About last night …

So how do you like your team at the quarter-pole?

Pretty darned good, eh?

Better than we expected?

As the young people say, for shizzy.

After 20 games last season, the Canadiens were 9-11. In Game 20, a 2-0 loss to Nashville, they gave up 55 shots on goal.

They are 13-6-1, good for third overall in the Eastern Conference and the league. In Game 20, they outshot the Leafs 38-30. 

The Leafs aren’t very good, and we’ll have a better idea of where the Canadiens are at when they face the Flyers in the unfriendly confines of whatever they call the barn in Philadelphia. (Isn’t Wachovia bankrupt … just like the style of hockey that team plays?)

But as we wait to see if the Alouettes can make this a total Screw TO weekend, let’s feel good about a team that has:

• great goaltending

• a ridiculously good penalty-kill

• Four solid, experienced defenceman plus a spectacular rookie and a retread who’s found a home

• a much-improved supporting cast; and,last but not least

• a coach who is pushing all the right buttons.

 

 

 

 

Jacques Martin will never be mistaken for Pat Burns.

Fiery he is not.

Colourful he never will be.

But this guy has coached more than 1,300 regular-season and playoff games in the world’s best hockey league.

Martin is smart. And the demeanour of his team suggests he’s good at understanding and extracting the best from modern hockey players.

The coach never uses the media to rip his players. He gives respect and he gets it.
A notoriously D-first coach, Martin has installed a system that has the Canadiens holding opponents to 30 shots or fewer 10 times in the first 20 games. Another four times it’s been 31 SA. Only Tampa Bay and Nashville have topped 40.
The system has accomplished two vitally important goals:
• It has protected Carey Price and allowed the goaltender to build his confidence through 19 starts
• It has allowed the D corps to survive without its most talented member for all but seven games this season.
Martin has also been deft in his deployment of Bargain of the Year Jeff Halpern (39-14 on short-handed faceoffs).
It’s said Martin can’t handle young players.
But the coach has brought Lars Eller along slowly with no pressure. The kid was better than most of his teammates against Nashville, and Eller’s line had another good outing against the Leafs. P.K. Subban has been reined in enough to cut down on dangerous flamboyant errors without stifling the creativity of a very special young player.
The revival of Benoit Pouliot’s career is not complete. But Benny is doing his job: three thunderous hits against the Leafs last night, complementing Max Lapierre’s five on the rejigged Halpern line.
Perhaps the best thing Martin has done, through one and a quarter seasons behind the Canadiens’ bench, is identify the team’s most complete and valuable player. You just know the coach had a lot of input into the decision to sign Tomas Plekanec long-term for reasonable money.
The team still has issues.
Scott Gomez is mired in the mother of all slumps. As my friend Arpon Basu pointed out in the pressbox last night, if the team weren’t winning, the Bell Centre boo birds would be on Gomez like flies on Mike Komisarek.
(Poor Komo: $4.5 million for this season and three more. C’mon, man!)
The D is not deep. An injury to any of the Top Four would be potentially disastrous. 
But here again, Martin’s personnel deployment has been brilliant. Even without Andrei Markov, Roman Hamrlik and Jaro Spacek played less than 20 minutes last night. P.K. – who looks like he could play the entire game – was at 23:17, and his partner, Alexandre Picard, played 18:40.
And of the three Canadiens who played for Pat Burns, did anyone honour his memory better than Hal Gill? The big guy blocked five shots, and everything Burns taught was in evidence in one-on-one confrontations between the slow-but-crafty Gill and the explosively-fast-but frustrated Phil Kessel.
Game 21 will be tougher than Game 20.
And the December schedule is a bitch.
But so far, so surprisingly good.
•  •  •
I’m not always a fan of the music at the Bell Centre.
We’v had a lifetime’s worth of U2.
But kudos to whoever chose the Beatles In My Life for the Pat Burns video.
Perfect … and as many pundits have observed, good thing the game wasn’t in Toronto, where they have no clue how to do ceremonies.

