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. HabinBurlington says:

    Has apathy sunk in?

  2. munch17 says:

    I noticed quite a lot of discussion earlier about Lars Eller and David Desharnais.
    Seriously?
    Since last year
    DD – 95 games 18 goals 34 assists = 52 points
    LE – 18 goals 32 assists = 50 points

    I’m sure everyone would agree that DD has played with top wingers , not rotated and has much more top unit PP time.
    LE kills penalties and has become a very physical player.
    The more DD is on the ice – the easier time our opponents have. Period.

    • The_Truth says:

      They both have their deficiencies, but Eller has been horrible since his hot start.

      3G 4A -12 in his last 28games. Brutal. For a supposed 2-way player he never does anything offensively and is the worst +/- forward on the team. He isn’t Physical for his size and never goes to the net.

      DD isn’t a #1, but at least he puts up some points and goes to the net lately. If he had Eller’s body he would be a real #1.

  3. Habfan17 says:

    Round about now, I think Bergevin knows very well what he has and what is needed. I don’t think he should move the better prospects unless it is to take one from a place of plenty, say right wing, to fill a specific hole with an equal talent.

    I do think it is time to move out the old boys club and hand the reigns over to the young core and let them run with it.

    I include Markov, Gionta and if they won’t move DD, then Pleks. They have Eller Galchenyuk and Bournival that can centre the first 3 lines.

    Say bye bye to Briere too! Let Murray, Parros and Boullion walk at the end of the season unless someone is willing to give a low level prospect for them at the deadline. I would also trade Gorges and Diaz in a package to get a right handed 2nd pair defenceman or 2nd line power left wing.

    Habfan17

  4. jols101 says:

    I think the best place for our captain to land at the trade deadline is back in New Jersey where it all started for him, where he had the most success and where his brother currently plays.

    A 2nd round pick should do the trick.

  5. saskhabsfan says:

    Price wiffed on one goal, but is left out to dry by the team! Something has to give, MT has lost this team, they looked like they were public skating last night! He wants structure but when you get down a goal or two you have to be adapt and change and not rely on fluke goals all the time!

  6. jimmy shaker says:

    Usually when the habs come to play detroit , they fly into the windsor airport and take the bus over to detroit , it’s a lot quicker than going to detroit’s metro airport. Does anyone know how to find out that information if in fact they are flying into windsor? I would love to take my son and check it out. I called the airport here in windsor and of course nobody knows anything. Maybe you guys might have an idea.

    Thanks,

    Shaker out!

  7. kempie says:

    If I’m going to be face palming myself into unconsciousness every game watching a Boullion/Murray pairing, I’d rather be doing it watching a Tinordi/Beaulieu pairing. I doubt it would be much worse and there might be a sliver of hope & promise.

  8. Habsrule1 says:

    Hey, to be clear, if tanking happens by getting rid of many players at the deadline and bringing up the kids, I say go for it (especially the defense). I just also think that with our core, we still would not finish last. Hell, we might actually do better, so the tank would not really be on….but the kids would get some experience without tons of pressure.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree!! Give the kids a chance and let them learn and make mistakes!

      Habfan17

    • knob says:

      I would be fine with this. Short-term gain for long-term gain. I don’t like the band-aid approach that this team has been taking for the past 20 years.

    • JUST ME says:

      They probably will make a few trades yes but not in the spirit of tanking. I think that they are at the stage of the plan where they have to make a changes within the group of veterans.
      Let`s not take decisions based on emotions negative or positive.

      For instance would we win more games if we had Sidney Crosby in our lineup ? Nope. It is just not that easy.

      What was that famous quote you always said ? Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them . Yeah that`s the one !

  9. Plekasuares says:

    What would be a solid return for Gio? i dont really want a lame 2nd round pick type of thing however, that might be the only choice.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I’d say maybe a B prospect and a 2nd round pick maybe…?

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • knob says:

      I think that we would be lucky to get a second rounder. Gio is a complimentary player at best on the offensive side of the puck. Gio has proven to be a good defensive player. Consider this, would you trade De Le Rose (2nd round pick) straight up to aquire Gionta?

    • Chris says:

      A 2nd round pick is probably the best return you’re getting given his production vs. the size of his contract. This year is anomalous as there are a lot of teams tight to the cap due to the artificially low cap this season.

      • jols101 says:

        By the time the trade deadline comes around something like 90% of the salary has already been payed so only the remaining 10% counts. I think the players only receive one more paycheck after the trade deadline.

        • Chris says:

          Cap hits are prorated over the entire season. The season is broken up into days. It used to be ~ 185 days long, not sure what it is this year with the Olympic break. The trade deadline is March 5th, and the NHL season ends April 13th. This leaves about 40 days, which would mean that the acquiring team picks up 40/185 of his contract, or around 20% of the total cap hit.

          Of course, teams can also trade money, so that is always an option.

          • jols101 says:

            Cool. Most teams will have some cap space on deadline day. I was on cap geek the other day and I think the Pens are the only team completely up against the wall, even on deadline day.

  10. ooder says:

    as per twitter Kevin Klein did not know what team he was traded too. found out via texts and social media.
    PG did the same thing with cammy. any ideas why GMs do this?

    • Luke says:

      Because someone in the organization leaks the info to an “insider” before it is official and the insider reports it and then the snowball happens.

      The teams don’t contact the players until it is officially completed just in case something happens at the last minute.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Too busy to deal with the little people.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  11. knob says:

    Love Markov but he isn’t going to help this team in 3 years when we should be in a position to compete. Find a buyer and get a top six winger that will be hitting his stride in three years (goal scorer please). Maybe add Gionta into that deal somehow, remembering that we can absorb 50% of Markov and Gionta’s cap hit this year.

    • Walmyr says:

      knob, I think Markov could help this team in 3 years…as long as some changes occur in order to make our D better and stronger.

      I hope in 3 years from now that Markov doesn’t need to play more than 25 minutes, against Malkin, Crosby, Datsyuk, Ovie and the others teams top players every shift…

      CHeers

      • Habfan17 says:

        Too much risk having Markov in 3 years IMO

        Habfan17

      • knob says:

        If MB does sign him to an extension, I hope you are right. We have some pretty good prospect on D though, which in my opinion makes Markov somewhat expendable. Especially if the return is better than good.

        • Walmyr says:

          The point is “the return”…what is a better than good return for us?

          Look, Markov would only want to go to a cup contender team…so a late round 1st plus….what?

          IMO to trade Markov is not that simple. I love Beaulieu….and I think he will be a very good nhl player…but he is not there yet (although I really liked what I saw of him yesterday).

          We complain about our D now….imagine that D without Markov…

          Hey, Bergevin earns a lot of money to think about this, right?….lol

          CHeers

  12. kirbhabs says:

    Stupid is as stupid does and benching your defence is stupid against any team, especially Pittsburg…

    I like MT… But I do not think he is the right guy… But then again, who is?

    If only there is a way to motivate/teach/prepare/lead professional athletes….

  13. Habcouver says:

    Holy frozen yellow snow, Batman.
    It’s cold in Montreal! I can barely feel my ears under my toque. I’ll never complain about rain on the coast again.

    Despite the Hab’s losing streak, I still love this team and now, I see that Montreal is a great city, too.
    If anyone has decided tossing their 76jersey on the street today, please leave your address and I’ll come by to pick it up! :)

    Waiting patiently for #25

  14. clutch73 says:

    Do you think Price gets the start against the wings because Mike Babcock is team Canada coach? or do you think they’ll rest him for the Caps?

    • Habcouver says:

      I’m guessing Price does not anything to prove now that he’s an Olympian. Personally, I hope he’s rested both games.

      Waiting patiently for #25

      • Timo says:

        At this point he might as well ride the bench for the rest of the season. Won’t make any difference.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I am finding myself agreeing with your posts today. I fear i am in a depressed state. Perhaps I need to arrange for a massage appointment.

        • Habcouver says:

          I don’t get to watch Hab games as much as I like but I’m guessing that Price hasn’t played terrible in the recent losses. True or false.
          I’m also hoping if he gets a sniff in nets for Sochi, that he plays lights out with a decent D in front of him.

          Waiting patiently for #25

          • Timo says:

            Price was fine. I suggested to not play him as much just to save him the aggravation and preserve his mental state on an odd chance Habs may eventually hire competent coaches and managers.

    • He got a rest last night. Now he needs two games against lesser teams (that’s scares me) and boost his confidence (not that it’s rattled) a little.

      What sucks is that because they (Habs offense and defense) are playing poorly and the two slumping teams this weekend (Caps and Wings) could stomp the guts out of them :lol:

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

      • jimmy shaker says:

        I’m thinking bad ass boods is getting the crease at joe louis, and price will be back on saturday. remember, price still needs to rest. Even though i probably would like to see him in action at the joe if I do decide to buck up and spend the 160 dollars, budaj needs some work as well, who knows, maybe that will wake these jabroni’s up. Hopefully stub hubs tickets are even cheaper tomorrow on game day!

        Shaker out!

    • smiley says:

      Tough call. Both are winnable games-Wings are BAD at home. Budaj tends to play the road games. But with the Babcock factor-who knows.

  15. Old Bald Bird says:

    This site has its share of negative nellies and positive pollyannas. In between are many realists who see that all is neither rosy nor gloomy. Realistically however, this team is trending downward rather alarmingly right now. I think posters should be allowed to express concerns and offer suggestions without being satirized and dismissed out of hand.

  16. @ CJ, don’t ever apologize for many posts and being positive. Instead look where the replies came from and laugh!

    GO HABS GO

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

  17. bwoar says:

    Since we’re complaining today,

    Can all the people who desperately need to tell us “I’ve been watching this team since the 70′s and blah blah blah…..” just pat yourselves on the back and go take a nap already?

