About last night …


Four NHL teams have clinched playoff spots.
Three of them didn’t celebrate by chugging big hits of suck juice.
And then there are your Montreal Canadiens.
Unlike the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins, the Canadiens don’t look like a team that’s ready for the 2013 playoffs.
Since sewing up a spot in the postseason, they’ve looked like the 2012 Montreal Canadiens.
Maybe worse, because a year ago fans weren’t expecting much from a last-place team.
Through 40 games of the truncated 2013 season, the Canadiens raised hopes and expectations to what may have been an unrealistic level.
But if the team we’ve seen in games 41 and 42 is the real Canadiens, the playoffs …
Well, let’s promise a phrase from 17th-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes:
The Canadiens’ postseason could be nasty, brutish and short.

Last Thursday in Buffalo, the Canadiens outshot the Sabres 42-15 en route to the 5-1 win that put an “x” beside Montreal in the Eastern Conference standings.

Little did we know it stood for “execrable”.

After Monday’s 7-3 home-ice pasting at the hands of the non-playoff Flyers, veteran sportscaster Ron Reusch offered this grim assessment: “The Canadiens clinched a playoff spot, and they haven’t played a good period since.”

Tough to argue.

Down 3-0 after 10 minutes in Toronto Saturday night and down 2-0 to Philadelphia after less than six minutes of Monday’s game, the Canadiens – who had played brilliant first periods through much of the season, scoring first in 28 of their 40 starts – were on their back foot and chasing the game against the Leafs and Flyers.

In Toronto and even more egregiously back at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens seemed incapable of playing the disciplined style that had carried them to the lofty heights of first place in the Northeast Division. Where was the tenacious puck pursuit? Where was the lightning-fast transition game?

Where was the checking? After recording 36 hits in Toronto, the Canadiens had ONE (by Nathan Beaulieu) through 20 minutes and two through 40 against Philadelphia. Play that soft against the Flyers and you’re doomed.

And where was the franchise goaltender?

MIA at the ACC, Carey Price was better against the Flyers. Without his saves on three breakaways, the game would have been done and dusted after 20 minutes.

As it was, Price stood reasonably tall through a 17-shot first-period bombardment. And the game was tied early in the second period on a power-play goal by Brendan Gallagher – again, the best Canadiens forward … heck, the best Canadien skater … WTF, the best player in a red jersey.

The 2-2 deadlock lasted 24 seconds. Then Claude Giroux, who was brilliant, set up Jakub Voracek for an uncontested 12-foot wrister and the rout was on.

Gallagher was the best Canadien, but he wasn’t the only one who played well. P.K. Subban had two more assists and played like he hated the Flyers. Galchenyuk and Lars Eller were two forwards who managed to create some pressure in the Flyers’ zone.

The other 14 skaters? Varying degrees of awful, and some were worse than others. The group suck raised a few troubling questions:

• Was Alexei Emelin carrying his defence partner through 38 games? Watching Andrei Markov struggle, you wonder how he would fare in an 82-game season, with or without his Russian homeboy. And what if knee surgery makes Emelin as slow and contact-averse as Markov?

• Is it time for Carey Price to book a session with team psychologist Sylvain Guimond?

• Would Josh Gorges be playing Top Four minutes on a good hockey team? Would Francis Bouillon?

• What did David Desharnais do to merit 20:42 of ice time – more than any other forward on either team?

• If  Travis Moen was serious about challenging Wayne Simmonds, why did he wait until garbage time?

Because the tragic events in Boston forced postponement of the Bruins-Senators game, the Canadiens are still atop the Northeast Division.

But Boston is a point back, with a game in hand. And don’t look now, but the Leafs are four points off the division lead.

The Canadiens are in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. It might be time for Michel Therrien to cue up his Greatest Penguins Hits:

• There were moments of silence for victims of the Boston tragedy in Montreal, Chicago, Calgary, Nashville and Phoenix.

As a Montrealer who loves his city, I am dismayed to note the Bell Centre as the only venue where yahoos screamed during the brief ceremony.

Disgusting and depressing … the more so in contrast to what happened a week ago when the Liverpool football club in England remembered the Hillsborough disaster.

For a full minute at the great Anfield stadium, players linked arms and you could hear a pin drop.

But in Montreal, we can’t STFU for 10 seconds.







  1. Sportfan says:

    Last Night sucked, Saturday Sucked, but we have Wednesday for them to rebound. Here’s my newest blog today its hockey related! Gally and Oilers check it out!


  2. RiverviewCanadien says:


    I agree with Boone, those forward lines look very nice and I thought after Pleks and Patches connected for that goal, we would see Desharnais’ line broken up…I hope that is the case for next game because those 3 are not getting anything done. A waste of Gallagher’s awesome prowess…man that kid is good.

    That kiddie line could be a VERY effective line…love to see the rookies back together.

    I don’t think the D pairings are as bad as Boone hints at…BUT, Diaz would be a very nice addition right now. Might I dare say give Weber or Kaberle a try? (I am ducking right now…)

    • Loonie says:

      With Emelin out we’re very vulnerable until Diaz is back.

      I think putting Beaulieu with Gorges as a second pairing could be a good fit.

      • RiverviewCanadien says:

        Just goes to show how important Emelin is to this team. He has an offensive side and has a pretty darn good outlet pass, very effective at moving the puck out of their zone. Let alone the fact he can lay down some nasty hits!

        Sorely missed in more ways than one.

        Diaz can’t hit but, is so effective with moving the puck. I can’t wait until he is back.

    • Timooo says:

      Diaz? He had a few games, yes, but he’s not the savior here. Goodness, until a couple of months ago, he wasn’t even considered to be top 6 material. We’ll always have someone or two out…just the way the game works. That’s when depth has to kick in, and guys step up.

      Timooo=Timo with more Cowbell!

  3. Steeltown Hab says:

    MT has done everything he can to get Desharnais going, it’s over. 20 mins? with Plek at 16, Eller at 14 and Galchenyuk with less than 10 minutes, that’s brutal.

    Time to honestly evaluate your team, Pacioretty & Desharnais clearly don’t get the message especially when they don’t as much as miss a shift. Put 51 in the pressbox or use him for what he is, a secondary top 9 scorer not a go to guy by any means.


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

  4. habstrinifan says:

    The NHL stats have us not scoring any PP goals???

  5. There’s a reason I don’t post here after a loss. Some of you people here are enough to bring down the tallest building.

    See you in Montreal, I’m still going!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures

    • Peter Young says:

      Shane Oliver aka Sholi2000 wrote at 8:56 a.m.:
      “There’s a reason I don’t post here after a loss. Some of you people here are enough to bring down the tallest building.”

      Yes, you’d think our Habs were perpetual losers from some of the posts here. They had a bad game, they had a bad couple of games and so . . . all the more reason to be loud in our support of them–because that’s when they most need our support.

      Criticism is certainly appropriate when it is due, but when it comes from our own fans, it ought to be measured and temperate criticism–in a word, reasoned–rather than over-the-top blanket denunciations that sometimes are tinged with what looks very like anger and hatred. That kind of criticism is not only inappropriate, but also entirely ineffective. It serves no purpose other than to demoralize.

      And don’t give me that guff that the players never read or hear what we fans write and say. Some of them do care enough to read some of what we have to say, and even if they don’t, it gets through to them one way or another. It builds a negative atmosphere around the team that the players can’t evade even if they try to.

      Go Habs, go. You’re our team, representing our club.

  6. Loonie, it’s not about losing streaks, which I can take (and I’ve tried to be positive about these losses), it’s about how we have been handily dismantled and scored on with ease. 5-1, 7-3 (no empty netter) and other insults like 6-0, 5-3, etc… That is why there is such an exclamation point for so many people. Not the loses (if they were one goal games and tight), it’s the way we fell apart…

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

  7. Sportfan says:

    There is always some loud jerk, or jerks at a Habs game when we do a moment of silence. Its so offensive, disgusting and aside being so angry at those morons I feel ashamed when people pull that crap.


