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. Cable Guy says:

    This whole board is all doom and gloom. Can I remind you that we finished last in the east last season? Do you honestly think we were going to win the cup this year? I for one think we played over our heads for the most part this season and thats why we are where we are now. Carey Price is a very good goaltender, he just isn’t a great goaltender, he’s no Patrick Roy so don’t expect him to be and I highly doubt he will ever lead us to a Stanley Cup. Our team is woefully small so I think we have taken a lot of punishment this year and are wore down.

    People keep saying it was a huge mistake to not make a trade at the deadline. I think it was smart to stand pat. Dumping Gomez, Kaberle this summer and Eric Cole’s contract frees up some money to sign players this summer. We will get bigger and stronger.

    Stop focusing on this year and look at our future and all our young guys we have coming up. If we win a round or two this year it’s a bonus but if we don’t then who cares. Bergevin still has a lot of work to do to right this ship. Be patient.

    • deuce6 says:

      For a guy talking about “doom and gloom”, you sure know how to set us straight with the overachieving remark..lol

      Anyone else see the hypocrisy in that post? ^^^

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

    • SmartDog says:

      While I agree with your initial point (too much belly aching), the idea that we should take the attitude “wait til next year” is REALLY depressing.

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

      • Cable Guy says:

        If at the start of the season someone said Montreal was going to be where they are right now you would have thought they were nuts. Be happy with what we have achieved this year but don’t expect much the rest of the way. We are worn down and beat up.

  2. deuce6 says:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/923520_10151571466746201_299640807_n.jpg

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

  3. The Jackal says:

    It is almost fruitless to post anything these days, since we are all hoping the Habs get it together and we all know what they need to do – be better everywhere.

    But if I may just add one thing, looking at this slump through sober non-whiskey addled eyes, I’d say that we are not as bad as it looks now.

    Just hear me out. We are all aware of our defensive struggles and goaltending “issues,” but this is something every team save maybe 2 have gone through this season. we’ve still not lost more than 3 straight in regulation. The team is clearly frustrated that they are not playing their game, and I think MT shoulders most of the blame – in trying to rest some guys, I think he has sent a message that it is ok to hold back now. Despite the slump he has been giving days off, etc., when he should be holding practices to work on problem areas.

    Like HH said below, a bit of extra work will help the team. Get back to what made them successful, team play in every zone and solid goaltending. Easier said than done, but at least they play another slumpbuster team on Tuesday.

    Hopefully they find their mojo once more.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • twilighthours says:

      To me, this is more than just a bit of a slump, it’s 4 out of 5 games being totally dominated and humiliated.

      I believe it is possible to right the ship, but it doesn’t look promising.

      We can hope,.

      • The Jackal says:

        Right, but not because we’re bad, it’s because we have not been playing well – just playing with less compete than other teams – every other team we faced during this slump had something to prove and play for and we just clinched a spot with 8 games left. I think they let that go to their heads and MT legitimated that idea by resting guys and having days off – they’ve let up on the gas, when as someone said last night, they should be going full throttle to secure home ice and go into the playoffs with confidence in their game.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Phil C says:

        The players are not willing to pay the price right now to win puck battles, block shots, or go to the net. They are trying to make it to the playoffs healthy, this is more important than seeding.

        Once the playoffs start, they will be a dominant team again. Why? Because it is the same players except Emelin that had them in 2nd place. Losing Emelin hurts, but it does not explain the recent play. They didn’t suddenly forget how to play, they are just not willing to pay the price to win right now. That will change on April 30, I have no doubt in my mind.

  4. Small_Town_Boy says:

    @ the Mods.

    Why does one of your Favs “Clay” get to insult fellow poster time in and time out!

    Dat’s wha me tinks

  5. Habs in the UK says:

    Hi everybody,
    Living in the UK, from Montreal, love the Habs, watch every game, read all of your stuff. My 2 pence worth:
    -just worried about being ready for the playoffs. Nothing else matters. Especially if it’s the Laffs.
    -Price: why all the discussion. He’s our no. 1 for this year, and he has to be ready like everybody else. I have supreme confidence in him and he’ll step up, but the team must play better in front of him. -tired: to that point, the boys are looking tired. Gallagher, Ryder, DD (I know, I know), Max Pac, Pleks….they are all looking tired. Back passes missing, losing 1 on 1’s, D zone giveaways…….details aren’t there = tired. Maybe lunchbag let down after clinching, but they need a spark.
    -Prust: hasn’t been the same since he came back. Still hurting ?
    -Emelin: yes, we miss him more than we think. The D is off balance. Hopefully Diaz offsets that (thought he played well last night).
    -physicality: I know they can’t bang with the big boys but they have to bang anyway. That’ll keep them in the game.
    -GM / coaches: BIG challenge to get them back on track. We know what this team is capable of – they can skate with anybody and beat Pitt / Bos (SO glad the Bruins are slumping too) and therefore Chi / Ana.
    Am very confident they’ll shake the funk, get back at it and grow those playoff beards – for those on the team who can……..

  6. Seps says:

    Price clearly needs to be better if we’re going to go anywhere BUT just to put things in perspective a lot more teams win the Cup with bad-mediocre goaltending than with goaltending that literally puts the team on the back and carries them.

    Recent examples: Niemi, Osgood, Fleury (yes a Cup-winning .908 SV%), I’d like to argue Thomas too because he’d be no where near as good with a d-core that didn’t take away every second opportunity.

    Recent examples of goalies who have carried there team and came up short: Giguere 03, Kipper 04, Halak.
    That’s since I can remember, I’m 20.

    So if Price is the problem, than what’s the solution for the Cup because clearly if history is any indication, the team has to be good defensively in front of him too.

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      Hey Seps

      I see tha Clay is bust your chops now. He is one of the few members that seem to believe that his comments are always correct & no one elses matters. He always takes shots at anyone that shows him up in a conversation.

      Dat’s wha me tinks

  7. Strummer says:

    It’s the perfect storm fpr disaster;
    -Price is not sharp
    – 5 games in 8 nights- No.2 D-man Markov is worn down
    – injury returnees Bourque, Weber, Diaz, Ryder are less than 100%
    -Emelin’s physical presence in Hab’s zone is missing

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

    • Sportfan says:

      It all equals the bad and the ugly and not a lot of good. The way they have played lately makes me forget that we are in the playoffs.

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

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I don’t understand not resting Markov now. He is going to have to play with PK big minutes (Gorges not doing the job). Would anyone here complain if he got a week off? The Habs made the playoffs which is all most of us were asking for at the start of the season. Makes no sense…

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

      • deuce6 says:

        Markov is actually hurting the team rather than helping..

        I’m with you on this one…Shut him down for the rest of the season and let Diaz/PK/Gorges/Bouillon/Drewiske/Weber take the reigns..

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

  8. habzfan2003 says:

    1-0 Boston 3 minutes in… Gross

    • Alex_425 says:

      Yeah, I know Boston’s tired after playing last night, but I just don’t see them messing this one up against Florida.

      But I’m no expert….

  9. Small_Town_Boy says:

    This is for all the Goaltending Experts ouit there.

    Look at every game on Saturday night. Look at all goals scored. Tell me where the goalies were? ON THEIR KNEES. It is the way all goalies play now, except Marty B.

