A hard-won point

The Canadiens made it through Customs without any new injuries.

No practice today.

• Pat Hickey’s game story

Gomez mans up on costly penalty

Quick Hits and About last night …

• Arpon Basu on opportunity for Lars Eller

• Pierre Ladouceur’s game analysis

• Pierre Durocher thinks players, including some teammates, are jealous of P.K.

111 Comments

  1. terrygain says:

    I’m AK’s biggest fan on this site and I watch him very closely. He’s not playing any better this week than he has all year.  He’s scored a couple of goals this week. Most people judge a player by results, rather than play. He’s been playing hard all year. He gets very few passes even when in position. 

  2. habfan53 says:

    I remember when the Canadiens used to call up juniors back in the 60’s  I’m thinking of Cournoyer

  3. Chris says:

    Great post, Eric.  I think people all too often forget that context plays a huge role in determining success at the NHL level.

    We always look at guys like Corey Locke or Martin St. Pierre as busts because they can’t cut it as third line players.  The issue is that some guys need to be on scoring lines (i.e. top 6 forwards with ample PP time) to produce.  On any given team, you can only have 6 of those.  Montreal has 5 clear choices (Plekanec, Gomez, Cammalleri, Gionta and Kostitsyn) with some question marks around the 6th (Pouliot?  Eller?  Pacioretty?).

    A guy like Pacioretty voiced the fact that many have long suspected, that it was better for his development to get top-6 minutes and offensive opportunities in Hamilton than playing bottom-6 minutes in Montreal.  I often think that this is what derailed Alexander Perezhogin during his tenure…Perezhogin was blessed with a lot of skill, but it was rather hard to exploit that skill as a youngster playing with checking line players like Mike Johnson and Radek Bonk for 10-14 minutes per game.

    Some guys take a while to develop, and you have to show patience.  Some guys NEED to be surrounded by talent to show their own talent…I suspect that this is where D’Agostini, Sergei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski all fall.  They weren’t discarded…they were traded because there simply was no room for them in the role they needed to play.  I doubt that Grabovski will ever be a #1 or #2 centre on a contending team, as his lack of size and defensive game would be exploited by the Getzlafs and Carters and Thorntons of the NHL.  But he can still have a nice career, statistically at least, playing for not-quite-contenders doing his own thing. 

  4. J_P says:

    The league has no such policy, hasn’t said anything about PK’s celebration nor have they levied any fines against neither PK nor the Montreal Canadiens.  It seems like the “rural canadian boys” and some pundits are the only ones who have a problem with him.  Those people are just haters and as they say “haters are gonna hate”. 

  5. punkster says:

    Ha…just did that. Right you are. Great minds etc.?

    ***Subbang!!!***

  6. Mark C says:

    If I’m PG I take that deal and run, I don’t care if AK46 has more upside.

    Unless LA is super high on Hickey, he might be available in the right trade. Besides having a lot of under contract defensemen, LA also has some good prospects like Teubert.

     

  7. J_P says:

    I know we can call up junior players on emergency call-up, but what exactly constitutes an emergency? Would our AHL affiliate have to be too thin to provide call-ups before we can call up a junior aged player?

     

    I would have no problem with the habs calling up leblanc on an emergency basis for a couple of games. Totally agree that it would be a great way to see where his development is at. 

  8. TomNickle says:

    I think they were planning on having Pacioretty around for Palushaj’s first call up.  We’ll see though.  People would jump all over this but I really wouldn’t mind having a look at Leblanc.  It’s by no means a permanent stay and it gives you a good idea of where he’s at strength wise.  Also, he is dominating in juniors.  If he struggles on the walls and in traffic you know what he needs to work on.  That’s the only problem with junior, it’s very tough to judge what a player needs to work on to be a professional, the AHL is where you find out.  So this could be a nice little visit for him.  I believe he can play under ten games and not have a year of his contract count.

