About last night …

BudajPhoenix

A win in San Jose Saturday will give the Canadiens four of a possible eight points on their most gruelling road trip of the season.
The Sharks are 23-4-4 at the HP Pavillion, where they got four third-period goals to beat Pittsburgh Thursday night..
But hey, Anaheim were 24-5-2 on home ice until your Montreal Canadiens came to the Honda Center.
The Wednesday win in Anaheim, however, may have left the victors without a whole lot left in the tank.

By the time they got to Phoenix, it was a 3 o’clock hotel check-in Thursday morning. The road-weary Canadiens – playing their third game in four nights –  were on the ice at the Jobing.com Arena 16 hours later.

Tomas Plekanec played almost 26 minutes in Anaheim. That’s a lot for a smallish 32-year-old who captained his national team in Sochi.

Plekanec went 5-10 in the faceoff circle against Phoenix. He didn’t register a shot on goal.

Pleks’s new linemate, Thomas Vanek, had one shot – as did his old linemate, Brian Gionta. The newly configured line did not unduly trouble the Coyotes’ defence or goaltender Mike Smith.

But let’s cut them some slack. The Canadiens were playing their third game in four nights. They will have Friday to recharge before venturing into the Shark tank.

Despite new forward lines, new defence pairings and a dreadful first period in which they were outshot 15-7 and fell behind 3-1, the Canadiens briefly made a game of it against the Coyotes.

Alex Galchenyuk’s goal, toward the end of a 5-on-3 power play, made it 3-2 after 40 minutes. Mike Smith was heroic during the second period, as the Canadiens outshot the home team by an astounding 12-1 margin and had a goal disallowed..

And it was still a one-goal game almost 12 minutes into the third before Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan scored to seal the deal.

Peter Budaj was beaten twice on seven shots in the third period, five times on 23 shots in the game.

Budaj wasn’t awful. Phoenix skates well, moves the puck efficiently and, on too many occasions, had the Canadiens running around their zone in confusion, allowing the home team great looks at the Canadiens’ goaltender.

But with Mike Smith standing (literally) tall in the Phoenix net, the Canadiens needed great goaltending. And they didn’t get it from Budaj.

Let’s hope Carey Price, who hasn’t played since Sochi, is ready to go in San Jose. If, asis likely, Price can’t play, I’d be tempted to give Dustin Tokarski another shot.

The Plekanec line, bolstered by Vanek, will be better Saturday night. And if the David Desharnais & Co. are as good as they were against the Coyotes – five SoG for Max Pacioretty, another Energizer Bunny night from Brendan Gallagher, 10-5 on faceoffs for DD – the Canadiens will present the Sharks with some challenges.

The third line got better after Michel Therrien put Lars Eller between Alex Galchenyuk and Rene Bourque. Eller’s first-period penalty could not have pleased his coach. But to his credit, MT kept playing Eller and bumped him up a spot, ahead of Daniel Brière, who was ineffective against the team with whom he broke into the NHL.

Brière’s linemates, Ryan White and Travis Moen, played 6:31 and 8:32, respectively. They were not on for any of Phoenix’s five goals.

Jarred Tinordi was caught at the Phoenix blueline on the third-period Radim Vrbata goal that gave the home team a cushion. The kid looked awful on the play, but that will happen with a young defenceman. Despite some physical similarity, the kid is not Larry Robinson … and probably never will be.

I’d settle for the second coming of Craig Ludwig.

If Therrien duplicates the sentimentality that had George Parros in the starting lineup against Anaheim, we’ll see Douglas Murray out for the national anthems in San Jose. Murray and new partner Mike Weaver were on for the Vrabata goal that opened the scoring but had a reasonably quiet night thereafter.

The more excitable segment of Canadiens fandom were suggesting the acquisition of Vanek made the team a contender.

Let’s just cool the Cup talk about a team that hasn’t won a game in regulation time since Feb. 8.

Losing to Phoenix should calm everyone down – at least until the new sniper settles in. The race for playoff spots and postseason seedings is tight in both Conferences, which explains the urgency we saw from the Coyotes.

With Tampa bay and Detroit losing Thursday night, the Canadiens are still second in the Atlantic Division.

A win in San Jose would salvage a very arduous road trip.

 

 

260 Comments

  1. HabsKid says:

    It seems like Weise and White really clicked on the 4th line with some production non the less, yet MT hasn’t paired them since White got back from the flu. Weise fit in immediately. Not understanding why he sat him out in two crucial games out of four even though he had full face protection.

  2. Un Canadien errant says:

    Regarding whether to play Dustin Tokarski on Saturday in San Jose, I vote no, emphatically.

    I usually can’t tell if a goalie is doing well unless it’s by referring to their save percentage. If they stopped pucks, as Devan Dubnyk would say, then they did their job. But unless I can see a goalie flub a couple of easy shots, let one go through his glove, or Bernier a zone clear, and know he had an off-night, or conversely, make a series of highlight-reel worthy saves and know that he deserves to be awarded a star, I have a hard time analyzing their performance.

    In Mr. Tokarski’s case on Tuesday though, I think even I could tell there were huge flaws and mistakes in his game.

    1) As described by many, he does look small in his net, there were acreages available for the shooters to targets. He’s a smaller than average goalie compared to the current standard. He seemed to hunch down, get all compact, maybe getting ready to spring out a pad or stab at a puck with a glove, but until he did, boy could I see a lot of net. I wonder how Teemu Selanne felt watching the game, he must have been kicking himself, thinking he would have buried five or six if he hadn’t been ill.

    2) I would think that a smaller goalie would be quick like a cat, agile, a whirling dervish making impossible saves, like Rogatien Vachon or John Van Biesbrouck, compared to a bigger goalie like Ben Bishop or Pekka Rinne, who would rely on his size to cover as much of the net as possible, cut down angles, and basically let the puck hit him. Yet Dustin didn’t look too graceful or coordinated, epitomized by the play on which Ryan Getzlaf hit the post on a wrist shot. As the Duck cut across the crease, Dustin went from his right to his left to track his movement, except he seemed to catch an edge, and he tripped and fell down awkwardly on his keister/back, and then flailed ineffectually with his leg pads at a shot he guessed would be targeted top shelf. Inelegant, and not confidence-inspiring.

    3) During the shootout, in the camera shots from the shooter’s perspective, you could see a lot of room between the legs, which a couple of Ducks went for. Usually, a goalie shows very little room between the pads, as his weight is balanced and he remains ready to move in either direction. The opening is slim, and I marvel that some shooters can fire a puck through there. “He went five-hole!”, the announcer will say, and I’ll ask myself “What hole?” And when they drop to their knees in the butterfly, then the giant pads do their job, and there’s nothing to shoot at.

    In Dustin’s case, he seemed to have a pause as the shooter made up his mind, when he’d be frozen in an asymmetrical stance, with one knee closer to the ice than the other. It looked kind of unsteady, and left a lot of room in the five-hole. Now I’m not sure if it was a trick, if he was baiting the shooters to go there and knowing he could shut the door, but it looked odd, at least.

    Now I know Dustin has had to battle the perception that he’s too small to succeed his entire career, and prove skeptics wrong at every level. He battled against the Ducks, overcame some bad luck, got some good luck later on, and ultimately came up with the win, which is what counts.

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2010/03/19/dustin-tokarski-and-small-goaltenders/

    In terms of who should start on Saturday against the Sharks though, I’m going with the surer bet. Peter Budaj had an off-night in Glendale, but we can ascribe it to the fact that the team got in at 0300 hr the night before, didn’t get a morning skate, and just looked listless in the first. They fought back in the second, but eventually capitulated when the Coyotes scored their fourth goal. They can regroup on Saturday, and the Canadiens should give themselves their best chance to win by putting their more accomplished goalie in nets.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Blondie says:

      I agree, I’d start Budaj. He’s the better goalie and just had a rough time last night.

      If Tokarski starts and the game goes to a shootout, though, I’d like to see Budaj go in for it.

      I thought wee Dustin looked far out of his league during the shootout. I noticed the weird stance too but with the amount of room it opened up on the glove side, and the way he had his glove tucked in close to his body, I thought he was challenging them to shoot there. But it looked like a *lot* of room, even for a challenge. His reactions looked pretty slow too – did he even stop one? I seem to recall that the ones that didn’t go in missed the net.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Me Tokarski??? PG is that you? Hahah

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  3. TMan1969 says:

    Keep the first line together (PDG or Pretty Damn Good)
    Second Line VPG (Very Pretty Girls..Voiciferous Prositutes Grin…Very Possesive Goalscorers)
    Third Line EBW (Excellent Bottle Washers…Extraordinary Bast**ds Win!)
    Fourth Line MWP (Must Win People!)

    the rest can be shuffled as required…GHG!

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

  4. jeffhabfan says:

    Not a very good game Last night by the boys I hope we can win tomorrow night and have a nice road trip.

