About last night …

Columbus

Outhustled.
Outhit.
Outworked.
No surprise, then, that your Montreal Canadiens were outscored.
And if it weren’t for Carey Price, Columbus would have salted that one away a lot sooner.

As it was, there was a tick over three minutes left to play when the Canadiens saw a point they didn’t deserve slip away.

Jarred Tinordi was the goat on the winning goal. The Canadiens’ rookie defenceman coughed the puck up to Ryan Johansen, who broke away to beat Price.

Mike Weaver had called for the puck. Tinordi’s error was hesitating before padding it over to his defence partner. That moment of indecision was all Johansen needed to pounce like a hungry leopard.

But let’s rewind the tape a bit more.

With the lopsided game improbably tied 2-2, why was Lars Eller trying to beat three Blue Jackets in the Columbus zone?

Maybe Eller was trying to impress the general manager who believes in him.

And I don’t mean marc Bergevin.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen was St. Louis’s head of amateur scouting when the Blues chose Eller in the first round of the 2007 NHL draft. Eller was picked 13th overall, just after the Canadiens drafted Ryan McDonagh – pause here for Habs fans to drink heavily and cry – and one pick before Colorado took Kevin Shattenkirk. Also nine picks before the Canadiens drafted Max Pacioretty.

Kekelainen has a keen eye for talent, especially European kids. He was scouting for Ottawa when the Senators drafted Marian Hossa and Martin Havlat. His St. Louis draft picks, in addition to Eller, included David Backes, Patrik Berglund, T.J. Oshie , David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo.

In 2010, when the Canadiens decided Carey Price was their goaltender of the future, St. Louis was the dance partner in Jaroslav Halak trade talks. The Canadiens asked for Oshie. They were turned down and took Eller.

Why this long history lesson?

Because over the last two games, the Canadiens have faced three of the most promising  young forwards in the NHL: Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen, whose night at the office included a goal, a fight, two penalties, seven SoG, two blocked shots and 18 wins in 22 faceoffs.

Bell Centre fans, who know prodigies when they see them, were treated to brilliant performances by all three youngsters.

MacKinnon, Duchene and Johansen easily outshone the Canadiens’ Kiddie Corps of Eller, Alex Galchneyuk and Brendan Gallagher.

Now to be fair, Gallagher was picked in the fourth round of the 2010 draft – three rounds and 143 picks after Columbus selected Johansen fourth overall.

And Galchenyuk, picked third overall in 2012, shows flashes of the talent that justified his lofty draft status.

Eller on the other hand …

OK, the Canadiens didn’t lose because Lars Eller, for all the physical gifts that intrigued Kekelainen, is lacking in innate hockey sense. He’s neither a natural scorer nor a gifted playmaker, and almost every game includes examples of Eller’s tendency to hang on to the puck too long while taking laps around the offensive zone.

Against Columbus, his faiblesse proved costly.

Again, though, were it not for Carey Price and the penalty-killers – including Eller – the game wouldn’t have been there to slip away late.

In desperate pursuit of a wild-card playoff berth, the Blue Jackets were the hungrier team. They outshot the Canadiens in every period, outhit them 36-17 and played a relentless style that afforded the home team limited time and space to make judicious plays with the puck.

The Canadiens failed to match the visitors’ intensity. Chasing the puck from the opening faceoff – which produced a Cam Atkinson breakaway – the Canadiens took seven minor penalties – including a Too many Men call less than a minute after Thomas Vanek, new darling of the Bell Centre, had tied the game at 2-2.

So much for momentum.

And so much for keeping pace with Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division standings. The Lightning win pushed them two points ahead of the Canadiens with a game in hand.

If the playoffs began this weekend, the Canadiens would travel to Tampa Bay – which would be better than Columbus, on many levels.

I wouldn’t want to draw the Blue Jackets in the postseason. Although rarely called upon to display his talent against the Canadiens Thursday night, Sergeo Bobrovsky is a good goaltender. Johansen is an emerging star, and Columbus plays a disciplined, aggressive system that wears down their opponents.

The worn-down Canadiens have Friday to recover before facing the Leafs in a gargantuan four-pointer – stand back: Don Cherry’s head may explode – at the ACC on Saturday evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

466 Comments

  1. ksy11 says:

    Actually, despite Tinordi’s gaffe, Price was not great on the losing goal. Should have been aggressive, was in too deep, and did his usual “let the puck hit me” style; to be an elite goalie, you have to steal goals in critical situations. He remains a really good goalie who rarely steals games at the critical moments.

