About last night …

Budaj

It may be time to confront a question that the more jaded among us, the scars of last season still fresh, have avoided through 15 games:
Are your Montreal Canadiens a good hockey team?
An unequivocal answer might have to wait – at least 24 hours, which will take in the Canadiens’ visit to Madison Square Garden, and maybe longer.
Beginning next Monday, the Canadiens will play eight of 10 games on the road.
A good team will survive a schedule like that.
So by all means, put a bottle or two of champagne on ice.
But let’s not pop the corks just yet.

OK, enough skepticism from Donald Downer.

Your Canadiens sit atop the Northeast Division and they’re second in the Eastern Conference.

Facing the Flyers and the high-flying Hurricanes with Peter Budaj subbing for a flu-bit Carey Price, the Canadiens gave up 19 shots in each of the games. Budaj surrendered one goal to Philadelphia and hung a goose egg on Carolina.

It was the first time the Hurricanes have been shut out this season.

Was Budaj spectacular in earning First Star honours Monday night?

No. But he didn’t have to be.

The Canadiens played superb team defence, as they have in almost every game this season. Carolina had maybe five good scoring chances. I don’t think they had an odd-man rush all game long.

Not the least important aspect of the superb coaching job Michel Therrien has done this season – c’mon, now, MT-haters. Give the man his props! – is distribution of ice time among his six defenceman. No one plays crazy minutes – Justin Falk’s ToI was a ridiculous 30:33 for Carolina – and everyone, including greybeards Andrei Markov and Francis Bouillon, stays fresh.

Even through a game that was a scoreless nailbiter through 42 minutes, Therrien was able to roll four lines. They didn’t show up on the scoresheet, but the paroled Ryan White, Travis Moen and Colby Armstrong contributed gritty board work and quality minutes in a game that was a grind-it-out affair until Alex Galchenyuk set Brandon Prust up for the Canadiens’ first goal.

Galchenyuk and Prust played with Lars Eller after Therrien made an in-game adjustment. The coach reunited last season’s top line, moving Cole from Galchenyuk’s right wing to replace Eller with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. We’ll likely see those lines again in the Big Apple on Tuesday night.

The Tomas Pekanec line stayed intact. Rene Bourque had no hits and gave the puck away a couple times, but Plekanec was customarily excellent and scored his eighth goal on a thunderous shot that shook up Cam Ward sufficiently for the Carolina goaltender to fluff  Max Pacioretty’s attempt to channel J.C. Tremblay.

It took 15 games and a weird goal for Max-Pac to get off the schneid this season. The Canadiens will need his production through the imminent period when their schedule becomes hellacious.

My fat ass is still parked on the fence, so I’ll leave it to the Commentariat to weigh in one whether this is a good team or an early-season/soft schedule mirage.

But if you figure 55 points punches a ticket to the post-season dance, the Canadiens need 34 from their remaining 33 games to make the playoffs.

It’s do-able.

And based on what fans have seen so far – which is really all we have to go on – hockey-mad Montreal could enjoy a merry month of May.

• The Canadiens have two four-game winning streaks in their first 15. In 82 games last season, the team had one four-W streak (games 9 through 12, before everything turned to crap) … Eric Staal had five shots on goal, but linemate Alexander Semin was held to one and Jiri Tlusty had none …  Josh Gorges had four hits to lead the Canadiens … The Canadiens won 27 of 50 faceoffs. Lars Eller was 5-1, DD 7-5 and Tomas Plekanec 11-8. Alex Galchenyuk didn’t take a draw all night, but he led the team with four SoG … The Canadiens haven’t given up a power-play goal since that Sami Salo buzzer-beater in Tampa. They’ve killed the last nine straight man disadvantages … Conversely, the Canadiens power-play hasn’t scored since Brian Gionta beat Anders Lindback during a 5-on-3 at the end of the first period in Tampa … The Canadiens and New Jersey are tied for fourth in the NHL in shots against per game (26.7).

• Save of the Night: Marc Denis, RDS’s man between the benches, owes Carey Price a dinner:

347 Comments

  1. SmartDog says:

    5 QUESTIONS:
    1. HOW DOES HE DO IT? How is Therrien getting the team to play such great D? Is it a) a better system, b) a better mix of players, or c) he’s a master motivator!
    2. ELLER. Is Eller’s play a surprise to you?
    3. PP. What’s wrong with the PP? Is it that a) Markov is getting tired or b) Markov and PK should not be out together or… ?
    4. TOUGHNESS/MEANNESS. Do we need a bruiser to play Boston-Phili and other a55hole teams (and to win in the playoffs)?
    5. THE 7TH D. Who would you want to go into the playoffs with as your 7th D (in case of injury) – Kaberle, Weber, Tinordi… ?

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

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      1) All of the above
      2) Eller is good but can’t be expected to be great.
      3) PP is hitting a bump in the road like a run of bad cards, it will correct itself.
      4) We need a tough guy who can take a regular shift.
      5) Tinordi

    • Blondie says:

      1. Most of the above, change c) to “good” motivator.
      2. No, I’ve been a fan all along, was happy with the trade to acquire him.
      3. Opponents are pressuring the D faster and staying in the passing lanes while they do it, I think we need a little more movement to create room. I’m sure it will come around.
      4. I wouldn’t mind a big, good, tough defenceman (who would?) but I’m not sure I want to sit any of the current six.
      5. Weber. I can’t stand Kaberle and it might be a little early for Tinordi.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      1. System
      2. No. I’ve felt all along he just needed a chance.
      3. Looks like teams are focusing on our points. Play needs to down by the circles.
      4. Wouldn’t hurt but we need bruisers who can play as well.
      5. ST. Denis

      ———————————–

    • Cal says:

      1. a,b and c. 2. Nope. He is a good 3rd line center. 3. PP is a work in progress and will always be tweaked. 4. Yup. 5. That bruiser in Question 4.

    • bwoar says:

      1 – It’s (a) for sure.
      2 – Nope. We’ve seen him play at this level, he just needs to do it every shift.
      3 – It’s partly (b), but we need to cycle the puck down low a bit more to take pressure off the D.
      4 – No, that’s just an excuse we trot out when we lose at hockey or the refs miss some calls.
      5 – Weber, unless Tinordi is ready, which he isn’t yet.

      “thoroughbred”

  2. The Dude says:

    I’m happy that the Habs are doing well but I have no doubt that they will be bent over and abused by teams like Boston,NY,lEAFS,SHARKS,L.A and Chicago …And I’LL add that if anyone wants to argue this then their full of themselves and I’m tired of their whining when it hits the fan!

  3. OMG says:

    I give the edge to the Rangers on offence.

    Our “D” along with Price or Budaj whom ever plays tonight will have to save the day if we are going to win ….

  4. Steeltown Hab says:

    Trade proposal my friend came up with.

