About last night …

BourqueScores

Hey, you want style points?
Stay tuned for the Winter Olympics.
There will be style points up the triple-lutz wazoo at Sochi.
Here in Montreal, we’ll settle for points in the standings.
And a singularly unstylish 2-0 win over Calgary boosted your Canadiens past Toronto into third place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division standings.

The game was not one for the ageless, timeless, classic DVD boxed set.

On a 1-to-10 entertainment scale, where 10 is Bruce Springsteen live and 1 is a monkey flinging feces out of his cage, the game checked in at about a 4 … surging to 5 when the fourth line was on the ice.

Newcomer Dale Weise teamed up with Michaël Bournival and Ryan White, back from the injury list, to produce some of the best fourth-line shifts we’ve seen this season.

The three can skate, do a bit of banging and generate some offence. White led all CH skaters with six shots on goal, adding two hits. Weise had three shots and three hits, while Bournioval added four hits.

A nice night’s work for about 13 minutes of ice time. The line’s only tense moments came after they iced the puck and Bob Hartley got his scorers – Sean Monahan, Joe Colborne and Mike Cammalleri – on against them. The Flames buzzed the Canadiens’ net briefly before a chip-out and offside call let Michel Therrien change up his personnel.

The fourth line’s performance almost certainly will compel Therrien to keep them together on Thursday night, when Vancouver visits the Bell Centre.

That game could have Sochi implications if, as expected, the goaltending duel matches Carey Price against Roberto Luongo.

I like Price’s chances.

Shrugging off Sunday’s loss to Winnipeg – when he was beaten short side on a wraparaound and then gifted a goal on a fugly turnover – Price  was almost perfect in shutting out the Falmes.

The “almost” qualifier applies because Price was charged with three giveaways. The Canadiens coughed up the puck an eye-popping 22 times – against only six giveaways for Calgary – and the sloppiness might well have cost them against a better team than the Flames.

Nathan Beaulieu turned the puck over five times. Andrei Markov had four.

The only defenceman who wasn’t charged with a giveaway was Douglas Murray. The big guy had a couple of hits, a couple of blocked shots and was on the ice for the turning point of the game.

With Tomas Plekanec off for roughing, of all things, early in the second period and the game scoreless, Lars Eller was charged with a faceoff violation and Calgary had a 5-on-3 power play for a full two minutes.

Therrien deployed Murray, Josh Gorges and Brandon Prust. They played the full two minutes and held the Flames to three shots on Price.

OK, this was Calgary, with the league’s 26th-ranked power play. But still …

Speaking of struggling power plays, the Canadiens entered the game with 10 goals in 81 man-advantage opportunities over a 25 game stretch. That works out to an anemic 12.3 per cent success rate, but the number got a slight boost because David Desharnais’ empty-netter was a power-play goal.

On two earlier opportunities, however, it was futility as usual for Canadiens. With opposing penalty-killers pressuring Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban, the Canadiens have yet to come up with any down-low scoring threats.

Enough negativity.

You have to love a game in which Rene Bourque scored the winning goal – and added four hits against his former team. The line of Bourque, Lars Eller and Brandon Prust played well, and Daniel Brière continues to look good on the wing with Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

When Alex Galchenyuk returns after the Olympics, the Canadiens are going to have a traffic jam at the forward positions. If the Plekanec and David Desharnais lines remain intact, I’d like to see Galchenyuk play with Eller and Bourque.

That would relegate Prust to a the fourth line, where he would play with come combination of Weise, White, Moen, Parros or Bournival.

Too many players. Marc Bergevin will have the Olympic break to figure things out.

Charlie Pierce, one of my heroes in journalism, was at the game. He tweeted this.

• Tweet of the Night, from my other hero, Down Goes Brown: Tim Thomas scored on by David Clarkson. Typical Republican, complains about horribly wasteful spending but won’t do anything to stop it. 

 

 

 

 

 

553 Comments

  1. HabsFanOhio says:

    The Diaz vs Murray article is a joke. Neither belong on a good team, and neither will be here next year. Simple as that.

    As to Eller. Perfect third line center, who becomes more valuable as the rest of the forward group is improved.

    Trade Markov now, but for a blue chip forward prospect, not a draft choice. Trade Gionta if you can get great value for him, otherwise keep as a thirdliner. He plays great defence and is a good possession player who will also score more in a better forward group and can move up when there are injuries.

    Move DD for a bag of pucks. He dines out on MaxPac’s shooting ability, and is responsible for as many goals against as for. Move Bourque if you can. Keep Moen…big, can skate, good PK skills, tough…just like Prust…and to some extent, Weise. You need guys like this for team toughness, speed in the bottom 6, versatility, and yes, character.

    Promote Pateryn and Tinordi when ready.

    Sprinkle liberally with Leblanc.

    • B says:

      The whole premise of the article is Murray replacing Diaz. It seems to me that Beaulieu is the one who made Diaz expendable. I don’t think Murray’s role has changed due to the Diaz trade.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • D Mex says:

        I’d have to say you’re right on both counts :
        If Murray were the catalyst for the Diaz departure, it would have happened months ago (and should have IMO).
        They kept bringing Beaulieu up to assess readiness to be with the big club full-time, and now being satisfied he is, it’s ‘ Adios Raphael ‘ …

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

  2. habsinthegap says:

    That whole “west of Manitoba” thing is pretty confusing though. All I really want is access to Habs games in English and HD. It’s unclear to me if that’s going to happen in the west, other than maybe on Saturdays.

  3. Marcusman says:

    The new guy is on twitter is anyone cares……

    https://twitter.com/Daleweise32

  4. thebonscott says:

    I’d take crankshaft over diaz anyday. sure diaz can skate or pass the puck out of the zone better, but we have guys who can do that better than diaz and their named subban, markov, and beaulieu. And, I must say that beaulieu and murray are working well together.
    Plus, that 5 on 3 penalty kill, murray deserves equal praise for that, but I guess according to dave tippett, it was in the defensive zone so maybe he was to blame. Hogwash.

    C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

  5. CH Marshall says:

    LOL monkey flinging feces. Not used to the sight of Habs jerseys in TO but enjoyed seeing fans at Hurleys last night. On the whole, I couldn’t help but think that a lot of people don’t care much for the Habs in Mtl.

    • Mattyleg says:

      What do you mean?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • D Mex says:

        Maybe he means that he spends time here on HI/O during Habs games.
        Maybe he reads what the ” old blogger ” posts during Habs games.

        WHY would it be necessary for the paid ” professional ” on a supposedly pro-Habs-blog site to punctuate his post game comments (above) with the words ” Enough Negativity ” ??

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

  6. Phil C says:

    I was always a big Diaz supporter and he is a way better defenseman than Murray when compared in a vacuum.

    However when compared in the context of an overall team and the different types of strategies a championship team needs to respond to, I begrudgingly agree that Diaz was the right guy to move. With Markov, Subban, and Beaulieu in the mix, many of Diaz’s strengths were redundant. Murray brings exactly what the rest of Montreal’s defense is lacking: physicality, an intimidating presence, and a PK specialist.

    Murray’s play on the 5-3 last night will not help any of his corsi/fenwick stats, nor his plus/minus or GF stats, yet it was obvious that killing that penalty was a turning point last night. This illustrates the limits of what the stats can tell you.

