About last night …


Help wanted: Sniper
Experience at making red lights go on essential.
CV should include goal totals, shooting percentage and some indication of willingness to go into dirty areas.
Apply to Marc Bergevin, Bell Centre.

Let’s forget about the game on Long Island, when your Montreal Canadiens beat poor Kevin Poulin five times with 29 shots.

In games against Ryan Miller and the tandem of Marc-André Fleury and Tomas Vokoun, the Canadiens had 76 shots on goal.

They scored once.

Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, against the hottest team in the league, the Canadiens fired 25 shots at Fleury and 12 at Vokoun: 37 shots and the red light stayed off.

They lost because the only goal of the game was what Michel Therrien accurately described as “a perfect shot by the best player on the planet.” Given one of the very few good scoring chances conceded by the Canadiens in an intense, playoff-calibre game, Sidney Crosby made no mistake.

“We did many good things,” Therrien said in his postgame remarks. “We deserved better, and we have to stay positive.”

Positivity will help at the TD Garden, where the Canadiens will try to recapture first place in the Northeast Division when they face the Bruins Wednesday night. The currently anemic offence will be facing another quality goaltender, Tuukka Rask.

Maybe someone will step up and score.

Maybe that someone will be Max Pacioretty, who has seven shots on goal against the Sabres on Saturday and another seven in Pittsburgh. I think the stat – 14 SoG in two games – is deceptive because unlike the best player on the planet, the best player from Connecticut is not burying his chances.

Despite the Canadiens’ excellent performance in Pittsburgh – the only criticism the coach offered was the team’s inability to build any momentum off the power play – Therrien might consider some line changes to light a fire under his slumping scorers.

On L’Antichambre after the Tuesday game, Michel Bergeron said Alex Galchenyuk hasn’t been the same player since Brendan Gallagher was promoted to David Desharnais’s line. Perhaps Lars Eller should be centring the reunited kids.

The problem is a lack of depth. With neither Rene Bourque nor Brandon Prust available, Therrien doesn’t have many cards to play in shuffling the deck with his forward lines. Playing with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta might shake Pacioretty out of his doldrums, and Ryder is a natural RW who would benefit from DD’s playmaking skill if he replaced Gallagher. But who would play on the left side?

And don’t suggest Travis Moen.

Or Jeff Halpern.

The team’s latest addition played a terrific game in Pittsburgh. Halpern had four hits and won 11 of 18 faceoffs – a 61 per cent success rate Canadiens fans haven’t seen since the glory days of Yanic Perreault.

But Halpern, who had been averaging nine minutes ToI with the Rangers, played 14:51 against Pittsburgh. That was three minutes more than Eller and only 38 seconds less than DD. Halpern had more ToI than either Tyler Kennedy or Brenden Morrow did for Pittsburgh.

Again, you can’t fault Halpern for his effort. But when a waiver wire pickup who’ll turn 37 in May is seeing that much ice time …

OK, I’m being too negative.

Therrien is right. The Canadiens played well and deserved better than to be shut out and – for the first time this season – suffer a second consecutive loss in regulation time.

Carey Price had no chance on the Crosby goal. And he was brilliant during a Pittsburgh PP that saw the puck zipped around the Canadiens’ zone for the full two minutes.

At even strength, however, the Canadiens defencemen and forwards did a superb job of containing the explosive Pittsburgh offence. Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, James Neal, Kris Letang and the incomparable number 87 were not allowed to wheel and deal with the reckless abandon they displayed during that crazy 7-6 game at the Bell Centre.

This was playoff hockey: tight, hard-hitting (but substantially clean), intense in all three zones.

The Canadiens’ game plan was to chip pucks behind the ponderous Pittsburgh D, and they enjoyed substantial success in doing so. The Plekanec and Eller lines – heck, even the fourth liners – exerted prolonged periods of pressure in the Pittsburgh zone.

Again, however, the absence of Bourque and Prust deprived the Canadiens of two players who might have caused some consternation in the Pittsburgh crease – a role that has devolved to Gallagher and Gionta because Pacioretty and Ryder seem uninterested in getting their mouthguards rattled.

