About last night …

While the rest of the world is enjoying  brunch this morning, your Montreal Canadiens are in Brossard holding a rare Sunday practice.

You’re reaching for croissants. They’re searching for answers.

There are six games left in the team’s regular season.

Four are on the road – where the Canadiens 18-18-1 record is the worst among 16 teams that currently hold playoff spots in the NHL.

We can take solace, perhaps, from a sense of déja vu.

The Canadiens lost their 76th game last season, 42 to New Jersey at the Bell Centre. It dropped their record to 37-31-8.

Then they lost Game 77 at home, 2-1 to Carolina, before Jaro Halak posted back-to-back shutouts of Philadelphia and Buffalo.

The final three games of the 2009-’10 season were a shootout loss on the Island, a loss in Carolina and an overtime loss in Toronto.

The Canadiens snuck into eighth place, and no one thought they had a prayer in their opening-round series against Washington.

“History repeats itself,” said the great hockey coach Karl Marx, “first as tragedy, second as farce.”

The Canadiens’ current run combines the tragedy and farce stages. Getting annihilated in the Revenge on Chara Bowl was tragic. Three first-period shots and three penalties on home ice against Washington is farcical.

The Canadiens had 18 SoG last night. That’s a season low – just nipping the 19 the Canadiens managed against San Jose at the Bell Centre on Dec. 4 – a 3-1 win!

Rookie Braden Holtby will never have an easier shutout than last night’s. Like Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas this week, Holtby was under absolutely zero duress.

Not the least annoying aspect of  the most recent loss in Boston were those TV closeups of Thomas smiling through his mask. The Bruins’ goaltender made 41 saves, and he was still laughing.

Carey Price has stopped smiling. Arpon Basu got to him early in the room last night, and his piece describes Price showing signs of frustration before adopting his customary air of calm for the media scrum.

Basu also offers some interesting thoughts on Scott Gomez. He thinks the target of Bell Centre boo birds and talk radio yahoos has to rescue his season to get the team back on the right track.

But can Gomez do it?

Zdeno Chara’s devastating hit on Max Pacioretty set off a domino effect on the Canadiens’ attack. Without Max-Pac, who was emerging as the power-forward complement to their skills as a passer and scorer, respectively, Gomez and Brian Gionta have faltered badly. Combine this with Tomas Plekanec’s injury, the ongoing struggles of Michael Cammalleri and you have the formula for three shutout losses.

Travis Moen has Pacioretty’s size but neither his speed or skill.  Andrei Kostitsyn was tried on the line last night; but he has never ben able to figure out Gomez, and vice-versa.

What would you do to get Gomez and Gionta going?

Try Benoit Pouliot as their LW?

Jeff Halpern?

It’s not like there are a lot of attractive options.  The Canadiens are the lowest-scoring of 16 teams sitting in playoff spots, and that’s not surprising when they have players like Moen and Halpern as part of their Top Six rotation.

Washington, which is second in the Eastern Conference, has scored only five more goals than the Canadiens, 205-200. But they’ve allowed 16 fewer (182-196), and you could see why last night.

The Caps play a variation of the Jacques Martin puck-support system that Montreal coach-bashers love to hate. If you watched the game on TV, there were always five white jerseys in the frame, close to the puck in all three zones.

The system cuts down on quality chances against. If you have good goaltending, the system gives you a chance in every game.

The Canadiens have good goaltending … great, in fact.

But they don’t have Washington’s quick, puck-smart defence corps.

And they can’t score goals.

Are we witnessing a repeat of last season’s desperate finish?

The Canadiens should make the playoffs. They are seven points up on ninth-place Carolina, so barring an epic collapse …

Nah, don’t even want to think about it.

Atlanta is at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.

Must. Win. Game.

•  •  •

Guest Comment, from newbie BoomBoomMax:

We keep bringing up the losses of Markov and Gorges, Gomez’ inability to hit his stride, ‘snipers’ hibernating through extended periods of time, the line juggling, the tough schedule, players playing hurt and last but not least, Dan Stanchion’s dirty hit on Paciorety (Well, that’s the NHL’s ruling anyways as Stanchion got suspended indefinitely and Chara is still out there mugging smaller players)… In my humble opinion, none of that fully explains the players’ total lack of passion on the ice.

If I may speak in metaphors. Martin looks like a University professor who ran out of ways to explain Risk Management Economics to his students… Sure, Hal is a stud and Carey is Class President, but all in all, the bulk of the group is oblivious… Grades are not improving and the final exam is right around the corner. Worst, I think they might be starting to realize that this might not be what they wanted to study in the first place.

Cammaleri always wanted to be a rockstar, Pouliot, a pilot, Plekanec was contemplating a career as mechanical engineer and PK got caught by the teacher, writing poetry rather than listening. Gomez is the easy going guy who took the class thinking he would meet cute girls, but ended up back in his old girlfriend’s arms (Gionta’s) and the love is way gone. But I digress…

Sure they are getting paid big money to attend Professor Martin’s class, but they sure don’t seem to give a damn anymore… Yet, I am not holding Jacques entirely responsible for what has become of our sixth seed bubble team, but I sure hope he brings a twist to his teachings or I fear the players will eventually drive him out of town….

392 Comments

  1. habsfan0 says:

    Sometimes a coaching change is all that’s needed. When Jacques Lemaire replaced John MacLean as coach of New Jersey, the Devils went on an unbelievable roll with essentially the same players. Even though they’ve inevitably cooled off somewhat now, it’s worth noting what a coaching change,a change in philosophy,did for that team.

  2. shootdapuck says:

    A Reality check is overdue!

    The Canadiens of 2010-2011 have:

    1) No depth at any position ( including goal) Price injured then what?
    2) A blueline corps with glacial footspeed.
    3) forwards with no finish! ( Moen and Pyatt as offensive threats?)
    4) Top players( and cap hits) experiencing personal worst years!
    5) An inability to “show up” for important games or games against teams lower in the standings!
    6) A system which is incompatible with current NHL play, which may have been gangbusters in the clutch and grab era but is now obsolete as it negates team speed, discourages offensive flair and makes forechecking just a word in a hockey terms glossary.
    7) A coach who has proven incapable of making in-game adjustments other than benching some (aka non-veteran) players for taking penalties.
    8 ) A coach who shortens his bench based on seniority with no consideration to current play or results!
    9) A coach and GM who pay serious amounts of lip service to “team chemistry” but have no problem with shuffling players on and off lines willy-nilly killing any “chemistry” they may have or had.
    10)A GM who chooses not to live in the city, the province or even the country!
    11)A goaltender whose spectacular play has hidden the obvious warts of this team and allowed it to overachieve and delude its supporters for the first 60 games of the season.

    Sure, everyone can say if Markov and Gorges weren’t hurt then blah blah but their presence is not going to increase the scoring output of top six players who are either severely banged up and continuing to soldier on or are so at odds with the “almighty system” to the point where they are experiencing career low years!
    Top teams in the NHL have in 2010-2011 also experienced injuries but haven’t fallen into disarray!
    Sure anything can happen in the playoffs but this edition of the Canadiens is too warty to inspire any princess kissing toad miracles!

    … the fans of the Boston Bruins now have lost forever any right to complain that “the league” is out to get their team, and that the Montreal Canadiens have some kind of pull inside the NHL home office.

    Charles P. Pierce – Boston Globe

    • OneTimer says:

      Hey, nice avatar, but I stopped reading at your first point. No depth at any position? If that were true, we’d be in the draft lottery. We’re currently in the playoffs BECAUSE we have had depth that we’ve been able to bring up from Hamilton, replace our injured starters and integrate into the System. Did you start watching the Habs yesterday?

    • Aaron13 says:

      Very well said. Now send this to the Molson’s. Right now, they’re having lunch before playing golf in Florida. Bypass the GM and go right to the top.

      I wasn’t aware that the GM didn’t live in Canada. Is he hiding in a bunker in Germany?

      You forgot to mention the relationship between the coach and GM. A proven track record of ruining franchises.

