About last night …

No reason to panic … yet.

Mike Cammalleri may play in the Heritage Classic. Hal Gill could be ready for Calgary, as well.

The Canadiens are in sixth place, seven points clear of eighth-place Carolina, which has a game in hand.

Moreover, this team tends to play well in games it is not expected to win …. like the one on Sunday and the Tuesday visit to Vancouver.

Arpon Basu has some interesting analysis of line match-ups last night. The thrust of it is Scott Gomez, Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn were playing against Andrew Cogliano and two rookies, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall.

They should have taken advantage, and they had their chances: 10 shots on goal for the line, plus four blocked. But when the siren sounded, Gomez was minus-2 – he’s been on that side of the ledger in every loss of the current slide – and AK46 and Moen were minus-1. The line was on the ice when Eberle scored the winner.

The other top line – Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta – were each minus-2.

One of Jacques Martin’s in-game adjustments – along with playing his D half to death after James Wisniewski’s injury – was sitting two players whose skating couldn’t keep up with the whippet-fast Oilers. Down to four reliable Dmen, Martin needed back-end help from his forwards; David Desharnais and Mathieu Darche were deemed too slow to provide it.

But the limited use of Darche, ToI 5:40, and DD, 11:06, meant Martin was going with a three-line team that ran out of gas in the third period. 

The Canadiens had their chances. They outshot Edmonton 37-28. But open nets were missed, Nikolai Khabibulin outgoaled Carey Price and all the offence they could muster was one greasy goal by non-sniper Jeff Halpern.

And having lost to the goaltender ranked 39th in the NHL, the Canadiens face Miikka Kiprusoff (ranked eighth) and Roberto Luongo (No. 2 … and he’ll be trying harder against the team from his hometown).

When they get to Vancouver, the Canadiens will be facing a team with a D corps more depleted than their own. The Canucks, who lost to Nashville last night, had Sami Salo and Christian Ehrhoff on defence, plus four guys I’ve never heard of: Yann Sauvé, Chris Tanev, Aaron Rome and Evan Oberg.

It’s crunch time in the NHL season, and everyone is banged-up to a greater or lesser degree.

Canadiens fans can be thankful that after the Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges injuries, P.K. Subban and, increasingly in recent games, Yannick Weber have stepped up.

P.K. has played more than 29 minutes against Buffalo and Edmonton this week. After Wiz went down last night, Weber played 27:38. Alexandre Picard played a season-high 23:23 and did not look out of place.

They’re young and can handle that kind of ToI – although a shot of the bench during the third period last night showed Subban gasping for air.

Roman Hamrlik will be 37 in April. Keep playing him 27-plus minutes like he did against Edmonton and a U.N. Human Rights tribunal will file charges against Jacques Martin at The Hague.

And now your injury-ravaged Canadiens play the Heritage Classic.

No one ever gets hurt in an outdoor game, right?

•  •  •

The first penalty – a Dustin Penner hook – wasn’t called until the game was 33 minutes old.

And an oddity: with their two top penalty-killers – Jeff Halpern and Tomas Plekanec –  in the box, the Canadiens held Edmonton’s PP off.

•  •  •

Is Tomas Plekanec running out of gas?

Pleks hasn’t been his usual speedy self in recent games, and Jacques Martin played Pleks 18:34 last night – less than Scott Gomez’s 20:51.

•  •  •

Guest Comment from PeterD:

Seems every day we talk about and lament the
loss and our two best defencemen – Markov and Gorges and that somehow
that provides some solice for why the team is not winning or how the
team shows such spunk and character game in and game out.  But really,
we should not be bringing up the loss of these two great players as an
excuse for current or future team performance…they are gone for the
season and no lamenting or head hanging will bring them back.  So we
need to move on as if they are not part of this team – because for all
intents and purposes they are not.

Cammi, Gill, Spatches and Wizi
will return soon I hope.  But even they will not fix what is wrong with
this team right now.  We do not have goal scoring finishers on this
team.  This comment may or probably will alienate some on HIO, but
seriously, how does a team get so many shots game in and game out and
not put some in the net.  The answer is very clear, we have skilled,
fast skating players but they lack the natural goal scoring creativity
that puts goals in the net.

I for one am very concerned with our
near term future.  We can play team defense better than most teams in
the league, but we need some offensive finishers.  Without that we are
unable to beat the Oilers, Islanders, and Sabres…how do we think we
will do against the elite teams that make the long run into the
palyoffs.

I have been a real Gomez, AK basher all season, but
tonight and the last few games they have been putting in the effort and
show they care and are trying…But, trying and caring and putting in
effort is not scoring goals and winning close games.

Pierre
Gauthier needs to be looking right now towards what this team will look
like and how they will perform going forward over the rest of this
season and for the next two to three years and if he is willing to be
bold, he should make some trades now that increase our offensive finish
around the net.  Questions he needs to be asking now are… Does he have
scoring talent in the system that can make the jump next year?  Can he
find a scoring gem before the trade deadline this year?  How much is he
willing to pay for that talent if he finds a willing partner? 

That
is one very tough job he has…and again, good luck with that Pierre. 
Right now, my bias is overpay if you have too for that scoring forward
who can finish around the net consistently.

