About last night …

If every game at the Bell Centre were as well-played and entertaining as your Montreal Canadiens’ overtime conquest of the Stanley Cup champs, they could increase capacity to 30,000 and bump ticket prices 50 per cent.
Not that we should be giving Geoff Molson any ideas.
But man, that was some excellent hockey Saturday night – in a building that has seen its share of less-than-excellent games down the years.
And while we’re floating hypotheses, if the Canadiens played like that 82 times a season … well, maybe the Cup wouldn’t be residing on the shores of Lake Michigan.

OK, let’s not get too effervescent here.

The trophy currently residing in Chicago isn’t being packed for shipment to the banks of the St. Lawrence river.

But if Michel Therrien can persuade his team to play that hard over the last 36 regular-season games, at least the Canadiens will enter the playoffs as a darkhorse that is not to be dismissed as a collection of stiffs who can’t win in Philadelphia.

You hold the reigning Stanley Cup champions to 20 shots (fewest against the Canadiens this season) and one goal, you’re doing something right. If Corey Crawford didn’t stand on his head and make spectacular stops on Brandon Prust and Lars Eller, this W would have been done and dusted in regulation.

So who are the real Montreal Canadiens?

It’s a question that must roil the slumber of Therrien and general manager Marc Bergevin.

Coming off arguably their worst game of the season, Thursday night the Wells Fargo Center, the Canadiens played their butts off for 62 minutes.

Yes, the Hawks have been in a mini-slump lately. Saturday’s loss was their third this week.

And yes, Chicago had a goal disallowed. God knows, Canadiens fans know how that feels.

But the Cup-holders hadn’t played since Wednesday and were well-rested. They have no significant injuries.

And they’re a damn good team. Saturday’s game included sequences – especially early – in which the guys in white jerseys ran a clinic on puck possession.

But the Canadiens outplayed them.

The Canadiens played 62 minutes of tough, smart hockey – the latter quality evidenced by only one penalty, to P.K. Subban for a puck fired over the boards. Confronted by a lineup that includes four lines of speedy, skilled forwards – not to mention mobile defencemen – the Canadiens played disciplined hockey: no hooks, holds, trips or any of the desperate techniques to which players resort when overmatched.

The Canadiens weren’t overmatched – or, and this is a tribute to Therrien and his staff – overawed.

The home team held the visitors to single-digit shot totals in every period – and outshot the Hawks 4-0 in Overtime.

The Canadiens outhit Chicago 28-11. Six of the bodychecks were delivered by Alexei Emelin, who played his best game in months.

Emelin’s D partner, Andrei Markov, scored both goals and blocked three shots while playing eight seconds shy of 26 minutes. Just when you start to worry about what Markov has left in the tank – the more so because he will play major minutes for Mother Russia at Sochi – he dials up a Lidstromesque performance.

The best Canadien, from where I was sitting, was Tomas Plekanec. Matched against the great Jonathan Toews, Plekanec won 10 of 18 faceoffs annd had an eye-popping 11 shots on goal. Toews went 10-11 on draws and had one SoG.

Plekanec is good almost every time the Canadiens suit up. What distinguished this game was contributions by players who have been inconsistent, to put it charitably, this season:

• Travis Moen and Brian Gionta on the Pleks line

• Rene Bourque … yes, even Rene Bourque  … with four hits and a couple shots while playing with Daniel Brière and Lars Eller, who matched Bourque’s four hits.

• David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher, who pressured the puck in the Chicago zone on every shift. (But I thought their linemate, Max Pacioretty, was a bit dozy.)

• George Parros parked his big body in the Chicago crease on Markov’s first goal.

• Brandon Prust hustled like the Prust of November.

• Douglas Murray and Raphael Diaz contributed solid, error-free shifts – which is what you want from the third pairing.

And, of course, the goaltender.

Stéphane Waite must have felt a bit like Archie Manning watching Denver play the Giants.

Corey Crawford and Carey Price are beneficiaries of Waite’s coaching acumen.

Both pupils excelled.

Crawford faced more shots. But Price made all the saves he had to and had no chance on the only goal he allowed.

Again, were those the real Montreal Canadiens?

Let’s postpone an answer at least until Tuesday night, when New Jersey visits the Bell Centre. Then the Canadiens play four straight on the road, in Ottawa, Toronto, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

All Eastern Conference rivals – three of them scrambling for playoff spots (the Penguins are a lock).

For at least one game, your Canadiens looked like they are ready for the serious part of the schedule.




  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …can You all imagine the psyche of Our Players following the game vs the Flyers ?

    …besides P.K.’s behind being nailed to the bench for most of the third, They recognized Their Coach essentially ‘giving-up’ the game …underlined by not pulling the goalie

    …as a Fan, I saw it in Therrien’s eyes and His actions …can You imagine how clearly the message was received by the Team ?

    …each individual Player, after time, understands and is tuned-in to every heart-beat of the Coach if They are half-way intelligent

    …many of Us was all over Therrien for not pulling-out all the normal stops to at least earn a point

    …good coaches not only look at the moment, but they too are looking forward

    …I am certain He recognized a malaise in the Team that required a significant adjustment and wake-up call

    …thinking if He went through the normal motions of the defeat in Philidelphia without going nuclear, a similar loss in Montreal to the Blackhawks will certainly follow

    …it’s called ‘coaching’

    …Michel Therrien was not My choice, but since both the Philadelphia game and the Blackhawks game, He has certainly raised His esteem in My eyes

    …have no idea of the future, but for today, Michel Therrien has My respect for some great coaching these past few days

  2. Danno says:

    New threat…


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

  3. Eddie says:

    I think a very big difference last night was Moen next to Plekanec and Gionta.

