About last night …

PriceMarkov

Let’s provide dialogue for Allen McInnis’s Gazette photo:
Carey Price: “Boring game, eh?”
Andrei Markov: “Da. But we win. And you get shutout.”
Price: “I only had to stop 24 shots.”
Markov: “And we block 19.”
Price: “Thanks for that. Now move your left hand, s’il vous plaît.”

Bada-boom! I’m here till the playoffs. Try the veal.

But seriously folks, Price and Markov found themselves in the middle of the goalmouth melee that  erupted at the final siren and might have been Buffalo’s only display of emotion in 60 minutes.

Oops! I forgot Matt D’Agostini slamming the door of the penalty box, a fit of pique that earned the former Canadien an extra two minutes and the disapproval of his coach, who said D’Agostini had behaved “like a five-year-old.”

Somewhere in the world, there may be a five-year-old infant who will grow up to become a hockey prodigy drafted by the Sabres. The Buffalo rebuild might take that long.

Man, they’re a lousy team – the NHL’s worst in many statistical categories, including points, road wins and goal differential.

But as has been the case in more games than I’d care to remember over the last few seasons, the Canadiens played down to the visitors’ level … which would explain why Bell Centre fans were anaesthetized by a scoreless tie that lasted 50:53.

Coming off intense, emotional wins over two bitter rivals, Toronto and Boston, it was inevitable the Canadiens would have a letdown against woeful Buffalo. In his postgame press conference, Michel Therrien said his team’s first period had been marred by trying to make plays that weren’t there – sloppy execution that might have been exploited by a team more adept in transition than the Sabres.

Therrien said the latter 40 minutes hewed more to the Canadiens’ game plan. The coach was able to roll four lines and benefit from many shifts during which the Canadiens were able to cycle the puck effectively in the Buffalo end.

After facing 11 shots in that sloppy opening period, Carey Price made five saves in the second and eight in the third to record his fifth shutout of the season. The goaltender got help from his defence corps and a penalty-kill that pitched another shutout and has killed 35 of the last 37 penalties against the Canadiens.

I was impressed by Jarred Tinordi, who played 18:53 beside workhorse partner P.K. Subban (27:14, high on both teams) and had three hits and a couple blocked shots.

Granted, it was the Sabres, not the Penguins or Sharks, testing Tinordi’s mettle. But he played erfor-free hockey and merits another start Thursday night in Detroit.

As was the case Monday night in Boston, where he faced down concerted thuggery by Milan Lucic, Alexei Emelin was a rock on the back end. He had only one hit but blocked five shots.

Although torched to the outside by Cody Hodgson on one Buffalo rush, Mike Weaver played another steady game. He and fellow veteran Douglas Murray showed no ill effects of playing both ends of a back-to-back that included OT in Boston and travel back to Montreal.

After being forced to play the Bruins with 10 forwards, Therrien was able to roll his four lines.

After the game,, the Canadiens updated the casualties of Boston: Dale Weise is out for three weeks and Travis Moen for at least a week.

They join Brandon Prust in sick bay, a situation that would be worrisome were it not for a superb effort against the Sabres by Lars Eller, Ryan White and, especially, Michäel Bournival. The newly-minted fourth line was fast, physical and smart on the puck.

Playing without offensively-gifted linemates, Eller avoided his tendency to over-handle the puck. Maybe centre on a checking line is the role that suits him best, Eller’s physical gifts and lofty draft status (13th overall in 2007) notwithstanding.

The other first-rounders in the lineup had strong games against Buffalo:

• Price was flawless.

• Max Pacioretty’s 32nd goal of the season was the 100th of his blossoming career

• Thomas Vanek had four shots on goal, plus another three that were blocked. vanek also made some sweet passes, including the one that set up Pacioretty

• Alex Galchenyuk, coming off his Shootout heroics in Boston, did not make the scoresheet but played 16 solid minutes and flashed several examples of the vision and hockey sense that will make him a star when he moves to centre.

That will be next season – which is when the Canadiens will play their next game against Buffalo. They won all four games and outscored the Sabres 10-3 this season – the first series sweep of Buffalo in 35 years.

The 1978-’79 Canadiens beat Buffalo four times en route to winning their 22nd Stanley Cup.

Gee, do you think the snow in Montreal will have melted in time for this year’s parade?

 

429 Comments

  1. frontenac1 says:

    Frontenacs up 3-0 against Petes in first round of playoffs. Getting nasty with 2 line brawls last night.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSxTV9sxsI0#t=69

  2. twilighthours says:

    Great stuff from Krob today. Quality hockey observations.

