About last night …

MarkovNJ

Remember when your 2013 Montreal Canadiens were a great first-period team?
Through the first 40 games of their season, the Canadiens opened the scoring 28 times.
Through the last six: Once, against Tampa Bay at the Bell Centre last Thursday, when Alex Galchenyuk put his team on the board four minutes into the game.
On the other five occasions, the Canadiens’ opponent has scored first – most recently, Tuesday night in New Jersey.
And the team trailing early – namely the Canadiens – has lost five times.
The Devils led 2-0 at the end of the first period, and the Canadiens maintained their perfect record: They have not won this season when trailing after 20 minutes.

For all the amazing things the Canadiens have accomplished this season – and their recent travails notwithstanding, let’s not lose sight of the fact they have exceeded the expectations of all but their most delusional fans – this is not a great comeback team.

They are 0-7-1 when trailing after one period, 3-12-1 when trailing after two.

Good starts are crucial for this team. And for the last two weeks, the Canadiens have been starting badly.

At least Carey Price wasn’t the problem in New Jersey. The Canadiens’ beleaguered goaltender had no chance on the Patrik Elias power-play goal that opened the scoring. Nor could you fault him for the Steve Sullivan goal – again on a Devils’ PP – that made it 3-0.

Price was deep in his net and probably down too early on the Jacob Josefson goal from in-close. But compared to his recent nightmarish starts, Price played a decent game.

A more high-scoring team than the Devils – say Pittsburgh, or Washington – would have buried the Canadiens early in this one. As has been the case through the slump, an aggressive forecheck produced disarray in the defensive zone throughout the first period.  New Jersey’s big forwards mauled the Canadiens’ undersized – and, in the case of Andrei Markov – immobile defence. And there was little help from backcheckers.

The swarming, five-skaters-on-the-puck that propelled the Canadiens to unlikely success seems to have deserted the team. Maybe opponents have adjusted … though you have to wonder why it took them 40 games to do so. Or perhaps, as some have suggested, the Michel Therrien system is too demanding for a physically small team.

Whatever the explanation, the Canadiens’ speed and dogged pursuit of the puck have deserted them.

There is solace to be drawn from the comeback that turned a 3-0 deficit into a game in New Jersey. Max Pacioretty had a good game, with five shots on Martin F. Brodeur and a couple of hits. Lars Eller scored and worked well with Rene Bourque, who joined Eller and Alex Galchenyuk when Michel Therrien moved Michael Ryder back to Tomas Plekanec’s line.

On the back end, I thought P.K. Subban played a more controlled and effective game than he had during some recent losses. And Raphael Diaz showed signs of rounding into form.

But man, that D misses the physicality of Alexei Emelin. The defencemen are small, they’re soft and they’re getting mauled. And just wait until the refs put their whistles away for the playoffs.

Brandon Prust, the straw who stirred the drink through the first three months of the season, is playing hurt. Prust had 11 minutes of ice time against the Devils. He had no hits and took two penalties.

Brenden Gallagher looks tired. Ryder didn’t have a SoG against the Devils. Colby Armstrong had one hit.

The Canadiens “won” the second half of the game. But the scoreboard showed yet another loss … and this was the most winnable game of the week.

In Winnipeg on Thursday, the Canadiens will play a Jets team fighting for its postseason life. Then the regular season wraps up in Toronto on Saturday night.

And how’s this for a Hockey Night in Canada dream scenario:

The right combination of losses by the Canadiens and Boston, which is also fading badly, and Toronto wins could have the Leafs moving into the Northeast Division lead on Saturday night.

Wouldn’t that be something to warm the black hearts of all those HNIC Leaf-blowers?

And let’s not even think about what that would do to the battered and bruised psyches of Canadiens fans, who are watching their beloved team stumble and bumble their way to a choke job for the ages.

We’ve all heard the cliché “there’s still a lot of hockey to be played” – a rationalization generally offered in late February by a coach who gets fired two days after saying it.

Well, there isn’t a lot of hockey left. The Canadiens play two more regular-season games – against opponents more potent than a New Jersey team that’s out of the playoffs.

In his postgame remarks, Michel Therrien said Xs and Os constitute 50 per cent of a hockey team’s effort. The rest, the coach said, is “intensity … putting on your workboots.”

Therrien’s team showed signs of recapturing that intensity during the last 30 minutes of the game in New Jersey. The Canadiens will need another 120 minutes of total effort to avoid embarrassment in Winnipeg and Toronto.

 

 

 

844 Comments

  1. Mattyleg says:

    You know what…?

    I hate watching hockey in the summer.
    It sucks.
    I’d rather be out checking out the skirts than sitting in a dark bar/living-room watching hockey.

    I know it’s different this year, but the schedule should be adjusted. Playoffs should be finished by the end of April. Done.

    Hockey in late June?
    Even if we make it, forget it.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  2. Bripro says:

    A very quick observation…. I have to leave.
    For those of you who have trouble with their punctuation, more specifically Capitalization…. this from a teacher / friend of mine:

    “Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.”

    Is everyone clear on that?

  3. aroma says:

    re: Timo… The problem isn’t so much his posts- they are easily avoided by skipping past the Ali G. avatar – but the number of responses there are to his smug, negative remarks which drags down the thread on a regular basis.

    • Luke says:

      Timo would say that his respnses wouldn’t be smug or negative if the woeful group of incompetents that collectively make up this so-called team didn’t give him so much to be smug or negative about. Also: MAB!

      (I like Timo, he’s usually funny, and charming in a ‘just stepped on a lego’ kind of way).

  4. Ali says:

    This based off the fact that I only watched the third period last night, but man did we look slow. Especially Ryder.

    The gap between the defense and forwards was huge, too many blind passes to nobody, and the forecheck was pretty much useless.

    Just looked like a very tired and mentally fragile team.

    Call it piling on, but this team is still too small. Any team with Gionta, Gallagher, Desharnais occupying three of the top six forward slots isn’t going anywhere in the playoffs.

    And who knew Emelin was the Andrei Markov to the new version of Andrei Markov?

    • Blondemon says:

      I agree Gionta is not a top 6 forward. But neither are Eller and Bourque. Gallagher and Desharnais are definitely top 6, and they’re strong for their size. Did you forget how successful Gally is in the corners and with his butt parked in front of the goalie?

      Emelin wasn’t hitting this year, he isn’t good. Markov must miss his Russian buddy. I never rated Markov anyway.

      Drive for 25

      • habs12 says:

        desharnais? top 6? ha

        • Blondemon says:

          He protects the puck better than any other Hab forward, except maybe for Gally.

          Drive for 25

          • bwoar says:

            Or Lars Eller.

            “thoroughbred”

          • Blondemon says:

            I agree bwoar, Eller does protect the puck, but the guy is all flash and no finish. I hope he proves me wrong, as I once got sick of Pacioretty but who turned out to be a fine player.

            Drive for 25

      • Loonie says:

        Desharnais has two more points than Eller in two more games with over a hundred more minutes on the powerplay and in addition with Pacioretty and Gallagher flanking him.

        • Blondemon says:

          It’s not just points. But Eller can’t score in a brothel. Even last night’s goal: he had a yawning net, hits the post, lucky to have it go off Brodeur and in. He’ll never be a good scorer, a lot of fancy, and no finish, and he’s a hog. Galchy deserves better as a linemate.

          Drive for 25

          • Loonie says:

            I’m sorry but you’re way off base.

            Did you know that statistically speaking, if Desharnais and Eller were to have swapped ice-time at even strength and on the powerplay that Eller would be near a point per game?

          • bwoar says:

            Eller can’t score, even though HE SCORED THE GOAL. What an idiotic thing to say.

            “thoroughbred”

          • Blondemon says:

            Bwoar he scored in spite of himself. Did you read my analysis, yawning net, he plays pinball off the post and an unlucky Brodeur’s skate. Loonie, we don’t know that. Anyway, Galchy should be centre and not playing with Eller, but I think Eller won’t amount to much, but I invite him to prove me wrong.

            ***Drive for 25***

      • Ali says:

        Gallagher is the only one who belongs in the top six based on their play this year. Desharnais needs big wingers, and you’d think would excel 4-4 and on the powerplay but he’s been pretty much useless there as well as on 5-5, which begs the question of why he keeps getting sent out there shift after shift.

      • Luke says:

        Gionta’s a 25 goal scorer.
        That’s not top 6?

      • H.Upmann says:

        Youre crazy. DD is not top 6.

    • Loonie says:

      This is why teams pine for big centremen. Because small centremen can’t sustain a forecheck or protect the puck.

      See Desharnais, David.

  5. Wintercount says:

    I hope they draw the toughest opponent possible next week. Need to see them under some severe pressure, especially “Dopey” behind the bench.

  6. Blondemon says:

    I don’t think Mike Boone watched this game. We did NOTHING in the last 20 minutes.

    Drive for 25

  7. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    By the way, does anyone know how the draft lottery works this year? It’s on Monday

  8. habfanacrossthed says:

    2 pm practice for the Habs. Tinordi is in Winnipeg as per Dave Stubbs. I’ll be checking on twitter later. Have a great day people. Go Lightning. Go LA. Go Jays, come on Morrow Let’s Go!!!

    Keep Calm and Habs on.

    GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  9. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Man, that Barkov kid seems something else. Someone going to be able to get a steal with him….first overall lots of years, I’d bet.