    To Chicago: Desharnais, Leblanc, Diaz
    To MTL: Seabrooke

    Would you do this? Would Chicago make this move? Not enough? Too much? I thought it was interesting but think we’d need to be another step closer to contending now to make that kind of move. Seabrooke would be huge for us though.

    ———————————

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

  5. Rossy says:

    Really dumb poll question today. Why force Michael Therrien to constantly look over his shoulder over imaginary what-if’s? The man has to protect his back enough already what with all the decisions he makes and the ramifications of them. We “fans” second guess everything he and Bergevin do, so why compound the problem with hypothetical–irrelevant–issues?

  6. Sportfan says:

    This game will be really fun to watch I hope the guys come out burning it!

    Finally added a new blog check it out its Hockey related
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/two-nhl-cents-cooke-and-rinne/

  7. Say Ash says:

    If you guys aren’t following Jose Canseco on twitter, you need to begin doing so immediately. What an incredible source of scientific knowledge. For example:

    Jose Canseco explains gravity…

  8. RetroMikey says:

    I like what I see so far but it’s too early too judge this team.
    Teams will be scratching, clawing, fighting, for playoff spots down the wire and I still believe we are too soft heading down the stretch where bigger teams will step up their play.
    I keep harping on this site for Bergevin to make the big trades to get bigger and we can be a contender for many years with wise trades and draft picks.
    If we do, make the playoffs, I don;t see us heading past the second round.
    Everybody is excited and they should be but this is a shortened schedule, just think if this was a 84 game schedule.
    Would our mighty Habs be competing game in and out?
    I say no in a 84 game schedule.

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

    • Cal says:

      There’s nothing wrong with believing the Habs still are too small and soft to contend. Then again, with a 4 game winning streak you haven’t been around much.
      I’ll just let the Habs record speak for itself. By the way, did they add 2 preseason games to the regular schedule or what?

      • RetroMikey says:

        I’ve been around too long,
        Don’t get too excited after a 4 game winning streak.
        We’ve been in this situation before so let’s just be cautious optimists here.
        Talk to me when the playoffs start and maybe I will change my tone on the club.
        But, we are a team in progress, this season and years to come.
        We’ll feel it when we want to sign free agents where the salary cap crunch comes into effect as well…..ouch!

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

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    Will the eventual trade of Ryan O’Reilly be similar to what Ottawa gave up for Kyle Turris? Speaking of that trade, wonder if Ottawa wishes they gave up someone other than Rundblad now with Karlsson hurt.

    David Rundblad and a 2nd round pick for Turris. Turris was a 3rd overall first round pick of the Yotes.

    • Loonie says:

      Considering that Ottawa essentially gave up Tarasenko FOR Runblad, you’re analyzing the wrong trade.

      ;)

    • Kooch7800 says:

      If I were the habs I would offer up DD, Ellis and Bournival or Leblanc and see if they were interested. Ellis will be a solid puck moving D and DD can help them with their offense now. Leblanc and Bournival will be solid 3rd line Centres who we would not need it if you picked up O’Reilly.

      Issue is how much money does he actually want. If you put O’Reilly on this team we are really solid up the middle with Galchenyuk, Pleks, O’Reilly and Eller

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Loonie says:

        But why put that kind of a package into a deal for a third line centreman when a similar package could probably get you a thirty goal scorer from a team selling assets?

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Unfortunately, I didn’t say they would agree to it LOL.

          Ellis would be the other key with DD. I think Ellis will be better than most people think.

          I think if they honestly wanted to make a deal with Colorado they would want Eller and a top pick like Tinordi or Beaulieu which I wouldn’t do. We would be better to ride it out with what we have

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  10. krob1000 says:

    Lars Eller!! He is a beast on the boards (remember how easily he lost the puck on the wall over the last two years..that is development and why it takes bigger bodies time to adjust). I would dare to say that he is the best Hab in puck battles and along the wall right now (of the forwards..PK is the best on the club in that regard).
    Galchenyuk….people said he looked off,etc….I think maybe he needed the few minutes in the box and a little exchange..I think it got him going. HE obviously needs a little more muscle but that will come…but his skill level is great and for the first time this year he engaged physically a couple of times…once he gets comfy doing that..AND puts on some muscle…he is going to be the best player the Habs have had since Glam Rock was ruling the music scene.
    n another Galchenyuk note…did anyone notice him palying “guitar hero” on his hockey stick in the penalty box? my kids both picked up on it and now call him Guitarchuk and couldn’t stop mimicing him all night…even this morning my littlest guy grabbed his hockey stick and started Guitarchuking!
    Subban played a much smarter game and is looking incredible.
    I am quite confident that barring major injury this club is a playoff team and could even make some noise. They are short on top end talent at the moment but deep enough that they should be able to score enough with depth and the fact the defesnes has a puck mover on each pair will also contribute…this team is not offensively challenged. In fact I would prefer the depth model as one top line can easily be shut down on the road

    • JF says:

      Agree with you about Lars Eller. He was probably our best forward last night and deserved a star.

      Also agree about forward depth. We have no real star, but our lines are balanced, which makes it easy for Therrien to distribute ice time more or less evenly, and difficult for the other team to shut us down. A team can shut down another team’s stars or top line (we did it to both Washington and Pittsburgh two years ago); it’s harder to deal with a more balanced attack. We need to get the powerplay going again, but it augurs well for the playoffs, when fewer penalties are handed out, to be getting enough even-strength scoring to win games.

  11. Chuck says:

    Will the Habs be able to hold the Rags to 19 shots? Hopefully they saved one of their lucky bounces for tonight. I’ve got a feeling that they’re going to need it.

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

    • Blondie says:

      I don’t know about holding them to 19 shots but, as thrilling as the big 6-5 comeback win was, I don’t want a repeat of that. I’ll settle for a good 3-1 or 4-2 win and I think we should be able to manage that. The Rangers have become, essentially, a one line team. With the way we’ve been able to roll 4 lines consistently we should be able to wear them down and pull out a win. As long as King Henrik doesn’t stand on his head that is.

  12. krob1000 says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/standings/
    The Canadiens have played a very balanced schedule so far and have played all of the top teams except Pittsburgh … they have played nearly every team in the conference and I think it is fair to say they have earned their position thus far.

  13. habs-fan-84 says:

    In answer to the poll question:

    Had that question been posed 8 or 9 months ago, I would’ve said Captain Kirk in a heartbeat. 8 months later and I’m quite content with MT at the helm. He’s done a great job and should the habs maintain this high level of play throughout the season he’ll no doubt be in the running for a Jack Adams.

  14. Hobie Hansen says:

    Therrien is amazing, Galchenyuk is looking good, The Bourque line is doing well, Pacioretty got his first, the 4th line is playing well.

    Nothing to complain about today!!!!!

    GO HABS GO!

  15. Chrisadiens says:

    Am I the only one that keeps checking NHL.com to look at the standings every ten minutes? Love seeing the Habs closer to the top than the bottom. I doubt we win the division, but 4th or 5th is totally possible IMO.

