About last night …

PricePittsburgh

Here’s some good news:
Carey Price and P.K. Subban won’t have to face Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz at the Winter Olympics. They’ll all be on Team Canada.
Better news:
Evgeni Malkin and Andrei Markov will be together on Team Russia – which will spare the Canadiens’ defenceman the embarrassment of being turnstiled by the Pittsburgh superstar.
But happier times won’t last forever.
Four days after the games end, the Canadiens will pay another visit to the Consol Energy Center.
And by Feb. 27, their playoff hopes may be flickering like the Olympic flame in Sochi.

Your Montreal Canadiens are playing badly … and it’s not a recent phenomenon.

With each loss and/or unlikely win, it becomes more evident that the conquest of the Stanley Cup champions at the Bell Centre was an aberration.

The REAL Montreal Canadiens have played .500 hockey over their last 18 games – including that win over Chicago in The Game of the Season That May End Sooner Than Hoped For By Everyone (especially Geoff Molson, who likes playoff revenue).

RDS’s Marc Denis cited a troubling stat during the intro to Wednesday night’s 5-1 stomping in Pittsburgh.

Up to Dec. 10, the Canadiens had allowed an average of 2.06 goals per game. In games since then, the average is 3.01.

When a team that has trouble scoring is allowing three – and, lately, often more – goals per game, the losses are going to pile up.

The Canadiens are still third in the Atlantic Division. But the race for playoff spots is tightening up. And this team is trending down.

One forward line distinguished themselves in Pittsburgh: David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallgher competed hard on every shift, even after the Penguins built an insurmountable lead through the first 40 minutes.

As he does night in and night out, Tomas Plekanec gave it his best shot. It’s not Pleks’s fault he’s flanked by Brian Gionta, an aging and undersized RW, and Lars Eller, whose fragile confidence seeps away a bit more in each game where he has to impersonate a LW.

I can’t remember the various permutations and combinations Michel Therrien concocted for his third and fourth lines. At least Louis Leblanc got to play 7:49 – six minutes more than Joonas Nättinen did in Toronto.

And Nathan Beaulieu ended the game at plus-1.

Woo-hoo! The future is bright.

It actually might be.

But the present sucks.

Moreover, an honest appraisal of the depth of talent on a team like Pittsburgh inevitably leads to the sobering realization that the Canadiens are not ready to compete, on a consistent basis, with the NHL’s elite teams.

Yes, they looked great against Chicago.

But the Canadiens have been thoroughly beaten by L.A., St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

Carey Price looked shellshocked in Pittsburgh. Sure, he faced only 21 shots. As has been the case for a while, however, it’s the quality of the shots Price is trying to stop.

Wide-open looks, gilt-edged scoring chances, long stretches during which the Canadiens are hemmed in their own end.

Sidney Crosby’s power-play goal, the culmination of unhindered passing by Crosby, Kunitz and Chris Letang? There isn’t a goaltender in the league who could have stopped that.

The defence corps in front of Price is in disarray.

Michel Therrien presumably thought he could stabilize his back end by reuniting Subban and Markov. It didn’t work.

P.K. took two bad penalties and was minus-3 in his 21 minutes of ice time.

Markov was turnstiled twice by his Russian teammate to be. The Canadiens’ Dman is showing disquieting signs of having run out of gas at about the 40-game mark.

How much will Markov have left in the tank after Sochi? And what kind of realistic assessments and expectations are being brought to the table at his contract negotiations, which reportedly began this week?

I’ll leave it to the Commentariat to suggest ways out of this mess.

From where I’m sitting, at the 50-game mark, your Montreal Canadiens just don’t have the horses.

And I don’t know what Marc Bergevin can do about it, other than preaching patience as the endless rebuild drags on.

Fire the coach?

Yeah, maybe. Therrien personnel moves and in-game strategizing leave something to be desired.

But let’s get real, peeps.

Scotty Bowman might not play Douglas Murray almost 20 minutes against a Cup contender.

But even with Toe Blake as his assistant, Bowman would be challenged to win consistently with this lineup.

On to Detroit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

800 Comments

  1. Bash says:

    Test

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  2. Steeltown Hab says:

    oh Bripro’s general point of view on things….
    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  3. Bripro says:

    “New Thread!”

    Direct (MT) translation:
    Nouvelle Ficelle!

    Proper translation:
    Nouvelle page!

  4. doug19 says:

    To me the problem is overachieving coaching. Last year the players were swapped in and out and milked to the last. The result was a piss poor playoffs and missing out on drafting Mantha or someone else.
    Our first rounder Mcduck is not lighting up the OHL. If at 6′-5″ he cannot muscle a few goals for London, this is not promising. I agree with many posters here we should be playing more rookies. The problem then would be no players for Hamilton unless a 6 pack is waved down there. This team as a whole as been overachieving for it’s talent and size. Another problem is; when most teams in the league overachieve they can beat us. (example the Leafs.)

  5. adadi says:

    Just heard Nilan say that bringing in Guy Boucher now would just set him up to fail. Before a new coach knuckles wants MB to do his job. A good point. Therefore I suggest bringing in Randy Cunneyworth for the rest if the season. He’s probably learned a couple more words of French by now I would think. Lol.

  6. desertman says:

    All this talk about historical issues and oldies seeing the good old days made me find this:

    Its a color video of montreal from 1957, I would argue that the city looked waaaaay better back then… Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed the video.

    http://www.mtlblog.com/2013/12/this-color-video-of-montreal-in-1957-nearly-made-our-brain-explode-take-a-look-and-youll-see/

  7. Habsrule1 says:

    Strummer noted below that the reason Muller left Montreal was because “he said he would never get a chance to be head coach as a unilingual anglophone”.

    Does anyone have a link to this story? I remember people insinuating that was why, but I never heard that Captain Kirk ever came out and said it.

    Cheers.
    Go Habs Go!!

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

  8. frontenac1 says:

    Got pretty hammered last night. I was pissed off. At the game and the fact the Refs wouldn’t let Budaj tune up that little pr#ck Fluery.

    • Timo says:

      I think that’s what pissed me off the most about the game too. Not so much that the Habs lost (that was expected) but that refs went out of their way to protect rat face MAF.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Hey amigo, you mentioned earlier you have a pick from Judas Priest? I love those guys, so does my Son. I got him tickets to the show last year at the Bell Centre for his birthday. He said Rob Halford still got it! Saludos! “Breaking the Law”!

  9. CJ says:

    Not sure if anyone is tuned into TSN690 this afternoon, but I listened to former NHL player and referee Paul Stewart, who had some terrific insight into the state of today’s game at both the entry level and professionally.

