Quick Hits

Hosni Mubarak is right: Democracy sucks!

The new system of fanvoting deprived the best player on the ice of a star.

Michael Grabner, a former Vancouvewr first-round draft choice whom the Islanders claimed off waivers from Florida, scored twice and spent the night in Alex Auld’s kitchen, untroubled by an proximate red jerseys.

But the native of Villach, Austria, got jobbed as the homer fans voted stars to Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty.

They both played well.

An indicator of Pleks’s all-around value (no news there!) was the 26 faceoffs he had to take. He topped Canadiens forward with 22:31 minutes of ToI and scored the goal that gave the Canadiens the last of the three leads they relinquished.

Pacioretty, who hasn’t played a bad game since his call-up, continued to shine: A lovely one-timer goal, SEVEN shots on goal, three hits.

Hometown star selectors might also have considered any member of the Canadiens’ best line: 

Centring Benoit Pouliot and Ryan White, David Desharnais, who had trouble on draws when he first came up from Hamilton, won 10 of 14, set up Pacioretty’s goal and played 22 shifts.

Scott Gomez played 23 shifts. He was better than he was in Boston – how could he be worse? – but Gomez continues to make bizzare plays that befuddle his easily-confused linemates, Lars Eller and Andrei Kostitsyn. They were all minuses, for the second straight night.

 

When asked whether his team had experienced an emotional letdown after that wild game in Boston, Jacques Martin conceded that possibility but pinpointed wear and tear on his aging defencemen as a more pressing issue in letting the lowly Islanders erase three leads en route to winning the game in a Shootout.

An injury to Hal Gill meant Jaro Spacek (teamed with P.K. Subban) and Roman Hamrlik had to play brutal minutes: 27:07, in the case of Hamrlik. That’s a lot for an old geezer in the second game of a back-to-back – the third such set in 10 days.

The Canadiens have Friday off and then try to break their three-game losing streak against the Leafs – another team, like the Islanders, playing with no pressure.

More in the morning.

 

25 Comments

  1. db says:

    I was hanging around downtown (mtl) while waiting for the rookie draft to start (whatever year that was).  All of a sudden, while crossing the street, I hear a man shout “I DONT CARE WHAT IT TAKES, GET IT DONE!!!”.  I turned around and it was Paul Holgren (sp).. the next day the Flyers “overpaid” (not possible) for Pronger.  Honestly, my fave GM is Homer.. Flyers were at the bottom one year and the bam! a contender the next. 

  2. HardHabits says:

    I thought the same thing when the Bruins signed Chara. They were nowhere back then. Look at them now.

    Chara, Pronger… Gionta. I think there is the crux of the matter. Those teams went bigger. The Habs went smaller.

    The Flyers and Bruins are cannons. The Habs, cannon fodder

  3. Displaced says:

    When the Flyers traded for Pronger, I thought, they WAY paid overpaid for an older defenseman with rapidly diminishing skills…  I was wrong.  But I missed the big picture.  They have a singular goal – win the Cup.  Not “make the playoffs”.  Not “be competitive”.  Not “make money”.  Win the Cup.  They spun their wheels early last season and brought in Laviolette, a coach with a Cup winning pedigree.

    What is our goal?  Seriously…

    BG and PG have had success (hell, lots more than most) but they seem to be making the safe moves rather than going for it.  And our team seems to be inheriting that conservative trait.  Let’s review our recent major moves:

    - Our major acquisition for last year’s playoffs was Moore.  Nice pick up.  Cost us a second rounder.  He certainly contributed to our unexpectedly good playoff success.  But is that a Cup win move?  No. 

    - We lose Markov and Gorges and replace them with Wiz.  Again, nice pick up.  Moderate cost.  Is that a move that will win the Cup? 

    - Two years ago, we added Cammi, Gio, Gomez, some older D, and bring in JM to coach.  Are Cammi and Gio really first line forwards on a Cup winner?  Probably not.  Gomez top line on a Cup winner – sort of.  He was a rookie when the Devils won their second and scored 55 regular-season points on their most recent Cup winner.  Again, nice additions and perhaps the best players available that offseason.  Not really Cup winning stuff.  