  9. twocents says:

    I am sure that is just as much a possibility, if not more, but I wonder if they’ll take the opportunity to see what Palushaj can do at the next level. I’m curious.

  10. shiram says:

    Tempête dans un verre d’eau.

    Subban has been playing great lately, much better than he did at the start of the season, and even with controversy following with about every move he makes, he continues to strive.

    I loved how he backed away from a Sabres player wanting to fight with him, he knew we we’re short of players already, and losing him for 2-5 minutes would hurt the team bad.

    Why can’t he just play and be left alone?? Yea he is exuberant, and yea he is young, and there is nothing wrong with that. I am very sick of nothing incidents being made up and served as news.

    I can get that Subban was overjoyed, it was a great goal by him, and ensured we got 2 points. But the game was not outstanding, i can get that some players were not as enthused.

  11. Mark C says:

    Do you not consider what just happened to Crosby as other teams imposing their physical will on Pitt?

  12. TomNickle says:

    My money is on Maxwell and Boyd.

  13. TomNickle says:

    Their roster players are highly unlikely to be available.  And I can’t see them wanting prospects in return.  If they want anything via trade, it will be a veteran who can contribute offensively as a forward or a good two way defenseman.

    Andrei Kostitsyn is the only player on our roster that I would trade to them for Simmonds.

    If you’re talking about Hickey, I have a personal bias because I believe he’ll be a carbon copy of Andrei Markov in a few years, so naturally, I would give up a lot.

  14. twocents says:

    Oh, can I assume a welcome to Aaron Palushaj?

    I suspect Boyd will be back too, since he can avoid waivers due to injury.

  15. habfan53 says:

    “Martin on acid”   NOW THAT IS FUNNY

  16. wall2bay says:

    Please somebody give me a link to what the NHL Conduct & Pratices for Celebrating a goal are??? 

    Should the “Low 5’s” be banned??? 

    How many fist pumps are you allowed before it’s called into question???  What about the Jagr salute???  Tiger Williams (a Cherry favorite) riding his stick???

     

    “I kind of feel sorry for players who never got a chance to be a Montreal Canadien” – Cammalleri

  17. fbkj says:

    scroll down ive been sayin this all morning

  18. punkster says:

    Exactly JL. That part doesn’t get to me so much as the wingnuts on here who jump on any opportunity to degrade a player or coach they don’t like (for whatever reason) and soak up valuable internet megabits touting it as proof of their hairbrained theories. Them there internet internet giggity megabitty things are priceless I tell you!

    ***Subbang!!!***

  19. twocents says:

    controversy, schmontroversy.

    Even if Gomez, or one of these other guys, said something like, “tone it down a notch so we don’t give anyone more motivation” it’s not a controversy. Again there’s no proof this type of thing was said, but even if it was, that doesn’t make it a controversy. It’s the type of thing veterans tell rookies, no big deal. 

    You want proof of no division or controversy, watch last night’s game, that was a TEAM.

  20. Mark C says:

    Yes, his offensive upside seems slightly limited. However, his point production is being held back greatly due to his usage. He gets very little PP time, only 2 career PP points, and he gets 3rd line minutes. He’s big, right shot, and willing to fight and use his size. At worst he would be a great 3rd liner, however with his right shot he could fill the role Metro had on the PP last year. He’s also 22 until next end of summer. I just no idea what LA would want, other than knowing that want a lot (1st/2nd round pick, plus a good prospect???).

    I would think Hickey might be expendable, LA is locked into 3 long-term deals on the backend, and soon to be 4 once DD signs.

  21. wall2bay says:

    I’m so sick and tired of the PK bashing!!!  Mike Foligno in his days use to dance around like a bafoon after scoring a goal, Tiger Williams used to ride his stick and even Selanne threw his glove in the air and shot it with his stick (Duck hunting).  But nobody said anything about that!

    This morning Cherry called Roenick colourful when he was in the league but how different was he from Subban today?  In fact I would say JR had a bigger mouth!

