About last night …

PKMarkov

Two months of the NHL season down, four to go.
So in the wake of that delightfully entertaining conquest of the wretched Leafs, what kind of hockey team do we have here?
The numbers suggest – dare we even dream it? – a team that began November in a fire-the-coach funk is entering December as a Christmas a contender.

As December begins, your Montreal Canadiens are third in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference.

Through 27 games, the goaltending tandem of Carey Price and Peter Budaj has allowed an average of 2.00 goals per – second in the league only to Boston’s 1.96.

If, as my friend Patrick V. Hickey was saying on the TSN 690 postgame show, defence wins championships, the Canadiens are lookin’ awfully good.

Price is playing like a Vezina Trophy candidate. Budaj might be the best backup in the league.

Those two guys enjoying a bromance moment in the photo? P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov are among the league’s elite defence pairings.

The return of Alexei Emelin (the Canadiens are 5-1-1 in games he’s played) paired with steady-but-not-spectacular Josh Gorges gives the Canadiens a respectable 3-4.

And how about the depth on D? Raphael Diaz, who was playing in excess of 20 minutes when the season began, has dropped to the third pairing but is contributing smart, quality ice time. Douglas Murray, making his first start since taking on John Scott in Buffalo, tied P.K. for the team lead in hits against Toronto with three and led both teams with five blocked shots.

Yeah, the big Swede is slower than global warming. But Murray, a Cornell grad, plays within his limitations. He’s a crease-clearing monster and is part of a penalty-kill that has zoomed up to fifth in the league, just a tick behind Boston’s.

The power-play, quarterbacked by Markov and Subban as though they were Brady and Manning, is third in the league. The Canadiens’ combination of PP success (24.0) and PK efficiency (85.3) percentages is 109.3 – topped only by Pittsburgh (25.3 and 85.2).

Even-strength scoring is an issue. The Canadiens are 21st in the league, tied with Minnesota.

That stat should improve, however, with the Brendan Gallagher-sparked resurgence of David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty.

It may also be reasonable to expect increased scoring from Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. They’ve been bolstered by the addition of Daniel Brière, who contributed a solid 12:24 against Toronto.

The line that isn’t scoring continued its futility against the Leafs. But Lars Eller assisted on Pacioretty’s shorty and went 10-7 on faceoffs. Rene Bourque returned to the lineup on Eller’s right wing and had five shots on goal, seconbd only to Pacioretty’s ridiculous 10 SoG.

Which brings us to Alex Galchenyuk. After taking an utterly pointless boarding penalty in the second period, Galchenyuk spent the final 20 minutes of the game sitting beside George Parros. Neither of them left the bench until the final siren brought a victory skate.

Was Therrien being a tad harsh on a 19-year-old? Penalties happen.

But Galchenyuk has been in a funk since his buddy Gallagher left the line. And as the Canadiens got their injured players back and climbed up the standings after November began with four straight losses, they became a team on which everyone is expected to pull their weight.

There are standards. And Galchenyuk fell short of them against Toronto.

I’m predicting a bounce-back game for him against New Jersey Monday night.

Galchenyuk is the total package: size, speed, vision, great hands  and high hockey IQ. He’s also had the character-building experience of coming back from a serious knee injury in junior hockey.

The kid is mentally tough. He’ll survive a third-period benching.

IHis fellow spectator, Parros, played five shifts, 3:25 of ToI. Parros wasn’t on for any goals-against and he fought Colton Orr.

I expect to see either Ryan White or Michaël Bournival back in the lineup against the Devils.

The Canadiens find themselves with a surplus of healthy forwards, and the buzz around town has Marc Bergevin thinking about a trade. While their recent performances indicate the Canadiens are for real and the goals are starting to come,  the team could still use a Top 6 forward who can score.

A couple names to contemplate between snaps of the NFL games on Sunday:

Evander Kane is wearing out his welcome in Winnipeg.

Nail Yakupov played with Galchenyuk in Sarnia.

I wouldn’t include Max Pacioretty in a package for either one of them. But maybe Bergevin can conjure up a Christmas present for us.

• Driving home and listening to postgame talk on the radio, someone – I don’t remeber if it was the English or French station – said P.K. Subban is the most talented Canadien since Guy Lafleur.

Discuss.

658 Comments

  1. Bill says:

    For people who are eager for trades, here are the players on the Habs I would be looking for if I were a GM:

    Forwards: Pacioretty, Plekanec, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Eller.

    Defence: Subban, Emelin

    Goal: Price

    Now which of those players would you like to trade?

    I guess Markov could also command some interest, but as a pending UFA you’re looking at getting a draft pick in return. No thanks.

    • HabFab says:

      Too much sense Bill.

      Our amateur GM’s want to trade two $5 players and two $10 players to get a $50 player. Quantity never equals quality.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      I think there would be some interest in Bourque from teams that are on the cusp of the playoffs and are in need of a decent 2nd/3rd line scorer. He has 5 goals this season and could reasonably put up his usual 20 goals. He also has a very nice cap hit, and is signed for two more seasons where his salary is only 2.5m.

      I think there could be a good amount of interest in him, but I don’t know how much value we could expect to get in return.

    • JUST ME says:

      None of the above would be my answer right now ! I do understand that to get a good player i will have to offer an equally good one.

      Just do not understand what is the sudden urge today to trade someone when finally things seem to be falling into place. We may not be equipped with a Stanley cup winner here but i am not sure that the management thought so either.I know one thing though, they will not move an inch from their plan and it comforts me cause if they were to listen to many posters here….

    • IdleNoMore says:

      Might be a good reason why your not a “GM” best of luck with nhl 09 though

      “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

  2. habsfan0 says:

    Offense sells tickets.
    Kicking wins games.
    Defense wins championships.

    The kicking we can do without,however.

  3. Mattyleg says:

    Hey tout le monde!
    We’ve collected 11 out of a possible 12 points in our last six games!
    Yahoo!!

    …now someone want to explain to me why we are talking about trades…?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  4. mrhabby says:

    Be foolish to trade max p. His value in terms of cap hit is unreal and he is starting to produce at 4.5m with the cap going way up is tremendous value.

    I say if Habs are in the playoff picture then add a body at the deadline. Habs still need pieces but there is a heavy price to pay.

  5. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    Not tradeable for a forward:

    ANY defensemen on the current roster (we do not have 7 or 8 capable D’s for a playoff run, we have 5, and 2 who will be in and out), Price, Pacioretty, Plekanec, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Bournival, Prust, Eller, and . I probably wouldn’t trade the captain at this point either.

    If at least one of Bealieu or Tinordi were really NHL-ready, Gorges and or Diaz could go.

    At this point, any talk of trading Diaz is much sillier than it initially seems. If you’re going to trade D in an attempt to win this year, you have get one back, or trade one of the two prospects mentioned above.

    • piper says:

      I’d trade Diaz and Gionta in a second if it would bring back a big scoring forward. But the truth is those two don’t have enough value to get it done.

      • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

        It’s not that I think Diaz is great, but he’s better than what we currently have to replace him. As far as Gionta, I don’t think he’s anything great either, but I can’t say if that would be damaging to the locker room, trading the captain mid-season.

      • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

        It’s not that I think Diaz is great, but he’s better than what we currently have to replace him. As far as Gionta, I don’t think he’s anything great either, but I can’t say if that would be damaging to the locker room, trading the captain mid-season.

  6. Price07 says:

    Sooo all the Carey Price isn’t a real number 1 goalie and all that bla bla…you guys still there? He just has the best save % of all number 1 goalies in the league…on a team that isn’t that good. Stolen games? Several. But of course, if he goes on a bad stretch watch all these “goalie gurus” who never put a pair of goalie pads on come out and give their “educated” opinion.

    Dorks.

  7. DipsyDoodler says:

    “Defence wins championships” is a football cliché, not a hockey cliché.

