About last night …

BourqueStars

Warning: This edition of ALN may contain observations that will annoy diehard lovers of the bleau-blanc-rouge.
Fan discretion is advised.

First the part y’all will like: Playing their second game in two nights, third in four nights and fourth in six nights – with a lineup missing an entire forward line and a Top 4 defenceman – your Montreal Canadiens came up with a gritty team effort to beat the Dallas Stars.

For the second game in a row, Canadiens skaters stopped more pucks than their goaltender.

In New York on Monday night, Peter Budaj posted a 27-save shutout while his teammates blocked 28 shots.

Back at the Bell Centre Tuesday, Carey Price faced 24 shots, one of which eluded him. No fewer than 16 Canadiens combined to block 29 Dallas shots.

The only skaters who didn’t block a shot were Tomas Plekanec, who does about 15 other subtle things to help the Canadiens win, and Alex Galchenyuk, who is learning how to play in his own zone.

Budaj and Price were justifiably selected the First Stars of the two wins, but the goaltenders are getting a lot of help.

There is cause for some concern, however, in the number of shot attempts the Canadiens are allowing. The Rangers had 27 SoG, 29 were blocked and nine missed the net. Comparable stat for the Canadiens was 24-11-15. The disparity in totals, 65 for the Rangers, 50 for the Canadiens suggests possession favoured the woeful Blueshirts.

Similar story on Tuesday: The Stars had 27 SoG, 29 were blocked and there were 8 misses. Canadiens had 24 shots, Dallas blocked 11 and 15 missed the net. So it was 64-50.

But those aren’t the stats that concern me. These are the numbers I’ll cite at the risk of POing some fans enjoying the win:

00:01: Total time a Norris Trophy-winning defenceman spent killing penalties in a tight game.

2:48: Time left in a one-goal game when the Norris Trophy-winning defenceman played his last shift.

79, 26, 61, 6: Jersey numbers of Canadiens defencemen who played while Kari Lehtonen was on the Dallas bench and the Stars pressed for a late equalizer.

What the heck is going on with P.K. Subban?

Maritime Ronn, one of the more astute members of the Hockey Inside/Out Commentariat, posed the question even before the Dallas game:

…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?

Example: Time on Ice. In two of the last three  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.

Monday 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.

Again, Maritime Ronn raised these issues before the Canadiens played Dallas.

And as I noted above, P.K. was on the bench for almost the last three minutes of a tight game. He wasn’t used on the PK. And he had two shots on goal.

Far be it from me to knock Michel Therrien. The kindly old coach has the Canadiens playing solid, disciplined team hockey – as evidenced by winning tight games and sacrificing bodies to block shots.

Therrien and his staff have recognized the NHL-calibre talent of Michaël Bournival (you’d have to be crazy not to) and rewarded the kid with generous ice time on a line with two veterans.

The coach has been more than patient – to the dismay of many – with David Desharnais, who hasn’t scored a goal in 30 games, stretching back to last season. And DD may finally be coming out of his funk on a line with Rene Bourque and late-blooming Louis Leblanc.

After being forced to dress Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu, both of whom need more AHL seasoning, Therrien has wisely employed Douglas Murray, a veteran who plays within himself and lays on the bone-jarring hits (six in 12 minutes ToI against Dallas) we haven’t seen since Alexei Emelin went down.

Missing Emelin, Max Pacioretty, Brandon Prust, Daniel Brière and Travis Moen, the Canadiens are third in the Atlantic Division with a goal differential of plus-14.

Your Montreal Canadiens are playing good hockey.

And with apologies to the team’s chief amateur scout for taking his name in vain, perhaps it is churlish to suggest there may be an issue with the 24-year-old star who won an NHL honour no Canadien had garnered since Chris Chelios in 1989.

Some of us remember how that movie ended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

785 Comments

  1. punkster says:

    After sampling a number of mainstream and other media reports and analyses of the game I can only shake my head at two items.

    First, the ability of the print, web, radio and television media to whip up a controversy where none exists…and whip it up they did. There have been ample hints dropped in the past 24 hours that MT hates PK or PK is petulant or MT is losing the room or PK is playing mind games for his next contract or…(fill in your own conspiracy theory here).

    Second, the ability of fans, Habs fans in this particular case, to again fall hook, line and sinker for the bait dangled by the media.

    What are we, knowledgeable or gullible?

    This is the exact script written and performed by the media and willingly eaten up by Habs fans prior to the PK bridge deal signing.

    Stop and think, go for a walk, take a breath.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  2. Propwash says:

    Is it really that critical to have Subban on the PK? They’ve been doing pretty well without him.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  3. nova scotia vees says:

    M.T. Is a total moron. P.K. Is being totally disrespected. Murray on for the last minute or so…w.t….!!!
    And so far Bergeron isn’t impressing me. Resigning Moan (yes, that’s what I do when he is on the ice), the D.D. Deal…Brier..and the refusal to bring up the young defensemen. So many questionable decisions by both men…I hope they prove me wrong..go P.K…go Habs.

  4. Bill says:

    Well Steve, I guess I agree that the coach can do everything right and lose and vice versa. But over the whole sample if Therrien’s second stint in Montreal, he has produced decent results.