 

85 Comments

  1. Shiloh says:

    Kaberle to Boston announced on Canoe Sports – then the big yellow banner disappeared. Not sure what’s happening – TSN has nada.

  2. Hali_Hab says:

     can some one explain the logic of  sitting darche and DD on the bench and giving ice time to moen??? for as much as we crap on gomez you have to admit that him playing with the enigma and moen doesnt exactly bring out the best of his abilitys as a set up man because lets face it thats what he is. He set both of those guys up numerous time last night with no finish. What has moen and ak for that matter done all year to warrant that kind of ice time. There is no justification to having darch and DD on the bench and giving great ice time to those two.

     

     

    “After 13 years, I couldn’t accept to be number two.“ Guy Lafleur.

  3. oshawahabsfan says:

    Gionta probably has about 100 more shots on goal than these guys as well. He, like Ovechkin is a high volume shooter, so of course he will have a lower percentage. You seriously think some of those guys are better pure goal scorers than Cammalleri, give your head a shake

  4. mjames says:

    Enough with all this team analysis. The real reason why  we lost this game is because of AK46 . He was directly or indirectly responsible for all 4 of the Oilers goals. If he had not played we would have easily won this game. As a matter of fact Gomez would be having a career year if not for AK46. The same can be said for Pleks, Gionta and Cammy who would all be over 30 goals by now. Price’s GAA would be less than 2 if not for AK46. If PG were smart he would trade AK46 to Nashville for one of their pending UFA ( a Moen type player) . If he can’t get an UFA then maybe a 12th round draft choice.

    I am surprised Boone did not point to the real reason why we lost this game  —–AK46.

     

     

    mjames

  5. Shiloh says:

    Kaberle to the Bruins – breaking.

  6. Hali_Hab says:

     hahahah now what have i told you about drinking in the day time?  cammi and geo MAY be “finishers” but they are of the inconsistant varity. A true finisher has consistant numbers and  a few more than 21 goals. The numbers are there to support this.. looks at our goals for… its shamefull.  The lack of scoring on this team has been masked by good defensive play and great goal keeping..

     

     

     

    “After 13 years, I couldn’t accept to be number two.“ Guy Lafleur.

  7. HardHabits says:

    News Flash: Tha Habs aren’t winning the Cup this year.

    Get used to it!!!!

  8. Cool Ice Price says:

    Why teams take these very soon to be UFA’s is beyond me. If Boston thinks that they will make a run for the Cup then they are sadly mistaken! 

  9. joeybarrie says:

    So last night’s loss hurt. Really sucked. We could be sitting in 5th and tied for 3rd right now. NOT TOO SHABBY considering our season.

    That being said I did like Gomez last night, but as his whole season seems to be going, they could not get it done. AK missing an open net, and hitting the Khabibulin dead in the crest on every other shot.

    The Habs have always had trouble with a hot goalie. Blame Price all you want, when you can only put in one goal (after about 10 attempts at it) against the Oilers, you have bigger problems than your goalie missing a few shots he probably should have stopped. (I will give him a break on the last one as it was a 4 on 1).

    Besides our crippled D corps, missing 5 and our top scorer, we need more help up front. Another top 2 player who can score. Gio has 10 assists for a 6 year low. Cammi has been slow this year on the goals and AK and Pouliot are tied with him, despite AK playing 14 more games and Pouliot 12 more. Pleks’ production is a bit slow this season, and Gio is our only scorer who has more than 20 goals…. NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    I know we can beat Calgary and Vancouver, but we really should have taken the easiest game. But 2 goals in 15 seconds, and our team leaving Price out to dry time and time again is taking its toll. When you have 4 D out, and a 5th leaves the game, the players (ESPECIALLY the D) have to be more careful about getting back. Last night in the 3rd we were not.

    But in the end what can we really expect out of a team that is missing Markov, Gorges, Gill, Spacek, and Cammi. AND with most of these guys coming back and the addition of Mara… We are still in a great spot considering. Thats a testament to JM, PG and the entire team.

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

  10. Cool Ice Price says:

    Is Burke silently employed by Boston?

  11. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    I agree, I’ve been watching Gomez pretty close and it boggles the mind when I see people write, “oh he’s having a good game”.  The guy has been god awful.  I also love the comment “he’s really trying out there”.  I mean really?  The apologists are really reaching when they spout crud like that.  He’s “trying”?  I mean that should be a damn given for any NHL player, this isn’t a goddamn peewee league, of course he’s trying.  Like it or not it’s the NHL, and a top six guy making top six money like Gomez needs to put up points which means goals AND assists.  Some of these posters seem to have a really naive view of the NHL.

  12. punkster says:

    HH. You and I look like genius GMs on this one. We called it in October ;)

    ***Subbang!!!***

  13. joeybarrie says:

    Its not like he missed an open net last night or anything.

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

  14. RiverviewCanadien says:

    As many have argued about the Gomez sucktitude, he was better than Pleks last night, who does look tired lately. Scott gave Gionta, Kostitsyn, you name it, great feeds, but nobody could cash in on them.

    I have always been an Andrei supporter, but I think he needs to find a new team. I feel that would benefit him greatly.