    We all know what Hartley is capable of as a coach. What if he had sent McGratton and Westgarth out to lay a smackdown on a Diaz/Beaulieu pairing, like Boston did a few years ago to Hamrlik and Spacek? Without Murray and Parros in the pressbox, the Habs would have had no answer and it would have been ugly. Murray completely de-energized Boston’s 4th line the other night with his presence, often considered one of the best fourth lines in the league. But when they can’t play like jackasses, it’s like you have taken away their superpower.

    A guy like Murray when used properly helps them win, I don’t care what the stats say. Too bad Diaz didn’t fit anymore, but it certainly looks like they needed a RWer for the bottom six a lot more.

  7. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …We are so used to carpetbaggers coming to Our Team …whom could care less about the sweater and go through the motions for a pay cheque.

    …nice reading Weise’s apparent wonderment as a Canadiens’ Fan to find Himself wearing the CH

    …even more so to hear that His Father was beside himself to learn His Son was now a Montreal Canadien

    …I know if My Son was ever fortunate enough to play and wear the sweater for the Habs, I would have to be fitted for a straight jacket

    …with a CH emblazoned on the front of course :)

  8. Eddie says:

    No matter how you slice it the team that has the puck more, especially in the offensive zone, is bound to get more shots, more scoring opportunities, and eventually more goals.

    Just like in any sport the STATISTICS that quantify time of puck/ball possession will absolutely have a direct correlation to winning.

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Unless the game is Hot Potato :-)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KseTjh6W9aE

    • Phil C says:

      The problem is corsi/fenwick is an approximation of possession, not an actual possession stat. It is also vulnerable to bad or in consistent stat keeping. But the biggest weakness to corsi/fenwick is that it does not differentiate between quality of opportunities. A weak and harmless shot from the perimeter is one data point, just as a point-blank shot from the slot is one data point. If team A is getting a lot of perimieter shots while team B is getting less shots, but from the dangerous areas, team A will look better with possession stats, but team B will win more often than not.

      Gomez’s game is the living embodiment of the limits of hockey possession stats and what they can predict about winning and scoring goals.

      • Eddie says:

        No stat is 100% full proof. But to ignore possession stats altogether is ignorant.

        • christophor says:

          Basically, the response to you was, “but the stats we have aren’t perfect”. Good on you to say, “well, they’re still saying something important – i.e. they still strongly correlate with success – and so should be considered”

          It really does come down to that.

        • Phil C says:

          I agree they should not be ignored, but because of the limitations I have mentioned, they have a correlation between goal scoring and winning, not causality. Too many supporters of advanced stats treat them as a way to predict winning/goal scoring without considering their limitations.

          I like corsi/fenwick for assessing team success a lot more than individual success, that’s for sure. To say that a player is good because he has good corsi/fenwick numbers without considering the quality of his teammates is misleading at best.

  9. christophor says:

    If you give an honest effort to read this article, I don’t see how you can completely dismiss it, like some have done in the comments below:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/habs-bought-into-a-myth-when-they-dealt-diaz/

    By the way, Chris Boyle joined EOTP very recently but soon after was hired at Sportsnet. Because of that, he hasn’t been able to contribute at EOTP and so really isn’t a writer there. In any case, he’s a really nice guy, unlike a certain EOTP personality, so let’s not dismiss his arguments due to the personal reputation of said other personality.

    Actually, dismissing Berkshire’s arguments for that reason is also ad hominem. (And I agree that he’s a d*ck)

    • arcosenate says:

      It’s still fairly interesting that it’s always Sportsnet crapping on the Habs. If we dealt Murray the article would be Habs get smaller.

      Fact is, he was expendable, a free agent and gone next year.

      So get something for him.

      We did.

      And incidentally, Murray has been providing some real good BIG shifts out there.

      • christophor says:

        Murray was a hero on that 5 on 3 but that’s a tiny sample of an entire season. Over a season, way more goals will be scored against and way fewer for when Murray’s on the ice. It really comes down to that. I love toughness, but if you’re letting more in and potting fewer, it’s not worth it.

        Anyway, Boyle’s a die-hard Habs fan and a new hire. He’s not in the cro-magnon category like other Sportsnet personalities.

    • Mattyleg says:

      The article is fundamentally flawed in its mistaken assumption that Murray has replaced Diaz, when it’s Beaulieu who has replaced him.

      And advanced statistics can never replace just watching the game, in my opinion.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • christophor says:

        Or you can do both.

        Anyway, I’ve already answered your contention below.

        • Eddie says:

          Of course you need both.

          • christophor says:

            Of course. In fact, advanced stats are collected by tallying up events and so from watching the games. Chris Boyle, who authored the linked article, watches a tonne of hockey and tracking all sorts of event-types and the rates of successes and failures (e.g. dekes, retrieved dump-ins in the dzone and ozone, passes, etc.)

            Of course you need both. And you also need a more intuitive eye for the types of traits and characteristics that lead to the successes and failures tracked.

    • christophor says:

      As for the idea that Beaulieu pushed Murray out, this doesn’t make much sense and I really hope it wasn’t the reason Diaz was traded.

      Imagine someone thinks this: Beaulieu is better than Murray (which he is, by a mile) and Diaz is better than Murray (as some, like Chris Boyle, are arguing). The way to respond to them isn’t to say that Beaulieu is better than (or has beaten out) Diaz. That’s not enough, since the argument is that Diaz should be in and not Murray. In fact, people making this argument will often say they wanted a Beaulieu-Diaz third pairing.

      • bwoar says:

        Let me just point out that we need net clearing bruisers on our blue line, and never mind Beaulieu-Diaz.

        “thoroughbred”

        • christophor says:

          But as the article clearly shows, way more goals are conceded when Murray is on and way less goals are scored on the opposition. What’s the end-game of crease-clearing? To prevent goals, I assume. I grant that Murray is better at this, but I think it’s an over-emphasized trait. Even if it’s not over-emphasized, the rest of Murray’s game leads to the Habs being badly outplayed and outscored when he’s on.

          I would be happy to accept the following scenario in which Murray isn’t played:
          – The Habs concede A FEW MORE dirty goals against that Murray’s crease clearing might have prevented
          – The Habs concede A LOT LESS goals of other kinds
          – The Habs score A LOT MORE goals on the opposition.

          If the point of the game is to outscore the opponent, then it’s a no-brainer.

          • bwoar says:

            But where in the stats does it say those goals are due to Murray’s mistakes?

            “thoroughbred”

      • Mattyleg says:

        I don’t really understand this.
        Sounds like over-analysis leading to confusion.

        Murray is a big, physical defenceman.
        Beaulieu is a skilled, puck-moving defenceman.
        Diaz is a skilled, puck-moving defenceman.

        Diaz is UFA at the end of this year.
        Beaulieu (as the same kind of defenceman) takes his place; he is younger, cheaper, and – arguably – will be better than Diaz.

        The team needs a physical presence, which Diaz does not add, but Murray does. There is no point in having a pile of the same kinds of players/defencemen.

        That’s all I understand, and all I think anyone needs to understand.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • christophor says:

          Ok but don’t you see how shallow the analysis you’re providing is? Hockey’s a complex sport and like all complex types of events, we bring our own interpretations in; we don’t just take them away from what we see. That’s why we need to critically test with evidence. I imagine you would accept this about almost everything else (interpreting the geological record, testing new medicines, appraising the impact of social or political policies)

          Anyway, on a more simple note, what’s the goal of balancing your defence corps in the way you suggested? To score and prevent more goals. If the data clearly show that the balance you suggest results in scoring and preventing way FEWER goals, you need to objectively take the data into consideration.

