About last night …

PriceFlyers

Fire the coach!
Trade all the players!!
Move the franchise to Quebec City!!!
Your Canadiens have lost two games in a row.
Might as well spend the long, cold Montreal winter watching NBA basketball.

There, that felt good, didn’t it?

Now let’s all take a deep breath and calm the eff down … at least until the siren sounds on Long Island Saturday night.

If the losing streak hits three against the islanders … well, maybe a wee bit of anxiety might be in order.

But for now, the Canadiens are still second in the Atlantic Division. They’re six points ahead of Toronto, which is clinging to a wild-card playoff birth.

So I’ll heed the advice of the wise old owls of the Commentariat and keep my bandwagon-hopping/ditch-diving bipolarity in check.

(The meds help.)

The Canadiens are playing badly. Every team does at one time or another in the NHL season. Better now than in late March/early April.

In the part of his postgame press conference telecast by L’Antichambre, Michel Therrien did not conceal his disappointment or look for silver linings. In the wake of that 6-0 pasting dished out by L.A. at the Bell Centre Tuesday night, Therrien said he expected more “hargne” from his team. The word translated as surliness, ill temper.

In a hockey context, unless it’s Brian Burke speaking French “hargne” means intensity, engagement, will to win.

The coach’s diagnosis was accurate. Exemplified by the enormously frustrating Max Pacioretty – who had one shot on goal against the Kings and matched that in Philadelphia – the Canadiens played with a near-total lack of fire or emotion.

I’m no fan of Burke’s brand of truculence, which he’s threatening to bring to Calgary. I don’t think George Parros should have run Steve Mason to “get the guys going”.

It was telling, however, that the post-siren nastiness began with Mason taking a shot at Brian Gionta.

Who sprang to his captain’s defence?

Brendan Gallagher.

That’s the heart and soul of your Montreal Canadiens right there. Too bad they beat in a body that could be in the stirrups for the fifth race at Santa Anita.

Yeah, the size thing …

Nobody talked about it while the Canadiens were taking 19 of a possible 20 points. But junior hockey expert Stéphane Leroux cited an interesting stat on L’Antichambre Wednesday night:

There are 22 players in the NHL who are 5’9″ or shorter.

Eighteen of them play in the Eastern Conference. Five are Canadiens: Gallagher, Gionta, Daniel Brière, David Desharnais and Francis Bouillon.

There are more short players on this team than in THE ENTIRE WESTERN CONFERENCE!

It doesn’t mean the Canadiens play soft. They outhit the Kings 32-24 and had a 23-21 hit advantage over the Flyers – despite losing big thumper Alexei Emelin in the second period.

The lack of size manifests itself, however, in things that don’t show up on the scoresheet.

The Canadiens lose puck battles.

They get beaten in the corners and along the boards.

They play a perimeter game that rarely rattles opposing goaltenders.

Philadelphia came into the game as the most penalized team in the NHL. But until the fracas involving Mason, the Flyers took a grand total of one minor penalty in 60 minutes of hockey: Sean Couturier’s high stick on Ryan White, five minutes into the first period.

The Canadiens were held without a shot for two minutes, and that was it for their power-play opportunities. They didn’t – or perhaps couldn’t – play tough enough to force the NHL’s penalty leaders into a hook, a hold, an interference, a trip.

Considering White’s status as a scoring threat, the Canadiens could not force a single instance in which a Flyer had to commit an infraction to avoid being beaten on a play.

That’s brutal.

When they’re playing well, the Canadiens get a good offensive push from their back end (sounds erotic). P.K. Subban leads the team in scoring. Andrei Markov is fourth.

In Philadelphia, P.K. had one shot on goal. Markov had none – not even an attempted shot. Josh Gorges had one shot; Raphael Diaz, Douglas Murray and Emelin, in his 10:16 of ice time, combined for a big fat goose egg.

Therrien listed his team’s failings: poor in transition, failure to get pucks to the net to create second chances, lack of effective forechecking, absence of intensity in the offensive zone, bad decision-making.

The coach didn’t mention it, but his own line-juggling was less than helpful.

The return of Gallagher predictably sparked Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk. But Brière, in his less-than-triumphant return to Philadelphia, was useless on the DD line. And a Brandon Prust/Travis Moen alternation didn’t help Tomas Plekanec or Brian Gionta.

Is Rene Bourque ready to return to the lineup? Will Michaël Bournival draw back in for George Parros against the Islanders?

Should be an interesting Friday practice on Long Island.

•  •  •

Brian Burke’s children on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brucemp/status/411217510441054208/photo/1

 

 

 

356 Comments

  1. boing007 says:

    @Boone
    You forgot Mayday! Mayday! and all hands on deck.

    Richard R

  2. CHasman says:

    I think you about nailed it Mr. Boone. Montreal started coming apart last week during their winning streak. They got some bounces and were lucky to win all those games. Other problems…
    Pacioretty and Deharnais stopped doing all the hard work that got them out of their slump.
    PK had a couple of bad (for him) games.
    Too much line juggling. Keep the EGG line together and play Bournival with Pleks and Gio. Let Deharnais and Patches work back into their game and when they are not do not give them all the PP time they get. Unfortuneately, with Briere on their line they are way too soft. Pacioretty does not have the heart of lion.
    The only small guys that should be on this team next year are Gallagher and Gionta.
    PLAY Eller more! Here is a bigger centre who plays hard, hits, wins battles and has soft hands. MT is screwing him around instead of making the most of him!

  3. Bill says:

    If you want a bigger, tougher team, a trade is all you can do. There are no big wingers in the system for at least three years. The closest guys we have to cracking the NHL are Leblanc, Thomas, and Andrighetto. Leblanc is average sized, the others are absolute midgets. The next wave is Collberg, Lehkonen, and de la Rose. Only de la Rose is above average size. McCarron and Crisp are long-shot projects , will require serious AHL development, and are much less likely to be able to crack the NHL. So if you want to change the nature of the team, it WILL NOT be through being patient and developing prospects. The prospects are small. You need a serious trade.