  8. Loonie says:

    I see plenty of people seem to have this idea that Bergevin didn’t act at or before the trade deadline because he saw this coming.

    Bollocks. He wouldn’t have added Drewiske if he saw this coming. I’m not gonna dump on him because I think it’s more likely that he’s waiting for a full season’s worth of games before making any decisions about what’s needed for this team to compete for a Cup.

    If somebody bumps into him do me a favour and ask him how his honeymoon’s going since he’s still on it would ya?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Emelin got injured AFTER the deadline…geez. With all the small guys on the team who would have thought he would get injured?

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

      • Loonie says:

        I’m not sure what you mean by this.

        Is your logic here that Bergevin didn’t act because we have small forwards who make us susceptible to injury?

        That doesn’t make a contract extension for Desharnais the brightest move. And if it were that big of a concern, he probably would have sucked it up and added a fighter or physical presence like Torres.

  9. Let’s assume we get blown out and lose the next 6. We’re still in the playoffs up from 15th last year. Yup, it feels like Sheeite. It’s embarrassing and hell, it’s mind boggling, but we got playoff hockey and MT is resting Prust, taking his time with Diaz, mixing up his lines and he hasn’t exploded yet.
    I didn’t like the MT hire, but I gotta say, after these last two games and other collapses this year (7-6 Pittsburgh, two Buffalo games, 6-0 pasting by TO) he’s shown excellent control of his emotions. Let’s see how he responds and more importantly, how the team does. Can’t imagine they are happy, just look at New Jersey. One star is gone and the team collapses?

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

  10. Timooo says:

    Wow! How easily the faithful have turned on their heroes. Bring out the pitchforks! Let’s storm the Bell Center! Seriously, it’s a slide and every team has one. Better now then in 2 weeks time. Gives us a chance to regroup and figure out the issues. This team has given us all hope (be truthful, the season wasn’t looking like much hope back in January, was it?) and made watching hockey fun again. No, this team isn’t about to go on a LA Kings-esque playoff spree and bring home our 25th. But at least we are on the way to respectability. I for one am happy to see the 2 steps forward, one step back approach. We’ll finish 4th, play a tough playoff series against the Leafs which can go either way.

    Timooo=Timo with more Cowbell!

  11. JF says:

    What’s happening is almost unbelievable. It was less than a week ago that Mike wrote in his ALN that the Canadiens were one of the best teams in the League. Now they look like one of the worst. The last couple of games remind me not so much of last year as of the meltdown in the second half of the centennial season. No intensity, no forecheck, terrible positioning, shaky goaltending.

    Could the loss of Alexei Emelin have had such a huge impact? Or were the first forty games of the season simply a case of smoke and mirrors? Did Marc Bergevin foresee something like this? Is that why he did almost nothing at the trade deadline? Did he realize that the whole structure was so fragile that removing one element would cause it to crumble? We can at least be thankful that he did not go handing out draft picks right, left, and centre. At the time, I would have liked him to do a little more, but right now the team looks to be at least two big, physical defencemen and a gritty forward away from contending.

    From the time he was hired until abut halfway through the season, every one of Bergevin’s decisions looked good. But as what is rapidly becoming a farce plays itself out, we can question some of those decisions. Why was Travis Moen given four more years? Why was David Desharnais given four years when at the time there was no need to do anything? Why not wait? Desharnais has been overtaken by Eller and will soon be overtaken by Galchenyuk. Bergevin will have some big decisions to make this summer.

    Unless the team can right the ship before the playoffs, it’s beginning to look as though our opponent will have a walk in the park. Which would be worse, being swept by the Bruins or being swept by the Leafs?

    • smiley says:

      Leafs. Great post JF.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      The DD contract was my first mind=blown moment with Bergevin, didn’t even get a discount on him. Huge PR move doing an early extension for the home grown “star” when the past GM didn’t negotiate during the season.


      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

  12. Habfan29 says:

    Did I miss something???? I just watched the replays of the Ryan White hit and it looked that he hardly touched him……WTF! He is getting called to the office for this, I have seen worse with just a phone call…..from Shamrahan!

    • Loonie says:

      He made forearm to head contact on a player who is nearly a half foot taller than him.

      It was a dirty hit and he’ll be suspended for it.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      It’s being blown WAY out of proportion.


      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

      • Loonie says:

        No it really isn’t.

        If that had been Huskins doing that to White we’d be calling for five games here on this board.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          I just think Huskins gloves going flying etc made it look a lot worse. If you take Lupuls on Hedman, that’s targeting the head to another level and that was 2 games. I can’t expect any more for White even though he has a history.


          Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

          • Habfan29 says:

            White has never been suspended no history so that should translate into less games then Lupul whom has a history. Then again we are talking about Shamrahan and daddy Campbell!!!! Can’t wait to see the video explanation of this one….

  13. jo_maka says:

    There’s a lot to be said for last night. Everyone seems to be concerned, rightfully so, about a certain number of items.

    I don’t mind a slump, as long as we regroup in time for the big finish.


    Pretty please, with sugar on top, is there anyone out there who can possibly explain to me why in the name of the holy mother of all that’s good and pure is Desharnais having more TOI than Eller ?
    Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

    • Mick says:

      Coaches “Pet”. I don’t get it? What has he done to deserve 20 + min. and have more ice time than any other forward.
      This has been one of Michael’s coaching blunders.

      • jo_maka says:

        Nevermind a pet, it’s almost like the coach’s kid at this point, with the Cube being the oldest sibling. It’s like MT got a godlike worship to any undrafted player that made it to the NHL. I can understand the respect, but you don’t get to fulfill your fantasy by proxy when the team’s welfare is on the line. What has Eller done to almost be in his doghouse since day one ? Getting the nerve to be a 1st rounder ?
        Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      BECAUSE he is I dare say “French”?

  14. Loonie says:

    Bruins had a three game losing streak during their Cup winning season. The Kings lost five in a row last season and the Blackhawks got clobbered by the BlueJackets to start a three game losing streak two weeks before the playoff run that took them to a Cup victory.

    Losing streaks happen and they can sometimes be a good thing. What they need to do is come out of it better than ever. If they can pull it together it will be a huge help in the playoffs should adversity be put in front of them.

    Having said all of that, time for some changes…..

    1. Markov and Subban need to be put together as a top pairing. It appears Markov’s going to be getting heavy minutes as it stands, so why not put him with our best defenseman and hope the result is an elite pairing?

    2. Time to reverse Eller and Desharnais’ usage at even strength and on the powerplay. Eller’s been better in every phase of the game and there’s no winning formula being proven correct that justifies playing a worse player for better quality and quantity minutes now.

    3. Re-shuffle the lines to reflect the true identity of your team at forward. Balanced, hard working and physical. The more this team can play all four of its lines the better it will be…..

    Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gionta
    Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher
    Bourque – Desharnais – Ryder
    Prust – Halpern – Moen

    Markov – Subban
    Beaulieu – Gorges
    Bouillon – Drewiske

  15. Habs and Leafs games remaining are;

    Habs Leafs
    Pit (A) Was (A)
    Tbl (H) Nyi (H)
    Was (H) Ott (A)
    Njd (A) Tbl (A)
    Wpg (A) Fla (A)
    Tor (A) Mon (H)

    It might come down to last game of the season for Home ice advantage. Hope not?

    Go Habs Go

  16. Propwash says:

    2 game skid and everyone is throwing in the towel. There is a few games left, let’s see if they can regroup and pull through it.


