About last night …

BudajColum

We’re halfway through November, and the Canadiens’ only wins this month have come against teams that are in the bottom tier of NHL standings: the New York Islanders and, in a Friday night Shootout, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Beginning Saturday with a visit to the Bell Centre by the New York Rangers, the Canadiens face a succession of opponents only one of which – the Buffalo Sabres – can be considered a weak sister.
So what did we see in Columbus that might inspire hope for wings against the Rangers, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Washington and the Leafs?

Well, Peter Budaj was good again.

After spotting the Blue Jackets an early lead – on two shots he had little chance of stopping, particularly the second – Budaj slammed the door throught wo periods plus five minutes of Overtime. And then Budaj stopped all three BJs in the Shootout.

(I know: that sounds raunchy. Sometimes I can’t help myself.)

Not that Budaj faced the kind of bombardment Carey Price saw on Tuesday. Columbus managed 25 shots – 20 fewer than the Lightning fired at Price. But Budaj had to be sharp, particularly in OT, when the home team had four shots.

Although the Canadiens didn’t manage a SoG during the extra time, their 40 shots through 60 minutes were a season high. Curtis McElhinney made 38 saves, but many came from the periphery. And therein lies a problem that might give fans pause as they savour a win that moved the Canadiens within a point of the Leafs in the Eastern Conference wild-card standings.

Before I start spewing negativity, however, let’s pause to celebrate the resurrection – for at least one night – of David Desharnais.

In addition to shoving a Shootout winner up the ample posterior of His Worship, Mayor Denis Coderre, DD played well enough to be elevated from the fourth to the third line, early in the second period.

Thus promoted, Desharnais enjoyed the dubious privilege of centring two players who wingers who are alleged to be power forwards: Max Pacioretty and Rene Bourque.

Max-Pac had eight shots on goal, tied with Lars Eller for game high. He had no hits.

Bourque had five shot and one hit.

If either Pacioretty or Bourque discomfited a Columbus defender at any point in the proceedings, I missed it. And contrast their lack of physicality with R.J. Umberger and the other blue-jerseyed hulks crowding the crease of Peter Budaj.

Look, I know Milan Lucic is a rare bird and not everyone packs that combination of size and ferocity. But is it too much to ask Pacioretty and/or Bourque to play a bit more like Umberger or David Clarkson … or their own teammates, Brandon Prust and Brendan Gallagher.

Oh well, Michael McCarron is only two or three years away.

Enough negativity!

Here’s what I liked about the game:

• If the Canadiens make the playoffs by one point, Alex Galchneyuk’s goal may come to be regarded as one of the biggest of the season. With the Canadiens trailing 2-0 and looking sluggish, the kid embarrassed a veteran defenceman, Fedor Tyutin, and put a sick move on a pretty good goaltender. Galchenyuk also had almost four productive, non-nervous minutes on the power play.

• Andrei Markov picked up his ninth assist and played the game with Lidstromian savvy and finesse. He’s had a terrific season.

• Lars Eller had a goal and went 15-4 on faceoffs – the only Canadiens centre better than .500 on draws.

• I thought P.K. committed a few gaffes – including a brain-dead penalty – but then I looked at the stat sheet and he played 29 minutes with two hits and three blocked shots.

• Brandon Prust gutted it out for 10:48 and had a couple hits and a fight. Too bad Prust has only the one heart and two stones to supply transplants for Bourque and Pacioretty.

• Michaël Bournival had four hits to tie hulking Brian Gionta for the team lead.

• Daniel Brière was good on the power play.

• Raphael Diaz blocked six shots. I’ve knocked the guy for lack of physicality, but you know what? Diaz understands hockey and makes smart plays.

So the rested Rangers are in Montreal and the schedule starts to get interesting.

Whom would you sit to make room for Alexei Emelin?

If I’m the coach – and I don’t have either the hair or the wardrobe – it’s Francis Bouillon. Douglas Murray is a statue, but he clears the crease and he’s good on the PK.

And if Brendan Gallagher is over his flu bug Saturday night?

That’s a tough call. I’m tempted to suggest an evening of hot dogs and stimulating pressbox conversation for Rene Bourque, just to wake him up. But it will probably be Ryan White.

 

193 Comments

  1. JM says:

    What 20 years of waiting for a Stanley Cup can do to you “GRAVATAR”

  2. John Q Public says:

    These games suck.
    Trade all the vets, Now.
    When the Fuk do we play boston ?

  3. stephen says:

    Good morning everyone,

    I was at the London Knights game yesterday, so I thought I’d share what amateur observations I could make of McCarron.

    He does seem to be playing on what I imagine is a third line. He doesn’t get powerplay or penalty-killing time, so in a game with a fair share of infractions, his ice time will be limited.

    The first significant observation that struck me about his play came in the first period when, rushing in on a forecheck, the puck rolled around the boards to him on the right side. Instead of corralling it and making a play toward the net or to a teammate, however, he simply slapped it back around the boards and behind the net, leading to a general scramble for possession and little else.

    What might otherwise seem a nothing play on his part, to me it suggested he didn’t want the puck, not feeling confident enough that he could make a play beyond simply slapping the puck further into the zone. This isn’t a damning criticism, just an observation of a young player still learning about his own game.

    Interestingly, he was visibly upset with himself when returning to the bench following that shift and I did notice one of the assistant coaches talking to him, so he certainly seems to be getting meaningful guidance.

    He looked much more confident in both the second and third periods. He was holding the puck longer, protecting it well with his body and was involved in a few scoring chances around the net. He actually got a fair amount of ice-time with Max Domi in the third, a much more skilled linemate and he didn’t look out of place.

    In terms of skating, I would say he is average and what you would expect of a guy his size and at his stage of development. He’s not Cournoyer or Courtnall out there, but he’s no Garth Murray either. That said, I do think that in improving his first few strides, he would immediately become much more of an impact player.

    When it comes to stickhandling, I would again say he is average. He won’t ever dissect his way up the ice with surgical precision. That doesn’t concern me, however, as being touted as a ‘power forward’, I am much more interested in how he uses his frame to protect the puck. As I said, he did do a good job of that on several occasions in the second and third periods.

    On the physicality side, I’m not sure he’s comfortable yet in throwing his sizable frame around. To see him out there, he often looks like a man amongst boys, so there may be some timorousness there on his part. There were a couple of prime occasions wherein he could have really pasted a Kingston player in finishing a check, but he didn’t. It didn’t have any negative impact on the play, but I am hopeful it’s a facet of the game they develop with him.

    Overall, I came away from the game feeling neither blown away nor grimly disappointed. McCarron was essentially as I had imagined: a young player with good potential. It’s a matter now of him getting the guidance and pointed instruction to develop that potential into results. I think he’s in the right place with Hunter and the Knights.

    Hope these observations could be helpful to whomever might be interested.

    Cheers.