 

243 Comments

  1. notbigbird says:

    I’ve sometimes wondered the very same thing about being whelmed.

  2. Chris says:

    Yep.  While the prefix ir- does normally negate words, it doesn’t always work grammatically. 

    It is much the same with dis-, which also negates the meaning of the original word in theory.  However, I can never be gruntled, only disgruntled.  Nor can I appoint somebody’s expectations of me, only disappoint them.

    I’m still trying to figure out why I can’t be simply whelmed…I always have to be underwhelmed or overwhelmed.  There’s no wiggle room there for when somebody performs at exactly the level I expected of them.  🙂

  3. Chris says:

    I forgot about refudiate…ah, Sarah Palin.  She’s good for a laugh.

  4. Danno says:

    Chris, I’m going to ask you to refudiate your suggestion that irregardless isn’t a word — or that we cannot invent our own words like Shakespeare or Bush did when the existing words just weren’t good enough.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  5. bleublancrouge says:

    Yes, and please stay there. my comment was far from moronic my misguided friend.

    I don’t have anything against Halak and I didn’t say Price’s wake up call was a bad thing.

    I also was not suprised at all like some of you that the playoff hero was traded away in favor of Carey.

    You put a small town BC boy in the thick of a city easily considered hockey mecca… consider him that city’s savior and ontop of it all let him live alone. How could anyone not expect any growing pains?

    It’s a maturing process all too many of you bashers were to impatient to acknowledge.

    Carey already has more experience than many players at his young age ESPECIALLY for a netminder.

    Last year was his first taste of not being the uncontested number 1. And let’s not forget the majority of the starts he had were during the first half of the season when the team itself didn’t know what it was let alone any fans.

    Yes Bob backed up his young netminder while under fire from just about everyone and good on him for that.

    Handing the keys to Carey may not have seemed like the best thing to do but look what it has led to.

    Carey may have forgotten the difference between having and reaching potential for awhile but he has been set straight by a leadership core solely developed by Bob himself.

    Bob’s players may have been swapped but his vision of a team built on skill and speed never did…. my bad speed skill and thoroughbread goaltending.

    So once again back to your rock and please refrain from marking comments as moronic without even checking your history of players you choose to cry about.

    The Habs need more fans cheering on the CH rather than the ones that resemble you… nosebleeds… impatient…. booing during preseason… know nothings that need to brush up on player development and overall hockey knowledge.

  6. Rob says:

    I would like to add the use of the phrase “could care less”,  instead of “couldn’t care less”, to your list.

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

  7. nova scotia vees says:

    What a moronic comment.  Some of us saw Price for what he was LAST YEAR.  A young man who didn’t think he had to “earn” his starts.  In an earlier post this is what I said..”Price is playing so much better.  I think last year’s adversity did him more good than harm.  He finally saw that without Gainey to hand him the job, he had to “earn it”.  Care to read what J.M. said last night about Price?  Pretty much the same comment sans the Gainey part.

    Now back under my rock I go.

  8. notbigbird says:

    Isn’t the prefix “ir” actually just a negative meaning “not”? So doesn’t “irregardless” mean “not regardless” and therefore actually “regarding”?

    Okay. Had to go check just to verify my sanity and here’s what Grammar Girl says: “The prefix ir- (i-r) is a negative prefix, so if you add the prefix ir to a word that’s already negative like regardless, you’re making a double-negative  word that literally means “without without regard.”

  9. Chris says:

    Oh, I’m sure you would argue that I am a member of many of those clubs.

  10. Chris says:

    I’ve got a spreadsheet somewhere where I sort some players’ point per game performances (which crudely factors out the effect of injuries) by their age that season.  Gomez’s numbers are actually remarkably similar to Saku Koivu most seasons (I was interested in that type of stat as a rebuttal to those that said that Gomez was a significant upgrade over Koivu when I was arguing against picking him up two summers ago). 

