About last night …

It was only the third game of the season.

Carey Price was brilliant, to the tune of 44 saves. And he could not be faulted on any of the shots that beat him.

The Canadiens came from ahead to blow 2-0 and 3-2 leads, but the team salvaged a point.

And there was enough excitement up and down the ice to keep the opening night crowd rocking – from Brian Gionta’s mostly-French player introductions right through the loud booing of referees Don Van Massenhoven and Steve Kozari. 

Price was profoundly pissed and did not want to talk about his own stellar performance. And Jacques Martin repeated his usual mantra about special teams: Two power-play goals for the Lightning, another goose egg for the Canadiens’ PP, which is 0-for-the-season.

This is the time of year when the Leafs are in first place, and perhaps we shouldn’t be reading too much into game results … at least not for a while.

But there were disquieting signs at the Bell Centre, ominous intimations that this team will be in a wire-to-wire battle for a playoff spot.

Simply put, the beginning of this season looks uncomfortably like the end of last season: a Canadiens goaltender standing on his head to keep the team in games against a superior opponent.

• Question for discussion: Was Jacques Martin schooled by Guy Boucher, and if so, what are the implications for the season that awaits us?

Tampa Bay just kept coming and coming and coming some more. 

Steven Stamkos had eight shots on goal and scored on the power-play to send the game into OT.

Teddy Purcell, the pride of Newfoundland (thanks for that note, J.T.), had eight shots as well.

Dominic Moore won 10 of 18 faceoffs and assisted on Ryan Malone’s OT winner. In the first fan election of the season, Malone won automatically because he scored in OT. That';s one of the system’s rules. Malone had six hits and spent the night in and around Price’s kitchen, wreaking havoc and causing jitters among Canadiens defenders.

The usual suspects showed up. Martin St. Louis had five SoG and scored on a short backhand. Vincent Lecavalier seemed to be on the puck on every shift.

In addition to 48 shots on goal, TB had 20 misses and 17 shots that were blocked by Canadiens defenders (including five by Josh Gorges, best of the Dmen in the season to date). That’s 85 touches worth of puck possession, to 27 SoG, 14 misses and 13 blocks for the Canadiens.

There were some good shifts. Tomas Plekanec scored, added an assist and finished plus-2. Linemate Andrei Kostitsyn scored a beauty 31 seconds after St. Louis had tied it 2-2 … and there was treason to believe that would be enough.

Credit Guy Boucher with inculcating is philosophy of utter relentlessness. The Lightning forechecked aggressively, won many puck battles and were at their best when the game was in the balance.

That was the scary aspect of this game.

Yes, the season is very young. But if the Canadiens find themselves battling Tampa Bay for a playoff spot among the lower seedings … well, it could get very interesting.

I thought the TB defence would be suspect. And it’s not like they’re the ’76 Canadiens on the back end, but that Victor Hedman kid played a game-high 26:14, had four shots on goal and used his considerable size effectively.

Tampa Bay has an unusual schedule. From Jan. 23 to Feb. 25, the Lightning will play 12 straight games at home.

In the race for playoff positions, Boucher’s team could sail into March looking pretty good.

But that’s a long way off.

In the short term, Tampa Bay served notice that they are a difficult team for the Canadiens, or anyone else, to handle.

In lamenting his team’s numerous penalties, Jacques Martin said “this league is too good and teams are too close” to have breakdowns in discipline that cost Ws.

Some observations from Seat 39 in the pressbox:

• The power play has now gone 0-for-3 in each of the Canadiens’ games.

• Roman Hamrlik played 20:07. His timing in the O-zone looked a bit off, but Hamrlik showed no other ill effects of his inactivity.

• P.K. will be high risk, high reward all season long. Will his creativity and spontaneity survive Martin’s attempts to rein him in? And will the coach’s survive Subban’s youthful indiscretions?

• Quality minutes again from Jeff Halpern and Dustin Boyd.

• Benoit Pouliot had five hits. But he hasn’t scored since March.

• Gionta (minus-2 in the game) and Gomez skated miles and miles and miles but still lack finish in the O-zone. Gomez plays on the peripgery, and it ain’t working.

• Ryan O’Byrne took an early penalty … again … but bounced back to play a decent game and finished plus-1.

149 Comments

  1. sidhu says:

    The question for the Habs world may not be whether Carey can be #1, but how long JM has before Muller should take over.

  2. Scott in Montreal says:

    Gionta was a better player last year as an A than as a C this year. Stop trying to be Captain Captain and go back to potting goals at opportune times, ‘kay Bri? Thx

  3. habaholic68NJ says:

    Please Mr. Molson.  Do us all a favor and promote JM to some executive VP job upstairs and get us a real coach.  After over a year, we are tired of this reality series.

  4. Mr. Biter says:

    I was told by a poster last week MAB is injured.

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    Mitch Melnick picked this up from the game:

    A veteran NHL scout volunteered this while emerging from a crowded post
    game elevator, “Man, the refereeing in this league is bad”.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  6. Propwash says:

    Allowing 40+ shots ain’t gonna win you many games.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  7. Chuck says:

    Good point. Major injuries to key players certainly have haunted this team over the past couple of seasons.

  8. Chuck says:

    Agreed. If Price ends the season with a .914 SV%, we’ll be a playoff team (if the team can cut down on the 40-shot games, that is.)

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    True dat Tony.

  10. SeriousFan09 says:

    Agree! Subban’s feeling the pressure of trying to be #79 so he’s trying to use everything in his arsenal to push against the opposition but he isn’t up to it yet. He’s got crazy talent but that needs to be tempered by Markov coming back and letting him take a reduced role.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  11. saskhabfan says:

    Halak sure was a god against the flyers. How did “god” get pulled 4 times during the playoffs? LOL Your such a whiny douche,but keep the posts coming. We all need something to laugh at. “you know less about hockey then i thought”.

  12. Ian Cobb says:

    nice one bird!

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    Good post JF except for a couple of things. Markov back means O’Byrne sits.

    I don’t think he will make the difference until we all learn to play for 60 min.

  14. ManApart says:

    Oh ya, Halak was no good during last years playoffs. What a moron you are.

  15. MathMan says:

    I don’t think that’s “obvious” at all.

    Don’t you think that even if TB is superior on offense (assuming this is even true), a good defensive team with a good defensive system would be able to limit their chances?

    Wouldn’t the result then be fewer chances on both sides (the Habs limit their offense to concentrate on defense and limit Tampa’s chances) than Tampa outshooting and outchancing the Habs almost two for one (basically, Tampa is allowed to do whatever they like with the puck)?

     

  16. Puck Bard says:

    What Tony said.

  17. sholi2000.com says:

    I’m a big fan of Eller as well.  I see great things in him.  I hope to see him playing top 6 lines very soon.  The guy can score and set up with the best of them. 

    They Call Me Shane

  18. ManApart says:

    I was right about the team when I commented in December, with price as the starter. It was only when Halak became the number 1, that miracles ensued, and then barely.

  19. Nahlsy says:

    Just an observation Chuck. Do you recall the last time the Habs had a healthy Price and a healthy Markov regularly available to put in the lineup at the same time?

