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. cprince says:

    Does any one know what the delay was (I think) in the 2nd or 3rd period where the ref had a paper from the time keeper and brought it to Laviolette then to Therrien? Never did hear anything about it after… and I am damned curious!!

  2. frontenac1 says:

    @JK47. Sorry amigo. I’ve been hanging out with some ex-OHL lads and that’s what they call it. Conky.

  3. jols101 says:

    For those of you still toiling is this old thread, there is a new one.

  4. Hobie Hansen says:

    New thread

  5. Danno says:

    Flyers vs Canes now on free preview for Centre Ice on Rogers & Cogeco. Canes leading 1-0

    Later at 8:00, Vancouver at Calgary and Anaheim at Winnipeg


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

  6. Bill says:

    krob … are you serious? The Flyers were running around and hitting because Parros wasn’t in the line-up?

    I think they were doing that because they are the Flyers. It is my opinion that Hartnell and Simmonds and Rinaldo, to name a few, play like that every single game no matter who is in the line-up.

    Parros was in the line-up against Toronto and it did not change Colton Orr’s behaviour one bit. And it was in that game, with Parros, that Colton Orr injured our best forward. And, inadvertently perhaps, also our enforcer. According to what you claim, that would not have happened, no?

    The Habs won handily last night, btw. And no one was injured. Two of our significant injuries – Prust and Parros – are the direct result of fights as well.

    I can’t believe you’re saying this with a straight face!

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Danno says:

      I think that Orr intentionally-unintentionally meant to injure Parros.


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

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Still trying to figure that one.
        If you’re fighting, and you’re gripping the guy’s sweater, and you fall, you’re not going to let go. As you fall you will instinctively grab onto whatever you can. You could interpret Orr’s move that way. You’d hope he didn’t attempt to yank or swing him as he fell. But maybe he did. I don’t know.
        It goes back to the issue of intent to injure and how difficult it would be to establish (although not difficult at all when two people are swinging their fists at each other’s faces!)

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I agree with you Bill. Parros will not stop players from running around. What he will do is maybe what Orr did to Paciorrety and hit a guy like Simmonds in the corner and bang him up and knock him out of the game. He will also change the mentality that it’s going to be a long night when teams that have roughed us up in the past come to town. So instead of all the Habs being asked over and over again on how they’re going to stand up to the Bruins or Flyers and having that in the back of their mind, they can concentrate on their game.

      • Bill says:

        If Parros can knock the other teams’ players off their game that’s a benefit. And I also appreciate that he becomes Orr or Scott’s dancing partner instead of Prust.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

      • krob1000 says:

        That is exactly what those guys (not just parros)….Murray, Prust healthy, emelin to hit, Parros will do. They will cause teams to think twice…because if they run Galchenyuk….then someone runs Giroux…and they can’t afford to lose Giroux. These “clean hits” are just as much of an issue since charging is rarely if ever called and there is about a 3 second friggin grace period to hit after a gjuy rids himself of the puck….it is crap…but it is reality. While the NHL is the way it is…toughness must be addressed. I was an advocate of team toughness…..but the Habs are constantly playing teams that tae liberties and injuries are as much of a factor as any anymore with the parity so teams are gaining an edge that way.
        Last years Habs team should not have lost to Ottawa…but only half of the team was healthy….

    • Danno says:

      Leafs’ Joffry Lupul flipped Flyers’ Brayden Schenn to the ice in a very similar maneuver to what Orr did to Parros. In my opinion this is a deliberate move intended to injure. This happened the night after Parros was concussed by Orr.


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

    • krob1000 says:

      Yes….they were running around because Parros, Prust and Murray are all not able to protect guys. Prust can’t fight right now,……also emelin is out. I am not a fighting advocate Bill but all of the posts on here supporting a no fight league have yet to address the issue of fringe guys running around at stars like we saw last night. Do I think that would have happened if those guys were all there? nope…I don’t. I think they would have mad the first one…and then from there they would have bothered each other. The paciortty hit was not a bad hit …a little late but nothing like the runs they were taking last night at the small playes…pacioretty can handle himself and thatwas not a vicious run.
      Bill ….I would love for someone to come up with a viable solution but to me it is humorous that you and others can say with a straight face that fighting and having tough players doesn’t impact things. I’ll ask you this simple question……which teams are the toughest teams in the NHL? now ask yourself…which teams push the Habs around and take runs at our players constantly? Ironically they are the same teams no?

  7. rhino514 says:

    anyone know where i can see the first 24CH episode??

  8. frontenac1 says:

    You are right Bill. Big unknown. I thought last year Thornton would be out for at least a month after he got tuned up with a conky. He was back in 10 days.

  9. frontenac1 says:

    On CH 24. Last night, Mike was looking at game videos and called Murray in. Said I want to try this on draw. Murray said,” if we lose the draw, I retreat to here” Mike said,”yeah, that’s it” Murray has a rep for being very intelligent. He is going to be a great addition.

  10. jsaz says:

    Can’t wait till Murray, parros and emelin are all back in the lineup. I really think they should get rid of plecanec for a bigger forward and this team will be a better bigger force to play against.

  11. Phil C says:

    Eller was on antichambre last night. The one answer that caught my attention was when he was asked about why he has had success so far, he answered that he is focused on playing the right way, that you can’t really control whether or not you score, just play the right way and the goals should come. He obviously must be working with a sports psychologist. It is also a sign of maturity. The future is now for Eller.

    MT also seemed really pleased with his overall game, so as long as that line keeps producing, I can see them become the 1st line right away. Three very exciting young players, its a good time to be a Habs fan.

  12. frontenac1 says:

    Danny Boy will find his groove, he is too good to write off just yet. I’m worried about DD though. Pair up Diaz with Murray. It might just click.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Murray is the wildcard. If he can actually get back and be effective it will be a nice bonus. In Murray’s exhibition game against Boston he gave Lucic a bunch of shots in front of the net and along the boards, Lucic took a look back, and didn’t bother. Nice too see.

    • Phil C says:

      That could work, Murray played a lot with Boyle for a few seasons.

