About last night …

I’m sick already of the whole torch shtick Bell Centre fans will have to endure before each Canadiens home game.
But a torch was passed during that invigorating 4-1 conquest of the Florida Panthers.
Wearing number 27 for the visitors: Alex Kovalev, who turns 40 on Feb. 24.
Wearing 27 for the home side: Alex Galchenyuk, who will be 19 on Feb. 12.
Two Russians named Alex – one in the twilight – and perhaps beyond – of a great NHL career, the other just getting started.

Some good and great hockey players have worn jersey number 27 for your Montreal Canadiens.

Kovy, of course. And he gave Montreal hockey fans some great seasons.

Also Frank Mahovlich, Rick Chartraw, Shayne Corson, Mathieu Schneider and, last season, Rene Bourque.

I’m not going to suggest that Galchenyuk is going to make us forget them all.

(But even after only two games and one goal, the kid is looking better than Mariusz Czerkawski.)

But as I’ve said since the days leading up to the June draft, this kid has a chance to be a special player.

It’s been a while since the Bell Centre was as loud as the raucous celebration of Galchenyuk’s first goal. And the kid, who has a flair for the dramtic, pumped up the volume by leaping into the glass.

Think Galchenyuk will try that patented Ovechkin move if he scores Thursday night in Washington?

Fans voted Galchenyuk the game’s First Star, but there were many heroes.

• Andrei Markov – who hadn’t scored in more than two years and looked old, frail and tentative against the Leafs in that horrendous season opener – scored twice. Both were power-play goals; and Markov has combined with Raphael Diaz to give the Canadiens a point presence that has transformed the PP … and maybe has P.K. Subban phoning Don Meehan first thing Wednesday morning.

• Carey Price has not yielded an even-strength goal through 120 minutes. The Panthers are not an offensive juggernaut; but as was the case against Toronto, Price was quick, agile and totally in control of his rebounds. The most important player on this team has started his season red-hot, and that augurs well.

• Brandon Prust babysat the kids and contributed on the penalty-kill and the power play. Prust had four hits, following three against Toronto. His grit and energy have endeared Prust to the Bell Centre crowd.

• Francis Bouillon played 23 minutes – only six seconds less than team-leading Markov – and was both a physical force and a calming presence on the Canadiens blueline.

• Michel Therrien made a gutsy move by sitting Lars Eller one game into the season. Neither Therrien nor general manager Marc Bergevin have to make the Jaro Halak trade look good, and the benching sent a clear message about the level of intensity Therrien 2-0 expects from his players.

Facing an early-season challenge – the Canadiens could ill afford to be 0-2 after a pair of games at home in a short season – Therrien wasn’t afraid to put two rookies on his third line and give them significant minutes, including PP time.

Do you think Jacques Martin would have played Galchenyuk and Gallagher … on a line with a guy who had 20 fights last season?

Not likely.

Therrien also had his troops prepared for a Florida team playing its third game in four nights and coming off a pasting in Ottawa. The Canadiens outhit the vistors 19-7 in the first period, took only one minor penalty, grabbed a 2-0 lead and set the tone for pretty much full-game domination.

Washington will present a greater challenge. Their number 27 is Karl Alzner, but I’d keep an eye on 8.


  1. habs-hampton says:

    Its easy to forget, because we won, but the officating was AWFUL!!. I know the refs are rusty too after 8-9 months off, but that was a really bad job, and I hope that crew gets reviewed.

    On a side not, can someone explain the White penalties? Is a 10-minutes misconduct automatic with the instigator? Why the Game misconduct as well. Is 17 minutes the norm when the opponent turtles?

  2. JF says:

    I love that some people are finally seeing that Raphael Diaz is good. I always stood up for him last year and got thoroughly sick of hearing him dismissed as “tiny” (which I think is insulting) or a “Swiss miss.” He’s a very good puck-moving defenceman, plays intelligently, and has a good and accurate shot.

    • mjames says:

      Agree – nice skill set.


    • Kooch7800 says:

      Diaz has a good skill set. I think the problem is when you have him on D and Weber and Kabrele. They all play a similar style. Diaz is a younger better version of the current Kabrele.

      They really need to move Weber. He doesn’t currently fit in with what the habs are up to and if PK signs he will be even further down the depth chart. There is call ups they can use in Hamilton in case of Injury

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • 123456 says:

        Agree 100% – but I’d be tempted to move Kabs before Weber

      • Cal says:

        Let’s see what Diaz does against a hitting team. Last season, he avoided the corners after December.
        I like the nice 1st pass, too, but there’s a physical side to being a Dman that he doesn’t have. (Kaberle and Weber included in the non-physical department)

      • Arrow77 says:

        Kaberle’s production last season was better than Diaz by quite a bit. I’d move Kaberle because of his salary but he’s probably our 3rd best offensive d-man still.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Love Diaz, hated the animosity towards him.

      But this is Montreal, and passion works both ways. Gotta take the good with the bad.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      The knock against Diaz was not that he couldn’t play a smart game. He was one of the better players at the start of the season last year.

      The knock against Diaz is that he dissappears when things get physical. It was mentioned above, we have too many defensmen like that already.

      Diaz, with a different set of defensemen, would be an asset.

  3. mjames says:

    I don’t consider putting your team down a man for five minutes a particularly astute move on White’s part. In terms of sending a message instead of signally out Eller how about Moen or White. IMO our team is a man down when those two are on the ice. Eller has brighter future than either of those two. Efforts should be made to develop Eller instead of using him as a message board.


  4. bwoar says:


    1) Gallagher stay in? If so, who stays out (Eller, or Erik Cole perhaps)?
    2) How much pressure will be on Desharnais this morning?
    3) Markov-Diaz: just a flash, or actually solid?
    4) Pursuant to #1 & #2 – where does Eller fit in, if Therrien wants him back in?


    • habs-hampton says:

      Seriously?? Cole?? That’s a one-way ticket to Anti-Chambre for MT… and I’d hold the door for him.

      • bwoar says:

        Admittedly, I have bone to pick with him.

        But I’m not sure how we can wait 10 games for him to get into shape, during a 48 game season. If he’d have spent more time skating than making hats, giving interviews complaining, and generally cheerleading Don Fehr, he might be ready to do his freakin’ job. He’s been terrible so far.


    • helluva habs fan says:

      1) Keep Gallagher in. Eller stays out for now, unless you put him on the 4th line. Cole? He looked like he was getting his legs going last night and I thought that line was doing its job. The goals will come.

      2) No more than usual.

      3) Too soon to tell. Diaz is a skilled puck handler and plays with poise. He needs to show that same poise when pressured physically.

      4) Eller is going to need to wait his turn if everyone else continues to play well and stays healthy. I don’t think he’ll be waiting long.

  5. Sportfan says:

    Last night was a great game, everything went the Habs way! Yes there were penalties, but come on was that actually tripping so the refs are at fault there and looks like Eller might not play for a while now if they keep up the good work. Oh and PK might want to make a deal soon, especially if they keep it up without him.

    Our next test the Capitals!


  6. commandant says:

    A view from Hamilton on the Bulldogs canning assistant Ron Wilson.


    I don’t know about Lefebvre coaching the forwards… think we need another assistant to help him.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  7. Rudy says:

    I really noticed Diaz last night, I don’t know if it is because Markov was doing his “komiserak” thing for him, or if he is just gradually getting confidence and raising his level of play.

  8. Ian Cobb says:

    I even liked the emotion behind our bench from our coaches when the referees thought they should also be part of the show!!

    Coaching looks good so far!

  9. HabFanSince72 says:

    People misconstrued what I said about Therrien.

    I didn’t say he was necessarily a bully, nor that Eller didn’t deserve to be benched.

    I was referring only to the thought process of the RDS crew (Michel Bergeron et al.) who said that Therrien had to send a message to the whole team and was clever to pick on Eller rather than Cole or Gionta, for the reasons I listed.

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

    • 123456 says:

      Totally agree – noone in the top 6 can be benched this early in the season. There is a lot of love for Eller on this site but I have yet to see his play excite me. Save for a four goal game he looks average to me.

      • nunacanadien says:

        But you must admit Therrien does look like he does spank Gionta and DD if they are bad boys….at least let’s enjoy these tiny tykes while we can. When the league starts fighting for a playoff spot at least we all know that Molson only wants first pick at the draft, so let’s lose one for Seth Jones…..Seth Jones boys, last year we almost got Yakupov and we all know just how impressive these oiler rookies are….one day they’ll actually win a cup. If only we still had the rookies that we had before but gave up for who? And then Molson in his bi-polarness will say No we have to win and he’ll trade Galy for a washed up player and have to buy out his contract too…so how many contracts have the habs bought out including coaches? Heck I think Molson owes the janitors as well…..anyone know if Molson has bought out the hot dog stand workers yet? Hey Molson there’s some ticket scalpers who also want to be bought out…..

