About last night …

GallyDet

If the coach was satisfied with his team’s effort in its latest loss, who are we to criticize?
“A coach asks his team to work hard and compete,” Michel Therrien said. “We did tonight. The result just wasn’t there.”
OK then.
One part of Therrien’s analysis is indisputable:
As was the case in Toronto on Saturday and Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the result was a loss for your Montreal Canadiens.

As for the team’s work ethic and compete level … well, maybe Therrien’s behind-the-bench (for now) perspective offered a different view than what was telecast into my basement.

Perhaps the Ol’Blogger is becoming jaded and bitter. It’s been a morale-sapping winter in Montreal, and the cold weather has coincided with a cooling-off period in which the Canadiens have managed 18 points in their last 20 games.

That’s a smidge below .500 hockey. And unless the situation improves, I’m afraid this team is going to slip below a wild-card playoff spot by the time the NHL takes a two-week Olympic break.

The Canadiens will play eight games before Sochi.

Six are on home ice.

The Bell Centre run begins with a visit by Washington on Saturday night. The Capitals have lost five straight, the latest Friday night in New Jersey.

Washington is sinking like a stone in the Eastern Conference standings. Alexander Ovechkin is injured, and Mikhail Grabovski had to leave the game against the Devils after nine shifts and six minutes of ice time.

Based on recent form, then, the Caps would appear to be ripe for the plucking, an ideal opponent to open the Canadiens pre-Olympic feast of home cooking.

The Canadiens, however, can’t be relied upon to pluck anyone – with the possible exception of the customary 21, 273 who will fill the Bell Centre Saturday night. That crowd could get ugly if they start to think they’re being plucked.

Which could happen the way this team is trending.

Gaston Therrien, who breaks down replays on L’Antichambre’s in-studio big screen, highlighted the Niklas Kronwall goal that gave Detroit a 3-1 lead. The RDS Xs-and-Os guy said it was “hallucinant, le nombre des erreurs” that led to the goal.

You don’t need a translation. Later in the show, Therrien used “hallucinant” again to describe the number of great scoring chances opponents are getting because of the Canadiens’ errors and coverage breakdowns in their own end.

Carey Price has given up four goals or more in his last five starts. But with few exceptions – Price might want another stab at that Riley Sheahan laser to his glove side – the goaltender has been brilliant.

Anything less and Price would be giving up six to eight goals per game. That’s how good opponents’ chances have been.

And that’s how awful the Canadiens have been playing in their own end.

And it’s not because they’re burning all their energy on offence. In contrast to the shooting gallery Price faces every night, the Canadiens – their shot totals notwithstanding – have a popgun attack  that features low-percentage perimeter shots an average NHL goaltender could stop in his sleep.

That’s assuming the Canadiens can gain the zone and generate something resembling sustained offence. But unlike their opponents, who cruise through the neutral zone and cross the blueline unimpeded, the Canadiens’ attack is either P.K. Subban shakin’ and bakin’ or dump/chase/occasionally retrieve.

Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and Lars Eller had 15 of the 31 shots on Jonas Gustavsson. Can anyone remember a game in which the Canadiens had contributions from more than one forward line?

Detroit opened the scoring, during a 5-on-3 power play, when Dan Cleary parked in Price’s crease and obscured the goaltender’s view of a Henrik Zetterberg shot. The Wings have benefited from a succession of fearless forwards who will attack the blue paint: Tomas Holmstrom, Johan Franzen, Todd Bertuzzi.

The only Canadien with the stones to face crosschecks from the defence, slashes from the goaltender and slappers whizzing in from the point is Brendan Gallagher – all 5’9″ of him.

And so the power play – one of the Canadiens’ strengths when the season began – has scored three goals in its last 28 opportunities over nine games.

Maybe Nathan Beaulieu can help the PP. For the third straight game since his call-up, Beaulieu looked like an NHLer.

His teammates?

Not so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

363 Comments

  1. HABitat4humanity says:

    Murray is a BEAST!!!

  2. juniorsfarm says:

    These Olympics are killing the regular season. Because of Bettman , teams are playing 3 games in 4 nights – injuries are piling up, there;s no time for practices. I pity teams like Chicago who have 10 players going to Sochi. That team will be burned out by April. Half the teams will be dead by play-off time. Good idea NHL.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Really, you think his was the NHL’s idea? The players and the fans wanted them to participate in the Olympics too. The NHLPA had to agree. Imagine the reaction if they had declined; people would have been going berserk. All of the teams face tough schedules, I don’t see how it can favour one over another. It hasn’t hurt the Habs, they are relatively healthy and have been all year.

