About last night …

RaskChased

OK, so maybe they shouldn’t fire the coach and trade half the team at the deadline.
Ah, the joys of being a Canadiens fan:
All that history, all those Stanley Cup banners, all the opportunities to hop on and off a bandwagon that may or may not start on these cold Montreal mornings.
On this Friday morning, the bandwagon is rolling.
And it’s crowded.

It’s always satisfying to beat Boston, and your Montreal Canadiens are getting used to it.

The 4-1 win Thursday night made it five in a row over the Bruins, dating back to last season.

This had to be one of the sweetests Ws, owing to circumstances … in particular, the recent total suckitude of the Canadiens.

After Saturday’s embarrassing 5-0 loss to Washington, the consensus seemed to be the Canadiens couldn’t possibly play any worse.

And that seems to have been borne out.

Beating a tired Carolina team, playing its fifth game in seven days, offered less-than-convincing proof the Canadiens had turned the corner.

The big test was waiting at TD Garden.

And the Canadiens passed it, with flying bleu-blanc-rouge.

The adjective is important. taking flight has been the key to those consecutive wins because Boston, for all its virtues, is not a fast hockey team … especially after the Bruin with the burners was traded to Dallas.

Max Pacioretty and Daniel Brière scored goals by winning races against Boston defenders. And the Canadiens – led by Brendan Gallagher, who pursued the puck with relentless energy – had the Bruins pressured, flustered and on their heels for most of the game.

The gang on L’Antichambre highlighted the Canadiens’ team concept. watching the game on TV, you always saw five white jerseys in the picture frame in all three zones. As Michel Therrien said in his postgame media scrum, the Canadiens, right from the outset, pressured the puck and forced turnovers.

Boston had no odd-man rushes I can recall. Nor were there any of the wide-open looks opponents were enjoying during the Canadiens’ losing streak.

“The team wanted to play a good game for Peter,” Therrien said, which is what the wily ol’ coach doubtless had in mind when he named Budaj as his starter – two days after Carey Price posted a brilliant, 36-save shutout against Carolina.

Credit the coach we all fired last week with a set of brass ones. Had the backup goaltender stunk out the TD, Therrien would have been savaged  everywhere from Twitter to tavern tables.

The team rallied around Budaj, a good egg who is hugely popular in the room. And in so doing, they made their coach look like a … well, maybe “genius” is overstating it. But the embattled Therrien had a good night.

So did almost all his players:

• Nine names on the scoresheet.

• Brière had a goal and an assist in 7:39 of ice time.

• Douglas Murray played 16:26 and was really good – only three minutes less than P.K. Subban, who was fairly ordinary by his exalted standards. His ToI of 19:15 was the only sub-20:00 game of the season for P.K.

• Alexei Emelin had a goal, three SoG, four blocked shots and SIX hits to lead both teams. My man Arpon Basu, of nhl.com, tweeted “It’s remarkable how much better the #Habs are when Alexei Emelin plays well. He’s almost the difference between a good and a bad team.”

• Rene Bourque worked hard and had several scoring chances.

• George Parros was a deterrent to Bruins thuggery – Therrien had him out on a power play as the game wound down – and he screened Tuukka Rask effectively on the Emelin point shot that opened the scoring.

• David Desharnais played effectively in his own end, exemplified by the takeaway and quick up to Gallagher that culminated in Pacioretty’s goal.

• As has been the case since his recall, Nathan Beaulieu looked like an NHL defenceman.

P.K. and Brandon Prust had off nights, but everyone else in a white jersey shone in Boston.

And with the W in the bag, the Canadiens begin what shapes up as an advantageous schedule:

Beginning Saturday afternoon, they play four straight home games against Tampa Bay, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver before traveling to Carolina just before the Olympic break.

I hope the shocks on the bandwagon can handle this load …

 

402 Comments

  1. Steeltown Hab says:

    Bourque’s been really good of late just no puck luck. When Galchenyuk’s back paired with Eller and Bourque we’ll have 3 solid lines.

    I actually really like Briere’s game at C despite being a bad fit as a UFA signing.

    Desharnais had the best game I’ve seen him play in a while, and actually stepping in on Marchand after that cheap shot to Gallagher, I appreciate those things.

    ———————————

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

  2. frontenac1 says:

    Hola amigos! It is always a special feeling when the Habs beat the Bruins. Re/ Murray; I wonder if that guy with the Fenwicks and corgies head exploded last night?

    • Cal says:

      AB must be seething into his Cornflakes this morning.

    • jo_maka says:

      Advanced stats people are actually on the mark more often than not.

      Then again, statistics are like bikinis: what they show is interesting — what they conceal, even more…

      “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time”

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Morning Front! Hope all is well bud.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  3. ffenliv says:

    Really enjoyed the win last night. Couldn’t watch it, but did listen to it. Sounded like just about everyone was clicking with everyone. If only they’d do that 82 times a year! :P

    On a related note, a lot of posters, and Boone, predicted the imminent start of goonery, but I didn’t note any. Just something to keep in mind the next time people post about how the Bruins *always* goon it up.

    • Mavid says:

      not “always” but “usually” people bring it up because its true I suspect the non goonery had more to do with Murray, Parros, Moen, and Prust then it had to do with them being gentlemen..

