About last night …

MASH

“Take a deep breath and hold it,” the Living (but, sadly, no longer writing) Legend of Sports Journalism would advise his Montreal Star and Gazette readers.
Fans were to hold our collective breath until Red updated us on the severity of whatever afflicted the team’s fallen heroes.
The LLSJ could usually ferret out solid information about five minutes after the team doctor made a diagnosis.
But we’ll have to wait for some time on Sunday to learn if Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty, Colby Armstrong and Alexei Emelin are going to be out of the lineup for a while.
The 4-1 win over the Flyers was an impressive team effort. And the W lifted your Montreal Canadiens into the dizzying heights of second place in the Eastern Conference.

But it might have been costly.

Gallagher was hurt after a hit by Luke Schenn , who is tied with Steve Ott for the league lead in that department. I don’t want to be Dick Downer, but Gallagher had a history of concussions in junior hockey.

Pacioretty’s injury was a result of being ridden into the Philadelphia goalpost. His injury history you know.

Armstrong took a deflected puck in the face. And Emelin was hip-checked heavily by Claude Giroux, who spent pretty much the entire game yapping at and attempting to nail the Canadiens defenceman.

The Giroux-Emelin unpleasantness was the only suggestion of old-time Canadiens-Flyers hockey. Although the visitors had a 32-20 advantage in hits, there was not much to suggest the bone-rattling intimidation Philadelphia teams have inflicted on their victims since the halcyon days of the Broad Street bullies.

The Flyers miss Chris Pronger’s malevolent presence on their blueline.

Wayne Simmonds spent a bit of time in Peter Budaj’s kitchen, but his ability to rattle opposing goaltenders was a pale shadow of the havoc Scott Hartnell routinely wreaks.

This was a pretty lousy Philadelphia team. The Flyers are sitting 12th in the conference, and it might be an uphill climb to the postseason.

Credit your Canadiens with getting an early jump that set the tone for the game. First period shots were 12-2 and the Flyers finished with 19. A Philadelphia writer tweeted that was the fifth time in more than 260 games the Flyers were held to fewer than 20 shots.

The Canadiens wanted to do a better job of defending in front of Budaj than they did in his previous two starts. Mission accomplished, especially while the game was still in the balance.

P.K. Subban made a sliding save with Budaj way out of the net. And the Canadiens’ superb penalty-killing units kept the visitors off the board through two consecutive Delay of Game calls after Daniel Brière drew the Flyers to within a goal in the second period.

That was it for the Philadelphia rally. The Canadiens had n 11-9 shot edge in the third period and got the clincher from Tomas Plekanec and their first empty-netter of the season by Rene Bourque – who didn’t really score, but …

Ah, it’s too complicated to explain. Bourque deserved his fifth – which matches what he scored in 38 games with the team last season.

Gallagher got his fifth before he was hurt. The mighty mite brought grit and energy to a new line formed with Pacioretty and David Desharnais. The Gallagher and DD goals came off  some exquisite tic-tac-toe passing – the kind of legerdemain that was rarely seen in the Philadelphia defensive zone back in the days when Pronger was there looking to cripple people.

The Canadiens don’t have any killers on their blueline, a lacune lamented by more than a few members of the HIO Commentariat.

But the team does not lack for speedy, puck-moving defencemen who make intelligent plays to clear their zone. And while Andrei Markov and P.K. are the poster boys, save some kind words for Raphael Diaz. The Swiss sophomore has been excellent all season and was not rattled by Philadelphia’s physicality. Diaz also brought some slick puck movement to the power play when Michel Therrien had him playing first wave with Markov.

So now we wait for bulletins from sick bay ahead of  a Monday night visit by Kirk Muller’s high-flying Carolina Hurricanes.

It would be a bummer if either of DD’s linemates were lost just as he was starting to find his 2011-’12 vintage game. If Gallagher and/or Pacioretty are out for a while, the Canadiens probably will look to Hamilton for reinforcements.

