About last night …

Be of good cheer and enjoy Sunday.
Your Montreal Canadiens lost to one of the best teams in the NHL.
San Jose is a bona-fide Stanley Cup contender.
The team the Sharks beat 2-0 Saturday night at the Bell Centre isn’t … at least not yet.

Give the Canadiens some credit.

Through 44 minutes, they were in a one-goal hockey game – despite being outshot and often outplayed by a very good team.

That crazy second San Jose goal was the dagger. From that point on, the Canadiens played like a team that realized resistance was futile.

Credit  San Jose general manager Doug Wilson with retooling his team on the fly. Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi are gone. Hall of Famer Larry Robinson is coaching a group of defencemen that includes no superstars, just six guys who do their jobs efficiently.

You can tell why Douglas Murray was deemed expendable in San Jose. All the Sharks’ Dmen – including veteran Scott Hannan – can skate and move the puck.

Likewise the Sharks forwards. This was the first game of the young season in which the Canadiens were conspicuously the slower team.

Best evidence, for me, was the play of my fave young rave, Michaël Bournival. Against Anaheim, the Canadiens’ rookie was constantly giving the Ducks’ defencemen fits with his ability to turn on the jets and find open ice.

Not against San Jose. Like almost all his teammates, Bournival found himself with a white jersey – or a few of them – in very close proximity every time he touched the puck and everywhere he went on the ice.

P.K. Subban habitually wheels and deals and evades foils all forechecking efforts. Not against San Jose. The Sharks were in P.K.’s face, forcing to work on defence and slowing down his efforts to move the puck up the ice.

And when P.K. isn’t leading the charge …

Tomas Plekanec was the only Canadien with more than two shots on goal. He had three.

Matthew Nieto (I’ve never heard of him, either) had six SoG for the Sharks. Couture and James Sheppard had four each. Three other Sharks had three.

In addition to their 35 SoG, the Sharks missed the net 15 times and had 18 shots blocked (four by former Shark Josh Gorges).

Corresponding numbers for the Canadiens were 22-9-12. The Canadiens also iced the puck 12 times.

The stats don’t lie. San Jose dominated puck possession.

Nor do the ToI numbers lie.

Why the heck was Francis Bouillon playing 21:22? Michel Therrien trying to kill the guy?

Nathan Beaulieu, by contrast, played 8:27. The rookie defenceman had one shift in the third period.

Was Beaulieu worse than Raphael Diaz, who was bounced on his duff and out of the play when Couture’s power-play goal opened the scoring?

The Sharks had four man advantages. The Canadiens had one, when Brad Stuart went off for boarding late in the second period. The Canadiens PP had one shot on Antti Niemi, who has played every minute of every Sharks game. Niemi has nine wins, a 1.53 GAA and a .933 save percentage..

It’s not difficult to post gaudy goaltending stats in San Jose. The Sharks allow 23.1 shots per game, a smidge behind Minnesota’s league-leading average of exactly 23. The Canadiens are 23rd, allowing 32.8 shots per game.

Again, Wilson has put together a nice team, and the Sharks are  well-coached by Todd McLellan and his staff.

The Canadiens will play them again in San Jose on March 8. That will be after the Sochi Olympics and the trade deadline.

By then, each team will have  a pretty good idea of  what  the 2013-’14 season is going to end up looking like.

It’s a good bet the Sharks will have their eyes on the prize.

The Canadiens? A work in progress.

Look, there’s no disgrace in losing a close game to a team as good as San Jose. The last time the Canadiens were shut out at the Bell Centre was Game 11 of the 2013 season.

That was when the Leafs laid a 6-0 whuppin’ on the guys in red jerseys.

The Canadiens then went on the road to Florida, where they won in a shootout over Tampa Bay and added an overtime win over the Panthers (David Desharnais got the winner).

The Canadiens came home to beat Philadelphia and Carolina before winning their fifth in a row at Madison Square Garden.

That’s where they’ll be for a rare Monday night game as the Rangers open their renovated MSG.

And by then, Ian Cobb and the HIO Summiteers will have made bail.

• Check out The Gazette’s HIO Summit photo gallery

• David Clarkson’s first game: 21 minutes, eight hits.

Your non-hockey Sunday laugh



  1. CH Marshall says:


  2. Realist24 says:

    Habs have to get bigger.
    Galchenyuk at center.
    desharnies apply at reno depot.

  3. Danno says:

    A tribute to The Great Allan Stanley


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

  4. 4loorplay says:

    We got to put galchenyuk at center. Its sad to see that price is playing so well compared to last few seasons (ok a gaff last night) and we cant put up more wins. We seem snake bit this year right from the onset. We really need emilin and we need tinordi to be let loose and use his size with him adding another 20 pounds to his frame. Trying to groom tinordi into a finesse D man not gonna work. DD is good in faceoff circle and a hard worker but needs to get stronger , like gallager.

    Nirvana is earned…

  5. Fransaskois says:

    New Thread!

