About last night …


Of course, it’s too early to call Lars Eller the Danish Jean Béliveau.

But on a night when Jaroslav Halak was posting a 19-save shutout for St. Louis, Eller – the Blues’ first-round draft choice in 2007 – put on a Gros Billesque display of strength down the middle in the Canadiens’ 4-1 win.

Eller scored a goal, his third of the season, and added an assist. He topped all Canadiens centres with 18:43 of ice time. This included 4:53 on the power play and 1:22 on the penalty kill.

Numbers don’t tell the full story. Eller had a so-so night in the faceoff circle (won 11, lost 10), but he was a dominant player in all three zones. Through two games, Eller and his sophomore linemates – Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk – have scored five of the Canadiens eight goals. The EGG line has collected 12 points.

They young line is playing with confidence. And with the exception of a penalty Eller took in the opener against Toronto (during which James van Riemsdyk opened the scoring), they’re not making mistakes.

It’s fun to watch – not least because barring injury, these kids are just going to get better.

How long they’ll stay together is problematic because Galchenyuk is going to end up playing centre. So let’s enjoy it while we can – and look forward to the team bolstered by a great one-two punch at the key forward position.

Add a Norris Trophy defenceman, a goaltender who looked great (but, let’s be honest: not First Star great) against the Flyers, a power forward who scores when he’s healthy …

Hey, maybe the Canadiens have the makings of something interesting.

Eller & Associates were not the only shining stars against Philadelphia.

• P.K. Subban played 28:31 and skated circles – sometimes literally – around any Flyer who tried to forecheck him.

• Travis Moen contributed another solid physical effort – and he’s 2-0 in fights this season.

• The Tomas Plekanec line had two goals and five points. Brian Gionta opened the scoring with one of his classic sweet-hands efforts from close in. And Rene Bourque skated hard, played responsible D, notched a goal and has looked good in both games the team has played.

• Playing against the kind of big, tough team that might be expected to trouble him, Raphael Diaz played a solid, error-free 17:35. His partner, Andrei Markov, played 25:40 and contributed flashes of vintage Markov. The legs have been ravaged by injuries, but Markov still sees the ice and thinks the game as well as anyone in the league.

• The power-play has four goals through two games. The penalty kill was excellent until that Lecavalier guy cashed with Josh Gorges in the box.

• Michaël Bournival played only 6:09 but had a shot, a hit, went 2-2 on draws and didn’t do anything that might consign him to Michel Therrien’s Reserved-for-Rookies doghouse.

• Brandon Prust had a Prustian game: two shots, two hits, almost eight minutes on the PK and useful contributions to three different lines.

• Jarred Tinordi played 10:47 – four minutes less than he did against the Leafs. But he contributed a solid 6:50 on the PK and had a couple hits.

It was not a great night for former Flyer Daniel Brière – two penalties, one of which nullified a power-play, and 3-7 in the faceoff circle. His linemate, David Desharnais, was 4-7 on draws.

And, hallelujah, DD played almost five fewer minutes than the centre who is seven inches taller than he is.

It’s early in the season, but this was an important win for your Montreal Canadiens.

On Wednesday night in Calgary, they begin a a four-game road trip across western Canada. It includes an Alberta back-to-back and tough challenges in Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Heading out there winless would not be the best way to start a hockey season.

Especially when the Leafs and Bruins are undefeated.

Joel Ward’s crappy day






  1. govenah says:

    You know what would light a fire under DD’s butt?
    A candle about 14 inches tall…
    But seriously, I can’t wait til the western road trip.
    I say we just sit DD let Briere take centre and put Bournival on the wing. See what happens. If it doesnt work then switch in DD for Briere and see what happen

    • vegas says:

      how about the follwoing
      Pacciorety . Briere Bourque
      Galchenyuk Eller Gallagher
      Prustt Plekanec Gionta
      Moen Bournival White Parros

      or you can switch up Bournival and Prust once in a while, Size would definately become less of an issue

  2. John Q Public says:

    What will happen first:
    The Habs win Stanley or WWlll ?
    Really, really hope it’s Stanley.

  3. Chuck says:

    Best part of the game was that the Habs got jobbed out of a goal, so I won’t have to listen to the Flyer fan at work tomorrow complain about thiers.

    By the way, they have to change that rule. The ref may have intended to blow the whistle, but he hadn’t by the time the puck went in the net. In every other scenario the play is live until you hear the whistle. Same should go for pucks around the net.

  4. HUDSONHAB says:

    EGG line
    Pleks, Bourque, Pacs, Prust, Moen, White, Parros
    Subban, Georges, Emelin, Tinordi, Markov.

    Everyone else is either on their way in or on their way out.
    * Markov isn’t going anywhere but when he’s done he’s done *

  5. frontenac1 says:

    I was at a Hockey party last night watching the Games with guys that were Leaf fans, Hab fans, Hawks fans and Flyer fans. They were older guys like me and some of them had boys that played in the OHL, NCAA. It was a treat listening to some of their stories about some of the guys that are currently playing in the NHL that they knew when they were youngsters. It was amazing how much each guy knew about the other teams players. We had a great time enjoying “The Games”. And the booze was flowing freely.Saludos!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Sounds brilliant.
      Did you sign anything with “non-disclosure” printed on it?

    • The Jackal says:

      Sounds like a great front, I had a hockey “party” at the best place to watch a Habs game in TO – Kilgour’s. The staff is always friendly, they love their Habs, and the booze flows at a decent price 😉

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  6. Timo says:

    Could be just me but I thought Bournival looked like he belonged yesterday. He’ll play sparingly this season but will hopefully bulk up in the summer and come back as a legit full time roster player next year.

    Just like question yesterday about Briere and DD, if you had to take one out of the line up, would it be Diaz or Bouillon?

  7. JO says:

    I like the Kid line the rest will be moved around probably all season to get a winning combination injuries will play a big part also. I think we’ll be good enough to sneak into the playoffs if we can stay away from having too many slumps.

    Last night was a case of we played better than Philly. Every team will have some off games. Even when Philly is on we can beat them but not like last night!!

    • Timo says:

      It would be interesting to see how the kids line adjusts one the opposition starts playing their shut down dman and forwards against them. If they continue to perform it will only be getting a lot tougher for them to find space and get open for a shots. Also, how will they handle the grind of the 82 game season? I hope that at some points the veterans will start stepping up
      (Cough Briere, cough DD)

  8. frontenac1 says:

    Diaz and Murray with their opposite skills might work very well together.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      That would be an excellent 3rd pair.
      Now if the Habs D could ever be 100% healthy, there ends up being 5 guys ahead of them in Subban-Markov-Gorges-Emelin-Tinordi…and not to forget Bouillon-Drewiske and then Nathan knocking on the door either late this year of next.

  9. mksness says:

    i’m impressed with eller. i do have to say i’m surprised on how wide open he has been. in TO he had a tip in and didn’t have anyone on him, and then the partial break and then last night left alone beside the net. i have a feelings he’ll become much more of a target for the opposing coaches game plans.

    Philly look realllly bad last night. Maybe things would have a been a bit different had that first goal against counted; nice to get a call to go your way but that was a horrible call.

  10. HabFab says:

    HabsWorld celebrates it’s 10th Anniversary today. Certainly one of the Top Hab fan sites around;

  11. Eddie says:

    call me skeptical but I think some of you might be jumping the gun on Subban getting lots of extra minutes and penalty kill minutes in particular.

    at 8 minutes in the 1st period, Diaz took a penalty. Subban played the penalty kill in his place.
    at 1 minute into the 2nd period, Diaz took another penalty, again Subban was sent out there.

    Unless I’m wrong, and that rarely happens more than 4 or 5 times a day, you will see Diaz back on the penalty kill in Calgary and Subban’s minutes back down to the 24-25 minutes per game mark.

    As an interesting side story to this, Mario Tremblay and Benoit Brunet were both advocating more time for Subban a la Chara and Weber, and specifically speaking about getting Subban out there for the penalty kill. They said that Therrien must have learned from the first game that Subban should be out there killing penalties and so the adjustment was made.

