About last night …

While it was great to get a W – and by shutout! – over the team’s playoff nemesis, let’s realize your Montreal Canadiens won the first battle of what is going to be a four-game regular-season war.

I hate the Philadelphia Flyers for their tradition of thuggishness, but there is a lot of talent on that hockey team.

We saw it through 40 minutes, and particularly in the second period, when the Flyers had a 20-8 shot advantage.

Philadelphia’s top nine forwards are better than the Canadiens’. That superiority was obvious over five playoff games last May, and we saw evidence of it again last night.

How does the better team on paper lose 3-0 on the ice?

CA-REY!

In three games prior to visiting the Bell Centre, the Flyers had scored 18 goals. My rapidly-diminishing math skills tell me that’s an average of six per game.

Carey Price allowed six fewer than that average.

 

 

Late in the third period last night, I had a chat with my friend Eric Engels. He asked if I were as suprised as he by how spectacularly Price has begun the season.

I’m not.

Gratified? Yes.

Relieved? Definitely.

Surprised? No, because Price has excelled at every level of hockey he’s played.

Scouts are not blind. Pundits – at least the ones not blinded by pro-Halak bias – are not stupid.

Price is and always has been a great goaltender. He has a rare combination of size, quickness and athleticism.

That’s what knowledgeable hockey people were talking about when Price’s superior upside was cited as the rationale for keeping him and trading Jaro.

But critics were right when they pointed out the woods are full of the bodies of flamed-out pro athletes who had great upside. And not all of them played hockey in a tough town like Montreal.

After the ridiculous booing in the opening minutes of the first exhibition game, Price urged fans to “chill out.” And some knocked him for the perceived nonchalance of the remark.

Know what?

Chilling out is wise under almost any circumstances, because wisdom and resultant success are rarely achieved through overheated emotion.

Price’s body language through 17 starts has projected cucumber-cool confidence. Save for a few puckhandling gaffes – and he was a third defenceman clearing the biscuit against the Flyers – Price has not made a panicky play this season.

His cool extends beyond the final siren. After Brfian Gionta and Scott Gomez retrieved the puck from that idiot Chris Pronger, Price promptly flipped the souvenir to a kid in the stands.

Who needs it? There’ll be more.

The confidence has radiated out to his teammates. With or without Andrei Markov, the D has played superbly in front of Price: blocking shots, clearing rebounds, minimizing second chances and ensuring the galtender sees everything.

I don’t know how many 24-minute games he’s got left in those 36-year-old legs, but Roman Hamrlik was excellent again last night. He and fellow geezer Jaro Spacek (23 minutes) are a pretty good first pairing. Hal Gill and Josh Gorges (a team-high 7:43 on the PK) were customarily solid.

P.K. Subban played a shade under 16 crowd-pleasing minutes. And I thought his less-flamboyant partner, Alexandre Picard, handled the puck and made smart decisions like the veteran he is.

He only played 13 minutes, but Travis Moen was one of the better forwards. Moen skates, goes to the net, dished out four hits and was ready for action if the third-period goon show got out of hand.

Props to the officials for preventing the Flyers from playing all-out Philadelphia hockey over the last 20 minutes. And the Tom Kostopoulos Memorial Award for Taking a Few for the Team to Max Lapierre for dropping ‘em with Powe, whose cowardly hit on Jeff Halpern deserves a suspension if Colin Campbell isn’t too discombobulated to do his job properly.

The best skater was, of course, Tomas Plekanec. Ho-hum: a goal, an assist, significant minutes on the PP and PK, speed that bedazzled the Flyers and a hesitation move that hypnotized Sergei Bobrovsky.

Is it wild homerism to suggest Pleks is the best two-way centre in the NHL?

As to the league’s best goaltender …

My man Engels suggested maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to bring Price into the NHL as early as the Canadiens did.

It hasn’t been easy or smooth getting from draft day to this season’s early glory. But Carey Price has played 170 regular-season and playoff games in the world’s most demanding – and, too frequently, least forgiving – hockey market. And the experience – combined with the maturity that has come to someone who’s still only 23 – has produced some gaudy numbers.

Click on the stats at nhl.com and Price’s name is atop the goaltender list: First in games started, tied for first in wins with Bobrovsky and Michal Neuvirth, second to Jonas Hiller in saves, second to Tim Thomas in shutouts, sixth (and rising) in GAA and save percentage.

When the season began, Carey Price was the NHL’s biggest question mark.

It’s still early, but we may have an answer.

 

183 Comments

  1. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’m pretty sure of that, Good Canadian boys even if they’re cheap shot artists always get more praise than Europeans.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  2. Jbird says:

    Like if he was a ‘good kid from Saskatchewan’?  Agreed.  

  3. habs33 says:

    I’d love to see that, but historically the media show the goalies no love when it comes time for voting. Are Stubbs, Hickey, Boone and Arpon Basu eligible voters? If so, we might have at least 4 guaranteed votes!

    GO HABS GO!

  4. Jordio-oh says:

    The thing with Price is that he’s staying levelled on all fronts right now. When he plays poor, he knows it, but tells everyone to relax, and when he makes 40 saves and gets the first star, he skates out on the ice after the game and only gives a sheepish wave. If he wants to laugh and shrug his shoulders after a huge save, let him, he’s still a kid afterall and hockey is fun. But he also is learning to stay on an even keel, through the highs and lows.

  5. Philly-Poo says:

    HECK YES!!!

    Totally agree with you both.  I live in Vancouver, and last year, as well as this year, both my fantasy hockey team’s buddies were heckling me for drafting him… They tease me for drafting Pleks in a late round, and yet they go and draft Mason Raymond early on… Idiots… lol

  6. habs-hampton says:

    But how do you not call the hit on Halpern? Isn’t this the textbook “hit from behind”? Isn’t that what they show the refs on video as an example? The man is facing the boards (he didn’t turn in at the last second), and a  guy skates in, and drops his shoulder into his numbers! Why is that a hard call to make?

  7. dh says:

    It’s not like there was one hit though.  The flyers had so many dirty hits that it was difficult to keep track.  If the refs would call them, then teams like that would lose games. 

     

  8. andrewberkshire says:

    I have a feeling that if Plekanec was Canadian he would be getting all kinds of praise from every corner of the media.

  9. Jbird says:

    Without a doubt way ahead of them.  No one outside of MTL is seeming to notice how awesome he is playing. 

  10. habs-hampton says:

    He was just yammering on like Cherry. PK has to earn respect, blah, blah, blah.  Imagine, the Flyers talking about respect!

  11. dh says:

    What we need are officials that don’t close their eyes when a team like the Flyers play.

  12. DearyLeary says:

    Agreed on all counts.  Philly, despite the goon play, is a dangerous offensive team, and between keeping shots to the outside and good rebound control, there weren’t many of those 41 shots that actually looked dangerous.  Truth being, many of those shots were dangerous against goalies that aren’t playing close to perfect hockey. 

    I think a lot of people had reservations about handing Pricey the reins to this team, myself included.  I knew he had the talent, and I’ve been a booster for Price since he was drafted, won the Calder Cup, and eventually called up to the big show.  I was worried he wouldn’t be given the chance by the fans, despite the infinite patience and confidence displayed by the management and coaches. 

    He gew up a lot last year, and it appears he’s not going to give the chance to the Bell Center faithful to get angry, let alone worried. 

  13. habs-hampton says:

    I hear ya. It’s not like we can hope Campbell does something. Best case, Powe gets 2 games. What does that do for Halpern or the Habs? Where is the deterent? Chris Nilan, now there was a deterent. He’d score a goal, beat the crap out of Powe, and be around at the end to keep the rest of the Flyer F*****s in line!

  14. andrewberkshire says:

    I don’t know if Plekanec is better than Datsyuk, but he’s better than everyone else. His only real competition as a 2 way forward aside from Datsyuk is Kesler, and maybe Mikko Koivu. He’s miles ahead of both of them.

  15. joeybarrie says:

    Im sure Picard is capable of helping us out on defence while Markov is out, HOWEVER, he is NO WHERE near a replacement. WE HAD PK’s play when Markov wasn’t injured. I do not want us to simply PASS THE TIME while he is out. We need to compete at the highest possible level. It’s starting to look very gloomy for Markov’s season and we may need to replace him. AND NOT WITH PICARD. I am still hoping for a 4-6 week thing, but it does not look like it.

