About last night …

In his postgame press conference, Randy Cunneyworth said Bell Centre fans had been treated to “an exciting night, a good battle between two good teams.”
What game was the Canadiens coach watching?

OK, let’s cut him some clack.

Cunneyworth is a good guy who was handed an impossible job and has handled it with grace, dignity and good humour.

And for all the losses the Canadiens have sustained on home ice this season, it would be churlish to point out that a win – a rare shootout W at that – was something less than a classic for the must-have DVD collection.

Long stretches of the game were stultifyingly boring.

But it was fun any time the Two and a Half Men line were on the ice. And Erik Cole celebrating his 27th goal by high-fiving referee Greg Kimmerly will make every sports telecast highlight reel in the civilized world.

Carey Price made some terrific saves in regulation, then stoned the Senators – including Daniel F. Alfredsson, who was 5/5 in previous efforts – in the shootout.

An emergency call-up when Tomas Kaberle was attending the birth of his new son in Toronto, Frédéric St. Denis paired with Chris Campoli and was barely noticeabale … which is a good thing for a defenceman.

Andrei Markov played almost 18 minutes – up from 17 in Vancouver and Buffalo – and had a solid night paired with Yannick Weber, of all people.

In the duel of the D studs, Erik Karlsson scored his 19th goal. But P.K. Subban played almost 29 minutes, fired the point blast that David Desharnais redirected for the Canadiens’ second goal, skated about 1,000 miles and dished out three hits.

Karlsson probably will win the Norris Trophy. P.K. won’t, but he wasn’t outshone by the Senators’ young star.

The Canadiens have three wins in their four games against Ottawa this season. Subban and his teammates match up well against Karlsson and the Senators. The Canadiens do a decent job of containing Ottawa’s most dangerous scorers: Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Karlsson, who had been held to one measly assist in the three previous games.

And despite Chris Neil, who has been a burr in bleu-blanc-rouge britches for years, the Canadiens held their own in the physical aspects of the game – holding being the operative verb for Petteri Nokelainen’s tussle with Hulking Jared Cowen.

In the absence of Alexei Emelin – who picked up a shoulder knack in Buffalo that isn’t serious – the Canadiens still managed to outhit the Senators 22-17. Brad Staubitz had four of those hits in his 5:10 of ice time as neither Cunneyworth nor Paul MacLean made much use of fourth-liners.

Tomas Plekanec arrived at the Bell Centre too late to join the warmup. The Canadiens said he was detained by personal business, and I hope for Pleks’s sake it was psychotherapy.

It’s too late to do anything this season, but the Canadiens have to get Plekanec a couple wingers who can play. Rene Bourque is an enigma, Ryan White is a third- or, more likely, fourth-line plugger. Neither winger has the skill set to complement Plekanec.

A healthy Brian Gionta would be one part of the puzzle. I don’t know about the other wing. It will depend on who’s back at training camp.

Lars Eller also could use some scoring wingers and may eventually develop some chemistry with fellow ingenues Louis Leblanc and Blake Geoffrion. At least Eller has the size and reach to control the puck in the offensive zone and take some time to look for open linemates.

With Plekanec, it’s more of a speed game. Pleks needs quick-thinking players with whom he’s in synch, as has been the case in the past with Alex Kovalev, Andrei Kostitsyn and Mike Cammalleri.

These are issues that can wait until training camp.

For now, the Canadiens are complicating other team’s postseason aspirations – the loss left Ottawa two points ahead of Washington in seventh place, and the Capitals have a game in hand – and playing to be part of the solution, as opposed to part of the problem, when the season’s ledger is tallied up.

We know who the good players are, and they all showed up against Ottawa.

Carey Price got a needed confidence boost from his perfect performance in the shootout.

With 11 games left, Erik Cole has topped the 26 goals he scored last season in Carolina.

Playing what is essentially a pre-season, Markov is displaying flashes – tape-to-tape passing, power-play creativity – of what he was before that horrifying series of injuries.

And yes, 21,273 fans held their breath when he was hit in the face by a shot. But Markov came back – as will this team next season.


  1. Mattyleg says:

    Morning everyone!
    Fun game last night. Don’t know what Bonne is jabbering on about… there were some down moments, but there were some great bits.
    Perhaps he should take up watching basketball. Plenty of action there. Non-stop, some might say. End-to-end. Incessant scoring. So much so, some might say, that it becomes meaningless, and it’s like watching a small dog chase a ball back and forth. Hilarious for about 3 minutes, and then just annoying.

