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. wjc says:

    Hear Ye, Hear ye:

    Eller bitch session in progress, bring all your opinions and bitches here.

    Are you paying attention Mr. Vanek. this is after a 3-2 loss, you ain’t seen nothin yet.

    wjc

    • shiram says:

      To be fair, Eller has been not playing up to par for longer than just last game.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      The reason for ‘Eller bitching’ is people on here have unrealistic expectations of a player that has a realistic bottom 6 ceiling, while others see him as an offensive weapon that is a top 6 building block (based on one hot streak).

      Being realistic is not bitching. I think it is unanimous that people like Eller’s speed and effort, it’s just that those of us that watch every game see him in a lesser role and try to convince others of what we see.

      Not a single NHL coach would put Eller with Patch and Vanek.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Mattyleg says:

      Calm down.

      Nobody is bitching, we were having a conversation about him; his strengths and his weaknesses.

      Nobody is blaming him for losing this game.

      But good try stirring the pot (on your second try, too. Nobody but I bit on the previous thread).

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  2. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I’ve been saying for a while now, “Watch out for Columbus.” Young, big and fast with very good goaltending, I don’t think anyone wants them in the first round. They were full marks for their victory last night. If not for Price, it wouldn’t have been close.
    Finally, I’m about to give up on Eller. As soon as Bournival is ready, he’d be in the press box if it was my call. Maybe Gryba toasted his Danish and knocked him right out of hockey. Who knows? I’d also call Beaulieu back up.

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

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I believe Eller is still suffering from that hit. It often takes one year. I don’t expect him to improve this year but I wouldn’t trade him in the summer.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Not the time to trade Eller, he is young, fast, and strong. He is just caught between roles at the moment.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        The problem is definitely between his ears but who am I to talk? That hit would have killed me. I like Eller, see his potential and upside but something has to shake him out of this funk he’s in. Otherwise his value is rapidly declining, isn’t it?

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

    • piper says:

      you don’t trade a player when his value is low especially a big, fast 24 year old centre.

  3. third generation haber says:

    Regarding the Eller/ DD debate, neither of them are first line centers. Like Bozak in Toronto, DD plays first line center because no one else is either available or ready (Chucky).

    On a brighter note, I think our CHL prospects had great years!!!

    I like following our prospects because our pool has gotten deeper in recent years.

    This year:

    Brady Vail: A supposed defensive forward tallied 32 goals and 83 points; one of the tops in the OHL.

    Tim Bozon: Despite a slow start (was traded) and missing a bunch of games (serious health issues), scored 33 goals. That’s 3 straight seasons of 30+.

    Charles Hudon: Had 76 points in 57 games and continued to fight back problems. I considered this result a disappointment for him since he plays for a powerhouse team.

    Jeremy Gregoire: Maybe our prospect of the year! 35 goals, 89 points! He’s only 18 and was a 6th rounder! This guy is known for his grit, but surprised this year.

    Connor Crisp: I wouldn’t have imagined this guy scoring 28 goals this year! He also had 120 PIM and may not have lost a single fight. A beast!

    Jack Nevins: Famous for beating the $%^& out of people, somehow scored 19 goals, and no surprise, 159 PIM.

    Dalton Thrower: A d-man who scored 12 goals and 39 points in just 42 games. Looking very Bieksaish.

    Micheal McCarron: He’s taken lots of flack, but I’ve read a lot of reports on his solid play in the second half. 14 goals, 34 points, and 120 PIM, is not too shabby for an 18 year old rookie.

    If we keep scouting like this, I have high hopes for our future.
    j.p. murray

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I agree, but DD has the ability to be a second line C on a contender while Eller does not.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        I agree, but in the last half of last year and first half of this, I would have disagreed. It’s been a bit perplexing, but I would be hesitant to draw final conclusions right now.

        • third generation haber says:

          Eller has never been an offensive weapon at any level. I see him as a 2-way center that could be a force on a gritty third line with Prust like wingers, or the defensive guy on a second line. At the moment, I don’t think he can find either identity. If Chucky and DD center the top 2 lines respectively, Eller will be under less pressure.

          DD is a good passer who will need to grow a pair to survive in the playoffs.

          j.p. murray

    • HabsPooch says:

      …and don’t forget Martin Reway, Arture Lehkonen, Jacob De La Rose and Fucale are having good seasons too. Let’s just hope two or three of them make it to the NHL.

      • third generation haber says:

        Noted, but I was just focusing on our CHL guys because it’s easier to make sense of their progress. Guys in Europe have trouble getting ice-time because they’re playing against men.

        I didn’t mention Reway because I can’t stand the idea of another smurf making the habs.

        j.p. murray

        • HabsPooch says:

          I hear you…lol.

        • HabsPooch says:

          I have high hopes for McCarron. He had a strong second half after they put him at centre. Will love to see how he performs against Vail and the Spitfires in the playoffs starting tonight. Gonna be fun!

          • third generation haber says:

            I’d like to see him get 1 more year of junior, then 2 seasons in the AHL before he tries to play “his game” against NHL giants.

            Because he’s big, MB may feel inclined to rush him.

            j.p. murray

          • HabsPooch says:

            Absolutely agree. This is one kid I don’t want them rushing.

  4. Mattyleg says:

    Thanks for your responses below, lads.
    Good conversation!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  5. kalevine says:

    People are saying Eller holds the puck too long, but I think he holds it for the wrong amount of time consistently, sometimes too long and sometimes giving it up too soon and poorly.

    • krob1000 says:

      This season that is true..last season he did not do that..he had confidence…taht si a sure fire sign of confidence loss. Pleks has gone through that earlier in his career and so have many players. HE is shooting too soon and blindly and waiting too long to pass.

  6. RockinRey says:

    Time to allow Chucky to sink or swim. Its one thing to bring a d man along slowly as it is widely reasoned it can take much longer for them to develop.

    Habs really have so many problems developing players for many many years. First round draft picks have often stayed in the league and become pieces for other teams to add. Rarely have we seen a first rounder develop ( save for Price) into something we thought they would/could be.

    An d of Chucky and Eller specifically just have not developed at a pace that we could get excited about.

    Chucky shows flashes but its time to let him get some experience and give him bigger minutes in many situations…..

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

  7. wjc says:

    Hear ye! Hear Ye! Eller bitch session in progress, bring your bitches, here.

    Not a pretty site…..BITCH AWAY!

    wjc

    • Mattyleg says:

      I don’t think anyone’s bitching.

      I’ve noticed some good, thought-provoking conversation about him and his place in the team…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  8. Phil C says:

    Let’s call it like it is folks, Eller has been brutal lately. He is -9 in the month of March so far and it’s not even over yet. He would have been -4 in the Ottawa game if not for a late two points, which incidentally, doubled his offensive output in 2014. That’s right, 4 points so far in 2014. So if you’re not scoring and you’re not defending, then you should be sitting. The Habs have enough depth up front to give Eller some paper airplane making training.

    As for Tinordi, he is not ready. Every game he makes several bad turnovers and reads. In this game the error was very obvious but is far from an isolated incident. He looks good at times, other times he looks like he is stick handling a live grenade.

    The problem is with the Gorges injury, the Habs are lacking choices on the blueline. I assume Beaulieu must have really, really, really, really, pissed them off to not be playing as it makes no sense from a hockey perspective. So I wonder if they should give Pateryn a look? If not, they may be forced to ride Tinordi and hope he can learn on the job without wrecking his confidence.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Isn’t Eller part of the PK, especially when #14 was off for 4 last night? It’s not as cut and dried as people are making out.

      Re. Tinordi; is anybody ever totally ready? He makes mistakes. The sublime Markov makes mistakes. Does the good outweigh the bad? Maybe it depends on alternatives, and we are a little short in that department. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the season will bring.

      • Phil C says:

        I think they have enough good penalty killers to fill that gap.

        You are probably right about Tinordi. Let’s hope it does not hurt his development.

  9. HabsWin-nipeg says:

    May have been posted already – from Brian Wilde:

    – A really special moment after the game I want to share with you. Tinordi was taking his equipment off and there was a lull after Gionta finished. Price saw the media mass was going to converge on Tinordi about the late-game error. Price says “I’m ready. I’m ready.” He still had his equipment on but he wanted to save his mate from the interview. It worked. We all converged on Price. I was just happy to watch it play out. Some moments are more than a clip so I let Tinordi leave and he did. Price watched him go and then answered the large scrum. The only player in the room, then to Tinordi’s great credit he returned to face tough questions about his gaffe. After Tinordi was finished I returned to Carey, still wrapping up with Ron Reusch. I said to Price, “I saw what you did there, trying to save Jarred.” He simply acknowledged I was right, that he protected his mate but like Carey he said nothing more, never looking for praise. I followed with, “If only the rest of the world supported each other like players and teammates in a locker room stand by each other.” Carey responded, “It would be one hell of an amazing world.” That’s your goalie everyone. That’s a man’s man. That’s a character person. That’s someone to look at and admire and that has nothing to do with stopping a puck.

    Read more: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/call-of-the-wilde-price-unbelievably-good-habs-still-lose-1.1739193#ixzz2wbghR8B1

  10. habs001 says:

    Galchenyuk is a huge key in the next couple of years…if he cannot reach that next level of play than the Habs forward situation will be dire unless they sign high end forwards…Again if the Habs lose in the first round and dont sign any free agents and come back with the same group of forwards there will be very little to be optimistic about next season…

  11. habs12 says:

    is beaulieu ever going to get called back up?

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I’m not sure we had the cap space until recently. The available cap rises every game. 10 days ago capgeek had ours at $900,000 or so which is also roughly Beaulieu’s NHL salary. It is now 1.7M because we lost Bournival’s ~700,000.

      These are capgeek’s estimates.

      So it is not inconceivable that we are very close to the limit cap wise and couldn’t accommodate both Beaulieu and Bournival.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • habs12 says:

        Can’t Gorges be placed on IR? So frustrating watching Bouillon and Weaver play ahead of Beaulieu. We need more mobility and puck movement from our backend to try and generate more offense.

  12. habs001 says:

    Eller had one of his better games this year the last time the Habs played the Leafs…

    • frontenac1 says:

      Ellers problem is between his ears. He summoned the Norse Gods after his benching last season and they helped him refocus on his Viking roots. He needs to do that again.Valhalla awaits!

  13. habs001 says:

    Based on his offensive stats before turning pro Eller showed no indication that he could be anything more than a 3rd line forward as a pro…Some posters have elevated this player way beyond what he is capable of being just because he has the uniform and a couple of small streaks….