And now, the Bruins …




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  2. nellis13 says:

    We’re not scoring on the PP because we only have 2 DMen that should be playing the PP. We look great with Subban and Markov but the second wave is garbage.
    The Bruins will play an extra physical game tonight considering we played yesterday. Not so concerned about the win. Just hoping for no injuries.

  3. Davis says:

    Price was great last night – he challenged shooters, moved out to the edge of the crease to cut down angles, and was seeing the puck. If he can just do that on a regular basis, and if Prust, Bourque and Diaz get back soon, and the rest stay healthy, this team can compete with the best of them. One more big guy up front would be great; Eller skating to the net, instead of around it in circles, would be good; a little more toughness out of Tinordi – and who knows: cup 25?

  4. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Knee-jerk reactions much? hahaha

    The Habs are a very good, young team. Trading players based on two losses in a row (TWO LOSSES!!) is, shall we say, a touch of an overreaction?

    Most fans in the NHL would be ecstatic to have a team in a dogfight for the top of the division and conference…particularly if the core of that team’s roster was filled by young, promising players. Even if they don’t win the Cup this year (heaven forbid) this team is on track to remain competitive for years to come. That’s something to be excited about.

    I live in Calgary, so maybe I have the advantage of being able to see what it’s like to follow a truly dysfunctional franchise.

    I swear to God, they could go 48-0 and people would be clamouring for trades because they didn’t win by enough.

  5. John Frodo says:

    I have done a through scientific study of our 70 shots over the past two games, 65 of them sucked like Gomez. We need the shot machine.
    What is wrong with these people, players who cant skate (Chucky, Leblanc, Armstrong),players who cant shoot everybody but Ryder, and management has their head in the icehole.

    • New says:

      Fans don’t want to hear that. You’re supposed to say Hot Goalie, posts, bad bounces, refs, we outworked, we outskated, we outshot, and alternate the excuse.

  6. ebk says:

    the last 8 games, Montreal has basically been a one line hockey club. Plekanec,Ryder and Gionta have combined for 9 goals, the Habs defenseman have 5(Subban 3) and the 2nd,3rd and 4th lines have scored a grand total of 8 goals in 8 games.

    Pacioretty and Desharnias have one each, and since Prust has been out, Galchenyuk and Eller have one goal between them.

    Couple of other things that may only interest me
    -Dumont has 2 points but has only been on the ice for 1 Montreal goal for, according to NHL.com.
    -Crosby’s goal was the first one that was scored against the Habs with Tinordi on the ice in 5 games.

    • Timo says:

      Not bad for Tinordi, eh? I had the same thought last night. He’s been doing fine and I normally don’t even notice him out there which is good for a rookie defenseman.

      • bwoar says:

        I’ve noticed he is very calm in his own zone with the puck under pressure. He’ll make safe plays but a few times he’s used his stick to smoothly deke out a forechecker and make the play. I’m a bit surprised, I’ve been led to believe he was a year away. But he’s playing a pretty mature game.


      • New says:

        Yeah he has done really well, and they’ve played him well. Be interesting to see if Crosby will ever be able to beat him again that way. Not to say he won’t find another way but I think Tinordi learns fast.

      • SteverenO says:

        the reason you dont notice him is that he’ rarely on the ice .. & minutes a game is riduculous. either play him 12 to 15 minutes a game or send him back to hamilton


        Steve O.

  7. Just a harmless thought…

    Would ANYONE be willing to trade Price for Malkin, straight-up? ?I’m curious to see what some here would think about that. It doesn’t really look like Malkin is “needed” in Pittsburgh (as absurd a statement that is) and they REALLY need quality goaltending.

    Habs have shown some of the best defense in the league where it isn’t the Carey Price Be-all-and-end-all situation guy we have been conditioned to accept. He hasn’t stolen games, etc, you know, you’ve seen it.

    The only negative to a deal like this would be the fact we’d load Pittsburgh up for a dynasty.

  8. Timo says:

    What could Habs get for DD? I am not ready to throw the towel on Max Pac yet but he’s kinda been sucking too.