  3. Rusty says:

    I am sorry to say it but we need a coaching change. We need someone who can be enthusiastic and who the players want to play for. Don’t laugh now but the best coach for the Canadiens is Swiss. His name is Arno Del Curto and has been with HC Davos for 16 seasons. I am sure he knows some French (official language in Suisse). He has 4 championships and seven final appearances and the players love to play for him, including Rick Nash and Joe Thornton who Del Curto signed during the lockout season 2004-05. He makes his teams play fast, entertaining, puck-chasing hockey and he is a master tactician. On top of that he runs back and forth on the bench, talking to players, simply being a coach. And yes, he would not hesitate a second to bench Gomez or put him as a winger on the fourth line.

    Want a legitimate shot at No. 25 – bring over Arno Del Curto. A legitimate winner. Unfortunately he just signed a new contract with Davos and he has just led his team to an 8th final. Davos has an 8-0 record in the playoffs so far. But if the Canadiens call, Del Curto has an out-clause for a NHL contract.

    • habsfan0 says:

      But how will Del Curto handle the pressure cooker of coaching in Montreal?

      • Rusty says:

        He is totally impervious to pressure. Canadians have difficulties to believe that, but European coaches are under immense pressure, especially in a club like Davos that is expected to be in the final every year. If a coach like Del Curto doesn’t win, he can have an angry mob standing outside his house, screaming and shouting, calling for his head on a silver plate and threatening his family. That’s PRESSURE!!!

        Rusty Stubb

      • EricInStL says:

        He could say Shadaapa yur face…..

        Sorry I couldn’t help myself.

        “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”–Winston Churchill

    • Bugs says:

      BWAAAAAAA-ha-ha-HAAAAA!
      Oh…(wipes tear)..oh, that was good, Rusty. Nice!
      I especially liked the part about some NHLers on vacation liking him. Brilliant, top to bottom.

      Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

    • Top Corner says:

      …….who ??

    • TEAMHABS says:

      Good input Rusty! If this Del Curto is as you say, Jeff Molson should take a look at him. I agree, if he has been with HC Davos for 16 seasons I am sure he knows some French.

    • t1tan5 says:

      Interesting idea, but I think it’s too radical for a ultra conservative organization like the Canadiens.

  4. Bryant in Toronto
    I have watched the habs for 60 years and never felt so humiliated as the night in Boston. The big bad Bruins sure knew
    which Montreal player to take out(the one who was carrying the team , esp. against Beantown, no coincidence). Don’t know what u think
    , but did the thought enter your mind what happens if this guy goes down(Paz),where will we be, or were you fooled by,” this will give another player a chance to step up,” rarely happens!! Les Canadiens luck( wirh which they won quite a few games) ran out, back to reality. They played over thier heads for most of the season. Get rid of four selfish players who are indifferent, disrespectful and who by their very premise show me that they just don’t to be in Montreal(Kosthign, Pleckanic. Camillari & Gomez) How many goals did Pleks have in the Playoffs last year(maybe 1), how many faceoffs did he win this year( a doz. maybe), I’m sorry folks but these kind of stats don’t make a winning combination. I see the Great Henri Richard have to sit there and endure this gong show. Respect is all I’m asking for, just give it your best shot!! Stop taking these 4 minute penalies(Plekanics) without any regard for the consquence. The score in Boston got away because of that penality and a few lucky bounces for the Bruins.(Camillari has always looked great in his first year in a new location, but appears to be playing hurt!!) In all fairness the Team looked bad at times when winning(thats very disturbing).

  5. habsfan0 says:

    Pierre Gauthier:0 Stanley Cups
    Jacques Martin: 0 Stanley Cups

    “Oh, the pain,the pain” Dr.Zachary Smith

  6. Good Habits says:

    I’m not that cynical. I saw some signs of life. Big hits. Passion from Plek, Cam, AK, Darche and PK.

    I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist but we keep getting weak calls against us. Look at all the subtle things like our centres being kicked out of the circle for absolutely nothing. You can see frustration brewing but I would rather see frustration than nothing.

    Besides, at this rate, we’ll improve to losing in O.T., then losing in the Shoot-out and then we’ll win sometime late next week. At least we’re not peaking too soon.

    not about hockey but still ridiculous http://www.mytacotruck.blogspot.com

  7. eric says:

    Get rid of Martin NOW and bring in Kirk. Sergio Momesso said that he would translate for him

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      That’s up to the Molson boys and as far as I’m concerned that wont happen until the season is over. I seriously doubt I will watch any habs games if Martin and Gomez are still with this team. I’m sure a lot of couch potatoes feel the same.

    • Aaron13 says:

      Kirk is gone after this season possibly to NJ. He’s not going kiss Martin’s ass anymore.

  8. stjrandy says:

    The team has run out of gas and guts. The kindly ol’ coach won’t play the kids anymore (6-8 minutes per night isn’t playing) and the vets are sucking fumes IMO.Plecks came back too soon I think and needs a couple of games to get going again. Cammi has just plain sucked since he signed on. The playoffs last year have been the only time he’s looked like what he was supposed to be. I think the system doesn’t fit the personnel and the personnel is too small to have the sort of season long stamina to run it. JM had the same issue with Ottawa and those teams never had any gas left for the playoffs. This is not improvement in any way over the previous schemes that we’ve seen in the last 6-8 seasons. This team is mediocre and not getting better. I am longing for the day when the smallest player on the ice is 6 ft and 198lbs but it’s not coming anytime soon.

    Back from the Abyss
    “System,Speed,and Skill” – P Gauthier
    “too small and soft” – Everyone Else

  9. podbay says:

    Alex Tanguay CGY L 74 19 39 58
    Mikhail Grabovski TOR C 75 28 28 56
    Sergei Kostitsyn NSH L 71 19 24 43
    Matt D’Agostini STL R 75 19 21 40
    Saku Koivu ANA C 68 14 25 39

    What’s wrong with this picture? Our leading scorer has 53 points. After that, three are tied with 41. The above players were cast off from the Habs, deemed unworthy of the team’s consideration for development. We have poor management, dull coaching, and no scorers. Until changes are made, and scorers drafted, we will be relying on Carey Price to shoulder this team, while the fans wait a few more years for things to change.

  10. dre1744 says:

    who would u rather play in the first round this year

    Philly
    Washington
    Boston?????????

    If we keep it up I think all three teams will have there way with us… Still out of those three i don’t want too c Philly at all.

  11. Keith says:

    Very good article by Arpon Basu and I understand why the players are so frustrated with themselves right now, but they NEED to find a way to put it behind them and it starts with DISCIPLINE. They can understand why the fans boo them off the ice, but why aren’t they doing anything about it?

    • Timo says:

      I don;t think Price is frustrated with himself. He shouldn’t. He is frustrated with the bunch of the highest paid players in the league who don’t give rats behind. He shuold be. In fact, he should punch the lights out of Gomez and Cammilleri.

  12. HardHabits says:

    So when was the last time the Habs lost 4 games in a row.

    History will be made.

  13. RetroMikey says:

    No surprise, as in the past years, our Habs fighting for a playoff spot down to the wire.
    Other teams like Philly, Washington, Pittsburgh for example can nurse their wounded players while our smurfs are chicken s%^%t to play hard and dirty down the stretch. They just don;t care to make it in 5th position. Martin is not the problem, it;s the core of players we have here that are just plain not worthy to don the CH in Montreal!
    I want a major trade at the end of the season, blow the ship and trade them smurfs in Gionta, Cammalleri and Plekanec, and whoever want Gomez in the AHL, 4 overpaid bums. I want a Perry or Getzlaf from Anaheim or a Stewart from Colorado, players who give it all during the regular season and step it up in the playoffs, winners on this team, not a bunch of cry baby professionals.
    If we do eke in the playoffs, don’t expect any miracles like last season, it ain’t going to happen.
    Can’t wait to hear from the oh so optimistic Habs fans on this site after and give the same old lame excuse, “we were injured without our key players” which led to our demise.
    Look at Pittsburgh without their 2 superstars in Malkin and Crosby in the lineup.
    I rest my case.

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

    • notbigbird says:

      Didn’t someone just post that Pitt was 16/30 lately? Not exactly setting the world on fire.

