Quick hits

The first heavy snowfall of December blanketed Montreal and the Canadiens ran their December record to 3-1 with another suffocating defensive performance.

Andrei Markov gets injured, and the team keeps on winning: 7-3-1 since the Canadiens best defenceman went down with a season-ending knee knack (14-5-2 without him this season; 4-3-0 with him).

P.K. Subban goes to the pressbox, and the team keeps on winning – 3-0 without him.

Scott Gomez leaves the game with a lower-body something-or-other, and the reconfigured lines produce three goals to bust open a tight-checking 1-1 game.

The Canadiens are hot.

And do you suppose Mike Babcock is worriedly studying video of Dustin Boyd?

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Josh Gorges lauded the forwards, who, he said, exert back-pressure to help the D on zone clearances.

Carey Price praised everyone, saying – with more modesty than candor – that’s he’s just sucking up air out there.

Jacques Martin had kind words for both teams because until Jeff Halpern’s goal blew it open, the Canadiens and Senators played JM hockey: aggressive forechecking, little space to maneuver, not many scoring chances.

With the luxury of the lead Halpern gave them, the Canadiens were able to keep on playing the kind of hockey Martin has tried to stress since he yelled at Sergei Kostitsyn for being out of position two training camps ago.

If the Canadiens use their team speed and if the forwards get back in puck support, the opposing team will not get sustained pressure or prime scoring chances. And when you have a goaltender like Price …

Stats:

• The Canadiens have as many wins as Washington, with a game in hand.

• Their goal differential, plus-21, is better than any team in the Western Conference.

• The Canadiens have four nine-goal scorers.

• Every skater except Tom Pyatt had at least one shot on goal against Ottawa – and Pyatt hit the post.

• Tomas Plekanec won 20 faceoffs and lost only 6. Jason Spezza went 8-15.

• Roman Hamrlik played 25:01, Jaro Spacek 22:40.

• Yannick Weber had two SoG, three were blocked and five missed the net … but not by much.

• The D blocked 13 shots.

And let’s hope the snow isn’t too deep to confound the bloodhounds who are are out looking for any trace of Daniel F. or Kovy.

More manana.

 

 

58 Comments

  1. Everlasting1 says:

    lol It did play out that way..seemed like the only way to beat Khabi was a quick shot off the post and in.

     

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  2. Chuck says:

    That’s a bit of a smokescreen, since after you get past the first few rounds you get shooters that aren’t completely sure which end of their stick to hold.

    Centre Hice: one fan’s attachment to the Montreal Canadiens

  3. Chuck says:

    Just finished watching the game on Canadiens Express. Gotta love the way that the depth of this team is coming through.

     

    Centre Hice: one fan’s attachment to the Montreal Canadiens

  4. Everlasting1 says:

    What a goaltending clinic put on by Khabi, Hiller..10 rounds of shootout, only 3 goals.

     

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    Don’t pollute the water.

  5. PrimeTime says:

    Great post!

  6. andrewberkshire says:

    It was definitely funny for observers, but in these politically correct times I can imagine it wasn’t too funny for Panger.

  7. Timo says:

    Khe… Yeah, he will be reminded of that in the press tomorrow.

  8. Mike Boone says:

    David Poile is a very smart GM, and you’d have to be a simpleton to make that trade. JP Dumont, on the other hand …

  9. kempie says:

    Panger was talking about the PK thing and was comparing him to another 20yo dman who DP really likes. (I forget who it was). DP pointed out that PK should act more like him on and off the ice because he does the right things and he does them the white way… I mean right way.

    Innocent slip but funny and unfortunate. Props to the TSN guys for keeping it together cuz it dropped like a bomb. I woulda snickered at least.

  10. kempie says:

    It was just one of those moments. You know they’re probably still talking about it. Being in the print industry, I remember a story of a Toronto student newspaper that, during one of Ben Johnson’s attempts at a comeback, after a victory, ran a pic of Ben breaking the finish line with a big headline that read “Ben Johnson is Black!” Panger’s alright and it was a slip but a pretty funny one.

  11. andrewberkshire says:

    He’s a great guy, I hope people don’t hassle him about it too much.

