About last night …

Jeff Halpern, one of the “gars de soutien” who so pleased Jacques Martin, says the Canadiens’ identity has been emerging through the last week.

“Moving the puck through the neutral zone,” Halpern added. “Getting it into places where we can go get it. Creating chances.”

Halpern also heaped praise on the team’s top two lines, pointing out that constant pressure by Tomas Plekanec-Mike-Cammalleri-Andrei Kostistyn and Scott Gomez-Brian Gionta-Your Uncle Ken keep opposing teams on their heels, opening the ice for the Canadiens’ creativity.

All the elements were on display in another dominant performance by the Canadiens, who held the Islanders to 23 shots and would have won by four were it not for some hot goaltending by Dwayne Roloson and a couple of tips on long Islander drives.

The coach urged caution.

“We haven’t achieved anything,” Martin said. “Every night is a battle. Every night we have to be at our best.

“We haven’t won anything.”

Technically, that’s true. Nine games do not a season make.

But the Canadiens are fast out of the gate (and I use the metaphor advisedly) and they’re winning raves from fans who didn’t really know what to expect this season.

What can we conclude, with 1/9 of the schedule in the books and the team sitting at 6-2-1?

Speed kills. Pierre Gauthier alluded to it at training camp, describing the team Bob Gainey and he have crafted as fast and highly-skilled.

And that was before the amazing P.K. Subban emerged as a Human Highlight Reel. P.K. has the legs that let him recover from his rookie mistakes, as he did several times against the Islanders.

This is the best-looking young player the Canadiens have had in a long, long time.

The only question is whether Jacques Martin can watch P.K. through 82 games without a cardiologist and a crash cart behind the bench.

There hasn’t been a crowd-pleaser like Subban since Alex Kovalev was in his glory. And with P.K., the best is yet to come.

We may still pine for a centre with size, but Tomas Plekanec and Scott Gomez are probably the fastest one-two tandem in the league. Coming out of transition, they are instantly in top gear and scaring the bejeezus out of opposing Dmen.

In the case of Plekanec, his speed and creativity are being complemented by a linemate who is on fire, AK46, and a scorer who is becoming a very slick passer.

Cammalleri had one shot on goal, but he was getting creative touches on every O-zone sequence the line played … and there were many of them.

Gomez fed his pal Gionta for four SoG. The captain also had four against Phoenix. Gionta is working hard, as usual, and you have to believe the goals will come.

G&G need a complementary left-winger. I think it should be Benoit Pouliot, but I suspect Martin likes the grit Moen (2/3 of a Gordie Howe hat trick) brings to the line, and the team is winning so there’s no urgency to the LW hunt.

There are more speed merchants on the third and fourth lines. Max Lapierre and Tom Pyatt can fly, which helps their lines perform yeoman gars-de-soutien duty, forechecking, keeping the puck in the O-zone and thereby diminishing pressure on Carey Price.

In making his ninth straight start, the goaltender matched his longest run last season. Between a Nov. 12 game at Phoenix and his Dec. 1 start against the Leafs at the Bell Centre, Price went 4-3-2, a streak that included two Shootout losses and a SO win.

Everyone knows it was imperative for Price to get a good start this season. Mission accomplished, largely on the strength of team defensive play that has kept the shots down: 21 by the Islanders, following 29 by Phoenix, 19 twice by Ottawa, 23 by Buffalo, 24 by Toronto and 20 by New Jersey.

The key is puck management. 

As has been the case in all their wins, the Canadiens are making high-percentage passes, p[atiently and intelligently moving the biscuit out of their own end and through the neutral zone.

A blind person could tell the Canadiens were playing well against the Islanders: when the home team had the puck, it was click-click-click, a succession of tape-to-tape completed passes.

Unlike some of the teams we’ve watched in recent seasons, this edition plays consistently smart hockey.

Of course there will be errors.

It’s a game played on ice, and the schedule is devoid of weak sisters. When you play against Kyle Turris and John Tavares, there will be lapses.

But the goofs are few and far between.

The season to date has been mercifully free of WTF Moments, those brain-dead plays that kill momentum, take the crowd out of the game and ensure a steady stream of former Canadiens coaches warming the chairs on L’Antichambre.

