Liveblog: Conference Final Game 2 – 3-1 loss drops Canadiens into 0-2 hole

Rangers celebrate

Steep mountain to climb

The Canadiens have two days to think before the Eastern Conference Final resuymes at Madison Square Garden.

There is much to ponder.

The Rangers gave up the first goal, to Max Pacioretty, before Ryan McDonagh tied it a mere 17 seconds later.

Rick Nash scored what proved to be the winner with 62 seconds left in the first period.

Martin St. Louis added an insurance goal on a second-period power play.

Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves.

Dustin Tokarski faced 30 shots.

The Rangers have won five playoff games in a row by a cumulative score of 20-6.

Never in doubt

The Rangers shut down the third period tighter than (insert your own metaphor).

Him again

With Alex Galchenyuk in the penalty box on a call that enraged the Bell Centre faithful, the great Martin St. Louis completed a tic-tac-toe passing play to make it 3-1.

The Rangers' power play is on fire in this series.

The Canadiens non-fiery PP will start the third period.

Shots were 11-8 for the visitors.

Rough start for Tokarski

The Canadiens dominated early play and got a goal from Max Pacioretty 6:14 in.

The lead lasted 17 seconds.

Ryan McDonagh beat Dustin Tokarski short side on New York's second SoG of the game.

The Canadiens had several good shifts, but Thomas Vanek took a brain-dead penalty during a power play.

And on a rare odd-man rush, Rick Nash beat Tokarski glove side.

Shots were 14-9 Canadiens, who had another six blocked while 10 missed the net.


(Ginette in Nets by the great Josie Gold)

Can your Montreal Canadiens win without their most valuable player?

Is Dustin Tokarski the 2014 incarnation of Ken Dryden in 1971 and Patrick Roy in 1986?

We're going to find out Monday night.

Carey Price is out for the rest of the Eastern Conference final series. Without their star goaltender,  the Canadiens face a steep uphill climb against the red-hot Rangers.

A bit of history: In 1971 and 1986, the Canadiens used goaltenders with no NHL playoff experience: Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy, respectively.

In both cases, the untested goaltenders led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup.

Dustin Tokarski has no NHL playoff experience.

And he's starting tonight.

•  • •

We learned two things when the series began on Saturday:

• Afternoon hockey sucks, which we kinda knew already; and

• Speed kills.

The Canadiens played the series against Boston at 33 rpm (ask your father).

The Rangers play at 78 rpm (ask your grandfather).

Martin St. Louis is fast. Dominic Moore is fast. Mats Zuccarello is fast. Chris Kreider (known to Game of Thrones fans as Goalie Slayer) is fast.

Heck, all the Rangers can skate.

This quality differentiates the Blueshirts from the lumbering Bruins, and the most sanguine analysis of Saturday's shellacking is the Canadiens needed  a game to adjust. Also, having eliminated the mighty Bruins, the Canadiens probably were a tad over-confident in Game 1.

That attitude is history. Without Price, the Canadiens have become underdogs

Puck drops 8:10ish.

Check back later for live game blogging.

• God knows we need a laugh



  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …at some point in the series I predict Lundquist will be ‘nudged’ in a non-too-obvious way that will see him a patient in the infirmary …Kreider as well

    …there must be a code a team protects their goaltender, whether Price’s injury was caused accidentally or with intent

    …if it’s not in the NHL rules, it has to be in the team’s ‘code’

    …Kreider has to know his momentum barreling towards the goal and potential consequences, and it’s up to him to control the inevitable

    …I don’t enjoy saying this, but the rules of the jungle apply when the NHL do not have rules to control this

    • Hugh Jass says:

      I do enjoy saying it… if it’s the elimination game and we’re down by enough goals, let one of the boys land on Henrik’s knee. Watch him writhe in pain a bit. It would be fine by me, especially if he misses the Finals. Eye for an eye.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Word’s out Therrien has told his players to drive to the net. Even on icings. And to shower Lundqvist every chance they get — with his own water bottle.
      He’s also told the trainer to leave a slight burr on the players’ skates. And the Zamboni driver to leave the ice a bit sloppy.

  2. Habcouver says:

    Our Boys will need to impede the Rangers’ speed by having better control in the neutral zone. I expect a low scoring game if we rally around Tokarski. 3-2 Habs with much optimism.

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Cheers, Habcouver.
      I would add to that, plenty of legal but heavy hitting.
      I also hope it’s not close — I hope we shell Lundqvist.

  3. twilighthours says:

    And yeah, that’s a beauty of a pic of Ginette.

  4. habsfan1001 says:

    Good luck Dustin you will have alot of Habs fan pulling for you, and wishing you the best.


  5. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Hilarious arguments of the reason to start Budaj.. It’s essentially that he’s had better practices with the Habs as backup that Tokarski, and that it’s a slap in the face of Budaj.

    Not one argument that Budaj gives the team the best chance to win. That is not how decisions are made folks. Budaj knows pro sports, is well educated, and knows his role. There will be no hard feelings after this, it’s pro sports, he signed up to be the backup, not the emergency playoff starter, if he deserved to start he’d have signed somewhere where he could battle for a starting position. He hasn’t played playoff hockey at any level since the OHL.. Tokarski is more experienced in playoff games, has played better in the NHL more recently! actually bailed out Budaj when the team was scuffling.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I head its because Ned Flanders portrays a great family guy, how the Heck does Tokarski compete with that!!!!

    • twilighthours says:

      I completely understood the argument Chris was making.

      I don’t get why this topic is so divisive.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        True, it doesn’t have to be divisive. I contributed to making it that way.
        Chris does make a valid argument, I don’t share his opinion, but shouldn’t try to insist he shares mine either.

