Liveblog: Game 53 – Canadiens end losing streak as Price hangs goose egg on Carolina

CelebrationCar

Price stops the bleeding

Carey Price made 36 saves for his first shutout since Dec. 14 as the Canadiens topped Carolina.

Brandon Prust, Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty scored for the Canadiens.

Next stop: Boston.

Uneventful

Carolina had a few chances, but Price stopped them all

The dangerous lead

Max Pacioretty's 22nd made it 3-0.

That was the score New Year's Eve in Carolina.

I'm just sayin'.

Hurricanes outshot the Canadiens 13-11, and Carey Price was brilliant, especially on a glove save on Alexander Semin.

Jeff Skinner and Semin rang shots off the goalpost.

Much-needed good start

The Canadiens needed more than five minutes to get their first shot on Anton Khudobin.

A minute later, Brandon Prust – who registered the SoG – scopred his fifth of the season off a nice pass by Josh Gorges.

Carey Price maintained the lead with brilliant bang-bang stops on Drayson Bowman and Jordan Staal, who broke away during a Canadiens power play.

The indefatigable Brendan Gallagher doubled the lead with his 14th of the season, poking the puck past Khudobin off a goalmouth scrum.

Carolina outshot the Canadiens 13-10.

Will the bleeding stop?

Two teams on four-game streaks meet at the Bell Centre Tuesday night.

Carolina has won four in a row and moved into playoff contention.

After falling behind 2-0 to visiting Columbus less than three minutes into the game Monday night, the Hurricanes rallied with three third-period goals.

The Canadiens have lost four in a row and are clinging precariously to a wild-card playoff spot.

In possibly their worst effort of the season, the Canadiens were smoked 5-0 by Washington at the Bell Centre Saturday night.

The faithful were not amused. Booing began in the second period.

And if Carolina jumps out early Tuesday night ...

Well, it ain't gonna be pretty at the ol' ballyard.

Carolina is playing its third game in four nights and fifth in seven. If the Hurricanes dominate the third period at the Bell Centre, this Canadiens team is worse than we think.
 

850 Comments

  1. kalevine says:

    I gotta say, I only saw the third period, never been a big Price fan (but not blaming him at all for the losing streak) but the combination of his sad face after the last game and his goose egg tonight makes me VERY VERY happy, probably does the same for him, and I hope he has many more.

    From the third, this team had way too many chances to pop a few more and blew them. And, this team still gives up too many very high quality scoring chances. And this against a tired team that isn’t really that good anyway, even if they were on a streak. I’m happy yes, but one good game doesn’t turn everyone into heroes suddenly :)

  2. Sportfan says:

    Has Emelin laid out the hits he did before he was injured last season or has he stopped that?

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    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • johnnylarue says:

      He still hits hard. To hurt. But not as frequently as he did last season.

      I reckon it takes a while to get the fearlessness back after putting your knee out like that…

    • scotland says:

      gee elar playing center. wow, who thought of that? the same guy who ordered him to play wing will take credit for having him play center. lol

      bournival with pleks and gionta……. 20 thousand at the bell center wondered why mt broke them up in the first place. now i suppose its a great move NOT breaking them up.

      fire this idiot. he has trouble SOUNDING like a coach let alone behaving being one.

    • shlamiel says:

      Trade with Rangers coming……..

  3. CH Marshall says:

    Ok Ok we’re squeaking into 8th. Boys had better be saving it to go ALL OUT this playoffs. NO EXCUSES. ciboire!

    • CJ says:

      Not to put the cart in front of the horse, but I’d rather go in as the higher seed. I’d rather be fourth in the Atlantic and face the Bruins, then the situation we were faced with last year, finishing second and playing a team that we did not match up well against.

      Anyway, talking about an issue that’s 30 games away. Lots can, and likely will happen between now and then.

      • CH Marshall says:

        Guy, I want the boys to take down the Bruins so baaaaddd. If theres one thing that will restore pride, that’s to spank both the Bruins… And the Leafs. But I say they HAVE to go all out, because we have 5 MIDGETS.

        • johnnylarue says:

          Wow! Just two more and we’ll have Ryan White and the Seven Midgets!
          (Has a ring to it, I must say.)

