About last night …


Crazy game or what?
Your Montreal Canadiens blew a 2-0 lead.
François Beauchemin scored the weirdest goal of the season.

Video replay in the Shootout?
Are you kidding me?
And then Andrei Markov, who didn’t sign a new contract before Trade Deadline day, smokes one past Jonas Hiller to get the Canadiens two valuable points.

Look peeps, it’s almost 2 a.m. in Montreal and the Ol’ Blogger needs his beauty sleep to get ready for another late night in Phoenix.

So ALN is going to be short and as sweet as I can make it.

I’ll leave most of the heavy lifting to the Commentariat … if y’all are not too tired after posting 1,900 Comments to the Trade Deadline story and another 1,100 to the live game blog.

So just a few bullet points:

• Making his first NHL start in almost two years, Dustin Tokarski didn’t see an Anaheim shot on goal until the game was almost 11 games old. From 10:45 on the first period through five minutes of Overtime, the Ducks fired 42 shots at Tokarski, including 19 in a wild second period.

• The only thing bigger than Brendan Gallagher’s heart is his sack. He tormented the Anaheim D all night, and the mighty mite’s 16th goal exceeded his rookie total.

•  Jarred Tinordi had six hits and is starting to look like a regular.

• Gallagher and Max Pacioretty each had six SoG, and Max-Pac scored his 30th goal. Through the first 21 games of the season, Pacioretty had scored twice. You do the math on how hot he’s been.

• Then put down your calculators and put on your thinking caps to figure out how Thomas Vanek should be slotted in Thursday night.

Here are my lines against Phoenix: Max-DD-Gallagher, Vanek-Plekanec-Gionta, Galchenyuk-Brière-Bourque, Weise-White-Moen.

Yes, I’d sit Lars Eller for at least one more game.

And I’d play Mike Weaver … maybe.

It’s hard to sit Douglas Murray, who had three hits, blocked three shots and played a shade under 19 minutes against Anaheim. But three games in four nights … and if Michel Therrien played George Parros as a homecoming gesture against the Ducks, he’ll want to do the same for Murray Saturday night in San Jose.

Much to discuss – after a very good day for the Montreal Canadiens.

• Classy guy George Parros on Twitter after the game: Thanks to the great fans of the OC and the @AnaheimDucks for giving me such a warm reception… It truly meant a lot. 


  1. Habfan17 says:

    Boonie, please ask Stu Cowan how it is that Vanek is now 2 inches shorter than he has always been. Mr. Cowan reported that Bergevin trade d for Vanek, 6 feet 217 lbs. I get the weight being different since I have seen him posted between 205 and 213 lbs, But his height always shows as 6’2″ Were the other teams lying or do the Habs automatically list players smaller than they are to surprise opponents on the ice!


  2. Mattyleg says:

    Vanek is not going to Minnesota.
    There is no way.
    He just wanted off the Island.

    On this island, however, he’ll realise that Minny’s got nothing for him.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • krob1000 says:

      I will say one thing…given he has pretty well made it obvious he wants to go to Minnesota…ithas to be a bit disturbing for him seeing that they went and got Moulson instead….that has to at least be strike one in his mind….still think he wants to go there…but that had to sting.

      • Habfan17 says:

        He may well want to go there, it does not mean that they want him! If he does not do well here and you add that to the Olympic performance, they may not want to sign him. Especially f he wants a contract they deem unreasonable. Same can be said for the Habs


        • Cal says:

          Did you really think the men’s Austrian hockey team would do anything at all in the Olympics except show up?
          Vanek’s playoff performance with the Habs this year will count for a lot more.

      • habsguru says:

        i’m not doubting, but how did he indicate he wanted to be a Wild? i haven’t really followed him since i had no expectation that he was even on the CH radar.

        • krob1000 says:

          “Meanwhile, Vanek? Not only did he go to the University of Minnesota, but Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News reports that the winger’s wife is a Minnesotan. His family also lives in the state during the summer.

          As such, just like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter did before him, Vanek is poised to return home so to speak—that is if similar money is there for him.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Just like Martin St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier, Corey Crawford, Roberto Luongo, Martin Broder all came home…

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Habfan17 says:

            That is all fine and good, but do they want him? What will he take to go there? How are they for cap space? How many RFA’s do they have to sign? I know Heatley comes off the books, but they will be shopping for a goalie by the looks of it so they may not have room to add him, especially if he wants another $7 million/season for 7 years. They already have Parise and Suter tied up long term.


    • Habfan17 says:

      On the Sens pre game show Murray Wilson was saying he would not be surprised if Vanek does decide to sign in Montreal. Kovalev was the same way, not planning on staying but once he felt the electricity and energy in Montreal and experienced the city, he fell in love and wanted to stay. Perhaps Vanek will fall under the same spell!


      • Mattyleg says:

        That’s kind of what I’m banking on.

        L’Artiste Autrichienne?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Habfan17 says:

          Me too!! If he plays well! I am looking forward to seeing him in action against the Bruins, he really seems to have their number


        • krob1000 says:

          Minny IMO already slapped him in the face with the Moulson trade instead…HAbs need non Habs media buddies to exploit that and run with it to help the PR side!!!
          “So Thomas was it at all disappointing that Minnesota traded similar value for Matt Moulson?”
          “Thomas, you clearly have ties to Minnesota and were probably hoping they would trade for you at the deadline…. how do you feel about this?”
          Now it can’t be Habs media asking this…so Bonne..get your media frineds on it!!!

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Agree. He’s going to sign there because TSN rumoured Minny wanted hi as a rental?


    • chanchilla says:

      i don’t think minnesota is in a place to spend the money on him, they can afford him sure, but paying 4 guys 30% of the salary probably isn’t in their repertoire.

  3. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Okay, let’s just say I’m officially, although cautiously, enthusiatic about this team going forward especially with the inclusion of Vanek. About last night? Tokarski played great. We’ll forget about that weird goal. Could happen to anyone and he didn’t let it get to him. Desharnais played just a terrific game. Gotta love the mighty mite. Tinordi looks comfortable out there and is not playing too badly at all. Gallagher? What can I add? Big brass ones! I actually nodded off during overtime and opened one eye just as Markov put in the winner. Darn west coast games. I still hate the shootout but what a great win over, perhaps, the best team in the league and in their barn. Go Habs!

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

  4. 24 Cups says:

    I give MB full credit on his deadline deals but you really have to wonder about Garth Snow (I know, he’s an easy target). Three major scorers were on the market, discounting the St Louis/Callahan trade. A sharp GM had to know that the element of timing would be just as important as what assets were exchanged. Vanek was the key prize followed by Moulson and then Gaborik. Here is what transpired:

    Vanek for a 2nd and Collberg.

    Moulson for two 2nd rounders

    Gaborik for a 2nd and a 3rd.

    Not that much difference when you really look at it and unbelievably not one team picked up a 1st rounder or an elite prospect.

    I wonder if Snow was sitting there at 2:50 thinking that he was up shit’s creek and then with the clock ticking down decided to take the Montreal offer even though it was far less than he thought he might get a few weeks ago.

    GMs get fired for a lot less than the train wrecks that Snow and Gillis have been overseeing. I can’t believe that these two guys will last past April.

    • DipsyDoodler says:


      The Anaheim GM also messed up. Penner has his limitations but surely he’s better than nothing, which is what they got in return for him. He has been their 2nd line right winger all year hasn’t he?

      Did they dump him to clear space for Kessler and it fell through?

      Moving. Forward.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think you may be onto something there re:Kesler. Did you hear Kesler’s post deadline interview? I am glad I talked to Lou, he told me no matter what I would still be here whether I wanted out or not….. Vancouver is a real poisonous environment right now.