    Subban probably has too much “colour” and that irks people and even some players around the league!  It bugs them to see that a black man may change the old image of the league!  Get over it, he’s not a quiet white boy from rural Canada.

    The NHL is a joke…..they want to sell the game and have this ridiculous internal “code” of what is proper behaviour and inproper behaviour….even when it comes to celebrating? 

     

     

    “I kind of feel sorry for players who never got a chance to be a Montreal Canadien” – Cammalleri

  22. fbkj says:

    tanguay had no problem with PK’s celebration

    why the hell would gomez

    this is typical january reporting from our bored press

  23. TomNickle says:

    There’s going to be more balance but you can expect to see Cammalleri, Gomez and Gionta play into their contract years at the least.  And I expect Gionta to play the duration of his contract and get an extension.  

  24. SmartDog says:

    From Jacky Martini’s Diary-a….

    January 19th, 2011

    – I talked to one of my players earlier this week Diarya, and he’s playing really well now! I think his name is Andrew or Andy… anyway, I need to remember how to do that.  I wish I could recall what I said but I was out of my mind on acid at the time. Still, this “talking to players” (what I call it) could have something to it!  I’m going to make a note in my October calendar to try talking to a player next year too and see what happens.”

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  25. TomNickle says:

    It’s also being hinted at that Gionta, Gill and Cammalleri didn’t like it either.

    Now, think about that for a second, these media outlets are saying that these players are upset with PK for his celebration after scoring a GAME WINNING GOAL.  Yeah, my money’s on them not being mad at him, but that’s just me.

    Jacques had a problem with it because we play the Flames again and he doesn’t want them to have bulletin board material.  That’s it.

     

  26. punkster says:

    I’m in a foul mood this morning about something on HI/O. While I should really just keep my mouth shut I find it difficult to read some of the garbage that gets spewed by a few in the media and gets picked up by some on this site. There are media outlets,as well as some posters here, who will manufacture a controversy or jump on a
    bandwagon for no other reason than to increase viewers or stroke their own egos.

    I’m posting this link to the RDS footage of the so-called controversy of Gomez not acknowledging the PK celebration for the winning goal against Calgary. Now use your heads people. How can you possibly say Gomez ignored PK? Or disapproved of the celebration? Based on this clip alone? The 3 seconds or less of the meeting that it shows?

    The suggestion by the media is nothing more than yellow journalism and those who accept it as fact are being sucked in and used by that media outlet to create further controversy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pBSS6hEHiw

    I see nothing that indicates a controversy in this clip. Do you?

    ***Subbang!!!***

  27. adamkennelly says:

    ya ya whatever…Kaleta is dirty and Cooke hit Savard and having a tougher team didn’t stop that…that argument holds no water..anyone can do anything anytime on the ice….bottom line, opponents instill their physical will on our team regularly…and they do not on Pitt, Chicago, Philly etc…..it doesn’t always translate into wins – wouldn’t that be a novel idea…Habs are a fast, skilled team, that helps win games too…

    Habs skilled players are small- Cammy, Gionta, Gomez, Pleky…no one on that list is 6’3″ 230 or did I miss something?

    95% of teams in this league have more toughness…FACT

    this team with 2 or 3 bigger tougher players would be better today and certainly better in the playoffs…

     

     

  28. TomNickle says:

    There is limited offense in his game though.  Your point is still a good one, what exactly could we give up?  It’s not like they’ll want prospects.  If we’re gonna talk about anybody in that organization I would very much like it to be Thomas Hickey.

  29. TomNickle says:

    He’s gonna go hot and cold offensively for the rest of his career, some scorers are like that and there’s nothing you can do about it.  The real question with him is, can he bring his physical game and intelligence on a nightly basis when he isn’t scoring?  If he doesn’t start to show that he can very soon, he won’t be back.  