    • mdp2011 says:

      I think the fixation on Eller being anything more than a 3rd liner is because he has size and speed, so my guess is that they think it means he has offensive talent. But after watching him for the past 4 years, I think we can clearly see that is not the case.

      • krob1000 says:

        Last year and first 34 games of this season he outscored DD…while palying more complete…are you people even reading teh numbers I post. HE has already proven it….DD is puttin gup numbers than any competent center could in his role. No HAbs 1st liner has ever produced less than DD’s rate in last decade. And EVERY single one was more complete…wow…is the fanbase on this site really not seeingthis? I can see it if it were made up but it happened…and everyone here saw it happen…why pretend it didn’t?
        Am I on Candid Computer?

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Eller has regressed, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. See DD.

      He is big, uses his body well enough, skates well, and can stickhandle. And if he settles in as a 3rd liner, what the heck is wrong with that?

  14. shiram says:

    What’s this noise I keep hearing that the Habs are set on keeping Chucky as a winger?

    Apparently, he only played 1 or 2 seasons as a C, and was mostly used as a winger.

    Any rhyme or reason to this?

  15. third generation haber says:

    Columbus reminds me of St. Louis, relentless, aggressive, tough, fearless, and extremely difficult to play against.

    Our team relies too much on perimeter play and needs to play with this kind of ruthless drive. Unfortunately, only Gallagher gets it.

    Those of us who wanted Markov traded, the so-called tankers, know that there are several teams (like Philly and Columbus) who would pound us into submission during a 7 game series.

    Even when we win, we are far too easy to play against.

    j.p. murray

  16. rhino514 says:

    Habs will have to find a way in the off-season to replace Gionta´s diminished production, and get someone who is maybe not as good as Vanek, if he walks, but a threat nonetheless.
    It won´t be easy to do.
    Als hope Markov can still be Markov next season.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I wonder what Markov would look like playing 20 minutes per game as opposed to 25-6.. I suspect we’d see a better version of Markov.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I agree but we don’t really have anyone to jump into top minutes at the moment

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Probably the wrong day to say this but give the kids a chance. Nathan B and Tinordi should be given every opportunity to succeed.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Jim, I agree the kids need a chance but D is a hard position to be thrown into the top 4. I am honestly a little shocked Pateryn has not been given a shot on a bottom pairing. He is better on the first pass and has less turnovers than Tinordi.

            Just my opinion from the AHL games I have seen this year

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Oh I agree 100% Any NHL coach would be pounding the minute to Markov.. Info think he’d be better with his time cut back a little, it would be at the expense of the team with the current D-core!

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  17. lach60 says:

    mattyleg…you made some great points regarding the Eller v DD debate. I agree that it shouldn’t and isn’t about DD v Eller.

    I know I’m a DD supporter but that doesn’t make me an Eller non-believer. It’s pretty tough to dislike a Danish person, one of the best places to live in the world. I like Eller as a hockey player and hope he stays and succeeds with the Habs. But to say that for him to succeed DD has to go is farfetched. No one has demonstrated an ability to replace DD’s playmaking skillset. I don’t see why we can’t keep both and drop the whole DD v Eller argument. As matty said, different styles and skillsets. They are not the same player or relied upon for the same role.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      DD can play with great players and Eller can’t. DD can not be used in a defensive role, while Eller can. Neither can be the “key” guy on a successful line.. They are both complimentary players.

      I agree that DD is the most reliable offensive Centre on the team

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • krob1000 says:

        I will sort of agree….I think Eller couls center Chcuky and Patches and pout up huge numbers…beacuse Chcuky could assume the playmaking abiltiy of DD, Elelr is willing to go to the net, is a gret player on the boards and can skate with Patches..which few can. He could aslo be a calming influence defesnively…but if they got the starts in ozone and matchups it might not be necessary. Eller as the primary playmaker? I agree..no…he is not close in that dept to DD….but that doesn’t mean he can;t play with great players. Eller would get his share of goals going to the net following Patches shots while CHucky orchestrated the plays. In a situation like that I could see using Eller on the wing in offesnive zone but taking draws and playing the middle from the red lne back

    • krob1000 says:

      DD’s playmaking is great…but that is where the great ends (unless he would change his game a bit…whoch he should..h ehas proven he can shoot and is lethal in the shootout). Yet, he frustrateds me as much as Eller’s giveaways by his refusal to shoot…they are every bit the same wasted opportunity. IOF DD would drive the net, and be a shooting threat…at that point I would concede he is better than Eller offesnively…because creatively and offesnively instinctively…he is…yet his game is flawed too. HE only offers playmaking…Eller is a big, fast, defensive minded player who beacuase of his more rounded offesnvie game can contriubte…and has…the smae or comparably to Eller. That is and has been proven…for 82 games….over last season and first 34 of this season…this despite the usage factors. Dd is a playmaker like no other on the Habs (Chcuky will grow intot hat role)…but Eller is more complete and should be the HAbs no 3 center for at least two more years….at that point he may or may not develop into a reliable no 2…..but at worst he owuld be a great no 3 center.

  18. rhino514 says:

    Dissapointed last night, not so much that we lost, but that we were thoroughly outplayed, and we continue to have problems against teams who play us physically.
    Our defence, against good teams, remeains questionable. Only good thing is, apart from the gaffe late in the game, Tinordi seems to be slowly establishing himself, which we need.
    I´d like to see Bourque, or even Bournival, ahead of Briere for a game or two and see the difference.
    I realize they got Briere for the playoffs, but we need a bit more toughness with the forwards.
    I had also forgotten how much of a difference Prust can make when he is healthy. Hope he is back soon.
    I still think we have a good team heading into the playoffs, but we need everyone to be healthy, i.e. Gorges, Prust, and we need the secondary scorers, especially Gionta (and Briere, if he continues playing and getting minutes) to find a bit more gas left in the tank.

  19. habsguru says:

    Eller HAS been a good player, and will be again. when is the question. he is the exact type of player that CH has given up on in the past, only to explode with another team. he is still young, and can be coached through it, unless MT has too many other projects. If he was 28 years old, then pull the plug, but he isn’t.

  20. Mr_MacDougall says:

    There is nobody to ‘blame’ for Eller’s play. He was not a scorer at any level, but people on here got soooooo excited over a small scoring streak to end last season and a hot start this season. There has been no point is his hockey career where he was a consistent scorer, I highly doubt he’ll ever become one. With that said, he can become a valuable bottom 6 player, he has size and speed along with above average digging skill. I’d consider moving him to the wing along,with Plek in a defensive role… Or 4th line if the team hangs on to Bourque.

    DD is far more reliable than Eller, I really believed in Eller, but the more I see him play the lower his ‘perceived ceiling’ gets.

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • rhino514 says:

      Agree. He´s only 24 and he HAS shown he can be an exciting player.
      He deserves a clean slate next season, and one more year´s support to get back on the road he was on, he actually showed a consistent and marked improvement 3 years in a row, prior to this year.
      Habs desperately need to hang on to players with size who have some talent. He also wants to get better and it´s not like he has a bad attitude.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        At worst he’s a 4th liner, and with his speed he’d be valuable in that role. They should not give up on him, but just lower the expectations a bit.

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  21. Mattyleg says:

    I wrote the post below not to criticise or pile on Eller, because that’s been done already.
    I wrote it to suggest moving him to the wing, where he’d be more effective for the reasons I pointed out below.

    Nobody responded to that, only defended Eller (I wasn’t attacking him, just saying that he takes to long to decide what to do with the puck, and I think that’s evident for all), but I’d like to know:

    What do you think of Eller on the wing?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I’ve been saying that for two months.. Be prepared to be bombarded Matty!

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Hi Matty,

      Sadly, from what we have seen in the past Eller has looked worse on the wing than at Centre. I do agree that he should be better on the wing as it would cover up some of his weakness’s. I just don’t know if we will ever see Eller be a shinning star of offense. I have not seen it consistent enough to be realistic. He also still makes major rookie mistakes on a daily basis. You would think you would see some growth in the other direction. His development has been a little flatlined

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Eller was not a shining star at offence ever, so I doubt he’ll find it at the NHL level.. You’re bang on!

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I agree. Even in the AHL he didn’t light it up either. I hope that they can develop him into a useful player cause if not we will be in a bit of trouble as we are still struggling offensively.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I think Eller on the wing would be a faster Travis Moen.. He could be very useful if he’d chip the puck in as opposed to losing it.. I think a more defined role would help him immensely.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • lach60 says:

      I think a long stretch on the wing would help him in the long run, whether he plays centre or wing. Maybe a little less responsibility will allow him to take some more chances and gain some confidence.

    • shiram says:

      Hey I was pretty much agreeing with you Matty, just that I think there’s a mental block going in Eller’s brain, that might not be solved just by moving him to wing.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Hey Shiram, you posted below at the same time as I was writing this, and I agreed with you!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • shiram says:

          It’s annoying, I was always a Lars supporter, and I liked the cut of jib, you know? He seemed like a calm quiet kid, but he showed some promise, and we dearly needed a big top 6 center.

          Hope might have clouded my reason, or I’m not a good hockey talent evaluator. Most likely a little of both .

          That said, he still does some good.
          Faceoffs and his physical game have seen a great improvements (53% on the dot, 53 blocked shots and 122 hits, both highest amongst Habs forward)

          And he’ll come in plenty cheap seeing as he’s not having a great season and is a RFA.

    • habsguru says:

      i’m not defending Eller by any means. JT took the fall for the goal last night, when all Eller had to do was get the puck deep, not skate through 4 Blue Jackets and turn over the puck. my point is this, don’t quite on a first round draft pick that has shown promise, and is 24 years old. that could bite you in the end.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I’m not quitting on him.
        I like his work ethic, and I’d like to see that paired with production.
        I’m suggesting moving him to the wing so that his indecision with the puck is minimised as all he has to do is shoot!

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

  22. Maritime Ronn says:

    The Habs need 9 points in the next 11 games (92 points) and it’s basically a playoff lock.

    During the past few weeks, many were suggesting that finishing 2nd and having the supposed Home Ice advantage was important to start the playoffs.

    Looking at last year’s Quarter Finals or the 1st Round almost proves that it just may be better to start out on the road…and it also proved that almost anything can happen – especially in the East.

    The results of the 8 series – and especially the first 2 games played at home by the better seed:

    In 4 of the 8 series, the first 2 games were split…and 2 series were won by the higher seed, and 2 series won by the lower seed.

    In 2 other series, the higher finishing team won both of their first 2 home games, yet went on to lose the series.