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

  16. Bripro says:

    I would hope that the MT haters will have taken a step back to enjoy how the players have bought into his system.
    Their D, although no bigger than last year, is much smarter with the puck.
    Last year, panic was prevalent during the game. Not this year.
    Their transition out of our zone is impressive. Diaz doesn’t hit, but he doesn’t make too many mistakes. His is not a flashy game like PK’s, but the kid is pretty darn smart with the puck.
    And I was worried that Yemelin was hurt because his body-pounding ration had declined a little in the last 4-5 games, but he settled my concerns with a few humdingers last night.
    Markov is… well, he’s Markov. Slower, but still the elite D he’s always been.
    PK obliterated a few last night, and aside from his fancy almost-caugh-up trying to exit from behind the net between Budaj and the Stall brothers, his night was virtually mistake-free.
    We don’t have any Prongers on the team, but I would say the league will have to take notice of the intelligence of this D.
    Now if the DD line can pick it up a bit, the discussion won’t be whether we make the playoffs, but rather whether our Habs will hold home-ice advantage.
    Yes it’s early, but after 1/3 of the season gone, there’s a lot to be optimistic about.

    • Loonie says:

      I don’t think it would have been reasonable for us to assume that this team would finish where it did last year.

      Therrien was set up to improve the team and he has. Speaking from a personal level, my worry with him is potential damage to individual players and some personnel decisions based on perceived liking and disliking of some players.

      If Therrien “haters” are to be eating crow this morning are the Desharnais “haters” okay to start bragging?

      • Bripro says:

        They’ll do it anyhow, if they see fit.
        He’s playing better. Give him that.
        But then, so is Eller.
        Oh wait, I don’t want to open that can of worms again.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        In MT’s defense though, he bashed PK quite a bit on TV last year but is giving PK his ice time and PP time. I think this is the best season PK has started. He usually is slow out of the gate but this year he is playing really solid.

        Thankfully I think he coaches better than his TV personality.

        Time will tell though but I will give MT credit on his start. I was not a fan of his when he was hired.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Cal says:

      Damn straight, Bri.

  17. OMG says:

    The Habs are playing better than the Rangers. Will they beat them. Good question. Play like they did last night and they’ll have a very good chance.

    we’ll find out later tonight. Hope they win.

  18. habs-fan-84 says:

    Are your Montreal Canadiens a good hockey team?

    Yes.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Last year was an aberration. We were decimated by injuries and despite the hockey cliches of not using injuries as an excuse, it’s foolish to suggest a team should be able to maintain a high level of performance over the course of an 82 game schedule when some of their best players are out of the lineup (for a majority of the season).

    If Ottawa finishes last this year, will it be a surprise if they do well and make the playoffs next year? No. They will have Spezza and Karlsson back.

    Go Habs Go!!

  19. Chrisadiens says:

    At the risk of sounding greedy, Habs, please beat the Rangers tonight. I can’t deal with the bragging from Rangers’ fans if they win tonight. I feel awful for those of you who reside in the GTA and have to deal with Leafs’ fans.

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

  20. HammerHab says:

    There is an easy mathematical equation we can all use to determine how good the Canadiens really are…in fact most of us use this equation without even knowing it…..

    Montreal Canadiens + a win in the last game = They’re awesome! Cream of the crop!
    or
    Montreal Canadiens + a loss in the last game = They’re terrible! Start the tank movement!

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Sounds about right Hammer. Except they may be allowed to lose 2 in a row before the tank wagon revs up again now. :)

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

      • HammerHab says:

        hmmmm I think you’re right….let me make some adjustments….

        Montreal Canadiens + a win in the last game = They’re awesome! Playoff team for sure!
        Montreal Canadiens + a win in the last 2 games = Plan the parade boys! Stanley’s coming home!
        or
        Montreal Canadiens + a loss in the last game = This will never be a playoff team….too small and too soff
        Montreal Canadiens + a loss in the last 2 games = They’re terrible! Start the tank movement! MacKinnon or bust!

        ———————————–

        It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    Tonight the goal scoring gets a real test facing perhaps the best goalie in the League. Hopefully team can pot one in the first period, I don’t think we get any goals from center ice tonight.

    • habsfan0 says:

      I’m not sure about that. I understand the whole team is now practicing the J.C.Tremblay specialty.

    • 24 Cups says:

      The Rangers are 4-0-1 in their last five. Well rested after only playing on Thursday and Sunday. Biron played Thursday, so as you stated, the Habs will be facing the best goalie in the East.

      Rumours are floating around about Sather making a serious pitch for O’Reilly. Del Zotto would be part of the deal. Not sure if the Rangers have the cap space for this move. Also not sure what this would mean in terms of Stepan. He might have to slide over to the wing.

      For now, JT Miller has beaten Kreider out of a spot in the line-up. Sauer and Powe are both out with concussions. Sauer hasn’t played in 14 months and is still on IR. Gotta wonder about his future.

  22. Cal says:

    Hey Burly, this is the best I could do on short notice.
    Listen to that music: http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  23. commandant says:

    This team is neither as good as its played this year, nor as bad as it played last year.

    I still feel like we are a 7th – 10th place club that will need some good games down the stretch to make the playoffs and has a little more rebuilding to do.

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

    • Loonie says:

      This team is precisely as good as it’s been this year.

      It still struggles in the third period and has a hard time moving bodies in front of the net just like last year. But it has Markov and Gionta back, Diaz and Emelin are no longer rookies, they’re more aggressive which has lead to better even strength scoring and made them more difficult to play against.

    • showey47 says:

      It will be interesting to see which direction MB takes next season with markov and gionta becoming ufa’s. Will he keep these guys if they are in a playoff run or does he try to capitalize on adding some potential high draft picks at next years deadline?

      • Loonie says:

        Both have NTC’s though.

        I think that if this team is in for a bigtime reshaping of the player personnel it will happen next offseason when those contracts expire.

        It’s very difficult to move a player with an NTC at the trade deadline so if they’re going anywhere it’s likely to happen this summer or when their contracts are up.

        • showey47 says:

          True enough,but at next years deadline if we are a bubble team and those guys want a shot a winning a cup they would probably be willing to waive their ntc’s at this point in their careers. I know i would.

          • Loonie says:

            Hard to say. Gionta has a ring and Markov has never shown any desire to play anywhere other than Montreal.

            I agree it’s possible but during the season is very unlikely.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Markov I think will retire a Hab. I see him getting another 1 or 2 year deal next season. He is def slower than in the past but he still has great hockey smarts.

        Gionta will be gone after next season

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Yup. Have not played NY, Bos, Pit and TO on the road yet. There are not even West Coast trips this year so it is hard to evaluate. If they make the playoffs and the kids progress, I’ll be happy.

  24. OMG says:

    I know how Budaj got his shutout. Price was making saves on the bench.

  25. Loonie says:

    Defensemen I’m after very hard if I’m Bergevin and the team continues to do well.