  12. Timo says:

    What what… what happened?

  13. Timo says:

    Oh yeah… Gomer got injured. What a loss. I actually forgot about it until I read Boone’s summary. Boy, shows how important he was. 

  14. sidhu says:

    Same here… I couldn’t believe it when I heard it, and it was just a matter of minutes before it would be up on YouTube and immortalized.

    I remember watching Panger live in games, fans would heckle him because of his height. 

    Chin up, Panger!

  15. MikeC says:

    I love PK, really enjoy what he brings. But I would trade him for Weber quicker than Panger can make an unintentional racial slurr. I cant see this happening, but if it were on the table I can’t see PG not going for it … talk about a replacement for Markov down the line. Would be crazy not to make that trade, despite how great PK is and will be. Weber is that good in my opinion.

     

    Secondly, people need to calm down about PK sitting. He was initially sat to learn a lesson, and Y. Weber played really well. I think that PG&JM are using this opportunity to assess what kind of player Y. Weber really is in order to help guide decisions on what they need come the deadline (with the Markov cap space) and going forward (potentially without Markov).

     

    PK will be back tearing it up and talking trash in no time. Sleep easy.

  16. captaink4life says:

    I’m gonna say it because it’s gotta be said. Koivu looked 10x better than Gomez has all year, against the Oilers tonight. Him and Selanne play very well together.

     

    You will always be a Canadien in my eyes, Saku

  17. andrewberkshire says:

    I feel bad for Panger, you know he didn’t mean what came out, but youtube will save that forever.

  18. habs4ever2894 says:

    Subban for Shea Webber?  Any day of the week!!!!

  19. Rad says:

    Would be great to bring Saku back in a supporting role. He just might be that final piece that could help bring a Stanley Cup back to Montreal….and would anyone deserve it more than he? He could be an all-purpose player for the new and improved Habs. He could be an offensive catalyst, kill penalties, back-check like a demon, whatever was needed. He would not wear the C or the A, but he would be the spiritual leader once again. Just MHO.

  20. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Uh-oh…looks like the Greatest Coach To Ever Live just lost to the team run by the only GM dumber than BGPG…

    Something is amiss.

  21. Da Hema says:

    I think people are overreacting to Subban’s current press box view. One can surmise–and for the record I am merely speculating–that his head perhaps was getting somewhat on the inflated side. An inflated ego coupled with on-ice errors due to inexperience requires counter measures. Can anyone really say here that Carey’s once-inflated ego was good for the team? I doubt very much the Habs are even entertaining the thought of trading Subban. He isn’t Sergei Kostitsyn.

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  22. HardHabits says:

    He’s got a goal and an assist tonight in a 2-1 game.

  23. habsruleworld says:

    I hope you are right, I actually really want to see this young phenom, develop with the habs,

    although you gotta admit, the current situation seems really questionable,

    Michel Bergeron is beside himself not understanding how PK has not re-entered the line up at this point.

    After finding it on RDS Blogs, I googled and found more references to this trade potential,

    I really hope it’s a rumor,

  24. Rad says:

     

    Too many minutes for the Hammer. They’ll run that horse into the ground if they’re not careful. Did you hear what he said in the post-game audio? “I get tired much quicker than when I was 20 or 21 … ”  He’s 36 years old and he’s going to hit a wall at some point. Take the bit out of his mouth and let the horse rest, Jacques! Can you imagine your defense without Roman? You’ll be Czech-mated and in a world of hurt. April is a long ways off, and you will need the Hammer at 100% in April. 

     

  25. montrealtilldeath says:

    We need PK back. New Jersy, San Jose and Ottawa are no real test but Detroit is a real step up in the level of competition. The running of Weber against the glass tonight was no accident. I was noticing and just commenting to a friend how Weber was ducking the hit at times and trying to “fish” for the puck behind our net when he should have been putting his body into it. Ottawa coaching saw this and that is why they ran him. Now Detroit like the Flyers will be laying on the meat and they will also have noticed this aspect of Weber’s play in their game films. PK is a lot tougher and stronger and we need him against a quality team like Detroit.

