About last night …

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As fans filed out of the Bell Centre, a steady downpour of freezing rain was turning Montreal’s downtown streets into skating rinks.
A few may have taken a tumble.
Some might have conked their beans and seen a few stars.
The feeling is not dissimilar to the dizzying, almost hallucinatory experience of watching your Montreal Canadiens this season.

Seriously, can they possibly be this good?

Have a new coaching staff and some lineup tweaks turned a last-place hockey team into a juggernaut that has won four games in a row?

Four goals scored in each of the Ws, a power-play that’s on fire, a goaltender who was initially shaky against the Winnipeg Jets but then got brilliant when he had to be.

On and on … and all this without P.K. Subban.

Look, let’s not get too euphoric just yet.

The Stanley Cup Express is about to play six straight games against Northeast Division opponents, beginning with a Wednesday night visit to Scotiabank Place to face a very good Senators team.

We’ll have a better measure of this team by mid-February, when Montrealers are enduring the worst month of the winter and our heroes are playing two games in sunny Florida.

But let’s enjoy this for what it is: an excellent start that few Canadiens fans expected heading into this wacky 48-game sprint of a season.

After five games last season – hey, remember October hockey? – the Canadiens were 1-4. They had been shut out once and, in two other games, had scored one goal. It was a harbinger of the nightmare season to come.

Remember all those blown leads last season?

They’re still around. The Canadiens were up 2-0 and 3-1 against New Jersey and 2-0 against Winnipeg. They blew those leads – and won both games.

Unlike last season’s chronically dispirited squad, the 2013 Canadiens play like they expect to win. They were not demoralized by temporary losses of momentum against the Devils and Jets.

And again, the Canadiens are 4-1 without last season’s best defenceman. And despite a poor start by the forward line that carried the attack, such as it was, in 2011-’12.

Ten different Canadiens have scored this season. That list includes neither Max Pacioretty nor David Desharnais. Erik Cole hadn’t scored until Tuesday night.

But Tomas Plekanec, centring a healthy Brian Gionta and a renascent Rene Bourque, has three goals. Brendan Gallagher, the fifth-round draft choice who was a Vancouver Giant a year ago, has two – including the highlight-reel wrister that Jet goaltender Ondrej Pavelec still hasn’t moved on.

Ah, those kids. Two more assists for Alex Galchenyuk against the Jets, and First Star honours for Gallagher.

On the TSN 690 postgame show, my friend Pat Hickey said he couldn’t recall the last time a game’s First Star was awarded to someone who played nine minutes.

I can’t remember either. We might have to wake up Red Fisher.

But like his teammates in this young season, Gallagher contributed quality minutes.

Tomas Kaberle played 12:13, but he was on for two Canadiens goals and none by the Jets. Kaberle is almost certainly the odd Dman out when P.K. rejoins the lineup, but the former Leaf was steady against Winnipeg and provides insurance if there are injuries to the defence corps.

Let’s hope not. The D has been superb in front of Carey Price this season.

Andrei Markov had two assists against Winnipeg and ran a PP that produced two more goals, including Plekanec’s winner.

Playing against a big, physical Jets team, Alexei Emelin had eight hits. His 28 total leads the league.

Josh Gorges blocked six shots and saved a goal when Price was caught out of his net at the end of the second period. Gorges has 18 BS on the season, one fewer than Brooks Orpik and Brent Seabrook.

Raphael Diaz isn’t leading the league in anything, but he’s been steady in partnership with Gorges and excellent, in support of Markov, on the Canadiens’ no-longer-popgun PP.

Francis Bouillon played 21:50. He isn’t a kid anymore, and it will be interesting to see how Frankie the Bull’s 21-minute average affects his game in Ottawa Wednesday and in the weekend back-to-backs at the Bell Centre.

By then, P.K. should be back, playing second-pair with Gorges behind Markov-Emelin, with Diaz dropping to third pairing with Frankie.

The Subban-less Canadiens held Winnnipeg to 21 shots. Their shots-against average of 26.2 is second only to St. Louis, which is allowing a ridiculous 19.5 shots per game.

Except for the brief period during which the Jets rallied, the Canadiens continued a trend we’d seen through the first three wins: the team moves the puck efficiently in their own zone; one, two or three short, accurate passes and they’re away.

The mobility and puck sense of the defencemen makes them difficult to forecheck. Touch wood, Markov hasn’t been hit yet.

Of course, they haven’t played Boston. Or Philadelphia.

But a team plays the schedule it’s dealt. The Canadiens, who sucked at the Bell Centre last season, have feasted on home cookin’ since the opening night stinkeroo against the Leafs.

They are undefeated in games that don’t begin with ceremonies.

But now the sked gets interesting …

495 Comments

  1. shiram says:

    As of now, I can say I was wrong about a number of things.
    Bouillon has been playing effectively, and even loggin big minutes is doing a great job! I’d still give Emelin a try at the PP over Bouillon, but Emelin is geting alot of minutes already and PK time as well.

    Therrien and his coaching staff have been doing great. There are a few moves I questionned, but they pick up quickly on what’s not working and are making adjustements.
    There are changes to the lines, but not line juggling, I’d say.

    A part of Therrien’s group philosophy is the meritocracy, and we’ve seen it in effects. DD has been a victim of it, so has Kaberle, Cole and Eller. I did not expect DD to struggle so much, but he’s still working hard and if he keeps it up it will pay dividend. Cole got his goal, though most of the work was done for him, he had to have position and maintain it, and that’s a tough job around the opposing net.

    The kids are awesome and Therrien’s been doing great for them! The way they play so few minutes, but mnage to have some PP time and good zone starts. I kinda hope he spares some his treats to Eller, and with a struggling DD it might time to see if DD can play wing with Eller in center. Who knows, at this point I’m more than happy to see how MT will handle it.

    • 100HABS says:

      Eller was definitely better as a center last year. I had the same thought – keep the Gals together and the Plek line, they’re both doing great, just move Eller to center on the DD line.

  2. habfan53 says:

    Loved Therrien’s response during the post game conference.
    “I wantthe players to play with passion” “Passion is what is important”
    Hence 5’8′ Desharnais takes on 6’7″ Antropov for his hit on Prust

    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

    • nunacanadien says:

      This is what I was worried about with Prust and the little guys, being bullied like we have been since Ronald Corey destroyed the habs with Savard, and going small. For twenty years or so we’ve been pushed around and bullied. It is time the habs get a real group of players who can fight back and push back. Maybe if the bigger guys see Desharnais take a chance they will bully back. Nothing worse than being seen as the wimpiest team of the league.

  3. Ozmodiar says:

    One day it’s reported that Subban’s nameplate was removed from the dressing room.

    The next day, it’s reported that Subban wants to be called “The Subbanator”.

    Does anyone else think these stories are connected?
    ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

    • Habfan17 says:

      I doubt it. I would think they had to remove his nameplate since he was not signed and therefore not really on the team. I do worry that Subban still does not get it when he makes comments like wanting to be called the “Subbanator” Very immature and very “I am great, look at me!” You would hink he would have other more professional priorities stepping back into the room and with the team.

      Habfan17

      • Mattyleg says:

        The only time he said he wanted to be called the Subbanator was at the WJC years ago, and he was laughing about it with a teammate while they were being interviewed.

        Someone else brought it up, and Renaud Lavoie tweeted that he’d ‘accepted’ to be called that.

        It’s just joking around, man.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Ozmodiar says:

        added more winky emoticons…

      • nunacanadien says:

        How do we know that Bergy intends to play Subban? For all we know he could say Subban does not fit in with the winning ways and trade him for say a third round pick just to get even with Subban’s agent?

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    Here is link to listen to Don Meehan interview yesterday. Starts with PK talk, then goes to a few other topics and back to PK.
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/2013/01/29/nhl_canadiens_pk_subban_don_meehan_on_hockey_central_at_noon/

  5. Bill says:

    You have to give credit to the coaches for this hot start by the Habs.

    Therrien has been handling the match-ups and ice-time beautifully. The line adjustments after the Leafs game were bang on.

    He benched Eller for Gallagher and caught some flak, but Gallagher stopped that by clicking instantly with Chuck and doing what Eller couldn’t, which is score. Also smart was putting Prust with the kids.

    He showed some faith in Bourque and put him on the second line, which is not our best line.

    He brought in Bouillon, a move widely derided here, and has him playing big minutes with terrific success.

    Best of all, the Habs are playing an aggressive, smart style that is both effective AND entertaining to watch. How many games like last night did we get to see when The Count was running the show? And how many times did his Canadiens’ recover from a blown lead?

    Therrien has also been cool and composed behind the bench, which is a change from a decade ago. I like his style now, exemplified by his response to the ridiculous Prust penalty.

    I didn’t like the hire, but you have to give credit where credit is due.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • twilighthours says:

      My favourite two moments so far came on the OT PP against Jersey.

      Firstly, he throws out Markov, Desharnais, Cole (?), and Bourque (???). I say out loud, “what the….?”

      The the PP starts and Markov bolts to the net to give Bourque the one-timer, and I actually said, “seriously?”

      And then the puck ends up in the net.

      Just about everything Therrien has done so far has been gold.

    • habfan53 says:

      I too like the way Michel has been handling the team. However his initial response to the Prust penalty was to tell the 1st ref to F*%K OFF but he did keep his cool about :).

      Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

    • Phil C says:

      I agree they have been much more entertaining to watch. Even though Therrien is also a defense-first style coach, the Habs look like the 1985 Oilers compared to the style played under JM.