        Thankfully the Sedins are still together though, it is so important that twins never be seperated in the real world….. (not sure why that bothers me so much, but it does)

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        They have a young big winger in the minors they want to take Penner’s spot.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I heard it mentioned that the Islanders were very adamant about whoever picked up Vanek paid all his salary. Apparantly other teams had cap issues etc… and wanted Isles to eat part of it.

      Habs had the room to take all of Vanek’s price tag. This is the problem with Snow not working this deal much sooner and finding a dance partner with cap room to ensure he unloaded the contract and got more value.

      The fact the 2nd round pick is conditional is mind boggling to me.

      Also interesting to now hear Bobbo say that indeed Collberg could project to be top 6 forward, am almost positive prior to trade deadline that I have heard him refer to Collberg as not projecting that high.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Another plus for Bergevin is that he left himself that capspace. I think he might have a clue….

        In a year with limited cap almost all the other contenders were at the limit. We’re in 3rd place spending 10% less than every other contender.

        Moving. Forward.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Yup it is amazing he had that foresight considering so many good sources here have told us over and over that he is clueless.

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          Over on EOTP all the posts in the morning were hoping that Bergevin do nothing – as if he was a child left alone in the car by his parents with the keys still in the ignition.

          The guy whose entire knowledge of hockey comes from googling stats and going to minor league games of the East Bumfuck Warriors sounded surprised MB didn’t mess up, but he reckons it’s still bad ’cause Therrien is still the coach.

          Moving. Forward.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Did take a gander myself and read it similarly, wasn’t sure about the minor league games though, that is quite the scoop! 🙂

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            I maybe made that up.

            Moving. Forward.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        I would say it’s more on ownership than management.

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

      • Mattyleg says:

        Exactly about the pick. Nuts.
        I say we TANK and then we’ll have Vanek for Collberg!!

        DO IT MB!!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • CJ says:

        I agree about the comments re Collberg. I’ve never heard a positive thing said about the prospect in two years, now, all of a sudden he is a likely top six.

  5. Fransaskois says:

    Did I not say Tokarski would impress? Say hello to your next back up or semi-valuable trade chip.

    • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

      I wouldn’t call his performance impressive, but he stopped everything that he needed to to get the Habs the win in a tough situation.

  6. jimmy shaker says:

    Budashe gets the crease tonight…..thinkin eller get’s one more night in the presser, vanek slides in with pleks and gio and briere centres bourque and chucky. I’ve got eller and parros sitting. And weaver in for Murray as boone suggested.

    Shaker out

  7. DipsyDoodler says:

    Some have suggested that Vanek should play with Briere. The problem with this is it implies giving Briere more minutes.

    Danny B has performed as expected. He is our worst possession driver. Constantly turns the puck over, and has taken more minor penalties than Tomas Plekanec despite getting 50% less ice time and never playing against the opposition’s top line.

    Another possibility is Eller but I think it’s unlikely our new star acquisition gets paired with a guy who is currently benched. Maybe at some point, but not right away.

    If Vanek plays 20 min/game and wants to play on left wing then the only sensible option is putting him with Plekanec and Gionta. Plekanec is a great playmaker. What that line has been looking for all year is a shooter.

    Also I would suggest we use that line as our number one PP unit but perhaps with Galchenyuk in place of Gionta some of the time.

    Moving. Forward.

    • 24 Cups says:

      MB didn’t bring Vanek in here to play with second tier players. I think the Habs need to load up on two scoring lines that can also double up on the PP. The real question for me is which players will make up the 3rd line.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Heh heh.
        Plekanec and Gionta ≠ Second tier players.


        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          I don’t think that’s what 24C was saying.

          Moving. Forward.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Okay, then it’s unclear.
            Briere and Eller = Second tier players.

            It looks like he was refering to the suggestion that he play with Pleks and Gio.

            My mistake?

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            My understanding is that 24C was agreeing with DD that V should play with P+G and not with second tier players.

            Moving. Forward.

  8. lach60 says:

    I like the idea swirling around that has Briere centering Vanek. Vanek played with Roy in Buffalo, but I think Briere has the playmaking ability like DD to make it work.

    I think he’d be good with Plekanec and Gionta too, but there’s just no true playmaker on that line.

  9. nellis13 says:

    It’s probably among the worst trades ever. In the end they got a prospect (Collberg) for Matt Moulson and a 1st round pick. That’s called an unexpected back door delivery.

  10. Maritime Ronn says:

    So Pierre cliche McGuire believes there is no chance that Vanek will sign in Montreal.

    Let’s see.
    30 nhl teams – 1 chance in 30, so the percentage is 96.666% that he will not be in Montreal.
    McGuire and the number 666…rings a bell.

    • Price07 says:

      Vanek is going to Minnesota, everyone knows that. Even Minnesota, that’s why they didn’t go get him. They know he’s coming. He’s buddies with Pominville, he grew up going to high school in the US in that area and their team is good so…and Danny heatley’s 7.5M comes off the books at the end of this season so they’ll have the money.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Yes is is an accurate statement…..sad but true. SO let’s enjoy him and use him folks while he’s here. IT could be truly one crazy ride this year!

        Shaker out!

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        …and EVERYONE thought the Wisconsin born, U of Minnesota Phil Kessel would play out his Leafs contract, become a UFA, and go back to Minnesota – the region where both him and his wife come from.

        Everyone said the shy Kessel hates the media spotlight and can’t wait to go home…..
        So what does he do?
        He signs an 8 year extension with the Leafs.

        No one really knows what’s going to happen.
        He may really enjoy Montreal and playing for the Habs..or may not.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Everybody knows squat. Vanek can be signed. Who knows? He might like playing in Montreal especially if we make a good run.

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

    • krob1000 says:

      I agree with him…don’t care …was a cheap rental IMO. They did not pay a price that is steep for a rental…if they were expecting to keep him it would be highway robbery. If Vanek is looking to move on as expected perhaps Habs can recover a 4th or 5th for his negotiation rights….

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      I heard him on TSN1050 this morning. He still sounds bitter he didn’t get the GM job in Montreal.

  11. Mattyleg says:

    Good morning everyone!

    I hit the hay at the end of the 2nd, and slept well after having seen us get that 3rd.

    Great game by the boys, especially when you have to contend not only with the other team, but with the referees as well.

    See people posting this projected lineup:


    My question is: why break up a top-scoring line to get three lines that might not work?

    Why not leave the top line together and add Vanek with Gionta and Pleks. As long as Vanek doesn’t have a problem on the left side, it’s the obvious thing to do. You have the top line, and a deadly second line. Can you imagine Vanek feeding off those crazy passes that Pleks dishes off?

    I felt he was a bit frustrated a couple of times last night with Chucky. Young guy didn’t have a great game – lots of giveaways and trouble reading the play. Hope he gets it together!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      My only concern is putting Vanek on a line with Plex and Gio. Vanek does have the ability to float and float well, not like a butterfly that stings like a bee. He needs to be utilized for offence, and the Gio/Plex line I believe is usually given the tough defensive assignments.

      Galchenyuk/Brier/Vanek could be very interesting….. who knows what they use, but I am excited to see what they do.

      Best news is, there will be competition for people like Eller and Bourque to get in the lineup, this should be helpful.

      • lach60 says:

        I agree. Briere has been playing really well. I think that line could work out really well.

        Worried about Eller sitting out though. I know I’ve been praising DD over Eller, but I like Eller. It looks like Briere is taking his spot at centre though.