    • Cal says:

      You sure Eller wasn’t being bullied? 😉

  10. Ron says:

    Lavoie tweeted there will be no hearing for White

    • shiram says:

      That’s good to hear.
      Still White should reign a little back on his pugilistic ways, he’s shown a willingness to drop the gloves and that’s fine, but he often starts fight without the other guy being aware or anything.

      • Rugger says:

        I think White did what we have almost all been hoping for – instant sticking up for transgressions against team mates. Even if he had been suspended it would have been worth it.

        • 123456 says:

          This is tough bceause:

          1) The habs do need players who will stand up for their teammates.

          2) But I hate when good clean HARD smacking checks are following by needless scrums.

          • commandant says:

            I thought that hit was from behind, and not a good clean hit.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • Cal says:

            Fleishman ran Gorges from behind. He deserved what he got, and more.

          • Mattyleg says:

            I agree completely.
            The hit on Gorges was from behind, and was dangerous.
            The only problem on the play was that the ref didn’t call the original penalty as severely as he should have.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • jmsheehy19 says:

            He ran Gorges from behind, and completely extended his body to do so. It was a dirty hit and we’re lucky Gorges wasn’t hurt.

            Though, normally I’m in complete agreement about the fight after a clean check thing. A weird aspect that has crept into the game.

          • 123456 says:

            i didn’t say this hit was clean – i am glade white stepped in. but in general almst every game has a good clean hit followed by crap.

            i like white but i was afraid armstrong/prust would replace him. now i am torn and fomr only two games (not enough time) armstrong looks like he is not needed.

      • helluva habs fan says:

        It was definately a step over the line and he’ll have to answer for it in Florida. A good old fashioned rag doll shake would have been the appropriate response.
        Still, part of me smiles at the thought of a team leaving Montreal beaten, battered and bloodied.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        Like the complete opposite of Laraque.

        Sounds like something Knuckles would do. Good on ya’ Whitey!

        Ka is a wheel.

        For Your Life

      • Cal says:

        White did EXACTLY the right thing. This should have happened after the Chara-Patches incident. No talking. Drop ’em and start wailing.

  11. lavie says:

    Any news from Meehan and Subban family? guess they were having an urgent meeting early Wednesday morning. 😉

  12. Ian Cobb says:

    Now, were we that good? or were the panthers that bad?

    We had to play against another NHL team and two referees last night, who just wanted to slow the game down because they could not keep up to the play. Sure hope someone in the media has the guts to asks the appropriate questions to the leagues head of officials.

    Regardless, it was a lot of fun to watch our team skate, pass and look like a contending team out there. They can take a lot of team pride in themselves, they worked together and for a change, they stood up for each other out there. Gone are the trap, defensive days of Jacques Martin. The boys had fun out there and played hockey.

    What lock out??
    PK who??
    I wonder if the boys missed him out there, you better rethink your position PK.!

    • commandant says:

      Were we that good or the Panthers that bad?

      A little of column A Ian, a little of column B…. as is almost always the case in a game like this.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • frontenac1 says:

      Watching the Montreal news the other night and they showed the team posing for the The Team Photo. The reporter said they didn”t leave a space for PK to even be airbrushed in. Unless of course he lays down in front.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      We beat a team playing their 3rd game in 4 nights, and were missing some key players to injury. We should have won.

      The difference from last year, is when these games came up, we’d often not show up and somehow lose.

      I’m stoked about the win, but also keeping it in perspective. Let’s see how we look against Washington.

      EDIT: And the refs were terrible for both teams last night. At first it was primarily missing Panther penalties, but then it just became a weird game of missing all penalties and calling imaginary/light ones. The 2nd period especially was ridiculous.

    • helluva habs fan says:

      I don’t know if we were THAT good, but we were that much better than Saturday. One hell of a response overall.
      So much to love, for instance: Rene Bourque’s hussle drew a penalty and a defenceman away from the middle on the Plekanec goal; the kid line with Prust, especially the shift in the 2nd where Gallagher crashed the net, got grabbed by the defenceman and instantly Prust was there to “calm the situation”; Andre Markov; the skill and puck poise of Raphael Diaz; Carey Price; the fact that I’m in a good mood today.
      And oh yeah, love that Gallagher looks so shrimpy but hits hard and loud. Feisty little spitf*$k he is!

  13. Rudy says:

    Going to the game tomorrow night, I hope they can play with as much intensity as last night! Fun, fun game to watch!

  14. frontenac1 says:

    Diaz played a great game last night. There, I said it.

    • lavie says:

      Trevor Timmins did an excellent job for scouting Diaz.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Totally agree, he was fantastic. I was always one of his defenders last season, but man he even blew away my expectations last night.

      If the D can play like they did last night, and we add PK back, we’ll be looking good.

      • frontenac1 says:

        I think we are still undersized back there. One more big ,nasty guy for those inevitable net crashing games from the Bruins,Flyers etc. So trade Weber,sign PK, and get some of the boys from Park X to take Kaberle for a Walk In The Woods?

        • jmsheehy19 says:

          Also trade Weber just to give the kid a chance, as he likely won’t get it with us this year, and next year chances are either Tinordi, Beaulieau, or Ellis will jump in front of him.


    way to point out the negative there boone, even tho we came out with a million positives, first thing you do is bitch about opening ceremony, way to go.

    • Mattyleg says:

      The opening ceremony is painful.

      I feel bad for season ticket holders.
      It’s sooooooo forced and low-energy.

      People singing ole-ole slowly and frowning people holding torches.


      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • mdp2011 says:

        sorry I missed the first 10 minutes of the game, did they do the “passing of the torch” thing again like they did Saturday? With the former captains and all?

        • Mattyleg says:

          No, it’s the pre-game video.
          It’s extremely unpleasant watching. Just awkward.
          You’re waiting for it to pump you up or something, and it never gets there.
          Looks like it was put together in a day, and the music sounds like it was made on my 1993 Casio.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  16. icemachine says:

    I was no more disappointed in Eller than I was of any number of other players on Saturday night. I think was just the easiest one to switch out to allow BGally a night in the lineup.

    The whole team played last night with more effort and intensity than they did on Saturday. It’s not going to be easy to slot Eller back in for Washington now, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play against the Devils on Sunday.

    MT will likely be playing with lines a few more times before having to make a decision on where the Gally’s will be playing out the season. I’d rather see them get developed properly than burn a year in a 48 game season playing for 10-12 rank in the East

    • J_P says:

      I kind of disagree with your last line. A 10-12 spot is the ideal place IMO to develop a rookie because you dont care as much if he makes mistakes. If he can play well, and you can justify giving him quality minutes every night, I see no reason to send him back down.

      If Boston can develop Seguin into a superstar as a rookie on a Cup Contender, we can definitely afford to give Galchenyuk quality minutes on a team that isnt expected to contend. I think the key is how therrien handles him when he makes the inevitable rookie mistakes.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      The thing with their development though is that while Galllagher can be sent to Hamilton and still develop his game, Galchenyuk can only return to Sarnia, where he has completely dominated and has little to learn.

      Better to burn a year of his contract and let him develop here if they decide he’s ready.

      I’m expecting the 3rd line to be Prust, Eller, and Gal once we get going, with Gallagher being the first call up.

  17. RetroMikey says:

    Islanders media guide for all hockey fans to enjoy reading.

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

  18. HFX-HabFan says:

    Though I love Eller and would much rather see him stay…it’s always fun to play fantasy GM for a few minutes, so:

    Three-way trade between the Habs, NYI, and Carolina!

    To Carolina:
    Aaron Ness
    NYI 3rd rd pick 2013

    To NYI:
    Zach Boychuk
    MTL 5th rd pick 2013

    To MTL:
    Nino Niederreiter
    Jamie McBain

    Habs give Eller, Kaberle and a pick and get McBain and El Nino
    ‘Canes give McBain, Boychuk and get Eller (reunited with Muller), Ness and a pick
    Isles give El Nino and Ness and a pick, get Kaberle (replaces the suspended Visnovsky) Boychuk and a pick.