    Dat’s wha me tinks

  10. adamkennelly says:

    repeat thought. watch Price move in the net when the puck is in our zone. watch him get “set” before faces-offs…he’s going through the motions, not moving with any purpose or sharpness…there is no wondering why all these soft ones are going in – his head is up his butt….

    Budaj for the last 3, rest some regulars, call ups from Hammertown – including Stortini and see what happens…this team is worn down – opposing coaches have figured us out and there’s ain’t much that can be done about it.

  11. BJ says:

    Three minutes in Jagr 1-0 vs Panthers.

  12. H.Upmann says:

    Just read Commandants piece on Zadarov. We could use another mean tough hitting D. Zadarov, Subban, Emelin, Diaz, Tinordi, Beaulieu. As some of you gave posted, MB has some D decisions to make…… Let alone evaluating our goalies. Aye aye aye

  13. Say Ash says:

    No problem for Price, that beachball is clearly hitting the post.

  14. RazzleDazzle says:

    Price being brutal is not something new. Its not like he’s an all star goalie who has had great success throughout his career. He is average at best.

    Does anyone here remember how he let the team down in 2009. He was brutal in the second half Like he is now. Carbo didnt want to use him anymore. Gainey basically ordered him to and eventually fired Carbo. All thanks to Price. The following year he is unable to find his game under Martin. Martin ends up using Halak in the playoffs. Price relieved Halak a couple times in the playoffs and again he was brutal. These are all facts. Many of you will try and discredit this with some stats live winning percentage, shut outs or what ever. But i base it on a game by game analysis on making saves at the the the team needs them and providing momentum or killing momentum for your team, something stats dont show.

    He will be 26 in the summer and its time to trade him while his value is still high.

    • wjc says:

      Okay, if you are right what is your solution? You should stop watching, move on. It is hopeless!

      wjc

    • ont fan says:

      Price looks pretty poor these days and I wouldn’t be surprised if you dangled Price for Halak, the Blues would accomodate. I don’t think his salary would be a detriment. Halak and Budaj, that will make other teams quake and solidify the team.

      • BJ says:

        Halak never inspired me with his stamina to be a full time #1 over an 82 game schedule. Plus he’s injured a lot. Thats not the solution. If we started with a bigger tougher D, Price would be adequate. Look at Quick in LA, Rinne in Nashville or Lundqvist in NY. Where are they in the standings? You need more that just a goalie to pull off miracles.

        • ont fan says:

          If Halak is supposed to be the solution these commentors have no solution.

          • alfieturcotte says:

            Solution is to trade him and save $6.5MM/year. His stats are average and we can get a goalie at 1/3 his price. It all comes down to dollars and cents. He isn’t worth his salary plain and simple. Our GM should realize that by now – 6 years is long enough to wait. Perhaps, his ceiling is not what those “experts” predicted, would not be the first time scouts are wrong.

          • ont fan says:

            So two Budajs is your solution. Halak is going for more than 2.3 m

          • alfieturcotte says:

            Let’s see, would you rather pay $6.5MM for an average goalie (or now, below average goalie) or $2MM. Either way, you’ll still get the same output and save $4.5MM to be used more effectively.

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      If Halak was so GD great why did he get pulled during his Stanley Cup win?

      Dat’s wha me tinks

  15. habs-fan-84 says:

    Playoffs are a new season. The slate is wiped clean. Me thinks they start the playoffs like they started the beginning of the year (from game 2 on ;))

  16. JF says:

    I was not confident before last night’s game, mainly because the team has for the most part not played well against the Caps since the playoff run three years ago, especially at the Bell Centre. So I didn’t think we would win, but I hoped it would at least be a close game and that we wouldn’t lose because of shoddy goaltending and glaring defensive errors. But what happened is a carbon copy of what happened in all our losses over the past week – thus calling into question the meaning of the victory over Tampa Bay that we all hoped was the start of a turn-around. If you go back to that game, the Habs did not really play much better than they did in the four blowouts, particularly in the first period, when they were absolutely dominated. Nor was Price much better. Yes, he made some great saves (as he did last night), but his positioning and timing were off. If even one of the Lghtning’s shots that hit the post had gone in, the Habs would probably have unravelled.

    So basically we’re exactly where we were last week – in the middle of what seems to be a total collapse rather than just a slump. The team needs to be a lot better in every facet of the game, starting with intensity and compete level. If the other team scores first, they have to have the opposite reaction to what they’ve shown all week. Instead of being deflated, they have to raise their intensity level, compete harder, be the first to loose pucks. I thought they actually did this pretty well in the games against Toronto and Pittsburgh. But not against the Flyers and certainly not last night. The two goals on three shots in the first six minutes completely deflated them.

    The defence needs to tighten up, positioning needs to be better, the forwards have to provide more support, we have to get back to clearing our zone efficiently and moving the puck quickly. But even if these issues are resolved, we’ll need much better goaltending if we’re to win a single game, let alone a whole series.

    Patrick Roy was a guest on L’Antichambre after the Tampa game. He refused to say that Price played well. He said it was clear his game was still off; he didn’t look confident and he was “swimming” around in his net too much. What he needed to do, Roy said (and what he himself used to do when things weren’t going well) was to make sure that only a really good shot would beat him; stay well centred in the net, challenge the shooter, don’t get caught deep, give the shooter as little as possible to aim at. Once he started doing that, his confidence would return. Sounds about right to me, but I really wonder if a week is long enough for this to happen. What baffles me is why Price has so suddenly fallen apart. He was excellent in the 2-1 victory over the Bruins a mere two weeks ago. I’m not yet ready to say that he can’t handle the pressure in big moments, but what I’m seeing from him in terms of demeanour and body language is depressingly similar to what we saw in the second half of the centennial season. The forthcoming playoffs might well, as Jack Todd and others have suggested, be a defining moment for him. Either he shows that he can handle the pressure and raise his game when it counts – or he shows that he can’t. It’s not really a question of whether we win a series, which at the moment looks highly unlikely not to say impossible, but of how we lose it. And if we lose it because Price plays the way he has the last week, then… what?

  17. The Dude says:

    Man is there going to be a trade show in the off season and with a smaller cap hit. People like Gorges at $4mill per and Ryder ,Gionta,Borque,Moen,DD’$22 MILLION’ HAVE TOO MOVE ON. And as for Carey Price,I don’t think he has the mental fortitude to play in hockey mecca.Carey just gets too rattled in a city that lives and breaths hockey and NO that’s not the Fans fault cause they’re doing what FANatics do.Price has been here for awhile and at 26 and needs to be in Edmonton ‘for Yakapov?’ or Dallas ‘Jammie Behn?’ and if I was MB I’d see if I could get Halak back cause he can handle Montreal and play the 2 Slovaks on rotation while he ‘s grabbing more Athlete’s like PRUST! I would also put ROY at the helm But that’s me ,eh….

