About last night …

PriceTB

Let’s try for some positivity here.
As we say 2,400 km north of the St. Pete Times Forum, the Canadiens’ 2-1 Shootout win was plat a mourir.
Deathly dull … and almost totally lacking in the qualities that make hockey a pleasurable sport to watch.
No flow to the game.
No rhythm.
Passes were imprecise. Shots were off target.
There wasn’t much physicality.
For most of the game, forward lines on the Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning played like they’d met in a bar an hour before the game – or had tucked into turkey leftovers during the national anthems.
But a win is a win.

And at the halfway mark of their longest road trip of the season, your Montreal Canadiens have taken four of a possible six points.

They’re sitting comfortably third in the Atlantic Division – four points ahead of Detroit, six ahead of Toronto with a game in hand on each.

And the teams ahead of the Canadiens are banged up.

Boston, which lost 4-3 in Ottawa Saturday night, is still in first place in the Atlantic; but the Bruins will be without Dennis Seidenberg for the season. Zdeno Chara and Loui Eriksson didn’t play against the Senators.

Tampa Bay, a point ahead of the Canadiens with a game in hand, is missing Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, Eric Brewer, Keith Aulie and Sami Salo.

As they near the midpoint of their season, the Canadiens – despite their lack of size and recent history of losing key players such as Andrei Markov and Max Pacioretty to injury – are healthy.

That’s unlikely to last. The NHL is The Hunger Games on Ice, a six month war of attrition, then a postseason in which the whistles are put away and stuff gets really serious.

An injury to Carey Price, who was brilliant again in Tampa, would be calamitous.

The Canadiens would also be in deep sewage were they to lose Markov, P.K. Subban or Tomas Plekanec for any significant chunks of the schedule.

Again, though, let’s not dwell on the ever looming possibility of catastrophe.

And I won’t dwell on that crappy game in Tampa.

A few positives:

• Price was superb – including the Shootout.

• Alexei Emelin continues to bounce back from his bed-soiling performance in St. Louis.

• Lars Eller was 5-1 on faceoffs – the only Canadiens centre to win more draws than he lost – and beat Ben Bishop easily in the Shootout.

• The penalty kill pitched another shutout. It’s the league’s best on the road and number five overall.

• The line of David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher was the Canadiens’ best, particularly during the third period, when the home team won every shift except for those of DD et al and the fourth line.

• Josh Gorges played a quietly effective game.

A cause for concern heading into Sunday’s 5 p.m. game against Florida?

The power play is 0 for the road trip. Greater hockey minds than mine perhaps can explain why Rene Bourque, who has seven points this season, had 2:57 of PP time to 1:15 for Alex Galchenyuk, who’s third on the team with 22 points.

It’s a head-scratcher – like the Dion Phaneuf contract.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

228 Comments

  1. slapshot777 says:

    Hey guys anyone interested in 4 side by side seats for January 25th against Washington, they are club desjardins with food and drink (non alcohol) included. I was hoping to get there but can’t go now. For further information please email carlcaravan@nf.sympatico.ca

  2. --Habs-- says:

    Another thriller last night! The entertainment value was about as interesting as watching paint dry. Actually there’s no need to prolong the agony of OT and a shoot out watching paint dry.

    “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

  3. @Lafleurguy Teemu is was never an Oiler or a Blue though.

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

    • Lafleurguy says:

      My bad Sholi! Think I missed some of the clues further down. Think Trini nailed no. 6, with Hawerchuk spending a very brief time with the Blues, I think.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • 24 Cups says:

        Believe it or not but Bryan Trottier was the 6th player. Dale Hawerchuk’s streak ended at eight years.

        Ovechkin, Bossy, Gartner, Gretzky, Kurri and Trottier are the right answers (as per the Globe & Mail).

        • habstrinifan says:

          My bad 24Cups. I was so excited that I missed that Hawerchuck did indeed not split his 1989-1990 season.

          I would never had guessed Bryan Trottier… WOW!

          An aside: Anyone checking Hawerchuck… look at the plus-mins on the guy. MT woulda crucified him.

  4. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Hey Danno. Denmark and Norway used to be the same kingdom and were at war with Sweden for decades, if not centuries. I find it fascinating that DK and NO are mediocre at hockey on the whole, whereas SE and the “Alabama of the Nordic Countries”, FI, are both powerhouses.

  5. Gerry H says:

    While we all focus on the lack of goal scoring over the past ten games or so, let’s give a thought to the team defence that has kept the numbers climbing (modestly) in the W column. There are obvious concerns over the bottom pair. Diaz, a favourite whipping boy at HIO, has actually been pretty solid, in my opinion. What he lacks in size, physicality and puck control he has largely compensated for with great positional play and (mostly) sharp passing. His offensive output has been disappointing, in no small measure due to a shot that sorely lacks accuracy, but he has been more than respectable on the point in power plays, keeping pucks in the zone and distributing them quite effectively. Murray and Boullion have both been substandard as his pairs, bringing more physicality but little else. I have a feeling that a late season promotion for Tinordi or Pateryn may be in the cards and might just firm up this one glaring weakness on the Habs blue line.

    Emelin is still not the player he was before his injury last season, but, as Boone noted, is slowly returning to form. His canny rush to the net that almost resulted in a goal off of Plekanec’s brilliant backhand set-up was a reminder of his offensive potential. The guy has hockey smarts. We can only hope that the bone-crushing checks will reappear sooner rather than later.

    As could have been predicted, Emelin has benefited greatly from being paired with Markov who, as always, makes any partner that much better a player. Even I, as big a Markov fan as you can be, did not expect the standard of play he has demonstrated consistently this season. So smart. So creative. So patient. He plays the game the way I aspire to play chess. Whatever it takes, MB.

    Subban is so crazily talented and such a formidable athlete that one always anticipates miracles when he takes possession of the puck. Very often, that’s exactly what we get, too. He’ll easily earn the 8X8 he’s likely to get from MB. But skill and athleticism aren’t enough to make a true super star, which is why PK is still on the Sochi bubble. His decision-making is still a step or two below the standard of the rest of his game (think of that give-away in the 3rd last night that resulted in a glorious opportunity for the Bolts). The good news, in my opinion, is that decision-making improves with age and experience and I have little doubt that PK will bring that part of his game up to par steadily. With Price, PK will be a super star in the bleu-blanc-rouge and will be pulling us out of our chairs with nifty plays for many years. Zero doubt.

