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. scotland says:

    “this concealed hate is bad for you all” lol. ok doc. btw…if its so concealed how did ya pick up on it……go back to cheerleading.

  2. habstrinifan says:

    I see all the talk of trades etc for a ‘big power top scorer’.

    Someone mentioned Statsny.

    I don’t see that as an answer.

    Given our ‘system’and the emphasis our coaches have shown, do you really think that inserting a Kane(or similar) would change this team.

    I think we would simply have one more óffensive’ weapon which will be made to ‘fit in’.

    I don’t know what we are fitting people into and have been for the last so many years but I cant remember when any recent coach didn’t say this or that player had to fit in to ‘whatever’.

    I cant see why we have a player like Lars with so much skill and enough grit and we cant have as part of our development process a Claude pushing these guys not to be better ‘team players’ but to be offensive stars.

    Couldn’t someone from the HABScreate an individual profile for Lars Eller. Where he should shoot from; where he should ‘stop’and begin playmaking in the offensive zone. Essentially add purpose to his game… but OFFENSIVE purpose.

    Aaaah who cares. I don’t know what the hell I am talking about anymore. But I do not want to see another player brought in ‘to fit in’.

    • Phil C says:

      Your comments on Eller apply to the entire team. Systematically, the Habs defend well but do not attack well. It seems to be a blind spot for the coaching staff. You are on to something…

      • habstrinifan says:

        I really don’t want to ‘bash’ coaches etc. But I would jump up and applause if I see MB come on tomorrow and say we have added a Claude Ruel type on our staff and his only job will be to teach our players how to kick-arse offensively. How to, as Boone would say, ‘triangulate plays’to produce certain shots from certain places. You cant teach ‘talent’ but you can teach how to build çonstructs’ with that talent. One thing an offensive ‘profile’would help with a player like Eller (and yes Gionta), it would show them in black and white ‘natural tendencies’ which must be altered to produce more effective rushes.

        Aaah forget it…

        • Phil C says:

          This has been the biggest problem with the team in the last two years. They should be getting more out of their talent offensively. For example, any team that disrupts their break out completely dominates them. No puck support at all and seldom an adjustment made. In the offensive zone, there are too many shots without traffic and too much perimeter play.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      This is also my thought with Chucky. We draft an elite threat and teach him to check check check. It’s not that a guy doesn’t have to do both, but what should come first? Where should the emphasis be?

  3. scotland says:

    thats true buddy….the d has only seven goals 4 from subban. three from markov. believe me that aint gonna change. diaz is a girl in disguise. gorges thinks he’s a lacross player and retreats to his own ene with not intentions of playing the point in the other teams end. think about it. how many times do you see georges where he is not flopping around tryin g to block shots or crashing into price. screening price, getting paced to the boards, blocking shots, its all he can do to just fire the puck out of our zone then he goes off huffing and puffing. boulion and murray are not gonna score. emelin is there to punish forwards and is very good at it.

    • krob1000 says:

      I think your perception of hockey is very physicalty oriented…that is fine but you should at least try to appreciate the value of position. I challenge you to go to NHL.com or TSn…anywhere and find a game and look at the hit tracker…then find me a game where there are even 25 percent of hits that are not right against the boards. The great majority of the rink is open ice yet hardly anyone gets hit there. You are downplaying the guys who you perceive to be poor deffenders because they are not as physical…that does not equate to lesser defending..in fact more often than not it equates to better defense. You do need some guys who can be phsyical but opportunites to do so are still very few and far between. The physical value is there more often than not for after the whistle crap and intimidation purposes…for that I am really happy about Douglas Murray. I just think you should try to see the good things in guys like Diaz. Gorges to me is very similar to DIaz, slightly more physical but slightly less cerebral. I give Diaz the passing and offensive nod though some may disagree.

  4. New says:

    That was a strange game last nite. At one point Murray had a Flyer in his left hand and another in his right and gave them both a shove. So that one on two in front of Price makes up for the alleged five flyers on Emelin while two whispered on the ice and the refs decided amongst themselves that they should hand out five to Emelin, one for each Flyer on him, and a game for not corralling the other two so the refs could count.:-)

    Couple weeks ago I wished that the Habs could win a few games and maybe the whining on HIO would stop. They did – thanks guys. But the whining didn’t stop. It slowed and became a sort of weird cranky old man commentary. Some folks tried to keep it upbeat which made the site better. Now I see it’s back full tilt.

    It is just a game. We pay to watch. Why pay or watch if it makes you miserable? Seriously, constructive critique is fine, but this concealed hate is bad for you all.

  5. PADPZ says:

    I really get the impression hitting Murray is like hitting a brick wall.
    He should stay, he should be our 6th defenseman, not Bouillon.

  6. knob says:

    We have lost 2 in a row, big deal. We are a wild card team, a team in transition. I believe that the players we have right now are good enough to make the playoffs and with hot goaltending…you just never know. That is for this season though.

    As for the go forward strategy, MB has to start making better decisions on the personnel. MT and MB need to start giving the kids more responsibility. Any current player with an expiring contract should be evaluated closely and I think that the test should be this: Do we expect this player to be a useful piece in 3 years?

    Let’s apply the test:
    Eller – yes = resign;
    Gionta – no = traded;
    White – unsure = keep for the balance of the year and see what is available
    Parros – no = keep but don’t resign
    LeBlanc – unsure = see Ryan White
    Subban – yes = resign (no brainer! why has there been no extension yet?)
    Markov – yes = resign (this is a tough one though)
    Diaz – no = trade (Beaulieu is the same player but better upside)
    Murray – no = see Parros (unless he has value on the market)
    Bouillon – no = see parros

    With respect to the aforementioned, if the return is less than a third round pick or top nine forward/top 4 defence Montreal might as well keep them but few should be resigned.

  7. scotland says:

    nucleus that mb has to build around. only players on this club that should be here in a year:

    price
    subban
    markov
    galagher
    galchenyuk
    prust
    elar
    murray
    paxerietty
    budai
    pleks

    count em….. thats 11 players counting the back up goalie. the others are what makes this team a non contender that is easy to beat and win or lose always easy to play against.

  8. montreal ace says:

    The team has a grand total of seven goals from our defence, with four coming from Subban, thats just not enough. The young kid from Boston Krug has more goals then our entire defence, this is a problem.

  9. Sean says:

    Not a fan of the Briere signing. However, he really looked like he was coming into his own with Plekanec and Gionta after he came back from that concussion. Why was he demoted?

    As for Gorges, I am beginning to agree with many that he’s overpayed/overated. Gorges is anything but physically imposing. For a defensive dman that contributes next to no offense, he is too small. We would be better off with a 6 foot 5 giant that can lay guys out and control the play. Gorges’ style of play contributes to this sit back and hang on system that we need to get away from. Great he can block shots; we have Price for that.

    Oh yea one more thing,

    Happy friday!

    • krob1000 says:

      It is very difficult to find someone who can play with Pleks and Gio….it ahs to be an elite defensive player who also has offesnive ability. There is noone on the team who can fit in that role …perhaps Eller if he was a wnger but he has proven more effective up the middle. MAybe they bring in Stastny to play wing? or bring in Stastny to play Eller’s role and move Eller?
      Right now that is a gaping hole and the problem I suspect MB is trying to solve as Birere, Glachenyuk and Bournival all played well there offesnviely…but given the role as teams shutdown line it leaves vulenrability when matched against elite lines. The platooning of Moen sort of works…but is a bit of an on the fly problem and then means the other defesnvie line is now depleted.

  10. scotland says:

    well said Mount royal, could not agree more on captain gionta. not a leader. selfish player. gets way too much prime ice time. should not be on pp or pk. heard his comments on bounival too. the supposed captain actually sounded as if he was slighted by compliments to bournival. ha! the kid is already a better hockey player than gionta now is. never passed on a two on one in his life. last nights two on one, (three on one actually) took a slow wind up, telegraphing to everyone in the building where he was going and then took a weak shot right at the goalie. tired of seeing pleks saddle bagged with this guy. captain??? yea right.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think its fair to criticize Gionta’s play. I’ll even join in a bit and say his game has dropped off a bit. But to cite the Galchenyuk goal and Gionta’s natural reaction to get the puck across the goal line as an example of selfishness is stretching it, don’t ya think?

