Quick Hits

What did we learn?


Florida is pathetic.

But your Montreal Canadiens have an unfortunate history of dialling up stinkers against inferior opposition.

That wasn’t the case in Sunset … uh, I mean Sunrise.

Stat of the Night:

In 134 career games heading into this season, Carey Price had four regular season shutouts and two more in 19 playof games.

He’s got seven in 55 starts this season.

No, Price didn’t have to be great against the Panthers. But he made 30 saves, a couple of which were challenging.

His teammates blocked another 16, and I liked their shutdown work in the third period, when it was obvious that Florida was done and the only question was whether Price would get the goose egg.

A weird stat they talked about on L’Antichambre:

Tomas Plekanec had six shots on goal, Mike Cammalleri one and Jeff Halpern one. 

Weird that a centre outshot his wingers – and indicative of the line’s struggles.

Michel Bergeron is suggesting Brian Gionta be elevated to the Plekanec line. And Scott Gomez dropped to play with Tom Pyatt and Travis Moen.

The Antichambre gang likes to get on number 11’s ass.

I can’t see dropping a veteran to the fourth line while the team is winning. It’s a panic move, and it might not play too well in the room.

Rather than fret about Plekanec and diss Gomez, let’s celebrate the work of the other two centres, David Desharnais and Lars Eller.

Desharnais scored a crazy goal that Scott Clemmensen should have stopped. That’s seven goals and 8 assists in 26 games for DD. His totals project to 23 goals, 25 assists over 82 games – and maybe more if DD were playing more than 12 minutes a game.

Gaston Therrien’s chalk talk on L’Antichambre highlighted Desharnais’s defence. It’s something Jacques Martin demands of his centres, and DD never cheats on his own-end responsibilities.

Eller has brought Andrei Kostitsyn back to life and should get a cut of the big guy’s next contract – which might be with the Canadiens, the way AK46 is playing. Kostitsyn had a goal and an assist, finished plus-3 and has scored in five straight games … while playing third-line minutes.

The other plus-3 was Hal Gill, who had another quietly excellent game. He even scored the winning goal!

James Wisniewski had two assists (as did Travis Moen, on the Eller line). Wiz is seventh among NHL Dmen with 42 points – four fewer than Dustin Byfuglien and Kris Letang, each of whom has played seven games more than Wizniewski.

Good acquisition, Pierre Gauthier

And here’s another one: 

The Canadiens haven’t yielded a power-play goal with Brent Sopel in the lineup. That’s what they go him for, to play second unit behind Gill and P.K. Subban, and the PK is 12-for-12 over three games, all Ws.

The PK, which had sunk to 10th in the league, is 7th. And the power play is eighth. So the team is getting good hockey from JM’s beloved special teams.

The Canadiens are solid in sixth.

If the playoffs started now, they’d play Game One in Tampa Bay.

Which is where the Canadiens will try to make this a perfect road trip on Saturday.

•  •  •

I was writing and only half listening to L’Antichambre, but they boys were in high spirits.

Bergie and Mario Tremblay were laughing so hard I suspect they had to change pants during commercial breaks.




  1. matraque says:

    I’ve always preached to send Eller to Hamilton.  But JM is a genius for putting Eller and AK together.  This duo is really working out right now.

    Eller, AK

    DD, Pouliot (Pou slowed down a little..)

    Pleky, Cammy (they stuggle)

    GomeZzzZZzzz and Gio (Poor Gionta)

    Say what you want about JM, but he’s making miracles with this team.  Yes he’s boring and his hockey style is not always fun to watch.  But it brings the W and to me, that is what a good coach do.  Most of the team is either struggling or injured.  Wow.


    Canadien en 5! Never go Full Retard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  2. HotHabs says:

    Happy for the W.  But, I think Bulldogs would’ve won that game, too!  Wow, are those Panthers lame!


    Glad the Habs didn’t suck like they often do vs. inferior teams.  Perhaps the “communication” drills helped?


