About last night …

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An early season math problem:
If PP-P.K.=5g, how many $$$ for the MIA D?
For the second consecutive game, the Canadiens power play scored goals in 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 situations.
In neither case – nor during any of the man advantages that did not produce goals – was P.K. Subban notable by his absence.
It’s only three games.
But your Montreal Canadiens are doing just fine without their holdout.

For now – and maybe for a while – the pressure is off rookie general manager Marc Bergevin.

Public opinion in Montreal has turned against Subban – largely because the Canadiens are playing solid team hockey under a coach who has done a superb job, so far, of fine-tuning his team.

Example: In the season-opening loss to the Leafs, Tomas Kaberle played 20 minutes, including 6:25 on a power-play that was ineffectual. Against Washington, Kaberle’s ToI was 14:40. His time with a man-advantage was 3:55, and Kaberle was not on for power-play goals scored by Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov.

One game was enough for Therrien to realize that Markov and Kaberle were not working as a point combination on the power-play. Enter Raphael Diaz, who came to camp as the Canadiens’ sixth defenceman … and the Swiss sophomore would have been seventh on the depth chart if Subban had showed up.

Diaz played 14:49 against Toronto, 18:06 in the win over Florida and 20:28 against the Capitals. His steady performance at the point and ability to deliver accurate shots toward the net have freed up Markov to become the kind of power-play weapon he was before his knee surgeries. On L’Antichambre, Mario Tremblay compared Diaz to Brian Rafalski.

So credit Therrien 2.0 with running a fluid meritocracy in which ability and hard work are rewarded with ice time.

It took the coach two periods against Toronto to realize that Alex Galchenyuk was not the ideal left winger on the Plekanec-Gionta line. Enter Rene Bourque, whose physical presence and non-stop motor (the latter is something we didn’t see last season) have turned the trio into the team’s best line.

It’s early, but I sense the players are buying into the Therrien system. The Canadiens look happy, cohesive and confident – in contrast to a year ago, when injuries, blown leads and a ceaseless off-ice Gong Show sapped the team’s morale.

A new season – and a revival of the Markov of old – has brought improved special teams. And the 2013 campaign  was two games and almost 58 minutes of a third before the Canadiens surrendered an even-strength goal.

Carey Price was superb again with 30 saves against the Caps. He is being well protected by six defencemen who hit, block shots, clear the zone efficiently and  regularly join the rush.

Markov has been a revelation and Diaz a surprise, but the Canadiens are also getting superb work from Josh Gorges (10 blocked shots through three games), Francis Bouillon and Alexei Emelin, who is blossoming in his pairing with Markov.

Now if P.K. signs  …

That would send Kaberle to the pressbox, where he can keep Lars Eller company.

When New Jersey visits the Bell Centre on Sunday, I wonder if Therrien will be tempted to bring Eller back, sticking him on the fourth line while Ryan White takes an evening off from residency in the penalty box.  If you want to nit-pick at what we’ve seen in two wins, White’s penalties have not been wise and might prove costly against teams more dangerous than Florida and Washington.

Man, the Caps are a mess. Winless in three starts, a woeful D corps, Alex Ovechkin looking lost. We should have known something, apart from Republicans, was rotten in Washington when Dale Hunter decided he preferred London …. Ontario.

The Canadiens lost all four games to the Caps a year ago. They were shut out twice and scored a grand total of three goals.

This season’s Habs pumped four past Michal Neuvirth in 15 minutes. And this despite a top line that is off to a slow start.

David Desharnais, Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty carried the Canadiens last season. It’s early, but they are overdue for a breakout game.

If the lethargy persists, Therrien the tinkerer may be tempted to switch Pacioretty and Bourque, mainly as a way to get Max-Pac off the schneid.

The coach has another decision to make on his third line. Brandon Prust has been terrific, and I like the way he jumped on Matt Hendricks. Brendan Gallagher should be around for a while, but the Canadiens have two more games before they have to make a decision on Alex Galchenyuk.

I think the kid is a can’t miss prospect, and we’ve seen flashes of the talent that’s going to make him a star. But Galchenyuk played 12:33 in Washington. He may need more ToI to develop.

On the other hand, the kid has logged more minutes this season than that guy sitting at home in Toronto.

843 Comments

  1. Habs_4_ever says:

    I find it funny that everyone is saying how refreshing it is to see someone like Yakupov playing with so much exuberance and how exciting it was to see him celebrating after his goal. When P.K. did it he was being disrespectful and was a disgrace to his team and all of hockey and he should show respect… and yada, yada,yada.

    Why the two standards?

    F’ that! Let P.K. be P.K.! …and hopefully with the Habs…and hopefully for a long time.

    ————————
    “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

  2. habsfan0 says:

    Rob Ford wins his appeal,remains mayor of Toronto.

    Brian Burke still out as GM of Laffs,however.

  3. Lafrich says:

    About PK Subban:

    I think that the biggest issue is that if the Habs were to trade PK, exactly what would they want in return? What do the Habs need? I think they need exactly what PK brings, and therein lies the problem. I realize that they are overpaying several players already, but that should not play a role in the $$$ they offer Subban. I think we have all seen enough of PK to believe that, in a worst case scenario, he is, or within a year will be, a better D than anyone except Markov. Best case scenario, he eclipses Markov. I think that is worth a lot.

    • habsnyc says:

      What does PK bring? He takes too many shots, turns over the puck too often, takes very low percentage shots and for all his ice time and offensive prowess only scored two even strength goals last season. Montreal was second in the NHL in times shorthanded last season, which is a big part of why they finished poorly. PK took the most penalties of any defenseman in the NHL. He took 47 minors, 10 more than the second place defenseman. Wasted shots, turnovers, penalties. Am I missing anything he brings?

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • Lafrich says:

        Stop beating around the bush. Do you like PK or not?

      • The Jackal says:

        You have no idea what you are talking about.

        Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        What the hell are you doing on a hockey site if you don’t know what PK brings?

        Wow….just wow.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • commandant says:

        Montreal had the 2nd best Penalty Kill in the ENTIRE NHL… and PK was a huge part of that.

        PK was +9 on this team that didn’t score enough even strength goals, while playing the most minutes on the team and being matched up against the other team’s best players.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

  4. V says:

    If Yakupov ever scores a playoff overtime winner, a 30 foot flame will shoot out between his butt cheeks and he will launch himself through the arena roof into orbit.

    • arcosenate says:

      That happens to me every morning.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Yes when the habs could have traded for Yakupov and now we’re slowly starting to see the effects of not having a number one draft pick, so really is it worth losing Seth Jones, is Seth Jones a Yakupov and is it worth losing a season? Why not just trade for Yakupov instead?

    • scavanau says:

      His celebration was enjoyable to watch, youthful and exuberant . Unlike Ovechkin inviting friends over to worship his stick…

      • Luke says:

        In fairness, he wasn’t ‘worshipping’ it. He was warming his hands because of how hot the stick was. Addittionally, his friends encouraged him to do it, and had agreed that they would all surround the stick and do it. Instead they all (in a second secret agreement) just hung him out there to look like a goof.
        Nice little prank… The stick wasn’t much of a story. Cranky old whiners who hate things that are harmless and fun got all bent out of shape about a non-issue.

        They talk more about that being a problem than headshots…

  5. Habsrule1 says:

    I have watched Prust play from afar in the past, but never as close as I am now. Don’t jump all over me for this, but is he the closest thing to Chris Nilan that we have seen in a while? The guy seems to be able to play the game and he can fight very well also.
    The Habs have been looking for a player like him for 20 years.

    Again, it’s a small sample size, but I like what I see so far.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  6. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Re-post from last night…

    Markov is better than I could have imagined. He is, and I reiterate, is and will be our BEST defenseman for the next while. IF you think the other guy is, whom is not even signed…I think you are coo-coo, and not for cocoa puffs…but there is definitively puff puff puff going on for sure.

    Wow, Diaz. Been a fan and am enjoying his play, much better than I expected. So smart with the puck with his passes, shots, defense, and his skating is great, knows how to work those blades.

    Super happy with Coach Therrien. The line combos, the bench management, the effort he gets out of his players…I tip my hat to you Michel. 4-0 lead and they played a steady, strong game to protect the lead. I love how they never let off the gas, and that is due to the bench boss doing a great job with what he has. Everyone looks like they have legs.

    Awesomesauce!

    GO HABS GO!

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Markov is better than Subban now, but in 2-3 years, we may regret it if PK is not here. Diaz is no PK, and we don’t really know if Beaulieu is going to become anywhere near as good either.

      So far, MT is impressing me, but let’s not annoint him the next Toe Blake yet. We’ve played 3 games against bad teams and lost one of them.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  7. Habsssssssswin says:

    Eller is not a Therrien style guy, and until he grows a pair,he’ll be watching a lot of hockey from the pressbox.

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    I would have no issue seeing Eller replace Gallagher on that line. I also don’t care who plays center. BUt i do think a line of Eller/Galchenyuk/Prust would be interesting to watch.

    This is not to crap on Gallagher, just an observation and a way to get Eller back in lineup.

    I am far less a fan of Eller taking White’s position on 4th line. I know White has taken some penalties, but this is a big year for him in the comeback variety.

    Last year started with bad injury, then came back to a dysfunctional team with a Head Coach in JM who dislikes players like White, and none of us had a clue what Cunneyworth was doing…. as I think the players felt the same way.

    Give White a chance, everyteam in the league needs a hard nosed kid from Manitoba in their lineup if they want to succeed.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I think this is the 3rd line we’ll see if AGally sticks.

      If White is replaced, it will be by a healthy Petteri whats-his-name. Although, if it’s just for a game or two, nothing would really surprise me.

  9. arcosenate says:

    PK forgot to factor in a healthy Markov when he was doing his self-worth evaluation. As long as Markov is healthy and the team is winning more than it’s losing PK is going to be on the outside looking in. Shame really, because he would undeniably help the team.

    However, I do think Bob Mackenzie might be right, if there is a team out there willing to give up some fairly significant assets, PK will be gone.

    All depending on Markov and team play of course…

    • shiram says:

      Markov is awesome, but he is no spring chicken and signed for next season only, Subban is awesome too, but not yet as mature but he’s got tons of great hockey ahead of him.
      Having one does not negate the need for the other, as far as I’m concerned.
      Trades, well I’d prefer a right now player than picks or prospects.

      • Propwash says:

        Having a P.K Subban will take some of the burden off of Markov for sure. He’s being ridden hard at this point and the last thing the team needs is for him to start burning out.

        ____________________
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      • arcosenate says:

        What I am saying is that PK, as long as Markov is healthy, is not missed to the extent he would have been had Markov not been ready to start the season. This has thrown a very large wrench into his salary demands. It has also become very difficult for PK to back off those same demands because well, PK is PK and PK knows what PK thinks PK is worth. That wil be a hard hill to climb off of and accept the short term, lesser money deal.