  4. habbernack says:

    We’ll have to wait for Connor Crisp to get that big forward that goes to the net like the giantic Gallagher

    • Coach K says:

      I was at the Wolves game in Sudbury last Saturday with my son who was there for a AAA midget tournament and got to see Crisp play. He is big … no question about that. While he did not generate much in terms of offence he did demonstrate a desire to stick up for his team mates in what turned out to be a fight filled game. But it takes more than size to make the big club. His foot speed in that game was non-existent. In fairness to Crisp, it was their 3rd game in 3 nights and I don’t know how much he was relied on in those games. Regardless, his skating will need attention if he’s going to make the big club. At this point I’d say he’s a project with potential.

      —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

  5. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! I was sitting 7 rows up behind the London Knights bench at Fronts game last night and would agree with Boone that McCarron is at least 2-3years away. The kid just turned 18 and played High School hockey. He is a good skater for his size ,but is still learning positioning. I liked the way Hunter and his asst. would talk to him after a shift pointing things out. He is very solid on his feet, Mike Moffat (220lbs.) took a run at him and bounced off him like a brick wall. When London was up 3-1 in the 3rd ,Hunter gave him more ice time. Overall,a work in progress.

  6. JM says:

    The only reason they beat Columbus. Budaj was sharp when they needed it especially in the shoot out and the defence played half decent. If more of our defence had Murrays toughness. We wouldn’t lose many games …

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      It’s a game of luck on some nights. There were wild chances on both sides in the 1st period and Columbus led 2-1 after the 1st. It could have been 4-0 Montreal. I felt the Habs were determined from the drop of the puck and were the better team.

      Some of the puck possession and passing by the Habs was very good.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      So the Habs weren´t the much better team overall? If more of our defence had Murray´s skill, we´d be dead last.

  7. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Nice to see Ted Nolan back and getting a win in his first game. Good on him. Beating the Leafs is just gravy.

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

    • stephen says:

      Anyone around here have any insight as to why he was seemingly kept out of the game for so long?

      I remember there being whispers of some controversy upon his original departure from the Sabres, but I don’t think I ever heard a factual story.

  8. Hobie Hansen says:

    I have to admit that Briere has looked more involved the last couple games and Desharnias played a scrappy little game last night. Even before the shootout goal Desharnais was good.

    Briere played with a lot of different line mates last night and had some good moments with Pacioretty and Bourque, IMO. Briere seems to be finding a bit more of a compete level and look hungrier.

    You could just just tell that Eller and Galchenyuk were on their games last night from the drop of the puck. Some of the tape to tape passing and cycling in the BJ’s zone was impressive to watch. Galchenyuk was putting on a bit of a show. Very satisfying and fun to watch.

    And good old Prust seemed to show some intelligence and ease up on some collisions where he would normally put his life on the line. Good little welcome back scrap with Boll, not a staged fight, when the score was tied 2-2 and the game was intense.

    Can’t wait too see Emelin back in action tonight. I basically just hope he plays 13-14 minutes and keeps quiet tonight. Nothing crazy yet. Getting Emelin back is like trading for a big, physical top 4 defenseman. It’s exactly what the Habs need right now.

    • adamkennelly says:

      who sits tonight for Emelin and Galley?

      Frankie and ??? – Moen? White?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi Hobie

      The level of compete of most NHL pros is off the charts and some may say even stupid in certain situations.
      Take Danny Briere. He has money to burn – multiple concussions, yet wants to continue play…

      Emelin? Expect some rust for 3-5-10 games, yet rest assured he will look for a big hit early so he can confirm to himself that all is OK.
      We all know this guy is a competitor.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Call it compete level or maybe a better term is being in the zone or on your game. Until the last couple games Briere looked like a ghost out there. He’s looked more intense and focused on the play now.

  9. Maritime Ronn says:

    There appears to be much concern about the Habs ability to score goals during Even Strength 5X5 situations, yet there is a much bigger picture here that plays into the Habs favor…and while it can improve significantly, it may not be as bad as it looks.

    Strictly looking at ‘Goals Scored’ on 5X5 situations, the Habs are ranked 24th and could be as low as 27th-28 when games in hand are counted.

    So who are some of the teams that score more, and what does it mean?
    Florida, Edmonton, Calgary, Dallas and Winnipeg have all scored significantly more 5X5 goals than the Habs….and where are they positioned in the standings?

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/teamstats.htm?fetchKey=20142ALLSAAAll&sort=goals5On5&viewName=goalsFor

    The much better stat to look at is the 5X5 “Goals For/Against Ratio” as Defense matters.

    In other words, what good is it if a team scores more 5X5 goals than the Habs, yet have more scored against them on 5X5 play?

    In the 5X5 Goals For/Against Ratio, the Habs are ranked 17th, yet only very slightly behind 7 other teams (Pitt-LA-Van…)
    That ranking is also 7th in the Eastern Conference.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/teamstats.htm?fetchKey=20142ALLSAAAll&sort=goals5On5ForAgainstRatio&viewName=summary

    Interestingly enough, the Habs Ratio is slightly higher than Washington-Detroit-Rangers and then the other known bottom feeders.

  10. nova scotia vees says:

    MaxPac continues to float…trade him. Bourque is a lazy lump…trade him (good luck with that). And I don’t understand the Markov blind-spot by Boone. Yes, he does some great stuff..but don’t forget his fumbling of the puck at the point that almost caused a break-away…and then he fell down at the point and P.K. had to race back to stop Umberger. If P.K. did those two things, you would definitely make mention of them. Take off the blinders. I think P.K.’s second penalty was panic. He turned it over and knew he would be roasted if he gave-up a break-away so he grabbed the stick. That is often called a “good” penalty.

  11. idle says:

    A couple questions for Mr. Boone:

    Why so much anger at your mayor? I don’t much care for his opinion but why should he not be entitled to his opinion the same way you or anyone else is entitled to theirs? So a fan makes a stupid tweet to vent his frustration, this is somehow new??

    Why is it so bad for him to take a shot at DD but it is fine for you to suggest that Bourque and Pacioretty have no heart or balls?

    I admit I don’t know much (or really anything at all) about Montreal’s mayor but if you really want something to bitch about why don’t you try taking on our (Toronto’s) mayor right now…

    PS, while nice, I don’t think one shootout goal in the middle of November is all that much of a f*ck you or an up the a** to the mayor

    Cheers : )

    • twilighthours says:

      I don’t know how Boone feels, but I hold my mayors to higher standards than my Internet bloggers.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Come on, Idle. Boone is/was paid to print his opinion. The mayor — contrary to the impression he’s aiming for — is not a frustrated Habs fan, he’s just a politician exercising a cynical but conventional move to curry favour with the electorate. He knows he’s safe attacking DD at this point because even the francophone media have been calling for him to go to Hamilton. He’s kicking a guy while he’s down in the interests of popularity (which is entirely par for the course in HIS arena). It’s obnoxious and cynical and not very civic, which is how the team took it. Hopefully no freebies for him.

      Any other Canadian cities with good mayor stories?

  12. The Puckhound says:

    Christian Thomas 1st game back and was -3 last night for Hamilton…Kristo 23rd in scoring in the AHL with 8 goals.

    Go to the net and keep your stick on the ice!