    • krob1000 says:

      The rationale is that if you get a top scorer why put him on what is the teams best defensive line? Surely not going to give him incentive to stay. I still think this is where they will play him though. Also, Gallagher will ignite any line he is on…he is the teams best forward….not best scorer but I think right now is playing even better than Plekanec away from the puck..just relentless. Extend him now if possible!!DD/Patches combo with Vanek should still work….whatever line Gallagher goes to should work as well as it always has (for the record I do not care if they reunite the Egg line…but would defnitely preferthey slide Gallagher down….either that or play Vanek on a third which I cannot see them doing that but it could work too. Most obvious place is with Pleks/Gio but that is not as logical as it is obvious if that makes any sense….a guy like Vanek will see a significant drop in his offensive numbers if that is where he ends up unless they take over as the starting pp unit.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I think Plex’ line is the best defensive line because Plex is the best centre.

        Give him Vanek and it will be an offensive threat that is also defensively responsible.

        Eller, Moen and Prust as your shutdown.

        Moving. Forward.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Krob and Burl,
        Those are good points, and I hadn’t considered that, but on reflection, I think that Pleks and Gio’s defensive responsibility makes that line the perfect match for Vanek, in that he’ll be looking for attack while the others will have his back.

        Vanek – Briere – Chucky sounds like a Negative Plus-Minus Generator; none of them are particularly good defensively.

        It’ll be interesting.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • krob1000 says:

          I haven’t paid enough attention to Vanek’s game away from the puck…Briere was able to adapt and played well with them in favourable matchups but was often replaced By Moen if not the Habs getting last change because the line then became vulnerable. I am reading in some palces Vanek is not a defensive liability…but I will have to see before I believe it.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I personally think you should set Vanek up to explode! Not help other players get going. Just my opinion. We’ll see what Magic Michel Therrien has in store!

      GO HABS GO

      I am pumped!!!!!

      • Mattyleg says:

        How would he help other players get going with Pleks and Gio? They don’t need help; they’re our #5 and #7 scorers, and Pleks is arguably the best set-up man on the team.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Matty, I just skimmed through your post quickly…that could work!

          What would the 3rd line be in that scenario?

          • Mattyleg says:

            3rd line…

            Put the names in a cup, roll ‘em out, see which ones come up.

            Bourque – Eller – Chucky
            Briere – Eller – Chucky (the ‘C’ line)
            Briere – Eller – Bourque


            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Cool beans…we’ll see Michel “the Magician” Therrien conjures up!

  12. Habs_101 says:

    I know everyone is saying Vanek wants to test free agency etc… but just b/c we can I put together a roster for next season, with all of next years numbers, signing Vanek, Markov AND Subban is all very possible!

    2014-2015 Habs_wVanek
    Thomas Vanek ($7.000m) / Tomas Plekanec ($5.000m) / Daniel Briere ($4.000m)
    Max Pacioretty ($4.500m) / David Desharnais ($3.500m) / Brendan Gallagher ($0.685m)
    Alex Galchenyuk ($0.925m) / Lars Eller ($2.000m) / Sven Andrighetto ($0.633m)
    Brandon Prust ($2.500m) / Michael Bournival ($0.660m) / Rene Bourque ($3.333m)
    Travis Moen ($1.850m) / Ryan White ($0.735m) /
    Jarred Tinordi ($0.870m) / P.K. Subban ($8.000m)
    Andrei Markov ($5.500m) / Alexei Emelin ($4.100m)
    Nathan Beaulieu ($0.925m) / Josh Gorges ($3.900m)
    Greg Pateryn ($0.875m) /
    Carey Price ($6.500m)
    Peter Budaj ($1.400m)
    Tomas Kaberle ($0.000m)
    Scott Gomez ($0.000m)

    SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $69,391,667; BONUSES: $3,374,167
    CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $1,708,333

    This would leave 1.7 mil below the cap, and we would have two expiring contracts at the end of next season (Borque, Briere) which would not be resigned leaving 9.4 million next offseason PLUS the amount the cap rises to give raises to our youngsters! MB (AND HIS STAFF) despite all the criticism have done a great job setting this franchise up to win in the future.

    Also… if the rumors are true, and Vanek is going to Minny in the offseason, there is no reason to think that the habs wont try their best to flip Vanek’s rights for Moulson’s rights prior to July 1 to try to get Moulson under contract (A very realistic plan B) !

    Looking forward to the stretch drive!


  13. jeffhabfan says:

    Huge win from the boys Last night. So far a good road trip lets keep it up and get a win tonight.

  14. Storman says:

    If you ever meet Garth Snow on the street and he ask you if you can break a 20$ dollar bill for him ,, say sure, hand him back two Fives and walk away.

  15. Curtis O Habs says:

    That Beauchemin goal was a set play. He had his head up and knew exactly where he was shooting it. He may not have figured it on going in but knew it would bounce to the front of the net creating havoc.

  16. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Great win last night. Tokarski played well in regulation, did not look too comfortable in the shootout.

  17. petefleet says:

    Welcome Mr. Vanek. Glad to have another scorer on the team! How long has it been since we had 2 offensive dynamos? Damphousse, Bellows, Lebeau, and Muller? Those were the days. We won the cup that year. Not saying that’s what’s going to happen this year but having 2 thirty goal scorers and a good group of young guys like Gallagher and Chucky sure makes you wonder. Price is at the top of his game. PK is dominant in his own right and the general is back there controlling the PP. It does sound good even if it is fantasy.
    I don’t see MT putting him with Pleks and Gionta. That would be a waste of a very good shooter. I do however see him sliding him on Maxes line on the right side and re-uniting Gally with Eller and Chucky. That would make three legitamate scoring lines and a very good 4th line as it is now (White, Moen, Parros, Prust, etc)
    Looking forward to seeing #20 light it up in the last few games and the playoffs.

    “Being on the PP doesn’t make you an offensive threat anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.”
    Henry Ford

    “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
    Abraham Lincoln

    ***Go Habs Go***

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I agree with your line combos as you can see below. The big questions are, will the Habs play an offensive player on the 4th line or not dress someone like Briere? Parros will sit for sure but who also sits between Moen, Bourque, White or Weise? Maybe Bourque sits and Briere plays?

      You’d have to imagine Prust plays if healthy on the 4th line. So that leaves two spots between Briere, Moen, White, Weise, Bournival. Assuming Bourque and Eller are on the top three lines.

  18. Hobie Hansen says:

    I heard Therrien on the radio in an interview say that Vanek can play the left or right side. I’ll be happy regardless of what they decide to do but I’d like to see the lines like this:


    I know Eller and Bourque have been brutal for over a month now but I’d like to see if Eller can get it going again. Bourque also had some success playing with Gionta and Plekanec.

    The 4th line…who knows? I assume Therrien will go with Moen over Weise or White but anything could happen? Maybe Bourque doesn’t play at all? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see?

    Not a horrible problem to have :-).

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The other nice thing to hear is he is going to talk to Vanek before making the lines. Interesting concept for a coach to want to know where his new player is comfortable. Who is this MT and what happened to the one I don’t like? So confused……

    • savethepuck says:

      I too hope the EGG line gets back together with the Vanek acquisition. Although it could be Gally getting his nose dirty going to the dirty areas that is making the DD line so successful right now. We’ll see, but looking forward to see what happens. Vanek could also play the left with Plex and Gio but I’m not sure he has the defensive tools to be on that line when they are used in a shut down role.

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

  19. Mondou6 says:

    I bailed in the second period when it was 2-2 off that fluke goal.