    • bwoar says:

      Taking everything on its own merit: The point regarding myths of “stay-at-home”, etc. etc. are valid and should be taken into account.

      However the writer completely misunderstands the personnel involved: Beaulieu took Diaz’s spot, Murray took FRANCIS BOULLION’S spot. So the comparison is pretty pointless.

      I also question the writer’s dismissal of toughness as a factor, the stats he uses only take into account puck events. Well-timed punches, crosschecks and intimidation can be valuable contributions to a team’s success and are regularly dismissed by this type of analysis.

      “thoroughbred”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I would wager a guess that Statistically the Vancouver Canucks outplayed the Boston Bruins in the Cup final a couple years back. But for some reason the Bruins won the Cup. It was pretty obvious they weren’t using their Corsi or Fenwicks to rough up the twins and control the pace of play.

        Agree with you bwoar.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Do you think that Byfuglien would have been shifted from in front of the net by Diaz, as he was by Murray?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have no issues with EOTP, and enjoy reading many of their articles. I just think that in general terms analytics has overruled all discussion of hockey. I have met many of the posters there and dont dismiss any of them.

      But that article is written with a complete premeditated bias aimed at being dismissive of the trade regardless of the reasons.

      Sure Diaz can be an effective player on the right team, heck he was for the Habs last year. But he wasn’t effective on this years team with the personal that the Habs presently have or within the framework which the Habs are presently playing.

      Lets see long term where Diaz fits in.

      And why is it bad that the Habs want to have an effective 4th line?

      • christophor says:

        I take your point, but I think Boyle gave a whole lot of reasons.

        As for the 4th line, a good one is needed, but those players are often to be had on waivers. If you’re going to trade Diaz, use him properly to showcase what he can do and then get proper value. Weise is a dime-a-dozen player.

        Edit: and I agree that you can go too far to the other extreme stats-wise, but it seems like the common reaction here is to dismissed advanced stats instead of to argue for a more moderate application.

    • Cal says:

      Sorry, but if he’s spewing the same crap as Berkshire’s site, he’ll be just as easily dismissed. If you know him why not ask him if Beaulieu took Diaz’s job away, and not Murray. “Buying into a myth” as a headline is crap.

    • frontenac1 says:

      The guy lost me at “toughness and other meaningless stuff”. Is he one of those Stats Nerds?

  10. Bripro says:

    Staying with sports, but off-hockey-topic, I’m certain that the athletes in Sochi are not only excited about the living quarters ……
    THIS is all the more reason why.
    Wouldn’t you agree?
    I’m mean, who cares about proper hygiene or sanitation?

    • johnnylarue says:

      What, you want a bigger bin!?!

      Come on, Bripro–learn how to fold!

    • HabFab says:

      Unfortunately most of the world operates to a standard lower then that. We are so privileged with our standard of life.

      • Bripro says:

        Hi Frank.
        I understand that. My wife and I have visited very remote areas of some Islands, like Cuba and it’s off-the-beaten path tobacco shacks.
        Or Bermuda’s floor-less huts.
        We can appreciate the standard of living we have. And we truly do.

        But when a country bids for the Olympics, dumps multi-billion dollars into a white elephant, then can’t even play the accommodating host (single beds, poor sanitation, no water, no elevators, sporadic transportation, curfews – won’t allow the women out of their quarters after dark), and as a pre-emptive measure, announced to the world that they will rid their country of gays and their rights by implementing narrow-minded laws, then sorry….
        They don’t deserve the pretentious distinction.

        • HabFab says:

          Do you mean that you are not even going to give the Russkies points for installing double toilets in the public washrooms for their gay visitors from the West? Common man, you have got to be fair…

          :P
          :D

    • frontenac1 says:

      Putin.Once a Commie ,Always a Commie. The bast#rds are shooting stray dogs in the street! Frikkin aholes!

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      You couldn’t pay me to go to Sochi.

  11. adamkennelly says:

    stupid question – how do add an avatar?

  12. How about this lineup to start when healthy. Might need a few adjustments? Thoughts?

    Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher

    Pacioretty – Plekanec – Bourque

    Moen – Briere – Prust

    Bournival – White – Weise

    Spare – Desharnais

    Wonder what MB can get for Gionta in a possible trade?

  13. Mattyleg says:

    Here’s a little-bit of off-topic (yet Habs-related) trivia:

    Nordiques fans apparently used to call Habs fans ‘Les Choux’ (cabbages).

    When I asked why, I was told it was because whenever we had the puck, our fans would yell “Shoooooooooooooooooot!” (the ‘t’ being lost at the end).

    Pretty funny.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  14. Luke says:

    Brady Vail is 13th in OHL scoring.

    Doesn’t mean much… lotsa guys puty up giant numbers in junior and do not pan out as offensive players, but it’s nice to see a prospect high on that list.

  15. Walmyr says:

    “Just to put the jersey on was amazing”

    Nice Weise…bleu blanc rouge my friend…enjoy!!!

    Man, this feeling must be sensational…

  16. habstrinifan says:

    Cops arrest people who sold drugs to Philip Seymour Hoffman!

    How absolutely criminal of these people to sell drugs to and contribute to the delinquency of this gifted man, who apparently had a superior mind.

    Wonder how many gifted and superior minds are in expensive townhouses being led astray by evil drug dealers.

    It’s such a shame. I mean only last couple weeks the had to arrest this friend of Beiber who they foind IN Beiber’s home with a small amount of drugs but could only let a doped up Beiber go that day.

    • habberns says:

      Too bad we won’t Seymour Hoffmann…

    • bwoar says:

      It’s hard to tell what level of sarcasm you’re going for, but I’ll chip in my 2 cents anyhow.

      It should be illegal to arrest people for selling drugs.

      The most backwards part of our legal regime is the criminalization of narcotics. All drugs should immediately by legalized for regulated sale and production. No limits, no exceptions.

      If geniuses want to OD on heroin, that’s their own prerogative. If a mom in Etobicoke prefers hash to Oxycontin, that ought to be allowed. If a judge gets off on crystal meth and brandy, so be it.

      I can’t imagine why people’s private habits are anyone’s business. Once criminal organizations can be taken out of the loop for lack of profitability, there’s no need to fight ‘crime’ with a ‘war’ on drugs.

      Open the gates, gimme my freakin’ smack, and stop wasting our time and money arresting people for enjoying themselves.

      “thoroughbred”

      • The Jackal says:

        Well some substances would be okay to decriminalize, but there is a reason stuff like meth and heroin are illegal – because they are highly addictive and essentially destroy lives – not just the individual consumer but those of people around him. In doing so, the issue is no longer confined to one individual, it becomes a matter of public concern.
        Sure, you could regulate it somehow, but those kinds of drugs would always have a black market. If the sale of meth, for example, were limited to X units per person, addicts would find ways to get their fix if that was not enough.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • Cal says:

          Alcohol does the same thing and is legal, Jackal.
          The “War on Drugs” is bass-ackwards. Prescription drugs are now the leading cause of death by OD. How the multinational pharmaceuticals must be proud.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Alcohol is nowhere near as addictive as heroin or meth, and can be consumed in moderation much more effectively.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • johnnylarue says:

            And marijuana isn’t chemically addictive, like, at all. But don’t tell Steve Harper that…

          • Cal says:

            @Matty- I’ve seen my uncle literally sitting in his own piss, completely oblivious to his surroundings. His life was cut short by about 20 years. Alcohol is as devastating as any other “drug” out there. The government collects a lot of tax on it, and that’s the only reason it is legal.

