About last night …

PriceMinn

Your Montreal Canadiens are idle for a couple day, but it’s safe to predict their next game will be a contemporary variation on a classic movie:
Mr. Bourque Doesn’t Go To Washington.
It took 22 games to do it, but Michel Therrien finally came up with four forward lines that provided energy, entertainment and, oh yeah, SIX goals.
It was fun to watch.
And for perhaps the first time this season, the Canadiens looked like they were enjoying themselves on Bell Centre ice.

Missing the party, due to a lower-body injury, was Rene Bourque. His absence obliged Therrien to tinker further with forward lines he had created at the team’s Monday practice.

Daniel Brière took Bourque’s spot on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. Ryan White came out of the pressbox to join Travis Moen and rookie Michaël Bournival on the fourth line.

Brière scored, off a three-way passing play with Gionta and Plekanec.

Bournival got his sixth, with Moen drawing an assist.

Regardless of Bourque’s health, if he makes the team flight to D.C. on Thursday I can’t see him dressing against the Capitals Friday night.

Why would Therrien mess with a lineup that produced the most goals this team has scored since last March 2 … when they lot 7-6 to visiting Pittsburgh in overtime?

The coach certainly won’t be changing his other two lines.

Brandon Prust’s forechecking and general orneriness opened up some ice for Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk. And the rugged winger drew an assist on Galchenyuk’s goal, which was the conversion of yet another perfect pass by Andrei Markov.

Brendan Gallagher had an even greater energizing effect on his linemates. The sophomore winger drew an assist on only one of Max Pacioretty’s three goals, but Gallagher’s buzzsaw intensity was a crucial element in getting Pacioretty and David Desharnais off the schneid, out of their funk and into an O-zone rhythm reminiscent of their best games over the previous two seasons.

Max-Pac, whose natural hat trick was the product of 10 shots on goal, got the game’s First Star. But save some kudos for the tireless Gallagher and for the much-maligned DD – whipping boy of Canadiens fans ranging from radio blowhards to Montreal’s new mayor …  and including, I must admit, at least one Habs blogger.

Bolstered by Gallagher and Pacioretty, Desharnais played with a confidence that deserted him during a Gomez-like slump that extended back to last season. One game does not a revival make, but DD & Co. looked terrific against the Minnesota Mild, who were outhit 21-15 by a Canadiens team that never outhits anyone.

A dozen Canadiens registered points on the scoresheet, and 11 skaters contributed to the Canadiens’ 23 blocked shots.

Playing 18 minutes, Alexei Emelin blocked five shots and aded a team-leading five hits.

With his team enjoying a rare laugher, P.K. Subban played a mere 23:48. He picked up two assists, briging P.K.’s total to 16, which is tops among NHL defenceman.

Subban finished plus-3 to lead the Canadiens in that department. His Norris Trophy rival, Minnesota’s Ryan Suter, played almost 27 minutes and was minus-3 on the game.

It’s a challenge to be a minus when your team wins 6-2, but the line of Eller, Galchenyuk and Prust pulled it off. They were on the ice for Niederreiter’s even-strength goal, and each member of the – chose your acronym, PEG or LAB – line finished at minus-1.

Carey Price?

Customarily brilliant. Easy winner of his goaltending duel with Josh Harding – and royally pissed when Minnesota got a second goal with one second left in Garbage Time.

It was scored by Dany Heatley.

He’s their Rene Bourque.

So shall we plan the Cup parade?

Um, maybe not just yet.

Let’s see how the Canadiens fare in Washington and back home on Saturday against Pittsburgh.

But it was important to start a tough week with a good performance – the more so since November had been miserable for the Canadiens.

While Pacioretty enjoyed a career night, everyone in a red jersey contributed.

And the guy behind the bench – the subject of dire speculation, even this early in the season – had a very good night.

•  •  •

If you’re near the Bell Centre on Wednesday, pop into the Canadiens’ annual blood donor clinic.

It’s a good cause, and you’ll meet some players and/or execs and/or team legends.

Clinic runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Access at main entrance at 1909, Canadiens-de-Montreal Ave., section 116.

 

 

266 Comments

  1. shiram says:

    Bourque was mentionned as having a lower body injury, just reiterating for those who thing he was benched last night.

  2. Subban in Sochi says:

    “Most Valuable ‘Injury,’ 2013-2014.” Rene Bourque.

    It was eye-opening seeing the pregame blog post comparing his post-trade goal & point production with that of Mike Cammalleri.

    Now that all the Habs’ injured players have had a few matches to get in game shape the potential of the team is coming into view again. The Capitals and Pens are traditionally excellent “measuring sticks” and the weekend games against them should confirm the optimism.

    I had been “scared” by the Canadiens’ play since Halloween. It was a joy seeing a 60 minute team effort last night.

    “Cannonading drive!!”

  3. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Good day my fellow HIO friends.

    I slept sound as a pound last night. A Canadiens win does that to me. Max impressed me last night, & it takes a lot to impress the Ram.

    If the Habs players play like I know they are capable of, our Montreal Canadiens could make a run this spring. A Stnley Cup probally not but 3rd round yes.

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  4. SmartDog says:

    I heard on the radio this morning that Stephane Waite has said he thinks Budaj should play 20 games and Price about 60 in the regular season. I’ve said this EVERY YEAR since the Halak days. EVERY YEAR.

