About last night …

As befits a hockey coach who works in Washington, Bruce Boudreau is adroit at diplomacy.

“It was loud and it was crazy,” Boudreau said of the Bell Centre as the teams took the ice. But lest his words be misconstrued, Boudreau hastened to add that the raucous atmosphere was “crazy good.”

A couple hours later, as the minutes ticked down on a convincing Washington win, the crowd was not crazy good or crazy bad.

At least half had left the building – proving they weren’t so crazy after all.

The test of sanity is still to come, as fans spend an off day wondering if their team can rebound from two crushing defeats.

Never underestimate a Canadiens fan’s capacity for self-delusion, but seriously, folks:

How crazy do you have to be to still think they can win this thing?

 

 

Credit the Canadiens with heart and their seventh man with spirit.

Despite losing a game they led 4-1 in Washington, the Canadiens whipped their amped-up crowd into a level 11 frenzy by playing what Mike Cammalleri called their best first period of the season.

They outshot the Capitals 10-7 and had maybe five or six quality chances. But they couldn’t bury them.

And as was the case in Washington when the Capitals won a game they should have lost, you had the sense an opportunity had been blown. 

The Canadiens won the first 20 minutes, but games last 60. And when Boyd Gordon’s fluke shorthanded goal opened the scoring and sucked the enthusiasm out of the crowd, you knew the first period mojo had vanished … and Big Mo was about to change benches.

By the time Jaro Halak skated to the bench 8:33 into the second period, he’d allowed three goals on 13 shots. He didn’t get much help from his defencemen, and the net-crashing Caps cuffed him around pretty good. But I gotta believe Carey Price gets the start on Wednesday.

I haven’t checked Twitter. Did Allan Walsh Tweet anything about the Canadiens’ goaltending?

My great and good friend Red Fisher, who has forgotten more than I’ll ever know about hockey, was kind enough to offer a few insights on this pivotal game:

• The little guys killed the Canadiens. Not little in terms of size, because most of the Capitals are bruisers, and that’s beginning to tell in the series, but four of the Washington goals were scored by the supporting cast: Gordon, Brooks Laich, Eric Fehr and – long after the issue had been decided – Matt Bradely.

• How many times, Red asked, is every member of a top forward line minus-4 in a playoff game? Tomas Plekanec, Mike Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn were on for four even-strength goals by Washington.

• Marc-André Bergeron, minus-3,  is not a defenceman in the estimation of Mr. Fisher, who has been watching Canadiens’ blueliners since Doug Harvey and Tom Johnson. “MAB has a good shot, Red grants, and he’s an asset on the PP. But while Boudreau denied it was a strategy, Red said the Caps were dumping the puck on MAB’s side all night – with predictable misery for a Dman who isn’t as good as Harvey, Johnson or Gaston Gingras.

Question for discussion: Have we seen the last of Jaro Halak in Montreal?

I’d bet dollars to donuts Price starts Game 4. Either he’ll win or, if the erstwhile Franchise loses, the Canadiens will come back with Halak in Washington, where the Caps, up 3-1, will close this out.

Alternative scenario: the Canadiens ride a hot Price back into the series.

In either case, it could be adios, Jaro.

And you wonder what the playoffs, which began so spectacularly for him, have done to Halak’s trade value.

•  •  •

Best of the Canadiens?

Brian Gionta (which is the case almost every game), Benoit Pouliot, Mike Cammalleri, minus-4 notwithstanding.

Another quiet night for the third and fourth lines. Glen Metropolit, in his first game back, played 5:37, Mathieu Darche 2:22.

In 9:21 of ToI for Washington, Eric Fehr had a goal and an assist.

•  •  •

Boudreau, gracious in victory, called Jacques Martin “one of the smartest, if not the smartest coach in the league.”

Maybe so, but the brilliant moves have included Martin relegating Ryan O’Byrne to the pressbox in a series against a big, physical team that has run mugged the Canadiens’ goaltender.

And while the Andrei Markov injury left him with few options, Martin’s use of Roman Hamrlik and Jaro Spacek have left the aging defencemen running on fumes at the most important stage of the season.

•  •  •

Scott Gomez, who helped screw up Game 2 with that stupid fight, took a misconduct for yapping at the ref.

If he gets kicked out of Game 4 it will be some sort of Eddie Shack hat trick.

•  •  •

Boudreau on his PP, which is 0-for the playoffs:

“Yeah, we suck.”

 

231 Comments

  1. NaturalizedCanadian says:

    It’s just unbelievable. What exactly is the point of using replay if you just get it wrong? I don’t even see how that goal could possibly be dissalowed. If you have not seen the disallowed goal and you believe in the Bettman-hates-Canadian-teams-and-will-do-anything-to-help-them-lose conspiracy theory, you  might want to check this one out. I hope the Canucks get revenge.

  2. phillyhab says:

    No goalie stopping those goals.  I think it was a “momentum shift” move that fell short.

  3. shootdapuck says:

    MAB has acquitted himself in a regular shift???

    Surely you jest?

    Then why does Washington target him as the weak link? They must be stupid or misinformed!

    He is not a defenseman, he is a one dimensional hockey player who would be excellent as a designated shooter if the NHL ever adopts that concept!

    His shooting accuracy is on par with former coach Jacques Laperierre who as a player used to spray pucks all over the rink but once and a while would put one on net with spectactular results.

    The entire back-end of this team(minus Markov) should be given the same treatment as the front end was last year. FLUSH!

     

    “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″

  4. shootdapuck says:

     

    Andrew please qualify that comment by “I was blitzed at a a bar and drank my way to the 3rd period”.

    Yappierre was as usual a waste of oxygen!

    Hardly in the same league as Gionta who was the best player last night in a group of mediocrity!

    Hope he enjoys his new home in Edmonton and enjoys surviving/playing in San Jose multiple times next year!

    His free pass expires very soon!

     

    “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″

  5. Tis Himself says:

    Don’t use that as an excuse. This franchise went in the crapper well before the salary cap was introduced.

  6. G-Man says:

    Price will not return to favourite son status. He will suck if they play him in Game 4.

    Actually, the way SK keeps dishing those behind the back passes at the blueline to Ovie is a good reason to bench him.

     

  7. G-Man says:

    It’ll be way more than 2 if Price starts Wed.

  8. Nahlsy says:

    Couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s easy for people to just blindly throw that nonsense out there, it takes someone that actually pays attention to point out that they had as much or more home grown talent on their roster last year than any other team in the Majors (nobody knew that though did they?)

    What they do is find guys like Rivera, Posada, Cano, Soriano, Matsui, Jeter, Pettite, Joba, Bernie Williams, Hughes, Gardner, Nick Johnson, Vazquez etc. Occasionally they’ll move one of those out for another part such as the Soriano for A-Rod deal. Then like all other teams they compliment their roster with some free agents of course but, the roster that those free agents are complimenting is already EXTREMELY deep and rich with home grown talent and that home grown talent is the reason they continue to win.

    Their batting order in the World Series last year saw Jeter, Posada, Cano, Gardner, Matsui & Melky as guys that had never played for another MLB franchise 6 guys in their regular batting order. Tex and Damon were the ONLY REGULAR BATTERS that had come over as free agents, A-Rod and Swisher that came over in trades.

    Their pitching staff? Pettite, Joba, Hughes, Rivera and company are all Yankee products, only CC and Burnett came in as free agents on pretty much their entire WS pitching staff.

    Four free agent acquisitions on an entire World Series roster.

    Sorry, you were saying they just buy their entire team from other MLB clubs right? Care to count how many players on the Phillies were home grown? Or the Red Sox? How about the Blue Jays? Pick a team, any team really….

  9. Clay4bc says:

    Right you are, Andrew – as always, only YOUR opinion matters. Everyone else should just keep their pie-holes closed.

    _________________

    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  10. badbalance says:

    Well Halak doesn’t seem to be winning games for us, Now it’s Price’s time to shine. Price was getting basehd for the same crap this season, and guess what each time he got bashed the most, he only let in 2 goals..

  11. Josh says:

    Boudreau says that Martin is one of the smartest only because Martin insists on playing Bergeron 20+ minutes a game while keeping the Habs only physical defenseman in the pressbox. What a complete joke his coaching is; it’s almost like Gaineys decision last year to play Laraque on the top line. Can’t we ever get a break as fans and have a decent coach who knows what he’s doing?

  12. Bob Barker says:

    The thing about the Yankees is that they just scout other teams in the league then offer ridiculous contracts to their best players effectively making themselves a contender every year. 

     

  13. Mr.Hazard says:

    I considered it, but my resolve must be way stronger than yours lol. Or my beard not QUITE as “scruzzy” as yours. But I submit you’ll regret it, if we win this series!!

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  14. Mr.Hazard says:

    I am a huge Halak fan, and always have been. Price should start next game. And I hope to the Almighty above that he can pull it off.

    COME ON HABS.

    “love cannot drown truth, Nefertiti”

  15. Nahlsy says:

    No, unlike the Yankees, this club has no scouting, no GM worth his weight in salt over the past 30 yrs now, and a predjudiced hiring process that handicaps themselves needlessly. Therefore unlike the Yankees, this team can’t EARN championships.

     

  16. habsfanmandy says:

    Ugh, I can imagine. Horrible.

  17. Y says:

    Yup, everyone here in Vancouver is pissed.

  18. PattyBoy31 says:

    Sorry guys, my version of a playoff beard is way to thin and scuzzy to be kept with an effort like tonight

  19. PattyBoy31 says:

    I’ve got a price jersey and all…but honestley, how was halak at fault for those goals? Spacek drilled him into the net on one, another was a low shot with a quick cash on the rebound, and another was through heavy traffic. This is a very difficult situation to gauge if your JM…and gauthier. Who knows tho (i hope price picks it up since my $300 is on the line)

  20. Richrebellion says:

    The main difference tonight was goaltending, Halak was average and Varlamov was stellar. Habs controlled the play in the first period and he kept us out. I hear excuses as the goals werent his fault and they werent completely. But as anderson showed last night and many goalies have shown in the playoffs, for you to win games your goalie must be stellar.

    Halak hasnt been stellar the past 2 games, and although he brought us here its time to turn to price. Geber and theo both brought their teams to the playoffs and they were switched out 1 of them won a cup the other cud be on his way…. Play Price hope he hits a groove like the calder cup and we might have a chance.

  21. habsoul says:

    Some observations:

    Jaro is gone. It’s likely we have seen his last game in rouge, blanc, et bleu. This series was his launch pad to stardom and he came to earth like Discovery. Thank you Mr. Halak and good luck at your next stop.

    It will be interesting to see how Price responds to his return to favorite son status.

    Jacques Martin is a dipswitch. Why would anyone bench Sergei Kostitsyn in favor of an ineffective Greg Metropolit? Is it really worth losing a playoff series to teach the young Belarussian a lesson? Habs fans know what comes next; next year Sergei scores 30 goals as a Nashville Predator and gives interviews about the ineptness of the Habs’ management.

    Can we send Martin down to Hamilton and call up Boucher?

    Emotionally, we know it’s possible for the Habs to take this to 7 games. But we also have to accept that there’s something inevitable about these Washington Capitals. I hope Les Boys can steal another game, but the momentum the Canadiens earned in the first two games has evaporated.

     

  22. habsfanmandy says:

    So what do you guys think about the no-goal call in L.A. before?

    I think it’s a good goal. He is not kicking, he’s just skating past.

    Effing NHL.

  23. sidhu says:

    “How crazy do you have to be to still think they can win this thing?”

    I still believe.

     

  24. Wops says:
    MAB 3 0 0 0 -5, enough said
  25. ooder says:

    that is a lie.. MAB can hardly be considered a D-man

    ——————

    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  26. andrewberkshire says:

    Lapierre was one of our best players tonight, by the time he took that penalty the game was LONG over, who cares.

  27. ABHabsfan says:

    Perhaps we think the same, I guess. Scary

  28. Y says:

    Now taking bets for the Finale on friday

    Halak’s last game as a Hab?