  4. bel33 says:

    Anyone else get the same annoyed feeling watching Max P go through the motions some games, just like Andrei Kostitsyn did?

    Lots of talent… but you never know which player is going to show up? The ghost… or the beast.

    – I’d buy that for a dollar! -

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      The difference is that when Andrei turned it on he was a bigger hitter, better skater, more creative play-maker, better defensive player, and better goal scorer than Max Pacioretty is when he’s playing his best.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Better goal scorer? That is a big no. And unfortunately he didn’t turn it on for very long stretches. I’d take Pacioretty WAY ahead of Kostitsyn.

      • Bripro says:

        Both of you have are semi-right. No offence.
        AK was by far one of the most talented players on the team. Very sweet hands, and he could hit like a truck.
        He was a far more creative player than Max.
        Max is straight up and down. Doesn’t deeke like AK could.
        But Max is faster and just as big. He should be able to hit as hard.
        It is frustrating to watch him go into the same type of funk as AK did. It comes in spurts.
        But last night, the only spurt was coming out of every Hab’s butt.

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          I have too strong of a bias in favour of Andrei Kostitsyn to agree with your statement, but I can kind of see why you would think what you wrote about him ; )

    • Storman says:

      Most over played analysis by media, i think he must be playing hurt , like i said earlier Canadiens need better leadership, have to find players that are willing to compete on a sustained regular basis, know how and when to play with urgency.
      Josh Gorges talking in the room is such ra ra crap now stop already, team needs leadership from someone else.. If markov stepped up and said something i think the room would shit themselves and then go out and do whatever he said..Gallagher still to young too bad, Team needs a leader.and better yet more guys wiling to compete on a nightly basis team has to hate to lose, has to hate mediocre play, has to want to be an elite team.

  5. Bill says:

    habs001: I think it’s a big mistake that the Habs haven’t worked in one of the Hamilton Big Three this year. It puts them in the position of either having to work in two of them next year – not frigging ideal to work in two rookie Dmen at once – or trading one.

    • Eddie says:

      When Martin was coaching he had a 500,000 bonus built into his contract for making the playoffs.

      That’s a large disincentive working against rookie defencemen being kept.

  6. habs001 says:

    The Hamilton big 3 is between 21-23 in age…so still young but it seems to me that many d who are not journeyman and are above average in the NHL were with their team around this age…have they not progressed as expected?..are they just protected…looking at the Habs d it is a bit disappointing that at least one of them has not been able to remain with the big team.

  7. SteverenO says:

    I think that Therrien’s biggest flaw is that he believes that he can make a bigger impact on the game by micro-managing playing time during the heat of the game, then doing his homework and preparing, and sticking to, a plan for each game.

    If he ever made a move that “worked” (such as Gallagher with DD, and MaxPac, he fell in love with it regardless of the cost to the other lines.

    Last year Markov NEEDED to play with Subban when Emelin got hurt, as he could not keep up to the play. This year it is counter productive. The team almost never scores when these two are NOT on the ice .

    The alternating of Murray and Bouillon makes no sense, and Parros playing 5 minutes every 4th game is also not helping anyone.
    The fact that DD and Eller at 23% ad 22% % success rate both have as much PP time as Plekanec, who is at 33% is absolutely ridiculous.

    I understood and agreed with Keeping Subban OFF the penalty kill to preserve him for Even strength and PP opportunities but the same reasoning ALSO applies to Markov, who is now starting to show sign of fatigue.

    In some situations it would make sense to play Subban up front on the penalty kill and try to score when shorthanded.I also cannot believe that he has never considered just how good, and dangerous, Gallagher may be at killing penalties. I believe that we would get tons of scoring chances when shorthanded with guys like Pacioretty,Gallagher Plekanec, and Eller up front.

    Finally continually to concede the tail end of the PP by playing Bouillon,/DIaz/ Gorges/ on the point is nothing short of insanity.

    We should, and do,score a PP goal every 8 minutes or better. Diaz and Bouillon have played over 40 minutes each on the PP and they have been on for a total of only two goals. That equals three goals GIVEN away this season, so far, for no reason whatsoever.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Eddie says:

      I really agree with splitting Markov and Subban.

      The other 4 dmen are not productive offensively in any way shape or form, and that means that more than 1/2 the game we will not score.

      Then, if the opposing coach pressures Subban and Markov, forcing them to give up the puck quickly, it is likely that Subban and Markov will struggle as they did yesterday.

  8. Steeltown Hab says:

    How does the future core shake out over next 1-3 years:

    Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – Gallagher
    – Eller –
    Bournival – Plekanec –

    Markov – Subban
    Emelin – Tinordi
    Beaulieu – Pateryn
    Gorges

    Which acquisitions/ prospects will fill those spots.

    De La Rose, Lehkonen, Hudon are first guys I can see making an impact. They’re a bit away, so clear we need a deal or UFA signing to get to an ideal spot.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  9. Bill says:

    Jack Todd is not what anyone would call a hockey expert. Your average Canadian guy who just grew up playing and watching hockey – i.e., all of us – knows more about hockey than some American football/baseball fan. Todd is a good writer (I know many disagree with me about that) but his view of the Emelin/Downie incident would not sway me a bit. It was clear Downie embellished the whole thing, and it worked. He even fooled a few Habs fans! Emelin should have gotten two for the accidental graze, Downie should have gotten two for unsportsmanlike. We need video review and Coach’s challenges for this stuff.

    • VancouverHab says:

      “Jack Todd is not what anyone would call a hockey expert.”

      And in other news, dog food is not what anyone would call a filet mignon.

      “Todd is a good writer…”

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

      You kill me, Bill, really: that’s Fawlty Towers-script funny. Whew.

  10. Storman says:

    Downie should be the one being brought in for an interview,, selling head shots, should be ultra frowned upon by the league and officials should have him marked big time.