  13. frontenac1 says:

    Moen, Prust, Parros. One of the best 4th Lines in the League amigos.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Moen is one a mission so far pal. Once Prust is 100% and Parros is back in a couple weeks, look out!

      • Bill says:

        Don’t want to seem pessimistic (it’s not my style) but in the absence of positive medical news, I am not expecting Parros back anytime soon. Hope I’m wrong, but he really hit hard, and concussions are so unpredictable.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • Phil C says:

          I’m just happy he didn’t smash his face like Kevin Stevens. It could have been a lot worse. He must have partly broken his fall with his shoulder. If he is back before Christmas, I’ll be thrilled.

    • rhino514 says:

      I´d say Moen, Bournival, and Prust could be maybe the best fourth line in the league, if Moen keeps playing like he is and Bournival gets a chance to play and progresses. I would only play Parros against very physical teams, White against moderately physical teams.
      The team has three great lines, and a pretty good fourth line.
      The only question mark is the D.

    • Danno says:

      I asked for and I got Travis MOAR last night. And I liked it.


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

  14. 1010 says:

    Ya gotta love those sports experts. The fox football gurus pick all the 4-0 teams almost unanimously. Result: down goes New England, down goes Seattle…..Denver anyone.

  15. JayK-47 says:

    The GalEllergher Line sure is fun to watch.

  16. Sportfan says:

    Bengals beat the Patriots!

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  17. jrshabs1 says:

    Doesn’t take much to get this crowd wound up….Briere is just shaking off the early cobwebs. …. I was just foolin around with the free pass stuff, ’cause I can’t watch my Giants get beat anymore.

    Go Habs Go!!

  18. frontenac1 says:

    It’s a good thing management and the players understand and appreciate what Parros brings to the team more than some posters here. Hilarious really.

    • ProHabs says:

      what do you mean? Many of us have been begging for a guy like Parros for years.

    • John Q Public says:

      I blame the mustache for causing the imbalance, thus falling face first.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      front, all kidding aside, Parros is an important piece to this team. The games get tougher and tougher as the season goes on. There will no doubt be a big few big confrontations with the Bruins, Leafs and Sens where they attempt to get a physiological advantage over the Habs by beating on them and Parros will step in and put a stop to it. Can’t wait until the big guy gets back!!!

    • Bill says:

      I like Parros as a guy. I appreciate that, when healthy, he makes life easier for Moen, Prust, and Tinordi. But that’s what he brings. He won’t play in the playoffs, and that tells you that what he brings is not that monumental. Not denigrating Parros, again, I think he’s a pretty cool cat. If we must have an enforcer, I’m glad it’s him. But you may be overstating his contribution a teensy bit, Front.

      And ProHabs is right, most posters agree with you.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  19. ProHabs says:

    Two players in the top 5 scoring in the NHL. When was the last time we had that.

    “When he heard the news, our captain was crying in my arms.” MT

  20. pmaraw says:

    eller on pace for 123 goals and 204 points

  21. SteverenO says:

    @ Dunboyne Mike:

    you wrote;

    I understand your point, Mike, and yes, I am looking primarily looking at the stats. That being said , who cares about the “big picture”?

    If team scores, on average, one PP goal every 8 minutes, but when one, and only one, specific player is on the ice they only score a PP goal every 28 minutes there is no conceivable justification for that player to continue to get any significant PP time. You don”t need to be a hockey expert to know that/ it doesn”t even matter if (the lack of productivity) is that player’s fault , or simply bad luck. The fact is that the Redwings were more likely to score a goal 4 on 4 than were 5 on 4 if Filppula was on the ice. In other words playing one man less, or declining the penalty, would be a better strategy than using Filppula on the PowerPlay.

    There is absolutely no question at all that the overuse of Filppula on the PP cost the Redwings, goals, ans wins, both in the regular season and the playoffs.

    Does this mean that Babcock is a bad coach? No. It just means that he made a mistake when evaluating Fillpula”s contribution to the PP. He should have been confronted with the information and
    he should have chosen any other player to take Filppula sspot on the PP.


    Steve O.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      “Does this mean that Babcock is a bad coach?”

      Whichever, it implies nothing less than that you could get more goal productivity from the Detroit Red Wings than Mike Babcock can! That’s what makes it an uncomfortable read. I also can’t get past the fact that you are prepared to disregard information (ie. in the “big picture” you don’t believe matters) to which you don’t have access.

      • Eddie says:

        How about this way to look at it Steve?

        Each player has a role to play. For example, Briere, Markov and Subban are given the role of “entering the zone” on the 1st wave.

        See, you CAN NOT score if you are “ON THE ICE”, if these players do not first get the puck into the zone while keeping control.

        So let’s say we take 20 minutes of power play – which is not a large number of minutes to prove anything in stats, but that’s a different point – and now in these 20 minutes we can show that 30 times the Habs rushed through the neutral zone virtually uncontested.

        But, they CAN NOT set up in the offensive zone, in my example. They fail to get over the blue line with the puck 27 out of the 30 rushes, for example.

        So could you honestly take one of the other players, like Plekanec or Eller or Max, who might be on the ice WITH NO RESPONSIBILITY WHATSOEVER TO CARRY THE PUCK OVER THE BLUE LINE – it is simply not their job so THEY DO NOT GET THE PUCK in the neutral zone – and hold Plekanec and Eller and Max responsible for this failure in the power play??

        let me answer this for you: No.

        What if we could show that the Habs could get over the blue line, but our shots from the point were never getting through to the net? Well then the coach needs to talk to the point men, the guys shooting, to get the pucks through and he holds those players responsible.

        Or what if we got our shots through and there were rebounds that we never got to? Then the coach would have to look at the players responsible for crashing the net for rebounds, NOT Markov, or Subban, in that example.

        You see, just because you’re “on the ice” does not mean your specific role was not accomplished, and it does not mean that because Fillipula was on the ice that he was not doing HIS JOB in helping his team score goals.

        Simply being on the ice, is not a reliable statistic. It’s not nearly enough information to draw the conclusions that you want to draw.