    He’s got some work to do if he wants to keep up with Koivu, who has continued to produce at a pretty steady rate into his mid 30’s.  But given how closely his PPG production matches that of Koivu, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him continue at his pace of 50-60 points per season.  Certainly not worth $7.3 million, but perfectly adequate numbers for a #2 centre in today’s NHL.

    The early-season slumps have been longer the past couple of years, but he has still ended up with his customary 55-60 points.  Don’t forget that he was the #1 centre in most of those other centres, meaning he was getting first-wave PP time to help him pull up his socks.  With Plekanec firmly entrenched as the team’s #1 centre and Kostitsyn, Cammalleri and Gionta manning the first-wave wing spots, Gomez is getting less PP time with secondary offensive players than he has ever dealt with before.  A decline in his scoring is only natural under those circumstances.

    And I don’t care as much about goals as I do points.  If he’s got 60 points, he was contributing to 60 goals.  I don’t care if he was the one that scored it or the one who helped create it…his presence contributed.

  11. twilighthours says:

    You just a language snob?  Or are there other snob clubs for which you’re a card-carrying member?

     

  12. Chris says:

    Irregardless was not a word, but continued misuse since the early part of this century has allowed it to creep into the language more and more.  Oxford English Dictionary still considered “irregardless” as incorrect usage of the word regardless as of 2006, as do many other dictionaries.

    Regardless and irregardless are now used interchangeably, but language snobs (a group that I freely admit that I am a member of) will always feel their soul cringe whenever they read or hear it.

    Irregardless (as opposed to regardless), “in order to” (as opposed to simply “to”) and misuse of which (when people really should use that) are the three words/phrases that always get my red pen out when I’m grading.  🙂

  13. Timo says:

    Doubt it… wasn’t a brutal hit… But none of the laffs dared to jump him. I just thought that if he can show some disrespect to Richards tomorrow it will be worth a trip and a roster spot.

  14. krob1000 says:

    is he getting suspended? let’s pull a Leafs and call him up so he doesn’t serve his suspension …..

  15. Timo says:

    Hahaha… Bonneau has already drilled someone into the boards from behind. Can we use him in Philly tomorrow?

  16. Timo says:

    They use only one ref in the AHL? Go Dogs!!!

  17. Rad says:

     

    Gomez is proving he is a 3rd line checking center, and that’s where he should be playing. He doesn’t have the hands or the shot or the moxie to score goals in this league. This was not one of Gainey’s brightest moves. I would trade Gomez straight up for Ryan McDonagh TODAY. McDonagh is a very solid, physical, defensive defenseman. He can skate and he can hit. He’s already the captain of the Rangers’ farm team. Do you think Slats would trade McDonagh back to the Habs even up for Gomez? I don’t think so.

    I agree with Boone about Jacques Martin. He has installed a system that the players believe in, and he has an even-keel temperament that has a calming effect on his players. I would still have liked Boucher, but you can’t argue with success.

     

  18. habs-hampton says:

    You know, in the big picture does it really matter how much Gomez makes?

    A team, a REAL team is being paid just over $58 million a year and they are now 3rd in the league with a game in hand on the 2 above them.

    Isn’t that what matters.

    On every team in the league, you will have guys that are overpaid and guys that are underpaid (just like my office).

    I’ll take our team, thank you very much.

     

  19. Aybara says:

    I think Gomez is important to the team and people don’t give him enough credit, but Boone is right. Knowing our fans, if we weren’t winning the yahoo’s in the stands would be ripping Gomer a new one.

  20. Danno says:

    Boone was around before there were talkies

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  21. showey47 says:

    Though i’m not happy with the offensive production of gomez,some of the blame could be placed on gionta who has only 5 goals on 79 shots(which puts him 8th in the league),so gomez is helping create chances for gio and you would have to think gio not scoring takes assists away from gomez. Also the rotating bottom 6 wingers playing the left side doesn’t help much either. Even though we are winning,the left wing issue is something i feel we still need to address.