    I don’t care if you’ve watched the Habs for 5 decades or five minutes. Your incredible dedication to drinking beer and watching hockey is commendable, but let’s not call it much more than that.

    “thoroughbred”

  18. Chuck says:

    I don’t know why everyone’s complaining. The Habs are paying $18,750,000–just under 30% of their payroll–on their defense. And they’re getting exactly what they’re paying for.

  19. jdemelo11 says:

    It’s funny that fans in Canada are all the same. Living in Toronto Area I see fans jumping on and off bandwagons depending on what the teams do. If someone told you back in September at 50 games the Habs would be in 3rd place majority would take it. They were expected to be in a playoff race & they are. Despite the start the problems that existed in Sept. still are there, small forwards, small defense, nothing has changed, so why are we surprised! Trade this guy, fire that guy are all reactions fans have, but in reality won’t/shouldn’t happen. Every team is looking for big Dmen & forwards so MB won’t make a trade simply because the asking price is too high. Obviously last yr wasn’t a lie. This team gets off to a great start & then the floor comes out from under them. Maybe the Olympic break will help those who stay but with 8 players going, might be a detriment for those who will be key players for countries who will go far in tournament. So get ready for a wild roller coaster ride until the end of season. I would like to see MB start to bring up Tinordi & Pateryn & let them play, they can’t play worse than the group they have now.
    Finally, remember they probably aren’t as good as we make them when they are winning, not as bad as we make them when they’re losing. Enjoy the roller coaster ride Hab fans & don’t forget the barf bags!

    • smiley says:

      I agree with you jdemelo11 but if our Habs were a stock, it would have a “sell” recommendation. As in 3rd place-overvalued right now and not going to last. I hope I am wrong.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Sometimes, the trend can be alarming and more informative than the average. Right now, and for sometime, the trend line has been sloping downward.

  20. saskhabsfan says:

    Murray has actually been very strong lately, he now knows to not stick handle, just get the puck out. Pleky is 31 and doesn’t take much abuse, stick with him, he’s just like selanne, played great late 30′s! Should bring the young guys up and let them play, see what they can do before the deadline, then deal away what you can!

  21. Habsrule1 says:

    Bottom line:

    Average Team & average coach. Bergevin has work to do.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Luke says:

      Average and Average is a heck of a lot better than everysome were expecting this season.

      • Habcouver says:

        Spot on!
        I’m happy they are in a position to make the playoffs.

        There’s a fair number on this site that would like to see the team tank for a higher draft pick. I’m not in that camp. Once in the playoffs, any team can get hot… so why not the Habs having a shot!

        Waiting patiently for #25

        • Well, here’s why the Habs don’t have a shot IF they make the playoffs;

          1) too many small guys that get knocked over with a breeze (see Gally in the crease, DD on the boards, Gio…)
          2) Coach is showing he is clueless a la comments below, constant line changes, bench warming, we have to try harder comments.
          3) No snipers and too many hot and colds. See Max, Pleks..
          4) If Price is good, he’s a star, if he’s bad, it’s the defense. Poppycock! He’s good, not elite just yet, if ever.
          5) Defense sucks beyond PK, shame Markov slows down after 40 games and Emelin lost his mojo.
          6) Rarely play 60 minutes
          7) No tenacity or killer instinct
          8) No forechecking
          9) No depth
          10) Sniff need for French coach and management (just had to throw that one in!)

          I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  22. Bash says:

    Calm down people.

    We are not as bad as described; nor are we as good as we wish.

    Some tinkering will get us in the playoffs and then it’s a crap shoot with many factors allowing for any team to make a run.

    Bit the constant line changes, press box rotations and bench warming call ups have to stop! MT needs to realize that this is not as simple as rolling the dice over and over hoping to get your money back.

    Is Bergevin an idiot??? I don’t think so. Therefore there is a method to this madness:

    Beaulieu and Leblanc are on the trading block.

    With Diaz that may get us a top 5/6 winger or a 3/4 D. Obviously Bourque and others might be part of the deal.

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

    • bwoar says:

      Not sure that trading Beaulieu is smart by any means. You may be correct on method but I’d still call it madness.

      “thoroughbred”

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I would be shocked if Beaulieu was traded. Can you say McDonough?

      If he is, we better be getting someone a little better than Gomez back.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  23. Timo says:

    I feel strangely indifferent towards Habs today. Probably because last night was that game that finally sealed this season for me. They may still have a few decent games now and then but overall, this season is a write off. And nothing better to look forward to either.

    Ah well… life goes on.

  24. Max says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this team won’t get close to another cup until an English speaking only coach is hired.This organization needs to change it up to get that mojo flowing properly again.

    The team and the culture surrounding it has become stagnant,predicatble and increasingly apathetic.

    • Mattyleg says:

      That’s right.
      Hear hear.
      Get rid of these racially-inferior Francophones, and get some good English stock in there to do the job right.

      Here is some writing you might enjoy by someone who supports your idea completely:
      http://eco.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.32374/14?r=0&s=3

      (I recommend the sentence that starts 9 lines from the bottom)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Yes, can’t have them French-speaking people messing up our Habs.

      *sigh*

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Mustang says:

      The real Hab fans couldn’t care less if the coach is English, French, or something else. They want the team to win while always making the best effort possible.

      However, bringing a unilingual English speaking coach into the Quebec language environment will result in a certain percentage of the population screaming for his head the minute the team loses 2 games in a row. How long would a coach last in Toronto if he didn’t speak a word of English? I know, the players speak English so this doesn’t make much sense but neither does a unilingual English coach in Montreal.

      • Eh? Quoi? Je comprends pas votre langue… peut t’etre vous pouvez parle la langue de Quebec? … and for my next suggestion, why not just change the name of the team to Les Quebecois, then the 30% hard core separatists who couldn’t care about a W or not would be happy! A little tail wagging the dog here n’est ce-pas?

        I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • Eddie says:

      A unilingual Francophone is discriminated by the Habs because he can never be hired to coach the team. All of the practices and team meeting are exclusively English.

      A unilingual Anglophone is discriminated by the Habs because the FEAR the backlash from their stakeholders.

      Discrimination rules the day!

  25. jols101 says:

    Holly crap, I’m usually never at home at this time of day. Usually at work, but wasn’t feeling well this morning so I took a day off. The comments really pile up fast and furious at this time. I can’t keep up. lol.

  26. Mattyleg says:

    There is an issue that nobody has raised yet:

    Our team is playing badly.

    Some of the reasons for this, that nobody has looked into sufficiently, could be:

    - The coach. Could it be that he is not as astute as everyone on here believes he is? Has he made some errors?

    - Our defence corps. Maybe (hear me out, here) they don’t have the depth and physicality to properly shut the door unless they are significantly aided by our forwards. Could their organization be better?

    - Our forwards. It could be that we don’t have a top-tier sniper, or effective and dependable secondary scoring. I know that everyone on here considers our top-6 to be among the best in the league, but perhaps if you look past that, you may find some inconsistent play and shakey confidence.

    We all agree that we’re bound for a pretty deep playoff run, but there could be some outside chance that this may not be the case. Does anyone dare to bring that up?

    Now, don’t pillory me, I’m only playing devil’s advocate here.

    I just don’t think that there has been enough discussion about these topics, and when they have been brought up, I don’t find that the language has been strong and vehement enough.

    I’m tired of hearing, repeated over and over again on this site: “I have confidence that we’ll be able to turn it around,” and “teams go through these sorts of rough patches,” and “I’m pretty happy with what we’ve achieved despite being in a rebuilding phase; there are a lot of positives.”

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Timo says:

      Wow, if I didn’t know better I’d actually think you meant what you wrote. :)

    • Cal says:

      Now that is a tongue firmly in cheek post. :lol:

    • bwoar says:

      Perish the thought of anything wrong. It’s all just a blip. A temporary setback. A glitch. Nothing to fear. The Cup’s coming home.

      All of that fun aside, I was kinda surprised at Beaulieu’s play. Looks better than I expected. I know he’s only played 7 games, but eh, +4 is better than bad. Considering the other options, I don’t think he’s outta place.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yeah, he looked solid.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Now its time to let Pateryn come up as well maybe.

        • bwoar says:

          I can’t recall, did those two play together? I’d like to see the team graduate a complete pair if possible.

          “thoroughbred”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I think powerplay forsure, not sure on 5 vs. 5. Unfortunately I just haven’t gone to many Dogs games this year. I am going tomorrow night though.

            At this point, if Pateryn and Beaulieu have experience playing together, I don’t see how much worse it can get.

      • Luke says:

        I concur.

        I hope he gets a decent run, and if sent back he is replaced by Tinordi or Pateryn for a spell.

        I’d like to see one of those guys playing in everygame for the rest of the season.
        Hopefully they’ll get a taste, correct anything that needs correction and one or two will be ready for full time duty at the start of next season.

      • New says:

        Eventually Beaulieu will have a bad game but he is pretty steady for a young guy. Seeing him line up from side to side, partner to partner, each shift yet not seeing him crash…that has to strike someone on the management team as a strength most of the D doesn’t have.

    • 1010 says:

      Funny. I was gonna text on here the other night that the top six is perhaps slightly overrated by many. We just don`t produce enough five on five goals to fit into that category. But maybe I`m missing something here.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hey Matty, Habs have 8or 9 guys going to the Olympics. Since they were named, the team has gone to rat shit. Coincidence? Or maybe it’s just The Curse of Youppi? Who knows?

    • Luke says:

      Put the Habs-Coloured glasses on for once.

      Seriously. Once we get rid of that dog in net and the one-trick pony on Defense, we’ll be set.