    I watched the highlights from the Boston – Tampa game.  Those Bruins are dirty thugs – especially Lucic.  You can be sure they will attack Montreal with their cheap shots on the 8th, where Carey’s blue paint will be busy.  I just hope the Canadiens reply with speed, scoring, and sound D.  Teach those 2-bit slumdogs a lesson.  We cannot be baited or it will be a loooooong & bloody night!


    On to Tampa first, where speed will be key for both teams.  And, goaltending will be a huge factor in the outcome on Sat.

  3. jimhasbeen says:

    anyone notice the lack of goal scoring around the league lately?  i think in 17 games the last 2 nights, 1 game had more than 5.5 goals!!!

    i don’t play pro-line anymore but that is a ridiculous amount of unders.

    talk about a dead-puck year

  4. captaink4life says:

    Although I know it will not come to pass, Lucic DEFINITELY deserves a suspension for his blindside crosscheck to the head of former Hab Dominic Moore. I wonder if any players are going to speak out about his lack of respect for the game…. -_-


    You will always be a Canadien in my eyes, Saku

  5. habs001 says:

    going into todays games the leafs had the 3rd most pp opportunities ,montreal is 16th ..suprise boston is 28th…leafs are 23rd shorthanded, montreal 2nd and another suprise boston 30th …..

  6. Timo says:

    that is really not true… i think i barely even posted during that time… anyway all I really wanted on the trade deadline day was for Gomez to be dealt. As far as goons… I think this team doesn’t necessarily needs goons, but they need to get nastier. Don’t be afraid to run somebody from behind if things get out of hand. Enough playing nice (especially when playing the bruins or philly).

    Speaking of Philly… did everybody else enjoy Hartnell getting his ass kicked by a leaf as much as I did?

  7. The Teacher says:

    I’ll pass thanks lol

  8. TripleX says:

    It is a legitimate question.

    Unfortunately you choose to act like a petulant child with your response.  With that in mind the substance of your reply is ironic.

  9. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    We all get the point – Gomez sucks now. Maybe forever, who knows. But Eller and Desharnais are succeding because they are being brought along properly. There is no reason to assume these guys would be dynamite as 2nd line centers. They have virtually no NHL experience prior to this season. Barring a free fall, I see no reason to turn the lineup upside down. Things are finally starting to mesh in that we have at least 2 players on each line that can be a legit offensive threat.

  10. punkster says:

    He’s the coach and, well, you’re not. Habs won 4-0. I think JM’s decisions trumped yours tonight.


  11. JIMVINNY says:

    Oh snap.  No pun intended, right? 🙂

  12. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Can anyone tell me if Dawes has to clear waivers to be called up? Honestly, he seems like a good enough guy and all but Pyatt is a waste of space, especially with White and hopefully a return of Darche. I would like to see Darche back on the Plekanec line with Cammalleri when healthy and White in the mean time, Dawes with Desharnais and Pouliot, and Halpern or Moen with Eller and Kostitsyn.

    Would hate to dump the guy at the bus station before the playoffs, but I could see it happening and it probably should. He is no better defensively than Darche, Halpern, and probably not better than White either.

    So again, Dawes… does he have to clear waivers?

  13. The Teacher says:

    but do you like him?

  14. The Teacher says:

    Hard habits to break I guess 🙂

  15. Timo says:

    He could also use about 20-25 more lbs.

  16. Mike Boone says:

    Welcome to the HIO Comments section, a daycare with a liquor licence

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    HH went off his meds again, he’s randomly flipping between the Tankwagon and the Bandwagon 😀


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  18. The Teacher says:

    Hmm, that too…Hoping he can be a tad more physical than Mikko, but I see what you mean 🙂

  19. Former Jets Fan says:

    Not as fast, not as nasty, and his shot needs LOTS of work.  But he certainly has no fear, and a great attitude.  Kesler spent many seasons developing slowly.

    Eller reminds me a little bit of Mikko!

  20. The Teacher says:

    LOL, why so crabby? We won…man this site is bonkers LMAO.

