About last night …

MoenCoyotes

The last time Max Pacioretty scored at even-strength in regulation time, Nelson Mandela and Daniel Brière were still alive.
I’m exaggerating for the sake of a cheap joke.
The great leader of his South African people died on Dec. 5, a few hours before Pacioretty’s 11th goal of the season beat Boston at the Bell Centre.
And Brière, the great déception of his people – not to mention the Canadiens marketing department – is still alive … albeit not in any way that might justify his two-year, $8 million contract.

Pacioretty’s power-play goal was the winner against Phoenix at the Bell Centre Tuesday night. He added an empty-netter.

Pacioretty has 14 goals in 27 games this season. He makes $500,000 less than Brière, who has scored five times in 25 games.

Why this carping after the Canadiens won their last home game of 2013?

Because the W was curiously unsatisfying. The stick-waving celebration that has become traditional after home-ice wins did not erase memories of the way the game started.

What’s with this team and the first 20 minutes of hockey games?

Nelson Mandela was definitely alive the last time the Canadiens scored a first-period goal – Dec. 4 in New Jersey.

On Sunday, against Florida at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens – playing their third game in four nights – were outshot 14-8 in the first period. In the wake of the Panthers’ 2-1 win, Michel Therrien cited a brutal schedule and said his players were out of gas.

But Monday was a day off, except for the Canadiens’ traditional holiday-season visits to the Sainte Justine and Montreal Children’s hospitals. The team should have been rested and stoked to come out strong against Phoenix.

Didn’t happen.

The Coyotes outskated, outbattled and outshot the home team 15-3. They also had 12 shots blocked and missed the net six times. That’s 33 pucks aimed at Carey Price, who was customarily brilliant and had no chance on Mikkel Boedker’s goal.

The home team managed three shots at Mike Smith. The Coyotes blocked four, and three shots missed the net.

That’s a 33-10 advantage over 20 minutes. Oh, and Phoenix won 12 of 16 faceoffs. Martin Hanzal went 6-0, Tomas Plekanec 0-6.

Brière played four shifts, 2:13 of ice time. He took a holding penalty in the offensive zone.

The Canadiens were better in the second period. They killed a double minor to Brandon Prust and outshot the visitors 10-7, setting the stage for a dominant third period that included 14 shots and three goals.

There were positives in the Canadiens’ performance.

• Price improved his record to 16-10-2. His GAA is 1.96, with a save percentage of .936.

Numbers don’t tell the whole story on Price. As is frequently the case lately, the goaltender kept it close while his teammates struggled to find their game.

• Brendan Gallagher didn’t make the scoresheet, but he was in Mike Smith’s face on the power-play goals by Andrei Markov and Pacioretty. I still worry about whether that body can withstand 82 games plus, inshallah, playoffs. But Gallagher has the heart of a lion.

• I thought his erstwhile linemates, Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller, played decent games. Both excelled during the third-period surge that produced a win.

• Galchenyuk is finding a groove with Plekanec and Brian Gionta. Eller had some good puck possession shifts with Travis Moen and Brandon Prust.

• The penalty-kill pitched another shutout, including the four minutes to Prust, one of its key members.

• P.K. and Markov are back in a groove on the Canadiens’ power play, which has struggled lately but popped two against Phoenix.

• Josh Gorges deserves mention for singlehanded foiling an odd-man rush that included four Coyotes. It came at a crucial time in the third period. Gorges also blocked four shots, as did Raphael Diaz. Canadiens skaters faced as much rubber as Price and racked up 27 blocks.

• The PP ranks sixth in the league, while the PK is third. Your Montreal Canadiens have great special teams. Even strength? Not so much.

Brière began the game on a line with Eller and Michaël Bournival. He ended up with Bournival and Rene Bourque, and his ToI was 4:27 – low on the team.

Will Brière be in the lineup Thursday night in St. Louis?

Not if your Montreal Canadiens are a meritocracy.

• Sean McIndoe (Down Goes Brown) for Grantland:  The Venn Diagram of Hockey Hate

Tom Wilson tries to kill Brayden Schenn

 

509 Comments

  1. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Am I the only person here who will give DD some respect and props for stepping it up in the last 20 or so games? He and Pacioretty are producing loads of plays, MP is finding the back of the net, but DD has assisted on almost every goal MP has scored. DD had the shoot out winner in NJ. He’s been great since the beginning of Movember. Anybody else loving DD, say hey-oh!

  2. VancouverHab says:

    Those (if there are are any) who compare Eller to DD?

    Get help.

    • FormalWare says:

      Hear, hear!


      WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

    • knob says:

      I will do the comparison:
      Eller is better than DD in the following aspects:
      – every aspect.

      • The_Truth says:

        DD is a better playmaker and has better vision. At least for me and I’m sure I’m not alone, he is a more skilled offensive player on the whole.

        Eller is a totally different kind of player. Not saying who is better overall, but I just don’t think Eller is as slick offensively as DD. Career numbers would support that.

        • knob says:

          DD skates around in open ice and passes the puck. That is all. Eller creates havoc and plays a physical game and when all is said and done, Eller will have a better career. Guaranteed.

