About last night …

It was only the third game of the season.

Carey Price was brilliant, to the tune of 44 saves. And he could not be faulted on any of the shots that beat him.

The Canadiens came from ahead to blow 2-0 and 3-2 leads, but the team salvaged a point.

And there was enough excitement up and down the ice to keep the opening night crowd rocking – from Brian Gionta’s mostly-French player introductions right through the loud booing of referees Don Van Massenhoven and Steve Kozari. 

Price was profoundly pissed and did not want to talk about his own stellar performance. And Jacques Martin repeated his usual mantra about special teams: Two power-play goals for the Lightning, another goose egg for the Canadiens’ PP, which is 0-for-the-season.

This is the time of year when the Leafs are in first place, and perhaps we shouldn’t be reading too much into game results … at least not for a while.

But there were disquieting signs at the Bell Centre, ominous intimations that this team will be in a wire-to-wire battle for a playoff spot.

Simply put, the beginning of this season looks uncomfortably like the end of last season: a Canadiens goaltender standing on his head to keep the team in games against a superior opponent.

• Question for discussion: Was Jacques Martin schooled by Guy Boucher, and if so, what are the implications for the season that awaits us?

Tampa Bay just kept coming and coming and coming some more. 

Steven Stamkos had eight shots on goal and scored on the power-play to send the game into OT.

Teddy Purcell, the pride of Newfoundland (thanks for that note, J.T.), had eight shots as well.

Dominic Moore won 10 of 18 faceoffs and assisted on Ryan Malone’s OT winner. In the first fan election of the season, Malone won automatically because he scored in OT. That’;s one of the system’s rules. Malone had six hits and spent the night in and around Price’s kitchen, wreaking havoc and causing jitters among Canadiens defenders.

The usual suspects showed up. Martin St. Louis had five SoG and scored on a short backhand. Vincent Lecavalier seemed to be on the puck on every shift.

In addition to 48 shots on goal, TB had 20 misses and 17 shots that were blocked by Canadiens defenders (including five by Josh Gorges, best of the Dmen in the season to date). That’s 85 touches worth of puck possession, to 27 SoG, 14 misses and 13 blocks for the Canadiens.

There were some good shifts. Tomas Plekanec scored, added an assist and finished plus-2. Linemate Andrei Kostitsyn scored a beauty 31 seconds after St. Louis had tied it 2-2 … and there was treason to believe that would be enough.

Credit Guy Boucher with inculcating is philosophy of utter relentlessness. The Lightning forechecked aggressively, won many puck battles and were at their best when the game was in the balance.

That was the scary aspect of this game.

Yes, the season is very young. But if the Canadiens find themselves battling Tampa Bay for a playoff spot among the lower seedings … well, it could get very interesting.

I thought the TB defence would be suspect. And it’s not like they’re the ’76 Canadiens on the back end, but that Victor Hedman kid played a game-high 26:14, had four shots on goal and used his considerable size effectively.

Tampa Bay has an unusual schedule. From Jan. 23 to Feb. 25, the Lightning will play 12 straight games at home.

In the race for playoff positions, Boucher’s team could sail into March looking pretty good.

But that’s a long way off.

In the short term, Tampa Bay served notice that they are a difficult team for the Canadiens, or anyone else, to handle.

In lamenting his team’s numerous penalties, Jacques Martin said “this league is too good and teams are too close” to have breakdowns in discipline that cost Ws.

Some observations from Seat 39 in the pressbox:

• The power play has now gone 0-for-3 in each of the Canadiens’ games.

• Roman Hamrlik played 20:07. His timing in the O-zone looked a bit off, but Hamrlik showed no other ill effects of his inactivity.

• P.K. will be high risk, high reward all season long. Will his creativity and spontaneity survive Martin’s attempts to rein him in? And will the coach’s survive Subban’s youthful indiscretions?

• Quality minutes again from Jeff Halpern and Dustin Boyd.

• Benoit Pouliot had five hits. But he hasn’t scored since March.

