About last night … Canadiens bounced 3-1 by the Rangers

The Captain didn’t score.

The All-World goaltender didn’t steal any games. 

And – let’s be honest here, peeps – the better team won the series.

It’s going to be a looooooooooooooong summer for Montreal hockey fans.

And, at the risk of getting way ahead of ourselves here, it could be a long 2017-’18 season.

Will it be Carey Price’s last in Montreal?

The goaltender’s contract has one more season. Next summer, Price is a UFA.

The Stanley Cup is the only championship Price hasn’t won. 

Is his best shot at glory in bleu-blanc-rouge?

As we say in Quebec, pas évident.

Moving from the goaltender out, the Canadiens’ best young defenceman is supposed to be Nathan Beaulieu.

Nate the Great began the season as Shea Weber’s partner. He ended it in the Madison Square Garden press box.

The Canadiens’ best centre is supposed to be Alex Galchenyuk.

He ended the season on the wing, with Brian Flynn and Paul Byron.

The Canadiens’ leader is supposed to be their Captain.

Max Pacioretty won a fight in Game 6 – but that hardly compensates for zero goals and one measly assist in six games.

The Canadiens’ best young player, on the evidence of this playoff series, is Artturi Lehkonen.

I love the kid, but Connor McDavid he isn’t. 

Their impressive regular-season performance – particularly under Claude Julien – notwithstanding, the Canadiens as currently constituted are not an elite NHL team.

They lasted longer in the postseason than Chicago, Columbus and, by a few hours, Minnesota.

But even had they found a way to solve Henrik Lundqvist and get past the Rangers, this team was not destined for a deep run.

They just don’t have the horses.

“We weren’t good enough, and that’s why we lost,” Claude Julien said during his postgame press conference. “But at the same time, I think there’s a lot of guys who put in a lot of effort, a lot of energy.

“At the end of it, it wasn’t good enough,” the coach added. “We needed more.”

But more was not forthcoming.

And David Desharnais is still playing.

So is Lars Eller.

So is Tom Pyatt, FFS.

And a defenceman in Nashville …

At least the Wild’s loss to St. Louis spared us Ryan White going deeper into the playoffs than his former teammates.

Marc Bergevin faces some tough decisions in the looooong off-season.

The Canadiens general manager will want to sign Alex Radulov. But for how much and for how long?

Will Bergevin trade Beaulieu? What can he get for him?

Will he re-sign Galchenyuk?

And what about his goaltender?

There will be plenty to talk about for Montreal’s 2 million coaches and general managers.

As the Ol’ Blogger’s final salvo of a long season, let me start a few arguments with this assertion:

The Leafs are closer than the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup.

And with the exception of Carey Price, there isn’t a player on the Canadiens’ roster – or, God knows, in the bare-cupboard system – that could be traded for Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner or Morgan Rielly.

Bergevin might come up with a package that could pry Nazem Kadri or Jake Gardiner out of Toronto. But it would have to include Mikhail Sergachev.

On that dispiriting note, I’ll wish the HIO community a happy and healthy summer.

•  •  •

Comment on the Liveblog by DDPKS:

It was close but the Rangers were better in every area. Rangers were especially better at playing D when protecting the lead.

Habs too often could not keep possession when entering the o-zone or couldn’t obtain controlled possession when dumping the puck in. Their dump and chase was pathetically futile. For sure it’s the players fault that they can’t win puck battles. Often times a hab would dump it in and no other Hab would even be close to retrieving the puck and the Rangers D would have no trouble clearing their zone. Is that also on the players or bad coaching?

Maybe getting scorers is hard but I think the GM should focus on getting top 6 talent who can actually win puck battles.

The usual suspects will get criticized for poor playoff performance but one guy who always manages to avoid this for some reason is Markov. With the exception of one playoffs, he’s always been sorely disappointing offensively in the playoffs and this one was not an exception. If they sign him again he should be paid and played as a 3rd pairing D.

After this latest series loss, it’s clear that one or two of our top six need to be moved and by some miracle maybe a good center can be obtained out of said moves. Our current top 6 doesn’t cut it. Danault is a 3rd line center and should never be included in the regular top 6. I predict at least two of Pleks, Pacioretty, Gallagher & Galchenyuk will not be a Hab in the next two years.

From Waitingforcup:

It is highly unlikely that Molson is changing the coach and GM. The only hope is that the assistants and AHL coach are upgraded so that we can coach up our prospects. Will be more of the same next year.

I think based upon the deployment in the must win game the coach went for the safe, stay at home type player instead of keeping NB in the game and adding an AHLer with some scoring ability. When you cannot score with the guys you have, why not take a flyer on a talented kid. Watching the other series, the other teams all seem to have someone in the line up who they just signed from college or completed their junior career.

This tells me that CJ likes to play safe and using two rookie defensemen (Juulsen and Sergachev) is not likely to happen. The problem we need to upgrade the ability to skate the puck up from the back end as looks like NB days are numbered unless he was actually injured.

And from BKAK72:

Pacioretty…feedback…

“He’s got to give me a reason to give him more minutes here. We’ll see where it goes. We know he’s a really good player, great kid, but we’ve just got to get a little bit more out of him,” (J. Tortarella, SEP 2016)

Montreal coach Michel Therrien denies ever calling Max Pacioretty “the worst captain in Canadiens history,”(SEP 2016)…fake news?! hmm…

Lafleur acknowledged Pacioretty’s strong season but says the expectation will be there from now on for him to keep scoring in the playoffs.

