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. Fred D says:

    I am inclined to think we are throwing the baby out with the bath water.
    Every CH team always has a slump,with few notable exceptions.
    We “clinched” and everybody on the team sighed in relief and “let go” a notch. That is human nature.
    Having watched this game for more years than I like to admit, I feel that this “glitch” is better now than part way into the playoffs.
    I see we did score some goals against Pittsburg and I saw some rare fire show out from Carey Price when he “launched” himself to his left in the last period to make an outstanding save; this after his friend PK showed us a few moves of a pugilistic nature before being pitched out of the game. Sometimes being angry enough helps the focus,sort of the opposite to “chill out”.
    It is impossible to be that good that long and just “go bad” and slide into oblivion. I admit that that we may have been playing over our heads for a bit, but so what? In this game anybody can beat anybody on any given night, and our stats seem to indicate that we have had a good share of “given nights”.
    Interesting finish to this season,methinks!

  2. HabsFan1111 says:

    I really enjoy this column normally, but this one was painfully pessimistic. Boone is a self proclaimed ‘rational fan’ in saying this year is ‘not the year’. Is it irrational to have hope for one of only 5 teams to have already clinched a playoff spot?!? Tell me, how many of you had Phoenix/LA in your pool last year in the West final? Anything can happen in the playoffs, 3 ugly losses has seemed to end the season for Boone?!?

    We’ve got 5 games to gather some momentum heading into the playoffs, then, anything goes…GHG

  3. CHasman says:

    We’re losing and it sucks. It’s a slump and as all slumps go it usually concerns poor goaltending combined with a lack of scoring and not getting any bounces. The scoring isn’t too bad, the goaltending has been poor but the bounces have really killed us. In all three losses we had some pushback but no luck. Either a goalpost or an incredible save to keep us from scoring or a bad bounce off a stick or a skate to put a puck in our net when we were trying to come back. The Habs are struggling but a win tonight will make us all happier. Things will turn around, but we may need some bounces for that to happen.

  4. Sal from the Hammer says:

    What really sucks, despite the way this season went, is that every year, EVERY YEAR, this team does something that lets it’s fans down. That humiliates it’s fans! I don’t think I have to make a list. If you follow the Habs just these past 20 years, I’ve been a follower for 59 years, we all know that a version of the same crap takes place virtually every freakin year. OK, I exaggerate, but, you get my point. This year is shaping up to be an even bigger nightmare, based on the first 40+ games. If that wasn’t the real team, then how did they play so well up to now?

    I know about injuries, but, we all know this is different than just injuries. All of a sudden both goalies are struggling, Josh Georges is a mess, Markov is tired, Moen should not even dress, Prust (a warrior)is a one man show, MT can’t get the team to play a team defense that was so spectacular just a week ago in Buffalo! The list goes on! Very few teams have melt downs greater than the Habs on a year to year basis? From Carbo’s team in 2010-11(Wrong year?), to last years debacle last place finish, to this current travesty, this team, this team that so many of us feel passionate about, disappoints. OK. So I’m pissed. Get a life.

    Here’s the problem. And it’s peculiar to people who live in the GTA especially. If you live in any other part of Canada, you may not be subject to the same level of frustration. In the Hamilton area, where I live, it is like living in a Laff cesspool. How people who live in Hamilton cheer for the Laffs, that play for a city, whose people/media/politicians mock Hamiltonians mercilessly every chance they get, is a lesson in Stockholm syndrome like no other. For me it’s too late. I drank the cool aid a long time ago. I’m a Hab fan to the death. I simply or naively? don’t believe that the Habs have treated their fans with such utter disdain as the Laffs have treated their fans for 45+ years. So it puts them in a whole other category of fan self flagellators in the world of sports. BTW, there are ton of Hab fans here. We all laff at Laff fans!

    So, just when I was starting to strut, to hold my head up high, the team struggles for the last three games. Just got to keep the faith I guess! Don’t worry, I can handle Laff fans. It’s just that they are so thick!!

    • Garbo says:

      Most teams go through slumps each year. I don’t think the Habs are any different.

      • La Duke 16 says:

        Try not to do it in the playoffs!

      • Sal from the Hammer says:

        I hear you Garbo. I’m just fed up with Laff attitude. They have one good year, and, they plan the parade. Plus, they really don’t care if they lose because, unlike Hab fans they don’t get angry, they shrug their shoulders and say wait till next year! Amazing!

    • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

      take solace in this one fact, they are better than last year because of: PRUST, GALLAGHER, GALLY… and to a lesser extent because of RYDER’s return, and the addition of DREW, and SUBBANS vicious season…

      there are a few other bright spots, i think MT and MB have been moving in the right direction…

      should certain players be sent to the hotdog stand? like DD and ELLEN?

      well… I don’t want to get into the negatives…

      We are about 2 N.A.G. players away from being a cup contender, a defense and forward… so you eliminate a Gorges and DD or anyone else under 5′ (except Gallagher who is our future captain).


      The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
      GALLAGHER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

  5. La Duke 16 says:

    I look forward to playing Toronto in the first round – it will be great for Hockey and the NHL.

    It will be very similar to the Pengiuns/Flyers last year in the first round.

    And if the Canadiens lose in the first round to TO, they will be that much more aggressive to finally build the size of this team in the off season trades!!!

  6. Richrebellion says:

    Boone always with the doom and gloom, can’t wait to jump on a team that was amazing through the first 40 games and has struggled in the past 3! The reality is this is a young team that is facing some adversity and are having trouble getting back on their feet. Against Toronto Price was to blame he let in a few softies and killed the team but they outplayed them in almost every other way and only gave up 5 shots in the first. The past 2 games have been a bit of a tail spin and the goalies haven’t come up with big saves to keep them in the game and give them some momentum. It’s 3 games people not an entire season and I rather they struggle for a bit now rather than in the playoffs when the games mean a hell of a lot more.

    This is the same team from the first 40 games and yes they are missing Emelin as their depth on the blue line is a little thin but with Diaz coming back he can help solidify it and get them back on stable ground. A little adversity is good for a team that hasn’t lost 3 straight games all year. They will get back to what made them so good early on and everyone will jump back on the bandwagon. Stop your crying and just let them adjust to life without Emelin. All will be well soon!

  7. Instead of giving away our 1st and 2nd round picks on rentals maybe there is the chance that they get packaged together during the draft and we get our hands on that stud crease clearing, smooth skating, D man with a cannon of a point shot that is over 6 feet tall. Or perhaps those picks get packaged for that stud 6’4″ power forward who actually uses his size and creates havoc in front of the net to play along side Galchenyuk for the future.

    What I am saying is clearly there is a plan for the future of this organization. Or did we all really think that this team could go from last in the Eastern conference last year all the way to Stanley Cup champs in such a short amount of time. Given the nature of a shortened season any team that got hot for a reasonable stretch really has a chance to make the playoffs. As history has shown us throughout multiple sporting events, the team that gets hot in the post season is going to come out the victor.

    The fans of the winning team will be proud and beat their chest about how great their hockey team is this year while the fans of every other team from 2nd place to 30th place will argue that the cup championship is tainted in some way because of a lockout shortened season. Such is the nature of the beast.

  8. Jimmy9Toes says:

    Well that didn’t take long. I tried posting a comment that i had translated into Swahili about 20 minutes ago and guess what? It hasn’t made it on here yet. Wow i can’t even post negative comments in another language, maybe if i did it in French it would be okay?

    • commandant says:

      Watch it, or I’ll send someone to make you Jimmy8toes.

