About yesterday afternoon …

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In a city celebrated for its superb restaurants, your Montreal Canadiens are rediscovering the joy of home cooking.
A ridiculously easy 6-1 conquest of the Buffalo Sabres – who played like they’d tucked into 18-oz sirloins at Moishe’s 10 minutes before the game – brought the Canadiens early-season record at the Bell Centre to 4-1.
They have not lost on home ice since opening night, and the Canadiens have outscored visitors 20-9.
Along the way, the homeboys have defeated two goaltenders who have excelled at the Bell Centre: Martin F. Brodeur and Ryan Miller, who was chased from the Buffalo net after 40 minutes.
Sunday afternoon, the Canadiens get another shot at red-hot Craig Anderson.

Last season, the Canadiens were 16-15-10 at the Bell Centre.

Only the Islanders and Columbus had worse home-ice records, and I doubt hockey fans in Long Island and Ohio experienced the agonies of Montrealers who had to watch their beloved team lose 25 games.

After seven games, the Canadiens are 5-2. Last season, they were 1-4-2. The 2011-’12 team needed 12 games – and an unlikely four-W streak – to get their fifth win.

It’s still very early. I’m still not certain this edition of the Canadiens will will be playing hockey in mid-April.

But they’re undefeated in February, undefeated with P.K. Subban in the lineup and undefeated with Ryan White in the pressbox … where the Sin Bin King could be for a while if Max Pacioretty makes another one of his miraculously quick recoveries.

Max-Pac won’t face the Senators in the pre-Super Bowl special. I expect Michel Therrien to stick with the lineup that demolished the Sabres. The coach will want to ease P.K. up from the 18:01 he played against Buffalo, and Tomas Kaberle was fine during his 7:28.

Pacioretty’s imminent return will present Therrien with some interesting personnel decisions.

We can safely assume that the six-man defence corps is set: Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin, Josh Gorges and Raphael Diaz, P.K. and François Bouillon. All excelled against Buffalo, but Ottawa will present a sterner test and a truer measure of who should be playing in front of the team’s superb goaltender.

Price has won head-to-head duels against two of the league’s best, Martin F. and Miller. Next up: Anderson with his sick GAA of 0.99 and save percentage of .968. Comparable stats for Price: 1.82, .932. Sunday should be a dandy.

The imminent personnel shuffle will be among the forwards. And if the win over Buffalo was an indicator, Therrien faces a delightful problem.

Lars Eller was great at both ends of the rink in all situations against the Sabres. I can’t believe he one of the game’s stars. Fans who voted must have been influenced by the Eller-bashing on L’Antichambre.

I was wrong about Eller, too.

Just like half the Commentariat was wrong about David Desharnais.

Yes, it was just one game. But DD’s two goals and a three-point performance by Eller suggest the centres are shaking off their early-season cobwebs and stuffing socks into the mouths (and keyboards) of their critics.

Tomas Plekanec also deserved a star. With Brian Gionta and a renascent Rene Bourque, who scored twice against the Sabres, Plekanec is experiencing the top-line harmony that eluded him with a succession of partners last season.

That line will stay intact, as will DD, Erik Cole and Pacioretty.

Here’s a combo I’d like Therrien to try: A Kid Line of Eller with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. The rookies’ speed, skill and energy are electrifying Bell Centre fans; and while you can’t fault Brandon Prust’s hustle, I think Eller might add more (figurative) punch in the offensive zone.

A year after struggling as a one-line team, the Canadiens could have three trios capable of scoring. Plus Prust, Travis Moen and Colby Armstrong/White.

Again, I’m not picking out my spot for the Stanley Cup parade.

But man, this team is fun to watch – especially in their own barn, which is becoming a place where it’s no fun at all for visitors.

• The Canadiens’ plus-8 goal differential is better than Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Vancouver. The only clubs with superior differentials are Tampa Bay, San Jose, St. Louis and Ottawa … The PK pitched a shutout  for the first time since the road win in Washington …  The kid learns fast: Alex Galchenyuk had his first winning night in the faceoff circle (7-6) in Ottawa and was 9-2 against the Sabres.

398 Comments

  1. Loonie says:

    The magic number 3.

    3. Goals Brendan Gallagher has in six games

    3. Points Lars Eller scored yesterday at times when he had two skilled forwards on the ice with him. Three is also the number of games out of five that Eller hasn’t been put in a situation to produce offensively.

    3. Penalties David Desharnais’ taken while the team’s been on the Powerplay.

    3. The number of bodychecks Subban had in his first game back

    3. The number of players on the team with a faceoff percentage above 50%.

    3. The number of players averaging more than 15 minutes of even strength time on ice per game. A great indication that this team is better able to roll four lines.

    3. The number of players on the team with more than one powerplay goal this season.

    3. The number of players with five or more powerplay points this season.

    3. The number of game winning goals for Andrei Markov.

    3. The amount of days to elapse until this team plays the Bruins.

    *****Edit*****

    Three is also the number of multi-point games Alex Galchenyuk’s had already. Love that one.

    • Clay says:

      3. The number of turtlenecks Pleks goes through in a game.

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

      • Loonie says:

        3. The number of teeth Brandon Prust knocks out of an opponent’s mouth each game?

        • Clay says:

          3. The number of cookies the current management team allows office guests to eat.

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

          • Loonie says:

            3. The number of low fives no longer allowed.

          • Clay says:

            And, I concede victory. Well played sir – well played!

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

          • Loonie says:

            Hey. I’m one of those guys who has to always be right. And because of that I must concede victory. You pulled some nice history, I was so yesterday.

            You get the creativity points.

          • Clay says:

            Let’s call it a draw then, because that low- five one cracked me up :)

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

          • Loonie says:

            Haha. Done.

          • Lafleurguy says:

            ….the number of posters on this thread….
            …..Rats!….now there are four……

            “May you live in interesting times.”

    • habstrinifan says:

      Neat List!

      But you forgot .. number of low fives missing but not really nissed 3.

      Or shouldnt I have gone there?.

      Edit: not fair you cheated and posted while I was typing and eating at tthe same time.

  2. Habfan10912 says:

    7 Dman again today?

    ———————————–

  3. 24moreCups says:

    really bummed I missed the game yesterday, last season when I missed a game most of the time I didn’t care too much. This seasons got me excited for hockey again, I know it’s still early but it’s been fun so far.

  4. Lafleurguy says:

    Shoutout to Psycho 29 whose avatar makes Da Hema’s look skinny.
    Shoutout to doug19 who mentioned Gomez on this thread.
    Shoutout to Clay who is ahead of our time.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  5. Cal says:

    “I like my teams to be humble”- Michel Therrien
    Here’s my take on it:
    http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  6. Clay says:

    Now that PK is back, Habs fans have nothing controversial to divide us, so I propose we adopt the following as a wedge issue:
    Pleks – what the ‘H E double hockey sticks’ is up with those turtlenecks? Fashion? Please… Comfort? I think not. I believe that there is something far more sinister behind his choice in shirts, and we as Habs fans need to get to the bottom of it.

