About last night …

PriceRedWings
The math is still daunting.
As the NHL breaks for its All-Star game, your Montreal Canadiens are in 11th place, eight points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
But it could be worse.
Had they lost to the Detroit Wings, the Canadiens would have dropped behind the Islanders and Buffalo into 14th place.
And the extended All-Star weekend – the Canadiens don’t practice until Monday afternoon – would have been a very unhappy and noisy time in Montreal.

As it was, however, the team that began the evening 24th in the league pounded the snot out of the perennial powerhouse that is sailing toward the playoffs atop league standings.

Mike Babcock said he felt sorry for fans who thought they’d see the Detroit Red Wings in action at the Bell Centre.

It’s a flip remark, but there must be some truth to it. Babcock’s team has not accumulated 67 points by  playing like they did against the Canadiens.

Surely Jimmy Howard is a goaltender capable of stopping more than 67 per cent of the shots he faces.

Surely a group of defencemen sporting gaudy +/- numbers such as Ian White’s plus-27 are capable of preventing one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league from frolicking through their zone like a reincarnation of the 1986 Oilers.

And surely the slickest-passers this side of Tom Brady should be capable of slipping a couple pucks past Carey Price before Garbage Time.

So Babcock is probably right when he says his team had an off-night.

But Randy Cunneyworth is also correct in asserting his Canadiens did what had to be done to defeat a talented team like Detroit.

“It starts with a north-south effort, guys throwing pucks toward the net and going to the tough areas,” Cunneyworth said.

That’s Erik Cole’s game, and it’s been in evidence since Cole found his mojo a couple weeks into the season. His direct power game has inspired similar physicality from Max Pacioretty. Andrei Kostitsyn, Mike Blunden and newcomer Rene Bourque.

When Mike Cammalleri left for Calgary, he took perimeterockey h with him. The willingness of Cole et al to drive the dirty areas opens ice up and complements the talents of the Canadiens’ playmakers: the brilliantly innovative David Desharnais, the evolving Lars Eller and … wait for it … the resurgent Scott Gomez.

Don’t laugh.

The Canadiens have been a better team since Gomez returned to the lineup on Jan. 14. He’s still closing in on the one-year anniversary of his last goal, but Gomez is skating, working tremendously hard and elevating the game of a variety of linemates – including Bourque and Tomas Plekanec, with whom Gomez played on the wing against Detroit.

The Bell Centre is hockey’s equivalent of La Scala and fans are not shy about emulating opera-lovers who throw rotten tomatoes at singers they find wanting. Gomez was booed the first few times he touched the puck against Detroit, as fans in the cheap seats made the highest-paid Canadien the focus of the malaise they’ve been feeling since the season began.

But he’d silenced them by the third period. And on a night when all the forwards excelled – heck, even Andreas Engqvist had his moments – I thought Scott Gomez excelled.

He wasn’t $8 million good. Nobody is. But Gomez’s industriousness and happy willingness to play within a team concept were important because young players such as DD and Eller feed off the example of hardworking veterans like Cole and, increasingly, Gomez.

On the back end, Cunneyworth heaped praise on Alexei Emelin – plus-3 while scoring his first NHL goal – and Raphael Diaz, who blocked three shots and played almost 20 minutes in all situations.

All the postgame talk, however, was about P.K. Subban, who spent the second period on the bench after throwing a brain-dead retaliatory elbow during a Canadiens power-play.

I didn’t get to watch L’Antichambre. But on a night when the Canadiens won and Gomez played well, I don’t doubt members of  the UUCG – Unemployed and Unemployable Coach’s Guild – were all over P.K.’s ass.

At the risk of repeating myself, I’ll invoke the Pink Floyd paraphrase:

Hey punditos, leave this kid alone!

Subban won’t be 23 until May and he’s played less than two full seasons in the NHL.

With the polar ice caps melting faster than Andrei Markov’s recovery from knee surgery, P.K. is the Canadiens’ only puck-moving defenceman … and will be for a while.