      I think les boys have hit the wall for now. Let’s see if they can get over it.

      They’ve often played very well this year, and even you were saying positive things lately.

      However, I admit that it looks bleak now.

      How’s that for a schizophrenic, all-over-the-map reply? :)

  14. LeeFree says:

    Anyone know how I can get a picture here as my profile pic? Thanks!

  15. HardHabits says:

    What the Habs need to do is focus on better defense. If the team can keep the game at 0-0 then they can get to the shoot out and hopefully score there.

  16. eric says:

    They must be finding Professor Martin’s classes really boring

  17. dre1744 says:

    If the habs had half the heart that the Calgary Flames have they would be okay. How many times has that team battled back when everything seemed over and done. Remember the habs / Flames game in january. That team never quits.

    • Bugs says:

      Timo?
      You got TWO accounts, ya cagey bastich?

      Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

      • dre1744 says:

        no Timo here only thing i got in common with Timo is that i’m a habs fan from Calgary!!!!!!

        • Bugs says:

          By “Habs fan in Calgary”, you mean of course “total Flamer who thinks he’s convincing anybody otherwise”, right?
          C’mon, Dre. If we played like Calgary, we’d be further down the standings; hate to break it to ya.

          Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

          • dre1744 says:

            I take offense to be called a flames fan!!!!! I actually can’t stand the team. I just stated that the Flames have a nack of coming back into games that they have no business coming back into. for example against the habs in Jan, against the ducks last week., the oilers yesterday. And they actually have the same anount of points so we would actaully be in the same boat.

  18. Kimberly2u says:

    I’m done watching them try to play…it’s too painful…they lost what they had and they will be lucky to make the playoffs

    • thebigguy says:

      I know 3 shutouts in arow is disheartening but they are 7 points up on 9th place. If they go even 500, a team that has sucked for the entire year suddenly has to win every remaining game.

      I know 6th is no longer the lock it was a week ago, but a bit of rationality would help.

    • Bugs says:

      Recurring theme with you, MsK, despair. Can’t say I care for it much. If you can’t deal with emotional adversity, what good are you? Honestly?
      Being “lucky to make the playoffs” is the kinda talk they do in Toranna, yes? Not making anything up here, MsK; you KNOW that’s true: they talk like that in TORANNA.
      Don’t do this to yourself. You’re a Mtl Canadien; friggin BEHAVE like one, why dontcha?
      We WILL make the playoffs, ok? We WILL. And we’re gonna friggin WIN when we get there, aw’ight?
      Anyone doesn’t like it and wants to cry woe-is-me, then go hide under the bed and we’ll come get you when things get better.

      Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    We have far to much talent and depth on our team. We have to find the emotion and fire again. It has been a very long and injury prone season playing defence all year.

    Hockey players play hardest and have the most fun playing offence. Martin has to come up with the right mix to keep moral strong.! End of story!

    • EricInStL says:

      Martin and fun don’t mix.

      “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”–Winston Churchill

    • Jonson says:

      Ian!! i know you have been supporting GOmez ALL YEAR, but come on, have you seen it yet??? please tell me you dont feel the same way. its embarrassing to watch, he cant do anything right out there. IF it was up to me ( god knows that will never be the case lol) i would play GOmez on the 4th line, make Eller the number one center with AK and Moen. Second line with Pleks, cammy, and Gionta. and lets get Weber back into the mix. Mara has been a good surprise. SOpel and Hammer are not playing well right now. AND I WOULD LIKE TO SEE PK on the PP. JM is making some really bad decisions lately. POOR CAREY……its getting tough to watch. i sure hope they buy out the Gomez contract. I believe that we might be swept in the 1st round this year. I hate to say it. before the season started i was so excited!!! but i see now we have a few too many problems. We have the Talent its just not getting used the right way.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        I have to agree with most of your post Jonson.! Molson will not stand pat, unless there is a problem that none of us fans are permitted to know.! He is a good owner, and judge of personnel, Dead wood does not last long around Geoff Molson, if there is any?.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Ian with all respect to a great poster, your analysis is wrong and your solution is right (though how much it will solve is questionable).

      We have too little talent and depth on our team. Partly due to injuries, partly due to bad management ad bad coaching.

      The right mix is to pull the injured players, sit the coasters, and let the kids run. This year is done unless we are completely delusional. But letting the kids go a round in the playoffs with big minutes will be worth diamonds next year, when Captain K is the coach and Gomez and Gionta are gone and replaced by a couple of male hockey players.

      If fact let Kirk take the reigns now and for whatever playoff we have.

      I’m not jumping off the bandwagon, I was never on it. Lots of us thought the structure of this team was bullsh*t and time has proven us right. Does it make me happy? No. It makes me sad. When I see how well Koivu is going, Tanguay would be the 2nd leading scorer on our team, the list goes on and on of our players doing well elsewhere who weren’t good enough for St. Jacques (a good movie, Ben Gazarra, you might like it).

      Do you think Bob G would really have stepped down if he really, really had faith in what he had done? No. He knows, he knew. Is he still an honoured member of the pantheon? Of course he is.

      We have a great core, half of whom are injured. What we don’t have is clearly apparent on the ice.

      • TripleX says:

        I guess I should not be shocked when a objective and reasoned comment gets thumbs down from the HIO community.
        How much more evidence is required to prosecute JM and PG for dereliction of duty? I think the OJ Simpson jury was drawn from HIO.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        I respect a lot of what you posted LA Loyalist. A lot of players have been moved out because they could not conform to Martin’s style.

        Only after the great run last year, did I stay off Martin’s back, and if he cannot duplicate this year, I will be calling for his head.

        PS,, Gionta stays!

    • habstrinifan says:

      True.

    • habitual says:

      We do have enough talent to win with everyone in the line up who should be, and with those who can score (Gomez, Gio, Pleks, AK, Benny, DD, Wiz and PK) do score.

      Problem is, those who can, aren’t. Not sure I can remember a season where the potential has fallen so short.

      Crap – this was supposed to be a repy to Ian. I see in our fabulous new site you can’t delete your own comment.

  20. EricInStL says:

    Sun + less snow + getting warmer = G _ _ F

    I’ll give you a hint, there’s a vowel in there….

    “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”–Winston Churchill

  21. LeeFree says:

    The love-fest that Martin has with Gomez is downright embarrassing. This is to do what exactly? To justify his one goal for every $million$ made? GOMEZ is bringing his teammates down. Look no further than the frustration(s) on the players faces when the camera pans their reaction following every shift. It has become an epidemic with both Gainey and Sather being the sole culprits of ***saving bad language on this holy day***. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Captain Kirk is ready for a coaching position and will be offered a position somewhere this summer. It will be then be up to Montreal to decide his worth to this club. I foresee another dumb move in the works. It’s quite obvious to this fan as to what that decision should be. And what was with Martin and his limiting PK’s ice time, especially on a struggling pp? I’d swear, he’s playing tic tac to in that notebook of his. It’s a sad day in Habbyville (home here) when one predicts yet another shut out with 44 minutes to play.

  22. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Sorry for repeat post, but:
    1) didn’t the live blog prelude include a reference to BGL telling CKAC that there are problems in the room? Anything further?
    2) what does that actually mean, anyway? That players are not able or willing to put aside lockerroom probs once the puck drops? Are they squabbling kids or high-paid professionals?

    The soccer world lambasted the French national team when, following their World Cup humiliation last summer, it emerged that white players wouldn’t pass to black ones and vice versa. Are we now in that territory?

    Four years ago the highly-touted Irish World Cup rugby team had a similar collapse, still unexplained.

    Do we demand too much in expecting professional players to put stuff behind them and simply execute?

    Or. IS it possible that the Chara hit and aftermath have just crushed their morale in a way that we, outside, can never get?

    For it surely must be something exceptional like the hit, or else major internal problems, that could produce the dreadful standard of engagement which we’ve seen since Minnesota. Think of the way we were firing on all cylinders the night we were trouncing Boston — the contrast is massive. Most of them don’t look like the same guys at all. It certainly looks like something bigger than Gomez and Cammi out of form, JM sticking to the system, and even all the injuries. We’ve had those issues all season. What we’re looking at now is new.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Interesting analysis. I think it’s a breaking of trust between the players and coach and management. Sub-consciously, the players don’t feel that management gives a fly*ing f*ck about their safety, so why should they kill themselves?

