About last night …

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Photo of Ryan Miller by Dario Ayala of The Gazette)

Your Montreal Canadiens are 1-3-1.
They are fourth in the Northeast Division, 13th in the Eastern Conference.
Their only win is over the team that’s 14th.

And the Canadiens have allowed four more goals than they’ve scored.

So how come so many fans are smiling?

Delusional?

Maybe. But the kindly old coach was on to something when Jacques Martin said: “If we play that way every night, we’ll win our share of games.”

Ryan Miller stood on his head in the Sabres net. Martin said the Canadiens outchanced the Sabres 18-7, and some counts had the disparity even greater.

The Canadiens got great efforts from three forward lines.

With the exception of Josh Gorges, who made the mistake that turned the game around, the defence played its best game of the season.

Carey Price gave up a fat rebound that Jordan Leopold cashed for the Sabres’ first goal. The Canadiens’ goaltender wasn’t perfect … and Price had to be flawless to beat Ryan Miller.

Bottom line: your Montreal Canadiens played their best game of the season.

And it wasn’t good enough.

But the Wednesday morning practice in Brossard will be upbeat and positive because there were so much good stuff on display against the Sabres.

• Max Pacioretty had nine shots. His 19:51 ToI was second only to Brian Gionta’s 20:55 among the forwards.

• Raphael Diaz was the best Canadiens Dman. He scored his first NHL goal, making a sweet move to beat the great Miller, and played flawless hockey on the back end.

• Lars Eller is 100 per cent recovered, skating well, battling ferociously for pucks (the added muscle is helping) and making smart plays.

• Tomas Plekanec was the fastest forward in the building, had five shots on goal and meshed well with this season’s new linemates.

• P.K. Subban, who was awful against Colorado, bounced back with 25 minutes of ice time, four shots on goal and a solid effort marred only by a lapse on the Thomas Vanek goal …. and Gorges is wearing the horns for that whole schmozzle.

• Andrei Kostitsyn had four hits and continues to play like he cares.

• David Desharnais lost the draw to Paul Gaustad that led to the Vanek goal. But DD centred the Canadiens best line and continues to make sweet plays for Max-Pac and AK46.

• Alexei Emelin had six hits to lead both teams and made smart zone clearances.

• Yannick Weber played 22 error-free minutes.

• Scott Gomez went 14-8 on faceoffs and skated miles. Too many of his passes were imprecise, but Gomez is still crafting a bounce-back season.

• Erik Cole skated well and battled for pucks. But his three giveaways hurt.

• I didn’t see it, but Pierre Ladouceur thought the Canadiens’ fourth line outplayed Buffalo’s.

Another positive, and highly indicative of the flow of play: the Canadiens took only one minor penalty, to five for Buffalo.

Unfortunately, the power-play took another 0-for.

The PP is a weak-ass 2-for-21 on the season. That 9.5 per cent efficiency, combined with only 80 per cent on the penalty-kill, is not good. The combined number exceeds 100 on top-tier teams (Colorado is an otherwordly 31.8 and 90.5).

Three scoring lines, however, have the Canadiens playing much improved 5-on-5 hockey.

And if the special teams improve …

Well, don’t plan the parade just yet.

But step in off the window ledge. If the Canadiens play like they did last night on a consistent basis – and that’s a huge honking If – this is going to be an entertaining season.

85 Comments

  1. scott9002ca says:

    At least the Bruins had a tough night!

  2. timothy13 says:

    The morning after another loss and I will say this, the season is still young, and if the rebuilding continues hopefully mistakes will be fewer and the goals will add up on the Habs’ side of the W column. We need to beat teams besides merely out shoot them and that is possible only when mistakes are not costly in what amounts to a L. Pitts and TO will be tough and these games should build character. I wish writers would stop talking about teams that finished near the bottom last year because that season is OVER! 2011/12 began Oct 6th and it has not been kind to the Habs. The team needs to snap out of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. SPATS says:

    Kinda like starting your round with a 3 putt then a birdie then 3 more bogeys after splitting the fairways, hitting the greens and 3 putting (and all 3 were from close in lipouts) A small adjustment is all that’s needed and continued encouragement from your caddy (JM in this case)

    The pedal will remain firmly to the metal. No time to play too carefully. Controlled agression like we saw last night will prevail 9 times out of 10. Blame Miller he Halak’d us last night!