    As for you being worried about a replacement for Gomez, I don’t know what to say to that. I feel we should really be focusing on helping the part of our team that is lacking, not nonsense.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  16. Timo says:

    I hope we can get through this week without losing any more bodies. Ok, and I admit, we don’t really need an enforcer per se… They have become extinct in the new NHL. But we need a good. You know what I mean… we don’t need Jody Shelly… I mean, what has he done for the flyers or the Sharks? But we need a nutjob like Carcillo. Somebody to run and hurt people. Tooth for tooth, eye for an eye. Man, I still want blood after last 2 games. 

  17. kempie says:

    I’m fine with that. I’d love to be able to fly under the radar until the parade down Ste. Catherine. The more we are lowballed in the power rankings, excluded from AS ballots, ignored on SportsCentre, dissed by CBC and mocked by McGuire, the better it is for the CH. As soon as all those people start to realize and acknowledge the Hab’s awesomeness, teams will become better prepared and highly motivated to hang an L on us. It is possible, maybe even likely, that everyone will continue to underestimate this team until the 82nd game of the year, pointing to a soft schedule, a hot goalie, tired opponents etc. Let’s just keep our mouth shut and our noses clean while we rack up the Ws.

  18. andrewberkshire says:

    Picard just keeps on surprising me. I think he and Subban have very good chemistry. All game it seemed whenever Subban made a little mistake Picard was there for support.

  19. krob1000 says:

    The best part of Price’s game last night was his rebound control…..the shots from long range and through traffic this year so far have not been giving us fits because they have not been generating rebounds, which in turn lead to scrambling, which is what got us hemmed in so often last year.  Long shots,long rebounds, when our guys play the middle like they do we never won a race to any losse pucks and the process would repeat.  This year Price isn’t allowing that to happen and the D is doing a great job of letting Price see the shot …that combination along with Price all of the sudden turning into a Ryan Miller like sponge is the single biggest area of improvement defensively IMO.  The bread basket shots and even the lower ones right now are being controlled….not just saved….HUUUUUGE  DIFFERENCE.

  20. nick says:

    I was about to ask if this was before or after they had 3-4 guys goon him? Classy as ever…

     

  21. Jbird says:

    Canuck fans rival the leaf fans in blindly thinking there players are the best.  Had a polite argument with a Canuck fan at a New West bar last year about whether Willie Mitchell was one of the best D Men in the league.  He honestly laughed out loud when I suggested Markov was better.  That is very typical out here.

  22. kempie says:

    I wonder why. Could it be that it was the stupidest thing to be posted in days? Maybe because it was either an obvious troll job or just so riddled with stupidity that the mods found it unbearable. It’s not easy in here to stand out so convincingly from the run-of-the-mill morons. Your post elevated you to near-Tony status. Now just post the same thing every hour for a few days and you may catch up to the Hall of Famers. You can do it. You have potential.

  23. smiler2729 says:

    My apologies to ya then, I thought you were hinting at going into that Gomez for Iginla territory cuz too many want to swap our perceived crap for other teams’ perceived gold.

    I wasn’t taking a shot at you for the ‘buzz word’ thing, just the ‘buzz word’ itself.

  24. Bash says:

    I’ll do my best to avoid using “cool” buzz words so as not to offend the more literate posters. And certainly I would not want to appear unrealistic. The team is winning right!

    So let’s agree that the team needs some proactive adjustments. Letting things “unfold as they will” in some desiderata fantasy hardly seems like a successful business model.

    Laps could be traded. Desharnais is another possibility who might attract some interest. And of course draft picks are always on the table.

    I’m not advocating Gomez for Iginla silliness…

     

     “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  25. Matt_in_TO says:

    I hear Richards was running his mouth about PK after the game, anyone have a link to what he said?

     

    - In Price We Trust

  26. somerslovesthehabs says:

    HIO removed my post

    so much for freedom of speech, WOW

    Sorry guys,

    Carey is God, Gauthier is a Genius, and there is absolutely no chance that Carey will crack at any point this year

    there, that’s better

    what a joke

  27. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Right on Mr. Boone! I couldn’t agree more. I think we can beat this Flyers team in a best of seven. If they can’t score on us, the shoes on the other foot, isn’t it? Go Habs!!!

     

    Oh and Powe? Live by the sword? Justice will be served somewhere along the line.   

  28. Bob Barker says:

    They tried scoring a goal, it wasn’t working. 

     

  29. cbass says:

    I think they’ll wait til the end of the month for the Friday game in Atlanta. They play the Sabres at home the following night. He’ll want to keep Carey fresh for the division rival.

     

  30. habs33 says:

    A year ago we were comparing where we were in relation to two years ago – before Gainey had blown the team up and reworked a new five-year plan.

    Now we’re two points out of first in the East and enjoying the view atop of the Northeast Division. Where were we last year at this time? We were 8-10-0 with 16pts – not the greatest of records but it was a new team and the word being tossed around was ‘gel’. Boone talked about the 20 game ‘gel’ phase to get a sense of the team. Well, someone broke out the Dippity Do because this year we’re 12-5-1 with 25 pts.

    My point? The W’s we’re racking up now are going to make the push for the playoffs that much easier. This is a team that many pundits and fans were on the fence about even making the playoffs. Now, I know it’s early, but each game that Price plays lights-out, that Pleks plays like the natural two way centre that he is, and that we get steady, shutdown D from our aging blueliners is a game we won’t have to scratch and claw to win in January, February, March and April.

    GO HABS GO!

  31. dh says:

    Agree. But what’s with the refs anyway? They seem to let the Flyers get away with a lot of BS just because that’s their style. There were quite a few hits that should have been called. A couple on Pleks, the one on Gorges.
    The one on Gionta should have a least been an interference call.

    I think that the Flyers have now surpassed the laffs as my most hated team.

  32. SeriousFan09 says:

    THN had Price at 5th in their top 10 Hart candidates in their last update, safe to say he’s going to get even  higher this time around.

    I don’t think a goalie is going to win the Hart though, voting media doesn’t seem interested in giving respect to the netminders, even ones having career years like Ryan Miller. It’s all about giving the Hart to the Art Ross winner because scoring title = MVP these days.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  33. Mike says:

    A few comments in no particular order:

     

    1) People comparing Pleks to Datszyuk are insane. Pleks does not have the same speed and dazzle of our detroit friend. Toews is a better comparison for Pleks. Hard work and ability to adapt.

    2) Price, what can we say… BOOM SHACK AND SAVE! Keep it up… And stay away from Alcohol. 1 thing I did notice last year… It was Saint Patricks day and I saw a few of the Habs downtown because it was a rare 2 days off for them. A few of the Habs were getting drunk (rly drunk) and hitting on girls. Price only had 1 beer… (still hitting on the girls tho… Can’t blame him)

    3) Hammerlik and Spacek have been playing rly well but they need to play less minutes as to not get drained by the end of the season. The question is… how do we distribute the minutes more? Gorges +Gill? Gill can not play those extra minutes… Subban Picard?  Do we trust Picard enough yet…

    4) MArkov…. We love you… Get well.. Heal… AND COME BACK…. The team is better with Markov and we should sign him. if he is healthy, for life.

    6) If Markov is out for the season.. then we will have 5+ million in a cap cushion. (Markov’s salary – the 18 games + the 1.5+ that we have now).  It will be interesting to see what we can do with it. MAB is not the answer, neither is weber. The biggest thing that comes out for this, is  its effect for the Leafs… Now they have another competitor that has cap space, but 1 that also has picks and prospoects.. What could the leafs offer that we couldn’t.. It sucks for them but also for every other team because it means they won’t do as well meaning bostons pick is getting better :(

    7) Subban… what can we say about you… We love you.. But please, for the love of g-d, don’t be the 1 to stand up for your teamsmates like that… We can’t afford for you to get hurt.. you are more valuable then them…

  34. The Juice says:

    Habs won the 1st period

    Habs won the 2nd period

    Habs won the 3rd period

    Nuff said.

    ps-Price is now 5th in GAA and Save %…

  35. oldrrty says:

    Strange but with all the talk of Carey’s play, his name has not come up when people talk of potential Hart candidates.

    I don’t care who wins as long as Toronto doesn’t!

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    The kid wants to play every night and will. The only time Auld gets to play, will be when there are back to back games. Me thinks!