Even with an abbreviated 14:36 of ice time against Detroit, Subban averages a team-high 23:43 per game. He plays against the best opposing forwards, and he sees duty on the power-play and the penalty-kill.

There are suggestions Subban is difficult to coach. But look, it’s easy to coach Hal Gill.

The Randys, Cunneyworth and Ladouceur, will earn their salaries by getting the most out of this supremely talented kid.

All this talk about trading P.K.?

Sheer madness.

My predictions are usually full of baloney (including the fearless call of an easy Detroit win), but write this down:

Trading P.K. Subban would be the worst move the Canadiens have made since the Patrick Roy trade … and there have been some doozies.

But after a 7-2 win, the sports phone-ins won’t be buzzing with trade speculation. Carey Price is off to Ottawa for that stupid game, but his teammates get to relax, spend time with their families and recharge their batteries for 33 games in which they’ll have to play as well as they did against Detroit.

Can they do it?

Can the Canadiens roar through February, laying waste to all the Eastern Conference rivals in their path?

Two weeks ago, after the St. Louis game, I’d have said no way.

I’m still skeptical – and not entirely sanguine about a desperate push that will elevate the Canadiens to eighth place, followed by a hasty playoff exit and a mid-round selection at the June draft.

But the team has harvested five of a possible six points in their last three games.

And the Bell Centre, which has seen almost unremitting woe since October, was a happy place on Wednesday night.

They ain’t dead yet.

114 Comments

  1. Coach K says:

    The broadcaster noted that the last time there was such a large goal differential in a Habs-Detroit game in Montreal was the night Patrick Roy told management he’d had enough.

    Wonder if anything that stunning could happen this time?

    “Shut up and play against him” – Bob Gainey (2011 Heritage Classic)

  2. StevieM61 says:

    Stuck in Washington DC but at least got to listen to the game on TSN Radio ( Thank You!)
    Fist pumped and chuckled . . . .

    Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

  3. StevieM61 says:

    Cole Train Baby !

    Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

  4. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …it maybe is a stretch, …but during the Red Wings/Canadiens game I was having flash-backs …flash-backs to how I used to feel and be excited watching Our great Teams during Our Golden Period
    …deep talent, …an ‘expectation’ that it is only inevitable We will score …so many elite potential weapons
    …Whoa ! …I’ve got to slap Myself upside the grapefruit on My shoulders …THIS ! can not be My current Montreal Canadiens racing the Blue Jackets for first-overall ? …can it ?
    …it’s one thing to do a beat-down on the Rangers or Leafs, because they are so beat-downable :) …but to so own a truly wonderful ‘team’ like the Red Wings in those sweaters of the winged-wheel brought back My Habs, if only briefly, to another era
    …that victory over the Wings was comparable to memorable sex (well, almost) …as a Fan, One can sit back, feeling an infinitely relaxed well-being in every pore of Your being …at least, that is, until reality wakes One up to realize Their creditcard is almost maxed-out :) …then real cold ‘reality’ sets back in
    …yet, We have more talent, both established and burgeoning, on Our Team than is reflected by Our position in this season’s standings …We are a true-superstar away from being an elite Team
    …to get that true young superstar in this day and age requires a specific result …playing like We did against the Red Wings means that superstar and Our longterm potential as an elite Team remains frustratingly at Our finger-tips, but in reality a thousand miles away
    …well, if My Habs consistently play like They did agin the Wings, how can I want Them to play otherwise ? …wretched dichotomy :(
    PS: I gotta agree with SmartDog and the few others suggesting Eric Cole would make an excellent Captain …very close between Josh and Eric …Josh merits at least the ‘senior A’ if not the Captaincy …but, Eric, although older, is still in His prime and is signed for 4 seasons, meaning He is here for the relative longterm in this age of free-agency …I think the difference between Josh and Eric, based on My military experience, is that Josh Gorges gives-off the aura of the ideal NCO squad leader, Eric’s aura is of officer- (Lieutenant/Captain) material

