About last night …


What a difference a week makes!
On Saturday, Nov. 16, your Montreal Canadiens suffered the ignominy of a home-ice shutout at the hands of the New York Rangers.
In the aftermath of a game that was embarrassing AND boring, dark thoughts roiled the sleep of more than a few Canadiens fans:
• Was Michel Therrien past his best-before date?
• Who would go in the trade deadline sell-off? Tomas Plekanec? Andrei Markov? Max Pacioretty?
• Would the next step of the eternal rebuild be a lottery draft pick?

That was then.

This is now: Three games against elite NHL teams, three wins for the Canadiens.

O ye of little faith!

OK, let’s be honest: O me of little faith!

Was the coach’s job in jeopardy?

Maybe yes, maybe no. But Therrien reacted to the shutout loss like a coach who knew action was urgently needed.

The Canadiens took the ice against Minnesota with three new forward lines. Therrien took the bold step of breaking up the only trio that had been consistently competent since the season began.

The coach moved Brendan Gallagher away from Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk and put him on the wing with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. The rest is three games of delightful histiory.

Desharnais – consigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre – has regained his confidence and is flashing the skill that won an undersigned, undrafted player a four-year, $14 million contract.Pacioretty is on fire. He scored a natural at trick against the Wild and added two more in Saturday night’s conquest of Pittsburgh.

The value of Gallagher was illustrated late in the game. With the dangerous Penguins trailing by a goal, Gallagher skated onto the puck behind the Pittsburgh net and played keep-away – against hulking defenceman – for a good 15-20 seconds.

It doesn’t show up on the scoresheet, but Gallagher’s inspired lead-protection drew roars of approval from the Bell Centre cognescenti. I have all the respect in the world for NHL amateur scouts, but someone has to explain to me how 146 players were selected ahead of Brendan Gallagher in the 2010 draft.

So if the Jack Adams Trophy were awarded in the third week of November, Michel Therrien would be in the discussion. Beyond shaking up his lines, Therrien has been making great in-game adjustments. The latest examples:

• Using the Markov-P.K. Subban defence pairing to counter Sidney Crosby after realizing, in the first period, that Josh Gorges and Alexei Emelin weren’t up to the task.

• Having Travis Moen take Daniel Brière’s spot with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta – the line used to counter Crosby’s – once the Canadiens had taken the lead.

• Limiting the minutes of Michaël Bournival, who was playing hurt after blocking a shot in Washington, and then using Bournival for a couple shifts on the DD line when Pacioretty left the bench during the second period after being hit by Brooks Orpik’s clearing attempt.

• Loosening the leash on Subban, who led both teams with 25:20 of ice time, including 37 seconds on the penalty kill.

It is much too early in the season to say the Canadiens have been playing for their coach’s job. But every player on the game rosters has worked hard and played smart disciplined  hockey in the three wins.

Whatever Therrien is selling – when the 24CH cameras are not around – his players are buying. The bus rolled all week long, and there were no passengers.

And now that I’ve nominated Therrien for the 24-game Adams, how about Plekanec for the Selke? Pleks demolished Crosby in the faceoff circle, kept him off his game most of he night and, along with master needler Subban – and even Peter Budaj – subjected the superstar to a torrent of chirping that doubtless included many words of one syllable.

Bob Gainey used to talk about the importance of making the “correct” play. It’s not necessarily some magic that will bring the fans out of their seats. The correct play is the one that results from a precise triangulation of time, space and game situation.

Tomas Plekanec makes the correct play almost all the time.

No, he won’t win the Selke or any other individual honour. And Plekanec falls short of most experts’ conception of a Number 1 centre.

But man, the guy is an intelligent hockey player. Plekanec makes his linemates better – and he’s had a revolving-door succession of them – and he very rarely hurts the team.

Will he still be around as Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Pacioretty, Subban et al mature and propel the Canadiens into Cup contention?

I kinda hope so.

Maybe Therrien, too.

•  •  •

I purposely left Carey Price off that list of  promising young Canadiens. The goaltender has arrived, and Price has been so consistent this season one tends to take his excellence for granted.

Those stops on Pascal Dupuis?

Spectacular … but that’s what Price has delivered every night this season.






  1. frontenac1 says:

    Go Ti-Cats. Go Riders. Go CFL. Go Canada!

