About last night …

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Anyone who reads these ravings regularly knows I am not a knee-jerk critic of Scott Gomez.
Yes, he’s the highest-paid player on the roster.
Yes, he’s among the team’s least-productive forwards.
But I have been reluctant to ascribe all the Canadiens’ difficulties this season to Gomez.

He is not be 100 per cent of the problem.

But on this night in Carolina, the absence of Gomez was definitely part of the solution.

Numbers may be deceptive, but they don’t lie.

Through two periods, Gomez played 12:31. He had no shots on goal, lost five of eight faceoffs and gave the puck away twice.

The Canadiens trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes.

Gomez was not available in the third period: lower body injury, day-to-day status.

Over the last 20 minutes, Jacques Martin used three lines. The Canadiens scored twice and scored the only goal of the Shootout to get two points they probably didn’t deserve.

Through the first two periods, Lars Eller – playing on the wing, mostly with Petteri Nokelainen and Mathieu Darche – had two SoG and a shorthanded goal that brought the Canadiens back into the game.

Switched to centre for the third period, Eller assisted on the Travis Moen goal that tied the game at 3-3 and finished the game at plus-2.

David Desharnais was 12-5 on faceoffs and had three takeaways.

The top three centres on this team are Tomas Plekanec, DD and Eller.

Again, I’m not a habitual Gomez basher.

He came up through one of the league’s great organizations and comports himself like a consummate pro. Gomez is a good teammate and mentor to the younger players.

At this point, however, the situation reminds me of an anecdote Pierre McGuire once related on Mitch Melnick’s show.

In discussion the talents of someone McGuire did not identify, the Scotty Bowman was told “he’s good in the room”.

“Then let him stay in the room,” the great coach growled, “because he’s no f—ing good on the ice.”

Barring remarkable powers of recuperation, Gomez will not play in Philadelphia on Friday afternoon. He’s probably a longshot to face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins in what should be a classic Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

Based on what we saw in Carolina, the lines battling against the great state of Pennsylvania should be Tomas Plekanec centring Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri, DD between Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty, Eller with Moen and either Aaron Palushaj or Mathieu Darche holding the fort until Andrei Kostitsyn is available.

The fourth line?

I wish the Canadiens had one.

As it is, Petteri Nokelainen is a useful player for the penalty-kill – which was perfect again in Carolina – and strategic faceoffs. But regardless of who is flanking the Finn (Aaron Palushaj played all of 4:38 against the Hurricanes), the Canadiens’ fourth line is not physical and is incapable of lighting a spark, generating energy and waking up the crowd if the team is at home.

That predicament could be solved by the return of Ryan White, but we may not see him until 2012.

And before then, the Canadiens have to travel to California next week and play nine of their 14 December games on the road.

The Philly-Pittsburgh back-to-back will be the beginning of a big test for this team.

Based on what we saw in Carolina, it’s difficult to predict how the Canadiens will fare.

Positives?

Once again, the team proved it never quits. They were down 2-0 within six minutes. Carey Price was beaten on two of the first three shots he faced.

But tht e Canadiens battled back. They killed penalties. They generated a lot of pressure on Cam Ward, hitting the post four times.

Erik Cole was a beast in his homecoming. Max-Pac had seven shots and missed the net five times, numbers that indicate he was on the puck all night.

Justifying his inclusion in the Hal Gill-bolstered lineup, Alexei Emelin had six hits.

And Price – beaten on the first four Shootout chances he’d faced this season – stoned the Hurricanes.

But on balance, the Canadiens played better in losing to Boston.

The captain scored the Shootout winner but he was on the ice for all three goals against.

In his Antichambre chalk talk, Gaston Therrien highlighted the woeful forechecking inadequacies of Mike Cammalleri.

And now that we’ve finally found a spot for Gomez, let’s move on to another vexing question:

What’s wrong with P.K.?

Subban is averaging a team-high 23:44 per game. But he’s scored only once, he gets less PP time than Weber and he doesn’t look like he’s having any fun.

L’Antichambre showed a sequence in which P.K. gains puck possession in the Canadiens’ end. Eller is wide-open and tapping for the puck. Mathieu Darche also wants it; but by the time Subban moves the puck up, the Carolina defenceman has closed on Darche and forced a shot wide of the net.

Darche was furious and let P.K. have an earful on the bench.

Now we can have an interesting discussion about whether a player of Darche’s talents should be saying ANYTHING to someone as gifted as Subban.

But sophomore jinx or not, this is not the P.K. who used to lift Bell Centre fans out of their seats.

Ah, not to worry.

P.K. is a stud. He’ll get his poop in a group.

But Gomez …

202 Comments

  1. New says:

    Now there is a good read, thanks Mr. Boone. Gomez likely has a nagging injury, probably to the attitude, that would have already ended his career on many other teams.

  2. Bill says:

    Great article.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  3. Hab-Q says:

    Any chance the Antichambre could do a show in English?
    I tune in a lot and pick up bits and pieces, but I would really love if the show could reach out to the Anlglophile fans a do a show en anglais, por favor.

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

    ~Rodney Dangerfield

    • Badwich says:

      They don’t and they won’t but it puts every other sports show to shame I believe. No punches are pulled and like the RDS game presentation it’s all hockey all the time. Lots of laughs as well. When they switch to Mumble’s press conference with the softball only questions you realize just how good it is.

      Perhaps you should request a translated caption service for the show. Mind you the members are very passionate and speak the truth as they see it but, REALLY quickly.

      Taberwitt

    • Sakukoivumc11 says:

      That would be too great !! I watch it and understand most but still get a thrill out of listening to them vent about all players equally, star or plug !!

      paolo merenda

    • Sal says:

      RDS and Antichambre are why Im trying to learn French. That, and I hate CBC.

      Sal from the Hammer

    • Michael says:

      Do you mean Anglophone? Or should they do a show for fans of British culture? :-P

  4. otisfxu says:

    I think we get way too excited about guys like DD and Darche.

    I know they are what we have to work with and are pretty steady players, but,,,,,,this team is so far from being top notch. There’isn’t a sniper for a hundred miles, and unless someone takes PK by the horns, he will end up being so average, he’ll be on his way out of town to be an allstar somewhere else.

    Maye I expected way too much scoring this year, I thought they would light it up. Cammy will be good trade bait around Feb/March.

  5. The Pickle says:

    I mentioned Cammy’s awful forechecking on the Liveblog last night, he was even more atrociois than usual, which is saying something

  6. JBIRD88 says:

    Great read Boone!! JM has a tough choice ahead. Maybe he should listen to you!
    MJ’s & killers!

    Gomez anyone? Please…..

  7. Chris F says:

    Gomez is a slasher. Meaning he can only be successful when he is creating space with his speed, or using his speed to beat defenders to the net for a rebound.
    It’s why historically someone like Gionta and him would work well together. When Gio carries the puck in with speed, goes around the defender on the right side and attempts a low shot on net, Gomez should be slashing his way with speed for a rebound. He’s not doing this.
    When Gomez carries the puck into the zone he should use his speed and stick handling skills to beat the defender wide and make a smart play to his off wing slashing to the net. He’s not doing this.
    He’s also holding the puck too far away from his body when in traffic, given his bottom hand is too close to his top hand, this produces weakness, a puck that’s too far from the body, and a stick that’s too easily lifted. Can’t someone on the coaching staff see this. When Gomez brings his bottom hand down the shaft, he actually has a pretty decent shot. He just never uses his speed to get open enough for a shot.
    It’s been an epic failure. But you have to wonder why he isn’t changing his habits that are creating his failure. Is it coaching, or is it the players denial.
    I also love Cammy, but he can’t forecheck,
    Maybe we could get Vinny for Gomer, one bad contract for a horrible one, but Vinny can play.
    Maybe we can get Bourque out of Calgary for Cammy. Increases our size without giving up scoring. However, I do realize it’s scary to think of taking Cammy’s scoring from the playoffs. It’s just we need more size.

  8. Tessi31 says:

    It’s not about whether Darche is talented enough to blast PK, a definitely gifted player. It’s about hockey smarts. If you’re in the NHL, you (should) have that. So use it. Don’t hold onto the puck when you should be making a pass to an OPEN player.

    • karatekid says:

      I think it’s pretty common to see skill players hold onto the puck rather than pass if the option is a marginal 4th liner.

      PuckBandits
      http://www.puckbandits.com

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        This wasn’t a shooter electing not to pass to an unskilled player for a scoring chance, which is defendable. What happened was PK went against the Canadiens’ system, where the forwards are in predetermined areas for quick passes to break out of the zone. In this instance, Lars Eller was in the high slot open for a pass and Mathieu Darche was along the boards up high near the blue line. PK’s option would have been to pass to either open man, but instead he chose to hang on to the puck and stickhandle. This delayed the breakout, and the play ended up in a soft turnover as the Canadiens attempted to enter the ‘Canes zone.

