About last night …

Just for fun – which is the kind of mood I’m in after a game like that – I looked up stats on the last Great Comeback.

You remember Feb. 19, 2008, don’t you?

New York Rangers at the Bell Centre. Chris Drury’s goal, five minutes into the second period, gave the visitors take a 5-0 lead.

By then, Carey Price was on the bench. Guy Carbonneau had yanked his rookie goaltender 13:56 into the first period, after Price had been beaten three times on the first 11 shots he faced. The Rangers fourth and fifth goals were scored on Cristobal Huet.

So five down, game over, right?

Wrong.

Remember who got the Canadiens going?

Michael Ryder – the Bruin whose genius tripping penalty, 200 feet from his own net with his team up 2-0 and 3 1/2 minutes, led to Scott Gomez’s power-play goal last night. Ryder scored twice in the second period against Henrik Lundqvist, and the Canadiens had life.

The rest, as Red Fisher likes to write, you know.

Or maybe you don’t. So here it is:

An Alex Kovalev goal, 6:43 into the third period, made it 5-3. All of nine seconds later, Mark Streit got another one. Then Kovy tied it on a power play with less than five minutes left.

After a scoreless OT, Saku Koivu won it in a Shootout.

The Bell Centre was a madhouse – just like it was after 57 minutes of being a mausoleum last night.

Three years later, none of the Canadiens who scored in that amazing game are still with the team.

Of the players who dressed that night, only Tomas Plekanec, Roman Hamrlik and Andrei Kostitsyn played last night.

The departed include Ryder, Kovalev, Streit, Koivu, Huet, Christopher Higgins, Mike Komisarek, Guillaume Latendresse, Maxim Lapierre, Steve Bégin, Sergei Kostitsyn, Mathieu Dandenault and Francis Bouillon.

Over the last three star-crossed seasons, your Montreal Canadiens have been remade.

Your question, awaiting another two NFL playoffs games: How do you like his edition of the Comeback Canadiens?

The 2008 edition certainly had more firepower.

If these Canadiens fell behind 5-0, I think we’d all be safe in changing the channel.

On the other hand, this team has never fallen five goals behind. The 2010-’11 Canadiens have given up five goals on only two occasions, at home against Philadelphia and in Dallas.

Are they as exciting as the Koivu/Kovy Krew?

Probably not, but the Bell Centre was rockin’ and rollin’ pretty good last night.

Bob Gainey, the quintessential defensive forward, hired Jacques Martin, and the coach istalled a system that stresses D and protects the team’s most valuable asset.

Playing behind a defence missing two of its best, Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges, Price made 27 saves last night  and chalked up his 21st win. He needs three more to match his career best (in that ’07-’08 season).

In that comeback win against the Rangers, Andrei Markov played 23:20.

P.K. Subban’s ToI last night was a team-high 26:27. It’s probably safe to predict that P.K.’s TiP (Time in Pressbox) between now and the end of the season will be 0.

P.K. was not on the ice for either of Patrice Bergeron’s goals (James Wisniewski and the woeful Alexandre Picard were on for both, and it wasn’t pretty.)

Subban had a neatly symmetrical 3:58 on the PP, 3:48 on the PK.

So tell me again how Jacques Martin is destroying this kid.

The most promising young players on that 2007-’08 team were Komisarek, Higgins, Guy! Guy! Guy!, Pleks and the Brothers K.

Know what?

In terms of potential, I’ll take the Four Ps:

Price, P.K., OT hero Max Paciorett and Benoit Pouliot (who played well on his own line, with David Desharnais and Mathieu Darche, and when pressed into Top Six duty by the absence of Mike Cammalleri).

I also like this team’s leadership.

With all due respect to Koivu, I’ll take Brian Gionta and Hal Gill as inspire their teammates to a high standard of hard work and intensity.

And with Markov and Gorges gone for the season, I’d like to nominate another leader to wear the A:

Mathieu Darche.

Not the most talented player on the roster, but Darche never stops working, rarely makes a mistake and offers constant counsel to his younger linemates, DD, Benny and Lars Eller.

My man from McGill will make a good coach some day.

Savor a big win, and enjoy some football.

•   •  •

Sergei Kostitsyn scored the winner last night as Nashville beat he Sharks 2-1 in San Jose.

It was the 11th goal of the season for SK74, who played 19:08.

Brother Andrei, who has 10 goals and hasn’t score since Dec. 23, played 14:30 last night. AK46 was not used during the late-game power-play or during OT.