    …My previous choice was Josh as Captain (a Guy I would be extremely confident going to war with in the trenches), but Eric has the greater intellect and royal-jelly as Captain-material from My observations this season

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

  5. petefleet says:

    The thing about last night, the Wings should not have taken the Habs so lightly, if that was the case. I said it before, the Habs are not getting Toronto beaten game in and game out. When they get beat, it’s usually by one goal. The Wings should have prepared for a tight, hard fought game. But I give the Habs all the credit in the world for the game they handed the Wings. Shame on “the best coach in the game” for ill preparing his boys for the game.
    Fun to watch if you a re as RC and Habs fan. About the bench minors, the guys are basically on the same lines or are very aware of their assignments under RC. JM always seemed to be in a constant state of flux and it showed in the bench minor stats.

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

    ***Habs Forever***

  6. smiler2729 says:

    Bench
    Minors:
    Last season: 14 (most in NHL).
    This season JMartin: 8 in 32 games. Cunneyworth: 0 after 17 games.

    From twitter

  7. MathMan says:

    Check your stats and update: Montreal is no longer “one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league”.

  8. GuyDoon says:

    What an amazing game last night. Two things that stood out where:
    1 – This team almost always plays to the level of their opponent. Why is that?
    2 – It was very interesting to watch PK on the bench pumping his mates while he wasn’t playing. Even more interesting was seeing his mates not giving him any love back. Not even eye contact. It truly looks like his mates have had enough of his “selfish” play. I know PK will “get it” one day; I just hope it’s sooner than later.

    PS: Boone, thanks for being here. You add to my enjoyment of the games. It makes hockey more interesting to have this HIO support group :)

  9. SmartDog says:

    Hey Boone,

    I was just thinking about Cole’s comment that PK’s penalty was a “selfish” play. FIRST, it’s a gutsy comment really – to call out a guy so clearly like that. I think it shows a lot. Starting with that Cole is a confident guy. He knows what he’s saying is true, and he knows he’s not being unfair when he says it. In fact, he knows that he is HELPING the situation by saying. Make that comment at the wrong time and you cause a war (or at least get in trouble). SECOND, it shows that this is something the whole team is probably thinking – or at least the veterans. And they’re likely happy to hear someone voice it. I can’t imagine Plekanec saying it, or even Gionta. And so… THIRD… what do you call is brave enough (and knows how to) stand up and say what needs to be said, a veteran who is so articulate about the game, so positive and so focused on the team, who leads by example with his play? Often you call that guy Captain. If you’re lucky enough to have a guy like that.

    I like Gionta as a player. But when I hear Cole after the game in interviews I think “that’s what a Captain sounds like”. And when I watch Cole play, and even on the bench, I think “that’s what a leader looks like”. Again, not dissing Gionta. But I’ve seen very little evidence that Gionta is really plugged in enough to the players and the team like Cole is.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HardHabits says:

      I was never sold on Gionta’s captaincy.

    • SPATS says:

      That’s some grade ‘A’ ‘poop’ smartdog

      I’ve been overly vocal about the lack of leadership and newbies in every position of leadership for Molson on down. They either backed in (PG, RC, RL, LC) bought their way in (GM) or are on the sidelines (AM, BG) injured. Time for someone new to step up. Cole is doing it on the ice and earning the respect as a true leader. He is the anti-Cammy

      OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

    • Mike Boone says:

      I think Gorges will be the next captain because he’s younger than Cole and also because the captain is obliged to hew pretty closely to the party line. Cole might be too honest, outspoken and BS-averse. But you have him pegged correctly as one of the most articulate … no, make that THE most articulate guy in the room. A leader by example.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

    • eric says:

      The captain was always picked by the players until JM decided to pick the captain

  10. RetroMikey says:

    Like I posted yesterday, too little too late with this club.
    Not going to get excited after a win last night, where were they performing all season?
    If I were PG, start trading and look at other offers to get this team load with prospects, draft picks and several hard core veterans who want to don the CH.
    Look at those Blues what dividends are starting to show with their club.
    Tank I say! Tank!
    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  11. Arrow77 says:

    Ok, two things:

    1- Subban is NOT our only puck-moving defenseman. Kaberle has many flaws but the one thing he does very well, better than Subban even, is to carry the puck.