      I also wonder if Gallant is finally a replacement for Muller. The play he drew up in overtime against the Devils was great and I assume he has been coaching the PP which has also been great. If you are going to have a defense-first head coach like Therrien, it is important to have an assistant who understands offensive hockey and offensive players in order to get the most out of them.

  6. JF says:

    I hope that when P.K. joins the team today, he takes the right approach. Bergevin and Therrien will probably talk to him before he actually joins his teammates, outlining the “team concept” they’re implementing and telling him what sort of role he is to play. When he walks into that locker room he needs to be quiet and humble. There seems to be a great feeling among the guys, and there is bound to be a bit of negativity towards P.K. because he was not part of what’s been going on and also because he stood out for more money.

    P.K. needs to keep out of the limelight for now. Play hard, do his best to help the team, and stay within his role. I think it would be a good idea if he and Price stopped the low-five thing they do when they win. It’s another way of drawing attention to himself, something he should avoid.

    I just hope it goes well. I really want him and the team to succeed.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think it’s all gonna work out just fine.

      By the way I didn’t mention yesterday, but if anyone didn’t get to hear Don Meehan on Toronto Sports radio yesterday at noon, you should.

      Was a great listen to how professional the negotiation went and it explained why a deal couldn’t be done before new CBA. Don Meehan showed why he is a great agent. Highly recomend people listen to it.

    • punkster says:

      I’m surprised at you Jane. We haven’t had a player this talented in years yet you’re suggesting he modify his approach to the game.

      I feel quite the opposite in that PK just needs to be PK because that’s the PK that will help sustain the elevated level of performance from this team.

      ***SUBBANG BABY!!!***

      • JF says:

        I’m not suggesting he modify his approach to the game. I love the way he plays. I’m talking about the moment when he enters the locker room and faces his teammates for the first time. He tends to get a lot of the limelight, and he loves it. No harm in that, it’s part of his effervescent personality. I just think he needs to be careful at first and not look for attention. The team has been winning without him, and the locker room is very tight. He can’t just walk in and claim his place; he needs to earn it.

        • punkster says:

          I imagine his persona in the locker room is all part of his game so I doubt he’ll be dialing back the effervescence much. Someone said it yesterday here…it’s a team in there and they all have to fit in…and accept PK as he’ll have to accept them. Balance. But they’ll have to get used to his personality just as quickly as he’ll have to get used to them.

          ***SUBBANG BABY!!!***

      • nunacanadien says:

        Geeze too bad Meehan didn’t do us any favour by saying what he did in Montreal instead of Toronto? I guess we all know where the real corporate headquarters for the habs is now.

    • ont fan says:

      I’m sure it will all work out too. Winning makes everything better. I think PK may be one of those guys who doesn’t have a filter. We all know that guy, when things are kind of cool towards you, you don’t pick it up and turn it down a notch. Just a thot.

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    Were 4 and 1, won 4 in a row, playing that team many of us love to hate the Senators and on the weekend we get PK back and superbowl hockey.

    Life is pretty grand right now!

    It’s game day folks, I’m pumped.

  8. habfan53 says:

    To the 3% of you who said that Toronto as your second favorite Canadian team explain yourself. NO true Canadien fan has Toronto in their top 29.

    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

  9. D Man says:

    Sorry! Double post. Getting used to this system. First time poster.

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  10. D Man says:

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  11. D Man says:

    Not a Kaberle fan at all but he was O.K. last night. +2 and he took the shot that led to Cole’s goal.

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  12. Phil C says:

    Prust has been full value so far. A true championship team must be able to play any style, including games with rough stuff and intimidation tactics. Having a player like Prust who can provide an answer to those tactics, yet still take a regular shift during games when it’s not required are rare players and you will have to pay for that on the open market.

    Twilight’s quote below about how having Prust on the Gally line allows them to play hard without feeling intimidated is bang on. They know he has their back, so they can play their game. If you don’t understand that, then you will never see the value in a player like Prust.

  13. Mattyleg says:

    Oogh.
    Morning all.
    Amazing game.
    I was there, and am feeling a wee bit ropey this morning.
    I think someone may have slipped some alcohol into my last Diet Sprite.

    Gally’s goal was incredible. Was sitting in the greys in the corner, and got the perfect angle over his shoulder. BING! In the net before we knew it, pinging off the posts.

    The crowd was incensed at the call on Prust. Haven’t heard booing like that since… well, pick your moment.

    Eller started off great, then did a disappearing act. My buddies were very critical of him. I kept my own counsel.

    DD hasn’t produced, but that guy never gives up. He was knocked down on a number of occasions, but always sprang back without hardly missing a step. He never stopped fighting for the puck and pressuring his opponent, and managed to create a number of turnovers.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  14. Mavid says:

    Ottawa is not that good..they stunk last night and were lucky they even won..and this what they were saying this morning..It is possible that they could beat us..but right now we are the better team..

  15. 44har48 says:

    Anyone think Eller is nursing some injury and its being kept quiet like Bourque last year? He just doesn’t have the jump in his step or the aggresiveness he had in the past. Something is up and I don’t think its as simple as he sucks this year and Therrien doesn’t/can’t trust him. That lazy penalty last night was not him.

    • twilighthours says:

      Eller was full of lazy penalties last year.

      Here’s a thought (and it’s just a thought, not me concluding anything): maybe Eller just isn’t that good.

      • punkster says:

        Needs to be used on the PK…his strength last year.

        ***SUBBANG BABY!!!***

        • twilighthours says:

          I agree

          • ed lopaz says:

            Eller has been “good”, actually “very good”, throughout his minor career, his season in the AHL, and at times in a Habs uniform.

            What Eller has not yet found is a “consistent” game; he is effective one period, and then not the next, or one game and then not the next.

            This is not because he is lazy. This is not because he doesn’t work hard. This is not an Andrei Kostytsin “attitude” thing, even though some posters are trying very hard to make it one.

            It is about Eller “finding his game”, understanding what kind of player he needs to be on a consistent basis to be effective and productive at the NHL level.

            That’s the way I see it, at least.

          • twilighthours says:

            Ed, I almost always agree with you – you’re one of The Men around here.

            But to me the jury is still out on Eller and your point is exactly why. He’s not lazy, he doesn’t have an attitude. Maybe he just isn’t that good. I certainly don’t see Plekanec’s (to whom he’s most often compared) vision, finishing ability, hockey sense.

            I know, I know, “at the same age, Plekanec was in the AHL…”

            I am not writing off the kid. I know he’s a valuable NHLer, but his long-term potential is still very much debatable.

            Let’s raise a glass and hope Eller gets it figured out.

      • Mattyleg says:

        You’re not supposed to say that, Twi.
        Certain posters will be all over you like neaderthals on extinction.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        Similar to Carey Price when he was getting shafted, I’ve seen too many flashes of brilliance from Eller for me to simply dismiss him as “just not that good” (I know you haven’t concluded that either).

        Eller hasn’t had any continuity during his tenure in Montreal. He’s been bounced around from wing, to center and back again. Moved from one line to another and has rarely had any steady linemates (with the exception of the short lived Eller, Moen Kostitsyn line).

        I would love to see what the kid can do playing center with some decent wingers for an extended period of time, such that said line can actually develop chemistry. Moreover, I’d like to see Eller get some PP time.

        Eller has too much size, skill and maturity for the organization to just give up on this early on in his career.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Once again, people want to give Eller excellent wingers and powerplay time…

          Can you imagine being on a team where the coach gives these coveted assignments to players who haven’t earned it? You’d be wondering what the point of working hard was. If the coach is going to give unproductive players top jobs based on a concept of their talent, then the hard workers will stop giving it their all.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • habs-fan-84 says:

            An argument could be made that DD was given excellent wingers without truly “earning it”.

            All I’m saying is, at least imo, Eller hasn’t truly been given the opportunity to succeed. However, he is currently playing with Cole and DD and he better take advantage of the opportunity that’s been presented to him.

          • twilighthours says:

            Interesting concept.

          • nunacanadien says:

            Let’s not repeat the mistake of Gainey of putting all of his eggs in the “Price” basket and building around the goalie, we all know what a disaster that was. This is a team, a team wins as a team around key players.

    • Mattyleg says:

      He’s a new dad.
      I know that’s been laughed at here before, but from someone who was there not so long ago, it’s a pretty intense experience.

      You’re tired, you’re emotional, you’re helping your partner…

      Last year, both Pleks and Cammy were new fathers, and there was a similar lack of spring in their steps. They got over it, as I hope Larry will.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  16. habsnyc says:

    Stat of the week interesting to me if not to anyone else: The game winning goal in each of Montreal’s four wins has come on the powerplay.

    I don’t know if Diaz is playing so well because he is with Markov or if he really stepped up this season but congrats to him for the great start.

    Montreal has two Norris worthy defensemen. Markov is trying to win the Norris with his on ice play. Subban thinks he can win it with his off the ice antics.

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

    • 44har48 says:

      The one thing I am conerned about to this point, and its really early, is our PK doesn’t seem up to speed, and our goals are coming on the PP…smart teams won’t put us up a man so often.

      • habsnyc says:

        That is a fair concern. Games against Boston, NYR, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will be better barometers.

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

  17. habs-fan-84 says:

    The situation with PK Subban walking onto the team now, reminds me (in a much less dramatic fashion obviously) of the episode of Band of Brothers – Replacements. For those who haven’t seen it, Wikipedia briefly summarizes the episode as follows:

    “New characters are introduced when replacements join Easy Company, who struggle to be accepted by the veterans who fought at Normandy.”

