About last night …

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So what, Perry Pearn was the problem?

That’s a tough one to figure … and, as is his wont, the general manager wasn’t much help.

Pierre Gauthier talks to his hockey team less often than he talks to the media.

But for the first time since New Year’s Day, when he went into the room to tell the players Maxim Lapierre had been traded, Gauthier addressed the Canadiens before the game against Philadelphia, delivering the news that  Pearn had been relieved of his duties.

Was it motivation for the Canadiens’ solid effort?

Tough to say … but it worked better than Gauthier’s last speech. On Jan. 2, the Canadiens lost 4-3 to Atlanta in OT.

Gauthier’s rationale for the move was unenlightening corporate bafflegab that had reporters scratching their heads and wondering whether they’d just heard about a coach sacking or the launch of a new deodorant.

What changed behind the bench was a more assertive role for Randy Ladouceur. He ran the defencemen, and they responded with probably the best zone play we’ve seen from the Canadiens this season.

Carey Price, who made some game-changing stops in finally securing his 100th win, described the D as “excellent”, and that’s a fair assessment of what has been the Canadiens’ major weakness.

The forwards have been fine.

Erik Cole is rounding into excellent form. He, Max Pacioretty (more about that Bionic Man below), Andrei Kostitsyn, Travis Moen and Michael Blunden give the Canadiens size that outhit the Prongerless Flyers 24-16 (Blunden led with five).

There are three lines that can score. The win over Philadelphia was the third time the Canadiens have put a “5” on the scoreboard in nine games. Last season, the third five-or-more effort was Game 26 on Dec. 2 in New Jersey.

And you have to like dirty goals off second and third chances – a consequence of Cole et al driving to the net.

With all this firepower – and depth at centre – I’ll cover my ears and invite the Commentariat to speculate on Scott Gomez’s role when he returns.

But the key is D, and the indicator is minutes.

P.K. Subban led the team with 23:41 ToI, but Yannick Weber was right up there at 21:39.

Their ice time meant more reasonable loads for Josh Gorges, who played 20:38, and Hal Gill, whose 17:48 included three minutes on a much-improved PK.

I love Gorges and I have since he made the team. But keeping an undersized Dman (who was an undrafted free agent out of junior) under 22 minutes helps get the best out of Gorges when he’s on the ice.

Likewise for Gill, only more so. He and fellow geezer Jaroslav Spacek had the kind of ToI that befits their advanced years, and it paid off in getting quality minutes – Spatcho blocked five shots – when they were on.

Raphael Diaz, who did not look good on Philadelphia’s goal, played only 15:54. The Swiss defenceman’s NHL acclimatisation will be a project for Ladouceur, and Diaz is going to be a good one.

For now, however, he has slipped behind his countryman.

Weber is playing his best hockey since joining the big club. And, as Jacques Martin pointed out, Weber has scored the key goals in both of the team’s wins: a 4-on-3 power-play blast to make it 3-1 in Winnipeg and snuff the Jets’ hopes of making a game of it, and another PP laser that drew the Canadiens even with Philadelphia with three seconds left in the first period.

How often have we seen the Canadiens victimized by dagger-to-the-heart last-seconds goals?

It was nice to see them get one for a change.

And it will be nice to see Max Pacioretty in action home-and-home against Boston – two fraught encounters that were jeopardized by his wrist injury.

Max-Pac said he had to compensate by using his legs and size more, which he feels is the key to his game. He had two goals, an assist and finished at plus-3.

He’s ready for Chara.

And the Canadiens appear to be ready for the Bruins, with whom they are tied at six points and outside looking in, if the playoffs started tomorrow.

But there’s a lot of hockey to be played between now and the postseason.

And your Montreal Canadiens took longer to win a home ice game than any team in 102 years of history.

They’re not out of the woods.

But there’s a glimmer of sunlight in the distance.

Two losses to Boston, however, and Gauthier might have to fire another assistant coach.