    • Ah, ha, ha, ha… lot’s of doom and gloom today, but few solutions. It’ll be at least a few years longer before we compete…:(

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • New says:

      Matty, I’m not sure getting upset about something none of us can do anything about achieves anything. The Habs have been on a steady decline. Gainey’s big plan to grab up game breaking UFA’s didn’t pan out. Why? Probably because there are a limited number of dominant players, they get drafted and start young, get married or connected to the community, have a wing in the hospital named after them, and resigned long term before they become UFA. So he patched the team with what was available.

      Two years ago they crashed out the gate and drafted third overall. The third worst team over the season. The coach was fired just before a game, a player traded during a game because he said the team was not good, and a coach left hanging with zero chance of being retained for half of the season. Last season they started fast out the gate. By what is a normal mid season point they were crashing and burning, injured, unable to sustain that pace. A mirror of this season except this year they’ll play 82 games. On paper and on the ice they are not very different from the team finishing third last – and at one point contending strongly for last.

      These guys are playing their hearts out. They are not as skilled as a contending team could be. They rely on never making a mistake and the opponent making lots. As the season gets tighter the chances to capitalize diminish.

      Guys like Gallagher, DD, Bourque, Gionta, Markov, Prust, Briere, Diaz, they are really handy to have around. With the East so close heading through the second half Markov could be the difference between being out of the playoffs and winning the cup to about four teams. None of them is Montreal.

      Sometimes you have to look at reality. We all love the team but sometimes that blinds us. The Pens should win against the Canadiens. Chicago should win against the Canadiens. But you know what? Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes that is because the Pens or Hawks have an off night. Sometimes it is because a bunch of guys who have no right to beat them on paper manage to play above their heads, give it everything they have, and take it to the champs.

      I think we can be disappointed that the team isn’t showing signs of getting better overall but man, those guys, we should be so proud of how hard they compete.

  27. mdp2011 says:

    Ahhh, glad to see that Doom and Gloom has returned to HIO. I’ve really missed them.

  28. HABZ24 says:

    The D looks like the 6 stooges out there.emelin and diaz are big peices of the D puzzle and are playing so bad they are scratches,thats bad.murray skates like his knees are fused together ,gorges is burning out,big voice in the room but no stud on the ice.subban and marky should play back stop rushing until the rest of the D come back to earth. Someone needs to pull tinordi aside and give him a pep talk,word is hes sinking on the farm,we really need him.

    GO HABS GO

  29. ooder says:

    imo tanking is not the way to go. maybe for one or two years but not more then that. Otherwise you develop a losing culture (i.e. edmonton, flames, islanders, the blue jackets are only starting to get out of it now).
    we got our top 3 pick in galchenyuk and the team should do everything to help him succeeds. what we do need, is better ufa signings and a win by committe attitude (i.e. the bruins model).

  30. jo_maka says:

    Needless to say, I don’t agree with a lot of Therrien’s decision. But one of the darkest of his mysteries for me is how he can justify putting Eller on the wing whenever he feels like it while the kid already showed in the past that he couldn’t contribute when used as such. And yet he seems scared sh!tless to let Chucky try center.
    _________________________________
    Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

  31. adamkennelly says:

    when MB came in he supposedly surrounded himself with all these great hockey people..changing the culture in MTL – really?

    are they now consulting him to do faking nothing? he literally has done nothing to improve this team – save for bringing in Waite.

    also – someone in Habs management decided to hand the torch to Danny B – that my friends was a clear signal that nothing has nor ever will change in MTL. Its francophone first and W’s second.

    • Cal says:

      Add another “k” to that faking wording and it won’t seem like you’re pretending.
      It’s another lost season while MT fiddles to find the right combos to have the Habs fall into tanking territory. Goal differential is +2 and falling, just like the temperature outside.

  32. zephyr says:

    why so many against dd? he’s our best playmaker. chucky is next. dd regularly wins battles on the boards to my constant amazement. I think he’s part of a young core. the small fwds who need to go are gio & briere.
    u don’t start trading guys because of 1 bad game or a slump. markov is still a keeper although he’s been displaying a tendency to get caught up. it almost looks like he can’t turn quickly.
    our undersized dmen are hurting us. frankly, murray has been a stud. he initiates contact, wins his battles (usually by sending guys flying) & clears the puck out of our zone. georges, diaz & bouillon have trouble doing any of that. pateryn & tinordi offer some hope of relief there.
    mt has lost it. we are being outcoached most of the time. he needs to go b4 we start moving anyone. i doubt he’ll go b4 the end of the season tho. I would never trade max, dd, gally, chucky, eller, pleks, bournival, subban, emelin or price. bourque, markov, prust, murray & possibly moen would be my next tier. all have size (except markov) we desperately need. I’d like to see murray signed for another couple yrs.. he’s a massive, shut-down dman who we can use. forget georges & diaz.
    I saw how max stuck up for subban against mt & then stuck up for dd against almost everyone. that looks an awful lot like the kind of leadership we could use once gio is gone.
    meanwhile, we going to have to suffer these awful games until mb can get it right.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      A center needs to make his linemates better. When DD had Pacioretty and Briere that line was just awful. Those wingers are riches compared to what Plek and Eller have had to deal with.

      The line is awful how do we correct it? Let’s break up the best line we’ve put together in the last year in EGG and put Gallagher with DD and Pacioretty.
      ———————————

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

    • jo_maka says:

      You don’t trade a guy because of a slump.

      But , slump or not, if the team is better with what he might fetch in the long-term, then you do it. Especially when you have no chance to get far in the playoffs.

      Being in a slump shouldn’t make a player immune to a trade, unless it significantly lowers his value.
      _________________________________
      Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Pacioretty rarely shows up in the big games and is the least hardest worker on his line. No thanks I want a captain who goes to war on the ice.

      Pacioretty is a high end athlete but not a prototypical hockey player like a Subban, Gallagher, Bournival.

      ———————————

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

    • Habfan17 says:

      You nailed it on the head. If as you say, DD is the Habs best playmaker, you have highlighted the problem. Other teams best playmakers actually put up close to a point a game and make their line mates better. DD does none of that. He does not win face offs, and he loses more battles than he wins.

      If trying hard was worth something, then kudos to him. Even then, when was the last time you saw him put in the effort like he did in overtime when he stripped the D of the puck and scored that great goal! I would say, not since then. With St. Louis, and even better, Gallagher as role models, DD should be doing more.

      To answer your question, the best playmaker needs to be much better than DD and until the Habs have some players like that, they will be mediocre. It goes to show you what us Hab fans are willing to
      consider as core players! DD could not hold Koivu, Mondou, Gallagher, or the roadrunners jock straps!

      We need to stop valuing and accepting 2nd level talent as our best players! Eller, Patches, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Price and Subban!
      That is a talented core. Not necessarily first line players, but a solid core! You could probably add Beaulieu and Tinordi to the core. After that, upgrades need to be made!

      Habfan17

  33. Habsrule1 says:

    I wish we had hired Pierre Mcguire!

    LOL….discuss!

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  34. jeffhabfan says:

    Well that one was ugly like almost every night now.We win ugly and we lose worse I do not know what else to say it does not look good right now.

  35. Ian Cobb says:

    Both 19 yr old Bouchard and the Hab’ s got to the same conclusion last night.! Realization that they are not up there yet!.

    HIO members! MINI SUMMIT!
    I will see some of you at Hurley’s Pub after the game Saturday night. (2nd floor) Rod, (manager) informs me that he has ordered an extra Keg for us!
    Ian

    • Mattyleg says:

      I’ll do my best, but I’m out all day at a beer-brewing course, and if I take off in the evening to go drinking… my life expectancy could be shorter than that Hells Angels informant guy.

      I’ll do what I can though!!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  36. commandant says:

    Hayley Wickenheiser is named Canada’s Flag Bearer

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/01/23/hayley-wickenheiser-named-canadian-flag-bearer/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  37. adamkennelly says:

    man the internet sucks today.

    Habs get curb stomped, stock market is taking a beating and I have to read about Justin Bieber on supposedly credible news outlets…

    what time does the bar open?

  38. Plekasuares says:

    Keep: Plek, Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Gallagher.
    Prust, Bounival.

    And lets get rolling with this. Make Plekanec “C” Subban “A” and Prust “A”.

    I definitely do not want to see the following players in Montreal next year Markov (too old), Boullion (too old), Gorges (Obv), briere (Obv)

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I agree, except Markov….unless the return is phenomenal. The guy is still very good and with similar offensive-minded d-men coming up, I’d like him there to help them along.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • adadi says:

      Prust’s shoulder is done like breakfast. He can no longer be the player we need him to be. Time to go. There will be definite takes before the deadline.

  39. Frank2468 says:

    Well that wasn’t fun. This organization needs to rebuild properly from the draft. That means the team may suck big time for 3 to 4 years as apposed to the band aid fixes. They also need to put the best people in place and never mind this language thing it’s getting old fast. If the organization can’t do that then this team will never go anywhere ever!!!!

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Not gonna happen. You may as well start cheering for another team.

      The Habs have to build from the draft but also make the right signings and trades.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • jols101 says:

        Whoa, bud you want everyone who is unhappy with this mess to cheer for another team. We are all Hab fans here. It’s in the blood.

        Just because we are unhappy with the current state of affairs and are being arm chair GM’s doesn’t mean we aren’t die hard fans.

        To me the more annoying fans are the ones the just grin and bare it and continue to shake their pom-poms no matter what crap the team is putting on the ice.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I think it’s more about the language thing that he’s commenting on.

          People who bring up the French language and Francophone players/coaches/managers/etc. as something that they find frustrating have 29 other teams in the league that don’t have this issue.

          We are unique because of that, have always been (the Canadiens were the French-Canadian team to the Anglophones’ Maroons) and those who don’t like it can shove off.