  11. Bill says:

    Lol, Dude, that is the smartest and funniest thing you have ever posted! Have to agree with you 100%

  12. Mavid says:

    nice to see you all after the shit show on here last night..I would like to skip game days..but I am afraid I am too addicted
    Very happy Emmelin got nothing..thats the right call

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  13. Storman says:

    I find it hard to believe that quite a few of us last night were able to see the Downie dive, but no officials, I t took me a few replays, but i also know Downie.,but he sold it well,, the refs were able to convene and give an ejection after no penalty call. Dion Pnaneuf’s hit was ridiculous during the Boston game no penalty but he gets suspended 2 games, how the ref’s were not able to convene after Phaneuf’s hit and give him a penalty yet were able to convene after Emelin gets drawn into a Downie academy award presentation,, This cries for technology to start helping officials,, Special Teams are what wins and loses games so the ref’s have a HUGE say in the outcomes of every game,, especially with there PHANTOM CALLS & NO CALLS, hold officials accountable, have an official or officials rep explain some of there thinking on calls,suspend referees, use technology…

    PS Craig Button is a buffoon, did he even watch the replay of Emelin hit in super slow mo to see that Downie sold the whole incident. These analyst get paid big bucks do your job..Even RDS was calling for a suspension, last night holy crap,, HIO posters had the play pegged correctly right away.

  14. Hobie Hansen says:

    I had a little back and forth with Jack Todd on Twitter this morning about the Emelin hit. He tweeted out that Emelin threw the elbow out and will be suspended, I tweeted him back stating it didn’t look that bad, he tweeted me back stating it was pretty apparent.

    Hobie Hansen: 1 Jack Todd: 0

  15. The Dude says:

    The world is doomed when an over-populated country like India makes gay illegal !

  16. mdp2011 says:

    Great to see that the “Doom and Gloom”™ has returned to this site and all it took were 2 losses. The positive vibes of the last 3 weeks were really creeping me out.

  17. Storman says:

    I really hate something MB said when he took the job saying he felt the team needed more local players who knew the history and what it meant to play for the Canadiens, to me this has some value but very very very little.

    Gallagher would play the same way if he played in Florida, Columbus or Montreal. I know guys will take a game off, but the Habs always seem to be stuck with to many guys who are scared to really compete, guys who get intimidated in certain buildings, guys who do not know how or when to play with URGENCY. That culture has to stop..

    PS- Darren Dietz will be our next best D prospect,, If Beaulieu brings the best return he is trade-able..

  18. krob1000 says:

    HAbs perimeter play=soft team? wrong!
    People post on here and crtiticize the Habs and IMO rightfully so for perimter play at times….there is a direct correlation with their traffic and interior play and results likely and that is fine. However, I take issue with that being because of shying away from contact,etc.
    About 85 or 90 percent of hits occur along the boards, most injuries happen along the boards, most puck battles are along the boards…the idea that perimeter play translates to intimidated or outmuscled doesn’t jive with me. Now if you want to call them lazy in those games…that I can buy. It is lazy to not play well away from the puck, it is lazy to not move after you make a pass, it i sslazy to foat around in a nonthreatening position…but is it soft? or size related? I doubt it because that is where all of the dangerous play happens.

    I actually think a big partof the HAbs offence is meant to start along the boards off the forecheck…but too often the support guy is along the wall as well….and once something opens up guys are not going to the net or slot area….that is lazy…not soft IMO.

  19. montreal ace says:

    I have to say watching Gally, knock over Mason at the end of the game
    was special to me. I love the fact that he was still trying after the whistle, and showed his emotions. I am an emotional fan, who relates to emotional moments on the ice, hell I get emotional just talking about it, lol.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Same, MA.
      My brain engages as well, but if it were all brain and no passion, I wouldn’t bother. Passion is what makes it fun (as well as what kills you when the opponent scores to win their fourth).

      I also completely agree with your point below about Shanahan. I neither like nor dislike him, but presume that making the right call is never really the top priority, which is merely to create the impression that the League is honouring its responsibility to the players and their health and wellbeing.

      If I were commish, I would punish Downie very severely for attempting to subvert something so serious as rules intended to protect players from brain injury. He’s a good player, but I have lost all respect for him.

  20. The Dude says:

    The Habs have been too small for 20 years and are like other teams practice roster….it’s so simple and so stupid!Burke’s hair knows more than M.B……

    • dr. gesundheit says:

      If that’s the case, imagine Burke’s hair’s level of knowledge re assembling a truculent squad vs Goatier’s!

      I know, he eventually signed Staubitz (approx. 10 monthes after HIO readers were screaming for some upgrade in this dept. after the Bruins mugging of Spacek and Pyatt et al.)…and that’s the extent of his efforts to address a glaring/perennial deficiency))

  21. Bill says:

    About coaching the Habs, when I watch 24CH all Therrien seems to do is tell them to score three goals and be responsible defensively. I think most of us could handle that job! Just kidding. I’m sure 24ch is capturing exactly what the Habs want it to capture, no more, no less.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      You make your final point lightly, Bill. But the producers and the Habs are spending much moolah and energy on creating the impression that 24CH is warts-and-all, like ALL reality tv (insert facetious emoticon). I would reckon that their premise is that the majority of viewers simply take it at face value. The carefully manicured version you describe is the thing people need to bear in mind when they post here with “insight” based on what 24CH “reveals”.

  22. Have the Habs ever had a “Town-Hall” kind of meeting with fans? I’d love to be able to ask MB and MT some of the questions about the team that are asked here… Anyone ever hear of that?

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  23. Bill says:

    Scotland, a couple things. First of all, if you win more than you lose in the playoffs, you at least win the first round. Probably more. Most teams that win more than they lose at least make the semi-finals … And then anything can happen. Check that math dude. Second, you’re overlooking the excellent play and influence of veterans like Plekanec, Markov, Prust, Murray, Subban, Price, Gorges, and Emelin. These guys are leaders and they are instrumental in the development of the Galchenyuks, the Gallaghers, the Bournivals.

