About last night …

MaxCelebrate

Is Max Pacioretty the best bargain in the NHL?
His three goals against Vancouver gave Hat-cioretty (apologies: I just love that one) 26 goals in the 49 games he’s played.
Pacioretty is on a contract that pays him $4.5 million and runs through the 2018-’19 season.
Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta are the Canadiens’ highest-paid forwards. Each makes $5 million.
Plekanec has 17 goals.
Gionta has 10.
Daniel Brière makes $500,000 less than Pacioretty and has scored nine goals this season.
So just call him Max Walmart: Great value at everyday low prices.

And of course, Pacioretty could have had five goals had he connected on those two penalty shots.

During the Canadiens’ recent travails, I haven’t been the biggest Max Pacioretty fan. Benoit Brunet on RDS has called him a “finesse player in a power forward’s body.”

Pacioretty’s reluctance to use that big body in greater proximity to opponents’ goal creases is a source of some frustration … the more so because so few of his teammates, large or small, play in the dirty areas.

But what the heck, Pacioretty is what he is. And while it might be nice to have him playing more like Brendan Gallagher, 26 goals is nothing to sneeze at (or, in Max-Pac’s case, bleed over).

The Canadiens’ leading scorer has excellent chemistry with David Desharnais, and Gallagher’s non-stop motor and ready willingness to sacrifice his body makes their unit clearly the Canadiens’ number 1 line.

What’s been pleasing, in this week’s wins over Calgary and Vancouver, is the evolution of some stability among the team’s other forwards.

Although subbed for defensive purposes in the third period, Daniel Brière has played his best hockey with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

The newly-minted fourth line, which was outstanding against Calgary, had another solid night. Ryan White notched his first goal of the season and went 6-2 on faceoffs. Newcomer Dale Weise – a really good skater for a man his size – picked up an assist and put in some time on the penalty-kill. Let’s hope Michäel Bournival’s injury is not serious enough to derail a fourth line that is giving the Canadiens quality minutes.

The Lars Eller line got physical play from Rene Bourque and Brandon Prust, but I’m looking forward to the return of Alex Galchenyuk after the Olympic break. I’d like to see the kid playing centre by the end of the season, but that likely will be contingent on the Canadiens making some trade-deadline moves.

•  •  •

A W is a W, and the Canadiens remain in third place in the Atlantic Division.

But let’s not line up our spots for the Cup parade just yet, eh?

Vancouver was missing Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa plus three other defencemen.

Oh, and Henrik Sedin didn’t play.

And they outshot the Canadiens 44-29.

OK, back to sunny optimism.

•  •  •

Carey Price won the duel of Team Canada goaltenders.

Price, who made 42 saves, has elevated his game leading up to Sochi. Since that dreadful 5-0 loss to Washington, Price has shut out Carolina and Carolina and held Tampa Bay, Winnipeg and Vancouver to two goals.

He’s hot.

Roberto Luongo?

Maybe not.

•  •  •

Douglas Murray played almost 17 minutes despite missing a few shifts after taking a wicked shot on his nakle.

Murray had a couple of hits and blocked four shots. The big Swede has pretty much nailed down a starting  job and is an ideal complement to Nathan Beaulieu, who is gaining confidence with each game.

P.K. Subban engineered the first goal of the game and was plus-2 . But his three giveaways and frequent u-turns back into the Canadiens zone on skating forays reinforced the perception that P.K. hasn’t been himself lately.

 

 

 

 

460 Comments

  1. Habfan10912 says:

    Vanek? NO!!!!!!! If you think some of our players lack intensity, you should watch Vanek. Talent? Yep. Effort? Nope.

    I base this on personal observation. The preferred method of CJ.

    @CJ. Hint. :). :). :)

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Agree, the players in play on the island should be okposo and grabner…..obviously tavares, but that would never happen!

      Shaker out!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Don’t worry Jim there is not a chance in h -e double hockey sticks that MB would trade for Vanek

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • CJ says:

      Haha, I like it! And yes, you need to see a player live. So much is lost during the broadcast.

      Just to confirm, I’m having an amazing day. My little man is celebrating his first birthday, while his older brother is spending the morning at preschool. We are heading downtown to scope out Winterlude while grabbing a Starbucks and beaver tails for the boys. Life is grand!

    • Forum Dog says:

      Gotta say that I think Vanek could be a good rental for the Habs. They do not have good scoring in the current top-six, and last night’s 5 goal outburst was an aberration that belies the fact they got outshot 44-29. Vanek is a legitimate scorer with size, is a RH shot and can likely be had for a 1st rounder and a middle of the road prospect. Adding him could boost their offensive production, which IMO opinion is the thing hurting them the most right now.

      • Ali says:

        This is not the team to add a rental too. I’d love to add a player like Vanek, but only if he’s signed. And seems like he’s headed to Minnesota in the offseason to replace Heatley.

        • Forum Dog says:

          As much as I want the Habs to build toward the future, I think they have a lot of the core pieces already in place. If they wait for the Hudon’s, Collberg’s, Vail’s and McCarron’s of the world to become legitimate front line players, they will likely have already lost guys like Plekanec, Markov and Prust, and will see guys like Price and Pacioretty moving into the second phase of their careers.

          If they traded their 1st rounder this year and were able to solidify their spot, it would be something around 20th overall. Good to have first rounders, but they have lots of junior aged prospects already and if the tradeoff was a legit scorer who could help them in March, April and hopefully May, that would be worth a shot. With Price as their goaler, anything can happen.

          I wouldn’t sign Vanek long-term though for many of the reasons others have identified. I would only want to see him as a rental.

  2. habs-fan-84 says:

    I said it during our “slump” and I’ll say it again. White’s importance to the team is underrated.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      We have seen how contagious the work ethic of Gallagher is to his linemates, I think having a fourth line with White and Weise going out and busting their ass every shift helps the other lines. They don’t get statistical bonus points for those shifts, but the team feeds off an energy shift from the 4th line.

      Let’s hope Whitey can stay healthy for a run here and solidify his 4th line center role.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        Completely agree.
        I think missing White for those few weeks added to the team’s woes during that stretch.

      • Forum Dog says:

        Exactly. When you have guys going out there and mixing it up, it gets everyone fired up and playing hard for each other. Not to mention the camaraderie he brings off the ice. You can see him on the bench constantly tapping everyone and spreading the positivity. He is a true “team-first” guy and they are the glue that keeps everyone pulling in the same direction. Love Whitey. And now that he has a proper sidekick that 4th line will be a treat to watch.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Looks like you were right. Can he stay healthy?

    • CJ says:

      Agreed. I expected a great game from White and he didn’t disappoint. Our third and fourth line look balanced and effective.

  3. jimmy shaker says:

    When chucky gets back, and barring no trades from MB, I think bernie, borky and parros are the odd men out.

    briere/pleks/gio
    gallagher/DD/patch
    chucky/eller/prust
    moen/white/weise

    bernie or bork might draw in maybe for white or weise. I can’t see MB pulling anyone else out, and on the D

    I think frankie is going to start rotating in for murray a little bit like before to keep him fresh and hopefully to heal up from all his welts he must have from the shot blocks. Drewiskie probably goes on waivers and frankie boo is the extra d-man even spelling bealieu from time to time if MT gets cranky with him.

    Shaker out!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I like Bourque with Eller. He was flying out there last night. I think he will start scoring again soon. We need him firing the last half of the season going into the playoffs.

      I am wondering if they won’t want to move Moen now with the addition of Weise. I like Moen but he would def have a market for a trade for his playoff experience and usefulness. I am a Moen fan as well but we need goal scoring and we have enough defensively responsible forwards who can play the PK. Now we need goals

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Agree, moen could be let go allowing prust to slide into the fourth line spot and bork to slip in with eller and chucky……still leaving bernie and parros the odd men out. Might be able to fetch a 4th or 5th round pick for moen. MT and MB both like this guy, not sure of his contract status, believe he might have another year after this one left and is a reasonable cap hit. I guess it’s a good problem to have.

        Shaker out!

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I agree about a good problem to have. I think you could probably get a 3rd with a prospect. Moen is a versatile forward who could really help a team like LA for example if they trade Clifford

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • DickandDanny says:

          MT’s favourite player by far…he’s not going anywhere.

          “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • DickandDanny says:

      Put Bourque in Gio’s spot. Gionta is half the player Bourque is. And I’m not talking size. It’s time to break up this Gio/Pleks bromance. They were awful last night. The least effective line we had. Ran around in our end all light chasing the puck. And, Gio was looking over his shoulder all night. Worst game I’ve seen him play.

      “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  4. Caesar says:

    @Luke below Lucky = Carey

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Agree, Luke is way off on his short and sweet rant.

      Price could’ve easily had two donuts on the weekend with an extra 3 points right now in the standings. Flukey own goal by PK against tampa and bad wrap around and bad give away on the pegs two goals, so luck and loser point is unwarranted. Price is doing the job and so is the team as of late.

