About last night … Leafs edge CH 4-3 in Overtime

A Number 1 draft choice played like a first overall first rounder … which has happened a lot since Auston Matthews began what is shaping up as a Hall of Fame career in the NHL.

Premature plaudits for the Leafs’ sophomore sensation?

OK, but Matthews – two goals on three shots, 9-4 in the face-off circle and a dangerous presence on every shift – was the difference Saturday night in a game the Canadiens played well enough to win.

But they didn’t.

Frederik Andersen, who looked skittish early on, made 13 saves in the third period to maintain a 3-3 tie and set up Matthews’ heroics.

And the Canadiens – who outshot the visitors in every period and played well enough to win – instead will head for California with a 1-3-1 record – five points behind Atlantic Division leaders Toronto, Tampa Bay and Detroit.

Before agonizing about what is a perennial Death Valley swing through the West Coast, shall we focus on some positives in Saturday’s game?

• Artturi Lehkonen solidified his position beside Jonathan Drouin and Max Pacioretty on the Canadiens’ top line.

• Victor Mete – six blocked shots and very few mistakes in 22:26 – solidified his status as Shea Weber’s junior partner.

• Rather than sulk through fourth-line duty, Alex Galchenyuk hustled on almost every shift and scored a sweet goal.

• Charles Hudon had four shots on goal, four hits and, once again, looked at home with Phillip Danault and Andrew Shaw.

• Karl Alzner makes us marginally less nervous about Jeff Petry.

• They have no size, which could make for challenging match-ups against the California behemoths, but Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher have resuscitated ageless Tomas Plekanec.

• First goals of the young season for Drouin, Galchenyuk and the Canadiens’ power play.

Did I forget any positives?

On to the other side of the ledger:

• Brandon Davidson was decent, but Jordie Benn’s season is off to a rough start.

• The Canadiens were outhit 33-21 and the Leafs seemed to win most of the board battles.

• Drouin was 3-13 on face-offs.

• And then there’s the goaltender …

Yes, there have been big saves and flashes of brilliance.

But the Canadiens, as currently constructed, need stellar play every night from the guy who eats up $10.5 million of their salary cap.

Simply put, through five games Carey Price has not been Carey Price. 

And unless their heretofore All-World goaltender recaptures the form that justified that gargantuan contract, this team will miss the playoffs.

And deprive us of what might be a great Toronto-Montreal series.

•  •  •

Comment on the Liveblog by xman4227:

Boys played good for the most part tonight. Mete was awesome. Hemsky was invisible. Chucky got the goal but still not out of the dog house.

I’m seeing in the comments what I’ve been saying for awhile. Price is not playing up to his label of the “best goalie in the world”. He has never stepped up to steal games in the playoffs. Up to now his solid regular season play has overshadowed that fact and given him some slack but now its bleeding into regular season play. His team badly outshot the other, once again, on a night that the Habs were supposed to lose 6-0 if you watch TSN or listen to Leaf homers. It wasn’t the forwards or defence that let the team down (weak back check in OT by Byron, notwithstanding). It was Price’s inability to make the key saves. He’s not making the saves a goalie in his pay grade should be making. Lundqvist, Crawford, Holtby and now Andersen have all outplayed our “star” goalie.

Poor decision to match up a shut down trio against Mathews and Nylander instead of an all out offensive line like Mete, Drouin and Chucky/Patches.

From Fleur:

Is Max Pac ever going to go to the net to try and score or is his speciality of firing from the parking lot (as Knuckles would say) the only trick in his bag? So far this year I can count at least a half dozen times when he is coming down the wing, with room, and could make a pass, cycle back, drive the net. Instead he fires it right into the old bread basket. Instant stoppage in play. I know he’s not Guy Lafleur but he does have size and could use that to his advantage. He needs a little Brendan Gallagher in him. Now with 3 games out west, one win in their first eight is staring them right in the face. Those types of starts are very hard to rectify. Good teams find a way to win games like tonight. Bad teams find a way to lose them.

Last word to Trade Patches:

Carey’s knees are worse than mgmt is saying.
Big Defense but too slow for new NHL.
Patches is officially the worst captain in the league.
Hemsky. Not good enough to work the gate.
CJ is clueless and MB isn’t much better.
Long season ahead for Habs fans.

272 Comments

  1. dutchy29 says:

    I agree the Habs have been mismanaged now for a few years, but I still think a few comments on here are a bit too dooms day to soon.
    First anyone thinking we should trade Price has lost there marbles.
    Its too early to call for a full rebuild, I mean we just came off a 1st place finish. Letting Markov and Radulov walk had to be done……they were asking for too much. Saying that the hire a coach because he’s French thing has to stop. Makes zero sense not to mention the fact there is history with the Bruins rival there and players who were previously called out by the bald wonder and now have to play under him. Just dumb. MT never played the right players in the right spots and now CJ is continuing that trend. Players are not treated equally and now Chucky the only bright offensive light on the team is trying to scrape together a season playing from the 4th line. Saying that its really early in the year. A bit more puck luck and stronger performances from Price would have us at 500. Scoring remains the constant concern and is getting a bit old.

  2. AndyF says:

    A lot of Habs fans seem to be under the impression that Geoff Molson would never let anything get in the way of winning the Cup. But it’s a piece of cake for Molson.

    The franchise, bought with almost $300M of provincial loans, and an assortment of 6 or 7 other investors each investing a few dozen million to round up to $575M… all that Molson has to do is convince his partners that we’re addicted enough to watching the Habs play regular season hockey that the storied franchise will keep growing in value at 9-10% per year.

    And without winning anything, that’s pretty much what’s happened. The franchise, now 8 years into the current ownership group, has doubled in value without really showing any signs of Cup potential. 9-10% compound growth.