  13. third generation haber says:

    If Patches is shooting the puck, skating well, but avoiding physical contact, the logical explanation is that he’s playing injured. Most likely, he is feeling the lingering effects of a mild concussion. He’s probably been warned to play it safe for a while.

    j.p. murray

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      Let’s see now..Patches is hurt so bad that the entire viewing audience cn notice he isn’t making contact with a single opposition player on the ice…not going anywhere near the net, not skating much at all…lazy on the back check and looks disinterested…so th coach says let’s play Patches. Does anyone ever think that the coaching staff wants to win and would never put a player on the ice with serious injury. I meean what is the point. He suffers from Ray Bourque syndrome. It’s called laziness…….

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      If that were true, then he shouldn’t be playing until he’s well. While he may recuperate like a Wolverine, he’s been playing like a pet bunny.

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

    • dhenry1234 says:

      If he had any concussion symptoms at all, he wouldn’t be playing.

  14. jeffhabfan says:

    Was out until the 3rd period they did not do much from what I seen from that point on but a win is a win.If we win tonight it will be no lose in reg in 4 games which is a start.GO HABS GO.

  15. Strabo says:

    I watched some of the London vs Kingston game last night. I believe McCarron was on the 3rd line, definitely not on the 4th. IMO limited as it is, he had no trouble keeping up with the play. I’ve seen better skaters and I’ve seen a lot worse. Skating will not be an issue with this guy, he’ll never be confused for being Nathan Beaulieu but he’ll be alright.
    His line wasn’t scored against and he did play spot duty on other lines moving up. He was robbed in close, great feed, great shot, great save. He’s learning, and IF he continues his progress he will be one hec of a player!

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

  16. The Puckhound says:

    The Habs will never compete to win a cup until they get bigger at center to help the wingers.. Plekanec, DD and Briere will not cut the cake in my option. Tomas Plekanec is considered the Habs#1 center but look at his stats over the past years …..declining…and for 5 million a year ???
    Bergevin needs to seriously look at the center ice position and try to improve in this area.
    Go to the net and keep your stick on the ice!

  17. munch17 says:

    I’m glad DD got the game winner.
    You’d think he had a hat trick in the third period and then scored the winner in OT.
    Bottom line is he played his usual game and got pushed off the puck regularly. Played 15 minutes and got PP time. Probably because Danny gave up the puck at the blue line. But third line had a number of chances with Danny.
    Now will probably sit White or Bourque tonight if Gally sick. Both have more to offer”
    And the soap opera goes on.

  18. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Time to turn the spotlight off of DD and shine it on MP and RB? At least for a while? Get Brendan Gallagher back and sit either one, they don’t do anything anyway and yes I would sit Frankie B for Emelin. Bit of a no brainer.
    The shootout still sucks and, besides, if DD was going to score, he could have done it earlier and avoided the whole thing.
    Galchenyuk is going to need a new nickname if he keeps that up. No? Something more suitable for one of the up and coming best forwards in the league? The Milwaukee Missile? The Amerussian Rapier? The Big G? Al?

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

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Why would anyone take the spotlight off DD? He didn’t score a real goal. Another GP 0 g + 0 A = 0 points. The guy gets paid $4M a year to be an offensive player, and he is, just not the way the Habs expected. He makes Gomez look like money well spent. So he scored a goal with no one else on the ice, big deal. He should sit tonight and every night from here on in.

  19. krob1000 says:

    Everyone on Pacioretty again…I thought he played very well las night and was the Habs most dangerous forward. His game is skating based…he is just hitting his stride again and looked good to me last night. He could have had about 3 points and was making guys miss and beating guys one on one again…habs have few guys that can do that. he will be just fine and is one of the best bargains in the entire NHL at 4.5.

  20. HabFab says:

    Marc Antoine Godin – According to source, Rick Dudley has not been contacted by Sabres (as of last night) and is unlikely to be their next GM. Surprising.

  21. HabFab says:

    Weekly Prospect Stats Update;

    QMJHL
    Fucale – 21GP – 15-5 – 2.78 GAA – .891 Svs%
    Gregoire – 21GP – 15G + 15A – 27 PIM
    Hudon – 23GP – 9G + 15A – 45 PIM
    Reway – 19GP – 8G + 19A – 20 PIM

    OHL
    Crisp – 22GP – 6G + 8A – 57 PIM
    McCarron – 19GP – 1G + 5A – 29 PIM
    Vail – 19GP – 9G + 13A – 17 PIM

    WHL
    Bozon – 23GP – 6G + 9A – 21 PIM
    Thrower – 17GP – 6G + 11A – 38 PIM

    NCAA
    Bennett – 9GP – 0 + 3 – 6 PIM
    Cichy – 5GP – 0 + 0 – 0 PIM
    Didier – 9GP – 0 + 1 – 16 PIM
    MacMillan – 9GP – 2G + 2A – 8 PIM

    USHL
    Sullivan – 3GP – 0 + 0 – 2 PIM

    Europe
    Collberg – 16GP – 0 + 3A – 6 PIM
    de la Rose – 20GP – 3G + 4A – 8 PIM
    Lehkonen – 21GP – 4G + 9A – 4 PIM

    • Eddie says:

      That number for Colberg is horrendous. He should play in Hamilton if he wants to play in the NHL.

      • HabFab says:

        Unfortunately under contract in Sweden where he plays on the 3rd line in a checking role. Only gets to show his offensive stuff when he is playing for their U20 team.

      • krob1000 says:

        He is playing on the second place team in the elite league in a very reduced 4th line role. I am not so sure if that is the right thing or not but at least he is in a winning environment and the Swedish systems seems to consistently produce top players so lets be patient….he should be playing junior hockey based on age….factor in he needs top 67 linemates and pp time to put up points, his size,etc…and it all makes sense.

      • Mark C says:

        His knee injury and subsequent loss of confidence really set him back. Reports are his play has recently turned the corner. He’s on a line with Wennberg today.

    • Phil C says:

      What’s the word on Gregoire? Does he have really good linemates or has he taken his game to the next level?

      I know Collberg is playing with men, but his production is disappointing so far.

  22. habs001 says:

    While the Habs are having trouble scoring so is the majority of the NHL…Price is having a great year stats wise but there are about 8-10 other goalies who are above him or nearly at his stats level in save% and GAA…

  23. JF says:

    If we think the Habs are not scoring enough, we should take heart from the Leafs, who have scored four goals (plus one SO goal) in their last five games. Needless to say, they have only one victory (the SO) in that span.

  24. Arrow77 says:

    I don’t hate Desharnais. I think he’s overpaid, I think his size makes him a bad fit for this team and I think he will be the odd man out when Galchenyuk becomes the big center we are waiting for. Still, I don’t hate the guy and I didn’t wish for him to struggle the way he did so far this year. I hope his SO goal will get him started; otherwise, the chances that he becomes another Cheechoo are very real.

    That being said, I really, really don’t like Therrien’s coaching this year. Your team is going through a bad sequence where it can’t score and is having another tough night against a bad team. This is not the time to put the guy with no goal yet this year to help his confidence: put a guy who deserves it to help the team!

    Desharnais should only see powerplay time when he starts scoring again, or if we’re leading by so much that experiments won’t hurt the team. Therrien has been giving him way too many chances, it’s becoming unfair for the players who are doing their job. Is there really anyone in the line-up that deserves to sit more than him when Gallagher gets back?

