About last night …


Late dispiriting bulletin: Scott Gomez goes to the next round.

Et si vous comprenez le français, here’s Ron Fournier’s take on the controversial goal.

At least Canadiens fans will have something to bitch about all summer long.
Actually, a few things:
On the sequence leading to Mika Zibanejad’s goal, why was the faceoff on the wrong side of the ice?
Why did the goal count if replays show Zibanejad’s left skate moving to redirect the puck?
Why weren’t two icings waved off late in the third period?
All leading to the fundamental question: Did the zebras screw the Canadiens out of a win that would have tied this series?

Chris Nilan routinely refers to NHL referees as “donkeys”.

The former Canadiens tough guy enlivens his very good TSN690 talk show by making “hee-haw” sounds any time the discussion turns to officiating.

Hockey probably has the worst officiating of any major sport.  From the whistles that are buried deep in referees’ pockets when the playoffs start to the guys whom Don Cherry dismisses as “failed referees” booting players out of the faceoff circle, there are a multitude of questionable calls that leave fans of one team or another feeling aggrieved.

But did officiating cost the Canadiens Game 4 … and probably any realistic hope of winning the series?

It wasn’t the refs who benched Alex Galchenyuk  for the final 10 minutes of regulation time – even though the rookie had scored his first goal of the playoffs and led the Canadiens with four shots on goal.

It wasn’t he refs who had Josh Gorges, Raphael Diaz and a severely hurting Brandon Prust on the ice for the final seconds of the game.

I don’t want to second-guess Michel Therrien.

The Canadiens’ coach has done a helluva job this season – up to and including having his team ready to play a great game 3 … for 40 minutes.

In his postgame remarks, Therrien said the Canadiens didn’t retreat into a defensive shell for the third period.

I dunno, it sure looked like vintage Jacques Martin lead-protection. The Canadiens didn’t have a shot on goal until the period was six minutes old and ended up being outshot 13-4.

At that, they held a 2-0 lead until there were only eight minutes left to play. Then the home team – who deserve credit for their refusal to quit – got a break and cranked up their game.

Galchenyuk watched it all from the bench. As did Gabriel Dumont, who had gone 6-0 on faceoffs while Tomas Plekanec was 10-17 and Jeff Halpern 7-11 – 4-12 and 2-7, respectively, in the defensive zone.

Through 80 minutes of third-period hockey in this series, Ottawa has scored nine goals. The Canadiens have ZERO. And this is a team that outscored opponents 50-33 in third periods during the regular season. Playing the up-tempo style that carried them to great success this season, maybe the Canadiens just run out of gas in the latter stages of playoff games.

Plus the team is beat up.

Having avoided serious injuries for most of the season, the Canadiens lost hard-hitting defenceman Alexei Emelin in Game 38. And they’ve been dropping like flies ever since.

Lars Eller, Brian Gionta and Ryan White were unavailable for Game 4. Max Pacioretty looks like he’s nursing something. And we won’t know until Wednesday – if then – whether Carey Price and Brandon Prust will answer the bell for the Thursday night game that may be the season finale at the Bell Centre.

The Senators know they’re dealing with wounded prey. Ottawa had 61 hits in Game 4 – including 10 by Chris Neil.

To their credit, every Canadien skater had at least one hit. But they can’t match Ottawa in terms of physicality.

And it’s frightening to contemplate how this undersized team would fare in a seven-game series against St. Louis, L.A. or Chicago.

The Canadiens’ postseason won’t include any games against the Western Conference – not this year, anyway.

Going forward, general manager Marc Bergevin and his staff – including Rick Dudley and Scott Mellanby, who weren’t shrinking violets during their careers – have to make the Canadiens bigger and tougher.

Look, I love skilled hockey and hate thuggery. But postseason NHL hockey is Game of Thrones on ice, a two-month, ruthlessly Darwinian war of attrition.

Game 4 did not slip away because the Canadiens were outmuscled. But the tying goal was scored with Brandon Prust injured and on his knees while Gorges and Diaz tried  to cope with a sea of red sweaters engulfing Price’s crease. 

There was a sickening sense of inevitability through the sequence that led to Cory Conacher’s goal. As they did through the final weeks of the season, Canadiens fans were just waiting for the other skate to drop.

And it did, resoundingly … with a thud that will echo until September.






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  9. rocket5050 says:


    May 9th, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Before the last game science predicted a habs win. Zoo Camel chose montreal to win. When offerred two hay handfuls, one by a bald rds announcer dressed in a habs sweater the camel chose baldies hay. Then the camel tried to eat the other guy’s hair, the fellow dressed in an ottawa sweater, but not thwe hay.

    In Ottawa, a walrus was offerred two fish. One each by 2 sports announcers, each dressed in a different sweater. The walrus gobbled up both fish at the same time and took a time out to prepare his harem of walrus ladies for tonite’s performance.

    At nhl headquarters in Toronto staff ate endangered species called nhl integrity for dinner and les m@udit anglais chose ottawa to win.

  10. Blondemon says:

    This guy at my office said Habs might be to Sens in the playoffs like the Sens are to the Leafs. I go to him, dude, we haven’t even lost 1 series to you guys, YOU GUYS LOST 4 SERIES TO LEAFS.

