About last night …

160396400_slide
Oh well, you didn’t think they would go 47-1, did you?
Your Montreal Canadiens crashed back to earth with a resounding thud at Scotiabank Place.
The landing took three minutes and 35 seconds, during which the Senators scored three times to take control of a 1-1 game.
The home team was full-value for their win.
Even without Jason Spezza and Sergei Gonchar, Ottawa had the edge in blocked shots, hits, faceoffs and power-play efficiency.
The Canadiens had more shots on goal,, 32-27, but that advantage was carved out during third-period Garbage Time, when the issue was no longer in doubt.

The result left the Canadiens winless in their two games against Northeast Division rivals.

They’ll get a chance to improve to .500 on the weekend, when the Canadiens play back-to-back afternoon games against the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa.

Michel Therrien will give his players Thursday off. They’ll be back to the practice rink in Brossard Friday morning, by which time the kindly old coach and his staff will have studied video of  the Wednesday loss (or as much of it as they can bear to watch) and devised some tweaks to prepare the team for the Sabres.

I’m not privy to Therrien’s brainstorming, but here are a few suggestions:

• Play Carey Price in both weekend games. Peter Budaj was not responsible for the loss in Ottawa, and the Canadiens would not have won 1-0 with Price in nets. But the number-one goaltender makes the kind of saves that lift a team when the game hangs in the balance. Beaten early by Tomas Plekanec on the first of six Canadiens power-plays, Craig Anderson was a wall thereafter.

Anderson is the league’s top rated goalie, with a GAA of 0.99 and a save percentage of .967. Brandon Prust will never be mistaken for Mike Bossy, but Anderson’s two saves on Prust were the best the Canadiens have seen in an opposing goaltender this season.

• Give Ryan White a couple days in the pressbox. White leads the NHL with 42 minutes in penalties. Prust is second with 41, but that total includes his three majors for fighting. White has two majors; and while I think fighting is stupid and should be a game misconduct, it has its role in the current NHL.

What Therrien correctly characterized as “inexcusable” was White’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after wily Chris Phillips had held his stick and suckered White into a roughing call.

Yes, the refs blew that … as they did the cream-puff roughing call on Colby Armstrong. But  where does White – a fourth-round draft choice with fewer than 100 NHL games on his CV – get off chirping at the officials?

Brain-dead … and he should sit for Mike Blunden.

• Play P.K. Subban on Saturday. The defence corps, superb during the Canadiens’ four-game winning streak, was frequently outmuscled in front of the net and overwhelmed by the swarming Senators. Playing his third game in four nights, Andrei Markov was not the dominating presence we saw during the winning streak. He and Alexei Emelin were on for the two power-play goals scored during White’s penalties.

Francis Bouillon was a minus-2. Josh Gorges was the only Dman not on for any Ottawa goals.

Coming off a pretty thorough butt-kicking, the Canadiens need a spark. P.K. will provide one.

• Too bad Subban can’t play left wing. Max Pacioretty is sorely missed, and the Lars Eller experiment doesn’t seem to be working. Therrien dropped Eller to the fourth line and elevated Travis Moen to play with David Desharnais and Erik Cole.

Moen is an honest, hard-working hockey player. But as last season amply demonstrated, he’s not a Top Six forward.

Tomas Plekanec was the best of the Canadiens in Ottawa, and his line will remain intact. Prust will stay with Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk, at least to start Saturday’s game. The fourth line will be Moen, Armstrong and probably Blunden, who’s big and can skate.

I don’t know what to do with the erstwhile number one line.

Pacioretty is out for another three weeks. Several members of the Commentariat think DD would be in the pressbox if his name were Dennis Drummond.

I don’t buy into that. Nor do I think Eller – at least at this stage of his career – is a better playmaker for Cole and whatever warm body they can find to play LW.

Eller has size. He can skate. There are flashes of scoring ability.

But he’s not physical – which hurts him in his coach’s estimation. Eller lacks vision. He does not have the hockey IQ of a Plekanec, Galchenyuk or, indeed, Desharnais.

Maybe Prust should play with DD and Cole. Eller could be tried on a wing with Galchenyuk and Gallagher … but then you sacrifice Prust’s role as their protector.

Anyway, the season is young. And P.K. is waiting in the wings.

555 Comments

  1. Habsssssssswin says:

    We’re 4 – 2 -0, and P.K.’s back … Alzwell

    Also, here’s a good read : http://allaboutthehabs.ca/?p=66

    • Habfan10912 says:

      If people had offered up that we’d be 4-2 at this point in the season we’d all have taken it. PK will certainly help and Patches return will as well.

      ———————————–

  2. derfab says:

    Gotta laugh at this nonsense about Deharnais’ hockey IQ. He was a very ordinary minor leaguer who got lucky because Pacioretty was demoted and took a liking to a guy that fed him the puck. Eller is a better talent who was not given anything like the same opportunity. DD has shown that he can play at this level but only with the teams 2 best wingers. I think any pro center would have comparable success (60 points) with Pacs and Cole. Pleks would have had more. Therrien is smart to demand more grit from Eller, but if DD can’t step up soon, he should get a chance to play center with similar talent.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      An above average minor leaguer. But aside from that agree, just really annoyed by this for a couple years now, Eller > Desharnais, it’s pretty obvious.

      I’m french canadian and in similar stature to Desharnais, so if anything my bias would lean there. Eller just looks like the complete package and I’m ready to see him given a real shot, not a couple games playing wing on a good line. Center, people acknowledge it’s not working on the wing but never suggest giving him a shot at center. It’s not working for DD right now, time to try something different.

      ———————————

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

      • Habfan17 says:

        I keep suggesting Eller be given a real shot at centre and keep getting shot down or ignored.

        Habfan17

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          No one wants to answer to that for whatever reason. As well as Desharnais brutal start that should never be addressed

          ———————————

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

    • bwoar says:

      Early results suggest Max Pacioretty carried the line last year. I would love to see MaxPac to the left of Galchenyuk and Gallegher.

      “thoroughbred”

    • Habfan17 says:

      Very good comment, I agree!!

      Habfan17

    • commandant says:

      David Desharnais was more than an above average minor leaguer before he started playing with Patches.

      He had 78 points in 60 games while Patches was in Montreal (a pace that would have put him among the AHL scoring leaders if he wasn’t injured) in 2009-10

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

      • Habfan17 says:

        That doesn’t mesn he is a first line centre in the NHl, look at Boychuk!

        Habfan17

        • commandant says:

          Did I say he was a first line centre in the NHL?

          No, but he’s a valuable part of this team.

          Our best centre is currently Tomas Plekanec. It was Plekanec last season too, even if Desharnais had the best wingers and scored a few more points.

          Galchenyuk will be the number 1 centre on this team.

          In the meantime. Desharnais is a top 6 player, and a very good second line centre, and a guy who got 68 goals out of his two wingers last season. He’s not playing well, but thats no reason to kick him to the curb. This team doesn’t have enough skilled players period.

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

      • Habfan17 says:

        Also reference Corey Locke!

        Habfan17

        • Luke says:

          Corey Locke? A certain segment of the population here freaked when he was let go.

          They’re similar in temperment to the population calling for DD to be turfed.

  3. bwoar says:

    Has Dumont been recalled from Hamilton? Because it’s time.

    “thoroughbred”

    • Ian Cobb says:

      We will see Dumont this season, me thinks!!

      • commandant says:

        With 3 forwards already under 5’8″; I hope we don’t see Dumont.

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

        • Habfan17 says:

          I agree, it was enough watching the Sens out-sizing the Habs and winning the battles.

          Habfan17

        • bwoar says:

          2 of those forwards are playing pretty good hockey. I know, I know. I saw the Sens push us around. But there’s no reason to stand pat juggling; give the kid a chance. He’s having quite a year for himself in a tough situation in Hamilton.

          “thoroughbred”

      • habstrinifan says:

        Dont agree! We cant keep recycling players who really dont offer real solutions to what we may or may not lack. Make the Blunden change, integrate P.K. back into the team and go from there.

        • Luke says:

          The Blunden change is recycling players. He is SO EXACTLY A RECYCLED PLAYER. He is a big guy, can’t really fight, not overly physical, prone to mindless penalties. 4th line, AHL calibre that really contributes nothing much. He is not a solution, he is an interchangeable part. If he was on the Leafs and they inserted huim in to their line-up as a ‘solution’, we’d all be laughing at them.
          He’s only on the roster because the roster size is 23. If it was 22 you probably wouldn’t see him. If it was 21, you wouldn’t see him.

          His biggest contribution to the Habs so far has been to even out the Left/Right payload weight on the charter plane.

  4. mrhabby says:

    This was far from a wasted game. Gives the management team a clear view of what they have when the Habs lose a game.
    Price will play back to back games with PK sure to start. You can tell Max is missed as the 1st line is misfiring..chemistry.
    Eller is still a young kid but sense he just does not fit in with the coachs style.

    The team is a work in progress and will be for some time.

  5. Steeltown Hab says:

    All the Eller trade talk is hilarious. Look at the future for a second, past Galchenyuk we don’t have any prospects in the system who look to be a top 6 C.

    Age will eventually catch up with Plekanec, so why get rid of the only piece that we have that might make sense as a #2 C in the future. Especially considering now a days you need a top 9 who can all score to some degree to succeed. We have people sold on DD based on 1 year, but also saying Subban needs to prove himself after a solid 2 years+ playoff appearances.

    Judge all players fairly – DD gets every opportunity to shine, which he did last year. But if you never watched last season, based on 6 games (i know small sample) you’d say DD isn’t even ready for NHL time yet.

    ———————————

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

    • Phil C says:

      I wouldn’t say I’m sold on DD, just that he earned his ice-time last year (and throughout his career) the hard way, nothing was given to him.

      The coach is being patient with him so far this year, which I think is fair based on how he performed last year. We KNOW he can perform at the NHL, we don’t have to surmise it based on only 6 games. Cole is also having a slow start which hurts DD.

      But if he continues to struggle, I have no doubt that he will be riding the bench. Just not after only 6 games.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        He earned his way a lot of guys do, get signed, ECHL (he was only there a year), AHL than NHL. I mean there are plenty of guys like this. Earning an NHL shot and a top line spot are two different things. We’re giving him ample opportunities at the expense of the development of other players, that’s my only issue. I’m happy with him being a part of the team but as a C I just don’t see how he can cut it long term.

        ———————————

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

        • Phil C says:

          When DD was put on a line with Pacioretty and Cole last year, they were not considered the top line, DD was not even on the 1st PP unit. They became the best line. He played his way onto the top line, nothing was handed to him. Eller needs to do the same.

