About last night …


Your Montreal Canadiens are not out of the woods yet.
But the wolves aren’t sniffing around a bleeding blue-blanc-rouge carcass … at least for now.
And there’s a glimmer of light off in the distance.

Hands up everyone who thought the Canadiens would take four points in Phoenix and Nashville.

The team is two points out of eighth place. They are five points behind the faltering Leafs, with a game in hand.

Buffalo, which is at the Bell Centre Monday night with a shaken Ryan Miller, is four points up.

Over the next two weeks, the Canadiens play eight games, including two back-to-backs – including a Friday night visit to Philadelphia, followed by a Saturday date with Pittsburgh at the Bell Centre.

There’s also a visit by Boston, two games against Carolina and a trip to the Island.

I don’t want to sound like too much of a drama queen, but this could be the Canadiens’ season right here.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland, who knows a thing or two about hockey, has said you can usually tell the contenders from the pretenders by U.S. Thanksgiving.

This year, the holiday falls on Nov. 24, just before the Canadiens’ two games against the Pennsylvania powerhouses.

If 96 points punches a ticket to the postseason dance, the Canadiens need to take 80 in their remaining 66 games.

Not impossible. And it might even become probable if the team can get a bit of momentum going heading into December.

There were impressive performances against Nashville:

• Peter Budaj, who’s been terrific in his two starts

• the David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty-Erik Cole line, dangerous every time they’re out

• Josh-Gorges and a more controlled P.K. Subban, the Canadiens’ best D pairing

• Hal Gill on the penalty-kill

• Aaron Palushaj, who looked like an NHLer

And hey, no bench minors!

Nagging problems remain.

La Presse’s François Gagnon Tweeted the mind-blowing stat of the night: the Canadiens have scored as many 5-on-4 power-play goals as they’ve allowed shorthanded: Four.

Seven NHL teams have yet to yield a shorthanded goal this season.

Fifteen teams have allowed one.

The tone was set during the season opener in Toronto, when Matthew Lombardi popped a shorty. Zack Smith of Ottawa, Ryan Jones of the Oilers and, in last night’s game, Shea Weber have the others.

But despite the morale-sapping effect of yielding a shorty, the Canadiens have won two of the four games in which it’s happened.

That speaks to the team’s character and resilience.

But the power play has seven goals (and has yielded those four!) in 59 opportunities – and an 11.9 success rate is not going to get them into the postseason.

On L’Antichambre, Vincent Damphousse said the PP needs Andrei Markov, whom he described as the best power-play defenceman in the league. Damphoussewas less effusive on Tomas Plekanec, who he says just doesn’t have the shot to play the point with the man advantage.

The Antichambre gang think Yannick Weber might become an force on the power-play. But he’s young, lacks confidence and cannot provide the consistent bullets from the point the team used to get from Sheldon Souray, Marc-André Bergeron and James Wisniewski.

Also, the absence of Markov and Roman Hamrlik makes the power-play overwhelmingly righthanded. Everything happens on that side of the attack, and opposing PKs are overplaying the Canadiens’ right side with no concern that a Markov or Hamrlik could pinch from the left point.

Oy! These Xs and Os are giving me a migraine.

Weber’s shorty – the only one of  Nashville’s 26 shots to beat Peter Budaj – came off a faceoff in the Canadiens’ end. Because whatever ails Scott Gomez prevents him from taking draws, Brian Gionta took the faceoff  and lost it to Nick Spaling, who steered the puck back to Ryan Suter.

Gomez skated toward Suter, leaving Weber open to blast one of his patented lasers past Budaj.

The shorty had a predictably energizing effect on the Predators, who went on to a 13-t shot advantage in the second period. Budaj held the fort, the PK killed a 5-on-3 and the Canadiens hung in long enough to Max-Pac to follow Josh Gorges as the road trip’s OT heroes.

A footnote: the Canadiens got Gorges and the draft choice that became Pacioretty in the 2007 trade that sent Craig Rivet to San Jose.

And Sergei Kostitsyn did nothing for Nashville.

•  •  •

Ryan Miller on Milan Lucic: “Fifty pounds on me, and he runs me like that? It’s unbelievable. … That was gutless. Gutless. Piece of [feces].”


  1. Jdub1515 says:

    Somebody needs to Perezoghin Lucic’s ass
    seriously … I would feel nothing but pure joy seeing that puke convulse on the ice

  2. bidds55 says:

    Every time I read about how great the Craig Rivet for Gorges and Patches deal was, I get angry. Not because I disagree – it was in fact a great trade – but it makes me think of what might have been if Bob Gainey had been more bold at the deadline in 2008-09.
    Specifically, we had Kovalev, and Koivu, and a few others heading into unrestricted free agency. If Rivet brought us Pacioretty and Gorges, it stands to reason we could have gotten a very solid retun on the guys we ended up letting go for nothing. Even if we only ended up getting one player of the calibre of these two, it would have been worth it to deal.

  3. 1010 says:

    The Bruins are like the Bobby Clark Flyers of ’74 and ’75. Until a bigger, stronger and more skilled team comes along this will be the norm. Unfortunately, we do not have the management team that will address this and, therefore, there will be no repeating history in that sense. It will take another team to do this.
    Truth is that Burke has a better chance of building that team than Gauthier does. Whether or not I like Gauthier is not the point: He will not seek out the personnel to address this problem. Especially with Martin on the bench.