    And yes I will be lambasted for this but, PG should really bring Kovalev back, he will produce goals.

  15. shakey says:

    have to agree – he sucks. he needs to sit.

  16. shakey says:

    the gomez, ak46 and whomever experiment has to stop! they are all terrible together. gomez and ak bring out the worst in each other, as evidenced by their plummeting plus/minus. please, break up this line. maybe dd can resurrect ak46.

  17. JF says:

    I liked the effort last night after the first period, and I thought Gomez and Kostitsyn in particular looked very good.  But you can’t win hockey games if you don’t score goals.  Scoring goals has been a problem for us for a few years now, and it doesn’t seem as though we have the players in our system to solve it.  At the moment we have one player (Gionta) with more than 20 goals, and several with 10 or more.  Gionta is the only player likely to hit 30, few of the others will even get to 20.  Even with JM’s very effective defensive system, these numbers won’t get us far.  Before the latest wave of injuries to our defence, we were winning more close games than we were losing; the reverse is likely to be the case now.

    So I agree with PeterD that Pierre Gauthier has to do whatever it takes to bring in some serious offensive talent, not necessarily for this year but certainly during the off-season.  Otherwise I can’t see us being more than a bubble team, which, after a promising start and a recent surge that had us hoping for third place, looks like being the case again this year.  Meanwhile Edmonton, which has sucked for years and stockpiled high draft picks, will get yet another this year and, two or three years down the road, be an elite team.  As long as we continue the way we are, the Habs will never draft higher than the middle of the pack, so Gauthier will have to pay, and likely overpay, for serious offensive talent.  But I think he has to do it.

  18. StevieRay says:

    What sucks JB is losing to the Islanders and the Oilers the 2 worst teams in the NHL ….
    What also sucks is 3 dudes making making close to 18 million dollars that show little consistency

  19. Mike Boone says:

    I posted it to annoy you. And it worked!

  20. doug19 says:

    Well great we get Paul Mara for our playoff run and Boston gets Kaberle. This is always the year for our playoff run. There is no next year or year after when Price will be a free agent possibly. I hope PG can think that far ahead.

    Their is no point now ever diving for a draft pick as we probably would have never picked Stamcos or developed him if given the chance, instead we probably would have choosen some obscure under the ice I mean radar college player.

    We need size  many say but have you noticed we have traded away mostly bigger players? Now I admit I was not a Laps fan much of late but he was one of the larger players. We suck at drafting players especially larger ones. Good strategy of Pg trading for other teams draft picks. I must take solace in Paul Mara’s 6′-3″ and 207 lbs and prayerfully his rebirth.

    A stinky loss and we fans go crazy!

  21. solomio says:

    Malkin ? Get real !

  22. Cool Ice Price says:

    All these blown games will come back & bite the Habs in their collective Arses. They should be comfortably in a playoff spot right now if they did not squander those games. We all know that the Habs playoff chances due to their inability to score goals rest on the broad shoulders of Cary Price. He has to limit teams to two goals allowed in the regular season for the Habs to win. In the playoff that will go down to one goal per game. My point is, Price needs to be rested going into the playoffs. Right now he is not nor will he be rested come the end of the reg. season cause it will probably go down to the last 3 games to make the playoffs!

  23. solomio says:

    Kovalev ? Get real?

  24. HardHabits says:

    First Kovalchuck and now Malkin. Dude. If it was Crosby you were aiming for I’d be onboard. Malkin. Ha. Not unless the Habs fly in his parents for all playoff games.

  25. The Cat says:

    Agree.

     

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  26. Chris says:

    I have to agree with you and Peter on this one, Jane.  People consistently talk about the team being unlucky, but that explanation loses some weight when you look at the fact that the team hasn’t scored for the entire time that Martin has been here.

    I’m not sure who the team could go out and obtain, though.  The free agent market is notoriously fickle…we were fortunate two summers ago that the major FA powers were all cap-strapped and couldn’t bid on players like Gionta or Cammalleri. 

    I’ve posted it before, but I think the only avenue open to the team if they are serious is to go and try to obtain a major league star via trade.  And if we’re doing that, it is going to hurt:  we have to resign ourselves to the fact that there can’t be a single untouchable on the roster.

    If the team is to become a serious Stanley Cup contender, I truly believe a major roster shake-up this summer will be necessary, because the scoring issue has become glaring.  We’re not going to get a star player via the draft from where we are drafting, and I have a hard time believing that we’re getting one via free agency with so much tied up in Gionta/Gomez/Plekanec/Cammalleri.  That means at least one of those guys has to go the other way to make it work, and Plekanec has the most value.

    I think Malkin is probably the most available and is far and away the best bet, but Plekanec would have to be involved in that deal for it to make sense for the Penguins.  They would almost certainly want a couple of first round picks (at least) plus a young roster forward (Pacioretty or Pouliot?).  Are we willing to pay that price? 

    Other stars are going to be hard to pry away from their teams.  You would need to look at a team that is currently spending close to the cap but that is looking at a firesale due to ownership troubles.  Atlanta might fit that bill, but they don’t have anybody that fits our need.  Lecavalier’s name is going to come up, but I wouldn’t touch him with a 20-foot pole due to his own inconsistencies.

