About last night … with audio

DesharnaisShootout
AUDIO (with great stuff about Hal Gill): Carey Price | P.K. Subban | Max Pacioretty | Chris Campoli | Randy Cunneyworth
Friday was a very good day for your Montreal Canadiens.
Pierre Gauthier pulled off a trade that got unanimous high marks from fans and punditocracy.
Then, playing the first game of the post-Hal Gill era, the Canadiens came back from two deficits, blew another lead and won in a shootout over the Buffalo Sabres.
When the dust settled and Friday became Saturday, the Canadiens were in 11th place – six points out of a playoff spot.
And this raises a question:
If the Canadiens beat New Jersey at the Bell Centre Sunday night, what the heck does Gauthier do with his other UFAs?

Regardless of where the Canadiens find themselves in the standings on Monday morning, I think Gauthier will continue to deal.

The Canadiens are 2-1-1 since Travis Moen was injured. With Ryan White finally back in the lineup, Moen – health permitting – is expendable and attractive to teams seeking an experienced, physical player for the war of attrition that is the NHL playoffs.

In exchange for Hal Gill – who had been playing single-digit even-strength minutes – Gauthier got a second-round draft choice, a prospect with a magic Montreal name and a warm body for the Bulldogs.

If there’s that kind of offer out there for Moen, the Canadiens GM has to pull the trigger.

And even though he joined White and Scott Gomez – yes, SCOTT GOMEZ!!! – on the Canadiens’ best line in Buffalo, Gauthier should jump at any good offer for Andrei Kostitsyn.

Ditto Chris Campoli.

Look, I’m not a member of the Tank Corps.

The Canadiens have been playing better for Randy Cunneyworth than they did for Jacques Martin. They are more fun to watch, and certainly displaying more desperation and fight over the last couple weeks.

But balancing the odds of making the postseason against stockpiling prospects and all-important draft choice inventory that will help Trevor Timmins and his staff find more gems …

For me, it’s a no-brainer … especially when you consider the list of UFAs who walked for nothing, notably Sheldon Souray, Mark Streit, Alex Tanguay (who cost the Canadiens a first-round draft choice), Michael Ryder.

Buffalo is looking at the same situation with impending UFAs Brad Boyes and Paul Gaustad. The loss left the Sabres dead last in the East, and you have to think Darcy Regier is polishing off the For Sale sign.

Gaustad would help someone. The hulking centre and his linemates, Patrick Kaleta and Nathan Gerbe, decisively outplayed the Canadiens’ number-one line.

David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty – both of whom beat Ryan Miller in the shootout – had zero shots on goal during regulation time. Erik Cole, wearing an “A” for the first time, had only one shot and was on the ice for two Buffalo goals.

The Tomas Plekanec line was no better. Pleks, Rene Bourque and Mathieu Darche (the latter two double-shifting a bit with Lars Eller and Louis Leblanc) combined for a grand total of ZERO shots.

P.K. Subban had five shots, AK46 and LL three each. A rookie, an enigma and a defenceman produced 11 of the Canadiens’ 19 shots.

WTF?

Want more weirdness?

The goal-scorers – Gomez, Chris Campoli and Tomas Kaberle – doubled their season totals in one night.

And the much-maligned Canadiens power-play maintained possession in the Buffalo end from the faceoff until Thomas Vanek stepped back out on the ice – three seconds before Tomas Kaberle scored an Andrei Markov goal.

“Any way you can win it,” Randy Cunneyworth said after a game that won’t be part of the classic DVD collection. “I think we deserved it. I’m happy for the boys.”

Having outhit the Bruins 27-16 Wednesday night, the Canadiens thumped their way to an 18-9 margin in Buffalo. Alexei Emelin had four hits and partnered with Raphael Diaz as the second unit on a penalty kill that was perfect – including a tense 59 seconds to end OT – on its first night without Gill.

Josh Gorges added four blocked shots to his league-leading total, but the stud on the blueline – again – was P.K., who played a ridiculous 28:48 and was not on for any of the three goals-against. And how about his effort in singlehandedly foiling a Buffalo 3-on-1?

The Sabres had 30 shots on Carey Price, who made a highlight reel save on Robyn Regehr in regulation and then stoned Boyes and Jason Pominville in a brilliant,  confidence-boosting shootout performance.

