About last night …

There is no disgrace in losing to the hottest team in hockey – which is what the Flyers are at this stage of the season.

Phildaelphia ended the winning streak of its cross-state rival on Tuesday night, then beat the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

They’re a good team, a bona-fide Cup contender if they get decent goaltending.

Sergei Bobrovsky was several notches above decent last night.

He faced a bombardment of 41 shots. The Flyers’ defence blocked another 22, and the Canadiens had 21 misses.

As I wrote in Quick Hits, that’s a lot of puck possesion against a good hockey team. And if four demonstrable errors hadn’t led to Philadelhia goals … well, who knows?

This is turning into an interesting rivalry, which will resume at the Wells Gargo Center on Jan. 25. Given their recent playoff history and the number of fast, skill ful players on both sides, the Canadiens and Flyers play up-tempo, entertaining hockey. And it was refreshingly free of Philadelphia’s patented thuggery last night.

A contest of skill came down to a W by the team that had, last night at least, the better goaltender and best skater on the ice.

That would be Jeff Carter: a goal, two assists, seven shots of goal. Carter’s line, with James van Riemsdyk and Nikolai Zherdev, was easily the visitors’ best on a night when the Canadiens controlled habitual nemeses Daniel Brière, Mike Richard, Scott Hartnell and, until his late insurance goal, Claude Giroux.


The Canadiens had two effective lines – and that, for me, was the most encouraging aspect of the game.

Trailing 2-0 in a dead and despondent Bell Centre, Jacques Martin juggled his top line 15 minutes into the second period. Benoit Pouliot replaced Travis Moen with Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri, and the line spent an entire shift in the Philadelphia zone.

Then the Scott-Gomez-Brian Gionta-Max Pacioretty line exerted similar dominance, and Chris Pronger took Philadelphia’s first penalty of the game.

(Imagine waiting almost 37 minutes for a power play against a team that averages 15 PiM per game?)

When Braydon Coburn joined Pronger in the box, Philadelphia was deproived of its two best Dmen. P.K. Subban fired a laser past Bobrovsky, the crowd went bersek and the Canadiens were back in the game.

Thirty-one games into the season, the Canadiens may have finally found their Top Six forwards. Benny was a force on the Pleks line, and Max-Pac complemented his countrymen on the new All-American line.

I hope Martin sticks with those combinations against the Bruins tonight.

It’s an early-season must-win for the Canadiens. Boston is two points back in the Northeast, with two games in hand.

If the Bs win tonight, the Canadiens will be riding four straight losses into their pre-Christmas road trip.

But as my learned colleague, Patrick V. Hickey, pointed out last night, last season’s team had lost five in a row when it hit the road in late December. The Canadiens reeled off wins on Long Island and in Atlanta, Carolina and Toronto.

For a team that made the playoffs by a single point, those December wins were huge.

Maybe history will repeat itself. But just to be on the safe side, a win tonight would be nice.

•  •  •

As Annakin Slayd posted on Facebook last night, the “We’re Fine Without Markov” period is officially over.

Granted, they didn’t get the puck support  they needed from forwards, but the Canadiens D had a rough night.

Hal Gill looked conspicuously slow against the flying Philadelphians. Jaro Spacek pinched too deep – late in a 3-3 game – on the winning goal. Alexandre Picard looked jittery.

And P.K. was P.K. High risk, high reward. The kid electrifies the Bell Centre and gives his coach acid reflux.

It’s part of a maturation process that’s going to turn Subban into a very good and maybe great defenceman. But getting there from here will be an adventure.

I think we’ve seen the last of P.K. in the pressbox. His speed, puck-moving skill and instincts in the O-zone are too valuable, especially with Markov out all season.

It might be an idea to sub in Yannick Weber for Picard against Boston tonight.

•  •  •

Lars Eller played 6:17.

If his father went for a beer, he may have missed his first glimpses of his son as an NHLer.