    I believe 690 has podcasts available. Worth the listen if you have 15 minutes this evening.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Paul Stewart contributes regularly on that site hockeybuzz and often has good things to read. Surprised that is the website he ended up on, given I don’t think Eklund is nearly as connected as he says.

  10. Mattyleg says:

    I’ll just clarify my post below…

    The thing about Quebecers is that language plays such a large part in our everyday lives that its existence in our hockey team isn’t noteworthy, or even worth discussion.

    It’s like growing up in a forest all your life, then people come and look at your soccer field and say that it would be even more amazing if there weren’t so many trees. That might be the case, but… the trees are part of the place, and are what makes it special. The angrier the others get about it, the more it becomes a stronger sticking-point for the people from that place.

    I dunno.

    I hope my analogy makes sense.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • The Jackal says:

      Makes a lot of sense.
      I’m not even from Quebec and I relate to it 100%.
      It bothers me that people from the RoC don’t get this, and even anlgo Quebecers rail against it.
      It’s what you get when a linguistic minority is oppressed by the majority, there’d be way less language issues if the veiled goal of confederation was not gradual assimilation.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • shiram says:

      I love the province of Québec, I really do.
      I hate this language BS. It’s so annoying, and not only as it pertains to hockey but just overall.
      I have no inner fondness for either French or English, in a sense they both only are tools for communication, and if one tool does not work, I’m lucky enough to have another one I can try to use.

      I did not really get your analogy either.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Ugh. Sorry.
        Trying to make something complex simple and failed.

        I read a great article about what you’re talking about.
        It was about the Children of Bill 101, who were children of immigrants and were forced to have an education in French. This was done to protect the language, and therefore, the Quebecois culture.

        Problem is, though, that these children now speak 3 languages (French, English, and their mother tongue) and don’t identify with one more than another, and just see language as a merely functional thing, to be used when the situation calls for it. The worry amongst language/culture protectors is that these people (who number in the millions) will simply one day all decide to start speaking English.

        The language laws, therefore, fall short of actually protecting ‘culture’.

        Very interesting concept.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Luke says:

          It’d be like no hockey on a Saturday night.

          Could we find something else to do? Sure. And Sometimes we do.
          But we still need hockey on a Saturday night.

        • shiram says:

          Laws are meant to broken? or some such thing…
          If you force someone to do something, it will be appealing for them to do contrary to that…
          Iunno…

          • Mattyleg says:

            No.
            No laws are being broken.
            People are being forced to learn French in the hopes of preserving the language, and therefore the culture of Quebec.
            The problem with that is that these people are learning the language, which is saving it, but aren’t associating that language with a particular ‘Quebecois Culture’.
            Their attempts to save culture through language aren’t working, as you pointed out. Language is functional, not something that new Quebecers base their identity on.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Couldn’t see the analogy through the trees?

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I agree. I don’t like it, but you’re right. I’m from Montreal. My first language is English but I am perfectly bilingual. My take on it is this:

      If 2 players or coaches are available, and the concensus is that they are exactly even as far as quality of candidate, the Habs should take the one who is from Quebec (presumably speaks French, but not necessarily), but…..IF the one who does NOT speak French is even just a tiny bit better in the eyes of the organization, pick the better one every time.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I think that’s where I am also (see confession below).

        What this would mean is that there would be an x-factor with the Montreal club that had no parallel with any other club. Right?

        I’m also from Montreal, my first language, and I’m very imperfectly bilingual. And jealous of you.

    • Bripro says:

      I agree whole heartedly.
      And like Shiram, I love this province, almost as much as I love my country (Canada… the only real country above the 49th parallel).

      I guess what frustrates me the most is the fact that any debate on language should even occur.

      As Jackal points out, it makes for an oppressed english minority in Quebec. I might be generalizing, but I wish most Western Canadians understood that there is a large contingent of Quebec Anglophones who feel alienated from within, and from outside. I feel like you can’t turn your head without being symbolically attacked.

      I’m a Canadian with an english name (even if I am fluently bilingual) in a province where 80% of the population is french; where 75% of that 80% don’t give a hoot which language we communicate in, but where 100% of the media, be it french or english, insist on re-hashing it, bringing it back to the forefront of issues, when we have far greater concerns and obstacles to deal with.

      So when it comes to speaking our common language, which on this site is hockey, it has no place (or little, at least) in the conversation. I come here to talk a common religious language, and hope to escape the language debates.

      If I want them, I just have to open the paper, or turn on the radio.

    • bwoar says:

      I’ve understood your point for a while; living in Montreal was an eye-opener for me in a lot of good ways.

      I still think there’s very fair criticism of the team for not picking among the best available candidates for head coaching and management, rather, the best available among French-speaking candidates. No amount of “the fans want a guy who speak their language” (or other truths, which I acknowledge as such) can make that criticism invalid or unjustified.

      The real problem is equating language with identity, but that’s a topic for another forum.

      I just take it as a given; live and let live. You want to follow the Canadiens, you must accept what comes with that. There’s little point really holding an opinion on it unless you own the team.

      “thoroughbred”

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Things change in life, often for the better. If a bank is offering online banking the rival bank should as well, not say well this is what we’ve always done, prided ourself on greeting the customer face to face.

      All the other teams in the league hire based on best available talent, if we’re not doing the same we can’t expect to compete. It’s actually an insult to the profession when you deny someone for a position not because of merit but because they can’t speak a language 95% of the league, players and management can’t speak.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I’m not yet convinced the Habs chose Therrien over a more qualified candidate that does not speak French. there are actually a fair bit of coaches who speak French who are qualified, believe it or not. Had the Habs hired Vigneault, would we still be upset? How about Julien, had he been available?

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Mattyleg says:

        Last comment got modded.
        No idea why.

        Anyway, the gist of it was that you missed the point.

        The Canadiens are part of Quebec’s Cultural Heritage, and deserve to be protected as such. The Habs showed Francophones what they could achieve in the world during a period of terrible repression where they were considered second-class citizens.

        Your idea might make great business sense, but cultures and traditions don’t change to suit modern developments; just the opposite, they remain the same while the world changes around them.

        There are 29 other teams in the league where questions of language never come into play, and people who find those sorts of things annoying are welcome to follow them instead. Maybe they’d be happier.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • boing007 says:

        It’s closer to 98%. Why would any immigrant be loyal to a government that regularly passes over job candidates of equal competence because they are not ‘de souche’?

        Almost 30 years ago Premier Bourassa said that he would implement legislation that would ensure that at least 20% of anglophones and allophones would work in the Quebec Civil Service. Thirty years later it’s still hovering around 1%.
        Richard R.

  11. Bripro says:

    Maritime Ronn,

    “…The present coach never went public to back his Norris Trophy winning Dman concerning being on Team Canada.”
    – (11/30/2012) “The way he’s playing right now Subban is making a case for the Olympics. We want him to go there.”