    I was getting royally pissed at the endless calls against us. I think the Ducks had 5 PP at the time, and then Gionta gets tackled on a 2-on-1 break and no call. WTF?

    Did the parade to the box continue for the rest of the game?

  20. Maritime Ronn says:

    Just to clear up some of the stuff concerning Vanek left side/right side…
    Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) — Lindy Ruff always thought Thomas Vanek was sometimes better on the right wing.
    Vanek would disagree…

    Vanek will play anywhere, but he doesn’t have to like it, “We’ll see. I guess I’m playing the right as of right now which is something new for me so I guess I’ve got to worry about myself right now.”

    It is an adjustment and as far as if he cares Vanek said, “I have to be open to it. If I had a choice I’d rather play the left because it’s what I’ve always played….


    • Cal says:

      It’s the same story with Bourque. He’s played the right side everywhere else, where his strength is. Comes to Montreal and gets slotted on the left side. Effing stupid. Use the players where they are strongest OR believe in their heads that that is where they play better. Makes for a more confident, and less hesitant, team.

  21. savethepuck says:

    Great hockey game last night. It’s too bad I “have to admit this team is not a contender” or I would be enjoying the victory more 😉 The kid Tokarski did very well last night. A BS stanchion goal, or Habs may of won in regulation.

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

    • I’ll admit with 40 plus shots on goal, Tokarski did very well, although with his pads going back and forth as his skates went pole to pole on the penalty shots, he looked very junior. Very happy for him though, must have been a huge monkey off of his back.

      I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

      • CJ says:

        It’s not pretty. He’s a fighter. Tonight is exactly what I’ve seen going back to the WJC in Ottawa. He battles. He is small and plays small, crouching and staying deep in his net. He is a great reactionary goaltender, unfortunately sometimes it’s the result of forcing to adjust to an angle because he has lost his net. On two shoot out goals he was about six inches committed to his left hand side. Created a very inviting target on the right side. Likewise, he was leaky on the third goal. That said, he didn’t quit and earned full marks for getting a win on the road, against one of the best teams in the league.

  22. Storman says:

    Pierre McGuire says on Toronto radio zero chance Vanek re-signs with Montreal, Caillou on the loose giving us his ickiest hockey intake..

    • Habfan17 says:

      That isn’t what he said in Ottawa. It was more like, If he plays like he did in the Olympics, the fans will let him have it and they may not want to resign him. If he plays like he did for most of the season in Buffalo and N.Y, he should do well. I don’t recall if he commented on the likelihood that he would resign.


      • Storman says:

        I just heard him say exactly that on the phone with Mike Richards on TSN1050, not sure what story he pooped out of his mouth in Ottawa..I am sure he will say something different with Melnick as well

      • CJ says:

        Steve, I’ve heard him say completely different things on tsn 1200 and tsn 690 in the same day. Although I do acknowledge that there is a low probability of him resigning, let’s cross that bridge down the road. If push comes to shove, Montreal now holds the trump card in that they are able to offer the 8th year. Minnesota or anyone else can only do a seven year deal. That’s something that shouldn’t be discounted.

        • Habfan17 says:

          Hey CJ, my apologies, did you tell me your name is Jim! I sometimes have trouble with names…lol

          The pre game Sens show was better. I believe it was Murray Wilson who compared the Vanek situation to Kovalev, who also did not plan on staying in Montrea. He said that once Vanek experiences the excitement of the Bell centre, especially when he scores and they win, he may be won over like Kovalev was. Also with the culture of the city!.. Although with Marois calling an election!!!!


    • stephen says:

      Don’t you realize that McGuire has the inside track because he once stood behind the mother of Vanek’s mechanic in line at Timmie’s?

      Not to mention the fact that he espouses his opinion really loudly. That makes it true. I think. Right?

    • Cal says:

      He’s no Caillou. He’s a coconut-headed git.
      Hurts my ears to hear him talking through his arse all the time.

  23. Maritime Ronn says:

    Here are some further conditions in the Vanek trade.
    Almost hard to believe….
    Sorry if they have already been posted

    Draft Pick Conditions:
    IF Montreal makes the playoffs, only then do they give up a 2nd Round pick…BUT the Islanders will send back to the Canadiens a 5th Round Pick.
    IF the Habs don’t make the playoffs, the Habs keep their 2nd Round pick and the Islanders keep their own 5th round pick.

    So in essence, the 5th round pick the Habs gave up to Florida for Mike Weaver, most probably will be replaced by a better 5th round pick obtained from the Islanders.

    • stephen says:

      Thanks for clearing that up, Ronn.

      Hard not to be chuffed with the job Bergevin (and his team) did at the deadline, especially considering the difficult family situation he was dealing with.

      Bravo Bergevin!

    • CJ says:

      Absolutely. He is a head scratcher of a deal from the Isles prospective. I’m assuming he signs elsewhere, but even as a rental it seems like an astute move for Montreal. If nothing else, it shows both the players inside the room and around the league that the Canadiens are serious about winning and have a management team committed to a common goal.

      Bergevin has taken a great deal of heat, some of it from me. That said, they are creating a culture that is focused on winning and are building with an eye on the short term (now), while not drawing against the future.

      The defence is still suspect, but the team is significantly better today then it was at this same point last season.

      • Habfan17 says:

        In the end, the trade is pretty much Moulson a first and a second for Collberg and a second, I would think the Habs will make it. During the Sens pre game radio show Murray Wilson and others were saying that if Snow worked for any other team, he would be fired. They also said the two most inept teams over the last two years from a management perspective are the Islanders and Canucks! How did Gillis mess up sooooo much!!Snow I get, he has been doing it for a while, like Milbury before him.


  24. Marc10 says:

    Assuming the DD line stays put as it’s firing on all cylinders right now… You need to slot #20 with a play making center. That leaves you with Pleky or Danny B. From what the talking heads on the radio are saying, Vanek will shoot every time he gets it.

    Nice puzzle for the coaches to figure out. One thing is for sure. He’s on the PP.

  25. Hstands4Hockey says:

    Who would you rather have on the ice against the other teams top line?


    As scary as the twin tower can be sometimes, they’re a huge upgrade over our season’s starting 5/6 combo.
    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!

    • CJ says:

      I still can’t believe how upset some people were at the loss of Diaz. Was their a quieter deal on deadline day than the Canucks flipping him for a fifth round pick? My guess, he’s playing in Switzerland within 2 years.

      But hey, he had an amazing corsi fenwick

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi CJ
        Too bad there isn’t a stat for the reaction of ‘ deer caught in the headlights’ when the going gets rough and tough…

        • CJ says:

          You bet. Tinordi and Murray are not without faults, but they keep the opposition honest. I don’t often see anyone hanging around our net following a whistle. That’s a huge change. In the past it looked like a bus stop on Younge st at 5:00 pm.

    • CJ says:

      Huge upgrade both literally and physically.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Not even close: Tinordi/Murray

    • Le Jadester says:

      Not even close in my mind anyways.
      I’ve always like Murray and think Tinordi should be up along with Beaulieu too….but then we get into Roster issues ?
      I thought the Toker was great last nite !

      Good times right now in Hab land.
      Can’t wait to see how Vanek works out with us !

      Habs, OLE !

  26. Vanek – Galchenyuk – Briere as 3rd line/PP TO BOOT!!

  27. Maritime Ronn, Vanek plays LW instead of RW? Ouch!! The Habs have to many small RW players. Hoping Vanek moves to the right side? Interesting times ahead for sure!!

  28. punkster says:

    OK, I have to admit it…I fell asleep when it was 3-2 Ducks.

