About last night …


This just in from the HIO Fearless Prediction Desk:
When your Montreal Canadiens visit beautiful downtown Newark Wednesday to play New Jersey for the second time in three nights – I know: we just can’t get enough of this scintillating hockey – the Devils’ goaltender will be Cory Schneider.
And when New Jersey visits the Bell Centre Jan. 14 … well, who knows?
Perhaps Schneider will have solidified his position as the Devils’ number-one goaltender.
Or maybe the great Martin Brodeur will get at least one more start in his hometown.

I doubt I’m alone in hoping for the latter scenario.

Montrealers’ last chance to see the greatest goaltender our fair island has ever produced – Jacques Plante was born on a farm in the Mauricie region – should not be a game in which Brodeur was beaten three times on 17 shots. A goalie with a lifetime save percentage of .930 shouldn’t be bidding us adieu at .824.

Brodeur did not play poorly Monday night at the Bell Centre. Rene Bourque and Max Pacioretty beat him with excellent shots, each a consequence of superb playmaking by David Desharnais.

The winning goal was the culmination of a comedy of errors, by both teams, in the New Jersey zone. And to add a bit of perspective, Alex Galchenyuk, who nudged in the GWG, was born during the season Brodeur won the Calder Trophy.

That was the season, 1993-’94, when Jaromir Jagr had  32 goals and 99 points for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The New Jersey Devils are the hockey version of the Eagles Reunion Tour, and Monday was one of those nights. They have been playing the same defensive style since Brodeur was a rookie and galchenyuk was an infant. It’s won them three Stanley Cups.

This just in from the Prediction Desk: The Devils won’t be adding a fourth Cup banner in 2014. But they are a disciplined, hard-working and well-coached team that dominated the Canadiens for long stretches of Monday’s game.

Take the first period. Or as a Habs’ fan might say, take the first period … please.

The Devils had 11 shots on goal. Five others were blocked, and three shots missed the net.

Equivalent first-period numbers for the home team: 5-1-1. After 20 minutes of hockey, 14 Canadiens had yet to register a SoG. And a dozen members of the home team didn’t even attempt a shot in the first period.

During his postgame press conference, Michel Therrien said he and his coaching staff expected a letdown after the Saturday night win over the Leafs. Hockey, Therrien added, is “50 per cent Xs and Os and 50 per cent emotion and passion.” The latter qualities were much in evidence against Toronto and almost entirely lacking – for the better part of 50 minutes – against New Jersey.

There’s a Quebec expression to describe what Bell Centre fans endured: “un spectacle plat a mourir”. It means a show that’s deathly dull.

The coaches and players come and go. But the constant, under general manager Lou Lamoriello, is a Devils team that plays suffocating, energy-draining defence.

Through 40 minutes, the Canadiens had nine shots … and a 2-1 lead. The team we’ve been enjoying for the last two weeks did not show up until the third period, when the Canadiens protected their lead by taking the play to the Devils’ zone.

So for the first time this season, the Canadiens started the month with a win. They beat a goaltender whose career record against them was 44-18-6, and they moved past Detroit and Tampa Bay into second place in the Atlantic Division.

Although the game will not be included in anyone’s boxed set of hockey classics on DVD, there was much to like for Habs fans:

• Carey Price got a few breaks, sure, but when the final siren sounded, he had outgoaled an NHL legend.

• P.K. Subban – playing “his best hockey”, according to Therrien – excelled in all three zones, blocked five shots and bailed his buddy Price out a couple times with opportune  puck-clearing.

• David Desharnais continues his phoenix-like ascent from the post-Erik Cole ashes.

• Max Pacioretty became the first Canadien scorer in double figures.

• Travis Moen was moved onto the Tomas Plekanec line because daniel Brière couldn’t cope with the size of Jagr, Dainius Zubrus and Travis Zajac. Moen’s thunderous hit on Mark Fayne brought the Bell Centre and the bench to life.

• The penalty-kill was 3-for-3 and the power play produced Max-Pac’s goal, off some lovely passing.

• Galchenyuk, who watched the third period of the Toronto game from a seat beside George Parros on the Canadiens’ bench, responded with four SoG and his seventh goal of the season. The kid had nine in 48 games as a rookie. And the coach who had benched him against Toronto had Galchenyuk on the ice protecting a one-goal lead in the dying seconds against New Jersey.

• Brendan Gallagher had a quiet night on the scoresheet but played his usual buzz-saw game – including several visits to the close proximity of a goaltender who’s 20 years his senior.

A note from Arpon Basu at NHL.com: It was the 11th straight game in which the Canadiens have allowed two or fewer goals. They are 8-1-2 in that stretch.





  1. Bill says:

    Krob, I agree. If the Habs could get Cammalleri – or Moulson or Jagr actually – for a 2nd and a prospect, I would do it too.

    A genuine goal-scorer is exactly what this team needs. It would make all the difference in the world.

    Cammalleri is the best choice for being money in the playoffs. Jagr is my second choice for being big and hard to control, with so much skill … he’d be my first choice if it weren’t for his horrible playoff last year.

    • Maksimir says:

      I wouldn’t take Cammy back.. sorry. He had one good run and then the next year everyone knew he would post up at the faceoff circle and wait for Pleks to feed him for the one timer which was his bread and butter. He also was knocked off the puck in the corners too easily.

      I’d still rather have Jagr.

      • krob1000 says:

        Jagr wasn;t as bad as his stats o gaols, 10 assists in 22 games. He still controlled the play down low buthe could not buy a goal….in the games I saw he was a force but could not score if his life depended on it, missed open nets, miraculous saves, hitting goalie in chest, a bunch of very unJagrish things …it was kind of like he had some sort of magical force keeping pucks out but he was still impossible to knock of puck. My biggest issue with him is that he has not recognized his age and still takes 2 mintue shifts? who the hell does that anymore? HE will do it at even strength and gothorugh two lines and someone misses a shift. That is my only complaint with Jagr and a big part of why he runs out of gas…he doesn’t know when to get off teh ice becuase he spent 30 years able to play that way.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Jagr? Squid? Is this some kind of cruel joke?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Jagr in his last 33 playoff games played has 1 goal. The guy is too old to be an impact player at the end of the season.

      He has looked terrific at the start of the past few seasons and was ineffective by playoff time the past few years. Plus, he is a mercenary for money, he is quite aware that zero cash is paid during the playoffs, thus the reason he was happy to play in New Jersey this season.

  2. habsguru says:

    never did like walruses, or walrus’s’s or walri

  3. Bill says:

    Adadi: I don’t know that the Habs were out coached against Ottawa, though they were certainly outplayed.

    I thought it was a case of the Senators had gotten healthy, and the Habs had gotten injured. Not just guys out of the line-up, but guys playing with serious knacks, like Prust and Price.

    Health is the most important thing a hockey team can have. If you look back over the last few seasons, the Habs have performed great when healthy, and mediocre when they get injuries. No surprise there.

    They’re healthy now and rocking along. But injuries happen, and the Habs will hit a rough patch when they do.

    Look at the Leafs without Lupul and Bolland right now.

  4. adadi says:

    I’m ecstatic at the Habs recent successes, but don’t forget how badly we were out coached by the Walrus and how badly outplayed. The team is getting bigger but we will not have so many PPs in the playoffs and we are still a power forward or two short. The only playoff pluses right now are Carey and the fact that Briere is a playoff performer. In the meantime oleoleoleole….. I still do not like MT.

    • Maksimir says:

      I agree with you… except for the last point, I think MT is doing the best he can with the squad he’s got. Not saying he is the second coming of Scotty Bowman but I don’t think you are going to find many coaches are that much better than him (aside from a few like Quenville/Babcock etc..).

      But I do agree that winning in November and winning in April/May is completely different. Less power plays, more physical games, closer checking which we saw what happened last year. And with the exception of Murray, and (as of now) a healthy Emelin… they are not any more physical.