        We shall see, but it would seem that PK will not budge, and as long as the team is winning, why would Bergevin?

        That leaves a trade as the only real option.

        • shiram says:

          Subban is not only about now, but about the future.
          No one in the system has not shown to be able to replace PK.
          It could be that Subban sits out a year…

          • arcosenate says:

            Won’t happen, something has to give, Bergevin has to worry about the lower salary cap next year as well, i think he either signs for less or he’s gone.

  10. BJ says:

    Anyone see Yakupov’s goal celebration tying the game up in the last seconds? Imagine if PK pulled that off. Probably the last Nail in his coffin.

    • arcosenate says:

      LOL, you got that right, give that old Grapes guy material for months. And shouldn’t his nickname be Raisin by now?

    • krob1000 says:

      That was understandable given the moment….Quick had been yapping at him earlier in the game for shooting a puck into the net late…then Quick robbed him on a breakaway. The Oilers fight back and tie the game up and in one of the weirdest calls I have seen in a while they call the goal back…the crowd got very hostile and littered the ice and chanted a bunch of not so nice things. Then the home scorekeeper allows 3 full seconds to tick off…..they fix that and the coach makesa gutsy call putting Yakupov out there and gets Eric BElanger to take the faceoff…with 10 seconds to go he wins it back, Hall fires and Yak knocks it out of the air to tie it with 4 seconds left for his first meanigful goal and under those circumstances it probably felt like a Stanley Cup winning goal…..his celebration was not rehearsed..he was just that excited. That ending was awesome too…GAgner the jilted one one the disallowed goal finsihes it …that was a Hollywood ending of a gmae for sure and one that I am sure will kickstart the Oilers

  11. habs-fan-84 says:

    Re: Galchenyuk

    I think he should stay, I doubt there’s much more he can learn playing junior. If he doesn’t look out of place in the NHL and is able to keep up with the flow of the game I don’t understand what good it will do to send him back to Sarnia.

    As a musician , I can tell you that you only get better by playing with musicians better than yourself. I would imagine it’s much the same for athletes. If a kid is dominating house league hockey, there’s not much more he’s going to learn until he moves up to rep and plays with kids as good or better than he.

    Frankly, I believe it would be a waste to send him back. IMO very humble opinion I believe he’ll develop better by adjusting to the NHL sooner rather than later. I don’t think his “techniques”/”Skills” need improving, he simply needs to adjust to the NHL.

  12. Strummer says:

    The DD line is still not clicking.

    I think Cole who didn’t play during the lockout, and Patches who played only 5 games in the Swiss league are both rusty.

    DD played in Switzerland ( saw him in the Spengler Cup) so I don’t think he’s the problem.

    As you recall Cole got off to slow start last year

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

  13. Phil C says:

    So how much are we loving the coaching so far?

    - Great line combinations and adjustments
    - Strong forecheck and more aggressive trap
    - spreading out the ice time
    - Great puck movement on the PP (Gallant I assume?)
    - players standing up for each other
    - Giving the kids a chance
    - Getting Bourque to play hockey (this is a miracle to me)

    After years of watching JM’s style of coaching, I feel like I just found the promised land after 40 years of wandering in the desert. I don’t even care if they keep winning or not, at least they now have a chance to win each night.

    If Therrien keeps this up, those who were slamming him before the season will be hanging a picture of him on their wall between the Pope and the Queen.

    • shiram says:

      I think Therrien surrounded himself with quality assistant and we are seeing an hungry team, I hope it holds up!

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      MY thoughts on what I have seen

      1) It is 3 games, 2 of which were played against questionable opponents (well, 3 if you want to feel bad about losing to the leafs)

      Florida was playing a back to back and 3 in 4, and were missing a bunch of key players, so they are not a good measuring stick.

      Washington is 0/3 and aside from a decent first, they looked terrible and it seems they have been terrible in their other games.

      I am going to wait a few more games and see how they stack up against quality oppenents.

      2) Markov is still Markov in the other end of the rink. I am going to be the first to admit, I haven’t been watching the games all that closely (usually working out at the same time) so I haven’t really had time to scrutinize his defense. Again, I am going to wait for the Rangers or Penguins to see how he deals with constant pressure from high end talent. So far, he looks pretty good.

      3) Bourque is exactly what I said he was… Finally he looks like the player I enjoyed watching barrel around the Saddledome! Let’s just hope he doesn’t dissappear too many times this season (because he will a few times).

      4) Price… naysayers are queit these days.

      • Phil C says:

        You are right that they haven’t been tested yet. Next week the have Ottawa twice, Buffalo twice,, and Boston, so we’ll have a better idea after that if they can compete with the best teams. I’m just glad they are doing things right so far. Whether or not it results in more wins or not remains to be seen but at least they have a chance.

  14. icemachine says:

    Only got home in time to catch the 3rd, didn’t look like they had the same energy as against Florida, didn’t have that offensive edge I saw that night. Not as bad as protecting a lead under JM tenure, but not much better.

    Really need an option on the poll question saying -Not enough info to make a decision. I’m a big PK fan and want to see him play in Montreal for a long time, obviously can’t break the bank on him but I’d rather see him at slightly inflated price than have him get traded and have to watch him in a different uni

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I heard Elliott Price say this about the 3rd period on the morning show. How often have the Habs had a 4 goal lead in the last couple seasons. It’s not ok to sit back at all when you’re up by 1 or 2, but when you’re up by 4, that’s the time to rest a bit. Even in a 48 game season, it’s tough to go all out every minute of every game. With so many games in so few nights, when you are up by 4 or 5 goals, it won’t kill the team to slow down and make sure you’re 100% ready for the next game. It sounds funny and I’m sure people will disagree and say we need to keep going at 110% even when we’re up by 4 goals, but I think what he said has merit and I would not judge the Habs play by what they do with a 4-0 lead in the 3rd period.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  15. habs-fan-84 says:

    IMO Gallagher goes back to the AHL (I think he’ll be ready next year) after getting a taste of the NHL, he’s full of confidence and should play better for the Bulldogs. Naturally, and injuries to our forwards and he’ll be back.

    Eller has to come back, there is still too much potential upside to him. On too many occasions I have seen flashes of brilliance to simply dismiss him as a fringe NHL player at worst and 3rd or 4th line center at best.

  16. shiram says:

    So how about that DD line and their famed chemistry? Heh, joking aside, Patches has at least been shooting at a decent clip, but Cole with only 2 shots in 3 games? DD’s also being worked alot and he does not seem to have the time he had to setup plays as before.
    Hopefully Therrien keeps his line that’s gelling together, Pleks, Gio and Bourque are doing very well out there. Faceoffs are still an issue, but neither DD or Pleky are great at the faceoffs.

    Anyone wanna give an apraisal on Bouillon, he’s been playing lots, but I barely see him out there, it can’t be too bad if I’m not seeing him, but I’m still wondering.
    Kaberle is brutal, I wanted to be patient with him, but he’s really not helping the team right now.

    • Loonie says:

      I posted below that Bouillon had more responsibility than anyone for the first three goals against on the year but his play otherwise has been solid in my opinion.

      He drew the penalty that lead to the first goal last night by pressuring the defenseman into a bad play.

      I wouldn’t have him out there for 20+ minutes like the first game but it’s been decent so far.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      I don’t know what’s up with Patches…physically I doubt there’s anything wrong, but I don’t see him driving to the net like he was last year. For some reason he doesn’t look as confident out there, at least just yet. He’s shooting a lot from the perimeter but again, doesn’t seem to be driving to the net like he did last year.

      I’m sure he’ll get back to form soon.

      • krob1000 says:

        That line is being played differently IMO. DD is the playmaker so teams are not letting him have any time or space. Cole and Patches are being forced to be the ones carrying the puck but opposing Dmen seem to have backed off and aren;t playing them as aggressively int he neutral zone…this eliminates their skating advantage and since neither is really a playmaker extreme it is going to take some adjusting to. I doubt depth lines are able to play them this effectively but when matched against good defense pairings and/or good defensive forwards they will continue to geet played like that I suspect. What is going to have to happen is a little dump and chase to creat some space but that puts the onus ont he big boys to be aggressive on the dump ins as DD will not excel in that area but is very smart and as the support guy will get the puck in his hands on turnovers and do his thing.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Bouillon is a heck of a lot better than Gill was last year.

      And I liked Gill.


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

  17. krob1000 says:

    I can’t believe I forgot how controlling Markov is…I guess it wasn’t forgetting as much as it was wondering if he would be himself but his decsion making is elite amongst the elite in the NHL. All of the subtle things he does are just so invaluable, the look away to shift the play before making a pass, the ability to anticipate plays defensively and offensively, his stick ( he knocks down passes and keeps pucks in as well as anyone I have ever seen). The team just plays differently when he is out there…you talk about a guy who makes those around him better…he is the best at that the Habs have had in my lifetime (not counting the years I didn’t understand the game).

    He makes every forward better by getting them the puck on the move, he makes the goalie and D better by keeping the puck away from the Habs end.
    Markov is the man and has proved that last seasons tail end was just him getting himself back into the groove…he missed a ton of time for a guy at his age and that had us all worried but man he is incredible. There are going to be timse this season that he gambles and gets beat as a result…but we just have to remember that he is as intelligent of a hockey player as there is in the league so you have to accept that now and then.

    As far as the skill…that play he made on his goal…looked simple….was far from…to be skating in and take his right foot…stick it out to the right to bounce the puck back as a lefty moving forward is incredibly difficult..he made it look simple. I guarantee 99 percent of player would have just extended their stick on the backhand ….not Markov…because he thinks at another level..one that can’t be taught and sometimes isn’t fully appreciated. Another example others have mentioned was his pass to Pleks …99 percent of players take that shot into traffic…not Markov.

    • shiram says:

      Therrien seems to want more scoring threat from the D, and that seems to suit Markov just fine, the way he pinches in for goals is just so good.
      Many here doubted his return, and with valid reasons, and there is still alot of hockey to play, but from what we’ve seen so far Markov is just awesome. Well worth his cap hit, for now.

  18. junyab says:

    “Brendan Gallagher should be around for a while, but the Canadiens have two more games before they have to make a decision on Alex Galchenyuk.”

    Totally disagree with this, Gallagher looked completely lost last night.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I thought he was not as good as his previous game and I can see him going back to the AHL soon and being more ready for the big time next season.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Loonie says:

        Taking a lot of bad shots when he should be passing or buying time. I hope this is a consideration of the front office when they decide Galchenyuk’s future.