  5. DipsyDoodler says:

    Since we have True Det fans, has anyone spotted the Richard Dawkins reference?

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • punkster says:

      Heh…one of Cohle’s religious ramblings likely.

      But one of my favorite lines from Cohle is:
      “The world needs bad men. We keep other bad men from the door.”

      Release the Subbang!!!

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      The Dawkins Illusion is the final hurdle boddhisattva.

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

  6. Timo says:

    This team inspires very little confidence going into playoffs. Therrien cannot make in-game adjustments to save his life and only one line shows up to play.

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    Who would you rather have as a GM, Garth Snow or Mike Gillis?

  8. habs001 says:

    The goal for the team is to make the playoffs…The odds are that their playoff opponents will be one of Tampa,Toronto or Detroit…outside chance Boston.Pitts…All first round games will probably be one goal games and many may go into overtime…Very hard to predict what would be the best matchup for the Habs…Most posters were pretty happy and confident last year playing Ottawa..so you never know,,,

  9. DipsyDoodler says:

    The real issue with stats in hockey is many people using them don’t understand statistics, at even a rudimentary level.

    You can’t make an inference from data unless you have a confidence interval. In other words you can’t just look at averages, you need to consider the variance.

    Saying player A has more turnovers or hits or points or anything than player B gives no usable information.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Well put.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      In baseball any idiot can use stats for comparison, even with fielding percentage. (Ever heard of range factor? Measures the time a ball is in the air and the distance covered by a fielder)

      In hockey, the use of advanced statistics gets far too complex because you need every single player in a data base with all their basic stats along with matchups, starting position….. It goes on and on and on the small things that skew hockey statistics… And most times they are useless.

      All hockey teams need to worry about is special teams… Seriously.. If a team is top 5 in Both PK and PP they will be a cup contender… I know that is over simplifying things, but it is 100% accurate.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • krob1000 says:

        Baseball is the most indivisual team sport out there…..very few baseball playas are “team plays”…even errors are assgigned tothe individual so not like plus minus where 5 guys get tagged for one guys error. There not the moving parts and baseball lends itself to being more data friendly gvien the individualism. Those advanced stats do have some merit in baseball. In hockey a great palyer can end up -20 and with 40 points on apoor team. Roles vary and so many other factors are involved…in baseball it use you against either the pitcher…or the baseball in the field…that is really it. There are too mnay variables in hockey and even the possession thing is crap….tow dmen retreating from the redline and making 3 hinge passes and then going behind their net is great for the possession numbers…but you lost two zones of progress and allowed the opposition to organize a forecehck….or maybe they did it goet a linehcange…same situation can be looked at diff’t ways…hockey far too complex for stats…your eyes are the best you have.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Krob
          Excellent comment-a keeper
          Pitcher-Batter is like a perpetual NHL shootout

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Absolutely not. Take the Minnesota Twins for instance, you do not make their major league club if you don’t have an “up the middle approach” at the plate. Using this approach, along with taking more pitches than most teams allows the Twins to face the bullpen earlier I. Games than other teams. There is so much strategy in approach, situational hitting, defensive positioning. It is actually a more team based sport than hockey.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • punkster says:

          “Your eyes are the best you have” may rank right up there with the following infamous quotes:

          “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”

          “Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

          All the variables you mention and the thousands, maybe millions, more that show up in every single game will eventually be mapped and analyzed at some point in the very near future…today’s basic tracking and analysis is just the start.

          It comes down to what we (all of us) choose to do with all that incredible information.

          Release the Subbang!!!

          • krob1000 says:

            lol….I am saying this based on current metrics…..because if they ever find a way to measure decision making…they will be on to something…until then they only measure results and not what causes them

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Can you save for stevo’s next comment?

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      That being said I believe we will soon have really great data in hockey. Most arenas have cameras that are able to track every player and the puck. It will eventually be possible to say “if X has the puck in his own zone this leads to a scoring chance for his team this often and for the other team this often”.

      They are starting to use this for NBA players.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Your point is also why sometimes a guy like Don Cherry can be bang on with his assessment. Not saying it happens as often anymore, but I would place his value of a player over that of a pure stat based opinion.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Besides, every coin toss is a new coin toss.

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

    • StevieM61 says:

      Statistics are wonderful…. until you throw in the human factor.
      I have spent the last 30 years in metrology (science of measurement) and statistics play a huge role.
      This is where terms like “confidence factor” etc. come into play..
      Such as K=2 , means basically “I should be right 95% of the time”
      A decade or so ago I tried applying this to hockey – I put a $2 bet on 4 games I figured would end in a tie.
      It worked perfectly and took home a couple hundred bucks…Next 3 tries ..was easier to throw money in the toilet and eliminate the middleman.
      Also tried it once in Vegas..Came out ahead about 300 bucks at caesar’s one night.
      Next night, after losing half of it I gave up and went to see David Copperfield and the Spinners.
      Bottom line ..
      Statistics and reality are more like climate and weather..one is what you expect and the other is what you get.
      just my 2 cents +/- 0.2 cents

      Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

  10. 24 Cups says:

    The more you read and hear, the more evident it becomes that Ryan Kesler had the most impact on the draft. A lot of deals didn’t happen as teams held back assets and cap space with the notion of grabbing Kesler who really was the big fish in the trade market.

    This probably explains why Garth Snow didn’t get any calls until noon and MB was able to slide in under the radar at the last minute and grab Vanek for less than market value.

  11. Mattyleg says:

    That Tinordi turnover and the puck going in off the glass is why +/- stats are useless.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      Context is difficult to gauge from only a number.

    • Prop says:

      +/- stats essentially say that a player was on the ice when the other team scored, correct me if I’m wrong…
      It only tells a teeny tiny bit of the story. Advanced stats do the same thing, it doesn’t describe the circumstances, only the final result.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Exactly. A teammate makes an error and you get a minus even if you were 40 feet away tying up your guy completely. Could there be a plus minus that reflects that?

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

  12. krob1000 says:

    OZ you worte this below…

    Pleks was NOT protected like DD is now. Holy revisionist history Batman!

    In one of the seasons, Koivu and Ryder were on the team – they weren’t the shutdown line.

    As for Plkes nad the 2010 playoff run….that was his best defesnive performance ever and the reason he is ow in that role…but up until then he was not given that role…he was given teams best wingers and huge pp mintues on 1st unit…a la DD

    The team was an offesnive leader among the lead…they did not try to eek out one goal games. Koivu was every bit the two way center Pleks is…their other linemate Higgins is no defensvive slouch either…it was only Ryder that was not great defensively. Tis you who are rewriting history…Pleks was on the top line with the top two offensive and LEAST defensively responsible wingers in AK and AK…they were the top PP unit….the team was also 4 lines deep.

    In his 70 pt season the other senters were Gomez, Moore and Metro

    In his 69 pt season it was Koivu, Lapierre and Smloinski…so yes Pleks in both of those seasons was in the DD role….I am not making this up….it happened….

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Quote from an article in 2010, when he signed his contract. Can you imagine DD saying the same thing now??

      “I’m asked to play a two-way game and I do it,” he said. “My job is the same in the playoffs — to play a two-way game and help the team win, not (just) score goals. I will do the same for another six years.”

      TSN article.

      There’s the history, unrevised by yours truly. ;)

      • krob1000 says:

        lol…
        http://hockey.dobbersports.com/frozenpool_linecombo.php?chkForward=checkbox&selForward=MTLPLEKANEC%2CTOMAS&situation=ALL&period=ALL&games=2009-2010%3AP%3A99&Submit=Show+Line+Combinations&sent=g

        Here are Pleks line combo…Cammi and Andrei K….defesnnsve stalwarts!!PLeks himself always has been responsible…but his line was the GO TO OFFENSIVE line in both seasons he had high point totals…this isn’t just about Pleks..it is about the role of the line…he has always been a resonsible player….and that allowed his line to not have to be as protected. get the sense we are debating two diff’t things. I am not saying PLeks is not a two way player..I am saying that his line was the offensive line, given the best offensive situations and 1st pp duty, he had the teams best two wingers in both of his great seasons…like DD. Difference was Pleks could help to compensate for them…DD cannot. So if we are going to shelter a line…put Vanek there…Gallagher does not need protection drop him down and ignite another line, protect and offer Vanek an opportunity to use his skills. With Gio (who plays similarly to Pleks) Vanek is virtually on his own in palying offensively.

  13. Hobie Hansen says:

    I thought I saw Jarred Tinordi play an awesome game with PK Subban? Unfortunately his only mistake, coughing up the puck at the blue line, ended up in the back of the Habs net and cost them a shot at tying the game. He was obviously pissed off and slammed his stick on the ice heading back to the bench.

    From what I saw he and Subban, prior to the mistake, were really playing well together. Tinordi skated the puck out of trouble several times and dropped it off for Subban who rocketed up the ice. They really seemed to click.