    • rogieshan says:

      I think if you’re goal scorer (and to be fair, Gionta used to be a pretty good one), you have to be a little selfish. How many times have we wished this season for Pacioretty and Eller to shoot more instead of trying to make the perfect pass?

      Gionta is playing for his next contract and it’s obviously not going very well. I think his uncertain status will weigh heavily on this team the deeper we get into the season and his struggles continue.

  11. montreal ace says:

    From Dec 2 to the 15th, we will have played 8 games in 14 nights, the schedule has not been kind to us. I love hockey and love game night, but even to me its too much. The teams success has come from Price so far, I think his play has been the biggest factor in where we stand.

  12. Old Bald Bird says:

    To me, DD and DB are essentially the same player. And we don’t need two of him or them. Whatever.

    If you can rotate Cube and Crankshaft, why not DD and DB? Play whoever is hot … or less cold anyway.

  13. Cal says:

    So, the Habs are back to sucking rocks again? Don’t break your ankles jumping off the bandwagon.
    We all know the Habs are truly a bubble team that has a fair to middling chance of making it to the playoffs, but that’s it. They are not contenders by any stretch of the imagination, so why gnash your teeth and grind your bones over every goal against or loss?

    The younger players are improving while the vets are having okay seasons. Some players have been downright terrible. Many of us mentioned during the summer that having 4 of the top 9 forwards below average in height and weight was going to make it difficult to win. We are seeing this play out almost every night. If the Habs don’t score early and often, each game will be extremely close, even with Price and Budaj playing out of their minds.

    I am looking forward to the WJC and the Olympics. The Playoffs would be a bonus.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      The third best Team in the East is a bubble team. Interesting. All this talk about being contenders or not is also bs. Right now everyone would probably call the Ducks a contender. Yet, the Habs are more likely to make it to the Stanley Cup final than Anaheim because the Eastern Conference is so weak and the Western Conference so strong…

      • Cal says:

        Sorry, Bob, I see what I see on the ice and you see what you see. Habs aren’t as good as some like to believe, but they’re not as bad as others would say. To me, they’re a bubble team.

  14. RAM_TOUGH says:

    RE: Emelin last night.

    Looking @ the video, Emelin didn’t even come close to a head shot.

    Guts-Glory-Ram

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I thought it was a penalty although not five and a game. I watched the game on NHL Center Ice and what made me laugh was Flyer commentator Bill Clement tut tutting the kind of play the NHL is trying to eliminate and wondering when players are going to get it. Bill Clement? He played on a Phillie team referrred to as the Broad St. Bullies didn’t he? Idiot.

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

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    The Losses are on me folks, I haven’t watched the past two games thus I have to take the blame.

  16. habfan01 says:

    Watching the Flyer feed last night, they showed a quote from Emery concerning the Chicago blowout. He stated that he wanted to play with losers- sore losers- after a game like Chicago. Guys that would come out PO’ed after a game like that and take it out on the next opponet ( or words close to that). Where were our sore losers last night?

  17. mount royal says:

    OK, I need to get this off my chest. Gionta is the wrong captain for the Habs. He is a good player, but a bad leader. I was first concerned a few weeks ago, when, after everyone was commenting on how Bournival`s speed was pushing his line mates (including Gionta) to play better, that Gionta then responded by saying that speed wasn`t everything. In other words, instead of encouraging a youngster who was really contributing well, he kind of denigrated his accomplishments. Not good; especially coming from the captain. It also sounded slightly defensive as if he really didn`t think it was necessary to keep up with Bournival.
    Last night three incidents that disturbed me.
    1. On the two on one , instead of making a good pas that should have resulted in a goal, he shoots into the pads. Any goalie who has the book on Gionta knows that he will shoot about 90% of the time; so, in my view this was a missed opportunity and possibly for selfish reasons. (I have felt for some time that Gionta wants to register a high number of shots per game.)
    2. On the goal that was called back, He claimed immediately to the ref that he had pushed it in with his stick. The replay showed that that was a blatant lie. You can argue that lying is part of his desire to win, but it is not appropriate for the captain. If you think back to Belliveau. Gainey. Koivu, Muller, Butch Bouchard and others; these men established a solid tradition of leadership which included honesty, even if it hurt.
    3. On the Hab`s goal, Chuck`s shot dribbles acroos the line and Gionta whacks at it after it is about a foot across the crease. That`s fine. But then, he immediately looks, not at his teammates, but at the ref, to see whether he will get credit for the goal.

    He is a selfish player; not a bad player; but a bad captain.

    • rogieshan says:

      He’s still competing at both ends of the rink, which is about the only positive thing you can say about Gionta, given that he is no longer effective at finishing his chances (weak shot, slow release). It’s clearly wearing on him and a few others on this team.

      As for his leadership qualities, my biggest question is what role he plays when the team comes out flat and words need to be said. Is he vocal in the dressing room, or does it matter?

    • krob1000 says:

      ? this is odd..you really think eh was looking at the ref to credit for a goal? they have a video booth that replays ev ery goal and makes changes…he was making sure the puck went in the net before anyone stopped it…you always do that…if you don;t and it costs you one goal you will get an earful from your coach and never,ever do it again.

      On the 2 on 1′s yes he does shoot more often than not…but at least he does shoot into the pads and agian that is what he is supposede to do …to generate a rebound or score if the pass option is taken away. Then the other guys gets an opportunity at the rebound. Missing short side leads to an rus the other way with two guys deep. Gionta is also one of the best shooters on the team so no harm in him taking shots from 20ft.

      BOurnival crap… don’t know anything about it but I do know that Gionta would never intentionally insult one of the kids or at least never has and has always tried to be a team player. As far a s speed goes ..>Gnta has plenty to burn and can “keep up” with Bournival just fine. Gionta is still a way faster than average skater and is even “quicker” in shorter spurts likely than Bournival.
      Bournival has been a pleasant surprise but if youa re somehow insinuating that Bournival at this point is a better player than Gionta I have to disagree completely….as would I suspect any NHL coach. Bournival plays hungry and nothing I am saying is meant to take anything away from him…but Gionta makes a good point, speed is not everything….positional play, directing the forecheck where you want it to go, etc are all important as well and even more important when you play with Gio and Pleks who are the teams shut down line and face the world best night in and night out.

  18. 24 Cups says:

    I wonder if this teenager can play hockey.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VwWRpIinxs

  19. scotland says:

    it aint the just the two losses……………..its the way they lost. likke last years play offs. and we know we will see it again.

    habs have half an nhl team.

    see brierre skating around last night smiling and laughing with all his ex teammates. then playing like crap the rest of the time. with bournival in the press box. moves like that and you deserve to lose.

  20. Eddie says:

    I think any reasonable fan can see that Bournival is more valuable to this lineup than Briere.

    Bournival should not be discussed as a 4th liner, subbed in and out for Parros.

    Pekanec owes about 4 or 5 of his goals to the wonderful work and terrific passes Bournival made.

    Why Bornival is not given that spt next to Pekanec and Gionta is really puzzling to me.

  21. Steeltown Hab says:

    Pacioretty – Eller – Briere
    Galchneyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
    Bourque – Bournival – Gionta
    Prust – White – Moen

    Briere impressed me enough against Boston, I’m fine with him in a scoring role with 2 big forwards. He also brings more on the PP than Davy.

    ———————————

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

  22. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Last night from the behind the net cam, Price flubbed on the 1st goal. We can clearly see that Price was not screened but he goes to his right, why? The pass went out to the slot, all Price had to do was squarely challenge the shooter & that puck would have been stopped easliy.

    Guts-Glory-Ram

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Obviously he missed it on purpose just to piss you off, why else would he screw up something so simple. Also I heard a wild rumour from some scientists that say Humans aren’t perfect, clearly that scientist didn’t know the makeup of what a Habs goalie should be.

    • Phil C says:

      Stopping pucks is a function of team play as much as it is a function of goalie skill. The question you should really be asking is how a player can be left alone in the slot with time to pick his spot, leaving the goalie completely vulnerable.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Carey Price.

