Liveblog: Game 37 – Canadiens trounced in St. Louis

ChrisStewart

First period sealed deal

St. Louis got two goals from Alexander Steen and another by Chris Stewart in the first period and that was the ballgame.

Brendan Gallagher's 10th of the season was the only score of the middle period.

Jaden Schwartz and Maxim Lapierre made it 5-1 in the third.

St. Louis outshot the Canadiens 29-26.

Icing on the cake

Jaden Schwartz and Maxim Lapierre scored third-period goals to complete the rout.

Shutout averted

Brendan Gallagher snapped out of an 11-game scoring drought, batting his own rebound out of the air and past Jaroslav Halak.

It was the Canadiens' first even-strength goal in regulation since Dec. 7 in Buffalo: 356 minutes, 35 seconds.

Shots were 11-6 St. Louis.

POW!

It began with Alexander Steen's shorthanded goal, completing a 2-on-1 with T.J. Oshie four minutes in.

Three minutes later, Steen popped another one: his 24th, matching a career high.

Wide-open in the slot, Chris Stewart made it 3-0.

Alexei Emelin was on for all three St. Louis goals.

Shots were 12-8 for the home team.

Christmas road trip begins

Your Montreal Canadiens won't be back on Bell Centre ice until next year.

Between now and Jan. 4, the team plays in St. Louis, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina and Dallas.

The Canadiens face two challenging games before a six-day Christmas break next week: the Blues Thursday night, the Predators on Saturday.

St. Louis sits second behind Chicago in the NHL's Central Division. The Blues have a plus-34 goal differential and are 13-3-2 at the Scottrade Center.

A week ago, the game shaped up as a clash between two of the league's best defence pairings: Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban vs. Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester. But Michel Therrien shuffled his Dmen against Phoenix, pairing P.K. with Josh Gorges and Markov with countryman Alexei Emelin.

Daniel Brière will be a healthy scratch against St. Louis.

In the interim, check out the Canadiens' Christmas card.

Michel Bergeron jumps ship

 

952 Comments

  1. Tomysho says:

    As long as the city insists on a French Canadian G.M. and coach , it will be very difficult to have the success of former teams. The players are not getting the best coaching . Not many Québécois coaches and some do not want the job. Was Patrick Roy offered ? Colorado really rocks.
    MB is probably pressured to get Québécois players . Otherwise why sign up a guy like Briere who does not meet the needs for a power centre. No secret that the team needs more robust forwards. The current crop may be fast but are outmuscled at getting the puck. So hard to make trades when no one is interested in Smurfs.
    Only small guy to keep is Gallagher. By keeping Plek, Gionta ,DD, Briere is taking up space for someone to develop.

  2. scotland says:

    if the goaltenders were anything less than stellar ….. the habs would be in last place.

  3. jsaz says:

    I hope MB is working some magic. Highly doubt it. He has to much faith in this squad.

  4. scotland says:

    have center ice package and watch all the habs games. between periods and at face offs i surf to check the score of the other games. now thats reversed. have center ice package to the other nhl games (pens, bruins,hawks,blues,sharks) and switch to hab game for a score check.

    they just aint worth watching for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. they struggle just to play the game for the most of the night.

  5. Habilis says:

    Just think people, it could be so, so much worse. We could be the Oilers. They’ve drafted high since Boone had whatever color hair he had before it was white, and they’re still utterly terrible. Not that the guys they took were necessarily bad players (though Yak was a mistake), but they’ve obviously failed in the later rounds to find players to properly round out their lineup.

    First acquisition they should make is Trevor Timmins, methinks. But don’t tell them.

  6. scotland says:

    the forwards that log the most ice time on a team say alot about how good a team you have…..or dont have.

    since therrien took over the two fowrds that lead the canadiens in ice time including specialty teams??

    plekanic and gionta.

    nuff said. this is a bad nhl team.

    • chanchilla says:

      so bad that we’re better than 19 other teams.

    • Habilis says:

      Pleks would have the first or second most ice time for forwards on any team in the NHL that doesn’t have Crosby, Toews, Datsyuk or Bergeron. He’s one of the top defensive centres in the NHL. If you doubt it, just wait till Sochi and watch how he plays against the best. He’s a very good hockey player. Underrated too, apparently.