  22. notbigbird says:

    It is a word, but you used in incorrectly. You meant regardless, not “not regardless.” I know because I was corrected on this many moons ago. I appreciated the correction rather than misusing the word for my whole life. Go ye and do likewise.

  23. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    From December on he was probably the top scorer on the team! He must have been right up there! Here’s to hopeing when he starts cashing in that other players productions don’t go south! Man, I love it when they beat the leafs! GO HABS GO!!

  24. notbigbird says:

    Now come the “Yes, buts …” 🙂

  25. habsfan0 says:

    “the unfriendly confines of whatever they call the barn in Philadelphia”

    They call it “Wells Fargo Center” as in “Tales of Wells Fargo”.

    You’re old enough to remember that show, aren’t you,Boone?

  26. HardHabits says:

    if the team weren’t winning, the Bell Centre boo birds would be on Gomez like flies on Mike Komisarek

    My monitor has a big coffee stain splashed across it now after reading that.

    Many of you might’ve read my Most Expensive Hab in the World spoof. Most of you caught the joke. Some of you Gomez basher’s thought I was doing you all a favour by jumping on your team. Nothing coud be farther from the truth. I like Gomez as a Hab and could give a damn about his salary. He saved of us from entering the Kovalchuck sweepstakes and that in it itself is worth 100 milion dollars. I will admit that his missing open nets has me a bit pissed off. I do wonder if maybe he should be given less ice time in favour of Eller. After second thought though, I go back to what I generally say about Gomez and that is that he brings a lot to the team. Remember it’s a team game. When asked about his poor points production he simply stated that the team is winning and it’s not about him.

    So. Give it a rest. The team is winning. It’s not about Gomez. Wait until playoff time and tell me you wish he wasn’t there. I for one will be very happy he is.

  27. bleublancrouge says:

    On a similar note.. I’m glad that Price has validated all those bashers… parking… back beneath the rocks they came from

  28. Aybara says:

    Great controlled game by the Habs last night. I was worried their effort might be all for not after being blanked in the first period, but they managed to hang in there and cap off a good one.

    What really threw me about the game though was the standard of officiating. There were numerous times throughout the game in which there were blatant penalties committed on Habs which were not called. These weren’t instances behind the play or anything, but scoring chances as well as breaks.

    Examples include Pouliot getting hooked down with an empty net in front of him, and Pleks getting tripped multiple times as he was about to break out on a penalty kill. Not a penalty, but still worthy of inclusion was the whistle delay on the play where Price lay down on the puck with Gorges shoving it under him. The puck was covered for a good time and the ref in the corner had a good angle on the play.. It seemed the ref was hoping that somehow the puck would squirt out from under Price, or Price would be pushed into the net and he didn’t want to blow his whistle to null that chance.

    We won so all this could be considered moot, but it is an unsettling occurrence to see. Much of the time people complain that the refs are attacking the habs, but usually it’s only a couple of plays or one big one that changed the game. This looked like a concentrated effort undertaken from the start of the 1st to the end of the 3rd to manipulate the outcome of the game.

    This type of action needs to be reviewed by the league because if this wasn’t the Leafs the Habs were playing, instead of reducing the margin by which the habs won, it could well increase the margin by which the opponent wins.

  29. bleublancrouge says:

    Dear Boone,

    I believe you neglected to mention the third team to top 40 shot against the habs… Philly had 41 SA and hit a wall….

  30. WestHab says:

    It seems that all are in agreement on the weakest link right now (Gomez). Other times there have been too many arguments about that is wrong with the Habs. I’m willing to give Gomer a break. And remember it’s not his fault he makes as much as he does. 

  31. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I like, I’m happy and I’m not all that surprised actually. Kind of predicted it, as a matter of fact. This is a good team with good management and coaching and last night’s game was a LOT OF FUN! We’re for real baby! GO HABS!!!  

  32. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s kind of annoying that some of us when feeling optimistic rationalize it that we’re paying our #1 centre Plekanec as a 2nd-liner and our #2 centre as a 1st-liner so it all kind of balances out…

    Gomez, just get a ****ing assist, please.