    BTW- why can’t the media stop using the 4 point game reference?its a complete misnomer, mathematically incorrect, and I suspect wrongly extrapolated from doubling the half game point system of baseball.

  2. RetroMikey says:

    Columbus is a big team. If Price was not in the nets, the team would be embarrassed totally!
    We canny competed against the BIGGER AND BETTER teams!

  3. UnkleGary says:

    Hey guys! I think I’m going to get tickets for the second game of the Victoria Royals vs Spokane Cheifs playoff game, I went through the rosters but didn’t recognize any Habs propects. Anyone familiar with these teams with any players worth some extra scouting? Thanks!

    CH-eers!

  4. mrhabby says:

    PRUST OUT FOR THE YEAR.

  5. Habilis says:

    Prust just got shut down.

    “Renaud Lavoie ‏@renlavoietva
    La saison régulière de Brandon Prust est terminée. #canadiens #tvasports”

    Not great, because now he may or may not be effective come playoff time. Not much choice though. I’m just hoping he’s the last injury.

    • twilighthours says:

      Tough break. He was so good against Colorado.

      • Habilis says:

        Yup. Gotta think that this is a major issue too. He’s a tough hombre. This is obviously pure speculation on my part, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him undergo some kind of surgery in the summer.

    • shiram says:

      Can’t help but think he was rushed back, or played hurt, too hurt.

      I mean his last game was heroic, and 2 points are nice, but Habs are paying him a lot for a 4th liner, and now he might not even play in the playoffs?
      That’s tough.

  6. Caesar says:

    hope Murray is in for the cube against the Laffs. Carlyle’s goons might want to make a few injuries incase we meet up in the playoffs. Or at least send a message if they are going to lose. Parros only has 1 job and he knows it…not worth risking a lifetime of headaches for this game.

    I also think that Beaulieu should be up and the cube should be a good guy in the room and never play NHL again.

  7. shiram says:

    Dreger is saying Canes might move Ward, E. Staal or SKinner in the off season.

  8. mrhabby says:

    Bork just playing out the string and the playoffs. Surely something will have to be done over the summer with this player.
    The tough love and the pat on the back approach do not seem to help this guy.

  9. Black Horse says:

    “Tinordi and Price needed to be better there, help their teammate out”.

    Price has done this all season. How many times have the players helped Price out?

  10. habs_54321 says:

    many years ago josh gorges made a simular mistake too the one tinordi made last night the coach basically said don’t do it again instead of benching him and after that he really came into his own as a player, hopefully tinordi will have a simular path

  11. boing007 says:

    Bluejackets looking a lot like a carbon copy of the Blues, but not yet there.

    Richard R

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Top 4 Dman youngster Ryan Murray – 2nd overall pick in 2012, was injured and could not play last night.

      Disliked by Hab fans ex-Bruins Nathan Horton is still trying to find his way back after shoulder surgery and has only played 29 games so far.
      He brings leadership, experience, and a recent shiny Cup ring that he had large contributions towards.

      Their prospect pipeline is also impressive.
      With a few key moves, this team will be Top 4 in the Conference next year and for a while after that.
      Great coaching by very underrated Todd Richards and key guy Craig Hartsburg.

  12. sCOTT1243 says:

    Bourque is dead weight. Have him clean out his locker, how many chances do we have to give this guy. Eller, he’ll bounce back, bad year, doesnt have a consistent linemate, I’ll give him more rope.

    Let’s not jump off the bridge yet, this team showed us against Avalanche that they can play at a high level. Lets just beat the laffs saturday.

  13. Maritime Ronn says:

    @JohnLuTSNMtl:
    #Habs practice lines:

    Pacioretty/Desharnais/Vanek
    Brière/Plekanec/Gallagher
    Bourque/GALCHENYUK/Gionta
    Moen/ELLER/Weise
    White, Parros

    Better late than never……
    I am a huge (just turned 20) Galchenyuk fan, yet also respect the over-achieving, bottom line results of the MT coached Habs….that, based on not knowing, or being privy to what his exact mandate is from both Management/Ownership.
    Who knows.
    The mandate may be some combo of ” Win” and “Win Now…”

    November 04 2013:

    ….Coach Michel Therrien turned to Galchenyuk in the third period of Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, putting him between Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher.

