Quick hits

Here’s my Red Fisher lede:

Take a deep breath and hold it.

OK, maybe you can exhale. If you hold your breath until the Canadiens make an announcement on the extent of Andrei Markov’s injury, you’ll be bluer than the jerseys of Canada’s Team.

“Lower body,” was all Jacques Martin would reveal. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

It didn’t look good. A knee-on-knee collision with Eric Staal sent Markov tumbling toward the boards, flinging off his gloves and grimacing with pain.

As he was helped off by P.K. Subban and Canadiens athletic therapist Graham Rynbend, Markov seemed to be favouring his surgically-repaired right knee.

The injury cast a cloud over a great night that capped an amazing week.

The Canadiens got seven goals from seven players.

It was the first time they’d hit that lucky number since March 24, 2008.

The win capped a week in which your red-hot team outscored the Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes by a cumulative 12-3.

So are the Montreal Canadiens for real?

And how real are their chances of continuing to fly high if Markov is grounded for an extended period?

 

For now, let’s enjoy an impressive W over a team that ALWAYS wins at the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens hadn’t beaten Carolina in regulation on home ice since … well, a long bloody time.

And it looked like tonight might not be the night.

Carolina trailed 2-0 aftter the first period despite a 15-10 shot advantage, not to mention eight shots the Canadiens blocked and three misses. Corresponding totals for the home team were 10-3-3.

The difference?

Carey Price. The goaltender was spectacular in the first period and superb after Carolina had come back to tie the game.

Price’s best save, however, came with his team comfortably ahead. I still don’t know how he got his glove out quickly enough to stop Chad Larose from in close.

Blogger Steven Hindle, on Twitter, wrote: “Did I just see Carey Price bend the Matrix?”

I saw that movie. Didn’t really understand it, but I understand why Price is playing unconscious.

The team in front of him is doing the job, and the goaltender’s confidence grows stronger with each outing.

The Canadiens are fourth in the league in goals-against per game at 2.12. They have not surrendered more than three goals in regulation time through 17 games.

And the power play has come to life: 3-for-5, 6-for-14 in the last three games.

Conventional hockey wisdom has it that a good team has PP and PK percentages that add up to more than 100.

The Canadiens PK efficiency is at 88.9 per cent. The PP has inched up to 14.5

So they’re 103.4

Plan the parade.

Martin predictably praised his goaltender and special teams but reserved kind words for his “gars de soutien”.

“A couple of shifts by the third and fourth line restored the tempo for us,” the coach said, praising the PhD and Eller-Moen-Pyatt lines for keeping their play simple.

“They got pucks in deep and outworked Carolina,” Martin added. “Our skill guys didn’t do that at times.”

He wasn’t talking about Number 1 skill guy Tomas Plekanec. Another stellar effort – a goal, three assists, 4:37 on the PK, 13-12 on faceoffs – had Martin describing Plekanec as “a pleasure to coach” and “a great person.”

“He’s always first at the rink,” Martin said. “He prepares properly. He plays against the other team’s top line all the time, and he’s not a selfish player.”

Sounds like the kind of guy you lock up for five years.

Suggested topic for late-night arguments:

What kind of contract should the Canadiens offer Andrei Markov?

Yes, he’s still their best player.

But Markov is the wrong side of 30, and the injuries just keep coming.

More tomorrow.

 

112 Comments

  1. filincal says:

    Agreed….a win Tuesday, and we can formally call them legitamate playoff contenders( I know it’s not even twenty games 20 games in ,but  the system looks good).

     

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  2. doug19 says:

    Three months would be the season. There will be so much more muscle loss. Takes 6  weeks to gain muscle and only two weeks to lose. Serge Savard was still good after his broken leg but had to change his style. Markov playing defense is now scary with these 200 pounds plus freight trains coming at him.

  3. doug19 says:

    NHL doesn’t have the guts to suspend Staal even if it becomes obvious that it was intent to injure.

  4. doug19 says:

    I agree although it would have been nice to still have O’Byrne. He was a luxery backup what dept we had.Then there are those on the farm who deserve shots. Subban is clearly the future back there on defense wow is he good or what, nice body check later in the game and he is  so good along the boards and moving the puck to where the opposition isn’t.

    I hope Markov bounces back what a combo on the PP  Markov and Subban.

  5. scott9002ca says:

    O’B? oh…. right. damnit

  6. JIMVINNY says:

    I think he’s fed up with the (mis)management, and doesn’t want them to benefit from trading him.  He knows he’s going to get PAID this coming July, so why help the Leafs out?

  7. JIMVINNY says:

    PK can.  and Picard can play 18 minutes easily.  They’ll be fine if he’s out for a while.

