Quick Hits

That was a fun exhibition game, and two points are always valuable.

But considering Ottawa looked, hands-down, like the worst team the Canadiens have played this season, maybe we’ll wait till Saturday night to draw conclusions about how this team will fare without Michael Cammalleri and, for now, Jeff Halpern.

Anaheim will be tougher. Saku Koivu will see to that.

There was a time when Daniel F. Alfredsson would see to it that Ottawa would play great hockey against the team at this end of the 417.

Not any more.

The best Senators were the third- and fourth-liners: Bobby Butler, Zack Smith, Jesse Winchester, Chris Kelly and, as always, Chris Neil.

But the F in Daniel F. seems to signify Finished.

As is Alex Kovalev. And Mike Fisher plays like he’s trying to stay healthy till the trade deadline.

The Ottawa D is soft. The goaltending pathetic.

So let’s not get too giddy.

But a W is a W.

And for the first time in a long time, the Canadiens got an opponent down and finished them off.

The play that exemplified the game: With the Canadiens leading 5-1 and two seconds left at the end of the second period, Tomas Plekanec dove to clear a puck out of the zone.

Man, what a great team guy.

Was there a better off-season signing than the deal that will keep Pleks in Montreal through 2015-’16? For $5 million per … $500,000 less than what the hapless Senators are paying Sergei Gonchar.

So much to like:

• Carey Price made 33 saves and won his 24th – matching last season’s total. And he’ll almost certainly face Jonas Hiller at the Bell Centre.

• Thank you, Garth Snow, for James Wisniewki. The power-play has become one of the league’s most dangerous, and pairing Wiz with Roman Hamrlik, the team’s best defensive defenceman, was brilliant. There are now three solid D pairings of RH and LH shots, with first pass/rockey shot guys paired with stay-at-home types.

• With Cammalleri out of the lineup, the top two lines stepped up big: Plekanec had two goals and six SoG, Scott Gomez had two assists on superb passes, playing hurt, Max Pacioretty had a goal, an assist and five shots, Brian Gionta and AK46 also scored. The Top Six had nine points.

• Benoit Pouliot returned to the lineup and opened the scoring with a laser. In Benny, Mathieu Darche and David Desharnais, the Canadiens finally have a third line that can score.

• Andreas Engqvist and Ryan White each played double-digit minutes. Engqvist helped on the PK (which allowed one shot on the 5-on-3), and White had six hits (high on both teams) and a fight.

What else is there to say?

The Canadiens played an almost perfect road game against a team that is perfectly crap and played like they want their coach fired.

Saku & Friends will be a bigger challenge.

More tomorrow.

39 Comments

  1. BJT says:

    True

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

     

    True

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

     

    True

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

     

    True

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

    True

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

     

     

  2. hound521 says:

    Boone, I’m surprised you didn’t mention anything about DD. I thought he had his best game as a Hab tonight. He could easily have had 4 assists tonight.

  3. hound521 says:

    Boone, I’m surprised you didn’t mention anything about DD. I thought he had his best game as a Hab tonight. He could easily have had 4 assists tonight.

  4. zak says:

    sure wish Gomez wasn’t wearing # 11. P.K. seemed off his game last night.

  5. CBrady12 says:

    so should we be worried? its always doom and gloom eh

  6. bwoar says:

    I insulted you, and I was wrong about Pacioretty.

  7. Bill says:

    Just re-watching on Canadiens Express … in the last minute of the first Spacek made a great defensive takeaway to prevent a scoring chance, and then later Price made a nice save with about 30 seconds left. Both key plays in preventing the dreaded late goal that, in this case, would have tied the game.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  8. Timo says:

    A truly enjoyable game.

  9. usversusthem says:

    Boone, Price won 13 last season. His 24 this season match his 24 in his rookie season, which hopefully will become an ex-career-high tomorrow night… 

    At this rate he’s on pace for 41. Imagine, the day after the Halak trade, P.G. calmly assuring the fanbase that Price would win 40 this year… Hilarious. 

  10. smiler2729 says:

    Lots of Saku love here and for good reason, the man was an inspiring hockey player and human being while he played in Montreal.

    I just hope the team doesn’t let the game and its two points become an afterthought.

    Let’s hope the tribute tonight is prompt and not fall into Maple Laffs territory… When Saku retires, there should be a night specifically honouring him (and retiring number 11 is NOT necessary).

  11. Mike MacPhee says:

    Carey Price made 33 saves and won his 24th – matching last season’s total.

    Actually, last season’s total for Carey was 13 wins.  24 matches his rookie season, and career high.

  12. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    “I hate Mike Fisher. Never was there a player who had such appreciation from the fans for doing so ******* little year in and out, despite getting paid like a core player.”