        All that matters now is the Habs get a big W tonight.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • twilighthours says:

          I’ll tell ya one thing you and Chris share, you’re both beauties. And both big Habs fans. (two for the price of one, there).

          So let’s support the team! Go Habs Go!

      • habstrinifan says:


    • Chris says:

      Tokarski will thankfully settle it on the ice.

      I will point out that the arguments in favour of starting Tokarski are equally “hilarious”. Since they are based on little more than gut feelings (which can’t really be argued) and junior performances (which have historically been completely irrelevant as indicators of NHL performance), it is a pretty one-sided argument that has been set up.

      Can anybody think of who the last black ace goaltender was to get a start in the NHL playoffs for any team? I’m actually genuinely curious if we have to go back as far as Steve Penney.

      • Butterface says:

        Gibson ? 2014 Playoffs…

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

        • Chris says:

          He wasn’t a black ace…he started 3 of the last 4 Ducks games (Andersen had the other start) at the end of the season, but he was sent to the AHL so that they could keep him playing unless needed.

          Hiller was always leaving this summer, and Gibson was the heir apparent. He just came up a few months earlier than expected due to Andersen’s injury. And even there, Hiller was given 2 starts in the Kings series before they gave up on him.

  6. on2ndthought says:

    I don’t agree that starting Tokarski is a snub to Budaj. Budaj knows his role is as a back-up and that back-ups don’t win cups. Tokarski is the starter and if Budaj gets in hopefully he will have a good run (every athlete can have one of those). I just hope Buds was the first to know.

    “a cannonading drive”

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      You nailed it.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • twilighthours says:

      I’m generally of the philosophy of “ride the horses that got you there.” And since Boods helped us get through the season, he would have been the logical choice.

      But I easily see the Tokarski argument and would lean towards it myself.

      Either way, we’re in so so so so tough now.

  7. frontenac1 says:

    No bogarting The Toker! Just pass it over to me.

  8. Butterface says:

    I think it is a good decision on Tokarski because of many reasons.

    1) He has a better pedigree
    2) He has no playoff record and so it is miles better than Budaj’s
    3) Budaj can’t beat Lundqvist, maybe Tokarski can
    4) Tokarski has better numbers in the NHL this year
    5) Tokarski has a lot to prove
    6) Tokarski got an NHL shut out then was sent down to Hamilton
    7) We will see what we’ve got in Tokarski and make decisions

    I think this is the right move. If not, Budaj has to win 4 of 5.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it….. NOW ITS BROKE !!!

  9. twilighthours says:

    Nice little debate below re: Boods vs Toker.

    Me? I have little faith in Budaj. But I’m not in the room, nor part of the conversation.

    Someone else wrote it better: the Habs know they can’t win with Budaj, but maybe Toker will go on a roll and get hot. It’s a gamble that’s easy to rationalize.

    Ultimately, will it matter? I fear not. Montreal probably needs better goaltending than either of these guys can provide.

    But let’s stay positive! Go Habs Go!

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Hey, we know Tokarski is capable.. But it’ll be exciting to see if he can do it.. He is very similar to Halak… Maybe he can get on one of those roles.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  10. habsfan1001 says:

    Similiar to Chara’s hockey play

  11. youngwun says:

    The 24-year-old has played in a world junior championship, a Memorial Cup and a Calder Cup. And he’s won them all. That big-game experience is far more important than his inexperience at the NHL level. As a former coach of his told Sportsnet: “The kid is a winner. I am a big Tokarski fan.”

  12. piper says:

    Vigneault was asked about the Kreider collision with Price. He says with a grin “it was a hockey play”.

  13. jols says:

    Go Habs Go !!! We still got this. Two points if the rumors are true –
    1- Budaj must be pissed and
    2- Looking forward to watching Galchenyuk play again. I have really missed that kid.

    • kalevine says:

      I dunno, the way Budaj has played in his last 3 playoff appearances (OT in game 5, and game 6 last year, and the third period Sat), he may prefer to be on the bench

  14. Mattyleg says:

    So I’m on my IPhone and the RDS app and the HI/O Liveblog thing both tell me that the game is at 8:00.

    What’s up with that…?

  15. hitgurl says:

    Fight for the win!!!!
    That’s all the matters!

  16. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Budaj: great teammate, backup goaltender, not expected to play meaningful games. Probably doesn’t expect to start in this situation, he’s a pretty self aware guy.

    Tokarski: Has more playoff experience than Budaj, a guy that has won at the WHL, midget! World Juniors, AHL… More playoff experience recently.. More success in the NHL recently…

    Long term implications: Budaj could be back and Tokarski starting in the AHL next season (he’d get more starts and have a starters mindset). But if Price goes down Toker starts.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  17. Danno says:

    Whooaaaaaa! We’re half way there
    Whooooaaaa! Livin’ on a prayer
    Toker my man, we’ll make it – I swear
    Whooaaaa! Livin’ on a prayer


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

  18. FormalWare says:

    I was worried that this series was going to consist of seven (or fewer) “trap games” for the Habs. They would be the favourites, yet (as is their wont) have trouble getting up for the Rangers.

    As a Habs fan, obviously I’m horrified Price is out for at list six games, just when the door to Number 25 seemed to be open a crack for this team.

    But as a hockey fan, this series just got a whole lot more interesting. Tonight, our Habs will respond with everything but the kitchen sink, and “win one for Pricey.” This series will be a long and compelling one!

    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    Without Price, we are still the better team from top to bottom! Carey will play in the next round!

