About last night …

PriceBeachball

Soil the linen on Fan Appreciation Night, as your Montreal Canadiens did, losing 5-1 to Washington at the Bell Centre Saturday, and you face the coach’s excoriation morning.
Michel Therrien has called an 11 a.m. Sunday practice at the Canadiens’ training facility in Brossard.
This may seem excessively punitive.
The Canadiens have played five games in eight nights.
They face a three-game road trip to wrap up the regular season.
But Therrien, who is no longer worrying about what suit he’ll wear to accept the Jack Adams Trophy, is running out of coaching strategies.
Therrien has shuffled his lines and his defence pairings.
He’s pulled his starting goaltender in successive games – the first time that happened in Carey Price’s career.
Nothing seems to help.
And if the Tampa Bay Lightning hadn’t hit two goalposts and a crossbar Thursday night, the Canadiens would be death-spiralling through a five-game losing streak.

What are they going to practice on Sunday?

The power play?

Most definitely. After scoring once with six man advantages against the woeful Lightning, the Canadiens were 0-for-5 against Washington … which came into the game with the NHL’s 28th-ranked penalty kill.

The Caps’ PP is a different story. It’s first in the NHL, and the Caps scored twice in three opportunities against the Canadiens.

So yes, the lads will be working on the PP – and probably the PK – on Sunday.

And over in a corner of the practice rink, goaltending coach Pierre Groulx will be trying to restore the bruised and battered confidence of his star pupil.

Fans who read Hockey Inside-Out regularly know I’m a big Carey Price fan. But there’s no sugarcoating what we’ve seen for the last two weeks. The numbers don’t lie: Price is 1-5 with a GAA of 4.91 and a save percentage of .868.

With the exception of a 32-save, goalpost-aided effort against the Lightning, Price has been awful. And what’s made it worse is he’s been awful early, setting a morbid tone for sad evenings.

Last Saturday in Toronto, Tyler Bozak scored two minutes into the game and Leo Komarov made it 2-0 six minutes later en route to a 5-1 Leafs romp.

Against Philadelphia on Monday, Wayne Simmonds and Erik Gustaffson had the Flyers ahead within six minutes.

The Canadiens were riding a 5-0 shot advantage against the Caps when Alex Ovechkin seized on a P.K. Subban wrister to snap one through Price’s pads. A few ticks over a minute later, Troy Brouwer made it 2-0.

OK, Price wasn’t beaten by a couple of pluggers like Travis Moen and Colby Armstrong. Ovechkin leads the Maurice Richard Trophy race with 30 goals and Brouwer has 20.

But a successful team needs big stops, especially at the stage when the tone of the game is being set.

Against the Senators Saturday night, James Reimer made 49 saves in the 4-1 that clinched a playoff appearance for the Leafs. Reimer made 18 saves in the first period while his teammates were directing five shots at Craig Anderson. Shots were 17-9 Ottawa in the second period, 15-8 in the third.

That’s clutch goaltending … and we’re not seeing it in Montreal.

The 2-0 deficits that are becoming customary – Peter Budaj was beaten early in Pittsburgh – have a deflationary impact on the Canadiens … the more so because they’re not used to it. Through their first 40 games, the Canadiens opened the scoring 28 times.

Ah, but that was then. And if what’s happening now is an indicator of what we can expect in the merry month of May …

What’s happened to the Canadiens?

As much as you’d like to see him stand on his head and singlehandedly drag the Canadiens out of the doldrums, you can’t hang the slump totally on Price.

The defence is a shambles. Andrei Markov is a liability at even strength, and Josh Gorges is is losing puck battles and making poor decisions.

The forwards aren’t helping their beleaguered D. We aren’t seeing the five-man backchecking swarms and the crisp, efficient zone clearances that carried the team to their dizzying heights of the Eastern Conference standings.

The Canadiens’ difficulties on the back end have sabotaged the  speedy transition game that Steve Ott praised when the Canadiens beat the Sabres 5-1. The Canadiens rarely generate any speed through the neutral zone, and they’ve become an ineffectual perimeter team in the attacking zone.

The stat sheet says Braden Holtby faced 36 shots, as every skater except Rene Bourque had at least one SoG. But the Washington goaltender had an easy night. His teammates blocked 22 shots, and Holtby rarely had to handle the deep-slot, wide-open looks that Price and Budaj seem to confront in every game lately.

Every team goes through adversity, and the Canadiens have a week to get their poop in a group and build up some momentum heading into the postseason.

Imagine if playoff seeding comes down to next Saturday’s game at the Air Canada Centre. Price vs. Reimer, and the winner opens the playoff series at home.

Will the loser hold a Sunday practice?

• And to depress you further:

447 Comments

  1. jeffhabfan says:

    The wheels have fallen of so bad that they are going out 4 staight in the playoffs. Utter Bullst if you ask me that is how I see it. They are not playing as a team they are trying to do it all by them selfs and there D Is a JOKE and so is there Goaltending.Teams with NO D and GOALTENDING Do not WIN in the Playoffs.That is my pissy little rant.

  2. BJ says:

    I’ve been defending DD most of the year but I have to admit that he is not looking good at all to put it mildly. He is not even a top 3 centre right now. Probably the only way he’s tradeable is if somehow by divine intervention Phoenix moves to Quebec. He could then be traded, maybe. One of the most obvious thing that needs to be looked at, is DD taking a faceoff during a power play. He loses it most of the time and I kept a note on how long it takes to get regrouped after losing a faceoff and clearing the zone. Its between 25 to 40 seconds to set up. So average it out to 30 seconds and you’ve got 25% of your PP down the tubes.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I am with you Bruce. I too was a supporter but it looks more and more like those folks that said Cole and Patches protected him last season were indeed right. MB’s first mistake could be a bad one.

      • BJ says:

        Its amazing how quickly things can turn around. When we took on Washington in the capital city, they looked as if they could finish last and Adam Oates looked like an undertaker. Now they look as if they could give Pittsburgh and Chicago a run for the Cup. Having said that Oates still looks like an undertaker. MB looked like a genius, we were beating big teams and now ….

    • New says:

      I have never trashed DD or defended him. He plays hockey way better than I can. I will say that there is no difference between last year and this year except he is getting about two minutes less a game ice (about what he got his first season – with the same result). It looks like he is less effective when he is simply the same. Overall the team has done better with him playing less.

  3. Un Canadien errant says:

    We kind of hoped that Thursday’s narrow, fortune-aided victory against the Lightning might be the slide arrestor for Nos Glorieux, a win which would help our boys regroup and get back pointed in the right direction. That’s all shot to hell now. We’re not dealing with a blip, or a welcome stretch of adversity that helps a team find its centre and harden its character, as Michel Therrien tried to couch it in his postgame comments of two nights ago. What we’ve got here is an uncontrolled implosion, a Brian Burke-certified “18-wheeler going off a cliff”.

    Since the Canadiens gutted out a 2-1 victory over the Bruins, they’ve had one easy win over a dispirited Sabres team, the aforementioned nailbiter against the theoretical pushovers from Tampa Bay, and five losses, four of which have been of the kick in the guts/lower abdomen variety. At first we pointed to the loss of Alexei Emelin’s punishing defensive play as the reason, since opponents now had no fear in the Canadiens’ zone, but that is getting to be relatively thin as an excuse. How could the loss of a second-pairing defenceman cause all this, when the Senators lost Erik Karlsson and kept on keeping on?

    There are a few reasons being tried on for size, as we try to understand what is going on. Various rumoured injuries are conjured up sotto voce. Carey Price has a groin strain. Brandon Prust is obviously not 100%. Josh Gorges must be playing with a Bo Jackson hip, how else can his play have fallen off this much? Andrei Markov surely is suffering from a generalized lassitude.

    Guy Carbonneau is adamant that other teams have figured out the Canadiens’ system and have adjusted, and that it’s now time for the Canadiens’ coaching staff to make their own adjustments, but admits that without any practice time due to the compressed schedule, it’s difficult to enact those. Michel Therrien has tried shuffling his lines, and with the availability of Raphaël Diaz now has three lefty-righty defence pairings, but it seems the rabbit cage in his magic hat is now empty.

    The clearest, gravest problem is in goal. We wouldn’t be having this talk if Carey Price was just playing average hockey, but he has chosen now to undergo a crisis of confidence. Not good. At his wage rate, he’s not allowed those. He’s getting paid top dollar, he’s expected to be routinely excellent, Martin Brodeur-style. He’s supposed to be ‘set it and forget it’ good, pencil him in the lineup and don’t give it a second thought, worry instead about the line combinations or healthy scratches. He’s stopping 8 shots out of 10, when it should be 19 out of twenty. He’s simply not doing the job. Again, the limited practice time is not helping in this area. And again, there is no option here, we have to keep starting him until he plays his way out of it.