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • ffenliv says:

        My point wasn’t regarding reasons, but the fact it didn’t happen at all. Next time the Habs have a decent lead of the Bruins late, Boone will be predicting goonery, fans will talk about how it always happens (and yes, there was a lot of certainty regarding this), and if it does happen, how they knew it would. They’ll conveniently forget that sometimes it doesn’t.

  4. rhino514 says:

    Murray had a good game, but this defence in the playoffs against a good scoring team……I love Markov for the PP, but suspect at this point he is a liability on D. Murray, still not sold on him, though I am happy he has been better lately. Beaulieu is green and will make mistakes.
    Emelin is a key for the team, as Basu states, if he plays well, the habs are a passable team defensively. If he doesn´t, they basically have Subban and Gorges who can be counted on defensively, that´s it that´s all.
    It looks like with Beaulieu being steady, the team will stand pat. However, he is more of an offensive Dman, which isn´t precisely what the team needs most at this time.
    Emelin needs to continue improving, Markov needs to not be gassed come playoff time, and believe it or not it would be a nice boost if Crankshaft continues his quality play, belying all of those advanced stats which state he is flat out the worst dman in the league. This is hwat we have to have come playoff time.

  5. Mustang says:

    Great game. I really did not know if we would be watching Jeckle or Hyde last night. Good all round effort by everyone including Budaj. I guess that Therrien isn’t as bad as many were saying here yesterday.

  6. GenerationYHabs says:

    Solid win for the good guys last night!

    I’ve actually been out of town for the last while and missed the last few games (doesn’t seem like that was such a bad thing though). I’m glad that Beaulieu seems to have found his pace and is looking like a true NHLer now but what happened with LL? Was he really terrible enough in those few games to have been sent down already in favor of Thomas?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The consensus with the media covering the Habs is that Leblanc has most likely played his last game in a Canadiens uniform.

      He doesn’t stand out in any way. He doesn’t have enough of a scoring touch to play on the top two lines and he’s not big or rugged enough to play on the bottom two.

      Just repeating what I’ve heard from guys like Sergio Momesso, Bobby Dollas and Pierre Mcguire. I must agree with them.

      I hope he gets dealt and gets another opportunity somewhere else where a player of his mold can fit in. Habs really don’t need a player like Leblanc right now.

      • GenerationYHabs says:

        That’s a shame, I was really hoping he would turn things around this time.

        I still remember a pretty slick tic tac toe play he was part of on a rush that resulted in a goal when he was playing on a line with Eller and AK46 two years ago.

      • monmick says:

        There was a spot on the roster for a player of his ilk, but it looks like Bournival stole it from him…

        ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

      • Marc10 says:

        He’s a depth guy. If he gets his confidence back, I could see him as a poor man’s Chris Higgins… on another team.

        He played well on his call up, but I doubt he gets resigned.

  7. jeffhabfan says:

    What a great game by the boys Last night.When they play like Last year hard on the puck ETC. they are hard to beat.GO HABS GO.

  8. careysubban3176 says:

    Budaj has the Bruins number. I wouldn’t be hesitant to play him every time they play Boston (except in the playoffs). I wonder where galchenyuk fits in when he returns. Can’t break up DD line nor the Plecks line with Bournival and Gionta (even though I wish either Briere or even galchenyuk would take his spot but that’s not gonna happen). Probably with eller and borque and then the 4th line with briere prust and moen which by the way is a line that could easily be considered a 3rd line as well.

    Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much.

  9. Marc10 says:

    Douglas Murray kicked some bear last night. Big Z coming down his driveway was just the invitation the Big Swede needed to get off the porch and introduce himself. Beautiful.

    • Blondie says:

      When we acquired him I thought the only thing we needed less than more defencemen was more centers. He’s turned out to be a really useful hire. +1 for MB.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Ya I kinda wish there was a better camera angle on that one! I had the volume cranked pretty loud and when Murray launched Chara into the boards the entire Bruins crowd gasped! Awesome!

      When they showed the replay all they showed was after Chara got back up and they were pushing and shoving. They missed the initial hit. I had it on PVR so I rewound it several times and enjoyed it. :-).

      • Marc10 says:

        Moen had a nice shoving match with the big lug too. Very enjoyable. When you add the speed to the size and physicality that Habs brought last night… They’re a handful. A contender… not really… but they can beat most of the teams in the East playing just like that.

        So yeah… More Crankshaft!

  10. JF says:

    I’ve tried three times to post a comment to the effect that Desharnais is in the process of proving that Marc Bergevin did not after all make the blunder many of us thought he did last spring. We’re a team that doesn’t score much; without Desharnais, we’d score even less. He may well be gone by the time we’re ready to contend, but for the moment, he’s doing his job and doing it well.

    The defence is looking better. Murray is proving his value, and Beaulieu’s speed creates space. This leaves Raphael Diaz, a healthy scratch for the last half-dozen games, as the odd man out. Diaz has not been the same player since his concussion early last season, but he could still be a valuable asset at the trade deadline, particularly if he has a good Olympics.

