About last night …

PleksCelebrate

That should have been a shared shutout
Yes, Peter Budaj was excellent .. again … in a 2-0, home opener-spoiling conquest of the Rangers.
But his teammates made more saves than their goaltender.
The Rangers managed 27 shots on Budaj.
Canadiens skaters blocked 28.

Their 214 blocked shots lead the league.

Andrei Markov led the way with six blocked shots– while playing 25:47. That’s almost a minute of ToI more than the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh, who is 10 years younger than Markov.

Josh Gorges, who’s five years younger than Markov, blocked five shots. Eleven Canadiens put themselves in the way of Rangers shots.

This is to take nothing away from Budaj.

Carey Price’s understudy was terrific, especially on third-period shots by J.T. Miller, whom Budaj stoned twice, and Mats Zuccarello.

At this point in the young season, Ryan Smyth is the answer to a hockey trivia question: Who is the only NHL player who’s scored on Peter Budaj.

Smyth’s goal was on an Oilers’ power-play early in the second period of the Canadiens’ visit to Edmonton on Oct. 10. It was Edmonton’s 10th shot of the game, and Budaj stopped the next 18 as the Canadiens scored four unanswered goals.

Budaj has faced 55 shots this season. He’s stopped 54 of them. That’s a .982 save percentage, to go along with Budaj’s 0.50 GAA.

Of course, the Canadiens’ number 1 goaltender hasn’t been too shabby either. The team’s 1.83 GAA is fourth in the NHL, behind Colorado, san Jose and Boston. No other team has a GAA under 2.23.

The Canadiens average 2.92 goals scored per game, which is 13th in the NHL.

If you’re scoring almost 3 and allowing fewer than 2, you should win a lot of hockey games. And maybe the Canadiens will,  but we’ll get a better fix on that likelihood when the Dallas Stars visit the Bell Centre Tuesday night.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the Rangers suck. In 10 games this season, they’ve scored the grand total of 15 goals.

After nine games on the road – 16 if you count exhibitions – the Rangers finally played on home ice at the renovated Madison Square Garden Monday night. You would think they’d be stoked to put on a good show for Big Apple hockey fans.

You’d be wrong.

Lacking their two best forwards – Rick Nash and captain Ryan Callahan – the Rangers have very limited fire power. They fired blanks on five power plays, and Budaj was not severely tested until he made the aforementioned third-period saves.

Nor were the Canadiens an offensive juggernaut.

Tomas Plekanec got the Canadiens on the board with his sixth of the season during a second-period power play. The game had been scoreless – and excitement-free – for almost 40 minutes when rookie Michaël Bournival tied up two Rangers defenders, giving Plekanec a clear path to Henrik Lundqvist’s blue paint.

Alex Galchenyuk’s goal was a fluke – off his skate but ruled good because there was no discernible kicking motion – but it came off a nice odd-man rush with Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher.

That was about it for the highlight reel.

As has been the case in every game this season, the Canadiens were outhit. Chris Kreider’s five checks led the way to a 20-12 Rangers advantage.

Douglas Murray, the one allegedly big thumper on the Canadiens blueline, had one hit in 14:21 of ice time. Murray also took an interference penalty, one of six Canadiens minors – including three to that villainous goon Brian Gionta.

The Canadiens have taken 57 minor penalties this season, a total exceeded only by Ottawa and Edmonton (58 each) and Minnesota’s 62.

The penalty-kill is eighth in the league with an efficiency of 84.0 per cent. The Canadiens power play is sixth, cashing 24 per cent of its chances. The combined figure exceeds 100, and that’s the mark of a pretty good team.

The Canadiens dominated the faceoff circle, winning 32 of 59. David Desharnais, Pleks, Eller and Ryan White all won more draws than they lost.

Louis Leblanc played a shade over 10 minutes. After taking a penalty in a 0-0 game and riding the pines for a couple shifts, Leblanc gained a bit of confidence as the game progressed and did some nice O-zone puck possession things in the third period.

Leblanc also skated, for one shift, on a line with DD and Bournival. As la Presse’s Richard Labbé pointed out on Twitter, this was the Canadiens’ first French Connection line in a while.

The most recent? The immortal La-La-La line: Maxim Lapierre, Guillaume Latendresse and Georges Laracque.

Flying Frenchmen, indeed!

•  •  •

Hey, is it too early to start whining about the playoff format?

The Canadiens’ 14 points would have them second in the woeful Metropolitan Division. But they’re fourth in the Atlantic and could be in a dog-fight for a wild-card playoff berth, 70 games from now.

 

422 Comments

  1. FANHABULOUS says:

    It was mentioned below that our line-up, once everyone is back and healthy, will look something like this:

    Galchenyuk/Eller/Gallagher
    Bournival/Plex/Gionta
    Max/DD/Bourque
    Moen/White/Prust
    Parros as a sub when needed

    PK/Gorges
    Markov/Emelin
    Murray/Diaz
    Bouillon as a sub when needed

    Price/Budaj

    I like this line-up, lots of scoring and skill spread out. If MT is truly dishing out ice-time based on merit, then Briere and DD should be battling it out for that 3rd line center position. And before you jump down my throat with a “but you have Max on the 3rd line” I don’t really think of them as that… I think our top 3 lines are basically equal, and whichever line is hot during a game gets more ice. It’s a great problem to have.

    Also, for all the doomsday people on here… we are seriously depleted, yet are totally hanging in there and accumulating points with the big boys (Detroit, Pens, Goons etc). We are also pretty deep (notice none of our Hamilton guys are even listed in the roster above).

    Final note to all the MT haters… just think, would JM have given guys like Eller, Chucky, Gally, Bournival, Tinner, and NB the same type of ice-time and chances to bring them along? He had no patience with the youngsters, especially if they made mistakes (remember him stapling the rookies to the bench after a mistake?!). I for one think MT is doing a good job, helping develop the young talent, and the system the guys are playing is waaaaay more suited to them than anything the Count had them doing.

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

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      There´s no way DD deserves to be playing with Pacioretty. Max is our best winger and he should be playing with one of our two best centers.

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

      makes more sense.

      What to do with Briere? I have no idea.

  2. SteverenO says:

    the most noticeable improvement in the Habs play this season is in the 5 on 5 defensive play. Awesome start to the season most notably for Gallagher, Markov, & Bourque,; here are the numbers expressed in minutes of even strength ice per goal allowed:( compare to last seasons numbers in brackets )

    Gallagher: 75 min per GA (20 Min per GA)
    Markov: 71 min per GA (21 Min per GA)
    Bourque; 51 min per GA (27 Min per GA)
    Briere: 47 min per GA ( 23 Min per GA with Philadelphia)
    Bournival; 46 min per GA ( NA)
    Bouillon: 44 min per GA (23 Min per GA)
    Eller: 43 min per GA (26 Min per GA)
    White: 42 min per GA (54 Min per GA)
    Prust: 41 min per GA (36 Min per GA)
    Plekanec: 40 min per GA (28 Min per GA)
    Galchenyuk: 38 min per GA (28 Min per GA)
    Desharnais: 38 min per GA (19 Min per GA)
    Diaz: 37 min per GA (38 Min per GA)
    Subban: 32 min per GA (29 Min per GA)
    Gorges: 30 min per GA (27 Min per GA)
    Tinordi; 30 min per GA (43 Min per GA)
    Gionta: 30 min per GA (29 Min per GA)
    Moen: 26 min per GA (32 Min per GA)

    these three players have not been on the ice for an even strength goal against this season( in limited ice time)

    Beaulieu ; 47 minutes ES TOI -O GA (26 Min per GA)
    Holland: 26 minutes ES TOI -O GA (NA)
    Blunden : 24 minutes ES TOI -O GA (21 Min per GA)

    Some of this has to be attributed to better goaltending by Carey Price, however in watching the games it appears that we are spending less time in our own zone; It was sometime painful to watch last season how often we simply could not get the puck out of our own zone.

    Therrien, and his staff deserve some credit for this noticeable improvement, however the biggest impact can be boiled to down to one player,…….Markov.

    Lets hope that he can keep it up..
    I will bring up the same point for discussion as I did around this stage of the last season;

    Why is it “okay” to give a young goalie an occasional night off, especially in back to back games, but not an aging defenseman?

    I would be very happy to see MArkov rested tonight against the Stars. Either of Tinordi, Beaulieu, or even Patteryn can fill in for a game now and then. When Emelin return we will have the luxury of another capable defenseman to fill in for an occasional start now and then.

    I think there are three ways that a coach can manage Markov’s ice time:

    1) limit his time to 20 minutes maximum per game and play him in all 82 games

    2) Play him 25+ minutes a game for 72 to 75 games

    3) Play him as much as he can play until he runs out of gas, and then continue to play him 25 minutes oer game

    Last season Therrien went with option 3 . I , for one, am hoping he chooses a different route this season. I believe Markov’s ice time management may well be one of the biggest factors that determine the success of this year’s edition of nos glorieux.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    P.S. There is nothing wrong with giving Bouillon and Gorges a game off every now and then also.

  3. jeffhabfan says:

    Guys it was a boring road win but that is what we need to do on the road with are injuries right now. We need to play better at home starting tonight. GO HABS GO.

  4. SPATS says:

    A tale of 2 cities and their fans

    Stoked home crowd doesn’t get to come out of their seats due to visitors forecheck and steady goaltending resulting in their beloved homeboys being shutout.

    Game is a little on the dull side and doesn’t see any scoring until a quick play in the blue paint in the 2nd quiets the crowd even further.