  8. Bill says:

    At this point, the Habs would be much worse off without Plekanec or Price. If he’s gone long-term, it’s time to get creative with the cap space. Nobody presently in the organization can replace Markov’s minutes.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  9. Habscore says:

    It’s amazing to see the Laffs lose like that..haha..and to think that (even for a second) at the beginning of the season, I thought they were actually becoming a better team with their winning strike..lol What a joke!

    And how do they love filming Burke pulling his hair out….I’m actually worried about him as a person…

    And now back to our boys, hopefully Markov will be back ‘healthily’ and 100% a little before the playoffs so he can gradually re-adapt to the system …All the best of luck to the guy!! His future is now at stake 🙁

    ……………………………………………………………….

    YES HABS CAN!!

  10. Jbird says:

    Either that guy is insane, and actually likes playing for the most inept franchise, or he hates the team with a passion. Why else would he not waive his no trade?  On second thought, imagine the leafs without Kaberle – they would be so wonderfully horrible.  Maybe he just has mercy on them.

  11. Jbird says:

    I remember it more as a team thing – and not all dependent on Bryan S . . . . He threw some at the fat man’s feet I gather.  However it happened, it was awesome.  Hope its awesome Vs Phillia.

  12. Exit716 says:

    Kaberle will be available after this season.

     

  13. dhenry1234 says:

    I remember that year. Beat new jersey 3/4 games that season. Reason was one guy. Smolinski. He was our brodeur killer and the next season after he left, brodeur got right back to beating us.

  14. Jbird says:

    No doubt. In the back of my mind I have a bad feeling about that one. Excuses like you can’t win them all might be my mantra if they lose to Pillia PA. But if they win? That will be something.

    I remember three years ago when the Koivu lead Habs beat the Devils in a very similar game. Formative opponent. Already impressive win streak for the Habs. The team high in the standings. And yet a not completely proven Habs teams took it to the Devils. “The real deal!” I told everyone who would listen. They ended up winning the conference. If they beat the Flyers IMO, they are contenders.

  15. Da Hema says:

    I don’t recall claiming the team should let him go. On that topic, though, Markov’s injuries over the past three years make him a far less attractive–indeed risky–free agent signing.

    ————————

    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.

  16. ProHabs says:

    If he was rushed back, the team doctor should be suspended for 2 games.

  17. filincal says:

    It’s gonna be another good test/measuring stick for the Habs this Tuesday. They played well against three very different style teams this week; but the F’n Flyers are coming here with a head of steam.

     

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  18. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …good …now I can sleep tonight

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  19. HardHabits says:

    I am sure you remember we discussed this over the summer. I voiced my concern over what I percieved as a vulnerability with Markov, you call it bad luck, whatever, he’s getting injured too often and it’s impacting the team. It’s looking like he was rushed back.

  20. filincal says:

    Markov is a “pillar” to not just the team ,but the Canadiens organization.

    We can’t let him go.

     

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  21. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …the difference is We never had Crosby …We have (had ?) Markov
    …MUCH easier to envision Our Team as serious Stanley Cup material WITH Markov …than without

    …let’s think POSITIVE Karma that Andrei returns sooner than later

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  22. Habitant in Surrey says:

    .

  23. Habitant in Surrey says:

    .

  24. ProHabs says:

    We get your point.

  25. Habitant in Surrey says:

    .

  26. Da Hema says:

    Serious:

    You are now merely pointing out the obvious. Saying Montreal is better with rather than without Markov is akin to saying Pittsburgh is better with rather than without Sidney Crosby. My point is simply this team now will have to move on without Markov. Bitching about his bad luck and injuries is for losers. Others now will have to step up.

    ————————

    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.

  27. ProHabs says:

    Chantal MacAbee can get anyone to tell her what is going on. She is that good.

  28. ColRouléBleu says:

    The main stat to look at is the over 23 minutes of quality TOI that will have to be distributed to a group of aging D-men who lose their effectiveness when over used.  See one Spacek, Jaroslav.  Spacek has found his game back not having to play 20+ minutes a game  with Markov in the line up.

  29. SeriousFan09 says:

    Having a stronger set of defencemen to manage the transition game and PP allows a team to win more games, Markov is such a defencemen and I don’t believe with him out that the team is as strong with him there. He leads the defence, controls play and has a brilliant instinct for joining an offensive rush Not to mention, he was supposed to be Subban’s mentor in playing defence at this level.

    Games that could have been won, will be lost this season if Markov is out long term, just like last year. This team can win without him but there is no way they’ll be as successful as they could be if he was playing. Not to mention, Subban will be targeted more than ever as teams look to completely break the Habs ability to move the puck from the blue line.