      Chara made each player think about himself, not about the team. None of this is conscious, and I’m not criticizing the guys at all. It’s just human. Just like Zednick was never the same, there are other examples.

      Our collapse has 4 parts:

      4. Injuries (totally legitimate)
      3. Chara
      2. NHL’s non-response

      1. Management’s non-response (I mean PG and Martin, what Molsons did was great). There was an opportunity to circle the wagons, us against the NHL, have the team bond more with each other in adversity, but that opportunity was missed.

      Those are the reasons for the collapse, IMHO.

  23. dre1744 says:

    I saw a picture of

    Scott Gomez
    Brian Gionta,
    Mike Cammellari,
    and Thomas Plekanec on a milk carton this morning saying Missing if found the Montreal canadians would like to give out a 24 million dollar reward foir there safe return!!!!!!!!!

    • bajd says:

      I just don’t understand why they put Kots with Gomez. It never has clicked. Why not try Kots and Benny centered by either DD or Eller. Move Gionta up with Plecks and Cammy and have Gomez center Moen and Darche. At least when Gomez doesn’t produce on the 3rd line, it won’t be as hard on the team

      • dre1744 says:

        JM won’t do that because there is no way JM would put a guy making 8 mill on the third line!!!!!!

        • bajd says:

          What does it matter now. He’s played nearly 3 full seasons after signing that contract and has maybe earned 1/3 of it. If he’s hurt and can’t play, rest him up for the playoffs else start making plans for post-Gomez. That’s one of the worst post-lockout trades in the league and it’s getting very close to the point of no return

  24. WestHab says:

    Maybe it’s time for a trip to the bowling alley ala Carbo.

  25. Propwash says:

    I wouldn’t blame Price at all for being frustrated, he has given the team all kinds of chances to win, barring a few bad games on his part. They collectively need to pull their heads out and stop mailing it in.

  26. bobinsask says:

    Regardless of what the Canadiens do in the playoffs this year, I hope the Gomez experiment has run its course. I am really tired of watching this guy play hockey. He is so much less than I expected and I wasn’t expecting a lot.

    Maybe Desharnais and Eller are unproven in the playoffs when compared to Gomez. But Gomez has not earned the right to the ice time that has been given to him. Why would the playoffs be any different. Once again, Martin looks desperately towards a fading veteran rather than embracing the exuberance of youth.

    • observer says:

      he does not care – he has the money and the contract. problem is the idiot gm did not realize this, compounding his and gaineys grave mistake of ever trading for him and his contract and on top of it giving up mcfadden who will have a great and long career in ny to get him. FIRE THAT ENTIRE MANAGEMENT TEAM!

    • observer says:

      they are not in the playoffs yet. 7 up on carolina who has a game in hand – so possibly just 5 points. continue this lack of effort and 4 of the last 5 on the road – may not even get the chance for a quick first round exit.

    • Bugs says:

      We’ve come this far. Can’t give him less minutes in the coming playoffs; would defeat the whole purpose of playin so much in the first place.
      But you know, I’m not worried about Dezzy. Something tells me he’ll be an extremely pleasant surprise come enda April.

      Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  27. larisalapointe says:

    Our team doesn’t suck, they just suck right now.

  28. WestHab says:

    As long as the Habs continue to play the game on the PK they are going to find it hard to score goals. All 3 games included continuous trips to the box. The highest penalized team having trouble scoring? Waz wit dat?

  29. Xsteve50 says:

    Has anyone noticed that the Habs have something like 11 victories in 27 or so games since Muller announced that he will not be back next year. Is it at all possible that the players thought of loosing their trusted voice with management has changed the attitude. Perhaps it is just me but, I have always been a Muller fan, both as a coach and player. I think he brings more to the team that we are lead to believe. I remember him leaning over to speak directly to the players last year during the playoffs, and they always seemed to respond. He is a HUGE part of this team and management are fools if they let him walk away….

    • The Cat says:

      Interesting observation.

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

    • observer says:

      the 3 games the only all year of allowing 6 goals or more also came in last month or so as well. this team with the exception of a few players has quit for whatever reason.

    • habstrinifan says:

      If you have read any of my posts you will see that I have been suggesting exactly this same thing. Of course we cant say for sur ebut I am with you on this one.

  30. Bugs says:

    Jack Marty got to the playoffs last year WITHOUT Marky for half the season, Cammy for a quarter and Gio for another quarter. Got further than we’ve been in 17 years when those players RETURNED.
    This year, no Marky at all, no Gorges for half and no Cammy for a bit. Not to mention promising forward Pac-Man some of you are already labelling as an “untouchable” and are ready to gift-wrap a 7-yr contract after playing 30-odd games. Consider Poolio produced just as much as Pac-Man in LESS games last year…before going cold; and let’s not forget Higgins” overall development vs his stunning entrance. Point is: we tend to fly off the handle a lot. Jack Marty ain’t ready for the stake just yet.
    We’re AHEAD in the standings from where we were last year. I wonder how Jack Marty would be perceived having the full complement of KEY players. I mean, you want the guy to hit a home-run, give’m a friggin BAT, you know? Cuz he’s doing pretty good with what he’s got, ask me.
    Do all y’all bashing him, like, ever step back and look at the overall state of improvement of this club from where it was BEFORE he stepped behind the bench or is that not important?
    ECF. Don’t forget that. ECF, baby.

    Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  31. Bill says:

    Beware of sweeping generalizations, final judgments, and vast simplifications. They are seldom true. Here are a few going around now:
    A) The Habs are too small to compete
    B) The Habs have nothing left in the tank
    C) Martin has no answers and cannot make adjustments
    D) The team make-up is fundamentally flawed.

    Etc. All of these narrow interpretations of isolated pieces of evidence have been proven wrong at various times. I don’t even like Martin, and I don’t think he’s the right coach for the team as it is currently stocked, but he’s got the results on his side. Money talks, and BS walks.

    I don’t think the team has enough talent. I do think they get pushed around. I know they are tired and that injuries have taken a toll. None of that means they can’t win. And it definitely doesn’t mean the team has to be blown up.

    Subtract Gomez. Trade him for another bad contract that will hurt us less on the ice. Add a real first-line centre. Beef up the third and fourth lines with hard-nosed forecheckers. Hope Pacioretty is okay, Subban continues to develop, Yemelin can come over, and Price remains a stud.

    Some of the pieces are there, and it’s up to the organization to fill in the blanks. But this is still a competitive team AS IT STANDS, and basically the same crew that surprised the world in the playoffs last year. Not expecting that to happen again, but on any given Sunday …

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • SLYDER says:

      “Subtract Gomez. Trade him for another bad contract that will hurt us less on the ice. Add a real first-line centre. Beef up the third and fourth lines with hard-nosed forecheckers. Hope Pacioretty is okay, Subban continues to develop, Yemelin can come over, and Price remains a stud.”

      The Gomez move makes 1

      Adding a “real first-line centre” isnt as easy as that – some serious movement would have to happen. This is likely a blockbuster deal that would have to be made.

      And then we beef up the third and fourth lines with hard nose forecheckers and sound two-way thinkers…

      Then we add Yemelin…

      This all sounds great…and it is what we all know as a “BLOW UP”

      come on Bill…

      • Bill says:

        Umm … it’s change, but I don’t know if it’s a “blow up”. I guess it’s semantics at this point. But I don’t think it requires the wholesale makeover we saw two years ago.

        I’m talking about deleting Gomez and some spare parts. Like instead of Pyatt, someone more like White.

        Keepers: Plekanec, Cammalleri, Gionta, Kostitsyn, Pacioretty, Pouliot, White, Moen, Eller. On D, Subban, Markov, Spacek, Gorges. I’d keep Gill or Hamrlik if the price is right. Get Yemelin. Obviously Price is essential and Auld has been okay.