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  4. joeybarrie says:

    Not a great start to the season….
    However, Cole is still figuring out the team.
    We still have Markov, Spacek, Cammi, White, Campoli, etc, etc on the shelf. (2 of our best players)
    We have seen a lot more offense so far from this team.
    And our saving grace, special teams, went to Milwaukee.

    Still, we can have a good season, and if our players stay reasonably healthy we are a contender.

    BUT, we keep this up and we will be lucky to eek into the playoffs. We gotta figure something out. Cause any function of a few things happen during the season, and we have another slump… and we are looking at a top ten draft pick.

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

  5. Jdub1985 says:

    who’s smiling? the delusional coach?

    lets lose another one so JM can keep smiling.

  6. Feraco says:

    Oh how quickly we all forget!!!
    Was it not just 2 seasons ago a newly assembled team joined together and played their way to a Conference Final?
    Was it not last season through a very competitive Eastern divison we finished 6th and took our hated rivals to a game 7? Losing the game by one goal?

    In season 3 of the rebuild we have a ton of defensive injuries and a whole bunch of youth – 1/2nd year players:

    Desharnais, Emelin, Diaz, Weber, I’ll put Eller in, Pacioretty, PK and Price! We are finally seeing Gomez get 3rd line minutes and our top 2 lines are filled with Eller, Pacioretty and Desharnais. Not to mention our D playing with Weber, Emelin, Diaz and Pk all young / 1st yr guys.

    We are actually seeing an offence. Miller stole the show but alot of their chances we very good 1st shot opportunities, unfortunately, 0 rebounds. It was a well played game.

    I for one like this team, but I would really like them with Campoli in Weber’s spot. And I would really like them with a healthy Markov. Not to mention Cammalleri! He would have scored a few last night.

    Molson Ex mon ami

    • Jdub1985 says:

      Here’s to another 5 seasons of injuries and language unrest … protecting one goal leads and sneaking into the playoffs … maybe we’ll win a couple rounds …

      Stanley Cup … we Habs fans are too proud for that, we got 24 eh.

  7. rogieshan says:

    The fact that the team only drew one – ONE – penalty the entire night was a huge factor in its ability to play close to three solid periods. Our key PK guys (Plekanec, et al) were not their usual fatigued self. It would be nice if they could play with that discipline every night. But, seriously, how often are we going to see that?

  8. i’m excited to see emelin start getting used to the nhl level of play. kid is looking good and starting to land some great hits! :D

    ———-
    hip-check!

  9. MikeMcLaren says:

    So I am looking at a team that is 2 games under .500 early in the season, a hole that just seems impossible to climb out from.

    What strikes me, too, is that its composition is largely the same as last year. There weren’t a lot of changes in the off-season either. There was also a lot of talk about getting rid of the coach even into the playoffs last season, but nothing changed.

    That team? The Boston Bruins: Stanley Cup Champions.

    So a team that was the best in hockey last season, that made very few changes is struggling out of the gate. Yet their construction of the team was good enough to win the ultimate prize in hockey. I wonder how much their fanbase is panicking?

    I know it’s impossible given the audience I’m addressing, but people need to not make snap judgments so early in the year.

    There is a period of adjustment to the NHL, but Diaz and Emelin look to be making that adjustment somewhat quickly. Add Cammalleri back into the mix, three competent lines that can score, speed, more size and a Carey Price that will get back into his groove?

    But hey, why think about all the positives when you can think your favorite team, the one you cheer for with all your might is just done for the season 5 games into 82?

    Why even watch the games, really?

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  10. Brinkley says:

    Delusional?

    Not sure the fans and Jacques Martin are delusional – maybe more like wishful thinking.

    The bane of this team – for most of the past 30 years – has been an anemic offense.

    The Habs have lived by the PP and been one of the worst teams in the NHL 5-on-5.

