About last night …

CupTourists

The Stanley Cup was in Montreal on Wednesday.
Just visiting.
The Cup was in some photographs with lucky fans.
It was a guest on L’Antichambre.
Had a great time.
Might not be back for a while.

Too pessimistic?

Maybe so.

During an incredibly hokey segment on L’Antichambre, they sat the Stanely Cup in one of the show’s trademark blue chairs. Then a voice off camera, speaking for the Cup, said: “Je suis à Montréal aujourd’hui. J’aimerais bien y passer l’été.”

Translation: “I’m in Montreal today. I’d really like to spend the summer here.”

Cute.

And not impossible. As the season wound down in 1986, the Canadiens lost six straight games. Then they won three of their last four, and the rest is history.

The 1985-’86 Canadiens that couldn’t buy a W in mid-March won often enough in April and May to get the players’ names on the trophy that was on RDS Wednesday night.

Your 2013 Montreal Canadiens will be playing hockey in May. And if they go on to win their final game of the postseason, nobody will be talking about three embarrassing regular-season losses, the latest of which went down in Pittsburgh Wednesday night.

There’s still time to turn this around. The Canadiens have five regular-season games left to transform themselves back into the team that was so good for so much of the season.

Maybe the Big Shiny Thing will be back in June. Stranger things have happened.

But I think I speak for most fans … at least, most rational fans … in stating a truth that is becoming self-evident: This ain’t the year.

The Canadiens are a mess.

A team that gave up 16 first-period goals in the first 40 games has been lit up for eight in the last three.

The last time goaltenders were pulled in three consecutive starts was in October, 2001. Their names were José Theodore, Jeff Hackett and Mathieu Garon.

Carey Price was supposed to have a night off in Pittsburgh. He could relax, watch his capable backup and get ready to face Tampa Bay at the Bell Centre on Thursday night.

Instead, Price came on in relief of Budaj. He played 40 minutes, allowed three goals and was charged with the loss.

Great confidence builder.

But you can’t hang the loss on goaltending. Patrick Roy, who became the youngest-ever winner of the  Conn Smythe Trophy in 1986, would age from 20 to 40 in 60 minutes playing behind this team.

On the evidence of what we saw Wednesday night, the Canadiens miss Raphael Diaz, Alexei Emelin, Colby Armstrong and Ryan White more than the Penguins miss Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Paul Martin.

Cup contenders?

I don’t effing think so.

And please, spare me the second-guessing about Marc Bergevin’s inaction at the trade deadline.

Yes, Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero loaded up for a Cup run. But he paid dearly for Jarome Inginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray.

Watching the Rangers in Philadelphia, did you think Ryan Clowe will be bringing the Cup to New York?

Bergevin made a sage assessment of his team’s Stanley Cup chances. And the GM decided – even before the Emelin injury that has thrown the D corps into chaos – that it wasn’t worth mortgaging the future for a couple Band-Aids.

Did you like Alex Galchenyuk’s sick shelf daddy in Pittsburgh?

That’s the future. And here’s a radical notion to get the Commentariat dusting off their “Boone is an idiot” daggers:

If what we’re watching is the real Montreal Canadiens, I’m halfway sorry the collapse didn’t happen sooner. That way, the team could have stumbled and bumbled into a lottery pick and the chance to draft another Galchenyuk.

OK, that’s crazy talk.

We’ve had a great season of hockey in Montreal, cheering a courageous, well-coached team that as recently as 10 days ago was challenging for the Eastern Conference lead, three points behind Pittsburgh with a game in hand.

So what happened?

The Emelin injury was a killer. Andrei Markov hasn’t been the same since his D partner went down, and the Canadiens have lost four of the five games they’ve played without the hard-hitting Russian.

With Diaz still out, there’s no depth on the blueline.

Does Davis Drewiske play 19:50 on a bona-fide Cup aspirant? Yannick Weber, whose season had consisted of 17 minutes, 52 seconds over two games, played 16:49 in Pittsburgh.

And Weber was on for only one Penguins goal. Josh Gorges was on for four.

The Canadiens’ D is a shambles, and the forwards aren’t helping. Where is the system that had five skaters hunting in packs, bottling opponents up in their own end, forcing turnovers?

Has a physically small team run out of gas?

What if they had to play 82 games? Maybe we’d be looking forward to drafting Jonathan Drouin.

Marc Bergevin is a smart guy who came to the Canadiens from a great organization in Chicago. He hired first-rate people – Rick Dudley, Scott Mellanby – for the front office. Acting decisively to change the culture of a losing team, Bergevin didn’t let Scott Gomez as much as lace-up in a practice jersey.

Canadiens management knows what they’ve got here: a team that isn’t as good as its first 40 games or as bad as its last three.

Your Montreal Canadiens are a work in progress. There are some very nice elements in place, but this team does not have the organizational depth that withstands injuries to superstars and allows shopping sprees on trade deadline day.

So let’s all take a deep breath and thanks the Stanley Cup for dropping by.

Y’all come back soon.

• The Bruins got it right:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq-Ut4gH1fc

 

435 Comments

  1. JF says:

    Is this downward spiral a slump or a complete collapse? It’s looking uncannily like the implosion of the centennial season. No one on the team can do his job any more. Neither goaltender can make key saves, the defence is completely disorganized, our top forwards are invisible. How can we attribute all of this to the loss of one player?

    It’s pretty clear that some of the veterans are tired. Markov, Bouillon, Gorges – all three are making mistakes all over the ice. If we’re to avoid a sweep against whatever team we face (almost certainly the Leafs), these players need a rest. Let’s win one game – tonight – then Therrien should think about giving these guys a game or two off. We’re certainly not beating the Capitals on Saturday, so would it matter if Tinordi and Beaulieu played and we got blown out again? Just discount the game, refocus, and try to win a couple next week, especially the final one.

    Last night wasn’t as bad as the previous two games. We actually looked good until the Penguins scored. That weak goal put us on our heels, and the rout started. But the team fought back, hanging in despite mounting frustration. And there were a couple of positives. Galchenyuk’s goal was a thing of beauty. Dumont looked good. Yannick Weber has surely played himself into the lineup.

  2. Steeltown Hab says:

    Subban’s ejection from the game was a prime example of how he’s targeted by the refs. Plenty of players do that every single shift of the game and never get a penalty.

    ———————————

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

    • Loonie says:

      Normally I would disagree with this because the officials decided that by getting Subban out of a game that was already decided they’re saving him, his teammates and the Penguins from something that could get out of hand and cause injury or suspension.

      Having said that, it appeared that Brenden Morrow was much more of a lightning rod for attention than Subban was. Morrow should have been dimed too.

    • Chris says:

      Subban essentially instigated a fight with Morrow.

      He then was running around, and sucker punched Chris Kunitz right in front of the referee.

      Throwing him out of the game was absolutely the right call. He was running around stirring up trouble. Referees at any level are taught to nip that in the bud by throwing guys out of the game to avoid escalation into brawls.

      • Loonie says:

        But Morrow stayed Chris. That’s the only issue I took with the situation. He was causing as much if not more trouble than Subban.

        • Chris says:

          Morrow didn’t instigate.

          Subban jumped Morrow.

          Prust and Morrow were jousting and Prust was definitely the aggressor in that one.

          I think Morrow had a bee in his bonnet, but he didn’t sucker anybody.

          Subban suckered two people. Fool me once, shame on you.

          Fool me twice, have a nice shower.

          • Loonie says:

            Morrow gave Prust a butt-end and then an obvious slash. Then started trash talking.

            He should have been sent to the showers too Chris.

          • Chris says:

            But again, Morrow didn’t instigate the first incident, so he was on his first foul.

            Subban was on his second. That is the critical difference.

            Morrow chirped about wanting to go coming out of the penalty box, but he didn’t do it.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Throw both guys out sure I get that but how many time do Marchand, Lucic, Fraser, McLaren, Chara, etc. do that every single shift with no penalty I don’t see the difference.

        ———————————

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

        • Loonie says:

          When the game’s out of hand there’s a higher likelihood of something awful happening as a result of stupid play like that.

          Orr got a five minute major for a reckless play on Josh Gorges that most of the other players in the league would have sat two minutes for.

        • Chris says:

          Why throw Kunitz out? All he did was chirp at Subban (who was chirping back) and then he gets a straight-arm punch to the face.