    This is the thing with Sens fans, they don’t care about winning, they just want to be able to say that they have the upper hand on somebody, anybody.

    ***Drive for 25***

  11. ceedee says:

    I’m a lifelong Bruins fan with no love for the Habs, but even I have to admit the Canadiens got jobbed last night. A clear kick in on the first goal and those icing calls in the final minutes were just brutal. I only wish the Canadiens fans would hold off on the “Ole, Ole, Ole” crap until the game is truly won. It’s obnoxious.

  12. Blondemon says:

    No offense, but even Diaz and Gorges should be able to handle Turris who got in Price’s grill for the 2-2 goal. No way a lightweight like that survives that long in front of any net in this league, except the Habs net, with dmen that don’t have the will to hurt.

    A cool, fearless rook like Tinordi would have cleared the crease.

    ***Drive for 25***

  13. Jdub1515 says:

    “In his postgame remarks, Therrien said the Canadiens didn’t retreat into a defensive shell for the third period….I dunno, it sure looked like vintage Jacques Martin lead-protection.”

    Boone, you hit the nail on the head … when will they learn with a small fast team, the best defense is offense? when????

  14. slimjim111 says:

    Trying to preserve a 2-0 lead in the playoffs while playing away was wishful thinking on the Habs part. Galchenyuk shouldn’t have been benched for the 3rd period…

    It certainly was the wrong thing to do, especially when he was one of the better players out there yesterday.

    Fingers crossed for game 5…

  15. Bill says:

    For everyone blaming Therrien for the loss: he couldn’t change his players after the icings because that is against the rules.

    • rocket5050 says:

      You missed the point BILLL. Therrien had the wrong players on the ice well before the icing calls.
      The point is prust was injured so playing him was damaging to both prust and the team. The habs cheapskate smurf approach to building defense is ok as long as substantitive size in defensemen is included as well.
      They had drewiske, paytern, tinordi and others available but the habs never developed and included larger defensemen sufficiently. Tinordi was not well enough developed yet going into the playoffs. He’s ok but not there yet cause the he was an after thought.

      Therrien kept his D pairings way too small for the playoffs and that scrum. An error he should have corrected. The pairing of diaz and josh was a train wreck against bigger ottawa players.

  16. Bill says:

    Stubbs tweets “no updates on injuries until this afternoon”

    Of course Therrien’s update will be limited to “lower body” or “upper body” injury, “they’re day to day”.

    So not really holding my breath.

    Price suffered a groin injury in training camp, and he’s been fighting it all year, seems obvious he really pulled it bad last night. Can’t see him starting Thursday.

  17. rocket5050 says:

    Excellent article. You have to be politically correct and restrain yourself to keep your job. I don’t.

    The habs had this game in hand. Therien blew it. The loss is his fault. Yes the game was affected by entirely corrupt heavily biased reffing (bigotry displayed by both on and off the ice officials) against them, dirty otttawa players, lazy hab players, and some bad bounces. But the habs overcame all of that untill therrien got dumb and dumber. What the habs could not overcome was therrien’s stupidity.

    The disastrous changes he made for the defensive shell of the third period. Wasting his timeout earlier in the game, pairing small defensemen, playing prust, rookie dumont had no idea how to defend in the final scrum by lollygagging alone high in the slot while his team got the cr@p beat out of them in the crease pinballing price . …. .I guess Dumont wanted the sen players autographs so he stayed back to get a good view while they scored.
    Prust essentially scored the sen’s tieing goal as the puck banked off his paralyzed body to the crease for an easy sen goal. This player had gone down in a heap of injured flesh earlier in the game and often needed attention on the bench. At the end of teh game what the h~ll was he doing on the ice? What the h~ll were 2 teeney smurf defensemen doing on the ice?

    As a habs fan I appreciate the miracle on ice Therrien accomplished when took a team in ashes and turned it into a winner. As a habs fan I am outraged that he blew everything he built with incredibly blatant stupidity visible from space in the last seconds of that game.

    When I saw his loser lineup for the final minute I said no here we ago again.

  18. newbrunswick troy says:

    i too see this the way it really is , the Habs are not a playoff team ,i love them to death but thats the truth. i still feel hopefull that Bergervin will get them there, but for now we cant blame the refs for the fact that this team just doesnt have the size to last a long series and the goaltending …wow Carey Price has a long way to go to prove his potential!! and even the coaching staff have some to learn.
    i hope the habs can pull out another win, buts lets be real ,this team is not going anywhere. not this year

  19. J_P says:

    You have to be lucky to good, but you have to be good to be lucky. Blame the officials all you want, but you make your own luck in life. Habs were up 2-0. The refs didnt hand the senators powerplays or penalty shots.

    You dont want to second guess Michel THerrien? Why not, I certainly do!

    Michel Therrien is very different then Jacques Martin, except for one CRITICAL similarity. Ice time is not distributed based on merit from current play. How many times this season has Galchenyuk been the habs best player and still only gotten his 10 minutes? Maybe Galchenyuk is a rookie, but he isnt exactly the type of guy sitting at the center line waiting for break out pass. He back checks, he grinds it out on the boards, he plays hard every single shift.