    • habsfan55 says:

      agree with you on DD getting power play time when he is struggling….MT should start coaching to win

      habs fan but will cheer for any team that beats the leafs

  25. JohnBellyful says:

    With a nod to David Letterman’s 10 thoughts that went through Rob Ford’s mind when asked if he had bought illegal drugs, here’s what Desharnais was thinking during the shootout:

    10. Take it easy, stay calm … and don’t trip over the blue line.
    9. Okay, I’ll dump the puck in the corner and then go … No! No!No!
    8. What was the scouting report on … on … who is it again?
    7. Whew, made it over the blue line! Now what?
    6. Omigawd, there’s no one to pass to!
    5. No way is that goaltender going to ride me off the puck!
    4. Be confident, think positive, you can do this, Davey: Here I come to save the day, Desharnais is on the way!
    3. Okay, think straight, I’ll deke to the left and lift a backhander in from the right. No, no, I’ll deke to the right and then do a spinarama! No, no, I’ll
    2. ABUT! I did it! I did it it! Can’t wait to rub it in the face of those bastards on HIO!
    1. Geez, why doesn’t Patch hit anyone?

  26. Maritime Ronn says:

    A Note to Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock:

    PK Subban played 29:01 last night.

    More importantly, in the last moments of the 3rd period with the game tied, PK had the following shifts:

    Start Shift: 17:20. End Shift: 17:55
    Start Shift: 18:25. End Shift: 19:06
    Start Shift: 19:34. End Shift: 20:00

    In OT, PK also had another 3 shifts totalling 3:08 of the 5 minutes OT.

    http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20132014/TV020288.HTM

    Now who says Coach Therrien doesn’t trust PK in critical/game on the line situations?
    :-)

    Steve-Mike?
    You may wish to consult with the (no) Brain Trust HNIC Leafs centric crowd to try and find some other excuse to leave PK off Team Canada.
    ( I’m actually surprised they aren’t pushing for Phaneuf more – that ‘blazing’ speed and quickness on the big ice surface…)

    • krob1000 says:

      He stayed out there too long a few times and he looked gassed playing those minutes last night. He loses his explosiveness by the second half of the pp’s and in OT he had nothing left. The team got 0 shots on goal in the OT. Watch PK at the beginning of a game and by the end he is not the same player…it actually happens quite a bit. His aggressive nature has him going deep, rushing pucks and busting it to get back often and that I draining. when added to the physical side of his game.

      I am all for him playing 2 minutes of a pp when able a he has been doing but only when fatigue is not as issue…if he has to rush back to break something up he and Markov should get off the ice (there have been a few lately where they are not effective by the end of the pp). I really hope they split PK and Markov when Emelin returns….it would be nice to see the team be offensively inclined for the other half of the game too.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi krob

        Perhaps when Coach Therrien says “It’s part of the learning process” that’s what he means.
        I really like the 24 year old PK, yet perhaps some of the reasons why he was a mid 2nd round choice may have to do with several of the factors you mention above

  27. 123456 says:

    So I missed last nights game – only trying to stay current on boone’s blog on my phone instead of watching a bootleg version on the laptop, But here in NY the game will be on NHL network but I will be traveling for my sons game in Buffalo.

    I watched some highlights and I must say Budda should have stopped that first goal (if that was price OMG the outcry) and I liked Chucky’s goal – it was great.

    Glad to see DD get the SO winner, left me wondering if he knew what he was going to do or not…..

  28. Phil C says:

    Since when has Pacioretty ever been a power forward? It reminds of when MacTavish nearly pulled his hair out trying to turn Penner into a power forward…and failed miserably. Quinn came in and Penner scored 32 goals and 63 points once he was allowed to play his game.

    Pacioretty is a speedy sniper who happens to be 217 lbs. Always has been. I”ll take that and be happy.

    Bourque has shown elements of a power forward in his game in the past, but not much since becoming a Hab. I agree with Dunboyne Mike that this may be an adjustment due to concussions. Eric Lindros said if he had his time back, he would adjust his style. He is still a useful player for his cap hit. He is also good trade bait as I think he could be moved fairly easily.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      It’s just that we have a need and it would be nice if he could fill it. But he can’t, so we might as well get used to it. One of our troubles is that our little guys play big and our big guys play little. That’s over generalizing but I think everyone will know what I mean.

      • Phil C says:

        I know what you mean. We also have a need for scoring which he provides (or at least will eventually). The rush he made where he came down the wing with speed then cut to the slot with the puck for the back-hander was great, it just didn’t go in, but they will eventually.

  29. Mark C says:

    Another loss…what a bummer.

  30. HabFab says:

    HabsWorld finally finishes their top Prospects list with #5-1;
    http://www.habsworld.net/article.php?id=3254

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    Thanks for the comeback win boys! Was in the heart of the enemy last night watching hockey. The Leaf fans were crushed by their loss, (many explanations given why they lost….almost sounded like some Hab fans with excuses) and I was able to savour the shootout victory as the leaf jerseys filed out of the bar.

    Tonight we see the return of T-74, hope the Russian tank enjoys himself tonigh, perhaps one thunderous hit to mark his return.

    Assuming we will see DD in the lineup tonight, will he be the catalyst to get Max and Bourque going?

    • Phil C says:

      “We’re just not getting the results,” Carlyle said. “We’ve had chances, we had glorious opportunities. It’s just that right now we’re squeezing the sticks or we’re getting hit in the shaft or players making a big stop.”

      I think the stats guys would call this regressing to the mean.

    • Cal says:

      The Prodigal Tank returneth. I’m hoping he is ready to go and ready to be his solid self.
      I have a temporary solution for DD, Bourque and Patches. It’s called the 4th line. B and P have almost been as disappointing as DD, though both are coming back from injury. My take on this injury thing: if you ain’t ready to play, sit.

  32. montreal ace says:

    CBC is going to be very interesting tonight, if the Leafs are losing after the first period.

  33. twilighthours says:

    Mostly solid effort last night. I’m happy for desharnais, maybe that will get him going. I also un-enjoyed how Murray cleared that blu jacket right out of… um… right into the crease.

    • Phil C says:

      Did you see the episode of 24CH when Murray played his first game? After the first period the coaches were in the video room talking about what a pleasant surprise Murray was and that he will be fine. Saying that his play was a “pleasant surprise” is a backhanded compliment which implies that they were expecting worse.

      If you ignore his skating (I know, it’s hard) and focus on his results, he is an okay bottom pairing guy, especially factoring in the intangibles he brings on the physical side.

      • twilighthours says:

        Did you see habsfansince72′s (dipsydoodle’s) post yesterday? Murray is among the league worst at 5 on 5 shots allowed per 60 minutes.

        • Phil C says:

          I did, but Murray doesn’t play in offensive situations very often and it was a small sample size. The stats also do not capture the intangibles. We already know he is not a Norris candidate, we don’t need stats to tell us that.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Twi, Murray looked bad on that particular play, all right. The goal was on him. But generally I would be more in tune with Phil C on Murray:

      “If you ignore his skating (I know, it’s hard) and focus on his results, he is an okay bottom pairing guy”

      (Although Phil! I’m wondering about the oxymoron of Murray’s physical play being one of his “intangibles”! Probably seems fairly tangible to the guys he clouts!)