    (And even when applied to football it turns out to be false. The reality is that defence and offence contribute equally to winning.)

    http://freakonomics.com/2012/01/20/does-defense-really-win-championships/

  8. The Teacher says:

    We need another defence man. Tyler Meyers for Diaz, bourque and a pick.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      We have like 11 right now that can play decent NHL minutes.
      Subban, Markov, Emelin, Gorges, Diaz, Murray, Boullion, Drewiske, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Pateryn…
      It might be nice to upgrade our second or third pair, but I don’t think it is necessary.

    • D Mex says:

      Tyler Myers has fallen off pretty much since his sophomore season. I’m all for seeing Diaz gone, but is Myers that much better than O’Byrne was ?

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

    • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

      Tyler Myers no longer has the ability to play hockey. There is no saving him. He’s utter garbage.

  9. habs-fan-84 says:

    I really hope we don’t see any trades anytime soon. I like the team just the way it is.

  10. CHicoHab says:

    Since the Habs are cruising at the moment I’d like Boodeye get a few more games in than normal. Giving Carey ample rests to go the distance if and when we make the post season.

  11. jsaz says:

    Needs players with playoff grit, then having some small guys is no major issues anymore. Have speed mixed with hard gritty nosed players and price the way he is teams will hate playing the habs.

  12. Bill says:

    Reading some of the Yakupov trade-proposals below: anyone else think that Edmonton has enough young players and prospects, and wouldn’t want to deal Yakupov for more of the same?

    I’m thinking they’d want a package of good roster players. And that takes us right out of the running, because we haven’t got the depth to do a two or three for one deal.

    I don’t believe this “character” stuff that has been being thrown around this year. He didn’t have “character” issues before. His comments about how he’s been being used this season seemed fair to me, and actually reminded me of Pacioretty’s similar comments a couple years ago.

    Yakupov is an elite talent, and as someone said here last week, you don’t buy a Lamborghini to plow driveways with.

    So I think he’d look great on the Habs, but his price is going to be way too high.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  13. jsaz says:

    Eller for Kane is a horrible idea

  14. The Dude says:

    Lars Eller for Evander Kane would work which would give us an upper hand on the old Halak trade ..And as for getting a Lucic type player well the south Korean scientists could test-tube you a couple cause there’s NO-ONE like him.

  15. jsaz says:

    Kane or yakapov would be horrible pick ups in my opinion. Both are to cocky and go against the grain something you don’t need on a team. Lucic type players are what we need

  16. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    RE: potential trades

    Heard an interview with Dudley this week on TSN690. He said that they are always on the lookout for”high character” players. Are Kane and Yakupov “high characters”? Not sure. One thing for sure: if management believes Markov has two years left, then Beaulieu is expendable.

  17. Danno says:

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  18. Bill says:

    What kind of team have we got? We have a good, not dominant team with some very great parts.

    If, as Boone mentions, defence wins championships, we might actually have a problem. It’s true that the Habs goals-against are top three in the NHL right now. But what this team has going for it most of all right now is health, and they are an injury to a top-four defenceman away from serious trouble. We all saw what happened when Emelin went down last year, and we’ve seen what’s happened since he’s been back. There’s not a ton of depth on the blueline, since Bouillon, Murray, and Diaz all need to play bottom-pairing, specialized roles to be effective. Even Gorges I feel is not a real top-four guy.

    TLDR: Take away one of Subban, Markov, or Emelin for any length of time, and the team tanks.

    The team is also a little short on firepower. They’ve got good scoring depth, but no real game-breaker. They play a smart game, but lack of offence is reflected in their dismal winning percentage – .182 – when the other team scores first. They just can’t come back.

    Maybe Pacioretty actually is that guy. He definitely has 40-goal scorer potential … if he can be more consistent and less streaky.

    Unfortunately it is pretty hard to land a a legitimate superstar forward in a trade, so I don’t see that happening. Better to wait and hope Galchenyuk grows into a top-ten scorer.

    I would not personally throw a lot at Winnipeg to land Kane. I would wait. I would consider adding a sniper-rental at the deadline if the Habs are still among the top teams in the conference, Jagr or Cammalleri preferably.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Yup.
      And we need — but might not get — Galchenyuk to develop into that guy as quickly as possible.

    • rhino514 says:

      You really think Cammalleri would come back here?
      he seems to prefer playing centre and they are talking of making him a captain in Calgary. He´s a real leader there, doesn´t blend in quite so well in Mtl.
      Man, that trade is just now starting to look bad, though. I look at his stats every day to see how many goals he could be getting for our team.

  19. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    Plekanec is indispensible. This incessant talk of trading him needs to stop. He is the best all-around forward on this team, without question, and the team is worse off with Plekanec out, Kane in, even straight-up.

  20. JF says:

    @ HardHabits. Excellent observations, and I fully concur. The change in management and the house-cleaning at all levels have had very far-reaching effects. The whole organization is stronger, more transparent, more focused. There is a long-term plan in place, problems are identified and addressed directly, assets are prized and built into the plan stead of being squandered, there is no more frantic improvising.

    I agree with you on the effect of Stéphane Waite’s coaching. Price is playing better than he has at any point in his career, and I think he’ll get even better. He also seems to have a lot more confidence, and this has infected his teammates. Like the fans, they’re no longer waiting on tenterhooks for the soft goal.

    I’m also with you on not making any changes at this point, particularly not for a discontented star like Evander Kane or Nail Yakupov. Either would cost us an arm and a leg, and why risk messing with team chemistry when it seems so excellent? There has been talk about trading Gorges or Diaz, for example, but both players have well-defined roles on defence. They would have to be replaced, and how do we know that the replacements would do the job as well? Up front I would have to think hard about adding a tough player like Steve Ott or possibly another scorer, but someone more under the radar than either of the two mentioned. But for now I would do nothing.

    • HardHabits says:

      The fundamentals are in place.

      2nd over-all in goals against
      3rd over-all in power play
      5th over-all in penalty kill
      15th over-all in goals for
      19th over-all in penalties taken

      Maybe if they take less penalties they’ll score more goals. ;-) Just a hunch.

  21. PeterD says:

    So if MB does get us a goal scorer for a Christmas present…and lets consider the names Mr. Boone submitted for consideration. ..Evander Kane or Nail Yakopov…
    Realistically the Habs will need to put a strong package together to get either of these two players or any other top 6 scorer.
    So the question becomes who and what assets does MB put in a realistic package for a top flight scorer.
    We would need to give up some quality talent and prospects for a quality return.

    I’m thinkinng MB might include some of the following but it really depends on if it is a deadline deal or if it comes before Christmas.
    On D names like…Gorges, Diaz, Markov, Bealieu… come to mind.
    On Forward names like…Bourque, Gionta, Bournival, White, Collberg, Gallagher.

    Now don’t attack me …I’m not saying any of the above should be dealt but in order to make a deal attractive to another GM we will need to offer some attractive assets and maybe a couple draft picks…really depends on the needs of the other team…their cap situation, whether they’re making a playoff run or how badly they want to get rid of a player and or what position they need to strengthen.
    But either way to get a quality top 6 scorer for Christmas will cost MB quiet a bit in return.

    So what would we be willing to give up for a 40+ goal scorer??

  22. Eddie says:

    How about this theory?

    Price got married in the summer. His perspective on life is more focused, more mature.
    He is representing more than himself on the ice as his wife, her family, and all of their extended family and friends are watching his performances differently now.

    He always answered to himself, and he was easy to please. Nothing bothered him.

    Now he answers as someone’s husband as well as himself.

    When I got married I felt like I was working for my family’s success as much as my own.

    • IdleNoMore says:

      Pretty sure his now wife is finally putting out!

      “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

    • Chris says:

      Well, he has historically been a terrific performer up until Christmas. The problem for Price has usually come post January. So let’s see how he does as the team approaches the point of the season where they historically begin to stumble, the Christmas road trip.

      This year’s road trip is actually not so bad: 6 games in 14 days, with stops in St. Louis, Nashville, Tampa Bay (following a week break for Christmas), Florida, Carolina, and Dallas. There is no reason whatsoever that they can’t compile a .500+ record over that stretch.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Purest speculative theorising!

