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. habfaninyyc says:

    Did anyone hear what Moen did or didn’t say about being a healthy scratch last nite???

  2. aemarchand11 says:

    Tinordi – Subban
    Markov – Gorges
    Boullion – Diaz

    Too much for Tinordi? Subban hasnt been playing risky hockey and can skate like the wind if Tinordi gets in trouble. Will also get Tinordi very engaged in the game, since he will probably need to save his ass a few times.

    • Habilis says:

      Too much for the playoffs, probably. Not too much for tomorrow night though. I’d like to see it for sure.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Why Markov? He has arguably been the Habs worst dman the last few weeks. More blind passes to nowhere than aimed passes. Standing still much of the time. He’s had the best seat in the building for most of the goals against. If ever there was a guy that needed a few days off, it’s Mr. Markov. We need good Andre for the playoffs, not this horrible version. Why not start either Patteryn or Beaulieu against the Jets?

  3. Chilly Willy says:

    Hello guys

    I stumbled across this site today @ work. Very interesting to say the least. I must have read for an hour, on my breaks & lunch of course.

    From what I have read I should choose my words carefully I presume? I look forward to meaningful discussions.

    Oh please bare with me for my grammar & spelling are not the best.

  4. habs-fan-84 says:

    So Tinordi is in for tomorrow…good.

    • habsfan0 says:

      What about Beaulieu? That would be even better.

    • commandant says:

      Question now is if he plays with Bouillion or Markov?

      I think he’s an upgrade on Weber, but lets not get our expectations out of whack. He doesn’t replace Emelin, and he’s not this big, scary, physical presence.

      Will he help? Sure. But many want to think he’s the saviour, and he’s not.

      This team needs better defensive play out of Gorges, Markov, Plekanec, and others.

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

  5. piper says:

    How many should Brown get for this? Considering what first time offender White got this was more intentional IMO.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R-X_ko8Fm4

  6. otter649 says:

    Watching CH24 Series it appears Tinordi nick name on The Habs is Tinner – Another original hockey nick name……lol

    • johnnylarue says:

      Yeah, I was a bit dismayed the boys didn’t spot the obvious hilarity/appropriateness of the ‘Tiny’ moniker. Maybe once he puts on another 50 pounds or so they’ll come to their senses.

  7. Danno says:

    An extremely-advanced high-tech tracking system charts the Habs’ progress through this abbreviated season.

    ________________________________________

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

  8. Danno says:

    You might or might not have noticed this during last night’s game

    ________________________________________

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

  9. ensign68 says:

    Good day all, Long time reader of this site and glad to be a new member. I always read the site at work but the firewall wouldn’t let me be a member. I finally decided to make an account at home. Question: How do you upload an avatar to your profile?

  10. Seps says:

    1. Loonie, love the new pic
    2. In my one class that just finished at Uni we learned about how leadership doesn’t really affect production in a “certain and stable market”, yet in times of “uncertainty” there’s a strong correlation to how charismatic leadership affects the production of a “company”.

    Thought it relates quite a bit to the Habs this season and that maybe leadership is lacking on the team. Therrien can’t seem to pull them together and Gionta doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to bring a team together. Just a thought.

  11. mark-ID says:

    I actually find it kind of funny that everyone is praising the Leafs so much on this site. The reality is they havn’t been playing very well lately themselves. They are 6-3-1 in their last ten games….yes, but they are lucky to have gotten some of the wins they did.

    The six team they beat were:
    Ottawa x2 (have their number this year)
    NJD x 2
    NYR
    Habs

    I guess since Habs shite the bad twice this year against them is making people buy into the media hype on them a bit more.
    The best thing the Leafs have going for them right now is Reimer…….we shall see if he can keep it up.

    We are going through an extremely rough patch right now, but had we not let it drag on…..we’d be far ahead of them still.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Danno says:

      Frankly, we should just accept the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs are a great hockey team…

      FOR ME TO POOP ON!

      ________________________________________

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

      • Bill says:

        I would if I could, but their shooting and save percentages are so otherworldly that I can only conclude that they have been having an unreal run of luck.

        Guys do not shoot at that percentage forever. James Reimer does not stop that many shots forever.

        They ARE an extremely hard-working team and they ARE physical, and those are their strengths. I just can’t see the luck holding out. But then, I have been saying that all year.

        I think their luck is done by the second round, and that’s when I’d like to face them. Give me the Bruins in the first round any day.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

  12. Timo says:

    Did any of the Habs glorious reporters and journalists bother to ask Gionta and Gorges last night why game after game team starts so slow and lazy? I mean if the captain of the most storied hockey franchise tells a crowd of reporters that team started lazy or slow, why wouldn’t anyone ask WHY?

  13. ed says:

    Bouillon should play with Tinordi.

    Markov should play with Diaz

    Gorges with Subban

    • punkster says:

      Boullion should play with…anyone except Subby, Gorgey, Marky, Dizzy, Tinordi or even Emmy when he returns.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

    • johnnylarue says:

      I’ll sign on for that.

      I also think Tiny should be on the PK. Still scratching my head that he got absolutely zero minutes killing penalties in his first stint with the club.

      Of course, that was when the team was winning and questioning the coach’s decisions was essentially redundant.

    • punkster says:

      Sorry Ed…I’m unfortunately getting into the blame game thing that’s so prevalent here.

      My issues are with MT’s usage of a few players…DD, Markov, Cube, PK, Chucky being the main ones…all good players presently not being used to their full potential just now.

      Maybe things will settle in the playoffs.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  14. Now that I no longer feel sick after watching last night’s game can anyone tell me if there was a heated discussion about the number of turnovers committed by the Habs. I figure it must have been 30-40 and Markov had to have been responsible for 10 of them at least. What the heck is going on?

    Ch EJ

  15. jedimyrmidon says:

    So the Leafs smell blood and are now going for the North East division win.

  16. ed says:

    I am not a huge fan of the plus/minus stat. However, when you see 1 player so obviously worse than the rest of the team, that’s when the plus/minus needs to be taken into account.

    Markov’s -12 looks real bad vs the rest of the defence on this team.
    Weber is -1;
    All the other d-men are plus (+).
    Subban is +10 for heavens sake, that’s a 22 goal even strength swing between he and Markov.

    • bellcentre hotdog says:

      Despite his PP success, Markov has not had a banner year.

      • ed says:

        I think Markov had about 10 power play points in the 1st 10 games of the season – something to that effect.

        Since then, he has struggled.

        But has Therrien lessened Markov’s responsibilities?

        Has Therrien cut Markov’s time on the ice?

        • bellcentre hotdog says:

          MT has not cut down Markov’s icetime.

