About last night …

On Wall Street and Bay Street, they call this a market correction.
When stocks have been trading too high for a while, prices take a tumble back down to something approximating their actual value.
Which is not to suggest your Montreal Canadiens are not much better – and may indeed be worse – than the team that was 10 points behind them in the Eastern Conference standings before the puck dropped.
But the overtime loss was a reminder, to the Canadiens and their fans, that early-season glory notwithstanding, this is not a team good enough to coast against anyone.
Not even the Islanders.

The game should have been done and dusted after 20 minutes. As has often been the case this season, the Canadiens played an excellent first period, outshooting the Islanders 14-3 and getting goals from Travis Mown, of all people, and a hot Max Pacioretty.

But the Islanders hung around, got good goaltending, capitalized on power plays and left Montreal with two points in the bank.

The game was a reminder, if one was needed, that the surprise Eastern Conference leaders are still susceptible to being surprised.

The Commentariat will be all over my ass for being a Negative Ned, but this team is still a work in progress. And there are issues.

• Andrei Markov has lost a step and maybe two. The veteran defenceman doesn’t hit anyone and studiously avoids being hit – caution that is understandable, given Markov’s history of injuries.

Raphael Diaz, Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban all had more ToI than Markov. The pairing of Gorges and Diaz were on the ice for three of the Islanders’ four goals. In the OT, with all that open ice, Gorges had more time than Subban. Go figure.

• Brian Gionta has three goals this season, and they were scored in the opener, game 3 and game 12. Gionta’s 46 shots on goal are second to Tomas Plekanec’s 52. Gionta’s shooting percentage is 6.5 – anemic, but better than Erik Cole’s 5.6.

When the Rangers visit the Bell Centre on Saturday, Brendan Gallagher should be ready to return to the lineup.

Michel Therrien won’t do this because it’s not the way you treat your captain, but I’d be tempted to try Gallagher in Gionta’s spot, with Plekanec and Rene Bourque.

The far greater likelihood is a reunion of the kid line, with Gallagher rejoining Alex Galchenyuk and Brandon Prust.

He took two penalties against the Islanders, but I can’t see Lars Eller getting the Ryan White treatment. But I have no idea where Eller should be playing.

Look, one Shootout loss won’t have Therrien dismantling his lines. But the coach – whose press conference ended abruptly when some media wretch started talking on his cellphone – has some concerns to address.

The power play continues to sputter. And after a run of 11 successful kills, the PK was lit up for Matt Moulson’s two goals – one a tip and the other a wide-open look that you should never give a 30-goal sniper.

And what’s with the Canadiens and third-period leads?

• Third game of the season in Washington, the Canadiens take a 4-0 lead into the third period. They’re outshot 11-2, but Carey Price stops everything except a late goal by Joey Crabb.

• Super Bowl Saturday afternoon, the Canadiens trounce Buffalo … but they’re outshot 18-11 in the third priod.

• In the course of blowing a 4-2 lead and losing in a Shootout in Buffalo, the Canadiens are outshot 10-5 in the third period.

• With a 3-1 lead and 1:43 remaining in Tampa Bay, the Canadiens give up two goals before winning the Shootout.

• In the scoreless snoozer in Florida, the Panthers had a 13-9 shot advantage in the third period.

Against the Islanders, the Canadiens took a 3-2 lead into the final 20 minutes and managed a measly four shots at Evgeni Nabokov in the third period. The Islanders goaltender, who was better than Carey Price Thursday night, stopped them all.

Perhaps it’s the Canadiens’ lack of size – achingly illustrated by the valiant Brandon Prust dropping them with the Islanders’ 6’8″, 250-lb defenceman Joe Finley. A small team may get worn down after 40 minutes. And Team Smurf was playing its fourth game in six nights.

It doesn’t get easier. After the Rangers visit, the Canadiens play 11 of  15 games on the road.

We should know, by the end of March, whether there will be hockey in Montreal come May.



  1. HabFanSince72 says:

    Just looked at the standings – wouldn’t it be hilarious if the Oilers won the lottery again? You know come March its what their fans will be hoping for.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You would think at some point Katz the owner might want to actually build a winning team for the new arena he fleeced the public into building for him.

      That organization seems fubarred.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Apparently after WW2 when prosperity eventually returned to Europe, people who had lived through the Depression and 2 world wars couldn’t adapt, and continued to deprive themselves to the end.

        After a while austerity becomes a state of mind.

    • Cal says:

      How can the Oilers possibly be this bad yet again? Smoke and mirrors. too much smoke and not enough players looking in the mirror and realizing that, yes, they are part of the problem.

    • CalgaryHab says:

      They shouldn’t have been eligible for their 3rd first over all. The NHL needs to limit the amount of first over all picks in a row to 2. Call it the Edmonton Oiler Rule.

  2. habstrinifan says:

    Is it wise to suggest to my wife that a Corset could improve her Corsi?

  3. Sportfan says:

    Here’s my freak after an OT loss OMG GUISE WE DOOMED! LETS BLOW IT UP AND WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR D:::::: OR LETS TRADE HALF OUR players for big beefy guys who don’t to jack! Haha ok back to being normal. Who is your ideal big player that could be acquired?


  4. Sportfan says:

    The Canadiens always have this weird knack of beating the best teams around and then the worst teams end up beating us


  5. frontenac1 says:

    Huh? Boone said we lacked size? Praise the Lord and pass the Bourbon! Hey Marc, Prust needs some help with the Heavyweights!
    He can”t be doing it all the time.He”s going to get injured. Here’s Big John dispensing some justice on Lucy.Enjoy Amigos!Saludos!

  6. habstrinifan says:

    Three TEAM FIRST GUYS… Gionta/Gorges/Markov. As long as it’s THEIR team. That’s all I have to say!

  7. Clay says:

    In other news, will the Red Wings miss the playoffs for the first time in 21 years?
    *Tries to change the subject*

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

    • Cal says:

      Oh, no! They suck! Trade everyone and fire the coach!


      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Well, they should be looking at trading off their remaining stars at the deadline and acquiring picks and young players. If they are looking bad at that point.

        • Cal says:

          True enough, Hobie (nice hat!). I was just using a little hyperbole to try and support a change of subject. 😉

        • Luke says:

          I dunno.
          I don’t think you ever trade a Datsyuk or Zetterburg.
          Especially Datsyuk.
          Unless it’s to Montreal.
          They should trade Datsyuk to Montreal.

          • Clay says:

            That’s the spirit! Do you think we can get him for Kaberle? Or maybe throw in Weber too?

            (Did I sound like the typical delusional Habs fan?)

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

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Aren’t those guys into their mid 30s now?

          • Cal says:

            Bribe them with smoked meat. They may just go for it.

          • Clay says:

            Kaberle, Weber, and smoked meat? Better throw in a tub of poutine to seal the deal.

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

          • Lafleurguy says:

            @ Clay “typical….?” No! There is no psychotic rage in your post! 🙂

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Clay says:

            AHHH! Forgot the psychotic rage! How could I have been so careless?

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

          • Lafleurguy says:

            You may have been pre-occupied like the tdHfan conjuring up sucker trades to foist on winning teams like Anaheim! Maybe if we traded team names and became the Montreal Mighty Ducks (Anaheim Canadiens?) they would give us Getzlaf!