      Shaker out!

  5. Curtis O Habs says:

    It should be the teams option, penalty shot or minor penalty.

  6. saskhabsfan says:

    We need more guys like Murray, who do what they know they can do and actually play with emotion! He knows when to pinch and is the only guy besides Beaulieu to pinch! He doesn’t take penalties and the other team doesn’t act like goofs cause he might knock them out! Did you see Shawn Thornton at all last week, he was pretty quiet! I would sign Murray and maybe some other guys might pick up there play, who knows it might rub off on them!

    • knob says:

      Tinordi should mould his game after Murray. Murray has been great lately for us.

    • piper says:

      I don’t understand why so many on this site put down Murray. Sure he’s a slow skater but he does so many other things so well. It’s funny how some fans see players so differently than other fans.

    • kalevine says:

      Murray deserves to get a goal soon. He’s made some smart plays from the point and come close

    • Caesar says:

      Whenever forwards are chasing the puck into Murray’s corners they are all looking back and some even bail when they know he is close. And what at treat to play Boston with no BS after every whistle. In my humble opinion Murray has been just what the doctor ordered. Opposing goons know they might have to go with Parros and they are ready, but no one is going to start taking extra whacks at Carey when Murray is right there. Is this all because he stood up to Scott at the end of a shift? To say Tinordi needs to model himself after Murrray is an understatement all he needs to do is gain 30 pounds of muscle and be ready to take on all comers. If he can do this in the next 5 years we will have one of the best defense corps in the league assuming PK stays and Beaulieu / Emelin continue to improve.

  7. jrs10069 says:

    Is Max P the only guy who can get a hatrick and still seem like a bit of a loser?

    Even without the 2 missed penalty shots, all 3 of his goals were crap, #2 was ok but all DD.

    jrs10069

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hmmmmm there seems to be something ironic about this post.

    • kalevine says:

      that’s the thing about many true goal scorers. They never seem to do anything good except score. But, funny thing, most teams need at least one

    • Luke says:

      They don’t ask how pretty they just ask how many.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Disagree on the 2nd one. That was mostly Pacioretty from what I saw. He dug the puck out from behind the net, gave a short pass to Desharnais, then went to the net and got a behind the back feed from Davey. Other than Davey flipping it backwards, that goal was all Pacioretty.

      From what I saw, Pacioretty actually used his size to create opportunities last night, driving to the net and working along the wall. He gets criticized because he doesn’t do these things consistently. If he played like that every single game, he’d be a 40+ goal scorer and everyone would love him.

    • bwoar says:

      Eh even I’ve gotta give him credit. Those were some weak PS attempts but Luongo is awesome on those (less so in the shootout, go figure). Not sure how a guy gets 3 goals and gets crapped on the next day. He was skating when he had the puck; he’s not gonna dig it up or go into a corner but he did what he’s paid to do – silly to rag on a guy over style points.

      “thoroughbred”

  8. krob1000 says:

    Diaz isa better dman than Douglas Murray….true.
    Murray is ophysical, is a deterrant, is a body type sorely lacking in Montreal, he is a shot blocking machine. HE is slow as molasses, his stick skills and puck moving ability are limited.
    Diaz is an average skater, on the smaller side, a very, very good passer, very smart and underappreciated positionally and has a beter stick both offesnviely and defensively than Murray. Diaz shouold be shooting more as he showeda couple times over the eyars but seemed to have bought more intot eh Josh Gorges dumpt he puck into the corner mentality than getting pucks on net. DBoth guys can play the PK.
    Diaz will command over 3 million next season and a 2-4 year deal.
    Murray can likely be signed dirt cheap and would be ok eatinghot dogs occasionally if he gets bumped out by a better dman.

    The moving of Diaz allowed the HAbs to address a need…a two way guy with speed and grit for the bottom 6. People are comparing players without teh context of the teams they play for far too often and looking at statisitics in vaccuums. To me DIaz and GOrges were the same player ……one had to go for a team that is lacking guys who can play more than 5 minutes who can also add a physical presence. By addng Murray and subtarcting Diaz and then adding Weise the team got siginificantly tougher and more physical. They also saved money paying less for both of them then Diaz alone will cost by next season.
    The clincher is that Weise is young and virtually raw at the NHL level from an offesnive perspective, he has a history of showing some decent scoring ability…this move IMO although minor affects more than it appears on outside. Really three roster spots were affected byt his move. Some will say Beaulieu took Diaz’s spot…to this I say no but Beaulieu’s emergence made it possible to move Diaz. NO matter waht they need a deensvie dman in the lineup…either Diaz or Murray…DIaz offered more but when you look at what opens up by moving Diaz…and the lack of size and grit throughout the lineup the deal makes a ton of sense.

    There will be at least one more move to come but I think despite Diaz out and Murray in…teh making of a space for Beaulieu and the addition of Weise made the team harder to play against, made the team tougher whcih frees up the offensive guys a bit more and gives them a little more leeway in going to the net,etc…..and Weise is one of the fastest guys on the team as is BEulieu…so despite Murray now assuming a regular role…the team was a whole is faster than before as well.

    Once the team finds PK and Eller to get rolling again….the tem will be in very good shape….

  9. knob says:

    Great game by Patches, amongst a few other notables, but the next time he is awarded a penalty shot he should fake an injury. It might be better to have Moen take the shot lol.

    Seriously though, I am fine with his role being a sniper (as opposed to a traditional power forward). He has great speed and the ability to score goals. It has been a while since the Habs had a legitimate 40-goal scorer.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree. Take Patches for what he is and that is a sniper. He is similar to a Cammy type player. Problem is we need some more goal scorers on this team

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • secretdragonfly says:

      I cringe whenever we are (rarely) awarded a penalty shot. The league should really consider giving the coach the option of receiving a 2 min. power play instead. But that will never happen, just like the idea of introducing an CFL-style coach’s challenge.

    • Chuck N. Cognito says:

      Patches’ bread and butter is his shot. Doesn’t matter if the goalie knows you’re going to shoot instead of deke; get in close so that you don’t give the goalie any reaction time, hit your spot with a wrister, and suck up the glory.

  10. JUST ME says:

    It just goes to show how a minor trade can change things or at least make us change the outlook at things. Not that Weise is a game changer but i think we can manage to do good with him and thus makes some players available for a more significant trade. I would really appreciate a top 6 offense and a top 6 defense and with the overstock we have, we could manage to offer a few pakage deals that would be interesting for a few teams. Players like Vanek or Moulson would bring us to another level i think. Hey ! Can`t stop wishful thinking !

    • knob says:

      No way that the Habs could resign Vanek so what would be the point of throwing away top prospects and first round draft picks for the guy. Vanek doesn’t make this team a cup contender and New York will not be interested in our trash.

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Disagree … everyone wants Gionta, Desharnais and Billy Barty (is playing in the ECHL) … don’t they?

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

    • JUST ME says:

      Totally agree that if it is for a rental deal, no way the habs should go for it. But i think that we can dump some salary to make a deal like this fit. I think that if you want something worth while you must be ready to give something good also. This is where fans will hesitate to go but if we want to get to the next level we have to take a different look at our assets.

      The tricky part is for us not giving away prospects and draft picks but in Montreal and in Hamilton we have players that could be interesting…with a pretty little bow maybe ?

    • Davey93 says:

      If vanek was in his mid-20’s, yes. But he’s 30 years old, it’s not worth jeopardizing our future talent for a guy that may not even be effective by the time the Habs are contenders. It’s risky. He’ll probly still be a great player but is it really worth giving up first rounders and our prospects?

      • CJ says:

        Agreed.

        Additionally, fans complain about Pac. Vanek is streaky. Most goal scores are. Imagine him going five games without a point? Now imagine that while he’s being paid $7-$8 million a year.

        I just don’t see it. Especially not as a rental.

      • JUST ME says:

        Would not give first rounders for anyone. I am not necessarly talking about Vanek alone but a player of his caliber that can make a difference. So used to the interchangeable players that you can get anywhere a la Blunden….

  11. Luke says:

    HI/O analysis of Montreal’s previous 6 games:

    Lucky.
    Lucky.
    Loser Point.
    Typical.
    Lucky.
    Lucky.

  12. 25 while im alive says:

    Hate to see markov leave but mantha would be a great return from Detriot.

  13. JF says:

    I wish the staff on HIO would explain why the system persistently refuses to post perfectly innocuous comments. Perhaps they could even fix it. I’ve tried several times to post something this morning. This is the fifth or sixth time this has happened to me in the last couple of weeks. It’s reaching the point where I’m becoming less interested in posting or following the site.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I think it must happen to everyone now and then. I know it does me. You could write your comments in Word, save and then cut and paste to this site. That way you won’t have totally wasted a comment.

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

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Mornin`JF. One possibility is that your HIO account may have been hacked, which happened to me. When my posts vanish, I exit, erase activity traces with Kaspersky (security program), reboot and the exact same wording is accepted upon re-posting. I`m guessin`a lot of hackers despise the Habs.