    Personally, I think that he can because he’s still young, but I’m not interested in management waiting for another five years in order for him to get there, and they probably aren’t either.  This is a player in a contract year who would bring back a fairly big return via the trade market due to his draft placement, prior season point totals and offensive skills.  Pouliot can easily fill in for him offensively, he may lack the intelligence to play well defensively at this point but it’s something he’s shown a willingness to work on.

     

  30. habfan53 says:

    I saw this last night I love At least Price appreciates PK

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac71kGDmQWc

  31. Mark C says:

    Only a fool wouldn’t want Simmonds, he would be an absolutely perfect player to add to Montreal.  All this begs the question, why would LA think of trading him? Must be a Hockeyb*@# rumor.

  32. TomNickle says:

    If you speculate that every player in the league who is in or close to a contract year could be traded to any team not in the division of the player to whom the speculation is dedicated, you’ll get a few correct.

  33. TheDagger says:

    I think Pierre McGuire is one of the biggest d-bags out there, but I loved that Graham Rynbend was his monster last night! That was good..

  34. Mark C says:

    At least be fair SD. Gomez didn’t cost “us” a point last night, he decreased the chaces at gaining a point, which were at best 50/50.

  35. twocents says:

    I posted something on this subject the other day. We have to bear in mind that moving some of these players comes with the territory of having organizational depth. Unfortunately our depth resides with bottom 6 forwards, some of which are borderline top 6 guys on a competitive team. We have a glut of those types, so you have to choose the ones that you think can contribute more and move some along. There’s nothing healthy about having too many competent players languishing in the stands or on the farm. 

    I honestly feel that the only real mistake, given all the particular circumstances, was O’Byrne. The mistake lay in putting Picard ahead of him on the depth chart. Martin shouldn’t have used such a short evaluation window for Picard, his play has dropped since the beginning of the season. Having said that, if O’Byrne was behind Picard, which he shouldn’t have been, trading was a reasonable thing to do at the time. It wasn’t fair or useful to have him sitting for weeks on end. Again that doesn’t excuse Martin, Picard should have been the one sitting more and I don’t think he could have viewed that as unfair, given the fact he knew he was joining a crowded blueline.

    I would re-do the Lats trade anytime, Sergei had to go and that started long before Martin arrived. D’Ags needs top 6 minuted to produce and he isn’t better than any of our top 6 guys or a couple of our bottom 6 guys. And, he doesn’t contribute much when he’s not scoring. Good for him that he’s found a situation where the team lacks depth and has lots of injuries, but he’s simply not going to be a top 6 guy on a healthy competitive team. Laps lost his job, mainly due to the fact he took it for granted, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. Eager, an arguably better version of Laps, was just moved for less than what we got. Chipchura has played his way out the lineup.

    These injuries will cause anyone to wish we still had some of them, but a team can’t expect this type of devastation to key players and a team can’t keep that many players at the same development level dangling without roles indefinitely.

    And yes, it would be nice if a couple of our top point producers were bigger, and I think Pacoiretty, Pouliot, and Eller are recognition of that.

  36. Omit says:

    No, you are mistaken.  The Habs have won more games than they have lost.  Are you saying that other teams’ coaches are not employiong this obvious strategy because they are stupid?

    Btw, the Habs compare very well in size to any team in the league.  Look it up.

  37. Mark C says:

    Boston let Cooke get away with ending Savard’s season last year, because points are too important to risk on retribution in heat of the moment. Sure Montreal needs more muscle, but adding a Ben Eager or two won’t stop other teams from taking runs at players. Scott Nichol just got 4 games for taking a run a Phoenix player, Phoenix has some tough players and even a heavyweight fighter in the line-up, all that didn’t stop Nichol. Just watched a YouTube clip of Kaleta where he placed dangerous hits on TO, NJ, NYR, and OTT players, all these teams have muscle and it didn’t stop Kaleta from anything.

  38. habfan53 says:

    Exactly I truly beleive Andrei could be a force if he puts his mind to it.