          But I will give you that I have a hard time seeing how you win a Cup with DD as your number one guy.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Steel, I disagree with that statement …”Earning an NHL shot and a top line spot are two different things. We’re giving him ample opportunities at the expense of the development of other players”

          What has Eller done to earn it more than DD exactly? DD was the best offensive centre last year, did great the year before on the third line and we are 5 games in here not at game 40. DD deserves to have a shot as he has shown he can do it. If he continues to struggle over the next few games I am sure Eller will get a shot but I don’t think it is fair to say DD is holding back Eller

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  6. Sportfan says:

    I am just curious about what will happen to Eller and Weber when Subban and Patchy are playing full time?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  7. Bripro says:

    I’m not saying that we should give up on Eller or trade him for the proverbial bag of pucks.
    But how long has (ready for this?) Halak been gone?
    BTW he has two shut-outs so far this year, but I digress.
    All I’m saying is that, IMHO, Eller still has more trade value than exceptional ability, as many seem to look for in him.
    If he was a grinder or a wrecking ball like Cole or Max, no question, I’d have him in the top-2 lines.
    But most experiments have failed with him.
    He was a high draft pick, and you would think that he would have found his groove by now.
    I watched him closely last night, and I have to agree with Boone, although talented, he’s made some pretty mindless plays.
    He had an open man at the Sens blueline (sorry, don’t remember who) but he chose to try and carry it, and when he encountered Phillips’ check, he just dumped it into an open corner with no one there.
    Let me ask you… would DD, Plexs or even young Chucky have done the same? I don’t think so.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So I haven’t been able to quite figure out your position on Eller the player yet, are you saying he should replace DD centering the first line?

      • Bripro says:

        Someone posted earlier about an experiment of putting Gally….Chucky…whatever, at C on the first line.
        Personally, I don’t think it’s a bad idea. Except right now, it would be more pairing Cole with the two rookies.
        He scored with them the other night. I would try that at least until Max gets back.
        As for Eller, I don’t know if it’s the cutsy blonde look, but he gets cut a lot of slack on this site.
        Which surprises me, because some of the posters here may have been bounty hunters or serial killers in a previous life, given their comments.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Sigh. Looks like I am going to have to change my avatar again shortly.

      ———————————–

    • shiram says:

      I feel like the best place for him to play right now would the 3rd line C, he’s done good on it last season, and give him some PK time as well, another spot where he plays well.
      Obviously putting him on the wings on a top line did not work, and it can’t help his confidence.
      Put him in a place he’s comfortable and knows and he should react well! But it’s a tough cookie to mess with the Gally line.

      • secretdragonfly says:

        Off topic, I noticed in the Gazette yesterday that it is Poutine Week in Montreal – Shiram, will you be providing the group with a full report?

        • shiram says:

          I haven’t had poutine lately, the last time was before Xmas and it was at Bofingers, it was a decent poutine.
          Good fries and curds, but it was more of a bbq pepper sauce, it was a good sauce, but not a great poutine sauce.
          All that to say I’ve been trying and succeeding at losing some weight for a while, so I can’t really do the poutine stuff now.

  8. Phil C says:

    Montreal is currently 27th in the league on faceoffs. Not good, especially for special teams. White is the only centre above 50%.

    In an interview I heard on the radio last year with Zenon Konopka, they asked him about his bizarre combination of being a tough guy and a face-off specialist. He replied that when he played Junior hockey with Brian Kilrea as coach, if you didn’t win your faceoffs, you didn’t play centre, it was as simple as that. So he had to learn.

    I wonder if Eller deserves a shot on the top line to see if he can win a few more faceoffs?

    • shiram says:

      He’s done great last night, with the few faceoffs he had to take, but I don’t think he was all that great on the dot last season. Maybe his bulked up frame could help.

      • nunacanadien says:

        I think we saw Markov being Markov the way he was when he was hurt. Perhaps the knee has given out again. And the NHL targets the top players on any team, so Markov’s early lead only led to Markov again spending much of the game being on his back. In fact it was sad when Gionta was nailed and no one came to his aid. It is sad when your tiny tyke captain gets plastered and after that the game shifted and our d-men fell apart as the Senators tasted blood, not only from the slash and easy knockdown of Markov but also Gionta. And we saw Bourque back to his rush down the sidelines without anyone. The team was not playing as a team as soon as they were hit and we had no way to hit back. Sure we have Prust but honestly Prust was knocked over too. The habs need more toughness through sheer size. Emelin to his credit hit back in return but not to the right players. You need to hit back when you are hit and to the hitters themselves. But we were outplayed by their new Spezza replacement and most of all by their hard hitting guy and the goalie was great to back up his stats. I doubt the philosophy of having Carey only stop two goals would have save us on this one. The team is too small ala Gionta and too soft ala Markov.

  9. BJ says:

    A bit off topic but check out this link maybe after a few rushes PK (not to be alias Subbanator) can be referred to as a Beast Mode rush.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n90g-LRqggU

  10. ed lopaz says:

    For those interested in the Eller file, here is a good article written before the draft.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=7367#.UQqMX6U80rU

    It includes many scouting reports about Eller.

    It gives you an idea, I think, why the Habs might want to invest in Eller.

    • punkster says:

      Thanks for that Ed.

      ***SUBBANG BABY!!!***

    • JF says:

      Thanks for the link. We’ve seen glimpses of a lot of the things in that report. Eller has been used in many different situations but almost never consistently. He needs to be given a definite role, ideally at centre, but if on the wing, then at least with stable linemates, and allowed to develop in it. Shunting him in and out of the lineup and from one position to another does not help his development and undermines his confidence.

      • nunacanadien says:

        That’s what Carbo and Gainey did to so many rookies. It is hard to find a skill when your tiny tyke captain then koivu spent the game on his back and now Gionta spending most of the Sens game also on his back……

        Eller needs a team that knows what it is doing as far as a team. We did great when the teams we were playing were not physically bigger. That speaks volumes. You could see in the Sens game how easy it is to pick apart our d-men through sheer size and pushing them off the puck etc.

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    On the bright side, as Habfan10912 (Jim) said earlier in todays thread, we do have the joy of wishing L Elle a Happy Birthday.

    So as our former PM Mr. Chretien would say, ‘Appy Bird Day L!

    And here is the proof!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxJwP0izGgc

  12. SouthOttawaHabFan says:

    how about:

    Eller+3rd rounder to Vancouver for Kassian and Vandermeer

    Kaberle to Flyers for anything

    • ed lopaz says:

      Kassian has 5 goals in 7 games this year. Next.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I have to admit I thought Vancouver gave up way too much in Hodgson when they acquired Kassian. He has been very impressive so far this season. Perhaps it was unfair to expect him to step in late in season to a good Canucks team, when he was still an AHL’er with Buffalo.

        Perhaps one of those trades that is a win/win deal for both sides.

        • ed lopaz says:

          as you well know, some players need more time then others to develop properly. each player is different and handles their situations differently.

          Kassian is a beast!

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I think it was a win win personally. Kassian is big and has better hands than one thinks. Van City has been missing a real power forward for some time and I think he is a better fit for that team than Hodgson long term

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Eller and a 3rd won’t get Kassian on his own let alone with Vandermeer thrown in. Though I like the idea of getting Kassian, it would take more . Eller+Weber+3rd maybe, which I would still do

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

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    Mike your article covers most everything, except you are a little to polite towards the officiating, which is the weakest link in the NHL today.
    I have no problem even if they threw White out of the game. And fighting is so stupid is right, all it does is screw up lines and changes any flow to the game.
    It only benefits the slower teams, which I suggest is not us. This game is won with team discipline and speed of execution.
    With this crazy schedule this half season, players are going to be whipped if the coach cannot roll 4 lines and 3 sets of defense.

    Only the teams that can do this are going to be standing at the end. And with less injuries.
    Therrien must stress two things, discipline and maintain speed of execution for this team to be in the hunt.

    PK will help for sure, but he will make mistakes until he gets up to his team mates game speed. Probably with Georges! or maybe even Boullion. But I think we sit Kaberle, because Diaz is coming along just fine with Markov.

    • Danno says:

      Steve Kozari. Remember that name. The guy is dreadful. He is so bad I believe he is corrupt. He was the same ref that made that bad call on Prust for delay of game when he was boarded in the game against the Jets. Another thing they did last night was blow the whistle before the goalie had control a la Chris Lee. The refs look like they are trying to alter the outcome of the game.

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

      • Ian Cobb says:

        They have much to much influence over the game today, they think they are the show!! It is a disaster, some game, some player is going to loose it and take one of them out!! I am willing to bet! it will be the end of his career for sure, but I think it will happen. The respect is gone towards the officials.

  14. shiram says:

    A loss is a loss, and that’s ok, it happens, but last night was just an awful game to watch, even some Sens fan were annoyed by the pacing of the game, imposed by the refs.
    Budaj could have been better, but if he was, he would not be our backup, and he could not win with his team providing only one goal.
    Which leads to an issue the Habs faced last season, having only one productive line.
    The struggling players have all shown some flash of what they can do, but they are not doing it constantly.
    I’m not so sure it’s an issue of who plays with whom, maybe more of a system that does not work so well for some players, or those players have not showed up in NHL form, who knows?
    Subban should be a good help, the D is in need of an infusion of youth and energy to balance the wise old veterans on there.
    Looking forward to a hockey week-end.

    • nunacanadien says:

      I disagree it was not an awful game in that our forwards showed they can still play forward, it is just that Gionta got sidelined with multiple hits and this slowed down his playmaking ability. The Sens took out our quarterback by just well breathing on him with a whisper breath it seemed. And our power play was terrible! This is how we won the last few games but without a good set of forwards to stand their ground we can’t score and win. Gionta while he is a point maker, is also a point taker. What do I mean by that? Gionta does not contribute when he is flat on his back and that is most of the season. When teams let him get away and skate like in other smaller and equal size teams as the habs, Gionta gets his points. But honestly we need a point maker not a point taker.

  15. Phil C says:

    Zack Boychuk on waivers. Former first round pick, productive in the AHL, but on the small side. The Habs are thin on the left side. Could he be worth an audition while Pacioretty is injured? Anyone familiar with him?

  16. Bim says:

    Whoa that was ugly! Can anyone say Nathan McKinnon? Now those were the Habs I have come to know! I feel sorry for Galyenchuk. Should be playing in Sarnia. Not good to be brought up in a losing culture. Hold on to your hats folks. Things are about to get uglier! Center position is just dismal. I think Ryan White just put his hand up for a trade last nite. Pretty boy Lars just lacks passion and DD(??? whats up with him). Last year he may have been playing a little over his head which is understandable because there was no pressure. Look for a few things to happen at that position over the next little while. Also..could we please obtain a nasty D man out there something like a Chris Pronger who will leave a CCM autograph on the back of your neck if you plan on camping out in front of our net? It looked like the Sens were holding a committee meeting last nite in front of Budaij. Just ridiculous! Why is Jarred Tinordi still in Hamilton?

    Whoa signing off!

  17. Bripro says:

    I’m hoping to be forgiven for a neutral observation, but I have to agree 100% with Boone’s assessment of Eller.
    The kid has some talent and certainly has size, but there’s no sizzle.
    He was a lab rat for multiple tests and line trials last year, and aside from a short-lived surge which included Moen and AK (who in my opinion the Habs sorely miss), nothing has worked.
    Yet most people still believe in the kid.
    Which is why I think we should seek out the league and find a GM or two who also believe in this kid’s potential and willing to trade some prime real estate to pick him up.
    Pretty soon, I fear that he will end up on the scrap heap of warm NHL has-beens.

    • Loonie says:

      Buy high and sell low.

      That’s never failed us.

      • Bripro says:

        Given the type of $ advice you’re dishing out, I think I’ll manage my own portfolio, than you very much.

        • Loonie says:

          Worked out well when we traded Sergei Kostitsyn for a bag of pucks didn’t it?

          How about Mike Ribeiro?