    If everything works out, those two would be the perfect pairing.

  14. 4m3y2j says:

    Didn’t Briere and Vanek have great chemistry in Buffalo ?Last nights game was not a measuring stick as the team was exhausted.For Vanek it is all about chemistry and the fact is there are 17 games to figure that out,if they make the playoffs ?I worry about MT and his constant juggling which could really mess up Vanek,look what it did to Eller
    john slattery

  15. Commandant says:

    Hopefully Price will be back soon.

    That said, I’m pleased with a record of 3-2-1 without our best player.

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • BriPro says:

      Agreed Ben.
      I have to say, Budaj looked shaky last night, not only on 3 of 5 goals but also on most of the shots.
      He even pulled a couple of Tim Thomas moves.
      Tokarsky played better the night before.
      As long as Price is back in time for conditioning prior to the playoffs….

      • Commandant says:

        Budaj’s best two games (LA and Detroit) since the break, have both been losses.

        I thought he’s been shaky in the other three games.

        Go Habs Go!

        http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • D Mex says:

        Not one of his better performances. The game didn’t have a ‘ right ‘ feel to it on my TV, and I doubt it was a whole lot different on the CH bench.
        Someone posted that they were probably reading too many headlines yesterday … I doubt that, but it isn’t too hard to see the perfect little storm, either.
        I anticipate the SJ game will have a much different feel to it.

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

  16. Commandant says:

    Lets give Vanek a few practices before we break up the

    Vanek – Plek – Gionta line.

    Lets face facts… the Patch – DD – Gallagher line has produced and produced very well for 50 games now. There is zero reason to break them up.

    The whole goal in getting Vanek is to create another line that can be dangerous.

    As for defensive play and needing to be protected? Plekanec played top line minutes with Cammalleri and Kostitsyn as his wingers and was fine for us before. Vanek is easily better defensively than both of those guys were.

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Prop says:

      Bergevin goofed by getting Vanek, he shoulda stood pat…

      ;)

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Yup, pretty much what I reminding krob of below. :)
      —————————————————————–
      Pleks was NOT protected like DD is now. Holy revisionist history Batman! :)

      In one of the seasons, Koivu and Ryder were on the team – they weren’t the shutdown line.

      In the other, Kovalev wasn’t even on the team. Gomez and Cammy were on the team and Pleks was the shutdown guy. Don’t you remember the 2010 playoff run?!?
      —————————————————————–

    • SnowManHabs85 says:

      I would still much prefer to see Chucky Pleky Vanek together. Galchenyuk has better shooting % than Gionta right now and I know, stats don’t always tell the whole story but chances of scoring does increases with that line combination. Would rather try to settle that line and leave Gionta on 3rd because, we know he ain’t coming back next season. Might help Galchenyuk learn a to be better defensively by playing with our best defensive forward…

  17. 24 Cups says:

    The Vegas odds for winning the Cup have now been adjusted after the trade deadline came and went. Montreal’s odds dropped from 33/1 to 25/1. Their chances of making the playoffs stay
    around the 94% mark but that could change substantially if they lose the next two games against San Jose and Boston.

    No one is sure when Price will be back so it really means that Budaj is going to have to steal a game for us.

    After Boston, Montreal gest to meet a few bottom feeders with two gams against Buffalo and one in Florida. They also have head to head games against playoffs opponents like Toronto, Detroit and Columbus (based on the March schedule).

  18. Prop says:

    ←←←↓↓↓

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    Bruins apparantly were trying hard to get Edler out of Vancouver. Sounds like some big deals almost happened, but the roadblock was getting deals done with Vancouver.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/03/07/bruins-potential-deal-with-canucks-shelved/tCUaNYF27MQtNy1i5Qe75K/story.html

  20. DipsyDoodler says:

    This be the verse.

    1. Daniel Briere is our worst forward.
    2. THE problem with the team is we can’t get the puck out of our end quickly enough.
    3. Sebastian Collberg better not turn into a top 6 forward.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • 416erHabsFan says:

      Briere is slightly and I mean slightly better than Bourque. Bourque does absoletly nothing for this team except remind everyone of Gomez . It pi$$es me off that people talk badly about Lars and say to trade him. Even MT made him a healthy scratch. Bourque is 1000 times worse than him.

    • Commandant says:

      1. Daniel Briere is not our worst forward. The guy produces.

      He is second on the team (third if you count Vaneks time on other clubs) in pts/icetime. Problem is that Therrien never plays him, and even when he does, its often on the fourth line. Its freaking inexplicable.

      I’d like to see Briere play with Gally and Eller instead of Bourque who truly is useless.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Our worst forward is the Viking, no contest. Bourque is better only because he doesn’t take stoopid penalties.

  21. Habs_101 says:

    Im wondering if AGALLY can be successful on RW for the remainder of the season, just curious because I think we should load up two offensive lines, one shut down line and one energy line now, and start to develop chemistry for the playoff drive…

    Patch – DD – Gallagher (OFFENSE)
    Vanek – Plek – Galchenyuk (OFFENSE)
    Moen – Eller – Gionta (SHUTDOWN LINE)
    Prust – Bournival – White/Weise (ENERGY)
    Bourque, Briere, Parros (SORRY GENTLEMEN) any of these guys will slot in for injuries or struggles.

    GO HABS GO!

    • Habs_101 says:

      However if MT will not split up Gionta and Pleks then you might as well make them the shutdown line since they are very effective;

      Patch – DD – Galchenyuk
      Vanek – Eller – Gallagher (really curious to see what Gally B could do for TV)
      Moen/Briere – Plek – Gionta

      GO HABS GO!

  22. krob1000 says:

    OZ…re your post I cut and pasted below because I can;t respond…this i s exactly why tehy need to move Vanek to the Dd/Patch line. Gallagher does NOT need to be protected…and he will spark another line. Vanek can get eh o zone starts, Pathces can share more of the skating responsibliyt and DD will have two targets still to pass to. Vanek slots in there naturally for the pp as well.
    Put BRiere back with Pleks and Gio…he has done well there and Moen can continue to move up in lead protection scenarios.
    Reunite Egg line (does not need protection)

    Ozmodiar

    March 7, 2014 at 10:01 am

    The DD line is the protected offensive line. Can’t have 2 of those.
    They have to consider TOI and match-ups down the middle first, then work from there.

    Hopefully one day Chucky will be responsible like Pleks while putting up more points, but we’re not their yet.

  23. AliHaba says:

    Any news on Carey. Think we’ll see him in San Jose?

    • CJ says:

      No news, but I’d be shocked if he played Saturday. Most likely he returns on Wed against the Bruins, IF he is ready. Given our record, we still have the luxury of being very patient.

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    On the positive side last night, Detroit, Washington, Columbus, Tampa and Pittsburgh all lost last night.

  25. Strummer says:

    On my HI/O page there there is a big box ad upper right side for a “rent-a-goalie” outfit MyPuck.com

    Coincidence or subliminal marketing?

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

  26. krob1000 says:

    Ouch…Crosby was -5 last lnight…

  27. Habfan17 says:

    Two Questions

    Question 1! Let’s say the Habs were to fall to 8th place, they would draft around 16th overall. For each playoff round they win, they would drop down their draft position as I understand it. Does anyone know, does this just apply to the first round or all rounds?

    Question 2. What would you think of the NHL changing the draft lottery system. I would suggest keeping the current system where the non=play off teams have a chance to draft 1st overall, teams can only drop down one spot. I would suggest adding that tams can only get the first overall pick two consecutive years. If they were to win the lottery a third time, if they were not already in the top 3, they would get the 3rd overall for that year. The next team picked would get first overall. I would then suggest that all the playoff teams have a lottery to move up to the 17th spot, I think I have the spot right! That way, teams that work hard to win every year and do it right, have a chance at a half decent pick

    Habfan17

  28. shiram says:

    Oh noes they lost a game missing their best goalie, playing tired and with new players not accustomed to new lineups!

    Blow the team up and fire everyone.

    Or chill, you know, the week-end is coming.

    • Mattyleg says:

      (I’ll get the TNT)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Mustang says:

      Blow up the team and fire everyone, sounds about right, judging by some comments here at HIO these days. Earlier this week MB was an idiot. By 3:01PM on Wednesday, he was a genius. Now the Habs lost a game so it may be time to get out the tar & feathers again. Personally I think most Habs fans should relax just a tad and yes, the week-end is coming.

  29. habstrinifan says:

    Without being critical of ANYONE, I am firmly in the camp of those who say that unless Pleks and Gionta are given a directive to be more ‘offensive’ AND can accomplish that… then putting Vanek with them as a 2nd line is negating his value.

    But it’s only 1 game. We’ll see if I am underrating Pleks and Gionta’s offensive abilities.