          Markov is looking old and slow. I think he should be resting for the playoffs. And if he’s not resting he should be playing the PP and 3rd line minutes.

    • punkster says:

      Would the continued insistence of MT playing him on the PK instead of Subby have anything to do with that I wonder? Would our record be better and our GA cut down with P.K. on the PK?

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

      • ed says:

        punkster, you just hit it out of the park, buddy.

        all Therrien had to do was give Subban Markov’s penalty kill minutes and I think this team would be in a much better place.

        • punkster says:

          Not really my original thought…comes from following the advanced stat guys, watching the games and considering some of the comments from folks like you, Tom, 24Cups. Put all the evidence together and I see a team, and coach, in the development stages with each other. As I say above hopefully things get better in the playoffs.

          ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  17. habs001 says:

    Markov has produced on the pp…. but 5/5 he has produced no scoring at all in the first 14 minutes he plays or the last 6…DD is still the 4th highest point scorer forward on the team…None of the centres get too many chances in a game to put the puck in the net..Plecks get the most…the other centres get very limited goal scoring chances and when they do they are not great finishers they they are more set up players…Hopefully Galchenyuk will become the 30-50-80 centre

  18. Dennis says:

    I’m not giving up on them until the extremely large woman warbles her last note. Until then – Go Habs!

    Dennis-Kane.com

  19. @ Luke one of my master plans is to drive from here to Montreal for the summit. I want to pick up members along the way, Chuck, Gerald and Ian, I have room for one more! :)

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

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    For some reason, I think I will be cheering for Tampa Bay tonight! Go Lightning Go!

    Have a good night everyone!

    Need to go celebrate the Dortmund game with some Jager and Chasers!

    • otter649 says:

      Stamkos & St Louis are going for The Art Ross (scoring championship) so they will/could be double shifted tonight & may make for a long night for Leaf defenders & goalie(s)……….

  21. port elgin says:

    This team will get as far as Price can carry them. He is getting superstar money , now it’s time to play like one.

    No excuses.

  22. Bill says:

    I. Hate. Autocorrect. Why do I post on my phone anyway?

  23. Bill says:

    @B: absolutely he could get hurt practising and I have been wondering the exact same thing. Why are they using him in practice if they’re too terrified to play him in a game for fear of injury??

    Kaberle’s style of play doesn’t exactly open him up to a ton of injuries, of course. If put him in the line up immediately. He is better than than three of the current D men. And has a Cup ring and experience. He gets way too much disrespect.

  24. Bill says:

    Call me a fool, but I believe we will see our real Habs – the Habs if the majority of this season – back again in the playoffs.

    The only explanation for what has happened lately is a massive drop off in intensity and effort. I imagine this is due to them clinching a playoff spot early.

    Last night we saw several key guys amping it back up: Gionta, Subban, Price. The others will follow when games start being important again.

    Whomever they play in the first round, the Habs will look like the real Habs, and not this bunch of p*#!*!s.

  25. commandant says:

    Tinordi is practicing with Kaberle.

    I’d say that means 1 of two things

    1) He’s playing with markov, but markov isn’t practicing today.
    2) He’s not playing at all.

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

    • johnnylarue says:

      I’m hedging my bets on option #1. Can’t see why he would have been flown to Winnipeg just to give Kabs a practice partner…

      And I’m glad if that’s the case. Habs need what Tiny brings, greenness be damned. Certainly deserves a second look.

      On another note, I wonder why MB isn’t worried about Kaberle getting injured at practice? Wouldn’t it be the icing on the cake if he broke his foot blocking a routine slapper from the point at the team’s very last practice of the season?

    • B says:

      Can’t Kaberle get injured practicing? If he is really under the shrink wrap for the rest of the season then wouldn’t they keep him off the ice all together?

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • commandant says:

        They have to let him practice, and do warmups or the PA will file a complaint.

        They made the agreement on 1 compliance buyout after they sent Gomez home and wouldn’t let him on the ice.

        If they didn’t let Kaberle practice, game day skates, and pre game warmup like any other healthy scratch, the PA would have a case against the team that we’ve already designated him for a buyout.

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

    • ed says:

      Tinordi does not have the quickness to make up for Markov’s lack of mobility.

      A Tinordi – Markov pairing can not work.

      • Luke says:

        Emelin isn’t exactly Russ Courtnall out there either…

        • ed says:

          Emelin is quicker than Tinordi. And Emelin has the experience to react quicker as well.

          • johnnylarue says:

            Respectfully disagree, Ed. Tinordi’s foot speed is far from a liability, and his reach makes up for a lot.

            If anything, I’d say his reaction time and general lack of experience at the pro level are his major handicaps (apart from the fact that he’s still growing into his XXL frame…)

          • Luke says:

            I suppose the question is then:

            If not Markov, who are trusting with Tinordi?
            Boullion or Jorges.

            Given the recent play, you’d have it be Boo.

            So,

            Markov-Diaz/JG
            Subban – JG/RD
            JT – FB

    • bellcentre hotdog says:

      I couldn’t understand why when Emelin went down they didn’t recall Tinordi immediately.

      What Emelin brought (and hopefully will continue to bring) to the blueline was some sandpaper. He’s a physical presence, an agitator, and a guy other teams had to watch out for.

      With Emelin out, the only player in Montreal or Hamilton remotely capable of replacing Emelin’s physical presence is Tinordi. We need a guy on the ice that other teams will look at and say, “Man … I can’t get caught with my head down against that guy.”

      If Tinordi plays physical, we’ll have 2 D men (PK) capable of dishing out some serious punishment. Beaulieu just isn’t that type of player.

      • commandant says:

        Tinordi isn’t the huge physical presence you are making him out to be.

        1) he plays the game more like a better skating Hal Gill, than like the physical presence of Alexei Emelin.
        2) he is big, but its tall and thin at this point, he needs upper body mass.

        He’s not the guy you describe who will catch people with their head down often. Sure, once in a while he’ll throw a big hit… but so would Gill. More often than not though, he’s trying to use his size as a positional advantage more than a physical one.

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

        • bellcentre hotdog says:

          I’m just saying that he is the closest we have to playing the type of game Emelin does. And apparently the Habs miss Emelin … a lot.

  26. punkster says:

    Wow…nuna hilariously quoted in a sig, Dean/Priceberg claiming he’s no longer interested (yet again), calls for Kabby’s return, and HP screaming for N.A.G….it’s like old times around here.

    ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  27. mark-ID says:

    Tinordi paired with Kaberle. Not sure what that implies. Apparently Markov and Bouillon aren’t on the ice.

    Could we see them both sitting tomorrows game to rest them?

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Timo says:

      I still don’t understand why they are so freakin’ tired after just 46 games. Unreal.