    GO HABS…

    • --Habs-- says:

      Habs have the same problem TO has my dear friends! And that is the Tradition really doesn’t really matter…….80 years ago the Habs were given the first 2 french players from Quebec to give the Habs life! To draw the fans. It didn’t really work BUT the eventually the Fans came, the team won in spite, and the rest is history. Mr Molson pockets are full and Mr Gauthier’s has no pressure from anyone to contradict hat fact with a rink full or mostly full for the last 70 or so decades. Lets face it folks the only thing that seems to change an NHL team these days are empty seats or bottom of the basement draft choices for several years and voila. My proof! Look at the Oilers coming up! Within a year or 2 they’ll be a force like the Pens and Caps and Kings and a couple more who have that ability. Only the Habs have always had the pressure to finish in a playoff spot and be a mid stream team. The Leafs have floundered most of their draft choices simply because they were stupid. Again stupid taking on the likes of Kessel. Oh ya hes hot now but eventually Kessel will be Kessel. He’s not a franchise player. Seguin will be. You watch Seguin over the next few years. He will be a 50 + goal scorer and the Bruins were right to let Kessel go. They knew something and the Bruins gained on the Leaf stupidity. When was the last time the Habs had a 1st round 1st or 2nd choice?

  4. Maksimir says:

    All I can say about the Lucic hit is that if I was Ryan Miller – I would go double Hextall/Billy Smith on his ass… seriously take him at the knees with all I had. First offense – take a suspension and teach the goon a lesson. I really hope someone soon gives Loochicken a taste of his own medicine.

  5. J.J. of Turku says:

    Would be intersting to see stats about SHG’s allowed, when there’s a forward playing as a d-man vs. SHG’s allowed while there’s 2 d-men and 3 forwards…


  6. The HonestFan says:

    Habs are even Softer then buffalo

  7. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    The way I see it Lucic may have gotten Miller but guaranteed somebody will repay the Bruins! What comes around goes around in the NHL. Look at Eric Lindros…He nailed a ton of guys but eventually somebody ( Scott Stevens ) got him back!! It may not even be Lucic…The whole Bruins team will have to keep their head up!!

  8. bp says:

    I think we need to add a new term in hockey. Similar to the Gordie Howe hat trick, we can have the Milan Lucic hat trick – a goal, a dumb penalty and a cheap shot.

  9. encore4 says:

    For all those engaged in the coaching/managerial debate consider the following. The turning point in the game was the shorthanded goal. You have a faceoff in your own end, a center who can’t take the faceoff, (and has a poor winning percentage when he does) and you let a winger take the draw. You have a center on the bench that you traded a good prospect for (presumably for this very reason) and you fail to use him and decrease the likelihood of something negative happening when your team has all the momentum and the opportunity of building on that with a pp goal. (Visions of Julien not using Yannic Perreault against Tampa Bay in the playoffs still haunt me). Whereas Toronto with seven seconds left in the period created two good scoring chances on the man advantage because they acquired Steckel (for a fourth round pick I believe) and use him to win the draws and have set plays off the draws. How effective are the twenty minute forwards in the third period and how effective will they be in game sixty on and hopefully into the playoffs? How many will be injured because they are tired and overused? What will happen when players are needed to play that rarely see the ice currently? Did they not score on the pp in Phoenix without Plekanec on the point that was waived off by a quick whistle? Were the two goals by Phoenix because of breakdowns in the defensive zone due to the constantly evolving line combinations? Does the team win and lose because of the coaching/management or in spite of it?

  10. gauver says:

    They say that it takes time to properly evaluate a trade. Craig Rivet and fifth round choice for Gorges and Pacioretty seems like a pretty good trade. Still, I am sure that the GM who made that trade is an idiot and knows crap-all about hockey; he ruined the team….

  11. HardHabits says:

    On the game winning goal the replay only picks it up where PK gets the puck. If somebody can find me the full play let me know because I’d like to see it again. The way I remember it is the puck was languishing in the offensive zone and as the Habs looked tentative about picking it up and Nashville figured it would be an easy out because of it, Pacioretty pounced on the puck and out hustled and out muscled whatever yellow jerseys were in his vicinity and proceeded to cycle the puck around until he hit the blue line. That is where PK picked the puck up as if Max had passed him the baton of individual effort excellence, made his own dominant move and passed it back to MP who followed with a sweet wrist shot from the circle.

    EDIT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8GzSJCqOvA

    The last two games saw the Habs regress to playing the JM system when they had the lead, however with a tweak, but the tweak was forced.

    In the Phoenix game the Habs were leading 2-1 and JM decided to put Nokia on the wing with Eller. Eller lost an offensive zone face-off and the puck ended back in Montreal’s end. A bit of confusion ensued, both centres played centre and nobody covered the point and before you can say “takes a shot, blocked, rebound, put home” the puck was in the net.

    So here’s my gripe. Why when your team is winning do you put a person who is essentially a right handed defensive zone face off specialist and a 4th liner at that on the wing on an offensive zone face-off when you have the lead. Is this not the epitome of trying to sit on a lead. If you ask me that is where you put out an offensive minded unit and go for the goal. Instead of it being 3-1 it turned out being 2-2.

    Same thing last night but a different variation. Why if Gomez can’t take face-offs is he out there, regardless that it’s on a PP, with Gio taking the draw no less, especially when Cammy is on the ice and is a better face-off man than Gomez even. Gio was 0 for 3 on the night and suffice it to say that was his last draw of the evening. On this play same thing. Gio takes the draw and both and he and Gomez play centre. Nobody covers the point and before you can say “here, now, Weber, scores” the puck is in the net.

    The good news is the ties in each case forced JM’s hand and he had to come out of System mode. I wouldn’t be so cynical to assume that one of the tenets of the System is to protect a tie late in the 3rd to notch the guaranteed point, but there was a semblance of the Habs going for it a bit more as opposed to skating backwards and collapsing around Price/Budaj.

    Which is my biggest grievance with JM. His job must seem safe now so no more of this high octane fore-checking game we saw against Philly, Boston and Ottawa (until the rope-a-dope third). The fore checking game get’s the heart rate up too much and we wouldn’t want our coach to have a coronary attack during a game.