    “….coach feels the need to TOTALLY embarrass PK in front of his team mates and the hockey world by benching him for the first 10 minutes of the 3rd period…”
    - (1/10/2013) “We’re making a big story honestly that as far as I’m concerned isn’t such a big thing,” Therrien said. “It was three shifts in the third period. He plays almost two minutes a shift. And the way the team was playing, pulling the goalie when we have 4 shots on net made no sense.”

    “….It’s almost as if the present coach could not wait for a next event/opportunity to ‘break the thoroughbred’ ”
    (11/04/13 – prior to Olympic selection
    “Coaching is about drawing the maximum out of players, and it’s all part of that. I’m quite aware of his talent, I know exactly how far he can go. We’re going to do what it takes to get there, that’s where he wants to go too. It’s a challenge any coach would want,”

    “Name me 1 coach who has ever embarrassed and treated his Best Player this way”
    Scotty Bowman with Yvan Cournoyer, Larry Robinson, Steve Shutt….etc.
    According to Chris Nilan, the only player Bowman never laid into was Guy Lafleur. It was open game for anybody else.
    Repercussions? 9 Stanley Cups with the Habs.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Nice post Bri….doubt it’ll sink in on many though. The man is a good coach. It’s not like he’s never coached (at many levels) and was just hired off the street (or some website).

      That said, he does many things I question, but so does every coach in the NHL, and believe it or not, I still think they are ALL better at coaching than I am.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • The Jackal says:

      Great post Bri, unfortunately, some people are too stubborn to accept they are wrong, that or they are so bent on saying brainless stuff about the coach that they don’t care about facts. Not to say all who criticize MT fit that mould, the coach has made his fair share of mistakes and it’s understandable why some people bring forward reasonable critiques about MT, and they are right to point them out.

      What is stupid to say is the inane and unfortunately ubiquitous comments such as “MT sucks omg” or something along the lines of “fire MT!!! we are losin cus of him” or even “My cat could do a better job behind the bench.” These comments are not only grossly uninformed about coaching and the team in general, but unreasoned and in opposition to the facts – namely, the REAL problems that plague the team. Time for this crowd to realize that a coaching change would not only not change anything but it would also be counterproductive.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • wjc says:

      Poor P. K. (ringing hands) He might have to get a real job to get away from this.

      wjc

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      @ Bri

      First off, thanks for the comeback post.
      I enjoy respectful debate.

      What I notice from your response is some cherry picking of some remarks, yet does not come anywhere close to addressing the much Bigger issues – a Happy team buying into the present coach, and the treatment of Subban and his future.

      As for attempting to go back 30 something years and compare those athletes/coaches to today’s Millionaire players that have a CBA protecting them along with guaranteed contracts regardless of production, becomes somewhat outdated at best.

      • Bripro says:

        Ronn,

        I always respect your comments, which is why I chose to lead you down the right path in the first place. Don’t thank me. My wife doesn’t. ;)
        I didn’t really cherry pick, it was more addressing what I thought of as mis-perception, compared to how MT stated that he sees it.
        I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I think we’re really hard on MT when we’re not in the room.

        Is he a great coach? Probably not. Is he as bad as many make him out to be, probably not. He’s made mistakes, but as someone pointed out below (too lazy to scroll), all coaches make mistakes.

        But if he says that he and PK have a great understanding, who are we to dispute it, based solely on what we see on the ice, and read in the papers?

        As for going back 30 years, forgive my reminiscing, but I figured since you’re an old guy like me, you’d relate.
        If you want a modern-day coach who has lambasted his players and lived to coach another day, look no farther than Vancouver.
        Just one example.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      First time he was asked about PK he made no comment so that speaks volumes, any coach in the league would praise there player in that situation. This is like when therrien puts awful lines together leaves them for a month than changes it to what every average fan could’ve told him a month prior and is praised for it.

      For ex. calling up Beaulieu…longggg time coming.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  12. Bripro says:

    Why do so many posters keep making references to language issues?
    Be it the number of francophone players on the team, the priority to sign a “french coach”, the french media …… it’s all a little much.
    It seems to me this francophobia stems from some hidden insecurity about having to deal with another language.

    I ask you this.
    Geoff Molson, being an anglophone….. do you think he gives a rat’s *ss whether his team is full of english or french speaking hockey people?
    Do you really think that MB was narrow-minded enough to only interview francophone candidates?
    Is it at all possible that he hired whom he perceived was the best candidate at the time? …. remember, hindsight is 20/20

    I realize there’s a lot of frustration now that the team’s play is heading south. But…. is it really a surprise?
    Hasn’t the team done the same thing over the last couple of years?
    They come barrelling out of the gate, go like gangbusters, then slowly run out of gas as the opponents realize that they just have to pound our guys into submission until they can’t perform at that level anymore.

    Most of us (guilty as charged) figured the team was a bubble team at the beginning of the year, with a chance of making it to the post season. Let’s be honest, there aren’t too many stand-out superstars on this team, except for perhaps PK (who obviously still has a lot to learn) and Price.

    Between Marois and her airhead policies, and the incessant found-less language issues brought up on this site, I have to walk around with an ibuprofen intravenous permanently hooked up to my main artery.

    • nickster13 says:

      Because it’s a legit issue I think. The players speak our Coach’s 2nd language. And we haven’t had success in ages, so some might point to that. Not an issue, as people are free to explore the reasons for why we haven’t had success. This may be one of them, who knows?

      “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

      • Timo says:

        I seriously doubt there is an language/communication issue in the dressing room (as far as first/ second language goes)

        Habs had coaches with far more superior mastery of English than Therrien and those teams sucked too. A good coach will find a way to win regardless of a language barrier.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I would wager that the vast majority of people who are commenting/complaining about language are either (a) Non-Quebecers, or (2) Quebec anglophones who left the province for one reason or another.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Bripro says:

        Funny Matt, I thought the same, but bit my (figurative) tongue.
        Thanks for loosening it for me.
        Now we’ll both be hearing about it. ;)

      • nickster13 says:

        Or quebec anglophones still here, but are sick of politics dictating public language? Don’t forget about us.

        “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

        • Bripro says:

          I’m as sick of language politics as you are. But it doesn’t have to boil over into our preferred sport.
          Bringing it up is one thing, but harping on it is another.

          • nickster13 says:

            I agree. Just it bothered me when people were giving a rough ride to a guy like Cunneyworth, who should be judged for not producing, and not for his lack of French. People who protested that politicized this, not me, which is too bad! We also wanna see the Habs win, and hire the best best guy first.

