About last night …

We love our hockey team in Montreal.
With a contentious and, for a good portion of the population, ominous election looming, fans braved a late-winter snowstorm to welcome their beloved Canadiens back to the Bell Centre.
The white stuff won’t last.
And loyalty to the beloved Canadiens was unshaken by the team’s third straight loss, 4-1 to the hated Bruins.
But as you look at that photo of fans congregating in outside the Bell Centre, ask yourself whether this team will still be playing when the snow melts.
And for how long.


Forget the glass-half-full malarkey.

You can’t put a positive spin on the Canadiens’ recent results.

They haven’t won a game in regulation time since before the Olympics.

Their only win on the recent road trip was against Anaheim – which, their lofty point total notwithstanding, lost at home to the Leafs and got smoked in Calgary.

It has been obvious for a couple weeks now that the Canadiens can’t win without Carey Price. And the condition of Team Canada’s gold-medal goaltender is a mystery.

Price has what’s officially described as a lower-body injury. He has not played a game since Sochi, and Price’s return to practice this week has been confined to some light drills with goaltending coach Stéphane Waite.

Informed speculation – if that isn’t an oxymoron – has Price battling a groin injury. The healing process cannot be rushed, and a premature return to action might jeopardize the future of the Canadiens’ most valuable player.

The Canadiens are still six points clear of  ninth-place Detroit. but the Red Wings have two games in hand.

My friends in the Bell Centre pressbox tell me the Canadiens are a lock for the playoffs. Given their cushion and the availability of loser’s points down the stretch, they’ll probably get into the postseason … if only as a wild-card.

But the upcoming schedule is not easy.

Ottawa, desperate for points in pursuit of a playoff spot, visits the Bell Centre Saturday night. The Senators have won two of the teams’ three meetings this season.

On Sunday, the Canadiens play in Buffalo, against a Sabres team that is out of the playoff hunt and loosey-goosey.

Then patrick Roy brings the Avalanche to the Bell Centre next Tuesday night, followed by surging Columbus on Thursday. The Canadiens then visit Toronto on March 22 and Boston on the 24th.

If the Canadiens play like they did for the first 20 minutes against the Bruins, this schedule will be manageable – the more so if Price is available.

But if they play like they did in the second period against Boston …

The Canadiens outshot Boston 14-6 in that first period and 36-32 on the game. They won 62 per cent of the faceoffs. Boston outhit them, but only by a 29-26 margin.

The Bruins blocked 18 shots, to 13 for the Canadiens. And the home team managed to miss the net with 19 shots, to only six misses for Boston.

The latter stat  is, to me, indicative of the Canadiens’ lack of confidence in the offensive zone. The team is not scoring, they’re squeezing their sticks and shots are all over the place.

Exhibit A: Tomas Plekanec, 0 SoG, four misses. His linemate, Brian Gionta, had two shots on Rask and missed the net three times.

Max Pacioretty, by contrast, had six shots on goal to lead both teams. Another three were blocked by white-shirted defenders. Max did not miss the net once.

In the third period, with the game out of reach, Michel Therrien moved Thomas Vanek to the David Desharnais line, with Pacioretty. They produced the only goal, and Vanek was the only Canadien who was plus-1 on the game – a distinction that hardly justified his selection as Third Star.

Brendan Gallagher was reunited with Alex Galchenyuk, who made some pretty plays in the game, and poor Lars Eller, who took yet another penalty and has not been on the scoresheet since Feb. 9.

Of Eller’s 10 goals this season, five were scored in the first five games. We can hope that a reconstituted EGG line might start clicking, but Eller is a mess.

Like Galchenyuk and, recently, P.K. Subban, Eller is not playing as well as he did last season. Their struggles make you wonder about the ability of Therrien and his staff to develop young talent.

Gallagher is the exception, but he’d play well for Barry Melrose.

Not to worry, though. The coach somehow managed to play Francis Bouillon more even-strength minutes than any other Canadiens’ defenceman.

Frankie the Bull was not the home team’s worst defenceman. That dubious distinction belongs to Douglas Murray, who had a grand total of ZERO hits against the Bruins.

Enough already! Bring up Nathan Beaulieu and/or Greg Pateryn.

Ottawa on Saturday.

Be very afraid.





  1. HabinBurlington says:

    Given not much fun to chat about Habs today, perhaps reading the Globe’s editorial on Marois and her delusional thoughts regarding currency in a sovereign Quebec can be more enjoyable.


    • Habfan17 says:

      They have been floating that boat since the 80’s. They wanted to keep using the CDN currency, the Armed Forces, the Gov’t buildings. All they wanted to do was walk away from their part of the debt and be their own Country while keeping all the Cdn Services basically!

      Really sovereign!!


      • Coach K says:

        I know it’s been said before but remember… The separatists don’t really want separation. What they’re really after is “divorce … with bed privileges”.

        For the record, I love Quebec, its people and everything they add to our country.

        Separatists on the other hand, seem to me like a bunch of spoiled teenagers. They’re happy to live in your house, eat all your food, take no responsibility for their own problems, pay no room and board, then have the nerve to complain when you ask them to contribute to the family. The good people of Quebec should kick their sh!t-disturbing a$$es to the curb.

        For that matter, instead of another separatist “never-endum” perhaps Canadians who don’t want to break up the country should have a referendum of their own to decide if they want to continue to put up with the separatists.

        I apologize if anyone is offended … I’m just tired of the silliness.

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

  2. Mattyleg says:

    Morning everyone.
    2-and-8 Matty here.

    Ah well.

    I went home annoyed last night.
    Not a great game, not a great showing.
    It’s a confidence thing, and it’s clear that Carey (and probably Gorges) is from whence our confidence stems, and the sooner they get back, the better for everyone.

    The coaching is not the problem here, or to be more precise, is not the biggest problem. Certainly the coach has a hand in getting his players playing well and clicking, through line adjustments and overall strategy, that’s true.

    BUT, the coach can’t stop players making blind passes to the opposition. The coach can’t make players hit the net with their shots. The coach can’t stop Eller from taking stupid penalties, or make Budaj not let in a weak goal every game. The coach can’t get players to accept passes without bobbling them, or to make passes that don’t bounce all over the place.

    Those things are up to the players. The Habs have to look at themselves and pump themselves up. They have to believe in themselves and work hard to generate the engergy to fuel that belief.

    Here’s the Habs theme song of the day:

    Listen to the lyrics. Amazingly apt.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Love how you managed to single out your boy Eller. 😉

      • Mattyleg says:

        And Budaj.
        It had more to do with Boone’s reference to him.
        I actually liked some of Eller’s work last night, but he’s got to get his head in the game. He’s doing the Richard Zednik Circle-the-net-rather-than-drive-to-it manoeuvre all the time now. Must be residual fear from his injury, as it was with RZ.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Cal says:

      Heck, Matty, ya gotta stop goin’ to de games. Youse is a jinx, I tells ya! 😉

    • Habitforming says:

      I agree its all up to the players to be able to pass, shoot etc etc… BUT its is all on the coach to ice the best team or skill set to not make the bad passes, plays etc.

      Sure an arguement can be made for the injuries to Gorges and Price, but last night having 3 guys in the top 20 worst defensemen for possession numbers all suit up vs the top team in the division is just blind foolishness.

      The cube has heart and thats about it. His ice time last night could be a punchline to the season that has been to this point. I don’t think Murray or the cube are better options for Weaver, Tinordi, Beaulieu or Pateryn at this point, but not having them in the line up now when they need the help anyway isn’t going to help them develop for the future either.

      Galchenyuk needs some freedom now (PK too but we all know that will never happen no matter what). It doesn’t matter what happens to the other lines and the vets on this team, he needs to be a center now or at least before his creativity and offensive instincts have been crushed and killed.

      This was going to end up as a novel sized post/rant but I’ll just stop now and save myself the effort….. just like the current coaching staff

    • Habfan17 says:

      No the coach can’t, but when your coach is not giving you the same support as others such as DD, when you do very well, and then get shafted by losing the players who you play well with, then get moved to a different position, well, that plays with your confidence and makes you over think things and clench your stick too tight!

      If you want to call players out who have made terrible passes over the last 3 games, look no further than Pleks and Gio! I have seen them pass to no one, the other team and cough up pucks, but they get a buy from the coaches and many here on HIO.

      It is as plain as the nose on our faces, the young players have struggled this season under Theriien’s coaching. Subban, Eller, Galchenyuk, even Gallagher, are not the same players as they were last season. The so called sophomore jinx does not apply to everyone. Even Bournival, before he was injured, regressed. All the line juggling and demotions to lower lines when they have performed well sends a message that will over ride any verbal message from the coach.

      If I tell you, you are doing great then move you down to the 4th line from the 2nd, how do you feel? I would say, this summer, they move Therrien to scouting and find a new coach! Hopefully there will be more available for Bergevin to choose from this time around!