  2. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Thanks B for the link about the West Island bars. I went to John Abbott during the height of the St. Anne night scene. I remember playing water polo against Victor Davis once (unbelievable athlete) and then months later he was dead. After that, everything changed. I was not surprised because things had gotten out of hand.

    The opening of McKibbins started to bring back the WI bar scene. Now there is an Old Orchard on the Lakeshore and even a Trois Brasseurs opening on Sources. It is nice to hang out nearby without having to go downtown (especially in the winter).

    • B says:

      I remember going to Annies when it was the Pisse Dru, a very, well let’s just say casual, atmosphere 🙂

      To bring this back to the Habs, one of my good friends likes to tell me about the time he was watching a Habs vs NoDicks playoff game at Quai Sera where the bartender was wearing a Quebec jersey. Folks there became a mob, carried him out into the street, removed and then burned his offending jersey.

      Different times.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • Sportfan says:

      I agree with you on that front DDO! Places I tend to go to in the West Island are the Manoir, Mckibbs, Ye Old Orchard, Black Lion and Cunnighams. I went to Annies when I went to Abbott, but that changed same for Clydes when it was more of a Rocker bar.

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  3. HardHabits says:

    A shout out to the HIO worker elves. The “edit” function doesn’t work. Fix it please.

  4. sweetmad says:

    I am sorry Boone,I never show my appreciation of your work,the above ALN was really good,and untill some one else pointed it out,I just took it for granted,and that is unforgivable in my book,as I hate being taken for granted.

    I have to say I am really happy,that your predictions for this week,turned out wrong,as we all are,I expect even you.

    I can’t wait to play the Laffs this week,and I can’t wait to play the Gooins,as long as we can play like we did this week.

    I don’t think anyone can say that MT has lost the room,after this weeks showing,wether you like him or not,MT did a very good job this week,lets hope it continues.

    I loved the way the players are enjoying themselves,and to be honest,I don’t think anyone has any room to complain,about any of them.According to the stats we has 2 takeaways last night JG had at least one of them and had some shots on goal.DD did a very good job keeping the puck away from a player in the first,although some people refuse to see it.

    I think sometimes,I have an advantage, because I watch on RDS and can’t understand it, so I have to watch it harder,because I have no commentary telling me what is going on,so I miss very little.

    I will bore you no longer.

  5. Bill says:

    Just to play Devil’s Advocate – or maybe it’s Timo’s Advocate – on Therrien, here are a couple questions:

    1) How many of Therrien’s good decisions would you say were not obvious decision?

    2) How many of his bad moves have been equally obvious?

    3) What obvious moves/improvements has he not yet made?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I can’t quantify the number because I don’t have a good memory and I’ve had a few but I will try to give an example of each.

      1) Moving Bournival away from Pleks and Gio to the fourth line looked like a bad move initially but it has worked out. Bournival is still producing and the fourth has been energized and is not a defensive liability anymore.

      2) When he kept playing Parros or the fourth line with Parros too much or at the wrong times. After their first game it was obvious that they were brutal defensively.

      3) If Bourque was healthy, he should have sat a game. “Luckily” he got injured and Briere has played well with Pleks and Gio. I still thinks he plays Boullion too much. I know Murray is as slow as molasses but he at least excels on the PK and in the corners. Boullion does not excel at anything.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      4) Were any of his significant changes this week aided by the presence of a managerial gun to his head?

    • VancouverHab says:

      Good questions, Big Bill:

      1.) I’m no MT fan as you know, so try as I might I can’t find a creditable bold decision. For instance, breaking up the Kid Line is touted as brave (by the Montreal media), but he could have had the same effect by dropping Desharnais and putting a call-up there. Pairing Subban and Markov: rocket science.

      2.) All of them. His messing about with and mis-use of Subban. His use of Cube. Ever dropping White and thus breaking up a killer 4th line. His persistently lunatic in-game line use so far. His stupid mid-game timeouts. Etc.

      3.) Use Subban on the PK and in every close game minute possible: this is a total no-brainer. Compliment Subban in post-game interviews whenever he has been awesome (always). Send DD to the minors. Do to Briere exactly what they did to Kaberle (both equally ineffective-to-harmful. Send Cube to the press box and use a D. call up. Elevate Bournival and park Bourque in the press box with Murray and Parros (these are useful injury fill-ins along with our available call ups.