          Sorry, but Subban had that coming. One of his less admirable traits is that when he decides he wants to fight, he drops the gloves and tries to get the first punch in before the other guy even realizes they are engaged in a fight (remember Lupul’s complaint?). Subban does not fight by a code, and he never has.

          When I used to see him fight with the Belleville Bulls in the OHL, the consensus was that he is someday going to tag somebody and hurt them badly. Subban goes for haymakers, and he goes for them early. Someday he will connect, and seriously hurt somebody. When he’s often the aggressor/instigator in those fights, it is part of why there is a certain lack of respect for him in the league.

  3. Steeltown Hab says:

    The line combos were all over the place. Galchenyuk skating with the 4th in the first, Moen on the 3rd etc.

    Therriens system is good, his biggest issue is evaluating the talent of his players. It’s obvious guys like Dumont, White > Moen, Armstrong. Moen and Armstrong have size but do nothing with it.

    Eller, Galchenyuk, Gallagher continue to battle. Desharnais got a couple apples but we need something to wake up Pacioretty, who unlike DD can hit another level. Keeping 67 and 51 together is just continuing merit their garbage play.

    ———————————

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

    • Loonie says:

      I thought Desharnais was one of our better players last night.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Only watch 3/4 of the first and the second half of the third, DD looked alright in the first, I just don’t see his game getting any better. Pacioretty can be a lot better.

        ———————————

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

  4. Loonie says:

    Seems we’re in that “it can’t get any worse” territory. This team has a flaw that has caught up with them. It is so aggressive in the defensive zone that it routinely loses track of opposing players in the defensive zone. Through the first fourty games passes either weren’t getting through to those players or our goaltenders were making great saves to stop them. That has stopped.

    Something else I want to mention. I really hope that Mario Tremblay has a cut up of last night’s game to play for these guys. Gionta, Galchenyuk and Markov all scored within ten feet of the net. That’s where you have to be to score. This team takes so many useless shots that it’s mind boggling but they’re excellent when they work for good scoring opportunities instead of rushing bad shots.

    The positives are that it can’t get much worse and defense can be taught.

  5. Habs played a better game last night. The outcome was still a loss. Things are still a little off but its signs of turning it around. Habs took a beating last night in the hit column. Their 4th line of Adams, Vitale & Glass was running at Habs players everytime they where on the ice. Habs could not match the physical size when they hem them in for the longest time. Cooke, Knutiz & Morrow was a thorn in Habs side as well.

    Habs need to get back to the basics and their coverage has to be much tighter in D zone instead of giving up a lot of very quality scoring opportunties to opposition. Team needs tweaking and things will resolve itself over the next few games. Habs are going through adjustment stage on D and players are pressing to hard by making mistakes that causes turnovers into goals.

    Everyone should be happy that our Habs are going into the playoffs instead of bashing individuals on poor performances. I can’t imagine that everyone can repeat their life styles without challenges on a daily basis. Players go through a lot over a 60 minutes a game and mistakes will happen. Its a team game.

    Lets get behind the team you cheer for and hope for the best. Can’t win them all and teams go in slumps like our Habs are in right now. This team will overcome disappointments and will adjust accordingly. Its the coaching staff to make the neccessary change or changes that will get these guys to perform at their ability to compete game in and game out.

    Go Habs Go

  6. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Players are getting mad, and I like that. Plekanec against Briere, PK last night (he fought and was kicked out?), Price hitting his stick on the post…That is the emotion these guys need to show.

    One thing I have noticed lately, is this current edition of the Habs do not “finish” their checks. It’s always “ok you got the puck, I will just stick check you”…they need to hit, hit and hit!

    I never watched much apart from the tail end of the 3rd, but how did Dumont play?

    • Les-Habitants says:

      Played well – was involved and moving his feet.

      The most promising thing of the entire game I saw was Weber. Really played strong, good skater and moved the puck well. Davis and Cube try, but they aren’t top 4 D. If there was ever a time or a need for Weber to step up his game, now is it.

      • RiverviewCanadien says:

        that’s right he was in the lineup last night. good to hear he played well considering his limited use this year…hopefully he gets back to back games tonight

  7. Les-Habitants says:

    The team’s foundation all season has been our top 4 Dmen, they are from where our counter-attack begins and when they falter, so does the team. Emelin’s loss is huge, and until Diaz comes back the team will have to make do with playing Davis and Cube more and in tougher situations. Weber put in his best showing in a long, long time. He moved the puck effectively, played the body, and won most of his puck battles in the corner. I wouldn’t mind seeing Weber with Markov, and have Cube and Davis back on the 3rd pairing.

    There were some positives to be taken from this game, notably in the latter half. The team never quit, and kept pushing back. They were frustrated, mad, but the team competed to the final siren. This team looks frustrated, but showed they still cared and believed.

    Every team has a slump and this is ours. You want your team to face true adversity, which we haven’t this season. Here’s the test – we have a few games to prove that 85% of the season wasn’t simply a mirage.

    • Grabbed The Cup says:

      Very well said sir.

      You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Unger!

  8. Captain aHab says:

    It still seems to me that the collapse was a little too closely tied to clinching to be a mere coincidence. My guess is that this team will get the mojo back and surprise people in the playoffs…they won’t win the Cup but I don’t think other teams will simply walk over them. Our goalies will however have to stop giving up 2 goals per game that they should stop. If they can’t start doing that, then one of our 2nd rounders will be spent on a goalie.

    The other thing I would like to see is MT giving more time to the Eller line. I mean Moen got more TOI than Galchenyuk last night. I know there were lots of penalties but think about that a bit. The only forward who played less than him was Dumont. Galchenyuk has 5 goals in his last 7 games fer crying out loud. I say take the plunge and give the kid the ice time. If people are worried about his D then put a responsible winger with him and Eller….say Prust and release the kraken.

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

  9. Marcusman says:

    They need to sit Moen…play Dumont more…1st NHL goal last night…kids got a quick release…ala Ryder.

  10. Blade says:

    Habs have to come out faster in the opening period. Not necessarily score first (although that would be nice for a change), but set a better tone than they have over the last three opening periods. At the beginning of the season I would have been doing cartwheels if you told me they would have clinched a playoff spot with 7 or 8 games still to play, but the way this team played in the first 40 games has made me greedy. But to have them in such a downward spiral is a real downer.

  11. adamkennelly says:

    I didn’t watch a second of the game last night – why – cause I thot it started at 6:30 my time, and when I turned it on – was first intermission and we were down 3-0…at least I saved a few hours of torture…

    MB f-ed up – he could have made improvements to this team at the deadline without giving up too much. He was saying to his team – we are not good enough to make a real run at it – so we’ll stick with what we got and take it from there. Rookie mistake.

    Here is what happened – we lost some key guys, opposing coaches figured out how to counter our systems – and – as always happens in that case..teams start running around, getting away from basics and all hell breaks lose.

    I coached for many years – and one thing always holds true..each player must do their job and you must count on everyone else doing their’s…as soon as 1 guy starts doing “too much” – because other’s may not be doing enough – everything falls apart.

    • I won’t blame management, he needs to access this team. Find the weaknesses and build from there.

      You can’t properly do that when you are in 2nd place overall :)

      You still heading to Montreal?

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

    • He clearly knew more than we did. We weren’t as good as our numbers. There were signs throughout the season like the 6-3 collapse to the Islanders, the often repeated 6-0 TO and 5-1 TO ripping, the Buffalo loses, etc… He knew and he did what he had to do. Hold the pics and keep building. I like Bergevin. He seems thoughtful, personable and sharp. He’s not listening to amateur armchair quarterbacks. He has a job to do and this team first and foremost had to bring it’s class back and that he has. I’ll give him props. MT, that’s another story. I didn’t like the hire and am still out on his ability to roll, rotate and avoid the punches. I think he was brought in for the short term to help with the young talent and when they mature and improve, he’ll be moved out.
      I also said three months ago on HIO that the Canadiens would be in the playoffs but fall to 7th or so because they were playing over their heads and here we go. Still happy there will be playoff hockey. Happy they gave us some remarkable come-backs and showed real character. Just now, it’s tough to see what is happening as they have been pulled apart like a well done Decarie Bar-b-q chicken!

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

  12. 24 Cups says:

    I’m not sure that this is a sign that the team is basically in a slump, but it just might be.