• Gionta (minus-2 in the game) and Gomez skated miles and miles and miles but still lack finish in the O-zone. Gomez plays on the peripgery, and it ain’t working.

• Ryan O’Byrne took an early penalty … again … but bounced back to play a decent game and finished plus-1.

149 Comments

  1. ManApart says:

    Oh ya, Halak was no good during last years playoffs. What a moron you are.

  2. saskhabfan says:

    Halak sure was a god against the flyers. How did “god” get pulled 4 times during the playoffs? LOL Your such a whiny douche,but keep the posts coming. We all need something to laugh at. “you know less about hockey then i thought”.

  3. ManApart says:

    I was right about the team when I commented in December, with price as the starter. It was only when Halak became the number 1, that miracles ensued, and then barely.

  4. Chuck says:

    Good point. Major injuries to key players certainly have haunted this team over the past couple of seasons.

  5. Nahlsy says:

    Just an observation Chuck. Do you recall the last time the Habs had a healthy Price and a healthy Markov regularly available to put in the lineup at the same time?

    Price broke his ankle 2 Decembers ago, by the time he was starting to get healthy again Markov went out right before the playoffs that year. Markov went out in game 1 last year and Halak was getting showcased by the time Markov returned last year (although I don’t think Markov was ever close to healthy last year). No Markov yet this year so it’s been nearly 24 months now since a healthy Price has been able to play behind a healthy Markov. I have a feeling that having both healthy and in the lineup at the same time will start turning the 47 shots vs Tampa and 50something shots vs Nashville into 20-30 shot games with much easier shots to try to handle and more offensive support at the other end when the playmaker that starts the rush is back in the lineup. (especially with Subban helping to shoulder some of that transition game’s load)

  6. habs youngtimer says:

    and Pouliot, who hasn’t scored a goal since March, is better?????

  7. habs youngtimer says:

    Boucher!

  8. habs youngtimer says:

    his talent isn’t crazy. he’s very mediocre.

    typical habs fans overhyping an average, or below average Dman.

    his defence is god awful!

  9. quentin_stuckley says:

    “pouliot out, ryan white in.”  now there’s an intriguing idea i’d be interested in seeing.  it’s two bad pouliot isn’t on a two-way.  i really think playing in hamilton and scoring goals will elevate his confidence.  no way he’d make it there though.  i think he’d be plucked off waivers.  

  10. quentin_stuckley says:

    i thought eller played very well last night.  he seemed poised.  i wish pouliot would bury one.  he had an excellent chance in the game last night.  in the slot, pretty much alone and he fired a laser.  unfortunately it missed the net completely.  i’m not sure if mike smith even reacted to it.  plus, the camera panned onto pouliot after the miss.  he looks disheartened.  like his confidence is waning.  i think eller could play on the g & g line.  

  11. Mr. Biter says:

    I was told by a poster last week MAB is injured.

  12. Chuck says:

    Agreed. If Price ends the season with a .914 SV%, we’ll be a playoff team (if the team can cut down on the 40-shot games, that is.)

  13. SeriousFan09 says:

    Agree! Subban’s feeling the pressure of trying to be #79 so he’s trying to use everything in his arsenal to push against the opposition but he isn’t up to it yet. He’s got crazy talent but that needs to be tempered by Markov coming back and letting him take a reduced role.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  14. Ian Cobb says:

    nice one bird!

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    Good post JF except for a couple of things. Markov back means O’Byrne sits.

    I don’t think he will make the difference until we all learn to play for 60 min.

  16. MathMan says:

    I don’t think that’s “obvious” at all.

    Don’t you think that even if TB is superior on offense (assuming this is even true), a good defensive team with a good defensive system would be able to limit their chances?

    Wouldn’t the result then be fewer chances on both sides (the Habs limit their offense to concentrate on defense and limit Tampa’s chances) than Tampa outshooting and outchancing the Habs almost two for one (basically, Tampa is allowed to do whatever they like with the puck)?

     

  17. Puck Bard says:

    What Tony said.