    Therrien is benching his rookies, while Maclean is showing his rookies confidence and putting them in key situations. Thats why Mclean will probably win the jack adams, and why Ottawa is most likely going to beat the habs in this series.

    Even if the habs lose this series, it was a successful season. Bergevin has restored respectability to this franchise, and hopefully he will learn from this playoff run, and realize that the habs need SIZE to win in the playoffs, especially on the back end.

    The only knock I will give Bergevin is signing desharnais to a 4 year extension at 3.5 million per season. I wonder how he feels about that now… The guy has been completely invisible in this series. The habs are already small, and with three natural centers in Galchenyuk, Plekanec and Eller, where does Desharnais even fit in? Why rush to sign him to that extension? NOT ONE TEAM IN THE NHL would have given desharnais that type of money and term.

    My rant aside (it made me feel better), the Habs can still win this series, but they will only win if they play their game, and play it for 60 minutes. NO EXCUSES! Go habs Go!

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Tomorrow Chris Lee will probably be reffing the game and if he gives the Sens 10 5-3 PPs, someone will surely tell us the next day something which starts like this: Blame the officials all you want…

      Blame the team and MT all you want but they got robbed yesterday.

    • The Jackal says:

      No, they handed them 2 goals, way easier than a PP or penalty shot.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  20. Bripro says:

    After last night’s goal by Mika Zibanejad, take a look at his face.
    There was no celebration on his part, contrary to their other goals, and he immediately looked up at the refs.
    He knew….

    • ndmartinxyz says:

      I said the same exact thing. You can tell from his celebration that he thought the goal was no good. His intention was clear – he kicked it in. Doesn’t excuse the loss, but does support that the refs played a major role in the comeback.

    • HabsFaninTO says:

      The other clue that the goal should not have counted was the collective groan from Sens fans when the replay was first shown on the board during the review. I know I harped on that point last night, but it’s still painfully obvious.

      Habs were definitely screwed last night.

      Let’s face it…the NHL and Bettman do NOT want a Canadian team to win. Canucks are already out; Leafs will be out in a few days, as will be the Habs. Sens are next.

      A Habs fan I was born; a Habs fan I shall die.

  21. Frank2468 says:

    Tony Marinaro just had a conference call with Ottawa , and even the guys in Ottawa said maybe it shouldn’t have counted the first goal. If it was O.T it would have been called back or If it was in Montreal it’s no goal. So it seems close calls go the way of the home team.

  22. Bill says:

    Ed: I dunno if it’s interference. But maybe that’s more the fault of inconsistent refereeing … I can’t tell the difference between what they call goalie interference and what they don’t. But I wasn’t expecting them to call it interference based on what I’ve seen lately.

  23. Bill says:

    I also don’t think the Sens will have an easy time putting the Habs away, and you shouldn’t either!

  24. Bill says:

    I know I’m not the only one who feels that the 1st goal was actually very borderline, and has been called a goal all year and last. I am not surprised it counted and I’m not upset about it.

    As for the second, I don’t see Turris bump Price, and it was just one of those flukey goalmouth scramble goals. Not upset about that either.

    And you can’t blame Budaj. He came in cold and it deflected off Diaz. Pure bad luck.

    The Habs played well enough to win even if they backed off in the third. They didn’t get the breaks. Strong game from a really hurting team. Still proud of this team!

    • ed says:

      Bill, Turris does NOT have to bump Price.

      Turris is not allowed to affect Price’s movements as a goalie within his crease.

      That’s the rule. And that’s why it’s interference.

      69.1 Interference on the Goalkeeper

      Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal;

      • SmartDog says:

        This would absolutely be the case if they were using the rulebook. They weren’t clearly. End of story.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • SmartDog says:

      Good post Bill.

      Robbed or not, the team played well. I find myself thinking about next year… but that’s the way it ends most years.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I have to agree with your analysis of the first goal. IMO it was not a strong enough motion to warrant the call being overturned. If the refs had initially ruled an invalid goal, I think the reviewers would also have been forced to support that call.

      I think Les Boys are pretty well wrung out with all of the injuries, but I expect them to give their best on Thursday, regardless. They’ve had a pretty good year with a team that shouldn’t be all that strong IMO.

      Although the Galchenyuk TOI us frustrating (not to mention DD although I have no problem with his play last night), the team, rightly or wrongly, has had a plan, and they have stuck to it.

  25. Saintpatrick33 says:

    Has anyone here actually been robbed? I have and you feel violated which is exactly what I feel right now. I wouldn’t feel so angry if we were beaten on the ice fair and square but we were screwed so badly.

    I’d like to believe that this league is on the up and up and that games aren’t fixed but it felt to me that the fix was in and I knew it once I saw Tim Peel was reffing. This guy along with Chris Lee screws the Habs every chance they get. As if the missed calls weren’t enough they screwed us on the first “goal” by the sens. There is no f’ing way that was a goal. Then there was the issue with the face off being on the wrong side and all the interference Price got on the tying goal.

    I love this game and I love the Habs but I despise this league with a passion. I don’t mean to come off as a conspiracy theorist and a whinny sore loser but I’m really f’ing pissed.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I´ve been robbed once. That was in Paris in 1999 btw and yes, it pretty much feels the same.