  9. bwoar says:

    That was the Carey Price we need for the playoffs, last night. Put Prust out there and the game tilts a bit. Heck, Ryder puts the puck an inch lower and we might be just that much happier today. I’d take my chances that we’d win 4 of 7 vs. the Pens in games like the one last night. Their D isn’t as good as I thought and Murray isn’t going to add significant skill.

    I completely agree with Boone on Pacioretty, and that it’s time to break up that line for a bit.

    Will Bergevin move on the need for a scoring winger, or hope that Bourque comes back. Tune in this weekend!


  10. Timo says:

    Leafs are sitting just 5 points behind Habs. Sens 3. Getting close. Can lose home ice advantage by the time this week is over.

    • bwoar says:

      I hope we do, frankly. I don’t trust this team as much at home as on the road.


    • Cal says:

      You must be ecstatic with 2 losses in a row. If the Habs lose again tonight, you’ll have to change your underwear.

    • Mick says:

      “Timo said”
      “I know very little about hockey or anything else for that matter. But I know that Habs will never win a Stanley Cup with Carey Price in goal. Neither with David Desharnais as #1 center (idiotic move by Bergevin giving Desharais ridiculous money).

      Sure, it was a perfect shot by the best player blah blah, yadda, yadda. Perhaps in Price’s contract it states that he is only responsible for stopping pucks that hit him square in the chest. I don’t know. But you’d think that one of the highest paid goalies in the game should every once in a while bail his team out and at least win them a point when the rest of the stiffs are firing blanks.”


      One time.

      The goal on Price was more because of a bad line change that saw our forwards all behind the play and Tinordi being caught flat-footed against Crosby who scored with a clean look from about 10 feet out.
      To suggest that this game is on Price shows your “I know very little about hockey” statement to be true.
      We have one of the best goalies in the world.
      W=16. L=6. OT=4.
      ” Little David”. That is another story. And you are correct on that one.

      “Price better be sharp”

  11. New says:

    Reality bites.

  12. 24 Cups says:

    The Habs are in a dog fight for 1st in their division and some people want Budaj to start a four point game against our most hated rival? I don’t get it.

    • krob1000 says:

      Especially after a game where Price looked as confident as I have seen him….there were a few close range rockets fired at himthat he smothered and gave no rebound up. The ebst palyer in the world beat him …that was it..he looked like the confident Carey last night.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      24, it’s a comfort to know that, should Budaj start, he had a great one last time.

      But I’m with you. 4 points, Price extremely sharp last night.

      And, surely it’s important for him to have a strong game vs the Bruins before the playoffs?

      Pretty sure I’m in the minority here as regards wanting the back-up to play more. But tonight’s game HAS to be one for the starter.

    • Timo says:

      Didn’t Budaj beat the Bruins last time they played? And didn’t Price lose last couple of games?

  13. mr_jmac says:

    Why do Habs fans overreact so much? There are only 4 teams in the league who have scored more goals than the Habs so far this season. Scoring is not a problem for this tea.

    We played the best team in the league, outplayed them and lost 1-0. Sometimes the bounces don’t go your way.

  14. HABitat4humanity says:

    Ryder should have bagged 2 easy goals. Pleks had a more difficult 1 or 2 goals. If we would have scored first, it may have been a different game.

    I feel like the Habs played an excellent 1st 10 minutes but lost steam as the game went on.

    Can we tell our D to finish their checks. Watch how Boston defends their end of the ice.

    Can we get Chucky to put on some pounds and play more physical. I’m tired of seeing him get pushed around. I’d love to see Eller, Chucky & Gally back together. Take out Dumont & give me Leblanc.

    Moen, and Markov have gone soft. Both need more physical presence. Tinordi should be punishing the opposing offense using his size.

    Crosby as usual goal sucking waiting at the blue line. Nice shot though.

    We need to win more battles on the boards & more face offs. Halpern was great for the faceoffs.

    Montreal is not a great chip and chase team. Not enough size to win battles on the boards.

