About last night …

GiontaAnderson

A fine pair of hockey experts we are.
About half an hour before Saturday’s game began, Im in the media lounge shotting the breeze with a beat writer who shall remain anonymous … except to say his initials are “Pat Hickey”.
We’re chewing over your Montreal Canadiens’ season to date.
I express concerns about the team, based on their recent performances.
Pat reiterates what he pointed out in the Saturday Gazette:
Before the season began, most pundits and fans thought the Canadiens would battle it out for a wild-card playoff spot. Few expected them to be fourth in the eastern Conference at the halfway point.
But there are issues, he agreed. And we listed three forwards who are hurting the team:
Daniel Brière, Brian Gionta and Rene Bourque.

So what happens after the puck drops?

Brière scores two goals, adds an assist and is named the game’s First Star.

Gionta has five shots on goal and scores his first since Dec. 4.

Bourque hasn’t scored since Dec. 2, and that futility streak is intact. But playing with new linemates, Bourque skates, works hard on the forecheck and displays encouraging signs of life.

Can someone, other than Pat Hickey, explain this hockey team to me?

Fresh off their longest road trip of the season and playing in front of an adoring crowd that included a bat fluttering above the ice, the Canadiens conceded a goal on the first shift of the game.

Colin Greening scored 13 seconds in. A winged rodent, the number 13 … we were in for a bizarro night.

The Canadiens started the game with Lars Eller centring Alex Galchenyuk and Brandon Prust. Prust blew his coverage of Greening on the goal.

Brière began the evening on the fourth line, centring Travis Moen and Michaël Bournival.

With the Canadiens trailing 3-1 after one period, Michel Therrien started tinkering. Brière moved up to play wing with Tomas Plekanec and Gionta. Bourque, who began the game on the Pleks line, was moved to left wing with Eller and Galchenyuk, while Prust dropped to the fourth line.

The only unit that made it intact from the first period to the second was David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher. The line that pretty much carried the Canadiens on their road trip was held off the scoresheet against Ottawa – although Gallagher managed to pick up two questionable penalties – the first a Craig Anderson embellishment, the second a goalmouth tussle with Cory Conacher in which the Ottawa player was the aggressor.

(As is too frequently the case in this league, the zebras did not have a good night. The hoooking call on P.K. – with 19 seconds left in a 3-3 game – was kinda brutal.)

After watching Josh Gorges hand Mark Stone a breakaway and an Erik Condra shot beat Carey Price off Francis Bouillon’s skate, Therrien also shook up his defence pairings.

Gorges, who began the game in a third pairing with Douglas Murray, took Bouillon’s place with P.K., while Frankie Boo dropped down to play with Murray.

The latter played a decent game, for a statue. And Murray, venturing deep in the Ottawa zone on forechecking forays, picked up two assists – matching his total of hits!

I still don’t see dressing Murray and Bouillon. Raphael Diaz likely will draw back in against Florida Monday night.

And with the number of goals the Canadiens have given up in recent games – four against Ottawa and Dallas, five in Carolina and St. Louis – it might be time to look at promoting Greg Pateryn to shore up the back end.

The second half of the schedule is when the sledding gets rough. Bouillon is old, Murray is slow, Diaz is soft and Gorges is undersized for the minutes he plays.

Carey Price is seeing a lot of vulcanized rubber, much of it fired from sweets spots that should be more heavily contested by Price’s teammates. As was the case in almost every game on the road trip, Ottawa had way too many wide-open looks at the net, fashioned by aggressive play along the walls and in the corners, plus clever puck movement.

The Canadiens owned the third period. It’s been a while, however, since they established proprietorship over a full 60 minutes.

But as my man Hick says, this flawed team is in fourth.

And the Leafs – smoked 7-1 by the Rangers at the ACC Saturday night – are the ones looking over their shoulders at Ottawa, which has won four straight.

Is the Brière revival for real? Will he spark Pleks and Gionta? Can Bourque help Eller and the kid?

The answers could come when the mighty Florida Panthers, who have clawed the Canadiens twice this season, visit the Bell Centre Monday night to start a challenging week that includes the Canadiens playing in Philadelphia, which is never fun. Then they come home to face the high-flying ‘Hawks.

 

 

 

487 Comments

  1. Sportfan says:

    So with a performance like that do you still trade Briere, or do you leave him alone for a while?

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

    • BJ says:

      The problem is neither DD, Brière, Gionta, Diaz. Its just that we have too many small players all at once on the team. It does not give us too many options when we play bigger teams that skate equally well. Replace any two of those smaller players with two bigger equally talented players and it will make a difference. As to do we trade Brière, my answer would be only if we get bigger with equal talent. There are only so many top 6 excellent players available and teams won’t give those up for for what they feel is an inferior talent. Thats probably why Bergevin has not been able to pull the trigger on anything yet.

    • Arrow77 says:

      Briere has a big contract and is still in the middle of a very bad season. Trading is a good way to replace good assets you don’t need with assets of equal value that you do need but it’s a bad way to get rid of problems.

    • habs_54321 says:

      either keep briere at center or move him, even eller is more suited for wing than briere.

    • CJ says:

      If you want Briere to succeed, you need him at centre, flanked by two capable wingers, ideally with size. There is no denying he can finish. We’re just missing a couple of keys pieces. At the end of the day, I’m hoping he can be the playoff performer he has proven to be.

    • PeterD says:

      If Briere is seriously part of the future for this tesm you keep him and play him at Centre inthe top 9…if he is not considered part of this re-building teams future (and he is not) then he is just a place holder blocking a roster spot for a player that could be part of the future.
      So trade him and make room for the future.
      Same for Gionta, Diaz, and Bullion…otherwise run the season out and let those guys walk away. They are not part of the future Habs.

  2. Hobie Hansen says:

    Bang on by Boone in the above article:

    And with the number of goals the Canadiens have given up in recent games – four against Ottawa and Dallas, five in Carolina and St. Louis – it might be time to look at promoting Greg Pateryn to shore up the back end.

    The second half of the schedule is when the sledding gets rough. Bouillon is old, Murray is slow, Diaz is soft and Gorges is undersized for the minutes he plays.

  3. ooder says:

    for those who hate on murray, there is absolutely no way that we score 2 of the 3 goals if that is diaz or boullion instead of him.
    with his size and strength he forced the turnovers down low in the ottawa zone

    • Eddie says:

      Yes. You’re right. Those were two good plays and he deserves credit for the first two goals in our favour in which he has been on the ice all season long.

      When Gorges coughed up the puck at our blue line Murray tried to recover and help out. His first two strides were so slow, so pathetic really, that it left him no chance to make the recovery. That’s an example of where his lack of NHL speed hurts this team badly game in and game out.

      • Arrow77 says:

        At this point, the team should probably consider converting him as a forward and make him play D when it’s time to kill penalties. Size has no meaning if you can’t catch up to other players.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Murray’s heart is in the right place and once in a while his horrible skating is camouflaged. Unfortunately, more times than not he’s just too slow to compete night in and night out. That doesn’t mean I don’t love when he blocks shots or throws the occasional devastating hit.

      If we’re to have any chance in the playoffs and down the stretch when all the teams step it up we either have to make a trade for another defenseman or pray that Tinordi, Pateryn or Beaulieu all of a sudden flicks the switch and is more than just NHL ready.

      • Eddie says:

        Does management even believe in this team? The statements on the record do NOT reflect a position that this team can compete.