            “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

          • Mattyleg says:

            As I’ve said, it’s because the Habs are part of Francophone culture, which needs to be protected, in the minds of many.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Where do I fit in?
            “Quebec anglophone who left the province for one reason or another” [intended to return after studies but married an Irish girl -- you and I are real-live "Sliding Doors", Matty!], but always loved French and Quebecois culture, above all the “distinct”ness of the Canadiens, all now enhanced with distance, nostalgia and homesickness.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Ha!
            Totally.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am commenting, I am Non-Quebecer. I accept I am not worthy of commenting, I am not as good a fan as a result of this. I regret that, but birth place, school and business has never led me to the province of Quebec.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Bri, I have come to accept that the Habs have some restrictions due to language. It bugs me, but i have accepted it.

      Look at all the coaches hired since Dick Irvin coached the team, and how many were anglo speaking only? Al McNeil and Randy Cunneyworth. Al gets fired after winning cup, Randy was setup for failure.

      Until I see this organization interview all coaches available regardless of language I do believe there is a french language issue with the team.

      • Bripro says:

        If you want my opinion (funny… I just gave it), the only reason the team gives in all-things-language is the media.
        If we ignore them, then there really is no issue.
        And as Timo pointed out, there’s never been an issue in the dressing room.
        So who cares what we think?!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I just don’t think the team can get the very best coach available, since they can never truly look at hiring all available candidates.

          It’s too bad, but I don’t see this ever changing.

      • wjc says:

        Look at this way, in your job, you communicate in English. If things were constantly happening in french, e-mails, voice mails, memo’s, customers speaking French, telephone calls in French, you would have to be bilingual.

        Now multiply that by a 100 fold and realize that French reporters want the story in French for the paper, in sound bite has to be in French for RDS. The translation would sometimes come out wrong and you would be overwelmed.

        Dick Irvin was from a different era, hockey is now a mult-billion dollar industry and communication is instant. Back when Al McNeil he had an altercation with Henri Richard and the French were pissed. Richard retired and McNeil was given the G.M. job with the farm team in Sherbrooke. Cunneyworth was interim and has not been scooped up by 29 other teams so what does that say.

        Communications are important, there is no way around it with the reporters always ready to run with anything remotely controversal.

        wjc

    • New says:

      Back in 93 I claimed the Habs wouldn’t win the Cup, that Quebec had a better chance. The guys asked me why. I said to look at the rosters. Too many Quebecers on the Habs while Quebec was a world club, only a couple. I was sure the hometown bias would sink the team. Funny thing was the Habs won the Cup and the Nords left town just to prove that it’s what you do on the ice that counts, not what language you count in.

      The Habs can have 23 Quebecers on the roster for all I care. But they should be good ones.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      When the team is losing, folks discuss what’s ailing the team, or, what puts the team at a disadvantage. The language issue is one such thing.

      Therrien wasn’t the best available candidate. Briere wasn’t the best free agent. I don’t think there are many that would doubt this.

      I doubt it’s “francophobia” in most cases. The same folks who criticize the moves above would probably rejoice if we could land Marty St. Louis.

    • wjc says:

      Look around the league, see how many other teams spend years and years and years and years trying to build a winner.

      The main way it seems is to fall to the bottom and stay there for years and years and years and grab off a Crosby or similar players around the league.

      I have an opinion Edmonton is about to in a year or two be rewarded for their years, and years, and years of being on the bottom.

      You can grab middle round picks and then hope you are very lucky with those kinds of picks and maybe make some noise.

      wjc

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      “Do you really think that MB was narrow-minded enough to only interview francophone candidates?”

      ….that’s exactly what happened…..

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

  13. Sportfan says:

    Saw a very depressing chart comparing MT in the year he got fired from the Penguins and this season and its very much the same of course this is advanced stats haha. SB Nation NHL posted it.

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

  14. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I don’t see the point of negotiating a deal with Markov now. Wait till the end of the season. If he tanks, then bye-bye. If he holds up and performs, keep him. If MB waited on DD, guaranteed he would not have gotten a four year deal.

    • monmick says:

      Especially true if Markov is negotiating himself; too much distraction. He needs to be focused on his game…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • nickster13 says:

      I’d wait till the deadline, then trade him. His best years are behind him anyways, better to get a 1st rounder and blue-chip prospect.

      “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

    • Mattyleg says:

      I see no problem in opening up the channels; work on the outline, do the heavy lifting later.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Players play better when they don’t have to worry about the future…… then there’s Bourque and Gomez who don’t play when they don’t have to worry about the future. :lol:

      What is Markov? Markov is worth a ton at the trade deadline, but if doesn’t want to move, then let him retire here at 4 mil/year, with his last year being 2 mil.

      You can’t trade veterans who have been in one organization their entire career, makes you look bad. SO Markov if I’m Beregvin, I ask you, Markov we can get a some nice picks and players for you in March then you may get a payday in July, or we can pay you 4-5 mil/yr and you retire here, what do you want? Oh and we are making PK the Captain.

      Vass da vodka, vere do I sign.

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

  15. habs001 says:

    Many posters have stated that Gorges is all heart and fight and gives his all..this is probably true…but the reason he struggles so much is because his talent level puts him into those situations in his zone many times…The Habs forwards overall are average and on top of that they have a D that provides minimal 5 on 5 help…The Habs are one of the worst teams in the league where the D provides any 5 on 5 offense..

    • Strummer says:

      Which explains why Habs rank 29th in Goals For 5 on 5.
      Only BUFF is worse.

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

    • JF says:

      And yet last season, the Habs’ defence was near the top of the League in points. So what has changed? Is it just that we seem to be playing a more grinding style?

      • habs001 says:

        Was it not mostly PP points?…

        • JF says:

          Might have been, I didn’t check. But one difference from last year is that Diaz was much better offensively. He really hasn’t been the same player since his concussion early last season. He started last season looking great; since returning from concussion near the end of it, he’s had only a few good games.

  16. habsguru says:

    i wouldn’t care if the head coach spoke in only mandarin if he is the best for the job, that said, why can the Alouettes have an english, american born head coach, and nobody cares? oh wait, they have trophies in this millenium.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I’m not sure the Habs would choose a french-speaking coach over one that does not speak French if the one that doesn’t speak French is better. I’m not sure if there were really any better coaches available last time. That said, my vote was for Patrick Roy. Perhaps Ted Nolan might have been a good choice though…?

      I guess the fact that no coach who does not speak at least a little French even got an interview (that I know of) may be the proof that we need.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Strummer says:

        The reason Kirk Muller left was he said he would never get a chance to be head coach as a unilingual anglophone

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Apparantly posters here no more about the inner workings of the Habs organization than a past Asst. Coach, player and Captain.

          Excellent point Strummer.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Do you have a link to that story? I remember others guessing that but not him saying it himself.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

    • nickster13 says:

      Because the upper management of the Alouettes is also English. While Habs management is mostly Francophone. Francophones hire francophones, unless it is far more beneficial not to.