    Price broke his ankle 2 Decembers ago, by the time he was starting to get healthy again Markov went out right before the playoffs that year. Markov went out in game 1 last year and Halak was getting showcased by the time Markov returned last year (although I don’t think Markov was ever close to healthy last year). No Markov yet this year so it’s been nearly 24 months now since a healthy Price has been able to play behind a healthy Markov. I have a feeling that having both healthy and in the lineup at the same time will start turning the 47 shots vs Tampa and 50something shots vs Nashville into 20-30 shot games with much easier shots to try to handle and more offensive support at the other end when the playmaker that starts the rush is back in the lineup. (especially with Subban helping to shoulder some of that transition game’s load)

  20. notbigbird says:

    O come on. JM takes notes after every goal against. What more do you want?

  21. likehoy says:

    PK played by far his worst game in a habs uniform (could that be cause of guy boucher coaching on the other end?) but he`ll grow and learn from this. taking two bad penalties cost us the game pretty much and he had a few giveaways and seems to be nervous and rushing his play a bit. i think the pressure has got to him and he`s thinking he has to do more than he has to. he`s constantly chirping and becoming a target for every team

    the return of markov will be welcomed back greatly cause it will reduce PK`s pressure and ice-time. instead of playing and average of 23:04, subban`s time can be reduced to about 20 minutes. I can`t believe people were saying PK`s ready to lead the team and we don`t need markov anymore…if there`s anything that`s been shown in the first 3 games is that PK`s still got a long road to becoming `prime time`as cammalleri would say. hopefully PK gets into gear as soon as possible!

    on a side note…lars eller wins all his battles, they`ve gotta get him out of the 3rd line!

    - I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  22. tony d says:

    I am just as frustrated at last night’s loss as everyone here. However as much as I’m not a fan of JM, you can’t hang the entire loss on him. How many times have we seen the end of a 3rd period tie end in similar fashion. Guys flailing in front of the net, nobody able to clear the puck out of our zone or Carey (despite a fabulous game) unable to cover the puck and get a whistle. Sure the PK call was BS, but are we gonna blame the refs all season. We didn’t win enough battles last night and the team that really wanted the W got it. As for Cammi amd PK, they have to leave their egos in the dressing room and get back to being team players.

  23. havok says:

    Price very good but imo 4 goals on 47 shots is not that good…

    YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!

    .914 Save percentage against St louis, Stamkos,Lecavalier, and Gagne….sheesh

  24. G-Man says:

    What a crock. 3 games in and Boucher “out-coached” Martin. What rot!

    1 phantom call on PK and a bs PP and voila! Game tied. Thank you refs. You are ever so competent as usual.

    That’s the 1st time in 2 seasons that I saw Price actually battling out there. None of that laid back lackadaisical crap I’ve been getting used to, where he relies strictly on technique. Kudos to him.

    For all those saying the Habs “sat back” after getting a lead; a 2-0 lead means the other team has to adjust (and get lucky). Thanks to the refs keeping a very close eye on Cammi and PK, TB won in OT.

    Opening ceremony was pfffttttt. “I know guys, let’s all stand in a circle while the captain introduces us.” That’s what PA announcers do. Let him do his job. Lame.

  25. JF says:

    We played a great first period, but after that we were on our heels for most of the game, and it was mainly thanks to Price that we got a point out of it.  His performance for me was the most encouraging part of the evening.  His concentration and focus look better than last year, he’s tracking the puck better, and he looks faster.  We have one win, but neither of our losses can be blamed on him.

    Eller looked great, and I’d like to see him on one of the top two lines.  Andrei Kostitsyn looks stronger than last year, and it seems to me he’s playing more physically.  I thought Pouliot also played a decent game, so I’m not ready to give up on him yet even though he hasn’t scored.  But what’s happened to Gomez and Gionta?  Last season, even when their line didn’t score, they were making things happen out there, Gomez with his speed and passing, Gionta with his willingness to drive to the net.  So far this year they’ve been almost invisible.  I wonder if Gionta has been feeling anxious about the ordeal of introducing his teammates in French, and now that that’s behind him, his play will pick up.

    We badly need Markov back.  The defence looked at times terrible last night (although I didn’t think Tampa’s was good either), but our inability to score on the powerplay is killing us.  If we can’t get it going wiith Markov back, I would seriously think of signing MAB and using him in a limited role on defence and on the powerplay.  No powerplay = no playoffs. 

    I was glad to see O’Byrne back on the ice after his over-the-glass penalty.  Last year he was usually benched after that sort of mistake.  JM needs to have a bit more patience than he showed last season; if O’Byrne is to be benched for every mistake, he might as well be traded now, because he’ll never develop the confidence to succeed.  Apart from the penalty, he played an OK game.

    With the way we were outshot and generally out-hustled, I was happy to get away with the point, but I can understand Price’s frustration.  He deserved better – as was so often the case last year.  I remember in particular a late-season game against Carolina when he played extremely well, but we lost 2-1, and the fans booed him.

  26. HabsMitch says:

    I think people are reading way to much into Guy Boucher winning the coaching battle and Jacque Martin sitting on the lead…I think it’s  a lot simpler than that. TB has way more offensive firepower than Montreal so obviously they will outshoot and outskate the Habs…it doesn’t matter whos behind either bench

  27. solomio says:

    Jeez guys don’t freak out! Habs played a pretty good game. Yes it looked an awful lot like last year for the Bolts last 2 goals what with CP scrambling around on his butt and fallen defencemen all about, leading to goals but all is not lost.

    Gomez / Gionta and whomever should be made the 3rd line.

    Pouliot played very well. Spacek….. not good. Price very good but imo 4 goals on 47 shots is not that good.

    On the Bolts tying goal Malone took out 2 Habs in front of the net. One at least should have garnered 2 minuted. PK’s penalty at the end was baloney. Seriously we need MAB on the point for the PP.

    More to say but gotta run for work.

    Seriously take heart….Habs looked good out there…for the most part

  28. SlovakHab says:

    Agree with both posts.

    Loving Eller and Price so far, not so much Cammy and PK.

  29. Fargo Habs Fan says:

    First things first:  Timo, good to have you back.  Life here isn’t the same w/out you.  Second:  I’m so tired of the count, Jacques Martin.  I realize I’m a washed up junior player, but a little bit of killer instinct isn’t so bad, no?

    -Dustin-

    “The good thing about drinking during games is if they lose, you’re too drunk to care during and too hungover to care after.” – J.T.

  30. ZepFan2 says:

    “Told you guys.”

    “Same as last years playoffs”

    The playoffs that you told us we’d never make, let alone beat the, “Washingtons or Pittsburghs” of the NHL.

    Yeah, you really told us.

    ————————————————————————–

    “Wonder how tomorrow could ever follow today.”

  31. Chorske says:

    I love the work ethic, the fact that he never gives up on a puck. And his energy level is high, without crossing the line into irresponsible energy (PK, you reading this?).

  32. cameronwalker89 says:

    Honestly, to light a fire under Bennys ass I think Eller or “Euro-Staal” as he shall now be called should get a crack at the top 6 I know its early but shake it up and see if it gets Gommer going with those soft sweet hands.

     

    “The day you hear someone call me captain will be the day I buy a boat.”
    -The Flower

  33. Chuck says:

    He’s certainly looking like a keeper.

  34. Chorske says:

    I don’t expect the world from PK. But I also expect more discipline, more attentiveness on the ice. I think he played terribly tonight, and (to cap off an error-filled evening) cost us the game with an completely unnecessary slash. He needs to a) apologuize to Price and b) learn from the experience.

