About last night …

WhiteSticked

And with a bit more than 24 hours to recover – the Thursday game starts at 9:30 p.m. Montreal time – the Canadiens weill have to figure out how to play a 60-minute hockey game or they will go 0-for-Alberta.

And they may have to rebound without Josh Gorges. The veteran defenceman played one shift in the third period at the Saddledome. Gorges has some kind of knack, which means we could see Nathan Beaulieu on the CH blueline in Edmonton.

With all due respect to the 2011 first-round draft choice (Beaulieu was picked 17th overall), this is not a good situation. He would joining a defence corps that took its lumps in Calgary.

Andrei Markov played 27:23 against the Flames. How much will he have left one night later in Edmonton?

Raphael Diaz played almost 20 minutes and did not take a single shot toward Flames’ goaltender Joey MacDonald. If Diaz isn’t shooting, what the heck does he bring to the Canadiens’ lineup? Rugged physicality?

Aged Francis Bouillon had to play 21:34. Hey, we love Frankie and he’s a gamer. But against young, fast and aggressive forwards, such as the ones we saw in Calgary and more of the same in Edmonton, Bouillon just can’t keep up.

Jarred Tinordi looked bad on the second Calgary goal. But he’s a rookie, and there should have been more effective communication with Gorges on the play.

That leaves the reigning Norris Trophy winner, who spent the end of the game in the penalty box watching his teammates desperately scramble for a tying goal.

P.K. Subban is carrying the team from the back end. He’s capable, but I thought Subban was trying too hard against Calgary.

At least P.K. showed up for the game. That’s more than can be said for Rene Bourque. After two solid, hard-working efforts against the Leafs and Flyers, Bourque disappeared against his old team … and his MIA performance reduced the effectiveness of linemates Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

Michel Therrien dropped Bourque to the fourth line for a shift or two in the third period. The coach also flipped Brendan Gallagher and Daniel Brière in an effort to get the Lars Eller and David Desharnais lines going.

DD went 7-1 on faceoffs and about 1-77 in puck battles. He had more even-strength ice time than either Plekanec or Eller.

The ever-improving Great Dane was 8-4 on draws. And Eller continued his streak of scoring in every game the Canadiens have played this season. He’s on pace for 109 goals.

Alex Galchenyuk had five shots on goal – some from ridiculous angles. Max Pacioretty had four.

But until the late-game flurry, MacDonald was rarely troubled by white jerseys blocking his sight lines or crashing his crease. Wee Gallagher seems to be the only Canadiens forward who rushes in where too many of his teammates fear to tread. The physicality Bourque brought against Toronto and Philly was missed in Calgary. There are nights when you wish the Canadiens still had Erik Cole.

Ryan White had ZERO hits in the game … unless you want to count the check he laid on Travis Moen to create the turnover that led to Calgary’s first goal.

Brandon Prust played 10 largely ineffective minutes. I suspect Prust is hurt, because we’re not seeing the player who was a revelation last season.

It’s early, but we aren’t seeing the team that won its division and finished second in the Eastern Conference last season.

On L’Antichambre, Guy Carbonneau suggested the Canadiens were able to surprise teams during the truncated 2013 season. That isn’t happening this fall, and the Canadiens have been back on their heels early in the games against Toronto and Calgary.

Carey Price had no chance on the first two Flames’ goals, both of which were tap-ins to open sides of the net. He might have done better on Curtis Glencross’s power-play tip from close in.

Will Peter Budaj get the call to salvage some Alberta points on Thursday night?

Habs losing streak in Calgary extends to seven, by Dave Stubbs

MacDonald makes 33 saves for Flames in victory, montrealgazette.com

Rally comes up short, Canadiens.com

Rookie Monahan scores again for Flames, Calgary Herald

Young Flames finally hold a lead, Calgary Herald

Parros almost symptom free, by Dave Stubbs

Habs vs. Flames photo gallery, canadiens.com

 

503 Comments

  1. JF says:

    We’re only three games in, but my pre-season doubts about making the playoffs are being strengthened fast. We’re still too small up front, and the defence is a mess.

    I spent most of last season thinking that Therrien for the most part was doing a great job. I attributed our late-season meltdown to the loss of Emelin and to Price’s problems, the playoff disaster to injuries as well as those factors. I’m beginning to realize I was wrong; with the exception of the Philly game, the team looks as bad as it did at the end of last season. Therrien, while he seems to work well with young players, has certain critical shortcomings. He is not good at making in-game adjustments, his allotment of ice-time is becoming a serious problem, and it is beyond me to understand how he can watch his team getting burned time after time trying to execute that high-risk defensive system without doing something about it.

    On the question of ice-time, it is clear to all observers that Eller and the two Gallys are our top line, and should have the most ice-time. Apart from the Philly game, this has not been the case. On defence, thing are more complicated because of the players we have. But it was obvious last season that Markov was playing far too many minutes, and he’s on pace to do the same this year. I’m just not sure how those minutes should be replaced. Aside from PK, who could easily play 30 minutes, we don’t really have anyone who doesn’t need a bit of protection in terms of ice-time and who they’re lined up against.

    I wonder what Marc Bergevin is thinking watching his team looking more cellar-bound than playoff-bound. Perhaps he’s not dissatisfied. I figure he was confounded by the way the team leapt out of the gate last year and galloped to a second-place finish. When he took over as GM, he must have thought the rebuild would take at least three years, maybe four, with one of those years being another bottom finish. Perhaps this explains some of the contracts and signings that many posters object to, including the Desharnais contract. Based on Desharnais’s performance two years ago, Bergevin maybe thought that he would be a good, relatively inexpensive centre on a rebuilding team; by the time the team was able to contend, Desharnais’s contract would be up. Bergevin could not have foreseen the kind of quantum leap Lars Eller would make in the last few weeks of last season and the beginning of this, a leap that seems to have made Desharnais redundant.

    Perhaps the same thought process underlay the other signings. Parros, Murray, Drewiske – these players add some size, but all are cheap, stop-gap measures. Pretty much the same goes for Brière, although I’m sure Bergevin would have preferred Lecavalier if he’d been willing to sign for two years rather than five.

    So that’s how things look to me at the moment. Another rebuilding year, perhaps another lottery pick.

  2. munch17 says:

    Very poor effort last night.
    I do agree with some of observations on L’antichambre – including the fact that grit player like Moen and Prust should be getting 3rd line minutes if they are doing battle for the team.
    I prefer the idea of two top lines:
    Pacs-Pleks-Briere
    EGG
    They should player about 18-20 minutes.
    and two grit lines playing 10-12 minutes.
    Bourque-Prust-Gionta ( not too gritty but not much choice)
    White-Bournival- Moen

    DD HAS NO PLACE ON THIS TEAM!!

    Sorry for shouting – I can’t take it anymore!!

  3. FANHABULOUS says:

    A serious question for the reporters that cover the Habs, and have some access to the room (Stubbs, Hickey etc):

    How hard is it for you guys to ask some pointed questions at a post or pre-game session? I mean, there have been some obvious trends with the way MT likes to use his players, yet nobody seems to ask him things like:

    - Can you tell us what your thought process is in limiting Subban’s playing time, relative to other workhorse defensemen in the league? After all, he’s proven to be one of the best D in the league (THE BEST last year).

    - DD continues to anchor the line with Max, and gets significant powerplay time, yet others around him are out-performng him… how long before you decide to try some new combinations?

    - Since DD has not played well since the half-way mark of last year, and continues to play poorly, why has he not been subjected to a couple of games in the press box, as has been done to others on this team?

    - You continue to use the paring of Markov and Diaz together, yet results from last season and this one show that they are not very effective 5-on-5. What is your thought process for continuing to keeping them together?

    I’m sure the rest of the folks here can add to these questions, but they seem so obvious… yet none of the reporters seem to ask these things?! I would like to see how management answers these types of questions, cause it’ll give us some insight into their thought process.

    ____________________________________
    “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

    • Cardiac says:

      Stirring the pot much. There is a locker room etiquette reporters must follow if they want to maintain access to the lock room.