    1. Zach Bogosian

    - Right handed defenseman which is something I think is very important. He can contribute everywhere effectively provided he’s happy with his situation. He’s mean and physical. Doesn’t take any crap in front of the net and with his recent spat of injuries may not come with too expensive of a price tag from a contract perspective after this season when he becomes an RFA. Getting him would almost certainly involve trading a roster player with a fairly significant salary and a top prospect. Depending on what the asking price is he could be well worth it over the short term and long haul.

    2. Anton Babchuk

    - Another right handed shooting defenseman who can both contribute to the powerplay and clear space in front of the net. Calgary could be in selling mode sooner rather than later and Babchuk is a pending UFA.

    3. Cory Sarich

    - Staying with the Flames Sarich is yet another right handed defenseman who most of us know based on his history against the Habs can clear space in front of the net and fight when needed. He only has two years left on his contract at $2 million each season and the expected return for him, like Babchuk would probably be negligible.

    4. Douglas Murray

    - If San Jose decides they don’t need him with their stacked group of defensemen I’d be begging for him. Big, rugged, his presence on a pairing with Alexei Emelin would prompt some teams to not even try entering our defensive zone(joke). Pending UFA with a low cap hit.

    • arcosenate says:

      I want Erik Gudbranson.

    • rhino514 says:

      yeah, but you´d have to get rid of either Bouillon or Diaz to play/get them.
      Bouillon is actually a decent defensive defenseman, at least when he is wearing a habs sweater. his game is probably also helped by the fact he has impeccable communication with his coach. Diaz is the only small guy on the dline, and he´s a real good puck moving dman. The thing is, they may not have the biggest defense corps in the league, but there is none of the six are really weak links either. So no use making a deal just to make possibly a very minor upgrade.

      • Loonie says:

        If this team goes into the playoffs with the current group of defensemen and doesn’t bring in an effective size element, its doomed.

        Emelin and Subban are the only two defensemen on this team capable of clearing the front of the net.

        I like Bouillon and he’s played well, but even with his strength he can’t move big bodies away from Price. A point that will be exaggerated with his age at some point.

        A move similar to what I’ve mentioned would also provide some much needed relief for Josh Gorges who isn’t suited to be a physical defenseman.

        • rhino514 says:

          Bouillon is strictly a one year solution and i think a pretty good one.
          People always talk about wanting more big bodies around here, but let´s look at how most big bodies that we have actually perform:
          Emelin hasn´t been bad, it´s nice that he lays on highlight reel hits, but if you had to pick the biggest liability of the six up to now it would probably be Emelin.
          White costs us goals and games with his penalties and doesn´t do much else.
          Moen this year does absolutely nothing. And he doesn´t seem to be intimidating other players either.
          The only guy who seems to be as advertised is Prust. But I just don´t see tangible prrof that having big guys on the team, unless they can really play, makes a huge difference. We now have a veritable russian tank on the Dline who may lead the league in hits, and the league leader in fights, neither of whom we had until recently. subban has an extra twenty pounds on. Yet people on here keep talking about getting more big bodies just like they have always done. I don´t see everyone here rejoicing that we don´t get intimidated any more. It´s the same spiel, year in year out “if only we were bigger”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Can’t San Jose just give us Murray, given what we have done to free the shackles off of Gomez allowing him to be free and help San Jose go on to the current streak they are enjoying? :)

      Good choices Tom, all are attainable.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      All are good that you listed but I think Murray would be the one to target. He is 32 and would serve perfectly as a bridge D man to mentor some of the kids coming up. He is also exactly what we are missing

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Cal says:

      Babchuk and Sarich would be great, but after that last trade I bet Feaster just hangs up every time he hears the call is from the Habs.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Oops wrong thread.

  26. RS says:

    Boone: “I’ll leave it to the Commentariat to weigh in one whether this is a good team or an early-season/soft schedule mirage.”

    They’re going to drop back into the pack and be in a battle for a playoff spot, finishing somewhere between 6th and 10th in the conference. Considering how bad they were last year, that’s a significant improvement.

  27. wjc says:

    Things that bug me:

    People who spell ‘lose’ wrong. They write ‘loose’….it is lose with one ‘o’.

    That ‘stupid’ saying “2-0 leads are the worst leads in hockey. So you are winning 1-0, but, you should not score that second goal to make it 2-0 because you will have the worst lead in hockey.

    Fickle fans, you love a player until he has a bad shift and then you want to trade/bench him.

    Not admitting that Terrien is doing a masterful job coaching (so far).

    wjc

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    With regards to the Leafs, they indeed are much improved, and I think Randy Carlyle deserves a great deal of credit. He finally got some players that play his style/brand of hockey. This has helped get the entire roster to buy into his system. Similar to how MT perhaps needed/wanted Armstrong and Cube to go along with Prust in selling this message to the rest of the team.

    FUll marks to the Leafs for finding guys like Frasor, Mclaren, McClement, Komarov, and the rejuvenated Colton Orr.

    Also much credit must be given to Dallas Eakins with the Marlies and the development/coaching he has done to get many of the current Leafs ready for the NHL.

    It is my hope that Sylvain Lefebrve can provide stability in Hamilton and the Habs can also have our farm team produce and develop talent ready for the Habs and more importantly ready to play a style of game which the Habs play.

    • Bripro says:

      So Gerry, tell me how hard it was to type this pro-Leafs comments from the bar with one hand and the other arm twisted behind your back from your Leaf-supporting friends.
      Did they force you to wear one of those foil Stanley Cup hats too?
      Do you need some help? I can make a phone call or two.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        LOL, as a result of where I live and who my friends are, I do watch almost every Leaf game, and have for the past many years. The team is indeed playing well.

        However, I still think without a healthy Reimer they will have struggles.

        • Bripro says:

          “…I do watch almost every Leaf game…”
          And yet, you seem like a sane, grounded person.
          A master of illusion, I guess.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I agree they are playing much better under Randy Carlyle. He is a good coach and has that team playing the best they have been in years. That Komarov was a real find. he isn’t huge but can hit like a mack truck and is great at getting under opponents skin.

          The habs will have tough games with them this year and will have to show up next time.

          ps I still hate the leafs

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  29. habstrinifan says:

    Only complaint I have is the power play. I dont care who’s on it. As I wrote yesterday, I am not inclined to blame individuals because our power play has been failing lately.

    But I would like to see TWO duos. Whoever and Whoever.
    I think having Markov play through almost the entire power play is doing two things:

    Detracting from the team first concept and the ‘merit’ basis. Put one unit on… then a complete other unit. In the long run it will benefit the team having two different PP looks. This way you essentially saying the ‘mainstay’ of your PP is the only player not responsible for it’s ineffectiveness…. which could be a motivational error. Dont take away time.. just put two distinct units on…

    • wjc says:

      Teams study your powerplay and are ready for it, so you have to keep changing it up. When it is on a roll, the other team makes adjustments and then you have to adjust.

