About last night …

It had the potential to be a classic.
Six days after Team Canada won Olympic gold in Sochi, the country’s preeminent hockey teams met at the Bell Centre Saturday night.
There was a big and noisy contingent of Leafs fans in the building.
The game was telecast nationally on Hockey Night in Canada.
So what happens?
For long stretches – including the entire second period – the game was a snoozer.
And in this confrontation of Canada’s most important cities, six of the seven goals were scored by Americans.

You could look it up.

Max Pacioretty, who scored twice, including the winner in Overtime, is from New Caanan, CT.

James Van Riemsdyk, who had two goals for the visitors, is from Middletown, N.J.

JVR’s linemate, Phil Kessel, is a native of Madison, WI. Kessel scored once and might have had three more, were it not for some excellent goaltending by Peter Budaj.

The evening’s scoring was opened by Alex Galchenyuk, who was born in Milwaukee while his Belarusian father was playing minor pro hockey there.

The only non-Yank on the scoresheet was Toronto-born P.K. Subban, whose power-play goal tied the game 11 minutes into the third period, setting up Max-Pac’s heroics in OT.

It was a weird night.

The Leaf fans were numerous and loud, booing P.K. every time he touched he puck – which was often in his team-leading 26:38.

The Canadiens outhit the visitors 22-27 and blocked 21 shots to Toronto’s 14.

The Leafs began the game in a funk and did not register a shot on goal until 14:37 into the first period – a stretch that included a shot-less power play.

Having dominated the first 20 minutes, the Canadiens had only five shots in the second period. They almost matched that total with four SoG in 3:28 of overtime.

Certainly not one for the DVD boxed set, but the win kept the Canadiens in second place in the Atlantic Division. And as the team boards a charter for their cross-continental flight on Sunday, the Canadiens can reflect on an unlikely hot streak:

Three straight wins heading into the Olympic break. Then when the NHL schedule resumed, an Overtime loss to Detroit, a Shootout win in Pittsburgh and the OT win over Toronto.

That’s 11 of a possible 12 points, a reasonably secure grip on a playoff spot – the Canadiens are eight points clear of postseason exclusion – and plenty to talk about before the trade deadline on Wednesday.

Should Marc Bergevin be looking to strengthen his club for the possibility of a deep playoff run?

Should the Canadiens general manager acknowledge the non-elite status of the team and continue to build for the future by dealing off some assets?

The list of Canadiens who would be attractive – and, if Bergevin is in a selling mode, could be available – is topped by Andrei Markov. It also includes Brian Gionta, Lars Eller, Travis Moen, Rene Bourque … basically everyone except the young, talented  cornerstones of the Canadiens’ future.

You all know the names: Carey Price, of course; P.K., Pacioretty, Galchenyuk and Gallagher. I would add Tomas Plekanec and, at the risk of causing a contagion of exploding heads among the Commentariat, David Desharnais.

Know what?

I think Bergevin is going to do what he did on Trade Deadline Day, 2013:

A big, fat Nothing.

Teams will certainly be phoning about Markov, who had three assists against the Leafs. He certainly would help a Cup contender, especially on the power play.

But who would replace the Russian veteran – who likes Montreal and has played his whole career here – on the Canadiens’ blueline?

Brian Gionta might attract some interest. But would Bergevin deal his captain, an honest, hard-working player who has given the team nothing short of 100 per cent?

Lars Eller? He has struggled with a succession of linemates. And the Canadiens have a logjam at centre.

I wouldn’t be astonished if Eller were traded. But he’s played well since the Olympic break, and the organization might not be ready to give up on a commodity they’ve sought for decades: A centre with size.

Between now and the trade deadline, the Canadiens will begin their west-coast swing with a game in Los Angeles. Carey Price will make the trip and could return to action against the Kings.

Props to Budaj, who has been steady, if not exactly stellar, in three starts over four nights..

The save on Kessel was absolutely sick. Budaj was faced in one direction and stuck his leg out the opposite way to foil the Leafs’ sniper.

Budaj is 8-4-2 this season. His 2.21 GAA is lower than Price’s 2.33.

The backup goaltender’s fine play exemplifies this team’s tendency to punch above its weight.

We can – and often do – criticize the Canadiens from dawn till dusk. But a team that blows a 2-0 lead, erases a 3-2 deficit and wins in OT has to be credited with character.

And Bergevin might be reluctant to mess with that chemistry.

•  •  •

Great Moments in Sports Broadcasting:

They called that delay of game!P.J. Stock

“Which it is” – Ron MacLean

“By the rule book, sure”Stock

What a maroon!









  1. habsfan999 says:

    The CBC should look at firing Bob Cole – on a few occasions last night he slipped up and showed some respect and even admiration for the Habs.

    And while I’m here…

    “trade Markhov, trade Eller, trade Desharnais…” remind me not to share a bunker with Habs fans after an apocalypse, they’ll be voting for cannibalism when there’s still rice and beans in the larder.