    René Bourque is having a tough return to the ice, we see the puck bouncing off his stick in every direction, but never behind the goalie. Concussions are tough, he’s game, trying hard, and there shouldn’t be any second-guessing of his performance. He’s rusty, but the puck will eventually roll for him.

    So we have three games before the playoffs start. With the Bruins stuck in neutral but having games in hand, and the Sens and Leafs in striking distance, our #2 seeding is in jeopardy. And this makes it harder than last year, when about halfway through the season I realized we wouldn’t make the playoffs, and just sat back and enjoyed the ride to a high draft pick. I no longer had any illusions, I knew it would end soon, so the final thirty games or so I could be dispassionate, as if I was witnessing the dissection of the fetal pig in biology class. Now, knowing we have playoffs coming, and divisional opponents as our potential first-round dance partners, I feel like I’m watching Leatherface going at my German Shepherd.

    ———————————————————————–

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good summary. I think the key point is the observation from Carbo. MT has done a fair job of optimising the hand he was dealt, but there’s no room for manoeuvre. Once other teams get our number, it’s very hard for us to choose (and prepare) a different way to play.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Once again, thanks for your enjoyable analysis. A few responses.

      Guy is likely right, but it’s easy to analyze and very had to right the ship — as his own experience clearly indicates. I lost respect for the man a long time ago. That’s probably wrong of me, but it’s the way that I feel.

      If this team is on top of its game, it can be competitive but any falloff results in disaster. I am doubtful of a turnaround.

      As for the Sens, their resilience is largely explained by the fact that they are a very good, strong and disciplined group. Unfortunately, they can’t beat the Leafs either.

      People refer to Carey’s cool demeanor. It’s all a facade and always has been. He’s churning inside and gets to this point easily. It’s his personality type, and he needs help to find the tools to deal with this.

  4. HFL says:

    Is it possible that MB signed DD to a four year contract so that he could trade him? I mean it makes sense if thats the case. As oppose to letting him walk for nothing, MB signs him, then in the off season he can shop him around. Its the only reason that makes sense.
    MB tells MT to play him a lot and with the best wingers, therefore increasing his value for trade bait. Then you got eller, where MB tells MT to give him the less ice time so his stats and value go down, therefgore allowing MB to sign him for cheaper then he is worth. only thing that makes sense since eller is clearly better. Makes sense?

  5. Habsssssssswin says:

    We made the playoffs already. Rest some players and stay healthy.

    http://i.imm.io/50JP.jpeg

  6. rjcp says:

    It’s all part of the master plan – look vulnerable going into the playoffs, let the opposition THINK they will win, then play our butts offs and surprise them. Alas, it won’t be enough, maybe a round, we are just too small to compete in playoff hockey but they will be exciting. MB will fix the problem next year, he wanted to at the trade deadline, but smartly avoided mortaging the future. I think the whole of hockeydom knows where our problems lie, let’s just appreciate where we are and hope for the best.

  7. JohnBellyful says:

    Was there a video review on that goal? I don’t think the beachball was over the line.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Man, go away for a week and find out pucks are replaced by beachballs. Good to see you still have humour JB.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        We missed your input, Burl’.
        (Your inputter is the strongest part of your HIO game, BTW).
        The Habs’ play, on the other hand, has been very offputting.
        So we’re counting on you to turn the team around in the next week. Don’t be sparing in your posts. The ship is headed for the shoals and there’s no one at the rudder. Take the helm, buddy.
        (Of course, if the ship capsizes … speaking of which, how’s the team’s payroll looking now with DD’s contract on board).

  8. boonie says:

    Habs fan since the 70s. Longtime HIO reader and a, formerly, frequent poster.

    I haven’t posted since the Chara/Pac incident. I’m not sure that time provides objectivity, but it provides some distance from daily exchanges.

    Boone nailed a few days ago… we didn’t expect much from last year’s last place squad. So, flirting with eastern conference leadership for most of this season is the gravy for our poutine.

    Considering MB’s biggest off-season personnel move was the big bodied, bigger attitude Prust signing, the real change this campaign is resetting the franchise’s definition of self. (re) Hiring MT didn’t inspire me, but I was happy to see us play talented youth to learn what we had instead of playing a conservative style with well-worn vets content to play for perpetual mediocrity.

    Are we as good as the first 40 or as bad as the last few? Are we Carbo’s team that blew up in the playoffs or the Count’s tiresome regular season team that beat the Pens and Caps in the playoffs?

    Band-aiding (TM) our psyche with a notable trading day pick up doesn’t help MB learn what we have or who we are. He needs to know that to understand if our youth is the Oilers of the early 80s that needed to learn how to win or the dozens of pretenders masquerading as contenders (yeah, I’m talking about you last year’s half season Leafs…)

    Now, this post wouldn’t be complete without applying some of the above to Carey Price. We’ve been blessed with once in a generation goalies every generation for about a century. Price has the talent and the pre-NHL resume to look like he can walk on water, turn water into wine and one loaf into many. People here want to believe. Many are already following him. Multiples more want to. MB needs to know what we have in Price. This post-season will be a huge data point. It’s a team thing, but not winning a series or two will begin to put an end to Carey’s term here as the Next One.

    Sit back and enjoy folks. The next four weeks (hopefully more) will be the first chapter of our next generation.

  9. Maritime Ron says:

    There should be some credit given to the Caps last night.
    This is a very good hockey team and I really like the way they are built.

    There are no goons, yet they have some excellent team toughness and stick up for one another.
    Of their Top 9 forwards considering time on ice, the 2 smallest are Ribeiro at 6″-177 lbs and Erat at 6′-196 lbs.

    On the back end they have some great skill in Carlson and Green along with toughness and size in Erskine 6’4″-220, Schultz 6’6-230, and Alzner 6’3″ 213.

  10. JohnBellyful says:

    It’s been said the players looked gassed. So why not give them oxygen during intermissions, heck, why not on the bench?
    Or helium. At least they could have a little bit of fun waiting for their next shift.

  11. H.Upmann says:

    I laughed when watching DD try to knock the opponent off pucks last night, only for himself to be knocked onto his knees. Seriously, it’s embarrassing watching him. Dont know what MB was thinking with that contract. They’ll have to buy him out next season. He’s just not good enough on a team that’s average.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Was talking to someone last night who made the argument that DD’s contract should be bought out above Kabrele’s. His argument was that Kabrele’s had only one more season to run while DD’s stretched 4 years. It was an interesting argument but I suspect since DD is MB’s baby, he ain’t going anywhere.

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      My concern at the time and moreso now with that contract, was not really about DD, but about Pleks (who is a much better player IMO) and the 2 young skilled center-eligible players (Gally and Eller).

      Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Exactly, Plekanec is without a doubt the teams best center. As for the future, most would assume that Eller and Galchenyuk will move up the depth chart and Plek will fade (with time to a 3rd line role)

        1 Chucky
        2 Eller
        3 Plekanec

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Terrible move, DD has no place on this team. They have Plekanec, Eller, and Galchenyuk as the top 3 centers, Gionta and Gallagher as their 2 small guys, DD sucks and has to be traded.

  12. ont fan says:

    A few months ago, I said I was happy with a competitive, entertaining team. Well the crap has hit the fan. I’m no coach, but there is no doubt the goaltending and the system have been cracked. There must be a way out of this. I can’t believe, one defenseman injury or a let down after clinching, is the problem. With all the guys in management who have played this game, they must have seen this before. I have to think the players must feel like Esposito in 1972 on Team Canada after the Vancouver game. Dryden wasn’t very good at the time either.

  13. Maritime Ron says:

    Brandon Prust had an interesting interview with the RDS AntiChambre guys after the game last night

    http://www.rds.ca/vid%C3%A9os

    – He mentions the recent defensive breakdowns and how before the 5 men on the ice were working as 1 unit, how they helped each other out, and how they communicated. In other words, he’s saying that’s all out the window recently.

    – When asked if the 3 last games of the season are enough to get out of the funk, Prust stated with conviction that it can turn around with 1 great game and they need to work their collective butts off.

    In Prust we trust.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thanks Ron. They are ALL talking about practice. I also watched the post game locker room interviews. The team looked unhappy as well as they should..

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Morning everybody, so anything happen with Habs in the last week or so?

  15. Haberoooo13 says:

    My takes on the last week or so
    1 Goaltending has to be better—(And yes I like Carey)
    2 Our big forwards aren’t playing big—(Except for Prust, who must be sore from head to toe).
    3 Emelin Factor—Other teams can skate into our zone with their heads down and no worries.
    4 Other teams are hammering our D at every chance
    5 Markov and Gorges looked totally gassed
    6 Too many guys getting too much ice time for what they are giving in return

    Solutions
    1 Give Markov and Gorges 2 of the last 3 games off
    2 More icetime to #11-#27-#81
    3 Put Moen in pressbox for at least 1 game
    4 Show Patch how Gallagher goes to the net hard.
    5 Have a BIG lineup for the final game of season vs Toronto because they will make into a gong show since they’ve now clinched playoffs

    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

    • Habfan10912 says:

      And your answer to #2 also answers #6.