    Our good friend Krob has been advocating this kind of balance, using pluggers and size on every line.

    Hey Krob! Good call man!

  4. Willy the bum says:

    I watched the game so much on PVR, especially the Crawford’s Great Goal Robbery on Eller. I mean, how the heck does he done that? Even both Subban and an official was awed in the penalty box. That’s as much excitement as it is than the rest of the games this season.

    You guys are asking “Who are the Montreal Canadiens?” Well, there’s no explanation to this riddle. This is probably a consideration for a segment on that 90’s TV series “Unsolved Mysteries”… In my opinion, the Habs are playing their hearts out. And to a big team like the Hawks, they have to. Just like the Pens or the Bruins, they want to prove that they should be one of the elite teams and a playoff contender. Sure they can’t beat out from the good teams like the Kings to the worst like the Panthers or Flyers (not as worst right now), but to know there are certain games as important to them they had to prove to themselves who they are.

    Everybody in the Habs team are great. The usual suspects were there: Pleks, Price, Eller, and al. To me, Parros was a surprise, because I’m as then worried as the next fan when he stepped on the ice knowing there will be a fight. He has not last night, when he got the first shot for the Habs and getting +1 (and really deserving). He should get a bit more on playing time, but there are other games ahead. And if he were to play hockey instead of getting into scrums, he would be perfect to park himself in front of the opposing goalies, a la Gallagher (although Parros could just stand there like a tree). Who knows, maybe he could deflect from a shot, getting his first goal as a Hab (I would love to see that)!

    Also Emelin is back, playing smart and giving powerful hits on the Hawks players (one is especially aimed at Patrick Kane in the 1st). He still have lots to learn from his play, considering how lucky the team had him coming out of IR and getting points until the last few games when he was getting minuses.

    Anyways, I wrote too much. So in all, an exciting game last night, and god hope it will be like that when they play the Devils next game.

  5. rhino514 says:

    I have a simple question: Gallagher has something like 9 points in the last 25 games since being put on the number one line. He got the line going, but at his own expense.
    Why doesn´t Therrien put the EGG line back together? They has terrific chemistry togther, If he just wants someone to go to the net for Pacioretty and DD, why doesn´t he just stick Bourque there?
    I really hope MT gives Eller the wingers he deserves when Chucky comes back.

    • Willy the bum says:

      Therrien probably bring back the EGG line sooner or later, depending on how the team fare during the season. Besides, Gallagher got Patches and DD going. Bourque on the other hand, he doesn’t seem to be going into the nets anymore, unless it’s just be my imagination.
      What’s important is getting the team to win, not by counting up points for individuals.

  6. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Carmen Miranda ??? 🙂 …that tells Y’all how old a geezer I am


  7. Plekasuares says:

    Got tickets for the game next Saturday! Lots of money so Habs better stomp the Leafs. Anybody know any good resteraunts we can go to before the game?

  8. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Normand (UCe) is HIO’s Carmen Miranda

    …Where in the World is … Normand ???

    …Normand raises the IQ of HIO to a Mensa-level (…am i allowed to exagerate in HIO ??? 🙂 ) when He is contributing

    …if Y’all is reading this Normand, get Your ass back here !!!

  9. Eddie says:

    Hey Therrien supporters, that was a great game! Truly entertaining from start to finish.

    Here’s my proposal:

    I’m willing to give Therrien FULL credit for that win. Absolutely. The team rallied on a Saturday night at home after a dismal game in Philly. Kudos M. Therrien.

    In exchange, if the Habs sag and play badly, I want you guys to lay the blame at Therrien’s feet equally.

    Is that fair?

    You see I’m not a Therrien brasher. I just hold the coach equally responsible for success or failure. Not completely responsible of course. The players still have to do the work, right?

    So there’s no “re-building excuse” if we play some stinky games, ok?


    Now, how about those Habs!! That was great hockey!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I suspect that old adage where Coaches get too much blame for losses and too much credit for wins is probably in order.

      As I mentioned to Bripro a couple posts below, i was simply very happy to see the team as a whole come out and play a strong game after the last game and all the hoopla surrounding it.

      • Mark C says:

        Not on this site. We can’t enjoy a great win without having to discuss the who to blame for the next loss narrative.

        You are right, coaches are very much overrated.

        • Eddie says:

          I think most coaches in all sports are overrated. Then there are the extremely talented ones who seem to carry their teams gap forward when you least expect it.

          Anyone who has played at a high level will tell you that coaches can really increase a players drive and motivation.

      • Plekasuares says:

        Is that not what fans do credit the coach when they win and hate him when they lose. This post is full of genius.

    • HardHabits says:

      Show me a good goalie, and I’ll show you a good coach.

  10. JohnBellyful says:

    Last night’s game was the most entertaining and most satisfying of all the Canadiens’ wins this season. It’s too bad the buzz-killing Devils are the next opponents. Can’t really expect the match to compare in excitement to what took place yesterday but a win would at least extend the feeling of satisfaction. For most of us.
    And if a win should happen, can everyone agree not to post afterwards: Where are the haters now?
    Such inquiries have become as predictable as the scorn hurled against certain players after a loss.
    A win is a win, some better than others.
    A loss is a loss, some worse than the others.
    This fascination with the whereabouts of the haters after a victory I find rather odd. And tiresome in its repetitiveness, sinking to the level of line combinations (which, at least, require some effort and imagination to construct).
    If it’s missing posters we’re concerned about, UCE would be at the top of most people’s lists.
    Now there’s a fellow whose absence is genuinely felt.
    Maybe after the New Jersey game, I’ll follow recent custom and weigh in with a: Yeah, where’s UCE now? Unhh? Unhh?
    But unlike the others in this vein, this one will be sincere in hoping for an answer.