    Game grinds along into the 3rd before a questionable / fluke goal cements it for the visitors sending the previously stoked crowd out early to the local watering holes to commiserate on dollars spent and miles travelled.

    HABS vs NYR – MSG opening night post renovation
    Sharks vs Habs – Summit 2013

    Spats out… And yes, that’s Ultraman!

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  5. Eddie says:

    I have always supported Louis Leblanc. So I will offer him a little advice from a fan.
    Louis, I think you need to do 2 things immediately to help you launch a long NHL career:

    1) You need to get ANGRY; emotionally invested in the game, and ANGRY if someone on the other team head locks or face washes you after a whistle. You don’t have to fight. You just have to “push back” with some anger and determination.

    2) Once you decide that you can play with some anger, you need to take the puck to the net, drive the net, and score the garbage goals. You don’t have the big shot coming off the wing like Pacioretty or Bourque, so you have to watch how Gionta and Gallagher have turned themselves into goal scorers – by sacrificing their bodies and getting pounded in front of the net.

    I saw some good things from Leblanc yesterday. He battled harder. He had a jump in his step. He did go to the net a few times, and on one of those occasions he drew a penalty.

    Let’s go Louis! It’s time to leave the calm Louis behind, and play ANGRY like an NHL player is expected to play. You played with such an edge when you were younger. That’s the game you need to find again.

  6. JM says:

    I have a feeling Colorado will be the Habs biggest test of the schedule so far. Roy will have them totally prepared to win!! He’s doing a great coaching job.

  7. Bripro says:

    You know how you have butterflies in your stomach when you first meet someone after oodles of anticipation?
    That was the summit for me. So many people I had blogged with and emailed, but had never met.
    Now that I’ve met many new (and slightly older) friends, I still have butterflies in my stomach, but now it’s because my memory is deserting me in my hour of need.
    I will tip my hat to those who I met first, and who’ve had the biggest impact on this site, for me, and who have continued to be my friends through my rants.
    Habfan 10912 (I think those are the right numbers … dyslexia) is truly the gentle giant he comes across as… and a finer person you’ll be hard to meet. His son Chris, always trying to keep his dad in line, even with a bottle in hand. A real chip off the old block.
    Burly, also the consummate gentleman, first class person and a true punkster. You had me on those tickets, smarty pants. Remember though, that for issues like this, my memory is still long…. ;)
    L… still don’t know you’re real name, but a Montrealer through and through, and nothing but good things to say, and doesn’t take life too seriously, except her hockey.
    Grim Jim, a quiet man who only speaks when he feels the need to. Unlike me, he doesn’t waste his words.
    And Shane (Sholie), how do I describe HIO’s version of Les Nesman.
    A bizarre and very funny guy. You can’t help but like him, except perhaps on the morning after he’s only had 3-4 hours sleep.
    A real grumpasaurous. But a great guy, and seriously talented with his figurines.
    Ian Cobb was the consummate gentleman I thought he would be, and took my opinions like the first-class person that he is.
    JB was quieter than I expected, but you could see in his eyes that there was a build up on the comedy front.
    Matty as as articulate in person as he is on this site, and fun to talk to.
    And Front, as fate would have it, is not only from my current stomping ground, but knows my brother in law and sister very well. And funny as hell, even between shots. Small world.
    I had a wonderful time, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I thank you all for your warmth and friendship.
    And I hope this annual even goes on forever, even if Ian wants me to be in charge of security at the next raffle.
    Cheers all! And finally, a quick one before I go back out into the cold for my door-to-door politicking.

    Keep a SMILE on your face
    And a SONG in your heart!

    A smile – is a sign of joy.
    A hug – is a sign of love.
    A laugh – is a sign of happiness.

    And a friend like me? – Well that’s just a sign of good taste!
    We”ll be friends until I am senile .

    Then we’ll be NEW friends.

  8. db says:

    I have no idea how the players union agreed to that alignment. It’s just not fair and doesn’t make sense.

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    TSN McKenzie tweeted that Pittsburgh Penguin Dman Rob Scuderi broken ankle and needs surgery. That is a big loss for that team.

  10. frontenac1 says:

    @hobie. The guys on AC do that all the time too. Just goes with the territory.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think Marinaro was insinuating those guys as well. I’ve heard Marinaro press Michel Bergeron about the issue on his show recently and Bergeron was squirming and totally avoiding the question.

  11. frontenac1 says:

    @luke. I saw that too. Why not put Crankshaft in front of the net on the PP? That’s a big frame to move out of the way. Worth a try?

  12. frankcasting says:

    Granted the Rangers suck, but I was pleased with Leblanc, thought Murray looked OK out there, not as horrible as he looked in preseason, and Bournival is totally an NHL player. But it might be time to turn PK into the next Brent Burns, we need a power forward so badly, and we can’t wait 5 years for McCarron, and D is not our weakness. Maybe I’m nuts, but when I don’t see PK on the ice in key defensive situations like penalty-kills or last minute, I really have to wonder.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  13. Hobie Hansen says:

    Tony Marinaro is wondering on his show why Desharnais isn’t being ripped in La Presse or Le Journal De Montreal? When reporters from those publications are asked about Desharnais on his show they seem to quickly change the subject to Moen or White sucking instead, for some strange reason?

  14. joeybarrie says:

    Now that Boone points it out, I was concerned as soon as i saw the “new” playoff format.
    Makes no sense to me. I liked the re-alignment for the most part, but it makes it easier to miss the playoffs and still be one of the top teams in the East.

    Should be simple. Division Leaders ranked 1-2, the rest go on points in the Conference. East and West.
    At this point in the season (and of course it will change) but the Habs and Detroit are fighting Ottawa, Washington and Columbus for a playoff wild card.
    Stupid.

  15. third generation haber says:

    Penalty or no penalty, I loved seeing Murray lay the thunder last night! I felt it down in my plums!

    Goaltenders seem to improve on their save percentage when scared forwards are doing all their shooting from the perimeter like DD does (See Tim Thomas 2011).

    Murray + Emellin= The Demolition Unit!

    j.p. murray

  16. frontenac1 says:

    @burly. Life is good, eh amigo? Saludos!

  17. bwoar says:

    Patrick Holland played a nice game last night. I was astounded that MT put him and Whitey out there together on a crucial PK at 1-0 but they got the job done.

    “thoroughbred”

  18. CF says:

    I would disagree that Budaj wasn’t tested until the third period. He absolutely robbed someone in the first period in the slot, got enough of the puck and then it rang off the post. Big save at a big moment in the game given it was the home opener and fans were looking for something to cheer about.
    It’s the type of save that wins a game. Budaj was great, he looked calm, but very fast, and was always square to the puck. I don’t see him overplay pucks like I do Price. I didn’t see him 5 feet outside the left of right crease after overplaying a shot–which happens often with Price.
    Budaj deserves another start soon. Awesome.

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    Perhaps i am just paranoid, but I am quite thankful with our schedule, we don’t get into the meat of our schedule (divisional rivalry games, T.O., Boston etc..) until the end of Nov. and even later.

    By this time we hope to have some walking wounded back, alas, we will probably have a few others wounded taking their spots. But the fact that this team is playing above .500 while having some significant injuries allows the team to actually rest these injured until they are truly healthy.

    My biggest concern is Prust, he is a warrior whom will probably tell anyone in shouting distance that he is good to go. But he needs to truly be good to go before returning to the ice. A relatively healthy Prust (I suspect with his style, he will always be nicked up) in the playoffs is exactly the kind of leader this team will require.

    Funny how two wins in 3 games can get a person excited, would like to see it be 3 wins in 4 after tonight. Would be great if our team can start making games in Montreal a tough night for the opposition again.

    Make some noise tonight Montreal!

    • JUST ME says:

      I enjoy our schedule this season. Although the match-ups always end up as classic duels, i am tired of getting always the same opponents like Boston/Toronto/ Boston/Toronto/Boston/Toronto..Not that it does not give great games it`s just that for once we went out west at the begining of the season for a change wich was nice to help the team`s chemistry that early in the season and then we got to play in front of different teams. I really did appreciate to play against the Sharks on saturday and although results were negative, at least we got to compare ourselves against a top hockey machine and not a goon squad like the Bruins.

      I understand the need to add a bit of size and weight to our team to match our divisional opponents but can`t help but notice that everytime, they are the firsts to be injured and that we always end up at square one…

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Agree about the helpful sched and about Prust. I hope all medical staff and management ignore all assurances from poor Prust that he is ready to play. Giving him long rehab is as much a sensible investment as moving Tinordi and Beaulieu back to Hamilton.

  20. John Q Public says:

    It’s time.
    Not for lack of effort or skill but DD is too small to be a center in today’s NHL. Move him to the wing, please.

    Good things happen when you hit people.
    Go Habs Go !!!

    • third generation haber says:

      Move him to the AHL where he can help mentor young players and provide us with a slight cap savings.

      Moving him to the wing would make it harder for him to avoid all forms of physical contact.

      j.p. murray

    • doc359 says:

      DD has been taking a lot of defensive zone shifts.
      Galchenyuk has been very inconsistent in the defensive zone.

      I’d much rather let DD keep doing what he is doing then put Gally in his postition and get less ice time and maybe hurt his confidence when he doesn’t perform well. Let Gally sit on Eller’s wing, learn how to be a great player in the NHL, and then move him to center when he is ready. Don’t throw DD under the bus when he hasn’t been terrible these past few games (he is working his butt off out there) just cause you think he is too small

      • third generation haber says:

        My problem is with the size of his cap hit, versus the size of his offensive stats.