        You should consider this and watch how each player is given specific tasks to accomplish. That’s how the coaches watch the game. That’s how players are evaluated. That’s why your NHL coaches are not listening to your “on the ice” stats.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Where’d he go?

  22. naweed235 says:

    Apparently Nonis was as shocked as the rest of the league to see his Leafs go 3 for 3 to start the season. So shocked that he had to spend the night in the hospital. Thankfully, he is doing better

  23. Sportfan says:

    Who will be the toughest test on this road trip? I say Calgary cause they are the worst team and we always play half butt against the worst lol

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      These teams always get up for the Habs, and my belief is, that the large local contingent of boisterous and loud Habs fans inadvertently spurs on the local team even more. Often Habs return with one or two out of six points. Of course, last year, there was no interconference play.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  24. Maritime Ronn says:

    Perhaps one of the few things that all HIO posters can agree upon, (Is that a stretch…?) 🙂 is the admiration for Brendan Gallagher, and the way he ‘Plays the Game’ for a relative little fella.

    The young 21 year old Edmonton born lad is absolutely fearless, finds open spaces, and has a great pair of hands that rarely miss a scoring chance.

    No matter what position he has been put in – no matter what challenge he has been faced with or asked by the coaching staff to deal with, he has always answered the bell and performed.

    Remember his Shoot Out goal against Boston last year when he was the last shooter that decided the game outcome?
    A Habs 6-5 win when Rask smashed the boards with his stick and ended up on butt?


    Gallagher’s not being named the Calder Trophy winner was a complete NHL Habs dis and sham…and I would enjoy any debate as to why he was so much more worthy.

    The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”

    Of course, an ill-informed gang of LAZY NHL writers would vote for a floater with no pressure on a 30th placed team vs. a Gallagher that had a direct contribution to the Habs making the playoffs – a guy that finished 5th for all Habs forwards in scoring, and was tied with Max for most goals scored by any Hab forward playing small minutes.

    Circling back, here is just hoping Gallagher can stay healthy in the long run.

    Habs fans just love that infectious smile and with reason.
    Although it would be difficult for Habs fans to tell Gallagher to curtail that on the ice, young Brendan seriously needs to pick his spots.
    If not, he will find himself on LTIR more often than not.

    Young Brendan must start to avoid post whistle, front of the net scrums with much bigger bodies that dislike a smile/smirk – certainly when on the wrong side of a lopsided score.

    In Shakespeare’s Henry IV, and very loosely stated:
    ” Discretion is the better part of valor,” – meaning caution is better than rash courage.

    Skate away.
    Avoid the post whistle scrums and push backs.
    Park that smile after the whistle in the crease.
    If not, the career may be short…

    • Timo says:

      Yep. Another thing pretty much can agree on is he who shall not be name who shall not be on this team.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hello Timo ( are you ok with a Hello, or is that shocking?)

        I am truly honoured you took the time…
        And who is that, ” ….he who shall not be named who shall not be on this team.”
        Please share.

        …by the way, It’s ” Michel” and not Michael Therrien.
        It’s ok if your cat jumped on the computer key board and ripped off the “a” and you have no access to that vowel.
        Sh*t happens…as you may well know.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Yeah Timo, you lost me too with the “who shall not be’s”. (Or is it Voldemort?)

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Ron Ellis won the Calder in his rookie year, and not Robert Gordon Orr.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Sportfan says:

      If DD played like Gally I don’t think people would complain about him as much!

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    • Landof10000lakesHab says:

      Your post starts off well enough, there is plenty of man-crush for Gallagher on this site, and for good reason. Love the nonstop motor, upbeat attitude, and competitive spirit Brendan brings to Habville.

      Not sure how often you had an opportunity to see Jonathan Huberdeau in action last year, but to suggest he is a “floater” does not seem to add up. In his 1st year JH was most often up against top line pressure matchups, unlike the protected minutes Gallagher was provided. Huberdeau also led all rookies in scoring.

      Lots of recent positive discussion regarding Hockeys Future rating Alex Galchenyuk the #1 NHL prospect – little surprise that Jonathan Huberdeau is listed as #2. This is a player with top 10-20 NHL production in the future. As much as we all like and respect Brendan Gallagher, there is little comparison in terms of elite potential.

      BTW, my vote for Calder last season would have been Wild Dman Jonas Brodin. Always tough for any young Dman to break into the NHL and play even 3rd pair minutes (J Tinordi, D Hamilton). Brodin not only acquitted himself in a top 2D role (paired with Ryan Suter), but finished second on the Wild for TOI.

      Anyway, I do enjoy your numerous well written posts, just a differing opinion on the Jonathan Huberdeau “floater” statement.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi 1000

        Floater was a very poor choice of words to describe the young man vs. floater team not worthy of the player.
        A detraction is in order.
        As for Brodin, he was exceptional, yet playing in that market did not allow for Manhattan style of hype.
        That young guy will be a Norris candidate shortly, and perhaps the many will say, “Who?”

    • Danno says:

      That was the most delicious win of the season


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

  25. Sportfan says:

    Usually when we do the Western Canada road trip I cringe and look away, but this season/team is a bit different and I think we can beat every team.

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  26. commandant says:

    The WHL BC Division features 2 Habs prospects

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      You’re rounding out to mid-season form. Dalton T. will make it to the NHL based on his excellent skating (baggage, party-boy, not good in the room). What’s your long range forecast for Tim Bozon, B.?

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • commandant says:

        Bozon remains a guy who could be a potential second line left wing, but he’s still got a ways to go. He needs to prove he can score this year without the linemates, and he needs to bring it in the AHL next year.

        Hes got a lot of talent for a third round guy though….

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  27. jrshabs1 says:

    How many free game passes does Brière get?

    Go Habs Go!!

    • Ton says:

      i think Briere bashing is pre mature…….its very obvious he’s a center………..and a good one at that………..DD is the one we made a grave mistake on! No doubt………..play Briere at center and give him some games and watch.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Plenty, say I.
      Flyers and Habs are such very different teams, I doubt the pre-season was long enough for DB to adjust and find his place. And don’t we normally give all vets a pass to start slowly in October?