      Imagine the Toronto media asking Leafs players who they think is the better goalie and the poop storm that would cause.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      - Jerry Maguire

  4. Timo says:

    DD is the new Gomez.

    It’s been CONFIRMED.

  5. Bill says:

    Hey Krob, that’s a nice story about Briere flipping a puck to your boy.

    However, judging by comments, a lot of posters here will take that story and start spreading rumours about the time Briere tried to injure Krob’s little boy by shooting a puck at him!

  6. desertman says:

    The Oilers blogger on Hockeybuzz completely forgot DD plays for the habs, here is his predicted line up:

    Pacioretty – Briere – Bourque
    Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher
    Prust – Plekanec – Gionta
    Moen – Bournival – White

    Gorges – Subban
    Markov – Diaz
    Tinordi – Bouillon

    Price

    If only I could forget he plays for the Habs….

  7. @gerald I don’t just worry, I hate our defense structure. But I can’t change it, don’t want to bring people down day after day talking about it. SO I’ll just keep coming here with my caffeine fix and bust some balls!

    Here are the new HIO Summit Name Tags all. It was going to be a surprise but I figure you all need a pick me up.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v388/sholi2000/nameplate2013FUNcopy_zps3522f30a.jpg

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  8. Eddie says:

    So who was Plekanec lined up against last night? Who was he “shutting down” with his famous defensive game that everyone raves about here?

    I would figure a guy like Plekanec, with his speed, his skill, and his experience, would absolutely DOMINATE a young, inexperienced Calgary team, who has very little, if any, star power.

    Maybe you guys should start looking at Plekanec and asking of him what you seem to expect from Desharnais??

    If Plekanec would lead this team offensively against some of the weaker teams in this league I would at least buy into the argument that he is otherwise pre-occupied with his defensive game against the elite teams and the elite players.

    But he doesn’t. And he gets a lifetime pass on this site.

    • twilighthours says:

      I’d agree with that Ed, and I love Plekanec. He should be dominating a matchup against Monahan, or whomever. He was, in theory, the best centre in that game last night.

    • The Jackal says:

      I get the sentiment, but Plek has proven that he is productive offensively and defensively. He is probably one of the best second line two-way centres in the league. Just because a team is inexperienced/young does not mean a player will dominate them in anyway, Calgary has some talented youngsters with a lot to prove and a lot of energy – they were hungry and came out strong and the Habs had a bad start, that happens.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • krob1000 says:

      I don’t know how to reply to any post suggesting that Dd and Pleks are comparable. If you are trying to say Pleks did not play well…ok…yup he didn’t he was off like the rest of them….but if you are implying they are even remotely close as hockey players that is a whole other ball game.

      • Eddie says:

        Is there one word anywhere today holding Plekanec at all responsible for last night’s loss??

        I think my post was very clear.

        • krob1000 says:

          I don’t think anyone is holding Dd or any one responsible either. Dd has had a rough season and more despite someehow getting preferential treatment over Pleks. Who do you think deserves teh teams top winger? Pleks or DD? Who do you want out there in the last minute fo a close game? and that could be said dwn a goal, up a goal or tied. Who do you want matching agisnt another teams top player Pleks or DD? WHo do you want on the pp even? I don;t see a situation out there where DD is better than PLeks yet he gets first line pp, top winger on team, top quality minutes,etc…..I think that is what is fristrating people…Dd himself is fine but when he gets in the way of Eller and Pleks who areboth pretty well rounded players and fan faves it gets under poeples skin. Many ar of course over the top but DD made it by hustling and working hard enough to overcome his size…when the work ethic is not there he just does not have the talent…when he sakets his butt off and gets favourable situations he can be of use….but many including myself would prefer to have Pleks or Eller get his minutes.

          The problem only gets worse down the orad with Glachneyuk being a center…the writing is on the wall that someone is going to go but the scarier thig is that it could possibly be Pleks or Elelr the way things are being done…that upsets many including me.

  9. Subban in Sochi says:

    Somewhere I’ve seen the phrase, “No excuses.” It is getting tiresome hearing about (alleged) injuries. Prust, White, and Moen looked like bull fighters; waving a red cape. We need some bullsh_t fighters. Beaulieu should be able to (adequately) step in for Gorges, who like the “checking” line was -2.

    I adore Markov. However, he’s not in contention for the Norris Trophy. P.K. Subban IS a “Best Defenseman” candidate…and HE should be playing 28-29 minutes per game. Of course this task would be easier to accomplish if he played the last 2 minutes of regulation…and maybe 3-4 minutes of OT.

    “Pas d’excuses!!!” Merci. Mercy…

    “Cannonading drive!!”

  10. Cal says:

    Do you get the feeling that this performance was what MB was expecting? He made no moves to bolster the roster at trade deadline time because he saw what most of us are seeing today; a Habs team that has to hit bottom again in order to get more draft picks to improve.
    MB signed a couple stop gap UFAs in Murray and Brière and traded for a bruiser. After the playoff wipeout at the hands of the Senators, we are left with pretty much the same team.

  11. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Does anyone know if Briere is good in the room?

  12. habsguru says:

    there are 350 people ahead of DD on the scoring list. Davey needs 1 point to catch Kris Newbury, who logged 6:52 TOI in his last (and looks like only) game. by TOI comparrison, if he had Davey’s minutes, he would be leading the scoring race.

    • B says:

      Hey, Desharnais is tied in points with Claude Giroux who has averaged almost 22 minutes per game so far. He is also tied with Loui Eriksson, Yakupov, Ribeiro, Semin, Hartnell, Shaw, J.Staal, Simmonds and others. Does that mean they are equivalent players? Are they all totally useless? Is Giroux even worse since he has tons of PP time and has played over 38 minutes more than Desharnais yet he doesn’t have more points?

      –Go Habs Go!–

  13. jimmy shaker says:

    Emelin is the fix to all the habs problems. Big hitter, tough in his own zone, PK machine, makes old man marky look young again, blocks shots, clears the crease, and draws penalties for his crushing hits when the other team retaliates and tries to pummel him (but since his jaw will shatter if he takes one punch, he doesn’t fight…..resulting in a PP for the deadly marky to PK howitzer from the point). So if Price can take these guys on his back till the end of November, then emelin can make all things right again.

    Shaker

  14. zephyr says:

    I thought gio hustled last nite & created some chances. his linemates were awol tho. bourque was good the 1st 2 games but pleks has been invisible. I feel sorry for max playing with 2 smurfs. if dd plays center, then they need a big rw like bourque to complement them.
    our forwards did almost no forechecking for most of the game. why was that? laziness or coaching? geez. this is getting to be like 2 yrs ago when I stopped watching because I couldn’t take the crapitude any more.

  15. twilighthours says:

    Timo, credit where it’s due: if I had gone to last night’s game I’d be a lot more angry than you are. Where’s the rage?

    • The Jackal says:

      Ever since Timo began to partake in MT’s personal development programme, he has been able to reign in his rage and save it for massage Friday.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Timo says:

      Like I said, Timo and Mrs Timo had a lovely date night. I was disappointed Habs lost but since wife and I don’t get out much just the two of us anymore, it was nice nonetheless.

  16. twilighthours says:

    Why not?

    Players I like: Plekanec, Bork, Galchenyuk, Eller, Gallagher, Prust, Bournival, Tinordi, Bouillon, Subban, Emelin, Gorges, Price

    Players I don’t like: Briere, Moen, Diaz, Murray (more the used roster spot than him)

    Players toward whom I’m indifferent: Pacioretty, Desharnais, Gionta, White, Parros, Markov, Budaj

    • The Jackal says:

      Same list with the exception of Max and Parros in the like column, and Moen in the indifferent with a lean to the like.