        I have absolutely no problem with Gallagher’s size either!

        j.p. murray

  21. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! A greasy win by Les Boys, but I’ll take 2pts any way. Crankshaft Highlites;#1 Creaming Kreider #2 Sweeping Rags from the Crease #3 Sniffing Salts on the bench and then offering a hit to his coach JJ.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I enjoyed all three of those moments very much. Loved Daigneault taking a wiff of the salts lol.

      • bwoar says:

        That was awesome. Is it me, or was his penalty seriously undeserved? It looked to me like he played the puck up while hitting his man. No?

        “thoroughbred”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I commented last night, that the hit Murray put on Kreider happens every night in the NHL and usually no call. I think the difference was that Murray absolutely destroyed Kreider making him airborne, and the fact the hitter was a Hab which the refs haven’t seen in quite some time. I felt the hit was not a penalty by todays NHL standards, and perhaps the reason the refs made the dodgy interference call at the blueline less than a minute later.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            At first glance I think the puck went between the Kreider’s legs and he never actually touched it. That’s why Murray was called for interference.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      3 nice glasses of single malt I’m guessing Front? Maybe even a blaze in the back forty with the pups after the game I’m thinking.

  22. likehoy says:

    When was the last time Diaz hit the net from the point?
    all his shots either hit a body in front cause they’re so slow.. or he shoots wide

    he’s supposed to be our back up O-dman!

    • third generation haber says:

      Exactly, and as an “offensive d-man”, if he doesn’t contribute offensively (significantly!) there is no room for his soft arse on this team. The offensive ceiling on Beaulieu is much higher.

      Projecting (or speculating) a little further, Nygren has a shot that few can match and has learned to play the body. Thrower also has a bomb.

      j.p. murray

      • commandant says:

        Beaulieu still has a tendency to look absolutely lost in his own end at times.

        Nygren is terrible defensively in the AHL, and Thrower couldn’t even earn a spot on the AHL squad. While I like these guys, they are a ways away.

        At least one of these guys will develop, but they are absolutely not ready for 20 minutes a night right now. Diaz is the best of the bunch right now.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • bwoar says:

      He hit at least 1 last night, I’m pretty sure. Now that teams are keying on our D (and we don’t adjust), he’s having all kinds of trouble finding space to shoot.

      Habs need to work much harder down low on the PP.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Luke says:

        Also noticed how the PK forwards key on the Habs point men. Not much seperation there these last few games.

        Add the tendancy for some of the Habs to hold on to the puck a bit too long (PK, Galchenyuk… I’m looking at you) and our forwards desire to make a superb 4th pass instead of putting the puck on net…

        RE: Bournival’s superb assist last night. It was great… but it was the third best pass on that play. Markov’s tape to tape through traffic to a slashing Gionta was sublime, Gionta’s deft one touch to Bournival in the clear robbed Markov of a well deserved assist.

  23. Ian Cobb says:

    OUR SUMMIT COMMUNITY NEWS

    Ian’s 2013 Summit thanks to all,
    for making this Summit a great success from top to bottom.
    Special thank you to the Gazette Editor in Chief Lucinda, sports editor Stu Cowan, Dave Stubbs, Mike Boone, and our new HIO lady Brenda Branswell. I thank all of you first, for having a site that our HIO family can come together daily.
    And secondly for supporting me so kindly, putting on this annual event. You are our true leaders and head of our HIO community.

    Thanks go out to the Baton Rouge and Hurley’s pub for their great work and support.

    Also thanks go out to Westmount Movers and storage in supplying two of their staff who helped me with the raffle tickets, along with Barry Marcoux aka “Spats” of course my Lady Andree, Fred Sherrington and his son Fred jr.

    Thanks to Shane, Sherrie secretdragonfly & Tim for doing our name tags this year! good job!

    And thanks to our guest for dropping in, Rej. Houle with a team signed stick, Alan Globinsky, former player with Jr. Canadiens, before playing Pro hockey. His wife Carol who owns a jewelery store downtown, donated a very expensive piece from her store to the raffle, Rudy (Ruth Ann) from Washington won it.

    And to all our HIO Family who supported the Children’s Raffle with gift donations and purchasing of raffle tickets, I thank you ever so much for your great big hearts! I LOVE YA !
    We raised $3500, For the children. CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE!!

    We are so many now, I will be acquiring a banquet hall for next year. Buffet meal, own bar and more area to socialize. It will be cheaper for everyone and all kids can attend. The hall will again be used after the game for a family dance and I will be supplying a live group for music.

    Post your Summit pictures on link below yourself.
    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  24. krob1000 says:

    Everyone complaining about the Habs…so far with a depleted lineup they sit in a playoff spot. They have beaten Vancouver who is 3rd overall, they have beaten Anaheim who is 4th overall, they have beaten Columbus who is a bubble team. They beat those two top teams rather handily at 4-1 in each game. They have lost to some weak teams..by one goal everytime. The only team to beat them by 2 was the 1st overall Sharks and even that game was a pp goal on a sketchy call and a bounce off the boards. They were outplayed but not as bad as the stats say…they shut down after that fluke goal.

    The Canadiens have been the most injured team so far yet are playing very good defensively as Boone points out. They seem to never get calls or catch breaks yet there they are…in a playoff spot despite all of this. They seem to be able to get up for the big games and once healthy and the lineup is more balaned with experienced vets I doubt they have the issues getting up for every game to the extent they have had. The team is alright in the National Parity League and the fact they have held up this long is a testament to the depth the team does have. People often forget that in a cap world and free agency driven league every team has fringe players.

    Canadiens fans just act like they are the only team to have these guys. The last time the Habs won a cup there was no salary cap and far fewer teams so rosters looked a little deeper…but relatively speaking the Habs are very deep when compared to the rest of the league.

    The most ironic thing and even better that the Habs are surviving it is that the teams injured players for the most part are the tougher and more physical guys…yet there tey are…smurfs and soft hockey players playing against all of these awesome superstar bruising teams and winning more than they are losing.

    Everyone take a deep breath, the sun will come out tomorrow and your Montreal Canadiens are a pretty solid hockey team.

    • likehoy says:

      not only was Couture’s 1st goal on a weak Penalty Call.. he tripped his marker (Raphael Diaz) just before skating in alone and tapping the puck in.

      IF Diaz had not fallen on the ice, that goal may not have happened. But that’s hockey… you win some and lose some.

    • HardHabits says:

      The most important aspects being that they are on an upward trajectory, that there is actually a decent and growing prospect pool and for all intents and purposes it looks like the best is yet to come.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      In fairness, those who constantly criticize the Habs aren’t complaining about losing games. They’re mostly complaining about the lack of fights or dangerous hits delivered.

      The most bizarre things is that the worst bitching comes during games while we are winning.

      We’re up 2-0 and it’s nonstop “oh look DD fell down” or “Is Therrien still coach”.

      But you are right. We have a very good well-coached talented team.

    • third generation haber says:

      Our complaints, at least mine, stem from the fact that we are not built for a cup run. In particular, having to watch DD make an ass of our GM on a nightly basis is hard to stomach.

      The fact that we’re managing to win with 7 injured players, our goalies are back on their games, and the youngsters are playing like bulls is amazing!

      But, if we end up with another round one exit and a low draft pick this will all be for not.

      Sorry to rain on the parade, but as our organizational depth is getting deeper, our expectations rise with it.

      Cup or bust baby! This is the club de hockey Canadien!

      j.p. murray

      • krob1000 says:

        I am hoping the als o faverages works out for the Habs this year. Last years team was better than a first round exit…they wer einjured at the worst possible time. Right now the grit is all injured…the odds of that happening again at playoff time are very slim (fingers crossed). The Habs are actaully a pretty string and tough team once healhty. Prust, Moen, Parros, White, Murray, Tinordi, Emelin, is a very gritty lineup and one that can handle themselves against anyone IMO. There are definitely some smaler guys ont he team…more than any other team in fact but the Habs also have touhg players who can play regular minutes and that should offset that. Come playoff time when teams load up at the deadline 4th lines need to be deep as well inc ae of injurya nd depth is on display for any teams making long runs…..the Habs already have pretty decent depth and it won’t cost much to add to it if they even need to.
        Coming across the bluelin with Pk, Emelin or Murray is pretty intimiating, Knowing that if you run out of position that Markov, Diaz or Pk is going to burn you with a pass is intimidating. The forwards are very balanced with skill, speed and grit (although right now ALL of the teams toughest guys are out).
        I see this team being very different come playoff time and after Christmas for that matter. Monreal will not be a fun place to play once healthy. Once healthy guys like Rene Bourque, Eller and Patches should be able to play more of a power game without having to worry about being forced to drop their gloves with someone who is a aprt time fighter…..should be good.

        • third generation haber says:

          I’m sure our added toughness, if MT ever ices them together in the playoffs will be much tougher to play against. Cup winners however have toughness up and down the line-up, with no softies that can be easily exploited.

          Our softies are too many, and I fear will be given preference in play-off games. Meaning, Diaz, DD, Briere, Gionta (tough but too small), will all get to play. Instead I’d like to see: Murray, Leblanc, White, Bournival.

          j.p. murray

    • JUST ME says:

      Every reason is good for complaining if you are a supposedly fan of the Habs. They win 2-0 and people find a way to blame the D !!!

      They complain for every trade made by someone else everytime. Why couldn`t the Habs get him ?
      Same thing when the Habs trade a player. Even if they were asking to get rid of the guy for ages they will find a way to say : that`s all they could get for him ?

      For instance, we are basically at the same pace as last season except that statistically we are better this season than last season so you would figure that there are no reasons to complain since last season was a quite sucessfull season right ? Right….

