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. FlyAngler says:

    Yes, I am taking some credit. A little blog material can go a long way. Keep it up DD!

  2. theox_8 says:

    Pk should be in the top 4 no questions ask in Sochi . Him being the seventh guy or even further down the list is just crazy . I can’t believe the iron man jay is considered for this team . Or seabrook get real here ! I for one have no problem what pk said last night and if that has any bearing on him making this team than what a sad bunch of losers we having selecting .

  3. FlyAngler says:

    In 20 games at the Bell Centre so far this season DD has Zero goals and 7 assists for a total of 7 points. In 5 of the last 6 games at the Bell Centre he has been kept off of the score sheet and in those 6 games has a total of 2 assists. In that same 6 game period, he is a minus 3.

    While some have tried to make the case that he is playing better of late, that certainly is not true with regard to home games as the statistics do not lie. Earlier in the season, the Habs were enjoying greater success at the Bell Centre with productivity from the EGG line and other players.

    Last night, one line, the Plekanec, Briere & Gionta line accounted for all 3 goals. MT deserves credit for putting this trio together as it was extremely effective. I am sure that you know where I am going. When is it going to be time to try Eller, or Bournival or Chucky at center with Max to see if they can get something going. M T has demonstrated no willingness to deviate from playing DD & Max together not only at even strength but also on the PP and at least at the Bell Centre- IT IS KILLING OUR OFFENSE and making it much easier for lesser talented teams to come into our building and skate off with a victory. Sometimes I wonder if this is some kind of a new fangled delayed tank strategy.

    SEVEN points in 20 home games for your supposed #1 centremen. Sydney Crosby has 35 points in home games to date. David Krecji has 24 points. SEVEN is unacceptable and his continued employment in the same fashion is as big a travesty as some of the officiating that we have witnessed of late. I have no hatred for DD. I do despise the way that M T is using him right now because it is a joke. Give the young centremen a chance. They can’t do much worse than DD has of late, at least at the Bell Centre.

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • db says:

      Maybe Max is so fragile that he can’t handle not having DD with him… so try DD on the wing with Eller in the middle?

    • twilighthours says:

      “In 5 of the last 6 games at the Bell Centre he has been kept off of the score sheet and in those 6 games has a total of 2 assists. In that same 6 game period, he is a minus 3. While some have tried to make the case that he is playing better of late, that certainly is not true with regard to home games as the statistics do not lie.”

      Half of those 6 home games were a month ago. Not sure if this really counts as “of late.”

  4. db says:

    How sweet would it be if we can snag another Ranger fan favourite in Callahan? He’s UFA and the Rangers have a lot of money tied up and a lot of roster to fill out. Maybe Prust can recruit him? Just day dreaming on this sunny day in Vancouver..

  5. New says:

    What is even more surprising than the epiphany Mike had about Briere is that for every 60 minutes Briere is on the ice he generates 2.06 points, just behind Galchenyuk, and the team leader Pacioretty.
    (DD is in the second tier with Subban and Pleks). Strange how impressions and fact diverge…then again those thinking Bou generates as many points per 60 minutes played as, well say Price, are not far off. Sourced courtesy of:
    http://www.sportingcharts.com/nhl/stats/player-points-per-60-min-leaders/2013/

  6. Plekasuares says:

    Pick Kunitz. Go with chemistry!

  7. Eddie says:

    Subban plays in the offensive situations as much and as well as any defenceman in the league, every country included.

    So how did his defensive game come into question even though he was matched against the best players in 2010 when he first entered the league, and then led our penalty kill to top 5 in the league 2 seasons ago?

    How?

    Because his coach decided, while still working the microphones of the Antichambre, that Subban’s game was full of defensive peril, full of holes. And decided to take Subban off the penalty kill Subban had dominated the year previous. And decided not to play Subban in every key late game situation.

    So Subban was labeled an offensive defenceman, and that’s where we stand today.

    I watched all of those Antichambre episodes when Therrien was discussing Subban. Embarrassed to say it, but I watched them all.

    Had Therrien just continued to play Subban on the PK and in all number 1 dman situations, the Habs would be at least where they are today in the standings and Subban would not be considered behind Pietroangelo for the Olympic team.

    I’m a huge Subban fan, and I have been since his days in Junior.

    I believe in Subbans skills offensively, defensively, and as a team leader.

  8. slapshot777 says:

    Hi guys I got 4 tickets side by side in Club Desjardins for the 25th of January can’t go because of work commitments. Had them for the family but have to reschedule for a game later this season. Selling them for the price I paid form them. The game is against the Washington Capitals. Anyone interested can email me.

    carlcaravan@nf.sympatico.ca

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

  9. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Subban may not be in the top-6 but THERE IS NO WAY he is not in the top 8. They can’t possibly be that stupid…what happens if there is an injury? People need to relax.

    • habsfan0 says:

      I’m hoping that PK’s comment last night about the officiating “it’s personal” won’t come back to haunt him re: Olympic team selection, and Habs play thereafter.

      • 24 Cups says:

        His penalty in the last minute of the game which led to the team’s defeat, plus his comments re the refs, couldn’t have come at a worse time. I imagine that the Yzerman team will have a conference call today or tomorrow in firm up their selections. I still think it will come down to Subban or Seabrook. Weber, Doughty and Pieterangelo seem to be locks on the right side.

        • punkster says:

          It’s like a freakin’ soap opera Steve. I hope when the actual tournament gets underway we can focus on the on ice play for a change though I’m beginning to doubt that.

          Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
          but…
          ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

        • Eddie says:

          Why is Pietroangelo better than Subban? In what area? Because he plays for Hitchcock?

          The politics of Team Canada never cease to amaze.

          On the big ice,no contest who is quicker and more valuable.

    • JUST ME says:

      The more i think about it ,the more P.K. is a must. They need skaters on big ice rinks, they need someone you would pick on your team that would make you win . With tthe sad performance of team Canada junior it is obvious that you need to think outside the usual frame of mind and redefine the country club…

      If yesterday`s event play against him, then his performance against the Stars should make him automatically number one on the list.

