About last night …


Welcome back, George Parros.
Dressed for a game in which there were three minor penalties and nothing close to a fight, the Canadiens’ enforcer – along with linemates Ryan White and Michael Blunden – was on the ice for three Minnesota goals.
The Canadiens’ “energy line” was on the bench, however, when Jason Pominville’s second goal of the night gave Minnesota a win the home team did not entirely deserve.
The Canadiens outshot the Wild 31-25.
They fought back from a 3-1 deficit, and a minimum of one point seemed well within reach when Pominville popped the winner.

Will Parros play Saturday night in Colorado?

Max Pacioretty is expected to return to the Canadiens’ lineup against the Avalanche, and coach Michel Therrien will have some juggling to do.

We all know which forward should be in the pressbox Saturday night.

David Desharnais played 17:24 in Minnesota. That’s almost two minutes more ToI than Alex Galchenyuk, who was easily the Canadiens’ best forward.

As was the case Tuesday against Dallas at the Bell Centre, DD had no shots on goal. He went 7-10 in the faceoff circle.

In 14 games this season, Desharnais has no goals and one assist.

He’s in the first year of a four-year contract paying $3.5 million per season. That’s less than half of what Scott Gomez was making, but comparisons to the worst move Bob Gainey ever made grow more apt with each inept Desharnais performance.

I would be astonished if DD is a healthy scratch in Colorado. I think he’ll be centring Rene Bourque and Pacioretty, in the hope that the return of Max-Pac might rekindle the magic of the 2011-’12 season, when the line of Desharnais, Pacioretty and Erik Cole carried the Canadiens … albeit to a last-place finish.

Unless Therrien wants to move Galchenyuk to centre – and why mess with the Canadiens’ best line? – he doesn’t have a lot of options in terms of what to do with DD.

Sit him and play Louis Leblanc at centre? Nah. Too much pressure on a guy who’s finally showing signs of NHL-level talent.

No, Desharnais will play against the Avalanche. And Patrick Roy will be up all night figuring out ways to contain him.

Credit the Canadiens with coming back from 1-0 and 3-1 deficits on the road.

Credit Andrei Markov with another superbly cerebral effort: 24:42, three shots on goal, two blocked shots and assists on all three goals. I don’t know how effective Markov will be in April – especially after playing for Russia in Sochi –  but right now the veteran is playing himself into a new contract with the Canadiens …. or, if the roof falls in, a trade to a Cup contender.

Credit the Canadiens with discipline: two minor penalties against Dallas earlier this week, only one – a Rene Bourque slash – against Minnesota.

Michaël Bournival played another strong game, relentlessly pursuing pucks all over the ice and making good plays for his linemates, Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

In the battle of Norris Trophy contenders, P.K. Subban played 24:05, had a goal and an assist, seven SoG, three hits and ended the game at plus-1.

Ryan Suter played 26:35, blocked four shots and was minus-1.

Jonas Brodin, the Wild’s phenom, played 26:54. He was beaten along the wall by Galchenyuk on the play that led to Brendan Gallagher’s goal, but the Canadiens’ phenom is going to do that to a lot of defencemen.

Especially  when Galchenyuk starts geting more ice time than Desharnais.

That’s it for a truncated version of ALN, peeps.

The Ol’ Blogger is nursing the first cold of the season, and I gotta lace ’em up again in less than 24 hours.

• Meanwhile, in Philadelphia …  bare-fisted punches to the back of the head of a player who doesn’t want to fight, while the cretin announcer talks about what a spark it is for the Flyers. Just shameful. I can’t wait to hear Don Cherry defend Ray Emery Saturday night.










  1. Bill says:

    DDO: playing on his wrong side had nothing to do with Bluillon completely losing his check. Even I would not have lost my man as thoroughly as that. It’s hilarious to see the replay and Pominville is there in the crease with Bouillon a million miles away.

  2. Bill says:

    You want to trade Plekanec. Ok.

    Why again??

  3. FlyAngler says:

    At some point, perhaps when Prust comes back, it would be interesting to see what Bournival might be able to do at centre between Pacioretty and Bourque. He certainly would be a hell of a lot better than the hopeless DD………

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  4. savethepuck says:

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  5. Steeltown Hab says:

    With regards to the Philadelphia madness last night. I’m hoping this opens the door to some house cleaning.

    So many pieces on that team that would be of interest to the habs.


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • Chris says:

      There are actually very few available guys on that roster that Montreal could use. The young guys aren’t going anywhere, and many of the older guys are on terrible contracts.

      The only one I would take is Timonen, and he isn’t going to get traded. He’s retiring with the Flyers (this is his last season).

  6. Steeltown Hab says:

    Bouillon on with Markov for the game winner. Good going Therrien.


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin – @J_Perez22

  7. duffy says:

    Sounds like Emery is Patrick Roy’s kind of Goalie,

  8. The Jackal says:

    So, with Philly in a downward spiral yet again, it looks like they may be trying to make some moves.

    This is not a crazy trade to bring Giroux here, but I’m hoping the Habs are targetting Simmonds and maybe even Coburn.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Chris says:

      Teams at the bottom don’t generally trade building block young players.