  35. Chorske says:

    Forgot to mention. The way Eller and Price are playing, I may need to eat some words regarding a certain trade. Eller was simply amazing- a very encouraging young player.

  36. Chorske says:

    Finally managed to digest that game.

    Price was incredible. And my heart breaks for this guy, because his team let him down EXACTLY THE SAME WAY so many times last year, and not one bloody thing seems to have changed.

    And I don’t care how many fanboys and fangirls hate me for this- but SUbban and Cammalleri were simply awful tonight. Cammalleri looks bored, confused, smartassy, and he is making horrible decisions with the puck- that lame attempt to carry in in the second period was rookie stuff, complete crap. And his zone clearance attempts are soft, wavy, halfhearted. He needs to wake up. As for Subban- this is the NHL bub: doesn’t matter if you come back heroically to break up a potential 2 on 1, you can’t just sit there and admire your own play, you have to stay in the game and cover your man. How many blown covers? How many saves did Price have to make to save PKs ass? Rule #1 at the point on the PP: get the shot in, no matter what, and get it past the defenders covering you; his blown slap shot (most overrated shot in hockey) and the subsequent 2 on 1 was saved by an amazing stop by Price. Urgh. My ulcer.

    Price was a hero tonight. Subban and Cammalleri, not so much. Reveillez-vous, les boys.

  37. Exit716 says:

    The guy on the other side of the ice tonight.

     

  38. Scott in Montreal says:

    True enough. I hope Subban doesn’t feel the world on his shoulders. But that is what I think I am seeing right now. Tough night for him all around. The only thing he may have done wrong is try too hard.

  39. ProHabs says:

    After watching The System for the last year and 3 games,  I miss Guy Carbonneau. Can Martin even explain his system and what good is it.

  40. Habitant out West says:

    Hedmen, in addition to his SOG, had a few opportunities high in the slot and missed the net.

     

    Hamrlik was very solid.

     

    The bottom six looks very effective in comparison to the first half of last season.

     

    Can we replace Gomez with Eller at number 2? Next year?

     

  41. ManApart says:

    LOl, that’s the solution.

  42. ManApart says:

    Told you guys. Even with price playing pretty decent, Habs get outplayed badly. Same as last years playoffs, Halak was a God, they win. Halak just good, game over. Gauthier and Gainey’s team are showing the cracks, I’ve said they’ve had all along. How’s the Gomez trade looking now lol. This team goes nowhere until Gainey, Gauthier and the whole crew is out. I know a lot of you know already, but one day the rest of you will catch up and understand.

  43. sidhu says:

    Eller to line 2, Benny to line 3.  If Benny doesn’t score this month, he sits for White. 

     

  44. Black Snake Moen says:

    No way, atleast pouliot is hitting people. Moen can sit for a few games

  45. Matt_in_TO says:

    Eller to the 2nd line

     

    - In Price We Trust

  46. Curtis O Habs says:

    Pouliot out, Ryan White in.  Markov returns and everything will be groovy.

  47. sidhu says:

    Somewhere, getting beat wide by a teenager, MAB is at a pickup game smiling because our PP is 0-for-9.

    I’m surprised there are no faux calls for The Breezer to join our struggling PP or for Souray to be picked up off of re-entry waivers (when/if that happens)

  48. Black Snake Moen says:

    These kinda losses are always so discouraging….just holding on another minute woulda had Price 1st star with confidence riding high, but instead, a phantom call leads to one of the nights where the kid feels like he just can’t catch a break.

      People here have got to lay off PK.  That was a complete b.s. call, and sure, one can say you can never completely blame the refs, or that getting outshot by 20 means you deserve to lose the game, but a complete PHANTOM call under 2 min. to go in a one goal game is garbage.   This team desperately needs Markov back, the puck movement and subsequent possession will be so much better dispersed throughout the D-pairings.  I think OBs time is up here.  He’s just an awkward puck handler and he’s by far taken the most delay of game penalties in the league since it came into effect, I’d put money on it.  PK will be fine, I think OB needs to be shipped off, and if we need a D-man with size some games, call up Henry, maybe he’ll fight someone.

    Gionta and Gomez have been garbage, Pouliot has actually been playing well, he doesn’t deserve to be thrown under the bus yet.  It’s clear that Pleks-Cammy will carry this team, and if they get AK consistently on board, we will have a stellar top line.  G & G, I just don’t know, I can’t say I’ve seen one promising shift all year yet.  Pyatt and Boyd didn’t show up tonight, Boyds legs looked particularly tired, there wasn’t any battles won by those guys, I felt.  It’s scary to admit, but Max is a huge part of this team, he’s gonna have a bounce back this year, he knows his game better and what he needs to do.  I hope that Moen doesn’t eventually plays himself off this team.  What happened to the guy who was the epitome of the take-no-prisoners approach to hockey.  Ever see him play 2 years ago for the ducks? That guy is non-existent, and I was so excited about his signing a couple summers ago.  There’s just nothing to his game anymore.  This team needs some infusion from guys like Ryan White.  He would have gladly fought Downie at any chance he could.  Max won’t be able to stir things up and run from tough guys for 82 games, someones gotta step up, be it Moen, White, whoever.  Eller needs top 6 linemates, period, but I’ve still been impressed with  Pouliots physicality and skating, his linemates have just been comatose, literally.  Putting Eller with G&G wouldn’t do the kid any good either I fear.  Bottom line though, having 
    Markov back will cut down the SOG by 7-8 shots.  And will Spacek EVER hit the net?!?  He and Gill played pretty weak tonight.  

    And yes Martin was taken to school, but some key guys lacked spark and looked lost, i.e. Gomez, gionta, gill, obyrne, etc.

  49. Timo says:

    as the poster below so eloquently put it… and water is wet.

  50. SeriousFan09 says:

    Well it is nice to know people outside of Montreal’s organization and fans thought it was **** as well.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  51. habitual says:

    Somebody below asked a great question, in response to the already predictable and fatiguing calls to fire the coach.  Has there been a coach that has lasted more than two years in Montreal in the 15 years?

    There are only so many variations that any coach can bring, and then it is up to the players.  Three games in I get why TSN suggested the Habs would finish 9th, and why they predicted such low point production from the forwards. 

    Say what you want about Martin.  He could stuff a roman candle up his butt and belch toads, but it isn’t going to make the middling offense we have better.

  52. Chuck says:

    “Holy revelation, Batman!”

  53. habs youngtimer says:

    and Pouliot, who hasn’t scored a goal since March, is better?????

  54. habs youngtimer says:

    Boucher!

  55. ooder says:

    it’s ok man.. it was just a drill..

    p.s. welcome back buddy

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  56. habs youngtimer says:

    his talent isn’t crazy. he’s very mediocre.

    typical habs fans overhyping an average, or below average Dman.

    his defence is god awful!

  57. Timo says:

    Nearly gave me a heart attack seeing Picard being introduced before the game. Thought he was going to play and were going to have 7 D. Another one of Carbo era nightmares.

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    Wow, you think the Habs are slow? Get real. Subban an average defencemen, yeah I’d like to see you try and do the job of a top-10 NHL defencemen when you don’t even have 20 pro games under your belt yet. Even the TSN analysts who usually love to dump on Montreal think Subban’s a rising talent. Give young players they’re not yet ready to handle and they will struggle as they try and go beyond what they sohuld be doing as in Subban’s case while he tries to be Markov for us.