      Anyway, the league really is a joke. It starts with some ridiculous rules like:

      – the delay of game penalty
      – 2+2 when there´s blood even after an totally inadvertently high stick

      Then there are average refs, bad refs, very bad refs and Chris Lee + Tim Peel.

      And then there are ridiculous bans after the most brutal fouls. The majority of these things would be easy to fix. Just one example: You want less head injuries? Get rid of plastic pads and if someone is out with a concussion after a hit to the head: Ban the culprit for as long as the injured player is out. Easy and fair.

      There are so many more points of course but the NHL just doesn´t care. I personally won´t care anymore once the Habs are out. So no more NHL hockey for me this season (probably after tomorrow), not even the finals.

  26. ed says:

    I still say we played “our” game last night and it should have been a win. I was extremely impressed for the first 40 minutes, then we killed off Subban’s penalty to start the 3rd, and we didn’t play that badly in the 3rd either –

    look, Ottawa was pressing us with everything they had to get those goals; faced with that kind of pressure, it stands to reason that we will not be able to hold our game plan at 100% efficiency and effectiveness.

    I believe that as a ref I would not have called that 1st goal a goal on the ice. I would have waved it off – but that’s me watching on TV. So they go to the guys who get the benefit of slow motion replay and they don’t see a distinct kicking motion? Man, that’s B.S.

    The 2nd goal was goalie interference, and further down you can find Comandant’s link which proves exactly that.

    So do I believe we can win this series?

    Well, I believe we have outplayed these pukes 3 out of 4 games.

    So if we can win game 5…………there is always hope until we are dead.

  27. jols101 says:

    New thread.

  28. Kooch7800 says:

    Why doesn’t anyone complain about the 2nd goal when Turris was in the crease and bumped Price? That shouldn’t have counted either

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  29. savethepuck says:

    Instead of debating whether or not Ottawa’s first goal was a “distinct kicking motion” or not, why doesn’t the NHL change the rule. This definition is stupid, it does not guarantee that the right call will be made. If 10 people look at the video, you will not have all 10 agree whether or not there was a “distinct kicking motion”. That tells me the rule needs to be changed. Why not just change it to “off an offensive skate”. There would then never be any question whether or not a puck goes off an offensive skate, and I doubt with video they would ever get a single call wrong.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • ebk says:

      They used to have that rule, it was even dumber than this one. I like the rule as it is now, just think they made the wrong call. It happens.

      • savethepuck says:

        I still think the way it is worded now, it leads to definite inconsistency. A ruling should not be an opinion if it doesn’t have to be. With the quality of video review now, if it was simply “off an offensive skate”, there would never be a mistake, because it would be clear on a video.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

    • Ron in Ottawa says:

      Shades of MT 1st time around with the Habs. Playing the Hurricanes, the habs get caught icing the puck. a bunch of tired players on the ice. their centre gets waived out of the faceoff. they lose the face off and Carolina scores. end of the series. End of the dream.
      I have really admired MT this time around, although I had my doubts when he was picked by MB. but I think he is getting out coached by the Walrus and some of his decisions last night did not make since: keeping Chucky on the bench in the third; having a very wounded Prust on the ice; and on we could go. I don’t think the series ends tomorrow but to keep it alive the habs need to play their game for 60 minutes; not 45 minutes of the new plan and 15 minutes of Jacques Martin.

  30. Chuck says:

    There WILL be a game seven… and the Habs WILL prevail.

    X 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  31. CalgaryHab says:

    Ottawa has been very lucky this year when it comes to etchn’ out wins and last night was evident of that – eventually the clock strikes midnight and for the sens that will most likely be in the 2nd round. The Habs are battered and bruised from this condensed season and need some time to mend. (who would have guessed Emelin created so much space)
    I think we’re very close. If Markov stays off skates until training camp we can maybe get a good 3/4 to a full season from him. I would like to see MB land another hard hitting but responsible dman (to compliment Emelin, PK and eventually Tinordi) opposing teams will be incredibly hesitant entering the zone. Also, a decent sized power forward that can score 15-20 goals – someone with an edge like Patches had before Chare failed to murder him.
    The Habs have a bright future with just a couple weak spots, with a few tweaks, they’re going to be serious contenders.

  32. durocher says:

    Anyone have video of MB giving it to Bill McCreary?

  33. HankHardball says:

    1st round playoffs 3yrs ago. Game 7 against BOS. About 3mins left, Habs up by a goal. Over the shoulder stick pass to Kelly, who spears Hamrlik and goes onto score. No call. BOS wins in OT.

    Last night Zibanejad’s skate was moving toward the net. He turned the blade which deflected the puck into the net instead of just stopping it. No way that goal should’ve been allowed.

    However, what’s done is done. Unlike the BOS series, this one is not over yet. The Habs outplayed OTT in 3 of the 4 games. They have to keep playing their game. All the way to the end and close it out.

    Habs can still win this series.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      When I saw the replay of that goal last night I said there’s no way that will count.

      When Karlsson dogged it and slowed down I said there’s no way they’ll call that icing.

      Shows what I know I guess?

      “It’s frightening to contemplate how this undersized team would fare in a seven-game series against St. Louis, L.A. or Chicago..”