      Some nights it is just bad bounces. Some nights hot goaly. Some nights the penalty killers rule….tough business staying ahead of it all. By the time you realize they are on to you a period as gone by and you look ineffective.

      wjc

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    Heard this song on the way into work today, and thought it epitomized the current run of the Habs. Cal and you other song parody folks could probably do something nice with it and it wouldn’t require too much changing of the lyrics.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3saQwN8o98

    Don’t you feel it growin’, day by day
    People gettin’ ready for the news
    Some are happy, some are sad
    Oh, we got to let the music play
    What the people need
    Is a way to make ‘em smile
    It ain’t so hard to do if you know how
    Gotta get a message
    Get it on through
    Oh, now mama’s go’n’ to after ‘while
    Oh, oh, listen to the music
    Oh, oh, listen to the music
    Oh, oh, listen to the music
    All the time

  31. ed says:

    there are teams that like to score on the rush, or off the cycle, or of course, both.

    then there are teams that can score off the rush, the cycle, and by crashing the net, shift after shift, forcing pucks into the crease, and forcing the goalie and defencemen to physically defend the net against rebounds and the inevitable “garbage” goals.

    I didn’t see too much “crashing” the net last night. Carolina left their physical game at home, I think.

    Habs defence is still too small.

    Markov and Subban are star players.

    But are Gorges, Emelin, Bouillon, and Diaz, big enough and tough enough to clean up the garbage?

    Remember how Buffalo scored to tie the game, for example.

  32. Twillingater says:

    I am happy for Budaj BUT his team makes it less stresssful on him (excluding Buffalo) that they do for Price. Budaj faced 19 shots in each of his last two games. Price not so much! Anyway good for Budaj

    “Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing”

    • Mustang says:

      I am really happy for Budaj. He had 2 really good games in a row even if he didn’t face all that many shots. A week ago some people here were wanting to get rid of him. I hope that they have changed their minds now.

      It isn’t easy being a backup goalie, especially when the #1 goalie plays as much as Price does. The backup is expected to be ready but he never knows when he is going to play again. One bad game and half the fans want him traded.

  33. HabFanSince72 says:

    An entire hockey team quits in disgust because of its owner’s moral turpitude.

    And it isn’t Philly, LA or Boston.

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/belfast-giants-abandon-franchise-owner-revealed-registered-sex-215252638–nhl.html

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    Oh the life of a back up goalie. Night after night you sit on the bench watching a Carey Price stop pucks after pucks. Once every 10 days or so they ask you to bring your cold, untested body out on the ice and expect you to be as close to Price as possible. A difficult task indeed. You get booed and jeered when your performance is bad. All this while being a solid teammate rooting and helping the starter as much as possible.
    CHeers to Peter Budaj who has played the role of backup goalie to near perfection.

    ———————————–

    • Loonie says:

      People forget he was a young starter with an often over matched Avs team.

      Very athletic and full of potential. I’d bet Groulx makes him a much better goalie and that at one point we see a Brian Elliot like surge from him.

  35. SmartDog says:

    A couple of thoughts:
    1. LARS ELLER was 5-1 on faceoffs last night. He dominated the game before as well. Maybe SOMEONE CAN learn to be better at face-offs. Therrien deserves credit too for pushing this kid to show his strengths.
    2. GALCHENYUK has a great ability to catch a bad pass. I don’t hear anyone talking about this but the kid has such good puck control.
    3. BUDAJ must be better than I thought. The team D has been great but one goal in two games – pretty good.
    4. KABERLE. God I hope someone wants this guy. Icing on the cake if we can get something back.
    5. PALUSHAJ. How did we loose this guy? Huh? I mean he wasn’t the next Crosby but he was an asset. #whahappened
    6. PK. I agree with someone below that Prust’s goal owes something to PK (who didn’t get an assist on the play). Great play by him to move the puck forward through traffic. And PK has been awesome. Thank you MT for not keying on his mistakes – he’s not making more than anyone else.
    7. PLEKANEC. My favorite Hab – getting what he deserves. No, I don’t mean praise (but that’s deserved too) – I mean LINEMATES. Galchenyuk may be the man in waiting but today, Pleks is our best forward. Period.
    8. PRICE. I haven’t seen the full show but loved that clip on the bus of Price talking to PK (after he just came back) and Price saying calmly “we have leadership”. Awesome.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Dog. Galchenyuk has magnificent hands and puck control. Could not agree with this more. There is not a lot NOT to like about this guys game, eh?
      CHeers.
      ———————————–

      • SmartDog says:

        True dat. Just watching the way he moves the puck, the smart decisions he makes with it, you can see where this kid is going. He’s got great tools, he’s going to be fun to watch develop.

        In slow games, I used to just focus on the play of 2 or 3 guys – Pleks, Price, PK – worth watching their skill and decision-making no matter how bad we’re losing. :)

        But now there are a lot of guys to watch – Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Bourque, Emelin, even guys like Diaz and Eller sometimes pull nice moves. What a difference.

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

    • wjc says:

      Don’t be so fast with Kabrele, he might be needed if defense start having injuries. Pulushaj got caught in the numbers, depth forward who needed to play and deserved a chance. Someone showed interest and he was set free.

      wjc

      • SmartDog says:

        Brrrrrr…. you sent a shiver down my spine. The idea of needing Kaberle. I keep picturing him missing passes at the blue line on the PP creating short-handed rushes. I hope you’re wrong.

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

    • habstrinifan says:

      Good cooments.
      Lars Eller and P.K Subban were in my opinion the best players on the ice besides Budaj.

      The first (9and really only goal) was a great all out rush by the team with all five players involved and P.K taking the puck out three abreast and making a pass and hte rest was great work by the team.

      I am not discounting the other goals… we need ‘flukyy goals like those every now and then…. but this first goal was hockey at it’s best.

      I challenge anyone to look at the game again and not appreciate the start to finish of thaat goal.

      I certainly hope the coach did.

    • Cal says:

      8 points and only 1 slightly negative (Palushaj). Ok, what did you do to Smart Dog? ;)

      • wjc says:

        I agreed with the dog. I agree with a lot of people. The problem with this sight is you do not like other ‘points of view’. I usually only comment if I disagree. If you make sense (to me) great, move on.

        wjc

    • Welks says:

      PALUSHAJ was injured at the end of last year while on the Habs roster. He went on IR when the season started. Since he was an injured roster player they could not send him down to the AHL when the season started. He came off IR and had to clear waivers to be sent to the AHL, no room on the NHL roster. The Avs plucked him off waivers. Not much that could be done there.

      • SmartDog says:

        So that’s how it happened. Weird rule eh? You’d think this would reset from year to year so you can make changes.

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

  36. JF says:

    Not sure yet whether the Habs are a good team, but on most nights they’re certainly playing like one. The last few years they would have lost most tight games like this. One mistake, a bad penalty, and the game would have turned against them. I liked what Michel Therrien said in his press conference, that good teams are comfortable playing this kind of game, even enjoy it. He told his players that and they rose to the challenge. They were patient, focused on defence, didn’t try to create something out of nothing, waited for their chances, and seized them when they came. Once again, they did a great job of protecting the front of the net and limiting the Canes’ chances. For once the bounces went our way, but I think we deserved them.

