About last night …

EllerSteen

The good news is your Montreal Canadiens won’t face the big, tough, skilled and well-coached St. Louis Blues again this season.
Unless the teams are Stanley Cup finalists.
I’ll call a Timeout here while readers change out of the pants they soiled by laughing so hard.

There may be hockey in St. Louis when the Cardinals are playing baseball this spring. The Blues are that good.

The Canadiens?

Montreal in late May may be seeing as much hockey as major league baseball, i.e. none.

As has become increasingly evident as as autumn fades and winter looms, this team is not a Cup contender.

They just don’t have the horses – at least, not yet.

Over the past couple weeks, the Canadiens have played two Western Conference powerhouses, the Blues and L.A. Kings.

They’ve lost both games by a cumulative score of 11-1.

It was 120 minutes of men against boys, contenders against pretenders.

And circle Januar 11 on your calendars. The Saturday night visitors to the Bell Centre: Chicago.

Peter Young, submitting a Comment on the live-game blog, pretty much nailed it:

The Blues’ positional play is superior to that of the Canadiens, which, tonight at least, was almost a scattergun approach. That’s the reason why you have Blues players nearly always available to pick up rebounds at both ends of the ice. And that’s the reason they had so many players free in the slot to shoot almost at their leisure on Price. The Blues play to a system; the Canadiens don’t appear to have a system, at least not one that’s visible.

Young adds a note of optimism:

There is indeed a quality gap between East and West. But let me say, once again, that our day will come. We have some players of very high quality and a smart general manager, who will learn quickly from his mistakes. We have a future; don’t write off that future just because we’re not there yet.

It’s been painfully obvious, in the losses to L.A. and St. Louis, the Canadiens are not there yet. What was disheartening, in both games, was the yawning gap between the Canadiens and two elite teams.

In his postgame media scrum, parts of which were telecast on L’Antichambre, Michel Therrien said his players “didn’t want to pay the price” against St. Louis.

“We need a better work ethic,” the coach added, “if we’re going to have a hope of winning.”

When one of the reporters mentioned the Canadiens’ ongoing excellence on the penalty kill – 6/6, including another Brandon Prust double minor, against St. Louis – Therrien said his players work hard on the PK – but not on anything else.

On L’Antichambre, Denis Gauthier – who played for Hitchcock in Philadelphia – said the coach’s mantra is “heavy sticks, heavy bodies.” It’s a grinding, physical style that contests – and usually wins – every loose puck on every inch of the ice.

Gauthier described playing against a Hitchcock team as “exhausting”.

“They’re very structured,” said the retired defenceman. “They give nothing away cheaply.”

To counter that style, a team needs 18 skaters working their butts off from opening faceoff to final siren. The Canadiens didn’t.

There were many dreadful performances, but some  stood out:

• Alexei Emelin was on the ice for four St. Louis goals and looked particularly lost during the first period, when the home team skated off to a 3-0 lead that proved way too steep a hill for the Canadiens to climb – especially against a Ken Hitchcock team.

• Brandon Prust, Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller took penalties in the offensive zone.

• Rene Bourque, who started his career in the Western Conference and has the body to crash and bang with the big boys from out there, was invisible for 12 minutes.

• Andrei Markov, paired with Emelin since the Phoenix game, is not as effective as he was with P.K. This was particularly obvious against a team like St. Louis, whose star-studded defence corps threw a protective wall around Jaro Halak and moved the puck efficiently up ice all game long.

A couple grim stats:

• The Canadiens haven’t scored a first-period goal since Brian Gionta beat Cory Schneider Dec. 4 in New Jersey. That’s eight straight games in which the Canadiens have been unable to seize early momentum and diminish the pressure on their goaltenders, who have to be impenetrable for this team to have a ghost of a chance.

• Brendan Gallagher’s second period goal was the first the Canadiens have scored at even-strength in regulation since Alex Galchenyuk beat Jhonas Enroth at the Bell Centre on Dec. 7. The team went 356 minutes, 35 seconds – almost six complete hockey games – without a 5-on-5 goal.

And for all their current ineptitude, the Canadiens remain fourth in the Eastern Conference, comfortably clear of the cutoff for participation in the playoffs that will lead to a revenge series against St. Louis.

Aw, just when you were getting used to dry pants …

 

 

 

 

 

485 Comments

  1. Sal from the Hammer says:

    This is a speed and skill team, that has stopped using it’s greatest assets. It’s bult to score goals and win games by scoring more goals than the other team. JM used to let them play until they got a lead, then he would have them try to protect a one goal lead until they lost by at least one goal. In the 2011 playoffs, game four when the Habs took a 3-1 lead, the crowd was going nuts, we were on our way to the next round guaranteed. But no, he has them stop skating, Ferrence scores a weak goal from the blue line(Sorry Carey it was weak), gives Hab fans the finger, and the rest is history. OK, I know I’m not the best at remembering things with photographic precision, but, I’m correct in general. Suffice to say, JM did that until he finally got fired. He would set them loose, get a lead, then stop skating so they can protect the lead. The only thing they lead the league in was blown third period leads.

    So MT has essentially the same type of team, and, he can deny all he wants, but, you have to be blind not to see the difference in their play since he decided they have to play defense first! Maybe he wants Carey to be the Olympic goalie! Good for him, but, it’s like pulling back on a race horse! Don’t let up! Carey plays better when he’s busy, most goalies do!

    All the so-called size issues are a pile of crap. If the whole league is just going to made up of behemoths running around slamming each other into the boards, no skill, pucks going in on broken plays, or, bounces off peoples asses, then this league will lose it’s most skilled players to Europe and the KHL, where they still appreciate skill. I put more credibility on the fact that a coach coaches to his teams strengths, than trying to put a round peg in a square hole.

    • vegas says:

      not necessarily saying we have to be loaded with beheamoths, but our #1 center (thats what I think is is considered as) is on pace for a 30 point season. He plays top line minutes, plays with our top wingers, and is on the first wave of the powerplay unit. How can we not take this seriously. Plus he can’t play with other wingers because he won’t have success with them. come onnnnnnnn

      As for Briere he is basically in the same situation as Desharnais (see above). 2 guys for 1 spot

      Unfortunately Gionta is not the Gionta of 4-5-6 years ago. a couple of arm injuries and age are catching up to him

      I agree that at least 2 of the 3 must go, and If it was up to me all 3 would go.

