About last night …

Fearless prediction I: The Bell Centre will be VERY LOUD on Monday night.

Fearless prediction II: If the Canadiens outshoot the Penguins 33-25 in Game 6, this series is going to Game 7.

Too much optimism after a loss in which the Canadiens were shut out for 58 minutes, 31 seconds?

Maybe so, but this team gave the Stanley Cup champions all they could handle in their own barn.

A bounce here, a white shirt on a rebound there and the Canadiens are coming home with a chance to clinch.

As it was, however, Marc-André Fleury was very good on first shots … and there were precious few second ones.

Hal Gill is the latest Dman to go down, victim of a Chris Kunitz skate stomp that sliced him behind his left knee

But it ain’t over.




The 2-1 loss is nothing to spend Sunday moping about.

Frustrated by inability to score and bounced around by Kunitz, Michael Rupp, Brooks Orpik and Craig Adams (20 hits among them, seven by Kunitz), the Canadiens never quit.

They never do.

And they would have won if more than one of Mike Cammalleri’s NINE shots – including one in the frantic final seconds – had eluded Fleury.

Playing without two Top Four defencemen, Andrei Markov and Jaro Spacek, the Canadiens battled admirably for 60 minutes. They continued to do many of the good things that have made this an interesting series, notably shutting down Sidney Crosby.

The world’s best hockey player has not scored in this series.

Crosby had one shot on goal. Another five were blocked. He was 7-11 on faceoffs.

Crosby continues to do other things well. He had an astounding play to stay onside on one sequence, and Crosby works hard in his own end.

But the Canadiens have kept a lid on him.

Evgeni Malkin? Not so much.

Malkin had six shots on goal. He used his size, speed and skill to buzz around Jaro Halak’s goal, and no one could take the puck away from him.

Pittsburgh’s size advantage was an important factor. On both of their goals, scored by defencemen Kris Letang and Sergei Gonchar, Jaro’s view was obstructed by Penguins: Bill Guerin on the first goal, Rupp on the second.

The Canadiens never get that kind of net presence. During their power plays, Brian Gionta has to pretend he’s Dustin Byfuglien.

That’s a major item on Pierre Gauthier’s off-season shopping list: a forward who can do a credible impression of Big Buff or Johan Franzen.

When he first arrived from Minnesota, Benoit Pouliot looked like the kind of player who would be a net-crasher. But Benny’s game is in the toilet, evidenced by a team-low 5:59 of ice time in Game 5.

Tom Pyatt played 14:20. I love Pyatt, but he doesn’t have Pouliot’s O-zone game. And neither does Mathieu Darche, who played 9:01.

Pouliot is not the only one in a slump. Tomas Plekanec has not scored since an empoty-netter in Game 6 against Washington.

Pleks is skating and working hard. He was 16-7 on faceoffs.

But his playoff performance has not enhanced Pleks’s chances of a signing a big contract, with the Canadiens or as a UFA.

Jaro, on the other hand …

Blameless on both goals, Halak made 23 saves, including several big ones (a beauty on Malkin, in 2-on-1 with Crosby) that prevented the game from becoming a rout. He got a lot of help from the Canadiens’ depleted D, which blocked 22 shots – six by P.K. Subban.

If Gill can’t go, we’ll see Jaro Spacek on Monday. He’ll help the PP, which is really missing Andrei Markov.

“We’re in a must-win,” said Scott Gomez, who’s been really good.

They’ve been there before – three win-or-g-home games against the playopffs’ top seed.

Pittsburgh is not Washington. The Penguins have made adjustments throughout the series, fine-tuning this, tweaking that to stymie Canadiens’ strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

Jacques Martin has done likewise.

Game 6 will be a good one.

•  •  •

AK46: one shot, one hit, one wasted first-round draft choice.

•  •  •

Line of the night:

Ron Maclean: “We’ve got Sidney Crosby standing by.”

Don Cherry: “Is there no one
else on that team that can speak English?”

•  •  •

I still can’t believe Alain Vigneault throwing his goaltender under the Vancouver bus.

