Liveblog: Canadiens end season with win over Leafs

RandyCunneyworth.jpg

The usual suspects:
Max Pacioretty scored his 33rd, Erik Cole his 35th.
Brad Staubitz got a 200-foot empty-netter
And Tomas Plekanec got a 3-on-5 shorty.
Peter Budaj was really good.

•  •  •

Before the curtain descends on this horror show of a Habs season, might we spare a few kind words for two guys whose dedication and professionalism transcended the team’s last-place finish:
Josh Gorges and Randy Cunneyworth.

• Gorges leads the NHL in blocked shots. As Don Cherry told Dave Stubbs:

It’s one thing for guys to block shots when you’re on the march to the Stanley Cup, but it’s pretty tough to do it when you know you’re going nowhere,” Cherry said. “Guys usually say, ‘Forget it.’ But Gorges is going right to the end.”

Coming off knee surgery and playing against the opponent’s best forwards night after night, Gorges is plus-13 on a team that has lost 51 games.

Cherry is right: No disrespect to Brian Gionta, but number 26 should be wearing the “C”.

• On Friday night’s edition of L’Antichambre, Michel Bergeron – who usually gives it to the Canadiens pretty good – had high praise for Cunneyworth.

You can criticize strategy and decision like using Tomas Kaberle in a shootout, Bergeron said, but you have to admire Cunneyworth’s grace under pressure.

The coach knows he won’t be back behind the Canadiens’ bench next season. But Cunneyworth has comported himself with dignity, class and good humour.

He is a profoundly decent man, and I hope there’s still a good job for him in hockey.

Bergeron suggests before the Canadiens take the ice for their last game, someone – Gorges is the ideal candidate – should get up in the room and say “Let’s play our asses off and win this thing for Randy.”

There isn’t much else in the way of motivation.

803 Comments

  1. PrimeTime says:

    HIO: “‘Hipocrit’ Inside Out” alive and well!! Get a life people.

  2. habs-fan-84 says:

    Really hope RC is back next year.
    Lots of reason for optimism going forward.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      There is no chance he comes back next season. To wish he does is to engage in unnecessary sentimentality. He was put in a difficult situation and did nothing with the opportunity. He was at best an average coach. Add to that the fact that he’s a poor organizational fit, and there is no reason to retain his services.

      That he is a classy guy and deserves another shot somewhere goes without saying, but he is certain to be relieved of his duties on Monday.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • habstrinifan says:

      As coach… no! Maybe on the coaching staff…yes.

    • Bill says:

      Could use him on the 4th line maybe??

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  3. Nina76 says:

    Very classy exit. I am sure that the players are happy that this nightmare is over. Yes we had injuries but all the stupid descions that were made by Gauthier & Gainey has distroyed our Habs, half the time they did not know who they were playing for & who was going to go at any given time. Thanks to Randy my hope is that that keep him with the Habs somewhere he has done a great job with all the stupid FRENCH talk. I wish the Habs had played all year like they have done in the last few games.a joy to watch. Cant’t wait to see who the next GM & Coach will be & the draft

  4. habstrinifan says:

    I am beginning to rank Blunden higher than White in the future of the team. Maybe White is a better fighter but Blunden is a better all-round player I think. He and Staubitz will be making it difficult for White to keep his spot.

    And I am not a johnny come lately re Blunden.. I poste dit even before White was hurt. Blunden delivers cleaner hits too.

    And I dont think there should be any doubt re keeping Staubitz. This was a terrible season of terrible moves but karma may be finally working for us re Staubitz.

    He can and will fight. But he is no gonna go beserk on the ice.. he can pick his spots. He has speed. And he seems like a hell of a teammate. And oh yeah… great teeth.
    Wait till you pass 60 and you will appreciate that.

    • Timo says:

      Regardless, I think our 4th lines has like 1 goal (ok, 2 now that Stabby scored) combined in over 200 man games. That’s a crappy 4th line no matter what. And third is not whole lot better, although I didn’t bother to look up the stats.

      • Stormin says:

        Timo Moen is a 4th liner or at least should be and he can get 5-10 goals good output for a 4th liner . Trini, i agree i like Blunden as well, he was a heck of Junior player and a 2nd round pick of the Hawks maybe he will get better as well as he has been hurt alot during his short career

  5. Timo says:

    No ALN yet. Boone must be crafting something special. After game in Caroline ALN was out like what – 1 hour after the game?

    Man, how to kill time before October?

  6. Stormin says:

    Hockey athletes much smarter than football athletes how does this happen to these guys
    Former NFL star Warren Sapp owes more than $6.7 million to creditors and back child support and alimony, according to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in South Florida.

  7. ProHabs says:

    My favorite memory of the season was continuously seeing Gomez on the ice waiting for a faceoff talking and laughing with the opposition player even though he hadn’t scored a goal all year.

    It was great to see a guy making that much money while doing absolutlely nothing at all on the ice still enjoying life to the fullest.