        • ed lopaz says:

          Gallagher shoots all the time in the AHL as well. He shoots every time he has the puck, and very infrequently have I ever seen him pass when he is open to take a shot from anywhere.

          If he’s not shooting, he attacks the net with the puck, which is good. But he never dishes it off when he arrives at the net, which is such a great scoring play!

          I love Gallagher.

          But he needs to learn more of a team approach to offence to round his game into NHL form.

          He should be sent back to Hamilton.

          • krob1000 says:

            SOunds liek his mentor..Gionta! They are very similar in many other areas as well and sometimes I get frustrated with Gio but obviously nobody in the NHL seems to care and I guess at that level any shot taken by a good shooter is a good shot. I realize sometimes tap ins are missed and I prefer to see the guys dish in some of those situations…different schools of thought I guess but once in shooting range it is hard to say a shot on net is a bad thing…one key for me would be that those guys make sure their shots are generating more rebounds though and aren’t firing intot he breadbasket or glove allowing the play to be stopped.

  19. mrhabby says:

    Great to see the habs slapping around the caps. the caps have dominated the canadiens for a # of years and it was good to see the tables turned for a change. maybe times are changing.
    Overall the habs are still a big work in progress. I still think this year for the new management team is a year in review to see what they have…like i said a work in progress. its going to be fun.

    ps..how about them leafs coming back down to earth.

  20. derfab says:

    Is it just me or has the league decided to create more 5 on 3 opportunities to generate scoring? Every game I’ve caught seems to have had one or more. Anyone have any stats on this? Playing 2 men down seems kind of ridiculous. You have to screw up not to score. Why not just award a penalty shot?

    • Loonie says:

      I’m not sure about this season’s stats but something that has driven me bonkers for the last few years is that it seemed like the officials put their whistles away when a team was shorthanded. So for example if we have a PP in a game against the Bruins they were getting away with bloody murder while shorthanded.

      If it’s a conscious change they’re making to the way games are called, I’m in favour of it regardless of the result.

    • krob1000 says:

      I have seen 4 in diff’t games ( 5 on 3′s) caused by dmen firing the puck over the glass…..not much the refs can do about that

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Was going to type the exact same thing. Early season jitters for dmen perhaps, creates more of these scenarios.

        • krob1000 says:

          Price came dangerously close the other night too…..hit the glass about 8 inches below the top

          • HabinBurlington says:

            remember exactly that play, he played it very confidently, while I tensed up hoping to see puck hit glass which it did.

            He looks so controlled in the net, very good to see.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Did you catch the shot of Prust giving the timekeeper his the towel when he got hit in the head by a puck in the box? And then he gave him a pat on the shoulder and big smile? I mean,how can you not like this guy?

    • Strummer says:

      Kerry Fraser has a feature on TSN called “Ask the Ref”

      He said that the ref’s had their own camp after the lockout ended and were told to crack down on fouls.
      An example was Plec’s penalty against the leafs for the snow shower on their goalie.

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

  21. munch17 says:

    For the last few years the Habs are as good as their PP.
    Markov healthy – it works.
    Fortunately we got the lead two games in a row with PP ( both 5 on 3 I think).
    We are a different team with a lead.
    We can see what happens when we fall behind.
    Pleks line is # 1 now.
    Would love to see Gal27 get a chance with Cole and Pacs.
    DD is invisible. Eller can center third line.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Weber go in for Kaberle – unless they are hoping to move him.

  22. ed lopaz says:

    re: Galchenyuk

    he has nothing left to prove at the junior level, his play was totally dominant.

    I think he will develop very nicely on this Habs team and his speed is definitely up to NHL standards.

    I see how successful the Bruins were with Seguin and I believe we can move Galchenyuk along in a very similar fashion.

    He gets to practice at NHL speed. He gets to play 12-15 minutes a night depending on the game and the situation, and he gives us another offensive weapon if Bourque decides to take a vacation during the regular season.

    I would keep him.

    • Loonie says:

      I was dead wrong about Galchenyuk’s speed. I watched a lot of the Sting during the lockout and the WJ as well and he didn’t look like he had the speed to compete in the NHL. I really believe that he was skating to his teammates level in junior after watching these last three games.

      • ed lopaz says:

        I saw the same thing at the WJC. Too much gliding as well.

        skating “down” to the Junior speed level is bad for his development, and exactly why I would vote to keep him here.

  23. rhino514 says:

    It´s not Eller´s fault at all that he was traded for a playoff hero and a pretty good goalie in his own right. I think deep down many of us feel we “deserve” him to be a top six in order to justify that trade.
    But people have finally caught on that he probably isn´t a star due for a breakout year and is just plain deficient in hockey sense.
    This isn´t necessarily a terrible thing. You can´t teach size nor innate skill. But with time in the league you can learn to make better decisions with the puck.
    To me Eller is the type of player who will “get it” later in his career; maybe around 28 or 29 or 30.
    The problem is; what do you with Eller once Galchenyuk makes the team, be it this year or next? To me, Eller is just about average on the third line and good on penalty kills. Galchenyuk by next year will be a more attractive option as one of the top three centres.
    So unless Desharnais proves to be a fluke this year (and he´s proven himself for a season and a half by now) where does he end up fitting in on the team?

    • Loonie says:

      A lot of people think that Desharnais will be moved to a wing position. I’m not sure if I agree with that but he has some serious work to do on his faceoff ability.

      If Bergevin feels the team isn’t going to be able to compete for a Cup in the next two years I believe Plekanec should be moved at the deadline this year or in the summer. If he feels the opposite, I’d keep Plekanec if I were him.

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Rhino, I have to disagree with the notion about Eller’s lack of “hockey sense” . I see the exact opposite and note in how well he handled Toews, Sedin etc last year. He knows where the play is going and anticipates well in advance.

      He is still not 100 percent confident in what he can do yet and that is what hurts him. Price noted he had the slickest hands on the team and yet his shooting was not strong.

      3 years from now when he is in his prime, you will be hard pressed to find someone who admits they doubted he would arrive.

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

  24. IAMLEGEND says:

    I love Markov! Just wanted to share that.

  25. Arrow77 says:

    I will wait for the first 3 games in 4 nights sequence before I pass a judgement. The start is promising but it doesn’t mean we won’t finish the year well behind the Capitals when the dust settles. Right now, Markov is hot and the PP is carrying the team. That’s unlikely to last the whole year.

  26. Phil C says:

    The decision on Galchenyuk will come down to this: are the Habs a better team with him or without him? If they are a better team with him, then he stays, player development comes second to the team’s performance. If you remember the interview with Rick Dudley in the pre-season, he said (I am paraphrasing) if a young player is playing well and can make the team, but it causes personnel or cap problems for the GM, then you deal with that problem. That is a good problem to have.

    If keeping him does not really benefit nor hurt the team, then player development considerations come into play, as well as cap considerations, whether or not the player is waivable, etc. I have not seen Eller play yet this year, so I can’t really comment on if Galchenyuk is an upgrade on 3rd line centre or not. But if Galchenyuk is viewed as an upgrade, then he will stay, it’s that simple.

    Whether or not you agree with Eller sitting, he is being sent a strong message with both Galchenyuk AND Gallagher drawing into the top 9 lineup ahead of him. He will understand that effort will be rewarded.

    I remember a certain flamboyant young defenseman being benched about this time last year, with similar cries about how he was being mishandled. Maybe it was a co-incidence, but he was a different player after that and had an amazing second half of the season. I think benching a player is one of the best tools a coach has to hold a player accountable and to snap them into reality about how they are playing. Eller will not only be fine, he will be better for it.

    • Loonie says:

      Your last paragraph is a perfect illustration of what is wrong with some coaches. Assuming that the same treatment for every player will produce the desired result is foolish.

      Subban didn’t react too well right away to his benching last year. When he drew back into the lineup he continued to play nervous and weary of making mistakes. Many argued the benching did more harm than good.

      Assuming that the benching is what produced the sum of the player’s season is short sighted in my opinion.

      • Phil C says:

        I do agree that a coach should not treat every player the same. Tough love will work on one player and will be disastrous on another.

        Every coach has to bench players, its a part of the job and should not always be viewed as punishment, it is just acknowledgement that there are players who deserve to play ahead of you. It is simple accountability and is a part of a meritocracy. Sometimes it is a punishment, and if it works, why not use it? Eller seems like a competitive guy to me in interviews, so I can seem him responding well to this.

        I acknowledge that Subban’s benching last year may or may not have helped but we can conclude that it did not hurt him. His body of work before and after the benching was night and day. He emerged as a dominant defenseman in the league in the second half of the season, while the first half of his season was very inconsistent.

    • HardHabits says:

      I agree but I will add a caveat. This policy should also extend to veterans. One of the things that is so refreshing with MT versus JM is that MT is putting Galchenyuk, Gallagher and Prust out there as a PP unit. JM’s recidivist tendency to put Darche on the PP or do his best to try and re-ignite Gomez by repeatedly putting him out there was maddening.

      Speaking of MT vs. JM, the PK duty is not all being dumped on Plekanec’ shoulders. The 3rd and 4th line players are stepping into that role.

      Should PK Subban return I would venture that he would not see time on the top defensive pairing (not unless he earns it, and that will take some serious on ice and attitude adjustment) and would be hard pressed to perform according to MT’s plan to get TOI in the vicinity of 20 minutes.

      MT likes to manage lines and spread the responibilities across the bench. JM liked to shorten his bench and lean on his favourites. Two completely different philosophies.

      • Loonie says:

        Good point about the special teams Dave. I thought a 2-0 lead was a bit early to give first unit duties to Galchenyuk’s line but in fairness I believe they had a penalty kill and powerplay immediately before it and they needed ice time to stay involved in the game.

      • Phil C says:

        I would agree with your caveat. You can say that MT is doing that by moving Diaz ahead of Kaberle on the depth chart, although that is probably an easy decision for him. It is tougher with a player like Cole who you know will break out eventually. It is then a question of how patient the coach can be with him.

        I also really like how MT is spreading out the ice-time, even sending the kid line on the PP. That must be great for their morale and it gives a rest to the top unit.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Well said, but while I don’t want to defend JM, I think he may have had pressure from above to try to make certain moves look better by trying to get something out of Gomez and possibly Darche.
        As for PK’s eventual return, I see him earning plenty of minutes and probably getting back to the #1 PP shortly after his return.
        I like Diaz a lot but to be fair, he’s no PK.
        All in all, MT’s system seems to be working at the moment, but our opponents have yet to put up much of a fight after opening night.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        Does this mean you’re coming around to MT 2.0?

        Like many, I was disappointed with Marc’s decision to hire Therrien, however, I was willing to give him a second chance as I thought there was a good possibility he had learned from his mistakes – I think he realized this was his last “kick at the can” so to speak – screw this opportunity up and there’s a good chance he’d never coach an NHL team again. I believe he realized this, did a self evaluation and is now a better coach.

