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. Timo says:

    Will there ever be times in Montreal when players that play for this team play ONLY based on their on ice contribution, and coach and GM that run this team are here ONLY because of their ability to coach and manage and not the language they speak?

    • wjc says:

      Language is important, communicating in both languages is both financially wise and politically wise. You cannot have an all french management team and expect the English speakers to be happy.

      Therrien is a fine coach and you are a fine fan

      wjc

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        If Galchenyuk only spoke russian nobody would give a f***.

        Anyone who values language over winning isn’t a real fan. So that means choosing a coach and GM from the entire candidate pool not 1/20 of it.

        ———————————

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

        • Cal says:

          You continually miss the point on the language front. Habs are, by and large, loved across Canada and the world at large, but they are a local business first (where 90 to 95% of their income comes from). Not catering to your fans is a very poor business decision and would result in less tickets and Habs paraphernalia, including crap like 24CH, being consumed.
          It appears the people who worry most about the language first argument are fans from afar.

          • New says:

            I would worry more about say a coach who goes to coach in say Sweden for three years but learns no Swedish because all Swedes speak English. It sends the message that you’re there for the money, as a stepping stone. Imagine the PR benefit if the team hired him a Swedish tutor to travel with him and teach him, then one day he pops into the presser and answers a few questions in Swedish as good as Gainey’s French.

    • Cal says:

      Remember when Bowman coached the team? That was the last time players were on the ice based on merit.
      And, yes, he juggled lines a lot because he knew which players were “on” and which weren’t after a few shifts. It would be interesting to see the ice time distribution from the 78 Habs.

  2. Timo says:

    I still don’t see where/how DD is working harder than Briere. He floats just as much as before.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      The difference in, Desharnais can struggle for 10 straight games and the problem is always resolved by finding him the ideal wingers, situations every chance possible to redeem himself.

      ———————————

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

      • FlyAngler says:

        Briere also suffered a concussion. What’s DD’s excuse apart from the pathetic complacency that comes from signing a multiyear, multimillion $$$ contract?

        “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          He wasn’t even good before the deal. Thats what people don’t understand.

          He was 1-good season, playing with 2 powerforwards having career years, on a last place team.

          ———————————

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

        • Timo says:

          Max was injured so they didn’t have enough time to find chemistry. Heard that one yesterday and was floored by it. DD truly is an entitled jerk.

    • Phil C says:

      DD backchecks pretty hard, he is often back as the third man with the defense when not pressuring the puck, just like Therrien wants. I’m not convinced Briere would play that way, but we will need an injury to find out.

  3. Timo says:

    Is Briere watching next game from the press box? Please?

  4. DipsyDoodler says:

    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.

    • shiram says:

      They are paying him that much because he is their good luck charm.
      And really they have no one else…

    • twilighthours says:

      How much of it is due to him sucking versus him playing against the opponent’s top line (and playing for the worst possession team in the league)?

      • The Jackal says:

        Good point… He is definitely being asked to do too much.
        He is a good offensive defenseman but he’s not the guy you want out there trying to shut down Crosby.
        Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see numbers from his play with Calgary.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • bwoar says:

      I guess I missed the part where they offered him that contract? Does anyohe really think the Leafs will pay him that much?

      “thoroughbred”

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Apparently the deal is really close to being done and the pundits are saying around 7 mill per season and long term. Sadly he is their most relied on D man but Calgary screwed up by giving him 6.5 a long time ago. He isn’t worth that much

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Phil C says:

      I take advanced stats with a grain of salt, but the Leafs outshot their opponent for only the 2nd time in 28 games during the first game of Phaneuf’s suspension, which supports the stats that suggest Phaneuf is a poor possession player.

  5. CSIASN says:

    Briere has to play at center with two good wingers and I think he would be OK. He’s a center-men and with the likes of Pacioretty and Gallagher on the wings. I’m sure Briere would do just fine as a matter of fact I would go as far to say better than Desharnais. DD is a 3rd line center and that ‘s where he should be playing. Briere is a veteran and can make great plays playing center. He’s proven it over his career.

    • bwoar says:

      DD is working at least 50% harder than Briere. Briere is simply not the right guy for MT’s system or his “grinder” philosophy. Dumb signing, dumb GM, hopefully does something to help his coach this year outside of giving him Douglas
      Murray.

      “thoroughbred”

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Agreed……hard to do anything getting less than 5 min of ice time. The leash was very long for DD but i don’t even think a leash exists for brier.

      Shaker out

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Than why wasn’t he racking up the points in Philly the last couple seasons exactly?

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • FlyAngler says:

      I agree 100% but it ain’t happenin’ because Therrien loves DD and obviously has little or no use for Briere. Of course, only fools believe that life is fair………

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  6. Subban in Sochi says:

    That is a great concept: linking Madiba & Brière. I am not sure if ice hockey is played anywhere in South Africa. If it is, maybe Brière could be effective.

    Somewhere I read that Brière was unhappy with how he is being utilized. I am too. He should not be playing in Montreal-at least for the Canadiens. Perhaps Brière can play General Manager for a Day today and trade himself before the Holiday Roster Freeze.

    I was hoping he’d go to the wrong locker room and rejoin the Coyotes…He once scored 32 goals in the desert. Three years ago he hit 34 goals in the cold streets of Filthadelphia. It’s been straight down since…

    “Cannonading drive!!”

    • Cardiac says:

      Holy crap… I forgot he played for the Jets/Coyotes organization.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

  7. sims says:

    Didnt Diaz used to have a decent shot from the point. What happened? As long as hes not shooting, get him off the PP. No more weak wristers wide of the net.

    • krob1000 says:

      agree…not sure why he is not shooting? Last season when PK was out for a bit Diaz played the role of PK and was firing quite a few pucks at net and getting points. Then he stopped shooting? He does miss the net quite a bit but he stillhas to shot…that 2nd wave pp d duo does not work as neither he or Gorges has any intention of shooting the puck.

      • Cal says:

        Diaz has been too cautious and too obvious with his point shots. He scares no one with his shot, so everyone blocks it. I’m the one hoping he’s traded when Pateryn is given a shot.

        • twilighthours says:

          I think we will regret throwing Diaz away when we finally do so

          • Cal says:

            I like dmen that can play physically. I am very tired of seeing stork-like puck movers. Replacing Diaz with anyone that can give and take a hit would be refreshing. There’s a big difference between Diaz and Beaulieu. Beaulieu can get the job done at a cheaper rate, but I forget how everyone here loves Diaz on the PK, swinging his stick from side to side in perfect JM fashion.

    • dabu says:

      Newbie (first post), so apologies for replying, as don’t know how to start a new string. Greetings from Bulgaria. Can I start a rumour – any sense in looking at Gaborik, if back healthy tomorrow? CBJ playing a dump and style play; recent Richards quote almost reads like “we’ve played better without him”; speed is there and no denying scoring touch. 7.5MM this year in final year.

      • Luke says:

        Hello Dabu.

        Down at the bottom of the page you’ll find a Comment window that creates new posts.

        As for Gaborik? I wouldn’t. He used to be one of my favourites but I think he is close to or past his expiration date. (Unless it was trading Briere for him, I’d do that for the year difference in contracts alone).

        • dabu says:

          Thanks Luke. Was thinking Bourque and Briere,cap neutral. Columbus would probably want a young dman from farm. Could always gauge Gaborik’s thoughts re ntc. Sure he’d love to play with Pleks.

      • Strummer says:

        Gaborik is a $7.5 million cap hit with a NTC this year.
        Next year he’s a UFA.
        Not sure he would be good bang-for-buck

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

  8. New says:

    The Canadiens are on pace for a 102 point season. The year they drafted Galchenyuk, the hope of the franchise, they had 78 points. 15 regulars are still on the team that finished with 78 points and third last overall. Galchenyuk, Murray, Gallagher, Bournival, Briere, Parros, and Prust are new. Notice the balance of youth and experience. In a couple years the youth will be there and guess who will be gone.

    Those seven and new management/coaching have improved the team 31%. A little patience might be an idea while the gang gets their act together. (Yeah, last year’s 48 gamer would have worked out to about the same over 82 games, 107 points)

    The team is getting better. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Oddly you can tear something apart that fast though.

    When MT says the guys are tired, they are. They play a fast paced transition game and lately it has been on a playoff schedule with random travel. Most guys can only skate so fast, so long, so far, before it becomes a problem. Don’t think so? Count up the Subban puck bobbles in the last few games.

    Fans should take pride in the players who are excelling when the going gets tough with the pace against their type of game. There is real hope for this team in a couple years as long as they don’t listen to fans and start doing a McDonough for Gomez deal again. Quality for quality, prospect for prospect. They’ll be fine.

    • krob1000 says:

      This is the crap that gets you jumped all over on here..enough of your positivity and optmism. The sky is falling, HAbs deserve to lose and when they win they got lucky. Team should have all 6’3″ power forwards named Beliveau up front and all dmen should be of Larry Robinson mold. Coach should only lose 6 times in a season. Take your optimism and rational type thinking and stick it where the sun don’t shine!!

    • Cal says:

      That projected 107 points for last season would never have happened. After game 35 last season, the Habs went into free fall.
      When MT says the guys are tired, maybe he should balance the effing ice time a lot better. What’s the point of dressing someone to play less than 5 effing minutes?

