About last night …

What happened to your Montreal Canadiens over the 240 miles between Detroit and Toronto?

Friday night, the team had a 19-3 third period shot advantage against the Western Conference-leading Red Wings. In one of the more dominant offensive displays of the season, the Canadiens looked like Central Red Army, circa 1975, and if Jimmy Howard hadn’t played like Vladislav Tretiak, the game would have gone to OT.

Last night, the Canadiens were outshot 11-4 and outscored 2-0 in the first period by one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. They were outskated, outhit and outfought for every loose puck.

How did a latter-day Red Army turn into the Zimbabwean National Guard in 22 hours?

In a segment televised on L’Antichambre, François Gagnon asked Jacques Martin about the Jekyll-and-Habs transformation of his players.

“It’s a good question,” the unhappy coach replied. “You should ask them.”

So Gagnon did.

And Jeff Halpern told him: “I’d like to offer a reason or an excuse, but there aren’t any. We came out flat and had nothing. It’s inexplicable and inexcusable.”

Whom shall we blame?

Did Martin and his staff not prepare their team properly?

Tony Marinaro thought so. On L’Antichambre, Marinaro suggested the Canadiens came out playing a cautious, trapping game that is the antithesis of their natural style, thereby handing initiative to the home team.

Don’t know that I buy that (or Marinaro’s insistence that David Desharnais should have been dressed for the game).

The comeback against Detroit may have had the Canadiens thinking they didn’t have to do much more than lace up to secure two points in Toronto.

And starting Alex Auld was basically saying “This is how much we think you suck”. That had to motivate the Leafs, who needed a W much more than the Canadiens, what with food being flung these days at the ACC.

What did we learn from that suckfest?

Their early season success and (precariously) lofty position in the standings notwithstanding, the Canadiens can’t let up against any team in the NHL.

Twenty minutes of intensity doesn’t do it, against great teams like Detroit or bad ones like Toronto.

And now thw worst part of a tough December schedule begins, with Philadelphia and Boston on consecutive nights at the Bell Centre.

If Scott Gomez’s shin injury keeps him out of the lineup, the Canadiens will be severely overmatched at centre for these games.

I love Halpern. At $600,000 he’s the bargain of the year … as a third- or fourth-line centre.

But bumping Halpern up to Top Six linemates and minutes is going to be problematic, to say the very least, when the Canadiens face Mike Richards/Jeff Carter/Daniel Brière on Wednesday night, followed by Patrice Bergeron/David Krejci/Marc Savard.

Tomas Plekanec can’t play 60 minutes. And as much as I love Lars Eller and his development to date, he’s not a Top Sixer yet.

Nor do I like the prospect of playing those two powerhouses when the most-minutes defence pairing is Roman Hamrlik and … well, who, if Jaro Spacek can’t go? (The bloody ACC, where Canadiens Dmen go to die.)

P.K. Subban was minus-3 in his hometown. He and Alexandre Picard were brutal on Phil Kessel’s goal (and Auld was out of position). Yannick Weber was decent for his 18:42; but if Spacek is out, the three young Dmen are in for major minutes.

If Spatch is on the shelf for a while, Pierre Gauthier may have to pull the trigger on acquiring another defenceman. He’ll hate dealing from a position of weakness, but Gauthier might have to act expeditiously to avoid a middle-third-of-the-schedule tailspin by his overachieving hockey team.

December is about to get very hairy, with seven games on the road.

A cross-continental Colorado-Dallas-Carolina trip will be followed by a two-day Christmas break. Then there’s a Boxing Day game on Long Island and a visit to Washington. The Canadiens close out 2010 with a back-to-backer – their eighth of the season – against Tampa Bay and Florida.

If Gomez and Spacek are out of the lineup for the rest of the month, this team is in trouble.

I don’t know what Carey Price asked for in his latter to Santa (an experienced Dman?), but what he’s going to get is a ton of vulcanized rubber.

•  •  •

The legions of Jacques Martin non-admirers will light up phone-in show switcboards early this week, frothing at the mouth about how the coach ahs undermined P.K. Subban’s confidence.

Gimme a break!

If a three-game enforced hiatus broke the spirit of P.K., then the young man is a lot more fragile than he had his adoring fans believe.

And while Subban watched from the pressbox, the Canadiens beat New Jersey, San Jose and Otawa by a cumulative score of 12-3.

P.K. will be good, maybe great.

But with defencemen not named Bobby Orr or Denis Potvin or Nicklas Lidstrom, it takes time.

•  •  •

And finally, a really excellent and thoughtful analysis from Jean-Vincent Fournier )JVF), a Canadiens fan living in Paris:

I don’t think JM messed up PK’s confidence by
benching him, but for a few (crucial) games, he has made him more
tentative and less efficient.

I doubt that’s what he intended to do, but that’s the final result.

For now.

intrigues me, though, is benching one your finest young defenders after
having played him 25 minutes in the game, more than any other
defenseman, if I’m not mistaken.

That’s odd.

He goes from
being your finest player on the ice to being persona non grata for 3
games. Never mind thoses 25 minutes, almost from the day he was called
up, PK has often been our most utilized Dman, the only one (with Markov
out) who can skate the puck out of our D-zone and cross the opponent’s
blue line with speed and maybe even some creativity.

That’s what Markov brought us and it made us that much more efficient as a team.

That’s what PK brings.

Not even Weber, whom I think is going to be a fine defenceman and whom I like very much, can do that.

yeah, PK is going to make mistakes, maybe even a lot of them. He’ll
miss a slap pass to a wide open Cammalleri on the PP, use an inordinate
windup to sell his slapshot to the whole world, dangle a little too
much, yap a whole lot, but couldn’t all of that be controlled by simply
limiting his ToI and talking to the guy rather than just sitting him in
the stands?


My two cents about last nights’
game: A silly lineup produced silly results. I would have put Desharnais
in there, just to see what he can do at this level and most of all,
because if there’s one thing this team sorely lacks, it’s O-F-F-E-N-S-E!

