About last night …

MaxCole

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.

295 Comments

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  2. sampson12 says:

    When Markov comes back and they’re actually scoring on the PP, things are gonna start to look up and the habs are gonna be tough to beat.

    But after 10 games and Markov’s back on the IR, it’s gonna be back to PP futility…

    Just kidding! I’m optimistic. He’s waiting til he’s absolutely 100% before coming back into the lineup and I feel like it will take another freak accident to take him out again.

    Lost in the talk of Markov’s return is what we’ll look like when Campoli and White are back. With Campoli sitting at 5th or 6th on the defensive depth chart and having the likes of the much improved Emelin, Diaz, and Weber ready to fill in when needed, the habs’ defensive unit will be one of the best and deepest in the league. That is of course, if there’s ever a time when they are all healthy.

    Getting White back will give Palushaj the chance to play top line minutes in the AHL rather than wasting his time trying to be a fourth liner with the big club. White will help make up a fourth line that is actually effective. I think that along with Nokaleinen and Darche, they can be a 4th line that we rely on to give the team a boost of energy and provide solid grinding minutes.

    Still unsure of what to do with Gomez. At times I think he has so much to contribute to the team. An argument can be made that he does things that help us win games. He knows how to keep the puck on his stick and, provided he can find some chemistry with his linemates (it’s clear that he would like to play with two wingers consistently) he can be an excellent playmaker. However, it’s obvious that Eller and DD are most effective playing in the middle, and sliding one of them to the wing is not good for their development. Furthermore, you can’t deny their ability to achieve good chemistry with their wingers. DD’s “Two and Half Men” line (as Boone calls them, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they were funnier than the show) has emerged as the team’s best, and Eller looks great between Moen and AK46.

    You gotta hope it’s a matter of time before Pleks, Cammy and Gionta start clicking. The talent is there. The effort is expected to be there. Cammy should break out soon. Let’s hope.

    I’m interested to see what this team looks like in 2012.

    Any thoughts?

    • nunacanadien says:

      Thank you for reminding us about Campoli. I can’t stop but keep reminding the Habs that continually signing 4 foot tall 100 pound mexicans is bad for morale. Add to that Martin’s pathetic five on five defense that he now talks about, what the f*ck is this having to have five back in defense? That means that Martin is pushing for a defensive minded game. I guess Gainey and Molson must still believe if we can keep Price down to one goal against the habs can win. Well hello, Geoff Molson and Robert Gainey….you need a scoring forward to make that policy work…..and oh yes, having tiny smurfs alongside doesn’t help.

  3. RetroMikey says:

    When you’ re up by 2 goals can can’t cling on for the victory, you know our Habs our in serious trouble.
    The Letang goal is just another bitchfest on this site from our fans here, we just blew this game, plain and simple.
    Our Habs will win one lose one, win one, lose one, win one, etc. throughout the rest of the season and don’t look for them to make the playoffs with other teams excelling like Toronto and Florida for example.
    Our midgets have been a disappointment in Gionta, Gomez, Plekanec, and Cammalleri to name a few but Desharnais is no surprise, the guy is playing like he is 6 feet tall.
    As for Weber, he does play nervous out there which he did while playing in Hamilton, the guy is just not a bona fider DMan in the NHL nor AHL.
    No surprise that we are not playing to our full expectations with the majority of players on our team for the third straight season.
    I’m hoping that management packs it in and starts unloading players.
    I’d rather be happy if we get a top 5 draft pick and young prospects than have some overrated players still playing with us.
    We can’t compete in the long haul against bigger players.

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

    • TOP DAWG says:

      Mikey

      Don’t let the words we & our team roll from your fingers. You never come in here we the Habs win, only when they lose. You are a real piece of work!

      “If you’re not the TOP DAWG, the view never changes”

      • RetroMikey says:

        I say it like it is. Honesty is the best policy around here.
        I do love my Habs but since Bobby blew ship on this team several seasons ago, the nucleus of players he traded or signed for is a recipe for disaster,
        Mark my word, we will not play hockey in the spring with the roster we have on the ice or on injury reserve, we are just not good enough and are way too overrated by our fans on this site and others.