      For starting goalies that have started 60% of their team’s games.

      Save Percentage: .933 – 3rd best in the NHL
      Goals Against Ave.: 2.08 – 5th best in the NHL

    • Mustang says:

      Price tends to play “square” to the puck more often than just about any other goalie I have seen. Just look at how many shots he stops with his mid section. His anticipation of where the shot is going to be is remarkable. Obviously he can’t be right all of the time as you managed to point out.

    • Cal says:

      That first goal is all on Gorges. After he got the puck off the face-off, Gorges made a brilliant pass off the back of Emelin’s leg, setting in motion the whole play. The Flyers were opportunistic enough to score.
      Marc Denis blamed the goal on Emelin. Sometimes, when watching RDS, I wonder if Denis has his head up his ass as he’s watching the game.

      • krob1000 says:

        I blame Emelin too…or at least communication but Pleks went with a guy, Gorges went with a guy and Emelin was by himself not within 20ft of anyone and glued to the crease…it was on Emelin…he needed to recognize who had who and step up and take that shooter in the slot. You are correct about the Gorges pas earlier…but after that Emelin blew his coverage…didn;t even attempt to cover anyone really…but yes you are right inw ahwat set things off but as for the scoring play itself…Emelin was in no mans land and would still be the one who gets pointed out int he video room.

  23. Kooch7800 says:

    Tough game but it is a long schedule and you can’t win them all. Entire team was flat but the offense really lacked intensity.

    The player that really bugged me last night was Briere…..this should be a game he would be up for and he was invisible. Every time the camera is on him he is seen talking to his old buddies on Philly. I would rather have Bournival in the line up every night instead of in the box. At least you know he is playing

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • RAM_TOUGH says:

      I feel that MB has done more bad than good so far.

      Guts-Glory-Ram

    • 24 Cups says:

      The good news last night was that most of the other teams in the East also lost. Even though the Habs have been shaky this week they still hold a 9-11 point lead over the other five teams that are trying to grab a playoff spot.

      The bad news is that the team basically hasn’t scored a goal in two games.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Hopefully with a good game on sat and Sunday they can turn the week around. If I was MT Briere would be in the press box. Hopefully Emelin doesn’t get suspended. He shouldn’t but in this league…..it is like rolling dice

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  24. Luke says:

    So I just watched the video of the Emelin elbow:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/canadiens-emelin-ejected-elbow-head-steve-downie-video-022505972–nhl.html

    Not sure my opinion. Probably be POed if it was a Hab, but I think Downie trying to avoid the hit is what turns it into an elbow.
    I’ll leave the embellishment aspect up to others to discuss…

    However, I’d like to know, and hopefully the league will address why, with Downie on the ice injured, there are 5 Flyers in the scrum trying to get at Emelin. Do a head count at the :24s mark.

    • Eddie says:

      And one of them throws a Haymaker over the top punch at one f or players and no call?

      Seriously?

      If it wasn’t for Bettman distracting everyone, the NHL refs would be the laughing stock of Pro sports.

      • Luke says:

        So I wanted to double check and I just watched it again.

        We need to add another Flyer. Coburn is on the ice tending to Downie. Important to note too, since he is in the D zone (Long change) and on the far wall… It’s not like he was infront of his own bench. here’s your head count:

        #9 – Downie – On ice injured.
        #5 – Coburn – Tending to Downie

        # 19 – Hartnell – Scrumming
        # 32 – Streit – Scrumming
        # 44 – Timonen – Scrumming
        # 8 – Grossman – Scrumming
        # 14 – Couturier – Scrumming

        So, I’m guessing a defense pair jumped and entered an altercation. I’m guessing no one will mention it. And I’m guessing that despite doing about the same as Clarkson (Or at least Bisonnette – illegal line change) there’ll be no 3 or 10 game suspensions.

        Which there should be.

        But its the NHL. They’ll look at the elbow a hundred times to see if it is legal, but the fact that 7 Flyers on the ice, 5 of which are trying get at Emelin, will escape notice.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Very observant Luke, in all seriousness you should email that question to Kerry Fraser at TSN. Asking how linesmen/referees can miss the basic call of too many men particularly in a skirmish, or something along those lines.

    • adamkennelly says:

      they better not suspend him but they likely will..Downie pulling back to avoid the hit is what created the contact…Emelin did “move” in reaction to Downie’s flinch but we are talking about milliseconds to make that “decision” if you can even call it a decision.

      Downie was faking – no way in a million years does he come back into the game if he was really “woozy” after the hit.

    • Cal says:

      Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Love that Downie got to eat one, after he’s made a career of attempting to injure other players.

  25. Steeltown Hab says:

    Pacioretty needs to play with intensity and use his size consistently.

    Gallagher doesn’t choose to start the engine up every few games, he goes every night. Pacioretty, got the long-term deal, has as much respect from the coaching staff as any player in that room.

    And gets to play with his bffl Davy, step up.

    ———————————

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

  26. Maritime Ronn says:

    NHL trade rumors are what they are – mostly nothing, yet when a connected/respected guy like the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater mentions something, it’s not wrong to take notice..

    “…The Montreal Canadiens have been scouting the Avs heavily all season, and I’m told they have been looking hard at Stastny.”

    Whether or not there is any truth to that, adding in all the other factors such as the Stastny UFA status this summer and his present contract ($6.6M), what is revealing is the following:

    “…If Stastny stays, that means Nathan MacKinnon has to either play as a third-line center, or on the wing on a higher line. Either he won’t get great ice time as a third-liner, or he’ll get more, but play at an unnatural position.”

    Interesting.
    The Avs draft a young guy whose natural position is Center, yet have concerns about getting him ice time in his natural position and not wasting minutes elsewhere – and that, in his FIRST year.

    Also interesting is how Sakic/Roy see things concerning a Top draft pick Center.
    I wonder how they would handle….ah, never mind.

    Anyhow, Stastny or no Stastny, he would never be able to bump our present 2 Top 6 Centers of Plex and…..Desharnais.

    • Eddie says:

      Ronn, read yesterday that Crosby and Malkin were complaining about how Therrien expects his centres to play.

      Galchenyuk got 1 game at center, and Therrien boasted they had been considering that move for some time.

      The next game he was back on the wing.

      I think Eller and Desharnais are also not that comfortable with Therriens strategy for using the center, and even Plekanec looks like he leaves a lot of offence in the room on some nights as well.

      I have heard on RDS whispers that Galvhenyuk might stay on the wing for a few years yet.

      The day Desharnais contract expires, Therrien will be declaring the Galchenyuk on the wing experiment “over”.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Eddie

        Can you recall where you read that about Crosby/Malkin?
        It would be an interesting read.

        • Eddie says:

          I wish I could Ron. It was posted here yesterday.

          If you look at quotes from Shero the day Therien was fired, he makes it clear that his offensive players were playing too defensively. Those are direct quotes.

          When you read between the lines, who are the offensive weapons on that team? They are the magnificently talented centres, Crosby and Malkin.

  27. SmartDog says:

    Bergevin is in a bit of a difficult spot. And so are the Habs really.

    Bergevin has to see what everyone else does. And since he signed some a handful of veterans to shorter contracts it looks like he wants to give our young players time to develop.

    Which sounds like a good thing. Until you face the fact that except for Murray, who’s at the end of his career and only plays half the time (and for $1 just million) the other signings were not what we need and those guys might as well stay at home most nights. So basically wasted money and wasted cap space. Mean while we have players who might be more effective riding the bus.

    I know hindsight is 20-20 but 90% of FANS knew that the DD contract was ridiculous and that the Briere signing was even moreso.

    So what do you do? Do you admit Briere’s a bust? That Parros does as much harm as good? That the other ‘local son’ is a center that you don’t need (and that doing simple math – counting centers 1-2-3-4 – everyone else knew) and that no-one else wants. So in total you’ve spent over $8 million on players that all have serious short-comings? No pun intended.

    Most likely MB just waits it out, hoping that Briere shows up in the playoffs, that DD can play well enough to look okay in numbers, even if the team has to scramble itself to keep him playing with the right two guys (maybe the only two guys) that can make him look good?