        I believe the team can compete, but we need to make some moves.

        They are the SAME moves we needed to make this summer when we acquired Murray and Briere. Bergevin knew what we needed but he did not get it done.

        It takes balls to believe your team can win.

        • CJ says:

          What were the moves you suggest he ought to have made? Keep in mind, there is a salary cap, and players can choose where they play. It’s not as simple as we might think. Secondly, Beregevin has said he does not want to mortgage the future. I can’t disagree. Sure, it would be nice to trade away Gionta, Bourque, Diaz, etc., and not touch the young core, but it’s easier said then done.

      • ooder says:

        I agree he is slow. Butchobestly I will take him over diaz. Simply because Diaz’s “offence” is not enough to compensate for his lack of everything else

        • Arrow77 says:

          That’s the thing: Diaz is better defensively than Murray. Diaz’ lack of size is less a weakness defensively than Murray’s lack of speed.

          If you’re going to be a stay-at-home defenseman, you have to make sure you’re among the best in the plus/minus of your team, like Gorges. Murray is the worst and he never plays against the best players.

  4. HabinBurlington says:

    Which contract this past year was worse?

    Jay Cutler 7 year 126million
    Dion Phaneuf 7 year 49million

  5. GL says:

    I look at it this way. They played good to come back from a 3-1 deficit to tie it. If they had played that way the whole game we wouldn’t be talking about a penalty called on PK with 18 Seconds remaining we’d be talking about a great win last night for the HABS. Get over it they loss by not playing a good 60-minutes.

    • portle44 says:

      I look at it this way.Teams infrequently dominate three periods.The fact that they may need to do that to win is a symptom of the crap handed out with 18 seconds remaining on the clock.Oh and by the way….lets not even mention the quick call on a puck that was loose that cost them a goal in the second period.Lets just discuss how this team,unlike every other, has lapses and does not resemble Bowman’s team for 60 minutes every night.That way,we will hear only nice crickets and the elephant in the room will be hardly noticeable.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Can todays NFL games be as good and exciting as yesterdays were?

  7. Chuck says:

    So no medal to North America in the juniors. We may as well take up knitting.

  8. frontenac1 says:

    Hilarious. Princess Phaneuf gets embarrassed last night so picks a fight with Kreider? Kreider has never fought before! And he gets the take down! Some captain eh? Pathetic.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFqv7DVoK28

  9. Strummer says:

    Canada lost the bronze medal game. Time for a summit? Or just a little cry?

    TSN’s Ray Ferraro reduced to criticizing the Russians line change- cock-ups as their 2 month hype machine for Team Canada comes crashing down

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjp_iG9vzEU
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • JUST ME says:

      It is just time to open our eyes and realize that we are not alone anymore. It`s not a one shot thing.

      We have to think about what we want. We need to answer the question about the difference between the players you want on the ice and the players you need on the ice to win.

      The country club at Hockey Canada has reached it`s limit and one must worry about the upcoming olympics.

  10. Odie24 says:

    Murray in the corner is instrumental in two goals scored. Any surprise? He’s a big body who can win puck battles. So…what does this team need again?

  11. jeffhabfan says:

    We got beat again by bad Reffing and lucky bounces and we just do not beat Ottawa.

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    As mentioned earlier, Dogs won their 5th straight game last night against one of the better teams in the AHL last night.

    http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/?article_id=587

    Could it be that the Dogs are starting to come along just nicely? Even without dominant scorers?

  13. HabFab says:

    Live feed of the Habs open practice for their fans for any interested;
    http://video.canadiens.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hdpid=616&id=529885&lang=fr

  14. frontenac1 says:

    Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch is fined $50k for not speaking to the media this season! Maybe PK didn’t want to get dinged with a fine last night?

  15. JF says:

    Anyone else having trouble posting?

  16. Tomi says:

    Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Reinhart?
    GRRRROWLLLLL

  17. TMan1969 says:

    Ottawa best penalty draw is what happened to PK last night…they hold onto the stick, fall and draw a call…same as the playoffs and they know it…Karlsson smiled when he slow skated an icing…brutal

    Do not scorn a weak cub. He may become the brutal tiger.

    Mongolian Proverb

  18. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Maybe Therrien should try Murray at forward, at least on the odd P.P.

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  19. Eddie says:

    Anyone who thought the Habs were a “bubble playoff team” had to think that Price would not emerge as a star in this league.

    Up until about 2 weeks ago I don’t think Price had played a single bad game, and very few soft goals were finding the net.

    The last 2 weeks Price has played down, allowing a weak goal one night, then a questionable one, consistently game after game.

    What people here were describing as our Great Defence was mostly a function of us having one of the 3 best goalies in the world.

    I give Price all the credit he deserves! What a performance leading up to that Christmas road trip.

    But now the wholes in our defence are starting to show as Price has one back to earth.

  20. Adidess says:

    @Maritime Ronn

    Such a big joke, isn’t it? I am sure Therrien thinks Bouillon having never won the Norris is the biggest injustice of all of Sports.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I haven’t read what triggered this post. And I could not watch last night’s game.

      But if he is going to break up Markov and Subban. Then from what I have seen P.K and Bouillion is a better pairing than P.K and Gorges.

      Bouillion seem to like playing with P.K. (I dont know for sure of course). And Bouillion best games have been with P.K. The game before this was an exapmpl and a few games ago too. I don’t know why they were separated (according to Boone’s starting squad) for last nite.

      If you must break up Markov-Subban… then Bouillion Subban is better for me than Gorges Subban. Gorges ends up on same side with Subban too often when they are paired.

      I’ll go read more now.

  21. Maritime Ronn says:

    Anyone see anything strange with any of these D pairings?

    Keith – Seabrook
    Pietangelo – Bouwmeester
    Subban – Bouillon or Gorges
    Suter – Brodin
    Karlsson – Methot
    Doughty – Muzzin

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      In fairness Subban-Markov was the pairing for most of the season, and that was thought to be one of the better pairings in the league.

      MT broke them up for a pretty legitimate reason: namely they were the only two d-men who generated offence.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        The Habs record when they played together was terrific.
        I guess what you may be alluding to is that the Habs are missing a legitimate # 3-4 Dman with some offensive abilities and that did not turn out to be Diaz…leaving a gaping hole.

  22. Psycho29 says:

    Good Morning all….
    Seems like the discussion here is a little more civil than during the Canada game yesterday. (And I didn’t bother checking during the Habs game last night).
    I PVR’d the game last night and just watched the PK penalty. What crap. Especially when the refs seem to let so much go during the game. Pretty sad when the refs decide the outcome of the game.

    At least the Habs came back from 3-1 to salvage a point..And the Loafs got bombed 7-1. Glenn Healy must be in depression therapy this morning…

  23. Max says:

    Habs need to extract one or two of Briere,Gionta,and Desharnais, and replace with a top 6 semi skilled winger with size.That’d go a long way towards helping this team.