          • frontenac1 says:

            Alcohol is addictive? Since when?

          • Mattyleg says:

            Cal, I never said that alcohol wasn’t addictive, nor that it didn’t have the capacity to destroy lives.

            I said that it is not nearly as addictive as heroin or meth.

            And that not everyone who drinks alcohol gets addicted to it, while heroin and meth are a different story.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • frontenac1 says:

            Thanks Matty, I was getting worried there.

        • johnnylarue says:

          Agree.

          While I think bwoar’s point is valid, I’m afraid the glue that holds society as we know it together isn’t strong enough to handle systemic hard drug addiction…

          It’s a shame, but human beings still need to be protected from themselves, to an extent.

        • bwoar says:

          If you regulate drugs, and a user starts “ruining lives”, there’s usually cause for criminal charges, as there should be.

          I don’t believe in the nightmare scenario espoused by prohibitionists or soft decriminalists that legalization would create a mass epidemic of addiction to previously prohibited drugs. It hasn’t been tried much, but we have one country, Portugal, who decriminalized all drugs 12 years ago and report no such epidemic. By any measure there, the effects are positive.

          I think a population trusted to handle booze, smokes, and prescription pills can be trusted not to destroy itself with crack, meth or heroin as well.

          “thoroughbred”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        bwoar, you would really like Toronto, I think the mayor here appeals to you. :)

        • frontenac1 says:

          No Happy Hours in Ontario. “nuff said.

        • bwoar says:

          Funny you mention it, I’m liking him a lot more now then when he was just a goof commandeering city buses for his football team. But I think he should be tossed in jail on general principals. Elected officials should be held to higher standards while in office, “or else”.

          “thoroughbred”

      • SUMO says:

        When you read some of the comments written in here, you would swear some of these guys could use a puff or 2. ;-)

    • Propwash says:

      If he wasn’t a star, nobody would give a crap. He wasn’t forced to buy the heroin by the dealers.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Aren’t most prosecutors (D.A.’s) and judges elected in the States? Perhaps the biggest reason, high profile scenario’s like this garner the attention of the police etc….

  17. mark-ID says:

    Was wondering if anyone knows who won the fastest skater competition for the Habs this year?
    I understand that Weise had won the competition for the Canucks the last couple of years…..and after seeing the 4th line last night I can understand why, they were flying out there.

    I would have to think Pleks, Pacioretty or maybe Bournival would take the title for us….?

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  18. Steeltown Hab says:

    I’m really curious how much team’s would be willing to give up for a guy like Prust. Especially, considering Gaustad actually received a 1st at one point.

    ———————————

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

  19. Mattyleg says:

    Re: The discussion on agents below…

    I think that the NHLPA should have a system that all players pay into that steps in when a player has a problem in negotiations.

    There are too many private agendas at the moment, with certain players being represented by megalomaniacs, while others have sub-par representation, who take their cuts anyway.

    Make it part of the union so that everyone gets fair treatment and their full salary.

    We can also be spared the tweets of ding-dongs trying to pump the tires of their money-makers at the detriment of others.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • bwoar says:

      No player has to have an agent. They make that decision individually as they should. Who cares what they say on Twitter? The proof of a player is always on the ice for all to see.

      “thoroughbred”

  20. krob1000 says:

    Any Gm wishing to do right by a player who is being traded could help things out by trading them now…this gives non Olympians a window sto set their lives up wherever they are moved to with limited hockey. I am not sure of the rules regarding practice during the break but surely this period would be ideal for anyone having to uproot families…I would not be surprised to see a few deals before weeks end around the league

  21. Strummer says:

    From Sportsnet.ca (Hockey WILL live here)

    “Habs bought into a myth when they dealt Diaz.”

    More analytics but the quotes from Dave Tippett were interesting.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/habs-bought-into-a-myth-when-they-dealt-diaz/

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

    • Mattyleg says:

      Holy crap, glad I’m not stuck with Sportsnet next year if this is the kind of ‘analysis’ people have to look forward to…

      “Sportsnet: Putting the ‘anal’ into ‘analysis’.”

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Interesting, I believe the same author writes at HEOTP.

      Edit: Our team needs to start hiring media members to make hockey decisions, the proof is obvious.

    • shiram says:

      Isn’t it Beaulieu that took Diaz’s minutes?
      I don’t think it should be about Murray vs Diaz.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I think that’s kind of short sighted. Diaz was not a bad defenceman, which is why we got something we needed for him. The thing is, we have too many Diaz type players and not enough grit. Hopefully we’ve addressed that a bit without giving up anything we really needed.

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

    • Cal says:

      They don’t get that this trade was about NB taking Diaz’s job. Not Murray. Morons.
      If this is the sh*t expertise we’re going to have to put up with until 2026, Lord help us all!

    • adamkennelly says:

      in favor of toughness and other meaningless stuff – thats funny.

      Diaz can skate and move the puck – when he has time…often doesn’t have a lot of time because of forecheckers – that gets way worse in the playoffs and frankly when we are pinned in our end – he is pretty ineffective due to his stature.

      not my fault but hockey is a physical game, played in a confined space – guys like Diaz are valuable but need to be placed in the right role with the right partner.

    • doogie says:

      Habs can’t compete because they’re too small and don’t have enough grit up front. So GM trades a smaller- albeit puck moving D-man- for a fast, gritty player and people are climbing the walls. Remember, neither player was getting much ice time and both teams got what they were looking for.

      One good thing is that Bergevin isn’t making “knee jerk” reaction trades based on some bad games. There’s a long term plan to make this team bigger, faster, stronger and ultimately contenders.

  22. Maksimir says:

    Here’s a dilemma… Bourque vs Briere… that’s what it comes down to when Galchenyuk comes back.

    When Galch returns – he takes Prust’s spot on the 3rd line. But if the Bournival-White-Weise keeps playing well, MT can’t break them up. So Prust either takes Bourque’s spot or Briere’s. Then there is Moen too – what to do about him when he’s healthy? And what about LeBlanc? Has he been sent back down?

    Quite the logjam… don’t know how MB will sort this out after the break.

    • shiram says:

      Yeah Leblanc was sent down before Thomas got his chance on the big club.

    • Maksimir says:

      Thinking about it more… its probably time to trade Gionta and Moen. Opens up a spot on the 2nd line and keeps the 4th intact.

      Gally-DD-Patches
      Briere-Pleks-Bourque
      Prust-Eller-Galch
      Bournival-White-Weise
      Parros-LeBlanc spares…

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Briere, of course. Bourque will struggle forever. Briere will have his moments. We’ve gotten bigger with Wiese, who can’t possibly score much less than RB, and now Bourque is sort of superfluous. Unless, of course, I’m mistaken.

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

      • johnnylarue says:

        Well, Bourque does have 9 goals to Weise’s 3… but you won’t catch Weise showing up for work once every five games.

        Kind of a drag that most of our players have about as many goals on the season as Ovechkin scores in a week…

    • Cal says:

      Prust will be back on the 4th line.
      He’s a team first kind of guy and will play whenever and wherever the coach needs him.

  23. habstrinifan says:

    IOC head honcho, Blair, should read the following excerpt fron TSN.CA while he’s sipping he expensive cocktails and kissing Putin’s arse.