The guy at the other end of the ice, Ryan Miller, had beaten the Canadiens 21 times in his career.

We’ll be seeing the only active goaltender with a higher total – it’s 42 and counting – at the Bell Centre Sunday evening.

Martin F. just might help determine whether Pierre Gauthier is on the phone Monday morning.

• If standings were determined by goal differential, the Canadiens would be in seventh place.

Canadiens prospect Darren Dietz (fifth round, 138th overall last summer) tied a WHL record for defenceman by scoring four goals for the Saskatoon Blades Friday night.

• Tweet by Matthias Brunet of La Presse: Si vous ne l’avez pas remarqué, Subban a été phénoménal ce soir. Presque 29 minutes en plus. Je ne l’échangerais même pas pour Nash…

90 Comments

  1. Nina76 says:

    PK is playing alot better…he seems to be calming down some he skates away from guys trying to get him to take a penalty……….sorry to see Gill go but I think this will be good for PK he will not have Gill to correct his mistakes…I BELEIVE

  2. NLhabsfan says:

    No we shouldn’t have held on to Gill ,not with the great offer we got.. Draft picks are like gold mining targets on land. Every now and then you strike it rich.

    • vanejorg says:

      I think you can win the Stanley Cup without them. A few shrewd moves from management to acquire two or three more players, and this team…..yes this team could win right now. Besides these picks would be a few years away, and by then a team like the Montreal Canadiens needs to win the Stanley Cup again. Oh wait….yank management of the NHL is stopping us…..we need to get rid of those suckers immediately, if we really want to win.

  3. vanejorg says:

    To answer the original question as to what the GM should do. Nothing, until the 27th now. He should have held on to Gill, who is an excellent player in the playoffs until the 27th also. Nashville would have made the same deal if not better(had the team been obviously out by then), and they would have had an opportunity to be back in the playoffs with Hal Gill in the line up. I have been a Canadiens fan for many years, and the thing I dislike the most besides the LAFFS, their fans, and every other team, and their fans in the NHL, is the Canadiens fans. One way, or the other you “stupidos”,(yes that means you folks posting here also) the Canadiens need to win the Stanley Cup, as soon as possible. No one should be selling any players, when we are going to need them for the playoffs ourselves. The Laffs are scheduled to lose tonight, the Capitals could easily lose, given the way they have been playing…and Les Canadiens could easily win tomorrow night, given the way they have been playing. That would leave Montreal four points out with 44 points still to potentially get after tomorrow night. Don’t tell me that anyone with at least a quarter of a brain will still be thinking that they would be out if all of these things occur(which they easily can). Whoever says that you should lose on purpose, or “sell” instead of strengthen, to get potentially “USELESS” draft picks should be shot on sight? Get Weber from Nashville, and Nash(or a Nash look-a-like 6’4″ 220 lbs…Lecavalier, Getzlaf, Staal), and try and win the Stanley Cup NOW! Get rid of squirts, that don’t belong in the NHL. Keep one or two but not seven(Gomez, Gionta, Plekanec, Desharnais, Diaz, Webber, Subban….and one other 5’4″ guy on the way in junior…..my 11 year old is 5’4″ 120 lbs, and he hasn’t started to grow for the final time yet). Now Subban may come back more of a man in the future(weighing 220), but for right now use him to get, 6’4″ 230 lbs, Shea Weber. Use Gionta, Gallagher, Kostitsyn, Webber, Gomez, to get that big center. Let me run the organization for awhile. I will bring the Stanley Cup back this year. Notice that not one Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since Les Canadiens in 1993. The American leaders of the NHL should be gotten rid of immediately. They are THE problem. Yes, I’m talking about that pip-squeak and his minions. I will take care of that too. Give me the job. I will get it done. Get smart, kids.

  4. nellis13 says:

    Perfect game. All the guys we want to get rid of played well. Anyone that thinks we should keep Kaberlame should look at our PP standings.

    • Arrow77 says:

      There are four other players on this power play as well.

      Kaberle has been hired as an offensive defenseman and his production hasn’t been bad at all, way better than the other offensive d-men in our line-up in fact. Until Markov comes back, and until we’re certain he won’t get hurt again, he’s part of the solution, not the problem.