If the Canucks fold, someone may lose his job out there … and it won’t be Roberto Luongo.





  1. LesFleurs says:

    Somehow I think it might be Crosby.

  2. LesFleurs says:

    Money will do funny things like that.

  3. Mike Boone says:

    Hey, you wouldn’t believe the number of girls I get!

  4. VancouverHab says:

    Reporters here really hated Bertuzzi’s sullenness and arrogance. Add a assault conviction for hitting a neighbour to his attack on Moore, and I’d say he’s just what our cohesive team don’t need!

  5. RetroMikey says:

    Very funny.  🙂   Acutally the playoff lottery took nearly 3 hours to complete and it was quite fun.

    We did it after work, and it took nearly 3 hours to complete, it was quite fun to do and different than other playoff pools that I have competed in and it was fun to do. 

    I am hoping Pouliot turns it around next game 6 and Game 7 he scores tthe winner to prove skeptics like me wrong and gets me at least a couple more points. 

    Have a nice Sunday showey47.


    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  6. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    Hey, he just gave his opinion, no need to get fierce about it.

  7. Harditya_CareyPrice says:


  8. 24 Cups says:

    Exit – Timmins has stated publicly that the Habs would have taken Pouliot with their first pick if he hadn’t gone 4th to Minnesota.  Even if the Habs wanted a forward instead of Price, all logic would have pointed at Brule as the next pick.  Kopitar was rated highly in the draft but was also a huge gamble seeing that he was unknown and came from a country that didn’t produce NHL players.  He looks great now but it would have taken real guts to select him 5th.

  9. showey47 says:

    So 300 players were picked in a playoff where about 320 players were available,ok,go it. What round did you pick sergei,lol?

  10. TommyB says:

    So, it’s safe to say there won’t be any fresh troops arriving any time soon.

  11. twilighthours says:

    I never really enjoy it when a teenage boy is called a fagg*t.  I find that sad for many reasons.

  12. danp says:

    Right. Dominic Moore would love that.

  13. RetroMikey says:

    The playoff pool we have at work is a lottery playoff draft meaning we pick from a hat the order we select players.  We had 20 co-workers participating this year and I drew no. 15 meaning  I selected 15t in the draft and you cannot select a player that has been selected and our company draft lasted 15 rounds.

    Slim pickings I had, I picked Pouliot in the 12th round in hopes he would grab me a couple of points at least in the first round  which he did but I expected more from him on the stat sheets to produce offensive numbers.

    FYI, Ovechkin was selected 1st overall in the our playoff pool draft  and the last player selected was Marc Andre Bergeron.

    Are we clear?


    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  14. SPATS says:

    Yep, he’s among the most over rated goalies in the league. And Captain? gimme a break. He and Sid the kid both lucked out in the Olympics. If he doesn’t give up a late goal to Parise, Sid goes completely unnoticed. He ends up bailing Sid out in a way thanks to Parise, and he backs into the gold medal himself. If it were a best of 7 for the gold, he would’ve been replaced by MAF for sure. Jack Todd had it right this time.


  15. G-Man says:

    That was a “retro” blunder. 🙂

  16. longtimehabsfan says:

    What makes this playoff run so surprising is we’ve done it with very little production from the K bros, Pouliot, 2 D men out in this series and soon to be 3, and a pop gun offense and with OB and MAB playing major minutes.  Like any other sport, Hockey is 5% know how and 95% desire.

  17. The Cat says:

    I agree. He won me over in the Olympics and in the Ottawa series and now he lost me. All he has to do is shut the **** up.

  18. ManApart says:

    Gomez is not doing enough and neither is Pleks, offensively. These are the top 2 centers on the team. They must produce. You can Talk BS all day. Bottom line, they both are not doing enough and have to step up. Look at their stats this series and there is no denying that fact.

  19. Kristopher7 says:

    So proud of this team, I hope they take it in 7, but if they don’t, nothing can take away from their best playoff run since ’93. This is a very fun playoffs to watch 😀

  20. ManApart says:

    Trust me, Crosby has plenty more friends than anyone on here, gets plenty more girls than anyone on here, and is doing a lot better than anyone on here.

