About … aw, forget last night. Merry Christmas!

ScroogeDD

In the spirit of the season, let’s not dwell on your Montreal Canadiens’ inglorious performance in Nashville.
They had a 3-0 lead.
They blew a 3-0 lead.
Then a brilliant individual effort by perennial HIO whipping boy David Desharnais got the Canadiens two points they didn’t deserve.
And for all their recent suckitude, the team has 47 points and sits comfortably fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Hands up everyone who expected that at the Christmas break.

The Canadiens don’t play again until Dec. 27, when they’ll begin their Florida trip in Tampa.

That gives coach Michel Therrien and his staff plenty of time to work on a few issues.

They’re making a list and checking it twice.

Going to find out who belongs on the ice.

Based on the Nashville game …

SIX forwards managed to play an entire game plus OT without recording a single shot on goal:

• Brandon Prust, who didn’t even have an attempted shot and has kinda sucked for a while now

• Brendan Gallagher, who plays his heart out and goes to the net

• Brian Gionta, who hustles and backchecks

• Alex Galchenyuk, whose play in his own end is starting to worry me

• Travis Moen, whom Therrien subbed on the Tomas Plekanec line late in the game because he doesn’t trust Galchenyuk’s D

• Daniel Brière, who worked hard and wasn’t bad in Nashville

There were also no shots from defencemen Douglas Murray, Alexei Emelin, Raphael Diaz (not even an attempted shot!) and Francis Bouillon, whom Therrien praised as probably his best Dman, forgetting to add “except for P.K. Subban”.

Three players accounted for 15 of the Canadiens’ 23 SoG: P.K. with six, Max Pacioretty with five and Tomas Plekanec with four. May as well add DD’s three and there’s 78 per cent of the shot total from four guys.

What’s that you say?

Shots aren’t everything. There are other ways to contribute.

Indeed.

Like making good decisions with the puck, working the boards, winning puck battles, clearing your zone efficiently and maintaining possession in the other team’s end.

The Canadiens were woefully inept in those aspects of the game in losses to L.A. and St. Louis and during the second period in Nashville

Like the Ghost of Christmas Past, failure to compete in all three zones afflicted the Canadiens through 20 miserable minutes.

Carey Price faced 20 second-period shots and gave up goals to Gabriel Bourque and Nick Spaling.

That’s the worst bombardment since Price faced 21 shots last March 7 in Carolina. He stopped 19 of them – including Eric Staal’s penalty shot. The Canadiens won that game 4-2, despite being outshot 44-28.

That was then, this is now.

And now isn’t too shabby.

Again, the Canadiens occupy a place in the standings few few fans expected when the season began.

They’re up there mainly because of Carey Price and Peter Budaj, P.K. and Andrei Markov (we won’t dwell on the boneheadedness of a misconduct in a 3-3 game).

There’s still a lot of hockey – 44 games – to be played.

For now, let’s all take a break and celebrate Christmas with our families and loved ones.

347 Comments

  1. HabinBurlington says:

    Appears to me the NFL hired some NHL refs to make that BS call. Steelers got jobbed.

  2. HabFab says:

    Bulldogs lose 3-2 in a SO… only two wins for the month.

  3. montreal ace says:

    When I look at trade senarios for the Habs, I really don’t see much available. There is however one trade that might be doable, and to me that would be Bourque for Hemsky. On another note the move that I hope MB is going to make soon, would be Tinordi and Pateryn working their way into the lineup. I think the reasons are the cap and the fact they are getting more experience with less pressure. The Habs are sitting pretty at the moment, so I am hopping we keep getting good results, letting us drop the Cube and Murray before the playoffs.

  4. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year to everyone. Go Habs!

    There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

  5. Hobie Hansen says:

    If Bergevin were to trade Max Pacioretty for anything less than Superman I’d be pissed. As some people mentioned, it would be a repeat of trading John LeClair.

    The Canadiens need more goals and more size. So why in the world would they trade their only natural goal scorer who’s 6’2″ and 220 pounds? Pacioretty may not play like Cam Neely or Milan Lucic but who gives a rat’s ass! He’s still a dominant goal scorer at times and he’s on a hell of a run right now. As I said in earlier posts, he could score 50 one day but 40 for sure. He might get 40 this year?

    Unless another team wants to trade a star player for another star player, I don’t see how Pacioretty could be involved in a deal?

    • HabFab says:

      Agree but what if he asks for a move… my worry. These rumors started at the first of the season because he was reportedly upset with the direction of the team and the DD saga seemed to PO him.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I have to admit he looked sluggish at the beginning of the season. Not so much now. Perhaps this is an old rumor recycling through the press?