  5. athanor says:

    There’s blowing leads and blowing leads. Last night’s fight back to get one goal up, only to lose that edge is one kind. The kind that kills me, however, is the other: We’re up by two or more goals and then start coasting.
    The first is basically the ebb and flow of a game; the second, a screw-up (and for the Habs this year, seemingly caused in large part by the sit-back-and-let-them-come-at-us style that Martin favoured, all too common.)

  6. HankHardball says:

    Kaberle keeps taking a vicious beating from guys like Tony & Conor.

    But on top of being the highest scoring defenseman on the team, he’s now 5th in Habs scoring overall.
    Behind only Plekanec, Desharnais, Cole and Pacioretty.

    Maybe MTL is more like TO than BOS or CAR.

    • remi_10069 says:

      I’m with you. I think he was a good pickup. Sure he screwed up on the Staal goal but it was a sweet move and could have happened to anyone. He adds a solid foundation to our blueline, especially on the PP. You see how long they kept the pressure on last night? He’s a big part of that confidence. Keep him..trade Weber, AK and Plek.

      pipes

      • steve17 says:

        I just don’t like being tied to him for 2 more years at a $4.2 million cap hit.

        Habfan17

        • HankHardball says:

          Less than a mil more than Spacek. So it’s not a big cap hit over what it was before.
          And with both Spacek & Gill destined to leave, they needed some veteran presence on the blue line.
          The drawback, of course, is his defensive play. But even that’s improving.
          He had 6 points and was -12 this year before joining the Habs. As a Hab he has 19 points and is -4.
          Some people say it was strictly a deal to improve the power play and from that point of view it didn’t work. But Gauthier never said that. It’s possible he was thinking some blue line experience knowing Spacek and Gill were finished.
          It’s not that I’m a Kaberle fan. I just don’t think Kaberle & Gauthier deserve the vicious attacks they’ve been receiving over this deal.

  7. remi_10069 says:

    One way to guarantee we don’t make the playoffs is to play Weber. He’s by far the worst player out there and actually thinks he’s good. Dangerous combination.

    pipes

  8. JUST ME says:

    A bit pathetic to read the posts on how good P.K. is …We all knew that but still, we cannot deal with the fact that he is just a kid and need to mature a bit…a lot. With Gill now gone he has to raise his game one notch and apply the advices that Skillsy gave him. And so he did yesterday like a pro ! Now , before i see other messages like yesterday`s on how the Habs should recall Tinordi next year please be serious..Another kid ,even younger that needs time.

    I just wish people would think before writing or at least go with non-emotional comments but…this is Habs land so…

    About the Habs Ufa`s, if a deal or some deals are possible until the 27 th the habs should go ahead cause AK,Campoli and Moen are not making a big difference on whether the Habs make the playoffs or not. The guys are going for it and based on their last games they have a legitimate shot to make it. 11 points out of the last possible 14 is more than what most expected and on target to get ahead in the standings.

    I am still not sure (far from it ) that Gauthier is my guy but he has done a more than decent job lately getting the most out of what he is delt with. The problem is that after reading comments here and elsewhere i tend to believe that our players are good for nothing and worth nothing.
    The love/hate relationship comes from here guys ! It`s o.k. can`t really expect otherwise from Habs fans who have a strange way to cheer for their team.

    • Caper says:

      I agree with you on The Goat. He has made some decent moves. Yesterday’s deal was a great deal as was the Wiz, Moore ,the Cole signing and even the Cammy trade stand out. However he is an odd duck as seen with his firing of Pearn, Kaberle trade, not having a read on the backlash of the Cunnyworth hiring and his Howard Hughes way of life. You can also throw in the Markov situation however more blame may lie with the Habs medical team. I think Cunnyworth will be a head coach somewhere next season and would not be disappointed if he remained Habs coach. He is doing a great job and I believe he can lead them to the playoffs.I just can’t see Gauthier keeping his job and that won’t be good new for Cunnyworth. However it would not suprise me if everyone remained and a new Assistant GM such as Julien BriseBoise is (re) hired to repalce him sooner than later.

  9. steve17 says:

    I am happy that the Habs are haning in there, but I hope they still move the UFA’s and maybe some others. I think it is great that with the last 2 trades, Montreal has picked up 6 “assets”, including 2 2nd round picks. If any of the players that came over can make the team, it is a bonus. I would like to see what the Habs can get for Kostitsyn, Campoli, Nokelainen, and Kaberle. If a desperate team would make it worth while, I would trade Plekanec too! Maybe Chicago.