    The Habs are fortunate that the Preds are a lumbering and sluggish team with little in the way of scoring ability. In the OT Gomez’ let rip one of hi Patented Passes to Nowhere™ which ended up as scoring chance on the other end. Thankfully JM went back to the one bright light on this team, the youth movement; Pax, Subban, Desharnais, Gorges.

  12. Hab-Q says:

    Max Pac’s goal was reminiscent of kovy off the half-boards-

    a little fake and a deadly accurate shot.

    “I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out”

    ~Rodney Dangerfield

  13. Arrow77 says:

    I’ve been posting for a few years and I don’t remember saying one nice thing about Jaroslav Spacek but seriously, why not use him on the powerplay? The only time I’ve seen him used, he fed Weber and Cammalleri pretty well for one-timers. I realize he’s never going to be the PP specialist Gainey thought he signed anymore, but he’s having a good season, he’s left-handed and he has experience there.

    As for Plekanec, I don’t think his problem is his shot (he did score 2 goals after all). I think his problem is that he’s just not a good playmaker from the blue line and he gets nervous when the defenders put some pressure.

  14. MontrealBruin says:

    I can take all the excrement that you guys throw at me. All of my pals are die hard Hab fans and we had tons of heated debates so I am used to it. I am not here to troll but to have a good honest debate on all hockey issues. To the ones that welcome me, thanks and to all of the haters, tough. All I am saying is that you have to take off your glasses sometimes and try and see the whole picture. I am a hockey fan first then a Bruin Fan.


    Thanks for the welcome Mattyleg and take a note from “Les Gros Bill”, stay classy.

    Go Go Black and Gold

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Welcome to show.

      I have a few Bruins fans as friends. Most are pretty cool. We each take digs at each other, it’s all pretty friendly. There are those among them that are outright fanatics and can take no criticism, good or bad. We have a few of those here as well.

      All in all, we just push each others buttons, in a good way.

      With that, I say…the Bruins and Lucic SUCK!!

      Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

    • neumann103 says:

      I have no idea why a couple of posters spewed the hate, but then I am a Habs fan living in Toronto (and I am not from Montreal either).

      I have never hated the Bruins – eg the way I hate the Flyers. I won’t take any Flyer player in a pool because I cannot bear the thought of even indirectly wishing that organization well in any way. But I do think the current incarnation of the Bruins are goons. In recent years (eg since acquiring Gregory Campbell) they have been able to get away with lots of crap that other teams cannot. I don’t believe it is a conspiracy, just a defensive, probably not entirely conscious but understandable reaction of NHL officials to the inconsistency and lack of objectivity in the VP’s office.

      I do think the current Bruins are among the worst of what passes for goons (I grew up in the 70s, so….) but what I really despise is their ownership. Jacobs is among the worst of the Bettman enabling cronies that hold the league back. Chiarelli appears to be a very sound hockey mind but I could really do without seeing his reaction to every penalty call against his team. Most GMs maintain some form of decorum. He is like the GM equivalent of Lindy Ruff.

      Speaking of Ruff, I agree with your original post that among the most puzzling aspects of the Lucic/Miller affair is the lack of reaction of Ruff. His head explodes with a totally routine tripping call, but this?

      On your other main point, you are just flat out comparing apples and oranges with l’affaire Gionta/Reimer. The only thing they have in common is contact. Gionta skating through the area in front of the crease while a play is being made is in no way comparable to Lucic targetting a vulnerable goalie after he has played the puck. I do beleive that goalies expose themselves when they come out to play the puck but the practice is (understandably) to give them a little more slack. Lucic knew forty feet away that the puck would be gone before he got there and made no play on the puck. Just decided to lay the hit on a player who has already got rid of the puck.

      Speaking of that scenario and the 70s, it is true that the game was tougher then but this “finishing your check” BS describing the routine practice of taking a 30 foot run at a player who got rid of the puck two seconds ago was not excused with that absurd euphemism. Oh well, maybe it is “just a hockey play”.

      “Et le but!”

  15. sampson12 says:

    Has anyone seen Cody?

  16. showey47 says:

    I don’t know where the 96 points is required to make the playoffs comes from. It’s been between 88 and 93 since the lockout. In the west it happened once at 97 but it’s usually around 91-93.

  17. kempie says:

    Typical gutless POS bruin “hockey play”. What a bunch of mindless jackholes.

    • gauver says:

      it took Miller out of the game, Buffalo didn’t score on the PP and nobody made Lucic pay; it seems like a good result for Boston. im agine how Miller feels about his teammates. this is an incident that has the potential to derail the Sabres.

      My father tells me he saw John Ferguson do this on more than one occasion in the 1960’s.

  18. habs001 says:

    The two teams we beat phoenix and nashville play the leafs in the next 2 games and hopefully beat them and if (big if) we win vs the sabres,canes and islanders we have passed the leafs before the season has even hit 20 games..hopefully would reduce the leaf shirts on fridays at work…

  19. mrhabby says:

    like boone said. november seems like a make or break month and the season. habs need to keep momentum and eek out a win in close games. price needs to be playing really well and get on a role for this offensively challenged team. it would be nice to see this team play with all its missing parts for once.

  20. Mattyleg says:

    Just a little note:
    A Bruins fan came on here and made a couple of interesting points, and the best people can do is swear and insult him? Say that they wish he dies?
    This from the same people that claim that Montreal should live up to its reputation as a classy organization.

    You embarrass me.

    MontrealBruin, you’re always welcome here to air your views.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I agree with your comments regarding some of the responses made to him. However, I can’t say I will always welcome him 🙂 here to air his views given he thinks the Gionta play was the same thing. Your point is well made though Matty, I just can’t ever be overly welcoming to a Bruin fan unless I know the person hehe…

      • Chris says:

        In some respects, the Gionta play WAS the same thing. Gionta is very adept at initiating contact with goaltenders…he’s been doing it for the past couple of years. On that one, there wasn’t really any reason for Gionta to go through there, and he injured a kid bad enough that he is still out.