          …in my opinion!
          :)

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Not what I said but if you’re waiting for a tank and that’s all that will make you happy, you’re probably out of luck. I just think many of the complainers are a bit blind to the fact that all the best moves are not that easy to make. I would love to see another Cup (I only really remember the last 2), but I’m also realistic. I think they are heading in the right direction, but I’m willing to be somewhat patient with the new management team. I doubt a tank is realistic in Montreal, so they need to draft really well, make good trades and get the right UFA’s…all things that are not simple, but possible.

          As far as language, I want the best coach possible, french-speaking or not. If the choices are slim anyway, get the best french-speaking one you can, I guess.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • jols101 says:

            Sorry misunderstood. Below you told be to cheer for another team as well so I thought you were saying anyone who is unhappy with management, coaching or on-ice product should just go cheer for someone else. As any true Hab fan knows that is impossible no matter how frustrated you get. lol

        • 1010 says:

          Gotta agree with you. When the Oiler fan threw the team sweater on the ice Cherry tried to turn it into a national disgrace. Now, on a personal level, I would never do that, but I can certainly appreciate that persons` frustration. How many years do you need to get top five picks and build through the draft. Can you imagine Bergevin getting that many kicks at the can and still producing a crap team. And still, Kevin Lowe is in Charge, and even gets enough respect to be part of the team Canada think tank. That guy must give a real good interview.
          GO HABS…

      • Frank2468 says:

        Well I guess fans that were born after the 80′s are used to losing cause language is the most important thing. Well since I’ve been watching them since the 70′s I seen the team hoist the cup 7 times guess I’ll have to be happy with that. I remember the Habs being compared to the Lions in Winter where they must feed at least once every 10 years. Well it’s over 20 years since the last cup. So how’s the language thing working for them????

        • Mattyleg says:

          (see above)

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Frank2468 says:

            Matty guess your stance is if someone doesn’t see things your way they can just shove it!!!! wow really it’s called debate not bully people cause they see things differently then you. And if you don’t like just shove it. I’ll put the obligatory smiley face to make it look good as well :)

          • Mattyleg says:

            Heh heh.

            I never said ‘shove it’ Frank!

            I said “shove off” as in, leave (to support another team), in a non-insulting way.

            I don’t think that anyone needs to see things the way I do, but the reality of the language issue in Quebec means that it will always be a part of the Montreal Canadiens! This is not ‘how I see it’, it is ‘how it is’, whether I, or anybody else likes it or not!

            I don’t think I’m bullying anyone, as nothing I am saying should be new; if people don’t like the language issue, there are plenty of other teams that don’t have that issue, that’s all I’m saying.

            I’m sorry if you feel bullied, Frank.
            Not my intention.
            (smiley-face unrequired)

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Frank2468 says:

            Matty guess I just don’t understand the full aspect of the language issue. I was born near Quebec in northern Ontario and am half Francophone myself. We just cheered for the Habs in my house growing up and never once got into a great debate over language, It was a none issue. The Habs won and the team was full of Francophones and Anglophones and the best people for the job were put in place.

        • Aye laddy! Ain’t that the truth!

          I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  40. jols101 says:

    Everyone has heard the term ” that team’s cupboards are bare with prospects” or on the flip side “that teams cupboards are full with prospects.” The Habs cupboards have been bare way too long and one of the main reasons is consistently letting UFA just walk on July 1st.(now July 5th.) for nothing. If a UFA wants to stay in Montreal and Bergevin wants him to stay then a contract should be reached before the trade deadline. If not, Bergevin needs to get picks or prospects for them at the dead line.This league is just way too competitive to let assets walk for nothing like in the Ghost’s tenure.

    • Chris says:

      Gauthier wasn’t the one responsible for letting assets walk away for nothing…that was more Bob Gainey’s M.O. I think Gainey was too much of an old-school GM in a league that is now dominated by guys who are willing to wheel and deal with no loyalty to their players.

      The only team that I can think of that has been relatively successful letting their free agents walk away for nothing has been Detroit, and their success was a combination of pure, stupid luck (Datsyuk, Zetterberg) and a willingness on the part of veteran NHL unrestricted free agents to sign below market-level deals (either in money or, in many cases, in term) with Detroit for a shot at a Stanley Cup run.

      Montreal, with its high taxation rate, intrusive media coverage and overly fanatical fans, is simply not ever going to enjoy that kind of advantage on July 1st. So unless they get lucky and have a lot of money in a year where the usual spenders do not (as was the case in 2009), or they have to build through the draft and make shrewd trades for guys that may need a change of scenery to achieve their potential.

      Nobody likes the draft option, because you have to be abysmally bad to do it properly. And Montreal simply can’t out-bad the Calgary Flames or Buffalo Sabres over the next two years.

      So Bergevin has little choice but to hope to hit a home run in the draft, improve his player development department (that won’t pay dividends for another couple of years, but I think that Mellanby, Lapointe and Brisebois will help the Habs in the long run), and keep making what appear like lateral moves, such as Gainey tried with Latendresse for Pouliot, hoping to find another Martin St. Louis, Daniel Cleary, (younger) Daniel Briere, or Patrick Sharp. This is a frustrating path, as there are probably 10 or 20 failures for every moderate success, and a hundred failures for every success on par with the aforementioned players, but that is the game as it is played these days.

      In Alex Galchenyuk, we all hope that we have a poor man’s Tavares or Malkin. I’m not convinced he will ever be an NHL superstar, but he could be a good player around whom the team can build a strong supporting cast. P.K. Subban and Carey Price give the team two other key building blocks. What the team needs now are some forwards that can consistently score goals AND play defence. Players like Gallagher, Galchenyuk, and Pacioretty need to step up their play away from the puck by a significant amount if this team ever hopes to be considered a contender.

  41. arcosenate says:

    Pittsburgh sucked for 4 seasons in a row and had 2 number one draft pick years and 2 number 2′s over that span netting them Staal, Crosby, Malkin and Fleury. They were very lucky to have those players available in those draft years. They have won one cup as a result of those terrible seasons:

    2001-02 82 28 41 8 5 69 198 249 5th, Atlantic
    2002-03 82 27 44 6 5 65 189 255 5th, Atlantic
    2003-04 82 23 47 8 4 58 190 303 5th, Atlantic
    2005-06 82 22 46 — 14 58 244 316 5th, Atlantic

    Building through the draft can only work in my opinion if you sacrifice seasons at the NHL level in order to actually get in on the serious talent available through the draft. Having a middling season and picking 20th is not going to get you the talent you need to build like you hope to.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      The Habs cannot and will not tank. The repercussions of that are greater than those of missing the playoffs or exiting quickly. They need to think outside the box and do more than just build through the draft. They need to get the right free agents and make good trades. All these are much easier said than done though….but also not impossible.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • twilighthours says:

        Well if the Habs can’t tank, then they will presumably make a push for the playoffs. Which begs the question:

        Is Bergevin playing the part of Nero?

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Well, I think there is a difference between tanking and selling. If we trade some of our assets, we may still be in a position to make the playoffs or come close. Hey if selling off Gionta, Bourque and a couple others has us finish last, then go for it.

          I personally want to keep Markov, but if the return is good, do it.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • twilighthours says:

            I agree with you that I think Molson would prefer to make the playoffs, and might balk at Bergevin’s planned patience. (this is all just guesswork).

            But if the team wants to make the playoffs, something has got to be done. The team’s foundering. Not good.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Agreed. I just think the GM for the Habs (and hopefully Bergevin is the guy) has to be smarter than most. We can’t just tank. We have to draft well wherever we draft, make smart trades (fleece other teams lol), and get the right Free Agents….all the while developing the draft picks we do get in the AHL. That’s why Bergevin’s concentration on draft, draft, draft worries me a bit. I get it, but the draft will not work alone, unless we do as some of you have suggested, and tank….and I can’t see that happening in Montreal.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

        • boing007 says:

          Fiddlesticks.

          Richard R

  42. RetroMikey says:

    I find it quite amusing how everyone jumps the bandwagon on this site. When I suggested trading Markov, Pleks, GIonta before Xmas to make a blockbuster trade, everyone bashed me on this site.
    Now that the team is playing more and more crappy hockey, everyone agrees with me by trading some of these players.
    Seems that many here (which I will not name), can;t make up their mind what kind of hockey team should be built in Montreal.
    BIG IS BETTER I SAY!
    And yes, those Maple Laffs are for real HIO posters!

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

  43. Kooch7800 says:

    I am more interested to see what MB does at the deadline and in the off season. If we truly are building through the draft than he should move out some vets for picks. The cube, Diaz, Gorges and yes even Markov.

    Markov could fetch a really nice return. If his play held up I would be ok with resigning him but he isn’t worth 6 mill a season that he will be requesting. It will leave a hole on the back end but we are not one or two players away from contention and he has maybe 2 to 3 years left and will most likely diminish further.
    Might as well maximize your assets. T

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  44. 1010 says:

    Hmmmmm. A few years back when Gainey signed Gomer, and many of us said that our G.M. was possibly losing his mind, the glass half -full guys said that the signing had to happen because it drew in guys like Gionta and Camalleri. Uhuh. It was at this time that Koivu was unceremoniously dumped. The team Gainey threw together had a run at the conference final do to a return of Steve Penney. (Dressed in Halak skin.)
    And today,Gionta is averaging .5 points per game. That is almost the exact number that the much older, and cheaper, Koivu is putting up. Yeah, hindsight is 2020 but talk about spinning your wheels.

  45. Strummer says:

    I have a plan but it’s very long term-

    Introduce Eugenie Bouchard to Alex Galchenyuk and in 18 years…

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

  46. adamkennelly says:

    guess what? Habs are letting in 4+ goals a game because their D is sh!t – you heard it here first.