  2. Frank2468 says:

    Can anyone tell me why they let P.J Stock cross the boarder back into Quebec or even appear on L’antichambre. I know his stick his not to be a homer, but wow I did’t know moron was part of that as well. If he hates the Habs that much why not stay in Toronto and move his family there as well. Lets make a petition to have P.J replace Cherry when he retires. We could call it Bozo’s Corner with high collars

    • habstrinifan says:

      You don’t mean ANY of what you say. I am sure of that. I see the smile on your face when you open your door and walk outside in serenity and comfort that you and your family could live wherever you damn well please. I see you ‘rocking’ the Ken Dryden ‘cool’… so I know you dont mean any of your post.

  3. Forum Dog says:

    Question: If he were available (and by most accounts he is), would Jagr truly be a good fit for the Habs?

    There are two sides to this from my perspective:

    Side A – He is a big, talented, natural RW with a wealth of experience. He would immediately help the PP and could prove a nice fit on the right side with Galchenyuk and Plekanec. A skilled vet (and Czech) for Plekanec to play off of, and a HOF role model for Galchenyuk to learn from;

    Side B – He is too slow to play Montreal’s system. Someone like Gionta is a better fit because of his speed and defensive awareness. Jag’s presence might disrupt the chemistry of the current team at the worst possible time. Not because of his own personality per se, but because the team would have to adjust. He’s a big body, but is by no means a forechecker (or backchecker).

    Then there is the question of what they would have to give up to get him. It probably shouldn’t be a high pick or ready-now prospect, but a mid-round pick and/or mid-level prospect (i.e. a Bozon or Collberg) might be worth it.

    • piper says:

      If DD would get Jagr then OK. If not then no.

      • Forum Dog says:

        DD is playing too well to trade right now. I was thinking more like Gionta and a pick/prospect. But then there is the question of whether that is a good move for the team as they try and march toward the playoffs.

        • piper says:

          I was thinking more about opening up that 1st line centre spot for our most skilled player.

        • mattyboom says:

          “DD is playing too well to trade right now”… isn’t that even more reason to trade him? it’s all about managing assets. And right now DD’s stock is high. Pleks, GAlchenyuk are undisputed 1st and 2nd line centers in the next year. Desharnais would be on the 3rd line, where pacioretty won’t be playing.

    • dr. schmutzdeker says:

      side c…agree with what you say in first sentence of a. (And have nothing but respect and admiration re his value considering is advanced (hockey) age. No guarantee how long he can maintain this current level of play. No trade for picks…need to stay the course (and accept some short term pain). Btw and deal AM while there is still value.

  4. Mondou6 says:

    I noticed that with players like Murray and Parros in the lineup last night, plus some other big boys, Toronto was suddenly shy about gooning it up. In past years, that was never the case.

    I love watching Murray clear the crease too. We haven’t seen that in a long time.

  5. Hobie Hansen says:

    Any stat that involves Doug Murray’s points or points that his teammates accumulate while he’s on the ice are beyond stupid! I could care less if Murray had 2 assists in 82 games!

    He’s there to hit people, shake them up and keep the puck out of the Habs net. Could we find a guy who 6′ and 195lbs (Diaz) that could quickly pickup the puck in the Habs end pass it up the ice to take Murray’s spot, sure.

    However, that same small defenceman is going to get knocked down a few plays later in front of Price and the puck is going to get jammed in the back of the net.

    Also Nazem Kadri, Dionne Phaneuf and bunch of other Leafs will be running around, nailing Habs, the Leafs bench will get all jacked up and the Habs bench will be sulking.

    We need Murray, believe me. Ask Marc Bergevin and not EOTP lol.

    • CJ says:

      I agree Hobie. Player’s can not be categorically reviewed using the same metrics. Murray has a tremendous value right now. When the team was burned for the Kessel goal, it was Emelin who was brutally out of synch.

      Emelin scares me right now. Murray does not.

      • Forum Dog says:

        This is bang-on. Emelin seemed to keep drifting all the way to the boards, and Kessel just cut to the middle and walked in. Not good gap control by Emelin, and the result of poor awareness and intensity.

      • Cal says:

        Sorry, CJ. Patches was the one fading to the boards when Kessel was right in front of him with the puck. That Kessel shot was on him.

    • twilighthours says:

      For balance:

      EOTP tries to use a lot of data (shots directed at net) to gauge how effective a player is at preventing shots at his own net or taking shots at the opposition net. Murray, until a few weeks ago, was among the worst in the league.

      This doesn’t mean that he’s bad at playing the man, or throwing hits, or paying the price, or even that he’s bad at passing, shooting, handling the puck. But some combination of factors was leading Murray to be on the ice for a horrible ratio of shots allowed/shots taken.

      I’m not particularly sold on these types of analytical arguments. They do tell part of a story, but anyone who has watched knows that Murray has been just fine for several weeks now. A very adequate bottom pair guy.

      Anyway, that’s more what t he EOTP nerds are saying.

      • twilighthours says:

        I should add: shots at net used because it provides a large sample size, and therefore (in theory) more reliable and better used for predictive power.