          • CH Marshall says:

            LOL man… And PK does a “surprise” cameo… Cuz we all know once you go PK……………

        • CJ says:

          Something tells me we won’t have five in our lineup by season’s end. I think we have pretty much seen the last of Bouillion. Briere, based on what I saw tonight won’t have a place on this team when White comes back as the fourth line centre. Chucky could replace Gio if they were willing to make a move at the deadline figuring he would walk as a UFA. I’m ok with DD and Galley, but that’s enough.

          It would be nice to add a Jordan Nolan, Jamie McGinn or Kyle Clifford to our bottom six in place of Bourque.

          • kalevine says:

            we have to bulk up on D too. That means Diaz goes, as you say Bouillon goes, There should only be one D as small as Gorges, who is listed at 6’1 but that’s in high heels

    • ProHabs says:

      We got Briere. He is the guy that will get us through the playoffs. Don’t worry.

  4. habs_54321 says:

    anyone else find Markov with Beaulieu far more effective than markov with Subban? i find Subban has become far to predictable on the powerplay with his raised too the rafters one timer and the beyond obvious blueline cross overs with markov. keep a lefty with a lefty and a righty with a righty on the power play it creates better play options and angles.

  5. govenah says:

    Only one change I would make for the next game is bring Leblanc back and sit Briere.

    The glass is MT… but is it half full now?

  6. Bripro says:

    Sparkplug.
    Cruise missile.
    Blood-sucking lice.
    How do you describe Brendan Gallagher?
    The heart and soul of this team?

    I don’t think I’m exaggerating. The kid is lights out and by far the most consistent player on the team.

    Sophomore Blues? Not this kid.

    As for the rest of the team, there were several stand-outs for a change.

    Gorges played like he did when they acquire him. For the first time in months. Now when they show him on 24CH with his deep-voiced RAH RAH, it won’t be so irritating. Tonight he put his money where his vocal chords resonate.

    Murray? Fine, he’s a cement truck in an F1 track, but tonight he left his load behind because aside from blocking shots and playing big minutes on the PK, I thought it was his best game with the team, so far. He almost made me forget about Gilsy.

    The penalties in the second could have backfired, but the team closed the inner circle (all night long, for that matter) and although they gave up over 30 shots tonight including a few close-in chances (including our thanks to Carey’s friends, the posts), they out-played their adversaries for the first time since teaching the Black Hawks a lesson, and only the second time since Caroline stopped their winning streak back in December.

    I liked the D pairings. Combinations of speed from one and physicality from the other.

    The discouragement I have comes from the usual suspects. Briere (although not given much icetime to prove himself) was faithful to what we’ve seen (or not) since he’s been here. A real disappointment. Paros I would keep in next game, only because it’s Boston, but let’s be honest …. even old Fergy would have made him look like he belongs back in Juniors.

    And the only real concern I had tonight, and has been going on since the dismantling of the EGG line, is Eller. The kid’s having a hard time, and is making a lot of bad decisions. Maybe it’s time he went back to see his therapist.

    As for Carey? Well…. it’s all been said before. Stand-out, yet again. I’m happy for him. It’ll heal his recent wounds.

    All in all, a pretty good game. Let’s keep it up!

  7. durocher says:

    Murray played a solid game tonight

    The lines were good tonight as well, though I am unsure how Briere fits into the equation.

  8. bandaide says:

    On the Murray subject if KNUCKLES Nilan says he likes him than who are we to disagree :P Btw Crank and Gorges were out of this world crazy good on the PK I’d ship out Diaz as BooBoo is prolly gonna retire next year anyways or if he doesnt another pick would be amazing. Beaulieu and Patteryn with hopefully Tinordi as he is close too

  9. Coach K says:

    So … it’s possible that the coaches sometimes know what they’re doing??

    Everyone (myself included) questioned the wisdom of dressing Parros. Perhaps they’re thinking ahead to Thursday and wanted to get him some ice time because they figure they might need to deploy his particular “skills” against the Bruins?? At least if he gets some ice time, he shouldn’t be completely flat. And tonight against a tired team where his lack of foot speed shouldn’t be exposed, his presence with Moen perhaps had the added benefit of making room for the undersized Briere… Lucky guess or Coincidence?

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

  10. SlovakHab says:

    I’m happy for Price, but other than that, we allowed 36 against – by a team that was tired and doesn’t have much depth.

    Other than Price, the reason we won were better forward lines (Eller on center, Bournival with Pleky etc..).