    Habfan17

  10. ont fan says:

    So here we are again..half the posters ranting how we never get anything for our UFA’s and the rest on the fence about the playoff’s. After reading all the posts today I wonder what he’ll do.

  11. habs-fan-84 says:

    So not even 2 weeks ago we were 12 pts. back, now 6 pts., plus we still have 2 huge games against the Leafs (and I would imagine at least 1 more game against Washington). All I can say is it’s not over yet: GO HABS GO!

    • aj says:

      Is there any way the Habs can fast track Boom Boom’s grandson to play again in the NHL? They sure could use a young lad like him to boost up the 4th line instead of playing with the Bulldogs. Right now, the farm team has nothing to offer.

      Next year maybe different since we may see the likes of Gallagher, Tinordi, Beaulieu, and Bournival – all 4 who competed at the WJC.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Yes 84 but still a long way to go but certainly the “tankers” aren’t happy today. I still think we should be sellers with regard to some of our veterans and UFA’s bit not our youngsters. The improved play of PK and Emilin has been worthwhile to watch also. Someone here wrote a tweek is needed not a rebuild. Looks like they might have been right.
      That loss to Carolina friggin hurts even more now, eh?

  12. G-Man says:

    I have to laugh this morning because 3 players all the *knowledgeable* posters beat on scored last night. And the Habs collected 2 points thanks to winning The Gimmick. 6 points back. 23 games left. Go Habs Go!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Guilty as charged GMan but in my putrid defence, some of my criticism was justified, certainly with Gomez. My opinion of Kabrele continues to change from game to game. O know I must sound like a flip flopping politician. Last night I thought he played very well with or without his goal. He’s a different type of player and there are times I feel he’s growing on me. Campoli is a #6 dman and his icetime needs to be limited.
      in other news, PK is playing great isn’t he? I thought he was the best player on the ice last night. Cheers!

      • G-Man says:

        PK has been given responsibility for a Dman beyond his years. He is a frigging horse and can anchor the D squad with Gorges for the next 10 seasons or so.
        I do want PG to move Diaz and Weber in exchange for a stay at home solid hitting Dman.

  13. HabFanSince72 says:

    I wanted to see what kind of players Timmins finds in the second draft round, but we have not had one in the last three drafts!

    Always trading second rounders for rentals I guess. (Although one year we used the second round pick to get Jared Tinordi.)

    Before then his record is superb. Second rounders have a 1/5 chance of playing in the NHL. Timmins’ record is 4/6.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  14. Stev.R says:

    So I unfortunately missed the game tonight so I could go scout Darren Dietz. I believe he was our fifth round pick last year, and I believe I was the only one saying he would turn out to be one our best picks.

    I watched him for the first time tonight and he is pretty good. Not the quickest skater, and not the most physical, but strong all around. He made some hits, battled for some pucks, made crisp passes, relatively smooth skater, scored 4 goals, took a penalty, played on the penalty kill, and quarterbacked the powerplay.

    Oh did you miss that? He scored 4 goals… as a defenceman, and he dangled a guy on a 2 on 1 a rang one clean of the cross bar. His wrist shot is pretty sweet. He played in all situations, was never pushed around, made smart passes and was was never really beat (some guys got by him but he never let them get away clean as he usually had them angled into the corner). He also sticks his tongue out a lot.

    Highlights: http://www.saskatoonblades.com/video/index

    • Stev.R says:

      The above post is important.

    • Da Hema says:

      Thanks Stev. The wristshot is a lost art for most defencemen today, but Denis Potvin showed what a lethal weapon it can be. I far prefer Montreal’s young defencemen use an accurate shot as opposed to trying to blast it through six skaters — which never works anyways unless you are Sheldon Souray. I am looking forward to seeing Dietz go to Hamilton and learn the pro game. He could become an important player for Montreal in two to three years.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Respect.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Marc10 says:

      4 goals and one off the crossbar, eh. Man! F yeah!

      Heard good things about this kid. If he makes it to the show after being picked in the 5th round, you have to give him and the scouts props.

      Thanks for the scouting report. It was descriptive and hilarious!