      • johnnylarue says:

        It’s just bad timing, Timo. The team starts to tank just as you are rounding into your mid-season form! ;)

      • AndyF says:

        Timo, you can get just as tired running for 2 hours as you can running for 4 hrs. If it had been a 20-game season, I’m sure we would’ve seen some even more energetic hockey.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Condensed schedule. Never played hockey at a high level but I assume that’s part of it. In Markov’s case, he’s also coming back from a pretty serious injury.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • mark-ID says:

        In Markov’s defence,he did play 20 + games in the KHL also…..after being off for almost an entire season the year before.

        But you are right, these guys are in their mid 30’s….professional athletes, you would think they would still be good to go.

        “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

      • Luke says:

        It’s that 2 o’clock wall we all hit at work. Sometimes you just need a snickers. (or a few smokes if you are Markov).

      • port elgin says:

        You stay up half the night counting money and see how tired you are after a few months.

  28. bellcentre hotdog says:

    Chara channels his inner Ryan O’byrne …

    enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PS6S85g8Xs

  29. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @BJ

    …straightforward and to the point …You are correct

    …Therrien and Bergevin realizes same, I am certain

    …as Fans ? …relax and enjoy whatever Our Team accomplishes

    …summertime is the right time to bring out Our inner Timo …not before

    …knowing the character of Our Team shown this season, win or lose, it will be entertaining because they wont fall without a fight

    • BJ says:

      I have really enjoyed the season whatever is left and how far we go will be enjoyed also. I think I was just stating the obvious to most of us here. Thanks for the comment.

  30. Bripro says:

    Some of the posts are discouraging.
    I have to stop asking myself “How stupid can people be?”
    Because some (not all of you) people seem to be taking it as a challenge.

  31. Bripro says:

    I’ve read comments about shelving DD, what’s wrong with Max, what’s wrong with this one or that?
    Let’s face it. They’ve all taken their foot off the gas except for the rookies.
    And Chucky is out-performing Gally because the opposing teams have figured out that as long as he plays the boards, if they bump him, he’s off the puck.
    Is there reason for concern? Perhaps somewhat.
    But I would have to think that, come game one of the first playoff series, the pedal will be to the floor once more.
    If they maintain home-ice advantage and lose game one, I’ll be worried.
    If they don’t maintain it, and lose games one and two, again…I’ll be concerned.
    Other than that, not really.
    Besides, my wife and I are going on a Bermuda cruise for the last week of May. They had better have their mojo back by then, because I doubt I’ll be able to follow them until we get back.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Will your cruise take you near the Bermuda Triangle? Is this an estate planning trip? :)

      • Bripro says:

        :D
        Why not?
        If no one else wants the water-front property, why not us?
        Besides, if we don’t come back, it’ll probably be through no fault of our own.
        I wonder if there’s TV reception there….

        • bellcentre hotdog says:

          Just got back from Mexico a few weeks ago and watching games was difficult on the iPad.

          If you own an iPad (which does not support flash) you must download the Justin.TV app from the App Store. Then search ‘Habs’ or ‘Montreal’. There are a couple live channels that stream the Habs … one in very good quality.

          Hopefully they’ll still be playing in late May!

  32. Timo says:

    Watched some interviews on RDS. GOD, Carey has great hair. Goddamnit!

  33. Gazza Strip says:

    Wouldn’t bet the farm that the Habs will win any series during the playoffs but I wouldn’t bet against it either. Certainly would prefer to see them come up with 60 minutes of hockey over the next two games. If they are firing on all cylinders then we have a chance. If we get slow starts or poor goal tending then it might be short and not so sweet. Either way doubt it matters with Pittsburgh playing so well. If they get their studs back, they will be unbeatable. Of course, Chicago may have something to say about that too.
    Either way, it’s been a fun season, and the playoffs should continue to be interesting hockey.
    Cheers

  34. habs-fan-84 says:

    Random post:

    Kaberle was good at the beginning of the season during the Subban contract debacle.

    I know MBs worried about him getting hurt and not being able to buy him out, but the way we’ve been playing…I say you have to play Kaberle.

  35. BJ says:

    Whats wrong with the Habs? Very simple, they are simply being reverse swarmed. What we did for 40 game or so, Washington figured out 2 games ago against us, and then every other team since has applied the reverse swarm. Why are we not better at swarming than the others in the last 7-8 games? Again simple, we are just outsized and outmuscled, even Carey at his best would not be enough. I hope Bergevin and his gang are clear enough to figure it out and address the problem this summer. Can you imagine this crew over 82 games?

    • Timo says:

      I can imagine. I was here last season.

    • mrhabby says:

      we play the teams (NE division) 6 times each year starting next year. Something has to happen over the summer/fall.

    • ensign68 says:

      We all saw what happened a couple of years ago when our Habs snuck into 8th spot. They were a team possessed and took out two very good teams in Pit/Wash. This time they made it in with time and games to spare. No urgency in their game right now which I think will come back in game 1 with whoever they play. This team over the last 5 years plays the best with their backs against the wall.
      One more point, the crown in the Bell centre are sitting on their hands expecting to win. They better make some noise in the playoffs.
      GO HABS GO !!

  36. New says:

    Geez, where’s the love? What happened to the media cheerleading for every league trophy? Where did all the fans who started the year asking for improvement go?

    Anyway, for those who wanted to know at January’s camp when the honeymoon would be over, now you know. Over at the first sign of adversity.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Well said.
      I thought real fans stuck with their team through thick & thin? Well, this is thin (or is this thick?-never knew which is the bad one) and they need our support more than ever.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  37. C-Sword says:

    Habs vs Bruins in round 1 of the playoffs, make it happen!

    • Blondemon says:

      I’d like that, too. Our best chance I think, along with NYR should they finish 7 to our 2. We swept them this year, with 2 SO’s, although they have gotten better via trades, and King Henrik can be scary in the playoffs.

      ***Drive for 25***

  38. homerbowen says:

    SORRY, THEIR DONE, PUT A FORK IN THEM

  39. lesboys1993 says:

    Interesting: John Tavares’ uncle, a Math teacher in Mississauga (also named John Tavares), is the highest-scoring player in the history of indoor lacrosse:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/sports/john-tavares-uncle-of-islanders-star-also-knows-how-to-find-the-net.html?ref=global-home

  40. pmaraw says:

    There are no more must win games this season. Playoffs are a different story. Home ice advantage? Did the reigning stanley cup champs even have it once last year? Sure it would be nice to finish 2nd, but if it’s between 4th and 5th, I’ll take either, if it’s against the leafs.