  6. twocents says:

    To those who contend with the, “just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea”, argument, I find it quite interesting how many of those who are most sure about trading Markov, argue that it’s the realistic and pragmatic thing to do.

    Pragmatic choices are seldom ones that have never been tried before and that’s reality.

    I’ll let others argue why no one does it, they’ve done a fine job. But, the fact is, those arguing for his trade like to point to what other teams have gotten for their valuable vets, as if precedence is ultimately relevant, yet ignore that there simply is no precedence for a team in our position doing so.

    As for the Kovalchuk trade, the Trashers were no where near 3rd place at the time(they didn’t even make the playoffs)… but the Devils were. Get the point?

  7. twilighthours says:


    Gionta won’t be traded. He would only net a 2nd or 3rd rounder, and I don’t think the montreal Canadiens should trade their captain for so little. We are classier than that. Or should be.

    Markov should be resigned for fair value for desired term (I’ll let you figure out what those numbers are). Or even at higher than fair value, or for longer than desired term – he could easily be dealt next year. He’s just too valuable to lose, and will gently slide into a bottom pair role over the next few years.

    If markov can’t be signed, then he must be traded.

    These aren’t original thoughts.

  8. Sportfan says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but when I wastch, or listen to analysis I prefer hearing it done properly and not with stupidity like Stock showed last night.

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  9. Coach K says:

    For all those who like to quote stats (like those EOTP proponents)…

    As we in the scientific community say, “stats suggest that if you place your head in an oven and your feet in a freezer, you should be comfortable.”

    For the non-scientific types, “stats are like a lady’s swimsuit…they tease you by revealing a bit but actually show a whole lot of nothing”

    The lesson is don’t buy too much into what those stats imply.

    —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

    • habstrinifan says:

      I love statistics. They show the architectural truth. It is still up to the ‘beholder’ to be impressed or not. Much like …lemme see… a lady’s swimsuit???

  10. CJ says:

    Davis Drewiskie will be placed on waivers at noon today. If he’s not claimed, he will be assigned to Hamilton.

  11. Paz says:

    Murray’s first 20 games he was -11. Murray’s last 20 games he is -1.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      EXACTLY! I was just about to post that. If you actually watch the games you’d see that he and his teammates have gotten used to each other. I think he was like -7 after his first five or so games. He’s totally turned it around and is now an important part of the team.

      Hopefully punkster and other people who are completely wrong about Murray take note of that…

      • CJ says:

        Wonder how the EOTP gang can spin this….

        • Timo says:

          Who are EOTP and why would anyone give a sh!t?

          • CJ says:

            They were forum members who posted here for a few years. I’m sure you’ve discussed topics with them in the past. Not fans of size or grit. Hated the Diaz trade for Weise….I need not go further.

          • dr. schmutzdeker says:

            Were true adherents to Gauthier principle of unyielding softness and beat-up-ability (until his revelation resulting in the acquisition of Brad Staubbitz.

        • twilighthours says:

          They would probably suggest that he’s getting unsustainable goaltending and is therefore lucky.

      • punkster says:

        Maybe if you actually read other peoples’ comments instead of assuming that someone who writes a contrary opinion must not “watch the games” or are “completely wrong about Murray”.

        Nothing can hide his inability to skate, turn or put up points and as I clearly stated you don’t need advanced stats to see that…if you actually watch the games.

        But he hits…whopeeeeee….

        Release the Subbang!!!

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Besides hitting he kills penalties and if you haven’t noticed his lack of foot speed really hasn’t been much of a problem the last 20 games. He’s looked like the guy the Penguins gave up two second round picks for and was always being raved about in SJ.

          Asking how many points Murray has put up is like asking how many points Carey Price has put up, nobody cares!

          • punkster says:

            He hits…therefore he is.

            That’s all you really care about isn’t it Hobie?

            Edit…let’s just let it drop, OK? No use getting worked up over our 6th D.

            Release the Subbang!!!

    • Timo says:

      Murray has been a stud. If Bergevin doesn’t resign him I will be seriously pissed.

    • punkster says:

      You make a good point and my post below was simply to provide balance to the argument provided that he hits therefore he is good.

      We know +/- ratings are useless without context like quality of opposition he faces, playing partners, etc. and Murray has exhibited some positives (once he actually gets the puck he clears it out of the zone, something his team mates seem to struggle with…and his self control shown in he ability to not take penalties).

      He’s expendable, a place holder, a cheap 6th D, until the youngsters develop or the GM finds a better option. In that regard I have no problem with him.

      What I do have a problem with is the coaching staff putting him out against elite or talented forwards like they did last night (Kessel of all people…sheesh!).

      Release the Subbang!!!

      • twilighthours says:

        Early in the season, he was getting matched against the other team’s worst players and still getting handed his lunch.

        Since he’s been basically even over the past 20 games, and his quality of competition can’t be any worse, +/- would suggest that he is indeed better.

        I’m happy that you took that swipe at Desharnais out of your sig. You’re too classy for that.

        • punkster says:

          Ya, I was just searching for a new sig but after a few negatives figured going back to the bright side of life was better.

