About last night …

PriceChi

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.

 

 

585 Comments

  1. montreal ace says:

    The Jets have fired Noel and replaced him with Paul Maurice

  2. etcheverry92 says:

    The victory last night means that we won’t have to hear Bergevin and Therrien telling everybody how “tired” the Canadiens are. Apparently, the Canadiens are playing a compressed schedule, while the other 29 clubs are sipping Pimms in Belize. As recently as Wednesday, between the second and third periods of the Philly game, Bergevin was filling everybody with this malarkey about being tired (everybody else thought that that it was the Flyers who had played the night before, but you can’t fool Marc Bergevin). I guess we won’t hear about fatigue until the next Montreal loss. Maybe Bergevin is just on edge because he did some math and noticed that the Habs have nine players beyond the age of thirty, with two others about to join the club. This gives his team a roughly two year window to win a Cup, with a serious rebuild looming if they don’t.

  3. Habfan10912 says:

    My worry for the day. Has anyone heard from UCE? I hope all is well.

  4. Maritime Ronn says:

    Was watching an RDS post game video, and Jonathan Toews popped up…speaking an absolutely beautiful French.

    With a little digging, it shows that JT’s mother is French Canadian born in Quebec..

    Toews will be a UFA summer 2016.

    Mission for RDS:
    Promise JT’s mom anything.
    A place on AntiChambre or even her own show, if she can convince Jonathan to play in the Province of her roots.

    Imagine for just 1 second what the Habs would look like down the middle:
    Toews-Galchenyuk-Eller-Plex…yea, I know. We can all dream.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      But clearly his talent comes from his Mennonite father. ;-)

      But I may be biased in that, due to my Winnipeg Mennonite roots. :)

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        In talent, do you mean the choice of his girlfriend?
        If so, must agree
        :-)

        http://tinyurl.com/omhn4su

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Ever seen “The 49th Parallel”, Burly? If so, approve?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Sorry never saw.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Depending on your tastes, you might like. British war-time propaganda film, intended to inspire the British people with an impression of how valuable the Dominion was to the war effort.

            Story: Pre-Dec/1941, the crew of a damaged U-Boat makes shore in Hudson’s Bay and embark on a trans-Canadian adventure to reach the border with the US (still neutral) and therefore avoid capture and POW camp in Canada.

            War-time Canada through rose-tinted spectacles, and includes the wonderful Laurence Olivier doing an abysmal Quebecois. But I still like it having seen it as a kid and propaganda-vulnerable!

            One of the crew’s adventures occurs when they come upon a Mennonite community.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Pierre Houde interviewed him before the game too. I was surprised at his fluency. I also flipped it over to WGN coverage in the 2nd. Those guys are good! Very professional. Makes CBC look like Amateur Hour.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      A drool-worthy revelation and suggestion, reminiscent of the summer’s posts about possible (utterly implausible!) trades with St Louis.

  5. shiram says:

    Markov and Plekanec are a major part of the Habs veteran core.
    Both drafted by the team, they have lived alot in Montreal, nearly 1400 regular season games, and over 100 playoff games between them. They are a coach’s dream, consummate pros, they are leaders on the team.

    They need to be around to help our young players, they must have a great deal of knowledge on playing and living in Montreal. It’s often said Montreal is one of the toughest place to play in, They have both thrived here.

    Markov leads the D for TOI, Plekanec for forwards.
    They are a great part of the team’s success.

    I would not trade either.

    • JF says:

      Agreed. It boggled my mind to read calls for Markov to be traded after last night’s game. As for Plekanec, he’s the best all-round player on the team. You make a very good point about the importance of their help for and influence on the younger players.

  6. frontenac1 says:

    I thought every Hab played well last night. Patches looked a little dozey out there but the guy just spent 2 days with his newborn! You guys remember that don’t you?

  7. Sportfan says:

    Everyone still happy with the win? GOOD STAY HAPPY!

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

  8. likehoy says:

    so with this season more than half done.. from what I’ve seen we’ve got a good top 10 team in the league, battling for playoff position, but the issue I see is that we don’t have a team that we can confidently answer “so next year we’ll be in the same position, or better.” Bergevin’s goal is to be a contender year in, year out, but we’re not that close

    we need at least 1 more elite talent coming up. Pacioretty is a 30-35 goal scorer, Galchenyuk is going to be good, but we need at least 1 more player to allow a trickle down effect on our second tier players to be more productive.

    Given our position in the standings for the last 2 years, (top 4 in the conference), MB needs to make a move to acquire a first liner, or a potential first liner for the future.. I for one wouldn’t mind moving some popular players for this such as Gallagher, Gorges and a pick or Tinordi/Beaulieu.. but people can be sentimental.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Head vs heart stuff, likehoy.
      Who’d be a gm? Especially in Montreal.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You bring up an excellent point. We definitely require another Uber Talent in the forward dept. And indeed you gotta give to get, this is indeed the challenge MB faces over the course of this season and through the off season. Glad it isn’t up to me.

      • likehoy says:

        even if it’s a Bobby Ryan type of deal. 2 players and a 1st rounder for Ryan who’s a first liner, though not a dominating player.. it’s a fair price to pay

    • punkster says:

      Haven’t seen enough of you around here. Drop in more often. Reasonable posts like this are always welcome.

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

  9. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @Mavid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kisses from Ireland!!! Mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah!!!!

    Tears of joy, can’t believe what I’m seeing!
    Last night only saw the end of the second, the amazing PK when Pleks near scored SH. The bubbly quality of the stream I had was SO bad that, even though I was watching, until now I didn’t see Pleks’s second effort from the corner with the sneaky backhand that could so easily have fooled a goalie (just not Crawford last night).

    Like having cataracts removed!

    Will HAVE to be restrained most game nights, but will start stocking up on amphetamines so I can keep doing my job on no sleep in the playoffs.

    At which point I will not be able to stop myself from dispatching more kisses…. You’ve been warned!

    Many thanks.

  10. Danno says:

    Great Game, Great Win

    ________________________________________

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

  11. mrhabby says:

    Nice win by the good guys. Just goes to show u the difference between losing and winning a game is very small in the NHL with a save here or there making the difference.

    Its an interesting question Boone poses who are these Habs… are they a skating team or a grinding team. is it not time our management team figures this out. I think most people feel the same and don’t really know what the identity of the Canadiens is. The next 1/2 of the season is harder than the 1st i guess were going to find out.

    • CJ says:

      Great point. Bounces determine the outcomes. An inch here or there. Two of the three goals against Philly were oddities. We, as a fan base, shouldn’t get too up or too down. Just enjoying a wonderful treat, which was two original six teams in a Saturday night.

  12. HabsFanNorway says:

    Whats up with the schedule this year? It has to be the most boring season I’v ever seen. Mid january and still no visits to Boston, Toronto or Detroit. It seems the schedule is: NJ, Florida, Tampa, Nashville, Colombus and then repeat! Is this the way it will be with the new divisions? Not impressed!

  13. Timo says:

    Thanks, HabFab.

  14. rljmartin says:

    Well last night’s performance seem to highlight or correct what a lot of posters have been complaining about lately. Ice time for certain players, line combos, style of play and most of all they played for 62 minutes…. all huge improvements against the Hawks. Great effort, oh and by the way, Mr. Hickey, maybe you can write about how astute some of the posters are on HIO.

  15. BJ says:

    Just finished watching a stream of the game here on a Sunday AM in Germany. Great game and what a team effort. Quite a difference from the no show in Philly. One aspect of the Habs game is striking, when a team plays a high tempo game and the team is not outsized by much they can compete against any team in the league. Our problem is against teams that skate equally well. I thought Moen played an excellent game and is earning his salary this year.

  16. Lafleurguy says:

    TimoJANUARY 12, 2014 AT 12:38 AM

    THAT was some hockey game. Man, I forgot what real hockey looks like. This was fantastic. Of course, who knows when will be the next time Habs will deliver such great hockey, but for tonight I will savor it.

    George Parros with a big plus tonight – that was a nice screen on Markov’s first goal. Secretly I was hoping it touched Parros on the way in. Really want him to get a goal as a Hab.

    The only player I didn’t like much tonight was Pacioretty, but he was alright on the OT goal.

    Man, why can’t there be more evening like this?

    Captain Pike

  17. Maritime Ronn says:

    A tip of the hat… to Coach Therrien for having the cojones in putting Parros in the lineup last night.

    At first notice, there was some wondering about WHY… against a team that can fly, and is not in the fighting game.

    Perhaps that was THE exact reason why.
    Coach MT needed to get some non-fighting ice time for Parros to find his game legs considering all the time he missed.
    His time on ice was a well-managed 7 shifts for 3:33, yet 1 of those shifts was the key factor in Markov’s first goal.

    It’s rare to see a Habs Big Man – almost weird looking, actually screening an opposing goalie resulting in a goal.
    (usually it’s only Gallagher in that area…)

    Yesterday, a few of us were (almost jokingly) discussing about putting Parros on the PP and parking him in front of the net as the Hawks did with Byfuglien when they won their 1st Cup.

    Today, that may be not as crazy as it sounds and may be worth a try.
    The Bruins do it with Chara.

