About last night …

Let’s begin by stating the obvious: the referees blew the call on Kris Letang’s winning goal.

Specifically, Mike Hasenfratz blew it by not blowing his whistle when Carey Price immobilized the puck. Hasenfratz was on the wrong side of the net, couldn’t see Price’s glove over the puck … it was a mess.

The Canadiens’ goaltender was furious and flung his stick toward the boards.

Sadly, it didn’t hit Yannick Weber.

The cheesy Swiss defenceman was on the ice for Pittsburgh’s second and third goals – which erased a 3-1 Canadiens lead – and for Letang’s OT winner.

Weber was responsible for letting Jordan Staal get behind him for the goal that made it 3-3.

I don’t know how an alleged NHL defenceman lets a player of Staal’s calibre beat him free and clear while protecting a one-goal lead. Weber said Staal came off the Pittsburgh bench late, but still …

In addition to having a front-row seat for three Pittsburgh goals, Weber played almost four minutes at the point on the Canadiens’ power-play, which took another 0-for against Pittsburgh to run its futility streak to 19.

He is nervous with the puck on the PP, and Weber rarely gets his powerful shot on goal.

James Wisniewski he isn’t.

Sheldon Souray he isn’t.

Against Pittsburgh, Weber wasn’t even Raphael Diaz, who played 20 solid minutes and finished plus-1, as did his D partner, the steadily improving Alexei Emelin.

Two other Canadiens, Tomas Plekanec and Hal Gill were on for three of the Pittsburgh goals and matched Weber’s minus-3.

They were topped, however, by the captain. Brian Gionta was on for every Pittsburgh goal, from Geno Malkin’s shocker, 21 seconds into the game, to Letang’s winner, 2:09 into OT.

The line of Gionta, Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri was the Canadiens’ worst against the Penguins. They began the game against Sidney Crosby, Malkin and Chris Kunitz; and surrendering that early goal, setting the tone for a night on ineptitude that saw Pleks, Gionta and Cammalleri consistently losing puck battles to the bigger, more determined and, it must be acknowledged, more talented Penguins.

While Weber was the goat on Staal’s goal, the sequence began with Gionta losing the puck to Malkin in the neutral zone. That will happen when a 5’7″ player engages one who is 6’3″. But at least Gionta puts up a fight. That’s more than can be said for Cammalleri, who is a non-hitting liability in the Canadiens zone and is one of several Habs firing blanks on the PP.

Cammalleri is on pace to score 17 goals this season. A much more substantial contribution from the erstwhile sniper is needed by a low-scoring team like the Canadiens.

The most effective  line against  Pittsburgh was Two and a Half Men: David Desharnais centring Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty. Cole and Pacioretty each had a goal and an assist, DD won 13 of 21 faceoff and  the line combined for 15 of the Canadiens’ 27 shots.

I also liked the work of Lars Eller, Travis Moen (who scored again) and Andrei Kostitsyn, who returned to action with a physical game and chemistry with his linemates. Eller has great vision and creativity, uses his size well, made suprrb passes and was rewarded with time on the PP and the Canadiens’ 3-for-3 penalty-kill.

If you take the long view of this team – as opposed to the view that suggests they won’t be playing hockey as long as Pittsburgh will this spring – Eller is going to be a very important player. He has joined  Price, P.K. Subban (who was very good against the Penguins) and Pacioretty as the core elements of good things to come.

But in losing twice and being outshot a total 78-51 by Philadelphia and Pittsburgh this weekend, the Canadiens look  like a team whose time has not come.

They are 10-10-4 on the season, and all four OT/Shootout losses have come at the Bell Centre, where the Canadiens have won four of 13.

The Canadiens are 6-5 on the road, where they will play 10 of their next 15.

•  •  •

Something for conspiracy theorists to ponder:

As Dany Dubé suggested on the 98.5 FM game broadcasts, the refs weren’t about to disallow THREE Pittsburgh goals.


  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …for any CFL Fans out there, and any Old Farts old enough to remember Hamilton Tiger Cats’ Angelo Mosca’s dirty hit on the BC Lions’ great runningback Willie Fleming in the 1963 Grey Cup
    …this is the long, unedited Youtube video of Joe Kapp’s, BC’s then QB whom has held a hatred on Angelo for 48 years, ‘payback’ after all these years
    …TSN shows the shorter …but the full video is classic

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  2. Toe Blake says:

    This team is better than its record shows, but they are coached by the least imaginative guy in the League. You knew that two-goal lead would never hold up because they would try to sit back and protect it. Some of his player choices were quite simply mystifying.

    The one guy who copped a spot on my “to-go” list was Gomerlleri. He was just flat out woeful last night.

  3. gumper says:

    Actually, yeah! So:
    Cole, DD, Max
    AK, Pleks, Moen
    Gio, Eller, Weber
    Cammi, Nokes, Darche

    Might actually be able to give that fourth line 7 or 8 minutes, and hanging around with a couple of guys who actually have a work ethic might rub off on Cammi. (The more you try to solve one problem the more another rises to the surface. Don’t envy JM having to knit this one together into something that actually works.)

    Sorry, this was meant to be a reply below.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Cammi is a professional, he has not been playing well recently. I believe he is playing hurt. If that is the case, putting him on the 4th line will probably piss him off and get him injured more. He either plays and gets top 6 pairings or he needs to rest. Putting him on the 4th line accomplishes nothing. I understand what you are trying to do with the lines, but cammy on the 4th line accomplishes nothing. If he is healthy and not playing well, then limit his minutes or at worst 3rd line, 4th line accomplishes nothing.

      • neumann103 says:

        I agree that Cammy must be playing hurt. He is not exactly a grinder but has been shying away from contact recently. I doubt that he is happy with his play.

        He heals up, put him out there with a playmaking Center (habs actually have) and a big Winger on the other side he will produce
        Cammy Pleks Cole
        Cammy Eller AK46
        While I am not of the “derogate every player under 6ft” school I think Cammy and Gionta on the same line is usually a mistake

        “Et le but!”

  4. Rainrocket16 says:

    So Max-Pac has a phone hearing with Shanny on Monday. Really!! What a complete disaster the NHL is , if anyone was ever allowed a free pass…., I am not saying Max hit letang illegally, that was clean in my eyes.

    • ffenliv says:

      Of course it was clean in your eyes – like the Chara hit was clean in Boston’s eyes. The replay shows a pretty good shoulder/arm right to the head. I wouldn’t throw the book at him, but I think he’ll get a few games, and there won’t be much room to complain.

      • in a vacuum, i can see it going either way, game or two, or patches walks

        in reality, the nhl owes patches one, but he is a hab, so that just negates one another

        so back to the vacuum

        • Everlasting1 says:

          Get over that whole NHL vs Habs sentimentality. It’s just veiled egoism.

          Thus sayeth the Lord, “Destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks.” Amos 2:9

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

      • otter649 says:

        Letang hit Comeau of The Islanders awhile back which was similar to Pacs hit & Letang got two games so if Pacs get suspended it will be two games IMO…….

      • neumann103 says:

        It was a shoulder to shoulder hit that also made contact with the head. There was no targetting of the head.

        In real time I actually shouted “good hit” and was then horrified a second later seeing Letang on the ice.

        For the record, I thought the Chara hit deserved 1 game, because it was reckless, and while he did not intend to decapitate MaxPac, he clearly targeted him away from the puck on a meaningless play.

        The letang hit, if he is not extending as much – or as Letang admitted – taking the risk keeping his head down in order to get the shot off there would be no head contact.

        The Malone hit on Campoli was way worse than this or even the Chara hit. That was targetting the head of a vulnerable player.

        That being said, I expect Shanny will probably suspend because he has taken some recent heat for not suspending guys. I wish that were not the standard

        “Et le but!”

    • G-Man says:

      1 game because it’s a phone it in meeting. Max had to ease up on that play.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Since he wasn’t even handed a minor for the infraction, I’d reward him a minimum 5 gamer, regardless of a possible concussion from the unnecessary hit.

      Thus sayeth the Lord, “Destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks.” Amos 2:9

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

  5. neumann103 says:

    The bullet points.

    The Players
    Erik Cole is exactly what I expected him to be. The best available player to fill the specific niche the Habs had.

    Alexei Emelin is progressing as I expected. It was apparent he needed about 20 games just to get used to the NHL game and North American ice.

    Love Lars Eller. Hopefully the confidence shown in hiom last night is not a Lucy holding the Football for Charlie Brown Jacques Martin bait and switch to confuse the youngster.

    Eller must play Center. Unless you are putting him on some kind of heavily loaded first line like
    Eller Plekanec Cole
    please please please for the love of God don;t force him to the wing.

    The two forward pairings I want to see remain are
    MaxPac Desharnais
    Eller AK46
    Those are the elements of “chemistry” up front.

    Yes Cammy was very noticeably bad last night. Just so many lost puck battles and strange plays 10 feet inside either blue line. Just not committing. Playing hurt?

    Plekanec has a not great night. This happens about every 10 games. Give the guy a break. Still the most important player on the team not wearing goalie pads.

    The Calls

    The OT goal obviously was a ripoff. If the referee could see that Price had the puck covered he should have blown the play dead. If he couldn’t see the puck he is supposed to blow the play dead.

    There is no excuse for not calling out the blown call. Emphatically. Martin needs to immediately get in the face of the ref and just draw focus. The point is not about getting a call reversed – not gonna happen. It is about making attention inescapable.

    But blown call, but move on.

    Crosby and Byalsma both suggesting Shanny should suspend MaxPac, then each admitting they didn’t see the play. Nice.

    Jacques Martin. See above.

    MaxPac hit was not a penalty or a suspension. Yes the effect was horrible, but it was a good hit. Would not be surprised if Shanny differs, but it would only show the inconsistency.

    Despite the above, there is no conspiracy against the Habs.

    There are however a different set of standards for a few teams. Boston (daddy), Pittsburgh (at least for the Crosby Honeymoon), Rangers (at home).