    At the end of last night’s game I tried to name the three best Habs that played against Pittsburgh. I came up with just two – Galchenyuk and Dumont. If you want to add a Dman then I might just go with Weber. Surely this has to be a sign that the team in general is slumping, it’s a lot more than just Price or Budaj. No player is standing out, playing over his head or rallying the troops. It’s like most of them have all hit the wall at the very same time.

    I keep hearing that this slide is partly due to the Emelin injury. If that’s true, then this team was never as good as people thought during the past three months.

    As for deadline deals, I think you have to ask yourself two questions. How many traded players (With NTC) would ever have wanted to come to Montreal? Now look at the remaining trades and ask which one you would have wanted for Montreal (keeping in mind the price you would have to pay)?

    The Habs are going to play Toronto in the playoffs. That much is all but certain. The only question seems to be home ice advantage. Montreal’s year could come down to beating the laffs. If the team can’t then the whole season is basically out the window. That’s my daily nightmare as the Habs stumble through the remaining half dozen games.

    • They’re the same team that played the first 40 games. Maybe Emelin really hurt more than we know, but it shouldn’t. He’s one guy.

      Last night this is what I saw and the points I bring up are the exact same points I bring up in peewee.

      1. Puck support in the corner. You can not stand 4 feet away from a one on one battle and hope he wins and you get the puck.
      2. Defense have to recognize sooner that we lost a battle in the offensive zone and get back to the neutral zone faster. Watch Galchenyuk on almost every shift, he’s the first one back because he sees we lost control.
      3. Price’s new gear (I don’t even know if he’s wearing it), his lateral isn’t as smooth as it was. Pucks are not being caught because the glove is awkward and his butterfly is letting in pucks that he normally stops.
      4. STOP BLOCKING SHOTS. Now Now not every time, but when there’s no opponents at the net let it go through, other teams are directing pucks to the net and scoring a ton of goals.
      5.Defense, know when to take the shooter and the passer, not both.
      6. Stop skating by the puck, hammer the guy no matter how small you are.
      7. Be a little *&(). Fleury absolutely hated having players in his face and the four times he hit back all our guys did was stand there.

      And those are points that a peewee coach caught.

      Oh and stop being a bunch of Silly Sally’s, you really enjoy the face wash that much?

      FYI if you can’t tell. Stamkos can shoot and score from every where. Always high, so move the butterfly to the closet.

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

  13. To all the Mods

    Great work so far. It was horrible reading here last night, at least you dumped most of the posters and we thank you.

    Over the last few days you the amount of quality posting has be minimal, things will pick up after a win.

    But wow, members here OVER react to a slump.

    Hockey 101, it happens.

    The sooner people realize this the better it will be for all.

    Learn from the older members, and stop living through your team.

    Smile and wave :)

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

    • Fansincebirth says:

      +1

      I used to be an HIO addict before but not so much lately. Too much poison in here.

      2 weeks ago folks were ready to place a crown on MT & MB’s heads and were kissing the feet of all who wore the CH. Lose a few games (albeit being outplayed badly) and it’s OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!

      I asked our commissionaire (rabid Bruins fan) if Bruin fans were as bi-polar as Habs fans were….he laughed and said no…..we are something special.

      At the start of the ‘season’, nobody gave the Habs a chance and expected another bottom dweller but somehow, a new coach and front office produced somewhat of a miracle and we had a top contender suddenly. To our collective amazement, though 40ish games the wheels didn’t fall off and they continued to perform mightily.

      We’re made the playoffs in good standing, something that NOBODY expected so I’m willing to cut them some slack right now and see how things play out tonight and for the next four games after. There are some key injuries that are keeping some on the sidelines and some are skating through it but come playoff time, we should be fairly healthy.

      Time to relax and cut them a little slack boys and girls…..

      • I work from home, and check the pages 10 times an hour, the last three games, maybe 5 times each day. The cliff jumpers are pretty funny but the comic relief wears off after a while.

        I can’t wait to get to Montreal, my dream of a Leafs Habs playoff birth may come true but will be a long one because there are teams catching the Leafs and the Habs are playing poorly.

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

    • Captain aHab says:

      +2,000,000. People need to chill a bit. I also laugh at people saying the mods are too active and that people will leave if they keep doing it……which is exactly what you want: make the idiots leave.

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

      • Clay says:

        Laugh all you want Captain, but it wasn’t just modding the crazies – it was modding any mention of the goalies. That is unacceptable.

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

        • Captain aHab says:

          If they decide to mod me because I’m impersonating a pirate, they can do that and I have a choice to stay or leave. So does everyone.

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

        • Clay you seem like a great member, why would you even want to be apart of mayhem that happens after a game?

          Had the mods not entered some new values, it would have been even more horrible than it was.

          But because they entered the values, the posters who wanted to continue the insanity couldn’t and it was actually funny to read the replies again.

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

          • Clay says:

            I didn’t see the game live Shane – I had to see it after, so I missed the live blog. But I did see this happen the last time, and the mods were deleting innocent comments from posters just because they did not like the poster (that would be the guy with the blue dot avatar).

            So here is my problem. I believe in free speech. I assume someone who has served his country in the military – like you have, and I appreciate you doing so – can agree with me on this. This is stifling people’s right said free speech. I also agree that there are limits to free speech; If someone crosses the line, then ban them and be done with it. But this arbitrary and anonymous modding is happening often because one person doesn’t like another. This is, to me, wrong. Even if I don’t personally agree with what a person says, I will defend his or her right to say it.
            Like I told blue avatar guy – I don’t care if you say something stupid (and he does, all the time), just don’t be a d*%k about it.

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

    • Sholi, I get a slump, bet getting used for target practice? Seeing our skaters wandering around like they are sleep walking? Having a complete collapse of the D and it isn’t because of Emelin, since plenty here were pointing fingers at him for his own mistakes and now he is a D God? Really?
      Let’s be frank, this team was playing well above their heads. Their size IS an issue when Gally can get creamed at any time. How long until he is sidelined for God forbid his entire career? Without any retribution. I loved the air of payback that a Stuabitz brought to the team and yes, I agree, it is a waste of a roster spot and talent trumps truculence, but we need the right mix. So to dump people because they are freaking out is just making the HIO group a homogenous love fest. I get a kick out of some of the Yahoo and TSN like remarks. After all, this collapse isn’t simply a slump. It is a COLLAPSE, plain and simple and after this fun run, it hurts to watch for us and the players and once it’s in their head (like Weber) the team will have a long road to recovery. Sure there is playoff hockey this year, which will make Molson happy, but to see us be ripped apart by anyone and everyone (hopefully not even the lowly Tampa Bay Lightening too) suggests that our pluggers have become unplugged and the rebuild is in full view.

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

      • All your points are valid, and if we see it, then they see it, right? Well we hope they see it otherwise the coaching staff is not as great as a lot thought they were.

        The team is playing completely different, and I will stand by that these guys can still play the way they did the first 40 games.

        I was actually attributing their strong start and middle to an very bad Eastern Conference. :)

        Anyway I listed a number of points somewhere here. They work on those (lol one week before the end) and they’ll be fine.

        Bottom line, defense, defense, defense.

        Upper Line (hehe) stronger!

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

  14. thebonscott says:

    Really we should play tinordi, can he be any worse than gorges, if i am bergevin, i am looking to ship him off this summer, he can’t shoot, and has become a liablity on D.

    Buck the Fruins.

    • This was our captain in waiting last year. Everyone was lauding his shot blocking effort and now, we all want to turf him? So which is it?

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

  15. rhino514 says:

    The team has just lost some confidence. They just need a couple of good games to get it back. Without Emelin, they need to basically play mistake free hockey defensively; they have to be incredibly disciplined and near-perfect. If they get serious about this, I think they can win their first round match-up, which would be agreat thing. If Diaz is ok, and either of Drewiske, Beaulieu, or Webber can play slightly beyond expectations (all three have some upside), we´ll see a pretty comptetitve team in the first round.
    We´ve learned a few invaluable things over the last few games:
    1)Emelin is a pretty decent defenseman, and his physicality is a crucial component for this team
    2) Markov is now a five on five liablity. To what extent, it´s difficult to say. Still the general of the PP, though
    3) Perhaps Gorges´ on-ice contributions have in fact been slightly over-valued. Perhaps he is just a decent bottom pairing defenseman.
    3) The team has a good forward corps, and a good goalie when surrounded by capable defenders. The weakness on the team is at D. It is likely that the forward corps will be at least as good next season, as Galchenyuk and Eller are clearly progressing. Imagine this team with Galchenyuk playing like he has the last few games, or better, next year. The only guy who looks like he may be declining is the captain, but he may yet have another decent year left in him, and we have a real good group of RW prospects in the system.
    4) I personally don´t think it´s as difficult to improve the D as it is to improve one´s offense. The habs have the resources (I hope) to add a solid Dman to the team in the off-season. With that Dman, Subban, and Emelin, they will be ok.