    So what is he hiding here? An extremely hairy back? Hickeys from his girlfriend? Hickeys from Pat Hickey? An embarrassing tattoo? No adam’s apple? (He did once say he was ‘playing like a little girl’) My spies inside the Habs locker room have been unable to unearth the dark truth, as Pleks seems to sleep and even shower in his trademarked turtlenecks.

    We Habs fans deserve to know. This is why I am offering a reward of 100,000 Iranian Rials (or the equivalent in your local currency) for information that unearths the truth.

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

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Can 1. trade him to Winnipeg where such fashion is also functional
      winterwear.
      2. trade him to Florida where he may get mistaken for being a
      homeless person.
      3. trade him to LA where he’ll be avidly pursued to attend hot
      parties (Pricey could also attend when the Habs are visitors
      ,,,,,and be sure to wear that watch and chain)
      Pleks would also be sought out to get on on the Red Carpet
      where he would immediately be the most manly object for photos (unless
      Ellen attends).
      4. trade him to Boston where he’ll make fans forget Phil Esposito
      Oh right….they’ve forgotten him already.
      5. not trade him and upon Tomas’ retirement, he could
      pass the turtleneck to a worthy successor in a lavish
      ceremony at centre ice.

      Cheers Clay.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Clay says:

        Morning Andrew! I’m partial to your number 5
        Thanks for playing along :)

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Funny stuff Clay. I won’t look at turtlenecks the same again. :)

      ———————————–

  7. HABZ24 says:

    Should be a great goalie battle between andersson and price,price didnt see too much rubber saturday hopefully he ll be strong sunday.its like last years habs broke down on the side of the highway, were towed to a hotrod shop where the teams hood was lifted and all the bad parts like gm,coach and duds were taken out and replaced by brand new supercharged parts like gallager and chucky and new gm and new coach,slam the hood and send the new supercharged habs back on the road to the cup,drive for 25 or bust !! Ps: all this insane politiclly correct crap is driving me crazy,no low 5s,dignified,low key.bcrap.the fans luv the low 5s, fans luv pks unbridaled enthusiasim,luv when pk jumps up and down in the hallway before a game then runs out there bouncing off the glass,terriens squashed all that. Hate this p.c crap.

    GO HABS GO

    • habstrinifan says:

      Dont think Therrien squashed that. That’s like ‘nervous tension. routine individual to many players. And it really affects them if they can’t do it.

  8. MikeHabs says:

    Check out this article on Bourque, is he a new man?
    The Rebirth of Rene Bourque: http://allaboutthehabs.ca/?p=388

    twitter: @Mike_Habs

  9. Bob_Sacamano says:

    So no stupid trade suggestions for Eller today? Good. It´s also nice to come here and not having to read about the team´s inability to score goals.

  10. calvee123 says:

    Looking forward to the tilt today. I believe that Montreal can beat those pesky sens. The habs are a fast team and they have that killer instict that wasn’t there last year. If they get off to a fast start and pot a goal or two, this will be a game changer. They have to get screen set up in front of that Anderson if they want to beat him. If he can see it he is going to stop it. GO HABS GO!!! Oh also it sure feels good to have this team winning more than losing.

  11. Marc10 says:

    One more observation – How awesome was it to see Eller on with the kids after setting up DD for his first? The coaches were paying attention. They rewarded him straight away for making a heads up play and he paid them back with change.

    JM drove me nuts with his constant lineup juggling, but Therrien and co (Gallant and Daigneault should get credit too) are doing a stellar job of rewarding effort. Their line ‘tweaking’ is more an injection of adrenaline and talent at key moments and it is paying off.

    Tip of the hat to the coaches. The boys came out to play tonight… again!

    • JF says:

      I also liked that Eller got powerplay time after he scored, something that almost never happened under JM.

      • Marc10 says:

        Yes, clearly the PP is where good behaviour gets rewarded when the score is heading in the right direction. They’re getting good results and mixing it up pretty well.

        So I wouldn’t be overly surprised if you see less of Cole or Max than you would expect for the moment and more of Bourque, Eller and Gio and the kids, if yesterday is anything to go by.

  12. chanchilla says:

    if anyone still has a bad taste in their mouth from the cammalleri trade, don’t worry, he has 6 shots all season, and hasn’t scored yet, and he plays with iginla.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Watched that game. Calgary’s playing too much European style cycling. I think Hartley has to adjust. Another crow eating for me too… I thought Hartley was better coach for us… ooops!

  13. Da Hema says:

    And let me conclude this evening for me with the following observation inspired by Herr Professor Danno: I feel like a better person for watching the game today. Thank you Bishop Therrien!

  14. Marc10 says:

    Wow. We are officially out of passengers. Everybody was on the bus tonight. Great effort!

    First Bourque, now Eller and DD… They schooled Lindy Ruff tonight. It could have easily been 10 goals. On ya Habs! No excuses (now with extra humility!) Let’s see if they can repeat the feat against the Sens.

  15. Bozo McBozo says:

    Boone is spot on, this team is fun to watch. Also, Michele Therrien now has the reins of the Montreal Canadiens at the right time in his coaching career. The Habs should be no coach’s first job!

    • Da Hema says:

      Spot on Bozo! The raft of rookie coaches the Canadiens have had over the last 15-20 years hasn’t been good for this team (along with its poor drafting and player development). It was one thing when the Habs had Jacques Laperierre and Claude Ruel as entrenched assistant coaches to bring in a new coach (e.g., Pat Burns), but quite another when the organization was hollowed out after 1993.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Totally agree that Therrien has bought ‘knowledge’ and ‘design’ which I didnt think he had. It is gonna be interesting to watch him manage ice team… one of the hardest parts of coaching and one JM was lousy at. Notice Therrien started Boullion with huge mins in games and has reduced them while keeping Boullion still factor. Case 1:checked. Next is Eller… looking to see how that goes.

  16. commandant says:

    Bozon has an 8 game point streak now (14 points).

    He has 72 points on the season in 52 games. (career high in 19 less games than last years 71 in 71)

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

  17. Mr. Biter says:

    Tomorrow’s game will tell a lot about the Habs. How they come out and play another back to back with the Sens. We will have Price, in net and be at home. Does MT go with White instead of 7 d-men or sit Armstrong who has done nothing. Sens will again to physcially out play us and he should be there for that reason

    “Boy’s just gotta watch his mouth”
    Foghorn Leghorn

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  18. Bill says:

    Hey Chris,
    You argue it well, but that is an awfully optimistic assessment of Toronto’s potential.

    Being a young team in terms of average age is … well it’s a decent excuse, I guess, not much more. When I think of a GOOD young team, I think Edmonton. Toronto is not that.

    Lupul may never achieve consistency. He’s one of those jinxed guys it appears. And Kessel is good for thirty goals … but is it just me, or is there the possibility that his shortcomings undercut that somewhat?

    I dunno, I am not sold on those two guys.

    We’ll see what Rielly brings, but I am not so sure their future is as bright as you say.

    Hey, at least I sure hope not. I’m just praying they don’t do something smart and acquire Luongo.

    • commandant says:

      Reimer had a good game tonight, but overall this is a team with the worst goaltending tandem in the NHL.