    O/U is 4.1

     

     

  29. andrewberkshire says:

    Well unlike the Yankees, they can’t buy championships so it’s a little different.

  30. Bob Barker says:

    People say that all the time about red fisher. Boone has said it more than once. 

  31. Duracell3 says:

    Two years ago we finished first in the East, I’d say thats a contender.

  32. Duracell3 says:

    The thing is with the cap situation, Halak can probably ask for more, and I don’t know really where we are going to get that cap space, especially if they re-sign Plekanec (who will be getting a somewhat handsome raise). It would also be doubtful that someone would make an offer sheet on Price before Halak (as he’s a 1st round pick, meaning they’d have to give up a first round pick), and Halak probably has more value in the eyes of other teams at this time.

     

    While I, like everyone ele would love to keep both, it would take a great stroke of math to do it. I think a  choice will be made, and my guess is that management will choose Price.

  33. ABHabsfan says:

    If Lapierre doesn’t eat hotdogs next game then there is something seriously wrong. That penalty at the end of the game was terrible. He makes a good hit then goes ahead and punches Green in the back of the head. I’m not saying that the Habs could have come back because the outcome was decided but Habs were laying a good foundation for Wed nad instead ofpushing hard for the last 3 minutes they are killoing another dumb penalty then guess what, another goal where the D-men stand there and watch the Caps 4th line take turns whacking at the puck. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem and #40 is clearly the latter

  34. Tis Himself says:

    Given the past 17 years, this organization is lucky that they are just three championships behind the NY Yankees.

  35. ABHabsfan says:

    Mr Boone, the line about how Red Fisher has forgotten more about hockey than you (we)will ever know, are the exact words I used in a post on this site about 2 weeks ago when Mr. Fisher made a comment about signing Jaro Halak. I thank-you for the emulation, it is a compliment to me that an actual journalist would use my words.

  36. ooder says:

    i just hope, behind closed doors they actually try to take care of this.

    i expect more out the management and the owners

    ——————

    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  37. Tis Himself says:

    I think the Habs may actually be part of the conspiracy!

  38. Tis Himself says:

    All the ‘dogs needed was a touchdown to win!

  39. ooder says:

    btw.. the nhl will make sure the habs don’t pass the capitals.

    bank on it

    ——————

    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  40. light_n_tasty says:

    He sure didn’t look good tonight…7-2 loss….

  41. shakey says:

    start price next game.

    halak has played well enough that we should get quite a bit for him – don’t let him play his way out of that value. trade him and go with price.

     

  42. shakey says:

    this series was over after the second game. you cannot give up a lead like that and expect to win a series, especially where you are so overmatched. good push in the first tonight, but without a lead after all those chances – that was just the nail in the coffin.

    o’byrne is sitting because he  makes a questionable first pass, and takes too many penalties. I’m not an MAB fan, but the decision to play him is not terrible – he’s acquitted himself well in a regular shift, and he is a powerplay asset.

    someone who should sit – pouliot! he has worse than disappeared – he is a liability. NO physical presence, NO strength on the puck, unforced turnovers and errors and NO offensive creativity. Softer than butter in the sun. put darche on that line or someone with some intensity. Terrible.

    and gomez’s intensity is all misdirected – he should be playing smarter than that. his fight in game two – a key part of that melt down.

    however, there is a good core for next year, if pierre can add to it. gainey’s rebuilding was the right move – we have a team that wants to win now. there is hope for the future.

  43. ooder says:

    i just saw the 2nd and 5th capital’s goal…

    are you effing serious.. MAB wtf?!?!

    after a not bad start to the series those 2 goals are directly his fault.

    did he actually try to go for a piggyback ride on the capital player?

    ——————

    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  44. zozotheclown says:

    I would play Price next game to turn momentum and try something new, Halak’s been fighting the puck even on saves since they started crashing the net, and we have to try something. But to say this is Halak’s last game in Montreal is a big stretch I think. If by some miracle Price can stone the Caps and turn the series around, then maybe Halak won’t see action this series, but even thats doubtful. If in the unlikely event Price gets all games from now till the end, I still don’t see why Halak is done in MTL. These guys are both RFA’s and won’t be able to negociate major raises if any, its perfectly possible to keep both if we drop some salary like Hamirlik, whose been very meh this playoffs.

     

  45. Habsfan_jay says:

    Boone, you’re right about Ryan O’Byrne needing to play.

    Hall Gill is our only D man without a minus rating right now. Now what do Gill and O’Byrne have in common?

  46. ooder says:

    i tuned into the game in the middle of the second period and here are some thoughts.

    Jaro not impressive, especailly after watching Anderson’s, Niemi’s and yes even Nabokov’s( who made some very nice saves) performances.

    Defence, weather due to nerves or scared that Jaro won’t back them up was horrible and weak

    playing metro, who hasn’t played in over a month and has yet to practice with the team after a very serious injury over sk74 who is younger faster and was playing very well. This is NOT a knock on metro but a game like that is not a place to bring someone in. 

    Price was not super impressive but at that point of the game, who cares really… he gets the nod for the next game.

    the refs are disgusting scum bags… when the players finally stand up for themselves and the goalie they get penalized. They actually went up to JM and told him that the players have no right to talk to them or complain any more.

    that to me says volumes.

    Moen… used to be a warrior and hurt people, what happened? weather it’s a passive coaching issue or a coach who can’t fire up his palyers i don’t know. But after years of palying a style that got him into the NHL and won him a cup, this guy is a ghost of his former self.. and that’s very strange.

    Pouliot… lol

    on to the next game, hopefully they bounce back, but who knows.

    ——————

    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  47. larrymills says:

    In A Nutshell:

    * This team has potential (2nd or 3rd round next year and finals the year after).

    * We can’t possibly hope to advance past a first round with a defence like ours this year.

    * After Markov and Gorges the next four would not make the roster on the top six teams this year.

    * Hopefully next year with PK Suban and at least one other tough nut defenseman (Obyrne has

    some promise but he will have to improve marginally this summer) we can keep other teams from

    crashing our goalies.

    * We have huge potential with our top six forwards (anyone of them could be 30-40 goal scorers)

    * Our goaltending is solid with excellent futures in Hamilton in case one gets injured.

    In conclusion

    * Two years ago we had several concerns and a long way from a contender. Now if we do minor

    tweeking and stay with our core of forwards, goalies etc. we will have a decent run next year. 

  48. light_n_tasty says:

    As usual, Spacek had a number of shots towards the net, including one where the net was wide open.  And as usual, he missed by a mile.  This guy couldn’t hit the broad side of Bruce Boudreau’s butt.

  49. joeybarrie says:

    Difficult situation? Doesnt matter. Its the Montreal Canadiens Management. They could trade Halak for Ovechkin, Kesler, Crosby and the Sedin Twins and if Halak has a 50-50 season then we were Stupid and took all these salaries that will plague our team for the next 10 years………… There is NO WIN for this city thats good enough. 6 in a row is the only way to keep us happy and even then its only good for 6 YEARS………

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

  50. Tis Himself says:

    The only man who can save us now is Cedric “The Entertainer” Desjardines.

  51. Habsfan_jay says:

    The Jaro/Price situation has been a no win for management for awhile.

    Let’s face it, in the organization’s eyes Price is the future, has been since the day Gainey drafted him. This is no different under Gautier, because he’s Gainey’s boy, so to speak.

    Earlier in the year when Jaro made his “play me or trade me” move, Gainey tried to move him but the deal didn’t work, because as I understand it, they weren’t offered enough in return.

    So then Jaro plays great and saves the team’s bacon, and his trade value slowly increases. So now what? Trade him when his value is high? You can’t trade him he’s saving the team…

    So if he turns out to be an absolute star and leads the Habs deep into the playoffs management would really have to rethink the whole Price is the future stance, and possibly ship off Price, a highly touted asset. Now how much would you get for Price? Probably not a lot considering he’s yet to prove himself. However, if you trade Halak after he’s become a superstar, the fans and media will have a field day, because it probably wouldn’t be in the best interest of the team.

    But if Halak tanks in the playoffs, you’re right back at square 1, trying to trade him and not getting anything in return in return.

    A difficult situation at best.

  52. joeybarrie says:

    Honestly, Boone, your comment about OByrne is making me think. I dont usually say what a coach should do, because I know JM is a much much better coach than I, and he also has the unique position of being in the middle of everything. Unlike myself, as i get most of my info from this website…

    But playing MAB 20+ minutes a game, and sitting out our biggest D doesnt make alot of sense to me. I know MAB has a great shot. But he is not as good as OB on defense, and we need a little size in there. They are scoring because they a literally CRASHING the net.

    Its not s though MAB’s shot has done anything in this series. I think his lack of defensive skills is hurting Markov’s chances of being useful in the attack. I think maybe he has to watch out too much in order to be offensively effective. MAB is fast. But id take the penalties OB give up over MAB’s team leading -5 in 3 games… We play better on the PK than anything else anyways…

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

  53. habs4cup says:

    2 years ago, in the playoffs, we lost 4 straight to Philly.

    last year we lost 4 straight to Boston. this year we’re going to lose 4 straight to Wash. when will this broken record stop? I’m fed up!

  54. Tis Himself says:

    Looks like those beautiful trace horses that I saw when the Habs were up 4-1 Saturday night really were mice and the gilded coach a mere pumpkin.

  55. habaholic68NJ says:

    Hey Bugs, what is with your boy Pouliot?  When he first came up, he went straight to the net with his head up and good things happened as Gomer and Gio or rebounds would find him resulting in a quick shot and a goal at a pace of 50/year. Since he returned from injury, he tries to carry the puck for too long and make pretty plays.  Looks like it is not working.

  56. joeybarrie says:

    You know, Markov and Spacek didn’t have a single shot on net tonight.

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

  57. ColRouléBleu says:

    Why are the Habs asking fans to wear red at the game when they sell more t-shirt in any color OTHER than red?  I know this has nothing to do with what went on on the ice but I had to mention it.

  58. RJ says:

    Then why did Price get to play Boston in the playoffs last year (and how did that work out?) after HALAK won games down the stretch that got us in there? Next year when Halak is gone and Price flops who will all the Price lovers then bash? Ponder that during your offseason.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  59. howtathor says:

    Having Gill/Gorges on with either of our top two lines is counterproductive because it takes away from our offensive potential ie shooting from the point.

  60. krob1000 says:

    I agree completely Chris….game 2 was extreme though and was the worst refereed game I have ever seen with respect to the goaltending interference…last night we just let guys hang around there…in the third though (last goal notwithstanding) we cleared everyone very well and agfgressively…that has to be consistent.

  61. Habscore says:

    Agree with everything you said buddy! Plus, “we have shown we can play with the best”!!

    I know that we weren’t very disciplined last night but the Refs closed their eyes too many times on the Caps, just like Game 2. It’s frustrating.

    I still believe in this team!!

  62. howtathor says:

    Steve, I think our top six forwards are capable of giving the Washington D fits due to their speed and lack thereof. We played a perfect first period as a matter of fact the Habs were given a standing O leaving the ice. We get in trouble when our D are caught pinching in leading to breakaways like the SH goal to start the second. It seems like our gameplan is to pinch the D to sustain more pressure on the Caps but it’s backfiring. There has to be a successful strategy in between.

     

  63. joeybarrie says:

    I still believe the only way we can beat this team is that our goalie is the best player on the ice. But you are RIGHT, and very well put. Halak wouldnt have to be GREAT if we would get the bodies out of the front of the net. SOMEONE needs to SMASH ovechkin good. Get them playing off their game. But your exactly right, why dont w have OBYRNE out there with some size. You cant tell me he can do WORSE than MAB.

    Second points, we showed some fire. EXACTLY. If we were going to lose that game im glad it was by a blow out. We have got to come back and show our pride. We can do this. I will be happy if its close. Go to Game 7 or beat themin game 6, and this series will be a success no matter what the outcome.

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

  64. Habsrule1 says:

    Pisses me off how many jump on and off the bandwagon at will.

    Nobody said this would be easy, but we have shown we can play with the best. We had a bad 12 minute stretch last night, but we dominated for stretches as well, unfortunately with nothing to show for it.