    I guess your point would be that by playing the odds a little better, he’d get better results, and you do make a convincing case.

  5. AceTen says:

    Seriously what is up with all this talk over PK and his ice time? Or him “not being himself” the past few games?

    Okay the guy hasn’t been putting up 2-3 points a night or scoring any signature clappers but really? He is currently leading our team in points as well as all NHL defensemen! He also has the second most shots on our team behind only Gallagher. Now people are going to complain because he’s barely played any time on the PK? Or he may have played 23 mins instead of 27? Or he wasn’t on the ice for the last 2 mins of the game? NEWS FLASH: They just won back-to-back games!!! The team is winning with a depleted lineup!!!

    PK is meant to be on the powerplay not the penalty kill. Guess where he ranks among all defensemen for total PP time: 2nd in the NHL with 60:38 mins!! Only 21 seconds less than Byfuglien.

    Guess who’s leading the league in PK time: Chris Phillips with 56:47 mins. What is PK’s total you may ask: 13:13. What about the player that won the Norris before PK? Erik Karlson: 13:56!

    It is very normal to not play players of that calibre on the PK. Do you really want them standing in front of one-timers and possible getting injured? No! They’re way to valuable to the team for that. That’s why the Chris Phillips’ of league play these minutes.

    One final stat… Out of all defensemen in the NHL PK ranks 13th for total TOI with 319:17 mins (Markov is 7th with 325:25!!!!). For average TOI he’s ranked 20th.

    It’s a long season and they have the Olympics to factor in. PK is playing great, getting plenty of ice time and the team is winning. Be happy!

  6. Willy the bum says:

    I’m sure it’s just fine and dandy that Subban doesn’t have any P.K. minutes, because he’s too busy on the P.P. Let the other defensemen take care of them. There’s a sense that what other teams are thinking that once they have the P.P., they expect to find Subban on the ice and they know his style. For Therrien to place two unusual D pairings without Subban, it gives off the opposition to figure out their play.
    I never mind Therrien’s decision to put even Murray on the P.K. on the last minute of the game; I mean, overall, he does block a few shots and manage to keep the puck from the opposition by giving rhino checks.

  7. docketrocket says:

    Long time reader. Seldom poster. About same age as Boone and grew up within a mile of him. Lots of the people on this site are very interesting and insightful. But the day Boone quits, I suspect the site will wither and die. I don’t always agree with him. But I don’t think abusing him (or most other people who post here) makers the site better. Let’s not eat our own here folks.

  8. Morenz7 says:

    I guess I’m an amateurish Habs fan, because I have to admit I didn’t notice P.K.’s absence on the penalty kill, or at the end of last night’s game. Maybe because they didn’t give up any power-play goals, and because they won.

  9. ffenliv says:

    I saw a post or two earlier about the rough November schedule with 4 back-to-backs for the boys. For some reason, I couldn’t find them again to respond to, but I’d already worked this up, so figured I’d just post it.

    Of the 4 teams Montreal plays on the second night, 3 of those teams will also be on the second game of a back-to-back, and the other team (the Penguins, I think) will be playing a back-to-back the following night.

    Also of the 3 teams in their second game in two nights, 2 are playing in either their second of third game of a stretch of four games in six nights.

    So, when looking at the number of back-to-backs, it’s important to see how many times the other opponent is in a similar fix – or worse!

  10. Bill says:

    Stevereno, I love your posts, but if the Hans won the game, surely the coaching could not have been as bad as you interpret it to be?

    Eller’s line has been struggling lately. Maybe the coach is trying to get them going by putting them on the PP?

    A coach has to play a hunch every now and then as well.

    I’m totally convinced by you that Gallagher is a poor option on the PP, but there must be some things that Therrien knows that we don’t.

    • SteverenO says:

      Thanks for the kind words , Bill. I agree , the coach should play a hunch now and then, but would it be so terrible if the”hunch” was one that could be supported by some type of metric?

      For example a hunch that Bourque’ s presence on the PP may lead to a PP goal, can be supported by the historical performance.

      A “hunch” that the team may be likely to successfully kill a penalty with Subban on the bench can be supported.

      A “hunch” that Bournival with Plekanec and Gionta may produce a PP goal can be supported .

      A “hunch” that Eller , with Galchenyuk, and Gallagher will produce a PP goal is one that has been played at least 30 times this season with almost nothing to show. ( 33.5 minutes PP TOI only 2 PP goals )

      A “hunch” that White’s presence on the PP will lead to a goal being scored is hard to defend, REGARDLESS of the outcome.

      If for the next 30 minutes that Bourque plays on the PP the HABs fail to score a single goal (quite unlikely as the HABS have averaged a PP goal better than every 7 minutes with Bourque on the ice since he joined the team last year) he will have caught up to Gallagher in PP TOI and still have “produced” greater than 30% more goals (15 to 11) than Gallagher has. The likely hood is that when Bourque reaches the 130 minute of PP TOI that Gallagher has achieved he will have been on the ice for twice the number of goals that Gallagher has.

      Keeping Bourque OFF the PP and playing Gallagher instead is an error in judgement, a coaching ,mistake -plain and simple.