    Tough decisions await Pierre Gauthier this summer, and I don’t envy him.  But if we aren’t one of the teams that are most active in pursuing Malkin, I will be disappointed.

  27. notbigbird says:

    Pleks seems to be fading late in the season again. He is a great pk guy, but someone has to figure out that it eventually wears him down. This is not a new thought but one that I’ve had — although unexpressed — for a long time.

  28. rhino514 says:

    Don´t understand why Boone would post that commentator´s comment about lack of finishing. Cammaleri and Gionta are natural goal scorers. Pacioretty is finishing quite well. A couple of natural scorers is about what most teams have. The knock has always been that we are too small, but now it´s that our small forwards don´t finish? What exactly do they do then? Don´t agree with the comment. We WOULD be a few games ahead without all the key injuries, and for sure first in the division. Heck we are only 2 points out of first in the division as it is. And we´d be a higher scroing team if we didn´t play such a defensive system. No one would be complaining about our lack of finishing then.

  29. bolder says:

    The “count collapse” system sucks! F*** that 5 goalie system … We need goals!

  30. beaverislandguy says:

    i am okay with continuing with the team and sticking with what we got until the end of our season .  I would hate to see us trade the farm like we did with John LeClair, Desjardins, Dionne, etc for Mark Recchi back in the day –  it put us in a tailspin for years.   i would love to see AK46 off on the bus for someone else, but that don’t seem too possible – other teams watch gameflims as well as we do. Yes Gomez has been trying of late…but he is too predictable, has trouble backchecking and is in a funk.  That recent shootout loss we had was so painful…AK46 then Gomez….hurl…both shots into the goalie’s pads.  nothing with intensity or creative thought.  

    hopefully Plekanac will find positive energy soon, that 20 goal barrier is elusive it seems.  Seeing him in the box late in last night’s game, i saw frustration in his demeanor.  Why not,  two men short, there was only 5 minutes left and we have had no puck luck all game. Rest assured Plekanac will be charged for the next one. Thank goodness  Subban has been finally allowed to let loose and go end to end at will.  i makes for exciting hockey.

    According to the experts, we ain’t gonna make it to the cup final this year.  Maybe excitement is all we got to look forward to, hopefully we will make the playoffs.  and run as far as we can without Markov and Gorges. I suggest cutting our losses and tinker for the following season.  Some of these players need seasoning and only time will provide the skill to score consistently in bunches.  Maybe with Cammy coming back, he could ignite a sparking offense.  Just in time to meet the Canucks.  or not.

    oh yah, meeting them Bruins again would be fun stuff to watch as well.

    go habs go

     

     

  31. Chris says:

    I agree…losing points to the bottom feeders is always frustrating.  But we have to temper that frustration with the reality of the team’s injury woes, which are pretty severe, and the fact that everybody goes through stretches where they bomb against teams they should handle easily.

    Montreal is a team that relies on airtight defence and stellar goaltending to win games.  When 4/6 of the defence corps regulars are injured, the impact is huge.  That the team also struggles to score and has been missing its only true sniper should have been a death knell for this season, yet they are still in the mix thanks to Price nad the better than expected contributions from the team’s young players.

  32. shootdapuck says:

    Finishers don’t have shooting percentages below 12%

     

     

    For Example:

    Crosby      19.9%

    Staal        13.3%

    D. Sedin   16.3%

    Kesler      17.7%

    Burrows    15.7%

    Datsyuk    19.3%

    Stamkos   19.6%

     

    Compared to:

    Cammalleri  10.3%

    Gionta          9.2%

    Plekanec      11.0%

    Finishers hit the net and subsequently score.

     

    “I only like to watch and takes notes” JM

  33. shootdapuck says:

    No give your head a dunk in a lake!

    Take off the rose coloured blinders the Habs do not have a finisher even when Cammalleri is healthy.

    He is way too streaky.

    Stamkos, Crosby, Datsyuk, Sedin, Kesler, Burrows have all outscored Cammalleri this year last year and next year.

    Why cause they score from all over the ice not just one place on a one timer and they score all the time.

    If he was such a pure goal scorer why hasn’t he won the Rocket Richard trophy …..yet.

    UNFORTUNATELY this is the world we live in.

     

     

    “I only like to watch and takes notes” JM

  34. doug19 says:

    Talking of prospects what ever happened to Gregory Stewart. He looked good briefly could skate could fight if needed.

  35. rbby_habs says:

    GOMEZ:   It astonishes me how people are saying Gomez played well last night.    OK – Sure…he played better than usual, with more effort.  But at the end of the day……he still did nothing, and even went -2.    That’s playing a good game?  Hmm..maybe for Gomez standards that is.    Gomez is a waste…..people say he’s a playmaker;  he doesn’t pass the puck, he throws the puck at a teamates direction regardless if he’s covered by the opposing team’s defensemen, and hopes for the best.    

    Gomez is a third liner.    Put DD on the second line to centre Cammy & Pouliot.    Cammy and DD would be interesting…I think DD can set him up nicely. 

  36. NightRyder says:

    Nice to see Gomez getting nearly 21 minutes last night.