      In which I similarly indulged last spring when Lucic — recently a father for the first time — looked useless for the final 2-3 weeks of the season and into the playoffs until he seemed to wake up from hibernation during that fateful Game 7 vs the Leafs.

      Was it that his head was simply some place else for all those weeks, and then he suddenly realised his team was on the brink and no one else was answering the bell? (I hate Lucic, but he really did lead them to the finals).

      Do we send CP some well-intended family-planning advice?

  23. habs001 says:

    So far the results for both the gm and coach have been above expectations….last year they had a great regular season…so far they are having a very good regular season..this is from a team that was terrible 2 years ago…no gm or coach would be fired over what they have achieved in results since they have had the job…The first round of the playoff will be a toss up again this year even if fully healthy as any of the 6 potentiall teams they meet will be tough….

  24. ooder says:

    ok now i hope this is the last time we see Boullion over Murray, because right now the job as 6th dman is Murray’s to lose

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      It currently does look like Murray brings more. However, would you not think we maximise him by spelling him with Bouillon?

      • ooder says:

        i dunno it depends.. if the coaching staff sees that he needs a break then ya absolutely.
        However, that should be Boullion’s role, to let Murray rest up and not the other way around.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Yup, I’d agree.
          In retrospect, how did we have any expectations of success at all when we had ZERO physical presence on D? Imagine the Ottawa series with Emelin healthy and Murray on board….

  25. jsaz says:

    I think the habs are 2 big impact players away from being serious contenders in my opinion. If price keeps up his play and our D keeps it up, we can be in for some really exciting hockey folks!!

  26. BJ says:

    At the start of the season we had a small D, Emelin and Murray have added strength and much needed size and toughness. Two elements not to overlook in the recent success.

  27. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Someone asked, where is Tom Nickle/Loonie.

    Also, where is Habstrinifan?

  28. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Evander Kane is 22. Do we believe he remains the way he is for the next 60+ years?

    Or is there any chance a 22-year-old might outgrow an initially immature response to youthful fame and fortune?

    Opinions? Depending on which of the above is true in his case, he’s an interesting idea.

    (And I — anti-fighting — remain eternally grateful to him for this, aged 18: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIjEQHMjNcM)

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Just a matter of whether or not WPG realizes he is only 22 as well.

      In my opinion, if we could get him without relinquishing our core players, then in a couple years we could have a top 6 that includes Gally and Eller down the middle, and 3 potential 30 goal scorers in Pacioretty, Gallagher and Kane. Not a bad 5 of top 6 in my mind.

      But you got to give to get, and I don’t know if we are willing to give up what WPG wants. Unless, MB can perform a major heist, chances are still probably low.

      • habsgod says:

        with cheveldayoff in winnipeg i think MB chances to fleece him would be pretty good he reminds( cheveldayoff) me of scott howson in columbus and sather fleeced him for nash so i think mb could …apparently the jets want top 2 top 6 forwards a prospect and a 1st
        desharnais,bourque nygren and our 1st in 2014
        this is the deal that mb would use to fleece winnipeg

    • Eddie says:

      Kane is not a Bergevin type player. All the talent in the world. One of my favourite players. But Bergevin looks for very coachable, very easy to manage players, and Kane is not that.

      • JohninTruro says:

        Wonder if this was the same deal with Seguin, and Dallas got this performer cheap.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Good comparison.
          I suppose in the Montreal context we should be thinking of the Ks.
          Which would not give you much appetite for taking a chance!
          (I’m actually delighted for Seguin).

      • habsgod says:

        he is very talented though and with the right linemayes i.e. galchenyuk ,pacoretty he could score 40 goals easily dudley brought him to atlanta so i think we could convince mb to take a chance on him

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      Definitely have to be intrigued when any young, skilled players might be available…IMO, it’s more what would you be willing to part with.

      Same think with Yak!

      Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

    • Seps says:

      I would take him for the right price… They need another centre, and defenceman… give them DD, and either Beaulieu/Pateryn/Ellis.

    • Shackles says:

      I think Kane will come with luggage. He’s a project that may have a huge payoff or continue to be a work in progress and be high maintenance the rest of his career. Maybe a change in scenery is exactly what he needs.

    • ont fan says:

      Kane, Yak or someone that young and talented being added to grow with our guys wouldn’t be a bad idea, but it would take one of our young defense prospects and draft choices. Are we ready trade our young defense for young offense?

  29. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ Hard Habits

    A very good post, and I’m sure you had a typo when mentioning Melanson instead of the 4 years Pierre Groulx.

    What will be interesting moving forward is how Habs management reacts on the March 5th Trade Deadline that coincides with Game 63 for the Habs…or in the 30-45 day period before that.

    All the junk and garbage about Habs trades is only bored and hyped media speculation and for the most part, a bunch of trash put forward by anyone with Internet access that has some far fetched trade scenario.

    Book This:
    The Habs will not trade Price-PK-Emelin-the 2 Gallys-Max-Eller-Bournival, unless some GM proposes a James van Riemsdyk-Luke Schenn style trade where the Habs win outright and long term.

    Habs coaches/management are only beginning to really figure out what they have….a shortened 48 game sked with an injury depleted squad last playoffs gave them glimpses, yet not really the big picture of a long 82 game schedule.

    Several players were playing roles they should not have been playing ( Bouillon-Diaz and many forwards) and let’s remember Halpern played 3 of 5 games – Colby Armstrong played 4 – Dumont played 3 and Blunden played 1.

    GM Bergevin and Dudley – from their Chicago Blackhawks experience, will NOT toss away 2nd Round Draft choices for quick fixes for a Hail Mary run.

    Of course Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero can do that, when you have 2 of the best players in the world under contract for the next 100 years.

    EX: 2 Second Round Draft picks for our own Douglas Murray, that cost the Habs nothing to acquire via the UFA route for a very inexpensive $1.5M cap Hit for 1 year.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Agree with all points.

    • HardHabits says:

      Thanks for the correction. Melanson and then Groulx. If not mistaken, Price’s playing deep in his nets and dropping down low started with Melanson. It seemed to get further enabled with Groulx. The bottom line is the Price I am seeing today is a major improvement from what I’ve seen in the past. I am really looking forward to see what he can do in the play-offs now, whereas in the past I would cringe at the thought.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Your thoughts and concerns are agreed with 100 %

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Would you reckon the Price we’re seeing today is closer to the medal-winning Price we picked? If Melanson and Groulx were responsible for nailing him to the goal-line and persuading him to live on his knees, then perhaps simply getting rid of them and their experimental deconstructions was even more important than hiring Waite. I believe Waite has given him the license and the self-belief to play his own style. Hate admitting it, but still feel slightly nervous about Price in the playoffs, but excited about the prospect of him losing that monkey forever if we can just make it in April.

  30. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Markov: I’m going to squeeze him, hug him, love him & call him Subbie.

    PK: Sweet Niblets ….

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  31. Haberoooo13 says:

    Action News Team….

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

  32. Seps says:

    In all honestly, I don’t see Christian Thomas with the big league club until one of Gionta, DD, Briere or Gally is either hurt, or traded. Not wishing that on any of those players (except DD could be traded, and Gionta shouldn’t be resigned) but I mean, there’s gotta be some rule against having so many 5’8 players on a roster?…

  33. jimmy shaker says:

    Some on here want MT fired. Some want him to stay. Some think he will get extended in the off season. I’m thinking he stay’s and get’s that extension. Question is…..what french/english speaking coach is available now or speculatively might be available that can do a better job than MT?

    shaker out

    • JUST ME says:

      Actually only one person wanted Therrien fired on here.

      I think that he was and is the perfect coach for the job in MTL considering that you had many youngsters on hand and as many coming up and a mix of veterans that went through hell in the seasons before he was hired.

      I would be happy if he was resigned cause he did the job. He is the first coach who has actually been coaching and taking decisions in a while in MTL.

      The thing is though that the life span of an NHL coach is what ?3 or 4 seasons ? So depending on how the habs do from here on they may choose to either keep him or not.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I can’t think of any.