  11. B says:

    Dumont has the Dogs up 1-0. He has 5 shots already, Dogs outshooting Iowa 18-8 after 1 period.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  12. frontenac1 says:

    One of the Biggest Travesties of the NHL is Chicago is in the West. My Buddy The Hawks Fan agrees. Original Six. Nuff said except Screw you Buttman!

    • Captain Pike says:

      Hey Front, after enjoying the game with some lady friends last night, we all came to the same conclusion. How great would it be to see Chi-town on a more regular basis. Original 6 in the east! Make it so.

      • Danno says:

        That dance by the lovely ladies really got my beeper beeping Captain Pike!

        ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ….


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

  13. Plekasuares says:

    Grig will go play for Siberia eventually

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So which Canadian hockey player do you predict will be in Nunavit soon, this post is filled with genius!

      • Plekasuares says:

        TooToo. Get it?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Perhaps you can explain what you mean then. To me it looks like you flippantly view this player of Russian descent to be back in Russia in no time. The fact you refer to him being in a part of Russia where only 1 or 2 KHL teams exist, this makes me think you believe he will be out of hockey completely.

        I don’t get the innuendo, he came to Canada to play Junior hockey for little money to develop his skills, he also has expressed his desire to play in the NHL.

        Sorry if your post makes little to no sense to me.

        • Plekasuares says:

          Ok thats fine. Some russian players leave to the KHL. Not working out for Him so he can go play in The KHL just like maybe Yak will. If you do not get the comment just scroll up for other ones instead of being sarcastic.

        • Bripro says:

          I agree with you Gerry that his intent was and still is the NHL.
          But if that’s not an option for the kid and his immaturity forbids him from seeing the Ramparts as the smart alternative, then he might just be considering the KHL.
          He did well at the WJ’s, and I’m certain he was noticed in his home country.
          I’m just speculating.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Any chance that presently being a part of the most dysfunctional team in the NHL may be the problem? Oh well I am sure Siberia will be great, after all I hear that means the KHL. I often hear people talk about players wanting to playing the in the NHL and it is referred to as going to Yukon.

          • Plekasuares says:

            Buffalo is a rebuilding team Grigerenko should get icetime. So ya he Cannot even play for a “dysfuctional” team

  14. Reflektor says:

    Millions of Canadian hockey fans are cheering for the Devils tonight. Freude that Schaden.

  15. Bripro says:

    This team is like my golf game.
    Go from playing a great 85 (I’m no pro) to a horrid 98!
    That’s our Habs.
    We’re now all psyched after last night’s best-of-the-year performance,
    I’m wondering if the next game will be shanked out of bounds.

  16. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    Glad to see the claws retracted on HIO after a great game.
    In a way it kind of makes me sad to see games like this knowing they have become such a rarity in todays NHL,with the arms race for size and grinding down low hockey.

  17. likehoy says:

    Desharnais’s strategy to stay in the NHL.. Pass to Pacioretty.

  18. JUST ME says:

    It`s strange how we always look for one player that had a bad game when we won the damn game, when it was a great game and when on the other hand we know it`s a team game. Max did not have that bad a game, he should get all the credit for the winning goal !
    If one guy deserves a break on this team it`s Max so if all the others one day get to play at his level of excellence we will be unbeatable.

    Claude Noel is finally gone. Just do not think he was ever ready for prime time…Problem is not entirely solved though and i think that the Jets have very good players to offer that could get a solid return in exchange and the possibility to continue from there instead of having to rebuild .

    Go Devils go ! Would be very nice for the Leafs to continue their streak tonight!

  19. Forum Dog says:

    They pretty much all played a great game (aside maybe from Pacioretty), but to me the most prominent were Eller and Emelin. Eller had a few shifts there where he was dominating physically in the offensive zone, and his PK work was excellent. Didn’t result in any goals, though he should have had at least one.

    As Boone stated, that was probably Emelin’s best game of the year. Hit hard, clean, and often, generally making life miserable for Chicago’s skilled forwards.

    Price didn’t get a lot of shots, but was dynamite when he needed to be. Staying square with Toews when he slipped out of the corner was a critical save.

    As someone posted at the start of the game blog, the key was effort, and everybody gave that much.

    • CJ says:

      Agreed. I thought Prust was also a star. Nice to see the unsung get some love.

    • dabu says:

      Prior to “yesterday”‘s game (watched by live video stream at 02:30 today my time), was wondering whether Emelin would start to hit again, after being named to the Russian Olympic squad. Guess i got my answer. May be a coincidence, but think he didn’t want to do anything that could lead to injury. Playing in Sochi very important to him, I believe.

  20. munch17jr says:

    Can anyone explain MT’s refusal to put together good PP lines? We probably have one of the best PP defensive pairings in the league, but the worst chemistry of forwards down low. Since 51 was inexplicably rewarded with the top spot on the PP, we have been a horrible 7-for-61 (11.5%) – one of the worst in the league. 11-51-67 is an awful powerplay line and they just keep getting put out there again and again. It’s awful. None of them are particularly great puckhandlers on the half-board.

    Honestly, CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN WHY THESE GUYS (Desharnais in particular) DESERVES TO KEEP GETTING PP1 TIME OVER PLEKANEC, ELLER, BRIERE OR GALCHENYUK (pre-injury he was getting almost no PP time anymore)?!?!

    • habsfan0 says:

      C’est un mystère enveloppé dans une devinette intérieur d’une énigme.