    What I am curious to see is how Therrien responds to the current situation. JM had a sound (and boring) defensive system established where if everyone did their job, the team was difficult to score against. But how does Therrien adapt his system, on the go, which is more agressive and offensively-minded? He implemented a good system, but for whatever reasons, teams have, belatedely, responded, and now, for the first time, really, he needs to really coach and make changes to those responses. If he doesn´t do so, the team will get shellacked.

  16. HabFanSince72 says:

    This year reminds me of the cursed Centennial season. For the first 40 games we were the best team in the conference. Then we hit the iceberg.

    Every game was the same. Optimism for the first few minutes. A few good shifts. And then: collapse, followed by the 5 stages of grief in the course of one game: denial (only one goal down), anger (fire everyone), bargaining (who can we trade for), depression (f*** this team) and acceptance (well at least we get a good draft pick).

    • True dat and thanks to Booner for answering my question of last night as to when the last time we collapsed like this. Very painful… still licking my wounds over and over…

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

    • Chris says:

      And like that Centennial season, two other things are jumping out.

      Like then, Carey Price lost his mojo in a big way and started to lose his calm.

      Like then, the team played well until the injury bug started to decimate the roster. Then the floor gave our and they were never able to recover.

      The Habs simply are not as good as their record indicated…they benefit from suffering no major injuries. But now the injuries are mounting, both in terms of players that are out and in terms of players that are playing hurt.

      Throw in down years from key players like Gorges and Desharnais and you’ve got the recipe for collapse.

      They can of course still right the ship. But I’m not sure that this team was ever the Stanley Cup contender that so many Habs fans were starting to believe they were. They simply lack depth, and they don’t have a superstar to put the team on his back.

  17. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    My last ¢ on all of this, with a terrible analogy. (My specialty!)

    Saying that Bergevin should have done this and that at the trade deadline ignores the fact that it takes 2 GMs to make a trade. It’s like giving a guy a hard time for not taking the beautiful cheerleader to the prom, when he asked her and she said no, because she was already going with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

    The GMs-manqués on HIO would happily throw away a 2nd round pick on a rental player who may or may not make a difference or be a good guy in the room or get hurt… How about taking on a guy who will hopefully help in the short-term, but who comes with 3 more years on his contract?

    Bergevin and Timmins clearly have some very good ideas about what they want to do with the Canadiens roster in the coming years, and are rebuilding to get there. Let’s all remember the train wreck of last season and the intelligent summer that followed it. A few guys were let go, and a few more guys were brought in. The guys Bergevin signed on July 1st: Bouillon, Armstrong, and Prust. Those three guys brought so much to the team this year, much more than expected. (Living in NYC, I got to see Prust on the hockey-watching box quite often, and was very excited by his signing.)

    And the team selected Galchenyuk with the #3 pick, despite his season having lost an entire season to injury and recovery. He has been excellent this shortened season. And let’s not forget Gallagher, who was on nobody’s pre-season list as a Calder candidate, and played his way onto the short list.

    Last thought is for last night’s game. The Habs are on their season-worst 3-game losing streak. And we’re all pulling our hair out. The sky is not falling. Those are clouds. Let’s see how the Habs play in their last 5 games and the playoffs before we blow the whole thing up and start from scratch. (In our minds.)

    Go Habs!

  18. Brinkley says:

    Agree with Bonne, 100% (even the part about “qualifying” for another Galchenyk).

    When you compare Habs roster to that of the Bruins and Pens – how have the Habs hung with these teams for 40 + games?

    In overacheiving, Habs exceeded expectations this season – it will take time to clean up an inherited mess and build a true Cup contender.

    Hopefully, Bergevin has learned from a few of his contract mistakes
    (Mowen, Bouillon, Desharnais).

    GO HABS!

  19. twocents says:

    Well, I neither saw, or listened to, last night’s game, but looking over the boxscore and reading Boone’s blog, I think there’s a good chance things turned in the second half of that game. We’ll know tonight.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Eric – It was just like the past two games – the contest was over before it barely started. The final score was 6-4 but all signs point to a team that is in a slump on all fronts which includes all parties involved.

      Find a highlight reel and watch Dumont score his first NHL goal as well as a master stroke by Galchenyuk.

      One thing I know for sure is that if the team is going to be built around three equal lines then those lines need to be centred by Pleks, Eller and Galchenyuk. A solution to a decade long problem is staring us right in the face. DD needs to move to the wing next October. If not, flip him for another asset that can fill a different hole in the lineup.

  20. andykirstein says:

    Size matters in hockey!
    It’s a fact Mr Bergevin, we both know it.
    I back your long term plan completely, but please add some girth to this team next year. Prust cannot protect Dodge by himself much longer. I’m tired of watching the boys get sand kicked in their face for the last 5 yrs.
    until they make the rinks bigger we must conform to the way the game is now played.
    Let us all remember that Auriel Joliet played on the same dimensions. A Star in his day at 5’5″ and 145 pounds.

  21. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Is there a gag order on the word
    B
    U
    D
    A
    J
    ?

  22. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Is there a GAG order on the word Budaj?

  23. Moose12 says:

    Boone is bang on. This year was a complete surprise and very enjoyable, but the main problems were not fixed. The addition of Prust and Armstrong were helpful, but not enough,.Our D is still small and soft, and we have too many small forwards, it will take time to completely overhaul the roster. So have the picks, to make serious trades, so the future is bright.
    As for now, the book is out on us, and so it will be a rough ride to the end of the season and in the playoffs.

  24. Small_Town_Boy says:

    MT crapped the bed last night. It was Carey’s time to rest, reflect & watch a game from the another view. But instead MT pulls PETER after 3 goals & puts price in. Why? MT had no problem keeping Carey in net for multiple 5 & 6 goal games.

  25. Danno says:

    He Who Shall Not be Named:

    B
    U
    D
    A
    J

    ________________________________________

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

  26. Danno says:

    Testing… Budaj… Testing…

    ________________________________________

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

  27. 365fan says:

    To quote CP: Everyone needs to chill out.

    If we had been told on January 18th that by April 18th that we would have clinched a playoff spot but would also have been going through our first 3 game losing streak of the season, WE WOULD HAVE GLADLY ACCEPTED THAT.

    THis is a rebuilding year. Despite that, as a bonus, we have a team going to the playoffs and is capable to doing damgage. As of now we have 3 of the first 36 picks in this year’s draft, good prospects in the system, and a good management team.

    I think that the most overrated comment among pundits is that they always award the cup to the team that has played the best for the last 10 games of the season. I like it when a team struggles a bit in those 10 games as it avoid complacency, forces it to address bad habits, and saves momentum for the playoffs.

    We are ok. Give the guys a chance to play their way out of this.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Well said, 365.

    • Chris says:

      Playing well entering the playoffs isn’t a requirement.

      But Montreal is a team that is succeeding due to swagger and confidence. When they lose that confidence, when other teams feel like they can get into their heads, they get into trouble fast.

      We’ve been seeing this for years. Some teams handle adversity well. Some teams need an aura about them to do damage.

      Everything goes out the window when you get a goaltender playing ungodly well for a round or two, as we saw in 2009-10. But hockey is a heavily mental game, and the Canadiens have AWFUL body language across the board right now.

      The goalies don’t trust the skaters. The skaters are rolling their eyes or looking skyward on a lot of the goals against right now. Therrien looks clueless.

      The Habs, at the moment, are in rather serious trouble. I agree with you that we should be happy with the way the team has played.

      But let’s also put this in perspective.

      In 2008-09, the Montreal Canadiens were 27-11-6 after 44 games. They were fighting for the conference lead, and we were all thinking happy thoughts. Then the injuries started piling up, Price lost his mojo while fighting a nagging injury and the coaching staff suddenly looked heavily overmatched. The Habs staggered to a 14-19-5 finish, had goaltending issues (neither Halak nor Price could get it going), and were lambasted in the first round against the Bruins.