      You are never gonna make the playoffs when that is the case.

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

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      I also disagree with Chris’s assessment of the Leafs going forward. They have little in the pipeline Kadri may be keeper but I don’t think he has the ceiling of a Galchenyuk. Their defense totally sucks and their goalie duo sinks to put it mildly. Kessel may score 30 but he’s soft as butter and they have no depth at center. I think they’re a long way away from being a playoff contender.

  19. Da Hema says:

    Is it just me, or is Subban bigger now than last year? He looks wider and thicker.

  20. WindsorHab-10 says:

    We better beat those Sens tomorrow.

  21. MikeHabs says:

    This is a better team so far but it is still early. They have to stick to what has made them successful going forward and hopefully we won’t see too many of those games where we play like absolute crap (first games vs TOR, OTT). Gallagher and Galchenyuk make you excited and realize that sometimes you have to have a bad year to remember what is great, plus getting a top player doesn’t hurt. However, I miss playoff hockey. Need to get back in the race this year

    Gallagher: A Diamond in the Rough: http://allaboutthehabs.ca/?p=326
    twitter: @Mike_Habs

    • Bill says:

      Hate to say it, but it was worth sucking out last year to get Chucky.

      Feel bad for Toronto who have sucked out forever and gotten nothing out of it but Kadri and a powerful Boston team.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Chris says:

        Kadri is starting to look like a player. Like Galchenyuk, the puck has been following him around in the Leafs games (I didn’t watch tonight).

        That kid got jerked around by Burke and Wilson, but he’s still only 22 years old. He’s only been held pointless twice in 7 games (including tonight), so the future might finally be brightening in Toronto moving forwards.

        Seguin/Hamilton really sucked, both for Leafs and Habs fans, but the Leafs have quietly been building a competent NHL team. If Phaneuf wakes up and they can settle on a #1 goalie, they could easily find themselves in the playoffs this year as they have also found themselves some scoring depth. Lupul’s injury is going to hurt them, but I think they’ve turned the corner and started to bring in some good players.

        • Bill says:

          Kadri does look good. As for Toronto building a good team, haha, you’re right, they must be doing it quietly … so quietly I have not heard it!

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • Chris says:

            Second youngest team in the NHL and they are holding their own pretty much every night.

            Put Lupul back in the lineup, get Kessel back to his usual 30-goal form and continue to develop Gardiner (who I think is a very solid prospect) and I think the Leafs have got some players.

            Their defence corps is their weakness, but they are adding their own stud prospect (Morgan Rielly) as early as next season to that group.

            Joe Colborne will give them some depth, and I really like what I’ve seen from Stephen Harper in Erie this season in the OHL. He’s got a nice chance to be their version of Gallagher, a nice late-round surprise. He doesn’t have Gallagher’s speed, but he’s a strong all-around forward.

          • commandant says:

            I don’t see Colbourne as anything more than a 4th line NHLer. He’s been pretty bad in the AHL for a calendar year now. Just too inconsistent.

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

        • habstrinifan says:

          Agree with K adri. I think he is more the playmaker while Galchenyuk will be more the scorer. I am not comparing both as equal. I think Galchenyuk is a bigger talent.

  22. Psycho29 says:

    Everyone sleep well tonight! Another big win tomorrow!!!

  23. Chris says:

    Got to love the success of a kid like Cory Conacher.

    Undrafted because he came from an unheralded hockey program in the NCAA and signed as a free agent by Tampa Bay, he only went out and had a dominant (league MVP and rookie of the year) season in the AHL a year after doing well on tryout contracts in the ECHL and AHL.

    And now he’s found a nice home in the NHL with Tampa Bay.

    How many more of these smaller guys that have done very well at every level of hockey just need the right chance?

    We constantly see teams load up with neanderthals to pound on one another to play on the third and fourth lines. And then you see the odd team that realizes that a third line with offensive talent, even if it is undersized, can make a huge difference for a hockey team.

    I’m happy to see guys like Conacher get their chance. I watched another smaller guy (Martin St. Pierre) here in Guelph throughout his OHL career and it always bothered me that he never got a fair shot at the NHL.

    That kid had talent and worked his rear end off. He wasn’t elite at anything except working. He routinely matched up against Corey Perry in the Guelph-London games and often came out on top. Yet he got 38 NHL games over the past decade despite tearing up the AHL.

    Corey Locke is another smaller guy that never really got a good look, but he was much more limited defensively. Still, it always amazed me that an offensively starved team like Columbus or Minnesota wouldn’t look at a guy like him or St. Pierre.

    I really hope that somebody gives Charles Sarault, Galchenyuk’s Sarnia teammate, a good look. Like St. Pierre, he’s not elite at anything. But he still manages to put up gobs of points and makes his teammates better. Since Galchenyuk left Sarnia for the World Juniors and then the NHL, all Sarault has done is post 7 goals and 25 points in his past 16 games. He’s good on faceoffs and is reasonably responsible in the defensive zone.

    • commandant says:

      Corey Locke had good hockey sense, but the thing that held him back from the NHL was his skating IMO. I think you need to be a good skater if you are gonna be that size; or at the very least skating can’t be a liability.

      Now I know Desharnais isn’t a great skater, but he’s still much better than Locke was.

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

      • Chris says:

        I agree to an extent, but there are a lot of serviceable hockey players that were not elite skaters.

        Locke could get around the ice and had the passing ability to stay out of trouble. The fact that he was able to transition to the AHL and dominate at that level suggests that he could at least have been a serviceable third line player. Unfortunately, so many teams reserve those spots for guys that really don’t belong in the NHL.

        The size fetish is the obvious impediment, but I think there are actually far more talented hockey players not playing in the NHL than people realize. The success of players like Desharnais or Conacher demonstrates that a skilled smaller guy in the right situation can still become a very good NHL player if given a chance.

        I think the league has been moving in the right direction in recent years. Everybody went nuclear with size, but didn’t see an obvious pay-off in terms of results.

        You of course need some guys with size…Bourque is creating room for Gionta and Plekanec right now. But you don’t necessarily need a whole roster of size if it comes at the expense of innate talent and hockey sense.

    • Bill says:

      Agreed, Conacher is a nice story. With no disrespect intended, I’d rather see more Conachers and fewer John Scotts in the NHL.

      Look at Toronto. They’ve got Brown, Orr, Fraser, AND McLaren on their roster. Meanwhile actual hockey players toil in the minors, never to get a fair shake.

      We’ve got our own Conacher in Desharnais, and there’s no player I admire more for how he forced his way into the big leagues.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Chris says:

        Toronto is doing the right thing in many ways, but there still seems to be a neanderthal mentality to their team-building philosophy when it comes to playing so many goons.

        Who is Detroit’s goon?

        Who is Pittsburgh’s goon?

        If you have big, physical guys that can play hockey (such as Milan Lucic or Zdeno Chara) than you obviously have to take those guys. But it just annoys the heck out of me to see so many roster spots in the NHL wasted on guys that probably couldn’t score in a beer league game.

  24. commandant says:

    The goal that sums up the day for me.