        If the tables were turned and that was Grabovski’s hip catching Price in the face, Habs fans would be out for blood two years later.

        • no reason for gionta to go where? the crease? where the goalie stops the pucks?

          slow down chris

          • Chris says:

            Keep an eye on Gionta and watch how often he is banging into the goalies. It is more often than people think.

        • ZepFan2 says:

          “In some respects, the Gionta play WAS the same thing.”

          No it wan’t. Gio was going for a rebound off of a PK shot. He was going to the net (something we scream for players here to do), and was nudged by the two players that were tangled up in front of the net.

          Lucic just barrelled down the ice and into Miller (who was playing the puck) and never stopped.

          Lucic’s “hit” was intentional. Gio’s was not.

          Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

        • showey47 says:

          Sorry, in no respects was the gionta play the same thing. One is going through the slot with his back turned to reimer at the point of contact with a shot coming from the point and lucic ran directly at miller after he played the puck to the boards. It also wasn’t a hip that caught reimer,on the replay it shows reimer head making contact with gionta right on the #21 of his jersey.

    • Bill says:

      I ignored that guy because he’s a troll. Some people immaturely flamed him, but that’s less egregious than trolling another team’s fan site.

      He didn’t make even one “interesting point”, much less several: what are you talking about? He compared Gionta’s accidental side-swipe of Reimer with Lucik’s straight-line for 80 feet direct charge of Miller: it’s only interesting in terms of its unabashed stupidity.

      Nice of you to say he’s “welcome”, but I was just wondering who died and made you Webmaster of HIO? Maybe just speak for yourself? Trolls like him are not welcome as far as I’m concerned.

      (I’m sorry if this post sounds rude: I’m just disagreeing with you and I can’t seem to manage my tone today … no offence is intended.)

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  21. Duke_Rauol says:

    I expected Stock and Milbury to defend Lucic, but Hrudey? You were a goalie dude! Complete joke, and i doubt he gets any discipline for it.

    I really hope Emelin draws in against Buffalo, Diaz, weber and Spacek werent great last night, IMO.

    We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

  22. Chris says:

    Good road win for the Habs against a strong defensive team. That shot of Pacioretty’s was amazing, although it probably doesn’t go in if Klein’s stick doesn’t tip it a bit. Nonetheless, this is why you shoot…the number of decent shooting opportunities that the Habs have squandered to pass back to a covered player in the past few games has been truly frustrating. If you shoot, you might get a tip or a rebound and good things happen.

    Subban had a very strong game. He created that OT goal by walking along the blue-line and drawing everybody to him, giving Pacioretty a chance to get the shot. Smart play by Subban.

    Budaj had a great game, albeit mitigated by the team not giving up a ton of high-risk scoring chances. Nonetheless, he was there when the Habs needed him, and I have to wonder on that weird defelection what would have happened if Price was in net, as Price might have been on his way behind the net to play the puck.

    Rafael Diaz…oi oi oi. Not a good game for a kid that I like quite a bit. On one shift, he managed to make a complete mash-up, granting the Predators two opportunities that never should have been given through careless puckhandling/passing in his own zone. And you know that Emelin would have been benched for that same play. Martin has his strengths, but he has always been a guy who treats some youngsters (the Kostitsyns, Latendresse, Emelin, Pacioretty) much different than others (Desharnais, Eller, Subban). That is his prerogative as coach, but I can certainly see how it might be frustrating.

    And Ryan Miller, you are officially my favourite goalie in the NHL. Lucic is the biggest coward in the NHL, right there with guys like Corey Perry and Max Lapierre, so good on somebody for finally calling him out in the most frank of terms. Lucic is so completely full of crap…he knew he wasn’t getting that puck, the puck was gone, and he laid up and got his arms up so that he could lay the hit. I’m actually okay with contact with goalies when the puck is there, but he knew he wasn’t getting that one and followed through anyways. Gutless is a perfect descriptive term for the player in the league that I probably detest the most.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Post Chris.

      • LL says:

        Good points all around Chris.

        But maybe I misunderstood, are you insinuating, that with Price in net, this could’ve resulted in a loss?

        Budaj was very good. I think, maybe, our team has finally found a great back-up.

        • Chris says:

          Not at all insinuating that it might have been a loss with Price. Just noting that that was a weird play that might have been more costly with a more aggressive puck-handling goalie.

    • Jocko says:

      Chris, I’m happy to be in the seat next to you in this large boat called “F**k You Lucic”. This guy is a typical bully, pushes around the small guy but never fights the big guys. I would absolutely love to see that meathead get his, on or off the ice.

      I don’t want to see Maurice tonight, I want to see The Rocket!

  23. JF says:

    Aside from the short-handed goal, last night was a very solid effort. In the first period, skating and passing were so fast and accurate that Nashville had little time or space to get a good forecheck going. Had it not been for Rinne, we would have had a goal on that first powerplay, which was pretty dangerous looking. The second period was a struggle, but the team showed character in battling back after the morale-sapping short-handed goal and just hanging in.

    I loved Desharnais’ game. He drives the net despite his lack of size; I think all his goals as a Hab have been scored from close in. He’s had a couple of bad games recently, but that’s always the case with young players; there are going to be ups and downs. It’s why Gomez is potentially still useful (despite his failure to cover Weber on the short-handed goal). Both Desharnais and Eller will have periods when they struggle or make poor decisions. Long-term, i.e., after this season, Gomez is a problem, but for now I think he can contribute.

    Budaj was very solid. He was terrible during the pre-season, but someone suggested that he and Pierre Groulx were probably involved in taking his game apart to improve certain parts of it. It now seems that was likely the case, since Budaj was also good in the loss to Florida. This is a plus for the team. If JM feels he can rely on Budaj, he’ll give him more games, which means Price will play fewer. It was clear last year that JM had no confidence in Auld, who I thought did well in the role he was called on to play.