  18. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS:

    1. Did you have to look up ‘excoriation’? C’mon, admit it.
    2. Aside from losing Emelin, what was the turning point (downward) for the Habs recent stumbles?
    3. Does DD get favoritism – as many on here seem to think?
    4. If you could have a Mulligan on one MB move – what would it be?
    5. Is Price damaged goods?
    BONUS QUESTION: Solve the slide. What would you do?
    SD

    MY ANSWERS:
    1. It has something to do with wearing down or scraping.
    2. Turning point: making the playoffs early made Habs start to believe their own press. Now they’re trying hard NOT to believe what the press is saying.
    3. Do PQ politicians send their kids to English university? You betcha!
    4. WORSE MOVE: DD. Let’s be frank. This was a Dumb, Dumb contract move. He jumped to overpay a guy who was not a threat to leave, based on one successful season. Not only that but what’s the message to Eller and Pleks? No way both of those guys are staying if DD stays. And who of the 3 is least tradable? DD. So good-bye Pleks or Eller. Hello over-paid, easy-to-push-round francophone player.
    5. I’ve always said Price had a soft underbelly. His ability to work on that will decide if he’s a great goalie or not. This last week has not been encouraging.
    BONUS: Bring up some youth, bench or rest the under-performers, the old, the sick, the huddled Moens. Pray we meet the Rangers.

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

    • mksness says:

      1. no because no need to know what it means
      2. price isn’t playing well enough along with the D
      3. based on his ice time, yes
      4. moen signing
      5. nah, just slumping.

      bonus: go bowling

      • hab fan in leaf jungle says:

        Trevor Timmins is like the players he drafts. He is good but not great. Price is good but not great. I could have picked Galchenyuk. The entire Habs team is good but no one on this team is great. We have no great players not even the fighters. PK looks great sometimes but then his brain freezes and he costs us a goal and a game. Being great means never having to say you’re sorry. Price likes his goalie coach because he is never criticized or challenged by him. Look at what Rick Walmsley has done as a goalie coach in Ottawa and Rick St.Croix has done such a great job in Toronto. Price has terrible numbers. He is the 46th in the league and makes 6.5 mil per. Give me a break.

    • habzfan2003 says:

      1. Yep
      2. Real shaky goaltending.. Starting with the most recent game vs. the Leafs + Absolutely attrocious defensive play/coverage
      3. Seems that way.. (Try someone else on the PP for f*** sakes
      4. I guess it would have to be the Drewiske move.. But we’ll see what happens in the playoffs with that
      5. I still believe in Price.. Here’s hoping he can pull himself together

      Bonus: Rest some players. Let Budaj start the next couple. Give some time for Price to regain his top form.

    • HardHabits says:

      1. Yes.
      2. Not playing anybody else besides Drewiske
      3. Not really. Eller plays the tougher minutes because he is better than DD.
      4. Drewiske. That 5th is of more value.
      5. No.

      Bonus: Work over time with Price. Get back to basics and return to the type of cohesive play in all 3 zones that made them successful in other words, skating fast and at the puck carrier, skating fast and block passing lanes, skating fast and causing turnovers, skating fast and scoring goals.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      1. Yup.
      2. PP stagnant.
      3. Yup…has longer “rope” than others.
      4. DD contract…MB couldn’t wait? If DD finishes off the season like this, don’t think MB would have given the same deal.
      5. No…just slumping at the worst time.

      BONUS QUESTION: Give up on regular season position. Rest Markov for a week.

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

      • KenD29 says:

        Gorges could also use a rest.

        All About Work Ethic

      • SmartDog says:

        Winner, winner… chicken dinner!

        I agree. Especially with point 4. The DD signing was just stupid. No need to rush to sign this guy at that price… and to give a guy this much reward for one good season is ridiculous (see: Gomez, Scott). Both the term and the rate are too much.

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

    • twilighthours says:

      1) no
      2) no idea. What, you think I’m a head coach or something? Maybe this team isn’t as good as its first 35 games or so
      3) no. He hasn’t been good, but he got the appropriate amount of slack deserving of the team’s number one centre (from last year). Now that the shine is off him, he’s playing with 3rd liners like he deserves
      4) did he sign moen? Of so, that one. Otherwise, I’d like him to do-over the trade deadline – get some real depth on D
      5) that’s a really, really good question.
      Bonus: no idea, but this team really does look broken right now.

    • smiler2729 says:

      1. Didn’t care enough to
      2. The Tuesday Caps game after beating Boston on Saturday
      3. FOR SURE
      4. DD extension
      5. No, slumping

      BONUS: Play harder

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

  19. HabFab says:

    The last time the Habs goaltending stuck up the joint for 5 games;

    GLefrancoisRC – Dernière fois que les #Habs ont accordé 25 buts en 5 matchs: du 26 février au 8 mars 2007. Les gardiens: David Aebischer et Jaroslav Halak

  20. HardHabits says:

    Habs. Need to start. Drafting. Goalies.

    What ails the team is like a snowball rolling down a hill. If not stopped in its tracks now it will grow out of control. Is it too late?

    At the trade deadline, the Habs did nothing to better the team except they got Drewiske for a 5th, a move which has turned out to be more of a subtraction than an addition.

    What also happened along the way is the Habs clinched a play-off spot.

    Often cited but there are many doubters, Emelin got hurt.

    Little by little it became evident that Drewiske was out of his league, the defence fell into disarray and the Price bandwagon blew a few tires.

    With musical chairs being played on defence, Weber comes in after having rarely played all season and after being considered only marginally better than a career bench warmer they got for a 5th. Also Diaz is back after missing 25 games. Talk about rust. Speaking of which, Markov’s knee is in need of a major lube job. Down the line Prust is playing with two broken shoulders. Moen is moping around on the 4th line. Desharnais is nowhere to be seen and needs to be flanked by Chara and Pronger to be effective. Gallagher can’t carry the team on his shoulders alone although he tries to every shift. Gorges is proving to be Kaberle-esque minus the points production, so he needs to start blocking shots with his face again. Subban is underused and needs to play 60 minutes a game. Price. Price is so out there he only needs to get his save percentage up above .750 and his GAA somewhere shy of 4.00 to look better than he has his last 3 starts. As a team, the Habs need to score more than 1 goal per 9 periods.

    Up until the Habs blew their load on making the play-offs, they were playing an aggressive fore check game but it appears they have run out of gas or have gone limp. They are being repeatedly beat to the puck and are unable to recover in their own end once a team starts cycling. They aren’t forcing turnovers in the middle of the ice any more, are unable to mount counter attacks successfully because of it and are generally being kept to the periphery. Now that the intensity is picking up leading to the 2nd season, the small and tired Habs defence is being pummelled into submission by opposing team’s more robust and gritty forwards.

    Price. What a let down. Price looks like a whale flopping around at times and at others like a cat out of water jumping from the electrodes attached to his nuts that just went a zap. I asked for Price to show emotion and get aggressive. Instead he is showing dopiness, disinterest and detachment. He is not tracking pucks. His body language exudes a lack of confidence. I am beginning to think he doesn’t know what having compete level means. I don’t want to believe that because I have witnessed glimpses of the Carey Price we all want to see. Top of the crease. Challenging shooters. No rebounds. Quick and assured. Confident with the puck. These all imply an ability to impose one’s will on a situation. This is 100% mental. For has all the physical tools. He is still lacking the focus required to elevate his game.

    Recommended reading for Carey Price over the summer. Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Dustin Tokarski.

      • HardHabits says:

        You’ve gotta be joking. There’s a reason he’s only played 7 NHL games. He has a 1-3-1 record and his GAA is close to 4.00 with his sv% is around .850.

        http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8474682

        Change that avatar for Racicot because you haven’t got a clue about net minding.