    Desharnais (2) (Eller, Subban)

    That is exactly what we want to see. If those three start producing, look out.

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

  25. The Dude says:

    Subbans 1st game back was pretty good and a good game by all. A couple more like that would be a great time to trade and size up,WE LOOK REAL SMALL STILL and this ain’t ringette! Go Habs Go

  26. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Welcome back PK. Great effort & win by the Habs.

    I love the personal touch of Therien patting/talking to players on the bench as he did after Desharnais scored. Don’t remember the last time a Habs coach did that.

  27. doug19 says:

    Wow! the Habs were better than ever. Nice to see Eller and DD losing their rust. There is still Moen, Kabelie and Armstrong who I do not think have found their top yet. PK was great and controlled. He is so good at contolling the puck wherever he is on the ice and he is only in first gear yet. Well done team and coaching staff!

  28. habstrinifan says:

    Anyone wants to see the futility of the cycle watch the Cal/Chi game right now (well unless Calg changes style mid game). First 10 mins or so the anouncers ket saying how many shots/how much pressure Calg had. They were all based on a huge amt of time in the Hawks zone by Calg.. basically cycling and throwing pucks for cluttered shots on ice. No threat to the goalie unles fluke. Meanwhile the Hawks had the better scoring chances all calling for eye-to-eye saves by the goalie… all on the rush.

    Thank you Therrien for reducing the stress on cycling.

  29. 69HABS says:

    I miss the TL5 …

    Where are the Price Bashers at?

  30. twilighthours says:

    It’s crow night at HIO. So here’s mine: Diaz.

    I would have happily thrown him on the scrap heap at the end of last year. Now he looks like a solid 4th D and an excellent bottom pair guy.

    It’s awesome to be wrong.

    • punkster says:

      There’s a first time for everything Twi.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

      • ed lopaz says:

        if we’re all eating crow tonight, I’ll take mine “h’all dressed” as they say here.

        Bourque;

        was happy about the trade and then disappointed in his play so I was ready to write him off.

        Go hard to the net, go hard to the net, go hard to the net.

        Seems so simple. And he is doing it to perfection.

        • Chris says:

          I was worried that Bourque’s excellent play went unrewarded the first few games. He was starting to get frustrated with himself, which is often when his game falls apart.

          But now he’s got 3 goals in his past 3 games.

          It is important to see that his mentality of going hard to the net is getting rewarded. One of the issues with the Habs in years past is that they didn’t have anybody doing that. I always felt that one of Andrei Kostitsyn’s seriously underrated skills was his passing, and he would routinely place an absolutely perfect pass into the crease for a tap-in if any of his linemates would drive the net, but nobody ever did.

          Bourque, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Prust…the Habs have a number of guys that are basically crashing the net routinely. They are going to start drawing some goaltender interference calls (I would be shocked if the referees aren’t starting to become alerted to this new development in Montreal), but it’s worth it for the goals that they are scoring.

          I don’t think anybody had this team sitting 5th in the NHL is goal scoring. Having a third line that is actually talented (something I thought they had last year until injuries devastated the team) is such a hugely important thing. For so long, Montreal has relied on journeymen like Moen and Darche and others to play third-line minutes, knowing full well those guys won’t score goals.

          How beautiful to see a couple of offensive players, warts and all, on that third line?

          They tried it last season when it looked like the third line might be Gomez, Eller and Kostitsyn. That third line would have given a lot of team fits. But injuries, slumps and drama ruined it.

          • Andy and the habs says:

            Just to mention Cole also crashes the net. Not as much in this early season. It will come with his confidence as soon as he start to score.

    • Bill says:

      I’d much rather see Subban on the second pair with Gorges, but I see what Therrien is doing having three solid pairs, and it’s hard to argue with the logic or the results. Montreal’s D has looked good so far.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  31. Habitant in Surrey says:

    “What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!! ”

    …ask, …and ‘sometimes’ …You may receive :)

  32. Chris says:

    The two players who have made the biggest strides from last season to this season:

    Rene Bourque – As mentioned previously, I think last year was his annus horribilis. Nothing went right: two suspensions, abdominal injury (perhaps the worst for a hockey player), trade, media scrutiny, etc.

    The lockout may have been the best thing that ever happened to him. He got an extra long break to heal from his surgery in the off-season, and he got a chance to put his baggage in his rear-view mirror and start fresh.

    Bourque will always battle consistency, but through the first 7 games of this season he’s generally been one of the best players on the ice. He’s skating hard, he’s driving the net and he’s creating space for Plekanec and Gionta.

    Alexei Emelin – Emelin has been the most impressive of the defencemen for me. He’s obviously still prone to gaffes, but he looks so much more comfortable with the puck in his own end.

    Last season, Emelin was prone to just dumping the puck. This year, he’s using feints and delays to open up passing lanes. In the 5.5 games I’ve watched this season, there have been at least 2-3 times where I’ve seen him just use a slight delay to change the picture in front of him. Smart hockey.

    Emelin’s also dramatically toned back his hitting without sacrificing the quantity. He’s still looking for hits, but he’s not bombing guys and consequently ending up way out of position. His physical play is much more under control, which makes him even more effective as a defenceman.

    On a separate note…

    Andrei Markov – He’s still playing well offensively (the stretch pass that Gionta tipped to Plekanec on Bourque’s second goal was vintage Markov), but I counted at least two more diving stabs at pucks.

    As somebody else mentioned, I think they’ve got to keep an eye on Markov, and perhaps rest him the odd time in these back-to-backs. That knee is clearly not back to 100% given the way he is skating, and you can see that he simply doesn’t quite trust it any more. I’m happy to see him generally avoiding contact when carrying the puck, making safe dump-ins instead of risking getting creamed to make a play.

    And since others are taking their slice of crow, here’s mine…

    Brendan Gallagher can flat out fly. I still think he is a bit of a project over the long-term, but that kid can really skate. He’s got top-end NHL speed, something we haven’t seen in Montreal for quite a while. Galchenyuk is pretty obviously the straw stirring the drink on that line, but Gallagher definitely has the speed to get open and cash in on Galchenyuk’s genius.

    I’m not sure that Gallagher will be joining Galchenyuk on the top lines in the future, but the Gallagher-Galchenyuk pairing gives the Habs some nice offence from the third line for this season.

    • Sportfan says:

      I think Gallagher can have a consitent career and hopefully he is one of those top players out there for the future or an avg 20 goal 50-60 point guy too haha he’s got great speed like you said but he likes to hit too

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

      • twilighthours says:

        It’s hard not to love his game. He is always involved in the play.

      • Chris says:

        I think Gallagher should model himself after guys like Martin St. Louis or Brian Gionta. Those guys can handle themselves in physical games, but they don’t go out of their way looking for it.

        Gallagher’s big weapon is his speed. He should focus on using it to force turnovers or steal the puck, as I think he can surprise a lot of NHL players by chasing them down from behind on the rush. Pavel Datsyuk has turned that ability into three Selke Trophies. I’m not saying that Gallagher is Datsyuk, but he’s got the wheels and work ethic to cause some serious havoc out there.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …am also surprised by Gallagher’s high-end speed …did not think He had that gear

      …very pleasant surprise

    • lavie says:

      Nice analysis!