      However – there are other factors:

      1) Price & Budaj playing better
      2) Subban/Markov playing better – PK is getting more experienced
      3) young guns are maturing and getting better… MaxPac/Eller/Galch/Gally

      I am just worried though that come April/May… guys like Plex/Bourque/Gorges etc will disappear or meltdown again.

      Time will tell.

  5. Mattyleg says:

    I was thinking that we should probably trade Eller.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  6. habsguru says:

    love what i see from Bourny so far, but here it is… Gally isn’t going anywhere but up, and do you start/keep building the future on small players? one is fine ie. Tampa, but playing the bruins or the blues in a best of seven??? players under 6′ expected to be in CH in 2016: DD, Pleks, Gally, Bourny? all assuming Gianta and Brier go

    • monmick says:

      There is nothing wrong with Bourny’s size. That is like saying we won’t take Dustin Brown on our team because we have too many 6 feet and under players…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    Sad news on the Gino Odjick front, appears he has been admitted into a psychiatric hospital for depression.

    He also just lost his father.


    • Bripro says:

      I watched L’AntiChambre a few weeks ago, when they had their special on concussions.
      It was later announced through french blog sites that he was stoned. Initially, I thought he was suffering from PCS, since he was totally incoherent.
      I later read that he was stoned ….. completely out of it.
      The network was chastised for letting him on, and for not being able to better oversee the condition of one of its guests.
      If his incoherence is a result of concussions, then he’s in really bad shape.
      Here’s an excerpt from that night. The network understandably pulled the show from the web.
      N.B. It’s in french. But you’ll make out the incoherence.


      • HabinBurlington says:

        Dipsy made some comments that night regarding Gino and how out of it he appeared, so I went and watched the episode online. Despite my lack of french, you could see he was completely out of it.

        Very sad.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        The guys came back on from Antichambre and stated he was in tough psychological distress with his dad being on his death bed.
        Perhaps it’s just best to leave it at that.
        Does he have other problems?
        Who knows…
        No need to kick a man when he’s down.

    • monmick says:

      He also did not look well when he was the guest of honour when Vancouver retired Pavel Bure’s number a few weeks ago…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    And just in case anyone wants to see if the Maple Leafs 18 wheeler is starting to approach a cliff, this from their pensionplan puppets website.


    • Bripro says:

      The Leafs certainly seemed better earlier this year, but I’ll predict that Carlyle is on thin ice.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Not sure Carlyle is on thin ice, but you never know. MLSE has quite the personality as their new President and he is not afraid to make rash decisions. If indeed the Leafs don’t rebound soon, who knows.

        I have said here a few times, I thought the Leafs were a pretty good team this season, but something is amiss there. Granted they are now facing the injury bug just as we did early in the season.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I refuse to make any definitive statements on the matter, but I would like to point out the fact that the Leafs have been starting strong and subsequently tanking for approximately 200 seasons in a row now…

      How many more times before this stops being considered newsworthy?

  9. Timo says:

    Luke, I crapped on Briere last night, so not to worry. Today I dropped by to say I hate cold and winter and I need MOAR global warming.

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    Filed under, “I’ve never seen this before” I hadn’t noticed the goal Erhoff scored on Toronto last Sabres/Leafs game but check out how the puck went through Gunnarsson’s skate.


  11. jeffhabfan says:

    Big win from the boys Last night but man are the devils hard to watch. The sign of a good team like the Habs is to win some ugly game like Last night. Tomorrow night will be the same but we all hope for another Habs win.

  12. JF says:

    We still talk about the Devils’ trap as though Jacques Lemaire were still the coach, but the team I watched last night did not use the trap at all. They’re as difficult to play against as they’ve always been and just as good at stifling the opposition, but they do it in a different way. Since Peter DeBoer became coach, the keynote of that team is not the trap, but an absolutely ferocious forecheck that seems to have caught the Habs off guard. It took us pretty much until the third period to adjust, but that period was much better and much more exciting. I hope the team will be better prepared (as well as more motivated) on Wednesday.

    • Phil C says:

      Good observation. Gallant said they were not expecting it.

    • krob1000 says:

      They ran out of gas…that is a very demanding style having guys skate that hard the full 200 feet every time. They are still always thinking defense and do trap when they get a lead. They do not have much choice given their lack of offense and do not posess the same typ eof team that can transition with ease and score off neutral zone turnovers. Instead they try to force the turnovers earlier and bang and crash to try and score…very simple but very demanding game. The onus is on the HAbs palyers to get back deep enough to support their D and be close enough to them to be an option as the D will be given no time. Montreal adjusted well and started just chipping pucks out and tiring the Devils and not affording them any opportunities. Where teams get in trouble against NJ is by getting frustrated and trying to get cute getting out of the zone…then tehy eat you alive. In years past they had skill enough they could tranistion from the red line or opposing blueline if need be…now once you clear your zone you are often in good shape…the key is to then pressure them in the neutral zone as they lack skill themselves.

  13. jamman says:

    You wanna know something about Eric Karlsson? He ain’t no P.K! Now that Anderson isn’t standing on his head, his poor defensive play is being exposed

  14. Maritime Ronn says:

    Here is betting that there is no way Bergevin will give up a 1st Rounder for a rental.

    He could give up a 1st Rounder in a legitimate ‘hockey trade’ that has a longer term positive effect for the team, but he won’t panic for short term gain a la Bob Gainey, or cries from the media or fan base

    No dis to Gainey – just showing some long term repercussions:
    Take the Alex Tanguay situation as just 1 example.
    Gainey gave Calgary a 1st in 2008 and a 2nd in 2009 for Tanguay at the 2008 draft.

    Tanguay did put up some nice numbers, yet ended up hurt, and was not resigned and let go for nothing (same year the Habs were swept 4-0 by the Bruins when they squeaked into the playoffs via a tiebreaker)

    Bad luck? Perhaps, yet what were the longer term effects of that move?

    If we look back at that 2008 draft, who could the Habs have had from the time Calgary picked at the 25th spot until the Habs had their next selection at 56th?

    1) Slava Voynov -a Top 4 D of the LA KIngs
    2) Derek Stepan
    3) Roman Jossi – a Top 2-3 Dman for Nashville
    4) John Carlson – a Top pairing offensive threat for Wash.
    And then others such as Dmen Justin Schultz and Travis Hamonic along with forward Tyler Ennis….

    That 2009 2nd Rounder given away?
    For just one, try that young Quebec born Dman that played 22:31 for the Devils last night, Eric Gelinas.

    When a Pittsburgh team has super talents like Crosby-Malkin-Neal-Letang signed forever, they can do stuff like that.

    The Habs are nowhere near that type of tweaking period.

    • Luke says:

      The could also have drafted the same guy that Calgary did… Neimisz (or however you spell his name).

    • bwoar says:

      Here’s hope you’re right on that! The endless giveaway is hopefully over.

      (I sat that now, but if we’re #1 in the East in April, I reserve the right to change my tune! There’s a difference between panic and loading up.)


    • B says:

      Tanguay was not a deadline or panic trade. The trade was made during the 2008 entry draft. While it didn’t work out that way for Montreal, I believe Gainey’s intention was a “legitimate hockey trade” rather than a short term rental or stop gap type of acquisition.

      FWIW, I am not in favour of trading a first rounder (or more) for a rental player and I don’t believe that Bergevin is either.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Maritime Ronn says:


        Tanguay’s numbers were going south at that time…and in all honesty, Gainey over evaluated his team and what he had – very similar to when Burke did the Kessel trade never believing that the Leafs would finish so low.

        • B says:

          Tanguay’s .82 PPG for Montreal that lone season was 2nd on the team (behind Kovalev’s .83). He also led the team with a +13 that season. He only played 50 RS games, but was 4th on the team with 41 points. When playing he looked really good on that line with Koivu and Kovalev. His numbers, all things considered, actually weren’t too bad that season.