Maybe, just maybe, the little guy could provide us with some.
He’s done it everywhere else in his career, against all odds, so why not

Final point: Some people don’t like PK’s attitude, I’m
having a little problem with Cammalleri. He loses the puck too often in
our D-zone and misses the net too often at the other end of the ice.
There’s something different about him this year, he’s not the same

Is it being taken off the Plekanec line? Is it personal
problems? Is it because PK has taken a little bit of the spotlight away
from him?

Whatever it is, I’d like him to become the same lethal sniper he was when he joined us.

That breakaway last night?

No way he misses that a year ago. And if he scores that goal, it could have been a whole different ballgame…



  1. HardHabits says:

    No. I am right.

  2. Nina76 says:

    on your comment Pk does not know when to pinch or stay back……………What are the coaches doing may I ask ????????? they should be able to correct this why did the teaching take so long who knows. The breaking of the confidence in so many of our young players is unreal it is done every time. The coaches think they are supper stars…..STUPID…………….Maybe we should change the coaches & I question JM’s throwing the players around in different postions, they are not used to playing to-gether……………………WE HAVE A NEW GM……………………………..BRAD RICHARDS………………The top guns fell for it & sat out PK,GOOD FOR YOU BRAD YOU MUST BE LAUGHING UP YOUR SLEEVE.Are there any other players you would like us to sit ? We are at your mercy…….GO PK GO!!!!!! you will make mistakes but don’t let them change you.

  3. PureGuava says:

    You’re nuts dude.

  4. nigel-ski says:

    I was at the game, and it was demoralizing to see the team play so poorly vs the team I hate more than anything.  Worse, the atmosphere at the acc was more like a mauseleum than a coliseum.  You just can’t compare the acc to the Bell.  I attended the 1st inside-out fanfest at the Bell, vs Buffalo–we won, mais bien sur–and there was more cheering in the 1st ten minutes than I heard in the entire game last night.  I know TO fans have very little to cheer about these days, but this is an original 6 team, a rival come into your building…try and act like it, Toronto!  The one time I saw a Toronto–>Mtl game at the Bell several years ago was the most electric experience of my life, hockey fan wise.  This wasn’t even a fork in an electrical socket!

    Habs rule, leafs drool. Cammalleri rocks

  5. saskhabfan says:

    Didn’t you critcize gainey for “panicking” when he signed gio,cammy and the other ufa’s? Now your complaining about sitting back and relaxing? At least you have shown your credibility,yet again.





    I think I know more than most about hockey and believe my opinions are almost always reasonable and thought out.-manapart.

  6. saskhabfan says:

    Retro probably figures we can trade gomez,hamrlik or spacek straight up. Cause i’m sure the panthers can afford to pay out an 8 million dollar salary or want a mid 30 year old dman in return.




    I think I know more than most about hockey and believe my opinions are almost always reasonable and thought out.-manapart.

  7. saskhabfan says:

    Its posts like this that shows why you are a top end poster on this site and retro is bottom of the barrel.





    I think I know more than most about hockey and believe my opinions are almost always reasonable and thought out.-manapart.

  8. saskhabfan says:

    Yeppers, all 4 bonifide playoffs teams and contenders that lost to the leafs. They should all trading away players because RM said so. Man that guy is clueless.




    I think I know more than most about hockey and believe my opinions are almost always reasonable and thought out.-manapart.

  9. saskhabfan says:

    He was bad on both goals. Tough though when you only play once a month. But still,those stops need to be made.




    I think I know more than most about hockey and believe my opinions are almost always reasonable and thought out.-manapart.

  10. saskhabfan says:





    I think I know more than most about hockey and believe my opinions are almost always reasonable and thought out.-manapart.

  11. showey47 says:

    Don’t you think if carle was an improvement over weber or subban, your boy would have made the team or  been the first call up instead of the odd man out? Carle was exposed to waivers after training camp which anybody could have picked him up for nothing but his salary and nobody even bothered. Do you think subban or weber would have gone unclaimed on waivers? Wideman is a  -22 in the last season and a 3rd, blocks 1.5 shots per game and throws even less hits for a 4 million dollar cap hit. That doesn’t improve our defensive play. Neither does bringing in an even less experienced rookie then the 2 we already have. Try using rational thinking and reason over your personal preferences.

    I want all of our prospects to succeed and become nhlers but there’s a reason carle is where he is in the depth chart. He isn’t a better option then weber or subban or else he would be on the team right out of camp or would have been the first call up on defence. It won’t get any easier next year for carle with the rumours of emelin coming over to north america.

    BTW,you remember that ryan obyrne guy you refered to as a ahl/echl defenceman. He is 2nd in the league in hits/game, 5th in blocked shots/game and averages 1 turnover every 3 games. He is also a +7. Doesn’t that sound more like someone we could use?


  12. VancouverHab says:

    Great analogy. Likewise it’s like trying to explain creation to Neo-Darwinists, Gomez’ contract is the Third Law of Biology.

  13. HardHabits says:

    Gomez is injured and the Habs lose two in a row. How much more proof do you need. There is no-one to take his place. Get over the 8 million dollars. Bob Gainey didn’t worry about it why should you.

    Anyways, the salary cap hit is moot. What about Hamrlik? Cammy? Gionta? Gomez is a top 6 forward. He’s easily worth 5 million a year. He is an integral part of this Habs team. They need him in the line-up, the sooner thet better.

    The Gomez bashing is a last clutching on the straws for the whiners since Halak has sucked and Price is amazing. Souray, Redden, those guys are not worth it. Gomez is in the NHL because that is where he belongs.

  14. SeriousFan09 says:

    Teams that panic tend to fail.

    I’ll take the not-ready Weber and overhyped junior star Subban thank you very much, betting they’re a bit quicker on their skates than your 92-year old grandmother.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  15. PureGuava says:

    8 million dollars for a 60 pt player – at best, is nuts. It is an elephant in the room. All the leadership in the world isn’t worth it. There are guys on this team doing three times the work that he has, at a fraction of the cost….What do you think that does to his leadership ability?

    Things heard around the dressing room:

    “Hey…um Scotty…can I borrow your agents phone number man?”