      MT 2.0 System works well.

    • ed lopaz says:

      I would like to know the last time the Habs had an 18 year old with Galchenyuk’s talent – I can’t think of one.

      The way he gains the blue line; the shiftiness and hands at top speed; his vision at top speed; and of course, his skating, which I absolutely love to watch – great power and acceleration but excellent edge work and change of direction.

      When he is on the ice I don’t look at the puck at all. Just watching what he does, and seeing every game what makes him unique.

      • Chris says:

        Galchenyuk is special. There is no other word for it.

        I mentioned after watching him play in the OHL that I saw a lot of Malkin in the way he plays and skates. Since he moved to the NHL, he’s doing even better. In the OHL, he had a tendency to float for long periods. As you undoubtedly know, this is a pretty common tendency among the high-end prospects. Every time I saw Stamkos or Seguin come to Guelph, I was continually amazed that people thought they were these future superstars because of how much they floated. But then they would flash the speed and skill and you would realize that they were just bored.

        There was a great example of Galchenyuk gaining the blue line today…just a beautiful change of speed and quick cut to sneak through a hole that I honestly didn’t think was there. And as much as it pains me to agree with Greg Millen about anything, he was right…the puck was absolutely following Galchenyuk around today. I felt that today was his best game of the season thus far.

      • Bill says:

        Good question, and I’m coming up empty.

        Habs got lucky with him. Yakupov is a sniper and then some, but I’m happier with Galchenyuk’s overall game at this point. Knock wood, this could be the centre we’ve been waiting for since … well it’s been awhile.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • ed lopaz says:

          1985/86 season, Stephane Richer scored 21 goals as a 19 year old. He turned 20 in June of that season.

          Galchenyuk will be 19 this month.

          Richer was very fast; he skated in mostly “straight lines”, a classic winger’s style back then, and he had a very heavy shot.

          But Galchenyuk has a much more balanced attack in his game. He can kill you on the rush, he can battle on the boards and then explode to the middle of the ice, he is a phenomenal passer.

          • Bill says:

            Richer was such a good player. I always wondered why the Habs were willing to trade him at all, though I can’t argue with the guy they got back, haha.

            He’s probably about the best comparable young talent in recent Habs’ history, good thinking.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

          • Chris says:

            I think you could argue the team hasn’t had an 18 year old of this talent level in any of our lifetimes.

            Guy Lafleur was 20 when he made his debut. Cournoyer was 20, as were Lapointe and Savard, Lemaire was 22.

            Patrick Roy snuck into one game as a 19 year old, but didn’t become a regular until age 20. Mats Naslund was 23, Saku Koivu was 21 and Carey Price was 20.

    • Bill says:

      About Markov – He needs time to feel physically confident after all his bad luck. After his surgery and rehab, his knee should be as strong as it was before it was damaged. He’s still the smartest guy on the ice every game.

      About Bourque – I don’t care if he’s a streaky scorer. As you say, if he can keep on skating and going to the net the way he is, he’s a huge help to his line and the team. Plekanec can put thirty goals on his stick easy if he plays like this over a full year.

      About Gallagher – I’m a believer. This kid’s motor does not stop ever. He flies, he has no fear, and his hands are more than good enough to cash the chances around him. He’s another Gionta.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Never mind the speed the kid got a shoot as Steve shut may be he he

  33. habstrinifan says:

    This is what I hate about 2:00 pm games on Saturday. Sunday or weekdays is ok.. but everything’s ‘over’ and there’s still a whole night left.

    Thought the Bruins Leaf would be exciting but was dull game.

  34. Mr. Biter says:

    Got tired of Laffs an Bruins so watching a real game of attrition UND vs. Wisconsin. Boy these college kids lay the lumber and the Refs pocket the whistles. Like watching lacross. Hudson Bay Rules.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  35. 1010 says:

    Typical Saturday night hockey with the laffs. A perfectly good opposition goal called back. And a hilarious penalty called by a ref who couldn`t find a reasonable excuse to call one to try and give the laffs a chance to tie it up. I HATE Boston but I ended up hoping they`d hang on.

  36. HFX-HabFan says:

    The Red Wings lost Brendan Smith to injury earlier tonight in their game against the Jackets. Smith, a rookie D, was supposed to help make up for some of the offense from the back end that was lost with Lidstrom’s retirement.

    Now is the time to send Kaberle to Detroit for a second round pick! If Ken Holland was willing to give up a first rounder for Kyle Quincey last year, surely Kaberle can net us a second rounder?

    • ed lopaz says:

      the Wings selected Quincey in 2003, so they have a history with him.

      maybe Kaberle could get us a 4th or 5th rounder, but more then that would be a bonus I think.

  37. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Yay, everyone’s wrong. Go HABS!

  38. jedimyrmidon says:

    Leafs gifted a PP in the last 2.5min of the game, lol.

  39. commandant says:

    Markov tells the Hockey News how much he hates PK Subban just past the 2:00 mark

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC6YvFlzMIU

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

  40. Propwash says:

    Just watched the highlights on the Canadiens website. Man, did they walk all over Buffalo or what? Were the Sabres that bad, or were the Habs that good? I missed the game as I was on a family outing to the Biodome.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  41. deuce6 says:

    Arpon Basu ‏@ArponBasu

    Therrien says there’s a chance Pacioretty plays for #Habs tomorrow.
    ———————-

    Has this changed? Is he in or what?

    ——————

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

  42. ed lopaz says:

    I missed most of the game today.

    Did Subban play like a “team player”?

    Did he “eat enough humble pie” today?

    I know my man Eller cleaned up!! Woo Hoo! So happy for the kid!

    • Mattyleg says:

      I had a good laugh listening to his post-game interview.
      I don’t think he used the word “I” once.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • ed lopaz says:

        I’m serious Matty. You watched the game. Did you like the way Subban played? Did he fit in with the team concept? Did he do anything that made you question his priority to the team?

        • Mattyleg says:

          He played fine.

          And I’m serious too. It was so obvious that the organizational line is ‘team before me’. PK said that this concept comes straight from Bergevin, which is great, in my opinon.

          PK played well, he was obviously a bit rusty, and made some errant passes and was sometimes a step behind, but nothing to get knickers in knots over. He admitted to a few bad passes, etc. himself in his interview. Give him a couple of games and those little kinks will be gone.

          It was just funny, because the press were asking questions about him, and all he would respond with was “we”, except when he was taking credit for his shortcomings. I wasn’t looking for it, but I was driving, and started to laugh as it dawned on me.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Phil C says:

      PK played a solid, controlled game, not taking many chances and making conservative decisions. He showed signs of what he can do with a couple of good rushes and ringing one off the post on a one-timer. His shot looks great. Once he gets his game legs and timing back, he is going to be awesome.

      • ed lopaz says:

        I think we all agree he is talented, I’m just trying to figure out when he is playing as a “team player” and when he is not??

        Did you, Phil, think PK played as a “team player” today?