          Latendresse?

          See the correlation? Young players who were inconsistent early in their careers but flourished later when they were given an opportunity to perform offensively with talent around them.

          As I said, buy high and sell low. It’s never been a mistake right?

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            This is the “Einstein failed math” fallacy. Other players who struggled early on did well therefore all players who struggle early on will do well.

            * Einstein actually never failed math and was in fact top of his class.


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

          • Loonie says:

            I’m not saying it’s a lock that he will do well. I’m saying that history has shown us that when we trade a skilled young player who’s yet to find consistency with this team due to circumstances beyond their control, they seem to find it immediately after they get the opportunity elsewhere.

          • Loonie says:

            Shiloh….

            53 points in his last 88 games.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I would like to think the MB regime is different than the previous ones who made some hasty decisions and trades on a few players. Also, I believe MB is humble enough to look at past deals and see what he can learn from them.

    • Arrow77 says:

      It is way too early to give up on such a young player when that player showed he could be good last year only. Plus, he comes into a new system after a long lockout without the benefit of a training camp. We can’t tell how good he is right now.

      And those lab tests don’t help either. The only center who had stability on his line last year, DD, is also the only one who had a good year.

    • ont fan says:

      Why would some GM give us prime real estate for Eller. You are going to get someone elses 1st rounder that didn’t workout.

  18. SouthOttawaHabFan says:

    Eller to NYR for Rupp

    Kaberle+Armstrong to Pittsburgh for Engelland

    we roll into Scotiabank Place on Saturday, put Neil in the ICU, shut the ref the hell up, and clobber Anderson to our hearts content……

  19. Arrow77 says:

    Put Cole on the real second line with Galchenyuk & Gallagher and make a 3rd line with Eller, DD and Prust. Don’t get too stuck on the idea that because DD, Pacioretty and Cole made a great line last year that they will make a good line this year.

    And I love Prust but spends too much time on the penalty box to be really effective on a second line. Use him like the role player he’s meant to be.

  20. adamkennelly says:

    White needs to better control himself. He will learn by sitting in the press box. Yes, its annoying to have a bad penalty called on you by crappy refs who ruined the game but you gotta shut up. 2 goals scored with you in the box – game over.

  21. CCL says:

    The problem we had last night was in the 2nd period. we had 10-shots no goals. they had 11 shots 3-goals. these things happen sometimes the puck goes in no matter from where you shoot it. other times you can’t score in a soccer net. the boys have been playing good hockey no need to be discouraged. we’ll get back on the winning track. we have a competitive team this year. let’s see where it takes us.

    • Loonie says:

      The irony in last night’s loss is that the shots they generated were of excellent quality for the most part. Like Prust’s two golden opportunities and a few for Plekanec and Cole that didn’t find the back of the net.

      In the previous games, the shot quality at even strength and on the powerplay was lackluster. Lots of shots from the perimeter that found their way to the net due to screens or juicy rebounds.

      I would argue that they deserved a better fate in the goal scoring department last night but didn’t in the previous three games.

  22. SmartDog says:

    All PK had to do was TALK TO THE GUYS and we lose. See??? See???

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

    • habstrinifan says:

      Wonder who sits next to P.K on the bus ride back? Inquiring minds want to know!

      Seriously though, if I read Therrien right, I think he has told Bouillion to grab that seat.

      • SmartDog says:

        Franky’s played well but could probably use a break. It’s a rough schedule for the older guys.

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

        • habstrinifan says:

          OOPS! You read me wrong! I am not talking defensive pairing although I think it would be a good ruse for Therrien to pair Bouillion and P.K to start. I was only half jokingly musing on the dynamics on the bus ride home from Ottawa. I think an overture is needed from the group to the one… who should then respond amicably and humbly.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            They could sit Markov beside PK at least then Markov wouldn’t be able to say, “Do you see him here?” :)

  23. commandant says:

    The Phoenix Soap Opera just keeps going.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/01/31/phoenix-soap-opera-must-end-time-for-the-nhl-to-make-the-tough-decision/

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

    • Phil C says:

      The NHL’s loyalty to Pheonix has always struck me as odd. You suggest that Bettman needs to admit failure and move on, implying that Bettman is being stubborn in protecting his ego, yet he had no problem letting Atlanta move. It makes me wonder if the NHL has some legal liability in this situation. Are they really trying to save hockey in Pheonix, or are they afraid that the city of Glendale could come after them for the cost of the building?

      • habstrinifan says:

        Interesting point. It would answer why the unwillingness to accept the inevitability.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I wonder if there is something in the contract with NBC that is forcing the league to try to keep a team in Phoenix or if it is just stubborness on the part of Bettman. If it is stuborness, then move the team to Seattle or Quebec. I would give Quebec the nod since they gave up an NHL team, they should not have to build from scratch

        Habfan17

        • That was my understanding — I’d heard somewhere that the NBC deal is contingent on the NHL having teams (and games to broadcast) in cities that make up a certain percentage of the total U.S. viewer base. Phoenix is the 6th biggest city in the U.S.

          Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

          • commandant says:

            They need 21 NHL teams in the US to keep the deal.

            They are at 23.

            They could move to Seattle and stay at 23 or a move to Canada for 22.

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

          • boing007 says:

            Phoenix may be the sixth biggest city but Glendale surely isn’t.

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

      • Luke says:

        It’s a bit of a head scratcher when you look at it on the surface… but I suppose a simple question can be asked:

        Is the NHL brand worth more with a team in Phoenix or a team in Quebec (or Markham).

        The NHL is the #1 sport in the Quebec & Markham markets. You do not create new fans or merchandise dollars in Quebec (or Markham). You redistribute fans and dollars. They buy an Aces jersey instead of a Habs jersey. You only increase the take at the gate.

        In Phoenix, you are pulling in new fans. Their take at the gate may be 1/2 of that of the Aces, but their merchandise dollars are new.

        A Tuesday evening game on NBC Sports between the Wild and Coyotes is an easier sell to the US fan than the Wild and Aces.

        No doubt there are issues in Phoenix, but franchise stability & winning would go a long way to help.

        Developing hockey in new & different places is a generational undertaking. Even in Ottawa there are more Leafs and Habs fans at games… but that number is slowly changing as kids grow up with the Sens.

        The timeline is something like this:
        The team arrives.
        Kids take interest & watch.
        They become Parents & watch the game with their kids. (occassional Tickets?)
        Those kids want to play. (more occassional tickets?)
        These kids grow up (seasons tickets?) and now the grandkids are playing with the grandparents watching.

        Annnnnd you have hockey tradition. Throw in a team & some players you can actually cheer for… like Teemu in Anaheim…

        Hopefully the teams/league helps build a rec hockey/skating infrastructure… That’s where the strides are made. If you look at the USA World Junior team you’ll see the effect of expansion to sunbelt non-hockey markets.

        • Phil C says:

          Some very good points, especially about creating new markets for hockey. I think they would have more success with that if they did more to promote the game at the grassroots level as you suggest, sponsored more opportunities for kids to play the game, almost like a club mentality in European Soccer.

        • commandant says:

          The problem is that you have set up Phoenix to fail from the start. A horrid arena location that is nearly impossible to get to (unless you want to sit in traffic for hours).

          You took a market that was always going to be tough to break into and made it a disaster.

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

  24. commandant says:

    You can’t really blame the refs because both teams were victimized by horrible calls.

    But that was an awful job they did last night. Penalties every 20 seconds. It seemed like every time one player touched another, it was 2 minutes in the box.

    Gave the game no flow and was crappy to watch.

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

  25. CCL says:

    Every team gets beat like we did last night not a big deal. the team has played some pretty good hockey. as for this Eller thing I agree with ED. he’s gotta play at center and spend some time there to prove himself so when pacioretty comes back they have to put this guy on the second line for a few consistant games and see what he’s made of or trade him.

    unlike Boston. we picked up tough guys that can hold their own in a fight but they’re 4th liners and don’t produce very much. it’s great to have tough players. but they have to produce some. Neil fights and he puts up points. Lucic, Horton and other tough guy’s fight and they put up points that’s the difference. what has Armstrong white and moen done. their play is not bad other than that nothing.

    we need a couple of tough guy’s that’s not 4th liners.

  26. Loonie says:

    Okay I’m going to have my little rant for the day right now.(Please refrain from the “calm down”, “settle down” remarks because I’m not upset)

    I’d like to see some of the people who think they can quantify hockey IQ or vision come to the table and explain what their criteria are.

    Is vision making a behind the back pass that travels in between a defenders feet and hits a linemate in open ice? Yeah, but it isn’t the only thing about vision or hockey iq.

    Vision:

    Examples….

    1. Creating open ice for the man you’re going to pass the puck to by using a head fake.

    2. Looking a defender into a different lane with your eyes to open things up somewhere else.

    3. Seeing where to attack in the offensive zone based on the gap control of the defenders.

    4. Leading the man you’re passing to into an area that creates space for them.

    5. Executing give and go plays that create space for one or both of the players involved.

    Hockey IQ

    1. Picking up the correct man defensively

    2. Forcing the puck carrier into an area you want him to be in.

    3. Forcing the puck carrier into a bad pass.

    4. Maintaining possession of the puck when there aren’t any positive alternatives available.

    5. Making a quick pass into a vacated area when the opposing team is on a line change.

    6. Making a lateral or backwards pass after attacking a trap and drawing defenders out of their positions.

    Of course there are plenty of other things involved. But I’m sick and tired of seeing “vision” or “hockey iq” come up in conversation in a way that puts a player down when the people upchucking on the computer screens have no clue what they’re talking about.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I need to calm down before responding, please don’t get upset with me.

    • 44har48 says:

      Loonie I think I know where you are going and I agree with you on your post. More to the real point though, what the hell is wrong with Eller in your eyes? I was so high on this kid, and his play is very dissapointing to me right now. He deserves all the criticism in my mind and I can’t put my finger on what is the problem or challenge is for him. Ok, he’s a new father, and that has an impact, but not this much.

      Two plays in particluar stand out at me. Against the Devils on Sunday he took a very lazy penalty after he was finally given ice time. Last night he had a break with Cole and he put himself in a position that left Cole with nothing to do or pass to, and we didn;t even get a shot on net.

      What is it?

      • Loonie says:

        They play a puck support system. I know the play you’re talking about with Cole and Eller was at fault. I believe and I could be wrong that what he should in Therrien’s view is take an angle toward the net that leaves more distance between him and Cole and then proceed to the corner or behind the net for a pass if Cole doesn’t have a shooting or passing option through the middle of the ice.

        If you remember he corrected the mistake the next time they came into the offensive zone together by driving through the slot and stopping at post closest to Cole when the puck changed possession after an awkward rebound.

        More than anything. He needs the chance to get familiar with linemates regardless of the position he’s playing. 3rd line to the pressbox to the 2nd line to the 4th line to the bench and back to the 2nd line.

        Those have been his travels so far. The idea that he’s supposed to get confidence, find consistency and use his skills under those circumstances is ridiculous.

      • Habfan17 says:

        The problem is the way the Habs are using him. He did very well in Finland, 15 points in 15 games 18 pims and was a plus player. He played on the PK and PP. In Montreal, he is switched from his natural position and not given the chance to show what he can do at centre with quality wingers. That has to hurt his confidence. DD has struggled, why not sit him a couple of games and see what happens. Or, put Eller at Centre and move Pleks to left wing. Why is he the one that keeps having to try different positions?