      Therrien has been successful since day one with this team. Any talk about firing him over a five game losing streak is idiotic. It’s all ancient history now.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        I have been reading lots of posts since the beginning of the season with people’s disappointments of MT and wanting him gone. It did culminate in the last 2 weeks prior to the team going on the current streak, but I could’ve been reading into it wrong I guess. I’m just saying that MT and the whole staff from top down has been doing a great job in my opinion.

        Shaker out!

        • 24 Cups says:

          I think you’re right. At the first sign of trouble, some HI/O posters were ready to throw Therrien overboard. As I said, idiotic. The Habs have a 44-23-8 record so far under Therrien’s second coaching stint. Not too shabby!

    • ClutchNGrab says:

      Guy Boucher, not that he’s better, but that’s the only bilingual coach I can think of.

  34. Max_a_million says:

    Where can i watch the 24 ch episodes now. The site I was watching them doesn’t have them anymore. I can do french or English no problem.

    I live in Vermont and I don’t have RDS or TSN

  35. RAM_TOUGH says:

    I always said that Carey Price was not the same Goalie after Rollie Melanson got his paws on him. He changed Price’s style & Carey suffered because if it.

    Could you imagine how Great Carey Price would be if Waite was in Montreal when Price 1st got here! He would have one or two Stanley Cups by now!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  36. Say Ash says:

    OT: Paul Walker died. R.I.P.

  37. Sportfan says:

    Canucks Twitter account lost a bet to the Habs twitter account check it out haha
    https://twitter.com/CanadiensMTL/status/407192496507064320/photo/1

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

  38. Say Ash says:

    What ever happened to Tom Nickle?

  39. Mattyleg says:

    So do we still fire Therrien?
    Do we still get rid of Gorges and Desharnais?
    Is Bergevin still an idiot?
    Are we still ‘Not A Playoff Team’?

    I’m just curious how posters who were spewing these inalterable truths are doing now.

    I’m also curious if they care how silly they looked ranting about these things while some posters were pointing out that it’s a long season with plenty of ups and downs along the way.

    I’m also curious if Boone has anything else to say than ‘well, the team proved me wrong,’ before jumping on the doom bandwagon to Hell the next time we go through a slump.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • formerly known as the hc says:

      Fire everyone, trade everyone else… Later.

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      now now…play nice

      Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

    • Sportfan says:

      I never said we are not a playoff team I always liked Gorges and MB. MT and DD have been on my nerves but I do take back any harsh things I have said. HOWEVER, if DD was to slump again and this time not bounce back wouldn’t you want to trade him while he is hot?

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

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Come on Matty. Sleepless nights got you off your game? You completely forgot about how Markov hates PK. No future for a team whose central D-pairing can’t sit together on the bus. We’re doomed.

    • Habilis says:

      I was among those who wanted Therrien gone. I’m back on the fence at the moment, and if I’m being honest, the only thing that would put me fully on Therrien’s side would be a Cup or a least a serious run. Pretty ridiculous, I know, but it’s the truth.

      It’s just a gut thing right now. I don’t feel like MT can maximize a hockey team’s output the way really great coaches can. I don’t think he can swing the media focus onto himself and off his players come playoff time the way really great coaches can.

      I’ve said all along and I’ve posted a couple of times since we started winning, I’m glad to be wrong. I cheer for the team, including the coach and I wish him success. I’m just not a believer yet.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        It’s a great attitude. Would I be right? “You’re not good enough, but I’m willing to let you prove me wrong.”

        I’m nearly the same, except I haven’t yet come to any conclusion about whether he’s the real deal. He is definitely a different coach from before, more mature. Everything in the club is SO new, I’m prepared to watch the evolution of individuals, team, coach and management for at least another season before pronouncing.

        Does a coach HAVE to play that deflect-the-media game? Maybe you’re right and they do, but I’ve always preferred to see everything take place on the ice (maybe I’m naive).

        • Habilis says:

          Yeah that quote pretty much sums it up. If he had won somewhere else, I’d be of a different mind. But the way things ended for him in Pittsburgh just makes me weary.

          Great points though. He is older and wiser, less prone to emotional swings for sure. Good things.

          Obviously every game/series/playoffs is unique, and I’m not saying that a coach HAS to play the “deflect-the-media” game to be successful, but I’d like to know it’s in the arsenal. I just don’t know if that’s the case with MT. He rarely if ever takes the blame, but he assigns plenty. Is that because he’s waiting to play that card when it matters most? I hope so. I’m just not sure.

          Like I said, I’m on the fence. That’s still much closer to liking him than where I started when he was hired.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Further to that, I don’t think he was playing media-deflection over the Eller hit last spring. I think that was a genuine, heart-felt outburst (much like Prust’s!). Meanwhile, interesting thought that he might be saving deflection for the right moment.

            Man, that Damien Cox thing bothers me. Probably shouldn’t: I know very well how ALL media is smoke and mirrors.

          • Habilis says:

            Yeah the Eller thing was pure emotion. I have no problem with that. In fact I really don’t think MT or anyone could have done anything to change the Habs’ fate in that series. It was over when Eller hit the ice, IMO.

            As far as the Cox thing, it bothered me last night for about a minute. That’s how long it took me to realize that anyone who blocks people for disagreeing is a tool anyhow. I have interacted with a few MSM types on twitter, including Brian Wilde and Jack Todd. With Todd I had a full blown argument and he pretty much dismissed my side of it, but at least he didn’t just “plug his ears” like Cox did. We argued, disagreed and left it at that. Cox is an exception IMO.

      • chfan4life says:

        I agree. MT has his good qualities and bad. In the last two weeks, with a full line up, he has made very good decisions. His mood has been positive. But when things go south, his mood changes rapidly and he will make comments that appears to be pointing a finger at someone (ie Subban). I think he has a MOOD DISORDER. He just looks mad, and expresses his words in a very condescending way. MT is lucky that the HABS have so many hard working players that do not require constant babysitting……remember the days of Ribeiro, both Kostitsyns, Theodore. (party animals that got into trouble)

    • formerly known as the hc says:

      I tire of the Schizophrenic mood swings, I don’t need to come on here and read, but I do. Atleast the Habs are rellevant to MANY people. Can’t fault folks for their passion.

    • RAM_TOUGH says:

      Not yet, lets wait until Feb.
      If we could get good return in a trade
      Idiot no but still made some boo boos
      Yes if they play the way they show they can play

      Guts-Glory-Ram

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Didn’t you post that you don’t like “combative” posters?
      :-)

    • B says:

      Is Pacioretty still too soft? Should we trade him while he is hot?

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • JUST ME says:

      I just hope fans and/or posters would learn a few lessons as time goes by. It`s always either panic or stanley cup. Go through a slump and you are out of here. I really really liked what Markov told the french medias before the game yesterday. They were telling him how good he was and sucking up as usual…And Markov only answered so now i am good and a month ago good to be traded ?

      Still the wisest of them all is Michel Therrien. He takes it in stride,takes difficult decisions and sometimes obvious ones but remains optimistic and very focused on what he has and what the job ahead is.

    • neumann103 says:

      Short version

      So do we still fire Therrien?
      Yes but no rush. There needs to be a viable successor and the pool is small, and now will not contain Patrick Roy. The end game should be having a real long term coach by next season.

      Do we still get rid of Gorges and Desharnais?
      No, never thought so. He is somewhat overpaid but still more than useful.
      Yes, if you can get some kind of return while his game is back. The issue is the term and dollars on the contract. The Habs have more than enough Centers especially if the role is a sheltered minutes exploitation line where Briere or Bournival could play.

      Is Bergevin still an idiot?
      No, but made some odd moves – generous with DD, hardball with PK, questionable Briere signing – and also succumbed to the MOAR BIGGER meme, resulting in Parros and Murray. No long term deviation from what has to be the plan to build to the window in the second half of the decade.

      Are we still ‘Not A Playoff Team’?
      I dunno. I always thought that last year’s 2nd place in the East was a bit of an illusion but expected this year the Habs would finish somewhere between 3rd and 8th in the East, more likely in the middle of that range. Looks to be about right.