    • Phil C says:

      What makes you so sure they will be better in a few years? They have few blue-chip prospects coming up. For example, Beaulieu could be the next Markov or he could be the next Campoli.Tinordi may become a dominant defensemen or he may only ever be a bottom pairing guy. I look at Ottawa who have a lot of young players capable of playing in the bottom six, but no one stepping up into the top six. Without that elite talent, its tough to improve. Some of the Habs prospects may blossom in that way, but it is by no means a sure thing.

      In a few years, all of their cheap young talent will need pay raises or need to move. If they don’t replace that cheap talent with new young players, they may not be better in a few years. I see a chance to win now, so I am less patient than you I guess.

      • New says:

        I am confident that, superstars aside, most hockey players are skilled and that development is paramount to a franchise. Sure you stumble onto a gem now and then but usually you have to develop value. The front end of the team may be the on ice product but the back end, those responsible for development of the product, have increased dramatically. Pateryn, Beaulieu, Thrower, Tinordi, Dietz, Ellis, Nygren, and the others may not develop into stars, but there is a real good chance they might become top four D-men now. Having seven + top four’s upcoming with Subban, Emelin and even Markov in the mix is not a bad position to be in.

        A lot of really nice folks in Montreal liked George G. and he never met a dollar he didn’t like. Molsen was smarter. He got Savard to set it up. Delegate to competent people, give them the resources they need, and let them build the franchise. His investment has already increased 50% in value according to Forbes.

        Take a look at the front office under Gainey and Gauthier. Compare it to now.

        I mutter and fume with the best of them as I watch the team play. It is what it is. Progressing. Even if I sometimes don’t think so, chug the beer, and change the channel.

    • Subban in Sochi says:

      I like your post except that it ignores that a couple players may soon need to be “pruned” from a blooming plant.

      As for fatigue, the Habs play a taxing style when they are playing well. However, if this style of play and compete level is a problem NOW, what will it be like post-Olympic break when players are more beat up, games are even more intense, and either 8 or 9 Canadiens’ players just traveled to-and competed hard in-Russia??

      In particular, I am concerned about Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec. They play hard, they play a lot, they play both ways…and as they go, so go the Habs.

      We can hope that Sochi demonstrates that Max Pacioretty, Carey Price, P. K. Subban & Alexei Emelin have “arrived” on the highest level of the sport.

      But what the Canadiens will REALLY have to hope for is that Prust, Gallagher, and Eller are rested & recovered…and flying and crashing post-Olympics. And Galchenyuk too if he doesn’t make the U.S. roster. In this vein, maybe Murray can take a speed skating class during the break…

      This will not be the last time “fatigue” is properly cited as an explanation. Let’s hope it is never offered as an excuse…especially in April or May (or June).

      “Cannonading drive!!”

    • JF says:

      I like this post. It expresses how I think about the team most of the time. But it’s hard to maintain this optimistic and rational point of view when they go into a funk for half a dozen games and start looking like the team from two years ago – especially when this site plunges into gloom-and-doom mode with criticisms of Bergevin and calls for Therrien’s head.

      This is Bergevin’s first full season as GM. He inherited some good building blocks and an otherwise patchwork roster with a few bad contracts, some glaring holes, and an imbalance between size and toughness, speed and skill. It’s going to take him a while to rebuild, and there will be mistakes along the way. None so far, including the Brière signing, has been particularly costly in terms of salary or term. The results on the ice suggest that he and Therrien are doing a good job.

      • New says:

        I think JF many of the fans want to see the Canadiens hoist the Cup. To do that they have to win four of seven four times in a row. A team playing at 102-107 points a season wins just a bit more than they lose since the introduction of the extra point for breaking a tie. When we see the team go on a winning streak we think they can beat Chicago four of seven for sure. Then they lose a few and we crash back to reality.

        But really, there are no loser points in the playoffs. A solid team, responsible defensively, good in goal, and uninjured can go the distance. Because four games out of seven over a playoff season without loser points :-} works out really only to 94 points or so in an over an 82 game season. Winning a little more than you lose.

        Course the trick is getting the players to think that way and not having too many of your points coming from losing overtime and shootout games.

  9. Luke says:

    I want to play the line-up game. Here’s what I’d run with barring no injuries. The lines can earn their ice time and #1/2/3 rank based on play. Galchenyuk and Bourque can flip sides occasionally to keep some defenders guessing.

    Bourque – Eller – Galchenyuk
    Pacioretty – DD – Gallagher
    Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
    Moen – White – Prust
    (Briere/Parros)

    • krob1000 says:

      The tem finally dressed 4 lines scoring capable and then split the d and we want to go back to one line that will not score? I guess if there is any permanence to the pk/Marky split it is still better than what it was but right now while starving for offense….roll 4 scoring capable lines and split the dynamic duo! I can see where they may have

  10. FlyAngler says:

    Briere taking a lot of criticism for his offensive zone holding penalty in the first period last night- fair enough- but Prusts clear headshot roughing penalty was just as braindead and taking another 2 on top of it for unsportsmanlike in a game that you are losing borders on unforgivable. Don’t get me wrong- I love Prust as a player- but there needs to be a lot more fairness in criticism with regard to this team. Some players seem to be above any kind of criticism, while others are perennial targets.

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • adadi says:

      Especially since the Briere call was a questionable call. I do not remember DD getting called out when he was playing like a 12 year old.

      • The Jackal says:

        You’re kidding, right?
        DD was called out by everyone, including Montreal’s mayor!

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • adadi says:

          Not by his coach though. And Briere has not even come close to having the line mate DD has had.

          • twilighthours says:

            He was scratched. If that’s not an out-calling, what is?

          • The Jackal says:

            I seem to remember a press conference were DD was specifically called out as not playing well and having a disappointing season, which was then followed by the announcement of him being benched. And yes, that was by our favourite coach, MT.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • huge_polar_bear says:

      Briere is a hometown boy, it works both ways. If he plays well they chant his name at the Bell Center, they pass him the torch during the ceremonies, they sign him to advertizing deals etc… But the spot light is still there if he plays poorly (albeit there may be more patience shown as in DD’s case). As they say it is a double edged sword.
      Prust on the other hand created a fantastic first impression in his first year with the Habs, people fell in love with a gritty hard working player that can fight.
      First impressions, so important…. Subban was full of himself when he started it spread like wild fire across the NHL that he has an attitude problem.
      If Briere had 10-15 goals already this early in the season it would be a whole different ball game.

      First impressions, make a good one, it will pay off in the long run.

      • FlyAngler says:

        Exactly my point, a lot more patience shown in DD’s case- especially by MT.

        “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

      • The Jackal says:

        Subban never had an attitude problem, that’s just a narrative concocted by the old boys club of NHL broadcasting and other things hockey. He was more showy when he came into the NHL but there was never a problem with his actual attitude, they took that from Subban standing up for himself and backing himself up when other players were pissed off that this rookie was making them look bad because of his mad skills.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • B says:

        Brière is actually from Gatineau, so isn’t he more of an Ottawa “hometown boy” than a Montreal one?

        –Go Habs Go!–

  11. Eddie says:

    Ok here’s my hockey 101.

    Offence starts with dmen who can gain control and make a quick transition. As Therrien mentioned, our defence has not been doing that lately. I can guarantee you that you will not see anything like a quick transition whenever Murray is on the ice, hence, zero goals scored with him on the ice the entire season is very logical.

    Second, where are the centres? The center position is the key to producing offence as the team moves the puck down the ice. Ovechkin can not even score unless a centerman is feeding him the timely passes.

    Desharnais is outplaying Plekanec offensively these past 10 games or so, and Eller is creating very little as well.

    We need Plekanec to play more offensively, to take some chances, but he is being coached otherwise. No doubt in my mind that Plekanec has excellent offensive skills but he’s being held back by Therriens lust for defence.

    Eller is afraid to get caught as well. Ellers offensive game is also being held back by the coaching staff.

    When you want to create offence you need smart, quick transition from your dmen, and you need to let your centres play down low, take some chances, and create some offence.

    Hockey according to Ed Lopaz.

    • krob1000 says:

      Agree re the d transition and have been begging for a pk/marky splti accompanied by a 4 line rolling approach all season.

      RE the centres I disagree….from the red line in teams today do not have centres and wingers anymore they have f1, f2 and f3. On teh breakouts they ofte have the wekside winger cut across the middle insidet he blueline and just as often they are the ones carrying the puck up ice. Also with so much dump and chase it is first man on the puck..regardless of who it is. Most centers are playmakers by nature and their offense tends to go as the offense of their wingers go…which tends to go as the transition game goes.

      It is all intertwined and ina game of mistakes as todays game now is as teams play so much of the game near perfection relative to older days you have to play a bit of a numbers game and just try to maximize opportunites to score. This is why having balnced lines and one oof PK or MArky on the ice for nearly 50 min’s a game will instnatly result in more opportunities.

      The forwards will all benefit ….but Pleks could have had a few assists last night if GIo and Chuchky had converted. MAx PAc got 2 weird goals but DD would have had points if MAx converted on the 3 goalposts. Eller had a few goo dchances as well considering he played with grinders…

    • wjc says:

      Defense is important, the idea is to score more than you allow. So taking chances, and playing down low, might not work as well as you might imagine.

      Transition game is important, but the other team has to be given credit for countering you. There are two teams with good coaching and sometimes it becomes a standoff.