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

      • Jimmy9Toes says:

        Wow, that is so funny i almost laughed. You posted the same lame comment about my screen name on my other post. I have read lots of your comments on here the last couple of years and you are very hockey smart, but i never thought you would stoop to making fun of my screen name. If you want to know the meaning behind my screen name i will tell you. I had a workplace accident almost 22 years ago and i ended up having to have one of my big toes amputated. One of my friends gave me the nickname while i was in the hospital and almost all of my friends call me that. So if it makes you feel good about yourself, then i guess go ahead and send someone out here to make me Jimmy8toes.

        • Loonie says:

          You chose your name, Ben didn’t.

          Relax

          • Jimmy9Toes says:

            If you would have read my reply, my nickname was given to me, i did not choose it. So how did Ben get the nickname Commandant, did he appear in an episode of Hogan’s Heroes?

          • commandant says:

            Obviously I feel sorry for your accident.

            However, if you are willing to use that as your screen name on an internet forum, that obviously is a sign to me that you have come to terms with what happened, and its not a touchy subject for you. You appear to be able to laugh it off from the selection of your own name. (Even if your friend gave you that name, you are still comfortable enough with it to be called that by your friends, and to present yourself as Jimmy9toes to complete strangers on the internet.)

            I was obviously making a joke and not serious, but if I was wrong and it is a touchy subject, I apologize.

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

          • Loonie says:

            You may not have chosen your nickname but you chose to use it as your name here.

          • Jimmy9Toes says:

            No need to apologize Commandant. I can and do laugh about my situation and nick name all of the time. I was simply pointing out that some people can’t take the fact that people on here are entitled to their opinion about the Habs. Is it okay to say the team is playing bad, but not okay to say, the team is too small, the team has no pushback or Price is playing like crap?

        • Garbo says:

          Jimmy2Sensitive

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      J9T, where did you translate into Swahili?

      (btw, unless I’m misreading, I reckon comm was only being ironic. Sorry about your injury. Didn’t know that, maybe no one else here does either…)

      • Jimmy9Toes says:

        Just go to the Google website and click on the more tab, from the drop down menu, select translate and there you go.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Thanks!
          Problem was Google Ireland only offers three languages.

          So here’s one in Irish (which I don’t speak having grown up in Montreal, not here):

          Ná ní bheidh siad scanraithe de na focail harsh le haghaidh bó naofa, fiú Praghas.

  9. cunningdave says:

    This is hilarious. Boone, love you man, but you can’t preface crazy thoughts with “maybe this is crazy”, and magically transform them into insight. Maybe we should have tanked the season to draft Drouin? What??? We were top of the division up until three games ago, sitting pretty in second place in the conference, fourth overall. How did we go from there to “tank the season to get the #1 pick”? You don’t give up a chance to go to the playoffs, especially when you don’t give up any significant assets to get there. You just don’t effing do that. We’re still in contention to get home-ice in the first round!

    And by the way, we’re 25 points ahead of Florida. It would take a remarkable turnaround to tank so hard that we would have ended up drafting in the lottery. Jeez louise.

  10. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Since the Habs have made the playoffs, why not give Markov some days off?

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

  11. Timo says:

    Yaaaawn! Good morning. The sun is shining, squirrels are stealing food from the bird house, coffee is nice and fresh. Habs? Eh, who cares. I think I’ve had enough hockey fix for one season. I’ll just sit here and wait for the bright future to arrive.

  12. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Being stupidly optimistic — at least the Bruins only got 1 point in their last 3 (?). This losing streak hurt us, but it could’ve been much, much worse.

    IF they turn it around tonight and win 4 of the last 5, the NE division still could be ours.

  13. thebonscott says:

    Anybody else notice how Chucky is starting to find his groove. Me like a lot.

    Buck the Fruins.

  14. Edman says:

    Rumours of Diaz coming as early as tonight is great news, however does Diaz miraculously save us? No.

    Diaz will be a great addition, someone who Markov is comfortable with and they mesh well together, both even strength and PP.

    Even if Diaz is in, I’d like to still see Weber tonight. Our PP is atrocious and we need 4 Dmen to cycle through on the PP.

    Weber actually held his own last night, there were a couple plays where I was really impressed and found myself double checking the number on the back of the jersey.

    One thing that can save this team, and I’m not a DD hater by any means, but that is to give DD 4th line minutes for a game or two. Eller and Chucky have been playing fantastic as of late, and I believe they deserve a semi-promotion. Here are my lines tonight with and without Ryder.

    Bourque-Plek-Gio
    Patches-Eller-Gally
    Prust-Chucky-Ryder
    Moen-Halpern-DD

    OR

    Bourque-Pleky-Gio
    Chucky-Eller-Gally
    Patches-Halpern-Prust
    Moen-DD-Blunden

  15. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @adamkennelly
    Please tell me about purchasing playoff tickets online! Like Sholi below, I’d be too cautious. Is it a matter of buying from someone with a long, clean record?
    I have a microscopic chance of a cheap last-minute seat with a relation at Aer Lingus which flies to Boston and New York (and Chicago!…).
    (With your name, either you or your forebears must be from here!)

    • adamkennelly says:

      it is exactly about buying from someone with a long clean record. My bro (who lives in Ottawa/MTL) has used this method with complete success for at least 5 years- prolly upwards of 50 games total..including playoffs 2 years ago.

      correct call on the name – grandfather…

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Many thanks. Really appreciate that. Such a long shot, but you know when you can’t shake an idea.

        So come on, where’s your grandfather from?!

  16. adamkennelly says:

    This team surprised the crap outta all of us by constantly scoring first in most games…we all knew it was important but these last 3 games really puts it in perspective..the terrible, weak goals allowed by Price in two games and Budaj in the other – are extremely deflating…in all 3 cases, it was more than 1 too…we need to win tonight…badly.

  17. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    He’s something I never thought I’d say:

    Kaberle?

  18. Habitoban says:

    This site is magical. Players like Emelin, who used to be “carried by Markov,” we’re “lost out there,” and whose games were clearly “regressing,” get injured and then — presto chango — move instantly up the depth chart. Very magical.

  19. jeffhabfan says:

    Come on guys lets get a WIN TONITE. Need to start playing the way we were playing before .GO HABS GO

  20. Loonie says:

    @Krob,

    Regarding “mortgaging the future”

    Detroit has traded ten of its last twenty first round picks.

    • krob1000 says:

      Once you have a core group of about 12 guys that are stable you can do that type of thing…I believe Montreal is there (Patches, PRice, Pleks, Pk, Eller, Gallagher, Bourque, Galchenyuk, Diaz, Emelin, Gionta, Markov, Prust …yo have Beaulieu, Tinordi, Ellis, Nygren (possibly)..with longer term projects like Deitz/Thrower, Pateryn, etc. You have Hudon, Collberg, Lebalnc, Kristo, Bournival, Bozon, Vail, etc up front …that is pretty deep….you know over half of those gusy won’t amount to solid NHLers but with acore group like MOntreal has…you have the ability to trade for a season like this. Next year the team should be better I get that ….and the cap crunch could leave some valuable players availalbe..I get that too. But we had extra picks this year that would have been valuable and still left us in as good of a position as any other year where we did not trade anyone.

      • mrhabby says:

        Markov and Gionta’s deals expire July 1-14. I would be surprised if they are back. its still a work in progress but some very good pieces.

        • Loonie says:

          Even then you’re still sitting with Plekanec, Desharnais, Eller, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Pacioretty, Bourque, Subban, Diaz, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Gorges and Price.

          Seven top nine forwards, five defensemen and a goalie. Or in other words, a core.