          IIRC, the problem was that he refused to play unless he felt he was 100% healthy (contrary to the teams wishes) and sat himself out for half the playoff games as the Habs got swept in the 1st round. Gainey, believing Tanguay was not a team player, then let him walk away after the playoffs. Tanguay hasn’t played a playoff game since then.

          It’s not hard to denounce that trade in hindsight now, but I still don’t believe it was a “panic” or “rental” move on Gainey’s part. It was an attempted hockey trade that didn’t work out so great in the long run for either team.

          –Go Habs Go!–

  15. bwoar says:

    Re Eller’s hands :

    It has no bearing an anything whatsoever, but when I need a goal in NHL14, Eller is a beaut for going around 4 guys and scoring a wrister from in tight. When ever I need to tie it up, there he is.

    Finally got my first widescreen plasma TV (xmas came early!) So glorious. If you like Sega hockey, and any gamers here should, NHL14 has ’94 Anniversary mode to bring back those good ol’ days.


  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Lots of discussion around players like Moulson and other Sabres players who may be available. Sabres are in a very precarious positions right now, as they don’t really have a seasoned hockey guy to lean on in making key trades that will affect their future. I realize the link I am posting is from hockeybuzz but this blogger seems to in the past have a decent pulse on the Sabres. He mentions how it is becoming more apparent that indeed they thought they were going to have their new GM and his name was Rick Dudley. If Lafontaine can’t find someone soon, who is going to make the Miller trade (assuming he gets traded), who is going to make the Moulson trade (assuming he will not want to re-sign in Buffalo.

    That organization may have a couple former Sabres back in the fold which is nice and feelgood but given the huge decisions that lay ahead, they could really miss the boat on how to capitalize on those trades.


    Very reminiscent of when Montreal brought in Houle and Tremblay.

    • Bripro says:

      They’re apparently showing an interest in Joe Nieuwendyk.
      Personally, I think that would be a mistake.
      He worked very well with their farm system, but the old adage is that an elite hockey player doesn’t necessarily have the pedigree to be good hockey management. Just look at Gretsky …. or Gainey (to a lesser extent).

    • krob1000 says:

      Worry about a guy like Moulson is his history of playing on loose teams with no real structure and losing cultures. Could he still produce in a tight system like Montreal? Would he get pp time and would he gel? I would prefer to go after Cammi for a rental…..he has a history with Pleks and Gio and is a pp beast. To have him on the top left cirle and PK on the top right …what is team to do…cover them and leave someone in the slot? just dangerous….that wouldbe the best pp since Kovalev no matter which line Cammi played on for the pp…his presence alone would open so much up. Paciorety is pretty good there too but not quite the sniper Cammi is in smaller space/soft spot/one time/pp type situations. Cammi is also a pretty good passer and knows when to sell hishot and pass cross ice on the pp.
      I am nots ure what the HAbs would have to give up…maybe they return a 2nd pick for Cammi and a mid level prospect from out west? I would do it if the HAbs are still a top 4 seed come playoff time…in a heartbeat.

  17. habs-fan-84 says:

    Is Bournival the next D’Agostini?

    Please tell me what I’m not seeing in Bournival. I’m not down on the kid at all. Frankly, I just don’t understand the excitement that some people have for him. I see a kid who works hard, skates like the wind and forcechecks like it’s no one’s business – but I don’t see him as a top 6 forward, just simply a legit top 9 NHL’er (and there’s nothing wrong with that). Am I missing something here?

    • Ali says:

      D’Agostini was a perimeter player, Bournival goes to the dirty area’s of the ice, has two-way ability (D’ags was a one-dimensional offensive player) and has better hockey sense, in my opinion.

    • krob1000 says:

      Hard to say what his potnetial is….he is a rookie and is playing on a very good team and is playing all three zones. Putting up numbers no matter what line…tough tosay where he will land but he has a ton of poise with the puck, a solid work ethic and has no glaring weakness. He is not a flashy guy but effective. He will have ups and downs but I definitely think he ahs top 6 potnetial..but top 9 is good enoug on Montreal as that is the teams model anyway so he will still get chances to score. He is defintiely more than D’Agostini though as Dags was not very strong defensively. Borunival’s intellect is his ohter great asset along with his work ethic…..you combine those two with a little bit of skill and it is hard to limit his potential. Too many factors but he diefintely looks like a palyer who could be a long time top 6 or top 9 NHler IMO. The NHL is a mistkae driven league…teams limit errors and capitalize on them so a player with Bournivals traits has a high probablity of success.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It is early still in Bournival’s career, but already he has been more effective in his rookie season than D’Agostini ever was. Bournival appears to have incredible hockey IQ, never say die hustle, has much better speed than D’Agostini and just appears to get it. He has bounced all over the lineup and probably does require to play on one of the top 3 lines to succeed, but can be effective forechecking on the 4th line. D’Agostini did not have any usefulness when playing a fourth line checking duty.

      We have to remember he is a pretty raw rookie and he has handled himself very well so far this season. Presently he is victim of being low kid on the totem pole and therefore will bounce around. Far too early to judge that his ceiling is not much higher than what we see when he is forced to help out the team on the 4th line.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I think the crucial thing about Bournival is that with his limited minutes (11:26/game – the least for a regular player, save White) and limited linemates, he has still managed to score 6 goals and get 5 assists.

      That’s a point every 24 minutes of ice-time.

      Added to that, he’s +2, while White is -4.

      Bournival makes things happen on his own, much like Plekanec has always done, and when we get him into the mix with stronger linemates, and he grows a bit (both physically and hockey-sense-wise) I can only imagine that he’ll be a serious player to contend with.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • bwoar says:

      I get what you mean on Bournival, however, he’s only taking his first steps in the league and is already a useful third liner. There’s a small chance that he finds that “something extra” that put him in the top 6.

      He’s already a better player than D’Agostini. Much faster, way more fight in him. Importantly, he was a good faceoff man in junior. My hope is for him to be a solid 3rd line centre; we’ll see where his skills take him.


    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Thanks for the responses all.
      The D’Agostini comparison was more a cheap way to generate some responses (but admittedly the comparison had occurred to me – just in terms of their initial success with the Habs).


    • Timo says:

      All depends… what are Bournival’s partying habits like?

  18. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Craig Button was a high school friend of my sister. All of the Button family were really nice people, and Mr Button père was a solid citizen, despite working for the Caps. (Who sucked SO HARD back in the 80s…)

    So, I’m not surprised that Craig Button can bring an open mind to any discussion of any hockey team.

  19. Propwash says:

    So Prust is having a bit of a rough time.He must be upset and demanding a trade.


  20. kalevine says:

    to the benefit of the team I once again did not watch the game – I was out actually. But the work of Desharnais on the first 2 goals was impressive and showed a guy with a clear boost of confidence, great vision, etc. Let’s hope it keeps up!

    • Strummer says:

      Catch the repeats of That’s Hockey 2Nite on TSN2 between 12:30 and 2:00 this afternoon.
      Craig Button points out on the telestrater how brilliant DD was on those 2 goals- and the show was a total Hab love-fest
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • SmartDog says:

        I love it when Toronto sucks. They actually give time to Montreal just to talk about something else.

        To be fair… Button is one of the more balanced guys.
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • krob1000 says:

      It is amazing what a little confidence does for a person…in any walk of life actually but it really changes an athlete.

  21. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Re: Moulson again. He will be moved at a ransom at the deadline. Buffalo wants to have the first 12 picks in the 2014 draft; they’re a fifth of the way there, and still have Miller, Ott, Ehrhoff, and Tallinder they can move. There may also be a team willing to take 6’8″ Tyler Myers, if the GM doesn’t watch him play…

    • arcosenate says:

      I still think Myers is salvageable, he was so good for the first 2 years. Seems lost and takes some horrendous penalties.

      Put that kid with Markov and he would find his way.