      The other team is trying things to and seeking advantages.

      wjc

    • Phil C says:

      When Tortorella won the Cup with Tampa, his motto was “safe is death”. Yet last year with the Rangers, he was one of the most conservative coaches in the league. I wonder if coaches lose their will to take chances playing with so much media scrutiny. Therrien may have to cut lose his offensive stars a little more for sure.

    • The Jackal says:

      Eller was most certainly not being held back earlier in the season when he was on a roll, and his lack of scoring is more likely a slump rather than the result of MT’s instructions. Eller still gets many chances but he has not been able to put them away.

      Pleks is very skilled but he is the only centre that can shut down other teams’ top players, so sometimes he has to play the two-way role first, but that is not because of MT’s desire for defence, it is just a necessity.

      You’ve mentioned before that we should have stuck with last year’s system because we were dominant under it until injuries caught up. I think that’s not exactly true. We scored a lot of goals and had good possession but were not dominant in the way that a dominant team should be. We did not control the play, it was more like we had the puck more but were unable to dominate with the possession. Sure, we scored a lot of goals, but that’s due to other teams adjusting to our new system and new scorers – there is of course offensive skill in there as well, but while we completed lots of nice plays, we never had net presence or a dominant forecheck – once our speed was shut down, the offence suffered as well.

      Not only that, but the system definitely hid our deficiencies behind the mountain of goals that we scored. It would be great if we could score that many goals again, but other teams are not giving us the space anymore and that is because they take us seriously now. We don’t have the players to consistently break coverage with speed, establish net presence, and have a cycle and passing game that creates pressure. We’re still stuck trying to use our skill and speed to score goals yet there is very little time and space to do so. That’s not a result of a greater emphasis on playing defence but rather it’s just a result of other teams trying to shut us down. MT should adjust but it’s difficult to score with this roster. We lost Ryder’s 30 goals and Briere is not exactly a scoring machine.

      I think this season is just a return to norm rather than a step back. We’re a better team overall than we were last season but the league has taken notice that we can be dangerous offensively, but they also know how to shut us down. That’s a consequence of our lack of power forwards and forwards who drive to the net. We have enough puck moving D out there, what we need is a sniper and a power forward, and no system is going fix that.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  12. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Nice third period rally and win by Les Boys last night. That hit on Schenn was nasty! Hey ,any of you amigos remember this Russian lad Mikhail Fisenko? He played junior with the Hitmen a couple of years go. He”s back in Russia playing for Amur Khabarovsk.
    I like the way he dispenses justice after his teammate gets a Headshot. Saludos!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTLeRfChj98

  13. wjc says:

    Brandon Prust has 3 goals, but he fights, so that is okay. I would like to hear what Mr. Cobb has to say about that.

    wjc

    • Kooch7800 says:

      There is a difference in roles on the team. Prust is a bottom 6 guy who is paid that way to provide energy, be physical with the other team and be good on the PK and sound defensively. Any offense he provides is a bonus.

      Players like Prust are invaluable in the playoffs and tight games. I wouldn’t say Briere is invaluable to the team

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • shiram says:

        at 2.5 millions, I expect him to chip in with a goal once in a while.
        That’s 3rd line money for a 4th line player.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          He is on the higher end Shiram for bottom 6 players but he is there for his pk abilities and energy. he was also a Free Agent signing and in order for us to get him the habs had to over pay a bit.

          You have to admit he was a good signing

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • shiram says:

            Sure and I was happy to have him signed, he was the one free agent that summer that I wanted the Habs to pursue.
            But I still think he should get a bit more points, he’s used all over the lines, and so should be able to pick more points than he has thus far.
            Less fights more points would do the team good, especially if Moen/White can take some of the fighting load.

    • Propwash says:

      You’re selling Prust a little short, don’t you think?

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

      • wjc says:

        Just trying to get people to think outside the box. I like Prust as a player. Brier is struggling, less ice time, more struggle…viscious cycle. This is probably what he envisioned when he signed with Philadelphia and by passed Montreal.

        He will end his career in Montreal and now knows for sure that Montreal is the toughest market in hockey.

        Give him 10 games with players that can finish and then you would know for sure if he is finished or not. I am not convinced, but, I could be wrong of course.

        wjc

    • adadi says:

      Prust is a 4th line player. He should not be taking regular shifts on the top 3 lines. He will get lots of PK time and shut down time at the end of the game. Having him on any one of the top lines hurts that line. He does not have the skill for it. None of the top lines he has played with has clicked. On the other hand Moen does have some hand skills. Probably 3rd line but still better than Prust’s. Cannot understand why he has not played with DD and Patches. He brings the same kind of grit and energy that Cole and Galley added to that line.

  14. 24 Cups says:

    In terms of discussion about games lost to injury, here is a list for Habs who are regular roster players:
    Emelin – 20
    Bourque – 12
    Prust – 11
    Briere – 10
    MaxPac – 9

    • wjc says:

      Is that an ‘excuse’ or a ‘reason’?

      wjc

    • Cardiac says:

      Any way of comparing that list to the Pens’?

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

    • krob1000 says:

      Top gaolscorer, most phsyical dman, best energy forward and regular tough guy (Parros only draws in for specialty role), Bourque is up and down but when he is on he is on and allows the tem to have more depth. BRiere…I still think people should lighten up on him…he is in a new role, with a new team/system…has been recovering from injury and at his age takes longer to get in shape once he falls out. HIs concussion likely meant very limited exercise and I am not ocnvinced he came into camp in shape to beign with. Maybe Flyer shape where he was nt expected to play 200 feet and be so aggressive ont he forecheck…totally diff’t system in MOntreal and even the small guys are expected to be rugged pursxuers of dump ins and also forecheck relentlessly. Montreal plays significant minutes ont he walls wehre mtyh indicates is soft play but in fact ios where over 85 percent of NHl hits happen.

  15. Kooch7800 says:

    YES! http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/tor131217.html Get it done Nonis! haha

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Cardiac says:

      Double Dion!!!

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Hopefully he signs the max term ;)

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Cardiac says:

          If he’s worth $7M+, what is Subban worth? The net income of a small country?

          “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
          – Jerry Maguire

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Subban will get 7.5 to 8 mill is what I would guess. Phanuef is not worth more than 5

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • wjc says:

        Another teams problems. Another teams problems. Misery like company. Dwell on mistakes, never recognize a good play or the caliber of player they have to face. Never consider the situations they handle, the type of teammate they are, the heat they deflect.

        Just dwell on another team, that you dispise. I think you are afraid of Toronto just like you are afraid of Boston.

        Hockey is a game of mistakes, without them you would have no game. Just the ice follies.

        wjc

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Even leaf fans don’t like Phaneuf. Sadly he is their best D man and he is overrated. The players in the league have also voted him as the most overrated player in the league….that is for a reason

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • wjc says:

            Leaf fans? You have talked to them all. Could be a vocal minority. A few fans whine and complain about everything and they become the ‘Leaf fans’

            Example: 10 fans boo Price, they become the Canadiens fans.

            4 fans boo the National anthem and they become everybody in attendance.

            Lucic gets into an argument in Vancouver with a couple of people and that becomes the whole downtown of Vancouver.

            When Hockey night in Canada comes on Television and they show the outside shot of Montreal or Toronto, you see all these car headlights of people that could careless there is a hockey game on.
            You go to a restaurant on a Saturday night or one of many movies theaters and people not paying attention to any game.

            The whole generalization thing drives me nuts. Just admit that there are a few people who really give a damn.

            wjc

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I am in southern Ontario WJC it is not a minority that don’t like Dion.

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • wjc says:

          In actuality none of them are worth more then $250.000.00 a year and would be happy to get THAT!

          The only reason the money is spent to that extent is to keep another league from forming (expense to start) and fans that will pay anything for a sport fix (an addiction).

          Players making 8 million a year and more is ridculous. But in todays world the separation between have and have not is growing.

          You pay for your distractions. Cry and moan and then pull out your wallet for the next game and the next game and the next game. Season after season, no matter how much they charge or rig it so you have to pay every which way.

          wjc

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Supply and demand unfortunately. I have stopped going to NHL games lately as the prices are just too crazy along with the beer prices. Until those stands start becoming empty though they can get away with it.

            I am in southern Ontario where there are a ton of options for hockey. I go see the bulldogs for 20 dollars or OHL games. with the parody in the league you are not for sure to see a good game anymore

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Cal says:

      7 years @ $8mil + please, you morons.
      Keeping him captain makes me sure they never want to win anything. Pha-useless the laffs best Dman? It is to laugh.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        He will get over 7 milll per season and 7 years I would bet

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • wjc says:

        Amen kooch. Junior ‘A’ or AHL is the ticket. Used to be you could smuggle in a mickey and dress it up in the washroom. Nice cheap buzz for a cheap bugger like myself.

        Beating the system is a trip and should be attempted, even if it means putting an arial on you roof at a one time cost. Old fashion, you bet, but what choice do you have.

        Everybody is close in the standings. How does this happen? Salary cap, extra points, strong tired teams play rested weak teams that play rope and dope and wear you down, big goalies, pressure from fans that support you only if you are winning, injury that is played through but unappreciated by the unwary fan. Concusions that make players leery for good reason, being a basket case at 50 is not an option anymore. Taking one for the team if you are on the fringes might be an only choice for some. If you have your milllions of dollars stashed away, you might think ‘is this worth it’.