    “The positive (in this game) is the adjustment we made with Galchenyuk playing centre with Pacioretty and Gallagher,” Therrien said.

    “It’s something we’ve been thinking about and we decided to do it in the third period and I was really pleased.
    This is an experiment that we’re going to repeat again.”

    In Coach MT’s defence, he gave no time line as to ‘when’ the experiment would be repeated….

  14. rljmartin says:

    We need word from Hamilton. Is a Beaulieu a better person yet?

  15. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    I like the idea of Bourque – Chucky – Gio

    I know Bourque has been crap, but when he’s good, he’s good. And he generally doesn’t hurt the team. When he’s not on, he’s invisible but not making mistakes. I say give him a shot in a big game to get on one of his hot streaks. If he doesn’t take it, sit him for good. And Chucky at center….finally!

    I do not like sitting Tinordi and the fact that Beaulieau is in Hamilton.

    • Phil C says:

      At least they are giving him two veterans to play with, and on the third line instead of the first or second, so they are putting him in a position to succeed.

  16. Say Ash says:

    Anybody see this yet? Highlights from Dutch playoff hockey:

    Hockey goalie and referee try to jump into stands to join fan fight

  17. anotherhab says:

    Wow, ease up on Eller, the whole team got out worked — hopefully they don’t get the day off that that performance. I thought Pleks was terrible last night (off night) won 11 face-offs, loss 19, out battled — coughing the puck up several times then takes the careless 4 minute penalty!

  18. Bugs says:

    Well, at least The Acquisition popped in another.
    That’s somethin, right?

    Left turn-missin’ L. B. Potter.

  19. twilighthours says:

    After watching it a few more times, I don’t think Eller’s play inside the blueline wasn’t that bad. Tinordi and Price needed to be better there, help their teammate out. Sadly, Eller has had plenty of brain cramps like this – and worse – recently. I really hope he gets it sorted.

    Bork back in? I was one of the last defenders of Bork on this site. I believe he can still be an effective 3rd liner. This will be his last chance with the Habs, though. Hope he delivers, too.

    Is this the new Columbus team? Man I would not want to play them in the playoffs.

    Vanek is a true sniper, eh? When he’s not scoring, he’s not doing much else.

    Watching the maturation of Patches’ game sure is fun. He’s really becoming a complete player. His play without the puck is so much better. And what a first step! As good as anyone’s, really.

    Careless and uncharacteristic use of the stick by Plex last night. Ugly.

    It would be both infuriating and terrifying to play against PK Subban. He’d skate around with that grin all game, and then drill you through the boards.

    On to Toronto – let’s put a thumping on that team.

  20. CJ says:

    Well, according to reports from practice, Murray has replaced Tinordi. Chucky is at centre and Bourque is back in. Looks like White is out in place of Eller, who is centring the fourth line.

  21. Kooch7800 says:

    Say hemsky’s goal last night against tampa. Awesome. I was not a fan of Hemsky in Edmonton but he has changed my view a bit since joining Ottawa. He has more skill than I thought https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLRV5Vj2aoo

    • CJ says:

      He has been Ottawa’s best player since the trade. If not for Hemsky, they don’t beat Winnipeg and are even further down the standings. He and Mike Hoffman have been the two best stories this past three weeks. My goodness, nearly everything else is a mess though.

      Lots of Sens fans are livid that they gave Phillips a two year extension. I wonder what will happen if Montreal signs Markov for three more years….

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Markov will be signing here for min 2 years I would bet. Cash though….will be interesting. MB is headed into a pretty intense off season….PK, Eller, Gio, Markov….there is lots of holes. I am loving the addition of Vanek as he does what Gallagher does and go to the net which we need more of and this team lacks in a bad way.

        I never thought Hemsky was that good but have been shocked. He is injury prone but will be interesting to see where he ends up after this year.

  22. Phil C says:

    I watched the game with a guy who is not familiar with the Blue Jackets, so his observations were unbiased. He asked “Who’s that number 19, he seems to be able to cut through the Habs D like a hot knife through butter.” Johanson had a hell of a game. He did it to all three Habs pairings. Really nice player, he reminded me of a young LeCavalier.