        I’ve been harping on PK’s need to focus and elect to make the easy play instead of the difficult play. This was one instance of many where he made a poor decision and a veteran let him know about it.

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  9. Hammer says:

    It is far too easy to lay the blame on Jm when the Habs are trailing and the props elsewhere when the team wins. The Habs though many will not want to acknowledge are devoid in a few key areas, thus the continual mediocrity. The team lacks a #1 centre, a tough group ( 4th line) to stir the pot and defend the smaller forwards, and size and experience on Defense.
    I read things like ” there is something wrong with PK”, ya obviously, he misses backup on D such as JW who signed for the vault ( and was hugely overpaid) by Columbus, and Hammer who settled everything down. He is far to easy to key on as he is the only guy with Ozne creds outside of Webber who lacks size. As for the #1 centre, this has been a problem for a loooong time, and hopefully as Eller matures he will take some of the pressure off of Pleks, but he probably is a 1B centre at best. The fourth line is nonexistent but one thing I know for sure, is they might as well bring up some tough guys as the team actually only has three lines and a couple of penalty killers on the fourth. Wouldn’t Halpern look good in a Habs uniform about now.

  10. adamhabsalex says:

    Hey Boone,

    Always enjoy reading your articles/summaries about our Habs’.

    About the Hurricanes game you wrote how you are not a knee-jerk critic of Gomez. After Saturday’s game you were praising his two point effort. After the Bruins game, you wrote “Not the worst forward in a red jersey. He won power-play faceoffs, which were a crucial element in letting the Canadiens get set-up, since gaining the zone was a problem against the Bruins’ neutral-zone PK scheme.” After last night’s game … well you know. To say the Habs came back because he didn’t play the third is like saying he was the only reason they beat the Rangers. Both statements are wrong.

    It certainly has become very common if not expected to read the negative posts about Gomez. Fans here have just learned to love to hate him. In this article however, you praise Pacs “seven shots and missed the net five times, numbers that indicate he was on the puck all night”. Really Boone? Here’s two more numbers, 2 undisciplined penalties and -1.

    When you start get to the point of hating someone (not saying that you do Boone, but many here do), they will have to be perfect every night. When you don’t hate someone you can give them a free pass. Here is a test for anyone. Focus on your favourite player for a whole game and see if he plays mistake free.

    P.S. a fourth line made up of Moen, Noki and Blunden is just fine with me.

    Membership since 1970

    • JoeC says:

      You watch Gomez last night? I think the final straw was when HE stripped Moan of the puck, skated around the net and then gave it up to Carolina,

      Gomez’s salary does not match 1 good game every 20. Gomez did play a good game with his 2 points, but the problem is Eller coulda have done the same with Gomez’s icetime. WHich is still teh biggest mind boggle of all, but thats another reason why JM should go before ANYONE and thats including Gomez.

    • nellis13 says:

      moen on the 4th line?!? he’s got 7 goals and he’s plus 6, second best in both catagories and he’s the ONLY guy that can fight.

    • Sal says:

      Food for thought Adam. I liked what Blundin brought to the 4th line with Nokia. Palushai is effective when he uses his speed to get to loose pucks and is physical. But Blundin is bigger and he knows that playing the physical game is crucial to staying in Montreal. Not sure if Palushai gets that…

      Sal from the Hammer

  11. sprague cleghorn says:

    On NBC’s Macy Parade coverage, while reading the inane chatter that goes with each float (in this case one designed to hype tomorrow’s Boston-Detroit game on the same network) Matt Lauer just refered to the “Stanley Cup Champion Boston Brewers”. Heh-heh.

    ‘ow could we forget dat?

  12. nellis13 says:

    gomez was a turnover machien last night. i hate to say it but he’s not going to hit rock botton until they put him in the minors. only 11 steps to redemption from there.

  13. ont fan says:

    I read over and over, fire the coach. Who would you prefer, Boucher, he would bore us to death and he has 4 or 5 stars.

  14. Badwich says:

    Finally!!! A few people are getting tired (see L’antichambre) of the Camshaft’s big circles, playing as far from opposing players as possible and selfish shot taking. My personal joy is watching him direct others with his palm up left hand, you not me advice. How do you spell prima dona?

    That said Mumbles has to go. Does Gomez pay him to play? (he can afford to) What other explanation could there be? Eller sits. That’s a smart move. But, the blatant evidence of dissension on the bench shows Mumbles has lost player respect. Can that be tolerated? This club could come apart at the seams unless we soon get a coach whose reward system is based on player performance

    There’s more than one player on the Habs who doesn’t like what’s happening on the ice and it shows. Check Eller’s post goal reaction. Yep, a happy camper for certain.

    Taberwitt

  15. subdoxastic says:

    The team was losing while Gomez was playing
    The team won after Gomez left.
    Therefore the team won because Gomez left.

    This isn’t a logical syllogism; it’s a logical fallacy, namely, Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc.

    Ridiculous.

  16. RS says:

    The only guy that’s remotely capable of playing White’s role (energy guy, not fighter, 5-10 min per game) on the fourth line is Blunden.

    As frustrating as he can be, the Habs could really use AK46 back in the line-up.

    The Habs have demonstrated that they have some decent depth on D, with 9 NHL caliber guys: PK, Gorges, Spacek, Gill, Diaz, Weber, Emelin, Markov, Campoli plus St. Denis doing okay for an emergency call-up. The lack of depth at forward is pretty obvious and bleak. Neither Palushaj nor Engqvist have shown they really belong.

    • adamkennelly says:

      why is everyone so enamored with Blunden..he is not very good and not tough at all…because he is tall? its ridiculous..make a depth move to find someone to fill that roll – piece of cake…we have at least 3 sometimes 4 guys playing F who contribute next to nothing..replace one of them with a guy like Clarkson, Prust, Neil and call it a day…then add White when he gets back and we are in business…how bout Emelin on in OT – come a long way in a short time eh?

  17. adamkennelly says:

    good one Boone…time to make the big boy decision here…Gomez has to go – period. and Darche should go too – if his name wasn’t Darche he would not be on this team – face facts….can anyone honestly think that using him instead of giving the minutes to a real top 9 guy and having some toughness on the 4th line is a mistake….anyone catch the Buf Boston game..Buf tried to push back..lost both fights and lost the game..sad part is – Buff has more toughness than Habs..easily fixed and would make the team better….nice win tho – Price looked strong.

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    30 more pictures on the Summit album.
    These were taken by Bob, Sparky”s husband.
    I asked B.C. Surrey (Christopher) if he would put them up for me.
    He has done an outstanding job! Thanks Chris.

    He even made Boone look good!
    Montreal Canadiens We Are Fans Summit’s album: Ian
    Montreal Canadiens We Are Fans Summit’s photo.

  19. forskis says:

    This is probably a double-post…Gomez was not the problem…yes, he had no shots on goal but he set up two guys who rang their shots off the post…he did his part in creating the opportunity but they were not cashed in.

    For the Gomez siutation you have to look at the whole picture instead of the easy, populist one or else we become politicians.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  20. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Nice comeback. Great win. I still hate the shootout, however.
    I wonder about the puck atop the net. Was that not the same as hitting the netting behind the goal and the puck coming back into play? Should a whistle have blown? Rules committee?

  21. twilighthours says:

    Darche has every right to call out PK. Not because he’s even close to as skilled, or even because he has more experience (although only about 100 games), but because PK needs to move the puck faster. He’s holding on to it way too long. He looks to me to be in a funk. He’s still playing pretty solid in his own end, but isn’t close to the PK of last year.

    I only saw the 3rd period, and while is was pretty loose hockey, I though Gionta looked great. Surprised to see he’s getting heat here. He’s also the only guy who might actually score on a penalty shot.

  22. Wow, L’Antichambre upset that Subban didn’t pass to Darche. Totally didn’t see that coming, but they were right to a point.

    I think the opposition has Subban figured out now as a shoot-first player, and he is picking up on that by moving around first. Unfortunately it did look like Subban was doing a Kovalev impression, on a couple occasions, trying to get an open man.

    ___________________________________________

    Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

  23. CERF says:

    Good Morning 24C,

    Can you expand on your comment about

    “The only solution is a giveaway trade (future considerations) like we had worked out with the Islanders this summer. The only problem there is that Gomez has the right of refusal for three selected teams, hence the nullified deal with the Isles.”

    or provide an article referencing this so i may read up on it?

    much appreciated,

    • 24 Cups says:

      CERF – It was something that I read about during the past week. It was either TSN or DobberHockey.

      It basically stated that a deal was worked out to move Gomez to Long Island but that he invoked his three team trade clause.

      Is it 100% factual? I can’t really say for sure.