  47. Ali says:

    last season and this season have shown what we a lot of people have been saying: This team, constructed as is, cannot complete legitimately for a Cup.

    The defense is too small/slow after Subban (when Emelin shakes the rust, he’ll be fine). They regularly get hemmed in against teams, and have now resorted to a strategy of simply reversing the puck around the boards and hoping for the best, which against any team from the West pretty much and the likes of the Bruins and Pens will get you destroyed.

    Forwards: I started watching hockey in 1995 when I moved to Canada. Out of curiosity I checked, at least since then, no team that has won the Stanley Cup has done so with their first and second line centers both being under 6 feet tall. To have Desharnais, Gionta, Pleks, Gallagher, Briere, Bournival occupy half of your forward positions is just simply not putting yourself in a position to succeed.

    Trade Gionta and Markov. This kills me, but maybe trade Pleks too, depending on what the package is (although I’d much rather trade Davey, but I don’t see anyone taking a chance on him without Patches being there).

    Move Galchenyuk to center and make him start learning now.
    Play the heck out of your kids like Leblanc, Dumont, Thomas and figure out if they’re for real or not. I think likely two out of those three won’t make it, but at least you can see what you have.

    On the defensive side, I’d still lean towards playing Tinordi, Pateryn and Beaulieu heavy minutes in Hamilton versus having them play limited/sheltered minutes in the NHL. They’re not ready for the big minutes, and don’t want their confidence destroyed like Tyler Myers.

    I don’t see Therrien as being the guy who can coach these kids in terms of a developing them to their full potential. Guy Boucher may be boring (style wise, not the man himself), but at least he get’s guys to play for him and focuses on getting the most out of each player. With the defense he had to work in Tampa at the time, the Habs blueline will likely look like a pile of riches to him.

    • scotland says:

      for a guy who only started watching hockey 18 years ago.

      your hired.

      get to montreal and walk straight into mb’s office.

      ha! seriously …… for all that you suggest to take place……the denial of those in charge wont let it happen.

      mb cant even admit that he hired the wrong coach…..let alone admit the dd contract was dumb and somewhat crippling, brierre signing was laughable, i could go on but you get the point i’m sure.

      great plan though buddy.

  48. PureGuava says:

    Therrien has a soft spot for the undrafted or unwanted. See Josh Gorges, David Desjarnes, Francis Boullion, and Douglas Murray. Now i’m not going to dispute their usefulness individually – but DD is playing with the best two wingers on the team, Gorges really only blocks shots and provides soundbites, Frankie’s claim to fame is that he’s too small to be an effective D-man, and he’s still playing at 38! And Murray…he’s been arguably more useful then the other mentioned players this season. He’s big – on a team that desperately lacks size.

    Admittedly, I was excited about the hiring of Therrien – but figured that he’d ultimately come with a three year shelf-life. This is pretty much what i’d expected from year two….The team’s just not that good, and Therrien seems content on attempting to grind out hockey games than cutting the kids loose.

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
    - Robert Anton Wilson

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Therrien does not have this team prepared and his “system” if you can call it that is a Chinese fire drill. Wilson also said, “If the sh*t fits, wear it.”

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

  49. adadi says:

    I’m starting to form an opinion on MB but I will give him to the end of the trade deadline before passing judgement. I also want to see how he deals with Markov, PK, Gionta. Here are some highlights of his work so far.

    1. Briere – idiotic and probably incompetent
    2. Waite – smart move
    3. Murray – not good, but not bad
    4. 2013 trade deadline -no moves. Hard to understand how you intend to grow through the draft without extra picks
    5. DD contract – idiotic and probably incompetent
    6. Emelin contract – who signs a new deal with a player that just had major reconstructive knee surgery before watching him play – smacks of in competence

  50. jols101 says:

    An interesting poll question would be – Who do you think is a better center man- a- DD or b- Eller or c- Neither, it’s time to give that Galchenyuk kid a shot.

    • twilighthours says:

      Today? Desharnais

      In the future? Definitely Galchenyuk, possibly Eller.

      We’re talking about playing centre in the NHL, and all that goes with it.

      • jols101 says:

        Well, the question was inspired by your exchange with Steeltown Hab.

        I personally think we would be best with Galchenyuk-Pleks-Eller as our top three center men. I know it is a little early to put Galchenyuk in that position but we aren’t winning anything anytime soon so I think getting him at center is important for his development. Extremely sheltered situations – offensive zone and neutral zone face-offs and first line PP time.

        • twilighthours says:

          You have Eller as 3rd line C, yes? That makes sense to me.

          Eller – to me – has never shown the ability to use his wingers. He holds on to the puck too long. Doesn’t see the ice. Tries to beat a guy instead of trusting his teammates with the puck. This dates back to his first game with the Habs, and even when he has been granted good wingers. And, to me, a centre needs to use his teammates. That’s one of his most important jobs. I wrote a while ago: Eller is an excellent athlete who is merely good at hockey.

          That’s just my opinion from playing, watching, and coaching for 30 years. But it has been well established that I don’t know how to evaluate players.

        • twilighthours says:

          But on the topic of Galchenyuk… the only thing he’s missing is that explosive first step. All the other tools are there. I love the way he is/was playing in the corners this year. He can come out with the puck with regularity, now.

          • jols101 says:

            And Agreed. I was hoping he would be doing some power skating while his hand is on the mend. if he could get a little more explosive from a standstill he would have it all.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Plek – Eller – Galchneyuk down the middle is this teams only shot at looking like a contender right now.

      ———————————

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

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      To be able to answer that question, Eller and Galchenyuk would have to be given an equal opportunity of playing at least 30 games with Gallagher and Pacioretty along with 1st Unit PP minutes when Subban and Markov are on the ice.

      They should also be told not to have any fear of losing playing minutes even if they go 19 games scoring 0 goals and 1 point.

      With all of that, they should also be guaranteed 15-18 minutes of playing time with O zone protected starts.

      If all of the above was offered to Eller-Chuckie, only then would we have an EQUAL comparison.

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    How possible is it that MB indeed has a for sale sign on pretty much the whole team minus PK, Price, Galchenyuk, Eller, Max and Gallagher and nobody is calling? Guess I should add Plex to that list, he would be in demand.

    My point is we have quite a few players that probably aren’t worth much in a trade. Gionta, Gorges, Diaz, Bourque, DD etc.

    • Eddie says:

      Someone would be calling for Plekanec, right?

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      We cannot build this team through trades. It’s time to go with the youth that we’ve drafted. We can’t do much worse. I’m not an advocate of “the tank” but being mediocre with older veterans does not accomplish much and just screws up your draft choices. Due to the Pollock legacy, no GM wants to be the guy who gives Montreal a good young player for table scraps. All we will ever be able to trade for are the Coles, Bourques and Boullions of this world and we’ll give up valuable assets to get them. It’s long passed time to go with the players we are developing and win or lose with them.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I bet someone would want Markov. I would think someone would take Diaz as he does have a skill set but it just doesn’t work here. Bourque isn’t going anywhere and neither is Gorges at the moment.

      Bourque would need to go on a tare to get moved I would guess

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • ont fan says:

      20 other teams have the same problem as us. Half dozen pretty good players and the rest are plow horses. The talent pool is so thin, how do you become elite when you draft in the 15 to 25 spots. Blame the GM or coaches all you want but there isn’t enough talent to go around.

      • boing007 says:

        It’s called parity. Another word for it is mediocrity. A great bulge in the middle, thinning out to nothing at the edges. Like the ice cream sandwiches that I sold at the Big O during the 1976 Olympic Games.

        Richard R

  52. Habitoban says:

    In my view, the team has four bona fide scorers: Patches, Gallagher, Briere and Pleks. As for the others: Gionta has lost his shot, Bourque is unproductive (still think he is battling concussion demons), and Eller, though he will pot a few, is not a natural scorer — the others respectfully are pluggers. But Gally has been relegated to digging pucks out of tough places so that DD and Patches can do their thing. What a waste for a team that can’t score. When the EGG line was intact Chuckie and Larry were looking for Gally as the finisher and he was putting up points. In his new role not so much. Patches says that Gally is the engine that drives that line. I think it is time that the “little engine that could” drives his own line. “I think he can, I think he can.”

  53. HABitual Fan says:

    This is a team that needs absolutely all cylinders firing in order to compete with the better teams in the league. I don’t believe Therrien has the confidence of the group and if 24CH glimpses of team meetings are any indication, the boys are tired of hearing the same shallow attempts to motivate them (if I hear “pay attention to details” one more time I’m going to vomit!!!). A shake-up is in order. Eller should be playing center and the kid line should be reunited when Galchenyuk returns. It was pure joy to watch them earlier in the season and although they were obviously disbanded to ignite some of the veterans, the experiment is not working and no line is scoring consistently….or more importantly, when it is most timely to do so. The loss to the Leafs, who unfortunately seem to be doing more with less, was the season’s low point for me and unless efforts are made to strengthen this lineup, we can expect to be on the outside looking in, come playoff time.

    “… but it’s still better than cheering for the Leafs!”

  54. HabinBurlington says:

    Very frustrating game to watch. Just getting outplayed in so many ways right now. Don’t know how much is on the coach, certainly know we don’t have the horses right now. Needs to be a pretty good overhaul done.

    Have a feeling the Tank is on.

  55. Sad truth is, you can build a solid top-third-of-the-league team with careful trading and free agent signings, but to really put together a superstar roster in the 30-team cap era — a team like Chicago or Pittsburgh — you need to tank for a few years, or at least pick in the top 15. Even the Kings built their team by drafting Schenn at #5, Doughty at #2, Bernier and Kopitar at #11, and Brown at #13.

