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. johnnylarue says:

    @Bill: I’m sorry, but I have to refute your claims of good (or even ‘decent’) espresso in Paris. In my experience there–and while the cafe culture is obviously alive and well–9/10 baristas don’t have a clue and serve mediocre espresso of the burnt, bitter variety.

    It’s no Italy.

    And yes, I am a hopeless, unrepentant coffee snob.

  2. Sportfan says:

    New thread!

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

  3. Scotty90 says:

    Hi folks…. was reading what Leaf fans had to whine about after getting spanked by the Habs last Saturday… its a hoot! http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1549733

  4. Sportfan says:

    Funny Julien says he doesn’t like the Habs well we sure as hell don’t like him

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

  5. Bripro says:

    @Maritime Ronn
    Ron, I wasn’t kicking Gino at all. Like Burly said, I’m not like that. If anything, my heart went out to the guy, because he truly looked confused. And this from a guy who wore his heart on his sleeve and gave it his all during every shift he played.
    I felt bad for him and today, I was just pointing out what I saw.
    I apologize if it came across the wrong way.

    • D Mex says:

      Hmm. I went back thru the posts to see what this was about – a link to the video was kindly provided. It’s clear he was operating under duress, and you have to feel for anyone in that position.
      I question the judgement at RDS to put him in that chair and allow him to do the show regardless of circumstances – an absence could easily have been explained, and he could have been invited back.
      I was away from Canada and all things hockey when this man played for the Habs, but am familiar with another of his NHL stops in Vancouver during the ‘ Russian Rocket ‘ era. Word is he was present for the recent Canucks bridge-mending ceremony at Pavel Bure’s request as they remain close.
      Keep pluggin’ Gino !

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  6. DipsyDoodler says:

    Is it just me or are the enforcers in the league pulling a fast one?

    I noticed in the Parros-Orr tilt from the other night that they didn’t seem to be trying to hurt each other. Orr’s swings in particular had an overblown theatrical quality that I haven’t seen since a production of Julius Caesar by the Royal Shakespeare Co. (Sir Peter Hall directing).

    Compare this to fights of yore, like this Terry O’Reilly – Clark Gillies fight:


    O’Reilly isn’t putting on a show – he wants to hurt Gillies and he wants to hurt him bad (note how he knees him at the end when the linesmen have him tied up). Now I’m not pining for the days of sociopaths on skates, just using it to illustrate what I think is a conspiracy.

    The modern enforcers are running a protection racket. Pay me and I’ll make sure you’re safe from the other teams’ goons. They’re probably in cahoots, which explains the staged nature of the fights and the little taps at the end (job well done, mate).

    It’s a nice gig – earn a million per year, work about 4 minutes every 5-7 days, and put on a little show for the fans, maybe even sign a few autographs after the game. Almost no risk of injury really (except by accident).

    • Strummer says:

      I’ve commented recently that Orr-Parros reminds me of the Andy Kaufman-Jerry Lawlor television feud. Totally fake.
      These enforcers are trying to preserve their jobs by creating a “need” for an enforcer and they put on these staged bouts where they mostly wrestle and no punches – no one gets hurt(unless by accident as happened in the first Orr-Parros bout)

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

  7. petefleet says:

    You know, even if PK didn’t bail Carey out twice last night with veery timely stick work, I would still say that I have never seen Price play at this level. The nonchalant attitude seems to be gone and he moves with much more purpose in the crease. He was always good positionally but he’s taken up a notch for sure.

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    “I’m sick of those Facking Bullspit comments!”

    ***Go Habs Go***

    • shiram says:

      In Friedman’s 30 thoughts he had a blurb with Waite :
      24. Waite on Canadiens goalie Carey Price: “Last year, Carey loved to go down too early. There were a lot of times he wasn’t completely set to face a first shot … I want him to be more patient, stay on your feet longer.” Price did say there was “a lot more movement in my game” last season. “If you’re down already and you have to make a movement to make the first save, if that movement has to be too large, then you’re too out of control for the next one.” Waite didn’t make as many adjustments with Peter Budaj.


  8. bel33 says:

    So they’re having a United Way thing at work and part of it is you can wear your favourite team’s jersey. I couldn’t wear my Habs jersey because of some meeting with execs that won’t be wearing theirs.
    Anyhow… I just saw a woman wearing a Bruins jersey… and of course my blood starting boiling.
    Anyone want to guess who’s jersey she had?
    Bet not a lot of you would guess….
    BRAD freakin’ MARCH-AND (not March-ahnd anymore as he’s asked everyone to pronouce it)
    I just stood there amazed and when my colleague (Kings fan) walked over he said…”Really… him? He’s the dirtiest player in the league, the kind of guy you’d hate on your team!”.
    Ha… no one likes the RAT.

    – I’d buy that for a dollar! –

  9. Strummer says:

    If I learned nothing else this past weekend it is that “Winnipeg is the Paris of Canada”


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

  10. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Marty B’s take on the starting Goaltender in Sochi


    Marty a little upset that Carey out goaled him, LOL


  11. D Man says:

    Lots of trade and UFA talk going on but if I was GM I would stick with what we have on the team and on the Bulldogs right now. Moves would be done in the off season when it wouldn’t affect the chemistry we have. Things are going smoothly, why rock the boat for a maybe?

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

    • JUST ME says:

      Totally agree with you. I think that we have to keep in mind that it is a long term plan and that a few players in the minora are part of that plan and must not be sacrificed for a short term result or a you say a maybe.

      We must not either be closed on the option to make a deal. Let`s not forget that 8 players will see their deal finished with the habs at the end of the season. Of course we know that hopefully a few will be resigned…What is a must though is if those guys are not in the future plans, let`s not lose them for nothing in return.

      The big question though is ,do we have what it takes ? Did the guys we want to keep lead us to the cup already? If not, one must understand that to get something worthy we must also sacrifice someone valuable.

  12. Et le but says:

    Couple of thoughts:
    What we are seeing the past few weeks is how important a healthy roster is to our club; where players are in the roles that they are capable of delivering in.
    We don’t yet have the depth to overcome injuries and maintain this pace so lets hope we stay healthy.
    We saw this earlier in the season when we lost some key players to injury and others were forced to play outside of their role and ability.
    Guys like Diaz, Bouillon, Murray, etc., who are now where they are supposed to be and who incurred the wrath of many HIO posters when they were being used beyond the abilities.

    • JUST ME says:

      Excellent point. I do not remember a time when we had the luxury to have healthy scratches. For now it`s great cause we have options but let`s not be fooled by the situation. I agree that we do not quite have the necessary depth to fill in for injured key players. As of now we will have to overplay guys that were hired for special purposes only.

  13. B says:

    I wonder if the Swedish media are doubtful about Karlsson and his -4 playing on the Swedish Olympic team?

    –Go Habs Go!–

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