      • twilighthours says:

        I hate to harp on the guy. Apparently he’s a good teammate. And I do enjoy him regulating after scrums. But if he played, by his standards, a good game and still made an egregious error on a goal against, then I (once again) would rather be giving his minutes to tinordi or beaulieu

      • Phil C says:

        Haha, very real to be on the receiving end of one of those. I laugh everytime because it’s like they are hitting a wall the way they bounce off him.

  34. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    The defence may be glued together, but it is defending. The goaltending is solid this year. The weak record comes down to scoring.

    Pacioretty has very little zip, and Bourque is really predictable. Gionta is playing hard but not breaking through, possibly because the guys around him aren’t making room. Gallagher, Eller, Plekanic and Galchenyuk are the threats, and Prust, White and Bournival are doing their jobs. We see struggling veterans who may be done (Gionta, Moen and Briere) and Pacioretty and Bourque, who seem determined to dent the pads of any goalie who stands thirty feet away from them. Something’s got to get those two going.
    Bourque has always been secondary scoring, even when he scored a lot, and I guess Pacioretty is hurt, but when the kids aren’t on the ice, you can safely go get a beer with the November version of the Habs.

    It’s not a Cup team but it has great entertainment and hockey potential, if only a couple more players could get their groove.

    However, the good news is they did win without Gallagher.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If Max gets going this team becomes much much harder to defend against. Our defence is defending, but I do think once Emelin finds his groove our D will be that much more improved. Perhaps less time battling in our own end, other teams forwards will be wary of him, more dump ins could result with easier breakouts from our end.

      Could help lead to more offence. At least this is the spin I am putting on it! ;-)

  35. Old Bald Bird says:

    Based on one night, people think Budaj is better in shootouts? Carey has had two scored against him this year, and both were on rather brilliant plays. I am not saying that shootouts are his forte, but he has been pretty good IMO as he was in the last half of last year — at least compared to the first half.

    • Landof10000lakesHab says:

      Although CP has elite NHL goalie skills, he has never been top tier defending the “gimmick”. It does not suit his patient, minimal movement, technical tending style, which allows for the shooter to initiate a move during shootout. Noticing that CP has become slightly more assertive & creative in the crease this season, which has added to his tending toolbox, and has had a positive impact on save %.

      Hoping the NHL increases OT time to 10 mins of four-on-four in the future, as proposed; which would effectively end the majority of shootouts.

  36. Maritime Ronn says:

    zephyr says:
    November 16, 2013 at 5:55
    ” i’m sick of seeing diaz & georges paired together.I noticed that columbus ran wild in our end whenever those 2 were on the ice.”
    ————-
    While the play of Price/Budaj may camouflage some glaring errors, many other Top Tier NHL goalies do exactly the same thing for their Dman corps.

    I have watched Rask bail out his Dmen more often than not, and the same goes for guys like Lundqvist, Bishop, Crawford, Harding, Niemi, Quick, Miller….and especially Varmalov during the early Avs run.

    If you recall last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs and especially the finals, guys like Chara, Keith, and Seabrook were saved by their respective goalies over and over again.

    Of course Diaz/Gorges are not even in the same neighborhood as Chara-Keith-Seabrook, yet one should not forget that these guys don’t walk on water either.

    Look, the Habs are not a serious Cup contending team with Diaz and Gorges as a top 4 pairing – especially in the tough and rugged playoff hockey, yet that’s what the Habs have to work with at this moment.

    Gorges is really a 4-5 swing guy with some excellent PK tools, and Diaz is really a 3rd pair guy with the ability to move up. He is also a 2nd Unit PP guy that can also fill in on a 1st Unit PP – think Nick Leddy of the Hawks.

    The numbers to date?
    Diaz +2
    Gorges +1

    Gorges and Diaz are also 1st Unit PK – a PK ranked 5th in the NHL…and yes, most will say the most important PK player is the goaltender

  37. montreal ace says:

    When I think of Florida trading Versteeg to the Hawks, I can’t believe they are going to pay half his salary. I find this trade very odd for a team, that gets help from the league to pay their bills.

  38. govenah says:

    If it wasn’t the Rangers tonight I would say to sit Prust. But I guess we should sit either Moen or White or Bourque. Briere still seems tentative so if they choose to sit him it won’t bother me.
    Absolutely give the Cube the night off.

    Grind this.

  39. Curtis O Habs says:

    Bourque and Patches hit the goalie in the crest far too often. The logo is not a bullseye. No rebounds, no second chances.

  40. JF says:

    Has there been an ALN this year that hasn’t been negative? Even after a victory, the tone is persistently negative, even cynical. The positives from any game are belittled, the negatives inflated and dwelt on.

    Perhaps this reflects the way most of us seem to feel about the team this year; they’re nowhere near good enough to contend and, despite recognizing that Marc Bergevin has not been in the saddle very long and has a lot of rebuilding to do, we’re not prepared to be patient. We’re tired of mediocrity.

    I feel that way myself and have a hard time sitting through the games. If we get a lead, I have no confidence that we’ll hang onto it. If the game is tied, I’m waiting for the late blunder that will cost us a goal. If it goes to OT and especially a shootout, I expect us to lose.

    A bit more enthusiasm would be nice. We won the game. After trailing 2-0 on two quick and flukey goals, we got right back into it with only seconds to go in the first period. Galchenyuk is more and more giving us glimpses of what he can become, and this was one of them, stripping Tyutin of the puck and managing to protect it and score despite being interfered with. Without that dying-second effort, the Habs might well have folded.

    Not only did we win the game, but we won it in a shootout, a rare occurrence. And everyone’s favourite whipping boy scored the winner and skated to the bench with a 100-watt smile lighting his face. That deserves celebration.

    The play of Peter Budaj is another positive, in fact the improved play of both our goaltenders. If goaltending was not one of the main reasons for last year’s success, it is the rock upon which any success this year will be founded. It is also crucial to the long-term rebuild and to any hopes of a future Cup run. Bergevin’s biggest move over the summer is already paying huge dividends, and it will continue to have an impact long after the other moves have become history.

    Special teams have also been good. The penalty kill, our Achilles heel last year, is on many nights our saviour, and the powerplay produces in most games.

    As for the schedule, games against weaker opponents are precisely the games that the Habs have tended to blow in recent years. Against strong teams, on the other hand, we often play our best hockey. The effort against St. Louis, for example, was positively heroic.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      The games are so uninspiring lately that it’s hard to get excited and easy to be negative. Most of last year and early this year, they seemed to play more uptempo and with greater enthusiasm. Win or lose, this team is difficult to “get behind” just now. Even though I don’t want to do it, I find myself going to the Comments during the game because I am so bored. It’s also difficult because we seem to be seeing a regression in a few players — at the moment anyway. On most nights lately, the kids seem to be the only line to bring much to the ice.

      • Eddie says:

        When a GM spends the summer signing “patchwork” players, he feels his team is

        A) ready to contend and only needs a few tweaks

        B) so far from contending its not worth taking any undo risk at this time

        Which one, a or b, do you think more closely reflects how Bergevin felt this summer?