        • kalevine says:

          sounds like he will fit right in here :-)

        • hab fan in leaf jungle says:

          He can’t be any worse than Price has been lately or Budaj. It may be important to know what this kid can bring to the NHL table. He seems to be a reaction type of goalie rather than the positional goalie like Price and Budaj. He might confuse the shooters and I doubt that many teams have a book on him yet. Price will never win us the Cup. He is a bit of a prima donna who doesn’t relish the idea of carrying a team on his shouldrs. Goalies need to be like Billy Smith, Roy, Hextall, Rask, Anderson and Rinne and Quick. Carey is just a pretender who is good but lacks the right stuff to be great. The hype about him is greater than he ever was or will be.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Drewiskie was acquired to be a 7th D-man. He was only supposed to be temporary until Diaz came back. The mistake MB made was that Drewiskie plays on the left not right. The Habs have only three natural right D-men: Subban, Diaz and Webber. Even Emelin has difficulty sometimes playing his off-side. With Emelin going down, the whole D has been thrown out of whack. O’Byrne now looks like he would have been a better pick-up (but we don’t know what the Avs were asking for).

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

    • wjc says:

      You forgot, blau, blau, blau, blau, blau, and furthermore, blau, blau, blau, and my opinion is blau, blau, blau, it is an absolute fact that blau, blau, blau, I am 100% sure of blau, blau, blau, blau.

      wjc

  21. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! This Team surprised us all year.They will surprise us again.They will regain Mojo and go deep in the playoffs.Keep the Faith and pass the Single Malt, it will be a good ride.Saludos!

  22. HabFab says:

    Oliver Archambault scored his first pro goal last night for the Bulldogs.

  23. Ian Cobb says:

    30 teams in the league. Here is were we are today compared to last week.

    Points……….59, For 4th place. Last week 57, for 4th place.
    Goals For….139, For 3rd place. Last week 128, for 3rd place.
    Goals A…….120,For 15th place. Last week 100, for 5th place.
    Goals Diff.. +19, For 4th place. Last week +29, for 3rd place.

    Easy to see where the wheels have fallen off my friends!!!

  24. habzfan2003 says:

    Maybe Florida will mystically win a game in regulation today…?

  25. HabFab says:

    Facing a dilemma here!!!
    Not sure which is worse, the Habs playing like crap OR their fans spouting it………………..

  26. HabFab says:

    An enraged Shero confronted Jack Edwards after his Cooke comment…poor old Jack must have crapped his drawers :) Apology tweeted immediately afterwards ;)

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/penguins/penguins-notebook-bylsma-says-martin-will-return-to-lineup-soon-684347/

  27. HabFab says:

    A sociologist takes a crack at explaining the Habs and their fans;
    http://www.allhabs.net/feature/all-habs-top-5-waking-from-the-bad-dream-team/

  28. Danno says:

    For fan appreciation night, instead of giving away sweaters to a few select fans, Molson should have issued an apology and a full refund to all paying customers last night.

    ________________________________________

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

  29. KenD29 says:

    The Habs can work on just about every facet of their game right about now because there is not one area that is working. PP, dreadful. PK dreadful. Forwards aside from a couple (the young guns), D and Goaltending all dreadful.
    And include any sign of physicality into that category as well. Aside from Prust very little body. Bourque was just awful on one of the goals by Brouwer. He basically stood and made a half hearted stick check.

    Who I feel bad for are the paying fans who paid to watch these past three home games!

    Therrien should be having the boys do some “bag” skating this morning.

    All About Work Ethic

    • wjc says:

      Too many games, no practice, too tired, mentally and physically, team will be back to form when those situations are rectified.

      When you do anything and you are tired mentally and physically you screw up. When things are coming at you too fast you have to keep going and to have crazy fans with crazy expectations and the normal problems in life it can all seem overwelming and hopeless.

      Heads up nothing but a little rest and practice to get back on top again.

      wjc

      • hab fan in leaf jungle says:

        Every other team has the same situation but many have coped well and are excelling now when it matters the most. The Habs are choking. Let’s not give these cry-babies an excuse for being lazy and betraying their obligations to the fans and the city.

  30. smiler2729 says:

    Holy outcry here!
    This team wasn’t even supposed to make the playoffs… Yeah, slumps suck but they pass.

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

    • mksness says:

      lets hope it doesn’t pass in the 2014 season though.

    • KenD29 says:

      one heck of a slump being seriously outplayed the last three home games. How can a team go from playing solid hockey to having it handed to them not once, not twice, not three times rather 4 times?! And as Mike Boone mentions, had it not been for the post(s) they may have lost to the powerhouse Lightening.

      This team has done a 180 over the last 10 days.

      All About Work Ethic

      • New says:

        The team goal was to make the playoffs. The team now has no goal. That isn’t alarming. What is alarming is the complacency. Once young men get discouraged they are a detriment to a team. I don’t really see a leader on the team, a Crosby type, who tells them to play even harder because that tempo will be what the playoffs bring. Saving it for the playoffs might seem logical but it never really works. Once in the playoffs anything can happen, but it usually happens to the team that slacked off and saved it. Not to say that opportunistic players don’t shine in the playoffs, but it’s usually someone else’s hard work that gave them the opportunity. I think we’ll be really surprised who the team unloads this summer.

  31. BJ says:

    I thought I would stream last nights Hamilton game (not knowing the score before hand) to see how we would do with the youngsters. That team is just as inept as the big brothers. Rochester 5 Hamilton 1. Same story there, too small, not tough enough and minimal talent. A few plus points to Kristo, Archambault and Hudon (Hudon being the best looking prospect, but again very small).

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I think you have to give them some slack. Their roster has turned over so many times this year. They have zero team chemistry. When they get a regular group next year, they will be better. Agree about the small forwards but their D is tougher than the Habs (with Emelin out).

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

      • BJ says:

        I watched close to 30 Bulldog games this year and toughness on D? Even Tinordi is not what you can call tough, he’s big and reasonably mobile but not tough. Beaulieu is a great skater and puckhandler but not tough, neither is St. Denis, Pateryn (not tough) Ross, Corbin, DeSantis? No toughness there.

    • mksness says:

      they also have one of the youngest rosters in league. just because we have a lot of young prospects playing there doesn’t mean they’re going to be pro ready. Most of the kids were always playing against kids for the most part prior to their arrival in the ahl. AHL is a pro “mens” league and a lot fo these players have to get used to the physicality and speed of the AHL first before you start seeing positive results. hamilton also has absolutely zero depth in goal tending either…

    • Phil C says:

      I hope the Bulldogs keep losing. Winning AHL teams usually load up on veterans at the expense of the young players/prospects. I’ll be a happy Habs fan if the Bulldogs continue to be treated as a developmental training team for the best prospects in the system. This means creating roster spots for young players.

  32. Phil C says:

    Everybody needs to relax, this team is still a contender. They have let up because they are already in the playoffs. They play a system where if you let up even for a shift, it starts to break down. This is not unique to the current slump, the same thing happened in the 6-0 Toronto game. That, and Price has been extraordinarily bad, I mean not just a little off, or slumping,or unlucky, I mean I wouldn’t even call him for beer league bad.

    The good news is that as soon as the intensity increases, their system will start working again and they will start controlling games again. Price has not forgotten how to play goal, he just needs to burn those new pads, they are not right for some reason. Pucks are going through them.