    2- DD and Eller don’t feed off the example of Gomez, Gomez is working harder because of them. They have proven themselves to be harder worker than Gomez and that’s why they play center and he doesn’t.

  12. savethepuck says:

    Enjoyed your article this morning Mr. Boone. Glad to see someone coming to the defense of PK. He takes way too much crap from the media and fans for a 22 year old developing kid. You were bang on with your asssessment.

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

  13. gmur says:

    I know the Wings played a stinker… and the Canadiens were firing on all cylinders, but it’s also of interest to see how the Wings’ defence was out of sync without Lidstrom. Would be interesting to compile stats on Wings record with Lidstrom in the lineup and without him… I’d do it, but no time right now.

    • The Cat says:

      I dont think Id derive anything on both teams from the game. Habs played a team that wouldnt hit or offer any resistance. The habs do well against unphysical teams. And for the Wings, it was a game before a vacation against a team who couldnt gain points in their conference. Even Babcock didnt seem to care.

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

    • savethepuck says:

      I think the TSN announcer said last night they were 5-7-1 or maybe 5-7-2 without him in the line-up. Not sure how far back that stat goes, but he’s played 2 1/2 seasons without missing a game.

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

  14. HABitual Fan says:

    Wasn’t that fun?
    I mean, my boys and I (we have four sons, all huge Habs fans) were whoopin’ it up like it was a playoff game last night. All I know is, the team seems to be responding to Cunneyworth’s system and if they continue with the effort of the last couple of games…it will be fun to watch down the stretch – even if they don’t make the playoffs. Every game is a playoff game from here on in.

    “… but it’s better than cheering for the Leafs!”

  15. HabFab says:

    5 WINS – 3 LOSSES – 2 LOSER POINTS = .600 HOCKEY FOR JANUARY

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    P.K. will be great, he is already our best dman (healthy) and having a difficult 2nd year should only be a good learning lesson for him.

    Not all the talking heads TSN are against him either. McKenzie actually made good points during intermission last night and on the That’s Hockey, Craig “I can’t find a job” Button phrased the trade rumours on PK as Okay what do I have give up to get him. Many around the league recognize how much potential there is with PK. A big reason for notoriety is he is difficult to play against.

    Hopefully this coming off season the Habs can right a wrong and bring back the Big Bird to provide some very sage advice to our Dmen and PK. PG is not going to trade this guy (IMHO) and we will watch this great talent develop.

    Thanks for an entertaining game Habs! Enjoy your break, go join Mr. Markov down in South Beach FL for a few days, he has developed excellent rapport with many of the locals and the watering holes.

    • LafleurFan says:

      Agree. Lafleur was 19 when he was drafted (that was the rule in those days). He had his breakout year in his fourth season when he was 23.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      A great coaching moment. I am guessing that staff has figured out how to deal with some of the teams youngsters and moving some veterans who may not believe in the direction of the organization. Perhaps we are seeing the beginning of a organizational culture change. Time will tell. Back to PK he seems like such a good kid and a coachable guy, I think this will in the long run help his development.

  17. The Cat says:

    Emelin and Diaz do well together. They shouldnt be split up, nor should they have to sit out anymore.

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

  18. third generation haber says:

    Good on the coaches for benching Subban, but when it comes to bad defence it’s Kaberle that should be benched for A: screening the goalie, and B: Not taking a man! He is awful defensively and incappable of throwing a body check. Kaberle and Webber lack the heart to play D for this team and need to go. NO, I DON’T CARE ABOUT THEIR OFFENCE UPSIDE, THEY SUCK DEFENSIVELY AND ARE UTTERLY SPINELESS!!!! Bring up St. Denis, he has deleted and plays with heart!
    We will make the play-offs this year!
    j.p. murray

  19. HabFanSince72 says:

    I ended up going to the game last night. The Wings were in all-star game mode: no effort, no hitting, no defending. A shameful performance. Otherwise:

    * PK: when he played in the 3rd he was terrific. What a skater. Don’t trade him please.