    I still say Therrien doesn’t get most of this team and most of them underachieve. He should either revert to the last year playing style, or get fired immediately.

    Lastly, I would infinitely prefer these pairings:

    Markov – Subban
    Bealieu – Gorges
    Emelin – Diaz

    If Emelin continues to struggle, try Tinordi – Diaz.
    If Diaz or Gorges get traded, do Emelin – Pateryn on the bottom pairing.

    Do not ever play Parros, Murray again, Boullon only 2x a month.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Murray played a great game tonight.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

    • Marc10 says:

      On paper that works, but it’s still a weak D no matter how you slice it. On a good night we win, but Price would need to be his usual awesome self to give us a chance. I still see Murray slotting in every once in a while until Diaz steps up. Our man from Switzerland has been mostly disappointing this year and is softer than melted cheese…

      Last year’s style was great, but we also got injured a lot and the guys seemed to run out of gas when it mattered most. I don’t know that this team is built for it long term. Maybe you turn ‘the swarm’ on for the playoffs and try to stay healthy in the meantime. I hope that’s the plan and explains why we’re playing a less dynamic game this year… Time will tell (or not!)

      • SlovakHab says:

        Hey Mark.
        A professional scout that counts useful things such as successful defensive plays and reducing chances against, would disagree that Diaz is no good defensively.

        He might not be a super-physical player (Subban, Emelin, Pateryn and Tinordi are though), but he plays well.

        Here’s some evidence – have a read:

        http://www.boucherscouting.com/2014/01/habs-scoring-chances-against-per-minute.html

        http://www.boucherscouting.com/2014/01/habs-defensive-zone-puck-possession-and.html

        • Marc10 says:

          Hey dude (when are we catching up for that beer?)

          Diaz is OK, he’s just not producing offensively which he badly needs to do. He generally keeps guys to the outside and plays well positionally, but is hopeless at clearing Carey’s kitchen. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if he was more of a threat on the counter.

          One of the reasons might be that our forwards are pretty poor at the forecheck. They don’t retrieve the puck quickly and so our D have little time to get a decent shot off when the goalie isn’t set. The only guy who can is PK and he’s a superstar. So it may not be all Diaz’ fault. On a better team, he might find his offensive upside and earn himself a 3mil payday.

          • SlovakHab says:

            Let’s do one of Wednesday evenings at Cheers Bar, and watch one of Habs games! Let me know when it suits.

            Diaz hasn’t scored a goal other than EN for over 2 years now, so can’t argue with his rather weak offensive output.

            On a third pairing with Emelin on his left, and 3 good forwards with good 2-way play, they could do really well.

            I really miss Halpern and Armstrong from last season. They really gave us a solid 4th line.

          • Marc10 says:

            Next Wednesday sounds like a plan. When do games start?

    • Dulljerk says:

      Ridiculous post.

      No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

    • christophor says:

      Exactly right.

  11. GL says:

    Players I would keep come trade day:

    PK, Price, Pacioretty, Pleks, Gallagher,Galchenyuk, Markov, Bealieu anybody I could get that was even a little bit better. The rest of the team would be up for grabs.

  12. Peter Young says:

    Earlier tonight I made a couple of posts complaining about Therrien’s constant tinkering with line and defensive pairings. Someone replied that Therrien had to do something because the players were mailing it in.

    Certainly making changes in lines and pairings is something a coach tries when the team needs shaking up a bit. Indeed, I suggested at one exasperating point a couple of weeks ago when the CH could do nothing in five on five play that Therrien ought to put Subban at forward for a few shifts to shake things up, to try to get them going.

    But Therrien’s tinkering with lines and pairings and even positional assignments is not limited to times when there is a good reason for it, as when the team needs shaking up. His tinkering is constant and continual and has been going on all season long. Very little–outside the DD line with Patches and Gally, who got there by the destruction of a very good line centered by Eller with Galchenyuk on the other wing–ever satisfies Therrien. He makes changes for no reason, because he can, because he’s the coach. He pulls apart lines and pairings that have been performing well and tries combination after combination. That kind of coaching is destructive; it produces team instability, it precludes the development of understanding between players, it strips the team of productive combinations for the sake of change alone, it ends up impairing team morale and destroying players’ faith in their coach, which is necessary for team success.