Olaf Eller probably was in his seat when Larry was sent out on the PK in a 3-3 game.

I ranted about it in Quick Hits, and I still can’t fathom Martin’s thinking there. The kid had played all of seven shifts to that point.

How do you have an ice-cold rookie centre out in a crucial situation during a 3-3 game?

For a coach that’s been great this season, that’s a head-scratcher.



  1. HardHabits says:

    Cornflakes meet piss.

  2. ricardamundo says:

    Man, Dutchie … now there’s a memory! He’d stand up there behind the reds (in the old Forum) with his trumpet and exhort the fans to get behind the team. It was great … none of this non-stop music during every quiet moment at the game. You could hear stuff during the stoppages and fans hollered without the mindless prompts from the clock to “make some noise” … we made lots of noise without that. And then one day the management gave old Dutchie to boot. Sad.

    But thanks for the great memory. By the way, the Loyola teams of the pre-Concordia day were the Warriors and “Warriors on the Warpath” makes more sense than Habs on the Warpath … I wonder if Dutchie was  a Loyola grad?

  3. SPATS says:

    Sorry, not alumni, just a fan since Bobby Rousseau gave me a trophy at our Brossard Hockey Banquet back in 69… OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH comes from Dutchie who used to yell it (among others) at home games.

  4. habs001 says:

    the season has been very good so far…this team still needs better talent to be an elite team… we seem to forget that there are many very average talented players on the team so what the team has done so far you have to give them a great deal of credit… because we are not an elite team i still dont understand why many posters are so concerned that we finish very high in the standings…as long as we make the playoffs the playoff match ups for the most part are meaningless…right now we would be playing tampa…if we were one spot higher atlanta or first boston…or one spot lower the rangers…it would not be a suprise based on the team now that we beat any of these teams but it would not be a shock if we lost to them…

  5. ricardamundo says:

    Good points all.

    About the OOH AAH … you wouldn’t be a Loyola alumni would you? We used to chant that at Warriors games … OOH AAH – Warriors on the Warpath! I’m goin’ back a ways here … early 70s.

  6. TripleX says:

    In a place where it is almost impossible for him to excel.  The fourth line courtesy of the brilliant JM.  The Count who sucks the confidence and skill out of young players.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  7. SPATS says:

    I was there last night. This was my first game at the bell and my first game since we won the cup in 93. I was remarking how slow I thought the game was until Carter blew by our D (picard?) His speed from the outside, while protecting the puck and waiting out Carey was very impressive. I didn’t see anybody in his league on our team.

    Despite that tough goal late in the first, and the tough clear by Hammer in the 2nd, we had them where we wanted them late in the 3rd. We never quit. Tough non calls, phantom calls against and bad breaks didn’t phase les boys. I’m really liking what I saw, it was like a playoff game minus outstanding goaltending. Carey could’ve won this one for us, but he certainly didn’t get the D suport he needed to make it easier on him. PK made as many goofups as he did excite us.

    I was most impressed at our bounce back after giving up a tough goal on more than one occasion.

    Being an optimist, I chalk this one up to one we could’ve and should’ve been able to put away, especially after Gio brought the house down. But, then the refs decided our fate for us. We were buzzing about how we were going to go home happy until Pleks was sent off for 2 minutes to feel shame. After PK gift wrapped his clear to Richards (of all people!) Giroux showed why he was untouchable at the trade deadline last year. Game over.

    This Philly hater was won over by the better team last night. They capitalized on our mistakes the way we did last year in our magical run. We may have been outcoached, but we were not outplayed. They got more favorable calls and better bounces for sure. They are playing terrific hockey, and we are right there with them. This one was a character builder for sure. We should be able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and be a better team for it. Starting tonite. Go Habs Go.

    Ian, you missed a dandy!


  8. TripleX says:

    With regards to the bonehead move to put out a cold young player in a crucial situation, with failure a big possibility.  JM did the same thing to SK last season and when SK dropped the ball the “fans” on HIO were all over SK.  I said at the time it was the fault of JM putting a player who had sat on the bench most of the game in that kind of situation.