  37. Clay4bc says:

    Look everyone – it’s Captain Hindsight!

    But to address your point, it certainly seems like he has matured.

    __________________________

    I had some hockey taglines, but I don’t know where the puck I put them.

  38. forskis says:

    Just wondering…when Price told fans to chill out after Preseason Game #1, many on here and in the media were convinced that it means Price had not matured and was still a brat.  Have we ever looked at it from the other way around?  Was it not a sign of maturity that Price did not let one bad preseason game get to him and is it not a sign of maturity that he knew it was only a preseason game and really did not matter?

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  39. smiler2729 says:

    You’re probably right that the Habs need ‘tweaks’ (one of those ‘cool’ buzz words in sports talk circles that are so lame along with calling a team’s home ‘a market’ and a team’s players ‘pieces’ but I ‘digress’) but don’t ya think Gauthier’s always looking like any GM should?

    Naming players you want traded for this ‘tweak’ is pretty presumptious and unrealistic, always the same suspects are offered away by you fantasy GMs not even considering there would be another GM to deal with who I’m gonna bet has absolutely no interest in, say, Jaro Spacek.

    Just chill, the Habs are winning, and things will unfold as they will…

  40. Irishhabsfan says:

     I’ve said it all along Carey will one day be one of the best, he has arrived.

     Congrats to Bob Gainey for promoting him to the club early, the dividends are starting to roll in.  

  41. nick says:

    If Brodeur can play 70-80 games a season… I don’t see why Price can’t.

  42. joeybarrie says:

    It is a SHAME, that given the option between scoring a goal and gooning it up, they chose to goon it up. Pathetic really. HOWEVER, it shows the difference between our two teams. I have no doubt, given the same situation, we would have preferred to get a goal to get our pride back, or whatever little of it you can get by one goal.

    They deserved to be shut out. Price deserved the shut out. Our boys got a well deserved win. And I only have one thing to ask….

    How do me ‘rose coloured glasses’ look on my face now that we have established we can ABSOLUTELY be a top 5 team, and are looking to finish in the top 5 of our Division?

    BOONE you said it perfectly.

    ‘Scouts are not blind’. Neither are Managers or Coaches. For all the bashing they took on this site and in this city there are ALOT of people eating their own words. Funny I don’t really see alot of them posting any longer.

    NOW, let’s get a solution to Markov and I will feel better. The only thing bringing me down is our boy Marky in pain. We had our fair share and then some last season, it really sucks. We have to figure out a way to keep our potential there.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  43. habs001 says:

    price is playing great , the d is playing smart and pk very very good…these elements are very important as we will have streches in the season where goal scoring will be an issue and the pp will not produce..picking up early points is great as we still have many tough road games vs top teams…we also have a 7 game road trip in december and many back to back games…

  44. Clay4bc says:

    LOL at “Boobe”.

    Freudian slip, or subtle dig?

    _________________________

    I had some hockey taglines, but I don’t know where the puck I put them.

  45. Ian Cobb says:

    The league better start protecting the players,
    if they are wanting a more finesse speed game, instead of the broad
    street bullies game. Other wise someone it going to take it upon
    himself and give a goon a two hand-er across the nose with the stick,
    at the risk of his career.

    I could sure see this happening if
    they don’t stop it now. The day of teams paying millions to carry these
    meat heads are suppose to be over. The league better get serious
    protecting players or there is going to be a serious incident. Mark my
    words.!

  46. Clay4bc says:

    We have a replacement. His name is Picard. His solid play, when combined with PK’s flamboyant play and solid team D, is all we need.

    I’m more worried about finding a replacement for Gomez, personally.

    __________________________

    I had some hockey taglines, but I don’t know where the puck I put them.

  47. Will Longlade says:

    The Habs are too small! They traded the wrong goalie! They can’t win without Markov! Gainey ruined the Habs! They won’t have a chance against better teams like Vancouver and Philadelphia!

    Well, this morning even the skeptics are giving the Habs some backhanded compliments. Sill a way to go, but I continue to see a team that competes every night and every shift. The Habs have impeccable leadership. They play big. Those in the know (like BG) realize that they can go far with that combination. 

     

     

     

  48. CanadienBoy says:

    Boone right on ,Gainey’s bet his credibility on Price and deserve credit as well i have say to my son and on this site Plak game is a lot like Zetterberg ,before the season i call for him to be in the top 20 without injuries may be top 10?

  49. Kooch7800 says:

    100% agree.  That was clearly a behind head shot. Ref was right beside him as well which makes it worse

  50. Kooch7800 says:

    I hope Halpern is ok. I really didn’t like that hit from Powe. I thought it was from behind.

    I agree with you that the habs need some sand paper guys. I thought Moen would be better at that than he is.  I like Moen but I thought he woudl be a more physical guy

    Schultz has not looked very good in the hammer so far but I think he will be fine.

    We will just bring back laraque (i can’t even say that with a straight face)

  51. RetroMikey says:

    Tooearly as Boobe says where our team is heading, long way to go for the season IMO.

    But I like what I see so far, but as I have said many times, we need to get bigger up front and another brusing physical DMan.

    But I can proudly showcase my Price Bulldogs bobblehead in my office with pride.

    Way to go boys!  Keep it up!  Prove me wrong!

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

  52. W35T5ID3 says:

    lol….haha…i was just looking for a response boonster….hehe…..Habs rule!

  53. Bash says:

    This team cannot beat the Flyers in a seven game series.

    Powe needed more than afew hugs from Laps after either of  the hits on Georges or Halpern. Either could have resulted in long term injury.  Powe is a relative lightweight on this Flyers team!

    Pleks took several dirty shots and again we had no one one to step up. What would have happned if our best player had been run from behind?

    We are brave, competitive, fast and disciplined. But we are not built for a league where goonery is still tolerated and where teams like Philly sign Jody Shelley to play the power play late in a lost game.

    Gauthier needs to move Laps, Spacek (and a pick). Replace them with a solid but nasty D  and a similar forward.  We don’t need to drop the gloves on every suspect hit. Nor do we need goons. But we have to inflict a little payback when it is called for. And aginst teams like Philadelphia it is called for.

    On the farm,Henry is too slow. White might take the forward spot. Schwartz is not ready. Conboy is just a pest. Bonneau is  not an NHL player.

    Come on Pierre! We have a good team. But we need these tweaks.

     

     

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  54. VancouverHab says:

    Hmm….-plausible, except Jaro got universal praise, so does Ovie and Mikko Koivu….

  55. Mike Boone says:

    Oh, stop it!

  56. W35T5ID3 says:

    Amen Mr. Cobb,I’ll smoke to that!

    ….btw …did ya’ll hear about the ” apparant ” lapierre choking hartnell thing?In a skirmish or some thing???Anywho…

    WE ROCK…

    ……….FLYERS ARE CRIERS…..

    ..and revenge is sweet.

    PLEX is da man.F —all them philly f—ckers…

     

     

     

    LOL sowwwyyy..i get a little hyper talking habs when we are woopin everyones ass!WHO’S NEXT?!!

  57. W35T5ID3 says:

    BOONE IS GOD!

  58. Ian Cobb says:

    I would like very much for one of our reporters
    to speak to Gauthier to find out how there was not even a call for the
    head shot on Halpern. And if there was going to be a review of that
    incident and the conduct of the Flyers coach and team by the league.

    If
    this league is serious about cleaning up the game, then it is up to the
    media to ask the questions that keep the pressure on, please.

  59. Dintrox says:

    I pull a Burns too. The Pat Burns that stood on the bench and let the refs have it.

    December 4, 2009 – Elmer Lach’s jersey took its rightful place with the Rocket’s in the rafters.

  60. Dintrox says:

    Seconded

    December 4, 2009 – Elmer Lach’s jersey took its rightful place with the Rocket’s in the rafters.

  61. kempie says:

    I can’t be bothered yelling at the TV anymore. I’ve become so accustomed to watching the Habs getting jobbed that I just do the Pat Burns FML smile & headshake. But even I couldn’t believe that. I was waiting to see if it was going to be 4 minutes or 5 & a game, then they dropped the puck 5 on 5. WHAT? NOTHING? OMFG. Even if I hated the Habs, I’d have to say that this is absolutely suspension-worthy. 3-5 games easy. Back turned, vicious blindside elbow to the back of the head, removing the helmet and forcing the head into the glass, rendering Halpern unconscious, before he falls backwards, smashing his unprotected skull into the ice. This is acceptable? What a joke.