    RE: your post below about Gomez skating away from PK. The look on PK’s face says it all it reminded me of Vijay Sighn after he beat Mike Weir, I have never seen a more UNHAPPY winner   

  39. SeriousFan09 says:

    Eklund rumours don’t count.

    I have an interest in Crosby to the Habs, but tha doesn’t mean it’s happening.

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

  40. samTHEman says:

    He`s been playing well the last 2-3 games, finishing his checks and not giving up on the play like he used to. That`s the Andrei I like to see. He has the tools to be a game changer like Malkin. All he`s missing is the mental part which is HUGE. Mind you, Malkin hasn`t been producing in Crosby`s absence. Something like 2 assists in 5 games…very Andrei like lol

  41. adamkennelly says:

    with all due respect – you are mistaken.  Habs team does not garner any physical respect from opponents..it all adds up…not about a guy fighting another guy, its about size, toughness and the attitude that comes with it…you think any teams would pull the crap that Buff did last night against Pittsburgh?  or Philly, or Chicago, or Vancouver…opponents can instill their physical will on our team whenever they want – end of story..until that is addressed – it will be our downfall.

  42. habfan53 says:

    AK has been playing well this week after his Monday morning meeting with the coach. This weekend he has a big oppertunity to take the next step .  At 6’0″” 214 pounds Andrei “could” be the presence we need  

  43. LA Loyalist says:

    He went off the ice on one leg Saturday night against Edmonton after the brawl. Not sure the result.

     

    too small, too soft, too intangible

  44. LA Loyalist says:

    The Wiz acquisition won me over on the business side and on the hockey side, and the fact that they kept it so dark that Gorges was done helped us make the deal. 

    The other shoe undropped is that I think that trade signals “the day of the Smurfs(tm) will end soon. If last night didn’t clearly illustrate that to the commentariat then nothing will.

     

    too small, too soft, too intangible.

  45. samTHEman says:

    Canadiens interest in Simmonds….

    Sounds like the Canadiens could use him tonight…but there is no doubt
    the Habs are looking for some help up front to give them some size and
    grit (rumor has it they too had interest in Eager) and the Habs like
    Wayne Simmonds a great deal…

     

  46. SmartDog says:

    I agree with your post.

    I’m also with the Cat below on the size issue. (Size DOES matter.  At least my GF says so….)

    But I’m fed up with JM’s handlig of players.  It’s not as bad as Carbo’s but relative to experience it’s terrible.  We threw away some good guys to please JM and his ‘system’. Even with a more reslient crew, Gauthier’s going to have to pull rabits out of his a$$ to fill in the holes we need to win – especially with the injuries.

    —-

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  47. The Cat says:

    The team does show character and does typically give a good effort. The lack of size though is my usual concern as the games will get tighter with less room to manoever as it goes on. Other teams will see this. Though with the games against Boston, I was quite surprised to see Boston not use a physical game at all. Ive been generally disappointed in the east’s caliber this year. I dont know if its cause Im getting old, but I seen better games in junior back in the day between the Cornwall Royals and Dale Hawerchuk and Les Castors de Sherbrooke.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  48. J_P says:

    Kind of ridiculous.  I truly believe that the refs should be media accessible after the game.  If they mess up, they should have to answer to the media and explain why they called the game the way they did.  Pay them a few more dollars.  Refs do whatever they want because they know they are untouchable. 

  49. J_P says:

    It is nonsense.  Its not like the Sabres are this HUGE team, they’re barely bigger than the habs.  The refs let the sabres take liberties all night last night.  It was no surprise when Gomez finally lost it after the cross check from behind from Gerbe went uncalled.

     

  50. twocents says:

    I thought you declared you were sick of this team? Fed up, could take no more.

    That was an amazing effort last night. The team of two years ago would have rolled over right after Cammy went down.

    This type of effort will serve the team very well when springtime games come around. Every player can look around the room and know that not a single teammate has quit in them.

     

  51. habfan53 says:

    It’s no wonder they brought in Gainey

  52. jimmy shaker says:

    oh now its coming back to me!