    • Mattyleg says:

      How many goals should he have in two games?
      Give me a number.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Castor says:

      I’m not much of a Briere fan but blaming him when there is 20+ games of history to blame Deharnais is a bad choice.
      Deharnais is this team’s biggest problem.
      He is given ice time and positions he shouldn’t…damages the team.

    • Bill says:

      Briere was brought in for the playoffs. I’m looking for 0.5 PPG in the regular season, and close 1.0 PPG in the playoffs. If he does that, it was worth it. So I won’t be judging until if and when the Habs get to the real season.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  28. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    I’m not quite ready to hop on the Eller bandwagon just yet, because it can be like riding with the chicken cages on the roof of a Kenyan bus. It is bumpy, and it is a long, painful fall back to the ground. And when the feathers fly…, well, enough of that metaphor.

    As Chris Nilan and Sergio Momesso have both often said on TSN 690, let’s see how he does over an 82 game schedule. He has shown remarkable flashes in the past, but has been very inconsistent. But he’s young, and is gaining confidence. That is huge.

    No doubt, that line will get a lot of attention on this western road trip, with the opposition getting the last change. That means the other two top lines will need to step up and take advantage of more favourable match-ups. Especially the DD line. If wee Davey continues to struggle thru this western swing, MB will have a big decision to make. He can’t allow his fresh-faced trio to take all the heat and pressure, or even half, along with Pleky’s line.

    And a punishing power play would help a LOT!

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  29. Ton says:

    Some comments about some of the cheap hits in the leaque and yesterdays game…………..now I understand why Martin use to say let the league police it……..seems no matter how many big men you got to protect your players its not enough in todays league. In the old days it was enough but today no respect….salaries are way to significant not to go out and take cheap shots……so you get your head pounded in but your getting a million for it…………that’s why Pellata Hartnell Orr continue to do this crap…….how do you stop it?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      How do you stop it?

      As long as the league welcomes it and rides it, the only way to stop it will be some entirely new factor that ends up costing the league serious money. Class action? Fan boycott? Government intervention (health and safety inspectors imposing fines!?)?

      But are any of these remotely likely?

      Without change, hockey has maybe a decade or two left before the growing refusal of parents to submit their boys to the risks and prospect of brain and other injury eventually minimises talent and increases goonery to maximum levels. The game falls completely from grace as Canada’s favourite, the international hockey community shuns us (and probably US hockey also) and increasingly offers a real alternative. Once profits dry up, the NHL’s capitalist mandarins move on to some other natural resource to devour.

      • Bash says:

        I agree DB. And parental awareness of potential brain injury in hockey and football is growing fast. Perhaps you have seen tennis tv spots which show a kid happily accepting a racket as he quits hockey. Obviously the vast majority of kids will never play hockey for money but diehards still resist non contact minor options and refuse to delay full contact until kids are physically mature.
        Ironically these “hockey purists” may be seeding the sport’s demise.

        “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • Phil C says:

      They are not even trying to stop it. These are the type of hits the league wants. It would be easy to stop if the league desired. Look at bench clearing brawls. Automatic 10 regular season (ie pay receiving) game suspension if you leave the bench. Bench clearing brawls are almost non-existent now.

  30. Vid says:

    For the Canadiens, it’s great to finally have some of our younger players doing well with top 2 line potential. At least we already have a 1st pairing Dman. We have another large Dman who looks to fill a need at clearing the net. Hopefully Beaulieu will also become a top 4 Dman and PP specialist as well.

    I’m not sure the Canadiens have a young prospect who’s a great defensive centerman who can also win lots of faceoffs. It would be ideal to have such a guy who can be relied upon defensively and in the pk to relieve some defensive responsibilities from top two line players.

    Besides Subban and Tinordi, not sure who else has the potential to be an NHL dman. We’ll see what Beaulieu can do.

  31. JF says:

    Lars Eller is rapidly becoming one of the team’s top two centres, and his progress is not lost on Michel Therrien. More ice-time, more time on the powerplay and the penalty kill, more responsibility. His line, which looked out of sync for most of the pre-season, seems to have found its rhythm and cohesion. They are flying out there, playing with supreme confidence and awareness of each other’s position on the ice; they were by far our best line both last night and against the Leafs. Therrien said after the game that as long as they show they’re able to handle the responsibility, he’ll keep giving it to them and increase it as they progress.

    The pieces have been falling into place for Eller since about the middle of last season. From his first season with the Habs, there were tantalizing glimpses of the player he could become; now, despite JM’s efforts to turn him into a defensive third or fourth-liner, he is becoming that player. Chris said during Eller’s first season that he just might become the big, dominant centre the Habs had been missing for nearly two decades. He’s not there yet, and he’ll eventually have competition from Galchenyuk, but for now, he’s showing that he can surpass Plekanec. I think the biggest change in his game, aside from his increased level of confidence, is that he’s using his line-mates better. He used to hold onto the puck too long, try to do everything himself; now he’s distributing the puck well and there is a lot of give-and-go between him and the two Gallys, with good scoring chances.

    This is all great, but we can’t expect to see it game after game with no let-up. There will be games when the line struggles and takes a back seat to one of the other lines. So it’s good that Plekanec, Gionta, and Bourque, who were not visible in the right way against the Leafs (actually, Bourque looked OK), also had a solid game. Bourque made a beautiful pass to Gionta for the first goal, and Gionta returned the favour late in the game. This was a play on which Gionta might normally have shot instead of passing, so the pass showed the chemistry on the line and the confidence the players have in each other. As for Plekanec, he looked out of sorts against the Leafs, but was better last night. We should remember that he recently lost his father; it’ll take him a while to get over that.

    The consequence of the Eller line getting more ice-time is that everyone’s favourite whipping boy, David Desharnais, gets less. This is a good thing for now, but I’m not ready to write that line off or to dismiss Desharnais as a competent centre. He looked very good with Pacioretty and Brière during the pre-season, faster than last year and better at digging the puck out and hanging onto it. I’m going to wait till Patch is back and give them a few games together before making any criticisms.