    In 1 other series, the better ranked team lost 4 in a row.
    Only Chicago won their first 2 home games and their series.

    5 of those first round playoff series were won by teams that started on the road.

  23. Strummer says:

    Eller showed flashes of brilliance a couple years back, notably on a line with AK46 and Travis Moen.
    Remember the 4 goal game?
    Unfortunately that line fizzled when Moen got injured and Eller was back to a revolving door of wingers.
    This is where an opportunity to play in the AHL for a stint would be helpful. He could play big minutes and work on his game like DD and Max did before their breakout seasons. I’m assuming he would have to clear waivers and that won’t happen.

    He’s only about to turn 25 so this just could an off year for him where we need to give him a mulligan. He may still be recovering from his concussion issues from last season.

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

    • krob1000 says:

      It is defintiely an off year( and his confidence is hurting)..last season he outscored DD and was on pace for 53 pts….same as Dd is this year isn his “amazing” season. Reality is and i have put hte numbers up here several times is that Gomez, Koivu, Eller, Pleks……All outscored or matched DD production in his role….and ALL….have more complete games than Dd as well.

      • mdp2011 says:

        How do you know that Eller’s pace for the entire year would’ve continued? Nothing in his history shows that he would’ve put up those points over an 82 game season.

        • krob1000 says:

          I know this…at the end of last season in the playoffs…he was one of the HAbs best players….I know he finsihed the reg season at 52 pt pace over 48 games. I know for the first 34 games of this season (although we all know his role changed when DD put up Gomez numbers and 1 pt in 24 games) ..he put up 17 points. So you take that stretc of 82 games…and he put up….47 points…and the last 15 games of that stretch he played with plugs and revolving wingers and no steady linemates.

          Over that same 82 game stretch….Dd got 37 points. Eller NEVER hac the benefit of the teams top 2 wingers, consistent 1st line pp time..he got some but nothing like DD. Eller took on defensie challenges, got few ozone starts,etc,etc…the proof is there…some just refuse to acknowledge it ever happend..and then call us Eller supporters “revisionists” LOL…that is the great irony

      • Mattyleg says:

        Uh, I think Strummer’s post was about Eller, not Desharnais.

        Why is your response about DD?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • krob1000 says:

          Becasue the thougth of the team letting Eller go to keep DD quite frankly disgust me…it would be a huge mistake unless in moving Eller they got a big, two way center who is also as offesnively skilled as DD…as Eller has proven he is.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Yes Strum
      He would have to clear waivers and he would also be picked up in a heart beat at that Cap Hit.
      Unfortunate for him also is that he will be an RFA this summer and will have almost zero bargaining power based on stats.

  24. DipsyDoodler says:

    Magnus Nygren’s Färjestad are up 3-0 in their 1st round playoff series. The team they are playing against finished with the same points total as them.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  25. habs001 says:

    The worst matchup for the Habs would be the Flyers a better version of Columbus but that cant happen in the first round..If the Habs lose in the first round like last year i wonder if management would blow the team up by getting rid of most of the veterans on forward(Plecks,Gion,Borque,Briere,Moen,Parros,)…The odds are Vanek will not sign here and it sounds like there are not too many quality free agents available this year and the best ones will probably not sign here..Unless there is a suprise it does not seem the Habs have any forwards outside of their roster that will make the team next year and have some sort of impact… Galchenyuk has to show that he is capable of reaching that next level next year…Sorry to say but if the Habs lose in the first round and dont sign any quality free agents going into next year it will not be too positive…

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I’d get rid of Bourque, Prust, and Briere if at all possible.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Bourque and Briere are almost untradeable because of their contracts and if the Habs ever found a partner, they would have to retain a good chunk.
        The Habs may have some buyout decisions to make.
        As for Prust, when healthy he is worth the money…healthy being the key word.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          He’ll never be healthy playing the style he plays at that age.. Love the player.. Hate his broken down physical state.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Luke says:

          Actually, Bourque gets paid less ‘real’ money than his Cap Hit.
          May be attractive for a budget team.
          NYI had arranged a trade for Gomez based on that (5mm actual salary, 7.5mm cap hit) before Gomer nixed that.

  26. Paz says:

    Plekanec has not scored since Feb 6th, over 20 games, and he has 3 goals since Jan 16.

    When teams focus on shutting down Desharnais’ line in the playoffs, if Plekanec does not contribute, we will surely struggle.

    The Habs fortunes in the playoffs do not depend on Lars Eller.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I agree, and I’ve noticed Plecky’s drop-off in goals.
      At least he has a pile of assists in the same amount of time.

      It would be nice to see him feeding a proper sniper, like Gio used to be until his operations.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Gio only scores big goals.. There haven’t been enough opportunities to score big goals… ;)

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • Paz says:

        Plekanec has 7 assists dating back to Jan 6th.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Eight.
          But who’s counting, right?
          And he got two in the game on Jan. 4.
          So that’s 10.
          Not amazing, but not too bad considering his matchups.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Paz says:

            10 assists in over 30 games, and you think it’s not too bad?

          • Mattyleg says:

            No, it’s not too bad.
            Not amazing, but not too bad considering his matchups and his defence-first responsibilities.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Agreed. Plek is at best a 60-70 point guy in favourable situations.. So a 15-20 goal season with 45-50 points in his role is pretty good. The slump is concerning though, he looks to have lost a little jump, a very tough season he’s had.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  27. Mattyleg says:

    Morning all,
    I wasn’t able to watch the game last night, a rarity, but after hearing the post-game show, I didn’t bother staying up for Canadiens Express.

    I see Boone isolating Eller for some critique above.

    I don’t think that one player can lose a game (that’s on the entire team), but I agree with El Boonerino’s take on Larry.

    I made similar comments about The Medium Dane after having watched him in the win over Colorado. There is no doubting his heart or his work-rate. He is physical and works hard. No question.

    Larry’s issue is with the puck. He doesn’t know what to do with it. Since he started with the CH, he was caught numerous times in possession, looking for a pass. ‘Bantam’-level stuff; skate up behind, lift stick, take puck.

    I attributed it to the adjustment to the faster pace of the NHL, and that he’d quicken up. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case. He is still too slow making decisions, and has a very limited view of the ice.

    This is why I see him (as I did from very early on, for those with memories still un-addled by booze or newborns will attest) as a winger. Take him out of a playmaker’s position, and put him in a spot where all he has to do is pull the trigger. Let him use his size and work ethic in the dirty areas while a more skilled centre feeds him.

    I have faith in Larry. I really do. But not as a centre-man.

    Oh, and PS, I don’t believe that there has to be an Eller-vs-DD binary. There is no comparison between the players – different styles, different skill-sets. I don’t believe that being critical of one automatically infers support of the other.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So your saying DD is way better than Eller eh?

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I think they are two very different types of centres. DD is 100% a play maker who sometimes is not the best in his own end. Eller can be decent defensively but has nowhere near the hockey IQ of DD.

        If you could morph them into one player we would be sitting pretty. I think people can stop blaming his line mates now. Galchenyuk is in a sophmore slump but I think he may actually do better playing with a better centremen than Eller.

        I would try and go after Stastny in the offseason and dump Eller, Bourque to create some cap space.

        Pleks is our best shutdown centre but he needs to pick it up a bit offensively as well this is another reason why Stastney would be a good target.

        We have one player with our 20 goals…ONE. That isn’t good enough offensively.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Really? I see Plek moving down the depth chart.. No PP time and our 3rd line C.. A veteran line that plays exclusively against top talent and 1st PK unit… On a championship squad Plek is a 3rd liner… Or a second liner if we had a Bolland type.

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I don’t disagree with that comment. If you bring in Stastny you would have Pleks as your number 3 and still have pleks for the PK and shutdown duty when needed. Bergeron is a number 3 centre and really that is what pleks should be as well

      • Mattyleg says:

        Ha!

        SOOOO much better. ;)

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • krob1000 says:

      IT has become DD vs Eller becasue next year or part way through the year is likely when they want to move Chucky to the middle…DD is signed for long term…Eller has no contract. Team has had size issues up middle for years,etc. The debate between the 2 isn;t about this season…right now Dd is outplaying Eller…that much even people like me in the Eller camp can mostly agree on…but I have issues with the long term direction it appears team is heading if they are going to let Eller walk or move him and keep DD in that role. That role at some point has to go to Chucky and I wonder with Eller’s contract situation if that isn’t going to drive him away…and to me in a couple years he is the Pleks replacement getting all of the tough duties,etc. I just do not want to see Eller walk,…..if there is one center looking ahead IMO who is the most expendable it is DD…that is why the DD vs Eller thing.

      IF next years squad has both Chucky and DD at center…I think they will be in toughto make the playoffs…you can’t hide two defensive weaknesses in the middle of the rink

      • Paz says:

        The ignition was started when Desharnais signed for 4 years. Eller’s car is packed and ready to roll.

        And it is mutual, in my opinion.

        Both sides will want to part ways.

        Bergevin did not trade for Eller, either, which, like Louis Leblanc, makes the player that much easier to unload.

        • Mattyleg says:

          If Eller gave up as soon as Desharnais signed (which is what you suggest) then we’re better off without him.

          It’s a shame that players will see their personal advancement through the lines as more important than working hard and being part of a winning team.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • krob1000 says:

            Eller does not appear to have given up? in fact he is consistently …maybe among the top 3 hardest working players..EVERY game. H eha ssome issues this year with confidence and is holding the puck too long when he shouldn’t and panicking and shooting too quickyl…those are typical confidence related gaffs. His work ethic? has NEVER been in question….ever.

          • Paz says:

            I never said he “gave up”, Matty, did I?

          • Mattyleg says:

            I know!
            That’s what I said in my post, but Paz suggests that he saw DD get signed and saw the writing on the wall, and effectively gave up.

            I don’t get it either.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Paz says:

            Nope. Never said that.

          • Mattyleg says:

            You said that his car was packed and ready to roll as soon as DD signed.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Paz says:

            That is not giving up. It’s an acknowledgement that he has no future with this team.

            It goes both ways.

            Coaches and GM’s prefer certain players, and players prefer certain coaches.

            Eller and Therrien are not working well together.

    • shiram says:

      It’s an interesting idea, but I think he would just relapse into his center mentality when the puck would hit his stick.
      He has not shown much promise when he played winger.
      Though that was mostly with Plekanec, maybe he would benefit from playing on a more sheltered line.
      Eller-Brière-Gio maybe?

      Some would put Chucky in the C, but I’m not so sure it would be better.
      And at least with Brière he’d have a playmaker to put the puck on his stick.