      Gionta is his winger, and he also might be our best defensive winger. Gallagher coming on strong though.

      I full on dislike MT and want him gone more than anyone. But in this case, I just don’t know why it’s a bad thing to have your best defensive line playing the most minutes, especially against a top team like the Blues.

  7. scotland says:

    blue have a great club. depth that plays a very good system. cracker jack management and an awesome coaching staff.

    habs? have none of the above.

    result? game over with 50 minutes still to go.

  8. scotland says:

    ddohabsfan , “before you freak out did anyone think we were going to win tonight” no. absolutely not. and thats a real drag. the sens just beat the blues. they are in fourth place in the west. they are a very good team but a beatable team on any given night. and you are right. NOBODY in the hockey world thought the habs were gonna win tonight. you could have asked 10,000 fans one at a time to bet against the blues tonight and NOBODY would have.

    its that bad.

    • ffenliv says:

      The Blues are an excellent team. They’re only in fourth because there are three amazing teams ahead of them. The difference between the conferences is just staggering.

      If the Habs are a good team, they can be expected to compete in these games. If they’re mediocre, then no, they were likely in over their heads.

  9. 24 Cups says:

    There’s a lot that can be said at this present moment in time but two guys who don’t impress me right now are Prust and Emelin. It’s not just about the usual suspects.

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      I fear that Prust’s injuries — accumulated from having to over-compensate for an undersized, soft team — have taken their toll on him. I pray I am wrong.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

      • Mark C says:

        So Prust wouldn’t play as tough, physical hockey if the team was bigger and not as soft? You think he would tone down his game? Really?

        I don’t think you’ve been paying attention to Prust’s career.

  10. SUMO says:

    TSN690s Bobby Dollas has a wonderful saying; “I’d rather LOSE with Subban, Eller, Pacioretty, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Bournival, Tinordi, Beulieu and Price than WIN with Gionta, Bouillon, Moen, Bourque, Gionta and Diaz.

  11. Bogie Man says:

    We lost tonight because the boys were tired. How dare we expect them to play 3 games in a week.

  12. NLhabsfan says:

    I believe that we made the right call on trading Halak we would not have been able to keep him the first time because of free agency and he would have demanded more money from us.Keeping Price was the smart move.Also I could have played tonight in goal and did as well.St.Louis has built up a pretty good team.They are playoff bound and a cup contender.Where not even close.Montreal will make the playoffs but you have to look at three or four teams that are in it all the way.The Pens ,St.Louis,LA, Hawks are I believe going to be there till the end. Montreal..maybe the first round.Thats how I see it.

  13. DickandDanny says:

    Do Pleks and Gio have something written in their contract that says they have to play together every minute of every game? If they continue as our second line then we’re doomed to mediocrity. They may make a good third line, but we need scoring from our second line. They don’t have the stats to match up with any other teams second line.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  14. jrshabs1 says:

    MOAR BIGGAR!!

    Go Habs Go!!

  15. DickandDanny says:

    Where are all those Eller fans tonight? Boy what a game he played. He likes the Blues players so much from the days he spent playing there that he couldn’t stop hugging them all night long. um, only problem is that’s a penalty Lars.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      And the Gauthier apologists who continue to claim that we came out on top in that trade. Meanwhile Jaro keeps beating us, and Lars remains a third-line center.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

      • DickandDanny says:

        I’m reminded of that every time I read a post from one of those die hard Eller fans about how good Eller is, and how great he will be. I am waiting. Patiently for now but time is of the essence Lars.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

        • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

          I do think he can be a very good 3rd line center. Think Jordan Staal in his Penguin years. And that is valuable. But no one will ever convince me that that is all Halak was worth at that time. I’d sure like to hear what was really behind that hasty move, because it still seems weird.

          I remember Dec. 31, 1975

      • Mark C says:

        I’ll take Eller over what the Blackhawks got for a better Cup winning goalie that very Summer.