      As to your statement that the Habs won so therefore the coaching could not have been “too bad” , I have to disagree, I believe that the coach can do everything right and lose a game, and also do everything wrong and win the game.

      When playing blackjack you could “hit” on 20 and draw an ace.

      The fact is the players are all professionals and while some are more productive and efficient in certain situations than others, (and a good coach manages the Playing time accordingly), a coach can mismanage the playing time yet still come out ahead on the scoreboard.

      The problem here is that we are relying on one line to do all the PP scoring. They have been awesome but some games , like yesterday, when they play 3 out of 6 minutes of PP time they will NOT get a goal, that is when you need the second line to produce.

      A second line that include someone that is “on” for one PP goal every 15 minutes is not helpful. Playing the non producing second line with the 1st wave defensemen, when the game is still very much in doubt is ridiculous and indefensible

      regards,

      Steve O.

  11. SteverenO says:

    reposted from earlier with some updates…….

    why are we only discussing PK and his ice time?

    People giving MT a pass on the PP ice time management, and other coaching decisions?

    If the team wins does it automatically mean that the coach made the right decisions, and when they lose does it mean that the coach “screwed” up?

    ****************************************************
    My Answers to the Coaches evaluation questionnaire:

    PK not killing penalties, good or bad decision?

    Good Decision- In limited ice time PK has NOT made a positive impact on the success of the Penalty Kill so far this season.
    His play at Even Strength & on the PP unit HAS made a very positive impact to the success of the team, and if keeping him off the penalty kill will result in his getting more time in those situations it is a GOOD decision to keep PK from killing penalties.

    PP Ice time management. Good , average, Bad or Ugly?

    UGLY, with a capital UGH!
    a)Our most consistently productive winger, had three times LESS ice time than our least productive wingers.
    b) I know that Leblanc just got called up but Ryan White played 5 times as much on the PP as did Leblanc.
    C) With a one goal lead, 5 minutes and 16 seconds in to the third period, Plekanec’s line goes into action- 3 seconds into the shift the refs call a penalty on Daley and on the ensuing face off at 5:19 Plekanec is called to the bench in Favor of Eller’s line .
    If the coach does not know that Plex”s line has been producing goals at more than three times the rate than Eller’s line on the PP, this- in itself- is a serious issue.

    Penalty Kill Unit TOI management: _ Good, Bad, Average ,or Ugly

    Good : Only one penalty to kill and the time was split among our most efficient penalty killers this season.

    Even Strength TOI Management: Good, Bad, Average or Ugly?
    Average- considering the players out of the line up teh Ice time was fairly well distributed. I would like to see Markov play a bit less, not because he doesn’t “deserve” to lay a lot , but I would be trying to conserve his strength. The season is more of marathon then a sprint.

    Game strategy and preparedness? Good, Bad, Average, or Ugly?

    Average – A sis usual the PP is a hodge podge of players with complete disregard for a players prevous productivity, or lack thereof. Although theteam played a disciplined game, the Stars are weak onboth the PP and penalty kill, The “optimum” strategy going into this game would be to be aggressive and agitate the opponents. Take some penalties and draw some penalties. If at all possible try to Force the refs into calling stuff.
    In game adjustments, & endgame strategy? Good, Bad, Avg, Ugly?
    Ugly- I cannot warp my head around PK watching the end game from the bench, but even if he was injured, Murray had no business being on the ice for an offensive zone faceoff with a minute to go. He is simply too slow afoot. The cooach should anticipate the possible dump out and chase for the puck to prevent an icing call, and want to have his faster skaters on at that time . There are 4 other defenseman, other than PK who skate faster than Murray that could have been utilized at that time.

    Also with a few minutes to go the Stars began to play a trapping style none of their forward were forechecking passed our blue line …. The HABs were not prepared and failed to react properly. In essence the Habs should have “ragged” the puck in their own zone for as long as possible rather than “play into” the Trap and give away puck possession

    By my score card out of 5 categories the coaching staff earned a rating of

    2 goods,
    1 averages
    1 average minus
    0 Bad
    2 UGLYs

    Not a great game for the coaching staff but at the end of the game we got two points in the most important column, so all is forgiven,,,, until the next game, at least.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  12. Bill says:

    I think the simplest explanation for the way Subban is used is the best explanation.

    He’s basically tied with Markov for highest ATOI for the team.

    He’s seeing big minutes everywhere except the PK, and the PK is doing fine without him.

    He’s putting up points and succeeding in his role.

    He won a Norris trophy under Therrien.

    I’m no Therrien fan, but I don’t see a lot of evidence that suggests Therrien is trying to sabotage him. I just don’t.

    So he wasn’t on the ice to protect a one goal lead late in the game. Ok. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t always make the safe play, or because he’s a target for referees.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that if the Habs were down by a goal late in the game, Therien would have Subban out there.

  13. Ozmodiar says:

    I think the big question is: what’s the line-up after Briere (and others) come back?

    • commandant says:

      Cross that bridge when we get there.

      Making lineups for “when the team is healthy” is close to futile because history shows us other injuries will crop up.

      This is something that is true with 29 other NHL teams too, not just us. Its a long season, and there is always someone hurt. Also chemistry, hot streaks, cold streaks, its all fluid and things can change by the time briere and prust are back.