    “Gomer – What’s Glen Sather like?….Was it one case of scotch you sent him> or two?”

    “Think Lou would take him back for the Russian?…15 years of that guy at 6 mil, makes more sense than 4 more of this guy at 8, and at least Kovalchuk would find the net once and a while.”


  16. thebigguy says:

    Yknow that old adage, if it ain’t broke….

    With about a third of the season done, we’ve finally, for the first time, lost 2 games in a row. We’ve given up 4 goals over 3 periods just once.

    This is not the time to be making major trades.

  17. habsruleworld says:



    MAX PAC AND DESHARNAIS tied, for TOP scorers/points in AHL!


    Way to go boys!

  18. Da Hema says:

    That is hilarious.

    I will give xtrahabsfan credit for his consistency.


    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  19. Chuck says:

    And what would you be willing to trade in order to pry Wideman away from them?

    Centre Hice: Net result: Leafs cheating?

    Think before you post. The internet is forever, and that’s a awfully long time to look like a knob.

  20. Da Hema says:


    The jig is up my friend. The above is too clearly stated for it to come from Jacques Martin.


    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  21. RetroMikey says:

    lol!  Very funny David.  lol!


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

  22. RetroMikey says:

    Did you not see Carle play today on National TV?  The guy plays a sound defensive game IMO.

    Bringing Carle and Wideman on our team will be helluva improvement than 2 very unexperienced rookies in the NHL.


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

  23. Da Hema says:

    Watching the game last night–and its distasteful outcome–did make me appreciate how fortunate we are to have Carey Price as our goalie. It would be profoundly unfair to blame Alex Auld for the loss, but the differences between Price and Auld in terms of positioning and overall athleticism were starkly apparent–although when Auld is basically playing one game a month there must be a lot of rust to shake off. One would think, though, that good teammates would do everything they could to try to help out Auld…like not playing one of their crappiest games in recent memory.


    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  24. HardHabits says:

    Do you mean HardonHabits?

  25. HardHabits says:

    Nice catch. That is soooooo xtrahabsfan it’s uncanny.

  26. Jonnyboy says:

    biggest pet peeve.


    Arguing a micro argument with a macro comment. 

    If you believe the habs have overachieved and are only going to finish 8th. Last year they had 39 wins to get to 8th. 

    This weekend was 2 missed wins. Whether 2 of 39 or 45+ does not matter, overachieving or underachieving you still need to win games. 


    Please start making appropriate arguments. 

  27. Chuck says:

    If we have Subban and Weber in Hamilton, who’s going to play D in Montreal? If Spacek is out for any amount of time,  that leaves you with Gill, Hamrlik, Picard and Gorges… not even enough for three pairings.

    And no, calling up Carle and Henry ain’t the answer.

    Centre Hice: Net result: Leafs cheating?

  28. Hagar says:

    This just in from JM: “A lot has been made of my decision to play Auld against the Toronto Maple Leafs last night. Healy on HNIC made a comment about not playing Price as being our club saying that we can beat them w/o our Vezina contender. I’d like to take this timeout to address Healy & let him know that we CAN in fact beat the Leafs w/o Price. Insulting the Maple Leafs was my intention from the beginning & I’m glad Healy & the others didn’t allow it to go by unnoticed. The Leafs stink & should never be allowed to believe otherwise. One other reason for sitting Price was about helping to keep our guys sharp. They’re never going to improve any part of their game if they play against the Leafs at full strength. The Leafs are comparable to a middle-of-the-pack AHL team. Playing them at full strength would be completely senseless. Montreal loses these matches, rather than Toronto ever actually winning them. Next game we’ll consider sitting Pleks or Cammy as a way of giving our boys a challenge & the Leafs a chance. That is all I have to say on the matter. Have a good day.”

  29. OneTimer says:

    You love it don’t you…

    Didn’t you say you’d leave for good?

  30. RetroMikey says:

    And you should be called BonerHabits.


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

  31. PeterD says:

    5 on 5 we are playing well…BUT…we need some natural scorers up front on our top two lines…

    I hate to say it, but with the number of chances Gionta, Cammi, AK, Eller and Pouliot get we should be getting more rubber behind the goalies…

    Giaonta may be one of the highest volume shooters inthe league…but that really isn’t doing much except helping the goalies stay focused and get into the game…we need some scorers that naturally find the back of the net more than the goalie in front of the net…

    Easy to say I guess…but not so easy to do in this league…boy I miss the old days of Lafleur, Bossy, Gretzky, Lemieux… where is our sniper???

  32. HardHabits says:

    You should call yourself RetardMonkey.

  33. HardHabits says:

    It’s like trying to explain evolution to creationists. Gomez’ contract is Adam and Eve.

  34. RetroMikey says:

    We need to start swapping.   

    Our smurfs up front and aged Dmen are going to feel the pinch as the season progresses.

    We are starting to see the leaks.

    Don’t expect the same playoff run as we had last spring with the roster we have.

    Bring down Subban and Webber to Hamilton for more seasoning and call them up before playoff time if they are ready for the big show.

    We need to score more and not be intimidated by bigger teams which has been our weakness.  It will show signs when we play Philly and Boston this week.

    Gauthier has to act quickly before other tems want to start trading.  I’d look into dealing with New Jersey fto grab Travis Zajac, a big tall CMan who can score or grab a guy from FLorida in D Dennis Wideman, who plays a sound defensive game and does block alot of shots.

    It’s in the hands of what Gauthier wnt to do this club if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs.




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

  35. BC HAB says:

    Forgot to mention that the first Auld goal was a shit goal. Gotta stop that.

  36. showey47 says:

    maxpac scores again,awesome.

  37. FormalWare says:

    Well-written post! I hope to read more from you, noble Jedi!

  38. RetroMikey says:

    Seriousfan09’s solution:

    Sit back and relax like Gumby or Pokey and do absolutely nothing and rah rah rah the team.

    My 92 year old gradmother can move the puck and play defensively, can Subban or Weber?

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

  39. twocents says:

    Okay Mickey, since Boston, Washington, Detroit and Pittsburgh have lost to T.O. what’s your advice to them? Same deal? Start swapping?