This is AK46’s contract year, and the 2003 first-round draft choice is so outta here.

•  •  •

Guest Comment, from RGB:

Battling through it, that pretty much sums up the game tonight.
Boston came into our barn and played a fantastic road game for 57.3
minutes. Habs were not playing poorly, first period was a stalemate,
second period they got burned by some unlucky bounces. But as they say,
“That’s hockey”. 

Tonight showcased how important Carey Price is
to this team. People have been ragging on him lately but he stepped up
against a division rival in the biggest game of the year so far. Carey
was fantastic when he had to be. And full value to Tim Thomas, who
played one heck of a game too.

It’s easy to say that the Habs
didn’t deserve this game. But I disagree, in the end hockey always evens
out. Some nights you get what you deserve, others you don’t. Habs have
played way to many games this year where they deserved better, and
tonight we were finally allowed to rope-a-dope one from the boys from
Beantown.

This is the team we have, and when they are on, they are
one hell of a team to play against. If I was the opposition, I would
dread the Habs every time I saw them on the schedule.  Like it or not,
we will live and die by Jacques Martin’s system. It isnt easy to accept,
but it works. Theres a reason why our coach has so many W’s.

This
is the kind of game that can change a season. The Habs can look at this
game and hopefully reclaim some of their lost “swag”. It goes along
way, especially when the faithful expect a long run this spring.

•  •  •

A Bruins fan, posting on NESN:

We’re not a bad team; we’re just Montreal’s bitches, that’s all.
Sooner we all accept that, better off we’ll be. I mean, what, 85 years
now? It’s time we accept it and just concentrate on other teams cause
we’re never gonna beat these guys. They punk us every time and it’s
gettin kinda monotonous so to hell with’em. Just bend over and let’em do
it to ya cause that’s all the Bruins are good for in this “rivalry”, it
looks like.

99 Comments

  1. Timo says:

    55″ inch screen? Nice!

  2. HardHabits says:

    Good stuff hrw!!!!

  3. Shiloh says:

    It was a horrible trade – but not as bad as the Gomez deal. Gainey was hugely overrated.

  4. Danno says:

    Two minutes for high schticking.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  5. habsruleworld says:

    Thank you, thank you very much, (do I sound like Elvis)

  6. Danno says:

    Excellent, excellent post. Post of the day Habsruletheworld!

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  7. habsruleworld says:

    Forum Ghosts Exist! I swear I saw them last night!

    In order to see them you must first believe, deep in your subconscious.

    I do, and there I was almost unconscious, laying on my couch as Mtl was down 2 – 0 to the Bruins in the Habs home, on this the 3000th Hab game!.

    Then something Happened, as I lay on the couch staring at the 55″ inch screen, I swear I saw Them.!

    as per Boston Globe story! ” Then, according to Thomas, the puck changed direction yet again. This time in a bad way.  “My mind couldn’t catch up to it,’’ explained Thomas. “It was
    two little mini-deflections. Then it bounced on the net. After it hit
    Z’s skate, it hit something. I don’t know but it hit something. It was going to miss the net. Then it hit Z’s skate
    and it was still going to miss the net. Or maybe it was going to be
    right on my stick. About halfway between me and Z, the puck was
    sideways. It hit something and it just bounced a bit.”

    That something Tuna speaks of is what I saw, I swear I saw Him ,,Born in what is now the Ghost Town of Victoria Mines,coincidence! I think Not!!   It Was Toe Blake, right there on Timmy the Tuna’s Doorstep! There Toe was with his flat bladed stick, giving way a wry little smile while giving the puck that last little flip, out of nowhere, gently tipping the puck past Tuna Timmy, Incredible!!!

    I could not believe my eyes, as I lay motionless, stunned, in absolute shock, as my wife brought me another beer that I quickly dispatched down the hatch in 1 quick motion, eyes still big as silver dollars.

    I knew right then, this was no ordinary night and more was in store. not just the beer drinking I mean.

    And again fate and destiny happened,!   Well before playing professional ice hockey, he worked in a newspaper plant, where he acquired the “Newsy” moniker. And tonight he wanted full press, Edouard Charles ” Newsy” Lalonde appeared, and as our mighty captain Gio skated towards the net, I swear I saw Newsy’s hockey shadow enter Gio’s and ensure his foot was right there to re-deflect that fate willed puck past Timmy the Tuna.! Incredible! after all this was the 3000th game, and Newsy was at work at the presses!!