  3. Steeltown Hab says:

    Last night was the worst display of trying to break out of the offensive zone I’ve ever seen in MTL since the pre-Subban days.


    – Markov-Subban together again. At least we know we should be able to break out extremely well for half of the game
    -Call up Beaulieu, He’s already better than any dman not named Markov Subban on the healthy roster right now.

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

  4. saskhabsfan says:

    Brian gionta is not an nhl player anymore! And playing vanek with him is the stupidest move ever. You might as well play him with parros. MT has shown that he has no clue how to make a team better, play to your strengths don’t showcase your weaknesses!

  5. mrhabby says:

    They should rename this site to Bitchin Inside and Out or Bitchin About Last Night.

  6. Congrats to Team Canada says:

    Coaching is not the problem guys, keep pointing the finger on the turnstyle of coaches to go out this door the last 20 years.

    Montreal makes a lot of money. ALOT, more then probably every team except a few, management is paid well, coaches, and trainers are paid well, players are paid well. Everyone is happy, but you and me. But we pay not matter what.

    Look around, how many teams in the last 20 years that have won a cup, are teams that have huge profits. Boston, might be the only exception. Detroit, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Anaheim, Chicago, and even LA. Are not profitable teams, like Toronto, NY, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver…

    When you make money, ALOT of it, winning championships becomes secondary.

    They just don’t have the same passion as HUNGRIER teams.

    Just take PRICE for example, he played alot better fro his home country then ive seen him play regularly for the HABS in along time.

    You’re not going to see a championship in Montreal for a long time, or until they start losing money.

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    Didn’t get to see much of the game, but aargh, sucks losing to the Bruins.

    Not sure what to make of this swoon the team is in, hopefully things can turn around still. As happy as I was for Price and team Canada, sure sucks we have lost him for all these games.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      They will.

      We’re in that final part of a slump where you’re playing better but still losing.

      Still, we need Price back.

      Moving. Forward.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        You realize by attending game with Matty that you are now both on the Jinx list of fans no longer allowed to attend big rivalry games eh?

        • Mattyleg says:

          I’m right here!!
          Actually, I think it’s a mix of me and a buddy of mine, who I found out was at the game too. He has seen 3 games this season, and the Habs have been outscored 16-1 in those three games.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  8. HabFab says:

    Lyle Richardson takes a look at the Salary Cap ramifications for each NHL team next season;

  9. PuffNStuff says:

    Jagr – 21 – 36 – 57
    Briere – 11 – 10 -21
    Just sayin *sigh*

  10. Steeltown Hab says:

    WOW – Bouillon actually skated MORE minutes than Subban…just seeing this now…..How he’s even in the same realm in terms of total TOI is funny enough.

    Therrien you’re a complete joke. Bergevin better end this garbage this off season.


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

  11. boonie says:

    Last year, Eller produced 30 points in 46 games. That’s 54 points prorated to an 82 game sked.

    Here is a sample of the guys who scored about 30 points that same season. Huberdeau (31), Callahan (31), Yakupov (31), Marleau (31), Pavelski (31), Hossa (31), Vinny (32), Mike Richards (32), Seguin (32), JVR (32), Kovalchuk (31), Franzen (31), Jordan Staal (31), Bobby Ryan (30), Turris (30)…

    Yes, I’m cherry picking to illustrate a point. Gallagher and DD both had 28 points in the same season.

    But I can’t see how anyone places Eller in the same class as that list of players and presumes he will score at that pace.

    The idea that Therrien is responsible is equally nutty. Eller scored 30 points playing FOR Therrien.

    To me, it’s some combination of:

    (A) limited upside.
    He has his one big year. He’s actually, a 30 point guy. Hell, Cory Conacher had 29 points last year and Ottawa waived him last week.


    (B) We messed up his development.
    DD scored 58 points in 77 games in Hamilton in 2008-09. We left him down there the following year and he had 78 points in 60 games. He dominated. He learned how to produce when he played as the #1 line at that level and excelled… This is NOT a DD/Eller debate. Eller scored 57 points in 70 AHL games in 2009-10. The following year he plays with Habs (perhaps due to the pressure to show fans we got something of value of the prior year’s playoff hero). Relegated to a supporting role, he has 17 points in 77 NHL games.

    It’s tough to learn how to be a top-6 forward at the NHL level when he hasn’t been developed that way for the past five years. He’s 24. He’s been largely a bottom 6 guy since he was 19. It’s tough to work your way out of a rut that deep.

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      He didn’t need more tim in AHL. All he needs is some linemates and actual opportunity for some PP. Like most young players. Desharnais is playing with Pacioretty Gallagher everygame and 1st unit PP no matter how bad he was. That’s why he’s producing, not because of an additional few yrs in the AHL because he’s a late bloomer.


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

    • piper says:

      How many points did DD get in the NHL when he was 24?

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        I love how people always like to cite his BS AHL and ECHL stats. It’s like ya Eller was too good for those leagues and would’ve lit them up as well if he was still in the minors at those ages. Fact of the matter is developmentally, montreal (joke organization) is just ruining a perfectly good asset.

        Chose to invest everything into a undrafted 27 yr old with a way lower ceiling because he has a french last name and a good buddy on the team.


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

      • boonie says:

        DD turned 24 in 2010. He split that season between Hamilton and Montreal. In HAM: 45 points in 35 games; with the big club: 22 in 43.

        DD had 60 points in 81 games in 2011-12.

        Again, not a DD/Eller debate. DD was groomed to play #1 minutes and play against shut down lines. He excelled at lower levels and, to a certain degree, at the NHL level.

        Eller was not giving the same opportunity to develop as a #1. He played bottom 6 minutes here instead of #1 minutes in Hamilton.

        He’s done too much and it’s too late to send him back. I don’t know if it can fixed.

        Frankly, right now, he’s behind DD and Plecs on this club. If Chuky were playing center and developing his top line chops, Eller may be behind him too. White is our #4 guy.

        I’m not sure where that leaves Lars.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          Galchenyuk should have Desharnais’ role. Thats so f****** obvious. DD gets groomed like a 19 year old. Lets face it, only Eller can take over a role like Plekanec’s. Desharnais is clearly the odd man out.


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

          • piper says:

            Agree. Centres on this team going forward should be Galchenyuk, Eller, Plek, and White, in that order.

    • grizzles says:

      Boonie, Eller played last season with GOOD line mates. This season not only has his confidence been destroyed by MT. He’s had to play with horrible fringe NHLers and 4th liners. What do you expect?

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Desharnais struggles with Pacioretty and Briere. Not his fault, ice him with gallagher too.

        Eller doesn’t produce with Bourque, Weise. Scratch. Therrien doesn’t have a clue who his personnel is. He thinks Murray Tinordi is a smart pairing, and that Subban your best defensive and offensive dman needs limited minutes while Markov can skate forever at his age and on rehabilitated knees.


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

      • boonie says:

        I don’t expect much. I suspect, he’s a limited point 3rd line guy.

        dobber hockey shows(rounding):

        This year:
        Eller has played 20% of minutes with Gallagher and Galchenyuk; 8% with Chucky and Prust. 7% with Bourque and Prust; 6% with Chucky and Bourque.

        41% with guys who can reasonable score at the NHL level. I accept as a Prust grinder that can help scorers. The rest of Eller’s time breaks down quickly into onesie/twosie stuff with Briere, Chucky, Gallagher, Patches, etc.

        Last year:
        16% with Prust and Chuky; 9% with COLBY ARMSTRONG and Chucky; 7% with Ryder and Chuky (with Chucky as center); 6% with Armstrong and Moen.

        Come on. He’s playing with better guys THIS year.

        • grizzles says:

          What are you talking about? what about the other 59%??

          How in the world are Prust and Bourque guys who can score at the NHL level? You expect him to put up big numbers with those guys? Bourque shouldn’t even be in the NHL

          • boonie says:

            The 59% is random line combinations for brief periods.

            Would you rather have 28% with Gallagher and Chucky + Chucky and Prust or 25% with Prust and Chucky + Chucky and Armstrong?

            Bourque scored 27 in 2009-10; 27 in 2010-11; was on pace for 28 (13 in 38 games) in 2011-12 when we traded for him. I’d place him above Moen and Armstrong. Prust has 34 NHL goals -in his CAREER.

            Eller played his most minutes last season with Chucky and Prust. Prust scored 5 in 82 games with NYR the year before we signed him.

            Briere’s worst NHL seasons were 6 (in 34 game with Philly last year) and 7 with Buffalo in 14 games in 2002-03.

            Sorry, Eller has better scoring line mates this year.

  12. grizzles says:

    Ive said this before and i’ll say it again.

    Play Beaulieu and a league average D (Weaver?)

    Sit Emelin and Murray for good.

    Get a league average coach who understands basic player usage:
    Good player=more time, Bad player=less time

    Problems solved

    • MacHenri says:

      No point in playing Beaulieu. IF we make the playoffs, although very doubtful, we would likely not survive the first round.