    • The Gumper says:

      Bill, if you win more than you lose in the playoffs, you win the cup.
      Check the math…..

      • GrosBill says:

        Example,

        First series: Habs win 4 games to 1

        Second series: Habs win 4 games to 2

        THird series: Habs get swept in 4 straight

        Wins : 8
        Losses: 7

        Winning more games than you lose in the playoffs does not mean you always win the cup.

  24. D Mex says:

    Previous thread : headline describes Habs as ” woeful ” after a loss.
    Written by Boone – why am I not surprised …
    … that Kovalev, what a dog, huh Boone ?

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  25. montreal ace says:

    The NYI are just what this team needs Sat night. I am going to be mad if we don’t give them a good butt kicking.

  26. Bill says:

    Hobie, my thinking exactly. Beaulieu is a lot to give up, but that deal improves the Habs, and they are loaded with D prospects. Unfortunately Beaulieu is easily the best one … but you have to give to get. People who feel that the Habs are too small, soft, and mild to play against should be all for this deal.

  27. Bill says:

    Phil C, I agree. You have to go for it when opportunity knocks. Championship teams don’t deliberately wait 4-5 years: they are always trying to win, and they have the same money to spend that the Habs have. Last year, poorly timed injuries derailed the Habs, but also they failed to make deadline moves to improve the roster. This time is good enough to make a push this year – and also the East is WIDE open – but they need a serious goal scorer rental and another top-four capable defenceman, I’d say. I don’t want to always be in the middle of a never ending five year plan.

    • Phil C says:

      There is also a good chance that an eastern team wins it all. Whoever comes out of the West will have played three rough and tough series’ and should be beat to a snot.

      • dr. gesundheit says:

        It has happened before, although with the quality of the likes of Chicago, Anaheim, LA, St Jose, Colorado, Minnesota etc etc it might be tough. (i.e. one might squeak through without having to battle too hard)

  28. montreal ace says:

    I hope Murray stays in the lineup, so he and Diaz can develop more chemistry. I think it would be worth a try to get Markov and Emelin, with PK and Gorges, as partners to see if the offence from the defence can go up.

  29. scotland says:

    “they are going to win more than they lose”

    that gets you an early exit in the play offs and a bad drafting position.

    famous quote by coach years ago

    “no matter how good you are you are gonna lose one third of you games. no matter how bad you are you are gonna win one third of your games”

    habs have been a bad team since 99…….this year is no different.

    wanna know how little affect the vets have on this team??? well, all the young guys are playing great! dont need columbo to solve this one. no mystery here.

  30. krob1000 says:

    LUke..I can’t see that clip but I think your question is “why are there 5 flyers on the ice after Emelin with Downie on the ice”..if that is your question is the goalie off? if there was a delayed penalty the goalie would head off and a player would come out…is that your question?

    • Luke says:

      That is my question.

      5 Flyers in the scrum, Downie on the ice, Coburn tending to Downie. Goalie is seen skating around in the Flyers zone while they show Coburn and Downie.

      7 Flyers + netminder.

      Looks like Grossman skates right from the bench directly to Emelin.

      At best, he and his partner made an illegal substitution which earned Bissonnette a 3 game suspension.
      At worst, he left the bench to take part in an altercation, like Clarkson, and that’s an automatic 10 games.

      I believe either infraction means he & his partner should have been ejected.

      The Flyers should have played the remainder of that game with 4 defensemen.

      But no one seems to have noticed.

      • montreal ace says:

        I thought it was very astute of you, to notice the amount of players on the ice. I think it is a great question you raise, concerning an infraction occurring with the amount of players on the ice.

      • krob1000 says:

        hmmm…surely someone will have to do something about that.

      • krob1000 says:

        have you sent to Shanahan Twitter? or NHl office ? Kerry Fraser is one thing but that should be in hands of people with current power . I sure hope someone is getting Montreaal powers at be involved if this is the case so they can protest or send off clips? HIO you helping on this?

  31. Bill says:

    Hobie, I would do that deal for sure, but I want a 2nd rounder back from Columbus as well.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I’d think about it for sure too Bill. Even if Dubinsky and Umburger don’t fill the back of the net with pucks they’ll still be banging and crashing out there and giving guys like Gionta, Galchenyuk, Gallagher and others more room. They’d be causing turnovers, banging in rebounds and on and on…

      Umberger is good for 20-25 goals a year and Dubinsky about 20.

  32. scotland says:

    Habs101 ….. you left out one important move. YOU replacing therrien.

    awesome post.

    catch most of the bulldogs games (going tonight) like pateryn alot. should be with big club. tanarsky (winger) is underrated as well. scored 16 goals and 17 fights with rochester last season. his eight goals lead the dogs this year. gives his linemates alotta room. good solid humble alberta boy. could replace brierre in a heartbeat. i think mb is just being patient with him. bruins are not gonna like this guy.
    mb is a very patient gm. he lloks at what is coming up and sees the players that will have their jobs taken. ie (in order) brierre first gone. gionta second. diaz. murray. paros, moen, gorges, dd. all will be replaced over next two seasons. who mb replaces them with will determine wheteher or not habs can contend in spring of 016

    • montreal ace says:

      I like quite a few players on the Bulldogs, and Tarnasky from what I have heard has stood out.

    • Habs_101 says:

      I wouldn’t want to compare my credentials against MT’s (it would not look pretty). Cant say I wouldn’t love to be the coach though…until I got the endless abuse too ;) haha

      Needless to say I think you’re quite right, the issue is that realistically this team is looking good moving forward, but needs to be tweaked properly. As fans we want it now! The right GM will make the right moves at the right time however (wish that time was now!!)

      Regarding Tarnasky, I completely agree although I see him pretty much as a fourth line player in the NHL, but a bigger version of Prust. He will replace Parros and/or Moen in my opinion as he offers alot more offence. A fourth line composed of these four would be great;

      Moen, Prust, White, Tarnasky.