      For now, Max and Parros sound close. Make a lineup with them included and don’t worry about Briere till he’s close.

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

  14. Timo says:

    Man, this day cannot end soon enough. Boone’s negativity rubbed off me.

  15. Azriel says:

    Suggestion regarding PK’s utilisation by management;

    The HUGE Contract negotiation coming.

    If you play PK 21 minutes & publicly drill him from time to time for his mistakes …

    • johnnylarue says:

      …and find away to retroactively invalidate that rather “inconvenient” trophy sitting on his mantle…

      • Azriel says:

        Are you saying my idea is far fetched? Compared to the conspiracy theory;

        MT MUST hate Subban. There HAS to be something. There is something we don’t know…

        I mean, he’s the only coach in the NHL who’s retarded enough to hate his superstar, Norris Trophy winner.

        Makes sense.

        • johnnylarue says:

          No, no–just having a laugh, Azriel.

          But the point remains: even if MB and MT counter-intuitively tried to force PK to have an “average” season, I doubt his agent would let him settle for anything less than a superstar contract with that fresh Norris trophy in his back pocket…

          • Timo says:

            That’s very true. We are forgetting that there is another party that is trying to get paid very well here, and that’s PK’s agent.

  16. TheDagger says:

    If it were up to Marty Brodeur on who goes to Sochi, its:
    1. Luongo
    2. Price
    3. Smith
    Pretty good vote of confidence. http://www.calgarysun.com/2013/10/30/brodeur-says-luongo-smith-price-deserve-olympic-call

  17. doug19 says:

    Great post Boone on PK to illustrate you are not a coaching prospect, not even for NHL 98 etc.!

  18. habcertain says:

    on another touchy subject, what are the odds that Chucky centers Bourque/LL, who seem to have some chemistry and Pax go to the kid line? of course this would mean that DD samples the hot dogs.

    • Timo says:

      How is that a touchy subject? I think this is one subject on which 99.9% here can agree on.

      • Marek says:

        It would be interesting to see how DD would do between the kids

        • Azriel says:

          It would be more interesting to see if he’s better than Ryder at making paper planes.

        • commandant says:

          I think they are gonna put DD between Max and Bourque to try and re-create the Max – DD – Cole line.

          I think he’ll get at least this opportunity before more drastic steps are taken.

          Bournival succeeding on the Pleks line means they will be unlikely to break that up, and this keeps the kids together.

          The only person who suffers here is Leblanc, who despite his good play might be a victim of the numbers game and told to dominate the AHL on the first line until another injury hits.

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

          • Timo says:

            Just like Tinordi and Beaulieu, Leblanc needs to have at least one good season in the AHL. I don’t think there is any kind of expectation that he is going to stay with the big club this year. He was ok, but nothing special. He did not bring his Bournival with him.

    • Alvin says:

      Mark this down. LL is trade bait.

  19. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    The sky is falling!The sky is falling!
    Personally i don’t think PK has played very well in the last 3 games. The team seemed to be holding down the fort pretty well,we got the win.
    If down by a goal i would hope it would be a different situation.
    Does MT hate PK? Is he managing him wrong? I don’t have a clue anymore than anyone else on here.
    Will this be a continuing side story/theory that will be going away anytime soon? Not a chance..

  20. mdp2011 says:

    Are people really freaking out about PK’s ice time? As another poster pointed out early this morning, PK is averaging the most TOI of his career this year. Also, for freak sake, it is October!!!!! It is going to be a very long year with the Olympics and playoffs and the possibility that he will play close to 100 games this year. Do you really want him burnt out by January?

  21. 123456 says:

    So I’m reading through a bunch of posts about PK not playing in the last two minutes and a few things get stuck in my head:

    PK plays on the edge
    PK takes a bad penalty here or there
    The refs have it in for PK
    PK is not a stay at home Dman

    Correct me if I am wrong – but aren’t those four reasons NOT to play him at the end of a one goal game?

    • habcertain says:

      that could describe many players, is he more of a liability than any of the others on the roster? and don’t you want him to develop that side of his game, he’s not an AHL call-up that has to sit and watch.

  22. ClutchNGrab says:

    If you have some difficulty to understand how a great talent like PK is not being played until he’s exhausted.

    Think about Ovechkin. Especially his first years in the league. He may have been extremely dominant in some aspects of the game, but the decisions to play him regardless on whether he follows the team guidelines or not is just one way of coaching. I doubt Mike Babcock would have coached him the same way Boudreau did.

    • Ron in Ottawa says:

      I think we are starting to watch the implosion of MT. You will all remember what happened here the first time around, and what happened with the Pens. MT is good with young guys and when called up with a team in a tailspin. But he tends to lose it with the talent and then things go off the tracks. I think he can’t stand that PK is a star. he’s not perfect and because he plays on the edge, he’s going to make mistakes. But if you try to turn him into a stay-at-home d-man, you’ll destroy this guy and he’ll be gone when he’s contract is up. So will MT and the habs will still be looking for that next super-star.

      • habcertain says:

        +1…..and I couldn’t bear to watch it happen again with our next superstar.