      So, save Beaulieu – we know he can play in the NHL; continue to test Tinordi and let him get comfortable.

      This is not a Cup year.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        WTF? No point in playing a prospect who’s shown he’s rdy and who helps us now? Good point.

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

      • grizzles says:

        Tinordi will never be comfortable playing with the Black hole of possession that is Douglas Murray. I see no reason whatsoever to deliberately NOT play the best players available.

        Also not sure its ‘very doubtful’ that we will make the playoffs..We have a cushion with winnable games coming up

  13. Cam_1 says:

    Shoulda took Roy when they had the chance !

    • Luke says:

      Especially if he came with Duchene, MacKinnon, Landeskog, O’Reilly and E John$on.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        …and Sastny, McGinn, Varlamov….Patrick knew exactly what he was getting into – a young, star studded powerhouse in the making that needed a little direction from a guy that has proved he wins.

    • Strummer says:

      When did they have the chance?
      I could be wrong but I don’t remember Roy being interested in working in Montreal when there was a coaching vacancy.

      Edit- Or being entertained as a candidate.

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

  14. Luke says:

    So, We’ve see the photos of Galchenyuk and Prusty tussling about and mucking around after practices. Anyone seen footage of him putting in extra work on his faceoffs?

    Yah, the tongue is planted in cheek, but only sort of. Galchenyuk is awful in the dot. Limited draws, but he runs about 30%.
    We need him at centre, but with that kind of result we can’t afford to play him there.
    I recall a few years back when Crosby was awful in the faceoff circle, he spent an entire off season and extra time after practices working on draws. Hopefully, Galchenyuk has been doing the same.
    As much as size has been an issue for the Habs for 20+ years… so has the faceoffs.

    • Strummer says:

      Galch JUST turned 20.
      Maybe his faceoff issues are part of why he isn’t ready to be an everyday centre.

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

      • Luke says:

        I know. I think he’s an elite prospect. I just hope he is working on his faceoffs.
        ‘cuz, at this point, they are his most obvious weakness.

        • Strummer says:

          Here’s hoping they’re working on the total package- would hate to see all this potential go down the drain.

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

        • boing007 says:

          Galchenyuk is not going to learn how to win faceoffs while playing on the wing every night. Practice makes perfect. MT’s a worrywart.

          Richard R

    • Wintercount says:

      When the faceoffs are in the neutral zone and the game is a forgone conclusion let 27 take those draws, another small detail that would benefit 27 and the team in the long run.
      Being a good coach is all about spotting the details.

  15. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Of the 15 games remaining 11 are against teams solidly in the playoffs (Bruins, Avalanche, Blackhawks), working to stay in (Leafs, Bolts) or fighting to get in (Senator, Redwings, Rangers, BlueJackets). Habs are in the 2nd group but it sure feels like they belong to the 3rd. This weekend seals they’re fate IMO.

  16. MacHenri says:

    Price is done for the season. Management has already decided, and rightfully so, that he should not return to play and doing so avoid the risk of turning a groin injury into a chronic problem for your franchise player. And no point in announcing that now so as not to deflate the competitive spirit of the troops.

    So sit back, relax and reset your expectations.

  17. Maritime Ronn says:

    boing007 says:
    …..RDS showed a graphic showing that the Canadiens are 29th in the league in 5-on-5 scoring, ahead of only Buffalo.
    That stat is not exactly the right stat to look at because it only considers ‘goals scored 5X5’ and not ‘goals against 5X5’ giving a Net result.

    In the RDS category of ‘goals scored’, Los Angeles ranks 28th – just 2 goals scored more than the Habs, yet when you take the Net effect of goals against in 5X5 even strength hockey, the Kings are 5th best in the NHL.

    Another reverse example is the Islanders.
    They have scored the 13th most goals in the NHL, yet their Net 5X5 goals for/goals against ratio puts them in 26th place in the NHL.

    The Habs in all of this?
    Not good.

    In 5X5 Net Even Strength hockey, the Habs rank 25th in the NHL and are ahead of only the Islanders-Nashville-Calgary Edmonton-Buffalo….not very good company to be in.


    Habs Even Strength Goals For…….: 100
    Habe Even strength Goals Against: 115
    Differential: Minus – 15.
    Boston Differential: Plus + 48

    The Habs ineptness all year in 5X5 hockey was camouflaged early by a great Power Play.
    With the PP now stumbling at a 1 for 21 pace in the past 5 games (4.7%) there should be little surprise about this mini losing streak.

    • boonie says:

      Your last line is the key. We live and die by the PP and PK.

      When those work, we win. Going back to the Carbo days, #1 overall. Killer special team stats.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        The PK is still good and in 4th place in the NHL at 84.8%, yet even that has fallen slightly.

        Over the past 5 games, it is at 80.85%.
        That percentage if year long would put the Habs at 21st place….then again, the best PK man always has to be the goalie.

  18. grizzles says:

    Some people on this site need to relax a little bit. We outplayed the Bruins last night overall in almost every facet except the scoreboard. Puck luck and poor goaltending can kill a team. Its evident now more than ever how much we miss Carey.
    Also people are WAY to worried about Vanek. He was probably our best player last night and has been very good while adjusting to new line mates.
    Its clear that Budaj can not hold the fort but other than that we are playing some of our best hockey of the year. Just need a couple pucks to roll the right way

    • Steeltown Hab says:

      Bruins didn’t play well, we looked awful. Some bad bounces, sure. But terrible hockey overall.


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

    • Congrats to Team Canada says:

      Goaltending is irrelevant, HABS will win or lose regardless of whos in net. None of the last 4/5 losses, were goaltending issues, except for perhaps last night, when Rask, stole the show the first half of the game. Budaj has played fine.

      • grizzles says:

        its not that Budaj has been horrible. But that Price is so much better he hides the defensive deficiencies. Budaj being in net shows how bad our D coverage has been.

  19. Steeltown Hab says:

    Just awful coaching decision after awful coaching decision. How many times does Therrien:

    – Ice the 4th line with the bottom d-pairing Murray – Tinordi
    – Ice the 4th line first shift after being scored on when we’re down
    – Why is a struggling rookie continuing to play on his wrong side (Tinordi)? with the most immobile d-partner (Murray)

    Does anyone else find it strange we don’t feature Subban anymore? Markov consistently gets more minutes and Therrien pairs up Bouillon with Subban… It’s not evening out the pairings when you ice a liability on each one, thats just 3 below avg d-pairings…


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

  20. SC-24 says:

    When a superior team plays a mediocre team the results last night is usually what you get. to many people on here think the Habs are a good team they’re not. we have a half dozen good players once you get beyond that this team is very weak and I said yesterday the light in the tunnel is a long ways off. I’ll be glad when the year is over and hope MB can improve this team before the start of the 2014-2015 season. We have to scratch and claw every year just to try and make the playoffs how are we ever gonna have a chance to win a cup with teams like that. Playoffs yes, a Stanley cup most of us has seen the last one 1993 to come to Montreal!!

  21. Grimmly says:

    So we can’t score , so what does the mastermind MT do , plays Frankie more then any player on either team. Please tell me how this is not a sign to fire his add , he has no idea what he is doing

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      Grimmly………..you can check the game stats on TSN That way you can accurately post here. Markov had the most minutes on the team last night FB had the second most minutes…pK was a close third by less than a minute……those are the facts but don’t let them stand in the way of a post

  22. Sportfan says:

    So aside my rage towards MT and how I despise his lines, I am also fearful of our young guys not being developed properly and screwing them up, thus screwing the team over. Something has go to change.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  23. Storm Man says:

    I think the topic for a new post should be “About last year” staring MT as a coach who has no clue how to run this team.

  24. Forum Dog says:

    Tuned out mid-way through the third, but I thought that, other than the first period, Montreal looked unprepared. Way too many long stretch passes, especially from LD to RW. Lots of turnovers due to checking pressure. Ineffective zone entry (Bruins just stood them up at the blue line and dared them to dump and chase). No-one playing the middle of the ice. Everyone on the perimeter.

    Vanek was good I thought. He looked like the most skilled Habs player out there. Good puck control and a few nice passes. One of the few to set up around the net as well.

    Eller is playing a confused game right now. He is running all over the place. He is big, fast and a decent puck handler, but chases the play way too much.

    Moen – invisible. Briere – largely invisible. Prust – first game back, but did not look good. White – pretty much invisible. Against a team like the Bruins, your fourth line guys need to be hard to play against. And you can’t have Briere, Gionta, Gallagher all in the lineup against them. Where was Weise? Does he still play in MTL?

    I’m also a bit concerned about Price. He has missed a fair bit of time now. It won’t be easy for him to get right back to where he was before the Olympics, and while he’s getting a good rest, his conditioning will be affected simply because he is not playing and there is no live fire.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I’d love to see White-Weise-Bournival again. Moen and Prust are just not good. Why on earth is Prust fighting a useless plug when he just came back from injury?

