Quick hits

Oh, those fun-loving Canadiens.

P.K. Subban wsa doubled-up with laughter as the first drum beat of Eye of the Tiger – BOOM! Boom-boom-boom! – blasted over the Canadiens’ dressing room sound system, courtesy of DJ Max Lapierre.

The Rocky theme was a salute to Mike Cammalleri, who had pounded out a solid decision over David Krejci to win the first fight of his NHL career.

Carey Price’s wry assessment of his teammate’s pugilistic talents: “Georges St. Pierre doesn’t have to worry.”

Of far greater import was the Canadiens ability to withstand a late-round flurry and score a heartstopping and much-deserved W over their Northeast Division rivals.

Had the Canadiens lost, they would have slid from second seeding in the Eastern Conference to sixth.

They’d have been riding a four-game losing streak into a seven-game road trip, and Montreal would be enshrouded in gloom and anxiety as we count down to Christmas.

But that didn’t happen.

 

Commenting on the Cammalleri fight, Jacques Martin said it was evidence of an emotional game in which his team “had to compete, and we answered the bell.”

Asked if he were surprised that two of the NHL’s statistically best defensive teams had combined for 78 SoG and seven goals, Martin said both the Canadiens and Bruins have “great offensive players”.

“It was like a playoff game,” Martin added. To win, the Canadiens had to “battle through space and win battles.”

A consistent winner was the game’s First Star.

Max Pacioretty had a goal, an assist, four shots on goal, four hits and any number of instances when he sparked his linemates.

Scott Gomez is playing his best hockey of the young season, and Brian Gionta added six shots to his team-leading total of 133, 37 more than runner-up Rocky … errr, Mike Cammalleri.

Pacioretty is a transformed player. He’s using his body effectively, going to the net, opening space for his linemates and making safe, simple plays. Martin praised Max-Pac’s speed, shot and physicality.

Whether through AHL experience or new-found confidence, Pacioretty has developed hockey sense that was not in evidence during his previous stints with the big club.

And playing with smart veterans – both of whom share his American citizenship – seems to have elevated Max-Pac’s game.

I’m off to record a late-night Puckcast with Messrs Hickey and Stubbs.

More stuff on the game tomorrow morning.

79 Comments

  1. Bouleau noir says:

    Loved that game !… Now that Pyatt had to make room for Pacioretti our overall roster size up front has gained some weight and I think that the consequences it had on our game were pretty obvious….. the added physicality….. the added net presence…. and I thought it was no coincidence if three of our goals were acheived from being up close.

    This aspect, if maintained, will add scoring versatility to our team and I thought that Martin’s reformed bottom lines from last night’s game were perfectly suited to keep it going as we move along and I would be very surprised if those 4 lines as we saw them last night werent configured to stay for a very long haul….. sorry Tom.

    Cammalleri’s goal was an absolute beautt….. what finesse!! what about P.K.’s middle ice hit on the torpedo ?…. I think it was the most spectacular hit I ever saw.

  2. HardHabits says:

    C’mon. You can stoop lower than that.

  3. HardHabits says:

    I agree that Gomez salary is a bad one. I never said he was worth a 7.4 million cap hit. I think he’s easily worth 5 million though. The Habs still manage to build a good team. They get their deals in Halpern, Darche, Price, etc.

    Read this article. Is he part of your consensus? The Habs have the best deal and nowhere is Gomez mentioned.

    As for your insults. Get real. You know nothing about me. Picked on?!?!? Hilarious. Is that what this is. You think you’re picking on me? You really are a troll aren’t you. Tony is that you?

    I could really care less about Gomez the person. I am a fan of the sport not the players. My argument is that the cap hit is moot. The 2.5 extra is being spent elsewhere. I think AK’s 3.5 is a total waste. At least Gomez performs come play-off time.