    And the recent PP facts, using the usual suspects as forwards, speak for themselves.
    The Habs have only scored six goals in their last 59 PP attempts during the past 18 games for a PP percentage of 10.1%.

  18. scavanau says:

    Parros – 7 shifts. +1.

    Maybe something got jarred loose in that last concussing?

  19. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @ Trini and Martime.
    Great back-and-forth guys. No temptation to join in – ye are saying it all.

  20. kalevine says:

    That was a thoroughly enjoyable game to watch. I wish the Habs would have a bit more finish around the net, but Crawford was superb. That final flurry spurred by Plekanec’s incredible play was a joy that made me feel like the Habs had just won game 7 in OT. Yeah I know, dial it back

  21. JF says:

    Fans are calling it the game of the season. Andrei Markov said it’s the best game the Habs have played all year. The last time the Habs and Hawks played at the Bell Centre – three years ago, a very similar game with an identical denouement – that also was hailed as the game of the season.

    Why can’t we play the Hawks and teams like the Hawks more often? Why is hockey in the NHL not played this way regularly? Speed, skill, end-to-end rushes, beautiful goals, spectacular saves – that’s what hockey can be. What we get instead is all too often a grinding, clutching, grabbing, clogging-the-neutral-zone snorefest. I suspect that part of the reason for this lies in the NHL’s missing the boat on enlarging the ice surface when the present generation of arenas started being built about fifteen years ago. The grinding, stifling kind of hockey that Bettman and Co. love would not work so well on the larger ice-surface, which tends to give full scope to speed and skill.

    The Habs showed last night, and have shown in some earlier games this season (notably against Vancouver, Pittsburgh, and Dallas), that they are built more for speed and skill than for grinding. They can out-skate, out-hit, out-work, and out-score even the best. But as we’ve seen against teams like Philly and Ottawa, they can be absolutely stifled by teams that are not necessarily better but are bigger and play a grinding style. And of course we’ve watched them be utterly destroyed on two occasions by the elite of that type of team.

    I absolutely love the kind of breath-taking, spectacular hockey the Habs and Hawks played last night; and I very often lack the patience to sit through the other kind. Fortunately, from everything we’ve seen, it appears that Marc Bergevin is trying to build the Habs after the model of the Blackhawks. We’ll still need more toughness and muscle than we have at present to be able to grind effectively against the big, stifling teams; but last night’s game perhaps afforded a glimpse of the future for the Habs. It even suggests that that future may not be too far in the distance. I think it’s worth waiting for.

    About the game itself, I’d like to send a memo to Michel Therrien to keep Eller, Bourque, and Brière together for a few games. That’s a line I don’t recall having seen on HIO among the dozens of combinations that are posted, but it was very effective. Brière played perhaps his best game as a Hab.

    Alexei Emelin and Brandon Prust had their best games of the season.

    Tomas Plekanec was electrifying and should have had a star.

    • kalevine says:

      very well put

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Apposite as usual, JF.

      Which cues a transatlantic rant re. the NHL which is like an organisation that exists in The Matrix and refuses to take the red pill and get unplugged.

      In The Matrix, profit and happy shareholders are generated by one single component of the game of hockey: the physical (plus the drama, revenge, retribution and media coverage this regularly entails).

      Were they to unplug, the league might appreciate that even more revenue would be generated by hockey as played last night, ie. hockey where the physical is only one of several key components.

      The Matrix analogy breaks down however, in that it suggests the NHL is in fact unaware of reality and can imagine nothing beyond the Matrix. In fact, they are fully aware and just too conservative and too focused on short-term profits to think about aspiring to a better standard and style of hockey.

      To them a snorefest is rivetingly exciting because the money keeps pouring in.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      JF, great stuff.
      I see and enjoy the game the same way!

    • third generation haber says:

      If we could switch to international ice, I think teams would have no choice but to prioritize skill over thuggery. The world juniors was a good example of how skill is encouraged by the bigger ice surface.

      j.p. murray

      • JF says:

        I agree. The WJC showed the inadequacy of the NHL brand of hockey on the bigger ice surface. We’ll see if something similar happens at the Olympics. I have this sneaky half-hope that if, over the next decade, teams from North America – whether Canadian and American juniors or Olympic teams – are regularly shown up by European teams that prioritize speed and skill – the NHL will have to re-think the kind of hockey they promote and make some changes, notably in the application of the rules. And I do believe the League will eventually have to move to the bigger ice-surface, despite all the moaning about lost seating capacity and profits. Players are getting bigger and stronger, and the game is simply becoming too dangerous for the North American size ice.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          The league only moves to larger ice if it is completely persuaded it will lead to increased revenue without much waiting. The quality or nature of the hockey will have nothing to do with it. Only revenue.

        • JF says:

          @ Dunboyne Mike – Not certain of that. In the hypothesis I suggest above, there would eventually be a perception that NHL hockey is not as good as European. Would the NHL be able to live with that? And would the most skilled European players still want to come to North America, still want to play their junior hockey here and eventually play in the NHL?

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            JF, in my cynical view, the NHL is already living comfortably with the perception that European hockey (more Olympic than KHL, admittedly) is better than NHL hockey. I think the NHL believes that the very best hockey — akin to last night’s game — cannot generate as much revenue as thuggery-tolerant hockey. Paradoxically, the league has no faith in the product from which it profits, and in no ways views rising European skill-levels as a cause for concern. Again, that’s cynical me.

  22. Timo says:

    In a way I am glad Eller didn’t score that goal on PK. With 2-0 headed into the third Habs would be guaranteed to take a foot of the pedal and protect the lead. Instead they continued to take it to the Hawks. Also glad they finished it in OT because with all due respect to Carey Price his chances in shootout againt Sharp, Kane,Toews, Keith et Co were nil.

    • PrimeTime says:

      So what happened to you after this???

      TimoJANUARY 11, 2014 AT 1:35 PM
      So, what are the bets for the spread tonight. I say Hawks by 4 goals. See, I am not always negative.

      REPLY

      DenjenJANUARY 11, 2014 AT 1:37 PM
      You make me so angry sometimes Timo!

      REPLY

      PrimeTimeJANUARY 11, 2014 AT 1:39 PM
      I’ll take those odds. Put me down for $100 that Habs cover.

      “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

      [Click to Edit | Request Deletion]
      REPLY

      frontenac1JANUARY 11, 2014 AT 1:45 PM
      I’ll take some of that action amigo. Double shot of Single Malt at next year’s summit.

      REPLY

      CJJANUARY 11, 2014 AT 2:12 PM
      I’ll put $100 down on that. Thanks Timo.

      REPLY

      “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

    • CJ says:

      Days like today must be the worst Timo. Thursday morning, following the loss to Philly was much better, no?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Just for your info.
      Shootouts This Year:

      Davey Desharnais is 3 for 4
      Lars Eller is 3 for 3

      Kane is 0 for 9
      Toews is 4 for 10
      Sharp is 5 for 9

      I think the Habs had a chance…

      http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?season=20132014&gameType=2&team=CHI&position=F&country=&status=&viewName=shootouts

      • CJ says:

        Game, set, match!

      • 24 Cups says:

        Point well taken Ronn although to be fair the rest of the team has never connected on a shootout this year (0-9). That’s a worry in a league that awards three point games like rock candy.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          As crazy as this may sound, I’d like to see Subban given a shot in Shootouts.
          He can skate in at a slower pace, then about 15 feet in front of the goalie, wind up and fire 1 of his Howitzers.
          If he was 1st in the Shootout, that may be enough to mess with the goalie’s concentration having experienced the emotion of fear.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Love how you still put your best foot forward to crap flies into the ointment!

  23. RetroMikey says:

    Come playoff time when we are eliminated again in the first round and Chicago, St.Louis or Sam Jose win the Cup, this game is nothing but a memory. Some good games for the Habs and this was one of them and there are many bad games as well.
    Yeah trade Markov to a team who wants to gamble on him come playoff time.
    As much as I like Markov, he’s a smart DMan offensively but not too smart defensively.
    Since his stock is above par along with Pleks, Bergevin and company have the control now to make some trades and build this team loaded with draft picks and prospects.
    If not, it will be a year or two from now when we ask ourselves “are we any better in 2015 than 2013 when we linger on to these old vets”?
    Same old same old I say. Good games and bad games for this club but no Cup.

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

  24. Timo says:

    TSN’s headline for Habs win is “Precious Pair”… that’s just weird.

  25. Great game! Speaking of high stock.

    Michael Therrien’s stock won’t get any higher than it is right now, Edmonton clearly needs a future Hall of fame coach, maybe we could package coach and Bourque to the Oil for their sheet of ice.

    That’s right ,ladies and germ. There is nothing to complain about this morning, so let’s move on.

    Hey Mr Molson, permission to crank up the power, and bring in some good ol Alberta water and get our ice back up to snuff.

    I wasn’t sure if there were in Montreal or Madison Square gardens.

    But seriously folks, regarding Crawford, he was awesome last night but his entire season was not. ON an amazing team like Chicago he good enough on most nights. But wow last night he was great, and if he plays like that for the next 6 weeks, he may have Luongo’s (pending injury) job in Sochi.