      Besides, for a few precious weeks we will see what real hockey looks like, when all the players are skilled and there are no guys like Moen who make a living by trying to interfere with the guys that can actually stick handle and shoot. I would sooner have given up the NHL season than the NHL players participating in the Olympics.

  3. jeffhabfan says:

    Well we bad right now we better step up starting tonight or we will not make the playoffs.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      With this team, why is making the playoffs important? Do you imagine they can actually win the cup? If not, what’s the point other than to line Mr Molson’s already well-lined pockets. Unless they start playing well enough to succeed in the play-offs I would rather see them get a good draft pick.

  4. Old Bald Bird says:

    There is a new thread. I don’t know why staff can’t put that notice up. It’s not as though it takes much effort.

  5. third generation haber says:

    Trade Markov!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    j.p. murray

  6. Dr.Rex says:

    This team is boring to watch. I feel my gut twisting each time a Hab player glides to a lose puck. Its like the whole team is suddenly taking skating lessons from Moen.

    Of course the easy answer is that they are a small team and they are avoiding hits and limiting their puck battles because they are worn out. Shhhhhhh.

  7. Mr. Biter says:

    Just did a long post and the hotel computer kicked me off and it took to long so short version:
    DD and Gionta favorite whipping boys of many on this site.
    Eller and Prust (who I both like) never mentioned.
    Eller 2 goals 1 assist since Dec 5
    Prust 2 goals 1 assist since Nov 22
    Performance from either or both of these 2 would make a big difference.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • RockinRey says:

      Problems are deeper than two guys. Though I will admit they should you Chucky and Eller and give them the experience to grow. This way Habs can find out exactly what they have if they dont already know.

      ——————————————————————————————————
      You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You havent read my posts. I have pointedly wondered re Eller and Prust for weeks now. In fact I use them as examples of ‘not getting the best out of’.

  8. Plekasuares says:

    We should win tonight. If we lose something is rly off

  9. AH says:

    Ok, ok, ok, enough ranting and raving. It’ s the Caps tonight on home ice, no Ovie or Grabovsky? No problem, should be a sure win and start of a new streak right?…….right?……right?

  10. twilighthours says:

    I’ve got my skis shined up, I’ve grabbed a stick of juicy fruit…

    Enjoy fellas. I’ll be doing this with her:

    http://t.co/g4ayfkJrvS

    Dunboyne get er done!

  11. BJ says:

    Bergevin going to other teams for a trade is a bit like shopping for groceries was in the old communist regime countries back in the 70-80′s. I was always astonished at how little there was on the shelves. Bergevin and Therrien better have super nervous systems if we don’t get out of this funk soon.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      You are so correct about the old days of communism.In the early 90′s my mother’s brother and son visited from Estonia and when taken to a grocery store and after staring at what was available asked “can you buy this or is it for show”? The old Russian trick was to put EMPTY containers and boxes on the shelves for foreign journalists and there would be say 1 box of cereal but nothing else behind it showing how full the shelves were. All show for the camera’s.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Perfect analogy, BJ. It so applied last summer.

      And thanks for the memories. Spent a year in the 80s living on the other side. You could go 6-8 weeks with no porridge oats in any grocery store.

  12. JF says:

    After the way the Habs have played the last dozen games or so (with the bizarre exception of the game against the Blackhawks), I’m hoping we miss the playoffs. It’s clear we won’t win a series, so what’s the point?

    There are so many problems it’s hard to say which is the biggest. The defence looked pretty solid for the first forty games or so, but it’s a mess now. Turnovers, mistakes, inability to move the puck forward. But the offence is no better. Apart from the occasional point shot that beats the goaltender or gets deflected, or a seeing-eye shot from Pacioretty or Plekanec, most of our goals are the ugly kind – like the one Gallagher scored last night. We never see two-on-ones or beautiful tic-tac-toe plays, and it seems our only breakaways are short-handed. Where is the offensive creativity? It’s the same on the powerplay – the scripted passing around the box, followed by a futile attempt to get the puck through or a shot the goaltender sees all the way.

