong.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Hopefully he doesn’t take everything said personally.

      I hope he’s more ticked off at the so-called analysts on TSN or guys like PJ Stock who basically spew out the equivalent of slander concerning a guy they don’t even know. It was absolutely ridiculous how much flack PK was getting compared to any other player in the NHL.

    • oldandslo says:

      He’ll be offered an 8-year (52 million) extension on July 2nd 2013 and he’ll accept it. Both parties will be very happy as will all Habs nation.
      Feel better?

  6. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    I know we’re all stoked about PK leading dmen in goals, but he better be careful….that Markov guy is creeping up on him

  7. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    By the way, does anyone know where I can find highlights of the last Bruins-Habs game from NESN? Being trying to find on YouTube. Petulant as it is, I love hearing Edwards having to call those games :)

  8. mount royal says:

    I think that it was Conny Smyth who famously said, `If you can`t lick them in the alley, lick them on the visor.

  9. Boomer says:

    Colby Armstrong tweet lol
    Colby Armstrong‏@armdog15m
    Wish I was there boys. Just clangin and bangin at home here. I farted in ur lockers, careful opening #stinkbomb @PKSubban1 @brandonprust8

  10. Rob says:

    I just read the article on the Score stating that PK shouldn’t win the Norris this year because he hasn’t doesn’t play against the oppositions toughest opponents. Now i’m not saying PK should be the hands down winner, but it just baffles me how reporters and journalists continue to use arguments that only prove they don’t actually watch PK play. Makes you wonder how many of their opinions are actually their own, and how much (all of it?) is just regurgitated material.

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      They should just stick to wrestling and making bad gambling picks…

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

    • Luke says:

      Actually I think he says both that he should and shouldn’t win.

      Not exactly a well written article. Lots of confusing numbers and that silly graph, no clear explaination. If you can’t prove, confuse!

  11. Hstands4Hockey says:

    Anyone have a stat on how hard PK shoots his one-timer?

    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
    @Hstands4Hockey

    • BrianSkrudland says:

      Not too sure, but I suspect he fires that puck hard enough to knock the disease-infested tongue right out of Steve Ott’s gob.

      ——–
      Daily recommendations for April 12
      Song of the Day: Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
      Movie of the Day: Goodfellas

  12. SteverenO says:

    @Luke: you wrote:

    Notcied the last one really didn’t count either because the game was basically over and one of the sabres didn’t have stick.

    Didn’t I get yelled at this week for talking out of my hat or something?
    *******************************************
    How is that “talking out one’s hat”? The PP scored two goals in 8 chances, since one of them was a 5 on 3, the success rate was one out of 7 which is NOT very good. Pointing out that the one PP goal that WAS counted, because it was scored 5 on 4 was “similar” to a 5 on 3 because one of the defenders had no stick sounds pretty reasonable and factual, to me.

    In fact Gallagher now has been in the ice for 7 goals in 80 minutes of PP time. Of the 7 one came with the goalie pulled 6 on 4 skaters, and another (yesterday) was with one defender minus a stick. In other words it could well be argued that his (team worst among forwards) average of nearly 12 minutes of ice time per PP goal scored is actually deceptively BETTER than the numbers indicate.

    When you were called out for “talking out of your hat” it was because you made an unsubstantiated comment that was both misleading and inaccurate. If you are claiming that my post was either misleading or inaccurate, please explain how you came to that conclusion.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Loonie says:

      You didn’t count the second powerplay goal for intents or purposes. That’s why it’s talking out of your hat.

      Does Pacioretty lose a goal because his first was a bad bounce from centre-ice? Does Desharnais lose an assist on that goal?

      Do we get to erase a half dozen goals off of Price’s season total because they’ve gone in off of defenders.

      Somebody citing nothing other than stats to formulate an opinion should know better than to pick and choose which tallies “count” and which ones don’t.

      “In reality the PP was 1 for 7″

      No, in reality it was 2 for 8. Which is a 25% success rate last time I went to school. And when people look at the season series from this year down the road, last night’s game will be cited as a 5-1 win, not a 4-1 win.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Just because you use numbers doesn’t make your interpretation correct!

      How is a 5-on-3 PP goal not considered part of the PP’s success rate? PP is when the other team plays shorthanded. Period. Doesn’t matter if it’s 5-on-4, 4-on-3 or 5-on-3.

      And now you’re saying that the stat you’ve been using for weeks may not be representative in Gallagher’s case because of the supposedly ‘non-standard’ circumstances under which some PP goals were scored? Doesn’t say much about the credibility of the stat then.

      Finally, since context appears to be so important all of a sudden, the Habs were up 4-0 by the end of the second period. There was NO reason for them to have any urgency on the PP. In fact, Therrien was putting out Eller’s line and the 4th line during the last couple of PPs. They clearly weren’t going by 1st and 2nd PP unit. The Habs also gave up a SH goal. I guess that 1 on 7 is more like a net result of 0 on 7.

      • Loonie says:

        Team Goals For measures individual performance.
        If a player has low team goals for he isn’t producing well.
        If he has strong individual numbers relative to time played he still isn’t doing well.
        If he has weak individual numbers but a strong team goals for number he’s doing well.
        The team is doing well unless the powerplay was exaggerated by a five on three and one of the three broke or lost his stick, then it doesn’t count and as such the powerplay doesn’t exist.

        No hypocrisy or holes in any of those arguments.

        (rolls eyes)

      • aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

        Goals scored by ugly guys shouldn’t count towards total. Goals scored by handsome guys shouldn’t count towards totals. Goals scored against Ilya Bryzgalov shouldn’t count. Goals scored when 7 or more players on the ice are wearing visors shouldn’t count. Goals scored when 3 or fewer players on the ice are wearing visors shouldn’t count. Empty net goals shouldn’t count.

        And, do what they do in football: if a player from the defending team is the last player to touch the (ball/)puck before it crosses the line: Own Goal. But let’s have those count towards a player’s total. You’d have guys on the Flames and Panthers scoring on their own goalies like crazy in the last game of the season, shooting for the Art Ross.

  13. aemarchand11 says:

    Much like Billy Beans failed attempted use of calculations to win a championship Corsi does not paint the whole picture of an athelete. Hockey, like baseball is not a science, it doesnt take into account the human factor: the off site potential distractions or problems. It doesnt take into a lack of training camp or a media starved city requiring a story. PK Subban is by far the best defenceman on the team, and the sole reason did not play the most minutes early on was due to a message by the coach, which clearly worked.

    PK is a serious norris candidate this year, and if he keeps up up over the last 7 games its his for the taking. I’m very proud of this young man in his new found maturity. People will always hate him for some things he does, but doesnt everyone hate Chara? He’s still pretty good despite being an oversize ostrich.