        So far I’m really impressed with MT 2.0. He’s allowing the team to play to it’s strengths, namely speed. He also likes the rough and tumble stuff….and so do I.

        GO HABS GO!

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Regarding Galchenyuk, I agree.

      If they think they’re better with him, then he’ll get the ice time and will be used in situations that will help him develop. At this point it’s hard to tell what the coaches think of him, sound bites notwithstanding. Are his minutes and PP time a product of the leads they’ve held? Can they be attributed to the fact that he’s being evaluated? Only the coaches know for sure.

      If they feel Eller gives them a better chance to win this year, then Galchenyuk will be sent back to Sarnia with a list of things he can work on. People who say he’s got nothing more to prove in the OHL should take a peak at Patrick Kane’s #’s – 145pts in 58 games.

  27. CCL says:

    Right now the Habs are looking good not to take anything away from them. the two teams they beat are not playing that well.Their test will be Sunday. should they beat the Devils than we can say maybe this team is for real.

    It’s hard to make changes when you are winning but I wouldn’t mind seeing. Pacioretty, Plekanec and Gionta for our 1st line.
    Bourque, Galchenyuk and Cole 2nd line. move Desharnais down on the 3rd line see what he can do along side Gallagher.

    • HammerHab says:

      “move Desharnais down on the 3rd line see what he can do along side Gallagher.”

      This would not work. 2 small players on the same line is extremely unlikely to work.

      ———————————–

      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

      • Loonie says:

        Plekanec, Gionta and Bourque have accounted for four of the teams 9 goals. Maybe not the best idea to break that line up.

        • krob1000 says:

          That line has been the best line……DD is losing a ton of puck battles and Cole and Pacioretty are both not using their speed to the outside like they normally do (or not being given the opportunity to do so). I wouldn’t mess with it yet but that line is being played differently. Opponenets are draping themselves all over Dd and taking away the middle and not even challenging the wheels of Pacioretty or Cole…..if it is one of them carrying the puck over the blueline neither is a creative type guy. They will still do better at home but when teams match against them and play them appropriately…keep the puck in Cole or Patches hands crossing the blueine and in the neutral zone and not risk getting beat wide by one of them…they are nowhere near as effective.

          I am completely impressed with the D (I am a Kaberle fan but he is the only one really hurting ad Gorges isn’t quite where he can be but nowhere near as noticeable as Kaberle). Bouillon has been a rock and Therrien has been very aggressive on the pp with our Dmen pinching hard all the way to the corners to try to keep pucks in…has resulted in two delay of games penalty…pressure is an incredible tool and MT’s aggressive nature plays a big art on those pp’s in keeping pucks in and keeping the opposing PK tired and hemmed in.

          • Loonie says:

            Bouillon has been the cause of 3 of the 4 goals the Habs have surrendered. I wouldn’t call him a rock at this point. But he was better last night.

          • Mattyleg says:

            You can’t say a defenseman is the cause of goals.
            And which one wasn’t he ‘the cause’ of?

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Loonie says:

            I can say the defenseman was the cause of goals because it’s true in this case. The first three of the season. He walled himself off in the defensive zone on the penalty kill and lost track of each goal scorer driving into his area and ultimately depositing the puck into the net.

            The responsibility falls on him and the forward on his side’s shoulders in each case. So while he wasn’t the sole cause of each of the first three goals, his lack of awareness in the defensive zone allowed all three scorers to get clean, uncontested shots from prime scoring areas.

            I don’t believe Bouillon was responsible for last night’s goal against.

        • krob1000 says:

          re below…. I didn’t see the goal last night..I played hockey myself and only saw the first 2 periods..but he was and has been palying very well in what I have seen (third period of Leafs game, all of Panthers and first 2 periods of last night).

  28. Loonie says:

    Re: We should have gotten more for Halak.

    The goalie market was soft with Niemi having just won a Cup and the Flyers against them with no capable goaltending.

    I suspect most people involved in the NHL knew Price was being kept and Halak was without a contract when he was traded.

    The player they got in return was a first round pick who was rated as the #3 skater in the World when he was drafted by Jarmo Kekalainen. He would later advise the Blues to trade David Runblad and pick Tarasenko among other brilliant moves in the amateur scouting department.

    I’d say it’s a little too early to judge.

    Edit: Also worth noting that he was and remains wildly inconsistent. For every two good games he has there seems to be one dumpster fire that results in him getting the hook.

  29. knob says:

    I love how this team played in their last two games but I’m not convinced that they are good…not yet. Both our wins came against back-up goaltenders for their respective clubs. Florida was playing their third game in four nights and Washington…well they have looked like our Habs from last year.

  30. Cal says:

    Before I forget completely, Happy Robbie Burns Day!

  31. Habsssssssswin says:

    Gionta has played strong hockey. A great example of grit and determination in a small package. Goes to the dirty areas too.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      We are seeing now how much we missed both Gionta & Markov last year.
      Another guy that is impresseing is Bourque. Everyone was writing this guy off cause he played bad for the Habs last year. A trade to a dysfunctional team doesn’t always help players put up points.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  32. 24 Cups says:

    Mike Knuble just signed on with Philly for 750,000 grand as a replacement for Hartnell. Frattin got the call in TO to replace Lupul.

    It won’t take long before injuries becomes one of the major factors in deciding playoff seedings in this 48 game season with no real training camp.

  33. Price07 says:

    Lots of talk about PK, Markov, Diaz etc but geez Price is looking solid. Posting great numbers and making solid saves. What a goalie.

    And to those who are gonna give me the Halak crap…I’m not saying he’s bad but he plays on a team that lets no shots by. He has two shutouts one with 22 shots and yesterday’s with 13 shots!

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      As much as I like Halak this organization made the right move by keeping Price. I still think we could have gotten more in return for him though.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Price would be setting records if he played on the Blues. And ya, we should have gotten more back for Halak, like Perron or something!

    • Mustang says:

      You seem to have a selective memory?? You seem to forget how he was facing 30 to 40 shots per game in the playoffs 2 years ago, and still playing for the winning team.

      I think that both Halak and Price are excellant NHL goaltenders. I can’t see how bashing one makes the other any better. I liked Halak when he was here and I like Price now since I am a Montreal Canadien fan.

    • ooder says:

      when with the habs Halak managed to tie a franchise record with 50 something saves in a playoff game :S
      not bashing on Price because I think he is a phenomenal goalie, but to discredit Halak because of the number of shots he faces (something totally out of his control) is kind of pointless
      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  34. JF says:

    The main difference between this year and last year? This year’s Habs look like a hockey team; last year’s looked like a collection of players. This year’s team are fast, move the puck well, support each other up and down the ice, and stand up for each other; last year they were usually out of sync, passes were off the mark, no one seemed to know where anyone else was on the ice, and they allowed themselves to be pushed around.

    I’m very impressed so far by what Therrien is doing. He has the team well prepared, and he’s quick to spot what isn’t working and change it (remember last year – Plekanec at the point with the man advantage game after game?) . Pairing Diaz with Markov on the powerplay was a stroke of genius. I think this pairing was first used in practice on Tuesday morning; Therrien liked what he saw – and so do the rest of us. People looking at points by defencemen around the league must be asking, “Who’s this Raphael Diaz guy?” He did well in his first year, but we had only glimpses of the skill he’s showing this year.

    As for P.K., I think it’s nonsense to say, as Michel Bergeron did on L’Antichambre last night, “Meilleur sans P.K.” P.K. was our best defenceman last year; in Markov’s absence, he had to accelerate his learning curve and assume a lot of responsibility, and overall he acquitted himself well. He’s still very young and has the potential to be a top defenceman for a decade or more.

    On the other hand, the team’s early success, especially on the powerplay, might give Marc Bergevin a bit of leverage and certainly breathing room. It’s evident that, if P.K. came back right now, he wouldn’t move onto the top defence pairing or the top powerplay unit. So his role, and therefore his immediate value, would be smaller than last year. If he’s watching all this, he might be leaning towards signing a bridge contract. If he continues to improve, he’ll get bigger long-term money in two years, when Markov will be over 35, than he would now.

    Therrien needs to make a decision about Alex Galchenyuk, who would certainly get more ice-time in Sarnia; and he needs to find a way to get Eller back in the lineup (perhaps those two things are connected?) A couple of games in the pressbox shouldn’t be a problem for Eller’s confidence; more might be a mistake.

    • JUST ME says:

      I think that the beginning of the season shows why a number one guy is so important and why when he is injured things get more complicated.
      Take Markov for example. Now that he is back and playing like a number one D-man ,presure is off on the rest of the D squad because they do not have to play a role that is not their own and more minutes thant they can offer. It does such a difference that some are saying that we do not need P.K. now. I do not agree but it does give the habs some options.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      A big difference is a 4th line that can play a regular shift + penalty kill. A 4th line that doesn’t include defensemen or journeymen.

  35. Les-Habitants says:

    This idea that Chucky can’t develop with 12-15 min a game at the NHL level is one that I find a bit confusing. He’s playing a regular shift, getting involved and is learning about dealing with faster, stronger, and more talented opponents. His experience here will be invaluable; now, that said, I think the coaching staff has to decide whether he has done enough to earn a roster spot over Eller.

    As for PK, it is important that despite this short-term success, we can’t forget that PK is a potential cornerstone for this franchise, a guy I really think is in mold of a Chris Chelios. I don’t know what he’s demanding, but the best comparison out there is John Carlson – and he signed for 6yrs at $3.97MM.

    • Phil C says:

      You could even argue that 12-15 minutes a game would be ideal for an 18 year old who is not used to the pace of NHL hockey and games every other night.

  36. Habsrule1 says:

    Great win last night…very dominant!

    Now imagine this team with PK…..WOW!

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Cal says:

      Markov Emelin
      Gorges PK
      Boullion Diaz
      Kaberle and Weber spare, with either being moved.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        That’s exactly the d pairing I just sent a co-worker.
        Keep Diaz on the #1 pp for now, and put pk on the #2, and adjust if/when necessary.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Phil C says:

        With those pairings, they could just roll all three without too much concern, which would be good to make sure they don’t wear down Markov. In fact, that’s the main reason I would like to see P.K. back as it would take some of the load from Markov.

  37. Cal says:

    Early on, this team has shown a couple surprises. A coach running a meritocracy system. Diaz making me eat crow (it’s delicious with a nice white wine sauce and plenty of time to marinate). Markov being Markov.

    So far, this looks like a team to CHeer for! :)

  38. HabFanSince72 says:

    A question for the experts.

    Would Galchenyuk learn more in Sarnia or playing 3rd line minutes in Montreal?

