About last night …

Photo Shop of the Kiddie Corps by the great GG11 and posted to her Women on the ledge web site

Want to nit-pick?

May as well. There’s no football on TV.

• The Canadiens took their 10th bench minor of the season for Too Many Men on the ice. Only Tampa Bay, with 11, has more. It must be an organizational faiblesse that Guy Boucher took with him.

• Andrei Kostitsyn’s boarding penalty occurred 200 feet from his own net.

That’s it.

With the exception of those two errors, your Montreal Canadiens played just about a perfect game.

Sure, it was scoreless for 30 minutes. But the Leafs, who always look like Cup contenders against the Canadiens, played like what they are: a bottom-dwelling team that will be selling at the trade deadline.

Mikhail Grabovski, who always brings it against his former team, was a non-factor. Mike Komisarek is Toronto’s sixth defenceman.

After the Boston game, there was a lot of buzz about the formula for beating the Canadiens: Rock ’em/sock ’em, Don Cherry hockey. Beat them in the alley, beat them on the ice, beat them at the concession stands.

They’re small. They’re scared. They’ll mass-turtle.

Toronto either wasn’t into trying it or just couldn’t skate fast enough to nail anyone – least of all David Desharnais.

How Brian Burke must have agonized to see a player generously listed as 5’7″ bedazzle his allegedly tough hockey team.

 

 

On the drive home, I listened to CKAC’s Dany Dube, my favourite hockey analyst. He said a key to the win was Jacques Martin’s decision to give his players Friday off.

That might have have raised a few eyebrows after the Canadiens’ loss to the lowly Islanders.

But last night’s game was the Canadiens’ fifth in eight days, and February began with three sets of back-to-backs.

Dubé said the extra rest did wonders to restore Roman Hamrlik, who was brilliant against the Leafs, and Jaro Spacek, whose fine work included a shorthanded shift while Hamrlik was in the box. Dubé could have included Jeff Halpern among the geezers who benefitted from time off.

The Canadiens are off today, and the upcoming week is a bit less taxing: the surging Sabres, in what should be an entertaining game at the Bell Centre Tuesday night, then west to Edmonton for a Thursday game and a couple days off preceding the Heritage Classic in Calgary.

There are 25 games left in the regular season, and the Canadiens will play 15 of them on the road.

Not easy, especially for a team beset by injuries. But there were many positive indicators last night – including a third line that’s becoming the second line.

My friend Arpon Basu has written a splendid piece on Desharnais and Benoit Pouliot. We all love Mathieu Darche, but Ryan White brings more speed and grit to that line. With White digging, DD passing and Benny scoring, they’re a joy to watch.

There were reports that Max Pacioretty left the Bell Centre without a sling on his arm. That was good news: Max-Pac’s assist last night gave him points in four straight games, and he’s a critical component of the Canadiens’ Kiddie Corps who brings a physical complement to linemates Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec, who was great again last night, particularly on the PK.

Scott Gomez was better than he was against the Islanders. Jacques Martin singled ou Gomez’s backchecking on his first shift, adding that Gmez’s effectiveness is directly proportional to how hard he works.

On a give-and-go, Gomez found DD with a perfect cross-ice pass to the far post for the prettiest goal of the game.

Trouble is, Desharnais is not Gomez’s linemate. Andrei Kostitsyn and Lars Eller continue to struggle. AK46 had the aforementioned dumb penalty, and Eller hasn’t been on the scoresheet since Hosni Mubarak had a secure grip on power.

Enough nit-picking!

Your Montreal Canadiens snapped their losing streak. They’re eight points clear of the final playoff spot and have matched Washington’s total.

And I forgot to mention Carey Price because his excellence is so routine it has become inconspicuous.

Enjoy your Sunday.

•  •  •

Guest Comment from PeterD:

Never mind the co-number two center thing…DD
has in my mind and I hope in the minds of the coaches surpassed Gomez as
the number two center behings Plekanec.

Tonight I loved the DD,
Pouliot, White line…what a great 2nd line…I noticed they played more
even strength minutes than the Gomez line…so I make them line #2 and
Gomez Line #3…make lots of sense to me.