  21. cerealkiller says:

    Oh yeah, ’cause he’d get along great with Moore.

  22. nightmare_49 says:

    from TheSpec.com

       Andre Benoit scores game-winner as Bulldogs top Heat 5-2, take 3-2 series lead


  23. LesFleurs says:

    I’ve known Crosby since he played in midget and his personality and attitude have not changed a bit. He has the same attitude off the ice as he does on it. Everyone hated his guts. His skill was absolutely exceptional, but he had no friends. I felt a little bad for him actually. You know there’s something wrong when a high school hockey superstar can’t get a girl to like him haha.

    One of the best moments I remember was when my friend Matt chased him out of the rink screaming “I’m gonna break your legs you little f****t.”

  24. jcflorence says:

    have to admit… if u r out west, you have had a closer look..


    poison? really ?


    our team rocks

  25. habs001 says:

    the team has given great effort in the playoffs but lack of scoring is catching up…this lack of scoring i just dont see how it will be resolved next season as no cap room…no goal scoring prospects in the minors for next year…plecks ,ak46,sk74 may leave….teams will not trade a top scorer for a goalie…puoliot looks like his talent level is closer to what it was in minnesota than the streak he was on here …markov may have to be considered in a trade…even if everyone comes back our scoring would be in the bottom half of the nhl and even with great goaltending and d the team would be a 500 team in regulation as scoring 1-2 goals most nights over 82 games results in losing as many games as winning….the team has not been able to produce one homegrown 21-23 year old forward with any scoring abilities

  26. VancouverHab says:

    Ri-i-i-i-ght: let’s get the foulest most cretinous player recent history (he received publically the harshest insult of which Don Cherry is capable of giving), a career-long loser with a sullen self-righteous attitude, and the greatest distance between power-forward potentiality to competitive return since…. Eric Lindros, and let him bugger up our happy & productive dressing room chemistry. Great idea!


  27. VancouverHab says:

    Fair point — apologies, Mr. X, in that case.

  28. isirota1965 says:

    “Maybe so, but this team gave the Stanley Cup champions all they could handle in their own barn.”

    Not if you were watching Versus, whose announcers constantly conveyed the impression that the Canadiens should have felt honoured that the superior, classy Penguins allowed them into their building.

  29. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I was One of those wanting to cut-out the circus and cancer of Kovalev,  in the end understood Tanguay was another word for milquetoast …knew Saku was getting ‘tired’ …etc., etc.

    …AND after soon-recovering from The Trade, I saw these character-pieces coming together

    …so I and Others recognized WHAT was happening as far as reshaping the ‘character’of Our Team

    …BUT, NO ONE, I am certain, understood, just How Profound the change would be …until now …including Bob Gainey

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  30. Bob Barker says:

    Your comment makes zero sense. Everyone is now dumber for having read what you just wrote. 

  31. jew4jah says:

    josh gorges is gumby

  32. dicktracy says:

    OK well said, but on the other hand is 1 thumb and four fingers

  33. 11habs11 says:

    I think bertuzzi is a poison. Everywhere he goes, the team gets worse, and it seems like he makes the kinds of plays that just kills the team

  34. Tighthead says:


    Luongo is an overrated whiner.  The Canucks have kow-towed to him for years, and when things go sideways he has a knack for saying the absolute wrong thing.  I am sure Vigneault and the rest of the team are tired of his playoff burnouts, selfish comments and general underachievements.


  35. Clay4bc says:

    Context is important, Van Hab……TripleX certainly was NOT ragging on Gomez – he was providing a poignant rebuttle to the ridiculous comments by Exit. Read the posts again.


    “Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest” Francois Laignelot –

  36. Bouleau noir says:

    I did….. in fact ALL of the personel movement that has occured since the hiring of Metropolit at the trade dead line of 2009 have been dead on…. from Metro to Moore and everything in between incuding the hiring of JM and Guy Boucher…. the list is just too long…. Gainey was on styroid the whole year….. but his turning around of the team within 24 hours on July’first showned as much first class GM skills as it showned his deep understanding of talents and of what a hockey team is all about.