    - JM is the Volvo of NHL coaches.  Nice guy.  Safe pick.  Long tenure.  Lots of wins.  Good organizational guy.  Never won a Cup.  Hell, he had to buy tickets to get into the Cup game.  He has  the second most regular seasons wins without a Cup appearance.  Second to Ron Wilson… ouch. 

    Safe is becoming our trademark.  I’d be more optimistic that there’s a Cup in our future if we rolled the dice, swung for the fences, or reached for the brass ring.  If this team isn’t going to win it all, break it up.  If it has a shot, make the big moves.  Until we start taking chances are theme song as fans might be Stuck in the Middle with You. 

    Who’s leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  4. Mr.Hazard says:

    My thoughts, having been at the game:

    Pacioretty: Power-forward & on fire. 3g and 4 pts in last 3 games.

    Gionta: Not as good of a playmaker as Saku was. Also not as good as a shoot-out-er, IMO.

    Wiz: WTF guy! Boone said it best, “turnover machine”. Unbelievable. Down to the final minute, he caused frustration & disbelief inside of me.

    AK46: Has 3-minute long brain cramps very often. But had a few solid shifts where he was a threat and/or generated chances. But generally, played like someone still getting used to the pace of an NHL game. Mentally, he’s not there most of the time. I don’t like how he’s slow to get back for a change. But I like the guy, generally.

    Benny: Love the guy. Tall and fast. I was having trouble sometimes telling him and Max-Pac apart, because they’re both tall, fast, and looked really into it.

    The team: HOW DO YOU LOSE TO THE ISLANDERS, AFTER 40 SHOTS & 3 LEADS?

     

     

  5. GrimJim says:

    I think he was saying those were the guys PG would likely have to trade to get Neil or Phillips, not who would be sitting in the pressbox when Mtl got Neil or Phillips

  6. bigdave says:

    Chris Phillips is no spring chicken either!

    DOB March 9, 1978 ; he is 33

     

     

     

     

     

    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”

  7. ManApart says:

    The only way, and this is a big stretch, that we can trade Gomez would be to get an equally overpaid, underachieving player. There really isn’t anyone now that Redden is in the AHL, so I guess we’re stuck with him. Martin Erat and David Legwand both make 4.5 million a season for the next 3 years. Nashville does have some cap space. A Gomez for Erat trade is the best you can hope for.

  8. PeterD says:

    So JM thought our older D-men were tired last night…I guess so…Pierre, are you listening and talking with your coach…I think he needs a young stud back there that can be a shutdown d-man…maybe a Chris Phillips,…

    Today Feb 11/11 – Spacek’s 37th birthday…Happy birthday kid.

    April 12th/11 – Hammer will be 37 years old…

    But there is no excuse for AK and Gomez performing the way they have been.  This is trade season and maybe we could move Gomez and AK and a 1st round pick for someone with potential…ok, ok…I would take someone with out potential to rid the team of these two albatroses.

    Pleks makes anyone that plays with him better, that makes Gomez the anti-Pleks…everyone that plays with him gets worse.

    I do believe there are options for moving Gomez, but we may need to get creative with the options and be really realistic about the value he has on this team or how others would value his abillities.  Anything is possible all we need is the will to make it happen.

  9. bigdave says:

    If the two Goons put the “deer in headlights look into Hamrlick, Spacek and Webber” as in Boston the D corps will again shy away from the corners leaving whoever is playing in goal to the mercy of the one or two actual players on the Laffs.

    The great equalizer will be Komisarek helping on the Canadiens’ offense.

    Certainly hope you are right and the goons( all 18 of them) are reduced to pylons!

     

     

    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”

  10. SPATS says:

    just watched the game on canadiens express and Hammer was just brutal on the last goal. He actually skated away from the play and left his man alone at the side of the net. Where he was going only he knows. AK wasn’t much better, blind passes to the opposition seem to be his strong suit. Love the team but they’re really showing their true colours the last 3 games. ouch!