For now, let’s enjoy the light …

60 Comments

  1. Un Canadien errant says:

    terrygain, please be clear that I’m not advocating he sit out any games. His shot is lethal, we are a better team with him in our lineup. I am saying he needs extra coaching, so sit down with him in the video room and show him what kind of situations he gets into, and what other players who he should pattern his play after. I am saying Andrei has many qualities, but being smart with the puck is not one of them, he has good instincts with the puck but no imagination, so let’s give him some operational guidelines he can follow (Shoot the puck quickly when you get a pass in the offensive zone. On a low-percentage shot aim low to generate a rebound. When checked hard/not sure what to do with the puck ensure positional advantage by sending the puck further in the opposing team’s zone….)

    Michel Bergeron stated quite a few times this pre-season that a coach’s job is to repeat the same message over and over again, reminding the players. I agree, but would add that a good coach finds different ways to repeat the message. Quick smart players like Mr. Desharnais or Yannick Weber only need to be told once. With Mr. Kostitsyn, my feeling is he needs to be told often, and that may grate on him. He has shown in the past that he is not a mentally strong player, he sulks and pouts and feels targeted. So you have to be careful with him, maybe having a regular personal video session with him with an assistant coach is another way to get the message through.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  2. The Pickle says:

    Ray Ferraro has a hate-on for AK so big that I’m surprised a french media outlet hasn’t hired him yet. He singles out AK all the time for mistakes that aren’t even his fault. So he lost the puck while trying to make something happen. That happens to EVERY SINGLE GUY IN THE LEAGUE. How many times has PK coughed it up trying to protect the puck at the line on the PP? And this BS about AK not driving the net? That’s how he scored the GWG last night. Besides, I don’t want him dropping his shoulder and taking it to the net, I want him firing that laser beam he has. He played well last night and he’s been the best forward this year along with Pacioretty. But I read in the Journal today 42% of fans surveyed are not satisfied with his play, which was the worst on the team. Darche checked in at 55% satisfaction rate, one of the 3 guys over 50% (Cammy and Plekanec). Most knowledgable fans in the league? Please…

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Last night’s lowlight that he commented on also caught my eye, it made me bolt up out of my seat too, as I posted below. It was a clear example of Mr. Kostitsyn being a low-hockey-IQ player. He is not an imaginative, intelligent, driven player, but rather an opportunistic and instinctive player. With too much time with the puck, he can’t sort out the options and usually does the wrong thing with it.

      You’re quite right that he scored by driving the net, he should be commended for it, but later on in the same game he didn’t drive towards the net, and lost the puck on a soft play. These things need to be pointed out to him by his coaches and teammates. Repeat the behaviours which mostly end up in a positive outcome, avoid those that don’t.

      PK Subban has been coughing up the puck also, and he gets criticized for it, Mr. Kostitsyn should be corrected as well.

      Now if we could just take Mr. Desharnais’ brain and transplant it into Mr. Kostitsyn’s body….. (cue eerie organ music, blood curdling shriek).

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • 1010 says:

      If 50 percent of fans are happy with Pleks play this year then we better stop making fun of how stupid the Bruins fan base is.
      That’s ridiculous.

      GO HABS…

  3. caladin says:

    I agree we got lucky last night, especially in the first, but it was exactly the same kind of lucky that several of our opponents have been against us.
    I’m really happy with the way our forward lines are shaping up, and it’s hard to deny that Spacek has helped stabilize our D.
    IMHO there are two real questions for the team now:
    What to do with Gomez when he recovers, and how to add some crunch to the D.
    In my fantasy world I’d just trade Gomez for Myers and plan the parade, but I’d love to heat some more realistic ideas.
    Man was that a fun game to watch!

    Keep Hope Alive.

