About last night …

PrustGionta celebrate

That was the good news after a nervous but hugely entertaining 5-3 win over the not-as-lousy-as-you-think-they-are Columbus Blue Jackets:

The Canadiens announced Max-Pac has a strained hamstring. He will be out of the  lineup for three weeks.

It could have been worse. When Pacioretty went down on his sixth shift of the first period in Winnipeg, it looked like a knee or groin injury that might jeopardize his season.

Beginning with Nashville’s visit to the Bell Centre on Saturday, the Canadiens will play 10 games before Pacioretty’s projected return to action. Six will be on home ice, and the only game against a division rival is the Nov. 7 visit to Ottawa.

So we’re probably spared a Simon Gagné signing.

Pacioretty is the Canadiens’ premier power forward. And that’s a somewhat misleading description, because Max-Pac relies more on speed, skill and finesse than on Lucicesque rockin’ and sockin’.

The Canadiens don’t have a Milan Lucic. Nor, on the evidence of this game, do they have a Boone Jenner and R.J. Umberger. The Canadiens are hoping that first-round draft choice Michael MacCarron becomes a classic power forward, but that mammoth ship won’t be coming in for two or three years.

Columbus erased a 3-0 deficit and nearly spoiled the Canadiens’ welcome home party because the Blue Jackets have several forwards who don’t mind parking themselves in areas where most Canadiens forwards – with the notable exception of wee Brendan Gallagher – fear to tread. While compiling an impressive 5-2 start, your boys have been outhit in all seven games – including a 25-19 advantage for the big, bad Blue Jackets.

(Man, that sounds ridiculous!)

Lars Eller had four hits, one more than Brandon Prust, the indomitable warrior who moved up on LW with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta and ended the game plus-3. Travis Moen and Ryan White each had a couple hits, and eight Canadiens had one each. Six defencemen combined for five hits. Jarred Tinordi had none.

I hate to nit-pick after the Canadiens’ fourth straight win, but the team’s lack of physicality is worrisome.

Price outplayed Bobrovsky and did so with white jerseys crashing his crease all night. The only Canadien who went to Bobrovsky’s net was Brendan Gallagher, and I think he got there by skating between Fedor Tyutin’s legs.

OK, let’s banish the negativity. The cavalry is coming.

Mac-Pac will be back in November, as will Douglas Murray and Alexei Emelin. By the time he gets to The Show, MacCarron will be cheeseburger shy of 250.

Until then, the Canadiens will get their Ws on team speed and great goaltending.

The former quality has been a hallmark of Montreal hockey teams since Red Fisher was Brendan Gallagher’s age. And the team has added another racehorse in rookie Michaël Bournival, whose acceleration terrifies defenders and brings a new dimension to the Canadiens’ fourth line. Call the kid Daniel Paille Lite – and I think Bournival has Top 9 upside.

Bournival had five shots and scored the first goal of his career off a lovely pass by Andrei Markov, who scored his first of the year. The Markov goal and Plekanec’s empty-netter were the Canadiens’ second and third shorties in seven games. Last season’s SHG total: 0.

Markov added an assist. His defence partner had two helpers, lifting his total to eight assists – tops among NHL defencemen. P.K. has points in seven straight games. Does any sane person – Steve Yzerman included – doubt that Subban is Sochi-bound?

P.K. also took two penalties. One was a very dubious elbowing call and raised the question someone posed on Twitter: How come Norris Trophy laureates Chris Pronger and Zdeno Chara always got away with attempted murder while P.K. gets called from borderline crap?

Maybe for the same reason Barack Obama is despised, by some, as a Kenyan Marxist traitor?

I’m just sayin’ …

Where would your Montreal Canadiens be without P.K.?

Hint: Not two points behind Toronto and Detroit in the Atlantic Division, with a game in hand on each.

And where would they be without Carey Price?

I can’t even bring myself to hint …

• Lars Eller and Tomas Plekanec both played 17:50.

• Alex Galchenyuk overhandled the puck a couple times and ended the game at -1 – his first minus night this season.

• Jarred Tinordi played 10:29 and only scared Michel Therrien for about 10:20.

• David Desharnais had no SoG, but I thought he hustled. And DD won five of his nine draws (the only Canadiens centre above .500) and was on to take a crucial D-zone faceoff late in the game.

• The Canadiens plus-12 goal differential is the best in the Eastern Conference and third in the NHL behind San Jose’s ridiculous plus-20 and Colorado’s plus-13.

• The Canadiens were 5-2 after seven last season.

 

 

 

 

 

470 Comments

  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …O’ Matty !

    …thanks for the belly-laugh of the day re the hapless CBC radio host and the CBSA ‘sensitivity trainer’

    …David Letterman couldn’t have made it funnier :)

  2. Timo says:

    The most recent article ever on “You might also like” section – Habs shut out Jets 3-0.

