About last night …

PrustAvs

A special request for Gary Bettman:
The heck with geography and conference alignments.
Let’s have the Montreal Canadiens play the Colorado Avalanche five times during the regular season.
Maybe six.
The game was THAT entertaining.
And the 6-3 win left Canadiens fans hungry for more … even if it means we see the New Jersey Devils less often.

I’d sacrifice a few Dainius Zubrus sightings if it meant we got to see Nathan MacKinnon more often.

On the Monday night edition of L’Antichambre, Patrick Roy promised a crowd-pleasing show when his team faced the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

The Avalanche, Roy said, would not be playing defensive hockey.

What a happy coincidence: Neither did the Canadiens.

The result was 60 minutes of end-to-end firewagon action and excitement rarely seen at the rink this season.

The game wasn’t as crazy as the Canadiens’ Saturday night win over Ottawa. Yes, Colorado blew a couple leads and were outplayed in the third period. But the visitors did not succumb to pressure like the hapless Senators, whose playoff hopes took a mortal blow Tuesday night when they were stomped 8-4 in their own barn by the Rangers.

The Canadiens, by contrast, are sitting pretty. They are second in the Atlantic Division with 83 points,  eight clear of the playoff cutoff. With a dozen games to play, they need eight, maybe nine more points to punch their ticket to the postseason dance.

It seems very do-able for a team that has won three in a row and may be straightening out its special-teams difficulties. The penalty killers were 3-for-3 against the high-powered Avalanche. And the recently moribund power play – two for its last 27 – produced two goals in three opportunities.

There are still issues on defence. But a lot of teams would have defensive zone problems against the MacKinnon (who won’t be 19 until September!) and a lineup that also includes Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Paul Statstny.

They’re all young, fast and sublimely talented. That the Canadiens held Colorado to three goals is a tribute to some timely stops by a still-rusty Carey Price – and the presence of Douglas Murray in the pressbox.

It was all P.K. Subban could do to try to contain MacKinnon & Co. They’d have skated figure eights around Murray – as the Avalanche did on occasion to Francis Bouillon.

Josh Gorges is missed on the back end, where the most positive development is the emergence of Jarred Tinordi, who looks steadier every time out and was on the ice for two Canadiens goals and only one by Colorado.

Thomas Vanek will garner all the headlines, as he should. The Canadiens’ prize deadline-day acquisition scored three goals that travelled a total of maybe 20 feet.

Vanek doesn’t chase down loose pucks with the indefatigable ferocity of Brendan Gallagher. He doesn’t plaster defencemen to the end glass.

What Vanek does is  score goals from high-percentage positions in proximity to opposing goaltenders. He goes to the slot, where David Desharnais is very good at finding him.

The scoring ability of Vanek and Max Pacioretty opens the ice for DD. And the diminutive centre is finding his linemates.

Finally, 70 games into the season, the Canadiens have a bona-fide Number 1 line.

And a fourth line.

Travis Moen, Brandon Prust and Dale Weise each scored against Colorado. The line was collectively plus-8.

The Canadiens are 9-1-1 with Weise in the lineup. It could be a while before we see George Parros again.

Michel Therrien will stick with this lineup when Columbus visits the Bell Centre on Thursday night. Moving off the DD line has meant diminished ice time for Brendan Gallagher – under 12:28 against Colorado, matching his friend Alex Galchenyuk’s 12:27. They both must envy MacKinnon’s ToI of 21 minutes.

Sadly, that’s the last we’ll see of that special teenager – unless the Canadiens and Colorado meet in the Stanley Cup final.

Or an NHL realignment that creates an Excitement Division.

 

 

 

 

 

379 Comments

  1. Tyhudg says:

    Boullion was not great by any stretch, and he is probably getting far too much ice time (I have no idea why…) but in my opinion he is a clear upgrade over Murray. Murray can block shots better, can fight better, and can kind of kill penalties, but he is worse in every single other category.

    Therrien could help Boullion though, by doing two tiny favors for him. 1)Stop playing him on the power play. He is a black hole on the power play… keep him off of the pp. 2)Don’t give him so much ice time!!! How do you go from a scratch to having the most shifts out of anybody? Boullion is more serviceable than Murray, but they have to start scaling back his responsibilities a bit when he is in the lineup.

  2. D Man says:

    I really enjoyed the game and the win last night on two levels. First, it was an exciting game and we needed the two points. Secondly it gave me a rest from the overstated negativism so often presented on this site. Especially the posters who are “so terribly right” all the time. Everything is black and white and anybody who disagrees is stupid, crazy, insane, out of touch etc. ad infinitum. Let’s enjoy this win and the rest of the season.

