About last night …

Poor Cinderella.

Went to Philadelphia and got Oléd.

But seriously, folks, was that a long-overdue off-night for your Montreal Canadiens or a statement game by the hottest team in the playoffs?

We’ll have to wait until Tuesday to find out.

If Game 2 is a replay of Game 1, with the Flyer faithful derisively chanting the Canadiens’ cheer … well, they say you’re not in trouble until you’ve lost on home ice, but a repetition of this mess would be big trouble.

How do you outshoot a team 28-25 and lose 6-0?

How do you dial up such a stinker that the last 20 minutes of a Conference final game have all the intensity and excitement of the exhibition season?

Let’s not sugar-coat it: the Canadiens sucked.

Their 15th playoff game was the team’s worst.

As Michel Bergeron said on L’Antichambre, in their six losses to Washington and Pittsburgh, the Canadiens competed.

They didn’t in Philadelphia.

And sadly, there are no mulligans in hockey – unlike that other game 26 NHL teams are playing.

But chillax, everyone.

Unless they’ve changed the rules, it still takes four wins. 


Here’s the game in microcosm:

With the score 4-0, the Canadiens get their fourth power-play of the game eight minutes into the third period.

As they did in their three previous PPs, the Canadiens are able to control the puck and work it around the perimeter, setting up a point blast by Marc-André Bergeron.

MAB is accurate, and rebound comes to Tomas Plekanec on ther lip of the crease to Michael “Bernie Parent” Leighton’s left. Pleks is flattened from behind by Kimmo Timonen and gets off a weak shot while falling on his face.

Philadelphia scored on two of their six power-play opportunities. In each, there was traffic in front of the Canadiens’ net. And all the swarming orange jerseys managed to remain upright.

Jaro Halak gave up four goals on 13 shots. Two of them, by Braydon Coburn to open the scoring and by James van Riemsdyk to make it 2-0, travelled a total of maybe three feet.

The Canadiens got away with letting Mike Knuble, Brooks Laich and Michael Rupp crowd the crease.

They can’t do that with the Flyers. They’re too talented – especially their French connection.

Daniel Brière, Simon Gagné and the spectacular Claude Giroux accounted for half the Flyers’ scoring. They outplayted the Canadiens’ skill guys – badly.

Scott Gomez was minus-2 and took two undisciplined penalties, the first of which gave the Flyers their winning goal, less than four minutes into the game.

Brian Gionta was minus-2 and uncharacteristically careless on D. The Canadiens’ hardest-working player had an up-close view of the first two Philadelphia goals.

Tomas Plekanec was minus-2 and lost 10 of his 15 draws.

Mike Cammalleri was held to one shot on goal and had four blocked. The playoff’s leading sniper was kept safely to low-percentage areas of the offensive zone.

Yes, the Flyers are still tough. Daniel Carcillo, Scott Hartnell, Arron Asham, the Dickensian-named Darrell Powe.

But the thumpers play supporting roles to talented forwards who are lightning-fast in transition and lethally dangerous from the blueline in.

Philadelphia has scorers on three of its forward lines. That was a problem for the Canadiens’ defence, which couldn’t load up like it did against Ovechkin, Backstrom, Crosby and Malkin.

Patient with the puck, waiting for good chances, the Flyers danced around the slot, unchallenged by the Canadiens’ D or undersized backchecking forwards.

P.K. Subban played his worst game since the call-up and was minus-3.

What the F., the kid is 21 years old!

What’s the other guys’ excuse?

MAB was brutal, and the others weren’t much better.

But hey, it’s one game.

The Canadiens lost the opener in Pittsburgh, giving up six goals, four of them on the PP.

They were shut out by Marc-André Fleury in Game 3.

Through two series in which they were prohibitive underdogs, the Canadiens bounced back from adversity – including the devastating loss of their best player in the opening minutes of the Pittsburgh series.

The Canadiens have a couple times to rediscover the spirit and CHaracter that brought Cinderella this far.

•  •  •

Jaro is 7-1-1 career in starts after being pulled.

He’s 2-0 after yanks in the playoffs, allowing one goal each time.