    Instead of going all out to stumble into the playoffs, I’d like the team to focus on developing their young players and evaluating prospects. Play the young players in their natural positions – Emelin on the left, Eller and Galchenyuk at centre. Put Bournival back with Plekanec. Put Beaulieu with Subban and give him a lot of ice-time. Keep Louis Leblanc up and play him on the third line. Bring up Pateryn or Tinordi, maybe both. If there’s anyone else in Hamilton close to being ready – Christian Thomas perhaps? – give him a shot.

    Then, at the deadline, trade some of the veterans and impending free agents – Gionta, Diaz, Gorges, Bourque if there are any takers, even Markov. Earlier in the season, I thought there was no question that we should re-sign him, but I’m starting to change my mind. He’s clearly tired, and we’re little more than halfway through the season. How much does he have left in the tank? More importantly, how much will he have left several years from now? It’s clear that if we become contenders sometime in the next few years, Markov will be well past his best and his trade value about nil. Perhaps we should get something for him while we still can.

    Anyway, this is what I’d rather see than watch the team try to scratch out enough victories to limp into the playoffs, only to be demolished in four or five games.

    • habitual says:

      A long post whose beginning comment of “what’s the point of making the playoffs” made me lose interest right away.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        A short post whose conclusion made me sorry I read it!

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        You’re probably one of those guys that ridicules Leafs fans for being satisfied with a crap product while simultaneously acting like a Leafs fan where the Habs are concerned. The goal is NOT to make the playoffs, the goal is to win the playoffs. No way this team is doing that, ergo the question What’s the the point is absolutely spot on!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Where’s Hard habits when you need him? :)

    • Eddie says:

      JF, thank you. I agree with all of your suggestions.

      I like Eller at center and I like Bournival on the left side with Gionta and Plekanec. It’s mind boggling stupid that ths line was ever broken up.

      I love moving Galchenyuk to center too.

      Let the party begin!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Can’t quibble with a single thing.
      I ache for Markov.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Pretty well spot on, I’d say. Therefore, nothing like this will be done — except for the losing part. :lol:

    • Habs4LifeInTO says:

      I am right at this same point as you. Summed my feelings up pretty well. Let’s see the young guys compete for ice time. I want bthe energy they would bring even if the results may be similar to what we have now. Trade Gionta, Georges, Diaz…even Markov but in his case I’d be more chosey about return. Bring up some of the young guns now, Tinordi and Pateryn. Although that would spell doom for the Bulldogs. At the beginning of the year I wanted most of the prospects to learn and grow in the minors. Maybe it’s time for them to get some NHL experience. Also my thoughts were to pry Perron out of Edmonton by dangling a veteran D (Georges)
      and a pick.
      24 cups and counting….

  13. kalevine says:

    Great ALN by Boone. He is really a late bloomer. It’s appalling that the coach keeps saying we played well when they didn’t. He needs to be called to task over that.

  14. port elgin says:

    “we are a grinding team, accept it”

    Well Therrien, you are a garbage, clueless coach. Accept it

  15. John Q Public says:

    One last thought that keeps recurring in my mind.
    The year will be 2043 and everybody will (inshallah) be recounting the 50th anniversary of the last canadian team to have won cup.

  16. Puckdoc says:

    MaxPac contract has a good value, Dd terrible. They’re attached at the hip. I would try to package them both for one true impact winger. Move Galchenyuk to center, have Eller and Pleks as your other top 2 centers and start building an offense around that. A top duo COMBINING for 55 pts in 51 games including 21 PPP combined will not take you far especially considering that they are pretty much playing upto potential over the past 35 games.
    We need better thoroughbreds at forward.

    • kalevine says:

      I had suggested that before. The logical choice would be Dallas where they could reunite with Cole, but who does Dallas have that would fill the need? We also don’t want to get fleeced. I can’t believe we ended up with Briere for Cole. I’m not saying he didn’t have to go or anything, but Briere?

      • Cole didn’t want to play anymore. If we are supposed to have a team with heart and commitment to play, then he didn’t fit. Problem is, most everyone left seems not to be inspired to play 60 minutes either…

        I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

        • kalevine says:

          I don’t disagree, and I think Ryder was a fair trade for him. But now they have Briere with that salary more or less. Fewer goals, less strength, too old and weak, and someone who rejected the Habs before to boot. Why did 90% of us know that at the time and Bergevin didn’t?