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

  3. Cal says:

    Habs have bounced and flounced all season. Their collective game has been all over the map. Yet, there they sit; 3rd in the conference after a brutal West coast trip that was supposedly doom for this year’s team. The comeback game against the Sens brought a much needed boost of confidence. Vanek starting to cash in only makes the Habs a team to watch come playoff time.
    So, are the Habs through playing possum or will they keep showing the game they showed against the Avs?

    • wjc says:

      The bouncing is okay, but the FLOUNCING…..that has to stop.

      The comback, lucky, lucky, lucky win against Ottawa took the pressure off.

      I have been steady in my reports and optimism all year. My problem is I am a lonely voice in the wilderness, howling at my few supporters, who occassionaly hpwl back.

      Doom and gloom is for losers, purky and up lifting can get a little much. My prediction still stands they will go deep in the playoffs.

      One thing, some had said Canadiens play not to lose, I will correct that to play for at least a point, then go all out for the win.

      wjc

  4. boing007 says:

    Petition Mayor Coderre to offer Vanek the keys to the City of Montreal.

    Richard R

  5. habstrinifan says:

    What if Briere gets going?? WOW!

    If the HABS become ‘feared’ offensively… WOW. Looks like it is beginning to emerge.

    I still dont know if we have enough ‘non-fighting’ grit to be ‘confident’ against some teams. But it does seem like we may have everything else. Maybe the days of ‘firewagon’ habs hockey overcoming pure brute hockey are near.

  6. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    Pretty much singing from the same hymm book as my HIO brethren, but one item I would like to note is the “unexpected” forward push into the o-zone by Tinordi on a regular basis.

    Clearly, a rookie does not get the greenlight to freelance, it strongly suggests that the team sees his ability to use his reach to keep the puck away from pursuers and to be confident to skate his way out, and take the puck into the other team’s corner, especially on the short changes.

    I see the glimmer of Robinson in him, a little brighter each day. Given the Bulldogs fade, I think he has played his last AHL game unless they spin the roulette wheel like last year and bring up Pateryn in his place …

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  7. SmartDog says:

    Here’s a question…
    Top 2 defensemen: Markov, Subban
    POSSIBLE top 4 D: Gorges, Emelin, Tinordi, Beulieu
    Questionable top 6: Boulon, Murray

    If Weaver was an upgrade on the Cube, why is he not playing with Subban? Or Tinordi? Or Beaulieu? ANYONE but the Cube.
    And what is Beaulieu doing in Hamilton while Boulon is having his jock strap spun off him as a supposed top pairing defenseman?
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  8. SmartDog says:

    wrong place

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  9. SmartDog says:

    I’m glad Therrien finally listened to me and put Vanek on the line with Patches and DD. By why does it take so fn long? He’s one stubborn guy. And Vanek’s deflection goal was wowsome and shows what makes him a star.

    But here’s the question the Avs visit had me asking myself, with all their young stars: what’s going on with Galchenyuk? He should be improving. He’s not. Theories?

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Mike Boone says:

      We have to remember that he lost virtually a whole year of junior after his knee injury.
      That said, I think he should be farther along in his development.
      You see flashes of the hockey IQ, vision and passing ability.
      But the kid is lost in his own end, which probably makes them a tad hesitant about moving him to centre.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • SmartDog says:

        Mike, where did Therrien get this reputation for working with young players?

        We’ve seen the exact opposite. He doesn’t give them a chance, instead favoring veterans. He’s got Galchenyuk and Eller both spinning their wheels. His treatment of Subban is questioned by every commentator who ever laced them up for the Habs.

        (And you can’t credit Therrien for Gallagher. That kid came to the Habs made of steel. The most you can credit Therrien for is not screwing him up – though I don’t know how anyone could.)

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • krob1000 says:

        Agree on most of that Boone…but part of why he is lost in his own end is because he is out of position in his own end. Eller plays defesnviely well up the middle but was lost on wing, Briere is having trouble at wing as well. On offense the transition is simple and forwards are interchangeable..on defense and breaking out being moving slower or stationary is difficult for a center to adjust to. Getting in lanes, geting used to stick work and not over positioning are tricks that while subtle take time to develop. I am not sure he is ready either but if he gets the ozone starts and favourable matchups he could pull it off…they may gradually move him along nd wait one more year but the feeling I get is that next year they want to try him there….you would know better if that is the sense..but the little references to “having a plan for him”,etc…make me feel they will try it out of the gate next season,

      • murfdog says:

        He did lose out on a year but his natural position is center and maybe he is being held back to much? MT ways some times drives me, he changes things when there are going good, he sticks players in slumps with other players in a slump. For Chucky its hard to play because he knows MT has no confidence in him, for a player to play with the that thought in your head game after game its hard you dont play like you normally play. Chucky will break and MT will give him a break and then see what he has been missing. Did Roy hold back Nathen at all? No and look at that kid, playing with all the confidence in the world because he knows his coach believes in him. GO HABS GO.