      Isn’t the ultimate goal to win the cup. SO if that is the case half the team should be made available and the second half of the rebuild should begin. Not saying this because they are in a small slump but basically facing reality. If we are pleased with just making the play-offs then fine stay as is. If our goal is to win the cup then we have to set our sites to 3-4-5- years from now

      make available

      Markov. – probably my fav Hab, but reality says he wont be around when we are ready and he will probably cost 6 million

      Plekanec, would be sad to see him go but he has some value

      Gorges, see Plekanec

      Gionta, UFA dont think we will resign him, has to go

      Desharnais, never liked him, never will, next

      Briere, useless signing

      Moen, maybe some one would neeed a guy thats been there for a playoff run

      Bouillon, ughhh

      Murray, make room for the kids

      Diaz, if he is to small and to vulnerable then time to give Pateryn a shot

      Bourque, probably no one will want him and at 2.5 over next 2 years he can probably fill a spot until we get to the desired compete level

      Budaj, heck if someone is willing to give us something decent, why not

      so whats left

      Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – ???
      ??? – ??? – Gallagher
      Bournival – Eller – Bourque
      Prust – White – ???

      Emelin – Subban
      Beaulieu – ???
      Tinordi – Pateryn

      Price

      if you consider what we could get back in a trade, and hopefully a few of our prospects turn out. It’s not that bad after all. Plus not everyone will get traded so some spots will get filled by them too. Add 1 or 2 free agents and we could be there soon enough

  2. Good News is December is almost over and all this horrible hockey will be over until next year.

    God Bless Us Everyone

    Ho Ho Ho

    Carey Carey Carey

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  3. Ian Cobb says:

    We will soon know if we are building a team for the future. The ball is in Bergevin’s court now. He said he wants to grow a winner over time through the draft. Well he has to find some players to fill holes while he develops his kids. But where?

    Does he continue to sign other teams cast offs, like Brieire, Parros & Murray ?

    • ProHabs says:

      I still think Murray and Parros were good short term signings. Bergevin must have been drunk as a skunk the day he signed Briere. Everyone and their grandmother knew that was a terrible signing.

    • JUST ME says:

      I am not too worried about that cause Bergevin comes from the western conference, knows what it takes for us to be competitive and what we do not have to be so right now.
      I for one am happy that we are up to par with our closest rivals from the eastern conference although we are not quite there enough for me .
      The players he got so far were part time acquisitions since he needed time for the kids to play in the minors and for some deals to end. I too think that there should be major moves made this season depending on how the Habs do. If not, it will be in between season that he will move.

      We must be ready to see precious players go though if we want to get someone of equal value.
      Although there are many that i would keep i am now convinced that if we did not get the cup with them then it`s time to move on. We have enough youngsters with a bright future to form a solid core and build around it.

      If i do not get to have the chance mister Ian i am wishing you and yours the wishes for a happy and peacefull XMAS and new year.

  4. DipsyDoodler says:

    Good news for Brendan Shanahan:

    The Supreme Court of Canada has just ruled that he can legally exercise his profession in Canada.

  5. jrshabs1 says:

    Take Murray out of the line up? What’s the Habs PK% with Murray in the line up? Murray wasn’t brought here to score goals. How can anybody blame Murray for the Habs lack of goal production? What has Diaz done offensively? Isn’t Diaz an offensive D with a great 1st pass? Maybe, but he has a cornflake for a shot that never gets through, or if it does it’s way wide.
    But, alas I guess it’s Murray’s fault the Habs can’t score 5 on 5. Of all the blame that needs to go around..blame Murray, the Habs best penalty killer.

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

  6. habstrinifan says:

    I seriously expected a fuller discussion on MT’s remark to his troops, ‘We are a grinding team…accept it”.

    It has drawn little commentary. One poster commented on it a few days ago (my deepest apologies.. while I agreed with his comments I lost the name) and today Smart Dog made some pointed observations about it.

    Let us compare the talent JM had and that which Mt has.

    JM didnt have Galchenyuk, Bournival, Emelin, Markov (for much of his tenure) and not Gallagher.

    JM had Gill, Gomez, callups like Palushaj and Blunden. His defence you all will remember.

    MT has Galchenyuk, Bournival,Emelin,Markov, and others JM did not have.

    Who had to accept that he had a grinding team. I disliked JM’s coaching. But the talent available to MT is greater than that which was available to JM.

    I can’t see the characterization of the current HABS as a grinding team. But then again MT was used to Malkin and Crosby so maybe he has a higher standard for skill.

    • shiram says:

      I assure you I was not aware of that declaration, and if I had been made aware earlier, I would certainly have registered a protest on these boards.
      A grinding team, featuring most of the NHL’s small players, he has to be delusional!

  7. jrshabs1 says:

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!
    the small swift mako shark(Habs) just can’t compete with the big mean great whites sharks of the NHL.
    I think I read somewhere on here that Murray is useless and should be traded or whatever. Really? Small useless Diaz still plays D on the Habs right? Some of the Hab experts should ask Carey Price whom he ‘d rather have in front of him, Murray or Diaz? The Habs are pathetically small, so small,it’s embarrassing when they play big heavy teams like the Blues.
    I thought MB was going to make the changes needed for this team to truly compete, but then he signs DD to a dumb contract, then he trumps the DD contract and signs Briere to an even dumber one.

    Go Habs Go!!

  8. HardHabits says:

    Price needs to shoot more and stop trying for the pretty pass.

  9. habstrinifan says:

    I say today, with the full might of the law behind me, “Get me a hooker… I , like my team, am a grinding sort.

  10. Luke says:

    1 hour to go.

    I am ready to greet the hell out of the season.

    Bring on the beersiest beerday of the year.

  11. Plekasuares says:

    We outta score some goals, seems like we never ever score it’s kindaaa borinnggggg

    • --Habs-- says:

      With who and what.

      Maybe if they put Eller Alex and Brendan back together. Maybe throw Max or Plex back in there. The rest of them look like they’re waiting to retire. I mean if I seee Gionta try a slap shot one more time from just inside the blue line I’ll scream.

      “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Especially since he pretty much always misses the net.

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

  12. Sportfan says:

    Man what happened to Higgins he was supposed to be so prominent and yeah now he’s a weird defensive player.

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  13. --Habs-- says:

    We didn’t look tired last night! We looked like Team USA in 1980 against the Russians. They were faster, stronger, more talented, better offensively, better defensively. Only difference between Team USA of 1980 and the Habs last night is TEAM USA got lucky. Luck only wins 1 in X number of games when your playing the best meaning the stars must align.

    “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

  14. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @Trini

    …SubbyDoo for Captain ?

    • habstrinifan says:

      Can’t give it 100% approval. Fear too many ruffled feathers in the room after.. A letter for sure though.

      Thing is I started the season supporting Prust for Captain. Just cant see how he dumbed down his game and still be on that bandwagon.

      I dont see a true Captain on the team, probably mainly because our teams are so coach-driven.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Subban 100% – Every playoff series he’s played in, enough said.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  15. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Boone must be happy …Suarez re-signed longterm with Liverpool

  16. krob1000 says:

    I wonder if Beaulieu could play if with PK?

  17. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …ok, there were one or two I half way agreed with …but I will not give y’all the satisfaction to say who.