    • likehoy says:

      I see why you’re upset.. but lets be honest.. we have 2 out of our top 9 forwards who are legitimately top power play players.

      say we put plekanec – Briere – Patches as one unit

      second unit: gallagher – gionta – desharnais (lols) or bourque, or eller, or whoever.

  21. Habcouver says:

    Kudos to Big George! 3:33 TOI, no PIM (fights), and most of all, a +1. Unsung hero last night.

    Waiting patiently for #25

  22. jimmy shaker says:

    Great game…..haven’t been that into a game other than a playoff game in a long time. Great game for george, wish MT would trust him more and give him his regular ice time. Also, it might be a good thing to try Parros on the PP and have him stand in front of the tender.

    This would be worth a try for MT….


    Parros, chucky and gally. but use pleks since chuck is hurt!

    Shaker out!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Agree re Parros on PP. WOuld you try Murray in similar role, Jimmy?

      • Timo says:

        Yep. I don’t see why Parros cannot park his mustache in front of a goalie for 2 minutes.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        That would work, but since murray usually gets his regular shifts and minutes I’d defer to george. Either or, give it a shot. But the key to their pp needs to be someone along the sidewall that is creative and actually kovalev like with his puck handling that would give marky and subban more time at the points. If the pk is going to take away the points, it basically comes down to a 3 on 2, where the habs need to be better with the puck and more intense in retrieving it. That’s why I think Chucky is the best option the habs have coming off the sidewall. Maybe MT will use him there one day!

        Shaker out!

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        I’ve suggested Murray on the PP but Therrien the therrorist refuses to budge.

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

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Do you remember the year Lyle Odelein scored like ten goals from the front of the net on the power Play?

  23. commandant says:

    Grigorenko takes to Facebook to Explain his Decision not to go to Quebec.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  24. JF says:

    It seems that Therrien’s message at the end of the Philly game got through. In not pulling Budaj for the extra skater, he was telling the team that after their putrid effort for the first 58 minutes, the chances of their scoring twice in the final two were slim to none and that they didn’t deserve the opportunity to try. Pulling the goaltender when trailing by a goal or two is so routine that it’s quite possible not doing so could have an impact. The team responded with an outstanding effort last night, 62 minutes of disciplined hard work, with no passengers and every player laying it all on the ice.

    After the Philly game, a lot of posters were fulminating about the point or even two points possibly lost because of Therrien’s decision; but could it not be the case that the message, coming when it did, was more important than the potential points? The Habs were about to face one of the best teams in the League and would need an all-out effort from everyone to have any hope of salvaging even a point.

    But beyond last night’s game, we are past the mid-point of the season, and competition will certainly heat up as teams fight to secure a playoff berth. The win itself earned only the standard two points, but it felt as though it was worth more. Out-skating, out-working, and out-scoring the Stanley Cup Champions must surely have given the team a huge confidence boost. Hopefully this will carry over. I expect them still to struggle against the big, grinding teams, but I hope that we’ll at least see more intensity and commitment against those teams, and that, the next time we face a fast-skating puck-possession team – Detroit for example – we’ll be treated to a spectacle like last night’s.

    • Bripro says:

      “…but it felt as though it was worth more…”
      I agree. Just looking at how the team reacted to Markov’s OT winner, their entire game notwithstanding, it was obvious to me that this game meant a lot to each member of the team.
      It’s one for the books.

    • Habcouver says:

      If our Habs can uphold yesterday’s standard of play in the coming games, I will agree that the MT message got through.

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I admit that MT may be a genius, but I am skeptical that this is a case of cause and effect. The Habs often get up for the big games — at least against certain teams.

      • JF says:

        Not saying he’s a genius. And yes, the Habs often get up for big games (but not always – look at the recent game against St. Louis, one of their worst this season). But the decision not to pull Budaj was so pointed that I feel sure Therrien was sending a message. It may be mysterious to us why professional athletes need messages of this kind to perform well – why being benched, for example, often motivates a player; why they so often need reminding of the elementary fact that a game lasts 60 minutes and demands three periods of hard work, not one or two. But results show that sending a message often works, and I think this was such a case.

  25. Why do they play better when I don’t watch? Gah!

    And seeing as I didn’t get a chance to watch the game, does it look like we have three set lines now, at least for a while? If Briere, Eller and Bourque are starting to feel comfortable together, then that would make the third of our top three lines, no? At least until Chucky comes back, anyway.

    Someone who watched the last couple of games, please update me.

    And again, you’re welcome for not watching and cursing the Habs. =(

    Defense wins championships

  26. Habcouver says:

    Anyone feeling bad for Perry Pearn firing?

    Waiting patiently for #25

  27. habcertain says:

    Anyone scouting the Habs got a lesson on how not to play them, I expect the meat grinder will be out, especially for the next 3 games.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think opponents will continue to press our defense. If Diaz and Emelin continue yo play the way they played last night it might not work as well as it has in the past. That was a huge game for those two. Huge.

      • habcertain says:

        Nice to Emelin rocking people again

        • frontenac1 says:

          TU 74! Anybody questioning the role Parros plays on the team saw it last night. After Emelin crushed that Hawk with a Legal Check, Bollig wanted a piece of him. Until Stache skated over with a smile on his face. Result? Bollig skated to the bench. A good Enforcers job is police and Dispense justice when required. he will also make his presence felt without fighting. Saludos!

          • Haberoooo13 says:

            But against other teams he will have to fight

            Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

          • Bripro says:

            100% Front.
            And he played well. Wasn’t out of position.
            Skated faster than he has all year. Put a few nice shots to the net, especially in the first period.
            Up until last night, aside from the enforcer assurance he offered, he didn’t impress. Last night, he did.