    You’re either on the bandwagon or your not, I still think we can do this, but if we can’t, we need to address the size issue by getting a couple big, strong forwards to compliment the talent we have. A team needs a good mix of size & skill on their top 2 lines and that’s where we have to focus for the coming year(s).

    The changes were the right thing to do, but they’re not finished yet.

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  65. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey

    counterpoint – Halak’s 2 shutouts in back to back games in the last week of the season was PRESSURE PACKED RESULTS

  66. SlovakHab says:

    The pressure was on in the last 3 games of the season, when we needed to win to avoid 8th seed. Pressure was on when Slovakia played the bronze medal game against Finland. Pressure was on in the 2nd and 3rd game of this season’s playoffs, when we had a chance to take the lead and momentum over the Washington.

    He has been fantastic when both Slovakia and the Habs were expected to lose. (Semifinals vs. Canada, 1st game of the series etc.) 

  67. smiler2729 says:

    That’s why I added this after the stats comment: “Bottom line, he doesn’t have the tough mentality required for the NHL Playoffs. Every saw he was playing scared and the softies he let in cost the Habs Game 2 and again he was rattled last night.”

  68. arcosenate says:

    Well, two back-breakers in a row. Is that even possible? How many backs could a back breaker break, if a back breaker could break backs?

    Our only hope now is if we can get another team to enter the series and open a second front.

    Or the Capitals spend tonight in London, perhaps take in a show and then get trapped there for the next 2 weeks.

    But we are getting better, last year we were swept, so by that comparison this has been an unqualified success.

    I feel much better.

  69. 24 Cups says:

     
    Hal Gill, our version of Allan Stanley, was our best player last tonight.  That’s not a diss against him but rather a reflection of the other Hab Dmen out on the ice tonight.  Hamrlik looks totally exhausted out there.  He’s done for the year.  Spacek and Gorges both made gaffs that led to Washington goals.  MAB was directly or indirectly responsible for three more.  They simply can not handle the physical play in front of our net.  They are totally outmatched.  Not to mention that Washington’s speed is making them look sick.  Psychologically, the Caps know that they own our end of the ice.  Our Dmen are their bitches, plain and simple.
     
    Montreal really stood a chance in this series until they lost the 4-1 lead on Saturday.  That was the real turning point - as well as last night’s short handed goal.  No one wants to hear it but it’s still the same old problem for the Habs.  A lack of size, strength and grit means we are unable to compete in the playoffs where it counts the most on the ice.  That is a truth that is reflected at both ends of the rink.
     
    H I/O posters can foam at the mouth about the netminders and the refs, but the sad truth is that we have another bubble team that is unable to take it to the next level. 

    What to do?  It would take a brave coach to sit Hamrlik for O’Byrne.  If you bench MAB you have no PP (thanks for nothing, Spacek, on that count).  SK for Darche?  Sure, why not go for it.  Darche isn’t going to be part of the team for much longer.  Carey Price?  I can live with that, let’s find out what he can do.  Our only chance of winning this series was to have Halak stone the Caps.  His shaky start plus out outmatched D has pretty well killed that hope.  We have nothing to lose by starting Price.

    Washington smells blood and Varlomov might just be finding his groove like he did last year.  It’s such a shame that we couldn’t have held on to that lead during the 3rd period on Saturday.  Would have, should have, could have.

  70. arcosenate says:

    I agree, I am actually feeling very optimistic.

  71. Ian Cobb says:

    First of all the only way Gomez, Gionta and Plekanic could get a rest was in the penalty box, so I don’t blame their frustration. A coach that only uses half his bench is not much of a coach.

    He used the same guys over and over, regular shift, power plays, and penalty killing. At the speed of the games in the play offs with the faster NHL new rules, they burn out by the second period.

    We are being out coached big time. Martin was great putting this team together and keeping them somewhat on track as we went through the regular season. But play off hockey in the new rules NHL is way over his head.

     

  72. mrhabby says:

    we have zero margin for error as we lack depth. the caps have way to much depth and can afford to play crap for parts of a game and then turn it on. good teams are built that way.

    like ur posts on size and how our defense reacts to players down low and also our lack of  net presence. i think its a much larger issue and will not be curied overnight . The size issue is an organizational problem and has been for years. i like our players desire to win and the compete level re:gionta, camms,gomez, pleks etc.

     i would like to see our defense get meaner and uglier, younger, faster…those are a few of my thoughts so far.

  73. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey

    Hey buddy – don’t take this personally – but life is too short to waste on guys like you – I’m out of here!

  74. Chris says:

    Martin’s game management truly baffles me…I’ve had more than a few moments where I’ve thought, “This would be a good time for a timeout, Jacques…Jacques?  Jacques!?!???”.  And when they finally pan over to the Habs bench, he has the exact same expression on his face every time. 

    I’m not entirely sure I agree that we are faster.  Watching Semin (who has been invisible thus far) turnstyle Gill and Hamrlik last night and seeing how fast guys like Chimera, Ovechkin, Backstrom (who ALWAYS seems to be the guy getting back to harass our forwards on the few odd-man rushes we get), Carlson, Green (another no-show thus far) makes me question how signifcant our speed advantage really is.  And Laich and Fehr can also get around the ice pretty well…they are perhaps not so fast as they are powerful skaters, hard to re-direct from the path they’ve chosen to take.

    Thus far, Montreal won a game it had no business winning (Game 1, where Halak was fairly heroic in net) and lost a game it had no business losing (Game 2, where they just completely wet the bed in the third period).

    I was pleasantly surprised in Game 1, because I felt Montreal could play a lot better.  I was wary after the second period of Game 2 when the Habs played pretty much perfect hockey against the Capitals and came out with only a 2 goal lead and the Capitals seemingly gaining momentum.

    After Game 3, I’m a little stunned at how a veteran laden team so thoroughly lost its composure last night.  And to make matters worse, it was the veterans that let the team down last night:  Gomez, Plekanec and Gionta all took unnecessary penalties.  Hamrlik had a weak game and made the costly mistake on a risky pinch in a 0-0 hockey game.  Moen and Metropolit were ineffective.  Cammalleri was invisible.  AK46 was not particularly good last night, although he had some bad luck with a crazy bounce off the Bergeron rebound and that unbelievably bad penalty call to nullify a Habs PP.

    Apart from Gionta (who has been the best Habs forward in the series), Markov (who I feel has had a pretty solid first round), Gill (who has been as advertised…solid defensively) and Spacek (who has been the best player for the Habs thus far), the team’s veterans haven’t really been getting it done.  I suppose I could add Plekanec, although he has reminded me of Dany Heatley in this series:  largely invisible, popping out of nowhere to score a goal, and subsequently returning to being invisible. 

  75. Bob Barker says:

    Price needs to start Game 4 if only because he’s probably harder to knock around. That first goal was tough. I know Spacek slid into Halak but he was sliding so slow. I think Halak was just off-balance because he was trying to control the puck. 

    That first period was gold, too bad they couldn’t find the back of the net. Next game is definitely the biggest game of the season. 

  76. mrhabby says:

    steve..took the words out of my mouth. the caps smell blood for sure. there just slapping our d around and our forwards to a certian extent.

    i can’t see hammer sitting ..he has played well most of the year but he does look burned out and MAB well enough has been said about him. the defence overall looks ready for a long nap.

    before the series started i was really nervous about the pressure the caps would put on our defence and sure enough its happening. our lack of size and strength has for always been an issue and it goes back years for me…well maybe not years but you know what i mean.

    I am looking forward to the summer to see if PG can do anything to solve this issue more so with our defence as we have limited options with our forwards re:  contracts.

  77. smiler2729 says:

    Washington is a really, really good team.

    I feel Montreal can skate with them and IF they buried their glorious chances, it’s even-steven, baby!

    The Habs need to play angry but restrained, they need to feel like they were embarrassed and ashamed and come out ON FIRE. They need the 3rd and 4th lines to step it up. They need the defence corps to play as units and not back in on their goalie. And of course, as it is with all playoff series in NHL history, they need their goalie to be a determined, stubborn unbreakable wall.

    Oh and then they need to do that for 4 straight series… and that is how hard it is to win a Stanley Cup these days.

  78. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey

    Ian – it is good to read your posts – now I know that somewhere out in the wilderness there is at least 1 guy who knows his hockey and his name is Ian.

    Darche played 2:30 seconds.

    what happened to playing the guys who got you to the dance?

    when martin plays all 4 lines, and the guys with some smarts are out there, good things usually happen.

    when you burn out your top 2 lines, you end up with Plekanec, Cammy, and AK at  -4 EACH

    that stat says it all – our top line vs the Caps 3 and 4th lines all night long, and we’re minus 4.

    can I please add that Plekanec has stopped playing defence – he is playing for his contract right now.

     

  79. punkster says:

    “Meaner and uglier, younger, faster…” just like the posters on HI/O ;)

  80. Chris says:

    Ooh…nice zinger!  :)

  81. mrhabby says:

    what about smarter …

  82. notbigbird says:

    Thanks Ian. I didn’t realize that TOI was that ridiculous. Talk about your anti-Carbo.

  83. notbigbird says:

    I didn’t mind that chippiness either. At least a few of them cared.

  84. Arrow77 says:

    Don’t take this personal because a lot of people have been saying this but what is this “deserves to start” argument?

    Because he was good during the season, Halak deserved the Molson Cup and a significant pay raise, but to start in the playoffs?

    He started the first three games because the coach thought he gave the team a better chance to win and if he is replaced, it should be because the coach thinks it’s a good strategy to change goalies. This is definitely not the time to “reward” Halak for his season.

  85. joeybarrie says:

    PRESSURE PACKED RESULTS…..Well they were great results. But we would be in a slightly better position if Halak had of lost those two games and beat the 3 non playoff teams we lost to in the last 3 games. So I am afriad I dont consider those games to be BIG. GREAT RESULTS, dont get me wrong. But they were not the most important games. The last 3 were.

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

  86. SeriousFan09 says:

    Darche TOI: 2:22 (THE ENDURANCE!!!)

    Metropolit TOI: 5:37

    Pyatt TOI: 7:26

    3 Least TOI for a Capitals Forward:

    E. Fehr TOI: 9:21

    B. Morrison TOI: 9:49

    J. Chimera TOI: 10:10

    Even AO Didn’t crack 20 minutes last night, Pleks and Gionta did for us, Gomez  would have without the 10 minute minor I’m sure.

    MAB, 20:41!

     

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

  87. Mr. Biter says:

    Good post. No one in front of the net last night. Had bodies on Sat. night in front but not last night. Shots from the point need screens and unless some one can send a lazer beam shot (Ovetchkin’s one time shot last night was fantastic (i also hate him but give credit where credit is due) top corner lazer which no goalie in the league stops (even moves on) but again it was not from the point had no screens, so why do I mention it because it was just a great shot.

  88. JF says:

    Totally agree, Steve.  Losing that game the way we did was a huge momentum-changer.  If we had hung on, last night’s game could have been dismissed as a bad game, a temporary breakdown, what you will.  As things are, it simply shows the inequality of the two teams where it makes the most difference – in size and strength.  Physically we are outmatched.

    Price should start on Wednesday.  I think the Caps have gotten into Halak’s head with their net-crashing.  He has lost his poise and confidence and is looking as though he lacks the nerves for the big games.  Price has played well since the Olympic break, looked OK last night, and has nothing to lose. This is not last year, where his poor performance was part of the problem; this year, his play will probably not be a factor in our losing the series.  Also, he’s bigger and might be able to withstand the Caps’ manhandling better than Halak and deliver some punishment in his turn.

    O’Byrne and SK74 should also play.  O’Byrne has size and is willing to use his strength, and SK74 can play with an edge.

    Realistically, we have almost no chance now, and, if we can’t pull out a win on Wednesday, none.

  89. SlovakHab says:

    Habs Inside/Out encourages lively debate, but there is a zero-tolerance policy regarding racism, profanity and behaviour that we deem to be offensive.