  18. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I have just read every single one of Your comments …and, I must say here and now, that I respectfully disagree with everyOne of You

    …just thought You may want to know

    …Merry Christmas ! :)

  19. SteverenO says:

    Krob wrote:

    The usage of BRiere reminds moe of the 07-08 Habs…a 4 line offensive team that was beating the likes of the BRuins and Flyers on deoth and offense. They got beat up,…..but they won. Ryder was given a 4th line role and often sent to the pressbox…he was not used properly. The team didn’t recognize its own strength and come playoff time their two opponents were the Bruins and the Flyers….so what did the HAbs do? they tried to outgrind the grinders? They got by Boston but Philly beat them.
    The irony is that after that season….a season in which the HAbs were getting by on 4 line depth….they went and changed their philosophy and wanted more muckers…..what did the Bruins do? They adopted the Habs 4 line model….the rest is history.

    MB I belive tried to again address the 4 line depth…but I can’t help butthink of the movie moneyball where the coach refuses to use Billy Beans palyers the way he wants him to…..so he trades some of the guys getting in teh way.

    It is very clear…when the HAbs roll 4 lies and attack in waves relentlessly offensviely…they win…whenr they try to “grind it out” they lose…it is that simple…the team is not built to “grind it out” for God sakes tehy are the smallest forward group in the NHL…how does that strategy make any sense at all?

    Really…can someone inidcate to me the logic in insisting on dressigna 4th line of White-Pust/Moen,etc when you have 4 top nine centers? The team can;t score is it not obvious? When they score they win…the defense and goaltending is good enough? MB must be about to blow a gasket.
    ****************************************************

    great post!

    It never cease to amaze me when a team which is having trouble scoring continues to sacrifice offense to try and limit the other teams scoring chances in the hopes of winning lots of 1-0 and 2-1 games.

    A team with goaltending like the Habs have , should be focussed on doing whatever it takes to score 3 or more goals per game. When they start losing games 4-3 and 5-4 then it will be time to focus on getting better defensively.

    Moen and White are the type of players can be effective ONLY on teams that score 3 or more goals per game. If Douglas Murray cannot be effective playing with Subban, or Markov, he should not be in the lineup. The team simply cannot afford to have one-dimensional defensive specialists in the lineup.

    The coach has to take off his blinders. The team goes 8 games without scoring a PP goal while their most productive 5 man PP unit rarely plays together. Then after a long drought they score two PP goals so the “second” unit will continue to be given first wave minutes and our better line gets to plays with either Diaz, and Gorges or an exhausted Subban and Markov.

    A team that has trouble scoring at even strength, scoring once every 32 minutes benches Briere (who when on ice averages a goal every 28 minutes, while playing Moen (38 MpGF),Bourque (43 MpGF) and Desharnais (37 MpGF).

    A team that has trouble scoring Continues to dress Murray, who has now played 214 minutes at even strength and the team has not scored a single goal, but will not call up Tinordi or Beaulieu who have each been on ice for a combined 4 even strength goals in only 106 minutes of even strength TOI.

    Simple mathematics indicate that if Murrays minutes were given to Beaulieu or Tinordi , the team would have scored an additional 7 or 8 even strength goals at this time.

    Is it so hard to understand that its better to have a youngster make some mistakes that may cost a few goals but also makes some plays that results in goals scored, than having a player that NEVER does anything that results in his team scoring a goal?

    Tinordi/Beaulieu have been on ice for 4 goals scored and 2 goals allowed. Murray has been on for zero goals scored and 11 goals allowed.

    What is the best OFFENSIVE lineup the team can field right now ?

    I like:

    Bournival/Plek/Gionta
    Galchenyuk/Eller/Gallagher
    Pacioretty/ DD/Prust
    Leblanc/Briere/ Beaulieu (yes upfront)

    Subban/Tinordi
    Markov/Emelin
    Gorges/Diaz

    Let’s score some goals!

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Huh? So the Habs lack of scoring is because of Murray? Jeesh.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Yes, Murray is one of the reasons, certainly not the biggest though. -11 in 20 games, 0 points, no skill, he can´t pass, he can´t shoot, he can´t skate. Even his hitting isn´t that great because he too often gets out of position which is always dangerous when you´re that slow. It´s a joke that he´s still playing.

        I don´t care if it´s Beaulieu, Pateryn or Tinordi but these three guys would all do better as our 6th dman man than Murray and Bouillon.

        • frontenac1 says:

          He’s one of the only guys that instils respect in the opposition. He is a reliable stay at home D man. Sign him again for more year.

          • B says:

            Murray is big and tough, not doubt about that. He can clear the front of the net like a bulldozer. He is also a pretty good penalty killer. At even strength however, he seems to lack the mobility needed to properly contain rushing forwards.

            –Go Habs Go!–

          • Bob_Sacamano says:

            Oh god no! He is not reliable at all. I mean we´re talking about the NHL here and not the ECHL, right? I´m sure every coach is glad when Murrays´s on the ice.

            I don´t know why some can´t/don´t want to see how horrible he is. Every stat and 80% of his shifts speak for themselves.

    • Mark C says:

      Let’s take a 21 year old defenseman working to make the NHL and call him up to play the wing, a position he’s never played. On his off side no less. This is a worse idea than your over reliance on crummy stats.

  20. gmoan says:

    No matter how good we may look over the course of the season, it’s obvious we are not contenders and will not be as long as we have DDH as our go to offence guy… Shame and mind blowing how management is in complete denial not to mention the French media….

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Disagree heartily. We are certainly, as our record shows, “contenders”. In the East. Against the West … not so much.

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

      • vegas says:

        so you disagree that our first line center, who plays with our 2 top wingers, who gets first line minutes and plays on the first wave of the powerplay is not and issue??? just a litte reminder he is on pace for a 30 point season

  21. careyprice31 says:

    Guys lets calm down for a second were still having a great season your making us feel like sabre fans. Can we please look at the many good things the habs have done this year

    armand

  22. RAM_TOUGH says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of my HIO brothers & sisters.

    We fight just as all dysfunctional families do.

    Live, Love & enjoy your family & friends. Life is too short to dwell on the pity things in this world!

    May God Bless Each & Everyone …

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  23. CHicoHab says:

    Gio has missed a lot of games with arm rotator cuffs or bicep injuries. Maybe this never quite fixed and explains how awful his shooting, timing, passing etc all off. Not much strength in both arms. Just saying.

