About last night …

PricePK

This just in from the Hockey Inside/Out Decision Desk:
After long deliberations fuelled by tequila shooters and takeout sandwiches from Schwartz’s, we have decided to award your Montreal Canadiens a mulligan.
We are going to forgive and forget the piss-poor effort from which they miraculously salvaged a point.
faster, Hungrier, infinitely more prudent and skillful in puck management, Detroit deserved to win in regulation.
As it was, the Red Wings got their two points in Overtime, while the Canadiens bored their fans to tears and flew on to Pittsburgh.
Fearless prediction: If they play that badly against the Penguins, there will be no OT at the Consol Energy Center Thursday night.

The Canadiens began the most challenging part of their schedule – seven games in 11 nights, five of them on the road – by depositing a steaming pile on an ice surface that began the evening in glory.

In the immortal formulation of Sports Illustrated’s Michael Farber, there are two institutions that do ceremony right: the House of Windsor and the Montreal Canadiens.

During a pre-game ceremony Wednesday night, the Canadiens honoured members of Canada’s Gold medal-winning women’s hockey team. They lined up on one side of a regal blue carpet, while the other end was occupied by representatives of the Gold-winning men’s team: Coach Mike Babcock and general manager Ken Holland of the Red Wings, P.K. Subban and, in civvies, Carey Price.

Then the Bell Centre crowd sang a rousing O Canada, the enthusiasm of which gladdened the hearts of those of us living through Quebec’s most recent bout of shamefully cynical and petty politics.

I won’t go into details of why an affirmation of love for Canada and our superb athletes was significant on a late February evening in 2014 Montreal.

Nor will I dwell unduly on the failings of our local hockey team, who responded to all that pomp and good-timey emotion by playing one of their most listless and monotonous games of the season.

Nor will I stress, beyond a simple acknowledgement, that this was one of the Canadiens’ “Optimum” games, for which they boost ticket prices.

What did the fans get for their extra expenditure?

No home team scoring for 59 minutes, 31 seconds.

A second period in which the Canadiens, trailing 1-0, had no shots on goal for 12:31 and ended the 20 minutes with TWO SoG – a season low.

Let’s just chalk the whole mess up to a post-Olympic hangover.

And perhaps the sight of the women, P.K. and Price flashing all that gold was just too much of a downer for Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin – all of whom came back from the Olympics bereft of Gold, Silver or Bronze adornment.

Peter Budaj didn’t win anything in Sochi either. But unlike the aforementioned no-shows, the Canadiens goaltender played well against Detroit.

Free-flowing refreshments here at HIO HQ notwithstanding, it is sobering to consider that Detroit was the easiest opponent the Canadiens will face on this killer portion of their schedule.

After facing the first-place Penguins in the second half of a back-to-back, the Canadiens play host to the Leafs on Saturday. Then they fly across the continent for a Monday game in Los Angeles, followed by a Wednesday-Thursday back-to-back in Anaheim and Phoenix and a Saturday game in San Jose.

First opponent after the Canadiens return home?

Boston at the Bell Centre on March 12.

The Canadiens are eight points clear of ninth-place Columbus in the Eastern Conference standings.

There should be postseason hockey at the Bell Centre – a likelihood that suggests Marc Bergevin won’t be doing much wheeling and dealing in advance of the March 5 trade deadline.

This team is not going to load up for a Stanley Cup run because there isn’t going to be one – unless Carey Price can mistake playoff opponents for the U.S. and Sweden.

Nor is Bergevin likely to be a seller at the deadline. The GM’s cautious approach will disappoint those of us who would happily bid farewell to Brian Gionta, Travis Moen, Lars Eller and, if the deal were right, Andrei Markov in exchange for assets that will help the club become a bona-fide contender …. in the post-Michel Therrien era, with Alex Galchenyuk as the number 1 centre.

 

 

 

542 Comments

  1. savethepuck says:

    I am looking at the last 2 poll questions:

    Do you think Andrei Markov should be traded- 56% say yes

    Were you surprised how well Carey Price did in Sochi? 385 posters said yes ( albeit only 13% of respondents and usually 20% crap on him in previous polls ) but the results should of been 0%

    The results of these polls show a disrespect for this teams stars and I find it loathsome. It’s he reason I stopped coming here a month ago. I got tired of being put in a crappy mood doing something I used to enjoy.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • Mattyleg says:

      Don’t forget, those polls can be clicked on by anyone.
      There’s trolls in them there internets…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Sorry if I don’t see the disrespect.
      The answers are just about right

      Markov: there are great arguments on both sides, and the big unknown is what he wants.

      Price: Perhaps some interpreted that as being ‘pleasantly surprised’..and of course some sour halakites still linger..

    • Habcouver says:

      Thanks for your insight. It made me think about why I was surprised by Pricey’s performance (ie. one of the 13%). Albeit there may be the posters who bask in disrespecting players, I will point out that many of those particular respondents (myself included) were genuinely and pleasantly surprised just how well Price performed on the Olympic stage.

      I strongly urge for you to return as a regular reader or poster to HIO and take the rare Absurdity with a grain of salt. :)

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • JUST ME says:

      Too often i find that the HIO polls are missing an option . Everything is not alway white or black. There should be a more detailed choice of options .

    • RetroMikey says:

      Put my grandmother between the pipes and she would get the 2 shutouts as Price did against the US and Sweden.
      Not putting Price down, but the team Canada DMen were rock solid and big and no holes for teams to crack the D!
      Gotta admit, I am a Habs fan, my house in the family room is adorned with Habs memorabilia, but I will not put any Price, Subban, Desharnais, etc. pictures there unless they have proven they are winners in Montreal by bringing a Cup and Bergevin shows us he is doing everything possible to do this.
      I. for one, voted MArkov to be traded.
      Do you honestly think in 3 years time he’s going to bring a Cup to Montreal?
      Nobody will remember players years down the road like Higgins, Lapierre, Begin, Kostitsyn etc.
      If I ever met them I would say. “yeah you played here, but did you bring a Cup back to Montreal?
      No trolls here, just fans who want a winner here and we’ve had enough patience with these clowns running the organization.
      BIG IS BETTER….in the NHL!

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

  2. crane says:

    D.D. MAKES ME SICK, COACH MESSING THE WHOLE TEAM UP.

  3. habsguru says:

    what’s the scoop with Kessler leaving VAN? does he want out, team issues? VAN can’t be a seller, can they? he is a grit guy, and they can’t really afford to lose any of that.

    • CJ says:

      Just my two cents, but I don’t know that Kessler is a big fan of living in Canada. I personally don’t know the man, but based on some of his comments, it might not be a stretch to suggest that he would rather play in a US market.

      • Paz says:

        I think Pacioretty might feel that way as well since he became a father.

        • CJ says:

          Except that I have seen pictures of Max wearing the Canadiens jersey as a kid. He (Max) is from the northeast. Montreal is not a world away. In this respect, I find the two very unique and entirely different. Just my two cents….

          • Paz says:

            I’m down in Connecticut all the time, even visited Taft a few weeks back.

            It’s beautiful there and only 2 hours from any of the 3 New York teams by car.

          • CJ says:

            Yeah, the tri state area is filled with amazing places. I have never been to Taft, but I have a third cousin who teaches at Avon Old Farms. All I can say is, money, money, money.

            I have cousins who went to Ashbury College in Ottawa and Havergal College in Toronto Both are very expensive, but nothing compared to Taft or Avon Old Farms.

      • Stimpy007 says:

        I think you’re right for sure.

        A buddy of mine didnt have anything good to say about him. He deals with the Canucks often. You cant argue he is a talented player though! He’d look good along side Max.

    • crane says:

      Moulson Plekanec Stewart
      Maxs Gally Bork
      Prust Eller Gally
      Bournival White Weise

      Trade or dump Moen,Gionta,D.D. Bierre

  4. mount royal says:

    Tim Bozon has 31 points in his last 20 games.

  5. habs_54321 says:

    so with Vancouver possibly looking to trade kesler what would we have to offer in return? Eller alone is not enough he is considered a 3c by other teams at this point. Toronto will be prepared to offer up Kadri+

    I think a better fit would be targeting Edler, Eller for Edler could make a lot of sense and would give subban a partner with similar abilities, age and size as boumeester.

  6. mfDx says:

    ” for a Monday game in Los Angeles, followed by a Tuesday-Wednesday back-to-back in Anaheim and Phoenix ”

    3 games in 3 nights??!!
    Had to do a double take and check my schedule.
    Wed-thurs back to back

    Sent from my CHphone

  7. Paz says:

    Hello? 2nd half of last season and right up to his injury vs Ottawa, Eller was playing terrific hockey at center.

    First 15 games of this season he continued his great play.

    Then the lines were changed because Desharnais was soooo bad even the Mayor waned to send him down to Hamilton.

    Since the line of Desharnais, Max, and Gallagher was created, Eller has not been able to do a thing with the 3rd line minutes he gets and virtually zero power play.

    Do you see Therrien worried about Eller?

    Of course not.

    It won’t be Eller leading the Bandwagon tour across rural Quebec this summer, no doubt.

    And the French language media?

    All over this! So excited they have some one to bash about whom their viewers could care less.

    Now all that’s left is for Briere to take hs rightful spot on the first line and all is well in Quebec.

    So predictable since Briere received the torch, and so sad.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Agreed on all counts sir.

      • Paz says:

        Last night Benoit Brunet called out Eller. It was embarrassing. Suggesting had nothing going on in his head when it came to hockey with or without the puck.

        Of course this is the same Brunet who predicted on several occasions that Briere would lead te team in scoring this season!!

        RDS does not even try to hide it any more.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Paz the EGG line started slowing down before they were broken up. Eller needs to be better. Blame it on his wingers but he needs to play better. Pleks has never really had the luxury of stellar wingers and yet still always is one of our top players. Plex also started on the third line as a hab and did really well. I am not sure Eller has the hockey IQ to be a top 6 forward consistently.

      Still too early too say that for sure but that door is getting closer to closing.

      I would say he will be at best a third line centre. That isn’t a knock though his size he is getting better at using and he can play well defensively but his offense just doesn’t seem to be there.

      “Lets Go Canada”

      • Paz says:

        So how do you explain his great play last year and this year if he doesn’t have the IQ?

        He got lucky?

        He was our best forward when he got hurt vs Ottawa!

        Not just good, he was playing great!

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          He was never that great.

          Either that or he’s a victim of the French media.

          • Paz says:

            Dude you were not watching at the end of last season and the beginning of this one, obviously, so I can’t help you.

            And if you don’t see the politics in Benoit Brunets obvious favouritism that is your own bias blinding you.

          • Paz says:

            And I didn’t say French media because that’s not politically correct in this community.

            I said French language media.

        • Mattyleg says:

          At the end of last season, Eller got 13 points in the last 12 games.
          That’s excellent.

          In the previous 12, he got 2 points.

          Y’know…?

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Paz I saw it as well and I saw him playing well at the beginning of this year but he had flashes of that in the previous years as well but has never been able to do it consistently.

          You really think it is everyone else’s fault that he isn’t getting more points?

          I think Briere is one point behind him playing 4 minutes less again (average over the season) and spending a lot of time on the fourth line.

          No doubt that DD gets a bit catered to but you can see the offensive side to DD’s game on a more consistent basis whereas Eller is still very much a work in progress. I don’t see him much more than a useful third line centre.