    From 2004 on, the Habs have had just 3 top-15 picks — Price, Galchenyuk and McDonagh. Except for 2008, we’ve had a 1st-rounder every year since 1999, all later in the round. A series of embarrassing seasons is unacceptable in Montreal, even if it’s good for the team in the long run, so we can’t look at the draft as a source of tomorrow’s top-end talent.

    So that leaves the Bruins’ model. They didn’t tank, though they did draft Hamilton at #9, Seguin at #2, Hamill at #8 and Kessel at #5. Rather than And they’ve focused on building a team of solid contributors rather than stars: free agents, trade pick-ups and 2nd/3rd-rounders who aren’t flashy but will likely make the league. If we won’t accept a tank, I think we’ve got to go this route: forget the star FAs, and stop swinging for the fences re: high-risk, high-reward draftees. MB seems to agree, judging by his 2013 picks — hopefully it pays off in a few years.


    Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

  56. Phil C says:

    You cannot trade your way to a winning team without depth, otherwise you just create another hole in the lineup and you spin your wheels. For example LA trade John$on for Carter because Voynov was ready for the top four. Without Voynov, that trade makes no sense.

    I don’t see any significant depth on the Habs that could bring a nice asset unless your are willing to part with Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Plekanec, Eller or Gallagher and I’m not sure they are deep enough for that. 3rd/4th liners, pending UFAs and 5/6 defense will not bring anything of significance in a trade that will help the team now.

    Another trade strategy that works is to trade quality for quantity. Ottawa gave up three good assets for Bobby Ryan. That trade made sense for Ottawa because they had been stockpiling picks for a while and had a surplus of good prospects. I don’t think Montreal is in that situation yet, maybe in 2-3 years. So trading away picks and prospects makes no sense either.

    The reality is the Habs need to restock their prospect pool through the draft before they can trade their way out of trouble.

    • Sportfan says:

      If there are teams looking for a puck moving d-man they might be in luck with Diaz and we might get a return, cause at one point or another Beaulieu will be in the big club!

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

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Diaz just does not have the stats to command much in a trade. Nobody is lining up for a chance to get Raphael Diaz.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          Agree Diaz is undersized, decent defensively, decent offensively, not well above average in any sense.

          ———————————

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

      • Phil C says:

        If they move Diaz, it would be to a team in the playoff hunt who would not give up a roster player. So they could ge some assets for guys like Diaz, but nothing that helps the team now. If we are talking about deadline deals, its still a bit early anyway so we can’t criticize MB for that. Yet.

  57. Old Bald Bird says:

    A semi long post not accepted for no reason — nothing inflammatory at all. I re-worked it and tried again but to no avail. HIO is a strange place.

  58. HabinBurlington says:

    Woke up this morning and couldn’t help but think of this song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lWJXDG2i0A

  59. Flanelette says:

    Time to Tank for sure.
    All the better teams in the NHL have done so, the one exception being Bruins which is extremely well managed.
    Gionta, Diaz, Gorges for not much.
    Maybe Eller can get a good price: He has always been overrated on this site (good skills and size but no hockey sense, the opposite of DD).
    Plekanec and Markov need to be Canadiens till the end of their carreer: they are the spirit of the Habs.

    • krob1000 says:

      This not a season worth tanking…the Mcdavid year is though.

      • twilighthours says:

        Uncertain about McDavid. He’s no Crosby, that’s for sure.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Hard to say, I am still not sure Sutter had a gameplan in order to take advantage of McDavid’s skill set at the WJC. He is putting up remarkable numbers in the OHL as a 16 year old, not sure you can say No Crosby. I do know I would be happy if we got him! Cheers Twi.

          • twilighthours says:

            Me too! But I don’t think he’ll ever have the wheels or subtle little skills that Sid has.

            Time will tell.

            I wish we weren’t on the verge of another tank.

        • krob1000 says:

          I would call him a faster Tavares…or a Patrick Kane clone which to me makes him pretty close to Crosby . He is very, very young still and I remember seeing Crosby at 16 vs the 19 year olds and wondering the same about him. In retrospect that probably wasn’t fair and I don’t think people were fair in assessing Mcdavid for his role in that tournament…that whole team had issues and was not desinged for international play. In tighters spaces Mcdavid is as good as anyone and the fact he can do anything he wants at top speed is a lethal weapon in the NHL. Crosby is Crosby…but I think McDavid will one day join the list with Crosby, Stamkos, Tavares, Kane as offesnive talents…whether or not he can fill other rloes will be a question and right ow he is the only player in view who could be like Crosby.

        • Ron says:

          As much as he was toted I didn’t think he was any lights out player at the WJ this year.

          • krob1000 says:

            He was 16 years old….look at the list of forwards who have played for Canada at 16 and that tells you all you need to know
            Wayne Gretzky,Sidney Crosby, Eric Lindros, Jason Spezza and Connor Mcdavid.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Funny how DD all the sudden has hockey sense when playing with the two best wingers on the team.
      ———————————

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

      • twilighthours says:

        Your hatred is remarkable.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          Why people label it as hatred is so dumb. Nothing against the guy as a person, I just know he’s not a good hockey player. No GM in the league has thought “I wonder if we could get DD out of MTL” that’s just reality.

          ———————————

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

          • twilighthours says:

            It is the topic on which you post most frequently (60% of recent posts). So you don’t hate him? Fine, but that’s the impression with which you’re leaving us.

          • HABitual Fan says:

            Nothing personal Lad, but Davey is a dandy hockey player…don’t understand how you can’t see that. His only knock is something completely out of his control; his size. He’s unselfish to a fault, as most good centers are (yeah, I played center for 4 decades…so I’m getting pretty long in the tooth!:)

            “… it’s still better than cheering for the Leafs!”

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I do think DD has more play making ability than Eller. I also agree he gets a better opportunity but DD with Patches isn’t the problem with this team. We don’t have enough top6 wingers and also our D right now is not in great shape.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  60. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning (I think…)

    It appears many are calling for a Markov trade this AM – some even basing it on the fact that 1 of the best players in the world walked around him last night – as if Malkin hasn’t done that before to the game’s best.

    Some have pointed to Markov’s Minus numbers during the last month, yet that stat when taken by itself means nothing.
    If it did, then explain Subban being Minus -7 in his last 6 games?

    Defense is all about a ’5 man unit’ on the ice and the Habs forwards have NOT been good – sometimes lazy and outhustled, yet more often than not outright confused.

    So the question:
    Sign and keep Markov, or move him out.

    Markov knows at this moment that his summer UFA worth is at least 4 years and $21M – AT LEAST, and that is the neighbourhood of dollars he wants. (see Mark Streit)

    While Markov says all the right things about Montreal and his willingness about staying, this is all about business and the money.
    Markov will NOT leave $8M-$15M on the table because of Montreal.
    You can bet on that one.

    If Markov is moved out, his minutes need to be replaced.
    Who in the Habs organization is ready for Top 4 Even Strength minutes – 1st Unit PP – 2nd Unit PK? Names please.

    Sign another UFA?
    Here is the Summer 2014 list. Some of these will be resigned by their teams before July 1st.
    If not, they will want the money + term….and then they will have to want to play in Montreal vs a possible other 20-25 destinations.

    http://www.capgeek.com/free-agents/?year_id=2014&team_id=-1&position_id=D&fa_type_id=2

    Trade:
    Markov has a limited NTC and as a Rental, only true contending teams would want him, and some of those contenders don’t really need him. The Market would be limited.
    The Return? The BEST the Habs could hope for… would be a 24-30th First Round pick plus a possible Prospect that is not an A+ one.

    So what to do?

    • jols101 says:

      Ronn have you seen some of the ridiculous returns some players have gotten at the trade deadline recently. Players with nowhere near the amount of skill as Markov. It’s a great day because every GM that thinks his team has a shot is willing to over pay big time to tilt things in their favor. It very rarely works.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        jols
        Agreed, there have been some wild payments in the Past.
        Kaberle for a 1st + 1st round pick prospect Joe Colbourne+ a 2nd.
        Just last year, Murray (yes the Habs Murray) cost Pitt 2 Second round choices.
        From here, it would be unwise for GM Bergevin to sign Markov long until his Market Value at trade deadline can be established.
        Perhaps Colorado or Tampa may be the best landing spots.
        Both have what the Habs need.
        We’ll see.

    • krob1000 says:

      The real question is what would Markov’s value be at this time next season? That depends on his contract….right now he is a UFA with value that will not return NHL talent that is ready for several years…if he signs reasonably and next season is moved…what does he get you? There is so much uncertainty and the team is in limbo right now…MB is caught between a rock and a hard place because tthe team is too good to dismantle but to improve he needs to go against everything he insists he wants to do.

    • mrhabby says:

      The team should get younger..i would do the 1st round pick plus prospect. We would miss Markovs experience and veteran savvy but hopefully obtain a player who has a higher ceiling given age and pedigree. There is no easy answer.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I’d trade Markov at the deadline and sign Dan Girardi and Mark Stuart from that UFA list. Let Nathan Beaulieu play on the top PP unit with PK Subban next year.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      For the second consecutive year, Markov has started strong and then faded. This is of some concern. He wants a lot of $ for what he’s contributing at this point. I was all set to retain him a few short weeks ago, but I have my doubts right now. OTOH I think the rental market will no longer be the same after the Pittsburgh experience last year.

    • twilighthours says:

      In my onion, there’s no way the Habs should commit 4 yrs/$21 mil to Markov. If that means he should be traded, then so be it.

      I think he would net a great return. A 1st rounder and an NHL-ready prospect, for sure.