    I hope our speed can out do the Bruins tonight. I think a lot of team have studied the Habs game tapes & have made adjustments. Hopefully Therein can come up with a winning system & team!

    • Luke says:

      “Crosby as usual goal sucking waiting at the blue line. Nice shot though.”

      Umm, guessing you don’t watch much Crosby. 200ft player & First on the back check, as we saw last night.

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Disagree: Am postive I saw him sitting on the blue line with some bongo drums and smoking herb

        “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hey Habitat.
      I think I disagree with nearly every one of your observations! But I’m trying to work here, can’t address each one. (Which would be pedantic anyway — and there’s me offending whoever DOES address them, and someone will!)
      Amazing how differently a game can look to different viewers.

  15. Skeptical says:

    Saturday against the Rangers if Prust is not back. I would try these lines.

    Pacioretty Plekanac Ryder
    Galchenyuk Eller Gallagher
    Halpern DD Gionta
    Moen Dumont Armstrong

    Halpern over Armstrong – Armstrong don’t work as hard.

  16. Sportfan says:

    For the Calgary situation the Flames have to becareful how they are dealing with the trade talks. They can’t ask for to much or they won’t get anything. Comparing Iginla and Morrow is apples and oranges yes, but that trade kind of sets the tone of how the rest of the teams will deal. If I’m Feaster I’m trying to get Bernier, or Subban and a pick or prospect, while possibly trading guys like Cammy, Jay Bo, Kipper and Glencross at a reasonable price that will help rebuild this team.


  17. krob1000 says:

    Pacioretty and Ryder seemed uninterested in getting their mouthguards rattled??
    Ryder had the games best chances from a foot out with someone on his back, hit a crossbar from 15 feet and had a couple of other chances….I know the guy is slow but he makes offensive plays happen as often as any Hab.

  18. otisfxu says:

    Actually not too concerned about Bruins tonight. Leafs played their game, one fight I think in 2 games, and did well. Bruins don’t seem to be scoring much lately, so if we can hold Pitt to one goal, we should be able to stay on top of Bruins.

    BUT,,,,SOMEONE HAS TO SCORE!!!!!! Time for these guys to study some Mike Bossy films.

  19. j2w4habs25 says:

    if we lose to the B’s tonight does this mean we should all be on panic mode? i am kinda scared to lose tonight

    Carey Price #31

  20. frontenac1 says:

    We need a Beast Enforcer. Our Captain was screwed with and noboby steps up for him? Was Tinordi told to not drop his mitts?He has been face washed and mugged and nothing?Since Prust went down the only guy with any stones has been Dumont.Habs need that Enforcer to ride shotgun for the small skilled guys.

    • Sportfan says:

      Cough Steve Ott Cough…. I think HIO is starting to warp my mind 😛


    • Mattyleg says:

      Fronty, Matt Cooke is there to try to sucker other teams into taking stupid penalties. He tried to rile Gionta, bumped into him, and managed to get a stupid penalty for it. If he’d had his way, he would’ve taken one of our players to the box with him.

      Gio can stand up for himself, and there was no need to get in a fight in that game.

      We have Prust, but it’s not important to go out looking for a slugger right now. Things are tightening up.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Sportfan says:

        Matty just to respond what you said Neil would be great to, but out of the two I still feel getting Ott would be easier, but really hard. Anyway I’ll stop the Ott stuff for now haha.


      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        For that same reason, I loved White’s last non-fight. I mean, wasn’t he actually laughing as the other guy (can’t remember) got his penalty?

        Every PP increases the possibility of scoring (ok, in theory), and, much as I love Front’s sentiment, I actually prefer the red light going on.

    • Luke says:


      Maybe the team looked at Cooke’s prodding of Gionta, and the power play his temper caused, and thought it was better to have the man advantage than take a 2,5 & 10.

      Is the beast enforcer actually going to be on the ice when Cooke or Crosby are mucking around with Gionta? Crosby is dangerous enough when the best players in the world are on the ice. Him shaing the ice with a ‘beast enforcer’? I hazard to guess it’s not a 1-0 finale we are discussing today.