  40. HardHabits says:

    That 8 million dollar contract is not going anywhere. Gomez is one of 4 top 6 forwards the Habs have. Come playoff time he’s worth every penny.

    You people need to seriously get over the contract. Gainey made the move for reasons that exceed simple dollars and cents.

    What I can’t stand anymore is all the people who constantly say the Habs would be better off without Gomez whereas the truth is the exact opposite.

    Veteran leadership come play-off time from a perennial play-off performer is valuable and very much needed by this team.

  41. twocents says:

    Agreed, except where depth is applied to defence. I think the team’s play without Markov has proven the depth it has on D. That the team dressed 7 D in Markov’s absence, only strengthens that point and conversely underlines the point of questionable depth at the forward positions. 

    Jason Arnott, Patrick Elias, Jamie Langerbrunner or Brian Rolston anyone? The Devils will be sellers due to their poor performance and the return of Parise and his cap hit. Their players can easily slip into Martin’s system and three of those mentioned are former teammates of a couple of our vets. The forth is well known to the ever-present Bob Gainey.

    Seems like a fit to me, though Elias and Rolston would be more than rentals and perhaps hard to fit in beyond this year.

  42. BC HAB says:

    Every good team has a bad stretch once in a while. People just need to relax a little. Heck before the detroit game, detroit had lost 3 in a row. No need to worry yet. I still like this team.

    Having said that, I believe the refs missed 2 obvious penalty calls against the waffle leafs.

  43. Jbird says:

    I just got back from a meeting in the Miami area and stayed at a lower budget beach side Days Inn in Sunny Isles, Florida.  Never though I’d see a Habs game.  Now way.!?!?! But alas! I Walked into the ‘Montreal Bar and BBQ’, which was the Hotel bar, and RDS was permanently on.  Seems as though the most cheesy Quebecois senior citizens really do flock down there.  They were not the best Habs fans – but it’s a staple to go along with the poutine and the bottles of beer they serve with very small glasses.

    2) Ideal having Price starting Vs. the leafs – but he really is needed more in Detroit the night before you would think.  Too bad for the schedule being so tricky.  But he needs to play vs the Maple Craps.  And Gomez in valuable. Period. As crazy as that sounds.  I don’t really feel like debating this obvious point.  Clear as day. 

  44. SeriousFan09 says:

    RM’s Solutions Table:

    Make a Trade

    Send our defencemen who can move the puck to Hamilton



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  45. showey47 says:

    I agree, we are rarely being outplayed. We are giving up less shot/game then we did last year. We are also taking more shots on goal per game then giving up. This alone is a real indicator how well the team has played  since we are among the league leaders in being shorthanded and in the bottom 5 for powerplay oppurtuniteis. The powerplay has improved drastically from the beginning of the season,moving from last to 14th. What we lack now is PP oppurtunities.

  46. RetroMikey says:

    I’ll make this short and sweet.

    If the team cannot come to TO and play a full 60 minites of dominationg hockey aginst the Laffs, well you’ve got problems and have to address the problems in the dressiing room and via a hockey trade.  The sooner the better.


    And to quote Ken Holland:

      “I don’t like
    to move young players into the NHL too quick … let them play in the
    AHL and learn to be pros.” “Our team is very structured, and if you
    don’t fit into the structure, you don’t play.”

    Perhaps a lesson to Gauthier who needs to do something with Weber and Subban?  IMO, not ready for primetime in the NHL.

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

  47. Aybara says:

    Hughson really needs to go back to NHL 2006 where his dialogue is set and his bias can’t shine through.

    “He had his pocket picked!”

    “Oh there’s the wrist shot!”

  48. Chris says:

    My two cents:

    Have to disagree with you on the “overachieving” label, Mike.  An overachieving team is typically a team that wins more than its share of games despite being outplayed by a significant margin.  I would argue that this team has not be outplayed very often at all this season. 

    I think the Habs have established, both through their play last year in the playoffs and through the beginning of this season, that they are at least a good team.  If the power play would ever wake up, the Habs have the potential to be a very good team,  This does not mean that I think they are an elite team, quite yet.  They haven’t played the Capitals yet, They are 1-1 against the Flyers, and have won their only meetings thus far with Pittsburgh, Boston and San Jose while losing their only meeting against the Red Wings.  As the team starts to accumulate more games played against the teams shaping up as the elite teams in the conference, we’ll have a much better idea of where the Habs stand.

    As for Subban, he’ll be fine.  He’s probably a bit on edge about making mistakes, and he probably should be.  But he’ll get his confidence back in no time.

    The listlessness of the past couple of games demonstrates the issues the team has when it is forced to play its players out of their designated roles.  The team’s depth is obvioulsy still a bit of an issue, so we’ll have to see if Gauthier does anything about it.

  49. Bob Barker says:

    Exactly. Both of Toronto’s goals were pretty weak. It’s not like they dominated. I’m pretty sure the Habs deserved more than one powerplay also….

    As for Subban, I think it’s expected for him to have ups and downs throughout the season. Consistency is almost always an issue for young d-men. 

  50. PureGuava says:

    “Gomez?” PureGuava screamed in his best Jim Mora voice. “You’re talking about Gomez?”


  51. olematelot says:

    I’m with you on the Hughson thing, never liked his game calling, CBC made a big mistake when they chose him over Chris Cuthbert.

  52. PureGuava says:


    I see a team that couldn’t catch a break against the best team in the league on Friday, and outplayed by a wide margin in the third period in their opponets building.

    I see a team that had nothing left in the tank against the worst team in the league – Toronto, but miraculously came within a hair of winning the game anyways.

    I see a team that needs to flush an 8 million dollar contract, add a top 6 forward, add a depth defenseman, and either get young PK playing within a team structure, or trade him away for something of value – I don’t want to see a PK vs Weber situation this year…I can’t take another ‘Price / Halak’ Saga.

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.” – Robert Anton Wilson

  53. RiverviewCanadien says:

    In Hickey’s Gazette article, Subban is quoted “The game feels really fast, too fast. They’re going 100 miles an hours and it’s like my feet are in cement“.