      “Et le but!”

  40. Reflektor says:

    So I perused some of the well-known comment boards that the Tranna fans frequent to whine and vent and kumbaya. The best of the bunch is that their team plays tentatively because they’re afraid to get penalized because their team is the most penalized and it Fs with the winning rhythm that their coach tries to install. Didn’t the Habs get more penalties? Also, whats with their hate for Patches’ goal celebration?

  41. HardHabits says:

    If it ain’t broken don’t fix it.

    Lots of talk about trades and MB wanting an impact forward. My question is what do the Habs give up to acquire said player? Personally I’d rather take the slow rebuild route and let the team develop players from within. As far as trades go, I’d prefer to get a player like Proust rather than Lecavalier. The idea is to get the most bang for the buck, not spend more bucks for less bang. It is true that it looks like the Habs could use some more fire power up front. I see it differently. The Habs could use more goals and IMHHO already have the fire power. As long as they play this level of defence the goals will come. As it stands I am in favour of standing pat with the players we have. The Habs look pretty good as of late, appear to be on an upward trajectory organizationally and it stands to reason that even with their early success this season, the best is yet to come in the near future.

    What we are seeing today is a team transformed due to the fact the cornerstone upon which the team is being built has been reset proper. Price’s game went way south under the tutelage of Melanson and has skyrocketed back to projected and lofty heights. There is no doubt in my mind that Price is a lock for Sochi, and as the starter. His game has taken a 180 degree turn and he is looking worth every dollar spent on his contract. The best news is that he has survived the worst possible scenario and has for all intents and purposes come out stronger for it. He’s light years in maturity ahead of where Patrick Roy was at a similar age. I am not making a comparison on playing style and success. Roy is one for the pantheon of greats for all the ages. My point is that Price looks very much like the player that he was projected to be.

    Then there is Subban, who is looking all-world and is certainly in the top 5 defencemen currently lacing up the skates.

    It would be easy enough to say that this is all due to maturity and experience and was inevitable. I would have to say that the recent change in management and philosophy is responsible for this quantum shift in both these superstars rise to the top of the class.

    That. As a Habs fan makes me feel more than just cautiously optimistic. However, I am still patient. Better to lower expectations and exceed them than to raise them and fall short.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great post, HH.

      “The Habs could use more goals and IMHHO already have the fire power. As long as they play this level of defence the goals will come. As it stands I am in favour of standing pat with the players we have.”

      Maybe it edges ever so slightly more towards Faith than Reason, but it’s definitely what I believe.

      • HardHabits says:

        I am more one to make a leap from faith rather than of. My conclusion is based upon observation, careful study and analysis. However, the impulse for the assumption is driven by instinct or gut feeling if you will, which has less to do with faith than even reason does.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Ok. I would have thought instinct and gut feeling — whether in hockey or religion — are EXACTLY what faith is, including when it’s complemented by observation and study etc (which is not, of course, a given in either sphere!).

    • Mike Boone says:

      Excellent thoughts

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  42. Say Ash says:

    Love that picture of Markov and P.K.:

    “In Soviet Russia, armpit smells you!”

  43. Sportfan says:

    Uh Oh The Manoir is going to be in big trouble. Apparently they kicked out two girls who kissed. They claimed it was inappropriate behavior by the couple, they are so doomed from this, if its true.

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

    Mini rant:

    I got Cox-blocked on Twitter last night. Damien Cox writes for the Toronto Star and is a contributor on Sportsnet. Mostly a Leaf reporter. I follow him, or did rather, because I believe that Sun-Tzu had it right when he said “Know thy enemy”.

    Anyhow, for those who don’t follow him, he is a very ardent anti-fighting proponent. That in itself, I have no problem with. I’m on the fence myself to be honest. But last night, he tweeted this right after the Orr-Parros fight:

    “And the idiots go again. Parros loses another.”

    I thought it was a draw if anything, but whatever, he’s a Leafer. Then Cox spends the rest of the period ignoring the play and tweeting out stuff like this:

    “The important thing, of course, is that Parros and Orr must fight again. Gotta keep the sticks down, right?”

    “I’m really worried that if Parros and Orr don’t fight before the end of the period the skill players are going to be endangered.”

    So I tweeted this to him: “@DamoSpin You know, for someone who is against fighting, you sure do tweet about it a lot. Especially when nobody is actually fighting. Odd.”

    Boom, blocked. Now I have no issues with being blocked, but I usually like to get in some Leaf-bashing or at least an F-bomb or two before that happens. Cox never even gave me the chance, he blocked me for an honest observation. Lame.

    End rant.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Twitter is good when you follow interesting people who have something to say. Cox isn´t even a decent writer, totally neglecting what he writes…

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      That is weird, Habilis. Could it possibly have been a technical issue?

      Unlike Bob above, I kind of like Cox, including his game report today. I’m surprised by what you report from his Tweets — maybe he just left out his irony emoticons!

      (Incidentally, in that game report he is very big on Price re. Sochi).

      • IdleNoMore says:

        Everyone do your part and flood this clowns twitter!
        @DamoSpin

        “He was chewing Juicy Fruit gum, I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or kiss him”

      • Habilis says:

        Nah nothing like that. I googled a bit and apparently he blocks people all the time just for disagreeing with him. During the Kessel hot streak earlier this season, Cox was all about “Phil the Thrill”, lauding him as a top NHL player. Some Toronto blogger re-tweeted some negative comments that Cox himself had written not 6 months earlier. Cox blocked him. For repeating his own stuff. Not one for rational debate. Or any kind of debate. It’s his way or be gone.

        It’s his right I guess, I just wish I had known. Could have come up with something better.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Not likely, I guess, but I wonder might Mr Boone offer a comment on his colleague?…

  45. Ian Cobb says:

    So, here we sit after two months gone in the season with the 30 teams.! Compared to last week.

    Total points—–33. For 12th place. Last week 28 for 13th.

    Goals for——–73. For 15th place. Last week 64 for 17th.

    Goals against–57. For 3rd place. Last week 51 for 3rd.

    Goal diff—— +16. For 6th place. Last week +13 for 9th.

    Conference——-. We are in 4th place. Out of 16 teams.

    Division————-. We are in 3rd place. Out of 8 teams.

  46. BJ says:

    Christian Thomas (we traded Danny “Frozen Toe” Kristo) for him. Has seven points in the last four games with Hamilton 8 GP 2 goals 6 assists. Kristo 19 GP 10 goals 7 assists.

  47. The Dude says:

    Tip of my hat to Colton Orr “while we have him caged up”, for trying to make sure Parros didn’t smack his head again….Grade A sportsmanship!

  48. Haberoooo13 says:

    Off topic but does anyone switch from NFL at 2 PM to catch some Ron Burgundy on TSN curling?

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

  49. ProHabs says:

    The team is playing great. Imagine how good they will be when Drewiske returns from injury.

  50. Maritime Ronn says:

    Mr. Boone says, ” Price is playing like a Vezina Trophy candidate. Budaj might be the best backup in the league.”
    ——————-
    Price has been awesome!

    For Starting Goalies that have ‘Started’ at least 60% of their team’s games:

    Price: Save Percentage…- .937 – 1st Place in the NHL!
    Price: Goals Against Ave. – 2.00 – 3rd Place in the NHL!

    Put in perspective, Price’s Best Season in the NHL was 2010-11 when he posted .923 SP and 2.35 GAA.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20142ALLGAGALL&sort=savePercentage&viewName=summary

    Budaj has been marvelous in relief, and all of his 6 starts have been on the road – never an easy task.

    His numbers:
    4-1-1.
    SP of .939.
    GAA of 1.63

    Both Budaj’s SP and GAA are Top 5 for NHL Back-up goalies.

  51. Beardbaron says:

    Hi everyone, I have been reading HIO for a few years and finally decided to start posting.

    I was really impressed with Bourque, he really looked dominant out there last night, something we haven’t seen for a while.