      I think that people change opinion too fast. When it is obvious that the team is looking in the future and on a plan wich does not necessarly involve a cup run ,although we appreciate that a management has a vision, it all goes to hell as soon as we win and it gets even worse when we lose ! Then screw the long term plan now is the only horizon…

      When we have promissing kids growing in the farm team it`s play them now in the NHL! Who cares wether the are immature and in need of coaching and ice time…

      I think we should learn from the mistakes we made throughout the last decades and try a different route and take our time to build something solid.

  25. jimmy shaker says:

    Was checking out the team stats on the canadiens.nhl.com site and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Marky leading the team in +/- with a staggering +10. He’s was in the negative last year and not just barely in the negative, I mean double digits negative. It’s a real testament to this guy, who’s been lights out our best d-man since being paired with PK, even out dueling PK in my opinion over the last 5-6 games. Hope the boys can keep lighting the lamp tonight, maybe bourque and dd can get it going, heck maybe even LL!

    Shaker out!

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Marky is outstanding. Back to his best.

      • third generation haber says:

        But with his age, in a contract year, it may be dangerous to hold on to him. Before July 1, we’d have to match his 5.75 per season to re-sign him, and I’m sure he wants a 6 year deal. No way he holds up long-term and maintains his level of play!

        If we wait till July 1, we risk losing him for nothing. If we were a legit cup contender, I’d have no problem with this, but losing him for nothing would suck. He’s probably worth a first rounder at this point (who could play many years for us) to some teams.

        j.p. murray

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          True – if he demands 6 years we might have to let him go. I doubt a 35 year old would get a 6 year contract anywhere though.

          I would happily give him something like 3 years at $6M.

          Markov is a great Hab. He was our best player between the two lockouts. And he’s a pleasure to watch.

          • third generation haber says:

            I feel a sense of loyalty too, but we can’t even approach him on the issue of a pay-cut till July 1. Long-term, a first round pick makes sense.

            j.p. murray

          • Luke says:

            Not for Markov.

            He is too difficult to replace. Look at what Gonchar earns… and he’s not as good as Markov.

    • krob1000 says:

      It is funny you mentioned that re PK and Markov….I was thinking after last night watchign teh express version that Markov is probably ready to leave the PK pairing as soon as Emelin gets back. He is getting the huge minutes witht he depletion of teh D and the team is trying to keep their heads afloat but once Emelin returns I think Markov will be able to work well with Emelin again …what I am really meaning is that Markov is starting to look somewhat like Markov (skating will never be the same but he is learning his new limitations and his cerebral game is among the leagues elite)…he will be fine and the Habs will have 2 very solid pairings.

  26. Lafleurguy says:

    No negative posts this morning. Way to go Boys and Girls. What a difference a win makes.

    “May you live in interesting times.”
    Edit: Rats!

  27. Johnny9 says:

    Hahahahahahaha

    Mike and Ronn (with 2 N’s let’s not forget). I read your posts, but all I could make of it is yada yada yada bs bs bs. Since you’re so good at using urban dictionary, please look up the word SARCASM as well. @Mike, really asking mods to delete my comment?! I guess you were the tattletale in school no one liked?! Worry about your own comments!

  28. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Bournival, I can’t keep saying enough good things about him game after game, he has been ‘Steady Eddy’ with Pleks and Gio…

    Problem is (and it’s a fine problem to have) when Pacioretty and others come back healthy, what happens? No way I break up the Pleks line, not right now…IMO, break up the kid line, and move Galchenyuk to centre.

    To be honest I have no idea what the #1 line should be…but right now it’s Pleks & Co.

    Bournival/Plekanec/Gionta
    Pacioretty/Eller/Gallagher
    Prust/Galchenyuk/Bourque
    Moen/White/Parros

    Still leaves Briere (who may be out for a while), and Desharnais in the pressbox. I think there needs to be another bigger body out there as a spare, so who would stay up with the club (Blunden, Leblanc, Holland, someone else)?

    Good problem to have…

    This is not even mentioning how good the D will be once Emelin returns!

    • JUST ME says:

      There are many combination that we could try with those players and that`s what is fun. But it needs to stop at a certain point when you see that a line is having succes. There is much more to gain from a line if you stick with them through thick and thin. When instinct sets in and the guys know where everybody else is on the ice whit his eyes closed , then you have reached a target .

      Not sure if Parros and/or White need to play every night. Nor does Bouillon on D .
      Leblanc deserves another good tryout, Holland is not ready yet and Blunden belongs in the AHL.Had more than his share of chances to impress in the NHL but somehow just does not bring anything promissing à la Bournival or à la Gallagher for instance.

  29. Hobie Hansen says:

    So does Crankshaft play tonight or does Pateryn get the nod? I’d be OK with Murray sitting, practicing hard the next couple days and playing both Friday and Saturday. Although Dallas is a bit rough and tumble so Murray would be useful tonight.

  30. Eddie says:

    Are there any good teams in this league?

    Vancouver and the Rangers might have traded coaches, but both teams look terrible this year.
    Calgary and Edmonton are always terrible
    Winnipeg will struggle to play .500 hockey.
    Nashville? Well coached but that’s not a very good hockey team.
    Florida? enough said.
    Dallas? tonight.

    Are there any good teams in this league?

    In the East, Pittsburgh and Boston and……???

  31. Maritime Ronn says:

    Does anybody not love that kid Bournival?

    Here is realizing that 9 games don’t make a career, and that opposing teams have little to no NHL tape on the young man, yet if he can keep that pace and enthusiasm for a few years at least, he’s going to be a gem.
    To date, he has been a gem.

    The word out is that he is also a terrific fella off the ice and 100% dedicated.

    The play Bournival made on the Plex goal was a high NHL IQ play.
    That being mentioned, there was a little concern at that moment.

    Bournival obviously has no fear, yet he will have to be more careful about cutting across the middle like that…with his head partially down.
    Luckily it was Marc Staal and not some Gryba style head hunter.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Loved that kid since I saw him win the Memorial Cup. Superior skater, works his ass off, understands the game. And he’s a homeboy.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      He seems like the kind of player that every team needs. Can we get another like him? Just one.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Absolutely!

      And what an early Christmas present for Gio and Pleks. It makes for a very interesting line in that the new guy can help the vets play to their strengths.

      It’s been a while since there have been this many Habs to get excited about. I wonder whom school kids are calling their favourite and whose hockey card (sticker?) they most desire. If any of the teachers here are in elementary, maybe they’d oblige with some recess research!

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Ireland

        Vets sometimes get in a rut doing the same old same old.
        Vets also don’t like to be shown up.

        All of a sudden, this youngster shows up that works his assoff-has a good hockey IQ-doesn’t ever cheat…so they have no choice but to jump on board.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I’m sure you’re entirely correct, but I was kind of hoping it was more along the lines of, “Hey! THIS is fun!”

          Pleks and Gio haven’t always enjoyed having optimum line-mates….

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Right! Biggest intrigue at season’s start were Eller?, Price?, Briere?, Desharnais?, Gionta? …… Nicest surprises 12 games later, Price, Eller, Gallagher, Plekanec, and the nicest, Bournival.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • jamman says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Bournival deserves a lot of credit for Plekanec’s recent production.

  32. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Galchenyuk’s goal? Yeah, he may have kicked it in but the Rangers didn’t score a goal so it’s kind of moot point. If that had have been against us, I wouldn’t have liked it.

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

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    I am starting to get a wee bit giddy at the idea of watching:
    Galchenyuk/Eller/Gallagher
    Bournival/Plex/Gionta
    Max/DD/Bourque
    Moen/White/Prust
    Parros as a sub when needed

    PK/Gorges
    Markov/Emelin
    Murray/Diaz
    Bouillon as a sub when needed

    Price/Budaj

  34. scotland says:

    i think when emelin returns murray will 7th d. whats the word on emelin….tentative date set?

  35. scotland says:

    rangers were terrible yet looked a heck of alotta better against the habs than the habs looked against against the sharks on saturday. san jose did not even let montreal play that game. and most of the habs were only to happy to oblige

  36. Phil C says:

    I had fairly low expectations for Murray last night due to the fact that his foot speed in the pre-season (and his entire career) was abysmal. With all of the speed in the NHL these days, I was worried that he may no longer fit in the NHL. However I was pleasantly surprised with his play, he has that wily veteran presence to compensate for his lack of quickness. Many times last night I thought his ability to read the play properly allowed him to make many nice defensive plays, so he was not the liability I thought he would be. There is something to be said for an experienced, grizzled, and crease-clearing NHL defensemen. I laughed out-loud to myself on one play where the Ranger player came digging for the rebound and Murray cleared the entire scrum to behind the net. I knew he was a “crease-clearer”, but I found it funny to see it executed so literally.

    • CalgaryHab says:

      I recall that play. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen that from a habs d-man. Can’t say I laughed out loud – more a satisfying sigh of relief.

  37. Maritime Ronn says:

    Murray is what he is.

    His useage during the past 2 years with SJ and Pitt was an Even Strength 3rd pairing guy that also played PK minutes on either the 1st or 2nd unit.

    The guy also brings intangibles that don’t show up on the score sheet.

    That big hit in the neutral zone was one.
    When he is on the ice, players will have to be aware about where he is.
    With the exception of Subban (and when Emelin gets back) that was a non-issue for opposing teams.

    Then – in front of the net presence.
    While there will continue to be guys trying to crash Carey’s blue paint, that ‘frequency’ will decrease with Murray out there.

    Then -veteran presence.
    When things get a little nervy (and they will) and some of the younger guys start running around, it’s always great to have that vet experience to calm things down both on the ice and on the bench.