    • Arrow77 says:

      Not having a ready to replace him right now isn’t that important because we’re not one or two player away from being a cup contender. I would keep Markov if I could but he’s on the decline and might not be able to handle that much minutes for very long(assuming he still can right now, which is debatable). I love him but signing him is dangerous.

  61. montreal ace says:

    MB and MT have been here long enough, to at least have a couple of Cups on their resume. I can’t believe how little progress they have made, after inheriting such a power house team, after all it’s not like they got a team in last place. The moves I have seen so far from these two, are not going to hurt for weeks folks, but months, or more or less forever. I’m giving up hockey till we win another game, and I don’t care if that means 2.

    • Arrow77 says:

      I’m sorry but that defense is so generic, it would literally protect any coaches taking any decisions whatsoever. Don’t you think there is a better way to judge the coach of a mediocre team than to close your eyes for 3-4 years? He has players to coach right now and we can see if they play well for him or not.

      And the “none of the moves Bergevin made will hurt the team long term” defense has some limits(other than the Desharnais contract). He’s not paid to not hurt the team, he’s paid to make it better. None of the “stopgap” moves that he made have stopped any gap.

  62. Hobie Hansen says:

    Tough and disheartening times right now! I spent the day yesterday listening to Leafs fans brag about how they’re just getting warmed up and how the puny little Habs have reached the end of the line.

    The game was a national telecast last night so I’m sure Habs fans are going to get another earful today.

    In the past, at a time like this, you’d expect to flick on the tube or the computer and find out that the Habs have made some sort of desperation trade. Well according to Pierre LeBrun on the radio every day there is no way Marc Bergevin is trading away any young players or picks, ever!

    So it looks as though we’ve just got to pray we hang onto a playoff birth over the next 30 or so games then hope for some sort of miracle.

    At this point I wouldn’t at all be upset if Bergevin let Markov, Diaz, Murray and Bouillon walk (or trade at deadline) at the end of the season. Markov can look terrible on some nights. Some say if his ice time is reduced to 20 minutes a game he’s worth $5.75 mill for another three years, I dunno? You’ve got to look past the loyalty factor sometimes.

    I’d be up for bringing in Beaulieu, Tinordi and possibly Pateryn and signing a free agent over the summer or two. Aside from Subban, the Montreal defence is terrible!

    • It was horrible on facebook last night. When we were winning and high in the standings I didn’t dare brag because I knew the team was ok but not 3rd place ok. Now that the Leafs won a few, it’s like they forgot how bad they were, and still are…….actually just like us.

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

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I hate to say it Shane but I personally think the Leafs look pretty good. Like many other teams, it took a while for them to get going but now that they have, the Habs are feeling the effects.

        Once the Leafs get Bolland back, plus Clarkson, they’ve got a pretty good group of forwards with some size and spunk.

      • Sholi, ya gotta give them Laffs fans a pass. They’ve been in the gutter for 40 years and we’re starting to feel what they’ve been feeling. At some point, it’s just irrational exuberance and when reality hits, back to the bottle

        I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • montreal ace says:

      Hobie I’m hoping Markov gets better with a touch more experience, I just feel he has not reached his potential

  63. CF says:

    Just a few thoughts.
    Beaulieau is a great skater, not sure why he’s having such a difficult time with his edges in NHL rinks.
    Leblanc is not a great skater, and it baffles my mind how he hasn’t had a power skating coach attempt to straighten him up a little to correct his flawed skating stride. Way too bent over at the hips, this type of stride actually slows you down instead of help you accelerate. These are adjustments teams make in ATOM. Why isn’t this happening at the NHL level. Even the sad sack leafs hired a skating coach over the summer.
    I thought the Briere line with Bourque had a few moments that showed some life. And Bourque finally scored.
    I agree with being loyal, and the biggest reason Boullion is playing is loyalty from MT and MB, but wouldn’t it make sense to give Tinordi a look right now. Lets be honest, winning in Hamilton doesn’t matter, and saving Tinordi as a playoff call-up (which is what I expect) may not matter if we’re not even in the playoffs. I would like to see Tinordi paired with someone like Gorges for stability….see what happens.
    I believe Markov should be traded at the deadline. This is another example of diminishing returns. This team unfortunately has a problem developing for the future given it’s current roster of veterans are not stars anymore. We don’t have a Thomas Vanek to trade that will bring in a first and second round pick. But what we do have is aging veterans past their prime. Realistically, what is Markov going to give us in the future. He’s played great thus far, but he’s old and slow. And he can’t keep up in the physicality dept. He may come back next game and get a couple of assists, but if MB decides to sign him for three more years, which I believe is what it will take to keep him, it will be a mistake.
    Lets start some rebuilding without completing tearing the team apart. Markov and possibly Gio should be traded. I love Gio, but again, he’s past his prime, and he may bring in something. Right now he’s a third line player at best.
    Price is frustrated with the defensive play, no question. He sees the holes.
    Bring up Tinordi, play Emelin (let him watch the tape of that puke Kadri slipping the puck through his legs and explain how he should have taken the body, eyes on the middle of kadri’s chest and decked him into the first row).
    Trade Markov for a first if you can get it, or someone younger.
    Trade Gio. Possibly trade Briere.
    Trade Bourque if you can…..this is doubtful.
    Be realistic of what we have here, an eighth place team.

  64. frontenac1 says:

    The Curse of Youppi. That evil,orange bastard.

  65. portle44 says:

    Not much different than last year.This team can be competitive with the best when everyone shows up to play 3 periods.There is not enough here to win games by playing 5 or 6 good shifts in 60 minutes.The Hawks can do that and Pittsburgh can probably do that but the Habs can’t.At least not at this point.Right now they look like a bunch that mails in games in blocks of five at a time.Players fault? MT fault? maybe some of both. In any case its either golf in May or one and out.

    • That is what befuddles me Portle44. Molson wants to play in the second season. He makes more money. Simple as that. So why would he not want the best team he can ice? Why wouldn’t he keep the pressure on MB? This is what I don’t get when this team is loaded with midgets (sorry, small people that is), has limited scoring, ties up our few stars (that would be PK being told no more low five and free-wheeling on the ice) and adds spent veterans to help us from being embarrassed, yet serve to actually help us GET embarrassed.

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  66. jols101 says:

    Not to worry everyone, we are building through the draft don’t ya know.

    At this rate we may have a decent team by 2022. At the very least in 2022 we will be 2 or 3 years away from being a contender!!! Chin up, folks.

    • krob1000 says:

      BUt maybe noone else knows about this draft thing..it could be Montreal’s secret weapon. MAybe that is the plan….while these other teams go out and sign proven guys, make deals or tank in years superstars are availabe…we will fly under the radar in stealth mode and build through the draft….that’ll learn them other suckers for sleeping at the wheel and ignoring this draft thing!

    • twilighthours says:

      I loved what you wrote yesterday. The easiest job in the world is the hockey GM who is “rebuilding through the draft.”

      No pressure to get better, just ask your boss for more and more patience. When you still suck in 5 years, hey, we’re still drafting well.

      I don’t know what to make of Bergevin but I strongly dislike the moves he made last summer.

    • Sigh…:p

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • Habsrule1 says:

      So maybe start watching another team? Maybe one that tanked for 3 years in a row to get great draft picks.

      Let this team work a couple years and see where it gets us. It’s like people think it’s easy to just wave a magic wand and win a Cup.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

  67. Cal says:

    Last night was a very poor display. Markov was lousy and PK was stuck in limbo, not able to correct things like Malkin blowing by Markov time after time.
    After a promising start, the grind of the schedule has caught up to all of the Habs’ munchkins. Add to that MT’s Wheel Of Ice Time™ and that brilliant move of Eller to the wing so Brière can play center and voila! Total crapfest.

    I know the team isn’t contending, but I want to watch some fast skating up and down hockey instead of this endless slogging and throwing the puck away.
    The Habs are likely to continue to slide, so moving vets near the trade deadlines for picks and parts sounds to me like a good idea. MB will have to make some moves, but after 18 months of nothing special, I don’t expect much.

  68. rhino514 says:

    Just saw the goal replays. The guys weren´t uotplayed by that much. first PP goal was a deflection, Price was screened but still almost got it. Third goal deflected off a hab and was unlucky. just like we got some bounces against Chicago, Pittsburgh got the bounces this game
    The bottom 4 dmen actually played ok.
    i expect a good effort from the boys next game….(maybe they should give Marky a few less minutes, though)

  69. HABitat4humanity says:

    In a very competitive conference, the coaching & team are still in playoff contention. Cut them some slack.

    Yes, we need improvement but look at all the talent we have to work with compared to to other teams.

    Make small improvements & lets all have realistic of where the Habs will end up this year.

    • scotland says:

      realistic is 12th place after a full schedule

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      HABitat4humanity—–You mean the teams ahead of us……no comparison…or you mean the teams that are even with us…..well we still don’t look all that much better….or the teams that are closing in on us fast….we will have to wait and see. Either way this team is getting poor direction I think somehow from the coaching staff……not sure why I think that but they don’t seem to be very team oriented…they seem to panic with the puck…..get away from the opposition and then scramble to clear it away….they really seem to be ina funk out there as a team. Couldn’t be the continual screwing with the lines…nah……couldn’t be the experimenting going on with ice time and pairings…that wouldn’t bother a team would it…probably not. Perhaps some players are a little pissed off after MT breaks upa line that is working to get another line working…well he has no lines really working with the exception of the DD line and that isn’t setting any records for scoring. Something is a muck with this team right now. It smells like coach / player issues to me.

  70. Like the discussion as far as a rebuild. We’ve needed it and now that the hopes of a good playoff performance have been dashed (likely not even in the playoffs with these performances), we have some continuing and glaring issues. Scoring. We have nobody on the farm that can light it up. Defenseman, yes over time, but scoring… who? LL? No. Max can’t even score consistantly and he is close to our number one. Eller has flashes of brilliance, but ugh, forget Bork, one goal does not make him a keeper, Pleks is a great player, keeper, shall I go on?