    Even last night, with his time being restrcited in his first away game, he manages 12:33 min. That is only 2-3 fewer shifts than Gionta and Cole.

    It’s hard to believe he is better off in the OHL. In Montreal he gets better coaching and better opposition. And 14 min of NHL hockey has to be more of a learning experience than 20 min of OHL hockey.


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

    • Loonie says:

      Simply put. The only way a move back to Sarnia makes sense is if him being in Montreal will hurt him. That’s unlikely in this case because his father was a pro hockey player who understands the adjustments in moving to the pro game.

      The lost year of rfa status is a joke of an argument. You don’t worry about that with a 3rd overall pick because your ultimate goal is to have him with your team for his entire career. After seeing this NHL action and not being out of place, the move back to Sarnia doesn’t allow him to prepare for the NHL game, Hamilton would but Sarnia doesn’t.

    • Cal says:

      I am no expert, but 3rd line minutes with all the veterans in Montreal helping out as well as all the coaching. Keep him here. Besides, there are more games with the Habs. Surrounding Chucky with a higher level of average player will elevate his game.

  39. HankHardball says:

    What I find most encouraging about the 2 wins is the 8 goals scored by a team that usually has trouble scoring.

    I wonder when was the last time the Habs scored 4 goals or more in consecutive games.

    Price is playing well and the team is scoring. Gotta luv it.

    PK? It’s almost to the point where I don’t want him coming back if he’s a disruption. Right now they don’t miss him. So let him sit out.

    • Loonie says:

      A cautionary note on the scoring. Five of their nine goals have come from forwards but only from three forwards. Plekanec, Gionta and Galchenyuk.

      You can either worry that forwards aren’t scoring enough or be of the mindset that they’re due to break out.

      I’m on the fence.

    • JF says:

      Early last season they had back-to-back 4-0 shutouts against the Rangers and Carolina. Hard to believe….

  40. Hobie Hansen says:

    I really wish I could come out and say “I told you so” to everyone that doubted Rene Bourque, Michel Therrien and Brandon Prust but I’m just as much of a Debbie Downer because I openly doubted guys like Andrei Markov and Raph Diaz. Also, it’s only three games, of which two were against very poor teams in Florida and Washington.

    Markov is looking spectacular but I’m still nervous for when we’ve got a week where we’re up against teams like the Bruins, Rangers and Sabres. Gams where the intensity level will be much higher than what we’ve seen so far and the physicality level along with it.

    I don’t know if that makes me a glass half empty type of fan but I always look for the holes on the Habs and the weaknesses. Only because I want them filled in order for us to become elite.

    This team looks like a team that is going to sore on the PP and have a good penalty killing unit. So as long as the refs keep the whistle out of their pockets and keep sending the Habs on the PP we should do well.

    But if the refs put the whistle away and let the two teams hammer each other, that’s when this Habs team could be in trouble, especially on defense.

    Sorry to be a pessimist but I want that Stanley Cup! The good news, I think we’ve finally got a cool, calm and collective front office that is going to put all the pieces in place to get us there!

    • Loonie says:

      I’m not sure that two wins is a ringing endorsement of the front office.

      Michel Therrien has managed the team very well during games for the most part. The handling of young players may continue to be an issue. I’d like to know if he’s telling Brendan Gallagher to avoid shooting from the boards because that’s been an issue, he missed out on generating a couple of scoring chances last night where he should have passed to an open Prust and then an in the slot Galchenyuk and instead shot from terrible angles and wasted those rushes. Gallagher is a scorer but shooting from any place on the ice doesn’t work in professional hockey like it does in junior. Hopefully he’s being told to avoid repeating the mistake in the future.

      Eller’s handling is ridiculously awful and I don’t really want to get into it more than it’s been discussed. Suffice to say that even if you win a couple of games in what will probably be an okay season, potentially alienating a good young player isn’t worth those two wins in the grand scheme of things.

      As for Bergevin, his contributions to the team so far have been Prust, Armstrong and Bouillon. Prust has been pretty good, Armstrong has been great and Bouillon was awful in the first two games but did well last night.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        You’re right in saying it’s early. But I just get the sense that from all the endorsing Bergevin has gotten from other hockey personnel around the NHL that he isn’t going to make any kneejerk trades or roster moves.

        I think Bergevin, Therrien, Mellanby and the rest of the management team and coaches have taken a deep breath and collectively told themselves to settle the f&%k down and build a good hockey team and winning tradition from the bottom up.

        I have a feeling they’re going to get it right for the first time in 20 years.

  41. GordC says:

    Another solid team effort , just hope we keep the same lineup rolling … Maybe it’s time to trade PK … We could get a lot for him and much needed depth can’t hurt …

  42. FlyAngler says:

    DD is definitely struggling more so than his linemates. MT could at least get a look at Chuck on the 1st line in practice as he is a lot bigger than DD and at this point in time in the NHL at center especially size does matter.

    • Phil C says:

      I think the problem on that line is Cole. He is a notorious slow starter and this year is no different. Last year he had 7 goals and 14 points in the first two months, then popped 9 goals and 13 points in December alone. The year before, he scored 33 of his 52 points in 3 months (Jan-Mar).

      He just does not have that explosive first step like he did last year and his top speed is still not good enough to beat the defense to the outside, which is his signature move. Once Cole gets back into gameshape, he will create a lot more room for that line.

  43. Xkhann says:

    Good to be back again to winning ways from previously failing hands… couple quick notes from myself;
    a decision is looming on rfa’s DD and eller, the latter in the proverbial doghouse. I love dd ever since his days in Hamilton and understand the instant chemistry he shared with Max and Cole, but one of the 2 following may need to be applied: 1. Switch Eller with dd and form an impressively sized 1st line of Max larry and Cole, 2. If Cole’s early season comments regarding retiring is translating to his uninspired play so far then he should be traded this season rather than wait till the offseason for him to retire and have his cap hit of the books. We could get a valuable Draft pick or prospect at the least to another team looking for either playoff depth to hit the cap floor. I’m thinking st.louis again.
    The Montreal media is very unforgiving in any noteworthy team news and it strikes me as no surprise their distastefulness towards pk, since I’m quite aware many quebecois are quite bigotted towards members of the opposite race and religion/culture, but letting go of pk is the absolutely wrong thing to do and I really how mb doesn’t pay attention to any media. Just because our pp is clicking now without him does not mean he can’t make it any better and that his value is d decreasing because of this early season form, rather his value should be right around the same as it was at the end of last season and his presence is only gong to make the team better and much more tougher to play against. I don’t see kaberle as our solution and as soon as pk is back kabs will be sitting until buy out time comes or a trade is available which could happen because he’s not terrible.
    Beaulieu will need another year next year in Hamilton to work on his d but I think as it stands Tinordi is the next defenseman and will replace bouillon.. slides right in so nicely! Use the traditional signing policy with Diaz but pk needs to be the exception and I have no reason to believe that he won’t live up to the billing.
    If Eller proves he plays better with better players, it may lead to dd’s departure, which saddens me, but knowing he can get a better contract and playing time on another team isn’t far fetched and happy’s Me too know he will succeed. On The flip side Max eller and maybe Gallagher or LL would look good, of course hoping eller takes the next step. Cheers

    • Loonie says:

      A couple of notes.

      Eller’s on a two year contract so he isn’t a pending RFA this season. Also, Diaz will be a UFA when his two year contract is up so Bergevin can’t follow his RFA precedent in any negotiation with Diaz.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “it strikes me as no surprise their distastefulness towards pk, since I’m quite aware many quebecois are quite bigotted towards members of the opposite race and religion/culture,”

      Who’s the bigot now?


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

    • secretdragonfly says:

      Just curious, what is “the opposite race”?

  44. sirs81 says:

    What if he moves Galchenyuk to center the top line? Seems to me like DD has been playing crappy. Galchenyuk will be sent back down.. So what I think MT should do is sit DD move Galchenyuk to top line duty and put Eller back in on 3rd line? Maybe shake the top line for two games let DD think about his play? What do you all think?

    • Loonie says:

      Desharnais’ play hasn’t shown up too much on the scoresheet. He’s been generating scoring opportunities by winning offensive zone battles and getting to the net to set up screens(something everyone’s been doing fortunately).

      The problems Desharnais’ had in the three games so far have been his passing and faceoffs specifically. The passing is very likely to improve in my opinion but the faceoffs are an ongoing concern. His percentages have been inflated in the first two games due to Pacioretty being a monster, accounting for seven faceoff wins for Desharnais by winning races to the puck off the draw.

      I don’t think it’s time to break that line up or consider moving Desharnais around though.

    • RetroMikey says:

      I’d rather see Galchenyuk develop in the juniors and log over 25 minutes of ice time….he has too!

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

    • bel33 says:

      Probably in the minority… but I’d be okay with this. Winning battles in the corners etc. only helps for so long. DD’s losing faceoffs and not clicking with his wingers. Will this last forever, of course not.. he’s a good player. I only ponder why should DD get 5 or 6 games to get his game going and Eller only got one?

      Just my opinion… as I do like Eller and I’m hoping they find a spot for him. I think he can learn to play a little more gritty.

  45. RetroMikey says:

    Have to give credit to the team where they deserve it, especially from me.
    Great game boys!!
    For all the HIO mmbers here, here is the link to the
    Montreal Canadiens 2012-2013 media guide…..enjoy!

    https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D7950029_3660936_7650932

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

  46. Bill J says:

    Interesting sequential # for this “About last night” (see your address bar on your Internet browser)

    At first I thought it was intentional had to check, previous About Last Night was indeed one number less.


    Go Habs Go!

  47. Loonie says:

    Adam Oates is the Caps’ third coach in less than two years and at this point I don’t think coaching’s their problem.

    Two plays last night personified their collective group. Ovechkin literally doesn’t even move his feet when the opposing team has the puck. He had one hard backcheck all game and took a penalty on it, after that, it was another completely lazy effort for him.

    The second was Marcus Johanssen in the third period. He slowly and quietly cherry picked while hugging the far boards in an attempt to get himself a breakaway when his teammates needed help getting the puck out of the zone.

    It’s funny when I think about how much of a “problem” Subban’s alleged to be in the room. As everybody who has ever played hockey knows, plays like the actions Ovechkin and Johanssen demonstrated last night alienate teammates far more than a loud joker do.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Malkin, Stamkos and Giroux have all vaulted past Ovechkin. Kopitar, Toews and Tavares are all get primed to do the same. Ovechkin needs to get off his ass and fulfill his enormous potential.

    • sirs81 says:

      I think the Caps will blow their team up soon. And they should really move Ovi down low on the PP everyone knows he shoots so why not open a spot for a D man up there teams will be watching Ovi move then D…..