    But even with 8 powerplays, two 5 on 3s, and despite fighting for their playoff lives, Columbus still needed a late giveaway to win it. If the Habs played like they did against Colorado, Columbus couldn’t touch them.

    • kalevine says:

      Exactly
      I feel like I saw a different game last night than most. I saw in Columbus a very beatable team. Habs just took too many penalties and it caught up with them, even if the winning goal was not on the PP

  23. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Have the Habs said what it is they didn’t like in Beaulieau’s game?

    Not as a replacement for Tinner — crummy mistake, life goes on. Just thought Beaulieau looke great and should be up too

  24. rljmartin says:

    Last night during all the penalties, even though the PK was 100%, zone time was horrible and I kept thinking how good it would be to have some Murray freeze the puck time.

    All game, CBJ roamed freely in front of the net with no retribution.

    Murray is not fast but no matter what team HABS play, how many times is he caught out of position? How many puck battles does he lose?

    Hope he is back in against the Laughs.

    Vanek is good, he can score but DD line sure misses Gally but then again, any line would miss him.

    • Bmon44 says:

      You don’t win ANY puck battles if you can’t skate to the puck in time. We spend s much time running around in our zone unnecessarily when Murray plays because he cant retrieve the puck.

      • rljmartin says:

        I disagree totally with your assessment of Murray, just watch him and see. Also, don’t try and tell the “speedy” defense of last night performed way better than Murray would have.

      • dr. schmutzdeker says:

        Judging by what I observed, there appeared to be plenty of running around in their own zone while he wasn’t playing. At least with him present there is a semblance of physicality/pushback (resulting in some hesitiation by the opposition) when the puck is in the defensive zone/in front of the net.

  25. Timo says:

    Gallagher didn’t look very impressive without a skate blade. I think he needs to work on that more.

  26. mrhabby says:

    It will be interesting to see who starts on defence against the laffs.

    Will the coach opt for a larger player like Murray who can pound you but has trouble skating/turnovers or does he stick with the Cube and Tinordi pairing. Leafs have speed and can get the cycle going down low. Little surprised NB is not up on board but I guess MB/MT need size on the back end.

    • Strummer says:

      Leafs are having problems of their own right now.
      Their mediocre goaltending and terrible D zone coverage makes this a golden opportunity for the Habs to unleash that offensive juggernaught we saw aginst the Av’s.

      Leafs are also getting no secondary scoring after the Kessel line.

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

      • mrhabby says:

        that’s all true. that being said this seems to be a must win for the Leafs as they have lost 3 in a row (me thinks) and need some points just like us.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Sure they have defensive problems, however, they have no trouble putting the biscuit in the basket and we have nothing but. Should be interesting, we’ll need a great game from Price. As usual.

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

  27. mdp2011 says:

    For all the people wanting Chucky at center, looks like it is going to happen.

    Les trios: Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek, Brière-Plekanec-Gallagher, Bourque-Galchenyuk-Gionta et Moen-Eller-Weise

    • shiram says:

      The return of Bourque, White sits.
      I don’t think I have much confidence those lines will stay intact for long during the game, if that’s what they go with.

    • Luke says:

      I’m cool with that.

      Hope he does well. TO has a strong faceoff team, I believe.

      Lets get that 33% average moving upwards. Go Galchenyuk! Hoooooooot!

      I also hope someone beats up Kadri (Tinordi, please let it be Tinordi) and Phaneuf when these heroes take runs at Gallagher.

  28. Strummer says:

    The statement of Eller for “trying to beat 3 Blue Jackets in the Columbus zone” is unfair.

    Eller ties up 3 CBJ’s, so where are his wingers on the back-check?

    And The D cough up the puck. can’t even remotely blame Eller.

    And we gave up a Shorty which was the biggest gaffe of the evening
    __________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Once he hit the wall of defenders at the blueline he should have just dumped it in. Instead, he hung on to the puck and ultimately turned it over. He’s done that way too much this year. I’m sure he’s been told about it by the coaches. The message just isn’t getting through. Sit him til it does.