      (Although with how long he’s been out I’m not sure Bournival is coming back this year. )

      Moving. Forward.

      • Sportfan says:

        I think White, Prust, Moen works.

        Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

      • Forum Dog says:

        Agreed on Bournival. With the “depth” they have at forward, there is probably no point in risking his head for limited minutes.

        I’m actually a bit disappointed with Prust. Obviously his shoulder is going to be a career-long problem. I get why he wanted to fight Millar, but it didn’t have the desired effect, and his 5-on-5 play is less than robust at this point.

        Weise is bigger, faster and harder hitter. He needs to get on the ice. It’s been said many times already, but Weise can bring a lot more to that fourth line than Briere can. Watching #48 is absolutely painful. He looks like he would get outmuscled in my men’s league.

      • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

        Completely agree. Moen and Prust are spent forces. They’re just taking up space now. Let the young ‘uns have it.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Because Parros was scratched. Prust wasn’t going to take on Thornton. Did you see CJ giving it to Thornton on the bench after wards? Lucy running Tu-74 all night? I Thought our boys could handle the Bruins without Stache. Guess I was wrong. Saludos!

  25. Sportfan says:

    My recent last word article on the Jays and missing out on Santana!


  26. Bim says:

    Last night’s effort was a poor listless performance by everyone. They didn’t look like they were interested in making the playoffs. I thought Vanek looked like he does has obvious offensive talent and soft hands particularly in close but the rest of the steel handed crew couldn’t score if the net was as wide as the whole rink. They should try and keep him at least for a couple of years. Lars Eller belongs in Hamilton. Try and waive him just to see if there’s any interest. Then park him in the press box for the remainder of the season. Bournival is coming back soon. They won’t miss Eller.

  27. Hobie Hansen says:

    Tough loss. Habs don’t score on three different breakaways to take the lead when the score is 0-0 and also dominate the 1st period.

    Three different mistakes by defencemen cost us the game.

    Markov getting caught flatfooted at the Boston blueline resulting in a 3 on 1 goal.

    The puck hopping over Tinordi’s stick while he was going to retrieve it behind the net and having it go right out front then in the back of the net.

    Then finally Emelin getting hit by Lucic in the Boston zone and staring blankly at the officials while Boston rushed up the ice and Lucic blasted it home.

    It wasn’t a brutal game by the Habs. It could have been 2-0 after the first. They are certainly in the dumps now though.

    Gorges has been better than Emelin this year and without him Emelin gets more ice time. They need Price back badly but is Price going to be warmed up and ready to go the first couple games he’s back?

    The pressure is certainly mounting!!!

    • HabsWin-nipeg says:

      One of those games where each defensive mistake seemed to end up in our net. To me it seemed that as the game progressed our skaters looked less and less confident – in my opinion a reflection of their confidence level in Budaj to make the big save when needed. The team needs Price back – that’s not to say that Budaj is the cause of all their problems, but skaters need to believe that their goalie is going to come through when needed. I’d play Tokarski next game, and then the next if he plays well.

  28. boing007 says:

    RDS showed a graphic showing that the Canadiens are 29th in the league in 5-on-5 scoring, ahead of only Buffalo.

    How dare they?!

    Richard R

  29. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Glad to see nobody here ragging on Tinordi. The man makes mistakes. No getting around that. But, unlike the RDS crew on the broadcast last night, I see plenty to like in his game, starting with his skating. I was worried about his foot speed at the beginning of the year — not so much anymore. His overall speed and mobility have improved too. He needs to work on his decision-making and concentration (as evidenced by the first goal last night) and his overall speed of execution. That will all come in time. Overall, since his recent call-up, I’d give him a solid B. Keep it up big man.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Yes, I agree he looks good.
      Moving. Forward.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Yep. That first goal wasn’t his fault. It was kind of a mucked up play by Murray (backhand pass along the boards under pressure) that let to the bouncing puck and turnover. Tinordi chases guys a bit too much in the defensive zone, but he is very mobile and once he gets his timing down he’ll be fine. Tonnes of natural ability there.

      Edit: My bad. Was thinking of another play.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      He was real unlucky on the goal where he went to get it behind the net and I think it hopped over his stick and went right out in front?

  30. Paz says:

    Since no one really thought we coud win the Cup this year, I would have thought the further positive development of Subban, Galchenyuk, Eller, Beaulieu, would have been a priority.

  31. habs-fan-84 says:

    I thought the Habs played a pretty good game last night, just didn’t have any puck luck.

    Still, I’d like to see Beaulieu on the second PP wave.

  32. Sportfan says:

    LOL “Gallagher is the exception, but he’d play well for Barry Melrose.” Thanks Mr. Boone I needed a laugh! 🙂

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  33. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Questioning the ability of Therrien and his staff to develop young talent? Therrien is just an idiot who still has a job because of Price, Subban and Pacioretty. Had any of these three not played this season this team would already have another coach.

    Just look at Emelin. He just can´t play on his offside. We´ve been watching him struggling on the right for 45 games and Therrien still doesn´t get it. Absolutely ridiculous.

  34. 24 Cups says:

    The Habs now find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The only saving grace is that this weekend’s schedule allows the team to play a couple of the lesser lights in the NHL. Anything less than four points will be considered total failure.

    What’s to be done?

    Firing the coach with four weeks to go makes little sense seeing the team doesn’t have Price in net. That’s just setting the next guy up for failure.

    Change up the lines? I find that a bit laughable at this time of year. There really are only about three options. If anything MT needs to set four lines and run with them. Hope to hell some chemistry forms. Quickly.

    What about the D? Lots of quantity but not much quality. First things first. Start playing the hell out of Subban. I’m talking about Ryan Suter minutes here. Stop playing two guys on their off side. That means Weaver gets to play every night. Then move over the one guy who can handle it best. Forget allegiances to veterans and bring up Beaulieu. The team needs offense so he’s a much better bet that Murray and Bouillon. Book an appointment with a psychiatrist for Emelin. Make sure the person speak Russian.

    What about the net minding dilemma? To rush Price back would be jeopardizing the face of the franchise. It would be better to miss the playoffs than screw up Price’s future. Budaj is a decent back-up. Right now, he seems to be off his game. Tokarski isn’t any better than Budaj but he just might be the Hail Mary pass that the team needs right now.

    What gives with the scoring woes? It’s no longer a case of a few guys who can’t score but rather the one guy who can. You can harp all you want about Therrien, puck possession and the power play but there are a lot of guys on this team who need to take a good look in the mirror. In that regard, Vanek just has to score this weekend. Not just to add to the score sheet but rather to add the expected boost that the team needs so badly right now.

  35. Chris says:

    Regarding the play of Lars Eller, I think he’s going through what Tomas Plekanec went through back in 2009. Eller’s name has been floating around in trade rumours since around Christmas. I’m not sure how serious Bergevin was about dealing Eller, and I am a believer in that every player on your roster is available for the right price.

    But it does play havoc with younger players struggling with their confidence to hear that they are being shopped. I know that many here will say that they are paid handsomely and should just suck it up, but the players are still human. Thinking that your team might be willing to give up on you isn’t a great feeling. You go out and try to do too much and you end up looking even worse.

    In Eller’s case, he still works hard. He’s not making smart offensive plays, but the effort is there. He’s still better than most Montreal forwards when it comes to the defensive game.

    It is increasingly looking like 2013-14 is going to be a lost year for Eller. This is a shame, as he was outstanding at the end of last season and looked solid at the start of this season. Something happened that made the wheels fall off, and I think the lack of confidence from Therrien and the coaching staff has certainly gotten into his head.

    Let’s just hope that, like Plekanec, a summer away from the craziness will let Eller find his focus and game. Plekanec rebounded nicely from his disastrous 2008-09 season, and I think Eller has the potential to do the same if the Canadiens can afford to be patient with him.

    • Cal says:

      Nothing goes right for Lars since about the 5th or 6th game of the season.
      Mind you, being kind of stuck with a bunch of non-contributors like Bourque doesn’t make his task any easier. Perhaps, you’re right. A couple months off in the summer to get his head together may be just the thing.

      • boonie says:

        Bourque is 2 years removed from multiple 27-goal seasons. I’m not seeing he’s a rock star, but if eller had something and MT had something he should be able to produce enough to wing for a player who’s never produced points at the NHL or AHL level.

      • RetroMikey says:

        Keep dreaming Cal, keep dreaming as you always do on this site.
        Eller is nothing but a major disappointment with the club.
        Habs got shafted in the St.Louis trade and should have gotten more for Halak.
        The D for Eller does not stand for Dane but Disappointment!
        BIG IS BETTER!
        “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      The only thing that goes against the theory that Eller is the victim of Therrien’s bad graces, is that the player he’s played with the most this season, in fact pretty much on every shift, is Alex Galchenyuk. Hard to believe MT would do that if he had it in for the enigmatic Dane.