    • Sportfan says:

      Kings had big D and got Regher this season :P

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

      • pmaraw says:

        okay, but how did Regher help them win 4 series last Playoffs without home ice advantage? I like our D, they might not be the biggest but we have a Norris candidate, a Bull, the next Swiss national team captain, admit it, they have personality

      • Blondemon says:

        And a hot goalie, and good big forwards like Kopitar, Brown, Carter, Richards, Williams, guys with grit as well as skill.

        ***Drive for 25***

        • C-Sword says:

          I can’t wait to see them win another cup this year. Go Kings!

          • Blondemon says:

            They won’t. They have good skills and qualities but the number 1 thing last year was the element of surprise. I see the Blues going deep this year, and maybe Canucks.

            ***Drive for 25***

      • Welks says:

        Watching Regher in Buffalo before the trade he was an absolute turn style out there. He would occasionally find someone with the body, but man he would be hard pressed to beat Skillsy in a foot race.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      The only worrisome thing is the way they are playing, especially to start games. I actually thought they played well in the 2nd last night and for the last half of the game a couple games ago.

      PK admitted the team has kinda taken the foot off the gas after they clinched. This is probably somewhat common given the situation and that the intensity level of the games has gone down.

      The question is can they just flip the switch when the intensity level goes way up when the playoffs start?? I think there is a chance that they play much better when they realize the stakes are high again.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • JF says:

        Flipping the switch is exactly the problem. Once you take your foot off the pedal, it’s not so easy to get it back on. I thought they were a bit better last night once they got going, but unfortunately it took them an entire period to do so. Through the first period, they looked like the cellar-dwellers, the Devils like the playoff-bound team. They’ve still got a couple of games to prepare, but they absolutely have to start well tomorrow night. One convincing win and things will look a lot brighter.

        I wonder if the Leafs will play hard tonight or if they too will relax having made the playoffs.

        • mark-ID says:

          It will be interesting to see how the Leafs play tonight. With the exception of the win against the Sens(who they’ve owned this year) the Leafs have played poorly themselves in the last couple of weeks also. We even outshot them in their 5-1 win most recently.

          After their win on Saturday to clinch, they headed to Florida the next day I believe. So they have probably been relaxing quite a bit down South….and i wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Leafs drop both games on this road trip. According to Leaf fans, they are much like the Habs where they tend to under perform in Florida.

          One thing for sure……I will be watching every second of this game tonight. Go Tampa Go.

          “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

      • pmaraw says:

        I just can’t imagine this team coming out flat in the playoffs, almost every team we’ve played lately has had something to prove, of the top 4 teams to clinch 1st, Habs are the only team who didnt make the playoffs last year. I’m not saying they’re rolling over, but they reached their goal well ahead of schedule, they did a bit of partying perhaps to celebrate and have most likely been looking ahead to the playoffs since the clinch.

        I think next year, Therrien will maybe push them a little harder if they clinch so early to get a good seed, but this year, I just don’t think it matters as much, especially to this team, who at the start of the season would have probably said they’d just be happy to make the playoffs.

        If we get Toronto in the 1st round… How electric is Subban gonna be? OMG I can’t wait! I WANT TORONTO!

  41. Sportfan says:

    Out of Hall Eberle Hug and Yak who would you let go to make your team better?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  42. frontenac1 says:

    Ok,I might have been hammered last night..in fact I was,but did I see Diaz hit a player ?

  43. gmoan says:

    Eller on the PP please…. No more DD!

    • johnnylarue says:

      I know it makes sense on paper, but Eller on the PP is a turnover machine. Most of his offensive production comes off the rush.

      I love the guy, but he’s not very good at setting up the PP and maintaining puck possession in the offensive zone. (He’ll get better, no doubt.)

      • pmaraw says:

        the more turnovers he has the more rushes he gets :o

      • aemarchand11 says:

        DD turned the puck over more than anyone last nght on the PP. At the same time though, everyone was turning it over lats night and nobody seemed to actually want the puck either..

        Deharnais is playing a stantionary game on the PP (Halfwall a la Kovy), and at 5’8″ he needs to be in constant movement to draw penalties.

    • Blondemon says:

      I agree he should try Eller and Galchy on the PP, now that it is fizzling. Throughout the season, as much as I wanted Gionta out of the PP, we were producing, so he must have been doing something right.

      ***Drive for 25***

  44. Luke says:

    Hey,

    What about Halpern? Why is this guy the only forward ‘we’ as a group have yet to poop on?
    I’m sure someone around here can dig something up.

    Let’s go folks. Show some of the drive and tenacity you expect from the players. I want some anti-Halpern rhetoric by 3pm.

    • Buzz Lightbeer says:

      Heard that he once peed his pants in the first grade and eats red meat on Fridays. Get your pitch fork and lets run this bum outta town.

    • CalgaryHab says:

      Leave it to the Habs to make use of a player that was a throw away from a team that is struggling to make the play-offs.
      (i don’t really feel that way)

  45. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Strange that the Habs and Bruins have pretty much mirrored each other all season with their records,and now with our slumps.
    The NE division has went from the best in the league to not. Well,one team is still winning games.*shudder.

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    So I am getting together with all the guys from my ball team to watch the Leafs/Habs game Saturday at the bar. That could be a real painful and expensive night for me.

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      Love the (new?) avatar, Burly – classic!

    • Luke says:

      I’m trying to decide if I should sit this one out or hit the pub Saturday.

      I have a feeling if I staty home and watch the Habs will win and I’ll be disappointed I wasn’t out to enjoy it in the midst of Leaf fans saying ‘Ya, well, we’ll see how bad you do in the playoffs when it matters.”
      BUT should I go out, they’ll lose and I’ll be surrounded by Leaf fans saying “HA! This matters! That’s exactly how the playoffs are going to go!”

  47. Habsrule1 says:

    Although I wish he didn’t have to, I liked seeing Price taking some shots at players standing in front of him, in his crease. I doubt he’ll get a penalty for protecting his crease unless he really goes overboard.
    For those saying he’s not showing passion, I think you’re wrong. The rest of the team needs to step up the passion right now. Price needs to work on positioning.
    It seems to me his main problem is going down a bit too much. On that second goal, there’s no way it goes in if he’s standing with his pad against the post. Is this not what a goalie coach should be catching and corecting? I don’t know much about Pierre Groulx, but I’d really like to see a goalie coach in Montreal who played the position here. Are there any available that anyone knows about? I think Jeff Hacket was a goalie coach somewhere….Colorado. Any others out there somewhere?

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  48. Blondemon says:

    In the event of an early playoff exit, the one thing I will not abide is a Christopher Higgins-style ‘we’re happy we made the playoffs as that was our goal at the beginning of the season’.

    Sorry, that won’t fly. I don’t care that you finished dead last in 2012. You were first in the division the bulk of this year, first in the conference a good amount of time, no way you can expect us to buy the happy-making-the-playoffs BS.