      • Haberoooo13 says:

        Yep. Or is MT keeping those 3 rested for playoffs since they are currently the best 3 offensive players. I am trying to be positive!

        Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Astute observations and valid-looking solutions. I’d give 100% endorsement of all you say except for nagging doubts about what info is privy only to management and invisible to us.

      Re. teaching Patch to go to the net like Gallagher: I have a growing fear that Max Pac is post-concussion gun-shy, something which may be affecting also Bourque and Moen. And you couldn’t blame them.

      • Haberoooo13 says:

        Oh I agree…that’s why I don’t go into a bashing rant. There are specific players that I would like to bash, but then again, I am not privy to what they might be nursing.

        Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Yeah, and I also want to bash the coach — for DD’s immense PP time, for eg — but then stop and wonder, in what invisible way are the coach’s hand tied.

          Some of the posts here almost imply an assumption that certain players, plus MT and MB, are not really that interested in winning hockey games!

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Here’s a suggestion: When they put players in the pressbox, make them write a report on the game they can share with their teammates afterward. Communication is everything, on and off the ice. It would be interesting to find out if the non-suited players see the same game reporters and fans do, and are as willing to candidly express their views.

      • Haberoooo13 says:

        I would think a good 15 minute PowerPoint presentation!

        Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

        • JohnBellyful says:

          A PowerPoint presentation on the PowerlessPlay would do nicely.

          • Haberoooo13 says:

            Have you noticed that on the PP, the only 2 guys that do go inf front of the net are Gionta and Gallagher? I’m sure Carey wouldn’t mind that as much for a screen.

            Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

          • JohnBellyful says:

            I don’t understand why the player who gets the puck near the boards doesn’t move out into the faceoff circle to try a shot from there or make a slap pass to either a player at the side of the net or one moving down into the middle that can be deflected on net.

  16. DorvalTony says:

    Carey Price

    GAA 29th in the league

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20132ALLGAGAll&sort=goalsAgainstAverage&viewName=goalsAgainstAverage

    Save Percentage 33rd in the league

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20132ALLGAGAll&viewName=savePercentageLeaders&sort=savePercentage&pg=2

    “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
    William F. Buckley, Jr.

  17. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Also, Habs’ style and strategy were designed for optimum success based on less than ideal personnel (no crease-clearing Dman; no crash-bang power forward; no superstar scorer etc).

    Our opponents have all been watching tape, figured out how to neutralise our style and strategy, and we are proving unable to adapt to those new circumstances. And it’s because we don’t yet have the personnel. This is likely to change, just not in time for these playoffs unfortunately.

  18. ed says:

    the team has had so many games bunched together they have had very few practices this year.

    for example, Subban’s shot lane from the point on the power play is being taken away as the penalty kill forwards move up much higher and challenge him and take away his shot.

    we need to work on more power play success down low, setting up the 2 on 1 against the d-man on either side.

  19. Cal says:

    Whodathunk Emelin was the lynchpin on D for the Habs D? Unfortunately, a group of puckmovers like Markov, Subban, Diaz, and Weber need more than an old Boullion and an in over his head Gorges to compete.

    What is this with Subban not moving while trying to start plays out of his own end? It led to the first goal.
    That pic above is a fair rendering of Price these past two weeks.
    Lack of preparedness and lack of work ethic has led to the Habs’ woes on the ice. I am very glad they are FINALLY going to hold a practice.
    Other than that, it’s a beautiful Sunday here in Montreal and the Habs are still in the playoffs. Can’t bitch about that. ;)

    http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  20. kerrgte says:

    There are no untradeable older franchise players (you know who I mean, and you also know who is not included) in Mtl.

    MB will make the changes necessary to improve the team. I expect a couple of ‘blockbuster’ deals in the off-season involving a western conference team or two. MB, like every other one of the 30 GM’s, is out to make his team better.

    Nome wasn’t built in a day.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I sure hope you’re right. I’ve been an unwavering supporter of MB as well as MT but that DD contract sure looks like a very bad move. I am starting to question his genius a bit after that. I do hope you’re right though.

  21. habstrinifan says:

    “We’re sitting here, and we’re sitting in 1st place, and that Trini guy is talking about practice.”

    “I mean listen, we’re sitting here talking about practice.. it
    was the last home game and we gave the shirts off our backs and that Trini guy is talking about practice.”

    “Not the game that we go out there and play as if we were dead; we play these games almost as hard as last year’s team , but that Trini guy keeps talking about practice man.”

    “How silly is that?”

    “Now we know that we aren’t supposed to have excuses and all that, but man we are too tired to practise”.

    “For some teams it’s important, it honestly is” , but Trini’s talking about practice”.

    “He’s talking about practice man.”

    “He’s talking about practice.”

    “He’s not talking about the game.”

    “He’s talking about practice.”

    “When you come to the arena, and you see us play…you’ve seen us play right? You’ve seen us in back to back games like working stiffs who go day after day? And Trini’s talking about practice?”

    “Hey we hear you, we know we stink too, hey it’s strange to us too, but we’re talking about practice man, we’re not even talking about the game, when it actually matters, we’re talking about practice.”

  22. Habsrule1 says:

    Morning all!

    I just got up and didn’t get on here last night so I’m sorry if this question was already asked and answered.

    Is Therrien back on L’Antichambre yet?

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  23. Tis Himself says:

    SUCK has most definitely come to town and the whole damn team has gotten on the train!

  24. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all and aren’t we all glad the playoffs don’t start this week?
    Time on ice: DD = 16.36
    Time on ice: Galchenyuk = 12:19
    Time on ice: Eller = 12:27
    And those figures are skewed because MT gave 27 and 81 lots more then usual ice in the third otherwise it would have been the normal 20 minutes vs 10 minutes time on ice.
    I didn’t listen to the post game show but MT appeared to be in an honest assessment mode last night. I have been a MT supporter from the get go. But I am beginning to wonder. Did anyone ask him why in the name of Rocket Richard does he continue to give DD ice time at the expense of two of his hardest working, bigger, and more skilled forwards? For the life of me I can’t figure that out. Is it the francaphone factor? The “don’t make the contract look bad factor? Compromising photo’s of the coach?

    • Cal says:

      Hi, Jim. MT is not expecting Eller, Chucky and Gally to carry the team. He is putting the pressure on Pleks and DD’s line to score more and the 4th to bang around and pressure the other team in their end.

      It isn’t a francophone thing. It’s a planning thing. Many young players are ruined by putting the success of the team on their shoulders. MT and MB don’t want that to happen, so they are played against lines that they can succeed against.

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  25. ed says:

    for me, the 1st goal says it all. and it’s all about CONCENTRATION.

    1) Subban lacks concentration to detail and forces a pass just right of the net up the ice that is deflected to Ovechkin.

    2) Plekanec is surprised by the deflection and the results because he, too, is lacking concentration on the play. So Ovechkin easily moves away from any defence Plekanec could have offered up.

    3) Ovechkin now has time and space to shoot about 10-12 feet from Price, and slams it right through the five hole – exposing Price’s lack of concentration.

    The Habs, a team that has clinched the playoff spot, is starting every game the same way – LACKING NHL LEVEL CONCENTRATION.

    Playing sports at a Pro level is about talent – absolutely – but then it’s about concentrating on the execution, on the DETAILS of each play, each circumstance.

  26. cynic says:

    This team appears to be dead in the water. They had a pretty good run going for a while but it appears the party ended when Emelin went down. It’s just as well since the good weather is coming and it would be a shame to fritter it away by watching hockey in June. Looks like the Habs will be on the golf course by then.

  27. habstrinifan says:

    Good simple post below:
    jedimyrmidon

    April 21, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Certain conundrums:

    – Gorges says many of the right things for many of his teammates, but then doesn’t back it up with his own play (this season at least).
    – Moen is a prime target for criticism for his lack of physical play/hitting/fighting – what is expected of him – but criticism of DD for his lack of production [given the type of minutes he receives, etc.], i.e., also what is expected of him, is viewed as taboo by many
    – MaxPac is a big body, but doesn’t seem to want to play the role of a power forward anymore… (I suspect he may be playing with multiple nagging injuries)

  28. Danno says:

    5-1 Caps. But it was only the goalie, the defence, and the forwards who were lousy for the Canadiens on this night. Everyone else was fantastic.