  6. Bill says:

    Plekanec is definitely a leader. He’s a leader on the ice, for sure. I’d see him being captain before Gorges, personally.

    • topher5468 says:

      I agree, However, do you think it would be fair to bypass an Alternate Captain for the Captaincy.

      “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Agree. Actually prefer Markov if he comes back. However, being a captain in this city involves talking to the media a lot and Gorges is good at saying “the right things”. I’ll be surprised if he’s not the next captain. The sleeper candidate is Max.

  7. Rad says:

    Due mostly to cap issues, I expect to see Brian Gionta not return next season. So who will become the new team captain? I think Josh Gorges has the inside track for the job. Then who will replace Josh as the second assistant captain next year? My bet would be Lars Eller. He is a good player, articulate, and well-liked by both players and management. Pleks is not a natural leader, and neither Subban nor Gallagher have Lars’ maturity.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      If Gio plays well this season, and is willing to take a one or two year deal, then I could see him resigning. That’s what I would do at least. I can see MB giving him a three year deal.

      If Gio resigns then the next captain of Montreal is Gallagher

    • Lafleurguy says:

      If Subbie gets market value, and if Markov is retained, Habs need some contract workers to play for terms like Mason Raymond for 1 million. The business side would put itself front and centre in the off-season.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  8. Bill says:

    It’s totally ok to criticize. I’m usually cheerleading/sticking up for the team and its players, but I’ve criticized as well. And I’m not saying I’m “qualified” to do either, but I do because I’m a fan and it’s fun.

    I think we all agree that the kind of criticism that is objectionable is the repetitive posts from guys who seem to come here just to bash one player. Or the team’s size. It’s that one-note, one single negative opinion that some people throw out five times a day that gets old. I would call it trolling, yes.

    Price has been great this year, and I’m sure we all notice that we aren’t hearing much from certain people as a result. They simply have nothing else to say. When Price has a bad game, they’ll be back.

    Criticize all you want, just bring something interesting to the conversation once in a while maybe.

  9. Mattyleg says:

    I think there may be some confusion with reference to the terms ‘criticism’ and ‘critical’. There is such thing as ‘positive criticism’, and ‘negative criticism.’ They are the same thing, only one dwells on the bad, while the other looks for the good.

    I, personally, have no problem with people who point out areas where our team could improve, how our players can be used better, some coaching adjustments that can be made, and arguments for picking up players that might suit our needs.

    What I have problems with are posters who repeat themselves ad nauseum about how our team sucks/is terrible, that our players are weak/laughably small, that our coach is brutal/racist/stupid, and that Bergevin has no clue what he is doing/has only made bad moves.

    You may notice that the two sets of criticisms are the same, only one is couched in positive terms that encourage discussion and debate, while the other is negative, defeatist, and closes the door on anything short of argument.

    To the posters/blogger who used that second set of ‘criticisms’: I hope you’re eating crow.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • topher5468 says:

      I think that a valid point. I am guilty on occasion of being negative, especially when the team is not performing. I think it come from frustration, not lack of respect. IMO, people are free to voice what ever opinions the like and I have the right to choose which ones I respond to, and which ones I ignore. As I just don’t have the time to spend a lot of time during the day on this site people don’t usually respond to me and my posts, I do love to follow the awesome debates/conversations when i get home from work but I usually don’t get involved.

      “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

    • Lafleurguy says:

      You put it well, ML. The reduncancy is boring, but there are the enablers with their “best on HIO” hyperboles. The team’s 13th place ranking by points is probably accurate in reflecting its strength against the others. Meanwhile, I think Toronto, New Jersey, and Tampa Bay are overachieving just to illustrate teams in for some volatility. The point is then, how does any one fan support a 13th place team? The droning negativity is the choice of some, but not the majority, happily.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • rjcp says:

      Good post……….until the last line, why did you feel that necessary?