    People often argue about the usefulness of “goon” type players, but no one can argue how awesome Parros was when Orr was trying to tie up Subban after PK landed a clean check. Parros peeled him off Subban and challenged him, and even knocked his stick away to taunt Orr.

    It was an important win for the habs as they had identical records going in and helped to better position themselves in the standings. Gotta love Subban and Markov out there, they look like they really respect each other a lot.

  52. BJ says:

    @D Mex re. your reply (there was no more reply button). “Interesting. Based on potential, my own interest in Yakupov is limited.
    He strikes me as a problem child and potential disruption to the room.
    I’d much rather have Eberle.”
    I would prefer Eberle as well. But having Yakupov playing with Galchenyuk again could be interesting. But I also feel he has a “Prima Donna” streak and that could turn out to be a liability.
    Who in the league most resembles Gallagher? I wouldn’t mind one more of those.

    • D Mex says:

      We’re on the same page, however, my own take is not that we need ‘ another ‘ Gallagher as much as a player who brings another dimension with impact. Evander Kane is intriguing, altho I’m not thrilled with some of the reports coming out of Winnipeg on that front.

      Buffalo will be selling assets soon enough – someone here mentioned the name of Steve Ott – not a bad idea IMO.

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        I mentioned Ott as a fourth line center. Seems to me to be a lot like Prust, although perhaps a little dirtier.

        I’m sure everbody would agree that they would rather have Eberle than Yakupov, but Edmonton would be crazy to trade him (so I’m saying there’s a chance).

        Winnipeg has been on Kane’s case ever since the team moved there. It’s the smallest city in the NHL so he is under quite the microscope (similar to P.K. in Montreal, but Kane is perhaps not as refined as P.K.; perhaps Therriens Character Development Plan is all that he needs).

        I’m sure Kane isn’t really as bad as the media makes him out to be, and from tales I have heard here in Saskatchewan, don’t let Eberle’s boyish charm and gap tooth smile trick you, he is probably just as naughty as Kane but he somehow gets away with it. In fact, the stories I have heard about both Eberle and Hall (who are young, I know) leads me to believe that perhaps they are one of the reasons why Edmonton struggles so much. I think that is an organization that needs a little more character.

        • D Mex says:

          Great points.
          Fortunately for the Habs, there is character and leadership in the room with the likes of Gionta, Markov, Gorges, Moen, Prust, Murray and even Parros.
          I would put Eberle at the top of my wish list out of Edmonton – ahead of Hall and way ahead of Yakupov.

          ALWAYS Habs -
          D Mex

      • BJ says:

        He takes a lot of penalties and is not as disciplined as Gallagher. Doesn’t score much. He’s more like Prust but not as good a fighter.

    • ffenliv says:

      Eberle would look great, but I can’t imagine them parting with him.

      Edmonton, proof of the draft being a total crapshoot aside, has a problem, and I think they’ll eventually move Yakupov in an attempt to clear it up.

      He’s incredibly talented, and teams will be willing to take a shot – and they’ll have to pay for it, too – that his current struggles are oilers-related, and not just part of who he is.

      • D Mex says:

        I’d want to observe Yakupov more before concluding he is a
        ” me, myself and I ” player, but it sure does look like a possibility right now.
        Fortunately, Habs have access to accurate info from Galchenyuk to mix in with their own scouting reports.

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

      • frontenac1 says:

        Didnt Yaki get benched for not listening to his coaches? And then mouthed off to the press about it? Doesnt sound good amigos. Nyet to Yak.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      If we’re looking at rentals who could be re-signed, how about Matt Moulson. He’s a pending UFA. 30 yrs old. On pace for 30 goals and 60 pts this season.

      • Bill says:

        Moulson or Cammalleri are goodt options. Both pending UFAs on bottom-feeder teams who can put the puck in the net. Neither has the name-value of Vanek, so neither would be unreasonably expensive.

        If the stupid Devils could just let go of 9th place and sink a little further, I would say Jagr is the absolute best fit.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

  53. Timo says:

    Does anyone know if games will be on TVA or TVA sports channel next season? I was surprised to discover that my Bell lineup includes TVA HD.

  54. Sportfan says:

    So Steelers fans according to Adam Schefter “NFL is expected to consider a six-figure fine for Mike Tomlin and could possibly take away Steelers draft pick”

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  55. habs001 says:

    Only the Bruins and Penguins have enough points to be in the playoffs in the West…

  56. 24 Cups says:

    One more thing about the 1/3 mark of the season. Each year, typically 12 or 13 of the 16 teams in playoff spots at this point in time, keep their spots by season’s end. Last year only three playoff spots changed hands after American Thanksgiving, one in the West and two in the East.

    I know I’m jumping the gun a bit here but three out of four points against Jersey pretty well puts the Habs in the playoffs.

  57. Stevie.Ray says:

    I’m looking at the Olympic Team Canada possibilities, and it’s almost impossible.

    At Center I think I would go with Crosby, Toews, Getzlaf, and Thornton.
    I think Tavares may be able to move to the wing and play on Sid’s left, with Perry on the right.
    But that’s as far as I can get. Hopefully, Stamkos will heal in time but that’s no guarantee. If he can then I have:

    Tavares – Crosby – Perry
    Nash – Toews – Stamkos
    Giroux – Getzlaf – St. Louis
    Ladd – Thornton – Richards

    A couple question marks here though. Will Nash be completely back to his old self by February? Giroux has been better of late; will that continue? Ladd fills the role formerly filled by Doan and Morrow. Richards, I hate the guy, but he always makes Team Canada as a defensive specialist. St. Louis and Thornton bring some veteran leadership.

    But that list still excludes Duchene, Seguin, Hall, Couture, Eberle, Marleau, Benn, Sharp, Lucic, Neal, Gallagher AND Bergeron. And they are thinking about giving a spot to Kunitz?!?!?!

    On Defence, there is clearly an upper echelon of Canadian D.

    Keith – Subban
    Doughty – Weber
    Seabrooke – Pietrangelo
    Bouwmeester

    Five of those seven defencemen are however right handed, so that may put Seabrooke or Pietrangelo’s spot in jeopardy, but there isn’t really anymore talented left handed Dmen outside of Bouwmeester and Keith. Campbell? Giordano? Vlasic? Unlikely!

    In net, it’s almost certainly Price and Luongo, with Crawford as the third.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      I think one major factor in throwing a team together is the lack of time they have to develop chemistry. That’s a major reason for the idea top have Kunitz to be on the team. Personally I think you’re right, the fact a guy like Couture could be left off the roster because Crosby can inflate Kunitz’s stats is silly, and insulting to think Couture wouldn’t also thrive in that position. That being said he has more points than games played in the last year. But none the less, chemistry is an issue. That’s also why I think Getzlaf will play with Perry, and Keith plays with Seabrook. It could also pose a problem for Subban because Pietrangelo plays with Bouwmeester in St. Louis. This doesn’t leave many spots for PK.

      I also wouldn’t worry about Nash, he seems to be doing just fine at 9 points in 10 games and not even in mid-season form yet.

    • Ton says:

      remember what happened in Milan going to a bigger ice surface! we won in the usa and and going with the same team that won on a smaller ice surface was a mistake…….different game all together! You need players that can skate……that’s it that’s all! i don’t know about Richards and thornton on your list! better skaters that them off your b list!

      • ianism says:

        agreed. that’s why i think subban would be awesome on the team. thornton is usually good in international competitions though. plus he has a lot of experience. it’s crazy how stacked the team is though… kind of makes me wish they brought two…

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I really like your D. I´m not sure about Nash. I´d take Duchene instead of Getzlaf because he should be better on the bigger ice and my fourth line would be Richards – Bergeron – Gallagher.

  58. habsfan0 says:

    Because of the loss of NHL rights, and in an effort to “juice up” their ratings during CFL football telecasts, TSN is rumoured to be looking to hire football aficionado Rob Ford to their crew of analysts next season.