            “May you live in interesting times.”

  8. DickandDanny says:

    Ok, sorry to state the obvious as we all watched and reported the same things from last night games but I find the posted comments need to be stated in one complete breakdown (no pun intended re last nights game)
    A. We don’t have a shut down D pairing. All good teams have one, but for some reason PK and Gorges aren’t allowed to be that pairing. Question for MT, why?
    B. Raphael Diaz is a painter, an artist, a hockey player? Well, if you answered hockey player your right however maybe the first two descriptors fit him best. The hockey player tag when it comes to being a shut down guy, a PK guy, a 4 on 4 guy, not so much. What the hell is he doing playing on the PK. Cause the of the first two goals: Diaz not covering matt moulson (and everyone watching the game is going nuts, because he’s the only guy too watch in front of the net on the PK).
    C. Faceoffs. We lose all of the important ones. DD lost three in a row late in the game, 2 on the 4 on 3 and one on then on the 5 on 4. Each time the puck went down to our end. Brutal. Get us a face-off guy.
    So, Mr Bergevin, I respectfully request you make an evaluation of our team at the 1/3 mark of the season, and tell me if you see what I see. Yes, that’s right Mr Bergevin we do need to improve our size and toughness on the D.
    Trade Markov now, before his stock is negligble. Get a big D man, like O’Brien, from Colorado, in return (it’s time we got something back for Roy!). Throw in some more stuff, a player, a prospect and a second round pick and get O’reilly while your at it. There’s your face off guy for the PP.
    That would certainly brighten our future and make a statement that we want to be an elite team now, not just a competitive one.

    \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

    • Lafleurguy says:

      If there is cap space, we should try to sign Andrei Kostitsyn, don’t you think? Like your “handle” and how it honors the greatest broadcast duo, but it runs the risk of starting rumours. 🙂

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Clay says:

      You: “So, Mr Bergevin, I respectfully request you make an evaluation of our team at the 1/3 mark of the season, and tell me if you see what I see”
      Mr Bergevin: “We are in first place at the 1/3 mark of the season – so I like what I see. Get a grip on reality”

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

    • issie74 says:

      You are citing the obvious we have needed a faceoff guy for years.DD is not it neither is Plec,who sadly could not learn from having Jarvis,Mueller and Carbonneau behind the bench,he also carries that stick around like a fairy wand,here is my stick boys now fall over it and they do.Brutal! also where was the defensive coverage on that sharpsooter(who’s name eludes me) who scored
      the winning goal,even at 76 years of age,I could have scored that goal.
      Please Mr. Therien help me understand?


  9. HabinBurlington says:

    For the gearheads out there, it is time for the Grand Daddy in U.S. motorsports. Here is a nice intro to the big race. Read closely, you may recognize the voice!


  10. athanor says:

    “getting goals from Travis Mown, of all people”
    He sure has been around for a lawn time.

  11. Mattyleg says:

    Oh my goodness.

    I finally cracked and checked out this ‘Corsi’ thing.
    What a pile of hilariousness.
    Missed shots as a stat.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Stick with Fenwick, Corsi is a complete whack job!

      • Lafleurguy says:

        I paid $0.75 as a kid to be a bleacher bum at Fenwick. There, I revealed I lived in Boston. Don’t know which city has Corsi as their ballpark….thought it was a dog……

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      One thing stats will never explain is how adding a guy like Brandon Prust to your lineup, helps motivate and jack up the team.

      Or when Marc Bergevin walks into the dressing room and informs the team that last year was an embarrassment and they’re all on notice.

      Hockey is all about emotion and momentum and team spirit.

      You could take a team full of Andrei kostitsyns and put them up against a team of grinders and the grinders would prevail because they work together and believe in each other. The kostitsyns would be playing for themselves.

  12. Habfan10912 says:

    The Islanders are one of the most unbalanced team in the league. Their forwards are very very good. Their goaltending and defense not so good. Last night they threw caution to the wind and played a very aggressive forecheck which our defense did not handle very well. We’ve done a great job handling that type of pressure for the most part this season. I’m sure the boys will work on that at practice today, along with special teams. I have to say that Islander power play is pretty good, eh?
    11-4-2? I’ll take it.


  13. Lafrich says:

    Given their salaries, status, ice time, and expectations from fans and management, there are major issues with the contributions of Cole and Markov.

    Cole has sucked since day 1, and has not made the fans forget those ridiculous comments that he made during, and at the ending of, the lockout. Last year must have been a serious aberration, because he is just awful in every game, every shift, and I, for one, would NOT be upset if we traded him imminently.

    Markov is at least useful, but he is certainly not a #1 D-man, and definitely not a 5.5 million dollar man.

    The rest of the team are doing their job, and we should make the post-season relatively easily, especially after this great start.

    On a side-note, I would love to play (beat) the Leafs in the playoffs for the first time in many years.

    • habsguy says:

      I am the one of the biggest Hab fans in the world, and I wouldn’t want to meet the leafs in the playoffs, we would likely be swept !!!!
      We dont match up well with them or the bruins!!

  14. remi_10069 says:

    Can blame the loss on the boys from RDS. After the first they claimed the Islanders were the worst team they had seen in the last 10 years…basically guaranteeing us a loss.

    PK looks pretty sloppy out there.


  15. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Sorry to bring this up again but what is up with MT’s use of PK Subban? This is making no sense. Most disturbing, he is not playing against the other team’s best player. Did he suddenly move to 5th on the depth chart? He is not even playing on a 4 on 3 power-play at the end of a tie game even though he has the best one-timer on the team (did MT not see game seven in Boston two years ago?). Gionta instead of PK? Give me a break. Even though I think MT has done a good job overall, he is failing PK. It speaks to PK’s character that he hasn’t openly sulked yet. I don’t understand a coach who hammers the egos of promising young players (e.g., PK) and strokes the egos of aging veterans (e.g., Gionta). There has to be a better way to temper PK’s ego while putting him in a position to help the team the best.

    And speaking of veterans, when is Gorges going to show some real leadership? Him not playing with PK is ludicrous. Diaz is a good player, but not a shut down defenceman. If Gorges has an issue with PK, he needs to resolve it now for the goood of the team. He should then go with PK to MT and tell him that from now on, he and PK will play against the best line of the other team. I want to see the PK that used to give it to Sydney Crosby, Mike Richards, and other NHL stars. What happened to the guy who gets booed in every opposition rink? The Habs may be winning now but if they want to go further now, and in the future, MT needs to realize who are his horses. PK is one of them.

    Sorry for the rant…I miss PK’s swagger…

    • Cal says:

      Gorges and PK were the #1 pairing on a 28th place team. Therrien is still learning his players, so expect hiccoughs along the way.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        They were still + players. True that Therrien is probably still learning his players. If this was a regular season, we would be in late November/early December. I guess everything is exacerbated this year. Markov/Emelin or Diaz/Gorges did not look good against Tavares/Moulson last night. The Habs were fortunate to get a point (even though they were excellent in the first period…why did they stop playing?).

        Hockey is a competitive sport. You need some ego and swagger to “beat” other people. Instead of trying to quelch it, they should refocus PK’s energy and attitude away from his teamates and towards the opposition. Anyway, I think next month’s road games will show where this team is heading this year.