    • Luke says:

      1) Therrien tried to play Vanek in his much preferred LW position to start. MT was trying to accomodate the players preference. Considering how much heat MT takes for everything, I’m not surprised that he gets heat for trying Vanek where Vanek would like to play.
      2) Galchenyuk? He is improving. It’s his 2nd year in the league. He’s not in the same class as McK. Duchene had 28 points in 58 games two seasons ago. Landeskog had 17 in 36 games last season. Galchenyuk also plays on a team that had more depth in his position when he was acquired. Colorado did not have the same depth and thus elevated the roles of those players.

      I dunno… looking at the other young players on Colorado and I realize that maybe we should just let Galchenyuk be Galchenyuk and stop comparing him to players he is not. They are all unique. They play with different players and in different systems. If Galchenyuk was a winger in on Pittsburgh’s top line, he could still suck defensively, win 30% of his faceoffs, have 70 points and no one would be worried about his development.

      (Sorry, I’m feeling rather Zen today).
      (Sorry, I may be incorrect in my use of “Zen” today).

      • HabinBurlington says:

        +Z, good post Luke.

      • D Mex says:

        Must agree with your 1) and 2) above.

        Reference the MT criticisms, it seems clear enough that it would be him or anyone else on the bench, and the same or re-cycled past comments would be posted ad nauseum. Roy is being hailed this week as the saviour that got away, well, the standings speak for themselves and he is part of getting that franchise moving in the right direction. But nothing in this – or other comparisons – has to mean that MT isn’t doing the job he is paid to do.

        Interestingly, tho, your comments about Galchenyuk put the above into a context of sorts. The Avs have enjoyed success and had some big names on their teams since the relocation, but I believe you can get away with doing many things sooner in non-traditional / non-original six NHL cities that would need much more runway in the likes of Montréal and Boston, where the keys to the city were not immediately surrendered to Seguin.

        To your point about Galchenyuk, he appears to me to be skating better all the time and also to have good (maybe more) confidence and patience with the puck on his stick, so I agree that he is showing improvement right where he is. I also happen to believe that the ‘ plan ‘ referred to for him does exist, and that he will soon be the big #1 centre we have all wanted in town for so long. Finally, and this may not be much of a teaser, but there would be absolutely nothing to prevent the Habs from throwing this out there to sweeten the pot in negotiations with someone like Vanek … just sayin’.

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

    • Phil C says:

      The Habs already had the top line scoring and they had a revolving door of LWers on Plek’s line. Vanek wanted to play LW so it was the obvious spot to slot him in the line up to try to get two scoring lines. I think Therrien deserves some credit for recognizing fairly quickly that it wasn’t working.

      The risk with putting Vanek with DD and Pacioretty is that you still end up with only one scoring line. But Gally moving down and finally splitting up Pleks and Gionta has given the other two lines a boost too, so it has worked out.

  10. habstrinifan says:

    AMAZING day alla round for Mtl FANS.

    Great radio and TV all day re Roy’s return. Some very revealing recollections by Roy, Tremblay, Nilan, Gainey etc.

    Some great analysis by Farber, etc.

    And to top it off a an exciting game worthy of Roy’s return ending in a glorious victory with a star-like performance from a bona-fide star acquisition.

    Montreal actually looks like a team with all parts … on paper, And they showed it on the ice last night.

  11. petefleet says:

    I said it last night and I’ll say it again. The only thing wrong with last night was having the cube in uniform. If not for him, Subban would have been -1 instead of -3 (defensively speaking). since when does an NHL calibre D man chase a forward behind the net when his partner is otherwise indisposed. I did not like that at all last night. Bench the cube and call up Beaulieu or dress Murray and use him sparingly. Not a fan of the cube this year, notwithstanding the OT winner.

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

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

    ***Go Habs Go***

    • habstrinifan says:

      I wouldnt read too negatively on the – stats last night. The game was very flowing and goals are scored in such type games. I think the pairing of Bouillion/P.K brings more energy than a pairing of Gorges/Subban.

      I AM NOT saying Bouillion is better than Gorges so dont need any WTF in that regard. It just seems to me that Bouillion and Subban like each other (listen to Bouillion’s interview on TSN690 yesterday) and it is a pairing which adds something to the defense..

      And I am not a johnny-come-lately on this idea… been posting it many times.. as long as you do not over play Bouillion, this is a good pairing. You will more often get up tempo play than laid back play from this pair. Sometimes it bites you back but….

    • Luke says:

      since when does an NHL calibre D man chase a forward behind the net when his partner is otherwise indisposed.

      An awful lot. You’ll see it in every game, every night.

      • petefleet says:

        That may be true. I guess i should have qualified that. Are you suggesting that that is a responsible play at that level? It shouldn’t happen.