    We’ll see in Calgary if Subban stays on the PK or if Diaz is back out there.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      One thing I agree with MT. Playing a D-man 30 min/game during the regular season is too much (playoffs another story)…25min/game is right.

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

      • Eddie says:

        yes. it’s a good idea in principle. unless our penalty kill is 25th in the league, we go into the playoffs and get killed on the penalty kill, and we have Subban sitting on the bench.

      • Strummer says:

        Subban’s TOI ranked 35th last season among NHL defencemen.

        He certainly needs to play more this season considering he is the current Norris winner and to put him in the company of the elite defencemen in the league

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

        • New says:

          Just throwing this in there: the Norris trophy is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Very few PHA members have ever coached or managed a NHL team, many have never played the game or any sport. That isn’t to say that the nominees aren’t qualified but it really has more to do with the “buzz” amongst the writers than the feeling on the teams.

    • Strummer says:

      Tinordi only played 10:47 so i would think Subban’s ice time did benefit from that

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

  12. JO says:

    I liked the lines MT put together last night especially the 1st and 2nd line.
    1. Bourque Plekanec Gionta
    2. Galchenyuk Eller Gallagher
    Those lines should be untouchable unless there’s injuries.
    when Pacioretty returns the 3rd line should be put together
    3. Pacioretty Briere Prust
    4. Moen/Parros Desharnais White/Parros

    The team would be exciting to watch with those lines. three good scoring lines and a fourth line that could put up some points!!

  13. JUST ME says:

    I thought i would come celebrate the victory but i should have known better…Reading some of you makes me want to have a drink…And it is quite early sunday morning.
    I came here a few times after our first game to remember some of you that it`s only one game, one must be careful and had to remind myself the same thing after game number two.
    An overall good game where our boys did dominate and most of the team got involved in the recipe for the win. Even those that some of you want to trade this morning ! I am telling you right now, it won`t happen !
    I like the way Therrien is coaching his team and using his players. And even though everyone`s favorite poster hates him, i think that he has proven to be the perfect guy for a job that involves patience and vision.
    Again i know that it is early in the season but i just hope that Bournival and Beaulieu will get to play big minutes either here or in Hamilton . If we need a filler just in case we need him then a Blunden will do the job ,never puts anyone in trouble but not in the plans for the future.

    Saw lots of good things from many yesterday and am in awe with our young players that are taking over a team that badly needed it . Still quite a few veterans fitted very well in the blend against the Flyers that are not even a mere shadow of what they use to be just a few years ago. For them also we must be careful not to conclude too fast but i do not see it happening…

    Feels good to see that we finally have a few gems in the treasure chest and if everything holds and players stay healthy, they will be precious values comes the end of the season. We just did not have any of those options for so long that i still have to pinch myself and tell myself that value is in the eyes of the beholder. True but still the way the NHL works if a team needs one of our marbles badly we will be able to get a good return if we do things right and remain patient.

    So chill out guys and enjoy !

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good post.
      And not only is it early in the season, it’s extremely early in MB’s tenure. If we begrudgers are seeing an exciting future already, we can only hope that Montreal becomes the franchise to beat in a few more years.

    • New says:

      😉 When you see some of the plays the younger guys can make you feel really good about the future. Then you see Markov skip the puck half way down the ice thru traffic and hit the tape of a flying target you get sad thinking what might have been “if only”.

      In the middle of that are a lot of players who are good, solid, NHL players. They give it everything they have while taking the paycheck, full value for the dollar. But Briere is not going to blossom into Crosby North just because he signed in Montreal. DD can not grow a foot and skate with rather than around players. It is what it is.

      In the generation since the team last reached the finals a sense of negativity has grown. Last night the team won. The future is bright. Enjoy the sunshine while it is here. Hockey is just a game.

  14. gumper says:

    Sorry if this has been asked and answered, but what has happened to Christian Thomas? Not on the Dogs roster.

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

  15. zephyr says:

    I liked bourque too. I think u put him with max & dd. I don’t think u should have 2 midgets on the same line. let prust play with pleks & gio. 4th: moen, bournival & briere. if dd, doesn’t produce, replace him with briere. if ur small, u better score bunches.
    galchenyuk also leads the team with 6 hits.
    I think bouillon sits when emelin returns. he & murray become depth. we’ll need diaz if markov doesn’t resign. beaulieu isn’t a sure thing yet. diaz needs to play with a giant guy like tinordi to compensate for his softness. same for markov. I don’t like them playing together.
    the refs actually called penalties on philly. last playoffs, those all would’ve been non-calls against ottawa. last nite would have been much closer without those pp’s. we’re not going to get them in the playoffs. imo, there’s no way we go into the playoffs this yr with all those midgets in the lineup. Gallagher is staying put. dd is young but needs to score. gio is an ufa but still productive. briere?? time will tell I guess.

    • HabFab says:

      Then you have two midgets in Gionta and Briere playing together. Noticed that Chucky was much more physical in the training camp… even instigating shoving matches in the crease after whistles. He is claiming the front of the net as his turf.

    • JO says:

      Don’t get into the ref thing. People are sick of that. If the Habs win the refs did a great job. If they lose they did a lousy job. Refs are not perfect neither are the teams.

  16. Bill says:

    &UCE: Nice summary. Couple of thoughts:

    1) I don’t believe in reading too far into observations of body language of players. That’s a nice narrative you have there about how the interaction between Markov and Subban has evolved, and how it shows that Subban has matured. But this is tea-leaf reading. I don’t really object to your take on this, but there are other posters who use body language way too much, making wild extrapolations on flimsy evidence, e.g., Price is disinterested, Subban is disliked, etc.

    2) To be fair to Desharnais and Briere, this is the only line that has changed dramatically from last year, with the addition of Briere of course. Everyone else has played together before. And Pacioretty is such a huge loss. Prust is all heart, but he can’t fill Pacioretty’s role on that line. Expect them to struggle until they learn each other’s styles, and probably until their 30-goal finishing machine returns from injury.

    3) I’m surprised to see you saying things like “If our opponents know they’ll have to deal with Travis Moen, they’ll play more meekly” (paraphrased). NHL players are not afraid of Travis Moen, and they aren’t going to play with their tail between their legs just because he might fight them. Same goes for Prust. The Flyers tried to hit everything that moved all night, and honestly we were lucky they didn’t really connect on two of the biggest attempts: if Chucky hadn’t ducked, Schenn would have put him through the glass with that boarding attempt, and Eller just missed getting creamed by a wild charge (no call) by Hartnell. In general, tough NHL players like Schenn, Hartnell, Simmonds, et al, are not going to change the way they play just ‘cuz Travis Moen might object with his fists. Please tell me if you think I’m wrong about this.

    4) Bouillon is a great depth guy, a leader, and someone any fan can appreciate. But yeah. He should be the 7th man. I’m honestly not completely convinced that he should be playing instead of Beaulieu, and I am the guy who is always saying the prospects should be developed slowly. He’s all heart though.

    5) Tinordi did not play much, but he did lead the team in short-handed minutes. Take away his PK time and he played less than seven minutes, far less than both Bouillon (over 10 ES minutes) and Diaz (over 12 ES minutes). Shows he was carefully deployed, played sheltered minutes, and perhaps that is why he was fairly invisible … which as you say, is definitely not a bad thing for a defensive dman. It remains interesting that he was Therrien’s #1 penalty killer!

    6) Price had a fine game, but I’m still finding the changes he’s making to his game a little odd to watch. He’s scrambling more, staying up a little more, and generally being a little less technical and methodical. We’ll see how it works out. For the Habs to be successful, he needs an ES save percentage above .925, and a short-handed save percentage above .910 at least. Save percentage and GAA are not just goalie stats, in my opinion, but team stats, so he needs good defensive coverage, like any other goalie. He hasn’t gotten that for quite some time.

    Finally, I am going to say that the Flyers looked brutal last night, and it wasn’t just the Habs making them look bad. They suck.

    Anyway, great post as usual, a lot of food for thought! I don’t usually find myself spending half an hour replying to a single HIO post, but I often do in your case!

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      good morning Bill
      Good stuff

      Re point 3: It may just be a question of push back/equalization.
      Great confidence builder for the smaller skill guys knowing someone has their back….and no, it will not cut down on injuries 🙂

      Re point 4: Once the D corps is healthy, Frankie will be in the popcorn section. Great guy to have around for the young fellas or when multiple injuries arrive such as now..