    But save a thought for Josh Gorges. HIO posters often pose the question “what, other than shot-blocking, does he bring?” It’s true that Gorges brings only average speed and mobility, so-so puck handling and movement, middling physicality (his heart largely offsetting his smallish stature for a top-six Dman) and an iffy shot. But Josh is brilliant in his positioning and completely indefatigable in his own zone. His consistent execution of the simple (and correct) play in almost all situations contributes to both his invisibility and his effectiveness as a top four Dman. He is, in this regard, the anti-PK. Viewed that way, he makes the perfect partner for Subban and, in fact, makes the latter that much better and more valuable to the Habs.

    I loved watching the Subban/Markov pairing as much as anyone and, like much of the HIO crew, was a little disappointed to see them broken up. But upon reflection I think this has proven to be a brilliant coaching decision and a major reason why the Habs’ offensive drought has not had catastrophic consequences for the club’s season.

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      Very well said, Gerry. And kudos to you for giving due respect to some players that a few here only crap on, game after game, no matter how well Gorges and Diaz play.

      Defence is definitely not our problem. Scoring and inability to play in the tough areas is. Or are. Or….

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Great read Gerry, thanks.
      Couldn’t agree more, re: Subban.

    • JF says:

      Excellent post. Nice to see some praise for Gorges ad Diaz.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think you missed my post that, using the small sample of the last few games, points out the following:

      Markov without Subban was like Narkov light in previous two games;
      Gorges reunited with Subban saw a consensus improvement in Gorges on ice effectiveness;

      Bouillion and Subban … same upgrade lately in Bouillion;

      Bottom line though HABS defence still became less able looking after the change.

      Edit: I am not decrying the change.. partly necessary cause the 1 game Gorges was out but done before that game.

      • Gerry H says:

        I guess I don’t share your overall assessment. No question that Markov/Subban would be the Habs’ most potent offensive defence pairing, which is why they are the first wave PP pair. But, in 5-on-5 situations, that offensive firepower is, I think, better distributed over two pairs and, in each case, supported by stay-at-home stalwarts.

        Our observations are probably similar, but our conclusions are obviously different.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Great analysis.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

  6. Danno says:

    I’m watching Sweden vs No Way because there’s no way Norway is going to win this.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  7. smiley says:

    Didn’t you love Elliotte Friedman’s response to Glenn “The Windbag”
    Healy last night. Healy was talking about how the NHLPA does not allow travel on December 26th resulting in a lot of tired road teams playing on the 27th. Healy to EF: You never played the game. Later
    EF to Healy: And you never broadcasted before. Classic.
    Going to Leafs game tonight. Will have the football on one TV and Habs game on the other at the Keg pre-game.. What a day! Go Habs go!

  8. commandant says:

    Canadian Team needs to use this adversity as fuel going forward.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/12/29/early-adversity-could-provide-fuel-for-underwhelming-canadian-juniors/

    New Years Resolutions in Calgary.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/12/29/new-years-resolutions-for-the-flames/

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

  9. 1. Mike Gartner
    2. Wayne Gretzky
    3. Mike Bossy
    4. Ovechkin
    5. Kurri
    6. ? (lets go people)

    So Steve you gave us a hint, any chance Jari Kurri is one?

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

  10. SteverenO says:

    Team needs to score more goals, how about some line changes?

    27/81/11
    48/14/21
    67/51/49
    32/8/17

    76/55
    79/74
    26/61

    regards,

    Steve O.

  11. D Mex says:

    In case you haven’t viewed the Silva fracture yet, take a seat before clicking here > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K5o706yMfQ

    The immediate aftermath where he tries to plant the leg for balance is more bothersome than the initial impact – something similar happened to my leg decades ago and it’s not something you forget. Uggh.
    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  12. JohnBellyful says:

    The solution to Montreal’s anemic five-on-five offence is staring us right in the face. Well, mine anyways, because it’s in front of computer screen filled with Google results for the inquiry: ‘What can the Canadiens do to generate offence when playing at even strength?’
    Incredibly, there’s a product on the market that was created to deal with a dearth of goal scoring: HotHands©.
    Most hand warmers combine iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal and vermiculite to generate heat but the makers of HotHands © add a goal scorer’s touch, by mixing in an extract of Bossy, a tincture of Lafleur, a distillation of Hull, and a trace of Ciccarelli (a notoriously unstable substance but considered worth the risk).
    Attached to players’ hockey gloves, HotHands© produce remarkable results, even for players burdened with stone hands.
    Studies have shown users of the unique hand warmers increase their goal output by 27 per cent – in the first period alone.
    “I’ve got a goal already this season,” said Scott Gomez, of the Florida Panthers, who play host to the Canadiens tonight. “I’m half-way there to matching my season totals for the last two years. I can’t say enough about HotHands©.”
    Gomez hadn’t scored until he decided one night to try HotHands© to break out of a scoring slump.
    (He also broke out in a rash which he was able to clear using a special cream HotHands© recommends for such cases.)
    Problem solved.
    Next up: Is there anything out there that can stiffen players’ resolve to attack the net, and barge into the corners, consequences be damned?
    Hmmm, what’s this? BackBone©.
    I’ll get back to ya.

  13. sweetmad says:

    I noticed last night, when Gally was pushed into the net,he got up went to the bench and nobody even spoke to him him or asked him if he was okay,our little fireball is being extinguished,yes he plays with MP and DD,but they play together and use him when it suits them.He is giving them all the room they need,but getting stifled in the process.

    He never complains, does everything he’s asked,at both ends of the ice,that line is so much better defensively,with him on it,he plays his heart out, but now gets little recognition,because he is not getting the points.Gally has a really good shot, but gets little chance to use it,behind the net he hardly ever loses the puck,I just wish he was back on the line with Larry and Chucky,they all seemed to play for each other,and were so much more productive.I know that they have to learn how to play with other players,but it seems to me Gally is being sacrficed,he is such a good player in his own right,although he is getting the ice time,he is playing for the other two.

    I love Max and when he is on his game have no problem with DD,but I think Gally should now be on a line where he can excel.
    GO HABS GO

    • He goes to the net so often that players are used to seeing him crash like that. One of these games Gallagher is going to get chopped in half. Every goalie knows his style and no one likes it. Heck I don’t let kids in Bantam crash my goalie and we’re house league.

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

    • D Mex says:

      Gets little recognition – from whom ?

      DO you really think that because you didn’t see people all over him at the bench on your tv screen, he gets little recognition ?
      OR do you think is it at least possible his teammates, coaches, the front office and team ownership have a clue about what he has coe to mean to this franchise ?