Gabriel Dumont? Louis Leblanc? Michaël Bournival had a hat trick Saturday night.

Every team in the league suffers injuries. The Flyers really missed Hartnell, and the Senators certainly could have used Erik Karlsson in Toronto, where they lost 2-0 Saturday night.

From where I’m sitting – 20 seats away from where Red Fisher used to sit in the Bell Centre pressbox – there are three players whose loss to injury would doom the Canadiens: Carey Price, Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov.

Keep holding that deep breath.

• Last season, it took the Canadiens 2o games to get nine wins … The team has yet to lose a game in which they were leading after 20 minutes … The Canadiens won 38 of 67 faceoffs. Their winning percentage of 57 was a season high … The Canadiens are 27th in the league in faceoffs, and New Jersey is 28th … Alex Galchenyuk was 1-3 on faceoffs before being replaced on draws by Brandon Prust. The Canadiens should bring in Yanic Perreault to work with the kid on technique … Figure that Peter Budaj paddle save might make a few highlight reels? … Galchenyuk tweeted a nice picture of his family out to dinner after the game. They seem to like oysters … The Canadiens have not lost a game outside the Northeast Division … The Saskatoon Blades, with Canadiens prospects Darren Dietz and Dalton Thrower on their blueline, have won 11 straight … After the Flyers had 19 shots on Peter Budaj, the Oilers had 55 on Sergei Varlamov. Empty-net goal gave the Oil a team-record 56 shots – more than the dynasty ever had.

341 Comments

  1. deane paul says:

    seen schenn lose many a fight in t.o….. dont remember him winning one.

    deanepaul

  2. habsnyc says:

    Fewer penalties, more faceoff wins and a strong third period were all part of the win. I hope Gallagher has a full and speedy recovery from his injury. There is no reason for him to rush back until he is fully healed. I do not think Montreal can call up another forward until he is placed on the IR list.

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

  3. Stevie.Ray says:

    Before the game on NBC they showed a story about a kid that was tragically paralyzed during a hockey game and how he and Adrian Peterson used each other as inspiration after their injuries. But I found it a little insensitive to play the song Human Touch by Bruce Springsteen in the background.

    • dorvalhabsfan says:

      you should focus on the story that they told… sounds like an incredibly emotional situation for both involved. instead of raagging on a song, try and take inspiration from the story!

      Go Habs Go

  4. Big Buffy Boat Club says:

    I’m going to the Jets v. Bruins game today, and will of course be wearing my Roy jersey. I wore it last year to the franchise opener and I’m expecting a bit better of a reception this evening.

    The Jets are not very good, but somehow play the B’s well every time.

    ———————————————————————————-
    “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of the women.”

  5. Hobie Hansen says:

    Damn, that sucks about Gallagher. Hopefully his bell wasn’t rung too badly and he’s back in a couple weeks max.

    I saw Galchenyuk get pasted into the boards earlier in the game as well and was wondering where the heck Prust and Moen were?

  6. Stevie.Ray says:

    Hopefully Price will be ready for tomorrow. It’s a big week with 4 games including two against the rangers. It would be nice to make sure we get two points against Carolina.

  7. Say Ash says:

    Umm, can I get a Go Jets Go?

  8. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    I love the Habs and have for over 50 years but if they miss the playoffs this year, all 14 teams go into a lottery and all have an equal chance of drafting 1st overall. This is one of the best draft years and this lottery situation for the bottom 14 teams will never happen again in the current CBA. The Habs may get a chance to draft a solid stud to go along with Galchenyuk. The Habs are not a Cup-contender yet but with one more superstar they would be almost there with the youth coming up through the system. No one wants to make the playoffs and go out in the first round. Enough of that crap.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      They don’t have an equal chance. Last place still has the highest odds of getting to pick first, and the odds steadily decrease with each team.