    We have no chemistry. We have no tenacity… Just once, I’d like to turn off the TV after we are down 5-1 to a Pittsburgh like team and look at the finals the next morning and see us winning it 6-5… just once! Then I’d have hope!

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  71. Dear Therrien Supporters, I’m sorry, but you two need to get on the wagon :lol:

    No one likes to play defensive hockey. Have you ever been told to go there and block shots? Remember the first time you blocked a shot off the tongue? Or the lip and the elbow? Lower Back? It hurts, and even though you are the hero, after a pile of those shots you say to yourself, self, let him (coach) go block the shots.

    How do you recognize a team who doesn’t listen to their coach? Watch them on the ice. How many times did any of the defense or forwards even attempt to block a shot lately? Never, this team isn’t even close to playing the way Therrien wants them too.

    No true hockey player loves this Therrien style, but here’s where Therrien gets saved from me. The players on this team aren’t offensive. PK is a point getter, and the front line somewhat,but one line can’t win in the NHL.

    So just laugh it off, Marc Bergevin will slowly fix this mess we’re in, because that’s his job. If you see no major moves then you know we are truly building through the draft.

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

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      I just don’t have faith in Bergevin, his track record is just really bad and I don’t think it’s just hindsight, most would’ve known Briere, Bouillon, DD, etc. we’re bad signings.

      ———————————

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

    • krob1000 says:

      Isee the biggest issue is that despite several winning lineups this season…it seem MT continues to find a way to want to go to the lineups that are the least ideal? I apologize in advance Eddie because I am a fence sitter in that I like that MT has taught many of these kids the importance of defensive hockey…his services could be of use in Edmonton as well. I just think there is enough personnel to have 4 decent balanced lines and now that Chucky isout I think it is on BErgevin to get a UFA winger who could help out this year and could be a replacement for Gionta. You would have exclusive negotiating rights for 5 months with whoever they target and I am sure they could talk to whoever the team is before and see if the player has any interest in talking contract. I look at guys like Setoguchi or even Cammi and think something could be done fairly easily. The team needs an offensive injection.

      I would also not mind seeing Markov and PK split on the pp as crazy as that sounds…but I think they are rendered somewhat ineffective playing an entire 2 minutes all of the time and I think it takes a lot of out of them for after the pp too when they do that. I would give Beaulieu a shot on first unit and have Markov go with Diaz for the second half. I also think having two guys who both want to control the pp at the top results in a lot of the pp happening at the blueline and the forwards become somewhat redundant. The pp right now needs some changes. IF Diaz isn’t the answer on the second unit…BRiere has a ton of SUCCESSFUL pp experience playing the point and could play with Markov there aloowing another forward to get some time on that unit.

      I am not against the playing style of MT as that is what it will take in the playoffs to win….BUT…I am consistently baffled byt eh lineup decisions and reliance on guys playing in unfailiar positions and in roles taht are not suited to them. Overall though he has the right idea with the reliance on defensive hockey…but not having any puck pressure is useless against the skilled teams …you just cannot give skilled guys time or space.

      I know ther is far more to it than we see and perhaps theya re showcasing some guys for deadline moves,etc….but I have been more on the MT side all year and now I am (EDDIE BEWARE) sitting right on the fence…..we’ll see what the gameplan is going forward. Too much emphasis is often put on the coach and lets players off the hook…but I wonder what things would be like if he went with one of the combinations that succeeded early and stuck with it.

      • scotland says:

        you lost me with “brierre” playing point on pp”

        • krob1000 says:

          he has done it through much of his career. He has lost a step and is not a very good 5 on 5 player anymore if not insulated. His mind is the same as it always was and with the time and space on the pp he is as good as anyone. He has played the point in Philly and Buffalo very successfully in the past.

  72. Phil C says:

    You can almost hear the sound of ankles breaking from jumping off the bandwagon this morning. It doesn’t take much to spook Habs fans these days, although after the last two decades, you can hardly blame us, we are a little skittish. I’d hate to see if they actually went on a losing streak.

    The Habs are playing 500% now, so what? The margin between winning and losing is very tight in this league, so any drop-off in performance or talent will have that kind of result, the Habs are no different than any team that way. Since losing Seidenberg, Boston are 6-4-1, so barely above 500%. The Leafs fell apart after losing Bolland and Bozak. Now that Bozak is back and the addition of Gleason, they are winning again. On Dec 3rd, Florida were 7-16-5. Since then they are 13-7-2. If they hadn’t dug such a deep hole, they would be legitimate contenders.

    Do get me wrong, the Habs are in some trouble, they have to make some changes, but as Eddie points out below, they have a nice core to build around, so there is no need to throw in the towel yet. I think their main problem right now is that their top four defensemen have not been playing well. In particular, Markov has been brutal this month, any pairing he has been on has been getting lit up. Sort out the defense, and everything will improve from there.

  73. CJ says:

    Good morning friends.

    I wanted to offer a brief apology to all forum members. I was called out last night for my positivity and frequency with which I post. For this I apologize. I am a glass half full person and my written contributions are verbose. Guilty as charged.

    Like many of you, I too want to win in the worse way. I simply didn’t think we were ready to take a step forward this season, therefore I haven’t regarded the recent struggles as anything more then an extension of my original expectations.

    I was indifferent on therien’s hiring from day one. I’d love to see Mike Babcock behind our bench, but the hoisting of a 25th Stanley Cup banner might be the only think less likely this offseason.

    I firmly support the idea of continuing to add ice time and responsibility to Beaulieu. If he is the third best defencemen in Hamilton as others have suggested, we should be set on defence.

    I certainly don’t profess to have all the answers, aside from identifying our core and trading away those players who are not part of the future. Sadly, this list should include Markov, a personal favourite.

    In closing, again my apologies. I will make an effort to post with less frequency going forward.

    Best wishes, CJ

    • habstrinifan says:

      I dont know why you are apologizing? I welcome and read all your posts. Some I dont agree with. But so what.

      It’s up to you but if you ask me I would rather you continue to post as fearlessly and completely and unapologetic-ally as you have since you joined. But that’s just me.

      • CJ says:

        I’m not going anywhere. Just didn’t want to rub anyone the wrong way. I guess it was only inevitable. Thank you.

        • Who… like Jimmy below who seems to need his coffee? Hey, they’ll always be those types on a forum, I just ignore ‘em or for sheets and giggles, engage them to see if they can string a thought or sentence together…hee!

          I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

          • CJ says:

            Yeah, you’re right. Again, thought Beaulieu looked good last night. Of course, unfortunately that was in stark contrast to PK and Marky who were awful. When your best players are not your best players you’re doomed.

    • Sounds like you are dying of cancer God forbid! Who said you shouldn’t post or are too positive? Hey, I’m one of the most negative here on our team, but we can always enjoy some positivity… so keep posting, keep commenting and if someone has an issue with your glass half full, then pour it on his/her head!

      Current Habs edition, not withstanding

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

      • habstrinifan says:

        I wanted to say it the way you did but I was scared. Had the same impression though.

        • Trini, you said it well! Besides, there is such a divide here with the eternal positives called out Timo and the negatives as trolls and the trolls just being stupid at times.

          When our Habs seem in disarray, the sharper minds get together to try and assess what moves to make in order to get our Habs to the cup. We are understandably impatient, upset at being embarrassed most nights and fear that the rebuild will take far longer if not Leaf like.

          I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

      • CJ says:

        Thank you! And no, I’m not going anywhere. Cheers, CJ

        • scotland says:

          Good cause neither are the Habs.

          Hey your posts are well written and never apologize for being positive. I used to get drilled by some Hab fans on SLAMSORTS for being postive. (07-012) Some called me “cheerleader” and leaf fans were feeding it to me constantly (even though they were in the middle of a nine year no plays off drought! lol

          But even I “Canadiens cheerleader” of SLAMSPORTS TALK can no longer be positive. Started late last season and play offs. The standings in the mediocre east dont mislead this fan (or a ton of others) Its the way they play plain bad hockey far too often. I know i am not the only one who has stated this team is hard to watch.

          I can be positive and say this team will come around. But when i look at all the other clubs that happen to ice far better teams now than the habs….and THEY ALL HAVE PROSPECTS too. As do the select few teams that are weaker than the Canadiens.

          I dont see anything concrete that says this team will be awesome by 016, 017? Atleast nothing that all 30 cant claim. If somebody does i like to hear it. (and please, no leaf nation cliches)

          sure habs have some decent prospects in junior
          (the ones in hamilton are ok but nothing to brag out loud about and none of them are forwards)

          thing about prospects…………..all 29 teams have them. so you look at dynamite teams like pitt, boston, hawks, aves, ducks, blues etc etc etc…….they all have prospects in the ahl that you can stack up against the habs prospects.

          so while it is easy to stay positive…….. reality? it looks bleak

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Very diplomatic……which is a good, but these guys who have their little hand held counters checking the frequency of posters on here should really just beat it! But I guess you could be flattered at how intrigued these guys are with you. You must have taken the high road. Good job!

      Shaker out!

  74. Steeltown Hab says:

    Let’s take an undrafted, free agent, undersized center without the regular physical tools necessary to excel in this league (speed, strength). And let’s do everything possible to facilitate his development as a 1st line star.

    Andddd

    Let’s take the 1st round pick, 3 years younger, big skilled center we’ve been yearning for, who we also traded a significant asset to get, and let’s just try and force him into a defensive role with no PP time, despite what he’s produced under limited circumstances.

    ———————————

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


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.