      • Mattyleg says:

        It was kind of tongue-in-cheek, but came out sounding harsh.
        And there’s no longer an ‘edit’ function.
        Plus, I didn’t want to have to make a post apologising for my last line.
        Which is kind of like what this is…


        —Hope Springs Eternal—

  10. The Jackal says:

    Do I speak for the majority when I say that I am looking forward to beating the Leafs next Saturday?
    I have a good feeling about our Habs. I think we can keep rolling this week and beyond, scoring goals and remaining stingy with our GAA.
    Living in TO, I wear my Habs colours a lot and see a lot of bleu, blanc, e rouge out there, but last night I had to get in a trash talking match with laff fans who took exception to my toque.
    I don’t really mind the Leafs team, but their fans, the media… ugh…. they are something out of Dante’s Inferno.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  11. The Dude says:

    Real happy for the team and fans…..when do we play Boston?

  12. Stevie.Ray says:

    So as we all know, the Habs prospect system needs size and goal scoring most. In my opinion goal scoring is the higher priority. As for potential first round players that fit the bill, there appears to be three promising prospects.

    Michael Dal Colle, 6’2″ 170 lbs
    He is apparently a big two-way center who is putting up big numbers in the OHL this year? With 16 goals and 42 points in 25 games, he is right now considered a top 5 pick by many, and is third in ISS rankings. He reminds me of Sean Monahan was taken by the Flames last year.

    Brendan Perlini, 6’3″ 195 lbs
    A big power forward playing for Niagra, he has 14 goals and 36 points in 24 games. He is ranked number 8 by ISS right now. He plays LW which is where we arent very deep.

    Nick Ritchie, 6’3″ 220 lbs
    Of the three his power game is the best. He has 12 goals and 22 points in 21 games. He is ranked 13th by ISS, although he has fallen slightly in the rankings. He appears to be somewhat inconsistent.

    There doesn’t appear to be as much size this year as there was last year. At least at forward. I’m only able to judge these players based on what I have read on the Internet. Anyone know any more about these players?

  13. sweetmad says:

    I love Pleks, he is my favorite player,always underappreciated,for me he can do no wrong,but if he can get 79% face offs against the best centre in the world,why can’t he do it every night,just kidding.He played last night, just like he always does,but last night it was highlighted.I said on here yesterday how much Crosby hates playing against Pleks,last night proved it.

    Nothing in this world is perfect,and everyone has their right to an opinion,but it would be nice,if just once in a while,those of us who love our team whatever happens,could enjoy a game in which our team played very well, without all the very harsh criticism,of our players and coaches,at the end of it.

    I can understand wanting perfection,and cups,but there are restraints,such as cap hits and the quantity of quality players available, and their willingness to play for our team.Even the restraints, of what ever the previous regime, left for the new one.

    I love my team,and I want to see them win a, cup as much as anyone,could possibly do,but just once let me and people like me,just enjoy a win.We will win some more and lose some more,some of our players will have slumps or get injured,some will go on a tear,we will cry and complain,or laugh and shout,but at the end of the day it’s only a game.

    There are far more important things in the world,to get mad about.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      A genuine plea. No other way than to be selective in reading material. Some thought the Three Stooges were genius, and others, not so much.

      Boonie’s ALN above is near genius. He takes the pulse of HIO posting and accurately does a synopsis. In serious circles, no one is hearing about Bergevin offering Pacioretty and his super cap-friendly contract, unless they’re offering guys like Taylor Hall or Tomas Hertl in return. Patches’ contract makes him worth as much as Hall.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  14. rhino514 says:

    The players cannot physically take 10 minutes of overtime during the regular season, nor should they be asked to. Even 7 minutes is asking alot of them. The fais answer would be to have a few less RS games, and allow a longer overtime; the season is too long as it is, and it is really only jockeying for playoff position when you think about it. But of course less games will never happen because the people who make the money will never let that happen.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      I disagree. It should be ten minutes. The extra 5 minutes would mean coaches would have to use there third and fourth line at least once in OT, which will result in more goals in OT.

  15. Bill says:

    On Gallagher, of all players chosen in the 2010 draft, only three (Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, and Jeff Skinner) have scored more goals.

    Of the top ten scorers from that draft all are first round picks except for Justin Faulk (a second rounder) and Gallagher.

    Only 32 players taken in that draft have played ten or more NHL games. Outside the first round, only 12 have, including Gallagher.

  16. habs-hampton says:

    I want to apologize to “oldschoolhockey” for my trolling accusations. You are more than welcome to express your opinions here (even if they’re wrong 😉 ). I do stand by my remarks that we have a good mix of players, even if we don’t have many stars. I also feel that Gorges may very well be the captain someday. I just get the feeling that the guys have a lot of respect for him, in spite of his lack of talent.