    • 44har48 says:

      The only thing you and I can agree on right now is that PK is not bad in the room. We certainly don’t agree on his value, but I don’t think he is a bad teammate. Maybe some veteren players think he is a little too flashy (maybe not a goood word to describe) or outspoken, but a bad teammate? nah, not that I would know, I’m not in the dressing room, but I doubt it.

  48. Captain aHab says:

    I think Chucky will be sent back down as it makes little sense to keep him on a third line unless MT balances the ice time between the first three lines which, in a shortened season with no camp, may not be a bad idea. That being said he will be one major injury to one of the players on the top two lines from coming back. Again with a shortened season without a camp, injuries are likely.

    I do hope the Habs will be asking the Sting to play him at C. If they refuse, then that to me would be an argument to keep him around.

    I think Gally sticks around for now and Eller will take Chucky’s spot. White might be on thin ice with Nokia coming back and the Habs needing someone with talent on draws.

    As far as PK goes, I still hope MB sticks to his guns. He doesn’t have the capspace now to hand out huge contracts but he will in a couple of years. However, if he doesn’t get the boat load of cash now, I doubt he’ll want to eventually sign long term with the Habs anyway when he’ll near UFA status. I think he’ll sign a bridge contract and will then eventually be traded. If he plays lights out to show the Habs how wrong they were, he’ll simply increase his trade value.

    Before people get their shorts in a knot, I’m not saying they should trade him. I’m saying I think they will.

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

    • turbodragon says:

      Sending Galchenyuk down will free up enough cap space to sign P.K. to the big money (though perhaps not as big as he’d hope,) long term contract he’s looking for. The saga will be settled next week, after Galchenyuk’s five game trial is over and he’s sent back to the minors, where he can get the ice time he needs to develop. We’ll free up even more space next year by buying out Kaberle’s contract during the summer or maybe even trading him away, as I thought he didn’t look too bad in these first three games.

  49. Old Bald Bird says:

    I am happy that Markov is back and doing well. He makes a big difference. That being said, PK is a different and extremely talented player. To want to dismiss him because Markov is a better PP guy (for example) is kind of braindead IMO. Sorry for braindead being kind of an offensive word (and I know it should be two words), but I feel pretty braindead myself this morning, and it’s all that I can come up with. As you were.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Markov will be 35 when his contract is up next year. The Habs will have a tough decision to make at that time. So will Markov. A +35 contract for an injury prone player may not be a wise move.

      PK Subban will be 25 and just entering his prime in 2014. Hopefully, he will have worked on some of the flaws in his game and will be ready to go nuclear. At that point in time, the team might just have four young building blocks to build a Cup team around.

      35-25=10. In the NHL, 10 years equals a lifetime.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        Good point, and there will be injuries this year. I think PK is needed. Now. Before they occur.

      • turbodragon says:

        I hope they keep Markov as long as he’s able to stand, if only as a seventh defenceman powerplay specialist. He can play the kind of game he plays (smart, calm, not physical) for some time yet.

        • 24 Cups says:

          I guess the real issue won’t be about Markov the player, but rather Markov the asset. Paying 5.7M on a +35 contract is really dicey. The player can’t be bought out, sent to the minors, retire or be hidden in Europe (in terms of the cap hit).

          I think both sides will have to compromise. Signing one year deals just might be the answer.

      • Mad Habber says:

        Markov should finish his career as a Hab and hopefully he will. I love PK but he is a long way from what Markov is, and honestly I don’t think he ever will be. Markov is smarter with the puck, he knows when and where to dish or shot. While PK is more in the mold of Souray, Streit, Wiz vein. Guess the short version would be to say that Markov is a quarterback while PK is more of a trigger man.

        I’ve only been able to watch one game so far (the lose) thought Diaz and Emelin played good in that game. Glad that Diaz is still playing well, I may have to take back my dislike of him.

  50. HabinBurlington says:

    Very enjoyable game to watch last night, can’t say that Habs vs. Caps game has been that way since the 2010 playoffs I think.

    Very very happy to see a healthy Markov show his innate hockey senses, his pass to Plex is something very few Dmen in the entire league would ever do. Lidstrom comes to mind and probably a few others, but not very many.

    I believe the Jamie Benn contract may force MB to show his hand somewhat. Until now I believe he has been trying to use the Del Zotto and other contracts as his comparisons, to keep the term and dollars down. I would expect MB to perhaps increase his term and dollars somewhat, while at the same time I would hope that PK/Meehan also soften their position somewhat.

    PK excelled incredibly as a young Dman thrust into the job of #1 dman in a pressure cooker town. However, all young players could use a mentor to help them, and the closest thing the Habs offered was Hal Gill. No disrespect to Gill, but he was only able to mentor as a veteran player and shotblocker/PK specialist. Hal simply put didn’t have the other skills to show PK how to play in the other end of the ice.

    I don’t know how Markov and PK get along, but if indeed PK does return, it can only do wonders for his game to see up close and first hand how Andrei plays the game in all aspects.

    This team still needs PK, lets not kid ourselves. First of all there will be injuries and perhaps more importantly teams like the Flyers, Boston and Rangers will expose our defence. If we can add PK back into our lineup our team suddenly has two extremely gifted pairings in Markov/Emelin and PK/Gorges. This will also allow Therrien to dabble with the 3rd pairing giving some dmen the odd game off, and perhaps showcase Kaberle with proper minutes that make him tradeable.

    I really hope PK can be signed (Both sides need to move on their position it seems), the physical element, the skill element and the chance for him to learn from Markov adds up to a significant upgrade to this team.

    I would indeed like to see Eller back in lineup, I am on the fence with what to do with Galchenyuk, and Eller will be needed.

    Have a good day everyone.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Gerald. I love to watch the skill Markov brings to the game. I think a lot of us forgot how good he really is.

      ———————————–

    • 24 Cups says:

      Gerald – I think the Benn contract has to work in Subban’s favour to a degree. It’s difficult comparing a forward to a Dman and you also have to consider that Benn has put in three solid years compared to Subban’s two. As well, Dallas really needs to get the face of the franchise back on the ice. Especially after getting beat on the Neal trade. Subban is the #2 man in Montreal but he plays for a franchise that has more of a rock solid foundation than Dallas does. The Stars’ attendance numbers are down and they need to fight for market share. Montreal, much like Toronto, can get by no matter what the circumstance might be.

      I don’t think the O’Reilly contract will be as large as the Benn and Subban deals so Meehan can now work off the Benn signing. I think Bergevin’s notion of a reasonable two year bridge contract is pretty well dead in the water. He’s eventually going to have to dole out a long term deal that hovers around the 5M mark. This weekend would be perfect timing to nail down a deal and then get Subban back in the line-up for the Winnipeg game. Sit Kaberle down, send Galchenyuk back to junior and get Eller in the line-up. It’s time to stop screwing over our young assets before they become disenchanted with the team.

      • Loonie says:

        I’m glad you brought that up Steve. Dave Stubbs mentioned Eller’s a true professional and has a stiff upper lip. I don’t really want to read too much into the comments but he’s obviously upset. The gamble of course is was this the last straw with Eller?

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        All sounds good to me, 24.
        Fun watching Galy, but better all round if he spends another year in Sarnia, champing at the bit. And as someone else posts below, there’s always a chance that injuries in Montreal would see him back up.

        Hopefully, HOPEFULLY, the days of incompetent, old-school management/development of young players are well and truly over with the various departures, Martin’s above all. I just don’t believe he had any uptodate insight whatsoever in how to deal with young guys. I also don’t believe Eller’s games in the press box are anything to worry about, and I doubt he’s worrying. Camp was so short, Therrien has to do some creative juggling to see what he’s got and who’s in form.
        Cheers

  51. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Little pieces fitting in to a team. Right now, Therrien is doing a great job with this team. It is early, but there is something there that has been lacking for a couple of Martin years – zip. The roster is thin and the play-offs aren’t a certainty, but this is a decent team.
    Diaz, Emelin, Gorges – they’ve been solid. Markov has been brilliant.
    I see Gallagher staying and Galchenyuk going down simply because of the short season and the CBA. As a player, he should stay – as a taxi with the meter running, he has to go.
    The roster’s thin though….
    If PK comes back, he’s where he should have been all along at his age and experience level – second pairing defence for 20 or so minutes a game, and not central on the power play unless he can improve his shot. The Antichambre guys made a good point last night about how poorly he quarterbacked the PP last year. Too young, too inexperienced and too indisciplined. If Markov stays healthy and PK is signed, the learning curve should be something to see. I don’t care if, as the gossips suggest, they hate each other. If PK has eyes and a brain (and he appears to) he can learn by watching – Markov is so far up on the kid skills and hockey-sense wise that his presence can drag PK up a few notches. I hope we get to see it happen.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I support your post Charlie.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I sense that you’re sceptical about reports that Subban and Markov hate each other. I am too. It’s of course possible — although both D-men, their personalities on- and off-ice look very different. But to me it sounds like projection (one’s flashy, the other’s cool, ergo they hate each other) and therefore not worth a second thought. Both are professionals.

      I believe what I reckon is your implied bottom line is right: Subban is smart as well as talented and would want to learn from Markov. And Therrien could help it happen. All assuming Subban signs.

      Cheers

      • CharlieHodgeFan says:

        Since we’re all uninformed amateur shrinks pulling ideas out of our ears, I’ll go there!
        If I were a guy like Markov, I would not like PK. You have a quiet, deadpan guy from Russia, in his thirties, in with a rival who is younger than his young years, extroverted and loud. If I were PK, I would not like Markov – too dry, too old and no fun.
        In NHL terms, Markov is an old dog. PK’s a bouncing puppy. No one likes his ear chewed on, but old dogs get over it and wait for the young dogs to grow up. Maybe they teach a few things along the way.
        Price and Subban probably have the young North American scene going, and Markov doesn’t fit, or want to. You can blow that up into disunity in the room, but I think it’s just the usual complexity of a bunch of men working together. You’ve always got your alphas, your jokers, your dour guys, your slackers, your populars, your nerds… it works out as long as you don’t have too many prima-donnas.
        Even if they do hate each other, who cares? They can still work together. Every man has the right to love, so he can hate too.
        I think PK was thrust into a role he couldn’t handle. He handled a version of it, but Markov’s return shows us what he was unable to accomplish (yet). He is not going to return to last year’s role – he is a number two D on the team, and if his shots still can’t hit the net, Diaz is better on the PP.
        PK kovaleved last year. He was an entertainer of great skill on a team going nowhere. Kovy trained a lot of fans to settle for that, and PK played that game, heart and soul, and in all honesty. This year, he will have to get back to playing organized, well-coached hockey. This team has entertained me more in two games than PK did all last season. I take my hat off to the kid for trying to do it all by himself – he worked his butt off last season. But if the current trend on this team holds, he will no longer be playing in a vacuum. His role will be different, and he wants to be paid like last season will go on forever.
        Okay, Sigmund Froid goes out to start his car now…

  52. rhino514 says:

    “We should have known something, apart from Republicans, was rotten in Washington when Dale Hunter decided he preferred London …. Ontario.”
    LMAO

    We really had no idea if Markov could be productive again. Does anyone realize how big this is???
    Markov and Bourque were two of the biggest question marks coming into the season. Bourque only has a apoint, but he is playing with intensity, and doing so on his off wing. In my mind he is plugging the hole that we feared we had.
    And subban may have been the best thing that could have happened to Diaz.
    There is depth on the team, which means it can now deal with the Subban situation from a position of strength, not from a position of weakness. This is what all good organizations do.
    The great thing about hockey is that you can´t build team unity or team chemistry. The team is less talented without PK, but seems very tight.
    Now if PK can come back and not affect this team unity, I am all for it. This would be the ideal situation, of course, given that he is a very talented Dman. And i still believe it is more likely than not that it will happen. But if this isn´t the case, let´s make a change.
    I have confidence that MB has a good sense of what is good for the team long term and that he will make the right decision, even if it costs the team in the short term.