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I still think if we could have had Cole cryogenically frozen for the short season and then re-introduced at camp, we’d be in a whole different place now.

          Indeed, he’d have been better than Briere even if we didn’t thaw him out first.

  17. AH says:

    Hey all! Just think, in less than 9 hours we’ll all be camped out in front of our TVs/computers watching it all unfold again! LOL!!!!!

    Where do we renew our “glutton for punishment fan club” memberships?

  18. frontenac1 says:

    Nick Tarnasky. Leading the Bulldogs in Goals(tied with LL) he’s big,can fight and is uglier than sin. Call him up! Why the hell not? Saludos!

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Hey Front hope the steak was good.

      I think the reason Tarnasky leads the team in goals is he’s played more games, plus he’s 29 in a league where many of the players are still learning the pro game. A quick perusal of hockeydb shows that he also leads the team in minus.

      He’s certainly ugly though. I’ll grant you that.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Steak was great and so was the wine, single malt, cigar and blunt. Just noticed that 4 of Tarnasky”s goals came on the PP?! He leads the team in Penalty minutes probably because is is the only Enforcer down there. I would still give him a shot, like I said,can it really hurt? Ugly has to count for something too.

    • monmick says:

      Anyone born in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, can’t be all that bad…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • port elgin says:

      No thanks, won’t fit in. Send up a small perimeter player that shoots into the goalie’s crest everytime. Someone who gets pushed off the puck easily or who just falls down on his own.
      We want him to fit in afterall.

    • boing007 says:

      Agree. Bring up some nastier players to fill up the third and fourth lines.

      Richard R

  19. mushalain says:

    The habs need to get back to basics. And that includes the coaches. It seems no one on this team knows their roles outside of a few players. Why is team Canada the best hockey team in the world worries about playing dmen on their proper shooting side but the canadiens don’t? Sorry but you will not be successful dressing 1 right handed dmen in your lineup.

    • CranbrookEd says:

      Hmm . . . good point about Team Canada being so adement about defense playing their “natural” side while our HABS would seem to ignore that way of thinking . . .

      CranbrookEd
      Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . .

      • Mark C says:

        1) the Habs don’t have 3 right handed D that are better than the lefties.

        2) the Cup was just won by a team with 4 lefties in the top-6.

        3) the best looking D (Beaulieu) right now is playing on his off side.

        This whole righty/lefty thing is getting blown way out of proportion.

        • CranbrookEd says:

          Fair enough . . . and granted we currently don’t actually have many choices, but the notion is of obvious importance to Team Canada but not apparently part of the equation/thought process with the HABS . . . so still an interesting side to the equation . . .

          CranbrookEd
          Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . .

          • Mark C says:

            Who says the Habs brass are considering this? It’s crazy to think they aren’t. It just isn’t something that is easily fixed or given the makeup of D corps something worth fixing, at least at the moment.

        • mushalain says:

          Being an ex hockey player who played defense this is very important IMO and gives you advantage. One small important aspect of a dmen playing his proper side is he can insulate the puck between his body and the boards protecting it from opposing players. Sorry to say but diaz is a much better option for this club then Murray or Boullion. And if the habs feel otherwise Bergevin needs to acquire a RH dmen. Klein was available from Nashville and we probably didn’t even inquire. How good would the Wiz look on this team had we signed him? Maybe the habs can pluck Wideman from Calgary since they will be sellers.

  20. Welks says:

    Defense is a problem. Much of it has to do with the mt system. A team built with some speed and some talent is subjected to a system that negates both of those strengths. They put all 5 players deep in the d zone and try to block shots. When the d gets the puck te forwards are not available for an outlet so the d rings it around the boards to the points. When they finally get it out they dump it in and chase after it with undersized players. Work so hard to get the puck and then just dump it in and go get it again is stupid. You have it they should be treating to make plays with it. The system should be designed around the teams strengths. Mt tries to force the only the only system he knows on a team that is not suited to play it.

    • Forum Dog says:

      This is true, especially for the forward corps. You can’t play dump and chase if the players you are sending in are largely incapable of coming up with the puck. Playing to your strengths is the key to any strategy.