    Will PK have a bit of a tough time being accepted onto the team and in the dressing room after sitting out the first 5 games? I think so, it’s probably only natural.

    I think it’s only human nature for a group of guys to not easily accept a peer if said peer has not shared in the same experiences as the rest of the group.

    For PK I think it will just take time to re-integrate himself into the team. He’s hopefully matured a bit during his time off and is now going to have to work hard and earn the respect (respect is probably too strong a word) of his teammates and coaching staff.

    • Habfan17 says:

      He has really matured! One of the first things he says is we wants to be called the Subbanator..that is really mature. On top of tht, it is another ” look at me” type comment!

      He needs to reign it in a bit and step out of the spotlight. Let the vets take it for now and prove he is a team first guy!

      Habfan17

    • twilighthours says:

      They’ve played 5 games, not stormed the beachhead or been dropped behind the line.

      But man I loved that series. You’re making me want to watch it again.

    • punkster says:

      Hmmm…I expect it will be more like the Day of Days episode where they all work together in the face of overwhelming odds to push back the enemy.

      ***SUBBANG BABY!!!***

    • Luke says:

      Except that PK is already a veteran of this locker room. This is not a complete unknown walking into an long serving unit. It’s a locker room that has been together for 3 weeks. And a locker room that he has been a part of for three years.

      Now that said, if a new culture has been developed into the room, than, yes, PK needs to assimilate into it.
      However, it is also the room’s responsiblity to help PK with that transition. If they don’t, then he’ll fail and all this talk about a ‘Team First’ mentality in the room is a bunch of trash.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        Judging by what I see on the ice, the body language and attitude during interviews etc. I get the feeling there has been a change in culture and it started the day MB was hired. Molson does indeed mean business.

        In time I think everything will be fine.

        • Luke says:

          In recent years, I’ve felt that Montreal has had an entitled “founding father” type of vibe. Similar, though not as extreme as Toronto’s.
          I am feeling, and hopeful, that this shift in culture is bring the Habs more in line with Detroit’s professional attitude.

    • Fansincebirth says:

      It might be a bit awkward at first but all these guys are in the same boat when it comes to contract negotiations and all face the same situation at some point. Everyone of them is out to get as much as they can for themselves and if they really over value their worth then there are bound to be problems like this.

  18. montrealtilldeath says:

    We won but I noticed a few things. Despite the PP Markov was not as sharp as he has been and at times appeared tired. It will be interesting to see him in a back to back game tonight. We have to watch that knee. Over playing him was how JM got him injured. Plekanic has got 3 goals but he seems to float a lot more and is doing less work. Winnipeg had good forechecking and at times we were in real trouble in our own end. Lucky for us they are lousy in their own end. We had real trouble with kane as he is so strong and quick.There is where you need a PK. Just ask Crosby and Ovechkin. For us I feel the players who are really playing well every night other than Markov are Bourque, Emelin. Boullion, Prust, Georges and Gallagher. Real intensity especially from Borque. Loved the Ken Dryden thing by Carey Price. Two average period then he decided to shut the door. Without him doing the 3rd period thing we could have easily lost that one. Drydenesque.

    • Cal says:

      Guess you didn’t see Kane being hit by Emelin all night.

      • K-hab25 says:

        Yup, or that Hamerlik and Spacek were the guys that shutdown Ovechkin and Crosby. With a big assist by some guy named Halak. :-)

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Nor did Kane. Such whining afterwards.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

      • montrealtilldeath says:

        Cal I most certainly did and that is why I have him as one of the players bringing it every night. I have been high on him from the beginning even when JM was benching him. My thing about Kane last night was that behind our net he was extremely good and when he had the puck deep we had a very hard time getting out of our end. Strong and very tough. Ask Matt Cooke. 8 or 9 points in the past 5 games.

    • Luke says:

      Pleks isn’t floating at all. In fact he seemed to be well positioned and anticipating the play extremely well. Expecially on the penalty kill. I thought he was close to having 2 more breakaways in addition to the SH crossbar.

      Kane didn’t strike me as too much of a threat last night. As already stated, Emelin played him hard and effectively. Antropov seemed more an issue than Kane did.

      “There is where you need a PK. Just ask Crosby and Ovechkin.”
      If I recall correctly, it was the Hamrlik and Spacek pairing that threw the blanket over Crosby and Ovechkin.

  19. Habs64 says:

    2-1 Habs

    Gally and Gionta and Latendresse for Sens

    2 afternoon games this weekend:)

  20. Habfan17 says:

    Both teams had 6 power plays, get over it Winnipeg! Therrien is showing that he has changed, In his first stint behind the bench, he would have blown up after the call on Prust for diving. His system does seem to fit the players better too!

    Subban is proving his immaturity yet again. Seriously, one of the first things you say after you sign is that you want to be called the Subbanator! Grow up! Maybe his mouth works faster than his brain can process whether or not he should say something. If he keeps this up, the dressing room will remain chilly! The right thing to do would be to stay out os the spotlight for a while and let them come to you! Always talk about the team first, not your own exploits! The Subbanator, sheesh!!

    Habfan17

  21. Steeltown Hab says:

    Reffing has been consistently strict this year. Can’t complain for the most part.

    Time to swap DD and Eller. I thought Eller did a pretty decent job creating out there with what he was given. Swiss league hurt Desharnais is seems like or he’s just having a really bad start. Either way “no excuses” everyones accountable and this small change should be made. That line can’t get any worse.

    ———————————

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

  22. Habsrule1 says:

    Sorry for the double post.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      I’d like to see Emelin, don’t think it’ll happen though.

      ———————————

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

  23. rhino514 says:

    I´ve never seen Bouillon as a “weak link” like some on here are saying. Bouillon has always been one of the better one on one Dmen in the league, and from what I have seen (i was impressed on how fast he skated out of the Dzone a few times) he has not lost that much. I can even see him being here next season.
    And if Diaz finishes with close to a point per game for the season maybe people will stop alluding to him as the other weak link. Some Dmen are defensive, some are more offensive; you judge the whole. I think Diaz and Bouillon are much better than the prototypical Dmen you see on third pairings on most of the teams in the league.

  24. adamkennelly says:

    Eller is clearly the odd man out in MT’s mind. They will be patient, you don’t trade an asset like that when their stock is down but I imagine he will be gone before the end of the season. And for al the lovers out there – he was traded once before – a lot of 1st round draft picks don’t work out…add in Weber and maybe get something decent in return…

    • Loonie says:

      When first round picks don’t get the chance to work out, there’s a problem with the organizational philosophy.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Well said. They even took away his PK time this year.

        ———————————

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

      • rhino514 says:

        Disagree.
        To an extent everything is guesswork, but there are many first rounders (especially outside the top 10 or 12) who it becomes apparent pretty early on don´t have the stuff to be top six. It doesn´t mean they can´t become valuable top nine players. Kind of looks like it´s happeneing with Louis Leblanc.
        People here constantly act like Eller has never been given a chance, but the truth is he has over two full seasons under his belt now. And, no, you don´t have to play with the best wingers on the team for you to get noticed and work your way up.
        Anyway, Eller will still keep getting opportunities for a while. There are always injuries, and DD is not off to a great start which could bode well for Eller in the future (though I absolutely feel DD is more proven than Eller and should not be demoted any time soon). I also don´t think we can just dismiss the games he played on the wing as not providing a chance to see what he´s worth. He´s young and has size, qualities that lend themselves to adaptation on the wing, and if he really is the real deal we would notice him even when he´s on the wing.

        By the way, the habs currently have another Nordic first round draft pick who has never really “gotten a chance to prove himself”
        That would be Nokkelainen. And if you look close you can see the skill, too.
        Does this mean we should stick Nokkia on the top two lines?
        I rest my case.

        • Loonie says:

          You rest your case?

          Which specific players that weren’t surrounded with two skilled players have elevated themselves within this organization?

          Plekanec? Nope. Desharnais? Nope, even when he was on third line duty he had skill on both sides of him.

          So I’m curious. Which player has forged themselves into an offensive role without the benefit of offensive talent surrounding them?

          I would agree that if Eller is given a consistent opportunity to prove himself on the wing that it will show what he’s got. But the fact is that he’s being bounced around like a pinball and humiliated by this organization at every turn.

          On the Nokelainen point, he came to this team a journeyman. Eller may wind up in that territory but I don’t think their skills are comparable.

          If Eller’s going to prove himself he’s going to need an opportunity to find consistency, he hasn’t been given that chance.

          And that’s why this organization is failing him.

          • rhino514 says:

            “Which specific players that weren’t surrounded with two skilled players have elevated themselves within this organization?”

            The answer is Galchenyuk, in just five games.
            Playing with a better than average fourth liner and a kid who may be good one day but is not elite.

            I´m pretty sure Eller has had more than five games in two years where he was surrounded by better talent.

          • Loonie says:

            5 game sample size and using a player who will one day likely be one of the top 10 players in the World?

            Really? Okay.

            I guess I could go back and show you some five game stretches of Eller’s where he’s produced elite offensive numbers. That probably wouldn’t do anything to erase your preconceived notion that he isn’t a good enough hockey player though.

            Nice chatting with ya.

        • boing007 says:

          How can Eller get his groove going when he is constantly being shuffled about?

          Richard R
          Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • Habfan17 says:

      When he played overseas during the lockout he was used in all situations and did very well. If he is to succeed in Mtl, they need to give him that same opportunity. DD did very well last year but he was given two strong wingers and Eller was moved out of his natural position. You tell me who was put in a situation to succeed, maybe had they put Eller with Cole and Patches, he would have done just as well or better!

