Liveblog: Game 49 – Leafs win 5-3, tighten playoff race

MaxPhaneuf

Divisional loss tightens race

Toronto's 5-3 win moved them withing four points of the third-place Canadiens in the Atlantic Division standings.

A late goal by James Van Riemsdyk broke a 3-3 tie.

The Leafs also got goals from Cody Franson, Phil Kessel and Mason Raymond.

Brendan Gallagher, Brian Gionta and David Desharnais scored for the Canadiens.

Leafs score late to win it

David Desharnais tipped in P.K. Subban's point shot to create a 3-3 tie that lasted five minutes.

Errors by Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin and Max Pacioretty opened the door for Tyler Bozak to feed James Van Riemsdyk for the winning goal.

With Carey Price on the bench, Joffrey Lupul was hauled down from behind and awarded an empty-netter.

Canadiens outshot the Leafs 33-29.

Birthday boy captain scores a big one

The Canadiens dominated the first half of the period, but Toronto took the lead on goals by Phil Kessel and Mason Raymond – the former off defensive zone chaos, the latter with Alecei Emelin in the penalty box.

The home team was cruising until Brian Gionta, 35 today, tapped in a rebound with only 11 ticks left on the clock.

Shots were 14-10 for the Canadiens.

Carey Price made a highlight reel leg save on Kessel.

Ottawa redux?

Reminiscent of what the Senators did on Thursday, Toronto began by running the Canadiens out of the rink.

The Leafs outshot their visitors 6-1 and got a 1-0 lead when Nazem Kadri easily beat Alexei Emelin and fed a pinching Cody Franson for a tap-in.

The lead lasted until a late-period Canadiens power play.

A lucky bounce off Max Pacioretty found the blade of Brendan Gallagher's stick, and the diminutive one fired home his 12th goal – half of which have come on the PP.

Shots were 12-9 for the Leafs.

Carey Price's best save was right-leg robbery on Mason Raymond.

Another Atlantic rival

Their first visit to Toronto this season is unlikely to match the excitement of the Canadiens' crazy win in Ottawa, but there's every chance we'll see a good one at the Air Canada Centre Saturday night.

Clinging to a wild-card playoff spot, Toronto has won three in a row and is 16-10-1 at the ACC.

The Canadiens are third in the Atlantic Division, two points behind Tampa Bay and three back of the Bruins. They're 13-8-2 on the road this season.

The Leafs spoiled the season opener at the Bell Centre  Oct. 1 with a 4-3 win. The Canadiens made amends to the home fans, getting two goals from Max Pacioretty and winning 4-2 on Nov. 30.

Hamilton call-ups Nathan Beaulieu and Joonas Nattinen are expected to be in the lineup Saturday night.

Disappointing fans who voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking him out to the barn to be humanely euthanized, Rene Bourque will be in the pressbox, with Douglas Murray and Raphael Diaz.

The Leafs will be without "prize" UFA acquisition David Clarkson and goon Frazer McLaren.

Puck drops at 7:40ish, after the HNIC crew finishes their preliminary Leaf-blowing.

Check back later for live game blogging.

 

1,300 Comments

  1. habs001 says:

    Eller -3…Maxpac -2 and Emelin -2…..

  2. VintageFan says:

    Still Curious as to what a $7 million leaf looks like. Phaneuf was invisible

  3. Man Dingga says:

    Thought Beaulieu was a nice addition tonight. He had a couple shaky moments but he outplayed The Cube, Emelin and Gorges. I say we bring up Tinordi too, let the rookies play the rest of the season out. Diaz and The Cube can where a suit for the rest of the season. We got lucky on every goal tonight, this game should of been a blow out just like the Ottawa game. Anyway, things won’t change till the culture changes with this team.

    • SlovakHab says:

      I could see this working okay:

      Markov – Subban
      Bealieu – Gorges
      Emelin – Diaz

      everybody plays their correct side, and there is balance of puck movers and stay at home defencemen (outside the top pair, where Subban just rules both ends of ice with a puck on his stick).

    • BCG says:

      Disagree. You don’t rely on rookies to change the culture. You change the culture and then have rookies come in. How do you change the culture? It starts and ends with the coach.

  4. The Jackal says:

    @slovakhab

    Way to cherry pick the worst arguments made against that inane article. Obviously there are problems with the Habs, we don’t need a pretentious article telling us that. What people ridiculed was the tone and overall argument which remains wrong despite this loss. But thanks for waiting for a loss to remind us!