        Can you blame the fans for not being excited?

        • CharlieHodgeFan says:

          To me, it’s a waiting game – they see talent both arriving and developing in the next couple of years, and up against the low cap with inflated salaries, they tweaked. Parros was a toy for the fighting crowd, and Briere was a gamble. There were no serious signings.
          Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Subban, Eller, Price and Bournival are strong but learning. Price seems to have arrived, but PK still makes too many ‘ill-considered’ plays. He’s got lots of upside to come. Tinordi, Beaulieu, Pateryn, Leblanc and the Bulldogs should be good for two solid players to develop out of.
          Bergevin’s working with the cards he has, trying to ice an entertaining team and hoping to build, from what I can see. The farm has interesting elements, but it’s early in that rebuild. I don’t mind this version of the Habs, but I expect to forget it in a few years.
          If the team grows up and becomes a contender, this will have been its preteen years.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          No doubt MB is choosing option B.

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          I can live with Option B, but I find the team playing a restrained style lately compared to most of last year and early this year. They might feel this is necessary, but it’s duller hockey IMO.

  41. montreal ace says:

    I find it weird that Patches is called soft and unproductive, as he has lead the team in scoring a few times. Patches is not a classic power forward, he is a big guy who has skills and works hard. He is just coming off a hamstring injury so it might still be tender.

    • Cape Breton says:

      I agree with Boone on his assessments of Pax and Bourque. Both are hard to take.

    • JohninTruro says:

      Scores a couple and he regains his confidence he will be his old self. Just needs to get one and he will take off. Should put him in the shootout. Let’s see if he scores tonight and see what happens…

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      To whom much is given, much is required.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hi Ace,

      Am I among those to whom you refer, I wonder? If so, I didn’t mean to imply that Pacioretty is soft, and the stats speak for themselves as regard productivity.

      Nor do I think he needs to try and be Montreal’s Lucic. What I WOULD have thought, however, is that there ought to be more Gallagher in his game as regards positioning in front of the net. Yet he plays mostly on the perimeter (or so it seems to me, and I’m happy to be corrected by people who see more of the action than I can). I have suspected since last year that he has been thinking deeply about the long-term implications of his concussions, and that this is why he doesn’t spend so much time in front. I don’t blame him, btw.

      But for us to be competitive, the player with Pacioretty’s size and role surely NEEDS to be in the goalie’s kitchen.

      I don’t mind setting aside that he led the team in scoring last year, and indeed he may well contend for that accolade this year. But look at it this way — if we lost all 82 games but Pacioretty potted a goal in each one, would we make the playoffs?

  42. 123456 says:

    OK so please correct me if my thoughts are off base here. About 80% of my thoughts/posts re the Habs and how they can be better are focused on the defense. Emilin will help, Murry is slow, Cbe is past his NHL playing days, Georges is a shell of his former-self. I’s not just me but I see a lot of similar posts.

    But when you look at the Habs this season – the defense is not really an issue at all. Defensively the Habs do play well. GOals against is not the problem.

    The issue with the Habs is goal production. And this is coming from a defense first guy. I realize the defense first style results in good defensive numbers and lower offensive output. But at the end of the day the Habs are not scoring enough goals to win games. Nearly every forward has been a disappointment.

    So that’s my revelation for the day. The defense is good so stop worrying about it.

  43. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good Morning.

    This win had Alex Galchenyuk and Peter Budaj written all over it.

    Budaj was solid again with a .920 SP, and made the Key saves at the Right times including 3 during “The Gimmick.”

    His positioning, calmness, and confidence are now making the hard saves look easy.
    The ‘Waite influence’ is now starting to become very obvious for both Hab goalies.
    Have we ever seen both playing with more confidence?

    That brings Budaj’s year totals to a record of 3-1-0 and a GAA of 1.48 along with a sparkling .945 SP – some of the best numbers in the NHL.

    What more can you say about 19 year old Alex Galchenyuk?
    He now leads all Habs forwards in scoring.

    A Superstar blooming right in front of Habs fan’s eyes.
    Funny how fate works sometimes.
    If AG doesn’t have an ACL in his draft year, the Habs may have been left with Yakupov and all the recent off ice baggage…

    One has to wonder what the outcome would have been without AG’s supreme individual ‘Wake-Up’ goal effort with 8 seconds left in the 1st period.
    Up to that point, the team was sluggish and sleepy and almost looking like they were on their way to another regulation loss.

    You also have to wonder where this Habs team would be without the 2 Gallys and Eller.
    These 3 have combined for 42.2% of ALL goals scored by Habs forwards – that is 19 goals of the 45 goals scored by ALL Habs forwards.

    As for the Shootout win, it’s wonderful that the Habs secured an extra point, yet also curious as how a Gimmick goal may have prolonged the NHL career of a player.
    Somewhere in another dimension, Eddie Gaedel is smiling…

  44. Dunboyne Mike says:

    That’s me done — off to football (soccer) with my 10-year-old, who’s also fighting (if that’s the right term at his age) for starting point-guard in an inter-county basketball tournament tomorrow.

    And Sholi: my 18-year-old came home on his first leave following the first 7 weeks of basic. Some stories! Oh man, it’s hard. But it’s also hilarious, eg. 2 hours sleep, next night 3 hours, then long lectures next day, TRYING not to doze off and get slaughtered by the lecturer/officer. No wonder the Soviets and the US at Gitmo used sleep deprivation as a form of torture (oops, rendition).

    Enjoy Saturday, one and all.

    (Hobie, nice new avatar, man).

  45. Dunboyne Mike says:

    From 2mins4lookinsogood:

    “Oddly, the Plekanec line looked like a touring act of Motowners – playing just well enough to evoke good feelings but not so much that you expected the talent was still there. Not a concern, just a reflection of how difficult it is to be at the top day in and day out .”

    Astute AND poetic!
    Cheers

  46. Bash says:

    Gionta took some abuse last night. In several instances he was the victim of a little extra stick work, after the whistle face washing and aggressive board play. His response? He played his heart out! And as much as possible gave as good as he got.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  47. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Yuccch I despise Marchand and his kind. But the Rat scored an absolute beauty against Ottawa last night.

    (Or is that one on the Senators’ D?)

  48. Dunboyne Mike says:

    WISH it were possible to send Prust away to heal properly. He is Monty Python’s Black Knight.

  49. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Re. Mr Boone’s cautious pessimism concerning the next part of the schedule:

    Well-founded concern, no question. But aren’t the Habs a team that really does elevate its game against stronger opposition? Didn’t we look quite good, even though losing, against good teams from the West?

    I’m looking forward to these next games.

  50. 24 Cups says:

    Peter Budaj is the unsung hero of the Habs. He is in his third year as the Habs’ backup goalie and his stats are 34/16/9/6/2.22/.922

    Just as important is the fact the he seems to be the perfect complement to Carey Price. And like Carey, Budaj also seems to be benefitting from the coaching of Stephane Waite.

    All this for a very reasonable 1.4M a season.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      He must surely be the ideal back-up. No question of a challenge for the No.1 spot, seemingly entirely comfortable with his role, always ready to go, always plays well — with excellent stats to show for it — apparently popular with the players, and, above all, fulfils his primary function: spelling the No. 1 so that he can play at his best for the entire season and hopefully beyond.