•  •  •

Because the game was out of reach early, Peter Laviolette was able to rest his Top 4 D.

Chris Pronger played 20:10 – practically a night off for him, and a night shortened by a high stick he caught.

Timonen, Coburn and Matt Carle were in the low 20s.

Ryan Parent and Andreas Nodl, who were in the low single digits in Game 7 against Boston, played 14:26 and 9:44, respectively. 

If wearing out the Philadelphia D was part of the Canadiens’ strategy for this series, I hope there’s a Plan B.

•  •  •

Spare me the second-guessing on Ryan O’Byrne.

Would the big galoot have made any difference?

But maybe MAB should be playing fewer minutes … like 0:00.




  1. habstrinifan says:

    Gomez Gionta Ak.. JM have Gionta ad Gomez sit down and chat with AK.. his job is to stand in front of the net.

    Cammalleri Pleks SK…. let him outta the doghouse and have Cammalleri push him all nite

                                      SK is also very good on PK maybe our best ‘forward’ on PK

    Pyatt Moore Lapierre

    Moen Maxwell Metro

    Darche sits MAB sits… dont think this would happen though but I think Maxwell adds size and playing with MOEN will give him confidence and Metro is reliable?

    I like your defence pairings especially Subban-Spacek initially with them being split up if we are ahead and need more conservative pairings.


  2. Mr.Hazard says:

    JM got a lot of props around the league for bringing down WSH. Sure, he needed superhuman goaltending, but why not use it if you’ve got it? The strategy worked, didn’t it? Did you see Boudreau at the press conference after Game 7? At a TOTAL loss!

    “We didn’t give up and we are not giving up.” – Jaroslav Halak

  3. FSUPhi1584 says:

    When a PK is aggressive, it is especially useful to use breakout plays on the PP. This would also take advantage of our speed. I think the PP is something that should be focused on more than usual in this series because there will be a lot of them.

    I’d like to see them use an overload for one wave and umbrella for another to keep the Flyers guessing. On the Umbrella, I’d like to see Spacek or Subban as the D man in the high slot, Gomez and Metropolit (He does have 10 PP goals in the reg season) down low, and Gionta and MAB playing near the upper circles with MAB on the right side. Then an overload can be used with Subban/Spacek, Hamrlik, Pleks, AK, and Cammy.

  4. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Puzzled as well, JF. But did the Flyers really crash that much or just park in the crease? CBC illustrated the point well, comparing the difference for a goalie seeing around Hartnell as against seeing around (actually, over!) Gionta.

    Remedies? Surely RO’B is the ideal candidate to go to work on the wide-bodies in front of Jaro. And MAB needs… I don’t know what MAB needs — not having a good playoffs.

    Also, I love the Flyers aggressive PK, pursuing out to the blueline. Could we afford to do that? ie. try and take away the outside shot so that it wouldn’t matter if Jabba the Hut was in the crease.

  5. punkster says:

    What the heck got edited? Lyrics? What?


  6. kempie says:

    Martin outcoached them both. That’s a fact.

  7. Clay4bc says:

    Some loser edited the Marley? WTF? Get a life, mod. Do your job and edit the crap here that needs it, like the senseless name-calling. But this?


    “Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest” Francois Laignelot –

  8. Norm0770 says:

    No chance to execute if they are on the bench or in the pressbox.

  9. RJ says:

    Let’s not lose faith folks. One crappy game when Philly is riding high from its miracle win. If we have learned anything from the Boston/Philly series is that it is NEVER OVER.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  10. tony d says:

    Man oh man oh man….woke up this morning hoping that I’d had a bad dream but alas, it’s everywhere…can’t escape the fact that last night’s performance (or lack of) was apparently the worst since 1918 or something by a playoff team. Well I gotta hand it to this year’s team, they keep breaking records, good and bad.

    On the plus side, I’m happy they crapped the bed in the 1st and not the 7th. If they can right the ship and come back home with th series tied, then that’ll boost their mojo and prevent traffic tie ups on all major Montreal bridges.