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    Extra security and metal detectors at the Bell Center.
    Kreider has a body guard with him.

  21. Danno says:

    Is it wrong to crave revenge at a time like this?

    Just asking…


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

  22. montreal ace says:

    Expecting a win tonight and nothing less, we have enough talent on this team to makeup for the loss of Price. I feel the team owe Price a chance to get back into the series, as he has been there all year long for them. I look forward to seeing which players raise their game

    May 19, 2014 at 11:19 am Oh the reading here today just got a little more interesting. 😆

    Montreal 5
    Rangers 0


    Shane Oliver
    A Little fun during the Intermission
    Don’t Poke The Bear

  24. chesterfiled says:

    What was all the bs about Rangers giving no motivation for hate on? They are the NY Rangers (spit), all the big ufa guys sign there for big $ and are drafting our style. St Louis scored his goal, payed his respects for his mother. Rangers power play got going and the big oogah Nash also scored his goal. Kreider will dangerously find out why full speed is a big risk. Toker in nets, anchored by Budaj, team sobered up… recipe for a CH win I think

  25. gumper says:

    I have erected my Habs flag on the well marker by my garage. My Habs troll is perched on the well cap. By the TV I have my stuffed moused with the Habs jersey. He’s holding my Habs puck signed by le Gros Bill. I will be drinking my ciders from my Habs stein. I will be wearing my Habs T-shirt and pajama bottoms. I’ve done all I can do. It’s now up to Toker and the hockey gods.

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

  26. HardHabits says:

    That Ginette Reno in nets picture is worth the price of admission.

  27. habcertain says:

    sounds like Brassard is also out tonight, Carcilio probably in, there will be no running Henrik, the man is demented.

  28. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Great decision to start Tokarski.

    He has won as a starting goaltender everywhere.

    Telus Cup as a starter (Canadian Midget championship)
    WHL championship
    Memorial Cup
    World Junior Championship
    Calder Cup

    He is a capable goaltender, hopefully he shines tonight and plays to his capability.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  29. HairyHabist says:

    What makes this different from Pacioretty, Koivu etc is the Habs are better team. They have more scoring, defense and depth.

    They can do this. And they will show the Rangers they’re still in a series by winning tonight.

  30. Chris says:

    Okay, I’ll respectfully disagree with people on Tokarski vs. Budaj.

    But the anti-Budaj argument has been relying heavily on Budaj’s career playoff record (10 GP, 0-2-0, 5.13 GAA, 0.843 SV%). This is a great example of where a little bit of context is awfully useful. Those are ugly numbers…nobody can deny it.

    But when you dig a bit deeper, here is what jumps out: 10 games played, but only one start. So basically, those ugly stats were largely amassed in games where Budaj was thrown in because the team was playing like crap. Chances are, as we saw in Game 1, the back-up goalie isn’t going to do much better than the starter when the team in front of him is imploding.

    Budaj’s only career playoff start was the 6-1 loss last year against the Senators. The first goal might have been one he wanted back, but he played pretty well through the first 2.5 periods. His team just couldn’t give him any support and all but quit in the third period.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What about the part where we think the coaches have a closer pulse on the situation than poster on HI/O?

      • Cal says:

        It’s okay. It’s his opinion.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        What about the fact that Peter Budaj hasn’t won at any level, his role as backup does not include an automatic start in must win games, but to get 15-22 regular season starts, be a veteran presence on the bench, and be capable of coming in on short notice.

        The best place for an emergency is a place where he can start… The AHL. Just because Budaj is in the NHL does not make him the go to guy with Price down. Many NHL teams have a better AHL starting goaltender than NHL backup.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Paz says:

      Chris I agree with you. Budaj has played some excellent hockey for us.

      I believe Budaj EARNED the start tonight and a chance to lead this team forward.

      As a manager, I reward what Budaj has done to help this group by giving him the start.

      If he stumbled tonight, than all bets are off of course.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        So MB and MT were both in charge when Budaj was given his contract, yet they made this decision. This was not an easy decision, I am sure. However, they also watched Budaj struggle when Price went down earlier. They know Price is gone for the entire series, they know they need a goalie for a minimum of 5 games.

        Tokarski is a starting goalie, he has not been a backup, albeit in the AHL. Budaj is no longer a starting goalie, he is a backup. There is a different mentality involved. If a starting pitcher goes down, a bullpen closer is not used to replace.

        I am speculating as everyone else, but to say MT is wrong with this decision gives him zero credit.

        The franchise knows the players involved far more than any of us.

        • Paz says:

          I’m saying I would take a different approach.

          The franchise always knows more than any of us. Obviously.


          But that doesn’t mean I agree with their decisions.

          I disagreed with the Gomez trade, for example. Oops. I disagreed with the Obyrne for Bournival deal, man was I ever wrong there.

          But I take an opinion and I share it on this site.

          I hope Tokarski does amazing. I hope we have made the right choice. And I’m not even a huge Budaj fan or supporter. It’s just the way I manage. I’m very loyal to people who have come through for me.

          • Chris says:


            My big complaint is the lack of game action for Tokarski. No games (NHL or AHL) since April 19th, a full month, and only one game since April 1st.

            All he has had is one practice with the team to get a feeling for NHL-calibre shooters. The black aces do not actually practice with the team, but practice as a group after the main roster are done. With 2 goalies, 2 defencemen (since the call-up of Beaulieu to the main group) and 5 forwards, they can’t possibly simulate anything remotely close to game conditions.

            I would be fine with Game 3, giving him a bit more time. I hope he overcomes any rust and plays great, because this series is over if they go down 2-0.