The Canadiens are playing Jacques Martin hockey: puck support, defensive responsibility, nothing risky.

But contrary to Martin’s rep, this style is fun to watch … if you understand hockey and appreciate watching it played intelligently.

The scoresheet included goals by Princeton grad Halpern and McGill alumnus Mathieu Darche.

Score one for cerebral hockey … with more to come.

* League leaders: Carey Price with six wins, Mike Cammalleri at plus-9

Why he should be a centre: Lars Eller, who continues to shine in measured playing time, won 6 of 9 faceoffs

Alliterative names: Islanders must lead the league – Mike Mottau, Matt Martin, Matt Moulson

79 Comments

  1. JIMVINNY says:

    117 points?  That could be good enough for first in the NHL.  Although maintaining a pace like this could be tough.

  2. sidhu says:

    No worries, Boone — you’re doing solid work yourself just like your man, JG.  You can’t be expected to pick up everything that happens in a game, that’s what some of us are here for!

    Go Habs Go!

  3. HardHabits says:

    Not including the 150+ shots blocked per game by Gill and Gorges.

  4. Harani says:

    (Repost)

    Haven’t been here in a while coz of midterms and stuff but I just wanted make a comment on the complete change in attitude and vibe this season’s edition of the Habs are sending. It’s a kind of long post and very positive so trolls, don’t waste your time! 

    Every team has talented players and hardworkers, and high-paid players and low-paid ones. It’s the way these different individuals come together as a team on the ice is what shows you their personalities. And I think last year’s playoff run is a big contributing factor to the confidence and poise displayed by our Habs this year. 

     

    That basically translated into team spirit and everyone playing for each other. That’s why they chose to play hockey. It’s not like tennis where it’s you and only you. 

    The taps from Pleky to Price’s pads at the end of periods, Price talking to Auld a lot during TV timeouts, guys talking on the bench working things out, giving credit where it’s due, getting to practice before it starts (Pleky), just accepting their respective roles and fulfilling it to the best of their abilities without letting anyone down. I think the most important part is the trust these guys have as a group in Jacques Martin. Knowing that he’s drawn out a plan and it would be in their best interest to follow it. And the results are showing up. 

    Just today in his post-game presser (on the Habs Official Website), Mathieu Darche mentions how Pleky, Cammi and the top 5 forwards keep their shifts short and come back to the bench if there is no plays to be made. He reference Pleky just dumping the puck in and changing. He said that when you see your “best” player doing it, it keeps you in check. 

    So, the Habs are doing the small things right and it is taking them on a winning trail. Go Habs!

     

    “It must be love!”

  5. Mike Boone says:

    You’re right. I should have mentioned Picard. Very solid.

  6. mon_chums says:

    Hey Boone your boy McGuire was on fire last night! He called Subban’s moves “SOUPIE-DOO” before he handed the puck off to Halpern for the Dache tip-in. And the saying he saw “river monsters walking up Crescent St.”

    What’s his day job? Stand up comedy? I was crackin’ up.

  7. ooder says:

    hey HIO admins, as you may have notice there have been some excessive trolling and annoying posters

    im not talking about banter like xtrahabs fans or wtvr, im talking about guys like antoinette or wtvr and the ones who get their accounts banned.

    i have a pretty good solution to get rid of the trolling and of posters who are deemed “unworthy” (that’s a joke lol), and its smarter then just deleting thier accounts.

    who can i talk to about this so we can go back to enjoying this site without stupid reminders from trolls whenever the habs lose

    thanks

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  8. HardHabits says:

    Last year Halak faced 450+ shots more than once.

  9. sidhu says:

    Another solid game by Picard, who has made a nice (and improbable) duo with PK.

    One has to think that OB is on the outs, but I suppose we could carry 8 D and 1 extra forward (Boyd) to maximize the roster players we can carry.  Picard is on a two-way contract, it would be a shame to see him sent down.

  10. amvanimere says:

    I also came out of this game thinking how impressive it was that the Islanders only had 231 shots. The last few years it’s been more in the 300+ range

  11. matraque says:

    at least, Picard has a 2 way contract…

    ——

    Canadien en 5!

    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  12. Timo says:

    “Moving the puck through the neutral zone,” Halpern added. “Getting it into places where we can go get it. Creating chances.