    Price gets tired, it’s there to see. About time the Habs got a goal coach who can see what everyday fans (well okay, insightful, intelligent fans) can see.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  5. JF says:

    Last night’s game was the first in a while in which the Habs looked like the team that spent most of last season battling for top of the Conference. Too often recently we’ve looked like the JM-coached Habs, dumping and chasing, with little in the way of a transition game and no organized attack. Last night we were skating hard, hitting, moving the puck well, and going to the net. It was exciting hockey, fun to watch, and the players looked like they were enjoying it. This is the way we have to play.

    I don’t know how much fallout there was from Patch’s remarks earlier in the week, but he played as though he were angry. Perhaps someone suggested that he should improve his own performance before criticizing the team as a whole. If so, he certainly responded. I had no trouble with what he said; it seemed an accurate description of the way the team had been playing of late and not intended as a criticism of any player or coach in particular. But it’s clear that he should get angry more often.

    We have three players who seem to energize the lines they play on, so it is good strategy to assign them to different lines. Gallagher brought new life to the combination of DD and Patch; suddenly we’re seeing the kinds of electrifying plays we saw from them two years ago. Prust gives a veteran presence and a physical edge to Eller’s line; and Bournival, while I think in the long run he’ll be more than a fourth-line player, is for now making that line more of a scoring threat. I believe that was the first goal we’ve had from the fourth line this season. Moen also seemed to have more jump than usual. I hope Therrien will stick with these lines for now. And I hope their performance last night will restore the team’s confidence, which had been visibly sagging of late.

  6. jedimyrmidon says:

    Price’s numbers are very good: 0.935 save pctg, 2.02 GAA

    His record? 8-8-2.

    Simply does not make sense, and clearly shows who hasn’t been pulling their weight this month – the rest of his teammates, and the coaching staff (except for Waite)! Yes, it’s true the Habs have been blocking a ton of shots, but at the same time, Carey can’t in any way be responsible for scoring.

    • Luke says:

      Yah, that one goal per game support he was getting really wasn’t helping.

      When we played St. Louis, our defensive stats were better than theirs, but they had something like 5 fewer regulation losses than the Habs did.

  7. Sportfan says:

    Coyotes are 5th in the West they would be first in the east!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  8. joeybarrie says:

    Slumps and highs…. Every team has them.
    The big test will be Friday in Washington. Partly cause I have tickets, and partly because Washington can be a tough team to play against that is on a 3 game winning streak. They have won 7 of their last 10 and score a lot. They are not particularly good defensively and our challenge this season has been scoring.
    If we score, we can beat them. While my tickets and desire to see all Washington fans dejected after the game if we beat them is my main concern in the short run our next 8 games are against East coast rivals, and 3 teams we will most likely be fighting with for a play off spot (Washington, Toronto and New Jersey) playing Washington and New Jersey twice.
    A good record in the next 10 games (hopefully 7-3) and we will be in a much better place mid December.
    I feel the next 10 games will be some of the most important in our season.

  9. NoTinFoilCups says:

    A question for the commentariat. How does a team go from totally uninterested and lacklustre to a team that was full of energy and all over the ice? I haven’t been able to watch the games lately but from reading here I gather this is the case. The only hockey I’ve ever played is shinny, that’ll stave off the inevitable condescending ” have you ever played the game”.
    I realize playoff intensity can’t be sustained for an entire regular season but this turnaround warrants my question.

  10. Mattyleg says:

    Hey Bill,
    I know it’s tempting to go hog-wild, but we have to focus on only using our powers for good.

    We must be strong and act with restraint.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  11. Propwash says:

    The Habs have gone through a slump, happens to every team. Detroit who is a perennial playoff team is going through a 7 game losing streak.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Mattyleg says:

      I wonder how many “Babcock has lost the room” posts there are on Detroit boards.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Propwash says:

        Or “Jimmy Howard has been drinking the saltpeter laced Coors”

        ____________________
        DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        Babcock has a much better resume to his credit than Therrien.

        I really think that Therrien has made a number of mistakes that have led directly to losses.

        • Luke says:

          Such as?
          Seriously, I can’t think of many things a coach can do that’ll directly lead to a loss. A bench penalty, I suppose.

          • jedimyrmidon says:

            Getting his fourth line trapped out there against the other team’s first line… on home ice. This leads to goals against. Combined with the Habs’ sputtering offense, this means that every goal against plays a large role in losses.

            His continued confidence in Bouillon who is a team worst -10. At some point, it stops being a matter of being unlucky, and a guy just not being very good.

          • Luke says:

            Ok… I see what you are saying Jedi,

            Personally, I don’t lay blame for a line getting trapped on the coach, I give that blame to the line. Otherwise I’d have to give MT credit everytime a line has a great shift or the defense clears the puck out. (“Good job putting Max on the ice last night MT!”).

            The Boullion thing? Ummmm 50/50… I don’t think he’s been that bad. I think he’s been better than the guy he be replaced by. -9 of that -10 coincided with Murray and Parros’ return.
            But I’d be happy to see a Tinordi or Beaulieu there too…

            Yah, I don’t even blame him for Parros. I blame Parros for his own poor play.

            I dunno, I don’t give coaches much credit. These players all know what they need to do. They should do it.
            I think the most important thing a coach can do is have the oranges sliced & ready for the intermission.