      • Timo says:

        But the puzzling part is Therrien’s almost personal dislike for PK even before he was given the head coaching position (what a freaking mistake that was)

        • Habilis says:

          Exactly. There is something there that we’re not privy to, there simply has to be. Because what MT is doing with P.K. is, quite simply, asinine.

          There are 29 other coaches in the NHL who would probably give their right arm to be able to use P.K. for 30 mins a night. Not ours though. He has a “vision”. Barf.

          The one thing I am really afraid of is MT alienating P.K. to the point where the kid wants out. With his contract situation being what it is, P.K. has a lot of leverage this time around.

          The one thing that keeps me sane is the knowledge that MT and MB converse on a daily basis. MB is a smart dude. He has to see that this can’t continue. He just has to.

        • Ron in Ottawa says:

          I was surprised that MB did not look back at some o MT’s comments on antechamber about PK before the hire. That should have been a hint.

          • Timo says:

            I put them both in the same pile. I have as much faith and dislike for Bergevin as I am for Therrien. They both should go and the sooner, the better.

          • habcertain says:

            this is inherently the problem when choosing candidates that are not strictly viewed by their talent, it should be the only criteria to coach/manage a storied franchise like the Habs, the media needs to get over it. translators are available in this day and age, treat it like the UN.

          • Azriel says:

            @Timo : Imagine if the team was having a bad start… or had a bad year last year. You would’ve asked for MT and MB stoned.

      • DAVE. N says:

        Possible that MT could lose the room; this team DOES have a nucleus of young players that are continuously pushing for a veterans’ job, which I agree with . I wonder how that may influence or impede contract negotiations going forward with star players and veterans.
        MTL is not the easiest place to play; Quebec taxes, language issues, etc…hard to make a play for trades and free agents as it is, and I’m almost certain Habs player talk with other teams players!
        If your thinking is correct, when does MB intervene?

      • Cal says:

        Yeah, Therrien’s imploding all right. All the way to a 8-5 record with more than a handful of regulars missing.
        Your assertion that he “can’t stand that PK is a star” is very funny, to say the least.

    • JUST ME says:

      We should be thankfull towards Therrien for doing his job of coaching with his players especially with P.K. Playing 25 minutes yesterday is plenty of work for him and although i am certain that he can take it and some more we must not empty the reservoir before the end of the season. Since he can carry the whole team on his shoulders we have to trust him and take care of him long term. If we had the choice what would we want him to be seen on, the offense or the defense ? That`s why he is on the P.P. and others are on the P.K. That simple and so far results are good.

  23. secretdragonfly says:

    Ow…first Saku, then Teemu. Are Anaheim’s elder statesmen being targeted?
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=435421

  24. kerrgte says:

    It could be that PK is hurting a bit. No player is playing without some kind of nagging injury, deep bruise, or something else to put him off his game.

    It’s terrific that other players are taking the pressure off him for a while at least. This is only the start of a long punishing season, and depth becomes important as the season wears on.

    I’ll bet that he shows up again soon with his unequaled talents to knock us out of our seats.

    cheers

  25. Un Canadien errant says:

    The article title says it all.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/lists/34-wild-nfl-crimes-you-havent-heard-about-20131029

    ———————————————————————–
    … 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/

    • Timo says:

      True role models there.

    • bwoar says:

      Kenny Britt: “resisting arrest in New Jersey after police suspected him of trying to hide a marijuana cigar (2011);”

      THAT is why you just never, ever, try to hide your marijuana cigars. Just keep ‘em out in the open and the cops won’t bother you. Better yet, offer ‘em a blast and make a new friend!

      “thoroughbred”

    • DAVE. N says:

      Since the information only comes out when the activity or crime is reported, I was jarred by just how many criminal actions are associated with the NFL players. Thanks for the link.

  26. Propwash says:

    Is it just me, or has Subban always been kind of hot and cold to begin with?

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • habcertain says:

      just you.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I dunno Prop there are games where he seems to take charge but on most nights he’s the best player out there.

      I haven’t said anything but I did notice Saturday night in the third period he didn’t seem right. I thought to myself (I didn’t dare mention it) that he almost looked like he gave up. I have never seen that in him before. Weird.

      • habcertain says:

        when you have a boss that is constantly on your back, no positive re-enforcement, you tend to give up. did you notice at the end of the game yesterday, when PK is usually kidding around after a win, he just seem to skate off with a blank stare.

  27. rhino514 says:

    Disagree. It´s not that Therrien is just giving a some more ice-time to other dmen and making a conscious decision to depend less on Subban. PK´s shot total, as pointed out, is about a third of what it was during the first 6 games. He has 0 oe 1 point in his last 4 games, while averaging over a point per game in his first six. Those are huge differences; such things are not explained by 3-4 minutes less ice-time per game.
    Something is up.
    However i think a nagging injury is definitely more likely than a feud with the coach.

    • John Q Public says:

      Or/And a simpler game-plan from the coach due to the multitude of injuries.

    • rljmartin says:

      Subban’s game is to play on the edge all of the time, so his errors really stick out.
      Two examples:
      1) He gets beat pinching in the O-zone and MT calls him out in public.
      2) Last night he went for the puck or wild body check, got beat super clean and Dallas walks right in on net.