          Adding pieces by sacrificing potential doesn’t kill that group.

  21. Sportfan says:

    With Emelins injury it makes me wonder if we should have tried for Regher or someone llike that?

    Also have you noticed we haven’t been great since Bourque has returned its not knock on him I just noticed that the other day.

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

  22. Jimmy9Toes says:

    Here is my first translated comment about Price, oh by the way it is in Swahili.

    Nadhani Bei ni juu 5 NHL kipa na uwezekano wengi kupata doa # 1 au # 2 kwenye kikosi Olimpiki, lakini kile ananisumbua kuhusu yeye mara nyingi ni kwamba haraka kama Puck ni juu ya fimbo timu nyingine, yeye matone kwa magoti yake. Jambo jingine kwamba kweli ananisumbua juu yake, ni kwamba yeye vigumu milele inaonyesha yoyote hisia. I mean i hate Bruins kama mashabiki wengi HABS, lakini angalau Rask inaonyesha baadhi ya hisia wakati mambo ni kwenda mbaya. Itakuwa ni ya kumdhuru Smash fimbo yake kila mara moja kwa wakati wakati Puck ricochets mbali ya wachezaji wake mwenyewe na kubana nyuma yake? Vipi kuhusu kupiga fimbo yake au kutupa kitu chini ya barabara ya ukumbi wakati yeye anapata vunjwa katika nyuma kwa nyuma michezo. Mwenendo wake shwari ni njia pia utulivu wakati mwingine.

  23. Ian Cobb says:

    Playing rope -a- dope until the coup de gras flying in the play offs.
    OK, OK gliding!!

    I have already had my monies worth this year!, the rest is pure gravy. Here is how a team toots it’s own horn! Watch the team work here! It is how one finishes that counts.
    http://www.wimp.com/brassband/

  24. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Couple of things. I’ve been saying we weren’t as bad as we looked last year or as good as we looked for most of this and it looks like, unfortunately, I’m right. I’m still going to enjoy the improvement, support my team and hope they go beyond the first round.
    While I am as horrified by the events in Boston as anyone, it does not extend to sympathizing with the Bruins. That I just don’t get.

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

  25. Skeptical says:

    Overall team Ratings in the Eastern Conference 1 to 8

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

  26. @ Clay, there’s a huge difference between free speech and what members post here after a loss.

    Your (not you) right to protest is free speech, coming on a sports forum attempting to cause havoc all the while hiding behind a online computer name where you can not be held accountable is not a “RIGHT”, it’s a game to most after a loss. It’s about how many hurtful and horrible things they can GET away with, why, because real people do not act like this.

    You do not see Summit members here posting like that. Why, because we would be embarrassed to act like that, why? Because when we go to the next Summit, you would find yourself sitting my yourself. Why? Because it is unacceptable to act like that in public? NO one likes that type of person.

    I agree that having a goalie name as an infraction is wrong, but I completely see why they did that? It cut out a whole lot of goalie posts they need not be said when they already beat that topic to death.

    Be respectful (not you) and in turn you will be respected.

    The posters here who want to cause havoc with the same posts over and over are more than welcome to come to the Summits, and to make it easier for you I’ll stand on a table in my Canadiens pajamas and introduce you and you can stand there and talk the way you talk here, why? Because no one will listen. You’re opinion is wrong.

    Oh that felt good, thanks for letting me vent, and I did it without calling people losers, idiots, morons, or make fun of their jobs and physical appearances!

    OK I have two customers to paint today. I’ll check back later and post at the top.

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

  27. thebonscott says:

    Give Ryan White’s spot to Gabriel Dumont, who plays hard and has actual hockey skills, he would score 10 goals a year, and that is at least 9 more than white.

    Buck the Fruins.

  28. portle44 says:

    Bergevin’s inactivity at the deadline was a positive thing not a negative one when you consider what teams like Pittsburgh and Dallas gave up for rent a players they will not be able to fit under the new cap.He is looking beyond this year and it has been awhile since we have seen that from top level management.Meanwhile this team has already demonstrated that it can put together some decent streaks of good hockey and the conference is wide open.Not even Pittsburgh should confuse with Central Red Army circa 1981.We may still see a few series this season.

    • SmartDog says:

      I agree in the sense that he didn’t trade away the future for a present that is a real long shot.

      But I DISAGREE in that he should have made the team tougher. How much longer do we need to put up with this FANTASY that we’ll just “outplay” other teams. With no stars. With small players. With less toughness than 80% of the NHL.

      Bergevin failed in protecting the team assets he has (physically, and apparently, mentally).

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • krob1000 says:

      They have been “giving up the future” for years….yet every year they are. Same with Detroit for nearly a decade…yet there they were…every year. There are only so many spots on the roster. Montreal has a ton of kids who will be around for several years…there aren’t really that any awesome roster spots available. The ogranziation just came of perhaps their best draft in recent memory. They got Diaz and Emelin out of nowhere. They are just fine..in fact there is a logjam at D moving forward with about 5 guys fighting for that last offensive dman role. Up front there is room for one top nine guy maybe next year..that is it. The year after it gets interesting but either way there are other ways to get players as well.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        I sense your frustration. It’s been a long time, but has any supposed rebuild ever been done properly? I do hope that MB knows what he is doing and really gets us there. I just don’t think the mix was right just to insert a piece this year. Just my opinion and more than likely wrong.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I can see the other point of view, but I think they’re wrong. This team needs more changes than a few to be true contenders IMO. I think it was Carbo’s surmising that the team should load up that got much of the talk started, but I am not sure that he is the one whom we should listen to. Having said all of that, I do hope to see more changes in the off season. We definitely need to be bigger and stronger.

  29. SteverenO says:

    Once again the loss is not as concerning as the wasted opportunity.

    On the positive side we learned that Weber can play. He should have replaced Markov or Gorges. Beaulieu can use some more work before the playoffs start, or has Therrien already decided that he is not “playoff worthy”?

    Is there any point to keep throwing Moen out on the penalty kill? Trailing by two or three goals would it not make sense to play Gallagher on the Penalty Kill?

    Gallagher has shown that he is a tremendous contributor at even strength, but he does not do much to invigorate out PP. There is no guarantee that he would be great on the penalty kill, but, just maybe, he may be very successful in that role. The point is that yesterday , was a great opportunity to find out. If we are trailing by a goal or two in the third period of a playoff game would you want to see Moen on the ice? The team hardly ever scores with Moen on the ice at even strength (One goal per 48 minutes) wouldn` it make sense to put someone on the ice that may pounce on a loose puck and get a scoring chance?

    Loonie, was bang on when he said that Therrien biggest weakness is evaluating his own players strength and weaknesses.

    Yesterday we had 5 minutes of PowerPlay time. Our least effective PP line (Gallagher -DD, and Pacioretty) played 3 minutes each. We already know what they can do on the PP, and its not very much. With Ryder out we had an opportunity to see if Prust might be able to contribute to the PP. We also had the opportunity to see if Eller could be productive given considerable powerplay time, whether up front or on the pooint

    The biggest wasted opportunity was that we did not give players who need and deserve a rest (Gorges, Markov, Bouillion, etc.) .
    what can be gained from playing these tired and banged up warriors on back to back nights at this time in the season?

    It is not Beaulieu who needed a rest, and if the coaching staff felt that Beaulieu was the reason we got clobbered the previous two games , we are in much worse trouble than we even know.

    It is our core players that are not playing as well as they did earlier in the season. If we had lost a couple of close games, then it might have made sense to tinker with the 6th defenseman spot. in the hopes of “righting” the ship.