      Gionta, Briere, Bourque, Boullion, and Murray will be replaced with improvements over the next two seasons, but it takes time, as a fan all I can do is stick to armchair GM’ing for now!

      Cheers

      GO HABS GO!

  33. Bill says:

    Well, I think the team is definitely as good as its record: how could it not be? They’re going to win more than they lose, but they will go into slumps and they will lose a few. I think they’re easily a top six in the East team, and could do better depending on what other teams do as well. Eller, Pacioretty, Subban, Gallagher, and Markov have all gone cold … That’s a big chunk of offence, but it can’t continue.

  34. JF says:

    When the Habs play to their strengths, they can beat most teams in the Eastern Conference during the regular season. Against big, tough teams (which means most of the Western teams), they have trouble on the boards, in the corners, and in front of the net. These are the areas in which lack of size and muscle becomes a handicap. It’s likely the handicap will become more apparent as the season goes on and teams gear up for a playoff push.

    As for the playoffs themselves, we saw what happened last year, and I would expect more of the same this year. We could possibly win a round or even two if Price plays the way he has so far, but that’s probably it for this year. We’re still a couple of years away from being contenders.

    Bergevin certainly knows this. He talked last year about getting the right balance between speed and skill, size and toughness. The eye-opening fact that more than 20% of all the small players in the League are members of the Habs is sufficient demonstration that we do not yet have the right balance. I think Bergevin will be patient and make a move only if it addresses this problem for the long term. As someone said further down, we should enjoy the wins but not get too high over them, and by the same token not get too depressed over the inevitable losses.

    • Phil C says:

      It is posted here almost daily that the Habs are a couple of years from being contenders. I question that assertion. 2-3 years from now many of their key players will be gone and the only player that will be better for sure is Galchenyuk. All of their young cheap talent they have now will be more expensive, which means they will need new young talent to take their place. The Habs have lots of prospects in the system, but no sure things. If the Habs are truly going to be contenders in 2-3, they will need some prospects to come out of the woodwork. If their top prospects do not meet the hype, it could spell trouble in 2-3 years and another rebuild.

      This year may be as a good a shot at the playoffs as any.

  35. Supersonic says:

    I like coming here and reading some interesting comments, but I don’t get how some poster love to say how we have to get rid of DD or Bouillon, etc. It’s easy to get rid of a player but he has to be replaced. Every teams needs a top six forward or a top 4 defenseman. Even Pitt or Chicago or Boston.

  36. Hobie Hansen says:

    Desharnais, Beaulieu, Gorges and a 1st rounder to Columbus for Dubinsky and Umberger. Would you do it?

    • Chris says:

      No. Umberger’s contract is an albatross…$4.6 M for another 3 years to get 20 goals per year is steep even before you figure that he is now at the age where his game can go south in a hurry.

      Dubinsky is a good player, but he is another playmaker when the Habs need goal-scorers.

      That is a lot of assets to pick up $8.5 M in cap hit for 30 goals per year.

    • Luke says:

      no.

      And I’m a Dubinsky fan. I think he is exactly what the team needs.

      Beaulieu and the 1st are things I wouldn’t want to part with.

      Umberger is a ‘grass is greener’ player. I don’t think we’d be happy with him or his contract.

      • Price07 says:

        I agree, I like Dubinsky and Umberger (not his contract tho) but that’s too much to pay. Beaulieu is going to be the only thing that can somewhat help replace Markov in the future and he’s got size too. A 1st rounder, I’m not 100% against parting with it but there are some big wingers available in this year’s draft, trading up and getting one of them could be a good bet for the habs instead of going after players already in their prime or even just past their prime. The future of this team is in a few years, when umberger will no longer be good and Markov will be gone. So trading Bealieu and getting umberger, nope. Dubinsky is good, his age is good but he doesn’t provide enough offense, this team needs some size and grit but it needs some pure goal scoring ability too. That’s not dubinsky.

  37. jeffhabfan says:

    The Habs have not played that great for a few games now but they have to stop the bleeding now and win tomorrow night for sure.GO HABS GO.

  38. Psycho29 says:

    Nice to see the sky is falling crowd out in full force after 2 losses. Don’t forget your hardhats!

    Last year 2nd in the conference; this year 2nd in the division, 3rd in the conference.

    Therrien’s coaching record is 38-25-8 over two seasons.

    I’m not a big fan of his but unless there’s a complete meltdown, he’s here for at least this season.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      People will still say Therrien sux if we win the Cup…probably say they did it despite him, like they won in ’86 despite Perron.

      At least this site still makes me laugh.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hopefully he will be as terrible as Al McNeil!

  39. --Habs-- says:

    This “embrace the suck” style of hockey didn’t start 2 games ago now did it!

    “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

  40. Luke says:

    No Suspension for Emelin.

    No word from TSN about my question (it’s been like an hour and a half) so I tweeted Freidman (and included @biznasty2point0).

    He hasn’t replied yet. Nor has Bissonnette. I think this is a huge conspiracy.

    If they someone have read (or act out) my tweet to Kypreos, I’m sure he’ll get some answers!

  41. punkster says:

    Interesting posts so far today.

    Waiting for Joe Btfsplk to wade in to the conversation.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  42. Eddie says:

    Islanders have 1 shootout win in their last 10 games.

    They are flat out terrible, and with 23 points, down and out of a payoff spot, no hope and no prayer.

  43. Habs_101 says:

    After taking in 30 of the teams 33 GP so far this season, I really think that is has to be obvious to MB and MT that the teams issues stem from TWO areas; 1- lack of grit on the wing (and size) 2- lack of size on the back end.