  11. RJ says:

    O’Byrne’s size is absolutely needed in this series.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  12. JF says:

    The Habs played their best game of the playoffs against Pittsburgh Wednesday night and immediately followed it up with their worst, and I’m at a loss to understand why.  The Flyers were the team that wrapped up their emotional, come-from-behind series 48 hours ago and could be expected to be tired and drained.  If that was a tired Flyers team, this series will be short and ugly.  I just have to hope that Jacques Martin will have some strategies to help our guys deal with the bodies crashing Halak’s crease and get some good scoring chances on Michael Leighton.  I don’t think I saw more than a couple.  We outshot them, but as is nearly always the case when we outshoot our opponent, just about everything came from the outside.  Perhaps the Habs were just due for a bad game and will rebound on Tuesday.  At any rate, it could hardly be worse.

  13. The Cat says:

    I know all that matters is the Ws, but to say Boudreau was outcoached is a bit much. Theres only one reason the habs won that series and we all know what his name is. I dont remember seeing some masterful dissection of the capitals….Is outcoaching Bylsma really a feet? Seems to me he was only put there to let their star players go ‘unobstructed’ unlike Therrien.

  14. The Cat says:

    I dont care for Bob Marley but I like your analysis.

  15. Clay4bc says:

    Last time I put up some Marley, the Habs won…not one to be superstitious, but it’s the playoffs, so what the hell…

    As for the game…as soon as the first Flyers goal was scored, I knew we were in trouble. Just letting them walk to the net and jam away like that is just asking for a whippin’. and that’s what we got. Advice – sit  MAB, Play OB. We need the size to clear the net more than anything MAB brings to the game right now (with all due respect to Timo).

    Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
    Get up, stand up: don’t give up the fight!

    “Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest” Francois Laignelot –

  16. DrA says:

    This is an opportunity to receive a wakeup call.  The question is to they wakeup?

    The game  reminded me a little of that one game against Wasington at home where they were terrible and lost their composure.

    They need to regorup fast.  Coach did not get them ready to compete.  It is always the coach’s responsibility.

    However, bonehead penalties strictly belong to the players. 

    Leighton is the weak spot they must exploit.  Just like in football, look for the weak link and attack it.

  17. G-Man says:

    Coach = game plan. Players= execute game plan.

    If players don’t execute game plan, whose fault is it?


  18. The Cat says:

    And yes Obyrne should dress.

  19. The Cat says:

    Well you know youre in trouble when Kostitsyn was just about our best player on the ice…Other than winning faceoffs, Plekanec isnt doing much out there in these playoffs.

  20. nightmare_49 says:

     HFV – Mr.Boone also was in love with Carbo.

  21. nightmare_49 says:

        Trotter seems to have Stars’ number

        The Hamilton Spectator


        Yesterday, Trotter made two spectacular plays that led to goals, as the Dogs won 3-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the AHL best-of-seven Western Conference final.

  22. Slovak says:
    You and me we were the pretenders
    We let it all slip away
    In the end what you don’t surrender
    Well the world just strips away
    HABS, please no kindness in the face of strangers
    Aint gonna find no miracles here
    Well you can wait on your blesses my darling
    I got a deal for you right here
    I aint looking for praise or pity
    I aint coming round searching for a crutch
    I just want someone to score to
    And a little of that team touch
    Just a little of that team touch
    Aint no mercy on the streets of this town
    Aint no bread from heavenly skies
    Aint nobody drawing goals from this blood
    Its just you and me tonight
    Tell me, in a world without pity
    Do you think what Im askins too much
    I just want someone to score to
    So youve been broken and youve been hurt
    Show me somebody who aint
    Yeah, I know I aint nobodys bargain
    But, hell, a little touch up and a little paint…
    You might need someone to score to
    When all the answers, they don’t amount to much
    Somebody that you could just to pass to
    And a little of that team touch
    Baby, in a town without pity
    Do you think what Im askins too much
    I just want to bang their heads off
    Come on Montreal Come on
  23. Slovak says:

    1.If they gonna play like this – kind of relax home hockey – they will lose big time – but they are not