  3. krob1000 says:

    Forgot to tell you allt o BACK OFF DANIEL BRIERE!
    He gave my kid a puck at his first HAbs game and then last night…he did it again! HE was the only guy to flip pucks and he gave us one and the kid beside us one!
    Ryan White smacked his stick at him, Budaj kept winking and smiling, Gallagher body checked him….a few others nodded but those guys all went out of the way to acknowledge my little guy!

  4. Chuck says:

    I thought that I’d tire of watching this after 100-or-so times. I was wrong.

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=462067

    _______________________
    Anything is possible.

  5. Mattyleg says:

    This is great.
    Canadian border guards!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  6. rljmartin says:

    HABS defence must get better and it will especially when Emilin returns to the lineup. Stanley Cups are built on team defense, period. Just ask the folks in Penguin’s land. That said, I think Tinordi has taken step back lately. Maybe the pressure of wanting to stay with the big club is getting to him but he is not showing much confidence and is making a lot of errors with the puck.

    On the other, Beaulieu is showing a lot more poise and skill. Hope MT gives him a much better look.

  7. Habfan10912 says:

    Murray and Emelin joined Parros on the ice according to nhl.com. Murray could return in a week. Emelin on schedule for a late November return.

    • ooder says:

      my brothers got to meet emelin at disney on ice.. nice dude and took a picture with them.. more importantly he doesn’t even have a limp as per my brothers

  8. montreal ace says:

    The NHL website mentioned that Parros, Emelin, and Murray, all skated this morning after the team practice.

  9. Stevie.Ray says:

    Lebrun on Price being Canada’s starting goalie and i quote: “Team Canada will never admit this, but Price is the guy they want in Sochi.”

    From twitter

  10. Habilis says:

    So it seems that Bernier wanted to quell all the talk of him making the Olympic team. Because if you do what he did during a tie game in the medal round, I’m pretty sure that the Canadian government immediately revokes your passport.

    Seriously, they’d leave him there. He’d resurface in the KHL with the name “Ivan Bernakov”.

  11. JO says:

    This team is full of surprises that’s how they’re winning. Good one period bad the next. Good one game bad the next. As long as they win more than they lose that’s good enough for me.

    They’re not a Stanley cup team unless they surprise some more. Who knows!!

    • Mattyleg says:

      They’re not a Stanley Cup team until they win the Stanley Cup.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        And even then … the facts say the Bruins won the Stanley Cup but, in my little world, they aren’t a Stanley Cup Team.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I am a fellow citizen of that world.

          There, also, Roger Maris still owns the single-season home run record. The list could get long.

        • dr. gesundheit says:

          I’m a Hab fan…but choosing to ignore reality? (Bruins won the cup in 2010)…ahh, no thanks…I’m not part of that little world…besides, they did beat the (tar out of the) Nyucks on Vancouver home ice in game 7. I have a Canuck fan buddy, so I’m not heartbroken when this took place.

  12. Max says:

    Whatever happened to that Tom Nickle character?

  13. Danno says:

    How come Lapierre gets 10 games for a hit far less vicious than the one Chara put on Pacioretty but got no fine and zero suspension for?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
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    • Psycho29 says:

      1) It’s the “new” NHL

      2) Lapierre’s sweater isn’t Black and Yellow (or is it gold?)

      ;-)

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Really? You’re still whining about this?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Just… because.
      Okay?

      Because.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • TheDagger says:

      And Claude Lemieux only got 2 games for rearranging Draper’s face… where’s the consistency…!

    • FlyAngler says:

      No one will ever admit it, but I have no doubt that the Pacioretty hit debacle was a driving factor in the decision to relieve Colin Campbell and Mike Murphy of any responsibility for disciplinary action related to player safety. While Brendan Shanahan’s tenure has not been perfect, there has been a vast improvement and a lot more consistency since he took over as head of player safety.

      I remain pissed about the league’s response to the Chara hit as well. Only a moron or a miscreant would characterize the driving of a player’s head into a steel stanchion as a “hockey play”. But I do think that this is what you are dealing with in the personages of Campbell and Murphy. The fact that Campbell’s son plays for the Bruins only increases the outrage.

      P J Stock did not think that what Max did was as bad as Kaletta’s hit but they are obviously trying to send a message.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  14. Psycho29 says:

    Parros back on the ice:

    Dave Stubbs ‏ @Dave_Stubbs 2m
    #Habs George Parros

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BW35OOACYAAu2dF.jpg:large

  15. Sportfan says:

    According to Brian Wilde Parros is skating.

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

  16. Psycho29 says:

    Wow…..this team is 5-2 WITH injuries….
    And we still have to listen to the usual negative bitching and complaining from the usual suspects here…

  17. likehoy says:

    I’m just going to float this out there..

    Dany Heatley for DD + 2nd.

    Heatley’s in his last year of his contract.. if he performs, maybe re-sign him, if he doesn’t, oh well….. no more desharnais!!

    both have 1 point so far this year.

    just gotta figure out how to fit his cap hit for this year..