        Serious question.

        • Phil C says:

          100 percent team player. As Matty pointed out above, in his interview he was responding to the questions from a team perspective, making it clear he was buying in to the team concept.

          As far as his play goes, I thought PK turned the corner last January when he put more focus on his defensive game, started playing more physically, and started opting for more conservative decisions compared to flashier plays. That maturity in his game was on display again tonight.

          He ended with about 18 minutes, about the same as Diaz and Emelin, compared to 14 for Bouillon and 7 minutes for Kaberle, so there is no question in my mind that he will continue to get more icetime as the season goes.

    • Chris says:

      Subban was good. He had some minor gaffes here and there, and there were a few moments where he got tunnel vision on the power play when the pass would have been a better option.

      But he rang a rocket off the post on a one-timer from Markov, and another of his heavy shots ended up yielding a rebound that Desharnais was able to cash in.

      He was pretty restrained on the physical side (judging by the way Emelin has changed his game, I wonder if this is a coaching issue…if so, I heartily approve), but was generally strong defensively.

      He’ll still always have a little devil P.K. on his shoulder. The Habs took a too-many-men penalty on the power play this afternoon on a play where Subban perhaps tried to take something that wasn’t there by rushing with the puck right into a couple of Sabres while Markov was changing for Kaberle. Subban should have dumped the puck, but he ended up losing it and the puck came right to Kaberle who pretty much had to play the puck with the Sabres in the best position to get it otherwise. I thought it was a bit of an iffy penalty call, but Subban made the mistake that led to it.

      The weakest players tonight were probably Diaz (he had a terrible gaffe that led to Vanek’s breakaway goal) and Armstrong. Hockey is a game of mistakes…you try to force the other team into making them while minimizing the number that you make. On the whole, the Canadiens were very good tonight, so a few small mistakes (such as Subban’s) or massive mistakes (like Diaz’s) are ultimately inconsequential in the grand scheme.

      The CBC panel were doing their best to keep fanning the flames of the Subban “story”. :)

  43. Andy and the habs says:

    I’m watching Ruins and Laughs game. I’m in a dilemma, which do I hate more, Canada’s team or Big Bad Ruins?

  44. JF says:

    That was a wonderful offensive outburst from the Habs – and the last thing you usually see when these two teams meet. Habs-Sabres games tend to be boring and frustrating, with our guys being mostly kept to the outside and Ryan Miller stoning us. It was great to see him fallible for once and actually chased, and I loved the way we kept driving the net – Gionta and Bourque, Plekanec and Bourque, Eller, the two Gallys. This was something we didn’t see a lot of last year.

    The two rookies were electrifying on that beautiful passing sequence that led to Gallagher’s goal. I hope plays like that will become a regular feature of Habs games.

    Good for Eller and Desharnais breaking the ice. This was by far the best game for each of them. Perhaps we should not be in such a hurry to scramble lines or trade our players when things are not going well. Sometimes problems can be worked through. A slow start does not equal a bad season or a wasted roster-spot.

    Plekanec is quietly and unflashily off to a great start. He reads the game so well and is so smart with the puck. He, Bourque, and Gionta have quickly developed excellent chemistry and have certainly been our best line. Bourque looks like he underwent a rebirth over the summer; the current edition is exactly what Plekanec needs on his wing.

    A good first game for P.K. Subban. Nothing remarkable, but effective. I hope the subject of P.K. as a focal point for dissension can cease to occupy centre-stage.

  45. Mattyleg says:

    Ooh.
    The planets aligned, and I just switched on the TV to see Brad Marchand crying on his bench.

    Delightful.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  46. frontenac1 says:

    Nash gets the go ahead goal in Tampa.The guy is a Beast. 2-1 Rags in 3rd.

  47. commandant says:

    I’d definitely leave Prust with the kids for now. He has great value as their protecter.

    Let Eller play with Moen. They had chemistry last year, and maybe they can get Armstrong going too. Eller can fill in on other lines when injuries hit.

    Good to have depth and versatility.

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

    • punkster says:

      And play the PK…one of his demonstrated strengths.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

    • lavie says:

      Prust is protecting the whole team. He’s been great.

    • Chris says:

      I agree with most of that, but I think Armstrong should be sitting.

      I think he’s been one of the team’s most glaring issues thus far. He’s not really bringing much to the team, and I’ve felt that he has been one of the bigger liabilities defensively.

      Armstrong was brought in to be a depth player, and he has no long-term future with the team. If somebody is the odd man out, I would have to think it should be him.

  48. deen says:

    i respectfully disagree with moving prust from the rookies as the big brother stepped in at the perfect time against ott’s bullying. that was classic old time tough habs message to the league don’t try messing with our boys anymore! it kind of reminded of me when lambert would step up whenever called upon to keep the dogs off lafleur and cournoyer.

    as for eller still expecting we are just witnessing the beginning of his breakout year.

    bourque is back!

  49. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    I’m excited about this year’s team, and really enjoyed rubbing the victory in all of my friends’ and neighbors’ faces today, but Buffalo sucks. I don’t know how they beat Boston, but their defense is pathetic. Myers is pathetic. Their passing is pathetic. So I’ll temper my excitement about Eller and Desharnais getting heated up until they do it against a real team.
    NOT being a Debbie Downer, I love this team.

  50. HabFab says:

    nhlupdate – Red Wings Brendan Smith is hurt and will not return. Detroit’s d-men continue to fight the injury bug

    Ahhh MARC!!

    • Bill says:

      Do they have anything we want or need?

      Kaberle looks good this year. In much better shape and playing well in a limited role. He’s good insurance for the inevitable injuries.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • commandant says:

        They have about 7 or 8 prospects who would be good in a trade.

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

      • ed lopaz says:

        here you go, Bill.

        each player is ranked and detailed.

        http://www.redwingscentral.com/prospects/

        • Bill says:

          Thanks Ed! Another poster mentioned Xavier Oullet … don’t know much about him.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • Chris says:

            After my Freudian slip earlier today, I have to ask about the “poser” who mentioned Xavier Ouellet. ;)

          • Bill says:

            Hahaha, woops!!

            I’ll just go fix that to read “poster” …

            Full Breezer 4 Life

          • ed lopaz says:

            Xavier Ouellet will be an NHL defenceman and relatively soon. he probably would make it sooner if it wasn’t for the Wings philosophy to “slow cook” their prospects.

            Ouellet is a terrific all around defenceman, and a leader.

            He is an excellent skater, he plays power play and penalty kill, and he can create offence and then block shots on the same shift.

            His upside is quite high – top 4 d-man almost certainly, and potential to be a top 2 d-man.

            funny story; humble pie story; I was actually sitting in his office talking to the ex-owner of the Montreal Juniors about a few players and Ouellet’s name came up.

            I had to throw my 2 cents in there and blurted out something about not “loving” his burst, his acceleration. My “insight” was not well received, needless to say, and Ouellet really improved his game by leaps and bounds since then.

            He learned a lot from Joel Bouchard who was behind the Juniors’ bench at the time.

            Now I know better.

            Ouellet is an excellent prospect!!