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

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

        ***Go Habs Go***

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    A good read on how the season has played out for Vanek and in particular Matt Moulson.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/GARTHS-CORNER/Vanek-Upstages-Roy-Return/6/58782

  13. Commandant says:

    Vanek, like Pacioretty has always been a streaky goal scorer.

    Once he got that first one, I knew he was set to explode. Lets hope he can keep the streak going now over the next bit.

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  14. Habfan10912 says:

    Price, PK, Vanak, Max, Galchenyuk, Pleks, and a true gritty 4th line. Arent we close?

    • Commandant says:

      We are…

      Keep Vanek (or sign another free agent winger who can score goals like that).
      Get breakout from Galchenyuk.
      Keep markov
      See one of Tinordi/Beaulieu become a top 4 dman, the other a top 6.
      Bounce back from emelin as he becomes more comfortable (many people say 2 years to get back to 100% after this surgery).

      And we are as good as any one.

      The hardest is the development of the D IMO. I really expect that Bergevin will get the forward, either vanek or another… I also expect Galchenyuk to really take off soon. The D might be further away.

      But if that can happen next season we are right there imo.

      Go Habs Go!

      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  15. Hobie Hansen says:

    Price giving Roy a love tap: http://i.imgur.com/RqkTzL6.gif

  16. Un Canadien errant says:

    I think back to two seasons ago, when near the end we had Mike Blunden and Mathieu Darche and Aaron Palushaj and Yannick Weber among others on our third and fourth lines, and can’t help but think that we’re so, so much stronger as an organization now.

    Having Ryan White, Michaël Bournival (when he returns from his conditioning stint), René Bourque and George Parros pushing for playing time, the regulars will be kept on their toes, and we’ll have options for matchups against different teams.

    As good as the fourth line looked last night, I’m still eager to see the Bournival-White-Weise combo again, or some version of that. The speed of the two wingers did and would give other fourth lines fits due to their speed.

    And I know it’s crazy, but I haven’t given up on René Bourque. I still would like to see him on the right wing (his preferred side) with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty, but realistically Thomas Vanek will now be hard to dislodge, and René has done little to deserve that opportunity. Again, I’ll urge patience with him, instead of holding a fire sale. Let’s see what he has to offer next season, if he does better another year removed from his concussion.

    Also, the RDS boys were pointing out that there has been no dressing-room issues caused by his being benched, he’s still a popular teammate, so there’s no urgency to move him. His cap hit is hard to swallow with him on the bench, but if he returned next season and chipped in twenty goals at his normal level of play, he’d be a bargain for a big winger like him.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I like this post. Was thinking this morning about how having Vanek replace Cole makes that top line click. What is different then I wondered about this years team and that team that finished so poorly. The bottom lines as you mentioned in addition to a defence that was swapping in and out of the lineup the likes of Campoli, Kaberle, St. Denis.

      Don’t forget that other 4th line semi regular Nokelainnen.

    • Phil C says:

      I remember watching a game few years ago and feeling awful for the people who paid big bucks to watch a line of Weber-Engqvist-Darche with Gill and St. Denis on defense. Zero hope of scoring with that line. We indeed have come a long way.

      It’s one of the things I really like about the new management’s approach to team building: they really understand the importance of role players and how the 3rd/4th line and 5/6 d-men can often be the difference in a parity league. The best part is these type of players can often be had for cheap as teams struggle to manage their 23 man rosters and fit in their budding young stars. There are market inefficiencies that they have been exploiting to pick up these types of players.

      Not only can the Habs ice a terrific 4th line, they also have a 5th that would be better than a lot of 4th lines.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        All those small moves that MB has been making along the way the past couple of years which some people have been condemning. But indeed our overall depth right now of actual NHL talent is night and day from that roster of 2 years ago. No doubt some has to do with previous regime, but MB indeed seems to have a good idea where this is all going.

        • Phil C says:

          The Goat definitely started the rebuild, so you are right about that, he made some good hockey decisions. But he also made a few glaring errors that cost him his job. He was right to not sign Hamrlik to two years, Hammer was finished by the second year, but that hole in the roster was a big part of that season’s failure. Dittto with choosing to start an unproven Engqvist as fourth line centre. When these to moves blew up in his face, he was left scrambling to fill the holes when most options were already signed.

          By contrast, this management group choose to fill all the roster spots with proven vets and forced the kids to take their job, a much better and safer approach.

  17. Phil C says:

    Was it wrong to enjoy watching Roy leave the game with a big red puffy face after getting schooled by Therrien? While picturing all the Roy lovers here yesterday sobbing in the #33 Avalanche jersey? Does that make me a bad person?

    • bwoar says:

      Good or bad, I was right there with you, gleefully enjoying the result and having a chuckle at the expense of King Saint Prince Patrick’s cult of personality. The worship is really, really tired. No matter the justification.

      (And my first Habs Cup to really enjoy was ’86!)