    People talk about the intangibles players bring. Guys like Prust and Gallagher and Pleks and Markov all bring a kind of work ethic that stands up game after game. But what about the intangible of DD? Of Briere? Without these two guys would Therrien be constantly shuffling his lines? I don’t think so. It’s time for Bergevin to ship out at least ONE of these two mistakes. Somehow, someway. Not because they won’t put up a few points, or because they aren’t worth the money. But because trying to get them going seems like it’s an endless road.

    Briere keeps saying he feels more comfortable, even when he looks uninterested most games. (Maybe comfortable is the problem.) And DD can obviously catch fire… but only when Patches catches fire. I’d really like to see Bergevin own this and either get rid of one of these two, or somehow TRULY help to solve our size problem. I don’t think it will happen. I’m not sure it CAN happen. But I think it’s the change the team needs. Most likely we’ll have to wait to 2015-2016 while watching half our guys get pushed around like flyweights. Reminds me of the last decade. And the one before that. Sad memories. If Bergevin has brains AND stones he will at very least, not make anymore homer signings – or sign guys under 5’10″ again. That’s probably the best we can hope for.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Marc10 says:

      I didn’t like the Briere signing. I’ll agree with that. Why we couldn’t get Jagr on a one year contract… or just trust a kid to step in an re-evaluate our options once the guys we really wanted were gone.

      DD is as you say welded to Max, but his contract isn’t crippling given the new cap. He’s not a stupid signing like David Clarkson or Vinny. We do get an upgrade in size next year. Gio will go. Cube will retire.

      MB wanted Bickell and he wanted Vinny. Seeing how either of those guys are performing, I’m neutral about Bickell and really glad Vinny preferred Philly.

      Next year Diaz might also be gone. That leaves us with DD and Gally… Gally doesn’t count as his heart is 10 times the size of the average player’s.

      This is a transition year. If the stars align we might sneak in a series win if we make the show. Next year Tinordi, Beaulieu and Pateryn have to be knocking on the door. We’re going to get MOAR bigger. It will happen and hopefully that coincides with prime time hockey from Chucky, Gally, Lars, Max, Pleky, PK, Markov and Price.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        DD’s contract is crippling and he’s a flat out bad hockey player. Guarantee you could not get value for him in a deal / I’d be shocked if any deal could be made at all if it wasn’t swapping bad cap hits.

        ———————————

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

        • Marc10 says:

          He isn’t a bad hockey player, even by NHL standards. You only have to look at his stats with comparable players. Heck he had better numbers than Rick Nash…

          The contract isn’t great, but it’s not crippling. David Clarkson’s contract, Vinny’s… Now those are baaaaaaaad deals.

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Yep, that’s the way it is right now. There have been two mistakes made, DD and Briere and once those have been remedied the Habs will be in a better place. The bad karma between Briere and MT seems evident to me. Also the energy and resources required to support DD appears to me to be a detriment to the balance and harmony on the other lines; what a waste. Brian Gionta will most likely be gone at year’s end. He has been a good contributor here over the years and I’ll leave it at that. I do feel confident that the ship will right itself in a few years.

      24 cups and counting….

  28. Eddie says:

    I am not a psychologist but looking at the expression on Briere’s face there is no joy, no competitive spirit, no determination, no expression.

    I remember how much he had playing for Philly.

    This player is unhappy.

    • SmartDog says:

      Maybe he’s just tired and washed-up.

      I think he loves that he’s a Hab and being adored by Hab fans. I just don’t think he’s able to play much better… and he’s smart enough to see what’s going on. Lots of concussions will sap a guy’s competitive fire. Sucks, but there it is.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Bill says:

        I think you’re both partly right. He’s older, he’s got hard miles, definitely a little beaten down: the years have taken their toll. At the same time, he doesn’t look happy, and with the diminishment in his ice-time it’s easy to suppose that his role isn’t what he wants it to be.

        I don’t know what the expectations were for him when he signed: he had just been bought out, after all, so I don’t think it was fair for us to expect the old Briere. Salary is a little high for what he’s doing, though, eh?

        I’m still holding out hope that he’s got one more good playoff in him.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • Marc10 says:

          PP should be his meal ticket at this point, but you can barely justify playing him a regular shift when you have a speed demon like Bournival just itching to jump on and forecheck.

          That’s what we really need badly. Another fast forechecker. When Max, Gally and Bourni are flying, we’re just fine. If Bourque could do it, we’d be laughing.

          So yeah… it’s not looking good for DB. If he can’t set up or score on the PP (he still has great hands and vision), then he’s pretty much done. I don’t know that you can afford another two months of this when there are kids that bring more in the wings.

          Surprisingly, I feared Murray would be that guy…A step too slow and a real liability. If Crankshaft keeps bringing it… he could well be our Hal Gil for another year if the kids on D still aren’t quite ready to steal his job.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Great comments by all four posters. Basically sums up the Briere situation. The Habs are between a rock and a hard place.

            It could take some real guts to buyout Briere this summer.

  29. adamkennelly says:

    again – hockey is a physical game played in a confined space (boards) – the main purpose of which is take away opponents time and space (or create it) that is literally all it’s about when you break it down – so anyone who says size doesn’t matter – is simply being obtuse…because if you take any opinions or subjectivity out of it – its physics.

    speed, quickness, puck skills, hockey acumen are all key but SIZE is one thing you need and can’t teach or practice at to improve.

    P.S. Murray was a freakin beast last night – if Frankie plays one more game in his place it proves MT is clueless.

    • Right on with the PS!

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • Phil C says:

      Lets not get carried away with the size thing. 70% of the league is between 5’11″ and 6’2″. The most important element to create time and space is speed. The fastest thing on the ice is the puck so hockey favours the best puck movers primarily, then the best skaters. Based on the stats, hockey tends to favour average sized players, those who are big enough to play with the monsters, but small enough to still be fast. The Habs have too many below average-sized players, so they are out of balance size wise, but they don’t necessarily need to start recruiting 23 Douglas Murrays.

  30. Gentlemen, gentlemen and lady… I couldn’t stomach the 6-0 embarrassment and last night, save for Gally’s late game goal would have made it two shutouts, with poor shots on goal (meaning few scoring chances)

    The last run was half luck, half opponents (save for Boston which we always get pumped for).

    We are a .500 team until we get more size and consistent skill. (Easy Troll hunters, we lose a couple more games and we’re a .500 team, I count OT wins and losses as losses).

    Yup, that’s right. when was the last time that this team had tenacity and heart that made us a threat at any point in a 60 minute game? Anyone remember? Therein lies the problem;

    Max – Inconsistent but skilled. Rub on him is who will show-up
    Pleks – Our best forward. He get’s a pass most nights
    Gionta – Time to go even if he’s good in the room
    Gally – Only under 5’9″ we should keep
    Chucky – He’ll be good, how good, we’ll see in a couple years without MT (He sucked when we hired him and he’ll go at the end of his contract)
    Bourque – Huh? Is he still on the team, pulleasse!
    Eller – Needs more toi. He’ll be good and he has heart. I wager better than Max in points and consistency.
    Briere – BIG Mistake as pointed out by most. If we want to win, stop with this F’in French marketing BS!
    Bournival – Play him so we can decide
    Prust – Love him even if he isn’t a scorer. He comes to play most nights

    Subban – Star always reined in. Should just let him skate circles around everyone.
    Markov – solid, but old. Last year he could barely skate at the end of the season
    Diaz – Other half of Swiss Cheese, needs to go.
    Bull – Needs to go
    Gorges – Who suggested this poor shooting, weak bodied, stay at home nothing should be captain? That’s what I remember the brain trust on here saying after he got his multi-year extension.
    Murray – Good addition. Slow, but limited liability
    Emelin – Keeper

    Sorry to say boys, the rest turf (OK, I like Parros for some games). Keeping Price and Budaj for now…

    We’ll be lucky to make the playoffs and will be an early exit. Realize this and you won’t vomit when you see them play like last night and against LA or Buffalo for that matter. Yeesh!

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Harsh yes but certainly close to the mark here. This perspective will help with the wild mood swings on here. This team does have some good pieces but it is a few years away and a few big, skilled bodies away from being a true contender.