      I know Gio is a competitor and has been good for the team, but it’s for Markov, Gionta, Cube (Who I like a lot), and DD to go. Maybe Cube and DD can stay if DD has an exclusive third line exploitation role and Cube is the 6th D AT BEST. But Markov and Gio have to go to make room for our young players. Hell, maybe Markov can stay as a PP specialist and 3rd pairing D but I’d rather see Beaulieu out there making mistakes and learning than seeing our D corp as it is right now.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Lafrich says:

      Who is Bork?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Twilight

      While respecting your opinion, just a few questions.

      Indifferent towards 24 year old Pacioretty?
      Why?
      Yes, he gets hurt, yet is a hell of a warrior.
      Easily lead the Habs in points last year with 39 in 44 games played.
      Will probably be a Top 6-9 on Team USA.

      Just wondering how can you not like Murray when he hasn’t played a single regular season game for the Habs?
      We really have no idea at this moment what he can bring to the team or to some of the youngsters that are surely going to show up on the back end this year.
      His PK experience will be counted on as the Habs were a brutal 23rd last year and even worse in the playoffs.

      Moen? A very inexpensive $1.85M Cap Hit 4th line good vet that has come to play this year and stick up for his mates.

      • Cardiac says:

        Agreed, Pacioretty is a huge piece of the puzzle. I’m sure just about every other NHL team would be glad to take him off our hands.

        “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
        - Jerry Maguire

      • twilighthours says:

        Pacioretty: fast, powerful, great release and accuracy on shot. And yet, leaves me wanting more.

        Murray: as I said, it’s the roster spot that I don’t like. Although I am fearful that he won’t be a very good player, either. Some have argued that his value on the PK is overstated, as well.

        Moen: He’s actually just not a good hockey player now. And I’d much rather have Moen’s and Murray’s $ to throw at a legitimately effective NHL player. But I mostly don’t get bent out of shape over player salaries.

        These are just opinions. It’s OK to think I’m an idiot.

  17. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ Timo

    You asked why the Habs point men on the power play get pressured
    ———

    Answer.
    Teams study tape, then try to neutralize strengths.

    They realized that Markov was the #1 PP goal scorer for ALL NHL Dmen last year (8), and Subban was the # 2 PP goal scorer for all ALL NHL Dmen last year (7).

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20132ALLDADALL&sort=powerPlayGoals&viewName=goals

    They also realized that the Habs scored 42 PP goals last year and was the 5th ranked PP in the NHL.

    Subban had a goal or assist on 26 of those 42 PP goals – meaning he was involved in 62% of all Habs PP goals last year.

    Markov had a goal or assist on 23 of those 42 goals – meaning he was involved in 55% of all Habs PP goals scored last year.

    Who would you be more concerned about if you were an opposition coach?
    Subban and Markov, or what Therrien put out as his 1st Unit forward Unit?

    By the way, Subban, Markov, and…Ryder accounted for 50% of ALL Habs PP goals last year, and Ryder only played 27 games for the Habs.

  18. jedimyrmidon says:

    The other thing I’m really disliking is the team is squandering the chances Price is giving them to get back into the game. Instead, they’re bumbling around being horrible while Therrien sits there doing nothing except limiting Subban’s ice time and letting DD suck up a ton of it.

  19. jedimyrmidon says:

    Many on here playing the blame game.

    To blame: Therrien (ice time management, porous defensive scheme, lack of team preparedness), DD (favourable ice time black hole, everything is done to make him succeed at the expense of the team), the media (who would rather focus on unimportant matters [like Subban's comments] rather than asking the questions that should be asked)

    Do not blame: Price, Bergevin, Pacioretty and, to a certain extent, Subban (frustration got the better of him despite him being implicated in both goals scored)

  20. third generation haber says:

    Re: DD

    I think the criticism is fully justified. If Parros refused to fight, we’d be on his back pretty quick.

    DD is a “skill” player; they make large sums of money to produce points. After 3 games, he has no points and has played an average of 16:16 per game. If that doesn’t disappoint u, he also gets plenty of PP time.

    I’d like to be able to tell u that he at least, blocks shots, hits, plays a shut-down role, kills penalties, or is strong in the face-off circle, but he isn’t and he doesn’t. He’s a one dimensional player who needs to watch game-tape of Brendan Gallagher who is worth 10 DD’s.

    He’s also sheltered from taking defensive zone face-offs by Pleks.

    I don’t believe he gets special treatment because he’s a Quebecer, but instead he’s not being held accountable (demoted or benched) because his fat contract needs to be justified.

    The one positive is that he’s drawing our attention away from Briere.

    j.p. murray

    • Timo says:

      I disagree… calling him one dimensional player implies that he does SOMETHING well… like scores, or shoots, or passes, or blocks shots. One thing. But he doesn’t do a single thing well on the ice. So he is a non-dimensional player that is only in the lineup because Habs GM is a dumbass.

  21. habs001 says:

    Reality is that the veteran core of Gion,Borque,Plecks,Moen,Briere,Gorges,Markov,Cube,Prust,murray are not going to get better…many of these players are in decline and there is no way you can win with this group unless you have 5 or 6 young superstars on the team…Because it is Montreal and you cannot do a rebuild these players are on the roster otherwise the majority should have been traded and the team should have done a major youth movement…

  22. Mattyleg says:

    Congratulations to Alice Munro, the first Canadian-born Nobel Author.

    I guess not everybody finds her as boring as I do.

    Was never able to make it through one of her stories, despite my best efforts.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  23. HABSFAN7 says:

    Don’t post much but I had to for this game.
    Some observations
    (1) team clearly was not motivated to play. Terrible 1st period.
    (2) Prust looked horrible last night. He must be injured
    (3) D zone coverage was brutal!!!! No one taking their man and soft passes that could not clear the zone
    (4) watching PK in beast mode was great but didn’t like him commenting during the intermission bout bad practices etc… You’re fuelling the media and I suspect MT and MB aren’t fans of this type of activity
    (5) DD’s performance? What can you say… He’s just innefective at the moment
    (6) Patches played great. Looked like a centerman and was great on the back check. Can’t say the same about Briere an DD. Whose the center on this line again?

    Tonight had the potential to get real ugly with the firepower on the Oilers team.

    • krob1000 says:

      I disagree re the practice thing…I thought that was a pissed off Subban and him taking a leadership role and I was happy to hear him say that. He wasn’t blaming the coaches he was blaming himself and his teammates for cutting corners at practice and being lazy…to me that was a great thing to say and maybe a wake up call to everyone and also to himself. He probably echoed what the coaches said.. i see no issue there and as stated find it refreshing and a sign of a leader and someone who cares. Unfortunately his penalty late kind of offest it..but what he said…great work PK and good for us and everyone to know.

      • zephyr says:

        bingo. he’s pissed because he’s dedicated & hates losing. he set a great example last nite. galchenyuk was firing on all cylinders as well. contrast their efforts with ‘lawn chair’ briere & some others.
        I want the guys who die hard losing. they’re the ones who win.

        • HABSFAN7 says:

          I agree with you both krob & zephyr. When initially watching the interview I thought to myself “this is captain material” and I love his honesty. I just dont think it goes over well with MT & MB and thats why he might have been best to keep this info in the locker rather than in the media.
          I’m sure we will hear more about this “bad practice” as am sure the media will at some point question MT.

  24. Grimmly says:

    I don’t know, but it seems that this site is being taken over by trolls since Boone started his live blog. His comments are usually borderline Troll comments too. Wow for a retired media person, you sure are hard on any player you don’t like at the drop of a hat, like Bourque. I wish you would stop being such a negative nancy and stop feeding the trolls, want the old HIO back

    Thanks

    • B says:

      We all have our preconceptions and when watching a game tend to perceive what they we see in a way that supports these preconceptions. We focus on what supports our beliefs and on occasion gloss over or forget what does not. It is only natural and I don’t think that Boone is any different than the rest of us here in that regard. He is a fan just like the vast majority of us here and I believe his role as the game blogger here allows (requires?) him to more of that fan than simply a purely objective reporter. Isn’t that a part of what makes it work so well? Like any other fan here, we may not always see eye to eye on everything. Discussing those differences of opinion makes up the bulk of comments here and does keep things interesting (albeit not always as civilized or respectful as some of us would prefer). That’s just my $0.02.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  25. jedimyrmidon says:

    I like this line from Eric Engels (http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eric-Engels/Therrien-and-Habs-drop-the-ball-in-Calgary/82/54696#.UlbPglCsiSo):

    “If there’s any method to Therrien’s madness, Desharnais’ hanging himself with all that rope he’s been given, and maybe he gets a demotion against Edmonton.”