    But I digress.

    Great game, awesome to see Cole still bangin’ them in, and the top line looking as great as any in the league. Pity we can’t get another line and a half together to support it, but that, I hope, will come.

    Bourque actually showed moments of life out there last night, but he seems determined to telegraph all his shots so much that the opposition end up getting their sticks in front of them. Every time.

    Feelin’ good, and looking forward to kicking the Sens butts on Friday, and finishing up with some roast Buffalo on Saturday.

    I’ve been saaaaved!!
    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Cal says:

      Geez, someone here actually posting that he’s not upset that the Habs won? I must be at the wrong site. HIO has become the Twilight Zone.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Im usually with you Matty, but as an American/Canadian Hybrid I take issue with your basketball comparison.

      March Madness starts today, and there are few sporting events as fun or as compelling. Dozens of games over a matter of days played by a bunch kids that leave their heart on the floor, is one of the last bastions of true Cinderellas.

      It is right there with NHL Playoffs, World Cup Soccer, and International Hockey as the elite spectacles in all of sports, and I’ll defend it to the end.

      Unless you were talking about NBA. In which case yeah that died with Jordan’s retirement.

      • HabsFan1111 says:

        I was thouroughly enjoying (and agreeing with) your post until you dropped the World Cup Soccer bomb?!?

        While I can appreciate the tremendous skill and stamina World Cup soccer players possess, as well as the sense of pride fealt by Countrymen and women of the teams competing, Soccer simply cannot be compared with playoff/international hockey nor March madness. They spend 95% of the game passing the ball around and taking dives in the box until someone gets away with an offside or dive in the box to score, not to mention, championships can be awarded by shootout! (which is the only thing that needs to be removed from international hockey imo)

        Regardless, good post and enjoy the Madness!

  2. 44har48 says:

    I must say, I really wish these guys would play hard and other teams could take us out. I hope we lose every game from here on out, but I do not hope we try to lose, we must play hard and be professional, show our pride. On this point, I think I am mislead that we get to pick top 3 if we finish in the bottom 3. Is there a lottery in Hockey like Basketball? How does it work? I ask becuase I can see us finishing in the bottom 3 and picking 8th…just been that kind of year.

    And on that note, I have to once again say how much of a treat it is to watch the Cole line come to work. They are a treat to watch with all this nonsense going on this year, and I can’t wait until these character guys are leading us in the playoffs soon.

  3. Blouin says:

    Ever the wordsmith, Boone. I’m going to find a way to work “stultifyingly” into this report I’m writing for the gov.

  4. HabsFansince49 says:

    Many people here get on Lars Eller’s case. What do you expect from a young player who never knows from game to game what position he is playing and more importantly with whom he is playing. He seemed to have some chemistry with AK46 but the brass in their infinite wisdom shipped him out. I hope Lars gets traded for his sake. Otherwise Montreal will do what Montreal does best in recent years – destroy him.

  5. boing007 says:

    Mr. Boone: Caps are four points behind the Senators, not two.

    Richard R

  6. Marcusman says:

    So I guess our magic number is 6….any combo of Mtl loses and Washington wins…leaves us out of the playoff.

    Next year can’t happen soon enough, I’ve watched 65 of the games this year. 6 more home wins, 6 overtime wins, or 6 HELD leads has us playing in spring.

    With a solid goalie and people scoring at the right time….who knows how far we could of gone.

  7. novahab says:

    I don’t know what game you watch Boone but Campoli played one of his best games and St.Denis looked good too. Then again you are owned by the Toronto media lock,stock and barrel. I choose Subban over any d-man in the league just because he exciting and fun to watch. He will also get better and better if the Toronto media don’t run him out of town. Who came up with the line name 2 and half men ,what a digrace to call that line. That not a ine name, that a shot at DD by the Toronto media. Sounds like something Don Cherry would come up with. Lastly the Toronto media think the Leafs still have a shot, but the Habs one point behind was gone a long time ago. One thing about the Toronto media ,it’s ether cheap drugs or they are just plain stupid.

  8. HabsFansince49 says:

    Thanks to Gomez and Kaberle, we won because they did not play.