  12. habs-hampton says:

    I wouldn’t suggest changing the lines after last night, but Bourque should hardly be in the doghouse. I think he’s one of the more consistant players we have. Always works hard, goes to the net, pops in the occasional goal (on pace for 20). He brings exactly what I expect him to bring, and he does it every night.. He’s not going to score 35+ goals, and I don’t expect him to.

  13. DipsyDoodler says:

    I’m trying to decide what my favourite example is of the hatertariat trying to find the grey cloud in the blue sky.

    “Pacioretty’s hat trick was weak” is a good one. It was actually against the best goalie in the NHL, and all the goals were good goals.

    Perhaps my favorite is that he barely touched the puck on the 3rd goal. It was a freaking tip-in. He went to the net during the powerplay and tipped it in. And it’s a weak goal because well he barely touched it.

  14. Say Ash says:

    When is #51 being retired?

  15. Mattyleg says:

    I mentioned this yesterday, so I apologise for repeating myself in advance to the three people who bother reading what I write.

    The two reasons we looked so good last night were due to greater hustle from all positions.

    Firstly: The Forwards

    They were hunting the puck much more urgently, and I saw something that I hadn’t seen since the early blush of the season: two forecheckers. We employed this at the start of the season, which put the opposition D under pressure, and used our speed to its greatest effect. We had to stop doing that once the injuries piled up because we couldn’t trust our youngsters to backcheck effectively enough afterwards, and we needed everyone back in the zone to help out the greener d-men.

    Secondly: The Defence

    Our excellent defensive play of late means that our d-men have a good understanding of each other and there is good communication between them and Price. This means that we can afford to be a bit more daring on the attack with our defence.

    Our d-men last night were pinching like crazy, and not thinking that getting back was the primary concern. I saw Gorges go deep, almost into the corner, on a number of occasions, Frankie B joined a number of attacks as the third attacker as the forwards changed, and there was a lot more aggressive puck-interception movement by our defence in the neutral zone.

    I think this is the way forward for us; an effective forward corps needs support from its d-men in order to keep sustained pressure on the opposition in their zone, and our d-men need effective forechecking to put the opposition under pressure so that they can’t build plays exactly the way they want to in order to gain our zone.

    It looks good if we can keep this system up, folks.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  16. Timo says:

    I really enjoyed Prust giving Konopka a bloody face last night… that was a lovely bonus to an overall great game.

  17. Ali says:

    Hey, I only said to put Gallagher with DD and Pacioretty two games into the season, what do I know.

    I’ll accept all coaching nominations, and will begin dusting off the ol’ french immediately.

  18. Timo says:

    So did little wee Davey get a contract extension yet? I can’t find the press release anywhere.

  19. Still too many blatant calls not made on garbage against us. That yank on Subban from behind was a no-brainer. If the ref’s had put their whistles away at the end of the third, then why did Gally get the tripping call a few plays later?

    And that slash that broke (Eller’s? P.K.’s?) stick in the first? Come on.

    At least we won. But on another night, those might be pivotal moments that sap the energy and will from our guys. Pathetic.

    DDonais

  20. JM says:

    Briere’s career is gonna come to an abrupt end if MT keeps him on the left wing. Someone is gonna drive him in the boards and it’s not gonna be pretty ….

    • Luke says:

      Lots of people, big and small, play on the wing and haven’t had their careers abruptly ended.

      Heck, you could just as easily say that Sidney Crosby career’s going to be abruptly ended if DB keeps him at centre. Someone’s gonna pop him as he crosses the blue line…

      Everyone runs the risk, sure, but we fans keep making it seem like death & dismemberment lie just around the corner… but, it rarely ever happens.
      I’d wager that Gallagher runs the risk of a career ender more than Briere does, due to his reckless style of play.

      Honestly, I really can’t think of the last good ol’ career ending injury… that wasn’t on an icing play.

      • krob1000 says:

        He is alluding to him playing his off wing. It is debateable but I thik a skille dplayer like Briere could handle it…likely won’t have to though as I suspect Boruque draws into that role when healthy. NHl players can handle those passes and actaulyl utilize the advanatages off the wing rather effectively quite often. When you receive a breakout pass you have the puck in the center of the ice instead of tight against the boardds so dmen have to pinch differently down the wall. The issue is in the situations where the winger has to “eat” the puck and battle along the boards but it relly isn;t aht much different at their skill level. On offense he does not score that one time last night playing his right side. There are pluses and minuses but assuming the player is skilled enought o handle passes on the back ahnd proficently it should not be detrimental.

  21. PrimeTime says:

    A good win is not good enough to satisfy the haters. What is comforting, in an odd way, is that haters are found on every team blog – winning and losing teams. Some people just need to gripe. Democracy and freedom to express is filled with people with different views and opinions which makes our society work. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    It was great to see MT and the players look at the problems they are having trying for a better result. Good things come from effort and hard work! But let’s be fair, I’m sure the Wild can say they didn’t play their game…..where have we heard that before???

  22. danimal72 says:

    I’d like to apologize to everyone for Patches long schnide. My bad. Yesterday I removed him from my hockey pool and went out instead of watching the game. All fixed. I will try to avoid dropping the Hex on any other players on the Habs by not taking them in my pool. I may still have to watch the games though. Sorry everyone! :-)

  23. krob1000 says:

    Habs have to get going at Bell Centre….league wide home record is 176 and 101 plus abunch of ties…if Habs were at 8 home wins which would be league average based on how many games they have they would have 4 more points and would be looking pretty darn good.