  24. Mavid says:

    I had a good look a Murray last night, amazing how much more you can see live..I love the guy..he may be slow but man does he do is job well. He uses just brute strength to push players around at will..he is built like a tank…if its any consolation he does look a little faster in person..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  25. Mavid says:

    Well that was fun despite the disappointing loss. Montreal is leap and bounds ahead of Ottawa in every aspect. We parked at Place Ville Marie shopped all afternoon, then used the underground tunnels to make our way to just a block and a half from the Bell Center. We got there early so we did some more shopping at the Habs Zone store. We then got in line to get in we were entertained by a bat flying over our heads, it was getting tired and was flying lower and lower, security just stood there not knowing what to do, eventually he disappeared, only to re appear in the arena during the game, poor thing. On to the game itself, I don’t normally blame a loss on the Ref’s but I will make an exception this time, it was truly bad, the disallowed goal? The penalty on Gally was a real head scratcher..the fans let the ref know perhaps that is why they made yet another bullshit call only this time it was on PK..maybe it was the bat or the tremor..but it was very strange indeed..
    Bonus: After shopping all day, then the game, our parking (underground) cost us a whole 7 bucks..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  26. Hobie Hansen says:

    So the season starts and Mike Therrien and Mark Bergevin announce that big Jarred Tinordi is staying with the team. We all breathe a sigh of relief and most believe that with Alex Emelin coming back later in the season, PK Subban and now 6’6″ Tinordi, we’re going to have some size back there with more than enough talent to compete.

    Tinordi doesn’t play up to expectations and Emelin hasn’t looked good.

    That’s what is wrong with this team.

    • Eddie says:

      I don’t know about that decision to send Tinordi down. I’m watching Gryba do a nice job with Ottawa. Is Tinordi worse than Gryba? I don’t see it.

      Bergevin is as much an issue as Therrien I think, maybe more.

      When you re-sign Bouillon and then add Murray what is the coach supposed to do. Murray was guaranteed a spot for sure as a free agent.

      By the way, kudos to Murray for his contributions last night! I was laughing and cheering and loving every minute of it.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        So Ed, in all seriousness, do you think Tinordi is being hurt by developing in Hamilton? Because I don’t think it is hurting him, our Habs may be hurting without him, but I think this is in Tinordi’s best interest. And we reap the benefits for years to come.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          That’s probably true. Also, as I’ve said before, it isn’t the best to bring a rookie D into our current situation, asking him to be a part of the solution. You’d want Tinordi or Beaulieu to start off as a 6th D on a solid defence.

          • Eddie says:

            Solid defence? Dude, Subban, Markov, Gorges, Emelin are all sticking around. There’s no room for major changes here. It’s only who is number 5 and 6 which is at issue.

        • Eddie says:

          I think Tinordi would benefit from NHL experience, NHL speed, NHL timing.

          The Tinordi I saw last year was absolutely ready.

          What happened? Did he suddenly lose his game?

          It’s very puzzling. And replacing him with Bouillon and Murray? That’s just flat out ridiculous.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Gryba (drafted in 2006) was given time to develop in the AHL. The Habs are doing the same with Tinordi.

        I’m sure Tinordi is gaining valuable experience in the AHL and will be recalled when there isn’t much more for him to learn there. Tinordi might be as good as Gryba, but he isn’t as far along on his development curve.

    • TommyB says:

      That’s definitely half of the problem, I think. The other half being that this team does not have one single player who can be counted on to score consistently.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        0.56 goals per game not good enough for you?

        If you want significantly better you’re talking Ovechkin or Stamkos.

        So yeah the problem is we don’t have a former #1 draft pick who is now in his prime.

        Stupid Bergevin.

  27. Captain aHab says:

    I’ve said this before but I think this team isn’t doing what MB thought they would when he signed.

    He was coming on a team that had royally sucked (giving them the Galchenyuk pick) and I’m pretty sure he may have had the following line of logic:

    I am stuck with many of the same contracts so we will likely suck next year as well. That’s OK because expectations will be low and it’ll give me another great pick. Then I can slowly build this team up.

    But then the shiot hit the fan when the team played great during the regular season last year. This did a couple of things:

    A) Gone was the high draft pick
    B) Expectations were already up that this team was close to be a contender

    So now MB isn’t faced with a slow rebuild anymore and he still doesn’t have much to play with in terms of young talent soon coming up.

    I guess we’ll see if he sticks to his guns and goes slow or if he trades youth and picks for vet help to try to win now. Hoping he sticks to his guns but I’m not holding out much hope….I fear a bad trade to appease the fans.

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

    • kalevine says:

      well said, and the playoff massacre made me feel like it wasn’t worth the overachieving during the season. If it had least been a closer series I would have felt better

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    Yikes, Canada was starting to play well and Fucale let in a weak one, too bad.

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    So what little hockey I got to watch yesterday was the main CBC feed featuring CBC”s home team in Blue and White.

    Was quite humorous to hear how the LEafs were suffering a letdown from being part of the greatest regular season game CBC has ever shown (according to Glenn I won a Stanley Cup doing nothing Healy). Yet the Red Wings seemed fine recovering from this same game.

    CBC was tripping all over themselves for how great the Outdoor Classic was. It seemed like a mass orgy starring only CBC Male Cast members.

    • Mike D says:

      Par for the course though Gerry, no?

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I suppose, normally I am at home watching on RDS so i don’t see it as much. I suppose worse than normal because the Leafs were getting hammered so instead of discussing how crap the Leafs were they raved about the Outdoor Game.

        • Mike D says:

          It’s a shame how much the CBC caters to the Leafs and their fans. I fear it will only get worse with Sportsnet taking the reigns. Imagine how bad it would be if the Leafs were actually a good team???

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

  30. Hobie Hansen says:

    If Plekanec has been winning 20% of his faceoffs for the past 5 games why did Therrien have him taking that crucial draw in OT in the Habs end? Opps.

    • Grimmly says:

      cause MT does not watch games ever? I mean, how he choices his PP lines is a perfect example of that

    • Mike D says:

      That’s certainly a valid point Hobie, but I would ask you this:

      On the penalty kill in OT, who would you have had out there at center?

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • Habfan17 says:

        I would have been fine if he went with Eller, he has been winning more face offs and he has been defensively sound. At some point, Therrien needs to let the young guys do more or they will never get better or gain the experience.

        Habfan17

        • Mike D says:

          Eller would have been the only other valid option….but he was already -2 in the game, therefore he wasn’t an option at all last night, except maybe for a short second wave.

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

          • Bob_Sacamano says:

            Eller wasn´t an option because he already was -2 ??? He didn´t have anything to do with both goals. The first one was on Prust and Emelin, the second happened because Murray can´t skate.

        • frontenac1 says:

          The second goal was all on Josh amigo. Murray came over with a slide to bail him out. Price should have made the stop also.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        That’s what I figured. Therrien was crossing his fingers that the 20% would come through because Plekanec is probably the best guy.

        In saying that though, the 1st thing I noticed is that Plekanec, Markov and Gorges were out there. Man would it be nice to have three guys out there who are 6’2″, 6’4″ and so on!

        The Habs are always at huge disadvantage there because they’re small. The can’t get in the damn shooting lanes and win puck battles!

        The Kings and Canucks game comes on after…now those are a couple big, tough NHL hockey teams, especially the Kings! One can only dream. ;-(.

        • Mike D says:

          I hear ya.

          Therrien can be faulted for many things, but his selection of Pleky playing the PK in OT last night is not one of them. And neither is his selection of Marky and Gorges. He truly put out the best three guys he could. We shouldn’t have been short-handed in the first place, but that’s another issue.