    As we look ahead to the the Deivls, Sens, and Leafs, oh my!

    OK time for my telcon with Coach Therrien, gots to work my magic for a big week.

    CAREY CAREY CAREY

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

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    Well that was fun!, fingernails are shorter though.
    With Markov, Plekanec, and more playing one of their best games of the year. I thought that the tone on the ice shifted in our favor right after the boys saw the smaller Gallagher answer the challenge and held his own.
    The second thing that made a huge difference was Emilin bringing his hitting game to the rink, which motivated others to play the body more. I wonder if the presence of Parros was a factor in the boys using their bodies more.?
    And of course the play of Prust was fantastic as well.

    The boys showed themselves, and us, what they are capable of doing when they play 60 min’s with intensity and passion from everyone on the bench. It is not likely that they can bring this level of play to every game, but they now know what they can accomplish when they do.

    I was very disappointed in Pacioretty ‘s play, reaching out to check with one hand on the stick and floating while his line mates pressured and fought hard for the puck. He stuck out like a sore thumb!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good morning, Ian.
      Great summary.
      I’m leaning towards giving Pacioretty a pass. As discussed briefly below, it’s possible to trace a pattern of dipping performance amongst first-time Dads.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        All I know is I put out three times as much when i became a first time DAD my friend. I went to work and worked like a dog! I get your point, but no excuses ! remember!

        • ont fan says:

          I would think, a speed game like last nights, would be a game where Max should shine.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Normally he probably would. But he’s off right now, which MAY be because of the expansion of his family by 50%. For me that’s a preferable (and ultimately fixable) reason compared to some other, darker possibilities.

  27. Lafleurguy says:

    Arpon Basu’s report (excerpt):

    Still, Plekanec finished the night with 11 shots on goal and his line combined for 16, compared to 20 for the Blackhawks.

    “He threw us all on his back and carried us,” Price said.

    Plekanec has made a habit of being tasked with shutting down the NHL’s top players and coming out ahead, but he does not enjoy taking the credit. His teammates are all too happy to do it on his behalf.

    “He’s so consistent and so good night in and night out, you take it for granted at times,” Gionta said. “That’s just what he does.”

  28. habstrinifan says:

    Maritime RonnJANUARY 12, 2014 AT 9:00 AM
    “Diaz can play in a No Hitter type of game as was the case last night.”

    Although I don’t like what ‘can play in a no hitter’ implies about a player in hockey (and I know you dont mean it maliciously) I think my comment on Diaz is in keeping with your assessment and you may be responding more to Cal.

    But I love your use of the word ‘NO HITTER’ for this game. It allows me to expand on my comments about our team and its coaching.

    This game was indeed as you put it, sort of a ‘NO Hitter’. And how well the HABS looked and the resulys prove that the HABS match up absolutely well talent wise in the league.

    Which is why the management and coaching staff, instead of committing the entire team to a ‘grinder system and mentality’ MUST develop a true ‘grinding line/corps’ of 4 or 5 players which will complement the teams speed and skill.

    I dont mean fighters… grinders. I have posted such before. Players I see in this function are White, Prust, Moen, (Bourque only cause of size. And yes Bournival. Bournival’s speed, hockey sense, and uncanny ability to benefit any line will add the danger element to a true grinding line.

    A speedy team with a grinder corps. A blueprint the HABS invented and used to kick the ar**ses of the bully teams like Bruins and that bunch of hockey hooligans who use to be on Carlton Street over and over in past decades.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      I was actually agreeing with your assessment and the answer was for another.
      Your last paragraph says it all, yet if you are old enough to remember, those great Habs teams also had supreme talent on the back end, and that back end also provided Team Toughness and strength. Guys like Robinson-Savard-Lapointe would take care of business and never backed down

    • rhino514 says:

      I actually agree with this. The team at present contrary to what Michel Therrien believes is not made to be play as a grinding team. Defensively responsible, yes, but they have to take chances offensively.
      I don´t think they are prolonging playoff success by trying to play an uber-defensive style game; they are not playing to their strenghts, and the games will be much more boring to boot.
      Try to win this year by playing some exciting hockey. In the future, if have more grinders, sure, go more in that direction.
      Btw I don´t think we need a big change in personnel. One more good rugged player will do wonders.

  29. habs001 says:

    As well as the Habs played they still needed a disallowed goal, a goal post and an overtime goal to win….They still lack scoring and have little marging for error in a game…

    • CJ says:

      They also held Chicago to 20 shots, while managing 38. Let’s celebrate this win. Your points are valid, but you failed to mention the impact that Crawford had holding their fort. You are correct, Chicago could have scored another goal or two, but using that same logic we could have scored 4-5 more based on our chances. It was an excellent game!

    • PrimeTime says:

      Enjoy the win of a real good entertaining game. Crawford stole the point, not the ref or a goal post. Habs still have weaknesses….all teams do. The NHL leading team, Stanley Cup champions, and close favorite to repeat have had a bad week. I wonder if their fans are crapping all over them? It’s the war, not the battle that is the goal. Fans don’t need to pick apart every game.

      “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

    • Scotty90 says:

      You mean like the two disallowed goals against Habs last week?….
      Balances out in the end!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      FIRST!
      (to use the word “vicissitudes” on this morning’s thread)

      Well said, habs001.

      At the same time, events like the ones you list have been exactly what have cost us games which otherwise we might well have won. We can never depend on luck to balance out, but we can enjoy the occasions when the bounces go our way. Those bounces are among the mysterious vicissitudes of sport.

      (Also, at first dopey glance I thought you had referenced something called “margarine for error” and was reaching for my urban dictionary).

    • Needed? Those are rules of the game that was played perfectly by Carey Price.

      The posts are there to hold up the nets, their required, and sometimes almost every single game they get in the way.

      Overtime, they made the best team in the league look silly!

      I would love to have a team that can score the top 5 but that will take 5-8 years to get them here. It took the Hawks two top 5 drafts to get their best players (thanks Pittsburgh and Blues)

      Anyway, what the Canadiens lack is better ice, it sucks, and I’m done cheering for it.

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

    • kalevine says:

      ask pacs about posts…I’m sure nobody in the league has hit more, and Habs have certainly had plenty of goals called back, sometimes real head scratchers

    • 24 Cups says:

      Why do all you guys continue to take the bait?

      With no replies to his nonsense, this guy will eventually lose interest and disappear.

  30. twocents says:

    Fantastic game.

  31. DipsyDoodler says:

    If things stay the same our options at the trade deadline will be:

    1. Stand pat.
    2. Trade vets for picks. Markov, Gionta, Briere, … Plekanec even.
    3. Trade draft picks for rentals.

    As was the case last year, I believe #1 is the best option.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I would take option 2, but with a shorter list and restrict it to the upcoming UFA’s, but not including Markov. I would ad in Bourque and Briere.

      Habfan17

    • JUST ME says:

      One must not close any door.
      I think that they must stick to their initial plan .
      If the plan includes to get to the cup eventually then one has to look at the value of his assets. As much as we would like to keep them all, if we want to go and get something valuable then something has to give…

    • third generation haber says:

      Actually, I’d like to see us finish 8th and knock-off the pens or bruins in the first round and get to draft a little higher.

      2013 draft: 25th overall: Mike McCarron (not bad)
      20th overall: Anthony Mantha (wish we hadn’t finished so high!)

      j.p. murray

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Stand pat but trade Gionta. I say that with utmost respect to Brian. He’s been a good captain for the Habs.

      24 cups and counting….

  32. Marc10 says:

    It was one game… One awesome game, but I’ll take away one positive beyond the score. Those line combos were as good as can be with Chuck out. Play those again and again I say. DannyB, Bourque, Gio, Prust, Parros for all of 4 minutes… Everybody was going a million miles an hour! And putting the hammer down on the Hawks too. Just a thing of beauty. Bravo!

  33. Maritime Ronn says:

    To the Poster below that said:
    ” Has there ever been a better time 2 trade Markov???”
    ———————
    I’ll have that discussion with you.
    From here, it’s the exact opposite.
    In other words, has there ever been a better time NOT to trade Markov?

    1) He is a Habs product and knows exactly what it means to play in Montreal. Not everyone in the NHL does, nor do several want to play in Montreal for those same reasons.

    2) He is the on ice general for the Habs D corps, and by far THE smartest Habs Dman on the ice today.

    3) Exactly how do you replace Markov’s Habs Dman leading minutes?
    – 2nd in Even Strength
    – Top Unit Power Play
    – 3rd in Penalty Kill

    4) Who will mentor the young fellas ( Tinordi-Beaulieu-Pateryn) next year when at least 1 or possibly 2 will stick with the Habs?

    5) Trade him to whom and for what? More prospects?
    Are any of the Hamilton guys ready to fill those minutes?
    Another UFA?
    Who would that be and at what cost if the player actually had Montreal on its radar screen

    5) Too much Term/Money to keep him?
    We can all have our opinions on whether 3 or 4 years at $15M-$21M is too much, yet it is The Market that decides the worth of a player.