    I personally won’t be satisfied with anything less than a final four appearance, bowing out in a dignified way to a much more stacked Pit team.

    ***Drive for 25***

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      They are happy with those pay checks!

      Dat’s wha me tinks

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I disagree. They finished last 1 season ago. I’m already thrilled with the improvement, but I don’t expect much more. If they win a round, I’ll be happy…2 rounds and I’ll be ecstatic. Better things are coming down the road.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Blondemon says:

        I agree, their future is bright. I still think we are better than the Leafs and Caps, and possibly the Bruins, so that puts us top 2-3 in the East. This is why I expect us to go deep.

        ***Drive for 25***

    • bwoar says:

      Totally agree with you. “I’m satisfied” is not something I want to hear from anyone in the org unless they are raising a Cup over their heads.

      “thoroughbred”

  49. Small_Town_Boy says:

    I don’t give a crap anymore. I’m tired of the same BS in Montreal. The love of the $$$ not the game. If the win they win, they lose they lose.

    There will be no regrets from them when they clean out the lockers in May. They go off to their fantasy lands!

    Dat’s wha me tinks

  50. mksness says:

    @loonie. i would be careful in predicting eller’s potential point total with more ice time by just multiplying his point/minute break down by more played time. it doesn’t really indicate which D pairings he’s playing against. so i’m not sure it would work out exactly the way you would see it. better line mates would help but playing with chucky isn’t all that bad of line mate thought for the most part. furthermore i think chucky is the one driving that line really.

    • Blondemon says:

      a+

      ***Drive for 25***

    • Loonie says:

      He’s playing against tougher opposition than Desharnais, fair assumption.

      In my opinion Eller or Galchenyuk would be better suited to be on the powerplay based on their play. In keeping with that whole meritocracy thing we heard so much about.

      Must be nice to wear #51 in Montreal, seems it’s a lucky number.

      • mksness says:

        i have no issue with increasing their PP time or at least trying it. but i don’t know if eller is always playing against the top D pairing. i would assume most teams wouldn’t be matching up their top D pair against our 3rd line.

        regardless i think eller and chucky have deserved the opportunity to get more time in 1st-2nd line opportunities especially on the PP

  51. Steeltown Hab says:

    Can anyone pull up the stat of how much PK time Subban and Markov have each gotten this year?

    It feels like Markov is always out there a man down.

    ———————————

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

  52. rhino514 says:

    Did the habs make a boo-boo by letting Beaulieu play 6 games? don´t they lose a year on his eligibilty or something like that?

  53. HabFanSince72 says:

    For the people saying Bourque is soft, invisible, gutless – remember he’s coming back from a severe concussion. It can take up to a year for players to regain their confidence and timing.

  54. bwoar says:

    @Blondemon

    Don’t mention Eller to Loonie. I might say ‘desharnais’ and create another earthquake.

    “thoroughbred”

    • Loonie says:

      I’m fine with it my friend. Eller’s better, has been all season.

      It ends there.

    • Blondemon says:

      Thanks for the advice bwoar. I have to say, I loathe this player so much, I might have passed a bias tipping point. I may be too hard on him (but I doubt it).

      I’ll give him a chance to make me eat crow as Pacioretty did, whom I loathed 3-4 years ago along with that D’Agostini trash.

      ***Drive for 25***

  55. Les-Habitants says:

    With Tinordi meeting the team in Winnipeg, do you pair him with Markov? Not sure I like the foot speed on that pairing.

  56. Ali says:

    big thing to watch with Price, and was really evident when he lost his job to Halak, is that he struggles when he doesn’t track the puck well. When you see him moving a lot to find it, is when he lets in the most goals.

    When he is on his game, his movement is minimal and he uses his size to follow the play. He’s been off recently (most notably against Tampa when I think St. Louis faked going around the net and cut back in front, Price was trying to predict the play and had to scramble back to the other side). Just an observation I’ve had.

  57. Maksimir says:

    WTF? There’s ANOTHER Staal going to play for Carolina? Jared – 6’4″ 220 lb winger…

    And just Don’t – if you’re going to say how the Habs should trade for him/Jordan or Eric… never happen.

  58. Sportfan says:

    As a Canadian I hope the flames get it, or the Jets if they miss the playoffs (lottery pick) but I really don’t want the Oilers to get it. I like the Oilers but I’m tired of them picking first

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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    • otter649 says:

      The only other NHL team to have 3 consecutive #1 picks was Quebec/Avs but when they won their first Stanley Cup none of the picks remained – Nolan-Sundin-Lindros……

      • B says:

        Interesting trivia, thanks!

        –Go Habs Go!–

      • Blondemon says:

        Wow, I didn’t know Nolan was not part of that ’96 Avs title. What a stiff job, traded to SJ for Ozolinsh, who was a big factor for the Avs, but Nolan would have been too. I guess Colorado was so flush with great forwards. I remember how good Nolan and Sundin were vs the Habs in ’93.

        ***Drive for 25***

    • issie74 says:

      I do not want the Oilers to get first pick.They are a terrible #organization. As a matter of fact,I am very tired of the NHL rewarding all the losers. They need to rethink the whole draft process.

      NorthTOHab

    • scuba says:

      If the Oilers have a top 5 pick and Jones is off the board I think they will put that pick up for grabs. Would be a huge bidding war to get into the top 5 this year and they are flush with young forwards. Return would be crazy.

      ——————————————————————————————————–
      I can’t tell if the Habs are great or terrible because sometimes they win and sometimes they lose.

  59. nihilz says:

    People hating on Price because he isn’t plugging up all the holes a porous D is allowing since Emelin’s departure, are fools. Same fools that wanted Halak over Price and think Budaj is a better option going into the playoffs.(25% HIO poll – Budai over Price) Fools, not fanatics. Double edge sword, regardless. Emelin single highhandedly completed the Habs D core and did to Markov what Markov had done to his pairings prior to his injuries.

    Habs fans should consider themselves lucky Drewiskie was acquired by MB for nothing. In a precautionary move that looks more like foresight right now.

    IMO, if this team is going to have to ride its young guns into the playoffs. Eller & Galchenyuk. Eller is looking like something special and should be making the Halak lovers rest their spite. Let Plek be his opportunistic self in a defensive role. Play DD sparingly on PP and the right ES opportunities. Maybe even 4th line LW minutes where his style of play might actually take advantage of bigger players with slower sticks. Whom happen to have the same foot speed.

    MT has stated he doesn’t like playing the line combinations game and like to utilize his players in particular situational needs. If this in in fact the situation. I hope he re-evaluates his roster and comes to a more appropriate solution concerning personnel and TOI.