        Living to enjoy it, is the ticket

        wjc

  16. Steeltown Hab says:

    On Briere’s penalty Murphy embelished, but it was stupid arm placement and they always call that.

    Pacioretty’s penalty Smith embelished, it was also stupid to slash the goalie in the back albeit not that hard.

    Point is Briere’s penalty was dumb but no dumber than Pacioretty’s, call it for what it is instead of jumping on the Briere hating bandwagon.

    ———————————

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      There’s a Briere hating bandwagon? No one told me we had one of those! :)

    • Kooch7800 says:

      for the record I have always hated briere

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • shiram says:

      Smith is disgusting in his embellishment, it’s become a tradition for him, such that even Yote’s fans are annoyed by it.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        the part that was crazy is the ref right beside it didn’t call anything and the ref at centre ice calls the penalty.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        when you fall and simultaneously throw your hands in the air for attention….pretty sure thats embelishment lol don’t see how the refs don’t thrive on calling that.

        ———————————

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

    • wjc says:

      embelishing is like ‘bluffing’ in poker, Great if it works, you can be totally screwed if it doesn’t. Isn’t that what makes sports interesting. Refs are human and if you get caught embellishing you may be penalized and later when you are flattened, they look the other way.

      Then the fans says, ‘the refs’ is blind. Just like the wrestling referee of years ago that never saw the bad guy with the secret weapon when the whole arena was screaming, he was always looking the other way. Funny back then, to see the fans being played. The word goes out in hockey, ‘hey better not to show the ref up he may make you pay’.

      wjc

  17. The Dude says:

    So here’s my prediction for tomorrow nights game vs the Blues…OH SH*T!

  18. Eddie says:

    My nephew payed against Tom Wilson for years growing up in Toronto.

    He was always big but no one ever thought he would be drafted, never mind the 1st round, and make the NHL as an 18 yar old last season!!

    The hit yesterday is EXACTLY why Tom Wilson is in the NHL.

    Terrible, but true.

  19. wjc says:

    What happened to Phoenix last night? That Patriocetty goal should not have gone in. That is on the goaltender.

    They colapsed in the third to a weak, tired Montreal team that could not beat Florida.

    Phoenix will probably lose to the leafs next……I am fed up!

    wjc

  20. D Man says:

    After the Briere penalty my wife took the dog for a walk. I think I might have made her a little nervous. What a terrible, lazy, momentum killing penalty. Off With His Head! Or at least put him in the press box.

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

  21. habsfan0 says:

    I wasn’t able to watch last night’s game and wanted to know if Briere was a factor.
    With his opening commentary,I believe Boone has answered my question.

    • shiram says:

      Hard to be a factor with under 6 minutes of ice.
      Kinda like Bournival.
      Those guys are not getting much chance to prove anything.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Bournival deserves a shot with his energy. I can’t say the same for Briere. Briere has under 5 minutes and manages to take a bonehead penalty.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • wjc says:

          Prust, get 4 minutes for being a bone head, but that is okay.

          wjc

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Prust’s job is to provide energy, play sound defense when needed and chip in when he can and that is why he is paid 2.5 mill per season. Briere is paid 4 million to help the offense and be a top 6 forward. 5 goals is not even enough production to be on the 3rd line. Not to mention he isn’t good defensively.

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • wjc says:

        Bournval is getting valuable NHL experience. Briere is trying to find his game. It should all work out nicely. If Briere is bought out/traded at season end so be it. Bournaval is going to ready for a bigger role next year.

        Win/win or a win/lose or a lose/lose, depends how you look at it. Long term vrs short term gain always tricky.

        wjc

    • wjc says:

      Boone does not answer questions, he just manufactures them.

      wjc

    • wjc says:

      Aw, the gate keeper, explains alot.

      wjc

  22. ianism says:

    this disparity between east and west is ridiculous! even with less teams in the conference it’ll be far harder to get into the playoffs out west.
    at the moment, 3 of the top 10 (with the habs tied with minnesota for 10th) and 6 of the top 16 teams are in the east.
    a crossover rule like in the CFL would be useful this year. though at the rate things are going, toronto might not make it anyways! ha!
    montreal – tampa would be a great 1st round series though, eh?

    • Cal says:

      With less teams, it is easier to make it to the playoffs. Kind of like the CFL, with 6 out of 8 teams making it.

      Any playoffs this season is a bonus for the Habs.

      • ianism says:

        in theory, yes. but recently – and this season especially – the quality of teams making the playoffs in the east is far outmatched by those in the west. thus, teams in the west have a tougher time, as they much play tougher opponents more regularly and there are few pushovers. not to mention the distances they must travel.

        and in my opinion, the CFL should just ditch the divisions entirely.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Based on the assumption that the NHL is basically concerned with making money, there is a notion out there that the league could eventually expand by four teams, not two. Assuming that Bettman will want to keep propping up Arizona, the four new teams could be Seattle, Las Vegas (or KC), Quebec City and another GTA team based either in Markham or Hamilton. You would then have two conferences consisting of two 8 team divisions and two 9 team divisions. Each conference would then have 17 teams with a 9/8 split. It would mean Detroit would have to move back to their old division but that’s about it. Each team would then get an infusion of 30-40M. What about the obvious watering down of talent? Don’t be silly.

      • Cal says:

        I think 2 more teams, max. One in the west and one in Quebec City, with either Columbus or Detroit going back west to balance things out.

        • ianism says:

          the league should not expand in my opinion. move the panthers to QC, move phoenix (when possible) to Portland/Seattle. or vice versa. the league does not need more teams. if the californian teams and TB were terrible we would be talking about contracting them.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Duhatschek of the Globe was speculating a 2nd team in Toronto/Markham perhaps would get stuck in the West (comparison brought up of how Toronto used to play there) and as the rookies on the block they would have to accept it. Rather than putting Detroit back in the West or Columbus.

        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/duhatschek-a-novel-idea-for-the-nhls-expansion-woes/article15994751/

      • wjc says:

        Assumption? The NHL is about making money, lots of it, expecting to make lots more, planning to maximize profits in every regard.

        Bettman is a broker, he does the owners bidding, he makes no decisions without the approval of the owners……get it. He is a middleman between deal makers. He knows how much money needs to be in place.

        The NHL needs the teams, the teams need the NHL.
        The teams are the NHL, the players are the union, the union is the players.

        The fans watch, twitter, email, blog, argue and pay the way, along with advertisers and the media who benefit from sales increases and advertising dollars. They are always checking to see what works, when sales go up, they know a campaign is working, As of now everything is heading up.

        If you live in the Toronto market area, you will pay for the privilege to cheer for your selected team. And yes they want to win the Stanley cup, it is just very, very, very hard to do with so many teams going for it every year. Winning means sales, sales, sales and money for everybody. Thanks to the fan.

        wjc

  23. Phil C says:

    Some of the criticism Therrien gets is unfair, but that isn’t gong to stop me. ;-)

    The reality is no coach is perfect. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. The state of the offense right now makes me wonder if offense is a blind spot for this coaching staff and organization. Bergevin and Therrien were both defensemen, so it makes me wonder if they can recognize offensive talent in forwards. Not blatant offensive talent, but subtle differences between players that may affect which player gets ice time or who gets signed. It’s like somebody who can’t sing probably can’t be trusted to judge a singer. If they can’t hear themselves, how can they recognize talent in someone else? Therrien certainly recognizes good defensive skills because if you don’t show them, you will feel his wrath (hello Briere and Subban).

    The last time the offense real clicked was when Carbonneau and Muller were coaching, two players who had offensive success in various levels of hockey. I wonder if they need to bring in a consultant to help them with the offense? They are not going to get anywhere without 5-on-5 scoring and I’m not convinced it’s entirely a personnel issue, so I don’t think a trade for a sniper will solve anything, especially if he doesn’t defend like Therrien wants. I know Gallant should be that guy, but does anyone know if he is an Xs and Os type of coach or not?

    • shiram says:

      Last year the team was 5th in goals for.

      • Eddie says:

        Yes, Shiram is right. Just go back to last years system. Why did we change it in the first place. We dominated until our injuries caught up to us.

      • Phil C says:

        How much can you contribute that to the new-at-the-time coaching staff with no training camp in a shortened season? The new forechecking system helped them last year, but now their opposition has adjusted. What else do they have up their sleeve? Good offensive hockey players can beat you in different ways. I think what you are seeing this year is more telling.

        • shiram says:

          You said the last time the offense clicked was under Carbo, I just pointed out that it was a false statement.
          Obviously it’s not working as good anymore, or else we would not be 20th in scoring.

          • Phil C says:

            You may disagree, but it is an opinion, not a fact. If its not clicking now, last season may have been an aberration in a shortened season. Too small a sample size if you will. They were certainly regressing to the mean at the end of the season, which supports my opinion more than yours.

          • shiram says:

            Well I’m glad that you could rationalize it so you feel you are right, without actually proving me wrong.
            48 games is a good sample size.
            Habs being 5th in the league last season is a fact, not an opinion.

      • FlyAngler says:

        5th in goals for in the regular season. 3rd in goals against. In the playoffs they dropped to 15th out of 16 in goals against at 4.00 goals per game as opposed to 2.00 in the regular season. Granted, they did not have Emelin in the post season which made a huge difference.