  10. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Hopefully Ryder finds his usual clutch playoff form this postseason.

    Bourque has to be a force. Not overly optimistic about that. But he needs to throw that body around.

  11. DickandDanny says:

    I would like to see the following personnel changes for the next two games and see if this helps the team entering the play-offs. If we don’t try these moves now by the time the play-offs start it will be too late. Especially in the case of one of these moves as you will recognize that once you see the players name.
    Move one: Drewiski in, Gorges out
    Move two: Kaberle in, Weber out
    I think the time has come for Josh to sit. He brings virtually nothing to the team in talent, skating, hitting, or shooting. In fact he plays valuabe minutes and contributes next to nothing. His recent plus minus speaks volumes about his decline in play. Drewiski on the other hand has size, has moved the puck extremely well since his arrival, and reminds one of an old stalwart d-man who helped win us a cup, Rick Green. One other thing with Gorges, he is so predictable. Heres an example; puck comes back to the point, Gorges looks net and shoots the puck in the corner and behind the net. Every friggin time. No lateral movement, no shot to the net. If I am a forward watching that I have to be thinking, really? Again.
    And as for Kaberle, this guy has more talent especially on the PP, and puck movement than everyone o/s of maybe Markov and Subban. Play him already. This whole buy him out next thing is such waste of available talent. Sickening actually to think he is in the press box and not playing. I don’t care either to be reminded of his odd D blunders, you mean markov is wonderful defensively, Gorges, Boullion, c’mon he is no better or worse defensively than what they have now, but boy what an offensive upside and gifted passer. If there is a place in the game for redden kaberle deserves to play.
    Lastly, Therrien needs to take a page out of scotty Bowman’s coaching play book. Scotty new in the first ten minutes who was ready to play. Therrien on th eother hand seems to want to play his players based on ‘who’ he thinks should play.It’s not working Michelle. Guys need to earn their icetime each and every game. just ask Scotty…or me !

    \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

  12. Coach K says:

    The biggest issue I see (as do others) is the growing lack of mobility among 3 of the top 6 defencemen – Markov, Gorges and Frankie the Bull. If the D are consistently the last people to the puck in our own end then it all breaks down. If the forwards aren’t back in support it breaks down as well. Therrien’s system is predicated upon keeping our relatively small forwards off the boards in our own end so that the breakout can be efficient. He recognized that given their size, they couldn’t afford to spend any time on the boards grinding it out in their own end and that it would just set them up for failure. That said, it seems currently that the “team speed” Therrien spoke of earlier has left them. I don’t think its a matter of a lack of speed but more a matter of execution of their system. Let me explain…

    It starts with the D getting to the puck first then making a quick, short pass to the winger who is posted up at the hash marks in the D-zone. Meanwhile the centre curls at the bottom of the circle, and gives that winger a moving target to pass to. The centre then passes to the weak side winger and the two of them can attack the other defenceman effectively as a 2 on 1. It worked well because it meant that the small winger did not have to try to carry the puck up the boards through the opponent’s defenceman. It also forced that defenceman to back off our blueline and gave the winger an exit route. It’s brilliant in its simplicity but it will not work at all if they fail to execute by collectively not skating. And that is the crux of the problem. The questions that they need answered are why and how do we get them to start skating again?

    —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

    • donmarco says:

      Just a couple of points to your excellent post. Bouillon is, IMO, a short term depth addition that is playing out of where he should be (final pairing at best) while Emelin is out and Diaz gets back into game shape. Markov is a smart and capable defenseman, but his strength is when he can join the play offensively, and lately there haven’t been many opportunities to do that. Like many, though, I find his TOI to be incomprehensibly high.
      With regards to your comment re positioning of forwards it is something I have also noticed, especially during the recent slide. While I commend a team oriented defense, the forwards all seem to be collapsing to the net to the point where all 5 of the defenders are between the dots, and often even behind the net. When the defenseman does come up with the puck he simply has nowhere to pass it to as the forwards are not where they are supposed to be. What happens then is the inevitable chip out to the neutral zone and a scramble for possession instead of emerging from their zone as a 3 man unit and hitting the blue line with speed. The defense are getting dumped on but when you look at their options when they do regain possession in the defensive zone they have no options. That is, I hope, what they’re focusing on now. Let the Goalie do his job, let the D-men do theirs and position yourselves for an organized rush.

      • Coach K says:

        Hey DM, enjoyed your analysis…good points all! To me the positioning is a function of keeping their feet moving and timing. This team with its lack of size, can ill afford to be caught getting in dogfights for puck possession as you correctly pointed out. If they don’t work as a 5 man unit it will all crumble as we have witnessed lately. Your assessment of the D is accurate but I would add the following for consideration:

        Of the top 6 D, three appear to be approaching or are now beyond their “best before” date…

        1) Markov is still brings some value because he can identify pass opportunities that no one else can envision let alone, execute like he does. The problem as you correctly stated, is that he’s playing too many minutes. The other issues I see are that he’s doing it on one good leg and he can no longer pivot to his left as witnessed by him getting burned to the outside something awful. Other teams have recognized that are are exposing him.
        2) Bouillon, as you stated well, is playing where he should for a 36 yr. old. He’s small but tough. The problem is that he’s running a “defence daycare” back there and is often paired up with the “rookie of the week” where he constantly has to cover their mistakes while still trying to play sound defence himself. He’s no offensive threat by any means and he’s stating to struggle to win his one on one battles lately. Fatigue perhaps??
        3) Gorges. Seems to have lost a step he can’t afford to lose. He has little offensive upside, is a marginal skater, and doesn’t always make a good first pass and lately is also losing his one on one battles with too much regularity. That said, he is a capable penalty killer who is very good at blocking shots and has a huge heart.

        When half of your top 6 are in that position, it becomes a matter of time before they can no longer get to the puck first and sadly, we know how the rest works out.
        M. Bergevin will have his work cut out for him.

        —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

  13. rice says:

    I have been reading HIO for several years now and have enjoyed the article and for the most part the discussions. If at the start of the season you would have told me the habs would finish 5th at worst and still potentially be 2nd I would have been one happy camper after the last few years. I have become discouraged however by the negativity of so many when there is so much to be enthusiastic about both now and in the future for the habs. I think its time for people to sit back and reflect on the teams success and cheer for even more . In the meantime I think I will avoid scrolling down after the articles.

    • Loonie says:

      If you had told me in the off-season that this team would be in the perfect position to win the division but suffered yet another epic collapse late in the year I would have begged management to tank for a shot at one of the top ten picks in the draft.

    • donmarco says:

      There are many here, myself included, who agree with what you write wholeheartedly. But there are many who don’t, and that’s fine too. I wouldn’t abandon the site just because of people, who frankly would trash the team if they so much as lost one game, who post things you don’t like. Find one or 2 that you do and jump in, ignore the ones who are referred to as “haters”. Nothing this team does will make them happy.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Nothing this team does will make them happy? Here’s where you’re wrong. Winning every single game from now on would do it. As long as they’re never scored upon and beat up their opponents, never getting a penalty, as well. Oh and they must do it in style and give out free rainbow skittles.

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

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Wholeheartedly agree…thanks for the post! The more sane voices we have around here, the better!

      But don’t be too hard on the negative nancys…they love the team just as much. Just easily discouraged ;)

      GO HABS!

  14. secretdragonfly says:

    Habs against Winnipeg since last season:

    Oct. 9, 2011 Mtl 5-1
    Dec. 22, 2011 Wpg 4-0
    Jan. 4, 2012 Mtl 7-3
    Feb. 5, 2012 Mtl 3-0
    Jan. 29, 2013 Mtl 4-3
    Apr. 4, 2013 Mtl 4-1

    It’s in the bag!

  15. Chuck says:

    Does anyone have a copy of the Hab-themed Lord’s Prayer that was floating around here a while ago that they could post?

    I have a feeling that we might need it.

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

    • Loonie says:

      Our Therrien, who art in shambles, inconsistency be thy name.
      Thy wins come early, thy losses late, in Montreal as it is in Toronto.
      Give us this day our daily blame, and forgive us our gloom as we forgive those who overreact to their team’s misfortunes
      Lead us not into shame, deliver us from the basement.

  16. Bill says:

    Winnipeg’s final game is vs the Habs and they have to win to have any shot of making it. You have to think they will play like hell and leave nothing in the tank. Hard to imagine the Habs winning that one playing as they presently are.

    Toronto’s next two games are against TB and Florida (thanks NHL schedulers). Easy to see them winning both against this sad sack clubs.

    That will leave them tied in points with the Habs on Saturday for the last game. Gonna be a big one … although I don’t presently care if the Habs open at home or on the road, it’s gonna be a psychological advantage for the winning team.

    • Chuck says:

      Well, over the last 9 years the Leafs have been used to thinking about golfing at the end of the season, so perhaps it was a cruel dig at the Leafs by the schedule makers. :)

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

    • habsfan0 says:

      The Leafs’ propensity of being outshot by a wide margin and relying on their goaltender to always bail them out is going to catch up with them,sooner or later.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      I think the playoff atmosphere in Winnipeg will actually benefit the Habs. Will be the first game in a while where there is so much on the line (for one of the teams), so you have to believe the building will be mental.

      Win or lose, hopefully that brings the best out of the boys and gets them in the playoff mindset.

    • habfanacrossthed says:

      Don’t count out both SE teams. Tampa showed some life against Toronto. TB won 4-2, but also lost 4-2. Florida lost 3-0, and 3-2 to the Leafs this season. Keep calm and Habs on!

      GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

      • aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

        Florida just beat the Rangers, so no reason to assume they can’t give the Leafs a run for their money.

        And this doesn’t just go for the Habs, but… It always seems to be the WORST teams which beat the top teams. Avalanche ended the Hawks’ streak, after all. The players on the cellar teams love playing spoiler.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Sometimes teams that are out of it actually do pretty well. No pressure and young players trying to prove something.

          • Ghosts of the Forum says:

            Just ask Flames fans…they’re going crazy over here, haha. Lose when they need to win, win when they need to lose

    • donmarco says:

      You don’t have to look any further than last night’s games to know that your conclusion is wrong, Bill. Bruins, Habs and Rangers all lost to teams out of the playoffs. And the Rangers lost to Florida. Players play for pride, and sometimes when they play without the expectation of winning, they just let it all hang out and play well. I’m not conceding anything to Toronto, nor should you.

  17. frontenac1 says:

    @timo. Starbucks?That’s for Yuppies amigo. Go to the Saloon and let er rip.

  18. habs-fan-84 says:

    The break between the end of the season and playoffs will be welcome. The boys need some time to decompress (both mentally and physically) and re-focus.

    If people thought Gallagher had energy throughout the regular season, just wait until the playoffs…I bet both he and Gally are supercharged for NHL playoffs…it’ll rub off on the rest of the team.

    Playoffs are too exciting, it’s a new season and after missing last year…the boys who’ve experienced the playoff atmosphere in Montreal are salivating at the thought of experiencing it again next week.

    As bad as they’ve looked the past week and a half, I’m fully confident they’ll look at the playoffs as a new start, will reset and come out hard as they did starting in game 2 of the regular season.

    GO HABS GO!

  19. oldandslo says:

    This “swarming” or over-matching tactic is just a stunt designed to surprise an adversary that has become accustomed to easy individual puck-battle wins versus Habs players. It worked for a while but now coaches simply tell their players to move the puck quicker resulting in stranded and/or outnumbered Habs in the defensive zone. This should have been anticipated and alternative schemes drawn up. So easy to be a couch potato second-guesser.

  20. ed says:

    it is too much of a coincidence that the team began it’s death spiral EXACTLY after they clinched a playoff spot against Buffalo.

    clearly there is a relationship between the two.

    all these past games prove to me is that we can not win unless we are playing all out.

    I assume we will see more of the same in Winnipeg, and then Saturday night in Toronto the team will try and wake up because they will be playing a playoff team, and possibly the team they will meet in the 1st round.

    I think Saturday night is FINALLY the true “measuring stick” game.

    Hahaha!

    • Cal says:

      Damn! Someone had to mention that stick! :)

    • Chuck says:

      I think that it had to do more with Emelin’s injury and the resulting juggling with the defense than it did with clinching.

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

      • habfanacrossthed says:

        Chuck your very right. Emelin has a presence on the blueline. Now teams skate throught the zone with ease. MT is trying his best to bandaid the defense. Also do believe in who ever posted below about the team mailing it in. I heard Bourque talk about the exact things.

        GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  21. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Figure Tinordi is playing tonight, then? He’s meeting the team in Winnipeg. Who sits? Can hardly pin much on Weber….imagine they sat Markov?

    Guessing it’s Weber though.

  22. frontenac1 says:

    How many more games does Whitey have to serve for his suspension?

  23. SteverenO says:

    Something smells bad…..

    I heard (third hand) that Markov is a smoker. I wonder exactly what it is he’s smoking? And is he smoking with MT?

    In his last 134 minutes of even strength ice time, the TEAM has scored one goal while Markov’s been on the ice, and (allowed 8)

    In his last 43 minutes of PP TOI, the team has scored 3 PP goals, (an average of one goal per 14 minutes. The season average for the team is approximately one goal per 7.5 minutes)

    In his last 17 minutes playing on the penalty kill unit the team has allowed 5 PP goals against.

    Now, I don’t know if smoking has anything to do with it. I would figure that it is more to do with a combination of age, fatigue, a wonky knee, and general soreness that comes with a grueling schedule.

    What I DO know is that last night in the last 5 and a half minutes of the game when the team needed a goal the coach played Markov for 3 shifts. The first shift was 57 seconds, the second 1:22 and the third 1:24. for a total of 3 :43 .

    The coach does not have the excuse of age, fatigue, and injury, therefore my question, what exactly is Therrien smoking?

    Markov should not have played at all yesterday in my opinion there has never been a clearer case of a player having “nothing left in the tank”. Dressing him and restricting his minutes could be justified perhaps, but playing him over 23 minutes? Having him skate (or more accurately, stand) on the ice for the majority of the end game when we needed to score a goal to tie it up, brings into question this man’s judgement, and his suitability to coach a professional hockey team.

    In 5 minutes and 57 seconds of PP time, with a PP that has been struggling , Eller got to enjoy exactly 9 seconds with them man advantage. I suppose that MT was “convinced” that last night was the night when Gallagher , DD, and Pacioretty would break out of their season long PP slump. Another 2:00 minutes (33%) of wasted PP opportunity went to that line last nite.

    If I was the GM , I would be having a talk with my coach today. If I was the owner and the GM did not have a talk with his coach today,. I would be very,very upset.

    Is it all about the money? The team is not willing to risk Kaberle getting injured, but they are willing to continue having MArkov (attempt) to handle a playing load despite every indication that he is unable to carry?

    There are only two things that can happen if Markov continues to be played for so many minutes, either he will get hurt, or the team will continue to lose, and lose badly more often than not.

    Its is a crying shame to have to wish for Markov , ( a truly great competitor, and character player) to get injured, because the coach chooses to keep his head in the clouds and not see the obvious.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Luke says:

      Wait, so Markov is a smoker, and he has gone into decline. Therefore we need to determine if he was a smoker in his prime.

      Has he cut back and that is the reason for his decline?
      Is he trying to quit?

      I say, someone better send him a carton quick.

    • Lafrich says:

      Your stats are interesting. I love stats normally. In this case I don’t need them. All I have to do is watch the game and I could have told you that Markov’s play is atrocious at both ends of the ice.

      Nevertheless, thank you for backing it up with facts.

  24. Timo says:

    I can’t freaking believe it’s sunny and warm in Calgary. I am going outside for some starbucks to check out skirts and cleavage. Forget the Habs.

  25. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Strange, but the best case scenario might be for the Leafs to take the division and for the Habs and Bruins to meet in the first round.

    We’ve had their number this year and they’re backing into the playoffs as well…might end up working out.

    Feel badly for the Jets and their fans. Though there is still a minuscule chance, looks like they’re done. That game on Thursday is going to be nuts though — and exactly what we need, I think. It’ll be a playoff type atmosphere, not the dead Prudential Centre.

    • aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

      Totally agree. I like the Habs versus the Bruins. Both teams are completely crap right now. Although both teams might be doing the rope-a-dope. If they continue to rope-a-dope in the post-season we’re looking at games lasting 25+ periods, as neither teams exerts any effort.

      Go Leafs?

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        Still can’t bring myself to the “Go Leafs” level, haha

        But if the gods decreed it…well who are we to complain ;) And as much as TSN and CBC want there to be a Habs-Leafs rivalry, nothing beats Habs-Bruins games. Who wouldn’t want to watch a series of that!

  26. rhino514 says:

    Regarding the forwards, I don´t believe it´s the “we´re too small” argument which props up every time the team goes into a slump. They probably need a bit more size to win the Cup, but they are a good team. You can´t fluke it out for 40 games; for 40 games they proved they can play with anyone not named Chicago.
    Also, they have options, if you believe in that sort of thing. Prust can play top three. They have so much scoring talent you could incorporate a couple of the fourth line forwards into the top three at times for specific match ups.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      And the guys who need to step up — Bourque, Ryder, Patches — are the big guys!

      Gio has been one of the few good players during this slump.

      • rhino514 says:

        The guy I think is the likeliest to be gone from the top three by the end of next season is Bourque…a big guy. he´s the one guy i´m not sold on. But he´s probably over-extend his welcome due to his size and the fact he is one of our few big forwards.
        Size is great, but it shouldn´t come at the expense of guys who can score consistently.
        Would you rather have A. Kostitsyn back in place of Gallagher?

    • KenD29 says:

      Huh? Leafs had them in all their games this season and Pens dominated them 2 of their three wins.
      Caps also had them pretty good too.

      All About Work Ethic

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        Leafs won 2-1, 6-0, 5-1 and we won one 5-2

        Pens won 7-6 (OT), 1-0 and 6-4

        • KenD29 says:

          my apologies, forgot about the 5-2 win.

          Pens on the other hand took it to the Habs last time without Crosby, Malkin and Neal. And the 4th goal was late in the 3rd…

          Pens and Caps will be tough to beat.