    • RetroMikey says:

      Yup yup, reality is finally kicking in with the club.
      We lose to bigger teams, and Philly is not even in the playoffs!
      I don;t know who it was but that was an awesome hit on Michael Ryder in the boards!
      If that was a Habs player doing that to an opponent, we’d be cheering!
      Someone called me an idiot here when I suggested we pick a Scott Hartnell at trade deadline and they said he amounted to nothing in the regular season, but Scotty is a clutch player come down the stretch and the playoffs, plus big and strong!
      We should be worried, I see us falling to 5th in the standings, there we will either meet Boston or Toronto.
      As for Price, I’ve said give Budaj the call to play the last remaining games, he could be that one goalie like others in the past who could be the one to do damage in the playoffs.
      Oh Carey Carey, you’ve been a disappointment to all those idol fans of yours out there!

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

      • Small_Town_Boy says:

        What damage did Halak do? They won two rounds not the Cup.

        You are one of the biggest trolls in here. You were no where to be seen untill the past few games. Go stick to the the AHL Little Mikey & leave the NHL to the big boys!

      • Mattyleg says:


        (ps, you ARE an idiot if you thought that the Flyers would let Hartnell go. Teams can’t just trade for any player on any other team.)

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habfan29 says:

      Fans sure are Bipolar Timo and Dorval tony are the type of fans that should be thrown off the bus!!!

  17. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Carey Price having groin issues? He done the splits last night that would have him the emerg right now if he had a groin issue.

    Karbele is not playing for the fear that he may get hurt. Then why is he practicing? He could get hurt there just as bad as in a game?

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Maybe in case 3-4 other D men go down and they have no choice. While highly unlikely, I believe Philly had 5 d men out all at the same time earlier this year.

  18. Mick says:

    Why is Little David getting over 20 min. last night.
    Did he play that well or is it because ???

    • Captain aHab says:

      To try to get him going? IDK.

      MB gave him the big contract and now he’s kinda stopped trying as much. Maybe they want to get him to justify the contract…who knows.

      But I don’t think he’ll stay at 20+ much longer if he keeps playing that way. They dropped his minutes for a game earlier in the year as a message and with the Eller line playing well, I could easily see him getting far less time, especially on the PP.

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

  19. habstrinifan says:

    Thanks UCE for your recap! I have given you well deserved kudos in the past and so I hope you dont mind me saying that the game and the sequence of games have even stumped your usually excellent ability and insight. I come away from the read sensing that even your thoughtful and insightful mind is grappling to accurately disect what’s really happening now.

    I agree with you though on the following….

    “And now I’m really happy that Marc Bergevin didn’t go all in. It must have been tempting, but he took the long view, and his approach now seems validated. He knew that the team wasn’t set yet, that one key injury could make this whole thing unravel.”..

    But ask
    a) were there options for a beter ‘tweak’ while still not going all in.
    b) was the ‘long view’ premature in the extension of players like DD, Moen?

  20. Strummer says:

    If Kaberle were to be injured and ineligable for compliance buyout, would he not end up on LTIR in which case his salary would NOT count against the cap?
    They could then buy him out after he recovers?

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

    • Cal says:

      Amnesty buy out MUST occur this summer, not later.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Buyout period is only from June 15th -30th.
      The Gomez and Redden situations were different and went by this part of the agreement

      ” The NHL allowed teams to execute one of their two compliance buyout options prior to the 2012-13 season on players with cap hits of more than $3 million. Two teams exercised the option: the Montreal Canadiens on Scott Gomez and the New York Rangers on Wade Redden. The players received full pay and counted at their full cap hit for 2012-13, after which the compliance buyout payments kick in.”

  21. Hobie Hansen says:

    You know who Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher could use on the wing: RYAN CLOWE.

    You know who Marc Bergevin should have signed last summer instead of Frankie Bouillon: BRYAN ALLEN.

    Every year for the last 10-12 years it’s the same damn thing, size and toughness is painfully absent from the Canadiens.

    The Flyers were right in Price’s grill, flattening Gallagher and Galchenyuk at will and running at PK Subban in the corner every chance they got.

    You put Clowe on the wing with Gallagher and I guarantee you the shots he (Gallagher) takes in front of the net after the whistles, and hits like Kadri delivered on him, are cut in half.

    You put Allen in front of Price and pair him up with Subban and I guarantee the scrums in front of Price and Subban getting rouged up and run at are minimized.

    The CH used to be about pride and everyone standing up for each other, lately, it’s all about getting pushed around, beaten up and completely run over with only Prust raising an eyebrow.

    And those who don’t think being out muscled, beaten up and taunted doesn’t affect a team’s overall performance are clueless.

    Bergevin doesn’t have to bring in one player this summer with some toughness, he needs to bring in 3 or 4.

    Not sure what we did as Canadiens fans to deserve to watch the softest team in the league for a decade?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Okay, you know what?

      You’re waaaaaay off with this.

      You know why? Because we didn’t get to the top of the NE and second in the East by being soft and small. You know how we got there? By working hard.

      When a team doesn’t work hard, skate hard, check hard, they lose and they get knocked around.

      When we were winning, we didn’t need Clowe or Allen or whatever lumpen bumbler people are trotting out now as ‘lost opportunities.’

      Big teams and big players are of no use to anyone if they don’t play hard. We could have Chara, Scott, McLaren, Clowe etc etc etc on our team, but if they decide to not skate, they’re just slightly larger pylons.

      People just want to teleport big players into our team now so that they can skate around and hit and fight to assuage some fans’ insulted sense of dignity.


      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        You are way off my friend. You haven’t a clue. The Canadiens got off to fantastic start. They’re fast they have some talent and are fun to watch.

        Guess what, if this were a normal season, we’d still have another 40 or so games to go. We’re now starting to wear down because we’re simply too small.

        We’re also not playing any Western Conference teams. We ‘d be completely crushed and deflated after going inot St. Louis, LA, SJ and Chicago. They’re all big and tough.

        There’s the toughness aspect which is very important where you drop the gloves a stickup for a teammate, rather than watching him get beat up and embarrassed.

        And there’s the size issue that comes in handy crashing the other teams net, guarding your net, battling in the corners and so on.

        If you can’t see all this you, I’m afraid you need to take your head out of your…

        Let it go Matty, there’ sticking up for the Habs like you’re doing, which I admire, but there’s also reality.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Heh heh.
          Incapable of making a comment without scattering insults in there, eh, Hobie?

          Not surprising, but it would be nice if you could try to restrain yourself, it undermines your posts.

          I think the word that best summarises your post is ’embarrassed.’ You want big players to try to assuage a feeling of embarrassment, which is a normal reaction, but is not neccessarily what is required. We just need to work harder. That’s all.

          As for your point saying. “if this were a normal season, we’d still have another 40 or so games to go. We’re now starting to wear down because we’re simply too small.”

          This is not a useful comment; this is not a normal season, and EVERY team is being worn down because of the intense schedule. The teams that started off fast (Montreal, Boston, Ottawa) are starting to slow, while teams who had slow starts (Toronto) are picking up the pace.

          As for playing Western Conference teams… that complete conjecture is simply an extention of your ‘everyone is bigger than us’ idea. Are Chicago significantly bigger than us? No. 1.2 inches is not a significant size difference.

          We could use a big d-man, I agree, but we’ve got Tinordi coming in, and we’ve played extremely well since the trade deadline without slow, big-bodied plugs.

          The team we have plays big when it skates hard and works hard.

          And even people with their heads where you claim mine is can see that.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Sorry Matty I thought you could handle a minor insult in good fun.

          I know Bergevin is going to adjust exactly what I’m speaking over the summer.

          So let’s just sit back and see what happens.


          Then you’ll learn something. Because in 2 years down the road when the Canadiens are scoring goals and banging and crashing their way to the finals, you’ll realize how much better a bigger and grittier team is than a small speedy team. Trust me.

    • Cal says:

      I think MB and MT now know exactly what they have as players.
      We have to take a little longer view, but I agree with you. That Habs are not tough. The D without Emelin doesn’t throw hits. They can’t box out and keep Price from being run over.

      More soft puck moving D from Hamilton isn’t the answer either.