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

        • nunacanadien says:

          That’s it with Gainey and his recipe which the Molsons and Gauthier use and why I think Gainey is still behind the scenes. Mixing rookies with players no one wants like Gomez, Campoli, etc. alongside tiny talented smurfs like Gionta and Cammaleri is indeed a recipe for disaster. Being lazy and signing only those players no one wants (6 foot tall 200 pound defensmen like Campoli) and 2 foot tall players like Gomez sends the wrong message. It sends the message to the rest of the team that the lower paid rookies are gonna hoof the bill for the lazy arse players like Gomez and Gionta who would never been seen withint two feet of the net or even ten feet cause they know they are gonna get a sh*t kicking from crashing the other net. Well that is the NHL mode of play now. We’ve signed players who woudl rather play on a power play or from ten to 15 feet out where they don’t get hurt or pushed into the boards.

          Maybe it’s time we call it like it is. The Habs can do it with some but not all of their players. It is not a team, when the rookies do all the grunt work and the overpaid millionairre veterans give the puck away like Gomez etc.

  4. Barts says:

    Can’t believe no one’s talking more about Cammalleri…ya he scores the odd goal, but if you’re not scoring you need to be doing other stuff to help your team. He is a serious liability on the ice; bad passes, no forecheck, soft on the puck. He bailed on plays in the corner several times last night. Very disappointing.

  5. SPATS says:

    We gave them all they could handle. They won on a blown call. We basically rolled 3 lines (including a smurf line) Weber could easily have been dressed in Pittsburgh colors for all he contributed, but then, imagine if we had Markov, White and Gomer playing (Gomer on the 4th line playing about as much as Palushaj did) We’re not that far off. Stay positive peeps

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

    • nunacanadien says:

      Enough of supporting the Gomer. If we as fans want him gone, we have to be united and insist he be traded or moved down or permanently sat on the bench. Heck make the Gomer an ambassador to the KHL or something like that. Use his cheer leading skills cause it sure aint’ working on the ice.

  6. Hab-Q says:

    Pittsburgh Penguins- ’08 Cup finalists and ’09 Cup champions built their team by sucking big time for a number of years. By finishing at the bottom or nearly the bottom they managed to draft their core payers.

    2002 5th pick Ryan Whitney

    2003 1st pick M-A Fluery

    2004 2nd pick Malkin

    2005 1st pick Crosby

    2006 2nd pick Jordan Staal

    Why bother making the playoffs when the rewards for 5 years of bottom-feeding are more lucrative?

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

    ~Rodney Dangerfield

    • neumann103 says:

      The Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers are the current NHL teams to have been built on the foundation of 3 or more years of totally sucking. Of those only Edmonton approaches an intentional tanking.

      How did Pittsburgh do it? Only hovering around bankruptcy for years, being abandoned by fans and left for dead
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_Penguins#2002.E2.80.932006:_Bankruptcy_and_losing_seasons

      How did Chicago do it? Years of Bill Wirtz (the modern era’s worst owner not actually in Prison) parsimonious running things into the ground, almost turning one of the solid big city markets into a who cares town. Followed by smart moves by son Rocky and GM Dale Tallon
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Blackhawks#The_21st_century

      Edmonton fans may just be happy they still have a team, and it is not like they have the Bulls or Bears or Steelers to sooth their pain. (Someone mentions the CFL? Get serious).

      Montreal would probably still sell out every game even if they tanked for three years. But I live in Toronto. I grew up half way in between Toronto and Montreal. The reason I am not a Maple Leaf fan is the years and years of contempt for the fans that the Ballard regime showed by constantly putting crappy product on the ice knowing that they would still sell every seat and luxury box.

      So, if you are in 12th place in February and someone offers you a talented underpaid 21 year old prospect and a 2nd round pick for a playoff proven leader and and secondary scorer to push them over the top why not take it?

      If you are picking 17th in a year when there are 2 elite scoring forward prospects, why not try to trade up?

      If you had Spacek and Campoli back and proven healthy, and an elite team looking to make a run this year offered you anything at all of strategic worth, why not ride the rest of the year – or more- on the possibly shakey backs of an insanely inexperienced defense, why not take it, knowing that Emelin, Diaz, Weber, Subban, and Gorges plus St. Denis Beaulieu and Tinordi in the wings is actually a pretty solid foundation?

      But tanking? Even if they would stand for it, Montreal Canadiens fans shouldn’t stand for it.

      Plus it might not work

      Plus there are alternative routes.

      “Et le but!”

      • HardHabits says:

        I realize the Habs can’t tank. Tankology 101 was a wake up course for the if you make the play-offs anything can happen crowd.