    If Price finds his A-game, this team can still compete in the East. Thomas was very ordinary in the first two games of the 2011 playoffs, then was unbeatable after that. Price can bounce back too. The only team out of their league in the East is Pittsburgh. And if there is an upset, who knows, the Flames took out the Oilers in 1986.

  33. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I’m not sure which is a worse problem: the poor D or the stagnant power play. One thing for sure: they have no chance if the power play is not good. This is their only counter against the physical play they are sure to get.

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

  34. Sportfan says:

    Oh boy that picture is going to provoke so many trololos

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

  35. Vid says:

    This skid is reminding me of a past late season collapse when Markov went down and habs got swept in 4 by the bruins in the first round.

    I hope this isn’t what happens this time (last time it lead to the habs trading for Gomez)

    Being in a slump and on a losing streak is one thing but what’s disheartening is how badly the team is losing. At least if the losses were close and there was some evidence of effort and intelligence in their play, it would be easier to remain patient. Lately, the team is being deked out of their jock straps so much that they might as well not wear them in the first place.

    Next week will be an anxious one for sure.

  36. PrimeTime says:

    I see the “I told you so” crowd is out in full force. I truly wish management was as smart as you negative types who specialize in criticism when things don’t go as well as planned. I guess it is easy not to fail when you do nothing. I respect those who run into obstacles rather than those who avoid them. The Habs will do their best turn things around heading into the playoffs. When they get knocked out they will have tried their best and I will not fault them for that. Management in turn will put their best effort to improve the team. I will trust their efforts to accomplish what they can. I will cheer for the team for as long as I live, win or lose. But I will never become a critic because life is way too valuable to live it as a holier than thou a-hole.

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      My new Mantra!

    • HardHabits says:

      Good post until your last sentence where you became a holier than thou a-hole.

    • hab fan in leaf jungle says:

      The trouble with the Habs is the fans like you and the media corps who are impressed by all the wrong things. That is kind of like the Liberal Party who choose leaders that are ‘leading edge’ intellectuals and generate lots of dialogue (like Dion and Iggy) or they’ll choose someone with gorgeous hair and a venerable family name like Trudeau who will charm the fairer voters but at election time they get their asses kicked by the Cons. Let’s focus on how to win the Cup and not just looking good and generating excitement at the start of the season. The Cup is all that matters and if we have to brawl our way to it like the Bruins did then so be it. They have a real championship team while we have some great thinkers and analysts on ours but we are perennial losers.

    • B says:

      Some holier than thou a-holes won’t like you calling them out on it.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • Badwich says:

      One or more of that crowd were critical of certain aspects of the team long before the current “slump”. Back then anyone pointing out the very observable clues to the future were branded trolls or worse by some posters who probably still see themselves as hockey aficionados. You guys/gals have to get big screen TV’s because you’re missing what those members of the “told you so crowd” have been seeing and saying.

      I do have to agree that it seems a number of posters have been jumping ship lately as the obvious could no longer be ignored and spinned away.

      Taberwitt

  37. CHicoHab says:

    “the leafs are playing like champions starting with the goaltending”

    What are you joking..before last night lost 5-3 to NYI and before that 5-1 to Caps……….

    “take your time and hurry up”

  38. Mike D says:

    A lot of posters pointing to the loss of Emelin as the primary reason for the Habs woes. I disagree. Emelin is a valuable player and brings something different from our other Dmen, but let’s be realistic – he’s not Chris Pronger or Scotty Nieds in their prime. Over the course of the season, Emelin and Markov have had some good defensive games, but they’ve had plenty of games where they were rather porous too.

    Emelin’s injury does play a part in our recent struggles, but to me, this team hasn’t looked the same since they romped Buffalo and cliched a playoff spot. Now, whether they are just taking it easy because they know they’ve got a ticket to the dance, or whether something else is ailing this team is up for debate. One thing we know for sure is that it better change soon.

    Soft and uninspired play from just about everyone on the roster is to blame. I just don’t know WHY it’s suddenly happening.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • Phil C says:

      I agree,the loss of Emelin hurts their chances, but the only game where I thought he would have made a difference was in the Pittsburgh game where the Pens were hitting everything. His absence has nothing to do with the current slump.

  39. Danno says:

    The Habs are so out of practice, they need to practice practicing practices.

    ________________________________________

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

    • BrianSkrudland says:

      So we’re not takling ’bout a game, man. We talkin’ ’bout practice, man. Practice. Not the game we sweat and bleed for, man, but practice. Not the game, man. Practice.

      ——–
      Daily recommendations for April 20
      Song of the Day: Given To Fly (Pearl Jam)
      Movie of the Day: Tropic Thunder

  40. habstrinifan says:

    Any of our staff reporters at practice?

  41. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    Bergevin has, in reality, done nothing. It’s the ‘score at the end of the game’ that matters. At the end of this season, the Habs suck WORSE than last year because last year the fans had a top 5 draft pick to look forward to. This year nothing. Enough with this Therrien for the Adams crap. This guy caught a lot of teams ill-prepared for the season early as they struggled with new coaches and injuries and now that every team is settled into a groove he can’t get a decent performance out of his own team. Look at what McLean in Ottawa has done and Randy Carlyle in Toronto. The Leafs are playing like champions starting with the goaltending. Stop the love-in and let’s kick some Bergevin and Therrien and JJ Daigneault and Gallant ass. These guys are frauds.

    • TommyB says:

      While walking through that jungle in leaf land, it might be a good idea to keep your eyes open, otherwise you could step in a lot of hot, steaming, wild animal droppings. Scrape off your shoes, mate.

  42. lakechamplain says:

    I play and follow tennis and a few years ago went to(and enjoyed) the pro tournament in Montreal. While watching a match between 2 players ranked in the teens someone commented that these guys were as good as the top 3 in the world, and a knowledgable guy replied that about the top 25 players all have pretty equal strokes but that the key difference between say, the top 3 and the rest was that they played the big points better.
    I honestly can’t remember when Carey Price has done that for more than a game or two. The best example I can recall of a Canadian goalie doing that was Halak in that great playoff run several yrs. ago.
    No, I’m not saying they should’ve kept him, just noting that what Dryden and Roy did in big games too long ago are what we expect of the Canadians number one goalie.
    Until Price plays the big periods, the big games, and yeah, the big playoff series, there won’t be any parades in the near future.

  43. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    How is that video of Tinordi fighting depressing? He stood in there with a very tough guy and took his licks. If you want to show a depressing video, show Moen skating around doing nothing…

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

    • Storman says:

      I guess you missed those mean dirty looks he threw at Erskine last night..

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Don’t get me started. I don’t think it is fair to denigrate a rookie fighting his heart out while an overpaid stiff isn’t doing his job.

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

        • BJ says:

          The point being that the Habs and the Bulldogs are hopelessly soft and without size and toughness playing. We look like boys playing against men. With all of Gallagher and Prusts’ goodwill and guts we are still manhandled.

  44. TommyB says:

    I wouldn’t look at this morning’s practice as a punishment. When you suddenly fall apart in almost every aspect of the game, and the playoffs are just over a week away, practice makes a lot of sense regardless of whether you lost or won the night before. IMO, there should have been more practices over the last two weeks. Yes, I know the schedule is tight but there should have been more practices squeezed in there, especially when the wheels started to fall off. It’s almost too late now.