      This year’s Habs are starting to look a little like 2008-09. The injuries have started to hit them after they stayed pretty healthy to start the season. With Diaz and Emelin out and Kaberle banished, the vaunted blueline depth is non-existent. With Bourque and Armstrong out, the team lost the forward depth that had made it so successful. And now nagging injuries to Plekanec and Pacioretty have taxed that group even more, as has the slumps of Desharnais and Gionta. Throw in the struggles of Markov and Gorges, and this team could easily have a February to forget.

      The problem this season is that there is no February to work out the kinks. They go into the playoffs in this headspace, and they are going to get blasted in the first round, no matter who they play.

      • 365fan says:

        Good points. At the end of the day, even if we do get blasted in the playoffs it has been a remarkabe turnaround year for the organization. Gallagher and Galchenyuk alone are going to be very good for a very long time. PK has gone from a question mark to Norris frontrunner. Salary cap problems have or will be thrown overboard. We still have work to do, but not as much work as needed to be done 1 year ago and because of that I am trying to be optimistic. Plus, you never know what is going to happen in the playoffs, good or bad, so the final chapter of this year’s team still has not been written.

  28. Small_Town_Boy says:

    MT crapped the bed last night. It was Carey’s time to rest, reflect & watch a game from the another view. But instead MT pulls Budaj after 3 goals & puts price in. Why? MT had no problem keeping Carey in net for multiple 5 & 6 goal games.

  29. Small_Town_Boy says:

    MT shate the be a few times this season & last night was one. Budaj should have stayed in the net all game. He had no trouble keeping Price in the net on a few 5+ goal games. It was Carey’s time to rest & look at thee games from a different view.

  30. Clay says:

    @ all the MODS:
    I was reading the game thread, and it seems that the mods were being heavy-handed again. I called out you guys the other day, and I’m doing it again. Don’t over-reach. Your job is not to decide that one goalie or another can’t be criticized. Your job is to get rid of personal attacks, profanity, and hate speech. And the fact that the person(s) doing it don’t have the guts to reveal themselves is pathetic.
    Boone – this needs to stop. Do something about this, or you will lose people here. It’s out of hand.

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

  31. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    We’re all a little dramatic. This team is in rebuild. It has been all season. That’s all.
    It has played wonderfully, and has now gotten into trouble. It’s a bump in the road – a road which has probably never never been to a Cup (barring a welcome fluke).
    Changes are needed, and Bergevin doesn’t have time at Hogwart’s on his resume. Draft a little, trade a little, shift a few parts. I expect there is a plan in place, and that this team will also turn it around. The awful games we’ve seen this week reflect a long term view – the team needed another defenceman, and didn’t get one because the price was next season.
    It’s the Internet and HIO as we know and love it has been under a massive denial of reality attack recently. The level of despair and negativity has been a joke, as have most of the recent postings. That’s the only real casualty of this slump. I don’t think HIO has ever been this dismally stupid before.

  32. Danno says:

    For the third straight game, the Canadiens looked tremendously ordinary and the starting goalie was pulled. It’s time to stop this nonsense.

    ________________________________________

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

  33. Top Corner says:

    Reverse The JINK !!!!!

  34. smiler2729 says:

    Slumps suck!!

    You all can dissect it anyway you want and you’re all right on many of your points but it’s simply a slump, one where everyone is equally at fault from the coach to the players…

    The team actually looked like its mojo was coming back when they made it 5-3 with 10 minutes left but my boy Plackanack lost his customary defensive zone face off and deflected a simple wrister going 6 feet wide into his own net. Yeah….
    He’s gotta be off season trade fodder, him and Markov the sloth.

    There, I vented.

    Slumps suck.

    • Aaron13 says:

      Plekanek is afraid if hitting or being hit although he was more aggressive last night. As you said, he’s unable to win the majority of faceoffs and he’s consistently not covering anyone when the opposition is in front of our net – not worth $5M. We can find someone who is worth that kind of money.

    • Aaron13 says:

      I agree that Pleks is useless. He doesn’t win the majority of faceoffs, won’t hit anyone and is afraid of being hit, is never close enough to take out an opposing player near our net, is consistently first off and last on during a shift change.

      As for Markov, as good as he was, he has slowed down and is only effective on the PP with Emelin. Sad…

  35. Un Canadien errant says:

    Well, we can kiss a few trophies goodbye after tonight’s game.

    First, Lord Stanley’s chalice will not come home this summer, our lineup being more reminiscent lately of the Washington Generals than a contender. When the Canadiens were chasing after the puck in their own zone, a step behind the Pens, and usually, sadly, when Andrei Markov was on the ice, I’d hit skip back on my PVR and watch the sequence again, but while whistling “Sweet Georgia Brown”. It made me feel marginally better. It seems the removal of the Emelin of Clubs has brought the whole house of cards crashing down.

    Second, if there had been any hope that Carey would win the Vézina, it was obliterated tonight, ground into dust and blown away. At the same time, Michel Therrien’s decision to re-insert him into the lineup after one period, mere hours after he was worked hard in practice to recapture his form, and after the head coach had stated publicly he needed to sit out a game and gather his composure, may have sunked his chance to nab the Jack Adams.

    Finally, P.K. regressed back to last year’s level with tonight’s showing. There was talk on RDS how he needed to ‘win the battle’ against Kris Letang to sway voters his way. It didn’t happen. The latter got 2 assists and played his heady, flashy game, while P.K. started well but disintegrated at the end.

    P.K. is a target of the opposition fans, and of his opponents. There is a bullseye on his back, even discounting the personal angle, in that he is the most potent threat on the Canadiens roster, and the one who must be hit constantly and slowed down. This is especially true now that Alexei Emelin has been knocked out of the season. So the Penguins unfailingly finished their checks on him and banged him up, but he was a warrior and kept racing back for the puck, absorbing hits to clear it, and skating and being effective, until he lost his composure with the game seemingly out of reach.

    Early in the third, with the score 6-3 in favour of the Pens, he battled hard in the corner against Joe Vitale for the puck, absorbing a hard check, then another from Brenden Morrow. Inexplicably, P.K. decided this was a good time and a worthy opponent to have a fight against. He punched/crosschecked him, then dropped the gloves, but got himself turned around and in an awkward position by going in with a big haymaker and missing. Having his back to Mr. Morrow, he managed to get a headlock on him and feed him a couple of jabs/noogies, until they were separated by the linesmen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGsx8kv_X-Y

    P.K.’s reaction was worrisome, in that he clowned it up, smiling and laughing as if this whole ordeal was no big deal, as if he hadn’t caused it and kind of messed it up, and as if he’d proven a point or won something. Based on the tepid stick-taps he got from half his teammates on the bench, they were as confused and unimpressed as I was. In the box, Brenden Morrow and P.K. kept jawing at each other, with the former caught on camera clearly saying to P.K. that they would meet again on the ice in five short minutes.

    It got worse. P.K. played another shift or two after his penalty expired, but then got embroiled in a shoving match with other Penguins, while safely chaperoned by a linesman to ensure he wouldn’t have to actually back up his antics. Sure enough, they quickly surrounded him and expelled him from the game, and he seemed not unrelieved to not have to finish the game.

    In one game, P.K. managed to destroy all the good work he’d done so far this season. As PJ Stock had inelegantly tried to explain, the biggest hurdle for the Norris Trophy was the bad reputation he’d built up over the years, some of it undeserved. Regardless, the way to combat this is for him to play hard, wow onlookers, and keep his nose clean, both in games and off the ice. He can play tough, he can play mean, but he can’t play dirty or dive or mug or embellish. He can’t start fights and not finish them and act as if he’s better than that, since he frigging started it.

    So as far as the showdown against Kris Letang, P.K. lost it in a rout. And this isn’t only a concern for the Norris Trophy, if he cared about that, but also for a spot on the Canadian Olympic Team. Before tonight, it might have seemed as if his inclusion was a done deal, his game having been transformed compared to last season. He’d moved the needle from “What a chippy, chirpy douche” to “Not really my cup of tea, but man can that kid play hockey” steadily over the season, but slid all the way back to “I hope Brenden Morrow destroys him next time they play.”