          I have very few issues with Murray apart from his skating and the way coaches sometimes deploy him…but I take exception to people who ignore those while playing up only his hitting.

          Release the Subbang!!!

  12. Timo says:

    It is unbelievable that after 2 bad months (according to RDS) Subban is still leading the team in scoring (well, actually sharing the lead of 41 pts with Patches). Markov is third with 36 points. Gee, I hope Bergevin is looking at his team’s forwards and finally has a big imaginary light bulb go off in his head.

  13. rhino514 says:

    I just don´t see teams getting alot of value back for veterans who are pending UFAs or who even have another year left on their contract. So may as well keep veterans who want to stay with the team and who are still actually among the most valuable players on the team.
    There is speculation that Markov would not even fetch a first rounder, so what´s the point? A bigger motivation than receiving picks is probably the cap space and salary saved, and the habs don´t have those problems (though they better avoid any more Briere type deals)
    Look at Buffalo, they traded one of the top 3 or 4 goaltenders in the world and only got back a first round pick, a prospect who is not a blue-chipper, and what will be either a low third round or low first round pick.
    Furthermore, I think the perceived value of picks around here is pretty overrated. Second rounders seldom amount to much and even after the first top 6 or 7 first round picks there is a big drop-off-
    I would gladly give up second rounders to get a player of note, unless the player is almost guaranteed not to re-sign with his new team.

  14. Sportfan says:

    PJ Stock is so pathetic he said last night the penalty to Bernier should have never been called, its in the rule book its Berniers fault.

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  15. brianp1950 says:

    Love Markov and what he brings to the habs but unfortunately if he has not signed a contract by Wednesday for any length of term the habs need to trade him. The chance he could sign somewhere else would be devestating to lose him for nothing. Teams will be lining up to sign him July 1 and Markov knows this and his love for Montreal will not mean much when considering there could be millions of dollars at stake for him and probably his last contract. Remember Shayne Corson, wanted to stay in Montreal to finish career so the habs kept him and he signed in Toronto. Also lost Souray, Streit to name a few that the habs got nothing for. They cannot take the same chance with Markov.

  16. D Man says:

    I mentioned this last night but I want to say it again. When Pacioretty get rolling like he did at times last night with the long strides, long reach and body strength he reminds me of the Big M.

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  17. HabsFanOhio says:

    The fastest way to winning the Cup is to trade Markov and Gionta for prospects. That being said, the message it would send to the fans and current team members about this year and the organization’s loyalty is probably not acceptable. If they give us hometown discounts so that we are not crippled cap-wise in terms of improving the team, I’d keep them. If not, I would move them before the deadline.

    As to Murray, I think it’s as simple as this: He played so poorly earlier that all his deficiencies were in evidence. Lately, his play has been excellent, so he seems more valuable. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Whether to re-sign him or not depends on the play of others as the season progresses, namely, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Pateryn and Drewiske.

  18. Harditya says:

    Canadiens Montréal ‏@CanadiensMTL 1m
    Davis Drewiske is not on the trip and will be put on waivers at noon. If not claimed, he will report to Hamilton

    • ProHabs says:

      YIKES! I can picture 29 others teams licking their chops to grab this guy.

    • Mike D says:

      Isn’t he entitled to an AHL conditioning stint due to his injury? One that would avoid him hitting the waiver wire?

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • Harditya says:

        I have no clue Mike, I was expecting a conditioning stint for Drewiske as well. But I am hoping he is claimed due to a logjam of unnecessary contracts on the back end. Bouillon is a sufficient 7th defenseman.

      • Timo says:

        What’s the point? It’s not like there is a spot for him on the Habs roster unless Habs move Franky Boo… in which case Drewiske can be the 7th D (I would rather Beulieau though). This was a totally brain dead move to acquire him from the offset. It was clear that there was absolutely no need or place for him on the Habs.

        • Harditya says:

          Have to agree with you on this one, Drewiske (although a great person in the locker room) was a totally unnecessary move. His 2-year extension was just as puzzling. However, it’s “only” a 0.6 M cap hit so it’s easy to digest.

    • Paz says:

      I never understood why we acquired him in the first place.

  19. Lafleurguy says:

    Since astutely/luckily discovering Markov with a sixth round pick 15 drafts ago in 1998, the Habs have managed to “discover” only two more defensemen in his class via drafting and those are Sather’s job-saver, Ryan McDonagh, and Torch-bearer Subban. None of these three were obtained via any “throwing-the-season” strategy. First-rounders, of which Subban and Markov are not, included Ron Hainsey, David Fisher, and Mike Komisarek, and only when part of a weak team were a couple of these men part of a defences’s top 4. Reiterating the fact that Markov is like a “Stephen Waite”-for-developing-defensemen, I’m on-board for keeping him.