        “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Good points, yet they have an assistant coach in Gerard Gallant that had 4 consecutive years in Detroit where he scored between 34-39 goals each of those years.
      His NHL career showed 211 goals/480 points which could mean he knows something about offense.
      The question becomes, what’s his overall influence on strategy?

      • Phil C says:

        Impressive numbers, but in the expansion era. Your question is a better one though, perhaps his opinion is not being heard enough in the room.

      • reddog24 says:

        I would like to know how much SAY Gerard Gallant has with this team? Most shots on TV always show MT talking to other ass. coach JD or shaking his hand after a win. My opinion is Gallant is very well respected and listen to by players but not MT. Think there could be a language, don’t know if he speaks French, but things just don’t look good to me. Maybe MT feels GG might be a threat to his job.

    • FlyAngler says:

      Phil,

      Your point is a fair one and well taken. Positively, for the most part the Habs seem to be more responsible defensively than they were earlier in the season. The challenge for any team is of course to be both defensively strong and productive on offense. The Caps are a good example of this conundrum. When they have been an offensive juggernaut, they wind up being easy pickins in the playoffs because they can’t get it done in the close checking, defensive type games. When a coach like Dale Hunter comes along and makes them play both ends, the offense suffers.

      I am not sure what the answer is, and your question about Gallant is a good one to ask, but this is a problem for a lot of teams not just the Habs. Maybe time and getting used to the constraints imposed by defensive discipline will help.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

      • Phil C says:

        Its a good point that its tough to play great hockey in both ends of the rink at the same time. I don’t mind them being a low scoring team if they lock it down defensively. I just find the lack of 5-on-5 scoring recently a cause for concern even for a low scoring team. The are as healthy as they will ever be and many players are below their normal production. It leads me to think their offensive strategies need tweaking.

        • FlyAngler says:

          I agree on hundred percent- especially as regards the power play- way to focused dependent on shots from the point. The PP attack needs to be more balanced and PK and Markov need to try harder to find and set up the forwards in order to generate better scoring opportunities. I am not saying that they should not shoot- just that they need to do a better job of getting more shots for the forwards on the PP.

          “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • wjc says:

      Carboneau and Muller were both defensive players and defensive experts. Their teams had great difficulty getting out of their own end. Do you remember the frustration of endlessly trying to break out only to intercepted.

      I like Therien, he has the team playing a good blend of defense and exciting transition hockey for the most part unless they get fatiqued then it kind of falls apart.

      wjc

  24. shiram says:

    At least this season, and the close call wins like last night, will put a stop to the non-sense we’ve heard in past seasons.

    “Price never steals a game”

  25. twilighthours says:

    I love Nuna sightings.

  26. bigjames says:

    of course I am delighted we won last night. true, we came out strong tin the first, but the briere penalty killed the mo. and yes, we did come on strong after the 4 minute kill and I was fairly certain at that point we would win.
    but the thing that still drives me crazy is our inability to clear the zone. so many times, even in the second and third when we were dominating, the puck seemed to get right to our defensive blue line, only to be held in one way or another and then end up back deep in our end. we were lucky not to have been scored on a few of those times (that guy hitting the post back door with a wide open net).
    when we want to, we are super fast through the neutral zone, but when we are asleep, it is brutal. but to me, the number one area to work on is effective zone clearance and not getting hemmed in for minutes at a time.

    • krob1000 says:

      on the flipside…I think the 4 min kill on Prusty’s penalty was huge…I think that set the tone moving forward and got them believing they could pull through. That was a textbook pk kill if ever there was one.

      • bigjames says:

        agree I think we had more scoring chances in that 4 mins than they did!

        • krob1000 says:

          re your point about dzone clearing…teams do so well taking away the wall and the HAbs also have several players playing out of postion like Briere, Prust,etc. It is hard enough to get the puck out inthe NHL the way they take away the wall without having guys on their off side. IF you watch though the other teams have this problem as well. However, Montreal does not mind the icings that other teams try to avoid. I think MT has let them know he prefers that to a turnover so they take him up on it and Montreal ices the puck at least twice as often as the oppostion or so it seems. Montreal is most successful when they break out using the middle of the ice in their own end but many of the dmen are not confident enough puck movers to do that…with PK and Marky split you will see more first passes to the Habs own slot area and then a breakout and it will be more fluid but I suspect the team will still ice the puck whenever in trouble as MT appears to have instructed them to do so.

          • bigjames says:

            interesting perspective, I will look for that in the blues game. finally back in Montréal for Saturday night but may fall asleep due jet lag. hope to last the whole game!

  27. krob1000 says:

    -Glad to see Markov and PK finaly split!!
    -DOuglas Murray sakted last ight..I saw it with my own two eyes..he took real strides..I think he is finding his legs
    -Galchenyuk is already where it ook Eller three years to be re his puck possession and protection using his body…unbelievable.
    -Eller is a physical beast….he could never score again and he will still be a huge part of the team…
    -PK..what were you thinking ont hat empty net?
    -Maxpac…hockey Gods or what…3 posts then off the skate and 100 foot bouncer…weird game that hockey
    -Price…game should have ben over in the first…Price’s play ketp it going.
    -Kilnkhammer….glad I heard the klink after he hammered the post on that open net!
    -Gallagher….in the paint for two of the goals…everyone must hate hearing “play more like Gally”..but they shouls still do it
    -Gionta/Pleks/Chucky…starting to find some chemistry…
    -Faceoffs…holy crap..win a draw boy…that was a big part of the problem in the first…team spent whole period without puck ..at least be near even
    -PP….Marky and PK need to switch sides before the ozone is gained..they waste about 15-20 seconds nearly every pp switching usually twice…why not do this while heading up ice?
    -Briere…toobad he missed that shot on Chucky’s pass….could have got him going
    -Gorges..great play on the 3 on 1…but what happened on that 3 on 2 Montreal had with about a minute and a half to go? that was one lazy 3 on 2 and could have iced it at that point….was one of the few times the COyotes backed up at the blueline…take advantage.

  28. Habitoban says:

    Don’t think Bourque played the 2nd half of the 3rd period. Anyone know if he is injured again (I worry concussion)? I’m hoping that maybe MT just thought that he was slowing down by then, having not played in a while, and didn’t want to take any chances, since Habs were pressing.

  29. Lagerhab says:

    The performance of this team can be hard on the nerves. They look great for a number of games and then they go into a funk and look tentative and unsure, missing passes, committing too many simple give aways, missed assignments.

    Last night both of these scenarios occurred. The first period was awful but by the third they were playing like the team that was on that streak a couple of weeks ago.

    Having said that, I really liked Eller and Galchenyuk last night. These two still have tremendous upside, especially Chucky, he is going to be something else. The future looks bright, some of the issues we have now will work themselves out. The only issue I see that can be problematic long term is Desharnais, MB has to do something to rectify his mistake here.

  30. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ 24 cups

    The Detroit problems you mention below might have something to do with this

    Injury list:
    Their # 1 Goaltender – 2 Top 6 or 4 Top 9 + 1 Top 4 Dman.

    Jimmy Howard – Henrik Zetterberg – Darren Helm – Johan Franzen – Justin Abdelkader – – Stephen Weiss – Danny DeKeysey -Gustav Nyquist.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/injuries/

  31. habs-fan-84 says:

    Well, I enjoyed the game last night.
    The Habs seemingly dominated at will during the 3rd. Hoping to see more periods like that.

    Really glad to have Bourque back.

    • We had practice, I PVR the game. I got home, watched the first, and almost said screw watching the rest of the game. That first period would have been enough for the entire Bell to rush the ice. This team is playing with fire (not in a good way).

      The Fans have paid the Price long enough, they deserve to see good wins.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  32. krob1000 says:

    sorry I tried reposting

  33. krob1000 says:

    I have a comment “awaiting moderation”..why?

  34. I hope Eller gets to move up a couple lines. The 4th line in hockey is out there to cause havoc, shake up the game, and wear out their opponents. Therrien wants well balanced scoring from four lines, well that’s not going to happen. Move Eller to a scoring line and play the season out with that line together all season. Enough juggling, you’re not a clown!

    Oh wait……..3-2-1

    Carey Price is 5 wins from 6 wins from 6th all time, I’m disappointed that he didn’t get there by my projected date of late mid December, but that’s hockey I suppose.

    Please please please bring in one more offensive talent somehow! Don’t wait until trade deadline to decide what kind of team you are, just look now, you can see it. If Price doesn’t stop everything we lose. One more player, and it will cost us a draft pick and one of our roster players to do it. Use two draft picks from 2014 if you have to. When you pick as late as we will be, it doesn’t matter.

    Anyway, none of the above will be filled now but waiting until the deadline never works. Players come and it takes them months to get into a new team, make the deal in January and by April it will all be juicy!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  35. Maritime Ronn says:

    It was good to see a very solid performance from Josh Gorges – a favourite whipping boy around here for little reason.

    It appears Habs fans want ALL their top 4 Dmen to be some kind of Subban-Doughty-Weber hybrid.
    Regardless of team, it just isn’t going to happen.

    Many complain about Gorges’s lack of offence or creativity, yet how does his offensive stats stack up against other top 4 Dmen on some of the top teams in the NHL?

    What are THEIR offensive contributions?