  18. sholi2000.com says:

    I’m a big fan of Eller as well.  I see great things in him.  I hope to see him playing top 6 lines very soon.  The guy can score and set up with the best of them. 

    They Call Me Shane

  19. notbigbird says:

    O come on. JM takes notes after every goal against. What more do you want?

  20. likehoy says:

    PK played by far his worst game in a habs uniform (could that be cause of guy boucher coaching on the other end?) but he`ll grow and learn from this. taking two bad penalties cost us the game pretty much and he had a few giveaways and seems to be nervous and rushing his play a bit. i think the pressure has got to him and he`s thinking he has to do more than he has to. he`s constantly chirping and becoming a target for every team

    the return of markov will be welcomed back greatly cause it will reduce PK`s pressure and ice-time. instead of playing and average of 23:04, subban`s time can be reduced to about 20 minutes. I can`t believe people were saying PK`s ready to lead the team and we don`t need markov anymore…if there`s anything that`s been shown in the first 3 games is that PK`s still got a long road to becoming `prime time`as cammalleri would say. hopefully PK gets into gear as soon as possible!

    on a side note…lars eller wins all his battles, they`ve gotta get him out of the 3rd line!

    – I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  21. tony d says:

    I am just as frustrated at last night’s loss as everyone here. However as much as I’m not a fan of JM, you can’t hang the entire loss on him. How many times have we seen the end of a 3rd period tie end in similar fashion. Guys flailing in front of the net, nobody able to clear the puck out of our zone or Carey (despite a fabulous game) unable to cover the puck and get a whistle. Sure the PK call was BS, but are we gonna blame the refs all season. We didn’t win enough battles last night and the team that really wanted the W got it. As for Cammi amd PK, they have to leave their egos in the dressing room and get back to being team players.

  22. havok says:

    Price very good but imo 4 goals on 47 shots is not that good…

    YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!

    .914 Save percentage against St louis, Stamkos,Lecavalier, and Gagne….sheesh

  23. G-Man says:

    What a crock. 3 games in and Boucher “out-coached” Martin. What rot!

    1 phantom call on PK and a bs PP and voila! Game tied. Thank you refs. You are ever so competent as usual.

    That’s the 1st time in 2 seasons that I saw Price actually battling out there. None of that laid back lackadaisical crap I’ve been getting used to, where he relies strictly on technique. Kudos to him.

    For all those saying the Habs “sat back” after getting a lead; a 2-0 lead means the other team has to adjust (and get lucky). Thanks to the refs keeping a very close eye on Cammi and PK, TB won in OT.

    Opening ceremony was pfffttttt. “I know guys, let’s all stand in a circle while the captain introduces us.” That’s what PA announcers do. Let him do his job. Lame.

  24. JF says:

    We played a great first period, but after that we were on our heels for most of the game, and it was mainly thanks to Price that we got a point out of it.  His performance for me was the most encouraging part of the evening.  His concentration and focus look better than last year, he’s tracking the puck better, and he looks faster.  We have one win, but neither of our losses can be blamed on him.

    Eller looked great, and I’d like to see him on one of the top two lines.  Andrei Kostitsyn looks stronger than last year, and it seems to me he’s playing more physically.  I thought Pouliot also played a decent game, so I’m not ready to give up on him yet even though he hasn’t scored.  But what’s happened to Gomez and Gionta?  Last season, even when their line didn’t score, they were making things happen out there, Gomez with his speed and passing, Gionta with his willingness to drive to the net.  So far this year they’ve been almost invisible.  I wonder if Gionta has been feeling anxious about the ordeal of introducing his teammates in French, and now that that’s behind him, his play will pick up.

    We badly need Markov back.  The defence looked at times terrible last night (although I didn’t think Tampa’s was good either), but our inability to score on the powerplay is killing us.  If we can’t get it going wiith Markov back, I would seriously think of signing MAB and using him in a limited role on defence and on the powerplay.  No powerplay = no playoffs. 