  4. smiler2729 says:

    Seems the Habs got lucky last night… and so did I, hubba hubba

    ___________________________________________________________
    “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

  5. Will Longlade says:

    After a shaky first frame and some lucky bounces, the Habs dominated the Pronger-less Flyers in all aspects of the game. IMO, Pearn’s firing had a lot to do with his inability to get Subban to play the controlled, team-oriented game that the Habs need from him. Last night, Subban delivered precisely that type of performance. Not flashy, but effective and efficient. PG’s unenlightened corporate bafflegab decoded.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      To take the opposing view, Mr. Gauthier showed class by deflecting blame off Mr. Pearn. He didn’t throw him under the bus, much like Brian Burke didn’t do when he let Ron Wilson’s assistants go in the off-season. Mr. Gauthier is probably right that Mr. Pearn is a good, talented hockey man, but the mix of coaches was wrong, so he decided to let one go.

      Sometimes relationships don’t work out, and a change is needed, kind of like your divorced friends. They’re both great people, but together they didn’t fit anymore.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  6. RetroMikey says:

    Yes it was a great W. but I’m not going to get excited about this team at all for the rest of the season.
    We still have many problems with size up front, a very weak D as well.
    Hopefully there will be more firing coming and more player changes on this team.
    Like I have always said, bigger is better!

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

    • Natrous says:

      Buddy, you might as well not get excited about this team for the next few seasons, cause like it or not, Cammalleri, Gionta, and Plekanec, let alone others who are less than 6′ tall aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. No matter that guys like Cole (6’2″), Blunden (6’4″), Nokelainen (6’1″) have been brought in to replace guys like Halpern (6’0″), Pyatt (5’11”), Pouliot (plays like 5’0″) – that wouldn’t be good enough for an Eeyore like you. It’s always doom and gloom for rainy day fans like RetroMonkey.

      Even your signature is a joke – if you had any hope for the Habs, you’d put Price’s name in that “?” of yours, given that he’s the frickin’ FRANCHISE player that we’ve needed since Roy left town, and the main cornerstone of hope of ever seeing a 25th cup come to town within the next 15 years (if we’re lucky enough to keep him for that long).

      Blanket statements like your post above of “I’m not going to get excited about this team at all for the rest of the season” and signatures with question marks only underscore the hockey knowledge that you tout – and underscore it with a big ‘?‘.

      • RetroMikey says:

        Aaaah, you called me RetroMonkey….aaah that hurts.
        Keep daydreaming Natrous if you think this team is going far this season and seasons to come with Plekanec, Cammalleri and Gionta to name a few, keep dreaming!
        And what the heck? A franchise player to take us to the next 25th Cup? lol! Keep dreaming! We need a major overhaul on this team form management, coaches and players.
        So genus, what’s your prediction, a Cup in MOntreal this year? Plan the parade!

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

        • Natrous says:

          I hope you were able to read past the gradeschool-level jab at your name, but after reading your posts, it’s too hard to pass up.

          I never said cup this year; I’m realistic. That said, I’m not going to whine and complain every time they win, and then tell everyone “I told you so” every time they lose like you do. Year after year, under Gainey and now under Gauthier, the team has gradually improved as a whole. If the team maintains this trajectory, they should be cup contenders within a few years. In today’s Parity NHL, many teams are a few trades away from greatness (see Boston Bruins c.2010). But that probably never crossed you mind. Keep clownin’, monkey.

  7. roady says:

    good things happen when you go to the net…gotta say I didn’t give the boys much of a chance last night…Flyers were toying with us for 19:58 …did not look good. Desharnais was heads up when he found Weber with 2 clicks on the clock…the kid is magic in those situations, always has been. Seemed to me like the players decided enough was enough, and Eric Cole lead the way with a strong effort all night…Max was tremendous, no surprise there…he was a beast for sure…AK got a nice ugly one, the man’s a Tank when he wants to be. Price made the big stops when needed…as usual ! Fourth line…we have one… !! Blunden, Nokelainen, Darche…leave them alone JM… Cammalleri, DD, & Cole work well together…turn them loose and they get the job done….don’t touch a thing, and bring on the Bruins !! Congrats to Carey on 100 wins !!

    take your drink to the end of the bar,buddy…come on now, don’t be a fool…

  8. Timo says:

    So… who’s got the tickets for the parade? Is it too late to book mine?