  59. Mike D says:

    With regards to the trade rumours involving Max-Pac, I’ll say this:

    In a salary cap league, perhaps the most important thing to consider when evaluating players is, what I call, their VALUE RATE – i.e. what they bring to the team relative to their cap hit. In Max’s case he’s a 30 goal scorer with potential for 40ish (albeit streaky), big and fast, young, shows leadership, and he is now developing his defensive game as MT has him playing the PK occasionally. All of that for 4.5mil/season…and for the next 5 years!

    There’s not many guys in the league with that high of a value rate, especially players that are goal scorers and point producers. Plus, he seems to be the best guy to get production out of DD as well.

    Again, in a salary cap league, getting good value from your players compared to what you pay them is vital. That’s why having quality youngsters on their ELC’s are also important. Think of Gally!

    The ONLY way MB should consider a trade involving Max would be for a player with a comparable value rate. Off the top of my head, the only player that comes to mind is Wayne Simmonds….and while I would love Simmonds in a Habs uni, I would not trade Max to get him.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • ProHabs says:

      Do not trade Max-Pac unless it is for Milan Lucic.

      • Mike D says:

        My utter hatred for lurch makes that statement difficult to read. Also, Max’s speed and greater offensive abilities might make me say ‘No’ even after removing my bias.

        That said, you’ve got the idea.

        - Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

      • BJ says:

        Imagine Pacioretty in a Bruins uniform. No not for Lucic (I’d love to have Lucic on the team but it would have to be more). Why trade someone that has produced and has great speed, great value. Simmonds is not in the same class as Pacioretty. I think we have reached a good “toughness” level on the team. I would like one bigger D (Tinordi is on his way). We are pretty close to a contending team.

    • JUST ME says:

      To even consider trading Max Pac is the most senseless trade rumor of all. Mind you that we have to keep in mind that if we want to get something of value we have to be ready to give something of value so let`s not kid ourselves here and think that our garbages are worth a fortune for other teams.

      What i mean about trading Max Pac as a bad idea is that we have been looking for a power forward for decades and will be looking for more for decades. You can trade lots and lots of players and somehow find the same style same value but not power forwards. So it would be strange to trade a Max Pac and afterwards look for a guy that plays like…Max Pac use to play…

  60. Reflektor says:

    Think I’m gonna slide on over to some Tranna-based rags this morning for a laugh at the expense of the sad leaf fan. Methinks their December is gonna be some kinda rhymes with kitty.

  61. rhino514 says:

    Didn´t see the game. How did Bourque play?
    I am wondering if he played well enough not to sit, saw that he had 5 shots on net. If he stays in the lineup, does that mean Bournival would have to sit? They should try to find a way to have both of those guys in.

    • ffenliv says:

      Borque had a fairly effective night, though there were stretches where he was hard to notice. Overall, I’d say he played the sort of game the team wants him to play.

      It’s a touch choice with Bournival. Teams are not prone to sitting people on decent-sized contracts in favour of a prospect.

      I think the path they’re on with Bournival is to let him get his feet wet now and again, with the promise of a regular spot next year, or the year after.

      • WindsorHab-10 says:

        Problem with Bourque not consistent game to game which frustrates the hell out of coaches & fans. If trade is to be made, I believe he’ll be somehow involved.

        • ffenliv says:

          That is indeed troubling with Borque. Of course, the team did well when he was out, but also did well last night.

          A lot of fans want to believe that you can add and subtract at will, and just make the team better, but I think there’s a lot more art to roster changes.

  62. D Mex says:

    Just read this morning’s posts acknowledging Colton Orr’s move on the takedown last night. I couldn’t agree more and would add that his quick reaction to the Habs bench on opening night was also respect-worthy.

    While it’s true that Orr declined the Parros invitation early on last night, my own take is that this may have been due to his recollection of opening night as much, if not more, than anything else. I also suspect his willingness to engage later in the game was, at least in part, a gesture to allow Parros to go for a test drive – an interesting (possible) dynamic IMO.

    Bottom line for me is more regard today for Orr than for Phaneuf, Kadri, Carlyle and so many others associated with Laff Nation.

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex

  63. savethepuck says:

    Habs are 7-1-2 in their last 10 and the only team in the East that has gained 16 of their last possible 20 points. I am enjoying the way this team is playing now that they are healthy and despite the numerous people on here that have been telling us over the last 2 months that we have to admit the Habs are not a Cup contender, I refuse to admit it now, just how I have refused to admit it the last 2 months.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  64. Timo says:

    What does Captain Pike think?

  65. Sportfan says:

    Sportcenter trying to look more like Sportsnet? They are on the that’s hockey tonight set.

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

  66. Maritime Ronn says:

    Mustang says:
    As a Habs fan, I was happy to see that disallowed goal last night. However, if this had happened at the other end of the ice I would have been outraged. I guess that I am saying that the rules in the NHL seem to be very flexible based on who is reffing the game.
    ——————-
    Video of disputed goal:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0vDeLljYqI&feature=youtube_gdata

    Contrary to some popular Leafs fans belief, that was the absolute CORRECT call.

    Sometimes a Major part of the Rule for Goaltender interference is forgotten, and that is when a player impairs the ability of a goalie to defend his crease – contact is NOT required.

    69.1 Interference on the Goalkeeper

    “…Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his POSITIONING.. OR.. by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to MOVE FREELY within his crease or defend his goal;

    ” The overriding rationale of this rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player.
    If an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.

    Actual contact is not the only criteria.

    The Leafs player CLEARLY hindered Price’s ” ability to move freely within his goal crease.”

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26480

    • Sportfan says:

      The disallowed goal made me laugh, it almost looked as though Price gave him more contact. I do agree though had that happened to us we would have gone insane.

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

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Price may have given him a bit more contact because…..he was hindered in his ability to defend his crease while the Leaf player was in the Blue Paint.
        The Rule says, No Goal=Good Call

        • ffenliv says:

          It was a travesty of a call. If they called the rule like that all the time there’d be a lot more goals waved off. Price missed that because he couldn’t see it, and for no other reason.

          Whoever it was in the crease didn’t stop price from getting into position.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            I truly don’t care about other calls and what other refs miss in other games.

            If you actually watched the video, you would notice Price using his arm trying to move the player out of his way so he could move freely to the other side of his crease…the player was also in the crease.

            You cannot fault a referee for making the right call regardless of what happens in other games

          • ffenliv says:

            I disagree with that, thoroughly. The NHL, like other leagues, has a rulebook, but a lot of what’s in ours is subjective. Many rules are not called to the letter, and this is one of them.

            There’s an expected standard, and I know I’d be out of my mind if that was called against Montreal, as it flies in the face of a long-established standard.

            You’re doing what all blind-to-reality fans do: justifying anything that supported your team, instead of just admitting that we caught a break.

            I know some fans around here need to do that so they can maintain their ‘league always hoses us’ mantra.

          • The Jackal says:

            Yeah right, the call was correct as per the rules.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            ffenliv

            You miss the point completely.
            The question was simply, “was that a disallowed goal correctly called by the Rule Book?”

            For some reason, you try to justify your “travesty call” by complaining about standards and interpretations of other games and leagues….yet you never answer the question.

            You can call me a “blind to reality fan” – and if that makes you feel better…that’s fine, yet if that is your best defense against some faulty conclussions and logic that you put forward, then so be it.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      I thought it was a good goal. My problem with calls like is that officials are undecided on what to do from game to game.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Agreed
        The lack of consistency from game to game-from period to period-from ref to ref is awful

      • ffenliv says:

        The problem is that there’s no way to establish a universal standard. Only one ref is down on the line, and he only has the view he has. It happens in a fraction of a second. The best we can hope for is some semblance of consistency, and I think the refs manage that.

    • FlyAngler says:

      There was a time not too long ago when one skate in any part of the paint was enough to cause a Referee to disallow a goal. Obviously, that is not the case now. In the play last night, at the beginning of the play, JVR has BOTH skates in the paint and there is some contact which the DEFENSIVE player is ultimately responsible for because he is in the paint which is the goaltender’s territory. Good point Ronn on Positioning which was, I think the key to this call.