    About Jacques Martin: I have lots of criticisms, but he’s keeping a team that has missed its best defenceman and been decimated by injuries all season within reach of a playoff spot. The team has had only two really bad games (Pittsburgh and Calgary). The other losses were either because we could not beat a hot goaltender, or because Price was not as solid as he’s been recently, or because of a glaring defensive breakdown. Not because JM made mistakes or was out-coached. He’s actually doing a decent job. And I don’t think he’s “ruining” Emelin any more than he “ruined” Eller, Pacioretty, Desharnais or Subban, who has been far better lately, playing well defensively and letting the highlight reel stuff take care of itself, as I’m sure it will. A few days ago someone translated an interview with Emelin, in which he did not sound at all like a player who is getting ready to bolt back to the KHL. I think he knows he has a lot to learn.

    And Jacques Martin has to win hockey games. He’s doing it. Those who want him gone have failed to offer a viable alternative. Even leaving aside the French requirement, there’s really no one out there. If the Habs fire JM, they would have to offer someone else a multi-year contract. The name that comes up most frequently is that of Patrick Roy – who has zero NHL coaching experience and is fiery, unstable, and egotistical. Do we really want someone like that at the bar of the team for the foreseeable future? I’ve also seen Guy Carbonneau’s name tossed out. The argument is that he was doing a good job but was hamstrung by locker-room issues, and was unfairly dismissed. Carbonneau was fine when the team was going well, but by his own admission he was a poor communicator, and he was absolutely at a loss when the team faced adversity. Nor is there any evidence that he would be better able to handle it now than he was then. We grumble about JM’s lack of emotion, his sometimes bizarre decisions, his benching of certain players, but for now I think he’s better than any alternative.

  24. habs001 says:

    We all feel great when the habs win and go on a good streak…But many posters get fooled by a habs winning streak. While there has been player changes in the last 2 years this team still looks the same over the last 200 regular and playoff games..We win tight games like the last two where we could just as easily lost them and put together a good 10 game record but than we go back to a poor 10 game record where we lose games like the last 2..We have been in the bottom one third in scoring for 2 years and again this year. The team has just not taken that next step and the wins and loses and streaks have been a carbon copy for 200 plus games..Maybe it is time for a new coaching approach.

    • savethepuck says:

      I think more posters on here get fooled by small losing streaks than small winning streaks. The team won 4 in a row after a slow start and everything was fine. But losing just 2 tough games in a row, had a lot of people on here picking a jersey # for Nail Yakupov again. This team has won 6 of their last 8. They are not a pretender.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  25. RGM says:

    Still feeling good about the win last night. Nashville is a team on the rise, and if they do find some fiscal mysticism that allows them to keep all of their big three they will be a force for some time to come. It’s a long-running dream of mine to have Gorges & Weber, two good BC boys, re-united on the blueline in Montreal, but it looks like they’re going to make every effort they can to re-sign him.

    It’ll be interesting to know if Miller’s alright to play on Monday night. If he plays it’ll be yet another low-scoring, eke-one-out type of affair between two elite NHL goalies.

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
    RGM’s Movember page: http://mobro.co/RGM81

  26. Richard B says:

    anyone got an update on Markov? Traveled with the team for the road trip but played neither game? Are we assuming that he is about to play any game now?

    Richard B

    • RGM says:

      He took part in an optional practice yesterday with a handful of guys. I’m told he’ll be back in full practices within the next 7-10 days. Add another 7-10 days from that to get him back to game speed, and he should debut by month’s end.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
      RGM’s Movember page: http://mobro.co/RGM81

  27. petefleet says:

    The view from my rec room:

    1. Budaj is considerably better than he was in preseason…..thank the gods.
    2. Max Pac is the real deal. Love watching him play.
    3. Cole is still not getting the numbers but he is playing hard and the goals will come.
    4. Eller is still making some very questionable plays in his own end, but overall he seems to be getting better.
    5. Gomer managed to gain the zone several times last night only to make a useless pass to no one or try to get it to a guy who couldn’t get a shot off. Being off the top lines (123) is great but he is not a 4th liner either. What to do? Hmmmmmmmmm
    6. I want PK to start doing something offensively. Yes his defensive play has improved but he possesses the whole package. Time is coming to use it……effectively. Yes, he got the OT assist.
    7. Habs PP still sucks. Why they are not stting up like they did when they were successful is beyond me. Do it all they same and give Diaz, PK, and Weber some time on the point for a good one-timer. No they are not QB’s but neither was Wiz, Streit or Souray.
    8. So let me get this straight…Lucic has the respect of his team mates for running a goalie like that. Seriously? Boston really does suck.
    That is all….for now.

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    ***Habs Forever***

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    I am hearing that Belfour has been camping out with Occupy Toronto and didn’t have access to a shaver nor did he have a closet to hang a suit in. I have always been a fan of Belfour (probably because he grew up in a town by my family, and my brother played hockey against him as a kid) but thought he looked disrespectful in his appearance last night. I am sure he is honoured and does cherish this, but why to appear like he had no idea they would be honoured that evening seems beyond odd.

  29. MontrealBruin says:

    Hey Hab fans. You should be glad that Lucic ran into Miller. Lucic softened him up for when you guys play Buffalo on Monday. I am also curious to know how come there is no comment from Lindsy Ruff? He usually the first one out there to complain to the media. I know there are a lot of great Habs fans out there but many of you are just hypocrites, many of you weren’t complaining when Gionta ran over Reimer of the Leafs. In case you forgot, here’s the clip.


    By the way, nice game winning goal by Pacioretty.