  9. HabsFansince49 says:

    I like the Jimmy Cliff clip. Hope we can sing that tomorrow morning (Friday). Nice to win though.

  10. JF says:

    Has Yannick Weber finally earned a bit of respect and a spot on the team, or will he still be dismissed as a “Swiss miss”? That goal was as big as any he’s scored for us. The first period last night was among the most futile we’ve played all year, but Weber’s goal lit a fire and it was a different team that took the ice in the second and third periods. Speed, forechecking, intensity, crashing the net – those are the things that will win games. Suddenly the Flyers looked slow and soft; our guys were skating circles around them and the bounces were going our way. Erik Cole is starting to look like the player we thought we were getting.

    There’s a lot of work still to be done, and it’s one win, albeit a win over one of the strongest teams in the Conference. We’re only just out of the basement, but things suddenly don’t look completely impossible. Provided we can get around the apparent law that if we score a bunch of goals in one game, we can’t score the next…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      When he layed the stick and forearms to VanRiemsdyk after JVR snowshowered Price, I was very proud to see that. It was being a dman that protects his keeper. We haven’t seen enough of this from our D and I felt that play spoke volumes of Weber getting comfortable back there. Now doing that to Thornton, Lucic and other large Bruins may or may not be another question.

      • krob1000 says:

        That was good to see, he showed a little bit of nastiness on another scrum in front too… someone’s gotta do it. I am not sure if Weber can back it up but just the fact he is standing up for Price is a big improvement over what we have seen.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Price kept us in the game during the early going and MaxPac’s gusty performance certainly moved him up the hit parade (with a bullet, 1050CHUM). I also thought that DD was certainly no worse than Gomez.

      Still missing in action – Brian Gionta. Time for him to step it up and act like a captain. One goal in nine games isn’t going to cut it.

      • stephen says:

        I think if they can keep Gionta playing with Pleks and Pacs, he’ll get his share of goals.

      • krob1000 says:

        Between Eller and Desharnais I am quit confident we will be alright up the middle by next year without Gomez…which is perfect timing with the Gomez contract structure. I can see us moving him in the offseason if we are able to recover fromt his horrid start and by the deadline if not. Desharnais has rpoven the last year that he can play up to the level of his linemates…he is not capable of creating all on his own with his size but paired with wingers who will find and can create their own space he is nearly as good of a passer as Gomez…..I am a wee bit worried he is starting to look only to pass wherea as last year he shot the puck more or so it seemed….I beleive that is eventually what led to Gomez’s downfall…he became one dimensional and no threat himself.

    • dicktracy says:

      Weber was a major part of the Kitchener Rangers 2007-08 that won the OHL title and ranked #1 in the league that year.

      He was on the all star team and scored 20 goals and 55 points. Kadri scored only 65 on that same team as a forward.

      I think we should have given him respect as a very good prospect coming out of junior. He also did very well in his time with the bulldogs.

      No reason to believe he won’t develop into a very good defenceman here.

      Another good pick by Mr. Timins.

  11. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    What amazes me is how every single poster on HIO predicted last night’s victory perfectly.
    There’s some serious hockey smarts here.

    Okay, I was figuring 4-0 Flyers…

  12. andykirstein says:

    Let’s not get too excited. A win had to come sooner or later.
    And please (pretty please) find another job in the organization for Spacek…….. There is a far greater upside with Emelin in the lineup with a new D coach behind the bench

    • 24 Cups says:

      Lots to be happy about last night but the play of Spacek and Gill worries me a bit. Spacek seems to be half bent over while he struggles to cover his man. He also falls down more than Pouliot ever did.

      I get what Gill brings to the team but quick players just seem to fly by him, whether it be to the outside or the inside. In a perfect world, Spacek would be our 7th guy and Gill would be #6.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree, am hopeful Emelin comes in lineup tonight. I don’t see JM actually healthy scratching Spacek or Gill.

        I suspect if Emelin does come in Diaz will be odd man out.