    Now, he’s given the management team real reason to question his focus, his determination, his mental toughness, his fit in the dressing room. They are going to ask themselves, with Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty and Kris Letang already on the roster, do they need another puck carrier and offensive weapon like P.K., with all the risks he brings with him in terms of undiscipline and bad penalties, a guy who could possibly win the game for you, but also certainly can lose it too, or do you go with steady-eddie Marc Staal? When the pressure’s on, does P.K. rise to the occasion, or does he melt down?

    Some will argue that P.K. is still young, and has a lot of pressure on him, and it’s understandable that he’d snap. I agree with this only partially, in that it’s something that young stars have to deal with. Jonathan Toews and Steve Stamkos get hit and slashed and gooned too, and they deal with it without the fracas that we saw tonight. They don’t lose their excrement. Ray Bourque as a young man was the only worthwhile player on the Bruins, and the Canadiens knew this, and in the playoffs were relentless, the big forwards like Claude Lemieux and Sergio Momesso and Dave Maley et al. would pound on him without fail, anytime he touched the puck. He’d wilt by the end of the series, but he always kept skating and playing hard and you’d have to give him his due. Chris Chelios was another defenceman who was a marked man on the Canadiens, and some nights you wondered if he’d get out of the rink alive, but he kept playing and skating and fighting. P.K. has to toughen up and do the same if he wants to be considered as an elite defenceman.

    Oh, and Brendan Gallagher, despite his winning smile, now is out of the running for the Lady Bing.

    So the wheels have fallen off, the roadster is on closer inspection a rattling jalopy, and we’re looking like sitting ducks going in the playoffs. We thought there’d be jockeying for position so as to face the South-East Division champ, but now teams must be licking their chops at the prospect of going against Nos Glorieux.

    And now, when I check the standings, I’ll be more interested in how the Preds and Flames are doing, wondering where our second-round draft picks are going to land.

    ———————————————————————–

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • BJ says:

      “In one game, P.K. managed to destroy all the good work he’d done so far this season. ” Are you kidding? PK is a great player and was still showing some emotion as it seemed everyone else had given up. Was he frustrated? Sure he was, so what? It shows he wants to win. Our best player so far this year, so he blows a fuse, big deal. And he’ll be judged for the Norris on this one incident, no way.

    • Lafleursmoke says:

      Nice well-written blog, but Price wasn’t a Vezina candidate before this game and Gallagher wasn’t in the Lady Bing race. Calder, he might be a finalist.

      Seriously, what have people seen in Price in 6 years that has warranted such high expectations? His stats have never been top 10 in the league. The only reason he is treated like “Jesus” Price is because he was drafted 5th overall. He is also 8-15 in the playoffs.

      Can we please lower our expectations for Carey and just let him be who he is : a decent #1 goalie. (Oops we pay him like a top 3 goalie in the league)

      • Small_Town_Boy says:

        The expectations were not Carey’s doing.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        According to a recent TSN coaches poll, Carey was the leading candidate for the Vézina in the Eastern Conference. I didn’t necessarily see it myself, but if he finished out the season strong maybe he could have pulled it off. It goes to show the high esteem he’s held in by NHL insiders.

        http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=420953

        I have said in the past that Carey is an excellent goalie, but suffers from being constantly compared to Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden. He can never replicate what those two did: winning a Conn Smythe and a Cup in his rookie year.

        As for the Brendan Gallagher remark, it was a joke. I love the kid, but his style of play is not conducive to winning the Lady Bing. I was making an oblique reference to his many high-sticking penalties in this game. Riffin’ on the theme.

    • Aaron13 says:

      Dear Ineptitude. I read your blog and see that you’re a P.J. Stock fan. How sad. People laugh at his stupid comments – I think he’s a bigot as well.

      You really are an ignorant toad. Did it ever enter your mind that Morrow made racist comments to P.K., which incensed him? I’m not comparing P.K. to Jackie Robinson but both are/were outstanding athletes in a predominantly white game – as was basketball.

      • Dust says:

        did you just make that up about Morrow making racist comments towards PK. If you did, that’s horrible and ignorant

      • Clay says:

        You need to go away, and post your bile elsewhere.

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

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Post of the Day!

        (Had two possible replies in mind: this one, which took three seconds; or another one which would have required an hour, its own thread, and my fingers would have melted the surface of my keyboard!)

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Thanks for the write-up, UCE (I missed the game), but you sound depressed!

      Last three games have been ugly. However, if the season ended today, how would you rate the overall trajectory of the team?

      And it doesn’t end today and the playoffs will be different. Little chance of a Cup just yet, but interesting and rewarding for us to watch nonetheless. imo.

      (btw, you may need to take Aaron(aged)13 outside the classroom for a little talk).

      (also btw, your description of the PK-Morrow incident was so awful I couldn’t bring myself to click on the link and watch it!)

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Thanks Mike. It’s hard to see the team fall apart like this. Where’s the work ethic, the team concept, the Magic Mike Therrien Touch? I had my expectations raised, after not expecting much before the season. I thought we’d finish in twelfth. Now I think we’re going to be Leafs fodder in the playoffs.

        I think the coaching staff will sit down with P.K. and go over the events of the third period. He’s a bucking bronco who plays close to the edge, but he can’t cartwheel over it like he did last night. They’ll talk to him about how to conduct business, how to stay out of the penalty box, and if you have to go be all business, stay focused, and come back out and play hard. He can’t take himself out of the game because he’s frustrated, he’ll be even more of a target for opponents.

  36. HaBo says:

    I agree w those who say MB should’ve found more depth at the deadline and he prob wld’ve had he seen this collapse coming. But,it’s not over til it’s over, so as hard as it seems, lets not give up on our team yet. There is a good reason they got the points they did; they earned them fair and square. They can still go on a tear even if they back into the playoffs. It doesn’t seem likely
    but don’t give up too quickly.

  37. violenceforthecup says:

    one guy on the team cant do it all…white stepped up and nows out 5 games, prust is always giving it his all. Losing emelin clearly shows in the weak and soft d the habds have. georges is leading the team in being the biggest softy….it goes on and on .

    heroes:jack todd , boone, white, prust, gallagher ,dumont,subban
    zeroes: georges, dreweske, price,moen

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

    • savethepuck says:

      Obviously you don’t like Josh, but he’s been a Hab since 2007 and he’s signed for 5 more years. Could you please learn to spell his last name. I know how it sounds, but it’s spelling is Gorges..

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • The Dude says:

        Don’t mean Gorges is here for long and who care’s about the spelling at this time of night. The man has a right to his opinions ,leave him alone ! It’s a hockey forum for all Hab fans not fascist !

        • thehabs21 says:

          Well said Dude, too many douches on here like MATTYLEG who care about the spelling more then the thoughts and opinions that people are sharing. Its just crazy all year you had to pinch yourself and say “seriously? first in the division? too good to be true. The team we all thought they would be has shown up. That being said, The team has surprised us already and i wouldn’t be surprised if they get fired up for the post season and put a solid run together.

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

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            “then” in your second line should be “than”

            Also, “Its” in line 4 should be “It’s”.

            (Totally agree with your positive view of the team and the points you make — except that ML is a douche!)

  38. Rad says:

    It’s not just that the Habs have lost 3 straight in an otherwise good year. It’s the way that they lost those three games. The boys were physically beaten. Abused. Intimidated. Demoralized. Exposed.

    From Nazem Kadri boarding Eller and Gallagher with impunity, to Hartnell, Simmonds, and Luke Schenn taking runs at our kids, to Timonen bouncing Ryder off the end boards like a rag doll, to tonight where we were outhit 33 – 21, with Brooks Orpik and Tanner Glass knocking down Habs all night. It’s the same old story in Montreal. System or no system, we can’t compete with the big boys when the going gets tough.

  39. gmur says:

    Last three games… Montreal outhit 100 to 65. Can’t do that in the playoffs…

  40. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …great moment when Boston’s fans took over singing the American anthem from Rene Rancourt

    …I hate the Bruins :) …but I love the City of Boston and the spirit of Americans

    • Seps says:

      Absolutely agree, totally enjoyed that. Only time their USA chant hasnt made me shake my head either.

    • savethepuck says:

      Agreed, nobody should ever put their hate for a rival sports team ahead of common humanity for a community that just went through a tragedy.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • BJ says:

        I hope everyone remembers that the next time the US uses one of its drones on Pakistan. People are people and suffering is equal in any country.

        • avi says:

          Maybe when Pakistan and other like-minded countries start have equal rights for minorities (i.e. non-Muslims), women, homosexuals, and other vulnerable members of society the drones will disappear.