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hola Sweetmad! Hope you had a great Christmas. Agree Gally is one of a kind. All heart and fearless. I’ve heard on RDS that the coaches believe that Gally makes the other players on his line play better. I think he understands why he is being used that way. At least I hope he does. Saludos,

  14. rhino514 says:

    I heard Wolverine got 21 stitches yesterday. Is it an ugly gash/ scar?
    Max Pac is a good looking kid…what if his hot wife doesn´t find him so cute anymore? Could affect his play. Seriously.

  15. Strummer says:

    the bigger the goalie – the bigger the 5-hole
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

  16. Hobie Hansen says:

    The Dennis Seidenberg injury in Boston is bad news for the Bruins and good news for the rest of the conference. Seidenberg is a huge part of why the Bruins are always among the goals against leaders.

    The door in the playoff picture has opened slightly with Zedeno Chara finally starting to show glimpses of slowing down and Seidenberg being out for the season.

    If the Habs can make a move at the deadline to beef up a bit and are as close to 100% healthy as possible when the playoffs arrive they could make some real noise this year. They could make all the way to the finals but one would imagine they’d get slaughtered there by Los Angeles , St. Louis or Chicago.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Exciting thoughts, Hobie.

      Word of caution: it looked to me like Chara was slowing down steadily post-Christmas last year (Lucic also). Boy, did he and Lucic both pick it up big-time after nearly losing to Toronto.

      Too bad for Seidenberg. Best wishes to him for a full recovery.

      As for Western teams, they will be hit with injuries also. And. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        When I said Chara was slowing down I meant we’re just starting to see it. I didn’t mean he’s a shadow of his former self or anything. ;-).

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Chara’s done.

        Once Chicago realized this and decided to take it to him he folded faster than Superman on laundry day.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Nothing sweeter than the number of important goals the Hawks scored vs Boston while making Chara look bad and his plus/minus drop.

          Why don’t other teams take it to him? Is it only worth the risk to your physical being if the Cup is on the line?

          This is definitely one of those but-what-would-I-know statements, but whenever we play Boston I always advocate everyone hitting him every chance they get. Not to intimidate or dominate him obviously, but simply because he hates it and it puts him off his A-game.

    • habs001 says:

      If the Habs continue to play the way they have the last month they will need lots of luck in the playoffs as many games will be going into overtime…

    • The Bruins have Joe Morrow just licking his lips to get into the NHL, not sure if he is being called up but for fantasy sakes I hope so, I drafted him in 2011.

      Mind you it’s not likely he’ll turn into a Krug right away but he does the Bruins will score more. Tic tic tic

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

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Aside from calling up Larry Robinson in his prime, once Chara is retired the Bruins will never replace him or be as good on defence. It will be a glorious day!

        • D Mex says:

          ANYthing that weakens the Broons and shuts Jack Edwards up in the process is glorious – lol – SO, what do you think they would offer the Habs for Tinordi ?
          No, I would not want it to happen, and anticipate the front office would shut it down once the laughing stopped, but that doesn’t mean Chiarelli wouldn’t attempt the same media nonsense that TB and others have used on Habs management in the past …

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

  17. Timo says:

    Please tell me Bouillon and Diaz are in and Murray is out again. Please? I can never get enough of Boo-Diaz powerhouse pairing.

  18. “Roberto was there before, it’s his job to lose”……”I was drunk when I said that, Carey you’re in” signed Martin Brodeur

    TB, OMG what a bunch of blue collar, bone digging, army ants. Every game they pay I wonder in amazement how they manage to get points. Then I look at our team and say the same thing…..Goaltending!

    Been a big fan of Bishop, I likes my big goalies so when I saw he and Allen together in Peoria, I saw a future together with the Blues. Then Halak moved there and someone had to go.

    I’m no goalie god analyst, I also like Andres Lindback, and some nights he can’t stop a beach ball, same with Devon Dubnyk, but size matters. Sorry Rogie, Johnny, and popcorn kid, you were all great goalies, but in today’s NHL bigger is better. Only Tretiak in my opinion would survive different eras, maybe Sawchuck, and Plante seeing as they played in many different decades (in reference to goalies from the past)

    Now back to -42 and the snow shovel. Got the back lane, and walk done, now the front.

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

  19. HABZ24 says:

    The 82 game sked is fine,its the bloody olympics.stopping the entire league for a week or so,so pro athelits making multi millions can compete in whats supposed to be an amateur event.all about the allmighty buck,bend the olympic rules to let pros in the get bigger rating to make more $. Nhl players should NOT be in the olympics ever.
    Also its the habs coaching.play defence,play crash n bang with 5 players 5 foot 9, did you know the entire western conf has only 2 players 5,9 or under our habs have 5 !! Which never gets addressed.need scoring,put the EGG line back together and leave them.

    GO HABS GO

  20. rljmartin says:

    Season’s greetings to all.

    Just looking at the standings and stats…
    Wonder how many more games Habs will need to get to 100 goals…
    They are at 98! Only 3 teams in the West have fewer goals. Chicago 157…. Can Habs D and Price hold off that kind of offense?

  21. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Habs got two points on the road against a tough goalie during the holidays…can’t complain. BTW nobody performs well during the holidays at their jobs…no point in analyzing.

    Just saw a Silva fight replay. That has to be the most horrific leg break in the history of sports…unbelievable.

  22. SmartDog says:

    I’m sure this is old news to some but….
    Fucale is getting the start tomorrow against Slovakia.
    Awesome for the kid! And the Habs!

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

  23. JUST ME says:

    Losing 2 to 1 at home in a shootout is probably the most demoralizing verdict possible. You think that you are that close ! Actually like many have stated before it could have been a totally different outcome if not for the goal posts…
    And Carey again was solid . Did not steal the game cause he never does or at least we never consider his victories to be named as such. Carey is big and a cool cat and does not goal in a spectacular halakesque fashion. Still he is great and has been for a long time.

    What also helps is the d-squad. It does not show when we read comments on HIO but the habs have the 2nd best D in the league only 4 goals allowed more behind the Bruins. Pretty good for such bad defensmen huh?

    But again we found a way to go and get the 2 points wich we had a hard time to do not so long ago so… Let`s go for 2 more today !

  24. SmartDog says:

    I’m okay with a more defensive style of play.

    But what bothers me is that recently the guys don’t seem to know as much about what to do with the puck after it leaves our zone. When the year started, they did.

    But the passing isn’t what it was, the chances are almost only coming while the puck is bouncing around near the net. No, it’s not pretty… and that’s too bad. But I also think it’s not a winning formula for a team that CAN pass and skate, if the coach would focus on that.