    No problem, says me, I pvr’d the game on both TSN and RDS… AND remembered to program the shows following each…I’ll just run through them this morning over a nice cup of fresh brewed…

    …what?…WHAT?????…the shootout went on how long?

    Yep…both recordings stopped during the shootout review of that Ducks no goal and I missed the Markov winner.

    Lesson learned…never let the elderly loose around modern technology.

    (how about that Markov, eh?)

    Release the Subbang!!!

    • Habitforming says:

      You did well. My Pvr stopped with 6:21 left and the Ducks on the PP.

      I went to TSN to watch the highlights and all they showed of the shootout was Markovs winner. Its like they were paying by the second for game film. Just awful

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      never let the elderly loose around modern technology

      Great line!

    • Paz says:

      Hahaha! I admit that’s happened to me at least twice that I can remember.

      Although I can’t remember what I had for breakfast an hour ago!

      Thankfully I have people around me to remind me how forgetful I’ve become.

    • BriPro says:

      It’s happened to me too, which is why I also PVR the show after, for just that reason.
      Besides, if it doesn’t go over, I can accumulate a selection of fishing shows.

    • Luke says:

      I have an option when selecting the show I want to record to “end the recording x amount of time late.”

      I always choose end 1 minute late for a TV show, and an hour late for a live game.

  29. Habitforming says:

    So Gorges has a broken hand. I assume Weaver draws into Josh’s spot now?

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Weaver trade looking pretty good now.

    • CJ says:

      I wonder if that happened against the Leafs on Saturday night? First I’m hearing about it. I remember him blocking a shot and then getting treatment. If that’s the case it was a very good move that cost very little.

      • stephen says:

        This is the same Gorges who takes an inordinate amount of flack around here.

        Gets his hand busted up on Saturday (blocking yet another shot) and still plays an effective game last night.

        Once some of his vulturous critics start standing in front of 100 mile an hour shots, I might give their whinging some consideration.

        • CJ says:

          If Gorges was on the third pairing he would be regarded as one of the best, at that position, in the league. His work on the PK is amazing. He doesn’t contribute offensively, or extend zone time as he almost always gets back to avoid getting beaten on the rush. I’m very curious to see how Weaver slots in.

  30. GL says:

    We brought Vanek in for scoring reasons lets use him as such. Put him with two players I don’t care who they are where he can do what he does best. Score Goals. You don’t put a Goal scorer on a shut down line. Do that and for sure he won’t want to re-sign with the Habs.

  31. Maritime Ronn says:

    Re Vanek, it’s going to be very interesting as to how he will be slotted in.

    He is a Right hand shot that plays Left Wing, and through the years has been vocal about his own preference of being on the Left Side.

    Then there is the question on Time on Ice.
    Here is a guy that plays about 20 minutes per game, and plays – probably expects, to be on the 1st Unit Power Play ( That’s Max’s spot!)

    So what happens on the Power Play?
    Does Gallagher get bumped?
    Does Coach MT start the PP with Plex-Gio-Vanek…and that won’t make Max very happy?

    As for Vanek-Briere and their time in Buffalo, I believe they were very rarely on the same line during the time they played together in Buffalo from 05-07.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Yes, Vanek played on a line with Roy and Max Afinogenov.

      I’m not even going to bother guessing PP time, but 5 on 5 I’ll say:

      Vanek – Pleks – Gio*
      Max – DD – Gally
      Chucky – Eller – Bourque
      Moen** – Briere – Prust

      Alternative 3rd and 4th (in: White, out: Bourque):
      Chucky – Eller – Briere
      Moen – White – Prust

      * MT likes Plek/Gio, and won’t reduce Gio’s TOI
      ** MT loves Moen’s defensive play

    • BriPro says:

      Good morning Ron. Not trying to contradict you, but the guys on RDS were saying last night that the two played together quite a bit in Buffalo and were very effective.

  32. Laramy87 says:

    So Tokarski can play. I think Tampa brought him up to early, the sitting in the minors and playing his way onto the AHL all-star team and have great numbers (with a struggling team in Hamilton) really helped him.
    Does this make Budaj expendable? I feel like in the summer he may be quite enticing for a team looking for a solid backup and have Tokarksi back up Price.

    Another thought who makes up this stupid schedule. Have habs play on the west coast (3 hr time change from home) go onto to Phoenix (which is in a different time zone) then head back to California again with a time change. Why not play 3 in a row in California then change time zones. Meh, i guess i cant complain as western teams do it countless times a year.

    • CJ says:

      No, I don’t think Budaj is expendable. He is signed next year to a cap friendly deal ($1.4 million). I think Robert Mayer is finished. I haven’t seen enough consistency to keep him around. Tokarski is an RFA, so he should be back. Dubnyk is a UFA, so I’m not sure that he will be in the fold next season. He will be playing for a contract now, so hopefully he gets the net in Hamilton and helps solidify the position.

  33. Line combinations for tonight’s game in Pho? Pick and chooseasS its interesting times for coach MT.

    Bourque/Moen- Plekanec- Gionta = Shut down line

    Pacioretty- Desharnais- Gallagher = Producing line

    Galchenyuk – Briere – Vanek = Work in progress line

    Bourque/Moen – White/Eller – Weise Crash & bang line

    Markov – Subban

    Emelin – Weaver/Gorges

    Tinordi – Murray

  34. Psycho29 says:

    Good Morning to everyone in Habs land!
    A great win (even though I only made it to the second period!)
    I was scared to look at the score this morning after s’crotchland predicted the worse lose ever,,,blah blah blah.
    As his favorite Hab Rah-Rah would say, “cmon boys, lets keep going, don’t give up…lets take 2 in pheenix and san josie! yayyyyyy habs!”

  35. BriPro says:

    Good morning everyone! Sorry I’m coming in late, but stayed up to watch the sow,’till 1:07am.
    Sleep is at a premium this week.

    What a great game. Our third-string goalie was very impressive. He might want the thirds Ducks goal back, but aside from that, his play was very good. I didn’t keep the tv on long enough to see if he was a star but he certainly deserved it. I felt bad for him on that stanchion-deflected goal. His face said it all.

    Gallagher….what can we say about him that hasn’t already? The kid is unbelievable.

    The future is looking very good people, and if Eller can come back energized I thing we,should do just fine, and beyond a first series these coming playoffs.

    You heard it here first!

    • CJ says:

      Long week for sure. Two more to go. A bit of a break with an earlier start tonight. Being tired and sick is manageable, especially following a win.

      • BriPro says:

        Given it’s two in a row, I’m hoping Plex won’t be too tired with all the time he spent killing penalties.

        • CJ says:

          A win tonight would be huge. It would guarantee at least four points during this four game roadie. Additionally, sounds like a number of forum members will be going. It would be nice to give them a chance to cheer.

  36. GL says:

    I’m not gonna get too hyped over Vanek because I don’t see him wearing a Habs Jersey next year. I’m glad we got him. He will make the Habs better for sure and who knows what we can do in the playoffs. Anyway a rental is a rental if he signs with us in the off season it will be great if he doesn’t we never gained or lost anything so everyone should enjoy the moment and hope we do good in the playoffs …. The team has just gotten better.

    • Paz says:

      In 9 seasons Vanek’s teams have played in 36 playoff games.

      26 of those 36 games were played in 2 seasons, both in Buffalo with Daniel Briere. Vanek scored 8 goals during those two playoffs and added 25 and 43 during the regular season.

      Vanek’s career was launched those two seasons with Briere leading the way in Buffalo.

      I think if the Habs can win one or two playoff rounds he might sign.