    Go Go Black and Gold

    • Rainrocket16 says:

      Puck you, you Pucking Asshole!! I hope Miller finds Lucic in a dark alley and shoves his sherwood up the Lucic forest! Go back to the days of Y’orr and continue sobbing on how pathetic your franchise of goons really is! Remember that even though you won the Cup, everyone knows you didn’t truly earn it!! All the refs that worked the Habs-Bruins Series should be on the cup!! Douche!!

    • V says:

      Thanks for the link. I had not seen that. Without it you had a point – Lucic and Gionta both ran into a goalie.

      But if you think those situations are comparable, you are out of your mind.

    • RJ says:

      The same league that looked the other way to your thuggery last year created a dream schedule for you this year. Thirteen of first seventeen at home and no back to back games until game 21. Take the last 20 years of schedules and compare this year with those years. See anything unusual. The same guys who allowed Savards name on the cup probably make the schedule too.

      “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

    • G-Man says:

      Hey, A-HOLE. GFY and all the other goon hockey fans. Maybe you’ll all catch something and die. And the world would be improved.

    • New says:

      Lucic is one of those players you luv to hate and most teams would welcome. I don’t see what Millar is on about, he saw it coming all the way and even tried to elbow Lucic then slash him.

      • chemic says:

        the rules about running the goalie are very clear, so no discussion here. just wondering if the sabres are a even softer the than our beloved habs. where was this huge gaustad-guy who everyone wants to sign here?

        i dont defend this jerk lucic but he has a point when he sasys something like that would never be accepted on Tmmy.

        • New says:

          A lot of drama, with the puck safely out of the way. The Bruins are really big crease crashers so maybe the thought is to get the refs eyeballs glued to Lucic, Horton, et al, near the blue rather than both sets on the puck going towards the point.

          But yeah. If you can’t defend your goalie, right or wrong, you don’t go far at that level. It isn’t that you intimidate the guy, but splitting his lip gives him three days to taste the salt and remember not to go there. It just sort of keeps the thought fresh until his mind trains him.

    • showey47 says:

      Sorry,not even close to the same play. Gionta comes from the corner with a point shot going to the net and his back makes contact with reimer who wasn’t in his crease. Lucic ran right at miller with no intent to play the puck . This is a typical bruin play when they are losing,which at that point they were. But then again bruins fans and their media also claim the chara hit on maxpac was exactly the same as the gill one on jon sim.

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    So Buffalo apparantly has much of the N.A.G. many have asked Habs Mgmt to bring in (myself included) yet none of these players held Lucic accountable.

    In the big picture, who cares about a 2min. instigator penalty, take Lucic to task and show that his behaviour is not tolerated. If I am Ryan Miller I am equally pissed at my team for not making Lurch pay for a clear attempt to hit Miller. Listening to the neandrathal try explain he was bracing himself to ensure he wouldn’t be hurt was even more painful.

    And as others have stated the pukes at CBC just cheered it on. If I ever meet PJ Stock, I cant wait to explain what a useless drivel producer he is.

    • The Cat says:

      Im pretty sure Ruff wont tolerate that either, the next buffalo-boston game should be something else.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • V says:

      I think players fighting to hold other players accountable does not work in the short term or the long term.

      The league has the power to legislate the sort of play they want from teams – if this stuff exists, it’s because the league is OK with it.

  31. Rainrocket16 says:

    R.I.P. Charlie Lea…..Expos legend!!

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    I was impressed by the game DD played last night. I felt the past couple games he looked completely ineffective. Erik Cole made a brilliant patient play to provide the opportunity for DD and he capitalized.

  33. V says:

    Good win. Four points in two tough towns. Very nice.

    Good to see Emelin out of the line-up. Too many serious mistakes. We need wins right now. The line-up on the ice last night is the one that has gotten the job done.

    With AK and Markov slotting in, I think we roll 4 pretty steady lines and the PP should be much better. Nice

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      As if Emelin has made more crucial mistakes than Diaz, Weber or Gill… Don´t getting the job done because of being soft as butter doesn´t seem to be a problem. This D even with Markov in, will probably get uns nowhere in the playoffs. We need Emelin and another physical dman.

      You´re right about the forwards though. With Kostitsyn in we have four decent lines. Add White at one point and this is a real good mix of skill, speed, size and some grit. Playing in front of a tougher D, this team could really win more than a couple of playoff games I think.

      • V says:

        Everyone makes mistakes, no doubt about that. What clinches is it for me is that Emelin is not playing so he must be making more mistakes than the others – many that we as fans don’t even see.

        I just don’t see JM or any other coach sitting a player he thinks is better than the ones he is playing – does not make any sense. I get all the arguments about our needing a more physical presence but don’t buy the notion that JM sits him because he does not like physical players. I think he loves physical players that also play well positionally.

        In this case he has decided that Emelin’s downside outweighs his physical upside. And I am going to play the odds and suggest that the coach with over 600 NHL coaching wins can make a better call on this than every poster on this site who combined have 0 NHL coaching wins.

        • The Cat says:

          Favouritism exists everywhere.

          [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

          • V says:

            But what’s wrong with favoring players you are convinced will do a better job for you over ones you are convinced won’t? JM plays Price all the time because he favors Price’s game over that of his back-ups. He would be a fool not to favour Price.

            That might look like favouritism to you. To me it looks like common sense.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I find that statement of “Too many serious mistakes” to be a bit overstated. Yes I am of the view that I would like to see a rotation among our dmen, thus allowing a player like Emelin to see back to back games. I am not blind to say he hasn’t made mistakes, but we can go through the entire list of players on this team who have made mistakes including veteran and rookie dmen.

      Yes we need wins right now, but I do not believe for a minute that Emelin was costing this team wins.

      Long term it is beneficial for this team to try and develop Emelin into a regular spot on this team. To think practising alone with an NHL team during the season will provide that seems ridiculous, one would think faceoffs could be taught during these practises then also.

      I have nothing against Diaz/Weber etc.. but would like to see the sandpaper element which Emelin brings be utilized.