  9. HardHabits says:

    Best chance for the Habs to draft (apart from the league wide lottery after the lock-out) in the top 5 since 1980 and they are intent on messing that up.

    As others have noted, these are garbage time wins. They are meaningless and do not carry over into next season the way unused sick days in one year can be converted to holidays in the next.

    It’s all fine and dandy to win games when they are meaningless. It’s a much different thing to win games when they matter, something the Habs have been hard pressed to do all season.

    Dysfunctional. Mismanaged. Inept.

    Montreal Canadiens = No ride can mean last

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Perhaps the organization should refuse to sharpen the players skates?

      • HardHabits says:

        I am more disappointed that other teams are incapable of putting us out of our misery. If anything Ottawa looked like a team that will not win their first round of the play-offs, if they make them.

        • boing007 says:

          Maybe the Sens aren’t as good as they look in the standings? Maybe most of the other teams are pretty much equal. Maybe Parity breeds Mediocrity.

          Richard R

      • Cal says:

        He’s pissed when they win and pissed when they lose. What can I say, but it’s yet another pissy post by tank commander HH.

        • RetroMikey says:

          And you’re pissed because HH makes sense and you can;t handle the truth!

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

          • Cal says:

            No. I do not take joy in the Habs losing like you and others do because you do not happen to be managing the club. From reading your previous posts, you don’t like the team, anyway, so why do you waste your time? Follow your beloved Gooins.

    • RetroMikey says:

      I hear you HH.
      The team needs to tank! Tank I say! Tank!
      Too many Habs fans on this site do not understand that we need to do tank big time!
      They are raving and wishing we topple the Maple Laffs but they will have the last laugh if they end up in the bottom with a top 3 pick and we end up out of the lottery with these useless meaningless games!
      If we don;t get a top 3 draft pick come spring, that tells you that management is so dysfunctional, and fans will one day see the light and say we should have tanked instead of winning.
      Sometime these fans don;t understand that hockey is a business not a sport anymore like the old days and to succeed in business you have to give little to gain bigger.

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

      • boing007 says:

        Maybe they are trying to tank but the other teams won’t let them.
        Reverse strategy.

        Richard R

        • HardHabits says:

          Or the league. Notice how the officiating isn’t an issue now that the Habs are out of it.

          • Coach K says:

            Officiating isn’t an issue? When did that change? lol!
            Calls involving stick fouls have improved but picks and interference plays are running rampant throughout the league. They tried to clean it up after the lockout but have since regressed. That’s one tactic taught by Claude Julien that helped the Bruins win last year.

            Here’s just one example in last night’s game… how does Markov get called for goaltender interference when he’s chasing the puck and runs into Bishop who was at least 5 feet outside of his crease at the time? I have no problem with the call if Bishop is at the top of his crease and trying to do his job. But Markov didn’t interfere with Bishop’s ability to do his job and in this case, Bishop actually took away Markov’s lane to the puck – which by that time, had squirted off to the corner. The “classic” definition of interference stipulates that no player can take away another player’s lane to the puck without first contesting it. The rules are written to actually encourage such a contest/battle. I’m not whining about how the Habs are treated by the officials (that’s just an excuse) but I’d have to say my fellow HIO poster, that questionable officiating is sadly still an issue.

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

      • RetroMikey says:

        I love my Habs but I DO NOT like the team we have assembled in the past 3 years, too many smurfs, a very old bunch of DMen we had, no physical edge, and old “firewagon hockey” that BG wanted to employ was a recipe for disaster. This is the NEW NHL hockey where big is better and sorry to disappoint you but Goon hockey is here to stay and those Gooins wil be going to the playoffs for years to come while we won’t for awhile unless a major overhaul is performed on our club. Better get used to it, we ain’t going anywhere far with this club, time to rebuild and not retool.

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

        • ZepFan2 says:

          “I love my Habs”

          Umm, I beg to differ. If what you post about the Habs is supposed to be “love”, then I pity your GF’s.

          “You cannot petition the lord with prayer!” – James Douglas Morrison

          The Soft Parade

  10. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Cole high fiving the ref following his goal was one of the stangest and funniest things I’ve ever seen in a hockey game. Gotta love it!

  11. HabFanSince72 says:

    It seems a lot of us believe that next year will be better.

    Plex will get good wingers like Gionta and someone else (never mind that he had Gionta and Cammalleri and that line was impotent).