    “Kharchenko was put on trial behind closed doors Wednesday and sentenced to five days in jail for disobeying police orders.

    “They were leading Kharchenko out, and he told us he got 5 days, without a proper trial, lawyer or witnesses,” said Soldatova, who was at the courthouse.

    Like Yevgeny Vitishko, who was jailed Monday for swearing in public, Kharchenko is a member of the Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus, a group that has been monitoring the environmental effects of Olympic construction.

    Activists have been raising concerns for months about an apparent campaign of intimidation and harassment of activists and journalists in the Sochi area.”

    • johnnylarue says:

      The reality of the Olympics is, unfortunately, heinous profit-mongering at the best of times. Combine that with Russia’s, let’s say, “lack of subtlety”, and you’re suddenly a long ways off from “little Jenny Sunshine from Deer Lake, who’s been training her whole life for a chance to represent her country in a sledding competition…”

  24. munch17 says:

    I thought what MT did last night was pathetic.
    Putting DD and Max out for the last few seconds with an empty net and man advantage was ridiculous.
    White’s and Eller’s line worked hard , contributed , and deserved a candy.
    I don’t know how MT can face those players. I think DD looked embarrassed. They had zero shots last night at that point.

  25. habstrinifan says:

    The game ? Meh!

    This is funnier as per CNN.COM

    “George Zimmerman to fight rapper DMX in celebrity boxing bout”

  26. punkster says:

    Lars Eller
    24 years old
    6’2″ and 215 lbs
    10.5% shooting percentage (dropped to 9.1% this year)
    52.2% FO
    All while being horribly misused as a winger, as a 3rd or 4th line filler with a variety of line mates, and suffering the same fate as Galchenyuk by being victimized by MTs obsessive DD focus (Gallagher’s move away from the EGG).

    Let me see:
    – big skilled centre
    – young
    – wins face offs
    – and to boot he forechecks and is a puck possession beast

    Ya…let’s dump him now.

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

    • Mattyleg says:

      I don’t think we should dump him, but I’d like to see him play better.
      Like stop giving the damn puck away all the damn time!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • adadi says:

        He’s tired of being treated like a 2nd class player. He has much more skill than DD but MT will go with his favourites. If MB is dumb enough to keep MT the best thing would be to trade Eller. At least that way he’ll have an honest chance.

        • Luke says:

          If he has all this skill and is super awesome than Eller should have seized the role as a top offensive forward.

          Either he can’t seize it or he won’t.

          Bournival effectively seized a role away from Briere for 30 or so games this season. That;s whey he floated around the line up. Now Bournival’s play has evened out and Briere’s has picked up. Briere seized his place back. That’s the way it should work.

          Please keep in mind – MT’s goal is to win. It’s what keeps him employed. If Eller plays lights out he’ll get more time. The problem for Eller is that he is not playing better than DD or Plex right now.

          The EGG line went all humpty dumpty before MT took it apart. MT was giving them a bigger role. Other teams were assigning better checkers against them and they stopped producing and were getting pinned in their own zone. That’s whey they were split.

          If you want to discuss DD’s play in the first half and being given too many chances, well, fine. But remember, he has been a healthy scratch. And like Eller, DD’s also been demoted to 4th line and benched. The current state of the matter is this: DD is currently the Habs best offensive centre (shudder…) and Eller has to make his breaks.

          And I’m an Eller fan. I have him, like Burly, pegged as the #2 behind Galchenyuk and ahead of Plex eventually. However, his play recently is plenty unispired. At least when DD was useless, he wasn’t playing uninspired. He was just ineffective.

          • krob1000 says:

            MT has a three yera contract…he gets paid no matter what happens

          • Luke says:

            He doesn’t want to get fired, regardless of whether he gets paid or not.
            He wants to be an NHL coach, therefore he wants to win. Thus he plays the players in roles that be suit that need.

      • boing007 says:

        DD gives the puck away all the time. Like taking candy from a baby.

        Richard R

    • shiram says:

      Even if he’s not lighting it up, he still contributes and fills a need.
      He looks kinda lost in the O-zone though, but he has not had great wingers in a long time either.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I agree Punkster. When Galchenyuk is back after the Olympics the four centermen should clearly be Plekanec-Galcheyuk-Eller-White.

      Desharnais and Briere should not be on the team.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Don’t think the Habs should dump him, but he is what he is. He is a third line center who can contribute some offence (40ish points if lucky) and is defensively responsible. He lacks the vision and hockey sense to be a good 2nd line center.

      • johnnylarue says:

        I have to agree with you regarding vision/hockey sense. He’s rock-solid defensively, but doesn’t seem to read the play in the offensive zone very well.

        And sorry to those of you with a hate on for short people: Larry is no match for DD in terms of playmaking ability.

    • Luke says:

      How many games did he actually play at wing? Wasn’t it 2?

      (I think he is too much of a puck possession beast).

    • Sportfan says:

      I think DD is the one who needs to be dumped not Eller lol.

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

  27. Strummer says:

    Tim Micallef of Sportsnet on Twitter

    Tim Micallef ‏@tim_micallef ·36 mins
    Heading into a Canadian goaler showdown w/ Luongo on Thurs…CAREY PRICE, after struggling thru Jan, is 2-1-1 in last 4 w/ a save% of 970!

    FLA 2 TOR 0
    SOG: FLA 42 TOR 15
    I knew the LEAF fathers were there…I didn’t know they were playing!!

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

  28. Mattyleg says:

    Here’s a little note for some of you, care of Chris Nilan, and it is something that I’ve been saying for a while now:

    This idea of ‘showcasing’ players and ‘increasing their value’ is nonsense, as Nilan pointed out on the radio yesterday. When Diaz was playing #4 or 5 for us, if Bergevin had shopped him around, saying, “Look, check out Diaz; a real #4 or 5 defenseman,” other GMs would say, “gimme a break, Marc.”

    If Diaz sits, it means that we have defencemen who are playing better within our system than him, or that we have better similar defencemen to him. That’s all.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  29. Old Bald Bird says:

    A sincere question.

    During the first half of the season, Pleks was an offensive force.

    Lately, he isn’t.

    Isn’t this his usual pattern?

    Or am I all off? (I am not the most erudite observer.)

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Could it be a bad case of Olympics fever? As discussed in earlier threads, the Olympics is a very big deal for European athletes — moreso than the Stanley Cup. Plus Plecky is the captain this time around. Lots of prestige in that and with it comes pressure. Maybe it’s affecting his game. Or maybe it’s the fatigue thing that always seems to hit me around this time of year. Hard to know.

    • punkster says:

      The mark of MT…more a tattoo of shame really.

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

    • Strummer says:

      I always thought Pleks could be comparable to Datsyuk if he had 2 big wingers like Zetterberg and Franzen.
      It’s the quality of his wingers that brings him down.
      Look how good he was with Kovy and AKost.
      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  30. adadi says:

    This team is screwed. They only managed one goal on one of the worst teams in the league that did not play very well. Yikes.

    • jrshabs1 says:

      Did you not get enough last night dude? Nobody really cares about troll opinions here. Continue to try to stir the pot..you may feel unsatisfied at the end of the day.

      MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

      • adadi says:

        Not stirring the pot dude. Just pointing out how pathetic this team is.

        • CJ says:

          Average, not pathetic, average.

          We have played terribly at times. We are NOT terrible though. I don’t think we are about to set the league on fire either, but find some balance.