            I just don’t like the slap in the face to the popular Peter Budaj. There really is no other way to interpret this decision…yes, there are perfectly rational reasons for doing it. But I believe the risks outweigh the potential gains in this case. I think Budaj and Tokarski have equivalent chances to win TONIGHT…maybe Tokarski is the better long-term guy, but I would have liked to see him get some more time in with his teammaters.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Tokarski has seen damn near as much time preparing as a starter as Budaj in the past month.

            It is not a slap in the face of Budaj.. How do you know Budaj even wants to start? He wouldn’t be in Montreal if he expected to start in the playoffs.. Budaj is the backup, tonight he is still the backup… I don’t get your angle.. Are all backup goaltenders the automatic starter in playoffs when the Ace gets hurt? And if they don’t get the start take it as disrespect? Could Budaj have been in on the Tokarski decision? It’s possible.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Never said you weren’t entitled to an opinion Ed, you know i respect yours, or I hope you do.

            I just don’t understand the strong disagreement with this decision. my initial reaction was budaj, but I think I can get head around this decision.

          • Chris says:

            Mr Mac: No, Budaj has been practicing and scrimmaging with the Habs for the past month.

            Tokarski has been practicing with the black aces, with both Patrice Brisebois and Martin Lapointe jumping on the ice to help get the numbers a bit higher. He’s had one practice with the Habs’ defencemen so that everybody can get familiarized with one another.

            They know how Budaj plays. They know his tendencies for things like rebounds, when he comes out to play the puck, how he wants odd-man rushes covered, how he passes the puck, etc. They haven’t got that familiarity with Tokarski as they haven’t seen him for 30 days.

            It’s not a big deal, but it is the kind of thing that can make a difference. I’m just shocked that they are doing this with so little time for everybody to get on the same page.

            As for the back-up getting the automatic start, you can count on one hand the number of times that HASN’T happened over the past three decades. John Gibson was the obvious one this spring, but Jonas Hiller was already leaving the Ducks this summer and he was being worked out of the roster. And he was called up from the AHL where he was playing.

            Cam Ward was the back-up to Martin Gerber in 2005-06, so that example that has been trotted out today is actually wrong.

            Braden Holtby did get the starts in 2011-12 for Washington, but that was due to injuries to both Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun.

            Steve Penney is the famous example, but I can’t think of many others. Maybe somebody smarter than me can.

            So while it perhaps shouldn’t be, it has been the convention to at least give the back-up his chance to fail.

      • HairyHabist says:

        It seems the plan is for Tokarski to replace Budal as the back up next year. But I also like what Budaj has done for the team.

    • HairyHabist says:

      I would assume Waite and the coaching staff believe Tokarski gives them the better chance or Budaj would be getting the start.

      That’s good enough for me.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      You are discounting Tokarskk why? I just heard defending bad numbers by Budaj… Tokarski has won at every level except the NHL.. Where he already had to bail out Budaj this season.. Why not go with Tokarski now rather than bailing out Budaj again.. Budaj had one good season in Junior, and one good season in Colorado.. Other than that he’s been an underwhelming career goaltender with no championships at any level… He appeared in 8 playoff games as a pro and 20 in Junior..

      Tokarski has 20 playoff games as a pro, 4 in the World Juniors, and 39 in the WHL as a starter.. Tokarski is the more experienced goaltender in playoffs.

      Budaj had one
      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Chris says:

        I’ve already explained why I am against Tokarski for tonight (game rust, insult to Budaj, desperation).

        I just wanted to give some context to Budaj’s playoff numbers. Stats can be used effectively. In this case, people are ignoring the context, which makes the interpretation at least a little questionable.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          How is it an insult to Budaj? It is insulting to put the goaltender in that the organization thinks gives you the best chance to win? How do you know that Budaj wouldn’t rather be the backup tonight? Maybe Budaj himself, is happy with Tokarski starting.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Paz says:


            If Budaj is happier with Tokarski starting Budaj should not be a pro athlete.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            He is Price’s backup man… He obviously does not expect to be a go to goaltender.. He’s an educated man, he is self aware, he’s happy to be a backup and goes with the flow. He has no expectations.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • HabinBurlington says:

            If Budaj wants to start games he doesn’t sign a two year contract in montreal. He knows he is a backup as long as he is here. I think the role of the backup goalie is unique. This isn’t a 1a and 1b scenario.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Exactly, he’s still the backup, so I’m sure he’s happy. Now, if they put Dubnyk in as the backup tonight I could see him being pissed.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  31. piper says:

    Lets hope that the defence shows up tonight and the forwards must bury their chances. They better pound Kreider every chance they get.

  32. DipsyDoodler says:

    If we lose tonight, dress Laraque (still technically a Hab) for game 3.

    Moving. Forward.

  33. Coach K says:

    Tomorrow’s Gazette headline…Toker Stones Rangers!

    —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

  34. PK says:

    You would think that this goaltending decision was done with input from Waite, other coaches and perhaps MB?

    We will see … All is not lost


  35. Bash says:

    The plan is likely Toker in this one but Buddy on the road if the kid falters. In this scenario Buddy provides another fresh start and the team rallies around him.

    Doing it the other way was not an option.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • CH Marshall says:

      actually sounds like a good explanation

    • SPATS says:

      Agreed, and if Toker smokes em, we will dangle him in the off season (unless he takes us all the way)

    • Coach K says:

      Plus, the organization gets to see if the kid has what it takes under pressure. It also gives the club a chance to see if they need to make room down the road for Fucale. I like the move and your analysis.

      —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    No problem folks!
    Tokarski is a wall in waiting! He is a terrific goal tender.