      Briere, Bourque, Plekanec, have been given bad linemates. Not Lars.

      Moving. Forward.

      • Chris says:

        I don’t think that Therrien has it in for Eller…I just don’t think that they are on the same page as to what Eller should bring to the table.

        Nor do I necessarily believe that reuniting the EGG line will get Eller going. Therrien did not break that line up until game 22 of this season. Eller, with 2 goals and 4 points in 4 games, was just breaking out of a funk (1 assist and -2 in 9 games) when Gallagher was bumped to the Pacioretty line.

  36. Captain aHab says:

    If I see Vanek on the Pleks line at practice, I am going to cry.

    Leave Vanek with the DD line.
    Leave the EGG line together.
    Leave Brière with Pleks and Gionta for now. When Bournival is ready, I would like to see him replace Gio but that will never happen.
    Put Weise back on the 4th line.
    Bring up Beaulieu and have him play. No idea why he was sent back down.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  37. Mondou6 says:

    Our Goal Differential on the season is now at -3.

    That’s not good.

  38. DipsyDoodler says:

    I went to the game thanks to Matty. Had a very good time. The defending was sloppy on both sides, which meant lots of action. Fun game. Bruins buried every chance, we didn’t.

    Vanek is a slick player. Made lots of nice little passes. Maybe he stays with DD and Max, which means reuniting the EGG line.

    Frankie B did alright. Eller will get out of his funk. He was physical and very involved. I thought his line had its moments.

    Briere and Gionta simply can’t physically compete any more. Markov had an off night. Lucic kept tormenting Emelin, and I reluctantly agree that we should sign a guy like that Gazdic fellow out of Edmonton.

    Obviously we are not the mid 80s Edmonton Oilers and we cannot win with subpar goaltending. That 3rd goal coming, as they say in England, against the run of play is the reason why you need a keeper.

    Moving. Forward.

  39. JF says:

    When we get off to a great start, out-shooting and out-chancing our opponent but don’t score, we nearly always lose. The other team feels they escaped with no damage in the first period, they raise their game, and we fall apart. It’s happened countless times. We absolutely needed to bury a couple of those chances.

    It seems that Budaj is after all only an adequate backup, perhaps barely that. He can nearly always give a good performance when he plays a game only every ten days or so, but has not shown that he can carry the load when Price is injured, which is what you want your backup to be able to do. I wonder if the team has thought abut bringing up Devan Dubnyk from Hamilton, giving him a few sessions with Stéphane Waite, and sending him out there. He could hardly be worse than Budaj has been.

    It’s looking more and more as though Price has a groin injury. Arpon Basu said yesterday that he was skating gingerly in practice. If the injury is indeed groin, which can take a while to heal, management must have known it last week when they gave up assets for Thomas Vanek. If we don’t make the playoffs, that trade becomes an unmitigated disaster – unless Vanek re-signs in Montréal, which everyone agrees is highly unlikely. Would it have been better to go after Hemsky?

    We miss Josh Gorges a lot more than many who like to deride him for spouting cliches to the media would have thought. He was a steadying presence without which the defence is a mess.

    • ont fan says:

      If we miss the playoffs we don’t give up the 2nd round draft choice, I think.

    • boonie says:

      Budaj is a our backup. Price is our starter.

      It’s tough to blame Boods for this loss. The third goal was a stinker. On the first, two Bruins were on top of his. Tinordi was behind the net. Our forwards (I believe one of Eller’s lines) didn’t bother to take anyone after the faceoff.

      The second Chara goal reeked of lack of effort. BTW – was that Vanek — just curious, because TSN listed him as +1?

      Budaj made a couple of big saves early when the game was still close enough to win.

      Price>Budaj. I’m not sure a healthy Carey Price wins this one. Frankly, I’m not sure having Price in the net for our west coast trip would have changed our record. Specific goals perhaps.

      It’s hard to evaluate a team missing a key player. Don’t let Price being out change your perspective of the team.

      They are dysfunctional right now. We’re beyond the trade deadline. Calling up marginal players for the fourth line isn’t going to radically change things.

      It’s up to MT to make this work. Or…. walk the plank.

      • JF says:

        I’m not really blaming Budaj for any of the losses, but he has not been great. He makes a few excellent saves, but he tends to give up at least one softie per game, and he looks very beatable. However, you are perhaps right in saying that having Price in goal would likely not have changed the outcome in any of our recent losses.

        • boonie says:

          When most of our games are close, there’s never a good time to let up one that’s a little soft.

          Going into last night, we scored about 30 fewer goals than the Leafs and had let up 20 goals more than the Bruins.

          We’re hanging in there.

  40. scrotchland says:

    lasts night loss is all on two people. therian for his horrendis coaching, and Manny, for going to the game again.

  41. Psycho29 says:

    TSN690 reporting that it’s Price’s knee that is ailing. “Tendonitis”…”nothing structural”…..

  42. boonie says:

    It seemed odd to me when Bergy traded for Vanek that the condition on the second round pick was making the playoffs. Conditions for UFAs are usually, “win a cup” or “resign with the team”.

    Initially, I thought, the Isles needed certainty around the 2nd round pick since they took so much less than rumored value for Vanek.

    I’m starting to wonder if Bergy had a feeling that Price might be out for a while and we’d struggle.

    Prescient enough to think we might miss.

    Not prescient enough to avoid hiring Michel-wholly-crap-I’m -the-best-unemployed-French-speaking-coaching-Is-this-really-Marc-Bergevin-calling-to-give-me-my-old-job-back-Talk-about-it-being-my-lucky-day-Therrien.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      If MB thought the team would not make the playoffs and CP was going to be shelved for a long time…would he get Vanek and why. If he thought we’d miss then he would have stood pat and also moved Markov for sure to drop as low as possible wouldn’t he…or am I missing something here….

      • boonie says:

        A few reasons (of course, I’m guessing and making this up):

        – I think MB was attracted to picking up a great asset cheap.
        – Vanek enhances our playoff chances.
        – ownership wants playoff dollars; that’s why we didn’t move Markov, Gionta and others
        – making the second “conditional” means you’re only paying Collberg. if we don’t make the dance. MB can live with that

  43. marvin20 says:

    I almost bought tickets for last night game, glad I did not waste my money. The habs have no body who can handle Lucic physically. They accept losing with to much class. curious what happens on Saturday with Ottawa. Ottawa pounded them in submission sent one of their players off on stretcher, and humiliated them in the line brawl. last years playoffs. But the habs have to much class to stand up and even a couple scores. That is why nobody takes them seriously and gives them any respect.

  44. piper says:

    The way I see it, all this team needs is better management, coaching and leadership.

    • boing007 says:

      That’s it, that’s all.

      Richard R

    • RetroMikey says:

      You forgot to add better players piper.
      We are so overrated as a team and players we have on this current roster besides of only a handful.

      Anybody sweating out there looking at the current Eastern Division standings???
      Take a picture, cause the Habs are tumbling down like the walls of Jerciho.
      The so called knowledgeable Habs press and fans think the team is a lock to make the playoffs. LMAO!
      I feel it will either Be Montreal or Detroit for that final 8th position, with the Motown team squeaking in.
      Will be a suckafest when the team does not make it.
      Really, after watching last night’s game, perhaps tanking is a good thing for this inconsistent club which should have tanked last season as well.
      I hope we clean house in the summer, I’d rather have a team of young players with grit and character than this club we have on the roster.
      BIG IS BETTER, but not to Eller!

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

  45. docketrocket says:

    It is time to think ahead to the end of season Habs award banquet, now tentatively scheduled for April 13. Whoever has been putting the dope in PK’s water needs to be identified and the accomplishment recognized for what it is. The transmutation of gold to lead is almost complete.

  46. habstrinifan says:


  47. howiemorenz7 says:

    The angels tell me PK’s had it up to here with MT and his gang of fellow AHL coaches. As for Vanek, there’s a reason why he couldn’t fetch more than a 2nd and a Swedish League 4th liner, and I guess we’re seeing it.

    Maroons Suck. #7 foreva.

    • Gerry H says:

      Perhaps that works both ways. I’m less worried about how PK feels about management and coaching than I am about the way he is playing. The Habs were absolutely dreadful in their own end last night and PK was no better than his defensive partners. The forwards, despite not getting pucks in the net, were getting good possession in the offensive zone and creating chances. But every Boston incursion into our end was just too damned easy and nerve-wracking.

      Likewise, PK’s rushes are getting monotonously predictable. A few flashy moves through the neutral zone and over the opposing blue line, followed by a turnover. The skating and puck-handling skills are great, but they need to be used within the context of a workable offensive zone entry system, or at least, if he wants to be creative, with some vision of what’s going on around him.

      Let’s face it. PK’s development into elite territory is stalled. His hockey sense has to start catching up with his skill level.

      • Paz says:

        I’m sure Subban could execute a zone entry if the team actually had a system.

        And firing the puck into the zone does not count as a system.