  62. nick says:

    I didn’t see what happend to Halpern last night, any video replay of it?

     

  63. krob1000 says:

    Don’t bother….ti is not pretty to watch..he looked unconcious before he hit the ice, then teh back of his head hits the ice…I got a sick feeling watching it…

  64. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    What amazes me most about Carey is how well he sees the puck through traffic and there’s hardly ever a rebound! His size has to be an advantage there! GO HABS GO!

  65. DearyLeary says:

    Yeah, he’s dumb as a brick… still wish we had a multiple norris trophy winning defenceman on our team.

  66. Habhopeful says:

    test

     Edit: dammit, my sweet new avatar isnt showing up…Huge man crush on PK right here…just saying….its kinda embarassing lol

    “I went to see a fight the other night…And A hockey game broke out!” ~Rodney Dangerfield~

  67. red eye says:

    yes habs won and played well, but remember it’s only game # 18. We need another Dman because Hamrlik and Spacek are old and going to run out of gas by game 50.

    as well we need another point shot to give the PP a better chance.

    you won’t always get 5 on 3 PP’s.

    go get a PP shot like McCabe, Aucoin, or in the interim bring up Webber, please NEVER SIGN MAB AGAIN!

  68. HabFab says:

    Was there for the first two games in Montreal. Risebourgh started it off by jumping on Schultz’s back, holding on with one hand and attempting to punch him from over his shoulder…end round one. Round two Bouchard goes with Schultz and tossed for head butt. Round three was the coup du grace from Robinson. The Bullies rolled over on their backs and bothered us no more. So it wasn’t just superior talent (which we were) but the willness to fight back when attacked.

  69. Wayne says:

    Yeah, he nailed it on Pronger. I’ll add that the term “smug” would apply here too but this would imply that he had a personality to start with.

  70. Wops says:

    Good question about Plekanec Mike!

    I ask my self the same question. Is he, with Datsyuk, B. Richards, M. Richards the best two way in the league?

    What an amazing player.

  71. Wayne says:

    About today’s rant by Philly’s captain Richards on Subban’s attitude on the ice. I have to say he’s mostly right. There are two ways to look at it. From a Habs fan perspective and a hockey fan’s POV. Naturally, MOST Habs fan would cry foul and say tuff nuts to Richards and that he’s whining because his team lost and might also go on and cite some of his past on ice conduct and play to be cheap shot or questionable.

    So why is he throwing stones? Because there’s a code here too and he’s not the only one who’s cried foul on PK early on here. Not unlike Laraque inviting opponents to tea time before the bloodbath, there exists a general and unspoken etiquette which holds true here. On the face of it, Subban and Richards are equal in that they are both NHL players. There’s more to it than that. It’s a wolfpack where subordinates get their ears clipped if they step out of line.  To the point, Subban is displaying characteristics which, in the eyes of vetrans like Richards et al, are not within the comportment of a ROOKIE.

    Like it or not, Cherry is right, someone will cut loose on him if he keeps it up, damn the consequences. I hope it doesn’t get out of hand and end up shortening his career.

    For the record, I’m just as giddy as anyone for having a gem like Subbam on the team. I’m simply looking at the other side of the coin. (Puts on raincoat) Ok, start slinging feces….

  72. ZepFan2 says:

    If it’s supposed to be Super Subban, it’s working.

    ————————————————————————

    “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.”

    ~Serge Savard~

  73. ebk says:

    If, as Mike Richards states, PK is stepping on peoples toes and violating the ‘unspoken code’, his veteran teammates will address it with him as they see fit. Mike Richards by talking to the media about this, most certainly has broken one of the precious rules and mostly comes across as a huge whiner.

    They got beat 3-0, Shut up and deal with it like a professional. Spats like this should be dealt with outside of the media’s glare.

     

  74. Viruk42 says:

    I get the feeling that Subban can take care of himself. But anyways, I don’t see him laying cheap shots like Richards (or Powe), and his enthusiasm is quite refreshing, sort of like Ovechkins. He’s not Sean Avery, he’s willing to backup his words with strength – and not when the opponent is turning their back. It’s interesting to see this kind of criticism, considering that he’s just playing the game to the best of his ability.

     

    The unspoken etiquette is bullshit when you have guys running around hitting from behind, throwing sucker punches, and dangerous open ice hits to the head. I hope you’re not suggesting that Subban’s enthusiasm somehow makes him less “okay” as a hockey player than Scott Stevens or Chris Pronger.

  75. yukonhab says:

    Carey pulled that same move off successfully a couple of games ago!

     

     

     

     

    Support your local indian – Price 31

  76. Transaction Group says:

    Nice to see the habs doing so well. My flames are awful

  77. Ian Cobb says:

    PK was the same here in junior, at 16 he competed the same way against
    20 year olds. He was smart enough to stand his ground, but never went
    out of his way to scrap. But once the bigger guy found out that he was
    a piece of dynamite, they started to respect his bite and the ice
    opened up for him.

    Respect is not given it is earned. Richards better keep his head up.

  78. Michael Rupkalvis says:

    I am glad Price is having a good season. You are correct about the flames. The sutters should have been fired last year imho.

     

     

    merchant accounts

  79. Habifornia says:

    Both posts are bang on… I think it’s something that hasn’t been brought up really, but he looks like he’s reverted to his old style and improved on it (eg his glove hand). I think Melanson was trying to change some of the “natural” movements in Price’s game, with bad results. This is now becoming evident in Luongo’s game… he’s never looked this bad in goal…

    ______________________________________________

    “Mr Gainey, you will not regret picking me”.
    – PK Subban

  80. Michael Rupkalvis says:

    I have followed Jerome since he played here in Kamloops. I am a Flame fan , but I can not stand the Sutters. I would be a Hab fan if he was sent to Montreal. The Habs need some size, Iginla needs to get out of calgary. Sounds like a good fit.

     

     

    merchant accounts

  81. Chuck says:

    Ooops. Happens to the best of ‘em, I guess.

    Canadiens issue apology to Flyers

  82. Habifornia says:

    Right on Ian… the thing I love about PK is that he’s gifted in many areas: he’s highly skilled, but can dish out the hits too. It’s not like he’s a goon of a defenseman, trying to hit their skilled players and captain… his mindset is “If you wanna try to outplay me with skill, I’ll beat you with skill. If you try to outskate me, you won’t! And if you try to hit me, well you’re gonna get lined up the next time you come up ice!”

     

    The Flyers need to shut up and realize they are being outplayed by a rookie… and I love it!

    ____________________________________________

    “Mr Gainey, you will not regret picking me”.
    – PK Subban

  83. HardHabits says:

    I’ll see your 8th in the league in points per game and raise you a tied for second in +/-

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20112ALLSASAll&sort=plusMinus&viewName=points

  84. ZepFan2 says:

    Don’t forget Robinson’s hit on Dornhoffer.

    Robinson hit on Dornhoffer

    ————————————————————————

    “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.”

    ~Serge Savard~

  85. Habifornia says:

    A few quick points about our team so far:

    Price: the kid’s a stud, and has dominated at every level he’s played at… and now he’s starting to do it at the NHL level. His style has gone back to how he played in junior ever since Melanson left for Vancouver (where he’s now screwing up Luongo’s style). And to think that he’s only 23, yet has alot of experience… he’s got all of the tools to become one of our “greats”, since he has better numbers already at his age compared to almost all of them.

    Plek: One of the top 5 centers in the game. Does anybody do all of the things he does so well? He’s lightning fast, stickhandling is magic, great passer and scorer, plays on the PP and kills penalties with the best of them. We should all be freaking happy he signed with us longterm!

    Cammy, Gio, Gomer and Andre:Tons of skating and skill and are now starting to fire on all cylinders, although still some room to improve.

    PhD line: I would argue they’ve been one of the best (if not THE best) third line in the league. Them, along with our 4th line is a big reason why we’re doing so well… the pressure is not so big on the top two lines, and the 3rd and 4th lines play with great pace and intensity.

    On D, I think that the reason Spatch-Hammer have been so good lately is that they have been matched up against the other teams top lines. At first glance, this seems stupid (especially when we had Markov in the lineup). But it makes perfect sense… they are more of a skilled pairing, and do better against skilled guys than when they play against the grinders on other teams.

    PK Subban- Enough said!!