    • db says:

      Especially since PK can replace a forward or d-man. After watching the juniors lose there’s even more pressure on Stevie Y. Other teams hate playing against PK.. and I’d love to see him on the big ice.

  10. Just an FYI over the TSN Olympic list, I’m not done and Bob released the list one day earlier than we wanted. Tomorrow night’s Olympic preview will look better than this one Bob released early. Bob knows better and we’ll be chatting later after our Bantams get off the ice.

    Shane Oliver
    TSN Unofficial Annalist
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Summit Member 1.29.31.33

  11. habstrinifan says:

    Damien Cox:

    “Which also means lots of exclusions, many of whom will be seen as unjustly left out, just like Mark Messier in 1998. We already know that if P.K. Subban isn’t picked, Geoff Molson has a public statement ready to go.”

    Geoff Molson … Big Deal! I got that beat.

    I will be reading/posting prepared statements from Louis Farrakhan; Desmond Tutu; and the very senile Harry Belafonte.

    On a serious note… which idiot left out Mark Messier.

  12. HabFab says:

    Bob McKenzie – As I said, just educated guesses. Should be fun, tho if Subban isn’t one of 8 D, the Bobby Ryan brouhaha will be garden party by comparison.

  13. 1010 says:

    Congrats to the Finns. The Swedes have become very arrogant the last few years so cheering for Finland was easy.

    GO HABS…

  14. MasterHab says:

    I always laugh when pundits say “Nobody expected them to do anything more than compete for a wild card berth” and then point out that the team is sitting in 4th place. What does one have to do with the other? You can easily be in 4th place at the halfway point of the season and still wind up scrapping it out for 8th.t No one ever asks people where they think the team will be at the halfway point because it doesn’t matter. And if Bergevin drinks the first half Kool-Aid and does nothing to improve the roster between now and the deadline the Habs will be scrapping it out for the 8th seed just as predicted.

    • kalevine says:

      good points. Last year one coiuld argue his hands were tied because there seemed to much chemistry to meddle, but this longer season the team has been about 50-50 for about 12 games, similar to last season just prior to the complete capitulation in the final few weeks

  15. Habilis says:

    Bob McKenzie’s team Canada. Not who he wants, but who he thinks will go:

    RW: Stamkos, Giroux, Nash, Perry, St. Louis.

    LW: Couture, Benn, Duchene, Sharp.

    C: Crosby, Toews, Tavares, Getzlaf, Bergeron.

    LD: Keith, Bouwmeester, Vlasic, Hamhuis.

    RD: Doughty, Weber, Pietrangelo, Subban.

    Goal: Price, Luongo, Smith.

    Nailed it, IMO. I would bring Harding over Smith, but the third goalie ain’t gonna play anyhow so that’s splitting hairs.

  16. Mavid says:

    wow TSN has Subban on team Canada…must have tripped and fell on their heads

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  17. DipsyDoodler says:

    Note to Trevor Timmins.

    However many scouts you have in Scandinavia double the number.

    • The Jackal says:

      Habs have actually invested a lot in their scouting ever since MB became GM. He’s got more guys in the Q, the US and the Europe than before and I believe Timmins has gotten a nod of confidence, more so than the previous regime had in his department.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  18. rljmartin says:

    Since Murray started playing, I have been a supporter. He played his best game last night and is starting to surprise people. His anticipation of the play is very good and he is starting to show this more and more with timely pinches in the O-zone.

    What is it with Habs and player development? Part of last year’s success was keeping Gally and Chucky up. Almost unheard of in recent years. This year started great for Bournival but look now.
    I have serious issues with how MT uses these 3 players.

    Gally now plays on a line with linemates who basically ignore him on most plays and expect him to do all the dirty work…. when is the last time he let a shot go from the slot?
    Chucky is not getting much quality time (PP for example) and may be totally in the wrong position. Long time since he had a standout game and I do not feel it is his fault.
    Bournival may be the worse case of misuse by MT. Hey kid, look for an apartment so you can sit in the Press Box or get 5 to 6 minutes a game. He had some great games when he played with Pleks but I wonder how his confidence is now…

    So in the end, how has MT’s player development been so far? Personally, I am not impressed.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      An old style coach – concerned only about his record, and NOT an organization’s future 5 years down the road, will ALWAYS lean upon vets vs. taking chances with rookies.

      It’s the safe way – been done more often than not in the past, and a rookie GM may just allow a coach to dictate a lineup for the “now”…. instead of the future.

      • The_Truth says:

        Every team relies on Vets. Look at any young player like Mckinnon for example and they are handled the same way. Chucky is not playing well defensively and to make him your #1 center would not work.

        When Bournival started great he was getting more ice time, as was Chucky. Now that they slipped back, their ice time has dropped. Don’t see a problem with that. Young players have to force the coache’s hand with great play and that isn’t happening from either one of those guys.

        • Wintercount says:

          After viewing all the gratuitous f-bombs in the first couple of 24 Ch episodes how could anyone, let alone the players, take this bozo seriously. This shit might have worked on a Sunday in the middle ages, but not this Sunday.

          Speaking of Sunday, can anyone remember what Scottie Pippen said about Malone and Sunday.

      • formerly known as the hc says:

        There is much truth to what you say. I am not sure what to think about MT… However, after hanging around here for the last year or 2, (and I am sure that this is just a reflection of similar sites, etc) I really doubt that the fan base would tolerate a “five year plan”… one done right.

      • joeybarrie says:

        If you think Michel Therrien cares about his record then you are quite wrong. He cares about winning. He cares about the current players on the team and where this team is going.
        He is short sighted, but that’s what they have the coach for. His job is to win NOW. Its not his job to worry about the future of the team in 5 years.
        He is concerned about player development in his way. Which grossly outweighs my opinion. But his job isn’t to make sure young players get everything they need. His job is to move the entire team forward.
        There is no substitute for experience.
        And development takes time.
        Much more time than any normal Montreal fan would give.

    • boing007 says:

      Right on brother.

      Richard R

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    Happy for Finland, that is a huge win against archrival Sweden.