    The only thing that makes sense right now is to perpare this team for playoff duty. The key players that are tired need to be rested, the role players need to play a larger role now, so that they will be better equipped to handle their supporting role come playoff time. Heck I would even put Moen and /or Halpern on the PP in the hopes that it may remind them that it is not a sin to score a goal every now and them even if your main role is a defensive one.

    I sense the Therrien fan club getting smaller and smaller by the day and , in my opinion, deservedly so.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • mrhabby says:

      How can the coach give his players time off….it appears to be a slump ..he wants to try and stop the slide with his best players.

    • Loonie says:

      A lot of what you said is logical. But with the style that Gallagher plays penalty killing is the last thing he should be doing in my opinion.

      He’s blocked a couple of shots this year that were probably an inch or two from ending his season.

      I think Therrien’s usage of personnel comes down to personal favourites and not merit or style of play needed.

      When he wants an energy shift he sends the fourth line instead of one of his scoring lines. That’s completely backwards since our fourth line has no speed.

      When we’re up by a goal he uses Markov more than anyone, again, completely backwards logic.

      I’m starting to think that the only thing he’s done well or is even good at as a coach is instilling a culture with a business like approach.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        There’s a whole braintrust of coaches. Are they all on the same page as MT, do you think? Does MB ever discuss decisions with the coaching staff, or does he have to maintain a separation? I am just curious as to the inner workings, but I guess few know and those who do know won’t tell.

  30. SmartDog says:

    Blatant distraction:

    Since the Oils are full of offensive youth and determined to improve their D, and we have a lot of good young D prospects. We could make a good dance partner.

    What do you think of this in the summer:
    – Gorges, Bealieu, DD, and a 2nd round pick for Hall.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  31. Jimmy9Toes says:

    I have been an avid Habs fan for almost 30 years and this years team has been a very pleasant surprise to say the least. But there is one thing that bothers me about his site, in the disclaimer it should also read, “no negative comments about Price, MT, MB or the team in general”, because if you do, people on here will ridicule you, call you a troll, call you a Leaf fan or make fun of your screen name. If the glass half full people can’t handle negative comments, then either don’t read them or don’t hit the reply button if they don’t like it. From now on when i want to say something negative about Price or anyone else in the organization, i am going to go to google translate and post it in another language, so if you are really interested in what i say, and i am sure there are not many who are, then you can take the time to copy and paste it in there to see what i am talking about. Being a Habs fan means you are one of the most passionate fans in any sport in the world, but if that means you can’t say anything negative on here, then some people should just chill out.

  32. Habsssssssswin says:

    NOTHING deflates a team faster than an early WEAK goal that is scored against you. Let alone two and three. This, I’m sure will be addressed and soon. Tonight we go up against a team of shooters.
    We are still in the drivers seat as a team, but our goalies are asleep at the wheel. …. WAKE UP !!!!!

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Are you too young to remember Ken Dryden? Famous for allowing weak goals and also has six cup rings. A goal is a goal. A loss is a loss and the last time I looked this is still a team sport.

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

  33. kalevine says:

    That first goal last night was a killer, and absolutely on Budaj. With the team in a fragile state, and having gotten off to a good start, it really hurt. The goalies are simply not coming up with the big saves when they are needed most

  34. Propwash says:

    It’s now time to…..

    http://i.imgur.com/4a76czn.jpg

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  35. commandant says:

    Beaulieu is sent down, which means either Diaz is ready; or expect a callup.

    Perhaps this helps, but it will be minor help at best.

    The real key here is not looking for outside solutions, it will need to be internal ones. The forwards need to help the D, and the D we have (Markov, Gorges, I’m looking at you) need to simply get back to the standards they’ve set in the past.

    I think we improved (slightly) in the third period last night, but remember Pitt took their foot off the gas too, and there is still much improvement needed. Hopefully it starts tonight.

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

    • Loonie says:

      For the life of me I have no idea why Markov is still used on the penalty kill.

      More than any other questionable decision Therrien has made over the course of the year(and there haven’t been too many), it is by far the least logical.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Problem is that won’t stop the physical beating the D is taking. They were getting plastered last night. I’m not sure you can survive 7 games of that in the playoffs. Hopefully they will find a way to fight through it.

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

      • krob1000 says:

        Best way is to have the puck in the other end which is how it has beeen most of the year. Up until lately I rarely remember many instances of sustained pressure…for periods at a time let alone for games. Losing the puck moving ability is causing the forwards to not get the puck in motion or in the clear and they are taking bigger hits than they have all year…in the neutral zone and in our zone. The best defense in any hockey is the ability to keep and move the puck out of your own end….it also leads to offense,etc,etc. Nearly all teams that succeed have this trait…look at even Pitts…they survive without Cros, Malkin and Staal (when jhe was there)…but when Gonch use to get injured they sucked…now it is the same with LEtang. Justa s we wouold be without Pk and have been without Markov. There is no substitute for puck moving dmen…none. They start everything.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          Agreed about the puck moving D effect but they also need help. This why they are usually paired with a larger physical D-man.

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

          • krob1000 says:

            That is why Emelin was so great…he was a hybrid..as is PK. Buit given the choice between depth stay at home guy or guys that are really good puck movers just happen to have better ones ahead of them…give me the puck mover…especially witht he makeup of the forwards on MOntreal. They need the puck in motion…they are skilled and speed and transition are key.

    • aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

      We’ll have to wait for the official announcement, but it seems to me that if the team issued a statement about Beaulieu being returned to Hamilton without announcing that Tinordi is being brought up… That would seem to indicate that one of the injured D-men is in the lineup tonight: Diaz.

    • Sportfan says:

      Would be nice if it is Diaz who had returned!

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

  36. Skeptical says:

    A lot of people is upset about last night. I’m not. It turned out the way I expected it would. That’s whats wrong with most people on here. They expect too much.

    we matched them in the 2nd. We beat them in the 3rd. We lost to them in the 1st. I think we did excellent against a power house missing Crosby, Malkin and Neil.

    We have a entertaining team this year not a cup team. We are in the playoffs. expectations again is gonna be too high. unless we are very fortunate we’ll be out after the 1st round. Depending on who we play.

    2013-2014 we’ll keep rebuilding and eventually we’ll have a Stanley cup team. It takes a long time. Keep your expectations a little lower and our time will come …..

    • Maksimir says:

      Well said!

      Except I would argue Pitts let up after building that lead but still – people are expecting too much from this team. Especially with the injuries …

    • Loonie says:

      Reasonable would be dissatisfaction in a loss where the team is competitive.

      This team has been blown out in embarrassing fashion for three straight games. If I were an Oilers fan it would bother me.

    • I projected a loss ( I never do it as an opinion), but what I saw was that the Pens got lucky and scored three goals early. Had we had solid defense, and goaltending then the Habs would have won 4-1, 4-2, 4-3. Had Morrow been put on his ass, things would have been different. But all that never happened, and the Canadiens lost. Almost like they didn’t care. That’s what happens when you clinch three weeks early. Going through the motions.

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

  37. BrianSkrudland says:

    Has Therrien been asked to explain his rationale in relation to allotted ice time? Seems to me that would be a logical topic for a reporter to push him on a bit.

    ——–
    Daily recommendations for April 17
    Song of the Day: Thorn In My Pride (Black Crowes)
    Movie of the Day: Last of the Mohicans

  38. Loonie says:

    Looking ahead to next season, Emelin is likely to be out until next year’s All-star break or at the very least not up to speed until that time.

    So your defenseman are…..