     

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

  30. SeriousFan09 says:

    3 months is not official yet and I don’t buy into ‘sources say’ from the media when the Habs are involved, they run the tightest ship in the NHL when it comes to leaks. I don’t believe Markov is done yet, it looks bad but I believe in the guy and have to think that his luck is finally turning with these **** incidents that keep coming down on his head.

     

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

  31. Da Hema says:

    Serious:

    I am glad you conceded you were overstating things about Markov and the Washington series.

    I am a realist about Markov’s value to this team now. Your point about MAB is valid (one could say something similar about Komisarek). The issue is the here and now. This team is not likely to lose games because Markov isn’t playing, and I think it most unlikely Markov will be the one to secure a playoff MVP (I hope he does, but he won’t).

    ————————

    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.

  32. The S1C1L1AN says:

    You can clearly see in the rds video Staal do a kicking motion with his knee !!!

  33. HardHabits says:

    That’s the past and now maybe it’s time to look past Markov. He’s out for 3 months. He will be fragile when he gets back. They have to say it’s a season ending injury so it frees up cap space. With the extra money Habs can sign or trade for a solid D if needed. Markov is done. Career is over. Saku had his knee injury when he was younger but he was never like he was after it like he was before. The Bruins had their share of misery; Bobby Orr, Gord Kluzak, Cam Neely. It’s our turn now. He’s done. Even if he rehabs he’ll be vulnerable to another injury. It’s over. Time to move on.

    I hope I am wrong.

  34. light_n_tasty says:

    How could they possibly know that?

  35. Fargo Habs Fan says:

    Wouldn’t it be something if we could simply celebrate a drubbing without mourning a major loss?  I swear Lady Luck hates us some days.

    -Dustin-

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    Markov was still a key defensive prescence in the WSH series, wouldn’t have made it through without him playing at the right moments in the 4 wins of that series. Halak was the biggest reason of course but Markov was still a  part of it all.

    “Never evelated his play”? Please, he plays the way the team needs him to perform, his points drop so obviously he must be doing something wrong, nevermind that he was expected to drag that boat anchor MAB around with him in the first half of the WSH series and prevent him from not being -5 for each game. Markov has always played hard for the team and adjusted his play as necesary for the role he is needed to perform.

     

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

  37. Da Hema says:

    I am not certain Markov was the central reason the Habs beat Washington in the last playoffs as you assert. I recall a fella named Halak on that point.

    Perhaps you are right that Markov will become something like Rick Green, a player who for a two to three year period went through serious injuries and ended up having a long, productive career.

    Let’s not get into a pointless debate about the merits of Markov. He is a fine defenceman–when healthy–but he has never elevated his play when it matters–end of season, playoffs–as other posters have rightly noted.

    ————————

    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.

  38. SeriousFan09 says:

    That was going around earlier on Twitter with “2 Sources say”, I’ll believe it when the Habs release details.

     

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

  39. SeriousFan09 says:

    Sooner or later, luck has to swing Markov’s way on this bad-luck incidents that injure him I think. Maybe he’s fortunate and it’s bad charlie horse or a sprain.

     

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

  40. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Plekanec is the best player…look at the revived Gionta.

  41. SeriousFan09 says:

    They wouldn’t have won round 1 against WSH without Markov, credit where credit is due.

    Markov is in my opinion, a player who makes us a team who will go for 5-8 in the Conference to a Division Title. He can control the game with the puck on his stick and manage a Top-5 PP unit. He has had bad luck and we still do not know if he is out for 3 weeks or 3 months right now. If he’d been wearing the Kevlar socks he wears now in October of 2009, he’d likely have been in better shape in the playoffs and maybe been able to avoid that Cooke hit. This fragility stuff is a little premature considering his generally very healthy playing career. He’s not done yet.

    We won this week’s games partly because Markov was back, the 1-0 goal on VAN? Markov rushing the play. Boston trounced? Markov was in on the play that put us up 1-0. Markov was a key player tonight as well.

     

     

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

  42. Number31 says:

    Don’t ya love the Superstar Rule? Staal hit Markov’s knee before wiggling his arms in the air like he did it by accident. Garbage.

    However, nice of the guys to harpoon the Whale. I got Lapierre’s goal and celebration on repeat. Too hilarious!

  43. Da Hema says:

    At the risk of being interpreted as mean-spirited, Markov is becoming a non-factor on this current team. Three years ago, they lose Markov and the entire organisation and team despairs and loses. Now they lose Markov and almost make the Stanley Cup finals. That is a testiment to the depth of the current team.

    Teams move on from players like Markov who are constantly hurt. We can say all we want about how “a healthy Markov makes us a better team.” That is as comforting as another useless hypothetical such as “adding Sidney Crosby makes us a better team.” Markov will never be “healthy” again, and frankly what he can bring to the team now is outweighed by his fragility.