    If their PP remains cold this team could be in for a real tough season.

    The patch job rebuild has never got this team past mediocrity….will be interesting to see if Geoff Molson opts for the
    complete rebuild – beginning with the hockey management department.

  11. SmartDog says:

    Does anyone else ever get the feeling that what MOST separates the Habs from being a top tier team is the ability to hit the corners instead of trying to wear a hole in the goalie’s chest?

    Seriously, what the boys need most is f-n shooting practice.
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • boonie says:

      Mr. Dog,

      Thanks for the insights to my query last night.

      Hope to see more wins. If more losses means long term change (roster changes, management changes, philosophical changes), then I’m for that too. Can’t lose.

      See ya ’round…

      • SmartDog says:

        LOL Funny, you said what I’ve been thinking. At this point, I can’t get more frustrated at letting good young guys go for nuthin to please Martin, team toughness that never quite gets resolved, faceoffs being a weakness, etc.

        You’ve gotta think at least that Martin and PG are running out of rope. Either they succeed with their game plan (yay!) or they don’t and the axe falls on some of the REAL problem areas (yah!) like coaches and GMs who over-value older worn-down players, or a player who should be parked in the minors to create MASSIVE cap space and goo opportunity to upgrad this (pretty good but not great) team.
        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  12. SeriousFan09 says:

    Really need Joonas Nattinen to hit his stride, hopefully so he can make MTL next season (a long shot) but seriously we need a guy with a compete level and faceoff talent for that 4th line and he’s showed both at the World Juniors, for 3 straight years.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  13. RetroMikey says:

    To be fair, Ryan Miller has to be the top goalie in the NHL.
    A Hart trophy candidate this year.

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

  14. G-Man says:

    Price must be better. Thus far this season, he’s an AHL goalie.
    Gionta, Gomez and Moen must be better.
    Pac, DD and AK played great, but only 1 goal for all those shots and Diaz scored it.
    Pleks, Cole and Eller looked good, but again, no goals.
    Dmen made a few bonehead plays (hi Josh!) but were pretty solid.
    4th line seems not to able to accomplish much at all; not much of a forecheck, not much of a physical presence and not much energy.
    Habs can improve if the players step up more.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      The way i look at it, time is needed to adjust to Muller,s replacement and for the new D to adjust and grown .The special unit are missing captain Kirk big time

    • RetroMikey says:

      Our downfall is we create scoring opportunities but cannot finish them.
      As the season progresses, we won’t be out shooting many teams and you have to capitalize on getting the W’s early one.
      We won’t be playing game in and out every night like we did last night.
      Remember, we are the Montreal Canadiens who do not play consistency 60 minutes game in and out.
      I still say a big CMan we need who can get physical in front of the net and score more goals than Plekanec or Cammalleri.
      The D is a mess since we did not sign Wiz and signed an injury prone DMan who will not be the same player if he returns healthy in the lineup.
      We need more players with grit on this team as well.

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

    • SmartDog says:

      Price wasn’t the problem last night.

      What was wrong with the Habs offence is the same thing that was RIGHT with the Sabres. Smart set plays, the right one or two guys to pounce on chances, PERFECT shots. The Habs have this “pepper the guy with pucks” mentality. It works but man it’s tiring to watch.

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

  15. Exit716 says:

    Gainey had to give up McDonagh because he was in a life and death battle with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Gomez sweepstakes. We didn’t lose McDonagh we gained two seasons of Tom “I got my face smashed in by Gregory Campbell’s elbow pad” Pyatt.

  16. HolyHabs says:

    Note to Carey Price
    WAKE UP!!!!

    Your .885 Save Percentage ranks 32nd in the league and we haven’t even played any powerhouses yet. Yea yea, Halak is 39th at .835 but who cares. If you don’t come to play, we’ll be looking at a top 10 draft pick next summer and the fans won’t be chilling out for too much longer.

  17. JF says:

    I’m going to try not to be too negative, although I was ready to smash the television screen when the Sabres scored with 3 seconds left in the second period. I knew right away how the third period would go and what the outcome would be. Actually I was pretty sure before the game started – how many times in recent years have we watched Ryan Miller stone us?