          • The_Truth says:

            Well, I am not sure about the future. All I know is what has happened and right now I’m liking how DD’s game is coming around. He’s looking good out there with Max and is directly responsible for wins. That is what matters and that is what should be rewarded. He deservedly took a lot of heat when he wasn’t doing anything and should be getting praised now that he is.

        • Mike Boone says:

          Truth.

          Mike Boone
          Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • twilighthours says:

        Eller is not as good as Desharnais at:

        -passing the puck
        -seeing the ice

        Eller may not be as good as Desharnais at:

        -finishing. Jury is out on this as Eller has yet to show any real high end finishing ability while DD never tries to score and overpasses.

  3. FormalWare says:

    It’s disturbing to see how ready some posters are to part ways with Lars Eller. I’m not saying he’s one of the untouchables – far from it. But he gets mentioned, again and again, in the same breath with DD. Larry doesn’t deserve that!

    It’s apples and oranges, anyway: DD is a one-dimensional player. If he’s not creating scoring opportunities, he’s a pure liability. Larry plays a 200-foot, bi-directional game. He has size, and uses it (increasingly) to good effect. He usually wins more than half his faceoffs. He kills penalties. He takes the puck to the net. He backchecks. His speed is equal to DD’s – and he uses it in Both directions, with and Without the puck.

    If NHL hockey reality were “fair” Larry’s eventual place on this team wouldn’t depend, one way or another, on the favour (or lack thereof) shown another player who occupies a completely different niche. Unfortunately, it does. The salary cap is a fixed number. 22 dressed players per game is a fixed number. 6 players on the ice (per side, counting goalie, barring penalties) at a time is a fixed number. 60 minutes of regulation play per game is a fixed number. $3.5m/season (to DD) is a fixed number.

    My point, if I have one, is that I’m beginning to see that the naked facts and figures are frustratingly stacked against Lars Eller’s prospects of finding his NHL “bliss” with the Habs. Frustrating to me, personally, because I love the guy! He’s never shown me anything not to love! Off the ice, neither has DD.

    I don’t hate DD; he’s a very decent sort, and has made his way in the unforgiving world of professional hockey solely on his own merits and attributes. I must admit I do, however, Resent him. Cuz he’s in Larry’s way.

    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

    • shiram says:

      I don’t want him traded, but I can see that he would be an attractive player for other teams, and if Bergevin is looking for a top 6 winger, Eller could be going the other way.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Eller won fastest skater in habs camp back to back years now.

      ———————————

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

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I absolutely prefer Eller to Desharnais, but I don’t think either one of them is anywhere near untouchable. If Eller, in a package could fetch the big top 6 winger we need, I would do it grudgingly. You have to give up something good to get something good. I personally think both Galchenyuk & Plekanec are better than Eller….and as a matter of fact, I’d probably even be willing to part ways with Plekanec if the return was right.
      Whatever makes the team better.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • knob says:

      My feelings for DD are the exact same as yours. Where have you been hearing that people want Eller gone though? This is the first that I have heard anything on the matter. Montreal would be crazy to lose him.

      • FormalWare says:

        It’s not so much that HIO posters “want Eller gone”. They’re just sorta “meh” about the issue that I raise – that maybe there’s not room for both him and DD, and one of them may have to go, and if it’s Eller, “Oh, well.”

        If that happens, I will Not be among those saying “Oh, well!”

        WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

        • knob says:

          Eller is a beast! he has more body checks in one game than DD will have in his career. Ask John Taveres. DD is a bum and should be on the first train out of here.

    • The_Truth says:

      I don’t think it’s accurate to say DD is in Larry’s way. If Eller would score or put up points, he would mke his own way. Bottom line is he isn’t and DD is the past 15 games. Eller still averages more than DD does per game on the season.

      This last stretch if there is no DD and Max, there is no wins, plain and simple. Those guys with Chucky have been carrying the offense

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        One plays with Pacioretty -Gallagher, one plays with Moen Prust.

        When Eller was tearing it up with galchenyuk Gallagher and DD-Max were doing nothing, they swap Gallagher to that unit..who do you think isn’t proving something?

        ———————————

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

        • FormalWare says:

          This.

          Give Larry a chance to centre a two-way line – similar to Pleky’s – rather than purely a checking line, before deciding.


          WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

        • The_Truth says:

          Gallagher was switched off the kid line because they weren’t doing anything for a long stretch. Opposite teams were keying in on them and shutting them down. Chucky, arguably the Habs best forward was playing with him up until a few games ago and it just wasn’t working anymore.

          Eler has been getting a lot of icetime this season and just like wth DD earlier this season, at one point you have to produce and the excuses run out.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Larry would put up more points if he didn’t lose his wingers to molly coddle DD and help get him going! The Habs had two lines that worked, Gally, Eller, Gally, and Bournival, Pleks and Gionta. The team was doing well with those combinations. MT should have left them alone and tried Bourque, Briere, Prust. Moen, anyone else on the right side to get Patches and DD going. DD also gets more PP time than Eller. In a way, DD is in his way and so far, has not proved he is worth it.