    ‘Cogito ergo doleo’

  9. SeriousFan09 says:

    I don’t think both brothers have both played well at once in about 3 years now.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  10. Hammer says:

    Where is AK 46? Did he also move to Nashville?

  11. Captain aHab says:

    That’s great so why is it again that JM did NOT banish Gomez to the fourth line when he was playing nothing but soft perimeter hockey for 20 odd games at the start of the year? Oh I see different consequences for different players…..

    And nevermind the fact that AK was playing great when his line was broken up to try to get Gomez going.

  12. joeybarrie says:

    The ONLY problem on this team is missing Markov and another top 6 player. We need to make a move for a top defenseman and another impact forward. Pouliot played great on the top line last night, and I like MaxPac. But we need to be able to roll 2 great lines and a strong 3rd. Thats what we are missing to compete every night with the top teams.

    Try to remember though. At the beginning on the season people were saying we would barely make the playoffs. We can compete THIS year. We have a good mix of youth and vets, and most of our impact vets are not too old. But in a few years they will be.

    We will see what this team is made of tonight. But in the end I don’t think we can get to the 3rd round or better in the playoffs without addressing these 2 holes. 2 top teams in 2 nights…

    Also Price had a weak game. He didn’t make any big errors, but last night he didn’t keep us in it. It gonna happen again, the kid cannot be the best for 70 games straight. It was looking great when our guys were pressing to come back and bailing him out after he bailed them out again and again. But our young kids crapped the bed, and it happens. This is how they are gonna learn.

    Still a 3 game losing streak at the same time Pitts has a 2 game and Wash has a 7 game losing streak. We could have really pushed ourselves to the top of the East table with a few games to spare… It leaves me frustrated and unhappy.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  13. ctony says:

    If these are you enlightened opinions, don’t bother responding or posting at all.  

    Calling Eller a good, young player who is learning and making contributions is not hating, it’s right.  Ask around. He’s is not nor has he been one of our best forwards for the past 10 games.  No stats – goals, assists, hits, faceoff performance, +/- suggests anything different.  More advanced stats even show JM putting him up against weaker competition (which is appropriate for a younger player) and giving him more time in the offensive zone than other players.  

    Wake the ef up.





  14. Arrow77 says:

    I agree about the double standards; it bothers me too! I thought a big part of O’Byrne’s problems was that Martin wasn’t treating him fairly and his play in Colorado, at least so far, seems to prove it. Kostitsyn wasn’t playing well but there’s no reason he should be singled out.

    As for P.K., I love the guy but he’s been playing horribly lately. We lost 4 in a row with him in the line-up and won 3 without him. Not an accident. His mistakes have given goals to the opposition and made us lose games. As much as he didn’t look like a rookie during the playoff last year and early this season, as much as he look too green right now. I don’t think he’s part of our top-6 d-men right now.

  15. G-Man says:

    Martin isn’t a fan of “perimeter” hockey that AK has fallen back into- always taking the path of least resistance. And, I ‘m sorry, but, veterans have earned their spots over the years while the young players still need a lot of fine-tuning. Pleks has the odd game where he is off, but AK has weeks where he forgets what makes him successful.

    The message he is sending is, “Learn from your mistakes; do not repeat them over and over and over.” Imagine, a coach that has consequences for players who don’t get it. Who would have thought it?

  16. joeybarrie says:

    It’s probably one of those things where JM sees a certain aspect of his game and decided to give the kid a chance on the PK. Maybe (since Pleks was in the box and Pyatt was out) he felt the kid was the best way to go. I disagree, but then again no one will give me any money to coach a NHL team. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe there were reasons and he had no choice. In the end I couldnt understand why the kid was out there. But he was, and he is a good hockey player

    At some point they are gonna screw up. No way to help him move forward without trying him out in all situations. But it really hurt last night. That being said, it could have been Markov there and they probably would have scored. It was a good play.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  17. spos080808 says:

    If Cammalleri played with Darche/Moen on a line do you think his numbers would be good?