    ————————

    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. Clay4bc says:

    hope so, Michael…

    __________________________

    Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular.

  45. Shiloh says:

    Maybe Markov has a little luck coming his way. He’s such a great player – and he’s been a great Canadien. Players like him don’t come around that often.

  46. Ayan_SB says:

    Pacquio vs Margarito for those of you interested in the boxing match.

  47. SeriousFan09 says:

    Pugnacity, Testosterone and Truculence were his codewords that day,

    My father read an article about Burke in the Globe a while ago and hadn’t until then found out Burke was formerly a Harvard man and then went “that explains a lot.”

     

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

  48. Timo says:

    Nope. He’ll be back. And he will lift the cup as a Montreal Canadiens.

  49. yukonhab says:

    Captain Picard to the rescue…or Weber?

  50. Timo says:

    I am trying to remember the other 3 words he used in that famous truculence speech… It was Truculence, …, … ,… Help me out, guys.

  51. habs001 says:

    markov was getting better the last few games…if he is gone we only really have pk to provide support for the forwards…gill,gorges,spacek and hammer will provide little offensive support and help for the forwards…we will go back to scoring 1-2 goals a game…the elite teams and most stanley cup winning teams have had at leat 2 d who carry the puck out of the zone ,provide scoring , pinch properly and recover if need be…

  52. Clay4bc says:

    I fear that we just witnessed Markov’s last game in the NHL. Here’s hoping I’m wrong. But if it’s the ACL again, he’s likely done.

    Aside from that tragedy, great to see the boys explode for 7 goals, and get the PP rolling. And that save by Price…wow. that’s the boy we drafted 5th overall. Not the boy we saw last season…10 wins already, and only 13 all of last season? Yeah, he’s having a good start to the season.

    Oh, and Pleks…what can I say that hasn’t already been said? Worth every penny.

    __________________________

    Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular.

  53. yukonhab says:

    Habs are rolling and will continue to roll with or without Markov. But expect him back next game. I think Markov will ask for long term low $$$, and the Habs will want 3yrs no more. Team is definately better with 79 in the line up.

     

    Support your local indian – Price 31

  54. SeriousFan09 says:

    Best wishes to Markov, I’m figuring the guy is due for a break on the bad injury front though.

     

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

  55. Castor says:

    I`d like to see Markov`s stats in his 7 games back. I know it`s awful to think this but, how badly do we need him?

  56. Castor says:

    But it hurts so bad

  57. Bill says:

    Wow, anyone else just catch that incredibly awkward Toronto Marlies ad on CBC? Brian Burke doing his best Don Cherry imitation talking about, well, about truclulence, essentially (because that has been working out so well for the Leafs) and concluding with a 5 second stern-faced, arms-crossed tough guy pose by Burkie?

    So embarrassing.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  58. Ian Cobb says:

    What the hell was Markov out there for in the last couple of minutes of a rout?????

    This could mean everything Jacques!!!!!

  59. Kain292 says:

    True say… instead of basking in the glory of a slaughter at the Bell Center, we’re questioning the future of one of our best players. This sucks.

    Being a Habs fan is a way of life, and a great one at that.

  60. avatar_58 says:

    It’s hard to even enjoy the win because of this 🙁

  61. G-Man says:

    I hate the downer the Markov injury is. It looks like he may be done for a long, long time.

    On all other points, the Habs capped off the week with panache. Price is playing great and moving better than in a long time.

    His “screw the technique” glove save on Larose was the exclamation point on the night.

    7-2 with the pp going 3-5. Very nice.

  62. LatheDog says:

    Evidently, Markov is made out of paper-mache these days.  If he’s out long-term, I’m considering him damaged goods like Sheldon Souray is pretty much damaged goods.  If this is the case, it may be time to trade him before we get absolutely nothing for him.  I love Markov, but I love the Habs more.  Unfortunately, it may be time to say goodbye and in hind sight, may have been the right decision not to make him captain, whether he wanted it or not to begin with.  This is depressing.

  63. Kain292 says:

    Thanks Henry.

    Being a Habs fan is a way of life, and a great one at that.

  64. dhenry1234 says:

    Picard would replace him. And we’d probably call up weber or Carle to sit.

  65. Kain292 says:

    IF he’s out for a long period of time again… which we all hope he isn’t, does anyone know who’ll replace him? A couple days ago it woulda been OB, but now I dunno.

    Being a Habs fan is a way of life, and a great one at that.

  66. Snair11 says:

    Price’s Week:

     

    3 games played, 3 Wins, 1.00 GAA, .970 SV%, 1 SO

     

    That’s getting it done!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.