        Habfan17

    • Habfan17 says:

      I am not sure why some want to trade Eller. I get that you need to trade something good to get something good back. He is young, will probably get better and I think will be a solid 2nd line centre. Hopefully Galchenyuk will become the 1st line centre as expected and I think Bournival would make a great 3rd line centre.

      I see Pleks as a good trade candidate as he is a very good, not great, 2nd line centre and he will not get better or have more value.
      I have nothing against DD, he just does not fit.

      Habfan17

    • SteverenO says:

      @FormalWare;

      you wrote:

      It’s apples and oranges, anyway: DD is a one-dimensional player. If he’s not creating scoring opportunities, he’s a pure liability. Larry plays a 200-foot, bi-directional game. He has size, and uses it (increasingly) to good effect. He usually wins more than half his faceoffs. He kills penalties. He takes the puck to the net. He backchecks. His speed is equal to DD’s – and he uses it in Both directions, with and Without the puck.

      ****************************************************

      How can you say that DD is a defensive (pure) liability?

      Offensively there have been (too many) periods this season when he has been totally non-productive, but defensively he has been excellent; from the start of the playoffs last year right up till today.

      Here are some numbers to back up my claim:

      Looking at Habs centermen this season;

      player -ES TOI /// Goals Against //// MpGA

      Team combined/// 1756 mins/ 55 ES GA//// 32 Mins per GA
      Centers:
      Plekanec – 534 mins //// 14 GA //// 41 Mins per GA
      Desharnais– 469 mins //// 12 GA //// 39 Mins per GA
      White——- 333 mins //// 9 GA ///// 37 Mins per GA
      Eller ——- 505 mins //// 19 GA //// 27 Mins per GA

      Wingers:

      Gallagher– 474 mins ////13 GA /// 47 Mins per GA
      Moen — 295 mins //// 7 GA //// 42 Mins per GA
      Bourque — 333 mins //// 9 GA //// 37 Mins per GA
      Gionta —- 532 mins //// 16 GA //// 33 Mins per GA
      Pacioretty — 382 mins //// 12 GA //// 32 Mins per GA
      Prust — 268 mins //// 9 GA //// 30 Mins per GA
      Galchenyuk – 467 mins //// 19 GA //// 25 Mins per GA
      Bournival— 316 mins //// 13 GA //// 24 Mins per GA
      Briere – 281 mins //// 12 GA //// 23 Mins per GA

      regards,

      Steve O.

  4. savethepuck says:

    I read Wilson is getting only a phone hearing for his hit last night. Very strange news, I thought it would be a lot more. Maybe someone can correct me, but I remember hearing something before that the NHLPA was reluctant to approve some of the rule changes on blindside hits unless the NHL agreed to limit the suspension on first time offenders to 5 games or less. Is that possibly the case here? I think the sad truth in this situation is that the. NHLPA is more concerned about paychecks than the health of their members. An injured player continues to get paid whereas a suspended player does not, and this thinking definitely needs to change.

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

  5. Sportfan says:

    Wow Smith looks even worse in this
    http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/1971261/mike-smith-embellish_large.gif

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

    I almost committed a PJ Stock (“This would never have happened if there was fighting in hockey…”)

    I was going to say about Timo et al., that even if the Habs won they’d still be miserable.

    Then I remembered – hey we DID win!

    I almost did a PJ.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Here in Montreal it’s called “l’effet Boone”.
      If you can make your ALN negative enough you can even make wins seem like losses!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  7. Steeltown Hab says:

    Habsrule1:

    Your comparison of Prust to Carbonneau is like leafs nation comparing Clarkson to Wendel Clark when he was signed.

    ———————————

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

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I did not compare them, Steeltown. You said the Captain should not be a 3rd line guy. What line do you think Carbonneau played on?

      There are other examples if your prerequisite is that the Captain has to score 20 goals. Do some research.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Just logic, what captain in the league is comparable to Prust?

        Only person I can think of is Maybe Ott and Buffalo is the worst team in the league, and even though I hate him, Ott is more of an impact player than Prust if we’re being realistic.

        I love Prust as much as anyone, NHL captain though? That’s a stretch for an energy player who drops the gloves here and there.

        ———————————

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

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Fine. You don’t want him as Captain. I get it. I’m thinking that the team probably respects him as much or more than any other player on the team. That usually makes for a good Captain, but I’m not in the room. When Gionta is gone, we’ll have to accept whoever they choose to be the next one. Habs management should be in a better position to choose a Captain that either of us are.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            This has nothing to do with what “I” want – lol. Just a realistic outlook at the team.

            ———————————

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

          • Mattyleg says:

            I LOVE realism.

            It’s so realistic, and never flavoured by pessimism at all.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  8. JF says:

    Just watched the shortened version of the game on Canadiens Express. Galchenyuk is going to be great. Not only was he robbed by Smith after a nice feed from Gionta behind the net late in the second period, but he also protected and controlled the puck perfectly to make a lovely pass to Gionta in the third.

  9. Habsrule1 says:

    DD is a good 2nd line centre or a very good 3rd line centre.
    Ideally, it’s Galchenyuk, Plekanec and Eller or DD. I like both Eller and DD, but trade the one that will fetch you the best return (in a package). If Pleks has to be 1st line centre for a year until Galchenyuk is ready, so be it.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      lol
      ———————————

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

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I know you and Timo hate DD, but that’s because he obviously slept with your gf’s. Neither of you are able to see that he’s played very well lately.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          No one hates him. Usage of him sure. Not sure why you’re hanging on to the slept with your girlfriend line lol.