      And not in a Mike Komisarek way.

      I think he would become a good D Man again.

    • Cal says:

      Myers can be helped into being a great Dman. Unfortunately, they gave him a nutbar contract before his ELC was up.
      At $5.5 mil cap hit until 2019, no one will trade for him.
      He should work with Robinson during the off season on the sly. It might resurrect his stalled career.

      • arcosenate says:

        Holy crap, I didn’t realize they had signed him to that kind of a ridiculous contract. Hell wait til they buy him out at the end of the season and pick him up for cheap.

  22. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Re: Moulson. Indeed, he and John Tavares are like brothers from another mother. They just click together, and Garth Can-I-Have-A-Goalie-With-That Snow totally screwed up with that trade. The Islanders had been looking pretty good, but are now in 27th overall to Buffalo’s dead last. Moulson will return to Brooklyn, Vanek will sign anywhere he pleases, and Buffalo gets a lottery pick in 2014 and a second rounder in 2015, which is what they need for their rebuild.

    The net loss is the Islanders’: they just gave Buffalo two picks and they parceled out the chemistry of their star player and his wingman.

  23. krob1000 says:

    For those saying Eller is lacking hands….last year he was said to maybe be the best stick handler on the team. He has great vision, great hands, size, speed and works hard. He is a very well rounded player…he is not an offensive juggernaut but he easily could slip in with a top line and score 60 points if given top pp minutes and two snipers. HE is not a finisher and that is evident…but he is a good playmaker. Right now though it makes the most sense to give DD the two snipers as Dd is the purest playmaker and I have always thought it was two shooters not two big guys that made his line with Cole and Patches work. Now that he has two passing options again he has become dangerous again. With just one player trying to get open and finding soft spots it becomes easy to check Dd as he is not a threat to take the puck hard to the net himself…but when teams have to look around and find both Gally and Patches….they cannot find them as quickly as DD. Some view this as a problem but it is only a problem if the other lines cannot function but they appear to be fine….so leave him his two snipers…BUT…it does not mean Pleks and/or Eller could not rack up points with those two as well…it means this is the best setup for a balanced attack and Eller and Pleks have more rounded games and still contribute offensively.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Mark Bergevin:

      ” “I believe you have players that get you in the playoffs, and you have players that get you through the playoffs.”

      • krob1000 says:

        Interesting quote but not sure where you are going with it…Eller? DD? Pleks? Gally? Patches? BRiere? Moen?

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Just saying that the season is one thing, and the playoffs is a whole other game with ref whistles in pocket.
          Let’s see who can perform in the tough, tight, physical playoffs.
          While Bourque gets hammered around HIO more often than not, he was tied with PK and Gallagher for most goals (2) in the Ottawa series last year…

          • arcosenate says:

            He was talking about Briere I believe.

          • krob1000 says:

            Bourque was the teams best forward in last years playoffs IMO. Briere is also a guy who elevates his game. This is one reason that of all the UFA’s the one that stands out to me is Cammi……I have never seen a player so in the zone as him in that playoff run. The clips of him sitting alone before the games by himself visualizing the play were pretty cool. HE meant business and I was still have a sour feeling about how that ended with Cammi….he would be an ideal mercenary IMO and he would love to play in MOntreal again even if only for a short time likely. HE may still harbor some disdain for the organization but he loves the history and energy and guys like him feed off of that and the playoffs is where a guy like him just finds a way.

      • JUST ME says:

        Mature citation from Bergevin that should help us think about what it takes to get to drink in the big cup.

        Do we have the proper mix of players to get there this time ? Sometimes it only depends on having one player you did not have the year before or getting one you don`t have now.

        That being said , i think we all agree that Eller should be a keeper but then again , we have to be open minded enough to figure out who we are ready to let go if we want in return an impact player. If it was only for me, i would keep the team as is but is it the good decision or just one thought from a die hard fan ? Did we get all the way with that group of guys ? If not then why be afraid of changes ?

        We have to keep in mind that it is also a long term plan and that something is slowly maturing in the farm team that may be part of the big picture.Just do not know if the big picture of the Stanley cup winners will be taken here this season…

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Hey krob. I like Eller, bigtime! He’s a solid two-way player but his shot and shot selection isn’t the greatest.

      • kalevine says:

        yet he does well in the shootouts, relatively.
        I have seen him hold on to the puck a ridiculous amount of time and watch what looked like a potential scoriong opportunity fizzle too often when he is carrying the puck. Not sure if that’s on him or linemates though

        • krob1000 says:

          last night when he got that pass in the slot on the pp…he had all the time in the world…from the slot in the middle of the rink and he passed it away. About 15 seconds later the Devils had a 2 on 1 the other way and while they were skating up ice on the 2 on 1 all I could think about was man if they score Eller is going to have his ass handed to him by MT. He will get it….he is still on an upward trend but that is 100 percent his weakness…..there are worse weaknesses to have though.

      • krob1000 says:

        agree…that is his weakness….his finsihing and shooting. He needs the half clapper like Pleks to add as his clapper windup is too long. I totally agree that he is not afinisher…I was responding about posts re his hands and that he is not a good passer because those are tow of his biggest assets. I think he could get more points if used in a that role with two scorers but he is effective in other aspects and DD is better at that until Galchenyukk is ready and that may be another two years.

    • Forum Dog says:

      I agree here. Eller may be the second best stickhandler on the team (Galchenyuk being the other). He also has a rifle of a shot. He is still young and has yet to be given top minutes, especially on the PP. At full development, I see him as a potential 30 goal, 75 point centre with size who can play both ends of the rink. Exactly the type of centre they have needed for about 15 years now. I just hope they find a way to give him a bit more PP time so he can work on that part of his game.

      Desharnais resurgence has been impressive. He is battling harder for loose pucks, and has regained enough confidence to try those creative little touch passes that make him a complimentary offensive player. This is in no small part to Gallagher, who has brought consistent net drive to a line that was reticent to do it on their own (Pacioretty and Desharnais).

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Eller has become a multi dimensional player. When he isn’t scoring he does other things well. He’s doing a lot of things that need to be done to win hockey games. They just don’t happen to appear on the score sheet.

  24. DalEng says:

    The UFAS look surprisingly good this year.


    All wingers I would like to see replace gio and borque

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t ask this to be argumentative, but I wonder which teams in recent years have had success with high priced UFA’s? I view these players as big caphits and we don’t know how they fit into the team.

      This past two years we have seen 3 young players crack our lineup and contribute – Gallagher, Galchenyuk and Bournival. Who is to say that perhaps Collberg can’t be our next young player to make the lineup and perhaps help replace Gionta. I am very leery of the big UFA signings.

      • DalEng says:

        I would love to see a player like Collberg being a big contribution and not signing a big UFA.

        We know we have the best goalie in the league and our top 4 dman are some of the best as well. Our scouts also do a great job finding 5th and 6th dman like Gill and Murray who are very beneficial.

        I just view it as we need the firepower in our top 9 like SJ and Chi have to be real cup contenders. Finding the firepower to replace gio and borque would be huge and make us serious cup contenders

      • JF says:

        Likewise. The only big UFA signing in recent years who has really lived up to expectations is Marian Hossa. The others all disappoint slightly, and the cap hit and term are too much.

    • Cal says:

      Gio, yes. Bourque, no.
      Bourque’s hit is $3.33 mil with his actual salary dropping to $2.5 mil next season and the one after.
      Players at this salary aren’t 30 + goal scorers unless they’re underpaid recruits on their ELC. Bourque, when healthy, plays well enough.

  25. Maritime Ronn says:

    Moulson will be looking for huge dollars on the UFA market (7X$6M…maybe more)and unless the Habs move some parts out, they could not be a $$$ player in that game.

    Once upon a time, there was belief that Moulson was all about Tavares/Oksopo, yet his 4 goals/11 points in 15 games on a lousy Buffalo team may show he can go it alone.
    Cody Hogdson is no John Tavares.