    The Future

    29 is not hopelessly old in the NHL no matter how much you value the kids.

    If 6ft and 200 pounds is big then 5′ 11″ is not small unless you live in some bizarre parallel binary universe.

    Tanking does not guarantee you the #1 pick.

    Tanking does guarantee no hope or interest after February, which is not palatable for any big spending actual hockey market team that cares (note the Chicago team that “tanked” a few years back was being wirtzed into a minimum spend, people will show up anyway joke. Doesn’t count).

    High first round picks are not sure fire superstars who will turn your team around.

    Most years the top 3-7 picks are a cut above. You will get a lot of different opinions of how to rank 7-20. Often very little to distinguish 20-40 (obviously these numbers are approximate and vary by year).

    Tank and end up with Pick #9 and take a guy who is indistinguishable from who was available at #17 where you ended up after getting into the playoffs, generated at least $5M in additional revenues, had a hope of actually advancing and didn’t shoot your fans in the foot in February making the last 1/4 of the season meaningless? Great work. Try it again next year because you are really going to have to stink up the joint for years to make it seem worthwhile.

    If you are in 12th place at the trading deadline, sure, dump some vets and salary for picks or prospects.

    If you end up in 15th place at year end, make lemons out of lemonade. Take your high pick and run with it. But to engineer suckitude?

    There is a model for success in the modern NHL. The Detroit Red Wings. Last season even close to tanking? 1991. Think about it.

    The Edmonton Oilers approach to tank for years on end is finally paying off. They have two more points than the Habs (with a game in hand).

    About 20% of he time a team that essentially has no business winning the Stanley Cup actually does win it. Maybe just maybe those are better odds than giving up for three years to get some slightly higher draft picks.

    “Et le but!”

    • HardHabits says:

      The Red Wings are not a model for success in the NHL. The Bruins and the Flyers are. Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington too.

      To be the Red Wings you need both Scotty Bowman and Hakan Anderson and you need to pick 10 of your top 15 scorers in late rounds and not trade them away. You also need to pick Zetterberg and Datsyuk in the 6th and 7th rounds. The Wings are an anomaly. They are they exception. They are the only team in the NHL that is a power house that has done so without the benefit of high picks. Nice try.

      I would love for the Habs to be the Red Wings. But that would mean not signing Cammy and Gionta and not trading for Gomez.

      It would have meant keeping McDonagh, Komisarek, O’Byrne, D’Agostini, SergeiK, Grabovski, Higgins, Lapierre.

      It would have meant sucking for a few years while rebuilding.

      What we have instead is a perennial middle of the pack team who will always be a play-off after thought.

      If the team is to follow the Red Wing model that means building via the draft. Not acquiring useless overpaid veterans long term.

      The Habs best players came up through the system. Some free agents are worthwhile, like Gill, Moen and Cole but the Gionta, Cammy and Gomez acquisitions are going to set the Habs back for the duration of those contracts. What then in 2015? Sign a bunch of other useless hasbeens to just make the play-offs again.

      At one point the Habs are going to need to go through a few years of suckitude to really have a chance at being an elite team.

      If not, it’s 15th place for as far as the eye can see and no Cup wins in any of our life times.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        You lost me at “The Red Wings are not a model for success in the NHL”

        • HardHabits says:

          You shouldn’t let your preconceived notions blind you. You know what HiB. Just keep your head int he sand like every body else here.

          The Red Wings are a fluke. They landed two top tier forwards in the 6th and 7th rounds.

          That would be like saying don’t budget and save, play the 6/49 if you want to have money for a rainy day.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So when the Wings make a great draft it is a fluke? And how many cups have washington won given you call them the model? Do I think the Habs can do things better, absolutely, but you cant dismiss the Red Wings success over the past 15 years. But their run will come to an end, and they too will struggle and try work their way back up the ladder.

          • neumann103 says:

            The RedWings are an anomaly in that their success has not been broadly replicated. But they are not a fluke. They consistently evaluate and identify players, particularly Europeans earlier and better than anyone else. To dismiss the team that – better and more often than any other team in the last 30 years – has consistently developed via the draft, augmented by key signings, is folly.

            The 30 year timeframe is significant because it starts with committed clear ownership, willing to spend, hiring strong hockey people to run the org and then trusting their decisions.

            I think we agree on key points. You develop via the draft and fill holes and take advantage of opportunities presented through trade or Free Agency.


            I would love for the Habs to be the Red Wings. But that would mean not signing Cammy and Gionta and not trading for Gomez.

            I was appalled at the Gomez trade. I thought that contract was absurd and unmovable. Biggest sinking pit in my stomach in recent years.
            I was neutral on the Gionta signing.
            I lump Cammy in with Cole. A reasonable attempt of filling of a gap with the best available player for a little bit too much money for slightly too long. At the time I recall thinking that Gainey must have had a list of UFA goal scorers who would go in the $5-6M range and was just working that list as they dropped off
            Cammy. OK. I guess it’s Cammy.

            I think Cammy will come around, and like him as a player, but if the right package was offered at the deadline…

            It would have meant keeping McDonagh, Komisarek, O’Byrne, D’Agostini, SergeiK, Grabovski, Higgins, Lapierre.

            or perhaps not giving them away for free.

            “Et le but!”

          • HardHabits says:

            @neumann103: good post. I see eye to eye with you on that one.

            If the Habs are ready to go down that road I am ready to go with them. What I am losing patience with is the perpetual middle of the pack finishes and their penchant to try and make the play-offs every year without ever getting better.

            A team that doesn’t have the luxury of high picks cannot squander them or dump quality prospects for nothing. Trading picks for rentals that never get resigned is another tendency has to be reversed.

            To be like the Red Wings the Habs need to start acting like the Red Wings. Instead the Habs are doing the same old same old acting like the Habs.

  6. HabFanSince72 says:

    1) We lose just about every puck battle.

    2) If we are in 10th place in February I hope we are sellers rather than buyers. Players like Cammalleri, Gionta, Moen – maybe even Hal Gill, will have value to contenders. They have very little to us.

    3) People who hate Jacques Martin, Scott Gomez, the Goat, or any player for that matter. What is wrong with you? Tyrants, crooked politicians, criminals, bullies, child abusers deserve to be hated. An ex after a bad breakup. An unreasonable boss. The band Coldplay. But that’s about it. To come on here day after day spewing venom over a hockey team – it’s no way to behave.

  7. BKAK72 says:

    At .500 and a brutal home record the 2011-12 season is a write-off (a HABS fan should accept nothing short of Stanley Cup victory).

    What we have going for us:

    GOMEZ. His contract hits $7.5MM on the cap over the next two seasons whereas the actual budget dollar is $10MM. This should be a good bargaining tool for a great GM (mind you we don’t have that).

    GIONTA. Most teams will look closely at a gritty leader and captain that produces right into the playoffs. The $5MM cap and budget dollar is in line and at two years remaining a better deal than courting a UFA.

    SPACEK, GILL and CAMPOLI are dead weight in their position for the HABS however offer great CAP/DOLLAR budget opportunity for teams that require depth going deep in the playoffs.

    It would be nice if CAMMI can be moved off this roster as well although his actual budget dollar spend for many teams may be too much.

    Credit to DD for his spirit and determination, maybe one little guy on the roster is ok and especially where the onus to produce is on the wingers (COLE/MAXPAC).


  8. Ian Cobb says:

    Here is where we place within a 30 team league this week.

    Goals A- 60. We are in 14th place. Last week 11 place with 49

    Total Points-24. We are in 22nd place. Last week 16 place with 21.

    Goals For- 61. We are in 18th place. Last week 16 place with53.

    • bajd says:

      We’re perfectly average in other words, or I guess a little below. No surprise, this is the mantra of the organization–be as average as you can be. Take a look at the last 15yrs, even with that first place finish 4yrs ago, the average placement is 7th in the conference and I think 14 out of the last 15 seasons, the team has finished between 6th and 11th. It’s really remarkable that 3 GMs, 3 owners and about 6 coaches and yet the result is more or less the same year in, year out

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    Couple (or 3) of questions,
    1) How many games if any does MaxPac get from Shanny (fine broth of a lad)
    2) How many more losses does Washington suffer before they either make a big trade (Semin) or fire Boudreau
    3) How many more games till we see Markov in our lineup?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1. No priors, no penalty on the play and Letang came back to score the winner. These factors will help Max. The CH on his uniform – this will hurt Max.

      2. I’m not sure why Boudreau is still there. They might as well keep Semin.


  10. gumper says:

    Next game:
    Cole, DD, Max
    AK, Pleks, Eller
    Moen, Nokes, Darche
    Palushaj, Cammi, Weber

    If Gomer can play take Cammi out for a few games of “rest”. Roll three lines most of the night. Take Pleks off the point on the PP and put PK there. At least we don’t get thrown around like rag dolls, with three lines that can hold their own in the corners. (Playing with the puzzle parts really makes you aware of how thin we are at the moment.)

    • DearyLeary says:

      Why in god’s name would you put Eller back on the wing?

      • gumper says:

        Just trying for three lines with a bit of size and sandpaper. How ’bout
        Cole, DD, Max
        Ak, Eller, Moen
        Darche, Pleks, Weber
        Cammi, Nokes, Gio

        (Seemed to have forgotten about Gio first time through!)Like I said, puzzle pieces have limitations, but for sure the Cammi, Pleks, Gio line sucks.

  11. DearyLeary says:

    Patches gets his disciplinary hearing tomorrow. My advice is to deny culpability, it seems to get everyone off scot free.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      In the NHL Disciplinarian meetings, Dishonesty is the best policy.

    • Neutral says:

      Patches hit on Letang didn’t look dirty – Letang had his head down coming across the middle – only question – Patches came a long way to hit him – he could have avoided him but would have given him a better shot on net – hard to say what he’s gonna get if anything.

  12. habs-hampton says:

    In response to Danny Dube: They wouldn’t have had to disallow a 3rd goal if they had just blown the play dead when Carey covered the puck.