  26. PADPZ says:

    Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gallagher
    Galchenyuk – Eller – Briere
    Bourque – Prust – Gionta
    Moen – Bournival – White

    Sigh. We have too many smaller forwards. They could try sitting DD for a game.

  27. The Jackal says:

    On a less positive note…

    DD – what the hell is going on with DD?
    I think trading Cole was a bad idea. We need 2 power forwards to play with DD, and now we just have Max, who is not playing as such anyway, and another small forward.
    I don’t think small forwards are ineffective but when you put 2 on the same line and they have a very similar game, not to mention weaknesses, then it’s a recipe for disaster.

    I think Briere will contribute down the line, so I’m not worried about him, but DD seems to be lost out there. I think he is going to get moved. I don’t like him getting all that ice-time, but it is important to get him going and to showcase him. The thing that concerns me most is Max developing bad habits. He seems to be trying to find DD all the time as if DD will score. I hope DD gets off the schneid too but Max should not be trying to feed him all the time.

    IMO, bench DD for a few games, tell him to keep it simple, and shelter his line, it’s the best we can hope for right now.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Timo says:

      Remember how everyone was hailing the Cole trade? What happened to that?

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Um, DD has been playing this way for the whole season so far, and ever since he signed his brand new contract.

      I hate the idea that the Habs should build around DD, i.e., he needs two 30 goal-scoring power forwards next to him to be effective. That’s just foolish. The same thing could be said for any player. You build around guys like Price, PK, Galchenyuk, Pacioretty and hopefully Eller.

      Do the Habs exist to make DD an NHL hockey player? Sometimes it seems that way.

  28. The team has not played enough games to get into any kind of rhythm yet so it’s too early to make any judgements at this point.

    There are however a couple of glaring weaknesses the stick out right away. There is zero physicality on the back end right now. P.K. can hold his own and Tinordi is still a work in progress in this department. Teams will continue to expose the Canadiens on defense until Emelin comes back and proves he is 100%. By that time Tinordi should have settled down and learned the ropes a bit and we have a decent 1-2 punch on the back end.

    Outside of the kid line we are lacking this same thing up front. Pleckanec and Gionta cannot get going if Bourque is going to be a floater out there. When that line becomes one dimensional and stays on the perimeter they are easy to defend. DD and Briere need to win a few 1 on 1 battles for their line to be effective. Patches should be carrying the puck in the zone and ripping off a shot with no support every time. That simply will not get anything done in the NHL.

    Winning games with speed and skill require a ton of chemistry. So far only the kids really have it and that is because they are working their butts off every shift. The leadership (vets) on this team need to take note and start working harder. The chemistry will come eventually, lets just hope we are still in the race by the time it does.

    • habitual says:

      Shawn, it isn’t good enough to exempt Pleks and Gionta by blaming their performance on Bourque. I saw nothing from those two either, along as you and others point out, from Desharnais and Brier. These two lines looked like they were just introduced to each other at game time.

      • I’m not exempting them. Those guys need to play better as well, but I find they are much easier to shut down as a pair when the 3rd member of their trio doesn’t seem interested. You at least need the 3rd guy to keep the coverage in the neutral and defensive zones honest. When the D gets a chance to sell out and play man on man those two guys (Pleks and Gionta) are going to lose a lot more battles than they are going to win. They need a physical presence to give them some space to create a play. Without it they are easily neutralized.

  29. Maritime Ronn says:

    A question for HIO:

    Do you like the New and Improved version 2.1 of Coach Therrien
    OR
    Do you prefer the vintage Coach that tells it like it is.

    The “Soff like I never see…” classic Press Conference from back in 2006.

    With an exception or two, this could have been last night’s post game Q&A with the media

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agL3NHgb8Rk

    • shiram says:

      I think Therrien is just as abrasive as before with the players, he just knows to keep out of reach of the cameras and microphones when doing so.

    • Cal says:

      Don’t really like either. MT still fails to adjust quickly enough. PK mentioning a poor practice before the game = MT has to crack the whip a little more so the players perform when they are on the ice. Many were coasting last night.

  30. Maritime Ronn says:

    edit double post

  31. Timo says:

    Can someone tell me if Habs collapsing in the middle of the defensive zone and leaving points open is part of the system? When Habs are on the powerplay, the pointmen barely have any time to decide what to do with the puck. THere is always a player from the opposing team pressuring the point and it’s hard for Habs snipers like Diaz or Markov (cough cough) to make a shot or a play.

    When Habs are in their zone, PP or not, opposing dmen, have tons of time to prepare a shot, make a pass while all 5 Habs jerseys are concentrated in the middle of the defensive zone.

    Is this some sort of strategy?

  32. The Jackal says:

    Well I may have been too harsh in my comment yesterday, but the overall point still stands.

    Some fans have a habit ;) of pressing the panic button and of extrapolating way too much just from some poor performances. It is unnecessary and it gets old really fast.

    It was the third game of the season and our games have been largely spread out thus far, it may be a factor that has prevented the team from finding its pace. Another thing is, how can one watch the games and actually blame Price or say that the team is terrible? Sure, they were slow to get going last night and it hurt them, but when they woke up, they were completely dominant. But for some reason some choose to believe that the sleepy sluggish Habs are the actual team… to each their own, but the evidence under the MT/MB regime proves otherwise.

    Another thing is that the team is continuing to improve and that they are transitioning to their younger players. Some veterans will be on their way out after this year and next season we will break in some new players and rookies, so it’s not as if we won’t be seeing mistake free hockey. But that’s fine because it is worth seeing these mistakes so rookies and young players can continue to develop.

    Look at teams like the Leafs, they are actually doing pretty well, but they are at their ceiling, they have veteran who are young but at their prime, they are nearing their window and yeah, they play a strong game and they can score, but what you are seeing is the best they have to offer. They will be in cap hell soon, and Nonis will have to make moves to contend before that window closes and their young stars like Kadri walk.

    The Habs, and the Flames, on the other hand, are far from their potential best. The Habs are a young team that is transitioning from their veteran core to their future stars. I think it is respectable and classy that they are not simply giving Markov and co. the boot, they still have a role to play and they can teach the kids a lot, even if they are not as effective as before. This patient approach will pay dividends even if it is painful to watch sometimes. Our young players will carry the torch and the team will rise to the occasion. Even now, our kids are the highlights of the team, but our vets still provide a steady presence even if they are the goat on some goals.

    Sure, the D is suspect, but that is not how it will always be. The Flames surprised us last night but hopefully that woke the team up. Expect a win tonight.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  33. shiram says:

    Really think they should put Bourque with DD and have Max play with Plekanec.
    Bourque could profit from playing in a more sheltered role, the kind of role that had him score 27 goals 2 times.
    And Max is our best winger, and needs to play with the Habs best center, which is Pleks, for now.
    The D is really un-manageable untill we get some bodies back from injuries, but some adjustements should be made by the coach in allocation of special teams and TOi.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Bourque could play with patches as both have blazing speed. Max shows it more than Bourque does but he has the capability to fly.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • krob1000 says:

        And Bourque is also a guy who plays better on the right side….worth a try. Issue is where does Briere go? It hink the lines need a major reshuffling….not utilizing the assets they have in three enrgy/tough guyswho can also play hockey in White, Prust and Moen. The team has all of the pieces to ice 4 2nd lines….play it be merit…when a line is rolling they get the extra time.,you can move the girnders off for ppor good situations ie ozone faceoff or after icings with other team tired,etc etc….the balance MB has provided is pretty good…I am just not a fan of how the skilsets are being distributed right now by MT.