    Actually, I’m withholding criticisms of anything for now. Last night was a solid effort, but I know that there will be ups and downs and that the team will struggle more in some aspects of the game than others. For one thing, I expect special teams to take a while to become really solid, since there is not usually much time to work on them in the pre-season. I also expect Price’s performance to be a little uneven until he becomes fully comfortable with the changes Waite is encouraging him to make in his game. He has to unlearn some things while learning others, and he has to put it all together so that it becomes second nature. So for this season, I’m prepared to be patient. If there are lots of games as good as last night, I’ll be pretty happy.

  32. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    for a HABS BLOG…don’t understand why the next game and time isn’t on the home page?

    so i have to go to multiple sites…not good.

    I appreciate the analysis and the comments, but lets not forget the basics, next game, time, home away etc…

    I apologize if its there and i can’t see it.

    The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…

  33. krob1000 says:

    anyone else hoping Price plays deeper in his net on long shots again. I know there are two scools of thought..one get out and take away as much space, and one give yourself more time to react/to find puck. Personally I think Price should challenge shooters when no traffic ….but when traffic is around I would prefer him to back up a bit….even the Vinny goal I thought he got caught moving out to the shot so the rebounds was not able to be recovered for. I know it could go either way and goalies will even vary but given the teams obvious preference to block shots and the fact they have difficulty in traffic defending I wish Price would stay at home on more of those and play his precentages closer to the goal line and then adjust and have a shot at the rebound/scramble pucks. He is always on his knees so once he reaches the top of the paint it is a point of no return should a puck bounce loose given he is out there sliding….OR…if he challeneges he stands…and tries to djust…but the long slides have to go…no ability to adjust.

    • Eddie says:

      I’m far from an expert on goaltending – but I think the goalie needs to be aggressive, come out and cut down the angles on shots, give the shooter less net to shoot at, and concentrate on making the 1st save.

      Rebounds and scramble pucks as you call them?

      That’s what we pay our defencemen to clear, right?

      • Grimmly says:

        Most people on here think they are goaltending experts so go assume away!

      • krob1000 says:

        With no traffic or on the rush is not what I mean…I mean in those situations where the Habs get hemmed in or on the pp when there are bodies all around Price. It seems these are the situations where he overcommits or slides or where is butterfly style in combination with him coming out and challenging lead to trouble. Part of the problem too is our dmen are too preoccupied with blocking shots to be defending when those pucks bobble free….not sure which is the bigger issue…Price challenging or d also overcommitting to shot blocking…but there are far too many tap ins that get scored against Montreal and very few for Montreal…it just always seems someone is unchecked and/or Price is in a position that he cannot recover from

        • Eddie says:

          I see what you’re saying. I agree with you that it seems once the shot is taken there is a lot of confusion and Price seems to be in the middle of it.

          I think the traditional position is that the two guys up top on the PK unit can try and block shots, but the d-men need to clear the rebound and help move people from the front of the net.

          Good point.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        It depends on the situation. For example, Price should have came out aggressively on the Bozack breakaway in the TO game. A guy who is being chased from behind is probably going to shoot so he made a mistake staying back. Anyway, he looks much more active this year which is good.

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

  34. dhenry1234 says:

    What makes me happy is that Montreal has 3 scoring lines.

    Patches DD Briere
    Bourque Plex Gio
    Gally Larry Chuckie

    When the time comes that other teams put their best players against the EGG line, it will give space to our other scoring lines to attack.

    It’s tough for any other team in the league to shut down 3 scoring lines.

    • krob1000 says:

      They actually have enough talent to have 4 scoring and physically able lines if they utilize Moen and Prust to help change the tone….too many guys running at Habs start last night.

      • dhenry1234 says:

        Id like to think of the 4th line as a toughness/energy line.

        Moen Prust Parros was great because Moen could play tough and not have to worry about being beat up by the team’s tough guy because Parros was there to take control of that.

        Now, there’s no Parros in the lineup so I’m just going to wait and see what comes out of it.

        • Pieboy says:

          With respect to Parros, the 4th line is better without Parros. Both Prust and Moen are quite decent hockey players.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            This is what I assumed when we acquired Parros. However, I was surprised in Game 1 to see him make a couple of useful passes and carry the puck purposefully near the Leaf goal during his brief TOI before the injury. So I’d actually like to see him back on the line.

  35. HardHabits says:

    Some observations:

    Eller played 18:43 minutes (4:53 PP TOI). Plekanec was on the ice for 18:02 minutes (3:17 PP TOI). Rene Bourque had the most ice time for forwards at 19:28 but 7:52 of it was on the PP.

    Eller’s line started the game with the opening face off. At this stage I wouldn’t call his unit the 1st line but it is without a doubt the 2nd line.

    4 Habs (Eller with 3 goals, Gallagher 2, Gionta 1 Bourque 1) have scored for a combined shooting percentage of 25%. Eller’s shooting percentage is an unsustainable 33%!!!!

    The missing players in all this are Desharnais and Pacioretty. It sucks that Patches got hurt but if last night’s game is any indicator, players will have to play with their head’s up. Hitting is part of the game. When you have the puck you are a target. Intent is very difficult to prove. I think, and I know the NHL doesn’t agree with me, we need to take head hits out of the game and call them as they do in the IIHF. There are no clean hits to the head period. That includes fighting, which IMHHO should be removed from the game as well. But I digress.

    Getting back to DD and Max. If these two start connecting (and they have to for the Habs to be successful) the Habs will have that 3 pronged attack that gave the opposition fits last season.

    I think another major factor this season will be the Habs record in the 2nd period. Last season their 2nd period record was abysmal compared to their 1st and 3rd. They seemed to get caught in their own end often last year, this due to where the benches are located when making changes. Hopefully they will develop and start taking advantage of having the bench in the opponent’s offensive zone as well. Baby steps.

    Price looks better with the coaching changes. I prefer hybrid to butterfly. Budaj will still need to play 12 games at the very minimum. 20 with a winning record would be awesome.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Agree all.
      I banged on boringly last year about letting Budaj have more starts — good for everyone.
      IIHF comparisons welcome.