    Halpern must have forgotten the game against NJ. Habs can’t do any of that when teams know how to neutralize the puck movement thorugh the neutral zone. (see Devils New Jersey, Flyers Philadelphia, etc)

     

  13. Former Jets Fan says:

    O’Byrne sure seems like he’s in the doghouse, but I still figure he’ll play every once in a while.  For now, JM is probably taking the ‘don’t mess with a winning line-up’ approach, hence why Boyd has been eating hot dogs too for several games now.

  14. Timo says:

    Picard has been steady, but will probably get bumped anyway when Markov’s back. OB’s days are most likely numbered. Not sure what he makes but it can’t be much. In all likelihood he will be waived and we’ll either bury him in minors or lose him for nothing. Unless he is part of some package deal I can’t see Habs getting more than a minor leaguer in return.

  15. Timo says:

    You cannot use word AWESOME in reference to any player other than MAB. You just can’t.

  16. solomio says:

    We’re all right. Habs are indeed a pleasure to watch. Tape to tape, speed, taking the man, going to the net, back checking, puck moving D. What a turn around for this team. It is simply amazing.

    Yes some of the D men are a bit long in the tooth. Yes a winger for Gionta and Gomez is needed and yes a shot from the point for a potent power play Sherwood come in handy.

    But at this point in time everything’s coming up roses.

    Enjoy.

    Although I do still get really uptight in the last 3 minutes of the third period.

  17. notbigbird says:

    Not you too?! I was thinking of the other Dog. :)

  18. SlovakHab says:

    You can’t say that so early..

    I mean, Plekanec has never looked like a future 1st line star center when he was an AHLer and look at him now! 

    Leblanc, Maxwell, Eller, Engqvist. One of them could develop into a 1st line center one day.

  19. matraque says:

    Picard is obviously taking O’Byrne’s spot.

    Can we package something with O’Bryne and get a LW?

    ——

    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  20. Timo says:

    Seems to work, doesn’t it?

  21. saskhabfan says:

    YAWN……another weak post. Besides,you have no business telling anybody if they have the right to get excited or not.

  22. HabFab says:

    Good to see you again Doug, it sure looks like a time to enjoy hockey again.

  23. Shiloh says:

    Kovalev scores his 3rd goal in 3 games – and He Who Must Not Be Mentioned posts another shutout. Good for them, but Go Habs.

  24. Natrous says:

    That’s correct, which was put in there to discourage teams from making super-long-term contracts with big cap numbers and front-loaded weights.. errr.. isn’t that what Van/NJ/Chi/etc did..?

  25. doug says:

    Wow – this team is the best I’ve seen from the Canadiens (thus far) in a long, long time.  It seems buillt on sustainable talent, maturity, and brains as opposed to any form of luck, and I’m loving the low SOG.

    I don’t think that even during the late run a few years back when we won the conference that I’ve gone into so many games thinking we will win.  Feels like the good old days.

  26. nick says:

    It makes sense. It keeps teams like New Jersey on the hook for offering 100 year contracts to players. :P

  27. nick says:

    Markov, AK and Gorges have to be resigned at the end of the year.

    Hamrlik, Gill are UFA although I see their roles a little more easily filled.

    With Hamrlik gone, it should be able to cover AK and Gorges raise, maybe even pay for a young D man to come up from Hamilton… Who? I really have no idea as of now…

    As for Markov, I think it’s too soon to say. I would attempt to resign Markov right now at the same contract value. Reason being… If he comes back, plays well, doesn’t get hurt he’ll easily command a raise. However, if he has a season like last where he was hurt for a large part of the season, I don’t believe he would or should get as much. Making him an offer now kind of keeps his salary at even keel… It’s a good insurance policy for him too.

    It’ll be an interesting offseason to say the least.

  28. can_of_vegetables says:

    ZOMG!  Do you even watch the games?  Darche isn’t good enough to flush Benny’s PouPou.

    This is fun.

  29. helluva habs fan says:

    LOL to TEH AWESOMESAUCE!

  30. notbigbird says:

    Not the same is it? :)

    But we always have Dog and Bill to trash Gomez.

    And thankfully, we have two dozen people who continually remind us that Gallagher is small whenever someone posts some positive update about him.