      24 cups and counting….

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Pretty much hit the mark.

      The Gorges comment I agree 100%, I’ve never seen a shutdown defensive defencemen who plays like he’s never entered a weight room in his life.

      ———————————

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

  31. Eddie says:

    Pretty simple actually. Teams know by now if you take away Subban and Markov the rest of our offence is likely to struggle.

    Time for Subban and Markov to be split up?

    • Phil C says:

      I think its time. I think they also really need a right-handed Defensemen to play with Markov. Emelin would be more effective on the left IMO.

      • Bill says:

        It would be interesting see Emelin play with Subban but yeah, there’s no one else at RD to play with Markov.

        Emelin was alright at RD with Markov before. Could go back to Gorges/Subban and Markov/Emelin.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

  32. Psycho29 says:

    In the previous thread I read (in a few places): “They can’t beat the tough teams”….
    It makes me laugh, typical negatimovity™ in here, especially after a loss.

    In the past 16 games, 11-3-2. Wins over Boston, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Washington (twice)….

    Of course we need to get bigger and stronger, but as someone said yesterday: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

    • Actually Psycho, this team seems to get pumped precisely for the tough teams and lose to the losers like Edmonton. I’ll wager a loss tomorrow to the Isles and even to Florida. That’s one of the rubs on this team. They don’t come to play every night and they don’t play 60 minutes. Short legs perhaps?????

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  33. Hobie Hansen says:

    When the Canadiens are firing on all cylinders and they catch teams off guard or just going through the motions they’re going to win a lot of games. That can happen in October, November and December.

    When the Canadiens run into big teams who are on their game or when the calendar flips over to the second half of the season, that’s when they’re in trouble.

    I think we beat Philadlephia in a seven game series. I think the Habs could take out teams like Toronto, Carolina, Detroit and Washington in a playoff series as well. Toronto and Philadelphia have some size but also have some holes on their rosters.

    TB, Pittsburgh and Boston will cause the Habs some big problems. I’d put us as slight underdogs against the Pens and Lightening but we’d still be capable of defeating them. We could possibly beat Boston in a 1st round series if healthy but we’d be in big trouble if we faced them after a tough first round matchup and we were a bit banged up and tired.

    Bottom line, as Boone says above, we’re still too damn small. You CAN NOT have four forwards on your top three lines that are 5’9″ or smaller. Then on top of it have smallish guys on defence like Bouillon, Diaz and even Gorges gets out muscled a lot.

    It’s not time to hit the panic button after losing two games. At this point I’d rather suck it up, get knocked out in the 1st round, and hold onto all our your players and picks, rather than making a stupid trade.

    However, if there’s a deal out there where Montreal could a acquire a top six forward with some size and grit, and a 3rd or 4th liner with the ability to play the game with some size as well, do it! Maybe a 1st rounder, Beaulieu and a roster player.

  34. Old Bald Bird says:

    Size and fit are certainly problems, but right now, this is a spent team. When this group loses its edge, it looks really bad.

    I have a felling that they may be in this funk for awhile. Don’t they usually have a pre-Chrstmas letdown.?

  35. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning. I compiled a list of dumb post on the game blog to remind me to stay away from here on game night. I’ve narrowed it down to my personal favorites. I’ve deleted the names to protect the innocent but I’ll add that these are folks that are familiar to most of us.

    #3 After a poster called out the many dumb post, including the two below. Here’s the reply he got from one of the leaders.
    “Why call them idiots. I have not heard any over the top comments.”

    #2 Galchenyuk was certainly not what we thought

    #1 “YUCK!
    Galchenyuk is just awful out there, trade him now before he loses his value. What a letdown he has been, it seems we just can’t draft a good player…..”

  36. CH Marshall says:

    `The lack of size manifests itself, however, in things that don’t show up on the scoresheet….The Canadiens lose puck battles.`

    pretty much sums up our old problem

    • SmartDog says:

      It’s ridiculous that MB signed Briere AFTER saying that he’s realized we need to get bigger.

      It was obviously marketing driven. But you can’t win hockey games by thinking about marketing first. I get that not every team can win. But even ONE lousy decision like this for the wrong reasons hurts the team.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  37. DipsyDoodler says:

    Someone tried to cheer us all up by saying that Milan Lucic got beat up last night. In fact, he won that fight. The other guy looked utterly dazed at the end.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Lucic did NOT win that fight and it was a draw at best.
      http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/120627

      Now, if Lucic’s skull was that of a normal human being instead of some type of cement-metal mutation, he would have gone down after 1 of the 2 huge right hand blows delivered by Gazic.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Lucic lost the fight. He took two haymakers right to the face. Whatever you think of Lucic, he has to be the toughest guy in the league. I can’t remember anyone taking shots like that and not going down. After one of those shots he stopped moving but did not go down (stunned). He face reminds me of the Hulk.

      • SmartDog says:

        Looks like a split decision to me. Lucic landed more punches, but Gazic did seem to hit square on with those two.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  38. zephyr says:

    they didn’t forecheck again. philly has a questionable d & they were given time to make plays. I don’t like diaz either. bouillon is a battler but he’s too small. bring up one of the kids (tinordi or pateryn) & play murray every nite because he plays to his strengths. subban has been reined in too far. let him skate & make plays.
    briere is useless. I’m sure philly has no regrets about the buyout. in fact, they’re prob singing right now. what was mb thinking? meanwhile, bournival hustles his can on every shift & he sits? we can’t have 4 small forwards playing every game. pick 2 maybe & trade the others (gionta-ufa & briere). meanwhile, sit briere. he’s being paid enough to afford hurt feelings. enough is enough.
    that was an interesting stat on short guys in the league but what happens when u expand it to 5’10 or 5’11? is there any real diff there? how does the league look at those benchmarks? isn’t mackinnon 5’10? i think it’s more important that ur dmen are not undersized (unless they can score a point a game). at fwd, if ur small & not a prolific scorer, ur a liability. we have too many starters who fail those tests.
    we better get this right b4 the frontier justice of the playoffs does us in again.

  39. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    Mr Boone writes, “If the losing streak hits three against the islanders … well, maybe a wee bit of anxiety might be in order.
    ———————-
    IF the ‘singular goal’ is for the Habs to make the playoffs, a 3 game losing streak and even worse, has little consequence in the overall big picture.

    Last year was a 48 game schedule where a short term losing streak meant trouble.

    The last time there was a complete and long 82 game schedule, Ottawa qualified for the 8th and final spot in the East.

    So what did their complete and ‘up and down’ season look like?

    October: Started the year 1-5-0. (Imagine if that was Montreal?)
    November: Started the month 0-4-1.
    December: Started the month 1-3-2

    From Jan 21st-Feb 7th: 0-6-1. (7 games without any type of win)

    March: Started the month 3-5-2, including 3 outright losses in a row and 2 outright losses in a row.
    April: Outright loss of its 3 final games.

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/team/schedule/_/name/ott/year/2012/ottawa-senators

  40. DipsyDoodler says:

    That’s 6 games in a row we’ve been outshot and out-chanced. 4 of the games were against bottom half of the league teams. Guess we’re not playing into June after all.

    Looks like all Canadian teams will miss the playoffs. Coincidence or conspiracy?

    • JUST ME says:

      At this point it`s probably drugs or alcohol. Guys win 9 out of 10 , were 1st in the conference then lose 2 in a row and are out of the playoffs…What and who is the problem here ?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      All the Canadian teams out of the playoffs?

      Montreal is 9 points ahead of its closest rival for 8th playoff position in the East.

      Vancouver is tied and fighting with Minnesota and Phoenix for the last 2 playoff spots in the West. The rest are basically out of it.

      Toronto – hampered by multiple injuries to key players, is still 3 points head of Ottawa that is its closest rival for 8th in the East, and 4 points ahead of Columbus-NYR-Philly

  41. JM says:

    ????????????????????????????????