    I guess there are two ways to look at this loss. JM’s way – if we play that well every night, we’ll win a lot of games. And the catastrophizing way – we played our best game of the season and we still lost, so we’re doomed.

    I’m leaning towards the second way. Yes, we played well, better than the Sabres for most of the game. But against a goaltender like Miller, you have to capitalize on your chances, and we mostly didn’t. We seem to have more depth on offence than last year, but lack of finish still plagues us. The Sabres had only a couple of clear looks at Price during the first two periods, but they scored on both of them.

    Had it not been for the late icing call, this would have been a tie game. I’m not going to blame Gorges; hockey is a game of mistakes. But it’s disheartening that, in a game where we actually made very few, they both end up in the back of our net.

    Price has to be better. Not that he was bad last night, but having very little work to start the game made him perhaps less sharp than he needs to be.

    It’s looking like we’ll be in very tough to make the playoffs. If, when the trade deadline rolls around, we’re in a dogfight for eighth spot, I hope Gauthier does not trade away any assets to make it so we can watch the team lose in the first round and get another middle-of-the-pack draft pick. This story is getting old. Other teams improve dramatically, but we remain, year after year, a bubble team.

    • Chris says:

      Ouch…when you are feeling down on the team’s chances, then I know that dark clouds are coming.

      I have to agree…no more stop-gap trades, and to be honest, I’d rather see them stay away from any more UFA signings to fill spots on the 3rd or 4th lines. We’ve got enough young forwards coming up that probably project as 3rd or 4th liners (at least in the short-term) that the team should be saving it’s splashes for true impact players that might be available. Leblanc will be a nice addition for the 3rd line in 2 years or so and Kristo could do well there too.

      I’m really liking what I’m seeing from Palushaj (great speed and good compete level) and I think White has earned a spot in the bottom-6. So while guys like Moen and Darche have been valuable contributors, it is time to go with the younger kids.

      The defence corps is actually round out nicely. Diaz, Weber and Emelin are all playing solid hockey, and Subban will eventually bounce out of his funk. Gorges should be around for a while, so there is some trade-bait there to pick up a stay-at-home defenceman to replace Gill.

      Up front, the team will probably see diminished performances from Gomez, Cole and Gionta, but Cammalleri and Plekanec still have some peak years left in them. So while I’m sure we’re all hoping the team pulls it together and plays to its potential this season, I’m becoming more and more optimistic about the team that they are building for 2-3 years from now.

      The missing ingredient remains a true, bona fide sniper…Cammalleri is a poor man’s version of the top goal scorers in the NHL. 2012 sees only Parise as a true elite player that might be available (and I doubt he makes it to free agency). 2013 features Crosby (again, I’d be surprised if he makes it), Perry and Getzlaf.

      So it might mean that the team is going to have to try and make a blockbuster trade if we’re going to see that elite goal-scorer come over, because I don’t see one on the team or in the system in the foreseeable future.

      • JF says:

        Chris – I feel less negative now than I did a couple of hours ago when I wrote the above. First, there was a lot to like about last night – the intensity, the discipline, the driving to the net, the chances created, not to mention my new favourite scoring a goal. Second, I agree with you about the future. We have some potentially very good players in the pipeline; it’s a matter of letting them develop and using those who don’t fit to acquire more pieces. As for a true sniper – could that player not be Ryan Gallagher? The missing ingredient for me is still the big, dominant first-line centre, unless Eller can grow into that role. But overall, the future looks bright; it’s just the present that sucks, and I have to think they’ll start winning soon.

  18. Ferg says:

    Everyone sees different things, but I don’t blame Josh Gorges as much as AK46 on that Vanek goal. No way a sniper like Vanek should be allowed to drift into shooting position like that. AK46 had to be right on top of him. But yes, I agree AK46 is playing like he cares.