Even strength TOI — Gomez = 9:59, DD = 11:27. 

With
Gomez mired in a season long offensive slump, it makes more sense to
make room in the offensive lines for a more productive offensive
oriented player, and the Mighty David Desharnais seems to taking all the
opportunities provided to make that a reality.  Gomez still has some
quality offensive skills and he has some good defensive skills for the
PP and PK, but I think he needs to be established in the 3rd line role
and accept that he is no longer a top 6 performer on this team.

When
Moen showed up on the AK and Gomez line, some of us thought, oh no here
we go again with Moen inthe top 6…but I saw it dfferently, on this
night I saw it as Gomez and AK dropping down to form the 3rd line with
Moen and the elevation of DD, Pouliot and White into the 2nd line
status. With Pleks, Patches and Gio as our 1st line.

 

 

162 Comments

  1. Exit716 says:

    So PK would be Keith Moon?

     

  2. SHUTTemDOWN says:

    Enough with that “race card” B.S. The O.J. trial is long passed, so just because your circumstances don’t include racial realities or such trials and tribulations” you can’t pass it offf with your ass-umption.Cheap shots are aplenty, in a cheap shot league.

    I’m sick of hearing it too, incl. Lupul’s band-wagoning…It was a fight, so welcome to the East.

    The sh*t is CHESS!NOT CHECKERS.” Denzel W.(Training Day)

  3. Danno says:

    Cheers Zeppy!

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  4. zak says:

    To bad that’s all he does> once he hits the blue line it’s back to our own zone

  5. Mike Boone says:

    Or, alternatively, it makes them look like one of the greatest rock’n’roll bands of all time.

  6. matrags says:

    What has Subban done to make him the topic of such deep discourse. Did he alledge that he slept with another players wife , did he openly attemp to maine an opposing player ,the reps of the guys you mentioned were earned over extended careers, Subban has not played a full season.

  7. matrags says:

    What has Subban done to make him the topic of such deep discourse. Did he alledge that he slept with another players wife , did he openly attemp to maine an opposing player ,the reps of the guys you mentioned were earned over extended careers, Subban has not played a full season.

  8. wotever says:

    “Perfectly gentlemanly”? Watch the game again, especially when the play is transitioning from the Habs D-zone out.  PK gets some really cheap shots in, just on the right edge of your screen.  

    Racism?  No.  Pathetic.

    PK’s reputation is being polarized as demon or saint, but I’m sure the players can form their own opinions on the ice — based on his play.


    It’s just a game.

  9. matrags says:

    Now tell me Chris , Is Don Cherry Racist. If not , do his comments  border on being racist, and if so , why does he still have his bully pulpit on the supposed flag ship for broadcasting of our National Game. Chris does racism exist , is Frenchy  used to describe French Canadiens Racist, and if he is racist even if he himself does not believe he is , isnt it still racism, and wow right there on good old hockey night in canada.

  10. HardHabits says:

    No way! You mean DD can’t replace Gomez outright? Shocking.

  11. matrags says:

    just glad to hear someone else say it.That parody of a good old southern gentlemen , defender of the code , Cherry got the ball rolling .

  12. beaverislandguy says:

    living on the westcoast, i have my paperbag/jersey ready for the Habs visiting them Canucks next week.  Here comes yet another test, to see if we can give the big boys, like this Vancouver team, a run this upcoming playoff season.  The bagofshame seems lucky for me at work, as the Canadiens have been triumphant, everytime i wear it gameday.  It is very difficult living in Canuckland, every since 1969, when they entered the HNL.

    Great win last night.  But not so fast….them Leafs aint Philly or the Bruins.  Our defense needs consistency as sometimes they have two left feet, and make bonehead plays (twilight some of them as well, and a couple should retire).  AK and Gomez show glimpses of fine form – but these moments are infrequent and stale.

    Glad the youth are showing their stuff and add some energy every night.  We hope this western swing will bag the full amount of points.  Or at the very least….dummy them Canuck fans I have to face on an everyday basis, and skate away with a Hab win.