      • slychard says:

        Three team clause, that’s a new one. What does that mean exactly, does he have the right to refuse up to any of three random trades without a specific team named in a contract? Then after he turns down a third trade all bets are off and he has no choice in the matter? I don’t want to sound stupid but it is rather early and I’ve had little sleep.

        +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  24. HabFanSince72 says:

    Let me see if I understand the commentariat.

    We go down 2-0 on two flukey goals. It’s JM’s fault.

    Then we hang in there, tighten up defensively (at least until the last 10 min of the game), and win the game.

    The two flukey goals are JM’s fault, but the comeback happened in spite of him.

    JM is a fool for not playing Eller, but somehow Eller manages to get on the ice (presumably against his coach’s orders – like in one of those rogue cop who saves the day Hollywood movies) to score and create one goal.

    It’s an insult to Eller to make him play with Travis Moen but that line scores the tying goal.

    • Propwash says:

      This place is awashed in rationality sometimes.

      _____________________________
      Being negative has its advantages.
      You’re never disappointed.

    • HardHabits says:

      Nice twisted and distorted logic. Eller was on killing a penalty not on the PP where he should be instead of Gomez. Eller in essence was that rogue cop because he defied logic, not unlike your comment, by actually scoring. Also nice play by Emelin to keep the puck alive in the O zone.

      JM is a rancid coach. He over plays his veterans and throws youth under the bus.

      Look at the Blues since they changed coaches with Hitchcock. Look at how Pittsburgh immediately improved when they put Blysma behind the bench.

      The problem is not Martin’s alone but he isn’t the solution.

    • “The two flukey goals are JM’s fault”

      Uh, yeah OK let’s see.

      Goal 1: A brutal sand wedge clearing attempt by Cammalleri turns the puck back over to the Canes. Then Price makes the mistake of moving his body on the goal line, knocking the puck back.

      Goal 2: Cammalleri has Stewart covered, then slips back thinking Gorges is coming out front. Stewart is left wide open and blasts it in.

      Damn, you’re right. That was completely JM’s fault.

      ___________________________________________

      Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

  25. Habsolutely says:

    Lucic is a coward and a cheapshot artist. I would never want him on any team I root for.

    http://thehockeywriters.com/lucic-hit-another-in-line-of-cheap-shots-deserves-suspension/

    • Habsolutely says:

      he’s a coward. ever see what happens when he actually fights an actual fighter? He gets beat or he cowards out. If you like cowards thats fine. I don’t. and I’ve read some of your posts, you’re not one to talk about dumb posts timmy.

    • If you mean by coward, do you mean the fact he wouldn’t drop against BGL? Give me a break.

      Lucic knows when a fight is warranted, such as last night, or not.

      In terms of scrapping the Habs his only quarrel was with Komisarek, who actually turned into a bigger coward after Lucic cleaned his clock.

      Laraque trying to stage a fight (which he was a master of) that whole game was embarrassing to watch.

      In terms of the hit on Miller. Yes I feel he could have avoided it, but when a goalie comes that far out he is an eligible, and legal target. Miller knew that, and everyone else from Beer League to the NHL, who has strapped the pads, knows it.
      ___________________________________________

      Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

      • Habsolutely says:

        the guy is one of the biggest cheapshot artists in the game. he’s a coward who when he fought Orr and Orr started winning the scrap he hid behind the refs and begged them to end it. and he didn’t seem to mind getting in a staged fight with Gaustad. The list goes on and on. I’m not gonna get into it. If you love Lucic thats fine. Don’t reply to my posts and tell me what my opinion should be because you’re not gonna like the response you get. I don’t like Lucic. My opinion, end of story. And I’m not alone.

        • The Gaustad fight was going to happen regardless and quite frankly should have happened the last time these two teams met. The Sabres even admitted they lost their balls that night.

          “Don’t reply to my posts and tell me what my opinion should be because you’re not gonna like the response you get. ”

          Oh, just bring it!!!

          I never said what your opinion should be, I think (but could be wrong, probably am) that you are old enough and smart enough to voice your own thoughts and opinions. With that each and every other person on the planet is entitled to agree or disagree. with what someone has said.

          ___________________________________________

          Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

          • Habsolutely says:

            all I posted is that I don’t like Lucic and think he’s a coward. It’s not the gospel, just one mans opinion. I never said anybody else had to feel that way. I wasn’t expecting the guys above to reply and start hurling insults at me because they disagree with my opinion. I fully understand that there are people that like Lucy and that is fine. People are allowed to like and dislike who they want. But the dudes above who started throwing insults at me because they have a differen’t opinion about Lucy is unacceptable in my books.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Players are required to make efforts to avoid contact with a keeper, not raise the forearm for a shiver.

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

      • Chris says:

        “In terms of the hit on Miller. Yes I feel he could have avoided it, but when a goalie comes that far out he is an eligible, and legal target. Miller knew that, and everyone else from Beer League to the NHL, who has strapped the pads, knows it.”

        I simply don’t get it…the rule is absolutely crystal clear on this. The goalie is not an eligible or legal target. Hence the penalty to Lucic on the play.

        69.4 Contact Outside the Goal Crease – If an attacking player initiates any contact with a goalkeeper, other than incidental contact, while the goalkeeper is outside his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.

        A goalkeeper is not “fair game” just because he is outside the goal crease. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an attacking player makes unnecessary contact with the goalkeeper. However, incidental contact will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such unnecessary contact.

        When a goalkeeper has played the puck outside of his crease and is then prevented from returning to his crease area due to the deliberate actions of an attacking player, such player may be penalized for goalkeeper interference. Similarly, the goalkeeper may be penalized, if by his actions outside of his crease he deliberately interferes with an attacking player who is attempting to play the puck or an opponent.

        Is it really so hard for people to simply type this into Google and read the bloody rule?

    • lucabrasimtl says:

      What does this have to do with the game against Carolina? Are we going to bring up the Chara hit too while we are at it? You gotta let go bud, you’re obsession with not being as good as the Bruins is getting to you.

      • Habsolutely says:

        wow, you joined this site today and you expect me to give a crap about what you think?
        hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
        Hate to break it to ya skippy, but the Habs have beaten the Bruins in two out the three games played this season. Try to keep up with facts and reality. No run along and try not to get any drool on your Lucic poser.

  26. HardHabits says:

    The line of Blunden-Nokelainen-Darche was a very adequate 4th line. But JM decided to throw Blunden under the bus rather than stand up and support his player. Blunden didn’t cause the 5 on 3 that lead to the Habs losing against the Rangers, the refs did.

    This to me is enough proof that JM needs to go. The coach does not support his players or stand up for them. Lucky thing Habs fans do and Kerry Fraser responded in kind. You can be sure that Tim Peel read the reviews of his performance and it was evident in the next Habs game he officiated.

    But back to JM and the Habs braintrust. They are not about winning a Cup. They are about saving face, filling seats, selling merchandise, and hoodwinking fans with the notion that this team can go all the way if they squeak into the play-offs. Preposterous!!

    We are stuck with JM for another season after this. Hopefully we wont have to endure any more of Gomez’ patented passes to nobody that turn into scoring chances at the other end.

    The only good thing about Gomez is that if he continues to get top line minutes the Habs might actually end up in the draft lottery and could possibly draft an actual #1 centre.

    • G-Man says:

      I have to say that 29 NHL teams hoodwink their fans every season by not winning the ultimate prize. Pretending to know that “referee” Peel listened to fans and Fraser is funny. I believe his direct bosses let him know.
      Have news for ya, HH, the Habs are going to the playoffs, so no lottery pick. JM and Gomez are here for a while yet.

      • HardHabits says:

        Here’s my prediction. The more Gomez plays the less chance the Habs have of making the play-offs. The less he plays the better chance they have.

        Gomez = missed play-offs
        No Gomez = possible play-offs

        You’re also naive to think that Peel’s bosses didn’t read Fraser’s article.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      How long any of us be able to keep ours jobs if we suck at it as much as Gomez really ,Eller and DD deserve centers duty

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      You think Blunden is that good?

      I don’t think he was thrown under the bus – I think he’s just the 14the best forward.

      • twilighthours says:

        I think he was thrown under the bus immediately after that. Probably 3 or 4 total minutes played since the hit.

        Ultimately he is the 14th best forward, but I disagree with how he was handled.

    • “Hopefully we wont have to endure any more of Gomez’ patented passes to nobody that turn into scoring chances at the other end.”

      I’m still in withdrawals over Full Breezer’s amazing outlet passes, not sure if I’m ready to lose Gomez’s ghost passes. ;P

      ___________________________________________

      Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

  27. Captain aHab says:

    About Gomez: what makes me think the guy has given up is that he sometimes shows – very infrequently mind you – that he still can play. His game against the Rangers was very good and if he played like that most of the time, I doubt as many people would complain. But 95% of the time he plays like he did last night, showing everyone that he has lost the will to compete despite still having the ability to do so. That to me is reason number 1 to send him to Hamilton. To people who say he cannot be replaced, please free up that salary and let PG see if he can find someone. Anyways, he should be playing on the fourth line right now and, as they said, on AC last night, the 4th line shouldn’t matter that much. I’m hoping they put Blunden back in with Gomez injured. He was fine as a 4th liner.