    What really bothers me is why the league (and officials) allow a line of pure thugs like McCormick, Kaleta and Gaustad to do their routine every shift. They have no interest in scoring or preventing scoring. They are just out there to run the goalie and get into a scrum after the whistle. And the officials could shut it down but they let it go. Someday, our goalie or someone else’s will get run out of a game with an injury thanks to guys like these. But skill guys like Price are a dime a dozen. What the league really values are lip draggers like that Buffalo trio.

    I know I’m dreaming, but think what it would be like to have a league of skill players. If every team played a Montreal or Detroit style. I’d like to see it.

  19. HolyHabs says:

    Looks like Scott Gomez really wants to earn his $7,500,000 salary and $7,357,143 cap hit.
    5 Games played. 0 goals, 1 assist. minus -1.
    And guess what? We have 2 more years of that cap hit and another $10 million in salary.

    Thanks Gainey for the 7 million pound anchor that squeezes the life out of the team and ability to make moves. And don’t get me going about throw in Ryan McDonagh in that trade playing + 25 minutes for the Rangers and making EL $1.3M this year and next.

    • SmartDog says:

      Yah, and he doesn’t even do funny interviews anymore.

      Gainey’s still wearing goat horns on that one. Especially as you say, with McDonagh. I think even among Gomez fans (maybe I should say “tolerators”, I don’t think he has fans anymore), that part is a head-scratcher.

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

    • Wake Up says:

      Everytime Gomez touched the puck I told my 2 sons, ‘watch this he’s going to skate himself into a corner and give the puck away’….he did it everytime!!! When was the last time anyone said..’what a great game by Gomez’? Has he ever had a great game for the Habs? I would rather see a young player make those mistakes and gain experience rather than an overpriced career underachiever who will be gone when his contract is up, hopefully sooner!

  20. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Two words. Ryan Miller. I’d like to agree with Jack Martin and say we’d win most games if we play that well. If not I guess it looks like we’ll be challenging for a lottery pick with Boston, San Jose Tampa and Vancouver.

  21. davecessna says:

    I knew Vanek would have a killer season, but this is unreal. I picked him over Stamkos, Ovechkin, and (obviously) Crosby in my pool. Woohoo.

  22. NCRhabsfan says:

    Does anyone else find it strange how we seemto have lowered the bar for Gomez? For 7+ million bucks a year one should reasonably expect an elite dman (i.e. a perennial Norris candidate) or a top twenty scorer. Our guy has one assist in 5 games and is being outscored by our two Swiss dmen. But if he looks like he cares, everyone gets excited and some folks say he is fashioning “a rebound” season. People seem to be satisfied if he “skates miles” even if it produces nothing. Scott isn’t having any trouble going to the bank to get his paycheques, we shouldn’t be happy with anything less than what we’re paying for! So far, he isn’t delivering, again!

  23. RGM says:

    Over an 82-game campaign, you win some you probably should lose and you lose some you probably should win – last night was one of the latter. Hats off to Miller for turning in a pretty superlative performance. I’m not knocking Carey here, but in 3 of the Habs’ 5 games so far he has decidedly been the second-best goalie on the ice. He was good in the losses to Toronto and against Buffalo last night but not good enough to win, he was not great at all against Calgary, and the Colorado game neither goalie will use on their resume.
    But one thing that is really telling:
    # Player Pos G A P +/-PIM S
    11 S. Gomez C 0 0 0 -1 0 2
    21 B. Gionta R 0 0 0 -2 0 3
    32 T. Moen L 0 0 0 0 5 2

    That line is not doing anybody any favours out there. Pacioretty has been on fire, yes, but he shouldn’t be out-shooting an entire line that makes a combined $12M more than he does.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  24. theflower says:

    I think we should not be looking for excuses as to why we lost last night. Frankly, we played our best game of the year last night and lost. It happens, that’s hockey. If we play this way every game we will win more than we lose at the end of the year. The concern of mine is that same as before, consistency. We go from giving no effort and not showing up to giving lots of effort, from minute to minute, period to period and game to game. That for me is the real issue. I don’t care what team you are in the NHL you will make mistakes from time to time as we did last night, it’s how you deal with the mistakes you make that matters. In the situations we have made mistakes we have not bounced back so far this year and that for me is a telling tale as to the long term fate of this team. I have been a fan since I was born and while this is not the worst team I have seen in 46 years of my life, it would be in my bottom 25% of Habs teams. That worries me and I hate to say it, right now it’s quite possible we don’t win another game in October. How long will the Molson’s keep Jackie? He is clearly not the answer, I hope for the losses in October to force change in the front office! Because either way mediocrity is all we have in our future unless changes are made.