    • shiram says:

      I think Pleks can still do it, it’s a bit tougher for Gio.
      I’d give ‘em a few more games to get accustomed to each other.

    • CJ says:

      I agree. I don’t want to put too much stock into one game. That said, a few of us, myself included feel that if you are giving up a second round pick and decent prospect, then I want to try and maximize the guy’s potential. You don’t go out and buy a new Porsche and get the oil changed at Mr.Lube.

      Put our new acquisition, who is supposed to be a premier player, with our best offensive talent. That player, IMO, is Chucky. I’d say Max, but they both play LW. We have talked all year about Chucky at centre. Now is the time.

      I like Pleks and Gio, who seem to be a decent 200 ft unit, but they are not our best offensive catalysts. Let’s force the opposition to defend two scoring lines as opposed to the defence first mentality. Create a third line that can help shut down the opposition and create miss matches. Just my two cents….

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Would love to see Galchenyuk have a chance to work with Vanek. Offensive creativity meets goalscorer.

  30. AliHaba says:

    To play the Flyers in the first round Philly would have to pass Pittsburgh in the standings and The Habs fall to the last wildcard spot. Highly unlikely. As it stands today will be either the Loafs or the Lightning with the Wings as an outside shot. The Habs are equal to or ahead of all these teams in toughness.

  31. RetroMikey says:

    Yes, the lame excuse is upon us on this site by posters saying the team is tired after back to back games.
    Hate to hear the comments when we start the playoffs and play the bigger and more physical team in the first round like the Flyers, ouch!
    Problem with the team is that we are small, fragile and inconsistent.
    The team would excel in the KHL where skill is a factor, but in the NHL, BIG IS BETTER!
    We still are a very weak team on D, and having Vanek on the team does not solve the grit players we need to survive in the playoffs.
    Gonna be fun down the stretch to see other teams catch up for final playoff spots.
    We may barely eke into an 8th place position after all.
    Vanek made the team marginally better but we have other issues we should have addressed more importantly.
    Hate to see Bergy what he’s going to do in the off season if he signs Markov to 5 or 6 mil which is ludicrous.
    Same old, same old, same old results with this team being hot then cold, nothing is really changed over the years.
    Reminds me back in 2006 where we were excited with prospects like Komisarek, Lapierre, O’Byrne, Chipchura, Higggins being the core of our young players who were supposed to lead us to our next Cup.
    We are doing the same old thing over with Subban, Gallagher, Pachioretty, Tinordi, White, etc.
    When will the team realize that enough is enough, we want the Cup now, not hope and pray the core players we have will win us one.

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

    • CJ says:

      Thankfully it is almost impossible for us to get the Flyers before the conference finals. The new playoff format almost ensures that we will face either Tampa or Toronto. If there is a major slide we could become a wildcard and meet up with Boston or Pittsburgh. We would need to win the division to have a chance at Philly in the first round.

    • AliHaba says:

      Markov should be signed to three years at 6 million per asap. And you should check the new playoff format before posting about something that is next to impossible to happen in the first round.

      • RetroMikey says:

        Markov should be signed to three years at 6mil?
        Check the math, it will take a lot more$$ to sign him long term for 3 years in Montreal.
        We made the mistake of not shipping him to Edmonton for a 1st round pick and a prospect.
        As much as I admire the dedication and the hard work Markov has been with Montreal, his tenure is up with the club.
        He won,t be around IF the team wins the Cup again. That is a big IF.

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

    • JUST ME says:

      Being tired is not an excuse it`s a fact. But it evens out through the season as every team gets to go through the same fatigue ,slumps and schedule.

      It is just sad to have to deal with it thus giving us a demonstration that is not up to what is should or could be.

    • Cal says:

      You must be happy today. See you again after the next loss.
      BTW, how are your laffs doing?

      • RetroMikey says:

        Laffs are doing well, who would have thunk after several years of being a mediocre team, they are creeping up to the Habs in the standings while the Habs should on paper be at the creme de la creme in the East based on their speed and skill.
        Realistically, it won’t happen, Boston is the creme de la creame of the East for 2 or 3 years and yes, those Laffs will improve as well and overtake the once mighty so-called Habs in the big is better NHL.
        By the way, got your kleenex out for the playoffs when the Habs get eliminated in the playoffs after the 1st round???Again??!!!
        Guys like you can’t accept defeat lightly and give credit to other teams’ performances.
        Yep, hope and faith is where it’s at with you and others with this team.
        I’ll be vocal here unless changes are made.
        After all, democracy is great, ain’t it? Especially on this site.

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

  32. Luke says:

    Today’s Rules:

    1) IF you need glasses to see, don’t lose your glasses.
    2) The second bottle of wine is not a good idea.
    3) Girls is crazy.

    I have never been happier to (barely) see a Friday in a long long time.

  33. JUST ME says:

    I have said it before and will say it again : an 82 games schedule even without olympics,all-star game or whatever does not promote the players and the game at the peak of what it could be. When call me Gary talks about parity and tells us to look at the close race in the standings it is due to each and every team every now and then being at the end of their rope and barely succeeding at filing up the batteries.

    They are paid big bucks to perform and agreed on such a schedule so i am not trying to excuse them nor am i pointing finger cause at the end of the day what is sad is that the show is of a lesser quality but the ticket remains at the same price.

    • Mattyleg says:

      The 82-game schedule is especially exposed when some games can be played in atrocious conditions on outdoor rinks.

      It’s more or less an admission that games don’t really matter because there are so many of them. Imagine that there were 58 games – home and away against each team – and four teams were arbitrarily selected to play outdoors.

      I have a feeling that wouldn’t go over too well.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  34. RUSTIE says:

    Being tired is no excuse, you always have RED BALL.

    Joe Laplane

  35. SnowManHabs85 says:

    I hope they give Gionta 3rd line role, seriously, Galchenyuk would’ve been a better trio instead of Plekanec – Gionta duo leaving Vanek empty a few times in shooting position.. With that said, I don’t think MT will make adjustments because MT just don’t like us. :P

  36. krob1000 says:

    Ironic thast Budaj had a player come by and remove his stick from its position on the one goal…he complains and the DD gets bumped into Smith and no goal ..for goalie interference. I realize Dd was in crease but the coaches challenge idea would have worked nicely on that Coyote goal as the player in front comes acrass and moves Budaj’s sticka nd arm and that is where the puck goes through…he was in position.

    On Tinordi…yeah he got caught…but the shift before he realzied he could catch Phoenix nappinga nd walked rigthdown buried his shoulder and created a great scoring chance. It will take time for him tp ick his spots but he is a pretty big guy and great skater…deceivingly quick and unsuspecting I think adding this ability to his repetoire will be huge for the HAbs…once he and Beauulieu are in the lineup as regulars….that will greatly help the offense. I think if it were PK with that puck somneone would have dropped back but he caught his own teammates by usrprise I think as well….and when he ran into trouble he should have jsut got puck deep….but I am just happy he is confident enough to try that right now.

  37. habsfan0 says:

    I’m willing to give Thomas Vanek a game or two to settle in with his new line mates.
    Maybe three.
    What concerns me more however,is what Nilan suggested.
    As Vanek is a UFA at the end of the season,will he play the remaining games in a way as to ” not get hurt” or will he go all out in an effort to secure the best possible contract?
    We’ll all find out soon enough.

  38. Ian Cobb says:

    Budaj is a great back up and has played great when he has sparingly started games during the season. But he was not very good the last few. I would start the kid Saturday night. He was excellent against Anaheim. Hope Price is back for the Boston game.

    I was not impressed with Vanek playing with our vets. I would put him with Eller and Galchenyuk.

  39. krob1000 says:

    Vanek had better hurry up and get with the program in Montreal…like BRiere when he ifrst arrived he is not used to the skating game and work ethic Montrel style demands. His “backcheck” reminds me a lot of Briere, Bourque when he came, Ryder when he came back, etc,etc….other teams do not play the same style as MOntreal. Montreal is not going to get by on talent alone so they are very adamant about defensive responsibilities and work away from the puck and a guy like Vanek on a non contending team is probably used to jsut doing what he wants and looking to leak out early or find open ice. Don’t get me worng he is good at it!

    HE has no idea of the system so he was completely lost…as expected …but he looked tired (I imagine he is going through qutie a bit of late)…but the work ethic has to pick up. Somebody made a great post about Bourque the other day noting that although struggling…he is working hard…in fact most of the team is and Vanek is going to take a couple of weeks before he is in full swing. HE likely wants to pad his stats for his contract but in order to do so in Montreal I believe two things need to happen…
    1. He needs to adapt to Montreal required work ethic
    2. He needs to be with a different line…I just cannot see how that line can work unless Vanek completely changes his style…in which case fine…but then we have to expect a very decreased offensive output.