      “Bends but won’t break”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Weird indeed, I had it happen quite a bit in the last couple weeks. It indeed gets beyond frustrating. Perhaps most frustrating is that nary a word has ever been mentioned by any of the stewards of this site, Stu, Brenda, Boone etc…. I realize they aren’t the techy people responsible, but even a bold face lie like “Hey we are working on it” might help……

  14. third generation haber says:

    Something we can all feel good about; our CHL prospects are quietly having good seasons:

    http://habsprospects.com/statschl.html

    It appears 7 of the 8 forwards will top the 20 goals mark, 2 or 3 of them may score 30. Vail and Hudon are among the top scorers in their leagues, and Thrower is having a big campaign.

    j.p. murray

    • knob says:

      I’m not sold on Hudon. He didn’t look that great at the WJC

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        I believe he was hurt

      • CJ says:

        He hardly played. When he did he was one of the few players who created offence. I think one of the biggest reasons we lost was Sutter’s failure to make in game adjustments. Not deploying Hudon with Mantha and Drouin, a unit who enjoyed tremendous success during the subway series was a major miscalculation. During that series, Hudon was awarded the game’s first start.

        Hudon, barring injuries which have plagued him thus far, could be a serviceable player at the professional level. Again, he will need to be insulated, but has tremendous hockey IQ and the tools to align with this under appreciated asset.

    • JUST ME says:

      Patience is so precious if we are to make valuable players from some of them. We have to consider ourselves lucky to have been able to have many youngsters graduate with succes cause they normally need more time to mature and learn to play with men.

      Some fans are judging the habs prospects only by what is in Hamilton when actually most of the new managements`s draft choices aren`t even there yet !

      But still i tend to agree with cautious comments because there is such a big step between those levels of play and the NHL that results can be misleading.

  15. jimmy shaker says:

    Any chance boods get the crease on saturday? I think he should.

    Shaker out!

  16. JF says:

    I wish the staff on HIO could explain why the system persistently refuses perfectly innocuous comments. Maybe they could even fix it. I’ve tried several times to post the following comment.

    During our losing streak, there was a lot of trashing not only of Michel Therrien, which is the case even when we’re winning, but also of Marc Bergevin. Some of his moves may not have worked out, but over all I think he’s doing a very good job considering the team he inherited and the small margin of manoeuver he had.

    The Desharnais contract is looking a lot better than it did at the start of the season. Since coming our of his slump, he’s producing at pretty close to a point a game, and there’s no question that he is, if not our most skilled centre, the one with the most vision. Some of his passes are unreal. Lars Eller, while he uses his big body well and is defensively responsible, has not yet demonstrated anything like the kind of creativity and hockey sense that Desharnais has. Galchenyuk almost certainly will eventually, but, given the organization’s (new) policy of not rushing young players, it will be a while before he’s ready to be a top centre.

    The addition of Douglas Murray is turning out to be a godsend. The stats geeks can use whatever numbers they like to prove that he’s a bad hockey player, but the Habs desperately needed someone like him.

    But Murray is our only slow player. The addition of Dale Weise brings more speed and net presence to our fourth line, making it a handful for the other team to contain and even something of a scoring threat. A effective fourth line also allows Therrien to distribute ice-time better. When you think of it, the trade of Diaz for Weise was a gutsy move. A skilled, puck-moving defenceman for a fourth-line energy guy. On paper, we lose that trade. But, with the emergence of Nathan Beaulieu, we no longer need Diaz, whereas Weise brings a lot of what we do need.

    In the short time he has been GM, Bergevin has already altered the balance of the team. We’ve always been known as a fast team, but I think we’re even faster. We’re also getting bigger. I love the fact that Bergevin seems to be prioritizing speed. I would hate to see him try to turn the Habs into a slow, lumbering, neutral-zone blocking team. When we use our speed and carry the play, we’re an exciting team to watch.

    Then there’s Carey Price. As some of us said last summer, luring Stéphane Waite away from Chicago could well turn out to have been Bergevin’s most significant off-season move. Most significant because it’s for the long term, whereas most of his other moves were short-term, but also because no team can be a contender without rock-solid goaltending. We now have that.

  17. jacquesthemonkey says:

    I’m glad to see the Habs might finally have an effective 4th line instead of a place to dump underachievers. Like the good ole days of Gainey-Carbonneau-Nilan. Well, I can hope anyway.

  18. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I don’t want to hear any more crap about Murray. Slow? Maybe but he’s playing very well and I like his commitment to physical play. Heck, I just like the big lug. Didn’t even notice Diaz last night. Price starts in the big games in Sochi. No brainer.

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

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Murray has completely turned things around! Either that or it just took some time for he and his teammates to become acquainted with each other.

      For the past month Murray has been a very solid defenceman for this club.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        He also missed training camp with a new team and was a healthy scratch every couple games. Hard to get in a rhythm. I would resign him for another year.

        He is Hal Gill’s replacement. Great on the PK accept he can hit like a brick S house

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Ali says:

      don’t let the guys on THAT other site read that, they’ll flip out.

  19. JF says:

    Why is this comment unacceptable??? I’ve tried several times to post it.

    During our losing streak, there was a lot of trashing not only of Michel Therrien, which is the case even when we’re winning, but also of Marc Bergevin. Some of his moves may not have worked out, but over all I think he’s doing a very good job considering the team he inherited and the small margin of manoeuver he had.

    The Desharnais contract is looking a lot better than it did at the start of the season. Since coming our of his slump, he’s producing at pretty close to a point a game, and there’s no question that he is, if not our most skilled centre, the one with the most vision. Some of his passes are unreal. Lars Eller, while he uses his big body well and is defensively responsible, has not yet demonstrated anything like the kind of creativity and hockey sense that Desharnais has. Galchenyuk almost certainly will eventually, but, given the organization’s (new) policy of not rushing young players, it will be a while before he’s ready to be a top centre.

    The addition of Douglas Murray is turning out to be a godsend. The stats geeks can use whatever numbers they like to prove that he’s a bad hockey player, but the Habs desperately needed someone like him.

    But Murray is our only slow player. The addition of Dale Weise brings more speed and net presence to our fourth line, making it a handful for the other team to contain and even something of a scoring threat. A effective fourth line also allows Therrien to distribute ice-time better. When you think of it, the trade of Diaz for Weise was a gutsy move. A skilled, puck-moving defenceman for a fourth-line energy guy. On paper, we lose that trade. But, with the emergence of Nathan Beaulieu, we no longer need Diaz, whereas Weise brings a lot of what we do need.

    In the short time he has been GM, Bergevin has already altered the balance of the team. We’ve always been known as a fast team, but I think we’re even faster. We’re also getting bigger. I love the fact that Bergevin seems to be prioritizing speed. I would hate to see him try to turn the Habs into a slow, lumbering, neutral-zone blocking team. When we use our speed and carry the play, we’re an exciting team to watch.

    Then there’s Carey Price. As some of us said last summer, luring Stéphane Waite away from Chicago could well turn out to have been Bergevin’s most significant off-season move. Most significant because it’s for the long term, whereas most of his other moves were short-term, but also because no team can be a contender without rock-solid goaltending. We now have that.

  20. GL says:

    If we had a 1st line center and right winger along side of Max you would see what the real max was all about… IMO he’d be the best left winger in the league.

    • third generation haber says:

      Wow! I’m not sure if I would go that far, but I do salivate at the thought of a true first line:

      Pacioretty/ Galchenyuk/ Gallagher

      j.p. murray

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    I realize the stats I am about to expound are not highly technical in nature, but I get this weird feeling they still have some value.

    Montreal with Weise – 2 Wins in 2 Games
    Vancouver with Diaz – 2 Losses in 2 Games

    Maybe I am wrong, but for some reason I think these statistics have value, but I am going to do some deep research, analytics on the numbers to ensure that they actually have any merit.

  22. fasdarken says:

    It’s painfully obvious that terrien has no control over PK. They need to nip this in the bud ASAP. Before it gets worse. Hoping team canada coaches give his head a good shake.

    • Psycho29 says:

      Why would the Team Canada coaches give Therrien’s head a shake? He isn’t even going to Sochi….

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      What would you do with him? Tell him to stop being our best defenceman? Bench him for leading the team in scoring? Sheesh. Maybe if our forwards weren’t so comatose, he wouldn’t feel he needed to do so much.

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

      • monmick says:

        He needs to stop circling back on those aborted rushes. His linemates end up immobile and waiting for him at the blue line. I suspect it’s starting to annoy some of them…

        ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

        • TMan1969 says:

          Monmick,

          I watched the game last night and when was pushing forward, the forwards were changing and Patches signalled for him to go back…the other times the forwards are offside, not in position so they have to reset…and he’s not the only one to circle back..Markov, Gorges, Emelin…at least that’s what I saw last night – my biggest nit would be as a team they didn’ keep pushing for 60min

          “If I knew the answer to that I’d bet $10,000 on the game and retire from coaching.”
          —Montreal Canadiens coach Toe Blake after being asked if his team would win an upcoming game

  23. GL says:

    I look at it this way for the type of team we have and to be in 4th place with 24 games to play we’re doing alright. whether we make the playoffs or not who knows.