    I was glad to see O’Byrne back on the ice after his over-the-glass penalty.  Last year he was usually benched after that sort of mistake.  JM needs to have a bit more patience than he showed last season; if O’Byrne is to be benched for every mistake, he might as well be traded now, because he’ll never develop the confidence to succeed.  Apart from the penalty, he played an OK game.

    With the way we were outshot and generally out-hustled, I was happy to get away with the point, but I can understand Price’s frustration.  He deserved better – as was so often the case last year.  I remember in particular a late-season game against Carolina when he played extremely well, but we lost 2-1, and the fans booed him.

  25. HabsMitch says:

    I think people are reading way to much into Guy Boucher winning the coaching battle and Jacque Martin sitting on the lead…I think it’s  a lot simpler than that. TB has way more offensive firepower than Montreal so obviously they will outshoot and outskate the Habs…it doesn’t matter whos behind either bench

  26. solomio says:

    Jeez guys don’t freak out! Habs played a pretty good game. Yes it looked an awful lot like last year for the Bolts last 2 goals what with CP scrambling around on his butt and fallen defencemen all about, leading to goals but all is not lost.

    Gomez / Gionta and whomever should be made the 3rd line.

    Pouliot played very well. Spacek….. not good. Price very good but imo 4 goals on 47 shots is not that good.

    On the Bolts tying goal Malone took out 2 Habs in front of the net. One at least should have garnered 2 minuted. PK’s penalty at the end was baloney. Seriously we need MAB on the point for the PP.

    More to say but gotta run for work.

    Seriously take heart….Habs looked good out there…for the most part

  27. SlovakHab says:

    Agree with both posts.

    Loving Eller and Price so far, not so much Cammy and PK.

  28. Fargo Habs Fan says:

    First things first:  Timo, good to have you back.  Life here isn’t the same w/out you.  Second:  I’m so tired of the count, Jacques Martin.  I realize I’m a washed up junior player, but a little bit of killer instinct isn’t so bad, no?

    -Dustin-

    “The good thing about drinking during games is if they lose, you’re too drunk to care during and too hungover to care after.” – J.T.

  29. ZepFan2 says:

    “Told you guys.”

    “Same as last years playoffs”

    The playoffs that you told us we’d never make, let alone beat the, “Washingtons or Pittsburghs” of the NHL.

    Yeah, you really told us.

    ————————————————————————–

    “Wonder how tomorrow could ever follow today.”

  30. Chorske says:

    I love the work ethic, the fact that he never gives up on a puck. And his energy level is high, without crossing the line into irresponsible energy (PK, you reading this?).

  31. cameronwalker89 says:

    Honestly, to light a fire under Bennys ass I think Eller or “Euro-Staal” as he shall now be called should get a crack at the top 6 I know its early but shake it up and see if it gets Gommer going with those soft sweet hands.

     

    “The day you hear someone call me captain will be the day I buy a boat.”
    -The Flower

  32. Chuck says:

    He’s certainly looking like a keeper.

  33. Chorske says:

    I don’t expect the world from PK. But I also expect more discipline, more attentiveness on the ice. I think he played terribly tonight, and (to cap off an error-filled evening) cost us the game with an completely unnecessary slash. He needs to a) apologuize to Price and b) learn from the experience.

  34. Chorske says:

    Forgot to mention. The way Eller and Price are playing, I may need to eat some words regarding a certain trade. Eller was simply amazing- a very encouraging young player.

  35. Chorske says:

    Finally managed to digest that game.

    Price was incredible. And my heart breaks for this guy, because his team let him down EXACTLY THE SAME WAY so many times last year, and not one bloody thing seems to have changed.

    And I don’t care how many fanboys and fangirls hate me for this- but SUbban and Cammalleri were simply awful tonight. Cammalleri looks bored, confused, smartassy, and he is making horrible decisions with the puck- that lame attempt to carry in in the second period was rookie stuff, complete crap. And his zone clearance attempts are soft, wavy, halfhearted. He needs to wake up. As for Subban- this is the NHL bub: doesn’t matter if you come back heroically to break up a potential 2 on 1, you can’t just sit there and admire your own play, you have to stay in the game and cover your man. How many blown covers? How many saves did Price have to make to save PKs ass? Rule #1 at the point on the PP: get the shot in, no matter what, and get it past the defenders covering you; his blown slap shot (most overrated shot in hockey) and the subsequent 2 on 1 was saved by an amazing stop by Price. Urgh. My ulcer.