    Well by now I was like in a trance state, my wife looked at me and asked me ” Are you allright Dear” as I mumbled Incoherently unable to put prepostions in the right places, she non-chalantly looked away not too worried since I suppose she had seen this display from me once or twice in the past on Saturday nights.

    And then the rest was pure Here and Now, the Habs Players now pumped to the gills with adrenalin just let it flow, and the young lion that is Max Pac rifled a shot past the tuna to seal the deal in OT and steal way the win in an incredible fashion, one for the books and the great hab history.

    INCREDIBLE, I say, I saw them, I know I did,

    do not think or doubt for one second the forum ghosts are not at the Bell.  The beautifull displays and great statues and plaques in honor of the past Hab greats have ensured their lively spirits live on. They are now giving back to us, in appreciation of the great show of respect we have given them.

    Never give up on your team! NEVER! the true devoted fan knows this.

    Go Habs Go, you just watch them Go, 

     

     

     

     

     

  8. HardHabits says:

    Unless they can do it with a slap shot from the blue line when on the PP.

  9. Timo says:

    I agree… I think Leblanc (if he works hard at it) will turn into another Pleks. He is more of a playmaker with good hands. Besides, no goal scorers are allowed on this team.

  10. Timo says:

    Finally Bruins fans are starting to get it. Very well put by that B’s fan on NESN.

  11. Chris says:

    To be fair, Jeff Skinner was a much more promising prospect than anybody we have in our system other than perhaps Subban.

    As a 16 year old OHL rookie, he put up 27 goals and 51 points in 63 games for a very weak Kitchener Rangers team.  Those are amazing numbers for a kid so young.

    As a 17 year old in the OHL, Skinner scored 50 goals and 90 points in 64 games before adding 20 goals and 33 points in 20 playoff games.  Compare that with Steven Stamkos in his 17 year-old season (Stamkos’ birthday is 4 months earlier, so factor that in), who had 58 goals and 105 points in 61 games.  Skinner basically wasn’t too far off the production of one of the most exciting players in the game today, and scouts raved about his scoring ability and offensive IQ.

    By contrast, Louis Leblanc is a 19 year old in the QMJHL and has 13 goals and 31 points in 25 games.  Those are nice numbers, but I’d like to see a bit more dominance from a guy who is one of the older players in the league.  If the Habs get an impact from a younger player, it will be a good full season from Lars Eller or Max Pacioretty.  Most scouts have Leblanc being at least a couple of years away from being an NHL player, with Danny Kristo and Alexander Avtsin not much closer.

  12. avatar_58 says:

    I honestly don’t care what the “I told you so” crowd thinks, the benching was wrong. Even if it was deemed right, it was far too long. I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again. Let Gill and the other vets help him ON the ice, not off it.

  13. avatar_58 says:

    Leblanc doesn’t seem like a pure goal scorer. At best he’ll be that essential third line center ala Halpern or Dominic Moore.

  14. habs001 says:

    skinner 14 goals for carolina…hopefully leblanc or someone else will have an impact first year for us…with so many games close if eller or another player had such a year we probably have 5-7 more points..

  15. bobinsask says:

    With regard to your comments on AK, it is becoming more tiresome each year to see good young talent drummed out of town by inflexible coaches and a ravenous media.  There has to be something wrong when player after player flourishes when they move from Montreal.  At the same time we continue to pick up expensive veterans on the downside of careers and sign them to expensive contracts.  Then the media raves about their leadership abilities and lines up to go out for dinner with them.  It’s become a mutual admiration society

  16. avatar_58 says:

    The truly epic troll is one who fools everyone. Bugs, you genius

  17. Chris says:

    Alright, let me put it into the proper context from your original post, regarding goals against:

    2009-10:  Chicago (6th) beats Philadelphia (15th)

    2008-09:  Pittsburgh (17th) beats Detroit (20th)

    2007-08:  Detroit (1st) beats Pittsburgh (10th)

    2006-07:  Anaheim (7th) beats Ottawa (10th)

    2005-06:  Carolina (19th) beats Edmonton (12th)

    2003-04:  Tampa Bay (11th) beats Calgary (3rd)

    2002-03:  New Jersey (1st) beats Anaheim (6th)

    2001-02:  Detroit (4th) beats Carolina (19th)

    2000-01:  Colorado (4th) beats New Jersey (5th)

    1999-2000:  New Jersey (7th) beats Dallas (3rd)

    As you said, goals against is important…the teams that make the finals are often amongst the league’s leaders in goals against.  What I was trying to illustrate is that far too much emphasis is placed on goals against when a balance of top-10 offence/defence is the more telling indicator.  Buffalo never won a Stanley Cup despite having Hasek at the top of his game because they just never quite had enough firepower.  Calgary, Boston, Phoenix and Dallas are all examples of teams that have failed to do much in the playoffs despite being amongst the league’s elite defensive teams because they had no offence.