    • JUST ME says:

      P.K. is now playing the minutes he should be that`s all. As a number 2 or 3 d-man should. Now that Markov is back and playing number 1 minutes P.K. fits right in his spot and does not have to be overplayed. Notice that Markov is not having a great season himself,no point in the last 7 games but that does not stop the team from having succes. Team concept is showing better resuts that individual performances so far .

      We might need more of P.K. later on when his talents are needed or to replace an injured player but for now i think that his playing time this season is more logical than last year`s . I think that the team`s record shows that this is the right formula…for now !

      • habsguy says:

        We need PK as the goto guy, out on all key points in the game.
        The brass need to forget the hold out, stop with punishment, stop trying to make him a better person and let him play !!!!!…Its costing us wins.

        • Cal says:

          PK hasn’t yet developed into the “go to” guy. He is getting better and he’s finally stopped rushing the puck all the time. He has stopped trying to force passes. Good signs from someone who will be a very good player for the Habs.

          • habsguy says:

            he is the the closest thing to a go to guy we have, so let him have the roll. he is our best dman and it makes zero sense that he is on the bench while gio plays the point on the PP..

  16. Mattyleg says:

    Morning all.
    Who are we putting on the raft today?
    Who are we setting adrift to fend for himself on the waiver/trade limbo waves far away from Habs Island?

    Therrien because he hates PK?
    Cole because he’s worse than cholera?
    Eller because his limitless potential will ensure that he find Stanley Cup Island with anyone but the Habs, who don’t appreciate him?
    Diaz because he was good and now people hate him for making them love him?
    DD because he still hasn’t grown?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. Arrow77 says:

    Once I heard the RDS crew disrespect the Islanders during the first intermission, I had the feeling it would be tough. You don’t call a team the worst you’ve seen because they had one bad period. Everybody has those and the fact Guy Carbonneau doesn’t know that tells you all you need to know about why he’ll never coach again.

    The Islanders don’t have a good team but they have two rising stars in Tavares and Moulson, have solid special teams and Nabokov is still a solid goalie. That’s enough to give some problems to any team.

  18. ed says:

    hopefully, after some of you saw the superb vision and passing ability that Desharnais showed last night, under pressure and in tight quarters, you will understand why his lack of size has never stopped him from producing.

    The man can flat out create.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He does have vision and creativity. I wish he could finish around the net better and I also wish he were a bit faster and stronger. BUt we have a talent there who is currently very affordable.

      • ed says:

        if he was faster and stronger and had better finish, he would be in the Crosby and Toews category, ha! ha!

        there are many here who thought he was not able to produce another good season.

        those people were wrong.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Exactly. And he wouldn’t be getting $875,000.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I didn’t mean that in an unrealistic way, but rather in a Martin St. Louis way. He plays with an extremely long stick to help compensate for his shorter reach, he is an excellent finisher around the net and playmaker. He also possesses above average speed.

          It took a few years for St. Louis to hit his stride and I hope DD continues to develop. He does indeed possess a unique vision of the ice, something different from our other centermen.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      just posted something similar a few comments below.

      He had two beauty assists last night and him and Max are clicking again. Good sign that line needs to put up some more points

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  19. habs-fan-84 says:

    lol it’s back to normal here this morning!
    I guess it had been pretty dull the last few days….

  20. JUST ME says:

    After reading a few comments one would think that the habs are 4-11-2 today when actually as commandant stated they got 11 out of the last 12 points available to them !

    It was kind of building and boiling in the usual suspects to complain against anything and a defeat is the perfect chance to do so !

    Yesterday they lost cause they went out of their game and tryed to play the same game as the Ilses that had to open the play. They got penalties and had to face one of the best p.p. in the league. Basically what had to happen did happen .

    THEY ARE IN FIRST PLACE IN THE CONFERENCE ! For pete`s sake people chill out ! Nobody expected such a good start of the season and even if we obviously are more than careful about the rest of the season , can`t we just enjoy it ?

    This team is playing as a team finally and there are no reasons to make changes or trades cause the risks of breaking the room has bigger consequences than adding some other player however good he is. We win as a team and lose as a team. Obviously some around here would have difficulties dealing with that day to day reality.

  21. Kooch7800 says:

    tough one last night. Positive things though..DD and Max P are starting to click again big time. DD had two beauty assists last night. He see’s the ice so well.

    We will beat the Rangers on Saturday

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  22. Luke says:

    I think it is plainly obvious that the largest issue this team has is not size or scoring (the usual suspects) or defense. It is faceoffs.

    The team cannot win enough faceoffs. They are starting too often without the puck. They lose 20 – 30seconds on most powerplays right off the hop. They get pinned in the zone after icings. It’s glaring.

    They need to evaluate what they have as centres and what role they fill and make adjustments for centres that can provide faceoff wins. Even grabbing a 4th liner that can win important defensive faceoff and immediately hustle off the ice would be welcome…

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Faceoffs become even more important in the Playoffs…and there’s no question we are weak on the dot.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Good point. Truth be told, it’s been a problem for a long time. Years in fact.

      If the game is all about puck possession and special teams then winning faceoffs is a vital component to success.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        So I am starting to wonder if faceoffs have become less technique and are more about timing and strength. At the risk of being accused being a size queen, do undersized centers struggle in the faceoff circle compared to bigger or at least stronger centers?

        I don’t know the answer, but am starting to think that strength in the circle is perhaps the biggest key in winning draws.

        No offence to DD and Plex, but they aren’t going to win many arm wrestling competitions in this league.

        • Arrow77 says:

          I don’t have the numbers in front of me but Plekanec is usually our most reliable man on face-off and everyone left not named Desharnais is big enough. Our problem is mostly our youth, I think. Galchenyuk has the size to dominate but he’s terrible on most nights.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Not to mentioon that Galchenyuk isn’t ready to handle this task at the NHL level. Therrien has wisely sheltered this kid but it does put pressure on the other guys.

          As for your last point, maybe it’s all the more reason to keep Eller in the middle.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Face offs are hand eye & reflex and there are techniques that can help you. Strength comes in when neither party wins the draw cleanly and you have to struggle to get the puck free.

          • Luke says:

            I tend to agree with your assessment here. Guys like Zigomanis (while not large, or an NHL regular) is phenominal on the draw. I believe former Hab Boyd Gordon fits the same mould. Nothing more than a 4th liner, but great faceoffs…

  23. 123456 says:

    I did not see the game, so I wanted to ask. Was the Prust fight warranted…. i.e. was it a case of a boarding call and the players could have walked away with a PP? I see in the box score there was a Habs PP… but the Habs had just gone up 3-1, not the time you want to engage in a fight…. yes I think some fights are warranted but they can be momentum killers.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Was warranted, and the key was Prust made sure the player he went after was willing to engage thus preventing a minor penalty to negate the boarding.

      Unfortunately, the dman he took on looked like Andre the Giant and thus made Prust appear to be Tatoo from Fantasy Island.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Heh heh.
        But he didn’t back down!

        He should have tried pointing in the sky and saying “Ze plane! Ze plane!” then punching the giant in the stones.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Chrisadiens says:

      At the time I felt it was warranted, but in retrospect it did change the momentum of the game. Prusty was just sticking up for Eller who was pushed from behind into the boards.