        • 24 Cups says:

          The one thing going for Gill is his previous track record. There were times in Pittsburgh and Toronto where you could have bet the bank that he was on his last legs. Then out of the blue he bounces back and plays well. He’s even had stretches like that with the Habs during the past two years.

          A player can’t lose a half step when he already doesn’t even have one. Gill’s play could fall right off to the point where he becomes a liability, regardless of the intangibles he brings to the team. He might be better suited to 3rd pairing minutes once some of the injured players get back.

          • krob1000 says:

            One of the commetnators pointed out that he always gets exposed early in the season when everyone has fresh legs and the play is looser…… Personally I don’t think there is room on the d corps when healty for Gill, Spacek and Gorges. Gill is not a top 4 dman anymore from a two way perspective and that hurts the forwards too….if given a spacialty roel (babysitting a free to roam pk, penalty kill,etc) he is effective but I have issues with us giving him big minutes…always have….I think hisplay promotes play in our end where he then appears to excel but would we always be in our end with a better puck mover, fster guy who didn’t concede the blueline,could hold the opposing blueline, etc

  13. LizardKing1967 says:

    Full props HAVE to go out to young Jessica at Team 990 (Doh! TSN 990) for pointing out to JM that Darche HAD more PP mins. than COle last Saturday, and it forced JM to do HIS research (yeah, ok, Cole had 3 PP goals last year – well Darche has 3 all career!!!!).
    Thanks Jessica, for you woke up the sleeping giant, and he has played TWO monster games since.

    The Cup is coming home!

    I BELIEVE!

  14. 1010 says:

    It’s not a reflection of Perry as a person…and it’s not a reflection of the job he was doing.
    It’s about the the global picture…er, the big picture.
    Yeah, the big picture. Now repeat the big picture with regards to every other question they ask me and that will explain the uhhh, big picture.
    But, they won, so I guess canning Perry worked for last night.
    Now let’s hope it works in the big picture.

    GO HABS…

  15. Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

    Didn’t see this coming.

    One of my best friends is huge Flyers fan, and I was being verbally skewered by him all day via text message. Worse part is he was right on the money in all the barbs, based on what we’d seen so far. When Jagr scored the first goal I figured that was it, they were already dead in the water, now the net was gonna fill.

    Not sure what happened, but it sure seemed to me there was more intensity tonight then there has been, especially after Jagr’s goal. Maybe intensity and desperation were just what the doctor ordered. Was firing the team up one of Perry Pearn’s duties?

    ____________________________________________________
    They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  16. Un Canadien errant says:

    I’ve remained resolutely optimistic in my game recaps so far, and tonight’s score will make it easy for me to stay on course. All the scheming and dreaming we did over the summer, with endless line permutations and visions of power forwards taking it to the net was realized in one panic-smothering swoop.

    Let’s start by giving Max Pacioretty serious props. A wrist injury which was reported to involve ligament damage and putatively might have required surgery was not enough to keep him out of the game or off the scoresheet. I initially questioned whether a sniper like him, as opposed to stone-handed players like Mike Blunden or Mathieu Darche, would be severely limited with such an ailment. Mr. Blunden could bang and crash with a sore wrist, but how could Mr. Pacioretty be effective with only one hand on his stick? I wondered whether we might be better off resting him to ensure he returned fully healthy, as opposed to he rushing back too soon and suffering through a nagging injury most of the season. It is fortunate that it is his right wrist which is hurt, since it is his top hand on the stick, which is not as important in wrist shots, and will not ache too much from the impact of slap shots. In any case, he showed leadership and courage by playing tonight, and it was great that he was rewarded for it.

    Another player I was impressed with was Erik Cole, who skated fast and was strong on the puck all night. While some have uncharitably described his performance so far this season, based mostly on his lack of production, I have been happy with his play. The goals will come. He is an upgrade to our lineup, a big strong winger who knows what to do with the puck.

