About last night …

BourqueGoal

Fearless prediction:
On Saturday night, the Bell Centre will be louder than the LGBT/S&M/B&D/WTF Arena was on Thursday.
Hockey is in trouble in south Florida … despite the ludicrous suggestion that 17,021 showed up to watch the Canadiens.
Scoreless ties after 60 minutes won’t help sell the game in the Sunshine State, but that’s their problem.
The Canadiens come home with an 8-4-1 record that no one in Montreal was expecting when the season began.
And when they hit the ice to face the Flyers, the joint will be rocking.

Just past the one-quarter mark of this truncated season, your Montreal Canadiens are fifth in the eastern Conference. They have won more games than they’ve lost at home and on the road.

Carey Price, beaten six times by the Leafs at the Bell Centre last Saturday, shut the Panthers out and would have hung a goose egg on the Lightning but for an epidemic of brain farts that swept through his teammates late in the Tampa Bay game.

Price’s eight wins lead the league. He’s playing with supreme confidence, as evidenced by deft, Brodeuresque puckhandling that’s turned Price into the third defenceman.

Remember when that was a flaw in his game? Like the glove hand? And Shootouts?

Price is making the big saves and getting solid support. As has been the case with almost every team the Canadiens have faced this season – the Toronto embarrassment being a glaring exception – the Panthers had few odd-man rushes or high-percentage scoring opportunities. And Price was brilliant during the third-period flurry when the Florida attack came fleetingly to life.

The Canadiens have used the same defence pairings, largely to good effect, since P.K. Subban joined the club.

Would it be nice to have an Erik Gudbranson back there terrifying everyone who crossed the Canadiens’ blueline?

You bet. And Jarred Tinordi is in the pipeline.

But for now Andrei Markov, P.K. (up to 21:27 of ice time against Florida) and a much improved Raphael Diaz  (four blocked Panthers shots) make up a heady, puck-moving top 3, supplemented by the rejuvenated Francis Bouillon, Josh Gorges and Alexei Emelin, who seemed to gain confidence on the Florida trip.

Michel Therrien praised his team’s discipline – only two minor penalties – and team D. They even managed to win 46 per cent of the faceoffs.

The coach could have patted himself on the back for adroit deployment of his forwards, a luxury afforded Therrien in a game not dominated by special teams. The Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller lines remained intact; but Therrien did a bit of in-game tinkering, switching Max Pacioretty and Brandon Prust between lines cenred by Alex Galchenyuk and DD.

The Canadiens were able to roll four lines in a gruelling, tight-checking game. And Therrien had enough confidence in Galchenyuk to use him in the 4-on-4 OT …. with spectacular results.

We saw two third-overall draft picks who are going to be NHL stars. And I’ll take Chucky over Jonathan Huberdeau.

That second effort to beat Dmitry Kulikov and feed Rene Bourque for the winner?

Beautiful stuff. And I hope we see 15 years of it in Montreal.

In the short term, bring on the Flyers.

•  •  •

Your Friday morning/victory celebration laugh:

72 Comments

  1. Stanley says:

    They swept Florida, but not without some struggle. I’d like to see them be a little grittier in the offensive zone and win more faceoffs. The pieces are coming together slowly, which is nice to see. I think Eller will be shipped off come trade deadline. He’s got skills, but lacks confidence – or something?

    “Good things happen to those who hustle.”

  2. deane paul says:

    price out with flu. habs are done against flyers. dont know about anybody else but i think the back up stinks. he will let another 5 in ( his average) atleast.

    deanepaul

  3. deane paul says:

    8-4-1 habs nice start. however i think there best game was the loss to briuins. maybe the win over devils. florida? bah. the 1-0 game was horrendous. after 40 minutes the habs created a total of one scoring chance, where Theadore made the save on prust. well there was gionta missing yet another open net. somebody oughta tell brian that “shots on net” is not what matters. he must lead the league in shots on the goalie that have no chance in the world of going in. he is not the leader/captain this team requires.

    go habs

    deanepaul

  4. Thomas Le Fan says:

    The Rocket. The Pocket Rocket. The Boomer. The Flower. Big Bird. Chucky? Chucky is still a horrible nickname. It’s the name of a stupid doll in a stupider movie. His linemates can call him whatever they want when they want the puck but we can do better.
    Contest? Suggestions? Winner gets a free puck and a bucket of ice?

    • Michael says:

      You sure you’re not letting the strength of the players influence your opinions of these nicknames? I mean, “The Flower” and “Big Bird” are not necessarily the most inherently badass nicknames out there. “Pocket Rocket” kinda sounds like a name for a vibrator.

      “Chucky” isn’t so bad!

    • 4loorplay says:

      Gelt= money
      Nirvana is earned…

  5. Michael says:

    “The LGBT/S&M/B&D/WTF Arena?” Really, Boone? “LGBT” was the first acronym you chose to invoke as a put-down? Stay classy.