    I think that there is absolutely no chance of addressing both issues DURING the season. In my opinion Boullion, Murray and Briere all have no place on this team currently, not that they are necessarily arent suitable NHL players, there is just NO FIT with this team. Montreal NEEDS a big right handed top 4 defensemen and if I’m MB my priority is this between now and the deadline. In the meantime, Subban and Markov have been good all season (fenwick stats) diaz and georges OK, everyone else abysmal. I would pair Subban with Emelin too see if it can bring up the play of Emelin’s game. Meanwhile that would free Markov up who I would play with Pateryn (he is playing EXCEPTIONAL in Hamilton and is 6’3″ right shooter, he CANNOT produce less than boullion AND murray), that would leave Georges and Diaz in the reduced minutes third pair (they had mild success this season). Plus georges and/or diaz could rotate in for Pateryn if he struggles in any important situations.

    Up front I would simply go with combinations that have been successful, throughout the season I think these trios have been great;

    Patch – DD – Gallagher
    Galch – Eller – Gallagher
    Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
    Briere – Plekanec – Gionta
    Prust – White – Moen

    I would go with what works, we are still second in the division and lots of hockey to play, let the spares figure it out;

    Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
    Patches – Desharnais – Gallagher
    Galch – Eller – Bourque
    Prust – White – Moen

    Pressbox/rotation when healthy; Briere and Parros (BOTH offseason signings)

    Markov – Pateryn
    Emelin – Subban
    Georges – Diaz

    Pressbox/rotation; (Murray, Boullion)

    I actually like MB and think he has the right philosophy (he is just more patient than I am) but boy did he have a rough offseason!

    GO HABS GO!

    • Habs_101 says:

      One other thing I wanted to suggest (someone send this to MT ;) )

      We should start grooming Eller to replace Pleks, give him more defensive roles and let Plekanec have all the offense for a few games at some point this season, i think it would be really interesting to see;

      Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
      Bournival – Eller – Gionta

      That leaves a combination of Briere, Patches, DD, Bourque, Prust, Moen, White and Parros to fill out the other two lines. If that ever happened, maybe they could test out;

      Patches – Briere – Bourque
      Prust – DD/White – Moen/White

      I dont know… just my ideas, something has to change regarding the balance on this team, we spend WAY to much time in our zone relying on CP31.

      GO HABS GO!

    • Phil C says:

      Putting Pattern into the top four would be a high risk move, but if it worked would really pay off. Interesting suggestion, finding a defenseman to play with Markov would help a lot.

      • Habs_101 says:

        I HATE to admit it, but I think the most ideal player in the NHL that the habs could acquire (within some reason) is Cody Franson.

        For whatever reason they dont treat him too well in TO. He is HUGE, an EXCELLENT skater and a very decent puck mover. Would be a massive upgrade over diaz and the perfect compliment to Markov.

        Markov – Franson
        Emelin – Subban
        Gorges – Patyern

        Looks much bigger and solid to me, no poor puck movers, no poor skaters, no small bodies.

        How we go about acquiring Franson… I have no idea?! :(

        GO HABS GO!

  44. ooder says:

    i really don’t get the hate on for therrien. the guy is dealing with the cards he has and doing not a bad job of it. other then a few blimps here and there the habs are playing inspired, to their strengths hockey.
    how people forget the awful days of JM

    • Timo says:

      For me I don’t see a big difference between the two. Both have their favorites on the team and they continue to play them to the detriment of the team. Perhaps if Therrien hasn’t been feeding us meritocracy so much it would be easier to accept his hard on for DD and Bouillon, but it’s hard to like him when he says one thing and then plays DD as much as he does.

      Plus he generally has no clue.

      • Bogie Man says:

        I agreee with you Timo there is very little difference between JM and MT if any at all. They both lack the ability to inspre and motivate. When you are lacking significant skill like this team has currently, inspiration will need to come from the leaders. I think a change in coaching needs to occur and soon to salvage the remainder of this year. I also believe it is time for Gionta to move on. 1 goal in 18 games played is very uninspirational. What I am concerned about more is that MB does not seem to get this.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          I disagree. I was not sold on Therrien, but he’s gotten a fair bit out of these players. He’s not exactly working with superstars here, besides Price & Subban maybe, but among the forwards, he does not have a lot to work with.

          If he gets us to finish the season in 6th place or better, he will have earned his job for next season. It can’t always be his fault when we lose and never be his doing when we win.
          The haters can’t have it both ways.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

      • ooder says:

        I dunno Timo. I see a big difference. The habs are playing more to their strengths (quick passing and transition) instead of JMs ridiculous trap game with small forwards.
        I actually think the way he has balanced Murray and Boullion pretty smart. Now that Murray is healthy he is the one that gets most of the games.
        as for DD, i dunno, maybe the believe in him or realise the need him to get going.

  45. John Q Public says:

    Consistency.
    Why does it ebb and flow.
    When we play a bitter rival most players play with a passion.
    When we don’t the juice does not seem to flow. Why ?
    Could blame the coach’s but they aren’t on the ice.
    So when Eller plays a physical game against Boston why doesn’t he play that way all the time.
    This could be said about many players on the team.
    Stanley seems to be very far away indeed.
    Between the diving, refs that make it up as they go along and bringing out the stretcher for anything now it seems the NHL has really sold out to insanity.

  46. Timo says:

    So on l’antichambre they were talking about briere. The question was direct – when bourque is ready to return do you sit briere. Most of the panelist said yes. You know you suck that even your being a homeboy gets you in the pressbox from the bunch of homers on l’antichambre.

    Of course, they were hash hash about wee davey.

  47. scotland says:

    therrien juggles line like no coach i have vere seen. his game is so easy to dismantle. the only thing that seems to be written in stone. gionta and plekanic are playing together no matter what. gionta and plekanic are on pp. gionta and plekanic are on pk. gionta and plekanic are on in ot. gionta and plekanic are mever to be split up…and always lead forwards in ice time.

    the other 10 -12 forwards play musical chairs for 82 games (246 periods)

    have been waiting for this coach to be fired since the day he was re hired.