    Guerin’s too old now and he could barely get over 20 goals as Crosby’s winger and lacks two-way ability at his age and weak speed, we made him look pretty bad in the playoffs as I recall.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  59. quentin_stuckley says:

    “pouliot out, ryan white in.”  now there’s an intriguing idea i’d be interested in seeing.  it’s two bad pouliot isn’t on a two-way.  i really think playing in hamilton and scoring goals will elevate his confidence.  no way he’d make it there though.  i think he’d be plucked off waivers.  

  60. ooder says:

    so u think the habs are slow but you want to sign a geezer like Buerin?

    trade Hamrlik? really??? and play who on D.. picard lol

    give me a break Hammer stays and for good reason.

    i do agree that JM needs to be more active on the bench but then again i don’t play for him so i have no idea what goes on there.

    Subban will make mistakes, just like any other NHL player but if u can’t see his upside then i dunno what to tell u

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  61. Timo says:

    Nah… I’ll stick with blaming Martin. Gio may have had a crappy game but Martin gave us The System.

  62. SeriousFan09 says:

    How about blaming our captain for not setting a damn example on the ice? I love Gionta but for crying out loud, he was playing better after he fractured his foot and wasn’t pulled from action for a week.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  63. habs youngtimer says:

    I was amazed at how much animation and communication Boucher has with his players.

    then you look at JM, who has zero animation, zero communication, and realize why habs constantly lose.

    maybe if JM would show some emotion, open his f’****g mouth, the players would be more disciplined, and show more jump in their game.

    truth is, habs are a bad team. they aren’t fast, rather slow, particularly on D. we used to be the flying frenchmen. now we’re just slowmen. couldn’t even keep up with TB, and not in the same physical condition as TB.

    when habs learn how to draft, and get an NHL calibre coach and GM, they will improve, but not until then.

    and BTW, Pouliot should be gone by midseason, replaced by Eller. I’m hoping tho, that Hamrlik is traded and Guerin is signed.

    habs have 1 scoring line. that’s it. they haven’t scored more than 3 goals in any game, their PP is zero for all their chances, their D is the slowest in the league, and they are by far the most undisciplined team .

    Subban is a very average Dman, and I think he will end up playing forward on the top line, because as usual, we don’t have 6 top forwards. also, Subban is a defensive liability, always pinching, getting into trouble and allowing odd man rushes as a result. unfortunately this city always overhypes players, and they did it with Subban. he’s very mediocre defensively, has no shot, and not great offensively.

    what does all that mean?

    it means a top 5 pick in the upcoming draft. habs will finish 13th in the east as well.

    this will be a very very loooooooooooong season for this team. lots and lots of losses.

    but I’m not going to use excuses for their losses.

    they just stink!

     

     

  64. Scott in Montreal says:

    We should be happy to average a point a game until Markov returns. Besides that, TB has lots of fire-power and they showed it tonight. Same with Pittsburgh. As for Toronto, nothing makes sense in Mtl-Tor games. TB is not last year’s team, that is for sure.

    That said, you are correct – the second line was not terribly distinguished tonight. Gomez and Gionta have some kinks to iron out. Gomer did have a couple of decent scoring chances, but couldn’t cash them in tonight. Also: Subban looked stressed and that did not help his game.

  65. Timo says:

    I am getting really tired calling for coaches head… Gainey, Carbo, Gainey, Martin… when will this end? Can this organization not find a good coach?

  66. quentin_stuckley says:

    our power play lives and dies with markov.  and right now he can’t play.  p.k.’s trying, but lacks markov’s experience.  when 79 returns, so will our powerplay.

  67. Les-Habitants says:

    I know it’s only game 3, but my biggest critique so far is the 2nd line, or the Pouliot-Gomez-Gionta line.  They need to find a way to create some sustained pressure in the offensive zone, cause right now all the dangerous plays are being created by Plek’s line (with some nice work from all 3).

    But, like I said: game 3.  Gomez started slow…real slow last year, so hopefully the comfort of some familiar linemates allows him to use his considerable offensive abilities.  But the sooner he starts firing with Gio and Benny, the better.

    Final note: Hammer was a very nice addition to the lineup.  It’ll be awesome once Markov gets in there

  68. habs001 says:

    is gion injured? he has not looked himself….pouliot getting near 40 games with one goal…he may never be more tha a player that gets a few goals on a streak but has long slumps…in that case we might as well have white instead of him…the pp is terrible…when will martin realize that that gorges on the second unit does not work…each pp we have 60 seconds to score before the second unit comes out than we play not to give up a short handed goal…only 3 games but looks like many nights like tonight. where we can win many of these games and have 90 plus points or lose these games and be around 500…very few games we will dominate…

  69. quentin_stuckley says:

    i thought eller played very well last night.  he seemed poised.  i wish pouliot would bury one.  he had an excellent chance in the game last night.  in the slot, pretty much alone and he fired a laser.  unfortunately it missed the net completely.  i’m not sure if mike smith even reacted to it.  plus, the camera panned onto pouliot after the miss.  he looks disheartened.  like his confidence is waning.  i think eller could play on the g & g line.  

  70. bobinsask says:

    Looks like it is going to be another long year listening to Boone’s love affair with Scott Gomez… 

  71. MathMan says:

    I think the Habs need to look for a good puck-possession coach from outside the organization. Nothing against Muller, but I’m not convinced he has the strategic chops it would take. Boucher seems like he does, but it’s early and that ship has sailed (sigh). But Boucher can’t be the only one out there.

  72. Timo says:

    Oh please… there are countless examples where coaches yelling at refs at the RIGHT time have ensured they  called the game more evenly. It would be nice if Martin did ANYTHING behind the bench.  

  73. SeriousFan09 says:

    They also get fined and given bench minors. Given MTL’s ability to get fair officating, which do you think is coming?

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  74. habaholic68NJ says:

    He is very good at writing notes on his little pad every time the opposition scores a goal.

  75. Exit716 says:

    I find it hilarious that Martin has to get Kirk Muller to fight his battles with the officials. Maybe Kirk is the real coach and Martin is only around to speak to the French press.

     

     

  76. Exit716 says:

    Then it’s time for Molson to tell Bettman what’s what and who funds his welfare projects.

    Kozari shouldn’t be officiating above house league.

     

  77. SeriousFan09 says:

    Last 3 games? Can’t say I’m impressed but the NHL season is 82 games long and whether anyone likes it or not, no matter how much it might be assigned as Halak’s heroics and Muller’s coaching work more than JM’s, we hit the Conference Final with Jacques Martin.

    Boudreau was notably out-coached and JM successfully exploited the weakness of the Penguins depth chart by killing Crosby’s playoff momentum. You can dislike him, claim he ran off future superstar Latendresse but you know what? Latendresse just got called out by his MIN coach for being a fat bastard. Results speak to something sometimes and the Habs fans need to stop pretending the next coach will solve all their problems.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  78. SeriousFan09 says:

    Gomez’s line failed to make in impact and that’s 18:24 and 18:18 from Gionta that for many critical minutes, did not do much. When facing a team like TBL that will go all-offence, Habs need better than just Pleks/Cammy/AK counterpunching.

    If weak coaching could ride an underdog team right to the Conference Final, than surely a top team with weak coaching could get there as well, yet alas, Washington still is frustrated by early failure and SJ gets spanked a lot. People looking to get guys out of town will always minimize accomplishments but JM still out-coached a “player’s coach” in Boudreau and a ‘new-wave’ guy in Bylsma.