      I think MT is handling him just right — if it ends up he plays 20-25 games.

      As for Waite and Price — it sure looks to me like Waite, rather than teaching Price anything, is just helping him unlock his best features, his gifts.

      (I was very exercised last season about how CP was spending SO much time on his knees instead of returning to his skates. That now seems to be gone, and I am very happy to dump all the blame for that tendency on the previous coaching regime!).

      • montreal ace says:

        Mike you hit it on the head, when you say Waite is unlocking Price’s best features. I also think the relationship between these two men have, is more professional then the last goalie coach. Waite has been a mentor to proven winners, so his knowledge is not to be taken lightly.

  51. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Very happy for DD, especially since anything that boosts his confidence will be very good for him and, therefore, very good for the team. I think J.Ambrose said it best:

    “Whether you want him on the team or not, the best scenario for the Habs is if he is producing.”

  52. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Feels like it’s off-colour, nearly, to suggest this, but is the issue with Pacioretty and Bourque that they remain two post-concussion hockey players who have radically altered their style in order to preserve both health and career — an alteration that stands out a mile because both players are supposedly power forwards?

  53. Captain aHab says:

    People want Pacioretty to hit more but it seems to me that every time he does he either:

    A) Gets suspended
    B) Gets injured

    I want Bouillon to sit for Emelin.
    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  54. zephyr says:

    i’m sick of seeing diaz & georges paired together. I noticed that columbus ran wild in our end whenever those 2 were on the ice. bouillon was a victim too. murray played well. he doesn’t get beaten by speed guys & he’s strong as an ox. u know he’s gonna be a big asset in the playoffs. keep him. i don’t care if we trade the 3 figure skaters at all. our dmen have to be capable of winning individual battles on the boards. geez.
    gionta & briere were big zeros again. we can’t afford to play so many small guys & gionta earns the most & will be a ufa. notice how those 2 are never in shootouts so they’re not compensating for their lack of size by scoring. bourque may have had a bad game but I remember how he shone in the playoffs. max had 8 sog! they have to get him the puck more exiting our zone to take advantage of his speed. maybe he should play center? he’s 1 of our core players & needs to be played a lot.
    dd worked hard & has been for some time. I like him. it was nice to see his big smile after he scored & the smiles of his teammates. it was obvious there is a lot of genuine support for him.

  55. rhino514 says:

    Budaj is playing amazing. I realize no coach would do this, but it would be great to have him in all the shoot-outs.
    I´d like to see him play more games.
    It looks like Briere isn´t a factor five on five. Hate to say it, but unless Chucky is ready to play centre, our only hope to stabilize the the top 3 centre spots rests with DD finding his game.

  56. VancouverHab says:

    “EGG” is a monumentally stupid name for a line.

  57. DipsyDoodler says:

    “Too bad Prust has only the one heart and two stones to supply transplants for Bourque and Pacioretty.”

    What bs. That’s really lame. Especially wrt to the Pacioretty. No better than Coderre.

  58. Timo says:

    So who was Plekanec shadowing today? Is he ever going to score again or Habs are paying him 5mil to be a shadow?

    Pacioretty needs a trip to Hamilton.

    • VancouverHab says:

      Timo, you are the perfect complement of the Desharnais cult members (mainly, in the media those):

      - You find fault in Pleks at slightest provocation.
      - They find good in Desharnais in slightest situation.

      You show the dark for its darkness :–)

  59. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Had Gallagher played, the Habs would have won in regulation, thanks to another EGGtrick.

  60. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Very happy for wee Davey. Whether you want him on the team or not, the best scenario for the Habs is if he is producing. Not only will his trade value then rise, but a resurrected Desharnais just might bring Patches back from the dead, too. Right now ol’ Max is looking less and less like the power forward of the future, and more and more like past failures — Pouliot and Latendresse.

    And for those who have been trying, through historical revisionism, to rehabilitate P. Gauthier’s tattered reputation, might I point out that that guy the Ghost couldn’t even wait until the game was over to trade has scored 8 goals in only 12 games, and would be the perfect tonic for our power play.

    Meanwhile, Rene Bourque is showing us all why Kelly Hrudy criticized him so vehemently on national television. He is the softest 6’2 220lb. player I’ve ever seen. And he should most definitely get a seat amongst the scribes up top. Reunite DD and Patches and give them Prust.

    Briere? Meh. Don’t care what they do with him.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • Jim Edson says:

      Remember the guy who got traded away was becoming an injury prone locker room toxin who was making 200% what Bourque was being paid!

      If DD deserves all the slack and kick starts for one career season certainly Bourque deserves the same for at least 4 comparable seasons.

      BTW in comparison 2013-2014:
      DD 1A for 3.5 mill
      Bourque 5G 1 A for 3.2 mill.

      DD given always the best available line mates in all the kick start efforts while Bourque has gotten the underperforming center!

      Just a little perspective.

      ———————————————————————-
      What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

      In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

      They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

      ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

    • JohninTruro says:

      Perfect tonic for our PP? We are 3rd in the NHL on the PP.

  61. Timo says:

    So now Therrien will never ever put DD out of the lineup again. Le sigh.

    • jols101 says:

      He’s the hometown hero again. He scored in the skills competition don’t you know. The fact that he has 1 assist in 18 games just became irrelevant.

    • Jim Edson says:

      Or Bouillon! MT’s best bud!

      The outpouring for a guy who maybe has played one good game in 18 months is overdone Mother Teresa he isn’t.

      How many kick-starts, 55th chances or reprieves does he deserve?

      How many one-trick ponies have hung on this long?

      ———————————————————————-
      What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

      In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

      They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

      ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  62. jols101 says:

    In Prust’s post-game interview he has a giant ice-pack on his right shoulder under his t-shirt. His shoulder is obviously not 100%. Give him a couple of more weeks to heal properly.

  63. Timo says:

    Did anyone see Walrus’ bugged eyes after the hit on Ryan? I thought his eyes were going to pop out of their sockets.

  64. Timo says:

    So basically Habs’ only line strikes again. Habs only seem to be able to beat teams like Isles and Columbus. With one line it’s not so bad.

    I don’t get promoting DD to the third line today. I actually didn’t hate Briere with Bourque… so I don’t get the move.

    DD should go to AHL… yes, he scored a SO goal but during the game there is no hope for him. He can take his buddy Pacioretty with him. Seriously, was there ever a player in the history of NHL who got more second chances than DayHarNay? I think even Breezer in his gloriest of days wasn’t getting THAT much benefit of doubt.

    THerrien should stop being such a pig head and start using Budaj in the shootouts… even if Price plays the game. Take Galchenyuk out, put some less known players.

    Anyway, I don’t know about everyone else but I will hold off buying my Stanley Cup parade tickets.

  65. PureGuava says:

    Agree with scratching Boullion – but dressing 7 D gives options.