  22. When Gallagher is the teams smallest player that plays hard everytime he steps onto the ice. Heart of a loin indeed!!! The line of Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher needs to be broken up for having to small fwds on the same line. Desharnais needs to sit for a few games period in order to figure out what’s missing in his game.

    Moen has lost his edge and needs to sit as well. A few lineup changes needs to be address and see how things pan out from there. Lets try these lines for a change. Something has to give here. Maybe these 2 guys will get there game back IF MT & MB sent them to press box for a couple to discuss on ice issues.

    1st line – Ryder – Plekanec – Gallagher

    2nd line – Pacioretty – Eller – Bourque

    3rd line – Galchenyuk – Prust – Gionta

    4th line – Blunden – Halpern – Dumont

    White definitely will be going for 4 or more games is probably done for this season.

  23. Old Bald Bird says:

    Who knew that Emelin was the glue that held the team together? But apparently he was. The hole that his absence creates is even much greater than his ability if that makes sense. It moves Boullion up to the first line, which is not where he belongs, and, at the same time, it weakens the third pairing — considerably. I am at a loss to explain why it has such an effect on Gorges, however.

    Like UCE, I used the mirrors analogy when thinking about this team’s success and never thought they were ready to take it all. Perhaps I will be proved wrong, but I think the team is at least 4 key player changes away from being true contenders. Meanwhile, they have given us a good year and much hope for the future. And it the end, there’s also the reality that it’s only hockey and not life.

  24. melski says:

    While I am not much of a sports fan other than hockey, I am reminded of something a baseball manager once said. Paraphrasing here – First, I have to teach them how to win. Then, I have to teach them how to win in October. Seems to describe the situation here.

    However the rest of the season plays out, however long or short their run in the playoffs, I have gotten great enjoyment out of watching the team this season and thank them for that.

    The team’s prospets look very good going forward. I fully expect to see Lord Stanley’s Cup coming home in the not too distant future.

  25. Chris says:

    As I missed the game, what the heck happened when the final whistle went? I see Lars Eller down for a 5-minute slashing major and a 10-minute headbutting penalty. On the surface, that looks like an almost guaranteed suspension of 1-3 games.

    EDIT: Looks like it was the Yahoo! Sports nonsense again. On the NHL site, they have him down for a 5 minute slashing major and game misconduct.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Didn’t see the headbutt but Eller was slashed and slashed back but mostly missed on the slashing. With White already up for a lengthy suspension maybe Shanahan and Sons will let that one slip.

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

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    AK scores another winner!
    Two more games left in the finals against Moscow Dynamo. Then Andrei Kistitsin is headed back to join the Hab’s!


  27. habstrinifan says:

    Gotta ask again! What’s up with the Weber situation? I just dont see the upside of sitting him if he’s healthy.

    Buyout not a consideration. While Beaulieu has more potential than Weber he isnt ‘better’ than Wber right now. And there why use up his NHL games quota as far as movement clauses.

    Maybe try inserting Weber into the lineup to play both D and some forward.
    Send Beaulieu back and bring up Tinordi for another stint.

    Oh forget it… I give up! It’s all a mess right now.

  28. Clay says:

    That was perhaps the worst first period of hockey this year’s team has played – and the rest of the game wasn’t much better.
    But what do you expect when your goalie again lets in 2 quick terrible goals, right on the heels of his last less than stellar performance? So deflating for the team. I don’t think we need to look any further than that for what went wrong tonight. Price better get his head straight come playoff time.
    I would give Budaj the start next game no matter what.

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

    • Captain aHab says:

      The first one went off Beaulieu. The second one he should have had.

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

      • Clay says:

        On the first one he was grossly out of position. But fine…the second one was just pathetic.
        And after the Habs tied the game, he lets in the very first shot he faces. Yes, a good goal by the Flyers, but he has to make a save there. That was the real turning point of the game.

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

        • Captain aHab says:

          Sorry but Gorges shat the bed on that one and if you look at his reaction he knows it. That shot was top corner from point blank range and Price had very little time to adjust owing to Gorges’ bonehead play.

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

  29. Captain aHab says:

    With his latest bonehead play, is Ryan White done with the Habs? Doesn’t seem to be playing with a full deck.

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

    • Clay says:

      I would send his @ss to the ahl for good after that. Dirty hit, and there is no place in the NHL for that crap. Sickening.

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

      • Mattyleg says:

        I dunno, it didn’t look that bad. He’d lined him up, and it looked like the Flyer pulled back to try to avoid it, and that’s when White made contact with his head rather than his shoulder.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • AllHailTheFlower says:

        I think that’s a bit of an overreaction – I’ve watched the replay several times and I just don’t think it’s that bad. White’s elbow never comes up, and it looks as if Huskins loses his balance a bit and actually leans head first a little into the impact. Unfortunately, it’s Ryan White…prior “bad acts” and all that, so it will probably spell the end of his career in Montreal.

        ETA: Looks like Matty and I differ a little as to whether Huskins’ head was forward or back, but in agreement as to the intent of Ryan White. 🙂

        • habstrinifan says:

          Any post with a pic of Guy is worth pausing at. Man would I love to see a Flower clone skate for the CH again. I would even settle for a Richer now.

  30. Captain aHab says:

    Anybody else think Pacioretty may have overtrained? He doesn’t seem as explosive in his skating this year. Also I agree with someone who said yesterday that he seems to be tentative hitting other guys and that may be due to the hit he put on Letang. He got a good lick in yesterday on a Flyer player and it was about time. Eller was also throwing his body around at the end of the game. It would be nice to see him playing with a bit of an edge. He has a big enough body to cause some damage.

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

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Eller is always falling down and spend half of the game on is ass

      • Captain aHab says:

        I guess we’re not watching the same games….when he’s on the ice, the Habs seem to be spending most of the time in the opposition’s end. His line will have D breakdowns from time to time but they are still young. For two games now, I’ve seen our smallish players (save for Gally) get knocked off the puck without much opposition so it’s refreshing to see a guy who can control it in the opposite end.

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

  31. Cal says:

    We must all remember this is a rebuild year before we s–t on the whole team. The Habs have done remarkably well, but we all know the weaknesses. The D, is too soft and too small. Too many puck movers and not enough crease-clearers. Hell, the biggest guy is Emelin. With Emelin out, no one hits and no one pushes.

    Beaulieu was awful on that first one last night, turning to cover a man Drewiske had. Having the puck go off him was just reward for his horrible coverage.
    Youth D is not the answer. Veteran D that’s rough and tough and able will go a long way to protecting Price. It’s bad when you see he is bigger than pretty much all of Montreal’s Dmen.
    Will someone please break up DD, Patches and Gally?

  32. habstrinifan says:

    Team looks very much like the disorganization under Cunneyworth.

  33. habs12 says:

    It’s quite simple:
    Everyone on Defence is playing a role above what their skills allow them to, except for Subban. Markov is a #4 at this point not a #2. Gorges is a #5 on a good team. Bouillon would be a #6 or even scratched on a good team and same with Drew. Even with Diaz and Emelin healthy, this team needs to pick up a true #3-4 D man this offseason. Too many bottom pairing guys.

  34. habstrinifan says:

    I, like Cerf, felt bad for Carey Price when the RDS behind the bench interview was going on. Don’t know how much Carey understands French, but he was hearing his name and lookded both uncomfortable and sort of angry. Wish the do away with those interviews right in the middle of the games. When P. McGuire did it we all condemned him… this looked just as wrong.

    • mksness says:

      he’ll be okay. he makes 6.5m a year regardless or some commentators remarks… i don’t think carey gives a hoot about what the media says. nor should he. he just has to work with his coaches and get his groove back.

  35. Captain aHab says:

    $5 says we’ll get a barnburner against Pittsburgh. Win or lose, they’ll play much better. I mean aside from the Eller line Gallagher and Subban, no one was skating last night.