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    Good to see nobody writing articles here has any deep seated resentment for Eller.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think Eller is just deflated Burly. kinda like when Price looked out at his defence last year in the playoffs and down the stretch and knew it was hopeless, Eller has thrown in the towel on his tenure with the Canadiens.

      It seems he does just enough to make it look like he hasn’t given up.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I really hope that is not the case. All he needs to be is an effective 2 way 3rd line centerman for the Habs to be happy with him. Perhaps he is trying to hard to show he is 1st or 2nd line centerman.

        However, I am amazed at how quick our headmaster is to point out any or all of Eller’s faults.

        If an NHL’s teams biggest issue is their 3rd line center then the team must be in pretty good shape otherwise.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I believe he sees the writing on the wall. He’s got Desharnais and Plekanec taking the number 1 and 2 spots at center and Galchenyuk will be taking the 3rd spot next season.

          Therrien treats him like an afterthought and doesn’t believe he’s 1st or 2nd line material. Eller believes he is. You can tell Eller’s unhappy by his body language on the ice and in interviews.

          He’s an RFA this summer and I’d be surprised if he was back next year.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Eller should step it up if he believes that he’s good enough, then.
            Show us he’s good enough.
            Therrien would treat him less like an afterthought if he played less like an afterthought, I believe.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Mattyleg says:

          I think we are in pretty good shape, but I think any forward who only manages 4 points in 30 games since the beginning of the year can expect some criticism to come his way…

          In the same 30-game stretch, Bourque has 5 points, and has been scratched for the last few games. Eller works harder, for sure, but you have to be concerned about lack of production.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

          Quick? Are you kidding me? The Viking has been sucking since Nov!!

    • mdp2011 says:

      Morning HIB, the problem with Eller and the frustration many Habs fans have is that we have been waiting for Eller to break out for 4 years now. He was sold to us an offensive 2nd line center who is a good passer , which is clearly not the case. Also, the Habs traded a valuable piece to acquire him.

  29. krob1000 says:

    Tinordi..shoudl nt have passed that puck but Weaver should have been about 6 or 8 feet further back too….but if he isn;t Tinordi shouldn’t pass it. He knows that…in the AHL a 27 goal scorer int he NHL isn;t waiting to pick it off….lesson learned..those things are going to happen…now if it happens again next game we have oissues…as is tough time to learn the lesson but it could have happened in a 6-1 game just the same. Either way it is the kid needing to leanr the skill, anticipation and speed of NHL forwards…especially the elite ones. No biggie.

    • Butterface says:

      No Biggie ?

      Yes biggie….. he should not have been on the ice/team let alone with three to go in the third tied 2-2 with a point or two up for grabs. Foolish coaching. Foolish play. Beaulieu would have skated out of trouble or passed it up the boards.

      ***********************
      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
      ***********************

      • wjc says:

        Sometimes the guys you would prefer out there are not fresh, and you have to go with your bench. Tinordi has to learn under fire….lesson learned…..move on.

        wjc

      • krob1000 says:

        Yes biggie…but no biggie long term for Tinordi. He learned the hard way…sometimes once the hard way is a quicker means to learning then 50 picked off passes that do not lead to crucial goals against. IT sucked for the team, it sucked for Tinordi…but on the other hand….I have the utmost confidence that Tinordi learned from that play….better now than in game 7 vs the Bruins or Leafs.

  30. boing007 says:

    Tinordi/Beaulieu defensive pairing.

    Richard R

  31. Habitforming says:

    If Eller’s moves had worked, he’d be a hero. Since they didn’t he’s a tool and we lost because of him, how dare he try to be anything more than a Therrien Dump and Defend forward?

    Better yet, Johansen is their best player, top scorer and future superstar; he showed it all night long and the Habs knew withing the first 3 minutes of the game how dangerous he would be for the rest of the game right?
    So why with 3 mins left and having last change, why would this coaching staff have Tinordi out against their top player?

    It’s just setting him up to fail

    • krob1000 says:

      This is the irony…everyone complains about the dump in….PK does the smae thing all the time and he is a dman! Dd , PLeks, Chcuky…all are guilty of that type of paly…he had his ENTIRE team behind him….that is NOT A RISKY PLAY. I can tell by MT after eh was playing for the tie and in tha light may have wanted the dump in….but really….if all of Cthe other team is ahead of you..and yor whoe team is behind you…should you really be that worried? Last year or early this year a confident Eller makes that play..I am just glad he was confident enough to try it.

  32. wjc says:

    History lesson:

    Robinson went so long between fights, that people forgot that was a part of his game.

    Why you ask?…..because he was a prensence out there along with Lapoint and Savard. Fighting was unnesasary because players calmed down in there presence.

    Dryden said it was almost embarrassing to watch supposed tough guys tip toe around the crease. Why? He did not need to fight, just threaten a little. It was a joke in the dressing room when the players would tease Robinson, about his finger pointing, threats.

    Never hardly fight just point, as in “knock it off, I am getting fed up”.

    wjc

  33. krob1000 says:

    RE Eller
    Yes he was one on 3 or 4….BUT…he got the puck in to the circles….it wasn’t a turnover at the blueline…and do the math…if he is one on 4 or 1 on 3…then how mnay guys are behind him?
    That was not on Lars Eller….in that situation with that much “support” behind him he should feel comfortable trying to buy some time. The issue his he has done it at the bleuline or on 3 on 2’s or 3 on 3’s…but that one was not on Lars Eller. Sure you can say that…but there were 50 other turnovers and how far are you going to rewind the tape on every goal.
    Why was Weaver directly across from Tinordi? shouldn’t he have been in a better support position and hinged a bit about 6 feet back? Where were the other forwards? why did Eller not have any options at all? Why did Tinordi make that pass? Why did Price not stop it?
    Ridiculous…all this Eller talk….it is clearly turning into a DD v Eller site….and by the way how did Dd do last night?…he had some plays that were worse than Ellers(with his whole team behind him!)

    • Paz says:

      I think you have to ask why is Weaver on the ice at all?

      If I’m making the playoffs, and the Habs are, there is no place, none, for Weaver.

      He is simply not good enough. Not big enough. Not tough enough. Not fast enough.

      He should be Davis Drewiske’s partner in Hamilton.

      • Butterface says:

        Weaver is not that bad. He is ultra conservative. He is not a big minute guy, but can handle 5th or 6th just fine.

        My issue is, I don’t see Tinordi using his limited gifts as effectively as I would like and he is definitely making bad decisions.

        As for Eller, I either missed a lot or I don’t consider him the issue.

        We miss Josh. A steady quiet force.

        ***********************
        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
        ***********************

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      It’s nice to see one respected poster not joining the chorus. Eller is the scapegoat of the month.

  34. Paz says:

    Ryan Johansen is one of the best players I have seen this season.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Looking at his stats makes me hopeful for Chucky. He is 2 years older, drafted 4th, and his first couple of NHL seasons were very similar to Galchenyuk’s. In fact Chuck is a bit ahead of him points-wise.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

  35. wjc says:

    Boone, you sure know how to get the natives dancing and putting on the war paint.

    You could be a ‘cult’ leader…..the master is speaking, never mind what you saw…………shhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    The latest ‘whipping’ boy is Eller. Where did D.D. go.

    wjc

    • icemachine says:

      Indeed where was DD last night?
      7-10 on face offs, 0 SOG, 0 points and 17:08 TOI with 22 shifts
      Eller meanwhile was 6-3 FO, 4 SOG, 0 pts, and 13:42 with 20 shifts

      • wjc says:

        Forgot, DD should have 82 goals. The Rocket never scored 70 goals, in a 70 game season, off nights happen……they just happen….lol.

        wjc

        • icemachine says:

          Personally I find it odd to target one player over another when the whole team seems to be struggling on a night, but by any discernible means, Eller outplayed DD last night with 3.5 fewer minutes of TOI

  36. Habfan17 says:

    If the teams that hold games in hand, and are close to the Habs, win them, the Habs will be in a tight fight. They cannot afford to slip up. Tampa has already passed the Habs and still have a game in hand. Philly, Detroit, Columbus, the Ranger, and even the Leafs could gain ground and push the Habs to the 8th spot, perhaps lower!
    I don’t see it happening, but they can’t afford to take any teams for granted and they need to show up for every game!!

    Habfan17

  37. piper says:

    The good thing is it looks like Price is OK.

  38. Hobie Hansen says:

    I have to agree, naturally, that a good Prust fight early in the game would have slowed the Columbus momentum down. 4th line isn’t as effective with White in over Prust. Hope Prust isn’t on the shelf too long.

    • wjc says:

      Prust should stop fighting, I mean STOP. He can play tough, but quit fighting. He is too small to fight and stay healthy.

      Prust can do lots of stuff, forecheck, shoot, set up plays, play with energy, but stop taking on Big guys.

      Fighting is over rated, better to have a guy in the lineup that makes players think before they try stuff.

      wjc

      • Hstands4Hockey says:

        Agreed, or at least limit his fights to only a few a season when it’s critical. Leave the “momentum fighting” to Parros/Tinordi/Murray, etc.

        ——————————————————————–
        Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
        @Hstands4Hockey

      • Blade says:

        Agreed. He can make noise and create chaos for the other team without fighting.

  39. JF says:

    Last night’s tough loss should have us properly focused for Saturday’s game against the Leafs. A winning streak often causes a team to relax a little too much and become over-confident. When we went 9-0-1 earlier in the season, the first few wins were great, the other games we won almost in spite of the way we played rather than because of it. The team will want to redeem themselves on Saturday.

  40. CJ says:

    Good morning folks. A few random thoughts…..

    As I was brushing my teeth this morning, I found the remote for our television under the sink in our bathroom vanity. Nothing strange here, my boys move stuff around all the time. No particular reason I guess, aside from being young fellas who like to hide and seek. Funny thing, my boys placement of random household items is not entirely different than our Montreal Canadiens. Surely, you wouldn’t expect to see Chucky with White and Weise, but there he was. Next shift he is with Vanek and DD. Further, much like our household items, sometimes things go missing, much like Briere and Gionta. Briere had three goals on his stick against the Sens, while Gionta helped to spark the comeback, but last night, I had to check to confirm that either dressed. I didn’t see the puck on Briere’s stick once.

    Shane raised a really good point last night, within the game blog. John Davidson would not have kept the players we retained at the trade deadline. IMO, I agree with this completely. Columbus, despite being on the rise and playing in a more wide open division traded away their UFA Gaborik. We failed to go anything more than add a fresh coat of paint.