  24. Luke says:

    Worth a read:

    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/83020/everything-you-know-is-wrong-setting-the-record-straight-on-five-hockey-facts

    “…we’ll look at various facts from NHL history that every hockey fan knows to be true, but aren’t.”

    • Cal says:

      His reasons are pretty funny. Red Light being ranked 48th out of 60 something goalies makes him “not deserve” his nickname? He obviously didn’t watch him play.
      Saying the Courtnall for Kordic trade wasn’t all that bad for the laffs? Come on. I mean, really.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Did you see why he said it, though?
        Kordic provided the Laffs with something that they really needed.
        And it’s true that after Courtnall’s first games with the Habs (when The Rocket claimed he’d be the Habs’ next 50-goal scorer) he was very inconsistent.

        As he said, at the time, the trade made a lot of sense.
        He’s just trying to get rid of all the hindsight-driven second-guessing.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Cal says:

          Not at all. No hindsight was needed on that trade. The moment most fans heard of that trade, they knew it was a steal for the Habs. His reasoning regarding the trade, however, is all hindsight.

          • Luke says:

            Just think, some day we’ll look back at the Parros for a 7th and Philippe Lefebvre and think the same thing…

            ..and some of us will say we knew it was a steal for the Panthers.

            ;)

    • Mattyleg says:

      That’s excellent.

      It’s very important to look at trades etc. within a historical context (i.e. what the realities were at the time) rather than simply with the benefit of hindsight.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. bobinsask says:

    Pretty good article until you made the bush league comment about Bourque and Heatley. Totally unfair and inaccurate. Why do you feel compelled to take a cheap shot like that.

  26. 24 Cups says:

    In terms of today’s poll question, I think the answer isn’t just a case of yes or no. Subban is going to play 24-27 minutes depending on the circumstance of the game. He obviously is on the 1st pairing as well as the PP. That’s where we need him the most. If he loses PP time to join the PK team, who replaces him? Not to mention that rightly or wrongly the duo of Diaz/Gorges has been designated as the shutdown team. Add in Murray’s one dimensional role and you can see that any PK minutes for Subban should be strictly selective depending on the ebb and flow of the game.

    • Eddie says:

      Markov is used on every power play and every penalty kill. Subban is not.

      I would take Markov off the penalty kill and insert Subban in that spot.

      Conserve Markov’s energy for the playoffs, and Subban should be developed as one our key penalty killers long term.

      Subban’s energy, skating skills, and anticipation will make him a terrific penalty killer; one of the best in the league, in my opinion.

  27. Body_of_Price_Repels_You says:

    Something I thought when watching 24CH was that Subban responded after a loss to interviewers that it all started in a poor practice. This was something that Therrien had screamed at him during an intermission that was captured during the show.

    It got me thinking that Patch’s “controversial” statement may actually be something the coach had said to the team. Here’s what Patches said:

    “I think we’ve got to change things up a bit in terms of offence – too easy to read, I think everyone is playing the same way right now, back on our heels, when really we’ve got to be in the driver’s seat and controlling the game,”

    Sounds like something a coach might say as well. But MT is the devil so carry on.

  28. krob1000 says:

    Not to take anything away from MAxpacs hat trick…becuase I think he played great but no matter how many times I look at that replay I can’t help but think it was Gallagher who deflected that 3rd one…did anyone else think that?

  29. JM says:

    Glad they got a win last night. Every team have nights like that. a real good game for one team and the other one can’t do anything right.
    As far as MT’s line combos. If they can beat Washington and Pittsburgh than I’ll give him credit if not it’s a flash in the pan and back to the drawing board ….Lot of people real excited today. I’ll wait till after the weekend been knocked down too many times.

    • Dr.Bob says:

      The doctor is in.
      For the love of God can someone explain to me what Bournival is doing playing on the 4th line. The kid has way too much natural talent and hockey smarts to end up on line with White and Moen.
      Cudos to the kid for still manging to pop one anyway.

      • Cal says:

        You have to agree that Moen played an excellent game last night. He intercepted pass after pass that the Wild defenders were attempting.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Bob, the kid makes that line much better and lets us roll 4 lines that can skate and score. No team in the league can skate with us by the third.

      • bobinsask says:

        It was a very successful move. Bournival added something to the 4th line that made if effective… something it hasn’t been this year. Can’t see why anyone would complain.

        • Dr.Bob says:

          Bobinsak. Agreed. Bournival brought something to the 4th line last nite. My concern is that when the team is behind on the scoreboard he may be limited to 7 or 8 minutes of icetime. The kid deserves to play more and with more accomplished linemates.

          Robert Monti

    • JM says:

      Dr.Bob – I have an answer for that. At least we have 1-scorer on the 4th line now!!

  30. Ian Cobb says:

    Well that was fun! We all knew they could play hockey! It just took the coach a quarter of the season to figure out how these 4 lines should go together. And of course get a healthier roster.

    Being able to roll 4 hard skating lines that can fore check, shoot and make plays for nearly 60 min, wearing out the opposition.