  8. habfan53 says:

    I don’t feel sorry for Randy Cunnyworth at all!. The Canadiens are going to do another bonehead move and let him go, another team saw what he could do in a no win situation hire him as head coach and he will be nominated for the Jack Adams next year (probably win it to).
    Thanks RC and good luck

    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

  9. Timo says:

    Who cares about where leafs pick. Habs will hopefully focus on the best player they can pick based on their position – the rest is out of their hands.

    And seriously, people are such saps. Players gather around in the circle, wave the stick and all miserable season is forgiven. Sigh. No wonder things don’t change.

    Ah well… on to cheering for whoever’s playing Boston.

    • ProHabs says:

      Ya thought I would be cheering for Ottawa against Boston but it looks like I will be cheering for Washington. I hate cheering for a team with Mike Green but they ended up with Boston in round 1.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Sorry Timo count me among the saps. Which is why I watched this game alone, quiet in basement … not even enjoying Boone’s blog.

      Was my way of dealing with it. I have never experienced this kinda season with the habs.

      I forgive the players EVERYTHING! … maybe with exceptions.

      The people I am mad at are gone.

      So I am ok with the players saying goodbye and I sat like a little kid choking up at the jersey gesture.

      What I saw tonight was an entertaining game totally ‘carried’ by the players who are gonna be the face of this team in the years to come
      and I am a happy camper for tonight.

      I await the new GM and our future. Also kinda good news, to me anyways, that Pat Brisson is out. Couldnt understand why he was top 3 or 5.

  10. ProHabs says:

    Yeah, so glad this season is over. Thank you to Eric Cole, Pacioretty, Desharnais, Subban, Gorges, Emelin and Staubitz for doing their jobs all year long and an honorable mention to Price even though I think he could have been better. The rest can go play for the Leafs next year.

    • Timo says:

      I’d keep Emelin around. i think with a good coach he can grow into something we sorely miss on this team – a touch punishing Dman. The rest can go to leafs, agreed.

      • alwayssunny says:

        I’d like to see him paired up with a guy that will drop the gloves and cover his ass if he has to. And play some D of course. But Emelin’s best asset is the way he can hit. I don’t want that taken out of him at all. I want him to do it every chance he gets. Maybe I’m not paying close enough attention but he seemed to lose a touch of his aggressiveness after Malone went after him. I want him to be fearless and not have to worry about having his face broken after throwing a clean hit. He’s a clean player as far as I have seen and shouldn’t have to worry about that crap.

    • Bill says:

      LOL, grudging thanks for Price. “Could’ve been better”? Is there anyone you could not say that about? I am pretty great at my job, but I “could” be better.

      I tend to think that Price kept this team closer than it should’ve been in most games for most of the year. After DD, Cole, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Subban, and Gorges, this was an AHL roster for the most part.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • ProHabs says:

        Of course Price always kept them close but how many games did he really steal this year. And I say this as a huge Price fan and someone who would have kept Price over Halak without thinking twice.

        • Bill says:

          I think he stole a lot of points as opposed to games. I think he’s the reason a lot of the Habs games went to OT instead of being lop-sided losses. Of course, I can’t prove that. But his stats are pretty good for a starting goalie on a last-place team …

          The Habs D-corps this season was pretty brutal.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Clay says:

        Cole – couldn’t say ‘Could’ve been better’ about Cole…he did everything and more than what was expected of him.

        __________________________
        ☞ Wow, that’s a nice lookin’ pair of Crocs!” Said no one ever.☜

  11. habs001 says:

    if leafs would have won they would have picked 8th based on the other games

    • Mad Habber says:

      Sad they got the 5th pick. Sportsnet told me they were pretty much a lock to make the post season at the all-star break. Adam Protreau, said they were going to finish 8th at the start of the season too. I’ve been saving up all my pennies for some Leafs play-off tickets; now what am I gunna do? Go rake leafs? And what’em gunna do with those pennies, they will be extinct by the time the leafs get in the playoffs.

  12. smiler2729 says:

    So are the Budajites gonna demand he get the #1 job over Black Bart?

    __________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.
    Brian Burke is a whining blowhard, Laffs are turds.

  13. smiler2729 says:

    Rehire RC, with French lessons

    __________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.
    Brian Burke is a whining blowhard, Laffs are turds.

  14. Ian Cobb says:

    THE END!

  15. habaholic68NJ says:

    Best memories of the year:

    1. The whipping of Detroit
    2. Eller’s 4 goal game
    3. Boone’s schtick with the Markov puppet

    *Listen to my instrumental tribute entitled “Habs at War” at http://web.me.com/ptolias/Music/OtherOriginalMusic.html

  16. nova scotia vees says:

    Still love my Habs, even when times are bad. But, sure hope I get to love them even more when times are better…wait til next year, eh.
    Bring on Patrick Roy…lots of fun behind the bench with Patrick in charge. He might even help our “superstar” Price live up to his press clippings. I must say that Price was stylin though tonight.

  17. PrashadHabs says:

    Do leafs get the 5th pick?

    • Deano says:

      Not according to NHL.COM. They are tied with the Ducks, but win the tie-breaker based on their win over the Ducks this year. However, I am afraid the fix is in with the CBC talking all night about the Leafs top five pick.