          I agree re: the Kings. Helluva make-up that team has! Big, fast, can play physical but have plenty of skill too.
          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Look at the size of the Ottawa defence, my god. As we saw in the playoffs last year and last night, the Habs can catch fire and put up a good fight for stretches. In the long run though, a big, strong, steady defence is going to simply box the small Canadiens out.

          • frontenac1 says:

            That’s why Crankshaft got pissed off, went deep and crushed bodies. And it worked.

  31. Grimmly says:

    F DUMBA

    Completly worthless this whole tourny..

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Relax, he’s a kid.

      • Grimmly says:

        A kid that has been given free reigns to mess up over and over, Suter is trying to be like MT and give free passes to “vets” when he should be sitting on his ass

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He has struggled the entire tournament. I remember during his NHL Draft season, there was a great deal of love for this kid including on this site. I believe he is one of those kids who got to his physical peak earlier than many other players and as a result his big hits in Junior raised his value. I just don’t see a great deal from his game that makes him a high first round pick. I wonder how Minnesota feels about his development.

  32. habstrinifan says:

    Seeing lots of ‘hold on there’ appraisals re Rene Bourque. First let me say I feel bad if his play, as someone posted, may be due to residual concussive effects.

    But on a pure hockey basis, let’s not get waylaid by one game, for either Bourque or Briere for that matter. So to the poster who said we cant trade Bourque now… I reply “yes we can”.

    I dont see too many people expressing a WTF re Prust. Either we get this guy back to being the type of player we acquired last year or HABS will miss that factor in the playoffs… as we did last year with his injury.

    Sit down with Prust. Order him NOT to fight for the next month. Then define/describe for him a checking; grinding role with the others like Moen, White (another guy who should not be fighting) etc.

    Time to start do some real team building and not hopeful patching.

    Our forwards have shown that they have skill and ability…
    1) Add a competent bigger winger for Pacs/DD and go with them.
    2) Leave Eller/Galchenyuk;Gallagher together as a line and teach teach them..impress them that they are our #1 or #2 offensive lines.. and give them TOI and goals to meet and let them go.
    You have a strong skillful Eller, great rookie Galchenyuk and an intensity guy Gallagher. You have enough size. Give them time to build confidence and chemistry as a TRIO.

    Then stick Bournival and Pleks together with ??

    Fix Prust and make hime centre piece of your grinding line.

    Bring up Patyern.. forget trying to acquire new D. Drewitske (when is he returning), Pateyrn, Murray, Diaz, Emelin, Gorges, Bouillion,Markov,Subban provide us with enough ‘pieces’ to buil a fairly competent D by committee. Set up some pairing and build their chemistry/coordination.

    Time to stop trying to be Merlin the Line Juggling magician. Time to have a connected and convinced set of players very into each other’s game as linemates.

    Go into the playoffs with everybody playing with everybody else and we will get the same results as….. hit and miss results.
    I am really excited in what I see as a fairly talented team needing proper assembly.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Good post amigo Agree with everything except telling Prust to stop fighting for a month. Futile. Like telling my Airedale to stop killing the wildlife. It’s a DNA thing. Saludos!

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Lol, I love when you pull that reference out front.

        But ya, something is up with Prust again. He’s got to be playing hurt.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Then we lose Prust. And we donthave for the playofs one of the most important elements of a good playoff team.

        A ‘bigger’ ‘nastier’ ‘fearless’ mucker/grinder who can play the game and whose presence on the ice (with a similar set of linemates) can halt an opponent’s pressure and WEAR down another team’s thrust while giving our skill guys confidence and respite.

        Either:

        1) we go out and get a game breaker like Crosby Malkin… impossible.
        2)Flick our fingers and get a kick-arse complete team like LA and Chicago.. even more impossible

        3)Start managing our resources better so to build a solid working team comprising defined sets with defined goals… Like Boston maybe or NJ couple playoff years ago.

        I am gonna give you an example. Remember Giroux in the playoffs when their coach called him ‘the best player in the world’. Well that was wrong. That Philly team was working to the advantage of all their ‘just above ordinary’ pieces. When Giroux and his coach started thinking they had ‘the best player in the world’ they changed their approach and the rest is sad Philly history.

        Another example. Vancouver. After their big run Vigneault didnt analyze and reset goals for his team. All he did wa s’try’ to get Sedins to be ??? Vancouver ceased being a team.

        GMs build teams by trades-drafts. Coaches must gel those teams.

        EDIT:WE CANNOT GO INTO THE PLAYOFFS WITH OUR PUSHBACK BE NAME-CALLING!

        sorry re the caps but I feel strong about this. I really feel if the coaches (and I am not putting down any coach) but if they all sit down and challenge themselves to ‘raise’ their game.. and not repeat and repeat hackneyed approaches… then this team will respond and will have a decent opportunity to prosper in the playoffs.. Look theyc an watch Gallgher become Gionta and talk about luck and chances etc or they can sit down analyse, chart and teach teach teach and steer in productivity.

        Some years ago Boone made a remark in a ‘liveblog. He said ‘they (think was Boston) will give P.K those rushes all the time. I challenged him on it then. P.K used to and still does make his rush and once he gets to the O-ZONE didn’t ‘distribute’. In the last few games he has been distributing and it sparked offensive outburst of Pacs/DD. Show him that when he deviates. That is offensive teaching. None other than Denis Potvin(one of the smartest NHL players) said exactly that last year in the playoffs. Dont teach to cramp… teach to expand.

  33. Maritime Ronn says:

    Re the World Juniors.

    Regardless of what happens today, here’s hoping there is less vitriol spewed compared to yesterday towards the teenagers, coaching staff – towards Hockey Canada for being too “politically correct” in choosing players “by Region” instead of picking the best players.

    Some have even suggested that Team Canada was missing NHL players ( MacKinnon-Monahan-and Dmen Ryan Murray and Morgan Rielly) yet the same could be said about Team Finland (Aleksander Barkov- Olli Maatta) or even Team USA ( Galchenyuk-Seth Jones-Jacob Truba)

    The bottom line is this:
    The Game has become International in scope.
    Different nations have employed different methods of coaching, training, and development and the results are starting to show itself at the NHL level.

    30 years ago in the 1983-84 season:
    79.4% of NHLers were Canadian and 12.5% were America.

    1993-1994:
    Canada: 65.4%
    USA: 17.6%
    Overseas: 17%

    2003-2004:
    Canada: 54.5%
    USA: 16.2%
    Overseas: 29.3%

    2013-2014:
    Canada: 52.2%
    USA: 24%
    Sweden: 7.7%
    Czech Republic: 4.2%
    Russia: 3.5%
    Finland: 3%
    The rest from 11 other countries: 5.4%

    Source: http://www.quanthockey.com/nhl/nationality-totals/nhl-players-2013-14-stats.html

    The USA has made a big move in the last decade and one has to wonder if their Top athletes had chosen hockey instead of the Big Three (NFL-NBA-MLB) what the percentage would look like.
    Imagine if LeBron James had chosen to play hockey as a young fella….

    • JohninTruro says:

      Bottom line is Ron, this is/was a weak team this year and didn’t stand much of a chance of winning.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi John
        The expectations are way too high these days.
        Canada is still very good, but it doesn’t completely own the game anymore.