      (PS: I loved Crosby’s stick to the leg of a kneeling Gionta last night. Very much like Plekanec’s stick to the inside of knees off of faceoffs. Subtly, dirty… not really dangerous… just annoying).

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Cooke shoved Gionta lightly and we got a PP out of it. We came out ahead.

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      NO! This enforcer arguement is without merit. I will try to chose tone here carefully but this is hockey and getting a player to take the face wash bait instead of playing with discipline and getting a powerplay doesn’t belong on an NHL team.

      Respectfully front, if you want to see the Habs win games instead of winning “scores” you have to accept that your view of the game is not going to win the Habs anything other than a tired bunch of Penalty Killers with sunburned necks.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  21. ont fan says:

    Give me last nights game, every night, I’d be happy. Trade for someone who isn’t a rental and over the hill, with some of our picks, bring it on. You want a top 6 forward who is willing to go stand in front of the net or a top 4 bruising defenseman, who doesn’t?
    The name of the game is patience.

  22. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    Rant Facts …

    1) Brian Gionta has a NTC … STOP calling for him to be traded
    2) Armdog is a great 4th liner … so no bitchin’ when he stiffs while trying to be a 3rd liner
    3) More tough guys needed is a crap arguement – stick to man on man combat like the homoeroticism of UFC
    4) If you think Price cost us the game last night – start your own blog and moan to people who might think you have a point.
    5) When it starts raining cheap goals off defenders sticks and legs for us, no one will remember any of all this handwringing.

    ‘Nuff Said”

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • Mattyleg says:

      Very good points.
      Except the first; the NTC can be waived at any time with the player’s permission, and if the deal is good, then he can go.
      I’m not calling for him to be traded, mind you, it’s just that NTCs don’t guarantee no movement.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Quite true Matty, I mentioned in a previous post that there is no circumstance this year that would see Gionta moved – next year onn the last year of his contract, nothing should be ruled out.

        “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      LOL at #2


      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • nunacanadien says:

      The habs have been way too small since they have been owned by partner groups, and it is time to stop this buying and trading players on the cheap and making horrible band aid fixes to shut up the media.

  23. Mr_MacDougall says:

    @ Calgary discussion..

    Wouldn’t Jay Bo and Cammy fetch them more than Iginla??

  24. habsfan0 says:

    So,who gets start tonight,Price or Budaj? Considering how well Budaj played against the Bruins a few weeks ago,it might not be such a bad idea to go with him; he also could use the work.

  25. adamkennelly says:

    I’m worried about tonight. I have a feeling we are going to get pounded – scoreboard and physically. No White, No Prust – pretty sad state of affairs in the toughness dept these days in Habs land. I hope I’m wrong – but I doubt it.

  26. HabFanSince72 says:

    Let’s talk Marty St.Louis.

    Turns 38 in June.

    Here are the facts.

    Third in scoring (one point behind Stamkos).

    Signed for two more years at $5.6M.

    What do you think?

    (PS: No mention of size allowed.)

  27. SteverenO says:

    another good effort…… wasted.

    Some things that are unacceptable, in my opinion

    – continued use of Gorges on the PP
    – continued use of Armstrong on the 3rd line
    – continued use of Gallagher on the PP (now at 61.5 minutes of PP time on the season and teh team has scored a total of 3 PP goals in that span)
    -continued NON use Eller, or Galchenyuk on the PP
    -continued dressing but minimal playing time of Tinordi
    – not dressing of Kaberle an offensive weapon on a team that is struggling to score goals of late .

    “highlight” of the game. a successful penalty kill in the 3rd period featuring Halpern, Armstrong, Gorges and Markov ( and especially Price)
    The unit played the entire two minutes, never gaining possession of the puck long enough to clear it down the ice and change personnel.


    Steve O.