  21. Coach K says:

    Re: coaching…

    A competent coaching staff will assess the talent available and devise a game plan that has each player playing to their strengths. I don’t see that happening here. The coach also has to be realistic and accept that each player brings with him a set of limitations (something we here at HIO often forget lol!). Some limitations are purely physical (see Gionta B., Gallagher B., Briere D., Desharnais D., Murray D., Markov A., Bouillon, F., etc) some are confidence related (see Emellin A., Eller L., Galchenyuk A., Leblanc L., etc.). Others are skill based (see Gorges J., Moen T., Parros G., etc.). Competitiveness however, should never be acceptable as one of those limitations (see Pacioretty M., Borque R.). That should be absolutely demanded at all times and if they are incapable of bringing it consistently, they should be shown the door. Personal limits though, can be challenged and overcome; that’s how players grow…but only to a point because eventually everybody peaks somewhere.
    (Q: is it possible that Therrien peaked as a coach in Junior? – sorry, I digress)

    At one point on 24 CH, Therrien remarked, “we are a fast team” on another occasion he was quoted as saying, “we are a grinding team”. Those two statements clearly define the problem. The team is bipolar because he doesn’t know what he has and how to make the best use of it. We saw it before in Pittsburgh. Honestly, if you can’t win with that roster, what hope in hell do you have with this one?

    Ultimately, the coach needs to be accountable to his management and to his players. He must put his players in a position where they will have the best chance to succeed as individuals. If the individuals succeed then the team will. If however, the individuals are set up for failure, then what will happen to the team is entirely predictable.

  22. AH says:

    With all the frustration about this team, the players, and mgmt., to me here’s the most scary thought:

    PK tells his agent: “screw this mess, get me out of here!” Yikes!

    Remember that 24Ch when PK came back and asked Price how things were and Price said good we have some leadership now… Wonder if they still feel that way?

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      If PK is as rash and emotionally tempermental (*) as the average member of H I/O, do we want him?

      (* He isn’t fortunately )

      • Not fair. PK has been ridden tougher than most in the league and he says the right things and comes to play every night. He is one of the few players that are elite and to hang anything but his exuberance around his neck is a reach.

        The real problems are all the other things the angry and upset commentariat have been pointing out. Let’s review;

        1) Coach – lost
        2) Focus on useless veterans like Briere
        3) Use of DD who is at best an AHLer
        4) Lack of scoring from everyone! Max, Pleks, (‘cept Gally. Love that midget!)
        5) Defense craps the bed each night
        6) No forechecking
        7) Poor transition at center
        8) Blind clears, rushed passes, desperate play in their own end
        9) Little fight
        10) Oh ta hell with it, I can’t keep going…

        I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  23. CHicoHab says:

    Patches is a floater most games. Who cares he scores. Doesn’t help the team in other ways. Plays soft.
    He’s expendable. Wouldn’t lose much sleep.

    • Mark C says:

      Yes, other than being very good to elite at the most important aspect of hockey, he brings nothing to the table.

      • Elite? I wouldn’t say that. He is streaky and is on our top or second line . Imagine if he had a Malkin on his line. Nobody here talks about the fact that we have a few good players that can’t evolve to better or elite because we’re so thin. Pleks is our best all around forward, Gally may be great in front of the net, but Chucky is more what we need, but MT was brought in to nurture the youngsters and is instead playing the vets and losing the the youngsters. So yeah, Max… Meh…

        I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

        • Mark C says:

          Top-10 in goals per game on a team that can’t score, that sounds like very good to elite to me.

        • CHicoHab says:

          Imagine anyone with Malkin on their line. Point being since Patches came back there is no fight or grit in his came. Horrific injury yes I can understand maybe his shyness to tough it up. But hes not the same Max as before. To say no way we trade our only scorer is bull. He’s the only guy that may fetch you better.

          “take your time and hurry up”

          • mushalain says:

            Gimme a break. The guy is a 30-40 goal scorer who’s salary cap hit is well worth it. We need more players like him.

        • CJ says:

          You have also just described Phil Kessel. Kyle Turris and maybe Wayne Simmons aside, who gives a better bang for Buck then Pacioretty?