    We’ll have a new coach (oh yeah – who?).

    There won’t be as many injuries (maybe there will be more).

    I’d say unless there is a major shakeup to this team (or a lockout) we are headed for more of the same in 2012-2013.

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

    • slychard says:

      I see your a glass half full (of vinegar) type.

      Kiss my hAbSS!!!

    • Chris says:

      Given the sheer number of injuries this team has suffered almost annually in the past decade (with the notable exception of 2007-08), I’m with you…planning on less injuries with this roster is probably wishful thinking.

      Plekanec has shown he can bounce back from bad seasons before, but he needs a good season next year or it is time to pull the plug. He has now had two stinkers out of four seasons….that’s not the mark of a consistent #1 centre in the NHL, I am afraid.

      • TomNickle says:

        The team seems to go to the extreme with him. With Cammalleri and Gionta that line could only be expected to be dangerous offensively on the rush. Now he gets Bourque and White and the theory must be that they’ll be able to sustain offensive zone possession time and create opportunities off of a cycle game.

        Why not try Palushaj with Plekanec and Bourque? Or Leblanc? Having Ryan White in that spot is a Jacques Martin-like mismanagement of personnel.

      • TomNickle says:

        If you’re in a position to draft Grigorenko do you give Plekanec another year? I don’t think I would.

      • The Cat says:

        It is wishful thinking. It goes with they type of players: the less resistant they are, they tend to play mostly in games that dont matter as much.

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

    • TomNickle says:

      I think the even strength scoring and puck possession abilities of this group have improved greatly since Jacques Martin’s days as coach. If I have an area of concern with this team moving forward it’s that the organizational philosophy regarding defensemen seems to be that they need to be well above average puck moving types. It doesn’t seem like there’s much thought given to guys like Barrett Jackman or Brad Stuart. Either one of those two players would help our team’s defense group immensely.

      This team is very dangerous with a healthy Markov and Subban able to eat up twenty minutes each in a game. Markov, Subban, Gorges and Emelin should have spots locked up on next season’s roster. Adding a couple of physical players back there would help.

      At forward, it’s really anyone’s guess as to what the group will look like next season. I will say that I believe that should the opportunity present itself for this team to draft Grigorenko, that Plekanec is on borrowed time as a Hab.

    • The Cat says:

      Its tough to say. We cant be hypocritical and lambaste teams that play well and win when theyre out of the playoff picture and the games dont count for much, and then hold the opposite view for the habs.

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

    • HabsFansince49 says:

      It can only get better if Gauthier is gone and Gainey not allowed near the team.

  12. Fool of Chu says:

    What I really like about Cole is he seems to always have kind of a positive attitude. He signed a rich contract, he performs in a more than adequate fashion. Yet this is a disappointing season, considering the aspirations we all had when we entered the year. But he keeps on rolling and rolling.

    BTW: I spent some time last night watching videos of Andrei Kostitsyn. He should be a skilled beast, but I believe he simply doesn’t realize what an enormous amount of talent and leg strength he has.

  13. twilighthours says:

    As dynamic as Karlsson is, I wouldn’t deal PK for him straight up. PK brings a much better all-around game. Karlsson’s game has lots of holes and I think we’ll get them showcased come playoff time.

    • Chris says:

      Given that Erik Karlsson is 1 year younger than P.K. Subban, I would say that Karlsson needs a bit more time to make the call. Like you, I think Subban is a better fit for the Habs, as they need a bigger guy who can handle some physical play, glaring weaknesses in Karlsson’s game. But Karlsson, for my money, is hands down a better offensive player than Subban: he is a better skater, better passer and he makes better decisions.

  14. The Cat says:

    I like St-Denis, I dont know why hes not on the habs instead of Weber or Diaz.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Cat, I was thinking the same thing. He battles for pucks and in the two games I’ve seen him play he’s been pretty solid. I wonder what the knock on him is?

    • neumann103 says:

      I would say that I am significantly more positive on Weber and somewhat more positive on Diaz than the average HIO poster, but St. Denis was the standout “should have made the team” player of the incredibly crappy pre-season.

      If I were the Habs, at this point in the lost season I would have St Denis on the big team even without any injuries. I don’t believe in tanking intentionally but there is no dishonour in using the last 20% of a doomed season to evaluate and get experience for the youngsters when a regular lineup has not got the job done.