     

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

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    100% agree, it’s become an extension of the Art Ross trophy. Not to mention the “Most Outstanding Player” Ted Lindsay award tends to go to the MVP a lot as well since the most valuable player in the league must also be the Best Player in the NHL as well…

    Lidstrom was rightly named the NHL Player of the Decade, I really hope he takes his 7th Norris this year and rubs it in Mike “I don’t care about defence” Green’s face.

     

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

  34. Number31 says:

    Ya, well…Leafs fan… 😉

  35. Propwash says:

    Regarding Gomez, let’s see what happens come playoff time……

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  36. B says:

    He is tied for 13th on the team in +/-

  37. B says:

    You say that you don’t agree with my point, and then follow that up by saying that I am right about his ice time. His ice time was my point.

    Irregardless is a word, despite some folks getting peevish over seeing it in written form. The funny part to me is that you knew what I meant using that word, yet seemed to miss the overall point of my post 🙂

  38. andrewberkshire says:

    The Hart Trophy is a joke, and aside from very few abberations it just goes to the League’s highest scoring forward. I wrote about how useless the award has become last year.

  39. andrewberkshire says:

    What I see from these numbers, is that the slumps are getting longer, and worse, while the hot streaks to end the season are including fewer goals.

  40. WestHab says:

    Seeing how Toronto fired Burns it was fitting that the Habs beat them last night.

    After the scond goal it occured to me that it is time to start cheering Komi not booing him. As Healy pointed out “that’s usually Markov” who makes that play, referring to the nice assit to Cammy.

  41. Chris F says:

    Just a comment about Gomez, because he is really playing poorly right now. Never mind not scoring, or even not setting up great shooters like Cammy and Kostisyn, I mean, guys playing with him just don’t score.

    Take a look at his grip on the stick. I realise he’s probably done this since birth, but it is causing problems. If you notice when he winds up behind the net to carry out one of his famous rushes, his hands are very close together, at the top of the stick. I would ask anyone to go out and try this, it’s fine if your on the ice by yourself. I assume he likes it because it helps him keep his head up, back straight. However, he has no control over the puck, and worse yet, he is shying away from contact, which is causing more turnovers.

    His bottom hand needs to be farther down the shaft, he does this only when he shoots a slap shot, which is a rocket by the way, the problem is we never see it. His soft wristers into the goalies chest is not getting it done.

    Anyway, he is stuggling mightily, and he needs to make adjustments.

  42. Mike says:

    Everyone complaining about Gomez.. I understand. I hate him 2. But you have to understand that right now the habs don’t have any options… He is here. Deal with it.  We are not sending him down.

     

    What good will it do for eller to throw him in as the second line center. Right now he may be frustrated. He may be pissed, he may hate JM BUT there is no pressure on him to produce. He is learning the game, learning how to play defensively. He is learning JM hockey. He is earning his stripes the same way as Pleks did. Eller will be a better player because of this.

  43. Chris says:

    It is obviously a personal opinion, but I’ve just never seen the defensive prowess that people talk about with Gomez. I usually value players that play smart positional hockey and rely on speed and awareness, such as Datsyuk or Plekanec, which should be Gomez’s strength as well.

  44. RGM says:

    Difficult to say because it’s unknowable – at least for me as I don’t have access to an alternate dimension in which the Habs do not have Gomez and/or Pyatt on the team. I can only go with what we do have on the team. While the team is performing at a high level in spite of Gomez’s lack of production, I would much rather the team be performing with Gomez producing.

    And yes, I still do not like him as #11. It’s not that it’s too soon, it’s that it’s him wearing Saku’s old number. LOL

    Go Habs Go!

  45. Arrow77 says:

    We’re already 20 games in and his points total hasn’t reached half of his production during his 2008-2009 slump. Add to that the fact that both of his goals were kinda lucky, and that his play doesn’t show any signs of getting going in the near futur (the way Gionta’s play did, for example) and we have a situation where the panic button should not be kept far from us.