    Habs played well, there are issues, but unless you ignore facts, MB has been improving this team since he became GM. Looking at low risk signings to make the counter point is well, pointless.

    • whoa where is this coming from :lol:

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 1.29.31.33

    • mksness says:

      MB hasn’t really improved the team.

      – briere… bust
      – moen… too much term and money for his use/production
      – emelin… wait a bit but he’ll be okay i hope
      – murray… plays half the games
      – parros… plays 3 minutes a game
      – forced a bridge deal on subban when we could have locked him up long term. gamble that didn’t work out.

      the drafting is mainly taken care by timmons. so what has he done?

      • BCG says:

        Probably the most important thing as a Montreal GM – he hasn’t freaked and made rash moves. Parros is supposed to play 3 minutes. Murray was depth. Briere was absolutely stupid, but if we make the playoffs, let’s see. Don’t agree with Moen – he’s doing what he does. Agree with Subban – should have signed him long term. All in all – he moving slowly but surely.

        • SlovakHab says:

          Slowly moving is okay for an average team. Like I wrote below, anything less than a top-5 GM in the league, and your team doesn’t get a sniff of the Cup.
          So far, he doesn’t look elite… Just a regular GM that makes both good and terrible moves.

        • mksness says:

          regarding moen. if he is only good for 3-5 goals a year, you’re wasting a place on the team. sure he can kill penalties but he needs to contribute the the score sheet for atleast 10 goals in the year. otherwise he’s not good enough

    • SlovakHab says:

      Habs aren’t playing that well. Price and Subban keep us afloat, plus good games by Pacioretty, Plekanec and Gallagher.

      I don’t see how he improved his team compared to the last season, when we were outplaying our opponents on regular basis. In this season, we are getting outplayed pretty badly.

  5. nova scotia vees says:

    So as usual, Leafs allowed to mug us.. Khadri,Phaneuf, and others. But if we did stuff like that..2 minutes for sure. Refs, Announcers, League..all for Leafs and against Habs..Makes me sick. As does lazy back-checking.
    Painful night.

  6. jols101 says:

    Positive takeaway – Beaulieu is better than most of our D, excluding Subban and Markov.

    He had a couple of jittery plays but that will always be the case until he plays regularly in the NHL no matter how many years you let him rot in the AHL.

  7. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Prediction: Habs beat Pens 2-1. That’s exactly how the Habs are rolling this year: mysteriously.

  8. timothy13 says:

    The problem with the loss for the Habs is that the Leafs were able to get pretty goals because they always had a unprotected player in the open to score. That player was in an open slot and Price was only able to protect one angle and not the open one. The Habs meanwhile scored lucky goals but it was not enough. This team needs to snap out of their funk. The Habs nearly had enough of an effort but the few mistakes allowed the Leafs to take advantage of mistakes and capitalize. A sad one for the Habs. Changes can still be minor but we need to shoot more and that will lead to goals.

  9. duffy says:

    We can complain all we want to about the Refs, CBC clowns, etc. But when it comes right down to reality this team SUCKS. It is a miracle “Carey Price” that they are in the position they are in.

  10. DickandDanny says:

    Besides Subban we could replace our entire defense. If they re-sign Markov I am going to be more pissed than I already am. GD Russkie who doesn’t give a damn most nights. Nice effort on the winning goal Marky. Emelin cause of the first goal, Gorges the second, Emelin again on number three and Markov on number 4. Man I long for Larry, Guy, and Serge.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  11. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …anyOne here know for certain who gives Jim Hughson and HNIC talking heads their pay checks ???

    …CBC or da MuppleWeeds ???

  12. Forum Dog says:

    Once guys like Bouillion, Diaz and Murray are replaced with guys like Beaulieu, Tinordi and Pateryn, the Habs will be a harder team to play against. We can piss and moan about Muray, Bouillion and Diaz, but at the end of the day the young fellas needed (and still need) time to adjust to pro-hockey. Better for both the player and the team in the long-term.

  13. SlovakHab says:

    So just a few weeks ago, when several analysts predicted that Habs won’t maintain their point pace if there are no chance made, was met with a plenty of ridicule on HIO.

    Arguments such as “doesn’t matter that we are outplayed, we always find ways to win games” or “look at the coach’s record” and “who would have thought we’d be 3rd in the conference, with an 8-point cushion” were thrown out here.

    Well, say thanks to Price, because without the Ottawa game we are up 2 points on Leafs, and pretty close to the last wildcard spot.