          “Lets Go Canada”

      • Habfan17 says:

        I would have to agree with Paz. Try to see it from Eller’s point of view and tell me it wouldn’t affect you! He did everything that was asked of him last season and the result was he played very well and made great strides. Then, he starts this year off very well, and then pfft, they pull the plug on him, take away his wingers, move him to the wing…again ( coach should have known better ). You don’t think he can see that some players are getting preferential treatment!

        You can’t compare Pleks to Eller. Yes, Pleks has been put with different wingers, but they are all more skilled than the ones Eller has been put with and Pleks has had Gionta on his wing the majority of the time.

        Habfan17

        • Mattyleg says:

          “take away his wingers”??

          What silliness is this?
          How are they ‘his wingers’?

          There are 8 (or more) wingers on a team, and if you can only be productive with two of them, you don’t have much value.

          Oh, and Plekanec has played with the same wingers as Eller. There aren’t that many of them on the team. There was a website that showed all the different permutations that have been used, and Eller’s weren’t that different from Plek’s. Plecky has had more linemates than Eller, actually.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I have seen pleks play with Travis Moen and gionta is also not a real scoring threat anymore. Last I check Chucky is a pretty skilled winger who always plays with Eller (minus the injury time). He has also had Rene Bourque and Briere on his wings.

          Eller’s issue is decision making on the ice. He doesn’t shoot nearly enough and his release isn’t also amazing. He also waits too long before he shoots and there is no longer a shot available. he does this similarly in play making as well. He seems to try and force a play when it just isn’t there or makes a bad pass.

          “Lets Go Canada”

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        It’s my hunch that if Eller was between Pacioretty and Gallagehr he’d do as well point wise (as Desharnias) and do a better job defensively. The line would also do a better job of retaining control of the puck. That’s just me though :-).

    • arcosenate says:

      Yes, Eller was looking good until player number 61 tried to kill him. And yes it is true, he is being mishandled. For a team that has been after a centre with size since Peter Mahovlich was traded to Pittsburgh, they put an awful lot of political capital into Desharnais instead of Eller.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Ugh.

      So Eller played 19 or 20 good games last season.
      Congraulations to him; it was about time.

      And then he played ‘well’ in the first 15 games this year. (9 points, 5 of which were in the first 2 games)

      And then when his linemates were changed, he fell apart completely.

      Do you really think that this is an indication of a good player?

      And yes, poor Eller and his TOI… you do, in talking about that, realise that he, as the 6th most used player, has more Time On Ice than Desharnais, Gallagher, and Pacioretty, right?

      He is the 3rd most-used forward after Plekanec and Gionta.

      Don’t you think that he’d use that TOI to prove that he deserved to be on the PP?

      But it’s all the fault of the French-language media, this cabal of poutine-eaters, keeping poor Eller down…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Mattyleg says:

          An excellent reply.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Paz says:

            It’s really all you deserved with your cabal of poutine crap.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Heh heh.
            That was jus’ jokes.
            You may not know, (and if you don’t I’m sorry for the confusion!) I’m the most adamant protector of anti-Quebecois slurs on here.
            I get a little annoyed when I see people blaming the Francophone media for the poor play of English-speaking players, is all.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • boing007 says:

        Oh yeah, he wasn’t last night. Desharnais had the most ice time.

        Richard R

      • Habfan17 says:

        Mattyleg, you and most posters keep overlooking one thing, Eller does more defensively that largely goes unnoticed than DD ever does. I have seen him break up plays and cover for players who leave their areas in the defensive zones. It isn’t all about points.

        It is apparent that Eller is asked to do what veterans should be doing, shifting around and working to get other players going.

        Eller should be developed and encouraged. Maybe Therrien felt he was at the level he could adjust, but he is still young and learning the game! Veterans know the game, know systems and should be able to adjust more easily.

        The Kid does everything asked of him, does not complain, and if all things were equal, would be doing better. You can spew all you want about time on ice etc, but the fact remains, when has Eller been given the chance to play consistently wit a least one winger with the skill of Patches? He did have Galchenyuk, but that was taken away and Gal27 is still very young.

        Habfan17

        • Paz says:

          Desharnais is horrendous defensively. Absolutely terrible.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I have never questioned Eller’s desire, nor his effort, nor his amenability or defensive play.

          I think he’s great for all of those things.

          I do, however, question those who think that Eller’s lack of productivity is the fault of anyone other than Eller himself.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • habsguru says:

        good points, but to be fair, Eller is used in a lot of defensive situations where Pacioretty is well, not. i wouldn’t even attempt to stat it, but wher Pac plays a lot of PP time, his quality of TOI would likely make up for the lesser TOI compared to Eller

    • JUST ME says:

      Eller has not proven to be a consistent scorer or passer since he has been in MTL .Although your hatred towards Desharnais and anything french is rather typical of experts of your genre, you should be honest enough to admit it.
      You cannot wait for a player to come out from every slump wondering how long it would take for another one to come. D.D. had one in the beginning of the season and did come out of it in a great way.

      Tell me one thing just one thing. Whos does or did Eller make better while playing with ? Who ?

      I like the guy but let`s compare him with players he can be compared with.

  8. jimmy shaker says:

    moulson, ott, kane or buff please!

    Shaker out!

  9. DipsyDoodler says:

    Aggressively listening is genius.

    McKenzie is saying he’s such an insider he has knowledge of GM’s mental states.

    Not what they’ve discussed or what they’ve done.

    But their hidden mental processes.

    He’s like those worms that cause epilepsy after you eat infected pork: burrowed deep inside the sulci and gyrii of the movers and shakers, monitoring those neurons.

  10. Hobie Hansen says:

    Great article by former player and referee Paul Stewart:

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Paul-Stewart/The-Decline-of-Self-Defense-in-Hockey/196/58264#.Uw9cT6azJRA.twitter

    “Something else to keep in mind: enforcers once had a valuable and important role in our game. Tough guys actually kept it fair and safe for clean play. We had a code and what we “enforced” was the accountability of the game. Alas, like the Shot gun driver on the Stage Coach of the old west, those days are done. Hockey is now a game run by the legislators and lawyers.

    The honest tough guys who worked their way up the hockey ladder one rung at a time — a latter day example would be the now-retired Jody Shelley, who spent several years in the ECHL and AHL before carving out a 600-plus game NHL career — get pushed out more and more with each passing year and are now on the endangered species list.

    Some folks celebrate that, and that’s their prerogative. However, I don’t think the game has changed for the better in regard to making it safer. ”

    –Paul Stewart

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I for the most part agree Hobie with what Paul is saying. There is a serious lack of respect among the players on the ice and I don’t think it is safer.

      With the way the league is run now and our current society though I don’t ever see it going back and very soon you will see enforcers gone.

      If they NHL brass ever started getting serious on length of suspensions and also showed some consistency you may see change but we know that is not coming any time soon

      “Lets Go Canada”

  11. WindsorHab-10 says:

    If you ever want a cheer me up moment, all you have to do is read Mike Boone’s article.

    • Strummer says:

      For all of those who felt the MSL thing was just a rumour.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I would not doubt that is why Stevie Y is stepping down from Team Canada as it added too much stress to his GM job and now might cost him St Louis. St Louis should just get over it. He is a really good hockey player and looked good on team Canada in the limited ice time he got and now has a gold medal. Suck it up buttercup you are supposed to be a professional athlete

      “Lets Go Canada”

  12. CharlieH24 says:

    What are your guys’ top-3 wishlist for Therrien replacements? Let’s break the french-speaking coach rule…we can all dream.

  13. frankcasting says:

    Glad to see the poll tending toward trading Markov, the time has come, and a shrewd GM needs to make the mover right now. Any kind of skilled forward suits me, PA might be a good fit despite his relative small size. If Bergie could unload any of the others on Boone’s list, he deserves a purple heart, let alone exec of the year.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  14. Prop says:

    It’s all Douglas Murray’s fault.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • krob1000 says:

      lol…I like MUrray..but that shift that he almost scored on…then lost the puck…Montreal didn’t touch the puck again for another minute and played in their end forever after it…all I could think was there goes his Corsi and it was on is best scoring chance of the season!!

      • Prop says:

        I missed the game except for a couple of minutes of the first period. Went out to Seoul Chako for some Korean BBQ for my birthday dinner. I just automatically assumed it was all on Murray.

        ____________________
        DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          It’s always all on Murray, but we can now sprinkle in some Emelin.

          • krob1000 says:

            Emelin was pretty horrific last night….playing some very strange hockey…both he and PK look lost now. Emelin, PK, Eller, Gallagher….all guys who were huge in alst years success seem IMO to be having their effectiveness reduced with their roles this year.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Funny, I thought Emelin looked a lot better than he did before the Olympic break.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Emelin & Markov still have haunting memories of escaping Mother Russia one step ahead of Putin.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

        • frontenac1 says:

          Hey Prop. I was at the Chicago concert last night. I was fueled with some high octane stuff and had a blast. Man, can those guys play. Checked the score when I got home and thought, “OT? Must have been a good game!” until I read HIO. 25 or 6 2 4 amigo!

      • Mr. Biter says:

        I remember that play wondering who was that big guy with all those moves and then “The Hands of Moen” took over.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  15. Phil C says:

    Thanks for all the responses below. Perhaps my shotgun approach to posting about how some are too negative about the Habs sprayed too wide of a target. I’ll stick to a sniper rifle from now on. ;-)

    My only point was that if you were to read the posts of the live blog, you would think the Habs were a last place team and getting blown out. I normally don’t follow the live blog because I usually PVR the game, but I think I’ll go back to my old system as I can’t handle the excessive negativity. I makes me wonder why some people watch hockey at all.

    I know the Habs have a few holes and we all want the Habs to get better and win, so I understand those of you who post critically about the team.

    As for trading veterans for futures to reload, I think it needs to be acknowledged that it can be a risky strategy. The return for good players like Boumeester and Nash have been underwhelming recently. Bold GMs like in Philly have not necessarily seen a good return on their risk. JVR for Schenn has been a bit of a bust. Couturier may not blossom into the stud they had hoped when they drafted him, and that was a top ten pick, not something the Habs could get for their spare parts.

    Dudley has said in a recent interview that it is so competitive in the league now, a GM can’t afford to make a mistake anymore, so this may explain the current management’s cautious approach to team building.

    I still think the best approach is to hold on to as many draft picks as possible, and trade away players when you have a surplus of players or prospects. I don’t think the Habs have enough depth for a trade to help the team other than a few minor deals. Not the blockbuster a lot of people want.

    Any player is tradeable for the right price, including Markov, but the value has to be there. Maybe it is the right thing to trade him to the highest bidder if he does not sign by March 5th, but I would rather see them sign him than get a poor return for him while throwing away their shot this season.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I agree about the live blog.
      I enjoy the games significantly more (regardless of how well/badly we are playing) when I don’t tune in to that negativity-orgy.

      I know some people don’t like me saying it, but I believe that Boone’s negativity in his blog promotes that kind of behaviour, and it’s why I never read it anymore, prefering to read a soberer and (generally) more balanced ALN the next day.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Phil C says:

        WRT Boone, I guess that’s what happens when you follow the Habs daily for the last 25 years. I took a break from about 1995-2003, so I have less emotional trauma.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Most people on here have been following the Habs daily for 25 years or more and aren’t as doomy as Los Boonero.