  17. CH Marshall says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like an 82 game season is way too many games. 60 or so would make it more exciting Imo. But of course, money is the factor here.

    • monmick says:

      I agree. This would also bring the Stanley Cup Final in April, which makes a lot more sense to me…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • Mattyleg says:

      I’ve been saying for a while now that every team should play each other once, and then maybe one extra game against each team from your own division. That would make 65 games.

      The President’s Trophy is a joke, because some teams win it by playing the same crap teams over and over again. Like Detroit. Sure, they were a good team, but they got to play St. Louis, Chicago, and Columbus over and over again (before the first two good any good) and were a shoo-in for the President’s Trophy every year as a result.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  18. bellcentre hotdog says:

    Still trying to figure out why MT has Boullion and Diaz out against Pittsburgh’s big guns with a 3-1 lead and 3 minutes to go.

    What the ??????

  19. javaman says:

    I haven’t seen a lot of the Habs games this year, watching occasional periods as for the most part I find them pretty boring. The big difference I noticed last night though, is the net crashing. And not just BG (remember when that used to stand for Bob Gainey). It seems like everyone is getting into the act and it’s resulting in goals. Good on you guys.

  20. formerly known as the hc says:

    Don’t think for one second that coaching and management base any decisions on what is being said here or any other similar site. They would be complete and total fools if they did. If they did everyone would be fired and everyone else would have been traded… Over and over again. In the meantime it’s way more fun winning than losing.

  21. Sportfan says:

    Went to the Manoir and Mckibbs for my fair share of pints and watched the game I really enjoyed it. Looks like the score three goals motto is coming back to fruition.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Haven’t been at the Manoir in a long time. If you don’t mind giving a quick review…how was the food? I find McKibbins has been hit and miss with respect to food recently.

      • B says:

        I don’t think the kitchen has been as good since the change in ownership. Most of he long time staff left soon after the change.

        –Go Habs Go!–

        • frontenac1 says:

          Hey amigos! Is the Mape”s and Green Hornet Tavern is there on the West Island?

          • Mattyleg says:

            The Mapes?!
            That burnt down in 1982, I believe.
            I grew up right up the road from it, and in the summer I used to fall asleep to the sound of the bass-drum.
            I would then wake up to broken bottles and barf on my front lawn.

            The Bug is still there!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • B says:

            The Mape’s was “accidentally” burned down shortly before it would have been old enough to have qualified as an historic property. The Green Hornet (and Mayfair) are still alive. The Edgewater and drinking establishments there in (like the Marina) are also completely gone now.


            “the Maples Inn burnt down under suspicious circumstances on February 8, 1985. The neighbours had champaign ready.

            Condos now stand on the spot…if the residents listen carefully late at night, they can still faintly hear “Smoke on the Water”…”

            –Go Habs Go!–

          • frontenac1 says:

            Burned down? Too bad, had great times there in the 70″s. Sorry about booting on your lawn Matty.

          • B says:

            Darn, I tried to italicize the above quote but it came out partially bold. Sorry, can’t edit to try and fix.

            Here is a link some nostalgic old Waste Island drinkers may enjoy (some spots are still missing, like the Kachette, Dags and the old Hymus tavern):


            –Go Habs Go!–

          • Sportfan says:

            My mom and dad used to go to the Mape’s lol its gone unfortunately, but the Green Hornet is still around.

            Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

      • Sportfan says:

        Only had an assortment of pints at Mckibbs, but at the Manoir the food wasn’t bad I think it might have been a bit better with the past ownership. I got the 14 oz sirloin and it wasn’t bad, my friend got a 10 oz and she was a bit disappointed because she wanted medium rare and it wasn’t. I find with a hockey night they try to rush the food and that sometimes effect the quality as opposed to a regular night where they don’t and it seems to taste better. I might be a tad biased though, the Manoir Special (pizza) is very good and my girlfriend loves their steak sub. Most nights its not bad.
        That owner does owns a large portion of the bars in Montreal now so the menus are very similar at places like PJs, Hymus, Sports Station, Manoir etc.

        Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  22. Jdub1985 says:

    Speaking of a point system – lets keep it classy – you win or you lose – you can’t win in OT or SO – tough luck – learn how to stop breakaways or score on them – love the nba for this reason

  23. HABitat4humanity says:

    Face off wins + strong forecheck + equal or more hits + goalies on their game + habs crashing the net other that Gally = winning team

  24. Jdub1985 says:

    Lets see these results after the all star break and in the playoffs – then we can talk awards and contention 🙂

  25. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I can’t believe some of the posts mocking other posters who were critical of the team, MT and MB. First of all, this a free country: everybody is entitled to their opinion. Second of all, a three game win streak does not make a Stanley Cup contender just as a three game losing streak does not mean missing the playoffs. Third of all, we are not Leafs fans who believe they are the best no matter what. What makes us the best hockey fans is that were are realistic and fair with respect to evaluating our team’s abilities and performance. Some emotion gets thrown in but that is part of the fun of being a Habs fan.

    When I read comments like “where are they now”, “eating crow”, etc., I laugh out loud. The vast majority of the criticisms made since the start of the season have been true. I think MT is a good coach but is far from a great one. MT, like the team, has had a bad start this year. A lot of the adjustments he has made to make the team better were made prior by fans or in the media for weeks. Obvious examples are:
    1) Playing Markov with Subban
    2) Finally benching DD…imagine if nobody said anything? He probably would have never been benched.
    3) Playing Subban against the other team’s best players…way to finally use your Norris trophy wining defenceman.
    4) Putting Briere on a top two line instead of the fourth line…he’s lucky Bourque got injured.

    MT can’t be held responsible for everything. It’s not his fault Max did not show up until this week. It’s not his fault MB did not get adequate replacements for Cole and Emelin. However, when he screws up, he should be held accountable like we all are at our jobs (or with our significant others…lol). It has always been said the season is like a roller-coaster and this is a perfect example. All we can really hope for in a season is that the team makes the playoffs healthy…then the “real season” starts.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      The hysteria that has arisen from mild MT criticisms, that are sometimes just questions, has been pretty impressive. Not everybody who raises a question or offers an opinion is a hater, which is a inane term.

    • Ferguson-22 says:

      Well put DDOHabs_Fan.

      There will be lots of ups and downs and of course no guarantee of a playoff spot. I hope if we do make it, we are playing our best hockey and are on a roll…

    • Mike Boone says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • HardHabits says:

      Hey. I said if healthy and they improve their scoring and penalty kill (while of course maintaining their low goals against and potent power play) they could be considered a contender.

      If the flip side happens that could could mean contender for a high draft pick.

    • The Jackal says:

      Good comment but I lol’d when you said that MT would not have benched DD if people had not spoken about it. As if a coach bases his decisions on what the media and fans are talking about!

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • The Jackal says:

        Edit: Also, I agree with your message re. the negative poster crackdown. It’s gotten to a point that saying something critical is labelled trolling.

        I think we’ve got a good, developing team that will have its ups and downs but more ups than downs. But there are certainly some fans who don’t keep things in perspective and react by saying the same things over and over again despite them not being true. It’s these kinds of negative remarks that people don’t want to hear – it takes away from the discussion and enjoyment of the community. There’s criticism and then there is just outright unwarranted negativity. Like those who want MT gone – why? Because of some specious claims about PK? How is that even supported? Can’t just keep towing that line over and over again when it has been proven not to be true.

        In the end, what people don’t want is the beating of a dead horse on here. Be critical, raise concerns about the team, etc., but just don’t be a broken record about it and don’t have the attitude that makes it seem that when the team loses you are vindicated in your opinion, that’s probably what people find the most annoying.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Phil C says:

      Fair and honest fans? The honest truth is that the large majority of fans and media are not even remotely qualified to criticize the coach. Half of the crap that gets spewed here every day comes from ignorance. Half the crap in the media is to exploit that ignorance and create controversy.

      The few that are qualified to criticize him don’t have even half the information needed to do it fairly. We don’t know what is said at practices or behind closed doors, what the team or organizational philosophies are, injury status, and on and on.

    • VancouverHab says:

      Lovely comments.

      I disagree with one, though: “It’s not his fault Max did not show up until this week. ”

      Yes it is. He could have sent DD down & given Patches a vibrant replacement. Desharnais is an anchor that drags the line down. I know Patches loves him, but he is hurt by his friend.

  26. DeadEnd says:

    I don’t like the shootout from a standings point of view, but they are exciting to watch.