    If ever the D gets healthy, Murray/Diaz would be a great 3rd pairing in even strength situations.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hiya Merrytimes. To be honest, Murray’s test will come against the Bruins and Leafs. I don’t think he would have been effective against Nashville or the Oilers in those losses as those teams outskated the Habs in those particular games.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Morning Guy! Absolutely, the games against Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia will be where he earns his paycheque.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Hiya Burly! Remember when Scottie Bowman would “platoon” Rick Chartraw, and Gilles Lupien against the Bruins and Flyers?

          “May you live in interesting times.”

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Where everyone does.

          • Lafleurguy says:

            In Ontario, teachers get PD (professional development) days. The ones who are Habs fans spend all day on HIO. How are you, Meath Mike?

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            (oh curse my slow typing! Was meant to appear under Burly’s, but clearly Lafleurguy is on his 3rd espresso already!)

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Salut Guy!

            Schools here close for a week at Hallowe’en. This is when teachers do all the many things that are urgent but impossible in term-time. Which is exactly why I should not be posting here today!

          • Lafleurguy says:

            Inspired by the uber enthusiam you and Danno showed over those Sporticatures, I picked up three Habs posters that were showing at one of those early-Christmas-shopping booths.

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Please post pics!

    • Phil C says:

      I think we were on the same wave-length Ron, didn’t see your post before mine above.

      I would add that Diaz-Murray would also be a great 1st or 2nd pairing on the PK as well, Diaz has been effective in that role so far this year.

  38. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    It’s not surprising that Budaj is playing more like Price is playing, since they are both being coached by Stéphane Waite. Who was only hired — we’ll no doubt be told by the Haters Inside Out crowd — because he is Québécois. Oh, and has helped the Blackhawks to two Stanley Cups with two different pairs of goaltenders.

  39. Lafleurguy says:

    Pleks is showing why he’s the Habs most valuable forward:
    .
    # POS PLAYER GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH G

    76 D P.K. SUBBAN 12 2 9 11 5 16 1 0 0
    14 C TOMAS PLEKANEC 12 6 4 10 3 4 3 1
    81 C LARS ELLER 12 5 4 9 5 12 0 1 2
    27 C ALEX GALCHENYUK 12 2 7 9 4 8 0 0
    11 R BRENDAN GALLAGHER 12 5 3 8 5 2 2
    21 R BRIAN GIONTA 11 3 4 7 0 8 1 0 0
    49 L MICHAEL BOURNIVAL 9 2 4 6 4 2 0 0

    “May you live in interesting times.”
    Edit: Pleks leads the league with 3 GWGs

  40. montreal ace says:

    Six roster players out of the lineup, and the teams is still winning. I am surprised that the team is doing so well overall, with some of the make shift lineups we have had. I know some people won’t like it, but I feel MT is doing a fine job while having all these injuries on the team. A poster mentioned last night that Budaj, looked like a clone of Carey at times, I kinda thought so too.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I agree with you but am also mindful that the quality of the opposition has sometimes been a factor (although it wasn’t vs SJ). As Burly, JF and Hobie have suggested, if we can hang on and build momentum and confidence until the injured return, we should be ready to play with the big boys when we hit that part of the schedule.

    • Strummer says:

      Of the 6 “roster” players out- Max, Prust the only 2 of significance- the others Biere, Drewiske, Parros and Moen are spare parts.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I always thought Emelin was fairly important…..

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          And Moen too.

          The problem with having guys like Holland and Blunden in the lineup is that their low utilization forces Plex and Gionta to play too much. This is why we kept blowing leads in the 3rd period during JM’s last year. No 4th line and a weak 3rd line puts too much onus on the top two, especially in the 3rd.

          If your 4th line can happily be put on the ice for a D zone faceoff in the the 3rd period, you are in good shape.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            And it DOES look like we’re getting there, right? Especially with White’s reliability in the faceoff circle. In fact, would it be fair to say that White is making far fewer errors so far this season, whereby he is not undermining the qualities he brings? I always hoped he could hang on with the Habs but was afraid it looked like one more bad penalty would see him gone.

  41. JF says:

    A curiously flat opening ceremony was followed by a forgettable game, in which, aside from Budaj’s stellar performance, a couple of points stood out.

    Plekanec. A beauty of a goal set up by some hard work by Michaël Bournival, who is a keeper. You don’t win games and young players don’t learn how to win without veteran leadership. Plekanec is quiet and does not appear to stand out in the room, but he is one of our leaders on the ice. If, as many expect, Gionta does not return next year, who would fill that role if we trade Plekanec? I’m not sure anyone is ready, not even P.K., who has been more discreet lately, not Pacioretty, and certainly not one of the kids. This team still needs Plekanec.

    The defence. For all the hand-wringing over our lack of size and perceived “softness,” the defence is getting the job done. We are near the top of the League in GA. The coaching staff must have altered something because the opposition is not getting as many open looks at our goaltender as was the case late last season and in the playoffs. The defence also moves the puck well, leading to more presence in the offensive zone, and the much-maligned Raphael Diaz is a key contributor here. Someone said the other day that if Diaz had a big, tough, stay-at-home partner to insulate him a bit, we’d all love him, which I think is true. The way he is used tends to expose his weaknesses. Perhaps when Murray has played a few more games, he could be partnered with Diaz. Emelin’s eventual return will add a bit more physicality and toughness, but the guys we have right now are doing OK. We just need to stay afloat until our injured return.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I like the idea of Diaz partnering with Murray, it has been discussed ad nauseam that indeed Murray won’t win a skating competition and I believe having a swifter skater like Diaz with him would provide a nice compliment.

      Our defence is not committing as many egregious breakdowns providing the opposition with easy scoring opportunities. We almost had such a breakdown yesterday, but were fortunate that interference was called on the play. I am amazed at how low our goals against is, but I still am concerned how we perform against our Eastern rivals when more divisional games begin. Thankfully we will be getting Mr. Emelin back in time for those games, I hope.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good observations and analysis.

      Further to Gionta — he looked about 22 on the PK last night, very energetic pressuring a the blue-line and beyond. Is it my imagination (or the suckitude of the Rangers) or are we starting to play a more aggressive PK (like the same Rangers excelled with last year)?

      And speaking of pressuring the puck! How about Gallagher on the forecheck! Did he actually go UNDER the Ranger to make that steal? He’s a beauty — one of several, and JF I agree that Bournival is in there. too.

      And yes, our D could be very substantial and deep once the injured return and get up to game speed. That could influence everything.

    • habs-hampton says:

      I agree on Pleks. He is one guy we have to keep. Pleks is to the Habs as Bergeron is to Boston. He may be one of the most under-rated players in the league, and a lot of the posters here really under-value him.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      If could only play like this at the end of the year. And I am not being a negative as it seems. It just seems to be the way it is.

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    Morning folks, while the game may have lacked entertainment, it was an excellent road win. More importantly, it was a bounce back from a 2-0 loss preventing a 2 game losing streak from starting.

    Tonight marks the return of Erik Cole, and thankfully the Stars also played last night in the Empire state so no excuses for our team not being able to skate with the Stars tonight.

    The Stars team seems to be starting to play a bit better, but our Habs need to improve their home record and tonight I hope is the start of this.

    CHeers Morning Crew, Go Habs Go!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I watched the Dallas highlights, Burly, and Cole looked a bit more like his old self.

      I hope he gets a good welcome — he’s in that funny category, like Halak, of players whose stay was brief but who gave us a lot to be thankful for.

      Have a good day.

    • GrosBill says:

      I will be there tonight. Hoping that Cole does not have the chance to high-five a ref tonight.

  43. montreal ace says:

    I could care less about Chucky’s goal last night, it was not a playoff game changer like Zibanejad’s goal. I am still pissed off about that goal, as I still believe Zibanejhad kicked the puck into the net.

  44. Hobie Hansen says:

    I liked the combination of Gorges and Murray last night.

    There seems to be a belief around here that all six defensemen on the ice should be making ticktacktoe, behind the back laser beam passes every time they get possession of the puck. It’s nice to have a couple guys like that for obvious reasons but lets not forget what a defenseman is supposed to to out there, play defence!

    A defenceman is supposed to knock people down, tie players up in the corner, block shots, and god for bid, punch someone’s lights out once in a while! A good body check and then flipping the puck off the glass works for me!

    I think Gorges and Murray will make a great 3rd pairing and PK unit for all of the above mentioned reasons. Murry looked a tad rusty last night but did make some nice DEFENSIVE plays, cuz he’s defenseman. :-)

    Remember some of the goals going in against us during the Ottawa series last year? A guy like Murray would have been planting guys on their asses during some of those goal mouth scrambles.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Totally agree.

      I LOVE your second sentence and always wonder what Koolaid people are drinking when they dump on the likes of Gorges for NOT being that kind of defenceman! Well said.

      My belief is that, first and foremost, your D must aim to prevent opposing forwards from playing their game. There are many ways to do that, but they must include — indeed prioritise — all the ones you listed in your summary of the role. If there are enough doing those jobs, then there’s room for the likes of Diaz.

      And yes, the D had a hand in Budaj’s shutout. And while it can be argued that the Rangers currently suck, the D ALSO were starting to look good and kept the score close vs a league powerhouse two nights previously.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I had no issues with Murray last night, I expected a few hiccups, just as I expected him to push bodies out of our goalies face after the whistle. I saw both, amazing however, how so many here really seem to have an issue with the Crankshaft, perhaps not mechanically inclined and don’t realize all big motors need a heavy duty Crankshaft!