  25. Habsrule1 says:

    Good morning all,
    I’m curious to know what you guys think of this. I’m a bit torn on how I feel about the game, and the coach and players.
    I think we have a good team on paper and I predicted them to finish around 5-6 place in the conference. I was starting to think that JM is not getting enough out of this group, but now, for the last 2 games, they’ve had over 40 shots. If the game plan was so bad, the Habs would not be taking 40 shots per game. JM really can’t do much about the players not finishing and actually putting the puck in the net. That’s THEIR job.
    On the other hand, if this team starts 1-8-1 in the first 10 (ok, I hope I’m exagerrating), is there a chance JM would get fired? If so, who would you all see replacing him? Who do you “see” replacing him…and who would you “want” to replace him?
    I’d love to see Patrick Roy, but I’m not sure the Habs would bring him in yet.
    Thanks for the responses…have a good day.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am not a big JM supporter, but if that is how the team plays under him, hard to fault him.

      I have heard some people mention an assistant coach in the AHL as a possible coach for the team, apparantly he is a good Communicator and is worth beaming up by many. (oh i know terrible, but its early)

    • theflower says:

      The problem for me is that the Montreal Canadiens must have a french speaking coach and frankly there are very few available of quality with that requirement right now. Roy is unproven, but I think would rather be a GM than a coach. Boucher is gone, the rest of our ex French Canadian coaches are coaching other teams as they apparently were not good enough to coach us like Julien, Vigneault et al. That leaves Jacques Lemaire, who doesn’t really like Montreal anymore, Bob Hartley, who could do the job, Mario Tremblay who if he is ever behind the bench again, I will personally punch in the face haha! That’s about it for candidates. Our best one we gave to Tampa and we are left with the never won anything in his life jackie Martin. So those are our choices, if I missed somebody let me know:)

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Isn’t Marc Crawford Bilingual? I woudn’t want him, but he would qualify under the french requirement and does have a Cup ring.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        How about Marc Crawford? And can we get Hartley? I think he’s in Europe somewhere so I assume he’s under contract? Any really good coaches in the minors? What about some names of some really good coaches who are available that could learn a few words in French to please some of the Francophone fans. wouldn’t that, along with a winning team, go a long way?

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        Isn’t “having” to have a French speaking coach, instead of having to have a good coach, how you end up going 18 seasons without winning anything? Shouldn’t the ability to get your team to win be the first, and only, thing that’s important?I know that’s unrealistic, but the Habs will never be as good as they can be if they let linguistic bias determine what should be hockey choices.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        I don’t think there are any candidates. Lemaire is firmly retired, Hartley hasn’t had real work in years either.. Some say Crawford but what’s he doing? TSN analysis and from what some people tell me, good reason.

        I honestly don’t think there is a French-speaking candidate that can replace JM and do better.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

        • RetroMikey says:

          I agree, Martin is a good coach. If we had better players on our team we would be winning and not losing.
          Can’t fault the coach, players are paid to perform and play under a coach whether it be Martin on our team as head coach or someone else.
          Let’s face reality here, we overrate and hype our players too much on this site which is our downfall.

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

  26. HardHabits says:

    Pittsburgh, Toronto, Florida, Philadelphia and a back to back against Boston to round out the month of October. The Habs will be lucky to get 5 points.

    The only positive I see is the Habs look like they’ll be picking high in the draft in 2012, which is probably the best news for this franchise since the Habs selected Guy Lafleur. Hopefully they don’t select another Doug Wickenheiser (RIP).