“Guys like Vanek and Pacioretty, you can’t keep these guys on your team.” Can’t keep them on your team. In the case of Pacioretty, he needs to be traded. (Guy Lafleur 2014)

•  •  •

And finally …

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1,430 Comments

  1. luxohab says:

    It would be great to replay all the HIO segments from throughout the season when the various hockey pundits said that some fans were too hard on the Canadiens and their management and that this is a “good team” or even a “great team”. Even during our opening season winning streak I had said repeatedly that this is not a playoff team. Guy Lafleur was more right than wrong about this team. It remains a team primarily of bottom 6 players. Depth guys is the terms that’s often used. It’s great to have those depth players and I’m always reminded that you “need” depth players and “character” players for a playoff run. We sure do, but you know what else you need? That’s right: Top 6 forwards and top 4 d-men. Plekanec probably had his best playoffs ever. I had no faith he would be as valuable as he was, but then again, it only took him 12 previous seasons to get to this level. He’s never been effective in the playoffs and the record and the stats bear that out. He should have been traded. If you want a shut down guy like Pleks, well we had one in Eller. He’s younger, faster and cheaper. As many here have said, Danault is a 3rd line centre. He’s perhaps a very good 3rd line centre but that’s what he is. Plekanec is also probably a 3rd line centre. Galchenyuk I was most disappointed with. I think that the Canadiens are terrible at player development and Galchenyuk might be the latest example of that. Pacioretty is never that effective when not scoring. He doesn’t play without the puck very well. Radulov elevated his game and did his best during the playoffs to help him but it’s not enough. He wasn’t even effective on a team of elite US players and that should tell you something. Byron, who we’ve spent an inordinate amount of time celebrating, is never going to be as effective in the playoffs when they throw the rule book away. Markov, as much as I like him, has never won any individual awards as a d-man, and while he’s steady added little to the offensive punch of the Canadiens (nor has he ever during the playoffs). McCarron, if we’re lucky, will be a very good 3rd of 4th line centre or winger. Maybe. So where does that leave us for top 6 talent? We don’t have a top line centre and arguably we don’t have a 2nd line centre. We have one top d-man is Weber and then we have a host of others. Benn is a good addition but he’s a second pairing. Emelin is fine and does what he’s supposed to do but top d-pairing he ain’t! Beaulieu is like another Briseboise, but maybe worse. Who’s coming through our system. Sergechev and Lingren. Other than that, as was written here, the cupboard is bare. So how was it that the Montreal media spent the better part of the year telling the fan base that Montreal is that good and we can expect a deep playoff run? As far as coaching goes, I thought Julien was better until he sat Mitchell in favour of Flynn and never sat King despite him contributing ZERO. Even sitting Nate didn’t make sense when all you have in his place is Davidson. How about the decision to have Galcheyuk take the last 2 faceoffs of the season when he was 0 for 3 and the least steady of our centres. Didn’t that make you want to scream. Then there is Bergevin, who wouldn’t consider trading Sergechev (who may be good in 3 to 5 years) for scoring that we need now. When you traded Subban (a player on his upswing) for a Weber (a player at his peak and arguably on a downward trend) then you say you want to win NOW. Then all your other moves should be to that end. The team is rotten from beginning to end. We aren’t even in the ballpark of competing for a cup. It seems like managements goal is to get into the playoffs. That’s pathetic.

    • Hockeygaga says:

      A little long but spot on. The Rangers exposed the Habs for who they are. The Rangers should have swept the Habs, that is how much more talented they are. Give the guys credit, they made it a tougher series out of sheer will and grit but they are not on the same level talent wise. Every one of the Bottom 6 while a legit NHL player is the 6th man out of 6 on a very good to great team. How can you win playoff series with that talent level? No disrespect to anyone in particular. Look at it this way, Who of the bottom 6 is going to push a Ranger bottom 6 into street clothes on more than an occasional basis? The Rangers have at least 4 guys in their bottom 6 who would play on our top 2 lines. That is our reality. The overall talent level difference in the series was a chasm not easily crossed in 1 or 2 draft years. Heart, grit and guile won 2 games and while admirable it is not enough to win a series let alone multiple. Talent is what is needed, not grinders.

    • sportsjoe67 says:

      I just read Pat Hickey’s short column. You gotta be kidding me. He thinks the defense is solid. That may be the problem. If management thinks that way also then the Canadiens will never advance far in the playoffs. I’ve been watching the playoffs so far and teams that play solid defense are winning. Their defenseman are fast and have good coverage in the zone and get the puck out of the zone. I look at the teams that are left and their defense and Montreal doesn’t come close. There have been a lot of low scoring games so the myth that Montreal needs more scoring is ridiculous. I agree some players on offense didn’t show up but their poor defense is the big problem. If management continues to bury their heads in the sand, all Habs fan will be disappointed for a long long time.

  2. Danno says:

    Has the milk carton boy apologized for his dreadful playoff performance and stepped down from being captain yet?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  3. BooEllis12 says:

    It’s kind of funny how bad the Canadiens are at building a Stanley Cup team. You’d think players from all around the world would want to play in Montreal except that it’s not the hockey mecca that everyone around the city thinks it is; not a single ring for the entire country in a generation.

    • Mavid says:

      It is a hockey mecca..its a lot harder to win a cup then it used to be, the days of Dynasty’s are long gone..some teams have never won one.