  37. Plekasuares says:

    I don’t see MT changing the first line as they have scored alot. Most likely we see Vanek with Plekanec, Gio (Galchenyuk here would be nice)

  38. Maritime Ronn says:

    oldschoolhockey says:
    …..As for all the good feelings and benefit of the doubt on coaching, I won’t buy it. I can’t forget the miserable stretch we had in Dec. through to January when everyone was screaming, not just suggesting MT should be fired.
    Good morning

    If the “Everyone” you mention are the players – that the players have given up on the coach (see Claude Noel-Winnipeg), then Coach MT has a problem…. which doesn’t appear to be the case.

    There will be stretches where all teams fall into a funk.
    Take the reigning, powerful Cup champs Chicago. and Coach Quennville who is said to be one of the best in the NHL.

    They also had some mini-problematic stretches this year.
    In January, they went 5 games winning only 1 in regulation.
    In another January stretch, they played another 4 games and did not win in regulation.
    Their last 4 games shows a record of 1-3-0.

    Ultimately, it’s the players that will decide the end to a coach.

    In the meantime, I defer to Super Bowl winning Coach Bill Parcells who coined the phrase:
    ” You Are What Your Record Says You Are.”

    Coach Therrien record with the Habs?

  39. Plekasuares says:


    I’m fine with whatever though.

  40. JUST ME says:

    And they actually helped Anaheim make it look close ! 10 of the first 30 minutes in the penalty box will do that to you. It broke their rythm so many times but they still came back and managed to get out of there with the 2 points.
    They have been playing with energy lately and if you add a talented guy like Vanek it should be fun !

    Another walk in the desert for Emelin. Cannot believe how a guy can go from so solid to so clumsy like that. It`s awkward. Otherwise a good team effort.

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Hard to be a Hab fan today and not have a smile on one’s face. Exciting. I do realize many teams have in the past picked up a high end rental only to have nothing come of it, I hope we break that trend.

  42. Paz says:

    If Vanek plays with Plekanec his 5 on 5 scoring will be hurt by defensive responsibilities. You don’t score many 5 on 5 goals when your playing with the team’s shut down center.

    Vanek is going to start on the line with Briere at center, and not with Plekanec.

    Briere and Vanek were excellent together in Buffalo.

    Eller is now competing against Bourque for the left wing position on that line, I would guess, and whoever clicks with Briere and Vanek will stay in the lineup.

    Not the way others see it, I know, as they believe Vanek should be next to Plekanec, and they may be right.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      My first line suggestion after trade was actually Vanek with DD and Max, reunite the Egg line and let Briere play with Plex and Gio.

      But if Briere and Vanek have history that should be used, and I agree don’t put him with Plex and Gio, that is our shut down line and Vanek is not there to shutdown anyone, nor should he be asked to do so, it isn’t what he does.

      • Paz says:

        I don’t think anything will change the Desharnais line because they’ve carried us. But I like the way you think!

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        I don’t think that line is the same at all with Vanek. Watching Gallagher, it’s insane how much he creates out there through turnovers forced, battles won and drawing attention from D.


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

  43. Good Morning All.

    First of all. My prayers goes out to The Bozon’s Family. Get Well Tim!!

    Didn’t expect a Habs win last night. WOW!! Its nice to wakeup to hear Habs Won in a shootout. Woopee!! Big 2 points indeed!!

    Wondering where Vanek is going to play on what line? Cannot see Vanek on a defensive line of Plekanec and Gionta? Maybe Vanek might start on 3rd line tonight perhaps? MT has assets to make a very well balance lines going down the stretch. Decisions!! Decisions!!

    When the Habs gets healthy it makes for very interesting decisions on who will play on what lines and who will sit? Its nice to look at its roster the Habs have going into a playoff run. What will the lines be like going forward? Interesting times ahead!!

    Go Habs Go!!

  44. Steeltown Hab says:

    Would hate to do this to Plekanec but I’m confident this would be our most dominant top 9:

    Pacioretty – Davey – Gallagher
    Bournival – Plekanec – Gionta
    Galchenyuk – Eller – Vanek

    2 legitimately high skilled scoring lines. Than add Plekanec line, each guy is fast, high-end 2-way guys and have shown really strong chemistry this year.


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

  45. geo_habsgo says:

    I know line combos aren’t popular around here these days but part of the the Vanek deal stipulates that HIO is allowed to dream again so here goes:

    Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher

    Vanek – Galchenyuk/Briere – Briere/Galchenyuk

    Eller – Plekanek – Gionta

    Weisse – White – Prust/Moen

    Subban – Markov

    Tinordi – Gorges

    Murray – Emelin

    Mostly just want to see Vanek play on a line with Galchenyuk. I want to see if Chucky can raise his game when playing with top talent. I think Briere would also be a good player on that line if we wanna use Vanek in a bit of a sniper role.

    I kind of like the D corps actually.

    Tear it apart 🙂 Good morning all!

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Eller isn’t a winger. Agree with Vanek with Galchenyuk though.


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

  46. third generation haber says:

    Happy to get Vanek, and not big on Colberg after his sub-par year, but I find it hard to believe that Garth Snow wouldn’t have taken Bourque and a pick for Vanek. The Isles often need help getting to the cap floor and having Bourque locked-in for a few years, and able to help immediately, seems good for the Isles.

    When Prust and Bournival come back, won’t we have too many forwards anyway? I wish he had offered Bourque.

    j.p. murray

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      I’ll betcha he did.

      If Bourque goes in and plays as he has for the Habs, the fans lynch Garth Snow within three weeks. If Collberg doesn’t pan out, it’s three years from now and butts are covered. Taking Bourque into that context would be suicide, and Snow is probably close to Hockey Night in Canada as is.

  47. Does anyone have any comment on how PK played? There’s been some concern about his play lately and I’d hate for him to be in a long slump…

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  48. Phew! Woke up to see a minor miracle in a Habs win. Sounds like a fun game, but another blown 2 goal lead.

    As for all the good feelings and benefit of the doubt on coaching, I won’t buy it. I can’t forget the miserable stretch we had in Dec. through to January when everyone was screaming, not just suggesting MT should be fired.

    Why we perform better against top teams and drop games to Calgary, Buffalo, Florida, etc… I can’t say, but as it is, we are not as bad or as good as people think. Still a ways to go, but the morning was made better by the win and the sleep came easy thanks to the early gift MB provided in Vanek at least through the end of the season. Must have been on the phone at the wake in Chicago.

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

  49. Lafleurguy says:

    Briere, 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres NHL 81 32 63 95
    Vanek, 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres NHL 82 43 41 84
    Sabres were the no. 1 seed with 113 points that year; lost 4-1 to the Senators in the ECFinals.
    Someone is going to get a sound-byte of no. 48 talkin’ ’bout no. 20, n’est-ce pas? Too soon? Too late?

  50. Cal says:

    Habs pull another W out of their bag of tricks. Tokarski looked really good.
    Goal of the game: DD crashing the net and Moen taking out 2 Ducks as Gally fished it out and rifled it upstairs to tie it a mere minute after the Ducks scored the go ahead goal. If not for a lucky stanchion bounce, Habs would have won in regulation.
    Good stuff, with more to come! 🙂

  51. Lafleurguy says:

    P.K. looked the most jubilant after Markie Markov’s shoot-out winner. It’s a good thing. Tiny had a bad giveaway in the first, no harm no foul.
    Yemelin (how it was spelt on his Olympics jersey) made a bad challenge at the offensive blue-line, and was oh-so easy to get around on the Ducks’ third goal. Hope he finds his “A” game soon. Habs won with two of their best players unavailable, 31, 20.