          Just being realistic, if he was a 2nd line center or even a very good 3rd line center. He would’ve been dealt by now. It’s obvious that there is no trade market for him, and that alone speaks volumes about the player.

          ———————————

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

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Cause deals are so easy to come by in a cap world. Bergevin has been trying to make a deal and has not been able to. By your logic, nobody he wants to trade has any market value…or you think he has only offered up Desharnais.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            The stole your girlfriend suggestion was mine way back, and its either that or you’re insane.

            Is your argument really that he must suck because if he didn’t he’d have been traded?

            Really?

            Does Price suck too in that case? And Subban?

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            Subban and Price fit in with this scheme.

            Desharnais doesn’t really have a spot on this depth chart especially when Galchenyuk moves to C
            ———————————

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

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Sorry Dipsy….maybe I stole that from you. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

        • boing007 says:

          Who cares if DD has played well lately. Like someone else just said, he’s one dimensional. Too small. Always fallling on his rump. He would be a star center in the minor leagues. In the new MOAR Bigger NHL he’s dépassé.

          Richard R

    • Lagerhab says:

      Really? Wow.

    • Cal says:

      If it’s up to me, DD is elsewhere. Pleks, Eller, Chucky and White are my 4 centers.
      DD’s ice time irks the hell out of me. If Patches doesn’t score, DD is a waste of space. We know Patches isn’t scoring 82 goals this (or any other) year, so why the inordinate time on ice? If anyone deserves the minutes, it’s Pleks and Eller, as well as Chucky.

  10. galchenyuk27 says:

    Who is the next captain going to be when Gio is traded. My list would be Markov Subban Gally or Gally

    • galchenyuk27 says:

      or Plekanec

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I’d say Gorges or Plekanec. I think Markov would rather not do it because of the media side…and PK is not quite ready to lead….neither are the Gally’s.

      I’d probably give it to Prust, myself.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Leadership is on-ice as well and Prust and Gorges aren’t that calibre of player.

        It’s Plekanec, Markov based on tenure and respect from the room or Subban because he’s the franchise guy.

        ———————————

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

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Prust is not a leader on the ice?

          I think it’s ridiculous that it’s turned into the Captain having to be the best player on the team. Prust is a leader. He shows it by sticking up for his teammates time and time again….and he’s a good player to boot.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            It’s not but a 4th liner or arguably 3rd line grinder shouldn’t be captain. Not significant enough of a piece.

            ———————————

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

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Fair enough. I disagree. Carbonneau was a 3rd line guy.
            Prust is a significant piece, regardless of the line he’s playing on, imo.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            Carbonneau had five 20G, 50P+ seasons…Prust is no where near that.

            ———————————

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

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Still a very good leader. I would not mind seeing him as Captain. He would not be the first Captain to max out at 13 goals.
            Other than him, as I noted above, I could see Plekanec with the C….not too many others. Perhaps PK, but I just don’t see it yet.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Cal says:

        By MT’s favouritism, it’ll be DD.

  11. SteverenO says:

    Unfortunately I was unable to watch the game last night . (I will watch it tonight, but looking over the stats I noticed that Subban and Markov were separated beginning in the second period.

    At even strength Subban/Markov played 6.3 minutes together, while Markov played 9.4 minutes with Emelin, and Subban played 9.9 with Gorges.

    The shots were 15-3 in favor of the Coyotes, in the first when 76/79 played together and 25-13 in favor of the Habs, n the final two periods (post break-up).

    Was the turnaround a coincidence, or was the team that much better when the dynamic duo were split up?

    As far as goals are concerned, all our goals were scored either with the man advantage or empty net.

    Can those who watched the game report on how the d -pairings looked?

    Personally , I would like to see the pairings this way:

    Subban/Murray ,,,
    Markov/Emelin and
    Georges with Diaz.

    regards,

    Steve O.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I had mentioned at least 5 games ago that Markov & PK should be split up. The drop off in skill and talent after them is significant. With them together, the other team can focus on them and if they shut them down, the puck doesn’t get out of the Habs end. It stifles the puck possession game and they end up playing dump and chase.

      Habfan17

      • SteverenO says:

        I am in full agreement and have never liked the two of them playing together. It does not make sense to have your two best puck carrying defencemen on the ice together. There is only one puck ,and they cannot both have it at the same time.

        I would think that the more time that either Markov or Subban have the puck on their respective sticks, the better off the team will be.

        Playing together minimizes both players puck possession time, in my opinion.

        regards,

        Steve O.

        • Habfan17 says:

          Some other great points by you! It would be better in my opinion to spread the offence around. The issue at this point is who do you put with each. Emelin is better on his natural left side, so pair him with Subban. Then except for Diaz, all the other d-men are lefties! I would like to see them bring up Pateryn and see how he would do with Markov, make them the third pairing for a while to cut Markov’s minutes even strength to see if Pateryn can handle it. Markov could still play PP and PK Put Murray with Subban ad let Diaz and Boullion rotate in and out.