    • third generation haber says:

      But 8th place could be much better for our team down the road. In many games, we are winning despite….. or because of……. insert anything that points to us not being the best team on the ice. To win a cup, that’s the point isn’t it?, we’ll have to be the best team on the ice. Sadly, I have a hard time placing us in the top 8 teams in the NHL.

      8th place would still get us some playoff experience and revenue and won’t hurt our draft position as badly. Plus, I don’t think there’s much of an advantage, in terms of a cup run, to finishing higher during the regular season (see 2013 playoffs.)

      j.p. murray

  24. commandant says:

    Could there be something more to the Czarnik deal.

    Robbie Czarnik’s cousin Austin Czarnik of Miami-Ohio will probably be THE #1 NCAA Free agent this season. Could Robbie be used to lure his cousin?

    Here is my preseason report on Austin.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/10/19/2013-14-ncaa-hockey-preview-nchc/

    For those who want an update… Austin has been everything advertised in that report and MORE. He has all the skills I identified, but has taken his game up another notch. He’s quite simply been off the charts this season as an offensive catalyst for Miami-Ohio. Yes, he’s small but he has talent.

    Before we complain about the size thing. Remember this is a pure free agent who costs no assets to sign. Why not put him at centre for an offensively challenged Bulldogs squad and see what he can do in the AHL?

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

    • Lafleurguy says:

      What a scoop, commandant! You are the real hockey insider.

      “Bends but won’t break”

    • third generation haber says:

      Very interesting, thanks for the info. As I mentioned below, I hope this is an indication of Markov talks between the Kings and habs, as Czarnik wouldn’t otherwise seem like a reason for the two GM’s to get in-touch.

      j.p. murray

    • jo_maka says:

      This.

      MB working on his Pollockian streak ?

      “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”

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Small?
      Hockey DB and his own school have him listed at 5’9″-160 and he’ll be 22 at the end of the year.

    • bwoar says:

      Ridiculous to chase a player that small with the team we have.

      “thoroughbred”

      • commandant says:

        Its a free asset and the Bulldogs can’t score. If you were giving up something to get him, sure, but let him go to the Dogs and see what he can do. He doesn’t cost anything but money.

        If we are drafting him, or using some other asset to trade for him, sure there might be a case that he’s redundant. But its a free, talented prospect. Why not. If he’s better than another small guy he passes him on the depth chart and the other guy can be traded.

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

  25. JF says:

    During our losing streak, there was a lot of trashing not only of Michel Therrien, which is the case even when we’re winning, but also of Marc Bergevin. Some of his moves may not have worked out, but over all I think he’s doing a very good job considering the team he inherited and the small margin of manoeuver he had.

    The Desharnais contract is looking a lot better than it did at the start of the season. Since coming our of his slump, he’s producing at pretty close to a point a game, and there’s no question that he is, if not our most skilled centre, the one with the most vision. Some of his passes are unreal. Lars Eller, while he uses his big body well and is defensively responsible, has not yet demonstrated anything like the kind of creativity and hockey sense that Desharnais has. Galchenyuk almost certainly will eventually, but, given the organization’s (new) policy of not rushing young players, it will be a while before he’s ready to be a top centre.

    The addition of Douglas Murray is turning out to be a godsend. The stats geeks can use whatever numbers they like to prove that he’s a bad hockey player, but the Habs desperately needed someone like him.

    But Murray is our only slow player. The addition of Dale Weise brings more speed and net presence to our fourth line, making it a handful for the other team to contain and even something of a scoring threat. A effective fourth line also allows Therrien to distribute ice-time better. When you think of it, the trade of Diaz for Weise was a gutsy move. A skilled, puck-moving defenceman for a fourth-line energy guy. On paper, we lose that trade. But, with the emergence of Nathan Beaulieu, we no longer need Diaz, whereas Weise brings a lot of what we do need.

    In the short time he has been GM, Bergevin has already altered the balance of the team. We’ve always been known as a fast team, but I think we’re even faster. We’re also getting bigger. I love the fact that Bergevin seems to be prioritizing speed. I would hate to see him try to turn the Habs into a slow, lumbering, neutral-zone blocking team. When we use our speed and carry the play, we’re an exciting team to watch.

    Then there’s Carey Price. As some of us said last summer, luring Stéphane Waite away from Chicago could well turn out to have been Bergevin’s most significant off-season move. Most significant because it’s for the long term, whereas most of his other moves were short-term, but also because no team can be a contender without rock-solid goaltending. We now have that.

  26. lach60 says:

    Are most of you still complaining about Desharnais and his $3.5M contract? 20 points in his last 24 and 29 in 36 since he ended his slump that started at the beginning of the season.

    • Phil C says:

      Yes, but he is small, the points would be better if he was bigger…or something like that.

    • jo_maka says:

      I don’t care about the contract. Really, I don’t.

      But in order for the Habs to eventually reach the Promise Land, DD has to go.

      “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”

    • third generation haber says:

      I’m complaining!

      I know he “works hard” and is a “nice guy”, but without Pacioretty, no one would know this guy. He’s not a first line center. he gets points when Pacioretty scores. First line centers score their own goals, he has 9 goals and makes 3.5 mil. He gets PP time and is constantly sheltered. He is a joke to play against and utterly invisible in the playoffs.

      Him and his sister Briere (no apologies for that one!) make big bucks so we can achieve our cultural quota. Can’t wait till he gets replaced by a grown-up.

      j.p. murray

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Wow, you have outdone yourself with your smears, bravo. You play the racist and sexist cards in the same sentence.

        Don’t let the facts get in the way of your small world shrinking lash out paranoia though, DD has produced every level he has played and has tough guy and confirmed Liberace suit double Don Cherry signing his praises.

        Pretty sure 9 goals belong the DD this year but here is big first line centre for you that likely lust after

        http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=5531

        He has loads of points, is 6.1, 213 pounds …. ah but he seems to only have 11 goals with his 43 assists … wonder if he has a guy who scores a bunch of goals on his wing?

        Oh and he has a pretty lousy plus minus, but hey, 5 on 5 scoring isn’t for everyone right?

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

      • lach60 says:

        Joe Thornton has made a great career of piling up assists and not goals…he has 8 this year. DD is not being paid as a first line centre yet people compare him to one. It’s not his fault the Habs don’t have a true first line centre yet.

        I’m not going to bother countering your other arguments cause it would be wasted time, and that’s fine. You have your opinion, I have mine.

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      As long as he keeps feeding Max Pac, $3.5M/year is money well spent.

    • Davey93 says:

      There’s no denying Desharnais’ great hockey sense and vision of the game. Only problem is his size, and it’s a huge one.He’s putting up good points but come playoff time, he won’t stand a chance in rough hitting post season games. Galchenyuk should be replacing him soon, I just hope it’s not wen DD contract is up in another 2 years

  27. Ozmodiar says:

    E Kane for Max anyone? anyone?

    I’d love to see what Max could do on a line with 2 legitimate 1st line players. (love Gally, but he’s really a 2nd line player, IMO) Neal and Kunitz – man, they’re pretty damn lucky to be playing with Sid and Gino.

  28. Sportfan says:

    Very Happy the Habs won and Wiese got an assist lol

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

  29. marvin20 says:

    It appeared that Vancouver had a difficult time managing Montreal’s speed. Good to see them score some goals.

  30. Eddie says:

    Ok am I the only one hearing terrible things about the Sochi Olympics?

    Billions stolen? Corruption? Terrible hotels and rooms? Very few foreigners actually there?

    Russia is run by a mobster. It’s like the Mafia is hosting an Olympic Games.

    They could make a Bond movie about this but the story line would be all true.

  31. JF says:

    During our losing streak, there was a lot of trashing not only of Michel Therrien, which is the case even when we’re winning, but also of Marc Bergevin. Some of his moves may not have worked out, but over all I think he’s doing a very good job considering the team he inherited and the small margin of manoeuver he had.

    The Desharnais contract is looking a lot better than it did at the start of the season. Since coming our of his slump, he’s producing at pretty close to a point a game, and there’s no question that he is, if not our most skilled centre, the one with the most vision. Some of his passes are unreal. Lars Eller, while he uses his big body well and is defensively responsible, has not yet demonstrated anything like the kind of creativity and hockey sense that Desharnais has. Galchenyuk almost certainly will eventually, but, given the organization’s (new) policy of not rushing young players, it will be a while before he’s ready to be a top centre.

    The addition of Douglas Murray is turning out to be a godsend. The stats geeks can use whatever numbers they like to prove that he’s a bad hockey player, but the Habs desperately needed someone like him.