    How about if Gio played with Boyd/Halpern?

    Yah thought so.


  18. spos080808 says:

    You clearly have not watched any of the last 10 games.

    Eller was playing GREAT! He is playing with grinders and is still possessing the puck, shedding defenders, finding the seams with passes etc. The point totals mean NOTHING! He is not playing with Gio or Cammalleri. If he was he would have had a ton of points based on how he was playing.

    Its hysterical you only look at stat total etc.

    I guess a player cannot have a great game unless he scores a goal huh. Please buddy.

    I love when clueless Habs “fans” like yourself speak.

    HaHa, funny as I write this I notice that it is you TONY, the biggest hater this side of Timo. If I knew I was responding to you I would not have even bothered.

    Keep hating you clueless hater.

  19. ctony says:

    What are you smoking… 

    Patches dominated in the AHL. Price dominated.  PK dominated.  Eller had 57 points in 70 games in the AHL.

    Best forward in the last 10 games???  Plah-leeese…. 2G-3A, 10 shots averaging about 12 minutes.  Not even in the top 6 for the last 10 games and probably about 9th among forwards this year.   He has top 6 NHL potential.  He’s not developing it here with grinders and limited minutes.  Pyatt, Boyd, White (when he’ back could eat his minutes).  

  20. bobinsask says:

    Well Martin seems to have finally got Gomez going… at the expense of just about everyone else on the team.  Don’t be misled by the 41 shots, Montreal wasn’t in this game.  It is easy to jump on the anti-PK bandwagon right now.  All the journalists are doing it because they have adopted this herd mentality.  On the first goal, Gomez let two guys skate right past him… but not a word was mentioned.

    I am so sick of the double standards that exist under the Martin regime.  He has literally chased good talent out of Montreal.  For all the “success” Montreal has enjoyed this year, the team is sitting two points out of 8th spot despite a favourable schedule in terms of opposing talent and home ice advantage at the beginning of the year.

    What happened to A Kost.  He is the third leading scorer on the team, second in hits and has been a force for most of the year.  When he stumbles a bit, he is welcomed to the fourth line and his PP time disappears completely.  When Gomez stumbles, he is given more PP time to improve his “confidence”.

    The Pleks, Cammalleri, Kostitsyn line was working beautifully.  Sure they were going to have some off games but what kind of message is Martin sending.



  21. bobinsask says:

    Well Martin seems to have finally got Gomez going… at the expense of just about everyone else on the team.  Don’t be misled by the 41 shots, Montreal wasn’t in this game.  It is easy to jump on the anti-PK bandwagon right now.  All the journalists are doing it because they have adopted this herd mentality.  On the first goal, Gomez let two guys skate right past him… but not a word was mentioned.

    I am so sick of the double standards that exist under the Martin regime.  He has literally chased good talent out of Montreal.  For all the “success” Montreal has enjoyed this year, the team is sitting two points out of 8th spot despite a favourable schedule in terms of opposing talent and home ice advantage at the beginning of the year.

    What happened to A Kost.  He is the third leading scorer on the team, second in hits and has been a force for most of the year.  When he stumbles a bit, he is welcomed to the fourth line and his PP time disappears completely.  When Gomez stumbles, he is given more PP time to improve his “confidence”.

    The Pleks, Cammalleri, Kostitsyn line was working beautifully.  Sure they were going to have some off games but what kind of message is Martin sending.



  22. spos080808 says:

    Eller already had a very good season in the AHL where he honed his skill. Going against these players does nothing for him right now. Just like there was no need for Tyler Seguin to go back to juniors this season. The only thing left for Eller is to get used to playing the NHL game at the NHL level v. NHL players.

    And look who he is playing with. If he was for example, in Gomez’s spot playing with Gionta for 10 games do you think he would be doing good.