  18. Mattyleg says:

    Great game to go to, gang, I’ve gotta say.
    I commiserated before the game with a fellow who had bought the same package as me. He was one win better than me (I’d given away my tickets to the Dallas game) but we were still rolling our eyes.

    By the end, we were high-fiving each other.
    Funny, innit?

    Oh, and this is a very special shout-out to all the posters on here who have been saying that DD isn’t a top centre-man. That he isn’t an NHLer. That he doesn’t have what it takes to centre the first line.

    The shout-out is this: consider other opinons you have and hold them to the light of that one, and ask yourself whether you should reconsider them.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Glad for you Matty. DD is a offensively talented and gifted player. With Vanak and Max as line mates they should create space for him to do his thing. I think its the combination of the three make this a top line which other teams now have to pay attention to.
      CHeers!

    • habs-hampton says:

      I think a lot of us were questioning DD and MT’s refusal to reduce his minutes back in the fall. I was one of them and I am red-faced (but happy). I guess I don’t know as much about hockey as I thought. I am also of the belief that we need to cut Eller loose this summer. I think he still has trade value and I just don’t think its going to work out in Montreal. That said, I’ve been wrong before and would love to be proven wrong again.

      • bwoar says:

        I think you’ve moved on from one mistake into another, friend ;- D

        It’s too soon to cut Eller loose. A cheap cap hit and lots of pontential for good hockey in him.

    • Phil C says:

      All you neeed to know about DD is how energized Vanek is playing with him. Vanek knows if he gets open, DD will get it to him and scoring wingers love playing with a centre like that. You can see it in Vanek’s body language on the ice and on the bench that he loves his new line. That’s the value of DD.

    • krob1000 says:

      Months ago you gave me directions to a metro station and I brought my little guy to a couple of games….and we took the subway in to a game..was very easy. We are going again next Tuesday vs Buffalo. Can you be so kind as to provide the name and the directionsagain? we are coming from Kingston and your directions in and out of Montreal were simple and perfect….way less complicated than what I got mapquesting

      • Mattyleg says:

        wait… do you agree with what I said about DD…?

        kidding.

        Drive straight along the 20, which turns into the Ville Marie (720), then take the Atwater exit (exit 2). At the second set of traffic lights, turn left on St. Jacques, and drive a couple of blocks; Lionel Groulx metro station will be on your right, you can park on St. Jacques, or on any of the side-streets in the area!

        To leave, take Atwater going North. Turn right on Rene Levesque and drive until you reach Fort – you will see signs for the 720 and the 20 West – turn right at that exit, and you’ll be back on the 720, homeward bound!

        Good luck and enjoy the game!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • krob1000 says:

          lol…my Dd opinion is not one of the hatred variety you speak of but I am rather outspoken of how I see the situation at center..but at least I compliment how well he is playing!!! With addition of Vanek and getting more depth through lineup, removing Gally and spliting Gio/Pleks I am about as happy as could be with current lineup…might like to see Beaulieu up witht he club.

          Thanks re directions…that was them…so easy to get in and out and my little guy thinks the Subway is an amusement park ride! I tried going back to old threads but I spent nearly 40 mintues and gave up. We always walk up to the old arcade near St Catherine and that bar filled street…good times for kids who havenever seen an old school arcade!! This time I have to get him a Gallagher burger too….

          • Mattyleg says:

            Haha!
            Yes, my little girl still loves the metro too. Waves like crazy every time it comes into the station.

            It’s been a while since I was in an arcade! I remember going to birthday parties at arcades when I was 10 or so; friends’ family would rent it out early Saturday morning, and we’d have an hour to play to our heart’s content!

            Best. Birthdays. Ever.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      Opinions should never define someone, as they are meant to change.
      If one is not able to change his opinions in the face of contradictory facts, well what kind of person is he?
      Glad you got to see a great game Matty.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I agree, Shiram.

        And I know that it’s not necessarily gentlemanly to gloat (or whatever this is) like this, but I found many of the posters who have said these things to have had black-and-white, I’m-smarter-than-everyone, and borderline insulting or dismissive attitudes when airing their ‘opinion’.

        “There is no way that DD is an NHLer. He was a flash in the pan, and MB was an idiot to sign him again. Anyone who thinks that the Habs can be successful with DD as a #1 centre should get their head checked.”

        Those are the posters I have issues with, and I hope that they will look at this, and temper their ‘opinons’ in the future. That’s all. I have no trouble with differing opinions, but it’s all in how you put it across.

        (I was nervous about DD at the beginning of the season too, btw!)

        Yes, Cheers; I’m glad I finally got to see a good contest!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • HabinBurlington says:

          What about the posters who said, “The Habs will never win another Home game as long as Matty, Manny or Leggo is at the game!”

          I am guilty of this.

          Sorry

          • Mattyleg says:

            Not at all.