  18. habs-fan-84 says:

    Re: MT vs. Subban

    A proverbial case of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Subban is arguably the best player on this team. He is young and at times will still make mistakes (see the 3rd period of the Winnipeg game and last nights pinch). When Subban learns to pick his spots better he will be unstoppable.

    This is a trivial conversation.

  19. shiram says:

    Still early in the season, but I have to say I like how the team is playing, it seems they haven’t missed a beat, and they are playing with the same tempo and skill that brought them to the first place in the Northeast last season.

    Scoring alot of goals, good puck possession and alot of speed. It makes for a great entertainment.
    4th in goals for and goals against is an awesome stat for the team.

    • Timo says:

      I still maintain that this is a “first half of the season” team. Once Olympics are over and everyone is playing for a playoff position we will see the Habs of last 10 games of the last season. This team needs more toughness and nastiness up front. More aggressiveness. But, alas, Begevin in all his wisdom went and got Dany Briere in addition to DD, Gionta, Pleks and Bourque, none of whom you can accuse of loving playing or being effective in traffic.

  20. habsguru says:

    i don’t mind the tough love approach for PK to an extent, but how much more do they want out of him? the pinch was the only play in that case, and Eller pooched it, not PK. PK has stopped the trash talking, diving and celebrating. what next, stop pinching? he is the most exciting D in the league, and while he shouldn’t be givin the key to the kingdom, and all the virgins in it…. don’t blame him for making the right play. don’t blame Eller either, he was in the right position, and got beat. bet it won’t happen again.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      You got to wonder about the motives of MT on PK Subban…he seems way to anxious to be negative on him to the public/media. I can’t recall him being that way about any other player on the Canadians with exception maybe of Lars last year when it seemed he couldn’t do anything right early on. PK is a special talent and the organization must see as his fans do. It just seems streange that MB would allow MT to be so quick to discuss PK negatively in the public eye so readily. It almost seems like it is personal….but can’t be….can it ?

  21. adamkennelly says:

    how terrible are Gorges and Diaz in our zone? looks like men playing against boys…

  22. frontenac1 says:

    @dsturge. Agreed amigo. Our D zone coverage is scary. But our two most physical guys have been out since the start. They will be back next month. Give them a chance.No need to pull the pin yet IMO.

  23. dsturge10 says:

    Question: How long before Carey Price returns to being the whipping post for the Habs?

    Carey and the Habs have played 4 great games in a row, and the praise for Price has been great. Well deserved!

    However, I strongly feel that he will be singled out as the “reason” behind our next loss, as per usual.

    Carey’s play over the last number of games has been spectacular, but no one can expect him to carry that over the next 75 games. It’s a team game afterall.

    Last night’s game in particular has displayed to other teams that our defence is easy to penetrate. Forwards have no problem getting behind our defence and creating problems for our goalie.

    I am worried that as the season progesses, this problem becomes more evident. I think the Habs defence has an extremely bright future (PK, Tinoridi, Beaulieu, Pateryn, etc), but are lacking in this department. In order to advance in the playoffs, the Habs will have to eliminiate this glaring weakness.

    If you are MB, do you mortgage the future heading into the trade deadline by moving a top propsect in order to stabilize and improve the strength of the D going into the playoffs? Or do you continue to build the club based on your solid stable of propsects. Let’s not forget how many D men the Habs currently have signed for next season.

    “We don’t feel the pressure. We apply the pressure.” – Michel Therrien

    • boing007 says:

      I suggest chastity belts for all our Dmen.

      Richard R

    • Cal says:

      “However, I strongly feel that he will be singled out as the “reason” behind our next loss, as per usual.”
      Why is it that Price can’t be criticized for poor play? He is certainly being complimented for his excellent play.
      As far as the D goes, it will be better when Murray and Emelin are available.

  24. SteverenO says:

    It’s nice to see our HAbs off to a good start, and you have to give some credit to MT and his staff, but sometimes I wonder if the coach, and his staff, are truly competent.

    Mt called out PK SUbban for “pinching” in from the point in a play that subsequently led to a Goal against. He, MT, said that PK needed to get more situational awareness and being that we were ahead by two goals and it was near the end of the second period he should have played more conservatively.

    I could not disagree more. First of all PK made the right play, and as you would expect at the NHL level his centreman, Eller, covered his position when PK “pinched”. The only thing that went wrong on theplay was Eller tried to play the puck and not the man. Th epuck was banked off the boards, and recovered behind eller, by the BJ’s winger and resulted in a 2 on 1 and a goal against.

    PK’s pinching style of play, is what the team needs more of, not less of , and had it resulted in a Hab’s goal and 4-1 lead going into the third period, no one would have been happier than MT.

    The coach blaming PK, by far the teams most valuable player, for doing the right thing is ridiculous. If he is encouraging PK and the rest of the team to try and sit on a two goal lead with more than a full period left to play,I am afraid we will have a season full of blown leads.

    Secondly the special teams assignments are bizarre to say the least.