    • SteverenO says:

      Very astute comment. Most of the awards given out to individuals in sport are not true indicators of their value. The voting is usually done by people who look at raw statistics. The awards that the players value the most are those that are determined by their peers.

      Corsi in some ways does offer a better reflection than simple goals and assists or plus and minus , however I strongly doubt that Corsi is even considered at all when the award winners are determined

      regards,

      Steve O.

    • ebk says:

      Billy Beane has built a consistent contender on a shoe-string budget, so I’d say he’s done OK with the Money Ball concept.

  14. BrianSkrudland says:

    Just for kicks:

    1) Who would you like to see the Habs beat in this year’s Cup final? (I say the Hawks.)

    2) Who will be the Conn Smythe trophy winner? (I say PK or Price)

    3) Who will Gionta hand the Cup to first? (I say Markov)

    4) How crazy will Habs Nation be when the team brings home the bacon for the first time since 1993? (I predict a collective drunk, the likes of which have never been seen before)

    ——–
    Daily recommendations for April 12
    Song of the Day: Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
    Movie of the Day: Goodfellas

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      1) Agree, Hawks. Some of the best hockey I’ve ever seen has been Hawks-Habs game. That one where Subby scored the OT winner a few seasons ago was one of the best pure hockey games (including int’l) I’ve seen.

      2) Price

      3) Pleky or Gorges

      4) Let’s just hope there is no rioting.

      • BrianSkrudland says:

        Good call about Plekanec and Gorges! Plekanec is my second favourite player to Koivu in the past 20 years. I appreciate what he brings to the table in terms of skill, commitment and competitiveness.

        ——–
        Daily recommendations for April 12
        Song of the Day: Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
        Movie of the Day: Goodfellas

        • The Juice says:

          Agree

          __________________________________________________________________________

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

    • Dennis says:

      For the fun factor and the dismay of Gary Bettman, I’d like to see the Habs meet Vancouver.

      Dennis-Kane.com

      • Boomer says:

        I was just about to type that too. If Van is healthy=VERY BIG THREAT. Especially if their PP gets going. Also, didn’t Anaheim Sweep the Hawks this year? I wouldn’t be suprised to see them in the finals too. Hawks, Ducks, or Canucks would be awesome finals to watch…. As long as it’s not vs Boston

        • BrianSkrudland says:

          Can you imagine meeting the Ducks and Koivu? I’m a Koivu guy and I’d hate to see him get so close to the ultimate prize only to see his team swept by the Habs.

          ——–
          Daily recommendations for April 12
          Song of the Day: Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
          Movie of the Day: Goodfellas

    • habs-hampton says:

      1) St. Louis, with Halak in nets (finally an end to the argument)

      2) PK

      3) Yup, Markov (and I want him to skate up and grab it off the table while Bettman is yammering on about the “greatest fans in the world!”)

      4) I’m NOT going anywhere near downtown Montreal!

      • BrianSkrudland says:

        HIO would explode if the Habs met Halak in the Cup Final. It would be the End of Days.

        ——–
        Daily recommendations for April 12
        Song of the Day: Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
        Movie of the Day: Goodfellas

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1. The Canucks.

      2. Peter Budaj.

      3. Gary Bettman.

      4. The riot will follow the usual route.

  15. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    By the way, as the playoff race in the West heats up, an easy team to cheer against is Nashville…they’re plummeting losing 4 in a row. As they go down, their (our) second round pick goes up :)

    Think it’s a five horse race over there. Minny, Detroit, Phoenix, Dallas and CBJ for two spots. Minny wins a couple in a row and it’s one spot real fast.

  16. twocents says:

    Boy, those Rangers sure are “playoff ready”.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      So he *does* know what was being said about him…

      • Peter Young says:

        Of course he does. He was interested in what fans were saying, and this board is the first place he would have looked.. He surely must have read the disgusting comments on this board by what I deem fair weather fans who have no idea what loyalty means. They want to forget all about it now Subban is playing so superbly, but, as Subban said, he does not forget.

  17. Price07 says:

    I certainly didn’t think that the habs would be as good as they have been this season. But, I did believe them to get into the playoffs. I actually find it weird how people thought the habs would be so bad. Yes, last season was terrible…but look at all the seasons before that. The season before last season they took the eventual stanley cup champions to overtime of game 7. And that was without Cole or Pacioretty. In my mind, the habs were going to be good last season. When they weren’t, I was confused, but sometimes a bad season happens.

    With a fresh start and a breath of fresh are in the management organization, I heckled quite a few people who had the habs in the basement again!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      There was a lot of uncertainty going into the season so it’s understandable that many of us saw the Habs only fighting for the 8th spot. Nobody can honestly say they knew how Prust was going to play, that Markov’s knee would hold up, that Gally and Chucky would be good, that Ryder would come in and score, etc.

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

  18. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    TSN doesn’t have an ‘x’ beside Montreal…go figure.

    Beaulieau looked phenomenal last night.

  19. Rob says:

    I fully admit to being someone who cannot let things go. And i have to admit, that every time i look at our amazing prospects at the defence position, I think “man, imagine if we still had McDonough in that mix?” So i’ve been trying to get myself out of that mind set, and i believe I’ve done so. So if anyone else is suffering from that, here’s the way i’m now looking at the situation.

    While it really sucks that we lost McDonough, had we not made that trade the following most likely wouldn’t have happened:
    - we wouldn’t have gotten that one good year of Scott Gomez that helped lead the team on a playoff run that elevated the status of Halak, and led to the trade for Lars Eller.
    - we likely wouldn’t have landed in the same draft positions in 2010, and 2011 which allowed us to draft players like Brendan Gallagher, Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi.
    - we likely woudln’t have collapsed last season, leading to the dismissal of that terrible regime and the bringing in of this seemingly fantastic management group, and hit the homerun in the draft that landed us at the very least Alex Galchenyuk, not to mention a plethora of later round picks that could yet turn into very good NHL players.

    So while it stinks to not have McDonough, it’s easier to deal with it when you consider so many of the great things that are happening right now may not have ever happened without it.

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • oldandslo says:

      Wow! Deterministic non-periodic flow. Butterflies away!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That is a great outlook Rob, you can be the lead Counsellor for Bad Habits, a cureall camp for those suffering Gomezitis and McDonaghitis.

    • Strummer says:

      I still blame Mats Sundin

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

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Think of it this way (it helps)….if we hadn’t traded Gomez for McDonaugh, there is no way we have Galchenyuk :)

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The Habs could have got Gomez without giving up McDonagh…that is why everyone is so upset. Sather needed to clear Gomez’s salary to sign Gaborik. Gainey blinked against a guy with ZERO leverage. At least Gainey is now passing on his negotiating skills in Dallas.