    So Molson is pretty ok with the status quo. And we keep drinking the Koolaid.

    • Fleur says:

      If you made that statement in the era before the salary cap I might be tempted to see your point but in today’s NHL each team has to spend to a certain level of the cap. In the Hab’s case they’ve consistently been at the cap, excepting for this year – but that will get chewed up eventually when Bergy hits the panic button. So given that they always spend to the cap, it would be insane to think he’s ok with the status quo. He HAS to spend the money on salaries and other expenses so to think he’s ok with not making a run in the playoffs when he makes even more money just defies reason. If he was always at the cap floor and the rink was still full then yeah, I’d agree but that’s simply not the case here.

  3. ThebadBoards says:

    Yup we got no puck luck .Seems to me I recall that last two seasons we had tremendous puck luck and hence the great starts. Everything was going our way. NOW this season not so much . Ha ! I KEEP ON HEARING’ we out shot them ‘ we out shot them lol. last I saw at least 60 to 70 % percent are from the parking lot as someone else said, quoting Nylan I think. That it’s so consistent with our system from almost the last nine coaches and even so with Demers ‘ fortuitous cup run. Last I heard it was out scoring them that counted. Not out shooting them.The HABS played with a little more life against leafs at least. So maybe there is some hope ,though I still see the Montreal Water Bugs for the most part. Can’t we get away from dump and chase, Were not suited for that . Maybe we don’t have enough talent for a puck possession team. Hate to say it and I believe that the leafs are not that much better then the Habs ( for now anyway ).So as a fan if my team is not a Stanley Cup contender or at least a threat . Mr.Molson please make it worth my while and my dollar to be as entertaining as the leafs are now .Much MORE exciting to watch then Les Habitants .

  4. Alvin says:

    All the players need with those new sweaters is a cravat ffs !

  5. Alvin says:

    Very kind headline from ALN.
    Could have read Matthews Owns Price!

  6. petefleet says:

    Benn sucks. Can’t make a play. Has looked terrible since the first preseason game. Schlemco had better be better.

    “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”
    Carey Price

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the INTERNET”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    ***Go Habs Go***

  7. doug19 says:

    What other sport or business would let someone like MB with his lite business experience & hockey knowledge play with so many athletes and that much money for 6 or 7 years?

  8. cbhabsfan says:

    I haven’t been posting much lately, but, the clenched-teeth despair that has been on consistent display on this site since last spring’s playoff debacle has sure been a lot of fun to read.

    But tell me, is the glass always this half-empty on HIO, or have I just been dropping in at particularly gloomy moments?

    Points haven’t been easy to come by early in the season and the growing pains on defence have been difficult to watch, but I’ve managed to see every game so far and as near as I can tell we’ve shown up for every one, with the notable exception of the Caps embarrassment.

    Am I dead-wrong in thinking this team will eventually consist of four evenly balanced and reasonably productive lines, three reliable defensive pairings and a world-class goaltender that should be able to compete on an even footing with the league’s better teams?

    Or am I just another pure-hearted Polly who can’t see that the lineup Bergevin has put together is essentially garbage that should set us up for a lottery pick next June?

    Thoughts, anyone?

    • FormalWare says:

      I see what you see. This team “should” be too good to miss the playoffs – certainly too good to garner a high-percentage lottery pick.

      Which is bad news, from my perspective. I want MB fired and the team overhauled.


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

    • Seps says:

      Let me start with a question… Where would we be without the unproven 19yo Victor Mete playing 1st pairing minutes? We have no other option.

      Pacioretty plays 20 minutes a night, is our captain and has one goal in 5 games and brings no physicality, no playmaking abilities, just scoring.

      Plekanec plays 17 minutes a night and had 28 points in 78 games last year. Oh did I mention he also makes 6M?

      Galchenyuk who had 23 points in 25 games while playing healthy first line minutes last year is on our fourth line.

      Petry and Alzner are slow and combined make just under a seventh of our teams salary cap.

      The only offensively geared coach we’ve had in the last 20 years was Carbonneau. Leaving much offensive talent to be wasted. Took us 4 years to realize maybe Desharnais wasn’t a top line centre.

      There are reasons for positivity such as if Pacioretty was placed on the second line. If Chucky was kept as a centre or Chucky playing with Drouin. But for the time being it looks like there’s no sign of any changes to be made.

  9. Arnold 56-79 says:

    I’ve been totally out of any hockey loop since the first game. Chilling on the beaches in SoCal, and still getting my voice back after attending the USC game last night. Now that’s excitement! Big time U.S. college football has a tonality and intensity surpassing most professional sports.

    Disappointed to see the Habs winless since game one. I can’t get involved reading about those games, but the early great starts last two seasons meant little at the end.

    And maybe it will be better to destroy false illusions early and get to work looking for solutions. I’ll be at Wednesdays game and fully expect a turnaround.

    Now off to Ojai for the day and another week of sun and short sleeves in L.A

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Have you see what has been going on north of you Arnold? Honestly it has been hard to give a crap about the Habs when you see all these disasters happening. Those pictures of neighborhoods completely burnt down to the ground are astonishing.

  10. Habnormal says:

    @Gerry pigeon. Great post. Sums up everything perfectly

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Except for his suggestion on Roy. He’s even less qualified than MB to be GM. A HOF goalie does not make a great GM.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Not a huge fan of Roy either and not sure a guy like Molson would want a loose cannon as a GM.

        —————-
        Low risk, low cost, no return
        AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      Thanks Habnormal.

      As for Roy’s temperament, here’s my reply to Knob below:

      Yup, Roy’s temperament scares me too.

      But I think it’s that passion, that uncompromising drive to WIN, and the fact, IMO, he actually knows how to get there, that makes me feel he’s the best person for the job.