    There is plenty of wrong with this team, and yet there are no changes made. Will coach keep putting Parros and Murray on ice, and will Bergevin continue feeding him with useless UFA acquisitions and handing out ridiculus contracts before necessary (Emelin)?

    Stay tuned…

    • twilighthours says:

      Is this a cleverly disguised “I told you so”?

      And the kicker: we all knew the team was lucky to get the wins it was getting. You didn’t know anything the rest of us didn’t.

      Settle down.

      • punkster says:

        Everyone goes a tad batshit crazy after a loss…let ‘em rant for a while and things will settle over the next couple of days…always does.

        Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
        but…
        ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

        • SlovakHab says:

          C’mon punkster, I’m not ranting. You can do better than that.
          You are a HOTP regular and said the same things on the other forum. But if I post it here, you call it a rant.

          I’m pretty sure you agree with me, so it is not necessary to call me bathshit crazy.

      • SlovakHab says:

        It’s not ‘I told you so’. I didn’t say anything, other than posting links to blogs that suggested that we are going downhill. Yes, we are – unfortunately.

        No, not everyone knew. Plenty of people argued with that, pointing solely to the record. And I’m not saying I knew more than the rest of people combined.

        Settle down.

    • StevieM61 says:

      plenty of wrong huh?
      There is more than plenty of wrong

      Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

    • BCG says:

      Habs World linked a great article on Bergevin’s view. It’s not short term. Yes, this team is not Stanley Cup bound – it’s barely playoff bound. But Bergevin’s view is that you ignore the short term pain with an eye to a long term gain. I completely agree with it.

      My only problem is that I don’t see Therrien as a long term coach. Too volatile, no evidence that he knows what to do with young players, and no evidence that he adapts well to a) the game and b) his team. I still think a combo of Robinson (Head Coach), Muller, Boucher and Carbo as assistants would be ideal. Robinson won’t be there forever, so it basically plays as a competition. Sure, Muller is secure – so he won’t be coming. But Boucher and Carbo – maybe throw in Hawerchuk (doing well with the Colts) are definite coach material.

      • SlovakHab says:

        I read that article, and I thought they were a bit too one-sided towards MB.
        So far, his eye to pick talent has been questionable at best (drafting McCarron in 1st round, Crisp in 3rd, signing 2013 UFAS and trading for Parros).

        Based on this evidence, I’m worried if we are in best possible hands. Not sure if he can pick the best available talent for this team. If you are not the best in the league, we are not winning the Cup. Simple as that.

        As for coaching, we are tied by the language there too. Again, we need to get lucky and have the best available coach happen to be French speaker.

        I can’t see how in this league you can win the Cup one day and not have an elite GM and elite coach. Parity rules here, and you can’t afford to have GM or coach make mistakes identifying the talent.

  14. habstrinifan says:

    Is it legal to shoot at the fire hydrant opposite my house?

  15. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    I was entertained. That’s all I ask of this team any more. Liked Beaulieu’s performance too. Good night everybody.

  16. habs001 says:

    Unless major D changes are done Prices great year statistics wise is going down the tube…

  17. mksness says:

    so ya the 4th lines get like 3 minutes of ice time with moen getting a bit more to kill penalties… Not being able to dress a 4th line that can play and eat up some minutes will really hurt this team long term. it means more minutes and most likely tougher minutes for the other lines.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Reasons we only have three lines.

      1. Injuries.
      2. Gainey trading away draft choices for rentals.
      3. Bergevin signing duds in the off season.

      • mksness says:

        the 4th line should be the easiest area to fix and improve either via your farm team, trades or free agency. it’s not going to turn the team around but it will help

  18. StevieM61 says:

    I think it was Bart Simpson who said “Crappy Crap Crap”

    Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

  19. Mondou6 says:

    Ironically, this crapfest was one of the better games we’ve played lately.

  20. thebonscott says:

    gorges never leaves his own zone with the puck and never sends a breakout pass, he just passes back to subban, with 3 minutes left he was on with beaulieu and just kept passing it back to him, you could tell beaulieu was not used to the other d-man doing just that and not helping, man i am not a gorges fan, he handicaps the other d-man.

    C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

  21. DipsyDoodler says:

    Say what you will about the Leafs but they do have some offensive talent. You make a mistake and the puck is in your net.

  22. GrosBill says:

    HiO self destruct engaged – 5- 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 …

  23. Now now, the Leafs are clearly the better team tonight. Man we were horrible, we gave them 3 goals for sure, and that’s all she wrote. Well done, take the day off! :)

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  24. piper says:

    Pacioretty could have tied that up if he had walked in and put himself in better position to score. He’s frustrating to watch anymore.