      • bmcalig says:

        I’ve said it a thousand times we need to trade Patches for someone who brings more to the table than the occasional goal. since Cole left he has become the the habs’ biggest floater and softy next to Bourque. We need to package him with DD and Gorges to Philly for Simmonds and some draft picks. I am so sick of all the floaters we have, Simmonds will bring some edge to the front line. Put him with Pleky and watch them click

    • RAM_TOUGH says:

      His back check is aweful …

      Guts-Glory-Ram

    • CranbrookEd says:

      While Max is indeed very talented, talent alone does not make for a consistent game in and game out player . . . Max (as does Bourque) needs to have more passion and drive every shift, every game . . . he and Bourque at least appear to just mail it in all too often . . .

      CranbrookEd
      Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . .

  24. mjames says:

    Instead of using the word “compete” a more appropriate word would be “try”. Yes this team tries but they are not at the level of most other teams. Ottawa, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburg, St louis, Boston, San Jose, Vancouver, Anaheim, Toronto and even Florida are fundamentally better teams than the Canadiens. I am sure there are more teams.

    Yes this team will win the odd game over a better team but over a four game series they will lose.

    In my opinion it is best to focus on the draft and play the kids to see what we have. If the team continues to “compete” as MT describes it, the Habs will still finish out of the playoffs. Best to play the kids. Who knows you might improve your draft position but the way this team plays they might not be as good as the kids.

    mjames

  25. Garbo says:

    Eller = poor man’s Jordan Staal

    • joeybarrie says:

      Why?
      Staal has 4 more points than Eller so far this season and his cap hit is 6million per…. TILL 2023. Stall plays over 19 minutes per game and Eller plays over 16.
      Id take Eller over Stall right now any day of the week.
      Eller is a hit of 1.3 and still a RFA next season….

      Poor mans Jordan Staal Such nonsense.

      • Forum Dog says:

        Actually it’s pretty apt. Staal is comparable offensively to Eller (granted with more ice time), and is a much better defensive player. Yeah, he makes more, but that is why Eller is a poor man’s version.

    • mushalain says:

      except Jordan Staal makes 3 times his salary. and only has 4 more points.

  26. Garbo says:

    Seeing aa defence seems to be the main problem, why is everyone so hell bent against MT? May as well dump JJ and get a new D coach before letting MT go.

    • frontenac1 says:

      D is one of the problems. Forwards are a bigger concern. How do you win when you can only score 1 freaking Goal a game? Briere,Gio, Patches,eller,DD,etc all MIA and not earning their dough.

  27. frontenac1 says:

    Hola amigos! The Habs have scored TWO gals in the last two games! Jeeze., I remember a time when we had a couple of players in the top ten in scoring,and a few more in the top 20! How many now? And The coach says he likes the way the team is playing?

  28. wjc says:

    What will we do if Montreal misses the playoffs?

    Answer, enjoy the spring and summer. The green grass, hot sun, lots of time to explore other things.

    Hockey is nice, but it is not the only thing. Life will go on and it will be all good. Everyone will survive and enjoy the draft and all its speculation even more, because of a higher pick.

    wjc

    • I see your optimism is now waning! Only took 12 horrific games, a coach that is clueless, a farm club that is devoid of talent (Blunden is one of our best in Hamilton, ’nuff said).

      Biggest problem, there is no quick fix, so yeah, summer will be long and hockey-less and nothing in the pipeline to help our lackluster scoring, holes in defense and MT has one more year on his contract.

      Reality bites!

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

      • wjc says:

        For someone that is ‘speechless’ you have a lot to say.

        You mustn’t forget the players that are not in Hamilton, but due to hit there next year. Bournaval, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Beauleiu, could still be in Hamilton. Pateryn, Tinordi still there as well.

        Time is needed, expecting too much causes panic. The management cannot not have the luxury of panicing. Must stay the course, if you cannot see this that is unfortuate.

        wjc

    • boing007 says:

      Fore!

      Richard R

  29. Puckdoc says:

    Habs need to let Emelin and Beaulieu play top 4 minutes and live with the results. Also you aren’t going to win in the NHL when DB DD TP are your top 3 centers just forget it and go to this and let players develop because we aren’t doing shit even if we make the playoffs:

    Pax DD Bourque
    Moen Plek Gionta
    Prust Eller Gallagher
    Bourne Briere Leblanc
    (8 mins of French a night)

    Emelin Subban
    Markov Beaulieu
    Gorges Diaz

    Price

    Prayers.