          Boone, don’t forget, was the City Beat writer, and only became a sports writer in his last year or two at the Gazoo.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Phil C says:

            I didn’t know that.

            You’ve been following the team daily for 25 years? That’s a huge body of pain you are suppressing, I’ll be looking for signs of cracking.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Heh heh.
            :)

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  16. krob1000 says:

    Cautious optimist you wrote
    “It’s intriguing, and I still think Eller can become a perennial 25-goal guy, but I don’t think Vancouver would do that deal one-for-one, so I’d be concerned about what else goes the other way. And Kesler isn’t moving to the wing, so unless we’re dealing DD, Pleks or Galchenyuk, we’d have four players in top-2 roles who need to play at centre to be effective or grow”.

    Kesler would be a game changer….would totally allow Montreal to completely reconfigure a lineup….it would make DD or Pleks move digestable as well. However, here is the biggest issue with DD that I see….the role Galchenyuk is going to take over…will be that of the protected offensive role with the teams top winger. So IMO it is DD standing more in Glachenyuks way than Eller or even Kesler would be. Pleks could be moveable but IMO he and Kesler would be ideal to have two two way lines playing behind Galchenyuk for the next couple of seasons. In fact I would say that would be a middle ice combo that could compete with the big boys over the next couple of seasons. BOth PLeks and KEsler would be capable of lining up against anyone. Dd would be the one who would be the ideal one to move …would you trade Elelr and DD for Kesler?
    It won;t happen but man I wish it would….Chucky-Kesler-Pleks as your 1,2,3 punch for the next 3 seasons is definitely an elite groping. Still need one more scoring winger but wow…taht is a very complete center group…not lacking anything.

    • Paz says:

      Of course you are right on the mark especially about Galchenyuk offensive line overlapping with Desharnais.

      Imagine if we had not signed Desharnais for 4 years.

    • Habitforming says:

      If the centres are Plex, Galchenyuk, Eller, DD, and White. Who would the wingers be for the top 2 lines going forward?

      (forward being after this season with Gio, Moen, and hopefully Bourque and Briere gone too)

      As strange as it is to say after so long, the Habs issues aren’t at centre, its the wings we have massive holes to fill.

      Markov is a great bargaining chip to fill a spot or two.

      • krob1000 says:

        That is the case no matter what happens at center…the HAbs will have cap space. I would try to swap Briere for Erat straight up…I think Erat woulod be an ideal linemate for Pleks.

  17. rhino514 says:

    I have thought for most of the season that Eller would get going at some point.
    But there is something definitely up with him.
    We simply cannot be a two line team going into the playoffs. It´s so frustrating given how dominant of a player he became over the last third of last season.
    The coaching staff and Whitey himself need to somehow get his confidence back before the playoffs begin.
    I am still convinced that Eller has a much higher ceiling than Desharnais; we already saw signs of this last year, he was well on his way. It would be sad if he is traded and we end up keeping a player who is ok for the time being but who has a much lower ceiling.
    By the way, did Eller indeed play with Galchenyuk last night?

  18. habstrinifan says:

    Habfan10912:

    “Good morning all. That certainly wasn’t the team I dreamed would show up and entertain us last night. Holy crap…”

    Holy Crap you still looking for entertainment from this sorry arse lot. Finally at age 66 I can say that I am cured. No longer would I stay up late checking out a West coast trip!

    Most boring Habs team in a long long while.

    You want real entertainment. Check out Arizona politics.
    Laugh-a-minute stuff. Even Chevy Chase couldnt dream up their going-ons.

  19. punkster says:

    Wow…this place reads like Timo’s entire family, including first, second and third cousins, plus in-laws, all opened accounts here.

    • habstrinifan says:

      True… but come on Man. You cant tell me you have any excitement left for what the HABS are peddling.

    • Here’s a positive spin: if the Habs can play that uninspiredly and still manage a point against a pretty good team, imagine when they play well? : )


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

      • habstrinifan says:

        Detroit is still undermanned.. so I wont say they are a ‘pretty good team’.

        • Mr. Biter says:

          Detroit played the same game that Canada did at the Olympics (wonder why) by close checking the forwards and closing the passing lane. We also can see why PK was in the press box in Russia. No discipline. Lots of talent, but if he played last year the way he’s playing this year there would have been no Norris on his mantle. He’s still going to get a ton of money no doubt from the Habs, but just for the sake of asking what would the Habs get in compensation, if he went RFA and another team made say a 10M offer?

          Mr. Biter
          No Guts No Glory

  20. shiram says:

    I think that as long as the Habs rely on DD to be the prime offense generator the team will struggle, will continue to be a bubble team.

    It’s not necessarily a knock on him, he does produce some offense, but not nearly enough, and he also is not very sound defensively, he’s prone to float on the backcheck/forecheck.

    Eller does not seem to be the answer either, he’s looking lost out there, and he was playing much better before.
    One has to wonder what happened for him to regress so much.
    I like the idea of recreating the EGG line, it makes sense to me.
    Bourque with DD and Max.

    I think the Habs right now are just about a .500 team, but their hot start is keeping him up in the standings.

    And I don’t like Therrien, he’s just making weird decisions.

    • Hard to disagree with that. I like DD — he works hard, produces solid secondary scoring, and seems to have a solid attitude. But we’ve got plenty of secondary scoring — what we need is primary scoring.

      There are a lot of teams that he could make better — teams with no real offence from their current 2nd-line pivot, who want a serviceable insurance policy in case their top-line guy misses a few games. DD can play that role well, but at this point we’ve got three 2nd-line centres — four if you count Eller.


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

    • knob says:

      I am against DD on the Habs. I think that he is an NHL centre but would rather Pleckanec, Eller, and Galchenyuk fill the centre role the Habs. That said, I will admit that DD looks good on the half-boards running the power play.

    • New says:

      I think we demand too much from what the Habs have on the ice. People talk about contracts as if money bore no relation to reality. They say Eller should sign for 3.5 or more, PK for 8 or more. If those were offer sheets to another team’s RFA the compensation would be a first and third for Eller (or match) and four firsts for Subban under the CBA. Who exactly would do that?

      The issue with the Habs is they are weak almost everywhere. They have been bottom of the middle tier so long that all their picks have been lower percentage. The odds are against them. But they sell out so the pressure to compete is huge.

      The team needs to repair the location and philosophy of it’s farm. Players need to develop who can anticipate when to leave their check and break for the net. People talk about defensive responsibility a lot but the flip side is offensive responsibility. You watch Eller or Subban run about with the puck for 20 seconds and neither achieve a thing except to lose the puck. Everyone stands around and try’s to figure out what they are doing. Then they change lines. The time to change lines is when you control the puck, not when you lose it.

      The guys are playing as hard as they can and really trying to play together. In five years we won’t remember most of them had been here.

  21. knob says:

    After watching the Olympics, excluding the 3rd tiered teams, it was really hard to enjoy last nights game. Listening to Duthie and the monkeys talk about trades and how Cammaleri is an elite goal scorer that could fit into any team I realized that the NHL is watered down. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the 4th liners of the NHL world but more that I think that there are too many “top-nine” forwards who actually are not that great. It would be easy to think that the NHL would be a better place with 16 teams.

    Unfortunately, a major retraction of NHL teams would drastically reduce league wide revenue, reducing cap and available funds to pay players and as a result of supply and demand the elite players that would form your new “top-nine” would go to the KHL leaving you right where we are now. The game is as good as it will ever be and I guess we will just have to be happy when a “top-nine” player who makes 5mil per year scores his 12th goal with 20+ games left in the season.

    On a side note, how about that 3-on-3 in overtime? That was pretty exciting.

    • New says:

      It is like this after every Olympics the NHL participates in. We get spoiled. Some start to complain that the Olympics is boring. You can bet the first thing they say after the games is how rusty and boring the Canadiens game was.

      People forget that the strength of the Canadiens, the difference between top tier and bottom tier, is motivation and teamwork. Like Latvia the Canadiens have to play together to keep it close. One wheel spinning too fast or too slow, boom, they lose.

      The Habs might be better a few years from now when the loose wheels are gone. Right now they have to work together to get to the playoffs, then find an opponent whose room is fractured by something or other. No way they take four of seven from a team that is working together.

    • Strummer says:

      “Listening to Duthie and the monkeys talk about trades and how Cammaleri is an elite goal scorer that could fit into any team ”

      Is this the same crew that everyone was lamenting would be less relevant after the Rogers deal?

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Wait until we get that amount of dosage of Doug MacLean and Nick Kypreos and Darren Millard. Will make the guys at TSN seem sane.

        Actually i quite like listening to the O’Dog on TSN, he is pretty frank in his discussions and doesn’t pretend to know who is getting traded. Seems pretty honest to me.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I don’t know, it looked pretty much exactly like Team Canada vs USA. Stifling defence heading (almost) to a 1-0 win.

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

  22. TMan1969 says:

    I think I figured out why they played poorly last night. It has to do with the cermonies – almost everytime they have a big ceremony (lighting the torch or honoring players) they lose…thoughts, am I wrong?

    “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. Mattyleg says:

    My buddy pointed out more Mackenzian nonsense:

    “The Vancouver Canucks are not aggressively shopping and trying to trade Ryan Kesler, but I do believe that they’re aggressively listening.”

    What absolute, unadulterated, unfettered, and crapulous nonsense.

    This is from someone who people say they ‘have respect’ for.

    I ask, once again, why?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • arcosenate says:

      I know, what a gig, sit around making up stuff that rabid morons lap up every night. Man I wish I was an “INSIDER”.

    • krob1000 says:

      The more interesting thing in that article is that “they are looking for a center 20-25 that can grow into the role KEsler has right now”…..hmmm…I would prefer Montreal let Eller grow into that role in Montreal but he is the ideal candidate if that is what they are looking for.

      • knob says:

        When BobMac made that comment, that is exactly what I had thought too.

        • krob1000 says:

          BI gRh center with a bit of grit and some scoring….hmmm….this is a circumstance I would consider letting Eller go for….have to add something else but interesting to say the least. MOntreal short on RH centers forever, Kesler solid defensively fits MOtnreal, Kesler signed reasonably for what he brings, Eller RFA with tons of room for growth if given a better role. Very interesting…..also opposite conferences and far away enough to not haunt HAbs or Canucks if things go bad for one tema…this could be a perfect match.

          • knob says:

            I’m still not ready to give up on Eller yet. The other thing to consider, assuming that DD is going no where, is that we also have Plekanec and Galchenyuk down the middle. If MB decides to trade Eller he should get a winger with some size that can score.

          • krob1000 says:

            can;t reply below…I am a huge Eller fan…think he is getting a bum deal in Montreal…however, Ryan Kesler his EXACTLY…what the Canadiens have longed for for years. BIg, physical, RH center that can score as well….he is better than the Sundin rumopurs at Sundins age when those rumours were happening. If Kesler is availalbe…Montreal has to at least make the calls IMO. Like I said I would prefer Montreal keep Eller but it seems he is never going to get a chance in Montreeal.

          • It’s intriguing, and I still think Eller can become a perennial 25-goal guy, but I don’t think Vancouver would do that deal one-for-one, so I’d be concerned about what else goes the other way. And Kesler isn’t moving to the wing, so unless we’re dealing DD, Pleks or Galchenyuk, we’d have four players in top-2 roles who need to play at centre to be effective or grow.


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

    • Je ne comprends pas says:

      I did not think it was a word but i was wrong.