        Habfan17

        • Loonie says:

          Plekanec to the wing would be a terrible mistake.

          Eller doesn’t “have” to be in the middle. But if he’s going to be on the wing, he should be given more than a period or two to get his feet wet.

          • Bripro says:

            He was already given an entire season.

          • Loonie says:

            No he really wasn’t Bri.

            An entire season of playing time yes. An entire season at one position with consistent wingers? No.

            Funny that Eller did well with Kostitsyn and Moen and Kostitsyn and Leblanc but didn’t do well on the wing and didn’t do well with Darche and Blunden flanking him.

            Weird how that works.

          • Habfan17 says:

            I used Pleks as an example. Noy every player can change positions and if a player does well in their natural position, why move them? I like what you replied to Bripro. Eller did play an entire season and still looked pretty good last season without having consistent wingers or even getting to play centre at all times. He did start to shine when he was left at center, he does not seem lost at all when there. I had forgotten that he did do well with Kostitsyn and Moen on his wings! So, Move Galchnyuk to 1st line left wing and put Eller as the 3rd line centre. Gally has played wing in junior. I would only do this until Patches is back, then if DD still isn’t going, sit him and shift Gally to centre with Cole and Patches.

            Habfan17

    • mdp2011 says:

      Those are great definitions, unfortunately Lars Eller has none of those qualities.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      IMO, vision is just an attribute of hockey IQ. Knowing where everyone is on the ice, anticipating how the play will unfold, etc…

      For example, on the PP, when Markov draws a player to the middle of the ice and passes it back to the area from where he came with barely a look, that’s hockey IQ.

    • Phil C says:

      You list some great examples of skills possessed by good hockey players.

      I would add that vision is about your “picture” on the ice. Knowing where your linemates are relative to the opposition and where they will be in the immediate future, then seeing how to get them the puck. Defensively, it’s about anticipating the play of your opponents.

      Galchenyuk’s assist on Prust’s goal was a good example of vision. He anticipated the clearing attempt and was in the perfect place. He then immediately knew where Prust was and he figured out a way to get him the puck. Galchenyuk always seems to know where his teammates are. Gallagher, not as much.

      LaPierre was the opposite of a player with vision. Million dollar legs with a 10 cent brain. He never seemed to use his teammates as well as he should have.

  27. Marcusman says:

    I’ll take a 4-2 start after the 1st month!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I still think 80 points can get us in the playoffs. ;-)

    • Les-Habitants says:

      Well said.
      We knew this team was still a work in progress, and I’ll take a loss on a back-to-back built on successive PP goals. I would disagree Boone’s remark on Price though – Budaj did not look amazing, but that was his first game action. We will need him, and playing him on Sunday would help Price in the longterm. Price is a workhorse, but it’ll help to have Budaj in game shape.

  28. Phil C says:

    You can’t win’em all. A few thoughts:

    - Montreal have been short-handed 32 times so far this season. Only Col and Dal have been worse. Combine this with a PK at 78%, and it will be tough to win games. Subban should help with the PK, and I would like to see Diaz given a shot on the PK as well.

    - You can’t blame the refs. They have to know by now that they are calling it tighter than last year. No excuses, find a solution, make the adjustment.

    - Ottawa are good, they have a relentless forecheck, much like what Therrien wants in Montreal, except they are better at it. But Anderson is covering up some weaknesses on their defense right now, so I pick Boston to win the division. I think Montreal could be right there with Ottawa with Price, Pacioretty, and Subban in the line-up.

    - The high-tempo forechecking game was tough to execute on back-to-back games, the Habs looked slow to me at times until the third when Ottawa was sitting back. Hopefully they will find their legs with the new system.

    - White took a pretty good right hand from Smith at the end of his fight. Boone says his penalty was brain-dead, but maybe it was brain-injured. Rage can be a symptom of a concussion. Maybe he needs to sit to rest his coconut.

    Here is the White-Smith fight. He gets popped right after the 40 sec point of the video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5LRHm1ob18

    • The Cat says:

      Well, I blame the refs, not for the loss but for obstruction of competition, last night it got to the point where I expected to see someone get 2 minutes for farting.

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

  29. Clay says:

    So…what did we learn from that game?
    - Anderson is playing great for the Sens.
    - Budaj is not playing great for the Habs
    - Therrien isn’t aware he is allowed to change goalies (three goals on Peter Budaj in 3:35 dictates a change IMO)
    - Markov is not God (although he may be a demi-god)
    - The Sens coach looks funny with that mustache
    - We are a better team with Patches and Price in the lineup
    - White needs to learn when to shut up
    - ^ That said ^, the reffing was amateurish at best

    __________________________
    ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • CanadienBoy says:

      U right about White but i sure like is hustle

      • The Cat says:

        Hes an agitator, a team needs that type of player. Theres a place for him on the habs IMO That doesnt mean he shouldnt work extra hard and get better though.

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

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Budaj’s is playing to give Price a rest. Why would they put Price in when down 4-1? That would defeat the purpose of playing Budaj in the first place.

      • Clay says:

        Seriously? Why? Why, pray tell, do coaches usually change goalies mid-game?
        To change momentum – that’s why.

        __________________________
        ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

        • Ozmodiar says:

          Why, pray tell, do teams rest their #1 goalie??
          So he’s fresh for the back to back games on the weekend.

          Down 4-1 on the road, do you think they’ll deviate from the plan in hopes that a “change of momentum” will carry them to victory? :)

          Momentum change. /snicker

          I think I’ll side with Therrien on this one.

          • Clay says:

            Do what you’ve got to do man.
            Just a reminder though – Price played 65 games last season. There’s only 48 this entire season. I think he can handle one extra period .
            __________________________
            ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

      • The Cat says:

        Agreed, nothing big was on the line, not a crucial must-win game either.

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

  30. Barts says:

    Moen may not be a top 6 forward, but neither is Eller, nor will he ever be.

    • Loonie says:

      You’re probably right about both. Moen isn’t a top 6 player and Eller won’t be as long as Michel Therrien’s his coach.

      Shame that Eller will probably go to another team in a lopsided trade that sees him become an offensive producer.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      This reaks of someone who’s never played competitive sports in their life and has no idea how to evaluate a hockey player.

      ———————————

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

    • Habfan17 says:

      You are right about Moen, not about Eller. If Eller had been given the opportunity that DD was last season, things could be a lot different. Eller had 15 points in 15 games was a plus player with 18 pims playing in Finland. He was used on the PK and PP. If The Habs would give him the same opportunity at his natural position, centre, I believe we would see why he was a first round pick. Put Galchnyuk on the left side on the first line and put eller between Gallagher and Prust and leave them that way for a few games.

      Habfan17

  31. jhaley101 says:

    Interesting, you say Therrien felt that White’s 2nd penalty was inexcusable. So why doesnt the COACH sit him at the end of the bench as a way to deliver the message. Instead, he’s back out for more shifts. THAT is inexcusable.

    BTW, Does anyone know for certain, do the Habs fly or do they bus to Ottawa?

  32. Steeltown Hab says:

    “the Lars Eller experiment doesn’t seem to be working” and “Eller could be tried on a wing…”

    Eller needs to go C between Cole and DD. Last night showed, he actually played a strong game I thought and did you notice what happens on his 30 seconds of PP time with the 2nd unit late in the game?

    He actually could bring the puck in get the team set up and they had a couple decent scoring chances in that short period. Prust won’t wake up that line sorry.

    Worst Hab through 6 games is Desharnais no two ways about it.

    White penalties have really hurt us but he’s been the best 4th liner hands down as well.

    ———————————

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

    • Habfan17 says:

      Well said! One season does not make a great player. Maybe DD will be like Brown was in Pittsburgh, great when on a line with Lemieux, an average 3rd liner without him

      Habfan17

  33. mjames says:

    Agree with Boone’s comment on White. I am not sure what he is trying to do but he is certainly not playing hockey. He is nothing more than punk out there, constantly putting his team at a disadvantage. He looked foolish sitting in the penalty box with a bleeding nose last night. What purpose did his fight serve? Exactly no purpose! He looked even more foolish screaming the “f bomb” as Ottawa scored two goals.

    It looks as if someone has told him that the only way to stay in the NHL is to play this punk style – start and lose fights. Yes one can play play rough and with an edge but he is a joke out there. If he wants to stay in the league excel at some hockey skill such as becoming a good checker or try to introduce some offensive skill into your game. John Ferguson started out as a goon but, even though he could fight, he became a solid hockey player as he gained experience. White can’t fight (too small) so he should focus on playing hockey – start with checking and think about scoring the odd goal. He thinks his role is enforcer. After looking his body of work as a fighter Mr. White is not an enforcer. His bloody nose last night and his “f” bomb tirade is more indicative of what White has become and that is a “loser”.

    Bring on Blunden. He desrves a chance.

    mjames

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      No problem bringing in Blunden, I’d take out Colby though, he’s giving it all he has out there but his lack of average skating speed is really hurting that line.
      ———————————

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

  34. MrNax says:

    I don’t get it. I watched the game and didn’t think the boys had their A’s handed to them. What I saw was an Ottawa team that took advantage of their chances and a Montreal team that didn’t. The score is misleading in this instance. They each had comparable chances but Ottawa got some good bounces that ended up in goals…. Did I miss something? It wasn’t a good game but it wasn’t that bad of a game at all.

  35. frankcasting says:

    So we lost a game with our no. 2 goalie. So we had a lot of penalties called against us. Ottawa didn’t have Spezza or Gonchar, we didn’t have Max or Pk or CP for that matter. C’est la vie.

    There’s no need to change everything and everybody after one loss. That same lineup won several games in a row. PK will dump one of the crappy D to the pressbox, and that alone is a huge improvement.

    Take a pill, Mike. Relax.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  36. Habfan10912 says:

    Morning friends. A Happy Birthday shout out to our friend L Ellie who celebrates her Birthday today. I’ve had the good fortune to become friends with her during the past year and I’ve not met a finer lady, person or Hab fan. Just wish the boys could have given her a “W” last night. Happy Birthday Bud!

    ———————————–

  37. Ozmodiar says:

    Eller does not lack vision.

    /that is all

    • Loonie says:

      More to the point. A little nuance about his game that I really like is that when he’s attacking a puck carrier, whether it be passively or aggressively, he forces the puck carrier to move the puck into the area that HE wants him to go with it. One of the things that made Joe Sakic such a great player.

      Eller is a coach’s son. He doesn’t need to be benched, shuffled around or scratched to get any kind of message. Coach’s sons more than any other kind of player can be spoken to and addressed in a conversational setting and more often than not come away with an understanding of what the coach wants from them and apply it.

      They do need the chance to find consistency in the role they’re put, like most other players.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      The guy makes plays with the space he’s given, even on LW where it’s clear he’s not going to spend his career. You take away Desharnais space in any way, its the puck going the other way, getting sick of this.

      ———————————

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

  38. 24 Cups says:

    Montreal gets trounced and the best some people can do is blame the refs and a back-up goalie who hasn’t played a game in nine months?

    The best Hab of the night was Erik Cole by a mile. The best part of the game for the Habs was the first ten minutes of the third period. Too little, too late. The team only scored one goal and it was a flub by Anderson.