    ________________________________________

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

  29. ed says:

    “The 2-0 deficits that are becoming customary – Peter Budaj was beaten early in Pittsburgh – have a deflationary impact on the Canadiens … the more so because they’re not used to it. Through their first 40 games, the Canadiens opened the scoring 28 times”.

    mix in the fact that the playoff spot was clinched, and you have all the ingredients for a recipe of failure.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Yes sir Ed. The team plays tentatively after that. It DOES start in the nets. No don’t get me wrong I’m not one of those “Price will never win the big one” folks that in my opinion are just panicking after a small sample of crappy performances. I’ll just say this. When Carey is good he is very very good. When Carey is bad, he is very very bad. I prefer the former.

  30. 24 Cups says:

    JT’s thoughts on the Carey Price situation.

    http://habsloyalist.blogspot.ca/

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Nice summary by JT, Steve. Thanks for posting.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      That’s a really solid, measured piece on CP — many thanks TwoFour.

      However the piece below it is outstanding — on brain injury, parental behaviour, officiating etc in kids’ hockey.

      Ever since reading Malcolm Gladwell (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/19/091019fa_fact_gladwell) I’ve started worrying that football may actually be doomed.

      Hockey can still save itself but only via a major cultural overhaul.

      (Wrote a comment for JT but was unable to post it)

      • 24 Cups says:

        I love JT’s posts. Her work, along with the musings of Mike Boone and Robert Lefebvre, top my list of favourite Hab writers.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Did she used to post here and does she no longer?

          Also, I have a birthday coming up: should I start hinting about the Lefebvre book? I haven’t even read Jenish yet…

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Mike – Robert’s book is tremendous. I thought I knew a lot about the Habs but his book is filled with much information. I recommend it highly.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Ok thanks, Jim. That’s good enough for me, and the hints are taking shape in my mind as I type. Presume you know the Dick Irvin books? (And I see there are no REPLY tags left — sorry! Like asking someone a complex question just as they bite into their cheeseburger!)

  31. habstrinifan says:

    Good Norning!

    Stop it please! Losing Emelin is not the cause of this. Come on folks… get real.

    Two real:

    PP:Their entire PP is and has always been have the D blast away at the net. The forwards are really just there to tip in or screen. No PP imagination.

    5-ON-5. This team is back to throwing pucks behind the net from about the blueline and trying to cycle for a wrap around; a goal mouth scramble or some kinda ‘dirty’ goal. The funny thing is that while on the PP their only plan is throw the puck to the point for the D to blast… on 5-on-5 their heads are so down, engaged in the cycle, that they rarely look up to use the defense as part of their offense…. one reason why the gap between D and forwards have gotten bigger. When a team loses the puck on a cycle it usually means all the forwards are deep along the enemy’s backboards and the D are on their own.

    Our D and Carey need to be better.. of course… Too many changes etc. But it is the offensive forechecking and skating style evident in earlier parts of the season which would get this team back.

    Check out the first 5 minutes of last night’s game.. that’s all it will take to demonstrate the above. Heck even Gallagher was doing wraparounds And only Eller made a pass back to the D 5-on-5 for ‘reset’.

    And oh yeah… they should have practised. That was a disgrace and negligent coaching not to have even a 1hr light get together easy drill prior to the LAST HOME GAME of your season and in the middle of a slump like this.

    When is MTL gonna get over the style of offense the where star of the team has to be the goalie… night after night after night! It looked like they were heading away from that style this season… now they have basically gone back to it.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree with everything in this post trini. I’ve been a MT supporter all along and will continue to be as long as he’s behind our bench but he’s been a factor in this slump as well. Thank you for pointing that out. CHeers bud.

  32. Old Bald Bird says:

    Good morning everyone. The sun is shining in Ottawa, but it was a gloomy Saturday night. For the third period, my tv was off, and I was reading a book that I had read before. It was a Ruth Rendell, Inspector Wexford mystery. The Habs are quite mysterious too lately. This is not a slump. This is a total breakdown: a complete unravelling. I don’t recall a stint like this in the HIO years. It’s been abysmal. Speaking of the HIO years, several times in these years have Les Boys seemed to have been on track only to pop our balloons. How dispiriting. And to think that as recently as a week ago, many of us were dreaming of a Cup run.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Here’s the break down of the Habs’ breakdown:
      Abysmal
      Dismal
      ‘Tis mal

      The Laffs’ ‘luck’ is looking pretty good. We should be so lucky.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good morning OBB.
      Dispiriting is the right word, and I feel it as well. But let’s be comforted by the fact that every re-build starts with coaching and management: they’ve only just arrived, only just started, and they inherited a mess. If we can all manage our expectations better we can enjoy what remains of 2012-2013 and look forward to a steadily increasing rate of enjoyment next season and those that follow.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        The only light I can see is that this may embolden MB to make more sweeping changes than he might have. It seems that this mix (or mess) of players isn’t even close to being … um … close. But maybe I’m wrong, and MT will get them perking again. I think what we mainly want are spirited and closely contested games.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I agree but think he’s ahead of us, already fully in favour of change (although maybe not “sweeping”), and was an interested buyer pre-deadline but didn’t like the deals on offer. HOPEFULLY it’s a matter of adjustments — off-loading some who might be happier elsewhere, replaced by those who fit better into his vision. It just could never happen in one season.

          Your last sentence: me too, and if it doesn’t happen in the playoffs, I do what you did after the 2nd period last night!

          • Old Bald Bird says:

            You’re right, sweeping is the wrong word. A few key changes might do it. Perhaps, bold is a better word.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Therrien got a big black mark (first real one I have unequivocally given him this season) by not preparing the team for the LAST HOME GAME of the season. John’s wording is spot on. Abysmal and dismal.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Hadn’t thought of that — was thinking, tough few games then finally a win: have a breather. But I think you’re right: last home game of the season.

          I also agree with all the problems you list above. And I’d suggest there are more. As I tried to argue below, and you do more effectively above, it’s ridiculous to hang this on any single factor, such as the coach or goalie. Lots of issues have emerged this week, the fixing of most of which is part of the long-term plan and not the plan for this week.

  33. Maritime Ron says:

    OK. We all know how it works in Montreal.
    The season is for entertainment, then slate gets wiped clean.
    A Hab is always remembered by how he performs in the playoffs.

    That mentioned, in regards to what’s going with Carey Price, the dots just DON’T connect!

    In NHL circles, Price is considered a top tier goalie regardless of what is spewed about him on these threads.
    While everyone is allowed a bad day or 2 at the office, this appears to be more than that. Carey’s last excellent game was back on April 6th in a 2-1 Habs win over Boston having posted a .963 SP. That was 6 appearances ago.

    While many point to the Leafs meltdown as the start of the problem, there was a sign in the 3-2 loss to Washington before that Toronto game.
    “I beat Ryder,” Ovechkin said. “The shot wasn’t that hard but it went in, so that’s good.”

    Perhaps some questions need to be asked.

    1) Is Price playing injured and IF so, is he sharing everything with the medical team and coaching staff as to the problems as minor as he may believe them to be?

    2) Are there any recent personal issues that are distractions affecting his preparation, concentration, and compete level? Some may ask how a 25 year old earning a salary this year of $5.5M can have personal issues…..

    I ask these questions because Price has not looked mentally ready through that stretch, and his physical movements are quite different from when he was playing lights out.

  34. AllHailTheFlower says:

    Last night on the LiveBlog thread, before the game started, I sarcastically thanked CBC for making the Leafs game the national broadcast so that I wouldn’t be able to watch the Habs play. This morning, that gratitude is sincere – thanks CBC, glad I missed it!

  35. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Ok, put your finger on that one factor that has caused and is sustaining this slump.

    No, you can’t! Whatever has happened since we clinched is more multi-faceted and complex than us HIO geniuses can possibly know.

    WIP. New gm and coach working with what they inherited, building towards something that was never likely to happen in 2013.

    The very worst posters here aren’t trolls. It’s guys my age who lived through the 1970s and think every game is the start of the next dynasty and then want to shoot someone when it doesn’t happen. Come on, guys. We’re making the kids laugh at us!

  36. ZimHabwe says:

    What’s crazy is that the only reason we’re still atop the division is because Boston is also limping to the finish line. Albeit not on crutches the way our team is getting there. Still, losses are losses and Boston fans are equally worried that their team won’t make it past the first round with the way they’ve been playing lately. But they have Chara and a few other backstoppers to keep giving them a chance. We have one PK and…mm not sure who else. All we can do here is pray to the gods. May they grant us a miracle playoff team or may they make our exit fast and painless.

  37. HNS says:

    Carey on sale…..1/2 Price. PriceBot Alert!!!!!!