        The Habs can still try to build via the draft properly. Rather than the rentals for the 1st round ousters they can do more of the veteran player for prospects and picks maneuver. They can try and develop players rather than rushing them and trading them for diddly squat. Rather than putting all their resources into doing the same thing year in and year out which is barely contend for a play-off spot and always start round one on the road maybe they can consider that the best talent is developed from within and that it might take a few years outside the play-off picture to do it properly.

        The day this organization finally gets down to the business of building a championship team as opposed to just a play-off team, let me know. Until then I don’t see them getting much traction.

        • tbovs says:

          i’ve watched and read ur comments for awhile now and honestly….ludicris. Edmonton never tanked and until the last three years where they didn’t have enough decent players to even ice an ahl team. They tried to land players in the off season but never could because the finances were in jep and they never spent anything near the cap because they couldn’t. When Katz took over things were different. Pittsburgh won the luck of the draw…players like Crosby and Malkin don’t come around often but two back to back…never happens…they won the luck of the draw. So if you look at why these teams are the way they are its because of the draft yes..but its who they drafted and the talent they had…..Chicagoover spent and has cap trouble for the last 2 years since they won…so ya they won the cup but not for another 65 years…So your logic is flawed…the teams that get these high pics have all had serious financial trouble and almost folded. Sooooo you either have to use better examples or quit with the stupid tanking team…anyone or team that has enough self respect wouldn’t even say the word or think it…..silly, you must not have much respect for other people or have played highlevel hockey team comes first and management always….always tries to put the best team on the ice or else they get fired …. PG here’s looking at you.

          • HardHabits says:

            Get back to me when you learn how to string together two sentences in a row that make sense.

    • Hab-Q says:

      The NHL needs to adopt a policy to not reward 5 years worth of failure.

      How about no more than 1 top 5 pick every 3 or 4 years?

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

      ~Rodney Dangerfield

  7. Bripro says:

    I’m convinced Cammie is injured.
    He hasn’t found his groove yet. And the way he’s playing, it might be a while.
    I’ve watched how he tries to set himself up along the boards to steal a clearing pass, but the Pens were wise to it and the pass never came.
    To the point where he followed Staal to the corner last night in the 3rd expecting the same.
    But the clearing never came, and Staal just to the puck and blitzed up the ice while Cammie ran out of gas (again) and headed for the bench.
    It created another odd-man rush, and he was already on the bench, without blame.
    That was his worst game of the year. I’m with everyone here who thinks the 3-stooges line is too small. Yes, Gionta gives it his all, but when you bounce off your opponent, you’re not very effective.

    • tbovs says:

      Agreed…they need a digger onthat line…like a moen or a cole….guys who are big enough that can go into the dirty spots and pick pucks out for the snipers….thats why darche earlier inthe year was playing with the top 6 and moen gets a chance there as well. Crosby Dupuisl Kunitz….Dupuis gets the puck out. Malkin, Neal, and who ever…the door revolves a lot with them. Malkin can dig and so can Neal. I would love to see PG get Staal…either Eric or Jordan….both are first line centres and top echelon talent…its sad we have not had a top 20 scorers since Mats Naslund in the 80’s…thats gross…so get a blockbuster done. Get rid of Plecs I don’t care….Staal for Plecks and Weber. Done…Campoli has a spot and we havea player that could make Cammi and Kosti better.

  8. likehoy says:

    @habsinburlington

    The wizard of oz has a happy ending for all that participated, the last 2 playoff finishes for the Canadiens were short of a happy ending.

    also those that are so big on Cammy’s playoff production, who can stand to watch him listlessly for 60 out of 82 games to do well in the playoffs, are you guys the same people who don’t want markov on the team for 45 games cause it’s not worth it?

    just seeing if there’s a correlation.

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

  9. Richrebellion says:

    It is clear why the pleks line just doesn’t work, cammy and gionta are just too small! Now if you spread out the 3 small players on the team to each of the top 3 lines I could see them all being effective. But when you rely on cammy and gionta winning battles down low they’ll lose everytime. Its pretty obvious why the best line is the pacioretty, cole and desharnais line, the big guys win the battles down low and desharnais sets up goals. If you want 3 effective lines the likes of gionta and cammy must be split up, and as much as deharnais is winning faceoffs and putting up points he cannot be a center in this league. In the defensive zone he is beat way too often down low and looks like a child chasing adults! He would best be suited for the wing somewhat like a Marty st Louis. That way with gomez back you can make the lines:

    Cole-Pleks-Cammy
    Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta
    Kostitsyn-Eller-Desharnais

    This would spread out the smaller players to different lines so that the big guys could dig out pucks for them. 2 small players on the same line will never work period!