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

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    Kyle Quincey went down for Detroit with a knee injury last night. Eventually can’t Detroit realize they need Kaberle, they are the consummate reclamation organization. (Albeit without Lidstrom, this is much tougher)

  25. knob says:

    What is with all the third period icings? I hope that icing the puck is not a new strategy that MT is trying to employ!!.

    Frank the Tank needs to be taken off the power play. I would like to see a fourth forward used in his place.

    Subban needs to be the guy used in all situations. Pair him with Josh and use them to shut down the top lines and as the top PK unit. Markov can run the first PP unit, Subban can run the second unit. Subban should be the ice time leader.

    The line of Pleks, Gionta, and Bourque needs to be changed up. Maybe substitute Eller for Gionta? Armstrong can sit a couple of games.

    Edit…I want to add that outside of the above, this team is doing a lot of good things…they do a better job at forechecking; goaltending is terrific; the overall system, albeit there have been some lapses, is much improved, and….to date, we have won more games then we have lost.

  26. commandant says:

    11 points out of a possible 12 in the last 6 games and the sky is falling around here.

    Oh well… on to the next one.

    One thing the team does need to do though is use PK more to help Kill Penalties, he was great there last season.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    Does Taylor Hall get a suspension for his hit on Cal Clutterbuck last night? What if the roles were reversed as Minnesota coach Mike Yeo suggested after the game?

  28. Hobie Hansen says:

    Last night isn’t anything to worry about. The Habs were a little complacent, thinking they had it in the bag and got a bit lazy.

    We still got a point and it should be a real good game on Saturday night. Therrien will drill them in practice and smarten them up to get them ready for the Rangers.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      We are in a development year, transition year whatever the proper term is. MB continues to evaluate the roster and will eventually start making tweaks/changes as necessary. Also, within a 1 year or more we start to bear the fruits of our recent draft success. This team had 3 year run of trading picks for short term help. We are past that now and soon each year we will be able to add pieces to the puzzle.

      Until then, if we can get a playoff berth and throw the dice, sounds good to me.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Yuppers. Nice to see Pacioretty heat up last night.

        I sense that the Plekanec line, Bourque specifically could be heading for a bit of a cooling down period.

        So, I think Gallagher is back Saturday and I hope that the 3rd line revs it up again!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Given how hot he got, I am surprised he missed the hat trick goal where he shot wide into Nabakov. Thought forsure he was bagging that one.

          So DD played a nice game in feeding his linemates, but man do i wish he could finish better when he gets fed. This isn’t to slag DD, but he gets quite a few good looks.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Couldn’t agree more Hobie.

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

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    Good to see the commentariat are back in fine form this morning. I can’t believe a new GM, a new Coach and a few new players can’t make this team perfect yet. For goodness sake, how long is it going to take for MB to start making some trades, when is Therrien going to learn, this team is way worse than last year.

    Whew, okay that is all I can think of….

  30. habs-fan-84 says:

    I don’t know how it’s possible, but this team is actually worse at maintaining a lead than last year’s group. Very disappointing.

    I know we’re not going to win ’em all and if we’re going to lose, it’s best to at least collect a point…. but man…it’s so terribly predictable watching this team sit back after a couple early goals….

    It’s frustrating because it’s predictable.

    Markov and Diaz scare me when the opposing team gets a fore check going.

    The PP needs work…a lot of work. IMO Subban needs to be out there more and be allowed to carry the puck longer. Would also like to see Eller on the PP – he works great along the boards and has the hands to create space for himself.

  31. Thomas Le Fan says:

    No lead is safe with this team. Nice to see Pacioritty scoring. Eric Cole needs to get going too. No time for slow starters.

  32. habs001 says:

    I still dont see Eller as goal scorer but maybe that will change..

  33. habs001 says:

    Gorges makes the wrong decision in the d zone many times but because he battles those mistakes dont come back to bite him as many times as it would with other d…

  34. rhino514 says:

    If having a bigger D is the answer, how come Emelin doesn´t lead the team in time on ice and in lead-holding situations? He´s a tank, and yet, is probably, up to this point, the weakest of the six.
    Many on here just think if we have a bigger D we will be better off. But the fact is most big defensemen don´t move the puck that well and have limited offensive capabilities. You need to be quick and mobile to move the puck out of the Dzone.
    There simply are very few Dmen out there who are physical, can skate well, and good passing ability. Most of the candidates posters around here would have us trade for only possess the first quality and would actually be a downgrade, or at best a lateral move if we got one of them.

  35. habs001 says:

    When the game is like the Rangers game the Habs d is fine…But when the game becomes like the pitts/phil game a couple of days ago the Habs d is in big trouble…If the Habs make the playoff it will be very tough for this group of d as teams will get away with much more rough play and the intensity of the games will be much higher than most of the Habs games have been this year…This team will have major problems once teams start aggresive forechecking with their big forwards and they start pinching their d….

  36. frontenac1 says:

    Its all Price”s fault! He gave the lads that nasty poop bug! Sharing the damn water bottles!

  37. RetroMikey says:

    I’ve always said this team is a work in progress, not only for this season but at least another 2 or 3 seasons as well.
    Anyone who says we are a contender or can do some damage in the playoffs is listening to much to the song “daydream believer”.
    My wish was for Bergevin to make a blockbuster trade early in the season by trading Gionta, Markov, Weber to name a few for a Corey Pery or Ryan Getzlaf in return along with young prospects or high round draft picks.
    I’ll still stand pat on my wish.
    Anyone who believes the Maple Laffs are a weak team, think again, they are slowly improving with their no-name unskilled team but they play hard with grit and consistency, something we lack. Be very worried Habs fans, they are going to surprise us and all those hockey experts out there.
    Seriously, who is going to replacing the aging Gionta, Cole, Markov for seasons to come if we don;t make a trade or two now?
    Markov, as we all know is not 100%, Gionta is slowly aging along with Cole.
    Make that early trade now Bergevin!!

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

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      We all know that the Habs are a WIP, for goodness sakes. You are not exactly educating the unwashed masses, you know.

      As far as trades go, my grandfather used to say, “If wishes were horses then people would ride.”

      • patrice brisebois says:

        LMAO,no kidding. New management,new coaching staff,new systems,some new faces on the roster. Work in progress ? DUH. Don’t take retro seriously,he is one of those guys who generally show up after a loss. The guy has zero hockey knowledge.

    • matt jordan says:

      Assuming that the Maple Leafs are becoming a good team is equally as fruitless as Leaf fans assuming this is their year, every year. The Leafs have had a good start, but they have not proven anything yet.

      The Maple Leafs have the longest Stanley Cup drought and the longest playoff drought of any team. They traded all their top draft picks to Boston… The Leafs players havn’t even had individual success, with Doug Gilmour being the exception and winning the Selke in the early 1990’s. No MVP’s, no top goal scorer’s, no Norris, no Calder, no Vezinas, and again, no Stanley Cups.

      The only thing the Maple Leafs have proven they are good at is swindling money out of chumps in Toronto. That and golf, the Leafs are great golfers.

      • patrice brisebois says:

        Retro has been playing the “leafs are slowly getting better” card since burke was hired like 5 years ago. Yet he wonders why nobody takes him seriously.

    • patrice brisebois says:

      Only a moron would accept that package of players for either perry or getzlaf. So which begs me to ask,would you take that package if you were a g.m.?