    The boys are a team with chemistry and confidence.
    HAB’S 4, Rags 1,
    And Kreider is dead meat!!! Open season!!

    • SPATS says:

      Ian, you sound like Loo-Sick my friend! Need to dial it back a bit… a clean open ice hit by Emelin or Bourque that sends him to the ice in a heap followed by a visit to the quiet room from where he doesn’t return would be fine

  37. Danno says:

    Start scoring some goals.

    The Toker can take care of the rest.

    And Boo Kreider loudly.


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

  38. CAPSLOCK DAN says:


  39. Marc10 says:

    If all else fails, at least the Photoshop job for this ALN is on another level. Love your work!

    Go Habs go!

  40. Louisville says:

    First time I’ll say it this year, but good move by MT on the Toker. Budaj can hold the fort for a game maybe 2, after which his MO is to choke. The only chance is for a young goalie to go on a run. Also, MT knows that if the Rangers even look at the Toker the wrong way they will be penalized. It’s still a long shot but it’s the best shot.

  41. Loop_Garoo says:

    The more I think about it, the more I think Tokarski should start. First off, Budaj let 3 by in one period in game one, has never played well for the habs in the playoffs, and seems to not handle the big games well. Tokarski was great this year in a couple games, had a shutout, and has won at every level except this. Without Price, the habs have nothing to lose so go with the underdog and hope.

  42. CAPSLOCK DAN says:


  43. Cal says:

    Book of Hab
    Chapter 14

    And it came to pass
    That the Price of success was sacrifice
    And so the cost of victory revealed itself
    to The Faithful. The cries of woe and dismay
    Spread like a pestilence throughout and
    The Foe smiled, certain of His assured victory.
    And lo, another Spirit rose up to meet Him.
    He bore the shape of a Lion and His roar
    Swept away the illusion of His Might
    And exposed the treachery in His heart.

    So sayeth the Book of Hab

  44. Marc10 says:

    As with everything, this is on MT. Thing is, there’s no way he makes this decision without a discussion with MB, his assistants and, most importantly, Stephane Waite.

    Otherwise MT wouldn’t simply be losing the room, he’d be losing his staff. Either it’s the craziest gamble ever or there’s broad agreement from the coaches that Budaj just can’t handle the pressure.

    Clearly that’s the message that’s being sent… Some guys help you get through the season, and some guys are there for the playoffs.


    • Habsssssssswin says:

      I wonder if Price was asked for his 2 cents worth, regarding the starter ?

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        Doubt it. Would not be fair to Price to ask that. Gionta maybe, but not Price.

      • Marc10 says:

        No way. Carey stops pucks, coaches coach.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I would think much discussion was had between all coaches and most likely even Price. But others think differently, none of us will know, but I will support MT in this choice as he has done a good job all season. I admit that I am surprised Tokarski and not Budaj, but they know the situation far more closely than all of us sitting at home. Therefore I trust this decision.

    • Phil C says:

      Good point, I have 100% confidence in whomever Waite recommends. No one on the planet knows better and I doubt Therrien makes this call without Waite’s endorsement.

  45. Habsssssssswin says:

    Budaj knows that Tokarski is the future, not him. Unfortunately the future is now. It’s all about today .Yesterday doesn’t matter.
    It can only go one of two ways. Philosophy 101… Dammit !!

  46. xman4227 says:

    Its not DUS-TIN DUS-TIN…… its TOE-KER TOE-KER!!

    Respect the CH ….or don’t f&$@in put the sweater on

  47. gumper says:

    I wonder how much input Bergevin had in this decision.

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

  48. The Teacher says:

    Chris. Budaj gives up backbreaking goals. Tokarski is much more agile and we need that. Not a sieve.

    • Chris says:

      We don’t know what Tokarski does. He doesn’t have any playoff experience, but he also only has 10 career NHL games (3-3-1, 2.93 GAA, 0.903 SV%, 1 SO).

      I would have no problem going with Tokarski in Game 3. But by going with him tonight, the Habs are effectively removing two goaltenders from their depth chart. You know that Budaj is now done with the franchise, so they only have Devan Dubnyk left if Tokarski falters.

      All season long we hear about this team’s resilience. Now, when the first real opportunity to test that theory has come along, the team makes a desperation, Hail Mary move in starting Tokarski.

      I hope to the heavens that it works, because its not going to be pretty if Tokarski gives up a couple of early goals.

      • Loop_Garoo says:

        I think with Budaj, they don’t win, he just doesn’t come through in the big games. With Tokarski, you just never know…

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I don’t get that. If Toker falters, Budaj plays next game. No big deal really. Waite and Therrien just think Tokarski is a better goalie.

        Moving. Forward.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Really? Habs and BUdaj are done with each other? Missed that announcement, but what the heck do I know.

      • habcertain says:

        agree Chris, no way you can go back to Budaj, he is well respected by the players, also.

      • coutNY says:

        Wouldn’t be pretty for anybody in net to give up a couple early goals. Therrien would be questioned on either side of the decision in that case. I don’t think Budaj is done, but not sure I would care much especially if Tokarsky wins. Budaj isn’t ever going to push Price for for the #1 job and doesn’ t have the skill to do so… Tokarski probably doesn’t either but we’ll always have in the back of our minds if we don’t give him a chance. as far depth, we could find someone to fill in that role in the market. Budaj isn’t the only backup.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        How,do you know Budaj is done? Where is it written that the backup goaltender automatically gets starts when your starter goes down? The role of a backup is not a prerequisite to starting in the playoffs when your number 1 goes down.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  49. The Teacher says:

    Chris. It’s about winning.