    Not sure what to think about Subban….he really did give up on a couple of plays last night, which worries me more than his spat with Darche. I think the kid needs Markov back to take some pressure off of him. They also need to give him more PP time. On his regular shifts, put him with a solid D-minded d-man and let him rush up the ice. When rushing up the ice, he creates what Cole creates: backpedaling d-men scared of getting outflanked along the boards. That frees up a lot of space for others to gain the zone.

    When Markov comes back, I really wonder who will sit. It should be Diaz or Weber but of course JM will likely sit Emelin because it makes no sense.

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      With all the talk of “What’s wrong with PK”, I’d like to make what will likely be an unpopular suggestion…pair him back up with Gill. It worked well for both of them last year, didn’t it? The problem with PK, in my opinion, isn’t so much between his ears, it’s what’s not going IN his ears – Hal Gill’s voice.

  28. JF says:

    This was the first game this season that we’ve won while perhaps not deserving to, but on the other hand, we’ve lost two or three games that we certainly should have won if we always got our deserts. So I’ll take it. But once again, as is so often the case for this team when facing “weaker” opposition, the players weren’t ready. Had it not been for the Canes apparently not noticing the third period had begun and for some timely saves by Price, this one would have gotten away. The coaching staff need to fix this problem, otherwise losses to teams in the cellar will cost us a chance at a playoff spot.

    On Gomez: I don’t think he’s going anywhere during the season and I doubt the Habs will send him to Hamilton at the end of it. I wonder if they could work out a deal with a European team the way the Hawks did with Huet. He plays in Switzerland, the Hawks pay his salary, but it doesn’t count against their cap.

    I don’t think Gomez has been as bad as many here do (and against the Rangers he was very good), but last night he was certainly outplayed by Lars Eller, who was brilliant during the short-handed sequence that resulted in his goal, and good also in the third period. Eller needs to play more minutes, Gomez fewer.

    Erik Cole has become one of our most dangerous forwards, and he showed again last night that he brings something the team has sorely lacked the last few years. Barreling past the opposition, muscling his way to the net, creating scoring chances out of speed, strength, and determination – I feared him as a Cane but love him as a Hab.

    I don’t necessarily think there’s anything “wrong” with P.K. He’s still learning, and certainly needed to be reined in early in the season when he was costing us games with his individualistic moves. Right now he’s playing a lot of minutes and for the most part playing well. His defensive game is improving, and I think the exuberance and highlight reel stuff will come.

    We saw again last night this team’s no-quit attitude. It’s not the first time they’ve battled back in a game they started badly, but I think it’s the first time they’ve gotten the win. It’s great to see the effort every game (except the 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh which had many of us calling for a tank) – a sharp contrast to last year, when they seemed to mail it in every 8 games or so. I guess that’s what desperation and chasing the pack does.

    • 24 Cups says:

      It was certainly a fine line last night in terms of winning or losing. Price looks shaky on the first (deflected) goal but then saves the game late in the 3rd. Skinner hits the post in the shootout and then Gionta comes right back to win it. Those two points keep us a game out of a playoff spot going into a very tough weekend.

      Rumour on the street has it that Erik Cole had most, but not all, of the Habs over to his house for dinner in Carolina. This is the type of stuff that Entertainment Tonight loves!

      PK? It’s just his 2nd year. Let’s give the kid a break. I still think it would be a totally different career path for this guy if Markov had been able to play the past two years.

      I agree that the team seems to have the right mindset and spirit. There don’t appear to be any cracks in the foundation as Martin seems to still have the room.

  29. JoaquindaPark says:

    I enjoy your work Mr Boone, but I have to ask that you reconsider your views on Gaston Therrien. Everything this guy says is wrong in my view, including last night’s rant on Matthieu Darche. I believe Darche had not only every right to express his frustration at PK Subban, it is also his responsibility. After the Coach has exhausted all tricks in their bags to get a message across, sometimes a good old verbal lashing by a teammate is warranted. PK was trying to do everything himself, and in the process ground team speed to a crawl. This is why Teams acquire leadership. To have someone who has strong enough character to call it like it is. Not to say that PK should not play or anything like that. Disagreements between teammates happen. It is even healthy. This is what Jacques Martin wants. Get the guys fired up. Go Habs! And muzzle Therrien.

  30. christophor says:

    Why is this still called About Last Night?

  31. petefleet says:

    The view from my rec room:

    Oddly enough, TSN ran a piece on Iginla last night and how he has to accept that his skills have changed and must change his game to be effective going forward. They sited Stevie Y as an example. Sergei Fedorov would be another example. Scott Gomez should do this and JM should insist on it. The thing is I don’t think he can. To the AHL with him.
    You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see Eller is MUCH more comfortable at centre. He [played an excellent third period.
    Moen is a beast. I noticed last night that he is not playing the way he did last year. He is making his chances and deserves every minute he’s getting. Nice to see.
    Carey is human, but we knew that. He’s so casual in there that I worry sometimes that he won’t make the surprise save. There were a couple of times last night where he took his good ole time getting set. Just in time too.
    Cammy played better but I still think he may be injured. I hope he’s not trying to save himself for the playoffs that may not come.
    Pleks is Mr. Everything every night.
    Nokia has been unimpressive lately and last night was no exception. JM needs to light a fire there.
    PK peeled off a couple of times last night leaving Gionta straddling the blue line once. Maybe he’s hurt as well but playing because everyone else is hurt. Definitely not the same player as last year.
    Darche and Gomer do not need to be on the PP. Pleks does not need to be on the point. JM cannot be that blind to see that these guys are not effective. I was very disappointed with the lack of push from the PP last night and the game before. Something has got to change!!
    Gorges is almost Mr. Everything (on defence anyway). Love the way this little guy just keeps on playing bigger than he is.
    No question AK46 is missed. The PP shows it and so does 5 on 5 scoring. Hurry back big guy.
    Some of the lines that JM came up with last night were odd. Some guys just don’t compliment each other no matter how hard they try, or maybe that’s the problem.
    Who’s head’s gonna roll if the PP doesn’t come back to life…another assistant coach?

    ******************************************
    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    ***Habs Forever***

    • G-Man says:

      Carey was awful last night and the team bailed him out for a change. That 1st goal was putrid and put the team in a hole early. Thankfully, the Habs came back. Gionta, who was terrible and -3 on the night went from liability to asset with one quick deke. For all of Eller’s time playing while Gomez was injured he has a meager 7 points. Not the 2nd coming at all.

      • petefleet says:

        On the positive side……………

        ******************************************
        Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

        ***Habs Forever***

  32. HabsFansince49 says:

    Thank you Mike for that analysis. Just a few comments in response to your commentary and the game:
    (a) What does Lars Eller have to do to prove his worth to this team (read “the coach”)?
    (b) Something seems to bothering PK. More than the sophomore jinx. I hope you are right and he’ll come out of it. I have my suspicions but let them pass now.
    (c) Last night is another piece of evidence why Martin should be gone. Send him packing! You even reluctantly admitted that Gomez didn’t play well, but Martin didn’t take him out. He left with an injury apparently.
    (d) Finally, Mike, you claim “I’m not a knee-jerk critic of Gomez”. Knee jerk? Geez – he has been here for 2 years.
    Anyway, thanks for the article.

  33. baruch says:

    I don’t buy that Gomez is “good in the room” good in the way that nothing ever bothers him? I remember him yucking it up with PK on the bench a few minutes before we went into overtime in game 7 last playoffs… I don’t think there was any yucking going on on the Bruins bench.

    He’s crap, I was jubilant when he didn’t show up for the third. I never want to see him on the ice again until he’s fixed whatever’s wrong with him. It is irresponsible/unprofessional for him to even make himself available to play in his (mental?) condition, he is ruining his value…

    the lines should be
    Gionta-Plekanec-Cammalleri
    Pacioretty-Eller-Cole
    Moen-Desharnais-Darche
    Blunden-Nokelainen-Palushaj

    after AK comes back:

    AK-Plek-Cam (need at least one bull on this line)
    Pac-Eller-Cole (killer line)
    Moen-Des-Gionta (tiny and tricky line)
    Blunden-Nokelainen-Darche (Blunden ‘em line)

    After White comes back, send Blunden back down, or scrap Darche Vader.

    don’t need no Go-blehzzz
    plan the parade! GHG!!!