    Which is take it and drive to the net. Which brings us to Mr. Kostitsyn, who once again went on one of his aimless skates with the puck. Lucky for me, Ray Ferraro on the TSN broadcast caught it too, and commented on it on a lengthy replay. To see him wheel around the net and carry the puck back toward the blue line, where he coughed it up, made my blood pressure rise. I hope that the coaching staff, however its responsibilities are reallocated, takes responsibility for le frère Andrei. Apparently simply watching Mr. Cole and Mr. Pacioretty isn’t enough of a clear example for him to follow, he needs to be sat down and watch video of his low-IQ plays, as compared to some of Rick Tocchet’s and Kevin Stevens’ greatest hits.

    Another blemish was Mr. Spacek’s performance. He was jostled and bounced all game, and muffed a scoring chance. I would much, much prefer that Alexei Emelin be given those minutes. The future is now, we can’t keep a 25 year old KHL top-pairing defenceman in the press box to make room for another one who is aging, fragile and ineffectual.

    As far as the Flyers go, the overhaul they underwent this summer, along with Chris Pronger’s absence, make them a seemingly much less ornery team. Claude Giroux scuffled with Tomas Plekanec, but aside from that the evening was relatively tame, except for Wayne Simmonds running around and acting like a big, big punk. We have seen this before this season, a big player with a nasty streak not finding anyone to rub up against, and looking for trouble.

    And please, enough with the deification of Jaromir Jagr. Enough with his infectious good mood in the Flyers’ dressing room, and his mentoring younger players, and his newfound energy and appreciation of the NHL. This is the guy who Czech-teased the city of Pittsburgh all summer and inexplicably turned tail and bolted for their mortal enemies. This is the guy who stole money for years from the Capitals and Rangers, and was a dressing-room dark cloud. Let’s give it half a season before we fall for his act.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Post. AK is always on the verge of something good, but so often it ends with a sigh. Almost like his initial instincts are good with the puck, but once given the chance to have time things go awry. I don’t say this to dump on him, as I feel his dirty goal was the key. We hadn’t gotten one of those big dirty greasy goals until that one (to the best of my recollection), and that is the kind of break our team earned last night and more will follow I hope.

      Still like Ak in our lineup, and really like him with Eller. Just not sure how the plays you are talking about with him change.

      Monkey is off Price’s back, hopefully team continues to build on this.

      And finally, while many including myself mocked the timing and the decision to relieve PP, for one night at least the team seemed relieved.