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

  25. 24 Cups says:

    Only six players have ever scored 30 goals in each of their first nine years in the NHL. Without googling, try and name them.

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    No surprise that on a Sunday morning the commentariat is filled with thought out posts, informative and friendly exchanges. One of the best times of the week on HI/O is the Sunday morning after a Habs win (even if boring).

    CHeers to all!

    Continued Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

    Now, are you ready for some Football?

    Go Steelers, perhaps that twisted permutation required can come to fruition!

  27. frontenac1 says:

    Anybody catch Matt Barnaby on L”Antichambre last night? I thought he was pretty good. Hopefully that’s the end of PJ Stock. I still miss Le Tigre. Saludos!

  28. Thomas Le Fan says:

    The game was played like a tie had been agreed upon beforehand. Should went straight to the gimmick and got it over early. Hopefully in tonight’s … er … this afternoon’s game the rust will be peeled away and we’ll get more of a contest.

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

  29. The Juice says:

    Budaj confirmed in for tonight.

    __________________________________________________________________________

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  30. The Juice says:

    I only caught the 3rd period last night but thought it was a pretty exciting period of hockey. Granted, it was rather sloppy but that was to be expected after the layover.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  31. jeffhabfan says:

    Glad the boys won but we are becoming hard to watch compared to last year. We should also win tonight as well.GO HABS GO.

  32. boonie says:

    My post below was meant as a reply to Habfan10912. Sorry for adding it in the wrong spot.

  33. boonie says:

    Hear hear.

    Taking away a decades-long passion for all things Habs and the ingrained cultural need for hockey, most games aren’t worth the time spent watching.

    Yes, it’s hard to bring it ever night. And, yes, clutching and grabbing is intolerable. I’d add that most coaches seem to prefer that conservative, stifling, boring, tedious, monotonous, dump in, left wing lock, unimaginative style (JM was enemy #1) perhaps as a result of too many teams and not enough talent, and rinks too small to accommodate the average size, speed and talent of today’s average player.

    The western stuff is a little better, but I can’t justify staying up til 2am watching teams I don’t care about every night.

    Man it would be nice to shorten the season so players might have more energy, opt for Olympic-sized rinks, shift to 4-on-4 to add some space for creativity and address talent issues, and something radical…

    I dunno…. Jettison the bottom 3-5 teams ever 20 games until the final 16 are I the playoffs. The remaining teams could cherry pick players (kinda like a dispersal draft) of the drug teams at each quarter pole.

    Imagine the talent increase as the season continues. Imagine the trading possibilities at draft(s) as teams add a guy like Kane or Miller as the Jets and Sabres get wiped out and have to leave other players unprotected.

    Teams would only have to comply with cap issues to start the year., but would be required to pay salaries of players they add throughout the year.

    If you play an eliminated team, they forfeit and you get 2 points automatically. Most points, more rest, more incentive to knock out teams in your conference/division.

    Yeah, injuries could be an issue. Developmental opportunities would shift. It just ain’t feasible.

    Sorry, I’ll stop now and get back to the snoozefest that is the current NHL.

  34. Maritime Ronn says:

    Is there anybody tougher in the NHL than Max Pacioretty?

    Pacioretty loses 2 teeth n gets 21 stitches in face.. Barely misses a shift #BeautyStatus

    — Brandon Prust (@BrandonPrust8) 29 Décembre 2013

  35. JF says:

    The game was actually not as bad as I expected. Execution was a bit off, but no more for us than for the Lightning. Passes were better than they’ve been in some recent games. It would have been great if one of our four shots that hit the post had gone in, but I guess that’s what happens when you try to pick your spot on a huge goaltender. Defence was excellent – the Lighting had nine shots after two periods – and Price had another outstanding game.

    Scoring remains a concern. Pacioretty continues to score regularly, but for just about everyone else, a goal has become an occasional occurrence. Yet the team is not that different from last year’s, which was relatively high-scoring. Last year’s team also got a lot of goals from the defence, which has not been the case so far this year. We seem to be playing a more grinding style of game this year. Goaltending and defence will get us to the playoffs, but we desperately need more scoring, and the only way I can see that happening is if Bergevin swings some kind of deal.

    • Eddie says:

      Spoke to my friend Friday about Habs scoring. He has more than 10 years coaching at the Junior AAA level here in Quebec, which is Junior A in the ROC.

      His view is that Habs went to a more defensive system to protect the players from injuries as much as possible, so that the team could field a healthier team for the playoffs. Very aggressive style forces your team to tire out quicker and places them more in harm’s way.

      I see the logic and understand it.

      As long as they keep winning more than they lose, they will make the playoffs and field a healthier team as well.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Cheers, Eddie. What an insight.

        Does “very aggressive style” include a persistent commitment to forechecking?

        • Eddie says:

          Yes I would say it has a lot to do with how hard and how often you forecheck.

          He also said that Pittsburgh, under Bylsma, is burning out their team during the regular seasons, which could at least in part explain their relative lack of playoff success.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Thanks.
            And too bad.
            Other teams must HATE playing against a speedy and well-organised forecheck….

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Thanks for that post Ed, and I completely concur about Pittsburgh. I watch their games when I can, and I can’t believe the constant upbeat tempo they maintain. Great for fans during regular season, but perhaps indeed a reason for such a high rate of attrition and even more a reason for their lack of playoff success in recent years.

        When healthy that roster is as good as anyone, including Chicago, yet in the Playoffs they have become almost average.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Which raises the question, how high a price is MB willing to pay for access to a decent playoff run in 2014 and all the benefits of experience that would bring to players and coaching staff, and especially to young players (and to someone like Price who may have a playoff monkey on his back that he needs to shift).

      If there’s a chance we are contenders in 2014-2015, it would be nice to get playoff experience this spring. But as you say, this would likely require better scoring, which would require a deal, which would likely require losing a player or players OTHER than the ones everyone here is ready to dump. MB is paid for tough decisions.

      • The Juice says:

        What playoff monkey?

        __________________________________________________________________________

        “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Easy!
          It’s why I said “may have”.
          For various reasons, Price does not have the benefit of the experience of a deep play-off run, and indeed some of his playoff memories will be unhappy ones.
          I am not among those who blame Price for this. But if there’s any chance Price in any way blames himself, a good fix would be a run this spring. Make any sense?
          Cheers

          • The Juice says:

            Yes thx. I am on the defensive with comments of that nature since some people (English media) seem to forget that Price has a game 7 shutout on his résumé and almost upset the Bruins the year they won the cup.