      Wayne Simmonds is 25 years old and is signed long-term to a very affordable contract. He isn’t going anywhere.

      Braydon Coburn is 28 years old, and has 3 years left at $4.5 M, just a little more than what Alexei Emelin recently signed for at a comparable age. He’s also not going anywhere.

      The Flyers will make some moves if their struggles continue. But look for their older guys to be in play, not their young stars. Couturier, Simmonds, the Schenns, Giroux, Voracek, and Coburn are probably the untouchables on that roster.

      • Whatever says:

        How old were cornerstones Carter and Richards when traded?

        In other words, Flyers trade and sign anything at anytime. Very unpredictable.

        • Chris says:

          Carter and Richards were traded because of a leadership war with Pronger, Timmonen, Briere and Hartnell. There was also unprofessional behaviour, including excessive partying, a la Higgins and the Kostitsyns.

          We’re not hearing anything like that out of Philly. Their problem this season is slumping scorers and a very weak defence corps.

      • The Jackal says:

        What if we somehow offered a package that improved them while still moving Simmonds, without adversly affecting us as well?

        Maybe like a roster player and a 1st rounder? That sounds like a good trade.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • Chris says:

          Who do you have that can somehow improve them? Simmonds is a top-6 forward. So that means you are sending them one of Eller, Gallagher, Galchenyuk or Pacioretty in return.

          Philadelphia will not trade one of the best young power forwards in the game for anything less, and they certainly aren’t going to do it for anything less if he’s being dealt to a conference rival that they will be fighting for playoff spots next season.

    • montreal ace says:

      Flyers only 3 wins away from a wildcard spot. The playoff format sucks and I will be disgusted if they make it and we don’t.

  9. AH says:

    DD, I don’t dislike the guy, he’s a Hab and I want him to do well, but what a joke he’s become. So what does his year project out to be, 6 assists?? for 3.5 million??? Sick and tired of hearing how they have to try and find the right linemates to get him going?? What about something called “self-motivation”?. Toss his arse upstairs and maybe he’ll develop some “pressbox motivation”. Boone says too much pressure to put LL in for him?, I say screw that, and let him play, could he do worse than DD? I wish I could get paid 3.5KK in my job and be a “slow starter”.

  10. The Jackal says:

    The Jackal’s Quick Hits – a new HIO feature, enjoy, folks!

    -DD, O DD, where art thou? I was defending DD here last night, and let’s be honest, the guy has talent and has battled through a lot of adversity to make the NHL. If you’ve ever done something competitively or taken a high stakes test, you’ll know that confidence is a big part of the equation for being successful. DD has the right stuff, but his confidence is lacking sorely, but if he does get going, he will be a strong part of our offence.

    -Speaking of DD, it will be interesting to see what the team does with our forward bunch moving forward. Remember, hindsight is 20/20, and MB may be regretting the Briere contract and possibly the DD contract – Bournival and LL are playing their way into the lineup, effectively forcing MB to move veterans – they are playing the way he wants young players to play. So we were certainly approaching a pivotal moment, and I think there will be some moves. The favourite HIO candidates are: Gionta, DD, and maybe even Pleks, and that is just at forward.

    -Despite our injury woes, we are still playing solid hockey. Some have noted that we are very high on the GAA list, and that is great, but I think that our defence is still weak – blocking shots is great, but being hemmed in the zone is going to burn us. Other than the moves at forward that seem inevitable, provided LL and Bournival keep it up, our defence is the greatest long-term concern.

    -Lastly, MT is a bit of “what the hell is he thinking” kind of coach sometimes. And no, this is not about the PK-gate speculation, which if left in the air can be really toxic and bad news for the team. But anyhow, I’m talking about MT’s match-up calling. I’m no expert, but it seemed odd to put our third pairing with our fourth line after being scored on twice… let alone thrice. And speaking of match-ups, MT needs to be playing the EGG line almost 20 mins a night, unless another line is playing better. I understand the strategy to get DD going, but let’s limit him to 15 minutes and play the other 2 lines.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  11. adamkennelly says:

    with Vinny injured for the Flyers – any chance they take Briere back? Habs will pay his salary…maybe toss in DD and ask for Simmonds and Hartnell back…piece of cake.

  12. jeffhabfan says:

    Played a good game last night but got burned again by the Habs killer Pominville. Tonight will be tougher game against a real hot team.

  13. Stevie.Ray says:

    Briere could be back within the next week. Is it time to sit Desharnais and put Briere between Pacioretty and Bourque?

    • ebk says:

      absolutely, if his play continues to be this bad, he needs to either be sent down to the AHL to regain his confidence or be sat in the press box for a stretch.

  14. HabFab says:

    NHL Transactionist –

    BUFFALO SABRES: Named Randy Cunneyworth pro scout.

    It’s now official, has been rumored for the past week.

  15. Ozmodiar says:

    Dollars to donuts, Max will play with DD tonight. So, don’t be disappointed, folks. I think it will be more interesting to see what happens on the PP.

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