      • matt jordan says:

        It’d be like the Gomez trade, except the Habs drain the poison and receive useful third liners and top prospects!

        The Ducks did just hire Brian Burke, and he hates first round picks…

      • RetroMikey says:

        Big is better in today’s NHL than having some soft, aging, players….what moron would not have a Perry or Getzlaf on their club?

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

        • patrice brisebois says:

          I guess there are 29 moronic g.m.’s in the league since none of them have perry or getzlaf on their team. You still haven’t answered the question if you were the ducks g.m. would you take gionta,markov and whatever else for getzlaf or perry. Since you are saying bigger is better,i guess that means you wouldn’t. So why would you expect a nhl general manager to accept such a ludicrous trade offer when nobody else would? Yet you wonder why you have no cred here. You have just been “FULL BREEZERED”.

  38. Steeltown Hab says:

    Not to take away from Diaz but he should never be the TOI leader, especially back to back nights.

    I don’t know if it’s the Subban babysitting act still going on, or if MT just doesn’t know his talent. No question Subban should be on the first PP unit AND the first PK unit. Than pair him with Gorges that’s our #1 pair we ride for heavy minutes, than Markov-Emelin, and Bouillon-Diaz, are 2 and 3 close in ice time.

    Anyways we’re not going to win every game, but this isn’t the one we should’ve lost.


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

  39. montrealtilldeath says:

    This team has a crisis in the making. We definitely need another strong D-man, someone that can hit and clear the puck. . It is not fair for Gorges to have to play with Diaz. That combo cannot clear the zone when pressed. The only thing I can see is Markov/Emelin, Subban/Diaz and Gorges /Bullion. Markov needs Emelin as he is now too slow. Do not like this configuration but the Diaz Gorges combo will be targeted even more now. We also need to unleash the “Big Dog” PK Subban. He will energize the team if allowed to like Big Bird in the old days when he would make his patented rush to lift the tea. Gionta on the 4 on 3 PK on the bench. Extremely bizarre and probably the real reason MT left the presser. Brutal March is coming.

  40. HabFanSince72 says:


    6 game unbeaten streak and you guys are crapping all over the team and the coach.

    ‘Therrien sucks’ arguments are being made despite the team being IN FIRST PLACE! Now I know why our coaches never last.

    • RetroMikey says:

      After the road trip, let’s see how you feel about the team.
      Praise the team now, glorify the team now, magnify the team now, etc…by the end of March, you’ll be crapping on the team as others here who have every right to, we want a winner, not a team that may be playoff bound season after season and may win a round or two if that.

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

      • The Juice says:

        Retro I think you are missing the point. The game these days is to get into the playoffs, after that its a crap shoot.


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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It is amazing isn’t it?

      • RetroMikey says:

        Do you have a life HIB besides being on this site 24/7?
        Wow, that is amazing, how do you do it?

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

        • Cal says:

          Burly shows up here every day. You only show up here after losses. That says a lot more about you than one of our mainstay posters.

          • RetroMikey says:

            I’ve been a HIO member from the getgo….longer than you or HIB and if I am critical of the team with my comments, don’t shed crocodile tears here and scold me with your comments.

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

          • patrice brisebois says:

            Wow,good for you.You have been here longer then other posters like cal and hib. But then again,those 2 actually offer something to this site. Things that are balanced which makes for good debate. What do you contribute other then showing up to whine after a loss? One of the best things about this site is that it shows which posters have true character with the ups and downs of an nhl season. There are the ones who show up regardless to the joy and winning and the agony of defeat. Then there are the others who cowardly lie in the weeds waiting for an oppurtunity even if it only comes a couple times a month. I don’t think i need to tell you which group you fall under. Once again you have been “FULL BREEZERED”.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Retro, you get a lot of unfair slams, and I’m usually on your side, but you shouldn’t slam one of the good guys on this site.
          Respectfully submitted.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • RetroMikey says:

            FULL BREEZERED? lol…Very mature comment from a very mature HIO member….lol..

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

  41. Lafleurguy says:

    What?! No colorful quote from the New York coach (Jack Capuano)? Was this a possible “worst hockey game I’ve ever been a part…..both teams….but ours was worse….”

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  42. The Cat says:

    I dont want an arguement. But last night was predictable, a few of us talked about it here yesterday morning. The only way to prevent these ‘losing spots’ is a goalie that refuses to lose. Im not saying its his fault, just saying nobody should be judged or blamed for the game. That goes for any team in these seemingly destined ‘losing spots’.

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

    • Chrisadiens says:

      I know you are trying to claim that you try to evaluate Price fairly. But you literally blame every loss on him. Every loss. Every single loss. It’s almost like you have a personal ax to grind with the man. I don’t get it. He’s a a great goaltender and you’re missing out on enjoying his career unfold before our eyes. I kinda feel bad for you.

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

      • The Cat says:

        Learn how to read please.

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

        • Chrisadiens says:

          “The only way to prevent these ‘losing spots’ is a goalie that refuses to lose.”

          Then the ultimate back track statement…
          “Im not saying its his fault, just saying nobody should be judged or blamed for the game.”

          So if we had a goalie that refused to lose we would’ve have won. But you aren’t blaming anyone? Sounds like you are blaming the loss on our goalie.

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

  43. Ian Cobb says:

    Again last night, I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the coaching. Yes he has done a great job in turning this train wreck team around this season. But he does not see the whole picture as far as using his players properly over the course of the game. Mostly the D. Markov and the swiz cheese kid can not withstand pressure in our end. They can move and pass the puck around once the the forwards get it for them. But it is clear that they can not compete on the boards in our end and come up with the puck.

    Our best D that can physically compete on the boards that we have on our roster gets the job done, but he is not put out there. And he has a leash put on him, he is not even allowed to rush the puck into the offensive zone anymore.

    By the 3rd Markov could hardly drag himself off the ice, he was done, but in overtime was put out there, very poor coaching.

    Because of the salary cap, there is little difference between most teams in the league anymore, except for the coaching. And they are the ones taking the 3rd period off, not all the players. They have to plan the use of players and coach the full 60 min. or falter in 3rd periods, that has happened a few times already this year.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      You have 6 D. Hard to leave one of them on the bench in OT. And in any case Marky wasn’t on the ice when Hickey scored. Plus – those players who scored are damn good. Tavares will do this to a lot of other teams.

      I think what happened is that our game plan of stifling the other team’s scorers was abandoned by the players when we looked like we were cruising.

      But we lost in OT against a good team, in a game that we actually slightly dominated except for their keeper.

    • danedmunds says:

      stop saying “we” and “our”. you don’t play on the team and have nothing to do with them. unless in fact you work for them which I assume you don’t.

      go habs go

      • Marc10 says:

        It’s ‘Nos Canadiens’.


      • Clay says:

        Shut up. Don’t tell other people what to call the team. Idiot.

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

      • punkster says:

        “We” don’t take kindly to people who tell “us” what “we” can and cannot say.

        ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

        • Clay says:

          More diplomatic than me, perhaps… 😉

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

          • punkster says:

            Ya, didn’t see your comment as I spent a few minutes revising mine a number of times…replacing nasty words and comparisons to horse’s behinds and the like.

            ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

          • Clay says:

            Ah – so that’s how you did it! Revisions, thinking about it… I just let mine flow organically from his stupid comment. 😀

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

    • Marc10 says:

      You also have to work with what you’re given. It’s not like he can throw Big Bird, Le Senateur and Pointu out there and call it a night.