    Try to control your emotions

  90. Chris says:

    Carey Price, Jaroslav Halak, Dominik Hasek, Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy…the body in net really doesn’t matter.  For the third playoffs in a row, we are seeing that the Montreal Canadiens’ lack of size and physicality just absolutely kills them come playoff time, because the Habs have no net presence of their own and are getting absolutely killed by the crease crashing of the Capitals.

    And yes, I’ve heard the rebuttal from the selection of Habs fans whose life seems to be tied to the Canadiens and therefore can’t stand for any criticism, deserved or no, of their team:  “The size thing is such a red herring…we have X number of players that are 6′ or over and our average weight is ____ lbs.”  Note that I really can’t be bothered to look up the numbers because I just don’t care.

    We do have big players…Lapierre, Pouliot, Gill, Hamrlik and Moen are the obvious big guys.  But of those guys, only Moen plays with a consistent physical edge and I would argue that he hasn’t done much in these playoffs (despite all the assertions that he was an “unquestionable” upgrade over Kostopoulos, especially come playoff time).  Of our roster, how many of the minutes are being played by guys like Bergeron, Gionta, Gorges, Gomez, Cammalleri, Plekanec, Pyatt, Metropolit and SK74?  These guys are eating up a lion’s share of the minutes, and they are NOT big nor are they particularly physical. 

    How often do you see Habs forwards (other than AK46 in game 2) in front of the net?  How often do you see them try to get there and just get held up or easily pushed aside by the Capitals defence?  How many board battles are the Habs winning?

    Now look at the other end.  Before the series, I said that the Habs were unlikely to contain Backstrom and Ovechkin for any significant amount of time…those guys are simply too good of hockey players.  (I know…didn’t need my crystal ball for THAT prediction!)  But I worried that Laich, Fehr and Knuble were going to give the Habs defence fits by crashing the net, because our defence has nobody who will punish you for going into the blue paint.  And sure enough, the only guy that is going after Caps’ forwards is Andrei Markov, that model of physicality.

    Like Price in the Philadelphia series two years ago, the constant crashing is affecting Halak’s style of play.  He has been clearly agitated with the referees for the lack of calls, and is being taken out of the play by the traffic in front, behind and on top of him.  Goalies have a hard time stopping pucks they can’t see, and an even harder time stopping pucks when they can’t move. 

    The Capitals have got their game back and bringing them back to Earth again is going to be a Herculean task…not impossible, but a lot of things need to go very right for the Habs.

    And I’m not sure I thought it possible, but congratulations to Scott Gomez for lowering my opinion of him even further.  The fight in Game 2 was unacceptably stupid.  The 10-minute misconduct for chirping the referee when the team needed its veteran leaders to lead was unconscionable.

  91. Curtis O Habs says:

    Does JM know he has 1 time out per game?  Markov is more effective paired OB.  SK74 in with Pleks and AK. Cammy with Gomer and Gionta. Pouliot to third line to maybe spread some scoring around.  Did our top pp  scorer, Metro, get any pp time? MAB out, the pp will survive without him. Your pick for 4th line forward to sit.  Price in the nets. We get the W.

  92. Ian Cobb says:

    We sure can beat them Dave, but how do we get Martin on board in using his bench?

  93. Dickie says:

    Where is PK Subban?????? I am watching Carlsson for Washington shine, Karlsson for Ottawa shine and Tyler Myers Buffalo’s best D shine…then I am watching Hamrlik not making a simple play on the PP and bang..goal..WTF…Give me a break about this shit on ruining his development. Rest assured he would be playing on any ot the other 29 teams right now..

  94. smiler2729 says:

    At least getting blown out by Washington is more entertaining hockey than getting snoozed to death 2-1 in every game by New Jersey or Buffalo…

    I still feel Montreal can win this thing, call me crazy but if there’s a chance, there’s a way.

  95. wmarcello says:

    I’m not sure how anybody can say Pouliot had a good game last night. At least half a dozen offensive chances died with him on the boards. He needs to be demoted or benched in favour of Sergei.

  96. Arrow77 says:

    You did not read my post properly. I said that chosing a goalie because he “deserves to be there” is bad coaching and that a goalie should be chosen because he gives his team a better chance to win. Since I did not say which goalie does that, I don’t know why you spew your anti-Price venom on me.

  97. lui_ribs says:

    There is nothing crazy about the habs winning this series. All year this team did the opposite of what was suppose to be done, and when facing the Caps they had no problems throughout the year.

    Personally I believe that, with all the negatives this team has, including coach and gm, the real reason we are down in this series is probbaly Gary Betman, why have the Habs win this series when they already fill out the Bell Centre and still manange to get more fans in some other stadiums (NY Islanders, Florida, etc.).

    This is how Gary treats the best hockey fans in the world; what a f*****g pr**k.

  98. notbigbird says:

    When I tuned in late in the first period, I saw that they were skating frenetically and that there was no score. I thought, “Uh oh, recipe for disaster.” That approach never seems to work for this team. They need to play at a sustainable high tempo, and that isn’t it.

    Does anybody think that the smartest coach in hockey can make the necessary adjustments (assuming that such things are possible)?

  99. avatar_58 says:

    MAB

     

    Nuff said

  100. smiler2729 says:

    Here’s hoping the blinding love affair most of you have had with Jaro Halak is over.

    Yes, I’m proud of him for, to use the cliche I’ve heard about him, for ‘battling’ his way out of nowhere to capture the hearts and minds of the Hab faithful with his timely consistent goaltending this season. But to the neutral observer, like smiler2729, I see a tired goalie, and one who has lost his mojo as the games got more important down the stretch and into the playoffs.

    Halak, as was argued here countless times, was always backed by the frenzied frothing Halakians by the stats. The stats didn’t lie! Check out his stats!! His Save Pct.!!! His Wins!!! Well, Halak allowed 3 goals on 13 shots in his final playoff game. Bottom line, he doesn’t have the tough mnetality required for the NHL Playoffs. Every saw he was playing scared and the softies he let in cost the Habs Game 2 and again he was rattled last night. He reminds me more and more of Cristobal Huet, amazing save after amazing save ruined by one softy unraveling his game.

    Will Carey Price be much better? I don’t know but a switch could be the momentum changer the Habs need if he is. At this point, the Habs don’t really have much choice.

     

  101. fun police says:

    anybody who’s played hockey knows that what happened last night was quite simple to breakdown.  varlamov made the saves early and halak didn’t.  if you pepper a goalie for 20 minutes and get nothing to show for it, then they get 3 goals on 12 shots, that kills you.  that is tough for a team to recover from.  

    also, lets face it, halak has had a long leash (which he earned by the way).  he couldn’t get a win in the last week of the season, played very well in game one and sucked the last two games.  a goalie with a short leash gets pulled long before he did.  to a certain extent, i think ovie was right.  halak was shaken, now not necessarily literally shaking after the goal while drinking his water bottle, but halak looked defeated.  price has had that look before as well.  

    if price doesn’t start wednesday then i will have a hard time defending jm.  many on here dislike jm and to each his own.  i happen to think he is a good coach.  he rides his better players hard and uses the fourth line sparingly, like all good coaches.  we are also a much better team defensively than we were under carbo.

    one last thing, carcillo will rip a ref apart and everybody at home can here everything he is saying and he doesn’t get an extra penalty.  the refs last night were going overboard because they knew they blew a few calls.  the call on pleks tripping and ak’s kood three seconds into a pp was pathetic, even by regular season standards.  also, nice to see the refs call knuble on interference one game too late and definitely too late in this game.

  102. punkster says:

    Another tough night and another day of blame and recriminations on HI/O.

    My views:

    1) Crashing the net? Of the first 4 goals against us only one was as a result of Caps crashing the net, and that after our own D man backs into Halak. The first was obvious and compounded by the D backing up like they did in Game 2. The third goal was a Cap skating through the crease but not “crashing”. Yes, the Caps crashed in this game but that did not directly result in more than one goal.

    2) I continue to be impressed by the heart and skill of Gionta, Cammellari, Gomez, Plekanec, Markov, Gill, Spacek and Gorges. Unfortunately when you only have 4 forwards and 4 defence with that unique combination of heart and skill you’re not going far in the playoffs. I thought the rest of the team was incredibly blah, some showing a bit of skill but no desire and some working hard but with little skill or still nursing an injury.

    3) The goalies (both) were the victims of a D that backs off and concedes territory too easily. I don’t think it has anything to do with their size but their style. Doubt they can “fix” that in the next few days although they did play well in the first 7 periods of the series. (Plus the forwards did little to help out other than also collapsing back and conceding)

    4) The momentum of these games changes in an instant. It seems that while the Habs come out strong and set the tone they tend to back off at some point and give the Caps a bit of space which no team can ever allow the Caps. They’re explosive and when they get a sniff of an opening they capitalize. Takes the wind out of the Habs sails and we don’t have the depth to respond (see point number 2).

    For the third game in a row and just like in the regular season games I thought this Caps team could be beaten by the Habs. It requires 60 minutes of pressing, digging in the corners and not backing off in our zone. I still think the Habs could take these guys if they continue to do those 3 things plus get the supporting cast to step up their games.

  103. RJ says:

    When the hell is Halak going to start scoring some goals? He’s blamed for the defense so why not blame him for the offense too? He hasn’t scored in ages. Psst, I also hear he may be responsible for global warming too.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  104. fun police says:

    i know what you are saying, but we did score five in washington.  halak has been good all year, but to say he has been good lately is not accurate.  

  105. avatar_58 says:

    I know I said ’nuff said’ but I also think those blaming Halak need to wake the hell up. One goal caused by Spacek pulling his best Gill impression – except Gill doesn’t fly into the net. Another caused by the great-wall of players (4, 5 I counted?). What was he supposed to do? Low? High? He couldn’t see.

    So what does that leave? One bad goal he could have stopped? Quick let’s trade him!

    Like I say I’m a fan of both goalies and this needs to stop. The blame is NOT Halak’s. Should Price start game 4? I don’t know. I don’t feel good about a cold goalie in the playoffs. Let’s try it, but I think the goalie won’t be the reason they lose this one either.

    Just my two cents.

  106. RJ says:

    Hmmm, Halak didn’t make the saves early? It was 0-0 after 20 minutes. What game were you watching?

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  107. SlovakHab says:

    Halak is a sieve that only plays well when the pressure isn’t on. That being said, this team will go nowhere without every single player at their best. If a goaltender had such a bad form as some of our goalscorers before the playoffs (Pouliot, Cammalleri and Gomez droughts), our season would have been done by now. However, it would have looked differently if they scored when it was needed in games 79-82 and we wouldn’t be playing the Washington powerhouse in the 1st round. We got what we have deserved for the regular season.

  108. joeybarrie says:

    I think maybe he was saying while Varlamov was saving the Habs best shots, Halak was not saving the Caps best shots in the first half of the game. Early in the second period.

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

  109. Chris says:

    Crashing the net to me has always meant getting to the crease…perhaps I should have said driving the net in my original post.  You don’t have to bump the goalie, as the Capitals were doing with reckless abandon in Game 2.  You just have to be willing to go there.  On the first three Capitals goals, there was a Capitals forward between Halak and his nearest defenceman.  The tendency here is to blame the goalies (Price or Halak) when it is more an issue with the opposition having unfettered access to the most dangerous part of the ice.

    The key of this series thus far for me is that the Capitals are getting bodies in front of the Habs net while the Habs are not.  The rebounds have been there from Varlamov, but the Habs have nobody there to jump on them.  On the long shots, the Habs have ZERO net presence so Varlamov has no trouble stopping them.

    Like you, I thought that the Canadiens CAN beat the Capitals if things line up right.  But last night, they played as well as they possibly could in the first period and came away empty-handed.  Once scored upon, they wilted for twelve minutes before getting their legs under them again.  Unfortunately, they gave up 4 goals and lost their top two centres to brain-dead penalties in those twelve minutes, so the game was already over when they got those legs.

    That is the difference that talent makes:  the Habs have no margin for error and a stunning propensity for making errors.  The Capitals can play like dogs for half a game and STILL blow you out of the rink.