            __________________________________________________________________________

            “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”
            @JohnnytheJuice

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            On your side there.

        • dr. gesundheit says:

          The one on his back…good news is that he is playing well enough to do it.

  36. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @Lafleurguy!
    Curse my ambiguous posting. I love children’s lit, also believing that the good stuff is valuable in its own right (ie. not in a lower league to adult lit). Therefore I don’t consider it — including vampires and pirates, etc — puerile.

    Permit me to re-phrase: I was endorsing Mike B’s allusion to the last-man-standing element of The Hunger Games, NHL hockey being increasingly a contest of attrition.

    My parenthetical point was a value-neutral reflection on the state of our society in which a leading children’s book is based on a fight-to-the-death between 12 children — such a long way from Enid Blyton or even Harry Potter (ie. less than a generation).

    ANd curse you, Guy, if you were only yanking my chain and I could have spent this time eating my sandwich instead of spelling this out!

  37. Mavid says:

    arg..what is with all these family gatherings on game day..don’t they know..I missed 1 1/2 periods last night..and now I have another one to go to today for 5 pm..I will have to somehow sneak it in on my tablet..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  38. Maritime Ronn says:

    Mr. Boone writes, ” And the teams ahead of the Canadiens are banged up.”
    ——————-
    I’m not sure if this is some type of record, yet as of today 119 NHL players are on the Injured list anywhere from short term to season ending.

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

    The Habs have been very fortunate compared to some others such as Pittsburgh.
    The Habs key player missing games has been Max (9 games), then others such as Emelin (20 games) Prust (11 games) Bourque (10 games).
    Others such as Drewiske-Parros-Murray-Briere cannot be considered impact or key for the moment.

    The Pens now have 9 rosters players out including 1a goalie Vokoun, Malkin, and Dupuis is lost for the year.

    The Pens are also without 3 of their Top 4-5 Dmen in Letang-Martin-Scuderi, and it was 4 of the Top 5-6 until Orpik came back.

    Interesting web site here that shows man-games lost per team and the impact of the player to the team.
    What becomes difficult to calculate are the intagibles of a lost player who has little to no offense, yet is a key in the defensive aspect of the game.

    http://www.mangameslost.com/nhl-man-games-lost-december-24-2013/

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great post, MRonn.

      What’s also interesting is how some teams actually IMPROVE as other players spot the opportunity in the crisis and step up, or coaches are obliged to give them more responsibility, and so on. A good example is Pittsburgh when Sid was out with concussion.

      However, potentially the most interesting point could be tracking man-games-lost over the past 10, 20, 30, 40 seasons in order to discern patterns and then respond by taking steps to improve player safety.

      The league has no interest in doing this itself, being preoccupied with the short-term. This is something that ought to be of interest to bodies outside the league such as universities. (Chris?)

  39. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. I always enjoy reading the “About last night” pieces, especially after a win but what a snoozefest, huh? As a Centre Ice subscriber I get to watch a ton of games during the season and I’d like to say that last nights game was not an anomaly.

    There are nights where most of the games are of the close checking, no energy 1-0, 2-1 variety. I understand from the players perspective that its a very long season and its got to be very hard to Bring It, night after night. But I don’t think that’s the problem.

    Last night on several occasions I saw a player skate through the neutral zone (mind you without the puck) with an opponent closely behind – slowing him down with his stick. On one such play it looked like the player in front was towing the player behind. Am official starring right at the play.

    The league has apparently surrendered and no longer appears interested in calling the obstruction penalties. There was more clutching and grabbing going on last night then at my Hotel room on my honeymoon night. This is the type of hockey the league thinks will sell.

    If they aren’t calling these obvious penalties now I can’t wait for what they don’t call in the playoffs.

    • boonie says:

      Hear hear.

      Taking away a decades-long passion for all things Habs and the ingrained cultural need for hockey, most games aren’t worth the time spent watching.

      Yes, it’s hard to bring it ever night. And, yes, clutching and grabbing is intolerable. I’d add that most coaches seem to prefer that conservative, stifling, boring, tedious, monotonous, dump in, left wing lock, unimaginative style (JM was enemy #1) perhaps as a result of too many teams and not enough talent, and rinks too small to accommodate the average size, speed and talent of today’s average player.

      The western stuff is a little better, but I can’t justify staying up til 2am watching teams I don’t care about every night.

      Man it would be nice to shorten the season so players might have more energy, opt for Olympic-sized rinks, shift to 4-on-4 to add some space for creativity and address talent issues, and something radical…

      I dunno…. Jettison the bottom 3-5 teams ever 20 games until the final 16 are I the playoffs. The remaining teams could cherry pick players (kinda like a dispersal draft) of the drug teams at each quarter pole.

      Imagine the talent increase as the season continues. Imagine the trading possibilities at draft(s) as teams add a guy like Kane or Miller as the Jets and Sabres get wiped out and have to leave other players unprotected.

      Teams would only have to comply with cap issues to start the year., but would be required to pay salaries of players they add throughout the year.

      If you play an eliminated team, they forfeit and you get 2 points automatically. Most points, more rest, more incentive to knock out teams in your conference/division.

      Yeah, injuries could be an issue. Developmental opportunities would shift. It just ain’t feasible.

      Sorry, I’ll stop now and get back to the snoozefest that is the current NHL.

  40. zephyr says:

    i was going to go to last nite’s game but my wife cranked out the a/c so much this week i got bronchitis. at least she’s comfortable. went to the dr. & got some meds.
    watched it on tv. the tampa d is awful. why didn’t the habs put more pressure on them? st. louis slaps a bouncing puck right into the top corner & we hit something like 5 posts so it was fitting we won it after all. i couldn’t see how galchenyuk missed that open net early on. the homer announcers were awful.
    anyway, feeling better. looking fwd to the fla. game today.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Hope you feel better. Bronchitis is not fun

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I wanted to feel real sorry for you for missing the game because of illness until I see it was caused by air conditioning in December. Hard for this Northeasterner to generate much sympathy now. :)

      I hope you feel better soon. CHeers.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Have to say I had the same wide-eyed, jealousy-tinged reaction.

        WTF is he complaining about LOL… A/C in December.

        Sorry Zephyr that I show such a cold heart to your situation… hope you feel better.

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Greg Pateryn could indeed be the answer to our 3rd pairing on defence. Pateryn played the full 4 seasons of hockey at Michigan where the most games played in a season were 41 in his Senior year. His first year of Pro hockey included a pretty bad elbow injury requiring surgery and thus missing the first half of his first pro season.