      That stuff happens to every player but when you play on the edge, it shows more and MT does not like it. Unfortunately, MT’s error is that he treats his Norris Trophy player like a regular Joe because MT does the same thing with almost every player. Make a glaring error and you pay the price. Makes you think MT never played hockey. Extremely poor player management and he will lose Subban if he does not smarten up.

  28. frankcasting says:

    PK is still taking shots from the point, still doing the offensive things he did earlier this year, but not hitting the net as often, that will correct itself. But yeah, he’s looked very mediocre on D at times, the worst being the game he played with Cube, OMG that was horrendous (I think Edmonton). He hasn’t been on the P.K. at all this year, or very little, and frankly, I don’t want his blocking shots and slowing down his skating. I still believe he’s a power forward manqué, he needs to play 22:00 as a right winger with point-shifts on the PP, like Burns of San José. Is that worth 8/64M ? Yes. Give me a Milan Lucic type who’ll actually produce consistently any time.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  29. kerrgte says:

    Beat Dallas last night for 2 points that’ll come in handy at play-off time.

    No penalties at the end of regulation time. And, here’s a bonus, a few of the non-superstars made it happen. Watch, they’ll become better players on the ice and, most importantly, in their minds. Big team – little me.

    That’s called good coaching

    cheers

  30. rhino514 says:

    This is purely guesswork but I think Bergevin makes many of his decisions based primarily on the character factor. It looks as though he would rather risk negative cap implications or even losing out talent-wise than getting stuck with players who he doesn´t feel good about.
    I think the jettisoning of Cole and Kristo were motivated by such factors.
    Though I´d rather have free cap space instead of either Briere or Cole, who are probably both on the verge of being washed up, I think MB is much happier having Briere who has a hometown connection and seems affable, than having Cole who seemed to be giving off strange vibes as of the lock-out.

  31. habcertain says:

    I don’t see the big mystery, Therrien has always had a prejudice against PK (for whatever reason), vocalized it before he became coach, backed it up with treating him like a child during his contract issues last year, fortified it by his reduced minutes, no penalty kill, last year, and now has fallen back to his old ways after it looked like that was all behind us.

    If it is Therrien’s intent to change the was PK plays the game, then it is clearly misguided. PK is a Norris Trophy winner because of the way he plays, not in spite of it. If there were other players with better skills, then I could accept PK riding the bench in the last 2 minutes, but Diaz: Gorges: Boullion: are you kidding me, with all due respect, they can’t tie PK’s skates!

    This is an ill advised coach, who is not the sharpest blade in the drawer, trying to show his best player (and the best d-man in hockey) that he will conform to whatever box Therrien wants to put him in. It is evident in the way PK was played lately (passing, instead of shooting, a little disinterested, holding back) that he is probably sick of being chided by the coach. The problem is that PK holds the hammer this year and can/will dictate is own future.

    Please MB, stop the madness and do the right thing, we don’t need the replay of our last superstar leaving because of an inept coach, send him back to the AC sofa.

  32. Walmyr says:

    hello Lafleur G, Eddie and everybody…

    About the Rio de Janeiro’s article…

    Eddie, I agree…it’s unbelievable… and shameful for us to still have this image worldwide…

    I didn’t read this article yet. But I did read ours newspapers and this was unbelievable. Poor family…I think I had the chance to watch this guy playing a couple of times…

    What I can say is Rio de Janeiro is a big city. Around 7 millions people living, 12 millions working only in the city. A lot of bad thing but a lot of good things too.

    Corruption and drugs are the main issue here. That is why we went to the streets during the last 4 months. We want all this things gone. We want better politicians…we want to have (more) social equality…we want more and better education for everyone…

    Brazil grew a lot the last 20-25 years but we need and we want more…

    Unfortunately things like that are (still) more common that you think….

    But we will be better…

    The World Cup and the Olympics?…well, I love football (your soccer) but we could have used the money spent on new stadiums/arenas in other things more important like education, health, infrastructure, etc…

    Education plus health = young kids won’t decide to go to the drug’s side + qualified people entering in the market (that keeps growing in Brazil)

    I really don’t know how the things will be during the World Cup…but I hope people who decides to come to Brazil have a wonderful time…and enjoy this amazing country and people…although be aware the price here will be amazingly high during those events…and people will find all the cities full of policing (cops, army, etc…), thanks to our money…

    Sorry……To wright about these things in english (at work) is hard for me…and you don’t understand portuguese I believe…

    CHeers

    • Luke says:

      Well written Walmyr.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Thanks for your post, Walmyr. Keep safe.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Walmyr says:

        Thanks bud. It’s a honour to talk about my country…lol…

        I hope next time we talk about our cachaça, music or…the natural beauties (yes, I am talking about brazilian girls…)

        Cheers

    • bwoar says:

      Walmyr,
      I have had the great pleasure of visiting BRASIL twice. Once in RDJ and once in Salvador (What a place!). I enjoyed myself immensely both times and found the people to be terrific everywhere. I have watched the public protests with great interest as the social good of big sporting events has always been in question versus the things that need money immediately.