      • shiram says:

        Pleks has good wheels too, better than DD anyways.
        That good make a good intimidating first line, but I still feel like we could get the most out of Bourque by playing him on a more sheltered line, even with Eller it could work.

  34. krob1000 says:

    Another sidebar…anyone noticed the Habs collapse lower (high forwards inside tops of circles) at even strength than they do on a pp? is that not odd? They surrender the points and perimeter too often..I get the philosophy (protect the house) but there has to be some puck pursuit otherwise it is just an onslaught….and if you give up enough perimeter chances then eventually good chances are surrendered as the puck will get thorugh and you are creating your own panic and traffic no?. It leads to puck watching, stationary feet, having to block shots. They have to expand that defensive spread….and only collapse once the puck gets into or is about to enter the house.

    Also nothing is more tiring then playing in your own end…and it is life sucking and demoralizing.

    • Timo says:

      Wow… I just posted the same above. That’s a little unsettling, kroby.

      • krob1000 says:

        I really noticed it when I went to the game in TO and you notied it after going to a game…I think maybe seeing the whole ice instead of waht the camera gives maybe opens your eyes a little more and you can see that they are holding back and intentionally staying put.

  35. GrosBill says:

    Hi everyone,

    Not sure why all the hate this morning. They came out flat and it cost them in the end. They out played Calgary much of the game.

    Surprised to read the Markov bashing today. He was the Habs best blue liner last night IMO.

    Same goes for Price. He seems to be damned either way. Play a good game and lose, it is your fault. Play an average game and win and he was a beast. Play an average game or poor game (happens to all goalies) and look the f#$% out. Price did not get much help in his own end last night. I am no Price booster but c’mon, he was not bad last night.

    MB even getting some tough love this morning. Do I think he will be the one to bring us to the promise land? I have no idea. But I do know this is still basically the same team he took over and he does deserve a chance. And yes, I did not like the Briere signing or DD extension.

    Three games in people. The Habs were close in both of their losses. Looking forward to the game tonight. No team goes 82-0 or 0-82. Bad teams still win games and good teams lose games. Calgary is a hard working group that has played pretty well so far this year.

    Apologize in advance for being positive.

    GO HABS GO!!

  36. Timo says:

    I don’t know if they showed it on TV last night but during the warm up, Prust and Galchenyuk were going at it while waiting for their turn to shoot. If one didn’t know any better, you’d think they were seriously pissed off and stick whacks and pushes were for real… since neither even cracked a smile. When when it was Prust’s turn to shoot the puck Gally gave him a pretty good whack on the pants for a good measure. Again, no smiles.

  37. third generation haber says:

    Re: tanking (I know it’s too early for this talk)

    As a fan who wants us 2 become true-annual cup contenders, I’d like 2 see this year’s habs finish with a record that reflects our potential in the playoffs (8th!). With the smurf movement still on, we don’t have the grit needed to survive a deep playoff run.

    2 seasons ago we tanked and drafted Galchenyuk; probably our best offensive talent since Lafleur. Last year we won the division, got bounced easily in the first round, and were rewarded with a late draft pick.

    Should we tank this year, I’ll still enjoy watching our young players, the bulldogs, and our prospects develop.

    Treading water is tiring; let’s build a winner through drafting and developing. Hold-on to our young base, and let the vets sign their retirement contracts elsewhere.

    thanks for reading,
    j.p. murray

  38. Say Ash says:

    Winless with Patches in the lineup. MB, get on the phone!

  39. Phil C says:

    How good or how bad are the Habs? This is a question that gets gets debated over and over with optimists and the pessimists ridiculing each other for their lack vision depending on whether or not the Habs won or lost the previous night. The pessimists, the Debbie downers, and the grumpy-cats will be in their glory today.

    The reason it is so hard to rank the Habs has to do with parity and the cap. The past few years have proven that the difference between a last place team and a trip to the Stanley Cup final is not very much.

    The Kings were literally a last place time for a while in 2010-11. They couldn’t score, they had fired their coach and took a week to get a replacement, practically throwing in the towel on the season. Then they called up a couple minor leaguers and traded for Carter. With the addition of three players they became a much bigger team and tougher to play against. Carter gave them that elusive secondary scoring. They then eek into the playoffs as the 8th seed and win it all. They were literally both a last place team and a Championship team the same year.

    The King’s opponent in the final that year was New Jersey. In 2009-10, they had an awful start to the season with a league worst 9-22-2 record. After firing the coach and making some adjustments, they then went on a 22-3-2 stretch, dominating the league. They could not quite overcome the bad start and missed the playoffs. The next season they make it all the way to the Cup final, but last year missed the playoffs again. Quite the roller-coaster ride.

    The Habs? My assessment is that they are one forward and two defensemen away from being really good. Emelin will be back, so that leaves two players away from being a contender. One forward and one defensemen. Soooooooo close.

    On the flip side they are a couple of key injuries from a lottery pick. I guess we’ll have to watch to see which way it goes.

    • bel33 says:

      Hmm… so the Kings turned it around after firing their coach? Ohhh… that’ll get some conversations happening!

      - I’d buy that for a dollar! -

    • third generation haber says:

      Great info on the Kings Phil. I hadn’t realized how they overcame so much in one year.

      U make good points about what we need to add, but the difference is the Kings had enough assets to make those trades without ripping their team apart. For us to make such a trade, we would open-up a different set of holes.

      The Kings tanked for several years and were able to build-up huge depth through the draft. hockeysfuture.com continuously rated their prospects #1 in the league (we are currently rated 6th).

      As I mentioned above, I hope we don’t get rewarded with another early play-off exit and a late draft pick.

      j.p. murray

      • Phil C says:

        Good point, The emergence of Voynov as a top-four defensemen made JJ expendable. The Habs have some depth at centre, but I’m not sure it would bring the required return. Maybe they should give Bournival and Beaulieu a shot to see if they are ready for the next step.

  40. L Elle says:

    There is quite the difference between 1 bad game, and the whole team sucks, and will be a lottery team. Last night was the standard we didn’t play 60 minutes affair. Ho Hum.

    Starting at the top with MB. I am a fan and haven’t lost my faith in him, but our old friend PG had zero personality skills, but an almost brilliant ability to assess players. (Bournival and Eller, to name a couple).

    MB has charm and charisma galore, but that’s not enough. If you want to build from the draft only, you must tank, and I don’t believe any Hab fan could stand this without committing Hari Kari.

    In fact, our best forward came to us via trade (Eller). Even though Beaulieu and Tinordi are probably better than most of the existing D, they are still raw recruits, and too much is expected of them. They are probably not the ones to lead the team this season.

    Last night Briere reminded me of Cammalleri, which is not a good thing. How good would a player like Simmonds have looked last night. Is there anyone in our system projected to be that kind of player? Maybe McCarron. GM & Co. need to put their thinking caps on and think bigger, and not necessarily in the MoAr sense.

    Therrien, not much to say, I am not a fan. I had an open mind when he started, but he is helping me close it.

    Price is a better person than I am, I admit, I would have already asked for a trade.How can you take a great goalie and make him look average?

    Gorges (don’t know what the heck happened to him), Diaz (mind you, with a better partner, he can be pretty good),Cube (lovely man, but near the end), Markov (we have to stop looking at him and seeing what he was, but rather what he is.), Tinordi (lots to learn yet), PK is the best D, but still a kid himself, and can’t do it alone.

    I won’t even mention Pleks and DD today.

    I hope Price, PK, Eller, Chucky, Gally, and the other kids don’t waste their careers waiting for supposed help via the draft.

    Calgary was ready to play, Montreal wasn’t. I point the biggest finger at Therrien, but then again, who can go far with a D like that. Picking up spare parts and hoping your prospects develop well is risky business.

    Come back soon Emelin.

    • Timo says:

      This is not one bad game. Dating back few years this team consistently delivers less than 60 minute efforts. Again, you can blame players all you want, and I do, but in the end it’s the GM that brought or is keeping these bums here.