      Recently my girlfriend who speaks very little french looked for a job in Mo-west. Most Francophone bosses wanted her to be fluent in French, whereas most Anglophone bosses were okay with her learning it as she goes. True story, bearing in mind this is Montreal-west.

      “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

    • Mattyleg says:

      Alouettes don’t have a Francophone tradition stretching back to their inception.

      The Montreal Canadiens were a symbol of what French Canadiens could be in the world during a period when they were greatly repressed.

      I would imagine that anyone who claims to be a Habs fan knows that, though…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • The Jackal says:

        It’s an unfortunate reality that that part of Canadian history is often overlooked – I’m not sure of any HIO resident teachers can confirm this but even in university, I’d have conversations about this and it was something many people were surprised to hear.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • Mattyleg says:

          That’s a shame.

          It’s also not surprising, because, as any history teacher will tell you, histories tell us as much (if not more) about the people who write them as about what they’re writing on.

          Anglophone history books are very different to Francophone ones in terms of what they focus on, and what they gloss over.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. Chris says:

    The post-Christmas swoon is not a new phenomenon. Post-lockout, the Habs have often been a good-great team in the early going (including 2008-09, when they looked like a legitimate Stanley Cup contender until Christmas!), but then the wheels have frequently fallen off.

    As much as it sucks to beat the dead horse, it probably does come down to size. The quick, smaller players frequently have a bigger advantage in the early going as the larger forwards play themselves into game shape. Too many NHL’ers seem to bulk up too much in the off-season (in a good way or a bad way…) and have to play their way to top speed, something that gradually happens over the first couple of months of the season. By Christmas, most NHL players have re-conditioned their bodies to be optimized for game conditions instead of gym conditions.

    This means that the speed advantage that a team like Montreal enjoys in October and November starts to evaporate by Christmas. Once the power forwards in the NHL get rolling, the Habs seem to really struggle.

    This is pure conjecture, of course, but its the only explanation I have for something that seems to be closer to a trend than a statistical blip.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Pretty accurate methinks. The power forwards have the advantage of size with speed while hitting our smaller guys, literally always knocking them off the puck or into the boards/ice. By midwinter, our smaller guys have been brutalized for over 42 games.. No wonder they don’t have much in the tank right now, being asked to play 5 guys back.

    • mrhabby says:

      I will say that the bigger player has an advantage in some games over the smaller player… taking the smaller player off the puck is a bit easier but not a certainty.
      The make up of the Habs seems easy to defend/play against. Keep the smaller players along the wall and decrease the Habs speed and put pressure on defence.

  18. habs001 says:

    The present Habs roster does not have the talent level to be any type of cup contender…All teams have had signature wins vs a top team or gone on a winning/losing streaks but only the top teams maintain a fairly constant level of play….Most of the Habs forwards cause very little stress for the opposition D..meanwhile the opposition forwards cause a lot for the Habs D….

    • Habsrule1 says:

      They are an average team…sometimes above the pack, sometimes below…hence the word average.

      MB has work to do that may or may not include finding a better coach.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Don’t really care if MT stays or goes but you can only go so far with the horses you’ve got. Having said that certain players are not playing up to their abilities and me thinks that’s the biggest problem. Are they playing to dump MT or just going thru slumps (for some season long slumps)?

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

      • habs001 says:

        I still believe that this Habs team would be way better if they had a D that was able to exit their D zone much easily,provide solid passes to the forwards and participate in the offensive zone…The Hab forwards would produce much more if they had a D that provides offensive help..This is the Montreal Canadiens and you have Murray,Cube,Diaz and Gorges all on the same team…These 4 would not be on the same team in Europe…

  19. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    I am no fan of the Kuleminization of Eller, but this too will pass. Hard to believe people have forgotten how bad 2008-09 was and they still made the playoffs.

    The horses are there and the body language suggests they are frustrated but they will sort it out.

    But you can still obsess with DD if it makes you feel better

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    There was some talk of beer league hockey earlier, this video has gone pretty viral of a Czech beer league with a drunk goalie.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w93e4MiQ4tY

    • Habcouver says:

      Too funny!

      Waiting patiently for #25

    • monmick says:

      …and this is that goalie’s perception of that same same…

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ywn6M52p57M

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

      • monmick says:

        …same save…

        ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Well played!

        • monmick says:

          When I used to play in beer league tournaments as a young man, I was always under the impression that I played my best when I had had a few beers before the game. In retrospect, I am sure that that was only in my own mind; so that video cut a bit too close to home…

          ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I still maintain that belief when I play slo-pitch and curling. Granted both sports I play were founded while drinking beer, perhaps why I play them.

            Now I know for a fact I golf better with a few beers.

          • monmick says:

            Golfing performance can be verified by strict record keeping, unless, of course, the drinking is such that it actually affects the record keeping…

            ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • Strummer says:

      Czechs consume most beer per capita of anyone.
      Is it not conceivable that any activities in that country in addition to hockey would have a “beer league”

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

    • Mattyleg says:

      I went to a few games in the Czech league during the lockout when I was living in Poland.

      Great atmosphere at games, and between periods everyone walks outside, has a smoke and drinks beer and eats sausages.

      Sausages = 10¢
      Beer = 30¢ /pint

      Czech beer = amazing.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Wow Matty. I hope that was AFTER living in Ireland. The other way round, from 30c pint to €5 pint would be culture shock from which no one could possibly recover.

        Without turning to… drink.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Yes, it was after.
          I learned to voluntarily slow down in Eastern Europe, because I could afford to drink as much as I wanted, always.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  21. HabsFan1111 says:

    Interesting as they ran out of gas around the 50 game mark last season as well…

  22. DipsyDoodler says:

    Here’ my take on the coaching language issue. (For me it isn’t a factor.)

    1. Very few hockey fans care. The protesters after Cunneyworth was named were just a motley bunch of agent provacateurs.
    2. Even most French nationalists who are also Habs fans don’t care much.
    3. There is a big difference between hiring a winning coach like a Mike Babcock and an unproven (and as it turned out incompetent) like Randy The C.
    4. I suspect Molson’s approach (which is sound) is

    a) if you’re going to hire a hack (because no one else is available) then might as well go with a Francophone (unless you really think Peter Laviolette is better than Therrien).
    b) if you’re going to hire an unproven rookie, then why not go for a Francophone, again all things being equal.
    c) However, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the position to land a proven coach then hire them regardless.

    5. Finally, it’s a tough job. Everyone thought Dallas Eakins was a wunderkind. (Including most of you.) Everyone thought Randy the C. would be a good coach. How many cup winning coaches were never fired? I think only one: Scotty Bowman.