  21. OneTimer says:

    Mikko Koivu

  22. HardHabits says:

    Because he’s the coach and you’re still going through puberty.

  23. The Teacher says:

    Some people can’t see their big, physical center with skill even when it is right in front of their eyes…..


    Eller reminds me of Kesler….just sayin’

  24. TripleX says:

    Scott Gomes TOI – 18:33  Goals – 0  Assists – 0

    Lars Eller  TOI – 12:42  Goals – 1  Assists – 1

    David Desharnais TOI – 10:24  Goals – 1  Assists – 0


    Why JM?

  25. light_n_tasty says:

    IMO, Scott Gomez has absolutely got to get it going for the Habs to have any kind of consistency.  I’m sure it’s been suggested before, but why not re-unite Pouliot-Gomez-Gionta.  They did pretty good last season.  Plus, Pax-Plecks-Cammy would be a great line, with Plecks setting up Cammy for a snipe shot with Pax standing in front of the net.

  26. TripleX says:

    Legitimate points. 

    Explain why in a 4 – 0 laugher, JM insists on playing Hammer 22+ minutes?  Why would Hammer lead all Dmen in ice time?  Is there a rational explanation for that?

  27. Former Jets Fan says:

    He’s listed at a shade under 200 now.  Another 25 and he’d be a beast!  Even just another 10-15lbs and he’d win more than his share of puck battles. 

  28. SLYDER says:

    Gill: “I thought Patchy tipped it? I dont really care, as long as I get a plus”

  29. kool-aid says:

    Copy cat.

  30. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    That one is more of a conundrum. Maybe he just wanted our best guys out there to protect the shutout. Thats hard to believe, but if I were coach I would do it. And I would probably get burned by it too.

    In any case, most of the game after Vokoun left looked like a scrimmage. Hamrlik probably has more exhausting times in Brossard. Or at the bars in Prague.

    I get your point though. Who knows. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go into cardiac arrest.

  31. kool-aid says:

    You’re swimming in it.

  32. Shiloh says:

    That was a fun game to watch. Florida is a bad team, but I’m just not sure how bad. We absolutely hammered them – and it could have been 6-0 except for a couple of posts. I’m not at all thrilled with Gomez, but I guess he has to get his minutes. He’s got so much playoff experience that we need him ready. But he is showing very little for all the time he plays.

    Hope Weber is in for Picard next game.

  33. HardHabits says:

    Hilarious. You sound like a little kid who asks why after every answer. Why is JM doing this? Why is JM doing that? Why? Why? Why?

    Almost all of your last 10 post are the same. Why? Why? Why?

    Here let me give you hint. Do some research. Think for yourself. Try and come to your own conclusions.

    It’s the stuff that adults do. You’ll understand in a 10-20 years when you become one.

  34. andrewberkshire says:

    Maybe it’s because the game didn’t start out at 4-0, and Hamrlik was playing well. Hamrlik was forced to play on the PK when Subban took a penalty, and got PP duty on the second unit with Subban as he deserves. His pairing got the most time at ES because Martin obviously felt they were giving the best effort, and Wisniewski was extremely dangerous all night, so obviously the right decision was made.

    When all you’re going to do is look at a result, and blindly ask questions, you’re going to look like a dumbass very often.

  35. punkster says:

    OK, seriously. Someone should be able to provide the stats but it likely has to do with PK and PP time. But if you look at the ToI for all the D tonight they were roughly equal. Picard had a low of 18, Hamrlik a high of 22+. What that tells me is that the coach trusted Picard (who played a reasonably good game) to carry a full load. Unless you want to dress another D or two I don’t see how you can even out the ToI much better than that over a 60 minutes game. Plus, if Hamrlik can handle it and Subban doesn’t have to play insane 28+ minutes and we win the game then why not?