      Point 5; Those Tinordi PK minutes are the most difficult in hockey. Great confidence showed in him by Coach MT and that progression may spell the end of Diaz on the PK or at best on the 2nd Unit

      Point 6 and Carey; As mentioned yesterday, Carey may have to take a few steps back before moving several steps forward. Coach Waite teaches a more hybrid, less robotic butterfly style. He want his goalies to stand up a little more and react. There may be some growing pains.

      • mksness says:

        i haven’t noticed a difference in price’s play. it’s the same. but goalie coaches can fix and change everything in 2 games…

      • Bill says:

        Hey Ronn,

        Push-back is always good to have, agreed. Certainly as long as the NHL continues to let guys try to kill each other, not to mention the stupid after-whistle punching and cross-checking.

        I guess I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea of Price changing his style dramatically. And contrary to something posted below by mksness, there are significant differences already. His game has always been to play the percentages and fill the net. Be where the puck is going and take up as much space as possible. That’s textbook goaltending and he was good at it. It did leave him vulnerable to deflections, second and third chances, and of course perfectly placed shots. But all goalies are vulnerable to those. I’ve always felt the main problem for him since JM left has been poor defensive support, and I’d like to see that changed before the goalie’s style.

        Another lovely day in the Maritimes, eh? Now I get to go spend a couple of hours in a freezing rink, yay.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Bill and MR, great dialogue, lots to chew on.
      But I’m going to reserve my loudest HALLELUJAH for any increase in the amount of time CP spends on his feet rather than on his knees. Bill, we exchanged on this during the playoffs. If that’s what Waite’s hybrid means, then I’m very happy.

      On reading players’ body-language and the like: like so much that we fans and armchair GMs spout, it’s all good as long as there are pinches of salt (or more than pinches) to be had at the same time.

    • on2ndthought says:

      I think saying Bouillon is all heart diminishes his average to above average NHL: skating, both with (avg) and without (above);
      passing (especially outlet passes that find players already across the blueline or skating along it in open ice);
      physicality (not big but knows how to get in the way, also is very good along the boards)

      It is a testament to our D that, when all are healthy he will be our 8th (behind Murray, Tinordi, Emelin) or 9th (Beaulieu)

      “a cannonading drive”

    • DAVE. N says:

      Hi and a good post.
      On #6…Price appears to be staying lower in the net and further back this year, or am I missing something; A lot of pucks off the tip of the glove, instead of being caught as in previous years, more rebounds going to the center instead of the corners:
      I’m wondering if the new coach’s’ influence may have something to do with it, and Price is still not comfortable.

  17. piper says:

    Barring any trades this is what I’d like to see.
    I love the Eller line but when Max gets back I’d like to see those two together with Bourque for a big #1 line.
    Plek and Briere both setting up Gio might work well.
    I like the way Gallagher plays but he should have Prust back on his line for some protection, same for Galchenyuk.
    Moen, White, with Bourneval until Parros gets back on the fourth.
    As for the D, Murray and Emelin can’t get back soon enough.

    • on2ndthought says:

      except Prust doesn’t have the skills to keep up with the Gally twins. though, to be fair, he wouldn’t hurt and would pick up easy points. Eller isn’t a real set-up guy (yet, 2 games is a small sample size). I think leave the lines as is , balance is a good thing; put all your EGGs in one basket and the other team can play the checking line and shut down D more effectively.

      “a cannonading drive”

      • piper says:

        Prust played well with the Gallys last year.
        I think Eller between Max and Bourque would be worth a try. I like the idea of a big powerfull first line with skill. Just my opinion though.

  18. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    For those who are objective but skeptical about briere and dd, consider that they are due to see bottom pairing dmen on this swing, so don’t be surprised if they pick up some points.

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • If Therrien knows what he’s doing, he play the Gutts out of line three against those bottom pairings, score a pile of goals, and then play defensive. That’s pretty much is his MO, except for playing the third line that is. 😆 He’ll figure it out. You see water in the desert you drink until you puke. haha

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      “objective but skeptical” is a useful turn of phrase in this context. I think that’s where I am, being very slow to condemn outright. I believe Brière deserves time to adjust, and may have been a bit overwhelmed by the occasion last night vs his old team-mates (professional and all). Benefit of the doubt; I’m happy to wait for a while. And this is Game 2 — vets take longer to rev up, and DB is reputed as a playoffs man.

      But DD is a mystery. I love how busy he is, but would he have finished off the pass Gionta dealt to Bourque?

      Third Gen below says a small player like DD doesn’t deserve his place unless he places like Gallagher (or the Pocket Rocket). When I watch, I feel that thought welling up but I try to suppress it. There must be other ways for a small forward to be successful….

      (One of the many reasons I am not an NHL coach or manager).


    • on2ndthought says:

      If a team plays the checking line and shut down D against the kids, it should offer better opportunities to the other lines, and they have to respond or we lose. Balanced speed and scoring make us a hard team to coach against, mostly it’s a question of will wear you out or will you wear us down. That’s why I’m hoping GP is OK and can resume his career.

      “a cannonading drive”

  19. gumper says:

    How about, when Max is back, Max, Bournival, Briere? Put DD on the fourth line for a while. See if he can remember how to punch above his weight. Failing that, let him watch for a while. This guy needs to be motivated or moved.

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

  20. third generation haber says:


    I fully agree with u on DD being a “swing forward”, not used every game. Since he’s invisible against the tougher teams and in all playoff games, he shouldn’t dress against these teams (Toronto, Boston, Ottawa) as well as the playoffs.

    Unless he’s willing to play like Gallagher does, he doesn’t deserve to play.

    I differ with u on Diaz though, I’d likewise use him as a swing-d-man. I don’t think we should have both Markov and Diaz in the line-up at the same time.

    I’d love to see:

    Chucky/ Larry/ Gally
    Bourque/ Pleks/ Gionta
    Patches/ Briere/ Prust
    Moen/ White/ Parros

    Subban/ Gorges
    Markov/ Tinordi
    Murray/ Bouillion

    *I wan to see Beaulieu play 30 minutes per game in Hamilton this year.

    j.p. murray

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Third gen,

      Not even to have Markov on PP unit 1 and Diaz on 2? (See Maritime R et al below).

      Like your pairings, and with Emelin to come.

      • third generation haber says:

        I know these guys are good on the PP, but their inability to defend, especially against big forwards is unacceptable for me.

        I prefer to have a couple of offensive D (Subban + Markov or Diaz), the rest should be hard-nosed crease clearers that put up a wall.

        Next year, would like to see:

        Subban/ Gorges
        Emelin/ Tinordi
        Murray/ Beaulieu
        Drewiskie/ Pateryn

        j.p. murray

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          You’re right of course. “Ability to defend” is why the position has that name, and I believe we can get greedy expecting more than one Dman to be Paul Coffey.

          I hope Murray has not grown too slow. He’s a crease-clearer.

          Why the two hitters together (Emelin/Tinordi)?

          • third generation haber says:

            Don’t have to be 2gether, but would love to see them shut-down the top lines. Especially if they catch that bitch Kadri with his head down!

            j.p. murray

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Your last point. Amen.

            See also mine below re Murray and Ratboy.

            (In fact, I quite like Kadri, but the things he did vs the Habs late last year warrant comeuppance!)

    • on2ndthought says:

      so you won’t complain when Kadri, Marchand, Kessel, Krecji, etc skate circles around Murray. Murray has a role to play, but not like Diaz does.

      “a cannonading drive”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Of course we will complain!
        ANd you’re right, those guys would salivate to see Murray on the ice. But are they not also equally well equipped to negate anything defensive Diaz brings to the table? More salivation there, I think.
        I’m not ready to off-load Diaz yet, but I don’t see him as any better than Murray for defending against the kinds of players you list.

        (And there’s always the prospect of Murray lucking out and precipitating a spectacular separation of puck and player against Marchand!).