          Habfan17

    • Habsrule1 says:

      You can’t do Subban and Murray. Murray does not have the speed to get back if PK makes a high risk play. I think PK with Gorges would probably be best. Gorges can cover for PK (SPOILER ALERT….as he did near the end of the game last night).

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • frontenac1 says:

      Diaz needs to be with Crankshaft because Diaz is Sofff and Crankshaft is slow.

  12. Caesar says:

    Boone makes a lot of good points above but 1, The Habs are a good team. Patches and Chucky are great players. Price and Subban are all world. Prust and Gally can move mountains whent ey are in thier way. Plain and simple the Habs are a good team. It’s OK we are allowed to love them and hope they win every game. They can beat any team any time. How long has it been since we could say that?

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I agree. The team is good. Look at the standings. After 30 games, this is what you are. Will they fade away down the stretch? No, but they might slump. Everyone states as fact that last year the Habs had run out of gas. The fact is, they slumped near the end and had a couple injuries, but outplayed the sens in a couple games that they could have won. I still say they will finish 5th or 6th in the conference. That makes them a good team. They are not a great team yet, but hopefully they will be within a couple years if the right moves are made.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  13. Luke says:

    Phone hearing for Wilson.

    5 or less.

  14. Sportfan says:

    How bad were the sharks in 92-93 Hackett was 2-30!!!
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=2083

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  15. Timo says:

    According to RDS Briere’s practicing on the 4th line today.

  16. Sportfan says:

    How depressing in the West Edmonton, Calgary, Winnpeg last three.

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

    This place needs a good ol’ fashioned Price/Halak debate today to liven things up a bit. Or not.

    _______________________
    Anything is possible.

  18. Timo says:

    I hope Habs are not too fatigued after last night. Will their plane leave on time? Will they be able to get enough sleep? Will meals be served on time or will Carey have to do groceries for all of them?

  19. WAR72 says:

    In sh al la ?
    You r an idiot, boone.

  20. Sportfan says:

    So few things I notes from the game last night.

    Pheonix is another big Western team, the first period was horrid. The Habs were stuck in their zone and couldn’t do anything about it. The Habs kept bouncing off the Yotes every time they tried to hit them.

    Only thing fun about that period was booing Smith (BTW he dove right??)

    Second period got better, but still it was almost neutral between the two, however I think we got into (the crowd) after they killed off the 4 minute power play)

    Third Period obviously is where the magic happened and the game became more exciting after the first goal en route to the win.

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

  21. jacquesthemonkey says:

    Q: If a player on the receiving end of a check against the boards is responsible for not turning their body so that they can receive the check safely and legally, then who is supposed to handle the puck when it is against the boards?

    So by this logic, any player that wants to retrieve the puck against the boards should stop what they are doing, look around to see if they have enough time to make a play, if not simply forget about the puck and brace yourself. Is this correct?

  22. donmarco says:

    What the F*CK is wrong with NHL players and the complete lack of respect they show each other? That was one of the most brutal hits I’ve ever seen, and what’s he going to get? 2 games? 3?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, someday someone is going to be killed on the ice. Then, and only then, will changes occur.

    Throw the book at this idiot.

    • Chuck says:

      Agreed. There’s absolutely no need for that in the game.

      _______________________
      Anything is possible.

    • Cal says:

      There has never been, and never will be, any “respect” for players on rival teams. Hockey was not built that way. Haven’t the players done a great job of ensuring the best quality product on the ice? Every night, I bet I can find 2 or 3 instances per game when a player does something reckless.
      Let’s face it, folks. Players are highly paid morons who pretend to accept the risks (until it happens to them).

      • D Mex says:

        My son turned 14 in October, and is playing his final year of bantam at the AAA level. He can skate & shoot, makes a great 1st pass. He is 6’4″ and 175 lbs. And by all reports, the scouts have noticed.

        So, why does he get sat for all of the 3rd period against an opposing team that is challenging for top spot in league standings ? Because he he isn’t ” aggressive ” enough, which looks more and more like code for ‘ won’t maim or decapitate on command ‘.

        Sometimes, it makes me sick.

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

        • frontenac1 says:

          Get the coach to explain what exactly he means by aggressive. If he is trying to turn your Kid into an Enforcer, tell him to take a hike and pull your kid off the team.No excuse for that shit at the Bantam Level.

        • galchenyuk27 says:

          Get him some pre work out for before the games and watch the difference. All natural stuff there just really strong energy drinks his aggression will go up. Any supplement store can help you out.

        • Cal says:

          Don’t let a moron coach change the way your son plays. Despite his size and talent, the coach believes he’s not goony enough to play? Pull him from the club and tell the coach where to go. Bring it up with the league that the coach wants your son to be a thug and not a hockey player. In fact, sue the coach and the league. They obviously need it, the idiots.

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      I think it’s symptomatic of the NHL game today. Speed and skill are becoming less important than size and aggressive play. The result is more teams are being built around thuggery than skill. Why? Because it works. Just look at Brian Burke’s comments the other day about the Flames. Basically, he said that they need to become bigger and meaner because that’s what works in the NHL. I really hope that this trend changes someday.