      I love Brisebois too. TB looks like a pretty good team to me. I wouldn’t mind Roy as President and Brisebois as GM (I think that was RN’s suggestion, I know it’s not mine originally, so want to give credit where credit is due).

      Sadly, what this regime makes me question more than anything, is their motives. I can’t believe real hockey men think you can win the Cup without offence. So that’s my primary reason for wanting Roy. Does he look like he can be compromised? 🙂

      BTW, my wife says if I’m right, no way Molson hires Patrick. So if he gets the opportunity and bypasses him, or Patty doesn’t even get an interview, I’ll know it’s time to follow the Jets…lol.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Far more probable that it would be someone like Brisebois. And, for the record, I would have loved for the Habs to hire Benoit Groulx for Laval before TB snapped him up. I saw him coach Gatineau a lot and his teams were always ready and he’s a solid guy.

        —————-
        Low risk, low cost, no return
        AKA The MB Trifecta©

      • mrhabby says:

        Wasn’t Roy already interviewed when they were looking for a GM. Molson would not hire him .

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          I don’t believe he was interviewed, but can’t say for sure.

          I remember Jim Nill was interviewed and rejected, and now his Dallas Stars enjoy better odds in Las Vegas than our Habs do, of winning the Cup this year.

          Nill also managed to trade for BOTH Seguin and Spezza, a couple of offensive centers with talent, that MB says other GM’s won’t give away…

          Now, Nill also has a huge tax advantage to lure FA’s with (Rads), and hasn’t accomplished as many wins as our Habs have when comparing his and MB’s tenures. But I’d argue a few years ago, when Nill put together his best team lately, they looked better in those playoffs than our team has lately.

          And they have a real captain 🙂

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Gerry, Jim Nill declined to be interviewed by the Canadiens, he stated he was happy in his situation as Assistant GM in Detroit. The next season he threw his hat into the ring and got the job in Dallas.

            Patrick Roy was interviewed by Marc Bergevin, for the head coach position. There were rumours flying around that it was a done deal, that he’d already bought a place on the South Shore near the Brossard facility. It was a weird process, where nothing came of it, he spoke about being honoured to be considered, that he offered to work essentially under a contract that wasn’t guaranteed, that he wouldn’t get paid if he was let go or resigned.

          • Gerry Pigeon says:

            Thank you UCE.

            I can always count on you to document the facts in detail.

            You are ESSENTIAL to this site, the structure that holds the whole thing up.

  11. 25soonenough says:

    Prediction for the next two weeks.

    We return from California 1-6-1 and Beregvin goes into save my own skin mode and starts making trades and call ups.

    –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Remember we all here were trying to come up with scenarios where an untouchable MB could get possibly get fired…we saw one last night. If Price is mediocre this year, guaranteed fired.

      • Captain aHab says:

        But not if one of Price, Weber or Pacioretty get injured and they suck. That would be a built-in excuse.

        If Price continues to suck, this team will be in a world of hurt.

        And imagine how bad the D would be if not for Mete….

        —————-
        Low risk, low cost, no return
        AKA The MB Trifecta©

        • Gerry Pigeon says:

          Is Carey playing hurt, like Trade Patches implied?

          Is Carey playing to get someone fired, as has been suggested by a few posters?

          Or is Carey just having a bad stretch? If so, how long will it last?

          Personally, I think Carey’s too good to have a bad stretch. Maybe a bad game, maybe even a few in a row. But not a stretch.

          If they keep losing, MB’s done.

          Bone up Patty! 🙂

  12. homerbowen says:

    MB must go. The team has regressed under him and he doesn’t know how to stock the cupboard. As someone stated earlier CJ is clueless The game has left him behind. He is way past his “best before date”. But what can you do he has 4 more years at big bucks (not worth it). Keep politics out of it and remove MB before he panics and makes more terrible trades. If we are in the business of re-cycling coaches perhaps Vignealt may become available in a few years!! Yes we are too small and that needs to be addressed. I would bring MacCarron and Learnout up as they are not learning in the AHL and they both add size. Let the learn in the “bigs”.

  13. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I benched 4 points in the HIO pool last night…geezus.

    Looking at the standings…NYR 1-5…yikes. Arizona and Buffalo already tanking. Edmonton 1-3 losing to Ott last night. All I know it is early but the Habs are not going to steamroll the East this year. They’re in really tough.

  14. cbhabsfan says:

    Pretty tough to turn off the tube after that game and not say you got your money’s worth.

    I enjoyed every second of regular time, but a three-on-three to start OT against this particular generational player is always going to be a handful, and Plekky and Byron at least had a decent chance to end it before the resident Leaf superhero managed to get the creases out of his cape.

    And OF COURSE, the big American phenom is also a fine defensive player, too, wouldn’t you know? He’ll have his name on a Stanley Cup one of these days. The Leafs sure stumbled their way to glory with that lucky fall of the bingo ball.

    And while there’s still a bothersome lack of finish on the forward lines, at least they are consistently getting good looks, which has been the case from the first game of the season.

    But I was really pleased with how each and every one of the non-Benn defencemen played last night. As soon as Benn is press-boxed (or moved to the right side – I dunno, it’s painfully obvious that he’s playing on a side that he’s not at all comfortable with, or at least it looks that way to me anyway), we should be a fairly tight at the back.

    I don’t mind a third pairing of Schlemko and Davidson. And if Davidson suddenly reverts to previous form, Laval’s best defenceman at the moment (Jerabek) is only a phone call away.

    I have no idea where things will end up by the end of the season, but I still think the defense – once the shakedown cruise is over – will serve us better than last year’s group.