  21. Puckdoc says:

    Ideal pairings:

    Gorges Subban
    Markov Emelin
    Tinordi Diaz

    Get better soon BOOM!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Nice pairings. I’m guessing you’re a better coach than namer! (Go on! What did you call your first pet?)

      Especially like Tinordi-Diaz. (Thunder and Lightning?)

  22. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Leave Briere alone. The guy is a proven performer who only signed a two year deal. The DD contract is the killer. Not in terms of money but the position he plays and the length. We have 4 more years of this? Made no sense then and makes even less sense now. MB should have realized that with the cap dropping there would have been players available at better deals. Like many of us said, there should not have been a rush to sign an under-sized forward with only one good season.

    The pairing of Briere with DD has actually been a good thing for those against him. The French media can’t blame Max; they are not going to blame Briere…DD is isolated now. At least Therrien showed last night, the leash has been shortened. This bodes well for the rest of the season.

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

    • third generation haber says:

      In my mind, the only thing Briere is good for is allowing our younger guys time to develop in Hamilton. It’s also good to have more Quebecois representation on the team. I’m also glad that we don’t have Lecavalier’s contract on our books.

      j.p. murray

    • RockinRey says:

      Can’t take watching DD play . I said at the time he was brought up he was not NHL material and was a specialist at best.

      No other NHL team values him the way Montreal does. Dog contract!!!

      • third generation haber says:

        exactly! what gm in hockey would have offered him 3.5 mil???? they’ve never heard of him!!!!! the day it happened i knew it was a mistake, how couldn’t Bergevin and Dudley see this????? blows my f&#$@% mind!

        j.p. murray

  23. aemarchand11 says:

    Heading to Calgary/Edmonton from Ft. McMurray this week. I hope the boys put a better effort than the last time i saw them out here (Kovalev years).

    Front Row Cgy, 2nd Row Edmonton…. GHG!

  24. aemarchand11 says:

    Bouillion is starting to show he can no longer keep up at this level and that when Murray/Emelin come back hes likely to be bumped to the pressbox. I love this guy, but this is his last season in the Blue Blanc Rouge.

    DD and Briere can not be linemates in the NHL, it just doesnt work out. I hope MT can find alternative line Combos, only if the offence goes stale from the other lines though.

  25. HabFab says:

    First episode of 24CH is on canal D at 12:30 EST today for those that have access. Complete schedule in link;


    Yeah that’s right, I’m Shane and I aint no pain, I’m a poet and didn’t know it, if you got the money honey I’ve got the time.

    Yeah do you smell that? That smell is the Philadelphia Flyers. Boy do they Stink! Looks good on them and their horrible fans.

    Watched the game last night between 12-1:30, it was pretty blah, but hey, a win is a win.

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member

  27. Puckdoc says:

    How long before Therrien figures out that Nathan Beaulieu deserves Bouillons spot?

    • Loonie says:

      Gonna be hard to figure that out with Douglas Murray and Davis Drewiske still on the roster.

      This team has some big problems on defense. Hopefully they keep scoring over three goals per game.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Cheers Loonie. Long time.

        Didn’t the D look ok last night? In that the likes of Hartnell and Giroux were mostly invisible. Or have we to concede that our D only looked good against a team with major issues?

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Did our D look good because most of the play was in the other end due to the work by the forwards along with great puck movement from Subban-Markov?

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Agreed. And see my exasperation above for Sholi! Sports clichés are a dime a dozen, but “Offense is the best defense” is ultimate truth.

        • Loonie says:

          I think the biggest improvement so far is that Gorges hasn’t looked absolutely lost. But I think Therrien has adjusted and has the D playing much tighter in the dangerous areas.

          It doesn’t seem like they’re being told to chase as much as they were last year.

          Sight for sore eyes. But, Bouillon and Diaz have been less than strong in my opinion. Diaz’s passing, Bouillon’s checking.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            “the biggest improvement so far is that Gorges hasn’t looked absolutely lost”

            I also think Tinordi looks secure enough to hold his own and contribute while he develops at the same time.

            Does Bouillon just not have enough speed any more to include hitting in his repertoire of defensive techniques? He — like Gorges — remains able to absorb big hits from much bigger people.

            Not chasing may well work better for us now that all our opponents figured out what we were doing. Where I would love to see chasing is on the PK. Am I wrong?

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      To deserve you gotta earn. So Nate has to work his tail off in the Hammer, put up points, and wait for the call-up. Remember too, he’s a rookie after a vet’s job, which puts extra onus on the newcomer to prove he’s worthy. There’s a protocol to be followed — especially in a franchise like montreal with such a long and storied franchise. Of course, exceptions are made for exceptional players in exceptional circumstances I’m thinking of Chucky who as a first round pick (granted, like Nate) arrived on the scene the horrible 2012-13 season when the team sorely needed a shot in the arm. Under more normal circumstances, he too may have had to pay his dues with another year in Junior followed by some time on the farm.

  28. Puckdoc says:

    Cheese as in a big smile for the camera. Like Brendan Gallagher.
    I’m aware of packer nation 🙂

  29. Lafleurguy says:

    Golf Channel announcer, the President’s Cup:
    “Jack Nicklaus was honored at the home-opening Columbus Blue Jackets’ game by being asked to perform the opening puck toss.”

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  30. Loonie says:

    With due respect Mr. Boone, Diaz has not looked error free.

  31. Puckdoc says:

    Lol @ dunboyne.

    It’s better than two and a half men, n’est pas?

  32. on2ndthought says:

    A very good performance.

    DD, Danny B and Raphael Diaz are taking it hard here.

    Diaz played like a #1 pairing D last night. Yes, he took two penalties caused mainly by his lack of ability to roll over forwards in possession of the puck. But D with that ability also take penalties, and Diaz was most often first on the puck and is also able to strip the puck from most forwards in most situations. Look how bad our speedy forwards made the Philly D look time and again last night. Diaz does not ever look bad like that. You want to keep harping on what he can’t do, get ready to read (again and again) about what he CAN do.

    On a similar note DD and DB take heat here. So, we win the game as a team. Not all our opponents will be the Flers, Leafs, Bos, Ott, and Buff (though we do play those teams lots). These forwards will shine in other games against other teams. Match-ups are important. If I was coach of a healthy Habs team, DD would be a swing forward, and would not start every game; but I would be glad to play him against 3/4 of the NHL, and not worried about playing him against the other 1/4. He has things that are hard to find, and, like Briere, makes plays that others can’t because they just can’t see them. So dream of Vinny all you like, I’ll enjoy watching the skill and compete these lads bring to the table.

    “a cannonading drive”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think I want to stick up a bit for Diaz as well. I think he’s being asked to do things that he’s not particularly good at. I think as a powerplay puck moving defenseman who plays a limited amount of time he’d be much more appreciated.
      Hopefully with more ice to Tinordi and the return of Emelin that’s where he’ll end up fitting.
      DD? He just may not be strong enough to play at this level.
      DB? Gomez II? Lost his skill and will and can’t get it back? It’s too early to answer that but off the first two game it doesn’t look good.

    • Loonie says:

      Hard to get on Briere for putting two goals on Desharnais’ stick that he couldn’t cash on.

      Diaz is going to make a pass that leaves another teammate with a broken face if he doesn’t stop putting the puck into his teammates’ skates when they’re skating into traffic.

  33. Puckdoc says:

    I love the way Bourque is playing and in no way does he deserve to be dropped but were almost obligated to swap him and MaxPac if nothing happens in the next couple of games bc our leading scorer deserves top PP and linemate minutes.

  34. geo_habsgo says:

    I see a lot of you are very pleased that Therrien played Subban for 28 minutes yesterday. However, without checking his time on the PK, it seems that the only reason Subban played that many minutes was because of the amount of time the team played on the powerplay yesterday. I think if the game was played at even strength for longer bursts the coach would have given Subban less ice time.

    That being said, these are exactly the minutes P.K should be playing. Defence looked good last night and I think he was a major reason why.

    • Bill says:

      Nope, Subban played 2:21 on the PK last night, which is more than twice as much as he played last year. He was on the second unit penalty kill, whereas he was a fill-in last year. The minutes last night came at Diaz’s expense: this is exactly what people wanted.