          • adadi says:

            Sorry, but except for Price, pathetic is the correct term.

          • CJ says:

            Just to confirm, you felt that White, Bournival and Weise were pathetic last night? Gorges and Murray pathetically killed a two minute 5-3?

            You honestly can’t feel this way. Do you?

          • JUST ME says:

            Do not lose your time with this guy CJ . His daily negative rants are useless.Funny cause he also writes on TSN but is so much more tamed down there cause others are better than him being negative. He is one of those who we wanted Boone to get rid of. There it is said back to ignoring him !

          • boing007 says:

            Add feeble to the list. Floppy, sloppy fumblebums.

            Richard R

          • adadi says:

            Running home to mama are we? Sounds like DD and MT.

            By the way CJ. Not scoring on 2 minute 5 on 3 is rather a confirmation of the state of the Flames, is it not?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I had no idea that our Habs were struggling to score goals recently, I just assumed it was a hot Calgary team that limited the team to one goal with a goalie in net. Thanks for the tip.

    • krob1000 says:

      That worst team in the league had won 5 in a row beating Minnestoa, Chicago, San Jose, Phoenix and NAshville…to me that qualifies as a team playing pretty well. Calgary scored 5 agaisnt SJ, Chic, NAsh and 4 against MInny

      • adadi says:

        Yeah, they played great last night, heh! Cup material alright. Burke should start planning the parade.

        • krob1000 says:

          I am not sure how your television works but mine has multiple stations to choose from…you should try and locate your owners manual and look into it. I just prss a couple of numbered buttons and the hit “ok” and VOILA..there is some other picture on the screen..pretty cool. I am sure if you look into this you can make it happen…and no worries you can still complain about whatever else you find on there.

    • CJ says:

      My opinion is not worth more then yours. However when every single post reads like a chapter from a Stephen King novel you tend to wear down your audience.

  31. jrshabs1 says:

    Murray was a good soldier last night. He’s a guy you want to have around next year when the new guys break through.
    Food for thought!
    Have Galchenyuk center MaXPac. These to could be the next Hull and Oates. Galchenyuk is a wizard with the puck and best passer on the team. MaxPac could do nothing but shoot the puck, since he is the best shooter on the team. Weise would be a good fit on the other wing.

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

    • adadi says:

      Never happen. MT will never do anything to hurt his boy toy DD.

      MOAR SMARTER!!!

    • grizzles says:

      Weise is a fringe NHLer and you want him on the top line? thats a joke. He’s a 4th line plug and nothing more. don’t let 1 game cloud reality. Also Murray is possibly the worst player in the league. If he is resigned we have a big problem on our hands

  32. Phil C says:

    @Hobie ( continued from other page)
    Net presence is about going to the net without the puck. It is a penalty to stop a player without the puck from going to the net, that’s why guys like Gionta, Briere, and Gallagher have made a career out of playing around the net.

    I agree small players should not play dump and chase, they should keep the puck on their stick as much as possible where their quickness is an asset. Most small players have great hands which makes them even tougher to defend. Do you play hockey Hobie? Defending shifty small players is tougher than you think.

    Being small is mainly a liability when you don’t have the puck. Blaming their offensive woes on size is way off the mark, IMO.

    • Forum Dog says:

      I appreciate your point and agree with much of it, but I think size and strength is an issue in puck possession as well. This is especially the case down low and along the wall. I cannot count the number of times I have seen Desharnais, Briere, and Plekanec pushed off the puck down low, short-circuiting the attack and sending it back the other way. Gionta is a little more successful due to his strength and tencacity, but the only small forward that the Habs have who consistently wins board battles and controls the puck down low is Gallagher. Bigger forwards who can box guys out are much more effective in today’s NHL when it comes to puck protection in these situations.

      In open ice, yes, smaller players can be super effective. But since so much of the game is played along the boards, you need to have a good mix.

      • Phil C says:

        Every player has advantages and disadvantages. You have pointed out one of the disadvantages of being small along the boards. An advantage is that once a small player wins a puck battle, he has the ability to create separation in one or two steps due to being quicker and becomes very dangerous. So big defensemen have to be careful when they engage physically along the boards with a smaller player.

        Chicago in the playoffs last year completely dismantled the Kings forecheck with their defense’s ability to move the puck. Without being able to dominate on the forecheck, the Kings all of a sudden looked very ordinary and their size advantage was neutralized.

        Anyway, your point is valid, I just think the size thing gets waaaaaay overstated, especially on offense.

        • Forum Dog says:

          I agree. Bigger is only better if it fills a need. The Habs, for example, don’t need to fill their top two lines with big guys who bring little else to the table. Guys like Weise aren’t going to solve their goal scoring woes. What they do need is a top six forward who is both big (as in over 6′ and 200 lbs) AND talented. I am thinking of Hossa types, and those are extremely hard to come by.

          • Phil C says:

            A guy like Hossa would be awesome. That was the type of player I thought AK46 could become.Too bad that didn’t work out.

          • Forum Dog says:

            Man, I hoped that for a number of years as well. Kostitsyn was another one of those guys though who did not want to grind it out down low. He wanted to play in open ice and rifle shots on the fly. He was good at that, but did not develop the other parts of his game. Too bad…..

            Pacioretty has parts of that to his game as well. Habs need him to up the baseline for his compete level. He can dominate when he is on, but he too likes to play in open ice. That is why Cole was such a good compliment for him and DD. He could work the puck along the boards create plays down low. Gallagher is good, but his size does limit his effectiveness.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      That is completely ridiculous. Gallagher and Gionta can drive to the net for smaller players, absolutely.

      However, the makeup of the forwards as a whole is way too small. They are simply losing puck battles along the wall, in the corners and in front of the net as a result. They are having their passes broken up and are being outreached.

      They need some bigger bodies who can put their shoulders down and drive to the net from along the wall and come out from the corner.

      They are clearly missing a couple aggressive, big, power forwards, to cause some havoc and create room in the offensive zone.

      Sure it’s tough to handle shifty, small players if their names are Martin St. Louis, who is also surrounded by a big team BTW. NHL Defenceman are really not having a problem containing the Habs forwards and boxing them out.

      • Phil C says:

        There are only a handful of players in the entire league who can drive the net on a regular basis with the puck. Guys with a rare combination of size and speed like Erik Cole or Rick Nash, or guys with superhuman puck protection skills, like Datysuk. I agree that it would be nice to see the Habs do it more, but not sure how realistic a goal it is to get players like that.

        The Habs bottom two lines have lots of big bodies, size is not the issue there.

        You agree that Gionta and Gallagher have good net presence and win puck battles, so size is not an issue there.

        That leaves DD and Briere, which I think are redundant players. One should probably go, ideally for a scoring winger with more size. Size problem solved.

  33. Forum Dog says:

    One thing I’ve wondered and heard discussed wrt to Markov is whether or not he might be thinking about going back to the KHL to finish off his career. I’ve heard that mentioned as a possible reason for him dropping Donnie Meehan as his agent. Pure speculation, but would be an interesting twist to how things play out toward the trade deadline.

    I’d love to see him retire from the NHL as a career Hab, but the only way it makes business sense is if Montreal is comfortably in the playoffs and want to keep him for the run.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I don’t think that he is in any rush to head back to Russia.
      He’s a Canadian citizen now, and has said he wants to stay here.