    From what I’ve seen of Emelin and Beaulieu so far this season, parting ways with them won’t be coming back to haunt us anytime soon. They are getting regular shifts with Nashville and Buffalo, respectively, but I think we’ll be better over the long haul with Alzner and whoever finally wins the leftside third pairing job for keeps.

    A bit off topic, but even watching Andrighetto light it up on Colorado’s first line early on only makes me yawn (to me, he was always just one more small fry subtracted from a too-small group of Habs forwards), though HIO gets collectively red in the face every time his name comes up.

    Bottom line, if our top two pairings can play this way for most of the season and our third pairing eventually finds its best components, we should be a difficult team to play against the rest of the way.

    People should stop worrying about our best player. Maybe Carey Price hasn’t been lights-out so far this season, but there wasn’t a whole lot he could do on any of the Leafs goals last night.

    Sometimes the puck hits you or dribbles wide on chances like those, and sometimes it doesn’t. Last night just wasn’t his night.

  15. Mister Wrong says:

    When the Habs are on a losing skid the fans always blame their best players, which is exactly wrong. Price, Pacioretty, Weber, Drouin: they will all play better and be part of the solution.

    The problem is the guys who cannot play better. Especially the bottom four defencemen. The Habs may be getting a lot of shots, but they’re also allowing the 3rd or 4th most shots against per game and a lot of them are pretty frigging prime. And when you are giving those up to guys named Ovechkin and Matthews it doesn’t matter who your goalie is.

    Price hasn’t been awesome but I have watched every game and very few of the goals against are stinkers to me.

    #FireBergevin

    • Led says:

      We’re 4th best in shots against NOT worst.
      We’re 3rd best in shots for.

      Our shooting % is somewhere around 3%.
      Our save % is below .900.

      These are the areas where STAR players are paid to perform.
      The criticisms are warranted.

  16. habfan100 says:

    I was at the game last night. It’s been about 2 years since I was at the Bell Centre for a game. I’ve probably been to about 20 games at that venue and always found it to be special. The electricity of the arena and the pre game intros were always amazing. Every year I would look forward to see how they would spice up those intros. You could always count on a great atmosphere, especially during a Habs/Leafs game.

    This recent experience of a live Canadiens game was nowhere close to what I was used to. Walking down the street towards the arena, I noticed all the new built up condos etc. Once inside, I found that the atmosphere was gone. It felt like a mix of the dull ACC & an expansion team arena. There was a DJ now during the intermissions, a crappy slapped together intro, and buy one get one 50% off concessions. Towards the end of the game they were offering 25% off the new Adidas jerseys.The atmosphere now screamed gimmicks, milking, and throwing an occasional bone at the fans…

    Explain this to me. Why are they offering buy one get one 50% off concessions on a Saturday night game? Is management on the course that the Leafs were for so many years? Eh, put together an average team that can maybe go for a playoff berth, milk the fans as much as you can, and hope for the best? It seems the concourse in the upper bowl has been painted into a dull white…There’s certainly more kiosks to buy your $12 Molson Ex…It just smells of slapped together, half assed, money making crap that MLSE would pull.

    The game was enjoyable but the arena has unfortunately lost it’s mojo. I’ve been to Columbus and Buffalo games at the Bell Centre which had a way better atmosphere. I’ll keep watching on TV, but this organization will not be getting my $$$ for tickets. If I want a mausoleum, I can go to the ACC. The good news is, the fact that there are tickets available for home games. It’s time to hit them where it hurts. Don’t go to the games.

  17. knob says:

    Winnable game last night. Price needs to be better, which will come. He is still an elite goalie.

    Galchenyuk needs to be moved to the top 6 pronto.

    MB needs to do something with the defense group. Very weak.

    in all thy sons command

  18. Gerry Pigeon says:

    When MB first started with a younger and effective Pleks and Markov, with a Patches that was not only just starting his string of 30+ goal seasons, but actually used to HIT people (including CHARA!), and a stable of young up and comers like PK, Chucky, Gally, and Eller, along with CHaracter like Prust brought in, I was BESIDE myself with excitement.

    How in five short years, has he managed to fumble away all this promise? How did the excitement of that team five years ago, a packed Bell Centre nightly, posters on this site optimistically counting the number of potential 20+ goals scorers we’ll have this season, come to this?

    Chucky’s in the fourth line doghouse, despite performing just as well as Patches, our diminished captain who has more ice time AND the advantage of playing with JD all night. Price is playing like he’s stuck in quicksand (god forbid, health issues really are chronic?). And our D corps’ been gutted.

    This team’s become more and more reliant on Price, with a permanent mindset change in that direction solidified the year Carey went down. OMG, we can’t win without Carey! Instead of improving the O and changing that mindset, MB has piled cap $ into Carey, despite the fact goalies can’t score, and Carey is 30 with a questionable outlook on the health front. That seems to me not a hockey decision, but a business one. Carey is the team’s most prized asset when it comes to marketing. Profit first, wins second.

    Which is why MB has to go. Which is why I want Roy.

    I think MB is on the wrong track. Building from the goalie out is trying to win a tug of war by resisting the pull of the other team only. What about scoring? What about pulling from our side? While I’ve been taken to task about inferring Molson is something other than a benevolent owner with the best intentions for the organization in mind, I can’t get around the evidence that MB’s been hired, allowed to employ MT for years, put in place a team whose main goal, seemingly only goal, was to defend, and therefore be competitive enough to sell TICKETS and HOPE night in and night out. That doesn’t seem like the formula for a Cup to me, but rather a formula designed to make profit.

    Bring in Patrick. He’s seemingly the people’s choice. He looks to me like a guy that can’t be compromised by $. He has an ego the size of the universe, a fierce pride and competitive fire, and would LOVE to be the MAN that brought the Cup back to it’s rightful home. And he knows how to WIN.