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

      Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  4. roberge12 says:

    Why would Max be great on another team? Montreal is just too tough a market, we are very critical when it is deserved. He does not have the warrior gene.

  5. roberge12 says:

    Look, guys like max, Chucky and Plex have issues of paralyzing low confidence. They play scared and find comfort in playing the game so as not to be noticed too much. When you play that way (not to make mistakes) you end up losing. A guy like Rads doesn’t even consider how he looks, just goes out there and does his best. Same with JT islanders.
    Max would do great on another team, Chucky needs to be coached and Plex….It’s up to him but not with us.

  6. on2ndthought says:

    news thread

  7. J_P says:

    Habs need a serious makeover, not sure if “Bargain” Bergy is the right person for the job. He’s had his 5 years, and we’re no closer to a Stanley Cup. He’s trapped in the past. Going after size and grit when all the teams are getting smaller, faster, and more skilled. He needs to get with the times, or Molson needs to get someone else.

    The question was asked about the leafs being closer…Is that really a question?! No doubt the leafs are closer. The pieces they’re missing are at least obtainable in trades. They might miss the playoffs next year, as often happens with young team on the rise, but overall they have better pieces for the future.

    I’ve had too many debates with people about Carey Price and what to pay him (long before this year’s playoffs). The people I talk to seem to think you pay him whatever he wants. Seriously?! How would paying Carey Price anything over $8M AAV help this team? Even $8M AAV is steep for a goalie. He didn’t “steal” us a single game against the Rangers. This series alone proved that Goalie’s aren’t worth that kind of cap hit. If Carey’s expectations are beyond the $8M, I say trade him immediately. The return could be pretty immense, and the cap savings would offer a lot of flexibility. If the habs are going that route, then Bergevin better establish the market and create a bidding war. Which he didn’t do with PK…who is still playing by the way.

    Weber was very “steady” in these playoffs. However, the habs didn’t need “steady”, they needed speed and offense. PK is still playing with Nashville, a team with the most mobile defense in the NHL, and they just SWEPT Chicago. Looks like David Poile does know more about defensemen than Bergevin. I said from the day the Weber/PK trade was made: If David Poile is offering you Weber for Subban straight up, you know you’re getting fleeced because that man knows D.

    If it really was “Pacioretty or Subban”…well, looks like we lost the trade from that perspective also. 1 assist!!! Have you ever seen someone who is more emotionally unstable than Pacioretty? He can’t handle the pressure. Give that “C” to Weber already and let Pacioretty focus on playing. I’m not saying he’s a bad captain, I just think he would be better without that burden. We also would have gotten a far better return for Patches.

    I really like Julien as a coach, but he got out-coached by AV. I’ll give him some slack because he had lines that had been going through the blender all season long. Pretty hard to coach when you have the pressure to win and don’t even know where your players fit in. I think Bergevin over-did it with the depth acquisitions at the deadline. When you have too many players to play, its hard to decide. It also makes the idea of calling up someone to add speed to the line up next to impossible.

    All in all, it wasn’t the loss to the Rangers that was so bad. It’s how they lost. Granted, a couple of inches here and there (I’m thinking of two Shea Weber posts in particular) could have changed the result, but ultimately, the habs didn’t play well enough to win. The shot total was flattering to the habs, tons of perimeter shots, and not enough from the high danger areas in the slot.

    All in all, should be one of the wildest, most interesting off-seasons in a long time. Still lots of great playoff hockey to watch too!

    • The ice ghost says:

      Wow. A long post that I actually agree with. Get ready for the hate.

    • mrhabby says:

      1. Leafs are closer but….we don’t care about down the road. We care about now.
      2. Price is very underpaid. He has won every trophy other than the SC so pay accordingly whatever that is. Setting up a trade war for Price really hard to do as its such a small number of teams need or can fit his salary in. Would we ever get value back for him. I doubt it but one never knows.
      3. How do u compare PK and Weber they are so different. Both are great. Teams just wanted something else. Kind of weird tho we traded PK and axed MT now we have Julien who could have worked with PK.

  8. HUDSONHAB says:

    Would anyone consider bringing Joe Thornton in for a year if the cost was right?
    ….Hab4life….

  9. Chartraw 27 says:

    Does anyone know if Molson’s presser will be on the Internet somewhere at 4PM?

    Also, I am thinking about coming out of retirement.
    I think I could have scored at least one goal.
    Shout out to Max. 🙂

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    IceCaps tied 1 – 1 heading into Syracuse for the remaining games in the best of 5 series. Would be nice to see team win this series and go on a run. Would especially like to see a nice playoffs from JDLR.

    http://www.thetelegram.com/sports/2017/4/21/for-de-la-rose–it-was-all-upstairs.html

    http://www.thetelegram.com/sports/hockey/2017/4/23/icecaps-give-up-two-goal-late-in-third-period–lose-to-crunch-in.html

  11. marvin20 says:

    Disappointing end to the season. Very disappointed with AG27 and MP65. If they had the determination and intensity as BG11 and AS65, Montreal would have won this series or at least pushed it to 7 games.

    Benn’s lack of conditioning got exposed
    Weber did his job

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I think you meant Benn’s lack of ability (he’s in shape). He’s a 6th Dman…nothing more.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Weber did his job. He was solid. Not spectacular though, and did not really do anything to lift his team. In fact, of all the players wearing letters, I would say only Gallagher truly put the pedal down.