    • Nina76 says:

      Stev.R…..I don’t mind if he sticks his tongue out alot as long as he plays as well as you saw in that game…..Glad to hear it.

    • Badwich says:

      PK has been been brilliant since he hit the ice last year. Why some couldn’t see the talent is beyond me. Let’s hope they aren’t scouts. Perhaps they didn’t and still don’t appreciate his end zone fun. Think about it.

      Taberwitt

  15. kmachabs27 says:

    PK is so effin good its unbelievable. Ive watched almost every game this year, but watching him live (today in buffalo) is sometthing else. The guy has the puck so much, that hes bound to make a mistake, hes not superman. Its ridiculous to say PK makes so many mistakes, hell make 1 mistake out of 10, and the 1 he makes just stands out because he stands out, its a by product of it. Listen hab nation, as bad as were doing this year, be happy that we have a franchise goaltender and a franchise defencemen, because not many teams do. This season is dim but the future is bright. Trust moi. Thats the only french word i know. goodnight from Welland, Ontario. Cheers

    • OneTimer says:

      cheers brother, good post

      go habs go!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Nice.

      I agree – PK is turning into an all-star before our very eyes.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      P.K. is playing so well…he is incredible to watch when he’s protecting the puck deep in his own end..I feel like he’s educating my 2 boys, both defencemen, every time he’s on the ice.

    • Marc10 says:

      Je te trust… and you make a good point about our man PK. When you’ve got the puck all the time, you’re going to stand out… and your mistakes will stand out.

      He’s not Nic Lidstrom or Ray Bourque… but you know what, those guys aren’t PK Subban either. I can’t wait to see the finished product. We’re in for some good times with this guy on the blue line.

      PS: Lucky bastard. I’m very jealous. I was cleaning house in preparation for a kids’ sleepover while listening to the game… I hope you enjoyed it. Sure sounded like the Hab Fans were the loudest in the house!

    • deuce6 says:

      Good post and back at ya from Port Colborne, ONT..

      ——————

      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • skoalbandit says:

      Got to love the kid. He is a stands out everytime he hits the ice.
      Im in st catharines, and love going to see the habs sabres games in buffalo. Always a close fast pased game.
      I got tickets to the game in march 4th row blue line for 72 ea!

  16. H.Upmann says:

    @Marc10: check in on game days! PG works magic within a 12 hour span before games- sometimes during !

    • Marc10 says:

      Well he has a lifetime of good trades to make up for Gomez (assuming he’s the one advising Bob on that deal…)

      But I like his last two: Cams for Bourque (great for cap space) and Gill for that 2nd rounder and the guy with family connections…

      • shootdapuck says:

        Re: Gomez
        What assumption could possibly be required?

        He was Chief Pro-Scout his paid function was to scout and evaluate pro-players with the data used for acquisitions and signings.

        Guaranteed he had his fingers all over Gomez or he wasn’t doing his job which is actually the same thing!

        “Garbage in = Garbage out” in the words of IBM.

        At least Gaotier is consistent: Niniima, Samsonov, Dandenault, Laraque were all busts brought in on his watch.

        Not to mention those who slipped away as UFA’s for no compensation: Moore, Ryder, Streit, Hamrlick ……………….

        =================================================
        The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

        “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
        “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”

  17. H.Upmann says:

    Sad to see Hal Gill go…. Hope he comes back!

  18. HabinBurlington says:

    A very productive day for the Habs, imagine we won a game and helped our future just the same. I hear the sounds of Panzers screeching while I say that. Keep up the good fight boys!

  19. Un Canadien errant says:

    Being, as dubbed by Mike Boone, a punditocrat, let me add my voice to the chorus praising Pierre Gauthier for turning Mr. Gill into three assets. Nice going, keep it up sir.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  20. H.Upmann says:

    @NickDags cuz we love the guy !

  21. NickDags says:

    why do many ppl refer to Martin Brodeur as Martin F.?

  22. durocher says:

    Moen to Vancouver for Yann Sauve and a 3rd
    AK46 and two 3rd round picks to Pittsburgh for Tangradi
    Campoli back to Chicago for a 4th

    Off-season: buy out Gomez and Kaberle. I’d honestly consider trading Pleks this off-season simply because he seems out of his element this year. I’d consider trading him — as he’s still highly respected around the league and viewed as an underrated player — for that elusive big center, maybe even Carter if he’s healthy.