    • Paz says:

      The skills that make Markov a success at the NHL level can not be taught.
      He can’t teach patience, confidence, decision making.
      Either a dman evolves this way or he doesn’t.
      And just because a dman has these skills in the AHL it does not necessarily mean he will keep them in the NHL.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        ed, he has Gretzky-like awareness of where teammates and opponents are, great on-ice vision. Witness his passes last night to Max, and to Datsyuk in the Olympics.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Disagree. Patience can be learned, confidence can be learned, and decision making can be learned. Playing alongside a calm player like Markov definitely rubs off, hell I’ve improved all of those things in a beer league having an amazing D partner… You tend to mimic your partner to some extent. To say playing with Markov will create more Markov’s is not what I’m saying.. Just that some of what he has rubs off on other players, especially his partner.

        • Paz says:

          Ok. You are free to disagree. Emelin is struggling. Komisarek is a bust.

          • Cal says:

            Emelin’s coming back after a devastating knee injury. His minutes should be reduced to reflect that. 18 minutes ATOI is too much this season. He should be at 12 to 15 minutes, but the bottom 2 pairing can’t be bumped up. That’s the dilemma and why Markov can’t be moved. There’s no one else to pick up the slack besides unproven rookies and too old Dmen like Boullion.

  20. homerbowen says:

    While I really like Markov we must look at any serious offers for him.
    He is at his highest value right now; we are not a contending team; he will not be part of a Habs Cup; his injury record and his age.
    It would have to be a “knock your socks off” deal to make the trade but you never know what’s brewing in those GM’s heads.

  21. docketrocket says:

    A little performance art anyone? I AM A BLACK HOCKEY PLAYER


  22. Paz says:

    Most fans do not follow the team as closely as you guys.

    Most fans cheer for the team almost blindly, hoping that the team can win a Cup, without analyzing the players, the needs, what’s missing, etc.

    These fans are thrilled when their teams are in the playoffs and very upset and disappointed when they’re not. Very simpe formula.

    Ad you can’t win the Cup without making to te dance, right? So the logic of that statement reinforces the goal to simply make the playoffs.

    Since the better hockey market teams can satisfy the great majority of their fans by making the playoffs, this has become the primary objective of their GMS.

    When Bergevin and Therrien were hired they were told to make the playoffs, and their jobs would be secure for at least the term of their contracts, 3 and 4 years.

    I think these are facts that can not be denied.

  23. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I fear we’re up to our normal post dynasty routine of over achieving, doing it with mirrors, making the playoffs only to be ousted early and ending up with a poorer pick in the draft. Hard to build a winner that way but whayougonnado? Go Habs! Prove me wrong.

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

  24. mdp2011 says:

    Morning everyone. Can someone enlighten me on just who it was that called MaxPac a perimeter player? I keep hearing some national broadcaster called him that, but I missed it and very curious as to who it was.

    • Mark C says:

      Silly talk. Why do people care so much about his style of play? Scoring goal is half the battle and Max is as good as it as anyone not at the Stamkos/Ovechkin level. Max has the 4th highest goals per game, all three players ahead of him are on teams in the top-10 in team scoring. Habs are 20th.

  25. twocents says:

    So, I see no one has taken the challenge I posted earlier today, so I’ll repost this to all those who think Markov should be traded.

    I dare anyone to find an example in the history of the trade deadline, of a team in third place or higher in its conference, trading a veteran for prospects, youngsters and/or picks.

    Perhaps this exercise could put an end to all the hand wringing and self loathing that goes on around here, even in the middle of what is turning out to be a fairly successful season so far.

    …but I highly doubt it.

    • Paz says:

      Your point is valid. That’s why getting hot and moving up the standings 10 games before the deadline is the worst thing that can happen to a non contender.

      It’s an illusion.

    • Mike D says:

      I’ve been in the “Keep Markov” camp so I guess your question wasn’t really posed to me. That said, just because it hasn’t been done before does not mean it’s a bad idea.

      While it’s possible that ANY team who makes the playoffs has a chance to win it, it’s unlikely to be one that idn’t one of the real contenders. This season, that would be CHI, ANA, LA, STL, SJ from the West; and PIT, BOS from the East (ironically two teams I think we could beat).

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • mdp2011 says:

      Contending teams don’t trade important players like Markov for picks or prospects. Pending UFA’s are dealt from contending teams when they no longer fit in their plans like San Jose did with Murray and Clowe last year.

    • Habfan17 says:

      It was not quite the deadline but the Kovulchuk trade was a multiplayer trade would classify as a huge deal a month before the deadline.

      I am sure there are others but it takes time to do the research. Your point is moot anyway, just because you can’t name one, or even if it has not been done, does not mean that in this case, it should not be done.

      In order to really evaluate trades, you have to look at all aspects of the teams involved, Current depth, real chances of winning now, long term plans. probability of resigning the player to fit in the team plan , what the return would be, etc. It is not as simple as saying the team is doing well today, why mess with it?


    • toinz says:

      You’re 100% right. These kinds of trades never happen because the GM pulling the trigger sends a message to his team that he does not believe they can win.

      Why make the playoffs at all if your own GM doesn’t have faith in the team.

    • twocents says:

      To those who contend with the, “just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea”, argument, I find it quite interesting how many of those who are most sure about trading Markov argue that it’s the realistic pragmatic thing to do.