      Definition of CRAPULOUS :
      1: marked by intemperance especially in eating or drinking
      2: sick from excessive indulgence in liquor

    • Strummer says:

      I never got the adulation for Mackenzie, and all the moaning after the Rogers deal that Mackenzie was the be-all and end-all of these “insiders”

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I heard Bobbo this morning and I am now more convinced than ever, that indeed there is a possibility that Kesler will forsure be traded if it turns out that the Canucks decide that perhaps that may trade him. Thankfully Dreger came on as well and confirmed that other teams are very interested in Kesler and know that he can be very effective and that indeed they absolutely want him, however, he can also be ineffective due to health reason and that because of that they are not convinced that he can be helpful to them.

      Having insiders like this available to us to listen to, is wonderful at making what could look confusing be actually very clear and foggy.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Mackenzie’s not the greatest writer, but I think what he’s saying is that Gillis is not calling teams and seeing what he can get for Kesler, but he is taking call that are asking. Like I say, not the best way to describe it, but there is a difference between “shopping” and player and considering offers.

      PS – If there were a way to pry Kesler out of VanCity in exchange for one of the Habs current centres and a pick/prospect, I’d do it. Kesler is an excellent centreman.

  24. boonie says:

    Brian Burke is a pompous, oft-callous remark machine. Oh, and a great marketer.

    Half the NHL knew Kaberle was near the end, but BB marketed Kabs to the Bruins publicly in the media for over a year. The Bruins BELIEVED that Kabs was a key piece of their Cup puzzle. Burke got a middle prospect (Colborne, since turned into a fourth rounder if memory serves from the Flames) and a 1st rounder. I’d take a player and a pick for a guy out of the NHL every day and twice on Sunday.

    Burke used the same strategy to move Luke the second-coming -of-Mike-Komi Schenn to the Flyers for JV freakin’ R. Again, a year of media pushing finally had the Flyers GM BELIEVING that Luke helped them. Maybe he thought it would make Brayden happy – who knows.

    I’m not saying Burke makes great trades every time. He’s had his share of stinkers.

    The point here is being a big top showman is part of a GM’s bag of tricks. Every time, someone suggests that we couldn’t get (insert something decent) for one of our tradable assets, remember Burke peddled four nothings for Phaneuf, moved our discarded Beauchemin for Gardiner, a pick and Lupul.

    It’s part of MB’s job description to find takers who will pay a ransom for Markov, Plecs, Gionta, Gorges, Moen by making other teams BELIEVE that these players are their missing pieces.

  25. Luke says:

    Poopy game last night all around. That was hard to watch.

    However, the beer was good. So that’s a win for me.

  26. CJ says:

    Looking forward to a full slate of match-ups this evening. Ottawa vs Detroit is a true four point game. Funny, although a point today is not weighted differently then a point in October, it sure feels like it carries greater significance. Kinda like a birdie on hole 17 or 18 during a round of golf.

    A Detroit win tonight puts Ottawa five points back with 22 games remaining. However, a Sens win tonight and they are only 1 point out of a playoff spot.

  27. Commandant says:

    A look at the Wild Cards at the Trade Deadline.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/02/27/nhl-trade-bait-the-wildcards/

    We also brought on a new prospect writer to help me with some of that coverage. Here’s his first.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/02/27/future-spect-spotlight-a-look-at-anaheim-ducks-prospect-max-friberg/

    Go Habs Go!
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  28. JUST ME says:

    Are you readyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy……

    Don`t know about you but i felt before the game that something was missing in that building.
    We get to have the visit from our boys and girls from the olympics and we greeted them politely nothing more heartfelt nothing less i guess.

    Right then i knew it was going to be a polite evening. Against a team far from being intimidating filled with old veterans we would be polite.

    They were polite and gave us a point and then we folded politely.
    No guts ,no rage ,no heart , no nothing.

    For me the different brand of hockey was making this game so boring but it shouldn`t have made a difference for the players.

    Tonight we are in Crosby`s territory. Hope they get the message and understand the challenge ahead…

  29. BJ says:

    This off subject but may come in handy sometime. Our family has used this free service a few times over the years. Its a burn website (don’t ask me how its done exactly and it seems a bit voodoo but it works). Yesterday I burned my fingers pretty badly and remembered this service at http://www.sosburn.info . You have to call within 30 minutes of the burn, the sooner the better (they ask a few tidbits of info and call you back later to see how you are doing). What it does is remove most of the pain within 2 hours and accelerates the healing. My skin actually stuck on a metallic object and after a few shouts and a vigirous dance, I made my way to the tel and called them. Pain gone after 2 hours. Its free and may come in handy one day for yourselves and family. Still pain free during the night and today.

    • Je ne comprends pas says:

      If we apply their approach to the Habs tonight we might just win!

      • BJ says:

        As light a fire under their a$$es? But remember it takes the pain away and they played like that last night.

        • Je ne comprends pas says:

          Not what I meant.
          I believe what it comes down to is the power of positive thought.
          If we continually have negative things to say about them then they have to overcome all that negativity. So if we are all positive in are thoughts they might overcome MT and play better. Good voodoo. Just a theory. As with most theories it is not conclusive.

  30. thebonscott says:

    is vestaire.ca a reputable source, as they are reporting MB has interest in muzzin and king from L.A. for markov.

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

    • CJ says:

      That would be a very, very good return for the General.

    • JUST ME says:

      A reputable source ? Never heard about them before today. Reputable for who ?

    • boonie says:

      I hope not. Muzzin is 25.

      You trade for players of that age when they’re are stars (and pay a premium) and your 1-3 years away from a Cup.

      We’re not that close. We need picks and prospects. If you’re going to trade assets that other teams (key word here — BELIEVE) they need to be success, you get back real LONG TERM value.

      A pick can be moved. Prospects can be traded. Players in their first few seasons have RFA years that help structure the team’s cap.

      Muzzin ain’t what we need.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Muzzin is a 25 year old Top 4 minutes Dman at 6’3″-214 already playing 1st Unit PP with Doughty.
      He is a cheap $1m Cap Hit this year and next and will only be an RFA in summer 2016.
      The chance is zero.
      The Kings management isn’t that dumb

    • ooder says:

      nothing like reducing our skill level even more

    • CJ says:

      With all due respect to anyone who doesn’t think this is more then fair value, I am suggesting you haven’t watched either player more then once this season. There is almost zero chance that Markov could fetch two roster players of this calibre. This is a very, very good return for the General. I can’t imagine LA, or anyone else moving two comparable pieces of their team for Markov, unless there was something going the other way.

  31. krob1000 says:

    Stolen point could come in handy…when Budaj made that glove save witha few minutes left on Franzen I had a feeling they would get their point somehow. Ticks me off hey played the OT like a team trying to get to the shootout? Why they did not give Gallagher, Chucky or Eller (would have been a great show of confidence in him after on eo f his worst games I can remember…he was off but I have seen enough of him to know that isn;t him).

    Why in the world they insisted on DD over and over is a mystery to me…he was not hving a good game by any stretch…then they played him on his offside on the pp on the boards? At least he is a theoritcal shooting threat fromt he other side.

    Gorges ws invisible, Emelin was as bad on D as Eller was up front. PK could have had 3 other penalties and his reputation for embellishing was not helped last night…he actually could hav3e got two or 3 other penalties on his incidents with Helm alone. Ont he flip side…he plays keepaway as good as anyone in the modern game….might not be a bad idea to seriously consider moving him up late in games and going with Markov/Beaulieu when down.

    Hoping for a better effort tonight but very, very frustrated witht he reluctance to break up the DD-Patches-Gallagher line now that Chucky is back. Two biggest scoring threats on one line…Gally is capable of turning any line he is on into a scoring line, Patches will get his goals no matter where he goes so why play them together?

    3 on 3 would havebeen a great time to have a big possession, skating body like Eller on the ice instead of DD. Gllagher would have been the guy IMO if you are going small. HE is turing into something special…..he is getting worn down but his perseverance and willingness to drive the net area treat….I bett there are fewer than 10 players in the league who would have driven the net the way he did on that semi break where he almost scored….that is a ballsy move and it creates havoc.

    The bottom lines were missing sparkplugs Prust and Bournival so no life there either.

    Oh well./…Habs managed a point in one of their worst efforts against a playoff team….if that is bad as it gets then I guess it isn;t that bad…but frustrating to see the handling of the players. I know MT has a billion more assets related to hockey than all of us but man it sure looks strange watching the utilization of the players on this team based on what we see…

  32. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Okay so Mike Babcock’s teams play stifling defence and get away with a ton of interference while meanwhile Subban gets a penalty for … pushing and another for getting hooked and going down. Look NHL, if it’s a hook then it’s not a dive, if it’s a dive then it’s not a hook. Simple enough? The Wings hold up everyone everywhere and nothing is called. That’s how I saw it anyway.
    The three on three was kind of exciting. What I wouldn’t give for a more open game.

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

  33. BJ says:

    What is wrong with Eller? He looks like a lost soul out there. He is at this time a huge disappointment. I don’t know if its on Therrien to bum out players, he seems very uninspiring and unsupportive? Or maybe we are just that mediocre as a team.

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    Therrien’s days are numbered!
    The players don’t hear him anymore!
    He also played Gionta, Deharness, Patcheretty and Plekanics the last few min of regulation and nearly the whole 5 min’s of overtime, 4 on 4 and 3 on 3, what an ass!!

  35. Mattyleg says:

    Morning tout les friends!

    Man, it was a pretty ugly one last night, but I wouldn’t go as far as El Boonerino in saying that Detroit dominated, nor would I say that they deserved the two points in regulation.

    We played crap offense, but we defended well enough to salvage a point, and Detroit didn’t attack effectively enough.

    In other, more pressing news:

    Who decided that “in the future” was no longer a useful English phrase, and the decidedly inferior, vague, and inelegant “going forward” needed to be used instead?

    “He’s going to be a great player going forward” (hopefully not talking about a goalie)
    “This team is going to be much stronger going forward”
    “He wants to improve the team going forward”

    So dumb.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  36. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    ” Love the One Your With”

    Call it the mantra of this year’s league, but anyone looking for the big trade is going to be very disappointed. Several posters have outlined how the math doesn’t work for most teams (why would NJ trade Jagr for Gionta regardless of sweeteners) how long would it take for a 22 – 30th overall in this year’s draft to come close to what you have in Markov, and why would Kane, Kesler et al ever be on the market for an affordable price?

    Perhaps the biggest factor is the need to keep young, inexpensive, controllable talent … Tiffoli is an example of what every team needs so his class of player is not moving. It was a rare team like St-Louis that had a glut of big forwards that could consider moving Eller (regardless of how he pans out, we are talking about the perceived potential of a 13th overall pick with high talent rankings from various scouts).

    So maybe Markov gets you something for the future but that just means we muddle through anyway as we are at worst going to finish no lower than 20th overall.

    Next year the cap goes back to its upward trajectory, the new TV deal kicks in and hockey deals vs money deals will start to happen.

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

  37. Maritime Ronn says:

    Paz says:
    ….I really can not get past the decisions Bergevin took by signing Desharnais to a 4 year extension. What was he thinking?
    —————
    Paz
    I am not a 51 fan… as a Top 6 center, yet you have to look at the timing of the deal and all the factors involved.