    EX-A: Mark Steit ( who couldn’t tie Markov’s laces)
    Last summer at the age of 35 years old and 7 months, Streit accepted a 4 year-$21M dollar contract from Philly.

    EX-B: Sergei Gonchar:
    Last summer at the age of 39, Gonchar accepted a 2 year-$10M contract from Dallas.

    With a larger Cap Ceiling this summer and projections for more moving forward, what value does Markov have on the Open Market.
    The answer is BIG.

    Worrying about how he will play in 2016-17 is way too far out.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Great post. Lot’s of solid points. I would add one caveat, I hope he is only resigned for 2 years and takes some kind of home town discount. The cap is going up, however, some of that will be eaten up with resignings and they need some extra money to cover for injuries and hopefully at least one UFA that could fill a hole. If as we suspect, Gionta, Boullion, Parros, and possibly Murray are not resigned, there will be a bit more cap space to play with.

      Habfan17

      • CJ says:

        Sure, two years would be great. What we don’t know is what he is asking for. If he wants term (3-5 years) and money ($7 million a year), I’d be at least looking at options.

        I agree with 95% of your post. I just don’t know that it’s a given he will take what management wants to offer.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I am on the same page, if he does want a longer term and money upwards of $5million per, I would also look at what they could get at the deadline.

          Habfan17

          • CJ says:

            He currently makes $5.75 million. I can’t see him taking less, even with term (3-5 years). Purely speculation on my part, but I don’t see many professional athletes in any sport giving their current team a discount. Even if he wanted to his agent (or agency) would push for more.

          • Habfan17 says:

            @ CJ You are right. If he would take the same money for two more years, I would be happy, if not, see what they can get for him.

            Habfan17

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I pretty well agree with your points and with keeping Markov around, I am not sure of #4, however, because I wonder if he is the mentoring kind. Just speculating. Still, the kids could at least watch him.

    • CJ says:

      When you sign a long term deal you MUST consider the implications down the road. To suggest that the management team not worry about such things is not prudent. So much goes into these deals. An extra year, an extra million dollars can have major implications.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Perhaps I could have stated that better.
        Come 2016-17, and if Markov stayed healthy, he would still have some market value. Perhaps not a 1st Round pick, yet a team on it’s way to a Cup may sacrifice a 2nd Rounder.
        If Murray was worth 2 Second round picks last March….

        • CJ says:

          Fair dues. Again, I respect all opinions. Mine is just one of many opinions on the subject. Ultimately this is where the GM and his leadership team earn their money. Cheers, CJ

    • third generation haber says:

      I would be that poster!!!
      Like all your points Ronn, and cheers for the reply. I’m also a Markov fan!

      But, I would still trade him! I don’t expect him to be simply replaced; instead, I want our D to be upgraded to a strong, 6 man unit, headed by PK. Meaning, I want Markov, the cube, and Diaz, gone!

      Looking back at the Rivet trade in 2007, the pay-back was huge! We have Gorges and Pacs locked-up till 2018 and 19 respectively. I believe Markov would carry much greater value than Rivet did.

      As for his new contract, I don’t believe he wants a short-term deal. He wants what other players his age want, a retirement deal (4 years minimum). Until July 1st we only have the option of matching or raising his current price tag, at which time he could walk for nothing.

      I don’t believe he’ll be a top pairing d-man forever and beyond his amazing offensive skills, I don’t think he’s strong enough or tough enough in our end. I see Gorges as a much better mentor to young Beaulieu and Tinordi, whom I see as joining our team next season, not replacing Markov.

      I’m sure I appear far too stubborn, but I seriously don’t see us a contender this year. I believe by the time we are a contender, young Galchenyuk will be leading this team.

      For me, it’s cup or nothing, that’s what the habs were made for.

      As always, great talking with all of u!
      j.p. murray

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Good morning

        I don’t see anything stubborn in your reply, and they are all great points you present.
        Nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree when solid points are brought to the table

  34. Chris says:

    I will apologize in advance if you get a triple post from me later. I just had one disappear into the ether, and small changes to it didn’t help. Ah well.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Apossibility, If you mentioned Eric John son and spelled the last name without the space, the goblins will refuse the post :-)
      There are some other words that don’t get by.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I am in the ether looking for your post.

      While I am here, I should clarify my comment re Diaz. It was more an afterthought based on the ‘sum’ rather than last night’s game.

      More like in going forward, Murray-Bouillion must be ahead of Diaz on the depth chart. And of course this is only my opinion. I know others disagree.

  35. habstrinifan says:

    Good Morning Everyone!

    I came in to enjoy the site and Boone’s Blog last night during the game but the first posts I read were about lazy Pacioretty and other player criticisms. So I signed of and went and enjoyed what I thought was an energetically skated game by our team. They played well.

    The team took on the ‘best team’ in the NHL and skated with them.

    What last night’s game showed me were the following:

    1)The HABS have the two best offensive d-men in the league (Markov and P.K) and this is proven by the fact that the HABS offence is driven by the D…. check the STATS.
    2)The HABS are NOT.. I repeat NOT a grinding team. The energy of the team is absolutely ‘different’ and the skill set matches comfortably with better teams when the HABS skate.
    3)Murray is Bergevin’s best off season acquisition.
    3)Diaz is Mtl’s weakest D-MAN.
    4)Bouillion when he plays is best paired with Subban.
    5)Emelin played very very welll.. a good omen.

    I hate to go down this road. I dont think the HABS strength (offensive) on defense is a result of coaching genius. It is pure and simple you have two of the best in the league in offensive d-men.
    The paucity of offense from forwards shows me the following weakness.

    This coaching staff has shown a failure to develop inspired offence strategy which improves the chemistry and playmaking of the forward corps. And this is no more evident in how the power depends exclusively on the D. Which is why I(sorry to the other side) I am not convinced that the coach and staff are the ‘best’ for the team. I cant overlook the ‘grinding team’ description by the head coach. It is so erroneous and shows a failing.

    The one area I think this coaching staff has laid a foundation for is the the concept of ‘stifling hockey’. And I understand they have to playing in the Eastern conference and in readiness for the playoffs when teams will have to strike early and then stifle the opposition.

    Even in that regard I think their message is met with frustration because it is meant to take away the players’ joy/skill rather than channel it and add to it.

    One other point. When you pick at every mistake, every lost of possession by the players on this team while they are playing as energetically and ‘freely’ as last night… look at the Chicago Blackhawks last night. Look at how many times this ‘best team’ in the league lost the puck through errors.

    One of the best marks of any good team in any sport is NOT the errors… but the recovery from those errors . A good confident skating team grows in that department.

    Now I’ll go read Boone’s blog and today’s ALN. I did miss following Boone.

    • Chris says:

      We watched completely different hockey games last night. I felt Diaz was Montreal’s third best defenceman on the night behind Markov and Subban. He played a strong defensive game and was making some good passes out of the zone.

      • HabFab says:

        Diaz and Bourque are the Habs Rodney Dangerfield’s… they just can’t get any respect from some posters.

      • JUST ME says:

        I agree but also think that the Habs sometimes takes the color of the opponent thus giving us snorefests like the one coming up on thursday against the Devils. Sticking to their game plan and taking charge would give different results.

        Then again, for the sake of getting more clicks on HIO Boone falls into the other extreme and mocks the Habs by trying to differenciate wich team is the real one between yesterday`s and the one that did not show up against the Flyers. I think we all know where he wants to go and that is borderline croocked…

        Just saying that chances are that if you play teams as great as the Black Hawks more often you will have a better level of commitment. Give me the Devils and you have a totally different level of interest either from the players or from us. Give me the Flyers that have been hot lately but that have been inconsistent to say the least and you have a different commitment level.
        You just do no have these ifs and buts when you meet the Hawks so you better be ready to rock`n roll.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Good post. To misquote Johan Cruyff: who cares if they score 4 goals on you when you score 10 on them?… That makes for exciting hockey. Like you said, when we skate, we maximize our strengths.

    • CJ says:

      Anybody is going to be better off paired with PK. I can’t see Boullion getting back into the lineup, so it should be a moot point.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Very good post and insight. I agree. I noticed some players who did not play up to their capabilities last night, however, on any given night, a couple of players won’t be 100% It was not glaring like it has been, instead, the game was fast and fun to watch. The penalty kill reminded me of the beginning of the season. I choose to look at the positives.

      On the coaching, again, I agree! A team does not have 8 players make the Olympic teams of their Countries if they have no talent or skill. Therrien to me, does not understand how to put a system together that fits the strengths of the team. They are not a grinding team and should not be! They are a few pieces short of being true contenders, but they are headed in the right direction. I hope they have a coach that is capable of getting them to cup when they have all the pieces.

      Habfan17

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Diaz can play in a No Hitter type of game as was the case last night.

      As for being a great Dman last night, some may wish to review the Hawks goal that was called back and notice how Diaz just let the Hawks forward park himself in Carey’s blue paint.
      There was no battle, nor was there any attempt at moving the player.
      Now tell me that works in the playoffs….

  36. Habfan10912 says:

    This morning is not the right time to post that I wished that Bournival would get more ice time. I’ll wait until tomorrow.