    Time’s up, JM must go!

  13. V.I.P. SportsWeb© says:

    Can someone PLEASE find me the exact ruling on when a play must be blown dead when a goaltender has his glove over the puck?

    Tune in to V.I.P. SportsWeb on http://www.vipinternetradio.com for all your sports talk!

  14. SeriousFan09 says:

    He is getting mixed reviews amongst scouts for where he should land in Round 1, but perhaps the Habs should turn to C Brendan Gaunce on Subban’s old stomping grounds, the Belleville Bulls for their top pick in the 2012 draft. He has 14G, 11A in 25GP and leads his team in points. 2 of the 3 trailing players behind him are overagers. 6’2″, 210 pounds and seems like a capable two-way player, power centre profile.

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

    • 24 Cups says:

      Robert – It may all come down to timing. Gaunce will probably climb up the rankings while the Habs may or may not make the playoffs which means they could pick anywhere from 10th to 20th.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Gaunce still very much a swing man in the draft, you ask ISS, he’s Top 10. You ask Future Considerations, he’s in the 20s. Mock drafts at NHL.com much the same.

        I’m hoping more forwards rise to prominence so Gauthier has more choices at the draft, we don’t need more Ds in the pipeline but the 1st-round is running heavily on D.

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

  15. sherburnehabfan says:

    I remember when the Habs had the best power play in the NHL. Teams feared their power play and tried to stay out of the box. With players like Souray, Striet, MAB, or Wisniewski that had hard, low, and on the net point shots. All four are still in the NHL and been discarded by the Habs for one reason or another. There has to be someone in the org that has a point shot that can compare to these players.

    Who might that be?

    Teams don’t fear a point shot from Plex.

    The return of Markov will help but his asset to the power play is his passing, sneaking in on the left wing or feeding the point for that hard, low, on the net shot.

    Cole has been a great addition to the team but he shows flashes of Chris Higgins, if you know what I mean. Finish only a fraction more of his chances he could be a 50+ goal scorer. He could be the Habs Brett Hull.

  16. montreal ace says:

    Three players we can have an upgrade on are Darche, not as good as last year and does not look good this year. Aron Palushaj is not NHL ready, he might be in the future but not now. How hard can it be to find a couple of grinders who can score once in awhile, and mix it up. Hal Gill should not have played last night, he looks bad against speedy teams, and I think disrupts the flow of our speed game. I like the guy but I dont want his last paycheck to be from the Canadians. Cammy is hurt and with the shortage of personal is still trying. I think his line can succeed but needs a big grinder to give them room once in awhile. I really want to see how the team plays after 10 games with Markov and then I think we will see if we can make the playoffs. I think Blumsden can help the team, skates well hits, not a great fighter but big deal, its not like I am taking the punches. Nokia has been good and helps the team, was not expecting much from him.

    • TINMAN17 says:

      Dead on, man. Darche and Gill, have got to go! Call up Blunden for Darche. Play St. Denis instead of Gill, he has played very well since being called up. Package Cammalleri and Gomez for Getzlaf, add in Campoli or Gill, if need be. The Ducks are looking to make some moves, so I read on ESPN, and no one is safe. Go after Getzlaf, I say.

      Born and Bred in Enemy Territory (Boston).

  17. alfieturcotte says:

    It’s time for some changes. Aside from the obvious of firing Gauthier for some of the most horrendous GM trades/moves, I would admit that at best we are an early playoff exiting team and make the following chnages:
    Trade Plekanek – get some quality in return in form of young core or high draft pick; Trade Cammy and Gionta and get the most we can for them. Bury Gomez in the AHL. Allow our team to be bottom for the next three seasons. It is the only way we can show a real upgrade in quality by getting top three draft picks…..

  18. Habfan10912 says:

    Its not the kids fault. The play of Gionta, Cammy, Pleks, and you know who has been mystifying to say the least. Explanation lies behind the bench. We don’t play again until Wednesday. Would be a great time to put someone else behind the bench to try to save the season. Wouldn’t mink PG going also. Wishful thinking?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The entire team needs to spend the next 4 days in one of them HyperBaric Chambers, that all the athletes use for miracle healings before a SuperBowl game! PG and JM can stay in the chamber a little longer…

  19. likehoy says:

    I’m getting a feeling that Plekanec may be tired of his linemates.
    he had his best peak of his season playing on a line with Pacioretty..

    although the patches -dd – cole line is very good.

    – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    Ahhh the glory years of the CFL relived.

    Joe Kapp vs. Angelo Mosca

    • Psycho29 says:

      I saw it this morning on TSN…Unbelievable! Well maybe not, Mosca was an animal on the field back in the day!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Talk about not letting sleeping dogs lie down. Haha, shows the passion these guys played with, and they played for their cities and their fans.

        Mosca is still the toast of Hamilton.

    • Everlasting1 says:


      For me, Mosca will always be remembered as a guy who helped popularize mock wrestling in the formative years.

      Thus sayeth the Lord, “Destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks.” Amos 2:9

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

  21. habstrinifan says:

    Legend has it that JM loves marbles. Every penny made from his newspaper route was spent on acquiring another marble.

    He never played the game itself. He simply liked to juggle them.

    It all started, when as a child, he was lost in a Woolworth (no you young’uns..NOT Walmart…Woolworth!)

    Disoriented by the flashy noises and blinking lights of the action toy table, JM had wandered into the cotton lingerie aisle, where bow-legged grandmas stood around a table pinch-testing the coarse cotton panties to see if they would resist the onslaught of a cold winter or a hot grandpa.

    He crawled between a handy pair of bandied legs and hid under the table. Fortunately, a Bytown matron, reaching for her dopped panties, noticed JM and hauled him out from under the table.

    After smacking him good to cleanse any seed of perversion that may have entered into his head, she gave him a solid gray marble to calm him down and a notepad on which he scribbled his name and concession route. Jm was taken to the lay-away counter and laid to wait until his mother came to fetch him.

    Unaccountably, JM only loves one marble colour. Gray! JM grew sullen and morose when, unaccountably in his eyes, gray marbles became extinct, as did, incidentally, Woolworth.

    JM would search the deapanneurs (beautiful word eh) all over town seeking gray marbles. He wrote daily in his notepad his experiences in his quest for grayness in the marble world.

    He eschewed excitement and flash as dangerous and scary.

    JM was forced to accept different coloured marbles. But he had a system for dulling their shine. He rubbed them laboriously and incessantly with chloroform.

    And now, when JM juggles his marbles, the habitants of his world are left soporiferous.

    JM of course denies this legend. JM does not like legends. They are borne out of people who take risks.

  22. Not that have more wins that our coach, however the PP is horrible, and that’s pretty much the defense not able to get pucks through.

    Two things that I would change in a heart beat.

    #51, and #21 should not be in front of the net on the PP.

    Switch with Cole on PP1, and Pacs or AK on PP2.

    Next you have to move play makers to the point. Weber and PK are not getting it done. So you move Gionta back there and I guess leave Plecs there too. He does have some use back there.

    You pretty much go with 5 Forwards on PP1, and PK on PP2.

    Once the PP is over you have to counter with third and fourth lines. That should be SOP, and they should be ready to skate against the Number 1&2 lines. By ready, I mean they are out there skating faster than ever before, putting pressure on the key players and not stopping until 30-45 seconds are up. Then Line 4 goes out and does the same. These guys need to be well conditioned, and not floaters. They need one hit every ten seconds (gets the team fired up, and the crowd into the game).

    Mr Timmons. We have a kid here in Brandon, MB on the wheat Kings. Ryan Pulock. Draft him within the top three rounds (unless you can get a 50 future 50 goal scorer, future? Yeah, like I can predict that). This kid is going to be something special. When only a few players stick out on a team, you know he’s the real deal. Plus he’s Canadian, big, strong, and a play maker. Something the Canadiens defense doesn’t have.

    The above advice is free, but if you want to send me a Game used AK46 stick, I’ll take it.

    Later all, off to Holland for an exhibition game. Holland,MB,Ca that is hehe

    EDIT: The reason I say playmakers on the point is this. Teams know exactly the Canadiens PP. thus they have fast playes high on the point so they can apply pressure. No shots are getting to the net because of that.

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

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      After the last couple years, I don’t think Ds will be high on Pierre Gauthier’s priority list, Habs need the guys up front who can fill the net with pucks.

      With Beaulieu, Tinordi, Bennett, Dietz, Ellis, Pateryn, Nash they have the back end covered I’d say.

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

    • Everlasting1 says:

      The Molsons must love fans like you. In the meantime, keep filling those seats and pound back the beer, as you ‘wish upon a star’.

      Enjoy the stick.

      Thus sayeth the Lord, “Destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks.” Amos 2:9

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Just a question, but is Brian Elliot now your favourite goalie?

        • Everlasting1 says:

          Could very well be.

          Thus sayeth the Lord, “Destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks.” Amos 2:9

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

  23. 24 Cups says:

    It appears that the NBA settlement is a 50% split on revenues. That sets the bar for a new NHL deal which means you might want to get ready for another lockout. Here are a few other issues the owners should go after.

    – limit contracts to a maximum of four or five years

    – the salaries for each year of the contract must be of equal value

    – allow one mulligan contract for each team to not count against the cap with the player being bought out at full salary

    – top player’s salary can only be 15% of the cap

    – do away with a cap floor

    – create a 2nd tier of RFA that bridges to UFA. Place defined restrictions on that 2nd level in terms of salary and bonus money. Increase the 1st phase to four years with a 2nd phase of another four years. Then apply fixed salary ranges and bonus structures.

    • twocents says:

      What do you think the players will want as concessions for accepting a package like that?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Add to that Don Fehr’s first go around for the NHLPA, the guy has a reputation to uphold of winning these negotiations.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Eric & Gerald – I’m looking at it strictly from the perspective of the owners and what’s good for the league (which means the owners need protection from themselves!). The league needs to plug the loopholes that their GMs took advantage of the past five years.