    Pacioretty Eller Gionta
    Bourque Galchenyuk Ryder
    Prust Plekanec Gallagher
    DD Halpern Armstrong
    Moen Dumont White

    PS.. Galchenyuk’s “Chucky” comes from the movie Child’s Play with the serial killing doll Chucky whom he happens to look like.. imo..

    • Blondemon says:

      I call him Galchy but I like Chucky. Or Nucky even, but that’s Boardwalk Empire. I love this kid, the way he reacts when he scores, with the veteran-like exception of restraint when he scored to make it 4-1 vs Penguins.

      Habs were brutal to close the season in their 3 underdog Cup wins. ’71, ’86, ’93. All with rookies coaches. In fact Roy lost his last 5 games (Racicot won his last two) in ’93, along with dropping the first 2 in the series vs Diques.

      The question we have to ask is ‘does Price have some Roy combativeness in him?’ I think he can surprise us in these playoffs.

      His numbers our last playoffs are stellar. We lost to the Bruins in 7 games OT, who went on to win it all. The one thing I begrudge Pricer from that series is a couple of bad goals in games 3-5 that got the Bruins back in the series, including some of his usual non-chalant giveaways.

      ***Drive for 25***

      • nihilz says:

        I hear ya.. I have Zer0 doubt in Price.

        His dad bred him to be a goaltender. He was never going to be anything else in life.

        Imo this is why the majority of goalers in the league is not up to par with Price. They got good and fell in love with a game after picking it up. Price on the other hand.. has only every known pads, ice and school. Its his nature, not an acquired skill.

        That’s my 3 1/2 cents.

  60. Habilis says:

    Are teams playing “bigger” against the Habs now that Emelin is out? Is it possible that absent the threat of decapitation, other players are holding the puck a split-second longer in the O-zone? Maybe. But Emelin didn’t play 60 minutes a game.

    Still, someone needs to step up back there and start smacking people come playoff time. I know that Tinordi hasn’t filled out yet, but he can’t hurt in the physicality department, IMO. I like the move.

    • Blondemon says:

      Emelin didn’t hit this year. Nobody was afraid of him this year.

      ***Drive for 25***

      • Loonie says:

        He was in the top 10 in hits for NHL players when he was injured.

        • Blondemon says:

          I stand corrected. but his hits nowhere near as crushing as last year. Again, I use stats like hits with a grain of salt. Could it be that he was always chasing the puck? On many occasions he and his Russian pally looked like Tweedledum and Tweedledee out there. Comedy of errors.

          ***Drive for 25***

          • mksness says:

            every hit can’t be a crushing hit. you have to give out just enough to make players fear the big hit but for the most part you want to hit and bounce off quickly so u don’t fall back or out of the play

          • mike3131 says:

            It’s also because his positional play was much improved this year compared to last. He would hold his position and block the shot instead of taking himself out of the play to lay a big hit. Thats why he plays 20 mins per game this year and only 12 mins per game last year. He would save his physicality for winning battles in the corners and in front of the net (and he won quite a few of them).

            https://twitter.com/mikelangerr

      • Habilis says:

        And he was leading the Habs by a large margin, 100-something to Prust’s 60-something at the time, if I remember right.

  61. Luke says:

    So, When looking back at the play during these recent games, and tying in a season-long conversation here on the site, can we now say that Carey Price has, in fact, stolen 27 games this season?

    • Blondemon says:

      What do you mean? Price has 20 wins, Budaj 7. And Budaj bailed out Price when we beat Boston in that shootout. For me, so far, that’s been the highlight of this season.

      ***Drive for 25***

      • Small_Town_Boy says:

        Missing Halak are you Mon?

        Dat’s wha me tinks

        • Blondemon says:

          ‘Mom’? I don’t know why my comment made you ask this seemingly out of context question.

          But to answer, I actually don’t miss Halak, I kinda knew he’d be a one-hit wonder, and we flamed out against Philly anyway, the clock struck midnight.

          I do hate that we only got Eller for him instead of a solid, established player, esp since Halak was pretty much at his peak value at that point.

          ***Drive for 25***

    • habsfan0 says:

      What about the games Peter Budaj won?
      Did Price “steal” those as well?

  62. bwoar says:

    @Loonie
    “When Therrien tries allowing the defensemen on the team to sustain coverage in front of the net we’ll know if they’re capable.

    It didn’t seem to be as big of a problem for Jacques Martin.”

    Are you s–tting me? JM’s defenders? The same crew!

    PK – not a net presence, but probably the best we have
    Gorges – awesome at pushing Price into his own net
    Markov – please god no more
    Diaz – creampuff
    Weber – see Diaz
    Boullion – overmatched routinely
    Emelin – usually avoids the front of the net, period
    Kaberle – let’s not joke

    The rest of the JM wannabe defenders:

    Spacek / Hamrlik – totally ineffective net coverage / maybe 10 years ago
    Gill – shot blocker, sure. Somewhat effective
    Campoli – AHL defensive game at best
    Paul Mara – see Gorges

    The only people on the list from 2 years’ worth of D that are even passable at sustaining net coverage would be Gill & Subban, and they get C+ for it at best.

    The GM has work to do in the offseason, is my point. Therrien should be telling at least one D to stay home, I agree. But when you’ve got Markov-Diaz covering in your own zone, who stays at home??

    “thoroughbred”

    • Loonie says:

      I’ve been saying for a long time that this team’s biggest problem is an inability to protect the house due to personnel problems on defense.

      But the distinction I’m making is that with Martin’s style our defensemen were at least close to stopping opposing forwards. That is to say that they were in the same general vicinity of the attacking players. Our defensemen under Therrien are either watching the play in front of the net from afar or are out of position.

      Last night, Josh Gorges skated from the corner to the slot while an attacking player was going to the net. That player had a pass put right on their tape within three feet of Price and scored, completely uncontested. Last night I made the comment that it was the single dumbest defensive play I’ve ever seen but didn’t blame Gorges. A play like that from a defenseman defies every instinct and teaching they’ve received at every level of hockey.

      The coverage is completely flawed. The defensive zone positioning and transition these players are being taught defies all logic and looks more like five chickens having been let out of a barn than a group of hockey players defending their zone.

      • bwoar says:

        I can’t disagree. Did you happen to notice what the centre was doing on the play? I haven’t paid enough attention to the C’s in the defensive zone, but lately the separation has been so huge that no one is covering the slot, so instead of doing the intelligent thing, the D may be starting to cheat (or worse, go directly there), trusting their goalie to just stone guys from in tight. It IS suicide.

        50% of that is coaching, but the guys on the ice have to execute. I wish we could’ve seen those 2 ‘good’ practices to see what exactly’s being preached in the defensive zone.