  24. Plekasuares says:

    Give galchenyuk time with pleks..and we will have a line

    • SmartDog says:

      I agree. And even though Gionta has some use still… with a bigger and younger winger that could be a great line.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  25. krob1000 says:

    Since 2008 Habs have drafted plenty of forwards…aside from the obvious 2 in Chucky and Gally…only LEblanc and Dumont have made the NHl for the HAbs…they played a combined 62 games …I cannot blame this on the trading of some picks…Glachenyuk was a gimme and Glallagher a gem that late..but threst hvae been very disppointing…

    in 09 it was a year the Habs had a 1st, two 3rdsand the rest of their picks…they only drafterd one d man that year…of the forwards they selected LL has 45 games played, Dumont 15 and that is it…..that year was costly and not sure that trading a 2nsd impacted anything…tehy had a first and 2 3rds and they

    • Jerman says:

      If you look at the 2009 draft. There isn’t many good players that made the NHL that were drafted after LL. I only see 2 (Chris Kreider & Jakob Silfverberg). It was a bad draft year

  26. krob1000 says:

    Wow…Montreal historically sucks in the first round of the draft….
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00006929.html

  27. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If we are throwing out names…how about Derek Stepan? Young center, 6 feet, RH and top 2 line potential.

    Just tired of watching DD get so much PP time on the way to a 35 pt season…

  28. montreal ace says:

    MT has done a fine job with the roster he has been given, his coaching skills are more then the sound bites he gives to the media. One of the first people to congratulate him, when he became coach was Sidney Crosby, so much for the hate people said he had.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I suppose although a lot of people in T.O. would jump to congratulate another city for making Rob Ford their mayor. Just saying.

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

  29. montreal ace says:

    The reason we don’t have any scorers in the system at the moment, is the trading of draft picks. We lost 3- 2nd and 2-3rd picks due to quick fixes, from 2009 ti 2011. The fact that MB has stopped this foolish practice, is for me a huge step forward.

    • Sportfan says:

      More prospects and decent ones will help this team grow.

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      • montreal ace says:

        Power forwards don’t grow on trees, and in those 3 years Montreal gave up 5 chances to draft one. MB with Dudley have signed a few over aged juniors to try and rectify the situation. This team will get bigger but it will take a couple more years.

    • Phil C says:

      Yep.They also gave up their 1st in 2008.

    • krob1000 says:

      Not necesarily true…it is that and a combination of letting assets go for nothing, giving up on kids too early, a deal for Gomez that sent away a top d prospect and ate up a ton of cap space that oculd have provided emnoguh space to entice 2 20 goal guys who could still be here. The trades of the mid picks were only a small part of the problem and were being used to address a pre existing problem..of ..you guessed it not enough scoring. There is plenty of blame also some drafts that did nt work out…LEblanc, CHips, Maxwell, Lats, Kristo,Andrei Kietc

      The Habs 1st round picks since 2003

      03-Andrei K(I miss his 20 goals now)
      04-Chipchura(injury ruined)
      05-Price
      06-Fischer(dman that never worked out)
      07-Patches and MCdonagh(the worst deal in HAb history?)
      08- No 1st pick with 2nd team picks Kristo ..now C Thomas in case Gio or GAlly need a stand in or double for any stunts.
      09-Leblanc
      10-Tinordi
      11-Beaulieu
      12.Galchenyuk-Finally!!
      13. Mccarron

      So I think it can be as much on the drafting with the higher picks as it appears that if the team even had top picks they may not have done much withthem…and this is 1st rounders…drafts are a crap shoot but trades, free agency and mangament of cap space and expiring assets can also aid a rebuild and ensure depth and scoring.

    • Luke says:

      The True elite scorers are typically drafted in the top 5, and rarely traded.
      That’s probably why Montreal doesn’t have any great game breaking scorers.

      All the others… those 30 goal guys who have warts on them… they can be found all throughout, but franchise, top scorer types… way more often than not – top 5.

  30. Sportfan says:

    Pick one from each group you may explain why

    1) Sam Gagne or Eberle
    2) Taylor Hall or Nugent-Hopkins
    3) Nail Yakupv or Ryan Murray
    4) Mackinnon or Jones
    5) Montreal or New York Bagels

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    • krob1000 says:

      1. Eberle..he is clutch, a righty and a gamebreaker
      2. Hall….Habs have enough playmakers
      3. Alex Galchenyuk…there was only one superstar from that draft!!
      4. Mackinnon….Mackinnon has the character and well rounded game to be an Yzerman clone…Habs already have Pk to eat half of the game on D. If HAbs had no PK and Glach….Jones.
      5. Bagels are for bagel ickers

    • habstrinifan says:

      1) Eberle more dynamic
      2)Taylor Hall more promise?
      3)Ryan Murray what you see is what you get…
      4) Jones.. McKinnon had better press but Jones is real long term
      5) New York bagels… sorry Mtl. no contest.

  31. sims says:

    When is the last time Gionta has gotten an honest-to-goodness shot on net? I dont mean on the scoresheet, but the kind of shot that you skate in, cross the blueline and get it past the defenders stick or skates and doesnt go up into the mesh. honestly, has this ever happened?

    ineffective is the best word here i think. hopefully someone wants him at the deadline for “leadership”.

    • Sportfan says:

      The Coyotes game he had one really good shot every other shot he took missed the net it was really weird.

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

    • BleedsTri-colour says:

      And when was the last time he actually hit the net! I can’t remember a Hab who misses the net (especially on good chances) as often as Gio. Frustrating…. he has too many weak shot/easy save opportunities for goalies. Seems to score only when he is set up by Pleks or somebody. Bye, bye Gio. It was a good run…

  32. gmoan says:

    Where’s petrov, he would be a good fit

  33. Plekasuares says:

    Make pleks captain once Gio leaves!

  34. gmoan says:

    DDH invisible for 59.59 minutes…. Great presence of mind on that assist though….

    Paches… You will not win a Stanley cup with DDH as your center

  35. scotland says:

    bwoar, great post on MT. accurate as hell.

  36. scotland says:

    streeltownhab, agree with you on loading up the top six with the “scorers” (use that term loosely) but i gotta news flash for ya buddy….brian gionta is not a goal scorer. he plays top minutes, pp, pk , ot and never gets move off pleks line. and 300 plus players will finsish ahead of him in scoring.

    i would be willing to wager that gionta is deadlast in scoring for players on pp.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      We don’t have the best options. maybe Bourque or Briere. But I like Gionta’s 2-way game as well and although he’s a shell of his old self. Still can contribute to somewhat of a forecheck.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  37. SmartDog says:

    PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
    Dec 19, 2013
    The OFFICIAL start of full-on Therrien finger pointing. And likely the start of the end for him in Montreal IMHO.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • bwoar says:

      I only mark my calendar on days Timo says something nice about him.

      “thoroughbred”

    • Cal says:

      He won’t be replaced. MT’s contract will run its full course.
      Coaches do have to point out the obvious slackers. Last night was a debacle. There have been too many games like that lately. Is it the coach or the horses? I’m tending towards it being the horses. They aren’t talented or hard working enough every night to compete. It looked very much like they were phoning it in last night. Gionta, as captain, has to wake up the squad, too, because he sure isn’t leading by example.

      • SmartDog says:

        When the horses aren’t properly trained they don’t follow commands well.

        This team is being told “go go go!!!”. When I heard Therrien say “we’re a grinding team” to this team that is small but quick I realized that his mantra has a lot of cheerleading and wishful thinking.