    SHaker

  53. jimmy shaker says:

    He much like Mario “the worst coach in the history of the habs maybe even the NHL” should never be allowed on any show discussing the habs.  He burned his bridge way back in that eventful redwing game.  He shouldn’t be allowed in the city for that matter, and PJ is just a jabroni who is just good to laugh at with his cub love and hab hate.

    Shaker

  54. Mattyleg says:

    I was waiting for that comment.

    It’s nonsense. How is some guy fighting some other guy going to stop Kaleta from running people from behind? It’s not.

    Unless every player on our team fights every player on their team. In which case, it just becomes the WWF.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  55. adamkennelly says:

    There are guys out there who can play and help poor Travis Moen out…need 1 up front and 1 on the D end…easier said than done..Eager was a good potential one…Clarkson, Prust, Neil, Boll, Jackman, Kenopka, Gaustad, Carkner…apparently we have a few guys like that on their way up – in White and Schultz ..what I don’t get is – if someone realizes those guys will be valuable in the future – why is no one looking to add a few to the team now..

     

     

  56. Mattyleg says:

    Nice to see a break in the winds of doom…

    I have to say, however, that I don’t agree that getting rid of players is evidence of poor coaching. If you go by that logic, it means that all the players who play well are evidence of good coaching. Which means that for the players we’ve got rid of this season (2? 3?) versus the players who are performing night-in-night-out (23-25), shows that the coach has a + 21-23 rating.

    How’s Laps doing? Drastically cut ice-time. O’B? He’d never make top defensive pairing in Montreal. SK: poison in the room, refused to report to ‘Dogs, mafia ties and underperformance. Guigui? He doesn’t even fit through the dressing-room doors anymore.

    I can live without those players. Poor coaching indeed.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  57. habfan53 says:

    How could you forget him . He played alongside  Eric Bertrand, Jim Campbell, Craig Darby, Barry Richter, Darryl Shannon and the great Johan Witehall

  58. The Cat says:

    You better get used to it. You could sign some muscle but it wont do any good if hes rendered useless on the bench. JM hates those types, you just have to jot your memory back to his days in Ottawa when Toronto were manhandling them -so much so it was pitiful- and Andre Roy and Rob Ray were on the bench for Ottawa the whole time. And its not like those type of guys cant play, its pretty hard to get into the game and warmed up if you just get a shift per period…Besides your scenario would surely mean a retaliatory penalty, therefore skyrocketting the players chance to being a healthy scratch. The habs just count on the pk and pp, they dont even attempt at being good or solid at even strength.

     

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  59. Mattyleg says:

    He’s a Montrealer. That explains more.

    Regardless of him being ‘one of our own’ he’s a freakin’ clown.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  60. CanadienBoy says:

    AS soon as Ruff started complaining to the ref.  they stop calling again them and Martin does not say shit ?

  61. jimmy shaker says:

    As much as I hate him, he would be a sweet addtion for us.  I’d say Neil and Kovalev for a second and third and boyd.

    Shaker

  62. jimmy shaker says:

    Don’t even remember him lacing em up with the habs back in 2000 for 20 games.  That’s weird.  Thought he was a cubs player from beginning to end.  That’s why he’s on the antichamber every once in a while.  and the fact he can speak french.  Ahhhhh!

    Shaker

  63. SmartDog says:

    I hope I don’t regret this but I am going to say TWO POSITIVE THINGS.

    1. Price. Pricey was solid last night. I like his play and I like his talk.  He’s really growing into those big shoes.  He doesn’t need to be perfect every game. What he needs to do is to be strong and stable and not get botthered by an off game or two and he seems to be there. 