        • JohninTruro says:

          How do you feel about the picks of this team? As I mentioned yesterday there doesn’t seem to be any heart and drive. Our D do not have any stay at home punishing intimidating guys back there. What we have are 6 puck moving D who want to do it all themselves like they do in Junior. What they are forgetting is every fwd on the team is also “the man” on their team and are supposed to be very good, so they need to change their game and they haven’t. There is no 4th line bang, crash, hit hard, intimidate change momentum line. This is a very underwhelming team with little size and “it” factor. I have been disappointed with most of these prospects. Far too much individualism and NO hitting.

  34. Mike D says:

    There seems to be two major problems with this team:

    1) On offense, it seems we never have more than one line carrying the load in terms of scoring and that’s been the case all year.

    2) After P.K. and Markov, our defense is weak. This is more of a recent problem but still needs to be addressed. Hard to understand why they were so much better before but Daigneault needs to figure that out.

    One could argue that Carey hasn’t been as good lately and they’d be right, but he’s been spectacular through most of the season and is the main reason we’re seeded so high at the moment and therefore deserves patience. Hopefully he picks his game back up.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  35. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Good comeback by Les Boys last night,screwed by the Refs again. Hey how about Crankshaft? Goes deep and causes a ruckus resulting in Both of Danny Boy”s goals! He was also clearing space like the doorman at Wanda”s.
    TU-74 finally starting to hit. Gryba chickened out from Prust challenge! Go Chargers! Saludos!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      It was Murray’s best game as a Hab front. Funny how we’re all crying for some power fowards and what does Murray do?

      On his first assist he comes barreling into the Ottawa zone and hammers a Sens player off the puck in the corner, Montreal gains possession of the puck and it quickly ends up in the back of the net.

      His second assist, Murray again is all the way behind the Sens net again and the Sens can’t move him off the puck. The puck is passed to Briere and in the net.

      Murray is our best power forward!!!! That’s a shame!

  36. John Q Public says:

    I was wrong. Gorges does say his comment every game by the way PK emulated him when Gorges was injured.

    さようなら

  37. montreal ace says:

    PK’s comments last night, were quite mild as far as I’m concerned. I have been a silent critic of PK, by never saying anything when people condemn him, for the same things others do. I see many infractions against PK, with the approval of the Refs as nothing is called. I believe that in life, that a person has to stand up when being treated unfairly, so I admire PK for his comments. I just like to add PK is a wonderful talent, who is better then I have given him credit for.

  38. Hobie Hansen says:

    We all know the refs helped decide last night’s game so let’s move onto the Habs defence.

    Montreal REALLY needs to make a couple moves here.

    Douglas Murray did play a strong game last night but unfortunately for every good game he plays there’s two bad ones.

    Francis Bouillon is done, plain and simple.

    Josh Gorges played a god awful game last night and along with the refs, cost Montreal the game. On a good team he’s a sixth defenseman.

    Raph Diaz has some talent but is small, shaky as hell in his own end and is barely a top six defenceman, if at all.

    Alex Emelin was somehow anointed a great defenseman last year, mainly because the team went in the toilet after he went down with injury. A couple months before he was hurt he was so/so but ended up playing pretty well before the injury. So he really hasn’t enjoyed a long stretch of games of being stellar. We’re not sure what we have with him yet.

    Andrei Markov has slowed down but has learned to adjust and is pretty good defensively and great offensively.

    PK Subban is amazing.

    So after Markov and Subban, the Habs are in trouble. Just as was the case when the playoffs and regular season ended last year. Nothing has changed.

    They either make a trade for a skilled defenceman who’s 6’3″ or we suffer until a couple of guys like Tinordi, Beaulieu or Pateryn are steady defensemen in 2 or 3 years.

    The Habs will get killed in the playoffs with this defence!

    • CJ says:

      Emelin is struggling. He was way out of position on the first goal and is seemingly handling the puck like a live grenade. I saw some flashes as the game went on, with improved board play. I can’t help but think that two or three big hits and he regains his groove. Someone brought forward an astute observation last week…Emelin really hasn’t been the same since the give minute major to Downie. I agree with this completely. I recall Pacioretty struggling after his suspension for the hit on letang. The NHL has confused these guys. In such a fast paced game where decisions are made in a split second, there is no room for second guessing yourself. I can’t help but think Emelin is overthinking things right now.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I found your line ” In such a fast paced game where decisions are made in a split second, there is no room for second guessing yourself.” suits my theme this morning. I understand you are alking specifically about Emelin.

        My theme is let’s get ready for the playoffs by getting real chemistry.. so those decisions will be more natural through practice with regular linemates.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree with most of what you say, and we have some very good prospects in Hamilton who are developing. The great news Hobie is that only Gorges is signed out of that group that I would be worried about. Emelin will be fine, it is a long recovery from what he suffered. Markov at a much older age has finally recovered, Emelin will be fine.

      As long as this patchwork group can tread water our prospects are developing where they should be. Having Tinordi, Pateryn, Beaulieu up in the NHL right now doesn’t help them. I suspect after the trade deadline we see more callups and more of our longterm future on the blueline.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Yeah, as you said below, patience. After 20 years though my patience is wearing thin.

        As I said, this defence will get killed this year in the playoffs. :-(.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think in the playoffs we will see a different defence. Or at least a couple different players.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I hope so!

            Lets just hope that a month or so is enough time for Pateryn or Tinordi to become a more valuable defenseman than Bouillon, Murray or Diaz.

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    So the present Habs defence has warts, in fact they have moles that are so big Austin Powers coudn’t ignore them.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvxe04wGmTw
    But as others (Frank) point out they are keeping us in a decent playoff spot.

    It would be virtually impossible for MB to not recognize that these guys have serious limitations. BUt at the same time the Bulldogs are starting to play much better and the blueline in Hamilton must be a big part of that. By allowing those kids to continue developing while the Habs Patchwork Defense keeps treading water, this helps the Habs in the long term.

    After the trade deadline I look for changes. Hopefully some are the results of trades, but after the deadline if players like Gionta, Frankie, Murray, are still on the roster, it will not matter if they are shown the bench or pressbox as they are UFA’s and don’t have a longterm future with the Habs.

    I think we all need to be patient.

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    Morning folks, missed the game but from the sounds of it, the team had a rough start and battled back real well. I finally got access to a TV late and had to wait until CBC Toronto realized that the Leafs would lose (turns out they had to wait until clock hit zero) before they showed the Habs. What do I see? A Habs team playing a man down in OT. Well that was always going to end that.

    Being a man down in the OT is a death toll, I didn’t see the call on PK, but refs need to realize that making a call with seconds left in a tie game at end of the third is essentially deciding the game.

    Glad to hear Briere and Gionta contributing, I believe this will start to help make MB’s job a little easier as he is I am sure tying to make some moves to help this team moving forward/longterm.

    Good Morning all!

  41. wjc says:

    Refs:

    If memory serves me correctly there have been many incidences in the past where people were upset with the refs.

    Toe Blake fined $2000.00 for hitting a ref in a playoff game.
    Storey quiting because he was criticized in a playoff game in Chicago against Montreal.
    Rocket riot, enough said.
    Dallas playoff win goal (crease)
    Players, teams, fans have complained about officiating since the game was invented.
    Players used to follow refs around the ice complaining until the league put their foot down and disallowed it.
    Shonfeld….donut remark, that caused the refs to strike for a bit.

    You have to be a thick skinned person to be a ref. It is not a job I could do quite frankly. I have dabbled in it at a low level and the experience was not to my liking.

    Baseball, hockey, football, boxing it is all the same. You sometimes make calls that some do not like. You are scrutinized from below, sideways, and from above.