        We’re not a grinding team, and “go go go” is no match for a team that’s well coached with great strategy. I think the players see what we see – the GM signed a couple of the absolute wrong guys for teh wrong reasons and the coach is banging one drum while others are orchestrating symphonies. What was the game we lost because they realized Price likes to wander and they goaded him into making a mistake? OTHER coaches are picking apart the Habs. I don’t see that happening as much with us (and I don’t hear it much on 24CH either though I realize that’s just a thin slice of what happpens… but still.)

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • Cal says:

          Only a few coaches have enough talent to go all symphonic. Right now, the list is very short. Quenneville, Hitchcock, Sutter and Bylsma are doing it. For the rest, who don’t have the horses, they’re banging a drum while whistling past the graveyard.

          PS- yes, even the blues can turn into a Country and Western song. See for yourself at: http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    • VancouverHab says:

      I started finger-pointing in the summer when MT was appointed.

      I say still what I said then: “this will end badly.”

    • krob1000 says:

      He still has time to figure things out…I have liked his approach this year for the most part….a few things I repeat oh just about every day half a dozen times bother me…and others have issues to but the bootom line is right now he has the team in a pretty decent spot. Hopefully the coaches and palyers can use the break comingup to take an objective loook at their first half and see what worked, what did not and get things nailed down and deliver a more consistent effort.

    • Mark C says:

      Why what did he say/do?

  38. bwoar says:

    Reading a few comments down…. I think i’ll use “Please the separatist” as a euphemism for something else in the future. It’s just dirty enough in the right context. Bonus point if you say it with MT’s accent.

    After another bad loss, I think the only consolation is the old saw “you are what your record says you are”. Thing is, MT’s record also has “crappy TV analyst on a D-grade sports channel” and “couldn’t keep his mouth shut in the playoffs”, and “couldn’t win with the Penguins” all on the same sheet.

    Whatever he’s doing, it sure ain’t pleasing the separatist!

    “thoroughbred”

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    Heads up to the Staff at HI/O, but it looks like Shiram is trying to shut down this website. He is suggesting a moratorium on trade proposals, this would pretty much turn HI/O into a ghost town. Perhaps his comments require moderating. :)

  40. CHicoHab says:

    No trade will happen during this season. What you see in Montreal and Hamilton is what you get.

  41. shiram says:

    Dunno if it was posted before, but McDonalds, in a bid to try to remain the dominant fast food chain has created the Gallagher Burger, coming soon.

    http://imgur.com/a/d0Cak

  42. habstrinifan says:

    Price and Subban for Malkin;Neal;Letang;Fleury.

    We get some players who love MT and whom MT loves and they get a goalie and a thorughbred.

    I say do it Mb.

  43. krob1000 says:

    The usage of BRiere reminds moe of the 07-08 Habs…a 4 line offensive team that was beating the likes of the BRuins and Flyers on deoth and offense. They got beat up,…..but they won. Ryder was given a 4th line role and often sent to the pressbox…he was not used properly. The team didn’t recognize its own strength and come playoff time their two opponents were the Bruins and the Flyers….so what did the HAbs do? they tried to outgrind the grinders? They got by Boston but Philly beat them.
    The irony is that after that season….a season in which the HAbs were getting by on 4 line depth….they went and changed their philospohy and wnated more muckers…..what did the Bruins do? They adopted the Habs 4 line model….the rest is history.

    MB I belive tried to again address the 4 line depth…but I can’t help butthink of the movie moneyball where the coach refuses to use Billy Beans palyers the way he wants him to…..so he trades some of the guys getting in teh way.

    It is very clear…when the HAbs roll 4 lies and attack in waves relentlessly offensviely…they win…whenr they try to “grind it out” they lose…it is that simple…the team is not built to “grind it out” for God sakes tehy are the smallest forward group in the NHL…how does that strategy make any sense at all?

    Really…can someone inidcate to me the logic in insisting on dressigna 4th line of White-Pust/Moen,etc when you have 4 top nine centers? The team can;t score is it not obvious? When they score they win…the defense and goaltending is good enough? MB must be about to blow a gasket.

  44. HabinBurlington says:

    I didn’t watch last night’s game, does that mean I thing otherwise?

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting read here on the process of NCAA Football players picking agents. Probably different from the hockey players process in some ways, but still applicable.

    http://mmqb.si.com/2013/12/19/nfl-agents-recruit-draft-prospects/?eref=sihp

  46. habstrinifan says:

    Breaking news! I am RIGHT… everyone else is WRONG! So there!

  47. shiram says:

    You should write Therrien’s post game speech.
    Would make for entertaining teevee, and the boys AC would go bonkers.

  48. Steeltown Hab says:

    I buy into the top-9 having 3 scoring lines. But you need quality centers down the middle or really strong wingers, we don’t really have either. We might as well load up the top 6 so we have 2 solid scoring lines.

    Pacioretty- Eller- Gallagher
    Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gionta
    Bournival – Davey/Danny – Bourque
    Prust – White – Moen

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  49. krob1000 says:

    Kooch ” They need a goalie still and better defense but you are right offensively they are still one of the best in the league.” is what you wrote refrring to my Pens are my early cup favourite post….they are only behind Boston defensively in the East and LA in the West. They rank 3rd in the NHL in Goals against..AND have Cros/Malk/NEal. They have had plenty of injuries and still chug along….I wouldn’t bet against them in the playoffs. I think they went too far overboard at the deadline last year…brought in too many new bodies at once that late …but if they add a couple at deadline as they normally do I don’t see how anyone could bet against them…

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      They’re always in the mix, but I think St. Louis, LA, or Chicago would handle them.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  50. habstrinifan says:

    I see the question “would you trade Eller for Kane?”.
    I think most seem to be agreeing(and I do too) that if a reasonable package including Eller could acquire Kane, it should be done. People would differ on what is reasonable of course.

    But lets us say the trade is done. I have a question.

    Do you see Kane, in our system or team concepts; or whatever they are calling it now; being a ‘solution’?

    Basically I am asking, would we be adding another player who needs to fit in to what we are supposedly preaching. And do you see that ‘all other things being equal’ a Kane deal (or any other player) will help to the extent to justify the cost.

    AS my question implies, I am not confident that would be the case. Are you?

    • Timo says:

      I would trade MB for Armstrong. And Therrien for Hitchcock. The rest will sort itself out naturally.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Obviously value wise, Kane has a lot more than Eller. But for our team. We have forward prospects coming on the wings, as for Center we don’t really have anything coming after Bournival that could be top 9.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

      • galchenyuk27 says:

        We would still have Gally Pleks Bournival White Briere and DD who all play center

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Galchenyuk hasn’t played C in years which worries me but I have faith and if Pleks goes once he’s UFA in 2 years..ya. I don’t like that situation. Desharnais is 100% useless if we’re talking about being a competing team.