            I predicted a 4-1 loss, myself!

            Despite my posturing, I’d lost faith in Mattyleg!!
            :D

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • bwoar says:

          Replace DD with MT, and “NHLer” with “NHL coach”, while we’re at it.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Yes.

            Wasn’t he totally out-coached by Roy, just like many posters predicted he would be?

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • krob1000 says:

            On the coaching…MT did make one big gaff that he got bailed out of ….when Vanek tried to hit Patches with the breakaway pass up the middle after being hemmed in for a bit…the puck got iced instead. I thought for sure he would use his timeout…not only dzone draw but with DD line…and tired….too many things stacking up negatively to leave them on IMO…that was risky and he got burned on that one. The team bailed him out though…that trio made up for it on the next pp.

  19. habs-hampton says:

    After 50 minutes of hockey Prust was going to be first star. Then Vanek pushed him off the pedestal. I was really hoping for Prust, Moen and Weiss to be 1st, 2nd and 3rd stars. The 4th line is often thrown together as an afterthought, and they don’t often get recognized (short of a line brawl).

    Great job, guys!

  20. Commandant says:

    Leafs have some issues. Reminds me of Alan Walsh/Halak in Montreal.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/03/19/james-reimers-agent-blasts-randy-carlyle/

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  21. Psycho29 says:

    Great picture of Prust on this thread. Was it taken after he had his bad arm removed during the intermission?

  22. 24 Cups says:

    This week’s schedule.

    Tampa – Toronto (Go Tampa!)
    Tampa – Ottawa (the Sens are dead in the water)
    Tampa – Pittsburgh (hurtin’ big time)

    Toronto – Tampa (Double dog Go Tampa!)
    Toronto – Montreal (the ultimate four pointer)
    Toronto – New Jersey (4th game in 6 nights for the laffs)

    Detroit – Pittsburgh (Detroit has good kids, Nyquist 35 in 45)
    Detroit – Minnesota (destined to finish 7th in the West)
    Detroit – Minnesota (home and home, a split doesn’t help the Wings)

    I’d be happy with four points this week so all I care about now is the Toronto game.

  23. punkster says:

    Not worried about Larry…he’ll be fine.

    Release the Subbang!!!

    • Prop says:

      Hope so. It’s playoff push time and the team needs everyone firing on all cylinders.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • shiram says:

      I’m glad they are playing him with a vet, and a solid 2 way guy in Gio.
      Have to hope he can turn it around and bring a steady game, with some production once in a while.
      The whole team was in a funk for a great while, and they seem to be doing better recently, let’s hope Eller picks it up too.

      We know he can play much better than he has.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I hope so.

      From where I was sitting, he skated well, he played physically…

      but since he’s started with the Habs (apart from 12 games at the end of last season and 3 at the beginning of this one) he has shown that he has trouble figuring out what to do with the puck.

      He doesn’t have any vision on the ice, and this leads to indecisiveness. Now he seems to be trying to buy himself thinking time by circling the net – he does it, or tries to do it, whenever he has the puck in the o-zone – or, if he isn’t able to do that, he simply gives the puck away.

      People have been frustrated with Galchenyuk’s development, and have blamed his TOI. The statistics will tell anyone who wants to look that he has plenty of time on the ice; it’s just that he isn’t getting the kind of distribution he needs to be effective.

      If I were to choose, I would put Eller on the wing. That way he can play a much more linear game, and won’t have to worry about finding his team-mates on the ice; and I would put Chucky on at Centre, and see what his distribution is like.

      Couldn’t hurt, and could wake them both up.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. jimmy shaker says:

    PK has been looking awesome of late…..this is what we want to see from our norris trophy winner. I like the pleks/gally/danny B line. 4th line looks great as well. Good ice time management, Price shaking off the rust. Will need to keep c-bus to 2 goals or less. Hoping MT doesn’t tinker with the lineup, but if he does I think he puts murray back in for weaver and bourque for eller allowing chucky to centre that line or danny b centring and chucky playing with pleks and gally. Oh and MB why don’t you make a big splash and somehow get McKinnon. This guy will be better than Crosby. Nova Scotia bringing the heat with these two players.

    Shaker out!

  25. Phil C says:

    The Habs have no reason to rush Galchenyuk to centre. They are deep at centre and he is still really young. A few years on the wing will not hurt him as he learns the league and grows into a man’s body. He’s still only 20 years old.

    The Habs are now in win mode, not develop mode, so Galchenyuk will get icetime as he earns it and where he fits in. He gives a nice scoring threat to the 3rd line and if there are injuries in the top six, he provides great depth as he can easily move up.