  16. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Before people freak, did anyone actually think they were going to win tonight before the game? The Blues are a tier one team while the Habs are a tier 2 team. All the Habs have to do is make the playoffs and win 1 round to improve from last year. In the crappy east with a good goalie, easily possible. As for tonight:
    1) Over early falling down 3-0 on three mistakes.
    2) PP 0/4 and we all know the Habs can’t win against big teams without the PP.
    3) Size issue again as Blues swarmed net and took advantage of Pleks and Gionta.
    3) Eller and Gallagher best forwards by far. DD/Max lucky they play with Gally because they stunk (especially defensively).
    4) Fourth line was terrible with Prust’s indiscipline and Moen’s no-show. Needed a physical presence tonight. Thank God for Yemelin and Murray.

  17. Bogie Man says:

    We are one goal scorer, one tough defence and one passionate coach away from winning the Stanley cup.

  18. DickandDanny says:

    Nothing more to write. It’s all been well said already. My only hope is that as the Habs don’t play at home until the New year we will be seeing some new faces wearing our jerseys when they do. MB, how hard can it be to make a trade? I mean honestly, you can’t find one other team that wants to shake up their roster as badly as we need to. How about: Winnipeg, Ottawa, Columbus, NYI, NYR, and Phoenix. Find a trade partner MB and get busy over the holidays. Our present bunch needs at least three to four new bodies to shake things up, 3 at forward and one on D for sure to start with.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  19. CSIASN says:

    I think MB will achieve what he set out to do this year. Make the playoffs although it’ll be only for 1-round and a early exit. A small and soft team will never accomplish much in the playoffs.

    • DickandDanny says:

      That was last years plan. Can we please have this years plan explained. I’d like to know what it is exactly, because what I am seeing is a repeat of previous years/teams and under different management also. As far as i can tell nothing much has changed. We pray for our goalie to stand on his head and maybe we score two or three goals.

      “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  20. The Dude says:

    I need Capt. Pike to post some relevance to what just happened to my Habs.

  21. AZ_Hab_Fan says:

    What’s with Emelin?
    He used to destroy opposing players with ease.
    And if a player would try to hit him they’d just bounce off.
    Either his knee is still bad, had poor conditioning, or just plain lost his confidence. Shame.

  22. VintageFan says:

    WELL! It is taking awhile, but don’t lose hope. Patrick Roy was traded late in 1995. Soooo, we’ve only been rebuilding for 18 years (so far). Does anyone know how long this is supposed to take?

  23. HABitat4humanity says:

    Where do we start?

    1) can we have more players creating traffic in front on the net like Gally? Make Borque’s roll to create traffic. NO TRAFFIC, no goals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Halak saw most all shots.

    2) practice faceoffs.

    3) Subban needs another strategy on the PP. Teams have smartened up. Let him play deeper in the zone & have someone else with a good slapper play the point. Even Chara goes deep.

    4). Where is the EGG LINE??????

    5) markov & subban belong together

    6) emelin is not hitting like he use to.

    7) big mistake to trade halak. Price played better with more competition for ice time. Could have been the best goalie tandem ever.

    8) 4th line needs help

    9) have not seen Gionta fire up his troops

    10) patches can not lay back like he did tonight.

    11) trade the overpaid & old in order to rebuild.

  24. habs001 says:

    Some posters should evaluate the individual talent on the Habs as if they were Leafs or Bruins players and than maybe they would realize that the Habs pretty well have played above their potential…A lot of posters see way more talent in a player than they have just because they play for the Habs..The love in for some players would turn to criticism if they played on other teams..

  25. Ozmodiar says:

    Offense is going to be hard to come by when…
    – the best winger on the team playing with a center that gets eaten up and spit out against these bigger teams.
    – the best center on the team is stuck with more than 5 minutes on the PK.
    – the forwards can’t consistently win puck battles with 3 of the top 6 forwards being 5’9” or shorter.

    • cliff rashotte says:

      Montreal is in trouble with the high amount of small players..There is no quick fix but I really did notice as I watched closer when ever we had a man advantage, that DD lost every faceoff to start the power play..If you must have him on to start can you have somebody else take the draw…

  26. rogieshan says:

    The team seems to play with more purpose when it’s killing a penalty. Maybe it’s time to consider breaking up Plekanec and Gionta, moving Eller to the wing, and give Galchenyuk, Bournival & Briere a chance at center (their natural position).

    Is Gallagher playing hurt?