    As for earning points for winning/losing in overtime: as far as I’m concerned, a hockey game is three 20 minutes periods. Most leagues you grow up playing don’t even have overtime. If you manage to get through 60 minutes without losing, you’ve earned something.

    And as much as I hate to say it, maybe we need to look to soccer (shudder at the thought) and award 3 points for a regulation win. Makes it worthwhile and maybe will mean teams will actually try in the last few minutes of a tie/close game.

  27. JM says:

    10 minutes of overtime the team that wins gets 2 points team that loses 0 points. the team that wins in regulation gets two points why should it change in overtime. A win is a win if it’s still tied after 10 minutes 1-point each for a good game. No shoot-outs it’s a joke it’s a skills competition to get the game over with ….

    • moroccanhabfan says:

      The way I see it, you need to (1) create a big incentive to push teams to fight for a win in regulation (so that they dont just ‘wait’ for overtime, like we often see in today’s NHL, with 2 teams that are tied not taking risks in the last few minutes to secure a point) and (2) each game, regardless of result, must hand out the same total number of points between the two teams, otherwise it really skews the league standings.
      Solution: 3 points for regulation win, 0 points for a regulation loss.
      2 points for a OT win, 1 point for OT loss.

      With Subbie, Chucky & Larsy… The Future is Bright !

  28. rhino514 says:

    As much as I am happy the team is back on track, it wasn´t as uplifting a win as the previous two games. Desharnais managed to go pointless even though he is playing with the two best scorers on the team, and Briere is back to his twelve minutes and change a game, reminding us that he is no longer a core 5 on 5 player.
    Both of these guys were scoring the past few games and giving the team an added dimension. Max won´t score every game.

    • The Juice says:

      ? Best win of the 3 in my opinion.


      “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  29. Plekasuares says:

    I may be ridiculous but I like this teams chances in contending alot. Carey Price is insane. Plekanec shut down crosby. It does not get much better. Am i nuts?

  30. John Q Public says:

    I here you whispering Stanley.

  31. commandant says:

    Deidre takes a look at the Habs showing off the Bulldogs Future.

    What we think of watching Bob Cole call a Saturday Night Habs game.

    Today’s players making cases for spots amongs the all-time greats.

    Go Habs Go!

  32. HabFab says:

    Bourque was back on the ice skating today… hopefully will be ready to play soon.

  33. wjc says:

    Things that bug me:

    Calling overtime loses and shootouts failures, ‘Loser points’.

    When ties were the norms for 80 years, they were merely splitting the points down the middle one for you and one for me.

    Now they try and do what every other major sport does and that is break ties so there is one definitive winner, they are called ‘loser points’

    Football, baseball, basketball all settle their games on the floor. I for one do not like ties, never have. Now if you tie the game in the dying seconds you have an actual chance on winning.

    Ties are not the way to go, having a split in points with the final one up for grabs is the ticket for me. It is not a gimmick, it is the only way to settle things in a timely, entertaining manner.


    • Ian Cobb says:

      Problem is that we win in regulation and earn two points. Two other teams that we are trying to pull away from, tie. Two points go to one team and one point goes to the other. Not enough separation in the standings if one game gives two points and the other game gives out three points. It is so dumb!!!!

      • HardHabits says:

        It skews the standings and gives the impression that losing teams actually have winning records.

        • The Juice says:

          Great point HH. I hate how people say a team with a 9-9-5 record is “.500”


          “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

      • wjc says:

        The league doesn’t mind keeping the standings close. It makes for a more exciting race to the finish.


        • B says:

          It’s not fair to give one conference’s teams an 8 in 14 (57%) opportunity for the playoffs while giving the other conference’s teams an 8 in 16 opportunity (50%), especially when the standings are helped to be very close.

          –Go Habs Go!–

    • HardHabits says:

      What bugs me are the “loser points” because that is what they are; a team getting a point for losing a game. What also bugs me is deciding a game by shoot out. I prefer the tie any day but I guess I am a purist or an old timer.

      I prefer the idea of 5 minute 4 on 4 followed by 5 minutes of 3 on 3. I doubt games would go to shoot out. As well, give the team that wins 2 points and the team that loses 3.

      In reality, the best way to go is 3 point games. 3 for a regulation win. 2 for an OT/SO win. 1 for an OT/SO loss. 0 for a regulation loss.