      But one cautionary point: it may be that Subban got Diaz’s minutes while Diaz was serving the two penalties he took himself? We shall see on the road trip I guess.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • New says:

        Naw, that is part of it (Diaz pens) but PK and Boullion were on for the Vinnie goal when Gorges was in the box. PK is super talented but the PK is not the strongest part of his game. I think you will see PK playing more on the PK in situations where the team has a lead. When he begins playing PK minutes with the game on the line or the team behind then you’ll know he is as good as anyone else.

  35. Mark C says:

    Where are all the HIO head coaches who wanted the break up the EGG line in the preseason now?

    Guess the ol’ coach knows a bit more than us.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Certainly some of us. Remember the post calling Galchenyuk a beer leaguer?

    • krob1000 says:

      I would still consider it. I still don’t like them getting pushed around and liberties and runs taken with them. Gallagher ends up being the worker bee of the group in the corners and I worry he is going to get hurt. can he do it? yup…he is great in there…but I am worried at some point this year he is going to be out 6-8 weeks. All three of the players on that line are talented enough that they would still produce without having to play together. The team needs at least 3 lines rolling along successfully…we’ll see once Patches gets back but if that line can’t muster some chemistry you may still see some changes in a couple of weeks. I wouldn’t mind still seeing a worker/protection guy on each line given the team has guys who could also keep up with two offensive guys. For now I will en joy the kids playing their hearts out but if DD’s line does not demonstrate some chemistry soon….there will be some shuffling

  36. Maritime Ronn says:

    Coach Therrien is going to have an interesting dilemma on his hands when Max gets back next week.

    Barring further injuries, what does he do with the Max-Desharnais-Briere line?

    Does Coach MT go back to giving that line Top Even Strength minutes in the hope of getting them going…yet to the detriment of the Plex-Eller lines?
    Same question for the Power Play.

    Both Max and Brier are not 3rd line/12 minute guys.
    What to do???

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good questions all but for me the dilemma is what to do with Bournival. The kid deserves the ice. Why did we sign Briere again?

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …because no one was sure whether Bournival would be ready ? …including Marc ? 🙂

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi jim

        Bournival looked good and he showed he has both the smarts and the wheels to play NHL.

        Bournival’s time may be more next year than this year.
        Just a numbers game at this moment.
        When Max gets back, Prusty goes back to the 4th line.
        Add a Parros return, and MB may have to spend more time in Hamilton barring further injuries or a trade to free up room.

        Geez, when was the last time we had a problem like that?

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …You are right …will be first of several difficult calls this season for Therrien

      …DD & Briere rate third line at the moment, but Patches has to be a first or second

  37. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …psssst …don’t tell anyOne I told Ya ……Briere is an undercover Phlucker

  38. Puckdoc says:

    Briere is better at center ice, before the season I was concerned with his fit in our lineup. I am impressed MT actually applied the earn your ice motto. Right now DD and DB aren’t clicking, I think Max Pac would help but only if he is driving the net and playing an interior game otherwise it’s going to be a line that cycles until one midget gets knocked down.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      DD and briere play a very similar game. I still don’t get where they both fit. Give it a few games but neither dd or briere is out playing the other so.

      Morrow would have been a better fit

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • on2ndthought says:

      Max will try to get open, and those boys will find him, or find the space he opens up because a D went out to cover him. This line will work in time and on some nights will dominate

      “a cannonading drive”

  39. Habfan17 says:

    I propose the K.E.G.G. line, explosive like a keg of dynamite!


  40. Puckdoc says:


    Why only Green Bay? It makes sense and is more unique than Kid or egg line.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      And as well, it’s a name those guys could really be proud of! You know, cuddled up on the couch with their grandkids when ESPN says, “Coming up next, Flashback: the Montreal Canadien’s Stanley Cup-winning powerhouse line — The Chuk. E. Cheese.”

      “WOW! Which one were you, grandad?”

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi puckdock

      I was in Green Bay 2 weeks ago
      They are the real cheeseheads
      you can see that here:


  41. Habfan10912 says:

    I don’t normally pay too much attention to the three star selection but anybody watching last nights game and did not think once again that PK was the best player on the ice wasn’t watching the same game as I. He is now becoming a Super Star of Crosby category. A modern day Bobby Orr. Yep, I said it.

  42. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning. In addition to the veteran players named Gionta and Bourque who were much better last night was the coach.
    DD TOI = 13.54
    Eller TOI = 18.43

    Subban TOI = 28.31

  43. HabFab says:

    From the CHL last night, 3 of the kids had 2-point nights;
    Gregoire had 2 goals.
    Reway had a goal and an assist.
    McCarron had 2 assists.

  44. Puckdoc says:

    I propose a new nickname for 27-81-11:

    The Chuk E. Cheese line.

    Chuk is obvious. E for Eller and cheese for BG the smiling killer. Also they are a bunch of kids and probably eat at the restaurant.

  45. Maritime Ronn says:

    Realizing it’s only 2 games, the question becomes how to get the Habs new 36 year old/2 year $4M dollar man going.

    It would be totally unfair, and perhaps even causing ‘room problems’, if the Plex/Eller lines do not play Top 6 minutes along with 1st and 2nd Unit PP time for at least the next several games.

    Since it has become obvious that Coach Therrien is finally listening to HIO ( 🙂 ) perhaps another short term suggestion to get Danny boy going and build some confidence.

    Our old dear friend Patrick in Colorado is doing something interesting with his Power Play.
    He is using vet Alex Tanguay on the point of his 1st Unit PP.
    Yes, here’s realizing that the Habs tried that with Plex a few years ago and it didn’t work out, yet this is another time and another style of player.

    Right now, the Habs 2nd Unit D pairing on the PP is almost a joke with some combo of Diaz-Bouillon-Gorges.
    That’s like waving a white flag of PP surrender.

    As a ‘short term confidence builder’, why not pair Briere with Subban on the 1st wave, then Markov/Diaz on the 2nd wave?
    That would give good balance and the need to play Subban almost 1:30-1:45 on the PP would end….allowing him to play more penalty kill time.

    Habs need to find a way to get Danny going, while they figure out who he needs as a Center…

    • Cal says:

      Brière looks a little slow out there right now. Then again, so does DD. The idea of jumpstarting Brière by playing the point on the PP has merit, but why not Tinordi to the front of the net on 2nd wave with Brière taking his spot on the blue line?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Pourquoi pas?
      For sure, keeping PK and Markov together means having one very strong PP unit plus one non-unit (although I seem to be blind to the worst Bouillon plays that others point out — I even keep imagining that he makes useful passes and is judicious on his pinches…). So, like the idea of Markov and Diaz, a way of getting the best out of both of them — unless it means we are sacrificing one very strong PP unit in order to form two mediocre ones…. Remains to be seen?

      And pairing Markov with Diaz leaves the question of a partner for PK. Agreed, the Pleks experiment was not great, but perhaps that should not be enough to rule out for all eternity the possibility of putting a fwd on the blue-line. And if that’s the case, why not Brière?

      Just this: is MT that kind of coach?

  46. Captain aHab says:

    People say that when the EGG line will play against tougher opposition, the going will be rougher. Maybe so. But that will mean lesser competition for the Pleks line who’ve shown they can do damage.

    Oh the joy of having two solid lines.

    Now when Pax comes back, I would like to see DD eating hotdogs for a few games while we evaluate if it is he, Brière, or both that suck.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  47. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Briere was right when he said that the Habs’ speed is their best weapon, there were many times in the opener against Toronto that they were making the Leafs defense look completely inanimate. Just need to stay out of the penalty box. Last night the Flyers defence often looked hypnotized.

    • mount royal says:

      What I really liked is that for the first time in decades, the Habs don`t sit back on a two-goal lead. They kept charging forward. They have a killers instinct which wasn`t there before. They used to drive me crazy when they stared dumping the puck; just giving it back to the other team again and again All too often they lost their lead.
      I believe that this, combined with their emphasis on fore-checking is what Therrien brings to them. Very exciting stuff.

  48. Marc10 says:

    Laviolette is toast. No way that team wins more than 3 of its first 10.

    Good show by the kids, the captain, Bourque and the Great Dane. They got it done. Now for a ‘gut check’ road trip.