    • CJ says:

      This is exactly why Vanek needs to be off of the Pleks and Gio unit. Let them take on the major defensive responsibilities. Get Vanek on a line with Chucky at centre and Briere on the wing.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        That line would be terrible defensively. No way MT does that. Plus, with DD and Briere both @ C, Pleks will end up playing 26 minutes again.

        • CJ says:

          Keeping Vanek with Gio and Pleks will limit his offensive upside. Perhaps Briere is not the best solution on the wing, but I’d try Chucky and Vanek. It’s hard to find the perfect balance. The DD line is not the greatest in our end, but they are currently our only line who sustains consistent offensive zone pressure. We need a secondary unit to draw away the opposition’ top checkers, which, by extension creates match up problems.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            The DD line is the protected offensive line. Can’t have 2 of those.
            They have to consider TOI and match-ups down the middle first, then work from there.

            Hopefully one day Chucky will be responsible like Pleks while putting up more points, but we’re not their yet.

          • CJ says:

            I respect your opinion. I’m sure that Vanek will play with Gio and Pleks. He will not reach his offensive potential because of it. We might defend and save a goal, but we aren’t going to enjoy the opportunity to score as many either.

            The problem I have is how do we know about Chucky at centre? He got one game, on the road, at the Blues. Once we get through this road trip, the majority of our remaining games are against non playoff teams. If we are going to try it, now is the time. Who knows, it could be a chance for both guys to shine and maybe, in the process, makes Montreal a more attractive destination this offseason.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Whoa, slow down. It’s a bit early for concern, line shuffling.

      Vanek was up @ 3 am yesterday, Pleks played 26 minutes yesterday. Not surprising they weren’t at their best.

      • krob1000 says:

        This was the fear gong in to the game after the acquisition..Pleks line is not an offensive minded line…..Vanek is about as offensively minded as the come….switch him and Gallagher if you have to.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          Vanek prefers to play LW.

          Are people forgetting that Pleks put up 69 and 70 points while playing with Kovalev?? Both are higher than DD’s best season.

          • krob1000 says:

            Are you forgetting that he was given Andrei K and Alex K…he was in the DD role(and outscored him as you say and is what I am constantly on here harping about but it was a different role)…getting the offesnive starts, top 2 wingers and the first unit pp time…he was not given the shutdown role. That was a completely different role….Pleks can put those numbers up again.
            Re Vanek..yes he prefers to paly LW but he can play RW…Patches cannot…

          • Ozmodiar says:

            Pleks was NOT protected like DD is now. Holy revisionist history Batman! :)

            In one of the seasons, Koivu and Ryder were on the team – they weren’t the shutdown line.

            In the other, Kovalev wasn’t even on the team. Gomez and Cammy were on the team and Pleks was the shutdown guy. Don’t you remember the 2010 playoff run?!?

        • boing007 says:

          Pleks’ line was fairly offensive minded when Bournival was on it.

          Richard R

          • krob1000 says:

            I wouldn;t say offesnively minded …as much as outplaying almost every line they played against…those three are all worker bees and if they outwork the other team…they are all able to get chances. Vanek has not got teh forecehcking ability that BOurnival does and he ids not a guy that creates his own offense. Gio will run around doing all of the forecehcking, pleks will stay high preventing the oddman rush and Vanek will look for space in case there is a turnover…unofrtunately GIo is not going to cause that many turnovers on is own.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Vanek needs the puck. He needs to carry and shoot the puck. You can see how good his hands are, and his skating is actually faster and more powerful than I thought. But if he’s forced to play a dump and chase style of hockey, it will be hard to get the most out of him.

      It’ll take a few games to settle in and find a comfortable spot, there is no question about it. But I truly hope that Therrien doesn’t try and force him to change his game too much. Players have to buy into the team strategy, but coaches have to be smart and flexible enough to get the most out of players abilities.

  40. Mattyleg says:

    Dipsy, in reference to you True Detective comment below:

    Never seen the show, but this is pretty funny.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  41. Storm Man says:

    The Wild have that much cap Space? And does ownership spend to the cap?

  42. Thomas Le Fan says:

    They looked tired in the first period but had some jump in the second once they found their legs, as they say. They put me to sleep, literally, in the third. For some reason the refs decided they just wouldn’t let the teams play. They called a lot of crap both ways, in my opinion. Ruined the flow of the game. I think we’re seeing why Budaj is not a number one goaltender.
    Let’s hope a good night’s rest gets them ready for the Sharks. Go Habs.

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

  43. JUST ME says:

    At one point it had to happen that the team would run out of energy and or the goaler would not have it in him to keep the team within wining distance. Also the tendancy to take advantage in the penalty department had to catch up at as ome point.
    It`s O.K. i guess and since the Habs tends to take the opponent`s style of hockey it gave us a scrappy game of hockey cause the Coyotes play such a unique…style of hockey as much as their damn coyote howling ! How cheaper can a team be !

    So the result was predictable, as it is that we will see posters here today that have been absent for a few days and that some will say the i told you so expertise or the negative will rise to the occasion.

    Tomorrow is another game !

  44. Maritime Ronn says:

    piter says:
    I think it’s bu77$h1t that the League is forgiving New Jersey’s cap circumvention fine and giving them their 1st round pick back in this years draft. Remember, New Jersey was found guilty by an independent arbitrator of cap circumvention in the contract of Kovalchuk, they weren’t just accused of it.
    ———————-

    Good morning, and respectfully disagree

    First of all, the NHL is its own entity and can decide what they wish.
    According to the NHL Constitution:
    ” The National Hockey League is an Unincorported Association Not For Profit consisting of 30 Member teams as of this time.”
    http://www.bizofhockey.com/docs/NHLConsitution.pdf

    Secondly, while NJ gets their pick back, it will be #30 regardless of where they finish in the standings and they are not allowed to trade that pick.
    As of this moment, they would pick 10th so it’s not as if it’s some huge win.

    Lastly, the official ruling by Richard Bloch back in 2010 was SUBJECTIVE at best, where he admitted NO specific CBA clause was broken.

    “Bloch explains that while how the contract was structured, the assignment of no movement and no trade clauses, and the length of the contract are all VALID on their own, in the combination of all three, he finds intent of circumvention.”

    In essence, the 2005 CBA was flawed, yet the new 2013 CBA has addressed those problematic issues by limiting contract lengths and year to year variances of Salary.

    If you are at all interested in what they are, that can be seen here:
    http://www.capgeek.com/faq/what-s-the-100-percent-rule

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So then why did they announce with fanfare the initial punishment Ronn? Sorry I disagree.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        They were trying to send a message….and perhaps back then, no one knew Kovalchuk would leave the NHL after only 3 years of that contract

        • Mattyleg says:

          …but don’t you think that they’ve now sent a message that there are no real punishments for breaking the rules?

          The league totally backtracked on their own decision, regardless of how subjective, wrong, or whatever, the initial ruling was.

          What would happen if one of our players was injured in an illegal check, the offending party was given 10 games, but then after 5, he was allowed to play again?

          “Even though he didn’t serve his whole suspension, he was still out for 5 games,” the defenders of this decision would say…

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            All discipline decisions are also subject to Appeal as was this one.
            They ( NHL-NHLPA) make their own rules simply because they can, and they can also change decisions

            ” NEW YORK — The National Hockey League announced today that it has reduced Phoenix forward Paul Bissonnette’s suspension from 10 games to three games for his conduct in leaving his team’s bench to join an altercation during NHL Preseason Game No. 9 in Phoenix on September 15, 2013.”

          • Mattyleg says:

            I know that.

            And you think that’s fine.

            Okay.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I’m still not convinced it was Kovalchuks idea on his own to leave. Ownership of that franchise doesn’t give a crap about on ice success. The cost savings they re-couped with virtually no penalty after handing out one of the stupidest contracts in NHL history is/was the goal of ownership.

          Why did Montreal have to buyout Gomez? They didn’t have the option of him going to play in Europe and have contract rescinded. Kovalchuk had no right to leave, there is an agreement between KHL and NHL, the league did Jersey a favour letting that contract go away, now they reduce initial penalty? BS

          Edit: And I am more than aware that the Gomez situation is different, but where does the line get drawn after the NHL blessed Kovalchuks contract being ripped up?

          • Luke says:

            Kovalchuk’s ‘retirement’ could have been blocked by the Devils or the league if either wanted to.

            It was more than mutual, I think. We’ll probably see him back in the NHL in 3 years.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @Luke, which only furthers my point on why the Punishment to Jersey should have been maintained.

          • Luke says:

            @ Burly,

            I agree. I think we are in agreement here.

            Basically the league punished NJ, allowed them to scam their way out of it, and then rescinded the punishment.

            They should have been fined a seciond time for allowing Kovalchuky to (air quote) retire (giddy snickering).