    51 signed that contract on March 15th, 2013.
    Who were the Habs centers at that time?
    1) Plex
    2) Eller – that was not playing well and going nowhere.
    3) Galchenyuk – who had all of 27 NHL games under his belt
    4) The Rest: Dumont-Halpern-White.

    At that exact moment in time, he had played 27 games in the 2012-13 season and had 8 goals/16 points coming off a 60 point season.

    51 was also to become an RFA with Arbitration Rights that could have cost the Habs +$4M for 1 or 2 years.

    So Berg rolled the dice on a move that gave some certainty to the center position moving forward, and at $3.5M per year was not anywhere close to Gomez style numbers.

    How he morphed into the deemed Habs # 1 center with the Best Preferred linemates and Premium 1st Unit PP time is a mystery, yet it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out WHY that happened with les Canadiens de Montreal…and would NEVER happen with any other serious NHL team with Stanley Cup aspirations.

    No one can blame 51 – he just goes out and plays when tapped on the shoulder, yet the Habs are going to have to get serious about who will be their 2 Top 6 centers moving forward or they are going NOWHERE.

  38. arcosenate says:

    That was pretty hard to watch after the Olympics, I didn’t think there would be that much rust but I was way off. Did Galchenyuk get any time 3 on 3 in OT?

    Man, I hate to say it but Lars Eller is not going to be what people thought he could be. I don’t know if it’s the coach the “system” or whatever but he’s lost out there.

    What a shame.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I posted below that with the way he has been used, we might have missed the boat with Eller. For some reason, he has regressed badly.

      • arcosenate says:

        I can’t tell you how he can be used at this point, this pattern of playing natural centres on the wing is looking like it’s really not the way to go.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I can’t see Eller as a natural centre.
          He takes too long to figure out what to do with the puck to be an effective distributor, and this aspect of his game hasn’t really improved despite being used at centre for a long time.

          At a certain point the coach has to say “right, that’s not working, let’s put you on the wing.”

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • arcosenate says:

            I think he was at one point, but I am pretty sure we have done him some damage with all the shifting position to position. As far as his puck distribution, who has he played with long enough to get any chemistry at all? Anyway, it looks like a disaster at this point.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Even when he was playing centre a lot, and with consistent wingers he doesn’t have great vision.

            Plekanec can play with a 4th-liner and a career AHLer, and still make them look good; Eller can’t click with anyone, it seems.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  39. Strummer says:

    Anyone see Matt D’Agostini beat Chara 1 on 1 and score last night?
    It was a beaut.

    Edit: Also Tyler Myers smacking Marchand. Another beaut.

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

  40. mrhabby says:

    the he sucks and blame game starts all over again.

  41. Ian Cobb says:

    Not much to say about this bantam hockey league masquerading as a professional hockey league!
    Yes Betman is right on, getting ready for this up coming expansion as the suckers keep paying the freight to watch this watered down game, dreaming and hoping to one day watch a real hockey contest.
    It is such a shame and a complete sham to see this watered down game suck millions out of starving hockey fans in this country and yes even the states, to a lesser degree.
    The only reason the NHL will not offer players to the Olympic’s again is because it show’s what a poor product it sells to it’s customers.
    Very sad situation of sophisticated extortion!

  42. GL says:

    As far as forwards go other than – Pacioretty, Pleks, Desharnais, Gallagher, and Galchenyuk the rest is a waste of money than again a waste of money don’t mean anything to the Present and pass management …

  43. Steeltown Hab says:

    It’s actually embarassing we’re not skating Tinordi and Beaulieu in this line up. Emelin on the right side is just getting painful, why is Therrien such a joke, and why does he continue to get a free pass for bonehead line up decisions.

    ———————————

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

  44. CJ says:

    Thank goodness we didn’t have twitter or facebook or the like while I was growing up. I can’t imagine the hot mess I would created….

    That said, I now have access to these platforms and they have changed the way I see the game, view the players and crave information up to the minute.

    Perhaps this is going to come across as entirely too critical, but I don’t think it very wise to see pictures of Prust, posted throughout his vacation, only to have him come back and miss the first game. I would not deny the young man the vacation, but perhaps it would be a better idea not to post tweets and photos every single day.

    Like I said, maybe this shouldn’t bother me at all. But, if I am being entirely honest, it doesn’t sit well with me.

  45. Old Bald Bird says:

    PK can’t win, eh? He gets 2 penalties for plays in which 90% of the players would not get 1 penalty. Both were a result of great efforts: 1 to keep the puck in and the other to do anything to score a goal. BTW, on the OT one, the ref wouldn’t have called any penalty on the Wings if he couldn’t have offset it with a CH penalty, so his penalty didn’t nullify anything.

    And for the love of Mike Boone, it’s time to give 27 full playing time, especially in OT. There is a point at which conservatism and coddling has to stop. He’s nearing the end of his 2nd for crying out loud.

    • Habfan17 says:

      not to mention the first play to keep the puck in was the result of a very bad, and perhaps the weakest pass I have ever seen from Briere!! Was Briere nailed to the bench for it like PK would have been…..NO!!!!

      Habfan17

  46. mrhabby says:

    A mulligan to the Habs last night . Lots of rust as did the Red Wings. I watched some of the Sabres/Bruins game same result same type of game.
    That being said it could get ugly if Habs play this way tonight.
    I would love MB add some players at the deadline but alas likely not going to happen as he wants to hold all of his draft pics and prospects.

    Can we bring back the Olympics.

  47. Habfan10912 says:

    @Scotland your 8:13 post describing Josh Gorge was as accurate a description of his game as I’ve ever read.

  48. Je ne comprends pas says:

    On a lighter note since we suck and are not getting better any time soon.

    Let’s list Superfoods and their alcoholic counterpart.
    The infamous Boone has started the party off with tequila and smoked meat sandwichs. I had vodka and poutine yesterday. Perhaps squirrel with a nice chianti ? Roasted youppi a la orange avec sambuca ?

  49. Hobie Hansen says:

    @Paz and Habsfan17

    I agree, nothing against Desharnias, he works his tail off and has changed my mind on him this season. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish our three centermen were Plekanec-Eller-Galchenyuk right now.

    Eller is just not getting enough ice time. Eller should be playing with Pacioretty. He’s been playing poorly the last few months on most nights and now it’s looking like he’ll be nothing more than an average 3rd line center.

    All because of the stupid 4-year-deal given to Desharnais.

    Oh, and how the f*&k was Galchenyuk not on the ice for the 3-3 OT last night???

    • lach60 says:

      Well that’s a new low; blaming Desharnais for Eller’s lack of production over the last 40+ games.

      So because Eller is 6’2 200+ pounds he’s a second line centre? He hasn’t done anything to deserve those types of minutes.

      I like Eller, he’s Danish what’s not to like. But he is not a second line centre yet.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Lol…

        I think 90% of people out there, including a few 3-year-olds, wish Eller was slotted into Desharnais spot and the 4-year-deal was never given to him.

        • lach60 says:

          Lol Hobie, lol.

          Desharnais earned what he got. It’s time to let it go. Speaking of 3 year olds, it’s time to stop sulking.

          If Desharnais was 6’2 he’d be a first line centre with his abilities and the Habs would be paying him 5 million. He’s doing a fine job where he is.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            DD didn’t earn a spot on the 1st line this year. That was just given to him. He wasn’t producing at all, then was placed between Max and Gally.

          • lach60 says:

            I was referring to his salary but I would agree with that. I would also counter and say since he’s played fantastic and put up very good numbers.

            I think people tend to believe the Eller line at the beginning of the year was way better than it actually was. Desharnais line has been producing for 40+ games now, there is no reason to break it up.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Ya you’re right, because Desharnais would be producing under Eller’s circumstances. Rotating door of 3rd line wingers, never with Pacioretty, only a short stint with Gallagher where he was unreal, and essentially zero PP time.

        But wait Desharnais was ECHL MVP and tore up the AHL….that’s proving something. God forbid put Pacioretty or Gallagher with Plekanec.

        ———————————

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

        • dabouz says:

          you CAN actually blme desharnais, had he not sucked the whole beginning of the season the kid line where eller was would or could still be in tact and he could be getting as much ice time as DD. the fact that DD needed the whole team to try and help him by juggling lines, took away from eller.

          db out.

        • lach60 says:

          What has Eller done? Has he ripped up the AHL or won ECHL MVP?

          At least Desharnais has performed at every level he’s played. Again, he’s earned his spot, and smarter hockey people than I happen to agree.

          • Habfan17 says:

            So did Corey Locke!! Your point is not valid! Eller has had to make Gold from saw dust all season with the exception of the first couple of weeks when he played with Galchenyuk and Gallagher. I would love to see how you would feel if you were Eller! He did everything asked of him last season and did very well, he started this season very strong then was screwed over to help DD get untracked!

            Maybe if he could leap buildings in a single bound, skate faster than a speeding train, he would get a fair shake!

            It is clear that Therrien is not following his own comments he made when the season started, no excuses and ice time based on merit.
            Some players, Eller, Galchenyuk, and PK seem to have special “rules” to follow!

            Ask yourself, why wasn’t DD moved to the wing to try to get him going instead of messing up all the other lines that were working?
            Habfan17

          • lach60 says:

            This isn’t about Corey Locke, I was simply stating that Desharnais has a proven track record of performing, while Eller does not.

            Eller has the tools but he has not performed up to his potential. TSN showed something last night, 5 goals in his last 47 games. Come on now.

        • boing007 says:

          No matter what happens on the DD Pacioretty line no changes are made. As soon as the EGG line went into a mini slump it was torn apart.

          We have been watching a middling team for the past twenty years.

          Richard R

      • Habfan17 says:

        I think the reference isn’t against DD, it is the use of the players and ice time that DD receives and what Eller isn’t getting. Name the players that DD has played with, patches and a couple of others, but mostly Gallagher. Now name the wingers that Eller has had to play with and the fact he was forced o play wing again by a coach who should have know better from his time criticizing the Habs on L’antichambre!

        Habfan17

    • Habfan17 says:

      Great question Hobie! It makes me wonder of the Habs want Galchenyuk to do well. I am sure he is frustrated too, knowing he could do more and better than some that are getting the ice time.
      DD needs to go to a team that has established first and second line
      centres so he can be on the 3rd line and not be the go to guy. He would probably do better there with two gritty wingers who can pop a few goals.

      Habfan17

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Desharnais is playing with Pacioretty and Gallagher and getting first wave PP minutes. He would never come across a better situation with any team. Put him with a couple gritty third liners and see what he can do lol he needs scorers and good skaters because he’s slow and over passes as a result.

        ———————————

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

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I fear we’ve missed the boat with Eller in the way he has been used and it may be too late to reclaim him. I also fear that we might miss it with 27.

  50. Je ne comprends pas says:

    I want to see the Toker.
    Just for the helluva it.

  51. GL says:

    Last night we watched two teams that are very similar player wise. The difference was. Detroit came for two points and the Habs were hoping they could get two points unfortunately they forgot you have to out play the other team to get them.

    If Pittsburgh comes to play like they can tonight. It should be a slaughter. Feel sorry for Budaj and the fans will be calling for price. If you think Price is gonna be a saviour for a team like this. I don’t know what world you’re in.

  52. Phil C says:

    All I read here is how bad the Habs are. Yet they continue to hang around the top of the standings and firmly in a playoff position. It’s almost like people don’t know WTF they are talking about, but I’m sure there must be another explanation.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      If it makes you feel better…

      I’m on the trade Markov unless he signs a one year deal bandwagon. In saying that, he made a very nice defensive play to break up a 2 on 1 last night! Just because I don’t want him to handcuff the Habs on the tail end of a three or four year deal, doesn’t mean he isn’t pretty damn good on most nights now!