    There are 1000’s of examples you could site where someone was upset with the officials.

    What makes hockey so hard to officiate is the constant movement, the skates, the crowd, the danger of pucks and sticks, the emotion. As I have said before try it…..try it for a few games or a season and see how quickly you will be blamed for something.

    Sometimes teams do not lose, they are beaten by the refs. A common refrain from teams that cannot accept that they were defeated fair and square. Sometimes the ref plays a part, but that is his job.

    P.K. will calm down and mellow out and put it behind him and probably apologize for things said in the heat of the moment and then move on.

    wjc

  42. Still kinda steamed over the way we lost. Great come back against a team who works hard every shift.

    Pleks, Gionta and Bourque cannot be our 2nd power-play unit.

    They aren’t doing anything out there, so you may as well get Eller and Galchenyuk with Pleks at center (or Eller, or Alex) on the PP. Eller can snipe, Galchenyuk can set up and snipe, and Pleks is a good set up man, and at times win the draw(not lately).

    Tip of the day for Therrien. Last night early in the2nd, the Sens iced the puck twice in two shifts and twice you left Bouillon, and Murray on the point for the offensive draw. Both times PK was ready to come on the ice (Markov and Yummylin were on before the present pairing). Both draws we won in the offensive zone and both time scoring chances from the point were ruined because the defense couldn’t construct a play. PK gets pucks to the net, Murray and Bouillon don’t. Make the quick change and get him out there, fork…. it’s not that hard to get PK back off is you are afraid of giving our best play All Star ice time.

    There endth the lesson Therrien

    Last night, I realized Gionta was UFA this summer. Dear Marc, you have permission to move him, his stock won’t be any higher at the deadline, move him now so the man coming in can get used to (cough cough) Therrien’s system :lol: and the rest of the players.

    If you need help here’s a list of players that may be available.
    1. (don’t laugh now HIO) Chris Higgins Canucks

    2. Eric Fehr, Caps, great traditional third line player who has a cannon of a wrist shot

    3. Dubinski, Bluejackets. Size Matters, and he plays a Kings/Bruins/Hawks style of game, it would cost the Habs a draft pick (1st?) to get him but Brandon at 27 is in his prime and who knows what he could do on a better team.

    4. Heater, Wild…..why not be a rental if he doesn’t cost the Habs any early draft picks. He’s UFA in July

    5. Roman Josi, there’s no way Nashville would trade this defenseman, but at least try. He’s one of the NHL’s hidden secrets but plays on a team where every player looks the same.
    6. New Jersey, send him home for picks, and a prospect

    7. Chipchura, Yotes, third line player with size, but little scoring power, Habs would need picks in return.

    8. Winnipeg Jets, not sure why they would want Gionta, but the Jets are hurting, and Kane is a mess in Winterpeg. Not sure trying to put his butt in the city of Montreal would be any better and he would cost the Habs a 1st, 2nd, Gionta and a prospect to get him. Kane is super Lazy unless he has the puck (Kovalev on spruce juice) but in the offensive zone he can pick a corner form anywhere with power.

    OK I’m done playing armchair GM. Time to see if Canada can put it together and win a Bronze! The next best medal to the Gold. Right?

    EDIT- why any team would want Gionta I don’t know (still has some scoring in him maybe), odds are he can’t be traded and goes UFA in July.

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

  43. HabFab says:

    Gord Miller – Since Hockey Canada began the Program of Excellence in 1982, Canada has not gone back-to-back years without medals at the World Juniors.

  44. 24 Cups says:

    The headmaster states that “Bouillon is old, Murray is slow, Diaz is soft and Gorges is undersized for the minutes he plays.” MB says it all in one sentence. Add the fact that Emelin has struggled since his return and you have a pretty good summary of what ails the Hab D.

    Therrien is loyal to Bouillon and management feels the team needs Murray’s size so I don’t see anything changing real soon. Only an injury is going to open the door for Pateryn.

  45. Hobie Hansen says:

    Wow, so much to comment on from last night’s game.

    Are the Habs cursed with the Officials when they play the Senators or what? There were a couple brutal calls last night and five or six in the playoffs last year!

    The Sens go up 1-0 on Montreal and are just hammering the Habs. Rene Bourque who’s been working his ass off lately with no reward finally gets a goal AND THEY WAVE IT OFF!!! Sorry Habs, refs lost site of the puck and whistle was blown. It should have been 1-1 right there and a totally different game!

    Daniel Briere’s goal in the mid first would have made it 2-1! Instead the Sens finish the 1st period with a 3-1 lead.

    Habs come storming back in the 3rd period and tie the game. With 18 seconds left the refs just hand the game over to the Sens and give PK Subban the biggest pile of S&%T penalty. Sens go on the dreded 4 on 3 OT PP and win the F*&^ing game! Are you kidding me?

  46. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. As a Hab fan its difficult to fairly conclude that there is bias. I understand that. This past week it sure as heck looked that way. But as a Hab fan I can argue that the officiating in this league is horrendous and I’d have a lot of company around the league in doing so.

    It’s one thing to miss calls. It’s a fast pace game after all and you could understand missing a play or two. What I can’t understanding is calling things that aren’t there. That either takes on imagination or as PK says, its personal.

    And to think many of us are upset over the International Officiating. We need to clean our own house first.

    There were two plays last night that an on ice official had to be using his imagination instead of calling the actual play on the ice.

    Play 1. The whistle of a dead play after the puck hits Anderson’s goalie pad.

    How in the heck could an official imagine that the puck was dead? The puck was never frozen but was still whistled dead just as the Habs put the puck in the net.

    This call was especially upsetting to me given the fact that the Sens stole a playoff game against us last year when Price had the puck covered by his glove for an hour and half, with no whistle, yet the Sens were able to continue to pound away until they eventually scored. How can you call something you didn’t see?

    Call 2. The imaginary PK penalty. Again, it’s excusable to MISS a penalty on the ice from time to time. But someone explain to me how a call can be made that clearly wasn’t a penalty. Again, was the official using his imagination to see something that was not there? And if so why? Personal? Bias?

    I for one LOVED what PK did after the game. I hope it brings attention to the hideous officiating in this league in which Mr. Molson and the rest of the ownership group either fails to deal with or are powerless to do so.

    The NBA game is almost always decided on the judgement of its officials. Its the nature of that sport. In hockey, the game should never or very very rarely be decided by the whistle.

    Whether its 10 penalties in a game, an imaginary penalty or whistle, the officials were directly involved in the results of at least two Hab games this week.

    Quite a coincidence if you ask me.

    • Cal says:

      Morning, Jim. Hear, hear.

    • Add me to the list of he did the right thing. Now which way do the refs go now? More calls? That will only prove his point.

      I don’t mind losing, it was a great third period, but to have the game taken from us is not a loss, it’s a crime.

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

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi Jim

      Just some food for thought concerning the officiating.

      Was it their fault the Habs were asleep and gave up a goal at the 16 second mark?

      Was it their fault that Gorges had an unfortunate giveaway leading to another goal?

      Was it their fault another goal goes in off Bouillon’s skate?

      Was it their fault that… had it not been Price ‘standing on his head’ for the 2nd and 3rd period, that the game could have gotten out of hand big time?

      There may be more to look at than a simple supposed bad call on PK.