    For people worried about Kaberle getting injured and losing the ability to buy him out, if DD keeps playing like crap he may be the one MB looks to buy out ;-D Or Moen….lots of options there.

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

  36. 24 Cups says:

    All teams have slumps so this next comment doesn’t relate to how the team is floundering right now.

    Montreal’s true performance level probably sits somewhere between last season’s meltdown and this year’s Cinderella ride. There’s lots to be excited about but realistically maybe Montreal really is in the beginning stages of a 3-5 year rebuild in terms of finally making a Cup final. If so, then MB has to ask himself a pretty important question.

    Three aging veterans will have their contracts come up for renewal during the next nine months. Ryder will hit the UFA market in July where some team will overpay or force Montreal to overpay. Markov turns 35 on Dec 20th. He’s probably going to be looking at a three year deal. This from a guy who has lost a step and can no longer take a hit. Gionta, who has been a good captain, will be 35 on January 18th. Will his eroded skill set warrant a two or three year deal?

    Collectively, the Habs are looking at 15M here. Does MB re-sign these guys or wait for younger players to develop so they can grab the torch in three years?

    • habstrinifan says:

      Wait a minute now… I thought we wer gonna pay Ryder up to $5 mill for 3 years.. and needed to do it yesterday. There were many many posters saying this.

    • Captain aHab says:

      I think they’ll re-sign Ryder.

      Gionta ain’t being re-signed…we have enough smallish players and have a few more coming up.

      Markov might be re-signed more as a PP specialist with lower ice time. That will obviously depend on the development of the young d-corps. Give Beaulieu another year of experience and we might not need Markov anymore.

      There will be trades either pre-draft or pre-deadline. Pleks will be gone. So might Gionta.

      Habs need to get another Prust-type player and size/scoring on the wings. Pleks is their best trade chip and he’s on the wrong side of 30.

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

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Agree with a lot of what you say with the exception of Plekanec one of the most underrated Centers in the NHL. How do you replace his minutes production and PK skills? Are you ready to leave the Center position to Eller Desharnais and Galchenyuk?

        • Captain aHab says:

          PK skills can be replaced by guys on the 3rd and 4th lines. Halpern is not bad. The O obviously is more difficult to replace but since he is still a valuable C, I think they might get productive youth back for him. Bergevin doesn’t seem to want to sit on assets…I think he’s a sell high kinda guy and with Pleks getting older, the time to sell is now. Yes I’m OK with these guys as C if we get bigger on the wings.

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

        • vancouverite says:

          The future of our offence rests in the hands of Pacioretty, Eller, Gallagher, and Galchenyuk. Bourque, Ryder, Prust and Plekanec are useful veterans for the near future. Add in pluggers like Halpern and Armstrong, and you still have 3 key offensive roles that need to be filled next year.
          DD is disposable … trade him for a 2nd or 3rd round pick or something, he did not cost us anything to get so this would not be a loss.
          Gionta has a great heart and bla bla bla, but he is no longer effective … not so speedy anymore, too small, and apart from eating up minutes he is not of that much use…Id trade him for pretty much anything
          In terms of D,
          Gorges – Subban has to become our top-line pairing, and they need to start playing as such.
          Markov – Emelin (the torn ligament club – this may prove to be no better than a 3rd pairing due to their reduced mobility/physicality)
          It seems we still need a rugged stay-at-home d-man to complete our D

      • 24 Cups says:

        I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Ryder might get four years at 20M. Is that a gamble for a guy who is 33? Is that the Cole contract all over again? I’ll pass.

        • Captain aHab says:

          They won’t re-sign him for that much. I’m betting they’ll get a rebate. If he’s trying to break the bank, he’ll obviously be gone.

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

        • habstrinifan says:

          You think we should pay Ryder $20mill for 4 yrs??

          • Captain aHab says:

            If you’re asking me then no.

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

        • habstrinifan says:

          Sorry 24 cups.. I didnt see the “I’ll pass” line. It kinda blows my mind that there were posters here last week or so asking we immediately sign Ryder for 3+ yrs at 4.5+ per.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Ryder for two years might be great. Ryder for four years could have the team hating those last two seasons.

            I always thought the Cole trade was about the future. To then re-sign Ryder to the exact same deal doesn’t make sense based on the trade of a few months ago.

            I’ve always said I would pass on a deal like that and I would also have to look at re-signing the other two guys to contracts that are shorter and for less coin. I guess there’s a good chance they might all walk.

            The balancing act seems to be finding the mid point for their experience and leadership at a cost that doesn’t break the bank. The team has until Christmas to make those decisions before the +35 contract comes into play.

    • rhino514 says:

      did you see the game where thehabs scored with nine seconds left against the bruins to tie and went on to win?
      N one but Markov has the poise and know how to make the seemingly simple play, with pretty much no room and under pressure, which he made to flip the puck to the net which resulted in a deflection.
      that´s why you sign Markov. Yes, his minus nine on a plus team perhaps signifies he has now become a defensive liability, but the difference he makes on the PP is just too big. Look at what it was last year without him.

      I´m ambivalent about Gionta and Ryder. Gionta is a character guy and i think has at least one more decent year in him, so I would lean toward signing him to a reasonable two year contract.

      Ryder has been fantastic, but he is just as capable of having an 18 goal year as a thirty goal one, in which case he hurts the team given that he doesn´t do much else. he´s a risky player. I think he´s the type of player who does well on a deep offensive team, but can´t be counted on to carry a team in any way.

      To me it´s definitely likelier that Gionta gets re-signed than Ryder, and for sure only one of them is going to be re-signed.

      • Cal says:

        I don’t see the Habs re-signing Gionta. 3 small forwards are too many. Perhaps, he’ll get moved when his contract is about to expire next season, even though he has a NTC.

        DD’s deal is now looming large, and that’s not a good thing.

  37. Maritime Ron says:

    Rest assured that Bergevin must be sick to his stomach watching this soft inherited team get pushed around and being physically embarrassed on home ice.

    When Bergevin played, he wasn’t big (6′-185 lbs) and was nowhere near being a goon, but he was all about character and sticking up for his team mates.
    Back in 1998, big and tough Owen Nolan ran Jeff Courtnall and Bergevin chased him, dropped the gloves, and gave him a pretty good thrashing.

    If you also look at the rest of the management team, they all played, were not goons either, yet were never afraid to drop the gloves and stick up for their mates.

    Take a picture of this team because in a few years, it won’t look much like it is now.

  38. Moose12 says:

    Can’t do anything about our personnel now, so we have to regroup.
    Time for some lineup changes however.
    Pac is not a big man in the true sense of the word, he needs someone to go into the dirty areas for him and create some time and space for him.
    DD, is not a number one center.
    If Diaz is not ready for the playoffs, I would dress Kaberle now to get him some game time. He may use this to his advantage and showcase his skills to a potential team next year.He is the safest bet out of what we have.

    I would bounce DD to the fourth line and move Prust up to the third.

  39. 24 Cups says:

    There seems to be some talk about Carey Price having groin issues as he may be playing hurt. If so, what’s the point of doing that when the team presently has nothing on the line?

    The playoffs start in two weeks. Montreal had hoped to finish 2nd overall but that may be in jeopardy if Price is hurt. Give him the rest he needs so his groin can heal. That would mean the Habs either finish 4th or 5th. The only thing on the line would be home ice advantage with Toronto. Considering how things are right now, opening on the road may not be the end of the world.

    • vancouverite says:

      Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable riding red-hot Budaj into the playoffs. He’s got a steller record this year, his confidence seems really high, and teams do not know as much about his game/style compared to a Price or other world-class goalie. Could work in our favor somehow…

  40. PrimeTime says:

    When teams stop doing what they to do to win,they lose. Not exactly a genius statement but sometimes the obvious escapes the minds of fans who point fingers at individual players. The “Yahoo’s” don’t deserve to have a winning team. I’m hope the players will dig down and go back and play the system that had been working. The majority of fans aren’t yahoo’s…..well at least away from the Live Blog here.