          Don Fehr’s reputation is like saying a guy won two Cups years ago with the NJD. This is a totally different situation. We’ll see what he can do once he goes up against Bettman. If the owners give the same support as they did last time, it will be a real battle.

          I’m pretty sure the league is going to come in to this wanting more concessions. Fehr’s basic stance will be to hold onto what the players presently have in their CBA.

    • Habsolutely says:

      ” allow one mulligan contract for each team to not count against the cap with the player being bought out at full salary”

      maybe they can call it the Gomez clause.

  24. pierre lapuck says:

    For weeks I’ve been comlaining about Weber and his not quite NHL level play. I think he’s the Norris Trophy equivlent for the AHL but not an NHLer. Cammy shuld have stayed invisible last niht becasue when he showed up on the screen he was chasing the puck or looking for the puck but never touched the puck all night long. Pittsburgh showed every one of our weakness, lack of size, lack of grit, lack of scoring punch and finish, but mostly they showed that they wanted it more. Thats on the boys on the ice not the coach although I’m at the point where I wold trade or fire everyone but Price, P.K. Max, and Eller. and Emelin

  25. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Well I finally got to see a game live on TV after putting up with TSN radio for most of the fall. It was a pleasure to see how Eller has come along. A couple more years and I believe he will be the 1A center we’ve been craving here. He’s on a steady learning curve and the eventual plateau will come as a surprise to many.

    Emelin oh yeah we need more of that! Everything I’d hoped for all these years. He’s a keeper. Boone please add him to your young untouchable list!

    Now can we possibly package Weber and Cammy for another big winger? Plekanec deserves better than what we saw last night.

  26. Hobie Hansen says:

    I’ve thought all season and dating back a couple seasons that the Habs are knocking on the door of becoming an elite team but are a minor shakeup or free agent signing away from getting there.

    Max Pacioretty is a gem, favorite player on the team and last night he finally got his nose a bit dirty while picking up another goal and an assist. We need more hits like the one Pacioretty delivered on Letang and more emotion, period!

    Again, having Plekanec, Desharnais, Gionta and Cammalleri making up a good chunk of your core is just not going to cut it. Plekanec is sick good and Desharnais is talented as well but they offer very little, if any, size and strength down the middle.

    It is difficult if not impossible to acquire a big and talented centerman out of the blue so if I were Gauthier I would try and trade Gionta or Cammalleri for a couple of gritty, 15 goal-scoring, thrid line players who love to hit and don’t mind dropping their gloves.

    Looking around the league…trade Cammalleri to Minnissota for a couple players, one being Clutterbuck.

    Or trade Gionta to Dallas for Ott and another player or pick.

    Montreal needs to get a little nastier, more physical and change the dimension of the game on occasion.

    Hockey is all about momentum and some nights, especially when that tiny Cammalleri-Plekanec-Gionta line is on the ice, Montreal can’t get to lose pucks, they take outside shots and never get in a goalie’s face.

    How about starting a fight to get the bench fired up! How about standing up for a teammate! How about making life real tough for the other team’s star players!

    Habs need some more spunk, grit, pizazz or whatever you want to call it, to take the next step in the NHL.

    • Dust says:

      we need more hits like the one Pacioretty delivered? That was a blindside hit to the head! he’s gonna get suspended, and probably for 3 games at least. If patches was on the other end of the hit you would be screaming for a ten game suspension

      • Hobie Hansen says:


        “It’s a quick decision there. He’s coming across the middle, he’s got the puck and is maybe in a scoring opportunity. If I let him go, he could potentially score on us. I knew I had to hit him but I didn’t want the result to be like that.”

        • Dust says:

          I understand its a split second decision. Its still going to result in a suspension though. It’s still the type of hit the nhl is trying to get out of the game

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I think you’ve see Shanahan and the NHL take a step back and the hit that Pacioretty delivered wasn’t an intent to injure or a purposely dirty hit. He had to hit him coming across the middle like that, it’s been a hockey play for 100 years. my opinion…

      • TINMAN17 says:

        How is it a blindside hit when, Letang, looked right at him coming?

        Born and Bred in Enemy Territory (Boston).

  27. Hammer says:

    How did Gomez cost them last nights game. JK. The PP stinks, Cammy and a few are shooting blanks, but if there is a silver lining it is the young guys that are coming to the forefront and are going to push the high paid help down the depth chart,

  28. Chris F says:

    Cammy was the worst player on the ice. Too small, too slow, just no game. Maybe he’s hurt. But that line is too small. I thought AK should have been put up with Pleks and Gio. Drop Cammy down until he turns it around. Eller, Cammy, Moen?

    It just looks like it’s not our year. We can’t win the close ones because our PP is just terrible. We have no shot from the point, none.
    We also are not good enough to blow anyone out. Up 3-1, we needed to keep pressing, but we don’t really have the line-up to do it for 60 minutes. Not with three lines. That’s the problem.
    Dump Gomez in the off-season, go after Shae Weber if he’s available. He can change the franchise. Immediately.
    Finish low in the standings and get a high draft pick. Someone who can change a game. That’s how we got Price.
    We played much better last night, but Pitt were driven, and they’re good. They have at least three players we can’t match up against, Crosby, Malkin, and Staal. Once again you can say if we were playing almost anyone else in the league we would have won the game. But not against the best.
    RE-sign Ak, re-sign Gorges, trade Cammy for a bigger, stronger scoring forward if possible, or a very high pick.
    I think there’s reason to keep Gio. He’s a leader, and works his tail off. We need the Gomez money for someone to help the team. And rid ourselves of the distraction of constantly hearing about 7.5 million reasons why he shouldn’t be here.

  29. mjames says:

    Thoroughly outplayed last night. This was not a contest. Lucky to take a point. I guess this is what we call a “moral loss” as opposed to our much appreciated and sought “moral victories”. I expect this team will slowly fall out of the playoff race. PG and BG have built a second tier team. The only good thing is that we seem to be developing some young defenseman. Let’s hope BG and PG leave them alone and not give them away. Following on Mike Boone’s theme of looking to the future, let’s see if we can peddle Gill, Spacek, Gionta, Cammy and yes our all time favorite , Mr. Gomez.
    For those who might be interested Matt D’Agostino has 5 goals and 4 assists. He had over 20’s goals last year. Aaron Palushaj has never scored a point in the NHL. One other thing. D’Agostino is 6′ and 200 lbs. Aaron is 5’11” and and 187 lbs. I know we have an excess of power forwards so I guess I can understand GIVING D’Agostino away. This is just another example of Habs management’s inability to properly evaluate talent. Each day I will try to provide an example of management’s incompetence in this area which has led to out current situation.

    I am tired of hearing of our in ability to attract FA. If that is the case then we should develop and keep our talent. Instead our incompetent management team gives its away.

    You can make all the excuses you want about PG and BG but the fact is that this is a bottom tier team.


  30. twocents says:

    That was a grande bummere. Man a win would have been sweet.

    I have to say that Eric Cole is the biggest breath of fresh air this team has imported in a very long time. His game is unlike anyone’s on our team. He is setting a great example for Pacioretty and he forces opponents to think twice about how to play this team. We need one more in his mold.

    I am very happy to read that JF has embraced “The Future is Now!” movement. It’s appropriateness becomes clearer and clearer with every game.

    Personally, I would hold on to Cammy(but good return would change my mind) and one of the geezer D. Get Pleks a winger with size capable of 15-25 goals and he will make room for Pleks and Cammy to up their goal production. Heck throw AK back on there and we’re in better shape. That means Gionta’s on a third line and my suggestions make even more sense. I wouldn’t touch the Cole, Pax, and DD line. And we have to keep giving Guys like Eller and Emelin ice. I also like to see Palushaj get a chance on a line the knows where the net is. He is clearly a complimentary player, not a difference maker, so let’s see what he can add to a line that has some offensive ability.

    A thought crossed my mind last night watching Cole fight and fight for the puck and position, ” boy it feels good to look at the TV and not see Loafalev faining industry.”

    On a final note, I’ll throw a bone to the whine and cheese crew: Tom Pyatt scored last night! Man! are PG and Martin nuts to let a player like him walk for nothing!

    Remember folks the future is now. This team is in could shape, it just needs to stop pulling in two directions. Hand the reins to the kids. I’ll tell you one nearly sure fire result, a more animated P.K. would quickly emerge.

    Gorges for captain!

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Gorges for the C totality but wait they screws that up by no singing him long term ,agree on go with the kids and let them fight and grown ,we all know it gone a be PK and Price team

    • ed lopaz says:

      martin favors veteran players – he trusts them – their experience is more important to him than the skill and talent of our younger players.

      gomez plays ahead of eller – for example – over and over again.

      when clearly eller has superior talent.

      so although I agree entirely with your point of view, I would argue that implementing it would require a coaching change.

      I do not believe Martin wants to hand this team over to our youth.

      Gorges for captain – yes – no problem with that either.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        You are correct Ed, that is the dichotomy we are in. While JM is the coach, the youth or lesser experienced players get no room on the leash. All the while JM is an acceptable coach, but given our current talent base and lack of depth, his methods may not work.

      • Mark C says:

        Look at the ice times, Ed, Martin pretty much has. For forwards DD, and Max rank 4th and 5th, Gomez is getting less than a minute more than Eller. Subban leads the team in ice time, Weber is 3rd among D. Young players are getting tons of ice time and opportunity this year.

  31. Arrow77 says:

    I’ve never seen Cammalleri play this bad. In fact, he’s so bad I’m beginning to wonder if he’s fully recovered from his lower body injury. He was never that good in defense and will always have trouble winning puck battle but I never thought he was a lazy player. Yesterday, his skating was sluggish and slow, both defending and attacking. It isn’t typical of him.

    As for Weber, he’s showing his limits. He’s a third pairing PP specialist who had a few good games but now, the extra ice time he had because of injuries is getting to him and he won’t get better until his time is cut significantly.