  10. LA Loyalist says:

    2 points only, price’s role (and his D) is to defend the puck until an actual whistle , not to decide when a whistle should be. They teach this to 8 year olds. That goal is 100% on price

    Secondly, Pittsburgh is a great example of accomplishment with team- breaking injuries and clearly illustrates what an out of date coach Martin is.

    I think we need to see this team with markov and sans Martin and gomer to really evaluate clearly next steps

    I wasn’t going to post from Maui but habs make me crazy. I’ll report from ducks game on wed

    • tbovs says:

      ya not quite…as it was a blown call…period and yes they teach this in pee wee hockey but reality is players are conditioned for a certain time frame…and if it doesn’t come then it doesn’t come. The reffs blew it…he was in the wrong spot and it was something that happened …. Price hung onto the puck untill 2 pitts players put their sticks under his glove to dig it out and scored…not like he said..oh whistle should blow … i’ll stand up now… So yes…blown call…not goalies fault…silly….just silly

  11. Chips says:

    Bummer way to lose for sure!!! Pens were the better team out there, but still the Habs did compete well against one of the best in the league. If any team is going to show up your weaknesses, the Pens are it. So much depth and talent. The first Pens goal was a fluke. Price played lights out. Max, Cole, DD line was absolutely fearsome. Too bad Cole didn’t have just a little better hands, but what a dominant force he is! The Max hit was legal, as he got some shoulder and Letang lowered his head in the act of shooting at the last second. He also kept his elbow mostly tucked in. I think he gets off. What’s up with Cammy? Weber? Gio? I think the Pleks line is too small to compete against many top lines in the league and I bet Cammy is playing hurt. If he’s not, well then he’s sucking bad! Emelin getting better and better. Plenty of positives to see (along with the negatives) and hopefully Marky is back soon and up to speed before we are completely out of it. I think the team has what it takes to have a good run in the second half of the season, if we can manage to stay close enough. I much prefer to have a hot team ending the season than starting it anyhow! PP is sucking terribly and why doesn’t JM shake things up??? Still trying the same old things that haven’t been working. Hopefully soon we’ll see Marky and PK on the points for most of the PP’s. I think that will work because Marky will get PK the puck with some room to shoot for a change. I still have some hope and hopefully so does the team!!!

    25 in 2012

  12. Habinator says:

    Tired of saying it – this is not a playoff team, given the status of the other 9 easterners who have improved.

    Cammalleri is a gifted sniper who cannot skate or check.If all his off season workouts were for this , I say WTF ?!

    Sick of us passing up goal scorers at the draft, but really they’re a crapshoot when you draft at 17 each year.

    Time to get real. Make a trade NOW for Columbus’ first rounder next draft. Might take Kostitsyn, Weber, Budaj and even Gill to fix their back end. Put Gomer in Hamilton.

    Tired of squeaking in the playoffs, and having to be an upset team. Let’s become the beast in the east.

    Gerry

  13. slychard says:

    Sadly, were Cammy not playing injured, he would have made that same non-play in the defensive zone that led to the second Pitt goal. That, in my opinion, was when the wheels fell off, the beginning of the end. Shame after a brilliant, scratch that, valiant performance by les boys. I hope the arrival of Markov brings the spark needed on the pathetic PP. Have a good west coast trip boys!

  14. SeriousFan09 says:

    In response to discussion HH mentioned below of the Habs needing ‘multiple years of suckitude’ to become Contenders.

    We need the true star forward, that is above all, the missing element. We don’t need to hit the bottom of the league multiple times, we need to hit the draft lottery or at least Top 10 and make the correct selection.

    The prospect depth chart is bringing in building blocks, but we need the top of the pyramid, that is becoming apparent. How that player is attained is up for debate but I’d say adding Grigorenko (if such a thing is possible) would get the job done. Outstanding talent in the Q this year, elite puck posession talent and owning the league when he hasn’t even played 30 games on NA ice yet.

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

    • HardHabits says:

      Baby steps SF09.

      As it stands the big contracts are in decline apart from maybe Plekanec and Cole. Markov still has to play an injury free season to gauge his worth.

      Pacioretty, Desharnais, Eller, Kostitsyn, Price and Subban cannot hold the fort alone. At the very least get some added meat and muscle to insulate these players.

      A line of Plex-Gio-Cammy features two shorties and a softie. That is a recipe for disaster, especially when that is your so-called top line. Especially when those players are punching a 20 minute+ time on the ice clock. Gomez, as only the most ardent of Gomez boosters fail to recognize, is done.