          All About Work Ethic

  27. CF says:

    I used to post two years ago saying that the following players cannot remain on the same team:
    1) Gionta
    2) Cammy
    3) Gomez
    Too small, can’t hit, will wear down physically. Gomez and Cammy are gone, but we replaced with DD and Gallagher.
    Gallagher is one of my favorites, he plays physical and has been a revelation this year. The reason Gionta is so successful is that he has blazing speed and the guy is built like a tank. DD is not fast, and not very strong, in comparison to Gio.
    It already looks like DD will turn into Bergerons mulligan. There was absolutely no reason, beyond good-will, to extend for this length of term. DD can be effective at times, he is creative.
    However, anyone notice how NJ played DD on the PP last night. Well, he didn’t have two feet to operate, and was thrown off his stride and off the puck like a fly.
    You can’t have Pleks and DD centering the top two lines.
    DD is a great person I hear, and works his butt off, so give him a contract if you wish……just not for that amount. Someone mentioned that MOEN was making 3 million per…..you’re wrong–it’s 1.85 per. If he was healthy this would be a decent contract.

    • rhino514 says:

      I agree that Chucky, Pleks and Eller should be the three centres next year. And despite DD´s contract extension, I wouldn´t be surprised if he´s moved at some point, or his role becomes minimized. Without DD they aren´t that small. Chucky figures to put on a few pouds too.
      To the proponents of the small theory I would also add, that the one guy who keeps going even when teams are supposedly trying to crush us into submission, is Gionta.

    • CalgaryHab says:

      It was a risky venture when Gainey went small and fast. His biggest mistake was hiring JM to coach that package. I’m not sure any coach would have success but ceatainly not JM.

  28. Loonie says:

    Good coaches acknowledge when they need to be better.

    I’ve heard nothing of the sort from ours. Just blame and excuses.

  29. donmarco says:

    No matter how important Saturday’s game may end up being I almost pray MT sits Prust. If Toronto suspects he’s banged up they’ll run him all night, and knowing Prust, he’ll rise to the challenge. We’ll need him far more in the game after Saturday. And I thought last night, if Ryan White was called twice for goalie interference he’d be back in the pressbox. Good thing MT loves Prusty.

  30. habs-fan-84 says:

    Tinordi called up..not sure if anyone saw…

  31. @Donmarco Over confidence and lack of respect will be Toronto’s down fall in the playoffs. If they think for one second that Montreal brought their “A” game then they will be surprised.
    If the Habs play their best hockey and lose (playoffs, not Saturday), I will be the first to congratulate the Leafs and their fans.

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

    • Loonie says:

      This team doesn’t have the skill level necessary to be able to turn the effort on and off at will.

      If they don’t right the ship in a real hurry they’re screwed regardless of who they play in the first round.

    • donmarco says:

      As, reluctantly, will I. At the very least we’ll have another team we can hate on the same level, well almost, as the Bruins. This is much more about Montrealers bizarre sense of inferiority when it comes to the city of Toronto, not the Leafs of Toronto. Why we feel that way is beyond me, this is the greatest city in the world, one that Toronto could only dream of being. But it would be nice to beat them, though. Smug ba*tards. Their fans, not the team. :-)

  32. habfanacrossthed says:

    @ KenD and Timo. Wow Pleks plays like a girl, 3rd line center. Come on really. He’s a two way hockey player! Number 2 center on any given team minus Pens.

    GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  33. Sportfan says:

    So Tinordi will be playing ?

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

    • habfanacrossthed says:

      No word from anybody. Renaud Lavoie just says recalled by the Canadiens. My guess is he’ll practice and suit up. Therrien should say more after tomorrow’s optional skate.

      GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  34. habsfan0 says:

    Will the Habs recent call ups from Hamilton be eligible to play in the post season? If so,what ramifications,if any,would this have on their contracts going forward?

    I’m thinking specifically about Tinordi and Beaulieu.

    • bwoar says:

      All the callups are eligible AFAIK, and as for those 2, they’re on their entry level deals already so no ramifications. I expect we’ll see them both at some point, frankly.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Loonie says:

        You’re correct. Happens every year. Sometimes as many as twenty players are called up just for the hell of it. And they’re eligible to play in the playoffs.

        • Ghosts of the Forum says:

          Or to finish out your season in the desperate hope of getting a better draft pick so you can save your job, in the case of the Flames ;)

          • CalgaryHab says:

            I don’t know why they would play most of Abbotsford last night and then still play Kipper. Doesn’t make sense, but nothing they do does

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Should have zero impact on their contracts, as they are already on Pro Contracts. Both will have used up year 1 of their 3 year entry level deal. I am not sure how it works financially for them, given that contracts don’t pay in the playoffs.

      Hey this means once the playoffs start, Timo can’t bitch about how much the guys are making, as they will be playing for free. Oh now I am worried for him, that is a big part of his bitching removed. He could get angry.

  35. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Playoffs next week!

    3 picks in the top 35 (thanks for sucking Nashville!!) in the draft!

    Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Tinordi, Beaulieau, PK, Eller and what the hell, Collberg! (I’ve got a sneaking suspicion about that kid…)

    Lots to be excited about in Habs land!! Happy hump day y’all!

    • KenD29 says:

      now they just need another big body to add to Prust so he is not the lone wolf. Another Big D man willing to take the body would also be nice.

      All About Work Ethic

      • Timo says:

        They have big bodies. Moen, Armstrong, Gorges, Pacioretty, Bourque, Ryder are not exactly munchkins. They play like tiny tikes but they all have big bodies. Soff.

    • aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

      I’m with you!

      Beautiful sunny day where I am. (A few km from where the Habs were last night.)

      Habs are having a rough patch, but they’re clearly not playing to their potential. And look how amazing they have played so far this season, after the “catastrophe” of last season. We all have reason to be optimistic that the Habs will turn it around this season, or if they have indeed run out of gas, that they will continue their amazing turnaround next season.

      Hey, KenD29… Unless you are a present or former NHL player, I kinda don’t think you really have much place to be hammering on the Habs players for their Work Ethic. How you can take Tomas Plekanec to task is beyond me; he has always been an incredibly versatile two-way player. In the conference finals run a few years ago, he stood out to me as much as Cammalleri or Halak for his incredibly smart play with and without the puck. I hope that the Habs win their game against the Jets just so that you will stay under your rock.

  36. CalgaryHab says:

    The play-off question has changed in the last two weeks.

    From ‘which team we want to match up with in round one’ to a question of ‘which team we want to match up with in round one because a loss to them would be less humiliating’.

    I fear a play-off loss to the leafs would have leafs nation, CBC and TSN referencing ’13 like they still reference their team and success in ’93. Two weeks ago I would have loved nothing more than to play the leafs. Now I just have visions of Nelson vs Milhouse.

    Please – Habs from the first 80% of the season, please show up.

  37. donmarco says:

    @KenD – yes, I would consider this season a success even if, as you say, they don’t win a game from here on including the playoffs. The team has far exceeded its stated goals at the beginning of the season, and exceeded them not only without giving up a prospect along the way, but adding cap space and a third round pick. So yes, this has been a success regardless of what happens now.

    • von says:

      I agree. Yes, it’s been a bummer to see them slide the way they have recently. But overall, it’s been a great season to watch considering what happened last year.

      _________________________________

      “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

    • KenD29 says:

      I will give you they did better than last season. But I question MB’s logic in rushing to give DD a contract extension. Has he warranted that with his play this season? A 4th line centre at best on any other team. He could have easily held that one off until the end of the season and then given thought to making an offer.
      Moen another head scratcher. Three more years at 3 mill each year. That’s allot of $’s tied up for a player who has been MIA.

      And then you have MT who continues to give DD plenty of ice time and the youth who has far outplayed him gets 10-12 minutes.

      A successful season yes. Phenomenal, I have to disagree especially given the free fall over the past two weeks.

      All About Work Ethic

      • Luke says:

        “A 4th line centre at best on any other team”

        Hyperbole really does not help when making a point.

      • donmarco says:

        You asked a question earlier whether I considered Pleks, DD and Moen to be core players. In the case of Moen, no. He has looked slow and disinterested all year. In the case of Pleks, absolutely. I think he is a highly underrated player, but not a superstar. A responsible second line center. And DD has a role but it’s not the one he’s playing now. Sometimes you have to play the cards you’re dealt, and that’s what MT is doing with DD, but I think it’s possible Eller could grow into a #1 center and Galchenyuk still has a ways to go before he can even be considered for that role.

  38. twilighthours says:

    Facts:

    In a given year,

    14 of 30 teams miss the playoffs.
    22/30 fail to make it out of the first round of the playoffs.
    26/30 fail to make it out of round 2.
    28/30 don’t make it the final.
    29/30 fail to win the Cup.

    So when you predict doom and gloom, and smugly remind us of how you told-us-so that the Habs would suck/collaps/be soft/be small/whatever, are you really so prescient?

    Or is it just that only one team gets to win it all?

    • Mustang says:

      Once a team is in the playoffs, there is only one game that they must win, THE LAST GAME THAT THEY PLAY. That is right, of the 16 teams in the playoffs, only one team will win their last game.

    • Cal says:

      Many posters (hello Timo) would rather ease their “pain” by basking in their doom and gloom. They probably walk on the shady side of the street and always carry umbrellas. Lastly, they wear foot-high platform shoes so they can look down on people as they trip and fall on their faces.

      • aroma says:

        The problem isn’t so much his posts- they are easily avoided by skipping past the Ali G. avatar – but the number of responses there are to his smug, negative remarks which regularly drags down the thread.

  39. jackbutt says:

    Habs have no chance at the cup with a weak goaltending with Price and Budaj. As long as they are there, don’t count on it. By the time we get rid of them it will be time to rebuild a new team. The NHL don’t care if, Habs, Laffs, and rags win anything because, it don’t matter if win or lose, it’s sold out e every night. I think that we’re not going to see a cup in Canada for a long time for that matter.