  25. DickandDanny says:

    Markov, Gorges, Markov, Gorges. Great effort tonight. Useless. They each cost us a goal tonight with their lackadaisical efforts. Useless, the pair of them. Take off your ‘A’s because you don’t deserve to wear them. Man am I pissed. You two cost us 2 pts. If I see one more episode of 24CH with Gorges spouting off in the dressing room telling the guys what they did wrong I’m going to puke.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  26. habcertain says:

    Please let’s not endure another 100 posts that the refs beat us, we lost due to some shoddy defense and a mish mash of lines that even MT is losing track of.

  27. Forum Dog says:

    Thought Beaulieu had a good game. Better than Bouillion, better than Emelin, even better than Gorges. Got more ice at the end too because of his obvious offensive skills. Made a couple of rookie mistakes, but he looks big out there and when he fills out he’ll be a handful for the other team.

  28. temekuhabs says:

    Can’t beat a shite leaf team??
    Time for these guys to pack it in

  29. Mondou6 says:

    The only takeaway from this game is that neither team has any hope of going deep into the playoffs.

    The Leafs are crap, and we’re only marginally better than they are. We’ll all be watching the Cup finals on TV.

  30. habsfan0 says:

    So, Habs lose to New Jersey,should have lost to Ottawa,and lose to the Laffs.
    Who’s next?
    On yeah,Pittsburgh on the road.

    MB & MT are reminding me of Alfred E.Newman..”What,Me Worry?”

  31. Steven says:

    Kadri with what should have been about three penalties on that play alone…

    Earlier, they showed a play of Van Riemsdyk basically doing the exact definition of both holding and interference on Subban to keep the boys offside. Needless to say, the CBC guys loved it.

    I hate to say it, but this was one where our guys didn’t partake in a game with fair officiating. Too many blatant penalties that weren’t called on the Leafs.

    Also, Beaulieu’s game was… interesting. I noticed him pinching/jumping into the offense a lot, leaving the defense lax and usually forcing a forward to get back there. There was also a play where he held onto the puck far too long behind Price’s net and almost lost it to the Leafs’ forecheck. He’ll learn, but those were some really bad “rookie mistake” type plays.

    Nattinen on for just a shade under 2 minutes was ridiculous. There was no reason to call him up if he wasn’t going to play. That, of course, hurt our team, because it basically forced us to roll three lines. MT has made some horrible decisions all year.

    Good time for the team to move on to the next one. A loss in a game we should have probably won, but nothing stops as a result.

    • habstrinifan says:

      They can do that cause as Nilan said today, Subban and other HABS cant turn around and punch the PHorking idiot in the face caus ethey will get benched. You shoulda heard Nilan before the game on TSN690.

      What the F does it matter anyways… this is good team good hockey good coach good Forking culture…good PHorking everything… . according to some.

      • Steven says:

        Don’t know about the team, their hockey in general or the culture, but the coach is wrong, and I don’t care what anyone thinks about that.

        The defense of MT is his record, which is pretty good, but I think most coaches could get that record with Price standing on his head and Subban and Pacioretty remaining good players. Frankly, the team could be undefeated this season, if they play like they have, he’s still the wrong guy.

        His strategies are strange and don’t work, his doling out of ice time is a head scratcher(Meritocracy and the whole 4th line following a goal business), and he’s not getting what I consider one of the deepest offenses in the League to score properly. He breaks up lines that work, sticks with ones that don’t, and gives players that could help very little ice time. It’s time for a change. Maybe not Boucher, but someone else.

  32. commandant says:

    Pleks gets mugged behind the net with no call, but they award a goal for Lupul at the other end… typical.

    Go Habs Go!
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  33. BCG says:

    I don’t understand Therrien’s game plan around offense. Martin – he had a plan on defense, offense, not so much. But for Therrien, I see no plan either way other than to swarm the puck. That’s great, but with the amount of energy that takes – you can’t keep it up for a season. Puck possession? Ok – but then he banishes players for playing that way. He calls up young players, but barely plays them – given them a chance for at least one game. He wants players to keep cool, but loses his own cool. I don’t get this guy, but then, I didn’t think he was a good choice by MB.

  34. piter says:

    It’s the gloating I can’t stand…

  35. habstrinifan says:

    Listen everyone.. and listen well. The Leafs have been looking awful lately. How did they look tonight? That shoud tell us something. Say what you want about Healy and the PHorkin CBC guys… they did look like puck wizards against us sometimes.