  20. Sportfan says:

    Well that hurt, congrats to the Chargers and their fans on beating my Bengals, hope you guys give Manning and the Broncos hell.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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    • HabinBurlington says:

      As a Steeler fan I can’t cheer for Bengals, having said that I used to like the Chargers until they decided Rivers was better than my favourite ever Boilermaker Brees. Mix in the fact the Chargers barely beat a Chiefs team with 20 starters sitting and I was torn who to cheer for today.

      End of day I cheered for Front and UCe, sorry Sportfan. Your team had a good season.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Can’t believe the Chargers won with that crap secondary and being so conservative. They basically sat back and waited for the Bengals to choke. Thank God Melvin Ingram came back from a torn ACL within 7 months. Dalton needs to learn to be more patient. Beating Manning and the Broncos in Denver would be better than the Super Bowl…LOL.

  21. Ncognito says:

    I’m getting old. It’s been 6 years since my Chargers won a playoff game!. Made $280 on this game and lost $20 each on the Canadian and Swedish jrs.

  22. JF says:

    Great final at the WJC. The Finns were full value. In the third period and OT, they were starting to win some of the puck battles along the boards. They were much more creative offensively in OT than the Swedes; our guy, Artturi Lehkonen, nearly ended it a couple of minutes before Ristolainen did.

    As for the Canadian team, they played reasonably well today. I guess the difference was the soft goal given up by Fucale. But I don’t think goaltending was Canada’s main problem this year. The team just did not seem as skilled or creative as some of the others, the Finns and Russians for example. And perhaps they might have done better with a more offensively-minded coach.

    • 24 Cups says:

      One of Canada’s main problems was they couldn’t score enough goals, especially in the first period. That’s probably because they never really jelled as a team, Jane. True be told they were never a major threat right from the get-go.

      • joeybarrie says:

        I came away with Canada having a strong well rounded team with an emphasis on a style of play and structure. Seemed to me, and the limited games I was able to see, that individually we didn’t do all that well. Few shots on goal. Playing too tight. And just being beaten by individuals. The style of play seemed to hurt them.
        either way, it was a tournament full of strong teams.
        We lost it with those penalties if you ask me. But we never looked like we could win.

      • JF says:

        Agreed, Steve. They were unimpressive in pre-tournament games, and played one good game – actually, two good periods – against the Americans in the preliminary round. As is nearly always the case with Canadian teams in international competition, they were not disciplined enough. You made a comment yesterday that their basic hockey skills – passing, puck-handling – did not seem to be as good as those of the Finnish players, and I have to agree with that.

  23. Hobie Hansen says:

    So it’s -15c in Green Bay right now and they’re carrying on like it’s the coldest place on earth. Try living in Ottawa the past month!

    I’d hit the outdoor rink in -15c with a sweatshirt and a tuque and be sweating to death in 10 minutes.

    Heck, when I lived out in Calgary for a couple years I’d start my car at night and it was -35c!

    Bunch of sissies!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Really Hobie? I grew up in Winnipeg, I know what cold is, but that doesn’t mean that playing football in the cold is fun. Heck I remember in high school we played some great football games in the snow, but after it got to 20 below it wasn’t as fun, or at least not fun enough for us to play for 3 hours.

      I kind of hear what your saying, but it isn’t warm in Green Bay today/tonight.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I guess when you’re not constantly skating it makes a difference but -15c ain’t THAT cold…

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I spent many a game in the stands in Wpg. watching the Bombers (back when they used to make the playoffs) the fans have it the worst indeed like Jim says.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I’ve never been to a football game. I’ve watched plenty on TV over the years. My old man is a diehard NFL and college fan. He had quite the high school career in Montreal for Rosemount High himself.

            I’ll be checking out a few Red Blacks games this summer for something to do in the nice weather.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Worse for the fans in the stands but if Hobie wants bragging rights I’m sure the folks in Green Bay will gladly yield.

    • Strummer says:

      Green Bay knows what cold is Hobie:

      “Temperatures at the so-called Ice Bowl in Green Bay, the 1967 championship game in which the Packers beat Dallas to advance to Super Bowl II, got as cold as minus-25C degrees with a wind chill of minus-43C. ”

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • CJ says:

      Ottawa has been brutally cold this past week.

  24. Habfan10912 says:

    Shout out to Normand and Front for the huge road win by the Chargers. Celebrate fellas. CHeers.

  25. Habfan10912 says:

    What a wonderful hockey game. There is no better sport in the world when played with such skill and speed. The WJC is just tremendous.

  26. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Ristolainen hands down best player of the tournament…congrats Finland.

  27. Storman says:

    Partick Kane type skills, best player in the tourney Teuvo Teravainen and a Blackhawks first round pick, the rich get richer.

    • jols101 says:

      He won’t be and isn’t anywhere near as talented as Patrick Kane. He is talented but check out what Kane did as a junior.

      • Storman says:

        I know what Kane did as a junior, i am saying Teravainen has a similar skill set, and was dominant and a threat every time he touched the ice in this WJC, but in no way am i projecting the future or for him to be as good as Patrick Kane , relax bro take a pill..

  28. jols101 says:

    Congrats Finland. Full value for the gold. If Canada doesn’t win, Finland is always my 2nd choice. Great work.

  29. Habfan17 says:

    A little late into the conversation regarding Murray. I think he has done what he was brought in to do. Add a physical presence and play on the PK. Is he on the slow side, sure, but so was Gill and when Gill was here, the PK was pretty damn good and even though he wasn’t the most physical player, his size still kept players thinking and in line. Murray does the same thing. Watching opposing players bounce off of him is fun.

    As far as the Habs overall, they are pretty much where I thought they would be. Maybe a bit higher in the standings, but based on the system they played last season and having everyone healthy, I expected better 5 on 5 scoring.

    They aren’t playing that system and they are not very good 5 on 5.
    I would be fine for the Habs to move Gionta, Briere, DD, Diaz and even Gorges at the deadline if it would bring in players who would fit the long term needs of the team. Even if it meant one step back to take two steps forward. If MB could get a true 2nd pairing right handed defenceman with size and a mean streak and a solid 2nd line left wing, then I would even see giving up a player like Beaulieu to do it.