      This is the thing about Weber. He plays smart, consistent hockey and can help his team win. But he is not a true difference maker. Radulov was about the only one who demonstrated that ability during this playoff.

  12. G4be says:

    Is Habs management and coaching staff still can’t figure out if Galchenyuk is a center or winger by now, then they made a big mistake by not letting him return to juniors to dominate the league and maybe then, we would know for sure if was a number one center all along..

    I still think Galchenyuk will be a 25-35 goal scorer, 70-80 points player when he hits his prime.

  13. Chuck says:

    Your thoughts on taking Beaulieu and converting him to a forward?

  14. FormalWare says:

    Dear HI/Oers:

    The hyphen is your friend.

    From a player’s perspective, “resign” is essentially the Opposite of “re-sign”.


    Montréal Canadiens: “Season after season under the same, low ceiling.” – D.M.

  15. Habitoban says:

    Comforting to know that 50+ GMs on this site will be working all summer to get the team ready for a Cup run next season. I’ll be checking back in the fall on how you did — or maybe not, given the level of HIO discourse over the past several months.

  16. 123456 says:

    Maybe Price can be convinced to sign for a cap hit of $8.5.

    I see a good short term future so no need to blow up the team.

    Patches
    Chucky
    Rads (not signed)
    Denault
    Lehk
    Gally

    A good top 6 – good not great. The issue as everyone knows is not having a top center.

    I’d make a run at Shattenkirk to replace Markov and Oduya for depth – this allows N8, Petry, Markov to be expendable (not signed, unprotected or traded). N8 will be cheap so can always sign for depth and trade sometime next season.

    What about Vanek 2.2? It’s scary but he played well this past season, albeit on a team that was going nowhere. Again maybe some depth especially if Patches were to be moved for a #1 center.

    Boyle: Chucky needs to be moved to the wing and if there is any way to shed Pleks $6M I’d be more than happy to see Boyle play #3C.

    As far as bottom 6 – IMO a lot of good parts but seeing King go will be the biggest improvement. I was pleasently surprised at Ott, thought he played well in the playoff. I’d like to see more of McCarron and Martinsen but no more of Flynn.

    A lot really pivots on Markov and Patches – they are both big pieces of this team and I’d like to see each return but you have to consider using Markov’s money and then some to upgrade. Patches is a bargin in the regular season but had a terrible playoff – I’d not look to move him unless it was needed to get a solid #1 C for years to come. One last thing about Patches – lets not forget he has had playoff success in the past…. don’t be too quick to dismiss one of the best value contracts in the league.

  17. The_Rocket_Returns says:

    Anybody who likes what they saw from Brandon Davidson needs to watch the series-losing goal again.

    At best the guy is a number-seven defenseman on an average club.

    It blows my mind to see people agonize over this team’s losing and then talk about how great their point-less minus depth players are.

    If Molson reads this site, he probably laughs himself silly. Why fix a sinking ship when hopelessly gullible people keep paying to ride in it?

    … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • 123456 says:

      Do you mean the goal where a fluke bounce sent to puck across the ice to a player that Benn was close to but not tying the player up? That one???

    • Strummer says:

      Yeah Davidson is a #7 at best.
      Benn is a #6
      Before N8 was scratched Davidson was playing 9 minutes a night.

      I will question why In an elimination game you sit a better player in N8 over Davidson, to make a point.

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

      • 123456 says:

        Agreed – you’ve had all season (or at least many weeks) to decide who plays. Outside of an injury or admission that confidence is lost I thought N8 was above Davidson. What surprised me was that Nesterov beat anyone out.

        • Strummer says:

          I think they felt Nesterov had offensive upside which was why they picked him up in the first place.
          CJ had experience with Torey Krug in smalller D who could score as well

          -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

          • 123456 says:

            Yes Nesterov had an upside with offense – it’s just that his downside was a huge canyon. I’m generally not too negative but I went to the Habs/Sabres game and watched Nesterov a lot and he did not have a good game.

  18. habsr4ever says:

    Shaw had concussion. Man I feel for him.
    Glad he has a long summer to heal his brain. He is such a big piece for us. Had won this round not sure how much further you can go without that warrior in our top 9. OH well – get well soon Shawzee!

  19. habsr4ever says:

    I do feel for Chucky having to deal with the same questions all the time about centre and wing.
    Yes he has made his own bed to an extent but you can certainly sense his frustration playing in Montreal with the media always in his face.
    Tough to play in Montreal but the GREATS do it and strive in it. I still love his talent and I think he can turn it around again. I hope we give him another contract unless of course we can land Huberdeau for him.

  20. bwoar says:

    Dipsy I hope you’re right about Galchenyuk. It’s early to give up on him, I’ll admit I waiver in his case.

    I waivered with Beaulieu though, and in the end he finished right back in my doghouse. So hope is tiny just now.

    I just don’t take the start-of-the-year annual points collection drive much to heart. For me a player (and a team) show themselves in games 50-82. Whatever is wrong with AG (and I think it’s his attitude) can just go away. He’s got 70 points written all over him but doesn’t want to learn how to read. He’s still expecting management to hand him the audiobook telling him how great he is, and a paycheque besides.

    Unless MB strikes again, there’s little choice next year but to hand him the #1C job and see what happens.