  42. adadi says:

    Lots of people ragging Briere. Frankly I thought the signing was idiotic. Still do given the Habs obvious size problems. However, I feel bad for DB. The coach has pretty much hung him out to dry all season. Putting him on Patches line was another example of this. DB took the spot of the gritty player on a line that does not work unless you have the likes of A Cole or Gally. Furthermore this combination sucked earlier this year. I see Prust or Moen as a much better fit with this line yet MT has not even tried those combos yet.

    As for DB, he still looks and probably feels out of place on the Habs. I suspect that he will feel better in the second half. Also I think the guy is hurting by having to spend so much time away from his family who are still in Philly.

    DB has a high hockey IQ. This means he is a play maker. He has not been given this roll. Frankly I think that there are two options for him. Keep him on a smurf line with Pleks and Gio. I have feeling that once DB an Pleks figure each other out they will be incredibly tough to play against. The other line where I think he might work is with Eller and Chucky. (Three natural centers on one line). But I think given Ellers and Chucky’s work ethic it would work well.

    Finally, DB has always been a monster in the playoffs so I think we have something to look forward to.

  43. JF says:

    If the Flyers make the playoffs, they are the team I would most fear for the Habs to meet. However good we are or bad they are, we don’t play well against them. I don’t think they’re as dirty a team as the Bruins, Leafs, or Senators, nor are they any bigger or tougher, but they always seem to intimidate us.

  44. JUST ME says:

    A well deserved …loss yesterday.

    There are limits to trials and errors in life. I understand that you can and must be patient with some players and try to jump start their production like Therrien did with D.D. It worked at least for a while. Not sure that we can expect the same results with Briere though.
    Problem i have with that strategy is you break down some lines to help a player that does not produce . At one point the risk is that it will handicap the whole trio.

    Not much to say about yesterday`s game only that when you are not the first on the puck and are a second behind on many battles , the usual outlook is not a very positive one…Ah well…Back to the drawing board….

    • LTHF says:

      Well folks, I said it before the winning streak , again during the streak and again now, simply MT is not a NHL coach, he wasnt before when he was with the habs, not with Pittsburg and not now his second time around. How could a coach sit out a young up and coming player like bournival and play Briere, DD, and others. Two major mistakes by MB was the hiring of MT and Briere. He shunned the habs when he was in his prime, yet MB grabbed him this time around when he is on the downward trend of his NHL career. I could go on and on about MT and his choices of player combo and his line juggling, however, everyone can see for themselves. Anyway off to golf to wash it from my mind.

      • JUST ME says:

        Everything proves you wrong this season. As much as one wants him to be perfect he is not but if you were at his place you would enjoy a second chance and a third one as we all get in life.

        What I see is that his line juggling has worked in most cases as it does for any other coaches and he probably has a better average than most in that department.

  45. jrs10069 says:

    Why have the Canadiens lost 2 in a row? I’m guessing that their PE drug dealer is on vacation in florida.

    They look tired, slow and dumb (like they did before said dealer showed up). No hussle, trying little touch passes, the hockey looks like crap.

    Murray played great and is far exceeding my expectations, he splattered quite a few flyers with tiny little shoves. Good stuff.

    Unfortunately Emelin looks like he’s lost a step, hopefully not for good.

    Where is Prust’s Mojo? Haven’t seen it for awhile.

    Finally, get Diaz off the ice and out of the league. He’s minutely better than our old friend Weber who I’m pretty sure played 2 games for Van before they smartened up and waived him.

    They can turn it around, I’m guessing right before xmas when their buddy is back (with a tan)

    jrs10069

  46. DickandDanny says:

    It’s all about finish boys. If we finished tonight on a few of our really good chances we win. Simple as that. Gionta shoots right into Mason’s team logo. Terrible. Plekanec, a left hand shot is waiting for the saucer pass to come so he can one time it past Mason. Nope, Gionta elects to be the hero and as mentioned shoots and buries it in Mason’s jersey. Then later Gionta makes an obvious glove shot for our disallowed goal. C’mon, Gionta wake up already. And then there’s Plekanec himself, “Mr I want to do it all by myself “, who won’t pass the damn puck. How many times did he miss a great passing opportunity while trying to stick handle his way in and out of the corner and around the net, around and around he goes. Pass the frigging puck already. And then there’s our friend Pacioretty. It’s back to square one again with him. No wonder DD doesn’t look good some nights, playing with a 6’3″ 220 lb floater for a left winger. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, no drive, no heart, no hockey sense, and he wants everything to come easy for him. That best describes this guy Pacioretty. Just horrible in the last two games. Against big tough teams he is always a no show. Lastly, how do the Flyers amass a whopping 2 minutes in penalties during 60 minutes of hockey? That’s a sin. How many non hooking calls, interference, hitting from behind did they get away with? The most blatant was an interference on Ryan White in the first period. brutal. It set the tone for the whole game. And how did Emelin get 5 and a game for that hit. He didn’t even see where he was hitting the guy because the guy ducks and moves left to avoid the hit. Total BS. Oh and thanks Mr Damphousse for awarding Emelin a two game suspension, in the Antichambre. Most of us didn’t even think he deserved 2 mins. It was a hockey hit and his elbow only made contact because the Flyer moves to avoid being hit at the last second.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  47. SteverenO says:

    Therrien was right about one thing – bad decision making (his own) is hurting the team.

    He puts together a brand new line , Pacioretty, Desharnais and Briere, and, sight unseen, makes them his number one PP unit.

    I guess practice and a past record of success are unimportant when it comes to the special teams.

    This was a team that started the season with a great number one PP unit consisting of xxxxxx/Pekanec/ Gionta – Subban, & Markov.

    Regardless of who filled the left wing, be it Bourque, Bournival, Briere, Pacioretty,or Galchenyuk, the Plek/Gionta/ Subban and Markov as a PP unit have been consistently scoring at a very good rate, by far the best PP production on the team and among the best in the league.

    For no apparent reason, Plekanec and Gionta almost never play on the PP as the same time as Subban and Markov anymore. It’s very unlikely that it only a coincidence that our once potent PP can barely muster a shot on net during the PP. Oh yeah , there was one exception , the first PP against the Kings when the line of Plekanec, Gionta, and Galchenyuk managed to take 7 shots in one PP shift, only to be an afterthought for the remaining PP action in that game.

    It used to take some analysis and a detailed breakdown of statistics to see that Therrien was mismanaging the ice time on the PP. It has now become blatantly obvious.

    The other poor decisions are in his line combinations.
    He strted by scrambling the EGG linem to “spur” a slumping Pacioretty and DD. Wasn’t it only a few weeks ago that Plekanec and Gionta were singing the praises of Bournival as a great linemate that ,sparked them into scoring goals. Why not leave the EGG (working line) in tact and let the guy who already sparked one line try to spark another,especially since he was removed from the line that he had previously sparked?

    At the least, if he had to remove Gallagher and break up an effective trio why not stick Bournival in his place with Eller and Galchenyuk?

    The Plekanec and Gionta line continued to produce, post-Bournival, with Briere (another speedy winger)on their left wing but he, too, was removed for Prust

    The player who most resembles Eric Cole, (Prust)was never tried to the right of DD and Pacioretty.

    This is not rocket science, we have three Lines that can, and have all been effective, yet none of them are playing as a unit.;

    Bournival or Briere / Plek/ Gionta
    GalchenyuK/ Eller / Gallagher
    Pacioretty/ Desharnais/ Prust

    leaving a 4th line of either
    Briere or Bournival/ White/ Moen

    When Bourque comes back he can replace White and either Briere or Bournival can move to center.

    First PPUnit:
    Galchenyuk/Plekanec /Gionta, Subban, Markov

    Second PP unit:
    Pacioretty, Briere or DD, Gallagher Eller, and Diaz.

    The team has scored 2 PP goals in 45 minutes with Bouillon/Diaz/ Gorges on the point. It is absurd to NOT try something else.

    Pacioretty and Eller despie being the most effective penalty killers this year , play 1;28 While Moen and White play 3:45.. Bad decisions.
    We will never score a shorthanded goal with Moen and White on the ice. Why not put Subban, or Gallagher on the PK unit when we don’t just need to kill the penalty , but NEED to score a shorthanded goal to try and get back in the game?