  41. habsguru says:

    Frankie the Bull will actually grind the puck into the ozone corner and take a hit to make a play, where Diaz can make the odd nice pass, but is such a perimeter player, he is never close enough to the play to contribute. Diaz: “Pinch….. with all of those guys there… NOPE”

  42. TheDagger says:

    Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher
    Pacioretty – Briere – Bournival (or a shoe… anything but DD)
    Bourque – Pleks – Gio
    Prust – White – Whoever

    Basically anything that doen’t include DD. Or Diaz. I would be delighted to be an opposing player and be matched up against either of those two pieces of cloth.

  43. arcosenate says:

    I am very close to being done with Desharnais, it’s reached the point where Pacioretty gave up a couple of chances to pass to him last night almost like he was trying to get him going.

    Not a good sign.

    That line is not balanced, and in my opinion something has gone wrong in DD’s game to the point where he doesn’t seem to be even competing.

    • reddog24 says:

      As far as I’m concerned the players have tuned out the Coaches. Something wrong and only a few are buying into the game plan. I think another team that were not buying into management plans and systems was the Toronto Blue Jays of this year. Both the Habs and Jays hired coaches who had been with the team before and I think their ways of coaching has gone by or they come cheap to save money.

  44. --Habs-- says:

    DD has to go! That being said he wasn’t the only one loosing battles.
    Go HABS Go

  45. ClutchNGrab says:

    I don’t see the value of David Desharnais in that team, but he was given anything. He wasn’t drafted, there were a lot of guys, French speaking or not, that the administration, , would have preferred to give a spot to prevent a draft bust. Whatever it is that brought DD where he is has nothing to do with his name being “French”.

    Now the reason they maintain him where he is now might just be because of what he accomplished in the past, or because the management see a potential that most of us don’t. In that scenario how Desharnais is any different from Gomez, Price, Eller, Higgins, O’byrne, Kaberle, Spacek… They were all played when the fans were saying they were miscasted in the lineup. Some of them ended good, some of them ended up being traded. One thing for sure, winning will determine the fate of all of them, players, coach and gm.

    • Bill says:

      Whenever the Habs lose a game or two, we start to hear people complaining about how it’s because of “French”.

      There are three “French” players on the team. Could the team’s problems actually boil down to this?

      No.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Timo says:

        You can’t deny that they are the worst players on the team though (actually there are 4, if you count Diaz who’s french speaking, although not francophone canadian speaking). Combined that with a coach who is francophone canadian too and I think it’s not too far fetched to assume that for the most part this team is losing because of them.

  46. knob says:

    Great ten minutes last night.

    I’m pro Price but he needs to stop over-commiting to the puck…way out of position on the first goal (rebound) and third goal (tip). Not his fault on the second goal, that was a beauty. With that said Price has made a lot of huge saves this year and made some big ones last night. Just stop over-commiting and saves will come easier.

    Defence – Tinordi is green, big time. I am okay with the growing pains because I think that he will turn out to be pretty good and worth the development. Bouillon had some terrible plays, he completely wiffed on a shot on the power play (that ended up leaving the offensive zone) and got beat to loose pucks all night. He is a seventh dman at best and should not be used on the PP. I would rather see and extra forward on the point. Gorges was terrible again. Diaz contributed nothing last night; mind you I don’t think he hurt us either. Subban was a beast but has to be more disciplined…can’t take that type of penalty he took with less then two minutes in a game when losing. Markov was pretty good, created some scoring opportunities.

    Pacioretti was solid. Briere had moments where he was involved but to be honest I’m not expecting much from him notwithstanding his gross contract. DD – is it bad that I cheered when he got rocked in the middle of the ice?? I would honestly rather see prust on that line with Briere and MaxPac and DD in the press box. EGG line – slow start for them but when they turned it on, man they were good. Pleckanec was meh, as was Gionta. Bourque I didn’t think was any better or worse that Plex and Gio. The 4th line was disappointing…no big hits, no fights, no momentum creating events.

    If Calgary’s speed made the boys look bad last night, I’m afraid to see what Edmonton does to them.

  47. Propwash says:

    Look up Therriens Temper on Twitter, hilarious stuff on there.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  48. PADPZ says:

    I guess last night was just one of those nights, on a 82 game schedule.

    One thing I noticed, is how strong Galchenyuk is. Coming in the season I was worried he would be tossed around like last year. At some point in the 3rd period, he went for a little end-to-end rush and 3 Flames players welcomed him at their blueline. I thought he would absolutely get hammered, instead, some Flames player went ass over head and Galchenyuk just kept going.

    I suspect he’s on the same ”diet” as Eller.

  49. DipsyDoodler says:

    Remember the Seinfeld show where Jerry goes to the heckler’s workplace to heckle her?

    The Habs missed an opportunity to pay Timo a visit while in Calgary.

  50. habsguru says:

    its not just the fact that the job isn’t getting done, but DD and Raphi are actually embarrassing. what is their contribution? not sure they would even make it on the farm team.

  51. Hammer says:

    This is Deja Vu all over again. Too many passengers not enough drivers. The core of this team is the young line accompanied by Subban, Price, Tinordi, Patches, Emilin, and that is about it. The rest are all interchangeable parts. The only veterens I would keep would be Plek’s Markov and Prust, the rest could leave tomorrow and I would not shed a tear.
    Looks like us folks that live in the west can get ready for another swoon through BC and Alta. That was a real disappointing effort from the team last night. yuks!!

  52. FlyAngler says:

    Clearly one road loss to an improved Calgary team in the third game of the season is not the end of the world or the season. I happen to think that this year’s edition of the Habs has a chance to succeed and both make and compete in the playoffs. With that said, there are things that are very concerning about last night’s performance.

    1. The team looked sluggish, sloppy and ill prepared to play.

    2. The three penalties which they took ALL fall into the brutal and inexcusable category and for those of you who thought that Bouillon played well last night- N.B. It was his reckless boarding penalty that resulted in the winning pp goal for Calgary. P.K. should know by now that the officials are watching ALL of the time to see if players take a glove off of their stick and if they see a player use that hand to turn a player even a little bit, they are most likely going to call holding. The four cross checks to the Calgary player don’t need to be commented upon as only an idiot living in oblivion would not be able to predict the inevitable consequence of such. These penalties showed an utter lack of discipline and arguably cost the Habs the game.

    2. They can’t compete with the current forward lines.. so far only the kid line is doing anything with any consistency. I would propose:

    1. Galchenyuk Eller Gallagher
    2. Pacioretty Briere Bourque
    3. Prust Plekanec Gionta
    4. Moen DD White Bournival

    The 3rd line could be used primarily as a shut down line with some offensive capability. Pleks has never shown himself to be a top flight offensive player or scorer. Very good all around player, just not a dependable offensive playmaker/scorer- see career playoff stats.

    3. With regard to the defense, I remain concerned about coaching and discipline. If the Habs played a more disciplined road game last night and avoided bad penalties and imprudent pinches, they have a good chance to win the hockey game.

    4. Carey Price has played well in all 3 games albeit not perfectly. Most of the goals that he has given up have a lot more to do with defensive miscues and lapses than anything else. In the Leafs game and the game last night, he made some great saves to keep them in the game.

    Drill the Oil tonight!!

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • krob1000 says:

      That “reckless” borading penalty was pretty clearly a little drama aas well…you could see he bare;y touched the ugy. Even so there was much worse against Prust in the Leafs game with no call and I have seen several far worse in only 3 games against virtually all of the smaller forwards. I am ok if they want to call that …but where are the calls for Montreal? easy for them to think it is ok.

      Same thing with PK’s hold….5 seconds before he has the puck and is being latched on to and then the puck goes in the corner he does the same thing and a call? sure he deserved a call but the other one should have been one before. I can understand the frustration as there is no consistency….players get penalized becaause they are small (I feel sometimes they think that it is ok to knock around the smaller guys)…but then when Bouillon barely touches a guy and he goes down it is a call?