  6. AnimalMother says:

    Desharnais is useless.

  7. youngwun says:

    Go Habs Go! Flyers playing tonight , hopefully are boys will be ready at home tomorrow night!

  8. Habbernak says:

    If Cole and Pacman step it up this team is going to be hard to beat! The kids are looking fantastic and I don’t see them slowing down one bit, on the contrary I only see them growing more confident as the season continues. The addition of Prust has payed off large, Bourque is a machine this year and the depth on our blueline runs real deep with a healthy Markov and a signed PK. Not to mention Emelin, I love that guy! He doesn’t get talked about enough and you know every player in the league is looking over their shoulder and keeping their head up when he’s on the ice. Jesus Price. Nuff Said! GO HABS!

    “I know everything”

    • Stanley says:

      if Cole doesn’t step it up, he could be packaged with Eller for a sweet trade soon. It’d be nice to fish a good draft pick out of the coming pool of talent, if not a younger centre and/or a better 2nd string goalie.

      “Good things happen to those who hustle.”

  9. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    With Subban really coming into form, I think Marky’s ice time has to come down drastically. Put him with Boullion if need be.

    He’s effectively defensively still, but not at those minutes. And we all know his offensive instincts are still intact. But he’s not the horse anymore. Subban has to be.

  10. D Man says:

    Habs win, Leafs lose! Be still my heart!

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

  11. Habimus-Maximus says:

    Bourque-Plekanek-Gionta
    Cole-Eller-Gallager
    Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Prust
    Armstrong-Desharnais-Moen

    Anything to get Cole & Max going……

    Do I have everyone in the right positions?

  12. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    What’s making me feel optimistic is the fact that we’re 8-4-1, but could/should be better. Clean up a few mistakes and we’re right in the mix.

    That was a picture perfect road game against a goalie who played really well. Were on our heels for a sequence in the third, but other than that sucked the life out of them.

    • RetroMikey says:

      We only won by a measly 1-0 against a very weak team.
      Bring on the Bruins!
      Bring on the Flyers!
      Bring on the Rangers!
      Bring on the Penguins!
      4 very good teams (and the Leafs as well)
      I do not understand why Pacioretty is getting very limited ice -time, can someone explain this to me?
      Also all the hype about our overrated Eller is showing with his ice time as well. Perhaps Therrien is seeing something along with his assistants what Jacques Martin has seen as well last year when he was at the helm. Tells me Eller is not blooming as he should.
      I’ll only be excited if the team plays well against the bigger Goliath teams as I call them.
      Then I will be a believer of this team, cannot be optimistic as I have been in the past.
      I want results.

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

      • deuce6 says:

        Why is Pacioretty getting limited ice time? Because he has been brutal, this year, and doesn’t deserve it..This is a different team and a different culture, this year..You have to earn your spot…

        Numerous times I have seen him give up on a play…He isn’t driving the net like last season, either..Of course, the appendectomy issue still may be hovering over him, but ti isn’t the same Pacioretty that we are used to seeing..

        I hope he finds his game, soon, though..We could use the offense..

        ——————

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

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        We played very well against the Bruins, always have.

        Last night was a great road game. We did what we had to to win against a goalie playing well and were on the road.

        Over the course of a season, no team wins by dominating scores every game. What the great teams do is win the games they should, however they can. Exactly what we did last night.

        Great road game, solid effort, great team D.

      • olematelot says:

        I f you think Eller is overrated then you are no judge of talent.

        • Edmaster says:

          Ole, you beat me to it. Eller may be the best player on this team and if you can’t see any of that in him, you just can’t see. Deuce, you also have it right. Where is Patch from last year. Brutal so far but I will also give him the benefit of the doubt and say he may be playing injured, which IMO is wrong in any sport. Pure BS for anyone, anyone whatsoever, to try and be a man and play hurt. It doesn’t work.

          Expos, please come home.

        • RetroMikey says:

          I’ll save your comment and get back to you next year when he is traded or sent down to the farm…then I will ask you the question “Is Eller overrated”?

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

  13. Royness says:

    lolz carey gets 3rd star in the game, but 1st star in the NHL.

    Roooooooooooyness

  14. adamkennelly says:

    as god awful as that game was – at least we get the 2 points. Team did not play well at all. Lines are off. I would shake things up for Saturday. White comes back in, Armstrong sits and maybe let Weber play a game. Time to make a trade – really.

  15. Steeltown Hab says:

    Lineup needs to change, I really hope MT doesn’t think this team played well in the slightest last night. No offense was created.

    Get White in the lineup, Armstrong can sit. It’s sad when after the Pleks line the 4th is the most confident I am in out there. Eller’s possession game is dominant and I think could really help out Cole or Pacioretty.