     

  31. Chuck says:

    I’ve been thinking that with the quick road trip an with the Habs back at home again on Saturday that Auld would start on Friday so that Price would be rested after travel days. But after looking at the differences between the Islanders and Florida, I’m wondering if you would give Price the tougher team, and let Auld get his feet wet against a team that is having a hard time finding the back of the net. Plus, Carey just beat the Islanders, so that might give the Habs a psychological edge if Price were to play tomorrow night.

     

    Centre Hice: documenting one fan’s attachment to the Montreal Canadiens.

  32. JF says:

    You’re right, and I’m not faulting Price.  He’s been very good with gusts to great.  Even last night, when his save percentage was only about .86, he made a couple of huge saves early in the game.  The fact that he’s not stealing games and the team is not relying on him to do so just shows how much more complete a game we’re playing than last year.  I really think we have a seriously good team.

  33. avatar_58 says:

    Let’s do Pouliot VS Darche

    DARCHE IS TEH AWESOMESAUCE AND POULIOT SMELLS LIKE FEET

  34. Bill H says:

    Trolls? What trolls?  The trolls melt away on a 3 game winning streak.  But they will be back as soon as we have one or two Ls.  Yes, the team is doing a lot of things right these days.  I expect them to get better with the return of Markov and when the GG line finds its scoring touch again. 

    Good post.  Confidence and attitude go a long way.

  35. MikeL says:

    I’m enjoying it. Not having to read 5 pages worth of Price vs Halak stuff is a nice change.

  36. notbigbird says:

    I can’t help but notice that comments are down quite a bit this year — or so it seems to me. Is it because we’re doing well, so the usual suspects have little to say?

  37. avatar_58 says:

    Except that Jersey game. Oh wait we all agreed to forget that one….;)

  38. 24 Cups says:

    Mike – You need to have a PhD to figure out the NHL’s CBA but I’m under the impression that players who sign contracts when they are 35 or older can not come off the cap even if they are demoted, bought out or retired.

    http://www.nhlscap.com/cap_faq.htm#who_counts

  39. lillypad_33 says:

    Still shocked that Andrei was on the ice in the final minute.

    Looks like Martin has gained some trust in him….

  40. MikeL says:

    Really liking Picard’s game right now. Spacek is just not good enough. He doesn’t offer much when you think about his game. He gets beat in puck battles, is no longer a good skater, and isn’t used in powerplay situations. We signed him for his 8 goals and 37 assists the year before in Buffalo, not for his own zone play. Spacek is always chasing.

    At the moment, Spacek and Hamrlik are easily the worst pairing on the team. I know it will be hard to dress Picard over Spacek, but at the moment, he’s playing waaay better than Spacek.

    Also, the Gomez line’s problems is much more than just a scoring problem. They are getting caught in their own zone. If there were ‘time in zone’ stats for last night, the Gomez line was definitely in their own zone for more than any other line. The big problem is the fact that Moan and Gomez don’t have, what many people refered to as, ‘good sticks’. They don’t have the ability to get the puck out when necessary. I call it Steve Begin syndrome.

    With thhose negativities out of the way, the top line is gellin. Reminds me of 07 when Kovalev was rollin’ with Pleks and AK46. As was the case then, the key is AK46. When he plays like a bull, everyone else benifits.

    Really like the Eller, Lappiere, Pyatt line. They have a good mix of speed, stick skills, and grit. Neither Lapierre or Pyatt will ever score 20 goals, but they have the potential to score 10-15 for sure. Eller reminds me of a young Saku Koivu. Eller is behind Gomez and Plekanec in the same way Koivu was behind Turgeon and Damphousse. I don’t know if he’ll turn out as good as Koivu, but the similarities in work ethic, passing, and smarts for the game are there.

     

  41. Rugger says:

    Certainly hope this is a problem PG has to deal with!

  42. notbigbird says:

    I think the plan is to bring Lars along slowly, so you may be right about him not being a top six this year. St Louis got a good deal, but I think Habs did okay too.

  43. notbigbird says:

    Just a tiny observation about Price not stealing games. I think you need to be outplayed and outshot to even give that a chance to occur, and that doesn’t seem to be happening. I can’t find fault with too many of the goals scored against him.

  44. MikeL says:

    I heard Tony Marinaro say the other day that, technically, we could buy out Spacek’s contract.