      I was not a fan of the officiating last night but it was easily offset by the poor play but to say Bouillon had a bad game becuase of that? ridiculous…IMO he played better than Gorges, Diaz, Tinordi and Markov…and if not for Pk coming to life late he may have been the most consistent and best dman last night..as sad as that is.

      Bouillon should not be the teams best or 2nd best dman and shouldbe the last guy taking blame as he should be the number 5 or 6 guy….blaming him is ridiculous for what he brings to the table at his cost especially.

      Re your lines..I think for a while they shoudl put a grinder oneach line…all of White, Moen and Prust are capable of being 8-10 goal guys if they have an opportunity to be so…they could do some dirty work, police those guys and could sit out the odd shift and double shifting players who are playing well could be done throught the game depneding oon faceoff location, catching the other team on an icing,pp’s, etc,etc,

      • FlyAngler says:

        You get no argument from me about NHL officiating being inconsistent at times. That said, hitting a player from behind when he is square to boards is a dangerous play and Frankie is a veteran who should know better. Like it or not the FACT is that the WINNING goal was scored on the ensuing power play. I like his heart and his courage, but he has to be smarter than that!

        “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

        • krob1000 says:

          On the replay he barely touched him..part dive and yes vulnerable but don’t think he expected him to go down…but fine I can live with that being called…but a a penalty in the early second period does not make a bad game. He was definitely the most consistent dman and like I said only PK played better IMO (and he only showed up for 20 mins then took the penalty that blew all of the momentum). Both Diaz and Gorges were off…Tinordi played like a rookie, and Markov was so so…he can’t afford to be so so as he is a huge part of the team.
          Pk’s penalty was way worse as the game was on the line then…at the time BOuillon got that penalty the game looked like it could be a blowout for Calgary.

          • FlyAngler says:

            I can’t say I disagree with your assessment. Do you think that JJD is the right guy to be coaching the D? He had a good slap shot on the PP when he played, but I never really considered him a good defensive defenseman.

            “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  53. --Habs-- says:

    The Habs looked lifeless and without passion last night and only lost 3 – 2 with 10 minutes of effort, if that! It was so bad I flipped to the Hawks / Blues game.

    Go HABS Go

  54. shiram says:

    Our D was suspect enough with players that should be bottom pairing getting 20 minutes+ of TOI, but with Gorges gone, it’s going to be a colander.
    DD’s line is not going to help in that situation, none of them are really good at digging pucks out of corners or doing good back checking.
    It’s clear the Habs have too many players playing a similar game, they require sheltered minutes.
    It’s also clear Bergevin was not aiming for a Cup this year, his off season move were just to keep the team afloat.
    So my expectations are low, but I’m still puzzled by some decisions of the coaching staff.
    Markov playing 27 mins, when he’s going to play again, all the more weird has Subban played only about 22 minutes.

    Gotta give to DD, at least he is winning faceoffs, too bad his line usually loses the puck afterwards.
    Also feel like White makes a better Center than Prust does.

    Hoping to see adjustements tonight.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Still doesn’t justify the large variance in minutes but he was in the box for 4 minutes

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • shiram says:

        I’m not comfortable knowing that when PK can’t play, it’s going to be Markov eating minutes, that’s a recipe for late season/playoffs disaster.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I agree Shiram that his minutes needed to be managed better. I think that is a testimate to our current line up on the back end….PK and Markov are really our only top 4 D.

          Tinordi is still a rookie who needs to learn and he should be used as a 6th D until he is ready, Boulion is a 5th or 6th D man and really always has been, Gorges when playing well can be a 4th D man but really is better suited for a 5th D man and Diaz is in the same boat of 5th to 6th D man.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  55. Ali says:

    I wish the media would straight up just ask Therrien a simple question: How many Norris winning defenseman currently playing in the NHL don’t play on the penalty kill, and why is yours the only exception?

  56. jols101 says:

    Go Habs Go…too early?, I guess I’ll comeback in 8 hours or so…

  57. Mattyleg says:

    I think it’s hard for a team to play so few games over such a long period, especially at the beginning of the season when we’re still getting our legs. If you remember correctly, we played best last season when our games were bunched together.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  58. Small_Town_Boy says:

    For the Hockey Geniuses in here.

    How many teams have won the Stanley Cup with the quality of Defense that Montreal have in had the past 6 seasons including this season? Um, anyone, I can’t hear U?

    What Goalie would thrive in Montreal & bring them a Cup in the past 6 seasons with the Defense & offense they have? Halak was great but he burned out! he could only take up the slack for his D for so long

    Get your heads out of you’re a$$es …

    Dat’s wha me tinks

  59. Cardiac says:

    I never do this, but something has to be done to separate Briere and DD and get Pacioretty going. Here are my proposed lines going forward. Feedback is welcomed.

    Galchenyuk Eller Gallagher
    Pacioretty Plekanec Briere
    Bourque Desharnais Gionta
    Prust White Moen

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    - Jerry Maguire

    • Bogie Man says:

      I like the lines you suggest the only thing I would add is to move Prust up to the 3rd line and put Bourque back on the 4th.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I suggested those lines at the beginning of the season.
      I like the look of them.
      Briere needs a guy to go to the net like Patches does.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I agree Matty but I also think Briere plays better at Centre. I do also think though that pleks has a better hockey IQ than DD and could be a finisher if he was set up with Briere.

        From the start of the line juggling last night I think MT is realizing that the combo’s minus the one line are not working

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Cardiac says:

          Biere and Pleks’ faceoff percentages are comparable. The amount of times linesmen have been tossing players out of the circle has been ridiculous so it makes sense to put both together, especially in those situations where winning the faceoff is critical.

          “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
          - Jerry Maguire

      • Cardiac says:

        And a better center than DD. Let’s not forget that Pleks put up his best stats when he had wingers with actual scoring talent (Kovalev, AK46, etc.)

        “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
        - Jerry Maguire

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        Pacioretty doesn’t go to the net. He’s a shooter that stays in the high slot.

  60. Bradzerker says:

    It only took one loss for Boone to jump back off the bandwagon. Win or tie, he loves the Habs!

  61. Sportfan says:

    I know how we feel about DD and the french media loves the midget, but how about the actually french Canadian fans how do they feel about him.

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

      I’m french. I like him as a person, I like his story, I don’t like his contract and I would prefer to win. It seems like teams that win have powerful centres, not diminutive ones.

      I would take the french player everytime when two players are equivalent with the hope that the french player would care more about the crest. DD is not equivalent, let Galchenyuk start playing centre.

    • Timo says:

      What baffles me is that why can’t Habs get a good francophone canadian player? Or at least a decent one. Why do they always get the crappiest, smallest, laziest, most overpaid?

      And for that matter, why can’t this organization for once hire a general manager who is about winning the stanley cup and not trying to please certain parts of the media corps or public. Sure, players like DD are a disgrace, but ultimately it’s the GM’s fault that they are here.

      • Dude of Dudes says:

        My God. Do you hear yourself? It’s like saying why can’t the Celtics hire a good black player? Now I ask you, does that sound racist?

        Hockey is a business, Mr. Timo, plain and simple. Its about maximizing profits. If you want to maximize profits you listen to what the public (who buys the tickets) has to say.

        Lastly, let’s let you be GM for the day! At 5pm you tell me how your day was.

        Jesus, Timo…who are you?

  62. Max_a_million says:

    hmmm …

    Patrick Roy’s team looks really well coached and inspired … Michel Therrien’s not so much.

    The Great Marc Bergevin gave a 4 year contract to DD, Moen for 3, and 2 years to Briere … We don’t look very much bigger and tougher yet???

  63. Timo says:

    One more thing that pissed me off last night – Habs are going into the third with somewhat of a momentum after that ridiculous slapped by PK. 3-1, 20 minutes to go.

    Habs spend first 10 minutes of the third just trying to find their legs. Absolutely ridiculous.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Did you at least enjoy the Ice Girls?