    The kids seem to be developing in Hamilton and why rush them. Pateryn is probably the only one that is truly ready a this point. He is older and more mature. He may lack the experience, but I think he would be an upgrade on Gorges and he is a righty. Playing second pairing minutes with Markov would ease him in and cutting back Markov’s time a little will help later in the season.

    Habfan17

    • ProHabs says:

      Agreed. If anyone thought Murray skated like Paul Coffey when the Habs signed him, they they didn’t know much about the NHL. Very glad we signed Murray.

  30. Sportfan says:

    I’m sad now

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  31. frontenac1 says:

    Yessss! Finland!!!! C”mon Chargers!!!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      front

      Just wanted to say you are on my ‘must read’ list
      Have a great one, sir.

      That said, I need a learned opinion.
      Far from knowing anything about Single Malt, a buddy brought over something called “Dalwhinnie” and the stout bottle said “aged 15 years”
      Any opinion?

  32. Reflektor says:

    Congrats Finns.

  33. Bripro says:

    From MRonn “…Diaz has bombed this year as a potential Top 4 …
    … Emelin and Gorges are struggling….”

    This is a concern for me this year.
    If you remember, at the beginning of last year’s shortened season, coming off an amazing fall / early winter in the Swiss league, Diaz was outstanding, pointing at over 50% and playing very smart defensive hockey, with a willingness to contribute offensively.

    Then came the injury to Emelin on Lucic, and it seems that the abilities of both have taken a vacation.
    Diaz is playing a junior-style this year, IMO.
    He still handles the puck smartly and his passes are pin-point accurate, but there’s always a hesitation. This has cost him positionally all year.

    And Emelin seems gun shy.
    Has the injury affected him so much that he can’t hit anymore? Or is he afraid of suffering another injury? Either way, he’s a shadow of the hitting machine the league was quickly learning of him.

    And I’m starting to regret Georges’ contract. As recently as two years ago, I considered him an ideal candidate to wear the C.
    Not anymore. That honour isn’t just about leadership in the dressing room or on the bench. But it’s also playing by example.
    I like Georges. He’s always a good quote. And honest. But he’s tired, and slowing down.

    I agree that some size should be added to the D. And at this moment, going to market is a little soon I think.
    So bring up a few of the big boys, like Paterin and Tinordi to instil some energy.

    If MT can’t get the D better structured and dominant in front of Carey’s net, this will become more problematic as the season wears on.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I wonder if that bad pass to Eller in last years playoffs has also made Diaz hesitate?

      Habfan17

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi Bripro

      From here, and perhaps some may disagree, yet you hit the nail on the head – directly.

      You surely remember when Diaz went down, several were mentioning, ” Wait ’till Diaz gets back..”
      The same with Emelin…although he needs a short term pass and it should be understood that he is a good # 4 when paired with a good offensive #3 and allowed to play his proper Left Side.

      Apart from a great Top Pairing of Subban – Markov, the Habs have no # 3 Dman, a # 4 in Emelin, a #4-5 in Gorges, a #6 in Murray and Diaz, and a #7 in Bouillon.

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    What an effort!
    Happy for our HIO friend from Finland. Congrats bud!!!!

  35. CJ says:

    Finland! Lehkonen was great.

  36. frontenac1 says:

    2-2 WJC in OT. Chargers up 20-10

  37. B says:

    I hope the gold medal game is not decided by a shoot out gimmick.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  38. Habfan10912 says:

    I feel bad for our friend JJ. Finland has been on the wrong end of some funny calls today.

  39. B says:

    I noticed Brady Vail is on the first page of the OHL scoring leaders. Currently only 11 players have more assists and only 7 have a better +/-

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • CJ says:

      I mentioned that name on Friday. Although I’ve seen him play approximately 7 times, the game on Friday in ottawa against the 67’s was the best I’ve seen him play. Great prospect, with size and skating.

  40. Sportfan says:

    On the reporters they said Kunitz should make the team, agree disagree anyone?

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

  41. habstrinifan says:

    Opinion?
    In wjc Canada scored freely against the ‘weaker’ teams but managed very little scoring against the ‘elite’ teams.

    Defensive ‘breakdowns’ didnt appear to be problematic for Canada… rather it was lack of game breaker type talent.

    With selection of men’s team due Tuesday do the results of WJC help or hinder P.K’s status.

    Would selectors be more concerned now with ‘tight’ defense or adding as much scoring talent as possible. I think it’s the latter and I think it helps P.K.

    Although I think his selection is not as questionable as media seems to be making out right now.

    I think with comparable goaltending you stack your team with a game breaker if you can.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Canada should not make the same mistake as the US did. They should select their best players, period. That would include PK.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Shitty Coaching. Sutter is done like dinner.

    • Coach K says:

      Canada’s Jr. team did have game breakers…Drouin, Fucale, Mantha and McDavid (who will be in another year or two).

      The problem (as you correctly stated) was a lack of finishers among the forwards. A major reason for the lack of finish had more to do with desire than talent IMO. I think the skill was there but I lost count of how many times a Canadian forward won a puck battle in the corner or behind the net but couldn’t find anyone in front of the net to get the puck to. I don’t care how skilled you are. If you don’t go to the net, you are not going to score.

      The defensive game improved as the tourney went on but the defence refused to either shoot (second-guessing themselves) or wouldn’t move to find an unblocked shooting lane. Perhaps a lack of hockey IQ there. I don’t often say this but maybe Grapes is right. Next time Hockey Canada needs to focus on picking the right players and less on being politically correct. Of course we all know there is “no politics in hockey” … right? ;-)

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

  42. C-Sword says:

    Despite losing to the Kings, Luongo was terrific last night, as much as I like Price, I think Roberto will be the no.1 goalie for team Canada.

    • CJ says:

      I agree. I think it will be his net to start the tournament.

    • Reflektor says:

      No problem with that. Luongo deserves the start as the best top-notch veteran goalie. Price is easily #2. I’d go Harding for #3 based purely on stats. Funny to see the TSN Reporters Leafs mouthpiece Dave Hodge still pimping Bernier (he even mouthed ‘despite last night’).