      I figure he dropped Meehan because he wasn’t interested in seeing a percentage of his last big contract disappearing into his pocket, especially considering he can probably negotiate something worthwhile himself with the Habs.

      To me that indicates that he’s willing to take a smaller amount, which his agent wouldn’t be so interested in doing (because of the cut to his own earnings).

      I hate agents. They’re self-important parasites.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • adadi says:

        Matty it sounds like we actually agree on this.

      • Forum Dog says:

        Matty/Adadi – Hopefully you are right. Like I say, I’d like to see him retire a Hab. My only concern is that his game is waning. If they can get him for $4M or so I’m fine, but I would not want to see them pay upwards of that when they have so many other needs to address.

        If there is a chance that he walks, I think dealing him is sensible. The absence of an agent makes a “gentlemen’s agreement” more likely, so hopefully MB and Markov have one in place.

    • adadi says:

      The Markov situation is really simple. Markov has said he wants to stay put. He dumped his agent, giving MB the message that we can talk about the money. If he signs for a reasonable amount, 4M or less for two years, all is cool. If not, MB should trade him. It really isn’t that complicated MB. Hope you’ve already had a talk with him. Deadline is very fast approaching.

      My guess is that Markov will accept 2 years. In two years all options are still open if he does.

    • Cal says:

      So, Markov becoming a Canadian citizen is a huge stunt?

      • Forum Dog says:

        It’s not like he gave up being Russian. Having dual citizenship, especially when your homeland is Russia, is a great to have regardless of where you play hockey. Not sure I would rely on it as a final indicator of where his next contract comes from.

  34. Sportfan says:

    LOL I read the SN article about what’s in store for their NHL coverage and they believe if it is successful other leagues will fellow them. They are in denial if they think the big leagues like the NFL, MLB, NBA etc. will copy a station who is trying to make their own mark on the hockey world. None of those leagues will pay attention.

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

  35. Bripro says:

    I don’t usually prescribe to speculative trades, so that’s enough tonic for me today.

    On the bright side, I think Dale Weise will not only be a positive addition on the ice, but he’s a great interview.
    He’s pretty sure of himself, and spontaneously funny.
    I hope he fits in. He certainly did on and off the ice last night.

  36. shiram says:

    Of active players, 6 have over a PPG pace in the playoffs.

    http://www.quanthockey.com/nhl/records/nhl-active-players-all-time-playoff-points-per-game-leaders.html

    Here’s hoping for more playoffs magic from Danny B, in a few months.

    Also, Habs are the 6th team with the most fighting majors, and 8 out of the top 10 are Eastern teams.

    http://www.hockeyfights.com/leaders/teams/

  37. Hobie Hansen says:

    Something rare happened on a couple occasions last night. I heard the crowd applaud rather loudly after the 4th line spent an entire shift in Calgary’s end. They banged, crashed, caused turnovers and took a bunch of shots.

    Now if we could only get the other lines to play like that?

  38. adamkennelly says:

    Markov is our only UFA that should get a 1st rounder in return. trading him is the smart thing to do.

    how bout Markov and Bourque to Colorado for 1st, McGinn and Bordeleau.

    • RockinRey says:

      Agree that Markov should be moved. There really should be no untouchables on this club except for Gally, Chucky, PK and Price and I would listen to offers for the last two….

      If MB is sincere about building the club and going with youth he has to make bold moves. Markov is serviceable has built up goodwill with his name and could fetch something decent….first rounder and a depth and a body perhaps…..

      Markov will never again have as much trade value as he has now. Wanna be sentimental? Offer him a contract in the summer. But trade him now!!!!

      GIO
      DD
      Briere
      Bourque
      Moen
      Murray
      Gorges

      And others could be candidates to be moved……

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

      • grizzles says:

        thinking of trading PK is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. He’s a once a decade kind of player. i wouldn’t trade him for 3 first round picks

        • Luke says:

          I’d trade PK for Tavares right now.

          Not Thinking of trading a player is the dumbest thing. Any player should be available if the right offer is made.

          It has to be the right return though.

    • piper says:

      That would be sweet. But the way Markov is playing how would it benefit Colorado?

      • RockinRey says:

        Change of Scene, less pressure, pair him with someone where he is not asked to do so ( too) much. Insulate him…..

        I would love to see what they could get for him…….

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Just as an fyi, at present the Colorado 1st round pick would be 25th overall. Here are the players selected 25th overall in recent years.

      2006 – Patrick Berglund – 410 Games played
      2007 – Patrick White – No NHL games played
      2008 – Greg Nemisz – 15 Games played
      2009 – Jordan Caron – 113 Games played
      2010 – Quintin Howden – 15 Games played

      I am not against moving Markov for a good deal, but a late 1st round pick is no guarantee of success, and if it is, the player will take 3-4 years usually before he has impact in NHL. Some good players are still available then, but no guarantees.

      • RockinRey says:

        Does not have to be Colorado!

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          My point was not that the trade has to be Colorado. People often hear 1st round pick and start doing jumping jacks like the lottery was won. A late first round pick is no guarantee is my only point. Apologies for how vaguely I made that point….

      • Kooch7800 says:

        100 % agree. He is better kept if the price is right. If you can get a prospect though or a couple of picks like a 1 round and 2 round pick I would probably do it. That is pretty steep for a rental though

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • adamkennelly says:

        thats the problem. teams willing to pay for Markov as a rental will be in the mix for a cup – which means the 1st round pick will be relatively low.

        need to get a somewhat decent player or prospect as well.

        I picked McGinn because he is young, has size, a bit of jam and puts up decent points (14 goals – more than anyone on the Habs not named Max).

        Markov’s value is already off its peak – need some demand competition to move it back up but I think it’ll get there.

        he should definitely be moved.

      • Luke says:

        The Nemisz pick was the Montreal pick sent to Calgary for Tangs (as he likes to be called).

    • grizzles says:

      that trade would be an absolute disaster for the Habs. Nowhere near equal value

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        Depends whether he figures into long term plans or not. If he doesn’t, they will just lose him to FA. I think they will sign him, however, so I guess my point is moot. :)

      • adamkennelly says:

        wrong – keeping Markov and re-signing him would be a disaster…

        you want him on the Habs next year – fine – trade him and then sign.

        • grizzles says:

          You don’t think we could get more than McGinn, a low first rounder and a face puncher for one of our best and most valuable players and bourque? come one man

          • adamkennelly says:

            honestly I don’t – I hope you are right but I doubt it.

            1st round picks have value
            McGinn has value
            Bordeleau doesn’t really but Habs would be set in the punch in the face category for years and we could check the local box without expecting them to score goals.

          • piper says:

            I’d really like to see Tom Wilson for Markov but the Caps are looking like sellers now at this point.

  39. Forum Dog says:

    Quick thoughts from last nights game (many of which have already been discussed):

    – 4th line was great. Whitey and his crew were very effective. I thought Weise did a great job first game in. They brought a lot of energy and were sound enough to warrant the 13 minutes they got. Adding Moen when he is healthy should result in a real high-quality 4th line. If they can keep it up, they will be valuable for the Habs down the stretch and (hopefully) into the playoffs, especially if they can chip in the odd goal. Both Whitey and Weise were point-a-game guys in junior, so they have some ability.

    – Thought Bourque-Eller-Prust played a good game together, especially the wingers. I have to say that Eller is troubling sometimes. It’s a “million dollar skill-set with a ten-cent head” scenario sometimes. That penalty off the draw was just plain stupid and, though I may be mistaken, I think it’s the second time in about 2 months that he has had that called against him.