      • wjc says:

        The problem with 3 on 3 it would give teams with a superstar an advantage and if you have two or three, the other team would be at a definite disadvantage.

        You get a point for tying a game in the former times. You still get your point, but are able to get 2, so it brings hope and excitement to the game. Back in the day teams would play cautious the last 10 minutes in order to guarantee the one point, now they have to go all out, because there has to be a winner.

        The three point idea, might work as well. Maybe someday they will impliment that, but the standings would not be as close and fan interest might be affected. The NHL wants tight standings to guarantee fan interest and revenues.


      • piper says:

        4 points for a regulation win, 3 for an OT win, 2 for SO win and 1 for OT/SO loss.

      • slyCH says:

        I would keep the tie personally speaking but your 3-2-1-0 system is one I have danced in my thoughts since the inception of the gimmick.

        I have more concerns with the “reviews” being made in TO. Just don’t have any faith in that. Imagine the outcry in Boston if baseball had such a system and the office was in NY. I say move the office to a neutral site like Nashville or Columbus, better yet do as the major credit card companies do and outsource to a country like Pakistan or India. They have no clue what they’re looking at and will make it up as they go along, just like they do in TO now but with no suspicious agenda involved.

    • The Juice says:

      What term would you prefer? A “pat on the back point”?

      Any way u look at it they are a gimmick.


      “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

      • wjc says:

        It is all a ‘gimmick’ then. Playoff overtime would be a gimmick, penalty shots as well. Fighting would be a gimmick, National anthems would be a gimmick, time outs would be a gimmick. Waving the sticks at the end would be a gimmick, everybody celebrating a goal the same way would be a gimmick (it is chorographed by the way) Press conferences would be a gimmick. Introducing players with spotlights would be a gimmick and much much more.


        • The Juice says:

          U didn’t answer my question.


          “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

          • wjc says:

            My answer is an extra point still has to be earned. So I would call it a hard earned point. Watching teams settle for a tie after playing the trap for the entire third period was not that exciting.

            Even the very good Canadiens teams of the late 70’s averaged 11 or 12 ties a season. That meant one man in and back checking for teams trying to steal a point from the Habs. The extra point would have forced them to open things up and play head to head.


    • ebk says:

      Team’s play 60 minutes for two points. If it’s tied each team gets a point. Then they play a 5 minute mini-game for another point and if there isn’t a winner after the mini-game(4 on 4), they decide it with a skills contest. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a joke.

      If they want to keep it as it is, at least make a win in regulation worth three points. If it’s tied after regulation then use the mini-game and the skills competition to decide to other point.

      • wjc says:

        The whole game of ‘hockey’ is a skill contest, for crying out loud. What could be better player against goaly……pitcher against batter, one skilled player against another skilled player in a duel to see who can outsmart, or out skill the other.


    • habnonymous1 says:

      Hi wjc,

      I think football can still end in a tie, ask Donovan McNabb.

      Baseball continues playing the real game until someone wins, NHL uses a ‘showcase’ skills competition ( you are right though, it’s not realistic to use baseball or NHL playoff overtime systems for reg season NHL ).

      I have seen various theoretical studies of the 2/1 point system and it seems to not have much of an impact on standings vis. the 2/0 and 3/0 systems.

      More than the ‘loser point’ , my beefs are:

      – playoff rankings based an unbalanced schedule ( some teams have weaker competition)

      – the ‘wild-card’ system where 3 playoff seedings are reserved for each division instead of based on merit.

      – different size conferences with equal number of playoff spots.

      You are right though, the league likes the current 2/1 system so I doubt it will change.

  34. HardHabits says:

    The biggest factor in the team’s turnaround is Price’s play this season. In view of his great play however I still don’t feel like he is carrying the team, but he’s still a major cog in the machine.

    The issue in the losses was lack of offence. Habs are one of the best defensive teams so far. The are almost top 10 in scoring. If they can break into that list and improve their PK they would for all intents and purposes be a contender… if healthy going into the play-offs!!

  35. JM says:

    Even though we are winning with the lines we have right now I think I would try Bournival on the 1st line with Gally and Eller to spice it up and put prust on the 4th line we’d still have scoring there. see how it goes. If I didn’t like what I was seeing it only takes seconds to switch back …

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