      • CJ says:

        Harding won’t be on the team. I was reading an article that indicated that you had to be on a preliminary list, apparently for insurance reasons? I’m not entirely sure, but it sounded like no chance for Harding. Somebody, with more knowledge of the subject can clarify.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Only 2 days ago, Marty Brodeur came out again and said that the job Belongs to Luongo at least to start, and that it was his to lose based on him actually having won an Olympic Gold Medal

      • ABHabsfan says:

        That argument is only valid because Luongo is playing as well as, or close to Price. If Luongo was struggling the incumbent argument would be a lot harder to make

        “man, I love winnin'; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
        Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Luongo is playing well this year, better than his normal level I would say. In terms of puckstopping ability he and CP are a wash really. However Luongo’s inability to play the puck very well, especially in the large rink, may be the deciding factor. Lungo handles it like it’s a grenade. Price handles the puck well but his decisions sometimes with it may cause the Team Canada brass to soil themselves. I still go with Price because, well, I’m a Price fan

      “man, I love winnin'; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      I think there’s a good chance they split the first two games. Luongo undoubtedly gets game 1 and Price takes game 2 and the coaching staff goes from there.

  43. Maritime Ronn says:

    After reading a lot of very unwarranted negative comments about Douglas Murray this year, here’s wondering if several forgot the reasons why he was brought on board.

    First off, Murray cost NOTHING to the Habs to acquire in terms of player assets or future draft picks.

    His Cap Hit is a minimal $1.5M for 1 year – hardly any risk there.

    Just last trade deadline, the Pens paid Two – 2nd Round picks for Murray….and it was not Murray’s fault that the Pens stars ( Crosby-Malkin-Neal) were held pointless…and the The Pens only scored a grand total of 2 goals against Boston in 4 games, being swept 4-0 in the Conference Finals.

    As for the Habs – and after being totally and physically manhandled and intimidated by Ottawa during the playoffs last year ( Diaz looked like a frightened deer in the headlights), Murray was signed to provide some NHL experience depth on a 3rd pair, along with some 3rd pair toughness and help on the PK.

    Mavid Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf had a great summary earlier on in this thread concerning Murray, and an actual live view of what he brings to the Habs.

    It is not Murray’s fault if Diaz has bombed this year as a potential Top 4 – a Diaz that has accumulated the same number of assists/points in his past 13 games that Murray had just last night.

    It is not Murray’s fault if Emelin and Gorges are struggling.

    Murray is what he is – a short term, inexpensive, bridge Dman on a 3rd pairing until (or if ever) the Habs Hamilton guys are ready and pan out as bonafide NHLers..

    Murray character?
    How many would have stood up to John Scott?

    Douglas Murray is not a Habs issue or problem.
    The Habs issue is to somehow find a #3 Dman that can provide some offense, be that from within, or via an expensive trade, or costly improbable UFA signing.

    • CJ says:

      Excellent post. Thank you for taking the time to share. I agree completely. Cheers, CJ

      • frontenac1 says:

        Testify amigo! I hope we sign him for one more year to help the Kids coming up next year. Cube is basically done for that task. Merci Frankie.Saludos!

      • topher5468 says:

        Ronn, I agree with most of your post regarding Murray, However, Against Ottawa last spring, yes we lost a line brawl and there was the questionable cheap shot on Eller by Gryba, but, I never felt we were manhandled, we outplayed them most nights including a 26 shot period in one game, the main difference was they got goaltending, we did not. This is not a Post against Price so please (Fellow HIO members) don’t attack me on that.

        “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

        • frontenac1 says:

          Disagree. When Prust and TU-74 went down all mojo was lost. Habs were then bitch slapped.

          • topher5468 says:

            True, our style of play that I believe helped our team reach the playoffs with a top seed, changed with those injuries, especially to Emelin however, Ottawa did not man handle us, I believe , IMHO, we battled and competed just as hard but just did not get the goaltending to win.

            “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

        • CJ says:

          No attack. Goaltending did decide the outcome. Anderson was in another zone.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          hi topher

          There were lots of ways to look at that series and I agree that Anderson stood on his head….as did Crawford and Raask in the Finals because that’s what it takes to get to the big show Finals.

          Did the Habs play well against the Sens and could it have been different if they did not have key injuries?
          Possibly, yet the Habs were out-physicalled in 5 games and there would have been nothing left if it would have ever gone to 6 or 7.

    • AH says:

      MR great post! So many on here are like petulant spoiled kids, who ask for a toy, and then when they get it, once it doesn’t meet all their needs they discard it away as useless! Another example is Drewiskie, the guy has size, and can play a bit, and IMO did just fine in the role he was brought in for, and yet so many on here crucify the guy because he is not the next Bobby Orr. When and if the Habs win another the cup there will still be a bunch on here complaining about whether HOW it was won was to their liking.

    • Sportfan says:

      I’m loving Murray!

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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    • Arrow77 says:

      Murray wasn’t brought in just to be physical, he was brought in because his physicality was supposed to help our defense. He is currently last in the plus/minus department. That means he is behind Gorges, Diaz and Emelin who are all facing tougher opponents than he is and are all, as you say yourself, struggling. There is no reason why a stay-at-home defenseman who is -10 in only 23 games shouldn’t be criticized. It’s not Diaz, Emelin or Gorges fault he is struggling.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Is 1 Dman totally responsible for a goal?
        Team D is much more than 1 man – it is a 5 man unit and a goalie.
        Look around the NHL to see who are the worst in Plus-Minus.
        Staal-Ovie and all the great kids in Edmonton…

        • Arrow77 says:

          He’s not totally responsible for a goal but if you’re last on your team in +/-, it’s pretty hard to pretend you’re just being unlucky. That’s especially true when, like Murray, you’re only a third pairing defenseman who never faces top players.

          And all those players you named? They do get criticized for their defensive play. Murray’s physicality just does not equal Ovechkin’s 30 goals.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Perhaps we can agree to disagree.
            I feel he brings several intangibles ‘for his cost’ that would be missed playing 3rd pair minutes.