    Gallagher is showing he’s ready for more minutes as well. Would love to see a line of Pacioretty – Eller – Gallagher. Don’t know if I like Galchenyuk with DD and Cole though, it may be decent though.

    ———————————

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

    • the Octopus says:

      White playing against Philly is basically a foregone conclusion.

      I think the kids and Borque would be a good line.

    • 4loorplay says:

      Ice was like attendance really bad

      Nirvana is earned…

    • FinnHabs says:

      I agree. I’d play White instead of Armstrong, but I think MT is just making sure that White learns his lesson. How many games do you think it’ll take to make sure White learns and doesn’t take another idiotic penalty when he does get back. Sitting him a few games is right and I think MT may think it just takes longer than us…

  16. Bogie Man says:

    I am a big Mike Weir fan and after his struggles over the last few years and seeing some success on the PGATOUR I am optimistic that he will be able to compete again sometime soon, but will he win again in the near future? Not likely. I have the same optimism about my favorite hockey team. I have seen sign of brilliance that have led some of us to believe the stanley cup is within reach. I do not think this way or try not to think this way. I see team like Mike Weir in the rebuilding stage. During this stage mostly what is lacking is the confidence and consistency. Yea it is good to get the points out of Florida but the realism in me knows that both points were very close meaning that we could have easily lost them just as we won them and I know another 6-0 game could only be 1 game away. The flyers on Saturday night will be a another test for the Habs and I am truly hoping that the team is more prepared for this test than they were for Toronto last weekend and if MT does not play White I will be disappointed.

  17. --Habs-- says:

    Whats up with Travis Moen? He’s not playing with any confidence, he’s not hitting, he looks lost out there!

    Go HABS Go

    • BrianSkrudland says:

      There have been rumblings that he is not playing at 100% health-wise.

      ——–
      Use it up, use it all up / Don’t save a thing for later, yeah / If there’s music out there laying in wait / To pounce and drain every ounce if you wait or hesitate, yeah
      TRAGICALLY HIP – USE IT UP

    • Twillingater says:

      It’s called the Millions Dollar contract syndrome

      \”Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing\”

  18. Habitforming says:

    Nice dull road game for the Habs. Eller looked very good (Despite playing less than everyone on the roster minus the 2 kids), Bourque was great, Cole has looked interested in his last 2 games, Price looked solid on the 4 real scoring chances he had against, and PK is starting to get some ice time again.

    All looks good…. unless Philly beats us 6 or 7-0 ;)

  19. --Habs-- says:

    Mr Boone,
    Scoreless ties after 60 minutes won’t help sell the game in the Sunshine State, but that’s their problem.

    NO that is our problem……You can watch a game in Florida like we used to be able to watch a game in Atlanta for well under 20 bucks. I think I paid $13 and walked down to a beautiful seat. But going to a Habs game for the same seat at $80 partially subsidies that same seat in both Florida venues, including Phoenix, Nashville and many others. So the question becomes how much of the $80 I pay in Montreal goes to the other teams charging $13. THat becomes my problem. On the Florida broadcast last night on NHL Center Ice there was Panther player profile of when growing up. His family would take a winter vacation and they’d all go to Panther games. Guess where they were from, ya Montreal where they couldn’t afford to go to Habs games and afford to take a vacation in the same year because it was too cost prohibitive. SO they’d take vacations in Florida and go to Panther / Hab games instead. Go figure!

    Go HABS Go

  20. HabFanSince72 says:

    Third in the conference in points per game.

    On the other hand, only 6 points out of last place.

  21. Cal says:

    Habs played a perfectly dull road game, not allowing the Panthers many chances. It’s about time the team didn’t sabotage the shutout for Price. Nice to see PK over 21 minutes TOI and Boullion down to 18 minutes.
    This team is soooo much better with both Markov and Subban playing like they are. Too bad PK didn’t finish in the 3rd when he took over in Florida’s zone.
    Bourque this season has been a treat to watch and Eller is demonstrating a lot of intensity at both ends of the ice.
    Habs still need another bruiser back on D, but against the Maloneless Lightning and the punchless Panthers the D was fine.
    The Flyers come into town Saturday night. Ought to be a lot of fun. :)

    http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  22. remi_10069 says:

    Bourque deserves the goal and credit, he’s been playing great this season. I can’t believe the crowd in Florida, would have expected snow birds to fill the place up. You’d think there was a snowstorm or something.

    Anyone else convinced Cooke knew exactly what he was doing? In slow motion he appears to lift and stomp…Professional hockey players know what their feet are doing…

    He needs to go

    pipes

    • H.Upmann says:

      I saw the replays again last night and am now convinced he knew what he was doing. Like you said, they know where their feet are going. I can only describe in comparison to martial arts that I’ve done, that Cooke’s left leg was raised in a way to deliver a low level kick, and if you watch at the moment before the cut, his right leg actually pivots a bit to generate momentum and force into the delivery of the kick. It wasn’t fully obvious, but the pivot and delivery is there. He really is a disgusting player.