    I wonder if being around Vanek will help Galchenyuk’s game? I hope he learns a thing or two. Last night I saw Pacioretty do this nice stop and go move around the defensemen and I was thinking that looks a lot like Eric Cole. I guess Pacioretty took a few pages from his book which is good because they have similar skill sets so it makes sense to use similar tactics. I see similarities in Vanek and Galchenyuk.

  26. jmac21 says:

    Nate was flying last night :)
    Nova Scotia proud
    Too bad Galley and Chuckie didn’t play for a coach that wants to develop them before they go somewhere else.

  27. frontenac1 says:

    Love the Cube but last night his head was in another area code. Out of position resulting in 2 maybe three goals. It happens with older guys playing too many games and too many minutes. Just like my amigo Crankshaft. They should alternate those two more and then they are effective imo.

  28. Prop says:

    Eller has been taking alot of flak, and MT has given him every chance to succeed. I like the player, but he’s made alot of errors that were catalysts for goals against. I’d sit him and put in Bourque, or Bournival in his place.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  29. Sportfan says:

    Vanek has more goals and points than Kovalev did when he first got here!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Good call on Kovalev,
      In his 12 season games after he arrived, he had 1 goal-2 assists in 12 games, then got hot in the playoffs with 6 goals in 11 games.

  30. Sportfan says:

    It sucks that Gally and Chucky get less time because of how well our first line is, but still to see Vanek light it up is awesome!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Their play can easily dictate their ice time. I don’t see this as a bad thing. I want the Max/DD/Vanek line to get the most minutes of all the forwards, Plex is our best all around center, he therefore should be on the line that also gets premium minutes. It isn’t like the team is looking to move either Gallagher or Galchenyuk, not sure why their minutes is such a focus today.

    • HabsPooch says:

      I think we’ll see Chucky bumped up in playing time next year for sure…I’m curious to see how good he’ll be. He’s not as good as Mackinnon but I still think he can be a first line centreman…

  31. HabsPooch says:

    I think with Weaver, when you don’t hear from him that’s good news. You don’t expect much from a 6/7 defenseman but to be solid for his 10-15 min. of play. I think Emelin played a solid game as well and should get his dues. I’d still like Beaulieu up to get his experience though…
    How difficult was it last year for you when Ottawa ousted us in the playoffs. I’m trying to figure if it’s the equivalent of let’s say the Leafs ousting in the playoffs here living in T.O. That would be deeply scarring…

  32. Un Canadien errant says:

    Some quick thoughts about Roberto Luongo, and allegedly being ‘dumped on’ by the Canucks’ organization. I think that’s inaccurate.

    If Lu had played a touch better in the Finals against the Boston Cheaters, he would have been lionized, deified by the Vancouver fans. The reality is that while he played well initially, he struggled and was inconsistent overall, while Tim Thomas was superb/lucky for the entire series. Even then, with a couple of bounces, or if the officials hadn’t been so openly biased against the Canucks, both specifically, and in terms of the style of play they fostered with their decisions, the Canucks could have won the Cup and the Roberto Luongo story would have had a happy ending no matter what transpired after.

    Meanwhile Corey Schneider developed into a quality NHL starter. He eventually outplayed Roberto, and when it became apparent that he should be the starter, it wasn’t the Canucks who jerked their veteran goaltender around, but rather he who asked for a trade. This wasn’t easy due to the monster contract, which is unwieldy due to its length, but actually yields a manageable cap hit. Add in that Roberto gave Canucks management very few teams he would accept a trade to, and it largely explains why he was in limbo for so long.

    Also, this was right as the NHL was gearing up for its lockouts, and few GM’s wanted to take on Roberto in those uncertain times. This is ‘bad luck’ in terms of timing. Roberto would have been much easier to trade two years previously, or even if the first ruffles were occurring now.

    As far as he being named captain, and the problems it caused, it’s obvious that it was a bad decision now, but at the time, it was the Canucks doing everything they could to win over their star goaltender. Roberto played along, but ultimately it’s obvious that he should have never signed the contract, but advised the team he wanted to test free agency, that he wanted a change of scenery, closer to his preferred home. It’s hard to blame the Canucks for the fact that Roberto’s wife never liked Vancouver and preferred living in Florida.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2013/07/roberto-luongo-treated-like-garbage-by.html

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Okay, so what if I just say I am happy with how the story ended? Don’t know why, perhaps it was my 5 years in BC many moons ago, but I just don’t like the Nucks and this story played out perfectly for me.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Lou wasn’t that bad.
      He had 2 shutouts and 2 meltdowns, yet when it came to game 7, the Nucks were shut out on home ice.

      If any fingers of blame need to be pointed, they go directly to the Sedins that were too soft to work through the toughness.
      They should have played tapes of Lafleur and Lemaire and how they worked through getting mauled over and over by some vicious Boston teams of the past.