    Go Habs

  13. MerrillS says:

    Why no comments about the obvious friiction withinthe team? At the end of the game PK and Price exchanged blows right out on the ice, then Price knocked Pouliot over as he headed for the dresing room. Clearly Price is a bad influence in the dressing room.

  14. topher5468 says:

    Berg on the NHL network got it right, during a fight when your gloves come off, if your moving toward a player and are still trying to remove your helmet, too damn bad, You get poped, Its a fight, get your helmet off before you move towards the player your gonna fight, Sour grapes, he lost the fight, the game and his new team sucks, deal with it Lupol. PK did nothing wrong other than engage another player wanting to fight. Its not like Mat Martin who suckered Talbot 

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  15. MathMan says:

    I’m not sure I’d say Desharnais has now tied Gomez as the co-number two center, let alone passed him, DD was dominant all night, there’s no denying that, but what makes someone a top-2 center is whether they face the top of the opposing lineup. And last night, DD made mincemeat of Versteeg-Sjostrom-Boyce, with a side helping of Bozak, whereas Gomez faced more of the Leafs’ top-6: Kulemin-Grabovski-Kessel and MacArthur-Bozak-Lupul.

    This is a perfect role for DD — cleaning up the bottom of opposing rosters and making a killing on the PP — and odds are he’ll continue to get more points doing it. Meanwhile Gomez can play against anyone, start his shifts largely in the defensive zone (as Olivier noted, 7 D-zone faceoffs for 1 O-zone last night, unusual for him) and be effective against opposing top-6ers.

    That split of roles will allow DD to continue to look dominant and probably rack up more points than Gomez, so I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of the DD-is-better-than-Gomez calls, but until the matchups they get change, we’ll know that JM doesn’t agree.

  16. Danno says:

    I can dig it HH!

    Okay. WHO‘s next?

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  17. merlin_24cups says:

    Anybody watch Sports Center this morning??

    They are all over P.K.. They interviewed Lupol. He said he doesn’t mind the kid but guys aren’t going to give him the benifit of the doubt for to much longer. Can anybody explain that to me?. For What? Because he didn’t take his helmet off before the fight?. I’m seriously missing something here. 

    P.K. is an energenic guy that is exciting to watch. I haven’t seen him do anything really “different” to warrent anything negative. The archer after the OT goal was completly exceptable. Is it just jealousy that makes these guys whine about him? 

    Subban talks alot during a game. Its obvious he does it when the cameras are on him. He’s not alone in the league for that. But its part of the game. No penalties that I know of. Richards talked about respecting older players. Yeah I can give him that. But Pronger never showed P.K. any respect when he tried to run Subban from behind last year in the reg season. Subban made the play then got outta the way. Proger called him everything but a valiant Knight on a flying horse. I’m sure Pronger was trying to “welcome” Subban to the league, but a hit from behind isn’t very “respectful”. Respect is a mutual thing.

    This kid has shown his resiliance to the negative comments and keeps coming out to play. He has changed for the better in my opinion. He is very solid on the blue line and his head is in the game. He has been very dependable since the clinic started filling up with D men. 

    Maybe I’m talking outta my a$$. I’m just an armchair coach. However, there is a bunch of you on here whos opinions I respect and wonder what your thoughts on this are.

    As for MTL blanking the Leafs….WOOT!

    GO HABS GO!!!

  18. The Cat says:

    The big news is that Gomez still managed to end the night at -1.

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

  19. topher5468 says:

    MAB with a game winner in OT last night. I hope Shaker is happy today. Oh yea, Halak was yanked last night in a game that D’Agostini had a fight, A lot of former habs in the mix last night. Burner played well for a free falling Avs team. 