    • FlyAngler says:

      Great points Ronn, and let’s not forget that right now he is IMO our only dman that adds any significant level of intimidation factor as he is our only dman right now that delivers legal but punishing hits with any consistency. Hopefully, Emelin will get back to doing that when he returns to his pre-injury form, but right now Murray is our only guy that pounds opposition players any time he is in the lineup and the value of that cannot be underestimated.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  44. CJ says:

    One major unknown going forward will be the Olympic effect. Will those players who participate be at an advantage, or will they be drained? Will teams return from the break better or worse off for the stoppage? It will have a significant bearing on the outcome IMO. I am hoping it works to Montreal’s advantage, although we haven’t any major injuries. That said, perhaps guys are playing hurt so it might be a chance to heal a wound or two before pressing onward.

  45. rhino514 says:

    That´s hopw many good goals called back in the last 5 games?
    The players nor the coach are not allowed to comment on it, because the NHL is a “good ol boy´s club” and it will just make future call go against them.
    But I haven´t seen anything like the last 5 games since I started watching hockey.
    Somebody in the habs organization has seriously pissed off the refs. Don´t know if it´s that they think our players dive or whine, or what, but this isn´t normal. Those lost points could cost us at the end of the year.
    Good on the guys for coming back last game like they did. And Bourque, keep at it, you are playing fine and goals will come.

    • CJ says:

      To be fair, we have been the beneficiaries of breaks (the JVR goal called back for goaltender interference is but one example). The breaks are not going our way right now. I agree with your comments, and hope we get the bounces this week. Strange what has been happening against ottawa specifically. Going back to the very first game in 1992, they have had our number. When they don’t have our number, they seem to catch a call, bounce or break. I work with analytical analysis daily. I’m at a loss however to explain the oddity which is the NHL.

  46. Stevie.Ray says:

    There are only 5 teams in the East with an even or positive goal differential….

  47. jols101 says:

    Great gold medal game. Finland giving the Swedes all they can handle. 2-1 Finland half way through the game.

  48. CJ says:

    Great play by Lekhonen.

    • The Jackal says:

      Good to see 3 skilled forward prospects playing well at the WJC.
      I think at least 2/3 will crack the NHL.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • CJ says:

        I’m very impressed. It’s so difficult to stand out against this type of competition. All the Habs prospects have acquitted themselves very well. I’m disappointed that Hudon was not given a bigger role. He created more with less opportunity then any other Canadian player.

  49. jols101 says:

    Collberg just took an elbow to the head. He is down on the ice. TSN goes to commercial.

  50. Propwash says:

    Lol

    Adam Proteau ‏@Proteautype 1h
    Leafs take the ice for practice. And just like that, practice takes a 4-0 lead.
    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  51. CJ says:

    Back from the canal. Perfect weather, but the ice was terrible. A beavertail and time with the family left an overall awesome impression though. Now WJC finals, football and building Legos with the little guy.

  52. Lafleurguy says:

    Some valuable lessons for members of the selection committees in composing a team for international events. Darnell Nurse and Max Domi and one other omission from last year’s team (and the OHL scoring leader Don Cherry mentioned) deservedly invite criticism of the selection process for this year’s junior team.

    No way a partially-healed Steven Stamkos should be ahead of swift-skating Tyler Seguin for this year’s Olympic team. Again, the ice-surface has 3,000 more square feet of playing area. If the higher priority is to show respect to Stamkos, then let him play at a fraction of his full and truly phenomenal ability. If winning is the priority, take Sequin.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  53. jols101 says:

    de la Rose is a player. Anyone know his contract status in Sweden? Hope he is available next year for some Bulldog action so he can get used to the North American rink size and game. I don’t think he will need much time as he already likes to crash and bang.

    • CJ says:

      Available to play in Windsor next season. Rychel, Bergevin and DLR all wanted him to be in Windsor this year, but his commitment to the Swedish league could not be undone.

      • jols101 says:

        Cool. I know the rules for kids playing in the CHL, they can’t go to the AHL until their junior eligibility is done but I thought the rules were different for prospects playing pro in Europe. I thought he could go straight to the Bulldogs next year. I guess not.

        • CJ says:

          He can. Given his age, there will be options. He will be back at the WJC next season and could dominate.

          • jols101 says:

            Either way would be great, Windsor or Hamilton. It is just that he is already playing against men in the Swedish elite league, it seems like a bit of a step backwards going to the OHL, although it is a great league.

  54. frontenac1 says:

    Go Finland! Go Chargers!
    Got Liquor riding on it!

  55. Timo says:

    So…. still not Briere, Diaz and a pick trade? Man… I was so hopeful.

  56. Trollhunter says:

    I remember a game vs the devils when PK cross checked a guy repeatedly from behind and took a penalty with Under 2 minutes left in the third. After the game “I can`t believe the ref called that penalty that late in the game“
    Its like in PK`s mind it is ok to slew foot and cross check and hook whenever he deems it acceptable.

    Someone please tell him those things are NOT acceptable. A penalty is a penalty.
    oh and tell him If he doesn`t get the call on Tuesday from Team Canada it is not personal… it is because of that S***

    Best offensive dman in the league… at a price.

    Its just so frustrating as a fan because that area of his game isn`t going away and it could easily. Even when he gets away with it (and he does. A lot) i get so mad.

    • FlyAngler says:

      P K has taken some very bad penalties in the past. In fairness, however, IMO, he has been a lot more disciplined and shown much better judgement in that area and I think that he should be commended for improvement rather than criticized for past mistakes that most young players make. As far as last night goes, again IMO, it is Frankie St. Laurent who deserves to be crucified NOT P K.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      He’s still quite young. He’ll learn to edit some of that out of his game before too long….hopefully. If he learns to manage himself a little better in those situations he could have it all HOF, captain, you name it…..I’m betting he does and he will…

      24 cups and counting….

    • Habfan10912 says:

      He did nothing wrong last night. MT was correct in defending him. The only person who screwed up that play last night was the official.