  28. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Was the Gallagher/MacDonald’s ad on in English? If not, here it is:


  29. Habilis says:

    Oh those Loafs. Am I the only one enjoying this slide more than I should be?

    I was annoyed at the East earlier in the season when the Leafs were playing terrible hockey but simply could not be caught for that second wild card spot. Now they’ve been so bad for so long that 6 teams have caught or passed them all at once. As jols mentioned earlier, their ROW is awful too, so they basically need to get to at least 7th in the conference to have any hope of making it. Long way to go yet, but still.

    Le ha ha.

  30. mrhabby says:

    Bring cole back….reunite with dd and max p…restore the egg line when gally comes back stranger things have happened.

  31. wild flower says:

    In the last 10 games played, Edmonton has a better record than Chicago. Playing like they are now, Chicago would not even be a playoff team.

    • Timo says:

      Unlike Edmonton, (or Habs) Chicago have horses and leadership to turn it around. Their are far more likely to turn on that magic switch when required than most of the teams in the league.

      • wild flower says:

        Yep. I’m just saying that all the excitement about last night should be tempered. Based on their current situation, it makes about as much sense as talking about Detroit as if Lidstrom and Stevie Y where still on the team..as some in the media still do.

    • CJ says:

      That’s simply not true. Edmonton has 10 points in their past ten games, while Chicago has 13. Edmonton is 4-4-2, while Chicago is 4-1-5.

  32. Bripro says:

    Good day, y’all.
    Can someone tell me how tall Parros is really?
    Seven feet ….. what?
    There’s no way he’s shorter than that. The screen he offered on Markov’s shot ended up in the top of the net. And it went between his legs.
    If I’m standing in front of a shot like that, I’d get it in the teeth.

    Anyhow, I’m reading criticisms on Max. OK, so he didn’t have his best game. They can’t always. But the two smurfs on his line did just fine though.
    When you have a little guy like DD going into the corner after two super stars (Toews and Sharpe) and still manages to come out with the puck, you know he’s hustling.
    Max was the weakest link in a very strong chain last night.
    I was half hoping the Corey Crawford would be calling into Chats complaining of how good our team is, but it really wasn’t expected.

    Chicago makes an ideal opponent. They’re skilled, no question. But they’re not a hitting team, which is really what stops our Habs in their tracks.

    If the Habs are to match speed for speed, they can rival any team in the league.

    Maybe, it’s also time to consider that Plexs, although not a superstar like say, Crosby or Toews, is still a no. 1 centre, since he’s always paired against the other’s team’s best, and he never disappoints.

    Great game. No controversy …..
    Next stop? A parade down Saint Catherine.

  33. wild flower says:

    I think every game should be analyzed from the perspective of each team’s short term trend. A few weeks ago the Habs lost to Florida. It wasn’t as big a loss as the media types made it out to be because Florida was a hot team playing super hockey. By the same token last night’s game was a nice win but not that unpredictable because the Hawks are losing games these days and Kane is not playing like he does when Chicago is winning.

  34. Propwash says:

    I trust that Maurice has worked on his handshake/fistbump timing…



  35. SmartDog says:

    Re. Pacioretty.
    He just had his first kid. Last week he was given leave to go home for a couple of days so missed a practice too. So there’s a reason he might not have been his best last night. All good in the long run – it’s wise the Habs give him some time.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  36. Psycho29 says:

    Did anyone else watch the latest version of 24CH last night on RDS? (It was the episode where they beat Dallas, and played ‘baseball’ at practice, which actually wasn’t what everyone thought…it keyed on some basic hockey skills)…

    Anyhow….OMG….the tension between Therrien and Subban is so apparent. The hatred….the loathing (sarcasm)…..I’ll let you all watch it for yourselves. Let’s just call it “The Sniper”…

  37. SmartDog says:

    For once I’m glad I caught the game. Fantastic hockey from two very good teams (at least last night).

    Late in the 3rd I was just praying to hang on for the point. Watching the Habs actually OUTPLAY the Hawks 4-on-4 in overtime was something I really didn’t expect.

    PS: Subban I love ya, but you nearly concussed the guy who might be your Captain in Sochi – not to mention this might’ve cost us the game last night if the refs were watching.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  38. habs001 says:

    Many posters have stated that the Habs will be cup contenders in 2 to 3 years…Goaltending is a check for that..the D should be a check with PK leading and a lot of quality prospects…The weakness looks to be forwards…I dont believe the Habs have enough forwards on their present roster and prospects in their system that are enough to have a real cup contender in 2-3 years..this is why they will have to add 2-3 quality players either thru free agency or trades…

    • SmartDog says:

      If Bergevin is SMART he uses our depth on D to land a big power forward or high end prospect. We actually do have some decent F prospects, but a REAL top-6 power forward is something we’re gonna need. McCarron is a long shot for a top 6 role.

      If he’s STUPID, he trades our best D prospect for a Scott Gomez. Yah, but no-one could be that stupid right?
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      Many 2nd tier prospects at forward (Lehkonen, Collberg, Bozon, Hudon, DeLa Rose, Andrighetto…)
      Remeber though that many of our key current forwards are relatively young (Patch, Eller, Gally 1 and 2 and Bournival as 3rd line center)

      Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

  39. sweetmad says:

    That was one of the best games,I have seen in ages,it was like we were watching the 2010 playoffs,it just shows how good we really are and that we can play hockey,when we don’t waste time fighting.