    I

    • petefleet says:

      Exactly why would you put DD on the third line and Eller on the second? And while you’re at it, how is Moen tiny and tricky?
      I guess it goes without saying that I don’t like your lines.

      ******************************************
      Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

      ***Habs Forever***

  34. 24 Cups says:

    I can’t see any tangible benefit for the Habs in terms of buying out Scott Gomez’s contract at the end of the year.

    http://www.capgeek.com/buyout_calculator.php?player_id=624&buyout_y=2012&buyout_m=06&buyout_d=15

    Next season would cost us 3.5M plus the additional salary to replace him on the roster with another centre. The following year would be a 4.5M cap hit plus a replacement salary. You would then have to pay out 1.6M for each of the next two years when Gomez isn’t even part of the payroll. Keeping in mind that there is absolutely no one in Hamilton to replace him, it would mean that we would then have to go the trade route (giving up more assets to correct a mistake) or sign a UFA (which means overpaying to correct a past overpayment). Does anyone truly believe we can win a Cup in the next few years with Pleks/Eller/DD down the middle? Didn’t think so.

    The only solution is a giveaway trade (future considerations) like we had worked out with the Islanders this summer. The only problem there is that Gomez has the right of refusal for three selected teams, hence the nullified deal with the Isles.

    Barring that route, the final option is sending Gomez to Hamilton after training camp next season. If that happens, then he must never be recalled, otherwise we would be on the hook for 3.6M for the next two seasons.

    Would Mr. Gauthier send Gomez to Hamilton? I seriously doubt it. It just doesn’t appear to be the Montreal way of doing things.

    Maybe the new CBA will allow each team a mulligan contract that still must be paid out in full but doesn’t count against the cap. That would be the perfect solution. The team could then raise tickets prices to make up the difference:-)

    I’m afraid this Gomez predicament is going to get a lot worse before it ever gets better.

    • nbsjfan says:

      I cannot believe they had a deal with the Islanders. If they did, then I’m sure it would have been put to him this way – you can go to the Island or you can go to Hamilton – take your pick.

  35. Habfan10912 says:

    As your neighbors to the south celebrate our Thanksgiving I hope this day finds all my friends from HIO with plenty of things in their lives to be thankful for. I am thankful for all the entertainment and friendships formed through this site. Blessings to you all.

  36. HABZ24 says:

    down 2 goals and storm back to win in a shootout, awesome !! price made key saves.giontas deek won it, great stuff !!
    – glad gomers out again,can be replaced with a young guy with heart and desire.

    GO HABS GO

  37. G-Man says:

    Gomez isn’t going anywhere except Philadelphia. Live with it.

    • Marc10 says:

      Dream crusher!

    • HardHabits says:

      You make Eklund seem like the Oracle at Delphi G-Man.

      The Habs aren’t going anywhere with Gomez in the line-up. The sooner management wakes up and cuts its losses the better. Hopefully he gets assigned to Hamilton or better yet traded. It’s not about his contract. It’s not about losing McDonagh. It’s about him being a liability out there. His presence pushes Eller to the wing. JM/PG/BG are stupid as they are stubborn and refuse to admit it. JM will end up or be forced to end up playing Gomez 20 minutes a game with the hopes that it will wake him up and thus justify the trade to bring him here.

      Gomez should demoted to the minors immediately. If he tears it up there maybe he could be traded. As it stands he makes the Habs worse by being in the line-up and better by being out of it.

  38. Un Canadien errant says:

    One of the huge issues that Canadiens fans fail to admit regarding Scott Gomez is that we have no one available to take his place. We’ve seen enough of Aaron Palushaj and Andreas Engqvist to know that. These two are deemed the most NHL-ready players we have down on the farm, and they have both been putrid.

    Because of this, I don’t know if we have a choice in keeping Scott Gomez this season. It would be different if we had kids in Hamilton who were chomping at the bit for their chance in the bigs, but that’s just not the case.

    Some of the more strident posters here clamour for a trade to bring in big tough forwards, but getting this type of player will not be easy or cheap. We’d end up stripping one area of strength to shore up a weakness. So we can’t expect that Mr. Gomez can sit while we magically acquire other forwards who will take his place and do better than he does.

    What needs to happen is for Jacques Martin to stop believing his eyes and to start trusting his stat sheet. He needs to accept that, while Scott seems like an NHL player when he has the puck and skates it into the opposing zone, or when he stickhandles around and through opponents in the offensive zone, he has lost enough speed and strength and skill and hunger to be now at best a fourth-liner deserving of maybe ten minutes a game. The big zero in the goal column, the big number with a minus in front of it, the team’s performance when he plays versus when he doesn’t, these are a compelling argument for restricting his icetime to only what’s necessary for the other productive forwards to catch their breath, and nothing more.

    The Canadiens are not strong or deep enough to make a serious run through the playoffs. We have two quality forward lines, a third that has some good games, and a fourth that is not NHL-quality. Sending Scott Gomez down or buying him out mid-season is not going to change this.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Marc10 says:

      He’s already been replaced.

      Eller gets the bulk of his minutes and Nokia gets one or two more… Done.

      We have to make the playoffs. Once we’re there, then we go out and get Chris Neal and Bruiser-D types to make a deep run.

      Do it now PG. Do it now!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Marc10, your reply doesn’t address some points that I covered in my post.

        You say give Lars the bulk of his minutes, and I agree, that’s what I said in the fourth paragraph. What you don’t say is who takes his place in the lineup if he’s bought out mid-season, as was done with Georges Laraque, or sent down to Hamilton. We have no one in our system that is ready to play in the NHL.

        As far as getting Chris Neil and ‘bruiser defencemen’, we’d need to do this at the trade deadline, not “once we’re there”. We’ll be scratching and clawing for the 8th spot until the last day of the season, so we won’t know that we’ve made it at the deadline. Plus, those types of guys are going to be very spendy, think impact current roster players and lots of draft picks.

        I say the cost is too high just to make a run. We play the guys we have and keep our assets, build our depth for more likely Cup runs in the future.

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • Marc10 says:

          I meant once we’ve secured a playoff spot… not once we’re in the playoffs. I’m aware of the trade deadline… and yes, I think we’ll need to spend some to get grit if we think we have a legit shot.

          As for who gets his roster spot, I think Markov’s return will open up a D man for a trade. Trade a puck moving D man like Weber and you can definitely get something. Trade Diaz and the return won’t be as good… but there are possibilities… Eventually you should get Ryan White back too. Hopefully he’ll be 100%.

          My two cents. Totally do-able.
          Time to say bye bye to Gomer I’m afraid. He’s done.

        • JF says:

          Agreed, especially with your last paragraph.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      When Ryan White and AK46 return, Gomez is potentially expendable – although whether he is better or worse than Nokelainen is not clear.

      Where to expend him to is obviously the question.

    • HardHabits says:

      I disagree UCe. When AK returns the Habs have a full line-up if they call back Blunden.

      Blunden-Nokia-Darche was a pretty good and rugged defensively responsible trio.

      Gomez has to go. I hope he never heals.

  39. montreal ace says:

    Josh Gorges has been great this year, I think he has been our best player on defense. I wish PG would start signing players to extensions during the season, to show good play can still be rewarded.

  40. Da Hema says:

    Would someone organize an HIO fundraiser to cover the costs of a Photoshop course for Boone? It’s almost as if he is crying out for our help….

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    Subban should change his name to Pierre Pelideau. RDS would have him as a Norris Candidate on a bad night, Hart And Pearson on a good one.

  42. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Canadiens outlook keeps coming into sharper focus. The Canadiens had their hands full eking out a win against the Hurricanes. Sure, this was an away game for the Good Guys, but for them to be a factor in the post-season they need to regularly, easily beat teams like the Islanders and Hurricanes, it can’t be a crapshoot.

    Hal Gill came back from injury tonight, and we would have thought he would solidify the defence and strengthen the team, but they seemed relatively lethargic and error-prone. PK Subban came in for some criticism from the Antichambre panel, for being passionless. Is this the flipside of what I have been asking of him since the start of the season, to not try to do too much and choose the easy play over the artistic, spectacular one? If he cuts down on the blunders and spinneramas, does it also temper his will to win?

    Carey Price showed he was human tonight, but came through in the shootout, which is what we should hope for. His game reminded me of some of Ken Dryden’s gems, when he’d let in a softie and we would howl that Michel Larocque should play instead. What we failed to realize back then, and only fully understood in the harsh light of 1980 when Bunny had the job fulltime, was that Mr. Dryden would let in a weak goal once in a while because he could afford to. When it was time to bear down, he would and the Canadiens would skate off with the win after a few of his brilliant saves in the third, which were usually followed by an insurance goal by Steve Shutt with 8 minutes to go and an empty-netter by Doug Jarvis.

    The Canadiens’ scorers will need to cash in more of their opportunities for them to win with any regularity. They can’t rely on Travis Moen to pot timely goals and for Carey to be otherworldly every night.