    Markov, Subban, Bouillon, Gorges and Diaz.

    Or in other words, the same as this year. Bergevin’s going to have to pull a rabbit out of his hat to improve it.

  39. habstrinifan says:

    I seem to be the only one not blaming this on the ‘normal slump’ or injuries or bad goaltending or bad D or whatever. Any or all of those could have been triggers. But there is a deeper problem.. and it should be addressed if we want to have some ‘fun’ in the playoffs. And I mean that. Forget how far the team goes or what the end goal is.. go out and have some fun by simply giving an earnest effort.

    Earnest is such a great word. It can counter procrastination. It can counter delusion. It can counter fear. It can counter aggrandizement. It can counter perfectionism. It can counter escapism. It can counter depression. Earnest is as simple as farming.

    If I were MT today, I would look for help from one of the most earnest eh-hab I know. He is still around and he will come in and speak to the team and the coaches earnestly.

    Pick up the phone MT and give a call to Yvan Cournoyer. Have him come and hang with you team for a bit. I bet you’ll benefit.

    Edit: Oh yeah! Earnest is not looking for a saviour… like the return of Diaz.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Trini, you are much more upbeat than a couple hours ago!
      Was a huge Cournoyer fan but must confess I know nothing of his personality. How is his post-playing days earnestness manifest?

  40. mrhabby says:

    my son is following Dave Stubbs on Twitter..says Bealieu is being sent down today…iam speculating Diaz is almost ready to go.

  41. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Once the playoffs start the slates are wiped clean, its a new season.

    Montreal will start the second season of the current season as they did the 1st season. Right?

  42. Ian Cobb says:

    Boys are on cruse control after winning a spot in the play offs! They have worked very hard with great effort and discipline nearly every second night this year! They are taking a 10% rest which they emotionally need.

    Come play off time they will be back to playing 100%. Which for this team will not be enough to take us to the cup this year, but we will be competitive and they will give us even more thrills to enjoy.

    Bergevin and Therrien know very well that we lack the depth to take us a long way into the play offs, (but you never know) This club has turned around completely this year for the much better from last.
    Yes there are a few more holes to fill on the roster in the coming years, but we have a great team of management for winning years to come!!!

  43. sims says:

    forget the ahl callups and put Kaberle back in. i hate myself a little for saying it but could he really do much worse?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yes, he could get injured, then we wouldn’t be able to buy him out, and then we would be hamstrung with his contract rather than being able to spend that money on someone truly useful and not ‘the best last resort.’

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • krob1000 says:

        That may or may not matter…depending I guess on what our “goal” is next year. If they have no intentions of loading up again at the deadline then who cares.
        I seem very doomsday on this and I realize things are nowhere near as bad as these last games make it appear but watching Jokinen, Morrow, Iginla, D Murray all play for Pittsburgh last night…who had no Malkin, Crosby and Neal…I can’t help but wonder what could have been had the Habs picked up a couple of those guys.

        • mrhabby says:

          Iginla only wanted to come to Pitt.

          and you can bet the others like Murray and Morrow when given the option were always going to yes to PITT.

          Players have to want to come to MTL.

        • Maksimir says:

          they never would have agreed to a trade to Montreal even if MT could swing a deal. So no point in pining for a bunch of rentals.

          • krob1000 says:

            I disagree….Murray had no clout, Morrow is Guy Carbonneau’s son in law and may have considered a move…Iginla? not sure there….he seemed pretty intent and held the cards Jokinen went through waivers. Bouwmeester , Regehr, Clowe, …there were others too…my point is all of our competition got better…who is to see next year PK won;t get injured or a combination of Pleks/Patches or something. We knew now we were relatively healthy..we knew other teams like Pitts were hurting and are always vulnerable with injury if Malkin.Cros or Letang do go down….but now they have the deoth to offset even those worst case scenarios. Not only did we not get stronger..our oppsoition did….”4 point” non pick ups if you can relate to the analogy.

        • HabsTrueBlue says:

          Edited – Removed

      • HabsTrueBlue says:

        I’m not sure that Kaberle with 1 more year at 4.2M is going to hamstring us more than Gorges with 5 more years at 3.9M.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        (ooh, Matty. Had your back at 7.21am)

    • krob1000 says:

      IF Diaz is not enough to get the puck to the forwards while moving again I am for that too. In fact I find it distasteful keeping him out solely for the purpose of buying him out. I don;t like that move. We know Kaberle is soft but we also know he is a vet who can move the puck and regardless of how many on here don’t recognize the effect that has on a game there is a reason Kaberle has lasted as long as he has. Once the puck is in our zone and the pressure starts..he can get bumped off,etc….but more often than not when he is on the ice..he makes a play that leads to a lengthy Montreal possession. Emelin did that, Markov, Diaz, Pk obviously does that, even Beaulieu and Tinordi do that. Bouillon has surprised me this year at times and done a better job than expected in that facet….Gorges and Drewiskie IMO do not advance the puck quickly enough up ice or make a play to break pressure in the Canadiens end…this causes sustained pressure and frustrates the forwards and hampers the possession game.

      • Loonie says:

        The thing with Kaberle is that like Markov he rarely gets forechecked hard by opposing players and almost never by two men because they fear his passing will spring an odd man rush.

        That’s valuable regardless of whether or not Bergevin wants to buy him out.

    • Arrow77 says:

      Between Kaberle and Beaulieu, I’d pick Kaberle, at least for the stretch. He has weaknesses but not enough to make him a minus player this year. The problem is that Therrien and the management seem to have decided to pretend he’s not part of the team anymore and I can’t imagine him playing well out of the gate after having been benched for so long.

  44. coutNY says:

    Exercise those demons boys.

    Bring back Tinordi stick him with Markov and cattle-prod him between shifts and this time let him play even if he makes mistakes, the D’s been blowing anyhow. Teams are targeting Markov and nobody on D is intimidating enough to do anything about it besides Purst. Give Tinordi the policeman assignment. It stinks to see young talent play tenitive because they are afraid to get benched or sent down.

    Cut the Cube some slack with minutes, he’s going to break-down before the playoffs and same goes for Markov. If they haven’t already.

    Inject a spark or this team with smother itself in dispare. The core is too young to go through a long period of @$$ kicking and expect the to magically change in the playoffs.

    “One definition of insanity is to continually repeat a behavior and expect different results.”
    Do something different!

  45. SmartDog says:

    Q. What’s that clacking sound heard throughout the East?

    A. It’s the sound of coaches on their calculators trying to figure out how many points they need to have the best chance of meeting the Habs in round 1.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  46. ClutchNGrab says:

    For someone who played only two games this season, Weber did pretty well. Is Beaulieu going down means Diaz is close to a return?

  47. ed says:

    Josh Gorges gives 110% every shift.

    He is not, nor has he ever been, a great hockey player.

  48. New says:

    Where did the love go?

    I think they’re doing fine.

  49. Habfan10912 says:

    Morning all. Haven’t posted much lately been busy and sad. Nothing good to say. When we were winning it was easy to overlook the aparant bias in favor if DD but now that we’ve hit a bit if a skid, it makes one wonder what MT is thinking. Hasn’t Ellers’s play earned him more ice time? I’d love to hear the explanation. Baffling, eh?

    • Mattyleg says:

      I imagine DD’s better at coverage in his own zone.

      Having said that, I’m sure I’ll be buried by posters with stats and examples of why he’s TERRIBLE in our zone.