     

    OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

  11. rogieshan says:

    I didn’t think Hammer was particularly awful. The Wiz, however, reminded me of the shiver-inducing MABergeron.

  12. sidhu says:

    Hammer was awful tonight, though in his defense he played more minutes than he should have, particularly in the second of a back to back game. 

    I wish we had more intensity after last night — as if we had something to prove to the rest of the NHL that we are a tough team. 

    I’m concerned about the stability of the D — I hope we take a look at Peckham, he can thump some skulls on the ice.

  13. habs001 says:

    it will not be an easy night for our d vs the leafs forwards…

  14. rogieshan says:

    I was somewhat baffled seeing the Gomez-AK46-Eller line back together again, but I’m assuming it was so because of back-to-back games and no off days to properly make changes to the alignments.

  15. rogus says:

    Why would Phillips play forward?

  16. SUMO says:

    Try to not to lose perspective everyone, the Habs are still in 6th place with a 4pt lead on the Rangers. Also the Penguins are going to be without Crosby and Malkin for the rest of the season so they are poised for a slip.

    I guess alot of the emotion is a spill-over from last nights game against the Bruins. I’m like everyone else and do not like to see the Habs lose or get beat up but I still like this team. Whenever anyone says lets get Chris Neil, fine but who will he replace..Ryan White or Mathieu Darche? Chris Philips, sure but at what cost..Pacioretty or Eller? These guys play for each other and should be given a chance to see how far they can go as a group. The team could use a tweak but not a makeover.

    Other GMs are aware of the struggles of AK46 and Gomez. Putting them on the same line clearly isn’t working. Would be great if JM pulled a Scotty Bowman move and stuck Gomer on Defense for a couple of shifts but I can only dream or try it on PS3.

    This team has battled without Markov, Gorges and now Cammalleri. The depth on the team is now showing itself; Deharnais, Pacioretty, Weber all can play. This is a playoff team and by the end of the year they could make some noise in the post-season. Don’t underestimnate these guys.

  17. rogieshan says:

    Should Gomez continue his erratic play down the stretch and into the playoffs, the best we can hope for is the team burying him in the minors the next three seasons and allow us the extra room in the salary cap.

  18. db says:

    DD is showing that Gomer can be a goner… it would add nicely to all the cap space we have this off season. 

  19. rogieshan says:

    I have faith in Cammalleri making a difference offensively upon his return, but feel less confident about the D-corps without any reinforcement moving forward. Gauthier and Martin are of the same mind when it comes to sticking to a system and adding parts to it, as opposed to overhauling the key components during the season. If the thugfest engineered by the Bruins last night was meant to be a wakeup call, then Martin has time from now until April to devise a plan to combat against it in the playoffs. He looked like a genious last spring when he outcoached Blysma and Boudreau in consecutive rounds. Let’s see if he has another masterful strategy up his sleeves this postseason.

  20. HugeHabFan says:

    Everyone seems to forget (after 1 unusual game) that the Habs won the first three games of this series…Same so called big bad rough and tough Bruins….and Habs beat them 3 times already….it was 1 game…lets see what happens next game…

  21. HugeHabFan says:

    Sergei has been playing with consistent line mates for the past while (and lighting it up I will grant you.)

  22. ManApart says:

    Anyone notice that Sergei Kostisyn has 2 more goals and 3 more points than his brother? who did Gauthier get for him again? My God this management team gets robbed in every trade.

  23. ManApart says:

    The book has been out on the Habs for a while now. The only one that doesn’t know it, is Gainey and Gauthier.

  24. SeriousFan09 says:

    If they start those two fake NHL players the Habs will just skate around them all night. They’re talentless goons, they make Ference and Thornton look Top-6.

     

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

  25. bigdave says:

    Betcha the LAFFS start Orr and Rosehill on the wings Saturday night.

    Boston showed the world exactly the successful gameplan to beat the Canadiens and even the dynamic duo of Burke and Wilson wouldn’t be dumb enough to ignore what worked so well especially with the truculence abounding on their team!

     

     

     

    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”


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