    Go Habs Go

  49. Maritime Ronn says:

    For those that feel Gionta has no worth to the Habs – that the Habs should dump him, hopefully last night’s game at least makes them have second thoughts.

    When healthy, Gionta can still skate and score – that is when healthy, yet the true sign of the Captain came late in the game.

    Instead of firing the puck and trying to secure his 2nd goal of the night, Gionta unselfishly teed up Rene Bourque that blasted away for his first goal of the year.

    Why is that important?
    If a big strong guy like Bourque gets it going, gets confidence, that brings a whole new worry set for the opposition.
    That Plex line could be any Cup contending team’s solid 2nd line.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hi Ronn.
      Further to that, would you reckon that it was an eg of Gionta playing slightly against type? I’m pretty sure his normal mind-set is as a shooter, with passing very much the second option. Or is that an unsafe perception?
      And didn’t Bourque take it well?

    • mount royal says:

      Its also important because nine times out of ten Gionta will shoot. It becomes too predictable. Nice to see him break the habit.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Agreed Ireland Mike and Mount Royal

  50. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Is anyone else getting this “You Might Also Like”?

    “Key Dates in Quebec History”

    Predictably, the most up-to-date one involves Wolfe and Montcalm.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Meath Mike! Menu suggestion: baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Alas, does that America still exist?

        (Did you see my existential post to you last night? Bad timing — just before puck-drop).

        • Lafleurguy says:

          I’m going to scroll for it now, back after these important messages……..

          “May you live in interesting times.”

        • Lafleurguy says:

          K-tel was fanfrontdoortastic! The pre-game excitement that seemed missing was comparable to a stadium tailgate party where everyone was drinking ice tea. After posting, I had to run off to golden grandson’s hockey game, so I missed out on a lot of the fun posts pre-game.
          Your absence from posting was very conspicuous. Hope your new job will allow adequate family time! Cheers!
          “May you live in interesting times.”

          P.S. DuckDodgers and Sam Boni share my avatar and I’m down with the duck and ice-machine doing that. (The word “share” is used loosely)

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Cheers, Guy. That duck thing sounds kinky! And I have no idea what you’re talking about! Ice-machine? Did I miss a classic HIO flight of surrealist fancy (I seem to remember a good one involving the very poster you mention, Sam Boni!).

            The job is great, thanks. Just busy now that I’m teaching a new subject for the first time. But I’m loving it. Family is smaller for now: eldest doing an exchange semester in Hungary; No. 3 just started basic training after securing a cadetship with the Irish Air Corps; No. 2 waitressing as well as college; Nos 4 and 5 still at home, so plenty of time together, including on the road for soccer, basketball, music etc.

            How about yours?

          • Lafleurguy says:

            They’re all homies, meaning they’re within a 10 mile radius. I started a new job too, but mine is of the semi-retirement variety. Sam Boni, he of lineage with Hapsburg jawlines, and twin Nutcracker dancing uncles is the ice machine, I allude to.

            “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Strummer says:

      How’s this for a key date in history?

      51 years ago yesterday (Oct. 5) Beatles first single “Love Me Do” released in the UK.

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

    • HabFab says:

      DM – you made a comment in one of the previous threads concerning that anyone who believed that there was a francophone tilt also had a Roswell woody. Sorry bro but you are wrong. There are too many on both sides who are bigots and racist so yes, there is an element of francophone Quebec society who would rather be “french then good” just as there are elements on the other side that see that more then it exits.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Hi HabFab. Actually I don’t disagree with you, but only as far as fans and the general public go. I would need Watergate-style evidence to convince me that it goes all the way up to Canadiens management and ownership, not even as a misguided belief that it’s good PR. Winning is everything.

        I miss living in Quebec. The bigots and racists (both sides) that you mention: would you reckon they remain a small but just very loud minority? I would love to believe that the majority is more sensible.


        • HabFab says:

          My personal belief is that yes, some effort is made to cater to this element. But don’t believe it rules the decision process. In other words, we must have some native francophones at all times even if they are not the best… price of being who we are. Case in point, the Torch hand off to Briere from Lafleur. Hopefully we can have the best of both worlds.

          EDIT; changed position of the last two sentences because that Torch thing sucked the big one IMO.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Which is the way I myself feel about the Habs. The bridge that’s too far for me is Molson saying to MB, “Yeah, offer him this much and see if he’ll take it. He’s small and can’t score or do face-offs, but he speaks French.”
            Won’t compute!

  51. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Good morning all. Lunchtime here.

    Important win, lots to enjoy in the game.

    @Jols — now you and I see the path before us for the rest of the season!

    @StevieJ — congrats on volleyball success! There’s a special impact in the classroom when you’re involved in coaching as well. And keep up the goal-saveability rankings — indeed the Lecavalier score was at least a 9.

    And a question: if our D is so abysmal (which I agree it looked vs the Leafs), where were Hartnell and Giroux all night? Good job boys!

  52. DipsyDoodler says:

    So, to change the topic, what’s wrong with Philly? I mean aside from years of bonehead moves by Paul Holmgrem.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Didn’t notice Claude Giroux. Leafs pilfered van Riemsdyk for a no. 5/6 defenseman. Didn’t notice Mark Streit. Did notice Lecavalier (is he still wearing no. 4?…..the deal breaker viz a viz Habs?) but he sort of fell onto Phillies’ lap. They were picked by most to be playoffs-bound in contrast with prevailing opinion about the Habs.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Strummer says:

      From Steve Simmons column this morning:

      ” … There is a tension around the Philadelphia Flyers that belies the early schedule. When they lost their home opener to the Leafs in a game they had no business losing, there was a sense around their dressing room and management staff that there is already deep concern about this group.’

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

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Yikes, worse than HIO after opening night. But excuse my ignorance, who’s Steve Simmons and how does he know the sense around the dressing room and management?

        EDIT: ok, I looked him up. I don’t see The Sun over here. But the question stands. Does he know or is he extrapolating?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Laviolette could very well be the 1st coach fired this year.

      • Strummer says:

        As you may well know Ed Snyder calls the shots. If he likes you you’re OK. It doesn’t matter about your performance.

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

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          How right you are.
          Think Clarke-Holmgren…but their time may be short with the under the radar repatriation of Hextall from the Kings and that new shiny Cup ring that is not 38 years old.

  53. Cal says:

    Excellent team win last night and HIO posters are vindicated.
    Many suggested PK can and should be playing dominant Dman minutes. He was on the ice for 28:31 last night.
    Eller can and should have more minutes than DD. Eller played 18:43 and DD 13:54.
    Nice seeing Chucky and Gally with over 16 minutes, too.
    Habs 2 best forwards last night. Eller and Bourque.
    Price was solid and the D in front of him played well.
    Biggest surprise? Philly’s lack of intensity. They played like it was still September, with Emery being left helpless.
    2nd biggest surprise? The way PK buried the puck in the side of the net. Who knew that the new nets had catch pockets on the sides?

  54. keithmacv says:

    “Great but not 1st star great” what a bonehead statement. Ask any goalie what they’d rather have, 1st star or a W.

    • Chris says:

      I think you missed the point.

      Carey Price was selected 1st star of the game, despite there being far more deserving candidates. It is hard to take the Molson Cup thing serious these days because far too many fans are devotees of the Cult of the Goaltender. I really wish they would return 3 star selection to the media, perhaps a panel of 3-5 beat writers.

      You’d still get some frustrating choices, but it wouldn’t be an automatic star for the goalie in every win.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      I almost had the feeling the choice of Carey as 1st Star was the RDS boys doing their work as confidence builders.
      Carey feels good – gets on the airplane – thinks about the win AND the 1st Star choice….so if there were any lingering doubts about the end of last year or even Game 1, he can concentrate on the positive.
      If Carey has a good head, everything will be just fine
      Good job RDS guys.

    • mount royal says:

      No, from what I saw he`s right. It was the offence who deserved first star last night. I thought they gave it to Price as a kind of `see what happens if you play your game`gift.

  55. Chris says:

    The next contract is not Eller’s bridge contract…he is playing out his bridge contract (2 years at $1.325 M cap hit per year) after playing out his entry-level deal.