    • Chris says:

      Then maybe it would not be so terrible to at least see what Budaj, who has a career 3-1 record against the Rangers (including a shutout victory this season) can do as a starter?

      • Ron says:

        Hard too read anything into this choice Chris. On one hand you have Toker who has never played an NHL playoff game and on the other you have Budaj who has but has never won one. Put the names in a hat and draw one out..Toker it is.

  50. The Teacher says:

    Is tokarski starting?

  51. CHicoHab says:

    Have the Habs officially named Tokarski starting tonight?

  52. Chris says:

    The Toronto Maple Leafs visibly quit on Randy Carlyle when he called out back-up goaltender James Reimer in the media after a game against Detroit on March 18, finishing 2-10-0 to miss the playoffs. Players like to know that the coaching staff has their back at times, because every player in the roster will struggle. Therrien has just stuck a dagger in Budaj’s back, and you can bet that it has been duly noted. Now it is entirely up to Dustin Tokarski, who has been presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. If he falters tonight, it is not only a potential nail in the coffin of the Montreal Canadiens’ 2014 playoff run, but it could also end up being a nail in the coffin of Michel Therrien’s coaching tenure in Montreal.

    Not even remotely the decision I would have made as an NHL coach, but I guess that is yet another reason why I’m not an NHL coach. 🙂

    I understand that people don’t see it as such a big deal on the ice. Neither do I…neither Tokarski nor Budaj is likely to carry the Habs. They aren’t Price. If the Habs continue to play like they are sleeping, this series will be over in 4 and it will be ugly in every game.

    • Good Habits says:

      We already know who Budaj is. We don’t know who Tokarski is.

      MT is eliminating a sure loss with a possible win.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I 100 percent disagree Chris. Budaj has never played well in the playoffs including last post season or even as the stand in last game. Budaj also was not great this year when price was down. He had his chance and the coach feels we have a better chance with toker. I am okay with it as Budaj seems to crack under pressure. Toker has won at the world jr, memorial cup and Calder.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Ya lost me after Toronto Maple Leafs. Habs in 6.

    • habcertain says:

      it does indicate that he is looking to replicate past miracles, I understand Budaj is backup material, but the team would play hard for him, at least Toker could have been a game 3 option, I think that option is shot, if Toker fails tonight we can easily get swept, getting rid of MT would be the only upside but don’t think MB would do that in light of the win against the Bruins.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      The Leafs quit on Carlyle (and Reimer actually) before Carlyle started dissing him.

      And there’s a difference between insulting your goalie in the media and picking one goalie over another to start a game.

      During Price’s injury Budaj showed that he couldn’t play game after game under pressure.

      We know for a fact that he can’t do it.

      Moving. Forward.

    • coutNY says:

      You talk as if the only inevitable outcome is for the Kid is to lose. All betting men would predict it, but this kid has an opportunity to inspire, get elivated by living an atmoshere like no other, while living out just about everbodies childhood dream. What if they were to start Budaj and he loses… is that nail in the coffin any different. Does going with a kid on the road with a 2 game deficit sound any more appealing?

      Therrien isn’t going anywhere. Don’t think Management can blame him for losing his #1 goalie. OR find fault with him bringing a team that was dead last in the EAST to making the playoffs, then to a conference final in the second season. This team doesn’t have a superstar, with the exception of the man not playing. This is the perfect opportunity to GAMBLE. This is the safest as he’ll ever be to make such a decision cause if I recall they were picked to finish out of the playoff picture, but they are play as deep as they have been in the playoffs since their last cup.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      First off, to consider that Michael Therrien made this decision alone is preposterous. I’d assume the Habs goaltending coaches, assistant coaches, management, and captains had a voice in the decision. I’m sure the possibility of Price being injured and who would be coming in to start would have been discussed a few times during the playoffs, a well run organization plans for these scenarios. The decision to start Tokarski means nothing more than that they have greater confidence in him than in their backup and they see greater value in Budaj in the backup role than Tokarski.

      Just because Budaj is the preferred backup does not mean he is automatically the second in command for important starts; there are many roles to a backup, perhaps he practices better, contributes to the team with his personality on the bench, another veteran voice.

      As far as the Habs game being ugly… I had a softball tourney and didn’t watch the game live.. Already knew the outcome when I watched it… I saw an awful first period where the Rangers dominated and had a much deserved 2-0 lead. In the 2nd period I saw the Habs gradually take over and start dominating, it was only a matter of time before they tied the game.. The. price let in a couple softies (or goals the real Carey Price would stop) and the game is over.. price is done, and the Habs folded.

      Had price not been injured, I think the Habs were well on their way to a victory.

      As for Tokarski, he has won a Memorial Cup, Junior Championship, Calder Cup, World Junior Championship. He has played his best in big games and if anybody is going to step in and provide clutch goaltending for a 4-6 game stretch it is Tokarski.. Not Dubnyk or Budaj.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Oops, Tokarski also won the Telus Cup as a starter…

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Chris says:

        I honestly put zero stock in World Junior or junior titles. Many of the greatest goalies never had any of that.

        Patrick Roy never played in the World Juniors. His QMJHL playoff record? 0-4, 5.41 GAA.

        Yet he was the most clutch goaltender of his generation.

        Martin Brodeur? No World Juniors, not a particularly strong playoff resume in the QMJHL and one crappy year in the AHL playoffs (0-4, 4.19 GAA). But man was he a good NHL playoff goalie.