      In general the whole area of slightly undersized, not particularly physical, offensively talented, young and cheap defensemen is a roster strength of the Habs org. I don’t understand the desire of people to cut these assets but it would make sense to try and move one for a similar level prospect that fits a hole on the Habs.

      While it is popular to bash Brian Burke here, the NHL needs a little more openness to deals like the recent Leafs/Lightning swap of Keith Aulie and Carter Ashton. I don’t know enough about both players have a sense of who “won” that trade but it struck me as exchanging similar level prospects based on perceived specific roster needs. For the kids in the room, this used to happen much more frequently in the NHL.

      “Et le but!”

    • Marcusman says:

      He’s from Greenfield Park to boot! I think he’s the stay at home defense-man we need.

    • Coach K says:

      St. Denis based on last night, has to improve the speed of his decision making. His skating and puck handling wasn’t bad but there were a number of times last night where game looked like it was just a bit too fast for him at the NHL level. He may just need more time at this level with a consistent partner to get up to speed.

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

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Watching TSN’s updates from the GM’s meetings can’t help but notice there is one GM not to be seen in any of the clips. Does PG know they are having meetings, or was he not invited.

  16. Cal says:

    Despite the latest little win streak, the Habs remain in 28th place. The most likely scenario is anywhere from a 25th to 28th place finish, so why worry about it?
    If the Habs can play some entertaining hockey and Markov is fit for next season, all will be well. Until, of course, one realizes that Fear and Butthead will do their very best to derail next season. Enjoy the playoffs, everyone, because it’s likely the next season of NHL hockey will commence next January, if at all.

  17. AllHailTheFlower says:

    As noted by Gord Miller, Eller and Karlsson seemed to be holding a lengthy, yet fantastically polite, discourse while serving their minor penalties. I wonder what a Dane and a Swede discuss when they get together…

  18. Un Canadien errant says:

    This has been a tough couple of days for this Canadiens fan, as he watches his other favourite team, the San Diego Chargers, being dismantled by salary cap pressures. The shuffling of players in and out with no consideration for the fans’ attachment for players they have grown to know and love over the seasons is one of the facets of the league that makes the NFL really tough to love sometimes.

    The NHL isn’t immune to those issues, although it is an order of magnitude removed in severity. A team can hold on to its most important players and create a core, then tweak the roster with peripheral additions over many seasons.

    The Canadiens used to have unparalleled organizational depth and stability, which slowly eroded during the Irving Grundman years, solidified during the reign of Serge Savard, and then collapsed under the cursed touch of Réjean Houle, or very own version of an anti-Midas. We thought that the Bob Gainey-Guy Carbonneau régime would set the ship on the right course, and the last two seasons’ results during the playoffs seemed to indicate smoother sailing ahead.

    Which brings us to this season. The Canadiens seem almost bipolar, capable of good to great performances, with outstanding athletes leading the way, or of putrid outings where half the roster doesn’t seem NHL-worthy.

    This victory against Ottawa was another illustration of what this team can be capable of. The number one line flies up and down the ice, constantly threatening to score, and never stinting on effort. Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban were a study in complementary tandems, with Mr. Gorges sacrificing his body to block shots and kill penalties, while P.K. is an exhilarating offensive force, who is strong and fast on his skates and protects the puck well, and used a nice wrist shot to set up David Desharnais’ deflection on the second goal. Andrei Markov had a more discreet game than his first two, with no gems on offence or clunkers on defence, but with every outing will solidify our confidence that he will reclaim his #1 spot on the defence depth chart, and push everyone else a rung down, closer to where they belong. Carey Price was the solid, confidence-inspiring goalie who will anchor our team for the next decade.

    The rest of the roster is riddled with question marks. We can choose to believe that this was a one-off, a blip of a season which will be rectified by next season, with one or two shrewd free-agent acquisitions and the return to health of Brian Gionta, Travis Moen and Mathieu Darche. Some of the low-performers on this team will be counted on to round out the roster however, and to plug holes when injuries strike. Hamilton will not necessarily be of more help than it was this season, we will have an influx of young players there who are all at least another season away from being able to contribute.