    (Repost)

    Don’t you know he “doesn’t need” to score because he’s so responsible defensively (just don’t ask his wingers who are often left to cover up for him when he goes on one of his useless forays behind the opposition net).

    If that argument doesn’t fly, they’ll toss out the Stanley Cup experience (without mentioning that he was essentially a  passenger on his three deepest runs with New Jersey, scoring 36 points in 72 games). He went 17 games without a goal on our run last year (“yeah, but look at those second assist totals, he DOESN’T NEED to score goals).

    If that doesn’t fly, out comes the “he’s a good teammate” BS (ask Subban or anyone he played with in New York).

    He is farking terrible. I have been barking up this tree for some time, and it’s nice to see the needle at least flickering in the right direction as even the Pollyannas begin to lift their rose-coloured glasses.

    He has NINE goals in his last NINETY games. He doesn’t even win 50% of his faceoffs. He is exceptionally easy to defend. He appears to have forgotten anything Jacques Lemaire may have taught him.

    Yes, because he wears a CH on his chest, I cheer for him. I’ve said 4,233 times that I wish he would score 30 goals and get 85 points. But he won’t. And I am baffled my anti-Gomez bandwagon hasn’t filled to overflowing before this.

    I watch people (as they still try to suckle on Jaro Halak’s mighty nards)  throw Carey Price under the bus when we fall behind 2-0. But Gomez still either draws relative indifference or (barf) loyal defenders.

    It’s high time this pud was sent packing. Paul DiPietro could produce similar numbers given Gomez’s ice time. Mike Boone could probably come close.

    Your move Pollyannas…

     

  37. Cool Ice Price says:

    Even with a healthy team the Habs have been for yrs losing to bottom teams!

  38. HabFab says:

    Be careful guys or you will end up on the IR… with dislocated elbows!

  39. Sheldon says:

    It’s a great mind experiment to think what Lemaire and Robinson could have done with the Habs. Jacques has totally turned around the Devil’s and Kovachuk’s seasons.

  40. Hammer says:

    Must admit I had a tinge of compassion for gomez last evening. When you put the ” hands of stone” on one side and the ” enigma” on the other and watch Gomez set these guys up time after time to no avail, one must wonder what is going on. If JM benched DD or was not confident in him, move Pouliet up to #11’s line and move Moen down. I haven’t coached in 35 years but that is what i would have done.

  41. Chris says:

    Before this run of injuries hit a couple of weeks ago, the Habs had actually been doing very well against the bottom feeders. 

    One of the peculiarities of the human mind is that we tend to over-focus on the bad things and defocus the good things.  Probably part of our evolutionary survival instincts.  The result is that we remember those losses to the bottom feeders far more than we remember all the wins.  The Habs have a very good record against the Northeast Division, for example.

    There are bottom feeders that give us trouble.  Edmonton has the speed to skate with the Habs, while the Leafs are always up to the challenge against the Habs.  But overall, the team’s record against the bottom half of the league is still pretty strong.

  42. New says:

    The reason Gomez is getting a rough time is because he is on the ice for more goals scored against than for. He is like minus a million. That is because he quit. Watch him instead of listening to the play by play guys chatter.

  43. zak says:

    JM is no genius behind the bench. Lots of his moves are headscratchers.Does coaching make a difference? Look at Tampa, NJ,Coyotes. To bad we’re stuck in this bilingual business. No one would care if we won a cup.

  44. zak says:

    Peter D all our shots are from the perimeter. Lots of shots on goal no one in front on the net because of JM’s system. Quite often I’m wondering where the third guy is and he’s practically back at the blue line.Every guy that has played with Gomez has his production go down.He’s not a give and go guy. He like to skate to the blue line , turn and make a pass.AK was having a good start to the year with Plec and Cammi untill the genius behind the bench decided to break up the line to get Gomez going. It’s been down hill ever since.

  45. RetroMikey says:

    I, too am very concerned where this team is headed in the future as also stated by Peter D’s comments.

    If you can’t beat the lowly young Oilers with the so called skill players we have in Pleks, GIonta, AK, and Gomez to name a few, you just are not worthy to be an Eastern playoff contender at this stage of the season.

    Injuries are a part of the game, and if you have cracks on the team, time for Gauthier to realize Bobby’s mistakes and be aggressive on the trading deadline.

    The young guys are impressive but do you really want to play the kids so much ice time and burn them out as the regular season dwindles?

    Bring in some big unskilled  boys from Hamilton and see what they can do.  Call this season an experiment and work on the summer on who to bring in.

    This team will not go far int he playoffs, I guarantee it!

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

  46. Habnofear says:

    The truth is you two muses suck and I called it last summer:)

  47. punkster says:

    There it is folks. The absolute proof that the Habs will do well in the playoffs. Because RM guarantees they won’t.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  48. Chris says:

    If he was willing, signing him to a long-term deal that took him through to his UFA season might be a good move.

  49. Cool Ice Price says:

    I got rid of all DT’s in my house. We all have LT’s now

  50. Shiloh says:

    I’m certain I’m on somebody’s list of Price haters – if not near the top. The weird thing is that I don’t hate him at all. I really was disgusted with the Habs management last year in the way they treated Halak – they just couldn’t bring themselves to refer to him as the Number 1 during a season where Carey played like an AHL Number 3. But that’s over now and Price has bounced back.