  110. thepriceiswrong says:

    Here is my take on the galtending “controversy”:

    -Halak probably deserves the start, as he carried the team down the stretch and without him there would be no playoffs.

    -However, Halak has not been outstanding since the last 3-4 games of the season. He has been “good enough”

    -Price, who has been inconsistent to say the least, had a pretty strong showing, and I’m sure that sitting on the bench for so long has been KILLING him. He is a competitive guy, and he has something to prove. I think he has the ability to carry this team, the same way he did in Hamilton.

    -In my opinion, Price has better value on the open market and he will likely be the one to go this summer. BUT, why not give him a chance to prove himself, or at least turn some heads so maybe we can land a player who can actually help this team.

  111. HabsfaninMA says:

    Oh yes, let’s blame everything on Halak. Please. This playoff series is not about Price vs. Halak. Does everyone realize that the Habs are facing the most explosive offense in the NHL??? Did people REALLY think that the Habs would match the Caps goal-by-goal and steal the series. C’MON. Yeah, it’s Halak’s fault.

    And, let’s not forget that this TEAM has several opportunities to snatch the 6th playoff spot, which would have given the Habs a matchup with the Sabres – a team that they can match with a lot better offensively. But, the TEAM blew it.

  112. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey

    HALAK WAS THE ONLY REASON WHY THIS TEAM MADE THE PLAYOFFS.

    the team that uncle Bob put together was always TOO SMALL UP FRONT AND NOT MOBILE IN THE BACK END

    Halak stole the playoff spot – by himself and with no support – facing 40 + shots in many games and winning 90 + per cent of the games in which he was bombarded.

    This is a below average team that had great goaltending all year – Price played very well after the Olympics.

    I have said this all year.

     

     

  113. avatar_58 says:

    How many did they score last night?

  114. Natrous says:

    Cause there’s nothing better than comparing a first-rounder to a second-rounder and expecting the same outcomes, nevermind difference in size or professional hockey experience. If you’d look closer at Carlson, you’d notice that he has already played a post-season in the AHL, and then split this season between the AHL and NHL.

    But yeah – why isn’t PK playing with the Habs RIGHT NOW!??!? He should be saving our a$$es and bailing us out of our defensive lapses! Cause that’s his strength right? He’s a defensive stalwart right? Pffft.

  115. NLhabsfan says:

    I couldn’t agree more.Need to dismantle this team next year and start over with players that have size.WE have about as much chance as a snowball in hell.

  116. krob1000 says:

    Ok folks….I am going against the grain on this game.  I will start with the bad……leaving bodies untouched in front and not capitalizing on our chances……that is really about all I can say that was bad about that game.  While some are miffed at the penalties and loss of composure I personally was happy to see it…..it was the first time all friggin year I have seen this team hate to lose and it gave me hope and actually made me proud.  We were not coming back from that deficit (an undeserved one at that) so why not get pissed off? I loved every minute of the whining, I loved that Pleks, Gionta, Gomez, Lapierre, MAB, Cammalleri….all gave a shit and were pissed.  They did not get bullied by the much larger Captials and in fact it looked to me that whebn the chippier stuff happened that we were doing the bullying, it just wasn’t from eye level! 

    I saw one little play that to me could have been a series changer that didn’t happen but should have….want to see who else caught it.  In the second period before things had gotten out of hand OVechkin skated with the puck across our blue line on the left wing, he was being harassed and the puck was not complete in his control and his head went down, AK46, who had been hitting very well in the first was coming hard across the ice from the other side and would have had him lined up perfectly….it would have been a thunderous hit, one that could have done Ovechkin in and cleanly but he bailed.  I am not sure if it was because OVie’s head was down, because it was Ovie, because it was AK46, or indifference but that was a huge missed opportunity to set the tone……

    Now back to my blinding optimism, or glimmer of hope anyway as is more appropriate.  The Capitals are bigger and stronger….but I am not sure that there size is not something we just showed ourselves we can overcome.  That was the most un 5-1 game I have ever seen.  We dominated the first, carried the play after they took the 1-0 lead but hen lost coposure at 2-0 and once 3-0 hit it was over….or it should have been.  When the guys flipped their collective lids it made me extremely proud.  After that all of our guys who supposedly get bullied (well actually they normally do) stood up for themselves and I got the impression that they finally knew the size thing wasn’t really an issue and that these Capitals aren’t Supermen.  I think we will get another first period like last night on Wednesday, whether or not we see Semyon Tretiak or Varlamov remains the question  and guys have to cash.

    The front of the net is key to both teams in this series……we were allowing guys to hang around our crease on virtually every goal last night but it wasn’t a size thing IMO…..on every goal we just had guys completely untouched cruising through…that was plain ol missed assignments, a seeing eeye puck and bad luck. The fact that PLeks line  was a minus 4 was garbage as three of those shouldn;t have been goals to begin with……I actually thought the line played well.  Playing Metro was stupid and our top lines were taxed, Sergei has to get back in the lineup and we really should consider a shakeup to the Gomez line and Moore line (I am only mentioning this for the hundredth time because …well….because I am just that pathetic!). We need traffic in front, not cruising through the crease at high speed and doing a fly by…we need guys willing to take the crosschecks and create sight obstacles for Varly and cahos in front of their net.  We need a little luck too….that usually works itself ot though so I am hoping we get a few bounces Wednesday but I expect this series to go back to Washignton 2-2. I don’t really care who play nets because our difficulties were once again putting pucks in the other net.

    I am optimistic that the team will come out guns blazing … we are still weak between the ears and extremely fragile if we get down but I think the last part of that game last night may have helped in that respect…..guys showed some fight and after Halak got pulled there weren’t too many guys hanging out in our crease area without getting a punch in the ehad or a seat on the ice….if we had that conviction earlier we wouldn’t be in this predicament but I think the guys were slightly intimidated before (the lack of respect by the refs hurt in game 2 as well as that was perhaps a demo tape to future refs on how to not manage the crease game…but I digress).  I don’t think anyone is intimidated right now…..the Caps don’t look so damn tough to me…they look big and skilled….so what? if we don’t beat the Capitals someone will….that is not a Stanley Cup team to me.

    We were able to once again neutralize the top Caps players last night, two out of three ain’t bad.  Their depth beat our depth last night and much of it was attributed to them having big horsehoes up their arses. Good teams find a way to win, blah, blah, blah …….Game 2 was a sham, last night was horsecrap …..we have beent he better team in each of the last two games for the bulk of the games…..oddly enough we might not have been in the first game but we were on par with them after the first in that one too.  We can play with these guys ad I hope after the boys watch the replay they see that…but I think they did after the game was out fo hand…

    If we were to make a pansy list on our team ….I think it is safe to say that every guy on our pansy list threw a punch in the last half of that game…..yeah we lost but I liked what I saw.  Loss of composure? nah, some oft he guys finally dropped a nut! I think it bodes well for tomorrow that these guys finally did stick up for themselves……and if not I look at it this way….if these guys are going to get overpaid relative to their peers and I am going to watch 82 games plus playoffs in French, spend my days on here and have the Habs dictate the schedule of my life I might as well like the team and today I like the team more then I did yesterday.

     

  117. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey

    Halak is a sieve that only plays well when the pressure isn’t on

    I can not believe this statement – it might be the stupidest thing anyone has written on HIO ever!

  118. punkster says:

    No arguments with your view there Chris. The “crashing” statement is directed more to those here who believe that physically interfering with the goaltender in the blue paint (which is a penalty) is the way to go and that the Caps do it to us all the time. Yes the refs have missed calls but so what when your D has put itself in that position by backing off. At the other end Habs have almost zero net presence in front of the Caps goaltender. Going to be interesting to see if the Habs can adjust in Game 4 (and of some of our lesser lights can find some gonads).

  119. Natrous says:

    My heart says Price starts on Wednesday but my brain says Halak, because Halak got us here and he deserves one last shot. If he can’t get the job done then it’s Price for the rest of the series, be it a game or two if we’re lucky.

    I think Halak plays with a very short leash, but if I’m wrong I won’t be upset…

    As for the reffing, it’s been more or less a joke from the start of the season. I can’t help it think that Bettman runs his league the way his buddy Stern runs the NBA, with refs who have a little more power and influence over the outcome a game. That’s not a conspiracy by the way – look at how consistent refs are in the NFL, where the speed and intensity factors are just as high as in the NHL. They don’t use that as a crutch when it comes to bad calls because those calls are reviewable and rarely made to begin with.

    The refs are not all on the same page when it comes to ‘interpretation’ of rules that are printed in black and white, which makes absolutely no sense to me.

  120. punkster says:

    No, but possibly your calling someone’s opinion stupid may be. How about a counterpoint rather than an insult?

  121. joeybarrie says:

    This is all backwards. In the end its this simple….

    Halak had his chance to prove he is a top goalie. He failed. He is not YET a top goalie. He needed to play his best in the last 2 games and in the last 10 of the season. To be honest if the team had of played better, and Halak had been consistent we would be playing Buffalo and not Washington. But it doesnt matter. He had his shot at it and he failed. I can’t BLAME him, because our team doesnt have what it takes to beat the Caps if you don’t factor in goaltending. But in the end he lost it.

    Price should and will start the next game. It has nothing to do with earning it, and if it did Halak CERTAINLY HAS NOT EARNED IT. Price’s chance. He will either step up and play GREAT, or he will also FAIL. If so then you wonder who will be the one we stay with.

    To be honest it will be Price. If a 5th round draft pick with Price’s size, skill, talent and success end up proving you wrong, then your days in the NHL are numbered. If Halak turns out to be a diamond in the rough (which he certainly has been) then you are credited with finding him, and getting a good return. Even if Price doesn;t turn out to be spectacular, he will be pretty damn good.

    So in the end we are on step 2. Can Price do it NOW…. If not, we most likely will be waiting tilll the end of NEXT SEASON to see which one we will be dealing. But mark my words, if Price does well in his last 2-4 games, then say bye bye to HALAK. Its sad we can’t keep em both, cause Halak has really shown his character this season and I hate to see a guy like that go.

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

  122. coachdoug says:

    Chris/Dave…Solid Posts

    This team has had a hard time finishing goals all year…finish often is a function of distance from the net, rebounds and physicallity with the opposing team’s defense…

    We have no net presence because of the size issue…our forwards get net presence on an opportunity basis not on intentionally and on a consistent basis…

    I honestly think the Habs have a faster team and can beat the Caps…but sustaining that speed for 60 minutes is another issue…especially when the 3rd and 4th lines are not contributing as much and you use your top centers (Gomez and Plek) on the PK…

    I am a little dismayed that JM does not use his timeouts or recognize momentum shifts in the games…don’t know how many times I have yelled “call a timeout!” at the TV this year…

    As for the goaltending situation…Halak has not been stellar the last two games but it really doesn’t matter when you have no offensive production…we have offense on most nights but it does not produce consistently…

    “Save us Turtleneck Man…We need you now more than ever!”

  123. Natrous says:

    I fully agree, which is why I’m saying that Halak gets the start on Wednesday, however since this is do-or-die, if Halak faulters and the Habs are down by 2 (with one or two ‘bad’ goals given up by Halak), we’ll probably see Price for the rest of the ride.

    That said, it’s also time to address our DEFENSIVE lapses and dress O’Byrne for cripes sake. I don’t care what MAB brings to the table in terms of shot, that’s not our weakness at the moment – D-zone coverage is!! Let’s dress someone who can take care of business in our own end and support whichever stellar goalie is between the pipes!!

  124. punkster says:

    I’ll take the same heat with my views because I, too, think it’s possible for us to beat the Caps. Few of us out here but we’re here.

  125. Natrous says:

    I have two words: DRESS O’BYRNE

  126. ed lopaz says:

    Habs hockey = Smart hockey

    Here’s hoping the blinding love affair most of you have had with Jaro Halak is over.

    terrible

  127. joeybarrie says:

    As the poster below has pointed out, why dont you include a rebuttal, or at least proof of a few BIG games when Halak has played GREAT. In my recent memory the must win games were the last few in the season, the last few before the Olympic break, and the playoff games. Halak has won only 1 of them. Not that I’m bashing him. In my opinion he hasnt had enough chances, but still in the few we have given him he hasnt played BIG in the BIG games. Price has played BIG in SOME big games. But so far not enough. But its ok they are BOTH still young.