    • von says:

      Goal scoring helps too. I guess they’re expected to do that as well?

      Last night for example: You score only two goals against a non-playoff team. Yes, it was Marty F. Brodeur, but how many times can you say they dominated the offensive play? How many great scoring chances in the third period?
      _________________________________

      “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  40. JUST ME says:

    Any way you look at it still they had a great run and nobody could have predicted such a succes. 5th in the league, still tied for 1st in the division,3rd best goals for and i am sure other surprising stats.
    Cause of course we tend to look at the negative side, correction, some tend to always look at the negative side of the habs games but how soon we all forget where we saw them at the begining of the season.

    I`d rather be where we are than where we were last season or where the Flyers,Sabres,Devils and basically most of the other teams in the league are.

    We still are a step below the Pens and the Hawks and a couple of other teams but it is nice to compare with the best instead of barely making it to the playoffs.

    • donmarco says:

      I would not trade places with any of the teams you mentioned. We were there last year, and I hope that will never be repeated. I took a look at the Devils on Capgeek, and they only have 6, repeat 6, forwards signed for next year, and 2 of them eat up 20% of the cap. Their 2 over 40 goalies eat up another 10%. Buffalo is in complete disarray, and the Flyers have no room to maneuver at all with the cap. Wouldn’t trade places with them for anything.

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Mojo comes.Mojo goes.Mojo returns. Mojo will be there when the Real season starts next week amigos.It will be a fun ride. Stock up on booze.I read the the Liquor Store buggers might walk off the job on May 15.Saludos!!

  42. derfab says:

    There are only so many ways you can respond to an all-out, agressive forecheck. For this club, physical play is not one of them right now. Therrien is going to have to be creative and surprise the opposition with a new twist on the trap. Something like Boucher’s 2-2-1 might help to counter the blitz they are now facing every start. Whatever, the forwards have to respond with agression of their own and by scoring or it’s lights out.

  43. Marc10 says:

    MB and MT have parroted the character line all season long. They think that Price, Bouillion, Prust, Armstrong, Gionta, Gorges, Plekanek, Markov, Desharnais, Paccioretty and co are character guys.

    Well if that’s the case boys, now is the time to show it. Win the last two, get your s*** together and man up.

    No Excuses. The rookies have done their part… Your turn.

    • donmarco says:

      Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is a rebuilding team and anything they do from here on is considered gravy for MB. we all have heard how the chemistry and character has been phenomenal this season, but that can be construed as also saying we don’t have the talent other teams (Pens, Hawks) have. There will be huge changes coming next season, regardless of what we do this season.

      • habfanacrossthed says:

        Year 1 of the rebuild!

        GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

        • donmarco says:

          And a phenomenally successful one at that. MB has been very consistent in saying he plans on building a culture of winning that will last for many years, and I’m buying into that.

          • habfanacrossthed says:

            Yes it is! Regardless of the play as of late, MB and MT and staff took a draft lottery team to the playoffs. First draft for the MB era seems like a real good one. Can’t wait to see what else is in store.

            GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

          • KenD29 says:

            “if” they do not manage to win anymore games from this point onward, do you still consider this to be a “phenomenally” successful?

            All About Work Ethic

      • Loonie says:

        I see the “anything in the playoffs is gravy” perspective a lot. I disagree very strongly. If this team was doomed from the start and the GM had no intention of adding what was needed to compete, veteran players who would be attractive to contending teams should have been moved for young players or draft picks.

        The veterans didn’t need evaluation, they are what they are. There was no point in seeing how they’d respond after last season and their presence doesn’t serve this team any purpose moving forward unless the GM adds to the roster in a positive way.

        • Timo says:

          For a change we agree. I said it all along that if MB needed to understand who his veteran players are we could have told him long time ago – some more eloquently than others but pretty accurately nonetheless. There are also game tapes. No need to waste a year to confirm that Markov is old and washed up, Plekanec plays like a girl in playoffs, Moen is soff and Pacioretty is a perimeter player.

          • twilighthours says:

            You’re right. Worse still, they could have hired you for the low price of a Lori Graham poster and a case of beer. Then the Habs would know what’s what.

          • derfab says:

            Disagree on Pleks. Halak’s last stand, for example, had some other warriors in prominent roles. I seem to remember him working well with Cammalieri.

            Pacioretty misses Cole.

        • donmarco says:

          The core of this team going forward (won’t list the, we pretty much know them) have limited experience, if any, in the playoffs and this will accelerate their development. This team was never “doomed” from the start, but I assume the temptation to trade picks and prospects for a rental was resisted by MB and justifiably so. This team was good enough to get us here, let’s see if there’s anything in the tank to get us a series or 2. But if you think we’re on the same page as Chicago, Pittsburgh or even, ick, Boston, or would have been with a trade or 2, then I humbly disagree with you.

          • KenD29 says:

            do you consider Plecs, Desharnais and Moen as part of the core?

            Plecs is a 3rd line centre on any other team. MB rushed into giving DD a contract extension. Why? He is no better than a 4th line centre on any other team. And Moen another player that has been MIA all season long and given a nice lengthy contract. And while Kaberle was not MB’s doing, he is still on the books for another season.

            There is allot of work to left to be done.

            All About Work Ethic

        • Luke says:

          Hey. I said “Seeding is Gravy”.

          I also said I like Gravy, but it’s the beef that’s most important. I just prefer Gravy on my beef.

          I’m hungry.

      • derfab says:

        There will be a changing of the guard sooner or later. But it may be tough to move some guys for anyone of value.

    • Timo says:

      I know as much about Habs is not to count on Plekanec close or during playoffs. Prust is hurt. The rest are useless and I wouldn’t miss any of them.

  44. Timo says:

    And… I told you so.

  45. Mattyleg says:

    I have a question:
    What is the rationale behind the thinking that a ‘physically small team’ gets tired faster than a ‘physically big team’?

    Surely bigger players get tired more quickly…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Matty, mentally it is harder picking yourself up off the ice all game long!

      • Mattyleg says:

        I don’t get it.
        If a player isn’t able to take a check, regardless of his size, he shouldn’t be in the NHL.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Ian Cobb says:

          He can take it Matty, but a big ball rolling into a smaller ball generally knocks the smaller ball away. And when the balls have legs or pins they go down. Great players pick themselves up and carry on, mentally draining over time.

          Bran new emotion next week will revive the boys.!

      • habsfan0 says:

        I don’t think Henri Richard or Yvan Cournoyer subscribed to that theory,Ian.

        • Strummer says:

          Different era Phil- apples and oranges

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

          • habsfan0 says:

            That’s true.
            But the fact of the matter is,they didn’t allow their diminutive statures to stop them.
            They each had the heart of a lion.

          • Ian Cobb says:

            Strummer. Your right.
            In the 60’s and some of the 70’s, hits were on the body lower, today all hits start at shoulder high and big men are higher. They also wear helmets today .

    • donmarco says:

      I think all players, regardless of size, get tired at different points in the season. You just have to hope that it is not a collective fatigue and that some players will compensate for the ones who are lagging for a game or two. In our case it appears many of our guns are flagging at the same time. But it’s a whole new season starting next week, no matter what happens in the next 2 games.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Now, this I agree with.

        The Boone-perpetuated myth that smaller players need more naps than bigger players is completely baffling to me.

        Oh, and the team in 29th (as of the beginning of the season) is only 0.1 inches taller than us.

        And it’s Chicago.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • donmarco says:

          Size, for the sheer sake of size, is not a winning formula. Often times size also goes hand in hand with slowness and poor puckhandling/passing skills. I know i’m in the minority, but the endless cries for the 6-4 250lb power forward fall on deaf ears. Besides, there are less than 10 NHL players who fit that bill.

    • ont fan says:

      You ask tough questions.

    • twilighthours says:

      It’s less tiring to throw a hit than receive one. The Habs sure are getting beaten up lately.

  46. commandant says:

    Tinordi in for Weber (who was brutal last night) will help.

    But make no mistake, Tinordi is no saviour. He still needs development to adjust to NHL speed, and he is very skinny and needs more upper body strength before his size will really be able to be taken advantage of.

    The improvement has to come internally. Diaz getting into game shape. Markov and Gorges finding their games again and forwards helping out. Even Plekanec was bad on the second goal.

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

  47. krob1000 says:

    10 questions:

    1.When did the puck become a hot potato?
    this team is not built for puck retrieval.
    2. How many one man rushes can the team expect to score on in a game?
    3. Why are more players standing taller than the Statue of Liberty in our end when the other team has the puck?
    4. When did they handicap the Habs and how much bigger is the net they keep making the HAbs defend?
    5. Would a deadline deal or two of significance have maintained the confidence or did the happy to be in playoffs attitude kill their desire and hurt their confidence as other teams improved?
    6. Why when we watch the games and our D has the puck in the neutral zone is there not a single forward visible on the screen so often? where the hell are they?
    7. Why is it that there always seems to be one guy doing all of the grunt work on a line and noone supports him (Prust, Gionta and Gallagher all forechecked their hearts out last game..but aren’t much good by themselves)
    8. When did teams start closing off 3 on 2’s outside the blueline? and why do both forwards not dart across with the two weakside then creating the 2 on 1? Must have happened 6 times last night…puck carrier going wide…guys very spread out..their d angle us into the wall at or around the blueline…our other two forwards are too far away and too near to the blueline to have a play made to them?
    9. Where have the smiles gone? Now any time the camera pans to the bench all I see is a bunch of guys in hockey gear staring blankly ahead as if they are anywhere but whee they are.
    10. Can we go back to the future? for a while it seemed we were getting a real good glimpse of future potential and a new gameplan..can we please get that DeLorean running again and get back there?