        “thoroughbred”

        • Loonie says:

          It was Desharnais, and he was standing within three feet of the man Gorges skated to.

          Have a look at the TSN highlight if you can. I wasn’t exaggerating.

          • bwoar says:

            Ugh, I just saw it. Gorges abandons his man on the way to the net and goes to the slot to cover the guy already taken by Desharnais. Diaz gets hung otu to dry with 2 guys in front of the net. Idiotic play.

            Not sure that one’s on Therrien’s system, but really Gorges has got to play better hockey.

            “thoroughbred”

    • Blondemon says:

      You don’t have to be tough. Diaz uses his stick like nobody else to poke pucks away. Gorges, I agree, is a mess this year. Ditto Markov except for the PP. Soobie is strong and relentless in coverage. I agree with some of the others too. I think Beaulieu and Tinordi will see action these playoffs and impress almost as much as Soobie in 2010 post-season

      ***Drive for 25***

  63. Maritime Ron says:

    A tale of 2 cities…..

    When taking a step back, it’s quite interesting to compare reactions to this season in Montreal and the city 350 miles west down the 401.

    They are in party mode for making the playoffs, while some here want MT fired, Carey stoned in the public square, and our D burned in effigy.

    This is no joke or a hacked site.
    The full text of Nonis’s note to Leafs fans is below:

    Dear Mr. Xxxxxxx,

    On behalf of the entire Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club, I would like to extend a sincere thank you for your continued loyalty and support.

    Leafs fans are the most passionate and dedicated in all of hockey. Your presence at Air Canada Centre and in our opponent’s rinks does not go unnoticed. You are valued members of our team.

    The Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most exciting time of year, a time when fortunes turn quickly, when heroes emerge, when the narrowest margin of error can make the difference between advancing or going home.

    Randy Carlyle and his staff have done an outstanding job in preparing this young group of players for future success. Bigger challenges and larger opportunities await our team.

    I look forward to joining you in cheering on our Leafs during the playoff journey.

    Go Leafs Go!

    Sincerely,

    David Nonis

    Senior Vice-President and General Manager

    Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club
    ————————-
    I wonder what the reaction would be in Montreal if GM Bergevin ever wrote an open letter like that?

    • bwoar says:

      Poor, because it’s not in French.

      Kidding aside, Nonis may live to regret that if the Leafs are bounced early by some terrible team in a *cough* slump *cough*

      “thoroughbred”

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      “On behalf of the entire Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club, I would like to extend a sincere thank you for your continued loyalty and support. That is why we are raising playoff ticket prices 75%.”

      Dat’s wha me tinks

  64. jimmy shaker says:

    The team has sucked since emelin went down. Also, since Bourque came back he has been invisible and kind of screwed up the lines if you will. Ryder has disappeared since being taken off pleks line, (good for MT getting him back there) and Prust needs to be on the ice more than 4th line minutes in my opinion. Moen has been a no show basically all year and Marky has exposed by the emelin loss. Hopefully Tinordi can save the season. Put it all on 3 rookies to save this team. And lastly, anyone else cringe or close their eyes everytime the opposing team enters the habs zone or take a shot on Price? I don’t think this is a good feeling to have going into the playoffs. It’s a bad thing for fans to think that……I wonder how the players feel?

    Shaker out!

    • Loonie says:

      Price probably has a similar feeling. Wondering how many attacking players will be left to stand alone within five feet of him and how quickly his teammate on the puck will cough it up or allow an uncontested pass into the slot or to the backdoor of the net.

      Must be uncomfortable for him.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Understandable……..but as our best player and last line of D. The tender needs to exude confidence back there, kind of like a stabalizing force allowing the boys in front of him to play with some confidence. Now, I understand it goes both ways and the 5 man unit needs to be better in their own end and help Price out more, but at the end of the day Price needs to step up and take all his potential and skill set and thoroughbredness everyone has been talking about for years and start being the lights out tender we all believe he can be.

        Shaker out!

    • Blondemon says:

      Emelin has little to do with it. They also suck since Bourque came back (I would be willing to bet this has more to do with it; gutless player with frequent disappearing acts, and ruining a bit of chemistry we had going).

      Just because we suck since Emelin went down, doesn’t make that the cause of our sucking. It’s the ‘Post hoc ergo propter hoc’ fallacy. I clap my hands and the sun comes up, therefore my clapping makes the sun rise.

      ***Drive for 25***

  65. Sportfan says:

    With the draft lottery I am glad that its only for the first pick and that people only move down 1 spot. Does every team have the same odds?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  66. H.Upmann says:

    maybe someone who knows hockey can answer this: is this the same system that MT used in Pittsburg?

    • Loonie says:

      Small differences.

      The forecheck is the same. They aren’t the same defensively though. He rarely had two defensemen commit to one location where a puck battle is occurring in the defensive zone.

      But he had different defensemen.

    • bwoar says:

      Yep.

      EDIT: Also what Loonie said about D-men. But as I say below, we don’t really have ‘D’ men. Just men who visit the blue line and glance at their own crease once in a while when a red light comes on.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Loonie says:

        There’s definitely debate to be had about whether or not these defensemen are being used properly.

        Being a group whose predominant skill is puck moving, it doesn’t make much sense to play them on the perimeter of the ice in the defensive zone. If the idea is to outnumber the opposing team in battles the strong side forward and centreman should be used in puck battles with the strong side defenseman in support. Other forward covers the slot and the other defenseman mans his post.

        Just my opinion.

    • punkster says:

      You mean the “Meh, whatever…through Crosby on the ice FTW”…that system?

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  67. ed says:

    I don’t have the numbers, but how many shots have we blocked lately?

    Seems every shot gets through to our net.

    Teams that don’t block shots, especially killing penalties, don’t win hockey games these days.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Time to bring back the Craig Ludwig shin pads. What were they double phone books taped together? Your point is a valid one Ed.

    • mark-ID says:

      It’s very true eh……everytime the puck gets back to the point these days with no forwards covering the D….I cringe. Not only are shots going through….but we have been getting some bad deflections and everything.

      One thing with our PK lately, I find that the forwards are giving too much space to the point men. It’s as if they aren’t working hard enough. There needs to be more pressure.

      When we see the other teams defend our PP…..one of the reasons we are struggling there as of late IMO, is how well the other forwards are right on our point guys….they have no team to set up and shoot.

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  68. mark-ID says:

    important question, I appologize if it has been answered already.

    If Toronto loses only 1 of their 3 remaining games……..and

    we lose both of our remaining games…we would be tied with points.

    Who has the better ROW record thus finishing in 4th place?

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  69. Luke says:

    Dustin Brown has a hearing for his elbow.