      The Nucks scored 8 goals in the 7 games.
      D Sedin had 1 goal, and H Sedin had 1 goal in Game 6 that didn’t matter when the game was all but over.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I think it’s not a failing of the Sedin brothers as much as it was a failing of the NHL and its refs. The Sedins were trying to play hockey, they were ambushed every shift. They didn’t whine or turtle, they kept going out there and trying to make it happen.

        It’s also a failing of the Canucks management, they should have provided them with a better right winger than Alex Burrows. Imagine them playing with a Jarome Iginla or Wayne Simmonds all these years, they’d have had amazing numbers some seasons and over their career.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Point taken, UCE

          ….yet look at it in a different way.

          Let’s say when Sedin was getting face washed by the little runt Marchand, instead of acting like a plastic punching bag and looking at the ref for some mother love, he should have dropped his gloves.

          The outcome of the fight didn’t matter.
          His mates would have gone stratosphere just knowing that a Sedin had the cajones to fight back and not back down.

          That was a turning point…..

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Yeah, I see and understand that point, but I interpret it differently.

            How many times do we hear talking heads refer to retaliation penalties as dumb penalties, that it’s not the initial infraction that gets called but the response? How many times do we hear the culprit being criticized for losing his cool? Or the player who doesn’t respond and doesn’t nullify the initial being praised for his discipline and intelligence?

            Daniel Sedin is a superbly conditioned athlete, he could have ‘fought’ Brad Marchand, but that’s obviously not his game, and that wasn’t the right play at the time. Daniel gave that stupid, impotent ref all the time in the world to call this penalty. It should by all rights have been two and ten for the Bruin rat, but the refs were under either really strict marching orders not to dish out penalties, or under tremendous pressure to do likewise. Or they had big bets riding on the game in Vegas. For whichever reason, the refs failed to do their job, it wasn’t Daniel Sedin who failed at his.

            Unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot of this mentality in sports discussions. It wasn’t Richie Incognito who was the bully, it was Jonathan Martin who should have fought him, he’s responsible. It wasn’t Todd Bertuzzi who assaulted Steve Moore, it was the Avalanche forward who got what he deserved, and should have accepted Mr. Bertuzzi’s invitation to fight a second time that game. It wasn’t Milan Lucic who was responsible for running Ryan Miller down and giving him a concussion, it was Paul Gaustad’s fault along with his teammates’ for not exacting their pound of flesh.

            I can’t go along with that line of reasoning. Daniel Sedin did nothing wrong, Brad Marchand did, and the referees did, and the NHL did, and Don Cherry and Mike Milbury did.

    • bwoar says:

      Good post.

      My best friend is a Canucks fan, and is still mad about Sedin getting punched, but losing that series is on Bobby Lu for the most part.

      Naming him captain was an idiot move, universally called such outside of Vancouver, and anyone who names a goalie captain deserves what they get.

      I see Gillis being as bad at handling goaltenders as he is at building a credible defense, and that explains a lot. I don’t think he jerked around Luongo, rather, that Luongo put himself in his own bad situation (and handled it without much grace, to boot) which you nail quite well in your post.

      Where I disagree is the ‘overt bias against Vancouver’ meme is way, way overblown. The playoffs are called the same each year, and some cities have teams that take advantage. I don’t care for it (the inconsistency), and many who prefer the skill game don’t like the ‘open season’ mentality, but it’s not new nor particularly directed at the Canucks. Sure, the B’s get away with murder, but I think the hockey gods will know their own and it all gets sorted over a long enough timeline.

      On another note, I was very impressed by Nicklas Jensen the other night. He looked null in his first stint this year. I commented that he’s got the hardest job, trying to impress on team clearly down on itself. But he looked quite good on a line with Henrik and Burrows Monday night, the best of the 3 in fact. Looking forward to seeing him play more hockey.

  33. Wintercount says:

    Ironically, “Benny” Brunet made 3 mistakes in the booth trying to explain 3 mistakes Eller made on the ice.

  34. habs_54321 says:

    Gerry h posted about eller lacking the offensive awareness too be an effective center in a top six role, his ceiling could be much higher as a north south power winger who doesn’t have too think as much, Just spam shots similar too pacioretty. He’s got decent wheels decent shot likes too hit big frame lacks puck sense sounds like a winger too me potentially a good one! MT would have too sell the position too him maybr Max can drop a few points of knowledge too him

  35. SC-24 says:

    I think they played a excellent game but will they perform like that the next game!!!

  36. bwoar says:

    My 2 favorite positives from last night:

    1) Playing down low on the PP. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y !!
    2) Tinordi, on his correct side, is really that much better.

    Eh the hattrick was nice too ; -)

    • Phil C says:

      Two good observations. Having the down low option will transform the powerplay. Perfect timing heading into the playoffs.

      Tinordi still made a couple of big errors but fortunately for him they didn’t end up in the back of the net. Weaver as a steady stay-at-home presence is probably good for Tinordi.


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