    We are now entering a tough part of the schedule against teams in our conference that have success by knocking opposition players around.

    So I wonder what Therrian will do ?, put in Parros and break up a very good 4th line, or skate 4 lines at full speed, drawing penalties that will fall prey to our power play.??
    I prefer the latter!

    Anyway, it was nice to be reassured and nicely entertained last night.

    • Phil C says:

      I think they have to put Parros and Murray in against Buffalo and Toronto just to keep Prust away from the heavyweights. Otherwise, I prefer the four effective lines.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Scarey putting both in. Who would you sit on the D? for Murray being in, Bouillon?

        • Phil C says:

          Probably Bouillon. Murray is not a Norris candidate, but he is reliable enough to play on the bottom pairing.

          The way I see it, Parros would play 5 minutes at the most so it shouldn’t be too scary, but he would be there if things get stupid. Toronto and Buffalo would also have a goon only playing 5 minutes, so it shouldn’t be a big disadvantage, both teams are playing 3 lines.

  31. Habitoban says:

    Re: Bourque. Not sure where this “flotter” complaint comes from. He skates hard (certainly harder than Briere), uses the body and is strong on the boards (certainly more so than Max), goes to the net (more than Pleks) and is a threat with the puck (more than Gionta). He’s not the sniper that Cammy was, but I think he has more dimensions to his game.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The only definition of a Flotter I could find is in french, perhaps someone could translate for me?

      flotter, définition, synonymes et conjugaison du mot flotter dans le dictionnaire. Définition : Pleuvoir… :)

    • krob1000 says:

      I agree…..he does have some Andrei K tendencies now and then but for the most part I think he has worked hard this year. HE also showed in the playoffs last year he has another gear when needed…he seems to score in tough games and is one of the few guys who goes to the net. He has been all over the map with positions, lines, role,etc but I have no issues with his play…nothing stellar but certainly not far off what is expected of him (15-25 goals).

      He isn;’ a mean personality and often looks expressionless which annoys some more passionate types but that is just the way it is….people expect him and Patches to play bigger…but that is not what got them to the NHL, their speed, shots and ability to score 20 goals did…let him do what he does. I think reunited with Pleks and GIo he could get right back on track where started the season..and he was flying out of the gate./..had some tough breaks but was one of the most energetic players for a couple of weeks.

    • Phil C says:

      The main problem with Bourque is that he leaves you wanting more. You seem him dominate a shift and score a beautiful goal, then wonder why he does not do it all the time. He has the tools to be one of the best power forwards in the league, yet he has never really delivered. I’ve always suspected he gets into concussion trouble when he plays that way and is forced to dial it back. But whatever the reason, this disconnect between fan expectation and actual performance causes disappointment and frustration.

  32. Cal says:

    Nice to see the Habs scoring and the FREE CHICKEN WINGS sign come up on the RDS screen. Yum!
    Good for Max to deliver, but I know the real reason behind it. While watching the highlights at NHL.com, the Minny announcers kept call Patches “Packaretty” over and over. He must have overheard that because, by his 3rd goal, they were getting his name right.
    As an aside, the Detroit colour man, no idea what his name is, keeps saying either “wow” or “woah”. The worst play by play man, as far as homerism goes, is the one for the Avs. You can barely hear him if the other team scores. It’s hilarious when the Avs are losing, but good for that announcer that they are a winning squad thus far.

  33. jamman says:

    Posted this monday:

    Just touching on Pacioretty. I think he’s gonna start sniping sooner rather than later. I noticed he wasn’t afraid of going in the corner and getting physical against the Rangers as he seemed hesitant to do so these past few weeks. Not to mention the jump he had in his stride. I think he’s back to 100%.

    I think its safe to say I told you so

  34. Sportfan says:

    Lol Mr. Bourque Doesn’t Go To Washington, made me almost laugh outloud in class. Aside that I really enjoyed last nights game and really hope the guys keep up the good work.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  35. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Woo hoo! No,I’m not planning any parades but that’s a whole lot better. Maybe getting on the case of non performers stirs them up a bit. Go Habs!

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

  36. frankcasting says:

    Maybe your mayor’s remarks lit a fire under DD and Max’s butts. Better than the fire my mayor lights at the crackhouse!

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  37. scotland says:

    like the fourth line. now all mt has to do is switch it with the plek, gio, brierre line in ice time.

  38. Wow! One good game and healthy scoring win and all the “I told ya so’s” and Posi-Trolls are out like Boonie below.

    Real simple people, one game does not a season make like our last marginal 10 games with poor scoring.

    The elements to success are simple people (I love the Habs, but I’m a rational sports enthusiast not a fanatic);

    1) Create traffic in front of the net (not YOUR net)
    2) Forecheck like a maniac
    3) Shoot the bloody puck but not from the boards
    4) Protect your scorers
    5) Play with confidence

    I always think of how the 70′s Canadiens were always a threat. Always a team to fear. This version has some components, but nobody is concerned about playing them. BS on league parity. Boston, Chicago, Anaheim and other teams can thump Florida, Columbus, Edmonton any day ’til Sunday.

    So enjoy your one day in the sun. I’ll look for consistency as well as a coach with true passion. Hopefully his one more year will be enough to thank him for his development of youngsters and a passing of the baton to a coach with passion, scoring sense and tenacity that translates into passion to play ALL 60 minutes.