      –Mike Boone

  34. icky pop says:

    Ensuring not enduring. This iPhone ruins so many posts.

  35. icky pop says:

    We don’t need to get bigger. We need to play bigger. Gally B plays bigger. Can’t all the other guys that are bigger than him play like him? Gally A was even playing big last night. He looked as though he was tryin to fill ellers skates. Before the series even started, I didn’t think we would make it past the first round. If only the refs werent enduring this to happen. This isn’t a knock on the team. I just don’t see them as contenders just yet. they made the playoffs, and that is more than i expected out of the year. but they won the division, and almost the conference, if it wasnt for the late season slump. I love the direction the team is headed. Tinordi looks great out there considering he will still be a rookie next year. Lets hope he puts on 20 pounds over the summer, which I’m sure he will. Emelin will be healthy again next year, which means we have two big dmen who I hope are coached to clear prices kitchen. Price shouldn’t have to be doing that while trying to track pucks. The swarm system we play works when the players do, but you can’t be on all the time. When we aren’t having a good game, price gets hung out to dry. It’s a team system, where all the players look bad when its not going their way. Price lets in some soft ones, but he isn’t as bad as the bad games suggest. Ryder is gone next year, and so is kaberle, opening 8 mil on the cap. We will get another big forward to help prust out. Who knows, maybe MB can land clowe in the off season. I’d over pay for him. With Quebec taxes, the team has to overpay anyways. I wish DD would play like he did before his contract, and I think he will. Just remember, we were third worst in the league last year. We had the fourth best record in the league this year, and this is the first year of the overhaul. Trades will be made. Look for markov to be gone if MB thinks bealieau is ready to come up, which I believe he is. Borque is playing how we all hoped he would. I’d like to say trade gio, but I don’t think MB will trade the captain. Besides, I like gio. He takes a lot of guff here, but he always plays hard, and if you are building a character team, you don’t trade the captain. I said in a previous post that Eller will be a solid third line center, but I see him being our number one center. I see such promise for the future, and making the playoffs this year is just the start. A good moral boost for a team that couldn’t do anything last year. Give this team three more years, and we will have something to be proud of.

  36. SmartDog says:

    Great article Mike.

    Makes me slightly better about this awful series where we’ve been robbed almost every game. Once by a hot goalie, once by a horrible hit, and last night by terrible refs.

    When will the NHL get its head out of its ass.

    Why do we let our enthusiasm for the game shout out our sense of disgust at the league’s inability to improve player safety, fairness, and reffing?

    It’s because we’re Canadians. Americans wouldn’t put up with the CRAP we do. If the football or basketball refs were this terrible, Americans would trash the stadiums.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Bripro says:

      Which is why the NFL is lining it’s self up for a massive lawsuit for ignoring concussion issues for years.
      Incompetence isn’t limited to the NHL.

      • ebk says:

        nope, but I will give the NFL credit, they don’t have different interpretations of the rules, depending on what quarter the game is in. A penalty is a penalty, no matter when it happens.

        In the NHL, you never know what might be called and when.

    • Luke says:

      Hey the NBA actually had a ref fixing games…
      Soccer is a mess with match fixing and gambling rings…
      MLB has umps who love to fight with players and managers…

      and yet, they aren’t as bad as the NHL’s refs who just aren;t very good at their jobs.
      What’s a penalty 12minutes ago, isn’t a penalty now. Or vice versa. They’ll kick a guy out of a faceoff for putting his stick down too slowly, but they’ll let his replacement line up illegally, and won’t do anything because he doesn’t want to assess a penalty.

      The refs “putting the whistles away” has the same effect on the game as the refs calling every little penalty. Except when the whistles are away the team that cheats most benefits most.

      Let’s put it this way:
      It’s 100% illegal to flip a puck out of play (I agree with this) and they call it right 99% of the time. It is illegal to touch a puck immediately after a faceoff with your glove.

      BUT: a cross-check or an elbow to the head is a judgement call.


      But this is a league that advocates bare knuckle fighting on a solid ice sheet.

      Player safety isn’t exactly a concern…

  37. krob1000 says:

    The technology is there…why can all major sports not use it better? How that goal was allowed to count is beyond me. REferees, umpires and other forces are impacting too amny outcomes. I see too many hockey games swayed by discretionary calls or non calls, different rules for playoffs vs season, different rules on a given night vs the next, calls made even by the vidoe judges that defy logic…this is not exclusive to hockey…they are still people. Hockey and football in recent years have been marred by horrfiic calls, the NBA is horrible…some guys never get a foul call and others are allowed 3 or 4steps and get a million calls, some pitchers have expanded strike zone…..one strike changes an entire at bat, which affects an inning which affects a game. It is not the only factor but can be a big factor.
    Do I think PEel and Lee are intentionally out to get the hAbs? no….not intentionally…but do I think they subconsciuosly dislike the Habs as the fans have given it to them for years and there has always been displeasure…sure do…..they are human.
    IF anyone thinks that because you put a striped shirt on a person means they are instantly a robot with no human factors entering their decision making process I cannot agree.
    There is no way…and I mean no way that goal would have counted if MOntreal had scored it. THe suspension system has been shown to repeatedly go back and forth depending on who a player is and what team he plays for or his marketability,etc. I doubt Gryba would have been suspended if he were Ovechkin.
    I mknow this rant is ill timed and comes off as a whiner baby rant…it is just that…but I have had enough. I have watched several Jays games this year where they fall behind in at bats becuase of calls that are not strikes…then I see the pitch locator graphic show the same pitch made by another pitcher and it is a ball. It is almost to the point where they should just count swigs instead of called strikes…and penalties in hockey are the same thing.
    That DD penalty early was a penalty….BUT…there were at least 3 OTtawa infractions before that…if any referee in the entire world can review last nights game and find only one infraction against the Senators he should lose his ability to referee. Why was the whistle put away? Could it have had something to do with the game before? headlines will read nice, great comeback in low penalty hockey game…what a great counter to the ugliness of the last one.