  27. RAM_TOUGH says:

    MT – 127 Wins, 104 Losses, 21 OTL

    Carbo – 124 Wins, 83 Losses, 23 OTL

    Yup Carbo just as good as MT

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  28. Cal says:

    So that’s what an insect feels like when it hits the windshield at highway speed. Bugger.
    I hear there’s both kinds of music in Nashville: Country and Western.

  29. CHicoHab says:

    Just watching MT presser. He said the flight coming home from Jersey was very late.

    “take your time and hurry up”

  30. Trollhunter says:

    Good luck to whichever eastern team reaches the finals

  31. The Dude says:

    If I was Price, Markov,Gionta,Plecs,Subban,Borque etc I’d be thinking ‘Never going to win a Cup with this PIG’! And want out!I wonder who’s going to be the first to ask!

  32. Nailsfrmstoon says:

    Nailsfrmstoon

  33. RAM_TOUGH says:

    I have never liked MT. Letting Price get lit up like that. MT Fiffin knew the game was over @ the end of the 1st.

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  34. habsfan0 says:

    Since the Habs apparently like to re-cycle francophone coaches,I wouldn’t be surprised if Guy Carbonneau gets another shot as HC.

    Habs haven’t had a good bowling instructor since he left.

  35. aroma says:

    I think the problem is very simple – Therrien just doesn’t have enough horses at the top nine forward positions. As a late friend of mine used to say – the Habs, they’re small, but they’re slow. The top nine forwards include non productive excess baggage in Bourque, Desharnais, Briere, and Gionta – little fellahs that do nothing much at all (Bourque just plays small). And on the fourth line, Brandon Prust always seems to be playing hurt; a shadow of his former self. No point pointing fingers at the goaltending and the D (although Emelin’s play of late has been worrisome). Bergevin has done a very poor job filling the holes on the top three lines. Doesn’t matter who gets benched – the talent, size and fight just aren’t there in sufficient numbers.

    • ooder says:

      I agree. People hate on mt but he works with what he has. Obviously he makes weird decisions but overall he has gotten a lot out of this group.
      Puck management and decision is very poor with this team. Maybe its because they are smaller that they get bumped off easier. I dunno.defense and goaltending is not an issue. Size and power in the top 9 are

    • ross says:

      The best goal-scoring season Gionta ever had was with New Jersey alongside Gomez.

      The second and third best goal-scoring seasons in Gionta’s NHL career were both with Montreal, in the 2010 (29g) and 2009 (28g) seasons. He’s currently fifth on the team in points, and while he’s only on pace for a sub-par 12 goals, that dip in production is no reason to label him as excess baggage.

  36. jsaz says:

    It’s honestly BS that all Canadian teams will not win the cup anytime soon. It’s annoying I just want the habs to be a contending team!!! Haha fack

  37. CH Marshall says:

    Man. It’s nice thst we win. But we would give ourselves such a better chance if management made better decisions sometimes calisse

  38. CHicoHab says:

    So who sits next game??

  39. Peter Young says:

    The Blues’ posiitional play is superior to that of the Canadiens, which, tonight at least, was almost a scattergun approach. That’s the reason why you have Blues players nearly always available to pick up rebounds at both ends of the ice. And that’s the reason they had so many players free in the slot to shoot almost at their leisure on Price. The Blues play to a system; the Canadiens don’t appear to have a system, at least not one that’s visible.
    There is indeed a quality gap between East and West. But let me say, once again, that our day will come. We have some players of very high quality and a smart general manager, who will learn quickly from his mistakes. We have a future; don’t write off that future just because we’re not there yet.

  40. nova scotia vees says:

    I have always liked Halak, but this year Price has been very good. What really bugs me is what we got for Halak. Eller is not the calibre of Halak. No heart. Perhaps he should be shown a video of Crosby. Yes he is a terrific talent..but it is his intensity that allows him to do so well with undrafted dolts for line-mates.

  41. SlovakHab says:

    There is a massive difference between east and west.

    All of St Loius, Chicago, Anaheim, San Jose and LA Kings would easily win the east.

    On another note, hopefully these games cure the optimists that think we are a well-coached team.

  42. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Hey… We can’t be surprised! Coming in, the Blues were 22/7/4 versus the Habs’ 21/12/3. The Habs are doing pretty great so far this year, but they’re 11th overall, and the Blues are 4th overall, after tonight’s game.


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