     

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  79. MathMan says:

    If it was only 3 games, I wouldn’t be worried. But it’s the exact same crap from last year and Halak had to stand on his head to keep that club out of the conference.

    We hit the conference finals with Jacques Martin. We also hit the conference finals with Pierre Gervais. And Gervais deserves more credit. If the Habs had lost to the Caps in 5 like they by all rights should have (the Caps utterly dominated Game 5, some outcoaching there) then this wouldn’t even be an argument. But Halak had a well-timed hot streak and possibly saved Jacques Martin’s job, much to the Habs’ long-term detriment.

    Like I said, if the team that outchances the other two to one or three to one is getting outcoached, then you have an odd definition. The reality of the playoffs is that the Habs got dominated and Halak managed to eke out wins by standing on his head. That is it. Everything else about the Habs’s “defensive” system having an impact is belied by the fact that the Pens and especially the Caps turned the Montreal zone in a shooting gallery and accumulated absurd numbers of quality scoring chances.

    If Martin is a good coach, then the quality of the roster outside the crease is that of a lottery team. And I just don’t think that it’s the case.

  80. SeriousFan09 says:

    Martin used what he had, which wasn’t an All-Star unit to build a strategy around goaltending that could win games. Sometimes you know you can’t counter-punch so you have to take the hits and force your opponent to make mistakes.

    Mike Babcock had to do much the same on Giguere’s Conn Smythe performance in 2003 to hit the Cup Finals, he was outmatched all the way through by superior teams and relied on what scoring he had plus monster goaltending. Does he suck? You can’t always win the way people want you to because what you want to win isn’t there so you use what you h ave.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  81. MathMan says:

    Martin designed a system that required absolutely unsustainable goaltending to win games. It’s like he wasn’t even trying to compete for puck possession. It’s bad, bad, bad throughout. The only way you win this way is via luck and that’s how the Habs got to the ECF. Anaheim was much the same in 2003, incidentally.

    Building a system that “relies” on good goaltending is nonsensical, especially if that system results in you allowing yourself to get outchanced. Good goaltending is good on 20 shots as much as on 40. If your goalie is fantastic, you take more offensive chances — you don’t let him get shelled to give the opponents more cracks at seeing if your excellent goalie can be beat! And you’re not “forcing” your opponent to make mistakes — with zero pressure, what you’re doing is praying really hard that they make one.

    Basically, the Martin system involves letting the other team dominate the Habs. His system does not make sense no matter what your roster looks like. It’s like shooting oneself in the foot. It reminded me of Norway facing Canada, except that Norway would at least try to keep them from entering the zone at speed. And no, personally I don’t think the Habs’ roster is so bad that they are Norway to the Canada of all the other teams in the league.

    But you say it’s a roster issue. I ask you again: is your opinion that the Habs’ roster is lottery-quality, then? Because that’s what we were looking at last year, barring an elite-quality performance by the goaltending tandem.

    Are the Habs the worst club in the league, player-for-player, outside the crease?

  82. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs couldn’t match their opponent’s in a slugging match and whether you like the strategy or not, it was the only avenue to a playoff round win available because of depth issues. The point is to win and that strategy got the Habs through 2 rounds, maybe the goaltending was unsustainable but the point is to get the wins as they can and that’s what went on.

    Habs offence was outmatched by the offence of the opposition, very badly after losing their ace puck-mover in Markov and they couldn’t afford to go punch-for-punch with their opponents. You may not like how it went down but the strategy was the only method to win.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  83. MathMan says:

    You seem to be operating under the idea that the Habs are playing some sort of effective defensive style. Nothing could be further from the truth. A good defensive team does not routinely concede 45 shots in three periods, and does not get outchanced two to one on a regular basis. In my mind, an effective defensive system would limit chances against. You know, they would actually generate defense.

    Welcome to modern hockey. There’s no such thing as offense vs. defense, it’s all intertwined and the best method of defense is to be having the puck. Puck possession drives victory, it is key to both offense and defense. The best-coached teams understand this. If you collapse around your net and try to defend that way you’re just giving the opponent the opportunities they need to beat you while you’re generating no offense. It’s a high-risk, low-reward strategy that gives you the worst of both words.

    Whether you like it or not, playing dump and flee and collapsing around the net is a losing strategy regardless of your roster. It’s a strategy where you know you’re going to get shelled, and you just pray that you can fluke enough pucks the other way and you pray that your goalie stands on his head. It’s not some sort of clever defensive approach that you do if you can’t match the other guys offensively. It’s giving those better offensive guys more ammunition. Instead of trying to match the opponent punch-for-punch, you just stand back, lower your guard, and let them whale on you. It’s just stupid.

    And it’s not like the only alternative is to run and gun. An effective defensive system does not look like what Martin has implemented. An effective defensive system would involve puck pressure when the team doesn’t have the puck, attempts to create and capitalize on turnovers, and a neutral zone trap that prevents the opponent from hitting the zone at speed. I think the Habs have the ability to at least play something like that. Ideally they would have that, and add a strong puck possession game when they have the puck, focussed on retaining control and driving the puck towards the offensive zone as much as possible. But the Martin Habs can’t even trap. They just go back and collapse and let the other guys play around in their zone. Small wonder they get torched all the time.

     

     

  84. MathMan says:

    Nevermind whether Boucher is the man for the job or not: do you honestly feel Martin is doing a good job right now?

    That’s the key problem, he’s not delivering. His team is abysmal at even strength and it’s not improving. The only thing keeping afloat is goaltending. Still.

    Martin has been a disaster. If he doesn’t start delivering, the organization should absolutely start having the discussion about who should replace him. Boucher would have been the prime candidate and, since the Habs’ #1 area of need right now is a coach capable of understanding the modern game and implementing a puck possession system, he does look like exactly what the Habs needed. But he’s not the only candidate.

    And please don’t give me the argument that his getting hauled to the ECF by goaltending and luck somehow makes him competent. His team got dominated all playoffs long, if anything they were worse than in the regular season, and their 9-10 record reflects it.

  85. Bill says:

    Well, Boucher is the least of my concerns. I don’t know if he is the real deal or not, and my main point is that Martin is … lost. It’s been over a year and it’s always the same. Outshot. Outplayed. Outscored. Forget Boucher. What is Martin going to do to get the Habs in charge of games, instead of hanging on for dear life?

    BTW, you hit the nail on the head when you described Martin as the coach who “was there” when the Habs reached the ECF! Beautifully sums up his contribution to that achievement.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  86. Scott in Montreal says:

    No, for what I meant, go back to my comment and read it properly this time. Are you a product of the Quebec post-80s educational system? My condolences.

  87. Timo says:

    Hey, nobody asked questions last year when team needed a losing OT point to squeak into playoffs. All talk was about defense, goalies, etc, etc, but not much in the media about Martin’s inability to coach.

  88. Castor says:

    Has the world gone topsy turvy? Timo comes back and I agree with him!

  89. MathMan says:

    But they made the playoffs. That’s the key. It blinded everyone, and nobody even paused to notice how craptastically weak the East had to get before the Habs could squeeze in, let alone how badly the Habs were playing. If the Habs miss, even by one point, then people start looking out for someone responsible.

    The Habs’ success created a “perfect storm” of insulation where the result fooled people into thinking the team was actually good, when it was nothing than great goaltending, a hefty bit of luck, and perfectly timing 9 wins over 19 games.