      Habfan17

      • Cal says:

        Let’s face it. Eller was playing against inferior competition, so he should have done well. He should have done amazingly well.
        Eller started 2 games with Cole and DD and has nothing to show for it yet.
        As long as the team is winning, keep playing him and hope he’s for real and not just potential.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Geeze maybe Therrien can suit up DD to back up Budaj and give Price a real break then! Heck lets give Bergy a break too and have DD as our acting GM and we’d see some real winners come here! Really! DD is a winner at heart and imagine what kind of team he could build…..

    • habsnyc says:

      Eller is only the odd man out if he does not score. A couple goals and he is right back in it. The organization is not going to trade a decent young forward with an attractive contract because he got off to a slow start. The team can be patient.

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

  25. Habsrule1 says:

    Who will be with PK on the point on the second wave of the PP?

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  26. Captain aHab says:

    I enjoyed seeing Kane going around the net with his head down and suddenly realizing he was gonna get hammered again by Emelin and immediately flying off of the puck to avoid him. If Emelin can make Kane worry about him, it’ll be an interesting year. With Subban, Emelin and Cube, opposing forwards will be kissing the boards an awful lot this year.

    And I would NOT want to get on the wrong side of Prust…he looked like he was possessed last night. I have no fear of the Bruins anymore from a physical POV. I think we can play that game with them and if they take silly penalties, they’ll have to worry about our PP. It’ll keep things a lot quieter.

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

  27. 24 Cups says:

    Jane – Armstrong and White have played well. Moen, like in other years, tends to run hot and cold. DD is French Canadien. Hab fans love Prust right now but that doesn’t mean he’s totally suited to playing 3rd line minutes ove an 82 game schedule

    I realize all these players fulfill different roles but it’s going to be a real mistake if the Habs give up on Eller just because of the way the chess pieces fit on the board (at the present moment).

    The team has to think long term when it comes to utilizing and developing Eller’s game.

    • Chris says:

      I’ll be even more harsh.

      Moen runs hot in contract years and is generally unimpressive otherwise. How he’s dodged that rep is somewhat beyond me, because he is one of the worst I’ve ever seen for suddenly playing hard every time he is trying to earn his next payday.

      • Loonie says:

        Four year deal. Haha.

        You could make a call and replace the guy with a prospect you don’t want anymore if you need a fourth player like him.

        Boggles the mind.

        • Cal says:

          Prospects shouldn’t be on the 4th line.

          • 44har48 says:

            Top 6 prospects, and I think thats what you meant…also, I don’t prefer one of my offensive Dmen parked on the wing on the 4th line either…LMAO.

          • Loonie says:

            Who said anything about prospects?

            I’m not saying they should be on the fourth line. What’s wrong with Armstrong – Prust – White?

            There’s no need to commit term and dollars to fourth line players when they’re easily replaceable.

            One of White, Prust, Moen or Armstrong should be in the pressbox when Pacioretty’s healthy.

          • twilighthours says:

            Tom – maybe these 4th liners aren’t easily replaceable. I know that there’s a groundswell of thought in this direction (EOTP even has their own lingo: “replacement-level”), but maybe not all 4th liners are equal.

            Seriously, would you rather have Moen back there or Nokelainen/Palushaj/Staubitz?

          • Loonie says:

            Twi,

            Of the options you mentioned I’d rather have Moen in provided he’s playing the way that his role dictates he should. He hasn’t been so far.

            I’m speaking more from a standpoint of organizational philosophy than anything else. Why do we have fourth line players in the lineup in favour of skilled players on the third line? That’s my question.

            Eller, Desharnais and other skilled players should never be in the pressbox in favour of a fourth liner who isn’t doing his job well.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Prust is making sure no one takes liberties with the Gally boys and actually fits in quite nice.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

      • 44har48 says:

        Yup, this is the one I think we overpaid….was really hoping Detroit would have offered anything and traded for him last year. He has demonstrated on various occasions that he floats around when he has a contract locked up.

      • Cal says:

        After all the bitching around here for a proper fourth line, let’s not dump on them for being effective.

      • K-hab25 says:

        Moen is definitely one of those guys who always escaped criticism in my opinion, because he was the only tough guy we had on a small team. Saying that though, I agree 100% with you that he has been consistently one of our worst forwards his entire time here and not very physical, or tough. I was hoping he was not going to be resigned, but that hope was shattered in a big way.

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    Looking at the Eastern Conference and the 3 divisions, I think we will see some perhaps skewed point totals as the season wears on.

    WIth the schedule being so division heavy in games, teams playing in the Atlantic division have no off games. I think eventually it will come to pass that Toronto falls to the bottom of our division while in the Southeast it appears Florida may have taken a big step backwards and Washington appears to be floundering.

    It will be interesting to watch as the season plays out. But certainly not a balanced schedules, therefore no reason to expect balanced results.

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    Wow! I woke up this morning and found out, it wasn’t a dream. This aggressive, fast skating, quick shooting Mlt. club, is getting the job done. I mean they are all shooting from everywhere. The fun is back on the club and in the stands.

    On a negative note, what happened to the best penalty killing team from last year? Can we borrow Hal Gill for a practice or two?? We sure have to stay out of the box this year. But PK will help in that dept. he is very good at being hard on the puck and he does get the puck out with authority!

    Now like Mike says, we are up against a very good Ottawa club tonight, a fresh pair of legs on D is available to play tonight, but I think he will show up on the ice Sat. night at the Bell.
    Get ready for another gear from him when he plays his first shift in that one!!

  30. twilighthours says:

    If you were still on the fence about Prust or his salary, read this quote about playing with the two kids:

    “I told them, ‘Play physical. Go to the net hard and hit guys,’ ” Prust said. “ ‘While I’m out there with you, I’ve got your backs. Maybe they’re playing a little bigger than usual.’ ”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      There were quite a few naysayers about his contract, sure we had to pay a premium for him, but he is showing his worth. I thought Dale Hunters glowing endorsement a few days back spoke volumes also.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I suspect a lot of the people that complained about this signing hadn’t seen Prust play very much, or didn’t know what the team was lacking.

      • Chris says:

        As one of the people complaining about that signing, it had nothing to do with Prust as a player (who I’m still not all that crazy about…he is an absolutely terrible puck possession player).

        What I do complain about is that Montreal is paying Brandon Prust about 50-100% more than what comparable “energy” or shutdown players around the NHL are being paid.

        That is of course partially the premium that Montreal always has to pay, but you quite simply can’t afford to pay your third- and fourth-line plugs $2.5 M per season if you have any hope of landing a couple of star players for your top two lines.

        In Montreal’s case, it is just one buy. But now the bar has been set for what their third and fourth line players are “worth”.

        • 44har48 says:

          This is exactly what my buddy has been saying, he likes Prust but too expensive compared to around the league for his role…I don’t mind it. I hate hits of $7.3M not $2.5M against the cap.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Chris – Most July UFA signings are overpaid for their true worth. Cammalleri, Gionta and Hamrlik are prime examples of this. Komisarek going the other way. An unwarranted extra year of term is also another UFA factor with Spacek and Cole as examples. Kovalev going the other way.

          • Chris says:

            Steve: No question. But Cammalleri was a 40 goal scorer being signed to fill a role as a top-3 winger.

            Gionta was a 30 goal two-way forward that could immediately slot into your top-6 forwards.

            Hamrlik has been a minute-chewing top-4 (and often top-2) defenceman that can give you heavy minutes at even-strength and can play both the PP and PK.

            Brandon Prust is a fourth-line banger that has had one decent offensive season mixed into a whole bunch of exceedingly unimpressive offensive seasons. You don’t pay $2.5 M for fourth line players. It is just silly.

            Montreal is using him on the third line, but that line is largely driven by Galchenyuk (a top-3 overall pick) and Gallagher. Prust is valuable, but I think there are dozens of players that could fill the same role he is filling out there. And I actually believe a lot of them are better at it.

            We overpaid Georges Laraque to be a fighter to improve the team’s “toughness”. Now we’ve done the same thing with Prust.

            In Prust’s favour, he will be a fan-favourite because of his style of play. So in the end, it isn’t a big deal. But I do worry about the precedent of paying a checking line forward that kind of money.

            Overpaying by $1 M isn’t a big deal on the surface, but if you do it a few times you suddenly don’t have enough to sign your legitimate key players.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Instead of looking at what line you think he should be on, why not look at his contribution to the team. Crazy idea, I know.

          • twilighthours says:

            Oz, there are more important things than measurements that hope to describe puck possession (like Fenwick/Corsi). I know you know it.

        • BJ says:

          If he can continue helping the “third” line produce he’s worth the money. Its been a while since we’ve had a guy that can skate, hit, kill penalties and drop them to help out the team. This can only help out Plekanec not run out of gas being the mainstay of our PK in past years.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            I thought we over paid for him as we could have kept Staubitz for about 800K , but Prust is playing very well and as i posted way above before reading these posts, he’s looking after the Gally boys.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

    • 44har48 says:

      I have a lot of Devils and Rangers fans as friends, like most of you have Maple Leaf fans as friends…

      The word on Prust all off season from the Rangers fans I know was mixed, they liked him alot but he took nights off and they didn’t feel he was worth the cash if he wouldn’t play every shift. My Devils friends hate playing him and would love to have him on their team. They were all very high on him watching him play so much.

      So for me, if he continues with this effort and leadership, he came to us cheap. If he is going to eventually coast around out there, yeah, he is probably expensive.