      Looks lke the Leafs win the lottery and move up to second overall … IN FRONT OF THE HABS! I’m crying already.

      ;)

      • Deano says:

        I take that back … NHL.COM now shows the Leafs in 26th. I am more confused now. Not sure which tiebreaker the Ducks won.

      • Stormin says:

        They ended up tied in points and ROW wins so the next tie breaker is goal differential because they only played each other once in Anaheim, you have to have equal home and away games for the tie breaker to be head to head match ups, so Toronto finishes 26th they still can win draft and pick first, or they can also drop back one to 6th if a team in back of them wins the lottery. most likely they will pick 5th

    • Stormin says:

      yes depending on lottery they can either end up picking 1st , 5th , or 6th

  18. JayK-47 says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa… Why’s er’body signing off? We have the final draft rankings on Monday, draft on Tuesday and er’body gotta scout playoff teams for a sucker to dump Kaberle on. See you all here Tuesday at 9pm.

  19. Selkie says:

    well here is where we hope the HABS organisation makes all the right decisions, special thanks to Randy Cunneyworth, he was thrown into a very difficult position and well best of luck to him, he did what he could, i’m looking forward to another season already but i just hope the right people are in place for next year! nous sommes CANADIENS!

  20. Habs to take over Masters tommorow. GO HABS GO!

    Fans at HIO are great but quickest way to start losing is to listen to them :)

  21. 69HABS says:

    “usual suspects”? U can scratch Budaj off that list. But he was great tonight!

  22. JUST ME says:

    Ah well… Sad for RC a class act,did very well under the circumstances. Don`t really know what to say cause it`s unfair.I feel it`s all P.G.`s fault and that he should have known better.

    Time now to digest. Still think the team is not as bad as it looks. Injuries killed us even before the season began. Playing Ahl guys is not enough. Not that they don`t deserve credit but still…

    Longest season i`ve seen for as long as i can remember. Not the worst Habs team i`ve seen cause we do have a nucleus wich is more than i can say for a few editions in the 80`s and 90`s.

  23. habs001 says:

    Those who wanted to trade pk should never ever have to ability to trade players even in fantasy hockey…pk i predict in 3 yearsrs will be top 4 d for canada

  24. NorthernHab says:

    Thanks Mike,
    I enjoyed the commentary. I trolled the the blogs and the boards all year. They kept me thinking and entertained.
    Next year begins Tuesday with the lottery and hopefully a new GM in place soon.
    Go Habs Go

  25. boing007 says:

    Reporters putting Randy Cunneyworth on the spot.

    Richard R

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Which makes no sense given he has zero say in the matter, irks me.

      • athanor says:

        Unfortunately, that’s their job.

        It sounded to me like he hopes to remain with the organization even if he isn’t head coach.

        At least from what I saw on RDS

        • mb says:

          That’s the feeling I got, too. He seemed very genuine about it, not only saying it to please anyone. If he doesn’t get hired for a coaching job somewhere else, I just hope Habs can offer him something in the organization. He seems to be doing a good job in players’ development.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Even to the end, they challenge him with their questions. I wish they wouldn’t feel compelled to ask about his future. It’s just driving the thrown-under-the-bus aspect even more.

  26. mrhabby says:

    Shout out to mike boone and dave stubbs for there always informative and insightful pieces in a bitch of a year. Better times ahead let’s hope.

  27. habs001 says:

    COLE/DD/MAXPAC FANTASTIC YEAR

  28. Psycho29 says:

    Why do I get the feeling that in his heart Bertrand Raymond is happy that the Habs missed the playoffs?

  29. Thanks to Mike Boone and all the fans here!!!!!!!!STANLEY CUP NEXT YEAR WHOOOP!!!!

  30. mrhabby says:

    Patrick Brisson says thanks but no thanks to the gm job.

  31. FanCritic says:

    a good ending to a sad year – if a team don’t hire RC they don’t know what a good coach is. Great job Randy. great job by our 1st line all year. the other three lines were not terrible, just spotty. The “D” not bad. our Goaltending very good. having said all that. this summer there has to be a lot of changes made to be a cup contender. have a good summer, better luck 2012-2013.

    GO HABS GO

  32. mb says:

    Confirmed Pacioretty with team USA. Good for him.

  33. 24moreCups says:

    Budaj doesn’t seem like that bad of a goalie, I think he should get a few more starts next year.

  34. Peter Young says:

    Many thanks to Mike Boone for another year of live blog posting through a most difficult season. Writing his About Last Night pieces must have been terribly disheartening.

    Let’s all hope for some luck in the lottery draw and some sound judgment in the critical decisions that will be made in the off-season. All we fans want is a competitive team that has a chance of going far once in a while. Reasonably competent management ought to be able to achieve that in Montreal.

  35. Interesting Stat: In the last 15 games of the season, Canadiens had 3, THREE regulation losses. Randy gave his best.

    6 of the other losses were in overtime or shootout though.

    • habs001 says:

      biggest danger in all sports reading into a teams performance in meaningless games at the end of the season…we just played a team that has fooled their fans yearly…


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