    The recurrent and inexplicable refusal of the system to post perfectly innocuous comments is becoming annoying.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Beauilieu’s > Diaz and Frankie B
      Do you think when Drewskie returns both Frankie B and Diaz are moved?

      • JF says:

        I doubt Bouillon has any trade value, but there should be a market for a puck-moving defenceman, even one who is not very physical. Diaz could play a useful role on a team with a big, strong defence. It seems clear that Beaulieu has taken his spot.

        Despite last night’s game, I still think we should try to move Markov as well, even though it would set us back temporarily. We’re not going to be contenders for at least a couple of years, by which time Markov will be well past his best and his trade value about nil.

        • piper says:

          Agreed. Move him while there is still value.

        • careysubban3176 says:

          They are not gonna trade him before trade deadline. If they can’t sign him to a 1-2 year deal they will either trade him at draft or let him go via UFA. In a perfect world I would love to see him in 3rd pair unit with Beauilieu next year just like Franky B did last year with him and Tinoridi. He would teach Beauilieu a lot and save on his stamina for an entire season plus he will still be 1st powerplay unit too.

          Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much.

    • munch17jr says:

      I’m sorry, but I couldn’t agree less. Every team has a top line. Every team’s top line typically has more offensive output than the other lines. They play top offensive minutes 5on5 and top offensive minutes on the PP (especially in 5on3 situations). With all that opportunity, DD should be producing more than our other centers. Even still, he has less points than Plekanec. He is awful on the PP, as evidenced by the fact that our PP percentage has plummeted since he undeservingly regained the top spot. He plays with our two best wingers, and more importantly plays the first wave of the PP with Subban and Markov, who are really the key to our offense. All told, it’s not a mystery why DD has some production. The problem is, IT IS NOT ENOUGH PRODUCTION FOR A FIRST LINE. The opportunity cost of having him up there is killing this team. We have looked like complete dogsh*t since that 10-game winning streak (when we also looked like dogsh*t for some reason), and I truly, honestly believe we would be much better off with someone else in that role. Eller is better. Pleks is better. I think Briere would do more in that role. Galchenyuk is better when you consider the developmental implications. So, DD is the 5th best center on the team, yet plays minutes like he’s #1. Why? He had 1 pt in 20 games and was playing a shift on the top line the very next night. No one on this team (especially the young guys) gets treatment like that.

      • JF says:

        I guess we just disagree. I don’t think Eller has shown yet that he’s a top centre. For the moment, he looks like becoming more of a defensive centre than a playmaker – a bigger, stronger version of Plekanec. About Brière I don’t know. Galchenyuk will clearly be better than DD at some point; but, in terms of NHL experience at centre, defensive responsibility, and faceoff ability, he’s not there yet. I’m not saying DD would be a top centre on a contending team; but we’re at least a couple of years away from that, a fact Marc Bergevin knows as well as the rest of us.

  11. boonie says:

    M Boone

    No one hops off the Habs bandwagon. We say we’re going to leave because we’re not happy and expect that our threat will force change. A lot like high school relationships.

  12. Cal says:

    My red-white-and-blue-coloured sunglasses are back on as I bask in the afterglow of another Gooins beat down. Funny how their most physical forward last night was that rat, or as Coach MacLean would say, #63.
    Parros blocking out Rask’s view on the first one was exactly the kind of hockey the Habs need from him: intelligent, physical play.
    Scoring against Boston and setting up another almost makes me forgive MB for signing Brière.
    All in all, can’t wait for tomorrow and Sunday’s games.

  13. JF says:

    This is getting very annoying. Every few days, the system refuses my posts, and I have no clue why. I don’t use blasphemous language, I don’t insult people, I’m not racist or sexist. Perhaps this prologue will fool the system into accepting this one:

    People can jump on me for this if they want, but it’s beginning to look as though Marc Bergevin may after all have had some idea of what he was doing when he signed David Desharnais to four years last spring. Since coming out of his slump, DD has unquestionably been one of our top two centres; and the salary and term are great for a first or second-line centre. DD wins puck battles despite his lack of size and uses his intelligence and vision to create scoring chances. As for the argument that he’s effective only because he plays with Max Pacioretty, I think it’s far from proven that he wouldn’t be as effective with another good winger (f we had one). DD and Max work well together. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Is Desharnais a top centre on a contending team? Probably not. He’s not big enough or strong enough. But Marc Bergevin knows better than any of us that we’re not a contender and likely won’t be for at least a couple more years. We’re too small, our defence is soft, we don’t score enough goals. He also knows these problems will take a while to fix, particularly the lack of scoring. There is little outstanding offensive talent in Hamilton, and whatever is coming up through the pipeline is at least a couple of years away.

    Where would we be without Desharnais? Our top centres would be Plekanec, Galchenyuk, and Eller. Galchenyuk has little NHL experience at centre and struggles on faceoffs; and Eller is looking at the moment like becoming more of a defensive centre than a playmaker. Without Desharnais, we’d score even less than we do now. He may well be gone by the time we’re ready to contend, but for the moment, he’s doing his job and doing it well.

  14. Hobie Hansen says:

    I think Therrien and Daigneault have finally found the right combinations after spending two thirds of the season trying different defensive pairings .

    Subban-Gorges
    Emelin-Markov
    Murray-Beaulieu.

