About last night … with audio and music

fat+lady+sings
“It’s not over till it’s over,” Max Pacioretty said, “but we’ve dug ourselves a pretty big hole.”
Two crucial games since the break.
Two losses.
And while Max-Pac is quoting Yogi Berra, the fat lady is clearing her throat.

AUDIO: Max Pacioretty | Carey Price | Josh Gorges | Randy Cunneyworth

I bailed on L’Antichambre when the sports psychologist came on.

Fans may be in dire need of therapy and psychotropic meds to deal with the 2011-’12 season.

But who needs a shrink to explain why the Canadiens suck?

They are in 14th place because when you compare your Montreal Canadiens to the 13 teams that are ahead of them in the Eastern Conference, they just aren’t very good.

Those wins over Toronto and Detroit heading into the All-Star break?

Hit it, Smokey!

The miracle playoff run that we envisaged was just a mirage.

The Canadiens’ season will end on April 7, when the Leafs visit the Bell Centre. If the planets are aligned correctly, they will have a chance to knock Toronto out of playoff contention.

That will give us something to talk about while waiting for a lottery draft pick and UFA action on July 1.

Look, I’ll cop to being an emotional bandwagon jumper. Watching this team school Detroit, I thought “Yeah, if they play like this maybe they’ll win two out of three the rest of the way, sneak into the postseason and then, who knows?”

Totally delusional.

Hit it, John:

I should have known better … we all should have known better because we’ve watched this team struggle since training camp.

And while the Canadiens stumbled out of the gate, losing seven of their first eight starts, we’ve had to wait until Game 51 to see the play that exemplifies this miserable season.

Down 4-3, Carey Price on the bench, less than a minute to go and Tomas Kaberle shoots a long dump-in from the Canadiens’ side of centre ice.

Icing.

Game over.

Kaberle: Two more seasons, at $4.25 million and $4.5 million.

Untradeable.

The Canadiens’ highest-paid forward hasn’t scored in 363 days.

Untradeable.

The highest-paid defenceman hasn’t played a game this season.

The injured Captain has two more seasons at $5 million.

Tomas Plekanec has four more seasons at $5 million per … to kill penalties and centre Scott Gomez.

Louis Leblanc, a RW in Hamilton, played centre in New Jersey … for 9:29.

The Canadiens are a one-line hockey team, and it’s scary to think where they would be without Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty and an undersized, undrafted centre who’s making 10 per cent of Scott Gomez’s salary this season.

Not many people would have predicted 100 NHL games – and counting – for wee David Desharnais. Along with Josh Gorges and Mathieu Darche, DD is a poster boy for overachievement.

Let’s pray Canadiens’ scouts can find a couple more like him, because the team as currently constituted …

Six times, the Canadiens have lost games in which they held two-goal leads.

This suggests fragile confidence, yes, but all the confidence in the world can’t camouflage the team’s fundamental weaknesses.

The Canadiens don’t have a number-one centre with size.

They don’t have a David Clarkson, a rock ‘em/sock ‘em gouy who’s gonna kick ass and, in Clarkson’s case, score 19 goals in 50 games.

They don’t have the kind of energetic fourth line that will rattle the boards, unnerve the opposition and change the momentum of a game.

So it’s obvious the Canadiens will be sellers at the trade deadline, and the buzz around Montreal over the next couple of weeks will be speculation about who goes.

Here are my untouchables: Carey Price, the DD line, P.K. Subban, Lars Eller, Alexei Emelin and Louis Leblanc.

Dumping Mike Cammalleri’s $6-million salary was a big help. But Gomez, Kaberle and Gionta will be impossible to move.

Plekanec, Kostitsyn and Weber packaged to get a Jeff Carter or Ryan Getzlaf?

Hey, I’m too tired and disappointed to start channeling Eklund here.

All I know is the Bell Centre will be a very quiet place this spring.

Hit it, Jim:

218 Comments

  1. shakey says:

    Although I’m loving Cole this year, does he fit with a rebuild? He seems like he is the kind of class act and hard worker we could use to teach the youngsters some respect, but if we can get a lot of assets for him, I would add him to the list of “touchables”, then look for someone cheaper when we need him, to teach the youngsters.

    Based on where we are at, this could easily be a 3-4 year rebuild. Sigh.