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

      • Rob says:

        ya i agree they could have, but having McDonough in our lineup, as he surely would have been, would still have affected all of the positive outcomes that we have discussed here and made them less likely to happen

        The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

  20. frontenac1 says:

    Doesn’t matter to me who the Habs meet in the First Round. Habs will dominate. I just have this weird feeling about the Islanders though. So,anybody but the Islanders is fine by me.

    • Strummer says:

      that’s why the 1st round series are best of 7- not like in the old days of 2 out of 3 or 3 of 5.
      less chance for upsets

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

  21. Michael Z says:

    Michael Zinay

  22. Bill says:

    The more I think about it, the less I like about the idea of meeting the Leafs in the first round. I hate to have my team face a team that has been so statistically lucky all season long. But at least it wouldn’t be boring

  23. BrianSkrudland says:

    Couple of quick Habs- and/or NHL-related comments:

    1) Gallagher – Are you like me when he is on the ice? I often find myself solely focused on what he is doing. I typically end up missing some game action when he is away from the puck, because I love watching him battle for space in the crease area and compete for the puck along the boards and in the corners. I think the area in front of the blue paint should be referred to as the G-Spot in his honour. The female have fans should love that reference!

    2) The Canadiens’ support team and coaching staff have done a tremendous job this year in terms of time management between games ensuring that the team is game-ready, in my opion. Despite the rigorous demands of the condensed schedule, the team appears to be well rested. We haven’t seen many instances of players falling ill or injuries that reflect conditioning issues (i.e. groin pulls).

    3) My son is now 8.5 years old and last year’s was the first NHL season he truly followed. My brainwashing abilities were tested by the horrible results the Habs produced. Almost lost him to Alfie and the Sens. I somehow managed to keep him on the right track and am incredibly pleased that he is seeing the tremendous examples of character, competitiveness and skill produced by the Habs this time around. When we’ve played road hockey, he is always Gallagher. Mini-sticks in the living room…Galchenyuk. Fortunately for me, he hasn’t taken on Prust’s persona when we ‘scrap’ in the backyard.

    4) Has this season been fun, or what?! So many reasons for optimism re: the future, but I am mainly enjoying this current ride.

    5) Can’t wait for Saturday’s match-up against the Leafs; a very deep playoff run; the draft; and, more excitement next season.
    ——–
    Daily recommendations for April 12
    Song of the Day: Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
    Movie of the Day: Goodfellas

    • Loonie says:

      Funny that you’d go with Gimmie Shelter and Goodfellas.

    • sudburyhabfan says:

      Great Post!…and I agree completely with the Gallagher bit. That kid has a tonne of grit but hopefully he does not get hurt since it is pretty obvious that there are players out there taking advantage of his size.

      Great to see Bully and the boys stand up for him last night.

      The team is showing enough drive to really do well this year in the playoffs…if the heart aint in it…then you don’t win…ask the Nucks fans.

      NOW…on to the Leafs…

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      Interesting in regards to your focus on Gallagher when he’s on the ice. I find myself doing the same thing, except for me it’s Eller. I’ve been a very big Eller booster ever since I watched him pop his shoulder back in himself after dislocating it in game 7 against the Bruins in our last playoff appearance. Although I think he tries to do a little too much sometimes, his stickhandling in heavy traffic is astounding and his passing and general on-ice awareness quite excellent. I think this season he’s added more of a physical element to his game as well, so whenever he’s on the ice he usually garners my full attention.

      • BrianSkrudland says:

        Eller is certainly deserving of the accolades he has received thus far. I agree that the progression in his game is cause for great optimism.

        Love that guy. So much so, that I typically sit up in anticipation of what magic he and Galchenyuk might manufacture when they are on the ice.

        ——–
        Daily recommendations for April 12
        Song of the Day: Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
        Movie of the Day: Goodfellas

  24. New says:

    It is such a pleasure to read articles that do not tell me what a great system Martin has, or how Cunneyworth believes in Martin’s system, or how Martin’s system took them all the way to the third round of the playoffs, once. It is nice to see that players who are good in the room are just as good in someone else’s room, as they scramble for a playoff spot instead.

    Years ago someone in the Canadiens organization said that first they look for young men of character, that everything flows from that.

  25. shiram says:

    An all cylinders firing win.
    Sure the Sabres were lifeless, but Habs have to pounce on those occasions.

  26. Old Bald Bird says:

    An article about PK perhaps not deserving the Norris due to fewer minutes against top opposition.

    http://surl.me/krxu

  27. Old Bald Bird says:

    A really nice article about PK and his great attitude.
    http://surl.me/tsi4c

  28. Dr.Rex says:

    Friendly message to all Leaf fans:

    Be careful what you wish for.

    • Loonie says:

      No kidding. They think they’re playing with house money and seemingly haven’t considered the last game the two teams played or the prospect of being swept.

    • ClutchNGrab says:

      What do you mean? The Leafs fear no East opponent:

      http://www.torontosun.com/2013/04/11/leafs-fear-no-east-opponent

    • Alex_425 says:

      One of the many differences between our fans and theirs. Many of us are humble, and won’t go far past “you never know what could happen”, whereas Leafs fans are in an absolute frenzy right now, believing they can easily crush whoever in the playoffs, are planning the parade route before clinching a spot, and STILL think they have a better team than ours simply because they won a game 6-0 against us. Eventually, though, even I bend and get a little aggressive.

      Points: 57 to 49
      Goal differential: +32 to +11
      Cups: 24 to 13

      GG

      But I’m no expert….

      • Dust says:

        Living in the GTA I talk to a lot of Leaf fans and most are happy to just make the playoffs. None think they are gonna crush anyone. They think they can compete in the playoffs but thats it. I honestly find habs and leaf fans very similar

      • ClutchNGrab says:

        I often tell myself, “Look at that outrageous comment, this is typical from Bruins fans, habs fans are not like that”. Last time that happened it was an article on Emelin’s injury where a fan wrote “What comes around goes around, next one : Subban”.

        Later during the week I came here, saw a bunch of comments about Marchand’s concussion. I was reminded that we’re not that much better.

        • Alex_425 says:

          That’s why I said many, not all. I shake my head at those people who wish that kind of harm on people.

          And Dust, my bad, I should have said “Leafs fans on TSN.ca.”

          But I’m no expert….

  29. Cardiac says:

    Speaking of Halak, what’s up with his counterpart in St. Louis? Elliot has posted three straight shutouts!

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    - Jerry Maguire

    • krob1000 says:

      Adding JayBo and Leopold to a defense corps that already featured Pietrangelo/Shatenkirk/Jackman/Polak helps especially when the team was already very good defensively.