  21. Habs62 says:

    Rules of expansion protection. Everyone with a NMC must be protected. That means Petry. But I’m with you on MB falling in love with another D man too soon and overpaying. See a pattern there. Not exactly a top 5 GM (other than alphabetically)

    My favorite idea so far is Pacioretty (and something) to Isles for Tavares. He’s the stud offense we need. Add another free agent like Oshie. Lose Pleks Emelin for cap $. Roll with that
    Edit and sign Rads. Obviously all this requires losing Pleks and Emelin

    • habsr4ever says:

      We needed D badly and Petry had a great playoff with us that year. He was our BEST. With no D in our pipeline what was he supposed to do – take a flyer on somebody else who hadn’t played with us already? He knew enough and really $5.5 M is a GREAT price for a second pairing right handed Dman. He would have got MORE on the open market (Wings were rumored to be $6.5 M). Any how – it wasn’t a panic move. It was a smart educated (he saw him on his own team and got to talk to his coaches and players in their exits) move. Remember very few UFA’s want to sign in Montreal. Taxes front and centre. Petry did just fine again this season.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Petry signed because he was playing behind PK and in front of Price. No pressure. He would have been first pairing anywhere else he signed.

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    Next season is just around the corner.

  23. jdusa says:

    My 1st instinct in Saturday night was quite similar to what others said: ‘get rid of N8, dump Chucky and Max etc’. This is a good lesson to self not to post right after a series loss.

    Chucky was drafted 3rd overall and was probably the best forward on the team last year. I am not against trading Chucky but you better get serious value back.

    Similarly, Max scores 30+ goals a year. Look around the league. How many players do that year in year out?

    I think the fact that Danault is a 1st line center is a problem and the fact that our 2nd best defenseman is 38 is a problem but let’s regain perspective, we lost by a razor thin margin to a very good team this is not a team that needs to tear it down and become the Sabres. And to those preaching for a Price trade didn’t we all see how that might work out last year?

    This is what I think we should do ; sign Markov for 1 more year so you can transition to Sergachev smoothly, move on from N8, if Chucky is here put him back with Max and Radiulov (must sign him) and let them play. See if you can move Peeks. Upgrade the forward line with at least one significant FA. Redo the 4th line, there has to be a minimum level of skill to go with size. Mitchell is ok the rest meh.
    May as well add Sberbak and DLR. Uparade assistant coaches and minor league staff.

    Have a nice summer.

    • habsr4ever says:

      Not sure I would sign Markov again.
      He had a solid regular season but he is scary slow on the back end. Like to see what is out there and who we can get before I would commit to Markov.
      N8 – I hope he is gone. He himself needs a change. It would be good for BOTH parties.
      I really was impressed with Davidson – he will be a solid bottom pairing dman on this team. N8 is too hit and miss to be on a bottom pairing. Rather have steady defensive dman back there. He and Benn will be just fine as our #5 and 6.
      Emelin and Petry as our 3 and 4.
      And let’s sign a UFA to play on our first pairing.
      Chevy is probably still a year away. Hate rushing prospects especially on the back end. Same with Juulsen.

    • bwoar says:

      A big part of me wants to agree, especially with:

      This is what I think we should do ; sign Markov for 1 more year so you can transition to Sergachev smoothly, move on from N8, if Chucky is here put him back with Max and Radiulov (must sign him) and let them play.

      And most of all with that last part. Make a top line with the best offensive centre, period.

      If we aren’t going to turn #27 into a C, it’s past time to trade him.

    • expat_habsfan says:

      Good advise, sort of like don’t go to bed angry. I would differ though on Rads, Chucky, Patches as a line ever again. Other than Rads, who is winning any puck battles for that line? Other than Rads, who is going to the net? Rads, can’t do both jobs; the center is supposed to do the heavy lifting on the line and Chucky doesn’t appear to have that mentality nor does it appear that he wants to develop it. I’m not letting Patches off the hook either. He’s just as poor a battler as Chucky, perhaps poorer considering how “big” a player he really is. All those natural gifts but no “heart’ for the game. Maybe he had it but it never recovered from Chara’s assassination attempt? Too bad either way.

  24. Habs62 says:

    Hossa looog contract similar to Webers long contract Is it not??

    Edit: Weber top D at 40. Guess we know who inherited mayor fords crack pipe

  25. The ice ghost says:

    Price says he wants to stay in Montreal. Talk is cheap, brother. Will you instruct your agent to leave enough on the table to sign some scoring?

    That’s the only question I have for Cary Price.

    “Leafs will pay for top pair D” Rumor has it they are targeting Phaneuf.

  26. chilli says:

    No matter how many times Price says he wants to stay in Montreal, folks continue to come here with their doomsday attitudes of him signing elsewhere.
    He’s not going anywhere.
    MB will fix what is ailing our team.
    Much easier said than done, but I have faith in him.
    He just glossed over our needs at center this year until it was too late. The deadline was too late and he didn’t want to sell the future.

    • The ice ghost says:

      Chilli, with all due respect, our needs at center were GLARING and OBVIOUS when MB got here.

      Galyenchuk was handled terribly by EmT, which MB ignored. We’ve needed a real #1 center since forever.

      5 years. That’s 35 in dog years.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I think he glossed over the needs at center the year before too. As Price, he’s one of the best players in the league. I can’t see MB giving him 10 million. Nobody knows what he is asking for.