    I read earlier in the thread,some one making a comment about Plecs useless odd man rushes,how is an odd man rush useless,alright he doesn’t always score,but he gets the puck out of our end,and shows he’s working,if the puck is near their goal,it is never useless.Pleks is my favourite player,I would give the world to see what he could do with 2 really good wingers,he helped to shut down Toews last night and managed to get 11 shots on net,now thats a player,as for trading him,I hope he retires here when he is 42,he has not lost a step,if you look at the other older players in the league,he is built like many of them,and has the dedication to his sport,like no one else,when he was asked why he wanted to play in the worlds last year after being knocked out of the playoffs,his reply”what else is there to do except play hockey”,just wish all our team were like him.

    As for trading Markov,he may not be as fast but still has more hockey sense in his little finger,than most of the d in the league,and he has stated on many an occasion that he doesn’t want to play anywhere else,some one said he is not a mentor,ask PK who has stated a number of times how Marky has helped him,as for him being dour,he is one of the funniest players in the league,you just have to know how to take him.

    What a pleasure to read this thread,I don’t bother to come on here if we have a bad game,the criticism I can take if it is constructive and relevant,but the same old same old,fire the coach trade XYZ,we will never win the cup MB is useless,with out offering good alternatives,or reachable trades, is just a waste of the ether,it is like reading TSN or NHL threads.We all like to dream about who we would like on our team,but trading a player for one bad game,all players have bad games sometimes.

    • mount royal says:

      Agreed! There is a strange attitude that seems to think ,`Now that we gave a really great team, now that they are is playing really well, let`s trade them away…and then we will be even better.` Sorry, but life isn`t like that. The grass is probably not more green elsewhere. We have a very good team; we are playing in a league where virtual parity exists, That means that we will lose some games; when we don`t play our best. That is equally true for Chicago, Boston and Pittsburg. So let`s enjoy the ride. Last night we were treated to hockey at its finest. Savour it. Don`t immediately jump into never-never land.

  40. Plekasuares says:

    Got tickets for the game against the Leafs next Saturday. I’m expecting dominant Habs hockey for the rest of the frickin year.

  41. naweed235 says:

    Hey is it just me or was the Briere – Eller – Bork line one of the best on the ice last night?!?!?!

  42. Caesar says:

    Great game last night. Biggest negative was the ice surface it looked like the players had a hard time with it all night. Not sure Briere knows that hitting is allowed in hockey or that Diaz and Murray know the point is to shoot the puck at or even into the net.
    Gally is flat out amazing and it looks like Prust was happy to focus on playing and not on who he might have to fight. Every time the hawks tried to get going we shut them down. When the did get chances the world’s best goaltender came up big. And OT? just amazing Pleks hit by 2 hawks at once and still comes out with the puck. Hope 74 is back like that full time for the rest of the season, what a beast. Is Emelin’s increased physicality due to Parros being in the lineup????

  43. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    For those criticizing Max Pac’s efforts last night (Boone – numerous lemmings), you do realize MT trusted him with more TOI than any other Hab forward, and he did assist on the winning goal in OT. Interesting how we seem to watch the same game differently. As Max tends to be the Habs shot leader and go-to goal scorer, anything less than 5-10 shots in a game and/or 1-2 goals is less than a decent outing. Perhaps MT was reviewing Max’s Cy Young like stats and advising him to be more of a play-maker or improve two-way performance.

  44. gmur says:

    This version of the Habs excels against opponents who skate and play relatively open hockey. Bigger teams who have a commitment to playing tough defence bring out this team’s weaknesses. Think St. Louis, Boston, San Jose, L.A…. When the Canadiens play teams like Edmonton, Detroit, Washington, Chicago they match up better in terms of their style.

    Interesting ranking in terms of weight, height, age…


    We are definitely the smurfs of the league… and Parros brings our average up, without playing very much. We’re not nearly as young as I expected. 9th oldest team… Our next opponent, the Devils, are the oldest team in the league. The Montreal equipment manager should hide their dentures during the morning skate so they can’t eat solid food pre-game.

    • kalevine says:

      well, Boston doesn’t do a great job bringing out Habs weaknesses but otherwise agree. For some reason the Bruins try to beat the Habs at our game, which is why we usually beat them.

  45. Tyhudg says:

    Emelin was laying big hits all night, no surprise he looked great out there. That is what he has to do to succeed.

  46. Gerry H says:

    So apparently Eric Cole is available as a rental…

  47. Habfan10912 says:

    @DMike if you hear from UCE could you drop me a note to let me know. Thanks bud.

  48. Timo says:

    Do Habs get a day off today?

  49. Hobie Hansen says:

    Habs beat the Stanley Cup champs last night and we’re discussing the Leafs and Jets…wow.

  50. Hobie Hansen says:

    Nice little scrap with Gallagher and Versteeg last night:


  51. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Just noticed that Anaheim has yet to lose in regulation at home. 18-0-2. That’s bloody impressive

    • Dunboyne Mike says:


    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I watched some of their game last night. They look very good.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Perhaps most impressive with Anaheim is their “No Name” defence. The ageless Francois Beauchemin, the cagey veteran Bryan Allen (whom myself and quite a few others here were hoping MB would sign) Cam Fowler who appears to finally have hit his stride, and a bunch of guys who I never knew about until watching some of their games this year.

      Hampus Lindholm, Ben Lovejoy, Sami Vatanen,

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        What they need is some Therrienization! I bet they long to be better people.

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

    • naweed235 says:

      Their first line is scary:
      Dustin Penner (6′ 4″, 247 lbs) Getzlaf (6’4″, 221) and Perry (6’3″, 212)

      Size and fire power for dayz

  52. joeybarrie says:

    Where did all the “we were gonna lose 4-0 and that’s being generous” posters go???
    What happened?
    How often our so called “FANS” turn and quit on this team. Much more so than the players they blame….
    Maybe its just me.