  32. likehoy says:

    difference between gomez and cammalleri??

    we can actually trade cammalleri.

    – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

  33. Remi says:

    As we saw last night, the sitting back on the lead and defending approach which the canadiens use, does not work against the current top NHL teams. I am wondering what you guys think a solution would be given the current condition of the Habs, injuries and all. Realistic answers please! Should we make a trade? send Gomez down to the AHL for two weeks of reconditioning?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      How did Gomez hurt us last night again?

      • likehoy says:

        by not playing

        – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

      • Remi says:

        Just a suggestion. What do you think we should do?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I know, sorry, just tired of Gomez bashing, when problems are more than just one veteran not producing.

          Not sure a trade right now works, as we arent in a position of strength as none of the vets we would be trading are advertising themselves well.

          Reality is, we need healthy bodies to start with. Also, even if PG gets us a physical forward JM won’t play them, his refusal to use Blunden while he was up here was very frustrating. Blunden is no saviour, but to play Palushaj on the 4th line is just a waste of time. Rather play Palushaj on the top line, let an injured Cammalleri heal, and play Blunden on the 4th line.

      • --Habs-- says:

        Your asking how a 7.5 million dollar player being sat because he’s not, hasn’t and will not produce is hurting us?
        AK on top of that! Add Markov on top of that. Add Campoli on top of that! Add Spacek on top of that. Whats that about 40% of our payroll sitting on the sidelines.

  34. RE: Mondou6

    I don’t understand the idea that the Molsons are choosing between building a Cup winner and making a ton of money. The team costs the same either way due to the cap and more playoff games = more $….


    • Mondou6 says:

      Well, the difference is do you sacrifice a year or two of playoffs for a chance to build a long term winner?

      Or, do you keep playing for this current season, over and over, sacrificing long term plans?

      Our 2010-11 team was not Cup caliber, but we traded draft picks for a rental player, which helped us get 8th place and 3 home playoff gate receipts.

      That’s what I meant by choosing between making money, and seriously building a franchise.

      • CanadienBoy says:

        Agree went u trade for a Wiz that get 3 pts. first game u lock him up right away and guess what, they could have got him cheaper then what he got

      • Arrow77 says:

        It’s easy to say “we had no chance so we should have lost and kept those picks” but the truth is that team went to the third round the year before and lost in overtime in the 7th game against the eventual Stanley Cup champions last year.

        Also, a team needs to rebuild when its core is getting too old. Price, Subban, Pacioretty and Eller are young players and Plekanec and Kostitsyn are just beginning their prime. The team needs to one or two more players to build around but they don’t need to rebuild.

        In fact, just winning the Brad Richards derby last summer could have transformed us in a contender. Once we get rid of Gomez’ contract, who knows which player we’ll be able to afford.

        • Mondou6 says:

          I think making it to the 3rd round of the playoffs was the worst thing that could have happened, because now we think that we are “1 or 2” players away. I don’t believe we are 1-2 players away from a Cup.

          Also, when you say “once we get rid of Gomez, who knows which player we’ll be able to afford”…I don’t think you build a Cup winning franchise by buying high-priced FA. You have to draft your stars, and the easiest way to draft a star player is to get a high draft pick.

          Pittsburgh didn’t get Lemieux and Crosby by being the 8th place playoff team every year. They tank once a decade, and then draft the next best player in the NHL.

  35. MilaKunis says:

    I was thinking how small the Cammaleri/Plekanic/Gionta line really looked last night. Which took me back to the original Smurf line of Bure/Koivu/Petrov. I think I would rather have that line right now than the current. That was an exciting line.

    • likehoy says:

      good choice on a screen name 🙂

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      The 3 over ages smurfs got to go Gomez done ,Gionta could get value for and Cammy scare to get injured ,the Pen are built for the playoff never mind they big guns, guys like Kunitz ,Neal ,Cooke and Dupuis win those games

  36. Mondou6 says:

    Last night was pretty much a perfect summary of our team. If we play at the top of our game in our home rink, we are almost competitive against a top team.

    So every year, we’re a bubble/8th place playoff team, with a puncher’s chance to win one playoff series before superior talent eventually wins out.

    Are the Molsons committed to building a Cup winning franchise, or are they committed to making a ton of money?

    With the Habs, it’s easy to make money. Just look at our current team, they are making a fortune with endless sellouts, and some playoff games. Meanwhile, we have about a 0-1% chance to win the Cup every year.

    It’s hard to know where this franchise is headed.

    • habsfan reduxit says:

      … I hate to say it, but the idea that the Molsons are only in it for the money sounds an awful lot like the Ontario Teachers. Ouch!

      “Whenever you have the puck, and don’t know what to do with it, put it in the net.” – Toe Blake

  37. HabFab says:

    WOW! Someone is quick on the draw today 🙂
    Some fool from Boston posted he wanted Patches banned for life for last night’s hit. And he was sending letters to the President, Congress etc. Hardly finished reading and poof, he is gone! Neat oooh!

  38. RGM says:

    I’m still angry about the blown call.
    I’m happy that Letang wasn’t severely injured on the Pacioretty hit. We’ve all talked so much about concussions and these injuries and it would have been a real shame if a bright young player was injured by one of our guys, all the moreso one that just went through his own personal hell this past spring. A bloodied & broken nose is nothing to sneeze at, and we can all agree that it’s good that it was no more than that.
    Finally, yet another squandered lead thanks to The System. When you have a team down by two goals, you go for the jugular and pad it to three. It allows for a greater margin of error – if you mess up once, it’s not a one-shot game. Yet this team continually sits back and allows teams to come at them in waves and hope that nothing bad happens. It’s putting an awful lot of stress on the goalie and the depleted defence corps. Price is a great goalie, we’ve got some very good guys manning the blue line, but there’s also guys that are being over-matched and it’s resulting in goals against. Poor coverage by Weber lets Staal go in alone on Price, the tying goal was a cluster sparked by the injured Cammalleri not pursuing Crosby harder and 3 guys going after the puck that gave Dupuis time and space to zip one past Price.

    A solid win streak will do much to ease everybody’s fears about where this season is heading, but it’s going to be a tough slog every night.

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

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    The MaxPac hit on its own I would understand Shanahan giving MPac a 3 game suspension. The problem is how almost from the moment Malone was not suspended for the eerily similar hit on Campoli the lines have been blurred.

    Again, I have no issue with the league Suspending MaxPac as the league wants hits to the head area removed.

    But given the lack of suspensions for many hits similar, I don’t see how MaxPac gets a suspension, but the rest of the league will be screaming for those Dirty Habs to get their suspension now.

  40. ont fan says:

    There are 25 or 26 other teams in the league just like the habs,just treading water and some of them have real stars on there teams.Tampa ,Anehiem, Philly, just to name a few.You can complain all you want about getting a new coach ,gm or most of your front line players. The problem is you can,t move anybody anymore because there are to many teams with so few stars.Everybodys hands are tied.A player here and there isn.t going to help this team or most of the others either.I guess you have to blow it up for a few years and take your chances drafting but most people here could’t stand the losing or don’t trust the drafting.Like some other teams in the league that didn’t work either.

  41. Duke_Rauol says:

    I would like to see the Letang hit from another angle , cbc kept showing the same one, before i make any judgement on Max. It seemed to me like the Campoli hit, Letang did cut to the middle with his head down.

    IMHO Emelin has moved past WEber and Diaz on depth chart with sdolid play all week. He tracks his man in the d zone much better now and has been steadly improving since playing regularly.

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

  42. New says:

    Hey I just noticed the team is enroute to an 82 point season. This may give them the fifth or fourth overall draft choice. If they drop any lower will they trade that pick for six weeks of some UFA?

  43. JF says:

    The OT goal clearly should not have counted, so I think you can say we were robbed. On the other hand, the team clearly wasn’t ready to start the game; that first shift was a mess. Yet we got back into it right away, then jumped out to a 2-goal lead, which we should have been able to hang onto. As so often this season, we let the game slip away.

    For now, we’re staying with the pack, but every point we squander makes it more unlikely that we’ll make the playoffs. It will require a sustained winning streak – half-a-dozen games or so – which, even with a healthy Markov in the lineup, looks unlikely.

    Twocents (Eric) has posted several times about turning the team over to the youth, and I am in agreement with that. Our young players (Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Eller, Desharnais) are becoming more important, the veterans Gainey signed as free agents two years ago, less so. If by the trade deadline we are out of the playoffs, Gauthier should deal as many of them as possible for picks and prospects, sign Gorges long-term and make him captain, and go with younger, cheaper players next year. Forget free-agent signings; they’re nearly always overpaid and on the downside of their careers. Stop trying for a quick fix; develop our young players, and take the time necessary. I like our young, mobile defence corps; Weber has had a few bad games, but I think with experience they’ll all be fine, including Frédéric St-Ðenis. Let’s see what our young players can do, and build from there.

    • New says:

      That is an attractive idea. Cammi, Gionta, Gomez could all help a Cup bound team. Except they come with another two years where they will place you in a position of not making the playoffs. Exactly where the Habs are now.

      RFA’s are being locked up earlier all the time. That means that the UFA barrel is pretty empty and way overpriced. At half the price any of the above three would be fine players, and leave you room to develop young guns. The Habs got out thought on how the CBA would affect the league and players. Most teams don’t make the money the Habs do so winning is more important to market return there.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Jane – Here’s a question for coach Martin. In overtime, you play your best players for a very short amount of time. You also make sure that you have enough speed out on the ice to cover the open spaces. So why is that guys like Gionta, Gill and Weber continued to get ice time? Gionta was snakebitten for the entire game (-4, no shots) and Gill is just too slow and immobile, not to mention he was coming back from sickbay. Weber is like a hit record that is moving up the charts. Sadly, we sometimes get the B-side.

      That’s two great starts by Price that have now been wasted.

      If you’re totally objective, you have to wonder if MaxPac deserves a two or three game suspension. It was a head shot, plain and simple.