    • mrhabby says:

      lots of rumours out there that Eakins will be fired after the season ends. Mostly a cover up for the terrible job Lowe has done. good luck with that rebuild.

      • BleedsTri-colour says:

        Eakins signed a four year deal with the Oilers. They are still paying several other folks that have been let go as well. He is going no where soon. Too much money left on his contract. Eakins has more time… but Lowe????

    • Stimpy007 says:

      Hardly any French guys on the team anyway?? His broken english motivation speeches are not working anymore. Whats more important speaking french to the media or getting through to the players??

    • sprague cleghorn says:

      Toe Blake went out on top as well. 8 cups in 13 years behind the bench.

      Not to mention his two Cups as a player with the Habs, and one with the Maroons. Plus a Hart trophy and a scoring title.

      Just a couple of reminders that his number should be hanging from the rafters.

      g

      … ‘ow could we forget that?

    • nickster13 says:

      When a language that has no basis for the team performance is more important than being a winner, you put yourself at a huge disadvantage IMO.

      “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the Rocket!”

  23. Timo says:

    Btw, Timo would only have private interviews with Jessica.

  24. PADPZ says:

    ”Its flattering teams are calling about me”

    Kadri on his GM trying to deal him.
    A bit off topic..

    I hate him.

    • Strummer says:

      What’s your problem with Kadri?

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

      • Timo says:

        Did you see that move he pulled on Emelin that lead to the first leafs goal? That screams lack of respect to me.

        • Strummer says:

          It’s funny to see people hating on Kadri on this site.
          He plays with an edge and runs opponents over ( Markov, Plek )and creates offense.
          No place for that on a hockey team?

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

          • Habcouver says:

            I’ll give him credit for being a Hab fan as a child.

            Waiting patiently for #25

          • PADPZ says:

            I think he has a really big upside.

            Just watch a post game interview after a 3-2 loss to a division rival in which he scored 2 goals.
            I guess it just reminds me of one or two guys I played with when I was younger.

          • BleedsTri-colour says:

            Come on. Have you ever seen Kadri make a good body check. I mean one that mattered. That knocked someone off the puck… Never. He always belts the guy after he has released the puck and then he nails him. Cheat shot, easy shot. You know the play where you take ‘the hit to make the play’… that’s Kadri on the other side. Watch for it. You will see…

          • Timo says:

            Not on the Habs team anyway. :)

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      You may “hate him” yet he is a huge talent with a big upside.
      He is just 23 years old, and his 31 points would rank him 1st for all Habs forwards.

      His needs?
      Some combination of a serving of Grandma’s Humble Pie, combined with a surgeon’s mouth stitch up, and a dog catcher’s muzzle.
      All the good ones always had confidence – and as time moves forward, he’ll learn how to shut up and let his playing do the talking.

      • Cal says:

        One day Kadri won’t be able to hide after one of his cheap blind side hits on a smaller player gets avenged. How he plays after that event is the question.

  25. Dr.Rex says:

    Random Thursday Questions:
    1) IS this the exciting style of play that MT talked about when he was first hired that gets all the fans jumping out of their seats?
    2) Everyone keeps saying we need a trade but really who is available? What options doe Bergevin really have to him right now?
    3) What adjustments are being made to the PP to combat the opponents tactics of attacking our point men?
    4) Will Plekanec ever get a opportunity to play with offensive players?
    5) Can we afford to sign both Markov and Diaz to 3 plus year contracts with Emelin, Gorges and soon PK already being signed long term?
    6) IS there anyway we could deal one of Gionta, Briere, Bourque or Diaz and actually make our team better for this year?
    7) IS this team more lazy or exhausted?

    • rljmartin says:

      I do not think they are exhausted except for Markov. They may be tired of MT not having most of them play to their strengths.

    • Habfan17 says:

      1 – No
      2 – Depends on what Mb offers in return
      3 – None
      4 – he has been given offensive players and the ay played offensively!
      5 – No, trade them both!
      6 – Perhaps, but not likely
      7 – I’d say discouraged form the lack of adjustments made by Therrien and the way he doles out ice time and uses players!

      Habfan17

  26. Habcouver says:

    Perhaps I’m late to ring in, but how would you weigh in on a Budaj-Fleury bout?

    Waiting patiently for #25

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    Based on Capgeek.com the Habs would have enough capspace to acquire a $5,450,000 contract. Vice versa we can retain quite a bit of contract on expiring UFA contracts.

    http://www.capgeek.com/

    • jols101 says:

      And before we called up Leblanc and Beaulieu it was a shade over 9 million.(they will probably eventually be sent back down). We can certainly retain some salary if that is what it takes to make a good deal.

  28. Maritime Ronn says:

    All teams go through bad streaks.

    – Columbus started the year 5-10-2 and are now in the playoff hunt.
    – Rangers started 3-7-0 and are now 2nd in the Division.
    – Philly started 1-7-0 and were given up for dead, yet now find themselves 3rd in the Division.
    – The Leafs? Prior to the last 3 Regulation wins in a row, they won only 3 out of 28 games in Regulation (no typo) winning some others in OT and by The Gimmick.

    The Habs? Going through a bad stretch right now, yet here’s truly hoping that the following perception from here is wrong.
    ———————

    I see an ‘Unhappy Habs Team’…and with few exceptions, several guys just going through the motions.
    It doesn’t take a Body Language expert to see the faces on the bench and how the guys are reacting.
    Even when the team wins, they just don’t appear Happy and All In.

    If several Habs fans can see the unfairness of Ice time given/not earned – preferential treatment given to the present coach’s pets, the abuse and misuse of the younger guys, then the players can certainly see that also….and NO, watching 24CH will not give any insight as to the inner workings of the Habs real world/dressing room.

    The biggest concern from here moving forward?
    P.K. Subban….certainly not how he plays, yet how he has been treated and…where HE sees his own future.

    If there is a guy that’s ALL IN just about every night, it’s PK.
    Is he perfect?
    Absolutely not, but think about where this team would be if he were ever to be injured for 20 games…

    Then the question:
    What is it with this present coach?
    Why the need to compare PK to a ” Thoroughbred” (means out of control stallion) and the need to publically state he needs to be ” Guided” (means reigned in and broken) or be taught to be “A better person?”

    Now let’s look at some time lines:

    – The present coach never went public to back his Norris Trophy winning Dman concerning being on Team Canada.

    – Team Canada was chosen on January 7th, and Subban along with several mates had to be both Happy and Proud.

    – The very next night in Philly, PK takes a bad penalty (what player doesn’t…) yet the present coach feels the need to TOTALLY embarrass PK in front of his team mates and the hockey world by benching him for the first 10 minutes of the 3rd period when the Habs desperately needed a goal.