    Therrien has done a very good job with this group this year. If you were to find a “fault”, it might be that he has been too easy on this bunch. Therrien seems to have gone out of his way to be a more easy-going coach, and it might have bitten him in the ass in the process.

    A half-dozen games ago, Price was being mentioned as a Vezina candidate. Subban….defenceman of the year. Gallagher….rookie of the year. Therrien himself, coach of the year. Perhaps these guys got too caught up in the accolades being afforded to them by the press. It happens. But does it look like there are any trophy winners in that lineup right now? There’s time to turn it around, but practice time must found at every available opportunity, and everyone has to buy into the fact that it is “needed” at this point. It is not punishment.

    • kalevine says:

      very good post, very compassionate too. Required reading for everyone here

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Well said Tommy, I think it must have been difficult for these guys not to start reading the clippings and forgetting it was pure hard work and dedication to each other that won those games. The boys have a week to find their mojo, lets hope they can.

      Still happy with the season, all things considered.

      • TommyB says:

        Too often I read “Therrien has given them the day off” in the last few weeks. But at the same time, the line juggling went into high gear. Add to this the fact that injuries have occurred, and others have come back into the picture after recovering from injuries. That has to interfere with what was some great chemistry. It only makes sense to me that you need to practice regularly if that chemistry is going to continue with the changes in the linuep. Players can snooze through video sessions and chalkboard sessions, but they can’t hide from the coaching staff on the ice during practice.

    • Arrow77 says:

      Good post. Some people are saying that the last two weeks proves that Price isn’t good in big games but the truth is, there hasn’t been any big games the last two weeks. Last night was a lot more important for the Caps than for us and it showed.

      I am concerned by Price’s play, and even more concerned that he isn’t the only one who has to pick up his play, but being bad now isn’t dramatic yet. We still have time to be ready for the playoffs.

    • Grabbed The Cup says:

      Nice (And surprisin!) to see a rational mind at work here, unlike the usual monosyllobic trolls that are all too prevalent here at HIO… Hopefully they can find some team unity on the road, if I’m MT these guys hit the road for three, then come back to Mtl. (If they’re still in home-ice postition) and are immediately put up in some nice quiet hotel somewhere and sequestered. At this point, starting the playoffs on the road might be the best thing for the boys… good to see ya here Tommy, say hi to Dana for me.

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

      • TommyB says:

        GTC…been awhile. I don’t spend anywhere near as much time on this site as we did back in it’s early days. Good to see you sticking your nose in here again.

        • Grabbed The Cup says:

          Myself neither, I pop in once in a while, read a few ignorant comments, and then I’ve had enough after 2 or 3 minurtes, I’m sure you know what I mean ;) Those were the good ol days though… You think they’ll get it together once the playoffs start?

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

          • TommyB says:

            I kept wondering through the first half of the season if this team was for real. After a while I decided that, yea, they are for real. But at the same time I felt that you don’t get a true sense of what kind of team you have after just a 48 game season. I looked at the rest of the teams in the East that were in a playoff position, or threatening to be in a playoff position (and I’m talking weeks ago, not last week) and I realized that they were all playing some good hockey. Regardless of who we play in the first round, there is a good chance it is our only round. I think they can get it back together for the playoffs, but it will still be tough to advance. They will need to be at the top of their game, and they will also need some favorable bounces.

    • Grabbed The Cup says:

      Couldn’t respond below so… Yeah they could be out in the 1st, the eight teams in position now are the ones that in all likelihood will be in at the end, and currently we’re the only patsies in the bunch. :( The good news is far stranger things have happened, and these guys showed through ~40 games that when they’re on they can beat anyone, and they dont need lights-out tending anymore to do it.

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

    • J.T. says:

      You’re right, Tommy. I talked to Scotty Bowman a couple of weeks ago and he said one of his rules for winning was “practice like you want to play.” If you want a high-tempo team, you have to have high-tempo practices. When you skip practice, it doesn’t take long to start acting like you’re skipping games.

      http://habsloyalist.blogspot.com

  45. malbert94 says:

    Well…. well well well….

    Markov looks old, slow, and out of place without his partner, Emelin. He has been playing too many minutes and it is starting to show. It has been really noticeable since the Montreal-Boston game where the Seguin line dominated the two. Luckily, we came back again, and won.

    We’re starting to fall apart at the seams. Price needs to be better, but so does the defense in front of him. The forwards also need to get back and support the defense. We can’t even get out of our own way over the last five games.

    Against teams that play like the Canadiens – where the opposition plays a high-pressure game – we don’t fare well. Teams are beating us at our own game, but we haven’t been playing the style we played earlier in the season; where the neutral zone was trapped and there was always a forechecker on the puck carrier to force turnovers. I don’t see that hustle out of the guys over the last 5 games or so. That urgency needs to come back.

    Having a taste of success all season, and then watching them struggle recently has been really frustrating. The good thing though is that we have a great core and a very bright future ahead. This season has been a plus and I want them to succeed, but I can’t expect too much. We were 15th last season.

    If you see the Habs in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear! Never quit!

  46. Bogie Man says:

    If I was to choose a line set up I would do the following:

    Gallagher, Eller, Prust (these are your three most consitent players they have earned this spot)
    Chuk, Pleks, Ryder
    Pac, Deharnais, Gionta
    Bourque, Halpern, Moen
    White, Dumont, Armstong

    Defence:
    Diaz, Subban
    Markov, Gorges
    Drewiske, Boulion
    Kaberle, Weber

  47. Ian Cobb says:

    Where are all the HIO after game, dressing room video interviews.?
    Are the boys to tired from their high game compete level??

  48. Propwash says:

    Well this is the suckiest suck that ever sucked past few games for the entire team. I hope they all pull it together in a hurry because ***t is gonna get real in a hurry.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  49. kalevine says:

    ok so habs are losing because others have figured out the system and there is no other system they can play.
    They are in the playoffs no matter what, so I think the best option right now is to replace as many sad underperformers as possible with guys from Hamilton for at least the next 2 games. Play Budaj, bring up Tinordi and Beaulieu, play Dumont, maybe even Kristo. If they want to play the regulars again for the final game against the Leafs, fine, but this way we would see more of the youngsters, the opponents will be playing against guys they don’t know well, and the regulars will get a rest. I guess the big problem is that most of the team should be sat

  50. Irishhabsfan says:

    Is this rope-a-dope for all the playoff teams in the eastern conference, or was the first 4/5ths of the season just a mirage?

    Nothing worse than listening to Leaf fan’s running commentary!

  51. mksness says:

    Not only is price struggling but his Dis struggling. What’s worse is based on price’s positioning it looks like he doesn’t have confidence in them. The whole D line and goalie staff should go out for a nice steak and promise to everyone they’ll try to be better. try to rebuild some of that trust and team spirit.

    offensively teams are adjusting to our D geting involved in the offence. once you shut down our goal production from the blue line, you’ve pretty much turned down the offense on this team.

    have DD sit a game and let him watch what other top players/centers do during games…. not means not falling and getting pushed off of every puck

    • Chris says:

      It is a two-way street right now. From their body language and positioning, it is also pretty clear that the defence corps does not have any confidence in their goaltenders this past week. Basically, the team has imploded.