    The thing that drives me crazy here is that gushing praise rains down on Price when he’s hot, when he’s average and when he’s off. It doesn’t matter. I have posted this year maybe three times that Price was weak on a goal (or two last night). Each time the wrath of the kool-aid drinkers descended on me. It’s like you’re taking their last dime. They just cannot, for whatever reason, entertain even for the slightest amount of time that their hero is human and therefore fallible.

  51. Chris says:

    The morning shift is always great.  You get some great posters throughout the day, and usually very little fighting.  The night usually wears off the edge, even after losses.

    It is sad, because there are some great posts during the game blogs, but I just can’t take the referee whining and bickering sometimes.  Unfortunate, because most of the funny posts come at night.  Yeats, in whatever guise he is wearing at the moment, is almost always good for about 10 gems.

  52. Chris says:

    Ouch!  I finally converted over to a wide-screen monitor on my desktop.  I’m never going back to small monitors.  :)

  53. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I agree with you Chris (not just because our fav player all time is the same), it is true what you say, all of it. Reading the threads is about all I do here, the comments get mental after a loss, the bickering, the blaming, and sometimes its even worse after a win. I find myself skipping over more and more posters comments, but there are a few posters who I read, you tend to be one of them.

  54. Chris says:

    When has the answer to trolling EVER been to start a back-and-forth?

    Why is the answer to Price trolling so often a lame attempt to point out Halak’s stats, as if that is relevant?

    Trolls live for replies.  You don’t reply or ignore them, and they eventually go away.  We all know this, yet still…people just can’t resist that urge to grab their flamethrower!  ;)

  55. Cool Ice Price says:

    Hey, my laptop has a 15.6″ screen!

  56. Chris says:

    That’s a two-edged sword, though.  I could easily make a list, off the top of my head, of those HI/O members that simply can’t brook any criticism of Price and rush to THEIR little computers to give him all the credit every time the team plays well.  That list is just as long as the one that includes the haters.

    If the two groups know who each other are, why continue reading one another’s posts?  That is the mystery to me.

  57. RGM says:

    I think we’ve all had a couple of “oh, Carey that stunk” moments this year. Name one goalie that hasn’t, I defy you. If there’s a stinker allowed, let them have it. It’s the occasions in which one brief lapse gets conflated into a major talent evaluation that finds him lacking that I just laugh. The numerous online goalie coaches think they have it all figured out, as if a goal against requires a clarion call to totally thinks back to the drawing board for Price’s technique.

    Go Habs Go!

  58. SeriousFan09 says:

    More or less what I was going to say, it’s not that we don’t mind criticism it’s just the people who show up here to go ‘ha-ha, see he had a crappy night, I saw this coming!’ it gets very old and it becomes trolling.

     

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

  59. Chris says:

    I can’t get rid of my desktop…I like my video games too much, and it is murder on most laptops to play some of the more graphically intensive games (they tend to overheat quite a bit). 

  60. Chris says:

    Ah, my bad…got thrown off by the poke check part of the comment.  To be honest, I’ve never noticed that.  Going to have to watch for it on Sunday!  :)

  61. avatar_58 says:

    No, he skates backwards INTO the offensive zone. It drives me nuts. I know he’s looking to pass but he’s so slow at it that he gets swarmed

  62. Chris says:

    Point taken, but I don’t think we’re ever going to turn Pouliot into a two-way forward!  ;) 

    So if he goes out and gets some goals, we can put him on a line with a defensively responsible forward to cover up for his deficiencies in that department.  We do have enough of those types, after all!

     

  63. Displaced says:

    Is it time to sign Pouliot to a long term deal now or stick to another one-year RFA deal?

    Who’s leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  64. avatar_58 says:

    My problem with Pouliot is he constantly skates backwards, does the two leg stretch poke check which usually never works, and generally misses his man. He plays hard….but for crying out loud get him some skating lessons.

  65. MikeL says:

    A key tell regarding Pouliot’s strength is his new found confidence in the rough stuff. He must be close to or right behind Moan for fighting majors on the team this season.

  66. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    excellent analysis on POULIOT, he has been very consistent, and gritty in your face… one of the brightspots, i agree he is only getting better.

  67. Chris says:

    Regarding Price:

    There is a cadre of people on this website that are simply laughable in their inability to deal with ANY criticism of Carey Price.  It’s actually grown quite comparable to Bieber-fever, except it is not teenage girls that are the guilty parties.  I recognize that there is another cadre who jump on everything that Price does wrong, but two wrongs don’t make a right.  Both groups need to grow up.

    There is nothing wrong with saying a goalie drops too quickly, even if they are a butterfly goalie.  In fact, that has always been the hallmark of a butterfly goalie that is struggling, and even the great Patrick Roy was guilty of going into the butterfly way too early when he was struggling (and yes, it happened for him too).  I don’t know if it is a confidence thing or if they are just tired…I’m not a goalie.  I’m not necessarily agreeing with those that said he went down too early last night…I did feel he was a bit weak on both the second and third goals, although the third one was a knuckleball and those go in sometimes.  But to say that one knows nothing of hockey for commenting on a perceived problem is simply childish.