    Plekanec and Gionta, our two most productive PP performers last season, playing only 23 seconds out of 4 minutes and 18 seconds with the man advantage last night is not a good indication of sound management.

    Here is a breakdown of PP TOI/game amongst our forwards so far this season the number in brackets is their “success percentage”

    Galchenyuk: 3:01 (.285)
    Gallagher; 2:37 (.219)
    Desharnais: 2:32 (.333)
    Bourque; 2:32 (.470)
    Briere: 2:19 (.370)
    Eller: 2:03 (.280)
    Plekanec: 1:55 (.444)
    Pacioretty: 1:33 (.857)
    Gionta: 1:27 (.238)

    Our least productive PP forwards from last season (the two Gallys) are leading the team,and our two most productive are 7th and 8th among forwards in PP toi per game.

    Pacioretty, has been on has played just as many minutes shorthanded as he has on the PP.

    In my opinion, the coachng staffs inability, or unwillingness,to recognize and utilize the most productive players on the special teams does not bode well going forward.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      “MT, said that PK needed to get more situational awareness and being that we were ahead by two goals and it was near the end of the second period he should have played more conservatively.”

      MT was right.

      • SteverenO says:

        I maintain that PK was “situationally aware” He was aware that eller was there to back him up, and inmost cases would have been sufficient. Eller simply made a bad play that cost the team a goal.

        If PK starts to play conservatively, neither the fans , or the coacheswe are NOT going to like the results.

        If there were less than 10 minutes left in the game. MAYBE, you could make an argument for a defenseman backing off and not pinching to keep the puck in the offensive zone… in teh second period? NO WAY you want your players “laying back”.

        regards,

        Steve O.

    • mrhabby says:

      competent..gee…there professional coachs and have been in hockey for years. you may not like there moves but doubt if you could do any better.

      • neumann103 says:

        With respect. I don’t think that is a valid criticism.

        I don’t think he is saying “I could do better than professional coaches.” but rather “The coaches appropriate use of personnel does not meet expectations of what one should see from NHL coaches.”

        You would find a lot of support for some of these assertions. Last year this coaching staff took what had been an elite Penalty Killing unit on a bottom feeder team, that had actually got better personnel with the addition of players like Prust and made it terrible.

        The insistence on playing Desharnais over Eller or Galchenyuk has – until extremely recently – been a huge mistake.

        The singling out of PK and Eller for benchings has been nutty.

        The failure to use PK on the PK almost cost him the Norris.

        The overuse of Markov has been a problem.

        Lots of these things appear to be getting better, so good for Therrien and company for making some adjustments. I don’t agree with everything he wrote (I wouldn’t pull the Gallys off the PP based on a sample of 5 or 6 games) but they are not invalid criticisms of the coach’s deployment of resource.

        I don’t think for a second that I am capable of coaching an NHL team. I didn’t even feel like I could be an assistant on my son’s Novice team. But that doesn’t mean that some obvious questions about player use cannot be asked.

        “Et le but!”

        • mrhabby says:

          like i said..its easy to be critical…respectfully.

          • neumann103 says:

            Sure, agreed. I mean I hate the whole “so and so is a bum” style of criticism when people are talking about a player whose failing is essentially that he is only the 600th best hockey player in the entire world. But I didn’t get that tone from his post. But I do react negatively to the argument from authority thing.

            “Et le but!”

          • twilighthours says:

            I like you neumann. I really do. But it really is too easy to criticize professional coaches/players in broad strokes.

          • neumann103 says:

            twilighthours

            I like you too!

            I can’t reply to your reply due to threading limits so this is a kind of out of place reply.

            I agree that criticisms of coaches or players can be out of place both on a micro and macro level. And there are certainly lots of things we don’t know about tactics, plans, personalities etc. I don’t even agree with parts of what Steveren0 said, eg:

            There is an implicit criticism of Pacioretty on the PK. (or rather in my interpretation of the comment about the amount of PK vs PP time for Max). I love Pacioretty on the PK. When Therrien tried it out in pre-season I was delighted but assumed that he would never do it in the regular season. Pacioretty is capable on the PK and incredibly dangerous. The Habs have so many effective PK forwards that I never thought we would see Max deployed. However apart from tactically great it was also a smart move to get more ice time for Pacioretty when he started to cut back on the Desharnais line’s even strength TOI.

            I think Steveren0’s assertion about the Gally’s efficacy on the PP was factually false (especially in regards to Galcenyuk’s numbers last year. My recollection was that Gallagher’s were not great, but were better than Desharnais.) but I didn’t go to the effort of digging up stats as it is not an argument I have a lot vested in. In any event I think the sample size of the season so far (and in particular the last 3-4 games where Therrien has made some adjustments) is way too small to draw a lot of conclusions.

            However, I do think it is reasonable to point out some of the counter-intuitive uses of personnel Therrien employs. And while Lars Eller seems to have escaped his role as Therrien’s inexplicable scapegoat, Subban has not, to a degree that is frankly kind of shocking in regards to a reigning Norris trophy winner.