    Really, he misses 3 games, and all of a sudden it is too fast? That……..worries me.

  54. olematelot says:

    You’re either stuttering or repeating yourself over and over, get some new material, this is getting old

  55. Graves says:

    Long time lurker – I’m talking 2007-2008 vintage – first time poster. Go easy on me!

    Before I throw in my two cents on the game, I have to confess something
    I never in a million years thought I’d say: I miss Bob Cole. Hughson was just
    awful last night. The Leafs bias shone through worse than ever, and he lacks
    Cole’s presence and charisma to boot. Yes, the quality of Cole’s broadcasts has
    been on the decline for years, but man, did he ever have some great calls.
    Hearing him exclaim, “Oh, baby! What is going on in Pennsylvania?” during the
    series against the Pens last year is something I’ll remember for years.

    As for the game itself… Well, needless to say, it was ugly. The Habs
    played terrible hockey and, as a result, lost to a terrible team. The men in
    stripes certainly didn’t help matters – how MacArthur charges twenty-odd feet to
    engage Spacek in a fight and doesn’t get tagged with an instigator is beyond me
    – but the Habs were sleepwalking for the majority of the game anyway.

    Speaking of, the team’s reaction – or lack thereof – to MacArthur’s “truculence”
    is what really concerns me coming out of this game. When some clown on the
    Leafs takes down one of your top-pairing defensemen and continues throwing
    punches when he’s clearly down and out and your collective reaction is complete
    indifference, it’s incredibly deflating. Reminded me of what happened after
    Denis Gauthier’s cheap shot on Gorges last year. My kingdom for a Milan

    The one positive I took from last night was the reunited
    Cammalleri-Plekanec-Kostitsyn line. The times they were out on the ice together,
    they looked every bit as dangerous as they did at the beginning of the season. I
    hope Martin keeps them together for a while longer. I’d give the Gomez-Gionta
    combo another chance when Gomez returns from injury – forget about their
    combined October slump and start over again with a clean slate. It could prove
    to be just as futile as before, but there’s always a chance they’ll rekindle
    some of the chemistry they had last year.

    On the whole, I don’t think last night’s loss is worth anyone getting
    their panties in too much of a twist. Yes, the team sucked, and yes, it was
    embarrassing, but guess what? They’ll come out firing on all cylinders against
    the Flyers on Wednesday after Martin rips them all a new one, and, more
    importantly, Price will be back in net.


  56. habsruleworld says:

    please stop posting, you are a moron

  57. HardHabits says:

    Your posts never cease to amaze me in that they are so persistently stupid.

  58. PrimeTime says:

    I was going to post another comment to those who think we would be better off with Gomez but there really is no point in doing so. Your minds weren’t changed in last years debate and the it’s not going to be changed in this years. The same people also think that PK should be able to do whatever he wants because he is a ‘star”. Heh Heh. Maybe someday you will understand that this is a team that is successful by the sum of its parts….not individual players or their stats. Each makes each other better when they play as a team. Perhaps that’s the concept you just can’t your heads around. 

    Many of you you probably didnt see the great Hab teams play in the 70’s. Yes many of those players became legends with many HHOF inductions but you know what….each became better players because of one another, not as individuals. Sure, players like Lafleur stood out more than others but if he played for the Leafs back then do you think he would hold the same stats?? Do you think really Cournoyer’ Lemaire, Shutt would have made other teams contenders on their own?? Not a chance. The teams were great because they were great TEAMS coached by a master who would not let anyone of them play outside the team system. There were many star players back then….Perrault, Dionne, Makita, Ratelle, Clarke, Espo, Orr, etc…but the Habs ruled the roost because they were a better TEAM.

    Perhaps a better example for your generation are the Oilers. They had Gretz, Mess, Anderson, MacTavish and others but who won a cup after their main ‘star’ was traded??? Although they were much improved after a couple of years, the Kings din’t win it all but the Oilers did without Gretzky. 

    So please open your minds past ‘star’ players because we don’t have them. Gomez, “our highest paid player” is not Ovie, Sid, or Stamkos and never will be. PK will not win us a cup on his own this year or any other year. But each player is a key ingredient to this TEAM. Hopefully some year soon we will win the Cup and then the key contributors will be the ‘stars’ that you all desparately seem to want. But none of them will win it on their own here or anywhere else.


  59. twocents says:

    I don’t disagree with a lot of what you are saying. I see it myself and it’s a big factor. His game has a big impact on Pleks’s line and the team as a whole. But, I’ll boil this down to its essentials even more.

    When the team sucks, Gomez usually sucks too. He still brings his particular game, but it’s less effective. He gains the zone and gives it away, or worse, tosses an errant pass that results in a fast transition for the opponent. He doesn’t swim against the tide or more accurately hasn’t much this season. He did last year and in the playoffs.   

  60. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Your opinion is far from reality. 

  61. habguy says:

    I wish people would realize that habs so far this season, have overachieved.

    yes they won some games, but the majority of their wins were vs non playoff teams.

    at the beginning of the season , habe were picked for 8th place, no more.

    taking a look at their lineup, they’re an 8th-9th place team.

    lack of scorers, old defencemen.

     c’mon take a look at reality!

    what’s happening now, happens every year at this time. the team begins it’s annual meltdown.


     because they’re not that good, and now with the schedule beginning vs playoff teams, the real habs are appearing.

    this team is mediocre, and nothing more.

    just a dose of reality.

  62. habguy says:

    not about Gomez.

    he has 2 goals, and ano show most nights.

    please get a grip on reality!

  63. habguy says:

    habs have overachieved.

    they are a mediocre team, 8th place finish at best.

  64. Chris F says:

    I’m sick of losing to the leafs. I suppose our record may be .500 but that is pathetic. The leafs are terrible. Phil Kessel? C’mon, somebody hit that guy! Clarke f***ing McArther (spelling? who cares) takes out one of our D, and nobody does a damn thing.