    • HabfaninTO says:

      Not sure if it was the outcry from the fans or MT’s light bulb finally got screwed in, but he finally made the adjustments in ice time to his better players (kids)
      That being said the Habs to be successful will need contributions from all three lines.
      The DD situation is going to be problematic Briere is better suited for center IMO meaning some how someway they have to find a way to get rid DD. Not sure if MB can get rid of that albatross???…..maybe he has to be creative and dangle a prospect in a package to get out of this mess.

  36. Danno says:

    What a difference a win makes…

    Habs Slay Orangemen


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

  37. SteverenO says:

    I hate to be a pessimist and yesterday was a nice team victory, but there is already reason to be concerned about our powerplay.

    The habs have enjoyed 20 minutes with them man advantage this season so far and have scored only ONE goal. (They scored a second PP goal during a 5 on 3 advantage). They have also given up a “shorty” so in essence they are “even”i n the plus/minus during 20 minutes of PP time.

    Myfear is that Therrien will continue to make the same mistakes as he did last year when it comes to allocating time on the PP unit. I am continuously amazed at how many coaches at the NHL level are incapable of recognizing who among their personnel are the most, (and least), productive on the PP.

    For the purpose of comparison, the Capitals have scored 6 times with a 5 on 4 man advantage in 11.5 minutes, and the Blues have scored 3 PP goals in a little over 7 minutes.

    I understand its too early to “panic” but this issue is one that needs to be addressed, quickly. Our team is just simply not strong enough to contend UNLESS we are very effective on the special teams.

    Its nice to see Lars developing into what I believe will be a top 10 center in the NHL. My friends laughed at me when I compared Eller’s style to Beliveau, last year. I think they will not be laughing much longer.


    Steve O.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hi Steve. Good to have some stats on that, although it’s very, VERY early days.

      Are you not encouraged by perceptible shifts in TOI, say, between what’s nominally the first line and the kids’ line and the success which those shifts have generated? Isn’t it a strong possibility that it will spread to the PP?

    • Mark C says:

      Interesting that someone taking such a strong statistical approach would show concern over such a minuscule sample size.

      • SteverenO says:

        @Mark– True the sample size is small. but 1 Pp goal in 20 minutes is not something to dismisso out of hand.

        @ Mike: No, I am not encouraged. Therrien does not seem to recognize that a players past success (or failure) on the PP is the best indicator of the players likelihood to succeed (or fail) in the future.

        Incredibly, there are a large number of other coaches who are similarly unwilling to look at the available data.

        A good analogy would be a baseball manager not taking into account a players batting average, or on base percentage, when making up his batting order. The difference is that in baseball EVERYONE would notice a player with a low average batting third on the lineup

        How many people know that (for example) the RedWings scored only 4 PP goals in 111 minutes of PP time (one PP goal every 28 minutes– a success rate of .070) when Filppula was on the ice?. For comparison they scored a PP goal every 8 minutes overall and counted a PP goal every 6 minutes when Filppula was NOT on the ice.

        It seems that Babcock himself was not aware, because in the playoffs, Filppula got a regular shift on the Redwings PP unit. It should not come as no surprise that in 33 minutes of playoff PP action the Redwings scored only two goals while Filppula was on the ice.


        Steve O.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Posts that appear to claim superior insight to NHL coaches — even Babcock — while common here, for sure! — start to read a bit uncomfortably when they are as sincere as yours. Could it be that while you’re looking at stats, Therrien/Babcock/Laviolette/Carlyle are looking at “big pictures” which contain vast amounts of information of which we fans and armchair GMs have absolutely no knowledge? They make their decisions on the basis of everything they know and need to bear in mind. We only have to respond to the outcome.

          I was absolutely maddened last year by the amount of time DD had on the PP, but I always believed (still do) that there had to be some logical reason for it to which the public could not possibly have access (and, imo, it had nothing to do with language).

  38. PrimeTime says:

    Larry is off to a great start to the season but I can’t rid the image of him getting clocked in his final game last year. Hartnelll tried to nail him in the corner last night after he scored and drew a penalty. I’m glad Larry side-stepped it. I hope he continues to play with his heads up cuz he has become a target for the idiots.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I noticed that as well PT. Ed’s post below along with responses fit very well with your take. For some unknown reason the league doesnt do enough to protect its skilled players even after losing one of its criwn jewels (Crosby) for almis an entire season.

  39. Eddie says:

    anyone notice the way Scott Hartnell and Zac Rinaldo were taking “runs” at our players? Hartnell took a run at Eller and just missed. Rinaldo took several runs at Desharnais? and landed at least one and missed with about 10 seconds left in the game.

    so…. here’s my point.

    those plays are over the top, there is an intent to hit so hard as to injure the opponent.

    even on the play when Pacioretty was injured, if you watch the tape, the puck had left the area well before, and Max didn’t ever have the puck. Max was the 3rd man in a scrum and he had his eyes to the glass. Orr came in from the blind side and targeted Max’s arm on the hit.

    You can argue that these are legal “runs”; I say they should not be.

    If there is intent to injure then it should be called.

    The refs are allowed to call “intent” already when they claim a player has “embellished”, so why not let the refs call a player for “intent to injure” if they see a dangerous “run” has been taken at another player.

    It is often these “intent to injure” hits that are the causes of many of the fights as well, because the players know there is no penalty being called for this dangerous action on the ice.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree Ed, I watched the Flyer Leaf game and Rinaldo was the same, he seems intent on ending someone’s career.

    • HardHabits says:

      The link you’re looking for is here –> http://figureskatinginsideout.com

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Good reality check, HH. No point in risking any suspicion that you have become Nuns’Habits.

        • HardHabits says:

          I think it is virtually impossible to prove intent to injure. My position is that the NHL should ban hits to the head period. Any hit to the head whether seemingly intentional or not should be penalized and the player ejected from the game. Same for fighting. The Olympics now with the pros is the highest form of hockey being played not only because of the concentration of talent but mostly because of the IIHF rules being used.

          Running players is a loaded phrase, nevertheless the act of skating into a player to deliver a check is part of hitting and hitting is part of the game. We love it when Subban, Tinordi or Emelin lays a player out.