    But Murray is our only slow player. The addition of Dale Weise brings more speed and net presence to our fourth line, making it a scoring threat and a handful for the other team to contain. When you think of it, the trade of Diaz for Weise was a gutsy move. A skilled, puck-moving defenceman for a fourth-line energy guy. On paper, we lose that trade. But, with the emergence of Nathan Beaulieu, we no longer need Diaz, whereas Weise brings a lot of what we do need.

    I love the fact that Bergevin seems to be prioritizing speed. I would hate to see him try to turn the Habs into a slow, lumbering, neutral-zone blocking team. When we use our speed and carry the play, we’re an exciting team to watch.

    Then there’s Carey Price. As some of us said last summer, luring Stéphane Waite away from Chicago could well turn out to have been Bergevin’s most significant off-season move. Most significant because it’s for the long term, whereas most of his other moves were short-term, but also because no team can be a contender without rock-solid goaltending. We now have that.

  32. third generation haber says:

    Not sure if u folks have been discussing it, but there was an AHL trade made yesterday.

    Habs traded Steven Quailer (2008 3rd rounder) to L.A. for Robert Czarnik (2008 3rd rounder). I’m guessing MB didn’t get in-touch with L.A. over such an insignificant move, especially since Quailer has been injured most of the year.

    Seems to me that the rumored talks over Markov may have been true, and this minor deal transpired in the midst of it.

    Possibly just wishful thinking on my part.

    j.p. murray

  33. GL says:

    I don’t know if I would call that a good game last night. It was like the game we had with Calgary except one Guy did most of the scoring. Other than Pacioretty against a injury riddled team. It’s a 2-2 game. I’m not sold on this team yet and it will be different in Carolina. They’ll be playing a good team let the Habs prove how good they are against a good team. We have one good line the 1st the 2nd chips in now and than the other two are 4th liners. Other than Defense the don’t do much on the score board. Bring in Vanek and Moulson we instantly have two scoring lines and a run at the cup. I’m glad they picked up two points last night and they played a decent game but I also look at the circumstances against a team that’s hurting from injuries ….

  34. Lafleurguy says:

    Corey Crawford this year, 2.36 / .916, last year, 1.94 / .926. Bergevin should offer Waite to the ‘Hawks or anyone else for a no. 1 pick.

    “Bends but won’t break”

  35. adamkennelly says:

    also – Briere doesn’t make $500K less than Max – I’m too lazy to do the math but he makes a ton more than Max – see – cause the Flyers are still paying his ass for not being on their team.

  36. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    Mr. Boone writes:
    ” Pacioretty’s reluctance to use that big body in greater proximity to opponents’ goal creases is a source of some frustration … the more so because so few of his teammates, large or small, play in the dirty areas.”
    ———————
    With all the respect to Mr. Boone (and some Habs fans) it is becoming difficult to understand the fixation on Max and the supposed need for him to be a bruising Power Forward.

    According to the NHL stats, Max now ranks 11th in the entire NHL for Goals Scored with 26 – that is, the entire NHL, and he has accomplished that playing up to 10 games LESS than several of the names mentioned below..

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20142ALLSASAll&sort=goals&viewName=summary

    In all fairness to Max, perhaps we should take a look at some of the Top 20 goal scoring Wingers that are close to Max in goals scored, and see how their own ‘Power Forward Game’ looks like.

    If anyone can please point out a power forward in this elite group of leading NHL goal scorers:

    #2 Kessel – 30 goals
    #6 P. Sharp – 28 goals
    #7 Steen – 28 goals
    #9 Kane – 27 goals
    * #11 Pacioretty – 26 goals
    #12 St. Louis – 25 goals
    #19 Skinner – 23 goals
    #23 Perron – 22 goals
    $24 Pominville – 22 goals
    #29 Bobby Ryan – 20 goals

    Perhaps Habs fans can just enjoy what Max is – a now elite NHL goal scorer with great hands that finds space and finishes.

    • Eddie says:

      On the Gionta, Plekanec, Briere line,

      1) who is the scorer?

      2) who is the puck retriever?

      3) who is the banger?

      Just asking you Ronn cuz you’re online. How does this line make ane sense offensively unless they score on the rush?

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Eddie

        It appears those guys have multiple responsibilities, and the key one being shutting down the other teams Top line or Top 6.

        This is a relatively new line put together.
        As for Plex, he quietly goes about his business.
        He already has 17 goals/33 points and is a Habs team best at +8.

        Maybe we should give them some time together to see what they can do.
        Looking forward to how they perform in then VERY tough post Olympic schedule – then we’ll find out.

    • Phil C says:

      I don’t understand this fixation either. It’s like having a fancy sports car and wishing you had a pick up truck. Sure, the Ford GT has a F-150 motor under the hood, but you shouldn’t expect it to haul lumber.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        According to this EOTP poster, some of us may not understand, Phil:

        “The majority at HIO is just f…ing dumb. That sometimes includes Boone.

        Murray had a couple of hits and blocked four shots. The big Swede has pretty much nailed down a starting job and is an ideal complement to Nathan Beaulieu
        And he´s getting paid for that…”

        by KoenigKenny7 on Feb 7, 2014 | 7:30 AM up reply

        “Bends but won’t break”

    • CJ says:

      Good post. Further, when has anyone seen many of those guys kill penalties? Kessel, Bobby Ryan?

      Truth is Pacioretty is a great player, a pure sniper, at roughly half the price of Phil Kessel. There is a reason why earlier in the season rival GM’s were calling about this guy. If he was made available, 29 other teams would be lined up bidding for his services.

      My only constructive criticism is I wish the coach would free him from DD, if for no other reason then to show Max that he can enjoy success with anyone and not exclusively with his best friend. DD is all heart and it’s nothing personal, but we need a bigger centre in the number two slot, especially come playoff time. Imagine that line with Kyle Turris?

      • GL says:

        Imagine is about as close as we’re gonna get to having Kyle Turris on the Habs.

        • CJ says:

          Agreed, there is no chance. My point was this;

          In the playoffs, DD will have a hard time when matched against other team’s second line centres. Ottawa, who could be a playoff opponent, would take that match up any day of the week.

          I think we have shored up our third and fourth lines,
          so naturally the focus shifts to our first two lines. I think Galley, Chucky, Pleks and Patches are legit first or second line players. That leaves us two bodies short. Chucky replaces either Briere or Gionta, so we need to secure a replacement for the other, and find a replacement for DD.

          As noted, I’m satisfied with our third and fourth line and think our defence, although not spectacular is capable and deep with replacements in Drewiski, Pateryn and Tinordi should they be required.

          Just my two cents.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi CJ

        I have this feeling that RDS will not read your last paragraph on TV…

        Every time I see 51, it reminds me of the old Flamingos song
        ” I Only Have Eyes For You.”

      • Phil C says:

        You had me until you said Turris. He is not known for being strong on his skates and can get knocked off the puck, he throws less than one hit a game (37 in 58 games), he can’t fight. Like DD, he is the most dangerous with the puck on his stick when size is less relevant. Not sure how he is an upgrade on DD unless you are talking about things other than size.

        • CJ says:

          Perhaps Turris is not the best example, but I’m trying to compare DD to another second lone centre within the division. That said, Turris is significantly better in many key aspects. He is a very good face off man. He is a great skater, has great vision and is a finisher.

          Turris is a plus 17 on a team with a negative goal differential of almost 30, has 43 points despite less PP time and helps kill penalties.

          As noted above, there is no chance we are getting Turris, especially given his cap hit which rivals Patches and Okposo as the best in the league.

          • Phil C says:

            Agree on Turris, he’s a nice player. Murray did a good job rescuing him from Pheonix.

          • CJ says:

            I hate to say this, because they are my least favorite team, but Ottawa has some terrific players. I really hope they miss the playoffs. I regard them as a dark horse.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hey Merrytimes! Good charting, and nice background perspective. It’s not a coincidence that only Max and Pleks are the only ones drawing penalty shot calls.

      “Bends but won’t break”

    • Marc10 says:

      Patches is doing well. He’s going to draw the top defensive Ds and is still scoring on a team that struggles to do just that. Not everybody is Kevin Stevens or Rick Tocchet in their prime. Few guys are. Let’s find a guy who is by all means, but let’s not trade a key building block to make it happen.

      And if by some miracle the coaches and management can keep Bourque playing the way he has been playing these past few games until the end of the season… Well you have the makings of a tier two power forward (dare we dream?)

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hey marc

        Good point out about Bourque
        He has been hiding in plain sight.
        If he can keep it ramped up, there would be little need to pay a huge price for a power forward

    • New says:

      Yeah I see a different game as well. Where would the world be without people looking at the same player and coming away with totally different viewpoints on how the game went.

      Last night Valk (sp?) on SN was complaining about how Max was leaning into the stick tripping him.

      So between Boone’s description and Valk’s opinion I think I’ll just go with the results instead.