  30. nova scotia vees says:

    Rebuid..rebuild…we have been in rebuild mode forever! The future is now. Why do other teams manage to compete and do well while rebuilding parts of their team. Better Management and Coaching..that’s how. People paying big bucks to watch them deserve a contender now. Time to demolish..and start with new, motivated players.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Ironic or myopic?!

    • wjc says:

      Take the ‘re’ out of build and you have ‘build’. All teams are building all the time even if they win it all. They have to explore ways to build the teams so it is sustainable, make good drafts, free agents, trades etc.

      So building is an on going process that never stops. The Canadiens have a lot of pieces and they need to to keep building to finally get to the top of the mountain.

      Sports teams are not built on wishful thinking it takes years and planning and failure. You have to fail to succeed in the modern NHL. With the rare exception and some luck the odd team finds a gem or two in the late rounds. Normally it takes first round choices and lots of them to mature and make your team great.

      Unfortunately this takes time.

      wjc

  31. RAM_TOUGH says:

    I just got back from an out of province trip where I had no internet access. But I did see the games.

    Price is having no chance on the goals in the past 3 games. Well one in Detroit he would like to have back! Montreal will kill Price’s career. I would love for Price to ask for a trade. PK is nuts to stay in Montreal.

    The “D” is god aweful.

    I want Canada to win Gold BUT I would love it more if Cindy Crosby did not score one single point!
    She’s gone boys she’s gone … The arse has fallen right out of her ….

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  32. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Hey Maritime!
    Today I’ve hinted three times at dealing Patches, and no one’s calling my Spoon! Clearly, you are the master! (And when are you changing your avatar?)
    Or else they just have something other than Spoon that they want to call me!

    • Forum Dog says:

      You’d probably get a pretty good return for him….

      How do you change an avatar anyway?

    • Habsbill24 says:

      Good idea. Trade the only guy on the team who can score goals. Then we can play 0-0 and hope for a win in the shootout.

      • Forum Dog says:

        I think the idea is that you would get something good in return, but trading Pacioretty and his cap friendly contract would be hard to get value on. Players who are better than him are not likely to be moved.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I was thinking more of players who are different rather than better. I would take someone who nets 10 fewer goals but who bosses around the crease, in the corners and at the boards. Again, St Louis…

          • Forum Dog says:

            Got it. I guess I was thinking that you still want someone who can skate on a top line, pot 30, and bring some toughness. Someone like, say, Chris Stewart. Thing is, it would be tough to give Pacioretty up for him, but….

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I know, I know, 24.

        But if Patches scores 120 goals, do we automatically make the conference finals?

        (also, it was a lifeboat exercise: pick a good player to trade, rather than a dream-on trade like Bourque for St Louis’s Stewart or Backes.)

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Afternoon Ireland

      Here’s believing that it would be unwise to trade Max, yet there are alternative solutions.

      GM and Coach call him in and say, ” The days of Me and Davy are over” and if you don’t like it, we are then going to move you.”

      For this team ever to move forward and become a true playoff contender, Max has to move on a wing with Galchenyuk as Center and Gallagher as their other winger.

      Now that becomes a legitimate 1st line that will have puck control + some size and grit…and be able to perform in the playoffs.
      Galchenyuk size, speed and smarts will open up a lot of space for Max.

      This “Me and Davey” crap has to end, and it would not be a surprise if that is becoming a room problem.
      The little center is terrible defensively and for all the preferred O zone starts and 1st PP time with Subban/Markov – the highest ave. PP minutes per game for ALL Habs forwrds, he is on track for 39 points.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Cheers, Maritime.
        Agree as always about DD.
        Also like your strategy re Max. If he’s going to be a specialist, let’s him a line that can bring him to his full potential as a specialist.
        I’m only trading him if I HAVE to pick someone from within the ring-fence. Otherwise I’m prepared to wait.
        Yeah but meantime serve those divorce papers.

  33. FuzE_gus says:

    After 40 games last year the team started to sag and then died in the playoffs. The sagging is happening again. They don’t have the foot soldiers. Their lack of size wears down the team and the finishers don’t finish. MB still has a lot of work to do.

    With Regards from FuzE_gus

  34. third generation haber says:

    Dear MB,

    Please accept that this is an 8th place team, at best, and do not sacrifice any pieces of our future in an ill advised attempt to become a contender; it’s NOT going to happen.