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Don Cherry even barking mad at the Leafs.

    1) Leafs love those College guys. Signed Eric Knodel from University of New Hampshire. Going to get a tryout with the Marlies. That means

    Don Cherry ‏@CoachsCornerCBC 33m
    2) he takes a spot from some guy slugging it out on the buses. If you want to make the Leafs or get a tryout just go to a US College.
    Details

    • bwoar says:

      Don Cherry doesn’t like guys who might’ve been at one time interested in educating themselves in case hockey doesn’t work out. To him the only way in is to leave home at 14 and get whatever kind of schooling you can. He loves the kids because they are forever on his level. To borrow a phrase, he keeps getting older, and they stay the same age…

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Man, it’s true, look at all the Americans on the Leafs, it’s systematic.

        If I were running a team in Canada I’d only draft Canadians, Swedes, and Finns.

        Nice Wooderson phrase.. Does Cherry “love those red heads”

        ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  4. Timo says:

    So… is it a day off today? Is it, is it?

  5. JF says:

    A ho-hum victory last night, but it was exactly the kind of game we often have difficulty winning, the definition of a trap game. I’m not going to be critical because I imagine the team was a bit tired, mentally and emotionally if not physically. But there were a lot of missed chances, our usual glaring lack of opportunism, and a powerplay that is largely predictable with, however, a few encouraging signs. We seem to be making more efforts to create chances down low. Anyway, kudos to the team (and the fans) for not falling asleep.

    One of our main problems in the playoffs has often been lack of depth. It probably cost us that agonizingly close series against the Bruins three years ago, and it was certainly a major factor in our drubbing at the hands of the Senators last year. Things look different from that point of view this year. We’re missing one of our top-four defencemen, but, after some initial hiccups, the defence is again getting the job done. Imagine where we’d be without Mike Weaver. Weaver cost us only a fifth-round pick, which we’ll recoup in the Vanek trade, and he has played an important role the last few games.

    The Habs have a better chance of success when they roll four lines; again thanks to depth, we can continue to do this despite losing Prust last week and the rest of our fourth line on Monday night. Line 4b of White, Bournival, and Eller stepped in last night and did a good job. Last year we would have been calling Hamilton.

    Bergevin has always said that depth is key in becoming a contender, and it can’t be denied that he’s done an excellent job of adding inexpensive depth pieces. The trade of Raphael Diaz for Dale Wiese in particular is looking like a stroke of genius. We’ve come a long way from the days of Gainey and Gauthier, when we always seemed to be one injury away from disaster.

    All reports suggest our injured will be ready for the playoffs, and the time off for Gorges and Prust could be important. In fact, given the state of Prust’s shoulder, it’s a good thing he isn’t playing again until the post-season – we don’t have to worry about him crashing into the boards and separating his shoulder in Game 81. If we can avoid injuries to key players like Price, Subban, Markov, Desharnais, and a few others, we should be in good shape.

    • Timo says:

      Only hoping that no re-gelling will be required when the injured guys come back.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great post.
      And is there also some suggestion that certain developments that we had hoped for and perhaps given up on earlier in the season are starting to fall into place now, at the eleventh hour?

      And when you look back at it, prevailing over the leading team in the East after watching two warriors go down in early in the first is almost a greater testament to character than the very late comeback in Ottawa.

      Character plus a good bench.

  6. Steeltown Hab says:

    Plek with the Gally’s are a way better unit than Vanek DD MP. Tired of seeing the first unit with Subban Markov just handed to them over and over with or without the production.

    ———————————

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

    • Cal says:

      Yeah, all those goals suck, right?
      What games are you watching to come to that conclusion?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        As long as a line has DD on it, you know Steel ain’t gonna like it.

        • Steeltown Hab says:

          Easy cop out response to a line that looked brutal against a Buffalo team it should be feasting on. Scoring one goal doesn’t mean you played a good game by default.

          ———————————

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

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        5 PPs and no goals last night. What are you talking about? Do you not watch the games or have you never played sports and can’t analyse talent at all? Easy to say oh they scored late in the game so that means they had a good game?

        ———————————

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

        • B says:

          6 PPs and 1 PP goal last night. The only PP goal was Briere from Bourque with Emelin and Weaver on D, should they be on the first unit PP then?

          –Go Habs Go!–

          • Steeltown Hab says:

            I don’t base my conclusions on single plays. I’ll take the bigger sample of the 1st unit on 6 PPs with no goals and I’ll say why not venture and give another unit a shot at the first wave when they’re struggling.