    I like Gomez when he’s playing well but he is too important to our team to have a slump like that. Halpern never produced like that in his career, Eller is too green and Markov might be gone for a while. If Martin can’t create a second line with Gomez, we’re pretty much screwed…

  46. Caper says:

    With three years left, you have to wonder at some point if Gomez will find himself in the AHL to rid of that contract. I not indicating that will happen soon however losing will make that a topic at some point should his play remain as is for the next number of years.

  47. andrewberkshire says:

    Tough to produce with Pyatt and a defenseman on your line.

  48. Chris says:

    Completely off-topic, but I noticed that Nicklas Lidstrom is off to another decent scoring start (17 GP, 2 G, and 17 PTS) this season, a year after many pundits and fans had written him off as over the hill.

    How this guy, simply the best overall hockey player over the past 20 years, never won a Hart Trophy is simply beyond me.  To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t even been a finalist for the Hart Trophy once over his illustrious career, which shows that the people who vote for the Hart Trophy must have been spanked on the wrong end as babies.

  49. PrimeTime says:

    There is always 1 player each year that receives the most attention crom the “fans that must complain”. I’m glad it’s Gomez this year because I believe he has the thickest “I don’t pay attention to them” skin on the team. He is smart heady and speedy player who happens to have benefited from a big contract by being at the right place at the right time…..so what!! It’s a team game and he’s there when it counts the most…he can lighten up a dark room, create excitement on the ice, or play shut-down Jacques Lemaire hockey and know nothing is won until you sip from Cup. Bitch at him all you wants Critics……you have been wrong about everything else far this year (Price, JM, PG) Gomer will glady take the heat and WIN!!!

  50. twilighthours says:

    I think he’s very good defensively.  Has he gotten a rep for being good at D because of the teams he played on or did he help create the team that was good at D?  I’d say some of both.  

    Frankly, I’m surprised you’re short-changing him in this department.

  51. Bob Barker says:

    Excellent post.

  52. Bob Barker says:

    Gomez will not finish the season with 24 points. He’s just in a terrible slump. He’s also a notoriously slow-starter. Last year he only had 11 points through Oct-Nov and then posted 16 points in December alone. 

    The fact that the Habs are winning without him producing attests to the depth of the team. 

  53. twilighthours says:

    It would be easier to evaluate Gomez’ play if he wasn’t dishing half of his passes to players with AHL talent (Lappy and Moen).  It’s really not fair to put a pass-first player with a winger who has no finish.  Opposing D will just shut down Cammalleri or AKost.  

    This is the only real issue that Gauthier needs to address, in my opinion.

  54. punkster says:

    Nice work Chris (and thanks for showing up again…missed you here).

    I am copying this info to be used whenever and wherever the anti-G crowd starts its chirping, which should be in about…5…4…3…2…

  55. sholi2000.com says:

    hehe B, you hit one of my pet peeves.  Irregardless is not a word. 🙂 Just write regardless.  🙂

    I understand your point, I just don’t agree with it.  Nothing wrong with that.

    And you’re right about his ice time.  But the way I see it is that the Canadiens haven’t given up on him, and that’s what I like to see.

    It would be nice to have an honest to god 8 million dollar player and I’m guessing in a couple year we’ll have one (a goalie).

    I support Gomez, but I support the Canadiens management a lot more anything we all have to say.  It’s just that Management and I have something in common,  the same look now, and not “what if“.

    All right then, time to take the next super star to the rink. 

    Great discussion everyone.  That’s how it’s supposed to be.  Oh, one last thing.  Notice how nice this site is when the trolls are still past out?  haha

    They Call Me Shane

  56. Arrow77 says:

    I love how Eller is playing but he isn’t producing either. I hope his efforts rewards him very soon but until his first goal is scored and the piano off his back, he won’t be a viable replacement.