  37. munch17 says:

    Great effort last night.
    Yet we came very close to losing.
    A borderline goalie interference call and a goalpost late in the game.
    We would then be talking about how awful our PP was.
    For the last 20 games or so- less than 9%.
    They’ve got to work on that as the season goes in.
    With PK and Markov at the point -it shouldn’t be that way.

  38. Lafleurguy says:

    The playoffs will generate many games like this, last year notwithstanding. Gotta buy at trade deadline. Win one for the Gipper (Markov).

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Guy. Funny but after the 1st round last season I thought the games were rather, blah. That could be that my rooting interest was greatly reduced though.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Gent Jim! 100% agreement with your observos on Markie Markov, and Turtleneck Plek. Not replaceable with any makeable trades, but would be a signal that MB and friends want a different type of team, if these giants were to be traded. If other great games this year were “sick,” yesterday’s was terminally ill.
        Hipsterguy out, peace.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

  39. Lafleurguy says:

    @JF
    See?

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  40. Habfan17 says:

    All I want to know, is why don’t the Habs play like that with more consistency. Yes, I know, it is a long season, however, that does not mean they can’t play like the they did last night, the majority of games. I have not put on rose coloured glasses, I know they are still a team in transition and aren’t serious contenders. Having said that, at least if they played that way 80% of the time, it would be fun to watch and give them the chance to win every night.

    Habfan17

    • rjcp says:

      Yes, it’s ironic isn’t it?. Games like last night prove that guys like Timo aren’t so crazy and maybe some like Mattyleg need to rethink and expect more. I know it was one game, against a Chicago team that seems to have hit a wall lately and didn’t play the body like an LA, St. Louis, Boston, San Jose, et al would have, but the Habs sure did play with intensity and purpose, their heads were in the game right to the winning goal. Shouldn’t this be the standard we measure against? So the next time Timo makes a comment, I’m going to think about last night’s game and stop and go hmmmm? Lol

  41. John Q Public says:

    Liked Eller w/ Bournival. Going forward that might provide some more scoring.
    Fix the PP. The points aren’t the problem. The forwards are. Why use set lines. Put together a proper unit.

  42. HabFab says:

    Gregoire had the top game from the prospects last night with 3 assists. This broke a 6 game scoreless streak for him. Nygren had 2 goals and an assist in the Swedish league.

  43. HabFab says:

    Just for the record the Habs suck!
    Why, you ask?
    Because they don’t play like this every game.

    PS: Don’t blame me for this. I’m just standing in for Timo, who still is on a high over the game. Just want to let him enjoy it…

  44. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Not sure if anyone pointed this out, but the Eastern Conference owned the Western Conference last night. MTL>CHI. BOS>SJS. DET>LAK. CBJ>WPG. OTT>NSH. PIT>CGY.

  45. Maritime Ronn says:

    Mr. Boone asks:
    “Again, were those the real Montreal Canadiens?
    ———————
    The short answer is yes…with some caveats.

    There was never a doubt the Habs could skate and play a freewheeling, regular season style game with the supposed NHLs best.
    On that front, the Hawks obliged, and to further fall into the Habs trap, the Hawks threw a ‘No Hitter’ at the Habs last night.

    Here is wondering when was the last time the Habs dominated the physical aspect of the game as they did last night?
    When have the Habs ever out-hit an opponent by such a wide margin of 28-11? ( and that wasn’t because the Hawks had the puck all night as they usually do)

    The Habs thrive in these types of games.
    Take notice of the teams the Habs have beaten this year and the style they play: Pittsburgh-Vancouver-Rangers-Dallas….

    Then take notice of the teams that have beaten the Habs and their style of play: LA-St. Louis-Philadelphia-Ottawa-San Jose-Toronto.

    The Habs are still a few forwards and a Dman or 2 short to match other teams when the physicality/tough checking of the game increases, and the fight for position and space is at a premium – i.e. Playoff Hockey

    After watching last night’s game, you can understand what Bob Gainey was thinking post 2004 lockout.
    With the supposed new rules to be applied, he smurfed down the team and put all the emphasis on Team Speed vs. Bulk.

    Unfortunately, the NHL and refereeing style of playoff hockey makes all of that null and void.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ronn and another good post. To me I think Emelin and Gallagher (again) set the tone, Emelin was looking to hit anything and everything and Gallagher played his usual “you can’t hurt me” type of game.

      You’ve hit the nail on the head describing what Gainey was thinking. The league changed gears in mid-stream.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hey Jim

        I have a feeling you’re happy this AM

        Remember the other day when you were a tad upset about some Habs disallowed goals?
        There was also a little suggestion from here that “….those calls usually even themselves out in the end”

        I hope you were smiling :-) after the Hawks goal was called back as that could have gone either way and would have been a game changer.

  46. JUST ME says:

    To me it seems obvious that to play against such great teams as the Black Hawks raises the level of the game. The skill level on the rink yesterday was nothing short of amazing on both sides of the ice. And the habs not only competed but they dominated.

    So why as captain Gionta asked after the game aren`t we able to keep the commitment at the same level at every game ? Some may scratch their head but i think that a good part of the answer lies in the challenge that awaits you. For instance ,our next game is against the Devils and we will be wondering why the snorefest ! Too many teams ,not enough really skilled athletes.

    But hey, i`m still on a high ! Let`s enjoy it!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Excellent questions, Just me. To me there are a handful of veterans who don’t bring that type of effort consistanley. Gionta, Bourque and Moen were very good last night. When they play well the rest of the team does as well.

      Last night our defence was the difference. They dealt with, for the most part, Chicago’s forecheck and moved the puck out of our end with ease. Emelin and Diaz had arguabley their best games as Habs and Markov and PK were, well Markov and PK-like.

      Happy Hab fans today for sure. CHeers.

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      Right, 82 games is a marathon not a sprint. Most players can’t be at 100% for every game and it’s not just our Habs. This team does seem to be able to get up for big games though (the LA game was the exception). Ideally the regular season is shortened and at least 5 teams get contracted. That would improve the product. Maybe we’d see more games like last night. Won’t happen though. In fact the league will most likely add to the number of teams in the near future even though there isn’t enough talent to go around now.

      24 cups and counting….

  47. Cal says:

    Let’s see now.
    The Habs play their best game of the season with 62 minutes of excellent hockey and what do I read below?
    Let’s trade Markov while his stock is “high”.
    Ok, let’s forget the fact that the D (other than PK) is average at best.
    Why in tarnation why you trade your 2nd best Dman who spent all night shutting down the Cup champs’ breakouts and also scored 2 beauties?
    Why do fans get into GM mode after that excellent a game and not revel in its glory until the next one?
    This was the best game I’ve watched the Habs play in YEARS. So there, I am reveling in it!

    • gauver says:

      WE need to sign Markov for another three years. There is no one in our system better than him now or will become better than him in the next three years except Subban. Also, I doubt that there is or will be any better defenceman available via trade or free agency.

      • third generation haber says:

        I know we can’t just replace him, but I’d like our D to be 6 men strong. At the moment, I don’t like seeing the cube and Diaz out there. It’s not about replacing Markov, it’s about an upgrade of our overall d-unit. How well do you think our D would hold up in a playoff run against big, physical teams?

        I’d like to see Beaulieu with Subban on our PP next season if he’s ready. And some reliable, crease-clearing guys to make life easier on Price (Mark Stuart and Tinordi (if ready)). Emelin might be able to go about his business better if he had a little more back-up.

        In 2007, we got Gorges and Pacioretty for a peaked Craig Rivet (6 years ago!). I can only imagine what we might be able to get for Markov now (offensively he’s still dazzling!).

        j.p. murray

        • gauver says:

          sorry for the late reply; i had to take care of something. I also want to see our D become stronger & better. the best path i can see is; signing Subban, signing Markov, dismiss Bouillion/Diaz, and replace with some combination of Beaulieu, Pateryn and Tinordi.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      There is no rationale that could explain why we’d want to trade Markov. He’s been our 2nd best defenseman this year…for a few games he’s been our best. I thinkwe sign him to 3 more years. This way he helps the team AND he helps groom the young defensemen, both here (Emelin) and coming up (Beaulieu, Pateryn, Tinordi, Nygren, etc).

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • scarboro_habitant says:

      love the habs, love markov but for the long term benefit of the montreal canadiens, trading markov sooner rather than later would be the right thing to do. a team looking to make a serious run and to bolster their PP might be willing to pay up for markov. habs are a 2nd round team and that’s about it.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I think long term, what Markov can do for the team is greater than what you can get. Don’t kid yourselves. Teams are not selling the farm for a 35 year old defenseman with 2 major knee surgeries, bt he could help groom our young guys in a great way.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • CJ says:

      I’ve been one of those who has suggested we explore Markov’s value. I’m one of, if not his biggest fans. Look, if he is willing to resign for 1-2 more years at $7 million per season, then that’s fine. Anything longer though and I’m worried. The notation that Markov is willing to take $5 million a year is greatly exaggerated IMO. I love the guy, but the business of sports suggests you would at least explore the possibility of a trade. If you removed the emotional component and look at it as a strictly business decision it boils down to one thing. Can he be replaced? The answer is certainly not easily. You would need to make a move to solidify the general’s absence by either acquiring a Jacob trouba or Ollie matta. If Bergevin could facilitate an exchange for a young player and top prospect it’s something worth considering. Again, he was amazing last night and I would only be a trader for the right deal, but the notion should not be immediately dismissed as crazy.