    In other news, Paul Gaustad, who had deferred to later his avowed vengeance upon Milan Lucic for his charge on Ryan Miller, chose tonight to wreak havoc on Mr. Lucic’s knuckles with his chin. It was a weak showing by him, but forgivable given Mr. Lucic’s size and reputation. While Mr. Gaustad has comparable size in statistical terms, we can clearly see from the footage of his fight that he doesn’t have his opponent’s strength or pugilistic skill, his size is more Hal Gill-size than Zdeno Charo-size. He certainly seemed more menacing against Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri a few games back. Again, this kind of nonsense could have been averted had Brendan Shanahan taken care of business instead of leaving it to the Sabres to open themselves up to injury and concussion by having to fight Mr. Lucic.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      IMO, Hal Gill and Jaro Spacek have been invaluable to Our Team these couple seasons in Their quiet, stolid intelligent way …but PK, Josh, Raphael, Alexei, Yannick and Frederic, collectively, provides Our Habs a more dynamic and integrated Defence complimentary to Our Teams speed and ‘system’
      …today, Hal Gill and Jaro Spacek returning represent retrogression to Our Defense …and tonight Gill illustrated the point
      …the only potential improvement, IMO, to Our D is represented by Andrei Markov …IF He returns to His previous exceptional skill-level, thereby returning St.Denis to the AHL (even though He showed He is on the verge of being NHL-quality)

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

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I agree HIS. I’ve harped often that Mr. Gill, and moreso Mr. Spacek, need to be eased out of the lineup while we feed their minutes to our young defencemen. I would welcome them being healthy scratches here and there during the season, to rest their weary bones, if that allows the Three Amigos to play more.

        Andrei Markov also needs to be eased into the lineup, he’ll need 20-40 games to get into game shape, and to start trusting his knee again and building up its proprioception. His minutes will need to be curtailed, and fed to the youngsters, not Mr. Gill and Spacek.

        If we make it to the playoffs, then I’ll give Mr. Martin carte blanche to play whoever gives him the best chance to win, but this regular season should be dedicated to coaching up Mr. Weber, Emelin and Diaz, and getting them ready for the future.

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        Some here say Jacques Martin is nuts …I don’t agree …maybe perplexing, but not stupid or nuts
        …BUT, that being said, I would change My opinion in an instant if He played Markov more than 15 to 18 minutes per game for the first few months, whether Markov wanted more or not

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

  43. j2w4habs25 says:

    Scotty Bowman has a good point! I hope the media of montreal, Quebec and Canada make it national and take notice he does have a point. The habs management and coaching staff gotta look into that.

    Carey Price #31

    • Da Hema says:

      What does Mr. Scott Bowman know? What did he ever do? ;-)

      I loved Ken Dryden’s comment in The Game that Bowman could tell you how many ceiling tiles were in opposing teams’ bathrooms.

      • j2w4habs25 says:

        Scotty knows how to lead a team more than anyone maybe. oh and btw that was a good joke aha!

        Carey Price #31

        • Da Hema says:

          Dryden’s comment wasn’t intended as a joke. I think what Dryden was trying to convey was that nothing escaped Mr. Bowman’s eye. Mr. Bowman could develop a grand strategy and simultaneously foresee every detail necessary to realize it. That’s what distinguished him from practically every coach in professional sports.

  44. montreal ace says:

    Darche and PK having a disagreement is nothing, Darche is still fighting for his job and needs some production points. Gomez is the big issue at the moment.I am not in favor of a buy out and never will be. I also would not put him on waivers only to recall him and pay half his salary if he is claimed. The solution for me is if he cant cut it he goes to Hamiliton. I know his actual salary goes down next year and it is probably feasible for the club to write it off, or if he can not be traded in the off season even better. Management is trying to get some bang for their buck and I dont see anything wrong with that. I would have a hard time with the club rewarding him with a buy out for bad play. I cant believe he is not better then what he has shown with his goofy passes. He owes the Canadiens for the money they pay him, and it seems he cant deliver the play required to do so. If I could stick his ass in the back of a Molsons truck, I know where my first delivery would be. Last thing is when a players production falls off like his, the contract should be able to take that into consideration.

  45. Rad says:

    If P.K. Subban played for the new, young Edmonton Oilers and their firebrand style of hockey under coach Tom Renney, he would be Paul Coffey all over again, and the Oilers would be a dynasty in the making. The only thing Edmonton is missing now is a great young defenseman like P.K. on the back end.

    Ain’t nothin’ wrong with Subban. If you think P.K. is not as unabashedly exuberant as he was last year, when the camera next zeroes in on P.K. sitting on the bench, just take a look at the leash around his neck, the other end held tightly by his Master. Martin’s boring, conservative coaching style is suffocating the enthusiasm of this dynamic young talent.

    • Da Hema says:

      Subban is still learning to play defence at the NHL level. With all due respect, Paul Coffey is not the model I want Subban to emulate. Coffey was an offensive whiz, but the 1980s Oilers were so good they could conceal his defensive weaknesses. Interestingly, when Gretzky was traded, and the Oilers had to adopt a more defensive-oriented style to remain successful, Coffey was soon shipped out of Edmonton. I suggest the better model for Subban is Chelios — the complete defenceman. Chelios too had to learn to constrain his enthusiasm and pick his spots.

  46. Marc10 says:

    PK might be a second half of the year player… He’ll be fine.

  47. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Mike writes: “Anyone who reads these ravings regularly knows I am not a knee-jerk critic of Scott Gomez…”

    …that is pretty weak Mike

    …I think it’s long past the ‘knee-jerk’ phase that You are finally expressing the observation most have already objectively observed, that Our Team has played better without Scott Gomez than with Him this season

    …You are a journalist supposedly ‘reporting what You see’ …You don’t have to ‘hate’ Scott Gomez (which I do not at all) to objectively report the fact

    …it is what it is, and You should write it as it is

    …that being said, though I believe Scott on merit presently should not displace either Pleks, DD or Eller as one of Our Top-3 centres, I believe Martin should experiment finding a niche for Him on a wing

    …I feel sorry for Scott right now …His contract is a curse (though I am sure He, like I Myself, would not walk away from it when I count it) …but right now the Team is more important than Scott Gomez

    …and, We can’t close Our eyes to the fact

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

  48. Marc10 says:

    Leave him in the room. That would be the room in Hamilton…

    There are over 7 million good reasons for doing this. Do it now PG before you miss the playoffs and wonder what might have been…

  49. PeterD says:

    The only reason that Gomez exists in the Habs line-up is because Gauthier does not have the balls to send him to Hamilton and finally admit that the Gomez experiment was a complete disaster…I agree with Scotty Bowman…if a guy is only good in the room, then leave him in the room. We need players that have a positive impact on the ice, not in the room.
    The crime I saw tonight (and most nights for that matter) was that Eller, who is really starting to show the talent he is, got only 12:54 of ice time over 3 periods and Gomez, before he got injured was on for 12:31 in just 2 periods and was totally defective and actually useless in comparison.
    That my friends is a “coaching” issue. I hate the whining that goes on here at times, but I am about sick to death of how poorly J. Martin manages his bench and talent.
    Boone, you ask what is wrong with PK? Clearly it is Martin that is wrong with him…a talent as big as PK’s needs more PP time…to deny putting him in that role is showing the coaches incompetence and lack of connection with the realities of today’s game. How long did it take for Martin to figure out that he should be using Cole onthe Power Play…I guess that young journalist about a month ago actually did her homework and it was Martin that had not done his homework on Cole. The guy should have been dragged out behind the barn and shot by Guathier for how he didn’t use Gauthier’s big Free agent signing earlier inthe season…I just have to ask is, Martin stupid, ignorant or just plain incompetent. Either way he does not deserve to be standing behind the bench of the most storied hockey team of all time.

    For my part it is time to make two personnel changes…1) send Gomez to Hamilton and use the cap space to upgrade our scoring potential and 2) fire J. Martin and find a coach that understands todays game and will use the talent this team has to it’s full potential.

  50. sane hockey fan says:

    Not sure I understand the PK criticism…I see a 21 year old in his second season who leads his team in ice time, plays against the other teams best players, in all situations, plays on the 2nd poweplay yet leads his team in scoring by a defencemen…all with an even rating??? What more do you guys want for a kid in his second year as a pro?

    Last season he had Wisniewski and Hamrlik ahead of him…this year hes the number one guy on the blue line and in my mind hes performing as such.

    Does he have room for improvement? absolutely…He makes mistakes as any 2nd year player would but when I think about how much potential he has to be an all-star d man…well I just think its pretty exciting

    • OneTimer says:

      sane hockey fan with a sane hockey post. cheers.