            “Et le but!”

  25. The whole “kid line” is suffering since MT decided to wake up Pleks, the chemistry between Eller Galchenyuk and Ghallager is just the perfect energy they know where theyre positioned on the ice at all times and take risks that work as a unit, I would love to see them back together!

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    GOHABSGO!GOHABSGO!GOHABSGO!

    • neumann103 says:

      Yep. Plekanec is my fave but keep the kids together.

      Ideally I would put
      Pacioretty Plekanec Gionta
      together and leave the kids alone. I hope that we see that when Max is healthy. Until then I am good with Prust taking that place and using that line as your Swiss Army Knife all situations tough minutes trio.

      “Et le but!”

    • gordon bombay says:

      You should have watched the last two games then.

  26. habs-hampton says:

    Although Pleks winner was a bad goal to let in, I love watching him one-on-one. Most guys just shoot and hope. He has that move where he cuts across the middle and tries to get a screened shot away through the d-man legs. He’s scored more than once with that move over the years.

  27. frontenac1 says:

    At the start of Last year there were all kinds of posts about MT mistreating PK. What happened? PK learned and refined his game and deservedly won the Norris.Its like deja vu all over again. Keep up the pressure on PK Mike! PK will win the Norris again!

    • Max_a_million says:

      He will be the best defenceman in the league … get ready, he’s getting better as we watch. The naysayers don’t like, but he will be a force in this league. Lucky us being Canadiens fans who get to enjoy it.

    • Phil C says:

      Agreed, every player is different, even Larry Robinson said you have to treat every player differently because every player reacts differently. Some guys need to be yelled at, while some guys will crumble with yelling and need a gentler approach with lots of positive reinforcement. A good coach will not treat everyone the same.

      PK seems like the type of guy who needs a stronger hand on the reins than the average player, so I don’t mind the tough-love approach from Therrien.

  28. habs-hampton says:

    PK reminds me of Larry Robinson in some ways. Robinson was absolutely dominant when he was out there, and made some incredible offensive plays, but once in a while he make a mistake and it was a doozy. I actually think that guys on the ice get caught up in watching him (at least momentarily), and then there’s no one to cover when he makes a mistake.

    Lets face it, not since Guy owned the forum ice, has a Habs player pulled everyone out of their seats when they start a rush.

    • Max_a_million says:

      A question from a previous conversation. What is the difference between Marchand and Subban. Seems like they are very much alike in not conforming to the old school good ole boy ways. I live in New England, smack half way between Boston and Montreal territory. You never hear any of these things said about Marchand. Marchand just doesn’t get this scrutiny at all.

      PK does not get the calls that other Norris trophy winners get either.

      • habs-hampton says:

        I guess I really hate to think it could be a race thing. I still believe he is just too outgoing.

        Marchand is just a punk, and I hate to see PK compared to him.

        I agree PK doesn’t get the respect from the Ref’s, but I think it’s because he whines too much. They hate to be shown up, especially when they’re wrong.

  29. Habfan10912 says:

    Is Grandma Gorges attending the Summit?

  30. Timo says:

    Did everyone liked DD last night? You know… after all the praise he’s received and all the critics he has silenced after the game in Peg.

  31. Subban in Sochi says:

    The Blue Jackets are not a Playoff team, though individuals like youngster Boone Jennerator could make you “believe.” The train of weak sisters gets weaker with the arrival of the toothless Preds and the Oil. The Habs play an incredibly weak schedule in October. Real action will come soon enough against the “mighty” Ducks and Strokin’ Sharks.

    Two things happened last night. First, “Bob” passed his trophy to Carey Price. I adore Tomas P. but even I wouldn’t have been “looked off” by his game winner. If Russia’s pinning their hopes on Bob they better lower their Medal Sights to Bronze…or chocolate.

    Secondly, Michaël Bournival hopefully secured his spot on the playing roster for the next several years. He is “the next” Daniel Briere (i.e., the DB of 12 years ago).

    The Kid Line did close to nothing. That will be troubling until they score 3 Saturday night. Tinordi is struggling with limited ice time every other game. Beaulieu looks much more confident-and effective.

    PK was 2 different players last night. His usual All World self in the 1st period…perhaps intimidated by poor officiating the rest of the way. His “pairing” with “Champagne” Markov was wise.

    I laugh at those that disparage Swiss Mister. Look at the minutes he is playing (!!). Hockey games are won on both style & substance. Diaz has both. Worry about him in the Playoffs when he can be “targeted” if the 3rd pair plays only 10-11 minutes. And by then we will have some bangers like Emelin & Murray who will “protect” Diaz. If fully healthy “Most Valuable Punisher” Emelin will terrify opponents…again.

    I hope Budaj gets the start vs. Preds. He may be somewhat busy if Canadiens “play down.” Any Trotz coached team, though way overmatched, will show up. Bank the pts. now…

    “Cannonading drive!!”

    • Mattyleg says:

      I love those absolutes: “The Blue Jackets are not a playoff team.”