  37. adamkennelly says:

    watching the game last night – I realized that the Plekanec Briere Gionta line would be way better if Plekanec was a time-machine…

  38. crane says:

    add Pateryn, Moulson, Stewart
    trade Gionta,Bierre,Moen

    give a good chance at a cup run

  39. RiverviewCanadien says:

    As much as folks lament over Bergervin and some of the moves he has made (e.g. Desharnais/Briere contracts), or the fact he may not make any blockbuster deals…the one move that he has made which IMO would never have been possible without him, does not involve signing a player…

    It is getting Waite to Montréal.

    Price has never looked better heading down the stretch. I know Price has tons of talent, but there is no doubt the difference Waite is making in his game. His positioning, puck tracking, rebound control is off the charts.

    Well done Marc, well done.

    ====================================
    Folks, it’s Bushmills time, and that’ll keep ya warm!
    ====================================

    • Phil C says:

      Waite has made subtle changes, but they have made a huge difference. Carey has made more 10-bell glove saves this year than the rest of his career put together, just because Waite has him on staying on his feet a little longer. It goes to show that coaching matters and that the difference is often in the details.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Waite is on record as a goalie coach that wants more ‘instinct play’ from his guys and not robotic butterfly goalies.
        Call it hybrid if you wish.

        He is also known as an excellent communicator and the flash of 2 Stanley Cup rings with 2 different most probably will get Carey’s attention.

      • Eddie says:

        Coaching always matters.

    • Marc10 says:

      We lucked out as a franchise. He’s a world class coach. Price looks like a solid wall… A solid wall of gold baby!!!

  40. SDHF;JASDGHFALGHFAKLJSDGHAKLSDGHF’LKAGF

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

  41. Sigh, can’t post what I wrote in WP, so I guess I’ll just say

    CAREY CAREY CAREY

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

  42. Try #2 to Post, thanks Microsoft for WP.

    Had to watch the game on PVR late last night, I must say I am pleasantly surprised with the outcome. About 10 minutes into the first I texted a friend to ask if I should bother watching as it was pretty bad hockey in the first. She said to continue you’ll have fun. Glad I did.

    People on facebook (other team’s fans) were saying Price is back eh. I was telling them he never left, you can’t judge a goalie’s play on goals against stats.

    Pacioretty doesn’t need Gallagher, I hope Therrien puts the Egg line back for this season and next year get Galchenyuk back to center. But this team needs secondary scoring, and Galchenyuk, Eller and Gallagher worked early on.

    Am I wrong but was that trip on Yummilin tripping or interference that could have resulted in an injury. Is it Habs colored glasses, or was that an obvious easy call missed?

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

  43. Had to watch the game on PVR late last night, I must say I am pleasantly surprised with the outcome. About 10 minutes into the first I texted a friend to ask if I should bother watching as it was pretty bad hockey in the first. She said to continue you’ll have fun. Glad I did.

    People on facebook (other team’s fans) were saying Price is back eh. I was telling them he never left, you can’t judge a goalie’s play on goals against stats.

    Pacioretty doesn’t need Gallagher, I hope Therrien puts the Egg line back for this season and next year get Galchenyuk back to center. But this team needs secondary scoring, and Galchenyuk, Eller and Gallagher worked early on.

    Am I wrong but was that trip on Yummilin tripping or interference that could have resulted in an injury. Is it Habs colored glasses, or was that an obvious easy call missed?

    Peace out,, off to the rink!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

  44. CJ says:

    Good morning everyone!

    I expected the Habs to light it up and wasn’t disappointed. The team needed to take advantage of depleted Calgary and Vancouver and rosters with difficult games looming on the horizon post Olympic break. I said I thought they would win 4-1, so I wasn’t surprised by the outcome.

    Echoing other comments this morning, White is playing really, really well. The chemistry he and Weise have found is terrific. I hope Bournival is ok and ready to return when play resumes later this month. Never wish anyone to rush a head injury though, so the return will only align with a clean bill of health.

    Columbus picked up a point in LA last night, so the eastern conference remains tight. Our closest competitors in the Atlantic division each stayed the course, picking up points. The exception being Tampa, who suddenly find themselves fighting to hold onto second place. Although they will get a major boost from Stamkos when he returns, I could foresee them losing hold of what once was a fairly solid position.

    Hopefully the boys finish the week strong with a win in Carolina. It would be nice to carry that momentum into the Olympic break.

    Lastly, to the posters who thought that there was no chance we could possibly win two games this week, the cold wind this morning is the sound of vindication.

  45. Plekasuares says:

    PK has certainly not played like an 8 million player. This could get interesting

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Not really

      He’ll get between $7.5-$8M from someone – meaning the Habs, or an Offer Sheet if it ever gets to that
      It’s about a body of work and not just 10 games
      It’s also about what he can bring moving forward.
      He is only 24 years old

  46. Loop_Garoo says:

    This is awesome, one of the eternal joys of being a habs fan. If Patches was a leaf, their fans would all be saying he 4.3 times better than Gretzky. Here, he gets a hat-trick, albeit a fluky one, the #11 over goal scorer in the league, and the best pure goal scorer this team has had in a decade, on an unbelievable good contract, and people want him gone, he’s a bum, trade him, apparently because he doesn’t punch enough people, and he’s inconsistent and streaky, like most of us.

    Greg

  47. Marc10 says:

    I liked Beaulieu a lot tonight. He’s showing flashes of the guy we heard about in junior. Someone must have done something right in his development as a hockey player. That kid looks good out there. Give him a couple of years and he’ll be golden. Nice pick Mr Timmins… Again!

    And so far Weise is working out. He’s not Bobby Hull, but he’s a decent fit in our ‘work in progress’ of a lineup. I really like his speed and how he’s gelled with Ryan White. We’re going to need some of that chemistry for our last big road trip after the Olympic break. So far… Not a bad addition.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Marc. He looked totally lost in the D zone the games I saw him play last season. The improvement he’s shown thus far is nothing short of remarkable.

      You could always see the out of this world skills though. Seems to be coach-able, eh?

    • CJ says:

      I too really like what I’m seeing from Beaulieu. He made Diaz expendable and down the road he will do the same to Markov.

      Regarding the Weise acquisition, IMO we now have a legitimate third and fourth line.

      When Drewiski returns I’d rotate he and Murray.

      Up front we need to move Gionta and Briere. I can live with DD for now.

  48. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. Back to that magic 10 games over .500 so that’s a good thing right? Some observations:

    – As usual, Boones ALN was dead on. I’s have given a few atta boys to Price as well and his PK comment was right on.

    – Anybody missing Moen?

    – We took a lot of stupid penalties again last night. It could have changed the game completely if not for some great work by the PK unit and #31.

    – Ryan Whites had as good of a two game set as we’ve seen from him.

    – I see the HIO software gremlins have caused us to lose out by not seeing one of UCE’s tremendous post. That makes me sad.

    – Lafleurguy and Burly were sure up late last night. Burly is like the “Rocket Man” and Guy says he has the day off. Hopefully we’ll see post of plenty from our two friends today.

    – Still missing Bill and Zepfan. Come out, come out where ever you are!

    CHeers all!

  49. Rosieman says:

    What about Bourque actually throwing a couple hits? My kids asked what’s wrong w Bourque? Why is he trying Dad?

    Our biggest problem is our
    vets – Gio briere and Moen and the fact we have NOTHING for forwards in Hamilton. Our middle D are not great ie Gorges and Emelin. Plus Gorges banal chirping in the room – that’s not leadership

    I hope Bournival is ok – I love the way he plays – grt hockey sense.

    Eller:(. I love him but am starting to wonder if he doesn’t have the mental side of the game / hockey sense

    And finally – what kind of numberswould pleks have w real wingers? Think you wouldn’t be depressed watching Gio tee it up from the corner and never pass? Like never. He’s awful.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Gionta seems to have left his best hockey behind, eh? I might be a little partial to Eller but even when he’s not contributing offensively he still contributes. He’s similar to Pleks in that way. Perhaps its our own expectations of him that he’s failing to meet. Maybe if we just accept him as a decent two way forward with some offensive skill it will help?

      I think you’re too harsh on Emelin. He will be a more then adequate top 4 dman for the Habs for many years to come. A little more patience might be called for.

      Good post to get us thinking this morning. CHeers.

  50. habfan01 says:

    People seem to think if Max scored on the 2 penalty shots, he would have had 5 goals. If he scored on both, it would have been 6-2 at the end and Max with 4- Ya think Torts would have pulled the goalie at the end behind by 4? Doubt it- so no chance at a 5th empty netter.

  51. Alvin says:

    Aw jeesh…a finesse player? Patches ? He’s got about as much finesse as a snow plow!!

  52. Alvin says:

    ok stop. Just read the first paragraph of Boone’s ALN.
    Pleks is like 10 times a better hockey player than Patches so please don’t even say their names in the same paragraph.
    Patches is not a superstar due to his very, very limited hockey playing abilities, some of which were high lited by his penalty shots! ok back to reading ALN.