    Look at his track record. Even look at the controversies. Calling out Duchene for celebrating an INDIVIDUAL milestone celebration late in a 4-1 loss. Quarreling with ownership over personnel acquisition. Seemingly focused on offence, despite the fact he was a goalie.

    Let’s see how long Molson sticks with MB in the foxhole. If this team manages to tread water and Molson can delay the inevitable GM change, then maybe Roy ends up elsewhere first. But I hope not. I really want to see if Molson would hire Roy, if he needed to make a change, and Roy is available. IF the opportunity comes along, AND Molson doesn’t hire Roy, THEN, IMO, I’ll know it’s just about the $.

    • 25soonenough says:

      Agreed on Roy, and the rest of it as well. Great post.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • knob says:

      this is scary true. This current roster is a downgrade of what he inherited.

      I always opposed the notion of Roy running the show, too much of a hot head but you have asst least made me revisit the notion.

      in all thy sons command

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        Yup, Roy’s temperament scares me too.

        But I think it’s that passion, that uncompromising drive to WIN, and the fact, IMO, he actually knows how to get there, that makes me feel he’s the best person for the job.

        I love Brisebois too. TB looks like a pretty good team to me. I wouldn’t mind Roy as President and Brisebois as GM (I think that was RN’s suggestion, I know it’s not mine originally, so want to give credit where credit is due).

        Sadly, what this regime makes me question more than anything, is their motives. I can’t believe real hockey men think you can win the Cup without offence. So that’s my primary reason for wanting Roy. Does he look like he can be compromised? 🙂

        BTW, my wife says if I’m right, no way Molson hires Patrick. So if he gets the opportunity and bypasses him, or Patty doesn’t even get an interview, I’ll know it’s time to follow the Jets…lol.

    • FormalWare says:

      Thanks, Gerry. You said it all.


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

  19. 25soonenough says:

    I usually admit when I’m wrong. Charlie Lingren is having a shaky start with Laval and was not ready to start the year in Montreal playing back up to Price. I was wrong.

    See fellas, it’s not that tough.

    –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • Captain aHab says:

      He had a really good start but the games this weekend, he was completely off. But again, Laval seems to have some of the same issues on D as the Habs: MASSIVE D breakdowns.

      —————-
      Low risk, low cost, no return
      AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • Gerry Pigeon says:

      You’re right more often than wrong, IMO 🙂

      And the fact you can say you’re wrong makes me respect you more.

      We’re all just spouting our opinions. Mine are partly my own, and a mishmash of other’s ideas that I read and agreed with. It’s fun to think about, (almost an obsession for me), but at the end of the day, it’s just our two cents, who knows how it will play out…

      Keep posting, right or wrong 🙂

  20. Paz says:

    If you waived Hemsky and Benn, (Hemsky is not NHL, and Benn, well, I think he’s a liability) and then filled those positions with 8.5 million worth of a talented forward and dman, this team would be dramatically improved.

    The money is in the bank.

    The moves during the summer have not put the best possible team on the ice.

    • Loop_G says:

      True , but that was the intent, the players just are not there right now to do that and a trade is tricky without giving up a lot of draft picks which MB is reluctant to do. This team has serious issues but is really close to being quite good. We might just have to fight through this season and work on signing a high end free agent. As far as a trade bait there is really only Shaw and Byron, Davidson, Benn, plus prospects and draft picks that I could see him parting with.

      • Paz says:

        Well the 8.5 will need to be spent soon if the team keeps losing. It seems ridiculous not to give up draft picks if you can significantly improve your team. This is a 100 point team last year, and is not rebuilding. They are expected to be at least as good this season.

        Morrow is still on the roster it appears. He will be waved very soon.

        I expect a very big trade by game 20 if this team continues to struggle.
        I think everyone expects it.

        Bergevin will need to use his full Cap space. No choice.

      • Mister Wrong says:

        MB trades draft picks all the time.

        #FireBergevin

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        “but is really close to being quite good”…no it isn’t. Still missing a 1st line center and a 1st LDman last time I checked.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Sounds so simple, but who do you trade to get the players to fill those positions?

      They could bring up Sherbak and put him on the 3rd line with Byron and Danault. Move Galchenyuk to 1st line right wing with Patches and Drouin.

      In my mind they trade Patches. I know, consistent 30 goal scorer, two more seasons at a great cap hit. Still, Lehkonen has already been moved to the right side and Hudon and Byron should not be in the bottom 6. Byron can play the right side, but it is time the Habs stop shuffling players all over the board.

      If the Habs want Tavares, maybe Patches, Gallagher, McCarron and
      Petry for Tavares, Leddy and Ho-Sang

      Then
      Lehkonen, Tavares, Galchenyuk
      Byron, Drouin, Sherbak
      Hudon, Pleks, Shaw
      DLR, Danault, Hemsky

      Mete, Weber
      Leddy, Benn ( yes I know he is struggling)
      Alzner, Davidson

      Habfan17

  21. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Ryan Poehling with a goal and three assists for a total of 4 points in 3 games this year for St Cloud. Fingers crossed that he turns out to be an inspired pick for the Habs. If he is a point a game this year he will have added offense to a mostly complete toolbox. Early indications appear to be positive.

    24 cups and counting….

    • 25soonenough says:

      He is a good one. There is no doubt from where I sit.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

    • Forum Dog says:

      Good stuff. He was ranked higher than where he was drafted, I think in part because of concerns over his offense (and probably due to the needs of other teams). He played NCAA younger than most, but if he can go to something like a PPG as a sophomore, that will be very encouraging. He has a pro body, skating, smarts and work ethic, so as long as the skill pans out, he’ll be a good pick.

  22. adamkennelly says:

    Habs played well enough to win against a crap goalie and pretty weak D but couldn’t get the job done.