  26. arcosenate says:

    Blow Jays more like it.

    • krob1000 says:

      lol…hard to argue that but I was surprised to see a string of posts disappear completely for no reason given the other conversations I have seen on here in the past re football, politics, music, soccer, etc. Baseball must be a sore spot for Montrealers?

  27. Steeltown Hab says:

    It’s been beaten to death, but here’s the difference, when Eller isn’t on a hot streak he’s still a really productive member to the team. When Desharnais isn’t putting up points, not much to offer.

    Easy to say oh “we jumped the gun on Eller, he’s cold …etc”. I won’t even talk about the linemates, but look at this:

    Eller: 15 Pts / 28 Games
    Desharnais: 9 Pts / 26 Games

    Let’s not “jump the gun” about defining the other guy as better offensively either.


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

  28. habsguru says:

    can we sign PK now!

  29. Kooch7800 says:

    JP sucks Krob. I don’t think it was a coincidence that the vast majority of the pitching staff had terrible years. JP also doesn’t need to be fighting with the media when he isn’t performing on the field.

    It is too bad they were not able to grab one of the other available more attractive catchers out there in the off season but I think Navarro will be fine. now they need to shore up the pitching and second base

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  30. DalEng says:

    Have to think Buffalo would be willing to part ways with Moulson. They would definately be looking for a 1st round but I think it would be worth it

    UFAs that stick out would be Gaborik, Vanek and Moulson.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      1st rounder for a rental seems high. If they can resign him it would be ok

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • DalEng says:

        I would have to imagine Habs would able to sign Moulson. Seems like a kid who would like to play in a hockey town and knowing his goal scoring ability he would be loved.

        Definately don’t see him signing in Buff so I have to assume he will be going somewhere

    • habstrinifan says:

      Quite an intriguing trade idea. I wont be able to get it outta my mind for te entire day. I think Moulson is at the right place in his career to jump at the trade, and therefore be inclined to sign, and HABS are probably at the right place to make a move like that.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      He is a UFA this summer….and the Habs would need to somehow lock him up before the trade.
      Giving away 1st picks for a rental is not good for the Habs at this point in time.
      A real hockey trade? Yes.

      • DalEng says:

        Well I don’t think you could bring him in this year. He needs to come in as a replacement when we dont resign Gio.

        But if I was MB I would make a massive pitch to him and his agent in the summer. Wouldn’t be a difficult pitch for a player coming from NYI and Buff

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I have always liked Moulson, but we have nothing to give in exchange except draft picks and developing kids in Hamilton.!
      That is not going to happen. I hope.

    • arcosenate says:

      Moulson is actually a year older than Vanek, I would have thought the opposite but he’s 30. How much would you give up for him?

      First rounder seems high.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think we need to be patient for 1 more year. I really don’t like the idea of trading a 1st round pick, particularly for a UFA. This team of ours appears to slowly getting better and better. We have some bonafide talent starting to hit stride in MaxPac, Galchenyuk will indeed become an elite forward (or he projects to) and if Briere can continue to improve he can be a goal scorer.

      It is a slippery slope when a team starts chasing the Chalice with the trading of valuable picks. I still maintain that the Habs hurt themselves for many years by 3 or 4 years of trading 1st and 2nd round picks for UFA’s, and virtually none of them re-signed with Montreal.

      I am in the No camp of a 1st round pick for any UFA at this point.

  31. DalEng says:

    Who will be some bonafide goal scorers come free agent time or anyone we can trade for?

    With cap going up we will be able to sign Eller for cheap and Subban/Markov will get the coin they deserve.

    From EE – 236 games played, Eller’s got 92 points. DD 118 points in 203 games. DD is making 3.5 million no reason to think Eller should make anymore than that.

    So I would love to see a bonfide sniper sign for big bucks and hopefully somehow not resign gionta and get rid of borque

  32. Ian Cobb says:

    The key to last nights win was moving Moen into Briere’s spot with Plekanec. And Moen changed the momentum of the game with his fantastic and clean body checks.

    Before his hits, Jersey was all over us and was not impeded at all.
    He was not one of the official stars of the game, but I think he was the star of the win.

    Moen does not get the recognition, but I appreciate his never ending work ethics.

    The standings are looking mighty nice these days!

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    So a few people recently have wondered about Prust recently and the headmaster himself is wondering if indeed our Road Warrior is playing hurt. This is highly likely as Prust would run through a wall for his teammates. What I fail to understand is how teams don’t see this and adjust for it.

    For example, our next game against Jersey, let Whitey play and rest Prust.

  34. Cal says:

    Blue Jays Inside/Out?
    One hopes not!

  35. Habsrule1 says:

    The Habs were getting lulled into the boring devils style for a while, but Price and PK, among others, had other ideas. After a while, the Habs played a near-perfect game given the opponent. They got better defensively as the game went on and they were opportunistic. Many teams seem to do the same to Montreal. Habs play well, the other team get a few chances and capitalize (I’m looking at you, senators!).

    Personally, I don’t care if the game’s boring if they win. I get all the excitement I need from the final score.

    I think they will take the game in NJ also and give the booins all they can handle Thursday. I can see us winning in OT or losing in the S/O.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  36. The Jackal says:

    About Eller’s slump.
    The poster said it was premature to say he is a 2nd line centre.
    Well it is premature to say he is not!

    Eller does a lot of things well, he has speed and uses his size well, and he is certainly not lacking in the hands department. He is very young and he has come a long way since we came to the team. The guy is still developing and he is finding his game. He’d be better off with a scorer on his line – Chucky is another passer – and while both are very talented, their time as linemates is all but explicitly temporary.

    And let’s say he turns out to not score that much, maybe be a 50 point guy – well that’s fine, he’ll be our 2nd Pleks, and Pleks is extremely valuable to the team, and hey, he is considered our 2nd line centre 😉

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • The_Truth says:

      I really don’t think Eller has the vision or skills of a Pleks. He is young yes, but never in his career has he shown Pleks like offensive capabilities.

  37. Strummer says:

    Lovin’ the Habs on The Toronto Sports Network (TSN)

    That’s Hockey 2Nite- Steve Kouleas and Craig Button say Price is the best goalie in the league now and why not a “Vezina” for Carey?

    also- Pk SHOULD be a definite for Sochi

    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Saw that as well, they no longer have a choice now that Montreal is ahead of the Laffs in the standings, they are forced to acknowledge the hockey team in Montreal does indeed play hockey.

      Good to see.

  38. Stevie.Ray says:

    Too much positive on the site today.

    When is Subban going to score a goal!?!?!

  39. habs-fan-84 says:

    I thought the Eller, Bourque, Galchenyuk line looked pretty dangerous last night. Also, it’s really nice to see DD back to form.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Puck was bouncing everywhere, they we’re probably our best last night.

      I really dislike when MT takes Briere off of the Plekanec line because he’s playing solid.


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

      • KR says:

        While I think Briere has played improved hockey since returning from his concussion, that line needs a bigger, more consistent scoring threat if this team is going to contend. Matt Moulson is the guy. He’s a UFA and there’s no reason to think he’ll stay in Buffalo since they are bottom-feeding . If we pick him up for picks/prospects and play him with Peks and Gionta we could go a very long way this spring.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          I like Matt Moulson for putting pucks in the net, but he does nothing to solve the size issue.


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

        • Mike Boone says:

          Pat Hickey, Brenda Branswell and I were talking to Chico Resch before the game last night. He said Moulson and Tavares were best buds who loved playing together. Moulson could go back to the Island (or is it Brooklyn?) once he’s a UFA.

          Mike Boone
          Hockey Inside/Out blogger

        • Man Dingga says:

          I agree, Moulson would be a great addition. Pleks, Briere and Moulson would be a fantastic line. Hey, then we just need to add Tavares. Man oh man! Then the dream would be complete! Lol!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      DD was probably the best habs forward last night.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  40. krob1000 says:

    Was anyone else VERY impressed with Eric Gelinas? I was shocked to see the impact he had on the game.