    In terms of the refs, one of the most questionable calls had to be the penalty on Phillips that led to Montreal’s only goal. White was guilty as charged on his penalties. When you tell the teacher to FO you might want to anticipate you’re going to the principal’s office.

    Speaking of Ryan White, I’ve seen enough to last me a lifetime. He’s a hockey grunt who reminds me of Darcy Tucker. The word neanderthal comes to mind. I wish the Habs had given Jay McClement a three year deal. Don’t rip up your Nokelainen hockey cards just yet. (A little harsh on my part, I know. But Therrien has to dial this guy back a bit if he’s ever going to make it long term).

    I hate to say it but Eller looked a bit slow out there.

    Did Galchenyuk play last night? Hard to tell. Hey, he’s only 18. Gallagher looks like he’s a grade nine kid out on the ice but there’s something about him that I just love. I’ve got a real soft spot for this kid and the refreshing attitude he displays. I really hope he can stand up to the physical punishment and manhandling of the NHL.

    I watched Bob McKenzie’s draft show last night. I never thought the Habs would ever have a chance at Drouin and now it looks like Frederik Gauthier is going to jump up into the top ten. Too bad, that’s the kid I was hoping Montreal would realistically draft this summer.

    If Montreal splits the weekend games that means the team will have a 5-3 start to the season. Not bad considering they didn’t have MaxPac and Subban in the line-up for most of the games.(Speaking of Subban, I had an off the wall thought last night. Why not play Subban on the wing for both weekend games before letting him settle back on the D? Might just throw a curveball to both Buffalo and Ottawa).

    Steady as she goes.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      > The best Hab of the night was Erik Cole by a mile.

      Interesting. I keep hearing the best of the bunch was Pleks. From Boone, RDS, comments, etc…

      (I missed most of the game)

      • 24 Cups says:

        Montreal took the lead on a fluke goal by Pleks when Anderson seemed to be off balance. Ottawa then roared back and controlled the game until the 3rd period. Cole was the team’s main offensive threat as he skated miles and showed great speed driving to the net. He really caught my eye throughout the entire game, even when Montreal was behind 4-1. He just never quit even though you could tell Ottawa had the game in the bag.

      • Loonie says:

        I’d say it was neck and neck.

        They both created a lot of opportunities with individual efforts.

  39. HardHabits says:

    Ottawa played well. Montreal didn’t. Ottawa got outstanding goaltending. Montreal didn’t. Ottawa was able to make crisp, short and quick passes to enter the zone. Montreal didn’t. Ottawa was able to cycle the puck around the net and get numerous scoring chances from in close. Montreal didn’t. Ottawa scored 5 goals. Montreal didn’t.

    Ottawa won the game. Montreal didn’t.

    At the beginning of the season I slated the Habs to finish in the bottom of the East. After their 4 wins they looked like the might finish 3rd, which means fighting for one of the bottom 2-3 play-off spots. After last nighht 3rd looks like the best they’ll do. Ottawa looks like they can win the division. Boston looks like 2nd. Still early to plan the parade. Still early to talk play-offs.

    Good news is if the Habs go 2-1-1 in the next four they’ll still be on pace with a 6-3-1 record.

    Budaj reminded me of Aebischer last night… which isn’t a good thing.

  40. Loonie says:

    My only fear with Desharnais is that it will take a long time to make the adjustment he needs to make.

    Teams are just denying him time and space. When he doesn’t have the puck, somebody’s sticking to him like glue, and when he does, the coverage becomes magnified.

    He will have to increase his footspeed and develop a better one-timer and one touch passing to get out of this funk. Teams aren’t going to give him a break.

    • HardHabits says:

      DD is in over his head and will have a short NHL career unless he can step up his game to the higher level required.

      • Loonie says:

        If you’re being sincere I think that’s a bit dramatic Dave. But he will absolutely have to focus on a bit of skill development for his success to have any kind of longevity. The speed isn’t there for him to get away from tight checking.

        Need to see much quicker passing and shooting from him so that his checks don’t swallow him up the way they have been so far.

  41. rhino514 says:

    Tom Pyatt has three goals so far. So his twelve goals last season aren´t a fluke. Also one of the best penalty killers in the entire league. Hurts.
    Team should have kept him over White

  42. ed lopaz says:

    when a player lacks confidence, he makes decisions too quickly, and they are often the wrong decisions.

    I have seen Eller play with confidence; hold on to the puck longer, skate with it, stop, turn, make good decisions, and excellent passes that showed NHL vision.

    When a young player is trying to establish himself at the NHL level it is detrimental to his development to play him out of position. It is detrimental to his development to try and change his style of play. It is detrimental to his development to bench him for not succeeding in 1 or 2 games. Even if you were going to change a young player’s style, you would need to be patient with the change, allow 10 games before you begin to pass judgement.

    Few of you seem to remember the type of game Plekanec played when he first cracked the lineup at the NHL level. But I do. He was so average; he looked small out there, hesitant, and not at all confident.

    It took Plekanec 3 full seasons in Hamilton to develop properly as a player, and even then, his first full year at the NHL level was extremely average at best.

    Playing a regular shift as a regular centreman in his 5th season as a professional player, Plekanec finally found his game; not on the wing, not on the 3rd or 4th line.

    Eller’s “vision” is not lacking. The Habs are not investing the time in developing Eller properly at the NHL level.

    If they are not prepared to develop him at the NHL level, they might as well trade him to another team that will.

    • Loonie says:

      Good post Ed.

      I believe after watching last night’s game that Therrien’s has sincerely just identified Eller as his whipping boy. Whenever the team lacks focus or energy, Eller takes the heat.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Was a great post by Ed. I don’t understand why Eller is the whipping boy. It’s not lack of effort.

        ———————————–

      • Marc10 says:

        Devils’s argument

        I think the Eller analogy you’re looking for is AK46.

        - High draft choice
        - Tons of talent
        - Great frame
        - Good hands
        - Good shot
        - Good skater

        And then there’s the wrap sheet on him.

        - Lackluster work ethic
        - Doesn’t process coaching feedback
        - Not a difference maker on the ice
        - Lacks passion
        - Occasional flashes of brilliance, but the switch is on cruise most of the time
        - Not the greatest hockey IQ or vision (that said, he’s not a fourth liner)
        - lacks physical presence relative to his frame

        I do think this is the perfect season to put him to the test. We’re not going to win the cup. The DD, Cole and MaxPac collapse provides him with an opportunity. He needs to seize it. So far, we’re waiting. I don’t know that’s the coach’s fault. Was AK46 ruined because he lacked chances…?

        • Loonie says:

          Andrei Kostitsyn played four of his five seasons here in a top 6, offensive role.

          Can you please direct me to any kind of reference that will confirm that Lars Eller lacks work ethic.

          Furthermore, I’d be interested in how you quantify hockey iq or vision. Because if you don’t see it in Lars Eller. You don’t know what you’re looking for in my opinion.

          • Marc10 says:

            Like you I’m just going on what I can see and what I’m hearing. My trusted source on this is Dany Dube at 98.5fm.

            He’s the best analyst in the biz. If you want a measured analysis of every player game in and game out for the Habs, he’s your go to guy. He doesn’t make outlandish statements and has real insights on games, positioning and player history, etc.

            So I can’t claim credit for any of this info, I’m just rehashing it from his review of Eller from recent broadcasts. it’s my little contribution to HIO as the vast majority of posters on this site don’t understand French.

            I do get that AK46 was given way more of an opportunity, but I think you can see where that analogy was coming from. Should Eller move on to greener pastures, I would hope he lands with Guy Boucher. If that genius can’t get him sorted out (let’s see how he fares with Benny Pouliot), than Eller will be on a slow train to the KHL.

            My best hope for Eller was that he would mould himself after Pleky and become a more robust version of our man from Kladno. I think he’s been given similar assignments on his journey to the Top 6. He’s done a bit of time on the PK, spent quality time with AK46, etc. Unlike Pleky, he hasn’t scaled the mountain. It’s DD that got the coveted spot between the Towers and Pleky is firmly entrenched in the Top 6. And according to Dube… Eller doesn’t do wing.

            Now he’s about to lose his coveted Top 6 spot to Chucky. How fast that happens is anyone’s guess, but I’d say it’s a matter of days. Chucky has some pop in him and will get shifts to re-ignite the top line. I don’t know that coaches are completely to blame for that.

          • Loonie says:

            You answered your own question.

          • Marc10 says:

            With regards to hockey IQ or vision, I’m definitely no authority on what it takes to become an elite NHLer (as I suspect are most backseat driver/coaches like myself on HIO…)

            My reference on hockey IQ was Lidstrom. How was it that this relatively small, non physical Dman could impact the game to such a degree? He wasn’t strong, he didn’t have a killer shot, he was an average skater, and he was as soft as a marshmallow… And yet he was the best of his generation in a big, physical man’s world.

            To me a guy like Andrei Markov epitomises that on the Habs. His movements on the PP are amazing in how we gets the D moving to his tune while setting up his teammates for clear shots on goal. Those little things that don’t require much physical exertion are amazing in the grand scheme of things. PK Subban who appears to be much more gifted as a hockey player in terms of speed and strength does not have that magic touch whereby he can force the opposition to play to his tune through subtle movements (at least not as much).

            In a similar vein, I would imagine that is why a guy like DD gets what Eller covets. He can create time and space for himself and his teammates (especially if his teammates are giants specialising in driving to the net). Not every player can pull that off. I don’t know that Eller can. You’d think coaches would have identified that by now and that would explain why he’s on the outside looking in, despite his obvious qualities. That was the book on AK46 too.

            Maybe it’s just a bad fit and there is a place somewhere out there for him… but he’ll need to carve out that place for himself. It ain’t going to be handed over with a side of fries, cheese curds and gravy.

          • Loonie says:

            How’s that time and space thing workin out for Desharnais right now? You can’t lose your hockey intelligence or vision.

            Desharnais ability to buy time had nothing to do with vision, it had much more to do with Cole and Pacioretty finding open ice in a hurry and Desharnais not being under the pressure in previous seasons that he has been so far this year.

    • The Cat says:

      I dont know what it is about the guy but he leaves me totally indifferent. I cannot think of one word hockey-wise to describe him. Its like the guy has no identity.