    Forwards are still way too small and the D is suspect at best. Mete stays, Benn is terrible and the fact that Hemsky is playing and getting ice time is embarrassing.

    Chucky scored but he’s not playing well…his back checks are pathetic and gets knocked off the puck around the boards way too easily – his effort is weak.

    and obviously Price is not playing like Price…does he deserve the criticism because of his paycheck or does MB?

    gonna be a loooong season.

    • 25soonenough says:

      I think Chucky might be suffering from the dread –fear of re-injury-syndrome that happens to some young players.

      He is hesitant and it shows in his battle level. He has had two major knee injuries in a pretty short career.

      The one back in junior some folks forget about, but he lost a whole season.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  23. FuzE_gus says:

    This year, more than ever, will determine if this team will have a chance to compete in the coming years. It’s easy to look back and say “what could have been”. What matters is for management (more importantly ownership) to assess where they are now. This is an average team at best. Maybe worse. Looking at how teams are being built now the Habs have followed a blueprint from 10 years ago. Trying to catch up to size when other teams have gone speed and skill. This seems to be the problem. No one seems to be assessing what the Habs are and should be. We can’t blame Price. He’s been one of the few constant positives. Management seems to be in a perpetual state of catching up. Trading youth for experience one minute and and claiming to get younger the next minute. This was the Leafs blueprint for 50 years until Brendan Shanahan came in and said it had to stop. Corporate pressure was out the window. They finally bought into a true rebuild. They got lucky with Mathews but they committed to rebuilding. The Habs are mish mash of players. Some good. Some less. This is not a building team. It’s had good bone structure for years but the rest is a bunch of refurbished parts. If the the plan is to keep patching and not commit to do it right this year then this team will not rebuild in the Price era turning into another decade of losing. The management direction THIS YEAR will display their desire or ability to build this team right OR CONTINUING TO PATCH A DYSFUNCTIONAL TEAM…

    With Regards from FuzE_gus

    • 25soonenough says:

      Tough to read, a few paragraph breaks would help ease the flow, but a very smart and true post.

      This team is going sideways and has been for far too long. They need to make major trades now or it will be too late.

      Start over with a younger, more offensive core. Trading Price would be a good start. wink wink Gerry Pigeon.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • habstrinifan says:

        But this line stands out!
        “The Habs are mish mash of players”

        • 25soonenough says:

          yes, very true, there doesn’t seem to be much cohesion in the game plan when building this team.

          Who are we building around? Price? or is it Pacioretty? or Weber?

          We should be building around one player in my mind. Drouin.

          He is 23 years old and has the skill to carry an offence and be the core piece of a re-built top six.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • Habfan17 says:

        In my opinion, no one will take Price on now unless the Habs eat some of his new contract.

        Habfan17

      • FuzE_gus says:

        Like most of us here I’m just tired. I love watching my team but it’s sad when management doesn’t see or doesn’t want to see the problem. It’s easy for us couch GMs to complain but beyond 5 years into MBs tenure there is no clear plan. It’s simply sign, find and replace. With no clear mandate.

        Clearly Price is the centrepiece of MB’s plan and that was not his acquisition. So he was handed the keys to manage the players around Price. And Price didn’t sign a long term deal to play on a rebuilding team.

        So in my eyes the patching will continue and so will the sideways slide downhill…

        I added some gaps…better? 🙂

        With Regards from FuzE_gus

  24. 4m3y2j says:

    Of the 5 games they have only played terribly in 1(Washington)
    I was at the game at MSG,they should have won that one.The defense is concerning.Price(if there is no injury causing his disjointed play)will be fine.The reality on #27 is that he is a sniper and he needs someone to feed him the puck and he needs to play with anger, that will help his game.Pleks is playing revived hockey.I love what I am seeing with Hudon,Mete.It feels to me due to all of the off season changes there are growing pains and a little tinkering required.
    I am more concerned about Pacioretty,Shaw.
    Remember how everyone was on the Benn bandwagon and hailing it as a great trade? Give him time to get his game back.I also liked what I saw in Jerabek(will he be promoted?)Schlemko should provide some stability to defense.
    Petry was chosen for his offensive upside so we need more balance.
    john slattery

  25. Don Birnam says:

    Hola Amigos!
    So the team that is going to win the Stanley Cup won in OT to a lousy team in total disarray ? So how good are they? How bad are the Habs?
    One goal the other way in OT and it would be Melt Down in Hogtown and elation in Montreal.
    Carey will be back.
    Chill amigos.
    Keep the Faith!
    Saludos.

    Viva Timo Libre!

  26. Butterface says:

    Someone needs to tell Bergevin and Molson that you can’t build an NHL team around a goalie.

    You can build an NHL team from the goalie out, but not by paying the goalie 15% of your salary cap and surrounding him with depth defensemen.

    Personally I think you win games with goal scoring, puck possession and spending time in the other team’s zone. None of those things your goalie can control.

    Don’t get me wrong, a goalie is important, but not important enough to make him your highest paid player. This is especially so if he has not gotten you to the finals on his back, if not the cup based on his play.

    I am a Carey Price fan, but not at Bergevin’s numbers.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

    • Captain aHab says:

      I think that last line is where a lot of us are.

      —————-
      Low risk, low cost, no return
      AKA The MB Trifecta©

    • Habfan17 says:

      Very well said. The contracts for McDavid and Draisaitl will change what other top fowards recive going forward. Bergevin has set the bar for goalies now. Price is not the only goalie with great numbers. Holtby has not been pretty good, not quite price numbers but close and he is younger.

      When the number was going past $8 million/season, Bergevin should have had a plan B. I like Price too, but not at the Price Bergevin gave him.