  38. Captain aHab says:

    The draft will be interesting if our goalies keep acting like deer in headlights….will MB draft one early? Does Timmins have a gem to draft later on? Or do they just ride it out this year and draft one very early next year if things don’t improve?

    During games look at Price’s eyes…they’ll tell you how the game is going. He’s really wide-eyed when not performing.

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

  39. Roy_s_WINK says:

    Two thoughts for my HIO brethren:

    1) The Habs are forever and nothing can change or alter that.

    2) I would rather this slump happen now than during the playoffs.

    Relax and focus on how amazing the next 6-8 years of this franchise will be.

  40. Frank2468 says:

    Well folks I’m calling it a night and hopefully the Panthers beat the Bruins Sunday, that would make for a nice Sunday dinner and we can beat the Devils on Tuesday. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and lets do this again real soon.

    Peace

    • habsmanagementzero says:

      “Fans who read Hockey Inside-Out regularly know I’m a big Carey Price fan. But there’s no sugarcoating what we’ve seen for the last two weeks. The numbers don’t lie: Price is 1-5 with a GAA of 4.91 and a save percentage of .868.”

      You know what those stats are(I want to say Priceless but won’t).
      They are an indication that Price can not,will not and has not EVER risen to a level where he can by himself get the CH a win.Without Emelin Price has had more work-that is a certainty-and has proven that he unfortunately is unable to function at a higher level when needed(and in the coming plyoffs its needed!!!).In short he does not have the ability.STATS NEVER LIE!

      • makka83 says:

        You’re wrong because you said:
        “Price can not, will not and have not…”
        then you said:
        “Stats never lie”

        But stats never lie about the PAST. So “will not” is not a statement based on stats, it’s based on your personal opinion which is an emotional one.

        Also, your logic is flawed. Why should a goalie be measures by his level to win a game “by himself”? If that’s your measuring stick, then you must hate all goalies. Even Roy and Brodeur didn’t win games by themselves.

  41. makka83 says:

    True Story:
    Not everyone who class out Price is a troll. But repeating the same freaking thing over and over (some more than 15-20 comments a night) is spamming. Spamming is a form of trolling.

    Price has been terrible of late. No denying that. You can say his Defense is terrible (which it is) but that’s no excuse to his terrible play. He looks like a guy who is nervous. He is trying too much. You can tell that he’s very conservative. Not sure why that is. Does he not trust his Dmen? Does he not trust himself? Is he this fragile mentally?

    The whole team has been also terrible of late. it’s hypocritical to say that everything is on Price because the early goals deflate the team. Well, if you D lets other teams have free shots at your from good angles and score, as a goalie, wouldn’t that deflate you?

    The Habs aren’t just losing. That’s okay. They are not even putting an effort. They aren’t finishing checks. They are letting forwards waltz around in their zone untouched. Every shot, there is 1/2 guys in front of Price standing there unmolested. The Habs are just getting pushes around all over the ice. I love Gallagher but he just gets pushes off the ice easier than DD… and that’s terrible. Even Eller has played scared the last few games. Don;t get me started on Moen.

    These are not excuses for Price. But let’s put this in perspective, there are maybe 5 guys who are trying their best (Price isn’t one of them).

    I hope the team can turn it around. but it will take a lot now. i’m fine with them losing in the playoffs if they at least show some fight and not get spanked like they have been in the last few games. Have some pride…

    • habsmanagementzero says:

      kalevine says:
      April 21, 2013 at 12:36 am hmm,

      feb 2008, trade huet so price can be #1. see how that turned out, 1 good playoff series and then abysmal against flyers
      jun 2010, trade halak so price can be #1, worked for one season and the first 2 games in the playoffs
      sorry, can’t remember the date, I think I blocked it. signed price to 6.5 mill contract –

      all 3 actions have been designed to establish him as unchallenged #1 goalie. Why would they draft a high end goalie now?
      SEE!!!!
      That is one major point.He has NEVER EARNED being #1.If I was gm imho he has not earned being #1 even this year.Budaj has had 2 bad game and is 8-2-1;Price has had so many bad games-and I MEAN HORRIBLE-ie giving up easy goals by the bushel-that in my opinion he has LOST his starting position.
      Remember;People lie;numbers NEVER lie.Price is the 45th best goalie in the NHL this year,and only an average to below average goalie over 6 years-THAT IS THE STATISTICAL REALITY!!!Do you really think he will suddenly be great in the playoffs.REALITY CHECK!!! Not Likely!

      • makka83 says:

        Numbers never lie.. except that you can see them with a different perspective. For example, GAA. You can say that this is a goalie-only stat. But that doesn’t tell you how god or bad the shots were. I mean the Caps goalie tonight, these were the easiest 32 saves I have ever seen.

        As for Price earning the #1, I disagree. He did earn it. He should have been left in Hamilton for 1-2 seasons (not his fault). But he did play well for stretches of each season he was in, even this one. We can’t have a goalie situation that every time a goalie struggles, he loses his #1 status. We live and die by Price. he has a lot of responsibility (that’s why he makes money). He either delivers or he doesn;t.

        And no, you cannot predict the future. People like you wanted to trade Roy in 93… You think fans who wanted to trade the best goalie of all time are reasonable? I don’t think so. You’re not being reasonable here. You’re too emotional.

  42. thehammer says:

    Either way I have trust in MB to make the right call.

    • Seps says:

      Either he messed up by not getting Therrien the right guy for his system or Therrien needs to change his system.

    • VancouverHab says:

      Uhhmm…MT made the wrong call off the bat by hiring Therrien.

      That chicken has now officially come a la maison to roost.

      • Clay says:

        We (almost) all thought Therrien was the wrong person for the job. But he took this team to the division lead (we’re still there despite these recent woes) after a last place finish last season. To this point – and despite the recent collapse – I have to say Marc Bergevin made the right call.
        And let’s all give him more than one shortened season to pass judgement on his body of work, shall we? We can start judging him after 3 or 4 seasons. 5 is ideal, if you have patience.

        __________________________
        ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

        • makka83 says:

          Agreed. But I think that seeing what is happening to the team, the coaches hold the key here. Their system is known to other teams now. They must do something different and hope the players, all of them, can step up. Especially Pricey.

  43. thehammer says:

    Yes price will be 26 in August. I agree that he has been terrible as of late. Definitely lacking confidence and hasn’t stolen a game all year (which is what you expect from a goalie of his stature). But I’m not ready to give up on him yet.
    He deserves blame for a lot of soft goals no doubt. But there’s no rush to ship him out. I’m from Hamilton and watched him during his small stint here. He has rare ability. The kind of ability that should have him stealing games and standing on his head but he’s not.
    The NHL market doesn’t have much to replace him and we don’t have anyone in the wings. Like it or not he’s our best option. We can all agree the Habs have some holes. We were the worst team in the East last year for a reason ( of course injuries and what not played a factor). We haven’t been a really good team for a while. We’ve been mediocre compared to other contenders. Halak got hot and took us deep. He’s not doing the same in STL right now. Price has won at every level before. World jr gold and MVP I believe. Calder cup and Calder cup MVP. He needs to get his act together but there’s no way we can just get rid of him.

    • Clay says:

      To be fair, he did steal (or at least ‘borrow’) one or two games this year. Otherwise, I agree completely.

      __________________________
      ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

      • makka83 says:

        Here is how Price’s season went:
        January/February: Good
        March: Average
        April: Awful.

        Overall – Below Average.

        But it’s true, getting rid of him won’t help us.

        • Clay says:

          Good analysis – I concur. Personally I don’t want to get rid of him; I want him to play to his potential.

          __________________________
          ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

    • Frank2468 says:

      thehammer you are correct you can’t just get rid of him, but I still think what has made it hard on Carey was his development. I remember that Carbo said he wasn’t ready and Gainey wanted him up now and they got in to a squabble. Gainey pushed it by trading away Heut for a draft pick so as to say to Carbo play him you have no choice now. I wonder how much better and less growing pains there would have been if he wasn’t thrown to the dogs at 19 or 20. And if Carey is that franchise player that the Habs say he is and I believe he is. Then why didn’t they protect him like the Pens protected Crosby by having Crosby live with Lemieux for a couple of years. No, instead they let a 19, 20 year old kid loose with money in Montreal to go up and down on St. Catherine’s street. And he did have a rough couple of years in the beginning. All that adds up as well.

    • habsmanagementzero says:

      To “The Hammer”
      Man,if you are not ready to give up on him after 6 mediocre years,you have a great capacity to endure pain.
      REALITY CHECK! Does Price cast an interdimensional haze that blocks the vision of hockey watchers,or better yet makes them see Price as a Kendrydenpatrickroy hologram?????
      Me,I only see a few things.Price is noticibly slower laterally than most NHL goalies.He is consistently beaten by players going across the net or passing to the open side…he just is too slow to get there in time!! Also he is consisitenly beaten 5 hole.