    New Jersey, the tightest defensive team in recent times, have only won Stanley Cups in those years where their offence was as proficient as their defence.  When their offence has gone south, they are usually bounced early in the playoffs despite an All-World goalie and great defensive system

    Elite teams in the NHL, those that win Stanley Cups, almost always feature a nice balance of top 10 offence and top 10 defence.  Even those “miracle” Stanley Cup Habs teams of 1993 (9th in goals for, 7th in goals against) and 1986 (6th in goals for, 4th in goals against) demonstrated that.

    Last year, the Habs ran out of gas because they simply could not keep up with more offensively talented Washington, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia teams.  They turtled defensively against the Capitals and Penguins, letting their opponents launch shot after shot, and counterattacked when possible.  Eventually they ran into a team that was able to break that turtle shell and get some goals and the Habs had no response.

    Yet again this season, the team is struggling to find goals and struggles to come from behind.  That is not a recipe for playoff success.  They could get lucky again and win some rounds, especially if Price plays out of his mind.  But with an offence mired neared the bottom of the standings, anybody dreaming of Stanley Cups for this team is facing longer odds than they would playing the lottery.

  18. avatar_58 says:

    Does anyone have a nice high quality photo of Price’s gangsta pose?

  19. zak says:

    The issue with P.K. should have been dealt with in the dressing room not with a benching. That’s what the leaders are supposed to do. Jm should have left the picking of the captain to the players as is nthe tradition with the Habs. I live in Calgary and I never see Gio being interviewed. Gill seems to be the real leader. Also I not a fan of the P.K. , Price hand slaps ata the end of the game.

  20. zak says:

    Most times it’s the average players that make the best coaches. They understand hard work because they’re not blessed with supe4r star talent. Maybe AK will join SK in Nashville. We have alot of money not producing results.

  21. Greg says:

    Boone I never said JM was “ruining” PK. I said I don’t think PK will learn a whole lot from sitting in the press box for 5 games. I said I thought he’d learn by playing, not watching. And after a slow return from the press box, he’s playing really good hockey. I still don’t think that JM is great with young players, but he’s not terrible either. Sometimes players excel despite the treatment they receive.

     

    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  22. RJB says:

    Means that Doughty extension will be very soon. oh what I would giveaway to get Doughty from them. Fantastic player.

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

  23. Chips says:

    Hammer/ Wiz

    Spacek/ Weber or Picard

    Gill/ PK

    Picard with Wiz was a disaster last night. I do like what Hal Gill seems to be doing for Subbie, but I think PK and Hammer gives us some real good O punch, so we could switch these up when needed. I would love to get hold of Bieksa, if we were looking.

     

    25 in 2011

  24. christophor says:

    Hammer – PK

    Wiz – Spacek/Gill

    Gill/Spacek – Weber

  25. twilighthours says:

    Micky Ribs was one of the few truly horrible trades Gainey made.  That one still hurts. 

    Grabs – I believe we used that 2nd rounder for Tanguay, and at the time we all thought that was a great deal.  As for how Grabs used to be… he alienated his teammates in MTL and there were plenty of Leaf fans who were ready to feed him to the wolves at the end of last year, too.  Good on him that he ended up turning it around – he deserves the credit for that one.  

     

  26. punkster says:

    Discuss? Not you too HH. Please! Oh well, here goes…

    Not sure about splitting up Cammy and Pleks. I believe it’s the 3rd man on that line that brings it down, whoever that may be at any point. Get someone in front of the net on that line, let Pleks dig it out and Cammy shoot. As for the D I think JM has to try different combos and give them all a chance to succeed, or fail, whatever the case may be. This is the D corps we’ve got, apart from callups, and this is the D corps we have to live with to season’s end.