      But that’s the only explanation I can offer.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  50. Maritime Ron says:

    vs Toronto-Down 3-0 after 10 minutes
    vs Philly- Down 2-0 after 5 minutes
    vs Pittsburgh-Down 2-0 after 9 minutes

    We can cut and dissect this a million ways, and this is not a Price/PB bash, but the bottom line is that we need our goalies to step up and start making some BIG saves EARLY and at the RIGHT time.
    That is what they are paid to do!

    When Boston won the Cup, their D made several big errors, yet Thomas made the big saves at the RIGHT time. Same goes with Quick last year.

    Anyone that has played at least a little knows how discouraging that can be. You look at the scoreboard and start doing some math and realise for the rest of the game you have to beat the other guys by several goals. You also look at them and see they have jump and are enjoying the game

    When down that early and by 2 or 3 goals, players start taking chances, try to do too much on their own, throw the game strategy out the window ending up in a disaster.

    Those early goals give the opposition confidence and conversely, our guys lose confidence.

    Time to step up, Carey!
    Your team needs you more than ever!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree that the goalies deserve a share if the blame. When your goalies slump the team seems to play tentatively. Tonight might be a chance to right the ship. Let’s hope so.

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      “When Boston won the Cup, their D made several big errors, yet Thomas made the big saves at the RIGHT time”.

      AND when Floppy was out of postion 20 + times a game his D & Ryder bailed him out. Unlike our players in the past few games.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        2010 regular season. Tim Thomas best Save Percentage and Goals Against average in the league

        Playoffs;
        Tim Thomas NHL best GAA 1.98 and best SP .940

        NICE TRY hope the facts didn’t get in the way

    • I agree too.

      Big saves need to be made right off the bat, and our defensive game shouldn’t be folding on the first shift.

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

  51. Bob_Sacamano says:

    I think we should definitely go with Tinordi from now on. Subban-Gorges, Markov-Diaz and Drewiske-Tinordi looks not that bad on paper. Of course Therrien would almost certainly not sit Bouillon but one can hope, right? I have given up hope on seeing Pacioretty with Plekanec or Eller though.

  52. SmartDog says:

    If it’s me – I bring up Tinordi on D, and start benching whoever is highest in suckitude.

    I’m talking to you Josh Gorges.

    And then I take Gallagher and get him his own place, so Josh can get his rhythm back. Having a permanent houseguest can be a stressful thing.

    Then I tell Markov he has a “back problem” and sit him for 3 games. He needs to recharge.
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • I’ll send the memo R, hope they listen.

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

    • krob1000 says:

      Either that or reverse the mentorship…MR. Galalgher can you please remind Josh about the effort level that earned him his role in the NHL. For years I doubted Gorges ability to play at a high level…he repeatedly proved me wrong…not due to his skill but because his heart is bigger than the titanic. Perhpas he is nursing injury and trying to be healthy..don’t know but I am not seeing that never say die attitude that earned Gorges that big contract. maybe the contract, maybe the leadership role? who knows but he needs to get simple in his effort and a little more courageous moving the puck up ice.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Dog, while I agree that Gorges needs a wake up call we really have no one NHL ready to replace him. Tinordi offers all sort of potential but he’s not ready. Options are limited now. Defensively, this team has holes.

  53. krob1000 says:

    Anyone on here knows I was a huge advocate of making additions at the deadline and was dissappointed with the outcome. I was well aware BOurque was coming back and DIaz,etc,etc. However, as many including myself have stated several times thi sseason is a real opportunity and one easilty worth a couple of picks or prospects. Some viewed it as a vote of confidence to the players. I disagreed saying it was in fact the opposite….basically we said we are content with playoffs but don’t believe a cup is a possibiility. That has to be disheartening.

    The other argument is don’t disrupt the chemistry…this has some potential validity and there are examples of paper transactions that should have bolstered teams that did not. My issue is that the Habs disrupted chemistry AND did not imporve their team. In adding Halpern and Drewiskie I thought they were getting extra bodies…not guys who would knock the grinders and characters out of the lineup. I can see that upsetting someoen like White, Dumont, Blunden,etc. Kaberle, Beaulieu, Tinordi…all IMO are as capable as Drewiskie. I would prefer that if you are going to make any moves at the deadline…that they be definite upgrades…ones that are shiny and clear and then noone has any issue swallowing their pride for the greater good.
    To have Hapern and Drewiskie in the lineup to me is causing a bit of a shakeup.
    I do not l;ike what Drewiskie brings to the d corps…Gorges advances the puck more. Drew tends to never make an up ice pass and always goes d to d. Gorges always makes safe plays as well. These “safe” plays are often missed opportunites and frustrate forwards who work hard to get open. The team desperately needs Diaz back…but I would argue that BEaulieu, Kaberle, Tinordi are all better options thatn Drewiskie.

    I also mentioned that Gorges may be an offseason target for the GM…and could have been where they could have recovered assets lost if they had targeted a Regehr or Bouwmeester. Sure the cost was high…but Gorges is the odd man out IMO mocing forward…..in as little as a years time he could be the number 6 dman and be paid 3.9 million with years left. Trading him in the offseason could have recouped part of the cost as he is a valuable commodity…I just don’t see his place more than a year from now in MOntreal. Just my opinion.

    I still think this team is far from done..but they need to adjust to the style change as Emelin’s physical presence IMO is only part of waht was lost…his puck moving and offensive/transistion game is very underrated. All of our forwards are feeling the loss….they are heading up ice and our d are going to d to d….the forwards are having to stop…if there is a turnover yu see an odd man rush. Have you ever seen so many odd man rushes against as lately? Where are the forwards? Answer? they are up ice where normally they would have been attacking but instead a puck advancing opportunity was missed. Almost all goals start many plays before the oppositions end and that is the Habs strongest trait ..or has been all season. Diaz will help but I would even prefer Kaberle/Tinordi or Beaulieu over Drewiskie at the expense of the physicality. Keep the damn puck on our sticks and it doesn’t matter how physical we are.

    • Loonie says:

      Gorges should at the very least be bumped down the depth chart.

      But here’s my conspiracy theory of the year. Gorges and Moen played in junior together. Moen during the off-season got a four year contract against all logic. He was coming off of a bad concussion.

      Price got at least an extra million more per year than he should have, him and Gorges are good buddies.

      Gallagher worked out with Gorges during the off-season, and made the team.

      I sincerely think that Bergevin pulled Gorges into his office after taking the job and asked him for his opinion about the players on the team and did some work with Gorges’ words in mind.

      If that’s true they value Gorges’ leadership and how he sees the team more than anything else and as such he’s unlikely to be moved and is likely seen as the next captain.

      Bad things in my opinion.

      • krob1000 says:

        I don’t doubt but it has to be subject to change if we are tobelieve he is “always trying to improve the team”. We all see the D coming through the system and moving beyond next year… as the team appears to be doing by basically saying this seasons goal was only making the playoffs. I see Tinordi and Emelin has the top two guys paired with offensive guys. Diaz could likely play with one..Gorges end up number 6 as early as late next season possibly…at 3.9? that is an iffy proposition. I know Markov is not going to be around forever but a guy like Bouwmeester would have been perfect..or Regehr…or MUrray even.

  54. Maritime Ron says:

    vs Toronto-Down 3-0 after 10 minutes
    vs Philly- Down 2-0 after 5 minutes
    vs Pittsburgh-Down 2-0 after 9 minutes

    We can cut and dissect this a million ways, and this is not a Price/Budaj bash, but the bottom line is that we need our goalies to step up and start making some BIG saves EARLY and at the RIGHT time.
    That is what they are paid to do!