  41. ed says:

    1 word.


    • HabFanSince72 says:

      And barring that, defence.

      • ed says:

        agreed, defence is key.

        defence is a 5 man unit working together to retrieve the puck;

        it starts with a tough forecheck, then a relentless backcheck, and finally defensive zone coverage, a system of coverage, that includes all 5 players.

        when your forwards have bought into this formula, your defenceman usually look like Norris trophy candidates.

  42. Dust says:

    I will probably get ripped apart for this, but i’m gonna say it anyway. Why isn’t Kaberle playing? He is a more capable nhl defenceman than Drewiske and Beaulieu (right now, but not for long).

  43. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Hockey is a “TEAM” sport.
    You win as a “TEAM”
    You lose as a “TEAM”

    Sure Carey Price let in two stinkers in TO & one stinker last night. But he started to play very well and his D-Men Shate the bed. Carey needed his D-Men to help him last night as Carey has helped his D-Men many many times before.

    Now MT has the most important decision to make since he got hired as the coach of the Montreal Canadiens. If he is going to go with Price for the playoffs he needs to play him down the stretch to let him work out of his funk. If he is going to go with Budaj in the playoffs then Budaj needs to play the remaining games going into the playoffs to get used to playing game after game after game.

    For ex: It is funny how a goalie is bashed for allowing a bad goal say in the playoffs that cost them the series. But players missing wide open nets are never bashed as much as the goal the tender let in.

  44. ZimHabwe says:

    My psychoanalysis of HIO/Habs fans followers is this – losing a game feels like doomsday. Like it’s 2012 all over again. Winning a game feels like it’s time to consider where one shall book a spot on the parade route. A lot of wishy washiness going on. The Habs need to stick to their game plan. The fans need to stick to theirs. It’s too late to start thinking doomsday. We’ve clinched a spot using a team of non-superstars, some superstars and up and coming superstars. Frankly I’m ok that our opponents have had their way with us in the last 2 games. There’s a method to my madness but the explanation is easy to follow. Getting shellacked like we have in the last two games reveals the seriousness of the holes particularly where we’ve lost guys like Emelin for the season. The coach has an opportunity to diagnose the problems and try to fix them before the post-season rolls in. Do some experimenting here and there until he gets the right combination. I look at it this way – would you rather we discover these problems now or in the post-season? ……Exactly. At this point I don’t think we should worry what our standing will be, who we’ll play in the first round or where game 1 will be because all of that will not matter if the problem is not fixed.

    I have faith.

    • The Cat says:

      You know how employers say employees that dont care as much about their job are better employees than those that do care. If hab fans cared less about the team, they’d become better fans. A grown man should not let his mood be affected by trivial things such as a pro sports team winning or losing a game.

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

  45. CERF says:

    Did anyone who was watching the RDS feed in the third period notice the awkward 2min of when Marc Denis answered the 3rd period question? He was asked whats going on with Carey price and when he answered he was within an earshot of Carey and i’m pretty sure he(Carey) knew what he was talking about and he didn’t look pleased at all.

  46. Danno says:

    Where did they go? And who are these guys?
    Second Straight Stinker For Habs


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

  47. Cal says:

    This just in: Carey Price’s new pads suck. They suck so bad that the suck has invaded all areas of the dressing room, infecting everyone.
    However, there is a cure for this mess: get down to a hockey store Carey, and buy new pads, same like the old pads, ok?


  48. The Cat says:

    I dont know whats up with Moen. Some say hes sour grapes from being on the 4th line, all I know is he has to be essential for the grit factor to get above the required level for playoff success. As it is now he seems unwilling to sacrifice himself one iota for this team.

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

  49. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Two games that changed the world… not really. Two bad bad games hardly worth looking at. The defence has collapsed, and Price is moving like a stiff old man who just got out of bed.

    The bubble has probably collapsed too, which is not a bad thing. HIO may become “uninhabitable” with negativity, but it was veering close before this streak anyway. The team will get back on track, but I do fear for this once interesting little site.

  50. violenceforthecup says:

    heroes: jack todd, ryan white, brandon prust
    zeroes: carey price, mt, drewiske, gorges

    I play nhl13 on the xbox360, Im more knowledgeable than the average hio poster

    • showey47 says:

      How does drewiske make a zero list? He was one of the few guys who wasn’t a minus,picked up a point and one of the very few who bothered to block a shot.

  51. Maritime Ron says:

    Boone writes “Would Josh Gorges be playing Top Four minutes on a good hockey team? Would Francis Bouillon?”

    Sorry if I don’t see the point in the question but I’ll answer.

    Josh Gorges is a warrior and would play top 4 minutes on just about every NHL team. For the Habs this year he has played the most even strength and PK minutes for ALL Habs D men and with a +5 cannot be faulted. He has endured numerous big hits this year and keeps coming back…..while no one goes to bat for him, but that’s a whole other story.

    As for Bouillon, before Diaz and Emelin went down, he was playing #6 minutes. It’s not Bouillon’s fault if he has been forced into #4-5 man minutes because of injuries and lack of organization depth and zero trade deadline upgrade. ApologieS to Drewiske.

    Anyway these 2 are the least of the Habs problems. You want problems and dumb contracts, see Moen Desharnais and I’m starting to wonder if Moen is becoming a dressing room problem as he floats through the season doing almost nothing.

    • The Cat says:

      I agree with the unwarranted criticism of Bouillon. It reminds of when Hamrlik used to play almost half the game (heroically I might add) and really wore himself out, like he had asked for Markov to get hurt.

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

      • Maritime Ron says:

        At this point in his career, Bouillon is a 5-6 man with great character and leadership. He has played very well in THAT position and is a great value for his contract. For a 37 year old smaller player what more can anybody ask for?

  52. BJ says:

    Other than Gallagher and some of PK Subban not too many positives from last night. I think we are at a stage where we will see what this team has, if not it should finally become apparent that against physical and strong forechecking teams we are simply too small and not tough enough. Speed kills but its clear that we get killed when speed is not there.

    • Bash says:

      Well said! Except for the “finally” part. Everyone and his grandmother has been screaming for a nasty D man and sonofabitch forward to fill out this roster since DAY ONE! You may not need deterrents for the playoffs if you are playing with your hair on fire, but you damn well need them for the regular season when the idiots on teams like TO AND PHILLY are getting ice time.

      Interesting that the loss of Emelin is proving to be so significant. And forgive me for underwhelming you with the obvious: Prust is a brave soul who cannot defend an entire team against the Rosehills of the world.

      Travis! Go home.

      “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  53. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …what a punk day, starting with the events in Boston, the depressing way Our Guys had not been able to respond and are playing now, the current meltdown of Carey, and the resulting rabid premature negativity of the Jack Todd column had given
    my usual levelheaded self a quite grumpy and irritable alter-ego

    …I even went into a rant on Timo’s over the top negativity when usually I just laugh that crap off

    …a real bummer of a day, at least until I take a last look-in the HIO asylum and find a modicum of intelligence and a rational meaningful read by Normand (UCe)

    …thanks Normand …You express everything I think so well and so much better

    • thehabs21 says:

      Go watch the 2011 habs/bruins series dude, get pumped for the playoffs. that seriously is the best damn hockey ive ever seen. annnnnnd Carey Price was absolutely phenomenal.

      “I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears”

      • The Cat says:

        The use of the word phenomenal is best suited for the guy who made the quote in your signature.

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

  54. Michael says:

    “Would Josh Gorges be playing Top Four minutes on a good hockey team? Would Francis Bouillon?”

    2 bad games and they’re not a good hockey team. Boone’s articles smell like liquor.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I agree. That´s typical Boone. Jack Todd usually gets some crazy amount of criticism for something like that. Gorges is not having a good season but he´s proven that he´s a top-4 guy. Bouillon certainly isn´t but unfortunately Emelin and Diaz are out. Yes, something like that happens to good hockey teams.