  36. Timo says:

    I thought Picard was ok… And you are right… Florida  is so bad even Gomer looked ok. Tampa on saturday will be a lot tougher. But I am really looking forward to the Tuesday game against Boston. As much as I would like Habs  to call up a bunch of goons and drown the Bruins in their own blood I think habs should do their everything possible to play the game they are capable of playing, which is fast, disciplined hockey. 

  37. samTHEman says:

    The boys were high in spirits. The keyword here being ‘high’. Those innocent little red and silver mugs that lay on the table…my bet is they’re filled with ethanol.

  38. samTHEman says:

    this post is a 1st. now let’s ship you to baston

  39. punkster says:

    Hey, there’s a party going on over at the main page. GERRY FROM THE WEST ISLAND has made his triumphant return. Don’t miss out on all the fun.


  40. andrewberkshire says:

    I already went in there and ripped him up a bit!

  41. SLYDER says:

    getting nastier on tuesday is just going to yeild the same game – and more habs bloodshed


    like you said originally – stayed disciplined, burn their blue collar forwards and thin D, and make thomas look like the road hockey goalie that he is.

  42. andrewberkshire says:

    Timo, don’t BS a BSer. All you wanted was for Gomez to be dealt? Are you asserting that you didn’t want MAB back? Don’t you dare lie.

  43. samTHEman says:


  44. HugeHabFan says:

    fast yes, disciplined? what team have you been watching all year.lol

  45. HardHabits says:

    Hurray!!!! That wasn’t so difficult now was it. 😉

  46. SLYDER says:

    i have a vivid memory of you being one of the posters who wanted to sell the farm at the deadline to bring probert back from the dead for march 8th…..

  47. samTHEman says:

    Gomez actually set up Gio pretty nicely from behind the net. Tipped off Gio’s stick and wide. The game before he made a similar slick pass to Pax who shot right on the goalie’s chest. Don’t get me wrong. I’m by no means saying Gomez is playing well. He’s still in some sort of weird funk due to lack of confidence or w/e. Not the player he was and should be. But he has so much potential to be better than he is right now. He could pick up points solely with his speed and passing (had his linemates been finishing more often). But his head is simply somewhere else. You can tell he’s avoiding certain parts of the ice, probably subconciously, and his game is suffering so much. Maybe in the playoffs, with all the urgency and adrenaline, he’ll step it up.

  48. Timo says:

    In the ideal world I wanted Gomez for MAB straight up. That is my ideal trade of all times.

  49. andrewberkshire says:

    I knew it!

  50. Kristopher7 says:


  51. Richrebellion says:

    Not as nasty but way better hands and vision, the guy has tons of skill and when he stick handles its like the puck is stuck to his stick. I can`t understand why its taken so long for JM to give him a linemate who can score, he puts him with AK and the guy has goals in 5 straight and Eller has 5pts in his last 6 games. Was it that hard to figure out, playmaking centre with a scoring winger…

    I can see Eller being a stud, give him more minutes and some pp time and then we`ll see what hes really capable of! 

  52. diehardhab says:

    Desharnais has as many goals as Gomez!

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  53. Rad says:

    Good to see the Habs pick up a few wins in here. The next 2 games will tell us a lot about this team. If we can beat both Tampa and Boston, not only Habs fans, but the whole league will have to take notice of this Montreal Canadien hockey team. I have felt all along that last year’s playoff success was an anomaly, a one-off event. But 2 wins against 2 elite teams at this juncture will go a long way to convince me these Habs are for real this year again.

    The team is starting to gel and play with confidence. Everyone is contributing….Hal Gill with a goal, Kostitsyn, Eller, Sopel, Wizniewski, Picard. Cammalleri’s return has been a boon for the offense. PG has made minor, but important moves in acquiring Brent Sopel and Paul Mara, both of whom provide grit, an item that was notably lacking earlier in the season. Mara especially, will make his presence felt against physical teams like Boston that attempt to bully the Habs. This is what you see on a winning team … contributions from everyone.