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

    • rhino514 says:

      you bring up some good points. I too would like to see Eller get more confidence. But I don´t agree he has “been humiliated”, is ” a whipping boy”. The fact is the habs have Plekance, DD, and now Galchenyuk. And based on WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN up to now, Eller is not as good as these three guys. Galchenyuk has effectively pushed him off of third on the depth chart, which is a pity for Eller.
      pleks is clearly better and Galchenyuk is going to be a star, so the debate about DD versus DD is valid.
      But as someone has pointed out, DD has also had to be very patient, has not been given anything, and has EARNED the right to be one of the top 2/3 centres. DD has done well consistently for over a season and a half, and has not played well for all of five games. But Cole hasn´t played well either, and the team losty Max Pac after two games, so it´s hard to prove that DD is screwing upm the line. I just think they got off to a slow start, and teams are keying in on that line to begin with.
      Furthermore, it´s not true that Eller has not had opportunities to make himself noticed. He was benched for all of two games, and last year I think was benched for all of one game. He´s been mostly in the top nine for over two seasons now, and mostly at centre.
      Again, you don´t have to play with the top wingers to get noticed. The coach´s job is too see that you are ready for a higher challenge based on the decisions you make with the puck when you are out there playing.
      None of three coaches have come to the conclusion that Eller is ready for top six duty.
      Again, I don´t see the big deal. Eller will continue to get opportunities, and he may eventually make it as a top six centre. But right now it´s crowded on the team and DD certainly deserves at least fifteen-twenty games of underperformance before it can be established that he´s “lost it”. Again, he´s played well for over a season and a half, and after that amount of time, his performance as a player can not be deemed a “fluke”.
      I think it´s great that if DD were to continue to struggle for an extended period, or if there is an injury, that Eller is around to get a shot.
      And p.s. I still think Eller can force the coach to play him top nine or even top six minutes. you can always make an impression no matter who you are playing with, I reiterate this point. The onus has always been on Eller to prove his worth; it´s not the team´s job to hand him two top six wingers because he´s an ex-first round draft pick. It´s up to Eller to become a more confident young man. The logic that you need to play with star wingers to “make you confident” is simply unfounded. If he plays better, the coach will notice and give him more quality minutes.

      • Loonie says:

        There’s a communication issue here. I don’t need to see Eller in a top six role. Provided he isn’t surrounded with Darche and Blunden in skill department, I feel he’ll do fine.

        In addition, if he’s going to be shuffled around and put in different roles he needs to be given an opportunity to develop in those roles and with the lines he’s on. He shouldn’t be benched halfway through a game for not having scored or created numerous scoring opportunities.

        The lack of actual coaching with him is bordering on disgraceful in my opinion.

        Like I said, he doesn’t need to be undeservedly put into an offensive centrepiece position. He needs to be given the chance to find consistency with skilled players around him(on the wing with Galchenyuk and Gallagher would be fine or even in his current spot).

        • rhino514 says:

          i dont see any problem trying him with the kids. even with DD and Cole during Max´s injury, why not?

          • Loonie says:

            Exactly my point. Why not put him in a role that doesn’t dictate he be benched or shuffled around if it doesn’t click immediately. The ice-time of the kids is being managed meticulously regardless so why not put Eller on that wing and see if it works after a half dozen games or so?

  43. Propwash says:

    To me, this is a real good test for the team. They just got smoked and now it’s time to see how they bounce back next game. Hopefully they’ll come out flying, and we can chalk this one up as a speedbump in the road.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Agreed Proppy. The next game will tell us a lot about the team this year and not necessarily in terms of a win or loss. A solid effort on Saturday will be a pleasant contrast from last year’s team.

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

  44. Loonie says:

    The process leading up to the draft this season reminds me of 2005-2006.

    Jordan Staal was seen as a can’t miss prospect because he had the prototypical power forward’s body. Unfortunately for the Penguins he was never better than a point per game player and wasn’t the fastest player during his time in the OHL. Speed can obviously be developed but a few guys wound up overlooked. Erik Johnson essentially fell into the same category but under a different position.

    The point is, the hype because of what scouts “like” isn’t always justified and can lead to huge mistakes in June.

    That draft, Johnson and Staal went first and second overall. Jonathan Toews, Nicklas Backstrom and Phil Kessel flew under the radar and went 3, 4 and 5 respectively.

    This season we have Mackinnon and Seth Jones. I don’t really feel Jones falls into the hype category due his skill set. It’s out of this World and if he’s willing to play for any team and make a go of it with them I think he should be the unanimous #1. But having said that, Mackinnon seems to be more hype that substance. Other than the tangible review that he’s likely going to have a negligible increase in offensive production this year, he seemed to get lost on the ice easily at the WJHC and that can be understandable. At the end of the day, lots of great prospects have been lost in the hype machine.

    Enter Aleksander Barkov. Not going to go into a scouting report, everyone knows how to use their web browser here. But the worst thing I can say about him is that he looks like a poor man’s Evgeni Malkin.

    The young man just keeps flying under the radar, and somebody is going to reap the reward.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Are you saying you’d take Barkov over Monahan?

      I believe you said you prefer Toews over Malkin, and considering Monahan is much like Toews….

      • Loonie says:

        I find Toews is much more consistent. Less offensive ability but way better defensively.

        I wouldn’t take Monahan over Barkov because I side with skill prior to the NHL time. Gotta hope you can get the better offensive player and develop the defensive game to an elite level like the Pens did with Crosby.

        Extreme example I know but defense can be taught.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          I agree with this.

          However, when comparing to ’06, I’d say Monahan is this year’s Toews – flying a bit under the radar. Intriguing because they play a similar game too.

  45. remi_10069 says:

    White doesn’t have the skills at either hockey or fighting to act the way he’s been acting. He’s not scaring anyone, I suspect he’s a target for other teams (and even refs, yes they do it) to pull into stupid penalties. He should have gotten an instigator on the Smith fight too which he didn’t win. Time to end his NHL experiment in Montreal.

    pipes

    • Cal says:

      He’s a 4th liner with the mandate to play as he does. Arguing with the ref was stupid. Will he sit a game or two? For sure. That’s what happens with 4th liners. They don’t play every game and are shunted in and out of the lineup.
      It’s refreshing to see the Habs being physical, after all these passive years.

      • remi_10069 says:

        Mandate is not to play like an idiot. My point is the other teams are not thinking “oh noo, Ryan White is going to be on the ice and he might jump me if I nail someone” They are thinking “sweet, that idiot is playing, lets see how many stupid penalties we can goad him into”

        pipes

        • Cal says:

          So, basically, you’d like yet another passive 4th liner that doesn’t do much of anything. The 4th line this season has been a good energetic and physical line. Armstrong and White both play with an edge. This will cost penalties. The Habs need this edge, which has been sorely lacking for years.

          • remi_10069 says:

            Nobody likes the edge more than I do, i just think White is bad at it. He’s not indimidating at all and takes a pile of bad penalties. Got away with it in the Florida game, should have gotten an instigator vs Smith (might have cooled him off and helped us later in the game had he). We’ll see what Blunden delivers.

            pipes

  46. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    It’s pretty clear that with the back to back games and the Pacioretty injury, we’re all going to have to get realistic and deal with having a no better than 46-2 season.

    The return of Subban should help on the back end, as might the press boxing of White and Kaberle. In White’s case, it’s a shame, because the Maxpac injury would have opened a bit more ice time and he could have solidified his position coming off his recent goal. He’s now handed the opening to Blunden, who I hope will profit from the opportunity. May the best player win.

    The maxpacappendix is the next challenge – let’s see what the coaching does about it.

  47. barry says:

    Great read Mike, you really are in a class of your own, as a thoughtful hockey writer with his own opinions. Thanks for all the sacrifice it takes to hold all of us anxious Habs fans’ hands through yet another roller-coater ride season.

    I agree Habs should try some more ‘muscle’ on the Cole line while Max Pac is out, but instead of Prust, maybe Armstrong or Blunden…
    Cole-DD-Armstrong/Blunden
    Plekanec-Gionta-Bourque
    Galchy – Gally – Prusty
    Moen-Eller-Blunden/Armstrong

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The concept of putting Armstrong on a higher line is an interesting one. Clearly this wouldn’t be a long term plan, but he did have some success in Pittsburgh where I believe he rode shotgun on Crosby’s line for awhile. I am in no way suggesting he is a good first line player, but until Max returns perhaps trying him out with Cole and DD wouldn’t be a bad idea. (Ducks and waits for shots)

      Also would be curious to see Eller center the Gally brothers.

      • CharlieHodgeFan says:

        Is the goal of Prust with Galchenyuk protection for the future star? Or is it just a line?

        • Cal says:

          Thus far, it looks like a bit of both. Prust is proving to be more than just an armed guard. He can play.

        • geo_habsgo says:

          I think that is how it started but now I think it is just a line with excellent chemistry. Prust can keep up with the boys and gives them the space they need to work their magic. Gallagher sometimes makes it look like he can protect Prust out there, he is so scrappy. And Galchnyuk isn’t little by any means and seems to be holding up well out there. It is a line I wouldnt touch for now!

  48. Mats Naslund says:

    I don’t often disagree with you Mr. Boone but your assessment of Lars Eller lacking vision betrays what we have seen from him during his SHORT time in MTL. Before we jump to conclusions about what will and will not work on the Cole line, can we for once give them more than a couple games together, and more than one random loss before we declare them failed. And can we specifically give Eller 5 consecutive games with wingers better than Mathieu Darche before we write him off?

    • Loonie says:

      I knew there were others out there who saw the treatment of Eller for what it is. Thanks for coming to the party.

      :)

    • Habfan17 says:

      I Agree!
      I don’t blame Eller, I blame the coaching. Last season Eller did go to the net and play tougher along the boards, he also made some above average passes and showed some offensive flair. With the lockout, he played overseas for JYP in Finland and had 15 points in 15 games was plus 2 with 18 pims. He played in all situations and was counted on.

      Now the Habs sit him and again have him play out of his natural position. On top of that, they bounce him around the lines. Not the way to get the best out of a player who did train hard and bulk up.
      DD has not played well at all. Sit him a few games to have him watch and sort things out. Put Eller back at centre. Move Moen up to the 3rd line to watch over the Gally’s and have Prust on the first line and see what happens. With Blunden taking White’s spot and Weber taking Moen’s.

      DD showed some creativity and his hockey I.Q. may be high, but at this point I don’t see the second coming of St. Louis! I say give Eller a real shot.

      Habfan17

    • Cal says:

      It’s the coach’s fault that Eller looks like a lost puppy out there?
      My scenario for him to show something would be to put him between Cole and Armstrong/Blunden on the 3rd line while DD sits for a couple. Let’s see what Eller’s got because the opposition has figured out DD (who needs to make adjustments to his game).

      • Loonie says:

        It’s become clear to me that you don’t understand the struggles of a player without confidence, changing positions and being humiliated by a coach.

        I say this because you just expect Eller to react the way Therrien wants with every style of approach Therrien uses. You expect Eller to put his skills to good use with every position switch, line switch or role he’s in.

        It doesn’t work like that Cal.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I agree, that is how Demers ruined Leclair’s confidence in Montreal. That was from an interview Leclair gave when he was doing so well in Philly!

          Habfan17

        • Cal says:

          Actually, I hate the coddling of players that many here espouse. Development is for Hamilton. If a player isn’t ready to play in the NHL, wtf is he doing there? Eller has to raise his game and he hasn’t. Aside from 1 magical night a year ago, Eller has been average to below average.

          • Loonie says:

            Right. The issue is your expectations of what player treatment should be and the level of development they’re at when they’re in the NHL.

            Everyone who’s had a level head during these discussions has said that different approaches work differently with players. But you see one approach, my way or the highway.

            The fired coaches association would probably agree.

  49. Habsrule1 says:

    Not fun last night, but safe to say PK would help this team without getting jumped on by the few who are upset with him.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  50. HabinBurlington says:

    Not fun to watch last night, but lots of lessons to be learned from the game last night. Couple days rest will do this team alot of good, and we should see a spark as Boone says when PK rejoins the lineup.

    While it would have been nice to have PK in the lineup from a fresh body perspective, it wouldn’t have done him or the team any favours to put him in a game with no practise etc…

    As ugly as the loss may have been, it is just one loss, the key is what the team learns from it. Looking forward to the weekend games.