  53. Chuck says:

    Another reason I hate the shootout: The Leafs have ‘won’ 21 games, but only 14 as the result of actually playing hockey. A full third of their win total comes from the overblown skills competition… something that doesn’t even exist in the playoffs.

    Habs have won 9 more games than the Laffs while playing hockey, but are only 10 points ahead of them in the standings.

  54. Thomas Le Fan says:

    “And while we’re floating hypotheses, if the Canadiens played like that 82 times a season … well, maybe the Cup wouldn’t be residing on the shores of Lake Michigan.”

    I don’t believe the Stanley Cup is actually in Chicago but I could be wrong. They keep it in Toronto so the Leafs can see what they’re missing.

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

  55. Sportfan says:

    Perry Pearn was fired too, maybe it was JM that was the problem maybe it was PEARN D:

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  56. Thurston says:

    Do the Jets have a late-morning game today? Pearn usually gets fired an hour before opening faceoff so I was just wondering…

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    Agree with those saying Carlyle doesn’t get fired this season, but…..

    The wild card is the new CEO Liewieke in Toronto. This guy is all about ego and being numero uno. He is making huge splashes with the Toronto FC soccer team (despite their nickname calling them a football club in a country where the game is considered soccer, but I digress) and the Raptors are doing well enough for him to leave that scenario alone.

    He is and will discover that all other sports in T.O. mean nothing and that he will be judged as a the CEO by how the Leafs do. This could make him pressure Nonis to make a move sooner than he would prefer.

    If the Leafs 18 wheeler continues to go off the proverbial cliff, look for massive changes in T.O. Or perhaps he just makes Nonis make big trades, who knows. But he makes the T.O. freefall very fun to watch as a Hab fan living in the Toronto market.

    • mrhabby says:

      True HABINBURLINGTON…its turning into quite the show for us living in the GTA with Liewieke in town.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Liewieke replaced the Raptors GM with the best in the NBA from Denver. He has subsequently turned the team around into one of the hottest in the NBA. The point is that Liewieke wants the best. I don’t think there is anyone of that caliber available right now for the Leafs positions.

    • Psycho29 says:

      Good Morning Burly! Great win last night! Keeps (most of) the Hab Haters/Trolls away….at least until the next loss…

      Maybe Liewieke is paying for taking the old Leaf photos down in the ACC? Sounds like bad karma.


  58. jols101 says:

    The beautiful thing about the Leaf’s situation is their pitiful ROW. They are now in a dog fight with 6 teams for the last 2 playoff spots but have the lowest ROW by far, which is the first tie-breaker in the standings.

  59. Sportfan says:

    Steve Simmons is such a nob he says on twitter why doesn’t Maurice ever get a good team. Cause usually a winning team doesn’t fire their freaking coach.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  60. jols101 says:

    I don’t care if the Jets win or lose, although I guess they are my favorite team in the west, but I will miss Noel’s post-game interviews- they were always good for a chuckle.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I wonder if he swaps roles with Maurice completely and joins TSN panel? His love for the microphone and camera would probably do him well on that show.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      There you are, jols.
      So, what did you do last night? (I refer, of course, to our ESP-control of game outcomes).

      • jols101 says:

        I thought we were going to get pounded. What a pleasant surprise. The best game I’ve seen the boys play in a very long time and I don’t miss many.

        What were your thoughts before the game Mike?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        FYI I didn’t watch game, but had it on the TV all night as I was at a friends for dinner and their TV was not in Kitchen/Dining area. Do you have any idea how hard it is to listen to Bob Cole broadcast a game and not have the Video available to actually know what is going on? However, the sound/cadence of his voice and the crowd noise told me everything.

        So I suppose I kept my win streak alive in that, I was tuned in to the entire game.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I think Jols and I have to concede that you, Burly, are the one with the true ESP-control.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Btw Burly, offered a summary of that movie on the previous page.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Saw that thanks, I read up on it as well. I will look for it and see if I can find some time for it. Have to admit, I don’t watch much movies anymore, sports sports and then more sports is pretty much my time in front of a TV.

        • HabFab says:

          You must have been as confused as poor Bob Cole when at one point he wanted to call all the Habs “Gallagher”. “Now Gallagher with the puck” (Diaz -61) and then “No, Gallagher now has the puck (Eller -81) before he finally came up with “Gallagher is ready to step on the ice”.
          A “senior moment” but he is entitled.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      My favourite Claude Noel interview, the first and last 30 seconds are awesome. Hopefully TSN picks him up.


  61. habs001 says:

    Gion has looked better the last few games speed wise and attacking in the opposition zone…Moen is playing much better….Maxpac sometimes just does not make the right decisions with the puck but he is a goal scorer and not a set up man…

  62. commandant says:

    Childhood Memories, Remember when we dreamed of the NHL

    Jets fire Noel and Hire Paul Maurice

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  63. jeffhabfan says:

    Wow that was best game of the year. We played a great game lets keep it up boys.GO HABS GO.

  64. mrhabby says:

    I was watching the game last night and they were talking about Winnipeg . I said to my wife i bet Noel gets gassed this summer or earlier….lol.

  65. Paul Maurice, great choice there.. I listen to him every day on three different sports stations. Very smart, not arrogant, looks good behind the bench, and has adopted well to each era of hockey he’s coached. Too bad the teams he coached were average at best. Hope he can succeed in Winterpeg, and I hope he owns a 4×4 to drive down Portage Ave 😆 Poor Biastard!