    * Cole: a beast. Should have been a star.

    * Gomez: I’m not convinced. Even with the Wings a no-show, he shunned all physical contact. His soft play directly led to the Wings first goal.

    * DD and Eller: our #1 and #2 centres right now. DD especially is so poised when he has the puck.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Great game you got to see, congrats HF72

    • Habfan10912 says:

      You lucked out my friend. I bet that’s the one of the few times that the Bell Center sounded like the Bell Center this season. I am jealous. : )

    • G-Man says:

      Gomez was hammered in front of Detroit’s net last night in the 3rd period. He goes to the dirty areas, but many here posting don’t notice. The Habs are winning with him in the lineup. Not so much when he’s not playing.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I saw that play, I thought he did well, yah he messed up a clearing pass, I have seen many habs do that this season, also watched the rest of the players on the ice shite the bed there.

        He is a playmaker, not a power forward.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Granted he is not an overly physical player and the Red Wings did not employ an aggressive forcheck but he sure helped an awful lot in getting the friggin puck out of our own zone.

    • SmartDog says:

      Thank GOD someone saw what I saw from Gomez. The only reason people are saying “resurgent” is because the expectations of this guy are incredibly low. His 1 assist on a night where there were 7 goals is a true reflection of his contribution.

      And you’re right about DD. He has great control, great timing too. Eller – he’s getting better and better. He has the size and skill to push guys around and fight for the net. More of that to come I’m sure. He and AK seem to be feeding off each other, holding on to the puck, steering around for opportunities. Fun to watch.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • G-Man says:

        Subban didn’t get a point either. Did he suck, too?

        • SmartDog says:

          You might say Subban sucked at least compared to the many guys who played a complete game in that he did some stupid things that got him benched. He was great in the third but one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

          Having a great game doesn’t mean you did a few things right.

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • punkster says:

      Review the entire play on the Wings goal you blame directly on Gomez. Every single Hab on the ice touched the puck and had an opportunity to clear it but didn’t. Every single one missed their check. Gomez was just the last one to do so.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  20. JayK-47 says:

    Jebus, the Habs stomped the Wings out. I haven’t seen a beating like that since the Habs-Sens game last month, or the Habs-Rags game a couple weeks ago. Oh, wait, the Habs-Jets game 3 weeks ago, THAT’S the last time I saw a stomping out like that.

    Edit: Under JM, the Habs scored 5 goals or more twice. Under Cunneyworth, 8 times**

    **note: no actual research was done

  21. NLhabsfan says:

    Just trying to figure out if all the criticism of PK is more from other teams(broadcasters) who hate Montreal or PK supposly dirty play which I can’t see or some other factor. He’s young .. He’s good and is our FUTURE for years to come… The bias of some of the broadcasters including the (toronto CBC) which some nights is sickening.Why I watch RDS in response to turn off Montreal hate.. I’m better off not listening to it brings my blood pressure up.I love watching PK play and the amount of time this kid plays in a game is a game changer for me.Wonder how much he would be loved if he was with Toronto or any other team other than Montreal.

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      I haven’t watched HNIC for years. Now I’m turning off Antichambre. Too many people with not enough to say. And with those comments..I’m done . Hope you all have a great day.

  22. Bertuzzi says:

    My biggest fear is that PG will suffer the trending delusion that the Habs have a chance of making the playoffs, and then not sell some of the dead-weight players before the trade deadline.