    How many games do the Kings have left before the playoffs?
    He gets that or less.

    Good guy. No history etc etc etc

    Randy Savage would have been proud of that elbow.

  70. HabsFan1111 says:

    If my math skills serve me well (which they don’t always do) we will likely face either the B’s or the leafs in the first round unless NYI overtake the leafs. We have a 66% (probably higher due to the fact NYI is behind TO) to face one of our two most bitter rivals in a heated 7 game battle. Am I the only one excited about this?!? Personally, I could not be happier than where we are at in the standings. These matchups are what dreams are made of, I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this excited for playoff hockey!

  71. habs4_25th says:

    I hope we lose out and Boston too, I say let the leafs have the division title, let them play the Islanders, whom have a beat the leafs twice out of the last 3 games they played. Besides isn’t it nice to play the Bruins…. especially when they are struggling just like us.

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be it yours to hold high.”

    • Blondemon says:

      I’d like to win the division, but I agree the Isles will be tough and can easily take Leafs or Habs out, not Bruins though, I don’t think.

      Drive for 25

    • habsmanagementzero says:

      At last the habs are listening to me. My comments were:
      1)Bring up Tinordi.At 6 feet 7 inches he takes up-by definition- a lot of space.He should be told to be aggresive especially in FRONT OF THE NET.The front of the net should be a BATTLE FOR POSITION.You can move people out without causing penalties by BATTLING FOR POSITION!
      2) BENCH PRICE.I am sorry to say this but Price does not have the skill level that will allow you win in the playoffs.I continually hear non sensical statements with regard to making excuses for Price.
      Bottom line:He is now the 45th best goalie in the NHL statistically and even worse from the way he plays.Do you seriously think that when the playoffs start Price will magically become a great goalie???? NO CHANCE! 6 years of stats shows he is who he is.The trend is unfortuantely your friend-or lack thereof.At least with BUdaj if he gets hot he is virtually unscoreable on.Price flops like a fish,is consistently not square to the shooter,does not come out to challenege the shooter when neccessary to cut the angle,and is very slow laterally.His stick also comes up off the ice to allow numerous 5 hole goals.Off course all these skills are mediated by the brain.I cant give Price a brain transplant……..like I said after 6 years he is who he is…(7-15 in the playoffs).

  72. Blondemon says:

    Anybody know how to upload an avatar to the profile?

    Drive for 25

  73. commandant says:

    Where is the problem on this team? Its pretty simple to see where most of the defensive issues lie. Even after this recent stretch.

    Carey price has the following numbers.

    .920 Save Percentage 5 on 5.
    .803 Save Percentage while killing penalties.

    Where is the problem here? Its a systemic issue to the PK, where our defensive unit breaks down and gives up too many high quality scoring chances. See two PP goals last night.

    The diamond formation is not working, the personnel (Markov and Weber on the PK, Subban’s lack of PK time) is stupid and the team has bled goals on the PK all season (except for about ten games right after we picked up Halpern) as a result.

    Fix the penalty kill, and you fix a LOT of our team’s problems.

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

    • Blondemon says:

      Nice stats there commandant, very interesting. Very solid 5 on 5 numbers for Pricer. I agree our PK (including Soobie) and PP have gone south last 6 games.

      Drive for 25

    • johnnylarue says:

      Whoa–that “.920 at 5 on 5 stat” is a revelation.

      We had a string of 6 or 7 perfect PK games following Halpern’s acquisition, but otherwise this team has been way too complacent in penalty killing all season long.

      The coaching staff’s dogged refusal to allow Subban to play Norris-caliber minutes to go with his Norris-caliber pedigree is pretty stupid, both on paper and in practice.

      • Loonie says:

        To be fair .920 isn’t a very high save percentage at even strength.

        It’s average.

        • bwoar says:

          It is with such bad coaching.

          “thoroughbred”

          • Loonie says:

            That’s part of it regardless of your dig at me.

            You show me a team that was successful using its forwards to cover men around the net and its defensemen standing aimlessly waiting for a loose puck.

            I’ll be around till about 3pm Eastern.

          • bwoar says:

            That’s the joke.

            Tom, if you’re going to post endlessly, and I mean endlessly, on 2 subjects, I will probably razz you on them consistently, even though we totally agree on one and mostly on the other.

            .920 is perfectly fine 5 on 5.

            For your last point, I think for the most part our D are pretty terrible at covering people around the net, so what does it really matter? Frankly I’d rather have Colby Armstrong or Jeff Halpern or bloody Travis Moen in coverage than any of the guys on the backend, Subban included.

            We don’t really have much in the way of defense. So coaching is irrelephant. (The elephant who doesn’t matter.)

            “thoroughbred”

          • Loonie says:

            When Therrien tries allowing the defensemen on the team to sustain coverage in front of the net we’ll know if they’re capable.

            It didn’t seem to be as big of a problem for Jacques Martin.

    • Loonie says:

      They aren’t playing a diamond formation. They adjust throughout the time on the penalty kill.

      If the opposing powerplay transitions to an umbrella they use a diamond. If the opposing powerplay has two men high in the zone they use a box.

      When the puck comes down low in the zone they send two defenders to it and have the forwards drop to cover the area within a few feet of the net.

      It’s that simple, it isn’t a box, it isn’t a diamond, it isn’t a T, it’s a hybrid penalty kill that reacts to where the puck is and how many opposing players are high in the zone.

      • krob1000 says:

        Where they seem to have the issue is when a team has their half wall guy move up and it is an impromptu umbrealla…there is a delay in the recognition and the top 3 guys are far too open….the guys are caught standing around and upright too often with no movement. They aren’t even taking away lanes visually with their sticks…. right now our d zone coverage whether it be on the pp or at 5 on 5 is too stagnant. Even if there is a pressure guy the other guys are getting outworked in the support battle…there seems to always be more passing options that defenders away from the puck. ON the flipside when we ahve the puck there are more defenders than passing options awy from the puck. Right now it can be summed up as this…we suck away fromthe puck right now which was our biggest strength all year…add to that we are giving up the puck voluntarily too often with no forecheckers pressure and you have a recipe for disaster.

    • alfieturcotte says:

      So he is average 5-5 and horrible in pk situations. Either way, I’m not impressed. They have to trade him. Six years of waiting and coming up w/excuses such as this one is enough. Save the money and free up some cap space. Not all prospects live up to expectations.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      You bring up good points as usual.

      Another interesting fact is that we are only 1 of 2 NHL teams that does not have a short handed goal this year. Tampa is the other.
      New Jersey leads the league with 11 short handed goals and 15 teams have at least 3 short handed goals.

      Last year, we were 4th in the NHL for short handed goals with 10 behind leader NJ which had 15


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