      Like the entire team, I am holding judgment on everyone until about 25-30 games in. They need to understand and be able to play this system with each other and go through the league once to tell anything meaningful. We really have no idea who the good teams are right now – we think we do.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      That is an awesome quote! Second coming of Chris Nilan right there!

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  31. 24 Cups says:

    BTW, tonight’s game is on TSN’s full network.

  32. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s another question. People keep talking about having to trade a player. Personally, I don’t see the rush. Even when Noke and Subban return, the team will have a 23 man roster. There will be no pressure to make a roster move until Max Pac returns. Who’s to say there won’t be more injuries? Not to mention that there is no one in Hamilton ready to step up at this precise moment in time.

    Every other year it seems that the Habs always had to make a move of desperation to fill a hole which usually landed up costing the team a 2nd round pick.

    Not many teams will have any interest (right now) in picking up the two year Kaberle contract. It might even mean that they would have to buy out the last year of his contract this summer. Weber? He’s the perfect swing man who seems content to sit and wait.

    It’s only five games in. Steady as she goes.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      +1 – having depth issues is a good issue.

    • Chris says:

      It may not be their prerogative. My premise that the team will start having to move bodies is grounded in the fact that some of those players on the bubble (Yannick Weber, Ryan White, Lars Eller) need to play if they are going to continue to develop.

      If Montreal can’t give them a consistent opportunity to play, then they and their agents would be fully within their rights to request a trade. Montreal is of course fully within their own rights to deny that request, but it is not a very good message to send to other players when you deny players their chance to maximize their career potential.

      Weber is “content to sit and wait”, but we also heard that he is “anxious” to play. Weber is in the final year of a bridge contract. He wants to play to earn his next contract. He won’t be content to “sit and wait” for much longer.

    • K-hab25 says:

      Ya I said the same thing two days ago, until Pacioretty comes back, there really is no rush. People just see we have 8 D, but Weber has played as much forward as he has defense in the last year. Great swing guy off the bench that can play either position in a pinch if you ask me.

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    So what will our local media stir up today with PK meeting his teammates. Will someone walk past PK and while deep in game day thought not say Hello, thus proving the dire situation in which clearly that player dislikes PK?

  34. 24 Cups says:

    The only question of the week is when does Budaj get to play. It will be his first game in 10 months. And all three remaining games this week are against division rivals.

  35. grizzles says:

    just throwing this out there, i cannot stand the nickname ‘chucky’ for Galchenyuk. much prefer GallyA and GallyB or Gally and GB or something. Chucky sounds so stupid

    • Cal says:

      Blame the Habs’ players for it. They named him.

    • boing007 says:

      I agree. Horrible name, stupid movies.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I have to disagree. While I’m not thrilled about Chucky, GallyA & GallyB sounds way stupider to me.

      Chucky & Gally kinda rolls off the tongue.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • krob1000 says:

      How about a slight tweaking….”lucky”…worked for Robitaille and he is long gone and it sounds better than “Chucky”.

    • aroma says:

      A reasonable concern given how long these lads are likely to be with us. Why is a nickname necessary? Price doesn’t have one.

      That said, I’m ok with “Gally” for Gallagher. Someone put “Nyuk” out there for Galchenyuk. At least that one is funny. And I prefer the Three Stooges to cheapo horror movies…

    • Chris says:

      Personally, I’ve never understood what is wrong with calling them Galchenyuk and Gallagher. Nicknames are generally things come up with by friends.

      Fans are not players’ friends, as we just found out over the past six months.

      • Loonie says:

        Haha. No kidding Chris.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Nah….nicknames are cool. Makes fans feel just a bit closer to players. Not saying they all need one, but sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Have you ever heard hockey players refer to other players by their full names? Yes calling someone by their given name is nice, but in hockey rarely happens.

        • Chris says:

          Nope.

          But I’m also not a hockey player. So it really doesn’t matter to me what players call each other.

          I suspect most of you have no idea what my nicknames are. Nor should you care.

          To each their own, but I’ve always found it rather odd how people spend time thinking about nicknames for athletes so they can type it out in message board posts. It is a bit ridiculous.

          My favourite is when people come up with nicknames like “Larry” for Lars. We actually add letters and a syllable…how does that make sense?

          • twilighthours says:

            To be honest, chris, if you’ve never played hockey then you’ll never get the nickname thing.

      • Les Canayens says:

        Coaches need the nicknames to roll out their lines more easily in a noisy environment. Think of them as the hockey equivalent of NATO phonetic alphabets.

        • boing007 says:

          So what does MT call Alex Galchenyuk when he wants him to go on the ice? Folks want to know.

          Richard R
          Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  36. JF says:

    Far from a perfect game last night, but you have to love how the team does not fold when they give up a lead. Last year, if we were leading by a goal going into the third, I just knew we would end up losing in OT. This year’s team believe they can win every game.

    There is still a lot of work to be done. The penalty kill needs some adjustments; if these are made, I think we can be as good in that area as last year. Faceoffs are still a major weakness. We seem almost never to win one in our zone or at the start of the powerplay.

    Last night was far from Price’s best game, but he had an outstanding third period. Earlier in his career, a bad goal would have caused him to lose his focus; last night he was able to regroup and be very sharp when it mattered most. Not only is he more mature, but he is a great deal more mentally tough than he used to be. He is twenty-five now; goaltenders typically reach their potential in their late twenties. The best is probably still to come for Price.

    Love watching the two Gallys race up the ice and make a beeline for the net. When was the last time the Habs had two such exciting rookies?

    I hope the fans award Emelin a star one of these days. He’s been solid.

    As for Lars Eller, I think he needs to play centre, although he started off well last night. Perhaps Therrien could switch him with DD for a game or two. But it is difficult to see where Eller will fit in the lineup once Pacioretty comes back, unless he ends up taking DD’s spot.

    • Arrow77 says:

      What I was thinking last night was that once Pacioretty will come back, 3 or 4 weeks from now, one of two things will have happened. Either Galchenyuk slows down and starts looking like the rookie he is supposed to be, or he keeps playing like he does right now and forces Therrien to consider him ready for one of the top 2 line. If the latter happens, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pacioretty joining Galchenyuk and Gallagher on first/second line and have Prust go down on fourth line (he probably won’t be playing as well by then). If that’s the case, the Eller-DD-Cole line might stick. And so far, I can’t say DD is playing much better than Eller.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Steve, I still maintain we end up seeing either Rogers or Bell own the next team in GTA. I have been of this suspicion of 2nd team for about 4-5 years now and once Teachers sold, to me it indicated they were made aware by Bettman that a team was coming to GTA. Therefore sell now and sell high, Bell and Rogers pay the huge price tag knowing that they get first dibs on next franchise. There is no way these two enemies jump in bed together for a long term plan.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Gerald – Expansion revenue sharing is not part of the new CBA. Quebec City and another GTA team are perfect sites. Seattle/KC are the Phoenix parachutes. It’s a no brainer.

        I truly believe the NHL will be a 32 team league before this CBA expires in eight years.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Toronto I think gets 1st expansion no matter what. I see Seattle as a relocation city, where whoever pays for the dog with fleas in Phoenix gets a mulligan in a new location.

          Question is 2nd expansion, Quebec or somewhere in the States?

  37. Habfan10912 says:

    Many years ago I would just watch Guy Lafleur skate on the ice and pay no attention to the puck, It would find Guy eventually. Last night I found myself doing that very thing with Galchenyuk. He really is a good skater and keeps his feet moving and doesn’t get shoved around at all out there. The thing that really caught my eye, dare I compare him to the great one, was his ability to find open spaces in decent scoring areas.
    Look, I sometimes go over board on such things but how can you not see star written on this kid?

    ———————————–

    • Loonie says:

      He supports the puck and anticipates changes in possession and the transition game very well.

      I don’t think you’re reading too much into it. He’s well on his way to becoming a star.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I endorse this post, and I have a habs jersey presently with no number and name on it. It shall be Galchenyuk #27 by weeks end.

  38. Thomas Le Fan says:

    4-1 sure looks better than 1-4. That was the first game I’ve watched this year. The score flattered the Jets but we didn’t look awesome either. Nice to see the power play working. Defence looked good, Price was adequate. The young guys are exciting.
    However, The Rocket, The Pocket Rocket, The Flower etc. and … Chucky? We have to do better than that. The kid is going to be a superstar and he’s got the nickname of a doll in a really bad movie? It won’t do. Go Habs.

  39. Price07 says:

    As I expected, DD has shown he was not the real thing (I mean common, did anyone actually think he was?). I think it would be sad to ruin Eller because he is a real good 3rd line center. But right now there is no spot for him with Gally Pleks and DD. However, Gally is the future number 1, Pleks is without a doubt one of the best number 2 centermen in the league and DD is too small for a 3rd line center. Put Eller where he belongs and sorry for DD, but I’m sure there are weaker teams out there that could use his help.

    • Arrow77 says:

      The key to DD is, is he versatile enough to play on the wing? It’s true that Eller is much better suited for 3rd line center duty but if DD can play on the wing he might be able to add offense somewhere else.

  40. geo_habsgo says:

    I don’t know if it has been discussed at all but does anyone else notice that Emelin seems more involved with the team this year? I noticed that lately after games, in scrums, and in 24CH, he seems more eager to jump in and participate with his teammates. An example from 24CH is right before the first game he went out of his way to give props to Galchenyuk before going out. Is it because he feels more comfortable now that he has a guy like Markov on the team or is it just the comfort in being a second year player?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree, haven’t seen the 24CH, but all in all he just looks more comfortable. I think a few reasons.
      A – Playing with Markov is a dream come true from a skill perspective, now add in the fact they can speak the same language, reassess what happened on ice while on bench, and adjustments become immediate.
      B – Chucky also speaks the same language, I am sure Emelin has an immediate bond and another buddy on the team.
      C- He is getting used to NHL hockey, the rink size, the players he is going against and also getting used to his teammates.