    A few years ago, Brian “the ego” Burke refused to accept that his team was not ready and brought in Martin Gerber near the deadline. Gerber was great down the stretch. The leafs, already being far back, worsened their draft position by 3 spots. At 6th, they drafted Nazem “s%$& head” Kadri”, at third Colorado took Matt Duchene. At age 23, he already leads his team in points and Kadri couldn’t tie this guy’s shoes.

    j.p. murray

  35. John Q Public says:

    Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. ………………………………………………………………

  36. Puckdoc says:

    In the words of Dennis green the Habs are who we thought they were. 82 game season. We knew by the end of it we’d be battling for 6-11 in conference. Not a cup contender. MB needs to sit down with MT and have a “kids” talk. As in play them. Our fwd corps is a mess but our D could look like this and be average:

    Emelin Subban
    Markov Beaulieu
    Gorges Diaz/Murray

    Have to let Emelin and Beaulieu assume top 4 roles now and live with results because this isn’t a contending team either way, might as well build the core of the D corps starting now.

  37. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I’m wondering how long I can attribute this to the flu. It seems obvious that we benefited from the shortened season last year. The longer season is showing up our weaknesses, other coaches have figured us out while Therrien can’t figure out any way to respond. Carey Price is proving to be human. He and Subban can’t be expected to carry this team on their backs for 82+ games. We are too small and our defence, other than P.K. and, now hopefully, Beaulieu are too old and slow. Our forwards, for the most part, simply lack talent or desire. OTOH, I fear that maybe Therrien IS getting the most out of what he’s been given. That’s what’s starting to really scare me. Go Habs!

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

  38. Old Bald Bird says:

    What?! I post below that Beaulieu reminds me of Lapointe, and nobody is cheered up?!! I at least he expected the traditional, “It’s too early to compare him to Guy,” comment.:o 8)

  39. Eddie says:

    I love irony part 3.

    Desharnais and Pacioretty, Pacioretty and Desharnais, they are like our version of the Sedins Twins. Inseparable! And they generate offence (with Gallagher taking all the abuse) while they stay nice and warm, nice and clean, on the outside, living in the perimeter.

    But for every goal they produce 5 on 5, they give one back defensively, because there can not be a worse pair of defensive zone players in the league.

    So everyone thinks they are adding scoring when really all of their goals are being wiped out on the other end of the ice.

    Desharnais should not be permitted to play center at te NHL level because his commitment to defence is zero, absolutely horrendous, and if I was the coach I would be shoving him onto the left wing and let him cringe against the boards lie Briere was doing for 3 months.

    Irony. Our best offensive players are not helping us because they give up as many goals 5 on 5 as they produce.

    • munch17 says:

      Well said. Cannot watch him play anymore. Put Gally back with Eller!!

    • AH says:

      Eddie, good post! So true about Pacs and DD, while Gally does all the heavy lifting. It’s almost “disturbing ” how Pacs and DD can’t seem to play “without” each other; the other thing that pisses me off about those two is watch how many times they actually try to pass to Gally in the offensive zone, like hardly at all, but they’re always looking for each other.

    • Mark C says:

      Ed – there are only three Habs forwards that have been on the ice for more 5 on 5 goals scored than allowed. One of them is David Desharnais. Lars Eller on the other hand…

    • wjc says:

      Desharnais made a zone coverage mistake last night. Stand up if you have never made a mistake.

      His commitment to defence is not zero.

      wjc

    • Cal says:

      The odd thing is that Patches is -3 and DD only -1. It appears they should be a lot worse.

  40. wjc says:

    In the east no team has 53 wins, they all have losses.

    Pittsburgh has lost 6 less games then Montreal.

    So everyone team has had streaks of winning and losing.

    Montreal simply has to get back on a roll and all will be well.

    They didn’t look that bad to me last night, some screw ups, missed assignments, all correctable by the way. Team is putting in the effort in my opinion. Price is sharp, Beauleu impressive, Eller was skating. Nothing to panic about, but I have been wrong before, but it was a long time ago.

    wjc

  41. GL says:

    Our problem this year is scoring 5 on 5 right now we are ranked 25th last year at this time 5 on 5 we were ranked 6th so it’s not hard to figure out where we need improvement. we lost some scoring from last year. when you don’t have scorers the team is not going far. we may have a chance for a win tonight it’s only a maybe and who knows from there.


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