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’m the idiot? You’re the one who went off in a tangent about a player we’re not facing, that Harani didn’t mention and who didn’t behave like a spoiled little **** for 5 games straight when we played him.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  38. Rob D says:

    If we had just one more guy other than Cammaleri who was on a streak scoring goals..just one of AK, Pouliot, Pleks,Gomer, we’d probably be winning this series. But we have one guy who can score, our best player out , another top 4 D-man out and now Gill is iffy. Still getting terrific goaltending but I think their clock is winding down. When they were playing 4 on 4 you could see the massive difference in talent, size and skill the Pens have. At some point, this team has to start finding people in the draft. Hope last year was the start on that we are all hoping for.

    Anyway, I am happy with what they have done this playoff run but its not over yet. I expect a full on effort next game and the Pens will have to take this seriies, ,it won’t be given to them.

    Detroit goes out and you could make a case that their decade long dominance is over. WE have a long way to get anywhere near that kind of total team excellence.But after this run, it doesn’t seem as far to go as it did during mid season.

  39. jcflorence says:

    Ive been saying this for a long time…..

    Seriously, lets pick-up BIG Bert this summer…


    Bertuzzi is  cheap and he’s huge with great hands

    under 1 million bucks….35…


    btw… our team rocks! 

  40. sidhu says:

    Or Sid when getting pushed at the end of a play by PK. 

  41. Curtis O Habs says:

    He calls him flower.  No “the”.  Flower, like the skunk in Bambi.

  42. showey47 says:

    So you knew pouliot is another”bobby blunder” yet you thought enough of him to pick him up for your pool? Odd. 

  43. VancouverHab says:

    Mr. X,  I support your right to say whatever you want, but if you’re ragging on Gomez in these playoffs, then you are just letting attitude get in the way of reality.

    I’m not knocking Pleks myself, but Pleks has a goalscorer’s role & he ain’t scoring, so people are going to say things when we lose (again, I love his hard work.)

    But Gomez is not there to score goals. He’s killing penalties (brilliantly), he’s adding the magic with the puck which destabilises the opponents, he’s backchecking (brilliantly), and he’s ADDING HIS STANLEY CUP WINNING CHARACTER to the mix, which is essential for playoff success.

    Again, I like lots of players right now (see my post below) and I have nothing bad to say about Pleks. But knocking Gomez (yet again) when we are on a playoff roll which is pure experience and character and which Gomez is at the centre of, well, you need to give your goalie mask a shake.

    Remember: Gomez has TWO STANLEY CUPS to back up your description of ‘playoff superstar.” Pleks has none. To repeat, that’s not Pleks’ fault & I love the guy, but you’re hoisting yourself by your own petard whenever you post such stuff.

  44. Clay4bc says:

    The “mirror” that got us this far is named Jaroslav Halak. Sign him now PG, for a long, long time.


    “Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest” Francois Laignelot –

  45. Curtis O Habs says:

    The only thing that goes down easier than Lindsay Lohan on a coke bender is Bill Guerin on a Josh George`s crosscheck.

  46. rut1212 says:

    I fail to see any correlation between any points here… They thought they didn’t need a big centre because they assumed they already had 2 skilled wingers? And a lot of teams passed over Kopitar, not just Montreal.

  47. VancouverHab says:

    I say Game 7 and decent shot to win that. But whatever happens, this is off-the-charts great. Halak, Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri, Gill, Gorges, Hamrlik, O’Byrne, Markov (until he went down), Lapierre, Pyatt & Subban give us everything we could want (Pleks, Moen, and Metro honourable mentions.) This is character hockey and I ‘m thrilled with this as a Hab fan. 

    I watched the Canucks yesterday for the first time in the playoffs & it was like night & day from the Habs.

    And, some good GM moves in the off-season (AK & SK can go, e.g.) of the quality that Bob Gainey did last year and all the guys that are making us proud will still be of age to repeat this playoffs’ glory.