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  20. Danno says:

     

     

    Triple-low-five Celebration

    People try to put us down
    Just because we’re from H-H-Hamilton
    Jacques Martin’s system’s awful c-c-cold
    I hope I retire before I get old

    Talkin’ ’bout

    Triple-low-five celebration
    Triple-low-five celebration
    Triple-low-five celebration…

    Why don’t you all f-f-fade away
    Don’t try and change how we all play
    We’re not trying to cause a b-big s-sensation
    Triple-low-five celebration

    Triple-low-five celebration
    Triple-low-five celebration
    Triple-low-five celebration…

    People try to put PK d-d-down.
    Just because he’s the talk of the town.
    Not trying to laugh at Leaf Nation
    Triple-low-five celebration

    Triple-low-five celebration
    Triple-low-five celebration
    Triple-low-five celebration…

    This is my celebration
    This is my celebration, baby

     

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  21. mjames says:

    Good post. The reporting reminds me of bullies in the school yard. Some hyprocritical hockey player like Richards says something an all these socalled reporters jump on the wagonr in order to perptuate some myth. As I said they are like bullies. 

     

    mjames

  22. Habitoban says:

    No doubt it’s been said, but Price was great handling the puck.  Leafs were stubbornly dumping it in all night but Price was on the puck quickly and moving the puck smartly.  Saved our D a lot of wear and tear and we were on offence most of the game as a result.

  23. StevieRay says:

    I saw that …and I thought … all this PK stuff is getting to be old news … Just for the hell of it i searched Lupul on Hockeyfights.com to see how tough of a guy he is …. my conclusion …he should stick to hockey and keep his mouth shut things he knows noting about ….particularly fighting …

    His comments make me wonder what the pre game chatter was in the Laffs dressing room …

  24. dhenry1234 says:

    TSN is retarded. All of this PK stuff in the media is retarded. We all know that PK plays fine and that all of this talk on tsn about him is always RUBBISH. It’s time for TSN to stop bringing his name up because that is the only reason that he has this reputation. “Oh my gosh pk did this” Who cares. The real story for the habs after the game last night is Desharnais. That’s all of the interviews that they posted on their website were about, yet the article written alongside barely mentions him and only goes on to speculate about PK and his antics. Enough of this.

  25. Dintrox says:

    Supplementary discipline for Boyce? the ref gave him just 2 minujtes for the cross check. He should have got an unsportsman like as well. Soupy Campbell will probably look the other way after throwing the book at the Isles.

  26. HardHabits says:

    The big teams try to beat us down
    Just because we skate around
    The way they play looks kinda old
    Hope I don’t die gotta score a goal

    Why don’t you all skate away
    Don’t get psyched about the way we play
    We’re not trying to cause a b-big s-sensation
    Talkin ’bout triple-low-five celebration

     

  27. Chris F says:

    Right now, the anti-PK sentiment in the Toronto media is at epic proportions. What do you do when your team loses to the Montreal Canadiens, on Saturday night, on Hockey Day in Canada, while good ol Bob Cole calls the game, when a good ol Taranna Boy (PK) is a shining star on the rival Habs. Well, what they have chosen to do is completely villify PK. It’s ludicrous, it’s media poisoning at it’s best. The Toronto Sports Network cannot handle the Habs beating the leafs fair and square, certainly not with a kid from their backyard who they failed to draft. That puke Richards started this, (and he can talk about respect!!!), and then Good OL Don Cherry picked up the ball and ran with it.

    It’s sickening, and I wish some of PK’s teammates would come out and speak up for him. It’s the world we live in, where the toronto media chooses what clips are shown across the country. With so many losing seasons, TSN are completely sick of covering the laffs losing, now, as Montreal continues to win, make the playoffs, garner sincere excitement, they (TSN) have decided to poison the waters. How many children do you think watch coaches corner? How many kids watch sportsdesk and listen to players call out PK, put down the Habs for being too small, too wimpy, PK this, PK that. What do you think the result will be?

    The same result as listening to years of Coaches Corner, and Don Cherry calling Euros and French guys wimps who don’t play like the good ol Ontario boys and boys out West. Do you think a 10 year old boy or girl can differentiate between truth and Don’s rants? IT’s time something was done, but in the end, as all of our National Broadcasting comes thru T.O., and their losing every year, it’s a way to save face.

    Just like the bully in the playground who gets beat up, well all of a sudden, the fight wasn’t fair. Showing clips of Lupul after the Habs played the perfect game is embarassing. But who is going to complain?