    Intersting comment on TSN tonight when one of the commentators said PK should conduct himself in  ”the white way” before correcting and saying” the right way”.  Freudian sliup???

     

  26. otter649 says:

    Ekland…..

  27. Propwash says:

    Source?

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  28. PrimeTime says:

    Discovered information??

  29. Propwash says:

    Reeeeeaaaally stupid question, I’ve been drinking so bear with me…….

    Is it possible to pick up Koivu again seeing the team has cap space, he’s 2.5 mil.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  30. FormalWare says:

    Roman Hamrlik. 25-minute man. Warrior.

  31. SeriousFan09 says:

    Haven’t heard a hint of this and I highly doubt it, while Weber is a star, NSH needs him for their future and they made him their captain as they enter negotiations to extend him. Think is just another typical rumour that’ll turn into nothing. Subban is the Habs future on the blue line.

     

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

  32. habsruleworld says:

    Reality or rumor?

    I have discovered information which says Habs have been talking to Nashville about trading Subban for Shea Webber etc.

    I don”t really know how I feel personally about this, altough it would explain why PK was pulled when he was our highest minute eating defenseman and on most nights the most valuable at his position and is still not re-integrating the line up.

    Word is PG’s phone is getting some major calls related to teams inquiring what it will take.

    Nashville supposedly wants to unload$$ and replace with cheaper $$ quality defense, and it is possible to do this! with a PK Subban.

    Anyone else aware of this potential trade?

  33. OneTimer says:

    Nice win boys.

    After that disappointing second and those terrible PPs, last year’s team would have folded and lost in the 3rd.

    Not this year’s team. In a lot of ways, they’re the same (strong JM defensive foundation, counterattack with speed, etc), but in this way they’re not: they find a way to win even when the momentum isn’t going their way. Well done fellas!!

  34. rhino514 says:

    Is the fact that Halpern became a star on the second line after Scott Gomez went down meaningful or insightful or just a coincidence? Do we have a diamond acquiring dust on the 4th line? Is indicative of how the 2nd line would perform if Gomez was a moderate scoring threat…even without the ideal winger?

  35. kempie says:

    No, he’s mortified, no doubt. But what are ya gonna do?

  36. andrewberkshire says:

    The Montreal Canadiens have more regulation wins than any team in the NHL.

  37. DearyLeary says:

    For the life of me I don’t understand McGuires mini tirade against the trade for Eller.  When you watch the kid play he’s got a great skillset, and a really high ceiling.  I think he should try to remember that when Pleks was Eller’s age, Pleks played 7 games in the NHL.  Eller’s playing a regular shift, and is contributing at even strength and the penalty kill (the best in the league).  That’s all I’ve got to say about that (aside from that slick pass to set up the nail in the coffin tonight).

    Great third period, I was pretty doomy and gloomy when they didn’t bank one on the major penalty, and when they took the penalty to negate the second half of the double minor I claimed it was over.  Shame on me for doubting their resiliency. 

    Halpern might be the best 600,000 dollars spent in the NHL this year.  He’s putting up respectable points for a 3rd/4th line player (at key times to boot), he’s winning faceoffs (something the Canadiens have been dying for since the departure of Yanick Perrault), he’s one of our best penalty killers, and he’s a calming influence on any line he’s played on thus far. 

    I will say, that I’d like to see PK back in the lineup, to see if he can help stabilize the power play.  Of all our active defenders, he’s got the most poise with the puck in the offensive zone.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see White in the lineup to fill a 4th line role with Eller moving up with Cammalleri but if Gomez is down for any length of time I wouldn’t be surprised to see our pace droop a little bit.

  38. Da Hema says:

    McGuire is a broadcasting cheerleader, which means he has his favorites. So I would take much of what he says with a grain of salt. If McGuire were truly respected by the NHL establishment, he would be with a team in some kind of capacity rather than on TSN.

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  39. ProHabs says:

    No kidding. McGuire is really sounding like a fool when he says that. Remember, he is the guy that was comparing the Toronto Maple Leaf defence last year to the Habs big 3 of the 70′s.