    With Beaulieu adjusting well and Murray playing solid defence it helps the team greatly by not having to have Bouillon and Diaz playing hot potato with the puck in the Habs end all night!

    • CJ says:

      Agreed. It’s pretty clear now that Diaz and Bouilion are finished with this organization. Drewiski can provide depth. Bouilion won’t fetch any return and will walk this offseason. I think we can move Diaz though. We should all be praying he has a terrific Olympics, raising his value.

    • JUST ME says:

      I for one hopes M.T. and J.J.D. keep the lines and combination as they are for the rest of the season or at least for a long while so they can develop a chemistry wich does not happen in a day…
      But a few changes may come. Aren`t we asking for trades ? Now with Beaulieu deserving a chance quite a few d-men could serve as a package deal…

  15. CJ says:

    Good morning. Sun is up here in Ottawa.

    Great game last night. Very solid defensive effort. Nice to see the boys tighten up. Emelin, who I’ve been riding hard lately had a very strong game. Markov was also much better. I really don’t see how either Diaz or Bouilion fit in this group going forward. A rotation of Murray and Drewiski would be fine by me. Additional depth is available in Hamilton if needed.

    I noticed last night the wingers, in our own zone, throwing pucks into the middle of the ice. Bourque did it at least four times. Very dangerous plays, but we got away with it. I thought Bourque was better last night, but he just can’t buy one right now. I’ve lost track of the number of posts he’s hit and missed chances this season. I like the guy and hope we can move him, extending his career somewhere else. If we could find a good third line winger, we would really have something. The third line will be key when he match up with teams like the Leafs, Senators and Flyers.

    I really like Bournival and Pleks, and while Gionta still has flashes, he is certainly on the back nine of his career. I’m not sure how it would impact the composition of the team, but I’d like to see Bergevin explore the possibility of moving him.

    We have a chance now to take advantage of the Lightning, who are on a skid and might be without Ben Bishop. We have five games at home, with a sixth in Carolina before the Olympic break. A nice little winning streak before the boys enjoy a week off would be perfect.

    • PureGuava says:

      I saw them in Winnepeg last season at the end of their bad stretch. It was the Jets last home game and the Habs had lost 8 of 10 or something awful. Eller, Subban, Gallagher, and (Gasp!) Bourque were the best players on the ice for either team…by a mile. I was in shock – seeing them so close you really get a sense of who’s pulling their weight, and who has talent. If Bourque played like he did last night every third game, nobody would ever say anything bad about him.

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

  16. JF says:

    People can jump on me for this if they want, but it’s beginning to look as though Marc Bergevin may after all have had some idea of what he was doing when he signed David Desharnais to four years last spring. Since coming out of his slump, DD has unquestionably been one of our top two centres; and the salary and term are great for a first or second-line centre. DD wins puck battles despite his lack of size and uses his intelligence and vision to create scoring chances. As for the argument that he’s effective only because he plays with Max Pacioretty, I think it’s far from proven that he wouldn’t be as effective with another good winger (f we had one). DD and Max work well together. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Is Desharnais a top centre on a contending team? Probably not. He’s not big enough or strong enough. But Marc Bergevin knows better than any of us that we’re not a contender and likely won’t be for at least a couple more years. We’re too small, our defence is soft, we don’t score enough goals. He also knows these problems will take a while to fix, particularly the lack of scoring. There is little outstanding offensive talent in Hamilton, and whatever is coming up through the pipeline is at least a couple of years away.

    Where would we be without Desharnais? Our top centres would be Plekanec, Galchenyuk, and Eller. Galchenyuk has little NHL experience at centre and struggles on faceoffs; and Eller is looking at the moment like becoming more of a defensive centre than a playmaker. Without Desharnais, we’d score even less than we do now. He may well be gone by the time we’re ready to contend, but for the moment, he’s doing his job and doing it well.

  17. Habfan10912 says:

    Ya gotta love Bellyfull, eh?

    “I just hope Matty doesn’t show up again with more negative comments after a Montreal win. That guy can sure take the shine off a victory.”

    And what’s this I hear about L Elle getting excited about someone from Phoenix?

    And Burly at a Maple Leaf game?

    The world is upside down this morning.

  18. HabinBurlington says:

    Morning folks, what an afterglow beating the Bruins provides. Get to walk into the bar proud after work today, approach my Bruin buddies shake their hand while saying thanks for the pints boys!

    At the risk of being off topic, I was at the Panther / Leaf game last night. That Panther team has no offence, Scotty Gomez played first line center minutes all night even though he took two stupid penalties, the first of which resulted in a Leaf goal.

    If indeed this Habs team ever wanted to trade little DD, I can’t believe the Panthers couldn’t use him. I have watched Panthers a few times now (on TV and live) and continue to be amazed at how hard it is to notice Huberdeau doing much on that team. Not sure if it is a result of no one to play with or perhaps he isn’t what many of us thought he would be. I do wonder if it would be possible to pry him out of Florida.

    Crazy usual Leaf game, outshot, outplayed for most of game, but they caught momentum and ended up blowing out those terrible Panthers. Weird….