        I’m not saying Tokarski can’t do it. I hope he does. I just think the better way to do it would have been Budaj in Game 2 and, if Budaj falters again, Tokarski in Game 3. That would give Tokarski a bit more time to practice with NHL shooters instead of the black aces.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Again, I am not hearing any argument for Peter Budaj.. It’s okay to discount what Tokarski has done, but what makes you support Budaj?

          What makes you think this decision was all Therrien? And it was the wrong decision? Why is it the right decision to start Budaj?

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Chris says:

            I think it is the right decision because Budaj has been a part of the team for 3 seasons now. He’s been a great back-up to Price, he’s been a great guy in the locker room, and he’s played well in his starts for the most part, with only one bad west coast swing this season marring his Montreal Canadiens body of work.

            Budaj knew he wasn’t going to be the starter ahead of Price. He accepted that when he signed in Montreal. But with Price down, I 100% guarantee that Budaj wanted this start. He was interviewed on TSN and said that this situation is the whole reason he has worked as hard as he has throughout the playoffs to be there if they needed him. It was assumed by most of the hockey world that it would be Budaj. The the Canadiens pulled a fast one.

            Hopefully it works.

  53. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Good Dunboyne Mike:
    I really don’t want to see Lundqvist taken out in retribution.
    Evil Dunboyne Mike:
    What I WOULD like to see is Lundqvist psychologically destroyed by an apocalyptic firestorm of unstoppable shots, many of them stretching the mesh and catapulting the water-bottle.
    DO IT, BOYS!

  54. gumper says:

    Let me be blunt. Hope the Toker smokes ’em.

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

  55. Good Habits says:

    I hope Tokar has Eye of the Tiger on a loop in his car.

  56. Subban in Sochi says:

    It will be difficult for Alain Vigneault to claim that the Canadiens are the Series “favorite” now.

    AV will have to work a little harder to come up with viable gamesmanship quotes…now that the Rangers lead the Series 1-0 and have the advantage in healthy world class goalies by the same margin.

    Habs don’t need Tokarski to perform to the level of Ken Dryden or Patrick Roy. I’ll settle for the level of Steve Penney (and his 9 wins in his first Playoff).

    “Cannonading drive!!”

  57. habs11s says:

    Regardless on whether or not the hit on Price was on purpose, you still have to be responsible for your actions on the ice, which means that something should have came from it in terms of punishment.

    Nevertheless, I don’t mind the Tokarski move, something tells me that they do know ‘the book’ on him as much as they do Price or Budaj


    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  58. Strummer says:

    Budaj has allowed 10 goals on the last 39 shots he has faced in playoff games spanning the last 2 seasons.

    Tokarski could be the answer.

    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  59. HabinBurlington says:

    Regardless of the goalie, Habs needed to play much much better. Team needed a rallying call it seemed, they now have it. No reason team can’t win tonight. Over the course of the series, the loss of Price could be too hard to overcome, but no reason team can’t win tonight. And if/when that happens, who knows.

    Go Habs Go!

    • TommyB says:

      Agree. The Rangers are a good team. So are the Habs. If you had to look for goal scorers, and offensive punch, which team might be in better shape there? I think the Habs have an edge in that department, The seven goal barrage last game was more of a Habs meltdown than a Rangers show of force. Let’s see how it plays out.

  60. Sportfan says:

    Don’t worry guys we’ve got the smooth Toker in nets, I believe GO HABS GO now off to the bar cause we “have” to be there for 530.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  61. gumper says:

    Officially going on record as opposed to the Tokarski start. Devoutly praying that I am wrong.

    The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
    Mark Twain

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      It’s a gamble, for sure. If Tokarski plays lights-out, poor Budaj and his team-mates will have to recognise it for what it is: a very bold move that paid off. If, on the other hand, Habs lose, there will have been damage done to Budaj’s sense of place, perhaps a feeling of selfless commitment betrayed. Of course, subsequent to that it might fire him up….

      (Why the avatar reversion?)

      • johnnylarue says:

        I dunno, Mike… If Budaj’s selflessness and commitment to the team are for real, this will roll off his back like everything else.

        Fact is, being in 0-5 with an abominable save percentage in the playoffs is reason enough to roll the dice on the Question Mark Kid.

        (And while I obviously wouldn’t blame Buds for that disastrous third period on Saturday, it should be noted that his performance did little to inspire confidence in his ability to conjure playoff miracles.)

        • habcertain says:

          Johnny, he basically started the period with a 5 on 3 for almost 2 minutes, than another 2 minutes down by one. he was dead in the water from the get go.

          • Loop_Garoo says:

            that may be, but it can’ have been good for his, or the team’s, confidence in him.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          You’re probably right, Johnny, as long as the solidity of Budaj’s back-up mind-set is not contingent on being back-up to Price and Price only, but rather just being back-up to whoever starts

          I do LIKE the bold selection of Tokarski. And I will LOVE it if he stonewalls NY. I just hope there is no cost re. Budaj’s confidence.

          And habcertain’s post below puts Budaj’s performance on Saturday in — if you’ll excuse the pun — sharp relief.

    • CH Marshall says:

      If they are starting Toker, I guess it’s admission they don’t have much faith in Budaj

    • coutNY says:

      I think of starting Torky as a good gamble… Budaj has never been a #1, and it usually takes a #1 to bring a team through the playoffs. Maybe the kid has these traits maybe he does not. Maybe he’ll be someone that can live in the moment and steal a few games. We know what Budaj can do about average at best, below in his limited playoff expereince… and if Torky fails he’ll be in with his chance. If Budaj starts and fails desparation sets in, the pressure mounts and then it’ll be a lot ot ask for a youngster to dig a team out of a big hole on the road.