      …so if they make the playoffs they are ‘overachievers’? Is that the deal?

      As far as I’m concerned, every team in the NHL is a playoff team. There is so little seperating the teams in this Era Of Parity that one good run combined with another team or two’s bad run can make all the difference.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Mike Boone says:

        Couldn’t agree more. It’s the National Parity League, and fans benefit.

        Mike Boone
        Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Subban in Sochi says:

        Tell that to Philly fans-where they may recall the Phantoms en masse. Or Sabres fans. Buffalo will be relegated…and replaced by the Hartford Wolf Pack.

        So I “absolutely” disagree with the “Any Given Hockey Night in Canada” reference.

        An 82 game grind with an Olympic eclipse will really make the trade deadline interesting. Maybe the 2 teams mentioned above will follow the (apparently successful) Calgary Model-and clean house. The League is getting younger every season; unfortunately.

        Anyway, it’s as “dangerous” to overrate weak teams as it is to worship strong ones…

        I note that all banter like ours doesn’t turn “serious” until about the 20 game mark-when it’s “too late” for 5-6 teams to “catch up.”

        Bank the points: early.

        “Cannonading drive!!”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      SiS, your dead on with most of what you posted. Certainly the Blue Jackets are not a play-off team if they get that kind of goaltending they got last night all season but they were also playing without two of their most important players. I think they’ll be in the hunt but nowadays who isn’t, huh?

      As far as the schedule, I always believe that road wins are big wins no matter the competition. Winning on the road is a sign of a good team. That western road swing meant a lot to me. Cheers!

  32. Timo says:

    Whatever Michael Therrien or anyone else says about PK is irrelevant. The more Bergevin screws with his contract now the more he is going to have to pay later. If there is one player all 29 teams wouldn’t hesitate to trade for is PK. He is awesome and without him Habs would be battling Buffalo for the same big O record.

  33. Mattyleg says:

    Tinordi needs a kick up the tuckus.

    He looks like he’s playing under “Make-One-Mistake-And-I’ll-Bench-Ya” Martin, he’s so scared.

    He is giving the NHL far too much respect. I don’t mean that he should underestimate the skills of the players he’s up against, but that he should recognize that they’re just grown-up versions of the players he smashed around in Juniors and in Hamilton, and treat them with the same attitude.

    His first games for Montreal this season (pre-season especially) were great, he really imposed himself on the games, and on the opposition, hitting them hard, tying them up, clearing the net, and taking zero sh!t. This probably has to do with the fact that he knew he was playing against some younger players, and he had nothing to lose, only a position on the team to gain.

    Now it looks like he’s decided he has everything to lose, and desperately doesn’t want to lose it, and he thinks that making mistakes are the way he’ll lose it. That’s not the case. He’s bound to make mistakes, and everyone has already absolved him of 80% of the mistakes he hasn’t made but will (the other 20% are stupid errors that nobody should make, and everyone should be criticised for).

    What will lose him his place is tentative play. Not doing what he showed us he can do: Playing big, playing tough, playing angry and ‘present’. When he’s on the ice, the other team should inwardly groan “ohhh, not effing Tinordi…”

    I was speculating last night about how utterly crap it must be for other teams to see PK and Markov paired against them. It must also be unpleasant to see Emelin eyeing you up when you’re setting yourself up for a rush towards ‘his’ zone.

    Tinordi has to carve that reputation for himself. I know he’s young, and I’m not piling on him or jumping all over him, but he needs to start making a name for himself now. The earlier the better, because half of the job of a big defenseman is his intimidation – that he doens’t have to actually DO anything to put people off their game; just his presence is enough to do that.

    Tinordi should be looking at two defensemen very closely to model himself on: Larry Robinson, and his dad.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Timo says:

      I think it’s tuchas (as in טוכאס)

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I guess young defenceman are a lot like the stock market with large swings up and down on a daily basis. I wonder if you may be on to something with the looking over the shoulder theory?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He needs to be confident to be effective. Honestly, when Emelin and Murray return he should go back down to the dogs for a bit to get better and get his confidence back up. He has had slow starts since Jr. and when he starts being physical you know he is on his game.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • dr. gesundheit says:

      Interesting take re Tinordi, and I have to say that it makes perfect sense. Nothing to add, couldn’t agree more.

      Just one thing, (and it has to do with his age and inexperience), I’m wondereing if his comfort level would be much higher with some additional truculence back on D, considering that he currently has little support in that regard, at least until Emelin and Murray are in the lineup. (I know, it shouldn’t be an issue, but…)

      oops…didn’t read the previous responses to M-leg

  34. joshua94k says:

    A couple of years ago so-called media experts said the Canadiens future looks bleak as there are no promising prospects. Their drafts are poor the farm system is bad …

    Where did Subban, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Bournival, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Eller, Emelin… come from. They have the best group of young talent in the league.

    There were some members of HIO who said the Canadiens should model their team like Buffalo and Philadelphia who hare big and have toughness.