  23. G-Man says:

    Happy to see the Habs score early and often on a team that mailed it in. Full marks to all the players for an entertaining game for Hab fans. Geez, 5 more of those kinds of games spread out through Oct, Nov and Dec and we’d all be wanting PG to make a move for the final piece of the puzzle.
    There are 33 games left for the Habs to displace 3 teams. Without a prolonged winning streak, this team will be toast by the end of February. There are currently 7 teams behind the Habs in the standings. So much for the “Fail for Nail” and “Stinko for Grigorenko” factions. 5 pts out of a possible 6 is nothing to sneeze at, but a lousy 19 wins in 49 tries is still terrible.
    A note about Erik Cole. I really liked how he did not want the Wings to have the last word on the game last night. He wanted his vacation break to begin without that bad taste of allowing the 2 last goals in a blowout. The players’ celebration around him was properly restrained. An “A” will probably be on his chest next season.

  24. kirkiswork says:

    Was that an example of tankin ?
    The Habs baffle me.
    We should only play the top teams, that way we have a chance.

  25. icky pop says:

    Hey Boone, you called for him to be traded during the in game blog after that elbow. A Change of heart so quick? Or sarcasm?

    I’d like to see him traded myself. I loved PK after the miracle run. I was excited about him all of last year. This year, the honeymoon has worn off. I was done with it after he elbowed krejci, then turtled from ference. All the slew footing, and unwillingness to answer for the stupid (exploitive deleted) that he does has grown tiresome. Seeing him drop to the ice and cover his head and leaving his team to deal with ference ended this love affair. I couldn’t play on a team with someone who does that. I see him fetching a decent puck moving defenseman and a high draft pick.

  26. WindsorHab-10 says:

    11th place is much better than 14th, don’t you think Boone? I’m shocked as most of you but goes to show you that anything can happen against any team.

    The talk/criticism of PK Subban needs to stop. Wake up everyone especially TSN, Sportsnet & so called hockey experts. The guy is full of talent, only 22 & should be an untouchable. He’ll come around.

  27. Marc10 says:

    I loved that we won big against Detroit and that there were no passengers… because every single guy we’ll offload just got us a better return.

    The downside… AK46 just got more expensive to resign. Solid effort by the big guy.

  28. BeeGee says:

    Cole for captain!

    • third generation haber says:

      Can’t argue with your logic, but a younger guy (Gorges) would be a longterm solution. And by the time Gionta moves on, Leblanc may be ready to wear the C.

      j.p. murray

  29. Un Canadien errant says:

    This big convincing win against Detroit is enough for a lot of Canadiens fans to remove their tank commander helmets and do a triple-gainer back onto the bandwagon. I know I may have tripped into the lifeboat in my haste to abandon ship, but now, unlike Captain Schettino, I’m contemplating getting back on board the good ship Glorieux.

    This was an enjoyable game to watch for another reason than its final score. It was refreshing to see a game played at a high pace and without all the meaningless scrums and facewashes and crosschecking after the play was over. When the goalie froze the puck, both teams would stop, separate, and skate to the faceoff circle for the puck drop. I imagined how the Bruins or the Chris Neils would have reacted to a 5-0 deficit. They would have busted out the brass knuckles and taped on some foil, reanimated the corpse of Lyndon Byers, cried “Lucic” and let slip the McQuaids of war.

    I loved the way the Canadiens were sedate and classy in their goal celebrations once the game was getting out of hand for the Wings. The guys congratulated each other but there were no histrionics and no mugging for the cameras. Good stuff. This is the kind of team I want to root for.

    Early in the game I observed that when Scott Gomez grabs the puck in the defensive zone, he’s one of the few Canadiens who seems like he wants it and knows what to do with it, namely to skate it into the opposite zone. Say what we will, he compares favourably to the putative Canadiens powerplay quarterbacks who appear as if they’d rather not have the puck on their blade, and skate listlessly into the neutral zone already convinced that their efforts will lead to naught. His decisiveness and relative competence may be how he seduces his coaches to allot him seemingly more icetime than you would think he was entitled to. As I was formulating this thought, he whisked his cross-ice pass to René Bourque for the opening goal. The Canadiens, frustratingly, are a better team with him in the lineup than they are without him. That speaks volumes to the lack of depth on the team, but that’s the boat we’re in.