      Pragmatic choices are seldom ones that have never been tried before and that’s reality.

      I let others argue why no one does it, they’ve done a fine job. But, the fact is, those arguing for his trade like to point to what other teams have gotten for their valuable vets as if precedence is ultimately relevant, yet ignore that there simply is no precedence for a team in our position doing so.

      As for the Kovalchuk trade, the Trashers were no where near 3rd place at the time(they didn’t even make the playoffs)… but the Devils were. Get the point?

  26. formerly known as the hc says:

    Something to consider: Markov is on the ice an average of 25:10 per game. Those are huge minutes and tops on the team. Habs have nobody to eat up those minutes and will likely not get a player back who can. He still produces. He knows and likes the Mtl market. You don’t want to rush the upcoming dmen to fill his role, especially in this market. His presence I believe will help the kids develop with more reasonable expectations. Given the choice, I say sign him.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Makes sense, unless the cost of keeping him is 3 years at more than $5M per. I think a 2 year deal is about the most they should give him, otherwise they run the risk of having him eat into Beaulieu’s development. And more than $5M for a player his age is risky, not to mention that it takes away from their ability to fill a top-six forward position, which is a major need.

  27. @Paz, I don’t believe the Habs are a true contender, but I cheer like they are anyways. I also don’t believe anyone in the East is a true contender so that means the Habs can go far….in the East 😆

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

    • HardHabits says:


        • HardHabits says:

          True. The East has two contenders.

          Now for the West…

          Anaheim, Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles

          I am loathe to include San Jose on that list because they always find a way to lose in the play-offs. Colorado is a real dark horse and wild card in the mix. If any team can pull a rabbit out of their arses (not to mention with Roy behind the bench) it is the Avs.

          For the East, I also am not convinced that Montreal and Tampa should make that list as neither team has proven to be among the league’s elite… yet.

          However, one telling stat which has me perplexed is the last 10 game record. The Habs are the hottest team in the league ATM. This western road trip will clearly be a measuring stick as to where the team stands in its trajectory, which we all hope is trending upward.

  28. Forum Dog says:

    Liked the Bourque-Eller-Weise line last night. Not a lot of great puck movement, but three big bodies who can skate and put pressure on the opposing D. Weise also has a bit more skill than I thought. Saw him chip and chase along the boards at one point and then, when he gained the zone, stopped up and found a trailer. No score on the play, but a good heads up pass that created a chance.

    Galchenyuk’s goal was awesome. Not because the shot itself was beautiful, but because he was able to spin with the puck on his forehand and get enough mustard on it for it to go in. Elite skill.

    Pacioretty and Subban showed they are in the same skill bracket as Galchenyuk. Both making moves and scoring goals that few other players can. I’ve whined about Pacioretty’s effort in the past, but his wrist-shot is extremely heavy and very accurate, which – when paired with his skating and physical size – makes him dangerous whenever he drives the net.

    Markov and Emelin are looking weak defensively, especially Emelin. His confidence must be at an all time low, ’cause he is just not playing smart or aggressive hockey right now.

  29. gordon bombay says:

    TO MTL: Stastny
    TO COL: Emelin, Desharnais, 2nd Round Pick

    TO MTL: Stewart
    TO BUF: Pateryn, 2nd Round Pick

    Pacioretty – Stastny – Stewart
    Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher
    Gionta – Plekanec – Bourque

    • Paz says:

      Colorado does not need Desharnais, but I like the way you think.

    • GL says:

      Gordon – only one move I don’t like getting rid of DD and keeping Eller. DD is a Good 2nd line center Eller at best is a weak 3rd line center. I still don’t see what you Guys see in Eller never have. He would be the first to go.

      In any case for now the Habs are a OK team just keep moving parts out in the off season and bring in the kids someday we’ll have a winner.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        I dunno, I’d like to see Eller moved to LW to play with Plek on the 3rd line once Galchenyuk has a line built around him. But yeah, I’m with you on DD > Eller. Is Patch one of the top 10 goal scorers in the NHL over the past two seasons with Eller as his center?

    • Timo says:

      No way. Ma man DD alone should fetch 2 established top 6 players, a first round pick and a second round pick.

    • piper says:

      I like the players you’re suggesting but there would need to be more quality going back.

  30. B says:

    Anyone know why Bozon didn’t play last night?

    –Go Habs Go!–

  31. jeffhabfan says:

    Big win Last night from the HABS. I would like to pick up a decent scorer this week if the cost is not to bad I would go for it.Need to get 4 of 8 points this week to have a good road trip this week.GO HABS GO.