    Anyways, back to our Habs, would be very impressive if we could take back to backs to this weekend, would do wonders to our place in the standings.

    • RetroMikey says:

      If you watch the Leafs as you say you do, especially live at the ACC, I can’t comprehend how you can not see this team is big, fast moving DMan, 2 good goalies and big gritty players up front with speed.
      What’s not to like this team and see they are improving as the season winds down.
      They are a darkhouse to make the East Final IMO.
      I, for one am happy that the Habs won over the Bruins but 1 game is not going to make jump the bandwagon and say all is good with the team.
      The Habs are a work in progress for many years unless major changes take place.
      BIG IS BETTER!

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

  19. Chrisadiens says:

    I can’t get a handle on this team. Just when you think they’re cooked, they start playing great. And just when you think they’re contenders, the bottom falls out.

    Gally really is unbelievable. Arpon Basu tweeted last night that Gally may be Timmon’s best pick ever. Hard to argue that. Remember when Jaques Martin downplayed Gally’s remarkable training camp 3 years ago? JM said something like “Well, the player looks good because he’s playing against inferior competition.”

    So glad that clown is gone.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  20. Blondie says:

    Great game to watch last night! There’s nothing wrong with this team that couldn’t be fixed by everybody getting their Gallagher on.

    If every member of this team could match Gallaghers intensity, heart, and desire we would be just fine. Hell, we’d be unstoppable.

  21. mksness says:

    solid game and much better defence. 2 of the goals had traffic in front of the net. Nice to see briere hit the net with a shot hopefully he can do that a lil bit more. I really think this team should try and get more pucks on net. I find they try for these cute plays a bit too often and the simple shot in traffic usually generates more offence.

    good game and i hope budaj get’s one of the back to back games

  22. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. Anybody saw that coming? I thought this team was dead in the water after that debacle at home Saturday night.

    When this team generates speed through the neutral zone in their transition game they are dangerous. Last night we saw that.

    For me it always starts on defense. Win the puck battle in the corner. Last night Murray and Emelin won their fair share.

    Outlet and clearing passes out of our zone. Great job by Markov and Gorges last night doing exactly that. Normally PK is the man when it comes to these plays as well.

    Defenseman join the play. Last night we saw multiple Hab dman joining the play. Gorges was engaged in this respect last night.

    The team’s strenth is speed. Last night we utilized it as well as any time this season.

    Oh yeah a special shout out to Budaj. I still think Price had a minor issue and that’s why Budaj got the start but come on! What a great job for your back up to come in on the road and beat your biggest rival. He seems to be a terrific teammate and person as well. Great job!

    • JUST ME says:

      We could see it coming in many ways i find. We know that they show up for big games like that . The choice of Budaj was also a sign because he has been struggling like the team in recent games he started and wanted to have a good game.

      Of course no one could predict such a game but they are not as bad as people say as they are not as good as others thought. It goes both ways. Changes are needed but there are good things on that squad.

  23. JF says:

    People can jump on me for this if they want, but it’s beginning to look as though Marc Bergevin may after all have had some idea of what he was doing when he signed David Desharnais to four years last spring. Since coming out of his slump, Desharnais has unquestionably been one of our top two centres; and the term and salary are great for a first or second line centre. Desharnais wins puck battles despite his lack of size and uses his intelligence to create scoring chances. People like to argue that he’s effective only because he has Pacioretty on his wing, but I think it’s far from proven that he wouldn’t be just as effective with another good winger (if we had one.)

    Is Desharnais a top centre on a contending team? Probably not. He’s not big enough or strong enough. But Marc Bergevin knows better than any of us that the Habs are not a contender and likely won’t be for at least a couple of years. He knows we’re too small, he knows our defence is soft, he knows we don’t score enough. He also knows these problems will take a while to fix, particularly the lack of scoring. There’s not much offensive talent in Hamilton, and whatever is coming up through the pipeline is still a couple of years away.

    Where would we be if Desharnais had been dumped early in the season, as many were clamouring for? Our top centres would be Plekanec, Eller, and Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk has little NHL experience at centre and struggles on faceoffs; and Eller looks at the moment like becoming more of a defensive centre than a playmaker. Desharnais sets up or helps set up a large proportion of our goals. It’s very likely that he’ll be gone by the time we’re ready to contend, but for the moment he’s doing his job and doing it well.

    The defence was pretty solid last night. Murray’s value is becoming apparent, and Beaulieu’s speed helps create space. This leaves Raphael Diaz, a healthy scratch for the last half-dozen games, as the odd man out. If he’s not going to play, he could have some value at the trade deadline. I’m hoping he’ll have a good Olympics and raise his profile a bit.

  24. Hobie Hansen says:

    Davey Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher were great on the forecheck last night. They were constantly buzzing around in the Bruins end, causing a disturbance and picking off passes.

    Very nice goals by Max Pacioretty and Danny Briere last night!

    But how about Douglas Murray! The highlight of the night had to have been when he took Zedeno Chara right off his feat and tossed him into the boards during a Bruins PP. Chara got up and tried to push Murray back and the big Swede didn’t budge! First time I’ve seen a Habs player stand his ground against Chara…ever?

    Shawn Thornton And Milan Lucic were getting shoved around by Murray all night and on top if all Murray played a very strong defensive game! He’s looked fantastic the last three weeks!