    • Texus says:

      They’ve won 4 in a row that’s not awful… We dominated them for a good part of the game after the first, just didn’t get the bounces, it happens

    • BCG says:

      Absolutely. NYR showed just how bad Ottawa is. But you know – I’ve been watching American feeds lately, and they understand the art of neutral commenting when it has nothing to do with national pride. The CBC failed in that. Sportsnet should not.

  36. Great use of the timeout at 1:45, and great use not pulling the goalie until 1:20.

    These were two horrible teams tonight, but we sucked more :lol:

    Nice work defense, in fact, sleep in tomorrow. haha

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  37. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Fire and trade. And I didn’t even get to see the game. Just hate it when the Habs lose to the Leafs.

  38. theox_8 says:

    Awarding a goal without the player putting the puck in the net is the dumbest thing in sport . I guess it is the NHL though …

    • CJ says:

      I don’t have an issue with that. Emelin cost us. In a game between two evenly matched teams, keys defensive breakdowns cost us the game. We could of at least had a chance in overtime. We worked too hard to cone back twice, the second time from two goals down to throw it away with a defensive zone gaff.

  39. Sal from the Hammer says:

    Habs outplayed them They can’t finish!!!

  40. jmac21 says:

    What a f$&kin joke no call on that greasy prick 43 on Pleks
    And out coached again you useless joke DD cost them the last goal and does a pond hockey drop pass with the net empty
    Do something with this joke team and coach because here comes the leafs and the sens
    #worsecoachever

  41. ooder says:

    so on the phil kessel goal, anyone want to explain what Parros was doing on the ice? it seems to be a guaranteed goal against.

  42. Storman says:

    Thought MT should have pulled Price when we had that sustained pressure, just a little late on the trigger there,

  43. FlyAngler says:

    Of course our old friend Dennis LaRue, the phony Frenchman from Atlanta Georgia didn’t see shit at the other end, just as he didn’t see anything the night that Justin Williams nearly blinded Saku Koivu. What an effing joke!

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  44. Habbu says:

    Flack it…….night all……off to cry myself to sleep

  45. T-roy West says:

    Markov is a joke. A complete joke. Trade him at the deadline or before.

  46. Habilis says:

    FFS. The Leafs are terrible. Which means we’re playing terrible if we can lose to them like this. Brutal.

  47. habstrinifan says:

    Nothing I see in our game can convince me from the pro-mt crowd that this guy is the right coach for our team.

  48. Habcouver says:

    Frustrating!

    Waiting patiently for #25

  49. HabsFansince49 says:

    Bergevin are you awake?

  50. CJ says:

    Maybe Healey can take Kadri out for dinner.

  51. twilighthours says:

    Kadri deserved a penalty. Now he deserves a beating.

    Next game.

  52. Davey93 says:

    It’s so hard to sleep when we lose to this gd team

  53. Danno says:

    Shazbot!

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
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  54. Grimmly says:

    Kadri hits Plexs in the back of the head, no penalty wow

  55. Haberoooo13 says:

    nice f’n rodeo allowed
    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

  56. sCOTT1243 says:

    Freaken Kadri cross checks pleks and no call, wow.

    Well its gonna be a long day at the office Monday.

  57. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Thanks for nothing Boys

  58. Grimmly says:

    HOW was there not one F’ing hook there

  59. Rob Maguire says:

    Markov’s passing and shots are off the mark.

  60. db says:

    Nobody boos like we do..

  61. habstrinifan says:

    Nobody talk to me tonite! I am an f-ing a-hole when we lose to the Leafs.

  62. bender69 says:

    that’s all she wrote

  63. TMan1969 says:

    Getting away with holding and cheating

  64. sCOTT1243 says:

    Wow how didnt that sneak in.

  65. B says:

    Empty netter, Dogs lose 3-1 to Utica.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  66. Davey93 says:

    Get price out

  67. Keith says:

    Pull Pricey!

  68. sCOTT1243 says:

    Leafs big D, consistently winning the battles.

  69. Storman says:

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF I HATE HEALY

  70. bender69 says:

    therrion you asshole

  71. Storman says:

    Beaulieu looked like a scared rabbit there

  72. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Boone has jinxed with his “dagger” comment. Let’s see PK score one!

  73. Rob Maguire says:

    Glen Healy needs to be taken out behind a barn and … well, you know how this ends.

  74. Davey93 says:

    It would so fitting if subban would get the game winning goal and do his celebration. Of course they gotta tie it up first


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