    This year he came back to the Bulldogs bigger and stronger as the Habs requested and he has been very solid. This is the first year he will likely play over 60 games and that is a big threshold for young players to overcome. He may indeed be ready for a callup, but as long as the big club is winning games, it is imperative he gets all the reps he can get down in Hamilton in preparation for his NHL career.

    Quietly the Bulldogs are having a much better season than last despite not having a great deal of offence added to their roster. This to me speaks volumes regarding how well the defence is actually playing. While the numbers offensively don’t look glitzy, that team is winning games. Next year the Bulldogs get to add another Dman in Thrower, but more importantly they get Collberg, Hudon and maybe even a kid named Crisp shows some hands down low in front of the net.

    There is a transformation going on in Hamilton where the team may indeed begin grooming players ready to be inserted into the Habs lineup. I actually wonder if the Habs move the farm team to Brossard if this will help or hinder. I think the extra scrutiny on the kids being so close to the Montreal fishbowl could actually hurt the development process as all mistakes will be advertised and dissected. The AHL is a place to learn from mistakes and young players need to be almost protected as they learn their craft for the NHL.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I like the idea of having Pateryn as our 6th dman. He´s really playing well for the Bulldogs and he´s also a right dman. Emelin would finally move to the left where he is better. The biggest plus would obviously be not to have Bouillon or Murray in the lineup.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Burly and Bob. Hard to believe that Pateryn wouldn’t be an upgrade over Frankie B, or Murray at this point.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        He could be. Murray is an elite hitter and a decent penalty killer….even strength though he is below average for sure. I don’t think either Murray or the cube will be back.
        Tinordi and Pateryn should be up….but then there is also Beaulieu

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree on Pateryn, he is ready from what I have seen. He is playing on the top pairing on d and is also on the second wave of the PP and is playing physical as well.

      It will be interesting what mb does with Diaz. Diaz is a decent deal man but is undersized on a small team and I think Pateryn could be a replacement.

      The habs have some great d men in the pipeline

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • rhino514 says:

      Agree about Pateryn getting a shot. It would be a big boost if he could come up and be a quietly efficient Dman. He has size, maturity, and seems to be mobile as well.
      Regarding Hamilton, I´m not sure about the transformation you are talking about. The team just reached the fivehundred mark last night, and they haven´t been a very good team for a year and half now, and I do believe they have had quite a bit of talent to be competitive, especially on the back end.
      Tinordi and Beaulieu are not playing any better than they did last year. I´m not crazy about Lefebre´s development of players up to now. The reported treatment of Leblanc last year would be troublesome, if true.
      Pretty much all of the habs top forward prospects are on the small side, so I think the challenge Bergevin has ahead of him is converting these assets into at least one more big talented forward to complement Pacioretty, eller, and a hopefully bigger Galchenyuk .

    • habstrinifan says:

      Nice. Hope they do not move to Brossard…are there plans?

      Oh by the way did you catch the Can-Slov game. What did you think of Sam Reinhart’s play? Any more impressed?

  42. Maritime Ronn says:

    Coach Therrien did a nice job of managing the Forwards ToI last night.

    Moen-White-Prust had some small increased time from their year averages to between 12-13 minutes, and the rest all played between 14-17 minutes…with the exception of Danny Briere being the low man at 10:37.

    Of course there will always be questions from some as to how could Rene Bourque play almost 3 minutes of PP time, while Max had 1:48 and Galchenyuk 1:15 and Lars Eller a grand total of 15 seconds?
    Or how could Bouillon be on the PP for 1:53 while Diaz had 1:10?

    As for Coach Therrien and his choices and gut feeling moves, perhaps Super Bowl winning Coach Bill Parcells said it best:
    ” You are what your record says you are.”

    In 2013 year, Coach Therrien’s Habs record is 52-27-8.

    This for a team that was picked by the ‘experts’ last year to be a bottom 10, and this year to be 1 of the teams that would struggle hard to secure the final Eastern Conference Playoff spot.

  43. DipsyDoodler says:

    Alex Steen was having a career year and challenging for league MVP.

    Then Ottawa’s Zach Smith hit him in the head, illegally.

    (The NHL chose not to suspend Smith.)

    Steen is now out with post traumatic brain injury symptoms.

    Ottawa’s game plan is at least consistent: injure your more talented opposition.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Is it just me or are even the commentaters now diminishing the severity of concussions? Seems to me last night I heard the talking heads refer to Downie as coming back from an upper body injury, when we all know he had a concussion. Seems the shock and awe of concussions has already been dismissed by the mdedia. I guess if it isn’t Sid the Kid with the concussion, it is just another injury.

      Feel bad for Steen, he indeed was having a career year.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Burli, once the sky didn’t fall in when Sid was concussed, the NHL suits woke up simultaneously from their collective nightmare, looked around the boardroom table at each other, comprehended that they had survived the worst-case scenario, grinned smugly at one another like the Grinch as he hatches his plan, and realised that brain trauma could not touch profits — unless, with obscene irony, to increase them — and that henceforth only window-dressing would be required when dealing with the issue.

        A plague on the houses of all broadcasters which collude with them on that.

    • The Juice says:

      Do you have a link to this video?

      __________________________________________________________________________

      “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

  44. HabinBurlington says:

    So after a long break the Habs headed on the road to play a team ahead of them in the standings. Defensively the Habs played a very solid game, with only a handful of breakdowns leading to any sustained pressure by Tampa.

    I counted at least 4 posts hit by the Habs, notably a streaking Bourque who made an excellent rush and Gallagher late on a beautiful deflection in front of the net late in the game. Every team hits posts in a game, but the Habs to me were better offensively than the Lightning all night, and did a better job of containing the other teams offense.

    Bishop is a very big goalie and there were times you could see the team trying to make perfect shots to beat him from in close as the giant Wookie is tough to beat in close. There was one particular instance where Briere had a bit of time and tried desperately to get his backhand up high to beat Chewie but to no avail.

    Then the game went to a gimmick and lo and behold Price indeed stopped all three shooters. Price quietly played an excellent game, and while perhaps he could have made a glove save on St. Louis, that was a goal scorers goal (particularly given the deflection off Gorges stick). He continues to be very solid for the team.

    I thought Bourque showed hustle, and Max Pac early in the first had one particular shift where he really gave full stride to try and beat an icing play. I hadn’t seen Max take big strides like that in a long while, I think his legs may finally be back. Of course Max hasn’t had alot of on ice luck lately and probably lost a few chiclets from a puck to the face.