    • JUST ME says:

      We must be carefull not to go to the other extreme either and sign Markov right now at any price. He is valuable yes but one must be wiser than act on impulse.

    • CJ says:

      A lot depends on what Markov wants. We assume a 2-3 deal makes sense (I’m not keen on the notion of 3 years, but just the same…), however what if Markov wants 5 years? Also, we assume he will take $5 million or less per year. With Dion signing for $7 million on term, why would Markov not be asking for at least $7 million or more, especially if it’s short term. If PK is going to get $8 to $9 million a year, Markov is not going to be happy with much less. Again, it’s easy from the couch. There is a lot that is going to go into this decision, including a player with a modified no trade clause. Food for thought.

      • JUST ME says:

        Good points CJ but as you stated it`s food for thoughts and one must take the time and think before making a move.
        I am far from being ready to trade Markov but not ready either to give him the moon at his age so i hope they make every effort to come to an agreement but also look at the big picture and remain on track with Bergevin`s long term plan.

        • CJ says:

          Agreed. There were several posts earlier this morning that suggested the 35+ clause does not count for players signed by their current team, which is completely false yet I read as others agree with the comment. I just want fans to widen their lens with respect to Markov. I won’t elaborate further, as I believe my several posts on the subject sufficient. Thank you for replying. Cheers, CJ

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Cal. Markov and Pleks may be the two most under-appreciated Hab players of all time.

      You put those two on the market and you’ll spend the next 10 years or so trying to replace them.

    • Mavid says:

      yes sir!! Still smiling this morning..I will just enjoy..

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  48. Habsrule1 says:

    1) Great Team game after that lesson in “Team” by the coach.

    2) How was Plekanec not a star? He was unbelievable. The stars should have been Markov, Plekanec, Crawford. Sorry Carey.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  49. rhino514 says:

    Let´see, we´ve beat the Hawks, one of the greatest teams assembled in modern times, we´ve beat the Ducks (!), Pens, the Bruins, and the Caps. But according to most we are just a middling team that overachieves.
    The Canadiens are a GOOD team with a GREAT heart. The reason they aren´t actually higher up in the standings is that, unlike other years, they haven´t decided what type of hockey they want to play. They actually are having a bit of an identity crisis this year.
    I think the key to a successful team is having a mix of veterans and young players who are productive at the same time; good timing, basically.
    The magic of the 2010 run produced established that strong leadership core; Plekanec, Markov, Gionta, and Gorges.
    The emergence of Subban, Eller, Galchenyuk, and Gallagher has provided a good youth core. Added to this Price seems to have established himself as a good, if unspectacular, goalie.
    That´s basically the reason the habs are a perennial playoff team as long as they stay healthy.
    Many on here have been saying for the past couple of years “wait 3 or 4 years”. I don´t share this view. It´s not that I don´t think the habs can´t remain exciting and competitive, it´s just that I think many underestimate how hard the leadership core will be to replace. Last night´s game was a very good example.
    Plekanec is one of the most underrated players in the entire league, and if there were a way to calculate exactly how many goals a player impedes as well as produces, I suspect he is our real MVP. Patrice Bergeron is a perennial all-world/Olympian starter; he is better at faceoffs, but I doubt if he has anything else on Pleky.
    And, despite all of the enormous talent out there last night, who produced 2 of the 3 goals? A wonky-kneed, very smart hockey player who just knows instinctively, better than anyone, what play to make in a clutch situation.
    I will never understand those who have preached trading Plekanec or Markov over the last couple of years. Gio will soon be the first pillar to fall( I am hoping he will have one last hurrah in the playoffs.) Markov may have 1 or 2 more good years in him. But we have no one to replace his savvy in clutch situations! Let´s just enjoy him!
    Make no mistake, once these guys are gone, they are gone. And don´t diss the team just because they are good and not great. Once these guys are gone, it will become plain to see how hard it is just to remain good in a competitive 30 team league.
    Let´s not blind ourselves to the present by always looking for the future. We have a nice little team on our hands.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good post, Rhino. Is it significant that you didn’t mention Pacioretty once? Is it possible that our leading goal-scorer embodies our identity issues (is “crisis” too strong?), in that we urgently need a power forward, but Pacioretty — with all the necessary skill and size — just doesn’t play that game?

      Maybe Gallagher embodies it, too! He has the wrong size for power forward, but it never stops him from playing that way.

      Do we resolve our identity issues by finding more ways to capitalise on our considerable strengths?

      • rhino514 says:

        I have to admit Pacioretty is a valuable player and you need a guy who puts the puck in the net as often as Max Pac does . I more or less simply forgot to include him in the youth core.
        I have no problem with Pacioretty; he is what he is. The fact that he is not a grinding type player doesn´t mean he is lazy, it just means that some nights the puck won´t go to him and he will be less noticeable.
        Having said that I think he is obviously not as valuable to the team as Subban or Plekanec. He´d be at or near the top of the secondary group which follows those two guys.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Missed the game last night, but saw the cbc late night replay. I think you hit it bang on bout habs deciding what kind of hockey they should play. Probably a key reason why the Hawks have done well the last few years. Speed and skill mixed with some grit, but not over relying on the physical game…

      Gawd it’s early

    • third generation haber says:

      Really enjoyed your post!

      I like that u mentioned the team is “good and not great”; I don’t think “good” will ever win us a cup. How far do u think we could go in the playoffs with our current roster?? Isn’t winning the cup the point???

      That’s why many of us old farts want to see the habs acquire as much in return as possible for Gionta and Markov. Because, flatly, we are tired of being mere playoff contenders and know the only way to return to glory is to acquire some more Galchenyuk/ Subban type talent. And, to acquire the type of team toughness which has personified all recent cup winners.

      I know we beat the hawks today, but could we beat them in a playoff series??? I’m not sure we could beat Ottawa in a playoff series.

      As you said, we have a nice “little” team on our hands, but I’d rather be a tough/talented team like the Kings or Blues that are extremely hard to play against.

      As for the leadership core, I believe Eller, Subban, Patches, Emelin, Gorges, and Price will make great veterans in a few years.

      j.p. murray

      • Mavid says:

        The way Carey is playing..I would put money on us beating Ottawa..other than the 6-1 disaster, we outplayed them by a mile. We are much better than they are..no doubt

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

        • CJ says:

          We certainly did. We were the better team nearly every period that series. Ottawa got a lifetime worth of bounces. I’m so sick of that franchise. I’m hoping Thursday night we bring hell to the CTC.

        • third generation haber says:

          Price is capable of taking this team on his back, but I want to beat Ottawa because we’re more talented and tougher, not because our goalie can save our bacon.

          j.p. murray

      • CJ says:

        No denying ottawa has had our number. They would be a tough match-up. We are a much better team, they just seem to get the bounces. I hope we can reverse our fortunes on Thursday night. If ottawa beats us again it’s going to start to get to us. A psychological thing. I would love nothing more then to hammer them 5-0, and Prust, Moen and Parros wipe the smirk permanently from their faces. I can’t stand that team!

        • Mavid says:

          Same here..I am married to a Sens fan, but he is one of the few reasonable ones ( there are just a couple) ..don’t get me wrong I don’t like the Leafs, but their obsession with them is just pitiful, I believe that beating or finishing ahead of them is more important that actually winning the cup. You should see the crap I am reading today because they are now ahead in the standings..all the things they accuse the Leaf fans of, they do themselves..they are wanna be’s..nothing more..we need to spank them but good..otherwise I am afraid your right, its pretty hard to make a case when they beat us every time..

          Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

          • CJ says:

            Well said. I hear and see the same things. You are absolutely correct. The obsession with Toronto is spell binding. If they finish 12th, but ahead of the Leafs they are happy. It’s such a brutal fan base, your husband withstanding. I have some good friends who cheer for them who are also quite reasonable, but the majority are nuts.

      • rhino514 says:

        I think those guys you mention can become a good veteran core in due time.
        The thing is, then we will need more young guys to come in. Everyone talks about how great Timmins is and how bright the future is; but every time i look at our prospects, there is basically no blue chip forward with size in the system. There are 2 or 3 guys with top end skill, like Hudon, Reway, maybe Andrighetto and/or Collberg, but they are all small and they are good but not great prospects. The closest thing we have to a complete package is De La Rose, but I think many are getting over-excited about him, he´s a late second round pick and again he´s a decent but not great prospect. Maybe a third liner some day if things break right.
        The strength lies in the trio of defenders in Hamilton, where we may get a couple of good ones, but we need more at forward.
        Also Nygren and that other swedish kid got scared of life in Hamilton and left, so that´s a bit of a setback as well.