    People look at results and then roll back to the causes. Playoffs = good result = someone must be doing a good job. In this case, it was Halak. Lottery = bad result = someone must have screwed up. And if Price is stellar, the natural scapegoat goes away. People will look for someone else and I doubt they can blame it all on AKost.

  90. MathMan says:

    I think that, hypotherically, if even Price being stellar fails to save them from the lottery, someone is bound to take notice and start asking questions no?

    I think that’s an entirely plausible scenario. If Price is merely good for the rest of the way, Heaven help this club.

  91. avatar_58 says:

    Problem is PK is a rookie playing #1 d minutes. While that’s awesome, it’s starting to show when he makes a mistake. When Markov gets back this should be fixed.

  92. avatar_58 says:

    I’m no leaf fan but I had a little smirk on my face whenever I saw the score tilt in their favour vs the Pens. Wouldn’t it be sweet if they missed the playoffs? Bettman’s dream team? I wouldn’t shed a tear. Looks good on them.

  93. WestHab says:

    Need to reel in Cammy a bit, 2 bad penalties one that turned into a quick goal against.  His play was uncomfortable after the 2nd penalty he took.

    Lapps took a bad one as well, but you expect that from him from time to time. Is it possible that the league will look at it. If so with his reputation it could be 2. Hope I’m wrong.

    Despit the fact that Boyd could not clear the puck that found it’s way behind Price in OT, I like what I’ve seem from him. He has been consistant and will be hard to take off the roster.

     

    thanks

     

  94. WestHab says:

    Seems to me that in the last 2 seasons the Pens had very difficult times at some point in the season. One of those years they won da cup. I was pissed the leafs won.

  95. petrov14 says:

    To vote for Montreal’s 2009 All-star logo (Versus Toronto) go here

    Toronto is killing us :( 

    ______________________________________ Long live Captain Gionta.

  96. petrov14 says:

    “It is painful to watch teams coming here with a shipload of local talent and beating us in our own house.”

    Thats how Toronto feels every night lol

    ______________________________________ Long live Captain Gionta.

  97. habsfan0 says:

    In retrospect,having a successful playoff run last season may turn out to be the WORST thing for the Habs in the long run. If they had been eliminated quickly in the first round by Washington, then it’s not unreasonable to assume that JM would have lost his job and Guy Boucher would now be running the team. Time will tell.

  98. quentin_stuckley says:

    glad to see the pens lose, hate that the leafs were the team to do it.  the pens.  they are a very different team from the one that won the cup.  i can see them fighting with us to make the playoffs.  it may sound stupid to say, but they are short on scorers.  yes, crosby co-won the maurice richard trophy, but that’s my point.  crosby differs from ovechkin with his vision/playmaking ability, the fact that he now has to score goals on top of almost (almost because he lacks finishers) setting up his teammates makes it that much easier to keep the pens in check.  the wild card is malkin.  if his head’s in the game he can be dangerous.  but last year he was average/injured.  if that happens again, it could be a long season for the pens.  oh yeah, and i forgot to mention m.a.f. is not the cup winning goalie he was three seasons ago.

  99. HotHabs says:

    JM’s coaching is again, so early in the new season, suspect.  The team just cannot continue to be outshot by huge margins and expect to consistently win games, especially against offensively talented opponents.  And, to those harkening back to Carbo’s tenure, I distinctly recall nobody knowing what his system was either… oh yeah, play defensively and get shell-shocked and hope for the best, then in post-game losses say the players weren’t sticking to the system.  Yeah, that sounds so much better… It’s going to be a long season.

    I agree with many posters that the return of Markov will definitely aid the invisible PP. 

    Subban, so full of flair and excitement, is a big liability.  I love this kid, but at this point Pillsbury will want to hire him for his turnovers.

    Gomez, the 8 million dollar man, seems to enjoy perimeter play which is a terrible way to set up his wingers.  He’s got good hands and can skate, but he won’t see much success from the boards.

    Kudos to Price for starting well.  He covered a lot of net, used his glove hand effectively, and showed great lateral mobility.  Hope he can keep it up.  Losing games you deserve to win can touch a nerve after awhile…

    Laps needs to either shut his mouth or put his fists to back up his trash talk.  Someone is gonna behead him before much longer.

    Could this be the real Kostitsyn?  I like what I see from him so far: hitting, drive, sweet moves and nose for the net.

  100. RS says:

    For sure, no worries. I’m just pointing out that like many a young player, P.K.’s weakness isn’t with the puck (he can make risky plays), it’s his play without the puck.

  101. MathMan says:

    Between reducing the Habs’ draft pick to 27th, and giving Martin a completely undeserved lease on life, Halak may have singlehandedly hurt the Habs for the next five years or so. It’s sad and ironic and you can hardly blame him, but…

  102. Chuck says:

    Not a huge fan of the Toronto design, but it’s certainly more clever, especially the integration of the “2T0R0NT0″. Plus, at least it makes reference to the game being held in Canada, with the half maple leaf. And the outline of their logo.

    Look at the Montreal design; take away the word “Montreal”, and you’d have absolutely no idea where in the world the game would be played.

  103. Hammer says:

    Ripping into Price is only a diversion from what is the real problem with the Habs. Lack of size to put on an effective forecheck/ combined with a mediocre top six leads to few 5 on 5 goals, and when one has PP that stinks, the goalie must allow 2 or less goals a night in  order for the team to win. After last nights stinkfest, I am hoping it is not an omen for a rotten year!

  104. Willy the bum says:

    It’s the only thing Toronto will win…

  105. New says:

    Boucher is a good coach, and a motivator. Young men need both.

  106. Willy the bum says:

    Ha, penalty minutes in pool? If so, you sure are gonna win this.

  107. Willy the bum says:

    With a sexy scar on his right cheek, Boucher is unstoppable.

  108. habs4ever2894 says:

    Gionta and Gomez have been invisible and our pp has sucked so far this season and thats why we lost 2/3 games plain and simple. It’s crazy how some people here over analyze the situation. This team is a good one once we get all lines going and i have full confidence that we will. Gomez and Gionta are veterans and i doubt they will suck like this all year long. Our pp troubles will be solved once markov comes back. A 5 game win streak is upon us people so look out.

  109. Willy the bum says:

    I argee with the mullet here.

  110. Timo says:

    No reeling back Cammi. I have him in my pool and penalty minutes mean points. :)

  111. cynic says:

    It is painful to watch teams coming here with a shipload of local talent and beating us in our own house.  With the Lightning first it was Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier and now it is Coach Boucher.  Would the real home team please stand up?

  112. Richrebellion says:

    Just a couple of comments, although everyone is looking at the power play and the fact that it hasnt scored…. why not look at 5 on 5 play. The habs were last in the nhl last year on 5 on 5 and so far this season havent been so bad. If they can keep up this 5 on 5 play with the return of markov and the pp look for the habs to do some damage. If markov plays tonight, we prob pot one on the pp and put the game a little more out of reach. 

    I also think martin was holding back the team offensively after they took a 2-0 lead. It was most evident once tampa tied it up and then all of a sudden the habs offense came back to life and andrei scored within a min. Maybe if martin gave the forwards some room to work they cud of put them away earlier. 

  113. Captain aHab says:

    Not gonna panic now…didn’t see the entire game.

    Not sure what to do with Pouliot. The guy can’t seem to stay on his feet. I’d give him another couple of periods on that line and if there’s still no pulse, then try Eller with them. Can’t have a top two line firing blanks all the time.