    • icemachine says:

      Some people just want to blame Eller. His fault for not scoring on the Vezina winner. Eller’s fault for trying to get a puck deep and setup a cycle. Eller’s fault for Tinordi throwing the puck into the center in his own zone while being hounded by Johansen. Eller’s fault for a shorty on a faceoff he didn’t take…

  29. frontenac1 says:

    Howz about our newest enforcer Max! He gets the decision but man that was funny! Johansen eh?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYRIZ5H0Cik

  30. 25grapes says:

    These About Last Night posts are sounding more and more like an old man who has necessity to come on here a moan after every “single” (yes the habs are on a disastrous one game loosing streak) loss because what the real problem is he has to get up three times a night to take a piss and it hurts.

    Giving up on a 24 year old center who for the first 3 full months of the season was the best player night in night out according to the same old moaner. Memory loss must be kicking in also.

    Be careful who you trade for a bag of pucks, it usually comes back to humiliate you.

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      3 months? Try 3 weeks. Almost half his goals where scored during that period. He’s had a few good games since then. The last 3 months have been marked by long stretches of middling play punctuated by periods of utter ineptitude the likes of which have not been seen by Habs fans since the days of Sergei Samsonov and Janne Niinimaa. And that’s saying something!

    • Black Horse says:

      LOL … I agree

  31. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    @wjc

    So you think it’s okay to have a rookie (Tinordi) on the ice at the end of a 1-goal game because it’s a learning opportunity? By that logic, you’d have him on in the 7th game of the Cup finals under the same circumstances? Why not, right? He’d learn even more when there’s more on the line. Piffle. Coaching is about percentages. It’s about getting the right people on the field, court, ice, or whatever, at the right time to give your team the best chance to win. Nine out of then coaches wouldn’t have had Tinordi out there with 3 minutes to go– certainly not at the same time as your WORST defensive player (Eller). I like Tinordi. He’s got lots of upside. Let him make his mistakes when they’re not as potentially costly.

  32. Phil C says:

    It’s not about making Eller the whipping boy, or handing out the goat horns, it’s about recognizing who deserves to play. With a player like Bournival who has played great this year is sitting on the sidelines, I don’t see how the team can justify playing Eller. I’m sure even Rene Bourque’s Mom is saying “my son is sitting for this guy? WTF?” And Mrs. Bourque may even have a point, although she is a little biased.

  33. RockinRey says:

    It should be mentioned that the winning goal really was on Price. Gotta have that one. It’s not an attack on his overall ability as a goaltender I just know it was stoppable.

    ——————————————————————————————————
    You are entitled to your opinion even if you are wrong.

  34. L Elle says:

    Nothing ever changes. We harp on the kids, still gaining experience, and not making the biggest of salaries, and yet, our top paid players, who haven’t scored or made any difference in the games, except for excellent Pking, get off scot free?

    If Eller was traded for Gomez, I think we might be hearing less about what a supposed bust he is.

    Go back to older threads…Price, PK, etc. have all been either declared busts or useless or whatever the criticism du jour is.

    Honestly, we were outcoached. CBJs came prepared and focused, and you just knew they wouldn’t leave without a win.

    Habs weren’t winning this game. A heroic Price makes the close score seem like a lie masked in brilliant goaltending.

    Therrien in his presser said, it was a bad game, and we haven’t had too many of those. HUH?

    The coaching staff is weak, and yes, the players are responsible out there, but you have to put them in the best situation to succeed.

    I’d much rather ask better performances from Pleks, Gio, Briere, Markov and other experienced vets, and then maybe point fingers at a bunch of kids still learning their craft

    • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

      Eller isn’t a kid anymore

    • punkster says:

      Habs, as a team, were horribly outplayed and as a team they won’t sit around laying blame on their team mates.

      They leave that to the “experts” on blogs.

      Release the Subbang!!!

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Jeez, if you read the ‘experts’ they weren’t pinning any blame on players. Eller has a lower ceiling than a lot of people claim. The ‘experts’ actually see that.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Actually, you are the on contributing to what never changes, focusing on the coaching. Is it not possible that Columbus played awesome last night? That the Habs were a little flat?

      Blaming the coaches is not really original, especially when you didn’t make one suggestion on how the coaches could be better.. It was near impossible to utilize the 4th line with all the penalties, Plek was used in the same role 30 other NHL coaches would use him, Same for DD, Patch, and Vanek. How,would you suggest the coach does things different? He needs to have PK out with the 4th line and did that…

      Gio played great last night, was amazing on the rush defensively showing great speed, he gave up very little and was phenomenal on the PK. How,would you suggest the team better utilize Briere?