    • Bouwmeester, Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo, and Jackman! Combine that with their 0-0-5 attack system and you get wins :lol:

      I also heard Allen Walsh tweeted, “Nothing better than getting Elliot some playing time while my boy gets ready for the playoffs”

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

  30. Alex_425 says:

    Dear commentariat, I was wondering, is it “Franky the Bull”, or “Frankie the Bull”? Trying to be consistent, not sure what people usually use.

    But I’m no expert….

  31. Small_Town_Boy says:

    The Dude: Really? Budaj has never played a playoff game. He has played 9 games all season (so far). He is there to give the starter a break & he has done a fantastic job. Price had a great playoff in 2010, just the Habs couldn’t score goals.

  32. mark-ID says:

    I thought Beaulieu played a great game yesterday. If he continues to progress what would you guys think of this being our defence players come playoff time.

    Markov Subban
    Gorges Diaz
    Bouillon Beaulieu

    Specifically if we face a team that isn’t big and goonish like the Leafs or Bruins…..I don’t think it would be that big of an issue to take Drewiski out. Our second wave PP would also have Diaz and Beaulieu….which would be fun to see. My one concern would be that Drewiski would probably be more effective on the PK than NB…but who knows.
    Either way I am excited to see Beaulieu progress in such few games.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  33. habsfanincalgary says:

    If Gally wins the Calder and MT wins the Adams trophy, it will be like the Expos of last year when Harper captured NL rookie of the year and Johnson was the coach of the year!

    • Cardiac says:

      Which Gally?

      Also, don’t forget PK for the Norris ;)

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      - Jerry Maguire

  34. Rudy says:

    I’m kind of worried that Gally was concussed, that was a bad hit (but clean) hit.

  35. Mike D says:

    Had a look at the standings this morning. Looks to me as though the top 8 teams in the east currently are the same ones that will make the playoffs. They might not finish in their current order, but I doubt Winnipeg or NJ find a way to displace one of them and sneak in.

    Winnipeg’s best chance would be to displace Washington and win the SE division, but Washington looks really damn good right now.

    NJ can’t seem to score so barring a total collapse of either the Rags or Isles looks like their fate is pretty much sealed.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • Loonie says:

      Ottawa has the least amount of regulation wins among the bottom four teams and they’re playing their game in hand tonight at the end of a back to back set. They’re also one of the worst road teams in the NHL.

      They’re in trouble.

      • Mike D says:

        Agreed re: Ottawa, Tom. They’re definitely not a lock, and neither are NYI or NYR, but I don’t see the teams below them as significant enough threats based on their play in recent weeks.

        Not saying it’s impossible, just unlikely.

        - Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

        • Loonie says:

          I think the Jets will oust the Senators.

          The Sens are finishing a back to back tonight and have another one Monday and Tuesday. The Jets are off from now until Tuesday.

          In addition, the Jets next five opponents are the Canes, Lightning, Isles, Sabres and Capitals.

          The Senators have the Devils, Bruins, Canes, Capitals and Leafs.

          I’d put money on the Jets.

  36. HardHabits says:

    Eric Engels waxes poetic on last night’s game.

  37. nova scotia vees says:

    So I am taking the bait and will once again defend Halak. My anger stems from the fact that even when Price was struggling, Gainey refused to use him. Then he plays lights out in the playoffs and they dump him. It was done in a classless way by an organization known for class. I love my new Habs and want Price to lead us to a Cup. But it stll won’t change my feelings toward Gainey, and Gauthier. And I hope Halak has a long and successful career.

    • Loonie says:

      Giving a backup who outplayed the starter for one season a chance to start with a different team is the opposite of doing things in a classless way.

      They could have qualified his rights and stuck him on the bench.

      I hope Halak has a long and successful career too, and am glad he’ll be trying to achieve that goal with a different team while we watch our already elite goalie develop and reach his prime.

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      It is a business

    • Blade says:

      Not sure I follow your train of thought here….you either wanted to keep them both and have a pretty unworkable situation the following year and beyond, or trade Price and keep Halak. Gainey drafted Price and GMs usually have a certain loyalty to the guys they drafted. Gainey/Gauthier chose to trade Halak quickly to a team that needed a goalie….I believe he got Eller out of that trade….smart hockey move. You can disagree…but it certainly is not classless.

  38. The Dude says:

    Much like the scenario in Vancouver with Schneider and Bobby Lou the Habs have a goaltender discussion heading into the play-offs. Clearly right now Budaj is the hotter tender and hasn’t chocked during the short season like Price’and Loungo’ are well known for ’3rd period collapse’ and if they want any success in a playoff, must run with the best they have regardless of fanfare or monetary contracts.Habs have done it before when replacing Vachon with a rookie called Dryden who played the last 8 games of the reg season and led the Habs over Bobby Orr’s Boston Bruins in what some will say was the BIGGEST UPSET ever in pro hockey! And as in Vancouver having Bobby lou, Montreal has someone in Price in the background ready to prove the worth of their albatross contracts and this is a good thing . So don’t be surprised if the best tender MONTREAL HAS RIGHT NOW ‘BUDAJ’ becomes the play-off NETMINDER …IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE ,HALAK!

  39. habstrinifan says:

    Guess I am just a sourpuss or too eager for the playoffs.
    I fully enjoyed the Buffalo beatdown and agree that it showed the team at it’s best and added to the growing evidence of how top echelon this team has become, but….

    My thoughts are:

    Loss against Washington.. ok performance but would have liked to affirm elite status with a more dynamic effort against a hot/inspired team with a hot star.

    Win against Buffalo……Excellent bounce back ..not a statement game (Buffalo is really in disarray now) but a game showing that the HABS(team and coaches) are not going to let bad habits take hold.

    Sat. against Toronto… No need to mention the rivalry. But if you have ever lived in Toronto you know the feeling that is being set in Leafs nation/camp for this game. It is like a crude unkempt bully (N.Korea) wanting to land a lucky punch against USA. We have to win this game. Period. This is a game wherE the motto “NO EXCUSES” must be up front and centre. No excuses! A win is mandatory!
    Anyone who has lived in Toronto and is a HABS fan… need this win to sleep well Saturday and Sunday!

  40. Luke says:

    Sabres lost because they didn’t play John Scott.

  41. ClutchNGrab says:

    Just read the following, the soon to be former Sacremento King owners are looking for a franchise to buy either in the MLB or the NHL:

    The Maloofs have met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and have for months looked into buying a hockey franchise, with Las Vegas among the possible destinations. Their interests also have expanded and included opportunities in Major League Baseball.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/12/5336141/ailene-voisin-maloofs-wouldnt.html#storylink=cpy

  42. bwoar says:

    Stayed up late to watch the game on PVR… is it me, or does Beaulieu’s play not remind you guys of Alex Edler of the Canucks a bit? Steady, quick, smart timing for either side of the game. Really surprised after reports from Hamilton that he was unpolished.