    I still believe PG has to buy/rent a forward for the remainder of the season…without sacrificing too many futures. Spend the money, not the assets.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  27. HabFanSince72 says:

    A Bruins fan, posting on NESN: …

     

    Actually that was our very own Bugs.

  28. HardHabits says:

    BTW. The Streit goal was a deflection off of his leg in the 6-5 comeback. It was Ryder who shot the puck.

    —————————————————————————

    Gomez. Gionta. Pacioretty. The Flying Latins did it again.

    When is the Plex line going to start contributing goals? I hope soon. Having both top lines a scoring threat will certainly make the Habs lethal but I sense a problem with the Plex line.

    My suggestions:

    Spread the wealth. As I alluded, I think Cammy and Plex have lost their chemistry so IMO they need to be broken up for a while.

    Wiz and Picard is a rescipe for disaster. Don’t play them as  unit.

    I know Martin likes to play the old Czechs together but I suggest that needs to be rethought.

    I propose to have the defensive pairings have one young one old. Something like:

    Gill-PK

    Wiz-Spacek

    Hammer-Picard

    —————————-

    Discuss!!

  29. mfDx says:

    Fearless prediction: The Plekanec- Eller- Kostitsyn line will combine for 8 points vs the Rangers on Tuesday.

  30. solomio says:

    You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink ?

  31. solomio says:

    Who cares about who is gone.? They’re gone. For better or worse. Get over it. And your specualtion is just that so why bother?

  32. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Gomez took two punches to the head,  that warrants a suspension, as a diliberate targeting the head – shot.

    Gill should be awarded a trophy for containing the situation, not a penalty, Refs continue to be inept... and MAXPAX & SUBB vs CHARA… chara would have been crying for mercy.

  33. HardHabits says:

    That sermon flew way over the heads of the particular choir it was aimed at.

  34. Norcal Habsfan says:

    I watched the game before I found out about the Arizona shooting and I probably shouldn’t say this but…

    Cheers to the guy with the “die Chara die” sign behind the bench. Not exactly the most subtle of banners or eloquent prose but it made me laugh (assuming you’re not an unstable schizophrenic with a glock in your pocket.)

    Seeing Chara blow a gasket was the icing to a perfect game.

  35. 24 Cups says:

    I just noticed that Gill received a miconduct at the end of the game just like Chara.

    I think the entire Chara meltdown was a bit over the top (just like the reactions on H/IO) but the ref would have really been in a tough spot if Gill hadn’t intervened with his bear hug.  Same goes for MaxPac – he might have really had his clock cleaned.

  36. 24 Cups says:

    Discipline and hard work starting to pay off for Grabovski.

    Hindsight is easy but it seems a shame that both Ribeiro and Grabovski have gone on to be regular 2nd line centres.  Both also score goals as well as set up plays.  Regardless, they still come off as having a bit of a ‘punk mentality’.

    I’d have to check, but I believe that Koivu and Pleks were the main centres in Montreal when Grabovski was traded.  Was Lang the 3rd?  At least we got a 2nd rounder back in return.  Is DD next in line?

     

  37. Chuck says:

    I can think of some other cornholes that you should add to that list.

    Centre Hice: Habs’ new training aid gets a “passing” grade

  38. Chuck says:

    Lesson learned for those that crap on Price for playing low on shots: The Gomez goal last night doesn’t go in on a goaltender in his butterfly. That fortuitous bounce of of the Bruins defenseman would instead have hit the goalie square in the pads, and thus no comeback. And those types of bounces happen more often in a game than you’d think.

    Centre Hice: Habs’ new training aid gets a “passing” grade

  39. Ian Cobb says:

    We will get the needed goals come play off time, just wait,! But we will never score more than 3 a game very often.

    Only need one goal a game to win, if everyone does their job defensively.

  40. Ian Cobb says:

    Chris.! Read carefully. I did not say goals against were meaningless.

    I said goals against is the most important stat for a winning team.!!!

  41. mjames says:

    good post

     

    mjames

  42. Chris says:

    No, that is just embarassing. 

    “Pissing on the electric fence” is perhaps better, as it is still a rather pointless thing to do but can also cause pain. 

  43. Chris says:

    True enough…nobody, probably least of all Barry Trotz, knows if this is sustainable.  I’d be shocked to see Sergei Kostitsyn sustain a point-per-game level in the NHL.  The kid has the talent, but that is an elite level of production in today’s NHL and I’m not sure he’s got the consistency nor the supporting cast to do it.