    We also observed a strong game from Tomas Plekanec and René Bourque. Both scored and we can hope that these two can build on this and develop some chemistry. Tomas especially seemed more confident, effective and dangerous on offence. The effort was there in previous games, but he seemed to be flailing and erratic. As much as it was seductive to think that he and Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta could skate circles around the opposition, they never seemed to jell. Let’s hope Tomas’ new linemate will be a better complement.

    Poor undersized overmatched David Desharnais had all he could handle against the powerhouse Wings, all he could muster was two goals and an assist. Evidently a hat trick or even a Gordie Howe hat trick is beyond him. To think we have this guy under contract for another year at almost a million per, what are we going to do with him?

    In all seriousness, there was an interesting graphic on RDS a few games back comparing him with Martin St. Louis, an obvious point of reference due to their diminutive size and tortuous route to the NHL. It showed that both first made the NHL at 23 years of age, and that after the same number of games David’s scoring pace was twice that of Mr. St. Louis. We can only dream. I’ll start the collection for David to attend Martin’s summertime conditioning sessions.

    P.K. Subban just can’t stay out of the headlines. Tonight, again, he demonstrated his consistent boneheadedness and indiscipline. I’d be more incensed if the coaches hadn’t reacted well and stapled him to the bench, an effective and just reaction to P.K.’s self-indulgent loss of self-control, which was again, unerringly, followed by a palms up “Who, me?!!?” gesture for the refs. P.K. won’t get the benefit of the doubt from any referee for a long, long time now. We can only hope that he can develop a single-minded focus on taking the puck to the opposition net, kind of like Raymond Bourque or Chris Chelios used to do. When they had the puck on their stick, they knew where they were headed, and would fend off the occasional hook or slash on their way to the net. It was almost as if they took them for granted and didn’t notice them anymore, it was background noise, extraneous to the task at hand. P.K. needs to improve his concentration and understanding of the game and the situation, and react appropriately to game conditions. Tonight was another flat tire for him on the road to maturity.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • shootdapuck says:

      Normand,

      Well said!

      Subban acts like a spoiled brat who acts out in an attempt to garner the attention he so covets.

      He’s been the star all his life and is unaccustomed to discipline!

      Hopefully, the coaches are going to be able to grab his attention without breaking his spirit!

      PK Subban – Million Dollar Legs, a Ten Cent Brain and a Costly Attitude!

  30. VancouverHab says:

    Thank-you, Mr. Boone.

  31. Dintrox says:

    yes Tom brady is in the superbowl , damn. but the slickest passer? do you not realize Boone that Brees destroyed Marino`s record for passing yards in a single season? a record that stood for almost 30 yrs. stick to what you know Boone! which isnt football and might not even be hockey.

    • The Jackal says:

      Ok you expert! He was only making a figurative statement, retake 11th grade English as a favour to anyone who has to read your posts!

      • Dintrox says:

        This is probably the only post that you have ever read of mine. I would say a one time sample would not provide you adequate evidence to condemn my usage of the English language. Maybe your anger should be directed at this site, as it does not recognize common English words such as favour or labour.

    • Michael says:

      Tom Brady also broke that record this season. Regardless, Marino’s 1984 season remains much more impressive, as he threw a much larger percentage of the league’s total passing yards than did either Brees or Brady this year. Every year, the NFL changes the rules to make it easier to throw the football. The last four NFL seasons rank numbers 1, 2, 3 & 4 in all-time total league passing yardage. That record was going to fall eventually not due to individual achievement but rather, rule changes. It’s amazing it took this long.

      Anyway, Tom Brady is a better quarterback than Drew Brees and you didn’t even mention Aaron Rodgers who performed better than either of them this season.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Tom Brady has done it longer than Drew Brees, and this season with fewer weapons. He has Wes Welker and two tight ends, and somehow he turns these guys into unstoppable monsters. Drew Brees was much better served this season by his running game and his complement of wide receivers.