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
    - Robert Anton Wilson

  66. GGtheHab says:

    PK has abandoned the scrape the rafters wind up and his shots are on the net this year, problem is, now that the guys know his canon is headed toward the net they are not in front for tips or rebounds..except Gally..all hail Galley…imagine the ultimate power forward: #11′s brain and grit inside the useless brain dead frame of #17..

  67. Sportfan says:

    So my net was down for 3 days, but before I go to sleep there’s a few things I will say

    Thank god Rick Dudley didn’t end up in Buffalo as president.

    Leaf fans are effing stupid they praise that sack of @#@$ Kadri but they call Gio dirty.

    Patches for Kane trade is a crazy rumor

    and Congrats to the Habs on the SO win !

    Night all!

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

  68. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Watching the game now on Gamecenter. Only the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast is available. And the play-by-play guy is pronouncing a certain young Hab’s name, “Gachelnyuk”. Idiot.

  69. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    Not sure if this showed on TV but the habs are playing a 1-3 system on the PK when the opposition is coming on the rush. Instead of two forwards criss-crossing to intercept, the high forward is almost behind the plat to stop the Detroit back pass to the lagging forward who then rushes into the zone past the stationary defenders – interesting approach.

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

  70. CHUCKYRULES says:

    Happy for DD. bench exploded when he scored… Agree with Boone about patch and bourque.. They need to use there big frame more… Patch seems lazy to me, he is defiantly only concerned with offence but is scoring.

  71. GGtheHab says:

    down 0-2 in the past couple seasons against the BJs would have resulted in a 4-3 road loss…Chucky was the ghost of things yet to come…he WILL be our Guy (if you think I mean guy check your history books) one day soon…no affront to either of them but Galley will be our Shutt..Subby, Emmy, Markov will be our big 3 with tinny and beaulieu in support..price is a bona fide number 1, but for us old timers it is REALLY hard to put dryden/roy love on him yet…patches is frustrating..maybe hurt..but has he had a SOG from inside the dots this season?..hate to get all Cherry like but he plays soft..my son is 5 feet 120 and plays JV high school football, I would say he is tougher and braver than Max at this point. Still 2 points are 2 points…I love my Habs more than most of the posters on here..I have the CH tattooed on my left shoulder as proof..we have a good team and are headed in the right direction, but the 70s are over…but thankfully so are the 90s and Houle…give MB a chance and more importantly give Mr Molson a chance…we grew up loving them winning, he grew up LIVING them winning..

  72. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Oh boy, did Murray ever clear the crease tremendously last night. Bouillon is bad but Murray is so much worse.

  73. Un Canadien errant says:

    Regarding Max, I don’t think he’s comfortable yet, he’s probably still got that tender hamstring, but he’s gutting it out and on the ice. I think we should cut him some slack over the next few games as he regains strength, range of motion and confidence in his injured leg.

  74. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Canadiens are stumbling a little bit, they’ve missed some players due to injuries and others have gone cold, so a game on the road against the Blue Jackets isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s the kind of game they still have to win to have any kind of success this season and into the playoffs. Simply put, this was two points for the taking, and the Canadiens, while not firing on all cylinders, managed to snag them with a 3-2 shootout win.

    They started off in a hole, going down 2-0 on unlucky pinball-machine type goals in the first period, but Alex Galchenyuk maybe saved the game when he hustled on the forecheck in the dying seconds, stripped a fumbling Fedor Tyutin of the puck and put it in on an overmatched Curtis McElhinney. If nothing else, Alex demonstrated on the play that the Canadiens aren’t the only team icing a roster with defencemen who aren’t perfect.

    In the second, the Canadiens tied it up on a powerplay goal. Andrei Markov set it up with a shot on goal that yielded a rebound to Daniel Brière, who failed to cash it in, but produced a rebound of his own, one which Lars Eller buried. The RDS crew mentioned how the Canadiens have adapted their powerplay to the coverage they’re receiving. With Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban terrorizing goalies at the start of the season, but no forwards inspiring the same respect, penalty kill teams have been pressuring the Canadiens defencemen heavily, trying to prevent them from unleashing the big bombs. P.K. and Andrei have adapted by trying to get quick screened shots off, instead of slapshots, and tonight it worked. Still, it would be nice if Tomas Plekanec, Daniel Brière, Max Pacioretty and other putative scorers started burying some chances and relieved the figurative and literal pressure on the d-men, they shouldn’t have to convert perfect one-timers for the powerplay to work.

    There were no goals the rest of the way, it rested on David Desharnais to score the shootout winner, and on Peter Budaj to stop all three Columbus shooters he faced. Much was made on RDS of the boost this could provide to David’s confidence, and how it could serve to get him going. We can all hope as much, we can’t very well go through four seasons of this kind of impotent play from him.

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      UCE, while it may do well for DD’s confidence, he was not really a factor and other than a few short bursts, not inspiring.

      Yet, he was out there with 9 seconds left in the defensive zone and I think the habs still had a change. I say this with a bit of a heavy heart as I still believe he can turn it around (and the coach saw enough tonight) but I am perhaps a bit more “realistic” – as per der Booner, he is correct that a fully meshed large winger duo will really decide if DD is going to stick.

      Oddly, the Plekanec line looked like a touring act of Motowners – playing just well enough to evoke good feelings but not so much that you expected the talent was still there. Not a concern, just a reflection of how difficult it is to be at the top day in and day out .

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

  75. Phil C says:

    “(and i wont even get into the goals that were caused by Diaz last night)”

    Diaz has been on the ice for 8 ES goals in 20 games while playing top four minutes. You have sooooooo many stories to tell about all the goals he causes.

  76. Mike Boone says:

    Frankie better than Diaz? Rob Ford wants your dealer’s phone number.

    Mike Boone
    Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  77. NCRhabsfan says:

    Agree on White or Moen, don’t on Diaz. Bouillon is the old man, has no upside and hasn’t been particularly effective. He becomes the 7th D for the rest of the season.

  78. HabFab says:

    Crap in, crap out! Same old shitte!

  79. D Mex says:

    Boone : is that you talking about Ford’s dealer ? Last time I was obliged to read one of your comments here, you were bragging about all the dope you have smoked, that and going to Habs games stoned – you know, the good old days.

    Not only is Hab-Professor correct in his observation, he appears to be straight while making it. Diaz is a liability from the Yannick Weber mould – wants to play NHL hockey but wants no part of physical contact. He is shoved off the puck way too easily and, when challenged, responds by coughing it up or making suicide passes. Ask Paul MacLean …

    I’ll take Cube over Diaz any day of the week.

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex

  80. formerly known as the hc says:

    .

  81. D Mex says:

    Hab-Prof :
    The truth about Diaz is evident any time he is dressed. Yes, he has offensive upside, but his defensive weaknesses far outweigh them and his ” safe ” game situations require too much thought.

    I’ve referred a couple of times this week to a Bleacher article stating the Habs are negotiating with Diaz. Consider the source, OK, but it’s a scary thought just the same and one I don’t get. His strikes me as a contract to be endured only until upgrade to an adult-sized model such as Tinordi, Pateryn, Beaulieu, Nygren is possible – not a day longer.

    If Diaz can fetch something of value in a trade, so be it, but the last thing we need now IMO is a repeat of the gaffe that is DD’s contract extension.

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex


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