    I like Vanek, who seems to have found a place on the top line with Max and DD. He does not play a 200 ft game, but he is a pure sniper, something we desperately need. Regrettably, last night validated my point re: DD as a first line centre. He is still terrific in the offensive zone, but he is too easily taken off the puck. As the refs become less inclined to call penalties in the playoffs, it will only get worse. This is however but one of a series of underlying issues.

    Never mind David Blaine and his street magic. Carey Price is the greatest magician in the league. He covers up so many mistakes and disorganization within our own end. I don’t believe it a stretch to suggest that we could have been down 4 goals last night going into the third. Much like the Senators fans, we look to a scapegoat and find an easy target in Tinordi. Did he make a bad play, absolutely. Terrible in fact. That said, it was smoke and mirrors that had kept the score close to that point. To blame Tinordi for the loss is to completely have burried your head in the sand for 57 minutes. More concerning, IMO, is the fact that Markov and Emelin got burned on the very same play, at almost the very same position while on the PK in the second period. Ronn made note of it last night and I saw the exact same thing. Our current defence has bent, but not broken the past three games. Last night was no exception.

    As noted last night, perhaps the silver lining might come in the form of lineup changes. Surely we won’t continue tempting fate with Frankie and Weaver within our top 6. Surely we won’t dress Briere.

    In closing, as the going gets tough, I was always under the impression that it was the veterans who were supposed to lead the charge. We, myelf included, get frustrated with many of the under 25 crowd, but where is Pleks, Gio, Briere, Markov, Bouillion, Weaver…… A great point was raised last night. Check how many goals Pleks has over his previous 25 games.

    I’m willing to turn the page and look forward to writing a new chapter on Saturday night. We can, and should, beat the Leafs. It has now become almost a must win as the loser will find themselves once again on the cliff. Let’s put Toronto in a bad spot. I think this will be a running theme until the end of the year, and still think we have enough to get us into the playoffs, but there are certainly blemishes under this thin coat of paint.

    Just my two cents…. Cheers, CJ

    • Habfan17 says:

      Good morning CJ!

      I like your two cents!! Worth more in my mind!

      Great points. I d hope that MB can resign Vanek. I see him doing well with Galchenyuk at centre and Gallagher on the right side.

      Habfan17

    • Habfun says:

      CJ you should write a novel, I’m sure it would be interesting! lol.
      your post is well written and right on the money. I agree, let’s turn the page, forget last night the Habs crapped to bed and must move on to the leafs.
      I love hockey this time of year it is so interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat!
      Go Habs!!

      It’s all about the CH

      • CJ says:

        Great point. Nothing can be done now to change last night’s results. As you have noted, time to move forward and prepare for the Leafs followed by the Bruins. Hopefully the boys bounce back. It would be nice to tighten the nuse around the Leafs’ neck.

    • piper says:

      Great post CJ. If we loose Saturday night then look out for the Red Wings, they’re charging hard.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi CJ

      Trading Gaborik was almost a no brainer for Columbus.

      On the right side, Nathan Horton was back from his shoulder surgery, and Cam Atkinson was having an excellent year.
      There was no room left for him on the Top 6 and his style in not the Columbus way as you saw last night.
      Gaborik was hurt this year and to move him, Columbus still had to retain $3.75M of his pro-rated Salary/Cap.
      In exchange, they picked up Frattin, a 2nd, and conditional 3rd – not exactly a king’s ransom.

      Moving a 25 minute guy like Markov for some futures would have been sending the message of throwing in the towel.
      You just can’t do that in Montreal
      Gionta? You saw the market. He might have fetched a 3rd rounder and the Habs right side would have been in bigger trouble than what it is now.

      • piper says:

        “You just can’t do that in Montreal” Unfortunately that’s the truth and why this team will remain average for years to come. It will take a GM with balls to make the moves needed to rebuild properly.

        • Hstands4Hockey says:

          What exactly are you looking to “re-build” here?

          Let’s look at the hab big picture here:

          1) Best goalie in the World, 26
          2) Norris Trophy Defenseman, 24
          3) Elite Goal scoring winger, 25
          4) A1 Forward prospect, 20
          5) 20-Goal scorer, 21
          5) Multiple A2 Defense prospects: 22, 21
          6) Whatever the hell Lars Eller is, 24

          ….Ya and those internally developed guys named Markov, DD & Plekanec arent bad either.

          The team is a lock to make the playoffs, probably on home ice. Habs have very good junior prospects at every position. Most of our “old guys” are in their early 30s. We just added one of the best goal scorers in the league (possibly short term, but who knows) Seriously, what more do you want!!?

          I’m not saying the team is perfect, but cmon’……

          ——————————————————————–
          Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
          @Hstands4Hockey

      • CJ says:

        Good morning Ronn.

        I agree, changes would have been unconventional. IMO, as a Canadian franchise, you need to make unconventional moves.

        With all due respect, I am trying to identify exactly what Briere and Gionta have done since the trade deadline. You can add Markov to the mix. Sure, all three have had flashes of brilliance, but this is crunch time. We need consistency. I am not seeing it from our veterans, which is troubling.

        The big trouble you have identified is currently playing in our lineup.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          CJ

          I was never ever a fan of the Briere signing.
          Wasted money for an oft injured guy on the wrong side of 35.
          He is not tradeable with that contract.
          Gionta may have fetched a 3nd rounder.
          At that return, it was better to keep him

          Markov?
          We’ll never know what the market was for him, yet those 25 minutes would have been tough to replace.

          Then the market.
          If this was Florida or Phoenix or Dallas…no probs.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Nice post.

      Just one point though, the BJs got almost nothing for Gaborik. A borderline NHLer and a (late) 2nd round pick.

      I would prefer to keep Gionta for the playoffs.

      He’s a good pker and he played a major role in that comeback against Ottawa.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

    • Phil C says:

      I don’t think the Habs could have gotten anything for Gionta. Calgary couldn’t even get an offer they liked for Cammalleri. The market was dead.

      As for Markov, I’m glad the Habs are trying to sign him. I think they need him more in the next few years then they need a few extra futures, especially when the propect pool is starting to improve. Retaining veterans is an important part of teamn building that perhaps you are undervaluing.

    • wjc says:

      The kids hiding the ‘remote control’ in the bathroom….really!

      David Blaine is a phoney!

      Chucky with White and Weise….interesting. You just never know unless you try. Some of the things you love today came from experiments that were considered nuts.

      If the Canadiens lose in Toronto, the new page will be more complaints, bitching, crying, wailing, nashing of teeth.

      Get the slow motion machines ready and what you miss Boone will give you some great observations.

      wjc

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Whew! What a stinker last night. Laying that on one player or another is plain silly. The whole Team stunk. Big bounce back game Saturday. Habs will be hitting and flying. Book it. Saludos!

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Or stuck in cement again, and making the leafs look amazing while at the same time Bernier will be standing on his head, and we’ll be in for another nail biter. I’m hoping for your plan, but I can’t rule out this team showing up either. Hence, I hate playing the leafs…..anytime!

      Shaker out!

    • smiley says:

      Except we never beat the Leafs in TO. I live here. I stopped going to the games for that reason. And than Boston on Monday. Could be a 3 game losing streak.

  42. gmur says:

    Saturday should be played with the intensity of a playoff game. We’ll start seeing what this team is all about.

    • wings says:

      Why was Tinordi on the ice last night in a 2-2 game against Columbus top line? If you wan’t the game to go to OT that’s not how you finish..Eller’s gaff was the main reason we lost..For the Leafs bring Bourque in, play him with Gally27 and Gally11, you need his size and he may be hungry..Murray backin to handle the front of the net..Frankie B can’t play top minutes with PK..sit Weaver or Frankie B..

  43. Hobie Hansen says:

    I agree with the people who are saying it should have been a much higher score and wider margin of victory for Columbus. I’d say they out chanced us 2-1. They were more physical, more hungry and took it to the Habs the majority of the time.

    Tough break (again) for Tinordi. He looked good the majority of the night and one brain cramp cost us the game. I think the team, the coach and the fans were just hoping to get that game into OT and Tinordi will learn how to be a bit more careful down the road. He’s got less time to react in the NHL and people jump on him a lot quicker.

    I understand the whole keeping possession of the puck concept but I think Tinordi is trying to hang onto it and do a little too much stick handling. Over the past few weeks I’ve wished he would have chipped the puck off the glass instead of skating it out and I’ve also cringed when he chose not to dump it the moment he crossed the red line.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good observation Hobie. It’ll be a good learning experience for the youngster. Hopefully MT doesn’t decide to sit him Saturday night.

    • wjc says:

      Hobie…Tinordi made a.rookie mistake, that is why they should be protected. A hesitation of less then a second, a veteran would have made that pass without thinking…..he would have reacted on instinct.

      Prepare for the rest of the season as a roller coaster ride. Too many games, things are happening to fast to prepare for each opponent properly, throw in an injury or two (the ones you know about) and you have a bumpy ride.

      It is not a matter of being careful as it is relying on instinct.
      Chipping off the glass is a dangerous play, with the new rules and delay of game if you miscalculate.

      If he dumps it then Therien is accused of playing boring dump and chase. Just enjoy the ride, and see what happens in Toronto and Detriot, bouncy, bouncy.
      wjc

    • frontenac1 says:

      Here’s my D for Sat. Markov-PK, Murray-Emelin,Weaver-Tiny. Parros in for sure.

  44. Habfan10912 says:

    It was a disappointing night but given the roller coaster emotions of the past few games it was bound to happen, eh? Let’s move on and focus on the Leafs on Saturday.

    The one thing that does worry me about going into the playoffs is the teams lack of a dominate home record. It just appears as our home ice advantage doesn’t appear to be as significant as it should be.

    Last night was another example of being outplayed, out hustled and out scored in a game at home. Weird.

  45. jeffhabfan says:

    Well that game hurt. Have to bounce back tomorrow night.

  46. JF says:

    On Galchenyuk – Some posters say they see nothing to suggest he’ll become the star we thought we were drafting, Boone says he shows flashed of that kind of talent, others claim he would be developing faster if he were playing at centre instead of on the wing.

    I don’t know. I get glimpses of potential, but little more lately. However, I don’t buy the argument that he’d be better at centre or that playing on the wing is hindering his development. He still needs to work on his defensive game and on faceoffs (not sure I’ve ever seen him win a draw). And he looks as though his confidence is down a bit.

    I’m wondering if the year he missed in Junior is becoming a factor in terms of his development. Add that to the six weeks he missed this season, and maybe he just has some catching up to do – catching up and consolidating the skills, the poise, and the confidence our scouts saw when they picked him third overall. Just a suggestion.