  45. Habhopeful says:

    Im not sure if im allowed to do this or not, if not, apologies in advance…

     

    But I bought 4 tickets to the Montreal Canadiens Festifan, and I cant go, its Sunday Nov 7th, 2010, I would just like to get my money back so Im selling them at Cost, @ $15/Ticket….although I want to make sure I atleast get my money back, if you buy all 4, Ill sell them to you for $50…

     

    Here’s a link to the info, Looks like a lot of fun, especially for families

     

    http://fondation.canadiens.com/en/festifan/

     

    Contact me if your interested…

     

    So stoked about this season so far! PK PK PK! GO Habs GO!

     

    “I went to see a fight the other night…And A hockey game broke out!” ~Rodney Dangerfield~

  46. 24 Cups says:

    Mikey – Be fair.  You can’t judge a trade of young players based on a few months or even one season.  Everybody knew a goalie was going to be moved so you then look at what kind of asset exhange transpired.  Halak was a 7th round pick that we developed and then flipped for a mid first-rounder.  Eller also has the potential to fill a hole at centre which has always been an issue for us.  Is he going to be a star or a top six guy?  Way to early to make that call.  But he’s a decent asset who has a lot more value than a pick or an over the hill veteran.

    A year ago we had no decent prospects at our most vulnerable position.  We now have Leblanc, Eller and possibly Maxwell (who missed a lot of junior and may need to take more AHL seasoning.  He’s back in the picture this fall).  None of them will ever be first line stars but they could all eventually fit into the 2nd line slot.  Maybe even move to the wing.

  47. 24 Cups says:

    We can’t dump Spacek due to the fact he’s on a +35 contract.  He’s here to the end of next year unless somebody wants him in a trade.  Which I seriously doubt seeing the coin that is involved.

  48. Will Longlade says:

    This version of the Habs plays smart, but what I noticed at the end of the game last night is that, more than anything, this is a team that competes, night in, night out and every shift. With the game on ice, G&G’s line played the last shift of the game as if the Habs were down by a goal, not up by two. This team has talent and smarts, but it’s the intangibles that separate the champions from the also-rans. Hats off to BG and PG for putting together a team with loads of potential. 

  49. 24 Cups says:

    s – I doubt that we will be able to send Picard down to Hamilton.  Some team is bound to pick up a young guy like him.  Why do that (or trade OB) to then go out and get a depth Dman at the deadline and give up another 2nd round pick?    We also have to remember that we have three old guys on the blueline.  You never know how they will stand up over the course of the year.

  50. JF says:

    Steve, it would certainly make sense to give Spacek and Hamrlik regular nights off.  Both get worn down over the course of the season, and if we make the playoffs, we’ll need them to be strong.  Hamrlik in particular seemed tired last April and May.  Resting them would also allow poor O’Byrne to get some ice-time, which I can’t see happening otherwise barring injuries.  It’s not even that he’s been bad; he’s actually played reasonably well, he just doesn’t make the impact that he should be making.

    I’d also like to see more of Dustin Boyd.  I was impressed by his speed, and he seems to have a nose for the net. But coaches never mess with a winning lineup, and I have nothing against Darche. He seems to be an ideal 13th forward, cheap, patient, hardworking – and it paid off last night.

    Halpern has been a very solid addition.  More faceoff wins alone make a huge difference in terms of puck possession.

    As for the goaltending in the next two games, I think Martin will go with Alex Auld on Friday.  Florida plays a tight-checking game, so one goal could be the difference.  Price has shown so far that he can make the big saves at critical moments; not so sure about Auld.

  51. Captain aHab says:

    Hadn’t realized he would still be RFA.

  52. likehoy says:

    i think andrei would only get a 1 year deal after this year.

    he’s still and RFA after this season…he’d prob get th 1 year bringing him to UFA.

    he’d get max 4.5  even if he scores 50 cause of his consistency issues

    - I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  53. Captain aHab says:

    So for the sake of argument, let’s say Brother Andrei scores 50. Do you resign him to what would likely be a massive pay increase? If you do can you also sign Markov?

    Hammer will be off of the books and you have to think that they would have to waive Spacek and his salary to be able to sign both Markov and a reborn Andrei.