    This is a useless rant but I am more fired up today than I was watching the game…..I was with 3 Sens fans who all thougt it was no goal. Montreal is not the only team that is affected by this type of stuff…all teams are …the refereeing is atrocious…I realize it is the best we have under the current system..maybe the system needs the updating. An aerial referree…a mandatory tv timeout when a goal is being reviewd (they generate revenue and give time for correct decision to be made and they could reference past cases to at least have some consistency?)

  38. Frank2468 says:

    Tim Peel, Don Koharski and Chris Lee are the three stooges of NHL reffing

  39. TommyB says:

    So Michel Therrien says they did not sit back and try to defend the 2 goal lead for the last ten minutes. Well, I won’t dump on MT as he has done a very good job with the team this year…but holy crap, it sure looked like classic hang on to your hat lead protection to me for the last ten minutes.

    It actually almost makes sense to play that way. Given that the team is so banged up, with a two goal lead, why risk further aggravating injuries with vigorous forechecking. Might even be sound, tactically. But 10 minutes is a long time, and weren’t we all sitting there writing the script for what was to come? We’ve seen this movie many times before. I was so hoping and praying for just one more goal. That would have sealed it. Even if they had answered the first Ottawa goal with one of their own, they would have prevailed. But MT says they didn’t play that lead-protection game in the third period. We’ll take his word for it, though my eyes told me different.

    If this team wasn’t in such disarray healthwise, I might have the rose-colored glasses on and think they still have a chance, but I know better. They came a long way this year towards being contenders. Still have some work to do. Nothing to feel real bad about here.

    • Luke says:

      Sometimes it’s what the other team is doing that forces their hand. Last night the Sens were piling it on. I think that was more responsible for it than an actual coaching decision.

      It was all they could do, just hold on, because they couldn’t organize themselves o0r create any sustained kick-back to break the waves of Ottawa attack.

      Brutal reffing doesn’t help either, but its brutal reffing all over this league.

      • johnnylarue says:

        Yup. Fatigue must have had a little something to do with it, too.

        As the broken record has been cawing for years: the Habs need to get bigger. The playoffs don’t like small players.

      • TommyB says:

        There is definitely reality in what you are saying, but too many times the Habs dumped the puck in and failed to go in forechecking. It was consevative play, and that was not what got them to the dance this year.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Benching one of your best offensive forwards (Chucky) for most of the third period is TEXTBOOK defensive shell/lead protection.

      I’m not gonna rag on Therrien either–it’s clear he’s doing his best out there and cares a lot about his team. People make mistakes. But let’s not kid ourselves–by sitting back, the team invited disaster. Doesn’t matter how it happened–be it referees, injuries, etc. It wouldn’t have happened if the Habs had kept the pace up in the third.

    • ebk says:

      I agree, they sat back, maybe not under Therrien’s direction but sometimes players just get a little to conservative all on their own. I do, however, think that once Ottawa made it 2-1, they carried the play again and came close to bagging the insurance marker a couple of times.

      They are really close to having an elite NHL team, they are a very good skating team , their transition game is one of the best. The just lack a little size in a few spots.

      Bergevin has done a great job, so has Therrien, taking this team from the complete shit show since 2009/2010 to where it is now.

      There are UFA’s like Bryan Bickell, Rob Scuderi, Douglas Murray, Victor Stalberg and Ryan Clowe, who I think would all fit in very well with the style Therrien has the Habs playing now. Better days are close and I’m still not convinced they are done this year. :)

      • TommyB says:

        They did play more aggressively after Ottawa made it 2-1 but still looked a bit inconfident. Not to mention, I think they were just gassed by then. When this is all over we’ll hear just how banged up these guys were. And I think they went into the playoffs more banged up than any of us knew. That might explain the late season letdown.