    • Propwash says:

      At least P.K looked like he was trying, granted he took some stupid penalties.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        PK actually was a bit of a disappointment when you look passed his 2 points. I like to see him do the end to end thing occsaionally, but I think he tried it too often last night, and it both times instead of leading to a scoring chance or possession in Calgary’s zone, it just led to a stoppage in play. On his first rush he had a glorious chance to pass the puck to an open winger, but decided to shoot at MacDonald’s chest. I also noticed alot of passes to the skates of his teamates more than I would have liked.
        All this being said, he was still one of the best out there. Just not as good as the standard I hold for him. I heard there were team Canada scouts at the game last night… I don’t think he put on his best display.

    • CoffinJR says:

      Agreed! To watch how ineffective the duo of Briere/Deharnais in person was sad. The amount of times they would stop to avoid a little contact and lose the puck was disgusting. It seems the book is out on our powerplay as most teams now know we are gonna try to go back and forth on the point looking for one-timer. Gallagher is pretty much the only one that is gonna stand in front of the goalie and try to creat a screen or at the very least trouble. Enjoyed the game, but it would be nice to see a win in this damn building.

      *Haters Gonna Hate*

  64. Bogie Man says:

    I do not write here very much as you can tell by my profile. Yes this is only the 4th game of a very long season. However I saw alot of things last night that concern me as a fan and having hopes that my team will make farther than April and play into atleast the first round of playoffs. There is alot of chatter about DD, frankly I do not notice him out there whatsoever likely meaning he is not a factor in any of the games. He is not a game changer nor is any help defensively. He is there for the skate and getting paid well to do that. Rene Bourque did stand out last night but not in a good way, he hard a hard time keeping up with the pace the game. I noticed a few times he looked winded and could not pick up his man on the back check. Diaz, White, Plec, Gionta and even Prust looked like they had a hard time keeping up and getting there legs stable underneath them. The players in my mind who we will likely not have to worry about giving their all game in game out are the entire EGG line, Subban, Tinordi, and I would even say Price. Price seems to be hittin his stride as he made some great saves. This team’s success is going to lie strictly in the coaches ability to play the right players at the right times and motivate those who need the kick in the arse when they are playing like some did last night. Maybe I am describing every other coach and team in the NHL, what does this say for our beloved Habs? Coach change? Maybe too soon to tell, but one thing for sure is that MT is not known for giving his young skilled players loads of ice time (except Subban) and he is not one who is known to be able to motivate and fire up players up. Edmonton is a motivated team and has a coach that will play his young players top TOI, in my mind it will be a battle of the coaching philopsopihes and if I was a betting man our friend behind the blue white and red will be wearing more of the red than the blue and white.

  65. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Yowsers, could a team come out any flatter than that? They better pull their socks up and come out flying or …. there’ll be trouble in river city. Therrien needs to kick some butt. Regardless of which team you support, terrible game from a fan’s standpoint.

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

  66. krob1000 says:

    Did it seem last night that players almost all wanted to get off the ice? So many times they dumped the puck and noone chased…they turned and GLIDED all the way to the bench…that was frustrating. Uncontested breakouts all night…made Shane O’Brien look like a great puck mover.

  67. Trisomy 21 says:

    I understand that Pacioretty has a history playing with DD in the AHL, but you wouldn’t line Crosby up with his minor hockey teamates. The experiment has to end, DD and Briere are playing like 3rd liners, they should be playing with a linemate who is a 3rd liner. Last night I watched that line play away from the puck and what they did when they had the puck. I appreciated Pacioretty a little more than I used to, I used to think he wasn’t much more than a great shot and some speed. I saw some nice moves from the guy and his stick handling and passing was maybe the best on the team during htat game. Briere was losing races to the puck seemingly on purpose, to try (and usually fail) to dig the puck out. DD was the same DD we’ve been seeing for the last little while. Can’t get room and can’t do anything to make room either.

    • Steven says:

      Agreed 100%. Pacioretty and Bourque should switch spots in the lineup, I think. I bet that would make Plek’s line better, and nothing can make DD’s line worse at this point.

      • oldtimerguy says:

        separate briere and dd…its obvious…you cant have paccioretty both digging the puck out and being in front to shoot..and DD aint digging it out…you need a digger to feed dd who then feeds pacc…maybe play bourque with pacc and DD or moen with pacc and dd…or white with pacc dd…..and briere with pleks and gio…

        • Steven says:

          Makes sense, but then Pleks line would be far too small, I should think. You’d also only have one real scorer on that line at that point, since Briere doesn’t want to shoot anymore.

  68. Propwash says:

    Seeing that Gorges isn’t 100%, I’m sure Beaulieau is going to get his shot tonight. Hopefully it pays off.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Timo says:

      Beaulieau was at the warm up last night and for a second I thought Therrien would go with 7 D. But in the end he is just giving NB more skating time and explains the virtues of meritocracy.

    • aroma says:

      not just him. Prust and Pacioretty are playing hurt – takes wild horses to drag them out of the lineup. Then there’s the other d’men already out. The big question shouldn’t be why they suck; after all, they ran into injury issues last year beginning with the Emelin injury and we all know how they did after then. The question is “why is this team so snakebit”? Is the team full of injury prone players?

  69. Cardiac says:

    Interesting that the article ends with a mention of Buddah…

    Other than a couple of softies in the Leafs game, Price has been stellar. Sure Gally bailed him out on a goal in the third, but given he is adjusting to a new coach, new equipment and continues to play behind a sub-par defense, no one can point their finger at Price.

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    - Jerry Maguire

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Absolutely. The only point I thought he looked bad was when Gally biled him out and when he was handcuffed when the puck hit his blocker. Reminded me of that disallowed goal Philly scored…

  70. Tyhudg says:

    Tinordi didn’t just look bad on the second goal, Tinordi looked terrible all night. Out of position constantly…. lost far too many puck battles behind the habs net. He got a chance to soak up some more minutes and did not look good doing it. I am not worried, but I would not be surprised to see the other young gun in the lineup tonight.

  71. DipsyDoodler says:

    Congratulations to Alice Munro.

  72. Sportfan says:

    I agree with Front in keeping positive we have a game today lets look forward to that. Maybe will get a good shot tonight!

    On the other side of things Diaz needs to shoot, or Bealieu will be a full time Dman and Diaz will be out of work in Montreal.

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

  73. Timo says:

    Well… on a flip side it was a nice date night for me and Mrs. Timo. On the other flip side, Habs (minus the usual suspects) are sacks of sh!t.
    I am no hockey expert but I last night I saw one NHL line, one NHL defenseman (two if you count Tiny) and that’s about it.

    You think I am hard on Desharnais? You should have heard the two lads sitting in front of me reaping him to pieces pretty much every shift that POS took. However, it was hard to single DD out last night. 13 other players were not much better than him.

    I felt bad for lots (and I mean there were LOTS) of Habs fans who had nothing to cheer about the whole game and who, unlike me, probably paid outrageous money to see that crap of an NHL team.

    • Sportfan says:

      I can see you had a great night last night timo !

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

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      I was just as disappointed with Brierre last night as I was with DD. DD was falling off the puck every time he touched it, while Brierre couldn’t anticipate where the puck was going even when everybody in the Dome and their mothers knew where it would end up.

    • Cardiac says:

      I saw lots of Habs fans on TV cheering when they popped in two goals. Other than that, it was a very mediocre game.

      I am however interested in what those lads said about DD. Did they relay their message en francais?

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      - Jerry Maguire

  74. Ali says:

    It’s been three games, Mattyleg am I allowed to have an opinion on this year’s team yet?

  75. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Our defence too small/slow to compete. We miss Emelin & we’ll see what Murray brings when he’s ready to go. When those two are back, Diaz & Boullion need to sit.

    • Timo says:

      D and goaltending non-withstanding, it’s the same problem again for all positions – team does not play anywhere near 60 minutes. There is no compete in most of the players, especially the vets.

      And this is the coach problem and GM problem who insists on bringing in or re-signing overpaid, washed up, good for nothing “talent”.

    • oldtimerguy says:

      hahahaha…ali, I almost spit my soda out my nose!


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