    Price was a hero tonight. Subban and Cammalleri, not so much. Reveillez-vous, les boys.

  36. Exit716 says:

    The guy on the other side of the ice tonight.

     

  37. Scott in Montreal says:

    True enough. I hope Subban doesn’t feel the world on his shoulders. But that is what I think I am seeing right now. Tough night for him all around. The only thing he may have done wrong is try too hard.

  38. ProHabs says:

    After watching The System for the last year and 3 games,  I miss Guy Carbonneau. Can Martin even explain his system and what good is it.

  39. Habitant out West says:

    Hedmen, in addition to his SOG, had a few opportunities high in the slot and missed the net.

     

    Hamrlik was very solid.

     

    The bottom six looks very effective in comparison to the first half of last season.

     

    Can we replace Gomez with Eller at number 2? Next year?

     

  40. ManApart says:

    LOl, that’s the solution.

  41. ManApart says:

    Told you guys. Even with price playing pretty decent, Habs get outplayed badly. Same as last years playoffs, Halak was a God, they win. Halak just good, game over. Gauthier and Gainey’s team are showing the cracks, I’ve said they’ve had all along. How’s the Gomez trade looking now lol. This team goes nowhere until Gainey, Gauthier and the whole crew is out. I know a lot of you know already, but one day the rest of you will catch up and understand.

  42. sidhu says:

    Eller to line 2, Benny to line 3.  If Benny doesn’t score this month, he sits for White. 

     

  43. Black Snake Moen says:

    No way, atleast pouliot is hitting people. Moen can sit for a few games

  44. Matt_in_TO says:

    Eller to the 2nd line

     

    – In Price We Trust

  45. Curtis O Habs says:

    Pouliot out, Ryan White in.  Markov returns and everything will be groovy.

  46. sidhu says:

    Somewhere, getting beat wide by a teenager, MAB is at a pickup game smiling because our PP is 0-for-9.

    I’m surprised there are no faux calls for The Breezer to join our struggling PP or for Souray to be picked up off of re-entry waivers (when/if that happens)

  47. Black Snake Moen says:

    These kinda losses are always so discouraging….just holding on another minute woulda had Price 1st star with confidence riding high, but instead, a phantom call leads to one of the nights where the kid feels like he just can’t catch a break.

      People here have got to lay off PK.  That was a complete b.s. call, and sure, one can say you can never completely blame the refs, or that getting outshot by 20 means you deserve to lose the game, but a complete PHANTOM call under 2 min. to go in a one goal game is garbage.   This team desperately needs Markov back, the puck movement and subsequent possession will be so much better dispersed throughout the D-pairings.  I think OBs time is up here.  He’s just an awkward puck handler and he’s by far taken the most delay of game penalties in the league since it came into effect, I’d put money on it.  PK will be fine, I think OB needs to be shipped off, and if we need a D-man with size some games, call up Henry, maybe he’ll fight someone.

    Gionta and Gomez have been garbage, Pouliot has actually been playing well, he doesn’t deserve to be thrown under the bus yet.  It’s clear that Pleks-Cammy will carry this team, and if they get AK consistently on board, we will have a stellar top line.  G & G, I just don’t know, I can’t say I’ve seen one promising shift all year yet.  Pyatt and Boyd didn’t show up tonight, Boyds legs looked particularly tired, there wasn’t any battles won by those guys, I felt.  It’s scary to admit, but Max is a huge part of this team, he’s gonna have a bounce back this year, he knows his game better and what he needs to do.  I hope that Moen doesn’t eventually plays himself off this team.  What happened to the guy who was the epitome of the take-no-prisoners approach to hockey.  Ever see him play 2 years ago for the ducks? That guy is non-existent, and I was so excited about his signing a couple summers ago.  There’s just nothing to his game anymore.  This team needs some infusion from guys like Ryan White.  He would have gladly fought Downie at any chance he could.  Max won’t be able to stir things up and run from tough guys for 82 games, someones gotta step up, be it Moen, White, whoever.  Eller needs top 6 linemates, period, but I’ve still been impressed with  Pouliots physicality and skating, his linemates have just been comatose, literally.  Putting Eller with G&G wouldn’t do the kid any good either I fear.  Bottom line though, having 
    Markov back will cut down the SOG by 7-8 shots.  And will Spacek EVER hit the net?!?  He and Gill played pretty weak tonight.  