  19. Mr. Biter says:

    Must have taken Bell Center maintance staff 2 days to re paint the Habs dressing room wall after sat night.Totally different team out there last night. If BGall continues to play like that he’d better find an apartment soon.
    AGally who I was critical of on Sat did a 360 last night. Habs are going to have to make a hard choice after game 5 on what to do with him if he continues to play the way he did last night.
    Loved White’s retribution last night. If this is MT’s coaching philosphy where you do a nasty hit you will get retribution I’m all for it.
    Also loved the way Markov played. With the Habs taking a more aggressive stance he seemed to have had his best game last night since his return from injury.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Gloryi

    • J_P says:

      Totally agree. Loved that white just dropped em and laid a beatdown on Fleischman. This is exactly what the habs need. Take a run at our guys, and you’re going to pay the price. Absolutely loved it. Especially when ur up 4-1, ill take whites penalty all day!

  20. Habfan10912 says:

    I hope no one takes offence to this. None is intended but let’s not read into Eller benching anything more then what it is. Last week here we spent time mud slinging mud towards PK as someone not liked in the room among other things. Now we’re dumping on Eller for being overweight and out of shape. Can’t it be simply the coach was very disappointed in his play (and as a huge Eller fan so was I) and wanted him to sit a spell to motivate him?
    If this team is going to be in the playoff hu t both PK and Eller will be big reasons for it.

    • shiram says:

      I don’t believe Eller came in with 10lbs of excess fat, photos from autumn showed him having a massive six pack and much bulked up in muscle.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Just saw the photo and he didn’t look fat so I stand corrected. Maybe he bulked up so much that it’s affecting his agility? That’s happened often before in sports. One of the comments on the photo I saw said that he looked like he had a ripped pot belly and it did. ;-D

        Maybe he did very little cardio to the point where he’s having trouble? Who knows….it’ll be interesting to see what happens to him.

        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • Cal says:

      It’s because we’re all perfect…Hab fans! 😉

      MT is trying to light a fire under Eller’s butt. MT called it a lack of intensity.
      PK and Eller will no doubt contribute to the success or lack of this season, but the team has to go forward right now as is. The longer PK takes, the harder it will be for him to get in game shape.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        The other problem is PK is a slow starter which in a shortened season where he isn’t in the line up right away could be a problem. I would still rather risk having him the line up than not but when he has struggled it has always been in the first half of the season

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  21. joeybarrie says:

    While is sucks he is sitting, and I imagine it wont be long. Lets relax about Eller.
    In a sprint season with so many games, rotating a few players is not a terrible idea.
    Competition for playing time is excellent and thats how great teams win.
    Why is it if he sits ONE game he is either finished in Montreal or completely being screwed over.
    Eller is not a top 2 line player right now.
    Young guys (Eller included) should have to fight for playing time. Gally27, Galla, Eller, EVEN DD….
    Will White get supplemental suspension?
    Will we need to fill that spot?
    Its two games in and we won one by a lot, and lost one by a very little.

    • J_P says:

      Good post.

      Although DD definitely gets a bit of a longer leash than the others you mentioned due to his success last season, I definitely think he should not have his spot Guaranteed. Especially not with Galchenyuk knocking on the door. I like DD, I like his heart, and I like the level of compete he brings every night, but Eller and Galchenyuk bring the size also.

      Should be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  22. Gerry H says:

    Too excited my butt.

    This is why I’m a hockey fan: To enjoy moments like this. Every single piece was working last night. Markov, the Two-and-half-men line, Pleks/Bourque/Gionta, the Babysitter line, the power play, Price, Gorges, Bouillon, even Kaberle wasn’t awful. Even against a weakened opponent, it creates a sense of the possibilities.

    I’m in.

  23. Hstands4Hockey says:

    I hope last night serves Subban with a big reminder of who the star defenseman in Montreal is. His “big role” was only filling in for Markov. Need to earn your keep kid.

    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!

    • nunacanadien says:

      A torn ACL is a career ending thing and I wonder if Markov is playing with a torn ACL all this time. So it works for a while but honestly you can see in the first game Markov was playing a bit hurt still. Probably having Pleks and Galy made the old horse whinny a bit more but Markov has to win all year, or at least show up all the time, something which even sports writers now make excuses for Markov that he is playing hurt. Honestly since when are we ever gonna see a full season of Markov, and we gave up a potential dynasty player like Subban for a flash in the pan what or many flashes in the pan Markov for the thirty seconds he shows up in most games and if he doesn’t get hurt past the two minute mark of his shift……when Markov feeds Pleks and Galy all year and we keep getting wins then maybe there can be a point to all of this.

  24. Houdek says:

    How about #74 guys? He has been a beast. Even his small hits are bone crushers. Love it!

  25. commandant says:

    One thing about the coaching that hasn’t been mentionned.

    In a 3-1 and 4-1 game…. Therrien had Galchenyuk out on the Powerplay. First it was Galchenyuk’s line going out instead of Plekanec’s entire line (And this started the sequence that led to Gally’s goal). Then it was Galchenyuk centring Gionta and Bourque in the third period.

    I absolutely LOVED this.

    In a 2-2 game. Put Plekanec and his line on the ice. But with the 2 goal (And then 3 goal lead), let Galchenyuk get some extra PP time. This is the way you save Plekanec for the times we will need him most and don’t wear him down this year, and its also the way we let Galchenyuk have the ice time to learn.

    This may seem simple… but I thought it was very, very Smart coaching. Great job MT.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Yes, I really liked the fact they gave AGally more PP time when they had a comfortable lead in the 3rd period.

      It’s refreshing to see in-game adjustments like this.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Nothing JM wouldn’t have done. 😉

        • nunacanadien says:

          Ya we wouldn’t want to wear out Pleks, heck we wouldn’t want to get snow on his skates cause we all know what happens when he gets snow on his skates….Pleks the only nhl player who gets a stupid penalty that cost the habs their win….that Pleks? Come to think of it he gets a ton of stupid penalties all year, at least for once the Pleks finally paid out for one the many stupid penalties….

  26. Galchenyuk says:

    Alright so Gallagher definately deserves a spot on the roster, and Galchenyuk played better last game than on Saturday’s season opener. Galchenyuk got the most shots on net, and a goall, with just 11 minutes on the ice..Therrien should put him on more, especially on the PP! In Therrien I trust! Oh, and I still want Subban signed!!

    Go Habs Go! (@leojl8 on twitter)

  27. derfab says:

    People are much too excited about last night. Habs had some jump and beat up on a tired, half-interested team with injuries. Markov was much better but it was his skating and overall play, not the goals that made this so. The scoring was the result of patience and good movement but the first “blast” was from 20 feet out with nobody pressuring him (a good Bantam has a chance to score on that), the second was an ordinary one-timer that went through 3 pairs of legs. The PK chant could be back very soon.

  28. Vinny Red says:

    I know it’s only 2 games in, but never thought our leading scorer would be Rapheal Diaz!!! And not 1 player is a minus, all +! Good stuff! Great game last night, hope we can keep the momentum going!

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Diaz is good. Probably the most underrated Hab.

      • Phil C says:

        I think Diaz gets a lot of bad press here because the Habs have too many offensive defenseman and are lacking a big, tough, crease-clearing defenseman.

        The Senators have paired Methot with Karlsson. They were saying on the radio in Ottawa that Methot knows that it is his job to dig most of the pucks out of the corner and take the forecheck abuse instead of Karlsson. If the Habs had a more complimentary defenseman to pair with Diaz, he would be even more effective.

        (And no, I am not comparing him to Karlsson other than that they are both smaller puck movers.)

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      I thought Diaz was a great signing … pair him with Markov and you have a Montreal version of Lidstrom and Rafalski … he played huge minutes for a series of games on the West Coast last year.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  29. Phil C says:

    If Eller came to camp ten pounds too heavy, he deserves to be in the press box. As well, Galchenyuk just outplayed him for the job, so I really don’t see the controversy here. He is now clearly #4 in the depth chart at centre, so he plays the wing or sits. I think Gallagher will be sent down to make room for Eller on the wing, but we’ll see if he plays his way onto the team in the next three games.

    Nothing wrong with carrying some depth at centre, his cap hit is only $1.3M. With the salary cap system, it is hard to have a lot of depth at each position, so keeping Eller could be important if Plekanec or DD get injured.