    Eller’s next contract will be for much more serious money, particularly if he puts up another decent year. If the year is more than decent, it will start at Desharnais money and go from there. Given that Eller can pay defence, any offensive production is going to get him up into the $4-5 M territory very quickly.

    It is a pleasant dilemma, but you have to wonder if Bergevin is dreading a season where both Eller and Subban post big years. 🙂

  56. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …bought My Son a rink-level ticket to the Habs-Canucks on the 13th …just learned Guy Lafleur is in Vancouver for the October 11th season opener of the Abbotsford Heat (vs the Lake Erie Monsters) up the road from Me, signing autographs, etc.

    …last I heard Guy Lafleur is on the payroll (?) of the Canadiens to be an ‘ambassador’ …WHY ??? in the World didn’t the Habs or Canucks organize a meet and greet for Lafleur at the Rogers Centre game vs the Canucks

    …would have made the perfect night for Me and My Boy

  57. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …THAT being said, Eller WILL be Our number one or two centre IF He keeps this up

    …LOVE His new confidence and swagger out there 🙂

  58. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …comparing Eller to Beliveau is like comparing Woody Allen to Carey Grant

    POST SCRIPT: …for You younger Twirps …No !, Carey Grant is NOT related to Carey Price 🙁 !!!

  59. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …VERY satisfying evening last night

    …Our Habs Saturday night beat-down of da Philthydelphia Phluckers …booing of that guy who knows not what he is, numero 40 of da Phluckers

    …and, 2 editions of feast-for-the-eyes, mind and taste-buds …Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on CNN

  60. jrs10069 says:

    Great game..most of the team played well, nice that the list of “zeros” was short, we win against almost any team in the league when that happens.

    2 of these guys should have made the stars, not sure the crew from Anti-chambres should be making that decision

    Gionta / Bourque / Galchenyuk

    I liked the Briere signing but so far he looks like a washed up 36 yr old who doesn’t have the legs needed to succeed in the NHL with his size. I hope he turns it around.

    My list of good and bad Habs from last night..those not on the list were ok


    White (he needs to learn how to fight, enough with starting shit and getting pounded)


    • SlovakHab says:

      Sorry, but White stood up for himself against a very, very strong opponent. Doesn’t matter who won or lost the fight.
      What matters that we lost a 4th liner for 5 minutes while Philly lost their top-6 power forward.
      I will take that trade-off any time.
      Good on White. He had a decent game.

    • Max says:

      Diaz played fine.

  61. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    Mr. Boone writes:

    “Of course, it’s too early to call Lars Eller the Danish Jean Béliveau”
    …yet in the Boone Game blog, he wrote this:
    “…3P 13:04 Sacrilegious to suggest, but Eller is playing like Jean Beliveau.”
    With respect to Mr. Boone, it’s easy to get excited about a big, solid, strong skating, puck protecting Center, yet let’s be very…and I mean, VERY careful about short term expectations based on a small body of work.

    Just 2 years ago, the little Center fella wearing #51 was going to be the next Henri Richard.

    While Eller has dominated the first 2 games, it is what it is – 2 games.
    And let’s not forget the outstanding play of Eller only really took off in the last 10 games of last season when he recorded 4 goals and 7 assists.

    With added minutes, comes more high skilled competition such as playing against the other team’s Top 2 D pairing and Top 6 forward lines.

    Ex: Boston.
    It’s one thing to play against Krug/McQuaid, but a whole other ball of wax facing Chara/Boychuk all night.
    Throw in a Patrice Bergeron to boot (including faceoff circle) instead of Chris Kelly, and one can see the challenges coming.

    Can Eller be The Guy?
    He has all the tools including the big one needed between the ears, but let’s just be very careful here.

    • twilighthours says:


    • Mike Boone says:

      I wasn’t making a serious comparison to Beliveau. But Eller, whom I’ve liked since they got him, MIGHT be the first skilled centre with size in a long, long time.
      Good heavens, did I compare DD to Henri Richard?
      Now THAT’s sacrilege.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Mornin’ Mike. Hope retirement is treating you very, very well. Some of us are not adherents of the “silent” in the “silent majority” term, and we have highly respected your liveblogs and many, many other things you have done in being one of the founders and long-term prolific bloggers on this beloved site. Cheers.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Dear Mr. Boone
          Nice to see you up early on a Sunday morning.
          Are you holding church services this AM?
          No, it wasn’t you that did the DD/Henri thing.
          That was from Habs fantasy land.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Good Mornin’ Two Good Men. Boonie at times just can’t buy artistic licence on this site to have stream-of-consciousness posting of what comes off the top of his head. Pretentious and presumptuous for me to speak for him, but he means Eller displays several but not all the hockey attributes of that all-time great. If pushed to answer the question, “Is Eller going to make it to the Hall of Fame?,” Boonie would probably answer no. For more celebrated HIO insights, read you-know-who.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  62. The Gumper says:

    BTW, I am a displaced Habs fan currently living in Denver. Can anybody tell me where I can buy a white Canadiens practice jersey? I think it’s a great looking uni and the Habs are here November 2nd so I don’t have a lot of time!
    I’ve had no luck through the Habs or NHL site….

    • The Jackal says:

      Habs online store!

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • The Gumper says:

        Thanks for the reply but it’s not available there, only the blue one. Is there a local store that might specialize in Habs stuff?

        • BigB says:

          I live in Scottsdale, AZ…
          Sports stores this far west/south do not have much hockey stuff, never mind Habs things.
          My suggestion is to try Amazon.com

          Habs forever!

          • The Gumper says:

            Thanks for the suggestion BigB! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find it there, even tried EBay with no luck…. A good idea though as I hadn’t really considered either site. Oh well, might have to go to Brossard and sneak in the laundry room!
            Thanks again!

  63. Habilis says:

    Was at the game tonight, about 12 rows up. Great time.

    Five things:

    1. Bourque is a very good hockey player. Played well in both ends, looked like a real power forward tonight.

    2. Gionta is a machine. He never stops working on the ice. His goal and Bouque’s goal were all him.

    3. The EGG line is almost surreal to watch. Gallagher is the energizer bunny, Eller is just a beast this year, outmuscling everyone, and Galchenyuk is a wizard with the puck. The Gallagher goal was amazing, such patience shown by Galchenyuk while waiting for it to develop.

    4. Therrien obviously reconsidered his “vision” because P.K. was on the ice in every situation tonight, PK included. Of course he was brilliant.

    5. We have a very good group of young hockey players on this team. The proverbial window is starting to crack open. I think that the next 5 years are going to be a lot of fun.

    • on2ndthought says:

      the game changes when you see it live. Colby Armstrong comes to mind, you never see half of his positional play and hustle on TV, have to be at the game. Gionta is the role model for Gallagher, (and scored a brilliant quick hand goal, the likes of which I was worried he might not be capable of post surgeries). Good Stuff!

      “a cannonading drive”

  64. The Gumper says:

    Well played game tonight by Les Glorieux! The kid line will be amongst the leagues best by years end. They are all great skaters and they are starting to understand where one another is and will be. Look forward to lots of speed and tic-tac-toe happening…
    Bournival, in my opinion, has the talent to stick with the big club, great skater and hands to boot. MB has done everything that I had hoped he would, in a very short time. There was no secret throughout the NHL where the Habs fell short in previous years and I think that he has addressed the issues admirably without sacrificing our core game. Love the fact that we can float Parros on the ice to calm down jerks like McClaren, Orr etc (although I’ve never been a big Orr fan, I respect his conduct in the first game, very classy, funny how goons can be among the most respectful players on the ice)….. Anyhow, maybe one more player like a Steve Downie type and we’re going to be pretty tough to beat!

    • jrs10069 says:

      Last time i’ll bother to comment on this but Orr ain’t classy. He’s a puke who tried to smash Parros’ face into the ice with that takedown, he’s tried it before and if you watch other leads scrap, he’s passed the word around. Unfortunately it worked.

    • JohninTruro says:

      Look up Orr (Colton) highlights and you will see how unclassy he is. He waved for trainer help, does nothing to make him classy in my books.

  65. Timo says:

    Re the controversial spinorama goal by Raymond – I saw a lot of bug-eyed walrusness from McLean.