    – Briere-Plekanec-Gionta were okay and created a few chances, but that is a small line that doesn’t manage the puck all that well. Tough to consider them a consistent offensive threat.

    – Didn’t seem to notice Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher too much. I seem to recall a couple of chances that Desharnais squandered by refusing to SHOOT THE PUCK.

    – Defensive corps played well. Seems like Murray is taking on a bigger role and is doing a pretty good job of it. Looks like the 82 game grind is beginning to wear on Markov.

    – Price was good. Wasn’t tested all that often, but made the saves he had to which is pretty much all you can ask.

    Bottom line is that they’re gonna have to manufacture some more top-six scoring, ’cause at the moment they don’t seem likely to win games against teams that can put 3 on the board……

    • munch17 says:

      DD shot the puck-once the goalie was removed!

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Someone said yesterday, that Eller’s head is somewhere between being the kind of player that his nature wants him to be, and the kind of player that MT wants him to be.

      • Forum Dog says:

        I generally subscribe to that idea and am a big Eller fan, but that dumb-dumb penalty doesn’t play into this, and is not the only questionable play I’ve seen him make recently. Could be that his confidence is a bit frazzled with all the shifting around and lack of quality ice, but you have to keep your head screwed on and make the smart plays if you want to gain the coaches confidence. And I think that applies regardless of who the coach is….

        If Calgary had of scored on that 5-on-3 (and they had a couple of good chances) he would have been crucified.

    • boing007 says:

      DD is not programmed to shoot the puck. Does not compute.

      Richard R

  40. Bripro says:

    Between snores last night, I picked up from Mario Brunet that Plex line had a good night.
    I would argue that 2/3 of the line had a good night, but poor Gionta….
    maaan!

    Apparently the Habs had 22 turnovers last night. And they stated that Beaulieu had 5 and Markov had 4.

    If you look at the box scores it says that Gionta had 0. Really?
    I counted 4 in the first period alone.

    I really don’t see that he brings much to the team anymore. He doesn’t score, yet MT has him velcroed to Plex’s coat tails.

    I’m not in the room, so I can’t really judge his leadership, and yes he tries hard to lead by example, but he’s beyond his past-due date.

    I’d package him and Eller in a big deal for a number 1 centre.
    As long as Eller needs therapy, he will always strive to try and find himself. No question he’s got talent, but he’s much too hard on himself, and more often than not, he seems lost. As a couch coach, I’d either trade him, or reassemble the EGG line.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am not sure this package thing does anything, but perhaps hurt the trade value of the other player in the trade. Eller on his own would probably garner much interest, I am sure the Columbus GM (he was scout in St. Louis when Eller was drafted) would love to have Eller. By adding Gionta to the trade, you are making another team take on the remainder of the contract of a player whom they probably don’t want.

      Given Gionta is UFA this summer, it would be better to either try and trade Gionta on his own this season, or take the lumps and wait until off season for him to find work elsewhere. Eller I still believe in, but do understand the frustrations people have with him. Given the success he had at center with Gally and Gally however, makes me believe we should indeed do that before trading him away.

      There are two other centers on this team I would rather see traded away before giving up on Eller.

      • Bripro says:

        Actually, yours is a far more rational observation than my rant.
        I’m a little frustrated with Gio, especially given last night’s lack of effort. Maybe he has the flu, but he’s gone from 3rd, to 2nd gear… to neutral.
        And I lumped Eller in because I think he’s been given lots of opportunity to better himself. And I’m certain we’d get decent trade value for him. Not saying I want to trade him …. but he needs to up his game.
        He did well on the EGG line because of Gallagher.
        Everyone who plays with the kid benefits.
        At one point last night, I assume this was a line change not quite completed, but Gallagher was with Max and Prust, then Prust and Bourque, and they all buzzed constantly around the Flames’ net.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Really have to wonder about Gionta’s health. Granted everytime I wonder if he can make a wrist shot he gets a goal like he did 2 games ago. But seems to me he is a shell of his old self. Having said all that, he and Plex form a very very responsible pairing on the ice. Gio/Briere do seem to know how to find each other on the ice pretty well. But that line just isn’t a scoring line. Too much of the same on it. Plex to me is excellent defensively with some very good talent, but not an elite offensive centerman. To me he is much like Carboneau was in Montreal, one of the best 2 way centermen in hockey. In an ideal world he centers Montreal’s 3rd line checking the oppositions top line into the ground. Galchenyuk centers our premiere offensive line and Eller centers our 2nd line. Yup, I left someone out….

          • Bripro says:

            You left someone out? Really?
            Funny…. I look out over the horizon, and I don’t see anyone.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Gionta and pleks are great defensively but unfortunately we have a ton of great definsive forwards and not a lot of offensive forwards.

            Gionta needs to be moved. I like him and he has been decent as a hab but isn’t the same player he was when he first came. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if moen is moved to a contender. He is great defensively as well, can fight and can chip in offensively sometimes. With the addition of Weise i think we need to move one of the bottom six forwards as we seem to have too many. I would like Gionta to be moved and to put Galchenyuk on the wing with Pleks. Give him an actual opportunity to succeed and put him on the PP.

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • grizzles says:

        i for one do not understand the frustration with Eller at all. He plays with Prust and Bourque. What do we expect? its not a coincidence that his best this season has come with the gallys.

    • mushalain says:

      Yea right! Package Gionta a over the hill player and Eller who will never be more than a 40 point player for a number 1 center? Unfortunately there are not many Mike Milbury type gm’s out there.

    • boing007 says:

      The Pleks line would be much more effective if Gionta was not on it.

      Richard R

  41. jeffhabfan says:

    Every win is Big but we are a pretty boring Team to watch this year.I hope we can go into the break on a bit of a run.GO HABS GO.

  42. krob1000 says:

    Olympics really sneaking up on me …only two more games and then the break and the Olympics …thought there was more time than that.

    • habs-hampton says:

      Can there really be any debate over who is the starting goalie for Canada? Luongo has been playing so-so for weeks, and Price is just so consistently good (even those games where he got pulled).

  43. homerbowen says:

    Certainly not a classic but the 2 points are great! I thought Murray had a strong game last night. While he is a weak skater his size, willingness to block shots and knock people down keeps him on my team anyday. Weise was definatly an upgrade from Diaz, however, I wish nothing but the best for Diaz. I will continue with my “rant” to see us “size up” and in that regard we can only afford one tiny player (Gallagher). Every effort should be made to move Gionta, Briere and DD (they are not the future). I would also entertain offers on Markov but only for significant returns.

  44. Sportfan says:

    Did a fan try to take Bourques stick at the end of the game
    ?

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

  45. Strummer says:

    Rogers releasing more information on their plans for NHL broadcasts next season:

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2014/02/04/rogers_unveils_plans_for_nhl_broadcasts_next_season.html

    Notable:
    Hockey Night in Canada, the brand that began on CBC and continues there on a four-year deal, will expand to all other Sportsnet properties for all Saturday games. That means City could broadcast the Canadiens, Sportsnet the Senators and CBC the Maple Leafs, all at the same time nationally and all under the umbrella of HNIC

    “We will be in a position to announce all our hockey commentators by early May. You can expect by end of April we’d have people under contract.”

    More Habs games in English in the Toronto market is awsome.

    ___________________________________________________

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


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