  32. ABHabsfan says:

    TSN saying that the Pens have offered Sutter, Despres, a first and a 3rd in the upcoming draft for Kesler. That’s a crazy price to pay for a 3rd line centre, which is what he would be on the Pens. That’s a huge price for any player who is short of a 50-goal guy, let alone a solid depth player. If the Canucks don’t make that deal they are nuts.
    I don’t get all the love Shero gets for his GM ability; he got all kinds of props from the talking heads of hockey last season because he traded most of his picks to get Iggy and Crankshaft, then did nothing again in the play-offs. All the centres in the world will not change the fact that their goalie can’t make stops when he needs to. (except for that 1 time but that was 6 years ago now, and they had Hal Gill who is like a goalie)
    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • toinz says:

      It’s their current third line centre, a late first round pick, a late 3rd round pick and a defenseman (pittsburgh has them to spare with Maatta Pouliot and others)

      That’s not that big a haul for Kesler. Would be a master stroke for Shero.

      • ABHabsfan says:

        It’s still 4 pieces for 1 and Kesler isn’t the player he was 4 years ago. No stud goalie, no Cup and Fleury can’t get it done. They’d be better off making that deal for Luongo

        “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
        Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

        • toinz says:

          Kesler still has the most goals on that squad and is one point behind the Sedins for the team lead in scoring. 40 goal Kesler he is not, but the guy is still a 30 goal guy who backchecks and is one of the best checking centres in the NHL.

          The return amounts to “spare parts” for Kesler. The 30th pick overall is rarely that good.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          One big piece is always better. I’d trade Gorges, Eller, and a 1st for Jamie Benn.. Just an example, but NEVER going to happen,

      • Habfan17 says:

        Kessler would also be paired with Sid the kid not on the 3ed line. They are looking for a right winger to play with Sid


  33. toinz says:

    I cannot think of any GM in the salary cap era that has traded a marquee pending UFA when his team was headed to the playoffs.

    Can anybody name such a trade?

    • Mike D says:

      Don’t think I’d call him a marquee player by league standards, but he was a big fixture with SJ: Ryane Clowe

      They also traded Crankshaft who has to be considered a “playoff Dman” due to his size, shotblocking, etc. skills that correlate more to tight playoff hockey.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • toinz says:

        Clowe had zero goals for SJ at the time and Murray was a healthy scratch for long stretches of the season.

        Markov is a bit more important to this team I would think.

        • Mike D says:

          I didn’t know from your initial post that you were talking about players comparable to Markov. If that’s the case, then I would agree that I can not think of such a move being made.

          Wasn’t calling Murray a marquee player either….just saying that a big, defensive Dman isn’t a bad “extra piece” to have for the playoffs.

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

        • Habfan17 says:

          Not sure if Fischer was a pending UFA, but he was thought to be a key player for the Sens. Murray knew they weren’t built to win, so he moved some key players to build for the future. Not a rebuild, but a retool, which is what the Habs need to do. Markov would net a solid return and that does not as some suggest, mean that the Habs are throwing the towel in on this season. To the contrary, it says they think the other players can step up and we are getting pieces that will keep us on top for the long term.


          • toinz says:

            Mike Fisher had 2 years left on his contract when he got traded to the Predators.

            It’s just so rare to see GMs trade away key pieces of their team at the deadline.

            Kudos to a Sharks GM that was able to trade spare parts for a big haul last year. Not sure any GM would trade a player the calibre of Markov right now.

  34. Hobie Hansen says:

    The people over at that garbage site (EOTP) and many other people who purely base their opinions on stats are dead wrong. I see it at this site too.

    People have been bashing guys like Mike McCarron, Jarred Tinordi and Douglas Murray because they don’t rack up points on the score sheet and they play a very physical an in your face game.

    They hate the fact that real hockey people like to have guys on their team that are physical, tough and down right nasty! These guys are very important components to a team’s overall structure. This is hockey folks, not shuffleboard. Violence and physicality help your team win!

    Murray has a shaky shift on occasion but he’s also nailing guys, leaning on them in the corner and making life miserable for guys like Nazem Kadri and David Clarkson.

    I didn’t see an over abundance of Leafs players running at the Montreal net last night. I didn’t see any scrums in front of Budaj after the whistles with habs players sitting on their buts and the Leafs skating off laughing like has happened MANY nights in the past.

    That bottom pairing of Murray and Tinordi is what Montreal has needed for years now! They are giving the goaltender much more breathing space and laying the law down in the Montreal end. They are also eliminating the momentum edge teams get by face washing and pushing the Canadiens around in their own end all night.

    Teams better keep their heads up in the Montreal end with Subban, Emelin, Tinordi and Murray out there. I love it!!!

    • Forum Dog says:

      Agreed. There was a scrum last night where Gleason was taking an extra couple of shots at Weise, and who comes flying in to join the discussion? Tinordi. And the scrum breaks up. Gleason knew that someone who would actually throw down had joined the fray, and let it go.

      Having guys like Tinordi and Murray makes life easier for the guys who play physical but don’t want to scrap. And like you say, it keeps the front of Montreal’s net clear. It will take Tinordi a while to get up to speed positionally, but his ceiling as a defensive stalwart is looking about as high as he is tall.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      You’re dead on,Hobie. Crankshaft has been knocking heads back there and it sure makes a difference. I’m hoping he gets re-signed here

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • KS says:

      Not only does Murray add that sorely missed physical impact in a game- if you watch him on the bench he seems to be a very positive influence on some of the younger players.