      The question is whether they continue to death spiral, or if they pull out of it. Any other analysis at this point is somewhat moot…these are the guys that got them into the playoffs, so it is the same group that is going to have to carry them to success.

      • mksness says:

        well said. i was hoping price could build off of the tampa game, as well as the D but looks like it didn’t happen. the only thing i would would do is take like 500 shots from different angles and work on bfly slides. hopefully a few good practices get price going.

        i really think price is going to have to play a level above the defense infront of him. He’s billed as a top5 goalie and as one of the habs best players so ultimately i think it’s going to be up to him to step up his game and cover for the D. Not expecting him to stop every 2on1 but he has to make the big save and stop letting in the weak 5 hole or short side goals.

  52. Ian Cobb says:

    Makes no sense at all to make any serious analysis about our play of late, except to say we are a mess from top to bottom.

    The “We have Pride” stuff, has been flushed down the toilet of the Bell Center and is half way down the St. Lawrence river to the Atlantic.

    I have no idea what has happened emotionally to this group. But if someone does not find out in a hurry, we have won our last game this year!!!

  53. otisfxu says:

    I have no doubt this team will get ready for the playoffs,,,,,,but so will every other team, and the bad part,,,,the other teams are better.
    Is there any other goalie who is on his knees more than Price? I don’t care how tall he is,,,stand the f’k up!!! WHen you’re on your knees you cannot move as quickly as when you are on your feet.

    And of course my pet peeve of the year……DD at 3.5 m!!!! And you clowns who think this guy is tradeable,,,,stand in one place, move your head from side to side in a somewhat pronounced manner,,,,,and maybe your brain cells wll realign correctly.

    • mksness says:

      being on his knees is not so much the problem. his buttery fly displacements are actually really fast. his problem is more his positioning. he’s too deep in his crease or slightly off some angles. do that to a 20-30 goal scorer and they’ll make you look rather bad.

      i would like to see him at the top of crease/ blue paint to challange all shots. however, look like he doesn’t trust his D so he’l playing a little deeper in his crease in order to take away back door plays. only problem with that is even if you cheat on a back door play, you still don’t really have a chance to stop it unless the player muffs his shot.

  54. RetroMikey says:

    I’m not going to analyze the pathetic performance the team performed or has assembled for a playoff team in the NHL.
    Everybody know what needs to be done to this team from my previous posts.
    I’ve suggested “clutch” players if the team wanted to go past the second round but it ain’t going to happen.
    Big is better I say, especially in the playoffs.

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

  55. Just bought my ticket to Game 1 at home. Dead center Ice Section 201!

    I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!

    OH YEAH BABY!

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

    • RetroMikey says:

      The Pointer sisters will be meeting you at Pearson International Airport with your Game 1 ticket but there’s no section 201 at the ACC at centre ice level!
      Stop at Michael’s on Simcoe restaurant before you arrive at the ACC for the game, they make a deadly steak!

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

  56. commandant says:

    How the world has changed in the 9 years since the leafs last made the playoffs

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/04/20/worlds-apart-changes-since-the-leafs-last-made-the-playoffs/

    #12 on the draft board, Nikita Zadorov

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/04/21/nikita-zadorov-2013-nhl-draft-player-profile-12/

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

  57. Timo says:

    I wonder how interesting was the dressing room, as Stubbs put it? Based on Stubbs’ tweets it was truly fascinating.

  58. ed says:

    I already described below the lack of concentration from Subban, Plekanec and Price which led to the Caps 1st goal.

    A bad blow to the Habs’ confidence but not deadly.

    Then, at the 6 minute mark of the 1st period, Brower received an excellent pass from the boards and easily fired a shot past Price from the high slot.

    The only “defender” in front of the net was Bourque??

    Markov and Diaz were off chasing the puck, losing their battle, losing the chase, and leaving Bourque to defend against the front of the net.

    Why? because Therrien’s defensive “system” calls for the d-men to “swarm” a loose puck, even both of the d-men AND the center, if that’s what it takes.

    This is a high risk, high reward, type of approach.

    When Price is stopping Brower’s shot, no one even mentions this play, except for a few if us here at HIO, who have not liked that freakin swarm all season.

    Now that Price can’t stop that shot…it’s 2-0 Washington, 6 minutes into the game.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Fair points Ed, I think also with an undersized and perhaps tired defence core this is only further exploited in this defensive scheme.

      But also as you say, Price “HAS” to be better.

      • ed says:

        I think last night it was 4 goals against on the first 11 shots. At least that’s what I think I heard.

        In golf, if you can’t hit the fairway with your driver, you will never score.

        In hockey, if you don’t get the key saves from your goalie, you will never win.

    • Phil C says:

      I think you have it figured out. The third goal was the same, except it was Cube and Gorges, with Bourque doing a lousy job covering Brower, even worse job blocking the shot and Price failed to challenge the shooter, only coming out to the edge of his blue paint. The fourth goal was blown coverage by Moen on the PK when both forwards went to Green and left Ovechkin wide open, easily attributable to a lack of concentration.

      The system only works when the team competes hard and out skates their opponent. We actually saw this for the first time in the 6-0 Toronto game, so it is not unique to the current meltdown. The good news is that as soon as they start competing and skating again, they will be back to the team we saw the first 37 games.

      I

      • ed says:

        when Plekanec was left all alone in front of the Caps netminder,
        he looked,
        he hesitated,
        he deeked,
        and then Holtby calmly poke checked the puck right off Plekanec’s stick.

        my 16 year old daughter, who plays elite level girls hockey, turned to me and asked why plekanec could not even get a shot off in that circumstance.

        I told her it’s because we have already clinched a playoff spot and Plekanec is not concentrating as much as he needs to.

        • Chris says:

          I don’t think the playoff clinch is solely to blame.

          Sports are 75% mental. All the guys in the NHL are exceptionally talented athletes. But they are generally guys who have confidence to pull moves that we would never dream of.

          Right now, the Habs have no confidence. No confidence in their goaltending, no confidence in their defensive system and no confidence in one another on offence.

          A great example for me has been the number of guys who are trying to do too much by themselves. After a season of reining in that trait (to the team’s success), P.K. Subban has absolutely been running around out there the past few games. Pacioretty, normally one of the team’s more patient players in the offensive zone, is rushing everything and trying to do it himself.

    • Chris says:

      You mixed up the two goals. Brouwer’s goal came off the faceoff, with Markov out on Brouwer and Diaz and Eller both in front of the net.

      It was the third goal where Bourque was left all alone, as Bouillon and Gorges were both in the corner. And like you said, it was yet another “WTF is this system?” moment for me. I hate the swarm.

      I’m not entirely convinced that all the defensive issues are due to defencemen wearing down so much as that this system, in many respects, goes against the way most defencemen learn to play defence.

  59. Storman says:

    In other news from last night down on the farm Dustin Tokarski – 5 goals on 27 shots,,Goaltending consistency through the system baby..

  60. Timo says:

    In case anyone noticed, Burly is back. Hopefully his golfing was better than Habs’ hockey.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Timo, yah had an awesome week. Weather in mid 70s all week, but I couldn’t get my scores to match the temp. Best I could do was 81. My consumption was extremely high though, which made for checking hockey scores far more palatable. Trust life is treating you okay buddy.