    – It’s almost as if the present coach could not wait for a next event/opportunity to ‘break the thoroughbred’ once the Olympic team was announced – doing it before would have been a No No.

    – Name me 1 coach who has ever embarrassed and treated his Best Player this way, and if so, what were the repercussions?

    – Since that Philly game, PK has 2 points and is Minus – 6.

    Now for the concern aspect.
    How much more can PK stand from this present coach, and does he want OUT if no change is coming?

    PK has ALL the Contract negotiating power this time around.
    He can reject any offer presented, no matter the money and term, and can take the team to Arbitration – then become a UFA in 2 summers.

    If so, this would force GM Bergevin to trade him.
    Is that what Habs fans want?

  29. AceTen says:

    I love how people keep saying, “get rid of Gionta for picks”. They’d be lucky to get a third out of him, let alone multiple picks.

  30. strunzo says:

    Although this is not MBs fault, he inherited most of this. The draft in 2008 produced zero. The only players from the drafts of 2009 to 2013 are Gallagher (low pick) and Galchenyuk. From 2009 we still have Leblanc 48 – 5 – 5 – 10 +5 – 30 PIMs. Dumont 15 – 1-2-3- -1 – 13 Pims. Nattinen 1 game, can we really count is 1 min of ice time.
    From 2010 we have Tinordi 14 – 0 – 2 – 2 +5 11 PIMs. From 2011 we have Beaulieu 13 – 0 – 3- 3 – + 9 Yes + 9 4 PIMs. Every one of these players is a plus player except Dumont. This is some bad-ass drafting. Other than Paks and Subban in 2007 (We gave away McDonagh and Yannick Weber is now with Vancouver. the last draft player still with u is Ryan White drafted in 2006. That’s eight years ago.

  31. Chris says:

    When you are proposing trades, keep the following numbers in mind:

    There are about 40 days left in the season after the trade deadline, meaning that 40/195 (~20%) of the traded player’s cap hit goes against their new team.

    A lot of teams are in serious cap trouble:

    Barring injuries that can change their projected cap space (which could be less than what is quoted by CapGeek because of the bonus situation), Brian Gionta’s cap hit could only be taken on by a handful of teams barring a similarly sized contract coming the other way.

    Pittsburgh, San Jose, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Vancouver, Columbus, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, and St. Louis would all need to send salary back the other way to add a player with a $4 M annual cap hit. Gionta’s $5 M and Markov’s $5.75 M cap hits become a lot harder than usual to deal because teams just don’t have much in the way of wiggle room.

    So while Pittsburgh might be willing to deal Depres (cap hit of $840 k), the player they acquire would probably have to slot into Dupuis’ cap hit ($3.75 M) or less.

    • punkster says:

      Wait…does this mean we can’t get Crosby for Murray, Cube and a used guitar pick?

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

    • Eddie says:

      Can’t we pick up some of the salary if we trade Gionta for example? Don’t we have cap space?

      • Chris says:

        Yes, but there would still be about 9 teams that would be in tight to pick up Gionta’s salary, and 12 would have a tough time picking up Markov’s salary for the remainder of the season, barring money coming back the other way.

        Anaheim is probably the team people should be looking at, but that is one of the most likely candidates to turn your asset into a late 1st or 2nd round pick as they look like a strong contender to go to the final four. Of their prospect pool, I imagine Etem is off limits (he is a California native, something that is good for PR), but one of Rakell, Sorenson or Smith-Pelly might be a good addition if they could be pried away. The price would probably be steep, though.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The Habs actually will have a decent amount of cap space at the end of the season in that scenario. For example trading a Gionta, it would be very possible for Habs to keep 1/2 the salary and caphit. If indeed Prospect or draft pick or both come back, then there is no cap worries for the Habs.

    • Cal says:

      Habs can retain 50% of Gionta’s salary to get that cap space the Pens need.
      If the Habs land a sizable Dman like Despres it could very well be worth it.

      • Chris says:

        The Penguins would still be in very, very tough as Dupuis has already played a significant part of this season and his LTIR money can only be used daily to exceed the cap by that amount.

        And Despres is not even remotely a physical defencemen, so people might want to temper expectations about his game. I like him, but he is not what most of the posters here seem to think is missing from the Habs. Like Peter Popovic or Hal Gill, he’s a big body that never uses it.

        • Cal says:

          No worries about the lack of physicality. MT will have him play 3rd line right wing in no time.
          Seriously though, watching Gorges struggle like he has since his return from knee surgery makes me believe that the Habs D need some fresh blood in there, physical or not.

  32. Captain aHab says:

    What I don’t get: how many years/decades have we been looking for a big top line C? We start the year with Eller playing lights out but proceed to destroy his line and confidence by stripping him of his effective linemates to try to make DD and Brière look good, and then proceeding to not even play him at C. We have another in Galchenyuk and he has barely sniffed playing at C all year. With DD and Pleks seemingly hanging around and likely to continue to get the top wingers, how long is it going to be before the Habs commit to their big Cs?

    To me, this is why you trade Pleks (DD is untradeable) to get a top line winger for at least one of these guys and then commit to them. If they go another year screwing around with them to make other moves look good, I’ll lose a lot of faith in the organization.

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

    • Habfan17 says:

      Very well said!! I hope MB sees this! This has been one of my biggest beefs!

      Habfan17

    • shiram says:

      It would be a difficult thing to argue that Plekanec gets top wingers.

      But trading him would certainly be an avenue that could be explored.
      I can’t help but feel we’d miss his presence in the top 6 as the team simply does not have someone to replace what he brings.
      But maybe it could be part of a longer term plan…

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      DD is absolutely tradeable.

      • jols101 says:

        Not much of a market for a 5’5 center man in the NHL (I know he is listed at 5’7 but who is kidding who) that makes 3.5 million a year for 3 more seasons.

        Right or wrong, NHL teams are focusing on big bodies down the middle. Decades ago it was alright to be a small center as long as the wingers were monsters, now that trend has completely reversed.

  33. rhino514 says:

    Eric Cole dot his 14th the other night. Funny, I thought that was a good trade at the time, getting rid of his salary. Looked like he was finished. Man, the way he is playing lately, what a difference a big body who scored goals would make for us right now.
    I´g give anything to know exactly what happened to cole last season.

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    HIO Members!
    After Saturday night game, we are meeting at Hurley’s, they are having a special Robbie Burns night, haggis for all as well!
    see ya there.

  35. Marcusman says:

    It all comes down to it’s a game of inches and momentum. If Gallagher’s shot goes in when it was 2-1 instead of off the post we’re all talking about beating the Pens at home.

    Everyone knows we need to get bigger, score more goals and allow less. Numbers #32,#48, #49, #81, #17, #8, #21, #61, #74 all need to get their game in gear ….too many passengers and not enough people driving the bus.