    Many centres come into the league on the third line, then play their way onto the top two lines. Eller hasn’t done that yet which has nothing to do with his linemates. Plekanec also had a revolving door of linemates, yet he still remained effective. There will be injuries so he will get his chance. He needs to be patient and prepared. For example, Staal finally got his chance in Pittsburgh when Crosby was injured and he was rewarded with a big contract.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      > If Eller came to camp ten pounds too heavy …

      You shouldn’t really believe what you hear on RDS. 🙂

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Best RDS line of the night I heard from the RDS insider (if i recall correctly from hearing in the distance) was the 1984 ish historical re-write of Therrien’s time in Pittsburgh … something to the effect that MT got rid of the country club atmosphere and laid the path for Bylsma to succeed …”

        As if …

        MT opened the door for Crosby, Malkin, Letang et al to step on the ice … Bylsma changed the practice culture and the same team went from 27-25 under Therrien to 18-4 and the Cup Finals.

        “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

        • Chris says:

          Worth pointing out that that 18-4 turnaround also coincided with the return of Sergei Gonchar to the Penguins lineup after missing the first 2/3 of the season due to injury. Gonchar was that good that his presence transformed the Pens.

          Bylsma gets too much credit for the turnaround. But Therrien didn’t do much with that roster, to be frank.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      AHAHAH He came 10 lbs to heavy? He got an offseason to work out and now people are mad we have BIG C which is what we’ve been looking for??

      27 has earned a spot, no doubt there. But if we’re talking about earning a spot, look how bad DD, Moen, and Armstrong have played. Gimme a break.

      Pleks revolving door of linemates at least includes, Gio, Cammelleri, Bourque. Not Darche, Blunden Moen. So you can relax bud.


      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

      • Phil C says:

        I am relaxed, thanks for asking.

        DD earned his spot last year at centre. I think he deserves a few more games. I don’t think he has played badly, so I see know reason to put Eller ahead of him. Yet.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        DD has NOT played bad. Forget your agenda and watch the damn games!

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Eller was ripped. Someone circulated a picture of some of the habs at yoga and Eller had put on some serious muscle so don’t believe it is an out of shape thing

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Phil C says:

        I agree Eller gained muscle, I saw the pictures as well. But it is very hard to gain muscle without increasing your calorie intake, which means it is hard to gain muscle while staying lean. It is easier to gain the muscle, then cut the fat after. I find it plausible that Eller did not cut down to the proper playing weight after an offseason of muscle building.

        • Chris says:

          Then perhaps the Habs should drop this ridiculous obsession with having all their young, excellent skaters pack on the weight to become something they aren’t.

          They did it with Kostitsyn, and now they seem to be pushing Eller in that direction. Add too much bulk, whether it is muscle or fat, and you slow the player down, neutralizing the trait that makes them so good in the first place.

          Eller will never, ever be a physical player. It is not in his DNA. That doesn’t prevent him from being an extremely effective NHL forward. It prevents him from becoming a goal-scoring power forward.

          Eller is a playmaker, not a goal-scorer. Why the Habs and many of their fans struggle with this is beyond me, but he is what he is. Playmakers playing with plugs aren’t going to get points. To see Eller get 16 goals was a bit of a revelation. I would not bank on much more than that throughout his career.

          But give him wingers who can score and he can thrive.

  30. shiram says:

    Diaz looked great out there, Hobie touched on it, but it bears mentionning again, this young guy is quickly making Kaberle redundant on the team.
    I still don’t like Armstrong.
    DD’s line played better, but for all their chemistry they were still not clicking together very well outside of the PP, hopefully they soften the grip on their sticks and get back to being a scoring threat.
    Panthers might have been weak and tired, but Habs have to win those games against those kinds of opponent.

    • Phil C says:

      Agree on Armstrong, Blunden seems like a better option in general. The only thing I can think of is that Nokelainen must be close, so Blunden will be sent to Hamilton as he has a two-way contract.

  31. joeybarrie says:

    In reply to the post about keeping Gally27 and signing Subban.
    I see we have just over 5 million in cap space.
    We also have 16 forwarrds and 7 defensemen.
    So we would have to trade or send someone down.
    Either way we get cap relief there, I believe.

    That being said, I cant imagine Subban will be signed for more than 5 million anyways.

    Its a shame they cant come to terms, cause he is wasting his time. I dont know the details but i cant imagine something fair cant be worked out.
    Why not take a shorter contract and prove yourself if you are so confident? If you feel you already deserve it, prove it and get MORE later.
    On the other hand maybe MB needs to come up with some different options.
    EITHER WAY, IMO his agent is doing a crappy job. Sitting does nothing good for his client.
    Now the questions become the following.
    How does the cap work on things like bonuses if they are not reached?
    Either way I believe if Gally27 is useful enough right now, we will find a way to keep him up.
    NOW FFS, MB and PK get it together and sign. I really need you in the lineup VS the Caps to which I have tickets and really dont want to hear my Cap fan friends should they beat us.
    0-2 for the Caps, and so they NEED to win tomorrow.

  32. Mattyleg says:

    Great great game last night.

    We looked very solid, the Pants looked awful.

    A couple of observations…

    – The PrustGallyGal line looked great, and got more and more responsibilities as the game went on. Their speed and hustle kept the others on the back foot, and were always dangerous.

    – Fourth line was very effective, Armstrong had great positioning and intercepted a few passes, and played a tough game.

    – Love Whitey on the PK! He had another good game, and we’d be crazy to not play him every game.

    – Pleks is so good.

    – First line lacked clicking, but Cole is a slow starter, and I wouldn’t worry about him/them.

    – People moaning about DD didn’t see how well he played off the puck. Always busy, creating turnovers, made some great passes that weren’t able to be converted.

    – Eller? Who? I don’t see where he would fit in with the way we played last night. It’s far, far too early to talk about trading him, but comparing Eller’s first game with Gallagher’s first, we see one player who made himself stand out, and one player who made himself invisible.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  33. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    Enough with the minstrels celebrating the Heroic White … Flesichman is not Parros and while there needed to be more than a finger wag, a less exhausted and injury depleted opposition could have easily score a few power play goals.

    You go full Charles Bronson, you lose

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think there was a bit of honor sticking up for a teammate but if Florida were able to score a couple goals then the White love he’s receiving from many of us would have been tempered a bit, huh?


    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think the fact is it sends a message. No more of Laraque skating around waiting for an invitation looking like an idiot chasing Lucic. He should have just taken the 5 min and pounded him.

      It was a cheap shot on Gorges and White handled it. Same as Souray did back when Armstrong leveled Koivu. This team has lacked that for a long time

      Gooning every game will cost you I agree but I don’t see that last night

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Mattyleg says:

      Okay, hold on, let me get this straight?

      If White had fought Parros, who had absolutely no impact on the game whatsoever, that would have been more acceptable, in your books? You like the show fighting that has no impact on the game?

      And as for the lacking powerplay goals, it shows me that White chose his opponent perfectly to send a message to the league that we won’t be charged from behind. Having seen that, other players might think twice now, and because he did it against an “exhausted and injury depleted” team, he knew that he was taking very little risk.

      He’s a fecking genius.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Matty, Fleischman is no goon, if it was Parros then you have to return a message.

        No other team will “think twice” … that is a fallacy. Players only “think twice” when they are on the receiving end of a lengthy suspension.

        You are giving White too much credit for deep thought when in fact it was incredibly reckless

        “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

        • Mattyleg says:

          1. I was being facetious.

          2. It’s not about fighting a goon, it’s about fighting the people who put your teammates at risk.

          3. Reckless? Ask Chris Nilan, one of the toughest guys to ever wear the CH if he ever acted ‘recklessly’. You can’t pass a message AND be dainty. It’s one or the other, and for the past 3-4 years, we have opted for the latter when the former was required. It’s up to White to do his job, and it’s up to the penalty-killers to do their job.

          4. While you’re talking about ‘ifs’ (as in ‘if the Pants had been better they would’ve scored a pile of goals’) then if the ref had called the play as he should have, WE would have been the ones on the PP.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Seems you are in the minority with this opinion.
          ANY TIME you stick up for a teammate, it’s worth the penalty. It’s then up to the team to pay you back by killing it off, which they did.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Wow, you totally missed the point. I can tell you that White would have done the same thing no matter who hit Gorges. He didn’t hesitate. He instinctively protected his teammate, and that should be celebrated.

      There were some bad penalties that should not have happened, but White’s were not among them.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • New says:

      Flesichman got what he deserved for his hit. He was technically smart not to fight back and so White wore it. But his team mates know a cheap hit in a lost game when they see it. They know a turtle when they see it. They know a cheap hit followed by a turtle and they despise it. These guys are trying to make a living as professional athletes and at the nothing part of a game one of their guys makes a move that means nothing except possible injury, perhaps career ending, then hides from the physical confrontation that follows? Florida went through the motions on the five. Aside from Flesichman they showed some class at least. Has nothing to do with sport or strategy just with teaching Flesichman how to behave.