      • V says:

        You’re right. That was probably overstating it a bit for the sake of being a little provocative and a reaction to the excess of heat JM gets here for sitting Emelin.

        I agree with everything you are saying about it being beneficial that Emelin fit in at some point – and I’m very comfortable with him sitting at this point if the current line-up continues to win as much as they are. I am confident he will be in when he deserves to be.

  34. Marc10 says:

    Good game by my boy DD. (Oh wait, I forgot. He doesn’t deserve his wingers… Right… Sorry.)

    The Preds don’t impress me at all. They’re at home, playing their starter Mr George Vezina-Rinne. We play our backup and are missing our top D man (as per usual) and the only forward who scores these days… and we win.

    Oh, and they have the best coach in the league and we have the worst. And we’re dressing the worst player in the universe…

    Are we really that bad??? The answer is no. And wait until St Andrei returns. We are going to light up teams like that.

    And yes… Lucic is pond scum. Can’t wait for Kaleta/Gerbe to run Timmy T. It’s going to happen.

  35. Fool of Chu says:

    Roy in his late twenties:



    Is Yannick Weber really the turnover machine that the highlights suggest he is?

  36. Shmitzy says:

    Pretty paranoid sounding piece Boone. Ya think you go back and forth a little too much? Good grief. I saw a team with injuries gut out two wins in tough barns. I saw a team lose two games before that in contests they played well enough to win. With fair reffing and no sickly hot Oil goaltender, this Habs team is riding an eight-game winning streak. “This could be the season right here” Absolute nonsense.

  37. AceMagnum says:


    What the Hell does that mean anyway?

  38. JayBee says:

    Happy with the win tonight. They played a good road game.

    Mark Howe said something tonight on HNIC (Cherry mentioned it too). He said that today’s game more chippy, more cheapshots, etc.. and it has to do with the players not being allowed to police the league. He said in the old days, if you ran a top player you’d pay for it (he’s right about that). It also cut down on the yapping and stick work from the “pretenders” (see: yappers, cheapshotters who won’t fight).

    He was absolutely right…that brings me back to the Lucic hit on Miller. Not one Sabre dropped the gloves. If a goalie was run in the past…that player would get thier bleep kicked. The Bruins are so effective because their brand of hockey isn’t punished by the refs, league or other teams. Lucic wouldn’t get away with the crap he does if he played in the 80’s.

  39. Vid says:

    I don’t think having predominantly right-handed Dmen on the power play is a problem in itself. Habs seemed to do perfectly well with a power play where pretty much all the Dmen & Forwards were left handed for quite a few years (of course this was before Markov got injured). If anything the team in general was and still is too left handed. Even now the only top six forward we have who’s right handed is Gionta.

    The coaching staff needs to find new strategies and simply accept that they can’t rely on a left handed one timer from the right point as they have done in the past. They’ve needed to do this for quite some time actually. Remember how even when Montreal had one of the best PPs, it would all go to hell if their trigger man (ie streit, souray, wiz, schneider) got injured. A good power play is not a one trick pony.

    The good thing is that right now the Habs don’t have one but two Dman with good slap shots, they just happen to be both right handed and inexperienced. Even with a healthy Markov, since he’s most effective at the left point he wouldn’t be paired with either Subban or Webber. Markov would help but he will not be the whole solution. You’ll still have the same issue where the Habs lack a leftie who can one-time a slap shot good enough yet be a good enough passer to be paired with a right handed player on the left point.

    If they want to do a mirror image of the Markov-Trigger Man strategy, They’d have to pair Webber and Subban together but such a possibility must scare the living daylights out of the coaching staff.

  40. diehardhab says:

    Should be noted that Friday the 25th in Philly is scheduled for 3pm for American Thanksgiving.

    The torch be yours to hold it high!


  41. pg says:

    Question – How long was Gomez benched for losing his man on the Nashville goal?

    Trick question, he wasn’t benched – he isn’t Eller or Emelin.

  42. GenerationYHabs says:

    IF anyone wants a little icing on their cake from tonight win, you should check out Kaleta’s hit on Chara tonight it was a beauty!

    Lurch gets sent flying across the ice and wasn’t to happy about it.

  43. 86ontheice says:

    One day the piece of excrement is gonna get the excrement kicked out of him. Can’t wait to see it. He is a gutless coward.

  44. Number31 says:

    Simplify the powerplay… Until Markov comes back, 1st wave should have PK/Weber launching from the point, followed by Spacek/Diaz. Return the forwards back to their regular spots down low. It’s annoying because having Pleky on the point eliminates him from down low, where he was more dangerous. All our forwards are guys who work better down low… Reason why it’s so bad is because all these guys are playing out of their comfort zone, out of their usual positions. We don’t have the right forwards for the point. (Traded them away. It was Sergei who was always up there except when he played with the Habs. Same with Maxwell. Not a chance Martin would trust those guys up there anyway). You might get the odd goal by the forward on the point, but consistently to make the powerplay dangerous? No.

    • adamhabsalex says:

      I agree 100%. The Habs would potentially have half of the losses they do not if they would have even an average PP. To keep doing the same thing an expecting different results …

      Membership since 1970

  45. Just finished watching the game (Bell PVR). Way to go Habs!

    Cole is the best player on the team.

    #67 is a beast.

    Budaj, I am not a fan of your rebound control (Hello Halak), but you made some nice saves,

    Way to go Canadiens, see you very soon!

    The 2011 Summit

    This will be one to remember.
    And don’t forget the Children’s Foundation Auction.
    Raffle tickets are 20.00 ea or 3 for 40.00
    Everyone should bring one item to raffle off.

    Shane Oliver
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  46. montreal ace says:

    Lucic and his pals will be bully boys till teams start fighting back. He said after the game the game. that a hit like that on a Boston goaltender would not be accepted.