    Don’t know if I misheard but I thought I heard this morning on radio that Markov had a set back and they’re looking at the end of the month now? That would not be good obviously.

    I think they’ll win the next game.

  114. HabFarmer says:

    Like I say to my six year old when he’s freaking out, and remind myself at times – just take a big deep breath….. .

    Honestly, it’s not that bad.  If Carey continues to play like this we have this to look forward to:

    Markov coming back to settle things at the back end and allow for more effective pairings and ice time management; the second line will find itself (mostly from sheer force of will by Gio), much better bottom two lines and a first line that is already looking good.

    Better discipline, and I think you still have a team that can skate with most.  Plus you have White waiting in Steel City, if one of the guys is struggling/hurt and we need some kick-ass

     

    A man’s attitude… a man’s attitude goes some ways. The way his life will be. Is that somethin’ you agree with?

  115. RS says:

    “disquieting signs at the Bell Centre, ominous intimations that this team will be in a wire-to-wire battle for a playoff spot.”

    Expecting anything other than that is unrealistic. This is a team that is in a battle to make the playoffs. I hope they make the playoffs and think they have quite a good shot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up in 9th or worse. That is being realistic. Getting Markov back will help. I’m pleasantly surprised by Price’s work thus far. He is doing his job.

    P.K.’s problems aren’t his risky plays with the puck, it’s his positional play without the puck. But he’s a great young player.

  116. 24 Cups says:

    1.  The Subban call was brutal but they had a chance to even it out with the Malone trip on Boyd (during the PP).  They let it go and that was all she wrote.

    2.  We are short a top six forward – plain and simple.  Eller is a first year pro and Moen is a bottom six plugger.  Our salary cap limitations kept us from signing a proven top six winger.

    3.  Spacek came with the reputation of having a hard, accurate shot from the point.  He was the Plan B behind Markov.  His failure to fulfil that role led to MAB and a fast-tracked Subban.

    4.  Gorges and Gill gave up the winning goal in overtime.  Gill couldn’t handle Tampa’s speed and Gorges couldn’t clear the front of the net.  I realize that H I/O posters love these guys but they do have their warts.

    5.  Subban is unfairly being asked to fill in for Markov.  It would be like asking Carlson to take Green’s spot.

    6.  We lost a game we should have won.  Our home opener against our new arch-rival.  Not to mention that Tampa is a team that we will probably compete against for a 7th or 8th playoff spot.  Remember this game the next time we bitch about other Eastern teams getting a point due to the three point game rule.

  117. Will Longlade says:

    My take on last night’s game:

    1. Van Massenhoven and Kozari are among the worst referees in the league. Regardless of whether the Habs were outplayed or outshot, the zebras put their stamp on the outcome of the game by making a borderline call on PK late in the game. A questionable call like that so late in the game makes you wonder whether the refs are just incompetent or involved in something more. Either way, the NHL should be doing something about it.

    2. JM has to get more production out of the second line (G & G). To jumpstart the line and get another player having a slow start going, they should consider rotating Moen into Benny’s position. Eller has and will continue to benefit from mismatches playing on the third line. I would leave him there.  

    3. Spacek should take some weight off his shot and concentrate on getting the puck on the net. 

    4. Price, Pleks and Gorges played extremely well. Honourable mention to AK46 who played one of his best games since he returned from injury last year.

    5. Subban needs to control his youthful exuberance and take fewer risks in both the offensive and defensive zones.

    6. A great, up-tempo, fast hockey game even though the end result wasn’t what we wanted.  

  118. HabFanSince72 says:

    1. The NHL’s favourite team (Tampa) beat a Candian based team. I don’t think the NHL sees a problem in what happened last night. In any case, you take lots of dumb penalties against Tampa Bay, you will lose.

    2. Why is it JM’s fault or even Benny’s? I think Gomez and Gionta need to step it up. Pouliot’s trying – I think he’ll come good.

    3. Sounds good to me.

    4. Agreed on all players.

    5. And also take fewer penalties.

  119. shootdapuck says:

    Boone said it all in his game blog!

    “Uh-oh. The Jacques Martin one-goal shell.”

     

     

    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacqu’es Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3″

  120. RetroMikey says:

     

    We have a crappy D!  48 shots pelted at Price especially the home opener! 

    We are not good at D as everyone want or wishes us to be! 

    We’ve got to get better on the D as well bigger up front.

    If not, Price is going to have a long season hearing it from the media and the boo birds.

    It’s going to be a long season of turmoil for us, the bad and some good nights.

    Blaming the referees every time we lose?  Simply a lame excuse.

    Too early to push the panic button but I don;t like what I am seeing early in this season of the team.

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  121. The Teacher says:

    LOL, lol, I could swear you are copy-pasting your early posts from last year!

  122. Ian Cobb says:

    Last night we were well entertained by two fine skating teams. In the first period both teams played with emotion and passion, and the Habs came out on top winning many battles for possession of the puck.

    When the second period came around the emotion from the Habs dropped off and many players started gliding instead of keeping their feet moving. We started to get into penalty trouble as laziness started to creep into our game.

    The lightning were relentless, first on the puck in our end and were on the puck before our D could find an outlet pass, they were tenacious on the puck all over the ice. We were just hanging on to the lead as Price kept us in the game.

    Emotion in the voice and eyes of the lightnings coach carried over into the hearts of his players, and they simply out worked us. We sat on a two goal lead and forgot about making plays.

    Our kids took poor unnecessary penalties to go along with Camallarie’s and especially Lapierre’s foolish one.

    Our power play is non existent this year. Even if we had of had Markov back, it would not have made much difference. How many times has it been said that they must play 60 minutes if they want to be successful.

    We have a much better team this year that are capable of winning a lot of games, but if the emotion and intensity of their game cannot be kept up for 60 minutes, then you simply have to look behind the bench at a very passive coaching group who needs to blow a little fire out of their nostrils at times.

    I truly believe the difference in this game was the coaching.  We were out coached last night for sure.

    We have a much better team than Toronto also, but they are playing 60 min. with passion and emotion and have 3 wins this year. where we have just 1 win in 3 games.

    I know it is very early in the season, but I would like the media to pose the question to the coaches about maintaining the offensive intensity for 60 min instead of just protecting the lead.

    There is no way we should have lost that game, coach!! Better get them ready for the Sabers Friday night.

    PS . If not for Price, we would feel a lot sicker this morning. And I just love the passion and confidence that Boucher radiates.

  123. SeriousFan09 says:

    Markov always brings a measure of leadership to the ice with his play and while the PP is problematic, Markov can settle it down because the team knows when Markov’s calling the shots out there you listen, he’ll put goals on your stick. It won’t be perfect when Markov gets back, but the team misses that confident general who can manage the game with his play.

    Discipline will have to better from here on out of course, but I think some Habs fans have forgotten what a grind living and dying with 82 regular-season games is.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  124. SeriousFan09 says:

    22 in 28GP, 20 in 31GP, 50 in 80GP, 48 in 81 GP, 30 in 63GP, 44 in 81GP.

    That’s Cammalleri’s PIM record before coming to Montreal. We know he’s hot-blooded at times and last season with 22 with the season and playoffs was a low for him on GP really, this will happen from time to time. I was a bit concerned after the Nino incident he’d start getting a bit more this season. He needs to rein himself in.