    It may not have been sexy, but the underdog road team did what was needed to win on the road.

    And the real positive news, is we still have room to improve while sitting 3rd in the division and 4th in the entire Eastern Conference.

    Good Morning All!!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      I thought Ben Bishop was in his third season, but maybe that’s what a Wookie is. Dunboyne liked your witty critique of HNIC’s densely populated experts panel.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Good Morning my fellow Burlingtonian, I thought I was just stating the obvious regarding CBC’s panel. ;-)

        And you are correct about Bishop, I was trying to refer to his being a perfect doppleganger for Chewbacca from Star Wars.

  45. Cal says:

    Bank the 2 points and blame the ugly game on rust. Question: Why do MT’s lines cause the flu? No one takes any shots!

    As it is the end of the year, here is the #3 fave song based on hits to my site: http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  46. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good Morning

    The only hope for last night was that somehow the Habs could secure 1 point and move on.
    That extra point to make 2 was an absolute bonus.

    As for the hockey game itself, the expectations from here were somewhere between bad and ugly.
    No disappointments there.

    Coming back from any job after a week Christmas vacation is tough for anyone, let alone being involved in a high level physically and mentally demanding game requiring precision.

    Then you add in the other factors:
    – Habs have the 3rd best Goals Against in the NHL and Tampa is 6th.
    – Habs rank 21st for Goals per game.
    – Habs are on the road, so they play a careful style ‘road game’ where they don’t have to put on a show for the Bell Centre faithful/

    – As for Tampa, no ‘all-world’ Stamkos or Ryan Malone.
    – Tampa’s #4 Dman and PP QB Salo out, along with their #5 Dman Eric Brewer that is also a Top 4 PK man.
    – With that missing, there was no way they were going to open it up.

    Add to all of that… no rivalry – no bad blood, and it had all the makings of an unfriendly fan entertainment hockey game.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      I guess the head-shot Ryan Malone gave Chris Campoli has been forgiven!

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • habstrinifan says:

      You, Boone, and Habsfansince49 are right. Principally… take the win and move on.

      I will join your readiness to accept the first gameback after holidays syndrome and all the other reasons… for this 1 game.

      But I also believe that RJ, while stating it n an extreme manner, has a point. The Habs have been playing terribly boring and in the long run self-defeating hockey.

      This may be the coaches decision that the team better get ready for playoffs with this kind of hockey. But it very likely wont carry them through with any success. First of all today, in the last few years, the playoffs winners have done so by stepping up their offense and forechecking. Secondly our defense is not constructed for that style and 3rd we do nothave the Moores and Lapierre etc to play that style.

      This 1 game I understand. But the last set of games have also followed last night’s pattern… including loosing the 3-0 lead previous game.

      Our style of play is gonna bite us in the arse in the playoffs.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Trin

        This team is not built for the playoffs because the NHL powers decided a whole new set of unwritten Rules apply, and the printed NHL Rule Book is put on the shelf.

        I think Coach T is doing the best he can with what he has to work with.

        Yea, we don’t score a lot of goals.
        Habs are 21st.

        Several other teams score more, but they are on the outside looking in to the playoffs.
        Ottawa is 11th in the NHL/4th in the Conference for goals scored
        Columbus is 14th/6th in the Conference.
        Winnipeg is 17th no playoff prayer
        Edmonton is 19th no playoff prayer

  47. HabsFansince49 says:

    I fully agree with Mike Boone’s analysis. And a win is a win despite the lackluster game. One real concern that I’ve had all season – the mystery of Therrien’s mind. Einstein is attributed to saying that ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. The MT insanity definition is using the same players (e.g. PP) and expecting different results.

  48. rhino514 says:

    Just a word that needs mentioning from time to time:
    I sincereley wonder if there is anyone on the habs who is more valuable than Plekanec.
    It´s crazy how he is used in a shutdown role, without much offensive support on the wings and yet, somehow, in sneaky fashion, still manages to pot key goals which are often the difference between victory and defeat for his team.
    In my mind, definitely one of the most underrated players in the entire league.

    Boone is right about injuries; we are starting to see the inevitable injuries happen to our rivals, and it is virtually impossible for it not to happen to us at some point.
    Nothing has been more frustrating to me as a habs fan to see key players go down for us in the second part of the season for lenghty periods and which have cost us a playoff round or two. Am thinking of last year and also 3 years ago when the bruins would have never won the Cup if we were relatively healthy.
    This team is good, but not good or deep enough that it can withstand an injury to one of its core, or even subcore, come playoff time. I just hope for once that we have all of our key guys come playoff time. Obviously we have to try and put some distance between us and teams like Tampa Bay (which we haven´t done), Boston, and Detroit while we are healthy and they aren´t. It´s a key time for us in the schedule.

  49. jols101 says:

    I guess the morning crew are all still recovering from turkey and meat pie overload.

  50. RJ says:

    Well, we have morphed back to the Jacques Martin style of play. Boring, block shots, wait for a turnover, get a lead and play rope-a-dope. When the EGG line was broken up so did our offense in favor of what? More balanced defensive lines? This team is unwatchable again. Boring.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  51. jols101 says:

    I have only watched 2 Dogs games all year, so someone who watches them regularly correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like Greg Pateryn is #1 on the depth chart for being called up.

    His stats are impressive. 26 games with 6 goals and 9 assists and a team leading +11. I’m just going on stats but he seems miles ahead of our prized 1st rounders, Tinordi and Beaulieu.

    Stats can sometimes be misleading. Anyone that actually watches a lot of Bulldogs games please chime in and share your thoughts.

  52. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Mike (Happy Christmas to you, btw) deploys a grimly apt analogy (from children’s literature no less — says something about 21st-century culture….): NHL hockey as “The Hunger Games on ice”.

    (Which makes us the inhabitants of the Capitol…).

  53. Dunboyne Mike says:

    “Can someone tell me why CBC needs five talking heads on the intermission ?”

    And Burli’s very late contender for post of 2013:

    “CRTC required a total IQ of 140 on the panel, so they kept adding until they got to the cap floor.”

    Still laughing over here, Burli!

  54. Marc10 says:

    Another 2 points. Tick.

  55. HotHabs says:

    This wasn’t post turkey rust. the team was playing the same disjointed hockey before the break. how quickly we forget…
    Habs can barely score 5-on-5, evidenced again tonight. They can’t afford to suck on the PP. were it not for stellar goaltending by both keepers, this team would be falling out of contention faster than Rob Ford’s chances at reelection.
    Thankful for the win, but the team has to find ways to score. this glaring weakness is only made more obvious when facing western conference powerhouses, a la Blues, Kings and Hawks.