    • Paz says:

      Phil, due respect, Habs are not crap, I totally agree.

      But we need to score more goals.

      • GL says:

        I look at it in a different way. Almost 21 years and how many times have the Habs gotten pass the 1st round of the playoffs. Reason. They keep bringing in new faces not Good players and if this new management keep following the same policy as the Old. This is what we are gonna be watching for another 21 years if you don’t believe me you have to look no further than TORONTO.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I guess there’s some people who want to see another SC parade in their lifetime.

    • CJ says:

      I don’t think they are bad. They are one of 20 good teams. That firm playoff position you speak of might become a tad tedious in the next two weeks. As others have suggested, I feel like this is the Braveheart moment. Do you not want something more? Would you not trade a chance of missing the playoffs this year (which we might do regardless of whether we keep all our players or not), for something much bigger within the next two years?

    • Habfan17 says:

      I do believe the Habs are good, however, I am not happy keeping the status quo. Changes need to be made and giving up free agents for nothing in return is not a luxury any team can afford anymore.

      There are some great pieces in place and Bergevin has done a solid job bringing in more depth without giving anything up and shoring up the developmental side of the organization.

      Signing free agents at “free agent frenzy” will not fill the holes that need filling without over paying. Developing these players will take time once you draft them. Right now, the Habs have many of the same type of players in the system, fast and skilled. They need to leverage a couple of them to get grit and determination. A couple of bigger versions of Gallagher to help players like Patches, Galchenyuk and of course Gallagher, be more effective.

      If Markov wants too long a term, then if a team offers something that will fit in soon and fill a need, then move him. He is still very good, not great. I would love to see him take the one year deal.

      Habfan17

    • I’m pretty sure when you watch 54 games that looked like last night, that QUACK QUACK, IT’S A DUCK :)

      We watched the Habs dominate how many games this year?

      We watched the Habs win how many games because of Carey Price?

      We watched how many games we won because of shot blocking?

      This team does not want to control the play (coaching)

      This team does not dominate puck possession.

      This team is not fun to watch, I am now at the point where I don’t even PVR them because I know the game won’t entertain me when I come home from Bantam hockey or Wheat Kings.

      Game On Bergevin, this week is going to be interesting, love hockey drama because that’s all we have to entertain us.

      Pleks, Mtl 1st (estimated 2oth pick) to Vancouver for Ryan Kelser…….oh my that’s bold. :lol:

      Smile and Wave, Price and Subban won Gold!!!

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

    • With similar respect, but perhaps some enlightenment, this Habs team like the last two decades have been missing key components beyond the lucky run in 2010 with a similar surf squad.

      …but Paz, these Habs DO SUCK on many nights. Remember the 20 game run where we couldn’t score, get out of our own end, gave pucks away and are regularly pushed off of pucks? It’s embarrassing to have a team that is beating it’s low shot total on most nights, despite putting runs of 4 or three wins together from time to time.

      1) We rarely play 60 minutes of hockey a night
      2) We rarely position ourselves in front of the opponents net (save for Gally, the one bright spot)
      3) Team “leaders” like Max-pac are hot and cold and often invisible, like last night, just as he was on Team USA.
      4) Our defense let’s opponents walk right in.
      5) We’re to small
      6)We could score, but don’t seem to know how nightly
      7)Our farm team also sucks
      8)Our coach is barely of junior quality, a gift because someone seems to think that needing to speak French is a criteria for an NHL coach
      Shall I go on?

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  53. RetroMikey says:

    “There should be postseason hockey at the Bell Centre – a likelihood that suggests Marc Bergevin won’t be doing much wheeling and dealing in advance of the March 5 trade deadline.”
    WTF????
    Boone, this is the most saddest day in hockey.
    We are back to the days of Gainey’s era as GM where we took a cautious approach by hoping we reach the playoffs and perform some miracles in the playoffs to make the owner’s wallet more fatter and give the fans some excitement and start marketing the team for next year inhopes they come back next year. I, for one, want a winner once and for all!
    The time is NOW to start unloading these players like Gionta, Plekanec, MArkov, Briere, and even Eller!
    If not, we are going to be the same old same old same old same old same old same old same old teams in the future.
    Dark and gloomy seasons are coming! I keep repeating this but it’s coming.
    The farm team is Hamilton is so depleted in talent, we need prospects to build that minor team back to respectability.
    Timmins needs to find employment elsewhere.

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

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      There’s no sense-of-urgency on the part of management or ownership. As long as the Bell Center sells out each and every game, with the mediocre product that’s been instilled on us for the last 20 years or so, there’s no need to have a bona fide Cup contender.

      • RetroMikey says:

        How true this is, but to most Pepsi Generation fans on this site, they are content to pay the big dollars to go and watch this average team.
        No need for a Cup.
        But I and others are blood thirsty for Cups every season if you are a Montreal Canadiens fan.

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

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      Teams in Montreal’s positions simply don’t load up for a Stanley cup run, unless they are Philly. It wont work, you cant get the 3 or 4 players needed without sacrificing a long time. Markov and Plekanec will be back next year, thank god, because adding one or two free agents to these guys is by far preferable to hoping we might, if we are lucky, be able to replace them. We have a ton of draft picks over the last few years, and Molson would, I’m sure, rather have even a few playoff games rather than the 2nd or 3rd rounder we’ll get for gionta, or the 4th for moen. There are big changes coming, lots of new young faces and a couple free agents next year, but if there are any trades, it wont be the big names, not yet.

    • third generation haber says:

      +1

      I can’t understand how so many of us can’t see that this team is perpetually treading water while cup winners become contenders by building through the draft (tanking).

      These points we are squeaking out make life harder on MB to trade our most valuable, expendable asset; Markov. Basically, without our great goaltending, we would not be a playoff team.

      Keeping Markov is the road to continued mediocrity going forward. He’s the one asset we have that could be moved for a young offensive talent. We need this because we can’t score! Cup winners can score. We can’t even win puck battles.

      If u want to win a cup, that’s the point of playing isn’t it, we need young start players and team toughness. We desperately need to trade Markov.

      The other guys u mentioned could also be traded, but their value to contenders, plus cap concerns, is insignificant.

      j.p. murray

  54. Paz says:

    I really can not get past the decisions Bergevin took by signing Desharnais to a 4 year extension. What was he thinking?

    Last night, the new power play had Desharnais as the KEY on the left boards. He was given even more responsibility. And the results were rather predictable.

    While the teams we battle against have stars leading their power plays, 6 and 7 million dollar forwards, we have a 3.5 million dollar 45 or 50 point per season center, who might not even make the top 9 on many NHL teams.

    So how can we expect to score regularly, to score enough goals to compete. Sure Desharnais will contribute from time to time, half the time.

    But we desperately need more than this.

    I’m not saying Desharnais should be blamed. He will produce his points, and he gets paid exactly the money that he’s worth.

    But how many NHL teams RELY on an AVERAGE center for their number 1 line, play him next to their number one scorer, first line power play, key minutes in the 3rd period?

    • Habfan17 says:

      DD tries hard and I respect what he has accomplished. He made three turnovers while on the power play, and in one case was very easily manhandled on the boards, right onto his duff. As you mention, he would be on the 3rd line of most teams.

      I do not understand the reluctance to allow Galchenyuk to play his natural position. Colorado has done it with MacKinnon, Florida with Barkov, and there are many more I could add. They are doing very well. No one can tell me that Florida is a better team than the Habs.

      It is time to put the players where they are at their best and if you are going to force the young players to play in different positions where they don’t only have to learn the pro game, but a new position at the same time, do it with the vets who should be able to adapt easier.

      Habfan17

    • JUST ME says:

      He is within the ones who deserves his paycheck the most on the team. Yes sometimes he has off nights when things just do not go his way but you never have a night you do not hear about him and wonder if he is dressed or you misses something.
      Stop listening to the Marinaros and the McKennas of TSN radio they are pathetic …

  55. Cal says:

    Ok, let the Habs trade all the vets for picks. Tell that to the season ticket holders. They’re the ones who’ll be paying high ticket prices to watch the Montreal Bulldogs with a few players worth paying to see, like PK, Price, Gallagher and Galchenyuk. It will be the Oilers II.
    My reasoning? Trading Pleks, Markov et al to contenders brings back at best low first round picks. Good luck getting another Galchenyuk when you pick 20th at best and 30th at worst while helping another team win the Cup.
    Do you really believe that a contender will give up a good to great young player for a single shot when that player could help that team win again a couple seasons from now?
    LA has built a team that will be competitive for the next 5 seasons, so them trading Taffoli will not happen. The only two targets in the West that must win now are SJ and Anaheim. Anaheim is about to lose both Selanne and Koivu- they probably will not move any good young prospects in their system. They will need them next season.
    SJ just signed Marleau and Thornton to extensions. This means they don’t have high hopes for replacing them with prospects any time soon.
    Either the Habs and their fans will have to suffer watching a middling team for the next few seasons or they will have to watch a young group do what the Oilers have been doing: stinking for years and years.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I don’t see a whole lot of support around here for trading Pleks. He’ll still be a good player 3 years from now.

      Why do people always mention the Oilers instead of say, the Blackhawk, Penguins, Kings, etc…?

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      If the proper return isn’t there, you don’t do the trade. If it is you do, I guess.

    • boing007 says:

      We have been watching a middling team for the past twenty years.

      Richard R

    • CJ says:

      I’m a season ticket holder (albeit part of a partnership now). I have never suggested trading all the vets. I have suggested that if Markov is unwilling to sign a one year deal, a trade needs to be explored. I have suggested deals that I believe lands us players who could enter our lineup today, in addition to a draft pick.

      Yes, I believe a contender who thinks they are one piece away from a Stanley cup would consider moving a young player today. I would. A Stanley cup is the ultimate prize. I would love to see one. If it means taking a step backwards the following season, so be it. I recall, vividly the feeling of making it the Eastern Conference final. It was a major buzz.

    • GL says:

      Anyone who would buy a season ticket to watch this gaggle. Has a problem to start with!!

  56. scarboro_habitant says:

    if st louis does get traded hopefully that means drouin gets a sniff. a drouin call up in the upcoming days could be something to watch for.

  57. boonie says:

    It’s hard to offer much that’s new to this story because it’s been the same story for multiple years, presided over by multiple GMs, and coached by multiple coaches. We’re a middle of the pack team. Sometimes we’re a little better, often we’re a little worse, but remarkably unremarkable.

    The only remarkably thing is the endless debate about the obvious: Should we be buyer or sellers? Should we keep the core of this mediocre bunch intact and expect a different outcome? Should we trade “real” assets like Markov?

    There are no choices here. We are NOT winning the Cup this year. People comparing us to the Cinderella Kings are delusional. The flawed logic says Price can do for us what Quick did for them. This is not a Price issue. It’s the rest of our cast. Their first line center was Kopitar. Their second line included Carter and Richards (two guys who lead the Flyers to a Final a couple of years earlier). Doughty led their D core – IMHO he was the Olympic Shinny MVP. PK was not. This is not a knock on PK. Our top tier talent doesn’t match theirs and I would add (ok, argue) that Sutter was the right coach for that bunch at the right time.