        I hope so. Trading a player like Patches would upset me.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        That’s the only thing I’m worried about. If that’s the case it would be in Bergevin’s and Therrien’s best interest to do whatever it takes to make Pacioretty happy.

        Dealing away Pacioretty for anything less than a home run in return would be a fatal mistake by management. I’d have a tough time approving of Bergevin when you also take the stupid Briere signing into account.

    • montreal ace says:

      I wish we had more defenceman, that could hit Max on the fly like Gally did last night. I have to add that when Max went to bat for David, I was very impressed, as that is the type of thing a captain should do.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Marion Gaborik, first game back after missing 17 games with injury breaks collarbone on 4th shift. Could he possibly be a cheap UFA pickup this summer? High end goal score in the right scenario.

  7. MikeHabs says:

    Last night was not pretty. Well the first period was and then the effort by Desharnais to win the game. The second period? Wow. Thank God for Carey Price, he is a machine. The Habs better be ready to go when they return from their long break. Any injuries that need some rest can get it now which should help. The boys have the Lightning, Panthers and Hurricanes to finish out 2013, all winnable if they show up for more than 20 minutes!

    Anyways, let’s look forward to the World Juniors shall we? The Canadiens have many prospects in the tournament and Sweden look like the favourites to win it all. Should be a good one. Here is a preview for those 6 prospects taking part: http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/habs-well-represented-2014-wjc/

  8. Captain Pike says:

    ho, ho, ho.
    Here’s a treat for any Hab fan, if you haven’t seen it yet. The latest episode of 24/7 has Carlyle ripping his team (at 3:44 if you wanna jump to it).
    Some highlights include (language warning to those with delicate sensibilities): “We’re F’n Lazy!” and “We Suck!”.

    Ahh, Randy. Poetry to my ears.
    Great to see the Leafs stuck in their Tholian Web of ineptitude.

    • stevieray says:

      Seen it also …can’t figure out how come the Laffs always seem to get these grumpy old men as coaches /GM’s …in particular Burke, Wilson and now Carlye..just a bunch of grumpy old men who the players tune out
      Looks good on them I say ….and now they have Nonis who looks to me like Ken from Barbie doll fame :)
      AS for rhe coach shittin on Reimer …he has won more games for them the past 2 years than Kessell,Princess Pheneuf,Naddie what’s his name and now Clarkson all of them put together.
      They get what they deserve I guess !
      Back to the GB vs Pitt game ….

  9. punkster says:

    Here’s a crazy pre-Xmas thought.

    Instead of trading the team’s best players, which so often seems to be the case in here, how about trading the team’s worst player?

    There are a couple of guys who stand out in almost all Habs stats at the bottom of the heap and are pretty well at the bottom of the entire league in their positions.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Why would anybody want to trade for one of our worst players? Everyone on here is always saying lets trade Desharnais, Diaz, Moen, or Boullion, but nobody wants those guys.

      I don’t know if anyone actually wants to trade Max, but NBC made the report so HIO is having a discussion as to what would realistically be an appropriate amount in return for him.

      I like Max a lot, so if we ever were to trade him, I would expect a lot in return.

    • Ron says:

      Come on Dave, leave P And M alone. You troll :D

      • punkster says:

        Not exactly trolling… And P isn’t really the one that concerns me.

        We have 2 guys ranked near the very bottom of the league in multiple stats, regular and advance, at their very important positions.

        Why would we even consider trading someone higher up the food chain if we’re carrying these two stiffs.

        Trade them for whoever and be done with them. We have a farm and we have a pro replacement due to return in a couple of months or sooner.

        Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
        but…
        ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

        • Ron says:

          That will happen the end of season or before for one of them if the concussions continue..

          • punkster says:

            Understand Ron it’s not Parros who concerns me. He’s cheap and can be replaced by anyone from the farm at any time to take a press box seat and dress for injury subs.

            It’s the bottom 2 D. Certainly we can do better than these two guys. Of course they won’t be back next season but what they do now is a buzz kill so why not dump them. Anything would be better.

            Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
            but…
            ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  10. Stevie.Ray says:

    6 Habs will attend the WJC.

    Fucale, Hudon, Lehkonen, Collberg, De La Rose… and Reway?

  11. Bogie Man says:

    Islander and the rangers have been said to have interest in Max. Possible players from either team are Vanek, Callahan and Girardi. They are all UFA next year, which one would make our team better?

  12. Ozmodiar says:

    Max is the only 1st line winger the Habs have. Any trade involving Max would have to return a 1st
    line player, otherwise, a big void. There aren’t many 1st line players that offer more bang for the buck than Max, so what’s the point?

    • IdleNoMore says:

      Kane

      “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

    • Shackles says:

      Agreed. For what the Habs want/need, any team would have to trade down and there are only a handful of gullible GMs out there. I don’t think the Habs will make any deals until he trade deadline or free agent frenzy.