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    Like I have said before, we only have two top 4 D.
    All the rest are 5, 6, or 7 Defensemen.
    Bergevin will be on the hunt for 2 more top D for next year. But it is going to cost us a pretty penny for sure.

    • commandant says:

      We don’t have the cap space to add two top 4 Defencemen.

      And if Gorges gets his head out of his butt, and Emelin is healthy, they are both fine 2nd pairing dmen.

      We’ll have to wait for Beaulieu and Tinordi to develop to fill some spots. This rebuild was never going to be done in just one season.

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

    • habfanacrossthed says:

      Does Bergevin deal at the draft in your opinion?

      GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

      • Ian Cobb says:

        He will deal for sure. How he will deal is anybodies guess. But he will not deal away top picks, he has the best scouts in the league and you grow your franchise with top picks!

        • habfanacrossthed says:

          Agree hands down not to deal away top picks. Kaberle is a buyout, that’s a given. So does he try and dump any other current contracts? Considering he re-upped for Francis Bouillon for another year. All our same defense is back for next year. (weber rfa)

          GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

      • donmarco says:

        He has enough picks to do it, but our lack of organizational depth at forward will, or should, make this a draft where the majority of picks are at forward and not the old “we took the best player available” approach in years past. I kind of like having the 6 picks in 3 rounds, but if he could package something into a top 5, I’d be very happy.

    • donmarco says:

      We may have as many as 3 top 4 d-men on the way up but it takes time and patience to develop them. I’d rather wait to see what they can do than trade them away for a short term fix. Tinordi has the makings of a big stay at home, Beaulieu has the talent to be a replacement for Markov and Pateryn and/or Ellis fall somewhere in between. It just takes time.

  49. twilighthours says:

    It’s amazing that this team will finish no lower than 5th, and still will probably have 4th. Amazing.

    Throw away the standings and you’d swear it was a lottery team.

  50. The Dude says:

    I figure Therrien will have one more coaching season in Montreal and then Pat Roy will be the Man…. And that’s a real good thing.

  51. Un Canadien errant says:

    It’s getting harder and harder to stay positive when we review the latest Canadiens’ game. It’s difficult to see this discombobulated and impotent bunch suddenly turning it up a few notches for the playoffs, that’s probably why. Playing a Devils team that had every reason to lie down, its season being practically finished except for the necessity to play out the string, the Canadiens were the team that seemed uninspired. It turned out we were the pigeon ready to be plucked, not them.

    That ennui may have seeped into the RDS broadcast crew. There was a screen graphics template shown onscreen while the Canadiens were in the attacking zone late in the game, and it stayed up for a few seconds. These kinds of technical gaffes are rare at RDS, they’re usually a slick team, but it even affected Pierre Houde. The reliable and polished play-by-play man referred to Carey Price as “Patrick Roy” early in the first period, and later misidentified Brian Gionta as Josh Gorges. The latter had made me sit up, wondering what Josh Gorges was doing so far up in his zone blocking a shot. Someone needs to explain to these boys that while the Canadiens’ season may not last much longer, they still need to broadcast the games and do a credible job of it, all the way to the end.

    We saw Carey Price trying to rebound, recapture his form from earlier in the season, when he was technically sound and unflappable, but as the analysts showed, he seems to lack confidence, and instead of attacking the puck and looking big in nets, he seemed passive and confused. On the Patrick Elias powerplay goal to open the scoring, we saw the old mistakes creeping back into his game, as he sagged lower and lower into his crouch while Mr. Elias held the puck for a second longer, until Carey had committed to the butterfly and the Devil coolly sniped the top corner blocker side, which is the ‘book’ on him.

    Another interesting aspect tonight was how the refs protected Martin Brodeur, calling the Canadiens for three goaltender interference penalties, on which the Devils scored twice. Now we have nothing against the refs doing their job and actually using their whistle and protecting the goalies, but after seeing so many teams crash our crease and bang Carey Price around, it was odd to see them call the game so tightly. Evidently, while Carey is held in high esteem around the league and by media talking heads, the refs still think he needs to eat his Wheaties, while they are deferential to Mr. Brodeur.

    So while Carey didn’t quite deliver, we can’t really pin this loss on him, as the Canadiens had a chance to win the game in the third, but it never really seemed likely. They didn’t storm the net with desperation, but rather flubbed and fumbled while trying to gain entry into the Devils’ zone, or trying to recover the puck in their own zone and break out. The powerplay has cooled off markedly, and the penalty kill which had firmed up shortly after Jeff Halpern’s arrival, is now mired in an abysmal streak. All three scoring lines, which had done so well to share the scoring load, have grown cold at the same time.

    I don’t really have any answers, can’t see how sitting a particular player in the pressbox or shuffling the lines will help. But that’s why I’m not on the coaching staff, and merely a fan with an axe to grind.

    The only saving grace is that the Bruins also lost, in an equally dispiriting fashion (nice bankshot off your goalie into your own net, Zdeno, brilliantly, elegantly done, as usual), so the second seeding in the division is still up for grabs. And who will give me odds that Cam Neely fires Claude Julien and parachutes down from the box to behind the bench, right before the playoffs? I’ll take bets at 5-to-1.

    ———————————————————————–

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • The Jackal says:

      I’m sure this post is born out of frustration, as are the rest of the doom and gloom posts on this site, but Price had a much better game yesterday and looked more confident.
      The team looked “better” after the second half of the game. If they can build on that, we may salvage the season.

      Until then, I’d wait before going back to HIO of 2011-12

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • Curtis O Habs says:

        I agree. It is hard to fault any NHL goalie when a proven sniper walks in all alone and scores top shelf. Price also made several excellent saves to keep his team in the game.

  52. Maksimir says:

    So looks like Tinordi might be in against Winnipeg… who’s sitting? Weber? Gorges?

    At this point I’d put Drewiski with Markov and put Tinordi with Subban… how much worse could they be?

  53. Kooch7800 says:

    Why is Mt playing prust if he is hurt. Why not rest him until the playoffs start?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think that is a fair question. I would add to that, I am sure Prust is telling them he is fine and that he wants to play, he is that kind of warrior who doesn’t care about Pain and just wants to play.

      The coaches need, however, to see that he cannot be as effective, and therefore should be rested the final 2 games. Let White play in his spot. I am hopeful Tinordi is in for Markov, he needs to rest a game or 2.

  54. Chuck says:

    Alright… who broke my Habs? And while we’re at it, who broke the Bruins? Neither team looks like the want to finish first in the division.

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

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    I want Boston and Toronto to beat the snot out of each other, before we meet them.
    I know, I know, to much to ask for.!

    This new owner, management and coaches, have given us a great hockey season that will be much better next year.

  56. veryhabby says:

    As for playoffs….thank God this is a shortened season. If it was a regular season we would be witnessing the mid season dive that the Leafs did the last 2 seasons after starting strong. And we know they didn’t make the playoffs. I did feel at start of season that habs would be one of 5 teams fighting for the last 3 spots. With this slump, and 82 games….they may have slipped into that role. And I think most of us here would have felt this is more realistic after finishing 15th the year before. We are definately a better team then last year, but we are far from being a top 4 East conference team. Still alot of holes to fix. In time my friends, lets be patient. REally no choice.

  57. habs12 says:

    The first beat-down by the leafs ignited the habs.
    The second beat-down put them out.

  58. Bottom line every single player on ice since the Buffalo game is going through the motions, and I am fine with that right now. Game One post season we better see the Canadiens from the January to Apr 11th team.

    Yes we should be happy where we are, but now that they are there they have an opportunity to make it even better. Don’t settle now boys! I’ll see you in Montreal, you’ll hear me before you see me.

    I never Quit!

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

    • donmarco says:

      Ray Ferraro made an interesting point yesterday when he said it was easy for teams to take their foot off the gas pedal once they made the playoffs, but really hard to put it back down. He’s right in saying we have to go back to winning a shift, a period and rebuild momentum. Which would be one thing if there were 5 games left, but the clock is ticking. Admittedly they showed some fight last night, but they still come across as a team afraid of making mistakes versus a team willing to take risks and the rewards that come with them. As much as I was, and am, hoping for the contrary, Saturday’s game may mean something after all.

      • I hear ya, I just may cut all power to anything online Saturday night if they lose. :lol:

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

        • donmarco says:

          I really find it odd how so many people (I exclude you, your posts tend to be quite pertinent and you know your stuff) are anointing the Leafs as one of the top teams in the NHL. Yes, they’ve beaten us handily in 2 games, but everything changes in a 7 game series and I like how we stack up against them. They’re not a deep team, with limited offensive talent, an untested goalie, and are slow on their D. They’ll inevitably try to goon it up because that’s their strength, but the Habs have shown they can withstand that, and I believe they will again.

        • mrhabby says:

          lmao…thinking the same here.

  59. habfanacrossthed says:

    So with the Tinordi call up. Is he playing in Winninpeg, if so could be interesting with the Leafs game on Saturday.

    GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  60. JF says:

    Taking the long-term view, it is perhaps for the best that the Habs should come down to earth with such a thud. Bergevin can be under no illusions about the weakness and softness of our defence. One physical Dman is just not enough, particularly as Emelin is unlikely to be back until about December and may not be effective even then. Our rookies are not ready and probably won’t be able to contribute much until late next season, if then. This collapse is making it clear that we need a massive upgrade.

  61. joshua94k says:

    For those who feel doom for this team is inevitable…

    History has shown that during the 92-93 season, the Habs had only one win in six games during the end of the season. Patrick Roy was win less during that period. The team was first over-all in March of that year. They ended up winning the Stanley Cup.

    In 1986, the Habs lost six in a row and had one victory in 8 games during the last two weeks of the season. They ended up winning the Stanley Cup.

    In 1971, the Habs lost two in a row decisively (6-3, 7-2) to the Bruins during the last three games of the season. They eliminated Boston in the 1st round and ended up winning the Stanley Cup.

    “I want to kill somebody cutting across the blue line and I want to score the goal and celebrate. And I’ll do it by any means possible to win a hockey game. That’s how I feel playing there (the Bell Centre). I am not sure I have that feeling anywhere else.” – PK Subban

  62. Ian Cobb says:

    The desire as a group to swarm, with all out speed, fore checking and back checking seems to have evaporated for some unknown reason. That was our game, and how we were playing winning hockey and it’s now gone!! Like POOF! magic.

    Attacking the puck over every square inch of the ice as a group all year was fantastic hockey, but now we are content to let the puck and play come to us.

    Even on the Penalty Kill we do not attack the puck, we wait and watch the opposition pass and shoot before we react to the puck. The Power play is the same, we play around the perimeter until we lose the puck, never taking a shot, no one in front and we do not put enough pressure on them deep so as to set up our point shots.

    I have no idea how a team can change their play so dramatically. It is as if they figure we are back to last years type of play!

    Two games left to find our desire and tenacity, or it is all over for the year and then Bergevin will goes on the offensive over the summer months. He will not sit still for this type of play next year.

    • mrhabby says:

      maybe kudo’s should go to some of the other teams that have played us Ian. They have figured us out. Just pressure the habs players down deep and along the walls and take away our team speed.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        I agree! our speed game with smaller players getting knocked around all game, takes it’s toll over time. Gallagher, Gionta, Plekanic and Desharness throwing their weight around is a bit comical.

    • New says:

      Ian they are mailing the games in. Whether by design or accident. The games don’t matter. They haven’t mattered since the playoffs were achieved. As fans we worry they won’t be able to turn it back on. As a team they obviously believe they can. In a month or less we’ll know who was right. Better the GM will know. Bergevin and his team are pretty smart cookies. They know who is dogging it and who isn’t. They know who needs ice to get timing back. And next week they will learn who is full of it and who will one day be able to be the core of a championship team. Heck, if you watched San Jose yesterday you’d wonder how anyone could have let Gomer go.

      Galchenyuk is going to be a great one.

  63. veryhabby says:

    Like most fans, I am speechless and confused to this habs collapse. I think they did take thier foot off the peddle once they clinched, but no one realized how fragile this team’s confidence was. Once they lost a few they just lost all confidence and couldn’t get their foot back on the peddle.

    There will be no Bulldogs players in the lineup the next 2 games as non are on the roadtrip. they are practicing in Hamilton and joining the habs Sunday in MTL. So forget resting him or the other. This team is being left alone to figure it out, and I think this is right. If they sink, then let them sink. Our GM said this year would be a year for him to assess what he has. He has definately seen the hilltop and the valley. The management team seems to be pretty smart. I think they will have a good idea of the changes that need to be done.

    The problem is they just can’t snap their fingers and get it done. They just can’t snag that #2 dman from another team for nothing, or sign all the best UFAs that would fit our needs. So we will have to be patient. We may see this small D corp for another year or so. MB may chose to trade some D. Flip them like he did Cole for Ryder. Or he may be forced to wait till our AHL prospects can be regulars in the NHL before we see a real change to this D corp.

    Individually I love each of our Dmen. But as a 7 man unit, it just doesn’t work. We have a lot of #4-7 dmen on this team (Emelin, Gorges, Diaz, Weber, Bouillon) and #3 in Markov, and a #1 in PK. It’s just not the right combo of players. And with all of these guys on contracts to return next year, I just don’t see where the improvements will come unless we make some trades. Adding a rookie D to this mix will not all of a sudden make our D corp a power house next season.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Veryhabby, I think you have it right. Bergevin will be busy this summer my friend!

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Top 4 Dmen are almost impossible to trade for. There are 2 that will be UFAs and that is Rob Scuderi from LA and Regehr now in LA also. They are big stay at home guys with lots of experience.
      So the questions are.
      1) Would they be willing to play in Montreal and everything that comes with it including family/children concerns?
      2) Would the Habs overpay by either salary or term?

      I hope we take a run at one of them and camp out a la Prust last summer

      • veryhabby says:

        Ron…I think we have to make a run for either/both. But as stated, we can’t just snap our fingers and they are ours. It will be tough to get UFAs, as it always is, when there are so little avaiable and so many teams fighting for them. Which would look good next to PK?

    • habfanacrossthed says:

      Tinordi called up.

      GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  64. HotHabs says:

    This team is in trouble… Beyond a few games slump. The D is atrocious. Forwards too small and looking tired.
    Goaltending is alright–not amazing–but without support they look very bad.

    No team stops playing right before the playoffs begin. You go in with strength and confidence, not losing a string if lopsided games.

    Habs, as demonstrated during much the mini season, are clearly capable of beating the best teams. But, they will need a miracle to get past the first round. Start praying…

  65. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Regular season & playoffs are different. Every team starts fresh with a legitimate chance to surprise & upset. Knowing that, I have no reason to believe that this team can turn a switch on/off and just start winning. Something went wrong somewhere right after clinching. I refuse to accept that our size is the reason. How can we be so good for 40 games and end up in Suckville the last 8? As confused as most.

    • habfanacrossthed says:

      Teams have also adjusted to Therrien’s style. Forwards don’t come back far enough. Leaving the D no pass option. Turnover headed the other way. Nice to see another local person that posts on here.

      GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  66. rhino514 says:

    The beauty and at the same time the frustration of sports is that we really have no idea what is going on with the team. It´s all just speculation on our part. What i would say is that it isn´t PRIMARILY due to the loss of one Dman, even if he was our only physical Dman, and even if he is missed. Boone kept on going all year about how much Diaz was being missed, but the team still found ways to win.
    So let´s go ahead and guess; the way I see it, there are three possible reasons for the recent collapse:

    1) physical tiredeness: This isn´t supported by the fact that all the other teams have a similar schedule. So even if we´re tired, we are also playing tired teams. There is an interesting theory out there that the team´s style of play characterised by relentless pursuit of the puck is unsustainable. If it turned out to be true that they are tired, 4 days rest before round one is not going to change much. It may make them fresher for one round, but not beyond that. Also if the real reason was a couple of core players, like Markov, being tired, then yes they should have been rested to some extent over the past couple of weeks, seeding notwithstanding. If there exhausted players on the team, not resting them is inexcusable. After all, it´t the playoffs that count.

    mental tiredeness: The slide coincided with clinching the playoffs. I think there is definitely SOME truth to this mental letdown; how much we don´t know. But this is somewhat more worrisome than reason number one, because it speaks to some extent to the character of the players. If you wear a habs jersey, you simply don´t let happen what happened during the Toronto, Washington, Phillie, and Pittsburgh games. One or two stinkers a year is comprehensible, but not 5 bad games in a row. Sure, they may be able tu turn it back on for the playoffs, but the fact they let this happen is worrisome; how much do the guys really want to win? Come playoff time, he who wants it more, wins, simply put. I was always confident that a core/ veteran group made up of Gionta, Gorges, Plekanec, Markov, Halpern would never allow the team to lose, without even competing, as it has the past few games.

    3) Coaching:
    Perhaps Therrien´s system is in fact unsustainable. Or perhaps other teams have learned a way to counter it. If they have, then the system is apparently too rigid to tweak, or Therrien simply does not know any other way to coach. If this is true, the habs are dead meat.

    Going forward, reason 1 won´t be an issue, but if it´s reason 2, this lack of mental fortitude precludes a team in my mind from going deep in the playoffs, and incidentally this type of thing can take years to correct. If it´s reason 3 this can be corrected with a change of personnel, but you know MT is going to get at least two years to prove himself, and personal. If it is 3, don´t be too hard on MT; the players were dying for an alternative to JM´s system, and it is something that, at least in the short run, we have needed. Also, would the Gallys and Eller be producing as they have under the ol´coach? I would be very reticent to say yes. Worst case their confidence could have been shattered under a stifling, limiting system and we´d have 3 more holes in the lineup.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I do believe you have something there. We are being out coached now.

      • rhino514 says:

        To be honest he hasn´t struck me as either a great strategic coach, or a guy who can inspire (strange that he has a tag as a guy who can´t control his emotion, he´s so meek when speaking, just a notch above his predecessor, really)
        But he could be an average coach. The good ones are really hard to find. Also, don´t forget there are 4 coaches on that bench; the group of coaches as a whole seems competent; between all of them i am sure they can identify what things need to be corrected.
        And he does seem to work well with kids. That was important this year.