      The fact that other Referees fail to make the call that Chris Rooney made last night only proves that they are either ignorant of the rule book or not competent at applying it. It’s no accident that Mr. Rooney has worked the Stanley Cup Finals two years in a row, because he is recognized by the league as one of the best.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  67. BJ says:

    A solution for the Eller-Galchenyuk line could be someone we already have in Hamilton. I’d like to see Andrighetto get a 5 game call up once he’s back from injury. The kid has great wheels, can score and has a slightly diluted version of Gallagher’s tenacity. I’ve watched a number of Bulldogs games this year and he’s by far the best offensive forward. I’m not sure we need a big trade to make us better, it could also make us worse. When the Pacioretty trade rumors were flying around, my first thought was a John LeClair type scenario,

  68. slyCH says:

    A great win by the boys last night, unfortunately I was too busy at work to watch the game on my phone and stuck to keeping tabs on the boxscore from my NHL app. As is usual for TO and Boston games I found myself drawn to the PENALTY SUMMARY and let my imagination take me into game action.

    1st period
    00:20 TOR Gunnarsson Interference on Max.
    Great way to start with no time waisted. Directly leads to a quick goal.

    18:06 MTL Pleck Cross check on Kadri.
    I imagined it was to the face… with Kadri losing many a front teeth and visions of him struggling to make progress on a corn-in-a-cob while sobbing uncontrollably during his post game meal.

    2nd period
    04:33 Orr, Parros Fighting (maj)
    Surprise, surprise! Why’d it take so long? I missed the Thrilla of Vanillas.

    05:31 MTL Emelin tripping on Kadri.
    I hope Kadri met the ice full force, losing the few remaining teeth left from Pleck cross check in the process. I’m sure the embellishment was worth the ticket price.

    10:44 MTL PK Slashing on Phaneuf.
    Slashing eh? I’m sure there was a reason for that.
    10:44 TOR Phaneuf Roughing against PK.
    Well there you have it. The great Beelzebub, coward of all cowards, strikes again.

    16:03 MTL AG Boarding.
    Let the punishment… uhhh, learning… ahh, I mean tough love… dang! Let the benching begin.

    3rd period
    15:50 MTL Moen Tripping.
    Meh.

    19:12 TOR Phaneuf Roughing against PK.
    Another surprise. A little payback from the king of cheap as time expires and game is out of reach.

    I may not have time to watch the games but the Penalty summary’s are always entertaining with little imagination needed, especially when Laffs and Booings are involved.

    I saw the replay of Max’s second goal and I loved his celebration, in fact, I did a little swashbuckling myself to the bewildered looks of total strangers. I just hope the Laffs don’t take a cue from the Chara playbook and try to finish his unfinished work and take his head off completely in the next game. Heck I hope Chara didn’t see the replay and decides to take it personnaly and does it himself on thursday.

    Always fun to beat the Laffs.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Here’s a recap. The Habs scored quickly to jump out to a 2-0 lead although the laffs had a goal called back. That’s something for Hab ref haters to remember. MaxPac also got three tries on his first goal. I believe it was Fraser who couldn’t contain him.

      That goal was an unbelievable set-up by Subban who also scored a nice wrister of his own. On the down side, Subban lost his man which led to the second Toronto goal. The first was a real beauty by van Riemsdyk. Toronto also hit the post later in the game which could have really made it a tight game.

      Pleks scored the eventual winner. I only mention that because all of his goals this year have been “key tallies”. So far he has nine goals – 3PP/1SH/4GWG. This from a player who has to go up against the best pivots in the league while getting most of his starts in the defensive zone.

      Price made some great stops in the 3rd period which helped seal the deal.

      The Parros-Orr fight was much ado about nothing. I guess it’s a necessity in today’s NHL but it’s tough to see another player (Bournival) have to sit out just so this kind of bullshit can be justified as being “part of the game”.

  69. 24 Cups says:

    Last night’s win brings the Habs to the 1/3 point in the schedule. They are on pace for a 99 point season. The team has a +16 GD which is an important indicator that a team will make the playoffs. They also have the second lowest GA total in the league (just two behind Boston). Another bright spot has to be their 7-4-1 road record.

    Right now the team is tied with Detroit for 3rd place in their division. Last night was a four pointer that put the Habs two points ahead of the laffs. Florida and Buffalo are out of the playoff race while the Senators are nine back of Montreal. That lead is not about to change as long as Ottawa keeps playing Anderson over Lehner. In terms of the conference, Montreal has a 6 point lead over New Jersey. Another four pointer (eight pointer?) next week could make it 8 (although Philly is also now in the mix). It’s also interesting to note that there were five three point games last night. Those are the type of games that make it very difficult to move up in the standings. I think it’s also important to note that Montreal has already gone through a losing streak as well as a rash of injuries.

    When it’s all said and done, I think most fans have to be very happy with the first third of the season. Kudos to coach Therrien for keeping the team well positioned in the playoff race.

    Here is a list of projected point totals for the season.

    Defensemen:
    Subban – 69
    Markov – 51
    Diaz – 24
    Emelin – N/A

    Forwards:
    Pleks – 54
    MaxPac- 54
    Galchenyuk – 51
    Eller – 45
    Gallagher – 45
    Gionta – 39
    Briere – 33
    Bournival – 33
    Bourque – 24
    DD – 22

  70. habsfan0 says:

    Somehow,someway,I think Nail Yakupov will be a Hab soon.

    • BJ says:

      It would cost Beaulieu and a first or Beaulieu, Leblanc, Bourque and a 2nd.

      • twilighthours says:

        I’d do either of those in a heartbeat.

      • habsfan0 says:

        The latter trade is extremely unlikely to occur, as it would cause a revolt among l’Antichambre crew of biblical proportions.

      • ffenliv says:

        LOL! Edmonton would never trade him for that.

        The first would be needed. Leblanc is a spare part here, and has no trade value, particularly when we’re talking about trading for guy who still could be incredible.

        They’re going to want a roster player or two, and Borque ain’t going to cut it.

        If Habs management want to bring in a potential top-notch talent, they’ve got to give up something serious in return.

        Your proposed trade gives them an AHL player, a guy who hasn’t made a regular contribution to the team, and Borque, with a history of concussions. Effectively, you’re asking to trade him for the two draft picks.

      • D Mex says:

        @ BJ : Can you explain how and why a self-absorbed former 1st round pick merits another former 1st rounder, a 2nd, and Bourque ?
        (Leblanc is d’Agostini 2.0 – I’m good with him as a throw-in)

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

        • BJ says:

          Potential, nothing more. We are deep on defense in the coming years. And other than Andrighetto and maybe Thomas there is no other offensive potential on the farm.

          • D Mex says:

            Interesting. Based on potential, my own interest in Yakupov is limited.
            He strikes me as a problem child and potential disruption to the room.

            I’d much rather have Eberle.

            ALWAYS Habs -
            D Mex

  71. Luke says:

    If the Leafs had been better last night, I would not have celebrated as enthusiastically. I blame them for the state I’m in.

  72. Arrow77 says:

    I’m wondering if Gionta wouldn’t be a good fit for Eller and Galchenyuk. He’s not as good as Gallagher but his style is similar, he’s responsible defensively and he has leadership. Pleks can play with anyone.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      When Gionta went to the bench holding his arm last night, I was very concerned he re-injured his bicep. Given two consecutive years he managed to damage them on each arm, I was very worried. Was glad to see him come back, but I wonder the extent of whatever he did to his arm/hand.

      Does anyone have any insight on what his injury was?

    • Colombiahabs says:

      gionta, briere and plex look great together, leave them alone. Also the best line in the 3rd period last night was Eller, Prust, Borque. They were pounding the leafs down in their zone

  73. John Q Public says:

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  74. habstrinifan says:

    Want an extra smile… although we don’t really need one today(inside joke Leafs fans wont get).

    Found this quote about MB by P.K.(from a Globe and Mail article by Sean Gordon). Old quote but worth a smile.

    “Subban’s irrepressible, though. At one point, he said of Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin, “he’s a good-looking guy, he’s a smart guy,” waited a beat, and added: “I think he would say the same thing about me.”


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