    • habs-hampton says:

      I think if HIO was around back in the 70’s and 80’s, posters here would be complaining about Jacques Lappierre and Rod Langway’s lack of scoring, and want to run them out of town.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Terry Harper

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Langway kind of was run out of town. He wasn’t good enough to stay on our defence. That’s how good our defence was at the time. I was in the old Forum one night and heard, at the time, the funniest shout by a fan ever. Langway, under no pressure, threw the puck away and, with the Forum crowd being very quiet at that moment, I hear, “Langway, you idiot, I COULD HAVE DONE THAT!” ROFL.

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

    • mount royal says:

      Strongly disagree. If they can`t make the first pass, then they are a liability to the team.

  45. Rudy says:

    That’s right, we don’t want to look like whiners or have the refs mad at us

  46. Hobie Hansen says:

    Not sure what the rule book exactly states but it seems to you’re allowed to direct the puck in with your skate as long as you don’t wind up and kick it? The goal seemed on par with what is usually allowed to count.

  47. Rudy says:

    Rangers and TSN all complaining about bad calls. How come we aren’t able to complain after the calls go against us, oh th

  48. Maritime Ronn says:

    Great text book road win for the Habs…

    A question for HIO.

    A great fan of Subban here, yet has anyone noticed that Subban is playing somewhat tentative (afraid-scared) lately?

    If so, is it the multiple and sometimes questionable penalty calls against him?
    Is that getting in his head?
    Is there more, such as what may be going on with him and coaching (Trust?)…or is he hiding an injury or illness?

    Ex: Time on Ice.
    In 2 of the last 3 games, the reigning Norris Trophy winner has played only 21:37 and 22:38.
    Subban is a horse and can/should easily play 25 minutes.
    He is also fine in 5X5 situations as his +5 is 2nd best for Habs Dmen.

    Last night in Subban’s 21:37 of ice time, he did not play 1 second of total 8 minutes and 19 seconds that the Habs were shorthanded.

    Some may say our penalty kill is just fine, yet a point of caution.
    The Habs have only played against 3 of the Top 18 NHL power play teams so far.
    Against those 3 teams, the PK is at 76.5% – well below the season 84%.

    Over and above that, Subban was on the ice for only 4 shifts in the last 14 minutes of the 3rd period – and was on the bench for the last 2:20 of the game.

    While there may be multiple reasons and factors for this such as increased opposition scrutiny, Subban’s shots on goal have also noticeably decreased lately.
    In his first 7 games, PK had 26 shots.
    In his last 5 games, PK has 8 shots.

    • Morenz7 says:

      I thought he and Markov were weirdly out of synch last night, despite Markie’s strong play. Hesitating instead of making the obvious play. But Subban doesn’t look hurt.

    • Cal says:

      Hey Ronn.

      PK’s been playing differently since MT called him out for his “errant” ways. It’s as if the team can’t handle anyone with a little flamboyance, for crying out loud. Daigneault and MT have to be better with PK or the Habs could eventually lose him to a team that wants some flair on D.
      The refs’ bias against him on the ice has been obvious for a while now, as well.
      Having his head coach NOT complain a little about the reffing calls against PK is worrying, too. We’ve seen that Roy has his players’ backs. Is this the case with MT? Thus far? No. Not at all.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Glass-an-8th-full time:

        It was way worse with JM!

        Maybe I’m in denial, but I’m going with other more mundane explanations first. Even though no player is totally bullet-proof, I’d be surprised if MT has put a dent in self-belief the size of PK’s.

        And a technicality — are there other ways a coach can register complaints about refs other than summoning to the bench in the heat of the moment?

        • Cal says:

          Hey Mike. The message should be sent during the press conference after the game. MT should pay the $10K and invest in his players.
          Video of incidents during games have been sent to the NHL office before, but nothing much comes of that. A public airing of grievances gets results. (Not always the desired results, but still.)

  49. Habfan10912 says:

    DM brings up the subject of dumb post (posters). Someone called to my attention a post from someone last night that stated Galchenyuk was a bust. Upon further review it was the same poster who a couple of weeks ago said Gakchenyuk was a beer league player. Does it get any dumber then that?

  50. JUST ME says:

    For the Habs there is nothing like a good ole rendez-vous at MSG to put you back on the wining track. Ever since that unforgettable comeback win years ago, the Habs have fun in New-York.

    Was not the prettiest show but the guys worked hard enough to beat the Rangers that are not going anywhere this season. They have to deal with a long list of injuries but i maintain that they lost their mojo the day they traded Prust and Dubinsky. Hire big pricey stars and get nowhere fast…

    As for Budaj i`d like this guy to be in goals for a good 20 games and i am sure that the Habs would benefit from a better split of games. Carey would be able to rest more and Budaj is hot and stable. I know i know he does not get Carey `s $$$ but still 82 games,pre-season,post-season,travels and practices makes for a crazy schedule. Just sayin…

    Funny on how some people can find ways to blame our D after a shutout…And they say it`s for the good of their team…

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Looking at the schedule, Budaj could easily play or be called upon for another 13 games because of either back to back yet more often 3 games in 4 nights.

      That would bring his total to 15 and Carey at 67.
      Budaj had 17 starts 2 years ago, and a prorated 17 last year.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Hopefully all that plus a few more, minimum 20. Would keep CP not only fresh but also hungry (though I doubt he’s ever anything but hungry), and keep Budaj involved and feeling valued.

  51. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Good morning, Mods.
    If I’m not mistaken, you have removed posts that expressed a desire to see players injured. I agree with that policy, whether the reference is to our own or to opposing players. There is a post below mine (3.12am) — whether genuine or in jest, or due to too many beers — that expresses a wish to see specific players with specific, highly debilitating injuries. I would favour the deletion of that post.
    Mike

    • munch17 says:

      I agree.
      In particular I don’t understand the negativity towards Diaz and Gorges.
      They aren’t all stars but they are both really solid ,hard working honest guys.
      I feel the same towards DD. I don’t like him on this team but I certainly admire and respect him for his effort and determination and would not like tosee him hurt.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        It is hard to understand at times, huh? We’re asking players like Diaz and Gorges to do too much because of a flawed roster and injuries. Once that stops people will be in love with those two once again.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Mike! I can never understand these types of post that root for injury. Alcohol induced or not, it is an indication of a warped mind.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      The only posts that should be removed are those that put the site or the Gazette at risk of libel.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I’m as tolerant as the next guy but even the most liberal sites do not allow threatening or racist comments on their sites.
        I think the mods do a great job of balancing the truly offensive post from the controversial ones.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Hi Dipsy. You are probably right from a legal standpoint, in which case almost no posts would ever be removed since Canadian and US libel laws are so loose. Some sites are like that.

        On the other hand, this site has its own rules, which it displays on every page. These include the catch-all term “offensive” which leaves open the possibility for the site to remove posts which it deems just that. Personally speaking — and I wouldn’t expect everyone here to agree — I find it offensive to wish injuries on hockey players, and I feel it is no harm to express that to the mods here. Also, if we’re speaking pseudo-legally here, I’m pretty sure (though not 100%) that there has already been a precedent here for such posts being deleted.

        Cheers

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          Mine isn’t a legal argument. Applauding Briere’s injury is indeed offensive (H I/O fave Timo did that), but so is censorship, especially in a website run by a news organization.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            I agree with you about censorship, and would reluctantly put up with most offensive commentary in order to uphold that principle. But is the Gazette not at liberty to establish rules of its choosing? And if so, does that actually constitute censorship?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Ireland

      Did you notice the poster used the acronym SMH?
      I checked the trusted Urban Dictionary

      ” SMH – Acronym for ‘shake my head’ or ‘shaking my head.’
      Usually used when someone finds something so stupid, no words can do it justice.”

    • JUST ME says:

      I completely agree but unfortunately i do not think that most blogs have real moderators. The comment you are refering to comes from a poster that always is like that and as my mom used to say: what`s good for the goose is good for the gander. Some seem to appreciate a few posters well known that are negative all the time. Not saying that it is offensive but it does attract extremes that think that those kind of comments are tolerated here and in fact…they are !

      At least the should be written to and told that there are limits and a certain etiquette to be followed but i doubt that they take the time to read everything published here hence the undesirable comment you are refereing to.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I’m sure you’re right. I guess that’s why I was hoping they might notice a post that begins “Good morning, Mods”! It’s mid-morning in Montreal now: either they didn’t notice or else they don’t think removal is appropriate in this instance. Oh well, worth a try.

  52. chemic says:

    ough that was an almost unwatchable trainwreck at the new shinny msg. ugly win…..but hey, just win baby! (R.I.P)

    http://fightinforphilly.com/2013/10/28/rangers-twitter-account-has-blunder-of-the-night/ – it pretty much sums it up!

  53. Maritime Ronn says:

    Re the Galchenyuk goal.

    The Habs received a very good break for a change, but that “Distinct Kicking Motion” Rule is poorly written.

    There is an excellent interpretation by Kerry Fraser about what is allowed, and what is not allowed.

    It is FAR MOAR complex than the simple Rule states – it’s much more than just what is deemed “Kicking”… and the subjective nature of the rule could have gone the other way.
    —————–
    “…any deliberate action or ‘unnatural alteration’ of a player’s foot/skate immediately prior to contacting the puck causing it to be propelled into the net will result in a disallowed goal.
    Acceleration in the puck’s velocity toward the goal is also taken into account”

    “… some forward motion with a skate that is deemed to be outside of the normal and expected motion a player would make in his skating stride or path to the net will likely be judged an illegal act should the puck enter the net.”