    Buffalo and Philadelphia are at the bottom of the conference.

    The Canadiens speed and energy game is unstoppable. During last Saturday’s game against Vancouver, the Canucks couldn’t keep up with the Habs in the 3rd period, took penalties and were out-scored.

    The same thing last night, the Canadiens speed dominated the first half of the game. What happened next, some bad officiating and the game turned around. Subban did not elbow, his stick was lifted and he got two penalties (elbowing and high sticking).

    When the Canadiens are allowed to play their game, they can beat any team. Statistics are in their favour at even strength. When the officiating gets bad, other team prevail.

    Once again last night, as in many games this season, the Canadiens had fewer powerplays than their opponents. (They have been one of the most penalized teams the past few years).

    It is not their lack of size or toughness, that hurts them. It is the constant penalty killing that gets them off their game.

    In the past few play-offs, injuries to key players and the bad officiating hurt them. Not because they are a so-called small team.

    The stats don’t lie. In every play-off series since 2010. The opposing team has had more power-plays. Even in the series the Habs won.

    “I want to kill somebody cutting across the blue line and I want to score the goal and celebrate. And I’ll do it by any means possible to win a hockey game. That’s how I feel playing there (the Bell Centre). I am not sure I have that feeling anywhere else.” – PK Subban

    • The Cat says:

      I dont remember Buffalo having toughness in recent memory.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Cal says:

      “The Canadiens speed and energy game is unstoppable. ”
      Tell that to the laffs and Flames.
      The speed game is very stoppable. Remember Ottawa in the playoffs last spring?
      In the regular season, this is the kind of hockey we want the Habs to play. However, come playoff time- and I am not certain the Habs will make it- they have to play a more grinding style or be cast out in 4 or 5 games.

  35. Sportfan says:

    So are Leaf fans blaming Gionta again for Reimers injury? :P

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  36. Adidess says:

    On MT’s comment regarding Subban… I watched a good chunk of the postgame presser. MT was asked by François Gagnon in French first about whether it was a mistake by PK to pinch there on that second goal. MT obliged saying yes and went on to explain that PK is a young man, who is still learning about how to play in certain siuations and his decision-making will get better as he learns. He may have repeated some version of the same answer in English.

    Now nothing of what MT said there is inacurrate. However, I was waiting for him to add the following… ‘PK is out there creating a lot offence for our team. He made two high risk, high skill-level plays to help us score two goals, and he created tons of other chances where we came close to scoring. I think we can live with some of his mistakes as he is our leading scorer right now. As long as he’s learning from his mistakes, we can’t fault him for taking chances, that’s his game. We expect him to make things happen out there for us’.

    I don’t know that MT doesn’t like PK, as some speculate. But I will tell you I wasn’t surprised MT didn’t say those things in defense of PK in his press conference. It’s almost as if MT doesn’t want to praise PK in public, knowing he’s getting lots of love already from fans and media alike. MT would have probably added those qualifiers if Galchenyuk was the player who created those two goals and happened to cause one to his team by making a bad read. Therefore, I am not sure it’s only about trying to rein in a young player for MT. Maybe he thinks that’s the way to deal with a personality like PK.

    The play Subban made at the blue line, stick-handling/dribbling with one hand, through two defenders, to create a goal (was it the Bournival goal?), that play was way more dangerous than the pinch where Eller was in coverage and let the forward go by him. If any of the guys PK left in the dust had poked the puck away from his stick, it would a 2-on-1 the other way easy. But that high-risk play worked, led to a goal for us, then Subban is Ray Bourque. He then pinched and eveyone agreed he shouldn’t have, even though there was a teammate in coverage who didn’t do his job and he doesn’t get singled-out by the coach the way Subban does.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I just think that Therrien answered the question.
      If someone had asked him, “How important a piece in the Canadiens sytem/success is PK?” Therrien would have said what you’re looking for.

      As was said before, what is said to the media and what is said to and amongst the players are two different things, and only one of them actually matters for anything.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Adidess says:

        I can find you footage of MT lavishing praise, with no qualifiers, on every player he’s had with the Habs. Including Gomez.

        I don’t think any footage exists of MT praising the qualities of PK Subban publicly, without adding things to the effect that he has so much more to learn, and long ways to go before he establishes himself. Not saying it’s a bad strategy vis-a-vis PK, just talking straight facts.

    • Sportfan says:

      Don’t forget Gagnon likes to stir the pot here and there.

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    • DipsyDoodler says:

      That is incorrect. Gagnon did not ask ” whether it was a mistake by PK to pinch there on that second goal”, nor did the English language reporter later on.

      What both asked is: how come you let the BJs (snicker) back in the game. No mention of the 2nd goal or of PK in the question.

      • Adidess says:

        No sir, you are wrong. Francois Gagnon did ask specifically about PK and about his read on the second goal. If there a is 0.1% chance I am wrong, it would be about the voice as one couldn’t see the faces of the reporters asking the questions. But I am very familiar with Gagnon’s voice and French is my first language. Thank you for trying though.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          Apologies – you are right about Gagnon’s question.