  34. Say Ash says:

    Anybody got a link to Gorges’ hip check on Parros?

  35. Habfan10912 says:

    A look a B. Schenn’s hit from last night. He meets with league discipline official today. Suspendable?


  36. HabinBurlington says:

    Despite all or most of us having vivid memories of how MT coached this team in the past, and also the memories of JM/Cunneyworth, we do need to see how Therrien does over a 5 game sample at a minimum (I think).

    For all we know Eller is back in lineup next game or next after and another person takes turn in pressbox. If for no other reason we at least rotate a healthy rested body into lineup. Given the uptempo, hard forecheck which is being preached, injuries are inevidible.

    Still need resolution to PK sooner than later.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      If it truely was a performance based decision it’s hard to argue against that. Gomez was sent home and Jabrele saw less minutes last night so there seems to be some indication that performance will go a long way in making decisions. That said, I hope Lars gets back on the ice next game. A big center who is normally very sound defensively needs to be on the ice.


    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree. You can’ t judge him on a couple of games. I will admit I much enjoyed some of his changes yesterday. The fact he is giving the kids a chance is refreshing.

      I also liked what Ryan White did. Fleishman (sp?) should have got a hit from behind penalty. Gorges is a key cog on this team and you can’t have someone taking liberties on them. Props for white sending a message.

      gorges has been much more physical again this season so far. He started the second half of last year and now again this year. I like it

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • ABHabsfan says:

      With every loss by Philly, the possibility of an offer-sheet increases, I believe.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  37. Steeltown Hab says:

    Loved what I saw from Gallagher last night (As usual). The feeling is he’ll definitely be in the AHL if 27 stays up tho. In that case I think the 3rd unit should be


    Galchenyuk played RW all season in Sarnia when he was tearing it up.


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Eller might want to up the intensity if he wants to play on that line, but it looks good on paper…or monitor.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • commandant says:

        I think you keep Gallagher up.

        There has to be a way to rotate Eller back into the lineup somewhere. It may not be obvious today after a win…. but after our next loss, I’m sure you can find him a spot.

        Heck if Ryan White is suspended for a game… you get a spot on that line opening up.

        As well as they played last night, I highly doubt this team is poised for any 10 game winning streaks (with 0 injuries and suspensions) that will make the lineup impossible to juggle sometime soon.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • geo_habsgo says:

      He looked better as a center last night then he did as a winger. He controlled the play on the ice when he was out there. It was impressive. He has chemistry with Gallagher. He has earned his place if he keeps up his play.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I agree that only one of the kids will stick for the whole season.

      So, either:
      Prust – Eller – BGally
      AGally/Eller – AGally/Eller – Prust

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    So Leafland is all abuzz about Gretzky for President of MLSE. This should dramatically improve the Leafs old-timers team at a minimum.

  39. Steeltown Hab says:

    Channeling my inner Steve Kouleas. But can anyone explain why on Markovs first goal, which clearly was from Cole to Pac to Markov the assists went to Pac and Desharnais?


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

  40. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    I like how Ryan White blanks out the officials and gets his crazy-wide-eyes on when he sh*t talks the opposition.

    A team-first keeper.

    If last night doesn’t inspire Lars Eller (benched rightly or wrongly)… I don’t know what will. He strikes me as someone who will put in the effort… and I still suspect that in 3 games time, Gallagher will head back to Hamilton.

    No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      There is no 5 game limit on Gallagher, they can send him down whenever they want and bring him back up, no waivers. He is not a junior anymore. Though I think there is a limit to how many times he can go up and down in 1 season

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  41. Phil C says:

    Not much to conclude from beating a tired and depleted Florida team, but there are some observations:

    – The are trapping much better than last year as they are challenging the puck carrier BEFORE the red line. This is what will cause turnovers and icings. I found it so frustrating last year when they would just give the other team the redline for the easy dump in. This one thing will make them harder to play against.

    – Price looks so technically sound. He is really maturing as a goalie.

    – I used to think MB slightly overpaid for Prust. Not anymore, he was full value last night.

    – Markov is still an elite defenseman, and I don’t remember him being able to shoot that hard. I am thinking all that time in rehab has resulted in greater upper-body strength. I hope he can handle the ice-time they are giving him going forward.

    – Cole still looks out of shape to me. He does not have that explosive first step that is key to his game.

    – Armstrong? Meh.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree, and as good as the team looked last night, a big forechecking team will still expose big weaknesses in our back end. This team needs PK on the ice to compete with higher end teams.

      • Phil C says:

        Exactly. They will play the Sens twice, then Buffalo and Boston once at the beginning of February. We will then have a better idea of what kind of team we have. Hopefully PK will be back by then, he must be losing his mind watching from home.

  42. Chrisadiens says:

    Well, it might be time to change my avi. I can’t see Eller getting any playing time now. So, obvious route is to trade him. So what’s fair value for Eller? What about this Neidtetdtetrtererer guy from the Islanders? Even swap maybe?

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • Chris says:

      I think you package Eller with Weber…neither guy is going to get a fair shake from the Habs due to the numbers game, so the Habs might be better off maximizing their return rather than letting them rot in the press box.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That would be a good trade I think for both teams. Islanders are very weak on Defence depth currently as well.

      • Sakus Evil Twin says:

        Eller’s not going anywhere. He’ll replace Gallagher in at least 2 games.

        No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

      • V says:

        Probably should wait at least 1 more game before driving them both out of town.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        A bit premature, don’t ya think?

        Eller sitting out one game doesn’t mean he’ll never get a fair shake. 🙂

        Why not wait until he sits out a 2nd game before drawing such conclusions? Or, better yet, let’s see if Chucky makes the team. If he doesn’t, Eller’s clearly the #3 center.

        • Chris says:

          I think the writing is on the wall for Eller.

          He is not a winger, and he is clearly behind Plekanec and Desharnais. Does anybody really think the Habs are sending Galchenyuk down this season? 🙂

          I love Eller. He is my second favourite Hab behind Markov. But I don’t see him fitting with this team moving forwards.

          Somebody has to go. The Habs want Galchenyuk at centre, and he played well last night. Eller is not an answer at wing, and I think he knows it.

          I don’t think it will be a “driven out of town” situation, but an “asks to be sent out of town” situation. It will not be today, but I won’t be surprised if Eller is gone in the next month or two.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Even if AGally sticks, they’ll keep Eller for the year.

            They can use the depth at center, especially when you’ve got 1 center who’s a rookie and another whose contract is up at the end of the year.

            The latter situation will be interesting. Many think DD is a #1 – we’ll soon see if MB agrees.

    • Phil C says:

      If they could get a young player like Niederreiter, that would be great, otherwise I don’t have a problem having some depth in the pressbox.

      No need to trade him just because he has fallen down the depth chart as his cap hit is not bad. If DD or Plekanec gets hurt, there is no one in Hamilton right now to bring up, so Eller could be very important to the Habs.

      • Chris says:

        Players on bridge contracts want to play to increase their value. So while the team may want to keep him in the pressbox because he signed a very fair contract, that is unquestionably NOT what Eller and his agent want.

        The players do what they have to do for their own careers. Jumping between wing and centre, flitting between the pressbox and the roster is not going to get Eller ahead. If this really is a temporary thing and he’s in the lineup for the next game, things will calm down a bit.

        But if he sits for any length of time, he and his agent will be meeting. I would bet my house on that.

  43. Habsrule1 says:

    Here’s the game story:

    Price was very good. Markov was very good. Diaz was very good. Gallagher was very good. Galchenyuk was very good. Prust impressed me big time. The first line was much better and will be scoring very soon. Cole should have had an easy one.
    Game was fun to watch but it was just the panthers and they were playing their 3rd in 4 nights.
    Hard to put Eller back in but if he shows intensity in practice today, I’d take Armstrong out, moves some guys around a bit and fit him in. I personally haven’t noticed Armstrong at all so far.
    Ryan White did what more Habs need to do once in a while. Full points for his penalty minutes. Do NOT take him out of the line-up after that display of TEAM first.

    Oh, and I LOVED seeing Therrien congratulating the players on their way to the dressing room. Reminded me of Jacques Demers!

    There’s other stuff too, but that sums up most of the important stuff.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would have no problem with Eller taking Armstrong out of lineup, but I am not sure it helps Eller to play 4th line. Perhaps Eller with the rookies, but we shall see.