        So really it’s about an upgrade at centre and adding some sand on the third/fourth lines (3 role players). That’s not a blow-up to me. And I’m not talking about a blockbuster deal that gets us a Malkin or something. I’m talking something along the lines of a contract-swap, a la Gomez for Lecavalier, that makes sense for both teams.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • observer says:

      18 years and counting! ONE series win after the first round! this after 8 years of these 2 losers as GM is no rush to judgement.

    • The Cat says:

      Are there any NHL teams that arent competitive? I mean now near the end of the season its different but in the first 65 games, they pretty much all are.

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

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      F I R E
      J A Q U E
      M A R T I N
      N O W !
      !
      !

  32. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I might have a solution for our current problem. Allow Carey Price to cross the blue line, shoot & score. Problem solved.
    Poor kid. I feel so bad for you Carey because you deserve much better than this. You are the only reason we’ve had some success this year and have given us hope for the future. Too bad we have idiots behind the bench & useless millionaires in front of you that don’t give a damn. Hang in there, it will only get better. I hope.
    Where do I sign the petition to get JM out of the province of Quebec.

  33. rob_c says:

    On the plus side, how many teams can say they’ve been shut out 3 games in a row and still have averaged 2 goals a game over the last four games.

    Jokes a side, this team is becoming a joke. How can it not be when you have guys like Gomez, Halpern and Moen in your top 6. Not to mention Cammalleri isn’t playing like a top 9 guy guy either.

    I sincerely feel sorry for guys like Price, Auld, White, Darche, DD… and any fan of our Montreal Canadiens that paid money to watch this lame excuse of a hockey team play over the last 3 games.

  34. Psycho29 says:

    Don Cherry said it all last night….The 3 shutouts are bad Karma because they ran up the score against Minnesota last Sunday….
    He didn’t mention that White, Pyatt and Moen were out on the power play in the 3rd.
    What a Moron…..now there’s an example of what too many headshots do to a brain…

  35. RJ says:

    Let’s focus for a moment on one off season move. They brought in Halpern to save money and let both Metro and Moore go — two gritty, tough guys who produced. I know it’s one minor move but it’s representative of this team’s mind-set. Metro loved playing here and Moore was tremendous down the stretch and in the playoffs.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  36. Arrow77 says:

    I’m starting to wonder if Martin shouldn’t try Gomez on the wing for a few games; put Gionta with Plekanec and Cammalleri and add Gomez to Kostitsyn and Eller. The guy still has some skills but he no longer seems able to deal with the responsibilities of being a center. The wingers don’t need to do as much and he might be add some speed to the line.

    Anyway, there isn’t much left to lose for him this season. At this point, even a good playoff might not be enough to keep him away from the minors next season.

  37. observer says:

    Sinking like a rock in water

    As at 1pm March 27

    3 Boston 74 41 23 10 92 – Max 108
    4 Pittsburgh 75 44 23 8 96 – Max 110
    5 Tampa Bay 75 40 24 11 91 – Max 105
    6 Montreal 76 40 29 7 87 – Max 99
    7 NY Rangers 76 41 30 5 87 – Max 99
    8 Buffalo 75 38 28 9 85 – Max 99

    9 Carolina 75 35 30 10 80 – Max 94
    10 Toronto 76 34 32 10 78 – Max 90

    Sun Mar 27, 2011
    Florida at Pittsburgh 1pm
    Boston at Philadelphia 7pm

  38. CHsam says:

    Five dollar bet that the team is fed up with JM

  39. aemarchand11 says:

    To buy out Gomez it would be roughly 2.43Million for the next 6 seasons.. Juss’ Sayin.

    “I have a different constitution. I have a different brain; I have a different heart; I got tiger blood, man.” – Charlie Sheen.

  40. WindsorHab-10 says:

    It’s on the head coach. Undisciplined play, not ready to play & no system to follow falls squarely on JM & lets not forget the continuous use of the Alaskan useless tit called Gomez who along with JM have really brought this team down. We’ll be lucky to make the playoffs and if we do, it will be a very short stint as long as that idiot is behind the bench.
    Fans have the power in Montreal to force changes, it’s time to let Mr Molson know that JM is our biggest problem.

  41. RJ says:

    Just dreaming…but can you imagine the impact David Backes and TJ Oshie would have on this team!

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Habs whiffed on Backes (TWICE) in 2003 yes, but how were we supposed to get Oshie, not draft Price?

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

    • The Cat says:

      Not saying Gauthier made some bad trades, but there was some great trades to be had at the deadline.

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

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        If you’re trading away, yes you could make a good deal because you could yank another team’s pants down for an asset. Look what was paid out for pending UFA Kaberle and the LA Kings acquisition of Penner.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

        • observer says:

          there he goes changing the subject to some other trade. THAT IS WHY YOUR POSTS ON HABS MINOR LEAGUE PROPERTY ARE WORTHLESS AS YOU ARE ALWAYS PUTTING YOUR BIASED SPIN ON EVERYTHING YOU SAY. 18 YEARS OF GARBAGE HERE – one fluke of halak last year on his own winning two playoff series by the smallest margin – 4 games to 3.

    • Bugs says:

      Now imagine how Detroit would look with Crosby and Ovechkin!

      Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

      • The Cat says:

        I always say the best teams are the ones with the best people and not necessarily the best players. So thumbs down for you Bugs! lol ^_^

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

        • 86ontheice says:

          So true….look at Detroit. The Habs scouting is one of the leagues best. Last year there were more players drafted by the Habs in the NHL than any other team. Unfortunately fan impatience led to the trading of some great players .

    • RJ says:

      I’m not even thinking of the draft — rather, imagine the difference two tough, go-to-the-net guys would have on this current team. We don’t need to blow up the team. One of two of these style players would make a huge difference.

      “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

    • observer says:

      Might have no impact period. Plain and simple this Gainey/Gauthier/Martin mindset canNOT get the best out of players! Ribeiro, Hainsey, Latendresse, S Kostitsyn, Grabovski, Obyrnne, D’Agostini, Samsonov, etc. – these are 3 bullheaded OLD men who always think they are right!

      • The Cat says:

        I agree, they tried to make them something theyre not…All the credit to MaxPac who layed the law down about not wanting to go to the habs if it meant to be put on the 3rd or 4th line and slowly waste away on the bench.

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

  42. SLYDER says:

    I was at my cousin’s wedding in Kingston in the summer of the famous re-build – or re-tooling rather. My Uncle John and I were double fisting some beers and he asked me “what do you think of the new habs?”

    To which I replied “I dunno, I dont think I’m into the new look”

    After the playoff run last year, It was easy to forget this conversation ever happened.

    Last night I was sitting at my local watering hole with a couple of buddies and I said to one of them – “I think I’m ready for another blow up here”

    Price, Patches, Pleks, and PK.

    Like many others, I found it strange that Guy Boucher wasnt offered the job. A Young, progressive thinking coach who ironically enough wouldnt be coaching a very different team than he was in Hamilton. I’ve always thought the unwritten requirement to have a Francophone coach crippled the organization. I fear that we will lose Muller because of that – which is a DAMN SHAME. He loves the city and the organization. He is the coach of the players. JM is the coach of the system.

    Who knows – maybe after this year’s playoffs I’ll have forgotten about that conversation also…

    Go Habs Go?

    PS. lovin the BoomBoomMax piece

  43. RH says:

    The Canadiens are on pace to score as many goals this year, as they did last season. I wouldn’t say that they are struggling to score goals, if they play a defence-oriented sytem. Yes, the top scorers are struggling but, overall, as a team, they’re better than last season’s team, because of contributions from the supporting players. They’ll have more wins and points than last season and the PK is better,(isn’t it?). Yes, the PP sucks but, it’s better than it was earlier in the season. Plus, there is the is the whole aire of uncertainty that shrouded last season’s team, in terms of whether they were going to make the playoffs, and whether they were good enough to play with the big boys. This season, there are nights where I wonder if anyone is alive at the Bell because of the boring JM system. It’s Jersey-North, plain and simple. But they’re winning,(present slump aside of course).