  66. durocher says:

    Great game by the kid line, which were fun to watch.

    Contrary to Boone’s post, I didn’t think Diaz had a good game — he, like Briere, had two penalties. Those penalties were because he was beaten on the puck — he has a hard time playing defense. I’m convinced he’s a liability. Markov had a good bounce-back game today (as did Gio), but I can’t say the same for Diaz. I would not mind at all seeing Beaulieu in Diaz’s place during the upcoming road trip.

    Pleks also seems to be struggling, though Gio and Bourque played well.

    Kudos for Moen for having a strong start to his season, after a weak ’13 season.

  67. Timo says:

    This being Eller’s contract year I wonder if Bergevin will be tripping over himself trying to give him a huge raise like he did with DD. Somehow I suspect Eller is going to get the PK treatment.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think Eller is a surefire 2nd line center for many years to come. I don’t think Bergevin would be in the wrong by giving Eller 4 or 5 years at Desharnais money or a million or so over.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Well, this is Lars’ bridge contract, a very modest, cap-friendly contract if you ask me, one that should have made Lars fire his agent.


      Since he’ll be 25 this summer, an RFA, we’ll still have leverage, but it would be the right time to lock him up for five years or so. He won’t get the P.K. treatment, he’s paid his dues, and will now be paid as a frontline player.


      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Why should Eller have fired his agent?

        At the time of signing his last contract, he was an RFA with no Arbitration Rights and the Habs held all the cards.

        His 16 goals/28 points on a team that finished 28th was all right, yet 4 of those goals were scored in 1 game against Winnipeg.
        At that time, there were still several question marks about Eller.

        He will not get the same treatment PK received last year because Eller will have Arbitration Rights this summer meaning he can decline a Habs offer and allow an independent arbitrator to decide what is right based on other RFAs and arbitration cases.

        He can also be open to Offer Sheets from other teams.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I say this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as explained in the link to the post I wrote a couple summers ago. The amount he received on his contract was strangely low compared to others in his situation, I idly speculated that the agent made a Dale Tallon-Elvis Dumervil-style fax mistake.

  68. Timo says:

    Like I said before, kudos to Michael Therrien for containing the total suck to only one line. Briere and DD kill any line they play on.

    I agree with UCE – Habs now have a few more boys who can drop the gloves and do some damage so at some point the opposition will start to notice. Despite Parros and Murray being out and White in the box Habs still have Moen, Tinordi, Prust and Bouillon on the ice in the last minute to answer any shenanigans.

  69. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Question to ponder: if you were GM, and could keep only one of Briere and wee Davey (meaning you were able to move one), which would you keep. Forget speculation about possible returns. But do bear in mind that one is 35 and one is 27.
    Still, which do you think is more valuable this year and next? Pick one.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  70. HabinBurlington says:

    Good Win! WooHoo

  71. Un Canadien errant says:

    So who was worried about the Kid Line again? That we had to put Brandon Prust on there, since the three youths didn’t really have chemistry last year, until maybe the end of the season? The Kids Are Alright. Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher get a goal and an assist each, Alex Galchenyuk tallies two assists, they’re starting off the season with a bang.

    Almost lost in the shuffle will be the captain, who also notched a goal and an assist. His linemates Tomas Plekanec and René Bourque seem to be clicking, and it’s great to see the latter skating hard, taking good shots at the net, using his body, protecting the puck, creating space.

    The Daniel Brière-David Desharnais combo is still not purring, it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with the absence of Max Pacioretty. Not that they were a well-oiled machine before his injury or anything, their training camp offered a few highlights but nothing revelatory. Brandon Prust or Travis Moen, whoever plugs on their left side, as hard as they work and grind, it’ll be a big comedown from Wolverine.

    Speaking of Travis, he’s having a good start to the season. I don’t want to reduce his role to strictly that of a fighter, but it’s good to see that when our opponents are taking it too far, they’ll have to deal with the big Saskatchewan boy, and maybe next time they’ll think twice. I suspect Luke Schenn is happy he got tripped by the net, knowing he might have taken a few more licks if he hadn’t. If opponents know that it’s not just Brandon Prust they have to worry about, it might cool their temper a little bit.

    I really like the way Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban work together, and I understand this isn’t really a ‘man bites dog’ item, but it’s reassuring to see them communicating like partners. Sure, one is the patron and the other the protégé, they’re not necessarily equals, I’m sure what Andrei says goes, but there’s a change in their mannerisms from last season. P.K. got his nose whacked with the rolled up newspaper with the whole contract dispute, both by the public and even his teammates, and he really came in last January with the best possible attitude to deal with it. One of the ways that manifested itself was how Andrei would direct him, how he’d point and gesture and talk, and all P.K. would do was listen and nod in the affirmative. We also saw it in the Canadiens documentary, when coaches Therrien and Daigneault brought P.K. in the video room to make an adjustment between periods, and coach him on the need for him to forego the big hit when he can instead make a play for the puck. P.K. watched the video and agreed with everything that was said, appreciative of the wisdom imparted and cognizant that he’d made a boo-boo. He was cooperative, rueful, perfect.

    This season we can tell that his hard work on this aspect has earned him some credit. We saw Andrei and P.K. in the last couple of games exchange quick tactics and tips before faceoffs, and P.K. is no longer acting as a mere dutiful student, but rather as a full-fledged teammate. The words go both ways, both players quickly agree on what they’ll do, they’re on the same wavelength, if I was their coach I’d be tempted to cross my arms and let out a big contented sigh, thinking “Mission accomplished.” But more likely, I’d be too busy patting myself on the back, thinking back to how what was a charged situation, which could have turned to poison, merely diffused and led to a singularly talented player joining the fold in full. Ah, what the heck, it is mission accomplished. Andrei and P.K. on the powerplay are a joy to behold.

    Francis Bouillon takes a bit of abuse from fans who wish he was bigger, and we kind of wish he was a #7 instead of a #5 defenceman on our team, but tonight I saw him be way more effective than any of the lunkheads on the Flyer blue line. Those leadfoots couldn’t stay out of the box, all they were good for was crosschecking Canadiens in the back, when they finally caught up to the play. Francis was effective in his zone, surehanded with the puck, and gave full value for the money he’s earning on his farewell one-year contract.

    Meanwhile, whenever Jarred Tinordi played a shift, I’d be startled awake, suddenly remembering that he was in the lineup, and dimly aware that he’d made an appearance in the previous period. He played only ten minutes, which might have to do with the number of penalties awarded. Nevertheless, it’s probably not a bad sign for a defenceman of his ilk that he go unnoticed.

    Carey Price did the job, in that he stopped 22 of 23 shots. Well, it’s actually ironic that he got credited for a save on that disallowed Philly goal, one which was technically a non-goal according to the rules, but in any street hockey game would have counted. I’m not going to take anything away from him though, Ray Emery got the same benefit tonight, although his was not as comical as Carey’s. And I suspect that a few of the boys will, since this was a good win after all, have their fun with it. There will be pantomimes and mockery, and not just in the dressing room after the game, but tomorrow and for a while at practice, at the buffet table, at the pub. Carey will just have to be a good sport about it. Where it counts though, he produced. With this showing, he raised his save percentage from an .895 to a very decent .918. Sure it’s only two games, but this is the neighbourhood he needs to be at for our team to have success.

    Good win against a usually formidable foe, we’ll take their poor showing and move on to the next game. There’ll be a couple of patsies who surprise us this season, let’s not look this gift horse in the mouth. We’ll gladly bank these two points.

    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons


  72. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Before everyone goes crazy lobbying for the Egg/Kid line to be promoted to first-line status, please remember, playing in the third slot gives them very favourable match-ups. They’ll start to attract tougher opposition on the road, where we don’t have last change. We’ll see how they fare then.

    In the meantime, liking what I’m seeing from Gionta this season. And Bourque is playing his best hockey in years. Please stay healthy!

    Now if only something can be done about the DD line….

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  73. NightRyder says:

    Don’t have any Howie Morenz or Auriel Joliat references for us Mr. Boone?
    Interesting opening night data:

    I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to know the Habs are the shortest team in the league.

  74. fastfreddy says:


    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

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