  13. Strabo says:

    Sid the Kid verifies what every Habs fan already knew.

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/sidney-crosby-wins-hbo-24-7-calling-nazem-055037887–nhl.html

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  14. joeybarrie says:

    A few comments on some of what I am reading.
    MaxPac is inconsistent and injury prone.
    MaxPac missed a total of 16 games in the last 3 seasons including this one. Seems pretty good to me.
    While he is streaky, he has only gone twice in the last 3 seasons five games without a point. and six times he went 3 games without a point. Never more than five. Not exactly inconsistent if you ask me. Given he isn’t a point a game player. (as much as we think he is)
    Trading MaxPac in the off season when his value is high is incorrect. The value is determined by the team that wants him. And right now there are teams fighting to be more consistent and make the playoffs. So the value or desperation may not be there at the end of the season when there is no pressure and more options.

  15. B says:

    Top 3 TOI lines this season:

    Glachenyuk-Eller-Gallagher 224:50
    Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher 212;23
    Bournival-Plekanec-Gionta 142:13

    http://www.cs.unb.ca/~mwf/habs/season.html

    –Go Habs Go!–

  16. Mattyleg says:

    Hold on a sec here, just hoooooold on…

    “We need to get bigger and tougher and we need to score goals” has been the HI/O mantra for… ummm… ever.

    And now people are chatting it up about trading away our big, tough, #1 goal-scorer.

    … I just don’t know anymore…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      We’re only chatting it up because NBC reported that NYI and PHI are trying hard to get Pacioretty.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Let them try.
        We aren’t trading the only model of the exact type of player we need more of.
        It’s a dead story.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • The Jackal says:

          I love Patches but despite being big and fast, he is not a power forward.
          I’d be very very reluctant to trade him, BUT if the trade improved the team, I think I may be up for it. What kind of trade is that? Well, for starts if we got a Backes or Lucic type, then that might be worth doing. Tavares? He’s awesome, but we’d need to get get rid of a centre as well, that’s a less doable trade.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Who in creation could NYI or PHI offer us that would even come close to replacing Max?

            Let’s say they give us Giroux. Let’s just say.
            We get him, he disappears because there aren’t enough big bodies to make space for him.

            There aren’t enough Backes or Lucic types in this league. They are as rare as 50-goal superstars, and just as avidly sought-after.

            Unless we get ACTUAL Backes or Lucic, it’s a waste of our time.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • The Jackal says:

            I’m not saying those two partners would give us what would make it a good trade, I’m just saying there are scenarios that could work out if we traded Max.

            But if it was to Philly, Simmonds and Coburn may be a good return. Just entertaining it anyway.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • IdleNoMore says:

            Wayne Simmonds?
            Edit : Beat me to it

            “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

          • Stevie.Ray says:

            Simmonds is meaner and tougher than Pac, and he can score goals, but he is a step down from Pac.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Simmonds would be interesting, but Pacioretty already has more goals than his average output.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • IdleNoMore says:

            Simmonds last year 32 points / this year 19 points
            Patches last year 39 points / this year 19 points
            ?

            “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

          • IdleNoMore says:

            Also when I think of patches I dont think “big, tough”

            “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

          • boing007 says:

            How about King Kong? Big and tough. Don’t know about his stickwork. Just park him in front of the net.

            Richard R

  17. Sportfan says:

    Common Cincy this birthday boy wants a win!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  18. The Jackal says:

    Merry Xmas HIO Habs fans, and happy holidays!

    We don’t always see eye to eye on all things Habs, but the following Xmas list is something we can all agree on, and hopefully Santa “Bergevin” Claus thinks we have been good enough for our presents.

    Dear Santa,

    The Club de Hockey would like the following for Xmas:
    1) A power forward who scores goals, is tough with a mean streak, and who skates well. A 6’3 Gallagher / Lucic hybrid.

    2) A sniper who is over 5’9 (lol) – a 40+ goal guy who can at the very least hold his own in a grindfest and not wilt from physical play.

    3) A mobile, steady top 4 D with size – a bruiser that can move the puck and clear the crease but who can also skate well.

    Sincerely,

    Habs fans.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  19. GL says:

    Something to talk about til Dec 28th as long as they get someone better. I don’t care who they trade but it better not just be for a new face. Seen too much of the Bs. Make trades or bring in players that will keep improving the team.
    Price, PK and a few others deserve that.

  20. commandant says:

    A look at Pool A for the World Juniors. Players to Watch. 1 Habs prospect and two guys eligiblie for the 2014 draft are included.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/12/22/players-to-watch-at-the-2014-world-juniors-pool-a/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  21. Plekasuares says:

    Pacioretty for giroux?