    Where does the line start to take him off their hands?

  13. shootdapuck says:

    ROID rage!

  14. shootdapuck says:

     

    From Sens Fanpage:

     

    • I hate Bryan Murray’s disastrous trades, and his caving in to Heatley’s demands.

    • I hate Melnyk running his ******* mouth constantly and turning the day to day management into a joke.

    • I hate Clouston’s inability to suggest anything other than line juggling as a means to fix problems.

    • I hate Spezza’s complete and utter ******* disappearance since Heatley left. I hate him making the same glaring ******* mistakes over and over.

    • I hate Milan Michalek, who seems to keep regressing. I’d probably hate him less if he wasn’t part of the Heatley deal.

    • I hate Mike Fisher. Never was there a player who had such appreciation from the fans for doing so ******* little year in and out, despite getting paid like a core player.

    • I hate Alex Kovalev. No explanation needed there. But he certainly ranks up there will all time most hated in my terms.

    • I hate Sergei Gonchar, who everyday is proving to be a great person to add to a team when the team already has people to rely on.

    • I hate Chris Neil, who grandstands around like he’s worth a damn, when in reality he’s massively overpaid, barely hits, takes stupid penalties constantly, contributes nothing offensively or defensively, and despite talking big, seems to fight teammates more often than opponents.

    • I hate Filip Kuba, who is clearly collecting a paycheck and counting the days until his contract expires. At least fake an injury so someone who cares can try.

    • I hate Chris Phillips, because I have seen a tested and true defenceman fall back into bad habits I didn’t know he was capable of having.

    • I hate Peter Regin, for getting our hopes up last year about what kind of player he could be.

    • I hate Pascal Leclaire, not only because he’s terrible, but because at this point I’m fairly certain he’s just quit altogether.

    • I hate Brian Lee, because the only reason he’s playing is so that we can trying and fool another team into taking him.

    • I hate Brian Elliott, because I had such hope he could improve somewhat from last year, when he may be self destructing worse than anyone.

    • But more than all I hate that I still have to watch another half season of things going exactly as they are.

     

    Just a little intense!

     

     

     

     

  15. christophor says:

    Also, I realize the immense cost of upgrading to something that will support the kinds of numbers in here on game nights. But if that’s the nature of what’s being run, it’s hard to see how that can be avoided, unless it’s run on the cheap with literally no access during HABS GAMES, you know the team this whole thing is about. 

    But anyways, HIO has a vast market of those interested in frequent Habs updates that could be tapped with the appropriate support. There wouldn’t be any real competition if this place was stable, had an up tp date mobile component, etc. It’s an investment, like any other.

  16. christophor says:

    Listen, I write on fan-boards and I don’t even want to begin to get into how many things are wrong with this comment

  17. habs001 says:

    most times back to back is not that bad but when we dont win we do use it as an excuse…all teams have won  back to back games when the team they played did not play the night before…we just have to have a better road record than we have so far

  18. habsfansince91 says:

    i’ve got to say, i was really surprised to see how effective he was tonight. I’m sure he was in pain but he didn’t show it at all.

  19. EricInStL says:

    The Gazette is running this thing on the cheap. Making money with a crap load of ads, fine but the servers will get loaded fast. And… oh whatever, they just want they eyeballs for the ads.

    Same old same old, with this site.

     

    “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”–Winston Churchill

  20. CBrady12 says:

    Listen I work in IT and I don’t even want to begin to get into how many things are wrong with this comment

  21. habs001 says:

    after the all star break our first 6 games are made up of 3 back to back games….

  22. CBrady12 says:

    Habs are one of the hottest teams in the league with a record of 7-1-2 in their last 10. So if Boone says we shouldn’t get too excited, when should we get excited? Personally, I’m always excited about our team so I don’t care but when is everyone else gonna get excited??? 

  23. The Teacher says:

    Wow….fix this stupid system already….

  24. BJT says:

    Well.

    If this past little sequence wasn’t a cacauphony of failure, I don’t know what is.

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  25. hound521 says:

    Boone, I’m surprised you didn’t mention anything about DD. I thought he had his best game as a Hab tonight. He could easily have had 4 assists tonight.

  26. hound521 says:

    Boone, I’m surprised you didn’t mention anything about DD. I thought he had his best game as a Hab tonight. He could easily have had 4 assists tonight.

  27. christophor says:

    a massive server upgrade is extremely costly, but i have no sympathy. what’s the excuse? the site is too popular? thats GOOD news. if gameday blogging is central here, then the place needs a facelift. thats how business works.