    Oh and Alexi Emelin threw a couple solid checks too. Nice to see him nail Lucic pretty hard towards the end of the game. It was also nice to see the Habs score on the PP after that little weasel Brad Marchand tossed Gallagher into the post.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      All true Hobbie. Murray and Parros gives this smallish team a completely different look.

    • JUST ME says:

      The difference maker was that most of the guys won their battles one on one. It changes everything cause then the opponent gets nervous as the game goes on. Murray,Emelin,D.D,Gallagher ,Plek , Gionta…Darn even Bourque won a few battles !

    • CJ says:

      Perfect summary. Murray was terrific. He is, what I had hoped Laroque would have been – an answer to Chara and Lucic.

      Excellent restraint from Parros, recognizing the time and place when Thorton tried to engage.

      Last night the Bruins looked like the whiners they are. The comments following the game were perfectly consistent with their fanbase. They sounded like bullies, led by Julien. There is no team in the league who I would rather walk over in a playoff series.

    • boing007 says:

      MOAR like Murray!

      Richard R

  25. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Laudable effort all around and a victory to celebrate like few others so far this season. Get ready, here comes the but…

    Did you count the number of times Prust gave the puck away? It had to be at least five or six. From half-assed clearing passes, to poorly placed chip-ins, and blind feeds in the o-zone, the guy may have well been wearing a Bruins jersey for all the times he gave them the biscuit.

    What’s up with this play this year?

  26. Phil C says:

    You know I always thought Shawn Thornton was a thug and a goon, yet last night he was digging for the puck in the crease, then the whistle went while Prust, Murray and Parros were arriving in the crease. Thornton then just surprisingly stopped digging and politely skated away. What a great sportsman.

  27. La Duke 16 says:

    I went to the game last night – and it will be the only game I will see live this year. Well worth the trip!!!

    My 3 stars last night:
    1) Gally
    2) Murray
    3) Briere

    Murray was unbelievable tonight. After laughing at his lack of skating ability in warmups, he controlled his side of the ice all night. He was extremely impressive on the PK clearing the front of the net. He was pushing Lucic around like the like punk that he is.

    Very fun to watch!!!

  28. Laramy87 says:

    I think a big reason why Subban didnt play a lot of minutes was with a 4-1 lead going into the third period and knowing the nature of some Bruin players and cheap shots (Lucic, Marchand, Thornton), play him less and keep him away from any nonsense that could have happened if Boston choose that path. Ultimately the game didnt turn out that way which is good.
    Also everyone is allowed an off night. For one of the two players (Price the other) who always gives it his all game in and game out, we can forgive him.

  29. GL says:

    Nice win last night. Having said that we have a very weak bottom six and the team will not accomplish much until we improve in this area. a couple of scorers for the 3rd line and we would have a pretty good team …No need to dismantle. Just improve the bottom six. Goaltending is good, Defence in Hamilton should be onboard next year that should make us better there.

    • twocents says:

      I actually don’t agree. With a third line of Eller, Galchenyuk, and Bourque/Bournival I think we look good. We need an upgrade on our top two lines. Gionta, DD, and/or Bournaval are insufficient in that role. In fact, I would like an upgrade on Parros on the forth line too. Having said that, Galchenyuk belongs up there and Bournival sounds good to me on the third.

  30. twocents says:

    Frans Nielsen

  31. twocents says:

    Very gratifying.

  32. habs001 says:

    I read that Bergeron stated that this was their worst game of the season but i think the Habs had something to do with that. This was one of the better games for the team this season…But this roster will still struggle to score 5 on 5…

  33. habs001 says:

    While playoffs are different it still looks like that the Habs match up way better in a series vs the Bruins than Senators,Flyers and Leafs…

  34. jon514 says:

    Buffalo is such a mess, but they have quite a few players I would trade prospects, picks and players for.

    What would you trade for each of these guys?

    -Drew Stafford (6′ 2″ Rugged RW)
    -Tyler Myers (6′ 8″ RS Defenseman)

    MB needs to pull a Jafar and find the “Diamonds in the rough”!

  35. habs001 says:

    Different way to build a team…Only 1 out of the top 9 Leaf point producers was obtained thru the draft…for the Habs 6 out of nine top scorers thru the draft…

  36. Lafleurguy says:

    “The only problem was when I told Parros to get out there, he said he wasn’t sure how we work the breakout,” Therrien added with a laugh.
    Context: Parros and fourth-liners were rewarded with power-play time in the third.

    “Bends but won’t break”

  37. TheSleeveen says:

    I remember the joy after the Chicago win a couple of weeks ago, we are now in the same position. One good win does not a season make. It simply tells me how good this team can be if it had a good coach. While they may not be an elite team, they are a few tweaks away but the big change has to be made at the coaching level. MT is simply not good enough to lead an elite team. Get rid of him as soon as a suitable replacement comes on the market.

  38. JUST ME says:

    Yes the negatives came out ! Just a little bit later through the back door when most of us were gone to bed. Brave men !!!

    Great game yesterday ! Still can`t figure our why the difference !!!