    Does Tomas Plekanec return to form next year, with better linemates and a clean slate? Does René Bourque produce the expected streaky 25 goals, along with his good work on penalty killing duty? Do Lars Eller and Louis Leblanc continue their progression and become strong, regular contributors? Does Alexei Emelin continue to develop as a second pairing defenceman who hits like a train and shows some nascent offensive skill? Does either Yannick Weber or Raphaël Diaz or both become effective NHL defencemen after a difficult baptism by fire, if their responsibilities are reduced appropriately?

    These questions are important in that in following the team so closely this year it is impossible to not become attached to these guys and want the best for them. I want them to develop together, individually and as a team. I don’t want a shakeup and a blowup for the sake of change, with a whole slew of new faces, some tarnished by having worn the wrong uniforms. I want at least some of the boys who come to Hamilton next season to be in our organization for their whole career, and to seep into the roster and absorb the culture and pass it on to the next generation. I want a team. I don’t want to, as Jerry Seinfeld put it, just cheer the laundry, cheer the uniform and not care who is inside the jersey, who wears it and how they do it.

    The Chargers on Monday cut Marcus McNeill, a left tackle of immense proportions, talent and promise, because he is suffering from spinal column and spinal cord issues he incurred at least partly while playing for them. It was a heartless, ridiculous move that is completely sensible and rational according to NFL rules. The fact that he has a ‘contract’ is of no import. He is now a liability, and must be removed from the roster. If possible, he will be re-signed for a lower amount, and even less guarantees on his salary. Somehow that’s not wrong. We’re not supposed to care that we cheered for this guy for years, that he played at a Pro Bowl level for our team at the risk of his health and maybe even his life. We’ll applaud the next guy plugged in his spot.

    I want the revolving door on the Canadiens to stop. I don’t want Carey Price to do his lunging pokecheck on another team. I want David Desharnais to continue to grow as a player in our uniform, not for him to be traded while his value is high. I want Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec to retire as Canadiens. I know it is, but is it really too much to ask?

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …We are both sentimentalists at heart, Normand, it seems
      …We are of common empathy regarding Our affections for those in the Sweater, as well as the Sweater itself
      …realistically, much harder to realize today Our Players remaining a full career than when I was a young Fan
      …but, even at that time I too struggled at the cold harsh realities when I saw My personal all-time Hero, Jacques Plante, traded, and Gawd-forbid, actually endured watching My boyhood Hero sacrilegiously wear a Toronto MuppleWeed sweater …sacre bleu !!!
      …You can NEVER imagine My grief 🙂
      …MORTIFIED !
      …y at-il un mot dans equivilent Normand français ? …si il ya, alors que c’était moi
      …later Doug Harvey, Larry Robinson, Guy Lafleur, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, and on and on 🙁
      …very painful indeed
      …but I agree, I want these present day Habs to grow and win together and become and ‘stay’ Us …rather than new carpetbaggers continuously comin’ & goin’
      …regarding PK Subban …very satisfied witnessing Your belated epiphany of the substance of M. Subban Normand 🙂 …very satisfied, indeed

      HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song: Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        HiS, I know you objected to my strong critiques of P.K. earlier on this season, but my observations were based in fact. If you go back to my earlier posts, you’ll find I was commenting on behaviour, not his personality or his ‘attitude’. This is a central tenet of people management, that you don’t try to change someone, you try to get them to show the appropriate behaviours. P.K. has now curtailed his reckless offensive incursions at the wrong moment, his attempts at instigation followed by a dive and a turtle, and his attempts to be the tough guy when he has bigger fish to fry. He’s now concentrating on hockey, making the safe play more often than not, and showing creativity on offence, dekeing the shot blockers and varying his shot selection instead of always reaching for the driver. With these behaviours on display, he’s up for employee of the month very soon.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • Bertuzzi says:

      Well said.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      A nice read, and the NFL truly is still a business first league. However, the very ways of that league that take away some of our favourite players also allows that league to have its teams rid itself of problem childs as well. I am happy that in the NFL Terrell Owens, Randy Moss types must continue to perform in order to attain a paycheque.

    • slychard says:

      All valid points but the NFL would have an out for a Gomez type player while the NHL makes us eat his contract. There should be a way other then burying a player in the AHL or the buy-out that leaves a stain on the cap for years.

      Kiss my hAbSS!!!

      • ffenliv says:

        The reason there isn’t is to avoid rich teams signing UFAs to big contracts, and then just getting rid of them when they don’t work out. There has to be harsh punishment of some kind for failure to manage assets and cap space well.