      And Daigneault is running the D. Therrien is signing off, but it’s JJ that’s making the calls.

      I blame this game on the skilled players. They got away from the style of play that has brought them success.

  44. adamkennelly says:

    Bingo bango..said this all along…small team, especially D gets worn down in the 3rd. MB – you were given a gift with this start, don’t f it up. make a move or 2 and take this team for a run.

  45. Lafleurguy says:

    The Habs have performed well this season, and, hold onto your hats, it mostly is the result of good coaching. The winning record includes many “opportunistic wins” (Bourque in OT in a 1-0 win, DD’s shootout goal), and yesterday could be considered an “opportunistic loss.” There actually weren’t too many differences in the Habs play between the loss to NYI, and the win over TBay. The newcomers have been satisfying to watch, but the team’s core, except for Price, Subban, Plekanec, Bourque, and now Pacioretty, have underperformed. It’s unlikely that the team will continue to win at a .646 winning percentage but getting the right players on the ice, and surprise performances from Diaz, Budaj, and the Rookies will be necessary for a winning record. More production from the vets would help immensely.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • The Juice says:

      Excellent comment.


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

  46. HardHabits says:

    People prefer a pleasant lie rather than an unpleasant truth.

    The Lie: The Habs are an elite NHL team and are Cup contenders

    The Truth: The Habs are a team that is rebuilding, stuck with a few excessively expensive and long term contracts due to that panic mode the past regime was too fond of succumbing too and their piss poor scouting department.


    The only high priced veterans who have been earning their pay are Markov and Plekanec.

    Kaberle (7th D), Gionta (looking lost, playing small, impotent), Cole (looking old, playing uninspired, impotent) are a major drag on this team’s potential to sign or trade for a younger game breaker or two.

    Kaberle if he can’t be traded is a candidate for the 2nd amnesty buy-out by the looks of things, but that still leaves the Habs stuck for another year with Gionta and two more with Cole.

    I seriously hope Cole retires if he can’t start playing a more interested game. Gionta as much as I like and admire him is an expensive and old version of Gallagher and is expendable. Gorges I love, but not 3.9 million for another 5 years love.

    There are many good things in place from the past regime and fortunately the Habs have those to work with, but still the bad moves out-weigh many of the good ones so it will still be a few years of reorganization before we can start to really feel good about not just the direction the Habs are going in but where they will be when glanced at with a here and now perspective.

    However, if Cole and Gionta do wake up the Habs will be a better team. Until then, I suggest sitting one of them as a wake-up call. I am sick and tired of seeing veterans being held to a different standard and set of rules than the rookies or younger players are held to.

  47. Habs _fanatic_1970 says:

    The Habs dominated the first period and then let off on the gas. The Islanders seized momentum and pressed the Habs D and the forechecking fizzled. Likely from their busy schdual the last 7 games and at least we got a point. No need to hit the panic button.

    Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema

    • The Juice says:

      Only problem with this is “likely their busy schedule”…bad news folks, the whole schedule will be “busy” given the compressed season…have you looked at the remaining calendar?

      Les Boys will have to suck it up as will every other team.

      No excuses!


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

  48. Chris says:

    Reading Stubbs’ column, I finally see an indication of something I had been wondering about. It seems like the team put their foot down on Price and Budaj expressing much in the way of individuality on their masks.

    The little things are still there (Ned Flanders on the back plate of Budaj’s mask, Price’s cross and support the troops ribbon), but the masks are historic team masks. Be curious what the goalie afficionados that live and breathe over goalie mask choices think of this. 🙂

    I’m starting to think the management of a team “culture” isn’t so much Therrien as it is Bergevin. It is fine if it works. But if things start to go south, it’ll be interesting to hear whether the players are a bit dismissive of such things, as they rarely go over well with professional athletes for any length of time.

    • Marc10 says:

      Yep, I think you’re spot on. Bergie and Therrien are cut from the same mould. If there’s going to be bucking of the ‘team discipline’, I would expect it to come from a disgruntled veteran or a happy go lucky young stud D. Most of the other guys don’t look like they’d dare get in the way of the management freight train that’s changing the country club culture of years past…

      Little wonder there isn’t a dopey Belorussian or two, a charismatic Russian or Canadian Italian goalscorer, or an easy going Alaskan on the roster this time around…

    • The Juice says:

      Speaking of which, is there another goalie in the league that changes masks as often as Price? He almost never wears the same one twice!


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

  49. 24 Cups says:

    Of all people, Thomas Hickey. A guy whose career was on life support ever since he was a surprise 4th overall pick from 2007. A high end prospect who wasn’t even able to play one NHL game during the past five years. Gimme a break.

    It’s always difficult to separate the positive from the negative on a morning like this. I think most of us would acknowledge that the team has been playing over it’s head so far this season. Almost all of the breaks and good fortune have gone Montreal’s way. Hey, it was the polar opposite last year. Somewhere in between lies the real Habs.

    DD and MaxPac seem to be rediscovering the magic. People are down on Gionta but he has always been a streaky scorer. Surely it’s a realistic expectation that Gorges and Cole can also add more to the mix as the year unfolds. These are the veterans that are supposed to lead this team. They are all highly paid to do so. As well, at some point in time PK Subban will eventually receive a free get out of jail card so he can play a more prominent role. Once that happens, there should be some improvement on the special teams. This kid was a tower of strength on the penalty kill last year and also has to be the key component of any PP.

    The only real negative for me has to be the play of Markov. Right now he is the man who fell back down to earth. Therrien has to reconfigure his thoughts on how to utilize Markov. In a nutshell, it’s time to acknowledge that Markov and Subban have to switch roles. After all, it is the year of passing the torch.

    Right now the Habs are at the 1/3 mark of the season. In a non-lockout year it would be the 1/5 mark. They have built up a very nice cushion. These days the NHL is basically a three point league. That becomes even more important during a 48 game schedule.

    The Habs main goal is still about making the playoffs. Eventual seeding is a discusssion for another day. But that seven point lead over 9th place is all that matters right now. It’s not a slam dunk but it’s a hell of a lot better than the seven point deficit that Washington faces. History proves that if the Caps extend the gap to nine points they are all but done. Of course the opposite will be true for Montreal. Any loss that turns into a three point game is another step closer to making the playoffs. Hab fans can’t lose sight of the fact that making the post season is still the prime directive for Montreal.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Hope Markov’s tired because he get caught behind the play a lot and not is injury flaring up from being over use

    • punkster says:

      You pretty well hit all the points of concern there. The play of Gionta, Cole and Gorges should return to expected norms and Markov’s utilization will hopefully be modified to fit his capabilities. For me the key is the proper use of PK and to date he has been poorly deployed. Reconfigure the D from PK on out…he’s the key.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

    • Habs _fanatic_1970 says:

      Well said. Markov looks slow and tentative and probably would better serve the team with some reduced ice time keeping him fresher for PP time. I am concerned with Cole’s play….looks aloof and disinterested most of the time

      Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema

    • The Juice says:



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

  50. Old Bald Bird says:

    It seemed like it was going to be an easy romp, and the team lost its focus. When that happens, it’s hard to get it back.