  17. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …came home late, had asked My Son to PVR the game …told Him not to give Me any hint of what happened
    …so My watch of the game just concluded
    …wow, nothing dull in Habsville !
    …Perry Pearn fired ??? …and not Jacques Martin ??? …or, Pierre Gauthier ? …an hour and a half before they drop the puck ???
    …incroyable ??????
    …only in Montreal !
    …and WHAT a game …at least the result
    …very slow agonizing start
    …then a see and eye Weber goal that lights the fuse
    …they say You have to be ‘lucky’to be good …We finally received the law-of-averages’ bounces We have been losing Our hair over the past couple weeks …pucks that went past Carey that did not find the back of the net as previously, that had they gone in would have resulted in another L
    …but, Webers goal and the Ghosts that came in from the cold finally were present once more
    …sports is funny, and reflects so much of Real Life …how fast fortune can be the opposite of yesterday
    …once those good omens were supplemented by Carey’s otherwise solid goaltending, The Boys became increasingly confident …the Phylers increasingly, uncharacteristically began to look a lot like Our Habs of the past few games …We dominated
    …possibly, the Phlyers took their pre-game scrimmages on Crescent Street, or were not ‘up’ for the game because they assumed We would be easy pickin’s
    …whatever, We looked, and played, beautiful hockey tonight
    …what can You say about Max Pacioretty ? …nothing, but ‘have We got a STUD, or what ?’
    …DD winning face-offs against one of the most solid teams in the NHL, when the game before He was being eatin’ alive and bounced around like a shuttlecock
    …Cole finally showing the game We were all expecting when He signed
    …the D operating in sync like a precision Swiss watch (…sorry)
    …coming home to end My night with such a well-played and deserved win by My Habs will mean a tranquil sleep
    …but, before I sleep I would like to comment on the recent conversations to replace the Coach and GM
    …a public dismissal of Perry Pearn only an hour and half before game time tells Me there is more drama to this situation than Pierre Gauthier just trying to shake things up …there had to be a confrontation of some sort between Gauthier and Martin …and it will be interesting what the longterm difference this will make for Martin to work for Gauthier
    …PG obviously had pressure from Geoff Molson …but, considering the predicament PG was in, I think ‘targeting’ Pearn may have been unfair on a personal-level, but was quite brilliant in a business-way
    …Pearn’s firing has put perspective under a cold bright light for Martin that He must start ‘tweaking’ the Team’s ‘system’, or the next swing of PG’s axe will be Jacques
    …tangentially it was also a wake-up call to Our Players
    …even after the miserable loss to Florida the other night, I remained positive We have the capability to beat the Phlyers, because We have seen the core of this Team continually do the improbable, and defy all logic these past 2 seasons …We have incredible ‘character’ among our core group that We should all consider when We rag on Our Players when They are struggling (and even though He is an overpaid underachiever, THAT include Scott Gomez)
    …if I had the choice, I would still have replaced JM with Boucher when We had the opportunity …if I had the choice, I still behind the scenes would ask the Predators for permission to discuss Kirk Muller’s potential interest to Coach the Montreal Canadiens (and I would not give a fig if He speaks French or not)
    …but, besides these 2 options I would not replace JM with a Hitchcock, Crawford, Therrien, or any other potential replacement out there, because none would be any better a solution than Our Jacques
    …AND, for This Night and the next 24 hours, after watching this wonderful result tonight I will keep My Clap Shut on ANY coaching changes, period
    …check-in on how feel again, AFTER We play da Booins :)
    …sweet dreams …GO HABS GOOOOOO !!!!

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  18. SPATS says:

    Pearn was asked to walk the plank so the cages could be rattled. He’ll be fine. Probably has Columbus on speeddial and PG was already praising him and giving him a solid reference letter on the mike. Only in Mtl…

    IF they continue to score on the first 3 lines, there will be no room for Gomer when he’s ready to return. DD and Eller have both passed him by. I can see him on the 4th line with Moen and Darche, but after watching Blunden and Nokialinnen (don’t bother correcting me, I know it’s wrong) with Darchebag, I really like the energy and chemistry they brought to the dance.

    There is a poster here who’s tag line is something like… “Gomez, where wingers go to die” It’s sad but true. He’s really only fit for PK duties and 4th line short shifts from where I’m sitting, and at that price, he’d be better ue schooling the kids in Hammytown. Hate to say it, but $7.5 mil would F*** up what seems like a nice 4th line at the moment.

    I really liked seeing Pleks with MaxPac and Gio, I also really liked Cole, Cammy and DD, AK, Eller and Moen were great too (AK and Larry picking up where they left off late last year)

    Didn’t miss Gomer at all. There’s got to be some interest in the southwest where they can use his name for marketing the game to some deep pocketed Mexican Americans who’d like to cheer on a homeboy down there? A team that needs to come off the cap floor?

    Just guessing, it’d be a nice problem to have should the new look lines keep clicking. Bring on the Chowdaheadz! This will be an early turning point of our season. Lets show the Bruins they were lucky to escape our deathgrip after the first 2 games of the post season last year.

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  19. Jdub1985 says:

    technically the habs have to go

    42-22-9

    to insure playoff birth.

  20. MikeMcLaren says:

    The Canadiens are now only 5 points away from the division lead and 3rd in the conference…

    … ahh perspective!

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  21. Webs says:

    I don’t understand this:

    “He and fellow geezer Jaroslav Spacek had the kind of ToI that befits their advanced years, and it paid off in getting quality minutes – Spatcho blocked five shots – when they were on.”

    How can you expect that he would have blocked fewer shots if he played more after blocking the five he did block?

    I’m not arguing that the reduced minutes may be beneficial, but that this example makes no sense.