    MaxPower-DD-Cole
    Bourque-Carter-LL
    Darche-Eller-Gio
    Tangradi/Geoffrion/White/Blunden

    GorgyPorgy-Subban
    Markov-Emelin
    Sauve/Diaz/Nash

    Pricey
    Flanders

  23. Un Canadien errant says:

    If the last game was a lose-lose, in that the Canadiens let the game slip to the hated Bruins, but they did pick up a draft-positioning killer loser point, this game was maybe a win-lose-lose: we won the game, but gave up an OT point to the Sabres, a team still, putatively, fighting for the last playoff spot against the Good Guys. And moved up from the cellar, making Nail Yakupov harder and harder to see from our vantage point.

    P.K. Subban played big minutes due to Hal Gill’s departure, and he was solid. He seems to be coming out of his season-long funk. Many theories are offered. There is the liberal application of tough love from coach Ladouceur, who is rapidly becoming one of my favourites. Some have mentioned that it is simple maturity and experience being gained by a young, promising defenceman who can’t be shielded by older, more accomplished players higher up in the depth chart, ’cause we have none. An interesting point raised by the Antichambre trolls is that now that he’s being used on the right point during the powerplay, instead of the left point to favour the one-timer, he’s more comfortable and feels less pressure. It’s the position he’s played all his junior career, and it shows. Some defensemen like playing on the opposite side, but it’s a relatively rare preference as it creates a bunch of problems you have to solve, notable gathering skittering pucks and clearing attempts against the boards on your backhand. Let’s keep P.K. on the side he prefers for now, and wait for him to mature some more before we add complications and curlicues to his game.

    P.K. also had some nice words to say about his mentor Hal Gill. He said all the right things, and it seemed heartfelt. It’s good to see him comport himself with class and being humble. I hope it continues to seep in to his on-ice game.

    Mr. Gill’s departure will force us to play Yannick Weber and Raphaël Diaz more, which is good, but also Chris Campoli and Tomas Kaberle more, about which the jury is still, charitably, out. A hopeful sign is that both scored nice goals tonight. We may hope that the added responsibility on and off the ice for those veterans will cause them to step it up a notch.

    An interesting aspect of the game was that the big Sabres forwards didn’t take liberties with our players, as they have in the recent past. Again, Bob Gainey’s Virage Vitesse was a noble experiment, but the size added to the roster recently has made the team not such an easy target anymore. The spunk of Ryan White is a welcome break from the usual seventh D as the 12th forward or Aaron Palushaj or Andreas Engqvist. As long as we don’t add idiots like Chris Neil or bullies like pretty much everyone on the Bruins, I’ll be okay with the size vs. speed tradeoff. Especially if our size comes with a healthy dollop of skating and skill as shown by Erik Cole and René Bourque.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Da Hema says:

      While your thoughts are engaging, as usual, I cannot agree with your assessment that with Gill’s departure having Weber and Diaz playing more is “good.” What I see are two defencemen who are overwhelmed by the size of NHL forwards, and one of them even plays a little scared (Diaz). Not once can I recall seeing either of these two win a battle along the boards, which is crucial in your own end.

      A good team with a solid defence corps, which the Canadiens are not, could hide the defects of a Weber or a Diaz and limit their play largely to specialty teams. Unfortunately, the Canadiens are not in this position. If the Habs can trade both of these players to teams that could use puck-moving defencemen, they should take advantage of that now. I am beginning to think the Habs, if they would just move Gomez to the AHL, would be better served to buy a top-four free agent defenceman next season rather than a centre — although dumping Gomez in Hamilton likely would allow the Canadiens to pursue both. Until Tinordi and Beaulieu (and hopefully a few other big bodies like Dietz and Didier) are ready, this team’s defence corps is still its central weakness — and frankly Weber and Diaz reveal that so clearly.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        We have twenty five games to find out what these kids can do, and offer them on-the-job training, without fear that they will cost us a loss and will ruin our season. That’s why I think it’s good: if the season is over and we’re not making the playoffs, we don’t need Hal Gill back there scratching and clawing and thwarting Sidney Crosby and Alex Overchkin, we can give these minutes to our kids without qualms.