    Hmmm…so now the Toronto video guys can decide what is a “normal and expected motion” of every single player in the NHL.

    “A player’s visual focus during the time immediately prior to the puck contacting his skate can also be taken into account as to deliberation of his actions and intent.”

    Visual Focus is criteria?

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=415463

    Bottom Line?
    Toronto video people can decide outcomes of games…

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Greetings from across the water, MR. Did you get up? Or not yet gone to bed?! We went back an hour to winter time on Sunday morning, so it’s just gone 9.30 here. Are you at 6.30? Just a 3-hour difference at the moment? (I wouldn’t be posting except school’s off this week).

      Hmmm. I think I like the rule. With or without all that detail, those calls will often ultimately come down to subjective interpretation (taking place, unfortunately, in the hockey-bitter city of Toronto). Isn’t it possible that, the more detail there is in the rule, the less open a decision is to bias/corruption/”external influence”?

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Good Morning Ireland Mike
        .
        The clocks over here change next Saturday, so yes, a 3 hour difference for the moment.
        Last time I went to bed at 6:30 AM, I had all my hair and that was thousands of moons ago.

        Re the rule – that’s the whole point.
        There is little detail in the written rule itself, yet what ex ref Fraser points out is how it is/may be interpreted.

      • Johnny Lag says:

        Hey Mike! I’m in Dublin for the year and I was trying to find some place here to either watch habs games, or people to watch habs games with.

        Do you know of any?

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Whoo hooooo!
          Bienvenue and Fáilte!

          I only know one place so far: my desk, the laptop, livestreams, much coffee, muted celebrations/abuse.

          If only I’d known you were here, I could have DOUBLED the number of participants in the Irish Summit!

          Face-offs are too late for the normal spots that show sporting events, so I’ve never actually pursued it (and am a bit out of touch with the expat community here).

          What’s “the year”? There could well be possibilities for Sochi…. (Did you used to go by a different handle? Name looks familiar.)

          We must try and hook up, mini summit, give Cobb a run for his money!

          Cheers

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ronn! Here’s my thought. Why not allow kicked in goals? In most cases it takes more skill then using ones stick.

  54. Timo says:

    UCE, loved your Murray and a sandwich thing. I LOL’d. And that being just past midnight, I think i will go make me one… I think there is some salami and mayo in the fridge.

  55. Timo says:

    Holy shiiiite it was a boring game. I almost fell asleep, especially in the second.

    Let’s face it, Rangers suck. They suck worse than Habs sucked on Saturday or against Nashville. Good on Boods for getting the shut out though. Team Canada should hire him.

    I still can’t wait for Gorges and especially Diaz NOT to be with this team. Just brutal.

    And Crankshaft – well, he cranked one good hit tonight. A beauty. So what that it was an interference. Rags weren’t going to score anyway and now Moore and rest of the Rags would think twice before dipsy-doodling in the Habs zone. Good on Murray. I thought he was mostly invisible, which is how I like 5th and 6th defensemen.

    The kids line was good and eventually Galchenyuk will get that shot through. But just to point out, we’d be flipping mad if the same kind of goal was scored on the Habs. But for a change karma is on Habs’ side so I won’t complain.

    Habs need Prust, Moen and Parros back because as of now the 4th line suuuucks.

    And I hate to say it, cause I love him, but Leblanc was better than DD on his first call up. Can they swap them? My man Desharnais just needs some therapy time… perhaps a massage.

    • VancouverHab says:

      Timo, this post made me realise–which I should have realised long ago–that you are the Lester Bangs of Sport Writing.

      Publish yourself: you have a unique voice and literay personality. You are (forgive the cheap allusion) Almost Famous.

      (PS: Note though that our Mr Boone capital-L-Loves DD and capital-D-Dislikes Murray on our team.)

    • doc359 says:

      What more do you want Diaz to do? He isn’t going to be physical, but thats fine. There is a lot more to playing in the NHL than being physically. Is being played on the 2nd pairing and PK above his skill set? probably. But as a 3-rd pairing, Power Play guy? Seems to fit the bill quite well.

  56. Habilis says:

    Regarding the playoff format that Boone mentioned:

    It’s a big ball of suck, IMO. Looking at the standings today, as Boone mentioned, our 14 points leaves us in 7th, currently holding the 1st of 2 wild cards with Detroit (also 14 pts) holding the other. The Isles and the Canes occupy the 5 and 6 spots with 11 points each. Carolina, by the way, is 4-5-3 and has a -10 goal differential. Joke.

    If the Metro division continues it’s current level of ineptness, there may very well be 2 teams in the top 6 who don’t deserve to be in the playoffs at all.

    Plus if Tampa and Toronto both continue to win games, it’s going to get mighty tight for those 2 wild cards. Even if both wild cards do go to the Atlantic, at least one of Montreal, Boston, Toronto, Tampa, Ottawa or Detroit HAS to miss the playoffs.

  57. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    UCE: “Except that they were facing Douglas Murray, not Yannick Weber or Tomas Kaberle. Add in Ryan White and 6’4″ Mike Blunden, and the Rangers explicably became very interested in how the toe of their skate boot looked”

    Lol! As the throng gathered along the boards, I thought to myself, this is the first time in many, many years that the Habs players were towering over opponents in a scrum. Sure calms things down in a hurry.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • FANHABULOUS says:

      Exactly… now add to this list Prust and Parros and teams will think twice (or thrice) before taking liberties with our young guns. It also gives guys like PK and Emelin the incentive to go out and hit hard like Murray, knowing that others will have their backs.

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

  58. JM says:

    Habs better not play like that on Saturday. Roy will be in his glory..

    • Timo says:

      Avs are going to win that game. Roy will not sleep or eat and will pull everything trick in a coaches book but he will stick it to Habs. And I don’t blame him.

  59. Say Ash says:

    How much longer for Vigneault?

    • Timo says:

      Maybe they can time is with Therrien’s firing and Habs will hire Vigneault. I mean, if Therrien got a second chance, it’s unfair not to give on to Vigneault.

      • VancouverHab says:

        Get out of my happy night-time dreams Timo, you creep.

        [in my nightmares, Therrien returns as Habs coach, and hires JJ Daignault (!!!!) as defense coach.)

  60. jedimyrmidon says:

    Psh. Just watched the TSN highlights of the game. They take the time to:

    1) point out a bad call against the Rangers where two Habs players trip over each other, leading to a Rangers breakaway and the play being incorrectly being blown dead
    2) show Lundqvist’s reaction to Galchenyuk’s goal: hey, I wouldn’t want it counted either especially after that ridiculous Zibanejad goal, but the fact they make a point of showing Lundqvist disagreeing with the goal indicates to me they agree with his assessment

    I’m convinced that TSN really is the Toronto Sports Network. Idiots.

    How about showing all the headshots the Habs have been getting lately without so much as a whistle? Or how about the phantom calls on PK? Not a peep.

  61. Un Canadien errant says:

    Interesting game for a few reasons, with possibly the clash of opponents not being one of them. The Rangers are not a natural rival of our Canadiens, and with the new divisional re-alignment, won’t be unless we meet them in the playoffs for consecutive seasons or so.

    The main reason the game got a lot of hype was due to the re-opening of Madison Square Garden after the completion of the final phase of its renovation. It was nice of the Rangers to invite Yvan Cournoyer to attend and assist Rodrigue Gilbert with the ceremonial puck drop before the game. These two brought back memories of the battles these two teams had in the seventies, with Jean Ratelle, Brad Park, Ed Giacomin, Ron Duguay, Vic Hadfield and others.

    One thing which was odd was the lack of crowd noise during the broadcast. I don’t know if the RDS feed I was tuned to quelled the cheering a bit, or whether the fans were put off by a long pre-game ceremony, something we’re familiar with as Canadiens fans. I didn’t see the start of the broadcast, and just saw the player introductions, but the crowd seemed muted, literally. I understand why they wouldn’t cheer for the video coach, but even for the players they seemed subdued.

    It occurred to me how Bill Simmons thinks that teams that build mega-stadiums lose their homefield advantage. His argument is that once teams move from heritage stadiums into brand new ones, there’s usually a re-shuffling of the seating chart, and long-time blue-collar fans who used to sit near the field/ice and generate the encouraging/intimidating noise that tilted games for the home team are unceremoniously bumped up to the upper level so that a more genteel champagne crowd can buy club seats and fill team owners’ coffers. Of course, these are the same fans I notice at the Canucks’ arena (or rather, their burgundy empty seats), who don’t show up for the first five minutes of the game and leave before the last ten. Meanwhile, the busloads of kids and hoi-polloi I sit with in the third deck are there for the warmup and wait for the announcement of the three stars before we leave, yoots constantly try to start ‘the wave’, and chant “Go Canucks Go” tirelessly. So maybe that’s the deal at MSG, maybe the average fans have been displaced so that James Dolan can buy a few more ivory backscratchers. And the new fans close to the action can’t clap or carry on too much for fear of spilling their Cabernet Sauvignon.

    The game itself was not an exciting one, only redeemed by the fact the Canadiens won. Tomas Plekanec’s powerplay goal was a beauty, almost shootout like in terms of how much time he had to make a play on Henrik Lundqvist, courtesy of a beautiful pass and subsequent pick by Michaël Bournival. Yes, him again. The kid reminds me of the Coyote who doesn’t know he’s supposed to fall after running off the cliff, because he hasn’t looked down yet and doesn’t know better. Keep on churning those legs, Michaël, we’re loving every minute of it.

    Maybe that’d be a good nickname for him, le Coyote. Sly, tireless, quick like you wouldn’t believe. Le Coyote. Much more apt than the EGG line.