    • Mike Boone says:

      I’m with you all down the line: defensive shortcomings, difficulties on draws (both of which inhibit a move to centre) and, most importantly, the loss of a year in junior.
      I’m not NEARLY ready to give up on the kid. Scouts can’t be that wrong, and the consensus was if he hadn’t been hurt, Galchenyuk would have gone Number 1 in the draft.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Habfan17 says:

        I think if anyone has given up on Galchenyuk, they are nuts! I do think the Habs have taken the wrong approach with him. Let him learn at his natural centre. Players like Pleks can help him with his defensive coverage education. Shelter him having him centre the 3rd line. Columbus had Johansn playing his natural centre, Florida with Barkov, the Sharks with Couturier, and on and on. The Seguin example shows that moving players does not always work. Galchenyuk is mature and is supposed to have a very high hockey IQ to go with his skill. let him use these skills!

        Habfan17

        • Luke says:

          Actually, the Seguin example supports that moving players works.

          He was eased in as a winger, and now has a Cup and is a Point a Game centre.

          Galchenyuk needs to learn to win faceoffs. Currently ~33%.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I still think this is all about opportunity but you might be on to something else when you mention confidence. They do kind of go hand and hand, no?

      While we’re on that subject, before everyone decides that Tinordi is a bust or shouldn’t have been on the ice (I’m guilty of that immediate reaction) the coach showed confidence in the young man. He made a mistake but it happens. He’ll be a better player because of it.

      Perhaps sometimes a short term loss became a bigger long term gain.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Habs are developing G in their own inimitable fashion. Please remember that the first priority is to turn an skilled guy into a defensive specialist.

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      I haven’t seen much progress in his game over the year. He’s had his moments but so has Larry and we know which direction he’s heading in. I hope for Galchenyuk’s sake that he puts it together on a more consistent basis; otherwise, I can see him going from Chucky to Yucky. With so few offensive prospects in the system, to have him flame out would be disasterous.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I respect your opinion, however, how do you expect him to get better on draws when he isn’t playing centre and learning the nuances of taking them in the NHL?

      I also point out, having started out as a defenceman, then getting switched to centre, then left wing, that you can learn the defensive side while playing centre and that the game is different when played on the win and that means not only does Gal27 need to learn the NHL game, he needs to learn a different position. Players like MacKinnon and Barkov are as young or younger and are doing fine playing their natural position. Gal27 has the hockey smarts and maturity to do the same in my opinion.

      Habfan17

    • gmur says:

      He’s 20… coming back from a long injury break at the peak of the season when opponents are at the peak of conditioning and intensity.

      That said, from what I’ve seen, he won’t be a dominant force in the league. A solid second-line center within a couple years?

    • wjc says:

      Just remember he is 20 years old (twenty) he made the jump directly to the fire, he will be GREAT!

      Let the cards fall where they will, do not compare, just be patient.

      Questioning Galchenuk is exactly why they try to delay a player from making the jump. This is a great example of unnecessary pressure.

      Everyone talks at a different time and walks at a different time and nothing is predictable, it is more random then you would like to believe.

      “He is doing it, so why aren’t you”, never works.

      wjc

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      JF…..good to see your post. i have watched Gally 27 since his first game and I watch all Habs games. He seems to have the wheels and sometimes make great passes but he is not one bit improved over last year. I hope he does become what most think but he has a long long way to go to see superstar status. He needs to carry the puck more but when he gets it often he panics with it…especially in his own end he is really as bad as anyone on the team. He reminds me of Eller somewhat,,,,,,hopefully he finds that place where he develops confidence to carry the puck effectively and becomes that special player we all hoped for.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Johansen is a good comparison. AT Gally’s age he had 21 points in a full season in Columbus.

      He spent half the next season (next year for Gally) in the AHL and only had 5 goals in 40 games for the BJs.

      Gally is way ahead of him.

      Don’t worry.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

  47. Cal says:

    Columbus should have won by a 5-2 or 6-2 score. Price kept it close.
    Looking for scapegoats? Sure, Tinordi was bad on that last one, but Markov and Emelin were terrible all night excepting a couple of PK assignments.
    DD’s line and Pleks’ line delivered, but the bottom 6 didn’t and didn’t get too many real looks at the net.
    Columbus is a very good team that’s only going to get better. They sat 18 goal-scoring Umberger to play Johansen. That Johansen plays like Eller should. Big, fast, physical and with hands. Nash is replaced by him and they got Dubinsky in the bargain.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Cal

      for the first time in a while, 51 was invisible last night as Columbus took away the time ane spade he is used to. After that, they just pushed the little fella out of the way.
      The Vanek goal was scored after a nice pass from Max

      • Cal says:

        Poor line matching for sure, but the Columbus centers are all regular-sized or larger. DD was effing terrible on that 1st goal. He allowed Letestu a direct shot on net, and that’s a peewee level no-no.
        Mind you, it was DD’s first bad game in a while.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes, Markov was severely undressed a couple of times playing the puck instead of the body! I don’t think for the coin he will want, that I would resign him. Time to make room for the new guard and maybe a free agent that is younger, late 20’s if any will be available as a free agent.

      Habfan17

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Morning Steve. I understand exactly what you’re saying but I think the window to move Markov has come and gone. The club has no choise but to work very aggressively to resign him rather then lose him to free agency for nothing.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          It depends Jim

          After the playoffs are done, the Habs will have to decide if the precious $5M of Cap dollars for 3 years is worth it, or are there other better options.
          Tough call…and sometimes taking a small step backwards in the short term to be able to tke 3 steps forwards later isn’t a bad thing.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            That decision should have been made at the deadline. That’s all I’m saying. Losing a resource for nothing is a MAJOR mistake IMO.

          • Habfan17 says:

            Morning Jim and MR!

            I agree, Subban will eat up the cap space made available if Gionta goes. I would like MB to resign Vanek if he can. That leaves precious little to resign Markov, not to mention make room for Tinordi and Beaulieu. The Habs are stacked on left defence with Markov, Gorges, Emelin, Drewiskie, I would hope that Pateryn and Nygren push for right defence next season. That would mean that if MB were to resign Markov, he would have to find a trade partner for Bourque and one of Gorges or Emelin. The rising cap and the money freed up from letting Boullion, Murray, and Parros go will be needed as a cushion and to hopefully find a free agent or two to add some playoff type, gritty players.
            Habfan17

        • Habfan17 says:

          Yes, Jim, I think MB should have moved him, but I get it. You never know when you will have a chance to win a cup and he is a players GM and I think wanted to do his best to give the players who will be gone at the end of the season, a chance to win to repay them for their loyalty. MB could still trade his rights to a team if he isn’t going to resign. He won’t get as much, but maybe something.

          Habfan17

      • Cal says:

        Markov wasn’t undressed playing the puck; Columbus split the D. The gap between Markov and Emelin was too wide and they skated through it.

        • Habfan17 says:

          Sorry, there were at least two plays where the players came down the right side and undressed Markov. There was no case of splitting the defence Emelin was watching his player come down the left side as he should have been!
          Habfan17

    • wjc says:

      Cal, terrible! How about a little off their game, not terrible.

      The lost 3-2 to a pretty good team. The bottom 6 are the bottom 6 for a reason.

      Columbus and Montreal are very good teams that are only going to get better. Why is everyone picky on Eller, he will find his game…relax.

      wjc

      • Cal says:

        Nope. Terrible. When you let opposition players skate between you while they are carrying the puck, that’s terrible D. It’s as if they left the barn door wide open.

        • wjc says:

          Well, that is great cal, barn doors can be closed. Easy fix…easy, easy, easy. Remember hockey is a game of mistakes. Just living is a game of mistakes. No mistakes, no game. This is like chess, you have to make a mistake somewhere or it would always end in a stalemate.

          Live and learn, learn and live. It is all interesting.

          wjc

  48. adamkennelly says:

    why was Tinordi on the ice?

    also – no Prust, No Murray, no Parros = no problem for Columbus to smack us around all freaking night.

    Why did not one have a chat w/ Dubinsky for being a prick all night – including his abuse of our superstar of the future (hopefully) in Galchenyuk..I saw a lot of tiny Habs getting very easily banged off pucks all night.

    Eller is not playing very well – I’m positive his terrible haircut has a lot to do with it.

    • Black Horse says:

      MB & GM are idiots for hiring MT. Molson needs to grow a pair & tell MB to hire the best coach available no matter what language he speaks.

      • wjc says:

        One loss and Therien should be fired. I know you are trying to fire up the rebutals, but really. This is getting sillier and sillier by the game. It is even embarrassing ‘silly’. Silly says “I can be as silly as the next guy, but lets not get any sillier”.

        The effing language, the language, the effing language.

        Everyone wants you to speak to them in their language.

        I post in french and people would say, hey, we do not understand.

        So I go to a french web site and post in English and they say, speak in French.

        Now mulitply that with easily offended people that have a right to be communicated in their language.

        Coaches are coaches, there is not a lot to choose from.

        They get fired here or there and get hired here or there. They stink, then they are great, they are great then they stink.

        You coach to win, you coach with the talent you have. You are a prick you are a nice guy. 24 men in a room will have an opinion. Some are spoiled prima donna’s some are humble all want big money and success.

        The coach tries to keep the 10 guys that like him away from the 10 guys that hate him. The coach could have the wrong approach, he could have the right approach….fire him and find out, the other guy comes in and with a few months they are bitching…..comes with territory.

        Coach this, coach that….always the coach and of course an English coach would do better…..phewy.

        wjc

  49. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Boone did a number on the Viking so I’ll leave the poor kid alone. MT has to take some of the heat on the winning goal too. Why did he put the team’s worst defensive player (-16 at the time) on the ice in the dying minutes of a one goal game. Ditto with Tinordi. A rookie has no business out there in those circumstances either. But the lion’s share of my wrath is reserved for Pleckanec…4 goals in the last 30 games? Ya, ya, I know, he’s our shutdown guy…plays against the other teams best…awesome on the PK. So he’s good defensively and rocks a turtleneck but for 5mil a year, I expect more — a lot more. He’s supposed to be a leader for crying out loud. And fist bumping the entire bench after a 4+ minute penalty kill is NOT leadership when it was YOU in the box!!! Wanna make amends? Scoring a fackin’ goal!!!

    • wjc says:

      Not every one is fresh when you need him. He has no way of knowing Tinordi would hesitate on that play. Just be thankful that Tinordi made a mistake that he can learn from……giddy up, and move on.