  27. G4be says:

    Will Lehkonen be top six forward next season, probably. Is Gallagher still projected to be top six forward or will he be another Shaw with better offensive skills suitable for 3 line role? Is Petry really top 4 dmen or did we fall for after the trade productive player (example: Andrighetto, Smith-Pelly) and overpaid him to be a top four dmen?

    I’d rather lose Petry to expansion draft than Emelin and sign Shattenkirk in Free Agency.

    Trade Beaulieau/Pacioretty for top line Center. Acquire the rights to Kovalchuk.

    Kovalchuk – Galchenyuk – Radulov as the top line. At least Kovi and Rads contributes in the playoffs unlike Pacioretty these past few post-seasons.

  28. WindsorHab-10 says:

    What are the chances the Habs leave Shea Weber unprotected?

  29. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Supposedly Beaulieu said today that management told him that he is a big part of the future going forward on the team…and I thought we were gullible.

  30. Luke says:

    Bob MacKenzie did a run down on the Kovalchuk return.

    1) Basically, he’s property of the Devils and free to sign there, no strings attached.
    2) He can sign with any team, but a string attached – all teams in the league would have to give approval.
    3) He can be signed and traded by the Devils. But can’t have his rights traded without being signed by the Devils first.

  31. DeadEnd says:

    I’m all for evaluating/criticizing when it’s due, and no question mistakes have been made by MB, but there are a few comments that need to be addressed:

    – MB said this team would be better and it was. They missed the playoffs last year and won their division this year, even with a month-and-a-half vacation in the middle. Yes, they lost in the first round and yes, it was due mainly to a lack of scoring. But it’s not like they got blown out by a team that snuck into the playoffs; they lost in 6 games to a team with 102 points and (when you remove empty-netters) didn’t lose by more than a goal in any of their four losses. If the Rangers get smoked by the Sens, we can revisit this.

    – I’ve seen a few people waiting to see how MB deflects blame during his pressser. That’s garbage. He stood up last year and took the blame head on, as did Molson. It was the ex-coach who didn’t shoulder any of it (referring to “us” instead of “me”). Maybe excuses will be made, but he will accept blame.

    It’s going to be a long, dark summer on here. If they sell the farm for Duchene, that will be a huge problem.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      MB is the biggest problem facing this team. A disgrace to the CH. Ruined this team forever and ever. Defend him all you want but if we’re starting a new chapter, OUT HE GOES.

      • DeadEnd says:

        I could see him getting tossed, and I wouldn’t cry foul on it in any way.

        Signing DD for that money and term, same with Emelin, hiring MT to begin with and then hanging on as long as he did, these are all black marks in my opinion.

        But guys like Houle, Andre Savard and the Goat did far more damage.

      • habsfan0 says:

        Geoff Molson: Marc Bergevin has this team on the right path.
        THEREIN lies your problem.

    • The ice ghost says:

      DeadEnd – okay, we did better than last year, but MB has been here FIVE YEARS!

      The culture of mediocrity has to stop. That’s what sickens me the most. “Well we made the playoffs.”

      That’s Leaf talk. Excuse me I have to go punch a wall.

  32. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Never been a Caps fan, but would like to see Ovechkin win a Cup. And I like Trotz and Holtby.

    Anybody else?

    • Bun E. Laroque says:

      I like a lot of the Capital players. Backstrom, Ovechkin, Holtby. The only one I don’t like is Orpik. More power to them. Even though we just lost to them in a fairly tense series, I have to go for the Rangers over the Sens cuz I do not like them at all.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Hey BunE.
        I actually sometimes go with the team that beats us (eg. Tampa; eg NOT Carolina; never Boston).
        Won’t go with Rangers cuz if they get past Sens they can’t beat either Caps or Pens.
        I agree about Orpik. I momentarily suspended my despisal of Nazim Kadri when he gave Orpik a good pop. Did you see that? (But by the time he tried to blow out Ovechkin’s knee, the little puke was already back in his holding pen with Cooke and Marchand and Raffi Torres).
        Can the Caps beat Pitts?

        • Bun E. Laroque says:

          Can’t stand Kadri. Even worse than Orpik. Caps will be hard pressed to beat Pittsburgh. Holtby will have to be at his very best. Nashville beat Chicago four straight. Possibly a countrified Stanley Cup final this year.

    • habsr4ever says:

      Nope – sorry I’ll cheer for Sid the Canadian captain.
      Alex with his foot hanging over the boards to get on the ice all the time glaring at his teammate to get off cuz they aren’t good enough and HE is kind of irritates me.
      that isn’t leadership. would love to have a pop with Alex but I wouldn’t want him being my captain.
      Oilers are the TEAM I am cheering for but can’t see them winning the cup this year any how.
      Sens – sorry just can’t cheer for them EVER or the LEAFS or the Bruins……simply just can NOT.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Haha! Good run-down.
        Sens are weird — I don’t actually hate them with Bruins-type hatred. I just can’t like them.
        I even felt like that BEFORE I saw that unbalanced-helmet-gladiator-WWE pre-game disaster thing.

    • The ice ghost says:

      I’d kill for Backstrom. Yes OV deserves a cup.

    • ari says:

      Me too.Ovi desreves the cup.A final between caps and preds is fun ..