    2. Gauthier.  I don’t like Martin but I’m learning to like Gauthier.  Aside form the good players he’s tossed away – which I see as the coaches failure – Gauthier seems to actuallly have a good eye for what the team needs, and he’s pretty quick to got get it, at least often enough.  He brought us MOore when we needed him and he helped with a cup run.  He brought us Halpern who’se been a good asset.  He brought in the Wiz.  Darche and Picard have been good pick-ups.  Honestly, I think we have a pretty good GM.   Ulp!  Did I say that?  Gott check my meds……

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  64. J_P says:

    Like you, I am not the biggest Gomez fan.  It’s easy to say he shouldn’t have retaliated, but he never should have been in a position to high stick Gerbe because the refs should have whistled Gerbe for the cross check from behind.   

    Maybe the habs don’t want to blame the refs, but I do.  The refs let the game get out of hand, and they let the sabres take liberties.  The sabres arent even that much bigger of a team than the habs, but the refs let them get away with dirty play all night long. 

  65. CanadienBoy says:

    Kaleta got aways with shit all night long 

  66. habfan53 says:

    With his goal last night David Desharnais moved ahead of P J Stock on the Canadiens all time points list.

  67. CanadienBoy says:

    We need to trade with Ottawa for Niel ASAP 

  68. SmartDog says:

    I’ve been saying that for years (literally). 

    We didn’t just get beatn by Phili last year we got kicked around.  And it’ll happen again.  And again. Until we have more muscle.  The Wiz was one step but if can’t learn to play with discipline it’s not a good step.  MaxPac was a good step for his size and energy and hopefully he’s okay. But we need 2 or 3 more guys who can play physical or we’ll lose on that front against someone in the playoffs (if we make it there), regardless of how good our goalie is.

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  69. adamkennelly says:

    That game should be proof enough to any doubters that this team needs some muscle.  Our guys were getting punked all night – Sabres had ZERO respect for any players on our team.  How many other teams in the league would allow Weber to knock Cammy out of the game with no retribution, allow their 8M man to have to deal with some punk kid, have Wiz get slammed into the boards from behind, Eller to get smashed around and even PK getting targeted…answer – NONE. 

     

    P.S.  San Jose just got Ben Eager for a 5th round pick – he can play – was good enough for the Cup champs last year.

    I’m irritated.

  70. JF says:

    I like Arpon Basu’s solution to the manpower shortage.  Pouliot between Gomez and Gionta worked well for a time last year, and Pouliot has more confidence now than he did then, so although that combination did not produce at the beginning of the season, it could work now.  As for Eller, he has been looking better and better lately, and could replace Cammalleri short-term.  But this would leave our bottom two lines very thin, especially if Halpern is also out.  We’d need call-ups from Hamilton.  It’s also possible Pierre Gauthier is working on a deal. Before it was even known that Gorges was out for the season, he had traded for the Wiz.  He’s been watching the games and seen our problems scoring, so it wouldn’t surprise me if something is in the works to get us some help.

    If, as TSN reports, Cammy is out for two weeks, this would only mean three games, the two this weekend, then Philly on Tuesday.  After that the team has a week off before playing the Caps the following Tuesday.  We could survive three games; longer than that would be a problem.

  71. SmartDog says:

    Terrific effort last night by some players, none more than Plekanec the Mechanic. Did you notice with 20 seconds to go he single-handedly ran out the clock, steering between the Sabres and then keeping the puck along the boards with 3 or 4 of them on his back?  That’s a smart player – and a teammate anyone wants to have.

    Speaking of leadership, this was one of our “other” leaders best games with the C.  Gionta played like the old Gionta, hard to stop, winning pucks, battling guys who are bigger. 

    It’s unfortunate that the Wiz took a dumb penalty early in the game and then Gomer took another one at the end to hand the Sabres the opportuinty to win.  Dumb mistakes are costly.  Gomer says he knows better but then why’d he do it?  I suppose he also knows he should start training earlier and come to camp ready to play, but he doesn’t do that either. I’m glad he’s playing better, but he cost us a point last night. 

    Ah well, points in the last six (is it six?) games – not too shabby.  Pricey was quietly solid against Miller – great duel and good to see.

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.