  51. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    That Ottawa team is disturbing for a Habs fan. They are the real deal – balanced, fast and young. If our team develops a little more, that becomes a serious rivalry. I’d like to see a day when we no longer worry about the hapless Leafs, and battle it out with the Bruins and Sens – two teams that really seem to be going places.

    Last night’s game made me look forward to the next game – I want to see how the players respond, and how the coaching adjusts. I say ‘coaching’ and not Therrien, because I don’t think this is JM control freak coaching – they do seem to be a team working together on the bench. I hope so. Therrien is the grand poobah for sure, but people like Gallant aren’t lightweights.

    I think they could give White a lawn chair for a couple of games, and he can sit on Molson’s lawn telling the servants’ kids to f-off every time they come close to where the grass is sleeping.

    Blunden deserves a chance. He’s a big man who might do well in this system. He seems reasonably intelligent too, unlike what White has been showing us.

    Are there any other White/Blunden fourth liner types in Hamilton? Just wondering, out of curiosity.

  52. Bash says:

    Blunden Armstrong Moen White

    Prust Galchenyuk DD
    Bourque Pleks Gallager
    Cole Eller Gionta

    Let DD try the wing. Take advantage of Galchenyuk’s speed on the forecheck and he might also get some great neutral zone passes from DD.

    Gallager will be Gionta 2.0 (with any luck). He will get some chances to find the net with Plek.

    Let’s move a little closer to a decision on Eller by playing him with two guys who crash the net and are leaders.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  53. JF says:

    Reality check time. We are rebuilding, with a new coaching staff, a new system, and some very young players. Games like last night expose some of the problems that the winning streak has masked (or at any rate allowed us not to dwell on).

    Discipline – Taking too many penalties breaks up the rhythm and hands momentum to the other team. Granted we got some help from the referees last night, but there hasn’t been a game in which penalties haven’t been a problem.

    Penalty kill – I think the system being used needs some adjustments. We seem to leave guys open near the net more than we did last year.

    The first line – It still doesn’t work. Pacioretty is missing, and Cole and Desharnais are struggling (although I don’t think Desharnais has been nearly as bad as he’s been painted). Until we get Patch back, Therrien might have to resort to what has been a constant for Habs coaches in recent years – line-juggling.

    But you learn more from a loss than from a victory. I think Therrien will make adjustments and find solutions to some of these problems, for starters replacing White with Blunden and getting P.K. into the lineup. The loss was not Budaj’s fault; however, it would probably be better for Price to face our division rivals.

  54. The Cat says:

    I hate to say it but I dont think PK will be here after his contract is up. I got to agree with benoit Brunet of RDS when he said PK is a natural, hes ready to play already and wouldve been an easy upgrade on Kaberle. The habs are dicking him around a little and might regret it.

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

    • JF says:

      I don’t think that is justified. How can you put a guy into the lineup who hasn’t even had a chance to practice with his teammates, especially with a new coach and new system?

      • The Cat says:

        Well, Ill echo Brunet and say, a system isnt rocket science (and theres not a boatload of them, like 2-3 that they all do, the difference is the talent of the players and the level of execution), getting the whole team to adapt at the same time is one thing but one player can easily come in and adapt.

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

        • The Cat says:

          And its not like theres never been ahl callups dress for games without having a practice with the team. Dont have to give PK 25 minutes, but if youre gonna give Kaberle only 15 minutes why not do it for PK is all Im saying.

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

          • JF says:

            I still think a guy who hasn’t played a game in about ten months needs at least one practice to familiarize himself with the system and get in sync with his teammates. AHL teams usually use a system similar to that used by their NHL team, so AHL call-ups would know what to expect. The Habs will practice tomorrow, and I expect Subban to play Saturday. He couldn’t have helped us last night anyway.

    • hehe, he said RDS

      :)

      They Call Me Shane
      “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
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  55. BJ says:

    I don’t know if its my memory failing me but Eller seems a lot slower than last year. Is it possible that his bulking up has slowed him down? Agreed with Boone we were not going to go 47-1. These kinds of games happen. Ottawa capitalized on their opportunities, Anderson was excellent, we were outmuscled in the offensive zone Ottawa 5 Montreal 1. I think the make up of this team will be seen by the weekend. Lets see how we bounce back and hopefully we can bank four points as we have a lot of road games coming up after a more than favorable early schedule.

    • rjcp says:

      Finally someone says it correctly, we were OUTMUSCLED and may I add, OUTHUSTLED, plain and simple. Ottawa ia not a better team than us on a good Carey Price night. The coaching staff need to figure out why we were slower TO pucks and slower WITH pucks, and make the adjustments, that’s their job.

  56. pmaraw says:

    yannick weber, lw, 1st line, it’ll work, trust me!

  57. The Cat says:

    Good lord the officiating was brutal. Chincy call after chincy call – Let them play! How people find PP after PP entertaining, Ill never know. It hurts the product on the ice… Habs better not become a PP dependent team.

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

  58. AceMagnum says:

    Budaj Movie!!

    Holes

  59. Habilis says:

    This is interesting. Or maybe my insomnia has the better of me. You decide;

    After 6 games, the Habs and Oilers have identical 4-2-0 records. Both teams are currently in 5th place in their respective conferences. The Oilers have scored 17, allowed 15 for +2. The Habs have scored 18, allowed 15 for +3.

    Two most improved teams so far?

    P.S. I know how early it is, but it’s better than asking if PK will be back, again. ;)

    • H.Upmann says:

      Just wait man,

      teams will be asking to trade for PK closer to playoffs.. I bet we are going to hear ridiculous rumours, and media will be ALL OVER IT

  60. montrealtilldeath says:

    Therrien called White”brain dead”! I call him brain dead for playing Markov after the game was well out of reach in the third period. This game was a back to back. We have to watch Andre’s knee. Mark my word fluid will begin to appear if we over do it with him. He should not have to play back to backs for the rest of the season. He looked tired tonight. Having PK back gives the Habs that flex. Ensure a healthy Markov for the playoffs.

  61. emann_222 says:

    Point of the matter is this … we saw the side of the team that we don’t like tonight.

    Perhaps a tired team – but they better get used to being tired in a 48 game season.

    Perhaps an over confident team? Well if that’s the case, the Sens sent them a strong message tonight so they best learn from it.

    Bottom line after tonight is not that Therrien called on Budaj and gave Price the night off. The truth of the matter is – the entire team (mostly) took the night off. They played sloppy – even Markov was poor holding the line – they played undisciplined – thanks Ryan White – and they generated few scoring chances with the exception of Brandon Prust (who had the door closed on him twice by Craig Anderson).

    Erik Cole and David Desharnais need to find their game and do it fast. They have been utterly useless in 5 games, and that’s not acceptable for a first line – especially with Max Pacioretty out of the line-up.

    Two days rest with some solid practice, and they need to be a different team for Buffalo on Saturday afternoon – because it’s right back at it against the Sens on Sunday.

    Check out the game review on BBBR:
    http://bleedbleublancrouge.com/2013/01/30/habs-collapse-in-ottawa/

    Visit me at http://www.bleedbleublancrouge.com

  62. billylove says:

    Re: Eller. He is still too soft, plays small and never, I mean NEVER, wins a battle along the boards. He won’t survive much longer.

  63. Stevie.Ray says:

    First game I missed this year.

    When is Noke healthy? The invisible center as I call him.

  64. PeterD says:

    Start PK as the left winger with DD and Cole.
    He’s an agressive, big body, offensive threat…who knows maybe he sparks something in that line.

  65. deane paul says:

    hey boone, while you are ripping dd and white, are you telling me you did not wonder about this call. everyone watching the game at my place did. back to back games, coach decides to split the games between goalies. ok. the low scoring jets in montreal? the high scoring sens in ottawa? gee which one should carey price get? and which game should the average back up netmender that has not played a game in 10 months get?

    deanepaul

  66. Bun E. Laroque says:

    I like White but telling the ref to f off doesn’t exactly help the situation. Sit him down and bring Blunden on board. He actually might excel with Therrien coaching him.
    Eller might be a good hockey player if he played like Brendan Gallagher.
    Watching Gionta get smoked by Methot reminded me where were at.
    It was pretty clear how much we need Pernell to compete against bigger, stronger teams.
    The first line bites without Max.

  67. deane paul says:

    switch goalies and habs win that game. sens knew to go with no 1 even though he has played every game and played the night before. habs did not. price should have played. no brainer. kid on hamilton bulldogs is better than bujai.

    deanepaul

  68. VONLEBARON says:

    Boone, you say Eller is not physical, what is DD. It shows now that Max and Cole aint playing that well. DD is the softest player in the NHL. He is lost in our zone, cant go in the corner and take the puck of someones stick. He cant shoot and falls down everytime he is bumped. All the big teams laught at what is supposed to be our number one center.DD is 26 going 27, he is at is peak, Eller is 23 with size and skill. Crosby is not physical, neither is MarleaU. Watching the game tonight DD or Cole did’nt pass to Eller.If Eller does turn it up were does that leave DD. The bottom line is that Eller is not from Quebec, and DD is.

    • The Dude says:

      CROSBY WOULD BEAT THE LIVING CRAP OUT OF ELLER…Sids from the TUFF hockey league’s of Halifax. As fo Eller…the boy’s got build ,BUT NO BALLS! Eller should be a Chippendale ….more his thing……

    • VancouverHab says:

      Preach it brother!

      What you say here is less an opinion than a self-evident proposition. DD may have vision, but, to amend a Bowman aphorism, let him stay looking at the whiteboard because he is crap on the ice.

      Give Eller vision lessons and let his size skill youth and desire develop him into a 2nd line centre.

      Hey Therrien: less demoting and more instruction. It’s called coaching.

      • The Dude says:

        The only way a 23 year old Eller’s gonna all of a sudden get vision is by putting Deharnaise head on Eller’s shoulders!

      • boing007 says:

        ‘Hey Therrien: less demoting and more instruction. It’s called coaching.’

        Yeah. Right. Therrien is there to coach. That’s what he was hired to do. So do it, MT.

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

    • Marc10 says:

      Not surprisingly, I’m with Boone with regards to the whole DD thing. Those who claim DD is there because of his last name are showing the linguistic bias in their own way.

      We need Quebec and francophone players on this team. You’d be nuts not to give the local kid a shot with the club’s fanbase and history. That said, I don’t think DD stole this ride. Far from it. Let’s recap how he got here.

      Yes he got his ticket to the ECHL because he came highly recommended by Carbo. From there the kid did the rest. He was the best player in Cincinnati. That would be the best player in the League. Then he was the best player in Ham and (arguably) in the AHL when he was called up. So far his last name has nothing to do with it. MaxPac said he was the best player he ever played with, last name be damned!

      He then earned his spot on the Habs by working his way up. The connection to MaxPac helped. Gomer missed his opportunity with Max… And then DD got some PP time when Pleks got bogged down in PK duties on a crap team… And finally, St Eric Cole arrived. The rest is history.

      There are some mitigating factors that worked in his favour. Pleks was the man on the PK and could only log so much ice time. Gomer sucked of course. Eller didn’t seem to fit or listen to coaches or try much in training and in games. (Heck LL outworked and outplayed Eller when he was called up). Pleks had a kid last year and sucked for half the season… and of course, there’s the simple fact that the Habs don’t have a true, prototypical number one center.