  56. Timo says:

    That game sucked on so many different levels. And let’s remember Habs are completely healthy. Imagine if they were decimated by injuries like Pitts, who btw continue to win. Did Habs get a new coach for Christmas? Or a GM?

  57. savethepuck says:

    I have a really hard time understanding why when the Habs win, but were not the obviously better team, they either found a way to win or they got lucky and didn’t deserve to win. Yet when they are the better team on the ice and either get stoned by a hot goaltender or have a bad bounce or two go against them and they lose, they suck and played like crap. There is a glaring double standard on here at times.

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

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      Let’s not over-analyze their win. Tomorrow’s another game and if they might lose (they will not and I’m counting on it), we talk more about it than their wins.

      Right now, I’m glad they won tonight and that’s all it matters.

  58. Sportfan says:

    Hawks-Blues game was insane!

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

  59. Sportfan says:

    A win is a win we have to points, it was dull, but I’m happy!

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

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Me too but when I see Gorges blindly dumping the puck while Galchenyuk is open at the blue line it´s painful to watch.

      • Coach K says:

        Bob, agreed. Gorges has absolutely zero offensive imagination/vision and it would appear, ability. My 16 yr. old, AAA miget playing son and I marvel at how his only known play with puck is to rim it up the boards regardless of the options available to him. We have also come to the same conclusion as M. Boone regarding Diaz…he NEVER takes the puck from anyone. Its amazing that they can get away with sustained pressure in their own and at all.
        Nevertheless, a win is a win.
        —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

      • Coach K says:

        I am probably repeating what, many have already stated but I can’t understand why Galchenyuk and Eller consistently get zero power play time. Are they not two of the most skilled, and biggest, boards owning, crease crashing forwards on the team in a game where size matters? I get DD with Patches…he has vision and is a very good setup man. But clearly Gionta and Pleky are incapable of that physical type of play. Give them a rest and save them for the PK instead.
        Am I wrong?

        —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

  60. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Full marks to Ryan W. who played a heck of a game. He must get frustrated being left off the roster so often. But he keeps answering that with yeoman’s effort. That whole 4th line was great.

    Briere, on the other hand…. Ah, what’s the use. It’s all been said.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  61. Storman says:

    I am correcting myself that was worse than Thiesmann, he will probably never fight again, and will be a long ;long recovery looks like his leg will have to be reconstructed with a super long rehab,

  62. Storman says:

    OMFFFFFFFFFGGGGGGGGGG Anderson Silva just broke his leg in the most gruesome fashion since Joe Theismann

  63. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    I’m not surprised Bourque’s ice time exceeded Galchenyuk’s. The young’un had a tough night, and made a series of errors. Meanwhile big René looked, for a rare occasion, enthused and energized.

    I still wonder what Bergevin will do, either before the trade deadline or in the off-season, about the logjam at center. Alex WILL play there next season, so one of either DD, Eller, or Pleky will have to be dealt. I know many here would prefer the first, but I’m really not sure Bergevin will do that. Especially if DD keeps raising his game, as he has lately.

    Whoever he decides to offer up for trade, it will make for an interesting and important next step in the evolution of this squad.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  64. durocher says:

    NOW:
    Sit/waive Briere, play Bournival
    Sit Diaz, bring up and play Pateryn
    Sit Cube, play Murray

    BY THE DEADLINE:
    Trade Bourque for a player who is more physical and who may have a contract expiring (e.g., David Moss of Phoenix) or who has a cheaper contract (e.g., Jamie McGinn of Colorado)

    AFTER SEASON IS OVER:
    Re-sign Subban, Eller, Whitey
    Bring up Tinordi
    Trade DD
    Sign Stastny (I’d trade for his rights before he becomes a UFA)
    Thank the following for their service: Gio, Cube, Diaz, Parros

  65. gmoan says:

    Eller paches Galchenyuk 1st PP line… Obvious choice

  66. gmoan says:

    What happened to Eller’s PP time? I really feel bad for this guy…

  67. Lafleurguy says:

    Can the team win with any less offense?
    Also, I noted Michael Bournival, Douglas Murray, and Georges Parros were “healthy” scratches.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  68. habsfan0 says:

    Habs are indeed healthy,while other teams are not.
    Which should be an area of concern,as their offence has gone AWOL during this period.
    What happens if things are reversed?

  69. adadi says:

    Hey Matty. Any chance you noticed which of the lines was most effective tonight. Oh ya it was Moen, White and Prust. Let’s hope the coach has, after almost half the season figured out what most of us knew at the beginning of the season. I’m not holding my breath.

    Hey Boone. Bourque gets more PP time than Chucky because the coach is an incompetent.

  70. Lafleurguy says:

    Boonie’s journalism rocks. Nicely doled out pithy info on Bruins injuries and the precise stats that entertain (e.g. Bourque’s and Galchenyuk’s PP time, and we’re not talking bathroom). Stat info that is more entertaining than Matthew Fenwick’s, and Jim Corsi’s creations. Again, thanks for the hard work and entertainment, Boonie. If this is the first post of Dec. 29, it’s warm-up for three days from now.

    “May you live in interesting times.”
    Edit: Rogatien beat me, but there are two more days for rehearsal

  71. rogieshan says:

    I thought that was Price’s best shootout performance yet as a Hab.

    Not a big fan of having the Plekanec-Gionta-Bourque line out there as the 2nd unit on the power play. When you put them together with Boullion & Diaz on the back end as well, it’s a seriously deficient combo.

  72. AliHaba says:

    Nice save Mike.

  73. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Bulldogs won too!

    24 cups and counting….

  74. Mattyleg says:

    Foist.

    (and after saying he’d try to be positive, Boone listed 7 negative things, and followed them up with 5 slightly positive ones. *sigh*)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  75. Storman says:

    Weidman is legit he actually knocked Silva out on his feet in the first round for a brief second as well,, Weidman vs Belfort will be next, Weidman seems like the next great one wow.

  76. Storman says:

    Yup your right he definitely went to school on defending those inside leg kicks, he mentioned after the fight it was one of things he wanted to work on as Anderson threw a lot of them that connected the first time they fought, Great fight preparation and execution by Weidman..

  77. Bash says:

    At least there was no concussion. Not like hockey where fighters are living and dying in hell when their careers are over.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)


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