  57. Chris says:

    Through the first 34 games in 2009-10, Scott Gomez was sitting on 34 GP, 4 G, 14 A and 18 PTS .  He played the rest of the season at a clip of 44GP, 8 G, 33 A and 41 PTS.

    Through the first 22 games in 2008-09, Scott Gomez was sitting on 22 GP, 4 G, 10 A and 14 PTS.  He played the rest of the season at a clip of 55 GP, 12 G, 32 A and 44 PTS.

    In 2007-08, the slump was shorter, but still there:  through the first 11 games, Gomez had 2 goals and 1 assist for 3 points before going on a 9-game (12 point) scoring streak to salvage his season.

    Through the first 15 games in 2005-06, Scott Gomez was sitting on 15 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 PTS and a -8 rating.  He then went on a tear, putting up 13 points in the ensuing 8 games and ended up with 33 goals and 84 points on the season over 82 games played.

    In 2003-04, the early-season slump saw Gomez with 2 goals and 11 points through the first 23 games, although he would end up with 14 goals and 70 points on the season.

    This is who Gomez has almost always been (he did get off to a quick start in 2006-07, but that is just one season out of the past seven).  It is frustrating, but he has always found a way to get it going in the second half and has always done well in the playoffs.

    I hate the contract and I think there are a ton of players out there that could produce on an equal level in the regular season.  I don’t believe that Gomez is particularly solid defensively based on what I’ve seen over the past four seasons, despite carrying that label from his New Jersey days.

    But he’s here, he’s not going anywhere and he has been remarkably consistent at getting his 50-60 points per season so I don’t think we should be pushing the panic button yet.

  58. andrewberkshire says:

    I’m wondering how much longer until Eller usurps Gomez on the 2nd line. Unless Gomez starts producing this HAS to happen.

  59. andrewberkshire says:

    Funny gif, but I have to wonder about that woman’s sanity if she thinks Gustavsson is attractive. He looks like a heroin addict.

  60. B says:

    Irregardless of his ridiculous salary, a players ice time should reflect his play and right now Gomez’s production does not merit his TOI. How many other players would continue to be handed top TOI for so long despite putting up poor numbers like he has so far? One can notice and ask about things like this yet still see and enjoy the team’s success overall, they are not mutually exclusive. That said, I do see signs recently that he is starting to get more involved in the play on occasion rather than just continuing to buzz softly around the perimeter.

  61. lemess says:

    Completly agree – if we were not winning, it may be a different story but, as it is now, something seems to be working.  The game is more than stats – if Gomez finishes with 40 points and we finish with 50 wins – perfect!  He is a stanley cup veteran who is respected in the room and part of “the leadership group” of the team.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  62. Number31 says:

    And here’s what the “Monster” thinks of Komisarek

    Meh. Stop whining about Gomez. He’s a big part of this team but he’s NOT a scorer. A lot of times he shoots on net to get a rebound for his linemates but no one is ever there… Only time you know he’ll most likely score is in a shootout. And forget about his salary, most players are grossly overpaid anyway. Especially out of New York…

  63. sholi2000.com says:

    I’m guessing two or four rounds into the playoffs 🙂 

    They Call Me Shane

  64. sholi2000.com says:

    That’s how I look at it.  Imagine having Lecavlier right now.  Kovalchuk.  Or any other high-ender other than the team Players we have?

     

    They Call Me Shane

  65. ClaytonM says:

    The fact remains his current pace will get him 24 points this season, barring injuries.  When I do the math, I come up with $333,333.33 a point.  That seems like a lot, but I could be wrong.

    My concern is this – If we have a top centreman struggling, how deep can we go into the playoffs?  But I take heart knowing Gomez is a veteran player, he’s working hard every game if not every shift, and he’ll snap out of it before long.

    You can not ignore his salary, though, because his $8 million pricetag means we’ve got less wriggle room at the trade deadline to make any adjustments needed.

  66. sholi2000.com says:

    But what would this team look like if we didn’t have Gomez and Pyatt Richard?  I firmly believe that those two players are huge to the Canadiens.  Points or no points.