    Gorges: 1 Goal/6 Assists/7 points.
    ( Diaz: 0 goals/10 assists)

    LA Kings Dmen Top 4:
    Robyn Regehr: 0 goals 4 assists
    Willie Mitchell: 0 goals 4 assists

    Anaheim Ducks Top 4:
    Francois Beauchemin: 0 goals 7 assists
    Ben Lovejoy: 1 goal 5 assists.

    St. Louis Top 4:
    Barret Jackman: 0 goals 5 assists

    Chicago:
    Johnny Oduya: 2 goals 7 assists

    Some other Top 4 Dman with exactly the same 1G-6A as Gorges:
    Brooks Orpik-Pitt.
    Johnny Boychuk-Boston

    Dmitry Kulikov and Sami Salo have 1G /5A.

    Although they have a bunch of assists, these guys have yet to score a goal:
    Ryan Suter-Sergei Gonchar-Francois Beauchemin.

    Gorges deserves to be cut some slack.
    His +7 is tied for 31st for ALL NHL Dmen.
    He also leads the Habs in PK time playing against the best Unit of the other team’s PP…and the Habs Penalty Kill is now 3rd best in the entire NHL

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20142ALLDADALL&viewName=summary&sort=goals&pg=5

    • krob1000 says:

      I don’t think anyone has issues with GOrges the person or even the hockey player…I think they have issue with a d corps that lacks physicality in it’s better dmen…so the role that is occupied by Gorges is more often reserved for someone of similar offensive ability and a shutdown type guy BUT someone who is more physical and a deterrent if you will. Gorges contract also makes it more difficult…he is signed relatively long term and when you look at the d moving forward you get the feeling he or Diaz must go….one will likely sign for far less and is similar IMO in the d side of the game. Gorges would also likely net you assets back while Diaz is a UFA and would not net much. Personally on the back end if I were moving one guy it would be Gorges. It could go several ways but depending on necessary cap space and what is available as an upgrade Gorges may just stay put…in fact likely will.

      • Phil C says:

        What he said. I would add that it is not ideal to have 3 lefties in your top four. If they could flip Gorges for a physical RH defenseman capable of playing with Markov, it would improve the look of the D, IMO.

        • Eddie says:

          Absolutely. Gorges’ spot should be filled by a 6’2, 215+ right handed shot, who is mobile, and if that shot was actually a low, hard, heavy shot, that would be ideal for 2nd line power play as well.

          • Phil C says:

            You are making me drool now. That type of defenseman would be tough to get in a trade, but it would be nice.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            So who are these ideal Dmen?
            What type of contract would they demand?
            What assets would the Habs have to give up to acquire him?
            If he is a UFA, what type of big long term contract?
            And what GM in his right mind would trade a Top 4 described above?

          • krob1000 says:

            lol..I know you are referring to pateryn….I think next year he will get his shot…

          • AntoineSabourin says:

            What about a player like David Savard on Columbus? 6’2 right handed. A year younger than Subban.

  36. HardHabits says:

    Any reason why all my comments are awaiting moderation?

  37. Eddie says:

    I don’t blame Briere at all. The man as paid his dues in the NHL and he has had great success.

    The Habs clearly made him promises that they are not keeping.

    Briere would have asked for certain assurances about his playing time, his power play time, etc, all common practices during a free agent negotiation.

    He gets hurt with another concussion, and he has not been given back his playing time.

    If it was me I never would have signed him, another small forward was the last thing the Habs needed.

    But when a team signs a player lie Briere, who is experienced and successfully so, you can not change the terms of the agreement 30 games in and expect an experienced player to accept it.

    This is all on Bergevin and Therrien.

    This is not Major Junior hockey, and Briere is not 17 years old.

    I think the signing was a total panic move because they missed out on Lacavalier, who was Bergevin’s first choice.

    But now that the player is here his deal should be honoured, at least on the power play, where Briere’s skills are actually very useful by NHL standards.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I blame MB for Briere. Everyone saw this coming a mile away that is why I am shocked he got 4 mill and a two year deal. I am hoping they can move him but not sure anyone would actually want him.

      He won’t be on the team next year

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • twilighthours says:

      The flip side is that he’s been around penty long enough, and with enough coaches, to know that when you’re not playing well – and not even willing to battle for a loose puck – then you’re going to see the bench.

      But yeah, that signing is a stinker so far.

  38. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Is it possible that Carey Price could win:

    Olymic Gold , The Vezina, A Stanley Cup
    & The Conn Smythe all in the same year?

    I think it is very possible!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  39. rljmartin says:

    Nice to finally see a win. Only upside to the recent scoring drought has been our goals against (except L.A. game).

    Gotta like Murray, rarely gets beat, rarely loses battles in the corner with 2 or 3 men on him and his confidence grows with every game. When he plays even Diaz throws the occasional hit. Hope he does not sit anytime soon.

  40. montreal ace says:

    What a play by Gorges last night, I could not be happier for him. He has played well this season and has been dependable.

  41. Steeltown Hab says:

    Is the writing on the wall for Eller? Not that it has anything to do with his play, but is it just inevitable this boneheaded organization is going to deal him?

    What happens next year. Galchenyuk who should’ve been developing as a C this whole time will finally make the move, Plekanec is staying. Eller should but DD has an untradeable contract.

    ———————————

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

    • Luke says:

      They said the Gomez contract was untradeable.

      (Le sigh).

    • rhino514 says:

      No way they trade Eller but if they do I will stop watching.

    • twilighthours says:

      Eller is fair game, as far as I’m concerned. I love his all-around game, especially the physicality. But he’s never shown the ability to be a game breaker. If it is a foregone conclusion that galchenyuk will player centre (I’m not convinced that it is), then I’d rather trade DD, for sure. But if Eller fetches a better return and makes the team better, then lets do it.

    • Lagerhab says:

      They better not! If they trade Eller and keep DD it won’t be good! I think we haven’t scratch the surface on what Eller can become. Did you see some of the hits he dished out recently? I never thought I would see that from him but it is becoming part of his game along with all the other skills he has.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      You are one angry human!

      What is it? Old age? Hemorrhoids? Hamilton?

  42. FlyAngler says:

    A couple of thoughts……..

    Regarding the sluggishness in first periods of late- I am under the impression that the Habs have their morning skate at Brossard (when they do have one) while the visitors hold theirs at the Bell Centre. Maybe I’m being overly neurotic, but I have never been comfortable with that arrangement as to me it seems that you needlessly,compromise a bit of comfort level and preparation for play in your own barn. (I do realize that this was seemingly not an issue on some nights, but the Habs home record is not impressive, especially given their overall record.)

    I would not say yet that P.K and Markov are back in any groove because of one good night. For some time now the PP has seemed to me to be overly fixated on and handicapped by a shoot from the point mentality despite the fact that P.K. and Markov have only 2 power play goals each and have shooting percentages under 5%. The priority on the PP should be to get the puck to the true scorers on the PP who currently are Patches, Gallagher, and yes Bourque. It should be obvious, but clearly it isn’t.

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  43. --Habs-- says:

    I flipped it to the Blues SJ game after 1. Now that was a hockey game and nobody was tired.

  44. commandant says:

    Are the Habs becoming too reliant on their powerplay?

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/12/18/reliance-on-powerplay-has-potential-to-urt-canadiens/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  45. JF says:

    The turning point last night was the four-minute penalty kill in the second period, during which I believe the Coyotes had a single shot on Carey Price. From that point the Habs were skating faster, forechecking harder, and getting in Smith’s face in a way we haven’t seen for about half a dozen games. It was as though they suddenly metamorphosed into the Habs we loved to watch for most of last season and parts of this.

    I have a theory that this is what happens to a team on the way to becoming a good team. They have periods when they play well and others when they mysteriously revert to a reincarnation of their former bad selves. When things aren’t going well for the Habs – because of injuries, lack of confidence, or maybe after a pounding by a better team – they become passive, stop skating, stop forechecking, start dumping the puck instead of carrying or passing it. They start playing not to lose instead of playing to win. Then they get trapped in this mindset and are unable to shake it off until something sparks them out of it – maybe a great shift or a brilliant goal or, as was the case last night, killing a four-minute penalty when they’re trailing by a goal. As they team improves, we should see more of the good Habs, fewer reincarnations of the bad Habs. It’s all about consistency. At least that’s my theory.

    So they played a great half-game. I hope they can build on it. If not, we’re in trouble. The penalty kill remains excellent and the powerplay appears to have been resurrected, but our last even-strength goal (leaving aside the 4-on-4 OT goal against the Islanders and last night’s empty-netter) came against Buffalo six games ago. That’s scary.

  46. Ozmodiar says:

    Can someone tell me why MB signed Briere?

    a) inept pro scouting
    b) poor assessment of team needs
    c) because he’s from Quebec

    Okay, now which answer of the 3, if true, is the most disconcerting going forward?

  47. Cal says:

    Uh-oh. I’ve been put on the naughty list.

  48. Cal says:

    Is it the avatar?

  49. Cal says:

    I hope this is a glitch, but why is my reply to 24Cups “awaiting moderation?” Is it the word n-e-g-a-t-i-v-e?