  44. Habilis says:

    Good news of the day in Habland:

    With the Isles’ SO loss, we clinched at least 6th place. The Isles can catch us in wins and points, but not ROW. The Rangers, Jets and Caps cannot catch us either.

    Teams that could still pass us: Bruins, Leafs, Sens.

  45. Storman says:

    He obviously was screened to let a beach ball beat him, come on now guys, and what the picture does not show is the D allowed a 45 foot beach ball wrist shot from just outside the circle, and why did the D not block that beach ball for him,

  46. tofinohab says:

    long time reader, first time poster.
    we sure miss Emelin! team has not been the same since he was injured.

    • Clay says:

      Welcome…and yes. Incredible if he was actually the piece that held it all together.

      __________________________
      ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

    • Welcome!

      And yeah, Emelin is missed. I’m not sure his absence is the cause of all this awfulness though — I can’t believe a second-year defenceman who’s only fairly good in his own end and a non-entity in the offensive zone could be so key to the team. I’ve got to think this is just one of those slumps all teams have from time to time…

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

  47. Frank2468 says:

    You gotta love the picture Boone used and edited for Carey. Looks like he’s thinking how did that beach ball get through my five hole? Thats because M.T has renamed Careys five hole to the ‘Grand Canyon’. Lmao better to laugh then cry I guess???

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      For one of Boones favorite players he sure makes fun of Price.

      Dat’s wha me tinks

      • Clay says:

        Price has earned some singling out with his terrible play of late.

        __________________________
        ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

        • makka83 says:

          True. But it’s naive and simplistic to believe he’s the only problem.

          • Clay says:

            Only? Certainly not. Main problem? He most certainly is.

            __________________________
            ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

          • Seps says:

            Main problem, you actually have no hockey sense.

          • makka83 says:

            I don’t know if he’s the main problem. I mean the Habs can’t score on the PP. They can;t get out of their zone. They can’t finish their checks. They can;t win a faceoff. They can;t kill a penalty. They can’t push forwards away from their net. They constantly have forwards left alone in their zone…
            But I agree that as a goalie, you have more responsibility than other players.

          • Clay says:

            Hey there Mikky (Seps) – I see you here lately doing nothing but having unwavering support for your favourite player. This extreme loyalty is a noble trait. However, you always seem to act like a dick when defending the love of your life, which is not such an endearing quality.
            You love Price; I get it. I have reservations about him; get over it.

            __________________________
            ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

          • Seps says:

            Refer to makka83 comment above. And I just lack respect for people’s hockey knowledge when they blame the goalie right away, you can read my longer post above if you’d like explaining it. I know he hasn’t played well lately but to blame a 5-1 loss on a goalie is ludacris.

    • BrownHabFan says:

      You may aswell jump off the bandwagon it’s already full lol…with Leafs having just clinched and on a roll I think their are some openings there :)

      “I couldn’t really hear the words that Jeremy was saying because I got my 2 stanley cup rings plug in my ear”
      Patrick Roy

      • Frank2468 says:

        No way I’m Habs fan in leaf nation and I’d rather put sticks in my eyes then pull for the leafs. I’m on this ship till it sinks doesn’t mean a sailor isn’t afraid of a sinking ship but still all hands on deck, we fight till the end.

  48. Saintpatrick33 says:

    So they finished last in the conference last year they bring in Bergevin, a whole new front office staff, a new coaching staff, Prust Armstrong and Boullion and it worked….for a while. Now they’re playing like they did for the last two years.

    It’s just mind boggling that after such a great season they implode now. I think MB needs to take a long look at the players on this team going forward and make quite a few changes. Maybe they’re tired. Maybe they just took their foot off the gas after they clinched. Maybe I’m just deluded and they’re just not that good. It was really awesome for a while there though.

  49. jedimyrmidon says:

    Certain conundrums:

    – Gorges says many of the right things for many of his teammates, but then doesn’t back it up with his own play (this season at least).
    – Moen is a prime target for criticism for his lack of physical play/hitting/fighting – what is expected of him – but criticism of DD for his lack of production [given the type of minutes he receives, etc.], i.e., also what is expected of him, is viewed as taboo by many
    – MaxPac is a big body, but doesn’t seem to want to play the role of a power forward anymore… (I suspect he may be playing with multiple nagging injuries)

    Also:

    I’d like to see the Habs tighten up defensively like Ottawa did. If Therrien is a good coach, he should be able to accomplish something similar with his players as MacLean did with his. Ottawa’s defense isn’t composed of big bruisers. I don’t care if goal scoring goes down and the Habs become a defensive shell for the next 3 games: they NEED to be able to get back to playing proper defense!

    • Seps says:

      I honestly think they need to go back to a simplified defensive system like a 5 man collapse beacuse…

      1. Transition shmanssion, we’ll get our goals
      2. Markov is not near mobile enough for their current system
      3. Drewiske as a big body could be effective in a collapse
      4. It’s something Gorges excels at
      5. It’ll atleast eliminate wide open opportunites.

      Also I agree with your thoughts on Pacioretty although some idiot suggested trading him for Brouwer earlier, got a laugh out of me.

      Moen is prime for criticism because he’s ineffective yet he’s not the reason we’re losing, he’s a 4th line guy.

  50. Rad says:

    The fact that Jarred Tinordi lost a fight does not concern me. The kid’s a warrior — at least he shows up when the bell rings, unlike any of our current D-men. In the fight game, you win some and you lose some, and Tinordi’s pugilistic skills will undoubtedly improve with time and practice. Jarred can skate, hit, clear the crease, as well as fight when called upon. We haven’t seen all of those attributes in a Montreal defenseman for a long time.

  51. Seps says:

    I do love Price. Growing up I played as a forward for some good and awful coaches like everyone who played competitively, but they always taught you can’t control what a refs going to call, you can’t control what a goalies going to stop, and it’s all about how you react to it. You can whine and use it as an EXCUSE (no excuses sound familiar or starting to get distant?), or you can go out there and even things up.

    The team is in shambles right now as a collective. Price isn’t helping anyone right now, D-zone (it’s not just D *ahem Ryder ahem*) isn’t helping anyone either. Maybe we should resort to a defensive zone collapse again, who knows. But I’m terrified. What’s looking more and more like a potential first round match-up against the Leafs something needs to change or we’ll be out before Timo can say Bacardi.

    Efforts not there, which falls among the players and clearly the coach has lost something along the way. Price will not come out of this slump without the help of the D. Back-door passes aren’t actually good for confidence, contrary to what Gorges believes, but for those of you who are recommending Budaj… Get real, that’s like the Pens starting Johnson because Fleury was awful late last-year.

  52. Frank2468 says:

    If they lose the next 4 games the Habs could go from 2nd to 8th place and then have to play the Pens. Then they could say like 2 years ago well at least we got beat by the stanley cups champs in the first round!!!

  53. BrownHabFan says:

    Seriously all you Price bashers out there need to stick a cork in it….I’m not sure if any of you have ever played or even watched hockey before with the way you’re bad mouthing out gem…yeah sure a couple soft goals here and there but do you want to know what’s truly soft is our D…especially after losing emelin…we’ve looked soft and easy to push around in our own end. We don’t have to the size to really prevent teams from penetrating and getting into the slot to prevent high quality scoring chances…If we could have some people on the team who could clear the fort and give Price some space to work watch the difference…Regardless for all of you fools…you do remember this team was last place last year? You do realize that Marc Bergevin, isn’t going to blow the future on a couple rental players to maybe make a cup run? NO! This is a rebuilding process…we’re just all a bit shocked at how many wins this team has racked up and are used to winning…but as sad as it to say without emelin we’re small brittle and weak on the defensive end, let alone our tiny forwards…Next year is going to be awesome, but let’s just buckle up and enjoy the ride while we got it

    “I couldn’t really hear the words that Jeremy was saying because I got my 2 stanley cup rings plug in my ear”
    Patrick Roy

    • Frank2468 says:

      So what your saying is the team has over acheived this year to this point? If so then wouldn’t it have been better for the team not to have over acheived, this way the team ends up with a higher first round draft pick instead of a first round embarssing bounce?

      • Seps says:

        They didn’t overachieve, they just can’t play this defensive system any longer, play a low-key collapse, it saves energy too.

        • Frank2468 says:

          Seps your correct with low-key collapse but you still have to have some confidence for the system to work. And the bounces are going their way either. Don’t know if theres enough time to right ship? Now if they could go on a 4 game streak to close out the season, then maybe just maybe they may get back some of that swagger back that they lost?

          • Seps says:

            To get their confidence back they don’t need to win necessarily, but play a good defensive zone game. Get back into a groove in their own end, hence a collapse, easy enough for anyone to learn.