    • BJ says:

      If yu want to trade Max I would add DD and Beaulieu for Tavares, it might cost even more

      • ffenliv says:

        The Isles aren’t giving up Tavares for those three. They might be bad, but Tavares is still the franchise player, and they won’t get another Tavares anytime soon.

        When you say ‘it might cost even more’, you aren’t joking.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          The reason teams are calling about Pacioretty is because he is a 1st line player. Tavares is probably worth more simply because he plays center. I think Pacioretty has more a of a goal scoring touch than Tavares and he’s also bigger.

          I personally don’t see Tavares being worth much more than Pacioretty. Trading Pacioretty would be a huge mistake IMO. He would go somewhere, play with better line mates, and score 40 goals a year for the next decade and collect 70 to 90 points a season.

          • Stevie.Ray says:

            Tavares is a top 5 player in the league. I like Pacioretty as much as the next guy but he isn’t near Tavares.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I beg to differ. Pacioretty is currently blossoming right before our eyes. I’m telling you, put him on a line with a top notch center and another talented winger, Pacioretty could push for 50.

          • Rugger says:

            Hobie, that is where he will be and what he will be doing in two years when Chucky is a top line center.

          • Landof10000lakesHab says:

            There may be three better players in the NHL than Tavares. If he was playing for a contending team, there may not be any better.

            I am a huge Pacioretty fan, but you may want a do-over on that post.

  22. BJ says:

    Canada seriously schooled by Sweden in every department. Hopefully they can pick it up…..

    • commandant says:

      Finland was the best team last year in exhibition games and went undefeated.

      They finished 7th in the real tournament, ending up in the relegation pool instead of the medal playoffs.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • JF says:

        True enough, but the Canadian team has not impressed me in either of their pre-tournament games. They’re not particularly fast and they don’t move the puck well. Today they looked like the Habs on a bad day.

  23. Arnou Ruelle says:

    If Bergevin is smart, he would likely not put Patches for a trade and let him increase his point production. When off season starts, then he’ll make a move. That will increase the value and more likely, teams will make some tough decisions on whether to make a deal or not.

    I do not see any point why a trade should be on the works and likely the player is so needed badly in this lineup. Pacioretty is inconsistent and injury prone. But his production, his assets are needed in the Habs right now.

    Now, If reporters in NY and Philly are so desperately needing him to get traded by making stories or ‘rumors’ at this point, well too bad for their teams.

  24. Kooch7800 says:

    Anyone here use nhl game center to watch their games? Just wanted to know how well it worked

    I am looking at it as an option for next year with the regional blackouts as I am In southern Ontario

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  25. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Aside from PK, Price, Max, Gally and Chucky EVERYBODY else on this team should be available for trade. The Habs have one scorer in the top 60…a defenceman. His fantastic play last night aside, DD is centering the number one line and he is on pace for a 35 pt season. You can not compete for a Stanley Cup like this. The Habs have not had a legitimate number one centerman since Damphousse. The problem is that to get this player in the short-term:
    1) they will probably have to give up Max. Not an option because there is nobody to replace him (especially at that cheap cap hit).
    2) have to get rid of DD…good luck.

    The only scenario I can see that makes sense is a package of DD and Max (etc.) for a number one center. Given that the East is so weak, it doesn’t make sense for the Habs to make a move like this this season. If DD disappears for a third playoff this season, something will have to happen in the off-season.

  26. Stevie.Ray says:

    Teams have been calling the Habs for a couple months about Pacioretty. When Pacioretty fired his agent, there was a sense that he was unhappy in MTL. I don’t know if that’s true, I don’t think it is, but he has been a bit testy over the last month.

    The two teams that have been calling about Max are reportedly Phili and NYI.

    The only players from Phili I could see MTL wanting are:
    Giroux, obviously.
    Simmonds, who also has a sweet contract and is a bit meaner than Pacioretty.
    Couturier, who I still think will be a stud someday.
    and Sam Morin, who Montreal desperately wanted at the draft.

    The Islanders don’t really have anyone besides Tavares and Strome, maybe Hamonic, and a couple of decent D prospects.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The only player Mtl would trade Max for from Philly is Giroux. A legitimate 1st line RH center. He would become team captain for the next 8 years. Philly will not trade Giroux after screwing up with Richards and Carter.

  27. Bugs says:

    I like how the Booner says that in the spirit of Christmas, he won’t “dwell on your Mtl Hhhanadiens” and then proceeds to rip into em.
    Love it.
    Anyways, I’m only here cuz I gots just one thing to say:
    Davey.
    Frickin.
    Dezarnay.

    That is all.

    Left turn-missin’ L. B. Potter.


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