  41. BJ says:

    Can’t forget our Russian linebacker who’s looking like Dick Butkus back there. I like to see the opposition do ButtKissing with the ice. As pointed out below Kane must have been dreaming about the number 74 last night.

  42. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS:
    1. Thumbs up or down on the “swarm” penalty kill.
    2. If you were Therrien, what would you do with Eller?
    3. What’s the best name you’ve heard for the Prust line? Two Gals and a Goon? The GaGa Line? GG Cop?
    4. Who’s been the biggest surprise for you so far this year?
    5. What’s this team’s biggest weakness or question mark?
    SD
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Loonie says:

      1. Down
      2. Coach him instead of using him as a scapegoat for all of my troubles
      3. Haven’t heard one
      4. Colby Armstrong – don’t like him, thought his career was over, but he’s been great.
      5. Penalty Kill or too many shots from the perimeter. If the powerplay success doesn’t continue goals will be hard to come by. Our forwards shoot from bad areas on the ice far too often. Hopefully they break the habit.

    • Bill J says:

      3. (And only because Prust has a foundation called this, so it’s appropriate) Prusty’s Kids


      Go Habs Go!

    • Cal says:

      1. Work in progress, but so far it’s not so good.
      2. Keep him with DD and Cole- all 3 need to get it going.
      3. Child’s Play III?
      4. Diaz’s offense numbers.
      5. Thus far- Eller.

    • The Cat says:

      1- Dont even know what that means…must be back-alley dog lingo…
      2- I think hes handling him just fine
      4- The youth doing great!
      5- My question mark or what intringues me is which line will be scoring most (5on5 as the season goes) or when the PP dries up a little.

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

      • SmartDog says:

        Swarm: all 4 PK players go after the puck. It’s like a blitz defense.
        Risky, but often works. When it doesn’t though, it’s really dangerous and the hope is that Price is sharp.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      1. Thumbs down
      2. Play him top 6 minutes for a season and give him deer antler spray. :)
      3. GaGa
      4. The improvement from Diaz
      5. The continued lack of production from DD

      ———————————–

    • K-hab25 says:

      1. Not sure, still early.

      2. Keep him with DD and Cole for now.

      3. Honestly, I like your Two Gals and a Goon one.

      4. The two “Gals” for sure, I never expected them to excel this quickly.

      5. The PK has been worrisome, but PK should help with that.

    • grizzles says:

      1. not sure but we cant really judge the PK until PK comes back
      2. let him play C, his natural position with anybody who has offensive ability, not checkers.
      3. havent really heard any names but i wouldnt mind “the hottest line in the show”
      4. Gallagher by far
      5. not alot of weakness to be seen through 5 games but we have allowed a couple goals from right in front of Carey that were uncontested, our D men need to clear the front of the net better

    • Ozmodiar says:

      1. I like it. It’s early. It will get better.
      2. Try him in the middle with DD and Cole.
      3. The Gally Express. All aboard!!
      4. Therrien
      5. Depth

  43. Cal says:

    The (surprising, but fun) emergence of Chucky, Gally and the resident philosopher make them the de facto 2nd line when it comes to production. This has allowed the Habs to keep winning despite the early funk coming from DD’s line.
    The addition of PK makes this team better, both defensively and offensively.
    So far, so good!
    Less than 11 hours until puck drop. Can’t wait. :)

  44. Loonie says:

    Brad Marchand says that Jeff Skinner is a slew footer and essentially a dirty player.

    I just love it when a dirty player calls another player dirty. The players around the league who see his statement are gonna have a good laugh at the comments.

  45. RetroMikey says:

    It is great that the team is playing great hockey but as Boone says, way too early to judge this team.
    Let’s have a wait and see approach after 20 games to see if our team is really good and last year was just a fluke.
    For now, let’s all be happy they are winning.
    But if I were Bergevin, we still can still make a trade or two to “retool” this team for the future.
    My MVP for the team so far is Emelin, a workhorse who has played steady, consistent, physical hockey on the D.

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

    • The Cat says:

      The additions of Prust, the youth and Armstrong are very solid additions. Last year wasnt a fluke, this is a different team.

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

      • Loonie says:

        Coughing up two goal leads in consecutive games is a bit alarming.

        • HardHabits says:

          The two goal lead is the hardest to keep. What’s re-assuring is in those games where they coughed up the lead they still managed to eventually win.

          The difference between this season and last is that last season after coughing up to goals the feeling was the game was lost. This season, even after giving up goals and seeing the momentum shift to the other team, the Habs are able to turn the tables back in their favour and make a game of it.

          As a fan, you can’t expect much more from your team. That, is what they call “heart”.

          • Loonie says:

            I agree Dave. It’s definitely encouraging to see them respond instead of going into operation shutdown.

        • The Cat says:

          Its not ideal for sure, and with the law of momentum shifting, the team will no doubt regress and lose a couple eventually. But with the work ethic so far displayed, it wont translate into slumps I dont think.

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

    • Keeper64 says:

      I agree Mikey. I thought Emelin should’ve been a 3-Star in the game for sure. If the Writers did the voting instead of the fans, I’m sure they would’ve given him the recognition. He puts on a clinic on hitting every game and its awesome to see. Strong like Bull!!

    • geo_habsgo says:

      Why have people called you a troll on here before? You seem pretty docile in your posts the last few weeks.

      I agree with you though, too early to tell how good this team is, but it is nice to see them winning and actually giving it their all. Emelin is a lovely surprise, actually. Markov is helping him be a steadier player.

      • RetroMikey says:

        I have been called a troll because for the past 3 years, I have been very negative to the team and the organization from “Bobby Gainey” to the players like “Little Sergei Kostitsyn” to present players like Yannick Weber and HIO posters have jumped on me due to the many negative posts I have made and our fans cannot accept criticism.
        I am a passionate fan, many people who have met me are surprised at my passion for the team and surprised of my username on here.
        I promised to tone down but I want a winner with this organization, not a bunch of players assembled on the ice to fatten their wallets and to the owner.
        We suffered many years, we are supposed to be a winner every year, not a sub par team.
        We are supposed to be the best hockey team in the world, now let the new Molson organization show to everyone in this new NHL generation we are Champions!

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

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Rangers may have lost Callahan to a shoulder injury last night. This could be quite a loss for them, with Prust off the lineup, Dubinsky traded and now possibly Callahan, these guys provided a great deal of grit and leadership on that team. Teams will more than ever focus on the big line.

    • The Cat says:

      Don Cherry illustrated why its stupid to have a big star line like that last Saturday, and I agree with him. On the road, theyll be vulnerable.

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

  47. Loonie says:

    This team is more aggressive, it dictates play early and responds when the opposing team pushes back. Sometimes a good team can be built with a philosophy that simple. Frankly, it’s the best way I can think of to describe how the Bruins play.

    They’ve been excellent collectively and I only have two criticisms.

    1. The penalty kill needs an adjustment. The aggressive nature of the penalty kill has been its problem. Too many goals are being scored from uncontested shots. Too often our far side defenseman is playing too close to the puck and can’t account for anyone behind them.

    2. The handling of Lars Eller. It isn’t coaching to bench a player after one game. You want the team to buy in? They have to be accountable as a unit? Then benching one player after one game and using intensity as the reason is counter productive. Now we’re at game #6 and Eller is still playing with no confidence and last night was sat on the bench following a penalty that lead to a goal. If ever there was a time to see if you can get intensity out of a player, it’s immediately after he cost his team a goal. But nope, back to the bench you go young man.

    So to recap the handling of Eller this season. Benched after one game, left out for a second, brought back as a winger(a position Ray Charles knows he isn’t comfortable in) and is visibly trying to adjust to become a north/south or Bourque-like player(also something he isn’t comfortable in). Eller grew up in the European game, every instinct he has about hockey tells him not to take himself out of position all for the purposes of landing a bodycheck, and he’s being told to throw it all out in favour of a more “intense” style of game. If this is going to work, it’s going to require patience, not a lack of tolerance.

    I feel that Therrien’s done a lot of good so far this season, but his handling of Eller could be disastrous and I’d rather not watch him become a 60 point player with somebody else and see his replacement with the Habs be a fourth line checker.

    • Bill J says:

      Edited: Mostly agree with ya but Eller seems lost on this team. MT has done good work so far, I’m open to allowing him the chance to reboot Eller. If he chooses to bench him after one game, so be it.


      Go Habs Go!

    • Keeper64 says:

      Well written Loonie. I agree with all your points. The PK needs some adjustments. We’re giving up way too many good shots and not clearing traffic effectively. The guys just seemed to be rotating but then getting completely out of position and scrambling.

      Overall, another intense game where the Habs pressure was contstant and forcing turnovers. Love it.