    If anyone was watching TSN-JETS last night, we were chanting “Parros, mustache!” and as silly as that is, it was damn funny when 15,000 people are doing it. He had a nice meltdown and frankly the kids in Florida need better leadership than that with the game in reach. Another year, maybe year and a half before they come around as a team.

    As for Gudbranson: not brilliant and threw a pretty dirty elbow. I’d expect him to sit out a game after that.

    “thoroughbred”

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      JT in her usual clever way, posted something like this on Twitter last night: Nate Beaulieu looks like a negative version of PK three years ago. Not an exact quote but you get the idea.

      • bwoar says:

        It’s a really good place to be to have PK becoming the dominant player he’s capable of being, and seeing Beaulieu in the wings not too far behind him.

        “thoroughbred”

      • Timo says:

        I was going to say… he reminded me more of PK than anyone else. I think Michael Therrien Personal Development Program will turn him into PK2.

    • derfab says:

      This kid was ready to play last year but maturity is more important with d-men. Analysts on the habs-RDS payroll have been trying to play down his ability, calling him a 4th or 5th type depth player, because he has a stubborn streak (?) but they know he has elite-type potential.

  43. Alex_425 says:

    Ott must have thought that was the only way to get a little taste of success, considering their awful season.

    But I’m no expert….

  44. Skeptical says:

    Eastern Conference playoff teams overall rating as of Thursday.

    1. Pittsburgh
    2. Montreal
    3. Washington
    4. Toronto
    5. Boston
    6. New York Islanders
    7. Ottawa
    8. New York Rangers

  45. rhino514 says:

    Hey guys, what is the bigger factor right now for the bruins: the loss of Marchand and Bergeron, or the fairly easy schedule they have to finish the year? We have a small window right now, probably not many games, as the concussions to the aformentioned players seem to be mild and Bergeron is already skating, it could be 5, 6 games. We need to keep pace and actually separate another point or two during this span. The lads have a tough schedule as well. Let´s hope it does not come down to that last game vs. Toronto, though it may very well.
    Who thinks we can pull off winning the division? I think it increases our chances of going deep, and this team deserves to have that chance.

    • Loonie says:

      With this team’s road record I don’t really care where it ends up or who it plays in the first round anymore.

      • mksness says:

        they way this team scores goals i think the habs can play and compete with anybody in the conference.

        That being said if i were an opponent, i would do my best to try and shut down the montreal defence from joining into the play. so much offence has been created by markov and subban i would think teams would want to focus on shutting those guys down.

    • Marc10 says:

      If Bergeron is out for the Bs and Marchand too, they will struggle. Horton and Seguin won’t fill the void… We’ll be all right.

    • Danno says:

      The schedule at this point doesn’t favour either the Habs or Bruins. But the Bruins are lacking character and look weak lately. I expect them to drop down and drop out early.

      ________________________________________

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

    • rhino514 says:

      I think they are at least as good as any Eastern team, if healthy, except a healthy penguins team. There´s just a wee bit alarm bell in the back of my mind about the solidity of the defence. PK is solid all round, Gorges is OK, and Bouillon isn´t a liability, but we really only have one solid Dman defensively.
      Sometimes I see the scoring chances the team gives up and I marvel that Price´s stats are as good as they are. The stats don´t show it but he´s stoped incredible breakdowns time and time again that would have altered the course of many games. Those chances against a good team…….

  46. mksness says:

    boone, why did u even bring up halak in your article? the poor guy has been plagued with injuries this year.

    • twilighthours says:

      Yeah I didn’t love that either. But maybe Boone is sick of the Price bashing by the Halakites (I know I am). Still, no need for that. Let Jaro do his thing, let us just enjoy our year.

      • aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

        There are way too many Price-bashing Jaro-worshippers out there. I think it was one of Gauthier’s biggest and most daring, and ultimately most successful decisions. Don’t forget that we traded the RIGHTS to Halak with throw-ins for Lars Eller and throw-ins. Eller has steadily become a brilliant member of the team, and a real team-first guy.

        ¡Viva Boone! ¡Viva los Habitantes!

        • mksness says:

          i’ll be the first to say that i didn’t think eller would be anything more than a 3rd line center. the kid has impressed and is making a case for more ice time. he’s still young but i can now see the potential in the kid and am very happy he’s here with the habs

    • Danno says:

      Trying to pump up the number of hits on HIO?

      That hamster kibble can be quite expensive…

      ________________________________________

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

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I think the Halakites are getting pretty quiet. They are now reduced to whining that we should have gotten more than a #1 draft pick in return.

      I really hate that the Halakites have almost soured me on a guy that was lights out for us. Almost, but not quite. I appreciate what he did. Cole too.

      • Marc10 says:

        Can’t hate him or Cams. That was an epic playoff performance, but yes… that ship sailed and the debate doesn’t really add anything. It’s done.

      • ed says:

        of course we should appreciate what Halak did.

        I went to a Philly playoff game at home that we won 5-1 with my 3 kids, my brother and his son.

        It is the greatest moment of Habs hockey since my first son was born 20 years ago in March 93.

        Halak played a key role in that run, and therefore DESERVES our respect.

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      Halak “Play me or trade me” got his wish.

  47. Phil C says:

    I have always thought that Ott was a bit of a tool, although I have never heard him in an interview. Then in the intermission, he gives a well spoken interview complimenting the Habs, as well as defending with eloquence why he criticised the fans for booing, explaining that sometimes they deserve to be booed, but not when they are winning the game. It that case the fans make a difference by cheering and giving them energy, especially with young players who may get discouraged by booing.

    I literally thought, wow, I may have misjudged Ott.

    And then he licks Halpern’s visor…

    • BrianSkrudland says:

      Thanks, Phil. You saved me some time by expressing my sentiments in your post.

      I had never heard Ott speak prior to the two interviews I caught with him last night (in-game and post-game). I had wrongly assumed he was an absolute dolt, and was subsequently quite surprised when he represented himself as a thoughtful, well-spoken guy.

      Like you said, however, the visor lick certainly tarnished the new image I had of Ott.

      ——–
      Daily recommendations for April 12
      Song of the Day: Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
      Movie of the Day: Goodfellas

      • Luke says:

        Imagine if PK had licked someone’s visor? Especially a ‘respected veteran’. Woooooweeeeeee!

        Noticed last night Doug Murray took his helmet & visor off when fighting Crombeen and Crombeen didn’t take the helmet off. Isn’t that a code thing? Gonna need a Don Cherry ruling ont his one…

  48. Danno says:

    Halpern is working with Habs equipment manager to have a small windshield wiper with washer fluid installed on the visor of his helmet whenever he plays Buffalo

    ________________________________________

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

  49. Got a kick out of the Buffalo announcers last night. What a love-fest for the Canadiens and they kept calling Beaulieu Bowlio! Very funny. I do feel bad for the Sabres though. We were there last year and they aren’t scum like the Booins. Spent a lot of money and now they are almost out of it. Another rebuild. Wonder if Miller will be there next year? He didn’t look happy on the bench last night.