      Markov had a pretty good game as well.. And Plek was solid, but he’s not scoring.

      Tinordi made a bonehead play (on the heels of an even bigger bonehead play by Eller great plan bud, trying to deke around a 1 on 4) in a tie game with 3 minutes left.. and people are supposed to blame the vets?

      The reason Eller takes heat on this site is because there are so many that suggest he could handle DD’s role which is preposterous. Eller has never shown consistency as a scorer at any level in his career.. But because he is young we are supposed to give him a free pass!!! Those who build up Eller into something he isn’t are to blame, the rest of us are trying to bring those folks back to Earth.

      As for Tinordi, he made a bad play and CP was fooled by the quick slow down move by Clb Johannson.

      As for Price and Subban.. I remember the Halak crew.. They have since eaten a 500lb plate of crow (I was never one of them) and I’m pretty sure everyone here has supported PK with the exception of some idiotic behaviour, that embarrassed himself and team.

      In conclusion, how could this team be coached any better? How could Plek and Gio have played better.. The PK was perfect..

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  35. frontenac1 says:

    I want to see PK do this to Kessel on Saturday.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X38KZbmJJFw

  36. CJ says:

    A number of great replies following my post below. Thank you each and all for sharing.

    I appear to be Mr. Convenient, recycling ideas following a loss. Truth is, I have seen this team through the same lens all year. That said, they have proven resilient and I would not be surprised if they have a much better outing against the Leafs.

    I am not sure what the answer is. Clearly we seem to all agree that we are missing key pieces to the puzzle, including unheralded Josh Gorges. The good news is that we have a number of building blocks in place which will make us competitive down the road. If you will excuse one last analogy, it seems like we have the outside of the puzzle finished, and now need to fill in the interior. This is the good news. Along with some decent prospets, our 30 and under crowd are our best players. Again, all good news.

    The bad news IMO, is that there are a number of teams in the east who we simply do not match up well against. We seem to play our best when we play teams with speed and skill, but who are not necessarilly physical in nature. Teams like Chicago, Pittsburgh and Colorado. When the opposition grinds us down (Philly and Columbus) we receed into our shell and rely solely on outstanding goaltending to carry (no pun intended) the day.

    In a complete about face, I am taking an open mind into our next game. I am certain that there will be changes and that the troops will tighten up. We played a desperate hockey team last night, and they caught us unprepared. I do not think that will happen on Saturday night. The Leafs fit the desperation discription, but we will be prepared……I’m sure (I hope).

    Cheers, CJ

    • frontenac1 says:

      Agree CJ. Against the bigger,physical teams mucho problemo. Like last night. No Parros,No Murray, No Prust, No Luck!

      • CJ says:

        We are going to have that issue until we change the composition of players on the roster. I have no issues with smaller players, provided they are insulated with steadier lads who are willing to push back. Our big guys simply aren’t that physical.

        If only Rene Bourque could turn himself loose we would have a major hole filled on the second line….

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      What do you think of our players performance while missing a skate blade? Hahah

      That’s a nice post, I agree.. Is it possible to have a team that matches up well against all others? I suppose with Price it is..

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • CJ says:

        That was strange. At first I thought he was hurt….badly. I was very happy to see that it was a skate blade and not a broken leg or ankle.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          My girlfriend loves him (the Hab player shed like to have over for dinner, because “you know he’d just appreciate it so much” )

          We though he had a broken ankle for sure!

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • BriPro says:

      Faster than an automatic keyboard!
      More astute than an ill-willed troll!
      Leaps through old posts in a single bound!

      This amazing poster from the land of rational! The will of steel!
      It’s Convenient Man!
      Empowered with foretelling vision, with remarkable physical presence, Convenient Man fights an ever-ending battle on HIO for truth and justice.
      Disguised as a mild-mannered hockey blogger, CJ!

  37. trolly says:

    I missed the game last night but scrolled through the live blog comments when I got home. Just watched Canadiens Express so now I get all the comments on Vanek’s goal, pretty sweet. Any chance some of you guys over there can get changing the tax laws for Habs players on someone’s election platform? Do it quick. Also I haven’t read through the ALN comments yet so sorry if this is redundant, but has it been confirmed that Eller is the new official HIO whipping boy yet?