    2.I told you before it starts and ends with Halak – he must be the first who stands up – he will

    3.Halak will have bad games and burnout nights and even series of bad games – but watch him next game

    4.Habs seems they have to feel the pressure of underdog – it gives them some kind of energy

    If they gonna play hockey, they will give Flyers hard time – I did not see any hockey from HABS last night



  24. FSUPhi1584 says:

    Here are my lines for next game:


    (We desperately need more offense)


    (Double-shifting Moen and Moore in MAB’s stead)



    (There’s no particular order as to who gets more minutes for the D

  25. FSUPhi1584 says:

    A few observations after tonights game: Spacek, AK, and Pouliot had an even +/-,
    surprisingly so was MAB.I think that last stat had more to do with luck
    than anything else. Giroux was +4. Gomez had a crap game and PK had some growing pains.

    A few recommendations after tonights game: Use
    Spacek more. He is the least worn down of our D. I think he should
    return to the left side with Subban on his right, and put O’Byrne with
    Hammer. Spacek seems more defensively sound than Hamrlik, and I think
    this would allow Subban to be more creative with his offensive game.
    Also, I recall at the beginning of the season Spacek complained about
    playing the right side. This would take care of that.

    thought is use MAB as a seventh D man or forward very sparingly if at
    all 5 on 5. I was also thinking that we should consider using a high
    umbrella on one of our two PP waves to keep the Flyers’ PK guessing, at
    least initially. I was thinking of having Spacek or Subban play the D1
    position and have MAB play the D2 position. That way we could use the
    shot and vision of our D1 player and use MAB strictly for his shot.

    suggestion would be to use Moen while MAB is on the PP so that Leighton
    does not see every shot. This would make MAB more useful. In
    conclusion, I think Darche should sit in favor of MAB because when you
    compare the two and what offense they bring, MAB wins. O’Byrne creates a better matchup against the Flyers on D.

  26. HabsFanInVictoria says:

    Wow.  Defending Martin?  I like the the playoff version of Mr. Boone a lot better.  

    Glad to see you supporting the coach instead of throwing him… what were your words… ‘under the bus”?

  27. shootdapuck says:

    I don’t think he was last night!

    Looked too much like the regular season tonite.

    Sure hope Muller gets more involved after this debacle.



    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  28. Propwash says:

    Meh…..Now JM will review the vids and make adjustments. If that doesn’t work, Im stil proud of our team, and all the boo birds can shove it sideways as far as Im concerned.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  29. Habitant in Surrey says:


    …a good article by Jim Finlayson of the Edmonton Journal describing TODAY’s Flyers

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  30. Xtrahabsfan says:

    O’Bryne can clear the FRONT OF THE NET!

  31. Warpy says:

    Does anyone else get the feeling Muller is doing more coaching on this team than JM?

    “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you” Yogi Berra

  32. CHsam says:


    I think the Flyers know what we’re up to. Laviolette has studied our game plan…….

    JACQUES: Its time for you to not lay MAB. Have you not read Art of War or something? CHANGE SOMETHING AND STOP USING MAB.

    I hate to say this, but the more we use MAB, the more we rely on shooting from the point…. and with these guys as they’ve shown tonight, the goalie will see those shots.



  33. mbplekfan says:

    There’s no doubt that OB couldnt have fixed what ailed the habs today. But he does have size and used to have confidence and can play a more physical game than all the other D combined.

    PK can handle the offense for the PP and Spacek and Hammer can help out too. Take out Darche and put SK back on the point, take out MAB and use OB as a spare winger with size and two problems are sorted.

    We need size in the lineup and we dont need MAB and his lazy ass give aways.


  34. Curtis O Habs says:

    You must admit the ” Ole, Ole, ” hurt a little.

  35. zozotheclown says:

    1 game, far from over, but game 2 just became monumental. As Boone said, your not in trouble till you lose at home, but we need a MUCH better showing next time around. Start with better defence work, movings the Hartnell’s among others and letting Jaro see the puck. Next thing is get maybe 1 decent scoring chance on Leighton, even in the shutout he looked beatable, we need to make him move side to side or get traffic, the first is usually easier for small teams. Start with these 2 simple things we were doing right previously and we’ll go from there.