    It isn’t NHL 11 where you can pull rabbits out of a hat. I’ve always liked that Gomez became a Hab. I hated him as a Devil. Because he was such a bastard. The type of bastard that put away other teams. He was one of the most sought after free agents when he got signed. You trolls really amaze me. On and on. The salary cap is bad. Are you sure it isn’t you who got teased once too often?

     

  4. mbplekfan says:

    Given Pacioretty’s earlier comments about everything, I think that Martin went to Hamilton with the express purpose of scouting him after his solid play.

    He must have impressed the coach with his game and convinced him that he was ready for the NHL or Martin would have left him in the A for the whole year.

    If Pacioretty is ready to play every night in the NHL then we are ready to have him on the big club. He gives us needed size and scoring touch.

    He also frees up assets like Lapierre who can be used to trade for defencemen.

  5. Chuck says:

    Well, we don’t want the Leafs to win ALL of their games, so tonight’s loss makes me quite happy, thank you.

    Centre Hice: Sainte Flanelle, illustrated history: 1935-36

  6. PureGuava says:

    I don’t post here anymore because blowhards like you are intolerable. Gainey this, and Carey that….and A.K’s junk…and Gomez is the second coming of Christ….

    I’m sorry that you were picked on as a child, but no amount of grovelling that you do on here is going to get Scott Gomez to come to your birthday party.

    It is a consensus in the hockey community that Gomez’s contract is a very bad one. There is no argument to be had….call it a day.

  7. spos080808 says:

    Ok can Habs fans STOP with wanting the Leafs to lose! Seriously, it makes NO sense.

    Yah lets hope the Bruins get another top 5 draft pick to stack that team more. Makes all the sense in the world.

     

  8. HardHabits says:

    Gomez is just a cog in the machine. Type of player. Not build the team around. The team is being built around Price. PureGuava. Hasn’t posted in ages yet all of a sudden appears to comment on HH’s Gomez posts. Sounds eerily Tony242ish.

  9. VancouverHab says:

    No offense, but crap. This is around and round the mulberry bush.

    Gomez’s salary is irrelevant: the team success is relevant. If we had an extra ’3 mil’ we could get another player. Because of course they grow on trees, and if we want them we just pick them.

    Gomez was the stud available when we needed one, and Gainey pulled the other pieces to compete for the Cup. In a fixed expenditure economy, such as a salary cap, it is a question of how to balance assets, and only those assets available at time of purchase.

    To paraphrase, ‘you build for the Stanley Cup with the team that you have available, not the team that you wish you had available.’

  10. PureGuava says:

    HardHabits is Scott Gomez’s mother.

  11. PureGuava says:

    Wait a second. Did you just suggest that Gainey wanted to rebuild the team by acquiring a 60 point player that makes 4 million dollars a season over market value? That was his “Big Plan”?

    What genius.

  12. Just A Guy says:

    What was the context in Mike Milbury calling the habs cockroaches? I didnt watch the TSN broadcast, was he directing it at Lapierre, while I think he may have a point in his opinion that Max might need to drop the gloves a bit more (by no means would I suggest he fight Thornton) and Subban for his perceived cockyness, or was he calling out the whole team?

  13. joshua94k says:

    It’s sad that Canadian taxpayers have to endure a Bruins fan crying over a penalty shot, and a clean hit by subban.

     

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  14. HardHabits says:

    He sure can scoot.

  15. Just A Guy says:

    I caught a little of the CH express on RDS, it looks like Spatch was hurt near the end of the game, Georges had to cover one of his shifts I think. Anyone notice this?

  16. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …on a more serious subject …SOMETHING has to be done about Mike Milbury …I don’t mind the shite cummin’ out that fool’s dumbass mouth if he was on NBC or whatever American network …BUT the CBC paying this bottom-dragger moron is beyond excuse …at least Don Cherry, in My opinion, has SOME redeeming qualities, if yet still a buffoon

    …I believe a letter and e-mail blitz to the idiots doing the hiring for Hockey Night In Canada …should be sent by those that agree with Me to state THIS is the end-of-the-line for putting up with The Moron From Down South

    …I have NEVER seen HNIC look so sophmoric …it’s not ‘funny’ anymore …it’s unforgiveable

    …if any of You have the time, then PLEASE take the time to let CBC and HNIC clearly know how We feel …ENOUGH is ENOUGH !!!’