        ———————————

        Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  51. shiram says:

    Can HIO also get a moratory on trade proposals?

  52. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If you want Evander Kane, it will take Max. I would do a deal involving Max and DD (etc.) for Kane (etc).

    The three scoring line strategy is BS. Habs need to pick two scoring lines. Plekanec is an excellent 2nd line center. Eller is an excellent third line center who can play hard. The fourth line center is easy to find (White, Bournival, free agent, etc.). Habs HAVE NO first line center. Chucky can takes Pleks place in two years. The Habs will have to give up something to get something. I can give up Max and DD because they are too one-dimensional (terrible defensively) and you can’t win with guys like that in the playoffs.

    • krob1000 says:

      They have enough for 4 scoring lines…and when they dress them and play them that way they win…
      The team can’t score now and you want to shrink the number of opportunities? That is totally backwarsds logic to me
      The Habs do not have a top 6 that compete even with lowly teams in the NHL…they do however have 4 lines that are on par or better than 2/3rds of the league. Why they don’t dress them that way is a mystery…they do…they win more than they lose, they score…then they change it up? that is my beef.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I would trade Max and DD for Kane just to get rid of DD’s contract

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  53. Ian Cobb says:

    Some of these big, strong fast teams are complaining to the league, that it is unfair that Montreal has most of the smaller players in the league. They squeeze between cracks and legs of our players and completely unfair.!!

  54. nickster13 says:

    The Blues hired the best man for the job, A coach that was known for his teams playing a certain way, teams with identities. Give him the horses like St. Louis had, and its no wonder why they find success. Same with Carlyle, he had the horses in Anaheim, and he won the cup. Difference is now, the Leafs don’t have the horses, especially on D, where they are awful.
    Our criteria was not a coach with an identity, it was a coach who could appease the separatists.
    While what I say won’t change anything, I hope when Therrien gets fired, we hire a coach with a system and who actually knows the type of team that can win in the NHL, not a Therrien, a re-hash who only had a small measure of success because he had Crosby, Malkin and Letang.
    Merry Xmas.

  55. Ian Cobb says:

    The only thing wrong with the Hab’s the last few weeks is they are playing better teams now. Teams that know where each other are on the ice at all times. Teams that play a well re-Hurst system, that are playing a team with no system in place yet. We do not seem to have a game plan except for changing players around to find some sort of magic combo. We are like the leafs of fall blown with the wind, bumping into each other.
    We have some great young talent for Bergevin to start building a contender with. But I am starting to wonder if the coaching can get us there over the next few years as we replace older players with our new recruits.
    This team is still a lot more enjoyable to watch the last couple years.

  56. Propwash says:

    I’m willing to bet the St.Louis Blues DON’T make it to the finals…

    http://i.imgur.com/uvz4Qys.gif

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I don’t know about that Prop. If they didn’t face LA last year first round they would have gone a little deeper. They are built really like LA. I think they would beat LA this year

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Chicago and L.A. are still the favourites in my eyes, despite how good St. Louis look. Until they have a deep playoff run and prove to themselves they are “that” good.

        St. Louis remind me of the Sharks, look great but never win when it counts. Not sure what is missing from them, but I don’t see them coming out of the West.

        • krob1000 says:

          Any team with Crosby and Malkin is still who my money would go on. They will strengthen at the deadline as per usual….

          • Kooch7800 says:

            They need a goalie still and better defense but you are right offensively they are still one of the best in the league.

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I just have a feeling Burly. Did you watch the series against LA last year….it was a tight series and Physical (the most physical series I have seen in a long long time). I have never seen so many hits. I really think that is why LA just ran out of gas in the later rounds. In Saying that Chi town is always a favorite as their offense is quite insane and they have Keith and Seabrook on the back end they will always be a contender

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • frontenac1 says:

            My buddy the Hawks fan also said they were lucky to Not face the Blues early on last year’s playoffs. Just can’t get over the frikkin Sens beating the Blues this week.

  57. arcosenate says:

    If there was a team out there trying to get smaller we’d be a natural fit for a trade.

  58. Hobie Hansen says:

    Big and strong teams have a tough time cracking the shell around the front of the St. Louis net. The smallest group of forwards in the league, Montreal, next to impossible.

    Regardless of who the Habs are playing, the past few weeks they’ve been forced off to the side of the net along the goal line, along the boards, in the corners or up at the blueline.

    God do we ever need more size and grit!!!!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      It is quite evident just how much of a perimeter game we are playing lately. The habs need to look outside though for help.

      Gallagher is our biggest warrior and he is smaller than me!

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  59. scotland says:

    agree with post that states therrien has “3 lines trying to play exact same way”. likely the main reason they are so easy to play against. and while some well coached balanced teams can dismantle the habs and basically not even let them play.
    -

  60. Habfan10912 says:

    A question we all wanted to ask but where afraid. Are Smart Dog and Forum Dog related? Brothers perhaps? :)

  61. Kooch7800 says:

    Question just for the sake of the question…..

    Would you trade Lars Eller straight up for Evander Kane?

    Both young, both have upside. but would be a win for both teams currently and actually would be an even trade. This would make Chucky move in to a centre role earlier but I think it is warranted.

    Pleks, Chucky, DD and white or briere as your centres. Gives you another big winger to play with Patches as I don’t think DD is going anywhere.

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • shiram says:

      I don’t think the Jets would do that trade. Habs would have to add.

    • Phil C says:

      In a nano-second, not sure Winnipeg would. They would really have to hope Eller would turn into a 1st line centre for that trade to make sense for them.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I would be ok with adding a bit to the trade ie Diaz or another D prospect but that would give the Jets two big centres in Wheeler and Eller. I think Eller if paired with the right wingers could do really well

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Phil C says:

          Wheeler is a winger I believe. They have Little, Jokinen, and Scheifele down the middle. But if the Habs added to that deal, it would get closer to something to tempt them.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            My bad Phil you are right. For some reason I thought he was a centre

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Joking but, ARE YOU HIGH?

      Try Eller a 1st rounder and probably more for Kane.

    • Forum Dog says:

      I’d hate to get rid of Eller, but sometimes you’ve got to play the cards you have. You can’t just sit on assets and hope that it all works out. If you could trade Eller+ and get Kane in return, I think it might be a good move. You get back a skilled and aggressive forward who plays the wing, you free up space down the middle for players to assume more clearly defined roles, and you create a 1-2 punch at LW (Kane and Pacioretty) that would be hard for other teams to defend.

      If you could do Eller+ (say Tinordi), and get back Kane and someone else (a project like Ellerby), I’d be tempted….