    So lets hear the BIG games where Halak has played awesome? It would be nice if someone wouldnt just simply say ‘thats stupid’. WHY is it stupid? And saying that THIS is the dumbest thing anyone has written on THIS SITE. Well thats pretty dumb, cause there have been ALOT of stupidity here. Case in point……

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

  128. joeybarrie says:

    Forget your bus, I dont like to dwell on the negative towards our players…… But in the end it was this simple. Halak HAD to have a big game. He failed miserably. Does it take anything away from him in his accomplishments this season? NO. But in the end he didn’t have it. Now we will see if Price does. I still suspect we have 2 young goalies who have only BEGUN…

    But make no mistake, Halak HAD to come up big and didn’t. Bottom line. Forget the rest. There are many players in each position. But only 1 in the net. No one knows this MORE this season than Price.

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

  129. forskis says:

    You cannot really complain about throwing Halak under the bus…those on the Halak-train who threw Price under the bus said that Wins are all that matter and Halak has been getting them and Price hasn’t…so Halak gets the majority of the starts and rightfully starts in the playoffs….

    Halak has only one win in the last six…three games in the regular season to clinch a playoff spot and determine seeding and three games in the playoffs…he has ONE win in the last six at a time of the year when Wins are all that matter.  He has not been getting them.  Halak, welcome to Price’s world…a world where your D knocks you out of position and then decides to just watch the puck.

    I still say start Halak for Game #4 despite the bad performances, something does not jive at the idea of starting Price for Game #4…the team has performed well for five periods out of nine…..time for them to make it eight out of twelve and even this thing up.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  130. TripleX says:

    Throw Halak and AK under the bus?  Check

    No criticism of Pouliot or the little three?  Check

    No criticism of the questionable coaching moves?  Check

    No criticism of the ridiculous roster moves?  Check

    Usual commentary by Mr. Boone?  Check

  131. RJ says:

    Come on, better days are ahead. Next season, ”The Franchise” will be in net, Halak will no longer cost us games (the goalie controversy will be over) and the Habs will cruise to the Presidents’ Trophy. 

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley”

  132. mbplekfan says:

    The strategy to draft the best player available caused the current problem. If the “best” player available was a 5″10 centerman that is what we drafted regardless of our needs. Now we have scads of formerly talented players who lack the size or physicality to succeed at the next level.

    3 Capitals are under six feet tall. I think 3 habs are over. Hamilton runs roughshod over AHL competition with a smaller team but few of these players will ever be impact players at the NHL level.

    Looking down the top scorer’s list is indicative of who succeeds at the NHL level. I think 5 of the top 25 scorers were under 6″2! The vast majority of top performers are bigger players.

    We have one. Benoit Pouliot. and he has lots of developing to do.

  133. punkster says:

    Problem 1- Disagree. We have the depth just not getting the right combination of talent and heart working on the 3rd and 4th lines. They’re there, but they’re not delivering consistently.

    Problem 2- I think I understand why you say this but either hard work or experience cancels out potential. Potential means nothing without results. Our players with so-called potential have ranged from spotty to duds this season.

    Problem 3 – Who on the D, besides MAB, is under 6′ tall? Or were you refering to the under 6′ forwards?

    I think, though, you’re mising a huge issue. Our guys handled the Caps effectively when they pressed, worked the corners and stood up at the blue line. When they stopped the Caps took over.

  134. keepthefaith says:

    You are probaly right. It was also nothing personal against Darche but he only played two minutes.  I guess any two of  Darche, Pyatt, Lappy and Metro. Metro for me would be in for sure if he is 100 percent but im not sure he is.

  135. patrice brisebois says:

    Timo,i think your gimmick has gotten old. Always repeating the same thing over and over again. You need some new material:)  Something outletting and glorious. Maybe a new hairstyle. Or just may you just need to go FULL TIMO.

  136. punkster says:

    These height numbers are wrong. Yes 3 Caps under 6′ but Habs have 7. The other 15 Habs are 6′ or more.

     

    You’re going a long way to make a height issue out of this. But so be it…whaever.

  137. mbplekfan says:

    MAB is puny. Spacek is 5″11, Gorges is generously listed but is probably just 6″, Markov again is generously listed at 6’0.

    Weight of our defence again is small. Gorges, MAB and Spacek are under 200lbs. Markov would be barely 200lbs. Not enough muscle to make up for lack of height.

    Hard work and little talent leads nowhere. Potential can achieve in the future and we dont know when that future will be so you just have to stick with it.

  138. punkster says:

    And what will you be serving? My preference is pasta but I also like Indian food. Hmmm, I’m hungry. Time for dinner.

  139. HabsfaninMA says:

    “Alternative scenario: the Canadiens ride a hot Price back into the series.”

    Huh??? What are you talking about, Boone? He’s hot because he stopped 19 shots when the game was over???? OK. He’s so hot, he earned the backup spot all season.

  140. megagoten says:

    i don’t think anyone else saw JM yelling at refs

  141. Exit716 says:

    Bob built the mess, signed the free agents, hired the coach and then told the Molsons to give Gauthier the job.

     

  142. punkster says:

    Look, it’s getting late and I’m really hungry so let me just leave it at this:

    Again, your numbers. Where are you getting those? NHL.com and the team sites say different. And when you say “generously” are you talking from experience as in you’ve done the measurements and weighing in? Let’s use the right numbers if we’re going to make a point, that’s all I’m saying.

    Potential? Price is supposed to have that, right? And SK, and AK, and OB, and Laps. Lots of potential out there not delivering. I don’t disagree that they have some talent and they do at times work hard but they’ll never realize that potential unless they apply that talent with hard work consistently. Our future is now (as in tomorrow night) not at some undefined date.

     

  143. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Remember my signoff below…. its been part of my posts for over 2 years….for those that forgot or are new:

    1.we need more NAG on this team…North American GRIT…that way NOBODY TOUCHES OUR GOALIE…get it?

    2.The NHLREF SYNDICATE will not allow Montreal to win a Stanley Cup…get OVER IT!!!!!! its RIGGEDDDD, ITS FIXXXXXXXXXXXXXXED, folks, the game is RIGGGED and your not part of it!!!

    3.ahhh good ole #3…take it easy on our boys, can’t you see they are trying their best!, passionate, heck, they even got 10 minute misconducts for speaking the TRUTH!!! to the SYNDICATE….

    i’ll let you in on a little secret…the better we get, the worse its going to go against us (calls/ refs bias etc).

    1:The N.A.G. (North American Grit) Youth Movement will bring us respect. 2:The NHL-Ref-Syndicate will do everything in its power to never allow the HABS to win another Stanley Cup. 3:Take it easy on the boys, they are going 110%

  144. punkster says:

    Oh crap. I had a post-game celebration planned. Bought the ham already. Putting up the bunting tonight. What the heck am I going to do with all these crudites? FCS Brian, a little extra warning would have been nice.

  145. B says:

    I was very surprised to finally see him that animated.

  146. Chris says:

    What I can’t possibly fathom is how you can possibly believe that hockey games are “fixed” and yet still watch or cheer for any NHL teams.  If you truly believe that the games are pre-decided, why bother watching?

    I find the refereeing in the NHL to be absolute garbage since they moved to the two-referee system and had to promote a bunch of bad referees to the NHL.  But I will never in a million years agree with the assertion that the games are rigged…the NHL has quite simply very little to gain by such an arrangement and everything imaginable (including potential criminal charges, should it ever come to light) to lose.

    As for the “North American” Grit comment, I find it insulting and xenophobic.  Grit is fine, thank you very much…whether it be Russian (Volchenkov or Konstantinov gritty enough for ya?), Swedish (how about Holmstrom, Forsberg or Franzen?), Finnish (anybody who questions the grit of Koivu or Numminen, who went through a ton of adversity during their careers, is beyond foolish) or North American.

  147. B says:

    He was talking about an alternate scenario for the rest of the series, not what has happened so far.

  148. Tis Himself says:

    Pencil in Friday April 23, 9:45pm on your calendars sportsfans.  It’s time for the Montreal Canadiens 17th Annual Elimination Bitchfestabalooza sponsored by Habs Inside/Out!  BALLS will be taking the night off so come and let ‘er rip with gusto! (Under no circumstances will anyone under the age of 21 or sober be admitted to this event.)

  149. wall2bay says:

    Exactly! Bottomline, Can Price outplay Varmy and/or Theo over the next 4 games? Hell ya!!

    I think he’ll capture this moment!
    Brian Burke = Overrated Loud Mouth POS

  150. Chris says:

    The NHL numbers are incorrect for a ton of players.  I haven’t seen Sergei Kostitsyn lately, but unless he put on a growth spurt at 20, there is no way that he is as tall as his listed 6’0″.  I am six feet tall, and I was definitely taller than SK74 when he was playing his overage year in London.

    I also think that Gomez and Plekanec are being generously listed at 5’11″.  Gretzky was always listed as 6’0″ by the Oilers, but people that met him typically had him pegged at closer to 5’10″-5’11″.

  151. TripleX says:

    Halak =  1 win  2 loss

    Price =   5 win  10 loss

  152. TheMock780 says:

    Now Mike Green is talking trash? I can understand Ovechkin doing it, Backstrom doing it or Varlamov but Green? The same Mike Green that has 1 goal in his last twenty something playoff games? Is he wrong at the end of the day? That’s up for debate but come on Mike, why don’t you actually do something in the playoffs for the first time since game 1 of your series with Philly two years ago before you start talking

    http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2010/04/19/13645456.html

  153. Mike Boone says:

    I did, but I thought it was an acid flashback

  154. Mike Boone says:

    Thanks for being able to read English. Your kind support os greatly appreciated.

  155. keepthefaith says:

    OB = IN

    SK 74 = IN

    DARCHE = OUT

    MAB= PP ONLY

    PRICE= IN

    Mr. Boone, i would like to see how you can say Pouliot played a game worth mentioning.  Sure he had two good hits one shift and a couple of rushes that amounted to nothing , but played a good game. I think not. He cant seem to stand up and loses the puck too much. Also those soft drop passes in our own end and i think i want Latendresse back.  Everything in this statement is true except the last part.

  156. 24 Cups says:

    faith – I stand corrected, but I think another skater has to come out of your line-up to keep it at 18.

  157. wall2bay says:

    A lot of Doom & Gloom here but this thing is far from over folks.  Yes this team has issue, starting mainly with the head coach.  A good head coach in my opinion, needs to have at least one of these qualities:

    1.  A powerful personality and master motivator that makes players want to play for him and gets the maxout of every single player.

    and/or

    2. A genius tactician that not only has a solid system in place but can out coach his counterpart more often than not.

    Unfortunately JM does not posses either quality.  He’s frustrating as hell!

    Having said that, I’m still optimistic that we can turn this thing around and see the team we saw in game 1 and the 1st half of game 2.  The team looked a little mad and pi$$ed off……..which may end up being a good thing!  Here’s my prediction……

    1. Gomez & Gionta’s cup experience starts to kick in full gear.

    2. Price gets hot and stays for the rest of the series.

    3. Varmy gets chased and then the goalie issues goes back into their court!

    Sure this may sound a little hopeful but crazier things have happened in sports.  The Cap can be a fragile team……..what the Habs simply need to do is create a goalie controversy on the other end and that will infest the whole team.

    I’m a believer in Price…..afterall he has 2 wins and a SO loss this season against them, so WHY NOT!

     

    Brian Burke = Overrated Loud Mouth POS

  158. wall2bay says:

    I think it was the acid flashback!

    Brian Burke = Overrated Loud Mouth POS

  159. mbplekfan says:

    The NHL player stats are whatever the team provides. They are widely believed to be faked or padded.

    Just look at the size of our team when they stand next to the Caps during faceoffs or during scrums around the net. We are the short ones in the Canadiens uniforms.