    When Boston won the Cup, their D made several big errors, yet Thomas made the big saves at the RIGHT time. Same goes with Quick last year.

    Anyone that has played at least a little knows how discouraging that can be. You look at the scoreboard and start doing some math and realise for the rest of the game you have to beat the other guys by several goals. You also look at them and see they have jump and are enjoying the game

    When down that early and by 2 or 3 goals, players start taking chances, try to do too much on their own, throw the game strategy out the window ending up in a disaster.

    Those early goals give the opposition confidence and conversely, our guys lose confidence.

    Time to step up, Carey!
    Your team needs you more than ever!

  55. @adamkennelly

    TICKETS? What do you mean you have tickets, they aren’t on sale yet.

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

    • adamkennelly says:

      from “season ticket holders” on Ebay…quite pricey last Saturday – prolly a lot cheaper today…if they end up facing Toronto in the first round, I expect them to go up significantly.

      • Oh my you’re more trustworthy than I am. I don’t have tickets and I’m going in hopes of getting some though online Ticketmaster or Stubhub. If I don’t get tickets, I just want to be apart of the the bar scene and get a feel of what it’s like. Plus there will be others from here we can hang out with.

        Good Luck to both of us!

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

        • adamkennelly says:

          Its 100% fine through Ebay – my bro does it all the time…this is the way scalpers work these days. they have already been delivered to him..quite $$$$$ – hopefully worth it for the experience. Bar scene will be awesome – get there early and camp out.

  56. La Duke 16 says:

    It’s all about being healthy and having momentum going into the Play-offs………

    Montreal – 4 & out!

  57. jrshabs1 says:

    I agree with Boone. We should be happy with the fast start to the short season..Habs made playoffs. Can’t blame MB for not picking anyone up at deadline, also, the goat needs some praise for leaving the organization in good shape for MB and the future Habs. The draft is key to the salary cap era so the Habs are in good shape. #31 needs a brain coach..he seems to mentally check out quite a bit, the teams losses in the last week is a direct result of bad goaltending. Brian Gionta is the worst captain in Hab history, he brings nothing to the table. MB should package Gionta and Gorges up for more draft picks and be done with them. Nobody really expected much from this team in January so the season has been a success no matter what. Hopefully MB strips the Habs down this Summer and starts to build them his way.
    hint: big tough forwards and big mean defense never hurt the chances of contending Stanley Cup teams.

    Go Habs Go!!

  58. Les-Habitants says:

    Beaulieu back to Hamilton.
    Weber played well, better than any of the rookies the habs have brought up. If he plays like he did last night, he deserves to be in the lineup, and this will put pressure on Davis and Cube to step up their games as well.
    Hopefully this also means Diaz is close to returning.

    • Loonie says:

      You can bet they’re either calling up Kristo or Tinordi. Announcement coming………

      • Les-Habitants says:

        I don’t think so – Tinordi isn’t ready for NHL playoffs, and Kristo has barely had a glass of water at the AHL level, let alone NHL playoffs.
        Remember, Ryder was also out last night. He’ll hopefully be back for tonighth

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          I’m waiting for the day Loonie says you can bet on the stock market going up to dump my entire portfolio.

          • Loonie says:

            Really appreciate you going out of your way to dump on me lately. It must be a very hard thing for you to do posting from an anonymous account.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            You started it mate.

          • Loonie says:

            What exactly did I start?

            I asked you yesterday why you see Desharnais’ average play as more than that and forgive his poor games yet jump on everyone else who plays poorly.

            You jumped to the conclusion that I was saying you forgive francophone players more than others. Just because Desharnais’ one of only two on the team doesn’t mean I think you’re judging players based on their birthplace.

        • Loonie says:

          Tinordi surely isn’t ready for the NHL playoffs. But they aren’t going to play Kaberle and don’t trust Weber.

          • Les-Habitants says:

            I think that’s what these last couple games are for: if Weber can prove himself, he’ll be in the lineup.

  59. HabsFanInTampa says:

    The Bolts have more of a defensive problem than Montreal. Let’s take advantage of that and beat the Lightning tonight and repair confidence. There’s no excuse for us to lose tonight.

  60. Arrow77 says:

    Sometimes, I look at this blog and wonder if we’ve become a caricature of ourselves. Do we not know we’re known for panicking early?

    It’s true that the last 3 games, we’ve played terrible but this team on top of the conference, or near the top, since day 1. You don’t play that well for that long and call it a lucky streak. We have the players to be better: we played well without Subban, we can play better without Diaz or Emelin!

    Therrien should make some line-up change, break-up the DD-Pacioretty combo which has for the most part disappointed this season. The defense, until Diaz returns, remain a concern. Tinordi should really be called up because Beaulieu is not what we need.

  61. habstrinifan says:

    I am not buying the normal reasons for this kind of play. We are not good enough. We are not big enough. We are missing Emelin. Etc Etc.

    This is the NHL. Everytime is comprised of players who can put together a competitive team effort. They still may lose but it’s as if the Habs are a AAA baseball team playing in the big leagues. So suddenly bad? I think there is something really wrong that we are not privy to.

    • Cal says:

      Look who the Pens were missing last night. They didn’t make excuses; they just played well enough to win.

      • RetroMikey says:

        Penguins have players with grit and physical game to their game.
        And losing skilled players Malkin and Croby is a big blow to the team, but they keep playing as a team, they are not a small and fragile team like ours.
        No question, the Habs would be dominating the KHL with their speed and skill, but this is the NHL, a totally different league where you need a team built on grit and physical edge.

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

  62. Marcusman says:

    And why not Kaberle…his experience has to account for something…plus he’s a decent passer…and thats what they’d have us believe is important in our game…moving the puck up quickly.

    One of our problems as Carbo pointed out last night.. other teams have studied us and figured us out…hit our defensemen hard…and stop the dump in cycle game…and we’re stopped..

    we need to adapt..

  63. KenD29 says:

    What I do not understand is how MT limited Eller and Galchenyuk’s ice time to under 15 and 10 mins respectively all the while DD and Pac getting over and above those figures.

    “How one reacts to adversity” claims MT. Well I wonder how MT is reacting to this adversity?!

    And sure hindsight is always 20/20 but wouldn’t a forward like Clowe who has a little grit have looked good in a Habs uni right about now for the price of a 3rd or 4th round draft pick?! Certainly better than Moen I would think.

    All About Work Ethic

  64. Flanelette says:

    I love reading this blog because so many people here seem so knowlegeable about the Habs and hockey in general, so I would really like it if someone might explain: What exactly happened? I can’t believe the loss of Emelin, a hard hitter but not very solid on defence, explains this total collapse. So?

    • Loonie says:

      Not Emelin. And this is just my opinion but what’s been going on all season is just being exaggerated at this time.

      All season long this team has played too aggressively in its own end and that’s left opposing players wide open in bad areas of the defensive zone. Over the last three games it’s been a combination of that poor coverage burning them, below average goaltending at times and being outmuscled in front of our net.

      As far as the defensive zone goes that’s it. Something else that’s been bad over these three games has been turnovers in the neutral zone. It seems that when the first pass out of the zone goes to one of our boys on the boards it’s all over. When we control the puck on the boards we aren’t making good passes or dumping the puck into the offensive zone. The opposing team has been regaining possession of the puck far too much because of mental errors.

      Just my take.

    • Just for fun.

      Defense is so bad right now.

      Markov needs a rest. The teams have Subban off his game and then there are all little mistakes the defense has been making.

      Too many forwards are watching at ice level instead of playing at ice level and I mean every aspect of the game.

      Maybe clinching did this, but this not the same team as before.