    Before this last game, Eller was probably the best forward for the team in the last 10 games. He looks NHL ready.

    Hamilton will do nothing for him at this point in his career.

  23. matrags says:

    Finally, Lars Eller came to us at a big price , Six minutes doesnt cut it . Play him  or send him to Hamilton to hone his skill. I know it is business but a lousy six minutes with his father in the stands . Man have a heart .

  24. tony d says:

    agreed, he just happened to be on the ice at the time but those last 2 goals were the result of D blunders.

  25. spos080808 says:

    Boone, why do you keep bringing up Eller being on the PK when it was 3-3. It was not even close to his fault why the Flyers scored. He was not the Dman who jumped into the rush. He was not the Dman who tried clearing the puck on the ice right up the middle.

  26. matrags says:

    great game except the result. I have said it before and I will say it again.No team can get away with losing a norris cabiler d men for a whole season.The hole on d shows up eventuallly. I think Markovs loss is becomming more evident with every passing game. Our defence was directly implicated in four of those goals. You watched the game so I will spare you the details. Markov is a quarterback , skilled ,poised under pressure he directed the team ,defensivily,in  transition and on attack. Subban is a great prospect with tremendous up side prone to rookie mistakes. He is not Markov. The remaining d  are slow stay at home defencemen and when they over commit they are exposed.We  We need to try and fill the void left by Markov by acquiring a vetern d men with a reasonable factsimily of Markovs skills. Is there someone out there to fill that bill. Finally , if Webber is a prospect then play him , dont do what they did to Obyrne , he has to play on a regular basis at this level  for his confidence , developement , and to show what hes got .

  27. twilighthours says:

    No point in throwing Eller under the bus for being on the ice during that winning goal.  The goat was Spacek – for taking the penalty and then getting caught deep.  If Spacek peels back, all we’re talking about is how great it was that a rookie got a late PK shift and did a fine job.

  28. andrewberkshire says:

    Hamrlik was also bad on that goal, with an extremely limp wristed clearing attempt right into the slot.

  29. spos080808 says:

    I agree. Eller had nothing to do with that goal.

    Was he the Dman who joined the rush while on the PK? No.

    Was he the Dman who decided to try and clear the puck on the ice up the middle? No.

    So how is that Eller’s fault exactly?

  30. Mark C says:

    Moen could have easily prevented that goal. First, he doesn’t play Carter one-on-one while they enter Montreal’s zone, for some reason he try’s getting into the pass line. Then Moen doesn’t skate to Carter and gets a feeble stick check, which allows Carter to center the puck. In a game filled with weak plays, this one as at the top of the list.

  31. SeriousFan09 says:

    It wasn’t good, but Spacek sending out that terrible pass that became the turnover and the Pleks penalty and than that ill-advised move to join the rush on the PK that gave up the next odd-man rush, made it much worse on his own head. Hamrlik’s clear was bad but at least he was where he should have been and trying.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  32. RJ says:

    Eller should be in Hamilton. If he were not part of the controversial trade, he would be down and Desharnais would be up.

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  33. Captain aHab says:

    The kid has been one of our better forwards most games and he’s paired with a plugger and an underachiever. I’d like to see what he could do with significant time and significant wingers before sending him down. You can’t judge if the kid is NHL-ready by playing him with these guys for 6-7 minutes a game.

  34. spos080808 says:

    Have you even watched the Habs this season.

    He has been one of the best forwards for the last 10 or so games.

  35. Cape Breton says:

    I think veteran d-men Hill, Hamrlik and Spacek are way too slow. As a result they are very mistake prone and will get even worse as the season (and miles) wear on. Of course, the trio have been excellant foot soldiers in the past , but ……

    Without a doubt, not having Markov in the lineup is catching up with Les Boys.

  36. RetroMikey says:

    To ease the coach of acid reflux, PK Subban needs to go down and work on his D in Hamilton.  What a defensive liability for Montreal!