  28. CBrady12 says:

    I really liked Pacioretty tonight,

    so many here were quick to judge me for saying that habs i/o fan-imposed two weeks rest for Paciorettys injury was wayyy too excessive.

    Some said I don’t know what it’s like to bruise a rib and shouldnt comment, another insultingly said I need to watch some hockey before I comment. Well I watched tonight and saw that patches looked pretty good. 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 pims, 5 shots, 16 minutes of ice time…

    Max is becoming a big part of this team, aint no bruised rib gonna keep him down… 

  29. twocents says:

    How did Gauthier get the Wiz for a second and a conditional fifth again?

  30. HardHabits says:

    Nice to see the team not sit back on a lead for a change. Who cares who they beat and how crap the Sens are. It could’ve been close but instead the rout was on. Engqvist looked real good. White as well. Real depth and proper development all around. Things looking bright for the future. I really hope the Habs continue building the farm. As much as I touted it it’s still nice to see them doing it without tanking.

  31. matrags says:

    ah good old comic relief. A literary tool used by great writers of drama to relieve the reader, to give him a respet, a chance to catch his breath ,knowing that the road ahead willbe tough and the reader resolve will be tested as the drama unfolds. Ah yes his heroes can enjoy the moment revel  in their levity , know ing that this task they have set out upon will tax them , expose them for who they really are. Ah yes who are they ? But tonight we will laugh , drink , and share our common goal and our deep  seated certainty that maybe this yr we wil be equal tothe task. Go habs Go…………..

  32. matrags says:

    ah good old comic relief. A literary tool used by great writers of drama to relieve the reader, to give him a respet, a chance to catch his breath ,knowing that the road ahead willbe tough and the reader resolve will be tested as the drama unfolds. Ah yes his heroes can enjoy the moment revel  in their levity , know ing that this task they have set out upon will tax them , expose them for who they really are. Ah yes who are they ? But tonight we will laugh , drink , and share our common goal and our deep  seated certainty that maybe this yr we wil be equal tothe task. Go habs Go…………..

  33. Number31 says:

    Engqvist did good on faceoffs (wouldn’t look too much into Pleky’s faceoff stats as most of them were against Fisher who is usually way better at them). Good game for him to be introduced to the NHL with. Guess you can call it a warm up. It was pretty much the Hamilton Bulldogs vs the Binghamton Senators with special guests by the Habs and O-Sens, so it’s not like he doesn’t know the players he’s up against. Also a home game away from home :D

    I love it when White plays. So happy he was called up. His year isn’t as bad as the stats look (injured for most of it, but he still plays his tenacious game). He’ll always be there to stand up for someone. He’ll block a shot with his face, get stitched up, and return to play while hitting anything that moves.

    Been a while since the Habs stomped on a weaker team and stomped them good. I feel bad for Clouston, but his team looks like it wants to fire the season.

  34. Bill says:

    I don’t care if the Senators are a crappy team, because all too often that’s the kind of team that gives Montreal fits.Nice to see them do what they’re supposed to do with a team like that, which is KILL THEM.

    The other day – after the injuries – I posted that on the bright side, the Habs were finally a team that was suited to playing JM’s stodgy defensive system. And ironically, without Cammalleri or Markov, they come out and administer an offensive ass-kicking. It’s a funny game.

    So many likes. If I may continue to stump for AK46, this guy has been having a good season no matter what anyone says. It’s not like he’s getting top-six minutes all year, but he’s still producing more than most players on the team. And he still leads the team in hits, if I am not mistaken.

    The score is somewhat deceiving in that Ottawa’s goalies playeds like crap, while Price was super-solid all night. Even out the goaltending a little, and this really could have been a 3-2 or 4-3 win. Kudos to him for staying focussed all game and making it a rout.

    I am continuing to appreciate Gomez and his strong recent play. For the first 20 games of the year he was just not really there, but lately … playing a top-two centre without a doubt.

    So, we’re all happy, right??

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  35. BJT says:

    I object, it was incredibly disrespectful and hotdoggish of subban to score on the powerplay like that; incredibly offensive to the man in the box!

     

    Formerly known as Camel_Larry.. ‘Sub-BAM! What a hit!’ ..”No more Looser on this teams!!” – Canadienboy

  36. larisalapointe says:

    It’s nice that PK respectfully celebrated his goal. ;)

  37. FormalWare says:

    The Wiz came, waved his wand, and–voila! A team that loves to play hockey, exuding passion and camaraderie.

  38. NoTinFoilCups says:

    The Wiz could command a lot of money on the open market. It would be nice to have him back. I wonder how he likes playing in Montreal. He has made a seamless transition into the lineup. If he doesn’t buy into a Stanley Cup discount though we are perhaps better off taking our chances with bringing Markov back.


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