    • 4EverHabsFan says:

      Not to be a jerk, but Cole is there as an untouchable- Boone says the DD line (MaxPac & Cole are Included…)
      He has been great all year for this team- how a young player couldn’t look at him and see how hard he plays. That line is the only reason I watch right now- I enjoy watching that line. I think he has rubbed off on MaxPac & Eller and it shows. Hope LeBlanc is watching too! Now only if AK46 could watch and play EVERY night like Cole…

  2. boing007 says:

    Sign The Fat Lady to a one way contract and put her in front of the opposing goalie’s net when the Habs are on the Power Play. Better still, sign two Fat Ladies and put one of them in front of the Habs net.

    Richard R

  3. Forum Dog says:

    The D is too small, soft and inexperienced to hold the fort. Once Jersey started bringing bodies to the net, the Habs folded. This is compounded by a lack of size and strength at the centre position, which is the key forward slot when it comes to backchecking. Case in point is Zubrus goal. Kaberle lets Zubrus get behind him, and the back-up is Desharnais. Zubrus is 6’4″, 230lbs and there is now way Desharnais is gonna tie him up. Weber should not be playing at all, but I guess that speaks to the depth issues they have. Blunden, Weber, Darche are not players who get ice on a playoff team.

    The go-ahead goal was bogus. Kovalchuk clearly hooked Cole and prevented him from clearing the zone, creating an odd-man opportunity down low. Regardless, Montreal didn’t deserve this game based on their play in the third.

    I still like the team going forward. There are lots of good pieces to work with, but obviously there are also some major changes needed. Some of that will be resolved through exiting UFAs, but hopefully management does not think that they can go into next year with the 6 D they have under contract. Emelin, Subban and Gorges are all solid, but there needs to be more size and toughness. That will not be resolved with combinations of Kaberle, Markov and Diaz. Something has to give.

    This year’s draft is a complete crapshoot, with few consensus picks, and the best of the bunch apparently being Russian. Not a great year to be in the lottery….

  4. Strummer says:

    I don’t believe Kaberle is untradeable.

    He is way more tradeable than Cammaleri was.

    But that’s beside the point. Kaberle isn’t the problem.

    Just another symptom of the decay.

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”
    -Dennis Miller

    • Cable Guy says:

      Of course Kaberle is untradeable. He gets traded from the Leafs to Boston and made their powerplay worse, then goes to Carolina and does nothing there then comes to Montreal and sucks here. Who would trade for a guy like that??

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        Actually that 3 different teams have made moves to get him sort of disproves your thesis. No team is going to go for Kaberle to be one of their top 4 D, but good teams are often looking for an extra veteran Dman, or help for their PP, going into the play-offs. Kaberle does put up points and he is wearing a Stanley Cup ring from last year (something no one else on the Habs can say), so he will be of interest to a few select teams. So, it is not that he is “untradeable” just that the Habs may not get much in return. It doesn’t mean that it’s still not worth flipping him to somebody.

        • Strummer says:

          He didn’t cost them much- one-half season of an aging Spacek so they won’t need much in return.

          Any way my point was that Cammi got traded so Kabby would be a slam-dunk when you compare contracts and output

          ______________________________________________________
          “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”
          -Dennis Miller

  5. habs316776 says:

    OUR NEXT GM, READ THIS AMAZING ARTICLE.

    http://melnickblog.blogspot.com/

  6. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I’m looking at the bright side. Come April, I can go out more or, at least, spend my nights more productively.

  7. HardHabits says:

    Once you make the draft lottery anything can happen.

    • smiler2729 says:

      Is Montreal ready for a Russian superstar type?

      I don’t really see anything wrong with the core of this team that a little vision from the top could correct. The team has an identity crisis cuz there’s GM that shifts the gears with every other move he makes. Oh yeah and the defence is too inexperienced/bad.

      Gauthier’s gotta go, obviously, as do Gomez and Kaberle but the rest is just cosmetic. There’ll be changes but probably no major ones like a blockbuster trade.

      Let’s let the stew simmer, I like Cunneyworth as coach and this year has just been one major clusterf*ck from the smallest details to the glaring ones.

      They will all get better from this.

      ___________________________________
      Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

      • habs316776 says:

        Weve been missing a top line center for 30 years, what dont you understand… they have an opportunity to draft one in the draft.

        • NCRhabsfan says:

          Really? The highest ranked player in the draft is a Russian smurf. That is really how you see the Habs rebuilding?

          No worries, your theory will not be put to the test. The Habs will not draft first.

  8. smiler2729 says:

    Whoever the new GM, first order of beeswax is to find new destinations for Kaberle and Gomez

    ___________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

  9. Hobie Hansen says:

    Something to add a little sunshine on a sad day. Keep your head up boys there’s better days a head.