    I haven’t said fire Therrien. It’s not my job to decide whether he stays or goes. But Therrien is open to criticism from me and other fans for what he does and does not do. Not that he would pay any attention to it until it becomes a public disaffection that forces the club and him to recognize it. I rather think that at this point Therrien is beyond changing his ways in any event.

  13. Luke says:

    Hoot. Etc… Noticed the forwards and D kept smaller gaps in the D zone. Solid effort. It’s nice to see CP get the shut out.

  14. Marc10 says:

    Happy for Carey. Good on the boys to reward him for carrying this team. Well deserved shutout! Whoo!

  15. Frank2468 says:

    Hope a streak starts with this win Price was great tonight. The really big test comes Thursday night the Bruins are playing really well. As long as they really compete play hard and win or even if they should lose as long as it’s not a blow out and give the Bruins a hard time then things could be turning around. But this team still needs size and MB should do something by Mar 5th. Either get something or even loading up on draft picks.

  16. PrimeTime says:

    Big win. Smart hockey! Will need more of that Thursday.

    ********************************************************
    “Fans are entitled to express their opinion, but most of the comments on talk radio and on The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website ranged from the mildly uninformed to the outrageously stupid” – Pat Hickey.

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  17. Mattyleg says:

    Not to be a damp rag at a dry rag party, but I think I’ve figured out why Eller isn’t used more on the PP.

    He still takes forever to figure out what to do with the puck.

    I noticed that when he started with us; was always getting caught in possession while looking for something to do with the puck. He’s improved, but he still takes waaaaay too long.

    ..which isn’t a great feature in a centre.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  18. twilighthours says:

    I sort of wish I could live my life in this state of semi-euphoria. Half drunk.

    Is that wrong?

  19. twilighthours says:

    Oooh Prusty’s goal was niiiiiiice

  20. Cal says:

    Nice to see a decent EFFORT. No passengers tonight although there were quite a few mistakes defensively.
    Hey Eddie, how do you like Murray now? ;)
    Things I liked:
    Eller back at center where he belongs.
    Bournival with Pleks and Gionta, providing some nice spark even without scoring. (He did come close a few times.)
    The D moving up with the play. Gorges on the first goal and canny Markov to Patches for the 3rd one.
    Emelin hitting people again.
    Murray directing traffic on the PK.
    Things I didn’t like:
    What’s not to like when the Habs actually carry the puck in and don’t throw it away so much?

  21. RockinRey says:

    The CH wanting Jamie McGinn was the dealbreaker in COL /Mon talks. Col said no!!! Reported by Canoe.ca

    ——————————————————————————————————
    You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

  22. GL says:

    MT leave these lines together for awhile to see how it turns out!!! maybe good playoff lines if we make it that far.

  23. Peter Young says:

    The CH played a lot better tonight because most of the players were fired up as a result of the huge defeats last week. But they also were a rested team playing against a very tired Carolina team, one that played last night and, what, five games in seven nights I believe. And Carolina showed it; they just couldn’t compete with the Canadiens’ energy tonight. It’s not taking anything away from the CH’s performance tonight to say that. God knows, the Canadiens have been in a similar position to Carolina, on the verge of exhaustion, with several back to back games this season and four or five games in seven nights a couple of times, too, if memory serves.

    I think the team will display the same spirit and energy against the Bruins later this week not only simply because it’s the Bruins but because the victory tonight, and the way it was achieved, a good performance ending in a shutout, will have given them back their confidence.

    Once again Therrien seems to have gained a last-minute reprieve, from some fans at least. I rather think his job was not in great danger anyway, at least not yet.

  24. Badwich says:

    Especially when they’re playing a team that has played five games in seven days.

    Taberwitt

  25. BCG says:

    Glad to get a win, but not exactly a statement maker against a team who is below us and has played 5 in 7. Price was good, yet again.

    I still don’t understand Therrien, but I accept that will most likely be the case for the foreseeable future. After all – why chase the playoff with a coaching change when it is clear our team is not SC caliber even with Toe behind the bench.

    That said – I wish our D-pairings were: Subban-Georges; Markov-Emelin: Diaz-[who cares... Murray]. Tell the first guy to attack. Tell the second guy that if you have the puck – look for a pass…. you’re not supposed to have the puck.

  26. Habitoban says:

    On two occasions I saw Eller make a low percentage pass to Bourque to give him a chance on net. Nice gesture from Larry, given the week Bourque has had.