  52. 24 Cups says:

    I find it fascinating how the Habs always seem to win games that appear to be a slam dunk for the other teams that are in the elite class of the NHL.

    Maybe some of the things that we have worried about the past few months should be put to rest. Therrien is a decent coach and still certainly appears to have the room. Older players such as Gionta and Briere may not be part of the future but they are warming up to the task when it counts the most. The defense may not appear that great on paper as a unit but they still manage to get things done. I also truly believe that people will be pleased with what Weaver brings. He should benefit from moving to a playoff contender after having to soldier on with a deadbeat team like Florida. All of this has been accomplished without Prust who right now is the forgotten man. His eventual return and a bounce back by young players such as Eller, Galchenyuk and Emelin can only add to the overall team dynamic.

    Lastly, the team has struggled through and held their own without their best player in the line-up. It would have been so easy for the Habs to go in a tailspin and attribute it to the fact that Carey Price was on the shelf. Maybe that says more about the team than anything else.

    • Marc10 says:

      This team did what it needed to do during the season to get to this point and allow MB to go out and bring in a clear Top 6 winger. The consistency in their play (overall), especially their high compete level against top teams, is commendable… and yes, the coaches absolutely deserve some credit.

      Look at the Walrus down in Ottawa and how his team has gone this year. They surprised a lot of folks last year, but are not looking crash hot now. Meanwhile up in Montreal, a team that should be struggling to make the show, just pimped up its ride for the stretch drive.

      Bottom line, it’s not easy to succeed in this league. There’s got to be something in the water MB and MT are serving, and I think the players are lapping it up. Let’s hope that continues. I’d really like to buy a last minute ticket to Montreal in late May.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      This post is full of golden nuggets. Lots of things to consider indeed and end of day, maybe this team is closer than I thought they were.

  53. DipsyDoodler says:

    Good morning all.

    Hockey smells of freshly mown grass this morning.

    Moving. Forward.

  54. DipsyDoodler says:

    Just for fun, I went to the Yotes website to see if there were tickets for tonight’s game.

    Two tickets in the lower bowl, plus two Coors Lights, for $99. No service charge.

    Yes, hockey sure is thriving in the desert.

    Moving. Forward.

    • CJ says:

      My in laws mentioned that tickets were actually quite pricey on the secondary market. Not sure where my father in law looked, but he said $320 for lower bowl, but only $20 for upper bowl. I’m going to shoot him a message now to check out the website.

      Imagine that, buying tickets from the team website? Not happening in Montreal or Toronto unless you get lucky and find a single seat, which is generally a platinum.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        The Coyotes have to offer free beer to get fans to the game.

        And even that isn’t enough.

        Moving. Forward.

        • shootdapuck says:

          Beer, Nah it’s sponsored by local microbrewery or restaurants!
          Been to a few games this year attendance has been OK!
          Got to remember the Habs or eastern teams hold little cachet there compared to LA SJ St Louis Chicago!
          Snowbirds from Western Canada and Eastern US supply the walk up crowds when east teams are in town!

          The cranial flatulence of PJ Stock:

          “On peut play cette game tres simplement”
          “Le game est tous de hard work”
          ” I have a pet peeve”

        • CJ says:

          We’ve been to jobbing.com arena. Very, very nice place. Glendale is about an hour’s drive across town for the parents house in Mesa. It’s right beside the University of Phoenix stadium where the cardinals play. We went to a bar/restaurant before the game. All appetizers were half price and Dos Equis beer was $2 a bottle. I paid $40 to a 15 year old kid for four tickets in the 300 level.

          • habsfaninphx says:

            I have my tix for the game tonight. Been waiting two years for it. Will be even better to see Vanek’s debut.

            When considering attendance remember there are probably ten spring training games going on today where people just hang out in 70 degree sunshine all afternoon. Also the Suns play OKC here tonight so there’s alot of competition for the sports dollar.

            I sure wish Price would play tonight though.

          • CJ says:

            We’ve visited in March once when catus league call was underway. You are right about lots of competing sports interests. Love the golf in the area.

  55. Habfan10912 says:

    Message from Bergevin yesterday to the players yestetday.
    “We believe in you.”

    Morning all. Back to the stairmaster.

  56. I have seen the light says:

    Onward and upward!

  57. Lafleurguy says:

    Breakthrough yesterday and actually, the whole season. Comparing last year’s roster in March, this is a whole lot stronger team with Vanek and Briere instead of Ryder and Halpern. If Vanek was held by Buffalo until the trade deadline, no way he moves for Collberg and a second. Not really a down note to say the Habs will almost certainly give up the second.

  58. Habfan17 says:

    I am glad they did win last night! Since they are going all in, might as well win as many as possible, even if they aren’t pretty!

    At this point, I would wait to decide to sign Markov until after the play offs. See how he does. No rush now!

    I didn’t see the game. Did anyone see the game? How did Weaver do?


    • Marc10 says:

      Weaver didn’t dress. He might get the chance in Phoenix.

      Entertaining game. It wasn’t always pretty, but Les Boys led by the DD line, and the Honey Badger in particular, got it to OT for a fun shootout win.

      The Ducks are really good. Deep lineup. The Habs aren’t there, but they’re getting closer at the right time.

  59. habs001 says:

    7 out of 10 points last 5 games is very good for the regular season…but none of those points in regulation time…This is why the acquisition of Vanek is huge…..in the playoffs if you are constantly going into overtime it can go right for you but just as easily you can be elliminated very fast… it would also be good if one of the under performing forwards had a little scoring streak in the playoffs…If the last 5 games were playoff games the Habs would be down 2 games to 1 and waiting on the 2 s/o games…so the last 5 games look great for the regular season but if it was playoffs the Habs could have been beaten 4 games to 1 …

    • athanor says:

      Why do you assume they lose the two shootout games?
      If you look at who scored first in the shootout (equating, if imprecisely, to scoring first in playoff overtime), they would be down 3 games to 2.
      (Pittsburgh didn’t score a goal in that shootout, and Anaheim went first, scoring. But they also had first crack. Given that Chucky didn’t score on Habs’ first shot, that one goes to Anaheim.)

  60. CJ says:

    Good morning friends!

    Four and a half hours later….. Wow, feeling wiped. Duty calls, so up I get. As noted last night, two things really matter; firstly, we got the win. Secondly, we are now 3-1-1 five games into this brutal 10 game segment.

    My in-laws left yesterday for Phoenix where they have a winter home (Mesa). My father in law has looked into tickets tonight and I’m hoping they are able to go. Looking forward to seeing Vanek and Weaver tonight and the adjustments the coaching staff make with our lines to accommodate the acquisitions.

    Again, as a new day dons my thoughts drift to Tim Bozon who’s condition I hope turns for the better. Get well young man.

    Have a great day everyone! Cheers, CJ

  61. habsguru says:

    Glad they pulled that off for a goalie that stood on his head and deserved the win. 2 points from the top team in the league, and a week ago some posters were talking tank. Crow for dinner guys?

  62. Marc10 says:

    Good suggestion Johnny. I’m going to enjoy it.


  63. johnnylarue says:

    Zany, zany game.

    That completely out-of-the-blue return to post-2004-lockout refereeing was a bit jarring. Regardless of who the calls favoured, ‘WhistleFest 2014′ stands out to me as a scar on an otherwise solidly played and very entertaining hockey game.

    The Ducks are fun to watch–I appreciate that they prefer to win games by scoring goals rather than merely preventing them (hello LA Kings), and I also enjoyed seeing them create scoring chances off of calculated dump-ins and tight forechecking. (Which is a total novelty for me as a Canadiens fan.)