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

  50. SteverenO says:

    Dominating win last night…….. BUT I am still concerned about the powerplay and the personnel choices for powerplay time..

    We scored 2 PP goals yesterday but one was a 5-3. So in reality the PP was 1 -7. And the one we got was when the game was basically over and one of the 4 Sabres on the ice played without his stick for almost a full minute before Subban scored.

    On our early PP opportunities we rarely had our most effective forward line on together with Subban and Markov.

    Penalty kill has improved, that’s good news, but the PP has to be better if we are going to make a run in the playoffs. Even strength goals are much harder to come by in the playoffs.

    This team will be good for years to come. Beaulieu looks like he has the potential to be a game changer.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  51. Lafleurguy says:

    I think that was Frankie’s first fight this year. DD faced up to Ott after the thunderous (but clean) hit on Brendan, couldn’t fight him, but still, he put his visor in direct line of fire from Ott’s tongue.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  52. Hobie Hansen says:

    Franky Bouillon from Prime Minister!!!

  53. krob1000 says:

    The Canadiens are also very astute in their drafting…could this be Trevor Timmins secret? I don’t kow the histories of all of the players but if you consider the new guys and youngsters in the system some having huge impacts….Gallagher (Dad is a fitness guru), Beaulieu(Dad is a coach), Eller (Dad is a coach), Galchenyuk (Dad played in the AHL), Tinordi (father was an all star), Price (parents were committed enough to fly him to and from the rink), Subban (look at the family…he was bringing Subban’s to outdoor rinks in the middle of the night to get them ice).

    You want now why their is a respect for leadership? There is your answer. The qualities the Canadiens kids have is genuine and they all have the character traits necessary to respect solid leadership from their coaches and veterans/mentors..

    HIO…I wouold love it if you did an article on the parents and paths to the nHL for the whole team…it would be very interesting to see the support systems for these guys as just off the top of my head there seems to be a very common thread.

    • Even the acquisition of Davis Drew… He was also undrafted, like little DD. These guys want to play. Have to play and bring some reality to future super-stars like Chucky

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

      • nunacanadien says:

        Drew was a bit slow and he needs time, he’s got the qualities, but alas he is soft. He will always be soft. Clearly the habs need a tougher Dman if they hope to win cups, there is a use for a good stay at home d-man but honestly, there are only so many spots.

    • Danno says:

      That’s a great idea

      ________________________________________

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

    • ont fan says:

      Brady Vails family moved from Florida to Mich.

    • Phil C says:

      I saw an interview with Trevor Timmins last year, and he said that one of the things they look for in a player to draft is whether or not they have a good support system (ie. coaches, parents, etc), like Tinordi and Galchenyuk. It is definitely one of the secrets to his drafting success.

      I also think the Habs have been very good at recognizing when a player falls to them in the draft. Many times a team falls in love with the player they expect to be available at the draft and can’t adapt when a better player unexpectedly falls to them. I remember shaking my head when The Rangers passed on Cam Fowler to pick Dylan McIlrath.

      The Habs seem really good at taking the best player available when it is their turn to pick.

    • Bun E. Laroque says:

      Very interesting.

  54. Danno says:

    I was really impressed the way Franky bulldozed Ott last night

    ________________________________________

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

  55. Mattyleg says:

    This morning on Salut Bonjour, Dave Morissette (hilarious, love that guy) was saying that at the beginning of the season, the team had a bench-press competition. Any guesses on who won?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  56. ebk says:

    PP since Ryder was added 20 of 75, for a 26.7% success rate. Ryder’s individual success rate on the PP is around 43%

    Penalty Kill since Halpern added, 28 of 31 for a 90.3% success rate

    • True. Our scouts and Bergevin should get props. Honestly, I didn’t originally see much benefit in Halpern. Ryder, to me was like Cammy, only bigger and more focused. Hope he stays on… We need snipers that make teams scurry to cover him, leaving our other forwards open

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

  57. Marc10 says:

    I think this conference is wide open. Goaltending and team D will be huge.

    Can you guys believe how we’ll the rookies on this team are performing?! Even the Beaulieu kid looks right at home back there. Simply amazing!

    The Leafs are going to be a great test. If Les Boys can neutralise their scorers and force them into penalties, I can’t see them containing our attack. There are simply too many weapons…

    I’d love a Toronto first round showdown. I prefer it to NYR or Washington or even Ottawa. We’re better than the Leafs in all facets that matter in the playoffs or just about. Gimme the Leafs any day… Just don’t lose. I’d never hear the end of it:)

  58. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I’ll reverse the question. Who’s salivating to play us in the first round of the playoffs? I didn’t think so. Go Habs!

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

    • Loonie says:

      The Leafs are if media and fan speak means anything they want the Habs.

      Their arrogance knows no bounds.

      • Marc10 says:

        Nothing will ever shut them up, but I’d enjoy a four game sweep of TO and continued dominance for years to come. Bring it on!

      • Danno says:

        The Torontonians only want us for the juicy ratings we bring to their networks. But they fear us because it will be the end of their little parade.

        ________________________________________

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

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Well it tends to make for an interesting matchup and will be great for the cash registers. I say bring on all comers.

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

      • pottymonster says:

        I’d love to see that matchup. I think it would be the most entertaining one.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        They view it (wrongly) as their chance to prove themselves superior to the Habs, as their chance to achieve redemption for their past 8 years of missing the playoffs. If they lose, no problem, they’re happy they made it. In other words, they have nothing to lose, and in their eyes, everything to gain.

        Objectively, this viewpoint makes no sense, but it won’t stop the media and their fans from perpetuating it.

  59. Danno says:

    It was as one-sided as can be, a 5-1 Habs romp over a lacklustre Buffalo team

    Domination In Buffalo

    ________________________________________

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

  60. ebk says:

    Habs PP has been good but the biggest reason for their success this season is how well they play 5 on 5. Looked through their 5 0n 5 stats last night and their leading goal scorers are:
    Gallagher 10
    Pacioretty 9
    Plekanec 9
    Desharnais 8
    Gointa/Galchenyuk 6

    Totals by line
    Plekanec’s 23
    Desharnais’ 30
    Eller’s 16
    4th line 6
    Defense 11

    • Blade says:

      Agreed. Balanced attack 5 on 5 will be the absolute key. That will be more important in the playoffs when the whistles get put away a little more.

    • ed says:

      5 on 5 buddy, a team will win the Cup when they dominate 5 on 5.