  48. rut1212 says:

    Is Gill even actually out? Unless he can’t skate at all, I think he’ll be back out there. Though I guess a cut could seriously hurt his fantastic mobility.

  49. ooder says:

    is that a trick question sf?


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  50. Clay4bc says:

    Dude…all you do is whine. You make Crosby look positively masculine – well done. This team is playing their hearts out. Pleks is getting shut down like we are shutting down Crosby. Pleks is playing well. Give your head a shake and be proud of what these men have accomplished thus far.


    “Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest” Francois Laignelot –

  51. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …best I bite My lip

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  52. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’m convinced that some people are self-appointed scouting experts and pretend they know everything about how NHL teams draft and scout based on their own internet research and living room analysis.

    I wonder which of us is right.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  53. SPATS says:

    I suspect Benny isn’t working hard enough on his conditioning. He arrived here well rested and came out of the gates quickly but has faded as the season has worn on. He looks to be a 1/2 step behind where he was earlier in the year and it’s shaken his confidence. 

    He needs to go through this experience and learn to stop looking for why he’s lost his confidence. It’s like golf, your swing goes awry and you start thinking and tinkering. He can’t react and he starts to ask why and it only gets worse. Hit the gym in the offseason Benny…this is the big league. You need to shape up and get that 1/2 step back, then you’ll regain the confidence you’re looking for. There are no shortcuts, just hard work. We need you – you’re the next great Hab!

  54. Exit716 says:

    The reason the Habs don’t have a dominant skilled young centre like Kopitar is because of the stupid Kostitsyn experiment.

    I’m convinced that’s why Price was taken fifth over all.

  55. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …when You consider it is basically only Cammy and Gionta scoring (with a one-game exception of AK doin’ WHAT He should be doin’ on a consistent-basis) …with the odd third/fourth-liner putting in a couple

    …when You consider, We have a ‘green’ (though talented) AHLer anchoring Our D …without Markov, Spacek and now Gill …Hammer aging before Our eyes …an out-of-His-depth D-liability Bergeron

    …when You consider Pouliot, AK (2 of Our supposed-Top 6 forwards ! )playin’ as IF in LaLaLand …Sergei with Leprosy …Plekanec doin’ EVERYTHING but scorin’, same with Gomez


    …astounding, almost unbelievable to Me

    …it all brings Me back to July 1st 2009 …choking on My peanut butter and swiss-cheese sandwich when I heard We took over THAT albatross-of-a-contract from the New York Rangers of Scott Gomez …AND the following additions of Gionta, Cammaleri, Gill, et al …the jettisoning of Kovalev, Tanguay et al

    …potentially, We may be Toast and eliminated in Game 6 …but WHO ? could say They could see this great a heart transplant in Our Habs beginning on THAT day ?

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  56. sidhu says:

    AK is without inspiration out there, which is a total shame b/c Cammy and Pleks skate hard all the time.  He seems to be resigned to the fact that him and his brother will be out of Montreal soon.   I’d like to see Backes skating with Cammy and Pleks next season, he’s a right shot, crashes, bangs, and can score.

    Benny seems out of it, but he’s at least skating and forechecking. 

    We can win game 6, we need to find the right combos to get Benny going and some more production out of AK and Pleks.

  57. SeriousFan09 says:

    I didn’t realise this was a ‘who was worse’ contest and did Harani mention Ovechkin? No.

    Ovechkin played with a lot more class in our series with him than Crosby has in this one as well.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  58. TripleX says:

    Sorry 12 games.  Gomez is paid 7.3 million a year supposedly because he is a PLAYOFF SUPERSTAR and he has one less point then the floater Pleks.  Duh?

    In 82 games Pleks had 70 points for a 0.85 per game point average and in the playoffs 12 games and 9 points for a 0.75 per game point average.  A drop off of .10 in the tighter checking tougher playoffs is good in my opinion.