    Eller needs to be sent down as well IMO to develop. 

    Last season in Hamilton PK was a defensive liability and coughed up the puck in Game 7 of the Calder Cup against the Iowa Stars which we were eliminated.  And now he is playing in Montreal? 

    Martin is not the problem, it’s bringing up some kids that are not ready for primetime NHL and not making trades to get bigger on the team.

    Philly and Boston are the bona fide contenders in the East IM, big and skilled teams.

    After tonight against Boston, we will be in 8th place and sinking further.

    Carolina and Buffalo are slowly creeping upon us.

    Don’t say I warned you Habs fans.


    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  37. notbigbird says:

    This losing stretch must make you feel so much better.

  38. andrewberkshire says:

    Broken record, Mike. And in complete denial of reality.

  39. SeriousFan09 says:

    Subban can’t learn anymore from playing the AHL level in some ways, he has to learn hard lessons by finding out he’s not the best skater on the ice in 90% of his games and can actually get burned and not recover with his great skating and clear up his mistakes. He’s got to get used to playing against the best and there are going to be nights like this. But Goals 2, 3, and 4 were not his fault and this game would have ended 3-1 for PHI without his added offensive additions tonight. They need a puck-moving defencemen from the back end for what is called the transition game. I don’t know if you are aware of this but post-lockout NHL practically demands having skating defencemen who can move the puck across the blue line for a team to succeed.

    Sanford was just as liable for the losses in Games 6 & 7 and Subban was what, 24 hours removed from the biggest grind of his life in the NHL playoffs? Sorry he didn’t fit right back into HAM… Don’t forget also, Guy Boucher chose to skate Carle and Pacioretty, fresh off the shelf from long-term shoulder injuries and were non-impact players on the night while skaters who had been grinding out Ws in their abscence sat.

    Nice of you to award Boston two points, when the Habs have beaten them in 6 of their last 7 meetings.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  40. Captain aHab says:

    So if we beat Boston tonight, we’ll be contenders too then?

  41. spos080808 says:

    This was a sarcastic post right?

    What on earth would be the good in putting PK in the minors do? I mean really?

    And Eller, hes been one of the best forwards on the team the last 10 or so games. Look who he is playing with. You put him in Gomez’s spot, and he would be producing at a pretty good clip.

    These players do not need Hamilton to develop. They are already developed players. PLaying in the AHL will not do anything for them at this point since they have already taken the AHL by storm. They need to go against NHL players plain and simple.

    Put them in the minors? Wow, just wow!

    And by the way, all teams hit slumps. Pitt slumped early this season, Washington is slumping now. It happens.

    A few rough games and you think the sky is falling.

  42. Geoff F says:

    I disagree.  A rookie needs experience at the next level when they have shown the ability to dominate at a lower one.  Subban was dominant in the AHL and needs the next step up or there are no learnings.  Based on your logic Price would have been better served playing in the AHL last year.  They need the ups and downs at the next level so they learn to achieve and get better, faster, smarter, stronger.  People who are at the top can get lazy so they need to find a new challenge, they need to be pushed to make the next progression (hence managing the rookies ice time and putting them in positions where they can learn/succeed etc…).  This is very subjective and because not everyone follows a linear path it doesn’t always work the same for everyone, one size doesn’t always fit all but while the trajectory differs for most the process and end result are expected to be the same.    Eller, Subban, Pacioretty all have the tools to be NHL’ers and have shown more than enough talent at the lower level to justify them being here.  With that said i’d rather they make the mistakes now, learn and grow amongst the veterans rather than wait till playoff time, and if/when we get in have them make rookie mistakes at the MOST IMPORTANT time of year. 

    We don’t have the benefit of high draft picks so we have to Draft well (get lucky) and we have to do get better from within.  In order to be competitive every year we have no choice but to follow the model we have today and hope we can get some other good players via trade etc.