    If anyone watched the Flyers leafs game -I did because I love to see the leafs lose- they noticed that other teams do not allow the leafs to push them around. This leaf team had nothing going for them, they had food tossed at them last game for Christ’s sake. And our team let them off the mat and basically said here you go, take a home win on Saturday Night, in front of your fans and the entire Country. Man, if JM can’t get his team ready to play against this team it doesn’t look good. This should have been 4-1 Habs easy. Auld looked absolutely terrible on the first two goals. Brutal.

    Give Desharnais a shot, I agree with the comments about Cammy too, he’s not right, without Plekanecs he’s hot going to get it done, period. Gomez just can’t get him the puck. He needs to be fed, Plekky can do it, JM actually made this adjustment last night. Desharnais can play, he can pass, and he can score. Bring up Ryan White too, he’s not a wimp. I like Pyatt, and I realise he kills penalties, but we need some strength.

    One goal against this excuse for a hockey team? Pathetic!

    I’m positive when the team plays hard. Last night was embarassing, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to get their heads checked.

  65. HardHabits says:

    I certainly don’t lump you in with “the intangibles” crew.

    My point was that if Gomez was there the team suck quotient might have not even existed due to the fact that his shifts would’ve taken time off of the other forwards. The suck factor was largely due to fatigue.

    I can point to a game where his being placed with Pyatt and Lapierre changed the course of the game and allowed Plex the space to pop one in, and that was versus San Jose.

    It’s a complex equation playing a team game. A player of Gomez’ calibre’s absence is huge. He would’ve made a difference in the last two games not in any impact explosive way but more in a subtle persistent constantly keeping your opponents back on their heels type of way.

    The Habs can afford Markov’s loss because they have a team defense system and had 8 defensemen (before the OB trade), they still have a bit of depth. I don’t see Spacek’s injury as a need to start testing the trade market.

    Missing Gomez however opens up a glaring hole at a position that has been weak for the Habs for like 20 years and that is at centre. Take the fact that Gomez is only 1 of 4 actual bonafide top 6 forwards the Habs have and the hole becomes a gaping wound.

  66. Les-Habitants says:

    Lots of negatives from last game.

    Here are the positives that I saw:

    Like the chemistry when Plek/Cammy/Andrei were together.  Seemed to wakeup both Andrei And Cammy.  Plek was his usual self

    Lars Eller and Benoit Pouliot.  Both have played great all season long.  If Gomez is still out, Gionta should be put on that line, as Lars Eller fits the mold of a top 6 center better than Halpern does.  If Gomez is back, I think Benoit Pouliot deserves a chance to be with G&G again.  Moen just isn’t good enough.

    The D had a weak outing in general, but I thought Weber played well in the pinch.  Would prefer to see Hammer/Subban, Picard/Weber though.

    Big week ahead.  Got to file this one away and forget it.  I don’t know what it was about last night, we couldn’t do a pass, a play – anything, without it getting messed up.  It’s an 82 game season, and sometimes you lay an egg.  The only solution is to make sure we hammer Philly and the Bruins.


  67. Arrow77 says:

    I don’t like what happened the last two games but it’s no time to panic either: playing poorly for two games in a row isn’t the end of the world!

    A few quick thoughts:

    – I know some people are pissed about it but P.K. really needed to be benched. He’s been playing poorly for a while and for an offensive d-man, he doesn’t seem to know what to do in the offensive zone. His shot is all over the place and he doesn’t know when to pinch and when to stay back. I understand why the coaches were in love with his natural talent but now it’s time to come back to earth and start teaching him his position.

    – Weber seems readier to play in the big league but not as a forward. There has to be a forward in our system that plays the position better than a natural defenseman.

    – It’s gonna take a lot more than two games before I start missing Gomez. Halpern isn’t a second line center but unless his wingers stop producing completely with him also, he’s gonna do better.

    – Unless he starts playing a little bit more frequently, we’ll have to count every game Alex Auld plays as a loss. I know he’s supposed to be prepared for long periods of inactivity but this is ridiculous. We all thought Price would play more game this year we never thought it woud be THAT often.

  68. WestHab says:

    I’m not so concerned about which players are available or who’s benched. Gomez would not have made the difference last night not even Markov if the team comes out sleeping and waiting for the other team to suck instead of pushing the issue to win.

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  69. twocents says:

    Yeah, Ian, Markov’s the one I was referring to.

    And I agree with you, they were bad last night.

  70. Ian Cobb says:

    OK, now I know who you meant. Markov

  71. Ian Cobb says:

    Correct Eric, I did not elaberate about my word LATELY which as you point out was last night.

    And the 3rd man that is injured is Markov? then I agree.

  72. twocents says:

    Ian , the chemistry and passion have been missing for exactly one whole game and one period the night before. And, this isn’t the first time this season that’s happened. There was plenty of creatively and passion in the second half of the Detriot game.

    And we have three players who can carry the puck well, the third is injured too.

    I think we are losing perspective here.



  73. twocents says:

    VancouverHab and HardHabits, I think you are misinterpreting my point last night about Gomez. I am not underestimating what he brings, he adds a whole other dimension and makes this team harder to play against, no doubt. With or without a high rate of production. But, my point is that this team is a TEAM and when they collectively play as poorly as they did last night, Gomez isn’t likely to change the result.

    I even said he would have made a difference in Detroit because the team woke up and started playing and he could have made the little difference we needed. Don’t lump me in with others who have no use for him or belittle his contribution as merely “intangibles”.

    I haven’t seen Gomez drag this team along and out of a possible loss once this season. He did last year at times, but not this year. He definitely contributes but his play has not been in the game changing category. I am not saying it can’t be, I am saying it hasn’t been this year.

    I actually think this is a strength of this team that they need to play well as a group. There’s no more waiting for Koivu or Kovy to make the difference. They know they all have to contribute and very regularly that’s been the case. Sure a few games have been won largely based on Price’s performance, but he’s the only player I think you can legitimately make the statement about. Some could argue Pleks on a few nights, but even then I see him feeding off the team play. Price is the only one who can seem in a whole other zone even when his team is misfiring.