  38. shiram says:

    and now for something relatively different.

    Plekanec had a 4 minute penalty last night on an errant stick.
    The team managed to kill the 4 minutes, without their best penalty killing forward.
    After the penalty was over, Plekanec went over to the Habs bench and spoke to the team, most likely thanking them for covering his mistake and maybe give some encouragement.

    I think it’s important to note this as leadership is often questioned on the team, and with the possibility of a vacant captain spot next season, well Pleks remain my top candidate.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Apparently Pleks was one of the main guys cheering DD on during his slump, according to Pierre McGuire (called him ‘Tommy’) who I wouldn’t normally believe, but he does stand between the benches…

      He’s a lot more vocal than a lot of people give him credit for, I reckon.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • shiram says:

        That’s what I think too.
        I stopped watching the 24CH thing a while back, but I recall Plekanec egging Subban on about his inclusion on team Canada, he seemed very familiar and candid.
        But as fans our perception might be skewed as he is very tight lipped in interviews.

      • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

        he must have had a sore throat for cheering so much over a 20 game stretch ;)

    • Luke says:

      Plex is awesome. One of my favourites on the team. If I cared about Captains, I would support your candidate.

      I also like how dirty Plex is. He is has a real school yard nasty streak, whacking away at ankles and feet in the faceoff dots. Nothing too serious, just really subtle & annyoing.
      When he knocked the goalie’s (I can’t recall who) stick out of his hand while the goalie did the typical “skate out into forechecker’s lane in front of the net” thing, and Plex rec’d no penalty, I actually LOLed. (For real).

      Anyways, I like Plex. They can put the ‘C’ right on the turtleneck.

      (And yes, I do realize I just mentioned directly below that Plex could be traded based on Eller’s development).

  39. Luke says:

    Maybe instead of looking at is as Eller or DD, we should look at the roles.

    DD is an offense first player. He is not as woeful defensively as some suggest, but he certainly does not excel. He is an above average offensive centre and passable (average) in his own zone.

    Eller is (or would appear to be) the opposite of DD. Better defensively than he is offensively. He does not pass or create as well as DD. I doubt he or Max would have success given Eller’s tendancry to hold the puck against DD’s to move it.
    (I also think he is a fairly passive player as well. But that’s neither here nor there).
    I think Eller shouldn’t be compared to DD, but rather to Plekanec. At this point, he looks like a decent defensive centre who may be able to provide inconsistent offense.

    That said, It’ll be Galchenyuk that determines Eller’s role on this team. Assuming he evolves into the #1 centre spot, you’ll be left with this:

    Galchenyuk
    DD
    Plex
    Eller
    White

    I would suspect Eller, should he become a consistent player (which at this point he is not) could either replace Plex and force a Plex trade, or he could move to the wing.

    I will agree with Leggo on this:
    To like DD does not mean that I hate Eller. I’m on Team Positive.
    I like all the players. Even when they drive me nuts. (ENOUGH with the soft backhand passes, you fools!).

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Please move to the wing.. Once Galchenyuk (or if) developers into a top line player, both DD and Plek move into 2nd and 3rd line roles respectively.. Maybe Eller on the LW with Plek.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • UnkleGary says:

      Great post. Some of the same comments we hear about Eller we’ve also heard about Pleks; good defensively, constantly changing line mates, more defensive zone face offs, harder match ups, lack of offensive decision making.
      I think it is way to early to give up on Eller, some players take longer to develop, and he has all the tools to turn into a great defensive, third line Center, with maybe a little more physicality and a bit less offence than Pleks.
      But there is a logjam. Neither DD, Pleks, Eller or Chucky are forth line centers. Maybe the organization is hoping Eller can be effective enough to move Pleks for a scoring winger and slot Chucky in the middle on the second line. But it scares me to think of this team without Pleks, I feel like he does so many little things well, we would really miss him.
      It’s a tough situation. I think most people see Chucky as the number 1 down the road, so he should get the best wingers, but DD has such a good rapport with Max, and he’s been excellent since that first rough patch, and he’s got a good salary.

      CH-eers!

  40. Psycho29 says:

    Question:

    I am going to be in Florida for a week of golf and sun with 3 buddies the first week of April and the Habs are playing there.