    This team has been playing over its head, or at least getting results that are beyond the expected. They will lose their share of games, and more than they have been lately. However, they are on the right trajectory.

    This year, some of the mutterings about third period collapses are unwarranted. Over the course of a typical game an NHL team will generate a certain number of shots and chances. If the opposing team has been held to fewer chances over the course of two periods, then the odds that they will do better in the third increases. This is especially true when you consider that a team that is down one or two has more incentive to play hard.

  51. Clay says:

    I agree with Cal (below); 11 out of a possible 12 points is more than we could hope for, and still people are whining. So they lost one they should have won – it happens to the best of teams. I’m still thrilled with the teams play this year.
    I would like to see Cole do more (and I think he will), but Patches seems to be on track, and that’s good news. as for Price…just one of those games. He was lulled to sleep in the first because the Habs were so dominant, and got beaten by some great goals after that. No shame in that, and nothing to be concerned about.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Clay. You and Cal are right. From last season to this season it’s been a huge jump forward. This team has made great strides and hopefully that improvement will continue over the next year or two. Then, watch out!


      • Habfan17 says:

        I think the greatest stride is the off ice one! The change in philosphy from management and ownership, the accountability, and the overall attitude. The investment in the scouting and development will, in time, pay huge divivdends and must have had Trevor Timmens grinning from ear to ear.


      • Clay says:

        Morning Jim 🙂
        And in case no one pointed it out yet, we are still on top of the conference. Time to complain indeed… 🙄

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

    • boing007 says:

      Disagree on Price. Should have stopped the third goal.

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

  52. John Q Public says:

    Let the trades begin …

  53. Mugsyod says:

    Bobby Dollas, ‘A Hockey Analysis’ REALLY?
    that’s like asking Lance Armstrong his secret to cycling fair and drugfree……….
    The guy should be a spokesperson for ‘Concussions in Hockey’

    The Habs on giving away 2 points to the Islanders lastnight, “YOU’RE WELCOME”

    Hey Maurice, 2 Minutes for looking good

  54. HabFanSince72 says:

    Let’s not take anything away from the Isles. This is a team that can score goals. They have some very good d-men in Streit, Hamonic and Visnovsky

    Imagine if they had kept PA Parenteau (13pts in 15 games in Colo, $4M cap hit), and bought another one or two missing pieces instead of staying well below the cap floor?

    • 24 Cups says:

      Great point. Snow let’s this guy walk for 4M and then has to go out and get Thomas so the Isles can reach the cap floor.

      I wonder what Bossy, Trottier and Potvin must be thinking these days.

  55. habs-hampton says:

    4th game is 6 nights. No legs in the 3rd period. ’nuff said. Give the boys today off, and get ready for Sat. (5th game in 7 nights).

    • Chris says:

      New York was also playing their 4th game in 6th nights.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      There are going to be surprising results in the NHL virtually every night this season, as inevitably there is a team at the end of a tough stretch of games.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Didn’t they have the day off yesterday? With the condensed schedule all teams will face the same issues. Maybe the real issue is sitting players like Markov every once in a while and putting in Weber or Kaberle. Emelin is better on the left side, I would like to see him with Subban as the first pairing. Put Markov with Gorges and Diaz with Boullion. That was one thing Bowman did very well, depending on the team they were playing, he would move players in and put of the line up. He did have more depth than MT has, but in a shortened season, maybe they should be sitting some of the older, smaller players every few games to keep them fresh. It does help that the minutes are spread out pretty well over the four lines.


  56. Habfan17 says:

    It was bound to happen, they can’t win them all. Price looked a bit rusty from his time of with the flu. He might not have had all his energy back.

    It is a bit of a concern that they did not hold the lead while allowing such a low amount of shots against, however, I am sure they will work it out.

    I think Saturday against the Rangers will be a good test. Torterella is pissed with his team and the game they played against the Habs so they should come out hard.

    I hope they aren’t rushing Gallagher back. There is no need. I would rather they be extra cautious with him. They do need to play better on the PP. The PK let them down, but again, there are bound to be off nights!


  57. HabinBurlington says:

    I am of the impression that within the next 2-3 seasons this team will really have an opportunity to make big time noise in the NHL playoffs. However, between now and then this team will progress and regress throughout the regular season.

    We have a few veterans struggling right now, but I would like to think they will indeed get up to speed shortly which should help the team. Last nights game had a few brain farts leading to Islander goals. Yes Diaz had a rough night but throughout the season he has played better than expected. This does not excuse his play last night, but even above average players can have a rough night.

    Hopefully the team rebounds on Saturday against the Rangers, but having some learning curve games along the way is not such a bad thing.

    It appears Mr. Boone was indeed correct with that ugly picture of a spray painted wall in his backyard. The Habs indeed fell to the proverbial TRAP game.

    Now I just have to figure out how to send a pint of beer to Looney’s house given Cole didn’t score….

  58. HabFanSince72 says:

    Apparently Buffalo’s big goon lost a fight against a Leaf again. That’s gotta hurt.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yup, Big John Scott picked his fight with McLaren of the Leafs. He got manhandled, spent his time in the penalty box and was not seen again the rest of the night.

      A prime example of what is wrong with a player who can only fight. A roster spot was held all night for this guy, he went out to do his job and lost.

      THere are some big tough guys in the NHL who can play hockey and chuck em. Those are beneficial players, having a one dimensional goon does very little.

  59. MrNax says:

    I’ve said this a few times but never seem to get any good responses but what’s so good about Diaz? He’s not that good. He’s not terrible, but I don’t think he deserves nearly all the praise he’s getting.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      He’s very good actually. Had a rough game game last night, but he’s smart and composed. This is only his 2nd NHL season.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I agree, he is pretty good, but is he what the Habs need back there?


        • HabFanSince72 says:

          You have to have 6 D. They aren’t all gonna be Shea Weber.

          And it’s not impossible that he eventually develops into a very good D-man. He can skate and he has brains.

          People compare him to Brian Rafalski – another undrafted player who never played in the NHL until he was 25.

    • The Cat says:

      I agree.

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

    • Phil C says:

      I like Diaz a lot. I think he is excellent positionally, which is a skill that is not really noticed unless you are looking for it. He has a very active stick, so combined with his positional play, he breaks up a lot of plays. He is capable of making a good first pass out of his zone which requires a combination of composure with the puck and vision.

      He can also play in almost all situations. 5-on-5 he has only been on the ice for 6 goals in 17 games which leads the defense (not counting Subban who has played less games). He leads the league in PP assists by defensemen despite not always getting first pairing minutes. He has shown great ability to move the puck quickly on the PP which is very important IMO. And surprisingly he has been playing the PK quite effectively, another reflection of his sound positional play. He has been getting more PK time as the season goes on.

      So you have a defenseman who has only been on the ice for 6 even strength goals and can play special teams effectively, so what’s not to like? The only weakness in his game is that he lacks typical NHL size for defensemen, so there are certain situations where he can have a bad matchup.

      • MrNax says:

        I disagree re: his positional play. He’s not that bad when he has the puck but I find that he is often out of position when his D partner has the puck. On a number of occasions I’ve noticed Gorges get caught because Diaz didn’t give him an outlet option. He seems to skate towards his partner when his partner has the puck. He gets so close that it is easy for the forechecker to cover both D.