    • JUST ME says:

      After reading your comment history we can see that your comment is not from a negative poster !!! Saying that a guy has limited playing abilities after 26 goals and being withing the best in the league is really being of good fate. Isn`t there a Leafs blog where your expertise would be put to proper use ?

      • Habfan17 says:

        I hear what you are saying, but, I think if you think it through, a player can be strong in one area and have limited abilities in other. Patches can get off a shot quickly and is more often than not, accurate. When you watch his passing, it is below average. His decisions when it comes to anything other than shooting, leave something to be desired. He coasts way too often too.

        His first goal last night was a fluke, the puck hit him. He missed the net on his penalty shot. I like Patches and don’t want him traded, however, he needs to be engaged more and needs to prove he can play with someone other than DD!

        In closing, Patches could be a dominant force, if he would focus every game. he has the speed and size to do more all around than he does. I think Just Me was justified in his observations.

        Habfan17

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yeah, it is one thing not to score, it is a completely different thing to miss the net!

      Habfan17

    • Arrow77 says:

      I’m a big Plekanec fan but this is just completely insane. You’re talking about one of the top scorers in the league.

  53. Habfan17 says:

    Nice that the Habs won, but I take it with a big grain of salt since the Vancouver line up was so depleted.

    I would like to say congrats to White, he went 6 for 8 in the face off circle for 75%. Eller gets honourable mention at 64% What I find unacceptable is having Pleks at 38% and DD at 33% At least Pleks was at 55% in the defensive zone. DD was at 22%. That is not acceptable! The Canucks had one player at 64%, another at 60% and still one at 42%. Why can’t these guys win faceoffs? Therrien needs to either keep DD and Pleks after practice to work on face offs, move DD to the wing, or Bergevin needs to move DD and give Galchenyuk his place at centre.

    Habfan17

  54. jrs10069 says:

    The right move is Mr Emelin. Been saying it for awhile, he’s damaged goods. He looked like crap last night and MT got away with one having him on the ice late in the game.

    Package him up with Larry and get your hands on Stewart or Kane.

    I’ll mention it the next time I speak with Geoff. You have to be persitant, it worked with Diaz.

    jrs10069

    • ffenliv says:

      With their post-Noel run of 9-3, I’m not sure Evander Kane will be available. I don’t see Winnipeg selling if they’re within sniffing distance of the playoffs. The fans would go crazy.

  55. Dulljerk says:

    A lot of celebrating. Not me, a Vancouver team that was missing two stud defencemen and is racked by injuries. If Montreal had not won this game, I would have been very worried.

    No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  56. zephyr says:

    people should give dd his due. he’s our best playmaker & he’s a gifted one. he makes passes that are unreal & max is usually the beneficiary. he has a low center of gravity & is strong on his skates so he wins his share of board battles. he & gallagher are keepers. gio & briere are not. max is our best fwd. he may not crash & bang a lot but he uses his size & speed to win position battles that result in chances. notice that bourque has been getting chances every game for some time too. max, bourque, eller & chuck are our big fwds who can score. u don’t ever trade those guys. eller is still young & is in a slump right now. have a little patience.
    murray has been heaven-sent for us. he wins his battles – all of them – & often dramatically. he clears our zone when others struggle to & he was even in on 2 rushes last nite. how about that 2-man pk last game when he played the full 2 mins? he’s better than georges. georges can’t win his individual battles because he’s too light & also has no offence. for that he gets paid nearly 3x what murray makes. I’d resign murray. trade georges when tinordi &/or pateryn are ready.

    • jrs10069 says:

      Agree…if he would only shoot a little more, would really open things up

      jrs10069

    • Habfan17 says:

      Sorry, for every game like last night, and again, remember, Vancouver was missing two of their best defencemen and a bunch of other players, DD has games where he is ineffective and invisible.
      Sure he tries. He tries to win faceoffs, but he can’t! Trying is no reason to keep someone around. DD was 33% overall on his faceoffs and at 22% in the defensive zone. Why Therrien has him taking faceoffs there is beyond me. If the Habs were playing one of the top teams, some of those lost face offs probably would have turned into goals and the Habs could have just as easily lost the game. Eller was at 64% and even better was Whitey at 75%. Whitey hustled so he should have been given the defensive zone faceoffs. Therrien did say, “earn your time”

      I like DD, but he does not fit with what the Habs need.

      Habfan17

      • Marc10 says:

        One game isn’t an accurate reflexion of their averages over the course of the season. That said none of our centers are Patrice Bergeron. They could us a little ‘Doug Jarvis time’ at honing their craft in the faceoff circle.

        As for the DD broken record… He’s earning his coin and doing his job better than the alternatives at the moment. Eller cannot score. Pleks has to play with Gio and kill penalties and Chucky isn’t ready. And no one seems to play better with Patches. Patches could finish the year with 40. He sure wouldn’t achieve that with any of the other guys.

        Call me when Chucky is ready for the big time. Same with Eller. When Chucky does return, I’d put the EGG line together again and put Bourque with DD and Patches (UCE has made that suggestions a few times. It makes a lot of sense; especially the way Bourque is playing now…) That ought to do it. Four balanced lines and Gally will get the EGG cracking (sorry couldn’t resist…) But enough with the DD bashing. It’s old and he’s doing his job.

        One last thought. The new kid with wheels gives us another Bournival lite. A speedy guy who can forecheck. Just what the doctor ordered. Now the question is… who gets traded when they return from the Olympic break? Moen? Big Trav has some value.

        • Habfan17 says:

          Like your comments! They make a lot of sense! I love the Weise trade so far.

          For my two cents, I say Gionta and Markov get traded, Gionta for sure, Markov if someone offers a great return.

          Habfan17

      • boing007 says:

        Ditto. DD’s a liability most of the time that he’s on the ice.

        Richard R

    • piper says:

      I agree with everything except for the DD part. He needs to be replaced with Galchenyuk. Now would be the time to trade him if MB can find an interested team. Free up the cap space and get a pick.

    • RetroMikey says:

      Zephyr,
      Excellent post about DD, I’ve followed him from his days in the Juniors to the ECHL to the AHL and to the NHL. This guy deserves to play in the NHL and IMO, one of the best skilled players on this club.
      He is one of two “midget” players I would keep on this club with Gallagher, although I can’t vision Gallagher playing like he has for seasons to come, his body will feel it. Heart like a lion for Gallagher!
      Eller, what is wrong with this guy? IF DD had his physique, DD would be a superstar in the league.
      Had to say it but Pacioretty is nothing more than an average player, give credit for DD to step his game up.
      We need a power forward and Max will not be that guy nor Bourque.
      This Olympic break will help the fragile club recover from sores and pains inflicted in their bodies but after the Olympics, watch out!
      Rock em Sock em hockey at its best with teams fighting for the playoff spots.
      Will the Habs be ready with their current roster?
      Will Bergy make those needed trades to make us bigger and stronger? If not, the Habs have not improved at all as in previous seasons.
      BIG IS BETTER!

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

  57. DickandDanny says:

    Glad we won, and I think in no small part to another stellar performance by Carey tonight. And timely sniping by Max (even if he has no clue on a penalty shot). On a negative note something has to be done with Eller. He was not awful, but not good either. For a guy who tries hard, and skates hard, he accomplishes next to nothing. Time to move him, maybe for Parenteau if we could swing it. PA brings guaranteed offence, whereas Lars brings no guaranteed anything. And lastly, sorry to say this, but Gionta showed his age, size, and speed tonight. All in the ‘lack of category’, except age which of course he has plenty. He was continually a half step or stick length behind the play all night. Worst game I have ever seen him play. He was really hard to watch, especially in our end. I think MB should package up Gionta and Eller and trade them for one really good forward. That could possibly free up some salary space and also free up one forward position on the roster.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree with your comments about Price. to a degree about Patches, but not at all about Eller. DD won 33% of his faceoffs, Eller 64%. Eller is struggling a bit, but I think any player would when he has Galchenyuk and Gallagher taken away and now has Weise and Prust as line mates, They are not scorers. I like what they both bring, but they are not at the same level as the two Gallys! Not to mention, he was moved again to wing for a while. Eller was playing well and if the past has taught anything, it was that Eller is no good on the wing and Therrien obviously was not watching when he was on L’Antichambre! The Egg line should have been left alone. Eller deserves better!

      Habfan17

      • DickandDanny says:

        Everyone keeps reminding us about him not having Gallagher and Galchenyuk anymore. Ok, Gallagher was moved away, but he still had Galchenyuk. It wasn’t working. Question: Are these the only ‘two’ guys he can play with in the NHL? A good centre ice player who has some skill and offensive upside makes other’s on his line look and play better. No matter who they are. That is obviously not the case with Eller. BTW Weise was on the fourth line with Bournival and White. And, Prust played great last night and had lots of chances and works hard every game and digs out pucks for his line mates. It is Eller who is doing nothing to contribute offence on his line. It’s time to STOP making excuses for this guy and look at him with an open and objective mind.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • piper says:

      Eller for Parenteau????? Hope not.

