About last night …

AtLA

Your Montreal Canadiens had five shots in the first period.
They had another five in the second.
While this offensive ineptitude was unfolding, the home team didn’t fare any better.
In a 16-minute, 37-second span over the first and second periods, the L.A. Kings had NOT A SINGLE SHOT on Peter Budaj.
Scintillating hockey.

The last goal – Jeff Carter’s power-play winner – was scored a few ticks over four minutes into the second period.

There were a few chances and a couple posts pinged thereafter.

The game got briefly exciting when Peter Budaj went to the bench for an extra attacker. Brendan Gallagher, who could probably skate between Anze Kopitar’s legs, put on one of whirling, twirling dervish shifts to keep the puck in the L.A. zone and maintain hope of stealing at least a point to launch the road trip.

But the home team was full value for their win – fifth in a row for the Kings. Darryl Sutter has them playing a disciplined defensive style that stresses secure puck possession and control of the slot, limiting high-percentage chances against Jonathan Quick.

The Canadiens actually outhit L.A., 42-28 – with Douglas Murray dishing out eight checks, to lead both teams, in his 20 minutes of ice time. But the Kings won most of the physical battles – particularly the ones that ensued after the Canadiens tried one of their countless dump-ins to gain the offensive zone.

As has been the case on most nights this season, David Desharnais’ line was the Canadiens best. Gallagher battled ferociously and DD made some clever plays. But Max Pacioretty, the team’s leading goal-scorer, was held without a SoG and missed the net three times.

Tomas Plekanec won 14 of 20 faceoffs, but linemates Alex Galchenyuk and Brian Gionta were each held to a single SoG.

Notwithstanding Rene Bourque’s three shots, the third line was ineffectual. And Lars Eller took two offensive-zone penalties.

The Canadiens’ power play had been hot lately, with goals on 4 of its 11 most recent opportunities.

But the PP fizzled in L.A., going 0-for-3. The Canadiens laboured to gain the L.A. zone and were pressured on the few occasions they actually managed to set up.

During the RDS pre-game show, Guy Carbonneau talked about the Canadiens crafting a 7-1-2 record over their last 10 starts – best in the NHL. They did it, Carbo said, while playing boring, defensive hockey. Get used to it, the former coach advised fans, because the Canadiens just don’t have the talent to play wide-open hockey.

So don’t count on anything eye-pleasing that might keep us awake during these west-coast games that start after 10 p.m. in Montreal.

The next one is Wednesday night in Anaheim, against a team that is 15 points ahead of L.A. in the Pacific Division standings.

The puck will drop about seven hours after the 3 p.m. trade deadline, and it’s doubtful the Canadiens will be making any significant moves.

General manager Marc Bergevin is in Chicago, where the family is mourning the passing of the GM’s mother-in-law.

Bergevin doubtless will field some phone calls about the availability of some of his players, notably Andrei Markov.

I don’t think they’ll move him.

Markov has played his entire 13-year career with the team that drafted him. The painfully shy Russian is comfortable in Montreal.

Bergevin has blueline talent in the pipeline: Jarred Tinordi, who briefly energized his teammates by fighting L.A. tough guy Kyle Clifford; Nathan Beaulieu and Greg Pateryn in Hamilton. None of them, however, is ready to succeed Markov .

It would be great if Bergevin could add a winger with size. And I could see him moving Eller and maybe a prospect or two to get one.

Matt Moulson, Tomas Vanek, Marion Gaborik, Chris Stewart and Ryan Kesler could all be moved on Wednesday.

I wouldn’t stake out Dorval Airport waiting to greet any of them.

 

271 Comments

  1. iceberg64 says:

    Guy Carboneau says Habs went 7-1-2 over last 10 games playing boring defensive hockey because they don’t have the offensive talent to play wide open hockey…and this guy(pun intended is an expert). The last two games they won 6-5 SO and 4-3OT were for the most part (except 2nd period against leafs) wide open exciting hockey and the Habs won. And even though Budaj has played well with Price in nets those games might have been won by more than one goal. Last years team played more open and finished second. We are playing more defensive and are third. In the playoffs you need to be able to shut it down when you are up so thats great but why cant we open it up and take a good lead and shut it down if necessary in the third. I think this team is playing a style that doesnt suit them because our game is speed, offense and wide open

  2. youngwun says:

    Who is mike weaver ?

    • habsr4ever says:

      Weaver is a solid defensive Dman who shoots RIGHT handed. We desperately needed one of these. 5th rounder in a strong draft year sucks to give up but I say we win this trade hands down. Obviously a depth move for our back end but he will be a great penalty killer with Murray. A HUGE updgrade on Drewiskie who was sent down and isn’t in our plans moving forward. And obviously better than Frankie B. I hope we can flip Bouillon now for a 5th rounder. I hear Nashville want him for their playoff push as their depth guy on the backend. Heck I would take anything to clear his roster spot. Let him play some place else. He is taking up Tinordi or Beaulieu’s spot up here. To me this sums up our deadline. NO more moves for Bergevin – he got his depth dman and didn’t sell the farm to get it. Markov will sign for 2 years and $5.5 Million. Habs will give in – we have to. We will also sign Murray for another year at $1.5 M. He has earned another year or two with how he has played. Hal Gill the 2nd. Perfect BIG SLOW penalty KILLING DMAN who will sacrifice everything to block a shot. Nothing wrong with him as our 6 or 7th Dman for a year or two. We have had Frankie B as this dman for two years for some UNKNOWN reason. Our big UFA signing is going to be Gaborik in the summer as some how these types of players love to play in Habland (Kovalev et al). Not saying I would do it but I can see Bergy rolling the dice as we need offense up front. And Gabby can certainly score goals and has speed to burn. Hopefully we can dump either Bourque or Briere in the offseason to get us some cap room to get another top 6 forward with SIZE and have cap room for the raises coming to Gallagher, Galchenyuk, and Eller. Our D will be fine for years to come. One of Moen or Prust is going to be gone as well since we now have Weisser – what a great pick up. If we unload Brier we will keep Gionta for 2 years at $3 Million per. Briere was to replace Gionta next year on the RW with Plekanec but I think they know they screwed that one up. I am ok with Briere for the playoffs and yes he has some finish yet. But too soft and too small. Oilers want Gorges (BC boy) as well as Markov…..but as I said Marky is staying here book it. So perhaps that deal becomes bigger in the offseason as MacT has been interested in Bourque (Alberta boy) in the past. We may have to eat some salary to make this deal work but I can see this happening some way some how. I hope Kessler stays in the West. If he goes to the pens – yikes…then again they have Marc Andre RED LIGHT Fleury in the pipes….NO cup for them as long as he is in the pipes.
      Final Four will be the Hawks vs Kings. Sorry blues fans – I still don’t think you have enough high end offensive firepower to compete with the Hawks….and the KINGS – well they are just NASTY good and know how to win in the GRIND of the DANCE.
      Bruins vs Flyers. Call me crazy but Philly scare the sh#$ out of me even though their D SUCK.

  3. habs_1978 says:

    Living in Edmonton, I’m hearing rumors that the Oilers have tabled an offer for Markov…..ahhh the rumor mill.

  4. on2ndthought says:

    I watched a good game last night. Predicted 2-1 Habs, but this was the game I expected.

    White took his last bad penalty of the year.

    Gio was gassed on the PK, Carter scores. Gio is losing his on-ice value; it’s a shame.

    I said Eller is going to score on this trip: he got on the scoreboard twice. Otherwise he, Bourque, Moen, Weiss, and even White, were effective at getting their big bodies in the play so LA did not steamroll us again.

    The D played strong and as MountRoyal stated, Murray is making a believer of me.

    Doughty gets a free reign and a free pass compared to PK; he coughed up the puck a couple of times, leading to a scoring chance for Moen, lost a battle to Chuky, but doesn’t get benched or derided by commentators. PK and MT better figure this out, or one will have to go (better be the coach, MB!)

    We miss Diaz, but I still like the trade. Weiss looks comfortable and plays hard.

    Best story: Krob1000 and the Gallagher burger!!!

    The now have great organizational depth in bottom 6 forwards and L side D. Can we get a big top 6 winger who (unlike Patches) can crash through the collapsed D most teams use (I know this is one of the most coveted packages in the NHL, I’m just asking. No disrespect to Max, he is what he is, he would have to be lucky to score on LA last night). We also need to balance our L D with some R. Pateryn may be ready for a third pairing, can we trade for a second pairing D, even at great cost. I’ve been proposing signing Markov for two more years, maybe I’m wrong.

    If we do: D pairs
    Beaulieu / PK (coaches hair turns grey)
    Marky / R-side
    Tinordi/ Pateryn (Murray)
    That leaves Gorges, Emelin as trade bait.

    If we don’t:
    beau / PK
    Tiny / R-side
    Gorges?Emelin/Murray / Pateryn

    Who goes, who stays? This is predicated on the L / R D being important.

    “a cannonading drive”

  5. JarryPark says:

    Would you resign Gio for 2 more years at 3.5 – 4M per?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      According to TVA sports (take that with however many grains of salt you wish) Habs management will be sitting down with Gionta in 2 weeks to start renegotiations.
      Gionta is looking for 2-3 years..

      Is that a good thing, or is it finally time to pass the leadership reins over to the younger core like SEVERAL other successful NHL teams?

    • Strummer says:

      Is that really part of Bergevin’s “we need to get bigger and harder to play against” strategy?

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

    • iceberg64 says:

      No his time is up with Habs…love the guys compete level but even 3-4 million can be spent on a player with more size that can score 15-20….

  6. shiram says:

    I’m disappointed in the Heavy MTL lineup.
    They seem to be going away from a metal festival, to just a “loud music” festival.
    There are enough rock shows and festivals, but there was only one metal festival here, and it’s being diluted.

  7. mrgordon says:

    If Timo were coach, would Bell Centre have to rebuild the press box? Or maybe he’d just stuff his undesirables in a shipping crate and drop in stale bread crumbs.

  8. Timo says:

    The greatest trade Habs can make is trade Therrien.

    • shiram says:

      Well it’s not a trade, but they could offer MAB a contract too.

    • joewindsor habfan says:

      Timo, I concur he’s messed this team up bad. Feel bad for Eller, why not try Weise on Patches & douche line and re-assemble the egg line. They had early success ( the egg line) and I think you might actually have two scoring lines going into the final weeks of the season. As for defence between the kids in Hamilton and some of the vets presently on the roster he can make it a go. And, MT needs to get something back for Gionta, and whomever he lets go, either it be a low draft pick or a serviceable player.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Who is the trading partner and what do Habs get in return?


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