  23. Luke says:

    I missed the article on TSN about the Habs not loaning Galchenyuk to the US WJC team.

    In fact, I must have missed numerous articles & discussions about it in the last few weeks. I’ve been a bit busier than normal, but I didn’t think I’d overlook that.

    I mean, they must have had one, right?

    Then again, perhaps the Habs haven’t made a final choice yet. I’ll keep an eye on Dreger’s reports for now and let you all know if I come across anything.

  24. Hobie Hansen says:

    Yes Ribeiro would have looked good in a Canadiens uniform instead of Briere and Desharnias.

  25. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    I’m no fan of Brayden Schenn (other than his WJ performances) but that hit was scary…

    That sh*t has to be dealt with VERY seriously.

    In other news, last night’s win bored me to tears. Except for the winning part.

    No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

  26. SteverenO says:

    @Dipsy:
    you wrote;
    ***********************************************
    Dion Phaneuf @ $7M/yr for 7 years.

    Here is the list, in inverse order, of the worst Fenwick defencemen in the league:

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/on-ice?sort=fenwick_pct&pos=D&min_gp=75&dir=reverse

    Dion is dead last. What this means is that when he is on the ice the opposition has 50% more scoring opportunities than his team. In essence, it’s as if the ice were tilted towards his own net whenever he is on.

    Part of this is due to his team, but he is still the worse player on the Leafs as per this measure.
    ***************************************************

    If you use Fenwick % as a gauge, starting from the bottom, you will find that Murray 1s 7th worse, and Emilin is 16th. From the top Markov is 61st, Diaz 65th and Subban 90th “best” .

    Using Corsi, Markov ranks 64th and Subban 70th,.

    The problem with using these stats for ranking is similar to using +/- , the strength of one’s team and linemates have a big impact.

    It is more of a “team” stat than a player stat. You will notice that the top 10 ranked defensemen in these stats (Corsi and Fenwick), all come from the best teams, Kings, Blackhawks, Sharks, Penguins, etc.

    Because those stats reflect shots on or, at the net,you can imagine that a defenceman playing with Crosby and Malkin, might rank better
    than a defenceman playing with Plekanec and Gionta.

    regards,

    Steve O.

  27. Timo says:

    So Leafs are not loaning Morgan Reilly to the WJC. And they think that him staying with the team will be good for him how exactly?

  28. Mattyleg says:

    I made a terrible mistake.

    I listened to Marinaro for a moment this morning.

    He was ragging on Briere and saying that he should play with the Timbits between periods, and that HE Personally said he’d retire from his job if the Habs signed Briere. How sad (and entirely predictable) that he didn’t have the stones to be a man of his word. His whole bit made me throw up in my mouth a bit.

    Marinaro is a classless d!ck. He personifies the ‘it’s better to be right than to be happy’ gang of ‘fans’ that is ruining hockey faster than nightly faceplants into the boards.

    Listening to 690 also made me realise that HI/O has become, for a certain section of posters, a kind of testing ground for people who are trying to sound as vapid as radio hosts, bandying around the same inane and hollow declarations like ‘finding a way to win’ or ‘not as good as their record/win-streak’, using terms like ‘his upside is huge’ (If I said to someone in the street that his upside was huge, I’d end up in hospital!), and making completely unfounded absolutist statements that there is some magical combination that ‘makes a playoff team’, despite the fact that there are only a small clutch of teams that are considered to be ‘playoff teams’, and that the Kings were categorically Not A Playoff Team the year they won the Cup.

    It’s all pretty funny.
    Except for Marinaro.
    He’s a puke.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  29. frontenac1 says:

    Santa! I think the Cube is done. Sign Crankshaft for one more year. I think the “Stache is probably done too. Get Pierre Luc Leblond from the Pens. Danny Boy? He can be Fashion Consultant to DD. Give Gally a Letter! And last but not least, give Front more Single Malt.
    Gracias and Saludos!

  30. DipsyDoodler says:

    The Habs are not a meritocracy, whatever that is.

    They’re a hockey team.

    The coach’s job is to win. Win tonight.And win in the long run.

    He chooses his strategy based on that.

    Part of it will involve “rewarding” productive players, but (and this should be obvious to anyone) another part is trying to get unproductive players going.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I don’t understand why he doesn’t just trade them.
      “Marc, I can’t work with this underperforming player. Trade him.”

      It’s simple. See?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Aside from Pacioretty DD, the team never really tries to get unproductive players going. If Pac-DD-Gal were playing like Galch-Eller-Gal were at the start of the year, they would never break them up to improve the other lines.

      ———————————

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

      • B says:

        Eller has no points and is a -3 in his last 7 games (“unproductive”?), yet only Pacioretty and Plekanec saw more TOI among the forwards last night.

        –Go Habs Go!–

  31. Steeltown Hab says:

    What is management/coaching staff short/long term goal with Desharnais?

    Do they think he gives us the best chance to win now or do they think he has some type of potential still that we haven’t seen at 27.

    Or is it just a french storyline? I have no clue at this point.