    Last but not least, Martin’s system is a beautiful (and highly effective) thing to watch when played properly. Nice crisp outlet passes to the forwards who are swinging back into our zone to get the puck off the D, then guys like Pleky, Cammy, Gio and Gomer flying up ice with speed… it kills teams, and we’ve been executing it beautifully. 

    Now let’s keep it going!!

    ____________________________________________

    “Mr Gainey, you will not regret picking me”.
    – PK Subban

  86. ebk says:

    Is it wild homerism to suggest Pleks is the best two-way centre in the NHL?

    No, at this moment, he is playing as well as any forward in the league in that capacity.

     

  87. HabsChick says:

    It’s one thing for Cherry to make comments like “he’ll get his” or “he better watch his back” because most of us will just chalk it off to him being a senile old man, but Mike Richards comments come purely out of frustration & it’s actually a little bit embarrassing.  To suggest that “”something might happen to him if he continues to be that cocky” is brutal.  Seems to me he’s calling on someone (“I’m not saying I’m going to do it”) to try to take Subban out.  How’s that for respect?

    What is it specifically that Richards doesn’t like about P.K.’s attitude?  Honestly, I really don’t get it.  Is P.K. better than a lot of people?  Yes.

    Can you come in as a rookie and play hard?  Yes, not only can you, it’s expected of you.

    And what really does he expect someone on his team to address?  “Listen P.K., you think you’re a good hockey player.  Stop that”.  Instead, I love that Cammalleri called him “primetime”.

    P.K.’s response to Richards comments show that, despite the fact that he’s a rookie, he shows greater maturity.  That ought to frustrate Richards even more. :)

  88. G-Man says:

    press f5 on keyboard.

  89. nova scotia vees says:

    Lots of great observations here today, and I agree with most.  Actually, I have never been so happy to be wrong.  I thought Price would be the same disaster as he was the last two seasons.  Long rebounds….down on his goalie pads and unable to go from side-to-side, etc.,etc.  Question is…w, did he change BECAUSE he had to play second fiddle to a harder working goalie?  I think had Gainey still be in charge and allowed him to “own the goalie job no matter what”, he would not have grown as a player and perhaps as a man.

    Right now, he looks like the kid who wowed me during the World Juniors.  I was so looking forward to him joining my beloved Habs.  Welcome back Carey.  Don’t change a thing.

    As for the Flyers..why would they change their style?  It won them a couple of Cups in the 70’s.  They know the refs only call about a third of what they do…except maybe when they play the Leafs.  The league handed the Leafs last night’s win. 

  90. habsfanmandy says:

    I agree that Lapierre deserves props for standing up to Powe last night, but seriously, isn’t it kind of pathetic that he’s our resident tough guy?

  91. G-Man says:

    No cap room. Iginla of 5 seasons ago- yes, try to do it. Won’t happen unless Habs lose AK46 + +.

    And right now, he’s playing well.

    Iginla isn’t and needs a change of scenery but tough to get a deal done.

  92. habsfanmandy says:

    OMG last night’s Leafs game was SAD. There had to have been a phone call in there somewhere. Or an email, most likely. My jaw dropped watching the highlights.

  93. smiler2729 says:

    Kinda but why waste a roster spot on a goon when it could better be served by an actual hockey player? Lapierre is this generation’s poor version of Claude Lemieux or even almost Pierre Bouchard (always fought, always got his clock cleaned)

  94. smiler2729 says:

    Just great… the Leafs pissed off the Preds just in time for their next game – in Montreal.

  95. Richrebellion says:

    I’m a huge Pleks fan and hes definitely at the top of the list but the best has to be Pavel Datsyuk, the guy puts up 97 pts and wins the selke. Also has the softest hands in the nhl. 

  96. Habifornia says:

    Quick topic for debate:

    There is talk now that Iginla might get moved from Calgary (and sometimes where there’s smoke…). Question is, should the Habs make a push to get him? His cap hit is $7 million and he’s 33yrs old… but still an amazing player and will be for years to come on the right team. Ideally, we could just swap Gomers contract for him, but the Flames won’t take that.

    Assuming we can work the numbers, would you give up a first round pick and a top prospect or two  (say MaxPac) for him? Imagine how the top lines would look!!

    Cammy – Pleks – Gio

    Iggy – Gomer – AK

    Now that would be awesome!!

    ____________________________________________

    “Mr Gainey, you will not regret picking me”.
    – PK Subban

  97. habsfanmandy says:

    Yeah, but against teams like Philly, man, wouldn’t you want a couple of goons on the bench?

    If these two meet in the playoffs who do seriously give the advantage to? Philly would injure every one of our best players and out-goon us like they did last year. I doubt the Habs could win a series against the them. I wish it weren’t true, but…

  98. habsfanmandy says:

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. But the way we’re playing, that doesn’t matter, does it? :)

  99. Chuck says:

    The hardest clean hit that I’ve ever seen.

    Canadiens issue apology to Flyers

  100. Morenz7 says:

    Happy to sling some: I’d start by asking what a nasty little cheapshot artist like Mike Richards can teach anyone about respect? 

  101. nick says:

    Someone had to do it. Philly was getting away with bloody murder last night.

    I’m disappointed no one came to Subban’s defense when the few Flyers mugged him at the end of the game. That wasn’t right.

  102. habsruleworld says:

    you beat me to the post,

    yes very interesting about Iggy,

     

    sen Gomez and a prospect for Iggy?

  103. Morenz7 says:

    Richards’s whinging is a good sign, because you know respect isn’t what he really wants. He wants to win. Richards wants PK not to be PK, because he just watched Subban get the Flyers off their game. Must have been an unaccustomed spectacle: a Montreal defenceman who levels forwards as they crowd his goalie? Who mocks their chest-thumping bravura? Whoever heard of such a thing? We can’t have that! We might not win!

    I remember a rookie who arrived one spring and upset the NHL establishment with his flagrant disrespect for age and experience. His name was Claude Lemieux. He never changed his game, and got “called out” by everyone under the sun. Funny thing, though, by the end of his career, there was hardly a player in the league that wouldn’t rather have him in their dressing room than the other team’s.

    Subban is nowhere near as abrasive as Lemieux was. So he should forget this rookie-NHL-code horsesh-t. If he keeps helping his team win, he’ll get the only sort of respect that matters.

     

  104. krob1000 says:

    Nope….Philly’s top nine is better than ours or at least equivalent..but far tougher.  Our 4 lines though are better than their 4 lines…and our team play is better, and our speed is better as is our dfensive play from the forwards.  We have to play to our strengths and let them try and adapt…not the other way around.  Gooning hurts but speed kills.

  105. Morenz7 says:

    Sorry Wayne, missed your reference to Richards’s past conduct, but still …

  106. Bouleau noir says:

    Richard is a thug, like if complaining about rookies taking charges striving to be difference-makers for their respective teams makes any kind of sens….. coming from a bully I can see but from a captain’s mouth ? not very brilliant….. unlike Subban’s plays… and there’s no stopping this train.

  107. keepthefaith says:

    With the no tanking talk and the stupid Halak /Price debate all but finished, could it be possible to actually enjoy the comment section here agian? We shall see.

  108. RJB says:

    I wont fling feces, but Subban is not doing anything wrong. If Richards wants to complain, he can go ahead, the point is Subban plays a particular style that makes him effective. He doesn’t mean any harm.

    And for the whole wolfpack thing, sounds a bit like Alan from “The Hangover” although I would think Alan is slightly more intelligent than Richards…

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  109. HardHabits says:

    The very enjoyable tanking talk stopped when the Habs made it to the ECF. So you’re 5 months too late on that one. Nice try taking a cheap shot at your friendly neighbourhood HH.

    The Halak/Price debate will continue into the unforeseeable future. Look at Matraque still lamenting the deal. Even adam76, Everlasting1 and Clay are all waiting in the wings to  pounce on Carey’s first bad game or to tout Halak his next shut-out.

  110. shootdapuck says:

    Melanson has a track record of destroying goaltenders.

    He was dumped 3 years too late.

     

     

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

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3″

  111. smiler2729 says:

    History tends to repeat itself and back in the spring of 1976, the classy skating team (Montreal) swept the bullying, yapping two time Cup defending champs (Philadelphia) in 4 straight and essentially ended the goon era right then and there when Larry Robinson, not known as a fighter, absolutely cleaned Dave “The Hammer” Schultz’ clock.