  45. JF says:

    After a horrendous start, I thought we played a great second period. We took it to the Coyotes all period, kept them to the outside, and forced them to take a string of penalties. Too bad we couldn’t keep it up in the third. But the team was clearly tired, and equally clearly, Budaj has run out of magic. He hasn’t been bad since taking over from Price, and he’s made some big saves here and there, but he’s giving up soft goals and just generally looks beatable. I like the idea of starting Tokarski on Saturday, although I doubt it will make a difference. Hopefully Price will be ready next week and the team will be well rested by the time they face the Bruins.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise to not have Carey available during this stretch. Guy probably needs rest time badly

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It appears Budaj is at his best with limited starts. He hasn’t been brutal, but he also isn’t making as many big saves when the team needs it.

      Given the team now has only 4 callups remaining I wonder if Dubnyk may get a call. I suppose it is all predicated on Price and his injury. I remain hopeful the team is being extremely precautionary in their handling of him, but I am indeed now starting to wonder if the injury is becoming more extensive than they have let on.

      I would hope Waite is in Hamilton as we speak getting to know Dubnyk, i am sure once the Habs return home Coach Waite will have some refinements to work on with Budaj.

      If the team plays well on Saturday i am completely fine with chalking up last nights effort (or lack thereof in 1st and 3rd) to fatigue. But this requires a good game agains the Sharks.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        burli

        Huge difference between being a fill in with few success expectations vs. being The Man with complete pressure.

        Many goalies who have come and gone in the NHL showed stretches of brilliance, yet had difficulty in the long run to become consistent because of the huge toll both mentally and physically…or once teams figured out weaknesses and tendencies.

        Budaj is a great backup – knows his role, yet it ends there.

  46. Old Bald Bird says:

    Even if TV and other acquisitions have no effect this season or even a deleterious effect, I am somewhat buoyed by the fact that the transactions were made.

    I think we needed some positive indications from MB after some of his decisions, and he delivered.

    I think that I am now getting the sense that Habs are building something solid. Chance in the form of injuries or prospects not developing could erode some building blocks, but that is true of any team at any time.

    • JF says:

      Agree that the Habs are building something solid. Bergevin is doing a masterful job of adding low-cost depth pieces. We now have a lot more depth than when he took over. And the general vibe around the team is a lot more positive. The acquisition of Vanek was a clear message to the players that Bergevin has confidence in them. Instead of sneaking into the playoffs by the back door, as used to be the case, we’ll march in with the confidence that we can do well. Whatever happens this year, it bodes well for the future.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Great post. This move also put to rest the arguments about ‘building for the future’ to the exclusion of every other opportunity.

  47. careysubban3176 says:

    The one thing that glares out at me is that Gionta is holding this team back. With him on the 2nd line the habs essentially have one scoring line, 1 shut down line, and 2 checking lines who don’t do much checking. If Therrien wasn’t so darn stubborn he would play plecks and vanek with either briere or galchenyuk and put gionta with eller and either briere or galchenyuk. Right there you have 2 legitimate scoring lines. with the 3rd line as your shut down line who btw could produce some goals and a 4th line with interchangeable players with white, moen ,prust, borque, bournival, and weise.
    P.S.
    The habs are gonna be busy on draft day by the looks of it.

    Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much.

  48. crane says:

    patches d.d. vanek
    gally eller gally
    bierre plek. gionta (rotate bork)
    wiese white borival (rotate moen and prust)

    parros sits

    markov subban
    emelin tinordi
    murray beaulieu
    georges
    weaver,pateryn spares

  49. DipsyDoodler says:

    Is anyone else looking forward to the finale of True Detective on Sunday?

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      No. There is so much to the conspiracy they need to just keep pumping out the episodes!

      I love the show and how most of the season revolved around character development as opposed to action. The writers did an excellent job, there are limitless possibilities about where the story could go.

      Yes. I looking forward to the finale, best part is,that my girlfriend lives it too!

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Mike Boone says:

      Big time.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • scamorza says:

      Finale is this week wow would think there would be a few more episodes yup looking forward to it – another HBO classic and love the T-Bone Burnett music

      come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

  50. habsfaninphx says:

    I was fortunate to get to the game last night. The Habs need to come to Phoenix more than once every two years.

    I think MT was hoping a fresh Budaj would steal one for a very tired team. He made a few really good saves but didn’t look sharp on anything above the waist.

    I was really impressed by Tinordi. When I watch on TV I can’t see what happens away from the play but Tinordi was very solid, usually in the right place and covered for PK very well. The two of them looked pretty good together.

    Markov played very well, Emelin took the body a few times and Murray was another one who played well positionally, including pinching in a few times to keep the play going.

    DDs line was high energy all night, edge of my seat when they were on the ice. Eller impressed me several times by making great plays to come up with the puck, only to throw it away or lose it.

    I watched for Vanek and Weaver but didn’t really notice them most of the time. A little soon to expect much I think.

    Overall, they just looked like a tired team, especially in the third period.

    Also had a chance to meet several people from Montreal during the day. Very nice people, great passion for hockey. None of them had ever heard of HIO though. Must not be true fans.

    • CJ says:

      Thank you for sharing. I hope to get down next winter. Perhaps we can hold a mini summit. There seemed to be a few folks yesterday heading to the game. My in laws have a house in Mesa, just off Power Road in a golf course community.

      Thank you for the recap. Glad to have the positives during what was otherwise a tough night. Not to use this as an excuse, as I agree the team looked tired, but you won’t win to many games with below average goaltending.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Sweet, how is Mesa? My girlfiend and I are exploring the possibility of of purchasing a time share or home in AZ now,that we have our mortgage pretty much taken care of up here… What are your thoughts on Mesa?

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • CJ says:

          Love the area. The house is about 20 minutes from sky harbour airport. Great interstate system with the 202 loop and the 60 providing easy access into and out of Mesa. House is located in a golf course community, red mountain ranch. We are all golfers, so if you like to play, Arizona is excellent. Las Sendas, Red Mountain Ranch and Long Bow are all within walking distance. Many of these courses were formally private with huge initiation fees. They are now public.

          Cost of living in comparison with our community in Ottawa would be at least 50% cheaper. Although the dollar has shifted since they first bought, we live like kings. Outlet shopping, sporting events, dinner, gas, etc. are all very cheap. The community that they are in is upscale with house prices starting in the $200,000 range and going well over a million.

          The two biggest downsides are that rental cars are very expensive (compared to other vacation destinations, specifically Florida). What we pay in Phoenix for a week would get you a car for a month in Florida. Additionally, and this has more to do with Ottawa, there are no direct flights. It’s a long flight with two young boys and to far to drive. We have addressed the rental car issue by buying a car to keep down there, but the airline issue will always be there.

          • habsfaninphx says:

            It does get a little warm here in the summer though. The only outdoor classics here in July are in water polo.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Thank you for taking the time for writing a detailed response. I’m a huge golf enthusiast! After three rounds last year I was amazing (for me) scoring 81 (on my par 74 course) then no matter what I’d have 2-3 holes of double or triple (usually the hole following adding up the score, I buckle under pressure!) A golf community would be ideal.

            Upon research, of housing prices, medical insurance, and taxes it has become evident that we can retire 5-7 years earlier if we can get into the US as opposed to Canada.. We’re still unsure about buying VS time share..

            We have a couple friends in AZ but have no clue where they are. We are in the intro stages of our search at he moment.

            I love the sounds of a golf community, having the opportunity to destroy a great round of golf in the final 4-5 holes 12 months of the year… That’s the life!

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • CH Marshall says:

      You’re in a special category of fan if you rage regularly on HIO

  51. piter says:

    piter

    March 6, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    -Repost-

    I think it’s bu77$h1t that the League is forgiving New Jersey’s cap circumvention fine and giving them their 1st round pick back in this years draft. Remember, New Jersey was found guilty by an independent arbitrator of cap circumvention in the contract of Kovalchuk, they weren’t just accused of it. I’m upset with the League for caving. It sets a bad precedent. Way to stick by your guns there, NHL. It must sure be helpful to have your GM as a member of the “good old boys club”. The League and the Officiating are complete JOKES!!!!!!!

    • wjc says:

      Why is this such a big deal to you, the league governors agreed to forgive and forget.

      I am sure Molson has no problem with it.

      wjc

      • RUSTIE says:

        If they want to forgive I don’t see any thing wrong. I think it was wrong for them to be fined in the first place.

        Joe Laplane

      • HabinBurlington says:

        It bothers me as well (hope that’s okay), as it seems borderline like Vince McMahon and how he runs his WWE. Punishment was decided upon years ago, Kovalchuk’s decision to go home (which I think was welcomed by Jersey Ownership) should have zero bearing, so why suddenly now change the punishment.

        Reeks of both sides knowing all along the punishment was never going to be enforced as advertised, to me that is blatant lying and blatant favouritism to a franchise.

        No way Molson has no problem with it. But you seem to have better connections to him than most.

        • wjc says:

          Vince McMahon?