      The prospects in the system are a few years away from NHL readiness let alone being players that can take big NHL minutes and make an impact. There are easily a few years of suckitude between now and then.

      1 top 10 pick is not going to turn this team around. However two 1st round picks this and next draft could. Trading Cammy or Gionta would not be easy given this little tidbit I scoured from the 4th period from last year:

      Michael Cammalleri (limited; details unknown)
      Brian Gionta
      Scott Gomez (limited; can list up to 3 teams he will not accept trade to)
      Andrei Markov (limited; can list up to 16 teams he will not accept trade to)
      Tomas Plekanec (limited; details unknown)
      Jaroslav Spacek (limited; details unknown)

      Maybe the Habs could trade Cammy or Gionta next season if their play improves and they start scoring.

      If not the Habs are hand cuffed the next two seasons and this by Gainey’s great signings. Fortunately there isn’t a ludicrous Ovechkin, Bryzgalov, Di Pietro, Lecavalier type contract burdening the Habs.

      The proof is in the pudding. Small players can survive and excel in the NHL but you can’t build a team around or by stocking up with them.

      It’s still too early to pack it in but it should still be considered as a contingency plan if the prospect of stocking the shelves is a worst case scenario. Better than blowing more futures and limping into the play-offs again only to be further bruised to an eventual ousting.

      Rivet for Gorges and a 1st. Halak for Eller. Those are the type of trades that build champions. McDonagh for Gomez is the type of trade that nullifies the other two.

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    We lost ,Yes!
    But we competed for 60 min. It was fast and entertaining. I had a great time watching every play. Experience beat us is all. By the end of the year, the kids will be better and we may have all our vets back.

    I still think we have the talent to make a noise in the play offs this year.
    The coach still scares me, but I remember what he did two years ago.

  16. HardHabits says:

    The Habs are on pace for 82 points.

  17. nick says:

    Easy Mike, as I learned the other day, if you have the nerve to mention Cammalleri and hits in the same sentence your setting yourself up for getting an earful!

  18. jmsheehy19 says:

    Does someone remember if a few games ago the lines were Cole-Plecky- cammy, and Patches-Dizzy-Gio? I think it was one of the games where we juggled lines because of an injury and they both worked well. Am I just making this up?

    • HardHabits says:

      Plex-Gio-Patches
      DD-Cole-Cammy
      Eller-Moen-AK
      Nokia-Blunden-Darche

      is your 4 game winning streak line-up.

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        Thanks HH. Be nice to try this again.

        • HardHabits says:

          That puts one power forward at least per line and gives the Habs a decent 4th line that can crash and bang. That line was also defensively responsible during the 4 game win streak.

          The bottom line is that Blunden brings something that Palushaj doesn’t and adds some size and grit to the line-up. Sure some small minded people might want to mock me but many sensible people here agree with me. The bottom line (no pun intended) is that teams need to roll four lines and it helps to have a bottom line that can bring quality energy minutes whether it is 5 or 10 per game.

      • sevenman says:

        HardHabits says:
        November 27, 2011 12:16 am at 12:16 am That line of Plekanec-Cammy-Gionta was awful and needs to broken up. Switch up Cammy and Patches and bring up Blunden. Send down Palushaj.

        HardHead, did you get a hold of Blunden yet? Habs got a game Wed in Ana. get him up with the team asap. His 8 gp and 5:01 minutes per game or as you put it ” solid 4th line minutes ” are key to fixing this team. Man, your comment is just as funny today as it was last night. Wow, I still can’t believe you said that.

  19. Toe Blake says:

    I find the systematic breakdowns of The System to be quite frustrating!

    • HabFab says:

      I realize that this just shows my stupidity BUT WTF is his SYSTEM anyway???

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It’s systemic of a system.

    • gauver says:

      If the System involved consistently rewarding players with ice time for their effort and performance, I could buy in. However, I cannot see that playing time is granted based on merit, game-by-game. If this did happen, I believe that players would be challenged by the new uniform, accountability and we would find out who the real competitors are on this team. This, however, requires a new head coach to implement.

  20. SeriousFan09 says:

    If the Habs sell, how far do they go and what can they get?

    They need to move up in the draft even if they sell for that elite pick so many people covet, there are teams that are going to hang in the bottom all season, MTL would have to go on an 8-game losing streak while the teams that can’t play .500 go on at least a .500 stretch to fall into the Bottom-3 group for the Grigorenko/Yakupov sweepstakes if that is what people think the objective should be.