      Btw: The Habs are 6-4-0 in their last ten, the Ducks are 5-4-1 but yeah, Anaheim is ready for the playoffs, Montreal not… I have no idea how the Habs are going to do in the playoffs but I´m almost certain that the Ducks won´t win more than one playoff round.

  55. Un Canadien errant says:

    About twenty games back, a friend of mine who’s a great fan of the Canucks started a conversation with me about the Canadiens, and asked me how was it they kept winning.

    “They’re doing it with mirrors” was my answer.

    It seemed like they must be, or they had a Dorian Gray painting of last season’s lineup in the attic of the New Forum. Chicken feet in a pentagram. Or something.

    Anyway, the wide support for Michel Therrien as a candidate for the Jack Adams Trophy derived from the fact that he took essentially the same lineup that hiccuped through its season into last place in 2012 to first or its environs this year. Sure, a new system better suited for the players on hand, and the addition of a few character veterans, as well as the return to good health of Brian Gionta and especially Andrei Markov, could partially explain this rebound, but there was a fantastic aspect to it too. Rookies who come and produce right away, and inject youth and energy but no trepidation or mistakes. Timely goals, with the team usually scoring first, yet finding ways to make comebacks when necessary. A very healthy lineup, with the team avoiding injuries to its leaders, and finding ways to palliate for the few it did suffer.

    Lots was also made of how this was a shortened season, and weird things could happen. Extended streaks one way or another could decide the season, without the possibility that a normal 82-game slog of a season could normalize results and smooth over statistical anomalies.

    Over the last four games, we’ve seen the team lose a game against the resurgent Capitals, win one on autopilot against the amorphous Sabres, and then collapse against the Maple Leafs and now the Flyers. It’s noteworthy that Alexei Emelin has perhaps not coincidentally been absent for four games now, and Brandon Prust had just returned from a shoulder injury before bowing out for this game.

    It’s also noteworthy that in the last two games, the Canadiens have been pushed around again, something which was routine last season, but which had radically decreased this year, maybe because the opponents were usually playing from behind and didn’t have the latitude to take liberties. Also, the powerplay was clicking along and enough of a threat to dissuade the rough-and-tumble leanings of the opposition.

    As we approach the playoffs, and the game tightens up while referees put away their whistles, our adversaries’ propensity to try and get us off our game by playing an aggressive, physical style does not bode well. Whereas this tactic was useless earlier in the season, due to the threat of the powerplay and the team toughness approach, it now seems to be have an effect. We see players like Tomas Plekanec losing their cool. We see David Desharnais become completely neutralized, unable to dart into open space and find his wingers. We see Lars Eller retreat into his shell.

    A word about Lars. He’s made great strides this season, and he still has a lot to learn, but in games like this it would be great if he took up more room on the ice, rather than less. We keep raving about how he’s so big and so jacked, it’s time that he learn to use that size and strength in games like these. We’re not asking for him to turn into Eric Lindros or Mark Messier, he’s not that type of player, but Bobby Smith for example was a centre with size who could play a fast offensive style, but when the going got tough he could play with an edge and assert himself and use his size to protect himself and his linemates. I’m not saying I want him to fight or goon it up, but when Nazem Kadri runs him into the boards, and he doesn’t respond, that’s a problem. He needs to look around the dressing room and understand that he’s one of the bigger guys in there, and that he should play like it.

    If toughness was the only issue, that would be one thing, but another glaring problem is our defence. Again, after around twenty games, we started to feel that maybe we were set on defence. P.K. Subban took a couple of games to get up to speed, then took off and hasn’t really looked back. The return of Andrei Markov and his pairing with Alexei Emelin gave the team a strong unit that matched up well, covered up each other’s weaknesses, and played well at either end of the rink. Francis Bouillon played as if he was 31, not 36. Josh Gorges was the steady Eddie, and Raphaël Diaz was markedly improved from last season, and especially effective offensively. Overall, they were a smaller group, but very agile, and the new system played to their strength. Aided by Carey Price, they’d retrieve the puck and move it out quickly, instead of getting bogged down and hammered in their own end, like last year. They didn’t need to be big. Actually, the fact that they were smaller and quicker played to our advantage.

    The injury to Alexei Emelin has been a big change, and has destabilized at least two pairings. Andrei Markov is markedly less effective, and the third pairing is now officially unreliable. We went from having our defence squad be a strength we can rely on to a weakness the opposition can exploit in one fell swoop. There is some tinkering we can do, but we don’t have any new horses to team up. The kids in Hamilton aren’t ready to go, as Nathan Beaulieu demonstrated tonight. We used to roll out three defence pairings, with roughly equivalent icetime between them.

    So we’re back to being small and a target for intimidation, and having our defence be P.K. and Josh Gorges being our only reliable defence pair, and even that’s not a role Josh should be playing, his skillset is more suited to being a fifth defenceman, not a #2. The only thing that can save us is miraculous goaltending.

    And Carey needs a lot of work right now. It’s not his new pads, Marc Denis of RDS debunked that theory tonight, explaining that the goalie pads nowadays are meant to be stiff, when they’re softer and broken in that’s the signal that they need to be replaced. He explained that he’s used brand new pads the night that he received them, with no ill effects. Maybe Glen Healy’s info, based on his experience, is now obsolete. In any case, there’s no solution to the goaltending issue. We all thought earlier on that we’d only go as far as Carey would take us, and that’s even more true now. He has a half-dozen games to turn it around. All we can do is hope that a lot of work with his coach in practice, and that a few more normal games get him back on track.

    And now I’m really happy that Marc Bergevin didn’t go all in. It must have been tempting, but he took the long view, and his approach now seems validated. He knew that the team wasn’t set yet, that one key injury could make this whole thing unravel.

    There have been reports that Mr. Bergevin relied on his experience with the Blackhawks, when they could have made a deadline trade at the cost of a first-round pick, which they declined to do, since they felt the team wasn’t “ready to win yet”. Sure enough, that first-rounder turned out to be Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews, the anecdote was unclear, but in hindsight the right decision was made.

    We are in the same situation of not being ready yet. We don’t have a Toews-Kane-Hossa-Keith core together yet, or a Crosbie-Malkin-Letang. We still need to gather up pieces to be a consistent contender, and to fritter away prospects and draft picks to plaster over the fundamental weaknesses being exposed right now would have been the wrong move to make.



  56. thehabs21 says:

    PEOPLE! do not count this team out, just went back and watched some 2010 and 2011 playoff highlights and because last year was so terrible you forget what hab playoff hockey is all about. Watching Price against the bruins in the 7 game series is unreal. I dont think i can recall him ever playing that solid. you see Gionta coming up with huge goals, clutch veteran and Gorges making gutsy blocks. The east is wide open this year and you have to believe there going to be tight close hockey games down to the wire. exciting shit…. im extremely pumped. yes there playing like ass but honestly we all love playoff hockey and im telling you its going to be intense FORSURE. the defense will figure itself out and try to help out Carey as much as possible because that’s what those tight games are all about… and dont forget P.K this man has a flair for the dramatics. SCREW THE NEXT 6 GAMES, LETS JUST GET THIS GOING NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears”

    • thehabs21 says:

      And as Man Dingga just pointed out, dont forget about character guys like Armdog and Prusty! going to be exciting stuffffff guysssssss LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      “I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears”

  57. Man Dingga says:

    I know the last two games have been hard but we have to be honest with ourselves and this team. This is the first season we’ve had a healthy Markov in what two years. Why wouldn’t stamina be an issue for him right now?

    Patches has been average at best this season, for a big guy to play so small is beyond me.

    Will the real Gorges, Moen, Gionta and Desharnais please stand up! I haven’t seen them step up this at all. Desharnais has been good in the shootouts but during regulation he is invisible.