  41. Steeltown Hab says:

    Not too impressed with Prust as of late. Desharnais is working hard, that’s all you can ask, I don’t think we’re out of the woods with that considering once again the production comes with the two top wingers on the team. This might put him back in the conversation to potentially trade which is a big positive.


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

    • Cal says:

      Prust shouldn’t carry the team. He is finally in his proper role.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        I mean in his role. 4th line looked better with Moen Bournival White. Prust will get more games to show though.


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

    • Mike Boone says:

      Agreed on Prust. I suspect he’s playing hurt. Showed hustle to run down icing last night, though.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • krob1000 says:

        hmmm….you suspect it eh? you of dressing room access and privileged info….hmmm I will draw my own conculsion from that. Can you please suspect on here if it is upper body, lower body, aggravated injury or just banged up…just what you suspect it is will be good enough!

        • Mike Boone says:

          Since I retired from The Gazette and became a freelance blogger, I don’t go to practices or the postgame room. But even the full-time beat guys are shut out of injury information most of the time.

          Mike Boone
          Hockey Inside/Out blogger

          • krob1000 says:

            really…I thought you still had access. So you are like Superman when he let his powers go? Clark? is that you? lol….they may not have “told” you what the injuries were but when you were there you would be privy to guy icing injuries, limping, taping,etc was more my point. I had no idea you were totally retired from that though…I thought you went back on a part time basis…thanks for maintaining this site then!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        He should get the odd night off and let White play in his place.

  42. Luke says:

    Good Morning folks!

    Yay for the Habs. Another win = another pleasant day on HIO.

    Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but they all can’t be Picasso’s.

    So, has Timo dropped by to rip of DD & MT today? Or has he moved on to Briere yet?

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    Those wishing the Habs had hired Bob Hartley instead of MT may find this article interesting. Obviously this is the players side of the story, but I wouldn’t be surprised if true.


    • Maritime Ronn says:


      Imagine for 1 second if that article broke in Montreal?
      Hartley was a media candidate for the job, similar as to McGuire being a media candidate for the GM job.
      It was never going to happen.

    • Bill says:

      Hartley’s reputation as a generally unpleasant man is long-established. He has always been a tyrant and a petty martinet. I find every word of that story incredibly easy to believe.

      Therrien was only my fourth choice for the coaching position, but Hartley was sixth. Roy was fifth.

      My top three were Carbonneau, Vigneault, and anyone except Therrien, Roy, and Hartley, haha.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Luke says:

        Carbonneau, eh?

        I was hoping for Crawford (#1) or Gallant (#2 but wasn’t sure on his language skillz at the time). So I kinda got Gallant.

        Must admit, MT has done very well. The 24Ch show makes him out to be apretty likeable guy as well (except when, y’know, actually coaching).

        • Strummer says:

          Gallant’s language skills???
          he speaks English as do all of the players

          “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        So really Therrien was around your 7 billionth choice

    • L Elle says:

      When Hartley was on L’Antichambre he showed that side of him. He had some kind of vendetta against Price. He even had Gino Odjik come on as a “star” witness, since he is also First Nations, to corroborate a “truth” that Price had a problem between the ears. Can you believe it?


  44. The_Truth says:

    Anyone notice after Eller’s hot first couple of weeks he is

    2goals, 6assists, -3 in the last 23 games?

    I think he is a nice 3rd line, defensively responsible center, but talk of him being a top 2 center was premature. People wanted him and Chucky to be our top 2 centers and wanted to trade Pleks and DD this past offseason.

    Where would this team be if that happened?

    • 24 Cups says:

      I’m not sure how important it is to rank our lines or centers numerically. That may all change once Galchenyuk becomes a star player. Assuming that Galchenyuk moves to center, I still firmly believe that the team should move DD once the right deal comes along. MaxPac will just have to get over it and adjust accordingly.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Eller has got the legs and the smarts but seems to be lacking the hands.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      How do you feel Eller’s stats would look like if he had Max and Gallagher playing with him?
      Or the 2 Gallys, instead of Prust ( a great 4th liner) or Rene?

      In the Big Picture, Eller is still tied for the 3rd highest scorer for all Habs forwards and is also playing a nice solid PK role.

      • The_Truth says:

        He has been playing with Chucky all season, the team’s top scoring forward (with Pleks) and had Gally for 20 games.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          DD line plays exploitation role and I have yet to see them dominate a game at all.

          vs. Toronto (Pacioretty had PP and SH goals)

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

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        If he was playing with Pacioretty and Gallagher, that’d be a much better line, I don’t see how it can be argued.


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

        • Luke says:

          I don’t know Steel… I think Max putting up, what? 10 goals in the last 6 games? makes it hard to argue any line combination would be better than he, DD and Gallagher right now.

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            So vs Toronto is wasn’t Subban’s Pass on the PP and Eller with him on the SH goal? That line has not dominated 5 on 5 at all.


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

          • Luke says:

            I suppose… But I suppose you could argue every other detail in it’s own compartment too… It wasn’t Subban’s pass, it was Fraser being too far forward & left on their PK… etc etc

            It’s all the sum of the parts, but it’s the sum. Max really has a bromance with DD, that confidence & comfort has an impact on his play as well.

            Perhaps Eller would be a great centre for him. Perhaps he’d be awful. We don’t know. The only think we know for sure is that DD, Max and Gallagher are flying.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to trying it when the line cools off, and it will (TRADE MAX!). I thought a while back that I’d like to see Max play RW with Eller and Galchenyuk, I don’t know if they’d be better, but I thought it was worth a look.

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            I watch every game and have yet to see them dominate 5 on 5. When you add in the exploitation, O-Zone etc it’s eye opening. The role DD plays is crafted for a player like Galchenyuk young skilled guy breaking in, not 27 in there prime. That’s my concern.


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

        • Bill says:

          It could be argued that Eller doesn’t have Desharnais’s skill level. I am not sure he makes that line better … that line is already damn good!

          Full Breezer 4 Life

        • The_Truth says:

          I think it can easily be argued.

          Don’t think Eller has the playmaking skills to maximize that line’s potential

          Also, Max is in love with DD and would walk through fire for him. That kind of comaraderie is hard to dispute.

  45. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ JF

    You mention the Oilers and their kids.
    The makeup of that team and its management is a disaster.

    They have basically no vets that can keep the youngsters in line and be held accountable, unless one considers classless ‘finger the crowd’ ex Bruin Andrew Ference, or soon to be 38 year old Ryan Smyth, to be those guys.
    Ference signed a home coming retirement contract, and Smyth is going through the motions.

    Then the idiotic contracts handed out to the kids when there was no need to do so.
    Yes, Bergevin has been criticised with the ‘bridge contract’ situations, yet they have played themselves out very well.

    In Edmonton, these kids have mega contracts and can do what they want with the worst case repercussion being a trade.
    Then can tell a coach to take a hike any time they wish with no repercussion.

    Nugent Hopkins – 20 years old. 7 years /$42M
    Hall – 22 years old. 7 years/$42M
    Eberle – 23 years old. 6 years/$36 M.
    Justin Schultz comes due summer 2014, and Yakupov the year after.
    Guess what they will be asking for as the table has been set?

    • The_Truth says:

      I wouldn’t mind picking up one of those guys for our top 6 moving forward.

      The Oilers wouldn’t move Eberle or Hopkins I don’t think, but would love to have Taylor Hall on the Left side playing with Pleks and Gio.

      It would take a lot though. Wonder if they would take Bourque, Eller, Beaulieu and a 1st?

      Don’t think so, but it could be in the ballpark

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Just hit your HI/O copy/paste trade button and voila Hall will be ours.