            Either way I’d take 3 losses now and lose the first playoff game to get a defensive system right. The current one isn’t working, and they need a change. Currently they “need a new ship” anyways ;-)

      • BrownHabFan says:

        So what your saying is your going to jump off the bandwagon now just because they’re not playing so well nearing the end of the season? And going to jump right off the bandwagon and become a basher fan, and maybe cheer for the pens? All I’m saying is proud of this team…win or lose this season has been awesome…and Marc Bergevin will be able to properly evalutate the strengths and weaknesses for next season which I think we all know is pretty obvious

        “I couldn’t really hear the words that Jeremy was saying because I got my 2 stanley cup rings plug in my ear”
        Patrick Roy

        • deuce6 says:

          Wow..How the expectations in MTL have fallen..

          Sorry, but I am a loyal fan of the Montreal Canadiens, not the individuals that call themselves players..The current players on this team are crapping the bed in the most important segment of the regular season..They aren’t just losing hockey games, BTW, they are getting their asses handed to them a plate…

          There, justifiably, is cause for concern and I for one will not stand for it…As a Hab follower, I expect the best… We don’t settle for simply making the playoffs in MTL, we expect to win the cup…This city/team was built on champions and right now, this current squad is embarrassing themselves and the loyal/hardcore fan base that follows them..

          They need to get their heads out of their rear ends and start playing hockey instead of dishing out lame cliches after every poor performance..

          If I want to call them out on a terrible effort, you nor anyone else will tell me not to do so..If you don’t like it, don’t read it..Simple..

          In a nutshell, don’t tell anyone how to be a fan..It makes you look like a douche..

          ——————
          Brandon Prust doesn’t have hair on his testicles, because hair does not grow on steel….

          • makka83 says:

            With all due respect duce, we’ve been settling for making the playoffs for a long time now. This is not 1950’s or 1970’s. It’s a 30 team league and with demanding fans, it’s harder to get a winning team. Because players get abused for every little thing.

          • Frank2468 says:

            Deuce6 so true like you I’ve been a fan since 1970 and I have seen my share of the cups being hoisted by the Habs in my time. I remember the Habs being called the ‘Lions of Winter” and they must feed at least once every decade. So seeing it go on now for 20 years is kind of deplorable. And living in leaf nation and seeing how they celebrate just making the playoffs for the first time since 2004 is laughable. Now I’m not saying the Habs must win the cup every year cause thats unrealistic and a dreamer, but at least be considered as a contender for god sake!!! One gets tired of hearing the same old rhetoric “this is the year” and living in leaf nation thats what you hear every year, and it’s sickening to think the Habs may be going the same way.

          • Frank2468 says:

            makka83 with all due respect the Habs still did ok in a 21 team league.

      • Saintpatrick33 says:

        That’s the gist of it

  54. Clay says:

    Priceberg speaks. No one listens.
    *Edit* First because of a mod job. Does that count?
    __________________________
    ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

  55. Frank2468 says:

    Just watched the Tinordi fight and yes that was depressing to watch. Thats why they sent him back to the Dogs. If they kept him with the Habs sooner or later the ice crew would be able to use him as one of those paddles they use to clean the ice during T.V timeouts. I think he needs to go back to dads farm and have his father teach him how to fight. Hey they could make a movie out of it and call it “Young Blood” lol

    • Seps says:

      He’s a good fighter, I’ve seen him throw live in Kitchener. Just he’s very small physically compared to his height at the grown man level.

      • deuce6 says:

        He leaves his chin exposed…He needs to grab the other guy’s jersey at the collar and tuck in his chin…Sooner or later, he is gonna get hit on the button and it is going to be lights out..

        ——————
        Brandon Prust doesn’t have hair on his testicles, because hair does not grow on steel….

  56. Clay says:

    That has to be the best Photoshop job ever on this site. Well done Boone (or whoever).

    __________________________
    ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

  57. Josh says:

    That Tinordi beating is because of the previous game when Tenute took a run at one of their guys that just returned from having concussion symptoms for two years. The guy ended up smashing his head off the glass and had to be helped off the ice. That was likely the end of his hockey career.

  58. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Reimer stoped 49 shots! Big deal! A blind squirel gets a nut every now & then.

    So Halak’s (Steve Penny) claim to fame was winning two playoff rounds in which he got pulled twice. He is now an injury prone back up.

    Dat’s wha me tinks

    • Clay says:

      Hi Priceberg. Why the name change (again!)? Sorry to say that your boy is playing poorly of late. I hope he pulls it together soon.

      __________________________
      ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

      • Small_Town_Boy says:

        See Clay it was like this: You couldn’t win the debate, you got childish and told the guy to “F” off. You took your ball and went home!

        Dat’s wha me tinks

        • Clay says:

          Now now little Priceberg – play nice.

          __________________________
          ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

      • makka83 says:

        Why is it always about Pricebots Vs Anti-Prices? Why can’t we all get along and stop spamming the same thing over and over and over and over?

        • Clay says:

          You misunderstand – he (Small_Town_Boy) is THE famous poster formerly known as Priceberg (AKA about 10 other names).

          __________________________
          ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      It’s great when a goaltender can put up a performance like that. Really boosts morale.

      Thing is, to be consistently successful, you can’t expect a goaltender to keep performing like that. Once again, the Leafs got heavily outshot and, once again, they won. They stole another one, but a win is a win, right? That’s all that people seem to care about, and that’s as far as they can see.

      You can’t expect teams to win like that. In fact, it’s hard to explain the victory when a team wins like that. You can say things like great goaltending, he gave them a chance, etc. But you still have to explain how the Leafs can keep scoring on far fewer shots. Oh, they’re opportunistic. Well, I guess that’s a skill…

      Same thing happened during the 2010 Habs miracle run to the ECF.

  59. jedimyrmidon says:

    Like many here, I am wondering what is going on with this team. To be suffering such a monumental collapse almost unprovoked is baffling.

    But.

    Too many seem to aim their ire at Price. Too many seem to truly believe that he is the root of the problems that are affecting the Habs at the moment. They attack with viciousness, unbridled disgust and conviction.

    Now, let me clarify: he certainly isn’t playing well, and keeping out consecutive early goals is a very important problem that he’ll need to solve. However, the question that many fail to ask is: Do you think this will be the norm for now and forevermore? Based on the vitriol on this site, I’d gather the answer is ‘yes’.

    And that’s where Price’s detractors demonstrate their lack of perspective. What NHL team has continued to lose this way for extended periods of time? Has there been any to suffer such a collapse, i.e., getting blown out repeatedly? Maybe the Habs will be the first ever. Who knows? But I wouldn’t bet on it, and yet that’s exactly what so many seem to do. They choose this stretch of horrific defeats to characterize Price: they truly believe that this is the type of goaltending he has to offer on a consistent basis to an NHL team.

    (Oh, and in all of this, I haven’t even discussed what role I think his teammates have to play in this.)

    • deuce6 says:

      The thing is with Price, he hasn’t really hasn’t needed to bail us out up until this current down trend..The team in front of him is not sheltering him like they were earlier and this is the result..Price needs to come up with a big save, every now and again, to instill some confidence back into the guys in front of him…

      I cringe every time the other team shoots..Even with weak wristers from the point because, lately, they have been going in with Price looking like a deer in the headlights..

      Winning starts from the net out..Defense wins championships, offense gets the glory..If it starts with defense (goalie) then we are in big trouble..

      ——————
      Brandon Prust doesn’t have hair on his testicles, because hair does not grow on steel….

  60. habs001 says:

    PP for Habs still 4th overall..has struggled recently but pp is like that ..it has shown enough consistency over a good period that it will come back..Biggest concern is the pk 19th..it has basically been poor for the entire season with a very short strech where it improved but now worse than ever…Even if the other problems that have surfaced in the last 2 weeks are resolved this team will not win any series in the playoff if the pk remains the same…

  61. durocher says:

    The NHL season is a war of attrition, which, as a small, soft team, we are losing.

  62. Prairienewf says:

    We all know they’ve been intentionally napping since the playoff clincher hence the many lopsided loses. Lets hope they don’t forget the recipe for success come playoff time. A reassuming prelude at ACC next Saturday would be nice.

    • Frank2468 says:

      Well confidence and swagger are infectious but so apprehension and doubt. And going from confidence and swagger to doubt is easy but going the other way not so easy and takes time which I think the Habs will run out of time before getting it back.

  63. JF says:

    OK, hardly anyone expected us to make the playoffs, we’ve had a great season until now, the team is on the right path, we should all be happy… but still, WTF is happening? How could a team go from being a fast, aggressive puck-possession team with a lightning-quick transition game to the shambles we’re seeing now almost from one game to the next? It was only two weeks ago that we played what was perhaps our best game of the season, beating the Bruins 2-1. Could the loss of a single player have caused the team to crumble like this? It’s as though it were a house of cards; take one card away and the whole structure comes crashing down. Price was outstanding in that game against the Bruins; could he have so completely lost it in the short space of time since then?