    And yes Martin was taken to school, but some key guys lacked spark and looked lost, i.e. Gomez, gionta, gill, obyrne, etc.

  48. Timo says:

    as the poster below so eloquently put it… and water is wet.

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    Well it is nice to know people outside of Montreal’s organization and fans thought it was **** as well.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  50. habitual says:

    Somebody below asked a great question, in response to the already predictable and fatiguing calls to fire the coach.  Has there been a coach that has lasted more than two years in Montreal in the 15 years?

    There are only so many variations that any coach can bring, and then it is up to the players.  Three games in I get why TSN suggested the Habs would finish 9th, and why they predicted such low point production from the forwards. 

    Say what you want about Martin.  He could stuff a roman candle up his butt and belch toads, but it isn’t going to make the middling offense we have better.

  51. Chuck says:

    “Holy revelation, Batman!”

  52. ooder says:

    it’s ok man.. it was just a drill..

    p.s. welcome back buddy

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  53. Timo says:

    Nearly gave me a heart attack seeing Picard being introduced before the game. Thought he was going to play and were going to have 7 D. Another one of Carbo era nightmares.

  54. SeriousFan09 says:

    Wow, you think the Habs are slow? Get real. Subban an average defencemen, yeah I’d like to see you try and do the job of a top-10 NHL defencemen when you don’t even have 20 pro games under your belt yet. Even the TSN analysts who usually love to dump on Montreal think Subban’s a rising talent. Give young players they’re not yet ready to handle and they will struggle as they try and go beyond what they sohuld be doing as in Subban’s case while he tries to be Markov for us.

    Guerin’s too old now and he could barely get over 20 goals as Crosby’s winger and lacks two-way ability at his age and weak speed, we made him look pretty bad in the playoffs as I recall.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  55. ooder says:

    so u think the habs are slow but you want to sign a geezer like Buerin?

    trade Hamrlik? really??? and play who on D.. picard lol

    give me a break Hammer stays and for good reason.

    i do agree that JM needs to be more active on the bench but then again i don’t play for him so i have no idea what goes on there.

    Subban will make mistakes, just like any other NHL player but if u can’t see his upside then i dunno what to tell u

    ——————

    88 is the new 23

  56. Timo says:

    Nah… I’ll stick with blaming Martin. Gio may have had a crappy game but Martin gave us The System.

  57. SeriousFan09 says:

    How about blaming our captain for not setting a damn example on the ice? I love Gionta but for crying out loud, he was playing better after he fractured his foot and wasn’t pulled from action for a week.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  58. habs youngtimer says:

    I was amazed at how much animation and communication Boucher has with his players.

    then you look at JM, who has zero animation, zero communication, and realize why habs constantly lose.

    maybe if JM would show some emotion, open his f’****g mouth, the players would be more disciplined, and show more jump in their game.

    truth is, habs are a bad team. they aren’t fast, rather slow, particularly on D. we used to be the flying frenchmen. now we’re just slowmen. couldn’t even keep up with TB, and not in the same physical condition as TB.

    when habs learn how to draft, and get an NHL calibre coach and GM, they will improve, but not until then.

    and BTW, Pouliot should be gone by midseason, replaced by Eller. I’m hoping tho, that Hamrlik is traded and Guerin is signed.

    habs have 1 scoring line. that’s it. they haven’t scored more than 3 goals in any game, their PP is zero for all their chances, their D is the slowest in the league, and they are by far the most undisciplined team .