  40. Bripro says:

    I don’t have a problem with the Habs not moving on this year. They’ve already over-achieved, IMO.
    But I do have a serious problem with the incompetence of the officiating.
    Having Tim Peel or Chris Lee refereeing a Habs game for starters. These guys are pro-Ontarians to start off with. And Peel doesn’t hide the fact that he cuts our guys no slack.
    We were elbowed to the head, interfered with God knows how many times, Gally was virtually beaten up every time he touched the puck.
    But as soon as Prusty pushes some douche in the back of the head, he gets a 2-minute. Was it deserved? Probably. But you can’t penalize one and let far more blatant infractions be overlooked.
    And then, under the category of seriously perplexing, a puck is blatantly kicked in, it goes to Toronto (of all places) for review, and in a flash, it comes back as a good goal.
    Who are these idiots who drive this train wreck? Are they related to Daddy Campbell?
    You can be sure that had the Sens been playing the Leafs, Bruins or Pens, that goal would have been dis-allowed.
    Conspiracy theory? You bet your ass! (sorry mods, but I’m beside myself)
    I hate the NHL’s officials.
    The Canadiens battled all year. They travelled from a deep pit to get to here. And to have those striped reasonable-facimilies of neutral officials decide the outcome?
    MT is far more diplomatic than I. Dipsh!ts!!!
    We’ve suffered injuries at a bad time. Sure.
    And last night, MT’s benching of our best player to that point, Chucky, left me scratching my head. But he’s the coach and all he wants his for his team to win.
    Why play Ryder and DD and bench the kid is beyond me, but that didn’t dictate the outcome of the game.
    The officials did. If the playoffs are to be abbreviated because of those morons, I say it’s time for off-ice officials.
    And off with their heads, those striped good-for-nothing incompetent idiots!
    Bring back public lynching. And let it be staged at centre ice at the Bell centre. And let Lee and Peel be the first to taste this Habs’ fan’s wrath.

  41. Luke says:

    I wonder: “How (and When) the PK Saga will end?”

    Personally I hope MB lets him sit all season. He’s an egomaniac who probably won’t amount to much more than a one-dimensional offensive defenseman. No one on the team likes him anyways. Sit him or trade him. But I wouldn’t sign him for 2.8million/season let alone the 6.5mil his camp is asking for.

  42. Gally365 says:

    A good regular season team. Not quite ready to win a Stanley cup.

  43. jo_maka says:

    If only Niewendyk was still in Dallas, we could’ve sent him DD for Oleksiak at the draft table
    Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

  44. CF says:

    Couple thoughts:
    1) Again, Mr. Boone, or someone else, can you please post the record of our Habs when Tim Fing Peel refs the game. He’s even getting creative now, pretending to talk down that puke Turris when we all know it was window dressing for what was to come.
    2) How many times does Turris complain to the linesman regarding the positioning of our centre before he is willing to put his stick down. How many times is he going up against one of our wingers after he successfully gets our guy thrown out. It’s sickening and pathetic.
    3) How many years do we have to feel we’re too small?? Get beat up because of it, and lose many of our best players because of it.
    4) How could the MIKA Z goal have counted?? This was not a simple re-direction.
    5) How many times have we been scored on in the dying seconds of a game. Last night was just unacceptable.

  45. La Duke 16 says:

    I beleive the Emelin injury has the biggest effect on our current situation. Our toughest and hardest hitting defenseman can not go missing starting the playoffs and thinking we would have someone else to fill in.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      The problem is we have good D prospects but they are just that Prospects. tinordi will be good but still has to get stronger and bigger. Give him a year or two and he will be there with Emelin but he will never be the big hitter Emelin is.

      MB should have brought in another physical D man. I would not have resigned Boulion either. We needed to bring in a physical D man to bridge us for the next couple of seasons. Boulion is getting old and so is Markov. Markov is playing way to many minutes after missing a couple of seasons and it showing. Gorges has been awful this season. PK is the current shinning light. Our D is a huge problem currently.

      Up front Ryder won’t be resigned but we need to add some serious goal scoring as we really don’t have anyone in the system to make the jump. Hopefully MB will be able to work out a trade

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Ron says:

      The injury sure hurt for the remainder of the season all right and he would have helped in the playoffs. What happens next season and the season after with him ? Even though he is one of the hardest hitters in the league, we witnessed at least three times that he was jumped and given abit of a hammering. How many will it take before one of these attacks destroys his patchwork face. It wouldn’t take much. Is it in MB’s best interest to sign him long term and have him disabled for good ? They may need to go in a different direction unless Emmie wares a cage type schield.

  46. Hammer says:

    Yes the Habs could use a couple more 6’2″ forwards with touch but so can most teams. Put in Emilin, Eller and your team is automatically bigge, both are 6’2. Add a tougher D’man to replace Diaz, then you have a big D as you now add in a growing Tinordi . What you need is a fourth line anchored by Prust and possibly White with a player like Tim Jackman 6’2″ 225 and cheap from Calgary and your team now cannot be outgooned by Ottawa as teams will be spending their days trying to avoid these three. You don’t need to fight but you must not be out muscled.

    As for last nights game, 4 mistake by refs is tolerable, but four a blatant knee on Gally, two really bad icing calls and a so/so goal and you have to wonder. The worst werethe icings as they stopped play moved it 205 feet and allowed the Sens to set up.

  47. Dirtsteed says:

    Let’s look at some positives (in my mind at least).
    1. Carey Price was playing a very solid game until he got hurt.
    2. DD was much better. Haven’t seen him that tenacious on the forcheck in months.
    3. Gallagher and Galchenyuk (enough said).
    4. I thought Halpern was excellent last night. Looked very fast and aggressive.
    5. Karlsson has not been very effective. They seem to have him under control somewhat. I know he is coming off an injury, but if you’re in the lineup, I assume you can perform (I’m looking at you Max).
    6. I have a feeling most will disagree but the laying back in the third was not reminisent on the Martin era. It was very controlled and calculated and was working until Ibrahimovich kicked one in.