          However, MT had already made his two statements about PK in French and English at the time Gagnon asked his questions (at 4min in the clip below) in reply to a general question about the blown lead.

          When MT mentioned the 2nd goal he talked about how “we” pinched and did not mention PK’s name.

          Francois Gagnon being the creepy little Sens fans that he is wanted to make sure everyone knew he was talking about PK. Gagnon of course is the numbnut who wanted us to trade PK last year.

          http://www.rds.ca/vid%C3%A9os/la-nouvelle-aurait-pu-%C3%AAtre-pire-3.878639

    • Pure-Pak says:

      “It’s almost as if MT doesn’t want to praise PK in public, knowing he’s getting lots of love already from fans and media alike.” You could be right about MT, but maybe not for that reason. Just speculating, but someone may have cautioned MT to be circumspect to the press about PK, at least not to offer unsolicited praise until PK is signed long term. If I were PK’s agent, I would be making a list of every public compliment MT ever paid to PK, to use as exhibit A in the contract negotiations. Management knows that PK has a big pay day coming. They don’t want to hurt their negotiating position by minimizing the few mistakes he may make during a game.

      Pure-Pak

      • Adidess says:

        It is possible (I’ve thought of it, including as a reason for not playing him 28-30 minutes a night).

        But that approach would be quite sinister, as we don’t tend to see it around the league. Think about it, every coach would have a player or two on their squad that they can’t get themselves to praise for fear of hurting the team’s position in coming negotiations. We’re speculating either way, but I found that argument to be more farfetched than the one I went with, though there could be elements of both.

  37. Danno says:

    All in all, a great start to the season…

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  38. Maksimir says:

    Didn’t watch the game but what’s up with Eller – his scoring streak over already?

  39. habs-hampton says:

    PK is an elite player (Karlson couldn’t tie PK’s skates), but he is playing in a very conservative league. They don’t want exhuberant, exciting, and out-spoken players. The media love his soundbites, and then use it to make him look like a showboat with no “respect” for the league. PK will continue to get hit with chintzy penalties unless he changes his personality, but I’ll take the bad with the good.

    On his hip-check last night (and every other night), I don’t think the refs know what to call, but they think he must have done something wrong, so they make something up (like an elbow). It reminds me of Michael Oher in “The Blind Side”, when he gets flagged for “exessive blocking”, because he drives another kid into a garbage can.

    The only negative I see in PK, is that he needs to stop complaining to the refs. It will never help.

    • Max_a_million says:

      Would he have to change his personality if he were white?

      • Strummer says:

        Rolling my eyes.

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

      • habs-hampton says:

        I don’t want him to change his personality, but like it or not, the NHL is an old boys club, and they don’t like it. They want guys to talk to the media after every game and spew cliche after cliche.

    • Cardiac says:

      I’m willing to partially agree with you only on the fact that when Ray Emery was with the Sens, the media used to have a field day with the guy. He has that “thug” look (angry black guy with jewelery and tattoos, fancy cars, listens to that “rap” music) and that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

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

  40. Danno says:

    I hate how comments get cut off from the top of the previous page. Still active discussions happening there…

    ________________________________________

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  41. The Dude says:

    That Boone Jenner kid is a Super Star in waiting and manhanded the Habs and he’s beginning his career jeeze! Our Habs again gonna have a tuff time against BIGGER TEAMS.Gallagher is not gonna last long with his style of play on a Habs team…maybe have his back once in a while eh? Fun game….

  42. habsfanforever7631 says:

    Where can I watch 24CH in English?
    I only get the French version on youtube.

  43. Max_a_million says:

    I would say that PK is the most dynamic player. He makes us very dangerous.

    Plekanek does all of the tough dirty work of taking tough face offs, playing against the other teams number one centre, he is the main penalty killer, provides offense, plays power play. I think this team is weakest without him.

    So they are both somewhat MVP-ish depending on the perspective you use.

  44. Cardiac says:

    Wow, how bad are the Flyers right now… One win in 8 games…

    Streit is no Pronger. Lecavalier is no JVR. Ray Emery is not playing being that awesome D in Chicago and Mason is still proving he can’t play well under a Hitchcock-less team.

    But the seaon is still young, right?

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

    • Max_a_million says:

      The crows are circling them as we speak. Which team is worse Buffalo or Philly. Sad thing is Philly is bursting with terrible contracts. Highest paid Defence, and possibly the slowest and worst,

      • Chuck says:

        On top of their defensive woes, neither Buffalo nor Philly can score. Both teams have scored just 11 goals, But Buffalo has played one more game at 9.

        Think about that… 9 games… 27 periods of hockey… 11 goals.

        _______________________
        Anything is possible.

      • Cardiac says:

        On that basis alone I would say Philly is worse. At least Buffalo has decent goaltending and a couple of prospects in the pipeline.

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


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