          Another thing is that hockey is a high adrenalin sport and competitive. I agree that boundaries have to be set. No hits to the head. No hits from behind into the boards. No kneeing. But intent to injure? Will there be three judges who decide? 😉

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Preaching to the choir!
            But I agree, intent is a nebulous area. That being so, it would be great if the NHL imported IIHF culture.
            But that’s just me, with a blind faith that the game of hockey is wonderful enough to sell itself without the need to attempt cashing in on the success of UFC. I don’t have billions of dollars at stake, the league does.

          • Eddie says:

            that’s a long way from your figure skating post.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            I was wondering about that, too.

    • Danno says:

      Wouldn’t an intent-to-injure rule would forbid clean but painful hits from Subban, Emelin etc…


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

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      To answer your question, Ed: the reason the refs don’t call it is because the league approves of it.

      (My entire experience of Rinaldo is of a Cooke/Marchand on-ice putz. I presume he is also a loving and caring family man who does more than anyone on the Flyers to further charitable causes, is a great guy in the room and every Flyer’s favourite team-mate, and goes to church every Sunday. All of which helps make it ok to try and end the careers of your fellow players, right?)

    • Phil C says:

      Good post, I’ve always thought that these “legal” hits are the most dangerous part of modern-day hockey, way more dangerous than fighting. If you look in the rules, violent hits as you have described should be called charging, the league just does not interpret the rules this way.

      It is a form of collective insanity that any sport would allow competitors to legally concuss each other.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        If the league can overlook the near-loss of its poster boy Crosby, it certainly doesn’t give a ha’penny hoor for anyone else. Their fear is that any genuine prohibition on intent to injure would have a negative impact on profits. I detest the NHL.

        • Phil C says:

          The NHL only cares about the business, not the sport, which is detestable. Unfortunately, they have become the de facto custodians of the sport, so whatever they tolerate gets tolerated at all levels of hockey. So you have midget-aged boys throwing the same types of hits at the amateur level. No surprise hockey is losing market share in Canada, I would never put a son in contact hockey in this country.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            (Careful. We are at risk of being invited to watch golf or post on figureskatinginsideout. Indeed, what WILL we watch after the NHL has bled the last dime from the game while simultaneously destroying it before its mandarins move on to invest in something else? It’s a great game, so perhaps something like college hockey might rise and start to enjoy the kind of status that college sports have earned in the US. For me, the sooner there is a major class action against the NHL, one that cripples it, the better.)

      • krob1000 says:

        This is why people don’t understand the role of the players policing….there are clean hits that are dangerous hits ( I got attacked for this the other day)….these hits target the stars…and these hits (see several last night, see Patches,etc) are why enforcers enforce and guys respond to what we deem clean hits. Some of Pk and emelins hits are of this nature too…I see why people respond…they are dangerous. This is why people will stick up for guys and their teams…several of those hits last night would have had Parros attacking Rinaldo or even Simmonds When a star is targets by something deemed dangerous (clean or otherwise)…the players have their own interpretation of dangerous…the tough guys normally respond. I bet it killed Parros, Murray and Prust watching some of that happen. Good on Moen and good on White for standing up in their places but witht hose guys around it would have happened early to set the tone. I liked that Bouillon drilled Rinaldo I believe at the buzzer…

    • twilighthours says:

      That was a physical game, for sure. Flyers didn’t pass on any hits

    • krob1000 says:

      Yesterday was a perfect example of what will happen without enforcers…unfortunate as it is. They were taking runs…Prusts shoulder is hurt, Parros out, Murray out,Emelin not around to return the so called “clean hits) at their stars,etc. Yesterday was a perfect example of how hockey will be without fighting..guys like Rinaldo running “cleanly” at stars. Had Parros been in the lineup and Prust healthy….Parros goes at Rinaldo. Prust then deals with Rosehill….and then it hopefully is over. The fights yesterday did nothing to deter those guys (moen and White)….but there wasnoone in the lineup to scare those gus or return the favour. Let’s be honest…NHLers remember and I am quite sure that Brandon Prust let Grossman know that….I am sure he said I’d love to tear you a new one but right now my shoulder doesn’t work. The way the game is played being the tougher team is an advantage….like it , hate it…who cares…but acknowledge and address it because that is just the way it is right now. I would split that Egg line and have the tougher guys more evenly distributed.
      The runs at Galalgher are down right scary and he is proving valuable enough to have someone protecting him. As are a few others…who are under constant threat….if the Habs are not going to fight them then they have to return the favour and start taking rns at Giroux,etc…otherwise teams will take liberties at them. It is a sad state of affairs but those hits are the ones I was talking about before …they are “clean”…but if you ever hit Mario or Wayne with one of those clean hits….you were in big trouble. You have to protect your valuable players and right now Montreal is not doing that IMO. They tried to address it….but Prust, Parros and Murray along with emelin out make it very difficult.

  40. B says:

    The E-Gals line soared again last night.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  41. Phil C says:

    Did anyone watch 24CH last night? My french is not great, but it really seemed like Bergevin was unimpressed with Louis Leblanc’s camp, calling it average. Can anyone with better french give their impression of that conversation?

    • JF says:

      He actually said that Leblanc’s intensity level and effort were ten times what they’d been in Hamilton last year, that he was progressing well and just needed to keep it up. There was a bit more, but that was the gist of it. I’m pretty sure he didn’t say anything about Leblanc’s camp being average.

  42. Danno says:

    When George Parros comes back it’s going to give the team such a lift. Stay tuned…


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

  43. commandant says:

    Ryan White shaves head to support cancer patient

    Jarome Iginla’s potential in Boston.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  44. commandant says:

    Mark my words, the EGG line will be considered our number 1 line as we head into the playoffs.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Words narked, Ben. In my mind they’re the number 1 line now.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      It’s truly exciting.
      Good to see you, Commandant. How/When do you foresee them going against other teams’ top shut-down lines?

      • commandant says:

        Sorry, I’ve been offline all week as I just moved to Sudbury and it took a few days to get the internet set up.