    • punkster says:

      On the other hand…

      He’s a -12 D, with only 2 assists, playing only 14 minutes against, usually, bottom lines of the opposition.

      He can’t skate worth crap, has the turning radius of a battleship and is now sitting in the mid 200s of 286 D in the league by whatever ranking analysis you use.

      To put that in perspective Mike Komisarek has the same points and is only a -2.

      No advanced stats required to see that Murray is a stiff.

      (just trying to provide balance here)

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • Habs1962 says:

      yes… good post.
      watching last night , I wasn’t thinking we looked small and pushed around… Tinordi adds to that size for sure.

    • boing007 says:

      Kadri was pretty quiet last night.

      Richard R

  35. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    Don’t know if anybody else noticed this but at one point in the third period as they were lining up for the faceoff, someone on the Leafs bench either squirted Subban with a water bottle or spat it at him. Behaviour such as that is surely not characteristic of such a dignified hockey team. I was watching the RDS feed.

  36. adamkennelly says:

    I want to be torn on the Markov situation but I’m really not. He is awesome and will not be replaced easily but he’s older and has bad knees. Very worried about signing the guy to a 35+ 3 year contract at $6M per.

    I think we should trade him.

    When I am faced with big decisions – like buying a house or car or switching jobs I use the following approach.

    Do it and regret it or don’t do it and regret it – which one is worse.

    so in this case

    Trade Markov and Regret it
    Sign him and Regret it

    which one is worse? makes the decision making process really easy.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Is there an option with no regrets?

      • HabFab says:

        Drink the purple kool-aid.
        What do you mean? “It tastes like almonds”
        Just swig it back and you will feel better….

      • adamkennelly says:

        course there is – but plan for the worst and hope for the best.

        for example – the Gomez trade.

        make the trade and regret it, don’t make the trade and regret it – which is worse? we all know what happened – again – would make the decision easy and the trade would not have happened.

  37. boonie says:

    In June 2011, coming off a 96-point season, we re-signed a then 32 year-old, pre-surgical repaired Markov to a three year deal. Since then, we’ve dipped to the NHL’s nether regions and rebounded back to the middle of the playoff pack.

    Had we moved a valuable asset then, we’d have a prospect and perhaps a “late first” round pick playing or nearly ready to play for us.

    Should we have the same discussion about AM a year from now, or two or three as his next contract expires?

    The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

    • Paz says:

      Of course. And the guy wants 4 yrs and about 6 million per because that is what 1 GM will surely give him July 1st,

      So how will the Habs play this?

      They will take out their conservative playbook, keep him until the end of this season and hope that he caves to 2 or 3 years.

      If he doesn’t, they will try and sell his rights the last week of June.

  38. Adam says:

    Only in Montreal is consistently making the playoffs seen as a curse. Oh, how we long for those days of real sucking! We tanked hard in the 90s and glory was ours!
    Wait, that doesn’t sound right…

    • HardHabits says:

      The Habs never tanked hard in the 90’s. The were the perennial middle of the pack team, scratching their way into the play-offs last seed or finishing just outside them. In that era prospects were flipped for ageing veterans. The period after the 1995 referendum saw the Quebec economy tank and by extension Montreal was a ghost town. The Bell Centre had empty seats. The team got sold to an American.

      Just making the play-offs without the horses to go far is useless and the lie that anything can happen once you get there the ad campaign that ensures that the seats will be jam packed.

  39. HardHabits says:

    Can anybody explain all the EOTP hate for Murray. I love this guy. He’s a steamroller. Always makes the smart play. And he’s MOAR BIGGER. OK. I think I have my answer.

    • Paz says:

      Murray has played so much better these past 20 games, even statistically in plus minus, it is pure arrogance and stubbornness to ignore that.

    • boonie says:

      Statistics – even advanced ones are only as good as the people who apply them.

    • adamkennelly says:

      I love having this guy on our team. Been ages since we had a big, tough, scary D-man. He does his job period and adds value to this team at low cost – what more do you want?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Speculating only, but wouldn’t appreciating him now, require the acknowledgement of being wrong earlier? If that was a person’s stance at the time of his signing.

      Thankfully I am fortunate, I liked it when MB signed him.

      • Paz says:

        Was that directed at me? If it was…

        If he keeps playing well then I’m happy to say I was wrong. Why not?

        It won’t be the first and it won’t be the last time.

        When I admit I’m wrong I usually learn for the situation. It’s actually very helpful.


        • HabinBurlington says:

          No not at all Ed, it was in reference to HardHabits question to EOTP.

          What I admire perhaps the most in you Ed is that you are willing to watch a scenario play out and if the result is different than you expected you still appreciate it.

          CHeers my friend, sorry if you took my comment as something directed at you.

    • People who know hockey understand how to build a well balanced defense with size and scoring and then others blog about it. 😆

      I don’t read their work and I see here I’m not missing anything.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures
      Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

    • Habs1962 says:

      I would expect if the number crunchers had to go to the net with Murray there .. say for 10 minutes straight.. they would have a better understanding.

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