    Can you point to a game where there was a poor team performance and Gomez lead them to victory this year? Has he valiantly swam against a heavy current of suck and made it upstream once this year?  


  74. Ian Cobb says:

    In a 30 team league, this is where we place, compared to last weeks position.




    Goals Against— 61, We are in   2nd place.   Last week we were in   2nd place, with 53.

    Total Points—– 38, We are in   5th place.    Last week we were in   4th  place. with 36.

    Goals For——– 78, We are in 17th place.    Last week we were in  15th place, with 71.


    had better get this guy Gomez back soon, before things get ugly. Also
    the chemistry and passion has evaporated from our game lately.

    only two players that carry the puck through the neutral zone and into
    the offensive zone with speed and creativity are MIA.  One injured, the
    other is now off his game for showing to much passion and creativity.

  75. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    My feelings towards the Leafs have mellowed from hatred to pity, largely because of the realization that we don’t need to beat them anyway.  I’d rather a stinker against them than one against Detroit, Boston, Philly or Pittsburgh.


    Playing Toronto is a no win scenario, about as satisying as seeing MTL beat a Pee-Wee D team.

  76. Ian Cobb says:

    Some truth to what you are saying, PEI

  77. ProHabs says:

    I wanted to see the ACC littered with waffles so bad last night.

  78. ctony says:

    This is not Auld bashing, but Price stops one or both of
    those goals.  That means we’re not
    playing catch up and the outcome might have been different.  It shows the importance (reliance) that this
    team still has on outrageous goaltending. 

    Goaltending can overcome coming out flat in the first
    period.  It can overcome sub-par scoring (17th
    in GF, 20th in GF per game).  It can
    overcome coaches who insist on using our scorers against the other team’s top
    lines instead of using of using defensive players like Halpern and Pyatt.



  79. howtathor says:

    Boone, say what you want about JM but here you have a kid who was supremely confident in his abilities at every level he’s ever played and all of a sudden he’s being punished for being himself. I’m not surprised he was tentative last night. Here we have one of the only players on the team who can rush the puck from end to end and now he makes the safe sometimes fatal pass. The JM mantra is that of conformity and PK is not a conformist. To turn him into a robot would be detrimental to his career. He might as well just go back to school.If the payoff for being PK is being punished then what is left but an empty shell. As Bruce Springsteen said in Born in the USA ‘You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much, til you spend half you life just to cover it up’. I wouldn’t say this for Eller or MaxPac or any other rookie because in all of my years watching the Habs, I’ve never seen anyone as exciting to watch as PK Subban. Don’t kill his spirit JM!

  80. Big Ted says:

    +1. Precisely.

  81. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    Scary part of this debate is i see both sides being right.  PK needs to better choose his spots, but at the same time still needs a little length in his leash to be able to decide for himself when those times are.

    In my mind he’s a bit like a Mike Vick playing quarterback.  He has the skill to get by on to cover over his mistakes more often than not, and needs time to grasp some of the more subtle aspects of playing high end defense.

  82. matrags says:

    Subban  is beginning to show the wear of the bigs in montreal.As harrison said  hes overexposed and commercialized and needs to be handled with care.Is Martin the one to do it , I doubt it given his history with young players.I cringe to hear his bemoan the fact that the game is too fast , that his legs are gone. Imagine , that from a kid who was brimming with hutpah and playing big minutes to boot.I shake my head watching a kid burdened with a veterans responsibilities and minutes, shelved because he needed to be reigned in . Who gave him the long leash.,then yanked it hard when he ran with it.In a game built on conformity a kid like Subban can be broke, but be careful if you get what you wished for.

  83. Ian Cobb says:

    Team passion, fun and chemistry is not visable
    on the ice lately. Last nights game was over, right after the puck
    dropped, and we mailed it in.

    Sam Polack did not sleep well last night.!

  84. Big Ted says:

    Say what you want about PK, but the problem with Martin is not limited to him alone, and Pacioretty’s past interview is evidence of that. JM spends so much time trying to mould players to fit his own system that he completely ignores what their own individual attributes are. PK needs to skate and be creative and Martin is trying to stiffle that. What about Moen, whom Martin is continuing to place on a scoring line? Pouliot, who until last night, JM insisted on relegating to a checking line role? Martin is not playing to the strengths of his players and I have to believe that as a result, he’s not getting the most out of them.


    I completely agree that this team needs another player who can provide some offence, as we are entirely dependent on Tomas Plekanec. AK, Gionta, and Cammalleri are supposed to be our big 3 goal-scorers and each has had success with Pleks but failed miserably when taken off that line. It’s unacceptable to have players be so dependent on another for their success. These guys are veterans and they need to be able to generate offence by themselves. Yes, it would help greatly if JM didn’t insist on making it harder by playing them with Moen and Lapierre instead of giving them a real third linemate, but at a certain point the players need to be accountable for their lack of production when off the Pleks line. If Gomez isn’t able to go, I think DD needs to get the call for the next few games, even if they are against bigger teams. We can’t continue to stick Moen on the second line and call it an adjustment to the other team, we need to play our own game and center it around speed and tape-to-tape passing. The Flyers and Bruins are both beatable, but we need to get guys playing roles they should be playing. To me, that means getting DD and Pouliot up on the second line and Moen and Halpern back into the bottom half of the line-up where the match-ups are more favorable.


    So yes, it will help greatly if we get a level playing field instead of the terrible refereeing we got from Kowal and his buddies the last two nights (how 4 officials miss an attempted knee-on-knee, two flagrant high sticks, and numerous other cross checks, stick holds, and hooks after making weak calls early on against us is unbelievable), but we also need the players to be accountable for putting in 60 minutes a night and we need JM to start coaching to the strengths of this team. As I’ve said, it’s harder to knock a team when they’re winning but much of our success has come from two guys, Price and Plekanec, and that is much harder to suatain than a whole team effort. I think JM is lucky to have his guys where they are now but the team’s success is quite fragile because of how it has been generated and the first goal for the coaching staff needs to be (as it has the entire year) the creation of a second line that can score consistently and take pressure off of the coverage Plekanec is receiving.