    Carey Price is playing above and beyond this season.  He has defied even our most optimistic expectations for him, and looks like he got over his prolonged sophomore slump.  He has established himself as a consistently excellent goalie.  But even the best goalies I have seen over the past few years (Roy, Hasek, Belfour, Brodeur) have stretches of less than stellar play.  Price will too.  Doesn’t make all critics of Price on a given night “haters”.  It is just commentary on what we’re watching.  I didn’t think Price was great last night myself, but he deserves a couple of mulligans given how stellar he has been for most of the season.

    Regarding Subban:

    He played an excellent game last night.  Over 29 minutes of hockey in back-to-back games is stellar, and even more when you remember he is a rookie.  But Jacques Martin and Perry Pearn WILL be on him in the next practice about picking his spots.  One of the things he’s got to learn about being an elite defenceman is managing his minutes.  That means he can’t wind up and go for the end-to-end rushes all the time. 

    There were a couple in the first half of the game where he took off on a solo foray despite having two wingers to work with.  Instead of passing, the smart play, he went in and took a low percentage slap shot from the half-boards or lost the puck because he was alone after stranding those wingers at the blue line after they didn’t receive the pass that was the smart hockey play in those instances.  It was Kovalev 101 all over again:  the crowd loves it, but it is a terrible hockey play sometimes and the easiest thing in the world to defend against.

    And then there was the attempted hit on Taylor Hall:  that was a pure rookie mistake.  In any sport where you defend somebody else one-on-one (hockey, basketball, soccer), approaching your mark head-on with a lot of speed is a recipe for making yourself look very stupid.  Subban looked very stupid and ultimately cost the team a good scoring chance that yielded the goal that deflated the team.  This is an area where the experience he is getting now will ultimately pay off down the road:  he can learn from players like Hamrlik and Markov about how to manage his time on the ice better.  Like Price, he gets some mulligans because of how well he is playing and you have to rconstantly emind yourself that he is a rookie and will do things like that sometimes.

    Regarding Hamrlik:

    In his first season, Boone was raving about the stability Roman Hamrlik brought to the Habs after he was signed in the summer of 2007, but questioned what he was going to look like in the last year of that big 4-year, $20 million contract.  Well, I feel perfectly safe in saying that he still looks pretty good.  Worth $5 million?  No.  But still our most consistent player over the past 4 seasons…this one ranks as our best signing by a country mile, in my opinion.

    Yes, there were times last night where he was an adventure.  But the past week will be held up as Example A by Hamrlik’s agent of why the Habs should consider keeping him for another deal.  Hamrlik turns 37 in April, but has averaged over 25 minutes of ice time over the past 4 games as the Habs deal with injury woes to their blue line.  For my money, he and Pouliot have been the two best Habs over the past week.  No, he should not be a #1 pairing defenceman.  But if he’s willing to sign for less money (and the amount is of course the key parameter here), I would take him back in a heartbeat.  Replacing his versatility, durability and level of play is not going to be an easy feat.

    Regarding Pouliot:

    What is there to not like about his game right now?  Whatever Pacioretty found in Hamilton, he has apparently brought some of it to Montreal and fed it to Pouliot because he is a man possessed of late.  He is skating hard, he is checking hard and he is just infinitely more involved than he was earlier in the season.  I really think the team needs to give him some more PP time, because he has been our best forward for some time now.  I’m sure we’re all praying this isn’t just another hot streak by a streaky player, but remember that big forwards often don’t hit their stride until they are 23 or 24:  the strength that they relied on in junior won’t cut it against the men in the NHL.  It takes a while to build up the strength required to compete in the NHL and also to learn how to play in that new body. 

    If Pouliot continues to play at anything close to the level he’s at right now, we’ve got our missing top-6 forward.  Now we just have to get Kostitsyn and Gomez going (to be fair, they both played quite well last night) or replace them with somebody who CAN get the job done consistently.

  68. RGM says:

    Regarding Regarding Price – when it’s the same people constantly rushing to their little computers to point out every single perceived flaw, that establishes them as haters. My good and great friend Shane has a nice little list of all the HI/O Price-bashers and I’m more than willing to wager a large double-double that all of them had their say last night. Was last night one for Carey’s personal best of collection? Not by a longshot. The first goal was ugly in every facet. The second one was just a fantastic shot by a fellow Canadian WJC hero. Third one…anytime it goes five-hole it’s open to criticism. It’s not that being critical of Carey’s errors during the course of a game is unacceptable, it’s that it is so incredibly tiresome to see the same people that never give him credit for all the nights that he posts a shutout or makes unbelievable saves to keep the team alive, those same people come rushing to post on HI/O about how bad he supposedly is when it’s a goal against or a loss. They’re entitled to do so, and really those of us who are Price fans have no trouble brushing off the laughable commentaries, but it doesn’t make it less tiresome.

    Go Habs Go!

  69. Chris says:

    If he did, it was in pre-season.  Wade Redden hasn’t played a game in the NHL regular season this year.