    Chris posted excellent thoughts on fears (yes, fears) that the Sabres are about to become the Hawks and Penguins because they assembled depth and took their medicine. The optimists here point out the Oilers haven’t turned multiple top picks into a elite team, so why sell, tank and draft. The counter argument goes something like this— It’s next to impossible to become the Hawks or Pens without top picks.

    Yes, I’ve argued you can trade for Seguin or Kessel. But if we’re not willing to part with Markov for picks do you really see us putting the package together that will pry a Hall from the Oilers or Kane from the Jets? Nope.

    So, what’s the end game. Gainey showed us letting assets walk for nothing depletes a cupboard. Every gambler you win more roulette spins when you have more chips. In hockey terms, you can take more chances in the draft when you have more picks. You can take more gambles in trades when you have a deeper organization.

    Markov is late first/middling prospect; Plecs at least as much. With due respect to world-class players, who gave us their all, this iteration of the team is done. Gionta gets a second or third. Moen a fourth. If someone offers something decent (say a 2nd rounder) for Gorges, ship him out too.

    Eller is a different story. To me, he’s a third line center that can do spot duty in line 2. At the right price he’s a keeper. We have RFA years left to keep him here. I doubt any team will give us much of anything worth trading him, so he’s a keeper.

    Like it or not, the core here is DD, Max, PK, Price, Chucky, Gallagher, Yemelin. Those are the next wave of our young Turks. We need a LOT more to bolster that group into something that looks remarkable. That process should have started a few years ago. It MUST start now.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Wow, great post! You have covered in one post what needs to be done, very well indeed! I would also say that the current coach needs to either be told to change his ways and do what he said he will do, give ice time to whovever earns it and give the kids an real chance to succeed. If that doesn’t happen, kick him to the curb!
      Habfan17

    • Phil C says:

      I agree teams shouldn’t let players walk for nothing anymore. Ther are less and less players making it to UFA status these days, so GMs know this now. Bergevin has very few pending UFAs and Markov is very signable. He’s not playing hardball like Callahan for example.

      Two of the most successful teams in the last twenty years have been the Devils and the Red Wings. Both have had success without top draft picks. A winning formula is more than just who has the best players, it is also about your supporting cast and how you play as a team. The Kings were a last place team for a while that year even with all that talent.

      Tanking is a path to a strong team, but it’s not the only path and it is far from guaranteed as team like Florida and Edmonton demonstrate.

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Boonie.

      You make some very good points. A vicious cycle will be repeated if we don’t buck the trend and throw caution to the wind. What’s happening in Buffalo can’t be ignored. I’m not suggesting we make moves today to placate a potential rise in Buffalo in two years time, but losing UFA players for nothing has hurt this franchise in a way that I can’t begin to calculate.

      Having the value of hindsight, decisions often become crystal clear. I can’t help but think in two years time we will be looking back and wondering what if we shook the tree in the spring of 14 and let fall 2-3 of the old guard.

      I’m a very optimistic person, but, as you’ve eluded to, this is not the 2012 LA Kings. We might make the playoffs and may even win a single round. I want something much, much more. I’d be willing to cast aside potential success this season for a potentially much bigger prize next year. Maybe that’s an easy decision to make, once you come to the realization that we are not a single player away, nor will Bergevin mortgage the future to add a number 3 defenceman, a first line centre and scoring winger, which I believe are the assets we require (along with a healthy team and luck) to have a chance to go all the way.

    • RetroMikey says:

      Excellent post Boonie.
      Except Eller has been a flop for us, perhaps overrated by the fans?
      I say yes.
      St.Louis knew he lacked when they shipped him to Montreal.
      We are an average team at best, always will be if changes are not made.
      Give me a 20 man roster of big unskilled grittier players than a team comprosed of soft, smaller skilled players.
      In the NHL, big is better, while in Europe smaller and skillful players excel.
      START NOW BERGEVIN! NO FEAR!

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

  58. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Looked a lot like a Canadian Olympic hockey game… 1-0, stifling… I was resigned to the Habs losing in regulation, and was pleasantly stunned when Gionta potted his beauty. Getting 1point instead of 0? I’ll take that. And the 3-on-3 in OT was hella fun, especially on the bad ice.

  59. Plekasuares says:

    Galchenyuk needs to pick it up now. It’s his second year in the league and we have not seen much production. Some guy named Michel doesn’t help him either.

  60. TheSleeveen says:

    Nothing is going to happen to this team until MB decides to get rid of MT. It is now obvious to anyone who has ever seen an NHL game that MT is out of his league. IN a game that was very important in the standing the Habs did she-it!! Funny how Babcocks team came out on top.

    Time for Thierren to go, there is too much young talent being wasted .

    • LTHF says:

      The difference in the two teams last night was Det was prepared by a good coach and the Habs wasnt and wont be as long as MT is behind the bench. He couldnt win in the NHL with the team that was in Russia . Look for zero points in the next 2 games

    • RetroMikey says:

      Do you honestly thing letting go Therrien will solve our problems?
      Even if you brought in Babcock, this team is still average at best.
      “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  61. DipsyDoodler says:

    The draft system sucks.

    It’s now the norm for fans to say if we can’t win the cup I hope we don’t make the playoffs. Don’t get me wrong. This is a rational position in the current system. But we all know it sucks.

    The point of hockey at least in Canada is the playoffs. Spring in Montreal means two things: young bodies unencumbered by parkas on the city streets and the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    The NBA is mulling over a proposal that would eliminate drafting based on the previous season’s standings altogether:

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-nbas-possible-solution-for-tanking-good-bye-to-the-lottery-hello-to-the-wheel/

    Call your MP, lobby your team owner, write a blog post, do whatever you can to support this system for the NHL.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      The draft is what it is, yet there could be some tweaks.

      The NHL revenue generators that are the major contributors to the Revenue Sharing plan – that being Canadian teams and some US based teams, receive no compensation for supporting the league as a whole.

      It would be fun to allow them to protect a player in their region every 2 years or so without having to draft them.
      Imagine the Habs being able to protect a top Quebec guy every year…and every other Canadian team doing the same?
      For American teams, it could be any USA player.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I do agree that the regular season standings should be all that count, not the playoffs. If a team squeeks in and then somehow goes deep into the playoffs, they drop down in the draft. Teams should not be penalized for doing well, or perhaps for getting breaks during the playoffs.

      Habfan17

    • boonie says:

      Any league with a cap, should randomize the draft and reverse the order in alternate rounds.

      I’ve made this point for years. The NHL fosters parity. If a team can’t get its act together, they should NOT be rewarded for complete incompetence.

  62. 24 Cups says:

    I have nothing to say about last night except that it was a total waste of a fine effort by Budaj.

    Here are the adjusted standings for games in hand.

    Montreal – 71
    Toronto – 70
    NYR – 68
    Phil & Det – 67
    Col, Ott and Wash – 64

  63. Maritime Ronn says:

    What have the Habs always been looking to acquire for eons?

    Big, strong Centers that can skate, are solid on their skates – can protect the puck, shoot, score, and set up plays…and won’t get tossed around like a Santa Claus elf come playoff time, when the big boys show up and play tough and tight hockey.

    They have 2 at the moment – are in the process of destroying 1, and refuse to give the other a chance.

    Remember the E.G.G. line?
    Remember the excitement they brought night after night?
    How well were they doing?

    Eller at center:
    In the last 10 games last year: 4G-7A=11 points
    In the first 20 games this year: 7G-6A=13 points
    That’s 11 goals-24 points in 30 games.

    And how was Gallagher playing in those 20 EGG games
    Try 8 goals-14 points.
    Since then?
    39 games: 6 goals-12 assists, and Gallagher has become an Old Testament style sacrificial lamb for the ‘Me and Davey’ show that only look for each other on the ice, while Gally gives heart and soul to make it ALL happen.

    Galchenyuk?
    A top 3 Draft pick – could have been #1 if not injured in his final year, and is being treated like some fringe player by dark, old school thought.
    Look at past drafts and Top 5 centers.
    All of the top Centers in the league played their position from the get go.
    They weren’t asked to waste 2 years on the wing with bottom 6 players, so internal and external politics could win out.
    ——————–
    November 2013:

    Galchenyuk pays attention to a lot of details in the game, Therrien said. “That’s why we think he’s at that stage.”

    From the first experiment at center, it’s worth continuing for the next few games, the coach said.

    “We’ll give him the time,” Therrien said.
    “If everything goes as we hope, we’ll continue the experiment.”

    Sure Michel, whatever you say…

    • CJ says:

      Eller needs a defined role and consistent wingers ASAP. I agree with the EGG line. DD and Galley need to be broken up ASAP. Put Bourque with DD and Max. You simply can’t have two guys of this size together. Sorry, it’s brutal, but it’s true.

    • Body_of_Price_Repels_You says:

      I would guess that they are looking at Tyler Seguin as an example. 3 seasons in Boston playing on the wing and now he’s a star. Nathan MacKinnon is playing RW for the Avalanche. It’s not unprecedented especially when you have “depth” (or a logjam) at center. Plekanec is not moving to the wing, neither is DD. They tried Eller but he was useless. There’s plenty of time for Galchenyuk and it seems like it was their plan to keep playing him on the wing this season.

      Unfortunately, the logjam at Center continues next season. I don’t really want to move Eller unless he’s involved in a dealfor a top 6 winger like one of E. Kane, Ladd, or Wheeler from Winnipeg

      • Habfan17 says:

        Maybe Seguin would have been a star earlier if he was left to play his natural position.

        Habfan17

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        MacKinnon is already playing some center and when he’s not, he is playing with some great forwards in Landeskog and Stastny.
        As for Seguin, he never looked happy in Boston (coach or peronal issues) yet look at what he is doing in Dallas.

        As for the supposed logjam at center for the Habs – there is no logjam if one day the find the cajones to do the rights things

  64. JF says:

    Last night was hard to watch. No effort, no intensity, no transition game, no anything. A mess. The women, watching from rink-side seats, must have wanted to jump on the ice and show our guys how it’s done.

    If P.K. wanted to make Babcock feel he should have dressed him in Sochi, he went the wrong way about it. His first penalty cost us a goal, his second pretty well negated our chance to win it in OT. Not the game I was expecting from him.

    Emelin continues to struggle. At some point it’s going to look more like the result of signing a lucrative contract than of last year’s injury.

    The one reassuring aspect of the game was Budaj’s play. If we’re going to be relying on him down the stretch, he’ll need to continue playing like that.

    But it’s a pity the trade deadline isn’t a week later, by which time the Habs could be mired in a long losing streak and out of the playoff picture. This would make it clear that Bergevin should be a seller – which I think he should be wherever the Habs sit in the standings. It’s clear this team is not winning more than one playoff round, if that.

    • CJ says:

      Good morning JF. I also agreed about the deadline date.

      It is difficult to win when your best player is struggling. I can’t put my finger on what exactly is wrong, but PK is just off. Sorry, others can offer a better opinion I’m sure, but it’s like something is missing. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I often wonder if he wouldn’t be better with the entire spotlight, firmly planted in the number 1 position. Without the General, PK would become that horse. I often feel that he is at his best with 30 minutes of ice time. When you play 24-26 minutes you try to cram everything into those shifts instead of easing it over the extra 4-6 minutes. Just my opinion.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I would agree with that. Some players need to be the go to guy and at this point, it may help with Pk’s development.