    All I’m saying is, whoever wants to step up at the right time in the right moment can change the course of things in an instant. I can see Hal Gill doing it… or Josh Gorges… or even Yappy Lappy… hell, Moen, Darche, anybody when pissed off enough can do it.

    I still hate the Philadelphia Flyers after 35 years…

  112. HardHabits says:

    I have only one thing to say about Price’s poor play. Roland Melanson. He’s the one who tried to change Carey’s style and advised him to play back in his nets. Now with Pierre Groulx Price is back to where he should be, at the top of the crease.

  113. keepthefaith says:

    Nice to see you too. So glad the unenjoyable tank talk has ended. Not a cheap shot at all . Was a full on straight up shot.As i recall you were on the Team Halak last year. It is a joy to see everyone come around that is all. Even old Boone is saying he knew it all along now. But i am not here to start anything. I have been reading post including yours and i agree with mostly everything you ve said this year. I am really enjoying the change. That is all.

  114. B says:

    Just noticed the following tweet:

    TSNBobMcKenzie: MTL Canadiens and PHI Flyers have been told no supplementary discipline for Powe hit on Halpern.

  115. 134 says:

    Bob McKenzie just tweeted that both teams (Canadiens and Flyers) have been told no supplementary discipline for Powe hit on Halpern. Surprise surprise.

  116. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Only if they’ll take Gomez.

  117. G-Man says:

    Being cocky is what Subban’s about and he backs it up. Richards, on the other hand, is a hit-you-when-your-back-is-turned-piece-of-dung. And Cherry’s schtick is old and his time has well passed.

    Hockey needs characters, not gutless pukes telling players with flair how to behave.

  118. HardHabits says:

    My memory is a little foggy. It was almost 35 years ago. Was it game 1? I do remember Robinson cleaning Schultz’ clock and that was the turning point of the series. The Flyers knew then and there that they were going to have to play hockey and it just took the winds out of their sails. I’ve always hated the Flyers. Ever since Clarke’s two-handed slash on Valerie Kharlamov I’ve always detested him and by extension the Flyers since he epitomized what it was to be a hockey goon. That slash also turned me off the Summit Series. I stopped watching the rest of the series and always thought the win was an unworthy one. Fortunately that series was a wake-up call for the NHL, one that benefitted the Habs immensely as they stepped up their talent level to match what the Soviets were skating.

  119. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Yes and it would be perfect if one day P.K. whipped the crap out of one of these arseholes and established himself as the stud he’s going to be.   

  120. king ddd says:

    you are right, but if you ask me i prefer tough guy who can not only mix it up but can actually play hockey (ie: lucic,ott, downie hartnell, when hes not being a dumb F&*@ sean avery). the thing is we dont have players like that in our system. thats too bad we picked maxwell just ahead of lucic

     

    .::DON’T MESS WITH THE MOENATOR!::.

  121. ZepFan2 says:

    That’s where my sig. comes from…

    ————————————————————————

    “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.”

    ~Serge Savard~

  122. habs-hampton says:

    So the message to the teams is…

    Hits from behind are OK if

    - you’re losing?

    - It’s the 3rd period

    - it’s the Flyers?

    - the player can’t see the entire name on the sweater?

    - a camera flash blinded the goon?

    - the victims helmet was loose? blue? CCM?

    - the victim might be a “little faker”

    - no blood on the ice?

    - no stretcher needed?

    - the coach didn’t go nuts on the bench?

    - no bench clearing brawl?

    Never mind, I forgot who the discipline guru is.

     

  123. Exit716 says:

    And Melanson is making Luongo do the same “deep in the crease” technique with limited success.

     

  124. Ayan_SB says:

    The addition of Jarome Iginla *with* Markov in the line-up makes this team a Stanley Cup contender IMO.

  125. HardHabits says:

    Thanks for the props.

    As per my Halak days, I was in favour of the best goalie, at the time, playing that’s all.

    My tank theory only stemmed from the frustration of seeing teams like Pittsburgh, Washington and Chicago build that way. I felt that with the Habs’ tendancy to finish in the middle of the pack that they would never have a chance at being an elite team, especially given that so many teams are taking the tank option to the bank. Also up until recently the Habs had a tendancy of trading prospects for rentals which left the farm thin. The whole idea behnd tanking was rebuilding. Nevertheless, now that Habs management have addressed my concerns, most notably having organizational depth and now have some solid coaching and a long term strategy at hand, I am convinced that the Habs can be an elite team without those top tier draft picks. I still dislike the fact that money losing teams are compensated by Candian fans’ money to the tune of high draft picks. Worse is when idiots like Burke hand over what could potentially be two top 5 picks in 2 years to Boston and you might see why my frustration had me throwing in the towel.

  126. Clay4bc says:

    WTF man? When I say “I was in favour of the best goalie, at the time, playing that’s all”, I’m waiting to “pounce” on Price.

    When you say it, it’s somehow different?

    Hypocrite.

    __________________________

    I had some hockey taglines, but I don’t know where the puck I put them.

  127. ZepFan2 says:

    Yup. Dornhoffer said it was like being hit by a redwood tree. lol

    ————————————————————————

    “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.”

    ~Serge Savard~

  128. DearyLeary says:

    Unacceptable.

  129. keepthefaith says:

    I do understand. And at times i was almost thinking of boarding your sinking ship.  But i had faith in Gainey and this team and was getting bashed for being a blind fanboy. Im glad to see that you, unlike others, are actually a Canadiens Fan and not want to see failures by players or management  just so they could be right in an argument.Heres  To a good year and a deep playoff run. Cheers HH.

  130. 134 says:

    The good news is that Halpern did not suffer concussion and will be able to play on Thursday as per Arpon Basu’s tweet.

  131. notbigbird says:

    I don’t know if that was the game or not, but I know that we fought then tooth and nail in the first game. And they were done. Just like that.

  132. The Teacher says:

    LMAO, that own goal by Halak was quite funny!

  133. DearyLeary says:

    That’s not the point to me.  The point is that a guy who’s only use on the ice is to try to hurt people hit one of our players from behind.  The NHL turned a blind eye to a dangerous play simply because it didn’t result in an injury.  That tells me they don’t give a rats ass about changing the culture of the game, and that respect doesn’t matter as long as it puts butts in the seats.

    We’re being faced with the Charlestown Chiefs syndrome all over again.

  134. ooder says:

    press alt+f4 ;)

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  135. Morenz7 says:

    Everybody hates Chris. Why? Scroll ahead to about 1:30 on this post-game invu clip with Pronger to catch him talking with Renaud Lavoie about keeping the game puck. I’ve long wondered how Pronger manages to be both sinister and faintly ridiculous—a sort of tall version of Dr. Evil.

    A friend of mine nailed it: he’s a dumb guy who tries to be clever. You can really see it here, as he mangles his words and burbles unintentional non sequitors. I’ll acknowledge his effectiveness as a defenceman. But as a human being, the man is an embarrassment.

     

  136. ooder says:

    ok im being a jerk.. press ctrl+w

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  137. StevieRay says:

    Great win last nite .. man are we on a roll .. Gorges to me is one tough hombre .. he takes a licking and keeps on tickin’

    But .. Gomez ….. 2 goals and 4 assists .. come on man ! Atleast with the way we’re playing now , it takes the heat off him ..for now

  138. twilighthours says:

    All due respect, Boone, Carey is not the (only) reason, or even the biggest reason, that the Habs won 3-0.  That’s diminishing the efforts of all the other guys.  It was a 40 shot game, but didn’t feel like one of those games where the Habs never get out of their end.  Lots of shots from the point that Carey saw easily.

    The whole team was full value for the win against a very, very tough opponent.

    And it wouldn’t be homerism to suggest Plex is the best 2-way centre in the league.  He’s certainly in the conversation.  

    I don’t agree that Gauthier had to choose between Plex and Halak, but if that was indeed the choice he was forced into, I’m glad he chose Plekanec.

  139. kempie says:

    I give serious props to Lappy for what he did. No he wasn’t going to demolish Powe and he knew that. He did what he did because somebody had to. I wish we had a guy who was 6’6″, 240 with speed, hands & a bad attitude towards guys like Powe. Lappy did what he did in the name of solidarity. I really like this team.