    Same goes for Mikhail Grabovski who, for those still keeping track at home, upped his point total last night to 32 points (including 17 goals) and a nice +5 rating in 39 games.  Contrast that with the admittedly more well-rounded Tomas Plekanec, who has 32 points on 12 goals and a similar +5 rating in 41 games.  I’d still take Plekanec in a heartbeat, but credit where it’s due…Grabovski has done a nice job this season and seems to have turned the corner on his own career.

    The issue you run into with some of these guys is that there is only room on a team for 6 scoring line players, realistically.  So guys like Sergei or Grabovski struggle try and get that ice time, where they would be effective, while it is nailed down by veterans or more expensive players.  I don’t know that you have to leave the city necessarily in every case, but you have to get an opportunity.  That opportunity was not coming in Montreal for either guy due to the contract status of the veterans ahead of them, so a change of scenery in their particular case probably was necessary.

  44. Elephant Man says:

    Where’s that cornhole ‘observer’ today?

    I am not an animal, I just reproduce that way.

  45. habs001 says:

    great points and as you mentioned lack of scoring will catch up with you….you just cannot win 4 rounds with the type of offense we have …

  46. twocents says:

    “Pissing in the wind?”

  47. Chris says:

    “Wasting my breath?”

    :)

  48. habs001 says:

    gion is on pace to score the second most goals in his career…we usually play well vs the rangers but the d will be tested with the rangers speed and forecheck…the next night we play pitts probably without crosby but this time they are the team that did not play the night before…if we can play 8 games above 500 the second half we will be in the playoffs maybe even win the division…based on the nature of the line up we will have many games like yesterday where we get great heart stopping wins but we will also have heartbreaking games which we dont win….

  49. diehardhab says:

    When Ryder took his bonehead penalty with 3 minutes left i turned to my dad and said “we need a miracle.” My dad answers me with “we need two of them.” Sure enough we got 3!

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  50. Chris says:

    Ian, goals against is obviously a crucial statistic but I think you are being a little too optimistic when you state that goals against is meaningless.  Look at the recent Stanley Cup finalists and see where they fiinished in goals for:

    2009-10:  Chicago (2nd) beat Philadelphia (14th)

    2008-09:  Pittsburgh (6th) beat Detroit (1st)

    2007-08:  Detroit (3rd) beat Pittsburgh (7th)

    2006-07:  Anaheim (9th) beat Ottawa (2nd)

    2005-06:  Carolina (3rd) beat Edmonton (15th)

    2003-04:  Tampa Bay (3rd) beat Calgary (19th)

    2002-03:  New Jersey (14th) beat Anaheim (23rd)

    2001-02:  Detroit (2nd) beat Carolina (13th)

    2000-01:  Colorado (4th) beat New Jersey (1st)

    1999-2000:  New Jersey (2nd) beat Dallas (23rd)

    In only one case, the 2002-03 New Jersey Devils during the “dead-puck” era of clutch and grab hockey, did a team outside the top 10 in goals scored win a Stanley Cup.  Only twice has a team outside the top 6 done it.

    You can go on a nice little run, as the Habs showed last year, with tight defensive hockey and a goaltender playing lights out.  Calgary, Edmonton and Dallas have all tried that avenue.  But in general, you simply run out of gas.

  51. WestHab says:

    I was at the 2008 game, the most fun I ever had at a game. My son and I were visiting from Calgary. The kid is a staunch Flames fan but he was screaming ” Go Habs Go!”.  That night they had given out these banners that make noise when you roll them open and closed. I remember there was rash of penalites against the Habs so at some point these were thrown onto the ice. I think it actually pumped up the team to see how crazy the fans got.

    Last night’s come back was also amazing because of how little time was left on the clock, but there were some ghosts helping last night I think.

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  52. punkster says:

    Your comment will not go down well with the anti-aging crowd. It makes way too much sense.

    As for SK, I wonder first if he will consistently perform this well and second whether he would ever have performed as well in Montreal? Both require speculation at this point and only one will be proven.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  53. Ian Cobb says:

    Here are our weekly stats for how we place in the big picture of this 30 team league, compared to where we were last week.

    Two wins in a row, great !. But not much separation when you give the opposition a point also.

    The most important stat in evaluating a winning teams play, is always the Goals Against stat.

     

    Goals Against—99,   We are in  3rd place.   Last week we were in   6th place.