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      There are some good forward candidates in the next draft, C Brendan Gaunce in the OHL has a rising profile, problem is it might rise a bit too high. Don’t really need the Habs drafting another D in the first round, I say the role the dice at whatever pick they have for the explosive talent, boom/bust I don’t care. Put it all on Red and see where it goes.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

  27. JoeC says:

    How many teams last year would say the same thing about Price we are saying about Miller last night? Price seems to be a better goalie when he gets peppered with the puck all night long, i think that rebound he let out for the first goal was cause he was sleeping, and the Vanek goal, even miller couldnt have stopped that perfect shot, that setup was an AMAZING thing to watch.

    This game was a stepping stone, Diaz even looks more confortable, he is moving up into plays which is showing how much more faith he has in his game. I still like Emelin better, the kids FINALLY starting to play physical, like we all need, and were hoping he would. Another sign that he seems more comfortable. BUT Georges stunk the joint up last night, not any of our rookies, and thats a bit disheartening.

    The forward lines of Pleks and DD where amazing last night, Gomez and Gionta where not, they need to be split up tommorow, but the problem is how? Put Eller with Gio? Gomez on the 4th line and Palu a winger with either Plexs or Eller? Or Try Gomez on a wing? I have no clue, but those 2 are NOT working together at all, its sad to see how much Patchs makes them look better.

    Patchs is a MONSTER

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Kind of strange that in back to back games our Dman wearing the horns are the 2 guys we probably had the most faith in going into the season. I suppose that is better than watching rookie Dman make glaring errors.

      I Have to believe that just as PK picked up his game, Josh will to the same.

  28. Cole, Gionta, Gomez, Pleks. If those guys don’t produce, then it doesn’t matter how bad Carey is. I say tough out it out for October and see what November brings.

    At least the Tanker Crew will be happy today. Lose to win they say.

    On another note because so many people love him.

    Allan Walsh Night. Man that man loves himself. He mentioned every one of his clients last night. Well he forgot Halak, but that’s understandable.

    “If the St. Louis Blues continue to struggle (headed for a 2-4 record), it wouldn’t shock me to see them eventually trade Jaroslav Halak.” Blues Fan

    I think Halak is a sign of the times. You can’t be passive. Great to be “quiet” and stoic in net, but you need to be athletic & dynamic. The Goalguild

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

    • HardHabits says:

      Ahem. I am the tanker crew. The only one here with the stones to admit it too.

      Face it. Teams don’t win unless they are deep or talented or both. The Habs are neither. To be deep and talented a team needs top picks. Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Eller is what the Habs should be building around, not Gomez, Gionta and Cole.

      The sooner Gomez is gone and the Habs acquire a true #1 centre the sooner this team can be in the win column and hopefully vie for a top 5 over-all finish in the standings. That isn’t happening until Gomez is gone and even the return of Markov wont push the Habs that far over 500.

      Hopefully the Habs pick that #1 centre next draft because they are not going to acquire one via free agency. The Habs have enough #2 centre prospects in the pipes with Bournival, Leblanc and Eller.

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    This team showed alot of compete last night. Ryan Miller is in my opinion the best goalie in the NHL. Tim Thomas had a better year last year, but over the past 5 seasons no one has been more consistent than Miller.

    Unfortunately this is one of those games where you dominate but don’t cash in, while your goalie is not busy and this is difficult. Yes we need Price to be the goalie that the day after you say wow he stole that game for us, but tha usually means you have been outplayed just as Buffalo was last night.

    In a tight game like this the Habs really miss the only true sniper on the team in Cammy, and the PP quarterback of Markov.

    Given our injuries, I think talks of competing for a divisional title or a top 4 seed in the East may have to wait a year. This team will be in a fight for the bottom 4 Eastern seeds, but provided Markov does come back, the team improves alot.

    Great to see Weber, Emelin and Diaz have strong games. If these 3 can continue to develop, we may actually have depth at D by the time Markov and Spacek come back. Campoli I think becomes a bit of a non factor, perhaps if he is recovered by trade deadline he can be used for bait.

    Unfortunately, for all the strong play no points were gained. However, Buffalo is probably one of the more complete teams in the East presently.