  28. HardHabits says:

    Does anybody else think Pouliot resembles Bobby Smith in playing style? The height, the skating (minus the falling, although he’s gotten better) the puck handling, the shot. I dunno. I just had this weird flash after reading Chris’ post below.

  29. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    great post…. but let me just come out and say whats happening… its racism, and its sickening. Born from ignorance and jealousy among inbreds.  PK is a fantastic player in all respects, over loaded with talent, and he is just getting started, i hope his career stays in Montreal till he retires.

    and as far as the rough stuff goes, these clowns CLOWNS (RICHARDS/PROGGER etc…) better watch it, because subban can do some very LEGAL DAMAGE, THATS LEGAL, during the play.

  30. habstrinifan says:

    Nice read Boone!

  31. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    the big story wasn’t the game, (those leafs really are pathetic) but the game within the game…

    PK is being targeted in a clear case of racism… in a perfectly gentlemanly played game from SUBBAN you will see that he soon becomes the sole object of revenge, no matter the score, he is a separate objective in the minds of the inbred neanerthals like PROGGER/NATHANHORETON?RICHMAAN/BOYche etc.. someone must be held to account for these actions, but unfortunately the league management is in the hands of other inbreds.

    DD has shown improvement in every game since his callup…and as is the case with players of his build, they are smart and avoid areas that would impede their progress. DD is a very smart player, and his linemates of POULIOT/WHITE are the perfect match… but more on WHITE next.  BOONE explained it perfectly “With White digging, DD passing and Benny scoring, they’re a joy to watch.”

    WHITE needs to be told to find accomodations for the rest of the season. he is another NAG phenom like SUBBAN, part of the veteran youth movement that will bring us respect and success. WHITE has that never die attitude, he is impervious to pain and fear, did you see his work in front of the net!, helmut flying off and he keeps on going, tough as nails, opponents bounce off him….

    AK… lets not give up on this russian steam engine with hands of gold… yes he has slowed down a notch, but he packs a punch on impact, we have seen the biggest bodies bounce off him or be surprised when they hit this freight train!!!.. his linemates are all over the map…. but for me, AK is doing a fantastic job.

    1:The N.A.G.S. (North American Grit Speed) Youth Movement will bring us respect. 2: 02/09/11 never forget the masacre 3. ..call up WHITE/SHULTZ/HENRY/PAX now.

  32. Shiloh says:

    I thought AK played fine last night too – especially the couple of shifts he had with Pleks. I didn’t mind him going hard at the Leafs guy. Even though he was penalized, he sure made the Leafs d-men look up. A guy that big and fast coming at you who’s willing to take you out has to be cause for concern. AK gave us a bit of edge in that department.

    The silver lining in the absence of Markov, Gorges and Gill is the development of Weber and PK (and even Wiz) defensively. Weber could become a true threat next year with his shot while playing well enough defensively to earn regular shifts for years to come.

    Whatever they’re doing in Hamilton it must be right.

  33. matrags says:

    right on about race and subby. I have been saying it all along , how dare a black guy be so uppidy and presume he is as good as one of us. There are alot of spoiled pampered brats in this league .  Products of a minor hockey system that has become almost the exclusive pervue of white elites , brats raised in the bubble that is competitive amateur Hockey.Subban is targeted because of his skill set race drives the intensity of that attack. 

  34. topher5468 says:

    Just because his skin is b-brown

    Doesn’t mean he deserves a beat down

    The way he plays is kinda c-cool

    I like it, even if it’s not old school

     

    Why dont you all learn not to hate

    PK’s our guy and boy can he skate

    Hes here to stay and not in moderation

    Talkin ’bout his triple-low-five celebration

     

     

     

     

     

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  35. bertuzzisucks says:

    Just remember 80 percent of posters were against DD getting called up. We heard it all on here. Blah, blah!

    “He doesnt have the NHL pace”

    “look at Corey Locke, blah, blah”

    “he’s too small”

    “career AHLer”

     

     

    A few of us on here were consistently rooting for the DD call up and sticking up for him. Thats because we had actually see him play for the Bulldogs.

    Oh well, we all make mistakes! You 80 percent are all forgived.

  36. Mike Boone says:

    Thank you.


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