  47. rhino514 says:

    It would be really interesting if they would keep advanced stats for posts hit by players. It would be great to see who is having an “unlucky” season. I wouldn´t be surprised if Bourque is in the top two on the team with Pax in this category. I can also think of 2 of his goals thay have called back on bad calls.

    • Cal says:

      That one last night cost the Habs the game. How can the game be officiated so poorly with 2 refs?
      If, as many say, the game is too fast then the solution is to move to off-ice officials (watching monitors) aiding 1 ref with a head-set. When a penalty is flagged by an off-ice official, that info can be passed to the ref and the play can be called. This is not that difficult to do, and would ensure that much of the hooking and holding and sticks to the face would actually be penalties.
      Before I get piled on by the “it won’t work” crowd, the league already has video review. Losing 1 on ice ref and using 2 or 3 off-ice refs would get rid of the ref being in the way all the time in the offensive zone and create more space for the players.

      • New says:

        If there is only one ref he will miss calls and make mistakes. When you have two refs you double that opportunity up. There aren’t any take backs in penalties, frozen pucks, etc. Once that whistle is blown and one opinion counted that is all she wrote.

        If a bench chatters away all night to the effect of come on ref, he’s getting away with this or that, all they have to do when it is coming down to the crunch is start yelling it louder. The ref doesn’t know where he got the idea to look for the hooking that has been going on all night, but he is sure it is there.

        Some refs aren’t fooled easily. You hardly know they are there. Most are quite visible.

  48. Cal says:

    A little TIO from last night:
    DD- 20:58- no shots on goal.
    Patches- 22:16- 2 shots
    Gally- 19:39- 4 shots
    That’s a lot of TOI for 6 shots (out of 29 for the night) and contributed to the OT loss.
    Prust played 7:16, Chucky 11:26, and Eller got 15:31. They were on for 2 against. That first one displayed an “I’m not ready” kind of start the Habs have had lately.

    As an aside, is UCE on vacation?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Galchenyuk

      The Habs 3rd leading scorer for forwards yet has played 10-11 minutes in the last 3 games.
      The youngster never catches a break from the coaching staff compared to other coach’s pets that receive the best and most favorable minutes and linemates regardless of any miscue.

  49. CJ says:

    Flakes are gently falling in ottawa this morning. Looks like a perfect day for the rideau canal and a skate. Taking the family out to have some fun. Hoping each of you enjoys the day.

  50. CJ says:

    Bulldogs win 3-1, sweeping the 2 game series with abbostford, one of the best teams in the league. Hamilton is now 5-0-1 in their last six. I am looking forward to any feedback from forum members who were at the game.

  51. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning,

    Here’s hoping P.K’s post game comments do not open up a big can of worms.
    Unfortunately, the belief from here is that there is a fair to good chance they will.

    In his frustration over the last minute penalty, P.K. said the following:
    ” It seems like it’s personal to me. It has nothing to do with the game”
    When pressed further about what he meant by “it’s personal,” PK responded, ” If it doesn’t make sense on the ice, what else could it be?”

    Whether or not that was a penalty is highly debatable, yet the “it’s personal” comment leaves itself open to many interpretations – from something very simple out of pure frustration, to something else much more complex.

    Right or wrong, PK did himself AND the Habs no favors with those comments.
    Calling out an official and claiming “it’s personal” could have negative repercussions on how BOTH the Habs and P.K. are looked at by referees in the future.

    Take MLB as an example:
    If a player makes a Home Plate umpire look bad, rest assured his strike zone the next time up will be from his ankles to his eyes and 6 inches wider on both sides of the plate.
    It ends up hurting the player AND the team.

    If either P.K. or Geoff Molson (by his tweet) believe the comments will play in their favor moving forward, they may be sorely mistaken…
    While the officiating has been horsesh*t this year, one player or one team are not bigger than the NHL.

    Geoff Molson @GMolsonCHC 8h
    Not permitted to comment on ref so I won’t….but #charactercomeback from 3-1….#GHG

    The P.K. comments and penalty replay:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0Ux4fedeEk

    • Cal says:

      Morning, Ronn. PK is right to call out that bs call with seconds left in regulation. If Chara is continually allowed to crosscheck forwards in the head with no call, how can what PK did be called a penalty.
      Did PK set the Habs up to be called for chintzy penalties? My answer is this: what’s the difference? The refs have been shafting the Habs for years. And it doesn’t take PK to point out how absolute crap the refs, at the direction of the NHL, have been.

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

      • CJ says:

        I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong answer here. Should he or shouldn’t he have? I’m neither judge nor jury. That said, he’s my guy so I’ll support him. I think the bigger issue is the fact that we have just come to expect poor officiating as part of our beloved game. When I watch football I’m amazed at just how often they get the call right. Those few instances in which the incorrect call was made the league takes immediate action. The nhl seems to accept incompetence. Waving off the first goal had a profound effect on the outcome of the game. The same can be said when the leafs scored on us a month ago, only to have the goal waved off at the time for goaltender interference. That friends is the truth of the situation. The players deserve better. The fans deserve better. Lastly, the league and it’s credibility need to get better.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Cal

        This is no debate as to the subjective nature and horrible reffing in the NHL.
        What the concern should be is the possible blowback from those comments.

        One other question.
        Remember when Carey Price was bumped?
        Right after that, PK basically jumped the Ottawa guy, knocked him down, gave him a couple of shots, a few cross checks, and there was no penalty(ies) called.
        I don’t know about you, yet I was really surprised PK didn’t receive a penalty on that one.
        How do you think a Sens fan felt about that?

        • Cal says:

          I am fairly certain we won’t see much of a “blow back” by the refs. The league is a joke when it comes to officiating, much like the CFL.

          On PK’s defense of Price, I saw that one, too. Refs “allow” Dmen leeway when they see an opposing forward in the blue paint making contact with the goalie. We see Habs clubbed down repeatedly with no calls when they are in blue as well. (Gally must have pert near a million welts by now.)

    • PK had to do it, half the calls on him over this season were questionable and last night was spot on. These aren’t Habs colored glasses we’re wearing, and his calls can’t get any worse on him.

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

  52. rhino514 says:

    Bourque should not be moved at this point because of his size. The team has him playing physically and the chances he creates tend to go in during the playoffs.
    Hate to say it but Gionta is the weak link; on his goal last night, do you all agree the puck may have been going in, he barely got wood on it, he´s had a few of these lately and he has trouble burying these now. Also he used to be threatening on the rush, he is not anymore.
    Of course I am happy for Briere, he showed some slick hands on the second goal. But it is clear he is a natural centre and he will not get the chances he needs to be productive the way he is being used now. His reward for his first goal was being moved to (left, this time) wing. But his chances as we saw come when he cheats and hangs around the net, and basically doesn´t play his position, which was able to happen in this case because Pleks and Gionta shifted the puck battle to the right corner.
    Again, the Gio and Briere situations need to be resolved one way or another.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      Bourque hasn’t thrown a check in weeks…..I remember reading on here once that he had 2 hits in 10 game period. When does his play provide goals in the playoffs…was it last years playoffs you seen that. Bourque is a soft player by anyones standards….and I mean soft…he won’t help a team in the playoffs even as much as he does now…that’s when the physical side starts to ramp way way up

  53. zephyr says:

    bourque has hit the post at least twice in the last 2 games. he’s big & can shoot. he was one of our best fwds in last yr’s playoffs & I haven’t forgotten that. we have other fwds who are slumping too incl pleks & gionta. we’re still too undersized at fwd & on d.
    price crapped the bed on 2 goals or it’s our win. still, he recovered well. murray played very well. he’s a tough guy & an asset whose value will be even greater in the ‘frontier justice’ playoffs. I like him better than hal gill. the fact that the refs were incompetent again is something we can count on. they also missed several hooking calls against subban that resulted in turnovers.
    we can’t have a def that has georges, diaz & bouillon in the same lineup. smaller guys who don’t score hurt the team.