    We are the ones lying on the ice or getting tossed around.

  160. ebk says:

    Halak 1win-3losses

     

  161. Tis Himself says:

    Keep it under your hat, but I got a look at the guest-poster list. Jacques Martin is going to put up a ten-screen post on The System. H’orderves — I assume pigs in a blanket — will be served.

  162. Batalla says:

    And now we have some insight as to why Bob “stepped down”.  We’re stuck with this team…

    http://habsbros.blogspot.com/2010/04/game-4-buzz-heightens-after-rumous.html

  163. Da Hema says:

    Timo: aren’t you the Keynote Speaker for this event?

    ————————

    “There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge….”

    –Hunter S. Thompson

  164. The.Price.Is.Right says:

    that was quite the heartbreak

  165. punkster says:

    Then you can’t quote player stats to make your point.

    And yes, I do look at the teams on the ice and don’t see much of a difference except when Gionta, Cammy and MAB are on the ice.

    Tossed around? Who?

  166. HabsFanInKorea says:

    Price can do it – I know he can and he will.

    Anyone who disagrees with me can eat it. Mark my words – THE HABS WILL WIN THIS SERIES AND PRICE WILL BE THE HERO.

    GO HABS GO!

  167. HabsFanInKorea says:

    OB in? I’ll leave that one to JM.

    SK74 in? Hell yeah. Even if I just for the morale boost of AK. I don’t think he shoulda been sat in the first place. Ya everyone says Tommy Pyatt listens well and bla bla. But I think SK should play. And put him on the same line as his bro.

    Darche hasn’t been great in the playoffs but he did the habs some good in the reg. season. MAB… I agree. Play him here and there as you see fit… but don’t think of him as a D-man. He plays hockey like I play soccer – like an idiot who gives the ball (puck) away waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many times by trying to make dumb no look passes etc.

  168. Batalla says:

    Nah…  Game 2 was a heartbreak.  This was a good ol fashioned back alley “unwanted” pounding…  Our only hope is that the team can find another edge in Game 4.  They’ve shown they can play, but 60min has been a challange this year.

    Gomez has a plan, though…  http://habsbros.blogspot.com/2010/04/game-4-buzz-heightens-after-rumous.html

  169. Garbo says:

    Does anyone have the numbers on Halak’s playoff stats so far?

  170. Batalla says:

    I believe they are “bad”.  Just confirmed that on NHL.com.  But oh well, it won’t matter who we have in nets tomorrow…  We have an action plan:

    http://habsbros.blogspot.com/2010/04/game-4-buzz-heightens-after-rumous.html

  171. ArmyFan says:

    Now THAT should be posted on the bulletin board in the Habs’ dressing room.

  172. mbplekfan says:

    Problem #1 is that we dont have any organizational depth at the NHL level. This leaves us with role players like Tom Pyatt,  MAB and Darche taking regular shifts.

    Problem #2 is that our coach values hard work and experience ahead of talent or potential. Pyatt and Darche try like crazy and bust their asses but even at top form they are little better than adequate AHL’rs.

    Problem #3 is that our mgmt staff never seemed to understand that a sub 6″ defenceman would have challenges when dealing with the larger, stronger forwards in the NHL. We employ 4 as front line regulars. No other team operates with more than one or two if pushed. We stock one in the minors when we should trade him for draft picks.

    Problem #4 is that no effort seems to be made to correct problems 1 through 3.

  173. EricInStL says:

    Adam Mair is an UFA, we need him bad….

    Guy Boucher I trust.

  174. Batalla says:

    Well, really, as long as someone gets punched in the face…  I’m sure we can all agree on that.

    http://habsbros.blogspot.com/2010/04/game-4-buzz-heightens-after-rumous.html

  175. HabsfaninMA says:

    I have to agree with you .. about everything you said. This team is what it is – an 8th place playoff team. A bubble team. A highly inconsistent team. Sure, they played well in the first two games in D.C., and yes, the Caps have weaknesses. BUT, isn’t it quite possible that the Caps took the Canadiens very lightly for 5 periods and then woke up and realized they should show them a little respect?? Probably …. because the Caps are still the much more superior team.

  176. goalieguy says:

    This team is utterly overmatched.

    The fact that people are zeroing in on the goaltending is hilarious. It is the only strength this team has. The core of  Markov, Plekanec, Gionta, Gomez, Kostitsyn is not the core of a contending team. Like Kerley said, this is a bubble team, and it’s being exposed by an elite team. The blueline is soft and slow. The grinders are fine but have zero offensive upside, so you’re never going to get a game like the Caps did last night where the 3rd and 4th liners chip in 4 goals.

    Green, Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, Laich, Knuble…that is the core of a contender.  Hell I’d take their supproting cast (Fleischmann, Fehr, Gordon, Belanger, Corvo) over most of our guys.

    Bob MacKenzie said it best last night after the second period: If they Habs are going to play that bad, and the Caps are going to play that well, you could have Roy or Plante or George hainsworth in there, and the Habs are going to lose.

    Put Price in, go back to Halak…it doesn’t matter. They can’t clear the bodies from the slot. They can’t stop the D from backing in. They can’t prevent the giveaways. And they cant’t score. So either way, they’re destined to be the fall guys.

  177. smiler2729 says:

    You’re right and wrong.

    Playoff goaltending can make or break you in the big picture. In the small picture, you need all the parts of the machine working together as one to cut down on the chances on your backstop.

    The Hab machine has some loose parts because some players’ roles are not clearly defined. The 3rd and 4th lines are more of a mish mash of players plugged in and out than solid checking/pest/energy lines. And that breakdown leaves the defence corps without that crucial support and mistakes are happening and ending up in their own net.

    I don’t know if it’s the coaching or if it is the players themselves that aren’t getting their roles or assignments right but that breakdown and a fair amount of nerves are the key elements hobbling these Habs.

    Singling players out is fine cuz some are messing up more than others but bottom line is this is a team game.

  178. Bob Barker says:

    They have outplayed Washington for parts of each game. Game 1 it was the second and third period + OT. Game 2 it was periods 1 and 2. Game 3, only the first period. 

    Washington is not known for their stifling defense, if the Habs had come away with the lead after the first period, it’s probably a different game.

    The Habs have made Washington look pretty vulnerable at times and there were points in the game where a timely save would have made the difference, i.e. Ovechkin and Carlson’s goal in Game 2. If there’s one certainty it’s that the Habs can’t win with sub-0.890 goaltending just like Vancouver and Detroit won’t win unless their goaltending improves. 

     

     

  179. RockinRey says:

    I would have to agree with you on not being able to move guys from the slot. Most of the goals are caused by breakdowns in front of the net. Elite team or not though , the Caps have been exposed too. The size of their team has not been a huge factor. It’s more an ability to get to good scoring areas .

    As much as their core is so much better , and on that I would have to agree, the Habs were in control of this series. But even when they were up large in that second game, I was coginizant of the fact that this team has blown many leads  in the last 2 yrs.

    I mean you can’t hold a 4-1 lead? That is most telling about the teams psyche.

     

  180. Batalla says:

    Yeah, you can totally tell that the Capitals’ coach was lying when he said the Habs had the smartest coach in the NHL.  I mean, maybe he’s good at Pictionary or something, but certainly not coaching an NHL playoff game.  If he’s so smart, how is it that he couldn’t take the POWERHOUSE Senators anywhere?

    http://habsbros.blogspot.com/2010/04/game-4-buzz-heightens-after-rumous.html

  181. Olay Olay Olay says:

    I just cannot understand why you’d bench O’Byrne in the playoffs for a guy is not either big or as defensively sound. MAB is busting his butt out there but he is what he is. I would never have said this last year but we need O’Byrne on that blue line. Put MAB on the wing again and on the point on the PP. Wasn’t that the plan when we had that 5 game winning streak?? just asking.  

  182. StevieRay says:

    Did you notice the scratches …

  183. avatar_58 says:

    If things weren’t bad enough the dogs were royally spanked -

    http://www.thespec.com/Sports/article/754971

     

  184. SeriousFan09 says:

    I would expect Boucher to make adjustments for Game 4 though, he’s just crazy enough to make adjustments after getting beaten.

     

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

  185. andrewberkshire says:

    Ok Harvey Dent.

  186. Blue_79 says:

    The night is darkest just before the dawn.

    Keep the faith my friends.

     

    “Andrei put puck in net.”

  187. Batalla says:

    Well, here’s a little excitement in preparation for tomorrow’s game…  We can rally around this at least…

  188. cunningdave says:

    Oh no you didn’t!  Did you just blame Scotty Gomez for the Game 2 loss?  A game where they blew a 3 goal lead??  Did you just praise Cammalleri in a game where he was -4, when Gomez was one of the few who was a flat 0?

    This is ridiculous.  Dude makes a lot of money, but he’s a good hockey player, one of our best.  Get over it.

  189. EricInStL says:

    Don’t know if anyone said this but O’BYRNE in front of the net on the PP….

    Gionta or Gomez, Cammy, O’Byrne, MAB + Markov

     

    In Guy Boucher I trust.

  190. cautiousoptimist says:

    “How crazy do you have to be to still think they can win this thing?”

    Crazy like a fox Boone, that’s how crazy.  Crazy enough to know that one blowout game does not invalidate the last two nailbiters.  Crazy enough to recognize that going into the second period of last night’s game, the Habs and Caps had scored the same number of goals through seven periods and two overtime periods, and that Halak’s .924 save % and 2.40 GAA this year didn’t happen by accident.  And crazy enough to know that if one or two of the Habs many, many first-period chances had gone in last night, we might be having a whole different conversation about what constitutes crazy.

    1. http://www.flickeringpictures.com – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  191. Sanchin Films says:

    I still have a good feeling about this series. The odds (and the refs) are against the Habs, but the Caps are vulnerable.

    By the way, any Habs fans in Nova Scotia who want to show some Tricolor pride on Facebook and elsewhere can download my Habbified version of the Nova Scotia crest: http://www.sanchinfilms.com/images/habscrest_ns.jpg

  192. Bob Barker says:

    I think they were right to call that goal back. You can see he moves his right leg towards the puck to direct it in, especially from the overhead view. 

  193. badbalance says:

    That dissalowed goal for the Sens last game shoulda counted though. It was a kicking motion, but the goalie jugled it around his pads after bouncing around it went in the net. It didn’t go straight in.. I don’t get these rules sometimes.

  194. badbalance says:

    Halak is letting in goals left adn right, If this was Price in his place, He woulda already been chased out of town. If Price wins this series for us, there is NO QUESTION on who the better goalie is. And wait a minute a number one goalie who shakes while drinkign his water, LoL, what a joke, just snap to reality guys, Halak has landed back on earth and he is no longer P.Roy, more like Abischer in this series…

     

    That second game was the series, and Halak cost it for us. Let’s see if Price can Bring us back on track..

  195. G-Man says:

    Price won’t win a game. He’s proved it all year.

  196. JVSmith says:

    Didn’t you hear on RDS- the reason why Halak was shaking while drinking from his water bottle – according to Joel Bouchard – was because he had to squeeze it really hard to get the Gatorade out. And yes, he was serious.

  197. ManApart says:

    Haven’t seen you around talking when Halak was dragging this team into the playoffs since Feb., or for the Olympics or while he was playing great in game 1. You just show up when the Caps are pounding the Habs and Halak physically and dominating the last game. In the words of Gainey, “you’re a Gutless Bas…” Price has won 3 games since Jan 1st, he ‘s not going to win 3 out of 5, so you can forget your delusional fantasies. And Price was in Halaks place, the last 2 years, looks to me like he’s still here.