    Take game 5 at home and Ottawa will feel the heat to win game 6 because they will not want to come back to Montreal for game 7.

    • habstrinifan says:

      ” 6. I have a feeling most will disagree but the laying back in the third was not reminisent on the Martin era. It was very controlled and calculated and was working until Ibrahimovich kicked one in.”

      But dont you see! That’s the danger of ‘laying back’. A flukey goal happens. Like a kick-in or a ‘bounce-off’ or similar. All laybacks are supposedly controlled and calculated and work UNTIL something weird happens.

      I hope you reply to me… thank you.

      That is why a huge priority for the habs nexy season is as follows:

      Get some players in the lineup (similar to Gainey Jarvis Riseborough Walter etc… and I know we arent gonna get that calibre but we have to get that style.) who will establis for us a line which can establish a solid ‘defensive and resilient’ puck chasing puck possessing style (I call it tempo changing) while not ‘laying back’. We may have some of those players in the system but we have not had the coaching direction/plan devised to establish and use a line like this. We can’t give up the blueline.

      • Dirtsteed says:

        What was done under Martin was stupid. It was predicated on the fact that we would block every shot. We spent shift after shift in our zone. Last night, Ottawa was kept to the outside and the puck was moved out of the zone and a line change was made. And the process was repeated. If they had possession they would forecheck. I remember DD line getting some chances.

        However, you cannot forecheck two deep with a 2-0 lead and ten minutes to go. You open yourself up to odd man rushes. Look what happened on the tieing goal. Prust and Bourque were both in Ottawa’s zone. ONE of them should have been in there forcing the puck carryer/passer to the desirable side of the defense so you can intercept/cut off any passes.

        Instead they both got caught deep, the defense was back at the blue line (which is where they should be if two forwards are in the neutral zone) and ottawa entered the zone with ease.

        If they forechecked like that for the entire third period it would have been 2-2 after ten minutes. All good teams should be able to lock down a period.

    • punkster says:

      Who is Ibrahimovich? It was Zibanejad…or are just trying to be a ____ ?

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  48. Phil C says:

    It’s all coming together. Down 3-1 and a Slovak goalie, the Habs have them just where they want them!

  49. jeffhabfan says:

    IT TS OVER. THE 3RD PERIOD was bad but a goal that was kicked in and all the icings was just a joke of calls by the official.We have been the better team for 3 out 4 games yet we have lost 3 out 4 games. Way to many injuries to come back from against a team that has won ugly ALL YEAR.

  50. Steeltown Hab says:

    Wow the “boarding” call on Sedin in OT was also atrocious, and guess who the ref was? Chris Lee. Why do these absolute clowns still have jobs?

    If you’re a skill player and you make a physical play it always seems to be looked at like they’re not capable of making a clean solid hockey play.


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

  51. AllHailTheFlower says:

    I suppose I should be angry about last night, like almost everyone else. Hell, I WANT to be angry about last night like almost everyone else. But I’m not, just…not.

    Why? Hell, we went from last in the East last year, to division champs this year (granted, it was a false, truncated, money-grab season, but still…). But that ain’t the only reason. Here’s the list:

    Lars Eller
    P.K. Subban
    Brendan Gallagher
    Alex Galchenyuk
    Alexei Emelin
    Max Pacioretty
    Jarred Tinordi
    Carey Price (yes haters, I know, I can hear you)
    Josh Gorges (I can still hear you)
    et al. (Plekanec, Bourque, Prust, White, Markov)

    Nathan Beaulieu
    Gabriel Dumont
    Charles Hudon
    Danny Kristo
    Michael Bournival

    One first round pick 2013
    Three (!) second round picks 2013
    Two third round picks 2013

    My glass is half full…

    One last thing – yes, I know there is one glaring omission on that list, but I can’t help it. I don’t particularly like that player, and I definitely don’t like the contract.

  52. Frank2468 says:

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’m tired of watching the Habs being pushed around like rag dolls. Oh yes they were screwed last night big time on the first goal but then again I’m not surprised look who was refing last night Tim F. Peel. He screws the Habs all the time. Why not get it over with really fast and on Thursday make the refing tandem be Peel and another Hab killer Don Koharski. That would be the Habs twilight zone. Anyway I hope in the off season M.B addresses size on this team. The slogan for next year should be “Go Big Or Go Home”

    • Alex_425 says:

      Wait, don’t you read the comments from every other fan of every other team in the NHL? From what they describe, the league LOOOOOVES us, we get SOOOOOO many power plays, and the refs ALWAYS make calls in our favor.

      But I’m no expert….

  53. wild flower says:

    If Fluery had started his NHL career in Montreal like Price did, I don’t think he would be in the league at this point in time. The guy is a basket case compared to Price.

    I hope Therrien’s antics this week were made for T.V. and not to be taken seriously. If not, I fear that his more intelligent players will soon begin to tune him out.

    The worm could turn one more time before this over.

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