  6. Maritime Ronn says:

    hi Matty

    Here’s wishing you great health for you soon to be newborn and for mom also.

    Us guys have/had it very easy.
    We only had to make it – not deliver it.
    In the Delivery Room?
    We watch….

    Matty, you are lucky it’s not twins such as I (We/She) had 29 years ago…and that included taking care of a just turned 2 year old.

    Now do the math.
    A 3 year old and 2 one year olds.
    A 4 year old and 2 two year olds.
    A 7 year old and 2 five year olds all doing stuff like hockey or dance or soccer or…
    Plot it out further…

    Please, whatever you do….Don’t ever miss any of it!

    You won’t regret a minute later on in life….especially at a dinner table when they reminisce about all the great times (that you forgot)…and then they come over and do the Timo huggie thing and whisper in your ear, ” I love you dad, and thanks for everything…” …even though they don’t realise or have a clue about how all the grey hair was due to them – if any hair is left and available.

  7. A. Berke says:

    Shout out and big thanks to Ian and Andree for the wonderful organization.
    It was great to see again old friends and meet new ones whom I had not met before.
    Candice and I had a great time.

    The game’s outcome ( to be honest) wasn’t a surprise, our guys tried their best. The reffing was crappy (so what else is new for the Habs?).


    Ali B.

  8. Bill J says:

    Per Renaud Lavoie: LL not warming up with Hamilton. He doesn’t believe LL has been traded, suspects call up to MTL.

    Go Habs Go!

  9. GGtheHab says:

    Anybody know how badly Moen was hurt/cut? I know most will say “who cares?” but we don’t want to lose another warm NHL body..I look forward to the injury list shrinking…having healthy players in the pressbox should be a motivational factor to some fighting to stay in the line up..

  10. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    The best team in the league beat us. Not really a big surprise is it?
    I though we played pretty well to start the game,active sticks,keeping their forwards to the outside etc. Getting 4 penalties in a row doesn’t help,started to look wore down after that and could not get any flow. One less penalty and maybe one more PP for us(which there should have been with a few blatant non-calls) and who knows? But if its and buts….
    Got sick of CBC talking about Boyle not being in the roster and SJs injury woes. Ummm,i think we’re a little more depleted and no mention of that
    Maybe time to break the Gallys up ? Getting a little stagnant.

  11. Eddie says:

    I wonder if the Habs could make a deal with the Pens and acquire 22 year old, defenceman, Simon Despres. (Laval, Quebec)


    Despres had made the Pens roster last year and looked very good; at 6’4 and very mobile, hahaha!, he looks good to any team!

    This season Oli Matta has stolen Despres’ rookie spot on the roster and Despres is back in the AHL.

    Is there a way for the Habs to grab him considering the Pens have the following:

    Matta 22nd overall, 2012,
    Derrick Pouliot, 8th overall, 2012,
    Brian Dumoulin, 59th overall, 2009,
    Philip Samuelsson 61st overall, 2009
    and Scott Harrington 54th overall 2011, all signed to pro contracts?

    Although he shoots left, Despres is the young, big, mobile, top 4 type of d-man we could really use.

    What would it take to get Despres considering how loaded the Pens are in defensive prospects??

  12. frontenac1 says:

    @mattyleg. Great meeting you amigo! Keep us posted and all the best to you and your wife.Saludos!

  13. Mattyleg says:

    Hi all,
    Still no definite action on the baby-front, thanks for the wishes etc.
    Things quieted down last night, but the gears are still turning…
    Watch this space…!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  14. Rudy says:

    At the airport, security “episode” in US security. We’ve been standing still for an hour. Can’t bring the signed stick on the plane, so left it with friends here and will get it to DC somehow.
    We had so much fun this weekend, great to meet so many friendly people. Safe trips home everyone.

    • JM says:

      Ronn – I see it like this. MB gave DD a pretty good Contract DD has not lived up to it thus far and MB don’t want to let himself look bad by trying to trade him unless there’s other reasons.

      Personally I think he’s a little too small for todays NHL. Scared of getting hit and easy to push of the puck we wouldn’t get much for him other than that. I think MB would be trying to move him. a second bad move wouldn’t look good on MB. DD has very good skills but when your been stopped from using those skills they’re not much use to a team. That’s just my opinion!!

      • Bill J says:

        If MB manages to trade DD for something of value, he will not look bad. At least not in my eyes. Keeping DD and his contract is what makes MB look bad. IMO.

        Go Habs Go!

    • SPATS says:

      Hi Rudy, got a nice photo of your Dad at Baton Rouge and an even better one in the stands sporting his snappy hoodie donated by the absent but not forgotten HabTriniFan

      Contact Ian for my email and I’ll send them along.



  15. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ JF

    You are very eloquent and a good read.