    Bad decisions, lots of bad decisions. Not by the players , by the coaches.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  48. Timo says:

    So what positives did Therrien find in today’s game? Is there going to be a quality practice tomorrow? I bet he thought little Davey played a good game and did a lot of positive things… like he didn’t fall much or was prompt at line changes and once he even didn’t turn over the puck. That’s not nothing folks… that’s something to build on.

    • savethepuck says:

      I think MT threw a lot of Fun bombs between both period to rally the troops. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t. There is a rule in the new CBA that a team has to have so many days off a month. He knows Davey sucked and Davey has probably been told. It is easy for us fans to watch a TV broadcast and complain about who gets icetime or who gets benched, but we don’t have the advantage of the on ice view of the coaches and their video crew to really know what is happening.

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

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      At one point last night I noticed Briere got pushed over in the Philly zone and the loose puck found it’s way to DD who was then pushed over and Philly skated away and out the zone. I wonder why MT can’t see these obvious things. Anyhow this team has issues going forward and it will take a few years with consistent wise choices made regarding retooling……that “consistent wise choice ” thing worries me with a GM that publicly admits the team needs to get bigger and jumps to sign Briere and Boullion and less we forget CC

  49. Timo says:

    I was right when I said that 2 midgets and Pacioretty line was going to suck. I was wrong when I said that this line wouldn’t last past the first period. Therrien, in his idiocy, kept the msot useless line intact for the entire game.

    Who can Habs possibly get for Pacioretty and the best center he’s ever played with? Because Wee Davey is back to sucking harder than he ever sucked after 2 decent games. Pacioretty is not driving anywhere except for a line change. Danny effing useless … had a truly statement game. If Philly even needed a confirmation that they made a right decision buying out his sorry a$$ they got it tonight.

    Habs are sucking at pretty much the same point in the season as last season. Good thing they have time to turn it around. Bad thing is… there are 3 bad things. They don’t have the right players up front to do it. They have a moron for a coach and another moron for a GM.

    Best player on the ice tonight – Douglas Murray. Second best, Brendan Gallagher. The rest suck.

    • savethepuck says:

      The sad thing is that Briere was the best player on his line tonight. I thought that earlier in the season would of shown that those 3 don’t work together but MT decided to try it again. Contrary to what you think however, I think Max is an important part of this team moving forward, he just needs someone to convince him or he has to convince himself, that he doesn’t need Davey ffs.
      I disagree with your best player on the ice too. IMO it was easily Chucky. In the 1st 2 periods Eller-Gally-Chucky was our only line that produced any offensive chances and in the 3rd our best line was easily Plex-Gio-Chucky because they were the only line creating scoring chances. At least Daniel B have a few scoring opportunities tonight too.

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

      • Timo says:

        That’s the problem. Habs have way to many players who can perform only if there are other player who will create right conditions for them. They have very few players who make things happen. I agree, I meant to mention Galchenyuk as having played a good game too.

        But I still maintain that Murray was the best player because a) he committed least mistakes (i only noticed one questionable play by him tonight) and b) he nailed at least 4 flyers pretty hard and shitheads like Simmonds and Hartnell did very little when Murray was around

        • savethepuck says:

          Had no problem with Murray, but our Habs have a lot of other good players too. It is only 2 losses in a row and I’m to lazy to google, but I’m sure everyone other NHL team has gone thru this already this season. They are not mailing it in and saying F U Timo on purpose, it is just part of professional sports that no team can be dominant all season. Even in NFL football, and only playing 16 games ffs ( once a week ) great teams have stinkers. When you compare that to an 82 game schedule in the NHL, 162 in MLB, 82in NBA it should put some things into perspective, or am I wasting my breath because they should finish 82-0

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

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Like I posted earlier. Max is delusional if he thinks he is going to win the Cup with DD next to him. There are many days where I think if Max loves DD so much, maybe they should leave together…this is one of those days.

      • Habilis says:

        Agree you guys about Patches. He should be a huge piece going forward, but his attachment to DD has to end.

        This is why I really hope that Patches stays healthy and gets to play a big role for the States in Sochi. It might do him some good to play with a real center. Maybe then he’ll realize that DD really isn’t that good.

        • Timo says:

          Another way to look at it is that Paciorrety himself is not that good either. He reminds me more and more of Benny Pouliot.

          • Habilis says:

            Ouch, that’s not a pretty comparison.

            IMO, he’s more physical than that. I’m not giving him a pass, because I think he’s very inconsistent. But there are bunches of games where he looks like the real deal. He’s just so streaky.

            I think that with a big, quality center dishing him pucks, he’d be a lot more consistent. Every winger would, obviously. But Patches just seems married to DD, almost to the point where he thinks he’ll suck with anyone else, and so he does. Unfortunately, he sucks more than half the time with DD also. Needs to realize that.

      • Timo says:

        Nah, they won’t leave. In 20 or so games DD will score another goal and Paciorrety will have another 3-4 game scoring streak… rinse, spit and repeat.

  50. keviathan says:

    Well, look on the bright side – while we’re 30th in the league in height, we’re 22nd in weight, and this is up from 30th and 28th last year! Definitely headed in the right direction and as another poster said we should be there by 2105 :)

    http://mirtle.blogspot.ca/2013/10/2013-14-nhl-teams-by-height-weight-and.html
    http://mirtle.blogspot.ca/2013/01/2013-nhl-teams-by-weight-height-and-age.html

  51. The Dude says:

    M.B.’s going for the Connor McDavid plan (b)

  52. savethepuck says:

    I love how posters focus on 1 player, and no matter what they do, they are blamed for everything wrong. I hated the Daniel Briere signing and said WTF, but I was willing to see what happens. He has not impressed in the games and minutes he has played so far, but he is not as terrible as some say. If you watched tonight’s game objectively, you should of seen that he was the best player on his line ( and I’m a huge Max fan but I won’t give an opinion on DD). This may not be so much a praise of DB, but a dis on Max and DD. I don’t think the 3 of them work together at all.

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

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Briere is not a bad player. He is just a bad fit on this team, especially with DD around. He will be a better fit next year when he takes Gionta’s place on Plekanec’s wing next year (then Collberg takes Briere’s place the year after hopefully).

      • savethepuck says:

        I am confident Gio is not in the future plans, but unlike others, I don’t expect him to be dealt at the deadline. I expect him to move on for free agency in the summer. The Habs will need him for playoff depth and he will be important, even though they will lose him for nothing, it will save them from having to pick up someone else and giving up either picks or prospects or both.

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

      • Timo says:

        OMG, I forgot that we will be treated to another year of Briere. Thanks, DDO. And here I thought I couldnt feel worse.

  53. Bill says:

    Yeah, Burke sure knows how to build a team. How about those Leafs eh?

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Not very many GM’s are given the time (6-10 years) to truly build a team.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        How many more years did he need in TO?

      • savethepuck says:

        But Burke seemed to sign a guy 1 year and them trade him the next (Versteeg comes to mind but I remember others ). It seemed when he was in Toronto, he started a new rebuild or retooling every year.

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

    • slyCH says:

      It’s not about the Leafs, it’s about the Kings, Sharks, Bruins and elite strong teams.
      Are you willing to go in the playoff with the likes of Bouillon, Briere, and DD? Heck even Gionta, as much of a heart he has, can’t make much of a difference any longer.
      Management knows this and have drafted accordingly with McC and Crisp, can the latter play anymore then 3 games in the NHL? I’m willing to take the risk. After the 3rd round it’s all a crap shoot anyway. Take the gamble and hope the system can develop them into viable players. I just don’t understand the signing of B and extension of DD by management. It goes against their seemingly new drafting strategy.

  54. slyCH says:

    It just can’t be overlooked anymore. Sure the team plays well enough to make the playoff and on one occasion pull a miraculous run thanks to a hot goalie, but in the end they seem to come up short (pun intended) to the bigger teams. We need to trim the stumps, and get Crisp players in their place.

  55. Rad says:

    Therrien is turning into another incarnation of Jacques “The Juggler” Martin. Every game sees a new line combination, which is then defenestrated for something yet different in between periods, thus never allowing any meaningful chemistry to develop amongst players. The last 2 Montreal coaches, for whatever reason, have been infatuated with incessant line juggling. I am quite sure I do not understand why this is so much more blatantly practiced with the Habs than with other NHL teams.