        It isn’t as if there is not enough experienced defencemen around to help PK. Boullion and Daignualt come to mind

        Habfan17

      • Just a Habs Fan says:

        Perhaps they ought to play hiim 60 minutes a game. Look he is struggling and many do but e doesn’t help himself with taking bad penalities and he does. Now most blame the refs but if it is true the refs are out to get him ( I seriously doubt that claim and if they are a bit hard on him maybe it’s the constant seemingly verbal abuse he gives them ) then he needs to factor that in ad stop giving them the opportunity to call penalties on him. Probably stop the whining and stop the elbows to the opposing players back and neck. Now how many posters can take off the blinders and acknowledge this or just keep on making excuses and accusations towards the racism and other foolish claims. Oh yes….I am Habs fan but I know what I see and don’t try and cover it over. I guess maybe Babcock doesn’t either.

        • CJ says:

          Yes PK takes bad penalties. I don’t see him whining anymore then other players as they head to the penalty box. I have never made excuses for PK. I was one of the few who said he shouldn’t be in the top six in Sochi based on his play leading up to the Olympics.

          I am offering a suggestion which I think might help break him out of his funk. My suggestion might be baseless, but I’d argue that we are better to race this horse, then let him set.

          I have to assume your suggestion of 60 minutes is meant to mock my idea, which I is fine by me. No harm, no foul.

          Food for thought. Cheers, CJ

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Was either penalty warranted though?

      • habs-hampton says:

        Both penalties were questionable, but PK has to realize the officials have labelled him, and on a 50/50 play, he’s going to the box. He didn’t need to give Helm that little tap, and most players would get away with it. In OT, I don’t think he embellished, but he has a reputation and has to fight through a hook harder than most guys.

        Rightly or wrongly, he has to re-earn respect from the officials.

  65. Habfan17 says:

    I will give the Habs a bit of a break as it was the first game after the break. Although Therrien did say he was impressed that the players showed up in good shape. Detroit was ready, even with Franzen playing just hos second game in 2.5 months, and Datsyuk coming back from injury. Not to mention Zetterberg out of the line up.

    After this gane, I am still of the mind it is time to let Markov go if Bergevin receives a deal that makes sense. He is not the impact player he was.

    Habfan17

    • CJ says:

      I wonder what’s to be made of Montreal having two scouts at the LA Colorado game last night. Where there’s smoke, there is often fire….

      • Habfan17 says:

        I certainly hope so! I also hope n one in the Canadians organization has their rose coloured glasses on and think with this team, the results will change much. They need to move out some “old” for some sandpaper to help the skilled guys like Galchenyuk, Patches and Gallagher.

        Habfan17

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi CJ

        It is not odd having 2 scouts, or a scout and a management person at the same game.

        Dudley and Carriere live in Buffalo and are often seen together at Buffalo home games.
        Sometimes a management person will also take a game in with a pro scout in the organization for numerous reasons – exchange points of view face to face, and discuss other team items.

        • CJ says:

          Fair enough. There has been one occasion this season that I recall two scouts from the same organization (Columbus) being listed on the credential sheet for the Bell Centre. Perhaps I’ve misspoken when I’ve suggested that this is not common, but that was the basis for my comment. More often then not, two scouts is a function of logistics or there is something they wish to validate and cross reference as a unit.

          Just my two cents. Cheers, CJ

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            No doubt that’s a possibility, yet these guys are usually into information exchange with buddies from other orgs-stuff that doesn’t show up on a score sheet…such as the “whys” of how a guy fell off the cliff, or how come his minutes are cut – is he playing hurt-has he acquired any bad habits both on and off the ice…
            Information is power.

          • CJ says:

            Agreed. One might assume that information sharing between colleagues from different organizations would be greatly reduced given the time of year.

  66. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all. That certainly wasn’t the team I dreamed would show up and entertain us last night. Holy crap, that was God awful. Zero puck support, zero effort battling, zero sense of urgency, and little energy. A big sloppy mess.

    Emelin is a mess. We have a lot of veterans who by their ice time, we rely on, that cannot score. A coach who refuses to play our best player 20 minutes a game. Those are huge issues.

    Back to reality. A team who will have to rely on its goaltender to “grind” it way into the 7th, or 8th spot in the playoffs and at the same time make us all want to puke on occasion.

    Sure makes you excited for tonight’s game, eh?

    • Habfan17 says:

      Good morning!

      On the positive side, it makes it easier to make a case to give more ice time to the younger players when the veterans play like that!

      Habfan17

    • Cal says:

      Hey Jim. Habs are always terrible after a layoff. A 2 1/2 week layoff = no energy.
      I was kind of surprised by the lack of emotion Price had on his face when the crowd was cheering for him. He barely acknowledged the crowd, cutting off what I thought would be a rousing ovation for him.
      It petered out into almost nothing in less than a minute.
      I thought PK could have been better on the winner and Tinordi went chasing for the first one, leaving Emelin to cover 2 guys in front of the net- a lose-lose situation.
      Detroit played better pretty much all night long and deserved two points. The Habs earned nothing, yet managed to squeeze a point out of this stinker. Habs should be better tonight or it could get ugly fast.

      • CJ says:

        The first goal was all Emelin. He missed the switch. That’s defence 101.

        • Cal says:

          Tinordi was going behind the net on the PK. That’s a no-no.

          • CJ says:

            He was going to the far post. That’s his responsibility. You defend zones. Emelin was turned around and facing the opposite corner, away from the play. I’ve watched it 10 times on the PVR. Tinordi got completely hung out to dry. If he would have stayed with Bertuzzi, he would have allowed an uncontested play on the far side of the net.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            17

            If Subban just gets up and skates away without the borderline BS, there is no penalty

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          The first goal was all about the guy in the penalty box.

          • Habfan17 says:

            Yes, but if Briere had actually made a pass to PK instead of that weak excuse for a pass, PK would not have been put in the position he was.

            Habfan17

          • Just a Habs Fan says:

            MR…..good to see a responsible poster see that PK could serve himself better by playing hockey and not allowing the refs the opportunity to make the calls. To be honest I think he could get more penalties than he does. He makes me cringe when he elbows players to the back and neck as often does along the boards. He really makes it easy also to make calls on him because he is constantly whining to the refs……whining is a strong word but it is what we as Habs fans would use if he were on an opposing team.

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Jim. That game was a dose of reality. Every single game will be a sixty minute grind from now until the finish. We might get lucky and catch someone napping, but in all likelihood that won’t happen. Teams are fighting for post season positions and players are fighting for jobs. This stretch of ten games may not sink us, but anything worse then a 4-4-2 record and it will be crunch time till the very end.

      The energy from the fourth line seemed to be sapped somewhat. Bournival is certainly much more effective then Moen. At their best, the unit of White, Weise and Bounival was almost like a 3b line. With Moen, we are a two and a half man unit. Sorry Travis, but if I’m Bergevin, you are being shopped as we speak.

      We still have too many perimeter players who find it difficult to get to the net and force the opposition to defend. I don’t think it’s a case of not trying, we are simply not built properly. Sadly, we have become an easy team to play against.

      I liked Tinordi last night and thought he joined the rush, which is something our regulars don’t often do (those not named Markov or Subban). I’m willing to live with his mistakes in hopes that he will be closer to an everyday player next season. These final 22 games would go a long way to helping expedite his development. I’m also in favor of bringing up Beaulieu again. As I said last night, I firmly believe that Tinordi, Beaulieu and even Pateryn are all better then our bottom three.

      Look, being totally impartial, you make mistakes the more you handle the puck. PK seemingly always has it, so his mistakes jump off the page. Georges handles the puck like a hot potato, so his mistakes are almost always positional. Tinordi made a few mistakes last night, but it’s the result of him having the puck and making a play. If an outlet wasn’t available, he was on the move, gaining centre and dumping it in. He seldom caused an icing, a far cry from our usual defensive default play.

      Again, I like the guys, but DD and Galley can’t be on the same line. If we are committed to DD, which I hope we aren’t, he needs to be on the wing. If we don’t put Eller into a role to succeed, he will be finished with this organization.

      Just my view from the couch. Have a great day everyone! Cheers, CJ

      • Habfan17 says:

        Good morning CJ,

        Very well thought out and a fair assessment! I would throw in creating a Market for Markov to see what return he would bring.

        Bob McKenzie wrote yesterday that the two sides want to get a deal done, however, it will come down to term. He believe Bergevin is flexible on the one year deal and would go to two. It seems Markov is looking for four years and may accept three. I for one, would rather move on and give the kids a chance.

        Definitely, it is time to move DD to the wing or to another team. It isn’t a question of size, it is a question of strength and determination and he does not have strength, he was plowed over on the power play and lost many battles. His determination is not there.

        The game where he decided he was not going to give up in over time and stripped the defender of the puck and buried it was awesome. That kind of effort does not come often enough from him, and many others.

        Habfan17

        • CJ says:

          The Nashville game. Remember it well. Yes, it comes in fits and waves doesn’t it. Regardless of what McKenzie is reporting, I think (I hope) Bergevin is at least weighing all options. It would be a major disservice to not at least consider options.

  67. habinkam says:

    Had to share this will all, watch at the 5 minute mark Larry Robinson gets a bit thirsty..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmRWz_Dyk0

  68. Timo says:

    So what did everybody think about Tiny? I thought he had a decent game. Definitely better than Emelin. Oh, and I don’t for a minute miss neither Bouillon nor (gulp) Diaz. But Emelin needs a trip to A or something. He’s been pretty bad since his return.

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      Eesh, I thought Tinordi had a very rough game. Got turnstiled a couple of times. Caught standing still. And he was slow to cover his man on the first goal. Beaulieu looked much better.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • CJ says:

      I thought he was decent. He was activated in the rush and moved the puck in transition. He hit the crossbar with a rocket shot from the point. He made a few mistakes, but it’s because he actually handled the puck. I’d be willing to bet money that if you timed his puck possession, he has the puck on his stick longer then three quarters of the players on the team. That’s a very encouraging sign because it shows he has confidence. To the coaching staff’s credit, he also received decent ice time. Even after a mistake he was unafraid to carry the puck.

      I’m willing to live with the mistakes because I recognize the upside. If people can’t see the value in this player to a team like ours then I think they are missing the big picture.

  69. jols says:

    @Timo, what about our brilliant bench boss playing DD close to 24 minutes tonight.

  70. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    As my man, Nuckles Nilan, always says: this team can’t score 5 on 5 (even tonight’s lone goal was with the man advantage). And it’s no mystery why. We have a set of forwards that includes Rene Bourque, Daniel Briere, Lars Eller, and a diminished (though still hard-working) Brian Gionta. And unlike the D-corps, there is no fresh-faced talent ready to move up. There is only so much guys like Patches, Pleky, and the Gallys can do.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  71. frontenac1 says:

    25 or 6 2 4?

  72. Maritime Ronn says:

    One thing you can bet on.
    No matter what happens the rest of the season – even if the Habs miss the playoffs, Therrien will coach the Habs until at least December 2014…and don’t be surprised if he doesn’t get an extension after this season is over.

  73. CJ says:

    I agree with you Scotland. Like I said last night, at least Tinordi carries the puck and is engaged offensively. Some of our defence leave the zone while the puck is still inside the hash marks. There needs to be at least a little bit of risk, if we ever want to create offense from the point.

  74. CJ says:

    Thank you very much Scotland. Cheers, CJ


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