    Trade us Ladd! (Never gonna happen)

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member

  66. Lafleurguy says:

    And exactly how many languages do they use at Wanda’s?

  67. CJ says:

    Gotta wonder with the Olympic break, followed by the trade deadline on March 5th if teams aren’t going to start making moves. I’m sure some teams are desperate for a trade, notably Toronto.

    Firing Noël might be a catalyst to get some activity going. Problem, as I see it, is the parity that’s created with the point awarded for an overtime or shoot out loss. It gives the false impression that teams are closer then they really are. Looking at the eastern conference, over the past ten games two teams have amassed 15 points. Two teams have amassed 10 points. The remaining 12 have earned between 11 and 14 points. It is so close, yet so hard to move up or down unless you put together a long winning or winless streak. A good January and we could solidify our position as a top tier team in the east.

    • JF says:

      The caveat is that shootout wins count for less than regulation or OT wins when determining playoff seeding. Two Eastern teams for which this might become a huge problem are Toronto and Washington.

    • mrhabby says:

      alot of teams are at the cap which really hinders them to make trades….its usually comes down to one word …desperation.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Good points

      Look at Toronto.
      They only have 2 regualtion wins in their last 25 games, but their recored is 9-12-4 in those 25 games…and still in the playoff hunt.

      • PrimeTime says:

        Goaltending has masked their problems. The 2 in 25 is worst in the league.

        “Fans are entitled to express their opinion, but most of the comments on talk radio and on The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website ranged from the mildly uninformed to the outrageously stupid” – Pat Hickey.

        º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        That’s an utterly amazing stat.

  68. Sportfan says:

    Finally Noel got fired!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  69. Hobie Hansen says:

    I thought a coaching change in Winnipeg was always the best solution. If you look up and down their roster they’ve got a pretty impressive group of players there!.

    On to the Habs. We finally saw what the defence is capable of last night! Pk Subban played an awesome game against Jonathan Toews and Alexi Emelin had his first really good game of the season! If he starts hitting Montreal starts winning!

    And look at Douglas Murray all of a sudden! He delivered another strong game last night by eating up a lot of space in the Habs end and he made things difficult for the Hawks. He has improved his passes and clearing attempts, big time. His teammates have adjust to his limitations as well!

    There’s been some chatter lately that Tomas Plekanec should be in the Selke conversation. Well Duh! He’s a scrappy little pest to play against and drives the other teams’ star forwards nuts! Breaking up passes, winning important faceoffs and holding the puck down in the other teams’ end while their good players are on the ice. He’s one of the best 2nd line centers in the league!

    • CJ says:

      Unfortunately, the Selke like the Norris has become heavily influenced by points. Scott Cullen (tsn) rated the Norris trophy mid season finalists in the same order as point totals. This thinking has become the standard for both awards, overlooking the best all around players.

  70. PrimeTime says:

    I thought Carlyle would be a better fit for Winnipeg. I guess they didn’t want to wait another week until he is available.

    “Fans are entitled to express their opinion, but most of the comments on talk radio and on The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website ranged from the mildly uninformed to the outrageously stupid” – Pat Hickey.

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    • HabinBurlington says:

      No doubt if Carlyle were fired Wpg would be all over him. Lot of history there as a player and as coach of Manitoba Moose.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I don’t know about that. Seems like a similar coach to Noel. This team has completely tuned out constant negative messaging. God I wish the Habs had Andrew Ladd…

    • Habilis says:

      They might have made this move now precisely because Carlyle isn’t and won’t become available anytime soon.

      As HiB mentioned, there is lots of history there. But Nonis said unequivocally earlier this week that Carlyle’s job is not in jeopardy. He can’t go back on that now, no matter how far the Loafs fall. At least not till the off season.

      • PrimeTime says:

        I hope you’re right.

        “Fans are entitled to express their opinion, but most of the comments on talk radio and on The Gazette’s Hockey Inside/Out website ranged from the mildly uninformed to the outrageously stupid” – Pat Hickey.

        º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

      • mrhabby says:

        true…Carlyle not going any where..if anything Leafs are going to make changes to the roster. Can u imagine them missing the post season.

  71. mksness says:

    so was i ever wrong in thinking the habs would get blown out last night. kept one of the most offensively gifted teams to 20 shots? really? wow

    subban was a stud last night and price made 2 or 3 big saves although i didn’t like the goal called back because he wasn’t really interfered with but i’ll take it.

    for all the bull about PK being to risky and making mistakes. just look at what he can do against some of the best players in the league. he can completely shut them down for the most part or atleast contain them.

    • piper says:

      The called back goal was a good call. You have to give the keeper the blue ice. The problem is the refs have to be consistant in calling it.

    • gauver says:

      Handzus entered the blue ice freely and never left. One cannot enter the blue before the puck in the NHL. Diaz backed into Handzus who backed into Price. I think that is interference and the right call.

    • kalevine says:

      the best goalies often come out and cut down the angle. The Chicago player in the blue paint prevented Carey from doing that, and obliged Diaz to give him a shove which further impeded Price

  72. habkin says:

    The game last night brought a smile and high fiving to the family:) Parros parking himself in front of the net reminded me of when Bowman would place one of the big three in front of the net during a PP. Not saying Parros is like one of the big three or MT is a Bowman but it sures helps having someone screen the opposing goalie. I thought during our ineffective PP to place Subban as a forward and Plekker on the point…perhaps in the playoffs? I feel much better compared to the Philly game! Interesting a few of you wondering about our identity. I do not think we are a grinding team. We do need another power forward before the playoffs.

  73. Propwash says:

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 19m
    TSN has learned Claude Noel has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets. Assistant, Perry Pearn also let go. #TSN


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