    A lot of Habs fans haven’t dared to hope this year. But these Canadiens are starting to round into playoff form at just about the right time. Jacques Martin said the other day he thought this team is BETTER than last year’s team….because of the kids …. Pax, Desharnais, Eller, Weber, and the irrepressible P.K. Subban. The fact that Martin wasn’t bemoaning the loss of Markhov and Gorges, but rather, talking up the kids, says a lot about the quiet confidence that currently permeates this team, from top to bottom.

    Very interesting 2 games coming up.

  54. PeterD says:

    I like the lines the way they have been the last few games.  For some reason Eller, AK and Moen seem to really click together…may be it’s there physical presence and skill levels.  All of them are relatively big guys and they are playing big, hitting and bashing.  I have always like Eller but I am really starting to see him as a key acquisition for the future of the team.  He seems very responsible defensively in our end and is quite often the first guy to pressure the other teams forwards along the boards in our end.

    Picard played a good game for a guy that is on the bubble lately…he does seem ready to back up his comments about just being happy to be in the NHL and that he understands his role and to be ready if and when he gets the call to play.  And Sopel, well he isn’t a Markov and will never look like he is, but he has been a reliable add in to the support the defence.  And I loved Mara’s physicality the other night against the Thrashers. 

    I’m a little worried about the Pleks, Cammi and Halpern line.  Does Halpern seem a little out of his league here?  I think he seems a little slow and confused about what to do offensively with the other two guys.  But what go you do…the other lines seem to have some chemistry so not sure if I want JM to make a move right now.  And God help us when Darche comes back…I guess we could sit Pyatt.  But I liked how DD, Pouliot and White worked together when they had the chance.  So how do we get White back in the line up?

    I guess what we will likely see for the rest of regular season is rotation of our extra d-men and forwards in and out of the line up so everyone stays game shape and fresh.  I’m OK with that provided we get wins.


  55. habfan1969 says:

    “the quiet confidence that currently permeates this team, from top to bottom.”

    As they usually say in post-game interviews, as long as everyone plays according to the plan they do OK. Some of the vets slack off a bit in the season but turn it up when every game counts in the playoffs. If they turn it on again then for sure we’re heading into the playoffs with a better team. Add Pax, Eller, DD, a seasoned PK, it’s just the D that’s a bit uncertain for me.

  56. habfan1969 says:

    I think JM kept him on the wing and support lines to drill him in various parts of the game, in lieu of sending him to Hamilton for that sort of experience. I can see him getting more and more minutes if he keeps this up.

  57. The Cat says:

    Youre right. I remember there was an absolute sick under streak going on sometime this year.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  58. frankcasting says:

    Anyone want to swap Eller and Halak again? How about giving back Wiz, Sopel, Halpern? And who would like to see #40 back and #58 in Hamilton? Gotta tip my cap to the Ghost, with the exception that he SO believes in JM, he is doing a fine job.


    Loving the Habs since 1965

  59. Ali says:

    can we stop with the “it won’t play well in the room to bench/scratch/demote Gomez” talk? It’s BS! players want two things: A) Money B) Results. They’re all making money in the big leagues, so don’t tell me they respect the coach more for continuously sending a player over the boards who is a black hole for everyone who plays with him. You can see how annoyed Cammy was playing with Gomez. Kostitsyn couldnt have been found even if you put his face on a milk box. Dump his ass in the minors, and dont even tell me it will hurt signing future free agents. See if the Rangers struggle to sign Brad Richards or any other free agent after they dumped their dead weight in the minors.

  60. athanor says:

    Not to mention that he also made the pass in the game before that set up Gionta’s insurance goal

  61. HardHabits says:

    It’s not going to happen so get over it.

    BTW. How happy is Trotz with Gaborik? I bet he’d take Gomez back over him in a New York second.

  62. TripleX says:

    Highly doubt it.

    Gaborik has the durability of an ice cream sandwich in July but he does perform when healthy.

    In 76 games last year he scored 42 goals and 44 assists.

    In only playing 47 games so far this year he is handily outscoring Gomez.

    No one wants a 7 million dollar 30 point man even NY.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.