      Throw in DD’s playmaking abilities, his improvement on faceoffs, his flawless work ethic (getting to the show and all the way up to this season), his vision, skill on the PP… and you guys are going to tell me he’s there because his name is ‘Desharnais’. I call bullshit on that. Way too simplistic and frankly preposterous that first line centers don’t earn their spot on merit in the NHL.

      Now as to why Eller isn’t as good as DD. I refer you to Boone’s column above. He’s on the money.

      • shootdapuck says:

        Does DD have to play to the same standards as the rest of the team?
        If so he really should be in the pressbox for whatever reason he isnt cutting it.
        Maybe overall team speed has increased sufficiently this year has just left DD behind?
        Hard to imagine that he played in Europe during the lockout based on game rust. lack of conditioning or whatever is causing the drop in his performance.

        =================================================
        The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

        “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
        “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”
        ” I have a pet peeve”

      • suttontom says:

        Well said , Sir.
        No Gomez, P.K . signed, we are on the right track. Nes pas?

    • Habfan17 says:

      I don’t blame Eller, I blame the coaching. Last season Eller did go to the net and play tougher along the boards, he also made some above average passes and showed some offensive flair. With the lockout, he played overseas for JYP in Finland and had 15 points in 15 games was plus 2 with 18 pims. He played in all situations and was counted on.

      Now the Habs sit him and again have him play out of his natural position. On top of that, they bounce him around the lines. Not the way to get the best out of a player who did train hard and bulk up.
      DD has not played well at all. Sit him a few games to have him watch and sort things out. Put Eller back at centre. Move Moen up to the 3rd line to watch over the Gally’s and have Prust on the first line and see what happens. With Blunden taking White’s spot and Weber taking Moen’s.

      DD showed some creativity and his hockey I.Q. may be high, but at this point I don’t see the second coming of St. Louis! I say give Eller a real shot.

      Habfan17

  69. deane paul says:

    “brain dead” Therien called the unsportsman like call on white “inexcusable” Well he should know. Remember only too well Therians “braindead inexcusable unsportsman like penalty in the habs panthers game 4 play off game. habs took a penalty and therien began screaming and waving his arms wildly at the kerry fraser. he was warned and kept it up and the was given two more minutes for unsportsman like conduct. habs down two men for two minutes. canes scored twice, tied the series at 2 games a piece than went on to win the series. if he finds whites reaction to the call inexcusable, well cut the kid some slack. atleast he plays with a little passion. kabby looks like a human yawn out there.

    deanepaul

  70. shootdapuck says:

    Why not sit Desharnais?

    He cant keep up and is loosing puck battles left and center!

    =================================================
    The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

    “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
    “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”
    ” I have a pet peeve”

  71. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …several dayz ago Therrien was responding to a reporter’s question of is He concerned with the undisciplined penalties of the Team ?

    …His response was He did not want to ‘discourage’ the ‘aggressiveness’ and physicality He felt was essential in remolding the culture of the Team

    …I’m all for that, BUT something must be done about the sheer stupid-level of that aggressiveness and physicality

    …IMHO, White and Armstrong are ‘stupiding’ Themselves off this Team if this continues

    • shootdapuck says:

      Chris the alternative is the 2011-2012 wussies!

      Having the same referee two nights in a row is not on.

      Nor is Chris Lee clone Steve Kozari both of whom respond to noises rather than seeing the play!

      =================================================
      The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

      “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
      “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”
      ” I have a pet peeve”

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …like I said Roy, I’m all for Therrien’s approach, but the Guyz have to use Their noggins

        …right now, pathetic stupidly unnecessary penalties

  72. Habitant in Surrey says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=414868
    TSN: Source: ‘Jamison Unlikely To Finish Coyotes Deal By Deadline’

    …man, excuse Me as I yawn

    …will Bettman say enuf ! ?

  73. Sportfan says:

    So that was a loss I saw a bit of the game, but was busy what the heck went wrong was it bad penalties again? How is our Penalty killing this year like stat wise? Last question what is going to happen to Eller especially if he isn’t fitting to the style with DD and Cole? When PK and Patchy are back oh boy that’ll so cool as long as the rest stay healthy!

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  74. Reposted from the live blog thread — it went up just as the ALN did. : )

    I know it’s cliche to go on about the reffing — and it’s certainly no excuse — but hoo boy was it bad tonight, for both teams.

    We’re all (rightly) quick to jump on silly calls against our boys, and there were a few tonight to be sure, but how about Colby Armstrong hopping over a Sen’s stick to clobber Zach Smith who was nowhere near the puck, in an unpenalized brutalizing that led directly to Smith’s fight with White?

    Or how about that mega borderline call on Phillips in the first, as Moen tried to get by him? Eight times out of ten, the refs won’t call that.

    Which is exactly the problem: the players don’t know which rulebook is being used any given night — from game to game or even minute to minute. There’s always going to be some human error, but man, you’ve got to have some kind of standards. Brutal all around.

    • suttontom says:

      From what i’m hearing ( not being party to watch ), it sounds like the refs suck, all round. What else is new, i say ??
      If the refs were accountable for their consistency, would it make a difference ? (actually , they are , as only the best ranked ones make it to the finals)
      There have been too many things to work out in a short time , Schedules,travel, ice time, for everyone to get on the same page .
      Everyone is just getting back into it again, so just chill.
      Did the refs work ahl games as the lockout dragged on, to be in game shape? No pre- season for them ,either.
      Here’s hoping we can make the play-offs this year, cause one never knows what can happen… and that’s all i want to say about that..

  75. Habitant in Surrey says:

    :) …thata Boy Michel

  76. Habsrule1 says:

    White needs to sit because he needs to learn. I love White but his chirping cost the Habs the game.
    Armstrong is not too impressive but he hasn’t cost the Habs any games.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  77. The Cat says:

    Honestly, I cant fault any player for indiscipline, the ref was calling chincy friggin’ calls all night. Last night was below reasonable for the refs.

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

  78. HabinBurlington says:

    The lack of consistency from game to game and even season to season is very frustrating. Did you see how last night a player got his face cut from high stick, call was missed and then that player got a 2min. penalty for complaining. I can’t remember, I think it was Colorado game.

  79. The Cat says:

    Yeah I didnt see it but Im sure it was ridiculous. If hockey is to be a physical sport, the refs cant constantly try to make players play with no edge…But as Ive often said before, maybe Im too old, but I like a good defensive tilt with the least PPs possible with big bruising d-men that ends 1-0, 2-1. With PPs, it constantly cuts momentum and the intensity cannot build. But the NHL likes PPs because to them the more goals the better.

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

  80. habstrinifan says:

    Love your take re Blunden. A very smart hockey player. A better ‘hitter’ than White.. he takes the man out of the play with his hit. Better in combination. Wont start fights but will stand up for everyone.

  81. HabinBurlington says:

    Agree with your post Shiloh.

  82. 24 Cups says:

    If Blunden replaces White then who centres the 4th line?

    It would also put Montreal one player over the limit once Noke returns. Who goes to Hamilton and will he be able to clear waivers?

  83. Ian Cobb says:

    The guy who has yet to shake off all the leafs from his sweater yet!

  84. HabinBurlington says:

    There is a phrase about what coaches need to do, They shouldn’t set their players up for failure.

    I don’t see how rushing PK into the lineup does anything but set him up for failure. There has been enough scrutiny placed on the young mans head already. To throw him into a game with virtually no practise time (pre game skate only) is dangerous in my opinion.

    As for Price not playing, he was starting to not be as sharp already in the Jets game. He gets 3 days off and is ready to go for the back to back games on weekend.

    I guess I don’t agree with you is all.

  85. Ian Cobb says:

    Not at all HABFORLIFE, Pk needs to understand where Therrien’s head is at, pertaining to what is expected of him in the new system.
    Thats why he will be slowly put into the mix over the next couple of games. And if you don’t want a tired Price to get hurt for the season, you must give him rest with this very crazy schedule.

  86. GoGioGo says:

    I respectfully disagree. I had doubts when Bergevin hired Therrien, like many here. But I have to admit that so far, he hasn’t been to blame for about anything.

    Playing Subban yesterday night would have been stupid IMHO. It would have been just like telling PK they absolutely needed him and couldn’t wait for him to come back. Exactly the opposite of what he’s been told since he signed that deal on Monday. As for Saturday, he will play, I’m sure. But I hope he does not get too many minute on the ice right away. He has to earn those minutes.

    And would you rather see Price start all 48 games and suck in the playoffs, if they manage to get in ? (which I still think they won’t, but that’s a totally different story)

    You’re probaly one of the anti-Therrien bunch… at least give the guy a chance!

  87. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    MT could have called a timeout after the 2nd goal perhaps. Kaberle has not looked great but still a step up over Weber. MT has to start Budaj at least 8-9 games this season and with Spezza and Gonchar out, looked like the timing was right.

    Blaming the ref’s for Habs loss only makes us look worse. These things tend to even out over the course of time.

    Sens were a better team last night. Habs tending and PK were two of the few areas of strenght last year, and was not up to par last night. Better days ahead.

    No coach is going to mess with a winning lineup. With the loss, Subban should now be able to slide in this weekend, likley on the 3rd pairing to start, with added PK minutes. He will no doubt work his way up to 22-24 TOI in short order.

  88. Phil C says:

    Good point about Subban. Therrien has also been preaching a team concept. It would be hypocritical of him to throw PK into the game before he learns and practices the team systems.

  89. habstrinifan says:

    Completely agree with you on ‘not playing’ P.K in last night’s game.

  90. ont fan says:

    It’s a perfect time for Subban to come in this weekend.

  91. HabinBurlington says:

    Vancouver is loving Kassian right now, they are team in a limited window to get Cup due to Cap restraints etc… No way they are even looking to trade this guy. Especially with Kesler still hurt. Not that I wouldn’t want Kassian though.

  92. habsnyc says:

    WHy does Vancouver want to trade Kassian? They overpaid for him to be a physical player. Trading for Eller would make no sense.

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

  93. jedimyrmidon says:

    Assuming Vancouver would be willing to trade Kassian (I’m betting they aren’t), I’d rather the Habs keep their young drafted talent like Collberg, and their draft picks.

  94. Cal says:

    Did Mike Gillis suffer a devastating brain injury recently? I ask because that’s the only way he does that trade.

  95. Habfan17 says:

    Why give up that much for a kid who granted could be a true power forward but hasn’t proven it yet! The draft is deep this year and Collberg may have been a real shrewd pick. I say stay the course and look for a ” kassian” in the draft, that way no assets are given up!
    Habfan17

  96. MikeHabs says:

    Kassian is playing with the Sedins…kinda not hard to get some points up. Plus, why give up on Collberg? Idiotic.

    http://allaboutthehabs.ca/
    twitter: @Mike_Habs

  97. Cal says:

    I agree we need exactly the Kassian type player. Habs will have to draft a player or 5 like him and hope one pans out.

  98. habsnyc says:

    Agreed. Vancouver is a win now team. They are not trading roster players for prospects and picks.

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

  99. Mr. Biter says:

    They’d want to throw in Luongo as a side dish.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory


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