        What I hate is what happened to Chicago post-cup. That team got taken right apart.

    • neumann103 says:


      The NFL non-guaranteed contract rules are a disgrace. And every time I see some dupe portraying NHL CBA terms as between “greedy, no-heart” players and (implied) magnanimous wonderful NHL owners I want to vomit.

      On the questions.

      Does Tomas Plekanec return to form next year, with better linemates and a clean slate? Absolutely, unless they don’t give him any wingers and he again just sucks it up accepting any thankless role dumped on him.

      Does René Bourque produce the expected streaky 25 goals, along with his good work on penalty killing duty? Sadly, I just don’t see it.

      Do Lars Eller and Louis Leblanc continue their progression and become strong, regular contributors? Yes and Maybe. Leblanc probably benefits more from playing 1st line minutes in Hamilton (on a much more talented team next year), than being shoehorned into third-and-a-half line minutes in unnatural positions on the Habs. Arguably the same could have probably been said of Lars Eller a year and a half ago, and was said of MaxPac and DD before that.

      Does Alexei Emelin continue to develop as a second pairing defenceman who hits like a train and shows some nascent offensive skill? A big yes.

      Does either Yannick Weber or Raphaël Diaz or both become effective NHL defencemen after a difficult baptism by fire, if their responsibilities are reduced appropriately? Yes but at most one of them will be with the Habs. I have a feeling that Weber will be the guy they let go for nothing and will later regret as he becomes a #4/5 plus Powerplay guy on another team. I don’t argue thatthey should keep both guys, but at least tryand get some equivalent prospect in return who fills a niche (size on the blue line, potential 2nd/3rd line winger with some scoring touch etc)

      “Et le but!”

  19. Stev.R says:

    Galchenyuk played his first game tonight. Reports say he took very short shifts but his skating looked smooth. Good sign that he has healed properly. Most reports have him ranked about 5th. Depending on how he looks during the playoffs, he may go even higher than that.
    Sick skills: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcekDhyzUwY

  20. The Dude says:

    Glad the good guys won but all this rah rah bs is too much….the Sens will come out swinging next game,they need play-off points! And their rookie goalie who just started playing NHL is a non scoring team dream!I’m not buying ANY OF IT! BUT IF IT MAKE’S YOU BOYS AND GALS FEEL BETTER…fill you boots,Go Habs Go eh.

  21. Marc10 says:

    Quick thoughts:

    Happy for Price…
    Sad for our draft prospects…

    No Pleks, No Yemmy, No Kabs – No problem!

    Agree with Boone. We either need to find wingers for Pleks. Most definitely need a Top 6 forward this Summer to replace AK46 (and Cams…)

    That Karlsson kid sure can play D. I’d give him the Norris. Wow!

    Good job by St Denis. I liked him when he was first called up… still like him now.

  22. JayK-47 says:

    These guys have been playing some of the best hockey in a decade starting from that Ott game post Christmas. They’ve been aggressive, sticking up for each other, and even Pleks seemed a little more relaxed tonight. With Staubitz giving them some jam, Markov back to QB , and Gionta returning next year to pitch in his 30 goals… I think it’s gonna be fun season to watch. Hell, even Eller was ready to drop his gloves tonight and earn his guns. I wander what the UFAs think of this team?

  23. Bobo23 says:

    I must say I really, really enjoyed seeing the Habs in the white jerseys at home again.

    If they dare to ever reintroduce a third jersey, I say it be the red uniform sans names.

    • calvee123 says:

      I really wish they could go back to that White home and Red road. It seemed like they were way more prowness on the Road with their Dark Red jerseys! I would imagine it is way easier to notice a dark red jersey compared to a white one when playing on the road. I can’t wait to go back to that color scheme.

  24. calvee123 says:

    Whats with the Canadiens winning all of a sudden anyway? Don’t they know they got to start losing more than they win? It is hurting their chances if they climb in the standings for the better pick in the up coming draft. I could see this in December. I told my wife, they got to win the odd one just so it don’t look like they are mailling it in! And for the most part they were, but now is the wrong time to win…..