  50. Habsbill24 says:

    There is lots of love for Eller on this site but frankly he has not shown me that he is a number one or two center yet. He is on a pace for about 38 points. Yes he has not always had good wings or ice time or PP ice time but he clearly is still learning. Chucky is the only guy on this team that has first line center potential. DD is better defensively than Briere which is why he gets more ice time but frankly we would be better off if both were gone and we had Chucky, Pleks and Eller as centers with a banger who can core 6-8 goals (that means not White) as the fourth line center.

  51. 24 Cups says:

    I can’t wait for Cherry and Stock to somehow rationalize the Wilson hit on Schenn. I guess it’s Schenn’s fault because he “turned into the hit”. One of these days a guy’s neck is going to snap the wrong way which will put him in a wheelchair for life.

    There are lots of guilty parties when it comes to placing blame for this safety crisis, but I have the NHLPA at the top of my list.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      You are absolutely right. Did you see how many players rushed to Thornton’s defence? These guys are nuts.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Totally with you on the NHLPA…..if they don’t care, then why should owners and fans?

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      The poor and the dirty hockey player will always be among us. Twas always and will always be so.

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

    • krob1000 says:

      Steve, I just watched Cherry again on this subject last week and he did NOT take the side of the hitter. He says all of the time that the player making the hit has a respnsibility to try to avoid it and consider the consequences. He ALSO says the players with the puck have to be aware of their situation and that turning at the last second is a no no and they are putting themselves at risk in doing so as well…which is true. Tom Wilson was accelerating and IMO should be suspended …but why Schenn turned in that position I do not know….Wilson is very wrong and should be punished…but Schenn messed up as well….doesn’t excuse Wilson but will definitely be a factor in any supplemental discipline. There are better examples of the players putting themselves in a vulnerable situation as Wilson in this instance clearly accelerated and was looking to make a big hit and even had he hit Schenn right on the shoulder from the side it was still in that dangerous area and predatory IMO. But I get what Cherry is saying as too often guys turn at the last second …..it is the boardside equivalent to skating across the middle of the ice with your head down.

    • Luke says:

      The “Turn into the hit” shouldn’t matter. IIRC Wilson wasn’t penalized for Checking from Behind, he was penalized for Charging.

      Wilson dotted all the “i”s on this one. He could have been called for Charging, Boarding or CFB on the hit. It shouldn’t be too tough for the NHL wheel of justice. They just need to decide if they want the possibility of an appeal.

      Probably not, so they’ll have the Wheel set for 9 or less. I’m guessing 7-9 games. I’d go 9, but I think the league goes 7.

      (As I typed that i started chuckling to myself “yah, right… the league’ll go 3″).

      • 24 Cups says:

        Luke – It’s a wonder that Wilson didn’t give himself a concussion seeing that he took so many strides at top speed trying to drill Schenn through the boards. His momentum was such that he went ass over tea kettle after hitting Schenn.

  52. DipsyDoodler says:

    The actual story of last night’s game is this.

    We continued our poor play in the 1st but Price kept us in it.

    In the 2nd the coach made some adjustments (most notably splitting up PK and Marky so we’d have a puck mover on the ice most of the time) and the team found its focus. We came out like lions and dominated the rest of the game but Mike Smith and the goalposts kept it close.

    This was a very good win against an excellent team.

  53. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Just saw the Wilson hit on Schenn…OMG. Criminal. 30 game suspension? Lifetime ban? Ferraro was right, hockey players don’t respect each other and never have.

  54. 24 Cups says:

    I’m just checking but we did win last night’s game, right?

    With adjustments for games in hand, Montreal is now tied with Tampa for 2nd in their division. The Lightning would be Montreal’s first round playoff opponent. The Habs also have a 6 point lead on Detroit and an 8 point lead on Toronto. In terms of the overall conference standings, they are 9 up on 8th place seeded teams. If they can split their next two games I’ll go into the Christmas break a happy Hab humbug.

    One more thing. Detroit has now lost three in a row and are 3-5-2 in their last ten games. Even worse, their overall home record is an atrocious 5-9-6. I wonder if their fans are calling for Holland and Babcock to walk the plank?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Glad you got a post in. Mine are “awaiting moderation”. Since there is a lack of action this morning I’m guessing its a common occurrence.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Morning Steve, if the team can carry the 2nd and particularly the 3rd periods momentum into their next game, we should do well.

      I liked the mixing of PK and Markov with different pairings in particular.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I doubt it but neither are Habs fans calling for the coach and GM to be fired.

      The few but vocal complainers on this site aren’t supporters, by any definition of the word.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Some of the guys over on EOTP love to rip Therrien every time the team loses a few games. Same goes for Murray although his stat profile isn’t very complementary. That was my point about Detroit, teams hit some rough spots over a condensed 82 game schedule.

    • Walmyr says:

      hello Cups…

      I think if they were without a Stanley Cup for the last 20 years for sure they would be calling for it…

      CHeers

    • Cal says:

      Good morning, Steve.
      HIO is negative central, because wins only truly count if there are style points involved. The Habs survived a very tough team to play against in Phoenix, and 2 points is 2 points for crying out loud.
      The Red Wings, having lost Datsyuk (who just got back) and Zetterberg, are reeling after years and years of success. I don’t think reasonable fans over there are calling for their heads. Not just yet, anyway.

    • HardHabits says:

      Detroit should change their logo from a wheel to an abandoned building.

    • Propwash says:

      But hey, the sky is falling here!

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      With Detroit, it might have something to do with this

      Injury list:
      Their # 1 Goaltender – 2 Top 6 or 4 Top 9 + 1 Top 4 Dman

      Jimmy Howard 2013-12-11 on injured reserve
      Henrik Zetterberg 2013-12-02 on injured reserve
      Darren Helm 2013-12-05 on injured reserve
      Stephen Weiss 2013-12-11 on injured reserve
      Johan Franzen 2013-12-18
      Justin Abdelkader 2013-12-18
      Danny DeKeyser 2013-11-20 on injured reserve
      Gustav Nyquist 2013-12-18

  55. Marc10 says:

    So I’m out here by the Indian Ocean enjoying a family holiday and decided to log in to see if Les Boys eked out a win against a decent Western Conference team, and sure enough we pulled it off!

    Good stuff. Stay positive and happy holidays HIO peeps!

    Go Habs Go!

  56. Strabo says:

    As posted below The Laffs are posting twits to their home page. Go have some fun. Make sure you add #SeaofBlue, plus add #GOHABSGO
    Twitter account @MapleLeafs

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  57. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. Happy for the win but I gotta tell you that first period had me so angry my buddies were calling me Timo II. If it hasn’t already, Briere could very well become a major distraction to this team. It sure looks like this was a major boo boo by Bergevin. How he corrects it will tell us a lot about his tenure will go here.

    Some observations:

    Carey Price put his team on his back and willed it to victory.

    Galchenyuk is making his line mates look good.

    That was a horse crap call on Prust in the second and the ref compounded it by giving Prust an extra two. It turned out that was the turning point of the game.

    Josh Gorge with a huge defensive play on the 4 on 1 break. Game saver.

    Gallagher is always in front of the net. Note: Bourque

    If you’re only going to give a hard working, physical, skilled winger like Bournival 5 minutes of ice time you might as well sit him and play White.

  58. Captain aHab says:

    That Sea of Blue concept is about as good as the pre-game gladiator speech in Ottawa….likely wasn’t anyone under 60 in the room when that decision was made.

    My guess is that the Leafs are flabbergasted that so many people would make fun of them……I mean they ARE Canada’s team after all.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  59. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning. Another ugly hit last night. I’ll see your goon and raise you two goons.

    http://www.csnphilly.com/hockey-philadelphia-flyers/brayden-schenn-takes-ugly-hit-flyers-victory

  60. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Just saw that Wilson hit on Schenn…OMG. 30 games? Lifetime ban? Ferraro was right, hockey players don’t respect each other and never have.

  61. Mavid says:

    don’t be so crabby..we won..on to the next

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  62. HabinBurlington says:

    Lost in the About Last Night discussion, Phoenix is a pretty good team, this wasn’t Florida or Philadelphia (who interestingly are much better of late).

    The first was frustrating, but the 2nd and 3rd period were much better.

  63. zephyr says:

    best forwards from last nite were max, dd, galchenyuk. dd also had several nice scoring chances himself + gets 2 assists & still people are carping about him. he & galchenyuk are the best playmakers on this team. I like Gallagher too but he’s in a slump right now along with a few other guys like eller, pleks, gionta & bournival. I think if max was asked to pick his center from any player on the team, he’d choose dd. lots of people think they know better tho.
    maybe eller would be a better rw for that line. I’d rather have him scoring on the wing than doing nothing with grinding wingers. Gallagher could play with pleks & galchenyuk. put bournival at center between gionta & bourque. moen, white & prust.
    there are no forwards in hamilton with size who have any offensive potential so we have to trade if we want to upgrade. our fa signings have been busts except for murray. Clarkson instead of briere & parros? roughly the same money?
    i remember people crapping all over ribeiro when he was a hab. now he’s one that got away. so maybe mb should only trade if we get the best player in the deal.
    tinordi & pateryn are going to be up later this season. beaulieu needs to bulk up to at least 210 or else he’s another softie. i don’t think I’d risk trading any of those guys right now. if i had to replace guys on our roster it’d be briere, gionta & diaz. only briere is unmarketable so i don’t expect much from any trade we could offer.
    i think we’ll make the playoffs. if we can replace diaz with pateryn or tinordi, then our d will be stronger. price is going to have to be great for us to make any noise in the playoffs.