    Anyway, let him serve as an inspiration to Louis Leblanc, who caught fire in Hamilton over the last few games, amassing points in bunches, and scoring two consecutive overtime winners. He was rewarded with a callup and third-line duty with David Desharnais and René Bourque.

    At least for the start. The lines were shuffled due to the high number of penalties both teams incurred: seven for the Rangers, six for the Canadiens. We saw players assuming roles they don’t normally, such as Brendan Gallagher on the penalty kill.

    In the end though, Louis Leblanc acquitted himself well, cutting off some Ranger passes and being dangerous in the New York zone. Let’s call his showdown with Chris Kreider, the man he’ll be compared to for the next while due to their being drafted 18th and 19th in the 2009 draft, a draw.

    The kid line managed to chip in with a goal, one which was definitely not kicked in by Alex Galchenyuk, said the clowns in Toronto who had painted themselves in a corner with the Mika Zibanejad goal in last year’s playoffs. While the kids are finding it harder going now that they’re essentially the #1 line, or at least being treated as such by opposition checkers and coaches, they’re still skating hard and working out there.

    We could stretch and say the same thing for David Desharnais, that boy is snakebit, nothing is working for him. He’s having chances but overthinking or rushing things. We saw him tonight carrying the puck on Henrik Lundqvist on a 2-on-1, and take a half-hearted slapshot that didn’t connect. I guess we’ll have to wait for Max to come back and hope the old magic sparks again. Somehow I think Max and René Bourque could be a good combo for David to get going again.

    Also, at long last, we saw Douglas Murray for the first time. Since it’s his first game of the season, he didn’t play any pre-season games, we have to be tolerant, and give him five or six games to get back into reasonable game shape. Having said that, he does come as advertised, big and tough and slow.

    On one sequence in the Canadiens zone, he was standing in the corner to Peter Budaj’s right, and the puck went skittering past him towards the faceoff dot. He sprang into action… and took one step… then another… the third step must have come eventually, but by that time I’d gotten up to go make a sandwich. So yeah, he’s in Hal Gill territory in terms of foot speed.

    Where he did contribute is in terms of the toughness profile of the team. At the end of one play, he cleared a Ranger from in front of the net with authority, and there was the usual gathering of the clans. Except that they were facing Douglas Murray, not Yannick Weber or Tomas Kaberle. Add in Ryan White and 6’4″ Mike Blunden, and the Rangers explicably became very interested in how the toe of their skate boot looked, or distracted by a brown dog in the stands. So that part of Marc Bergevin’s summer plan has a chance of working out. A big plus is that our boys didn’t press their advantage, they stood their ground and allowed the smaller Rangers to stand down, instead of crosschecking and facewashing them as is the new normal in the NHL. I want our team to be clean, to be the good guys, and we can’t be that if we play like the Bruins.

    Mr. Murray did take a minor penalty for interference, he hit Chris Kreider who was near the puck but didn’t really have it, but I’ll take these penalties all season long. He hit Mr. Kreider solidly, the kid will remember it. Charging, roughing, interference penalties taken for clean hits that trepidate opposition forwards are fine by me. We’ll gladly kill those off, it’s the lazy hooking or holding penalties I don’t like, or the careless high-sticking or elbowing calls.

    Finally, kudos to Peter Budaj for a shutout after sitting for a couple of weeks. He had a rough start to his first season in Montréal, but got stronger as the season wore on, and did really well last season, but crashed in the playoffs with the rest of the team. This year he’s been lights out in limited action. It’s a good thing for a coaching staff and for teammates when the backup is reliable. For example, look at Patrick Roy in Colorado, not hesitating to give Semyon Varlamov a night off since Jean-Sébastien Giguère is outstanding this season.

    Much was made when Peter Budaj joined the team that he didn’t have a full-time goalie coach to work with in Colorado, and that he’d benefit from working with Pierre Groulx. We have to admit that he has, and apparently the change to Stéphane Waite hasn’t hurt at all either. Good job by the both of them, and let’s hope it allows Carey to truly rest on his nights off, but also stokes his competitive fires a little bit. I remember when Ken Dryden would play more games than Michel Larocque, but have poorer stats, the scuttlebutt was that he’d work like crazy to prove that he was the better goalie, and not just a replaceable cog. Which we did find out in 1980, after years of groaning when Ken would let in a softie in a meaningless game, and my friends and I would argue that “Bowman devrait faire jouer Larocque plus souvent!”

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    • Buzz Lightbeer says:

      Good read. Always is.
      I thought the same thing about the crowd. Turned up my volume and checked my sound settings. Have recent trends of suckitude humbled the normally raucous New York crowd? I didn’t even hear any jeers towards the home team in the final minute.

      • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

        All of us who bemoaned the Habs’ move to the Bell Centre from the beloved Forum remember how quiet the Bell Centre was. It was painful. They still feel the need to push the crowd to make noise, best hockey fans in the world, and we need to be told when to make noise?

    • FANHABULOUS says:

      Great read as always… I see the game a lot like you do, so I really enjoy the fact that others are seeing the same little details.

      Keep it up man!

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

    • VancouverHab says:

      Well said–well worth reading.

      I’d add a small bit that in the scrum just after the Cube-failed-icing bit, Murray cross-checked a pushy Ranger behind the crease.

      When Murray cross checks you, you think twice about being pushy in the crease. Love it.

    • shootdapuck says:

      Normand, but you didn’t expand the lack of success once Bunny became No 1.

      GAA 3.23 and lost his job to Dennis Herron ended up playing for the LAFFS , FLYERS and finally the IHL!

      Bunny was fortunate to have two 50 goal scorers and Shutt who only potted 47 in the lineup to cover up his gaffes!

      Bunny was a huge disappointment like alot of number 2 goaltenders who collect Stanley Cup rings without playing!
      =================================================
      The cranial flatulence of PJ Stock:

      “On peut play cette game tres simplement”
      “Le game est tous de hard work”
      ” I have a pet peeve”

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Maybe I wasn’t as clear as I should have been.

        he(Dryden)’d work like crazy to prove that he was the better goalie, and not just a replaceable cog (Dryden wanted to prove he wasn’t just getting these results because of the Big Three and Scotty Bowman and the high scoring forwards, and that putting just anyone in nets wouldn’t be the same). Which we did find out (he did prove) in 1980 (when Ken retired, leaving Michel Larocque the job to himself), after years of groaning when Ken would let in a softie in a meaningless game, and my friends and I would argue that “Bowman devrait faire jouer Larocque plus souvent!”

        Obviously this paragraph needs a re-write.

        ———————————————————————–
        … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Bun E. Laroque says:

      Great post. Thank you.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Superbe, Normand, comme d’habitude.

    • boing007 says:

      Right on! Maybe MSG could improve the mic settings in the upper tier seats so we could at least hear some crowd noise.

      Richard R

  62. CH Marshall says:

    Proud to be a Hab fan. The best team!

    Anybody living in North TO and GtA: I will be asking my local to get RDS- we are going to make this happen!

    Props to Ian and the summit!

  63. Chuck says:

    A billion dollars might have got them a fancy new scoreboard and a couple of coats of paint, but MSG is still just a rink shoehorned into a basketball arena with crappy sight lines.

    • shootdapuck says:

      But the lighting for TV is much improved!

      Bang for the buck!

      =================================================
      The cranial flatulence of PJ Stock:

      “On peut play cette game tres simplement”
      “Le game est tous de hard work”
      ” I have a pet peeve”

  64. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Torts just called me. Told me that was “two crap teams playing crappy hockey and habs are only slightly less crappy than the other crappy team”. Then he hung up. Weird.

  65. haboholic68NJ says:

    Just got home from MSG. I go to Habs games every time they are near since leaving MTL 27 years ago, but tonight was special. I was walking around the elevated skyway that surrounds the ceiling in the middle of the billon dollar renovation as Rod Gilbert and Yvan Cournoyer walked passed in the opposite direction. Earlier, they both dropped the puck as part of the opening ceremonies. I greeted the road runner with a Go Habs and high-fived him.

    In other notes, a solid job by Budaj, with two or three exceptional saves on a light night. Blue shirts were a complete no-show as was the DD line. Murray is slow but big and hits like a truck. Frankie needs a night off. Gorges-Diaz did not look like they should be paired. The refs had a rough night.

    *Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at http://petertoliasmusic.site11.com/Music_Site/OtherOriginalMusic.html

  66. Sportfan says:

    LOL the LA LA LA line wasn’t a real fan of that line :P

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

  67. yukonhab says:

    Go Habs Go!

    Price 31

  68. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Needed coffee chasers for that snooze fest. But whatever,a win is a win.
    Not much to say.Budaj played good. LL played pretty solid,probably deserved a bit more ice time. Our 4th line,except for getting hemmed in once was reliable and trusted with some late game minutes. Bournival looking like a pro with confidence. DD played pretty good,didn’t hurt the team,got some chances but whatever,expendable once Pacs and Prust return. When your 3rd line center is on pace for 8 points,see ya later. Do what you gotta do MB,nothing wrong with eating a little crow.

  69. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Holy 5h¡t! I’ve just realised… The glass is half full!

  70. keviathan says:

    Strange how at the beginning of the year there were a lot of questions around our defense – injuries, age, inexperience, etc – and I don’t think I was the only one worried, yet so far our goals against looks pretty good. Hope we can keep it up!!!

  71. Rudy says:

    I’ll take 3rd star

  72. keviathan says:

    and the second star, la deuxieme etoile……

  73. Habs_Fan_In_San_Diego says:

    First in babeee!


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