        DD, Moen, Diaz and a 6th round pick. Voila, Taylor Hall is a Hab.

        • Luke says:

          Something just doesn’t look right,. Burly.

          I still think we need Weber.

          DD, Moen, Diaz, Weber and a 6th round pick. Voila, Taylor Hall & a 1st round pick is a Hab.

          Ahhhhhh there it is…

      • Cal says:

        When Hall skates, he has the real problem of leading with his head. He’s a concussion waiting to happen and has already suffered a couple. Other than that BIG FAULT, Taylor Hall would be a great acquisition…for the Sens or the laffs.

    • JF says:

      Agree that the Oilers are a disaster. It’s partly, as you say, the makeup of the team and the massive contracts to talented kids who haven’t really done anything yet, but it’s also the way they’re coached. Lars Eller was right on when he said they play junior hockey. The forwards seem to have no defensive responsibilities but rush around all over the ice trying to score pretty goals. They’re not learning to play as a team and they’re not learning to win. A week or so ago, I wrote something about the intangibles that the Habs are developing well – confidence, a winning attitude, responsibility, playing as a tight unit, and so on. These are essential for any team that aspires to be a Cup contender, and none of them are happening for the Oilers. Even when they fill all the holes in their roster, they’ll be no nearer to winning because all they’re learning at the moment is how to lose.

  46. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all! Like many of you I dislike the “style” of play the Devils often bring to a game. That first period last night saw hooks, holds and even a trip that went uncalled for. It reminded me of the old Georgetown Hoya’s basketball team who would foul on just about every play but the officials, not wanting to constantly blow their whistles would let most of it go – picking and choosing when a call would be made. Amazingly enough the Habs get called for the first penalty.

    I think the boys had a very hard time fighting through that crap last night and were very fortunate to come away with two points.

    Patches is on fire.

    DD looks like the DD of two seasons ago

    Price looked almost normal last night but made some huge saves to keep his team in it.

    Not the best games for Briere, Prust, and Bournival

    I really like Galchenyuk.

    PK not on the Olympics? You’re kidding aren’t you?


  47. 24 Cups says:

    I think last night’s game can be summed up very simply – PK Subban saved Montreal’s butt. If I’m writing the summary that would be the gist of my article.

  48. JF says:

    The game was for the most part pretty hard to watch, and I certainly never thought, even after we took the lead, that we’d win it. Stifling, fun-draining Devils’ hockey at its most lifeless and most frustrating. For the first period, it looked as though we were never going to get anywhere near their net, and Price, despite Desharnais’s excellent performance, was for me clearly the star of the game because he kept us in it (with some help from P.K.). The Devils had so many wide-open looks at our net in the first period alone they could have put the game away right there.

    I found Therrien’s press conference afterwards very revealing. He said he had expected the game to be difficult after the passion and excitement of Saturday’s game and he could feel in the atmosphere as soon as he walked in yesterday morning that the guys were not very motivated. Yet he managed to keep them to their game-plan, keep them doing the right things on the ice even after falling behind and being massively out-shot and out-played. That’s good coaching and proof that the team is buying into what he’s doing with them. Earlier Habs teams would probably have done no more than go through the motions in this kind of game.

    I also liked his reaction when asked about Galchenyuk. He smiled and said he was very happy when the kid scored the winning goal. He looked happy too. He also said he sent Galchenyuk out at the end of the game when we were protecting the lead to show his confidence in him. I have no fears that Therrien will “ruin” any of our young players. He handles them very well, protecting them, putting them out in situations where they can succeed, and applying a little correction when needed. The kids will learn from it. One of the guys on L’Antichambre contrasted this with the situation on the Oilers, whose talented kids just go on playing and don’t seem to be called to account for their defensive shortcomings.

    We sometimes play better against the Devils in their building than in ours, so I’m hoping Wednesday’s game will have a little more life to it. But even a split would be a much better result than we usually get against that team.

  49. Maritime Ronn says:

    Re Damien Cox and his anti Habs rants…

    Cox is a Rogers Sportsnet guy that also writes for the Toronto Star – a newspaper owned by Star Media Group that is owned by Torstar…the same company that owns Harlequin Enterprises – publisher of women’s romance novels.

    Interesting… in a Princess Phaneuf and Hold Me Back Kadri sort of way.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I simply like to describe Cox as smarmy. He is one of the biggest bandwagon “journalists” out there. Be it the Jays, the Leafs etc… he finds which way the big bus is travelling and expounds to the nth degree in that direction, and just as soon as a bandwagon may stop and turn around, he will be ahead of the conductor.

      He has zero credibility when discussing Hockey outside of T.O. in particular.

  50. mount royal says:


    A close look at MT`s real assessment of DD and PJ. Good stuff!

  51. scotland says:

    markov is back !!

  52. Laramy87 says:

    Listening to Prime Time sports with Bob McCowan last night and everyone favourite Damien Cox made a comment that I just dont understand. “Rumblings out of Montreal is Max Pacioretty is not happy in Montreal”

    Uhhh were does he get his sources. What a dumb comment. Who even likes Cox or takes him credible. He is about as credible as P.J Stock

  53. John Q Public says:

    DD for Sochi !!!

  54. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    I’m actually looking forward to a game against the Devils. Hopefully, the cockroaches at Newark Airport (got stuck overnight there once, whew) don’t carry off any of our players.

  55. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    As several have witnessed in the past, a Monday or Tuesday night game at the Bell Centre against a team with which the Habs have no historic rivalry – a team that you cannot dislike, often lead to a loss.

    As mentioned the other day, this team is building something special.
    They truly appear to “Care” for each other, and perhaps this “Character” thing we continue to hear about from the Habs brass was on display last night.

    Perhaps we also witnessed the proverbial passing of the the Torch – the Canadian goaltending Olympic Torch from Brodeur to Carey Price.
    Amazing how great and timely goaltending can keep a team in a game that they have no business being in, then making some big timely save to preserve the 2 points.

    Carey also owes PK a few beverages of his choice because without the magical stick work that kept the puck out of the net on 2 different occasions, the outcome may have been different.

    Here’s hoping all the COTU hockey brainiacs down the 401 at last come to their warped, and dulled Phaneufesque senses and realize what a gem PK actually is….and yes, he can play in the D zone, and yes, he is trusted by his coach to be on the ice in the last minute of the game..

  56. SmartDog says:

    Therrien’s moved on from Subban to Galchenyuk.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  57. jrs10069 says:

    Hopefully Bourque’s nice goal helped sealed the deal on a trade that MB’s been working on..


    • FlyAngler says:

      If MB trades Bourque, he better be getting a big, physical forward with good hands and quite frankly, I don’t see that happening.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  58. RAM_TOUGH says:

    “It was tough to get involved in the game,” Therrien said.
    “Mentally for us it was a tough game to play”.
    Really MT? Your players get millions of reasons to get involved in a game. I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!


    • savethepuck says:

      I do not want to be a d@ck but I totally understand what he is talking about. I played goal for almost 40 yrs, and I know that my focus fluctuated drastically depending on my opponent. It fluctuated more when my team was up or behind by 3 or 4 goals.

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

    • habstrinifan says:

      I 100% agree with Savethepuck below. Therrien was absolutely right in his comments and because he was observant of the team’s ‘mood’ before the game (as he said in his comments) and especially after period 1, Therrien responded very well. One thing he exuded all during this game from behind the bench was a calm but involved (not át wits end’ look).

      It may have been the suit (a great casual elegance fit’by the way), it may have been what seemed like a new çut-trim, it may just be that the winning streak has buoyed him) but I remember watching the first period and thinking man “man oh man.. the Devils are making it like a hike through mud. I looked at Therrien and felt that he was ‘sharing’ the team’s frustration and yet he didnt have the look of a coach who was gonna be lecturing the boys even if they lost. He just seemed wryly alert at whatever fortune brought tonight and aware that the team was working hard to combat the emotional letdown (from last game) and the Devils. He seemed very involved while not anxious.. a great mood to be in for your thinking juices.