    I am starting to really appreciate that Murray guy. Plays within his limits but is very reliable and calm. Every game we can count on Gallagher and even more when the opponent is supposed to be intimidating. Darn even Bourque looked solid !
    Gave us reason to ask for him to be sat in the stands. Same thing with Emelin. Overall a solid team effort.

    So if changes are coming in the roster , it`s now . They have a week before the Olympic truce and then when they are back from Sotchi they have one more week before march the 5 th to finalize deals with other teams.

    There will be no miracles even with changes but as long as they give up a good fight like yesterday it`s o.k. by me.

  39. Habfan17 says:

    I am glad the Habs won, however, it has not changed my mind. Actually, it had the opposite effect. I am more of the mind, that if they receive decent offers for Markov and Gionta at the deadline, they should take them!

    The players are proving they can play and win. Therrien, I still would like to see him gone, at least when his contract is up.

    With a few key pieces added, the Habs could expedite the re-tooling.
    It was indeed nice to see the effort. I was still concerned at how easy the Bruins gained entry to the Habs zone and that they had so many shots. Most nights, with that many shots, the Bruins would have beat the Habs!

    Habfan17

  40. zephyr says:

    glad to see them play so well. i still can’t stand the way we clear our zone tho. up the boards all the time & the other guy just presses up against the boards & presto.. a turnover in our zone. it happens a hundred times a game. can’t a coach fix that?! still don’t like mt.
    I’ve felt for a long time that the habs should resign murray. i also like dd very much. imo he’s part of our young core. gio & briere still need to go. i saw gio diss pk on 24ch. gio looked arrogant & rude & not like a leader at all. combine that with low production, being undersized & overpriced, he needs to go. i thought eller & prust played well the last 2 games eller’s been at ctr.. they’ve been tough & physical. eller’s combo of speed & size was too much for the b’s. too bad he didn’t connect. nice to see him give marchand a face wash back. marchand will learn – lars is too big to mess with. that boston dman who wound up without a helmet learned there’s consequences too. Hamilton should have been given a major for drilling Gallagher’s head into the ice. that was intent to injure. as usual, the reffing was brutal. do they recruit those guys from the special Olympics? it’ll be nice when our 2nd best playmaker, chucky, gets back on a line with eller.

  41. RetroMikey says:

    Good games and bad games for this once proud franchise as I’ve said along throughout the season
    I still firmly believe that Therrien is not to be blamed for the demise of the team if they can’t play together as a team. It is still Beegevin’s team Ian’s he and Timmins are to be blamed if we don’t see results
    Hmmmm. They played a great game and needed the W, can they be consistent this weekend and down the stretch? Maybe but I still believe the players we have will not go very far down the stretch or if we eke into the playoffs, we won’t go far.
    Can Boston rebound after this loss? I say yes, Montreal needed the W more than the Bruins.
    I’ll give kudos for the team but it still is catch up time for the team. Other teams are getting better and we better be ready to show other teams and fans that the losing streak was just a fluke. We shall see but let’s see what happens after this weekend in the standings where the team is. Therrien was a genus putting Budaj in as goalie.
    But I’m not going to jump the bandwagon after one game.
    BIG IS BETTER!

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …AND, Brendan Gallagher last summer

    …forgot about Brendan :)

  43. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Frank, it’s 2:30 am here, so just a note on the Big M …if its possible I will try to obtain ‘something’ for You, whether You want or not :)

    …no guarantees though as who knows how much time He has, or if We get to Him at all

    …I have asked for one autograph in My Life up to now, and that was Henri Richard’s, which I did more for Quent than Myself …so I’m not Mr. Smooth doing this

    …yeah, kept receiving bounce-back notification on 3 attempts to send …later saw 2 copies in My completed Send box …confused whether You received or not

    …it was .com by the way

    …anyhow, hope the Bulldog’s game is entertaining

    …meanwhile, I gotta zzzzzzzzzz :)

  44. DipsyDoodler says:

    So it WAS the flu after all.

  45. Da Hema says:

    Loading ████████████ 99%

  46. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Thank you Habs!

    Well worth staying up til 3.

    Good day to all!

  47. habsfan0 says:

    With his play in last night’s game,I wonder if Budaj merits the start in one of the weekend’s games?

  48. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …observing with wonderment Crankshaft providing da Beans da gears caused Myself twitching spasms of joy

    • HabFab says:

      Chris, I’m good re the Big M but thanks anyway. Left you a message yesterday but must have used a no word as it didn’t make it thru. The address should be com not ca in case I messed up.

  49. montreal ace says:

    It was a good night for MB. nice seeing that his off season moves played well and were factors in the 2 points.

  50. BigB says:

    I hate the Bucking Fruins with a passion. Every time we beat them, I’m in heaven. Thanx guys for a great game.

    But I am confused :( Which one is the real Montreal Canadiens? The one that lost to the Caps or the one that beat the losers in Boston????

    Habs forever!

  51. --Habs-- says:

    Could it have been them getting over the 2 month flu

    “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

  52. Habilis says:

    I’ll eat my crow, I have been all over Therrien and I didn’t slow down today. I thought the Budaj decision was asking for a disaster. I was wrong.