    • gauver says:

      The main improvements we need are more forwards who can score. Briere, Desharnais, Gionta, Bourque won’t even score 20 goals this year. Pacioretty, Plekanec, Galchenyuk, Gallagher and Eller are the only ones who have a fair chance of scoring 20; Pacioretty the only one with a fair chance to score 30+. All the top ten teams have 3 to 7 likely 20+ goal scorers this season except LA. We are top 4 in GAA/game but 20+ in goals for/game. That to me is the key to evolving to a legit Cup contender.

      • rhino514 says:

        The point is who do you bench if we get another scorer?
        Hate to say it, but Bourque is one of only 2 or 3 big orwards we have, we need him for now.
        Briere, they basically bought him just for the playoffs, so they will not bench him.
        That´s why I reckon they will go for a quality defenseman before they go for another forward, unless someone quite exceptional is available.
        Don´t forget this is basically the same team which was fourth in the league in scoring last year, individual stats are down this year because the team is trying to play an uber-defensive style. They have more firepower than they´ve shown.

        • gauver says:

          i can’t think of which established scorer we could realistically get for reasonable terms this season therefore i assume that we will get none. i foresee the correction coming via offseason trades, promotion of players in our system and, longer term, via the draft. this is why i think that we are 3 years away from legit Cup contention

  50. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @Danno. Just to be clear! That was 100% facetious. I was JUST back from a party, normal restraints liquidly loosened, and — while I can genuinely acknowledge the right to hold absolutely any opinion here — I have almost no tolerance for richard head posters who are obnoxious to others. (Prompting me to go and do exactly the same thing! I’m not as nice as some generous posters here have sometimes graciously given me credit for….).

  51. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Business-wise, you’d think the NHL would look at a game like that and reckon, we need to prioritise fostering a hockey culture that generates MORE games like that one, rather than continue to stick cynically to upholding a lower-grade product that has the “advantage” of attracting wrestling fans and people who used to love roller derby.

    • CJ says:

      That was certainly a showcase type game. Incredible action all over the ice. Funny, we enjoyed the exact same type of game last time these teams played in Montreal. The same score. Finally, in both games, a defencemen scored the OT winner in a 2-1 game from basically the same spot. We need more games against the original six and less against the Florida and Carolina’s of the world. The notation of expansion scares me. I’d much rather contraction.

    • Cape Breton says:

      Yep, a lot better than fighting and brawling.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good games vs Detroit also in recent years.

    • JUST ME says:

      Totally agree. Do not know why we will tolerate the predictable snorefest against the Devils on tuesday. Because the league needs 30 teams ? Because there is that much talent ? Because that many franchises are healthy in every market ?

      We know the answers but still we accept to see just a few great games like yesterday`s so it does not show that the overall product is diluted ? Sigh…

  52. Dunboyne Mike says:

    So what we still have to fix is the fact that we are not yet playing well enough to beat bad/boring teams. Plenty of opportunities coming up shortly to address that issue.

    Would it be correct to say that we can achieve this by finding more ways to play to our strengths and stick to our own game, PLUS, perhaps one or two judicious acquisitions?

    • CJ says:

      Special teams will be key. We lost last Saturday to Ottawa when we failed to capitalize on our PP chances. If we skate we will force teams like Ottawa and Toronto to take penalties. It’s then up to the PP to capitalize. We have the personnel, it’s just a matter of getting pucks to the net and having a big body to provide some traffic. I’m not against the idea of sticking Parros or Murray in front of the net. If nothing else, it ties up a defender and essentially creates a 4-3 advantage. Try a different look. Teams have obviously scouted us well and are now pressuring our points, taking away our big shots. We need to reapply pressure down low, shifting the defensive zone coverage to our advantage.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        That sounds 100% brilliant to me, CJ. And don’t you think big Doug would jump at the chance to play forward a la Buff or Chara? I get the feeling he would. And you’re so right: we need always to have two ways to punish on the PP, not all eggs in the Markov/PK set-up.

        Would you consider Briere on the point for the second unit?

        And don’t forget our other special team: the new double-our-shots-on-goal PK!

        • CJ says:

          I’m in favor of trying something out of the ordinary. The word is out on how to defend our PP. We need to adjust, adding a new wrinkle. Briere or Pleks at the point, Murray down low, something different. I’m all for it. Let’s make the opposition adjust again.

  53. Dunboyne Mike says:

    I like our new PK tactics.
    Spend the 2 minutes in the other team’s zone. With a man advantage.

  54. Cape Breton says:

    Great game. Just goes to show what can be accomplished with 60 minutes of effort, aside from Pax , that is, who appears to be playing hurt.

  55. habfaninottawa says:

    This team is totally bi-polar. One never knows which team they will see on any given night.
    Regardless, the Habs played a great 60+ min game tonight. And so long as they can win more than they lose the rest of the way then they’ll make the playoffs easily

    • CJ says:

      We play our best hockey against great skating teams. Not to be a downer, but we still get hung up with the likes of Philly who play a more grinding style. Next week will be very difficult as we have three games, in succession, against teams who’s style is very different then our own. I’m basking in the joy of this win!

  56. jamman says:

    Its like this n like that, Im talking Canadiens!
    Talk about an upset eh? Emelin truly reminded us tonight what he’s capable of.

    • CJ says:

      He was terrific. What a great, clean, hit on Kane. It’s so hard to catch Kane with a solid check, but Emelin was so positionally sound. Playing like that last night, he is worth every penny of his new contract.

  57. Propwash says:

    When the Habs have space given to them, they can hang with the best of them. Chicago thought they can play a run and gun style, in which the Habs clearly matched them. Once they started getting bodies to the net in the 3rd, that’s when things started to happen. Fortunately, Chicago didn’t cash in on the chances they had.

    What a freakin’ hockey game though, the only other opponent that the team will face that will have that type of play is Detroit. I have my fingers crossed that my buddy will have a spot for me in the loge for that game!

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  58. Johnny9 says:

    Whoever thinks we should trade Markov clearly does not know what theyre talking about!!! No one can replace those 25minutes a game, Beaulieu, Tinordi etc etc in Hamilton is no where near his Olympic level quality play. You re-sign him another 3 years at 6mil a year and he will be there when we win the cup for the 15-16 season! He’s too valuable to lose and can not be replaced! Get real people! Also when you re-sign your own player, the 35+ rule does NOT apply to the contract and the cap hit!

    • third generation haber says:

      I definitely think we should trade him and I’m pretty sure I know what I’m talking about. Of course our prospects aren’t ready to play 25 minutes per game, but the free agent we sign with Markov’s cap hit might be (or some of it), and the prospects or picks we get in return will more than compensate us.

      I don’t want to pay him 6mil in 2015-16 when he won’t be top pairing anymore. Holding on to players too long is the best way to remain a bubble team. Cup winners don’t do this, Calgary does.

      u are bang-on about the +35 rule, just checked cap-geek:

      “The league confirmed to CapGeek.com in March 2013 that the over-35 rule “doesn’t apply either in the case of regular buyouts or in the case of compliance buyouts,” meaning teams can use buyouts to reduce or eliminate the cap hit. Prior to the league’s clarification, CapGeek.com had operated with inaccurate information in estimating its cap totals.”

      j.p. murray

      • formerly known as the hc says:

        I scanned the list of upcoing UFA’s. Here is the top five based on their salaries (besides Markov), their age and present cap hit: Dan Boyle, 37, $6,666,667; Kimmo Timonen, 38, $6,000,000; Joni Pitkanen, 30, $4,500,000; Andrej Meszaros, 27, 4,000,000; Marek Zidlicky, 36, $4,000,000… Assuming that they would want to play in Montreal… Which of these would you see as a suitable replaceent for Markov? Pertsonally, I say none of them will do what Markov does. Markov’s cap hit is presently 5.75 mil, maybe he can be re-signed for less than 6 mil. Barring any medical catastrophes in the next few months, I say sign him. Ideally 3 yrs 5-6 mil.

        • third generation haber says:

          Honestly, none of them, but thanks for the info. I would like to see experienced d-men, like a Mark Stuart get acquired by trade. I think replacing Markov in the short-term could be done by committee, while replacing him in the long-term (by developing our own guys) is what really matters.

          Mind you, if the cap rises significantly, being a “wealthier team”, it won’t matter if we overpay for him.

          I would, however, prefer to see us bring-up Tinordi and Beaulieu next year to get them some NHL experience. Not as our first pairing though.

          j.p. murray

      • CJ says:

        That 35+ information is not accurate. If Markov resigns in Montreal for four years, and retires after the third season, Montreal will carry the cap hit from the fourth season.

    • third generation haber says:

      Forgot to mention, I am, and have been, a huge Markov fan, I’m just a much bigger fan of the back, to back, to back dynasties we had. From the 50′s through the 70′s, we won 16 of a possible 30 cups! The Roman Army! I know this will never happen again, but this team has always been in the business of winning cups, not making the playoffs. A young collection of stars, coming of age at the same time under the cap, balanced with toughness is the model that has won the last 10 cups.

      j.p. murray

    • savethepuck says:

      youi are !00% RIGHT

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      Yeah, I chose to just let that one slide. The idea of trading Markov was too ridiculous to comment on.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

      • third generation haber says:

        Is it??? I’ve seen several posters suggest it all season long.