    Jarred Tinordi:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYB38PpmYVE

  10. Habs_4_ever says:

    Completely off topic… Can anyone tell me what happens to all the caps thrown on the ice after a player gets a hat trick.

    ————————
    “Can we lose the parade float?…..Thank you!”

  11. HardHabits says:

    All I can say is Bob Gainey needs to be moved as far away from this team as possible. I have said it before and many are agreeing with me. Keep Timmins. Discard Gainey, Gauthier and Martin.

    I’d prefer to give Damphousse or Roy a chance at trying to right this ship.

    Another thing. Two of my favourite all time Habs were Jacques Lemaire and Larry Robinson, one of my least favourite was Gainey. Yes. Yes. Gainey was Mr. Selke in the 70’s and was a warrior but he was such a mediocre player if not for his defensive skills that watching paint dry was more exciting than seeing him skate with the puck.

    The game has passed him by and his moves since the Centennial have hampered the club until 2015. That is how long it could take to purge the club from the disastrous moves that were made to keep this team a contender for the final play-off berth.

    A major rethink is needed. I said it a few years back that the Habs needed to tank. Not because they needed to follow Chicago, Pittsburgh or Washington, but because the team needed a cleansing. The blow up happened at the wrong level.

    It will take a few years outside the play-offs with some astute moves with an eye towards the draft to set this ship right. Forget the play-offs for a few years folks.

    And if Price doesn’t like it trade him to a team that can contend for one or two of their young prospects.

    I’ll say it again. I like Price. I think he is a solid goal tender. What I don’t like is how he is anointed without a credible back-up or other goalie who can challenge for his job. This is the Habs major error. Their penchant for favouritism. The Habs should start drafting goalies soon. Nobody’s job should be safe.

    Hopefully the jobs of Gainey, Gauthier and Martin are in that category.

    Another thing. If Martin gets named GM the Habs will be awful for years. I am talking missing the play-offs awful with no depth on the farm and piss poor draft picks.

    • smiler2729 says:

      Damphousse and Roy?
      Houle and Tremblay all over again.

      ___________________________________
      Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

    • Natrous says:

      While I agree that PG/BG need to go now, I don’t agree with the fact general assertion that Gainey was the bane of the Habs, both in the 70’s/80’s and the ’00s. He redefined the definition of two-way forward, to the point where many will debate that the Selke should be renamed the Gainey, and while it wasn’t flashy, made his team many times better with defensive solidity which allowed the offensive players to run around even more.

      As GM (besides winning a cup with Dallas and losing in the finals the following year), he turned this team from a total joke 10 years ago into a challenger almost immediately, and although they never won the cup under his direction, they’ve pushed a few good teams to the limit on several occasions. To imply that he has done nothing good for the franchise as GM is a bit much, and throwing unproven names out to replace PG/BG is akin to what they tried to do when replacing Serge Savard after a pretty decent run as GM.

      I like your post, but it’s a little too emotional to take seriously.

    • punkster says:

      Well, if HH says it then it must be right. This week. Next week is another story.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • jsmaximus says:

      Price is too fragile to deal with a skilled backup. The new GM should sign a top netminder and let the cards fall where they may when it comes to the starting job.

  12. Marcusman says:

    I said it before and I’ll say it again….they should of let Gallagher play his 10 times with the Habs at the start of the season and played Emelin much more. The rookie would of created some spark.. we would not have been so flat and so far behind. The Kaberle and campoli thing could of all be solved with resigning Hamerlik.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      We might see, or probably see, a couple of those touted young players stick with the team next year.

      Tinordi is big, tough and should be able to compete as early as next year on defense. The season will be a wash anyway so why not let him get his feet wet without any expectations.

    • HardHabits says:

      No. Latendresse and Price were brought too soon. Ditto for Subban and Eller. Pacioretty only got better by being sent back to Hamilton.

      The Habs prospects need to develop slowly in arenas where the can dominate so that when the bring their skills to the NHL level they will dominate there too.

      Too many fans want the Habs to blow it all now without an regard to building solidly for the future. I’d rather the Habs sign a bunch of pluggers and sluggers on the cheap as fill ins until the youngsters truly prove themselves ready.

      Forget the play-offs for a few years folks. If the Habs try and rebuild this thing over the summer again for another 8th play-off seed there will be no Cup in Montreal for decades.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        You are right HH. The majority of the time the right thing to do is play a year or two in Hamilton but there are always exceptions.

        I’m not expecting Tinordi to come in and be the difference in making the playoffs and play like Pronger but I could easily see him in the lineup next year.