    Plekanec has been so inconsistent. I just shake my head!

    White has played his last game. What we need is Colby back, he’s a good leader and brings a style of play sorely missed right now. If he isn’t available play Blunden. Same goes for Prust we need him back playing smash mouth hockey. These guys are what put us back on track this year. We are currently playing the way we did last year at this time. No confidence, shots all coming from the outside and being man handled by the opposition.

    Pricey is clearly in a full on slump, hope he and the coaching staff can get him out of it before the playoffs. All goalies go through them in the course of a season.

    Mr. Bergevin we need some tough stay at home defenceman for next year. Two would be good. The Cube and Drewskie clearly aren’t the answer. I’ve seen too many times this year players taking runs at Pricey and Budz. We’ve tried Tinordi and Beaulieu and they have been inconsistent but sh*t or get off the pot with them. Either play them or send them down. We gave Gally and Chuckie the opportunity why not give them a shot. At least I can wrap my head around them playing night in and night out, playing some of these weak veteran defencemen and not making any legit moves at the deadline sends the wrong message to the team. Sorry, Douglas Murray is a style of defenceman we need.

    Any who, go Habs go! Be strong Boston!

  58. MikeHabs says:

    well that was an ugly game. did the team forget that you have to play well defensively so that you have a better shot at coming out on top or what? price will want that 2nd goal back for sure but not much he could do on the others really. for example, who leaves giroux wide open in the slot? i believe that was actually desharnais’ man. however, the whole team was atrocious in that d-zone for whatever reason. they need to wake up or the 3rd slaughter in a row will occur wednesday. yikes.

    Prospect update for this past week can read here: http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/prospect-update-080413-140413/

  59. Jradicus says:

    I think its time Patch and DD are separated. Gally has been the glue thats kept that line together and I think its time he’s reunited with his boy Galchenyuk. Patch needs to regain his confidence and find his game again. My ideal (at home on the couch) lineup would be.




    Obviously there is a lot of risk bringing in Tinordi to the lineup but we could desperately use the size down low. Beaulieu will be a staple for the habs in the future but he is not currently NHL ready.

    • MikeHabs says:

      id even switch Galchenyuk and Desharnais. I think DD would be better off at wing, would cut some of his defensive liabilities.

      • showey47 says:

        I’ve been saying that DD should be a winger all season. There are very few top 6 centers in the league i feel comfortable putting him out there against. He would be exposed even more if he paired with 3rd line wingers.

  60. Jradicus says:

    Tonight was an embarrassment to be a HABS fan. To allow another to team to come into our building and dictate us around like they did. Words cannot describe the sheer humiliation it shows. Can someone please explain to me why Travis Moen is occupying a roster spot on this team? This player does absolutely NOTHING. Its a disgrace when guys like Gallagher and Galchenyuk, the young heart and soul of this team are fighting their own battles and he’s got no response. Sure Prust and occasionally Bouillion step in to settle things. But if Moen is not going to throw his body around and drop the gloves from time to time he’s wasting water on the bench! I’m insulted.

  61. Timo says:

    Vinny D said something interesting about Moen. Habs knew that he has/had concussion when they signed him. The problem, according to Damphousse, is that Moen was misplaced from 3 line to 4th and he is pissed about. And if that’s the case he has no business being there.

    My loose translation.

    • habfanacrossthed says:

      That’s interesting. If he’s indeed pissed, you’d think it would somehow get to MB. I agree though Timo, Moen continues this play thoughout the playoffs. He will then be dealt in the offseason.

      GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

      • Timo says:

        Just like with Desharnais, who’s going to want his contract? Bergevin was too trigger happy signing some of these guys to idiotic contracts, while being surprisingly stingy and all of a sudden business like with Subban.

        • AH says:

          Yeah, someone actually trading for Moen, or DD? hahahahaha!!!

        • Rad says:

          You’re right Timo. Miserly with Montreal’s best player, and wasteful with journeymen like Moen and Desharnais, not to mention overpaying for Price. Bergevin must be cross-eyed. I am no longer as confident as I was before about his decision-making ability.

  62. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Way to show up tonight boys. Looks like Plecs little girl persona showed up and brought her 18 semi retarded ugly younger sisters.(i’m excluding Gallagher)
    Is it just me or any of you guys actually starting to despise the sight of DD and Moen? And Max is getting close,i could care less about his PPG total compared to last year. Grow a set.

    • AH says:

      Max is very close approaching the ” way overrated” category imo. He hasn’t been the same since the Chara “incident”. There are many times during the game when he could take the puck all the way to the net, and instead he does that wimpy shot from the outside right at the goalies chest usually. He should be embarrassed that he is getting outworked and outhustled by a rookie who is way smaller than him.

      • chanchilla says:

        i like that, “he hasn’t been the same since the chara incident” ………..other than the fact that he had a 60 pt season last year right?

  63. habfanacrossthed says:

    Seems like the effort wasn’t there. Eleven hits, too many give aways, and of course can’t do well in faceoffs. I definitely believe in MT, does he dare bag skate? My armchair coaching lines would be:
    Bourquey Pleky Gally
    Pacioretty Desharnais Gionta
    Chucky Eller Ryder
    Blunden Halpern Dumont

    Subban Bouillon
    Markov Drewiske
    Gorges Beaulieu

    GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  64. Timo says:

    LOL, Therrien really didn’t want to be at this press conference.

  65. Rad says:

    An old fashioned butt-kicking.
    There’s your recap of the evening’s events.

  66. jedimyrmidon says:

    I think this movie quote is only appropriate: Gothmog

  67. ths says:

    Enough is Enough !
    Fire Bergevin !
    Hire Tambellini !

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

  68. stevied123 says:

    Seems that emelin was helping #79 more than the other way around… Also seems the pacioretty is sorely missing the space cole was creating for him (not that i dont like the trade). Keaton ellerby (price’s cousin) was available for a 5th round pick he went to florida.. We missed the boat on sestito and torres, moen is here to cash checks and white is a phsycho. This years team is a work in progress, did everyone think this was all going to continue? I just hope we dont get embarassed in the playoffs.. But this team seems to thrive on being counted out…… Ghg

  69. stevied123 says:

    I agree with your line combos HH tell boone to tell MT

  70. HardHabits says:

    Here’s what ails the Habs

    Emelin’s physical presence sorely missed.
    Drewiske not cutting it.
    Desharnais not cutting it.

    Desharnais needs two big forwards to be successful. Give him Bourque and Pacioretty.

    Put Gallagher with Chucky and Eller. Ryder with Gio and Plex.


    • habfanacrossthed says:

      Sorry HH can’t see MT putting a slow Tinordi, with Markov. 2 on 1 breakaways just for laughs.

      Subban Bouillon
      Markov Drewiske
      Gorges Beaulieu

      GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

      • johnnylarue says:

        Guys, look at those defensive pairings…

        Any way you mix up that deck, we’re pretty much screwed.

        The one knock on the “Subban As Norris Trophy Winner” trope is that he can’t be a 30-minute shut-down D monster like Chara or Pronger. It’s not his thing. So when we lose a guy like Emelin, we really feel it.

        And don’t get me wrong–I’m a PK fan, like any sane person on this board. But I’ll be mighty impressed if the return of Diaz and/or Kaberle or Weber will be enough to keep this ship afloat for too long in the playoffs.

    • Clay says:

      But not the goaltending???

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

  71. Un Canadien errant says:

    What a puzzling triumvirate of comments, these first three. Did the mods excise some doozies, removing context?

    Anyway, I was going to ask, do I really have to recap this game? Can we make do with Booner’s excellent work?



  72. FormalWare says:

    Second fiddle.
    (Or third oboe!)

    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  73. habs_54321 says:

    i wouldn’t say price is a bad goalie but he’s not better than fleury or bryzgalov

  74. habsfan0 says:

    Dog did his business

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