          • commandant says:

            I’ll echo Ed and say Ouellette is a great young defenceman. I think that would be a fantastic trade, but doubt detroit would give him up.

            I’d have him ranked much higher than that site has him.

            I’d ask about a Jake Patterson, or a Teemu Pulkinnen, or someone further down their prospect chart. A good project, as opposed to a sure thing NHLer. I think you’d be more likely to get them to give you those guys.

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

  51. VancouverHab says:

    Wow — Mr. Boone’s line combinations are perfect, IMO.

    And I am eating crow pie after DD’s performance today. I hope sincerely that he keeps it going.

  52. 25insight says:

    Sabres’ Blog website quote:

    Things I Would Have Rather Done Than Watched This Game

    - Listened to Rebecca Black’s “Friday” on repeat for two hours.

    - Talked to a New Englander about why Boston sports teams get no respect.

    - Watch all nine seasons of Two And A Half Men on DVD.

    - Played two hours of Penn & Teller’s Desert Bus.

    - Watched the replay of the Sabres Game 7 loss to Carolina in the 2006 playoffs while getting punched repeatedly in the face by Doug Janik.

    - Cleaned the men’s room toilets at my local neighborhood Arby’s.

    - Anything else.

  53. frontenac1 says:

    Fraser just got tuned by McDermot.

    • Bill says:

      All the tough guys in these line-ups, and all we get is two really stupid staged fights by Fraser and McDermid.

      Would anyone have a problem banning staged fights in the NHL?

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yes.
        Or at least give them capes and masks that they have to wear while fighting to make it clear to everyone what is going on.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • mrhabby says:

        How true….waste of time.

      • Phil C says:

        How would you differentiate them from “spontaneous” fights?

        • Mattyleg says:

          Staged fights are ones that don’t develop out of players getting angry with one another, but are rather the team’s ‘enforcer’ fighting the other team’s ‘enforcer’ or whoever he decides to goad into a fight to try to ‘rally his team’ or whatever.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Chris says:

        I think all fights should be banned. If people need to watch their fellow humans beating their respective brains into a pulp, that is what UFC is for.

        Now that we’re in the 21st century, I keep hoping that our base instincts that were pandered to in the Roman Coliseum have finally evolved to something approaching civility.

        • F50Marco says:

          I wouldn’t be opposed to banning staged fights but good ol’ spur of the moment fights is what makes hockey….hockey.

          I think fighting adds an added element that makes hockey special. It isn’t the same as the UFC as you concluded, Prust doesn’t want to fight if he doesn’t have to but when he feels it serves a purpose for his team and it does, hes willing. Intimidation plays too much a role in hockey to be avoided and that’s not necessarily from the goon tactic to beat you up but from the guys who can concuss you way worse by a thunderous hit.

          I personally would be very disappointed if fighting was completely removed from the game but removing the staged fights which in hand remove the 2-3 min players that can only fight and that bring nothing else to bring to the game is on its way out anyway. The better teams need all 18 players contributing to be effective nowadays.

          Until the mass hockey fan base want zero tolerance fighting put in the NHL, I along with many others enjoy what fighting brings to the game and want i to stay there.

          • Chris says:

            All fights in hockey are staged.

            I’ve played sports for most of the past 30 years. It has never even remotely occurred to me to take a swing at another guy’s head or to jump him. Why? Because it has not been allowed.

            I simply don’t believe that anybody’s right to entertainment overrides the need of the NHL to protect its athletes from long-term brain trauma.

            The NFL is seeing the scientific data pour in that they have a serious problem. From the limited data that we have for hockey, the problem is just as bad.

            There’s simply no legitimate justification for fighting. It is unnecessary, never serves as the deterrent that it is made out to be (sure was good that John Scott beat the tar out of Shawn Thornton because of the Milan Lucic hit on Ryan Miller), and it is ultimately not part of hockey.

            The idea that fighting is what makes hockey hockey is absurd. Nobody complains about the lack of fighting in the Olympics. The playoffs, which are universally labelled as the best hockey, are typically devoid of fighting for the most part.

            It is a staged act by guys who are desperate to hold on to jobs that they would not otherwise have any hope of holding down based on their skill level. Everybody in the arena knows it, and most of the guys that do it, hate it. This is part of the depression cycle that came to the fore with the suicides of Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien last season.

  54. Bill says:

    With all the flak PK gets, I can never understand how that yappy, cocky, dirty, faking little jerk Marchand is never criticized by anyone.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  55. mrhabby says:

    Bruins @ Habs next Wednesday night…will see how this version stands up to those losers.

  56. AceMagnum says:

    Renascent Rene Rules!!

  57. Wintercount says:

    lucic uses that big body really well around the net, gets a ton of opportunity. if he worked on his hand/eye, no telling how many more he’d score.
    fun to watch, though.

    ex nihilo nihil fit

  58. H.Upmann says:

    bye bye Marchand

  59. CCL says:

    The team is more balanced this year and that’s the reason for doing so well. the first 3-lines are scoring lines and the 4th plays their role. goal-tending is great. only for one bad period in Ottawa and we’d had a good chance of winning.

    Win tomorrow and we’ll know we can beat them.

  60. TheLogician says:

    Bourque 1st star

  61. Da Hema says:

    Mike:

    I can’t say I agree with the proposal to move Prust away from Gallagher and Galchenyuk. Surely one of the reasons why those two have had some ice to play on is because of Prust’s presence — to remind teams not to take liberties with them. They are still young guys who need someone to stand behind them in a rough game and sustain their confidence. Eller isn’t the one to do that.

  62. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    The balanced offence and the energy are a delight to watch. How well they stand up to back to back games is the next issue. Ottawa has a solid team, even with the injuries. But Spezza (34 goals) out, Max Pac (33 goals) out – it balances.
    If they can move their feet, they can win it.

  63. HUDSONHAB says:

    I liked what I seen this aft. I get a little annoyed when the pp has trouble gaining the zone and setting up.
    Mr Anderson will be cut down a notch tomorrow if… the Habs don’t read the headlines tonight.

    ….Hab4life….

  64. B says:

    27-73-8 are showing great chemistry and success so far. I am surprised so many people want to tinker and break them up.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  65. calvee123 says:

    I’m sure happy how this team is coming together, and it starts at the top. Marc B, M Theron. The slow starters scoring today. Elle’s benching getting him fired up!! Keep it up boys!!!

  66. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    Bold prediction… this edition of les Canadiens will be playing until LATE April. I guarantee it.

  67. MikeHabs says:

    If the Habs can transfer how they played today into tomorrow, it will be good. They absolutely cannot play like they did last time against the Sens, it was disgustingly bad. Today’s game had many positives but it is unfortunate that yet again, we can’t help our goaltender get a shutout. Yes, maybe you think Carey could have done something differently but Diaz’s cough up was on him and to arguably their best player. So that was rough but we didn’t sit back, we kept pushing for more and that’s what is different this year. It’s positive. Also, Eller and Desharnais? Welcome to the season. However, DD needs to stop erasing our PPs.