    ———————————

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

    • mount royal says:

      I thought he was our best center last night. (in spite of being small and French-speaking, if that`s your problem)

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        But what is the goal? Plekanec I get makes us a better team now. Galchenyuk, trying to develop as a franchise player. What are we trying to get out of Desharnais.

        ———————————

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

        • olematelot says:

          You must have an OCD thing with DD. I think they’re trying to get goals and assists out of him. Unlike you I think he’s been playing some pretty good hockey lately. Your constant bashing of him is getting old, we get it, you don’t like him.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      You can safely remove “at this point” from that post.

    • Mattyleg says:

      A French storyline?
      Like Candide or Le Mésanthrope?

      Or is it more like L’Etranger?

      You’ll have to be more specific.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • wjc says:

      Try to keep french/english out of it.

      Winning is the job. Winning is the goal. Winning is all there is.

      You don’t think Desharnais is playing well, I disagree, Paciorcetty would disagree, he is a big part of his scoring lately.

      He is a cog in the team machine, neither the most important or the least, just a cog.

      The Montreal record speaks for itself, they are on their way up, not all the way, but ON their way.

      What does Therien want? A balanced attack, that makes teams NOT concentrate on one line, but, worry about 3-4 lines. Makes you harder to defend. Having ONE big line, does not work because they can be checked into the ice and you are stopped.

      If you have a balanced attack with puck moving defensemen and a couple of hitters and solid goaltending you are on your way.

      Are Canadiens finished tinkering, of course not, but tinkering is all they need. A player here, a player there, a small change, not a panic change so they can start all over again.

      Therien has been perfect for the job, so far. Is any coach perfect, hardly. Give a coach a stacked team and they will run the table. But, without a stacked team they have to talk to their staff and think outside the box for small solutions.

      Price in net……set….check
      Subban as young rushing dangerous defenseman….set…..check
      Markov as veteren with plenty left…set…..check
      Emilin as heavy hitter good with puck….set……check
      Murray as scarey presence….set…..check

      Good sampling of up and coming forwards set…..check

      Prospects on the way….set….check

      Veterans filling holes…..set……check

      Needed patience, thought, experimentation, always willing to tinker, but not too much….that can be a dangerous thing on a fragiile team, full of newbies.

      wjc

  32. DipsyDoodler says:

    Here we go again.

    First, the very notion of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is wrong. The whole point of rock and roll is to always be on the outside kicking the door to get in. And once you get in you’re no good anymore.

    But if you’re going to have one, then you really can’t be inducting Kiss and Cat Stevens. That’s Nobel Peace Prize to Henry Kissinger grade wrongness.

  33. jeffhabfan says:

    Wow what is it with our 1st periods. Not flashy but a win is a win.GO HABS GO.

  34. Lafrich says:

    I think the hatred for DD here is totally unwarranted at this point. In the first 15-20 games he was certainly not very good, and looked very nervous. Right now, he is contributing offensively, works hard on every shift, and is often the forward that breaks up the opposition’s rush with good hustle. If I were to get rid of smaller guys, Briere would absolutely be #1 with Bouillon number 2 and Gionta #3.

    • shiram says:

      Gio and Bouillon will be gone naturally as their contract expires.
      If management figures Brière is of no use, I’m thinking they give him the playoffs to prove his worth, they can buy him out easy.
      DD’s deal is the one that can’t dealt with easily he probably cannot be traded for anything of worth, a buyout would long. He’s holding up a center spot that could go to Chucky/Eller.

      Even if he plays good, like 55 points in a season good, I still think the Habs would be best to move him, for the long term.

      • Timo says:

        Oh Shiram, you just watch… I am far from convinced that Habs won’t bring either or both back.

      • Lafrich says:

        You make fine points, with which I do agree. Doesn’t mean some of these posters have to think he is totally useless. Over the last 15 games or so, he has been producing, and creating as good as, or better than, any other center on the team. Yes, Eller and Galchenyuk have a higher upside but right now he is quite useful.

        • shiram says:

          To be clear, I’d rather he be a 60 points center that can take control of the game and lead the team, kinda like he did back when he was playing with Cole/Max.
          But even with the points coming, they are not dominating the play as they used, to my eyes anyways.

      • kalevine says:

        Briere will almost certainly disappoint in the playoffs as he does not have the big bodies around him that he had in Philly, and he is older. These are two big reasons why he should not have been signed, and neither are his fault. NOT that I feel sorry for him

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Desharnais sucks, our usage of him is even worse and we have to deal with this for 3 more years.

      No chance in this universe Gionta has been worse. Bouillon has scratched often and done after this year. Briere hasn’t been put in a position to suceed and at least its only 1 more year.

      ———————————

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

    • Cal says:

      You see DD breaking up dead plays, people?

  35. Mattyleg says:

    I think I may, despite my finer instincts, be growing to love these unhappy post-win ALNs.

    They’re very predictable.
    Boone did a wonderful job a few days ago shoveling coal into his optimistometer until it was near bursting, but every articifial mechanism has its limits, and in that way, it’s understandable.