    My question is: is this just a contract year anomaly or would Andrei, even with a fat paycheck cashed in, continue to excel?

  54. RetroMikey says:

    Way too ealrly to get excited, W’s are expecting from us when we play against mediocre teams like Florida, Islanders, Leaf, and Ottawa to name a few.

    The real test is playing against Philly, Boston, Washington, New Jersey in the East.

    Then we can analyze the teams strength and weaknesses.

    For now, hats off to the team and especially to Jacques Martin for a good start, which is expected, it will get tougher and tougher as the season progresses.

    Lars Eller I admire but I don’t see him a top 6 on our team this year so did St. Louis get the better deal?

     

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

  55. 24 Cups says:

    Great post, Jane.  Picard and Halpern (winning goal) once again show the importance of having solid secondary players who come in at a cheap price.  It’s all part of how you handle your payroll in this cap era.

    Subban bounced back and had a great game.  I can’t remember the last time we had this much depth on the back-end.  It’s going to be a very tough call once Markov comes back.  With the age of our D, you would think a rotation of blueliners might be beneficial over the course of the year.  However, I seriously doubt that Martin will do that.

    I wonder who starts in net on Friday (or Saturday).  Martin might want to go with Auld against Florida (who can’t score to save their lives) but he might also want to cushion him by starting him on the road.

    The three-star selection ad promo is a complete failure after just a handful of games.  The ultimate insult will be when we lose a game and the fans still select three Habs.

  56. JF says:

    Who said Jacques Martin hockey was boring?  It’s a very long time since we’ve been able to watch our team play such fast, exciting, intelligent hockey on a regular basis.  Few people saw this coming last year when the team took most of the season to gel, the games were played largely in our zone, we were outshot night after night, and we had no chance of winning if our goaltender wasn’t outstanding.  Price is playing well, but, apart from the Pittsburgh game, he’s not stealing the wins.  The whole team is contributing, and everything from faceoffs to defensive zone coverage to the transition game is much improved from last year.

    Alexandre Picard has earned his spot.  He’s not the fastest guy or the toughest along the boards, but he makes intelligent plays and not many mistakes.  I thought when he and P.K. started playing together that it was a risky pairing, but for the moment it’s going surprisingly well.  Unfortunately he’ll probably be on the bench when Markov comes back.  The RDS guys think it should be Spacek who sits, but that’s not going to happen with his salary.  However, Spacek was better last night; that penalty at the end of the second period, which led to the Islanders’ second goal, was BS.

    I think it’s only a matter of time until both the powerplay and the Gomez line unblock.  Our first powerplay last night looked great, and we should certainly have scored.  P.K. hit the post, and Gionta missed a certain goal.  We’re creating chances and moving the puck well, so I think success is not far away.  The same goes for Gomez and Gionta, but I wish JM would put Pouliot back with them and give the line a handful of games before trying someone else.

    Lars Eller had another strong game and is visibly gaining confidence.  JM is managing his role and ice-time well; perhaps the idea that he “ruins” young players, which floated around all last year, will quietly go away.

    We’re racking up the wins and looking great, but we have yet to play Boston, Washington or Philadelphia.

    The three-star selection is a joke.  How can fans not realize that it becomes meaningless if we choose three of our own players in a close game?  It’s true that we dominated the Islanders for long stretches, but there’s no way James Wisniewski, with a goal and two assists, should not have had a star over Price.

  57. G-Man says:

    Habs have had a great start; a lot better than I thought they would be with the question mark offense coming in (AK46 +BP). After a so-so start, the Habs have raised the bar early to get their wins. Limiting opponents’ quality chances and shots has really helped Price retain focus and composure, two elements that had disappeared from his game last season. This early success will give him a lot of confidence as the Habs make their way into the next block of ten games.

    Of course, playing the hapless Islanders doesn’t hurt.