    Galchenyuk is a joy to watch. Even when he’s having a so-so game, he manages to do something special. That move to get around Sanguinetti was something to see, as was his strength on the puck to chip it to Prust (like his assist on Bourque’s goal against Florida). And he’s only going to get better. Before the season started, I had thought that however good he looked in training camp, he would probably be better off spending the year in junior. I’m happy to have been wrong. He’d be scoring more in Sarnia, but not learning and developing the way he is here.

    The powerplay is still struggling, although I thought we created some chances. But so many other facets of our game are improving. Penalty kill, faceoffs, defensive zone coverage, discipline. We rarely give up an odd-man rush and there is rarely a big gap between the forwards and the defence. And we’re learning how to protect a lead. The third periods of last night’s game and the Flyers’ game were probably our best third periods all season. An aggressive forecheck, good puck movement, a sustained attack – what a contrast even with a week ago when, up 3-0 against the Lightning, we did little but clear our zone, dump the puck, and go off for a change. That approach didn’t win us many games last year, and it all but cost us the Tampa game. I’m glad to see the end of dump-and-chase hockey.

    It was great to see Peter Budaj get his moment in the sun. He was solid and made a couple of great saves. His performance gives Therrien the luxury of knowing that, if Price is still not quite 100% tonight, he can go with Budaj again. And the team will have confidence in Budaj, knowing that if they play well in front of him, he has the capacity to get the job done.

  37. Five years ago today.

    http://www.letiretlebut.com/2013/02/today-in-habs-history-february-19th.html

    Hey look, we play the Rangers tonight too!
    ___________________________________________

    Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    So the Islanders lost defenceman Brian Strait to a broken ankle last night. The Dman injuries are starting to pile up around the league, can we soon expect a Kaberle trade? What about Yannick Weber, I realize we also will get injuries, but this kid must be getting frustrated and i believe would be wanted by other teams.

    • Cal says:

      Habs will want to move Kaberle before Weber simply because of the cap hit. The Islanders will reach out to us, but what can we get in return?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I would be happy to see a 3rd round pick, but would be nice to have that capspace back without having to buy it out.

        Looking at capgeek, Islanders are just under 30 million signed for next year for 12 players. They needed Tim Thomas this year just to reach cap floor. Perhaps in the future they would consider adding players who actually play to help achieve cap floor, granted then they would have to pay for the player….

      • Habfan10912 says:

        With Garth Snow making the decisions on the Island who knows.
        Morning Cal and Gerald.

        ———————————–

    • wjc says:

      Don’t give up defensemen, unless the deal is too good to be true.

      They lose a defenseman and have to trade for one. Injuries will happen and you have to have the depth. Of course this all depends on the reports from Hamilton, if St. Dennis is solid or Pateryn then that would be another matter.

      Be patient with your defencemen. Depth is good.

      wjc

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Komiarek would be a more logical choice for the Islanders. They will want a high cap hit player with lower real dollars out. His cap hit is 4.5 but he only gets paid 3.5 this year and next.

      He would have to waive his no movement clause since he is highly unlikely to play again. I am guessing he will hope to be around for a leaf playoff run before he is bought out.

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

  39. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Who are these guys and what have they done with the real Montreal Canadiens and the real Michel Therrien???

    Stay tuned. Go Habs.

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    Stu Hackel with a good article wondering if Ovie’s best days are behind him.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nhl/news/20130218/alex-ovechkin-washed-up/?xid=si_topstories#all

    • He’s so one dimensional it’s not funny, if you stay high on the on that left side he’s got no other play. Teams shut him down pretty good, and when he loses the puck he’s like a spoiled peewee, drops his stick, and looks at his teammates……..”CROSBY’S BETTER” Love those Jets :lol: (well not really but it was a fun chant).

      LET’S PACK THE HOUSE
      Be A Pro Fundraiser Feb 24th (see web site for details)
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I have been accused of looking for the easiest answer on a lot of these so called drop offs in performances but I can’t help but believe it’s PED related. There was a story a few years ago about a connection between steroids and the Capitals. That fits my simplistic nature in such matters.

      ———————————–

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Yeah the Habs showed everyone how to defend against him but I think you may be on to something there. Besides that, his early kamikaze style is not easy to keep up year after year. It wears you down. Like a meteor burning white hot and then gone.

      • wjc says:

        I suppose you could throw out any theory, until it is proven who knows?

        wjc

        • Thomas Le Fan says:

          Occam’s Razor says the simplest explanation, the one with the least assumptions, is the best. Maybe the real Ovechkin was kidnapped by space aliens and replaced with this guy.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I suspect that on a different team, with a good coach (say a Jacques Lemaire), he could become a force again.

    • Habitforming says:

      His decline was obvious to me on one play (vs the Habs no less) a while back when everyone was asking what was wrong with Ovi’s game. The play since I can’t find video of it was when Ovechkin hip checked PK at centre ice and Subban went over backwards and landed on his back and head. It was a huge hit that sent the Caps into the habs zone immediately after. The part that baffled me, after such a huge hit, Ovi was still beaten back to the front of the net by Subban. That one play showed me what was wrong with Ovechkin right there. A few years earlier he would have charged into the zone and gone to the net with PK trailing after trying to not blow his check. No drive and no heart anymore. He needs to stay in N.A. each summer working harder and stop going back to Russia where they tell him he is a god.

      I think Ovi will be traded this year for a pile of assets and the Caps will tank out for either MacKinnon, Jones, Drouin or Barkov.

      They really don’t have to do much to stay in a top pick position, it might actually help them to lose Ovenchicken and get a sense of team again.

  41. montrealtilldeath says:

    The key to Prust’s goal was PK’s strong move in our end then head manning the puck forward to the breaking forward. This was the greatest Habs strength in the glory days of Robinson Savard Lapointe. Bobby Clark in the days of the Broad Street bullies said “we could dump the puck in and out muscle all the teams but not the habs because of those 3 physically strong D-men”. This is the value of a player like PK. He did not get an assist but without him there is no goal. Lets be honest the last two goals were flukes but the habs were playing hard and as the Rocket used to say “A shot on net is never a bad play”.

  42. Cal says:

    All this winning is liable to make one hopeful. Are the Habs really this good? Many people have said that your team is as good as its record. Thus far, the Habs are real good.
    The thing that’s impressed me most is the gap between the forwards and the D when back-checking. It’s been the main reason the Habs D corps has been so successful besides good to great goaltending. That, and JJ Daigneault. Whodathunk he’d be doing such a good job?

    http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    • I’m happy but not excited. When I see them walk all over Pittsburgh and Boston then I’ll be excited.

      It’s great that they boys are playing well, but man some of these wins are like the other teams decided to go out for beers the night before.