      Arm chair quarterbacks and second guessers, sitting on your arse, with your spread sheets in front of you….analysizing, calculating, wondering about a ‘turtleneck sweater. Worrying about the Canadiens finances.

      Gainy was good defensively and preferred a wool line tee shirt….who cares. He is a leader for crying out loud, his role is something you cannot comprehend.

      Silly is out and running around….get a effing net.

      wjc

  50. 24 Cups says:

    Things could be worse. Take a look at Detroit’s injury list. Six regulars out of the line-up including their best player.

    – Jonathan Ericsson (finger) will be out at least two weeks with a broken finger.
    – Justin Abdelkader (leg) will be out up to two weeks with a leg laceration.
    – Tomas Jurco (ribs) will miss the next few weeks with broken ribs.
    – Darren Helm (concussion) is getting better each day and headaches are becoming less and less. He is back practicing.
    – Daniel Cleary (knee) skated prior to morning skate on Thursday.
    – Pavel Datsyuk (knee) started the third week of his shutdown on Wednesday; he could be back one week from now.
    – Stephen Weiss (groin) is going for another opinion on his groin.

  51. 24 Cups says:

    In a game in which Montreal was just three minutes away from a three pointer, poor Jarred Tinordi turns the puck over at the blue line by trying to make an awkward backhand pass. It may not be fair but that turned out to be the main story of the night.

    Let’s be honest here, Tinordi is not alone in this regard in terms of the Hab defense. Bouillon does it on a regular basis. So does Emelin. Douglas Murray did it twice he his last game directly leading to two goals and hasn’t played since. Turning the puck over when you least expect it is still Subban’s Achilles Heel.

    What can be done? Not much. The hole in the Hab defense goes all the way back to July. MB knew there was an issue. Emelin wouldn’t be able to start the season until around Christmas. He also knew that none of the kids on the D were ready to make the jump to the NHL. His solutions were Band-Aids. Bring back Bouillon, a courageous veteran who was on his last legs. Sign Douglas Murray, a man who brings exactly what the team needs but also a lot of baggage. He was the classic example of one step forward, two steps back.

    The lack of quality defensemen was only highlighted all the more by the disappointing return of Emelin and the long term injury to Gorges. There is no magic here. Tinordi will continue to make mistakes (so would Beaulieu if he was here). Frankie and Murray are depth defensemen who are being put in positions of responsibility that they can no longer handle. Weaver is an honest player but he’s still a cast-off from a cellar dweller. All level of players are asked to play their wrong side on a nightly basis. Sometimes Band-Aids just can’t cure what ails you.

    It’s obviously much too late to be lamenting what was or wasn’t done in the summer. But Bergevin’s inability to upgrade Montreal’s defense corps is now coming back to haunt the team. Hab fans need to keep that in mind when they single out one individual player who just happens to be the goat of the night. It’s going to happen again during the last ten games of the season as well as the playoffs.

    • Marc10 says:

      Spot on, but there just wasn’t much out there by way of quality Dmen. Tim Gleason might have been interesting, but there it is. There are few trades in the NHL under the cap.

      Still it was and is our Achilles Heel. Subban is going to be playing some very big minutes during the playoffs. I hope he’s ready.

      • 24 Cups says:

        That’s a valid point. The only option might have been Tom Gilbert who is a right handed shot. But that’s hindsight seeing that he had to wait until being picked up by the woeful Panthers.

        • Marc10 says:

          It is why we’re very much in a transition year. Big decisions are coming up next year. Markov? Who do you replace Gio with? Do you stay patient with Eller? Bourque? Moen?

          Our core isn’t there yet. Price, PK, Markov (?), Patches, Chucky, Gally… We still need to graft some pieces. Adding a Kulikov or flipping a piece to get Yakupov out of Edmonton would be a bold move. Interesting times ahead.

          In the meantime we have to make due with a less than perfect team (with some admittedly great pieces already in the mix).

          BTW, so happy to hear Tim Bozon’s prognosis is improving. Some things are much more important than hockey. Not many, but that’s one of them.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Your points are well taken, but Top 4 Dmen don’t grow on trees and are rarely available in a trade scenario.
      If they are, the costs are top prospects such as Galchenyuk and or 1st round or multiple picks.

      Bergevin’s inability to even possibly acquire a Top 4 was based on a bare cupboard of prospects and almost no depth throughout the organization to deal. The Habs had nothing other teams wanted with the exceptions of Price, Subban, Max, maybe Plex, and now the 2 Gallys. That’s it.

      As for the inability to sign a top UFA Dman, it’s no secret that Montreal is usually never on the top of the list for a landing spot for these guys.
      When was the last time an elite UFA even considered Montreal?

      • 24 Cups says:

        Good point. That’s why Montréal had to settle for second tier Dmen such as Hamrlik and Spacek.

        With that point in mind, this team is doomed if both Beaulieu and Tinordi don’t evolve into top four defensemen.

    • JF says:

      Steve – Many, including I think yourself, wanted Bergevin to go after Jay Bouwmeester at the trade deadline last year. That would have helped.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Boumeester had a No Trade clause and while we’ll never know, it’s highly unlikely he would have waved that for Montreal.
        The asset cost was also high and the Habs didn’t have the Cap room to absord that contract at that time.

    • boing007 says:

      Beaulieu might have made the same mistake, but he most likely would have caught up with Johansen, unlike Tinordi and Weaver.

      Richard R

    • wjc says:

      Defensive gaffs, easily fixed. Game of mistakes… no mistakes no game.

      wjc

  52. habkin says:

    I thought so too Dulljerk regarding Price’s attempted save (3rd goal). I believe he has all the rust off him now and will be ready for Saturday’s tilt. Someone said earlier this week it takes a few games for a goalie to find their niche again. Please do not get the sling shots out, but as for Eller, I thought during the second period that he may be a playoff performer. Someone unexpectedly scoring when we really need it. Eller must drive more to the net. Last night the Habs were caught thinking this game would be easier than it was. Columbus is in playoff mode. Oh please beat the Laffs:)

  53. Black Horse says:

    Montreal’s “D” have been horrible for years. Until this issue is addressed it will an early exit in the playoffs as we have seen before. A great goalie can only do so much. Gionta with the same old Blah blah blah …

    Price praise his “D” all the time. He should be ripping them a new arse …

  54. Maritime Ronn says:

    Some positives from last night.

    – Carey Price looks healthy and fresh and will be key moving forward.
    – Vanek scored his 4th goal in the last 2 games. Great to have a real sniper that wants the puck.

    – While Tinordi made a mistake on the final goal, he was far from the worst Habs Dman on the ice last night. You could name at least 4 others that Carey bailed out over and over again. Tinordi was very good on the PK and here’s hoping he uses that big body more moving forward.
    – Both Chuckie and Eller had some great scoring chances which means work, but they have to start to convert.

    • Black Horse says:

      Doesn’t matter if the “D” in front of him are AHL level.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        You mean guys like Subban Markov Gorges Emelin….
        D is all about a 5 man unit and system.
        If you believe the Habs are AHL, go watch a rew other teams like the Leafs, Oilers, Islanders, Sabres, Flames…..

        • Black Horse says:

          I don’t care about other teams”D”

          The only “D” man that should stay is PK.

          Not one Montrreal “D” man can move a peewee out of the crease!

    • Marc10 says:

      Price was very solid. Was unlucky on the last one, but that’s going to happen sometimes.

      Because we struggle to score, our team makes a real meal of making the playoffs, but somehow they always pull it off. At this stage, with Prusty in and out with a bad shoulder, I think we could alternate him with White on the fourth line.

      Otherwise we finally have some depth. Beaulieu will get called up when it’s time and can fill in for sure, Bourni the same. And we’ll have Briere, Bourque and Eller to pressure each other for final roster positions on the third line. It’s not ideal, but it’s a lot deeper a lineup than we’ve had in years.

      Thank the maker for Carey Price though. He is a wall and the best pick under Gainey.

      • Black Horse says:

        Just making the playoffs is just it. They just get in to get out early. Anyone who thinks this team can go past round one I want what they are drinking/smoking.

        • Marc10 says:

          Carey Price. That’s how you win more than a round.

          Otherwise it is what it is. Bergie is going to have to keep plugging away with good draft picks and a solid development team to turn a competitive bunch into a contending threat.

          I reckon we’re two pieces away from contending. Those two pieces though… a Top 6 power forward who can score 5 on 5 (something like Vanek) and a Top 2 Dman who can log 30 minutes with Subban (we had that guy once… I won’t even go there…)

          Easier said than done, eh. We’ll get there.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes, Markov was undressed playing the puck instead of the body at least twice! I really don’t think for the money it will take to resign him, it is worth it!

      Habfan17

    • wjc says:

      If you think about it someone has to be the ‘worst’ on any given night.

      Who will wear the ‘goat horns’, it is but to laugh.

      Perfect posters, with there stop and go PVR’s…….lol.

      wjc

  55. 24 Cups says:

    Mike – A small point of information, if I may. Gallagher was drafted in the 5h round.

  56. Mavid says:

    one big factor..too many minutes in the box..they wore themselves down by taking too many friggen penatlies..it could and should have been alot closer..I really liked the Jackets and I think they are fun to watch..my they are getting just a little too much credit..

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Mavid,
      Holding and hooking penalties in the neutral and O zone are lazy penalties and high sticking is just caeless. The final score was flattering for the Habs. It wasn’t that close.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I cringed when Patches took that penalty behind the Columbus net

        Habfan17

      • Mavid says:

        I am not saying the penatlies were not deserved…they were, but I think they were a factor for sure

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • wjc says:

        White’s hooking penalty was necessary, causin he was cruisin in for a clear shot. That was a hockey play and any coach would say, trip him or hook him or interfere in some way with his progress.

        Penalties happen, you could be out of position by over reacting, or covering up for a team mate and then try to cover yourself and get a penalty. Players understand this and know they screwed up and if you take the wrap on the knuckles they remember you, when there is an open net and they give you the puck, it is like, now we are even until next time…….team work…it is all in good fun.

        wjc

  57. ZimHabwe says:

    Bad game. I blame it on too many penalties including 2 5-on-3s and a 4 minute. I think logic dictates that you can’t gain any momentum if your strategy throughout the game involves trying to keep a puck outside the blue line. And, perhaps we were outmuscled tonight. That being said, unlike the naysayer who is our fearless blogger, I would not fear drawing a team like the blue jackets in the playoffs. It’s on to ACC.