  27. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    If this was a loss: well over 1,000 comments. I’m really happy the Habs both won and got a shutout for Price. Peace y’all!

  28. CJ says:

    The ebbs and flow of professional sports. Columbus, after having won eight in a row, are now losers of three straight.

    This win is great, but needs to be built upon. Let’s roll into Boston and serve notice that we are far from finished.

  29. twilighthours says:

    I jumped into this game at the half way point, so missed the goals.

    Randomness…

    It would be nice to see palooshay make a career for himself. He is an honest player.

    Man is markov a riverboat gambler

    Diaz would still be in my top 6. But maybe bowleeyoo stole his job. With skating like that kid… Man, it’s a thing to behold.

    Plex is so good.

    I honestly think I’m faster than Doug Murray.

    I’ve had half a bottle of wine.

    I feel bad for Bork. Just about dealt, now this. Malign him if you want, but it’s a crap situation.

    Parros on Thursday? Dressing 11 forwards, I see

    Carey price is such a f***ing beauty. What a gem.

  30. GL says:

    glad they won especially for Price. He was shell shocked for two three games. He deserved the SO he worked hard for it and for a change his team helped but don’t let this fool ya. This is a team no one can figure out not even MT. would be nice if they could come out of Boston with a win. Nah???????????????

  31. CJ says:

    @WJC

    That’s one in the bank. Two more this week. 6 out of 8 points.

  32. B says:

    Good effort. Beat the hottest team in the league. Hopefully some confidence carries over to Thursday’s game.

    I stopped reading the live blog when Boone started mentioning how many saves Price had. I looked at the blog after the game was won and saw he even mentioned “goose egg”. Maybe I am just too superstitious, but I don’t know why he would go there. Oh well, a good win none the less.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  33. Reflektor says:

    Beaulieu and Bournival were very good tonight.

  34. Habbu, I’m taking up drinking! Why we need to bite our nails the last three minutes and leave price hanging out to dry, I’ll never understand. They didn’t carry it out once, just flicking it out. Lot’s of work left to do. The win is nice for Price, but Oy… Markov is now a pylon, don’t know what’s up with Emelin either

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  35. Cdnman1 says:

    George’s, Gally and Price

  36. Peter Young says:

    Who were three stars, please?

  37. ffenliv says:

    The fan rollercoaster is a funny thing.

    Late in the game Borque had a decent chance in tight, but couldn’t put it away. If the team is losing the game, I’m probably throwing something at the TV. But they’re up, and so I think, ‘Cash it next time, buddy.’

  38. RockinRey says:

    Briere 23 seconds more ice than Parros. That will make him more marketable to teams.

  39. bender69 says:

    if price was not in net ????

  40. RockinRey says:

    3P 2:42 Rene Bourque hasn’t been terrible tonight. Maybe Colorado will bite…..we can only hope.
    Look forward to ALN Boone!~

  41. Cdnman1 says:

    Carry Carry!

  42. danhabsfan says:

    Hang on boys…. Bruins next!

  43. Sal from the Hammer says:

    Gooiuns will tell the tale!

  44. HardHabits says:

    I really like these lines.

    1) Bournival up to the 1st line with Plex and Gio.

    2) DD, 11 and Pax intact.

    3) Eller back where he belongs at centre with two power forwards (Prust = robust energy/Bourque = size with a scoring touch). Nice 3rd line.

    4) Briere with Parros and Moen. A 4th line that just might score a goal. Briere isn’t exposed either with those two scrappers at his side.

    Even the defensive pairings made sense.

    Emelin/Markov
    Gorges/Subban
    Beaulieu/Murray

    Price was beyond solid.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Pleks Gio and Bourni have played together quite a bit recently, and it is starting to show.

      As Pierre Houde pointed out, he benefits from not having to focus on his defence because he’s with two of the best defensive forwards on the team.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • CJ says:

      Agreed. I must give the coaching staff credit for the changes.

      I had an eye on Bournival all night. You could count on one hand the number of puck battles he lost all night.

  45. habsfaninboston says:

    Nice! Price deserved that SO.

  46. slapshot777 says:

    Hopefully this is a start of a streak of good things to come.

  47. Habifax says:

    maybe they can trade bork now…

  48. Cdnman1 says:

    In their own end they won more face offs and played team D with some big stops by Price.


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