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  39. FANHABULOUS says:

    Great game for a bunch of our guys to get the monkeys off their collective backs. Obviously, I liked what I saw from Max and DD, looks like Gally is the perfect compliment to those guys (isn’t he for every line he’s on?!).

    As Ronn said below: Coach Therrien should take down the dressing room sign that states, ” No Excuses” and replace it with a picture of Gallagher with the caption: “Play Like Him”.

    If only guys like Max and Bork would combine their skating and size, with Gally’s heart and determination, this team would not be considered that soffff.

    Oh, and Prust totally layed the smackdown last night, that quick first right hook did a ton of damage… love his combination of grit and skill, he’ll do a great job of opening up space for Chucky and Eller, and let them flash their skills.

    ____________________________________
    “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    Habs sitting 5 points behind 1st in East and 4 points clear of missing playoffs. If they can get on a run here it could really help clear some points from the teams chasing a playoff spot.

  41. Phil C says:

    Prust busts up their tough guy, Emelin rattles the boards like they haven’t been rattled in a while, Habs win big. Coincidence? Maybe, but I feel safe saying that the Habs are better with Prust and Emelin in the line up. It also helps when Pacioretty plays like a superstar. I even thought Briere looked pretty good last night. IF he and DD can get it going, the Habs may have something offensively.

  42. Eddie says:

    Great entertainment! Everyone who went to the game got full value for their money, and watching the game on tv was terrific as well.

    There is no way Briere is going to stay on the left wing with Plekanec and Gionta, for several reasons. Briere is a way better centerman, he’s more comfortable there, he can protect himself better from another concussion causing hit, and that line does not have the physical presence to win battles in the offensive zone.

    Bourque will be back in the lineup once he gets healthy. He’s big, he scores some goals, and we need that type of player playing well for this team to have any longer term success.

  43. frontenac1 says:

    No mention of Prust cutting up their tough guy early in the game? I think that set the tone for the game. It was full on Mojo after that. I think I even saw Diaz hit someone. Saludos!

  44. stephen says:

    Not insignificant is Bournival making the most of his time on the 4th line.

    I couldn’t have been the only one to think it a shame to see him shunted down the lineup after consistently good efforts, but rather than brood like me, he went out and showed the team he can make things happen wherever he plays.

    To me, that’s a sign of a truly impactful player. Well done, Bournie!

  45. Maritime Ronn says:

    After watching the replays of Anti-Chambre, one thing is becomming evident:
    Thou shalt not EVER criticize Michel Therrien either directly or indirectly.

    Even after Max scored 3 goals, a few ( Gaston Therrien-Michel Bergeron) continued to harp on about what Max said the day before.
    Is Gaston T. Looking for a job…?

    And while Davey played an excellent game, only PJ Stock pointed out how much Gallagher played such a big role in attracting the opposition thereby causing time and space for the other 2

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    The DD behind the back pass to Max made TSN highlight of the night, good for DD!

  47. DipsyDoodler says:

    So I was curious to read Max’s supposedly controversial comments.

    In fact all he said was:

    “I think we’ve got to change things up a bit in terms of offence – too easy to read, I think everyone is playing the same way right now, back on our heels, when really we’ve got to be in the driver’s seat and controlling the game,”

    How is that anything other than a bland we need to do better statement?

  48. Steeltown Hab says:

    I could only watch the first 2 periods and a little bit of the 3rd but man, that was the best game I’ve seen Eller play in a while. No points to show but that fast, aggressive and physically dominant version of him through the first 10 games was back.

    Good to see everyone else break out of their slump.

    ———————————

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

  49. adamkennelly says:

    I owe someone $100 from last night..I was wrong – MT should get the Adams – Max is a pure sniper and DD is the second coming of Marty St-Louis…

    or – Minny got piss poor goaltending and thankfully our slumping forwards took advantage of it…great win- much needed but I’m not planning any parades.

    have you ever seen a worse natural hat-trick?

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Not to hate, first goal was off his foot. Second was a nice snipe 3rd he barely touched it. Simple as that.

      Regardless he played a lot better. Funny what scoring a goal will do to a guys legs that’ll get them moving better.

      ———————————

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

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        He barely touched it I guess is one way to look at a tip in.

        • adamkennelly says:

          I would say his 1st and 3rd goals were complete flukes – 2nd was a nice shot…I imagine they will look very closely at the tip in – I thought it went off Gallagher’s stick first and not sure it touched Pax’s but regardless – I guess it takes some puck luck to bust outta a slump…good for him and great for the team…

        • Marcusman says:

          I thought Gally got that one.

          • adamkennelly says:

            they just gave Galley an Apple on the 3rd Pax goal..he did tip it first, then Max got a millimeter of his stick on the puck (maybe) for his hatty..

      • Ozmodiar says:

        You have it backwards.

        The goal didn’t get his legs moving. Rather, the goals were the result of him moving his legs. He skated hard, drove to the net, and controlled possession in the offensive zone… and whaddaya know… the goals came.

    • doc359 says:

      “Minny got piss poor goaltending” Harding was leading the league in GAA and SV%. Not that he is the best in the league or anything, but he isn’t a slouch

  50. mksness says:

    The wild didn’t get the goaltending last night.

    and who was that over the hill -3 guy on the wild? was it sutter? now i bet it was just and off night and no one is going to say he shouldn’t make the US team due to being older and somewhat of a liability in his zone:-p

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    Only got to see the first period before heading out, and while there was no score in the game when turning it off, you could see an energy. Watching how Frankie Bouillon was there to defend DD, you could just see a determination within the group.