        With Montreal’s offence, we truly are a three line squad, and that might take some a while to catch on. I figure by November/December though. Sooner if the DD line continues to struggle, but I think as soon as Max is 100% they will start to score more and allow EGG to fly under the radar a little longer.

        The great thing is, if a guy likes Pacioretty (when healthy) gets better matchups when teams begin to focus on EGG. He’ll start dominating those matches. It is a good thing to look forward to.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      I liked the Halak trade at the time it was made and I like it better now. The future looks bright down the middle.

    • dano58 says:

      “Gelly” line is my new name for them.

      GO HABS GO!!!

      Starting a movement to draft Lars little brother “MADS ELLER”
      He will be another one a la Saku and Mikko Koivu so lets not
      miss the boat this time please.

      • commandant says:

        Mads was draft eligible in 2013 and every team in the NHL passed on him for seven rounds.

        Sure he could get drafted this year, or still make it as a long shot, but he’s no Mikko Koivu who was a top 10 pick.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    Selanne plays in Wpg tonight, probably final time he plays in the city where it all started.

  46. Phil C says:

    Eller line getting 1st line minutes and PP time. Check.
    PK playing PK and huge minutes. Check.
    Tinordi on PK. Check.
    Price playing hybrid style. Check.
    Moen winning fights. Check.
    Habs win. Check.

    All we need now is for Briere to score a hat-trick on passes from DD and Diaz and all the controversy will be sucked from this place.

  47. habs001 says:

    Solid effort by the Habs….Now they have another 3 days off but 3 games in 4 days coming up….

  48. Habfan10912 says:

    @Chuck. I am easily confused I admit but I’m really struggling with this “intent to blow” whistle stuff. How long does it take the brain to signal the mouth to blow the whistle? Anybody?

  49. Subban in Sochi says:

    The 3rd period vs. the Flyers was a lot of fun. However, in truth, the first 1.67 periods of the season were uninspiring.

    I liked Price’s effort but every Habs’ fan-and Price himself-is waiting for CP to DOMINATE games. Price can own games rather he makes 16 saves or 60 stops. Maybe he’s still adjusting to “shallow” nets and “short” pads-or his coach. If he comes up big (no pun intended) in games vs. Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg we’ll all relax considerably. Budaj beats a surprisingly weak “ever young” Oilers team.

    And Daniel Brière ends 40 days of wandering in the desert-gets back on the scoresheet (and not for PiM’s)…

    “Cannonading drive!!”

  50. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Briere may score his first goal by Christmas!

    Dat’s wha me tinks

  51. Seps says:

    A lot of people were claiming how bad dubnyk is last night and that the oilers need a starting goalie. As a hockey fan I understand goalies have bad games (last night for dubnyk), as a Montreal fan most can’t allow that. However Dubnyk had a .921 sv% last year, also .916sv% the year before, how is he not a legitimate starter? He may not be great but that’s not the goalies job to steal games every night. The young guys there don’t like to back check, combine that with a defensively weak defensive core and that’s why the oilers lose.

    Its nice when there’s nothing to complain about after a nice habs win.

  52. aroma says:

    Just imagining revamped, more realistic lines (“realistic” is debatable, but bear with me).

    For now, Eller and Plek lines intact.

    Pacioretty returns, plays left wing, Briere centre, Prust right wing.

    Fourth line is tricky as the players, other than White, are left hand shots – until Parros returns. So White plays right wing and can take the faceoff when Desharnais or Bournival get waved out. The two alternate games to determine who is more effective. By the time Parros returns, it will be clear if either should be dressed. Moen of course on left wing. Christian Thomas another possibility on right wing.

    I say give Briere the chance to prove that he’s a more effective third line center than DD. He’ll get his game back, if it’s there to be gotten, more readily at his natural position. DD has been given ample opportunity and at some point if he continues to be ineffective, the above scenario would be an interesting experiment. And who knows, he may just pocket a few when the expectations for him have been lowered.

  53. Strummer says:

    “We are the EGG line – w-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o”

    “They are the EGG line- w-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o”

    McLean’s still a fat Walrus

    Goo-Goo- Gajoob!


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

  54. Thomas Le Fan says:

    So … after the first game, we were doomed. Are we better now? Go Habs!

    There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

  55. dano58 says:

    Great game and agree with some of the comments about “Gelly”
    line (no EGG here as they really do gell) being sheltered a little with last change but let’s see on the road how they do out west. I really like Bournival and his poise and speed. Let’s draft Mads Eller before we miss out on him. Is there a supplemental draft like other sports as he is starting to really go in the WHL.
    GO HABS GO!!!

    Starting a movement to draft Lars little brother “MADS ELLER”
    He will be another one a la Saku and Mikko Koivu so lets not
    miss the boat this time please.

  56. Danno says:

    DB can’t help it if the passes he makes to guys right in front of the net aren’t going in


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

  57. on2ndthought says:

    Big George Laraque decided the enforcer role was not what he signed up for. Big George Parros will hopefully get his health back and play that role again. In the meantime let’s introduce the next Big(ish) George: a local kid known for his ability in fisticality; Big George St-Pierre. Yes, GSP is just what we need. He will take Orr, McLaren, Frase and Kessel at THE SAME TIME. His skates will make those swing kicks deadly, literally! He’ll take his 5 minutes, then put a sleeper hold on Lucic and Chara. Teams will dread the schedule when they see the CH.

    Is it a matter of time before some martial artist changes the icescape of the NHL? Someone with training in Aikido would mop up the obvious grab and pummel tactics of the contemporary enforcer, make them look SILLY and uncomfortable (without actually hurting them, kind of against the code).

    “a cannonading drive”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Ha ha! Great post.

      Reminds me, I’ve often wondered, why are there never knees to the groin or head-bangs in hockey fights? Because of some fallacious notion of honour? If you’re going to fight, why not fight?

      (BTW I am still congratulating myself on last Wednesday’s slam-dunk anti-fighting post. There was one excellent counter a couple of days later – Krob? – (and I’m not even sure if it was directed at myself) and otherwise silence. The issue needs a break for now, but I’ll be back crowing about my impressive takedown and throwing down the gauntlets next time a thread buzzes with the fighting debate).

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