        He looked pretty solid in the pre-season this year and that;s when there were rumors of him not living up to his 1st round draft selection.

        Since then he was named to team USA in the juniors and is pretty much the best defensive defenseman in the CHL.

        If he was 6’1 and 175lbs I’d say forget it but he’s 6’6″ and won’t be intimidated by 95% of the league.

        A player like him, in my opinion, can be brought right in.

        • HardHabits says:

          I disagree. The lot of them should stay and play in Hamilton and only be brought up maybe for the play-offs and then sent back down again for the next the until truly ready. This is one of the things that separates the Wings from the Habs. The Habs need to build their organizational depth not rush or squander it or worse trade it away for peanuts because they are not fitting in.

          There is no torch any more. It has been doused decades ago. The Habs are as if they are nothing more than an expansion club with delusions of grandeur. They had better get used to the fact that they are not who their history claims them to be. The club’s past exploits is making it impossible for the current edition to develop any identity of its own. Always living under the shadow of the past with too many people willing to sacrifice a future of potential excellence for a current perpetual mediocrity.

          • DAVE. N says:

            A very long time ago, I was raked over the coals on this site for suggesting P.K spend a year or so in Hamilton, that coming up fresh from the O.H.L was premature, due to his maturing as an individual and as a player… “NO” they shouted! “HE’S ready” they cried….

            We’ll let PG stick around? Sure…he’ll draft P.K’s little brother Malcom this year, and he can anoint him as our next starting ‘tender…after all, what would we need Price for?

          • Badwich says:

            “The lot of them should stay”

            I guess you are saying that everyone progresses at the same rate but we know that concept to be faulty. In fact it’s probably more accurate to say that everbody progresses at different rates in life and hockey is not excluded from this reality, is it?

            There are many factors that have to be taken into account before graduation day but to suggest everyone must stay is a blanket too big for reality.

            If they can play with the big boys why not let them earn pay instead of making them bus it with guys that are never going to make it?

            Both PK and Eller have proven their abilities in spades I’d say. But, if they are traded for crap this year, I guess your apprenticeship view of things has merit. We’ll see.

            However, to suggest that individuals be held back specifically for the purpose of building organizational depth… Could one be sued for that act? Perhaps not but it seems pretty unfair to this hockey dad.

            Taberwitt

      • DorvalTony says:

        Everybody’s different, never say never. Beaulieu Gallagher and Bournival looked awfully good in the pre season.

        http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/player/Larry-Robinson.

        • powdered toastmann says:

          Gotta agree with you that everyone is different. That said, we still have to be very careful. I think the majority of young guys are probably quite fragile (confidence wise) and given the big gap between the minors and the NHL, if not ready and they’re thrown into the mix prematurely, the after-affects (ie ruination of a promising young player) can be devastating.

          I guess I’m thinking more, in particular of Tinordi for example…he’s got the pedigree and tools to be a dominating/intimidating yet reasonably skilled presence. Too much to lose if he’s not ready. i.e. get’s roughed up by an established goon, or get’s schooled (made to look foolish) by a skilled forward a number of times…crowd gets on him… all this before he’s ready to fully compete at this level.

          The wait will be worth it.

  13. habs178 says:

    Well said habsonly… Well said.

  14. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    I agree with Boone’s untouchables, but I would add Max Paccioretty to that list. Fans want a Clarkson or Backes? The Habs have a similar player in Patches.

    … remember when BG traded Rivet for Gorges and a 2nd rounder… ahh… perhaps trading Gill can reap similar rewards? Ahhh, who I am kidding.

    Apparently Minnesota’s Zidlicky is on the market… any interest?

    _______________________________
    Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

  15. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Hard enough winning the way we’re playing but what did we do to p*ss the referee off? Cunneyworth should have thrown some sticks and got the fine since he’s probably going to get slapped for saying what he did. Which was only the truth, after all.

  16. aj says:

    As of Now, we – the fans of the Montreal Canadiens are going to wait for the next 4 months for a good solid draft pick. The trade deadline is 4 weeks away. The curent incompetent GM is still acting like he’s doing a good job. But his time is up! I agree with some people here that Geoff Molson have to fire this guy right now.

    If this team will get THE RIGHT trades, draft picks, contract signings, this is the time the Management has to be overhauled. It starts with…..

    • G-Man says:

      Whoopee! A draft pick that will probably be 2 or 3 seasons away from playing in the NHL.
      Too many players having their worst season ever. Next season can’t help but be better.


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