    That said, I suspect they have a higher gear which we only saw glimpses of tonight–I can see how dealing with Perry/Getzlaf over a best-of-7 could get excruciating, to put it mildly–but I’m giving full credit to the Habs for handing the Ducks two losses in a season which has seen them lose a total of 20 games out of 63. (Hey, that’s 10% of the Ducks’ total losses!)

    And yes, like many of you, I had a “WHY, GOD!!!!!” moment when Patches got his shoulder smashed by Beauchemin. Having Vanek and Max on two lines, with Galchenyuk + Eller + Briere playing sheltered third line minutes again, at least on paper gives us the sort of balanced attack I’ve been dreaming of for years. We’re still a ways off from being the Chicago Blackhawks, but so long as the team can stay healthy, the Habs are actually looking surprisingly legitimate all of a sudden.

    Listen, I’m not gonna say we’re proverbial “contenders”–this team still has the potential to turn into an absolute mess on the ice from one shift to the next–but probably for the first time this season I’m genuinely interested in seeing how far this lineup can actually get.

    Right now, right this moment, is a GOOD time to be a Habs fan.

    Suggestion: enjoy it. 😉

  64. rmaclean says:

    Tis a good day to be a Habs fan.

  65. rhino514 says:

    To me, the Vanek pick-up makes sense for one reason and one reason only: It will give us a picture of how well some of our players with offensive potential can play within a stacked lineup. It can also free up the Pacioretty line to be even more productive.
    Obviously if Vanek is placed alongside Plekanec and Gionta, their offensive production will increase (Btw, everyone noticing that Gionta starts to produce more frequently come crunch-time, again with another key goal last night?)
    But I would not do this. MT has made a believe out of em with Pleks and Gio as a semi-defensive line.
    I would actually place Vanek alongside Eller. Yes, Eller.
    A player like Vanek is almost guaranteed to get a slumping player with offensive potential going.
    Think about it: with Vanek-Pleks-Gio the habs would lose their best shutdown line, and offensively it would produce , but it would not be explosive IMO. With Eller, it´s a gamble, but that line would have more chance to be explosive than the above line….especially if you play Galchenyuk alongside them (they could also play Briere on the right side and Vanek on the left) Then the habs have 3 real good lines.
    The chances of Vanek re-signing are real slim anyways, and they will not break up the Pacioretty line anyways, so use him in the way it can most benefit the team at present.
    And if Eller gets out of the funk, we will have a very explosive team.
    In this way, the team can gauge if having a sniper like Vanek has a synergistic effect on the rest of our bubble offensive players. In the off-season, Bergevin can try and tackle a replacement for Vanek more aggressively knowing this.
    The consensus is they got Vanek cheap; I still wouldn´t have gotten a rental for Collberg and a second rounder. But if we learn something about our team, i.e. that we are only a good sniper away from having a contender, then the trade has value.

  66. BigB says:

    Nice game! Obviously there’s lots of room to improve still, but loved beating the best team in the league.

    Can’t wait to see my beloved Habs for the first time this season when they’re right here in Phoenix!

    Habs forever!

  67. Lil Snapper says:

    Trying like hell to go to the game Saturday, damn these prices!!

    • CJ says:

      My father in law mentioned that on the secondary ticket markets, seats in the lower bowl for the Coyotes Habs game tonight start at $320. Upper bowl tickets can be had for $20.

  68. Un Canadien errant says:

    The headmaster delivers! Great that Mr. Boone stayed up with us West Coast denizens, but totally worth it, compared to Monday’s sedate offering.

    How about Markie, still a Canadien, still delivering. And again, a thrilling shootout, wildly entertaining. For those who insist that it is merely a skills contest, I’ll agree that it was, and what skills were displayed. Much better than a tie, or another period of Corey Perry taking two-handed axe chops at our best players’ hands. Maybe the naysayers would like a hooking and slashing competition instead?

    Dustin Tokarksi wasn’t as cool and composed as Carey usually is, but he battled, Dan Cloutier-style, and hung on for a deserved win.

    Wolverine was, uh, Wolverine again, his shoulder injury looked bad, I thought we’d gained Thomas Vanek but immediately lost Max, but not to worry, he regrew a rotator cuff while drinking a sports drink, and returned to action, all smiles on the bench when the third period started. He was the most dangerous of the Habs again tonight.

    And what about Michel Therrien? I don’t suppose this, or really anything at all, will be enough to silence the critics, but last season he’d make decisions that were open to debate, but proved inspired after the fact. This season his hot streak cooled, but tonight he played his backup backup goalie, and his roll of the dice came up sevens.

    The thinking before the road trip was that since the Canadiens won five of six points after the Olympic break, getting three or four points on this four-game stint would be satisfactory. The two points tonight are an unexpected surprise, and a good start to coming back at least with a .500 record against three of the four toughest teams in the league.

    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige


  69. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    I was, initially, very critical of D. Murray, likening his skating to watching a cruise ship manoeuvre. But I’ve become a fan. He works damn hard, and has no fear. I’ll be disappointed if Weaver ends up replacing him. I’m still a bit mystified by that signing.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • Timo says:

      Perhpas Weaver is the dmen backup. Give guys like Murray or (hopefully) Gorges a rest once in a while. Tiny is really coming around and Habs should continue to ride that wave. So for once I agree with Boone… sitting Murray tomorrow may not be a bad thing… although I’d rather Gorges.

    • Storman says:

      I was astonished to think someone who skates as bad as Murray could play in the NHL, but his heart, shot blocking, PK ability, toughness compete level, team builder in the room and on the bench has won me over… I do wish he would be a little more careful or attentive to his shifts times as with his enormous size he seems to lose what legs he has about 45 seconds into his shifts, and then battles and relies on his heart until he can get off,, has to be careful with being caught on the ice to long there big fella..

  70. rogieshan says:

    The second power-play unit has been dreadful all season, especially with the back-end pairing of Emelin & Gorges. Wish the team could find room for a specialist like Beaulieu.

  71. Dunboyne Mike says:

    So is there any valium left anywhere near where each of you lives?

    Good morning, all. Couldn’t watch, looked like full value. Looking forward to reading your views later. Fair play to Mike B for the late-night ALN. One more to go.

    We complain about HNIC. If you watch the game highlights at NHL.com, notice how the amateur richard-heads covering for “Prime Ticket Ducks” are ALWAYS talking about something else at the moment someone scores, and never about the hockey leading up to it. They must import them from baseball.

    Off to school. Have a good one all. TV collecting his new jersey sometime today….

  72. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …before I go, here is an interesting story in case You’re interested: http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/NYIslanders/2014/02/27/21499381.html

    ‘IOC to compensate Islanders for John Tavares injury’

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      Post Script: …Boone, You’re a real trooper to also get ALN out at 2:00 AM in the morning

    • Storman says:

      Thanks for that Tid bit and link on Olympic committee paying Tavares salary..

    • shootdapuck says:

      Chris, believe the money comes from the contentious player insurance!
      Just a thought!
      Martial law hasn’t been fun!

      The cranial flatulence of PJ Stock:

      “On peut play cette game tres simplement”
      “Le game est tous de hard work”
      ” I have a pet peeve”

  73. thorandresson says:

    Anyone hear about Parros’ tweet earlier today in reference to Vanek, heard about it on L’AC and they said it got taken down, curious what he said

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Something about “Thomas Vanek won’t be here next season,” or words to that effect. Odd. Professional athletes or politicians should install a delay feature on Twitter, giving them three hours to re-think their posts before they actually go out.

  74. rogieshan says:


  75. Congrats to Team Canada says:


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