    • t1tan5 says:

      So many things look horrible in slow-mo. The league looks at these incidents at real game speed. At that speed, it would take an evil genius to pull off what Cooke did intentionally and with pre-meditation.

      • HaBo says:

        Only by slowing it down do you see clearly the motive behind his action, just like the Chara hit becomes even more obvious in slo mo. Cooke may not have been necessarily aiming for the achilles per se, but I think he was definately intending to make a dirty play. That’s why he’s without doubt a “dirty ” player because That’s exactly what dirty players do, and its also how they get away with it. But in chara’s case, it was still clear to see in real time…except to the oldboys club in the nhl.

  23. francbiss says:

    Just watch replay of the Laughs games… the NHL should come up with a Forrest Gump award. Phaneuf would win it every year. What a caveman

  24. smiler2729 says:

    8-4-1, hmmm, could the Habs be this year’s Ottawa Senators?

  25. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Very impressed with Bourque’s play this season.

    • HaBo says:

      Besides Cary, he’s prob been our most consistent player this season. People don’t recognize just how good his play has been because they focus on stats too much.

  26. Marc10 says:

    Chucky is such a smart player. Kulikov was completely fooled by that cut back. Nice work Les Boys. The train is back on track. Now let’s roll on down over the Flyers.

  27. Timo says:

    That was a great effort by Galchenyuk on Bourque’s goal. Other than that – probably one of the most boring games I ever watched. At the very least they won. A boring win is better than an “exciting” loss like one against the laffs.

    And on that positive note I am going off to bed. Shit, it’s past 1 am.

  28. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Life is good :)

  29. temekuhabs says:

    That second effort by AG27 shows why this guy is going to be a STAR

  30. habsprophet says:

    Aren’t the habs only 2-5 against teams from their own division so far this season? Until they win another stanley cup I have no faith in them.

    If you can’t find it within yourself to stand up, tell the truth… you don’t deserve to wear that uniform

    • Whatever says:

      Until they win the Stanley Cup, I don’t believe they will win the Stanley Cup.

    • savethepuck says:

      Glad you can do the research to find the negatives. Yeah, they are 8-4-1, but they are only 2-5 in their own division, so they suck. Wait a minute, to make the math right for you, they have to be 2-4-1 against their own division.

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

  31. HardHabits says:

    At this time I would like to quote one of my more famous ancestors, Hardass Headerson.

    God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a draft pick.

    • savethepuck says:

      Are you referring to Price at 5th or Chucky at 3rd overall, because I love them both. A little over 30 years ago Grundman decided to opt for Doug Wickenheiser instead of Savard or even Babych(2nd) or even Larry Murphy. Sad, sad times.

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

      • HaBo says:

        That’s when the Habs dynasty officially ended in my opinion. Savard would have been ” the-next-one ” that we’ve never had since,
        though Roy was up there, and hopefully Price and Galchenyuk will
        get there yet.

        • Clay says:

          Roy was a little more than ‘up there’ though. He is certainly one of – if not the – best goalies of all time.

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

        • The Juice says:

          The dynasty ended when Roy was traded for spare parts.

          __________________________________________________________________________

          “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  32. jhaley101 says:

    Flight 7041 tracking northeast out of Fort Lauderdale, an Air Canada charter flight, an A319, that I figure has the habs on board, but destination is showing St. Hubert? I know the airport is big enough, but does the team fly into St. Hubert?

  33. PrimeTime says:

    Where are all the closet Leaf fans tonight???

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

  34. habsfan0 says:

    Repost:Habs win,Laffs lose,and my friend about to disembark Carnival Cruise ship Triumph. He’s not too pleased. CJAD will interview him tomorrow @6pm.

    • savethepuck says:

      Re-reply, the most satisfying nights for my father ( RIP ) were when the Habs won and the Leafs lost. He would call all the Leaf’s fans relatives and gloat. I had a hard time some nights explaining to him some nights that it was better for the Habs if the Leafs actually won, and he didn’t want to hear any part of that. Part of a 2nd or 3rd generation Habs fan who was brought up to hate everything Leafs.

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

    • 24 Cups says:

      It’s going to take more than just a free cruise to recitfy this situation. The entire industry, not just Carnival, is going to have to do some major work to help reestablish their credibility. Broken down ships is one thing, but the neverending norwalk virus issue threatens every voyage.

  35. savethepuck says:

    I’m looking now at only 1 pt behind the mighty B’s, even though they now have 2 games in hand because the of the snow storm cancellation that helped them avoid a back to back. I hope when they play Tampa Bay, they are on a back to back to even it out.

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


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