      Armstrong did some decent pk work, drew a penalty and didn’t hurt the team, but he is just a 4th line player, but responsible and effective.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I’m wondering if taking Armstrong out can lead to other changes that might get Eller onto the 3rd line….although might be tough to move anyone else….?

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  44. commandant says:

    I see comments that Desharnais didn’t play well last night.

    Maybe someone can tell me who the little guy wearing #51 was, you know… the guy who won a board battle, kept the puck in the offensive zone, and started the play that led to Markov’s first goal?

    And that wasn’t the only time on the night that he made a key play to keep the puck deep in the Panthers zone and led to Habs offence.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Desharnais played a solid game. His line was much improved. I’m not at all worried about them after last night. Cole should have had an easy goal. They are slightly off but the effort is there and things are about to turn around.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Agree on that now if Moan can start playing like Prust and White we gone e be a lot harder to beat at home

    • Ozmodiar says:

      He didn’t do a whole lot besides that play on the Markov goal, which happened to be on a 5 on 3.

      If DD is evaluated based on his PP play, then yeah, he’s solid.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I thought DD played an all around solid game. Don’t look for any changes to that line.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  45. Hobie Hansen says:

    Great to see the Habs get a win, Galchenyuk get his goal and Therrien also get his first win since returning.

    I heard that Galchenyuk had tears in his eyes after doing his circle of the ice after being named the 1st star, now that’s pretty cool. Galchenyuk looked good out there and I think he’s right on the edge of staying, we’ll see what his next three games are like.

    Bourque is playing exactly the way we hoped he would when he arrived, so far. Great to see him throw some early hits and pump up the crowd and his teammates. He also did a good job of drawing the defenseman’s coverage which allowed Plekanec to walk right in and score.

    And if Markov is truly back, what an added bonus it would be! Diaz looks great as well. If Diaz gets the nod over Kaberle and Weber to provide some secondary offense behind Markov and Subban, we’ve got to get rid of Kaberle and Weber. The defense held up well last night and is actually good on the PK but they have yet to play a real strong forcheking and aggressive team.

    And who knows what happens with Eller. I was and still am hoping he builds on last year where he had spurts of good play. However, many hockey commentators said things like he has no identity as a player or he’ll never be a top six forward. That’s not good to hear!

    Therrien was mentioning after the game that the early hits from Bourque, and White sticking up for Gorges were the types of things that were missing from last year. I thought is was great that Therrien put Prust on that 3rd line for some added security. And it just so happens that Prust fed the puck to Galchenyuk for his first NHL goal.

    Good game, good emotion and toughness displayed!


    • Curtis O Habs says:

      If memory serves, Galchenyuk also won the face off setting up his goal.

    • Cal says:

      What Hobie said.

    • Chris says:

      It is impossible to build an identity when you don’t know what position you are playing or who you are playing with.

      Eller’s rotating linemates is obviously common knowledge here. But the thing I find interesting is that in 17 of the 18 games that they were together, the Moen-Eller-Kostitsyn line earned top-6 minutes. In 8 of those 18 games, they earned the most even-strength ice time. That’s not bad for a group of guys who Habs fans had little patience for. Eller and Kostitsyn showed chemistry in most of the games when they were paired off. Yet the coaching staff just couldn’t be bothered to run with those guys for any length of time.

      I have little patience for the “he’ll never be a top-six forward”. I don’t know if he will or won’t. He has never been given the chance.

      But I do know that he can not only become a very good third line player, he can become one of the best third-line centres in the NHL. Yet we’re on this constant quest to force players into roles for which they aren’t suited. It is maddening.

      If you want to be a good hockey team, you need to find guys that excel in their roles. Eller can do that, and therefore can contribute to building a very good hockey team.

      But when you start elevating guys out of their comfort zone, your team falls apart. Tomas Plekanec is absolutely an elite 2nd line centre, but probably not quite focused enough on offence to be an elite 1st line centre. If Galchenyuk develops the way most of us think, a 1-2 of Galchenyuk-Plekanec would be devastating. Unfortunately, by the time Galchenyuk is ready to inherit that #1 role and dominate at the NHL level, Plekanec could be on his way down. Crummy timing. I’m hoping Galchenyuk develops really quickly so we can see what that 1-2 punch can do.

  46. habstrinifan says:

    Standby call-in … last minute had to miss what sounds like a geat game for everyone icluding the Coach!

    I always liked 4-1 scores.

  47. Ozmodiar says:

    LOL … now sitting a player in the press box is bullying!!

    Gotta love HIO!!

  48. parkex says:

    Glad I named my hockey pool this year: “Price & Valuechenyuk”

  49. Ozmodiar says:

    The 3 rookies looked great last night – Galchenyuk, Gallagher, and that #79 kid.

  50. Curtis O Habs says:

    Kudos, Ryan White. Kudos.

  51. JF says:

    A very fun game to watch, but I’m trying not to take too much out of it because the Panthers were a tired bunch and missing some key players. Still, our guys had plenty of jump, the lines were clicking, we seem to have a powerplay, and the penalty kill was great.

    It was an inspired move to put Prust between the two Gallys. I’m sure it gave the kids a lot of confidence. I loved Galchenyuk’s goal celebration, and one of the Florida announcers said he had tears in his eyes when he skated out as the game’s first star.

    Diaz and Markov on the powerplay were great. It was Diaz’s lunge to keep the puck in that set up Markov’s second goal. If they can keep up the magic, it will take away some of the leverage P.K. would have if the powerplay were as futile as last year.

    I agree with Burly (below) that Therrien now has to find a way to get Lars Eller back in the lineup, although it will be tricky, without messing up the top two lines, to find him a spot in which he can succeed. But he can’t sit out long, and Therrien needs to be talking to him.

    Price has quietly been outstanding so far this season. I really think this might be the year in which he finally silences his doubters – those who think he is only “average,” lacks the fire to compete, etc.

  52. Habfan10912 says:

    I loved the limited ice time for Kabrele but it forced others, (Frankie, Diaz) to play more minutes. I miss PK. 🙂
    Could the difference between the way MT handled Eller and his poor performance and DD with his poor play be effort? Even though DD continues to fight the puck his effort on the forecheck in the first period led to a Habs goal. Does effort go a long way here?

    • Cal says:

      Yup, effort is key. Morning, Jim.
      MT doesn’t want slackers out there.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Hey a last a coach u make good decision and shown some emotion like giving to the ref and congratulating the players as they were coming of the ice good for him

    • Marc10 says:

      Absolutely. DD puts in the effort. How do you think he got there? Every shift baby.

      • Bill J says:

        Correction, “last year DD put in the effort, so far this season he’s invisible on the ice and rendering his two power forward wingers invisible as well”

        Go Habs Go!

        • Marc10 says:

          Yeah. One game vs a whole season last year.

          I get it. He’s small. We know.

          Find me a better playmaker at center on this team. There isn’t one.

          He goes to the net. Cole and Patches rate him. That’s all I need to know.

          When Gally arrives. We can talk. 🙂

          PS: He did take one bad penalty. But he was unlucky not to get a goal or two. I think the effort was there this game.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Not sure what game you watched last night, Bill. DD played very well. I have no concerns with that line whatsoever.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  53. HabinBurlington says:

    Lots of speculation that the potential deal Gillis is throwing out to the public is Lecavalier for Luongo.
    A. Will Vinny waive his NTC?
    B. Which team wins this trade?

    • Cal says:

      A. He’d be nuts to. He loves TBay.
      B. Neither. Both contracts are insane.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Burly.
      A. I would if I were him.
      B. Toss up. Could they both be candidates for amnesty buyouts?


      • HabinBurlington says:

        7 years 45million remain on Vinny’s contract after this season.
        9 years 40ish million reamin on Luongo’s contract after this season.

        Both would be huge pill to swallow, and amnesty buyout only possible in the next two seasons. Vancouver I suppose could afford it more, who knows.

        Other problem is i think the Lecavalier contract would put Vancouver over the cap, so they would need to move someone else in deal it appears.

        Morning Jim, sure was an enjoyable game to watch last night.

    • Marc10 says:

      A. I would in heartbeat – Van’s cup window is now
      B. Van because they would be vastly improved, if only for this year (Sedins will love playing with the big man on the PP…)

  54. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    No parade, but hey, a good game, well played, with energy and verve. The Habs are my only reality show, and I surely enjoyed this episode.

    Let’s see how they sustain the narrative for the season – will it be Honey Boo Boo, or Storage Wars, or Canadien Idling… stay tuned for the next episode.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Gotta love it, huh? I know Florida was tired and they may not be that good of a team anyway but outside of playing the third period short handed, this was enjoyable.