    Nothing is to be takin for granted here, but the experiences now will benefit them longer term.  There is nothing more to be learned in the AHL by these guys.  They need to take the next step in the learning curve and unfortunately in life that means we will have times where it will not always go as hoped and people will question the decisions.  I believe if you take a step back and look at this in terms of player development and not just game result you will see that the prospect for greater returns later, is worth more than the end result of this one game.  On the whole we played a pretty good game against one of the best teams in the league, pushed hard and could have won this game (I am not worried).  Of course if we don’t make the playoffs, these lost points will sting, however there is no avoiding this part of the process, it has to happen for the good of the player and the team.  Growth through adversity, just like last year.

    Remember an inexperienced rookie will remain an inexperienced rookie unless he gets the “experience”. 

    Experience: knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone: a man of experience.


  43. punkster says:

    Late to the party and always empty handed.

  44. TommyB says:

    Thanks for the warning.  And let me apologize on behalf of all Habs fans for Montreal raping your beloved Bulldogs.  Yeah, let’s send them all back to Hamilton, eh Mikey!  PK, Eller, Max Pac, Weber, …anybody else?  When you choose to support your hometown team, and that team just happens to be an AHL affiliate of an NHL team, you must accept that you will lose your best players.  You try hard to appear like a Montreal Canadiens fan, you really do.  But what comes out in your posts, and rants, is more like a broken-hearted, season-ticket buying, disgruntled fan of an American League hockey team.  Seldom do your posts ever not mention sending someone back to Hamilton.  Now, that’s just my opinion, but I have a feeling I don’t stand alone.

  45. Captain aHab says:

    Hammer and Spacek are looking tired and we’ve got quite a bit of season left. They need to rotate in the kids and give the geezers some games off. Weber has shown that he will not hurt us when playing…far from it. So why not use our depth?

    I wonder if Max Pax will be sent to the fourth line for not scoring last night. I imagine he could also be benched for what he said earlier this season. I hope they exercise patience with him as there is no point in playing Moen on a top line.

  46. ctony says:

    “Trailing 2-0 in a dead
    and despondent Bell Centre, Jacques Martin juggled his top line 15 minutes into
    the second period. Benoit Pouliot replaced Travis Moen with Tomas Plekanec and
    Mike Cammalleri, and the line spent an entire shift in the Philadelphia zone”

    Said another way,”JM
    finally did what every lay person already clamoured for.  He put
    a scoring forward on a second scoring line
    and sparked a rally.”

    He should have done this AGES
    AGO.  It’s ok to second-guess his decisions.  

    JM = human being = fallible.

    Feel free to substitute PG for JM, unless you agree with every move he makes (or doesn’t)

  47. Captain aHab says:

    Word….but why not put AK there? That line was dynamite early in the year before JM decided he needed to break it up to get Gomez going. Put them back together and play them together for a while until they get the mojo back. And if Gomez starts crapping the bed again, then remove him from the line and put Eller in there instead of breaking up other lines to give Gomez different wingers.

  48. RetroMikey says:

    You will have to make that decison, not moi.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  49. spos080808 says:

    So before the Habs lost to the Wings, Leafs, Flyers, were the Habs contenders? They already beat Philly, Van, Pitt, Phoenix, LA, SJ, all very good teams and teams that can make a run for the Cup. But I guess 3 losses in a row, 2 of them probably to the 2 best teams in the league, means its all over. Sell your stock sell your stock. The sky is falling.

  50. Captain aHab says:

    But you’re OK saying we’re not contenders because we lose to Philly?

  51. RetroMikey says:

    Define me a “contender”  in your own words. 


    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  52. Captain aHab says:

    Yeah…this is the NHL so I’m thinking they’re not contenders for the Calder Cup.

    You’re the one who started the contender talk so what is your definition?

    I’m thinking that if a team can beat contenders over a good stretch, then they might be contenders themselves. That stretch where we beat Philly, SJ and Vancouver wasn’t bad.