      We’re essentially arguing about which SI Swimsuit Edition model is hotter, it becomes a matter of personal preference, but I don’t think you can take Mr. Boone to task for his statement.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • HabinBurlington says:

        What no mention of Rapelessberger? Come on he scores on and off the field. Okay, bad taste. As a die hard Steeler fan, while I appreciate his efforts on the field, I would be happy to see him gone, he represents all that is wrong with pro sports and some of the characters created within it.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Ooh, John Madden here has slapped me down. How can I live to write again?

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

  32. montreal ace says:

    I like Randys after game press conferences, I find them interesting, as he explains what he wants. I also find the players are giving more insight to their team approach, and some are not afraid to espouse views that I have not heard before, its refreshing and candid, and I like the fact they hold players accountable. with names. I dont think any of them have said anything in bad taste, and they have been standup in what they expect of team mates. I have not enjoyed a regular season game like this in a long time. I know its late but I see a lot of good things happening on this team, and one of them was a teams that enjoyed playing. I also enjoyed Boones take on the team, it was well written.

  33. Duracell3 says:

    “With the polar ice caps melting faster than Andrei Markov’s recovery from knee surgery, P.K. is the Canadiens’ only puck-moving defenceman … and will be for a while.”

    I’d love to know what Kaberle is considered.

  34. citizenSanto says:

    “They ain’t dead yet.”, Jim.

    I’m gonna crack my knuckles and jump for joy,
    they got a clean bill of health from Dr. McCoy!
    well, for the most part.
    ;-)

    —————————————
    Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
    — Augustine of Hippo

  35. HotHabs says:

    Nice ALN, Boone.
    Only point I can’t concur? Gomez’s game.
    He wasn’t harassed incessantly throughout the game because nobody cared when the home team had a bloated lead against the league’s top team. After the first, everyone in the Bell was ready to party!

  36. MikeMcLaren says:

    Mike Cammalleri: 5 GP, 1G, 0A, -4 with the Flames
    Rene Bourque: 5 GP, 2G, 1A, +1 with the Canadiens

    I’ll miss Mike Cammalleri’s razzle-dazzle, his clutch playoff goals, his one-timer off the knee, and if he was traded for his comments and not because it was a hockey improvement, I have some issues with that, but…

    So far, so good.

    Rene Bourque definitely goes to the net. I’m fine seeing more goals like the one he scored tonight.

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

    • PureGuava says:

      You can’t have a team full of perimeter players and Matthew Darche. Bourque was a great pickup, and he really complements this team nicely.

      I am not a big Gauthier fan, but Eller, Cole, Diaz, & Bourque are all his doing.

      I hate the Kaberle deal, and Markov….well…

      Arggh….I’ve said too much already.

  37. nigelater says:

    Ha ha: “members of  the UUCG – Unemployed and Unemployable Coach’s Guild”. Well done, Mr. Boone!

  38. DYCSoccer17 says:

    Gomez has played 138 minutes and 46 seconds of power play time since his last goal. Just an FYI.

  39. AlbertanHab says:

    “The UUCG” – Boone, your humour does not go unappreciated

    God that was funny.

  40. ProHabs says:

    Ya stayed up until I could be the first to post. Goodnight now.

  41. third generation haber says:

    Actually for a d-man 23 is a kid. It’s a much tougher position to adjust to, especially when u lead your team in ice time!!! As Bob McKenzie put it, “there’s nothing wrong with PK Subban”, all young d-men (Doughty, Webber, Bogosian, Karlsson) struggled in their first 3 seasons. Subban deserves to be criticized, …. BY HIS COACHES! He will be our top d-man for the next 10 years IF we are smart enough to develop him!

    j.p. murray

  42. LafleurFan says:

    A bit bitter are we? The team won. Mr. Boone has the pulse of Habs fandom. Starting this site, and having it evolve into a great go to HAPPY place is greatly appreciated. Sobering thoughts that the team won`t go far doesn`t detract from enjoying wins like last night`s. Hope they get to shellack Thomas like they did Howard. And as another Thing uttered, `Nuff Said!

    “May you live in interesting times.”


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