            ———————————

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

          • Mattyleg says:

            I guess you don’t base your conclusions on facts either.
            Good plan.
            That way, no-one can prove you wrong!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Cal says:

          What are you talking about? Even the most successful power play teams have long stretches when they don’t score.
          The PP has been generating chances, but if they don’t score they suck? Watch the games, man, not just 1 out of 82 and make your declarations then.
          And, yes, if that line generates 82 goals per year they are a success.
          Let’s see- Max Pac- 32, DD- 13 and Vanek- 25- Uh-oh- only 70 in 74. Worst. Line. Ever.

      • Chris says:

        3 power play goals in 9 games for Vanek, Desharnais and Pacioretty.

        Pacioretty had a brief flurry, potting 3 power play goals in 4 games bracketing the Olympic break. Other than that, Pacioretty has scored 1 power play goal in 29 games since New Year’s.

        Desharnais has 2 power play goals dating back to late November. Markov’s last power play goal came before Christmas. Subban only has 1 power play goal since New Year’s.

        What games are you watching? The first wave of the power play has been struggling mightily for months.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      “Plek with the Gally’s are a way better unit than Vanek DD MP.”
      No they’re not.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        Have you watched this team on the powerplay?? They can actually work the puck around. Vanek Pacioretty try fitting in these ridiculous passes in the slot that might get through 1/10 attempts. They also get the benefit of Subban Markov every time they’re on.

        ———————————

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

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      You’re now in Monty Python territory. The cheese shop or the argument clinic.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

  7. habs-fan-84 says:

    MT took a gamble this week and it paid off.
    By playing Budaj in Boston:

    -Budaj’s confidence has been restored

    -The team’s confidence in Budaj has been restored

    -The team realizes they can still beat Boston even with their backup. Should they meet in the Playoffs, the Habs should have a psychological advantage

    -By choosing Budaj over Price, it should tell the players that their coach believes in them (regardless of whose in net)

    Sure, had they lost against Boston it would have been easy to say he made the wrong decision, but it was a gamble (which is sometimes necessary in sport) and it paid off.

  8. boonie says:

    It’s easy to be happy when we’re rolling.

    So, accept these miscellaneous observations in the spirit of nit picking.

    1. Our last two games were low scoring wins.

    The enjoyment factor was polar opposites. This isn’t a Hab issue. It’s a league-wide issue.

    The Bruin game was up-tempo and brought back fond memories of a playoff game Naslund won 1-0. The Buffalo game was a sloppy mess that lacked passion and, really, any viewing interest other than the outcome for a team’s fans. Not every game is a 4-pointer against a century-long rival. But, too many games in an 82-game sked rival the boredom of the Buffalo game. It’s nearly impossible to watch a 2-0 Islander/Blue Jacket game with little on the line.

    I suppose fewer teams, a different playoff system or rule changes might help. I don’t have an solution, just a complaint. When league talent was watered-down following the post-WHA merger, scoring went WAY up. Somehow that hasn’t happened in this diluted-talent era.

    2. THIS IS NOT A KNOCK ON PK SUBBAN. Easily our most spirited and passionate player and an immensely talented one. But… I am getting tired of his somewhat recent propensity to get involved with scuffles along the boards. Roughing up guys or getting roughed up takes him out of position and often seems to cause him to lose focus for a couple of shifts at a time.

    This didn’t happen last night. It has happened a lot recent. I define a lot to almost every game.

    Again, I’m not pointing out solutions. I am just getting tired of seeing him do it.

  9. rhino514 says:

    There will be 3 spots for 6 guys come playoff time (assuming Bourque keep splyaing decent and stays in the lineup:

    Eller, Prust, Bournival, Weise (may miss 1 or 2 playoff games), White, and Moen

    Any 3 of those yields a really good fourth line. Who sits?

    I personally think Eller and Prust (if he is even 75%), have to be in there. The third guy?

  10. krob1000 says:

    If not going to break up Markov?subban up…why not Put Briere in Dd’s place. IF pp operates from Right side than Vanek goes low, Briere on half wall and Patches in slot….Briere and Vanek are both righties and would be threats from both of those spots. If puck down low on other side..Patches runs the wall….Briere goes low…on his wrong side but still dangerous around the net, and Vanek mans slot. This would force teams to respect the down low game.