  36. floatingineather says:

    what,???? you are not calling JM a genius this time around!!  lets just ignore Perry and Kurt, what do they know …..spare you our views as to why OB is benched,  i have heard from an unrelaible source that OB called JM ugly …………and MAB will play 28.36 mins next game and he will chew gum at the same time

  37. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Jacques was smart enough to get Us to the Third Round …seems reasonable He wanted to go with WHAT was working to start-off …I’m sure JM will adjust

    …BUT, Philthydelphia is playing hard-as-nails Canadian hockey, and I think it was more the fact Our Montreal Canadiens are not built for this kind of hockey, though I truly hope I am wrong

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY


  38. Lafrich says:

    Caps beat habs 5-1 in game 3, and 6-3 in game 4. Pitt beat habs 6-3 in game 1. This was no different. Crap game. The boys will be back.


    Off topic, but while looking at the ’93 playoffs to see if the Habs got blown out at any point, I came across this series between the Kings and Flames. Look at the scores. Talk about the times they are a changing:

    • April 18 – Los Angeles 6 Calgary 3
    • April 21 – Los Angeles 4 Calgary 9
    • April 23 – Calgary 5 Los Angeles 2
    • April 25 – Calgary 1 Los Angeles 3
    • April 27 – Los Angeles 9 Calgary 4
    • April 29 – Calgary 6 Los Angeles 9


    Oh, and by the way, Habs in 5 against the Flyers in 2010.



  39. VancouverHab says:

    Great article, Mike: it’s a relief to come here after a stinker & get some experienced commentary for perspective’s sake.

    (As you surely know, some commenters here would ride their hobby-horses against JM, BG, Gomez, or whomever even if we won the Stanley Cup going undefeated.)

  40. Mike Boone says:

    Let’s review:

    Jacques Martin outcoaches Bruce Boudreau.

    He outcoaches Dan Bylsma.

    But you’re ready to throw him under the bus after one L in Philadelphia.

  41. TripleX says:

    Spare you the second guessing on O’Byrne.  Hardly second guessing as it was the obvious move to make against a physical team.  Why does JM always make the obvious move AFTER the fact.

    Would he have made a difference?  A poor argument for not playing a big D man with a right hand shot Mr. Boone.  Now who is speculating?


    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  42. longtimehabsfan says:

    SK and Pouliot have done that to themselves.  And that’s a shame because this team can use what they can bring.

  43. longtimehabsfan says:

    Well said.  And in fairness, I didn’t like OB sitting Game 7 last series.  JM has been on a roll but now he really has to get on a better roll.  Don’t like what I saw tonight [no kidding].  We’ll find out what this team has got in the next two games.

  44. TripleX says:

    JM is doing to Pouliot exactly the same thing he did with SK.  Destroy his confidence by benching him for every mistake and thus not allowing him to redeem himself and his confidence.  Publicly chastising him for his lack of effort than playing him as a defensive forward on the fourth line with limited ice time and opportunity to regain confidence.  Stand back and watch a talent he personally dislikes implode and smile.

    So what if he plays O’Byrne next game.  He has been sent to the press box for two games for no logical reason.  Where do you think his confidence is.  Do you perhaps think his play will be tentative and he will be so afraid to make a mistake he will be frozen.



    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  45. habitual says:

    Boone, you are right, we crapped the bed (anemic dysentery), for whatever reason  …  but we got here by playing balls out, character hockey.  We’ll be back.

    I’m with seriousfan, I’d like to see OB back in the line up, but Philly did one thing right, using our D as a screen and trying to shoot the puck just to one side so our guys are a screen instead of shot blocking. Other than that, I think it was Les Boys being disengaged and disappearing up their own butts rather than anything the puking dog Flyers did.



  46. TripleX says:

    What reason do you have for putting ALL the blame on the players and absolving JM of all fault?   Why was Pouliot so good when he first came over and with the coaching of JM has gotten worse?  Why did SK blossom under Boucher and was a pile of manure with JM?


    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

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