      Add in Weber and Petry and there is a big chuck of the Cap. What if Drouin becomes a point a game player or better? How does he not warrant at least the same as Price?

      Patches in two seasons, will use Price as a comparable as well as other consistent 30 goal scorers. So, how has Bergevin helped the Habs?

      Habfan17

      • mrhabby says:

        How can Patches use Price . Different positions.

      • Loop_G says:

        He was not going to sign for 8, everyone knew going in that he would be signing the biggest contract ever for a goalie. I think going over 10 was a surprise but it was going to be at least 9.5. The cap is not the issue for Montreal, and this won’t be that big of a deal unless we end up with a superstar and have to pay them similar money or more.

        • Butterface says:

          Then you get what you can for him on the open market and spend the money elsewhere.

          It hurts, but it’s not like Price is fluent in French.

          ***********************
          If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
          ***********************

  27. chilli says:

    The last player I am wrorried about is Price.

    Max in the other hand is a useless offensive leader.
    Sure, he’ll have his goals at the end of the season but if u look around the league, the offensive leaders on each team are doing their job and winning games for their team.

    Max has zero impact on games unless one of his snapshots from far out find the net.
    When they don’t, he is useless.

    Habs fans would be fine in tank mode if the team explained it to the fans the way the Leafs did. They kept the young assets, simply let them play and got rid of the old ones while collecting draft picks.
    I would have no problem watching Chucky, Drouin, Mete, Noah, Nikita, Hudon, McCarron, Leks, Gallagher and a few more lose every night while they stocked up on draft picks.
    Still better than watching what we have now lose every night.

  28. habstrinifan says:

    Nice posts Lord Stanley of Surrey re McDavid and Matthews. I agree. Hope you slept well after your rant.. which was regal in its fury.

    Now I see why you were ‘Lorded’ over me and why the Queen smacked that blade on your shoulders or whatever it is the Crown-wearers do when they make one a Lord. Probably gave you a couple of my manors and adjacent facilities.

  29. dallyd says:

    So, Habs still winless in regulation this year. Gonna be a long season with a team full of 3rd liners and 5/6 dmen

  30. Pass-moi-le-puck says:

    Give Matthews credit for his 1st goal, a top shelf beauty. But his OT goal was very stopable. Price looked average…again.

    Habs had more jump and cohesion, but not enough. West coast swing coming which will be a big test. Likely more changes coming, but MB won’t make the right ones. This team can’t finish around the net.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Possibly, but the hands displayed by Matthews there to not only corral the less than perfect saucer, and then get a shot of short side in the space of about .5 seconds cannot be dismissed. Any other player and Price is saving that one. With Matthews, he just couldn’t get across fast enough.

    • whazzzup says:

      129 mph wrister

      I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe

      • 25soonenough says:

        whazzup, you are slowly becoming a fixture on this board which is great but don’t start coming on here to boast. That is not the sign of a true sportsman. You must have learned some humility in all those suffering years. Show some, or, people around here will turn on you very quickly and that would be a shame because when you keep your posts about hockey and not childish bragging they are enjoyable.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • tophab says:

        where did you get that 129 wrister, bull ship price should have stopped both matthews shots, he moved to far out of net on first one and down on knees early on second and he could not even stop the slowest wrap around ever. Price is the reason we lost, lets not try to blame someone else. btw the leafs have been rebuilding for 50 years.

  31. RightNyder says:

    Canadiens have as many top-five overall picks in their lineup as the Loafs.

    (TO does feature six top-10 picks and a still-tepid defence).

    Are we sure that ‘tanking’ with Bergevin and Co. at the helm would bring us anything but losing, grief and bad luck fumbling with our (lottery) balls?

  32. Forum Dog says:

    Probably their best played game of the year. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Same old story IMO. Too much mid/low-level or unproven talent (Byron, Danault, Plekanec, Lehkonen, Gallagher, Shaw) taking up too many minutes. Too much mediocre defensive talent taking up too many minutes on the back-end. I said it was possibly their best game of the year, but that defence still turned the puck over 13 times (according to the box score).

    Galchenyuk gets a brief look on the top-line, and they looked pretty good from my perspective. It put a jump in his stride and shortly after he buried a beautiful shot on the second wave of the PP. He looked engaged, played well, and stayed on the 4th line. Brutal.

    Pacioretty looked like a dog out there last night. Not the type of lead-by-example effort you’d hope for in a pretty important early-season game.

    Drouin looked good, except for on the draws. Feet always moving.

    I see lot’s of criticism on Price, and I won’t try and argue that he is at his best, but he was hardly the reason they lost. That defence is still not effective and 2 of the goals were from Matthews. Both his goals were pretty special, and the other two were broken plays that maybe Price could have come up with, but that is nit picking.

    The honestly have to unlock Galchenyuk if they are going to get the scoring they need to offset a less than stellar defence. Folks who think he doesn’t benefit or get inspired playing with better players only need to look at last nights game to see that he definitely does.

    • RightNyder says:

      Ceremonial faceoff designee Pacioretty has one point in his last 13 games.
      Three goals in his last 23 games.
      Is soffer than Larue’s waxed backside and backchecks with the intensity of a concussed ocelot.

      And Galchenyuk is a fourth-line, suit-splashing misfit?

      Interesting…

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        Yup.

        Way too much political interference, too much MB infusion of forced CHaracter. Meritocracy my ass. It’s ice time for MB/CJ’s CHaracter approved favorites, and doghouse for those judged wanting.

        In spite of results on the ice.

        Great for Patches, Benn, Petry, and Price.

        Not so much for Chucky.

      • 3 points for a win says:

        Patch did not get along with Subban and that could have had 1 factor in him being traded. I know there were many others.