    Our new captain also has to step up in these games a bit, I’ve honestly seen him do more when he had a broken foot last season and was playing. I know he just officially got the C and it’s a responsibility but he’s got to lead the way he did last year, on the ice.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  125. Willy the bum says:

    A great game for both teams, and has a few mistakes that costs them goals from each other.

    Boucher was scary on the bench, but really proving he can coach the heck out of his Bolts team… and I sense he know the Habs’ M.O. by now so he has the advantage to take it down.

    Price really put on a great performance, but really was outshot twice as many shots.  And in my opinion, PK was getting a little too cocky out there, like he wants to be the hero, not playing as a team.  Gotta be careful on the coming games…

    Other than that, the team is quite the same as last season, so hope for a great run this year!

  126. 24 Cups says:

    Mike/Dave – What gives with the Stats and Schedule tabs at the top of the page?  Are they functional? 

  127. Mr. Biter says:

    0-9 on the PP and counting. How long till we score? Shall we start a pool? BTW PK is definatly not playing to his hyped potential. Don’t get me wrong he is playing okay and it’s a learning curve from the AHL to the NHL and it seems that for some reason everyone is taking runs at him but his play up to now has been somewhat disapointing. I see great potential but he has a long way to go.

  128. Harani says:

    Ryan Malone was not elected by the fans for the first star (Are u kidding me?). according the CH regulations, any player who scored in OT automatically gets the first star of the game. Thus, Malone ended up with it.

    “It must be love!”

  129. Mike Boone says:

    Right you are. Fixed it.

  130. nick says:

    A few thoughts from the peanut gallery…

    MTL’s D will sharpen up once Markov gets back and pairings are settled.

    Price has been excellent.

    First, third, and fourth line are all playing great, pulling their weight.

    Second line… Theres a big problem here. I’m not sure what the solution is, bring Eller, Darche or Lapierre up and sit Pouliot for a stint maybe? I dunno… It’s just painful to watch…

    Overall, team needs to settle down a bit and get their heads in the game. That includes a few less stupid penalities from guys like Cammy and PK, and a little more consistent energy level through out all 3 periods from the guys up front. I got the impression they fell asleep a little after getting up 2-0.

  131. Exit716 says:

    Poor Martin, no passion. Boucher’s eyes were bugging out when he was talking to his players. Martin didn’t even bother to talk to Van Massenhoven about the BS penalty to Max, Muller had to. Wow, only three more years of this stellar leadership. Maybe by the time he’s done, the Habs will be in a position to be able to draft top three talent. Did Gomez bother to show up tonight?

  132. SeriousFan09 says:

    Perhaps because JM knows that griping at the refs rarely gets anything done? Like MTL trying to bully the refs into a favourable call would work…

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  133. SeriousFan09 says:

    Team isn’t going much further if the Captain doesn’t get his line going, need to confound the opposition with two lines of speedy aggressive forwards who can score.

     

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  134. habitual says:

    No kidding.  This game we had one line going offensively.  Nice to see AK finally show up.  But

    G-Love, Gionta:  WAKE UP.  Am I the only one who is already tired of seeing Gomez skate down the left side of the offensive zone and shovel a weak ass shot or pass on his backhand.  Three games and except for one fluke goal he has done the square root of SFA.

  135. MathMan says:

    I wonder how many games like this, with the team badly outshot and outchanced and outplayed by a roster that may or may not be stronger, before the system is brought into question.

    There were rumblings of it last year but goaltending papered over these weaknesses. This year it’s not doing a good job; despite a constantly stellar Carey Price, the team is 1-1-1. If the goaltending had been merely ‘good’, the team would easily be 0-3.

    It’s only one game, but it’s the exact same pattern all over again, the pattern that will land the Habs in the lottery (don’t make me laugh with playoff talk while the team plays like this, please). And at some point the cause for that pattern has to be identified and fixed.

  136. Bill says:

    Someone on the other thread noted that if Price isn’t stellar these first three games, the Habs are 0-3-0. That’s the plain truth of it. The other guys on the ice are trying, but you can only play “hide inside and bar the door” so long before the zombie horde breaks in.

    The good thing is that everyone inside that arena saw the facts tonight: Price played great, but Boucher and the Bolts exposed everything that is wrong with Martin’s “system.” From this point on, the pressure is on him, not Price, and that’s how it should be. If the Leafs can afford to eat Finger’s salary in the minors, surely the Habs can afford to overpay Martin for another three years to be a scout or something? Let’s just pretend that the most talented Francophone coach in the big leagues wasn’t just let go from the Canadiens’ own organization …

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  137. SeriousFan09 says:

    Funny story, shiny new toys lose their lustre.

    Habs fans have been tearing coachs down for a long time demanding the next one, than wanting him shipped out of town soon after that. Guy Boucher’s got two wins in the NHL so far, not 50. Habs sack the veteran coach who is there when they make the Conference Finals and replace him with an AHL Coach, just consider how many guys are lining up the door to work in Montreal in the case that AHL coach doesn’t work out and feeling good about job security and treatment from the media/fanbase.

    More than 1 AHL hot coach has failed to deliver in the NHL.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  138. Timo says:

    Who is going to apply the pressure? Definitely not his puppet master Gauthier. I don’t see anybody in the press calling out Martin. The fact that the handful of fans are calling for his head on HIO won’t change things. Sad thing is that Martin is here for another 2 years and that’s the misery we’ll have to live with.

  139. JIMVINNY says:

    As bad as the reffing may or may not have been, the refs didn’t give up nearly 50 shots. Les boys managed that all by themselves. For this team to be playing when the second season rolls around, that has to change.

    Price played very well, but he’s going to give up 4 goals on 50 shots more often than not. He can’t be blamed for the loss tonight, and if the team manages to limit the opposition to closer to the league average of 30 shots per night, that .918 save percentage of his is going to be enough to win a lot of games.

  140. Timo says:

    Long way off sure… but what’s going to change? Martin will become a better coach? Hah! The nail biting begins right now because this is going to be a total see-saw season with team sitting on leads, getting outshot by 2-1 margin, goalies standing on their heads and The System wasting the talent that this team actually does have for a change.

  141. habitual says:

    Still up in Montreal?  I hope you are drinking.

  142. Scott in Montreal says:

    The lost after going into the second period up 2-0 despite giving up 17 shots. They lost despite Price playing top-notch through over 64 minutes. They lost despite getting the go-ahead goal only seconds after the visiting team tied up the game. What this tells me is that this TB team is the real deal, and we would need Markov back in top form to beat them if they are going to come at us like that. Decent officiating would help too.

  143. Timo says:

    What you mean is decent coaching… decent coaching would definitely help.

  144. MathMan says:

    Agreed.

    #1 area of need for the Habs: coach with modern system. It’s been that way since halfway last season, too, not like this is a new issue.

  145. Mr. Biter says:

    I know that MAB is injured so he would be of no use to us right now ,however that said why were many on this site blaming every loss on him and were so happy to run him out of town? Our PP SUCKED till he was signed then became # 1 or 2 in the league. Yes he is a defensive liability vs. larger and quicker opponents but right now not one Habs d-man can hit the net on a one timer. I don’t know when he can come back and play but him and AM together or seperate PP pairings gives us a excllent PP and for us to make the playoffs we need that part of the special teams. Also in closing how much worse could he be than some of the D-men loaying as of now?

  146. avatar_58 says:

    I would rather leap off a cliff than see him on our D again


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