    A few questions for you:

    – Do you believe Desharnais is in the way of Galchenyuk playing Center, and receiving precious development minutes that Chuckie should be playing?
    (Look at all the other Top 3-5 rookies of the past 2 years now playing big, important minutes in their specific position.)

    – If you believe that Desharnais – as you mention above ” I think Bergevin will find a way to move him either next year or the following year” is not part of the future, then why should he be stealing minutes from AG… or even what appears to be a now on fire Louis Leblanc?

    – I don’t know if you ever played minor hockey where sometimes teams had NO choice but to put players on the team.
    Do you believe Desharnais now resembles ‘the coaches son’ or the ‘rich kid’s dad’ that bought the sweaters?
    That has no place on the team, but the team can’t get rid of him for…reasons?

    • Mark C says:

      What minutes is DD stealing from Gally?

      • Bill J says:

        DD is stealing minutes from ANY center capable of playing minutes in MTL the minute he plays one shift.

        Go Habs Go!

      • Eddie says:

        Mark, DD is playing terrible. Galchenyuk is a centreman, Even Bergevin and Therrien have stated publicly, as recently as last week, that they “know” they will have to move Galchenyuk to center eventually.

        • Mark C says:

          Fine, but if you make Galchenyuk a center then you must take away ice time from Eller’s or Plekanec’s line. Galchenyuk is already getting more ice time and PP time than DD.

      • Maritime Ronn says:


        Putting it plain and simple, a team does not win a Cup with Desharnais as a Top 6, or even Top 9 Center.

        He may look good in some regular season games, yet once the playoffs come along, he is a complete non factor as the going gets tough and he gets pushed around like a fly and ends up on his butt like a peewee.

        That being the case, he ‘steals’ development minutes from the young future guys that will give the Habs a chance to win….in the playoffs

        Who cares if he scores 2 goals and has a 4 point game against Buffalo-Florida-NJ-Edmonton….I want to know how this guy can survive a 7 game playoff against Boston-Toronto-Ottawa.
        The answer is…He can’t, as he was a complete no show against a tough Ottawa D last year.

        • Mark C says:

          Is getting third line minutes at center better for his development than playing left wing for Eller? Maybe. See don’t see how DD is stealing anything, think the Habs think that Galchenyuk playing in the top-6 is more important than centering the third line.

    • JF says:

      Can’t really answer these questions, but here are my thoughts. Galchenyuk seems to be improving defensively, so I think we’ll see him at centre sooner rather than later. However, when we do, there’ll still be an adjustment period. He’ll make mistakes and get exposed at first.

      If Louis Leblanc continues lighting it up in Hamilton, he’ll be the next callup, perhaps later this week. According to RDS, Moen will miss tomorrow’s game and Patrick Holland is staying up for now. Leblanc seems better suited for third or fourth line duty than Holland, so, if Parros remains out for a while, he should get his chance soon. Then it will be up to the coaches. But I don’t think Desharnais has any special status; for example, I don’t think he is being given preferential treatment to cover Bergevin’s mistake in signing him (if it was a mistake, which I’m not convinced of yet). Bergevin has said that he expects to make errors, but that the important thing is not to compound an error by making another in an effort to rectify it. I also don’t think language plays any role in Desharnais’s treatment. There seems no reason the team can’t get rid of him, and they’ll do it when the time is right.

      On Desharnais himself, I think he busts his butt out there on most nights. I can’t fault him for effort, and he has improved significantly in the faceoff circle – just nothing else is really working for him at the moment.

  16. thehabs21 says:

    We truly are a bubble team guys. its going to be tight…bruins,wings,sens,bolts and the f’ing leafs

    “I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears”

    • Bill J says:

      While I’d rather see how things play out when the injured return.

      This was my belief coming into the season, Detroit joining our division was not the greatest of scenarios. As for the leafs, they do remain a wild card. But just as wild as the Habs, I do not see them as being better than the Habs. Merely another team fighting hard for a playoff seat.

      Go Habs Go!

  17. piper says:

    Habs came out of the gate pretty well but then the Sharks forechecked the Habs D into submission. Price kept it close.
    I hope Murray will help and then when Emelin gets back Diaz, Frankie, and Georges can get some rest. Maybe a deal could be made at that point make room for the kids.

  18. habs001 says:

    If the Habs make the playoffs the games will look a lot like yesterday…they will have trouble scoring,will lose the pp vs pk battle and get physically dominated in the o and d zones…

    • thehabs21 says:

      I agree it will look alot like last years playoffs. Were looking at the same team

      “I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I’ve got my two Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears”

  19. ooder says:

    i didn’t watch the whole game but saw the replays.. was it me or did logan couture trip up Diaz on that goal?
    anyways from what i saw the habs were dominated pretty thoroughly in terms oh physicla play… SJ just wore down our defense pretty easily.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Well, let’s put it this way (admitting bias) if the skate was on the other foot, do you think it would have been called? Based on last night’s reffing, I believe so. They called the interference on Galchenyuk and let SJ get away with it all night long.

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

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