  62. FlyAngler says:

    Nice picture Boone. I guess my first choice though was a Chris Kreider Voo Doo Doll with needles stuck in the appropriate places. What do you think? It is still more than 3 hours before puck drop- more than enough time to conjure up some potent curses- and you might be saving the Habs from a potentially game threatening trip to the sin bin by allowing the bad spirits to do the job for us…….

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  63. hitgurl says:

    Shows over motherf*****s
    Get ’em Habs!

    • Strummer says:

      You go gurl!

      “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  64. TommyB says:

    I don’t think you have anything to lose by giving Tokarski a shot tonight. We know what we have in Budaj, and so do the Rangers. They don’t know much, if anything, about Tokarski. You give a guy trying to crack the NHL a shot, and who knows, he might shine. It also forces the rest of the team to play their nuts off, and to play a more offensive game, keeping the puck in the other end of the rink. If it doesn’t work, you can go back to Budaj, who is a complete professional who I doubt has his shorts in a knot for not getting the start tonight. Sometimes you roll the dice.

  65. PK says:

    Tokarski may surprise.
    Need the team to bring their
    A game.
    AG27 in?


  66. CHicoHab says:

    Not interested in who will be stopping pucks for us tonight. Neither goalie became a goaltender last week. I’m interested to see what the rest of the team has in mind. Watch the Rangers control the play? Or take it to them like there’s no tomorrow.

  67. Puck Bard says:

    This is a brilliant roll of the dice. The fans at The Bell know the history. The place will go nuts… 7th man on the ice.

  68. alfieturcotte says:

    I’ll take Tokarski over Budaj, but what about Dubnyk? Played pretty well as a starter last year, former 1st rounder, and 6″6. At a minimum, the guy will take up quite a bit of room back there. He would have been my first choice.

  69. Puck Bard says:

    Galchenyuk is in.


  70. johnnylarue says:

    Credit where it’s due: Boone’s Photoshopping has been dynamite in the post-season.

    A true gamer, he is… even if his LiveBlah (sic) has a tendency to, how do you say, “accentuate the negative” at times.

  71. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

    Boone, that Reno photoshop may just have made Carey’s injury worthwhile!

    I’m sure that you don’t have those skills… at whose handiwork am I laughing?

    But jezus… couldn’t she have been given a trapper for the save? That looks like it would hurt!

  72. habcertain says:

    good point on TSN, if Toker sucks, no way you can go back to Budaj after being passed over, his time is done here. Not sure I agree with this move, would have given Budaj a shot tonight, he earned it.

    • Mad Habber says:

      Not sure why they wouldn’t give Budaj the start either. It is not like he has sucked when he has been put into a big game.

    • on2ndthought says:

      not at all, Budaj is a much better than average back-up goalie, Tokarski is a starter. If Tok struggles, bring in the back-up!

      “a cannonading drive”

    • habs001 says:

      If he plays poorly no doubt that Budaj would start in New York…The concern is not if either of these goalies can play a great game but can they be solid over several pressure games…

    • JF says:

      Budaj has played five playoff games in his career, losing all of them. In three games with the Avalanche in 2008, his goals against was 3.33. In the single game he played two years later, it was 6.67. Ditto the game he played for us last year. Not numbers that inspire a lot of confidence.

      • johnnylarue says:

        Unfortunately, this combined with Budaj’s rather mediocre showing in Carey’s absence after the Olympics, paint a rather convincing picture.

        Love the guy, but Boods is not the man to see us through this high-pressure situation.

    • Habilis says:

      I get your point and I will say that I like Budaj for what he brings. But Budaj is a career backup for a reason. Tokarski gives us the best chance to win tonight. Nothing else should be considered, IMHO.

      I applaud MT for having the guts to do this.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Don’ think I agree with TSN on this one. The thing about bringing Tokarski in is that there is no pressure on him, fail and everyone expects it. Budaj has been great for the team, but failed against Ottawa last year (i know he wasn’t the only one). If it gets desperate, they’ll go to Budaj for a change. I do agree this is strong signal that they really like what they see in Tokarski, and Budaj may be on the way out.

  73. on2ndthought says:

    nice pic, Mr. Boone

    “a cannonading drive”

  74. Maritime Ronn says:

    The mouth of George Laraque strikes again.
    Not good if true.

    On his Facebook page, he is now claiming that back when he played for Coach Therrien and the Pens in 2007, he was given the green light by Coach Therrien to run into Marty Biron of the Flyers…He actually slid into Biron and knocked him off his skates.
    It was payback for the Flyers bumping MA Fleury.

    Laraque further claims he was fined by the NHL and ownership paid the fine…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      No surprise BGL is revealing everything he can to make himself relevant. He really seems to require a spotlight in order to make himself relevant….. sad.

    • Habtastic says:

      tbf, he told that story several times in the past. I see why it’s relevant now, but old news from a guy who likes the sound of his own voice/tweet.

      The Drive for 25

  75. on2ndthought says:

    I’m glad Steve Yzerman and John Cooper agree with all the guys saying we shouldn’t start Tokarski because he’s too small. That’s why Lindback started ahead of Gudlevski. (I still think Lindback might become a good NHL goalie, but it is a tough position to learn).

    On a sadder note: who did the Rangers pick right after Gainey and Timmons got Louis Leblanc? Yep, Chris (Beezelbub) Kreider. Oh well, it was fun for the Bell Centre fans at the time. LL really looks to be going nowhere, a miracle turn-around is neede to even make him an NHLer. I thought he had a Plek-like upside…

    Too much morosity.. let’s play hockey!

    “a cannonading drive”

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