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

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

  17. Shiloh says:

    I worry for our future if this is the kind of thinking our schools are producing. Gomez is fine – a nice 2nd line centre who can scoot, but the extra 3 million we are paying him denies us another high quality player. Gainey goofed big time in relieving Sather of his foolish overpayment and we’ll be hamstrung by that contract through the first half of this decade. You pay bucks like that for a legitimate superstar – not for Scott Gomez.

    Credibility? Gomer has looked good for the last couple of games but he stunk so bad the first quarter of the season that he was the 8th best centre on the ice most nights. All a part of Gainey’s “plan” I guess. I don’t find you the least bit hilarious – just a pompous windbag who thinks he knows better than everyone else. A “told-you-so” guy who plumps his own sagacity after the fact.

    Credibility? I’m surprised you can spell it.

  18. HardHabits says:

    Thanks for the compliment. I would worry if you agreed with me. This is my point. I don’t like the cap hit either. I like Gomez and that’s the price that was needed to pay to get the type of player Gainey wanted to rebuild the Habs with. It’s something you’ll never understand.

  19. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’m still seeing flashbacks of ‘The Collision’ …Brad Marchand blazing towards the line like a F/A 22 Raptor …and ‘The Splat’ by SubbyDoo …Marchand folded-up like a rubbies’ empty paper bag …OUCH !!!

    …Cammy is A Man …no more doubt

    …I have always thought of Pacioretti’s potential as Bob Gainey Redux …tonight He looked like Bob Gainey++ …sweet synergy with Gomez and Gionta …He may save Gomer’s and Our season …though I believe We need another yet to be determined large body to handle the dastardly Philthydelphia Phlyers

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

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

  20. Da Hema says:

    Subbanisation (or Subbanization if one must use bastardised US English)!

    ————————

    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.

  21. Shiloh says:

    OK Mr High and Mighty Decider of who has credibility – I officially call you full of crap. There were about 50 of us mad as hell about the Gomez acquisition. He could play as well as he did tonight for the next 4 years and not be worth the Crosby-Ovechkin we’re paying him.

  22. HardHabits says:

    Gomez is worth 5-5.5 million dollars easily. Even the Gomez bashers will deny that. Nevertheless he’s a very good player, a veteran top 6 forward and a team player. He led the Habs in assists in both the regular season and the play-offs last year. His production thus far this year is not up to what we’d expect, and that’s around 60 points, so the criticism is warranted. People absolutely denying his value or trotting out the simple points/salary equation have nothing to really stand on other than a need to bash. Sather wasn’t an idiot for signing him. He was an idiot for offering him too much and for not knowing how to use him properly.

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    I am a man of mystery ;) I don’t like all cops either.

     

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

  24. habs001 says:

    i think ak46 will be kept as he can score 10-12 goals in a streak but he can also score 1-2 goals in 15 games…unless we can pick up a legitimate scorer we have to gamble on ak46 to produce in the playoffs…i think we will pick up a d as the second period looked like many games last year and some of our d looked tired…but an important win as we have been losing more games when we outplay the other team than winning…

  25. joeybarrie says:

    He is also showing that he starts slow and gaine momentum as the season progresses. Mind you this particular seasons slow start is a bad one…

    As for you, you cop loving, UFC hating…….I cant think of anything else to say…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  26. JD_ says:

    It’s a Subbang world, we just live in it!

  27. punkster says:

    Lovin’ it!

    Just Subbangin’ baby, just Subbangin’.

  28. punkster says:

    Subban who?