          Just sayin

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            But in the meantime, keep bombin’, maimin’ and killin’. YEAH!! Let’s BEAT those damn people into equal-rights submission! If we can just keep smashing Pakistan and other like-minded countries hard enough, they’ll be doling out human rights like free perfume samples and they’ll all be running lesbian Christian and Jewish presidential candidates in next to no time! If ONLY all those like-minded countries could treat all their citizens with fairness and compassion just like we always do here in Canada and the US. When will they ever learn?

  41. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    As much as I enjoy the odd bout of armchair GM-ing, you can’t think that MB could call up any team and offer a donut and a cup of coffee for a top 4 D-man, and be accepted. Not to mention the salary cap. Habs didn’t have the kind of cushion a team like the Penguins did, so couldn’t be bring in big contracts. Only time will tell which team won the Morrow trade, but right now it looks good for the Penguins. I kinda digress, but my point is that the Habs probably did try to make some moves, but nothing stuck except Drewiske for a 5th. Jagr for DD? Would have seemed pretty good this month, but in a few years?… Let’s see how the rest of the season and the playoffs go. Then we can see where the Habs have needs, and with calculator in hand, can discuss realistic moves to build the Habs for 2013/14 and beyond. Cheers and good night.

    • Timo says:

      Well… nobody held gun to MB’s head giving ridiculous contracts to Gorges, Desharnais and Moen. Also, it didn’t look like he was willing to give up more than a 5th round pick. There was nothing wrong with party with at least one of the 2nd round picks.

      One thing I would agree with, nobody probably wanted guys like Moen to begin with. So like with Gomez, Habs are stuck with that useless floater until either his contract runs out or he gets bought out.

      But Bergevin could have done a lot better. There were pretty clear sign that this kind of successful beginning to the season was not sustainable with this team.

  42. The Dude says:

    Only in Texas would someone put a huge seniors care facility next to a big fertilizer plant…WTF.

  43. calvee123 says:

    Sure nice to read posts that are not so hard on this poor team. I really love my Habs, It don’t matter what they do. Always love this team over any team in the NHL. What’s worse we could be the Oilers.

  44. Storman says:

    That fertilizer plant explosion in Waco Texas measured 2.1 on a Richter magnitude scale 25 miles from explosion…

  45. Timo says:

    I was just wondering. Why is it one general manager after another insist of putting a pu$$y a$$ soft team that can’t compete when the going gets tough?

    • Habilis says:

      26 wins and 17 losses.

      That is competitive. They’re just in a slump.

    • Rad says:

      The $64M question, Timo. Year after year, it’s the same thing in Montreal. Incomprehensible.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      My understanding is that Bergevin WAS in fact shopping for some size and grit in the weeks leading up to the deadline. He just didn’t like what was available or the asking price. We know this, right?

      He will be as anxious to avoid icing a pu$$y a$$ soft team as Timo and everyone else.

      I think the patience we had to exercise during the wilderness years is different from what’s needed now. It’ll be fun just to make the playoffs (and it’s the playoffs, so you never know…), but the near future is looking like being even more fun. Thanks to Bergevin, the years of POINTLESS patience are probably over.

  46. matt jordan says:

    The Canadiens are too small. The only people who don’t know it are the past and current Canadiens management.

    I can’t wait for the playoffs. The recipe to beat the Habs is easy: shove them around, there is no one on the team able to stand up to the BS.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Whenever I feel like posting something like this, a voice in my head asks me to consider how much of both big-picture and detail I see compared to how much Canadiens management sees. Then I usually cancel my post.

  47. Timo says:

    Btw, Rene Bourque is back to last year?

  48. Chuck says:

    Meh. We lost by 2 to one of–if not the best–teams in the league. If it ended 3-1 no one would be complaining, at least not as loudly. And we scored 4 on ‘em. Tighten up the D a little, and they’ll be fine.

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  49. habs001 says:

    DD is a perfect player that cup winners/contenders have on their team if he plays 3rd line..He is a 50 point a season player..But right now he is the 4th highest scoring forward on the team and that includes Ryder who had points in Dallas…The problem is that the Habs have limited elite forwards to play in the top 6 and most of the other forwards are 50-60 point players like DD…

  50. johnnylarue says:

    If it’s any consolation, Timo–if you ever really started thinking they could be going somewhere this season, you never really let it on.

    I don’t think you can be accused of waffling. ;)

  51. Timo says:

    I am watching Out of Sight. Jennifer Lopez has such a sweet… ass-et. Ummm!

  52. Dave Jones says:

    Optimism for the “future” sure is a great way to let the moment pass you by. I think MB was in tough at the deadline. The prices were absurdly high and it’s always been understood, by all parties, that a tweak to this Habs team wouldn’t have suddenly made them as frightening as the Pens or Hawks. But there shouldn’t be any forgetting just how good the Habs have looked when healthy this year. It seems fanciful really to imagine that they will certainly be better, and any closer to the Cup, in a few years time just because the rookie GM will have more fully put his stamp on the team. All considered, you have to trust that Bergevin did his best to add to the blueline for a Cup run, and just couldn’t find the right deal. But arguing that he knew better than to trade anything to help this team right now, and so was wise not to try, is to argue he wasn’t doing his job. It’s to ignore how good the Habs looked, to ignore the value of a deep playoff run, to ignore what we always knew was the hole–depth on the backend. We didn’t get help at the deadline, that’s acceptable. We have cause for faith in the direction things are going. But when you have a division leader in April and you don’t successfully attend the team’s vulnerability, that is regretful, a real missed opportunity. To say otherwise is to disrespect this Habs team and this memorable season.

    • Dave Jones says:

      That said, Diaz will return. Tinordi and Beaulieu could still prove effective. And Drewiske is at least an NHLer. The goaltending will be better. There’s time for this team to get healthier and better in time for hockey in May. Just don’t tell me the failure to acquire defensive depth at the deadline, for a team that has separated itself in the East with Pittsburgh and Boston, is actually for the best. That disrespects the effort the coach and players have put forth, and disrespects the league, imagining that the Habs will automatically threaten in the years to come (I promise you, there are more than a few teams in the league looking ahead to better years with as much justification as the Canadiens).

    • Mike Boone says:

      I respect your point of view. Well said, sir.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I don’t know…

      The Habs were looking quite good at the deadline: Emelin was healthy, Diaz was (is) on his way back. With those two, I’m quite confident that everything would have been fine.

      With the loss of two genuine Top 4 defensemen, the Habs are really hurting on the backend. Markov without a decent defensemen means that he no longer can be as effective anymore since he can’t cover up for the other guys’ mistakes, which means that losing Emelin also meant the Habs also lost part of Markov.

      • Dave Jones says:

        But this is my point actually. The Habs were looking great! I don’t think anyone was arguing then that they were the Pens or Hawks, but we had to recognize them as among a top tier in the East (consisting only of three teams) that was capable–never assured, of course–of making a deep run. (The value of which, I might add, is as great for the viewing fans as for the development of a still young core). However, it was also understood, with Diaz having been out for a month, and Markov not the Markov of old (er, young?), that the defence needed help, or would need it eventually, given the inevitability of injuries. My argument is only that, we really had something (and do still, hopefully), but that something was vulnerable in an apparent way, and acquiring depth on the blueline was critical if this impressive, and yes, absolutely courageous team was going to make noise in May. Therefore, to honour both this club and this league, every effort should have been made to get that depth. Bergevin has given us enormous confidence. You just have to believe that every phone call, every offer, was made that was at all reasonable; or, you have to make assumptions about the future that seem, to me, unfair to the present. I still believe in what MB is doing, and so conclude that he swung and missed at the deadline. That’s understandable. Lots of teams looking to improve, no doubt. And the future is bright. But nonetheless, a missed opportunity. Hardly the end of the world. But frustrating. Let’s see what the next two weeks bring. Perhaps there are answers that have not yet announced themselves. In the meantime, I’ll keep it locked to HIO. They can’t take that “x” away from us, and so we will have that puncher’s chance (perhaps a poor metaphor for our diminutive squad, but you get the point!).

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          I guess my opinion is this: the depth that the Habs would have had to acquire, i.e., ‘spare’ Top 4 defensemen, would have been much too expensive and simply not worth it. It would have amounted to giving away the draft picks ‘earned’ through last season, which will and has only happened very, very sparingly.