        What do you think a contender might offer us for Markov at this point? Kaberle warranted a first round pick; Kaberle!!!

        j.p. murray

    • CJ says:

      Hold on, so are you saying that Markov, if he signs for four more years but retires after three his fourth year does not count against our salary cap?

    • CJ says:

      Totally inaccurate. If Markov resigns and then retires the team carries his cap hit.

    • zephyr says:

      resign markov. it’s a no-brainer. lots of guys have plenty of gas in the tank at his age. we can get rid of gio & briere & possibly diaz but markov is a rare player.

  59. HABitat4humanity says:

    Crawford showed tonight how much it was a mistake for not picking him. He made was ridiculously good in net tonight despite the loss. Thanks mr. Seabrook for screening him !!!!!!

    I agree sell the Markov stock when it is high! Trade him for some younger talent.

    Glad Emelin is starting to hit again. Maybe he has more faith in his knee

    PK’s hit on Towes was dangerous but i like the way it stirred things up.

    Price was $ tonight! But the zebras helped us out just a tiny bit i must admit.

    Gionta saved a goal by blocking a shot but blew coverage as well on the chicago goal.

    If the habs just wake up some of the people who should be scoring but r not, then we might be a little further along.

    It’s weird not having Chucky!

    Lets keep hitting, causing traffic and keeping out of our end most of the game!

  60. Denjen says:

    Awesome game! Crawford was great. However i don’t feel he is an elite goalie in this league and don’t mind that he is not going to Sochi. While he played unbelievable tonight he is known for putting out bad rebounds which his high powered defence core have to deal with nightly,something i believe Waite and him worked on,also more prone the other number 1 s in the league at letting in softies. I feel he isn’t any better than MA Fluery who also can have a good game followed by extreme sub par but still pull out a win due to the teams they play for. Its the old Chris Osgood effect-Osgood would never be considered elite by anybody standards but has won 3 cups and has over 300 wins because he played for the best team by far over the course of a 10 yr period.

  61. Habilis says:

    Worth a second viewing:

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockeynightincanada/fullgames/video/#id=2429564966

    That’s last night’s CBC telecast in full. Good times.

  62. third generation haber says:

    Has there ever been a better time 2 trade Markov???

    Throw those stones; I’m not even ducking. I’m here to rain on this parade!!!

    He still dazzles offensively, but doesn’t defend well and is as soft as a Diaz. It will cost too much to retain him, and he’ll be dead weight by the time we become cup contenders. Isn’t the cup what the club de hockey are supposed to be targeting???

    We played great 2day, but in the grand scheme, the playoffs, this result does not prove that we are built for the playoffs! As @sholi2000 pointed out, our forwards can’t bury their chances (probably because they spend too much time on the perimeter).

    Does Bergevin have the balls 2 do this??? (I doubt it). Imagine what we could get 4 him now!!!! A 1st rounder/ a young, cap-friendly power forward who could help us for many years!

    j.p. murray

    • Captmax says:

      Great idea lets package him with Subban and completely destroy the Def.

      We can wait 5 more years till we have good veterans who lead well. By then Markov will have played well for another Cup winning team and everyone in the Dressing room will know playing great means a trade.

      And that’s why we won’t have championship.

      Capt

      • third generation haber says:

        No idea what you’re talking about.

        Why include Subban??? He’s a key part of our young core that CAN help us to win a cup in a few years. Markov is too old, too soft, and too fragile to be a part of that. If injured after age 35 your cap hit still counts, even if u never play again!

        Our future defense will include Subban, Gorges, Emelin, Beaulieu, Tinordi, and possibly Thrower and Pateryn (plus UFA’s)

        As for vets, the money we save from eventually moving out Subban, Briere, and Gionta, will mean 14.75 mil to spend on UFA’s (aged 26-30).

        Subban, Price, Eller, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, and others could form a long-term core for this team.

        j.p. murray

        • 25Stanleycups says:

          Not Gorges, i think hes slower this year then ever. I think all those hits to the head the last couple years have had a negative impact.

          But I agree with the other players.

          • third generation haber says:

            We have him under contract for a few more years, so I don’t think we have any say in the matter^^

            j.p. murray

  63. Captmax says:

    That was a hockey game!!!

    That said it reveals the truth about the Habs. They play as good as their opponent. That’s it. If they are playing a great team they will play great. If they play a shitty team they play… Shitty.

    I hate the ” we underestimated them” or “we just didn’t give it our best effort tonight” crap. Great teams play great every night. The Habs just don’t have that level of greatness every night! They could but they just decide to get by.

    Watching hbo’s 24/7 and even though 24CH tries to copy the idea you can see clearly how Randy Babcock supports the RedWings. How the guys push and lead and how the C truly means leader ship?

    I don’t know why but I don’t see Champions in the dressing room! The Habs have the talent, we have the goalie but we don’t have the drive every night. Until they do they will be playoff hopefuls but not great.

    I love Prust and Parros tonight bc that 4th line played 3rd line hockey and showed the heart. They showed what a 4th line, healthy scratch who never complains and is a dressing room leader does when he is given his shot. Wish Therrien had played him Wednesday night rather than do his Russian roulette line dance thing.

    Here’s to the Boys. And dreams of more of it.

    capt

  64. Timo says:

    I can’t believe Luongo and Smith were chosen ahead of Crawford.

  65. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Mike, in answer to your question ” So who are the real Montreal Canadiens?”, I would say they are what they’ve always been: a small but quick and skilled team who do very well when they play teams who play in the open ice, and prefer a free-flowing, transition game. We do NOT do well against teams that play along the boards and clog up the neutral zone. We simply aren’t built for that. That’s what makes games against teams like Vancouver, Detroit, and Chicago such a treat.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • Mike Boone says:

      I fear you’re right. We’ll see when they play NJ, Ottawa and Toronto.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • Dave Jones says:

      This sounds right to me. The Habs are a good team, but not a contender, for just this reason–they still have to accept the terms set by the opponent. The Blackhawks, led by Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Keith, play a skill game that can (apparently) bring out the best of the Habs. But the Kings, the Blues, and many others, play a physical game that we have trouble answering for.

      But anyway, these trends don’t take away from the great game tonight. The Habs have been a middling team all season in terms of puck possession. Their place in the standings, unsurprisingly, has more to do with Carey Price than anything else. But tonight, they were excellent, and out-possessed one of the league’s best possession teams. Regardless of what they have been, a night like this is encouraging for what they might become.

    • third generation haber says:

      Thank-u for that assessment; you took the words out of my mouth. Hab fans, who have suffered for 20 years now, understand that the small successes we have had in recent years are superficial when it comes to playing for what we should, the cup. Recent winners demonstrate that it’s a very skilled and very tough team that goes all the way. Soft teams get stuck in the mud.

      j.p. murray

  66. scarboro_habitant says:

    anyone have a link for this game? sounds like I missed a good 1.

  67. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Parros instrumental on the first goal. Crow parfait for dessert.

    • third generation haber says:

      He was also instrumental in just being in the line-up. Prust didn’t have to fight outside of his weight class, our players didn’t get abused all night, and Moen moved up a line to be used as a hockey player. Moen has always had some offensive upside and doesn’t look out of place with skilled players. I like the subtle impact Parros has on our team.

      j.p. murray

  68. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Dozenth.

  69. Timo says:

    THAT was some hockey game. Man, I forgot what real hockey looks like. This was fantastic. Of course, who knows when will be the next time Habs will deliver such great hockey, but for tonight I will savor it.

    George Parros with a big plus tonight – that was a nice screen on Markov’s first goal. Secretly I was hoping it touched Parros on the way in. Really want him to get a goal as a Hab.

    The only player I didn’t like much tonight was Pacioretty, but he was alright on the OT goal.

    Man, why can’t there be more evening like this?

  70. This game never would have been as close as it was if
    1. Crawford wasn’t a beast
    2. We had forwards who could finish.

    Max where are you Max? You’re killing me buds, let’s go!

    Can’t believe they didn’t score 5 on the Hawks. I was way off on the score. I’ll do better next time.

    Carey Carey Carey

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

  71. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    I am most proud of our veteran players. For once, it wasn’t all about Carey and PK. Plekanec was simply brilliant, as was Markov. But so too were Travis Moen and Prust. They may not have been blessed with the talent of guys like Pacioretty, Bourque or Briere, but their hearts are 5 times the size. And they showed it tonight. So here’s to the vets.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • I`m a little odd I guess, I was bummed out at all the scoring chances and not one corner was picked. They played great, they attacked all night and that`s the type of game the Habs should play every game. Your welcome Therrien, good work, take an extra fin out of petty cash.

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

  72. HabinBurlington says:

    FYI, All those who think only Habs get goals overturned, Chicago had a big goal overturned.

    • The refs (thanks PK) were on our side, but it was the right call, as weak as it was. :lol: Carey knows what to do when someone skates into the crease….oh I`ll just nudge my way up here and oops I fell, come on man interference.

      Jerry and I taught Carey well.

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

  73. FANHABULOUS says:

    Dos!

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

  74. I told Ya!

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


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