    Subban is a very average Dman, and I think he will end up playing forward on the top line, because as usual, we don’t have 6 top forwards. also, Subban is a defensive liability, always pinching, getting into trouble and allowing odd man rushes as a result. unfortunately this city always overhypes players, and they did it with Subban. he’s very mediocre defensively, has no shot, and not great offensively.

    what does all that mean?

    it means a top 5 pick in the upcoming draft. habs will finish 13th in the east as well.

    this will be a very very loooooooooooong season for this team. lots and lots of losses.

    but I’m not going to use excuses for their losses.

    they just stink!

     

     

  59. Scott in Montreal says:

    We should be happy to average a point a game until Markov returns. Besides that, TB has lots of fire-power and they showed it tonight. Same with Pittsburgh. As for Toronto, nothing makes sense in Mtl-Tor games. TB is not last year’s team, that is for sure.

    That said, you are correct – the second line was not terribly distinguished tonight. Gomez and Gionta have some kinks to iron out. Gomer did have a couple of decent scoring chances, but couldn’t cash them in tonight. Also: Subban looked stressed and that did not help his game.

  60. Timo says:

    I am getting really tired calling for coaches head… Gainey, Carbo, Gainey, Martin… when will this end? Can this organization not find a good coach?

  61. quentin_stuckley says:

    our power play lives and dies with markov.  and right now he can’t play.  p.k.’s trying, but lacks markov’s experience.  when 79 returns, so will our powerplay.

  62. Les-Habitants says:

    I know it’s only game 3, but my biggest critique so far is the 2nd line, or the Pouliot-Gomez-Gionta line.  They need to find a way to create some sustained pressure in the offensive zone, cause right now all the dangerous plays are being created by Plek’s line (with some nice work from all 3).

    But, like I said: game 3.  Gomez started slow…real slow last year, so hopefully the comfort of some familiar linemates allows him to use his considerable offensive abilities.  But the sooner he starts firing with Gio and Benny, the better.

    Final note: Hammer was a very nice addition to the lineup.  It’ll be awesome once Markov gets in there

  63. habs001 says:

    is gion injured? he has not looked himself….pouliot getting near 40 games with one goal…he may never be more tha a player that gets a few goals on a streak but has long slumps…in that case we might as well have white instead of him…the pp is terrible…when will martin realize that that gorges on the second unit does not work…each pp we have 60 seconds to score before the second unit comes out than we play not to give up a short handed goal…only 3 games but looks like many nights like tonight. where we can win many of these games and have 90 plus points or lose these games and be around 500…very few games we will dominate…

  64. bobinsask says:

    Looks like it is going to be another long year listening to Boone’s love affair with Scott Gomez… 

  65. MathMan says:

    I think the Habs need to look for a good puck-possession coach from outside the organization. Nothing against Muller, but I’m not convinced he has the strategic chops it would take. Boucher seems like he does, but it’s early and that ship has sailed (sigh). But Boucher can’t be the only one out there.

  66. sidhu says:

    The question for the Habs world may not be whether Carey can be #1, but how long JM has before Muller should take over.

  67. Scott in Montreal says:

    Gionta was a better player last year as an A than as a C this year. Stop trying to be Captain Captain and go back to potting goals at opportune times, ‘kay Bri? Thx

  68. habaholic68NJ says:

    Please Mr. Molson.  Do us all a favor and promote JM to some executive VP job upstairs and get us a real coach.  After over a year, we are tired of this reality series.

  69. SeriousFan09 says:

    Mitch Melnick picked this up from the game:

    A veteran NHL scout volunteered this while emerging from a crowded post
    game elevator, “Man, the refereeing in this league is bad”.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.
    http://habsandhockey.blogspot.com/

  70. Propwash says:

    Allowing 40+ shots ain’t gonna win you many games.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  71. Ian Cobb says:

    True dat Tony.


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