      A team makeover to younger players would mean a lot more than just getting rid of Spacek and GIll. They would only bring mid level picks near the deadline. Picks that probably would never turn into NHL regulars. That leaves Gomez, Gionta, Cammy and Cole. Gomez would bring no return and I seriously doubt anyone is going to pick up Cammy right now with a 6M price tag. Maybe at the end of next season. One of the negatives of the Houle era was the constant turnover of captains. It drove me crazy. Do we want to do that now? And if we make Gorges captain, then that means we will have to really overpay on his UFA contract. Is it worth it for a guy who a is a 2nd pairing Dman? What about Erik Cole? Tough to trade your best player (at the present moment), especially seeing that he’s in the first year of a four year deal. Not many teams will be interested in a 4.5M, 35-36 year old injury prone player during the last two years of his contract.

      I think we stay the course until Markov comes back. Let’s see what kind of a difference he makes with the present cast.

      • JF says:

        Steve – When I mentioned trading veterans, I specified that I meant the ones Gainey had signed two years ago – Gill and Spacek (both of whom will be gone in the summer anyway), Cammy, Gionta, and Gomez. I realize no one will take Gomez, but some of the others might have their value for a playoff team.

        I think Cammy must be playing hurt right now, because he’s been terrible. But he’s a proven playoff performer. Gill and Spacek were both very good in our playoff run two years ago. If I were going to keep any of them, it would be Gionta, who is consistent and has delivered what he was expected to in terms of goals.

        I didn’t include Cole, who has been great for us and whom I would keep (even though he may be a bit over-priced). And I thought last year that Gorges should have been made captain. I still think so, although I have nothing against Gionta. Actually I have nothing against any of them except that they’re overpaid and I think their effectiveness is waning.

        It’s clear we’re not a serious contender this year, likely not even a playoff team. I think it’s time to build the team from within and stop tying up large amounts of cap space in free agents who are already past their best.

  44. Propwash says:

    Price had every right to be ticked, 99.9999999% of the time, the play would have been whistled dead.

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  45. Marc10 says:

    Oh man… The standing around by our Habs on that non goal sums it up doesn’t? It’s one thing to be soft, it’s another thing entirely to not engage or care.

    I can excuse being out muscled or being out of position or even slipping and falling. I can’t understand how you let a skill player just walk in and strip your goalie and then bury while you stand there and watch. That’s madness!

    Nevermind the whistles! Hello… you have a stick in your hand… and an effin’ brain!

  46. Have not comment in awhile. The 4 players on the ice in overtime was the results of the winning goal. Where was the protection for Carey Price? Kris Letang should have not close to the goal at all imo. Letang was not touched and did what he was suppose to do until the whistle is blown. The ref being on the other side of the rink never seen the puck being covered by Price’s trapper and therfore the play continued.

    It fustrates me that when the Habs are leading by 2 goals they go to sleep and the other team takes control of the game from there on. Habs have enough speed in the lineup to win majority of their games. But for onsome reason they stop playing. When is this team going to play a 60 minute game? That’s the question I asked today.

    JM has to be the blame for this and stop sitting back on a 2 goal lead. The players know they can excel and be more aggressive in their forecheck by creating turnovers. This will create more scoring chances in the game and who knows what the score maybe in the end. This team needs to play a 60 minute game period.

    It would be very interesting when this team gets healthy enough to contend every night when they play. Habs are in good position to move up in the standings when all injuries return to the game. When will the real JM let his players play the game the way they are capable of instead playing defensive game with 2 goal leads? That’s the million question?

    Go Habs Go!!!!

  47. Clay says:

    For shame Boone – nary a word about the Pacioretty cheap head shot? Seriously, if a Pen – or any other team’s player – had done that to ANY Hab you would be up in arms…
    Pacioretty shouldn’t get a free ride just because he is a Hab. Head shots have no place in this league.

    Other than that, it was an entertaining game, and I really enjoyed it. Just think; with our injured D back, Weber will be in the press box where he belongs, and we may win games like that. I don’t want to come down on Weber though – he is being put in positions he is simply not capable of playing in. Not his fault.

    “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Hey, haven’t you heard? It was a hockey play. Oh wait! He wasn’t wearing yellow, black and white. Suspend his a$$!

    • RGM says:

      The idealist in me that wants headshots completely out of the game and punishable by suspensions agrees with you to an extent on the Pacioretty-Letang hit.
      The realist in me that has seen how a gray area can be found for most headshots that result in no supplemental discipline immediately looks at the hit on Chris Campoli from this pre-season and says, “No suspension.”

      Very similar plays that resulted in minor injuries for the players affected. Letang was deemed sufficiently all right that he didn’t even have to spend the mandated 15 minutes in the quiet room, and probably spent the time off the ice getting his nose re-adjusted and the his jersey bleached so as to be decontaminated sufficiently to be allowed back on the ice. Letang’s fine, and about that all of us are very happy. It wasn’t a clean hit, a penalty would have been acceptable, but the player hit did put himself in the vulnerable position by leaning that far forward into the shot. Pacioretty’s timing was slow, as the puck had already left Letang’s stick when contact was made – he wasn’t going for the head, he just didn’t make the move to hit quickly enough to separate the player from the puck before the shot, and in the process hit Letang’s head.

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

  48. smiler2729 says:

    Like the majority here, I’m so tired of the Montreal Canadiens being a mediocre, hit-or-miss for the playoffs kind of team.

    I can whine about dumb drafting (AK46 over Giroux, etc…) or bitch about Jacques Martin (what are the options?) but all that does is boil our blood even hotter.

    No, man, our biggest weakness is not scouting or coaching but Pierre Gauthier who is supposed to be a keen hockey mind yet does little to improve the team’s glaring deficiencies!

    The Habs need size and sandpaper and someone who can win a freakin’ important faceoff yet they continue to let perfect candidates like Wisniewski, hell, even Souray, Dom Moore, Metro and Halpern walk without capably filling their skates.

    Just so tired of this team middling…

    Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

  49. bighabber says:

    The team worked hard enough they deserved a better outcome. It was a bulls#!t call.

    As for the Letang hit, he needs to learn to keep his head up. The hit was a full body hit even though Letang’s nose got most of it. No suspension. If it was a head hit Letang would be in the quiet room not scoring on a blown call in OT or at least laundering his bloody jersey still.

  50. Curtis O Habs says:

    Was it the same ref who deflected the puck with his skate blade to give the penguins a breakaway goal, only to have to wave it off?

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    Watching the game last night, the same thought came to me every third shift. Why does Monsieur Martin continually throw Gio/Plex/Cammy on the ice knowing full well that the most talented line on the team has zero chance of maintaining puck posession due to lack of size in the corners.

    I would like to see a switch, perhaps Mr. Cole could trade places with Mr. Gionta or Mr. Cammalleri.

    MaxPac and DD need to stay together they have a chemistry which was initially brewed in Hamilton (Make it a Laker) and seems to continue.

    We desperately need Brother Andrei back, and I desperately hope either Weber or Diaz (based on yesterday I would lean to Weber) should take some time watching.

    I am also even looking forward to see what a healthy Campoli could do, but please do not remove Mr. Emelin from the lineup. Yes he is still imperfect, I saw JM twitching and even muttered something when Emelin took his penalty for imitating a Russian Bear during that bear hug of a Penguin. But I will accept his learning curve in order to still have one Dman who likes to use his size effectively.

    Oh yah, why do refs think because earlier calls on goals went one way earlier, they can’t possibly make another potentially difficult but correct call.

    • HabFab says:

      ” Mr. Cole could trade places with Mr. Gionta or Mr. Cammalleri.”

      Pierre Gauthier…is that you?
      Sneaky vegan, masquerading as HiB…for shame!
      Don’t tell us this, go talk to Mr Martin and “pearn” his a$$!!
      Please and thank you…

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Was kinda hoping if JM read it, he would think it was PG telling to switch it up. Agree on a Pearning or DePearning, still unsure which is the correct terminology.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I’d like to see Squid change places with a forward that fights for ice and pucks. Look up soft in the dictionary and there’s a picture of Cammaleri. If you’re going to play like Gretzky, you’d better put the biscuit in the basket.

  52. HabFab says:

    Heck, it was hard to get on here this AM. And after reading the comments realize the boys in BC and Bangkok had used up all the VOWELS!
    At the start of the season, I said that it was one the “iffest” team that I had seen and I hadn’t a clue how this season would turn out. By “iffy”, I mean there were too many “if’s”. And I still don’t!!
    In the past couple of season’s, one of our greatest strengths was the TEAM spirit of our players, has that been disrupted? Seem to have an old guy, young guy thing happening and the coaching is out of sinc with whatever is happening! The injuries have been unreal both here and in Hamilton. Noticed yesterday that Hamilton had 11 players out injured or recalled to Montreal.
    In the past, we could always count on the ghosts from the Forum to help us, seems like now they are just pissed!! Join the club!

  53. New says:

    I think Price is playing very well. I think Dube is right, the ref’s can not disallow a third Pens goal on the road, and the Pens knew that. Smart coach. Cammi is a one trick pony. Diaz and Boone may be hitting it off but Price may not appreciate Diaz’ stick in his gear all night.

    10 wins, 14 losses. This is Florida all over again.

  54. Thomas Le Fan says:

    We may not have been robbed but we were certainly mugged. All I can say is that Carey did f’n have it and Maxpac should save that elbow for Lucic, Marchand or Chara. But … meh … hockey play.

  55. Lafrich says:

    Tough call on the Patches hit.
    Tough call on the winning goal that should have been blown dead.
    EASY call on the worst Canadien this season BY FAR – can anyone guess? ….. I’ll wait…. Correct – Cammalleri. He is TERRIBLE. So weak. Gives up the puck constantly. Soft passes. Soft on the boards. Never ever wins a battle. Makes dumb plays. Man I can’t stand that guy right now. For whomever thinks our captain sucks, Gionta is not even close. Cammalleri should be traded ASAP while people still think he is useful based on those playoff runs, which seem completely lucky at this point.