  140. DearyLeary says:

    I’m a little concerned about Richards’ not so veiled threats towards PK.  We have to keep in mind that Philly’s goon dial goes to 11.  I don’t want to lose Henry to waivers, because I think he’s an integral part of developping talent in the AHL, but part of me wants him on the ice next monday.

  141. Chester says:

    I missed his comments. Just what did he say about PK ?

  142. smiler2729 says:

    Richards? Don’t believe a word he says, didn’t he claim he snorted his dad’s ashes too?

  143. twocents says:

    “Price has not made a panicky play this season.– The confidence has radiated out to his teammates…”

    The radiation flows both ways Boone. In taking nothing away from Price, he’s been incredible, you have to recognize that his team plays a cohesive friggin’ game. That type of thing helps calm a goalie, as much as a steady goalie calms a team.

    Price is aware that he is playing behind a team that went to the eastern Conference finals. A team that features a whole pile of players who have won the Cup and been to the big game on several occasions. He knows, they know what it takes to win. He knows that they are well prepared for every game by a coach and staff that have earned their stripes. This is calming stuff.

    It’s a veritable feedback loop.

    Mr. Auld’s very well played game is witness to that.

    In fact this team’s ability to surprise the pundits and pick up right where they left off last spring, without it’s media appointed savior in nets, is pretty convincing evidence that the steely resolve of this team is borne of its collective spirit and not the gift of any individual.

  144. K-hab25 says:

    Exactly, great post 2 cents. This is something that the Halkites never understood. It was always about Halak and not the team. I tried tell them they win and lose as a team, but no, it was all Halak in there eyes and I’m just a Price fanboy picking on Halak. Well guess what? Halak is gone, Price is playing outstanding and I still think it’s been the team playing great, not just Price. They’ve played great defensively and have scored timely goals. The “team”, not just Price are responsible for the good start this year. Just like they were responsible for making the playoffs and how they played in them last year, not just Halak.

  145. matraque says:

    I’m still upset at what we got in return for Halak… No questions there… we got (inappropriate word deleted)

    Price is doing great, no doubt.  Halak is playing well in St-Louis as well.

    ——

    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  146. W35T5ID3 says:

    We aint got raped DUDE.WTF.ELLER hasnt event played  2 dozen games with the habs and schultz hasnt suited up either with the big boys.CHill da F out and wait….

    Ur like a struggling doctor:NO PATIENCE.

    Right now no one knows.

    Time will tell.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  147. smiler2729 says:

    Hey buddy, you know the patience as a fan that was need for Guy Lafleur? Maybe not. How about the patience needed for Price? And the patience you’re going to need for PK Subban (cuz he’s not Bobby Orr yet)?

    Well, apply it to Lars Eller and quit harping on trades made by professional GMs and scouts. Mark my words, Jaro Halak will never equal in St.Louis what he did in Montreal.

    I can’t believe you’re still squawling about Halak’s trade when Price is playing like the best goalie in the NHL right now. geez…

  148. Chorske says:

    OMG, this post is so one month ago.

    DO keep up, Matraque.

  149. HardHabits says:

    Apples and Oranges. A team doesn’t need two #1 goalies but can use up to 6 #1 defensemen. Try again.

  150. Clay4bc says:

    By your rational, if Markov came back playing like the best D-man in the league, it would be OK if we traded Subban for spare parts.

    Do you get the analogy?

    It’s always dumb to trade great players for less than they are worth.

    _________________________

    I had some hockey taglines, but I don’t know where the puck I put them.

  151. smiler2729 says:

    Really? That’s what you get out of that? Okay but since you just wanna be on my ass for anything I post, whatever Clay…

  152. Arrow77 says:

    In all fairness, the rational to keep Price over Halak was that Price was younger and cheaper than Halak. Because of that, your analogy of chosing the older, injury prone and more expensive Markov over Subban doesn’t really work.

    As for trading great player for less, I would have agreed a few years back but in this salary cap era, the most you can get for a player isn’t always the most you can afford.

  153. SeriousFan09 says:

    Tomas Plekanec should have his name in any discussion involving the Selke this season for sure, not sure if the NHL will give him the respect but he deserves a nod.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  154. Jbird says:

    I doubt they will give it to Pleks.  BUT they might be forced to if the Habs run away with the Division, Pleks keep up with his scoring pace, and he leads forwards on the Habs in PK minutes on the best PK in the league. If that happens, and he wins, he will probably just win in it every year – or be in contention – regardless of what really happens.

    Awards are often awarded for reputation.  Case in point in Derick Jeter winning the SS gold glove this year (that was a HUGE joke). With the exception of goalies it’s funny how MTL players somehow go under the radar in the NHL.   

  155. Clay4bc says:

    Who is that goalie, and what has he done with Carey Price?

    Seriously though…3 shutouts this season, and only 4 in the past 3 years. 11 wins already this season, and oonly 13 all of last season. This is the goalie that the Habs thought they were getting with the 5th overall pick. I, for one, am sorry I doubted him…all I saw was another Jim Carey after last season.

    Still think we got robbed in the Halak trade though…he is also the real deal.

    Anyway…loved the game. The intensity was not surprising after the ECF last season, but it was nice to see. Statement delivered. This team is for real. No markov? No problem – and that is the real change in this team. I think PK is a big part of that turnaround.

    __________________________

    Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular.

  156. smiler2729 says:

    Hey Halakian, glad to see some of you finally see the light on Price. Many of us who have preached patience with the guy have taken a lot of immature verbal abuse and ill will here over the last couple of years thus the need for this even being brought up as an “I-told-you-so” but since Boone is touching on this, I can’t resist either.

    Not that we hated Halak, au contraire mon ami, he served his purpose and was fantastic but we just knew he wasn’t ever going to be Price and I think even Jaro knew that… anyways Allan Walsh has him in St.Louis now where he’s coming back down to Earth on his mediocre young team.

  157. Shiloh says:

    SeriousFan posts that Pleks should be a Selke candidate. Right now he should be a candidate for MVP – and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. AK46 is finally showing that he can play at an elite level as well. He scores, passes, checks, backchecks and hits. He’s big, fast and really good.

    Price is playing very, very well. There is no air of nonchalance about his game at all. The hard part will be getting him the odd day of rest (Auld will end up playing at least 10-15 games) – he’s too valuable right now.

    If Halpern is hurt maybe we’ll see Ryan White – or maybe they’ll throw us a curveball and recall MaxPac.

  158. SeriousFan09 says:

    I doubt even at Plekanec’s level of play and maintaing his scoring pace (90+ points) he’d get in there. It ends up being a vote between the Top 3 scorers in the NHL these days because winning the Art Ross or nearly winning it is now how you determine League MVP…

    White makes more sense as a fill-in player, Max Pacioretty’s development in Hamilton is going along well and should be left alone for the time being IMO.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  159. JF says:

    That didn’t feel remotely like last year’s 40-shots-against games, in which we spent most of the time hemmed in our zone while our goaltender was bombarded.  I thought we generated as many good scoring chances as they did and kept them to the outside for much of the time.  It was great to see our guys going aggressively to the net in a way we often don’t see – Moen, Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri, Plekanec – all of them were there with their sticks ready, and it resulted in a lot of chances as well as Gionta’s goal.

    For the moment, Jacques Martin’s shuffled top lines are working pretty well.  Our attack is more balanced, and I think Gomez is better and less predictable now that he no longer has Gionta to dish off to.  Andrei Kostitsyn might be getting the short end of the stick a bit; he seems to be getting fewer chances than when he was playing with Plekanec.  But he’s still playing a very hard physical game, so I hope the goals will start coming.

    This team is a lot better than the one the Flyers pushed around last May.  I don’t know whether it’s coaching, the learning and bonding experience of a deep playoff run, or the new pieces that were added, but we seem to have found some answers to the Flyers’ thuggery.  We also did a much better job of protecting our crease and getting into theirs than we did in the playoffs.

    But I think we’re still missing a bit of toughness to compete with them over a 7-game series.  That goonshow in the third period was likely an intimation of things to come as early as next Monday.  They managed to take out Halpern last night (and I’m sure the league won’t even review it); next game they might be gunning for P.K. or Plekanec.

  160. nick says:

    I heard it was a wrist injury from somewhere , although now I get the impression it may be concussion?

    What happend? Hit from behind? Slash?