      And the balance in time on ice 5 on 5 incredible. Difference between DD and Eller 5 on 5 time on the ice is ONE SHIFT per game.

      Great balance!!

      • ebk says:

        just to follow up on your post, 5 on 5 ice-time this season
        Brian Gionta 584:36
        Tomas Plekanec 559:07
        David Desharnais 545:52
        Lars Eller 498:26
        Max Pacioretty 480:11
        Alex Galchenyuk 456:47

        • ed says:

          I like per game ice time as a better stat;
          desharnais even strength per game is 13.38,
          Eller even strength is 12.48
          difference of about 1 (1.5) shift per game.

  61. Fansincebirth says:

    Is it fair to say that Ott got his licks in?

  62. habfan53 says:

    It must be true!!!!
    Last night on BOTH Toronto sport shows :Hockey Central AND Hockey tonight they say that P.K. AND Gallagher are the leading candidates for the Norris and Calder. In fact Craig Button says that the Norris should go to Subban period.

    • Danno says:

      The only reason PK can be denied the Norris are non-hockey related reasons. He is clearly the best candidate.

      ________________________________________

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

      • ClutchNGrab says:

        Some are working hard to find buried stats to explain why he shouldn’t win. Love the guy but Elliotte Firedman came up with this in his 30 Thougths:

        A few tweeters asked about post-game comments I made regarding PK Subban and the Norris Trophy for top defenceman. Here is the issue. Through Tuesday, Subban is playing 17:18 minutes per night at even strength. That’s 89th in the NHL. Among recent Norris winners, Duncan Keith was second, Erik Karlsson fifth and Zdeno Chara sixth. Since 2005, Nicklas Lidstrom finished 16th, 17th, 20th, and, in his final victory at age

        • Marc10 says:

          Read that…

          No one will care if he wins the Conn Smythe or the Cup. Thanks to Karlsson’s injury, PK is pretty much on his own and a difference maker most nights. They can say what they want, he’s tops this year. Any other result is a joke.

          • Loonie says:

            There’s an argument to be made for Ryan Suter Marc and I think he’ll win it.

            He’s logging ridiculous minutes and has played great at both ends of the ice. And what’s happening in Nashville won’t go unnoticed.

        • twilighthours says:

          This will be one of the reasons he won’t win it.

          (I think he should win, by the way. But I don’t think he will)

  63. Lafleurguy says:

    Faculty, what caused such a big turnaround in the power play? Is it mainly the return of Markov, the “General,” who is then the de facto coach of the PP? Who coaches the PP? Is it the return of John Leclair in a more convernient size for air travel (no. 11)? Is it the major improvement of P.K.’s shot morphing from Gingras-style to Lapointe-style? I’m all ears.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • krob1000 says:

      HAving Markov is huge, having MT is huge, having Gionta is huge. That line of Carey PRice’s in the CH24 show to Subban was perfect….”things are differnt this year…we have leadership”. That to me said it all. There is leadership at every position and from the top down from Gm to coaches to assistants to the younger guys with a few years under their belts to the rookies. There is respect for leadership and a strong sense of waht you are supposed to do…and that is across the board. At every position you have vets mentoring youth and a coach who himself has changed his mentality and looked in the mirror, addressed his own weaknesses and put the team first also. IT is just fantastic to see.

      • habfan53 says:

        Last night before the game they showed Colby Armstong in street clothes patting Alex G on the back and giving words of encouragement before the game against Washington.
        Like you said there is leadership this year.

    • Loonie says:

      Markov has been the common denominator for our Powerplay success for a long time.

      His head fakes are to hockey as Michael Jordan’s crossover was to basketball.

    • Phil C says:

      To me, it is obviously Markov, he has always been an elite PP QB.

      PK has improved dramatically as well, not just with his shot, but with his mobility and puck movement. He used to hold the puck too long and not move enough last year. A lot of PK’s shooting success is a function of how well Markov can pass. Markov is the enabler of PK’s skillset.

    • Love Subban’s blasts. He has sooo improved his speed, aim and d’s should be afraid of him and Markov’s point shots. Just like the Buffalo game, you just knew that he or Markov were going to score and I think Buffalo knew that too. Loved Ott’s recognition that the speed and swarming of the Canadiens is “Unbelievable”. That’s the kind of reputation that has to permeate the league, it’s like an extra player on the ice for us. Just like when Lafleur, the Pocket rocket, Robinson, Dryden and gang in the 70′s just gave the opposition the creeps every night like; “oh sheeite, we play the Canadiens tonight!”

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

    • JUST ME says:

      Amen ! Good comment ! People need to understand his importance in the team. Him coming back to his number one spot made it so that the others could go back to their own job and not try to do someone else`s job. That `s why P.K. is so great and was even greater last year. He took over live a champ. But i`d rather see him like this season doing his things,learning the ropes and having fun. What is also remarquable is that we have 6 totally ddifferent kind of d-men and they all bring their own thing to the Habs game.
      Future also looks very promising with Beaulieu and Tinordi.

    • Danno says:

      If you watched what was going on the bench in the last minute of play you got a very good impression about how great the team chemistry is. Everyone was smiling and congratulating each other from Therrien right down to the newest rookies. That big grin on little Gallagher’s face said it all. These guys will take bullets for each other and totally understand what being a winning team is all about.

      ________________________________________

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

  64. Any fearless playoff predictions? How deep do we go people?

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

  65. krob1000 says:

    Anyone else super excited to see Nathan Beaulieu after about 100 games? HE already has the poise and patience with the puck to make him great offensively…he has two of the best possible mentors in Markov the teacher and Subban his prodigy. This season is going to be fantastic as a foundation for the future and organizational direction change. Good habits, work ethic and team first mentality are all that matter. You very rarely see selfish play by anyone…when they do it is accidental.
    I love the philosophy MT has employed and I know I repeat it all the time but I was so amazed by the culture of Detroit from Yzerman to today and I see that as what the team is looking to mimic and even improve on. I see mentors in Gio(Gallagher), Pleks(Eller/DD?Galchenyuk), Markov(Subban/EmelinDIAZ/BEaulieu), Bouillon/Gorges (tinordi/Emelin,etc)
    We all saw how Cole benefitted Patches ast year and I think Bourque is offering something similar and the way Ryder is holding onto the puck is contagious as well.
    Financially there also seems to be an agenda in place as MB has obviously communicated tot he team that if you are interested in bleeding every penny possible out of the team tyou are playing in the wrong place. In a salary cap world you can either have everyone be on board and commit to winning at the expense of a few bucks to ice the best team…or you can throw piles of money at a few guys at the expense of depth.
    I am loving the shift in team first mentailty off the ice/on the ice and from management. The management ensure we will always be a cap team….the players must realize that is all the owner can do…he can;t throw more money at them…they have to manage the oney they have to ice the best possible team…and keep future years in mind.
    Fantastic job to all from the top down this season.