    However if I could say one thing to Gomez it would be this.  ” Scotty, go back to wearing 91″. 

    They Call Me Shane

  67. JVSmith says:

    People in this town need a scapegoat. Last year, it was Price, the year before Plekanec. Can you imagine had we gotten rid of them? It IS a team sport and let’s enjoy the fact that our boys are winning and winning regularly.

  68. ProHabs says:

    I wonder if Mike Komisarek if available for a trade. We could move him to center, have a 6ft4 center making only 4.5 million a year, and with that pass he dished out yesterday, Mike Cammalleri would be a sure 60 goal scorer playing on his wing.

    Very proud of this Habs team. Keep up the great play.

  69. RGM says:

    “If the guy was making 4 million a year you’d all be saying nothing right now.”

    And if cat hairs on the carpet were $5 bills I’d be a millionare.

    That’s the problem, though Shane, he’s not making $4M per season, he’s making double that and producing half as much as one would expect out of a $4M forward. In a salary cap world it is functionally and logically impossible to separate Gomez’s performance from his contract. It cannot be done. If he were a $4M player, that extra money could go to us getting another legitimate top-6 forward or a sturdy d-man to fill the vacancy left in the wake of the Markov injury.

    I’m not on the “trade Gomez” bandwagon, but I am firmly of the belief that he needs to do more. Every time he carries the puck over the blueline he zings towards the boards instead of zagging towards the middle, where more goals are scored. When he gets a chance all alone like he had last night, that needs to be a goal. When he’s on a breakaway, he needs to shoot, not stop and look for a pass that doesn’t exist.

    Yes the team is winning. Yes that gives us all a lot of joy. Yes that makes Gomez’s shortcomings less egregious than they would be if the team were in a collective slump and on a 4-game losing streak. But it does not change the fact that he needs to get his game in gear. If he’s on, we don’t need to hope that Carey can stop everything in the hopes of another narrow 2-0 win, we can be looking at free wings at La Cage and enjoying a nice 5-1 romp from time to time.

     

    Go Habs Go!

  70. Danno says:

    I agree Ian, but with the exception of the goals for department. That is in need of improvement. If you look at the games we have lost, they were due to lack of scoring production more than any other reason.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  71. Dintrox says:

    The Habs shut out the Leafs at the Bell. The last time this happened the Habs were playing in the Forum. Halpern works hard every shift and is now tied with Gionta in points. The PK looked like a PP at times last night. It was a surprisingly clean game with 4 total penalties. Komi is saying he made the right play and executed it incorrectly. However, on the PK you try and play it out along the boards not back in front. Gustavson had a good night. He kept the Leafs in the game particularly in the first when he made some big time saves. Should be a rough and tumble game Monday night in Philly.

  72. sholi2000.com says:

    Get Off Gomez’s Back!!!

    You win and lose as a team.

    If the guy was making 4 million a year you’d all be saying nothing right now.

    He’s a part of this team.  Right now you’re all sounding like the Price bashers, and we know what they’re eating right now.

    Stop looking at the price tag and start looking at what this team is as a whole.

    People want to move Gomez out.  Give me a break.  You know what that would do to a locker room?  It’s like losing a loved one.  I’m not going to pretend I know what they do in there, but I do know that moving important pieces out of a good situation will destroy a team.

    Ah that felt better  🙂 

     

    They Call Me Shane

  73. Ian Cobb says:

    Here are this weeks statistics on where we place in this 30 team league, compared to where we were last week.

    By far the most important stat is first.  For it reflects the total teams performance to date.

     

    Goals Against—39, We are in  2nd place.   Last week we were in  4th place.

    Total Points—–27, We are in  3rd place.    Last week we were in  5th place.

    Goals For——–51, We are in 21st place.   Last week we were in 15th place.

     

    These are championship winning statistics folks, that we have not  seen in Montreal for the past 25 years.

    It takes great vision over time, by great management boys and girls.


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