      • boonie says:

        PK=Barry Sanders. He’s a brilliant creative force and can rush the puck like few before him.

        He retired healthy and early a season away from gaining the most yards ever by a running back, because “the culture of losing was too much to deal with.”

        Sometimes unique talent doesn’t fit into a team game.

        Of course sometimes those players turn into Orr, Coffee, Harvey, … just saying. Maybe we should get Grapes or Slats to coach PK?

        • Chris says:

          Getting Cherry anywhere near a bench would be an unmitigated disaster. Cherry had nothing to do with Orr’s success: Cherry took over the Bruins coaching duties in 1974-75, when Orr had already completed 8 of his 10 seasons with the Bruins and won 7 Norris Trophies.

          I’ve always gotten a kick out of how much Don Cherry has tied his wagon to Orr’s horse. Cherry coached Orr for the grand total of 90 games. You wouldn’t know it from how much Cherry talks about his impact on Orr’s career, though.

          Don Cherry’s record with young players, as seen by his OHL coaching stint, was truly abysmal. The guy is an idiot that wraps himself in how tapped into junior hockey he was, but his Ice Dogs were a joke of a franchise in the OHL under his watch.

    • Psycho29 says:

      Therrien is a modern day Cecil Hart !

  48. Stanley Cup says:

    The answer my friend is blowing in the wind …… 😛

  49. CJ says:

    Good morning folks.

    I would have rather shoveled the driveways of all my neighbours than lose to the Bruins. After, what I thought was a decent first period, the team came undone.

    Easy to pick on the young players and take away their ice – and, in the process, their confidence – but this game belonged to the veterans. Gionta, sorry to say, is playing in his own world. I’ve always considered him a hard worker, but last night he gave up on plays. Gionta is not good enough to play at anything less then 100%. Murray had a terrible game. I could go down the list…..

    I don’t think Eller is a bad player. I think he is so screwed up right now he doesn’t know up from down. I might be wrong, but in the right situation I think he could develop into a 50 point producer. Under the coach, he is absolutely lost. Confidence is a huge part of sports, and he has none. I get the same painful feeling when he is on the ice that I got from Chuck Knoblauch with the Yankees trying to throw the ball to first base. Baseball fans might remember what I’m talking about….

    Speaking of lost, did the coaching staff not have real time access to shift distribution stats? Who figures out ice time? PK got just over 22:00 minutes, which was less then Frankie. Sorry, am I missing something? PK has not been great this year, but I thought his play had improved. Admittedly he had the craziest attempted zone entry ever on the PP in the second period. Circled twice, skated up and down the ice and managed to leave everyone standing at the blue line before putting the team offside. It was so bad I laughed and replayed it twice.

    A game like last night, against our rivals, laughter really was the best medicine. CJ

    • Paz says:

      The team is now at the crossroads for this season. We can either bounce back or we can fade like last year.

      Leadership, clutch goaltending, coaching.

      • CJ says:

        I agree Paz. Not that they aren’t all important, but the games against Ottawa and Buffalo this weekend are both must win. Looking ahead, we have a very difficult schedule next week (Columbus, Colorado, Boston, Toronto).

  50. docketrocket says:

    It would be an interesting experiment to let Beaulieau out of charm school early and bring him back. We could try to play with our most talented roster. Radical, but it works for some teams. Just sayin . . .

  51. gexx says:

    how about we cut the malarky bring up dubnyk to play some games,,and get the scoring to happen if Price is still hurting there is nothing we can do,,but let him heal…We have to start moving the puck more and get the hitting going,,and i think we can accomplish the playoffs..

  52. Paz says:

    Look what the Bruins, their system, has done to rejuvenate Jerome Iginla.

    20 goals, 30 assists, in 65 games, and a freakin + 25

  53. Paz says:

    Over the long term, teams win when their leaders contribute, they get clutch goaltending, and they are well coached.

    Where is Plekanec? 1 goal in his last 19 games?

    Where is Markov?

    Where are the leaders?

    Who are the leaders who can bring this team to the next level?

    And Lucic’s goal was brutal. An NHL goalie, down 2-0, can not GIVE the opposition a goal like that, at that critical point in the game. Brutal lack of clutch goaltending lately.

    Is Claude Julien the best coach in the NHL?

    Why is his team always at the top of 5 on 5 play, year after year?

    Why are the Bruins, without any superstar scorers, so effective in 5 on 5 play?

    Forget about the Chicagos, the Pittsburghs, who are led by the best players in the world, acquired from years of tanking.

    Chara is busted up, skating at half speed, and the Bruins are the hottest team in the league, cruising into the playoffs.

    Leadership, clutch goaltending, and coaching.

  54. Plekasuares says:

    Putting Vanek with Eller wouldn’t be smart. Eller is part of the problem this season so far.

  55. Dust says:

    My thoughts on Gionta are this.
    I would resign him in the offseason if he would take a paycut.
    I wouldn’t play him in the top 6 anymore.
    I think Gio, at this stage of his career, will be a very good 3rd liner. He is good defensively and even with reduced minutes and less pp time i still think he would score 15 goals a year.
    He also has very good work ethic which is good for the young players to see

    • Habitforming says:

      I’m sorry but for all the talk about Gio being good defensively I never see it. I see lots of the opposite like last nights zero effort back check for a goal against, and the same in in SJ and worse in PHX.

      I don’t want a 5′ 8″ defensive specialist that isn’t defensive just so people can feel good about keeping an aging captain around. It wasn’t done for Koivu, he was just let go to the Ducks as a UFA, and he is twice the player Gionta will ever be.

      The time is now for the team to turn the page on the Gomez UFA era and move on from the old, small and unnecessary

    • Habfan17 says:

      I would rather see a young kid given the ice time to develop. Or move someone up for the short term, like Weise. He has the speed and would free up his linemates while causing havoc. Gio does not have the speed anymore!


    • frontenac1 says:

      The guys on RDS showed Gio giving up on his coverage on the 2nd goal. Inexcusable. Especially for a Captain.

  56. Habfan10912 says:

    at 1:38 Rad wrote:

    “Like Galchenyuk and, recently, P.K. Subban, Eller is not playing as well as he did last season. Their struggles make you wonder about the ability of Therrien and his staff to develop young talent.”
    – Very good point. Compare their struggles to a team like Colorado, where the rookie Nate MacKinnon has the full confidence of his coach and is producing at a high level. Therrien has suffocated his potential stars in a straitjacket.”

    I completely agree. Not that I want to piss Matty off first thing in the morning but my biggest criticism of Therrien has been his use or lack of use of Galchenyuk. Is it asking too much for him to start treating his most talented forward as his most talented forward?

  57. Dust says:

    here is something that is odd. Despite the 3 losses in a row and the poor play of late the habs are still 5-4-1 in their last ten games.
    It’s crazy how stats can be used to make a situation much better or worse than it really is.
    Can’t wait for Price to get back, it’s obvious we need him dearly

  58. Good Morning Troops

    I have nothing nice to say so I’ll be back when someone gets a clue……..OK I’m back.

    First this isn’t a Boston Beat Us Rant, I’ve been on the trade Gionta train since October when I saw he was UFA in 2014. But Gionta is a family guy, super nice, and our Captain…..we can’t trade our Captain before a Cup run (people say), you sure can!

    I’ve been on the fire Therrien train since 2002, in a game vs the Bruins you gotta have a speed and excitement on the 4th live, White, Weise, and Prust would have been fun to watch, especially White and Weise, what’s even more crazy is that each player could polay a natural position, Maybe Weise is hurt, maybe he needed some “me” time, don’t know but maybe Therrien just doesn’t have a clue.

    Back to Gionta….pick the freakin corner already, my 13 does it from that close, but no, all I saw was “holy crap a Bruin is on me, shoot shoot shoot……skate away skate away”

    Budja, buds there’s a reason the Habs stake your numbers against the bottom feeders (yes yes, he looks great vs Boston, whoopDi-Do Basil)


    VANEK-GALCHENYUK- GALLAGHER (or Eller), Vanek needs someone to get him the puck and Galchenyuk needs to learn, play the guts out of him, get him shooting.

    Eller works his butt off every shift, keep him away from Moen and the Gang!

    CAREY CAREY CAREY……. keep him on the sidelines right until the last moment we need him. Doesn’t matter where we finish in the standings as long as it’s 8th or better. But we have to have a healthy goalie.

    OK I’m swamped, peace yall, Therrien sucks, he’s sucked all season, and he will continue to suck until he stops with the dinosaur coaching style. Play the kids, and don’t stop until the season is over. Fork me it’s not Rocket Science, and hey after your gone there’s always RDS where you can spew what you know best.

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

  59. Habfan17 says:

    I am a big Patches fan, but can someone teach him how to score when he gets any kind of breakaway!!! Please!!! If he scored, the game may have been different.