  29. Fool of Chu says:

    All they want is to be convinced that he’s worth the money he’s making. If he prdouces to par, they will not “grumble” or “go into hiding”, but simply won’t see the need to exclaim unhappiness with his play.

     

    That’s awkwardly hard language you’re using to describe people being critical of a player whose production just didn’t meet his pay for quite some time…

  30. SeriousFan09 says:

    Gomez is showing what he can when he has a winger on each side that can do something with the puck, he’s a playmaker and he needs to be able to dish to both wings. We’re paying our 2nd-line C like a 1st-liner and our 1st-line C like a 2nd-liner, it’s a counterbalance really. It’s too predictable when he comes down with just Gionta and random plug X on his line but with Pacioretty moving at speed and packing size it opens up the game.

    Gomez is likeable enough and while I admit, some nights I’d take Koivu in his spot he’s showing what he can do with support players.

     

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

  31. punkster says:

    Uh…who’s there?

  32. Chuck says:

    Habs win, Bruins lose, Leafs lose.

    Lots to like tonight!

    Centre Hice: Sainte Flanelle, illustrated history: 1935-36

  33. punkster says:

    We be Subbangin’ now!

  34. Chuck says:

    If you could Flames goals as fireworks, then yeah, there wasa lot… 5 of them, in fact. Leafs had their asses handed to them.

    Centre Hice: Sainte Flanelle, illustrated history: 1935-36

  35. HardHabits says:

    Gigomax!! Hilarious!!!! Love the avatar. We need to see the T-shirt!!!

  36. Bill says:

    That was WICKED. Clean hit, don’t know what the Bruins were crying for. Since when do you punch a guy for a clean hit?

    Marchand used to play here in Moncton for the Wildcats and was never the best at keeping his head up. He’s a really excellent player (I think), but at his size if he doesn’t learn to look up in the NHL he will get seriously creamed sometime, way worse than what PK did.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  37. PureGuava says:

    I love that your Avatar and online persona appeared roughly around the same time that “Nahlsy” was booted off of these boards….

    Everyone with a different opinion (that strangely resembles reality) is the ‘Troll’. You constantly revise history to push your agenda, and it’s a form of sick fanaticism that is all too common on this site. Price strings up a couple of great months and last years disaster is wiped from the books. Gomez has a good game, and the last two months of brutality is wiped from the books….nevermind that Kostitsyn - who was performing just fine, has now played on every line on the team in an attempt to get GOMEZ going!

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.” – Robert Anton Wilson

  38. HardHabits says:

    Timo has a new MAB-crush.

  39. twilighthours says:

    Plekanec was such a beast tonight.  He set up so many plays that should have been turned into goals.  

    Pacioretty looked great again!  

    And hit of the year, Subban on Marchand.  Wow!

  40. HardHabits says:

    Not likely. They’ll still grumble. However the more and more that Gomez produces they’ll eventually go into hiding. The only ones who have any credibility in the Gomez bashing are SmartDog and Chris as they were immediately opposed to the signing from the onset. The rest are former Halak whiners whose ship has sunk so they’re clinging to this new life preserver. They’ll be drowned out soon enough.

  41. Timo says:

    Where there any fireworks at that game? Usually when there is too much hype nothing happens.

  42. Timo says:

    Like I said before – Bruins were, are and always will be Habs b!tches. I think the score was a lot closer than the game indicated. Habs dominated and for a change played for 60 minutes. PK is awesome! Love that dude!!!

  43. Bill says:

    TSN sure spends a lot of time talking about Dion Phaneuf considering how unproductive he’s been.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  44. Richrebellion says:

    Finally Gomez is given another winger who can actually be effective offensively and guess what the guy comes alive! Why wasn’t this done awhile ago? Or atleast tried Pouliot up there for more than a game? But maybe now those gomez haters will stop their whinning for once. 

  45. 24 Cups says:

    Wow!  I just read all the posts for this thread from last night.