      Is Therrien’s (Turkey Gallant) defensive game that good? If so, then he’s got Jack sitting in his back pocket and that’s not easy for me to say. :)

      LET’S PACK THE HOUSE
      Be A Pro Fundraiser Feb 24th (see web site for details)
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Morning Shane. One step at a time. From where this team was to be in strong contention for a decent seeded playoff berth leaves me very pleased. I am happy to see a competitive, work hard team going in the right direction.

        ———————————–

      • wjc says:

        I am excited but not happy or is it happy but not excited.

        Is it possible to excited and happy….no way! What if the Canadiens lose the next game, then trades will have to be considered and benchings. The fans will fall with a thud, into deep dark depression.

        wjc

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    Congrats to the team for the win. Have to admit after 2 periods, the excitement level wasn’t all that high. BUT, I also didn’t have this paranoid feeling that our team was going to lose this game. For so many years it always felt like close games never went our way.

    Galchenyuk seemed a bit off in the first couple periods, but sure enough he helped key that victory. His puck sense continues to impress me. Throughout the third period, it seemed on every shift he is close to making something happen. I am so excited we get to watch a player of this offensive talent for the next many years.

    Prust finishing was good, he has had quite a few chances in recent games and wasn’t burying it. Hopefully going into his old barn tomorrow he can pot another 1 or 2. I am thinking he may be looking for the GOrdie Howe hat trick tomorrow evening.

    Team indeed played great in front of Budaj, and as that game went on he started to look more comfortable and less rigid. This can only bode well for the future as he will need to play a few more games throughout season and having him confident is huge.

    A few bad shifts in the 2nd where Carolina forwards showed size and skill, but team got through it. I think this Eller Prust Galchenyuk line will look even better tonight as they get more time together.

    Look forward to game tonight! Are we finally playing games with a big enough measuring stick to know what kind of team we have?

  44. jon514 says:

    Ride the hot goalie? Sitting a goalie after a shutout is bad form isn’t it?

  45. AceMagnum says:

    Budaj Movie!

    48 Hours

  46. Marc10 says:

    In Prust we trust. The boys are going to want to show up for their sheriff.

    I expect another solid road effort. Can they pull this off? I for one hope they tear the fence down and light it on fire! Go Habs Go!

  47. Captain aHab says:

    Boston will play 6 sets of back to back during the entire schedule while the Habs will play 9 of them. Chicago will play 10 in total. Anybody still doubt the Boston owner pulls strings?

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

  48. Captain aHab says:

    Habs are playing their 4th set of back to back games and will be playing their 5th right at the beginning of March. In the meantime Bawston has played one and Chicago 3. Easy schedule? Really? This is a good team folks. They won’t win every game, but they are vastly exceeding expectations.

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

    • geo_habsgo says:

      Yeah, the illusion of us having a “light” schedule is a bit funny. Maybe the only difference from other teams is that we haven’t travelled all that much this season. Other than that it is the same way that every game against a half-decent club is a “measuring stick” game. How many of those games do we have to win before we have an adequate measurement?

      • Chris says:

        That light travel schedule is a massive advantage coming out of the gate. It means that Montreal has had an opportunity to hold lots of practices without having to deal with charters and customs and all the rest of the crap that goes with travel.

        Eastern teams always have it ridiculously easy. But Montreal’s schedule has been a bit of a joke, as are most of the Eastern teams this year.

        The Western Conference teams have a very legitimate beef about the imbalance in the scheduling at the moment, which is the impetus behind the division realignment.

    • Chris says:

      Comparing Montreal’s schedule to Chicago’s is apples and oranges.

      Here’s Chicago’s travel schedule:

      Los Angeles – Phoenix – Chicago – Dallas – Columbus – Chicago – Minneapolis – Vancouver – Calgary – San Jose – Phoenix – Nashville – Chicago – Chicago – Chicago

      Here’s Montreal’s travel schedule:

      Montreal – Montreal – Washington – Montreal – Montreal – Ottawa – Montreal – Montreal – Montreal – Buffalo – Montreal – Tampa Bay – Miami – Montreal – Montreal

      Chicago has crossed the continent east-west and north-south while playing their 15 games, whereas Montreal has only ventured away more than a short hop once, their trip to Florida.

      Montreal’s schedule gets absolutely ugly after this week. Starting with next Monday’s game in Ottawa, Montreal’s travel schedule will be:

      Ottawa – Toronto – Montreal – Boston – New York – Carolina – Tampa Bay – Florida – Montreal – New Jersey – Montreal – New York – Montreal – Pittsburgh and Boston.

      The schedule maker was kind, giving them a nice long break in the middle there (from March 11 to March 15, the Habs have one home game in 5 days.

      The Bruins have also had a cream-puff schedule, though. They pay for it in April, when they play 14 games in 26 days.

  49. remi_10069 says:

    The beat downs they have taken by the leafs appear to be anmalies. I am starting to believe. Cole and crew will eventually get going which means their biggest problem then becomes a big f’n D man which they should have no issue aquiring with some of their scratch assets.

    Subban looked like crap last night carrying the puck up on the PP.

    pipes

  50. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …some retrospectives on Richard Garneau, the recently deceased francophone journalist/broadcaster on RDS

    …until recently I seldom watched or read much sports/Habs coverage on the french-speaking mediums, papers and/or radio/tv …I guess which is something, being a former longtime Quebecer, is regrettable

    …but there have long been a few of these august classy Franco-icons of the french-speaking media that one would always be impressed with like René Lecavalier and Richard Garneau

    …suave, sophisticated and well-spoken in a Jean Beliveau way, that make Me regret, maybe even feel a little guilty, not being fluent enough to have listened to them enough in their native tongue

    …the reason I am even talking about this is because the RDS journalist says Garneau was 82 when He died recently …that floored Me, because Garneau didn’t look a day older than mid-50s to 60

  51. jols101 says:

    Go to RDS.ca and read the article on last nights game using the translate function. The last paragraph is hilarious….

  52. The HonestFan says:

    Lets see what the dog days of the schedule brings us. W’r still susceptible to the beat down . It may not effect morale but it wears on you regardless

  53. Habitant in Surrey says:

    ’42% of Anglos considered leaving Quebec post PQ win: poll’: CBC

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/02/18/quebec-anglophones-leaving-living-english.html

    …surprised there any left to leave

    …going forward, this is what may increasingly be more difficult for the Montreal Canadiens to attract free-agents, as well to retain some Players with children to stay with Our Team for more than a few years

  54. Bun E. Laroque says:

    I just woke up from this crazy dream. The Habs had won four games in a row and in the fourth win the backup goalie got a shut out. Crazy.

  55. Timo says:

    Price better get used to that seat at the end of the bench because Boodye is taking over, baby! New Halak is in town.

    That was hell of a boring game which I am glad Habs won. A pretty good road game by the home team.