    • The Jackal says:

      Yeah, PK definitely does not think that.
      Glad to see him speak up and say how BS the refs are.
      You see players crosschecking and engaging in after-the-whistle stuff all the bloody time and they don’t get called for it.

      Of course PK is frustrated that the idiotic zebras seem to have him targeted as a shit disturber. In a way, it is personal because the refs have him as an agitator by default, even though PK has matured a hell of a lot and has dialled down the chirping and post-whistle stuff, the refs still treat him like a cheap goon hack.

      Don’t what games you are watching but there is no “price” to having PK. He’s an elite player of the rare type – one who loves playing in Montreal and has passion and drive. It may not be personal if Team Canada does not take him to Sochi, but it would be a huge freaking mistake and one would have to ask if the phantom calls and undue reputation created by the idiotic media detracted from PK’s stature as a top defenceman in the NHL.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  57. Timo says:

    I see Canada lost again and no medals for the second straight year. Perhaps it’s a perfect time to stop calling it “our” game and focus on Canada’s national sport. Although, I have a feeling that Canada isn’t winning much at that sport either.

    • Strummer says:

      TSN hype machine takes it on the chin again this year.
      Looks good on these blowhards.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • joeybarrie says:

      NO MEDALS FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR???????

      WTF?
      doesn’t the world know we have to win everything, always????

      No competition. Just Canada dominating 13-1 and we will be satisfied. Anything less and we sulk, complain, and cry…

      Why is it other countries can be as good as us.
      UNFAIR.

      I’m gonna go drink a jar of Maple Syrup and end it all.

  58. Timo says:

    What’s up with Emelin? He looks brutal. Not just bad, but brutal. Used to be one of my favorite and now I put him in Diaz category. How many games does he need to gel? Should Habs scrap him for the rest of the season or send him to A?

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      yeah, I’m hoping he returns to form after the Olympics…

      24 cups and counting….

    • Habilis says:

      Remember how long it took Markov to get back to full strength? Same deal with Teemu Selanne back when he was with the Avs (yes, I’m old). He was coming back from a complete ACL tear and his first year back he was mediocre at best, people saying he was done way back then. Good call on that one.

      So yeah, it can take literally years to regain your form, if you ever do. Some obviously don’t.

      Of course those are worst case scenarios. Emelin is younger and hopefully stronger than both those guys were and as such he should be able to bounce back faster. But still, it could be a while.

      Edit: And yes Timo, he should be in Sochi. He’s been on everyone’s Russian Olympic team that I’ve seen. Their D is definitely not strong, after Markov anyhow.

      • The_Truth says:

        Or maybe Emelin just isn’t that good and was overrated last year because of the coincidence of the season’s bad finish with his injury?

        He really doesn’t seem to be a very smart defensive player. It has nothing to do with his skating.

    • Strummer says:

      Long term contract-itis?

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      He needs time and he needs to play on the left. That´s all. Unfortunately the second part gets completely ignored by our brilliant coaching staff.

    • ooder says:

      They were saying that after goalies, its hardest for dmen to adjust after they miss training camp. Not to mention he missed it after a serious injury.
      So hopefully enelin uses this season as a write off and a test for his knee and he will be ready for next year.
      It is what it is. Can’t fault the guy for it.

    • joeybarrie says:

      that’s because you give up on our players if they don’t perform to your expections on any 3 game streak.
      Bourque is useless right? Except he hit 4 posts in the last 5 games and had 2 goals taken back.
      a little luck the other way, and his 12 goals on the season would change our minds.

    • CJ says:

      Need to be patient. I’m hoping one or more huge hits gets him back on point. He needs that point of reference. Hitting was his speciality. Hopefully laying the body brings him back.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Lost mojo Timo. Maybe woman troubles,who knows?He Needs to get it back.

  59. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Bulldogs win again, Tokarski is so solid right now for the Dogs. Pateryn seems like a very steady, capable D-man who deserves a call up right now. Problem is we have so many vets on D right now with the Habs who are in the “bottom pairing” range. Many of these D are both miscast and considered by mgmt to be higher on the depth chart than anyone currently in Hamilton. I find myself anxious for the off season when this team will see a little turnover and maybe benefit from some new blood to add to an exciting young core…Overall though I am happy with the results from the team so far. My personal wish for this year was for Carey and PK to make the Olympic team. Price appears to have taken things to the next level so I am pleased. Also happy that Max was chosen. The CH prospects at the World Juniours did fine for the most part, in my opinion, and are reasons for cautious optimism. Looking for McCarron to have a better second half. I think overall things are looking positive. Looking forward to another great haul for the Habs at the 2014 NHL entry draft. There you have it….

    24 cups and counting….

  60. donmarco says:

    Good Lord, the Americans are having a “polar vortex”.

    In Canada we call it winter.

    Can’t wait to watch the Green Bay game.

  61. cliff rashotte says:

    Good Afternoon everyone…Last nites game and really the whole road trip before and after holidays it looks like Pricey has been not quite up to his level he has shown earlier this season..Not saying he isnt still playing well just not stonening the other teams…I think once the team for Canada is announced you will see a much better and tighter Price..I do wish the coach would give the kids more responsability now so they will be ready for the pressure of the playoffs..

  62. Plekasuares says:

    What a crap show team Canada put on.4th place way to go.

    • 123456 says:

      Didn’t Canada really outplay Russia but end up on the losing end? The only problem that I see with Canada’s hockey at the current time is that it’s fans are immature and do not know the game. I’m in NY and the crap I read after the US lost to Canada – the elite teams are so evenly matched it’s just a bounce here or a bad break there that determines the outcome. Be proud of your country and the select few that are fortunate enough to have the skills and passion to get to the tournament.

      I’m so looking forward to the Olympics – not because I think the USA will win but because the games will be great and if they get to the medal round it will be a huge accomplishment.

  63. Wintercount says:

    Is there a point to these manufactured after game pressers? Why is everyone afraid to ask the difficult Q’s.

    Q- Michel could you describe the pre-game bowel movement.

    MT- You know “it’s a process” …….