    I had mentioned yesterday that I couldn’t recall Max speaking out like that since when he was a yo-you between Hamilton and MOntreal. He responded then and he responded last night.

    Good for all the players for playing a strong game. Confidence is a funny thing in sports, and I am hopeful all our players have much more indeed.

    CHeers!

  52. boonie says:

    PK played less than 25 minutes.
    MT hates him and is trying to keep him off the Olympic team.
    He should be fired.
    Goals are nice but Pacioretty plays soft.
    We should trade him for a bag of pucks.
    DD is overpaid.
    We should trade him if anyone were stupid enough to take him.
    MB overpaid him.
    He should be fired.
    Briere was a terrible signing.
    MB should be made to sit in the corner of his office for 5 minutes.
    Eller played more minutes than his former GG linemates.
    MT has a fixation on Danes.
    We should trade and then fire him.
    White was the only center with a better than .500 faceoff %.
    He should be our #1 center.
    Kemper and Harding had a combined 1.500 sv%. Price was barely better half that.
    Trade Price.

    Ah, now that feels more like HIO.

    Here to bask in a great win. Sun is up. Life is good.

  53. The Cat says:

    Saw on Le Match that Max complained about how Therrien doesnt let the offensive players play their game, and answers with a hat trick…Max is captain material.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  54. DipsyDoodler says:

    The only team with a negative goal diff in the playoffs right now is Detroit. They make it thanks to 7 OT (loser) points.

    Colorado haven’t fallen back to earth after all. 5-1 win over Chicago.

  55. DipsyDoodler says:

    At the time I thought it was weird to pull Harding (unless he got hurt on the last goal).

    The other fella let in 3 very stoppable goals.

    It could have been 3-1 in the 3rd with them exerting pressure for the whole period.

    I was wondering who could possibly get bashed after last night. Bourque it is I see.

    • mksness says:

      it’s one of those things where you see your team has no jump. Why let your number one get involved in a turkey shoot. you pull him and let your back get some ice and hopefully it wakes up your team. didn’t work but they protected their #1. also people have to remember that harding has MS and some days he might not be feeling well and they don’t want to add extra stress to his body.

      I really admire the resolve in a guy like harding. i wish him the best nhl career possible and best of luck in his fight against MS.

  56. Mavid says:

    It may have been only one game..but the potential is there..we saw it last night..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  57. habs1992 says:

    Had a good feeling about last night, and what do you know, I GOT LUCKY, im good with the ladies i guess.

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

  58. Habfan17 says:

    I will eat crow and admit I was wrong. The Habs surprised me last night. Good for Patches, he went to the dirty area and drove the net. DD finally played like he did when he was putting up points and made things happen.

    The line juggling worked, I hope the lines continue to play well.
    It was only one game however, I prefer to be positive and look at it as the first of many.

    Habfan17

  59. John Q Public says:

    ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤

  60. Old Bald Bird says:

    I turned on the tv about half way into the first period and could tell right away that the team was more into it. In the previous game, I never really had a hope that they would score, and it was depressing, but last night felt good from the getgo. Win or lose, I hope we see that kind of effort more consistently. The last ten games or so were not a lot of fun.

    • I was so unimpressed the last two weeks I was watching the Leafs, Flyers, Bruins and TB games, flipping back and worth and when it was 0-0 after one I laughed, and said should I bother watching the rest? Happy I did, the goals they got were mostly quality goals and entertaining to see them run the ice for a change.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  61. rhino514 says:

    So what do they do with Bourque now?
    The guy is a proven twenty plus goal scorer when healthy and he´s a big body, which evryone is always going on about how much we need.
    Desharnais got an unlimited leash of time to get going; does Bourque get the same?
    Also, do we know if he was nursing an injury and that´s the reason for his recent invisibility, or did the coaching staff “create” or exagerate a minor injury to provide a viable ecuse not to play him? (after all if there were no injury it would have created a bit of a double standard vis a vis the Desharnais debacle)
    Having said all of that, I´m happy DD got it going, for the sake of te team, and I hope it continues.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      If he’s hurt, let him heal.
      If not, watching a few games is never a bad thing as a wake up call when the team is going well
      He’ll be back soon enough as other injuries are inevitable.

      Looking at a guy like Bourque, he has all the god given tools to be a 30 goal scorer, yet gives the impression he is satisfied with 18-20…still a nice number, yet frustrating because he can contribute so much more if he ever decided to show up every night and play with Gallagher/Bournival passion

  62. Maritime Ronn says:

    An excellent win for the Habs as many guys that were in bad or brutal slumps scored goals or had points.
    Somewhat fortunate was that the Wild were absolutely brutal combining a losing recipe of zero skating and basically zero physicality

    A big tip of the hat to arguably one of the Habs MVPs this year in Brendan Gallagher.
    Once again, the 5’9″” 180 lbs. 21 year old was called upon to get another duo going.
    While he didn’t have a big points night, his presence was responsible for the first 2 goals.

    On goal 1, he went to the net freeing up Max. On goal 2, he won an important puck battle against 2 Wild players that allowed Desharnais and Max the time and space to complete a very nice passing play-goal.