    I can only hope that the fluke goal Max Pac score will light some sort of fire under his rear end. Otherwise, he needs to by a subscription to Michael Therrien personal development program.

    Lets see how they tomorrow in NYC given that they played the night before AND had to travel.

  56. HaBo says:

    The 4th line played very well tonight, especially White i thought.
    And Moen seems to be finding his legs which means he can finally
    keep up to the play, esp 5 on 5. Still on the fence about Armstrong.
    Seems behind the play too much and never lays the body on anymore. But what a game by the whole team!!

  57. MikeHabs says:

    This is definitely interesting, Mayer could be headed to Switzerland next season? http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/is-mayer-headed-to-switzerland/

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

  58. Habitant in Surrey says:

    TSN: ‘NHL DRAFT LOTTERY ODDS WILL REMAIN THE SAME FOR COMING YEAR …only change will be the team that wins the lottery will pick number one

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=416279

    …that’s the fly in the ointment for Me with We playing so well, is no chance for another Galchenyuk

    …and, I bet the Edmonton Oilers will be the team to narrowly miss the playoffs and win the lottery :(

  59. jedimyrmidon says:

    Hard to believe that Chucky hardly played last year as 17/18 year old.

    Do people think that that’s a ‘lost’ developmental year that will limit his max potential? I’m hoping that it just means that this year is basically equivalent to what was supposed to be his 17/18 year old season, meaning his potential is that much greater in the long run because he seems to be doing fine in the NHL.

    • jols101 says:

      No, it definitely affects his development for this year and maybe next. Meaning he would be a better player today if the injury never occurred. However, once he matures physically and continues to learn the NHL game, and most importantly, gets adjusted too the speed of the NHL he will be as good as he would have been if he was never injured.

      So long story short, in a few years he will reach his max potential and the injury will mean nothing. Unless he gets injured again(figures crossed that doesn’t happen).

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …lucky for Us He didn’t play much last year in junior, because Columbus would have taken Him

        • jols101 says:

          Bang on Surrey, that is the irony of his injury. While he would be a little ahead in development and a better player today; he would be playing for Columbus or even Edmonton.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        Hmm, perhaps I need to rephrase my thoughts: I’m wondering if this season can basically be considered as a ‘replacement’ season to the one he lost, i.e., equivalent to his 17/18yr old developmental season, and whether that means he will be an even better player in the future. This, as opposed to others in his draft class who played during their 17/18yr and are now on their 18/19yr.

      • Buzz Lightbeer says:

        Ya i definitely expect a sophomore slump with that missed year. But thats ok because i get giddy at the thought of the player we might have when this kid is 24/25.

  60. Propwash says:

    LOL they burned Denis in the 2nd half of the video.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  61. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I wish Boone would save His enjoyable About Last Night’s for the mornings and coffee

    …it must be 1 AM back east, and most of You haven’t got Your thoughts together yet

    ….just post the post game comments, leave ALN for morning makes more sense IMHO

    …but, if that’s all I have to complain about, then My Habs MUST be playing well :)

  62. Chuck says:

    Yikes… 15 games in, and Chicago has yet to lose in regulation.

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

  63. christophor says:

    I’m pretty sure — almost certain — that all 8 of Galchenyuk’s assists are first assists.

  64. MikeHabs says:

    There are mistakes but the team is still playing some good hockey. Budaj has had two good games in a row and has the wins to show for it as well. Big game against the Rangers tuesday.

    Feb 18th recap: http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/habs-daily-recap-feb-18th/
    Game review: http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/canadiens-calm-the-storm-habs-3-hurricanes-0/

  65. Sportfan says:

    Even when sick Price made the save on the bench haha and save Denis life :P

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  66. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    I gotta admit, my keister is also firmly parked on the fence, for one reason only: goal-scoring. I have no concerns about the defence (to my credit, I was always in favour of re-signing Markov, and argued with Brian Wilde about it), nor the goaltending. But I still feel we are deficient in goal-scorers. Patches got one with the grace of a divine bounce, but otherwise, he has had few scoring chances. Cole? He seems still distracted by what Hamerlik might be saying than getting shots on net. Gionta and Bourque are doing all right (8 goals between them), but that is mostly the product of brilliant play by Plekanic. Not sure how many goals we can expect from the 19 and 20-year olds.

    In the early games, we generated a lot of scoring from the defence, especially with the man advantage. Teams have adjusted. But our forwards (other than Pleks and the kids) aren’t filling the void.

    I still say it is a transition year. Fun to watch, for sure. But still an average team by my reckoning. For now.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • Adam says:

      You’re assuming that nobody else is going to get it going. Pacioretty and Cole will start scoring eventually – they’re both too skilled not to.
      That will go both ways of course – Pleks will slump, Bourque will slump, Gionta will slump, etc… And players will get injured, too.
      We just have to hope the slumps aren’t of the horrendous sort we’ve seen in seasons past. I think our scoring will not be of the consistent blowout variety at any point, but I like how balanced our lineup is with Gallagher and Galchenyuk playing. Three lines that can be scoring threats at any point in game forces the other team to play their top D more minutes, which hopefully tires them out and causes mistake for us to capitalize on.
      Not holding my breath for a cup this year, but I like this team. Our window is just opening. The next few years are going to be fun to watch.

  67. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …well, now it’s official !

    HIS’ Get It Up ! pre-game musical intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=R5mMRiiCwak&NR=1

    …this tune worked so well for this game it is now My Official Pre-game Get-it-up Musical Intro to all future games

  68. The Teacher says:

    Wow my comment actually got posted. Hope everyone still doing well. Been keeping tabs from afar.

    One thing I really liked about Therrien tonight was his timeout at the end of a long shift when we iced the puck.

    Martin was asleep on those.

    • Chuck says:

      Geez… they’ll let just about ANYONE in here now!
      ;)

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

  69. HardHabits says:

    I’ll be sitting on the fence until they win the Cup. And when they do win the Cup, I’ll be watching the parade from my seat perched way up high on that very same fence. :-)

  70. Sami says:

    I’m not wild about the poll question……..Muller or Therrien? Trying to stir the pot a bit????? Stupid question in my opinion..

  71. Say Ash says:

    Was the viking of the three stars?

  72. ProHabs says:

    First place Habs

  73. Chris says:

    I know a ton of Leafs fans, living here in Southern Ontario. None of them are planning a parade.

    Almost to a person, they are waiting for the other shoe to drop. As a Habs fan, I think I have more faith in this year’s Leafs than the Leafs fans do.

  74. Loonie says:

    They’re better in my opinion.

    They still don’t have quality goaltending and are relying on Tyler Bozak to be a #1 centreman.

    Doomed.

  75. SmartDog says:

    Chris – you’re a smart guy, you probably hang with smart people. Toronto has the dumbest, most-loyal fans in the world. I guess we could admire that… except for the dumb part. Hmmm….

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

  76. LUCASHOCKEY13 says:

    ERIC COLE IS GOOD FunkyCrabChairNF

    Lucas Roche


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.