  60. BJ says:

    The better goalie with the better team won. Three positives I saw (just for my personal psychology and to avoid disillusionment). DD continues to be one of our best offensive players, Vanek passes the puck and sets up really well (we just can’t finish) and Boullion played well and steady considering how long he’s been out. Negatives I would have started Tokarski and if Price is not back vs Ottawa MT has to start Tokarski. I think Budaj maybe in over his head as a starter. He may be a great team guy that can deliver an occasional solid game but thats not enough. I think a second goalie has to fill the role as a starter as well, as the injury to Price proves that out.

  61. Cal says:

    First period futility followed by 2nd period gaffes and a 3rd period of too little too late. Once again, the Habs start strong and get nothing to show for it. That’s the biggest problem, besides Budaj playing like he is a minor leaguer. (I would have started Tokarski as Budaj has been just plain bad his last 4 starts.)
    MT has to stop juggling the lines, especially with newcomer Vanek. And play Weise. At least he is showing some hustle out there.

  62. Slackman says:

    Again, Gionta is basically useless, proving so by missing that gaping wide open net last night by a country mile. The one missed opportunity that cannot be blamed on rask.

    So I figure, if you want to maybe win a game or 2, Vanek plays with DD and Pacioretty. First line. Scoring line.

    Re-unite the kid line. If Eller is stnking the joint up, put Briere in and move Galchenyuk to Center. So EGG or BGG. Second line, Scoring line.

    I don’t care if he’s the captain. He shouldn’t be. Brian Gionta should not move any higher than third line. Unfortunately this drags down Plex with him. Round it out with Briere, Bourque, Or Eller,(or Moen, Or Prust… we have to many forwards) as a Shut-down third line.

    Fourth line is a revolving door that has White at center and Weise on the wing. The third player could be Prust, Moen, Parros… Bourque or Eller. They suck it as of late and they can hold their own on a checking line.

    If Michel Therrien insists on sticking Vanek on the same line as the accursed Gionta, well, I think we’re screwed.

    “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro”

  63. HabsLifer says:

    If you understand anything about coaching, the following is true. “You practice to learn the game. You gain experience by playing the game”. What I saw last night makes me wonder what the players do during practice, because they surely don’t seem to have the right regime going on. They have looked disorganized the last few games and the best we can hope for is a shot at the playoffs. This team is going nowhere with the coaching staff. MT was let go from Pittsburg for a reason. I believe it’s both a lack of motivational skills and a lack of game scenerio adaptability which is key in any successful organization. Just saying…
    Claude Provost Rocked!

    • Dust says:

      they’ve had like 2 practices in the last 11 days! And don’t blame the coach for days off. There is a maditory set of days off in the cba

    • Habfan17 says:

      First off, they are given more days off than mandated. Even if Therrien held light practices, since unlike other teams that actually practice, the Habs are always tired so they get additional days off or they play baseball on ice!

      The players aren’t out to lunch, they want to win and they know they need to practice. Therrien juggles lines and does not have them practice enough. I hope Gionta, being such a great captain, speaks to Bergevin!

      I don’t think this is what Beregevin had in mind when he traded for Weaver and Vanik! Therrien, since MB decided to go for it, show us that you can be a playoff coach and stop messing around with the chemistry. One shift is not enough for players to get it going when you put together new lines.


  64. jrshabs1 says:

    The french coach handcuff syndrome strikes again. If M.T. was available would any other NHL team offer him a head coaching job? I have a feeling Carbo is going to make a return behind the Habs bench sooner than later. Does anybody know what Jean Perron is up to these days?
    Take a stand G. Molson..thumb your nose at the french hardliners and hire a qualified English coach. The french will whine..but they do anyway about everything so who cares.

    MOAR BIGGAR!!!!!

  65. WindsorHab-10 says:

    If missing the playoffs the only way to get rid of this crappy coaching staff, then so be it. I can’t take this peewee level of hockey anymore.

    • Exit716 says:

      But given the fact the Habs can only hire a French coach, their choices are limited.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Maybe there are some bright young coaches we are unaware of! There is always hope!


        • Coach K says:

          To answer your question Habfan17… Yes, there is such a coach.

          His name is Sheldon Keefe. The former Tampa Bay Lightning player, OHL bad-boy and scoring sensation with the Barrie Colts is now the current head coach of the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL. Despite his self-admitted checkered past, he’s learned from it, turned his life around and matured into an excellent role model and coach. That he’s a proven, consistent winner, is of no doubt.

          He quickly became a legend in the Central Canada Hockey League (Formerly the CJHL started by the Habs in 1961) as owner, GM and head coach of the Pembroke Jr. “A” Lumber Kings. He currently holds the coaching record in the CCHL for the highest winning percentage in the history of the league (.742 285-95-12). The team had been mediocre to bad for years but when Keefe took over they never looked back. In fact, in all his years running the bench in Pembroke, Keefe NEVER HAD A LOSING SEASON – winning the Jr. “A” championship a league record 5 years in a row! His team made it to the Fred Page Cup (Eastern Canadian Championships) 5 times under his watch winning it twice in 2007 and again in 2011. Those Fred Page cup victories earned the Kings a berth in the RBC Cup National Championship tournament. In 2011 under Keefe, the Kings won the RBC cup and were crowned National Champions – only the 2nd team in league history to do so. He has also been behind the bench for Hockey Canada on a couple of occasions in various capacities.

          When he was offered the job in the Sault in December of 2012, he took an under-performing team that hadn’t seen the playoffs in at least 2 years and turned them around. In two short months the Greyhounds made the playoffs and turned skeptics into believers both in the Sault and throughout the OHL. Suddenly Keefe’s name was being mentioned when nominations for OHL coach of the year were being discussed – despite the fact that he’d been there less than half a season. This season, his first full season behind their bench, he consistently has them in the top 3-4 overall in the OHL. They’ve finished the regular season clinching 1st in their division and 4th in points overall in the league. Not bad for a guy who isn’t even 35 years old yet. From what I’ve heard, he is known to be firm but fair, sets the bar very high and holds his players accountable.

          I say Marc Bergevin should get the guy some french lessons and hire him before Steve Yzerman does.

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

  66. gmur says:

    I know a losing streak at this juncture in the season is a very bad omen, but I saw promising things last night. If Rask hadn’t been excellent, the first period could easily have finished with us up two or three goals.

    I liked what I saw from Vanek. Good passes, lots of things happening around the net. No, the puck didn’t go in, but I thought he was dangerous all night.

    A lot of talk about Eller’s performance of late. I wondered at the start of the season if there would be aftereffects of the Gryba hit. Is his lack of intensity (except when taking bad penalties) due to MT’s inability to develop young talent, or is Eller simply not up to the challenge most nights? He needs to be fearless in his play and he is tentative in the offensive zone. He isn’t playing the way he was at the end of last season.

    The talk here of replacing Therrien is a tad ridiculous, unless you are asking the coach to lace’em up and put the puck in the net. The team was not terribly outplayed in any of the games (with the exception of the San Jose game) since the Olympic break. His system is the same one that had the team high in the standings before the break. It’s a one or two-goal game with the Canadiens and goaltending makes or breaks them. As many have pointed out, Price has to be back soon…

    And talking about Price, count me in as one of the big fans of team Canada, but had I known Price was injured, there’s no way I would have wanted him playing. Was the Habs’ brass aware of the injury? Who was? Babcock certainly seemed to be. This is turning into a disaster for the Canadiens. If ever Price doesn’t come back in the next four or five games… well, there’s trouble in them thar hills, not just gold.

    • plum says:

      It seems like ever since the game where Eller compared the Oilers to a Junior team, then the habs subsequently lost to them, he hasn’t been the same player.

    • TheSleeveen says:

      There is nothing ridiculous about replacing a coach who is incompetent. The constants incessant line juggling is ridiculous. The lack of character, confidence and drive from this team is the coach’s responsibility. It may be too late to replace him this year, but if this team is going anywhere next year he has to go. Vanek will not resign here to play for MT, and I suspect there are few Free agents who would. This is a young team being ruined by a bad coach.

    • Mutt says:

      I cannot understand how anyone watching the game last night can think that we have even an adequate coach.

      Period one, Habs flying, totally outplaying the Bruins and if not for some spectacular goal tending they hit the first break with a lead. Predictably, the Bruin adapt and because MT is incapable (or even worse unwilling) to adapt the Bruin control the rest of the game.

      Good coaches adapt. Be honest when was the last time you saw this team adapt?

      Great power play to start the season, teams adapted and nothing….

      EGG line going great, break it up, can’t have the young guys playing better than the old guys.

      He’s a two trick pony, shuffle lines and bench players. That’s it!!

      And even in that he is alarming inconsistent. Love Frankie Boo but 7 games in the press box then lead the team in ice time!?!?! P.K. makes a mistake bench him for the 3rd periods in a one goal game and Gionta can do what he did last night and nothing…?

      Sorry good coaches do two thing adapt and get the most out of their players. Out side of Gallagher, Price and Patches name one Canadian you can say is have a better year than last? PK? Eller? Prust? Galchenyuk?