      • colin_nowra says:

        Under the old CBA yes, But they changed it this year so that whoever doesn’t make the playoffs has an equal chance as the last place team

        • Stevie.Ray says:

          As per of the new CBA, there was a slight tweak to the draft lottery process. All teams that are in the draft lottery now have a chance to get the 1st overall pick, the 4-spot move restriction is gone. The weighting system will remain the same.

  9. kempie says:

    Hearing now that Gallagher is concussed, as feared.

  10. CHicoHab says:

    I believe Gord Miller said since the Canadian border is only a couple hundred yards away the Sabres always play the Canadian anthem.

    “take your time and hurry up”

  11. HabFab says:

    JohnLuTSNMtl – #Habs Pacioretty was accidentally cut on his rib cage by Timmonen’s skate. Says he is feeling a little tight today, unsure about Mon game.

  12. ed says:

    24 Cups,

    Tinordi and Beaulieu will both play for the Habs – no doubt – unless they get injured.

    Tinordi is almost ready now. He might have even gotten a call up at the end of this season, but that will wait now that the team is doing so well.

    Tinordi brings the Habs the size and toughness at the back end that they know they need – he will almost certainly make the team next season. He is also a leader, a former captain in major junior and USA, and now an assistant captain in Hamilton.

    Beaulieu has NHL speed and quickness right now. He is learning in Hamilton to correct his defensive decision making and positioning. But his level of speed and offensive instincts are unique, and that gets him to the NHL, on the Habs power play, and contributing no later than 2015.

    Another 2015 Hab, I believe, will be one of my favorites, Charles Hudon. A 5th round steal, like Gallagher, he is a special pick for me.

    Hudon, like Desharnais, is given the one-two punch by some scouts: too small, and not enough speed. Hudon is 5’10, which is Claude Giroux size.

    Yet Hudon keeps getting better and better, and he was a big loss to the U20 team when he was injured just prior to the tournament. He would have been an excellent impact player for that team.

    Hudon is one of those off the charts hockey IQ players, who plays the game so intelligently. This puts him in the right positions. And once he has the puck on his stick, or without the puck in the offensive zone, he becomes a serious offensive threat. I really like his chances, but he needs to stay healthy.

    • showey47 says:

      The forgotten man here imho is greg pateryn who before his injury from what i read looked the most nhl ready. Probably due to him playing college hockey where he was already playing against men,not junior aged kids.

    • GGtheHab says:

      i liked what I saw from Hudon i the pre tourney games..

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Hudon, like Gallagher and Gionta plays a sound defensive game as well. He’ll make it.

        ———————————

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

    • neumann103 says:

      I was just watching the Penguins/Sabres game and thinking the Pens must be wanting to ditch Sidney Crosby because he is only 5’11″. Not.

      There are a ton of elite players at that size, and while I can agree that you probably have to avoid too many legitimately small players on the same line people go way overboard with this thinking.

      Also what drives me nuts is people thinking that 5’11″ is too small but 6′ is just fine. Is that extra 1 inch magic? (that’s what the grilfriend said last night)

      “Et le but!”

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Beaulieu reminds me of Subban without as much muscle. Tinordi is going to be a staple on the blue line, but big D need time to adapt to the speed of the NHL. You gotta Ease them in so I don’t see tinordi being a full time NHLer next season. At most he would be a sheltered NHL dman for a season.

      Ellis and Pateryn are a couple years away, but could be solid depTh dmen in the future. Same goes for Dietz, and to a lesser extent, Thrower, but they may take a little longer.

      I like hudon, but I would still put Bozon and Collberg ahead of him. I’m really excited for these two. And! We can’t forget about Danny Kristo. Im excited to see what he can do in the AHL next year.

      • boing007 says:

        People have been talking about Kristo for about four years now. When, oh when is he finally going to make it to NHL level?

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

  13. GGtheHab says:

    according to TSN injury page, we have 5 guys questionable for Monday..that is 25% of the team..assuming none of the guys play, and giving Budaj the start..what will the line combos be with Gallager, Colby and Max out? suggestions?