  55. HabinBurlington says:

    MT has made his point with Eller and it is now incumbent on him to do everything he can to get Eller back in the lineup and allow him the opportunity to prove he should stay in the lineup. The problem is who is removed in order make room?

    I don’t think it helps Eller to place him on the 4th line, the role of our 4th line is to provide energy, heavy forecheck and hold their own defensively, perhaps turn momentum with a good shift of cycling the puck.

    The Kid line with poppa Prust deserves to stay together as for one night they really clicked.

    The Plex/Gio/Bourque line played a very strong game, in fact Bourque was key in establishing a heavy forecheck early in that game. I don’t see a reason to insert Eller in this line.

    DD/Cole/Max, this line seemed better than the Leafs game (as the whole team did), but still aren’t completely clicking. However, Cole is perenniel slow starter, but DD is also fighting the puck in my opinion. I don’t say he is not providing proper effort, but just that he isn’t quite clicking.

    Having said all that, I believe last years success of DD with the two Power forwards earns him another game or two before being swapped out.

    Thus the dilemna that MT now faces in trying to fit Eller back in lineup. We do need him back, he is young, strong, talented which the team could use. Unfortunately, it might take 1-2 more games. At this point it is key MT continues to communicate with Lars making sure he is completely aware of what is going on, and why he shouldn’t get down.

    My 5 cents worth on it….

    • Chris says:

      Yes, but this is exactly one of the fears of doing this type of crap.

      The whole team stunk in Toronto with the exception of Ryan White and Rene Bourque. Every other player was listless and lacked intensity. Lars Eller was not notable in this regard, truth be told.

      But as HabFanSince72 points out below, Therrien needed a scapegoat and Eller fit the bill as a young player with little star power.

      The Montreal Canadiens did not win last night because of the Gallagher-Galchenyuk-Prust line. They won because the power play woke up and the big guns (Markov, Plekanec, Cole, Pacioretty) came to play.

      But as with coaches everywhere, Therrien will trot out the “can’t break up what is working” line and Eller will find himself on the bench again.

      I think the public reaction to Galchenyuk’s goal basically tells you all you need to know: Eller is out of here. The Habs need to make room for Galchenyuk, as there isn’t much chance they are sending him down now, and Eller’s is the centre position that they have to give to the kid.

      Galchenyuk played only 11:10 last night, but was given a whopping 2:45 on the power play. Contrast that with a typical Eller game…on Saturday, he was given 12:33 of ice time, but 2:29 of that came on the penalty kill and only 19 seconds at the end of one of the power plays.

      Eller and Galchenyuk are two different players. Galchenyuk is more of a top-6 centre, while Eller has developed nicely into a very good third line centre that can kill penalties and make the other team work.

      Giving up on Eller would be a rather large mistake, as having him supporting Galchenyuk for the next ten years makes the Habs a better team going forwards. But he’s looking increasingly like a victim of the numbers game.

      An Eller and Weber for Niederreiter swap might be the best thing the Habs could do. They would pick up a winger (a position Eller has shown he is not comfortable playing) while the Isles get a good penalty killer and another defenceman for depth that has the added bonus of clearing up the Habs problem of not having a clue of what to do with Weber…they can’t send him down (he would be claimed in a heart-beat), but they can’t play him because of a lack of roster spots.

      I just don’t know if Garth Snow would accept that deal, knowing that Bergevin is somewhat over the barrel at the moment in terms of trying to free up roster space without losing assets for nothing.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Bergeron was saying yesterday that Eller came to camp about 10-12 pounds over his target weight. So he may not be a scapegoat….the kid may have assumed too much that his job was secure. I’m guessing he won’t be doing that anymore. I love Eller but if that is true, then he needs to shape up.

        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

        • Chris says:

          Google search “Eller overweight” for the picture of Eller from the Fall. Tell me that that is a guy who spent his off-season not getting into game shape and bulking up the way as the club has always requested from him.

          If Eller was over his target weight, it was probably from bulking up too much.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Yes. Eller bulked up, but it wasn’t from potato chips.

            The boys @ RDS are full of sh!t.

          • Phil C says:

            You can’t tell ten pounds from a picture. And ten pounds heavy is a lot for an elite athlete.

          • Chris says:

            Phil: He had a ridiculous six-pack. You aren’t carrying fat when you can keep that kind of musculature. It was insane how much he bulked up in the off-season.

            I think he was on the 300 training program.

      • FlyAngler says:

        As long as Desharnais and Plekanec are the Habs top two centers, they aren’t going anywhere. MT has to find a way at the right time to work either Galchenyuk or Eller or both into one or both of the center slots on the top two lines. We know that Galchenyuk has top 6 talent and PG traded for Eller because he believed with others that Eller has top 6 potential as well. As others have pointed out on this board, Eller has yet to receive a fair shot when you consider ice time and line mates etc. MB should not trade Eller at this point unless they are getting a big center in return. Eller is 6’2″ and we need Therrien to get him to play like he is 6’2″ every night instead of having MB trade him. Just my opinion…..

    • Marc10 says:

      I don’t think you have to worry about MT not communicating. I heard that message loud and clear in my lounge out in Sydney. Problem is, Eller needs to get a chance with skilled wingers and the line-up isn’t exactly crawling with those. It’s a little premature to break up the first line. Pleks too deserves some stability.


      I would move him to the kid line and give him the mission to lead the kids. There’s talent there and their jump and excitement is contagious. Prust can replace White in the bottom six rotation and still get extra ice time on the PK. It’s a big test, but who knows…

      Eller’s very much the odd man out unless he can outshine, out-hussle, and out-produce the top two centers. He does that, job done. He doesn’t, then he better figure out how to play wing as our future No1 Center might just make the team this year.

  56. HabFanSince72 says:

    Now everyone thinks sitting Eller was genius. (Any of the 29 NHL teams would have beaten the Panthers last night.)

    As I said yesterday I don’t think benching the inscrutable Dane is a big deal (Tyler Seguin was benched last year).

    But on RDS the crew explained the Eller benching as follows. Therrien needed to “send a message”. He couldn’t bench a vet. So he picked on Eller who is quiet, doesn’t really have much standing in the dressing room, and is young.

    In other words he picked on him because he was defenceless and incapable of fighting back.

    In the playground that’s called bullying.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      And in the NHL it may be considered acceptable and normal business practise by Coaches. 😉

    • The Cat says:

      I dont think thats the reasoning. Theres no message to be sent after 1 game. Eller came up very flat in the first game. The youth cant ever not show up after inactivity. The benching was well deserved IMO…In other news, its effing cold outside.

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

      • PureGuava says:

        DD was awful on Saturday night, and awful last night.
        He will never sit for MT.

        “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
        – Robert Anton Wilson

        • The Cat says:

          Im not saying DD was great, but Saturday, there was no one worse and more uninvolved than Eller was.

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

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      RDS also said Eller had come to camp with a few extra pounds and some conditioning issues. Are you going to call that picking on the fat kid?

      The kid is not an orchid, and he’ll survive. He looks a little stoned out there sometimes, and this should hopefully snap in. He has tons of physical talent, but he does play with a certain muffled air. It is not as if Therrien chose his “victim” based on room dynamics. Eller is a frustrating player.

      We never really know what is going on behind the scenes, and we never catch what’s said, not said, ignored at practice. You may dislike Therrien ( I do) but we’re weeks from seeing the patterns in how he has chosen to manage this team.

    • Cal says:

      It’s not called bullying. It’s called accountability. Eller played in Europe during the lockout. He should have had a lot of jump, but instead came out flat.
      If hockey players were wusses like that, they would never have made it to the bigs.

  57. smiler2729 says:

    Fun game to watch (why can’t they beat the Laffs this way?)

  58. Cal says:

    Highlight of the night: Gorges gets run. White takes the instigator and delivers message: the days of running the Habs is over. And about bleeping time, too.
    Good game against a tired team. Kovy did exactly as I expected. Nothing. He won’t do much for a couple more games if my Kovilator is adding up the numbers correctly.

  59. rhino514 says:

    So ig Galchenyuk stays, clearly he needs to play centre.
    What do you do with Eller?? Only solution i see is trying him on the wing again. He has good size for a winger, yet seems to lack the hockey sense of a good offensive centre. Might not be a bad move.

  60. Marc10 says:

    Looking forward (albeit with more trepidation) to the Washington game. I don’t think Mikey Ribs will let us off as easily as AK27 did tonight…

    Still, great effort by Les Boys!