      The question is…….is it coaching or simply a new influx of players with different and infectious attitudes?? Discuss.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        PK should help with the pk. I do agree with Eller at center as opposed to wing but where do you put him? I would think because of his size DD would not be a good option and Pleks is arguably the best forward on the team. I think I’d rather see Lars get top 6 minutes instead of playing a forth line center. He’s 23 years old and still cooking. I hope the club is patient with this guy.
        As far as the benching after one game, perhaps MT wanted to emphasize what he had been saying that this was going to be a performance based driven roster and he used Eller as an example. We certainly can debate the pros and cons around such a move but the teams play indicates the players buying in. At least for now.
        Can I say this again. The kids are pretty good, eh?
        ———————————–

    • Cal says:

      Gallagher played less than Eller. He was more productive. He was going to the net. He was hitting and being hit.
      Eller needs to get over it and play as hard as he can every shift he gets. DD’s ice time was reduced, especially after the Jokinen goal (DD’s fault), leaving Cole to get some time with Chucky and Gally (resulting in Cole’s first of the season).
      Eller has to force MT into playing him more by giving more. I’m hoping Eller gets it and commits fully. As a result, we’ll see a better Lars Eller.

      • Loonie says:

        This is a difference in philosophy. If the player in question were a veteran I would agree. But this is a young player. He should be coached, not humiliated consistently.

        You’re essentially putting the onus on Eller to respond in the way that Therrien wants him to respond. That’s the problem here in my opinion. Different people react differently to the treatment we’re talking about. In Eller’s case, it’s clear it did him no good.

        Again, they’re asking him to change the style of game he plays and at a different position, that takes patience, and I’m not seeing patience with him. He doesn’t “have” to play with more intensity, they “want” him to play with more intensity.

        A good player is a good player. There wasn’t anything wrong with Eller last season that more experience wouldn’t fix. So why screw with his head?

        What’s the definition of insanity again?

  48. Chris says:

    One thing that has always irked me…people are basically writing in stone the defence pairing of P.K. Subban and Josh Gorges.

    I understand that this defensive pairing was Montreal’s best last season, but my question is why we are keeping it this season.

    One of the frequent arguments for paying P.K. Subban elite defenceman money is that he is an elite defenceman at BOTH ends of the ice. Given that Subban should be even better this season once he shakes off game rust, I see no reason why he needs to be protected by the team’s best defensive defenceman.

    I would rather see Gorges-Diaz kept as a defensive pairing and see Subban slot in with Bouillon. This way, each defensive pairing has one guy that is almost exclusively defensive (Emelin, Gorges and Bouillon) and one guy that is more prone to taking risks that need to be covered by their partner (Markov, Diaz and Subban). That is also a grouping that I would be comfortable giving equal ice time to, 20 minutes each, so that they are not being run into the ground.

    We know that Markov and Subban and Gorges CAN all play 24 to 25 minutes per night. What is not at all clear is that those three guys SHOULD be playing that much.

    The team is basically rolling right now with its defensive pairings. Subban is going to get his minutes up on special teams; I would put him in second wave PP (behind Markov and Diaz) and first wave PK (with Gorges, ahead of Markov and Emelin/Bouillon). There is no compelling reason to protect him at even strength, whereas Diaz probably still needs a stopper as his partner and has earned his ice time.

    • Loonie says:

      I don’t mind your idea Chris. But if I’m Therrien right now I’m doing my best to get Emelin as much ice-time as possible at even strength.

      I would be inclined to play Bouillon/Subban much more than Gorges/Diaz. I think Gorges has really struggled in every phase of the game this season. It looked like he was turning it around in games two and three and then had shaky performances against the Devils and I think again last night. Not panicking or anything but it could also be that Gorges would greatly benefit from having Subban back. Though it does sacrifice balance as you say.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      A fair question Chris, and I guess the answer will be in what we see as the season progresses. Having said that, seems rather typical of NHL teams to stack their top 2 pairings and ride them, with the third pairing picking up the slack.

      However, we know Therrien trust Frankie quite a bit, so perhaps we end up seeing an alignment as you suggest.

    • Keeper64 says:

      Personally, I like Subban back with Gorges, who would then match up against the others teams top line, and be #1 PK defensive pairing. We could use some help there.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      No, the top 4 D will play in the top 4. Boullion and Diaz will be on the 3rd pairing (the exception might be a breaking-in for Subban).

      They don’t want Boullion logging the minutes expected of Subban, even considering special teams. This is especially the case in close games when the top 2 pairings log a lot of ice time.

    • grizzles says:

      whether its subban/gorges, boullion/diaz or subban/boullion, gorges/diaz there will be one player ‘exclusively’ defensive and one ‘risk taking’…

      therrien would be stupid not to play his top 4 D in the top 4. why bury a better player on a lesser pairing?

      • Ozmodiar says:

        >why bury a better player on a lesser pairing?

        right. does not make sense.

        • Chris says:

          You could also argue that a team is as strong as its weakest link, especially on the road.

          If you have a noticeably weaker pairing, then the other teams will try to match their top guys against that line whenever possible. This forces you into playing that weaker pairing less and less and less to avoid that unfavourable matchup.

          The consequence is that the top pairings run out of gas. Subban and Gorges were not a very good defensive pairing in the third period of games last season, as they quite simply had nothing left in the tank.

          Markov has clearly lost a step. I love the guy, and he’s playing great. But he’s diving at pucks 3-4 times per game when he NEVER did that before. He should not be out there 25 minutes per game.

          In terms of even-strength ice time, I would far prefer that we play a balanced, strong lineup than an overloaded lineup that other teams will try to play the matchup game against.

    • K-hab25 says:

      I agree 110% Chris, was thinking the exact same thing. I don’t know why we should split up good units that are working, to essentially create a below average unit, Diaz and Boullion.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        A “below average unit” is, pretty much by definition, a 3rd pairing.

        That’s why they’re on the 3rd pairing – because they’re below average. :)

        • K-hab25 says:

          It doesn’t have to be, just like your 4th line doesn’t have to be an 8 minute a night group, good teams roll their’s in a regular shift rotation. Sorry, but 3rd pairing does not stand for “below average,” atleast not on a good team anyway.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            A 3rd pairing would be below average compared to the other 2 pairings on the team. The same can be said of forward lines. The best players on the 1st line/paring, then 2nd, and so forth. Of course, there are exceptions (see Pleks), but this is generally how things work. Pretty basic stuff, really.

  49. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all. Matty saw an entertaining game last night, Good for him.
    In other news the kids are pretty good, huh?

    ———————————–

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Morning Jim! Yah your description even echos the Jets fans in my family who were calling and texting me all night. My brother described the game as very entertaining, and his other main comment was about how very good our power play worked.

      Looks like my next trip home to the Peg will involve my family preparing a feast for me, as per the wager. :)

    • boing007 says:

      The Kids are alright.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  50. HabinBurlington says:

    In watching the interviews with Gorges and Markov in particular, as it relates to PK. Seems to me the reaction was overblown and perhaps misinterpreted. It is pretty clear this team is now in full team and game mode. They are tired of questions which don’t relate to the current team and the preperations for the game at hand.

    I don’t believe this is at all directed at PK the person, but rather at the reporters who continue to ask questions unrelated to the game which the players are preparing for.

    Seems like a tight unified team, (its been awhile) this should make it even easier for PK to rejoin, as it will be obvious what all the players have bought into, thus making his shopping trip simple, as their is only 1 item on the store shelves to buy.

    I think this team is ready to get PK’s help as having another talented player who buys into the same system can only help.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Gerald. Be nice to Mom today and don’t rub it in too much. Your PK sounds reasonable but I am in the who cares group. PK’s on ice play will go along way to making friends.

      ———————————–

    • Bill J says:

      Agreed, this thought occurred to me as well.

      To each answer we must ask ourselves what the question was.

      Perhaps the guys aren’t as annoyed with PK, with the reporters constantly asking dumb non team related questions.


      Go Habs Go!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Exactly Bill, but I don’t think these same reporters want to lead their stories with “News just in, Habs players think my questions are stupid!”

  51. jon514 says:

    The difference between winning and losing for us has always been 1 goal. We were averaging 2-3 goals per game the past 3 seasons. This season we are averaging 4. Getting secondary (or primary) scoring from our 3rd line is making all the difference.

  52. rhino514 says:

    What a great comeback win!
    I think we are starting to get an idea of what kind of a team we have:
    The team is a good special teams team. It can be top four in the league in PP now that we have Marky back. And I also believe it can be around top 5 or 6 once we have Subban back. We saw it again last night; two PP goals, and basically Cole´s goal happened at the culmination of a PP.
    As stated earlier, if the team can be average 5 on 5, we are a competitive, fun, hard-working team; a playoff team, definitely.
    Apart from the Capitals game and the Panthers game, where we were playing a tired team, the 5 on 5 has not been great and we cannot depend on the PP to the extent we are doing so now.
    But I believe that with Subban back, who can play solid defensively and eat minutes, move the puck well out of the zone, and help on the PK, our 5 on 5 improves to average, and our PK also improves.
    The effort is there and I am enjoying watching this team. And with Markov, anything is possible. It´s incredible how much better he makes everyone around him; i.e. Diaz and Emelin, especially. I think all of Markov´s points have come on the PP which is incredible. Oddly enough, he may not even be our best player 5 on 5 (I find it difficult to gage actually how good he is defensively), but he is (still) our most valuable player.
    Without him on the PP, we probably would have won only one game up to now, just to put in perspective how important he is.

  53. Mavid says:

    cannot wait for Prust to ring Neils bell…

  54. Old Bald Bird says:

    We are having a fun ride with the team playing a more uptempo and aggressive style. Somewhat ironically, however, it’s mainly due to the PP. Put this PP on last years team and it would have done much better. Put last years PP on this team, and it might not have won a game.

    As I said, it’s been very enjoyable, but they will lose their share of games this season, and there will be some stinkers. Even tonight might be problematic.