  48. Bim says:

    ZZZZZZ! Hear that. Its the Habs snoring. They`re in their winter slumber. They`ll awaken March 21st. That game last nite was a snore fest. I had to check my TV guide. I thought I was watching the Leafs. Sitting in Philly waiting for them to get in late after getting the crap pounded out of them..that should have been a cake walk. Instead another stinker. I smell some trades coming.

  49. naweed235 says:

    i think the biggest problem in the last few games was the tampering with the lines. And since all of you hear LOOOOVE line combos here is what I would do:

    Gio-Pleks-Briere
    Max-DD-Gallagher
    Bourni-Eller-Gally
    Prust-White-Moen

    • JUST ME says:

      Juggling with line gave excellent results so far but at one point it has to stop. Very few players play by instinct together and they need time to get to learn everyone else`s position on the ice depending on the play.

  50. Habsrule1 says:

    Manage expectations!

    I said it before the season and I’ll say it again. The team is still building but they can finish 6th in the conference, and maybe win a round in the playoffs.

    Those should be everyone’s maximum expectations right now. If they do more, great, but they are working towards something and should be a contender within 2-3 years if the right decisions are made.

    Enjoy the wins. Accept the losses. Don’t get too high after a win or winning streak or too low after a loss or losing streak.

    They are on the right track.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  51. scotland says:

    wisdsorHab10, you are a wise fan.

  52. krob1000 says:

    The forgotten man Rene Boruque just may help things our more than we expect..of all the players who have played with Gio and Pleks I liked him there the most. Even if they opt for someone else it gets the team back to having a fourth line that could score again……I am not sure why team reverted back to having a sterortypical 4th line again…but it seems to coincide with offensive difficulty again that is for sure. Worst possible thing that could have happened happened when 4th got two goals the otehr night (sort of..Pleks got the pass from Prust)…but this laid the groundwork for 2 straight games aferwards of dressing a checking only 4th line.;

  53. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I was never fooled by their stretch of winning (1 loss in regulation last 11 games before last night) even though I enjoyed seeing it. Like most, I believe the team, although has talent, is too small to compete especially in the playoffs. The stretch we had was mostly the direct play of our goalkeepers who have been great this year. I still don’t like Michel Therrien behind the bench, he’s definitely overrated.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      They played some good and some bad games in that stretch. Good goaltending, timely scoring and solid defense all help during a winning streak.

      They are a better than average team and will make the playoffs. They still need to make some moves to contend though.

      I’m not a fan of taking an amazing winning streak and searching out the negatives in it.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  54. frontenac1 says:

    Anyone catch that video of Ford handing out cash in the projects? Gauche! At least back in Quebec ,they use to buy us a round in the Taverns. That”s how you buy votes amigos.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ha, yah seems every week we get a new Ford video for entertainment. Life in Southern Ontario will get pretty boring if this brother tandem ever lose their jobs. Thankfully the latest poll results show no dip in support for that duo.

    • bel33 says:

      Not sticking up for our idiot mayor… but that was his brother Doug handing out the money… not Rob.

      Both are as embarrassing. What a family.

      – I’d buy that for a dollar! -

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    So apparently Burke’s own kids were giving him a hard time for his perfectly manicured coiffer yesterday.

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2013/12/12/nhl_burkes_dishevelled_look_generates_twitter_buzz.html#

  56. Luke says:

    TSN hasn’t answered my question yet.

    Typical Toronto media Anti-Habs bias.

    UPDATE: Still Nothing. This is an outrage!

  57. krob1000 says:

    http://www.milehighhockey.com/2013/7/31/4569570/estimating-the-value-of-paul-stastny
    good article on Stastny…ultimately comparing him to Pleksish players. I cans ee why he would be a fit in MOntreal.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Only if the Habs would move Plekanec since Eller and Galchenyuk are already at centre, DD would also have to go. Statsny make more coin then Pleks so I would prefer to keep Pleks.

      Habfan17

      • krob1000 says:

        There is plenty to suggest they are looking aat Stastny…I can;t help but wonder if he is not the guy who would play with Pleks and be converted..or Eller. Teh HAbs like two way players….it frustrates us to no end when they cannot score but then on the other hand HAb fans are all over the offesnive minded guys when they don’t score and ironically sometimes if they do. COnculsion noone is good enough for MOntreal…but any time the team can add someone like PAul Stastny…I would do it depending on the cost. DD is the odd man out and Glachneyuk is doign just fine ont he wing…not sure why teh outrage that he isn’t playing center. I would like to see the team keep Pleks, Eller, get Stastny and keep Glachenyuk…remove BRiere and DD from the equation by next season. One of those guys can play wing….but at some point they will all get shots at center anyway. IF Gionta is gone there is a gaping hole at checking/two way shutdown forward and I would argue that for th3e same money Stastny is a huge upgrade and one of a handful of available players with both teh offesne and defensive instincts capable of playingwith pleks. Other option is Eller with Pleks at wing…that too could be intersting…no matter how you clise it MB’s scouting and the rumour mill tend to suggest the HAbs are targeting Stastny and that could lead to other moves….maybe not til offseason but could mean a major shakeup…I just don;t think Pleks is the guy to go…and hopefully it isn;t Eller either.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I am not one who gets on the players for the lack of scoring, yes, I point out when it is down and if a particular players seems to be dogging it, I comment. I do believe the lack of scoring rests on the shoulders of Therrien.

          He promised a puck possession game that exploited the Habs skills and speed. he has not delivered. I actually believe there are current Habs players who could have more goals if Therrien was capable of putting together a system that works to the players strengths!

          I have to wonder why he took the skilled speed players of the PK and gives more time to the pluggers. There were a few games where it seems that on each PK the Habs came close to scoring short handed goals then he changed things up again. When the Habs were forcing and getting short handed scoring opportunities, it forced the other teams to be more conservative on the PP.