    • Sharks9 says:

      Are you kidding? Markov’s contract being worse than Gomez’s? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard all day.
      His money isn’t even counting against our cap hit because he’s on the IR

      25 before 14

  56. JayBee says:

    A 2 goal Habs lead is the most unsafe lead in all of sports.

    • bajd says:

      I understand anger over the non-call but wasn’t this team built with 8th place in mind? It’s still early enough to hope for 8th place and isn’t that the Canadiens mantra–with a bit of luck and some hope, we just might achieve 8th, which in a conference of 15 teams, 8th would mean perfectly average. I wonder if Microsoft or Google or Apple have those words written on their corporate boardroom walls–“average–something which any good organization should strive for.”

  57. G-Man says:

    I don’t get all the Lars Eller love. He never goes to the net with the puck, preferring to skate back with it to the point man. The points man and Eller are then covered by the 1 defending Eller seeing as there is no room to do anything but hopefully chip it back into the zone deep.
    Sure, he’s big, but yet another no-pointer and everyone keeps saying how wonderful he’s going to be. He’s in the NHL now, not the AHL. Produce or be sent down, ffs. Way too many non-producers on the Habs.

    • malmn says:

      I agree. Eller is overrated and people are misjudging his potential. He’s a career 3rd liner at best.

      GO HABS GO!!!

    • 24 Cups says:

      Same here, G-Man. Eller gets a free ride on HI/O while many regular posters crap all over DD because of his size.

      They may eventually change places on the depth chart, but right now Desharnais has the better record and is clearly the better player.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Difference between Eller, Desharnais? One of them isn’t useless on the road. Desharnais thrives because of two power forwards cycling the puck and doing all the dirty work.

      Giving him one night on the PP and his not producing anything and people are on him? Please, DD has had unchallenged PP time all season and he’s had one point in his last 6 games.

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

  58. The Cat says:

    Someone ban the two ref system already, the incompetence is getting out of hand.

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

  59. Man Dingga says:

    Pricey deserved a better outcome. Someone mentioned that Blunden needs to be called up and I agree, we need some grit and toughness. If Cammi is injured then he shouldn’t be playing, what the f’s with that? I also agree Shea Weber would look real good in the CH. Wishful thinking though.


    I cant wait til someone decides to start improoving our team!!

  61. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Logically, it was quite impressive We earned a point tonight
    …We played a team that was at or near the top of the NHL overall point-wise for most of this season …playing WITHOUT Crosby, Malkin and/or Stall
    …now they are back …3 studs that would be number-one at centre on most other NHL teams, all on one team, spread over 3 lines
    …and, We were a mistake and a blown call from gaining 2 points
    …does Our talent match theirs ? …not even close

    …disappointing Camalleri is playing like a dog now …I liked the ‘single focused’ Cammy much better than this ‘preoccupied married/daddy’ Cammy He is playing-like now
    …and, wish We had the NJ Devil’s version of Brian Gionta (or, Gomez for that matter) …We have the aging version that I suppose no longer can We expect every night
    …the unremitting over-the-top expectations of Montreal’s Fans also are a load of bull-manure which some of Our Players very likely find difficult to balance with Their enthusiasm to play for Us, and over-time leads to ‘burn-out’ at some point
    …Carey Price, great game, …but He has to learn that He is too laconic at times …taking for granted nominal coverage of the puck is expected to draw a stoppage …bring Your paddle across to cover Your glove …something ! …I think He will not make same mistake again
    …if only Cammy, Gionta and Gomez had the consistent drive and dynamism of Cole, which at the beginning of the season I was anticipating
    …if only Cole had ‘the hands’ to compliment His speed and drives to the net …great shot, but in close rather clumsy
    …to Me, the best D shown this season was the young ‘NHL inexperienced” group of Weber, Diaz, Emelin, Gorges/PK (the exceptions), and St. Denis …individually the new Guys are still learning, but as a group They seemed the best ‘collective’ combination of speed and puck-moving skill to productively compliment Our forwards
    …Gill (though I love Him) I feel has negated the collective efficiency of that group
    …though I respect Jacques Martin for being a stolid calm Coach that got Our Team to look promising and taking It admittedly further than most of Our expectations, considering Our transition post-the Gomez trade …but, as a Montreal Canadien’s Fan it is painful watching Us turtle within attempted defensive-shells when in a goal or two goal lead too early in the game, which predictably result in the opposition taking advantage of same …it just is completely counter-intuitive to any Real Hab Fan’s appreciation of ‘style’ We expect from Our Habs
    …Jacques, in My opinion, must allow the offensive talent to be more aggressive …speaking for Myself, it’s frustrating and painful to watch
    …Geoff Molson, …if He is going to be a proactive and an involved Owner, He hopefully is evaluating the ‘entertainment-value’ of Our Team, as well as the goal to once more be an elite NHL Team
    …unless there is a collective turn-around, at this time, I don’t see We will qualify as a playoff Team

    …re Our Fans: as far as Our Fans are concerned, I think there are many great Habs’ Fans, as We see contributing here on a daily basis, participating in the recent Summit, and many many others more silently and classily around the world whom support Our Team whether win or lose …but as well there too many loud-mouthed, over-wrought, ugly Fans whom do not help Our Team succeed
    …somehow, those Ugly Hab Fans have chosen somewhere along the way to be insanely obsessive over a Team beloved for being ‘classy’ …yet, They, Themselves, have no intimacy with WHAT the word means, otherwise They would not talk as abusively or obscenely as They do about Our Players and Organization
    …be frustrated, criticize, express rational alternatives to improve and better Our Players’ product and success on the ice, but I was especially sickened as a Fan with watching that gang-up and boots to the head on that Bruins Fan whether he obnoxiously ‘deserved’ it or not …outraged the Bell Centre’s Security let everyone walk-way without holding ALL for police
    …some of Our Fans think because They are Habs’ Fans that ‘class’ comes for Themselves automatically with the gig …instead They are too dense to realize the embarrassing of the Legacy hard-earned by Our great Players and previous builders of Our Montreal Canadiens

    Post-script: sorry for the extra, (long-winded, as Errant describes it below 🙂 ) and I guess, unfocused rant …just watched belatedly the video of the fight in the stands during the Bruins game …and, it ticked Me off 🙂
    …as well, …My Kids are asleep, and with nuttin’ better to do, I can write these self-absorbed ‘long-winded’ opinions and rants on My Habs ’til I nod off into an exausted sleep 🙂

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Cripes you’re long-winded Habitant In Surrey.

      1) I’m not sure how hands-on I want Mr. Molson to be. I don’t want him to be a George Steinbrenner, meddling in the day-to-day affairs. As far as the medium term, he has had control of the team for only one season, and his only real cards to play will be to change the management team. I support his decision to stick with the current team this summer in light of their results, and will support his decision come next summer.

      2) Mike Cammalleri is obviously injured, his knee is still bothering him and robbing him of of his usual speed. Let’s not join the other curb-stompers while he’s down.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …long-winded Normand 🙂 ? …like the kettle calling the pot black, non ? …so let’s call Ourselves, mutual ‘bags-of-wind’ ? 🙂

        …Geoff, I believe, is a Habs’ Fan first, and a businessman second
        …as a fellow ‘Habs’ Fan’ I am understandably thinking WHAT I would do in His shoes
        …first, as a Molson & Fan, I would be besotted with My memories of WHAT made Me a Habs’ Fan growing-up around My family and The Team …now, being The Owner, I would like to recreate as closely as possible the character, passion and style that defined those memories
        …as a businessman, I also want to be sure to provide WHAT My customers (Fans) want …artistic, creative, tough but clean (classy), passionate, OFFENSIVE hockey
        …if My employees (Pierre Gauthier and Jacques Martin) are not representing My standards as far as the ‘product’ on the ice as I envision them, then I would not hesitate for ‘a sit-down session’ with My employees to more clearly define my business objectives
        …like I said previously, I am hoping as Geoff has acclimated as the relatively new Owner (Care-taker) of Our Montreal Canadiens, He has also been feeling increasingly confident and sufficiently assertive to define to Gauthier and Martin My clear business objectives …and then, allow My professionals to implement what is required
        …if They can not do the job, then proactively find other professionals that have a better ability to achieve it

        …re Cammy: I am not curb-stomping Cammy …He is One of Our core-Players We depend on to excel to succeed …either He is restrained by a nagging injury or distracted by His new family responsibilities …Cammy is a proud professional and a passionate Player, that presently is playing not like a Mike Camalleri …and it is only a matter of time before He will play again like a Mike Camalleri …only saying, as a Habs’ Fan, I hope He starts playing like a Mike Camalleri sooner, rather than later

        Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    • citizenSanto says:

      excellent post.
      expressive, eloquent, and erudite.
      while you may be guilty of using ellipses, i am often guilty of favouring alliteration
      Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
      — Augustine of Hippo

  62. Ozmodiar says:

    I’ve noticed Cammerlarri’s production has followed lockstep with some posters’ ability to correctly spell his name.

  63. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Honestly man, why do we insist on pillorying a bottom pairing defenceman?

    Weber had a less than stellar game, but Jeebus hell, have you seen our D corps lately?

  64. Timo says:

    Hah… I just realized something. We haven’t hit the 25 game gelling mark yet. So not to worry. Everything will be great come December.

    • citizenSanto says:

      ah sarcasm. the final refuge of the weak minded, lazy and unamusing fan.
      Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
      — Augustine of Hippo

  65. Chuck says:

    “As Dany Dubé suggested on the 98.5 FM game broadcasts, the refs weren’t about to disallow THREE Pittsburgh goals.”

    Actually, they only disallowed one; the second was the decision of the war room in Toronto, and thus was out of their hands.

    Regardless, even if the ref intentionally allowed the puck to be jabbed from under Price’s mitt there was no guarantee the it would end up in the back of the net. And each call needs to be judges on its own merit, an not be influenced by any/how many disallowed goals came before it.