    Canadiens stats updated: http://allaboutthehabs.ca/?p=269
    Canadiens Slice and Dice For a Little Home Cooking: http://allaboutthehabs.ca/?p=310
    twitter: @Mike_Habs

  68. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Go Bruigakkk, splrph, hack hack hack – man, it’s tough to get into this game on TV tonight. I just want everyone to collide with everyone else, and all fall down.

  69. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Hold on a minute Boone… before you fly into the clouds with your imagination… PRUST is the only reason the young lads are having the success they have…

    Mark my words, try ELLER with them and its over, they’ll be slapped around and sent home crying to their mommies….

    Prust has been in the right spot making and receiving passes or setup for shots on net, and he has been a diffuser to all situations that could hinder the kids…. don’t underestimate Prusts hockey smarts, he is miles ahead of Eller in that department.

    not an issue, THERRIEN knows that PRUST is the key, and Therrien is the last guy thats going to put kids with kids…. NEVER.

    IN fact we should be praising the coach for that combo..BRILLIANT!

    one last comment on DIAZ… please send this guy home to Swiss….
    too small, too slow and not smart enough, not made for the NHL..
    use Kaberle…

    The N.A.G. effect remains the only path to success…
    In PRUST we TRUST

    • MikeHabs says:

      only reason? Haha okay… Prust adds to the line but he is not the only reason they are having the success that they are. These are two very talented young kids that compliment each other well. Galchenyuk is a top end talent and he doesn’t need Prust. Did you watch today or..? Galchenyuk set up Eller quite nicely and has done well on special teams.

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

      • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

        think about the long term grind… these kids are not even on the radar of other teams yet… soon… and heaven help them if Prust is not on the ice.

        Sure I’m not disputing their talent, its GREAT and I love it, but they can play with a free mind because of a guy like PRUST who is on the ice 5 on 5.

        time will tell, and the big teams of the east are just around the corner…

        The N.A.G. effect remains the only path to success…
        In PRUST we TRUST

        • Mr. Biter says:

          Remember many of the great Habs teams had enforcers to make sure their star players stayed on the ice not in the infirimary. Not by any means making a comparision with Prust/ Semenko but their jobs are the same only Prust has two to babysit. And again not comparing the Gally Bros to Gretzky ( an impossible comparsion to probably the game’s best player) they’re young, smallish (?) and with certain teams……..

          Mr. Biter
          No Guts No Glory

          • HAB-PROFESSOR says:

            you got it MR Bitter.


            The N.A.G. effect remains the only path to success…
            In PRUST we TRUST

    • HabFab says:

      “one last comment on DIAZ… please send this guy home to Swiss….
      too small, too slow and not smart enough, not made for the NHL..
      use Kaberle…”

      And the winner of the dumb ass statement of the day goes to…

    • kempie says:

      I know I probably shouldn’t, it’s a good day after all, but didn’t you say that Prust was too small & soft etc? Didn’t you say that like over and over and over?

  70. Sportfan says:

    Wow I am so sad I missed the game and it doesn’t seem to have a Canadien express on RDS :( so everyone how did the game go in your eyes?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  71. Danno says:

    Leafs just got robbed by the refs there. Not that I care…

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  72. Stevie.Ray says:

    I don’t hate Kaberle as much as some do, but it’s safe to say he doesn’t really have a spot on the team anymore. Especially with Weber capable of being the 7th man, and St. Denis there in case of an emergency.

    What teams out there may be looking to add an offensive defenseman?

    Detroit? Wouldn’t it be nice to make a move for Oullett.
    Philip? Struggling and Mezjaros out.

    • MikeHabs says:

      The problem is his cap hit that makes him hard to move. Weber is easier to move and it wouldn’t be hard to believe that some teams have called Bergevin about his services. It doesn’t make sense to hold 8 now that Subban is back. St-Denis is definitely capable if needed and if not him then I’d say Tinordi could be called if REALLY needed. I think the guy can make a case for himself to see some preseason games next year and potentially cracking opening night.

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

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        Who is better Weber or Kaberle regardless of salary? I would want to trade the better one in order to get more in return, but I agree Kaberle would be the tougher to trade.

      • athanor says:

        It might not be as hard as before the new contract, since now the Habs could, if they really wanted to get rid of him, eat some of the cap space, making him cheaper for whoever took him.

        The problem there being, of course, that Habs really need to retain all the cap space they can.

  73. olematelot says:

    I can’t remeber when we had such a fun team to watch.

  74. Ozmodiar says:

    Normally I don’t bother with the re-post, but since Boone mentions Pleks….a re-post:

    Bourque – at some point in each game this season I’ve said to myself – thank God Cammy isn’t on this team. I suppose everyone has an opinion of the trade – who won the trade, could Goat have gotten more, etc, … Either way, I think it’s safe to say that Bourque makes the opposing D work harder, which I’m sure pays off in the 3rd period of games. Oh, and there’s no way Cammy is in the crease on those 3 occasions this afternoon (2 goals, 1 penalty call).

    Pleks – typical Pleks game. He was all over the ice tonight, challenging the Sabres D. It set the tone early on. I think he got 2 points, yet wasn’t considered by anyone to be a star of the game. I’m not saying he should have, or I care….just saying – unsung. Typical Pleks.

    DD/Eller – Good on them, getting their 1st goals of the season. Pretty cool to see how happy DD was after Eller scored (congrats smack on the bench). Each scored doing something they should employ more often in their respective games. Eller – driving to the net. DD – shooting.

    Galchenyuk – The kid is good. Imagine how good he’ll be when he’s, oh…say 22.

  75. commandant says:

    I love Weiss as a player, but I don’t know where he fits with our team right now. For the first time in forever, adding an offensive centre isn’t our number 1 need.

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

  76. athanor says:

    He went today, but not willingly.

    I imagine that’s why Sabre got the 2 for instigating — Prust clearly didn’t actually want to fight.

  77. Loonie says:

    Playing a team that embarrassed you less than a week ago tends to put a little bit of spring in your step.

  78. commandant says:

    Most teams don’t play well in game 2 of a back to back.

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

  79. Captain aHab says:

    Yeah, if they keep playing well I can’t see him being traded unless Bergevin gets a king’s ransom back.

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

  80. Propwash says:

    AA is for quitters ;)

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  81. Curtis O Habs says:

    I`m drinking right now. Barking Squirrel Lager. I have to get up for the game just the same as a 7pm start.

  82. Danno says:

    “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy ”

    - Tom Waits

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  83. bleedhabs81 says:

    Shilo,

    I know it is only a small sample size, bieng a tenth of the season, but I am convinced this team is going to be playing past April.

    Price looks fantastic, which is enough to get us to the playoffs. Throw in multiple lines capable of scoring, a Markova led PP, and the addition of PKs smooth skating and huge shot (let’s hope he worked on his aim all winter) and this team just became really scary. Max has even showed up yet!

    This team went from embarrassing to fun and all it really needed was to get healthy and add a little bit of grit.

    I do agree, the cup is a long shot, but anything can happen once we make the playoffs and I think we can do it, maybe even higher than 8th…. 5-6th looks reasonable.


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