    If DD will at last occasionally curl and shoot low trying to generate a rebound or move in and out trying to break the box or diamond down with more than a pass from the ultra exterior then he could do it. If he wont? get Briere to …he will. Pleks can too…but he does not get to go on the PP with the best point guys and the best wingers and triggermen. Even Chucky is reluctant…and stays to the outside…I wish the gusy would all be forced to watch guys like Zettergerg, datsyuk, Kovalev, Briere, Giroux,etc and their pp footage…what makes them so dangerous is their threat to do anything and everything. In a league where every PK guy is expected and trained to get in lanes and block shots…puck movement and buying time by causing collapse is the only way to go…otherwise it is just hoping for a bounce.

  11. Al Burtlap says:

    @Ozmodiar,

    Funny you should mention the Vanek-Des-Max line. Last night I actually saw Max dig a few pucks out and really skate hard, a la Gallagher. It made me think that maybe Max is realizing what Gally brought to that line, and if he could add a touch of that energy and will to his game that the line may really take off.

    Vanek truly is an under-rated passer (not Max’s strength frankly), and if Desharnais used his (also under-rated) shot a bit more that line could become much more threatening.

    They seem to be gaining chemistry, and there is a lot of complaining about line juggling on this site, but for once i hope MT leaves these three together to see if they can really get clicking 5 on 5.

    • bwoar says:

      Y’know, right about the time that I opined that Max was a punk, he started rounding out his game and doing the little things I wanted to see (and which others in the media and in the stands have also mentioned). Rather than a being cherry-picking, wall-hugging, contact-avoiding sniper he’s been putting in useful minutes on the PK and actually using his great skating and his size to play successfully in all areas of the ice. Totally won me back over.

      It may never be terrific 5 on 5, but that line’s finally a bona fide #1 on a team that hasn’t had one in ages.

      • Mattyleg says:

        You sure know how to motivate a guy!
        ;)

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • HabinBurlington says:

          It is quite true though, the last while Max is playing in my opinion a much better 200 foot game. Many people I think were irked at bwoars comments regarding Max a while ago, and I don’t agree with some of his perspective on the whole Max/Chara incident (I do agree with some of it) but it is okay to be critical of players when you are willing to see improvements also.

          It is the blind ignorant dismissal of players or coaches on this site without ever acknowledging the opposite (even when the opposite is clubbing you in the face) that drives me nuts here.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Yep.
            I agree.

            It’s the difference between “so-and-so isn’t playing well; he needs blahblahblah” and “so-and-so SUCKS!! And we’re stuck with him for the next X years at $X!!!”

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • krob1000 says:

            But maybe it is my face clubbing the opposite!?!?!?

          • Luke says:

            Not X dollars for X years?

            MB what are you thinking?

            Y for Y, maybe… but X for X? This joker is out of his league!

          • bwoar says:

            There’s no magic more powerful for helping yourself, and how people see you, than an honest, “I was wrong.” It took me way too long to learn that, but it’s an idea I’d like to spread.

  12. Strummer says:

    Difference between the Habs and the crash ‘n burn Leafs?

    According to Pierre Maguire “character”

    On his daily call to TSN1050 in Toronto this morning – after apologizing to Leaf fans listening- he said character showed Monday night in Boston when they lost 2 forwards early, were still able to to get the lead and battle to hold it before winning in SO.

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

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Thanks for that Strum. PM pumping our tires, trying desperately to conjure a fresh analytical angle from which to explain the Leafs’ woes.

      I doubt believe it has anything to do with character. That to me is simply pathetic journalism.

      A word you don’t often see here comes to mind:

      Dweeb.

      • Strummer says:

        Shows the state of Leaf nation in the Toronto market where I live.
        Since the Habs comeback aginst Ottawa started their roll of success which also coincided with the Leaf slump, Habs are getting more respect from the Toronto media in general.

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

        • ffenliv says:

          Sports media everywhere knows that when a team is down, you can kick them really hard for extra views/readers/whatever. Any respect coming from Leafs media is simply there to paint the Leafs picture as even worse than it is, and it’s pretty bad.

      • Sportfan says:

        Could have been worse, he could be Mark Masters

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

    • Sportfan says:

      LOL Pierre just got a whole fan base mad at him haha

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

    • Luke says:

      But..butbutbut…

      Clarkson = Character.

      INTANGIBLES!!!!!!!
      (and water bottle service).

      • Mattyleg says:

        So damn intangible.
        So intangible, in fact, that it can hardly be considered to be there at all.