          WWE? Just phoney entertainment, owned by McMahon to run anyway he wants. A cartoon for adult kids.

          wjc

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Thus my point why it is disconcerting to see Bettman change rules on the fly for one of his entertainment characters, in this case the Devils.

  52. Storm Man says:

    No Ducks don’t eat meat.

  53. Storm Man says:

    I think this team is shark food on Saturday.

  54. Hugh Jass says:

    “Let’s just cool the Cup talk about a team that hasn’t won a game in regulation time since Feb. 8.”

    Well, this is just a horribly stupid comment to write. I’m fairly certain the Olympics took up a few weeks in there, no?

    • Mike Boone says:

      Really? I didn’t know that. Who won the Gold medal in hockey?

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Hugh Jass says:

        It’s a loaded comment. Gee, they haven’t won a regulation game in less than a month… when they (and no one else) played for more than half of that time? They must be brutal.

        And the Gold medal comment, huh?

        • Marcusman says:

          Imagine a sports writer using a loaded comment……buddy he’s trying to keep us all entertained…..and trust me the way they played last night in may be till next Feb 8th before we win another game in regulation.

          That 1st screened goal took the wind out of all our puffed sails.

      • gmur says:

        Goodness, Mr. Boone, the Olympics took place from the 6th to the 23rd of February 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Canada won the gold medal. Sweden is still waiting for their silver to be assembled at an IKEA factory…

        Glad I could be of help…

        I don’t think they’re real close to being a contender either.

      • wjc says:

        You might need more sleep Boone, no idea what your point was?

        wjc

    • wjc says:

      Cool the cup talk…..no bloody way!

      If you go into the playoffs thinking you will eventually lose, why bother?

      Go in, head held high, fight for every game and hope for a repeat of ’86’ or ’93’.

      Surprises happen in sports, upsets happen in sports, no one picked Montreal in 1993, but the right teams lost and Roy was lights out.

      Could happen again and if not, good time was had by all.

      wjc

    • CH Marshall says:

      Any relation to Hugh Jidiot?

  55. kalevine says:

    I was surprised how well Vanek fit in on this team right away. Too well

  56. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning everybody. I cheated. I shut the game off after the 1st and watched the tape this morning. Not my favorite game this season.

    Off to the gym but let’s not worry about Bellyfull and Front. I imagine their both on a nice sunny beach helping young ladies put on their sun screen. Gentleman always.

    CHeers all.

    • CJ says:

      You were better off for it. I stayed up like the fool I am. This has been an exhausting week. I’m sick, last night’s performance was sickening and the whole Tim Bozon issue is very, very concerning. The weekend is upon us. Hopefully good news on all fronts straight ahead.

    • wjc says:

      Cheating is good, I taped a good portion of the game and watched later, skipping the ads and the whistles.

      Great way to watch a late game, and the loss meant not much wasted time. Saw what I needed to see and skipped what I didn’t really need to see, win/win.

      wjc

  57. DipsyDoodler says:

    Dave Tippett must be a really good coach. Look at the Yotes lineup: on paper and they should be challenging Florida and Buffalo in the lottery. Two of their centres are Jeff Halpern and Kyle Chipchura!

    But as much as he can get them to over perform they will never win the cup unless they can spend more money.

    He’s going to have to leave at some point. I think if he let his contract run out he’d get an offer very rapidly.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  58. CJ says:

    Good morning folks.

    Second period aside, last night was not one for the collection. Since the Olympic break we have been bending but not breaking. If we fell apart in one area, we picked up the difference in another. Last night the line bent, and finally broke. On nearly every goal there were multiple errors including poor decision making/execution, poor zone coverage and ultimately poor goaltending.

    Given that the boys are off today, might I suggest we go into Saturday night’s game with an open mind. It’s going to take some time to build chemistry. The goal remains unchanged, which is to make the playoffs. You can not put the cart ahead of the horse and worry about second round opponents when you have not yet booked your postseason ticket. Last night we appeared to be caught looking ahead.

    It hasn’t been pretty but we are now 3-2-1, six games into this brutal ten game stretch. My view is unchanged, 4-4-2 would be a very good stretch.

    I’m hoping for a better result against the Sharks, but do not have my home mortgage tied to the result. Have a great day everyone. CJ

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning CJ. This is a very tough stretch in the schedule. Interesting enough we have the teams around us in the standings struggling to gain points as well.

      When Carey comes back we’ll start piling up points again. One thing though, the play of Emelin has to be a bit concerning, no? You don’t suppose that cranky knee of his is acting up do ya?

      • CJ says:

        Good morning Jim. I have to assume Emelin’s knee is 100%. That’s the good news. The bad news is Emelin’s decision making. In his defence (no pun intended) I don’t think we have put him in a position to succeed. IMO, with Gorges out, it might be the perfect opportunity to get Emelin on his natural side. As much as it pains me to say this, Lucic has been directly and indirectly responsible for the demise of two physical defencemen. First Komisarek and now Emelin. Emelin is a second slow to react and I believe it has to do with his confidence.

        Emelin had a decent hit on P. Kane during the Blackhawks game. Otherwise, I have to go all the way back to the brush by swipe he took on Dowie. Last season I couldn’t count the number of great hits he made. Again, IMO, he is playing without his greatest weapon – his physical prowess. Don’t think word isn’t out around the league either. Last year I’m sure players were told to keep their heads up. Now, I’m sure their told to put the puck in his corner and force him to make a play.

        In closing, I’m giving him pass this season, but if he doesn’t return to previous form next year, that contract is going to feel like a cowboy necktie around our neck.

    • Mike Boone says:

      I totally agree.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • wjc says:

      The collection?

      You collect these things?

      Might I add that you cannot reasonably say multiple errors on nearly every goal…..poor decision making, poor execution, poor zone coverage and then still blame the goaly.

      Can you admit that you cannot have a missed assignment, or coverage and a deflection and still blame the goaltender.

      Exhaustion is a very real thing and it is deliberately built into the schedule so that teams that are dragging play the home team and have a good chance of winning.

      The schedule returns the favor and good teams are beaten by lesser teams because of the travel/exhaustion/too many games in a short period of time takes its toll and the home team has a feast.

      So it keeps good teams grounded because eventually they have to play and travel through different time zones and look ordinary.

      wjc

      • CJ says:

        Look at the fourth goal as an example. Poor initial decision by Tinordi. Not a strong enough back check by DD who didn’t tie up the late man. Finally, soft goal on Budaj.

        You are correct. I thought the entire team lacked focus, and looked disengaged. It’s not on me to figure out the reason(s).

        To your question, yes if there is a breakdown and a deflection it shouldn’t reside with the goaltender. Not all of the five goals are on Budaj. Overall he wasn’t great, but neither was the team in front of him. Truth is, he has been very good at times during this stretch and he has also been very average, allowing some softies.

        We are spoiled with Price.

  59. Marc10 says:

    That wasn’t a masterpiece… Not the ALN so much as the source material.

    I thought Budaj would have been done with his recent habit of giving up a softie or two before knuckling down. Guess not…

    The Coyotes were well within reach tonight. A poor defensive effort and not being able to solve the giant freak Smith when it mattered did the Habs in. Again the DD line and the Markov/PK combo on the PP carried the side. Chucky is looking good for a guy rebounding from injury and there’s hope for Vanek with a rested Pleky at his side. Those guys can play against anyone in the league (ask me again after four gruelling playoff rounds…) and they’ve proven it on this road trip.

    So ironically, other than the goalies, it’s our bottom order that’s going be key to our success. I think the pieces are there. There is size and North-South speed and just the right amount of grit. The only thing missing is for Eller and Bourque (the skill in the bottom 6) to see a ©¢¥€®£¿ shrink and to win their match up.

    MT to my surprise gave Eller all kinds of rope against Phoenix – even after he took yet another stupid penalty in the offensive zone. He let the kid play. Maybe he sees what I see. The top 6 are going to do their job. It’s our third line that needs to make the difference… And the skill on that third line needs to shine.

    Based on what the radio guys are saying, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Carey during this road trip, so it’s going to take a miracle against SJ. The Sharks just ate a Penguin in a third period…

    For whatever reason Les Boys match up relatively well against the Ducks, and even the Hawks. But the Sharks… they’re a MOAR forechecking machine. I’m not religious but I’d consider making some kind of offering to help the boys out… And for our third line to find its mojo.

    End rant.

    • wjc says:

      They are going to lose in San Jose, so just go to bed and start fresh next week.

      2 out of 8 points, with maybe an overime point in San Jose, but a long shot.

      Brutal schedule, but it all equals out in the long run.

      Panic is fun to watch, entertaining as hell. Predictable when your whole life revolves around a hockey team.