    If he wants to talk about larcany he should be mentioning his idol Brian Burke giving Brysgolov away to the Coyotes for nothing. Or he should mention his beloved Leafs trading Tuka Rask to the Bruins for Raycroft, now those are examples of larcany. McGuire said he is not sure if Eller is even going to be a top 6 or top 9 forward. Well Pierre, it is pretty obvious to all that are not so anti-Habs that Eller is definately at the very least a top 6 and he has a very high ceiling.

    Poor Panger tonight with the big slip of the tongue. Panger is a TSN guy that I actually like and enjoy listening to along with MacT.

    Finally if Gomer is out, I would like to see Desharnais up to see what he can do. This guy is small but has always been able to produce offence. I think he at the least would help the powerplay along with PK.  

     

  40. Castor says:

    Friday is the biggest tell for this team… and, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, I HOPE Scott Gomez is back.

  41. twocents says:

    This team is the teamiest team going. I mean they’re just teaming with teaminess.

    This is classic Jersey/Detroit kind of cohesion.

    Of course those teams were modeled after classic Habs cohesion.

  42. Da Hema says:

    Agreed. The cohesiveness of their cohesion coheres.

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  43. Da Hema says:

    Will I be the first post? We will see.

    I still am laughing about Hamrlik’s teammates referring to him as a mule. What a perfect description! Can he play until he’s 40?

    I am so pleased, after so many years of undisciplined, losing hockey, to watch this current team. The players are responsible on the ice, Price is giving the team consistently excellent goaltending that I have not seen for a very long time, and the team appears to have organisational depth to deal with injuries.

    Thank you Bob Gainey and Pierre Gauthier for navigating the Good Ship Habs back on course!

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  44. SPATS says:

    Poor Panger, love him on the panel, but I heard it right away and skipped back the PVR several times so my wife could hear it too… She was stunned. But kudos to him for apologizing with much humility without going into detail when Duthie brought it up again in the 2nd intermission. Classy, white on! oops, right on!

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  45. Da Hema says:

    Oops.

    Youtube has changed everything.

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  46. captaink4life says:

    Lmao!!!

    Oh man ahaha

     

    You will always be a Canadien in my eyes, Saku

  47. Josh says:

    Moen, unsurprisingly, is still not a top six forward.

  48. twocents says:

    A bunch of people were discussing how the team might spend the cap space caused by Markov’s injury the other day and I didn’t have the chance to chime in.

    Come near deadline, I think we should look to Jersey, who might be in seller’s role, and try to nab someone like Arnott. Now if we could also snatch a Colin White while we were at it, we’d be looking real strong!

  49. andrewberkshire says:

    I’ve heard a few people suggest that if Colorado is selling Milan Hejduk might be available. I think he would really mesh well with Pleks on the RW, allowing Gomez to get Gionta back.

  50. twocents says:

    …cohesively

  51. PrimeTime says:

    Is there are better candidate than JM for the Jack Adams (someday to be renamed the Guy Boucher trophy) right now?? The Coach (JM, not Doc Boucher) has his players playing a team winning style of hockey better than most using less .

  52. Bill says:

    Gomez is not terribly injury prone, so I’m expecting this is nothing serious. If it is, I’m sure there are lots of cap geeks here who can do the appropriate math for us.

    I sure hope Subban didn’t buy a house or anything. JM has seized his opportunity to put a stop to his shenanigans, and I don’t think he’s going to let go. I don’t entirely get it, because Subban has looked mostly great this year, but I’ll leave the coaching to The Count. I am worried nonetheless that he’ll try to completely change Subban’s game into something less … PK.

    Price is unbelievable. Obviously we need the full year and the playoffs (hopefully) to fully evaluate, but just as obviously, he has never played this well in the NHL, and I can’t decide what’s more impressive: his excellence, or his consistency.

    This team has a consistent scoring threat in Plekanec and whoever is on his wings, and really excellent 3rd/4th line scoring depth (considering their ice-time). It’s tempting to imagine what they could do with a serious second-line …

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  53. twocents says:

    That would be real nice. However you slice it though, I only want a rental at the forward position. I want there to be an opening for Pacioretty next year. Hejduk would fit the bill.

  54. andrewberkshire says:

    I think that’s a given. Pacioretty is earning himself a spot, maybe even by playoffs.

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