     

  161. krob1000 says:

    hit from  behind…hit wasn’t hard or much speed or anything but guy hit his head directly  into the boards(glass) from behind, the impact KO’d Halpern or so it seems, his helmet then popped off…then with helmet off he fell backwards onto the ice..bare head hitting hard.

  162. kempie says:

    I just want to point out to those who said that the only reason for a good playoff run was Halak. He played very well and had some very big games for sure. But consider the possibility that maybe this is a very good, cohesive, driven and well-coached (did I just say that?) team.

  163. DearyLeary says:

    This is why I picked the team to finish more in the 5-6 slot in the East.  This team gets far too little respect from the media.  There are no passengers on this team, and that goes a long way in the NHL.

  164. Chuck says:

    Great goaltending starts from the blue line in. If your D plays like crap, you’re sunk, no matter who your goalie is. Give your goalie the best chance to win, and let him take it from there.

    Canadiens to push NHL for new ‘Markov Rule’

  165. soperman says:

    It is a great time to be a Habs fan.  These guys are playing a system and are less susceptible to downturns caused by injury.  Their “theme song” should be “I gotta feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas.  I feel like a kid again.

    Get well soon, Andrei Markov

  166. Chuck says:

    “Do two sub-par games mean that he is no longer good?”

    If you applied this question to Carey and the many of you who commented on his play last season, then yes, it would mean that he’s no longer any good.

     

    Canadiens to push NHL for new ‘Markov Rule’

  167. Clay4bc says:

    See, I really hate it when blowhards reply to me. Then I have to explain the obvious.

    So here goes. It’s not that I ever hated Price either. Au contraire, mon ami! I just wanted the better goalie to play. Halak was unquestionably that goalie. If the 2 were playing on the same team now, I would say Price was the better goalie (at this moment), and want him in net. Do you see how this works? I want the better goalie to play, no matter who that person may be.

    Save your “I told you so’s” for someone who gives a flying – – – – about what you think. You’ve “taken” a lot of verbal abuse? If by “taken” you mean “dished out”, then I agree with you.

    BTW, Halak is doing just fine. Do two sub-par games mean that he is no longer good?

    __________________________

    I had some hockey taglines, but I don’t know where the puck I put them.

  168. Clay4bc says:

    Jesus Chuck…Carey won 13 games last year. And FYI, he lost a lot more than 2. I said he was playing great now, and he is, but I’m not going to lie or revise hiistory and say Price played well last season, because he didn’t. Halak did though. He played brilliantly.

    Why do you need to turn this into a pissing contest?

    __________________________

    I had some hockey taglines, but I don’t know where the puck I put them.

  169. smiler2729 says:

    Touche! Well said Chuck and so true.

  170. smiler2729 says:

    Pissing contests were what Pricebashers were starting here all last season… tit for tat, non?

  171. DearyLeary says:

    One last point: Montreal is ranked 5th in the league in 5 on 5 play.  We score 1.36 goals for every 1 we alllow.  We also just shut out the #2 ranked 5 on 5 team, who also had the best power play in the league. 

    No goalie does that by himself.  Carey is playing phenomenal hockey, he’s controlling rebounds, they’re either frozen, or in the corner out of danger.  He gets a lot of help from the team by limiting most chances to the outside, he’s seeing the pucks due to sound positional play, and the team isn’t suffering from Donald Audette-itis (the inability to clear the puck under any circumstaces). 

    They’ve bought into a team concept and I think that stems from the leadership group that was put together last year.  The regular season last year was difficult to evaluate, new team, new coach, goaltending controversy.  Their play in the playoffs was spectacular, but they’re proving so far that that level of play is not unattainable for this team. 

    Go Habs Go.

  172. Shiloh says:

    I doubt he’d get it either – but he is playing at an MVP-level. Halpern could be out a long while if it’s a concussion.

  173. habsfanmandy says:

    Francois Gagnon said on CTV that PK’s ‘a marked man’. For the life of me I can’t figure out why everyone’s picking on him. Is he really the first cocky rookie in the history of the NHL? I’m actually slightly terrified of what this can mean. And I hate this, it’s such BS.

  174. DearyLeary says:

    “Hopefully someone on their team addresses it, because, uh, I’m not
    saying I’m going to do it but something might happen to him of he
    continues to be that cocky.”

    A few places are using this quote,  I got it here.

    Pretty much exactly the garbage that he who shall not be named spouts.  “Kid plays well, kid stands up for himself, he’s gonna get got.”  While when people on the CBC say it hey have no real obligation to the NHL, Richards does have an obligation, and he’d better get an earfull for spouting this garbage.

  175. Chester says:

    OK this is the captain of the biggest team of disrespectful cheapshot thugs in the NHL and he is talking about having respect.

    I gotta go and lie down…

  176. Chuck says:

    He’s a Hab… and a darned good one, too. That’s why.

     

    Canadiens to push NHL for new ‘Markov Rule’

  177. dhenry1234 says:

    I think this is the best team that the habs have had in my entire life as a habs fan. I’m extremely excited and hopeful for this team.

    As long as the team can avoid losing streaks we can keep up at the top of the division. These winning streaks are just wonderful. How often did the team have 3 and 4 game winning streaks last year?

     

     

     

     

     

    GO HABS GO

  178. Philly-Poo says:

    Good day to you all!

    What a game last night, enjoyed all the bits I managed to watch, and it did a little to remind me of the playoffs.  Now for the business.  Does the NHL not have clauses which causes it to review and evaluate a coaches’ choice of who he puts on the ice, and more specifically, at a certain time of the game?  The Flyers get a PP with two mins left on the clock, they’re down three goals, and they put goons on the ice.  All of this coming after other various incidents and scrimmages, and even, according to RDS, the refs warned both benches about the goonery, and how the game just needed to end already?  I hope the NHL not only looks into Po(o)wes hits, mainly the hit from behind on Halpern that the refs didnt call, the one even Hellen Keller would have seen, but also LaViolettes coaching.  He/the Flyers deserve a fine at the least, albeit taking them all out back and beating them with a rubber hose sounds like a better idea…

    Best parts of the game:

    - The play of Price, obviously

    - Picard’s seemless transition from the press box to the ice

    - PK Subban (need I say more?)

    - Our number 1 line is one of the BEST in the league right now (the Richards line in Dallas is the best)

    - JM, seriously, thank you for everything, I was glad you were hired from day 1

    - Last but not least: Maxim Lapierre.  I haven’t ever really liked him on the team, but, watching him go against an elite fighting goon like Powe, in the defence of his teammate, was absolutely rock solid.  Kudos.

     

  179. krob1000 says:

    Laps went him no buckets, in the middle of the ice, defending a teammate…doesn’t matter that he lost…guys know they have to answer the bell and that is all that can be asked.  Showing up is really all that matters in that situation because any NHler knows they are one punch from a concussion…sure a guy may lose 12 fights running…BUT…he could still catch you with one and end your career…and LAps knows that fighting for his teammate …that takes courage and honour and to do it in front of millions of people watching is something that we as non players don;t really understand…I try to imagine it and I can only tip my hat and applaud the guys who do it..win or lose….don’t care…..Max did a great thing there and it won;t go unnoticed by his teammates…people complaining because we lost the fight? it was a hockey game…we won….they tried to intimiadate us…we stood up for our selves….doesn’t matter that we lost at their game…we won ours..the hockey game and the 2 points…and that is the one that matters most.  If we try to play Philly hoceky we will lose…fortunately hockey is the sport…we were better at that.

  180. Dintrox says:

    Boone:

    1) Pleks — I think there were many who thought that he would take this season off after signing his contract. Well it hasn’t worked out that way. He is on pace for a career year in the high 80 to low 90 pt range. He is more than solid on the PK he is dangerous .

    2) Powe — Campbell won’t do anything. He is deep in this email scandal and is busy trying to keep his job. Besides when has he ever suspended anyone for a cheap shot on the Habs? Powe’s elbow on Gorges was a deliberate head shot and attempt to injur. He should have got a misconduct then. His hit on Halpern was a hit from behind and it should have been called. If the NHL is serious about head shots than Powe should be called before the discipline commmitee now.

    3) Halpern — man I hope he comes back soon. He has been a solid foot soldier and has contributed offensively. He is 5th on the habs in points with 10.

    4) Price — What can you say? The kid comes off player of the week honours to shut out an Eastern Conference contender.

    December 4, 2009 – Elmer Lach’s jersey took its rightful place with the Rocket’s in the rafters.


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