  58. Habfan17 says:

    Not only was Ryan Johansen a force, so was Boone Jenner. Columbus has some great young kids and they have size and grit to boot!

    Great points on Eller. I am not sure if he is confused or feels he has to do more. I feel he would be a great 3rd line and fill in 2nd line centre if he would stick to simple plays when he has the puck (that is when he seems to score), and play the physical game, driving the net. His defensive zone play is solid as is his penalty killing and he does pretty well on face offs.

    I was one who didn’t want him traded, however, Galchenyuk should be moved to centre next season so someone will need to go, maybe two! Bournival is also a centre and could take the 3rd line spot.

    Maybe Bergevin could use Eller to either move up in the first round or with a package to try to get Evander Kane! First I guess he would need to see if Vanek will resign and decide what to do with Markov!

    Habfan17

  59. BJ says:

    Blue Jackets outmuscle and hustle the Habs. As much as I like our team we still need more size and mature youth. Jackets were in desperation mode and played playoff hockey and exposed our vulnerabilities.

  60. Maritime Ronn says:

    Usually the game stat sheet doesn’t tell the whole story, yet in this case it paints the true and sad picture of this game.

    Habs outshot 40-27.
    Outhit 36-17, yet what makes that stat even more eye popping is that Columbus played on the power play for +15 minutes of the game – where PP time has more to do with puck possession than taking the body.

    The other concerning stat was the Giveaway total.
    Giveaways always happen in a game and the Habs average this year has been 8 per game which ranks 13th most in the league.
    Last night, the Habs were guilty of 17 giveaways.

    Had it not been for Carey’s outstanding play, and some good saves by the reigning Vezina trophy winner Bobrovski at the other end, a more indicative score would have been 6-3.

    A lot of Habs guys didn’t show up, or were a non factor when the Columbus physical play did not let up.

    As GMMB has said, “There are players that get you to the playoffs, and players that get you through the playoffs.”
    That was the type of hockey that will be played against the Habs in the playoffs for obvious reasons….Ottawa provided the blueprint last year.
    With the exception of Gallagher, the little folk were nowhere to be seen…

    • Habfan17 says:

      Very nice post MR,

      MB still has some work to do to get some players that get you to the playoffs during the last 15 games of the season when things tighten up and then through the playoffs.

      I remember players like Shutt. Not big or physical, but in the playoffs, they stepped up and dug in! I hope players like Patches and Galchenyuk will step it up and become playoff players. Pleks seems to have a hard time in the playoffs!

      Habfan17

  61. lakechamplain says:

    Boonie, thanks again for your spot-on assessment. Guess we couldn’t ‘steal’ this one like some games this year when we got outplayed. I also agree with your take on Lars Eller; I’m not sure he can make it in this organization and an important effect of his struggles at center is how the team’s attempts–and there have been many–to wait for him to step up at centre is delaying and inhibiting the development of Galchenyuk. I am leery of those ‘we could’ve/should’ve drafted this guy or that guy instead of….’ because hindsight is always 20/20. But isn’t it time to let Galchenyuk play centre, and not just in intermittent bursts but to hand him the puck and say Alex, you’re centering this line for the next 5 games no matter how many mistakes you make. And that’s part of the problem and always will be for talented young players here. As you pointed out with Tinordi’s gaffe, practically any and every mistake a player makes goes through the ever-increasing media machine, including here. And what happens, over and over again, is that players play afraid, afraid to make a mistake, and that’s what I see happening with Galchenyuk. And that’s what I think has helped crush Eller but is not the main reason he’s coming up short here; his skills are just not enough to be a top-six guy. And BTW, if Galchenyuk was moved to centre, please just don’t shift Eller to wing; he’s useless there. I’d prefer Borque(let him play off wing like he did in Calgary when he had 27 goals).
    Alas, I realize in the playoff race, and the relentless pressures of playing in Montreal this most likely will not happen and we’ll yearn for the rising stars of other teams and think the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      Has you guys that constantly praise Gally 27 all the time watched him closely in games. He has still not been able to carry the puck in games. I watch all the games and sometimes PVR to watch them even a second time. He is developing very slowly in my mind. Most think he needs more ice time and at center….well until he learns how to carry the puck and stop making panic clears in his end he won’t get the center or more ice time. i think based on what he has shown so far he is an excellent passing player ( if he has time and not being rushed also a good skater) with potential to someday be a good player…..but I definitely don’t see superstar here…..like most on here do. Tan base is either way too overboard on one player or way to harsh on another. Gally 27 really has a long way to go before living up to many of the comment on here.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Just my opinion, but I think his development has slowed because of his use on the wing and with being shuffled around. If you watch Seguin as a comparison, Boston had him on the wing and he didn’t really do well until he went to Dallas and they put him back at centre.
        Seguin is a kid who needed to mature. That is not the case with Galchenyuk. I think in this case, the Habs were over protective and it had the reverse result of what they wanted.

        Habfan17

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree, it is past time to move Galchenyuk to centre. I get sheltering a prospect as young as Galchenyuk, but to me that means putting him on the 3rd line at centre, not the first. Having him learn the NHL game while also learning a new position seems illogical. Not to mention the rust that will develop taking face offs. I think he would have benefitted more about the nuances of face offs at the NHL level than he has gained by playing on the wing.

      Habfan17

  62. jrs10069 says:

    First period was good, was thinking we’d have another great game like on Tuesday but didn’t pan out. Reffing was questionable, calls on Habs were legit but they misses 2-3 on Columbus that they couldn’t defend. BG coming down the left side, i get that he’s a prick and refs don’t like him but D man took his hand off his stick and placed it on G and he went down. Ref was about 2 feet away when it happened….

    On another PK went down hard, ref had the whistle in his mouth and it appeared he decided not to blow when he saw who it was on the ice.

    I get that players do this to themselves but..

    Must be the 2 local boys that RDS was sure to identify before the start…

    Ref #1, some prick from NB and Ref #2, another prick from greenfield park. Noboby gives a shit except their mothers

    jrs10069

  63. Frank2468 says:

    Do the hustle” do do do do do do do do do do the Hustle LOL

  64. rogieshan says:

    Earlier in the fall, there was talk in the media that the Habs were in discussion with Columbus on a trade and I speculated a possible package involving Eller-for-Johansen swap because of the Kekelainen connection. This was after Lars had gotten off to a hot start and Johansen was still searching to find his game. Fast forward four months and Johansen is maturing into a complete franchise player. Meanwhile, Eller is looking more and more like a borderline third liner. Does anyone know if he’s still seeing a sports psychologist to deal with his confidence issue?

    • johnnylarue says:

      One thing that must really suck about seeing a sports psychologist is knowing that everybody knows you’ve seen a sports psychologist.

      Think Brad Marchand doesn’t go out of his way to bring it up in casual pre-faceoff conversation whenever the Habs play the Broons?

  65. Timo says:

    Tiny did heck of a job on the penalty kill. Habs were not in the game tonight… of 7 penalties I think 3 were for a high stick and one for too many man. They all played with their heads in their millionaire a$$es.

  66. PureGuava says:

    If they didn’t deserve the point than why piss all over Eller & Tinordi?

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
    – Robert Anton Wilson

    • johnnylarue says:

      Ostensibly ’cause they cost them the point they didn’t deserve.

      One thing tonight proved: the Habs in their current configuration can still count on Price to keep them in the game most nights, even when they’re phoning it in. It’s a small consolation, but slightly reassuring nonetheless…

  67. prep says:

    For a under mill rookie d that was a text book rookie mistake, for a 6.5 mill “star” that was a soft goal. Yes I said it

    • Dulljerk says:

      Good, glad I’m not the only one who thought that.

      No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

    • rogieshan says:

      I think Price was anticipating Johansen to drive to the net and was surprised when he pulled up and fired. The shot itself wasn’t perfect, but it was a helluva play by the forward to catch Price thinking the wrong way.

  68. Habilis says:

    Positive thought:

    Seriously, we broke the Sens. They have not collected a single point since the night we dismantled them in under 5 minutes. And the best part? They’re bottoming out and they don’t even have a first round pick. Revenge is sweet.

    • Timo says:

      Sadly, not having a chance to get within a sniff of the cup, this is what we have left to console ourselves with… other teams’ misery. Don’t get me wrong… I am all for making fun of other teams and laughing at their sickitude, but still, for a change I would like to be able to talk about Habs chances going far in the playoffs.

      • Habilis says:

        Respectfully, I think a chance is exactly what we have. One. If we go in with a fully healthy roster and with the right first round match-up, anything can happen. Because Price.

        I still remember in ’93, I was more excited about the Pens losing to the Isles than I was for our wins over Buffalo or the Isles. Because I knew we were going to the Cup Final as soon as Pittsburgh lost. Because Roy.

        So, if we get a decent match-up, and someone like say… Columbus upsets the B’s in round one in a 7 game war. Maybe then a run really becomes possible.

        Or maybe not. But that’s how I hope.

        • Timo says:

          But you know what I mean… would be nice for a change be like (gulp) Bruins… just keep on rolling over every team. Just winning. I’d like to feel what it’s like to be bored with all the wins. And then sit and think about which poor suckers are going to play Habs in the first round and their as$es handed to them. Just for a change. Once.

          • Habilis says:

            Yeah I get you. It would be great to have that. MB apparently has a plan for it… I guess we’ll see.

  69. Dulljerk says:

    Price did keep them in the game, but was I the only one who thought he was weak on the Tinordi gaff?

    No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  70. Timo says:

    Apparently Therrien never talks to players after the game – good or bad. Says it is part of his “philosophy”.

    Also, someone asked him which are the real Montreal Canadiens “the ones we saw tonight or those that we saw on Tuesday”. Michael THerrien changed colors and said it was a “frustrating” question. Frustrating because he knows the answer.

  71. Timo says:

    Oooh, oooh… day off tomorrow?
    Come on, tell me these guys are going to get a day off tomorrow. They looked fatigued.

  72. prep says:

    It’s a sweep

  73. prep says:

    First. I’m the best

  74. piper says:

    I agree, both those guys need to be in the lineup first round at least.

  75. wjc says:

    I think the posters should hire the next coach. Wouldn’t that be wild.

    What would they do, how many games would he last 3, 4….20…next.

    wjc

  76. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Is there an echo in here? Great comment sir.

  77. Bmon44 says:

    Apples and oranges: Bowman was coaching the best team in the nhl (and some of the best teams in the history of the nhl) full of elite, veteran players. Therrien is teaching a decent but still developing team that knows the future success of this team will be with its young players, and therefore should be taught to play the game in the nhl.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.