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …do You respectfully, seriously believe ANY of Our Players or Coaches gives 2 figs whether We pick first or 30th in July ? …They ONLY are concerned with Their own resumes and pride, which is as it should be
      …We never want Our Players or Coaches to think like losers
      …but, on the ‘business-side’ which is Pierre Gauthier’s and Geoff Molson’s domains …They are the Ones whom must go to Randy Cunneyworth with a dictum explaining We need to ‘evaluate’ Our lesser Players, give Them more ice time, and diminish the TOI of the PKs, Prices, Gorges, Coles, Patches, DDs and Markovs on the Team
      …that is the ONLY way You will stop this Team winning these counter-productive games
      HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song: Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

      • calvee123 says:

        Well you got a point about If “I respectfully believe any player or coach where the team picks i the next draft”, I never thought to look at it from their perspective. One might think it may cross their minds because they would like some new talent and help, but I agree, they most likely give a rats ass where the team picks from. Its all pride. I know in my own work, if i did some poor work, I like to do better, so I can see this in the Les Boys.

  25. deuce6 says:

    Price had more saves and stoned the Sens in the SO, but Bishop gets player of the game on TSN? I get it, Price makes everything look easy, but he really doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for spectacular performances..That toe save on the wrap around by Turris was the save of the game..


    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      I know. All because of his slide across the crease that he didn’t even have to do because Desharnais didn’t even lift the puck let alone aim at the side of the net.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        It was disappointing that David didn’t cash in that pass, as opposed to the poise he showed in Buffalo, when he took a half-second to settle the puck, cradle it and roof it, instead of jamming it into the pad like he did tonight. The pass from Max skittered a little, and they were flying at full speed, so it’s hard to be perfect on a bang-bang play, but I had given him kudos for being so adept last game, I’m a little disappointed he didn’t do the same this time. I’m probably expecting too much.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  26. rogieshan says:

    I will cry if the Leafs continue to lose and somehow end up with Yakupov.

  27. HardHabits says:

    It is looking more and more likely that the Habs will be drafting closer to 10th than to 1st this summer.

  28. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …agree with Your thoughts re PK vs Karlsson, but ‘Long stretches of the game were stultifyingly boring’ ???
    …this, IF We were not losing 3rd choice in the July Draft, and this game had any competitive meaning, was for Me a thoroughly fun and entertaining game
    …maybe not a classic …but I don’t remember many ‘stultifying boring’ moments
    …all in the eye of the beholder I guess

    HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song: Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  29. naweed235 says:

    anybody else think St-Denis actually looked pretty solid out there?

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …only noticed glimpses of Him tonight, but definitely St. Denis was part of the best comprehensive (offensive/defensive) Habs’ D I watched this season
      …PK, Gorges, Emelin, Diaz, Weber, St. Denis (and a 7th I can’t remember His name at the moment), for that 4 or 5 game stretch that St. Denis was up earlier this season, until He was returned to the Bulldogs when Gill returned from injury, was the best D group this season
      …of course, seeing how Markov is playing now, I would switch St. Denis for Markov in a heartbeat

      HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song: Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  30. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …for Your erudition, whether Y’all want to be erudite, or not …Galchenyuk is NOT Russian …but is Belarusian
    …be forewarned 🙂

    HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song: Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  31. Castor says:

    I love Pleks. But I fear that the emergence of DD has make him expendable. Simply because we now have a really small center and an average sized center (Eller) and we need a big one for our second line. Added to which we can probably get something decent for Pleks (+ maybe a pick or prospect or Webber) and we can pay DD much less.
    It’s unfortunate but it’s also the truth.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Eller has work to do if he is to be their no. 2. He hasn’t impressed me lately

    • calvee123 says:

      My reply to your coment Castor”Added to which we can probably get something decent for Pleks (+ maybe a pick or prospect or Webber) and we can pay DD much less.”.
      I wish I could believe we could get something for Plecks. But really when it comes down to trading, the Montreal Canadiens have been the worst team when it comes to trading after they got the draft pick to get Guy Lafleur! Seems like they get nothings for somethings whom all leave the Habitant and go on to get their careers on track…. It seems like the Canadiens have had thier day, many, many years ago, and will need something to break this cycle of very good players who burn out here and leave. It must feel like a building the size of the Bell Centre is lifted off their shoulders. Man I wish it wern’t so, but it seems like it! I know there has been some good trades, but nothing substantial we can all rave about. Maybe I’m off base, but thats what I see and feel.

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