      And I don’t agree with a) the team didn’t play well or b)didn’t deserve the win. I think this was a game where you were either gonna lose after a great ‘ín the mud on your knees effort’ or you were gonna win if you were lucky to pull off a few of the ‘highlight reel’ type plays’ at an opportuned time.

      Who pulled off a few highlight reel plays at the opportune time? Can anyone, I ask this sincerely, stop being a HABS fan for a second or two and think of any highlight reel plays pulled off by the Devils. I don’t think you would be able to. Now count how many you can identify from the HABS. I count at least 4 or 5.

      My opinion anyways!

  59. Curtis O Habs says:

    David D`s mean moustache has given him his mojo back.

  60. Cal says:

    The Devils played the better game last night. In the end, the team playing the better game fell to a more opportunistic team that had a little luck on its side. (Price almost knocking the puck in with his elbow and PK coming to the rescue on the rebound comes to mind.)
    Jagr played a dominant game, but has nothing to show for it.
    Nice to see Chucky find the net again for the game winner (The Tank’s slap pass was perfectly executed, as was Eller going to the front of the net with Bourque already there).

    Habs must play better in Jersey Wednesday night.

  61. DipsyDoodler says:

    Nice work, Mr Boone.

    Jagr does look like an ex-Eagle: no mullet and 30 lbs heavier.

  62. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Any team on a roll meeting up with the Devils will be like a happy celebratory thread meeting up with a Timo posting. The Devils play a negative, fun destroying game that is numbingly predictable and absolutely effective.
    No matter, the better team found a way once again. I fear we may have a slightly streaky team here, but while they are on a winning streak, let’s enjoy. Let’s even try to enjoy watching them play the Devils.
    The Leafs, with their God-awful defence, were a little more entertaining, but the results are equally good in the long run.

    • savethepuck says:

      So a streaky team is 8-1-2 in their last 11? Please explain.

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

      • CharlieHodgeFan says:

        That’s a winning streak.

        They were stringing losses before that. I expect it’ll be that kind of season. As long as they win 8 and lose 4, we’re fine, except we’ll have to suffer the trade everyone above 30 or short crew when they lose more than 2 in a row.

        Looking down, we already have a Briere trader when things are going well.

        • JF says:

          Maybe not. Don’t forget the losses coincided with injuries to key players. The importance of Emelin cannot be over-estimated, Pacioretty took a good half-dozen games after returning to find his groove, Murray is faultless on the penalty kill, and both he and Parros add a necessary element of size and toughness.

        • savethepuck says:

          Losing streak was because they were not healthy,

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

        • savethepuck says:

          Or maybe the Habs were playing 500 because they were injured at the time.

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

          • CharlieHodgeFan says:

            We’re not disagreeing. I expect, sadly, more injuries. These are nasty weeks of hockey with little recovery time. The Habs can match up with teams , but like everyone else, there will be injuries and depth is an issue over this long long season.

            Injuries and the natural up and down of players will give us a couple of more short losing streaks. If you look at it that way, you are saved the drama queen posting urge that rules here with losses.

  63. homerbowen says:

    Clearly Briere is past his prime and should sit!

    • FlyAngler says:

      He was not effective last night, but has been very effective in recent games with Pleks and Gionta….have you been watching?

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  64. HabFab says:

    Connor Crisps 2 goals on Sunday night. Baptiste is one player I was hoping the Habs to draft;

  65. Habspark says:

    Another win! Really enjoying and really happy for Price and Subban… Great to see the re-emergence of Desharnais and Pacioretty as well as Galchenyuk potting a goal and being out there for the final minutes. As Savethepuck indicates below, all this is a very positive sign of what is going on behind the scenes and that for me is all I can hope for at this stage of the season – well done les gars!

  66. Rad says:

    This team is just rolling right along now, full of confidence, and even on a night when they weren’t at their best, they found a way to win. As Subban said in the post-game video, the Habs were opportunistic tonight, with just enough scoring at the right time. Quite a game from the Born-Again David Desharnais. I don’t think I’ve seen him play this well before. Good on him for playing inspired hockey, and giving the Habs 3 balanced scoring lines. I thought Alexei Emelin had a rough game, but he did assist on the game-winning goal. Would like to see more of Bournival, perhaps put him on the penalty kill instead of Max? He has the speed to do well on the kill, IMO. For the Devils, I was impressed by Eric Gelinas. Big, strong, can skate, and shoot. He’s going to be a good one.

    • savethepuck says:

      Bournival is a rookie and based on what I have seen the last 2 years, he will continue to get protected minutes to help his development and confidence. It is similar to Chucky and sometimes Gally last year, they were put in situations to succeed and not fail last year. I don’t think fans should be jumping the gun and trying to put him in a more important role too early.

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

    • savethepuck says:

      I would like to also add that I really really like the pairing of Max and Larry on the PK together because they create so many scoring opportunities and don’t give up goals.

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

  67. savethepuck says:

    “The kid had nine in 48 games as a rookie. And the coach who had benched him against Toronto had Galchenyuk on the ice protecting a one-goal lead in the dying seconds against New Jersey.”
    This statement tells me a lot. What I read into it, is that MT saw things in Chucky’s game Saturday night. ( I only say the boarding penalty to be truthful but maybe the coaching staff saw another play too ). Easier for him to remember his mistakes by getting splinters on the bench than to just give him a scolding or a stiff talking to IMO. By the coach putting him out there in a 1 goal game late and showing confidence in him, that is obviously a positive and rewarding message to the kid that he listened to what the coaches had to say about his last game, and rewarded him for obviously adjusting and doing what they had asked of him. Complain if you want, but I think that is good coaching. None of us watching the television broadcast has the advantage of the on ice view of the coaching staff and definitely not the advantage of their video crew to see what they are seeing. I have total faith in how our kids are being developed right now.

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

    • The Juice says:

      You make a great point here. This is an area where Therrien excels vs his peers. He did a great job in Pittsburgh during the emergence of Crosby, Malkin, et al, and he is doing the same here with Subban, Gally, and Chucky.


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

  68. Timo says:

    I didn’t like the game. Too sloppy and a few passengers tonight. Briere needs another trip to the press box. Habs just didnt seem to be in the game and Price had to be stellar a few times. I hope that Therrien and Bergevin realize that after the Olympics it is going to be like that, only more physical. Team are going to check each other to death in a dog fight for the playoffs spot. Habs need to find some extra muscle with hockey skills up front to break through the grind.

    • savethepuck says:

      Not meaning to crap on you, but I hope you realize the team is 8-1-2 in their last 11 games. That is the best record in the East. I totally understand your pessimism when the team wins without being the dominant team on the ice, but considering their record in the last 11, maybe you should cut them some slack and accept that Carey was a top 5 pick and because of that, he should steal the odd game and be the best Hab on the ice some nights.

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

  69. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Definitely not the prettiest game to watch, but it’s nice to be one of those teams that can have a bit of a stinker and still pull off 2 points.

    Our PP is now ranked 3rd at 24.5%
    Pk is 4th at 85.7%
    Pretty respectable numbers.

  70. rogieshan says:

    Nice to see the Habs steal two points after their misfortune in D.C.

    Feel sorry for Briere. Losing minutes to Moen is no fun.

    • Timo says:

      Perhaps he should start playing like he belongs in the NHL… Last person I feel sorry for is Danny I Always Wanted to PLay in Montreal Briere.

      • savethepuck says:

        In his defense, he does have 5 goals and 4 assists in 18 games which would project to 18 goals and 41 points in an 82 game schedule. Not anything to jump up and down and cheer about, but not too disrespectable considering what he was signed for and what his role is supposed to be.

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

  71. keviathan says:

    Overall that was a pretty ugly win tonight!

  72. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    First to the party,last to leave.

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