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I agree. I would add to it to make it work cause we don’t have the wingers in the system to help but we do have some centres on the team currently and I don’t think DD is going anywhere. DD, Max and Kane would be a nice like or even put Pleks as the centre

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Forum Dog says:

          Yup. Personally, I could see a Galchenyuk/Kane tandem terrorizing teams for a long time. Follow that with Pacioretty and whoever plays with him and you have the makings of a potent top six.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Can’t see Winnipeg doing it unless, as other Commenters say, the Canadiens sweeten the pot … a lot.
      I love Eller. But I don’t think he’s the centre on your first line.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I think MB may have to do it. We don’t have the wingers to really compete and we need a young winger with some grit and scoring power. How about Eller, Bourque and a 1st?

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Cal says:

          I don’t like the idea of trading a center with size. Try trading DD and Brière first with whatever to sweeten the pot.
          Habs finally have a center with size and we here want a winger back for him? No thanks!

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Galchenyuk has size Cal and will be a top 1 or 2 centre. Eller might be a number 2 or 3 centre and yes he has size but without wingers to help dig we are going to still struggle. DD and Briere are not going to fetch anything at this point as they are both over paid and under producing. Briere you might get a bite as he only has a year left

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Cal says:

            @Kooch-
            Size up the middle works. All 4 centers should be at least 6′ and roughly 200lbs. 4 Dmen should be of the over 200lb variety (preferably even larger).
            Habs wingers aren’t large enough on average because of Gionta and Gally skewing the numbers a little. Gio will be gone after this season. One or both of DD and Brière has to go.
            Smaller players have to be insulated, not half of the forwards.

      • Forum Dog says:

        Its true. The only way Winnipeg trades Kane is if a) they get a monster offer, or b) they don’t think he is a good fit in the room. If its the former, then the team that gets him gives up a lot. If its the latter, the team that gets him is has to hope that he straightens out. Its a gamble either way, but the payoff is considerable. 6’2″ forwards who can skate, score and fight do not just fall out of the sky.

  62. arcosenate says:

    Not much to look at last night, Habs have basically sucked for 2 weeks now. This is the same style of play and timing that cost Carbonneau his job, I believe.

    Very soft, very disorganized and incapable of putting the puck in the net.

    Two 2 on 1’s short-handed? That’s a fairly strong indicator that something has gone horribly wrong.

    Every team in the league is looking for a top six forward and a top four defenceman, any change is going to be an expensive one, and may not be worth it in the long run.

    Although I look through the system and for some reason everyone seems to be 5’8″ tall and a buck fifty pounds.

    That ain’t going to get it done.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      The habs will have to look outside for offense as we don’t have any gems coming down the pipe. Galchenyuk and Gallagher are our best offensive prospects.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • arcosenate says:

        The Finn, Lehkonen is a scorer, but he is not huge, 5’11”, 180lbs.

        It’s difficult to envision a trade that will give us goal scoring, and you don’t get scorers drafting 20th overall.

        Not a great outlook frankly.

      • Forum Dog says:

        I agree here completely. There are some legitimate D prospects, but not much in terms of forwards. This is where I think MB has some room to make a move. If he could swap a D prospect and a roster player or two for a winger with size and skill who can play now, that would be a trade I’d like to see. Obviously wingers with size AND skill who can play now are not easily had, and that may be the crux of the problem right there.

        • arcosenate says:

          Evander Kane asking price 2 top six forwards and a high draft pick or prospect. Way too much.

          But may have to be done, if they want to compete now.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Depends on what your forwards are. If you were giving something like Eller, Gio and Diaz that may work. Eller and a first I would even do

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • chfan4life says:

      Except for Crisp and McCarron, Habs are stock piling skilled small players while the west are stock piling the big players with speed to crash, bang and score the garbage goals. But that is what the Habs are missing…..oh boy, what are we doing wrong?

  63. chfan4life says:

    “We need a better work ethic,” the coach added, “if we’re going to have a hope of winning.” Is this not you and the other coaching staff are responsible for. What a dumb statement.

    It is evident that the game plan to beat the Habs is pretty easy. MT has nothing to counter with…..not much options when the team has no game breaker. Without one, even with their so call DEPTH, the Habs will always be a pretender.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Clearly there has been a lack of intensity in the boys the last couple of weeks. When a coach speaks of “work ethic” it means to me that there doesn’t seem to be much effort during practice and the weight room as well. You are correct that part of that responsibility belongs to the coach and his staff. Perhaps MT speaking publicly about it is his way to correct it?

      Trini pointed out a practice video clip on HABSTV the other day. It wasn’t very pretty. It seemed more like an optional pregame skate then a practice.

      Let’s hope this changes and changes quickly.

  64. SKHab says:

    Does anyone have a link for Canada vs Finland this morning?

  65. Kooch7800 says:

    Tough loss last night but even tougher stretch with little offense and no serious injuries.

    Emelin is having a tough go but lack of training camp etc isn’t helping. Markov and Subban need to be put back together.

    I think MB will have to make a trade to help our offense as we really don’t have any major offensive threats coming down the pipe in the next few years either. This team is going to be pretty deep in Defense so we need to part with some to help our offense

    I am actually shocked MB didn’t go after Omark. A conditional 6 round picks …. He has offensive upside

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  66. adamkennelly says:

    I don’t understand why some of these guys don’t just try harder….move your freakin feet, hustle, be aggressive.

    Pax, Bourque, Moen – even White these days – its pathetic.

  67. kalevine says:

    Mr Boone! not quite correct to say that this was the first even strength regulation goal in 356 minutes. Pacioretty scored an “even strength” empty netter with 3 secs left in Phoenix game. But it was 356 minutes withoput an even strength, regulation, non empty net goal :)

  68. Casanova says:

    What do you guys think about:
    1. Plekanec for Mcdonagh
    2. Gionta, Gorges and Beaulieu for Yakupov

  69. Forum Dog says:

    They were simply manhandled. St. Louis’ players – from the D to their forwards – just did not let the Habs do anything with the puck. They pushed hard around their own net, and they pushed harder around Montreal’s net. It wasn’t until Murray put a late hit on someone (Steen maybe) that Montreal got more physically active. But by then it was far too late.

    It’s been said a thousand times, but until Montreal adds more physical aggression to their top six, they will not succeed against the better teams in this league. Its not just size, its the willingness to shove and be shoved. Pacioretty, for all his size and strength, is a straight up puss. Same goes for Bourque. Even Moen is a bit of a nice-guy. Last night you had Oshie, Stewart, Morrow and even Steen getting in their and mixing it up. I did not see anything remotely comparable from the Montreal forwards. When the guys with the most tenacity are under 5’9″ (Gio and Gally), you’re in trouble.

    On D, Diaz was clearly overwhelmed. Gorges does so many things right, but he lacks the physical attributes and skills to compliment his smarts. Murray played physical, but went out of his way to do it, as did Subban and Emelin. Can’t be running around back there against a structured team like the Blues.

    I’m not sure there is much the Habs can do with their roster. Their kind of at a cross-roads right now. They could improve with the right trade, but might be reticent to give up prospects at this stage. They also have two contracts that are basically unmovable, and unfortunately those are exactly the players that they need to upgrade.