      I can only agree with you that Education and Health are the best things to give money to in any and every country in the world, and I hope that some of the profits realized during the World Cup can be put to those uses for the good of everyone.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Walmyr says:

        Yeah man…we all hope that…

        at least we are seeing already some improvement in infrastructure (airports as the main issue) and the fight against drug traffic, mainly in the big cities…

        BTW, you are welcome to come back anytime…and talk to me…we will drink a couple of the good ones here!…

        CHeers

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thanks for sharing that Walmyr. Your english is fine and your thoughtfulness and love for your country, admirable.

      It is sad sometimes that people assume you are like the worst part of your country or locale. As an American we sometimes get judged by the actions of our government or the violent tragedies that tend to occur all too often.

      Fortunately, most of us can overlook that noise and see people for who they really are. You sound like a great guy. Of course you are, you’re a Hab fan. :)

      Cheers.

      • Walmyr says:

        Jim….unfortunately the bad news sells more than the good one…and it’s easy to create/have “villains”…

        And I don’t now if I am a good guy…but for sure I’m a Hab fan!

        CHeers

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Thanks for the post Walmyr! This is one of the things that makes HI/O so neat, that we can get perspectives from people all over the world.

      Have a great day Walmyr.

    • Eddie says:

      Excellent post Walmyr. It is a pleasure to have you as part of this community.

  33. Old Bald Bird says:

    bobby dollas ‏@bobbydollas1 2h

    I am so fed up about criticizing a NORRIS trophy winner @TonyMarinaro @SportsStache my views on what’s going on! #breakingstallion

    • Habfan10912 says:

      That’s a little disturbing from the Hab radio man. Was he talking about members of the media?

    • JUST ME says:

      I think that`s it`s because Marinaro only talks about this and has been for weeks always complaining about P.K. and D.D. It`s kind of an insane fixation . After every game he does the after show and finds a way to complain even though the team won .

      This guy is overly negative and many comments here come from his rants.

  34. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Boone. Did you do something to my phone? Everytime I hit Refresh, I get your live blog from last night! Don’t get me wrong, I like your blog but I already saw it 5 times today. Did I piss you off or something?

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    A Halloween tradition, now turned into a competition between Gallagher and Galchenyuk. Sure is neat to see how these two get along, and compete with each other.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/24162086/video-alex-galchenyuk-brendan-gallagher-in-pumpkincarving-contest

  36. frontenac1 says:

    Andi Petrillo.Standing up there on the TV last season with that black leather outfit on… Man, that was nice.

  37. VancouverHab says:

    Arguing against type here, as I think that MT is messing with PK for non-hockey purposes as part of his insane idea to “make him a better person”, it has to be acknowledged that PK won the Norris under MT….

  38. Habcouver says:

    The recent shot-blocking prowess by the Habs…
    when did they become so proficient? I love it!

    Waiting patiently for #25

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I always think of shot blocking as a good measurement of effort. I think we’re seeing a team that’s working hard most nights.

      • Cal says:

        I am the opposite. When I see a team that’s stuck in its own end blocking shots all night, I see a team without enough offensive weapons that would have the other team blocking their shots. All this shot blocking reminds me of JM’s passive defensive shell, and I certainly don’t like that style of play.

        • Habcouver says:

          That’s a great point. When the Habs further develop their young offensive talents, perhaps the defensive shell will not be so relied on. However, I do like that they are helping out Price and Budaj.

          Waiting patiently for #25

      • Habcouver says:

        Thanks for the reply.
        Have the Habs been blocking shots like this prior to the last two games? Perhaps I just haven’t been paying attention to this statistic.

        Waiting patiently for #25

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I think we’re blocking more this season. Cal’s take is probably due to lack of talent as opposed to effort but he’s a smart guy so we should consider what he has to say.
          Josh Gorges was known as a shot blocker in previous seasons but now we the entire team seems to be getting in the shooting lanes.

      • Eddie says:

        I agree Jim. Any team that blocks shots will find a way to win more games than they lose. We have won our last two games and both wins were helped along with dozens of blocked shots.

  39. showey47 says:

    The most awkward moment of this years summit for me was. On Friday night I sent a fellow poster and summiteer (fun police) a text asking what he wanted to do for supper. He replied asking if I ever had “five guys” before. I was totally caught off guard and my wife was laughing her rear end off. Turns out five guys is a burger and fry joint on ste. catherines.But yeah,if nobody has ever had 5 guys before,i recommend it.Great burgers and you get a boat load of fries.

  40. showey47 says:

    As per the poll question. I liked what MB did by moving the cole contract,taking nothing back and getting a pick in the process. I wasn’t a big fan of how he spent the money on briere though.