    Total Points  —49,   We are in 12th place.   Last week we were in 16th place.

    Goals For     –105,   We are in 27th place.   Last week we were in 22nd place.

     

    Remember this, Goals For, mean absolutely nothing, if your Goals Against, are better than the opposition.

    This is the J. Martin defensive and play off winning philosophy.

    Just
    ask Pittsburgh & Washington what happened to them last year with
    all there fire power. Hang onto your hats folks, we are even better
    than last year, injuries and all.

    The system works well in the play offs.

  54. WestHab says:

     

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  55. twocents says:

    What’s the appropriately concise analogy that describes the opposite of “Preaching to the choir’?

  56. Chris says:

    Sergei Kostitsyn is a wonderful case study of how patience with a player can pay off.

    Through his first 19 games, Sergei Kostitsyn had 1 goal and 3 points in 19 games while compiling an awful -7 rating.  In a Barry Trotz world, if you’re not scoring you had better at least be contributing defensively.  Kostitsyn was not, and that was reflected in his average ice time over those 19 games of 10:01.  Barry Trotz is perhaps the best coach in hockey today…I don’t think anybody would argue that he is incompetent. 

    Here in Montreal, Jacques Martin would be second-guessed by the media, the fans, the talk show hosts and guests, l’Antichambre, Habs Inside/Out (most importantly), and everybody else who has any vested interest in the Habs for ruining “yet another” young player.  Or the player himself would be labelled as a bust, a waste or heartless.

    Back in Nashville, while Habs fans were busily crowing at Sergei’s troubles because they all knew he was a little punk that didn’t have what it took to compete and work at the NHL level, all that hard work and coaching has started to pay off for Sergei.  He’s got 9 goals and 20 points in his last 18 games, and in the process has raised his +/- to a respectable +3.  For those keeping score at home, Sergei’s 23 points put him just 1 point behind Brian Gionta, our heart & soul captain, with 5 games in hand, all while playing on one of the few teams in the NHL that is as offensively inept as the Habs are.  Trotz has rewarded Kostitsyn by boosting his ice time to 18 minutes per game.

    I wish sometimes that Habs fans could step back from their fanaticism and realize that diminished ice time IS a coaching tool and one that has been very effectively by coaches everywhere to develop young players.  Just because we think a kid is going to develop into an elite player doesn’t mean that they start as one.  Playing them through mistakes does not always help that much.

    When provided with talent by a solid scouting staff and management, Martin has been very adept at mentoring and developing young hockey players during his career.  In Ottawa, he helped mentor and develop a host of players that would go on to relatively long, productive careers, including Radek Bonk, Daniel Alfredsson, Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat, Chris Phillips, Wade Redden (pre personal issues destroying his career), Chris Neil, Alexei Yashin, Vinny Prospal, Sami Salo, Andreas Dackell, Mike Fisher and Zdeno Chara.  One can obviously not give Martin all the credit, but he certainly played an important part in those players’ careers during the formative years of their late teens and early 20’s.

    In Florida, Martin was not nearly as adept, partially due to the loss of that pipeline of talent from the Ottawa scouting department.  However, credit is certainly due to Martin for helping develop some of the youngsters that were in Florida when he got there, most notably Jay Bouwmeester, Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss and David Booth.  I’m not saying that those guys could not have developed without Martin, but he was the guy that was there.

    Nor would I conclude form this that there weren’t mistakes along the way.  Who knows if Alexandre Daigle could have been better off in a different environment?  Was the way he handled Jason Spezza, who developed into a good offensive player anyways, optimal?  Was breaking up lines that were working to try to get struggling veterans (Gionta, Gomez) going the right thing to do this year?

    But I think too much blame is levelled at Martin for the troubles of the Habs’ youngsters like the Kostitsyns, Latendresse, Lapierre and now of course Pouliot/Eller/Subban.  The Habs have been struggling for years to properly develop younger players.  Martin has only been here for two years.  So obviously he is NOT the common factor. 

    I would be far more inclined to say the intense pressure, hype and heightened expectations that come with any Canadian market, but especially Montreal, are more likely to be the culprit than some nefarious old-school misunderstanding of how to handle the kids. 

    Gauthier has an adept eye for finding talent, and Martin has proven over his career that he knows how to develop talented kids.  I think we’ll be fine with those two at the helm.

  57. twocents says:

    Nice comeback!

  58. 24 Cups says:

    Jack Johnson gets 30.5M over seven years.


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