  22. Everlasting1 says:

    “Unenlightening corporate bafflegab” – very poignant. The level of bs uttered by Goatier re the firing of Pearn exceeds maximum capacity. He needed a scapegoat for his own inadequacies and poor judgment with this smokescreen move. And his reasoning for letting Muller go after an admirable job with special teams? If Goatier had any integrity and self honesty, he’d remove himself and his goat whisperer. What pomposity.

    ——————————————————————-
    “And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.” – Deuteronomy 2:33

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    • JIMVINNY says:

      This doesn’t make much sense. There isn’t a problem with the makeup of the team, at least in regard to the moves Gauthier has made. The coaching has been the problem, and I believe the firing of Pearn was thinly veiled threat directed at JM. But Gauthier definitely did not need a scapegoat for his “inadequacies and poor judgement”.

      On another note, who’d have thunk that with Price’s poor start, Halak would actually have WORSE stats than Price?

      • Everlasting1 says:

        He’s disingenuous. Who brought in the note scribbler? Let’s see some cajones here.

        ——————————————————————-
        “And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.” – Deuteronomy 2:33

        “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    • HabinBurlington says:

      When did he let Muller Go? An assistant coach who gets a head coaching is not being relieved. I don’t recall ever hearing PG asked Muller to leave his role as Assistant Coach. I am hopeful Muller comes back one day (perhaps sooner than later) to be our (oops can’t say our with you, as we are not discussing the Blues) the Habs head coach.

  23. Mike says:

    My lines for tomorrow:

    Patches-Pleks-Gionta
    Cammy-Eller-Cole
    Moen-DD-AK
    Darche-Nokelainen-Blunden

    Wtvr D pairings were last night but swap Diaz for Emelin.

  24. Jdub1985 says:

    Pearn was an excuse for someone to “do” something without actually doing anything.

    Tonight’s win was a matter of time. Regardless, PG/JM co should be sent to Baie Comeau to join Guy on his fly fish adventures.

    Muller will do fine here.

  25. Propwash says:

    Hopefully not Blinded by the light
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcWVL4B-4pI

    _____________________
    Dooooooooooooooomed!™

  26. harrow15 says:

    Whoever is responsible for putting Cole on the powerplay, mad props to you sir. He is hungry and I like it. Id rather a losing streak at the start of the season and end the season in a winning streak in form then vice versa!

    • LizardKing1967 says:

      Full props HAVE to go out to young Jessica at Team 990 (Doh! TSN 990) for pointing out to JM that Darche HAD more PP mins. than COle last Saturday, and it forced JM to do HIS research (yeah, ok, Cole had 3 PP goals last year – well Darche has 3 all career!!!!).
      Thanks Jessica, for you woke up the sleeping giant, and he has played TWO monster games since.

      The Cup is coming home!

      I BELIEVE!

  27. kungpowchicken says:

    Kungpow loves our new 4th line…just what the Dr. ordered. This provides great strength to the rest of the team – and confidence – so they can focus on what they do best. Also, more focus on the pp and defensive play by the 2 new asst coaches….this is the real deal folks….our habs are back, baby!!!!!!!! Spicey habs!!!!

  28. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    I like Darche, and I hope this misuse of his talents won’t turn him into a whipping boy for the disgruntled. The guy deserves better, as does the power play.
    Hockey hasn’t changed so much that back in the day, it would have made sense to have Carbonneau, Jarvis, Gainey or the other incredibly skilled defensive forwards the old guys got to watch make up a power play. I actually used to enjoy seeing those guys on a PK – they were magnificent. Pleks, Cammy – they are scorers on a team that needs to score.
    I enjoyed the win though, and I hope to see many more. It’s nice to watch Cole out there, as well as Pacioretty. Eller is impressive once he crosses his own blue line, and Desharnais is doing fine.

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    Yes he got stick checked, so he needs to decide a split second earlier to cycle the puck back in the corner. AK is a talented and strong forward for this team. I don’t want to see him gone or have his time reduced, just want him to keep getting better.


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