    Cammalleri, Gill, Spacek, Moen for best possible result I think (IF that is the route to take) and see how far they can move up. If Yakupov/Grigorenko are unattainable, next offensive stars are Filip Forsberg and Alex Galchenyuk, issue is do we take the bet that Galchenyuk fully recovers from ACL surgery and bet all-or-nothing on Forsberg? Solid talent but not quite on the level of the 1-2 Russians.

    Not advocating, just discussing. Habs would have to work pretty hard to sink to the bottom and even then, what happens if they miss the boat on Grigorenko, Yakupov? Razor’s edge of the draft strikes again.

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

  21. punkster says:

    Pretty funny stuff today but among the best is the Crucify Cammy Crowd™. Scared, lazy, just not a good player? Fortunately it has finally dawned on a few posters that he is maybe, quite possibly, even likely, injured. But by all means, lets dump his sorry ass. In fact it should be a Habs team rule; get injured, get out.

    But to be fair the commentariat doesn’t play favourites. Every player has been slagged, bagged and tagged for delivery to either Hamilton or to another team in a blockbuster, EA Sports, “pull-the-wool-over-some-other-GMs-eyes” trade. Ever single player. Talk about unrealistic expectations.

    Here’s a reality check for those who love to accuse positive thinkers of being unrealistic, rose-coloured glasses, unicorn and rainbow adherents. Teams don’t go into wholesale dump or tank mode until very near season’s end, if at all. And teams don’t clean house by getting rid of much more than a few players even at the worst of times.

    With all that in mind here’s my prescription for improvement:
    – Get the walking wounded back (so we actually have a fully functional D corps with real defencemen)
    – Find a guy who can take point shots on the PP (train, promote, trade for or kidnap someone, whatever it takes)
    – Put in 60 minutes of effort (for a change you know because the game really does last 60 minutes…really…I’m not kidding here)
    – Try to make a clean, on-the-fly line change (it would be nice to see once in a while because the other teams just know you’re gonna float through those changes like a bunch of butterflies through a daisy patch)

    There you go. Nobody gets hurt. Everybody’s a winner. A thousand points of light.

    My work here is done.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • likehoy says:

      oh I’m a front runner of “crucify cammalleri” but I’ve been hating on Cammalleri since last season so I’m just coming out of the woodwork to help lead it since now there are more people on my side!

      still would trade cammalleri injured or not.. I’m just glad people are are starting to consider it!!

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

      • G-Man says:

        So, you would throw away the Habs leading sniper the last 2 playoffs? The Homer Simpson post of the day.

        • TheMock780 says:

          If Cammalleri keeps dogging it like he has the last two regular seasons they won’t get to the playoffs. The Habs aren’t a time that can have their 6 million dollar sniper taking the regular season off

        • likehoy says:

          keep him JUST for the playoffs?
          granted we ever make it..

          rather have a player that can play 82 games and then up to 35 after that.

          what you can do in the playoffs doesn’t matter if you can’t make the playoffs and cammalleri’s not helping the cause… trade him to a playoff hopeful team that thinks they’ll have a shot for the cup and get some assets back for the long term.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Are you aware how the Wizard of Oz finishes? Very similar to Cammy’s playoff prowess.

    • HabFab says:

      Talk about a stick in the mud!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I know this Mexican Mennonite who sells a potion guaranteed to heal, I have been calling PG for months he won’t return the call Punkster. You may have just the credibility needed to get this information to the right people. That will accomplish your first point. He may have a potion for JM, causes a person to become very talkative and even animated.

    • BMO HAB says:

      ….sounds way too easy Punkster when you lay it out like that….its like following the subway’s map….still don’t think an over thinker like JM is up to the task even with help from PG.

      “I reject your reality and substitute my own”.

      – Adam Savage

  22. doogie says:

    The disappointment of Markov’s medical condition during training camp has hung over this team like a dark cloud. Markov’s return and a coaching change will be 2 steps in the right direction.

  23. Timo says:

    Is it bad that I am eagerly awaiting when Spach is back in the lineup to replace either one of the useless swiss cheeses playing D right now?

    Markov will replace the other.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      To think that our brain surgeon of a coach had Emelin sitting for Diaz for the first month of the season. Further evidence of his poor hockey judgement. Along with Darche on the PP and pleks on the point it appears to me that Martin wants to collect his payceheck at home. I think its time to oblige him.


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