    Final thought – it is good to have balance and depth, but sometimes it is also good to have clearly defined roles. Instead of having three lines each trying to do the same thing, maybe it would be good have lines dedicated to certain tasks.

    Example: Plekanec and Gionta are good defensive players who can make things happen in the transition because of their speed and smarts, but are not particularly creative. So, instead of putting Galchenyuk with them, give them Prust or Moen, who are good skaters and diligent forecheckers. Then run these guys out against the other teams top lines and shut them down. Put your best playmaker (Galchenyuk) back with some aggressive forwards who go to the net (i.e. Eller and Gallagher) and let them focus on scoring. If Pacioretty and Desharnais are married at the hip, then give them another big winger who can forecheck and take up space down low, but still has enough skills to pot a few (Bourque).

    Seems to me that, right now anyway, there is an attempt to create three lines that are very similar in approach, and one line that goes out and crashes. It is a very predictable strategy that does not force the opposing team to adjust.

    Sorry folks, unnecessarily long post. Had to get that off my chest….

    • krob1000 says:

      Agree re PLees with Chucky and Gionta…they worked best with Bourque, Bournival and even Briere. Chucky could work with Pleks …but it would have to involve a third offensive guy with creativity. Gionta is a shooter and can go to the net but he cannot think the game offensively with Pleks and Chucky.
      The right wing position is a sore spot for Montreal….the best options are two guys of similar size and style in Gallagher/Gio…the other options are Prust( alefty), Bourque ( a lefty who can play there and prefers to but often is put at left), Briere (who is a center who needs more open space to do his thing). RW is Montreal’s achilles heel right now….

      • Forum Dog says:

        Yup, this is true. Very few natural RW’s on this team, and none who are taller than 5’9″. I actually think Bourque is better as RW though. He has a decent shot and, by playing on his off wing, gets more chances to get it on net from a good shooting position (i.e. high slot). As a LH shot, it is easier to cut to the middle and fire in stride when you are playing your off wing.

      • Casanova says:

        I would really like to see Bournival with Paccioretty and Desharnais. I’ve been wanting to see it all year and have not yet.

        Briere – Plekanec – Gionta
        Bournival – Desharnais – Paccioretty
        Gallager – Eller – Galchenyuk
        Bourque – Prust – Moen

    • Phil C says:

      No question the roster is still not balanced WRT size and physicality and I agree there are no quick fixes, but they are not even getting the most out of the current roster. The lack of offense right now goes beyond not having the right personnel. The current personnel are also under-achieving for some reason.

  70. jeffhabfan says:

    It was another stinker Last night which is almost something that we are seeing most nights the last couple of weeks now.

  71. frontenac1 says:

    Hola amigos! Habs didn’t show up last night. Price sucked in the 1st. 3 goals on 8 shots? The only guy hitting was Murray. On Monday, the Sens are playing the Blues.,Neil beat up Jackman in the third.Result?Sens take over game, out hit Blues 38-32, tie game and 3-2 win in OT by the Sens. The frikkin Sens! Saludos!

    • Grimmly says:

      Price was the only player that sucked in the first right? i think 1 goal was on him, but come on they all stunk

      • frontenac1 says:

        They all stunk for sure. But really. 5 goals on 29 shots vs 1 goal on 26 shots? Yikes! Everyone gave up. No hitting, no fights, nothing from Les Boys last night. It’s kick in the arse time.

    • chfan4life says:

      We don’t have a Neal to turn the tide. We have bad shoulder Prust who is willing but not a heavy weight. Our team is not build to grind and be physical on a nightly bases. There is no identity on this team. If it is speed, I don’t see it being used or better, teams can easily neutralize speed.

  72. Arnou Ruelle says:

    I’m listening to Tony Marinaro this morning. The question for the day is how can you help the Canadiens. One caller suggested to have Subban play as a forward (Which I do not think it is a great idea!). I do agree that Therrien should leave Subban do his thing and leave him alone, instead of straining his talent as a d-man.

  73. Phil C says:

    I don’t mind losing to a team like the Blues, but the Habs are also playing well below the abilities right now for reasons unknown to me. Other than Subban, all of their offensive players are producing at a rate well below their normal potential, yet alone to the maximum potential, and even Subban only has 2 points in his last 9 games. Pleks on pace for less than 50 points? He should be in the 60-70 range. Eller is on pace for for less than 40 points, yet he had 30 in only 48 games last year. Moen is on pace for 3 frickin goals. One game can change his season average, but only one goal in 32 games out of Moen is unusual even for him. I could go on and on, but what happened to the offense?

    – They had a more aggressive forecheck last year, yet they were trapping instead last night (only one forechecker deep), mostly in an ineffective way as the Blues quickly sliced through the trap almost every time. Why the change?

    -They rarely produce shots with traffic for some reason, a sure formula for failure in the NHL, the goalies are too good. With out deflections, screens, and rebounds, it is very tough to score in the NHL. This is hockey 101, so the coaching staff are obviously aware, yet they can’t get them to do it. What up with that?

    – Is it me, or are the Habs defensemen not jumping into the rush enough? They seems seriously shackled.

    -Why is DD on the first wave of the PP? He lost every face-off last night to start the PP, turning a 2 minute PP into a 1:30 PP. As every PP starts with an offensive zone face-off, that would be reason enough to start Pleks, not to mention he has been more productive than DD on the PP in general. Another head-scratcher for me.

    Anyway, I don’t know what’s going on, but the offense is anemic right now, which makes it tough to compare them to a contender. We could blame it on the Blues’ structure, but the Habs have struggled offensively against all comers lately, so I don’t want to give the Blues too much credit.

    • chfan4life says:

      Very good pts Phil. I think by now, most of us have the same feeling that the Habs do not have all the pieces to be a contender. MB is building thru the draft which will take roughly 5 years to develop. Right now it is so frustrating as a Fan because we have been waiting for so so long for a contending team to rise from the ashes to win the Holy Grail again.

  74. thebonscott says:

    IS KREIDER’S NECK THIS LONG?????
    http://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=/i/headshots/nhl/players/full/5833.png&w=200&h=145

    For the sake of all that is right, please put the comment box on upper right of page!!!!!

  75. bwoar says:

    Regarding Diaz:

    I don’t hate the guy, he’s a decent #6… frankly between him and Gorges it’s a push. I want neither on the team for 3+ million dollars. Those are the players you sign for 2.75M a year on 2 year contracts and toss into a trade when you’re trying to upgrade at another position. NHL calibre, yes, but not irreplaceable and only really valuable as stop-gap players while you wait for younger, better options to come ready.

    That said – I’m still not convinced that Beaulieu will ever be as good as Raphael Diaz, so, it’s a crapshoot either way. I’d rather MB go beat the bushes for some tougher stock and give us a break from too many PMD on the same squad.

    “thoroughbred”


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