  53. RetroMikey says:

    Broken record needs to be cleaned Andrew, if not, a replacement vinyl record or a CD. 

    Just like our hockey team.

    This is reality buddy, accept the negatives more than the positives on this team.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  54. spos080808 says:

    BUddy, they lost 3 games in a row.

    2 of them which were probably the 2 best teams in the league!

    Jesus man.

    Timo is that you????

  55. spos080808 says:

    By the way, under your thinking, Tyler Myers and Drew Doughty should be in the minors this season as well since they have struggled and not even come close to playing like they did last year. Right? Please!

  56. RetroMikey says:


    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  57. Captain aHab says:

    Timo can be funny at times. This guy is just bitter.

  58. ctony says:

    If we really want to be a team that develops prospects,
    maybe we should let Eller dominate in the AHL (or see if he can) rather than
    minimizing his time with the big club.  

    Look at Patches.  He
    was awful for long stretches last year. 
    This year, he got playing time and developmental coaching (not a knock
    on JM, it’s the difference between grooming prospects in the AHL and playing
    NHLers to win games) and looked very good yesterday in 16 his  minutes on the ice.


    Eller is a hard worker with good size and obvious puck
    handling skills.  I think it’s premature
    to say he’s been one of our better forwards most games.  I submit he’s about 9th out of 12 and his
    point contributions are meager, 6 points in 30 games.  With Gomez out for two games, Eller played 12
    and 15 minutes, took 3 shots, no points, -1. 
    Hard to say he’s ready for the second line right now.  But he is destined for a top 6 position, not
    a grinder role in his prime.

    We have players who can handle that role now and we could
    play them without impairing their developmental upside.  Boyd could play the 10 minutes.  Pyatt could come back and handle PK.  White comes back in a few weeks.  


  59. spos080808 says:

    I concur.

    Benny looked good last night, but there is NO need to keep AK on the 4th line. He needs to be back playing with Pleks/Cammy immediately. Putting AK on the 4th line is an absolute waste. Let him play through his slump. He was on fire early in the season, no reason why he will not snap out of it playing with skilled guys. PLaying AK with Moen or Halpern or Darche is not going to do anythong for him or the team.

    As for Scotty, last night was a pretty good showing, but if he gets into another big time funk, they need to swap him with Eller. I know Scotty makes a lot of money, and I know he is a leader in the lockerroom, but this team needs 2 scoring lines. Hopefully this Scotty/Gio/MaxPac line continues to impress like they did last night.

  60. ctony says:

    I have no problem with AK.  He’s a little streaky, but so are most of our scorers.  With MaxPac and Pouliot playing well, JM has 7 top-6 forwards.  

  61. RetroMikey says:

    Funny how I saw different playoff games when a young fresh Subban was playing in the playoffs.

    He admitted he was at fault for the goal that eliminated the team to the media.

    And don’t blame the coach or Pacioretty or Carle.

    Admit it, Subban needs to work on his game as any other young prospect, on the farm.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  62. spos080808 says:

    If you think going down to Hamilton will do anything for Subban you really are clueless. That is such an idiotic suggestion. I mean really idiotic.

  63. SeriousFan09 says:

    Sanford wasn’t at fault for any of the goals in Game 7? Please I was sitting on his side of the ice for 40 minutes of that game, he wasn’t exactly playing All-World in that game. Subban won the Bulldogs the 1st series against Manitoba I know that and he was at fault in Game 7 but his lapses are forgiveable considering what he already did for HAM and his playoff work for MTL.

    You should blame the coach, in a critical game 7 he brought in cold players coming off long-term IR and replaced guys who to that point had been giving the team all they had. Subban needs work but how is he going to learn to handle the NHL by playing against slower, less talented opposition in the AHL? He already can dominate the AHL, now he has to face a whole new level of competition and adapt to it.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  64. punkster says:

    Well it is the winter solstice on December 21 so, yep, you’re right.

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