        Patch all excited at the golf tournament to play with Droiun and now what does he have to show for it?

        Patch makes mistakes on the ice and does not get reprimanded.

        Now Patch is hardly scoring and all the talk is about Galchenyuk being the problem.

        I say, trade Patch and make Webber the captain.

        ********************************************
        Marc Bergeven has morphed himself into a Brian Burke.

    • Captain aHab says:

      No one would have stopped the game winner but the fumble on the Marleau goal and the 1st Matthews goal were stoppable. On the 1st by Matthews, Price was nowhere near set when the kid shot – he was still partly facing the boards. As a result he left the far side of the net far too exposed. He needs to get his shiot together. I still think the next GM will make Price his first amnesty buyout when the next CBA kicks in.

      If you want to see what a real captain looks like, watch highlights from Jamie Benn’s game last night.

      —————-
      Low risk, low cost, no return
      AKA The MB Trifecta©

  33. habstrinifan says:

    LEAFS did not tank! They rebuilt. Recognized that even the so-called top-assets had to move because the old philosophy was not working. And they suffered but they offered a glimpse of hockey Resurrection to the fans.

    HABS management.. the betterment of the community through the acquisition and nurturing of great character by Nobel-Prize lauded pillars of human behaviour.. NOT!

    • mrhabby says:

      Okay .. they did a massive rebuild on the fly . That’s what the NHL rewards.

    • hockeyguru says:

      Of course the Laffs tanked….they have no chance in the playoffs anyways…..the fake goal Matthews got last night in the gimmick that is 3 on 3 does not exist in real hockey….playoff hockey overtime is 5 on 5 way less room on the ice.

    • BensontheButler says:

      The Leafs didn’t tank. Even if you concede that (and I don’t), they went out got the right personnel and resources to set a plan in motion and are ahead of schedule. This is what competence looks like.

      And for people to come on this board who claim to be hockey aficionados to downplay the talent on the Leafs and Matthews in particular have to take down their Habs blinders. It’s ridiculous.

      Matthews is a bona-fide talent. Same with Marner and Nylander. And notice how Babcock utilizes them.
      Benson

  34. RightNyder says:

    When the fans are restless but you still have a contract through 2022:
    http://bit.ly/2xGOhLw

  35. aHabberlikeyous says:

    Montreal is a tough crowd but at the price it costs to support the team CH doesnt seem to be concerned enough of the final product on the ice. There needs to be another NHL team in QC to help CH ajust their perspective on just what they’re selling, instead of the business as usual moniker: oldest, winningest, most storied pro sport franchise.

    • whazzzup says:

      Exactly you have to let go of 24 cups stuff of yore, in lieu of reality over 25 years you really need to come to grips with true despair.

      I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe

      • hockeyguru says:

        Montreal have beaten the laffs 14 out of the last 15….just the facts…LOL.

      • Mavid says:

        Its called history..there is no more need to “let it go” then any other accomplishments from the past..most reasonable fans realize that the days of dynasties are long gone..no modern team will be able to duplicate those feats..there is so many more teams..expectations need to be tempered…I am from those glory years..and although the history of the CH is great and needs to be honored..I am happy if we make the playoffs..anything after that is a bonus..

        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

        • Captain aHab says:

          Mavid, even Dryden said it during the Centennial year: Habs have to create new memories. I’m not delusional enough to think they’ll go back to winning 4 cups in a row – those days are gone. But can they please try to bring excitement back instead of working as hard as they can to squash it? Getting Drouin was a good first step and Mete looks like he’ll come out of nowhere to bring it. But these steps have been the exception. With Bergie saying ad nauseum that you can’t acquire high talent unless you draft high and get lucky, maybe a 2 year drought is what the organization needs to restock the cupboards. Unfortunately, with a DG who might start to feel the pressure, I’m worried about the exact opposite happening : trading whatever youth and picks we have for Hail Mary trades to “make the playoffs and then see what happens”.

          I also experienced the glory days and I am tired of hearing about them. They overloaded us during the Centennial.

          —————-
          Low risk, low cost, no return
          AKA The MB Trifecta©

  36. whazzzup says:

    Did you see how the bell erupted when Mathews scored, impressive

    I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe

    • mrhabby says:

      Lol.. oh boy

    • Mavid says:

      Erupted is a little over dramatic..but yea Habs fans are pretty smart they recognize and appreciate good talent..

      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

  37. mrhabby says:

    It’s interesting Maple Leaf fan base was ready for a tank and are getting results cause the team has done jack for years.

    Could the Habs fan base deal with a tank cause the Habs have done really nothing since last Cup.

    • Mavid says:

      Thats the thing..isn’t it..posters say we need to tank..really I am not sure most on here could handle it..look at the comments already 5 games in with only 1 win..in OT..

      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

      • whazzzup says:

        You need to move from bargains phase to despair first. Then you come to grips with what has to be done. You quickly moved through anger I think. Then after despair you can be objective in ones options.
        So the next road trip I hope for a couple of wins, the longer the habs stay competitive the better and longer you bargain with an illusion.

        I may have lived beside ken Dryden once but now I’m in the center of the hockey universe

      • mrhabby says:

        Habs Management should have done it years ago when Price was just coming up. Molson reminds me like the Leafs of old all about money.

      • Captain aHab says:

        If it went on for a couple of years, you would see electronic tumbleweeds going across the screen here. Quite frankly, during the glory NHL years of the hook and grab and the Devils boring everyone to tears – you know those 10 years before the league kinda figured it had to do something about guys basically holding one another 60 minutes a game – I completely stayed away. What made it easier was that the Habs were absolutely putrid. If they become even more putrid than now, I’ll just find another recreational activity, like drinking.

        —————-
        Low risk, low cost, no return
        AKA The MB Trifecta©


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