  198. Number31 says:

    …You guys do realize that after Price and Halak the
    goaltending depth chart needs to look to free-agency right? In no way is Desjardins even ready to backup someone even if he’s a few months younger than Halak. Keeping both
    is cheaper unless Alan Walsh lets an ego get into the talks. I
    seriously doubt a guy like Turco (as big as a fan I am of him and as
    perfect a mentor he would be for Price being a premier puck moving
    goalie) would agree to a shared-tandem at a significant paycut… And
    Price is way too young to lose. He has significantly improved this year.
    Did it look like he hadn’t played in over two weeks? Not one bit.
    Thrown into the fire and looked to be the calmest one on the ice.
    Besides, it ain’t his fault no one can score goals for him in the
    regular season, but 95% of the ones he did win he stole. Those two
    points in November when the team limped into Washington were HUGE points
    in the end.

    But Jaro was already tired out and easily distracted
    in Game 2. It took Price in his rookie year a whole playoff series + 1
    to finally run out of gas (and the inept #1 powerplay in the East that
    looked ready for the summer didn’t help out). At 6’3″ 220lbs, you really
    gotta launch yourself into him to get him out of the net. There was a reason why Price played the Caps all year, and frankly he fared better than MAF did (who actually has a team and a couple of human highlight reels with him)…

    Martin
    needs to play Price the next game. Needs to play Sergei (you had Dominic Moore running
    the powerplay while Gomez and Pleks were in the box). Needs to play
    O’Byrne because Gill can’t be the only one clearing the crease. Enough with the Darches and the Bergerons. How many times do
    those guys get to give the puck away before getting benched?

  199. habz says:

    because of this game alone…..my marriage is over…sad ..but true

  200. badbalance says:

    Can’t devorce the Habs yet! we’re still in it, and we can still win it!

  201. HardHabits says:

    At least we’re not the Leafs, eh?

  202. Kristopher7 says:

    Only way to salvage this is if Price pulls a Roy, otherwise it is over.

  203. G-Man says:

    It’s over. Price isn’t a shadow of Roy.

  204. Clay4bc says:

    This site is funny…people whine and complain all year about how bad this team is, and we end up just barely squeaking in to the playoffs. Then we win ONE game, and all of a sudden people get visions of Lord Stanley dancing in their heads.

    Newsflash – we are the lowest seeded team in the playoffs. We are lucky to be there. Washington, on the other hand, is the best team in the NHL this year. No one really thought we could compete. If we do happen to win, it will be nothing short of a miracle. But not as much of a miracle as there being realistic expectations on this site.

    We all know what the problems are…Poor coaching – why was SK sitting today? OB?. Politics first in hiring the coach and now the GM position are killing this franchaise. Ridiculous contracts to washed up players (see Hamrlik and Gomez, to name but 2). Porous defense (care to argue that one, anyone?). And, last but not least, not enough talent.

    _________________

    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  205. The Cat says:

    Hate to say it but habs fans are deliriously stupid: they can make judgment calls on players based on a short stretch of games. I agree that the D hasn’t been adequate…But I do think we have enough talent, just no edge, but its hard to play with an edge when the coach will put you in the doghouse for taking a dumb penalty. No other team -NO OTHER- would let their goalie get crashed in like that without dispensing some sort of retribution.

  206. Mike Boone says:

    Well, exactly …

  207. havok says:

    This should be  a sticky somewhere, this is the whole basis of my argument at work, and with pals…well written Chap!

  208. nightmare_49 says:

    … On route Mr. Boone ………….  MAB forgot his brain cramp medication before the game at the Bell Center last night ……………………. Moose bounce right back … Hamilton Spectator …..  http://www.thespec.com/Sports/article/754971 

  209. The Cat says:

    Yeah JM is one of the smartest men in hockey alright. Thats what they say when youre calm and quiet, like Gainey -’oh he’s smart’… Don Cherry is 3 times as smart as JM when it comes to hockey, but for some reason, being a loudmouth automatically disqualifies someone as being smart.

  210. Clay4bc says:

    I really have to disagree about the talent level…but see for yourself – here is a list of the players on all of the cup winning teams from 1919-1920 Ottawa Senators to the 2007 Ducks…do we measure up?

    http://www.tmlfever.com/CupWinningRosters.html

    _________________

    Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

  211. HardHabits says:

    Too late to tank the season. So when’s the rebuild gonna happen Mr. Molson(s)? What was that? The Habs don’t rebuild.

    For the 1st period the way the team battled I came this close to giving up my “tank” mantra. I was all like, look how determined they are. The fight. They battle. Then the walls came crumbling down.

    Expect more of the same for years to come. Backing into the playoffs, maybe a very good year here or there but one hinge unhooks and the wheels fall off and it’s back to scratching our way back into the playoffs or settling for 9th in the conference and nothing in the cupboards but career AHLers.

    Meanwhile all the teams that finished low in the standings and that have garnered young top flight talent are making noise and will make noise while we build a team via free agency in a salary cap era with the rest of the league’s cast offs.

    But hey, at least the 10 dollar hot dogs are selling and the Bell Centre is jammed to the rafters. It if aint broke don’t fix it. Right?

  212. avatar_58 says:

    Yep Toronto will garner that talent through picks

     

    Oh wait

  213. joeybarrie says:

    Mike Green 29th overall

    John Carlson 27th overall

    Brooks Laich 193 overall by Ottawa

    Brendan Morrison 38th overall by New Jersey

    Tom Poti 59th overall by Edmonton

    Varlamov 23rd overall

    Dave Steckel 30th overall by LA

    Jeff Schultz 27th overall

    Boyd Gordon 17th overall

    Tomas Fleischmann 63rd overall

    Joe Corvo 83rd overall by LA

    Jason Chimera 121st overall by Edmonton

    Eric Ferh 18th overall

    Matt Bradley 102 overall by San Jose

    Eric Belanger 96th overall by LA

    Alexander Semin 13th overall

    Mike Knuble 76th overall by Detroit

    Shaone Morrisonn 19th overall by Boston.

    Its was only Backstrom and Ovechkin they got by being the last place team. Not that this isnt GREAT, but they got lucky with Backstrom that either the top three teams didnt grab him, or that he truned out to be so good.

    Im so sick of hearing all this TANK crap. If this organization would draft hockey players first and languages second we would be in a better place. But in the end Washington has assembled this team for the most part. Not that i dont want a superstar, but we have plenty of talent here now. All we are missing is a few peices that MOST LIKELY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO JAM IN JUST BECAUSE WE CAME IN LAST FOR A FEW YEARS…

    There is no respect in that, and this storied franchise would be shamefull for trying to do such a thing. Look at The NYI. They have had 10 top ten picks in the last 20 years, and have done NOTHING.

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

  214. Bash says:

    The SHRINE is still in place…we did change channels with 10 minutes left….we did check flight availability for round #2.

    Son and I have not given up yet.

    Can Carey create a miracle?

     

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

  215. JeffHackett-underrated says:

    I knew we were going to lose last night when Charles Prevost-Linton was not singing the anthem. He better be back in the lineup next game.

  216. Desgardens says:

    I have to say that it was so stupid for Gomez and Plekanec to take those unsportsmanlike penalties, but they were left with little choice because Jaques Martin remains on the bench completely silent, looking up at the replay and not reacting at all.  The Habs need a coach who will stand up against the awful reffing that we saw last night.  Any other coach would have been on top of the boards screaming at the refs for doing a horrible job.  The habs, with no real on-ice leadership (that is, no captain) need their coach to step up!

  217. Desgardens says:

    I have to say that it was so stupid for Gomez and Plekanec to take those unsportsmanlike penalties, but they were left with little choice because Jaques Martin remains on the bench completely silent, looking up at the replay and not reacting at all.  The Habs need a coach who will stand up against the awful reffing that we saw last night.  Any other coach would have been on top of the boards screaming at the refs for doing a horrible job.  The habs, with no real on-ice leadership (that is, no captain) need their coach to step up!

  218. CHsam says:

    JM SUCKS. Full stop. Another millionaire coach that can’t put a good game plan and benches useful talent. 2#@#%@!##@

  219. ArmyFan says:

    “If the Habs had come away with the lead after the first period, it’s probably a different game.”

     

    Absolutely. But it’s DEFINITELY a different game if that ridiculous hooking call on AK, 3 SECONDS INTO A MTL PP, isn’t made.  Habs were just starting to gain some momentum after scoring a goal and were applying good pressure in the O-zone.  Go on the PP, score a goal, all of a sudden it’s 4-2 with half a period to go, and the momentum in favour of the home team.

     

    Not saying they would have definitely won, but at the very least the game may have been a lot closer, which would bode well for morale and confidence going into Game 4.

     

    I don’t want to get started on the reffing again, we all have our opinions on it.  But come on….

  220. Gormdog says:

    Just once i’d like you to pass on an oppertunity to completely flip flop.

     

    Habs can easily still win games in this series as they’ve already shown, It all comes down to who gets the better goaltending. I’d rather have an angry Price in nets than an overconfident Varlamov.

  221. habaholic68NJ says:

    Goaltending is not enough.  We must dress our best players and roll 4 lines.  MAB should not play D 5 on 5.

  222. Arrow77 says:

    Amazing! 5 posts, the longest is 2 lines, and they all say Price sucks.

    You’re my new definition of a hater.

  223. Harani says:

     I think people are just being too cynical and negative. Washington is the best freakin’ team in the league with 101 goals more than us and 33 points ahead of us. Yes, they are beatable on some nights. And, as much as a cliche it is, hockey is a game of momentum and when they scored on our PP, the Habs flew out of the building. 

    I still believe we can take it to them. Some more preparation and study of their game coupled with an extraordinary performance by Price who has resurfaced at the face of the planet. Price is up for an RFA contract. He knows that one of he or Halak will have to go. If he can’t stay, he would want to show others that he’s NOT a first round bust. What better can he do that carrying the Habs into the playoffs?

    Price is certainly capable and from what I just saw on his interview with RDS, he seems mature and ready to compete and come back (he made a couple of really good saves tonight). And heck, it’s the playoffs and stranger things have happened before. We are down 2-1 in a series of 7 games to the Washington Capitals for crying out loud. 

    Sure this game leaves a sour taste but Wednesday, I am ready to guarantee that the Habs will win. Watch my words. I’ll check back then. Good Night! I still BELIEVE!

  224. Price_31 says:

    Great post. I 100% agree. When we win the next game (cuz we will) the series will be split again and it’s whole different series!

  225. TripleX says:

    Loungo pulled from game.  He looks brutal.

  226. Price_31 says:

    I still think we’re gonna win it in 7. We play so well for the first little bit and then somehow WAS finds a way to ruin it. But our guys never stopped trying.

    Varlamov got lucky on a few – we WILL WIN THIS SERIES.

     =)

  227. joeybarrie says:

    If we should have beaten them on Saturday, and we beat them at home in the first game, how is it that being down only 2-1 we have no chance to win?

    If we get a great game out of Price, like they got out of Varly tonight, we can beat them. 2-2 going to Washington is a whole new series.

    The made Halak look easy tonight, but to be honest we had ALOT of good chances in the first period, and if their goalie had been as soft as our we would have been up 2-0 and probably going into overtime.

    Im not saying were gonna win. But if anything, this team has shown they can win. IMO best way to lose the 3rd game was BIG like this. We gotta show that we wont go away easily.

    DID ANYONE THINK WE WERE GONNA WIN GAME 1????????????

    DID ANYONE THINK WE WERE GONNA BEAT THE NORDIQUES IN 1993???????

    DID MOST PEOPLE EVEN THINK WE WERE GONNA MAKE THE PLAYOFFS EVEN BEFORE ALL OUR INJURIES???????

    In the end ignoring the second period tonight and the third on Saturday, we gotta be happy with the way our team has played, just not the results. Everyone said we were gonna be blown out every game like this.

    In the end its always the same anyways. We just keep dishing out the negative and the pessimism and all it does it give us something to eat when we prove it wrong.

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

  228. Off-side says:

    How can we win “this thing”, you say?  If you’re thinking abou the series, your trying to take too much in.  It’s called ‘one game at a time’.  Forget yesterday.  Forget game 5, it’s all about game 4 and that’s all we can set our eyes on.  They have one more game than we do.  We had one more game than they did going into game 2.  Everything is possible and being negative until it’s over doesn’t leave much room to win.  Look at SJ/Avalanche.  SJ is down two as well.  I’m not worried…yet.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.