    • CCL says:

      I think you have it wrong. I don’t remember anyone knocking Markov on his ability. it was about getting 5mil and injured most of the time. when he’s healthy he’s one of the best. don’t stir up things.

  53. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Not bad that Markov guy for a player who´s done. Seriously, where are the Markov haters now? A little bit ashamed of your disgusting comments? Well, you should be.

    I´m also really happy with Diaz and Emelin. Imagine P.K. in for Kaberle and then next season either Beaulieu or Tinordi for Bouillon. Sounds pretty good I think.

    I doubt it but I hope Therrien doesn´t believe in this never change a winning team bs. It´s time to get Eller back in the line-up. There´s no way he could have played worse than Desharnais so far.

    • Dulljerk says:

      He will be done once he takes a hip check to the knee. That is what the criticism was about, fragility. Let’s see how he holds up for 1/2 a season.

      No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  54. HABZ24 says:

    Yes the train kept a rollin, 8 goals in the last two games and our top lines not even clicking yet,if we can call c.a.a and jump start that dead line habs will be even greater.terrien at the moment seems like a genius.markov is great gunns .this is so awesome to watch after last seasons complete failure.luvin life in hockeyville !!

    GO HABS GO

  55. SlovakHab says:

    RE: Yakupov
    I really loved his celebration. Would love to see more of it in hockey. Important goals like that should be celebrated with passion – just like Subban does.
    18-year old scoring a tying goal 5 seconds to go? That’s quite something.

  56. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Good morning EDT posters.

    Solid, valuable win, but let’s continue to be cautious. Caps have issues.

    Pity about the SO, for the sake of personal stats, but Price was great and looks ready for the first opposition with real offense.

    I LIKE that Cole-DD-Pacs haven’t found their groove yet. 4 scores without them! When they DO find it — and come on! short camp, 3 games — it will have been worth waiting for, and meantime other guys will have developed a taste for scoring.

    Markov! Stay healthy man!

    Diaz!!

    For sentimental reasons I was glad to have Bouillon back. He didn’t look too sentimental rubbing out a Cap on the sideboards. Welcome back, Frankie! It may be brief, but enjoy it while you’re here.

    Subban — does anyone really know if 2 wins and other D-men looking good will materially affect the negotiations? I think HH suggested on another thread that 10 games might make a difference but not 3. I still think it’s too much natural talent and attitude to let go, and stuff about team chemistry is all pure armchair-coach-pseudo-psychology speculation! Sorry if that offends! On the other hand there have been some factual/statistical comparisons posted here concerning PK and last year’s PP. In his defense I’d say, remember who was coaching — plus 100 other non-Subban factors — while also acknowledging that he didn’t yet look like a PP QB. But try to convince me he couldn’t BECOME one. With proper coaching and a master to emulate.

    Good to see Bourque hustle. However, that thing about reputations being the hardest things to earn, the easiest to lose. We already knew he COULD hustle, hit and score, so the fact that he didn’t last year means he has a lot to prove now. He’ll have to do it at least til April to win me over.

    Chris identifies some weak d work by Gorges of all people. Hopefully it’s the case that some guys just won’t get up to speed right away but will, like Cole-DD-Pacs, be worth the wait.

    Have a good day.

  57. lakechamplain says:

    Random thoughts:
    Keep them up or send them down?: OK, I should know this but I don’t; if Galchenyuk goes back to Sarnia can he be brought up later this short season? That would seem to be the best plan. Much as we yearn to see his flashy moves that frankly we’ve been starving for, more ice time and confidence would probably be better for him & the team. Keep Gallagher; he’s doing the little things that most rookies don’t. One nice play last night had him backchecking with his speed, not just slowing down the forward but stealing the puck. He knows what he has to do to succeed at this level.
    PK–Bergevin is proving his mettle as GM and dealing with this situation cooly and professionally. Let’s understand we’re doing what fans do, forming opinions and taking sides. MB is assessing the whole issue and let’s have the confidence to let his judgement rectify the problem.
    RB–I liked the comments on Bourque(I noted similar one’s here Sunday). After several years of Gomez and some others coming into camp with the ‘i’m really going to be better this year than last’ attitude and showing nothing it’s nice to see this guy playing at the level we read about but didn’t see after the trade last year. One of the cool things about hockey is to see the chemical change a player can bring to a line. Know it’s way early but TP & BG should take him out to lunch if not dinner.
    Want a measure of how good this team is? Not that everyone here doesn’t see every game but remind your friends about Feb 6th.

  58. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Power play back to its old self. Thank you Markov, Diaz!
    Price showing no rust.
    Now if we can get our bread and butter line from last year going and Subban back we may have some hockey in May!

  59. PeterD says:

    Great game tonight. I love the focus and agility of Carey Price.
    Markov looks great and Dias is developing into a good puck moving offensive d-man…still not sild on his ability to cover and neutralize big first line oppositon forwards…the season is young my friends.
    So three games in lets not start planning the parade just yet.
    As for AGally27, well my odds are that he goes back to Sarnia after the 5 game try-out.. he will be so much better next year to launch his pro career versus getting low minutes on a third line here.
    As for PK, I still want MB to realize his value long term to the Habs and get him signed. But if I’m PK, I make sure MT doesn’t get any ideas abiut “making him a better person”…better hockey player, sure, but seriuosly who does MT think he is, PK’s dad?
    If we lose PK we will be carrying on a well documented history of giving up quality players before their time and most likely weakening the team for years to come…anyone remember Patrick Roy? And there so many others . ..

    • Da Hema says:

      You make a good point about the Canadiens giving up young players and receiving little in return over the past 20 years. That is almost the central reason this organization has been so mediocre over the past two decades.

      I am having a difficult time understanding the increasing anger directed at P.K. Subban by some posters here. There are two points to bear in mind:

      1. Despite the decent play thus far of the team’s defencemen, they are almost all journeymen plugs — with the exceptions of Gorges and Markov. Until Tinordi and Beaulieu are ready to play, Kaberle, Bouillon, etc., are merely bodies to put on the ice. For fans to wish this organization to trade away one of its most promising young players — and a defenceman to boot — is, frankly, idiocy given its defence has largely been this team’s Achille’s Heel for 20 years.

      2. The contract negotiations are difficult, but people should remember that had the lock-out not occurred, Subban and the Canadiens likely would have a contract signed by now. The team could not negotiate with Subban until the Collective Agreement issue was resolved. The Canadiens aren’t negotiating a contract with some fourth-line plug who can be signed in a day. It is simply a product of unfortunate circumstances that these negotiations are taking place now. In other words, Subban not playing is not some devious strategy by his agent. No team was going to negotiate a contract in the period leading to the end of the previous Collective Agreement.

      So: take a valium!

      • Dulljerk says:

        Favourite word: plug
        Must be an electrician.

        No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

      • rhino514 says:

        The team´s D are not mostly journeyman plugs.
        I´ve said for a while that Diaz is going to be a competent NHL defenseman. Everyone has his strengths and weaknesses; going into the corners will never be one of diaz´ strengths. So what?
        Emelin is not a plug. Bouillon may be a plug, but he´s actually a decent defensive defenseman and i believe has at least one more good year left in him.
        The D is not nearly as weak as many posters were making it out to be in the off season.

  60. dre1744 says:

    Wow Yakapov looks like he scored the stanley cup winning goal in game seven of quadrupple overtime with that celebration.

  61. wildwilly says:

    As an aside to the many PK comments…. May I ask where the dozen or so posters that weeks (days?) ago kept saying “Trade Markov, that fragile, under-performing waste of money? Get rid of Bourque for a bag of pucks?”

  62. Trisomy 21 says:

    I hope this good start to the season really helps build confidence for the team moving forward. Say what you will about Cammalleri, but I think he was on to something when he said they were preparing for games with a losing mentality.

    • ooder says:

      JM was so terrified of not losing, that they were not focused on winning.
      i really got that sense from a bunch of players interviews, especially Spacek who is a candid fellow
      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  63. commandant says:

    Sam Gagner scores game winner in a fitting end.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  64. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    Trade PK. He’s bad for team chemistry. His ego is too big. I want to see this team play as a TEAM and we don’t need any spotlight-seeking egos like PK. Philly, Washington, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Florida and Edmonton could all use a D man of his skills. Come on Bergevin get this clown out of the Habs organization. He is clearly in this game for the money and will coast as soon as he gets a big long-term contract. I don’t think he has the ethics to give it all his effort through the full contract. He is the next AK 46 or Scott Gomez.

    • suttontom says:

      Remember the Chelios trade, Habs fans, or LeClaire & Desgardins (Sp), plus throw-in Lemieux for Dr. Rechi…. Be very careful what you ask for,my friends….

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I thought I was going to get through the day without antidepressants and you go and mention the Chelios trade.

        Guys, can we be sensitive? Please?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I’d rather keep Subban and make it work, but you’re not alone in preferring to trade him.

      You’re also not alone in some unsafe assumptions, notably about team chemistry. Fun to talk about, but there’s no way you nor I nor anyone else not directly connected to the players can say anything definitive about it. I suggest you’re also on dodgey ground commenting on ego. Also which player ISN’T in the game for the money? And which ones have egos that aren’t too big? Did you mean he has a big personality? Or that he’s extroverted? And you list teams that “could all use a D man of his skills”. Montreal couldn’t?

      You acknowledge his skills, so if he toned down a bit, matured perhaps, would you keep him? If you knew it would take 2-3 seasons would you be prepared to wait?

  65. jedimyrmidon says:

    Insaane last minute or so in the EDM-LA game.