  56. savethepuck says:

    @Bill, I am definitely not disagreeing with you. When I was bashing Parros, and it would be announced he would be in the lineup, I would always post “let’s hope the Habs finally win a game with Big George in the lineup”. I was just saying they won the last 2 games he was in the lineup and he played even minutes. I am with you that I would prefer the best most balanced lineup possible.

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

  57. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Burke looked like Nick Nolte today…what the heck was that? This guy gets paid millions and he can’t comb his hair? Sorry but the “belligerent” look is not in style…

    BTW McGratton scored his 1st goal in 30 games today…what a coincidence.

  58. billylove says:

    How ridiculous is the playoff format? At this point, a record of 0-33-0 or 0-0-33 would qualify for a playoff birth. See Carolina-33 points in 33 games and they’re in!

  59. scotland says:

    brirre stinks . he gives worse efforts than gomez did when he was shown the door. but what do you expect. name a player that was bought out by his team (paid to go away) that ever played any good for the team dumb enough to pick him up. tucker? gomez? redden? brierre? i watch the hamilton bulldogs from the second row. every forward on that team deserves a start more than brierre. h
    habs stunk against sabres, kings, flyers. i aint even watching sat night against islanders. gionta 1 goal in 18 games and therrien has him on ever powerplay, shorthanded, reg shift, played with the same center for 90 games!! plays in ot and when goalie is puller at either end. AND HE HAS 1 GOAL IN LAST 18 GAMES. worst captain in the nhl. enough already CUT HIS ICE TIME!!

    habs will get bounced in play offs. they play the easiest game in the league to dismantle. and they have no plan B. Therrein has no idea how to adjust. and they play horrible when trailing. team came out tonight unprepared to play a tired bad hockey team who just finished a 6 game road trip and got trounced 7-2 the night before. not only thsat the habs lost this game in the first period. what a waste of the year price is having and a norris trophy winning defenceman.

    2105 at earliest before this team resembles a contender. replaced by then: gionta,dd,boulion,diaz,gorges,moen,brierre, therien.

    go MB

  60. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Maybe Mason should ask Reimer about the guy he messed with…watch out next time…lol.

  61. fastfreddy says:

    Habs are not built to deep in the playoffs, they’re too small and not gritty enough to endure the long haul.

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  62. habnonymous1 says:

    Just a reminder of the Jagermeister contest with grand prize of trip for 4 to Montreal + hockey tickets +++ more.

    Details here: http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2013/12/9/5192570/great-contest-prize-includes-3-nights-in-montreal-tickets-to-a-hockey

    Enter here: https://www.facebook.com/JagermeisterCanada?brand_redir=1

    If you win, we expect a full book report on HIO.

  63. Habilis says:

    Great read, Boone. That short player stat is mind-boggling. Makes the DD and Briere signings look that much worse too.

    The worst thing about these guys is that once you sign them, they are almost completely unmovable. The only one a team would even want would be Gallagher, and of course he’s the only one we should keep.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Thanks.
      Yeah, I was gob-smacked by that stat.
      In his press conference today in Calgary, Brian Burke stressed you can’t win without size.
      I fear he’s right.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • slyCH says:

      When I read that stat the other day, (a poster?), I felt my cheeks blush from an uncomfortable embarrassment.

      • Habilis says:

        First time I ever read it was just now, and I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that it actually swayed my opinion of the job Marc Bergevin has been doing. I knew there weren’t a ton of guys under 5’9, but I had no clue it was as few as 22.

        To have 5 on one team (planned that way, not because of injuries) is just bad management. No other way to see it, IMO.

        As Boone just pointed out above, Burke thinks you need size to win. He agrees, I agree, I think a lot of people would agree. I just hope MB agrees too.

  64. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Jeez people are hard on our Habs! Sure they arent a top tier team but are definitely building toward that, their two most important players are still fairly young (Price and PK).

    The teams top three players so far have been Markov, PK, and Price in my opinion, and it’s not a surprise as all (soon to be PK) are NHL all-stars. Pleks and Gionta are so valuable to this team, they could be two thirds of a very competitive second line in the NHL.. if the Habs actually had a first, but the building blocks are in place.. Sure the team has a lot of dead weight in DD, Cube, Briere, Diaz, Murray, and Parros. The progression of Patch, Galchenyuk, Gallagher and Eller has been interesting to watch, im still uncertain of the impact each will play in the future, but there is definitely lots of potential!

    As a fan, I think first line star power is what this team lacks, along with a little size.. adding size is much easier than top line forward talent.

  65. habnonymous1 says:

    Anyone else see embellishment by Downie?

    Looks to me like Downie thinks about it for a half-sec then throws up the arms and drops backwards.

    No suspension for Emelin.

    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2013/12/12/5205784/alexei-emelin-elbow-on-steve-downie

  66. durocher says:

    Briere may be great in the playoffs, but he has no complete level now. I’d bench him and play Bournival. At a minimum, he should be off the line with DD and Max. MT started the season with Briere together on a line with DD and Max, and they were horrible. They were horrible tonight. DD and Briere are two peas in a pod — you can’t have both of them on the same line.

    Of the five Habs players who are 5’9″ or shorter, the only one who should stay on the team after this season is Gallagher.

  67. slyCH says:

    Ok, it’s my fault, during the win streak I did not see any of the games except for the Bruins win. I took the nights off for LA and tonight. Won’t happen again. Sorry.

    EDIT: obviously the Bruins win was an anomaly. Won’t happen again. Sorry.

  68. habs001 says:

    Habs are okay but they are not good enough to beat teams on pure talent alone…They are better suited to play teams where there are specific stars to check…I believe they would do better in a playoff round vs the Penguins or Bruins than the Flyers or even the Senators…

  69. AZ_Hab_Fan says:

    Murray is a beast

    • DickandDanny says:

      Yup, and they didn’t even dress him against the Kings. The stupidity never ends with the team and it’s management. I’m seeing the same things now that have gone on for 20 years. Bad decisions on player personnel, drafting, free agents, and trades. MB has done nothing to dispel these problems since he took over. Murray’s lack of playing time, or dressing for games is just one more reason to shake your head.

      “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  70. Bill says:

    What is the Habs’ record with Parros in the line-up this year?

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • savethepuck says:

      I was a huge Parros basher after his first 20 mins of icetime had him a -5 too Bill, but the last 3 games has him without a goal against while on the ice, so I’m willing to cut him some slack. It did mean that with him in the lineup, Bournival had to sit though, and I thought he may of helped in the top 9 tonight. I love Prusty and am very glad he wears the CH, but contrary to what some of his fans on here think, he is not a top 9 forward.

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

      • Bill says:

        Not saying it’s his fault, but it seems like they never win the games he plays in.

        I think when he’s in the line-up the Habs play a different game, and it’s not to their benefit. They’re trying to walk tall out there, but just because you have George playing doesn’t make the whole team tough.

        The team cannot be changed overnight. For now they should just ice the best four-line squad they can and play their own game.

        To answer my own question, the Habs are 2-6-1 with Parros in the line-up. Without him, they are 17-5-2. Has to mean something.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • Dulljerk says:

          Ya, it means he’s only played 8 games. I wonder what your performance would be like with that ice time.

          No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

        • habcertain says:

          If you are not saying it why post a meaningless stat, the guy play 5 to 6 minutes a game, it must be the difference, we get it you don’t approve of enforcers, terrible post.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      Good old Bill…….got to get your perpetual spitball against Parros…..didn’t even see any posts to provide you incentive on that topic but you don’t require much I notice……I hear they are looking at removing fighting bodychecking and lifting the puck in the near future……

  71. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Not-so-bold prediction: Briere will not be dressed for the Isles game.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  72. DickandDanny says:

    Absolutely a great hit which only goes south when the Flyer attempts to avoid the hit and ducks and moves left right into an elbow, that was neither high, or thrown out there. What the heck more is Emelin supposed to do, cut off his elbows, tie them behind his back? Awful call. And who made it? The coach, the fans, the players? WTH took them so long to decide? The ref didn’t even signal a penalty initially.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”


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