  70. Chris says:

    I was surprised too…felt like it was more than that.  Maybe he got a lot of double-minors for roughing! 

    It’s a good theory, and I’m sticking to it.

  71. MikeL says:

    Counting last night? Horcoff and Krejci – wasn’t there more?

    Edit: You’re right. I guess my memory is of the extreme short term nature haha.

  72. solomio says:

    No he also beat up Reden at New York..was this season I believe
    That’s 3

  73. Chris says:

    Ask and ye shall receive…  :)

    Moen has 6 fights, Subban has 4, and Lapierre/Pouliot have 2 each.

  74. RGM says:

    Exactly. Our defence and our goaltending have been the foundation for our success. If either or both have an off-night, such as last night, our offensive weakness becomes all the more glaring. A pop-gun offence ain’t gonna get it done come crunch time, which is why this team needs to add some extra punch in the top six.

    Go Habs Go!

  75. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    we sit 11th in the league, but 23rd in scoring…. because we’re 8th in goals against..one stat isn’t the whole story

  76. RGM says:

    Hold on a second there, Professor. How can you try and honestly say “scoring is not a major issue” on the team that presently sits 24th in Goals For/Game?

    Go Habs Go!

  77. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    we have plenty of tier 1 scoring talent that can pick a corner the size of a dime… why do we keep looking for different excuses? first another D, then someone to stand in front of the net, now its someone with a scoring touch!!!

    we have a scoring touch, its CAMM and PAX to start, those guys can pick a corner at will, then POULIOT/DESH, KOSTY and PLEKS at the next level, those are the finishers and thats half the forwards.

    scoring is not a major issue, there are other problems, namely ONE PROBLEM….GRIT.

    we still lack the power to outmuscle in the offensive corners and defensively in our corners and in front of our net. I think WEBER is a very good defensman, and his elbow to the head last night was ala GAINEY/LAFLEUR textbook, it was perfect, but he is a specialist, and lacks the ability to move big bodies… as for NASH, i think we’ve seen enough, come on lets be realistic here, the kid doesn’t even shave yet!, what is he going to do against Bertuzzi in front of our net?…PLEASE, send him back, he is not ready, but will be in 2 years.

    I layed it out yesterday.. CONBOY and HENRY are in the 6’6″ over 230lb range, a fwd and Def, bring them in to replace NASH/PYATT, because the shi*&()T is going to hit the fan real soon.

    I’m worried about being embarrased nationwide on Sunday… and then there is Tues….

    1:The N.A.G.S. (North American Grit Speed) Youth Movement will bring us respect. 2: 02/09/11 never forget the masacre 3. ..call up WHITE/SHULTZ/HENRY/PAX now.

  78. punkster says:

    Wow. Conboy and Henry would have won it for us last night. Conboy and Henry. Wow.

    Wow.

    Just…wow!

    ***Subbang!!!**

  79. Cool Ice Price says:

    The Habs don’t play to win most nights. They play NOT TO LOSE, and we can see it in 26 out of 59 games, all most half. 14 one goal wins & 11 one goal lossses. There are no excues to lose to bottom feeder teams. None at all.

  80. RGM says:

    I have been a real Gomez, AK basher all season, but tonight and the last few games they have been putting in the effort and show they care and are trying…But, trying and caring and putting in effort is not scoring goals and winning close games.”

    In other words, sorry doesn’t mow the lawn. They are able to get right to the doorstep and at the critical moment, they fail to burst through, time and time again. It’s good that the effort is there but we don’t need a team full of Chris Higgins-esque non-finishers.

    Go Habs Go!

  81. Captain aHab says:

    Problem is that the overpayment for true scoring talent will be ridiculous. And we are not just one scorer away from competing for the Cup and getting that top scorer might create issues for years to come. Personally, I would like to see him clear cap space for next year and give the kids a longer audition. My stance would be to hope that Cammi becomes that top scorer once he comes back.

    I love the jam this team has shown playing pretty well despite all the injuries but I’ll be realistic about their chances in the playoffs. To beat Philly in a 7-game series right now, they would need a Price miracle run and likely a few injuries to top Philly players. Or a total goalie meltdown on their part as that may be the only potential weakness they have.

    Anyways, I don’t want the Habs to become the Laffs by trading away solid prospects and high draft picks for stop gap measures.

  82. Cool Ice Price says:

    Well what is it?

    The Habs are doing great having their top players injured.

    OR

    What do U expect with the Habs top players injured.

  83. avatar_58 says:

    I want to blame Gomez, but how can you? He genuinely came close several times, setup several scoring chances and actually looked more engaged than Plek did.

  84. Cool Ice Price says:

    It’s disappointing, needed a quick start! Habs, tell us something we haven’t heard before.

  85. SeriousFan09 says:

    The team was meant to work from a defensive setup but with what’s left… it’s pretty obvious we lack the scoring talent right now to compensate. How PG brings that in, I don’t know but even when Cammalleri gets back we need another guy with some finish.

    I don’t see anyone in HAM who can finish, we’ve already got those guys with the team. Gallagher’s years away, Leblanc , Avtsin and Kristo are optimistically a year off and that’s on best estimate. Habs may need to pay up as PeterD suggests.

     

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


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