      Poor goaltending. Can’t have teams walking in on the first few shifts and scoring.

      That’s just me though :) I truly believe the other Habs will be back and if they don’t, oh well!

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

  65. Chris says:

    As for the imminent return of Diaz, I’m concerned that people might expect too much of him.

    He’s missed almost two months with a concussion. Guys that miss that kind of time often take SIGNIFICANT time to get back up to full speed. Sometimes it can take a full year.

    Bourque has not looked himself since his return from concussion. Diaz, who often takes a pounding as a smallish defenceman, worries me even more. I would actually consider shutting him down for the season. Professional sports teams have demonstrated time and time again that their management of concussions is pretty poor.

  66. Mustang says:

    I stayed away from this site last night as soon as I saw the score at the end of the first period. I knew that some here would be calling for blood so I certainly didn’t need to read a whole bunch of “THE SKY IS FALLING” posts. From what I can see this morning, there were lots of fans ready to kill someone, anyone. After all, the horror of the Habs losing 3 games in a row should at least result in the coach being tarred and feathered.

    While I am not too happy with the Hab’s performance lately, I have one thing to say to the crazies and that is, R E L A X.

    • KenD29 says:

      it was interesting only in the fact that many were calling for Price’s head after the last two losses. Boudaj gets the start and is pulled after the first and where were those posters?!!
      Guess it became a little more obvious that it was just not Price and Boudaj who were to blame.

      All About Work Ethic

  67. Rossy says:

    When Emelin went down, I was surprised Beaulieu–not Tinordi–came up to replace him. I could see Beaulieu with his great point shot subbing in for Markov/Subban, but since the Habs needed to replace a physical presence, I would have thought Tinordi would have been a better choice.

    But I’ve been wrong before.

  68. habstrinifan says:

    If I knew I would feel this way the way I do today about how play and our chances in post season.. I would have preferred we were dead last and looking at Seth Jones or McKinnon.
    Absolutely no positives today. Even after listening to Gorges and the coach, or maybe especially after listening to them, I dont feel one bit encouraged.

    • Loonie says:

      Gorges as Steve mentioned two days ago needs to shut up and play.

      Subban and Gionta can talk. Because they aren’t one of the biggest reasons this team is in a huge funk. Gorges is.

      He by a ridiculously large margin has been our worst defenseman during a three game stretch where we’ve been the worst defensive team in hockey.

      He needs to focus less on the group and more on himself. In my opinion.

    • Loonie says:

      Gorges as Steve mentioned two days ago needs to shut up and play.

      Subban and Gionta can talk. Because they aren’t one of the biggest reasons this team is in a huge funk. Gorges is.

      He by a ridiculously large margin has been our worst defenseman during a three game stretch where we’ve been the worst defensive team in hockey.

      He needs to focus less on the group and more on himself. In my opinion.

    • Loonie says:

      Gorges needs to look in the mirror and stop focusing on the group.

      He’s been our worst defenseman by a huge margin at a time when we’ve been the worst defensive team in hockey.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I am past identifying individuals because of poor performance. Mangmnt and fans and even players themselves overestimate the skill quality. That is a predictable uncertainty of sport. So right now I am not upset about inability.

        I am however very very fed up of the attitude that seems to have prevailed on team after team the last few years. Players who seem to think the the supreme test of a deserving Mtl Canadien player is one who is ready to ‘stand up and be counted..apologize to teammates; stand up and talk about responsibility etc’. I would prefer we go back to the not so noble personality type who just ‘stand up and f..ing play the game and kick someone’s arse’ in the process.

        I can’t see how an entire coaching staff and some few players of real earnest stalk could not have imposed some sort of order and ‘deliberate application to task’ so that we would not be losing in such a disorganized and ragged fashion.. Even a lesser skilled team of athletes should have been able to right themsleves to a competitive level and thus not look like we did in the last few games…
        since the WSH game actually. I remember posting that the WSH game was an important game ..hot team..hot star).

  69. RetroMikey says:

    Let’s get this straight Boone and others.
    The key is to win the Cup, plain and simple.
    No BS about rebuilding, retooling, the future, etc…..this has been going on for years with this once proud club.
    Everyone looks forward to the trade deadline.
    You make the trades to make your team better and not be conservative as Bobby has done in the past which I believe Bergevin is doing the same crap.
    Today’s NHL is bigger players with a physical edge and grit.

    Pittsburgh was smart.
    They want to win the cup as most teams do and they went and got 3 players, with a physical edge, grit, and skill along the way.
    Did they gamble? Sure but they have a shot at the Cup.

    We cannot sit back and hope Bergevin will be the saviour GM with his club, we believed in Gainey and look what happened. IF MB says you’re always looking to make your team better, then why not make those trades at deadline to make your team better?

    We see the weakness, too small on D and upfront with the Habs!

    Players like Morrow, Hartnell, Clowe, etc. come with a price but at least you know that you got these gritty players who will produce in the clutch and will play with that physical edge in the playoffs, get dirty in the opponents crease and score!

    Like I said, it’s a strike shortened season, the team would be struggling to make the playoffs in the long haul based on their size.
    Our little guys are gonna take a beating, and some of our big guys just don’t have grit.

    Many can;t handle the truth with what I am saying but better be critical than optimisitic with the club.

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

  70. Loonie says:

    Gorges – this is a test

  71. Mattyleg says:

    Missed the game last night, chaps.
    Did we lose?

    I think we have a great, fun team to watch when things are working, and in the early goings of this season, we even had a team that dragged wins out of games we didn’t have much business winning. At the moment, we’re hurting with injuries to key defensive players, which hurts us much more than injuries to offensive players, which we saw earlier in the season.

    All this shows us is something that we’ve known for a while now:

    We’re not quite there yet, but we’re a damn sight better than we were a year ago.

    We’re going to have a playoff run; could be long, could be short… just depends on which team turns up.

    I’m still looking forward to it.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  72. pete2528ca says:

    Ok, I never, ever post on here but feel the time is right.

    We lost three in a row BFD.

    I am sure there will be many who agree with me that the pressure the “fans” put on the players is also a part factor in how they have played these last few games? When they win we love them, when they lose many want to string them up. Maybe we should just relax and let them play. I am so proud of the boys this year. They have played far beyond my expectations and whether they bow out of the first round or drink from Lord Stanley’s Cup I am proud to be a Canadien (fan)!

  73. rhino514 says:

    Not certain that the habs will play the leafs. The Sens may yet beat out the leafs, or the the leafs may beat out the bruins AND habs for the division, or the habs may yet win the division.
    I just hope the last game of the year vs the leafs doesn´t have home ice advantage at stake for the habs. Damn, we were cruising so nicely…

    • It’s the only thing I am worried about right now. I do not want to travel to Montreal to watch the Senators. I want the Leafs, heck I’ll even take the Islanders, but watching the Sens brings me no joy or excitement. The Senators I don’t know what it is, they just aren’t fun to watch. I find that almost all the new old teams do that to me. I guess there aren’t enough playoff memories with them involved with the Habs….oh my that can’t be good!

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

    • habstrinifan says:

      Ottawa papers: Sens are getting healthy.

  74. Mondou6 says:

    Boone pretty much sums it up.

    Regardless how the next 5 games play out, it will be interesting to see if we are competitive in the playoffs or not. Should be a good measuring stick for our younger players, and the team as a whole.

    I think we’re better off with a lower seed anyway. We aren’t good enough to be overconfident in our chances. Worst case, we’re out in 4 straight, and back to square one. Hopefully we play well, and at least win a series.


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