          What other team got a Top 4 defenseman vefore the deadline? I think only Jay Bouwmeester would have fit the bill, and he would have cost a 1st rounder.

        • Storman says:

          Although i absolutely know MB made every call 100 times and every attempt to make something happen, my complaint is that in the end, he decided not too hit, he did not swing and miss.. He over valued the picks he had in the bank, he over valued his pro scouts telling him Davis Drewiske was a steal,, he over values the finger print those 2nd and 3rd round picks he could not trade will put on the future of the team. Yes teams were not giving away Robyn Regehr’s,,Ryan Clowe’s,, or even a Ryan Obyrne,, but looking at what is happening and being around hockey my whole life, he will have to learn from this , he was totally gun shy, and seeing what is happening to his team through a couple of key injuries, that experience tell you will happen,,he let his team down, by the lack of being able to pull the trigger on some help for a well deserving team and year, the players would have appreciated something especially after the year they are having,,..with no guarantees for the future..

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Very well said.
      (If I’d scrolled up instead of down I would have seen your excellent post and not bothered with my paltry effort!)

  53. knob says:

    This team will have a decent run. They won’t make it past the conference semi-finals though. If there were any moves at the trade deadline, I would have prefered to see some of the older guys moved out for good prospects and draft picks.

  54. NLhabsfan says:

    I have to agree …the glass is half full..Are you optimistic or do keep looking at all the bad for these last 3 games.Lets see what left after the dust is settled with seasons end.Whom are the HABS playing and as much as I have been surprised by the wins this season..Maybe the playoffs might surprise us all.

  55. Sportfan says:

    Time to sleep off this day haha final words can we finally break DD patches and Gally apart please…

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Timo says:

      You know, I think at this point it won’t make any freaking difference. Except for young guys Habs veterans are shitting the bed again. Paciorrety will not start magically driving the next if you put little girl Plekanec as his center, or Eller.

      The team is broken now. There is no amount of line shuffling that will make them start winning games again this season. They are done.

  56. Sportfan says:

    SO as I mentioned before is anyone else surprised we didn’t sign the 5’10 rookie from UNI who went to the Oilers? Funny enough he fits in Edmonton too…

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  57. knob says:

    Hard to imagine that a guy who plays 10 minutes a game has as many points as Gionta. Good on you Galchenyuk!

    • johnnylarue says:

      …in his first half season of pro hockey, no less.

      Boone did well to mention it: this season was meant to be a transition year towards a significantly brighter future. The success was accidental… and in a sense, incidental too.

      Barring a shock, the Habs won’t take the cup but at least this season gives them something to build on.

    • Timo says:

      Gionta is a hack.

  58. HFL says:

    I still believe this team is a stanley cup contender. I still believe that this team has a very good chance at winning the cup. Look around the league and tell me how many teams are better than the montreal canadiens. And i am not talking about the canadiens we have seen in the past 3 games or the canadiens that have been playing excellent hockey this whole season. Im talking about the Canadiens that are some where in the middle. I dont think there are a lot of teams that are better than the habs. Chicago, penguins, maybe bruins, anaheim. But overall I still think when you look at all of the teams around the leaugue, I think we have a pretty good shot at making some noise. Habs just need to get back to their system and do what they have been doing well all season

    • knob says:

      If Carey Price can do what Jonathan Quick did, Montreal certainly has a chance!!

    • habs001 says:

      No chance at the cup..This teams roster cannot survive 4 rounds of physical hockey…The talent on this team has a way to go for it to be a cup contender…Many of the players are way overrated because they wear the Habs jersey…If this team was not named the Montreal Canadiens there would no posters saying that this team has a very good chance at winning the cup…

      • HFL says:

        Well in my opinion, I think they still have a just as good of a chance as most teams. Overrated players didnt get the habs into 2nd in the conference, a good team got the habs into second.
        One of the biggest problems with the fans and this team is that they think the sky is falling when the team hits bad times. Its been three games… We went like 20 games without losing a game in regulation. Im more than positive this team can turn it around.

  59. Habilis says:

    Off topic:

    Amateur video of the Waco explosion:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROrpKx3aIjA&feature=youtu.be

    Absolutely unreal.

  60. sheds88 says:

    after Toronto : man what an off night

    after Philly : two in a row ? …..weird

    after Tonight : uh-oh !

  61. Storman says:

    It is a pretty safe bet for me to say , as I have watched amplitudes of Midget AAA, CHL, USHL, US high school. and NCAA, hockey over the years..I know for sure that Alex Galchenyuk, is one the best young players I have seen in years..super stardom awaits..

    Now thinking every draft year there is a Galchenyuk waiting for you is nonsense, even Drouin a top pick this year, he has the ability to be a Marc Savard or he could be maybe just a Joe Juneau,, Thinking we are building something huge for the future by hanging onto all our post 1st round picks,, three 2nd and two 3rd round picks is nonsense,

    We did not have a mirage team this year you dont win as often as Montreal did without having a legitimate chance at competing for a Stanley Cup run… so , Boone i dis-agreee whole heartily, that this team could not have used Ryan Clowe, or even Ryan Obyrne over Davis Drewiske.. MB is not a golden boy who makes no mistakes, and on trade deadline day he missed the bus, and over valued his collection of picks and under estimated what his team needed immediately for a legit run in the playoffs. So his last minute depth addition to the team Davis Drewiske which the media applauded as a great steal was just that , the Kings stole our 5th round pick for an AHL defenseman,,

  62. HardHabits says:

    With Ja Dub in nets. 0 goals for – 3 goals against.
    With Price in nets. 4 goals for – 3 goals against.

    And the 1st period is the Habs best period. The 2nd their worst.

    Take that finger off the panic button.

  63. HardHabits says:

    As long as the Habs don’t finish 8th, I still think they’ll win their 1st round.

  64. NTTIAWWT says:

    The upcoming playoff run, as short or as long as it goes, is Moen’s ticket to salvage or see you later.

  65. Skeptical says:

    This is the way I skeptically see the rest of the Regular season.

    18 April against TB = We Win
    20 April Against Washington = We Lose
    23 April Against New Jersey = We Win
    25 April Against Winnipeg = We Win
    27 April Against Toronto = 50/50

    • The Dude says:

      At this point and time I think we lose the last 2 and the last one badly!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Since they have made the playoffs, is this all moot? Shouldn’t they focus on getting healthy and getting ready for the playoffs? I wouldn’t mind if they gave Markov a week off…

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

  66. Bill H says:

    If we bring back Huet, we are ready for a Cup run. Anyone know if he is available?

    • knob says:

      so we can watch the series decisive goal scored on a dump in by Cory Stillman at the blue line again? That guy was garbage.

      • The Juice says:

        Whoa, now don’t get me wrong, I am not agreeing with Bill H, but you think Huet was garbage? Had he not been traded at the deadline in ’08 the Habs would have went much deeper after Carey spit the bit…

        __________________________________________________________________________

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

  67. NTTIAWWT says:

    Drinking and commenting while watching the game is a lot of fun.

  68. H.Upmann says:

    I’m alright if we don’t win the cup this year, but not ok if we lose in a series with the Leafs. That is the one series we need to win at all cost.

  69. Curtis O Habs says:

    We won the last 40 minutes!

  70. The Dude says:

    Well Mr Boone,I do believe you have hit the nail on the head…nice!

  71. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    At least Mr. Boone MB did not waste good draft picks to get an overpaid “stop-gap” temporary solution…team is still young.

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

  72. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Do the goalies go on strike?

    BTW wrote their names the first time and got modded…give me a break.

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

  73. habsfan0 says:

    Habs will be OK.

  74. Captain aHab says:

    I didn’t really understand why Tinordi was sat that one game where he played very little. Did he do something real bad? I thought he played quite well when called up. I would actually dress 7 d-men right now to have some flexibility and lower the ice time for some of them.

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

  75. For the last time, please! Tinordi has no size! He’s a bean-pole! He needs to add about 25 pounds minimum before anyone will take him seriously. He has reach, yes, but toughness? Why because he fought a half dozen times. Seriously, do you think an Ott, Lucic or anyone like that is in any way concerned about dropping the gloves with Tinordi. In 2-3 years maybe, but not now… geez.

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

  76. Captain aHab says:

    MB would tell the media that they have to play better ;-D

    Which is the truth.

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

  77. Loonie says:

    Deleted in 3…..2…..1…….

  78. Cal says:

    All class, huh?


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