  85. JF says:

    I don’t usually find much to say after a loss, since I see no point in bashing individual players or the coach. But it seems clear we weren’t ready for last night’s game, which perhaps isn’t surprising after the emotional, heroic, but ultimately futile third period against Detroit on Friday night.  Jacques Martin did not announce his starting lineup until about 5 o’clock, and I wonder if this was a mistake.  Did Weber not know until then that he would be starting on forward?  Did Alex Auld not know until then that he would be in goal?  Or had JM spoken to the players about the lineup, just not the media?

    Whatever the case, the whole team was out of sync, starting with Auld, who was clearly rusty.  After that disastrous first period, the players certainly gave a better effort, but I would have liked to see more bodies in front of Giguère.  With a bit more intensity and net-crashing, I think we could have gotten the tying goal and maybe escaped with a point.

    But the real worry is the tough back-to-back next week; I’m not even going to think about the rest of this gruelling month.  I’m afraid that, as is usually the case with even one extra day off, we’ll come out flat against Philly on Wednesday, something we certainly can’t afford especially if Spacek and Gomez are out. The only positive about next week is that both Philly and Boston will be on the second of back-to-back games when we face them.  This should give us a bit of an advantage over Philly and put us on even terms with Boston.

    I wish the team would be more forthcoming about the players’ injuries.  I’ve heard nothing about what Gomez’s problem is, and I don’t suppose we’ll be told more about Spacek than that he’s suffering from an injury to his upper or lower body.

    The officiating both last night and Friday was a joke.

  86. mrhabby says:

    i have no problem with PG going out and obtaining another dmen. We need one anyway given the contract status of some of these guys come July 1, 2010. Need more offence to by starting maxpac and then see what happens leading up to  the trade deadline. you can ge away with stuff in the regular season but playoffs are another thing. team still needs to add more pieces.

  87. matrags says:

    Subban has been burdened with too much responsibility and is being made to pay for it. He cannot replace ,nor should he be expected to ,Markov. Management is fooled by the teams early success in believing we can lose a Markov and it will not show up. Well it is , we have been a model of inconsistency for a month or more and a young kid cannot be expected to fill the void or blamed for his failure to do so.A young d men usually needs four or five yrs to develop into a compentent positional player demanding big minutes every game , Markov like minutes, yet we fool ourselves in believing that raw talent can somehow forgo the yrs needed to learn how to use it at the top level of the game.We need another veteran d men with offensive up side to replace Markov ,and to allow Subban time to hone his consederable skill at this level.If management does not move to fill the void then Subban should not be used as an excuse for that failure ,or the teams failure on the ice.

  88. matrags says:

    Finally , dont be fooled by the kids bravado , it is used sometimes to mask the insecurity that alot of rookies feel, expecially one in the petrie glass that is Montreal.

  89. The Teacher says:

    I have talked to a few people and we ALL do not understand why Price was not played against T.O. and Auld against Detroit. Gross mismanagement of goalies according to the schedule from my point of view.

  90. goat_007 says:

    Mismanagement of goaltenders? Are you drunk? Let’s do the math. Detroit best team in the west. Toronto 3rd worst in the league.  Now I understand the wings rolled in on a 3 game loosing streak but the wings never stay loosing for very long and against a great team like detroit PRICE gives you the best chance at winning and against the lowly leafs who ussually the habs can skate with and skate in to the ice, AULD would do just fine. Auld was rusty against the leafs, he would have look even worst with the likes of Datszuk, Zetterberg and the rest on the ice to light him up.

    The coaches made the right call on who to start. I wish he could but Price can’t start all 82 games. 

  91. Thrillhouse says:



    Not a single one of you can understand why, barring a case of extreme prescience, you would plan to play your #1 goalie against the #1 team in the West, and plan to use your backup goalie against the third-worst team in the league?

  92. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Sounds like a real mensa meeting you got going there.

  93. yvresgyros says:

    Hey good analysis by a Celebrity in Disguise.

    It’s not because you add a Jean before your name that we haven’t recognized you, Alice Cooper!

  94. JVF says:

    Uh, oh. Someone’s on to me…

    Let’s just hope that with all the injuries, this season doesn’t turn into “Welcome to my Nightmare!”

  95. RockinRey says:

    The larger problem is the Habs don’t score. Bottom line they manage just approx 2.5 goals a game. This is the bigger problem.

    When was the last time any one of the 4+ million dollar players had a truly dominant game? As for Pleks people were going on about him being in the running for the Selke. Who cares?  He is paid 5+ a yr and hadn’t scored for how many games? Its not too much to ask that he  can be both responsible defensively and productive….

    Go out and get a guy who’s sole job is to put the puck in the net. Your telling me the habs cant find anyone in North America that has truly gifted hands? The habs have to decide they are going to live with some defensive shortcoming for guys who can score with regurlarity . And no i dont mean Kovalev!!! Maybe someone who has great hands but works hard even if he is liability from time to time.

    The argument implying that if this 3 game sit has  affected PKs  confidence he may be more fragile than we thought is just lame. This whole game is about confidence and if it was that easy guys like Alfie, Kovulchuk and Pleks would not get into long draughts.

    I firmly believe sitting him was a mistake. Even when Richards started to criticize him i heard there were guys on the Habs that were looking at him funny with all the attention he has gotten.

    This guy should be allowed to be who he is- colourful, charismatic and skilled! As long as he does not embarass the team …. and the sweater.

    Switch up the philosophy . This team should be looking at getting the best seading for the playoffs and learning to play a couple of different ways. When down a goal you have to open it up and when you are up a couple you can be smart defensively. This is all necessary in case the circumstances call for it in the playoffs. Trapping when the game is tied or when you are behind is just plain ridiculous.

  96. JVF says:

    Thanks for the kudos. Now, should we talk about our new line combinations — Max-Pac, Gionta and… Pyatt? Cammalleri, Plekanec and… Moen? Halpern, Lapierre and… Kostitsyn?

    As the LLOSJ would say: “What in thunderation is going on here?”

  97. Ian Cobb says:

    Wrong page

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