      Doom and gloom sells, optimism is dismissed as insanity. Turning the T.V. off and moving on in the nice weather is considered foolishness.

      wjc

  60. Cal says:

    REPOST:
    Since the Great Bellyful has not graced these pages lately, I take it upon myself to do a very cheap imitation:

    March 5th, 2:55PM EST
    Deep in the bowels of the Bell Centre

    Lightning flashes continuously, illuminating a large cavern filled with all kinds of late-nineteenth and early twentieth century machines spread out across a vast bedrock floor. Twenty-four Cups are piled precariously in one of the corners; the topmost has twenty-one years of accumulated dust on it, obscuring its now-forgotten lustre. Two figures stand in the shadows; one is hunched over one of the machines, his hand latched onto a black knob.

    Thunder rolls, causing EyeGore to stuff his stubby thumb into his one good cauliflower ear and cringe like a frightened puppy. Steam rises from the top of his head; yet another curly hair has just been burnt to a crisp, the victim of yet another lightning strike. The hair crumbles onto his pate as a single tear slides down his grubby cheek.

    “I TOLD YOU TO TURN IT OFF, YOU MEAT HEAD!” An over-large claw-like hand clutches EyeGore’s shoulder, its talons digging into the shoulder of his ratty old coat. EyeGore jerks away, inadvertently turning the lightning machine off. The sudden silence leaves Eye Gore’s ear ringing. He pulls his thumb out of it, a great big gob of yellowy wax drips ever so slowly onto the floor.

    The owner of the claw-like hand lets out a long sigh. “Aaaaaaaaahh, that’s better my pet. I knew that arrogant SOB Yzerman wouldn’t return my calls.” EyeGore eyeballs the one he calls Master, patiently waiting. His years of doggedly loyal service keep him silent. Master slides his Iphone into his back pocket. EyeGore knows his Master has a flair for the dramatic, even when it is no big thing.
    Immaculately dressed in a black tuxedo with a dashing bright red kerchief peeking from its breast pocket, his Master cradles his right elbow in the palm of his left hand. The nails of his right hand toy with his wisp of a beard as his deathly pale visage frowns. EyeGore knows Master is using all his mental powers to resuscitate The Season that is lying on a slab nearby. As is his wont in times of crisis, Master talks to himself.
    “Whatever can I do now? St. Louis has gone to New York thanks to that miserable ogre Sather. As if I couldn’t have offered more and convinced that gold medal winning freak in Tampa. Well, it is of no moment now. What to do?” Master turns his gaze upon EyeGore, who intuitively flinches and cowers.
    “What do you think, Michel?” he asks, his voice dropping into a menacing rasp. Still, the sound reverberates in EyeGore’s brain. Suddenly itchy, Eyegore scratches his head. A single flake of dandruff detaches and rests on his still waxy thumb; it glows in the eerie light of the machines.

    “Eh, what’s that? Why, EyeGore, that flake is as white as….I’ve got it!!” In one smooth motion, Master’s Iphone fills with light as he presses it to his ear. “Garth? Hi, it’s me…Marc. Have I got a deal for you….”

    Moments later…

    Master’s voice shouts in triumph, his eyes glowing like dark coals, “It’s alive!! Muahhahahahahh! It’s alive!” Over on the slab, The Season springs to life….

  61. doug19 says:

    I assume teams can trade again at season end until the draft or
    July 1?

    My question for the more informed is.

    Will Vanek have any trade value during that time?

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Yes they can trade, but it’s highly unlikely we would see this type of scenario.

      Back in 2010, pending Nashville UFA Dan Hamhuis was dealt to Philadelphia on June 19th.
      This gave the Flyers 10 days of exclusive negotiating rights before July 1st when Free Agency starts.
      Then on June 25th, the Flyers traded Hamhuis to Pittsburgh for a 3rd round pick.
      They also were unsuccessful as Hamhuis eventually became a UFA 5 days later and signed with Vancouver.

    • shlamiel says:

      Vaneks home is st.paul minnesota, he is not staying in montreal.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        You sure it isn’t Baden bei Wein?

        Edit: I’m thought I read home town, perhaps edited, or perhaps I just continue to not read well.

    • wjc says:

      Short answer…..NO.

      He has already told his wife…..now sweety it is just for a couple of months then we will be back home in Minnesota.

      wjc

  62. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    It’s truly unfair to judge a team/goalie/newcomers on a single game.
    If anything, Habs fans should be thrilled about the 6 game post Olympic segment.

    The schedule and travel was nothing short of brutal.
    3 games in 4 nights against Detroit, @Pitt, Toronto.
    Hop on an airplane and play another 3 games in 4 nights against LA, Anaheim, and Phoenix

    That,s 6 games in 9 nights including time zone issues – all played WITHOUT Carey Price and actually using the 3rd string Hamilton goalie for 1 game.

    Big tip of the hat to the Habs for somehow finding a way to scrape out 7 points in those 6 games.

    • I have seen the light says:

      But you know it’s MT fault that they were not prepared to play.
      :lol:

    • Habfan17 says:

      Good morning!

      I am not one for excuses, however, it was their 3rd game in 4 nights with two new players in the line up. That said, the players only job, is to play hockey and they have the best conditioning, nutrition, and therapists to help them.

      They are still doing okay missing Price and if they can at least get a point against the Sharks, it will be a decent road trip. With MB picking up Vanek and Weaver, it is clear he wants to go for the cup. Not sure if that is realistic, although if some of the favoured teams get upset early, it is possible.

      I am curious to see how Vanek and Weaver do after a couple of practices and games. I will not judge until the end of the regular season.

      Habfan17

    • TMan1969 says:

      Level headed post…well done.

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

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Ronn. The wins against the Pens and Leafs, in addition to stealing a point against the Wings where we played for 2 minutes, has helped to sustain us through this difficult stretch. 3-2-1 is very good. 4-4-2 would be a great result over this ten game stretch. Thankfully Tampa, Columbus and Detroit (in OT) all lost last night. Leafs head out west next week, before returning home to face us. Playoffs are a very strong likelihood. The injuries are concerning. I think our record has allowed us to be extra cautious and not rush anyone before they are 100%.

      Lastly, I expect to see either Pateryn or Beaulieu next week. They should consider the three AHL games this weekend as an audition.

  63. habzfan2003 says:

    Tough loss. It may be cliché but… Gotta show up for 60 not 40.
    San Jose comes back down 2-0 to Pitt with 4 in the 3rd and end the game with 47 shots to Pittsburgh’s 22.

    Hopefully a practice will kick start the Vanek “gelling” process.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Looking at the schedule, the travel, and some CBA mandated days off, it appears the next real practice will not happen until next Monday

  64. habs_54321 says:

    completely missed all the action tonight anyone have the lineup that was used?

  65. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    A House Of Cards marathon session meant I missed this one. Glad I did. At least I have ALN to fill me in. Thanks Booner.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  66. HabinSquamish says:

    How was I not first?

  67. D Mex says:

    Here’s a link to the most recent from CBC on Tim Bozon, with some familiar faces (avatars) included :
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/tim-bozon-fans-express-concern-for-whl-star-1.2563305?cmp=rss

    Wishing strength to him and his family !

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  68. drail222 says:

    LA game was 2-1 in regulation!

  69. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …if We win in San Jose, it would be 5 of possible 8, wouldn’t it ?

    …loser point in L.A., 2 in Anaheim, 0 in PHX, and if We win in San Jose another 2, mais non ? = 5 ?

    …I think Mike, like Our Habs, is just a bit pooped …too tired to count correctly

  70. habs001 says:

    Hopefully better effort on saturday

  71. Just A Guy says:

    No fun, I even read the ALN first :)

  72. boing007 says:

    I’d rather see Weise play with Eller and Bourque. Moen, not so much. Need Bournival back ASAP. Beaulieu would also be a nice addition.

    Richard R

  73. wjc says:

    Probably have them in 3rd place.

    Always love the coach you do not have and hate the one you have.

    The grass is always ‘greener’ on the other side of the hill. If only we had that coach or this coach……wow!

    When you get the coach, after a year you are looking over the hill again.

    wjc

  74. Cal says:

    Yeah, he’s in 9th in the West and a mediocre 4-5-1 in the last 10 as the games become more important.

    Sure, he’s a decent coach, but he hasn’t really won much, has he?

  75. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Didn’t he win WC Gold??

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  76. RUSTIE says:

    Ted Nolan is better. Look what he has and they are still winning. Calgary also. Habs got a better team and can’t beat the dogs.

    Joe Laplane

  77. habsfaninphx says:

    I have never seen Pleks give less than his best. He may not always get the desired result but tired or fresh he always gives you everything he has. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him loaf or heard him complain either.

    Gionta looked tired when he wasn’t near the puck.

    I love PK, his puck handling and constant energy really stood out. He is a special player and I hope they get him signed soon.

    I think it could be tough playing with him at times though. When he gets the puck and you work up a full head of steam and then he circles back and you have to start over and wait to see what he’s going to do . . . Still a future superstar.


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