    I, for one, picked the Habs to finish 10th this season because, I thought they traded the wrong goalie, their defence was old, slow and not tough enough and, the forwards were too small and soft. However, Carey Price has played well,(kudo’s to him) and the team has endured despite injuries to key players,(such as Markov, Cammallieri etc), at various times in the season. Things aren’t all doom and gloom folks. They’ll end up scoring one goal, which will lead to another, and so on.

    HOWEVER, if they fail to score early in their next game against…whoever the hell they’re playing, I’ll be reaching for that bottle of Johnny Walker pretty damn fast!

    • 86ontheice says:

      There PK was number one’til Xmas. They get way too many lazy penalties. Hard to believe a team with no tough guys can lead the league in PIM!! Not a winning strategy.

  44. tony d says:

    Price showing signs of frustration? Duh, who wouldn’t? He gives his team a chance to win every night and they continually let him down. I’m sure the room is a mess these days, with guys pissed off at other players’ efforts or lack of. Maybe they’re not pointing fingers but they’ve definitely splintered as a team and if they don’t patch things up soon…well we’ve seen how this story ends.

  45. RockinRey says:

    Fans deserve a team that competes hard, brings some sizzle and doesn’t rely on pluggers and prayers to get through to the Stanley Cup, let alone the first round of the playoffs.

    This team needs more direction and I am afraid they let a great coach in the making ( Boucher) and a progressive thinker escape get away for nothing.

    Loved that piece BoomBoomMax!

  46. habstrinifan says:

    Absolutely brilliant observations from BoomBoom Max.

    The players seem to be having lots of close door meetings.

    It would be nice for JM to take this article of BoomBoomMax and sit with the players and discuss.

    I doubt JM is open minded enough though.

  47. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs need to be active this off-season in dealing.

    Chase me with pitchforks all you want, but IMO DD needs to go for the best possible asset. Habs need to bulk up and if DD can bring in a good prospect, a pick or a size player in a larger deal, Habs should make it happen. We got him for nothing with a free agent signing but we already have our small players whether we like it or not. Habs need to upgrade for the future with a larger roster. Look at the average size of the Cup Teams since the lockout ended. With respect to Weber, I think he also needs to be dealt as well in search of upgrading the team for size.

    The D-corps… I say Markov and Gorges must be brought back. Gill should be retained, they should let Hamrlik walk. Wiz’s negotiating rights should be worth something and Yemelin should be offered a best possible EL deal with the out clause he wants to avoid the AHL. Spacek should be salary-dumped. Markov, Gorges, Subban, Gill, Yemelin and resign Sopel/Mara for 6th and 7th defencemen. Drops the age on the D significantly with only Gill left for over-35ers and most of the older Ds are in lesser roles as well.

    For forwards, find a 2nd/3rd liner with 10-15 goal scoring like Upshall, Torres or Kopecky in free agency.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

    • observer says:

      “Habs need to be active this off-season in dealing.”

      Yes, after building this over 8 years, they (Molson family) definately need a new GM and front office!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Firrst and foremost they need to sit down and discuss coaching and style of play and what affect the adopted style of play has on player acquisition and player development.

    • observer says:

      Wiz’s negotiating rights should be worth something

      Maybe in your simplistic mind! He is a free agent, his agent already told Habs who wanted to try to resign him that he wants to test free agency!

    • CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

      When we are relieved of Hamrlik’s salary, and if we drop Spacek somehow, I hope to God we can obtain someone better than Raffi Torres with that money. Especially if we are trading Desharnais and Weber. I think removing Gomez in the offseason is possible allowing Desharnais to stay.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Torres is just part of the puzzle though, he’s brought in as a support player. There isn’t real offensive talent this off-season except Brad Richards and unless Gomez is dumped the Habs can’t bid for him. As the resident Prospect geek, I’m thinking of the future and the Habs dealing for assets like sendng Desharnais away for a player or a good pick so they can build the farm further.

        Desharnais is simply too small considering our size issue as it stands, we need more size to compliment the small guys. Pleks, Gio, Cammy is fine for half a Top 6 if the other half is 6’+ to give them help with retrieving the puck, physical play and hitting but DD I think is just pushing it.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  48. cestlebut says:

    3 questions 2 answers, last question is up the rest of you to answer.
    How built this team ? = Gainey and PG
    How coaches this team ? = J Martin
    How can a team of this size and make up compete with the top teams of the NHL ? (doesn’t make sense to me… my 5 year noticed this ).

  49. notbigbird says:

    I think JT is right: “Looking at them now, with the injuries they’ve dealt with (and are likely still dealing with, even though the hurt players are trying to come back), they look like they’ve got nothing left. This team is done.”

    To me, the question is whether they are done just for now or done for the remainder of the year. This is not mentally the team that we have been seeing for most of the year.

    • observer says:

      i didnt see ovechkin or green last night or crosby or malkin for a long while or pronger for many a moon but those 3 teams are the 3 best in the east anyway! a lot bigger injury excuses than habs have but those teams do NOT use it!

  50. JF says:

    That game literally made me sick and so angry I couldn’t sleep until 3 in the morning. I had to go out and march around the streets to cool off. You would think that after suffering their most humiliating loss of the season to their bitterest rival, the team would come out with guns blazing. Instead, they were tentative and lazy, they showed zero intensity, they turned over the puck, they took penalties. All night long, they couldn’t make a crisp pass, they couldn’t win a puck battle, they couldn’t exit their zone with any authority, they couldn’t construct a purposeful attack, they couldn’t get anywhere near the Caps’ net. By the end of the first period, I thought they would be shut out again, but I couldn’t really believe it would happen. What can be done to get this team to score? It seems they worked on offence for a full hour, yet still managed only 18 shots on goal and created very few scoring chances. The ones they had, they missed. I hope next game we’ll see less of Scott Gomez and Mike Cammalleri, more of Desharnais, Pouliot, Darche, Eller, and White. For the matter of that, bring back those Bulldogs; they at least compete as though they want to win.

    I still think we’ll make the playoffs, but instead of the scenario we had envisioned all year, in which the team is comfortably in a playoff spot and can rest some of the veterans for a few games, we’ll have the usual scratch-and-claw finish in which we’ll stumble into eighth place, likely on the strength of another overtime loss. Even when you think things have changed, they just don’t. At this point it makes little difference which team we face; it’ll be an early exit, but I guess I’d rather suffer it at the hands of any team but Boston.

  51. byrneoNL says:

    Great comment, Max.

  52. After hearing so much about Kirk Mullers contributions to our success in the post-season last year, I’m now thinking Geoff Molson has a very hard decision to make Monday. VERY hard.

    Martin has to go. Sorry, Martin supporters. He rarely gets his team prepared. That is inexcusable. This is the frakin’ MONTREAL CANADIENS. They’re not supposed to be a laughing stock, but it certainly IS what they have become.

    The time for shoe-gazing is over. They HAD a pretty admirable run, but it won’t add up to SQUAT if they (and they CAN) miss the playoffs. I think I’d vomit day-glo if the Leafs got in, and we squeezed out like afterbirth.

    Somebodies gotta do something. Geoff, the next move is yours, and it’s the most important. Don’t let Muller go the way of Boucher.

    If you do, we’re no better than the other 29 teams in this league. The history of this team can only be trumpted up so many times before even WE, HabsNation, start to throw up our hands.

    Consider my hands thrown.

    • adam76 says:

      Where were you three weeks ago, when Montreal was winning.

      This team is 40 – 29 – 7 with a crazy amount of injuries to our core, star players (Pleks and Cammy are in this group, no way they are 100%.) That is a great record via the circumstances, and the coaching staff should get credit.

      Am I disappointed with the current compete level, big time. Do I want any staffing changes with games left? No chance.

      They will step it up, as long as Price keeps shining.

    • habstrinifan says:

      This is the frakin’ MONTREAL CANADIENS. They’re not supposed to be a laughing stock, but it certainly IS what they have become.

      Your statement above is what is pssssssssssng me off MOST because it is TRUE.

      I posted at the very beginning of the season that I hoped that JM and PG didnt see the playoff success as mostl due to JM’s coaching, for any decisions based on that belief will set the team back.

      Well it seems they both did.