        THAT’S how intangible Clarkson is.
        Beat THAT.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Mavid says:

      Ya the same McGuire who on Tuesday..justified the Bruins behavour..specifically Lucic and Chara..he his such a knob..I am still shocked that anyone still listens to him..

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I’m a sports addict, I listen to sports radio when in my truck, when PM comes on, I find a nice FM station and relax. Sometimes I forget and listen to music for more than a few days, so i guess I have to thank MacGuire for making that possible!

        CHeers Mavid!

    • JUST ME says:

      Maguire is a funny guy and says things as they are. Although he tends to name drop a bit…i appreciate the fact that he is always looking forward and not bringing back old stuff. He always finds a way to talk about strenghts not weaknesses.

      That being said , the Toronto fanbase is in complete denial and in a way i admire them for sticking with the team through very little thick and a lot of thin… They have no defense at all and their results in the standings hides the ugly thruth that they have been bombarded all season long wich at one point was supposed to stop.

      My heart bleeds…not !

      • ffenliv says:

        If you look around the internet, specifically at Leaf fan blogs, and general hockey forums, I think you’ll find they’re not in denial. Most I know in person, and most of what I read online is fans clamouring for everyone to be traded and/or fired. They know it’s bad, and they’re wallowing in it.

      • Mavid says:

        Just yesterday he was yammering on about his days as a coach/scout..and that was in 1993.sorry but he brings up old stuff all the time..and name drop…its more than just a little, its constant..and sickening…he is truly horrible

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  13. Mattyleg says:

    In response to the discussion about the Habs ‘one-trick-pony’ powerplay, I’m not sure how many people noticed that we’ve been trying something new.

    We are playing the puck down low now; putting it into the corner, and looking for a feed into the slot. It’s a bit clunky, and our forwards aren’t used to moving around because of our dependence on the shot from the point and the ensuing rebounds, but at least it adds a bit of variation to the point-shot.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Ha thanks Matty. I confess: I noticed that but actually thought it was just Plan A not working properly!

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      The problem is the guy in the slot usually has two guys sitting on him. I think it happened twice last night where they passed to Patch (in the slot) but he was completely covered.

      • icemachine says:

        I’m glad they are finally doing something different, because the powerplay had become entirely predictable. Hopefully they get the timing of the movement down low figured out before we get to the playoffs. Going to be fewer chances then, and they will really need to convert on those they do get.

      • Mattyleg says:

        For sure, and I think that some focus on increased mobility will help that – maybe the guy in the slot fades off the opposite boards and is replaced by that guy.

        For instance, put Vanek in the slot when the puck goes low to DD (or whoever), and he backs away, while Patches comes in from the side boards, confusing coverage. Next time it happens, Patches rotates out for Vanek to come in.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          Not much of an X and Os guy Matty, but I think you’re right; an increased focus on mobility down low (as opposed to up top) should help the PP overall – and the guys will learn over time.

      • frontenac1 says:

        A guy “in the Slot” and two guys sitting on him? …never mind. what the hell is wrong with me today?

    • Gerry H says:

      Yup. And the beauty is that Markov and Subban are still there on the point, should teams do what Buffalo did last night and double-man the slot.

      • krob1000 says:

        The Habs run an aumbreall once up high and then go into an overload formation down low…but the overlaod they do not go through all of the normal options…..they are waiting to get back up into the umbrella. Normally at some point teh guy on the wall passes down low and then drives the net…thismakes the defnder make ad ecision and the threat of the down low guy passing, or “walking” creates space…this is when Markov used to then activate and go down low..this was a real conundrum for opposing PK’s because there were three threats down low…with someone also in front. This cause teams to collapse…and then points were open…as is HAbs PP is a crapshoot…fire a puck froma s far away as possible on a pp and hope it is either powered hom or is defelected. Habs ran a pp clinic for alst 5 years…this year it is a shadow of itself and it is because everything runs fromt he hash marks up…..and from too far out on the boards when on half wall. Gives more time and sightlines for defenders to see D activation,etc developing.

        • Gerry H says:

          Get that, Krob. I think the adjustment is a work in progress. Pleks actually does sometimes slide in from the half-boards, but hasn’t had the wingers to support that and, often enough given that he has been on the second wave, hasn’t had as much of a threat on the point to keep the defence guessing.

          To make it work – as it did in the Muller era – I think we need a lot more movement down low when the puck carrier is along the wall. Our PP is too static right now.

          • krob1000 says:

            Agree…should have kept Mullers notebook…too bad there isn’t video footage anywhere around!