        I agree that we need another big body on the blue line, I advocated the signing of Shane O’Brien during the summer, I think he would have added a dimension to the team that would have made us much, much better than his strict contribution; he would have been a great fit. I agree that Raphaël and Yannick are very similar and may not both have a place on the same team. But these guys are young, let’s give them the rest of the season to figure things out.

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • Da Hema says:

          I now understand the meaning of your original claim. But I have watched both Diaz and Weber this year, and neither is physically strong enough to be an effective NHL defenceman. This isn’t a matter of them “gaining experience.” Unless they can add three inches of height and 20 pounds of muscle they will continue to pushed aside by most NHL forwards. They will play this year because the Canadiens don’t have much choice — with Gill gone and Markov still recovering — but anyone who thinks these two will become competent NHL defencemen is not seeing clearly what those two are actually doing on the ice. If they are still on the team next year, it will be another long season in our end.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Depending on Le Système, a slick puck moving defenceman can be a great asset, if big lugs like Brian Boyle or Paul Gaustad can’t catch up to them. We’ve seen how our forwards can sometimes skate circles around a guy like Zdeno Chara, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. If we have the right partner, either our Swiss defenceman or both can be very effective.

            ———————————
            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

          • Da Hema says:

            We are going in circles here. You are saying what I said before — if the Canadiens had an elite defenceman he might be able to conceal the deficiencies of a Weber or Diaz. But the Canadiens don’t. So there we are. The fact the Canadiens will now be playing these two on a regular basis at least for this season just confirms how weak our defence corps is. Weber and Diaz look like overwhelmed children amongst men.

          • Marc10 says:

            I’ll weigh in and say that if Diaz or Weber don’t become specialist types on the PP or bring something unbelievably special that makes them indispensable to the team… then we should probably lose the both of them. Markov and PK are our puck moving D men. Do we really need a third unless they are the second coming of Scott Niedermayer?

            Especially given that we have Beaulieu and Bennett in the wings. They’re either special or they’re not.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      ” As long as we don’t add idiots like Chris Neil or bullies like pretty much everyone on the Bruins, I’ll be okay with the size vs. speed tradeoff.”…You lost me there. I would take a younger Chris Neil in a heartbeat. These are the kind of players any team which has aspirations of winning a Cup absolutely do need. (include Lucic in that list). It’s been said many times before, as much as we dislike them while they play for the opposition…if they played for the Habs…well, you know the rest.

      It’s this kind of “Oh, we’re above all that nasty stuff…” type of thinking that makes absolutely no sense when applied to the reality of the NHL.

  24. Rad says:

    The Goat looks like he’s making a comeback: 2 good trades in a row. Let’s see what he comes up with next.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      Kinda agree re his last 2 moves…Go Goat Go…and he still has an awfully long way to go. (to make up for his monumental gaffes as Chief Pro Scout and GM…shoulda been gone long ago.

  25. Rad says:

    Mike, typo on Emelin’s TOI … I show 18:35 as the correct figure.
    Edit — never mind, I see now that the 1:48 was his time on the PK.

  26. Marc10 says:

    Yes the Kaberle goal was a beauty and it was perhaps the first time this year the guys moved it around enough to put a guy completely in the clear… And what do you know… the PP is slowly, but surely, coming around!

    If we can pull a couple more outings like this… maybe we can get something for Kaberle or Campoli…

  27. Chrisadiens says:

    Just when I think it’s safe to assume they are done, the Habs suck me right back in. Heartbreak on the way? Probably, but I’ll enjoy the win for now.

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

  28. gK_HabsFan says:

    The way PK has played the past 8 games or so is EXACTLY what I want to see.

    A good two-way game. Taking care of business in your own end with good decisions with the puck in the O-Zone. Another thing I have noticed through the past couple of games is that he isn’t as involved in the post whistle crap that puts him under a dark light.

    I like his game right now, and hope he remains disciplined and focused.

  29. Timo says:

    Nothing to determine. PG should sell and hopefully he’s the first one to be sold.

  30. FormalWare says:

    Textbook give-and-go from Kaberle. High hockey IQ. If only his EQ were as high.

    If Eller were pronounced “Ell-ay”, Larry would be #2 with a bullet!

  31. G-Man says:

    More stunned HaHa doggerel. Party on!


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