    • Stimpy007 says:

      #32- Surely someone wants a pk grinder for the playoffs, trade him for a player of the same mold that has fallen out with another team. New blood needed for his spot.

      #48- on the fence with him. If we arent going for it in the playoffs then dump him for a pick at the deadline. I still think he will surprise in the playoffs.

      #49- If possible he needs to play with Plecky again, he looked great in a top 6 role, this is only going to happen if we are out of the race and get rid of a bunch of vets. MT doesnt realize what chemistry they had???? Beyond me, ughhh.

      #81- Starting to think if he is not going to play in the top 6 he is no good on this team. We need to figure out what direction we are going. DD, Plecky or Eller as our top 2 C’s. Or only 1 of them???

      #17- Package with #32.

      #8- Not sure what his deal is but it must be something, he has been awful this year. Still hurt maybe?? Shoulder?

      #21- Not the captain I want for the habs. Cool guy/player but on another team, thanks for your services.

      #61- Should have traded him for Delzotto.

      #74- C’mon man!! Get it together, we need ya!

  36. boing007 says:

    Habs are 29th 5 on 5.

    Richard R

  37. DipsyDoodler says:

    OK so who would you hire as coach?

    Right now.

  38. krob1000 says:

    Someone mentioned a shift in which Eller and Prust combo gave puck or had it stripped 8 times from them/….I only saw a small portion of the game and that is a caazy stat…but I also have to ask…how did they have the puck 8 times on that shift? that is a bizarre shift…sound s to me like both lines must have ketp giving it away or truning it over no?

    • GrimJim says:

      I think whoever it was was exaggerating. I watched the whole game and I can’t remember seeing a shift like that. It would mean 16 possession changes in what about 60 seconds? That would be 3 seconds of possession each time. Maybe a scrum in a corner…

  39. Stimpy007 says:

    The Blues are looking to deal. Get in there MB and make something happen. It wont be the only thing we need to turn it around but we need a boost! It would be a start.

    Pry stewart out of there, he seems to be a spare part. He would be an upgrade over bourque or Gionta. I know ur all gunna say “you have to give something up to get something” I know, do it!!

    • shiram says:

      I’d love to get Stewart.
      Trouble is he’s only got one more year on his deal and then is a UFA.
      And the Blues won’t let him go for cheap, and they are mostly looking for a goalie, so we’re not the best trade partner.
      Aside all that, I just don’t think Bergevin is gonna make that kind of move.

      • Luke says:

        I doubt they’d trade Stewart at all. It’d be counter productive for them.

        This is a team that is gunning for it all.

        Top prospects that are NHL ready for Plekanec and Gionta.

      • Stimpy007 says:

        For the life of me I cant figure out why they want a goalie??? They have 2 great tenders. They are in top 3 in goals against.

        I think stewart can be had. I have heard he is lazy but who knows. He is playing on the 3rd and 4th line there. Shit he’d be first line on the habs. UFA, then sign him! Whats the big deal. Get rid of Gionta for Picks and give pick, prospect/roster player to get stewart.

        Also Cracknell is a good grinder, not sure if he is available.

        And again not saying these are all the answers but….

      • Habfan17 says:

        The Habs could send them Budaj and then bring up Tokarski

        Habfan17

    • jols101 says:

      Love Stewart. I’ve been wanting Bergevin to trade for him since St.Louis said he was available last year. He fills a need.

    • jdstatman says:

      I think the habs should go after Patrik Berglund

      -
      http://thehabsnation.wordpress.com – check it out.

  40. shiram says:

    Bourque scored on a nice play from Brière.
    Budaj seems to still have energy, guts and values the team.
    So does Price.
    The usual suspects still seem to be trying.

    That’s all got for positives! Anyone want to add, it could not hurt.

  41. PADPZ says:

    This is as far as this team will go with DD as the #1 center.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Get used to 3 more years of MTL’s favourite bromance “Davey and Max” because winning isn’t priority here.

      ———————————

      Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

    • Mattyleg says:

      He’s the main reason we’re not in first.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • The_Truth says:

      The problem is he’s probably been the best center over the past 25-30 games. It’s not like there is an alternative. This team doesn’t have a Crosby/Malkin or Tavares. This team doesn’t even come close to that.

      I wouldn’t even call DD the #1 center. He’s more 1B with Pleks.

      • jols101 says:

        “It’s not like there is an alternative.”

        There certainly is, his name is Alex Galchenyuk. Please don’t give me the he isn’t ready routine. He should be played exactly the way DD is played. Preferred ice-time. Offensive and neutral zone draws and 1st line PP minutes. Anything DD can do Galchenyuk can do much better at 19 years old, if only the coach wasn’t a buffoon.

      • PADPZ says:

        Agreed.

        He has been playing well lately. Truth be told, one of our best forwards over the last 20 games.
        I just feel like we are losing more than we are winning whenever he starts producing (and thus playing with the best wingers, most PP time).
        Remember the game he was benched against St. Louis ? Galchenyuk Plekanec Eller down the middle.

        Nothing against the guy really, this is just what me thinks.

  42. boing007 says:

    Knuckles just said that the Habs are too susceptible to pickpockets.

    Richard R

  43. kmachabs27 says:

    Just imagine Markov after the Olympics…..yikes

  44. VintageFan says:

    I wish I could find something to disagree with, but I cannot.
    But clearly continuing to push Diaz, Emelin, Boullion and Murray puts the future further away because the “kids” aren’t getting any experience. And the kindly old coach has little or no ability to ‘develop’ the kids, or to keep pace with the way other teams make changes on the fly. He**, he doesn’t even make significant changes between months.
    Where to go with that?

  45. Dr.Bob says:

    The doctor is in. Well that was painful to watch. The end result was never really in doubt. I can’t say for sure that I know what is ailing this bunch. The team simply does not look prepared to compete. If there is a team system someone please tell me what it is. The players themselves don’t give the impression that they know what the system is.

    The best example of this was given by Benoit Brunet last nite during the 2nd intermission when he showed a replay of single shift in which Eller|Prust combo gave the puck away or had it stripped from them 8 times. 8 times!!!! In a single shift!!!!!. Most teams don’t have that many turnovers in an entire game.

    Now I will leave it up to you to decide if this is on the players or on the coach and his staff. It’s one thing when this happens once in a while but this has been going on for over a month now.

    And the powerplay? Why is it so difficult for this team to gain entrance to the offensive zone? Why is this team incapable of setting up anything down low?

    Some players faces pretty much say it all. Just look at Maxpac\s face during the game.The players are becoming more and more frustrated the way the game is being played.

    Right now I say it is on the coach.

  46. NL_habs_fan says:

    The defense needs help, any chance the Habs are looking at Girardi?


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