    • HabFab says:

      Don’t pay attention to the Toronto Sports News. Gally and Subbie out and most likely Price since we have a back to back. So White and Kaberle get some ice time.

    • GGtheHab says:

      now tsn has posted this, so above post is already obsolete
      Sunday’s Practice Lines

      Forwards:
      Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta
      Pacioretty – Desharnais – Cole
      Prust – Galchenyuk – Eller
      Moen – White – Armstrong

      Defence:
      Markov – Emelin
      Gorges – Diaz
      Kaberle – Weber

  14. nickster13 says:

    You guys should flip to NBC. They have a hockey day in USA going on.
    Some classy endeavors for hockey all across the USA being shown, including an incredible segment on “hockey in harlem”. Really nice stuff and lots of grassroots!
    And now they are showing the Sabres vs Penguins and they sung the Canadian anthem and then the American one. Classy!

    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

  15. Yes, the W was a good thing, but if we win and lose four members of our team, did we really win? Besides, we didn’t win because we are a great team. We won because Philly sucked big time. We have to see how we play against Pitts, Boston (last time we fizzled) and Carolina this week. Then I’ll say this team has spirit, can play 60 minutes and if they lose, it is because they were outplayed, not because they sucked. Sorry, been disappointed so many times wince the 70′s and 80′s that I can’t keep track.

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

    • Andy and the habs says:

      A win is a win. What comes after the min is a different story.

    • colin_nowra says:

      I saw a lot of comments on this game being a measuring stick against a good team, Basically saying if the Habs beat Philly they’re a good team, Now that they won, Philly is a not a very good team.

      Same thing with losses, They should have beaten the team that beat them, They’re lousy…

  16. HabFab says:

    GLefrancoisRC – Sans Skinner RT @amandacstein: #Habs: Jeff Skinner will not make the trip to Montreal with the #Canes. Upper body injury. (via @ice_chip)

  17. munch17 says:

    Since DD had a good game last night I can write this and I am not a DD hater.

    DD had a goal and was plus one.He had more ice time than any other forward and probably more PP time.
    There were 6 players who were plus 2 – 4 of whom had 2 points.
    All I heard after the game was how his was the number one line – does anyone really think that Pleks is not our no. 1 center?
    Again – I think he played a strong game – it’s just that he gets way too much credit – fortunately last night it was Pacs who was a beast – making the plays for both Gal73 and DD.
    Again – I don’t hate DD – great story and great tenacity.
    I think the other centers are better. Just my opinion.

    • HardHabits says:

      I’ve been pumping Eller’s tires for the past little while but last night Eller’s game was way off. DD however took it up a notch. If DD continues to play like the way he did last night the DD/Eller debate will definitely get more interesting. If Eller is truly a team’s 4th line centre by virtue of a depth draw then that team is well stacked up the middle, IMHHO. I can think of worse scenarios.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Just the fact that he got placed with those two reinforces how it’s all about finding an environment for him to succeed. He had a pretty good game, but of course he will from time to time when they’re always trying to get him going.

        Just not a fair comparison, like Armstrong cant skate, make or receive a pass, and Moen is just a pure north south guy. I don’t hate DD either, at all. I actually like him as a player its just the organization going towards extreme lengths to make him successful vs whats best for the team that bothers me.
        ———————————

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

        • The Jackal says:

          It bothers you that a guy who played his way up from the ECHL is given chances to succeed after a breakout season? If DD plays like he did last season, that is what is bet for the team.
          Eller will get his chances, but so far DD has made a case for himself.
          If we really have to do without some of our forwards, then this will be a key time for Eller to step up and show what he’s got.

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            Plenty of guys make the NHL by ECHL, AHL all different means. What does that have to do with anything.