  61. tofinohab says:

    just a thought… it is obvious that this slump is a combination of several factors, but losing Emelin seems like the largest to me. i know he is not even the best Dman on the team, but i don’t think you can under estimate the intimidation factor he presented.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      It may be like building a tower of blocks and Emelin happens to have been a crucial piece. Remove that one piece and the tower collapses. Maybe his value to the team is much greater than his actual ability. That’s my hunch.

  62. Timo says:

    Funny how if the team was winning in general I’d be still fuming over this loss right now. But seeing how we are back to last season it doesn’t bother me at all. After all, once again Habs have incompetence from top to bottom running this organization and playing for this organization so good times ahead.

    Never a good idea to give props and sing accolades to coach and GM until team actually won something (oh I don’t know… like a cup, for example)

    So, welcome back to 2012 Montreal Canadiens. The only thing is that the 2012 Montreal Canadiens at least got a high draft pick.

  63. twilighthours says:

    I’m afraid to read tg comments. Is it Armageddon in here?

  64. MT needs to take a look in the mirror to make changes for next 3 road games. Starting with CP who has come unravelled over the past two weeks. Maybe rest him until playoffs starts and maybe CP will pick up his game by bring it to another level. At this point IMO this team is lucky to win another game before the playoffs.

    Give PB the remaining starts and have a well rested CP to start the playoffs. As well as Markov, Gorges, Moen & Prust. When is this team going to start to compete? MT or MB should send them one by one to enter the dressing room to read the sign over and over. No Excuses!!! MT has 3 games to get the right line combinations working together as a five on five unit.

    Its time to reshuffle a couple of lines and see where it goes to?

    Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gionta
    Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher
    Bourque – Desharnais – Ryder
    Blunden – Halpern – Dumont

    Subban – Diaz
    Bouillion – Weber
    Drewskie – Tinordi

    Budaj

  65. adamkennelly says:

    lost 5 of 7 and our 2 wins were against terrible teams. This team a huge freaking mess right now, I know why – but don’t have any answers.

    Too small – its a fact – our Forwards get knocked off the puck too easily – lose puck battles and have a tough time going to the scoring areas.

    Our D is too small and a lot of players have been forced to play way too many minuets. They get knocked off the puck too easily, get hammered by opponents big forwards, and can’t clear the crease.

    Losing Emelin was a big deal. Drewiske is not the answer to anything – Prust needs help – not doing anything at the trade deadline was a huge mistake. HUGE.

    All this – and we haven’t even gotten to Price – who looks disinterested. I’ve been trying to watch him more and the way he moves in the net when tracking the puck or getting set – has no urgency. Thats what gets you beat on anything resembling a good shot and a lot of bad ones.

    MT and MB better – rest some players the last 3 games, sign and call up Stortini, bring up Tinordi, sit Price and Prust, and Markov and others. Its a no lose situation – if we get beat – no big deal – we were resting guys. If we win 2 of them great – guys got some rest and the help did well.

    This is scarily similar to what we saw w/ Guy and that famous melt down. I am willing to bet anyone a lot of money that this team will not win a playoff series against anyone right now. May not even win a game.

  66. Bogie Man says:

    There is no way MT can guaretee these boys to be ready for the play offs. If these guys do not want to play for MT they will not be ready period. The difference I see from before they were fighting to make the play offs and after is they used their speed to get first to the puck both in the offensive and defensive zones. They played defensive zone coverage very well and they were much more physical then they are now. Last night it appeared to me that they were sitting back watching the puck not playing aggressive especially on the PK. Their passing was before on especially coming out of their zone and now it appears rushed and done with our head down. They need to see video of the before and after and they need to know that they are a team that is capable.

  67. Ton says:

    Boone summarizes it perfectly>

    “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.”

  68. New says:

    The Canadiens mailed it in. Washington looked like they were scrimmaging against their farm team. The only thing I found upsetting about the game was that Pac scored after spending the night turning over the puck and passing to no one. Figures.

    Regardless this is the first adversity the team has faced this season and it is a great opportunity for management to see what they actually have.

    For those who decide to climb on the goalie I suggest you go to NHL com and look at those goals. If the Canadiens had played half as well as they did most of the season none of those would have happened. Brodeur and Roy together in the nets wouldn’t have stopped that mess of missed, no missed is the wrong word, non-attempted, coverages. This one is all the team hanging the goalie out to dry, and coming up with clichés for the press.

    They sucked big time last night, and they showed no signs they did not intend to. Gallagher smiles when the team plays together and everyone tries. The kid hasn’t smiled since they clinched a playoff spot.

  69. Storman says:

    From the pic above, why was Price forced to try and stop an open look beach ball shot from 45 feet just left of the circle, he can’t be expected to stop an open look shot, ok maybe his vision was blocked a little but its a damn beach ball,, and why did the D not block that damn beach ball shot, but Price should have been able to redirect that beach ball into the stands for some fun for the fans IMO..I wonder if he shrugged his shoulders after the goal..

  70. HankHardball says:

    They’ve now lost 5 of their last 7 games. And they’re not just losing. They’re losing horribly. They’re playing like they don’t have 4 wins left in them, never mind winning a playoff round. I think they should decline from participating in the playoffs. Before they embarrass themselves and this city any further.

    Seriously? Home ice advantage is huge for the 2nd round of the playoffs. That’s what they worked their butts off for all season long. Now they’re letting it just slip away. They need to get back the intensity they played with for the first 40 games. They need to remember they’re professionals and have pride in what they accomplished for most of the season. If they can’t do that, it’ll be a quick playoff exit.

  71. HabinBurlington says:

    So I only watched bits and pieces of the past 5 games, but what is amazing is that the team is still in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully Price isn’t injured, but have to wonder if indeed he is fighting a nagging groin injury.

    The team needs a serious reset, all egos checked at the door, all excuses left wherever and go back to that old hockey adage, One Shift at a Time.

    This is truly the test MT was inevitably going to have to face, and it will interesting to see how the team responds.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday.

    CHeers!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Montreal stopped fighting for a playoff birth about a week and a half ago. I think it’ a classic case of Montreal giving it about 90% effort while the other teams are giving it 110%.

      I hope that’s the reason and it’s not the loss of Emelin and Price’s confidence?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I would agree Burlington. this is a good test for mt. The habs also have not faced any adversity yet this season. It is good for them to learn how to respond.

      I think we need to rest some players as well. Markov is minus 11 by far the worst on the team. He needs the rest big time. I hope price isn’t hurt or we will be in trouble

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Ton says:

      Groin injury…………..I guess does goal crease caught out of position slides don’t help his groin…………

  72. Strummer says:

    Poll of 17 Sun Media sports writers from coast to coast make their picks for the NHL awards,

    Of note- PK wins the Norris, Gally is runner up for the Calder, MT runner up for the Adams, and Pricer is tied with Anderson for 3rd in the Vezina.

    http://www.torontosun.com/2013/04/20/handing-out-the-nhl-hardware

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

  73. habs001 says:

    I still say some of the issues(pp,d,goaltending) that are present right now will be fixed as they were okay for a large portion of the season..But the pk has been weak all year and if that is not fixed that will potentially have a major effect on losing in the first round regardless who they play…
    The team also gets limited goal scoring support from their centres..Plecks is a very streaky goal scorer and so are the other centres who score even less…and they dont even create that many goal scoring chances for themselves…


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