    • Habilis says:

      Yup, crazy sauce for sure. You think Yakupov was a little happy to score that goal?

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        I believe it when people say he’s intense, lol. He’ll have to tone down the celebrating dramatically in most cases , but tonight was definitely an exception.

        • axxerd says:

          Why will he have to tone himself down? This archaic view of hockey annoys me. I say bring on more players with the enthusiasm of Yakupov, Subban etc… I want to see a player look like he is having a good time and cares when playing the game.

          —-
          Newfoundland’s biggest Habs fan. Hands down.

  66. commandant says:

    Oilers get justice from Yakupov

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  67. Chris says:

    And as a final note for the night.

    In the 1970′s, Ken Dryden was praised for his concentration despite a lack of activity, as he managed to close the door on the infrequent scoring chances he faced behind a powerhouse Montreal team.

    In the 2010′s, Jaroslav Halak is maligned for his lack of activity in his wins, with people pointing out he is solely the beneficiary of the team in front of him.

    Can’t we just be happy for a guy who gave us nice memories and was always a pleasant contributor to the team? I don’t want him back over Price…Price is a superior goalie.

    But Halak could very easily be the first goalie of the two to win a Stanley Cup, and I’d be incredibly happy in that even, with the sole exception of his victory coming at the expense of Price and the Habs.

  68. Whatever says:

    I hope that wasn’t a shot at London, Ontario.

  69. commandant says:

    This call in Edmonton is BS!

    You can’t call back a goal for goalie interference that long after the play, and goalie interference is not a video reviewable call.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  70. Chris says:

    With the exception of Eller-gate (which I still think is a big mistake for Montreal in the longer-term), I’m pretty content seeing my three favourite Habs (Markov, Emelin and Diaz) all doing very well to start the season.

    I was waiting years for Emelin. Everything I read about him was positive and I liked the little glimpses of him in World Championships. Last year was an adjustment year, and I find that he’s playing more under control this season. He’s still getting his hits, but he’s reined in the aggression so that he’s not flying out of position five times per game looking for them.

    Emelin has always been a tough player, but I love how often he looks to get stung blocking shots and shakes it off to get in front of the next one. With his size and speed (he’s pretty mobile for a player that is pushing 235 pounds), he’s got the potential to become a very solid defender for years. He is definitely the type of player that can thrive next to Andrei Markov.

    I’m still looking for him to use his shot a little more, but I think that that will come with more confidence. He makes decent decisions (there were a few times where he made some nice delay moves in the defensive zone, sparing an unnecessary giveaway by looking to make a play instead).

    I’m glad to see Gorges’ goal tonight as well because, truth be told, I’ve been disappointed with his defensive play thus far this season. He’s made a significant number of rather bone-headed giveaways in the defensive zone that have resulted in periods of prolonged pressure in the Habs zone. He had an absolute doozy in just before the Gionta goal, giving a half-hearted attempt on a backhand to clear the puck from the zone, but gave it right to a Washington forward and the Habs got pinned in their zone for about 25-30 seconds by Ovechkin’s line.

    Gorges was tripping and falling all over the place in the first game, and he wasn’t all that strong in the second. So it was nice to see him get his season off to a nice start with a goal.

  71. suttontom says:

    Great to hear of a second HABS win !! It’s 5: 50 pm , Friday here, in NZ., so I’m going for a swim, knowing the Habs are in good hands. Cheers to all you REAL fans, who never give up on your team !!

  72. Propwash says:

    My reasoning on keeping Kaberle in the lineup is simply due to the fact that last season, Markov was out and he was brought in as a replacement in exchange for Spacek. With PK coming in, it will make the back end even better and Kabber will be expendable, albeit with a cap hit that A. can be traded along with Webber for whatever it’s worth, or B. be bought out.

    *edit*
    Just to add, Markov is getting a boatload of TOI as well which may burn him out by the end of this shortened season. PK is able to fill that void and compensate for that, and I think he can do the job well.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  73. habsfan0 says:

    It’s amazing what Boone thinks about writing while he’s out walking his dog in the cold!

  74. Rob says:

    Without fail, every game night, I refresh HIO repeatedly; anxiously awaiting Boone’s ALN submission. Without fail, every game night, I am satisfied in feeling that the wait was worth it.

    Keep up the good work, Mike!

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

  75. Dulljerk says:

    The reason P.K. Subban is losing the PR battle with the fans is exactly because he is a clown. If he would act more like a pro, he probably would have his contract done by now. Confidence is meritorious, arrogance is not.

    No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  76. piper says:

    you mean the colour of his jersey

  77. PureGuava says:

    Gorges blocks shots for 4m a season, but doesn’t do much else. Diaz is soft. Boulion is small, slow, and on the wrong side of 35. Kaberle….well….where to begin. Markov has looked great – but I’m going to wait until the team plays a real team to anoint him “The General”. Two goals on 5-3..With Markov we all know that the next hit could be the last one. Emelin hits.

    So i’m not sure where you get this whole “Best D in the league” thing from.

    The East looks weak – ripe for the picking in fact, and I think the pundits have grossly underestimated their prospects. I’m just not ready to start a parade yet. They’ve beaten two bad teams, and lost to another one.

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

  78. Saintpatrick33 says:

    Alot of the PK hate here stems from that as well. The kid is cocky, brash and talks shit on the ice I love that about him.

  79. piper says:

    no… i disagree

  80. Cardiac says:

    http://panthers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=37501

    “Game Day Parking Fee Included”
    “As low as $10.25 a game per seat”

    Close enough…

    P.S. Look before you leap my friend :)

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    - Jerry Maguire

  81. Chuck says:

    Firstly, I didn’t edit my post. Secondly, I got my info from the Panthers TV telecast of the Florida/Habs games.

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  82. Cardiac says:

    1) Don’t blow a gasket… it’s a message forum.
    2) Chuck merely stated that the Panthers are selling tickets for $7 with parking included. You said he was completely false and how dare is spread false info and yada yada yada. I corrected you because it is indeed true… for season ticket holders… The fact that single games cost more and don’t include parking is irrelevant.
    3) Based on your personal profile I am aware you live in the south Florida area so you are more “in the know” than most people. However, you could be wrong and were wrong :)
    4) Continue enjoying the warm weather while we freeze our arses off. Have a nice day!

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    - Jerry Maguire

  83. Cardiac says:

    I think we are missing the point that regardless, the tickets are super duper cheap… I went on TicketMaster and am able to purchase nose-bleeds on Saturday for $15.

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    - Jerry Maguire

  84. Chuck says:

    I don’t know what to say, other than I didn’t edit my original post.
    It doesn’t change the fact that you can see a Panthers game for $7 with free parking. And I’m not really sure why you’re getting all worked up over the subject.

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  85. Chuck says:

    Uhhh… okay. Whatever floats your boat.

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  86. Saintpatrick33 says:

    They must be desperate eh?

  87. HabFab says:

    Are you certain about that?

  88. BJ says:

    Anze Kopitar or bust…..

  89. habsoul says:

    Come on, Montreal is NOT going to trade PK Subban! That would be a fatal mistake by Bergevin. Who are you going to get of equal value? And don’t even talk to me about draft choices.

    “When you are the Canadiens, you cannot make excuses.”
    — Henri Richard, on what it meant to be a Montreal Canadian

  90. habs_54321 says:

    edmontons management wouldn’t be parting with any of their top talents which makes trading subban to them a no they would be offering some kind of package with hemsky, omark etc which would mean we lose that deal, if they are willing to take kaberle or weber than so be it

  91. Saintpatrick33 says:

    Was thinking the same thing. As much as I love PK I’d do that in a second.

  92. BJ says:

    Schultz or Eberle would be my asking price on a one on one deal.

  93. Habfan10912 says:

    Agree. Unless it’s Dougie Hamilton in return, I’d pass.

    ———————————–

  94. BJ says:

    PK in Boston. Not a good idea with Lucic, Chara, Thornton, McQuaid backing him up.

  95. Habfan10912 says:

    Got ya buddy. There needs to be balance and role players too. BTW it made it up to 20 degrees here today. I stopped checking Florida tempurtures last week. :) CHeers

    ———————————–

  96. Just a Habs Fan says:

    He knows Bob Gainey will help him out if all else fails

  97. The Jackal says:

    Ratings + having no idea of what is going on = wild speculation.

    Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

  98. HabinBurlington says:

    A couple years ago Kaberle wasn’t with the Habs.

  99. Habtastic says:

    Woah, totally disagree on Gallagher – he’s been great! And not just for a rookie, he’s done exactly what I’d want from a player in his position on the 3rd line. I really hope he gets kept up. I also hope Eller find his way back in, but as long as this team is winning, I’m happy. Agree about Galchenyuk. We’ll see how things play out when we play tough teams. Chucky is 18 and has a lot of muscle to put on. Still looks like he’s swimming out there. Good thing Prust will be out there, but interested to see if he can still be as good against quicket, rougher teams.

    ————–
    The Drive for 25

  100. helluva habs fan says:

    Can’t see it. I can’t see any team willing to let go of a true marquee player for PK. Which is why we shouldn’t trade him.

  101. junyab says:

    Highly doubtful! Maybe not as high of a draft pick as Hall, RNH, or Yak, but arguably better than all of them.

  102. J_P says:

    Id make that trade in a heartbeat which means edmonton would most likely never do it. Besides, Why do they need PK when they have Justin Schutlz? The kid is delivering on the hype at the moment.

  103. Mr. Biter says:

    I thought he could hold his own. In most of his NHL career has averaged over 50 PIM per year but I’m not sure. I don’t think Armstrong would be battleing it out with Lurch.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  104. 24moreCups says:

    He can fight, he’s just not very good at it.

  105. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    MB seems to be fairly astute – I’d be surprised (depressed?) if he didn’t get maximum value in a trade.

  106. jmsheehy19 says:

    My gut is telling me I ate a sandwich for lunch.

  107. HabFab says:

    Montreal West

  108. ZepFan2 says:

    I’m an old school Anglo from the Point.

    ———————————————————————-
    Ka is a wheel.

    For Your Life

  109. L Elle says:

    Old school Allophone from Park Ex. ;)

  110. Chuck says:

    How can you be considered ‘old school’ at the age of 29? ;)

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  111. L Elle says:

    That’s a very good point Chuck. :)

  112. Mike Boone says:

    Park Ex rules!

    Mike Boone
    Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  113. peterparker196 says:

    Look at bobby orrs point total the first 2 years in boston.look at pks.similar.pk will become a super dominant defensemen-mark my words-as early as this year.It will be a re-enactement of the Patrick Roy beyond stupid trade again if the management??? trade him.

  114. peterparker196 says:

    Habs about to trade Subban to San Jose.NOT GOOD.


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