  66. Timo says:

    Does anyone else begin to truly hate Cammilleri? What a useless POS that guy is. I think Stubbs is due for another he is a good guy, tries hard, feel good kind of column.

    All 3 high prized acquisitions by Bobo are really tearing it, aren’t they? Gomez, Gionta and Cammilleri are by far the more overpaid worthless per dollar losers that ever played in the NHL. And I did take Laraque into consideration.

    Ah well… good stuff. We got a point, Stubbs will write a column about Cammi and all will be good again.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Relax, man! Cammy-Gomez-Gionta ain’t doing to badly. After all, they’ve combined for 28 pts thus far. That’s more than Joffrey Lupul can say! Yup, 1 more point than Joffrey Lupul! Joffrey freakin’ Lupul!! Jofff…oh, man…where’s that paper bad?!

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      I’m sure you were saying the exact same thing the last 2 playoffs when he led the teams in goals, right?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      You’re completely off the mark Timo. Mike Cammalleri is a warrior who works hard both off and on the ice. He’s playing on one knee right now to forestall Andrew Conboy’s callup from Hamilton. You may not be happy with his point tally so far, but there’s absolutely no reason to demean him and call him names or impugn his character.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


      • Timo says:

        Fine, calling him that is perhaps not the right thing to do. But he still is terrible. And, I’ve seen some pretty amazing contributions from players who’ve been playing injured.

    • citizenSanto says:

      Cammy is a POS?
      I guess it dePENS on which team you decide to Jeer for.
      oh and btw, only a coward and a clown would hide behind an Ali G picture and dare to call MR BOB GAINEY, bobo.
      Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
      — Augustine of Hippo

  67. Eric37 says:

    Great work on this site Boone et. all. I need to read About Last Night to calm down a bit. Here’s my thoughts…

    Patches and Cole are on fire.

    Moen playing like it’s a contract year or something…

    Soft defensive zone play on Pittsburgh’s second goal. Very soft.

    The hit on Letang was clean but unfortunate.

    Another soft 3rd period.

    Puck should have been whistled dead in OT.

    Still, the better team won.


  68. Ozmodiar says:

    “Sadly, it didn’t hit Yannick Weber.”

    ouch! The swelling rage of watching Weber has been put to paper, so to speak. I hear ya, man.

  69. OneTimer says:

    Controversial goal: Habs get jobbed again vs. Pittsburgh.

    Controversial hit: MaxPac will probably get 1-2 games. I’d be OK with that. The media and Broons fans will have a field day with it. That’ll be tougher to handle. Then again, maybe Letang’s “last minute” movement to put himself in a vulnerable position will get Max off the hook. You never know in today’s NHL.

    What I really want to know is, Cammy is clearly injured, and I think he’s doing more harm than good taking up a spot in the lineup. Let this guy heal up so he can get back to form. He’s made several egregious plays in the last few games. I don’t question his heart, therefore it must be his health.

  70. punkster says:

    Another tough one to let slip away like that then lose it on a bad non call. Some good performances and a few stinkers. These close games are killers though.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  71. Un Canadien errant says:

    Automotive engineers and enthusiasts say that, as concerns drivetrains, there’s no substitute for cubic engines, meaning that injection systems and turbochargers and other doodads are all fine and good, but a bigger engine will tend to outpower a smaller engine.

    Basketball coach Marv Harshman once defended his preference for taller players with the immortal quote: “Quick guys get tired; big guys don’t shrink.”

    As tonight’s game demonstrated, there’s no substitute for talent in the NHL. Driven, inspired players like Mathieu Darche and Travis Moen will tend to come up short if they’re your best players when stacked up against high first-round picks like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Stall. Our 5th-pick overall goalie is I think a notch better than their first-pick overall goalie, but tonight that wasn’t enough.

    The overtime goal is at least controversial. The Canadiens and their fans will argue that it shouldn’t have been allowed and that the referee who ruled on the play was poorly positioned to actually see it, but in close games like these lucky bounces often decide the game. An unlucky bounce of the puck off a referee’s skate led to a Penguin goal which was overturned on review, and the Canadiens hit a couple of posts, notably one by Yannick Weber on a backhand during a powerplay. It could have gone either way.

    The Canadiens cannot argue, however, that they failed to put the Pens away when they had the chance. They were up 3-1 halfway through the second, and failed to convert many opportunities to ice the game, like a few rushes by Erik Cole, and four powerplays.

    Playing at home, against a Pens team that had also played the previous night, and sitting out Frédéric St-Denis in favour of Andrei Kostitsyn (who despite my ongoing critiques of his play I welcomed as Kent Brockman welcomed his new insect overlords), the Good Guys had a winnable game in front of them, daunting as the prospect may have been. Daunting also was the Pens’ starting line with Mr. Crosby and Malkin. Jacques Martin didn’t get confused with his line-matching and thankfully didn’t start the Nokelainen line, but it didn’t matter, since I don’t think the Jarvis-Gainey-Chartraw line would have been able to stop them from scoring on their first shift. Which they did, Evgeni Malkin cashing in a goal on a play started by Sidney Crosby, a veritable starter’s pistol for the gnashing of teeth and rending of bleu blanc rouge.

    The Glorieux responded quickly to stanch the bleeding though, with Sergeant Snipes-a-Lot tallying his 8th of the season. I want to apologize at this point for doubting Mr. Moen. During the summer I stated repeatedly that he was not fit to play on the Canadiens first line, which was not a controversial statement, but I may have implied that he was no more than a fourth-liner who could drop the gloves once in a while. Mr. Moen is proving that there is a lot of real estate between those two poles, and that with the right centre and linemates, he can contribute with more than his shoulders. I’ll be intrigued to see how this Moen-Eller-Kostitsyn line does in the next few games, and will continue to applaud Travis’ efforts and scalpel/stick.

    While we’re on the subject of apologies, will all the David Desharnais detractors please sit down and shut the heck up, please? Yes, you’re very observant, he is quite small and if someone lines him up with a bodycheck, he’ll rarely be the player who’s left standing. What he does have is awareness of his size and how to position himself to make the best of it. He’s quick and crafty, and uses timing and his stick effectively when battling for the puck along the boards. His wingers don’t seem crestfallen that they have to play with him. Do you see them celebrate after a goal? He’s always deep in the defensive zone helping out his defencemen. On Erik Cole’s goal, he was in front of Marc-André Fleury making life difficult for him. His sweet setup created the Max Pacioretty goal. He was smart enough to recognize that he had the better angle and he has the better shot, and waited long enough to draw the goalie and defenceman out of position before teeing it up for Max.

    Mathieu Darche has also started to draw the ire of the Commentariat. I agree that he’s possibly being overused by Mr. Martin, but that is hardly his fault. Sure Mathieu is ice-cold right now, but he’ll have a warm streak and end up with 5-10 goals and 20 points, and contribute his heart and soul and shoulders every night, which is all we can ask of him and his modest contract.

    P.K. Subban is unsettled, and I worry about him. I have to call him out yet again for his mugging and diving, and demand that he gets his head in the game and play hard instead of chewing the scenery. Tonight, he drew a penalty on James Neal that was probably deserved, since Mr. Neal did slash him, but he embellished it by diving, something which the referees will see on replay and file away for future reference. For every call he may get by doing this, P.K. is probably losing three or four. Not content with that performance, he later was struck twice by high-sticks, and both times he stopped playing and put a hand to his mouth and gaped at the referee. The first time in the first period, by doing so, he essentially gave the puck away to Jordan Stall, luckily with no ill result. The second time, he drew a penalty on the play, but the RDS guys were on the ball and played some footage that showed that he caused James Neal’s high-stick by tripping him and making him lose his balance. I say again P.K., you’re not Ken Linseman, you’re not Shawn Avery, you’re a Montreal Canadien, cut the crap and play hard. Pattern your play after Chris Chelios or Lyle Odelein if you want to play rough and tumble, but don’t be Bryan Marchment or Ulf Samuelsson.

    Jordan Staal was impressive in the third period, for his clutch breakaway goal certainly, since he actually converted it as opposed to our snakebitten snipers, but also for a puck battle along the boards where he threw off Max Pacioretty like an itchy blanket. I had to marvel at how strong that kid must be.

    Max is no small potatoes either, but his physical play in the third period may get him in trouble. He hit Kris Letang with a clean shoulder hit, but the ‘principal point of contact’ seemed to be the head and he was left with a bloody and reported broken nose. I fear that Max’s hit will be adjudicated by the NHL. Brendan Shanahan will review it from every camera angle, in slow-motion, forward and backward, will interview all parties involved, take into consideration the severity of Mr. Letang’s injury, garner some advice from the sages at the head office, and will eventually conclusively determine beyond any doubt that Max Pacioretty is not a Boston Bruin and is therefore suspendable.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  72. showey47 says:

    After watching the replay again in slow-mo on the pvr you could actually see the ref bring the whistle up to his mouth twice while price had he puck under his glove and for some reason didn’t blow it. But still,they have only themselves to blame for blowing a 2 goal lead and shooting blanks again on the PP.

    • Chuck says:

      It would be nice to hear his explanation as to why the whistle wasn’t blown. There’s no way from where he was positioned that he could have seen the puck, nor did he make an attempt to get into position to see it. And if it WAS in his line of sight, then it would have been obvious that Price had his trapper on it.

      • Timo says:

        You just have to wait for Kerry’s column on TSN. I am sure he will find a perfectly good explanation as for why ref was right and everybody else was wrong.

        But again, Habs are the ones who are to blame for this loss. I mean, why weren’t they the ones digging pucks out of Fleury’s glove?

  73. I feel the need, the need for speed.

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

  74. Propwash says:

    Nailed it 110%
    The guys who are supposed to be producing aren’t, and we have a patchwork AHL defensive squad.
    All in all, the Habs held up pretty good against Sid and co. when it all boils down. Im proud of the team.

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

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