    • vivsterjuve88 says:

      would I be nit-picking to point out he’s already 22? :P

      I know, defensemen take longer to develop and at 22 he’s still quite young, I do see his potential… Maybe the league’s been spoiled by doughty-development-page, I know it altered my judgement for the worse

  51. JJR says:

    If the Montreal Canadiens organization truly wants its fans to believe that it is committed to winning the Stanley Cup, then they need to address the Gomez situation asap.

    It is clear that his abilities do not match the cap burden his salary puts on the team. If he is considered a ‘good’ veteran in the room for the young guys, then it can be easily surmised that he would be ‘great’ providing the same function in Hamilton. In that capacity he would be an asset to the organization.

    They can still buy him out if such a clause is included in the new CBA, and thus won’t be saddled with it any further in any way moving foward.

    How can the Habs continue to justify their biggest cap hit being spent on an unproductive, unorthodox and perplexing player.
    Its not about Scott Gomez anymore, its about the Montreal Canadiens.

    Its about showing your fans that winning is paramount.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      “thus won’t be saddled with it any further in any way moving foward.”

      Actually doesn’t the team still have half his salary on the books for twice the duration of what is remaining in his contract? We are pretty well stuck with him. Sorry to say but nobody picked up redden or drury to hit the cap floor, so why pick gomez?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Buying someone out doesn’t rid you of their cap hit completely. We’re still paying for Georges Laraque’s buyout, he’s on the books for half a million this year.

      Burying him in Hamilton would get him off our cap, but that loophole will probably be closed by next season with the new CBA, since Gary Bettman would like to clamp down further on salaries.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  52. Mr.Hazard says:

    Darche, as an older and more experienced player than PK, has every right to speak his mind to him, IMO. It has nothing to do with “talent”.

  53. j2w4habs25 says:

    After the 1st quarter in the NHL Season – Montreal Canadiens are 10-9-3 = 23pts. Sitting in 10th place tie’d with 8th. Not bad, still time to improve !!

    Carey Price #31

  54. Brazhabs says:

    I always read about the whole “what to do with Gomez?” situation and everyone has different opinions. Some people want to play him on the fourth line, some want to send him to the minors, and some want to buy him out. I am not even going to give the light of day to those who think a trade is going to happen, because no matter how desperate a team is to reach the cap floor they are not going to shell out a 7.5 mil cap hit on a 30 point, under sized centre.

    But what I dont ever hear is the option that I believe will be most beneficial to the Canadiens. The situation I am referring to is to buy him out AT THE END OF THE SEASON. More specifically, not just at the end of the season, but during the negotiations for a new NHL CBA agreement. If I’m not mistaken, throughout the course of reaching a new deal, each team is given a window of a couple days to buy out any player with NO CAP HIT!!!

    Honestly, I think this is the most likely scenario to pan out. Gomez is probably not going anywhere other than Montreal this year, lets just face it. It could mean a prolonged trip to the press box, but even so there is not a big chance a franchise like Montreal would pull a New York Rangers and sign players to massive contracts only to bury them when they under perform. Montreal has enough trouble attracting big name free agents as it is.

    So yes, the CBA buy-out window clause, to me, seems like the only thing that is viable. Glad we got the win tonight though, Go Habs!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The buyout window is a Get Out Of Jail Free card that we shouldn’t rely on. The only reason it happened last time was because the teams were moving from a cap-free system, and it was felt to be fair to allow for an adjustment. Just because a new CBA will kick in for next season (hopefully) doesn’t mean teams will get to cut big contracts loose without any effect on their cap. The ‘low revenue’ teams will fight that, since it’s a disadvantage to them to allow the rich ones to bury their mistakes and then come right back to the table and poach their best free agents. Imagine what Nashville would say if the Canadiens could wriggle out of the cap implications of Scott Gomez’ contract and then outbid the Preds for Ryan Suter.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  55. j2w4habs25 says:

    I miss the old days when the jerseys were magic – the rink lining was BLUE and CBC had a free french national channel that carried all Habs games. Those were the days!!!

    and speaking of Gomez. IS there anything we can do to trade this guy? Is there a way we can get things rolling for him? did we try everything to get this guy back on track? hm This guy is useless!

    Carey Price #31

  56. Aybara says:

    Link to the picture in its true form:
    http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/315574_313252488704211_205344452828349_1196730_1982821280_n.jpg

    May the excessive force be with you…. Gonna take many more Emelins to create excessive force on the Habs.

  57. Sotxhabsfan says:

    Anyone know when this “Lower Body Injury” occurred? Maybe it was getting his ass kicked by frustrated team mates in the second intermission.

  58. DearyLeary says:

    Eller is the second best center we have. It’s time he gets treated as such.

  59. habs11s says:

    I would rather listen to nails on a chalkboard then listen to those terrible announcers at NESN..

    ____________________________________________________
    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  60. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    I can’t remember when we were less deserving of a win. Had we been playing almost anyone other than Carolina, the Habs would’ve lost 6-2. Undisciplined, out of position, and out-muscled (what else is new?). We were quite frankly BAD.

    But the positives:

    Lars Eller played perhaps his best game of the season. Especially when he got to go back at center.

    Emelin looks better and better with every game. And its not just his physicality — although that is huge! He made smart defensive plays, and inspired offensive forays. With Markov’s mentoring, he could be invaluable as this season progresses.

    Gionta had a tough game defensively — on for all three Canes’ goals. BUT he is playing much better offensively. Looks to be coming out of his funk. Cammy looked better too.

    And Eric Cole is such a threat when he comes barreling down the wing, kicks it into another gear, and sweeps by the d-man. Then he goes straight to the front of the net.

    But Scotty-G? I’m sorry, but I am so tired of watching him breeze into the o-zone and then give the puck away. Does management/coaching staff really believe he’ll suddenly, magically return to his form of a half-decade ago? We are so much better with Eller as the third-line center.

    The final positive is the most important: two points. But we are damned lucky to get them.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • OneTimer says:

      The first two Carolina goals were total flukes, but we battled back. We have tons of injuries. We hit the post cleanly 4 times and dominated in OT, and Carolina had long stretches where they looked like crap. But we didn’t deserve to win?

  61. punkster says:

    The great and powerful antichrist…er, antichambre crew makes an issue out of a vet chastising a rook for making some bonehead plays. And there are actually people out there who would like to see some of them as coach? Any vet can chew out rookies no matter their talent level if warranted.

    This was Gill’s role for PK last season. Who’s the mentor in the room this year for all these kids? Do they each have a role model in the room? Are there one or two vets whose responsibility it is to guide, teach, provide feedback and even chastise if required? Can Boone or Stubbs provide some insight on this?

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • slychard says:

      I like the antichambre crew, Bergy cracks me up. PJ Stock makes me want to wretch every time he opens his mouth though. La goaler this, le game that, horrible, and he has nothing of value to add as he constantly interrupts with that horrible French. Glad he wasn’t there tonight.

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  62. Lafrich says:

    Wait a minute…Is that Boone in the cop uni? And is that a coffee mug with a seltzer shpritser mounted on top that he is holding and spraying?

  63. habsblood82 says:

    It has to be that Molson is to cheap The only other reason would be stupidity. It’s not hard to see Gomez is hurting this team. He’s a fourth liner at best.

  64. Lafrich says:

    Anyone know the correlation of Gomez taking the “11″ and his ridiculous drop in production? Maybe the jersey is too small…

  65. Habfan4lfe says:

    @Boone. Send Gomez down. Easy solution and it will be his quickest ticket to getting back to what he should be doing. He has no business on anything but the fourth line.

    Eller should be centering the second line not peewee DD. Eller has more talent and brains than DD. He’s a better puck handler and effective in front of the net and on the boards. Given the chance he would prove me right but we both know JM is too hard headed to see the light.

    We lost again because the players were not motivated and the coach continues to play players that are unproductive at crucial times. He is not the coach for this team, we should have Roy and Muller. Gainey F’d up, Gauthier F’d up and the Molson’s F’d up. This organization has been F’d up for a long time and we all know one big reason. LANGUAGE and limited choice.

  66. Brinkley says:

    Sooooo – what do you think it is?

    Is JM so lame that he feels he needs to continue to dress and play Gomez?

    Or – is PG too lame to either buy Gomez out or send him to the minors (ala Oilers with Souray)?

    Or – is Geoff Molson just too cheap to eat Gomez’ contract?

    Or – is it all of the above?

    GO HABS GO!

  67. Chrisadiens says:

    Well kinda good news….if PK keeps this up, he will be cheaper to re-sign. I missed the game tonight so can anyone elaborate on the Darche/PK incident? How did PK respond?