    Coach Therrien should take down the dressing room sign that states, ” No Excuses” and replace it with a picture of Gallagher with the caption:
    “Play Like Him”

  63. VancouverHab says:

    An excellent ALN: it is a pleasurable nightcap after a game (win or lose) when they are this personably acute.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Thanks

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Habs4LifeInTO says:

        Mike, I have to say you’ve been a real god send over the years. Your blog and this ALN of yours is required reading for me and it seems I’m not the only one! A heart felt thank you for doing this and for pulling all of these knuckleheads out of the woodwork so I can know their thoughts too about our great team, The Habs.

        God Bless!

        Go Habs Go!

        24 cups and counting….

  64. Habilis says:

    Random fun with NHL divisions:

    If the playoffs started today, the Rangers would get the 6th seed in the East, by virtue of being 3rd in the Metro. We’d be 8th, but that’s not the crazy part.

    With how good the West is right now and how bad the Metro is, the Rangers actually sit in 20th overall, and they’re tied in points with the 2 teams behind them.

    20th overall. 6th seed. There really could be a team like this by the end of the season. With only 14 teams in the West, they have less dead weight too.

    This system is crap.

  65. Propwash says:

    As long as everyone keeps their energy up, they should do pretty well. The team is capable of doing very well, they just handily beat one of the hottest teams in the league.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  66. CH Marshall says:

    the habs and the oilers have awoken

  67. Habilis says:

    Credit where it’s due. MT’s juggling act payed off. That was a pretty good defensive hockey team we just lit up.

    I’m not joining the Therrien fan club anytime soon, but I’m happy to be wrong about him for a night or more. If this is the start of something good, well then I like my crow deep fried with hot sauce.

    One thing though, and it’s not a complaint, it’s an observation: Bournival is wasted on the 4th line. I get that the lines will have to stay the same for next game, at least to begin. But put the kid on the 2nd PP wave at least. He played the least minutes of all the forwards tonight. Deserves more, he’s for real.

    • Timo says:

      A pessimist in me would say that this was simply a result of random line juggling that happened to work. Not like Therrien knew it was going to work that way.

      For me, if Habs can continue playing like this the rest of the season (no I do not expect them to score 6 goals every game… 5 will do) they can aspire to get into the second round of playoffs.

      It was one game. Great to see them win decisively. Long term this team still needs so so much improvement.

      • Habilis says:

        Yeah I get that and I agree that we’re not a team that can realistically contend for a Cup yet, which is all that really matters in the end.

        But I do believe that goalie is the most important single position in team sports and we have one of the best. Price is good enough that if he gets really hot at the right time, we have just enough talent everywhere else (when healthy) to make some noise. That’s obviously a long shot but it’s what we (those of us who are Cup or bust) have right now, IMO anyhow.

        I just don’t believe that MT is the man who will get the most out of this team, never have. Like I said earlier though, happy to be wrong.

  68. Luke says:

    There must be some unhappy Habs fans out here tonight. Sorry guys. Hopefully they’ll lose the next one.

  69. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Sixth or sickth. For Timo with hearts and butterflies.

  70. *Edit* I have to stop reading the stupid article before posting. Once again, I missed out on the gold. D’oh!

    DDonais

  71. jimmy shaker says:

    MT, classless move taking that T.O. up 5 or 6-1……remember Maclean last year? Don’t be a dweeb……at least you had the fourth line out there on the last PP.

    Shaker out!

    • Have you ever played a game of hockey in your life? Do you know how hard it is to keep players off the score sheet when they haven’t scored like that in weeks?

      Back ON track….WAY TO GO HABS

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 1.29.31.33

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Would you care to explain that one again Mr.Shane? Not upset that they scored on the PP, just referring to the lack of respect for the game and the opponent MT showed last night in calling a timeout up 5 or 6-1. Does he not remember going nuts on MacLean for doing the same thing in the dance last year. Just voicing my opinion……You don’t need to give me the “Have you ever played a game of hockey in your life” speech. Disagree, fine. Leave it at that. Quiet, but good night for Price. I’m sure he appreciated the goal support finally.

        Shaker out

        • The Jackal says:

          Hey Jim, it was a different situation. Habs had just come off a bad shift in which the Wild looked very dangerous so MT took the time-out to slow it down and regroup.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • jimmy shaker says:

            Not sure that it was a different situation at all. Habs getting spanked last year, and wild getting spanked last night. Up 5-1 or was it 6-1? Either way, the game was well in hand. MT went nuts on MacLean for doing the very same thing last year. I understand your point, that they were running around back there, but I’m sure Mike Yeo was unimpressed with that move. Just feel MT showed a lack of respect on that move, especially ironic coming from a coach that preach’s playing the game the right way, having “respec” for the game and the opposing team. Felt it was uncalled for, that’s all.

            Shaker out!

  72. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    So very happy for wee Davey. Just chuffed. And how wonderful to see that magic back between him and Patches. Now if only we could clone a few more Gallaghers.

    I sure hope you are right, Mike, about Bourque sitting out for awhile. Seeing Cammaleri piling up points while Rene floats around out there just keeps reminding me of how horrible Gauthier was. Briere may be past his best-before date, but at least he looks like he cares.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  73. naweed235 says:

    FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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