  64. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Like I said last night, this D has become a mess. There is no more continuity and cohesion. The only acceptable pairing is Markov-Subban. The others…forget it. I can’t believe it has taken this long for someone in the media to mention Pateryn. The Habs have needed a top-4 RH for a long time. Ideally someone with size to play with Gorges. The use of LH D-men has only worked with Emelin but he has been faltering recently. Imagine if Emelin played on his natural left-side…he would probably have even more hits with the better timing. He would definitely have less turnovers. They have tried Gorges on the right side recently and he was brutal (not as easy without Hal Gill huh? LOL). There is no way the Habs can go far in the playoffs like this.

    The Habs either have to make a deal or bring someone up. I don’t understand posters who rather see veterans who constantly make mistakes instead of young players. At least a young player can improve…Murray/Boullion won’t. The Habs have a multitude of coaches. None of them can coach a young player? Maybe if MT hired a Hall of Famer/Stanley Cup winner (player and coach) instead of a career 6th D-man/AHL coach, our young D would develop better…yeah right.

    • Forum Dog says:

      It’d be interesting to see how Pateryn handled himself if he got the call. He seems to be dominating at the AHL level, so a call-up is justifiable. The problem for the Habs is that they have no-one they can send down on the defensive side, and very few forwards who are eligible. I agree completely though that they are in dire need of a physically aggressive and strong d-man to play the right side.

      I don’t have a problem with Daigneault as a coach, but they are lacking the proper mix of pieces, both on D and up front. That plus the head coach insists on playing average veterans and keeping a tight leash on high level youngsters. They are absolutely killing Galchenyuk right now. His confidence seems shot.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Subban is a perfect number 1
      Markov is great number 2
      Diaz is a weak number 3
      Emelin will be a good number 4 next year but he sucks right now. Should be the number 6.
      Gorges is a good number 5
      Murray and Boullion are weak number 6

      Find somebody to replace Diaz. Somehow who can lead the second PP and can play decent safe minutes. Beau lieu is the future number 3 (hopefully 2). Maybe Someone like Wiz or Edler can be had now?

      Bring in Pateryn as the number 4 or go trade for someone who can play a good shutdown game and move Emelin to the third pair.

    • Habilis says:

      Agreed on all counts.

      IMHO, the whole organization is a mess right now and it all starts with the head coach. His poor decisions reverberate throughout every level of this team. He refuses to play the kids for any significant minutes. Heck, PK is still playing less minutes than he should be, given the level of play of the rest of our D (excluding Markov). Forget about guys like Galchenyuk and Bournival. He shelters them so much that it’s probably slowing their development at this point.

      All this without mentioning his complete lack of a system (dump and chase is for pee-wee teams), his inexplicable infatuation with Cube, and his version of line-matching. The latter apparently consists of nothing more than a big bowl with a bunch of names in it.

      I’ve said it way too many times, and nothing has changed my mind yet. We will never win anything with Therrien at the helm.

      Bringing up Pateryn? Why, so he can play 10 minutes a game in a sheltered role? No thanks. Let him play 25 plus on the farm and get better for next year, when hopefully we have a coach who is willing to maximize this team’s output, no matter who he has to play to do so.

      • CJ says:

        With all due respect, I completely disagree with the comment, “the whole organization is a mess.” We are further ahead at the NHL level then where many professional pundits thought we might be. Our AHL team has progressed significantly and our prospect pool is among the deepest in the league. We have the most players of any NHL organization at the WJC. If this is the definition of a mess, I can’t wait to see us once we reach the status of decent.

        • Habilis says:

          Yeah that’s a fair point. Perhaps I was a little hot-headed when choosing my words there.

          To be clearer, I’m a big fan of our young core and our prospect pool as well. Plus I think that Trevor Timmins is the single greatest asset the Habs have at their disposal.

          What I’m not a fan of is the way that young core is being used right now. Nor am I a fan of the “system” that those players are playing in. Being underused and playing an outdated, inefectual style of hockey is not good for anyone’s development, IMHO.

          • CJ says:

            We are all passionate. I want to win so badly! There is nothing personal about this exchange, and I sincerely hope I haven’t offended anyone. The reality is we are building for the future, which might be a year or two away. It is going to take some time to filter out the old guard and replace with the younger stars. Responsibilities will grow. There will be a time, in the not too distant future, where Chucky will be a star, first wave PP guy. Hang in there.

        • The Jackal says:

          Fully agreed CJ.
          A mess? That’s nuts!
          MB has done a lot of good in his first year as GM, there’s no reason to freak out.

          ______________________
          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Pateryn can easily play 15 min/game here. If the Habs are not going to make a trade, then this is the best option now. I rather see Pateryn given a shot and Emelin moved to the left side where he belongs.

        • Habilis says:

          I agree with you, but do you honestly think MT will give Pateryn 15 minutes a game?

          Barring injuries, I see 10 max. And that’s only if there are few penalties, because there’s no way MT puts him on the PP or PK.

    • rhino514 says:

      The problem is management has actually been good at identifying potential weaknesses on the team, but simply haven´t been able to land players of the quality they need.
      They needed a winger, they got Briere. They needed a solid Dman, they got Murray. Not unmitigated disasters, perhaps, but not the answer. Weak replacements.
      Either the asking price for quality players out there is simply very steep, or the GM isn´t very adept at striking deals.
      I would also bring up Pateryn sooner rather than later; if he surprises everyone, fine, otherwise, we have time to go out and at least try and get a good Dman,

      • Habs4LifeInTO says:

        Most likely much harder for GMs to steal good players than we think. Must make due with less than perfect until our draftees develop. Given what we have to work with I am gratified at least when Murray pushes back a bit on our behalf on occasion and I did enjoy watching Briere score a few last night especially that nice back hand to forehand. Those quick hands might come in handy. Hoping he blossoms in the second half.

        24 cups and counting….

    • mount royal says:

      Future hall of famers usually don`t make good coaches. They played by instinct, not by learning . (Think Gretsky!) It is the journeymen or goalies, who have to really study the game in order to succed, who generally become coaches.


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