    It’s kind of strange – I could have sworn that we won last night’s game.  Sure doesn’t sound like it.

  46. ctony says:

    Great word, sagacity.  

  47. DearyLeary says:

    I’ve been to a few Hamilton games this year, and while Patches has looked good, he never looked that good.  He’s big, fast, strong, and a nose for the net (and how about that cross ice pass to Gionta!).  

    I think I finally understand why Moen was playing with Gomez for that period of time, Martin wants a big strong fella who can retrieve the puck.  The problem is that Gomez is way too fast for Moen to be able to keep up, so if Gomer can’t carry the puck in, and dumps the puck in, Moen couldn’t retrieve it.  Patches doesn’t have that problem, he can keep up and he manhandled some big boys on the Bruins last night.  

    Pacioretty helps with puck possession, and with supplementary skill he adds another scoring option for Gomez/Gionta.  I think he’s the ideal player to play with those two, and it really showed last night, for the first time in a long time our best line clearly wasn’t Plekanec’s, and that’s a good thing.

  48. Fansincebirth says:

    I have a small confession to make and it may shed some light on our 3 game losing skid.

    Last Thursday at work, we decided to decorate the office for Christmas. The majority of people are Sens fans with the exception of a few Habs fans, one Leaf fan and one Bruins fan.

    When the Bruins fan left the office, I thought it would be funny to hang a Habs logo over his desk as a joke. When I left, someone hung a Leafs logo over my desk.

    We lost three in a row. I tore them down yesterday…..

    See what I’m saying? Bad karma….bad.

    I apologize for my Tom Foolery that caused our losing streak. ;o)

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  49. sholi2000.com says:

    A Christmas miracle, God Bless Us Everyone :)

    Screw the Leafs and Bruins. Draft picks and All!

    They Call Me Shane

  50. sholi2000.com says:

    Same here.  I shoveled snow for two and half hours, and was so tired during the game I just laid on the couch and prayed for a win.

    Then Subban woke me up, and the rest is history.

    Nothing like beating the Bruins. 

    They Call Me Shane

  51. sergim26 says:

    Well, they lost to the Flames so it’s all good!

  52. OneTimer says:

    Hey man, where ya been?

    O what’s that, Habs have been winning and you’ve been looking stupid? Oh I see.

    See you around then.

  53. OneTimer says:

    Who’s a better sportcaster than Pierre Houde?

  54. avatar_58 says:

    My day sucked, but damn…..perfect ending ;)

  55. habs001 says:

    carolina is in 9th spot 8 points behind and 2 games in hand and other teams are closer to us ..yet so many posters are obsessed with what the leafs do..the reality is that if the leafs beat more eastern teams that is a benefit for us…its like a millionaire obsessed with pennies he finds on the street…next 7 games 4-2-1 would be acceptable.  

  56. Bouleau noir says:

    He blocked a blast from the point late in the game and I felt pain for him….. Pierre Houde didn’t see a thing as usual and didn’t comment on it.

  57. RJB says:

    Fantastic battle, Habs were full value for that win! Capping off the evening by watching the Flames take the laughs to school. 3 goals in 57 seconds…gotta love it!

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    - Bilbo Baggins

  58. Da Hema says:

    A pleasantly tense game (from a viewer’s perspective). The Habs definitely need to find a defenceman to replace Markov over the next few months. Unfortunately, we cannot wait for him to return–if he even does–and the team needs to find a top defenceman to reduce Hamrlik’s and Gill’s playing time slightly (for the record, I am not criticising them, merely observing their ages–although in Gill’s case I do believe he tries to play beyond his abilities, e.g., his absolutely ill-advised pinches). A nice divisional win tonight. The losing streak ends!

    ————————

    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.

  59. SeriousFan09 says:

    The All-Americans are primed to go.

    Now we just need the Trans-Atlantic to get a working connection in Belarus.