      We have persevered with JM’s system and PG’s team structure. And this is where we are … hoping again to ‘get’ into the playoffs and keeping our fingers crossed for superhuman goaltending and hoping to run into teams that only play north-south hockey with over reliance on one or two players and no real defensive wall to climb.

      Well guess what! We may just ‘get’ into the playoffs. We may just get that superhuman goaltending (Price is capable) but we wont meet any teams like Pittsburgh and Washington of last year.. except maybe the depleted Pittsburgh squad. From game one we will be running up against Philly like squads.

  53. adam76 says:

    My friends – relax. I have the solution to ALL problems.

    ITS TIME TO GO BOWLING!!!!

  54. MadHatter says:

    HEY! MR. MOLSON!
    WTF!
    DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!

    • observer says:

      too late for this season but fire the entire front office the day after elimination and get the job done that should have been done the day they bought the team back – FINALLY!

  55. 12cournoyer says:

    I think we need a bit of perspective. There are too many highs and lows on this comment board. This team is what it is. A compilation of supporting cast members with an excellent goaltender and an up and coming defenseman. The rest of the team would compliment the second and third line of a bona fide contender, but none of them are top 6.In the end we will finish as everyone predicted-8th place.
    Boone’s comments on Max Pac are bang on. He at least made us more difficult to play against. Right now we are the same team, in the same position as last year and for those who think we will just turn it on in the first round are naive. Last year we caught lightning in a bottle. This year teams know us-whether it will be Philly, Washington or Boston, they play a game that simply blocks out our forwards and renders them ineffective.
    We will make the playoffs but after that, I am expecting nothing.
    I am more worried about next year.
    I am worried that management will use injuries as an excuse for our performance and will do nothing in the off season. We cannot go into next year with this same team. Toronto is up and coming and so are a number of other teams. We need to change our direction.
    Tough decisions to be made.
    A healthy Max Pac makes all the difference but he needs help.
    The top three are not working out-who do you move?
    The only person to generate any interest will be Cammy. He will be a good addition to a second line elite team with larger bodies. We may get something bigger and more reliable in return. Gomez, well we either buy him out, or pay half his salary but we have to move him. He has lost the city. His presence on the ice is creating a negative atmosphere.
    If Markov wants too much, forget him, he is too unreliable and focus on Gorges. Bring back Mara, Sopel and the Wiz, as well as Gil and Hammer at a reduced rate. Say good bye to Spacek.
    I would keep AK,he will produce. Moen,Darche and Helpern are good grit.
    The kids are all right-Eller, DD, White will be fine.
    Pouliot and Pyatt are spare parts.
    We need to target a big body forward and get him otherwise we are repeating ourselves again next year.

    Return to Glory

    • observer says:

      never before shutout thrice in a row in 62 years is as low as you go and gauthier brought the team there! time to dismiss him – he has lots of money for his 30 years of failure in the nhl – get someone in here who knows what he is doing!

  56. J.J. of Turku says:

    Like you all said earlier. Last night’s game was not fun to watch.

    I hope they sucked because of the extra hard practice after shamefull game in Boston.
    We just have to wish guys still have some self-esteem left. We really need a one guy to step up and show to rest of the team how fun it is to play hockey, in my opinion someone like White, who has more attitude than skills could be a perfect guy to wake up the rest of the team. But how to do it with his icetime?

    90%-attitude is only a 50%-effort.

    http://media.turku.fi/kamera1.html

  57. habsindepth says:

    Interesting Article by Arpon Basu, but it’s annoying to see all the media always coming to the rescue of Scott Gomez.

    With 6 games remaining in the season, you think you will get his motor running by putting him on the ice again and again and it’s not inconcievable that his ice-time, despite his bad-penalties and his play ethics, are causing other players to be frustrated and not play to the max of their abilities?

    It’s time to hurt his ego, if he really has any, and I say that with no malice in my heart, he is too “laissez-faire” to have an ego, but if there is any, it’s time to hurt it. Sit him for not producing, for not showing up, for not playing focused or concentration on the ice. Sit him. And then see if he comes back strong.

    We won’t get past the first round if this continues.

    ===================================
    Web: http://www.habsindepth.com – For the Fanatics
    Twitter: @habsindepth
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hidpage

  58. Fig Newton says:

    Somebody call 911.

  59. observer says:

    1949 is 62 years. For all those games over 62 years never shutout 3 times in a row (and counting) and this team accomplished it now! Absolutely disggraceful. Who is this team? The Trashers(etc.) or the most prestigious franchise in hockey?

    TSN

    “It marked the first time Montreal has been shut out three games in a row since October, 1949. Their goalless run reached 186 minutes five seconds since Tom Pyatt scored in the third period of an 8-1 win in Minnesota last Sunday.

    The club’s longest drought was in February, 1928, when they were shut out four games in a row.”

    PLEASE DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER YOU “THUMBSDOWNING FOOLS”!

    • Fig Newton says:

      “The club’s longest drought was in February, 1928, when they were shut out four games in a row.”

      Hopefully that record will be tied on Tuesday and broken on Wednesday.

  60. badbalance says:

    THis site is pretty lame now, It sucks from my Iphone too. I’m gonna stop going to it, being a member if HIO for over 3 years… I am very dissapointed… You should have just lefthe same site just changed the name… Everythign about this version just sucks…
    ╥Long live the system╥
    ╨ ╨

  61. observer says:

    Washington also has Ovechkin who when he is playing is capable of scoring 60 goals himself but is not trying to do so this year for those defensive reasons. Also have Semin who is not trying as well to fill the net like in the past along with Green who is out, Ovechkin out but all returning for playoffs and have the ability Habs don’t have BECAUSE this team over the last 8 years was poorly built by 2 terrible GMs!

  62. Sal says:

    That’s supposed to say, no guts,no glory.

  63. Sal says:

    Here we go again. Another pitiful slide that threatens the whole season. Habs have to be one of the hardest teams in all of sports to cheer for. Bottom line, they take you to the top of the hill, where the view is beautiful, then they throw you off a cliff!
    Seems that they have stopped playing for JM. For a team that went as far as they did in lasts years payoffs, you would think they know what it takes to win under pressure. Their best players, are not only not performing like their best players, they have become a liability! No guys no glory!

  64. twilighthours says:

    G-man i totally agree. Arpon and his long and windy post-mortem of every shift do nothing for me. He must be getting paid by the word.

  65. Bob_Sacamano says:

    A little bit ridiculous to criticize three first period penalties when one was unlucky (PK holding while trying to regain his balance) and the two other more or less bs calls.

    Try to get anyone going who is playing with Gomez seems to be impossible. It´s time to play him on the fourth line. 18+ minutes for him yesterday while Eller played 9? What a joke.

    Another unbelievable stat? Darche had more icetime on the PP than Subban. Bring back PK to the first PP.

    Cammalleri Plekanec Gionta
    Pouliot Eller Kostitsyn
    Darche Desharnais White
    Halpern Gomez Moen

  66. twilighthours says:

    If the team takes on the personality of its coach, then how do you explain the “yappers,” mannyp? Martin never yaps about anything.

    There will be a lot of doom and gloom on here this morning. I stand by what wrote last night – this team rarely mails it in but last night was an exception. If they can get 3-4 wins in the last few games and head into the show with some confidence, then a run is still possible and I still like their chances against Washington or Boston. Philly, not so much.

    • Caballero says:

      The doom and gloom is well deserved man. Without Price or Halak or insert goaltender, this team could have at least tanked and gotten some prospects; instead we will be eliminated in the first round, or the second if we don’t face Boston. Clearly there is a problem when your goalie is carrying the team almost every game of the season. It is a big piece of the puzzle, but it takes more than a talented goalie and a flashy young dman to win. Gauthier said that he wants the team to not just make the playoffs, but to be a true contender. Don’t we all. He can start by creating a real 4th line to make every player feel a little taller and tougher.

    • MannyP says:

      a little common sense, twilight. My point was that, in place of yapping, there should be a stronger will of running guys over. Plekanec and Cammalleri are prime examples. They are soft. Their coach as well. Not much gusto. It’s a concern of mine. Just voicing it. Let’s not forget that this can also be considered a trademark of Martin-coached teams: his Ottawa Senators not being able to beat the much more rugged Toronto Leafs, in the playoffs, being a case in point.