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      I believe it was his last bonehead move of the night

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      None of the footage which was shown on RDS showed PK’s reaction, only Mathieu Darche seemingly saying: “Dude, c’mon, get it together. Stop hogging the puck…”

      It seemed to be the kind of thing that happens all the time on my beer league teams, yelling at each other to shorten our fricking shifts, or to keep the puck low when we’re just playing shinny. Maybe it’s not the kind of thing that happens in the NHL, because it did get a lot of attention on l’Antichambre. Michel Bergeron, among others, said that Jacques Martin should have told Mathieu to pipe down, that it was his job as the coach to take care of this and that he would take care of it.
      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  68. Timo says:

    This all great about Gomez, but why not bring it up during the press conference? Jessica called JM on his BS…

  69. slychard says:

    What a picture, is that teargas, pepper-spray or an extinguisher sprayed in gomez’ face? I’ll take all of the above.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Kiss my hAbSS!!!

  70. DLN-CH4Life says:

    i Think The Return Of Markov Is Going To Have A Very Great Impact On this Team.
    With AK, White, And Campoli. I Can see this team getting more W’s in a row.
    I do hate to see Ice time taken away from Emlelin though. He’s got Future written all over him.
    Webber is looking better everyday.
    PK is strugling, but with no other offensive Dmen to guide him you can see why’s he’s a little lost….Nothing Markov can’t teach.
    Does Gomez really look worse than Palush on the wing??
    Can’t wait to see what happens to our PP though when it’s MKV,PK,PLK,CAM,GIO.
    WEB,COLE,PATCH,DD,AK.
    Go Habs Go!!!!

    -DLN

  71. athanor says:

    Perhaps P.K.’s problems have to do with that 23:44 he’s averaging per game. He is, after all, still very young and still very new, despite his accomplishments last year.
    I know we’d like him to be a saviour, but he still seems to have a lot to learn about playing consistently well at the NHL level, no?

    • tbovs says:

      No…thats peanuts for a defence his callibre…look at the comparables…Doughty, Myers, Fowler, all are around 22-26 mins a game…he is a top 4 D … play top four mins…this is a sophmore slump and he will either get it and get better or train it out of himself in the offseason

  72. Habsolutely says:

    Great recap Boone.

  73. Habziefan09 says:

    Gomez Lower Body injury update: PAIN IN THE ASS!

    ____________________________________________________________
    Twitter: Habziefan09

    Confucius says: “Baseball has it all wrong, Man with 4 balls cannot walk!”

    http://habziefan09.blogspot.com

  74. DorvalTony says:

    We won. Scarey started with yet another turd. Gio ended with a beaut. That”s what matters. We need more meat but (esp on D) but we won. Not a stellar opponent but we’ll take it. TAKE it.
    ——————————————————————-
    Little giants: Henri Richard, Mats Naslund, Yvan Cournoyer, Aurel Joliat, Howie Morenz, Guy Carbonneau, Newsy Lalonde.

  75. Curtis O Habs says:

    Hey Gomez; Take the high road and retire, while your career may still be reflected upon as a Stanley Cup Champion.

    • DorvalTony says:

      Aint gonna happen.

      ——————————————————————-
      Little giants: Henri Richard, Mats Naslund, Yvan Cournoyer, Aurel Joliat, Howie Morenz, Guy Carbonneau, Newsy Lalonde.

  76. Un Canadien errant says:

    His reputation as a big, tough, mean, dirty player. Yes he takes cheap shots and yes he looked bad against Colton Orr and by running from Georges Laraque, but aside from that he’s a tough player with good hands who is virtually unassailable by anyone save a few of the biggest heavyweights.

    Put it this way: if Milan Lucic was wearing a bleu blanc rouge instead of the black and diarrhea yellow he now sports, he would absorb some of the culture and history of our team and would not pull most of the garbage we reproach him. He would be a god in Montreal, and have the key to the city around his neck.

    When he was a Vancouver Giant, he was known as a tough, mean player with talent, and he showed leadership in winning the Memorial Cup. When exposed to the toxicity of Jack Edwards and Terry O’Reilly, he mutated into the dishonourable bully that he is today.

    Paul Gaustad and Mike Komisarek got the crap kicked out of them by him, and they’re not delicate guys. We can’t refuse to accept our situation: the Bruins have in him another guy we can’t touch.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  77. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …excellent reply Normand …John Ferguson and Milan are both from E. Vancouver …if Milan were a Hab today, I know He would be Our next John Ferguson
    …I would sell My soul for a Lucic on Our Habs

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

  78. Jim Edson says:

    “When exposed to the toxicity of Jack Edwards and Terry O’Reilly, he mutated into the dishonourable bully that he is today.”

    Well said!

    But you left out Nealy! I’m sure he’s maybe not as toxic as the other two but his influence is unmistakeable.

    ———————————————————————-
    …..My empire is crumbling, my international sponsors are deserting me, my authority is questioned, I am held in contempt wherever I go.

    Who am I: Barak Obama or Gary Bettman.

  79. Un Canadien errant says:

    The vicissitudes of the draft. We draft Ben Maxwell, a guy with size who can score, just the kind of guy most Habs fans now dream about, and in the next spot the Bruins blunder and ‘reach’ for a guy who was ranked behind Ryan White. The effing Gooins.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  80. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Not really a ‘reach’ if You lived or scouted on the West Coast …even a non-professional like Myself KNEW Milan Lucic was a ‘keeper’ and when awaiting The Habs selection was hoping and anticipating His name be called
    …was already surprised before the draft how low He was projected by the scouting bureaus …Boston’s version of Timmons obviously was more acute and knowledgeable about Lucic’s reputation out West
    …kinda of discouraging and depressing when outsmarted by anyone from Boston :) …does NOT reflect well

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

  81. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Bruins drafting Milan Lucic is a perfect example of a team targeting a player they like and feel will fit in well on their team, regardless of the rankings and the accusations of reaching, and going out and getting him. Unfortunately, the Canadiens had the same kind of hard-on for David Fischer, and it didn’t turn out quite so well.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  82. Un Canadien errant says:

    A post from this summer (August 20) that I’m reposting, since it’s topical:

    A while back I did some research on Ben Maxwell and Milan Lucic to see how they were ranked coming into the draft. Doing so I stumbled across a Ryan White writeup, wherein he was described as a high-energy player whose coach trusted him to play center in pressure situations and always seemed to be around the puck. It was an eye-opener for me, but what really surprised me was the fact that he was ranked the #7 prospect in the WHL, higher than both Mr Maxwell (#12) and Mr. Lucic (#14).

    The writeup did state that despite winning most battles, Ryan was not an ideal physical specimen, and needed to dedicate himself to his conditioning. According to the article on Canadiens.com, this is no longer a concern. So it’s refreshing that apparently he’s one of the kids who gets it, as opposed to Benoit Pouliot, and it shows that there is hope for someone like Ian Schultz, who apparently is not well-conditioned. Mr. White’s success story is also refreshing in light of the torrent of negative comments from posters who castigate Canadiens’ management for poor asset management and development.

    This is a clear steal for our club. Here is a player who showed character and produced in junior, but who ‘fell’ in the draft, maybe after a poor showing at the combine. Having to parade shirtless before scouts may not have helped his stock, but we were lucky to scoop him in the third round. Good work by our scouting staff on that one, it kind of reduces the sting of David Fischer and Ben Maxwell being drafted in the first and second rounds.

    One thing which worries me is that a lot of posters here in the HIO community, who may reflect the average Montreal fan to some degree, seem to stress the importance of Ryan’s pugilistic prowess above all else. In light of his performance in Calgary and Hamilton, I think we should consider him to be more of a Mario Tremblay type of player, one who will hit and go into the corners and show character and passion and pot a timely goal, instead of reducing the expectations to him being a cruiserweight.

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/ryan_white

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  83. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I remember that draft …I knew absolutely nuttin’ about White or Fischer (last place I would draft in first 2 rounds would be the US Colleges/Universities/USHL …I know some good talent have come out of these, but that is just Me)
    …I KNEW about Milan Lucic, and I KNEW the Montreal Canadiens needed a Milan Lucic …maybe it was just ‘gut’, I don’t know, but I had followed Him for 2 seasons
    …this pseudo-Timmons would not have picked Fischer or Maxwell …I would have taken the Aircraft Carrier aka ‘LuChicken’ for Habs’ first choice that draft
    …and, worse, when it was da Booins that drafted Him, I almost choked :)

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

  84. nunacanadien says:

    Simple like I have been saying and will keep saying. It is time Gauthier and the Molsons stop shopping only for those players no one wants. Hockey is hockey, rock shows are rock shows, stick to what you know best Molsons and Gauthier. Hire a real NHL GM for once. Concentrate on your rock shows Molsons and let a real NHL GM pick those players that can win. Enough of this let’s just sign those players no one wants cause the Bell Centre is always full. Sooner or later you’ll need playoff revenue…..fire the whole bunch if you have to. When the habs rebuilt they should have let Gainey go and started fresh from the top down….


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