  33. habsr4ever says:

    Last 5 years. Under Bergy’s watch. Just say’in.
    Habs
    12-13 1st in NE – lost in Round one of playoffs
    13-14 3rd in NE – lost in round 3 of playoffs.
    14-15 1st in Atlantic – lost in round 2 of playoffs.
    15-16 – out of playoffs
    16-17 – 1st in Atlantic. lost in round one of playoffs.
    Oilers
    out of playoffs 4 years. 2nd in division this year and into round two.
    Flames
    12-13 out. 13-14 out. 14-15 – lost in second round of playoffs.
    15-16 – out. 16-17 4th in pacific and lost out in first round of playoffs.
    Sens
    12-13 4th in NE. round one win vs habs but lost in round two.
    13-14 5th in Atlantic. out of playoffs
    14-15 4th in Atlantic . lost in round one to habs.
    15-16. OUT of playoffs
    16-17. 2nd in atlantic. on to round 2.
    Jets
    out of playoffs 4 years. one year made it but lost in round one.
    Canucks.
    twice made playoffs and lost in round one both times. 3 years OUT of playoffs.
    Leafs
    12-13. 4th seed. Make playoffs and lost to Boston in round one.
    13-14, 14-15,15-16 OUT of playoffs. 16-17 – wild card team and lost in round one.
    Sabres
    OUT of playoffs all five years.
    Bruins
    12-13 – second in NE. Lost in cup finals to Hawks.
    13-14. First in Atlantic. Lost to Habs in round one.
    14-15 OUT of playoffs.
    15-16 OUT of playoffs.
    16-17 3rd in Atlantic. Lost in round one of playoffs.
    Tampa Bay
    12-13 out of playoffs and in the WEAK SE division too.
    13-14 – 2nd in Atlantic. Lost to habs in round one.
    14-15 – 2nd in Atlantic. Lost in Cup finals.
    15-16 2nd in Atlantic. Lost in round 3.
    16-17. Out of playoffs.
    Florida Panthers
    15-16 – first in Atlantic but lose in round one of playoffs.
    All other FOUR years they do not qualify for playoffs (OUT of playoffs).
    Red Wings
    12-13 3rd in Central – lost in round two of playoffs.
    13-14 4th in Atlantic – lost in round one.
    14-15- 3rd in atlantic – lost in round one.
    15-16 – 3rd in atlantic – lost in round one.
    16-17 – OUT of playoffs.
    For curiosity LAK
    12-13 2nd in pacific – lost in round 3 of playoffs.
    13-14 – 3rd in pacific – won STANLEY cup.
    14-15 – 4th in pacific. OUT of playoffs.
    15-16 – 2nd in pacific – lost in round one of playoffs.
    16-17 – 5th in pacific. – OUT of playoffs.

    I didn’t look into the other NHL teams simply not enough time. But all Canadian teams. All division competitors. Are listed as well as LAK who have serious issues and cap problems moving forward.
    But I would suspect the Rangers, Penguins, Hawks, Caps have better reccords (caps playoff success though NEVER went past round two but are a solid franchise) over all than Bergy. Sharks – one solid playoff season but rest they always do great in regular season but seem to choke.
    Bottom line Bergy is awesome and remember he took over a 28th place team too with a smurf sized line-up and no prospects in the pipeline.
    I’m out.
    peace.

  34. twilighthours says:

    Well, there goes my hope to deal Price…

    @JohnLuTSNMtl
    #Habs Price on contract issue: “I want to stay here. I know we’ll figure out a way to make all the pieces fit & bring a championship here.”

    @TSNBobMcKenzie
    This is comforting/encouraging for MTL fans to extent that if Price didn’t say this, it would create concern/panic.

    @JohnLuTSNMtl
    What also s/b comforting to #Habs fans is that Price was answering Q in context of ensuring his cap hit would leave room for right pieces.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Unless I see a signed contract, I am skeptical. I don’t think his agent cares about the Habs cap room.

      • habcertain says:

        Price is smart, he will say all the right things leading up to a decision. I think he is more focused on winning a Cup, and how does he make that happen. There is a ceiling for goaltenders and assume he will be at the top, wherever that may be.

        Edit: we also have good prospects, and would be willing to deal Price if we could fulfill our needs up front. my understanding is McNiven is destined to be better than Price.

      • habsr4ever says:

        The agent takes direction from the player at the end of the day. So yes until we see a signed contract it could be a smoke screen but with Carey – pretty sure it isn’t. He doesn’t come across as one of those kind of people does he? I’ll take him for his word.

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          We have no idea what the “workable” number in his head is. It could be 10 million. Toews, Kane, Kopitar all make ten…I could go on. I wouldn’t be surprised if his agent is talking to other teams gauging the “goalie market”…wink wink.

    • DeadEnd says:

      Any goalie of decent quality will fight tooth-and-nail to not come here. No upside, given how the media and fans will tear them to pieces the first time they give up three goals.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Twi, that last tweet is potentially of immense significance.

      If it’s not gamesmanship — which would be entirely appropriate: this is business — then it strongly suggests that someone on the inside, indeed an important player — believes that it’s pieces we need, not a reboot or tank or blow-up.

      Thanks for posting that.

    • habsr4ever says:

      Why are you surprised?
      Superstars don’t leave their teams very often especially in their prime and when they are happy.
      Price knows this team is close and respects his GM and is jacked out our new head coach. He also knows if he eats up cap space he won’t win a cup here. He knows he is still going to get paid and he has enough cabbage for his entire family for many generations to come. Just like Sid the Kid taking only $8.7 M cuz he knows teams can’t win if he eats up too much space. And Sid is a centre. Carey is a goalie. Carey isn’t dumb. He won’t take a huge pay cut cuz of the NHLPA but he isn’t going to handcuff our top 5 GM either.
      Yup I am thinking $8.5 M times 6-7 years. Can’t see it starting with a NINE…..some where’s in the 8’s? and term – well maybe its 8 years and $8 M to get the cap hit lower?
      We shall see but I am not surprised in the least he wants to stay in Montreal.