    The team looked great in all three zones tonight, as Boone mentioned. When the Bruins pushed back in the 2nd, we weathered it and responded with two more goals. Can’t ask for more than that.

    Key now is to maintain that same level of play for the weekend and in to the Olympic break. We all know what tends to happen after these big games.

    Credit where it’s due though, we got the win tonight and now have a great chance to win both weekend games with a fresh Price. Nice move, MT.

  53. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    “Had the backup goaltender stunk out the TD, Therrien would have been savaged everywhere from Twitter to tavern tables.”
    That’s a beautifully constructed bit of alliteration.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  54. thehabsfan29 says:

    Bourque for Havlat?

    Yes? No?

  55. Sportfan says:

    Hope this is the beginning of Emelin getting back into true form!

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

  56. HABSnEXPOS says:

    I don’t want to be Debbie Downer/Buzz Kill. I enjoyed watching the game, also enjoyed taking a quick greenback off my boss at work. The Canadiens had a great game plan and executed with precision and heart on all three facets of the game.

    However I’m still not ready to go up and drink the Kool-Aid. I still think we are a mediocre team at best and will have a disappointing playoff run if we indeed make it to the dance. Mark me down for sticking with my beliefs. Identifying our Core for the future and trading away the fat. I’m still not sold. I still remember that we did win the season series against Boston Last Year. Boston went on to the Stanley Cup Finals and we took a Ghetto Beating to the chin vs the Senators.

    All I’m saying it’s going to take more than two games to forget why and what’s gone on in our last seven games. I Hope I’m wrong and we go on and win the majority of our games after the Olympic break, win the division, and make noise in the playoffs. Really hope it happens.

  57. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Douglas Murray seems more effective playing under 20 minutes. I hope the coaching staff take notice. Love that Beaulieu kid.

  58. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Who was that team?

    With an effort like tonight, we as fans are delighted win or lose.

  59. Mr. Biter says:

    Geez, I remember posting this morning the Habs always play harder when Budas in net. Glad MT agrees with me.
    Also a scoop on Boone They were interviewing Budda on NHL network after the game and he Told the reporter He was told by MT he was starting against the Bruins BEFORE the Carolina game.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  60. HardHabits says:

    That game was satisfying.

    So are the Habs buyers now?

  61. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …have I expressed My profuse awe of Crankshaft lately ?

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Notice no scrums in front of Budda? They all seemed to occur by the Bruin net. On last Habs PK, 3 Bruins by and behind Habs net, Murray alone in front.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

      • D Mex says:

        That is what Murray brings to this lineup.
        He is the only D-Man currently on the roster who’s capable of giving the opposition a moment of pause in front of our net IMO.

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

  62. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    With the up and downs of a season, looks like the Habs may be rolling an up wave with the next four games at home. Here’s hoping…

  63. adadi says:

    Bergeron said it was the worst game the Bruins played this season.

  64. Just A Guy says:

    Now back to wondering what Thomas is doing in Hamilton :)

  65. Rudy says:

    God that felt so good :)

  66. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If MT is a genius for playing Budaj tonight then why didn’t he play him in a back-to-back last week? Good enough for Beantown but not at home??? C’mon…anyway, even Fucale would have won tonight. Habs were good while Boston sucked. That defense is definitely weakend without Seidenburg. They have to make a move. Also, maybe the IQ-deficient Bruins fans should boo someone else instead of PK when their team is down 4-1…learn something from Habs fans…lol.

    Agree about Parros. If he was not in the line-up GUARANTEED it would have gotten ugly tonight. Thorton did nothing as usual with Parros around. Hopefully both teams will meet in the playoffs.

    • HabsProf says:

      I wondered why he didn’t play Budaj during the losing streak, but he probably didn’t want to make it seem like he was benching Price, who was really hung out to dry by his team. Still, I think it is harsh to say that Budaj wasn’t a factor. He made some pretty key stops (nice one on Lucic). He’s been solid all year, and is one of the best backups, if not the best, in the league.

      _____________________________________

      They brought their f____ing toys with them!

    • Guy Robinson says:

      That defense was 5-0-1 heading into tonight’s game ….

  67. HabsProf says:

    Boone – Liveblog Headline – “Rask Routed as Backup Budaj Beats Boston”. Now who’s the one who likes alliterative headlines? Or were you just accommodating Therrien’s kink?

    _____________________________________

    They brought their f____ing toys with them!

  68. jimmy shaker says:

    Sorry posted before new thread….

    28 games left

    - looking to end with 98 points for a nice comfortable top 3 finish.
    - 95pts is the usual cut-off

    that means the boys have to have a record of about 16W – 9L – 3 OT pts

    - and budaj needs about 7 -10 more starts to keep Price fresh and ready for a playoff run.

    All very doable

    Big weekend coming up, great win for the boys, love watching raask go berserk!

    Shaker out!

  69. Marc10 says:

    Let me be the… Third?

    Damn… Not even close! Like the Bruins really :)

  70. HabinBurlington says:

    Wow, sure wish I watched it. Instead I watched a bad Florida team outplay Leafs for much of 1st and 2nd period but lose. And Gomez still sucks! But played first line centre!

    So happy for Habs!

  71. L Elle says:

    Let me be the first to congratulate our team!


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