    This does not look to me like a slump, more like a total collapse, the sort of meltdown we witnessed in the centennial season. We never found out all the reasons for that, but I’m wondering if there is something going on now that we don’t know about. Otherwise I’m at a loss to explain it.

    The team looks such a mess that I doubt that one week will be enough to turn it around. I guess it starts with hard work, so I’m glad MT did not reward tonight’s suckfest with a day off.

  64. smiler2729 says:

    Boone, everybody… You people need to chill out, it ain’t all on the slumping goalie… this team wasn’t EVEN SUPPOSED TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. The playoffs require a different switch, who knows what will happen…

    _______________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam.
    Gary Bettman is a bobblehead.

  65. ooder says:

    “The stat sheet says Braden Holtby faced 36 shots, as every skater except Rene Bourque had at least one SoG.”.. that’s a shocker :-/
    Not.. bourque has absolutely 0 finish. It’s absurd how many opportunities he messed up.

  66. The Jackal says:

    HH usually posts insightful comments and he is a knowledgeable guy, but I think he may be jumping off the bandwagon a bit prematurely.

    Look people, Price is not the problem.
    I think reading into his body language, etc., is a bit out of our purview – we have no context to substantiate these assumptions.
    One thing HH was right about is that he plays better when he is aggressive, but right now he is not too confident.
    But hey, let’s ignore the fact that the entire team is playing like that.
    The biggest issue here is the D and how we play in our own end.
    If they can tighten it up, the ship can be righted.

    Not saying Price is infallible, but he is the easiest person to blame.
    On this issue, Bill, Loonie, and Associates™ are correct.
    Remember folks, the night is darkest before the dawn.
    We can learn a thing or two from Bruce Wayne and friends.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Frank2468 says:

      Yes the night is darkest before the dawn and so is solar eclipse and you know what happens if you look in to solar eclipse.

    • The Dude says:

      HH is just stating that if it looks like pooh and taste like pooh and it doesn’t say Marmite or Vegemite on it………..

    • Clay says:

      “No amount of belief makes something a fact”. These are the words of James Randi, and I believe they apply to anyone who thinks this is not on Price. Believe it all you want, but this starts and ends with goaltending.

      __________________________
      ☞ Think about little things that are happening. In your mind, just visualize little things, and it’ll help you create the mood that you’re looking for. There we go …” ☜ ~ Bob Ross

  67. Frank2468 says:

    Wow got home to watch Canadiens Express on RDS, glad I didn’t cut my evening short for that. They should change the name of Canadiens Express to Crap In An Hour. This way you don’t feel like you lost your entire evening. Cause right now watching the Habs is like taking of a band aid off slowly. At least Crap In An Hour you ripe it off fast and it doesn’t hurt as much and before you know it’s over instead of dragging it out for 3 hours.

    Can’t just blame Carry for the lose but man the first goal had such and odour. I think they can bottle it and call it “Essence Of The Barn Yard”. Second goal not his fault, but the Third goal wooh that bottled would be called “Midnight Pasture”. The fourth goal tick tack toe maybe something called defense just maybe. The fifth goal Estee Lauder is still trying to come up with name for that special cologne.

    I know close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades but if Carey stops 1st, 3rd and 5th goals and both goal posts shots go in we have a tie game with Patchs scoring late. Guess we can try and look at it that way. But they continue this trend it will be a fast exit from the playoffs and the theme song for this year will be “The Song Remains The Same” limping in to the playoffs again.

  68. Small_Town_Boy says:

    The Habs will be put out of ther misery early in the playoffs.

    I love Price a lot but MT should start Budaj in the Playoffs.

    I hate to say it but I can’t see Price being an elite goalie anymore. His stats shoud get better each year but they are not. Time for a new goalie coach maybe.

    Dat’s wha me tinks

  69. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Right after tonight’s game, Sergio Momesso (on TSN radio) was speculating that the team is physically and mentally tired. When Mitch Melnick asked why the same wouldn’t apply to the Habs’ opposition, Sergio didn’t respond. But I am willing to venture an opinion on that.

    Certain teams, like the Capitals, drifted throughout the first two months of the season, while the Habs had it cranked up to 11, and were out-skating their opponents. But Les Canadiens’ style of play is also far more taxing than that of many other teams. Their overall team size dictates that they can’t play the grind-it-along-the-boards style, and instead they rely on the forwards getting back quickly and deeply to support the D. And once they have the puck, they use their uptempo transition game to go the other way. Lately, the forwards aren’t getting back as fast, or as far. And defensemen aren’t retrieving pucks as quickly as before.

    Also, other teams observed that the Habs were generating all their offense from the back-end, and now they are playing two men high in the defensive zone taking away time and space from our point men. More often than not now, point shots are getting blocked two feet inside the blue line. And without any real muscle on the forward position, or lack of willingness on the part of those that have the muscle to use it (I’m looking at you Max Patch and Bourque!), there is no one crowding the goal, and thus no reason for the defenders to play back. This allows them to take away passing options in the slots and in the corners.

    Were this a typical 82 game season, this just might be a typical mid-season slump, with lots of time to work through strategic adjustments, and to rest some players. But, alas, we don’t have that luxury in this truncated year.

    That being said, I do think, however, that this bad patch exposes, glaringly, the age-old deficiencies of this team. The problem, ever since Bob Gainey went on his desperate rummage sale shopping spree, is that the Habs lack balance. They have too many similar players, and lack that counter-balance that makes for successful teams. Mainly, I’m talking about size, but also attitude.

    For example, on defence, we have an array of swift-footed, puck-moving d-men, but sadly, no big, punishing crease-cleaners. And while Prust, Armstrong, Moen, Halpern, and Dumont are all very capable lunch-box type forwards, you only need a couple of those. You also need some tough grinders who are willing and able to crash and bang and bruise the opposition. The same applies up front. I love Gionta, Gallagher, and yes, even Desharnais. But not all on the same team.

    I have no doubt that Michel Bergevin knows all this, and that is why he didn’t go all out at the trade deadline. He knows that more than one change will be needed. He has quite a few assets that can be moved (is it a coincidence that Weber is suddenly getting ice time now?). He just has to decide whom to keep, and who he can give up who will also attract interest.

    As for Carey Price, he is still young, and may yet blossom into an elite goaltender in this league. But he still has many miles to go yet. Hopefully, he continues to progress as this team, I have no doubt, will over the next few seasons. He’s not there yet, and neither is this current roster. But it’s been a fun season. And at least we get a few playoff games. At minimum.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  70. Marc10 says:

    Well at least Patches scored… Which means he’ll probably light the lamp in his next 8 games.

    At this point, it is all about the goaltending and the D. I’ll say it again… Go with 7D and allow Markov and Gorges to catch their breath before we start the real season.

    Otherwise, it is what it is. Either Pricey and the top 4 D get it together or it will be a very short postseason. Let’s pray they do.

  71. Trisomy 21 says:

    How did Diaz play on his first game back? Could you even tell considering how bad the team played?

  72. NLhabsfan says:

    Just seems the intensity is gone out of their playing.Almost no jump what’s soever.

  73. durocher says:

    It’s time to stop protecting the reputations of our veteran players who have underperformed, and play some of the younger players who seem to actually care. We also have to acknowledge that we are a soft team and that any D with Cube, Weber, and Diaz is bound to get pounded. We’re setting ourselves up for a loss before we even get out on the ice. Bourque hasn’t done anything since returning, and our slide has coincided with the complications of inserting him into the lineup. Moen has no business playing — he is completely useless. With that, my proposed lines are:

    Max-DD-Gally11
    Gally27-Pleks-Gio
    Prust-Eller-Ryder
    Bourque-Halpern-Army/Dumont

    Tinordi-Subban
    Markov-Gorges
    St-Denis-Cube

  74. habs_54321 says:

    reimer stop 49 of 50 shots wow!!

  75. 24 Cups says:

    “It’s not dark yet but it’s gettin’ there.”

  76. adamkennelly says:

    I tend to not get on Carey too bad but its been a very long time since he was a stud goalie – and he was one once. but he really isn’t anymore. I was just thinking we should trade him to TB for Victor Hedman.

  77. alfieturcotte says:

    I agree – he is a big body who can stop most shots but not steal a game or make the spectacular saves. He is probably ranked in the 12-18 range, that’s it. Gets paid too much for those figures so hopefully MB sees this and will cut him loose, a la Cole.

  78. BJ says:

    They have just traded for Bishop and don’t need a high priced Price to strain their cap.


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