    • JUST ME says:

      Not sure if we can go that far from trading Cole, getting Ryder,letting him go and signing Briere. Of course it does have a link money wise but directly it think that they are totally different files…

      As a fan i am blinded by my way of appreciating a player but i have to admit that those guys are way better than me when comes the time to judge if a player`s career is going downward or not. Cole is a good example, i was surprised that they let him go but today i have to admit that he is a different player. I have learned a bit so i see that Briere is not either where i used to see him hockey wise…

    • galchenyuk27 says:

      we got connor crisp out of the deal to just wait for this kid hes gonna be exactly what we need a prust like player for the future

  41. habsguru says:

    PK should NOT be on the PK unit….. unless it is the end of a 1 goal game! but tell it like it is, most anylists think he is 50-50 for Sochi, MT has no love loss for him, and he gets some of the most rediculous penalties called against him… He is the Norris champ, leads all D in points, and his team as well (stats prior to last night). I don’t think we are stirring up dust here, if you hear hoofsteps, it doesn’t have to be a zebra, but it might not be a horse either. Just sayin’

  42. HardHabits says:

    After reading the comments today with all the griping about MT’s handling of PK it’s no wonder I am an infrequent visitor of these pages.

    Where is JB when you need him?

    • Eddie says:

      It’s kind of ironic that you would take the time to post that insult, isn’t it?

    • PrimeTime says:

      As bad as it has been for a few years, HH. Nice to hear you have moved on to other things like so many other “semi-retired” posters. But I think The Dude misses you! :)

      • Eddie says:

        We were doing fine up to about 2 minutes ago.

        Why would people come on here to insult the rest of the posters?

        What arrogance.

        • PrimeTime says:

          I read posts when sitting on the john to learn the Inside/Out’s of the Habs but most of it seems to be the “Upside/Down’s”.

        • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

          No its not arrogance. It’s the truth. As I said earlier, there are many good posters, but I can certainly see why someone would be disgusted.

          If someone is allowed to type the half-baked nonsense about MT/JM hating the black player, and unsubstantiated rumors about trades, unhappiness, and other celebrity gossip, certainly HH can call out what he sees as juvenile behavior.

          People always go on and on about the media frenzies here in Montreal, well many of the people on this site are the reason why that persists. Middle school theatrics and a public thirst for drama.

          • Eddie says:

            people have the freedom to choose. you can choose to read my posts, or choose to ignore them.

            but when you purposely come on here to post an insult against the site and the community of posters, that’s just flat out arrogance.

          • HardHabits says:

            It wasn’t an insult. It was an observation.

            I visit these pages less and less and this whole PK ice time thing and people’s conspiracy theories is one of the reasons why.

            If I called everyone an idiot that would be insulting. I never did anything like that. What I am implying is that the discussion here is lacking in maturity and could be elevated.

            You have little if anything to contribute and calling me arrogant is an insult.

            Projection? Pot meet kettle.

        • bwoar says:

          If you guys weren’t such freakin’ idiots you wouldn’t be called out by such freakin’ geniuses. Right?

          “thoroughbred”

    • JUST ME says:

      HardHabits
      Totally agree and must add that it is not getting any better unless it`s just me that is blinded by my positive attitude…

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      Damn this sharp stick. It keeps poking me in the eye!

    • John Q Public says:

      It’s a HardHabit to break.

  43. DipsyDoodler says:

    You think PK is upset and pondering a trade demand?

    What about Alex Galchenyuk?

    The de facto #1 pick of his draft year, a possible franchise player, and he doesn’t even get to be dissed? He isn’t just behind the players who are respected, he is behind the ones who get dissed.

    What do we think? KHL bound?

  44. Habfan10912 says:

    Please take what I’m about to post with a grain of salt as I am hardly impartial when it comes to all things PK.

    I happen to side with Boone on this one. If MT is holding PK accountable for his recent lapses in judgement, especially in the latter moments of games, that’s fine. I think we all can support coach who holds ALL his players accountable, stars or not.

    That’s doesn’t appear to be the case here though. The problem I have with MT is there appears to be a standard for certain players (DD) and others (PK). That’s a real easy way to create cliques in the room and eventually lose it. Ask JM how his preferential treatment of Darche worked out for him?

    It appears the coach is holding PK to a different standard then others on this team. I would prefer that PK be on the ice for 60 minutes a game but knowing that’s not possible he should be out there during the most important minutes.

    • joeybarrie says:

      I don’t think MT is doing anything different. I don’t see his use of PK to have changed at all. I don’t think he is being held to a different standard, I think we are just looking for something now. Since PK won the Norris, everyone is looking at him and analyzing.
      His ice time hasn’t changed. His PP time hasn’t changed. His PK time hasn’t changed. He is an offensive defenseman who can bring the puck into the opposing teams end. This doesn’t apply when the net is empty. Why risk the turnover? Same guys on the PK should be on the ice when its 4 on 4 and you need to block their shots.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        You’re probably right (see my disclaimer) but something struck me as a bit different last night when PK saw no ice in the closing minutes of a one goal game. That said, we all tend to over analyze everything and I am certainly no exception to that. CHeers.

        • Eddie says:

          Jim, you can write this down. If the Habs start losing, Subban will be on the ice 27+ minutes a game, because Therrien knows exactly what Subban can do. As much as I can’t stand Therrien, he’s a professional hockey coach, and you would have to have landed a rover from Mars not to see Subban’s value.

          Since we’re winning, there’s no problem letting guys like Murray or Diaz or Bouillon get some ice.

  45. Hobie Hansen says:

    For any sorry saps who have crappy days off in the middle of the week and are cracking their first beer of the day, 24CH is on TSN in about 20 minutes.


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