    No need to be sad, folks.
    We won.
    Or, as is the trend amongst the TalkingHeaderati these days, we “found a way to win”. (can anyone explain to me the difference between ‘winning’ and ‘finding a way to win’ means? Like in a real sense?)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • wjc says:

      Mattyleg, you made me laugh, good insight, winning and finding a way to win, one of those useless sayings that get accepted.

      wjc

    • bwoar says:

      Sometimes the win just finds you; we’ve had a few of these this season where the opposing team just stunk so badly that we’ve had to work hard to find a way to *lose*.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yep, it’s essentially a false negative; Here’s how we can make the good feeling of a win disappear, while sounding constructive, without actually being constructive.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

  36. 4loorplay says:

    subban no closer to signing was a word from agent. Would MB make a big trade using subban?

    Nirvana is earned…

  37. shiram says:

    It was over a month ago that rumours the Habs were close to signing Diaz and Subban emerged.
    Still no other peep on that front, I think it was the Anti-Chambre crew that made that rumour.

    Granted it’s likely both will be signed, but still, missed the mark.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Diaz has played well this year but there are major implications moving forward if the Habs give this guy a four year deal. If the Habs truly believe in Beaulieu and Tinordi (long-term), then I say Diaz has to go.

      • shiram says:

        Pateryn too, maybe.
        Could do they a sign and trade, he is UFA afterall.
        There’s also the notion of having to win a spot on the NHL roster, and it not being handed to those rookies.

  38. Steeltown Hab says:

    Why does Therrien think Moen is Pacioretty-lite.

    No point in icing Briere if he’s on the 4th line. Keep the lines intact for one full night and see what you have.

    Last night Eller has Briere, Bourn, than Bourque, Prust, than Moen Prust for the rest of the night.

    ———————————

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

    • Mattyleg says:

      Therry has to play Brière a ton next game.
      He did what he had to do last night; Danny effed up, and he rode the pine, like strugglers Chucky and DD before him.

      Now he’ll do what he did with those two: he’ll give him a ton of ice-time to redeem himself. There’s no point in scratching a player you’re trying to motivate, especially immediately after a poor performance.

      IF Briere doesn’t take the opportunity the coach hands to him next game, then it’s a free seat up with the hacks in the rumpled suits.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Timo says:

      I wouldn’t blame Eller if he wants to get the f out of Mtl. Therrien will never give him the ice time and roles he deserves. Habs will lose a good young center who will flourish somewhere else.

      • Mattyleg says:

        a) He almost certainly doesn’t.
        2) He will, when Eller’s ready to produce effectively enough to merit it.
        iii) They won’t.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Timo says:

          Merit and Habs doesn’t go together. Not while Desharnais is on this team. Any argument about meritocracy will always go back to DD and you can’t win it.

          • Mattyleg says:

            I can’t win that argument with someone who has already made his mind up about its outcome, that’s true.

            I have a feeling you may have misunderstood the concept of a meritocracy, Timo. It’s understandable, it’s still early out West.

            A pure meritocracy can’t work on a sports team, because it would establish an unbreakable feedback loop in which the best players would play ALL the time, and the less good would NEVER play, and then, as the best players begin to fail, there would be nobody to replace them because nobody had proven themselves.

            You see? You’re taking it far too literally.
            There is room in a meritocracy for motivation. That’s what happened with Desharnais, who is currently 9th in points, behind everyone’s favourite workhorse, Gallagher.

            The meritocracy worked wonderfully, because he got scratched for underperforming, and it paid off.
            He’s been one of our best forwards since unblocking.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • IdleNoMore says:

            Eller is finally coming into his own. Not to mention his physical game has taken a huge step forward this year.

            If it was up to you TIMBO you would have had him as the # 1 center last year, which he would have done terrible. Then in the same breath asking for his head.

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

          • Timo says:

            Maybe it’s a little early where you are or maybe you had one to many already, Matty. DD been one of the best forwards, even if remotely true says only one thing – Mtl is in big effing trouble. DD had 2 or 3 games where he was noticeable for his decent play (comparatively speaking). Since then he is back to being pushed of the puck, floating, not engaging in the o-zone and being DD of earlier this season.

            Re meritocracy, perhaps Michael Therrien should have explain his definition of the concept. But for most of the world meritocracy means – you suck, you don’t play. You don’t suck, you play. I don’t think it needs to be more complicated than that.

            Even bigger problem with Therrien’s meritocracy is not a definition in itself but how it is applied within the team. It is applied differently depending on his personal likes/dislikes or whatever other backward criteria, which can’t help the team chemistry. It just can’t.

            All of that aside, if Habs spent as much time give Eller chances as opposed to DD, they perhaps would have had a true #1 center by now. But then, Eller is not a bon p’tit gars d’chez nous.

          • twilighthours says:

            This meritocracy must not apply on HIO, either, because the sucky posters continue to get the opportunity to make sucky posts.

      • B says:

        “I wouldn’t blame Eller if he wants to get the f out of Mtl. Therrien will never give him the ice time and roles he deserves.”

        Um, Eller is 3rd among the Habs forwards in TOI (overall and in last night’s game) and 63rd among all NHL forwards in TOI. I don’t get the constant whining about his TOI. It doesn’t seem like he is getting short changed or insulted in that department to me. As usual, I must be missing something here.

        –Go Habs Go!–


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