  54. PeterD says:

    If we want to move Bourque we need to stop thinking he has alot of value. ..I think moving him for ANYTHING would improve the club thru subtraction.
    Gionta might offer a little more value…but not much.
    So hoping to trade these guys for high end talent or high draft picks is a fantasy that will never happen.

    And for the love of all things holy in hockey lets stop bringing in players that are in significant decline…lets focus on players that are still growing and haven’t peaked yet…these aging once was players are killing spots for young talent to take a shot at a roster spot…

  55. PeterD says:

    I’m thinking and wishing Therrien eould configure the forwards as follows…
    Patches – DD – Gally11
    Chuckie – Eller – Bournival
    Briere – Plecs – Gionta
    Moen – Prust – Bourgue

    Bournival has speed and agressiveness and offensive skills to open up ice for Eller and Chuckie.
    Briere seems to fit with Plecs and Gio and after all he was brought in for offense…get him off the 4th line.
    Moen and Prust are grinders and energy guys…Bourque has size and can skate but is otherwise useless so if he’s in the line up he does not deserve more than 4th line duty
    .

    • lakechamplain says:

      I agree with your lines with 1 minor exception; why not switch Galchenyuk to center and move Eller to wing? Two, simply put, there are too many old, slow legs on D. Third, Price will be named to Team Canada on Tuesday; the powers that be must be having some nervous conversations about what’s been going down with him lately. In fairness, as Boonie has pointed out, he’s been bombarded of late.
      Finally, Boonie, the morning after the night before, you do the best reporting on the things that matter, keep up the great work.

      • Mike Boone says:

        You are too kind. Thanks.

        Mike Boone
        Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Habfan17 says:

        They should not move Eller to the wing for the simple reason, when they did it before, it was a total failure. He was not able to do it. He came into his own and got better when back at his natural centre position.

        It is time to stop moving the young kids from their natural positions and move out the players that have stopped being useful. If they want a player to change, move Pleks to left wing and put Galchenyuk as his centre!

        Habfan17

  56. Rad says:

    I wouldn’t get too worked up about the Habs being 4th in the East. Overall, they have the 11th best record in the league. In other words, the Habs are just another middle-of-the-road team, a long way from glory.

  57. The_Truth says:

    Good news for Briere, hope he stays on the Pleks line.

    Actually thought Murray and Bouillon were quite good tonight.

    Eller and Chucky are starting to become a worry. Both -2 tonight and no offense, once again.

    Thought PK was awesome and that last penalty shouldn’t have been called.

    Price is starting to sink back to earth lately, which is not a good sign.

  58. thehabsfan29 says:

    How About a swap with the islanders?

    Bourque & maybe a pick for grabner?

    Grabner has had major problems with consistency but I think hes a upgrade over bourque. Could be a good change of scenery for both players. they have similar contracts except Grabner’s goes up 1mil in his last 2 seasons.

    Lines would look like
    Briere Plek Gio
    Patches DD Gallagher
    Chucky Eller Grabner
    Prust Bournival Moen

    Thoughts?

  59. Timo says:

    No matter who you slice and dice it, Habs still suck and will for a significant future. Good night and sweet dreams.

  60. keviathan says:

    Just finished watching the Canucks/Kings game, which was a dandy. The game really highlighted how far away we are from being a serious contender.

    This would never happen but if we do make the playoffs MB should consider being a seller at the trade deadline, rather than stocking up for a playoff run. I don’t want the Habs to be stuck in no-man’s land, on the post season bubble year after year, not getting good draft picks and never having a real chance at the cup….which is where we are now.

  61. HABitat4humanity says:

    Players like Gally in front of the net ate what we need. Someone to screen the goalie. Have Borque do more of it.

    Briere scored 2 hanging out around the front of the net.

    Can our D also lay down more hits? Emelin is not the same anymore.

    We also need to trade for 2 more d that have a great point shot. Opposing D have caught on to Subban and charge him on the PP.

    IMO subban can play offense too. Use him for it. Do something different for a change.

    I still believe in the EGG LINE.

    Briere has the talent to take Gallagers place on the top line & he showed it tonight.

  62. habsfan0 says:

    M. Boone: Erudite and whimsical as per usual.

  63. ProHabs says:

    First, Mr. Boone calls Subban’s penalty obvious in the gameblog and in ALN he calls it brutal. What’s the deal Mikey. Your confusing me as much as Therrian’s coaching.

    • Mike Boone says:

      When I watched the replay at the Bell Centre, I thought it was, technically, a hook. Then thinking about the situation – 19 seconds to go, tie game, play did not influence a scoring chance – I decided it was a brutal call.
      Besides, I change my mind on a minute-to-minute basis about everything.
      Choosing socks in the morning?
      Don’t ask …

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        Mike you don’t really need to explain yourself to knit picking observers on here…thanks for your work I look forward to your views both serious and sarcastic. We’re lucky to have you.

        • Mike Boone says:

          Hey, it’s fun to get a bit of a dialogue going. My views aren’t being carved on tablets and carried down a mountain by Moses. On the extremely rare occasions when I’m wrong, I’ll admit it.

          Mike Boone
          Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • CJ says:

        Well said. I agree. Sorry, just to clarify, the penalty call. I’m fairly certain when it comes to socks.

  64. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Hopefully after the Olympic break, the team will somehow retire Francis Bouillon. Much rather see Douglas Murray every game (And he should play every game). As for Briere, what the hell do bashers of him expect from a proven goal scorer? If you want to blame Briere & his lack of production point your finger at that joke of a coach called MT. Clueless with his lines & simply is system-less.

  65. Mattyleg says:

    Great ALN Boone!

    Love it!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  66. jimmy shaker says:

    Didn’t like the winner on Price…..Didn’t like the call on PK…..Hate the way these guys defend since their long winning streak ended……Giving up way too many goals, and quality chances. Markov needs to be with PK. 2 out of their 4 goals were lucky bank ins, habs hit the post 3 times. They should’ve won the game but andersen and the walrus have the habs number just like the habs had the cubs during that run of meetings a couple years ago.

    Shaker out!

  67. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Mr Boone, to answer your question, “Can anyone explain [...] this team to me?” Not on HIO. We’re all here for the badinage.

  68. Timo says:

    I bet Sabres are regretting not giving Habs Moulson for Briere. Too late now. Danny boy is on a comeback trail and once the playoffs start he’s got the keys to the magic switch.

  69. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Forth, go boldly.

  70. kalevine says:

    Dear Mike Boone
    Bats are not rodents!
    They belong to order Chiroptera not rodentia.
    But vampire bats, like the Habs defence lately, do suck

  71. FANHABULOUS says:

    Wow, thats back-to-back firsts on ALN… I should go buy a lottery ticket, or something…

    ____________________________________
    “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

  72. FANHABULOUS says:

    First!!

    ____________________________________
    “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.


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