  55. Captain aHab says:

    So will Therrien give more time to the young line tonight since they’ll have fresher legs?

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

  56. Captain aHab says:

    The one tweek I would like to see right now is switching Eller and Desharnais. Simplify the game for Desharnais a bit and see if Eller can get going as a C.

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

    • Keeper64 says:

      I think you’re right. That line needs something to spark a turnaround. They just don’t seem in sync at all. Eller on the wing didn’t work last year, and ain’t working this year!!

  57. pmaraw says:

    I love how easily Price can see over top of Bouillon and Gorges heads, it’s kind of hilarious but a huge advantage also!

  58. sc says:

    Eller should take DD’s spot. He needs to play center. DD Nothing special except for his last name. Hate to say it, but it’s true. Eller, without a doubt, would have had as many points, if not more than DD last season. Playing with Pac and Cole…. no brainer. He’s just as creative as a playmaker and has the skill to make beauty passes. While he may not be as fast, has a better stride, more stability and is simply a bigger body.

    Emelin = beast.

  59. Marc10 says:

    Guys on this site need to chill. Just because a couple of guys are struggling out of the gate (DD, Eller, Weber, Cole until tonight…) doesn’t mean they’re going to get traded or shipped off.

    We’re winning. The team is playing well. There appears to be some kind of system in place that is producing solid, entertaining hockey from a team that should not be doing this well. Heck, the coach is even managing to get production from two kids and Bourque… Holy crap… Bourque!

    I am not worried. DD will find his game. Eller will get his chance and he’ll come around (I saw sparks tonight…) Cole is back.

    The only guy that should be really worried is Weber. He’s losing his job to Kabs… and I hear we’re getting an upgrade on D in the coming days. He’s toast!

    But hey, let me say it again: We’re winning!!!

    Enjoy it! Hockey’s back and it’s good to be a Hab!

    • savethepuck says:

      Agree about the panic on the 4 guys in your 1st paragraph, I’m not panicking on them yet, except either Kaberle or Weber are being traded in the very near future. Nothing wrong with Weber, I think he has NHL talent, but we have too many puck moving soft D. Kaberle would obviously be the more desirable trade because of his CAP hit, and he won’t fit anymore with Marky back. You always have to protect against injuries, but that protection is usually not in a DMan making over 4 Mil.
      A lot of teams saying they need D help, hoping we find a trade partner willing to give some type of return.
      I choose to believe Bourque suffered from the abdominal injury he was operated on in the off season the entire time he was with the Habs last year. He’s looked great every game, even though he didn’t get his first goal til tonight.
      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • Keeper64 says:

        I can’t believe there’s a single team in this league that would trade for Kaberle or Weber at this point. Ok, maybe a LATE round pick for Weber.

      • grizzles says:

        kaberle getting traded is a pipe dream, nobody in the league is dumb enough to take on that contract with his lack of production. We all know how his situation is going to play out. MB either waits out his contract or uses the other buyout on him

  60. savethepuck says:

    “By then, PK should be back playing second pairing with Gorges behind Markov and Emelin”

    I think Boone is right here, but is there a single person on this Site that anytime in the last 9 months thought Marky- Emi would be #1 pairing with PK-Gorgy being #2, considering the minutes those 2 logged last season. Not even I thought this, and I’m a huge Marky fan that was confident he would surprise a lot of posters here this season.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I actually am not surprised it will be that way. As long as Markov was coming back healthy, it was my assumption he would be #1. This is not to disrespect PK, but rather to give respect to a guy who has shown in the past and is doing so again, that he is an elite defenceman.

      Gorges is miscast as a top 2 dman, he should be a 3 or 4 dman. Again, that is just where I think he should slot in. It is only a matter of time perhaps even next season, when PK is on the first pairing.

  61. Marc10 says:

    We’ve won how many in a row?!

    It’s going to be good fun against the Sens. They match up pretty well after their surprising breakout season last year. The boys best be hungry.

    Can’t wait to see the kids rack up more points.

    Go Habs Go!

  62. silversnake says:

    Desharnais is struggling.Can we put Lars Eller in his spot and desharnais on the wing before writing Eller off. Give him a shot with good wingers and as a Center.

  63. Richrebellion says:

    I never understood why there was so much doubt in this years habs. When you look at last season as bad as it was there were positive signs. The habs were 11th in goal against so they clearly were keeping the puck out better than the average NHL team. They had a top 2 PK once again showing the d wasn’t all that bad. Their 5 on 5 scoring wasn’t terrible at 18th in the league. They had a goal differential of only -7. If you consider the number of injuries they faced, they really weren’t that bad a team more just a young team with a lot of injuries that had trouble closing out games and winning close games. Now their major downfall was their terrible pp, this season you add one of the best pp quaterbacks in the game and just that surge from the pp has put them over the top in almost all of their wins. They also got tougher and with additions like gallagher and galchenyuk have created a deep team that has 3 scoring lines and one line that creates energy.

    I think people also wrote Bourque off way too quickly last year as he came into a terrible situation and team. He is a talented player and with hard workers like pleks and gio on his line I think he will continue to produce solid games.

    This team is for real and Boone you also forgot to mention that our past 2 wins have also come without our top scorer from last year in Pacioretty.

  64. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    Play Eller or trade him. He is a skilled and big player

    and I am certain that another team like T.O. or Van. would give up some value to get a big centreman.

    • savethepuck says:

      Still only 23 years old, Max still out a few more weeks ( most likely sooner based on his history coming back from injuries). Give the coaching staff some time before we decide whether he’s being forced out, ruined or groomed to be a better hockey player. Had no expectations of MT coming into the season, but have no complaints as of yet based on what I’m seeing on the ice. Been a huge Lars fan for a couple years but not passing judgements on how he’s being handled until I see what transpires.
      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  65. The Jackal says:

    I’m pumped that we won tonight.
    On a side note, something we can all agree on – I hate the Bruins so much, so f ing much.
    That’s all ;)

  66. jctremblay says:

    AS Carly Simon once warbled…”Nobody Does It Better, Makes me feel sad for the rest….”

    Boone and ALN..best read after a Habs game..win or lose.

  67. Say Ash says:

    You guys gotta read the infantile comments on TSN. I’ve never seen such big agree/disagree numbers lol

  68. jedimyrmidon says:

    What I find interesting: The Habs this season have

    - a win against Clemmenson who was something like 6-0-0 against the Habs
    - a win against Washington, a team they struggled mightily against for the past couple of years (scored 3 goals total last year, I think)
    - a win against NJD and Brodeur in Mtl; how many years had it been?
    - and a win against another team on a hot streak

    That’s not bad at all to start the season. Hope they can keep it up (though Boston will prove to be a big challenge).

  69. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    double post

  70. Say Ash says:

    Great ALN as always, Boone.

  71. SUMO says:

    Thanks Mike as always for the timely ALN but you seemed to have stickhandled through 2 simmering issues;

    - The slow start of David Deharnais
    - Therrien’s handling of Lars Eller

  72. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    FIRSTIEEES… so they passed the “gut-check” Mr. Boone.

  73. The Cat says:

    People cant say the french media wont criticize DD, Brunet did last night on RDS. DD has some of the best playmaking on the habs, he had nothing to lose and nothing much was expected of him last year, this year he has to deliver. More pressure on him, but hes earned the right to try and work through it.

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

  74. Cal says:

    Lapresse rates the Habs after each game based on 10. DD was 6.3. Armstrong was the worst (according to Lapresse) at 6.2.
    DD has always risen to the occasion. I expect him to, starting tonight.

  75. The Jackal says:

    It is man, I’ve been thinking about this for a while too.
    I hope whoever is the odd man out does well wherever they go, and that we get a good return. I think that’s all we can ask for. And of course that they are treated with class, unlike the Goat and Squid fiasco.

  76. Cal says:

    Latendresse was as useless as Eller. In other words, not. Eller is suffering from donothingmuchitis. He has to get that turned around. The coach can’t do it for him.

  77. K-hab25 says:

    While I get what you’re saying, you’re not being truthful regarding Latendresse, he did not play on the first line, at all. He played on the second line, sometimes his rookie year, but after that he was a 3rd or 4th liner. Despite having the highest goals scored per minutes played. While AK in his 2nd season was playing first line minutes with Plekanec and Kovalev. Your memory is betraying you old friend .

  78. helluva habs fan says:

    It is a tough situation, but a welcome one. We have a healthy lineup. Actually, scratch that, we have a mostly healthy lineup and Eller is getting an opportunity on the line-formerly-known-as-1st line.

    I know, I know, Eller is a natural center… Eller is wasted on the wing. Too F*$#ing Bad. When a center goes down, he’ll get a shot there. For the time being, if I were Eller, I’d be making the most of my minutes with Cole and DD.

  79. helluva habs fan says:

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s up to Eller to make the coach play him more by generating something out there. I want to believe he has it in him.

  80. K-hab25 says:

    Latendresse averaged 15 goals his first 3 seasons playing 3rd or 4th line minutes, as a 19, 20 and 21 year old. He was far from useless. Unfortunately he was a sniper, trapped in a power forwards body. So everybody wanted him to play like someone he’s not, just like Eller.

  81. The Jackal says:

    Never seen gender theory brought into hockey. Haha, joking…
    I just hope they don’t treat Eller poorly, and hopefully he can develop well for us or if not go somewhere where he can and we can get a good return.

  82. K-hab25 says:

    Latendresse is a perfect example of why I never buy into the, “if he had a French sounding last name he’d be treated better” argument. That guy was treated like crap and you don’t get anymore Francophone than Latendresse.


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