  60. The Cat says:

    This was a tricky game where the habs were destined to lose. Theres nothing to analyze, no need to change the formula.

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

  61. HabFanSince72 says:

    How would a big stay at home D who pummels people have changed anything on the Isles 4 goals? You need mobile intelligent puck moving D.

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I am worried about Markov. He started off like a canon, but something isn’t right with him.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      The team seemed to revert back to last season where there were long stretches where the puck was in our own end. As for Markov, I did notice his minutes were reduced some last night. Perhaps he’s just played too much and MT now needs to manage his minutes a bit better.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am with you, at about the Game 6 or Game 7 point in the season, seems to me since then he has looked different. No idea what it is, but I am concerned also. He needs to have minutes managed it appears. I don’t like saying things negative about Marky, he has been a strong player throughout his career, but perhaps all those years of rehabbing instead of playing are catching up.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I think the problem is he hasn’t played for two years and although the injury may be healed, he is older and not used to the grind. A day off here and there may help. If that isn’t all it is, then maybe he is having pain or fluid in the knee again. It is too bad, sometimes he looks like the Markov of old, other times he just looks like old Markov!


  62. Cal says:

    Time for a song suggested Wednesday by none other than Timo. Imagine that! http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  63. Cal says:

    11 out of the last 12 points possible and now Gionta, Cole and Diaz are useless. Those writing this stuff must wait for every loss- even ones in OT- so they can share why the team is so bad.
    Well, bleep that! We all know the team is a work in progress, but after every loss it’s the same crap on this site. All the Negative Neds pop out with their version of “I told you so.” This version of the Habs is performing well above expectations yet the incessant whining remains. Does HIO have more trolls than actual fans of the Canadiens? After every loss, despite a 5 game winning streak, it appears HIO does.
    2 goals for MaxPac and 1 early from the much-maligned (around here, anyways) 4th line and all I read is how Gorges should be captain. What drivel.


  64. WindsorHab-10 says:

    It’s very simple, you must play 60 minutes not 40 in order to have a chance at winning. Habs gave the game away with their constant icings in the 3rd & lack of hustle. For a moment, I thought Martin was coaching the 3rd period. Poor Price, he had zero chances on all 4 goals. The team owes him.

    • scuba says:

      It’s funny that people always say you have to play 60 minutes if you want to win after games where the other team won without playing 60 minutes. Just something I always chuckle at.

      I can’t tell if the Habs are great or terrible because sometimes they win and sometimes they lose.

  65. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Team went into autopilot, Islanders exploited it.

    How do you explain that? I think it’s Chris here who argues a strong case against the nebulous notion of “momentum”. However, there was surely some kind of collective psychology at play in this game — and possibly part of a trend when you look at Boone’s analysis — that was the opposite of when-you-have-your-foot-on-their-throat-push-down.

  66. club_de_hockey says:

    Harsh! I didn’t think we’ve been playing that bad (most of the games you mentioned in point form, at the end of the day, are still games we won) but after reading this column I am now thoroughly depressed. Chill out!

  67. BrownHabFan says:

    To be realistic the Habs should have had this game in the bag but Nabakov stole it for them with his little oscar winning performance and some incredibly bad/missed calls from the zeebras, that being said though MT has got to wake up and realize (even though he’s a great leader and a vet) that Gio is no game breaker…9 out of 10 times if he’s on the ice for crucial situations he’s going to get out muscled in the corner and lose an important puck battle and there goes the puck the other way…I understand you have to respect your vets, but honestly there’s nothing wrong with a little gambling once in a while and throwing Chucky onto the powerplay in key situations of the game…I think he’s earned it given the fact he scored the GWG, and assisted on the GWG in the previous game…that kid has the ability to be a game breaker….to top it off Cole looks very disinterested and is lucky the team has been winning otherwise people would be calling for his head right now….anyhoo Max is waking up, hopefully he’s next

    “I couldn’t really hear the words that Jeremy was saying because I got my 2 stanley cup rings plug in my ear”
    Patrick Roy

  68. Et le but says:

    Still in Vancouver for a few more days. Anyone joining me at the Sin Bin (http://www.thesinbin.ca/) Saturday at 4:00 PM for the Habs-Rangers game?

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\”The day you hear someone call me captain will be the day I buy a boat.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\” -Guy Lafleur

  69. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I like Diaz with Markov on the PP …but I think PK must be in the top-4 D, not the 3rd pairing

    …and I believe Therrien will see this too eventually

    …in fact, I think PK will take over Markov’s minutes in the first pairing once MT becomes more confident in PK’s decision-making

    …it’s only a matter of time

    …I also agree with Durocher, Gionta for whatever reason is not pulling His weight as a Captain should, and Gorges is the real heart of this Team …with a C on His chest, I believe Gorges would take it to heart and to another level

    …notwithstanding the ‘tweaks’ mentioned above, We are at the moment a first place Team …I’m only suggesting tweaks that I believe will evolve in it’s natural course

    …I think I have learned that Therrien is smart enough to see this happening Himself

  70. matt jordan says:

    Rene Bourque, who is much improved this year, was guilty of not finishing his hits tonight, and it cost the Habs on multiple occasions.

    Bourque is big, strong, fast…. but for whatever reason, turns away when he could easily finish a hit.

    When Bourque is driving the net, finishing hits and being aggressive he is a very effective player. But for whatever reason, he doesn’t do that consistently. You can see flashes of the player he could be, but really he is not.

    Bourque should finish every season with at least an average of two hits per game, and have opposing defenders looking over their shoulders when he is on the ice. But instead, you get a player who is a filler on the second line, who can only tease of the player he could be.

  71. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Mr. Boone, please criticize away. There’s a big difference between being negative and being realistic…

  72. Propwash says:

    Travis Mown????


  73. durocher says:

    Diaz should be taken off the first wave of the PP. PK should be put back on, and should play his off wing on the point.

    Markov has slowed down, as has Gio. For politeness sake, Gio will not be benched, but on the merits he hasn’t been pulling his weight. Count me as one of those who agrees that Gorges should be our “C”, not Gio.

  74. Born in a Bad Year says:

    Bergeron, Picard and now Diaz. The worst defenders I have watched with the Habs, but somehow they all get or got so much love around here. I don’t have a clue why.

    Diaz was on for three goals tonight and was directly responsible for the second and last goals. The second goal he backed off Moulson to bump a$$ with Moen rather than cover Moulson who was open in the slot.

    On the OT goal, he completely stopped and didn’t get over to cover the scorer.

    Go to the Behind the Net stat sheet, Diaz and Georges are our only defence men with negative Corsi, and I am not blaming Josh. That paring is lacking a puck mover in the worst way. They can’t get the puck out of their zone, and the forwards always have to hang back and wait for the centre to go back and dig it out. It does not seem to happen to our other pairings.

    Maybe there is something to the Georges/Subban crap. They don’t ever seem to be out together, but they need to be. Until they play together and Boullion and Diaz are the third pairing playing 13 to 15 minutes a game, this team won’t be able to move up to elite status.

    Diaz has been playing way too many minutes and has been making brain oxygen deprived mistakes as a result.

    PK was on for all three of our goals and still can’t get out do the dog house.

    Go back and watch the video of the first ten Habs power play goals, we scored six of them with the defence playing on the off wings. They have to start bringing it into the zone on the off wings.

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