      • twilighthours says:

        Bro, I’m not surprised.

        • habsr4ever says:

          ok – good to know…..kind of surprised you are hoping we deal him though. Oh well – all good. We all have our thoughts and wishes and hopes and opinions. and we all want what is best for our team. That’s what fans do.

          • twilighthours says:

            I want him dealt because he’s an asset that can snag a huge return. If we keep him (and rads) and those contracts push us to the cap, then we’ll be bad next year and worse the next.

            Time to be proactive in a quick rebuild.

  35. The ice ghost says:

    Who would Bergie’s buddies on Blackhawks give us for Price? They need a goalie badly.

    Go Preds!

    • habsr4ever says:

      hawks window is pretty much closing on them. they’ll be competitive but one of Toews or Kane has to go.
      They can go the UFA route on goalies and prey one takes a discount because they want a chance at a ring. But pretty sure most know Hawks are pretenders and not contenders any more. Simply no depth up front and good luck unloading Hossa with that LONG LONG contract.

  36. Dunboyne Mike says:

    DDO:
    “Or under a bus…not in the storage area…literally under the bus (just realized when you explain a joke it’s not really a joke anymore).”

    Maybe, but it made me laugh out loud on a sad day. Cheers Dollard!

  37. The ice ghost says:

    Guys, I need advice.

    Bergy presser same time as Leafs presser to announce parade route — what do I do?

    I have two baskets of nice soft rotten tomatoes. One for Bergy and One for Leafs.

    This is just torture.

  38. bwoar says:

    Not much to say but Luke has what should be the best possible message for the GM:

    “This team needs the war horse. Not the show horse.”

    Now, that was in reference to #27, who is a young, uh, forward I guess. But to me the reference fits nicely comparing Rick Nash to Max Pacioretty too.

    Might as well get a few of these in while I’m here:

    – Don’t trade Price, sign him. Or you are utter ebola & your opinion sucks forever.
    – Weber + Lehkonen + Radulov = best playoff performers, all MB’s guys?
    – Radu! 3 yrs. 6.5M. Get him and the Finn a C and we’d have a top line.
    – Don’t blow it up but change immediately & do it in the top 6.
    – At this point we could trade Pacioretty and Galchenyuk and sign Shipachyov and Kovalchuk and not be any worse off.
    – Beaulieu, beh-bye
    – Bergevin / CJ tandem will stay at least another year
    – Timmins job saved by Lehkonen? Maybe but…. 🙁
    – Duchene possibility is back on the table, IMO.
    – Most of the lottery teams would at least consider Galchenyuk + Pacioretty + Beaulieu for #1st+…. looking at you Canucks, Avs & Golden Casinos

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Agree with you bwoar except for Galchenyuk. At the time of his injury, 23 points in 25 games. Only McDavid had significantly more points at centre. Galchenyuk was producing at the rate of Malkin, Crosby and Seguin.

      He’ll come good.

      —–

    • The ice ghost says:

      I agree with you on all points except Price (and Galyenchuk, see above) Here is my reasoning.

      You need the right players, and you need them at the right time. Price has always been advertised as the goalie who can steal you a series, but he never has. Curse at me all you want, it’s a fact.

      He is a great goalie when there is no pressure. Like on Team Canada.

      Price should play for a real contender. There is no point in us having him, especially at 9 million or whatever he is going to cost.

      We should have taken Kopitar. I think that is proven to be historically accurate. Nobody blows that high a pick on a goalie, except Gainey who was right about Price’s talent but wrong about his development which was effed up from the word go.

      Same with Weber. Why do we need an elite shut down D on a crap team?

      This team is structurally unbalanced. It was that way when Bergy inherited it, so of course that is not his fault, but he has not done the things he should have done since to fix the structural deficiencies. He’s had 5 years.

      Blow it up. We all want the 25th Cup, but wishing won’t make it so.

      • chilli says:

        Hindsight is easy when it comes to draft picks but I still pick Price. A goalie like Price – much like a D-man like PK – come around once every 20 years.
        I love Kopitar – but he’s also the highest paid player in the NHL this year at $14 million and had the same amount of goals as Lars Eller.
        Less goals than Brian Gionta and PA Parenteau and Renee Bourque on a team that didn’t make the playoffs.
        2 less points than Rads.
        But yes, it’s not all about stats with Kopi. He’s great.

      • WindsorHab-10 says:

        Price is a great regular season goalie that chokes in the playoffs. Don’t you dare bring up the Olympics & World Cup. Fucale would have won those as well.

      • bwoar says:

        We just don’t see eye-eye, ghost, I guess its unlikely we ever will.

        “We should have taken Kopitar”:

        Not that this needs still more once again further rebuff, but, Kings make the playoffs this year if you swapped Price for Kopitar, yet, the Habs would not have done.

    • mrhabby says:

      Agree with what you say but.

      1. Julien signed a long term 5 year deal . He is not going anywhere.

  39. Habs62 says:

    Habs4ever [heart emoji] Bergevin. I get it. Buy a tshirt … stalk his house whatever


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