          Habfan17

          • krob1000 says:

            This pk thing the result of dressing a checking 4th line. The puck possession game is interesting….I find the HAbs are too good and tightly dispersed in the dzone (have blown a few assingemnets of late but in general stay in good position). Once in t he neutral zone however, it appears they are often to spread and there isn’t sufficent puck support…in the ozone it is much of the same…and when they do support teh other guy is often not ina shooting position…..also a ton of HAbs make a pass or play on teh boards…and then stay on th e boards…their motion after the pass is abysmal….some blame this on perimeter play and being small but I think that is untrue as that is where the physical play is….along the boards….but after tehymake that pass they have to start giving guys two options…ot one option who is just as often covered as not. Watch them down low…one guy will pass along the boards behind the net…teh second guy gets it and looks to the slot…the guy who made the orginal pas should going to the back door of the net or out front but often just stays behind the net.

          • Phil C says:

            Staying behind the net is a good example of ths type of perimeter play that drives me nuts. Of course you are wide open back there, its not as dangerous as the ice in front of the net. They need to compete for the dangerous ice more often.

  58. Maritime Ronn says:

    It must be very difficult for Habs players these days.

    From one day to the next – one game to the next, hell one period or shift to the next, you NEVER know who you will be playing with…of course with a few teacher’s pet exceptions (no disrespect to the teachers here.)
    :-)

    I was wondering where this act played out before?
    Oh my!

    July 25, 2008 ( 7 months before the Pens fire Therrien after they lost the Cup Finals)

    Headline:
    “Michel Therrien Is Not the Answer for the Penguins”

    Does any of this ring a bell?

    ” What were the lines? Therrien would play whomever, where ever, whenever. One shift you would see Crosby out with Malkin and Recchi. The next it would be Staal with Ouellet and LeClair. Next shift: Crosby, Staal, and Malone. There was little consistency for the team to form chemistry.”

    “Over two and three quarter seasons, Therrien has shown a penchant for not knowing the right time to STOP playing players to the detriment of the team. He has been unable to keep set lines and too quickly abandons things, throwing out the “I Give Up” line of Malkin-Crosby-Whoever.”

    “Therrien was then exposed further.

    While his roster was thinner, and a tired Recchi and Malkin hurt the team, he showed what little technical abilities he had. The fast, talented, and tough Ottawa Senators quickly dismantled his system.
    Therrien had no counter punch. The Penguins were quickly eliminated.

    The Penguins added some talent coming into the new season, but the same problems remained. Petr Sykora, brought in to play with Sid or Malkin, was put on the third line. You never knew who was going to be playing with whom. Despite more scoring depth, Recchi remained on Sid’s wing even with his very poor play.

    There were rumblings of players’ dislike of Therrien. It could explain the departure of said Ruutu and the loss of trade deadline pick up Marian Hossa.

    His disciplinary actions have caused issues with players, and his style of game is not flexible.

    They made it to the Finals when the better coach and an even team exploited Therrien. Every shift, the Red Wings would press deep into the zone, taking the large amount of room the Pens defense gave them as they continued backing up into the zone.

    The Wings would also cut off any chance at a breakout (which always runs from defense to defense to center) by putting pressure on both defensemen.”

  59. Ian Cobb says:

    NOW YOU ALL HAVE TO SEE THIS!!

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=545103978916560&l=4661802857578440962
    The Sweater – An animated short

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
    IAN

  60. scotland says:

    from now untill saturday therrien is juggling lines. he should just get a roulette wheel with players names on it. one wheel for his home and one for the behind the bench.

    • Luke says:

      But remember when the last lamented and criticized and whined about line shuffles led to a 9-0-1 streak and MT’s brilliance?

      • Habfan17 says:

        More like luck, not brilliance! Logic dictates that to have chemistry and be successful, the players need to play together for a prolonged period and gain familiarity. When a line becomes complacent, then the coach earns his keep and has methods to re-energize and motivate them.

        The constant juggling is what led to LeClair being moved and then the Flyers put a him on a line and let them grow together and gain chemistry, short term pain for long term gain. Demers ‘ruined” LeClair in Montreal doing what Therrien is doing, constant line shuffling. Therrien needs to learn how to motivate without tinkering all the time, my opinion!

        Habfan17

        • Luke says:

          So, and I just need to clarify here, “we” (HIO) want MT to split up DD & Max because they shouldn’t be locked together AND we want MT to lock his lines together because splitting them up would ruin chemistry?

          • punkster says:

            Oh Luke, it’s logic man…logic. To create stability you must split things up…I think….maybe.

            Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
            but…
            ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

          • Habfan17 says:

            I talk for myself not HIO, Yes, they should not be split up every game and every shift in my opinion. How can anyone get in a rhythm when they play with different line mates every game or most shifts in a game?

            Having said that, there does come a time, if after being given plenty of time to gain chemistry and it isn’t working, something needs to change. But, that isn’t one game or one or two shifts!

            You certainly don’t split up two lines that are working well to spark two players on one line then have none of them working.

            Habfan17

  61. Strummer says:

    Excerpt from Boone’s ALN
    ” There are 22 players in the NHL who are 5’9″ or shorter.

    Eighteen of them play in the Eastern Conference. Five are Canadiens: Gallagher, Gionta, Daniel Brière, David Desharnais and Francis Bouillon.

    There are more short players on this team than in THE ENTIRE WESTERN CONFERENCE!”

    Let the de-smurf-if-ication begin
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  62. scotland says:

    well said on lars ellar. give therrien more time and kids confidence will be shot

  63. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Team played soft, soft, soft. Needed some nastiness out there especially after a 6-0 blowout. Also needed to put some rubber on the net. Sheesh. Oh well, can’t win them all. They need to get back to winning hockey soon though. Go Habs.

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

  64. Phil C says:

    The reason the Habs lost last night was the instigator rule. Stupid instigator rule is ruining everything!! Oh and I’m pretty sure global warming has something to do with it, oh yes, yessiree. And all that rap music the kids listen to these days, its bad I tells ya! WAKE UP THERRIEN!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.