  47. Trisomy 21 says:

    So with Boston a likely team to move into playoff contention by the end of the year, which two teams will fall from the top 8 to let the Habs in? Florida and?
    Philly? Jagr is bound to slow down but they have are solid in all positions, and Pronger wasn’t with the team for a stretch, so I think they’re staying put.
    Toronto? We’ve seen them start strong before, but I am beginning to doubt that after this long they’re destined to miss the playoffs once again. Their team is unfortunately getting better with age…
    TB? not likely
    NYR? 6 W’s in a row. They’re looking hot.
    And finally I think Buffalo improved their roster over the off season, and have young guys such as Myers who are only going to get better.
    This is going to be one tough hole to dig out of. The Habs simply cannot have a dismal December again.

  48. slapshot777 says:

    Okay so head shots are suspendable so should running a goaltender. If anyone looks at that video, it’s plain to see Lucic made sure he laid a lick on Miller. Shanahan should at least be giving Lucic a one game suspension, with a little reminder that next one carries an automatic double up on that suspension.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Not happening.
      I hate Lucic, maybe even more than you, but a suspension would be unwarranted. This isn’t a controversial issue like head shots or hitting from behind. It was dirty but he got a penalty for the infraction. You don’t see the league disciplining players for ordinary penalties just because they didn’t like it. That’s why they give the penalties out. In fact, Miller might be more likely to face discipline for his viscous swing of his axe- er.. stick. Though I doubt that too.

      If this was any other player, would you be calling for a suspension? Need to think objectively, you just hate the Bruins too much. Don’t worry though, I feel your anger. I saw red for a bit when he did that. He really is a piece of [excrement]. And I am no Miller fan either.

      • slapshot777 says:

        Yes, I would because I know if it was anybody on the Habs who did this I can pretty much say that there would be some kind of hearing with Shanahan.

        To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

        • I doubt it, otherwise Gionta would have got a call from Shanahan for the contact on Reimer.

          Seriousfan09 has started a Movember team named McPhee’s Irregulars. Donate to him, or me or the team to raise money for a great cause!

          • Bill J says:

            Gionta didn’t charge the goalie, he crossed the crease.

            I do agree though, Lucic won’t get suspended, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t.

            That being said, memo to rest of NHL… Run Thomas and Rask!

            If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

            Go Habs Go!

  49. t1tan5 says:

    Collisions are inevitable, but at least make it look like you’re trying to get out of the way. Lucic is an idiot.

  50. Stev.R says:

    Congrats to my boy Budaj. Way to make papa proud

  51. wall2bay says:

    It’s moments like this when I don’t feel bad what Cooke did to Savard!

    “I kind of feel sorry for players who never got a chance to be a Montreal Canadien” – Cammalleri

  52. Un Canadien errant says:

    We are starting to get the measure of the Canadiens. They are a spirited team who will work and skate hard every game. They’ll scratch and claw for wins. They can eke out wins on the road against lower-tier teams. They can when inspired beat the league’s powerhouses. They will fight to earn a spot in the playoffs.

    After an overtime win against the Coyotes, again they earn a close one in OT against the Predators. It was a relatively pedestrian win, with the good guys not being able to finish chances around Pekka Rinne’s net.

    Our fingers can back off the panic button and assume a not-so-hair-trigger hover position when it comes to the backup goaltender. After having looked awful in pre-season, Peter Budaj put in a solid effort in this start, his second quality appearance out of two.

    David Desharnais caught my eye early in the first period with his skillful work along the boards. A lot of fans think he doesn’t belong because he isn’t built like Joe Thorton or Bobby Smith, but he is effective and uses his size (or lack thereof) to his advantage. I saw him duck under flailing checking or cross-checking attempts, and while he can’t bullrush someone off the puck, he is skillful with his stick and seems to more often than not win puck battles with his surgical accuracy and timing. While a bigger opponent tries to whale at the puck, he times it just right and finesses it out of the corner. I saw him also use his skate to grab the puck, something which a taller, lumbering defenceman will have difficulty doing. He was rewarded for his efforts tonight by a goal set up by a lovely pass from Erik Cole, who is generous almost to a fault these days.

    PK Subban seems to be settling down, and received some love on RDS tonight. Some posited that Randy Ladouceur may have a calming effect on him and may be imparting wisdom that is actually sinking in. Meanwhile, Hal Gill surprised me again tonight, as he chose to leave his position and go for a skate with the puck or to lay a hit on someone. If PK pays attention, he’ll notice that Mr. Gill is effective in these instances, since the opposition is completely caught off guard when he does anything aside from the safe, conservative, easy play. PK is slowly learning that throwing 9 left jabs for every overhand right is the right way to go, as opposed to always going for the knockout punch.

    It was also amusing to see Jacques Martin unable to help himself and using Scott Gomez on the powerplay, even though he is not fully healthy. Maybe the goal by Shea Weber will cause him to reconsider, since Mr. Gomez was largely at fault on the play. I believe that the skillset Mr. Gomez brings to the table is not one which is sorely needed on the team, and we would be better served having kept Mike Blunden in the lineup instead.

    Which brings me to Alexei Yemelin. I’m disheartened, again, that he is being left off the roster, while Jaroslav Spacek is given free rein. His penalty tonight was brutal, and resulted from his lack of mobility and strength. Mr. Emelin would have had the physical tools to deal with the same situation, and if not would at least have had a learning opportunity to profit from. Again, Mr. Emelin needs to play. Every minute invested in him will benefit us in future seasons, while Mr. Spacek is a lame duck and any investments in him are wasted, as he will be gone this summer.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  53. Habfan4lfe says:

    Well he fits in with the rest of the [excrement] on his team.

    We’re not too far off with our coach. We won tonight by the skin of our teeth.

  54. Da Hema says:

    Lucic really is a cowardly piece of [excrement].

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