    For those who have been to a game in Tampa, what’s the best thing to do, buy the tickets on line ahead of time? Or try to get them from a scalper?

  41. wjc says:

    Hockey world in shock:

    Tinordi made a mistake, in 3-2 loss.

    TINORDI MADE A MISTAKE!

    wjc

  42. BriPro says:

    Can I pitch in on the Eller debate?
    I’ve been (perhaps unfairly) critical of Eller of late.

    At the trade deadline, I was pushing for his trade. Not so much to get rid of the kid, but because he might be perceived by other GMs as most on here (guilty as charged) hoped he would be when he came over in the Halak trade. I was thinking that his trade could bring us a strong return. Alas…

    I don’t think he is. It might have been Kekalainen’s only miscalculation, seeing the other talent he’s drafted for the Blues. Perhaps that’s why the team was pushing for TJ Oshie when they gave Halak away.

    No question, the kid has heart, drive and determination. But I think he lacks the vision which DD (yes…. DD) has. He’s faster and obviously stronger than DD, but he doesn’t have the hockey IQ that the smurf has.

    Just look at how DD set Vanek up for his first goal as a Hab, and most will agree.
    Is DD that much better than Eller? I don’t think so. Which means we still lack a true bonafide number 1 C.

    And even if Galchenyuk only played one or two seasons at C and his natural position is on the wing, I agree with Matty. Put Eller on the wing, keep the kids together.

    This should not only take some of the pressure off of Eller, it should enhance Galchenyuk’s game, bringing it up to the level we’re hoping for, and the boys will be back to playing lights-out like they did last fall.

    • shiram says:

      I don’t mind trying him at wings again, we have plenty of possible C’s to take his place.
      But I would keep Gio with him, or at least have another solid vet with him on the line.
      Hopefully some leadership to help him along.

      • truebeliever says:

        Eller is a talent, but not yet a fully developed one. The problem for him is he’s running out of time. As a Dman, we’d be just expecting him to round into form about now, but as a forward, no such patience is afforded.
        I disagree fundamentally that Eller lacks hockey sense. What he lacks is confidence in his own instincts. His dad is a highly regarded coach in Europe and he has been schooled all along. Now, his boss, Michel Therrien wants something different. He no longer trusts his instincts and his head can’t yet quickly sift through all the voices. I don’t think last year’s face crushing helped his confidence either.
        I’m glad most people are willing to cut Tinordi some slack. Weaver should have known better than to call for the puck in a 2-2 game. The boards are a Dman’s best friend. The good news is he probably won’t ever make that mistake again. As parents like to say, it was a teachable moment, right JJ?
        As for the big C question of DD versus Eller, it’s hardly worth the debate. If the Habs knew what they were doing at centre ice, they never would have drafted Kostytshyn (#9) over Jeff Carter (#10) or Ryan Getzlaf (#16). It’s a tragedy that will cost Habs fans for a generation.

        SB

        • BriPro says:

          On TSN690 this morning, they replayed an interview with Tinordi. He didn’t mention that Weaver asked for the puck.
          He went as far as to say “I tried to pass the puck across the middle of the ice to relieve the pressure, but I was too slow, and paid the price. The loss is on me, and I should have known better. I won’t be making that mistake again.” – I’m paraphrasing, but he owned up to it.

      • BriPro says:

        I don’t know Shiram.
        Not so much last night, but Gio was terrible in their win against Colorado. Whether it’s frustration, or just trying to do too much, I find that his game has declined dramatically in the last little while.
        I like Gio, and for the most part, he’s always been reliable with the puck, until he encounters some physical opposition. Even then, for the most part, he battles. But lately, I’ve been asking myself “What is he doing?”

        • shiram says:

          Well what to do with Gio then? Back with Plekanec and a higher risk deployment?
          I agree Gio also has not been up to snuff, but a slight demotion to the Eller line could do some good.
          My point is mostly to have a veteran player to play with Eller, hopefully helping him along, talking to him, sharing experience and so on.
          If it’s not Gionta, someone else then.

  43. Sportfan says:

    DAMMIT TINORDI SEND HIM DOWN TRADE HIM ETC ETC TROLOLOLOLO although it would be nice to see Bealieu haha. Oh well on to Laf land to beat them.

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


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.