      -Plekanec does play like a girl-

    • observer says:

      The coach took on – I mean he is the coach because he has the personality of a vegetable! I mean the vegetarian GM his best friend and long time partner in crime.

  67. RGM says:

    I watched most of the first period last night in the dark in recognition of Earth Hour. I guess the Habs decided to do same for their 60 minutes last night.

    They’ve wasted two excellent Price performances this week, which all but ensures he won’t reach 40 wins on the year and it’s probably also derailed any Vezina/Hart aspirations. Henrik Lundqvist has been remarkable of late, and has worked his way into those discussions – it helps that his team can score a goal now and again.

    Carey Price is All Hart! http://on.fb.me/CP31Hart
    Go Habs Go!

  68. G-Man says:

    Habs can win. It will take more than that paltry lazy ass effort of the last 3 games, but they can do it.
    For all the posters thinking JM needs to display emotion, let me do it for him: “F!ck me!” There? Better now? Think those players sitting on the bench directly in front of him don’t hear that?
    JM’s system works if the forwards move their collective asses and give an effort.
    3 forwards sitting for 54 minutes? Tell me when the Habs have ever relied on Pouliot, White and Darche to score.
    Right now, this edition of the Habs strongly resembles that group Carbonneau was coaching and Gainey’s answer was to blow that team to bits. There are no quick fixes left. What is on the ice now is what we as fans have to watch. The question is this: do we support the team or do we bitch and moan about all aspects of the Habs?
    My patience with pseudo-reporters like Arpon Baitsyou is at an end. It is finally Spring and the playoffs are near: it’s time to be a fan.

    2011 is the Year of the Hab (can I still say that?)

    • habstrinifan says:

      You seem to equate being dissatisfied with the team as NOT being a fan. I dont see any fan here cheering ANOTHER team, but while LOVING OUR TEAM, we should be able to voice our displeasure.

      In my case my displeasure focusses, particularly the coaching philosophy and strategies and the make-up of the team, which could have been addressed more competently after last season.

      • G-Man says:

        I am tired of the non-stop bitching and moaning about how awful the team is. Every stretch that the Habs have difficulties, the whining starts.

        2011 is the Year of the Hab (can I still say that?)

        • observer says:

          And I and REAL FANS are tired of the “awful” play by the team.

        • habstrinifan says:

          I can understand your point but I hope you understand mine. I mean look at WHITE. Time and Time again JM makes the same coaching strategy and benches the youth which has invigorated this team. He shows them NO TRUST. Look at his decisions all year long.

          P.K he had to play when the defese was decimated and he has taken his PP time away.

          Max Pac .. well he didnt dare fool with Max Pac after Pac’s brilliant implied ultimatum.

          Eller, when almost EVERYONE was saying he is a centre, JM came to that decision kicking and screaming.. not to mention his minutes earlier on.

          DD/Pouliot all affected by his penchant to focus on the errors of the youth.

          And so on and so on.

    • notbigbird says:

      You must read Basu differently than I am. Having just read the article, I can’t see a problem. He seems to mainly be saying that the highly paid three know they have to do better. Can’t see the problem with that.

  69. higginrs says:

    BoomBoomMax! That is the best post of the year! Entirely creative and revealing. It’s so true. I couldn’t wrap my head around why the guys looks so passionless out there and now it makes sense. Hockey isn’t just about sheer SKILLS but also PERSONALITIES. Martin has not allowed for his players to be true to their personalities.

  70. MannyP says:

    A lot of nice guys, on this team. Too many nice guys.
    Like Jeff Halpern said, a couple of months ago: players generally take on the personality of their head-coach. Let’s see some more testosterone from this team! A lot of yappers! Plekanec, Cammalleri, Gomez! I can’t stand Tomas Plekanec no more! Who noticed that he was gone for four games! I prefer, and by far, David Desharnais in his spot! Things are not going well, brothers. There’s a real danger, here, of not making the playoffs. And if they do make it, there is no way they are surviving past the first round. I’d like it for someone to name me ONE game, one game, where the Canadiens have won a testosterone-charged game. I mean, a real, furious, brawling, man’s man game. I can’t recall. Can you?

    -Plekanec does play like a girl-

  71. habs365 says:

    making the playoffs is a joke when you’re out in four. unless a team is one of the last two it’s all for not. The Habs is gonna be a sad team for years to come. they have a great goalie in carey price and a great up and coming defenceman in PK Subban other than that a team of third line players unless someone see’s something I don’t. a stanley cup team is a well balanced team, the Habs are no where near that and a stanley cup team is not easy to build when you have nothing to build with. the organization made too many bad deals over the years and left it’s self with nothing in return and right now it’s starting to show how bad they really are. some people seem to think as long as you make the playoffs you have a good team, wrong. when you’re playing the last team left for the cup that’s when you have a good team, The Habs are a good ten years away, unless a miracle should happen before than.

  72. StevieRay says:

    The sun did come up this morning ….but last nite’s performance is still front and center. What system ..I ask .. a system which relies in clutching/grabbing/stick work which inturn leads to numerous lazy penalties ..although the Eller call last nite was kinda weak. To have players like White/Benny/Darche have their asses parked on the bench for 54 minutes last nite..give me a break ! White has continually stood up for his teammates …Darche ..is the only guiy who’ll go to the net and fight for position and Benny has more points/minutes played than anyone .. ATleast JM …give these guys 10-14 minutes a game !!! I think they deserve it …

    • habstrinifan says:

      I posted recently that “I hope JM rewards White with over 10 mins each game and not destroy his desire by too little minutes” as MTL has done with many ‘tough’ players. It surprises me that JM could not see the obvious chemistry when P.K and White ar eon the ice together. There is a bond there fron Bulldogs, greater than any other on ice bond on the team now that Max Pac is hurt and so we dont have the Max Pax DD bond.

  73. CHCanadien says:

    I’m getting the feeling that the game against the Make Beliefs on April 9th will determine if the Habs make the playoffs or not. You know Torrana would love to knock Montreal out.

  74. Top Corner says:

    There will be no more therapy days!!!!

  75. smiler2729 says:

    I didn’t watch last night and I won’t watch this week, what a waste of my time following the scared pathetic little Habs has become…

    *Perfectly content as a HABS I/O member for 3 years 16 weeks… now forced here, grrrrrrr.

  76. Ian Cobb says:

    Well Dude! Once the players saw that the league was not going to protect the small finesse game and the team did not invest in a gorilla on our bench, it seemed to say that they were on their own. Not to sure if the smaller finesse guys want to throw their bodies out for science any longer.!

  77. Bill says:

    I would too, but Bob would probably tell us to shut up and bake some bread, and you know, he probably knows better than us, at least it is possible.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  78. Sheldon says:

    I was surprised that as the losing goaltender he was the 1st star last night, but he sure as hell deserved it!!!

  79. Sheldon says:

    You are spot on. Gomez is a major, and I mean major, cancer that must be cut out immediately. I don’t care if they like him in the room. I ain’t paying $7mm for a goddamn stand-up comic!!! He has done jack-shit all season let alone when they need a veteran guy to step up. He is a crappy teammate, end of story. The rest of the squad may put a brave face on it, but you’d have to be shitting me that Gionta hasn’t already shot him several “looks” by now. The fact that he is the highest paid guy must gall the rest of the guys on the team regardless what they say. Finally, this waste of sperm was supposed to replace and be an upgrade on Koivu. That is just so f’n insulting that I would challenge Gainey to a duel with pistols or swords for that matter!!!

  80. HUDSONHAB says:

    The Habs should be in cruise control and Price should be resting.
    How many games are we going to have to win out of six?
    4? 3.5?
    Habs have 87. Canes have 80. (7 gms left)

    ….Hab4life….

  81. 134 says:

    Carey Price 1st star- winning or losing!

  82. HUDSONHAB says:

    By the way Habs/Canes Wednseday.

    ….Hab4life….

  83. mrhabby says:

    kind of hard to cut a player with 8 games left..


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