      This is a poorly coached team but as long as the defenders blindly look at the standings as the bench mark this team is stuck with him.

      Honestly ask yourself two questions;
      1. If he wasn’t french would he be here?
      2. If he was fired would he ever get another job coaching in the NHL.

      This great franchise deserves better, needs better and if we ever want to see number 25 has to have better.

      • gmur says:

        Therrien’s system is a defensive-minded system. That doesn’t appeal to all players, especially offensive-minded d-men like Subban.

        As far as adapting to other teams and their play, I’ve seen him and his assistants (Gallant et al) change strategies in mid-game and try different forechecking, carrying the puck instead of dumping it in, different types of cycling patterns, d-men pinching and at other times staying back, etc. People focus on line changes (which is another way to adapt to opponents) because they are the most obvious changes made for a game.

        From junior to today, Therrien expects players to function as a team. That takes away from some individual flare certain players like to show, but that’s how he functions.

        As far as players being better, I would say that Galcheyuk was coming along nicely before his injury. Prust has been injured all season. After his fight last night I saw him favoring his shoulder. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s out again. PK was on a tear before the break… I think his ego took a beating at the Olympics and he’s struggling right now.

        Therrien was hired partly because he’s francophone. That’s a reality these days with Montreal. Other than overhauling the entire province’s culture, history and political landscape, my advice would be to accept it or become a part of Leaf Nation!

  67. johnnylarue says:

    15 games is arguably still enough time to engineer the holistic alignment of ducks this team so desperately requires, but they need to start showing signs of improvement in a hurry.

    Their last three losses have been blowouts, offering only brief 1st-period glimpses of competitiveness. This is not a good omen for a team which has seemed to stumble and trip its way through the regular season, haphazardly stringing together unlikely winning streaks just long enough to keep its head above water and squarely in the playoff picture.

    This is a team which shows virtually no ability to win hockey games after conceding the first goal, nor is it capable of defending a lead with any degree of confidence whatsoever. With this tendency in mind, I fail to see how they could possibly battle their way back into a playoff spot should they find themselves on the outside looking in over the next week or two.

    Eking out a ‘gusty’ OT win after repeatedly giving up leads is a show of luck as much as it is a show of character.


    There is talent on this team. Some of it is still burgeoning (Chucky), while some of it is on the wane (Gio), if not already completely necrotized (Bourque). But it’s becoming apparent that the coach is failing to inspire his players to perform to their potential, which is ostensibly still the primary objective of a coach.

    Seems to me Therrien has confused that objective with the notion of ‘winning games by any means necessary’, which begets an over-reliance on worn-out veterans and a focus on a five-man defensive system which has visibly worn out and/or frustrated old and young alike.

    Incessant, obsessive compulsive line juggling through 67 games seems to have resulted in our forwards doubting themselves into total offensive oblivion. Consider that breaking up a line can be interpreted as a statement from the coach that the players on that line have failed. By doing so repeatedly to virtually the entire cast of forwards through 67 games, I’m left with the impression that he has effectively convinced the majority of his lineup that they’re not getting the job done, that they’re failing. This effect is clear as day in a player like Eller, who’d be hard-pressed to tell you who is line mates were two shifts ago, let alone two games ago. But I think it’s apparent to varying degrees in our entire roster of forwards at this point.

    Therrien has overthought this, and now he has the whole team overthinking. Which is not the way to win at hockey.

  68. Dunboyne Mike says:

    When you score lots of goals you win more games.

    Even if you have a good back-up, he’s not the No. 1, who’s No.1 for a reason.

    Boston outplayed us and deserved the win. I could write that with a certain begrudging admiration if it weren’t for Lucic. I think UCE is correct about what’s on his mind, and many of us can remember what it takes to get intent like that OFF Lucic’s mind (arse-first into the blues was what I was hoping for last night — never came close to happening).

    And — sorry — Mike B’s video clip reminded me of a song I forgot to include at the trade deadline: “Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays, c’est Weaver.”

    Off to school. Good day all. Bring on the Sens.

  69. Un Canadien errant says:

    I’m put off seeing Milan Lucic beating on our big defenceman. Tonight, it seemed he was trying to komisarek Alexei Emelin. And the Bruins shook off a long streak of futility against nos Glorieux and easily beat them on the scoreboard, so much so that they didn’t really ambush us in the alley.

    I noted there were three francophone officials for the game, and I assumed they’re all from Québec, and therefore could be accused of favouritism while working a Canadiens game at the New Forum. So I wondered if they’d bend over backward to not seem biased. Sure enough, Milan Lucic ran Alexei from behind into the boards, when he didn’t have the puck, twice, and subsequently scored on one of these instances. There were no whistles on these plays. The refs had a good look at the assaults, but other things on their minds.

    Meanwhile, Lars got tagged with a boarding call on a check on Jordan Caron that was much milder. It was also laughable how the Bruin tried to embellish, falling to the ice like an extra in a cheesy Western, but then after two beats getting up with suddenly clear spirits, all ornery and seeking justice, which he obtained by punching/facewashing big bad Brendan Gallagher. I’m sure Mr. Caron was a nice boy who loves his mother and was a great kid growing up, but after a few years as a Bruin, he’s been assimilated into the Borg, and is now a cheat and cheapshot artist and thug and bully and scoundrel. Resistance is futile.

    At the start of the season, there were hopes that the Canadiens would score by committee. Lacking an Ovie or Sidney, we’d rely on three scoring lines, share the load, the defencemen would join in the attack and pitch in, we’d get the job done somehow. Well, the scoring has cooled off gradually as the season progressed, but we palliated with timely powerplay goals. Now that the powerplay has gone south, and only one line is a threat, we’re approaching the crisis stage. RDS showed a graphic showing that the Canadiens are 29th in the league in 5-on-5 scoring, ahead of only Buffalo.

    Tomas Vanek needs to find his game and help turn this around. I’m not at the panic stage with him, he’s had too brief an opportunity for us to start pointing fingers. And we are relatively healthy in the forwards, all things considered, meaning we can’t really blame injuries, but I think getting back Michaël Bournival will be a great help. The fourth line seemed toothless tonight, the combo of Ryan White, Brandon Prust and Travis Moen is a bit too slow of foot to cause headaches to the opposition. And coach Therrien can play René Bourque and Daniel Brière off each other, starting one or the other based on the opponents and the results they obtain. Like tonight, for example, Daniel didn’t get on the scoreboard, so let’s try René against Ottawa.

    Carey can’t come back soon enough. While Peter Budaj had done great work so far spelling Carey on back-to-back games, he’s been disappointing while carrying the load. A .875 save percentage isn’t going to cut it, on any night. He again gave up at least one bad goal. To give the Canadiens a chance, he needed to make saves, not give up three goals in the second.

    With two games coming up against Ottawa and Buffalo, the boys have a chance to right the ship and pick up four points, get back to cruising speed. While it will be a back-to-back weekend, with travel to play the Sabres, no team has an easy schedule right now, so we can’t use a jaunt to upstate New York as an excuse. Anything short of four points after this series of insuccess will be a disappointment.

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


    • HABSnEXPOS says:

      How’s Vanek supposed to find his game playing with a plug like Gionta and a “shutDown Specialist” like Plekanec

      Mt wants to be patient with the chemistry with the 20 14 21 Line. We brought Vanek in to score goals for 30 plus games so we pair him with gionta.

      Third period the habs are taking a ghetto beating square on the chin and thats when MT decides to make some on the fly in game adjustments. Bravo Coach.

    • HabsLifer says:

      Referee Ghislain Hebert is from New Brunswick, not Quebec. There is another Hebert refereering in the league, also from New Brunswick, but they are not related. Just sayin…

      Claude Provost Rocked!

  70. byebyegomez says:

    MT has to go. They need a coach who will allow the young guys to play and develop.

  71. Rad says:

    “Like Galchenyuk and, recently, P.K. Subban, Eller is not playing as well as he did last season. Their struggles make you wonder about the ability of Therrien and his staff to develop young talent.”

    — Very good point. Compare their struggles to a team like Colorado, where the rookie Nate MacKinnon has the full confidence of his coach and is producing at a high level. Therrien has suffocated his potential stars in a straitjacket.

  72. jimmy shaker says:

    Well if this ship needs turning and it does in a huge way……Carey needs to be able to deal with this lower body injury and be healed come saturday night. John Lu said Price basically practiced at his regular level and was out on the ice the whole practice……so, satuday night could not come quicker for him and us on here.

    Lineup as follows:

    Price starting



    Parros/bourque/moen/weaver scratched

    shaker out!

  73. vess69 says:

    I drove in from Ottawa, the effort I put in was not matched by anyone on that team. Without Price, they are done. Therrien is clueless.

  74. HABSnEXPOS says:

    Out Coached again

  75. Dave Jones says:

    I concur! Beaulieu looked good before the break. Bring him back!

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