  61. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …beating a travel-weary Florida team with 3 or 4 key players injured (Versteeg, Gudbranson ++) is nothing to get over-excited about, just as a 2-1 loss to an improved Weed team was nothing to wet Your pants over

    …although, I always thoroughly enjoy when the box-score reads more goals on Our side of the page than theirs 🙂

    …I opted for the NHL package this season rather than RDS … I’m beginning to regret it

    …listening to the Florida Panther ‘homers’ doing the play-by-play and colour was painnnfulll 🙁 …especially when their colour guy, Bill Lindsay, was going on and on about what a coward and miscreant White was for punching out Fleishmann for boarding Gorges …’How can this AHLer (White) have the nerve to touch such a nice polite, young man like Fleischmann ??? ‘ …ad nauseum 🙂

    …I usually take play-by-play with a grain of salt, and this was a moment though when I wanted to reach through the screen and grab the whiner by the neck 🙂

    …sheesh, I don’t care what kind of perceived choir-boy this Fleishmann is on or off the ice, he made a dangerous hit from behind on Gorges …and I was thoroughly proud of White making a statement to Florida and other NHL teams that this iteration of Our Habs will make certain you will pay a price

    …Markov, Our D, and Carey were superb tonight (though, again, vs a tired/hurt Panther team …that tired/hurt Panther D also was loose enough to allow Galchenyuk to roam in the O zone resulting in His first of what We pray will be buckets more

    …I think for a talent like Our # 27, this will give Him confidence …He will be like a White Shark smelling blood in the water …one isn’t enough for a Galchenyuk

    …the question will be whether our Team can play with such energy and commitment against ‘the Big Boyz’ like Pittsburgh, Boston, Rangers, Phlyers et al

    …finally, one chuckle listening to the Panther broadcast was the ticket promotion prices for upcoming home games …correct me if I misheard, but $ 7 or $ 10 for a ticket including FREE parking ??? …Ian Cobb, Gerald (Hab In Burlington) , Timo and the rest of You golf-hounds should be booking James’ (Habsolutely) spare bedrooms as We speak 🙂

    • Marc10 says:

      The Florida crew are an embarrassment. They can’t possibly believe half of what they’re saying and they don’t crawl back obvious errors once they’ve jumped the shark.

      First Gorges had stuck out the knee on Parros. Next thing you knew, Gorges was a tough customer possibly willing to take on Parros… What the…?

      Even after the replays clearly showed a hip check, they went with the Gorges as enforcer line. Woeful.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        🙂 …Yes Marc, it sure was hard to listen to

        …I guess I’m going to have to get use to it …I wish the NHL Network carried a Montreal production of the game

        • Cal says:

          R…D…S. Your welcome. 😉

          • Marc10 says:

            I’m in Oz. It’s either Center Ice or one of the Internet hack jobs. I tried Slingbox off my brother’s TV and that did work for one season, but it can’t take the HD bandwidth.

            I really miss the RDS feed, especially when we play Boston… but it feels like an ever greater victory when the boys stick it to those homer broadcasters.

            Florida lack attention to detail, but they’re nowhere near as biased as Pittsburg, Detroit, and the pro wrestling gang out in Beantown. That broadcast surely contravenes the Geneva Convention.

  62. lakechamplain says:

    Here’s my two cents worth: most comments naturally and rightly praising the kid because he symbolizes a future with some pizzazz and finish, and the old guy because he’s tough and gutsy and skilled(and is a quiet rebuff to PK’s selfish, immature attitude).
    I’d just like to add a quietly effective award to Rene Bourque. No G’s or A’s but he seems to be the catalyst that makes the 2nd(?) line click.
    His hustle and his hits with his speed seem to free up Gionta and Plekanec and if they’re a consistent offensive threat it opens up everything else. He rightly took a lot of heat last year and seems to be responding. Nice game RB; keep it up.

    • CW89 says:

      You got that right! It’s really nice to see RB playing his game. If he can keep it up, I like his season’s prospects.

      “The day you hear someone call me captain will be the day I buy a boat.”
      -The Flower

  63. toinz says:

    I think it’s worth a shot to see if crazy ole Garth Snow is willing to deal Neiderreiter.

    I wouldnt be completely against a Subban for Niederreiter swap even one-up.

    Niederreiter is a top 5 pick. They dont come cheap (One can argue he was drafted early) He definitely has elite skill level. The Islanders made him play 4th line minutes all year last season. This year in the AHL he redeemed himself.

    Montreal gets a big fast winger with elite skill. PK can play with his friend John Tavares in Brooklyn.

    Maybe the Isles would have to throw in more to get the deal done. However, to me, this is one of those trades that can work for both teams in the long term.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Please please please no. Benoit Pouliot was a top 5ish pick as well, so was Gilbert Brulet, as was Zherdev etc….

      Niederreiter may indeed still become a top or very good or even just average NHL’er, but at this point it appears he is unwilling to take the steps to develop (Islanders want him in the AHL this year) and he has yet to prove he is ready for NHL.

      Subban is here and is capable. I am not adverse to a trade for Niederreiter, but not at the expense of Subban unless Tavares is coming back our way.

  64. CCL says:

    I’m not a fan of Eller. scoring wise I think he could do better than White on the 4th line.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      But will he throw hay makers at a player for hitting our boys from behind? I know a lot of people here turn their nose up at hockey fights but that put a smile on my face. Just like it did when White did that to Veilleux on Minnesota last year.

  65. SUMO says:

    BOONE!!! How about a Podcast?

    Boone, Hickey, Stubbs & Cowen? Maybe even ask your good buddy Red Fisher to join in?

  66. Timo says:

    Finally was able to watched the game… sheesh, it’s 11 pm

    Not bad. I suggest we give Therrien coach of the year right now.

    One thing that was nice to see is that they hustled a lot more than last game. Hopefully, it is sign of things to come, as far as the effort goes.

    Panthers looked kind of like… well… like Habs last saturday so let’s not get all carried away.

    Lets see how they do against teams like Pitts, NYR, and the effing Bruins.

    I will hold off reserving my seat at the parade just yet.

    • citizenSanto says:

      You don’t chug these victories,
      you gotta sip them and savour their subtle undertones.

    • savethepuck says:

      Nice sarcasm with Therien coach of the year, I don’t blame you for not planning the parade either, nobody should, the same as nobody should be pencilling in a top 3 pick for this team this summer. Still 46 games to go and I too am curious to see how they do against better competition, but I’m looking forward to watching the season play out and hoping we are not in a position like last season when the last 20 plus games meant nothing. It’s much more enjoyable for me to watch an effort like tonight as opposed to the effort Saturday night.
      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  67. SlovakHab says:

    Great game blog Mike, I enjoyed reading it and living the game with the rest of HIO.

    To those guys below me who got to be at the game live: Lucky bastards!!! 🙂

    Good day all!

  68. SUMO says:

    Don’t forget unsung hero Alexei Emelin with 9 Hits!

    Bourque, Bouillon, Prust, Gallagher all had 4 hits.

  69. Stevie.Ray says:

    Much better game tonight. Took a few too many penalties, but that can be attributed to both the ref, and the players still getting their legs under them. Top line looked good. Bork was working hard. Not nearly as sloppy as Saturday.

    Now the question is whether we can expect them to play at that level consistently?

  70. Say Ash says:

    That was a man’s goal by Galchenyuk, taking a hard hit on the half board to keep the PP alive. Dusts himself off and parks in front of the net. Hats off.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Ya, I was watching only him that shift and he took a couple bumps, and I thought “Good for you man, get your nose dirty.” Then he went to the net and scored and showed he isn’t out of place at this level. If he packs on 20 lbs of muscle, he could dominate with those hands and his hard work.

  71. Mattyleg says:

    Three things:

    1. We won; I was there; I saw Galchenyuk’s first.

    b) That play-in for the game is balls. Absolute drivel. Every year since the First Lockout it’s been great. It’s atrocious.

    iii – Imbeciles booed Kovalev. I told the ones in my section to shut up, and they kept it down after that. Not that I’m terribly threatening, but perhaps it made them think about who they were booing. People have not only short memories, but faulty ones.

    Oh, and a fourth thing: We didn’t miss Eller one bit, I’m sorry to say.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  72. _koopy_ says:

    Glad I got to witness Galchenyuk’s FIRST goal live

  73. RetroMikey says:

    Well done to the team and congrats to Therrien for sitting Eller.
    Galchenyuk has superstar written all over him.

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

  74. HardHabits says:

    Your ALN’s are well received Mr. Boone. Good night all!!

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