  58. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …the criteria I will watch, measuring realistically the ultimate potential of how far Our Team can go this season will be the results with the Philadelphias, Washingtons, Detroits, Vancouvers, Hawks, Preds …and The Blues (as a Carey statement game)
    …play these physical but skilled teams even, or win …I will have justified reason to be GIDDY-enough We may have another Cinderella season to look forward to in the playoffs
    …right now, I love watching beautiful hockey again …it has been a long time coming …yet I remain suspect of how far Jacques Martin can take Our Team based upon His previous coaching history
    …Jacques Martin, Kirk Muller and Perry Pearn are blessed with a depth of character, skill and speed on this Team that many other coaches would give their left-testicles for
    …unless there will be an unforeseen implosion along the way, this will likely to be My most entertaining season from My Habs since ’93
    …o’ sooooo loooong ago
    …are the Hockey Gods finally smiling on Us again ?

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  59. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …a quality post Harani

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  60. Rugger says:

    Moen has had a WTF moment ineach of the last two games, he’s more than made up for them but those hits were not needed.

  61. Castor says:

    I’d say there was a WTF moment tonight when Gomez (who I really like actually) passed it to nobody in the offensive zone and it led to a long section of the opposing team chances.

  62. ProHabs says:

    Ya but you have to admit, now that O’Byrne is out of the lineup, there are very few WTF moments.

  63. RJB says:

    Loved Halpern and Darche tonight, fantastic game! The boys just gotta play their way and the W’s will keep coming!!

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    - Bilbo Baggins

  64. Lafrich says:

    I really like Pouliot, and I think he has loads of potential, but he is playing scared. He gives up the puck to his linemates (especially when it’s G and G) so quickly, when often the right move is to take it all the way himself. He needs a jolt of confidence. I wish he would have scored on the play that led to the penalty shot. You had to know he would miss the penalty shot. He looked scared. He is working hard but he looks like a player that is happy being a split second behind the play, and hitting the other players because it is safer to do that then have the puck.

    Other than that and Gomez’s inability to do anything, this team is playing great. What a pleasure to watch.

     

    Go Habs Go.

  65. HardHabits says:

    Once Gio and Gomez get going and Markov returns watch out.

    To quote an RDS commenter, “ce que je vois présentement me fait tripper ben raide!

    Loosely translated >> What I am seeing now is making me freak out!

  66. ProHabs says:

    Wow, I have got to say what a pleasure it is to enjoy watching the Habs play hockey again. After a year and a half of hating the system, hating half the players, hating seeing our team get dominated, it is a joy to watch the CH again.

    They haven’t played hockey this nice to watch since the first half of the Centenial Season. Keep up the great work guys.  Pleks is awesome, PK is amazing, Carey is in the zone, AK just may live up to his potential, JM actually does have a system in place after all and all is good in HabsLand. Looking forward to this group with Markov in the lineup.

  67. ooder says:

    i posted earlier here and on tsn

    its not just that they are winning it’s how they are doing it

    controlling the flow and owning the game.

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  68. Ayan_SB says:

    No Markov, no powerplay, no scoring from the second line, and still 2nd in the league so far. And to think this team’s only going to get better.

  69. DearyLeary says:

    Limited to 231 shots, best typo ever.

  70. Mike Boone says:

    I just have to stop smoking crack while writing ALN …

  71. CHsam says:

    Not that it matters now, but just want to say that I’m glad Kovalev isn’t a Hab anymore. Obviously, I loved it when he was on, but even then he had the ability to kill the flow of a game. Especially with AK46 and Pleks, just making them guess what he’s going to do.

  72. ProHabs says:

    I’ll second that.

  73. Shiloh says:

    Missed the game tonight – an unavoidable meeting – but just watched the extended highlights. Plekanec is sneaky fast and I like the fact that Subban is playing cocky. Cherry is full of crap. Halpern is doubly valuable – he defends well and is great at faceoffs plus his salary is a capologist’s dream. Price gets another win – very good although at some point Auld will have to get some minutes – perhaps Friday night? Left wing on the G & G line? I agree that Pouliot is probably the best fit. I love Ryan White but Darche is a contributor as well. White is one injury away from being called up and it’s probably better for him to play lots of minutes in Hamilton at this stage of his career. Even if we drop a couple we’ve got a nice leg up on the season.

  74. VancouverHab says:

    Sigh. Don Cherry explicitly said that it is a good thing to play cocky.

    And his point — that Subban was rashly & self-destructively stepping over a line — was veritable proof of the Cherry sagacity. Subban`s excellent play over the last two weeks coincides with a replacement of disrepect & arrogance by…cockiness.

  75. CHsam says:

    dirty naked cocaine


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