            It’s just the “accountability” applying to some players and not others. Sure try and get DD going but after 5 games of it not working out. But 10+ games in when he has the worst +/- on the team, and little production with all the PP time in the world. Its time to start rewarding other young guys who are playing better, and at least give them a shot with good wingers.

            ———————————

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

          • Trisomy 21 says:

            The thing is Jackal, Eller will only get his chances due to injuries. Unlike DD, Eller isn’t being given a chance to succeed. The same standards don’t apply to other players. Nobody’s getting scratched to have their intensity increased. Certainly not DD.

          • The Jackal says:

            I think you guys are reading too deeply into the scratch and Eller’s chances vs. DD’s.
            DD had a great season last year, and I don’t see why he shouldn’t be given the chances to produce like that again, as it also implies some better production from Pacs and Cole.
            Eller is a good player and currently the depth situation is such that he is not in the top 9, even though he should be. It’s tough, but I think if DD played like crap then we would be seeing Eller take on that role, hence there being some accountability.

        • VONLEBARON says:

          So true, to me its all about dd’s line.One good game and he gets the most ice time.Does anyone else think that thast line of dd, mc and ec is not a pp unit. Iam so tired of the chances given to that line. Lets focus on making the team better, not one guy.

    • Phil C says:

      I wouldn’t waste an energy trying to decide who is a better centre because they have completely different skill sets, so it is a pointless exercise. Plekanec is a great two way centre, capable of shutting down a guy like Crosby, as he is one of the few centres that can match Crosby’s quickness. He has a tougher time against big centres like Staal. Offensively he is talented, but doesn’t use his linemates as well as more offensively gifted players.

      Desharnais is responsible defensively, but he will never play a shutdown role. He has to produce offensively to stay in the NHL. He has a high hockey IQ, but his best talent is his ability to find his teamates with the puck. I bet his wingers love playing with him. The downside of this is if his wingers struggle, so will he.

      I am surprised how few creative players like Desharnais are in the NHL, it’s like the game has been hijacked by fast power forwards and the cycling game. Too much focus on individual skills in Minor Hockey maybe.

      The bottom line is that who cares who is number one, they have different skill sets, so the game situation will determine who gets more icetime. As for Eller, he seems like more of a replacement for Plekanec than DD, so the Eller-DD debate makes no sense to me.

      • VONLEBARON says:

        DD is not responsible in is own end. He is not strong enought on the boards. If you pay close attention, you will see that alot iof times he on the point man while cole is down low. He is only effective in open ice, witch is very rare in todays game and worst in the playoffs.PLK is twice the player as DD. They have about the same ice time each game, but half of PLK’s is killing on the pk or against the other teams top line. Plk’s numbers are still better and he is proven over the years.DD had one good season with two hot wingers that never got off the ice last year. Every one who likes DD his helping teams like boston who is laughing at us when he lined up to take a draw against the big boys.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Let’s see DD have a good game against a good team with good centermen (e.g., Boston). Then I’ll pass judgement. Last night they beat an injured team that they were supposed to..good on them.

      Now, like Jay Z says, “on to the next one..”

  18. HardHabits says:

    According to RDS:

    Of the four injured player only Gallagher wasn’t on the practice ice. He is listed as having an upper body injury. Max Pacioretty, Alexei Emelin et Colby Armstrong were present at the morning skate.

    P.K. Subban apparently has the flu and the suggestion is it is the same one that Price has.

  19. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Great game by Les Boys last night! Whats up with the Flyers? Used to be a tough slug fest game ,now they are just nancy boys with some cheap shots artists. Loved that DD-Max-Gally line but without Prust on a line with the little guys,you have to expect liberties will be taken. Somebody asked earlier what kind of dog should be PJ”s mascot. As a Dog Lover and Owner,I find that offensive. Hey ,Dog is Man”s best friend. If you don”t believe me try this;Lock your wife and dog in the trunk of your car .After an hour,open the trunk.Who is Happy to see you? Saludos!


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