    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  59. Bouleau noir says:

    It was a crucial game for the Penguins tonight and I expected them to win it in front of their fans…. in fact, with their full line-up and the few additional selected choices made to their roster to better counteract what they had learned from our stragegies of the last five games I thought that this game had tthe potential to be like a statement game by the Champs to clearly show their alleged superiority over us once and for all…… but it never happenned since all they could do was to win it by a single goal.

    Thus its pretty clear to me by now that had we not lost Markov this Champion team is not better than our own and that our chances at beatting them would have been pretty darned good…. thus our chances to make it all the way to the Cup Final would have been nothing short of excellent…. which isn’t quite the case without Markov, nevermind without Spacek and Gill….. and that hurts.

  60. Harani says:

    Many of you may know that I don’t have a much of a liking for Crosby and a few of you have even called me out on it. Although I don’t deny that he has a lot of talent, skill and hockey sense, it’s his personality and attitude that has ALWAYS bothered me, not a fan of his BS every night. Now that we have all had to endure him for 5 straight games, people realize how irritating and stupid his antics can be. Also, Malkin is clearly a beast when he brings it and he changes the mo with puckhogging shifts and uses his size accordingly. 

  61. Castor says:


  62. Harani says:

    Please don’t call MAF the Flower. Guy Laf;eur is The Flower, always. Agreed with everything else.

  63. Jbird says:

    The negative multiple personality commentators on this site are out of here.  Thank you 2010 Habs.  I predict 7.   

  64. ooder says:

    once again Malkin proved that pens go as he goes.

    Cindy is an image.. Malkin and Gonchar are what makes the pens tick


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  65. RetroMikey says:

    Yes, Pouliot has been a disappointment, I’ve got him in my pool.  Another Bobby blunder trade .

    Next season, we have to get bigger up front, yes the team is not giving up but they appear very tired compared to the big boys of Pittsburgh.

    If Plekanec is not scoring, is he worth over $4M a season?  Not in my books.

    First priority is to roll the red carpet after the season and sign Jaroslav Halakto a big ,fat ,long term, lucrative, no trade clause contract.

    Good luck Monday boyz, I was impressed they were not blown out in Pittsburgh, the pressure is now on us, not the Penguins.





    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  66. Exit716 says:

    Nice stats.

    Last time I checked, Montreal’s played 12 games.

    Second, Pleks has a whopping one more point than Gomez over that time.


    Somehow, I have this crazy delusional idea that your leading scorer during the regular season should be able to at least maintain a consistent level during the playoffs.

    Hasn’t happened with Plekanec over the past three playoff years.


  67. vic says:

    I hope pouliot gets some good coaching,you see some of the moves he has made before he lost his confidence for some reson he looked great.,But something happened to pull him dowm and I look behind the bench

    Do you think Mueller will be here next year hes getting to much credit

  68. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Hal Gill …and Jaro Spacek …AND
    Andrei Markov …MIA ???

    …the 2009-version of Marc Andre Fleury showed-up this evenin’
    …Malkin has awoken …Crosby was Crosby …Letang another Josh Gorges
    only-with offensive skills …They WITH a Gonchar and We WITHOUT a
    Markov …enough early-bad (against Us) and non-calls (against dem) by
    the refs to change the early-Mo

    …Our lack of net-presence or sustained net-pressure on MAF made
    Flower’s job that much easier …as well as a smart, disciplined
    well-coached game by The Waddlers

    …YET !, We STILL came within
    ‘a whisker’ of pullin’ THIS game out of the
    fire !

    …all I can say at THIS time is I will not EVER, until the Final Horn Of The Final Game, underestimate this year’s version of Our Montreal Canadiens’ capacity to work a miracle

    …AND …was I the only One pleased to see Bob Gainey sitting next to Gauthier …watching His Team ?

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  69. Exit716 says:

    Pouliot and Kostitsyn are the same player.

    Guys picked way above where they should have been thanks to scouts thinking they were going to hit a home run.

    Pouliot’s been garbage all playoffs.

    Why are you shocked that another Trevor Timmins first round pick is flaming out, Mr. Boone?

    Timmins is not up to the job. There’s no excuse for Montreal to have such a poor draft record.

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