      • DickandDanny says:

        Why? You make a comment but forgot to mention your reasoning. Parenteau has been in the top 40 in scoring the past 3 seasons. We need offence and he would bring it. Eller passes as a third line checking, PK, and face-off guy at best. We have about 4 guys who can fill that roll. He is basically not a first or second line centre, and never will be. Parenteau can play 2nd or 3rd line minutes and also play the PP.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • ffenliv says:

      Something has been done with Eller: I dropped him in my hockey pool.

      • DickandDanny says:

        Boy, you sure got sucked in by the fast start he had. I’ve never heard of Eller being picked in any draft. Hope it works out for you.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

  58. SlovakHab says:

    Don’t get me started on Douglas Murray – but it is safe to say that Carey Price has been fine lately?

    LAST 5 GAMES 2013-2014

    SV% 0.955, 1.000, 0.943, 0.944 and 1.000

    playing behind an average defence that includes aforementioned DM who likes to screen his goalie and bleed chances against, he is rounding into a nice form before the Olympics. I think Canada is in good hands. Price >> Luongo, that’s pretty much safe to say.

    I have a big respect for CP. Good on him.
    Good on Max too. Good finesse player. Won’t bang the bodies in front of net, but he is as valuable as any forward we have, considering his goals total.

    Agree on PK. He has been a bit off lately. MT personal development program taking its toll?

  59. Un Canadien errant says:

    I got burned again. I spent a while writing down my thoughts on tonight’s game, didn’t save a copy, which is totally my fault, I should know better, but you guessed it, I hit ‘Submit’ and my work disappeared. No notice of how or why this happened.

    Usually I compose on another platform and then paste that onto this website, but you get drawn in, and think you’re only going to jot down a couple of sentences but end up writing a few paragraphs. It’s late, you’re not thinking clearly, you hit ‘Send’ so you can go to bed, and…. so frustrating.

    I remember using computers in the eighties, and the merest wrong keystroke could erase your work or crash the computer, you had to be super-careful, back up everything, but we’ve been trained out of that by now, systems are robust and reliable. Except HIO’s.

    Moderators, if you find my work somewhere in Gazette limbo, verify that I haven’t sworn or used Henri Richard’s name in vain, and if it’s up to snuff, please post it. I ain’t doing it again.

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Peace Dude.

      “Bends but won’t break”

    • SlovakHab says:

      I reckon you are a really good writer. I know English isn’t my native toungue, but I would love to write this well.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Too late now, but when this happens hit the back button on your browser. The text will reappear.

    • JF says:

      That’s happened to me three or four times over the past couple of weeks. At first I would rewrite the comment in a slightly different form, always with the same result, so that eventually I would give up. But now, when I have a comment that I’ve spent quite a bit of time and thought on, I save it before posting. The whole thing is very frustrating; some comments, perfectly innocuous in themselves, just seem to be unacceptable, no matter in what form they’re written.

  60. Un Canadien errant says:

    I was watching a game with a Vancouver fan, and had to subject myself to watching the Vancouver broadcast. Play-by-play caller John Shorthouse does a creditable job, but his sidekick John Garrett is just awful. He went on a rant one minute in about how an icing call (against the Canucks, natch) shouldn’t have been an icing call, and golly if it was up to him…

    It was interesting to hear them heap encomiums on Max Pacioretty. Obviously the broadcast team didn’t do its research on the Canadiens by reading HIO, they were raving about what a big strong skater he was, and what a lethal sniper he is.

    I hope that some of our members got to witness how poor the Vancouver forwards are, with a diminished Alex Burrows and an injured Henrik Sedin, they really are struggling talent and depth-wise. That should be some indication of how dispensable Dale Weise is, if they felt they could part with him.

    Having said that, he is really effective with Ryan White and Michaël Bournival, those guys seem to be meshing, and form a usable fourth line. Which is good, it’s a pleasant change from previous seasons with Aaron Palushajes and Andreas Engqvists and Yannick Webers making up our fourth trio.

    Roberto Luongo pitched forward while doing the splits again, he often ends up on his stomach while opponents flip the puck above him. We sat up and took notice, it’s worrisome if he ends up in nets for Team Canada. Roberto has been good with gusts to great, but he also has lulls where he looks like he has no confidence. Meanwhile Carey looked cool, calm and collected. The Vancouver broadcast team took note.

    I’ll come back to this topic in greater length, but Douglas Murray proved his worth again tonight when Tom Sestito, who is a tough customer able to give Brian McGrattan a run for his money, started throwing his weight around in front of the Canadiens net. I think it was Ryan White or Brandon Prust who wrapped him up, but right with him in the scrum was the big Swede. Mr. Sestito kept barking, but allowed himself to be steered away from the crease, and skated away without any facewashing or cross-checking. Douglas Murray’s physical presence defuses certain situations before they explode, and in the NHL as it’s currently mismanaged, this contribution is crucial, even if it doesn’t appear on the scoresheet, and in the Corsi or Fenwick or other calculations. If the Senators have Jared Cowan and Eric Gryba, and the Leafs have Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren, we have to have players like George Parros and Douglas Murray.

    To really get a sense of how he’s doing, we should be comparing his stats and advanced stats against other players of his ilk, #6 defencemen who are not there for their powerplay skills, but for their rough-and-tough attributes. So we should measure him against the Mark Frasers, the Deryk Engellands, not against Raphaël Diaz or Francis Bouillon, who are on the team for other skillsets.

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  61. byebyegomez says:

    Glad to see that line doing well but Gallagher, Eller and Galchenyuk were doing quite well before somebody broke them up because Patches and Desharnais weren’t doing anything.

  62. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …it must have been after 1 AM Montreal time that Boone posted His ALN

    …what a trooper

    …Boone = HIO …HIO = Boone

    …Boone is a reflection of all Habs Fans …the cranky and the those with rose-coloured monocles

    …well, at least those whom speak the language of Bill Shakespeare :)

  63. Lafleurguy says:

    Team’s sixth in the east, a point out of fourth, five points ahead of ninth.
    Noticeable improvement in depth this year over last. Unlikely to see Blunden or Dumont with the big club this year. Trading away Diaz probably won’t weaken the defense, whereas last year, there was eager anticipation of him returning from his concussion. And Galchenyuk is coming back.

    “Bends but won’t break”

  64. thehabsfan29 says:

    Mike Richards might be on the trade block for the kings

    If he’s being shopped & you were MB would you try and acquire him?

    • spos080808 says:

      Absolutely not. His contract is terrible. He is no longer a consistent offensive producer and he is signed for the next 6 years at $5.75. Why on earth would ANY team want that contract for a guy who is only going to get worse as the years pass?

  65. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Meanwhile… “The New York Islanders have traded forwards Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin to the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2014 fourth-round pick”

    Ouch! How would you like to be valued at half a fourth round pick?

  66. christophor says:

    Max Pacioretty has an elite release and can score from areas most can’t.

    He should not be in the crease.

    Just because he’s big and North American, it doesn’t mean he’s not a sniper. He’s more of a Hossa than a power forward, and that’s just fine.

    • dontpanic says:

      Maybe a bit less vision and defensive prowess, but an excellent point all the same. A poor man’s Hossa at 4.5m we should feel lucky

      … no wonder he fired his agent!

      rd

  67. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    I think Boone forgot to write a last paragraph.

  68. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Ten pin!

  69. Timo says:

    I liked this game… it was a good, hard fought game by both teams. Still too many smurfs though.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Whew, I was worried you might have enjoyed a game completely.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Nice to trade posts after midnight, although it’s still early for T. In quiet fashion, Wiese and Beaulieu, each at 6’2″ have up-sized the team. Lars Eller is drifting in no particular direction.

      “Bends but won’t break”

      • SUMO says:

        Hello Lafleurguy. That’s a great point a lot of the haters are over-looking in the trade. By removing the team’s smallest defenseman, Raphael Diaz and replacing him with a legit 6’2″, 195lbs 21yr-old blue-chip D prospect, Nathan Beaulieu, the D got bigger and younger. Also, in Weise, MB got a younger and cheaper 4th-liner, than soon to be 32yr-old, Travis Moen and his $1.8mill contract.

        So MB saved $$ and added younger and bigger players.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Cheers Sumo. Nicely summed up. I always pull for Mike Blunden to show NHL level skill during his call-ups, but his 6’4″ frame as well as the soon forgotten 6’4″ Andreas Enqvist didn’t have enough skill to go with their size.

          “Bends but won’t break”

  70. FormalWare says:

    Boone: I beg to differ! Price shut out Calgary and Calgary. ;-)


    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  71. Dishonorable mention.

    Defense wins championships

  72. wildwilly says:

    Nice win… So who do you think is going from the Habs at the trade deadline? Ship out quantity for quality?

  73. johnnylarue says:

    First Prize!

  74. JohnBellyful says:

    I got nuthin’.
    Strictly for the glory.


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