    • RonC says:

      I believe it’s probably a combination of Mental tiredeness (playing with almost playoff intensity for first 40 games, with accompanying let down once they reached their goal); lost of big Dman Emelin ; Price & Dmen with less intensity; Terrien system being figured out by other clubs & the increased intensity of clubs preparing for playoffs and/or teams playing relaxed because they are out of it.

      Winnipeg Habsfan

  67. Loonie says:

    The optimists here point to brighter days for this team in the near future, that last night’s loss was a sign of better things to come. They sarcastically claim the goalie and coach haters will come out of the wood work to blast them at every turn. I’d like to point out why I think this team’s coaching is underwhelming and not a positive for this team.

    There are things to look for in a good coach. How a team responds coming out of a tv timeout and to start periods, how they use their personnel at important times during the game, how they manage the morale of their players throughout the game and in between.

    Regarding in game management. Has Michel Therrien through this streak of terrible play once used a timeout when the team has surrendered two or sometimes three quick goals? No. That’s a sign that he either thinks the team doesn’t need a wakeup call or that he would prefer to use his tv timeouts to settle the group. But they’ve come back stagnant from tv timeouts. So not only is he refusing to use a tool afforded to him that he can use but in the case of another tool afforded to him that he has the luxury of not eliminating with its use, he’s failing.

    The management of the players has been another issue. Andrei Markov has been more than terrible lately, especially defensively. And yet he continues to use him on a penalty kill that’s conceding two goals per game on the powerplay. This is TERRIBLE management of the roster. Further to that, Desharnais has been a ghost. This reminds me of 2010 when the Sharks had Joe Pavelski struggling mightily but had a solution in up and coming Logan Couture. They acted accordingly and pulled Pavelski from their powerplay and elevated Couture to their second line. Pavelski responded the next season by having a thirty goal and sixty point season. Therrien’s refusal to delegate ice-time according to merit is a huge problem. Subban should be playing Markov’s minutes and Eller or Galchenyuk should be playing Desharnais’.

    Further to that, Ryan White, Lars Eller and Carey Price have all been “called out” by the coach to the media. An uninspiring way of getting their attention at times when others have been passengers or detriments more so than the players he’s calling out. And now? Excuses. Our system requires work ethic and we aren’t getting it. The goalie needs to be better. We haven’t had enough practice time. Excuses from the man who’s trying to instill a no excuses mentality into the locker room.

    And finally his system. It dictates that defensemen leave the front of the net regardless of the danger around them and has the forwards cover the dangerous areas in front of the goaltender. I’ve never heard or seen such a flawed way to play hockey. Who do you want covering Steven Stamkos in front of the net? P.K. Subban or Colby Armstrong? I’m no Scotty Bowman but that seems counter-intuitive to me.

    At the end of all of this it’s also important for me to note that he’s had no answers to the awful defensive play, the slow starts, the lack of response, the adjustments made by opposing teams, the lackluster goaltending and the problems created by important players like Gorges, Desharnais, Plekanec, Markov and Ryder not pulling their weight during these troubling times.

    He’s shown a history of not being able to help his team rebound from adversity. And here we are again.

    I was fooled by him with the fast start when I should have trusted my first instincts. In my opinion he was the wrong man for this job and while he brings an exciting brand of hockey. I want him having no say over which personnel is kept long term and don’t want him on our bench or in our locker room come playoff time next year. But hey, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’d be surprised if this team makes the playoffs next year with him coaching it.

    • GrosBill says:

      I was less then thrilled by MT 2.0 but like you have remained silent (rightfully so) due to the teams hot start. I have never been a fan of MT from first time we had him, to Pit and Antichambre. He did seem to be getting a lot from players early on, but he always struck me as the light a fire under players to get them going which burns out quickly.

    • The Jackal says:

      I half agree and half disagree.

      While up was the only way things could go after last season, MT has done a good job righting the ship.
      I agree he has not managed ice time as well as we’d like, but on the D, who else do you play? PK has already been playing more, despite what MT would or would not want, but after Markov and PK what do we have? MB could have upgraded but decided Tiny and Beaulieu are cheaper and better upgrades, just not instant ones. Whatever, we gotta live with that.

      The lack of adjustment to the D system is the only real problem I have. What gives? I agree I would not shed a tear if MT was canned, but I am hoping he proves to be much better than this slump suggests he is. It would suck to go through another coach firing/hiring process unless we picked up Vigneault or Boucher 2.0.

      But then here we go again, fire MT, fire MB! It’s a slump for crying out loud. Everyone is frustrated at the results, and MT is to blame for not getting the team up, but half is coaching and the other is on the players. Playing frustrated and lacking confidence is tough. The lads looked much better last night and I think we have seen the worse, but only time will tell.

      I think the slump is just the product of a snowballing effect of bad play and frustration that, due to lack of urgency and the need or desire to rest some guys, has just amounted to a bad stretch. The next 2 games will show us what the team is going to do. I’ll feel much better going into the playoffs winning these last 2, as will everyone else.

      Hopefully MT makes the necessary adjustments and leads the team to better play. I think the players buy into his system but just need to get their mojo back. If MT is already on his way to the glue factory, then I really hope Vigneault is canned or that Boucher learns A LOT from his mistakes in TB.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • CalgaryHab says:

      I was fooled too by MT, but thought I was wrong after the success they had previous to this collapse.
      I have frends who hate the habs but loved the ‘triple low five’ and ask why would he would ban something like that. People love rituals in sports – players love tiruals in sports. Harnessing some players flamboyance I think is a mistake as well as others you have outlined.

    • bwoar says:

      TL;DR: it’s all Therrien’s fault & I was right all along.

      Once all the ideas run out, everyone else will blame the coach too. So, you can kinda say in the end that you were the trendsetter.

      If I buy that vowel, then what explains the 40 games of success? Sheer luck? I think there’s a balance missing in your assessment. But I agree about managing personal, it’s not looking too bright behind the bench at times.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Loonie says:

        To be fair, I’m not blaming him for the slump. I’m saying he isn’t good at getting teams out of them due to a lack of management and adjustments.

    • Cal says:

      And yet another broken ankle as the band wagon lightens its load.

      MT has done a decent job with a soft as silly putty D since the absence of Emelin.
      MB knew what team he had going into the playoffs and decided getting as many picks as possible was the way to go. From the moment the Habs clinched a playoff spot, the players haven’t really put in an effort.
      Is this all MT’s fault, bringing a 28th place team to the top 8?

      • Loonie says:

        Bergevin has acquired one draft pick Cal. A third rounder. And he’s traded one, a fifth rounder.

        Here’s what I’m saying. Therrien seems incapable of getting teams out of skids. I praise the turnaround but feel that ultimately he will fail. Whether others make adjustments and but remain consistent in philosophy and it’s practice, he stands pat with his floundering personnel and deviates from what made him successful from a philosophical perspective.

        He’s lost.

  68. Barts says:

    Really? No chance on the Elias breakaway? I see goalies stop breakaway’s all the time.

    Seriously though, they are playing like a team who just wants to get to the post-season without anymore injuries.

    • Loonie says:

      The puck entered the net by touching the bottom portion of the cross-bar.

      A near impossible save. And you don’t see goalies stop sure fire hall of famers on breakaways routinely.

      Unless it’s in a video game.

    • Strummer says:

      ” I see goalies stop breakaway’s all the time.”

      Yes – it’s called the shootout.

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

  69. marlboro says:

    Is it possible for us to fall to 7th, and play Boston? Plan works for me!

  70. Habsssssssswin says:

    It’s like night and day since we clinched a playoff spot.
    I hope this is some kinda possum play going on here.
    Because if we play this soft in the post season we are doomed.
    Price is playing like he’s scared of the puck. Our non contact oldtimers league plays tougher than these Habs are right now.
    C’mon boys cowboy up. It’s effing showtime !!!

  71. joshua94k says:

    Observations from last night…

    Price played great. Subban and Bouillon were on top of their game being +1 for the night. Pacioretty led the team with 5 shots and scored. The key guys are getting on top of their game. As Therrien said. “This team will be ready”.

    This team is united…

    “The guy’s been standing up for us. He’s been outstanding for us for years. And this isn’t on him, are you kidding me? This is on all of us. – Josh Gorges

    “I want to kill somebody cutting across the blue line and I want to score the goal and celebrate. And I’ll do it by any means possible to win a hockey game. That’s how I feel playing there (the Bell Centre). I am not sure I have that feeling anywhere else.” – PK Subban

  72. HabsFanInTampa says:

    At this point, we should be happy that we made the playoffs this season after finishing last in the conference last season. That being said, it is obvious Bourque, Armstrong, Diaz and Prust are playing hurt. What I propose is let’s rest up these 4 players for the final 2 games of the season and insert them in the lineup for game 1 of the playoffs. At this juncture, It’s more important to have these 4 healthy for the playoff grind, than where we are seeded in the standings. Just my opinion.

    • commandant says:

      I don’t think Bourque or Diaz are playing hurt. I think both are finding their games after long layoffs. They will only get better by playing, not by resting. Same with Armstrong IMO.

      Prust, I would rest. Along with Markov for at least 1 of the games.

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

  73. GrosBill says:

    This just in – Tinoridi will be joining the team for game vs Winni – RDS

    • habs12 says:

      Finally management saw the game the same way we did. You can’t have diaz, weber and bouillon playing as 3 of your 6 defensemen — you simply cannot win that way.

      Now, if only Therrien would give Tinordi more than 7 minutes a game, and play Markov less.


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