    • JUST ME says:

      Noticed Beaulieu in the Q where he was already a step ahead of the others ,solid and fast skater,good vision ,not scared to mingle and does not get rid of the puck without having an option. Some night you will not see him but he does the small things as he should.Will score more goals than most D-men.

    • Phil C says:

      I am pumped about Beaulieu, he has the potential to be an all-world defensmen, especially with the mentoring as you say. His offensive instincts are already incredible. As soon as he fills out a bit, learns the league and the players, the Habs blueline will be a force.

      I know players sometimes don’t live up to the potential they show, but he really sems like a sure thing.

    • Cal says:

      He is looking awful good. Let’s give him a little time and watch him learn and become even better. Going to be fun!

  66. frontenac1 says:

    Ott is a Fruitcake! Did you see him lick Halperns shield last night? That is just not right at all.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      No problem. The NHL has entered into an arrangement to combat homophobia and Ott was doing his part. Can I say that?

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

  67. Ian Cobb says:

    A little news!!

    OHL Belleville Bulls finish off Sudbury Wolves in 4 straight. Now Belleville and the two Subban brothers take on the Barrie Colts for the conference championship.

    AK # 46 of Tpaktop in the KHL, his team
    in the Gagarin Cup Final, won on home ice yesterday
    against defending champs, Dynamo Moscow.
    Dynamo leads the series 2-1 ,

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  68. habfan53 says:

    Who at RDS was watching last nights game .
    Did RDS broadcast a different Buffalo game ??. Personally I watched it on CBC and had as my 3 stars : Gallagher, Subban and Galcheyuk, OK they had Ryder and I was close.
    RDS has Markov as 2nd star and no mention of Gallagher.
    What a rip off. I blame the Office de la Langue Francaise for this They would not allow 3 ENGLISH names as the 3 stars.

    It’s nice when this is my giggest complaint after a game!!!!!!!!

  69. Strummer says:

    Did Ott’s tongue actually make contact with Halpern’s visor or was it the camera angle?
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  70. JF says:

    Many of us spent the first half of this shortened season wondering whether the Habs were for real. They started with a favourable schedule, they had many home games, they didn’t face tough opposition…. What would they be like on the road, how would they do against Pittsburgh and Boston, what about all those back-to-backs? I think it was the first back-to-back against the Penguins and Bruins that really convinced me they were for real – an OT loss to the Pens in a wild, run-and-gun game followed by a comeback victory against the Bruins with our backup in goal. The Habs showed they could compete with even the teams universally seen as the best. A few weeks later, there is no question in my mind that we are one of those teams. We are not pretenders. We are one of the best teams in the NHL.

    There are a lot of reasons for the turn-around, but one of the biggest has to be the contribution of our young players. From the moment he bought out Scott Gomez, Bergevin effectively turned the team over to the youth. Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk were promoted (if it hadn’t been for the lockout, the former would have been in Hamilton, the latter in Sarnia), and both have played key roles and injected a lot of energy and enthusiasm into the lineup. P.K. Subban has matured and is playing a less flashy but far more effective game. Alexei Emelin and Raphael Diaz both built on their rookie seasons. And Lars Eller, used sparingly last season and mostly on the wing, has developed into one of our best centres. With the injury to Alexei Emelin, Bergevin and Therrien have turned not to the veteran Tomas Kaberle, who has spent most of the season in the pressbox despite looking good in the ten games he played, but to another rookie. Nathan Beaulieu’s smooth skating, puck-handling ability, and passing skills suggest that in a couple of years, he could be as dominant as P.K. Subban.

    Our veterans – Markov, Plekanec, Gionta, Gorges, and others – are very important; but these young players are making a far bigger contribution than has been the case in recent seasons. And there are more to come. We have elite prospects on defence, and last year’s draft added depth to what was a very shallow pool of forward prospects. We still need to draft a goaltender or two, but otherwise I think we have enough talent in our system to be contenders for years. When you add to this the changes Bergevin has made in management and the addition of more scouts and of player development people, the team really looks to be resting on a solid foundation going forward.

  71. HabFanSince72 says:

    Is anyone else worried about Gallagher getting hurt?

    It’s fairly clear that other teams have decided to target him (what a stupid sport hockey is). In a playoff series against thug teams like Boston and Toronto I suspect they would be relentless.

    • Already posted it down below as one of the 10 most important things we need to watch out for to have a deep run to the Cup. He gets under the skin of opponents, creates scoring chances by being in the crease. Lovely to see, but not a creep and puke like Marchand! Did you see his embellishment after getting grazed by the elbow the other night and that was a four suspension. Sickening! Hey, I don’t like any player to get injured, but BS like Marchand’s, well I wouldn’t be the first to say, yeah, he needs his comeuppance!

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

    • Loonie says:

      Yes.

      It would be a miracle if he can sustain the style of play he employs with his size.

      If he can continue to do what he’s doing with his stature he’ll have a hall of fame career.

    • JUST ME says:

      Gallagher would not be as good ,dangerous and in danger if he did not play like he does. Of course this little pest in front of the net is bothering them and this little bug that never stops going for the puck needs to be stopped but after you take a few penalties you have to compete on the same level as he does. And that`s when Gallagher is way better than most players. Pound for pound talent for talent.

      As much as we tend to worry ,we should not. He chose to aim for the NHL,He always played like that,he made it ,he makes the big bucks and he plays the sport he loves so,,,

    • krob1000 says:

      Gionta was just as relentless when he has younger. Gionta made a living inthe crease…he may not have had the same grin and stare back mentality that Gallagher has but he played a very similar game when he was scoring a ton of goals. Gallagher will be fine once he makes it through a season or two…at that point if he respects the game enough and doesn’t yap,etc then opposition guys will respect his game and willingness to hang in there….he’ll still get whacked and they’ll dow hatever they can to move him but they will not “target” him like we are seeing a bit of right now. After he does his thing h has to put his head down and skate away…last night started witht he exchange with Ryan Miller….Gallagher went back after the whistle to say something to Miller (who was whacking him)….once he did that you knew someone was coming because Miller is their franchise player and has been for a decade. Is it right? arguable but if someone like Gallagher came back and talked to Price after giving him a hard time like that…I can definitely see Subban or Emelin lining them up with a big hit.

  72. Chrisadiens says:

    Gooooood morning all! So, Habs have clinched a playoff spot and it feels awesome. To begin the year I thought they could finish 8th at best, and now it looks like they will contend for the division. I missed most of the game as my in-laws are in town, but a nice shallacking took place eh?

    And Boston lost! What a great friggin day. What a great friggin season so far.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.


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