  64. desertman says:

    all of you are forgetting the fact that Briere was brought here to get us through the playoffs while DD and pleks are here to get us to the playoffs. Thats why Briere only played a few minutes tonight!

    Obviously MT is a genius and is doing all the right things, performance on the ice has nothing to do with TOI….

    • Habies says:

      TOO RIGHT. AMEN. Speak it, Captain. Just keep writing because you really brought some sense with this comment.
      Keep the perspective, and above all, Live the Dream.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Didn’t we say that about Gomez and Gionta when we first got them? Then we spent a long time arguing that if we only got to the playoffs Gomez and Gionta would get us the cup. Geeze, heck Geoff Molson, Gomez has another Brooklyn Bridge for you to buy, Daniel Briere’s mom needs a fat retirement contract…..just kidding. But honestly, it took Emelin to get healthy and to get Prust and Parros and to grow big to get us where we are, not to mention a period of time and a schedule that helped us so far, not to mention that Price and Budaj are once again igniting a goal tending feud ala Halak. That is great.

    • LTHF says:

      How com White is alway the one sitting out. How many players can you name that played last night that are better than White when he plays. Im sure White would have outplayed Briere, Bourque, Gionta and others, yet he sits. Im inclined to think that the major problem with this team is MT

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      So Briere’s play a couple years ago is a stronger indication of how he will play this spring than how he is playing right now?

      I’m not a big Briere hater, but he just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere on this team. He’s a centerman who isn’t playing center. He’s a top line playmaker who is playing in the bottom 6 with other playmakers or stone hands.

  65. munch17jr says:

    Mr. Boone talks a good deal about “meritocracy” and then proceeds to hang Daniel Briere out to dry. On that same subject (meritocracy, btw), how does anyone justify the ice time of David Desharnais?!

    Briere only has 5 goals? Desharnais only has 3. Briere has 10 pts, Desharnais now has 13. DD has played more games with better linemates and gets more PP time than Briere, and he has THREE more points. Eller on the other hand has been better than Desharnais in all 3 zones on the ice. And Plekanec?!? How can you talk about meritocracy and at the same time explain to me why DD would ever be on the ice during a 5-on-3 when down a goal over Plekanec, as we saw on Sunday night against Florida.

    The David Deshanrais scenario has made it very clear that this team is not about meritocracy. Plekanec, Eller, Galchenyuk and even Briere are all more capable players who can play the center position and have not gotten the same sheltered ice time and winger support as DD. The two best natural wingers on the team are undoubtedly 67 and 11. The opportunity cost of keeping them with DD is killing me. The coaching staff has tried so hard to “get him going,” and I really wonder if it’s worth the opportunity cost. I think 27, 14, 81 and even 48 could do more than 51 could if they were given the opportunity.

    There is clearly no meritocracy here.

    • Harditya says:

      In DD’s defense he does have 12 points in last 15 games. Not saying he’s better than 27, 14 or 81 but he’s definitely more useful than Briere.

    • Gerry H says:

      David Desharnais had a dreadful start to the season. His timing was off. He was soft on the puck. He seemed perpetually behind the play and out of sync with his linemates. He sat a game or two (if I recall correctly), but still got more ice time than players who were outperforming him. At that stage, I could not have argued that he was subjected to the same rules of ¨the meritocracy¨ as, say, Lars Eller or Rene Bourque.

      But all of that has changed. For the last 12-15 games, DD has been among the best forwards on this team. He has returned to form, despite his size, as one of the best Habs in retrieving pucks and winning battles along the boards. He has been stellar at boosting his lines`puck possession stats and has been incredibly creative in his playmaking. His speed has been a revelation. If I`m not mistaken, he has 12 of his 13 points in the last 15-16 games, making him among the most productive – if not THE most productive – Habs during that period.

      The ‘DD is an albatross’ narrative is passé. Time to move on.

    • --Habs-- says:

      Brendan, Brian, Lars and Max all with a few more points than DD. SO in my view DD isn’t the only problem. NOBODY on our top 3 lines are burning up the tally sheet. Our top forward doesn’t even have 1/2 the points of the league leader. And there lies our problem 5 on 5. If the Coyotes have a decent PK we loose that game as well and DD isn’t the only problem.

      “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      DD has looked better than Briere. In saying that, it doesn’t justify his ice time. Him and patches are bosom buddies though so he will always get ice time

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • nunacanadien says:

      Desharnais while he is a playmaker, coughs the puck just as much as Gionta as he is quite small. The combo of Desharnais and Subban all but guarantee that the habs chase the puck all the time, and we thought it was bad when Gomez would give the puck away each time any big player breathed on him. Only way for DD to shine is if he is the only small tyke on the team.

  66. Captmax says:

    Mid way thru the 2 nd the game picked up. I was getting upset bc Eller was on the 4th line with Moen.. WTF… Then it hit me .. They’re the 3rd!!!!

    Bourque a quality scorer and Briere are 4th, wow am I glad we pay those guys the big money to warm the bench and advise cause holy we are doomed!!

    Briere needs a night in the press box. I thought Boullion was the luckiest guy on the rooster but nooooo… DD has to be cause Therrien plays him in every situation. Does PAC have a DD or I walk contract!!

    Def and Goalie are top notch. Our forwards not so much.
    We pay too many people too much to do nothing.
    Plek’s is great but he’s not a star, he scores not not enough to be elite. A great shadow yes but not a star.

    But Eller is very close to finally being a real 2nd or first line center but he has been held up bc of DD. He didn’t score but that move on the 2 man rush was amazing!!

    Gallagher should get an assist anytime he’s opening space by pushing the net cause he’s that damn important!!

    Capt

  67. BCG says:

    Really bad joke around Mandela, Boone.

    Way to make light of the South African Holocaust and its saviour who led people towards reconciliation over vengeance and hunting people down. Maybe you can make light of other atrocities in the name of hockey.

  68. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    Same old same old with this place. It’s growing tiresome. Like a stale, sour marriage.

    • HardHabits says:

      Get a lawyer. Sue for divorce. Or got to EOTP in your spare time and try to pick up some cheap comments there.

    • nunacanadien says:

      When the habs stop signing small washed up players like Briere, Gionto and DD, and actually sign real NHL players who dont’ cough up the puck and leave Gorges hanging in the wind…..if the habs are always gonna insist on having a midget on the team, we should be actively trading to get the best goalie in the world, not to crap on Price who has still not stabilized to his Bulldog glory days, maybe when Price is close to retiring in ten years he’ll age like fine wine and actually win some meaningful games. Too bad we have to put up with the gunk in the wine while we wait for this “thoroughbred” to age…..meanwhile we are stuck watching flashes of brillance when regular sized NHL players like MAXPAC and Emelin and Chucky take to the ice, only to watch DD and Gionta cough up the puck and cost us the games…. Molson if you really want a cup get rid of the last of your midgets and stop signing these small tykes to huge horrible contracts.

  69. Timo says:

    Ovechkin with 28 goals. Unreal.

    • 24 Cups says:

      And he still manages to be a -12!

      Here’s another interesting stat – Patrick Kane now has 100 points in his last 83 games. It’s going to be very interesting when Kane and Toews come up for contract renewal. Especially in light of the new TV deal and expanding salary cap. Next up will be Steven Stamkos. I wonder who the first player will be to break the $10M cap ceiling.

  70. Timo says:

    I don’t understand how people see DD playing better than Briere. I saw the same things from him tonight as most of the nights this season. Can’t pass, can’t keep the puck, nothing in terms of decent passing, nevermind shots on goal or creating any kind of chances. Just because he scored a fluke couple of weeks a ago doesn’t mean he is off the hook for the rest of the season.

  71. jimmy shaker says:

    And patch played about 18 min, while danny played less than 5. Hard too endear yourself to the fans and justify his contract getting that type of ice time. Hope the boys aren’t too fatigued tonight playing only 3 lines!

    Shaker out!

  72. Habilis says:

    Played about half the game and won. Good thing is that we really woke up in the third, Hopefully that carries over to Thursday, because we’ll need it against the Blues.

    In the “It could be a whole lot worse” category, check out the http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/ site if you want a laugh. The home page refreshes every few seconds with random tweets from fans who use the hashtag #SEAofBLUE. Pretty amusing to see what their own fans think of them. Plus now that people know about it, it’s gotten predictably ridiculous. Everything from jabs at Carlyle for not being able to toast bread to Hitler mentions. No joke.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …I visited …it’s a classic that will leave You rolling in gut wrenching laughing spasms :)

    • Da Hema says:

      That site is hilarious. Some of the tweets have included “Dave Nonis piddles in his pants. Happens often #SeaofBlue, “”Jesus had it coming #SeaofBlue,” and “Phil Kessel was the perpetrator of 9/11 #SeaofBlue.”

      Props to the marketing/social media genius in the Leafs organization who thought unmoderated mass twittering on their website wouldn’t lead to disaster. “Marketing position available #SeaofBlue.”

  73. Timo says:

    Jessica on TSN… cutie pie.

  74. Sportfan says:

    FIRST :D See I told you guys I was good luck, I was there they won! 16-2-2 is my record, I want to share what I saw, but I have my final exam tomorrow, so night all! Go Habs Go

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


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