  28. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    The Habs do have balanced scoring this year, which is great, but what they lack is a truly dangerous shooter – Pacioretty may be that guy someday, but isn’t there yet. The question lately has been do they need a shut down D-man or an offensive catalyst. Last night they held the most potent offense in the league to 25 shots with team defense. They’ve scored once on 76 shots in the last 2 games. An abberation? They’ve scored 10 goals in their last 5 games, with 5 of them coming against NYI. I wonder if they are starting to feel the strain of scoring by committee? Getting Prust and Bourque back would help, but are they really the answer, or just better versions of what you already have? The Rangers are said to be dangling Gaborik. If the Habs could get Gaborik and Brian Boyle (who seems to be somewhat out of favour), would you be willing to put a package containing DD a pick, and or a prospect?

  29. Kooch7800 says:

    We lost 1-0 to the best team in the league and we are still missing one of our top 6 (bourque) who may not be back this year, Diaz in the same boat but we also need Prust back for momentum swinging shifts. This team isn’t bad. We just need a few more pieces.

    I do although think we may drop another close one tonight.
    We just don’t have the net presence you need to beat a team like Boston.

    This team is 1000% better than last year but I still think we need to be a little bigger up front.

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  30. habsguy says:

    I can see a couple of players getting away from this team asap. Yes its a job, but its also a lifetime dream, its supposed to be fun.
    Why is it everyone here can see what Eller brings except MT and MB.
    If I’m PK, I want to go where I can play my game and have fun doing it, I dont need someone like MT telling the world that he’s making me a better person !!!!!
    Some of you are now saying look what MT has done for Eller and PK, I say it’s natural progression, they’re young and they get better each year, I dont think MT has anything to do with it, AND maybe has held Eller back, some of you have posted stats that prove Eller is being held back……Over all I’m happy with the team, and for the most part happy with MT, except the way he handles some players !!!!!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      PK is having his best year to date in the NHL. I am sure he is really hating that

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • mrhabby says:

      Ridiculous. Ellers play from last year to this year is night and day. Iam sure he has been told play your game and enjoy it seems he is very happy. Same thing with pk with an emphasis on cutting down on mistakes. This is the best i have seen PK since he has been drafted..

    • Mattyleg says:

      Do you think that PK and Eller would have developed equally well under Jaques Martin?

      Neither do I, and that’s why your argument doesn’t make sense.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • habsguy says:

        I’m not saying that, like I said, over all MT has done a good job with the team. PK and Eller are young, they have god given talent and will get better each year, Eller has already stated he’s getting frustrated, and I dont see the same smiling PK.

    • The Jackal says:

      You must be dialed into what the players are thinking right….?

      This PK is gonna book it crap is probably the dumbest thought Habs fans have thought since thinking we should trade Price instead of Halak.

  31. shiram says:

    Thoughts on the Flames Kipper telling his management he would not report to another team if he was traded?

    Obviously he’s earned the large majority of the money on his present contract, having only 1.5 millions to earn next year, and he cited his reasons as familly, having a young boy born just 2 weeks ago.

  32. Luke says:

    I think it is not that the Habs lack scoring. Obviously they are amongst the top in the league at this point.
    What they lack is a true “game breaker”, and those are few and far between. Guys who just have the knack for finding the net when the moment is right, to bury a team or lift their own.
    Hopefully Galchenyuk can be one… but that’ll take time.

    The scoring as a rule, it’s fine.

  33. habstrinifan says:

    A TEAM TO INVEST IN!!!!!!!!!!!! Brilliant…..

    Generally the Canadiens could easily have won this game. Yes, they measure up. They are good enough.

    Another way of looking at the result is that while Les Glorieux came close, they’ve been coming up short recently, whereas earlier in the season they’d find ways to win. So while they’re still competing and still in it, they seem like they could use a hand.

    There’s always a worry that newcomers may upset the chemistry of the team, I have a hunch that the boys would welcome some reinforcements. Fresh faces don’t inevitably ruffle feathers, they can sometimes bring a jolt of energy and renewed enthusiam ”

    Thank you Un-Canadian-Errant for your absorping review of last night’s game. I enjoyed it. It’s both positive for the HABS but also invites consideration for improvement… for ‘risking’ some of our present ‘assets’ to invest in the team so as to reinforce its portfolio.

    And your examination of Letang was nice.

    Again thank you. Loved it.

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