     

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

  60. habaholic68NJ says:

    Too much fog in Belarus.  Nothing is flying.

  61. HardHabits says:

    I’d prefer to see AK traded if possible. I can’t see him being re-signed. For all his talent and physical strength he just doesn’t seem to have that inner drive needed to take it to the next level come play-off time. He is a waste of cap space IMO and again it’s my POV that in no way does he deserve to be resigned let alone get a raise. I am not impressed at all with him. He’s streaky and non-committal. I hope he turns it around but I am highly suspect that he will. In his case his intangibles are negative. Maybe playing regularly with Plex and Cammy wakes him up again. If not I wouldn’t be surprised if the Habs pull the trigger and trade him.

    The Belorussian experiment looks it’s going to be 3 strikes and you’re out. Has he a home run in him? This road trip will be crucial. He needs to step it up to play on the top 6.

  62. DearyLeary says:

    Patches played fantastic.  I don’t know whether he can keep that kind of intensity up the whole season, but we’re a better team when he’s playing like that.  We might not have any bonafide 1st line stars, but Pleks and Gomer’s lines are looking solid now.  Chip in useful minutes from Halpern and Eller’s lines and we’ve got a good thing going.

     

    Oh, and I’ll chime in and echo one of the posters from the game blog and say that the Gigomax is one of the best line nicknames ever conceived.

  63. captaink4life says:

    Great win tonight. 

     

    You will always be a Canadien in my eyes, Saku

  64. Bill says:

    The Habs were great in this one, loved to see it. You can really see how they miss Markov though … Not sure how that will turn out. Pacioretty was a definite impact player tonight, scored that dirty, crease-side goal the Habs have been dying for for a long time, and his size makes a big difference for his linemates. Price was good again, never let Bruins tie it up, did exactly what was needed.

  65. Bill H says:

    “Scott Gomez is playing his best hockey of the young season…“  LOL we are 32 games into the season, its hardly young.  On the other hand, the number of times Gomez has actually shown up for a game this season can be counted on one hand, so I guess it is a young season for him.  We need him out there and he came to play tonight.

    Great to see Pacioretty playing so well.  If he keeps it up, he could have a big impact on this team.

    I am enjoying what PK brings to the rink.  He’s an exciting player to watch.  Sure, he makes mistakes.  But I think he’ll be fine. 

    Very fun game to watch tonight.

    Looking forward to the Puckcast Mr. Boone.

  66. VancouverHab says:

    Slightly past the first third is young to me (a 28 year old man is young to my mind.)

    And if you actually believe that this is the first time Gomez has ‘shown up’, well, we saw what happens when he’s not playing.

  67. Hockey Socks says:

    “the number of times Gomez has actually shown up for a game this season can be counted on one hand”

    I disagree. He shows up every night, is usually a defensively responsible player, and tries to make things happen. The problem is that he turns the puck over in the offensive and neutral zone, doesn’t shoot often enough, and takes dumb penalties. He’s just not producing the numbers we expect from him.

  68. thebigguy says:

    Thomas didn’t show the proper respect to the game during the shootout!

  69. joeybarrie says:

    The Leafs suck so bad. How did ANYONE think they would even make the playoffs let alone do batter than us????????

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  70. SeriousFan09 says:

    Media’s responsibility is to build up hope for he Loafs fans so they’ll watch, if they told them truth about their team they wouldn’t bother watching so less ratings.

     

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

  71. SeriousFan09 says:

    He may get tossed at the trade deadline the way this is going, you’re right, he was everything but scoring in the last 3 games despite getting great chances. I know his slumps are easy to pick on but they happen so often and coaxing him out of them… Don’t like how often he gets demonized on here but his play hasn’t taken that leap forward we hoped we had seen in October.

    I remember one guy, forgot who it was being referred to as “Great tools, but no toolbox”, it seems like that for Andrei. He has the size, shot, strength and speed to play but he can’t blend it together to have dominant games.

     

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


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