    Need to take 2 points from Pittsburgh, take advantage of No Malkin, Crosby or Letang.

    Nice game, unfortunate result.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Burl. I think your take is dead on. I tossed all night with the thought of, Habs can’t play any better then last night and we score 1 goal and come away with a loss. Hurts. Glad Chrisadiens is on vacation. At least I don’t have to console him.

      @jimlaplante

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hopefully he watched the game at some bar with a 12″ colour tv with snow on the screen while sipping his rums, otherwise he would be a complete wreck!

        All day yesterday I kept hoping we might find out Cammy could play, in a tight game like that with chances galore, is where he shines.

        The team overall played well, we have to let that be the positive.

        CHeers!

        • GenerationYHabs says:

          Reminds me of the WJC final last January.

          Thirty or so guys in Team Canada jerseys surrounding every ince of a Cuban hotel lobby bar yelling and cheering at a 20″ sceen. With everyone else surrounding them with puzzled looks on their faces asking “What are those crazy Canadians up to now?”

    • they played well, but not the best they can. we really missed cammy but i’m not convinced he is the only guy who can understand to shoot high on the most consistent goalie in the league.

      ———-
      hip-check!

  30. jimmy shaker says:

    It’s miller time baby!

    Shaker

  31. 1010 says:

    I’m not one to bash CAREY, and I’ve always believed they did the right thing in keeping him, but in my opinion Riemer, Kipper, Miller and the Russian dude have all outplayed him so far.
    We keep hearing about how good the other guy was.
    We need that guy to be Carey and we need it now.
    We can smile all we want Mr. Boone but…

    GO HABS…

  32. j2w4habs25 says:

    Ryan Miller looked good because every shot he saw coming at him from atleast 30 to 50 feet. They Habs weren’t crashing his net as they should’ve. IF Ryan Miller is going to see the shot he is going to save it – these Habs were giving him point shots, and shots way far from him. They took it too easy on him – But he did give out big rebound that should’ve tucked in.

    I am not going to watch the game against the Pens but I will against Toronto. Lets hope they play like they did tonight and find some winning spirit again.
    Carey Price #31

    • Vladdy Mondavi says:

      I totally agree about the perimeter shots.
      Getting shots to the net could create chances, but when nobody’s around to crash/cash in… then the Habs are just contributing to Miller’s Vezina’s stats.
      I’d like to see the Habs hang on to the puck for another split-second before making a play (as Diaz did on his goal).
      … then again it’s easier to assess the play from a birds-eye view, with my assets on the couch.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        A good example of that was the PowerPlay where we had just got into Buffalo’s zone, and I think Gomez passed to MaxPac who one timed a slapshot with no one else near the net yet. That is just too easy for Miller to stop, and we aren’t even ready for the rebound.

  33. habs-hampton says:

    I agree with your assessment, except for Gomez. Yeah, he skated miles, but his passes are HORRIBLE and when they are accurate, everyone sees it coming, so its easily picked off.

  34. MontrealAtheist says:

    Can’t speak for everybody else, but the way I see it every loss brings us one step closer to JM being fired and that’s a good thing … Things can only get better from there and once he’s gone we can actually start building a competitive team and perhaps work on bringing the Cup back to Montreal. It certainly ain’t gonna happen with JM.

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    When did Ron Wilson coach a Cup Final team?

    Interesting the 2 most storied franchises in NHL History have two coaches with most tenure for average results.

  36. HolyHabs says:

    Ron Wilson Washington Cup final 1998

  37. G-Man says:

    Your constant criticism of management is bordering on the insane. Management does not lace them up.

  38. +25 bud

    ———-
    hip-check!

  39. Might be a little early for that.

    – Habs correspondent for Inside Hockey, Check it out.
    http://insidehockey.com/author/joe-baronello

  40. Ferg says:

    Now, don’t go all Don Cherry on me. All I’m saying is that that line has no interest in anything except mixing it up. And they get away with it because the league cuts “energy guys” slack. And consecutive 12 goal seasons aren’t worth the price of admission. You’re not thinking progressive. You’re thinking same old same old. So you will always have same old same old.


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