    • krob1000 says:

      That is still a one trick pony…the guy passing it is like an inbounder..taht was my point. That guy on tthe half wall has to be a threat to curl and cdrive a la Kovalev, or shoot or pass. The fact teams already have their focus on the top of the umbrella means they are in range to defend that slot pass. There is never a drive ot give and go with DD. Even if Dd walks in a few feet he may make that defender engage him enoguh to get that pass into the slot but unless he does that ….the guy just gholds his ground and no threat.

    • CF says:

      Actually, they have always tried to work the puck down low–but it’s not to feed the slot–its to open up the point. However, until they picked up Vanek, they didn’t have the horses to draw attention down low as teams realized the only weapon we had was PK from the point. Now with Patch and Vanek working the side wall, we have something that resembles our number one PP with Kovy. Teams cannot give Vanek or Patch too much space because they can shoot, and in Vanek’s case–pass. As Vanek and Patches bring the puck down low, teams have to adapt therefore opening up the points.

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Topic du jour below Buffalo and their rebuild.

    Indeed on paper, the prospects and picks look tantalizing, therefore the rebuild should go forward with no hitches and before we know it, Buffalo will again be a team to be reckoned with …… but!

    Anyone else notice that since a certain rich billionaire purchased that team there has been a steady decline in the team?
    Purchased team Feb. 2011,
    2010-11 – 43 wins
    2011-12 – 39 wins
    2012-13 – 21 wins
    2013-14 – 20 wins and counting

    Why didn’t Dudley take the job offered to him to be GM of the Sabres? He lives there, he played there, he coached there…..

    What happened soon after Lafontaine was hired, the new GM went over his head to the owner to make moves…..

    Something stinks in Buffalo, and it starts with the owner, my opinion and perhaps a little bird told me some info. that I will happily take to the bank.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hey amigo, when I was living in TO in the “80”s every night on TV there would be stories of houses burning down in Buffalo, I think it was Lackawanna or something. What’s up with that?

    • Chris says:

      The decrease in wins from 43 to 39 wasn’t appreciable. The 2012-13 total prorates to 36 wins in a non-lockout year. Again, not a great trend, but it wasn’t bombs away yet.

      So what happened? Last year, the Sabres finished as a .500 team, but they essentially through in the towel and started a firesale and rebuilding process. The results of that are seen this season…they suck because they were designed to suck.

      What happened before that? Their franchise defenceman went into an inexplicable funk. Nobody can really put their finger on what went wrong for Tyler Myers. He looked like an All-World defenceman in the making, and now he looks like an AHL’er.

      Tim Connolly was injured so often that they let him walk as a free agent. Anytime you lose a top-2 centre, you can certainly explain a dip. In the summer of 2012, they dealt Derek Roy with rumours circulating that he desperately wanted out. Now they were forced to run with Cody Hodgson, Tyler Ennis and Steve Ott as top centres. Those guys are simply not at the same level as Connolly or Roy.

      The Leino signing was a disaster. The Ehrhoff signing wasn’t as bad, but the rest of their defence corps was in shambles. And more importantly, they struggle to get good UFA’s unless they overpay, as Buffalo is a last-choice destination for most NHL players.

      The owner is certainly a problem…he meddles in hockey operations. But they hired a well-respected up-and-coming GM in Tim Murray, and I suspect that that was the source of the Lafontaine friction. Murray didn’t want to report to Lafontaine…he felt he was the GM, and so he should have the final say. He went over Lafontaine’s head, and Lafontaine understandably did not appreciate it.

      Time will tell if Murray lives up to his potential. His reputation of having an eye for young talent will be put to the test with all these draft picks and prospects coming up over the next 2-3 years.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The owner remains, and it remains to be seen if he allows his GM to do the job right. Different owner right now and we don’t have our current Asst. GM.

  15. With all the love being shown for GMMB in the comments below, we do forget about the DD deal, the Emelin deal, the Briere deal as well as Vanek, Weise and Weaver. We still need scoring and defense is still sloppy. So while I’m thrilled at the Habs performance of very recent, there are no gimmies as exhibited by last nights snoozefest. Our highest scorer is PK, which doesn’t bode well for our offense with Bork, Bork, Eller, Gionta (although he’s been smart if not scoring), even Pleks in cols spells.

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • Gerry H says:

      The DD deal is a bargain. Some narratives, no matter what evidence to the contrary, just won’t die (see the anti-vaccination movement, for example).

      Emelin is also worth every penny. His play has improved steadily all season long as he has recovered from one of the most difficult injuries to rehab. He is one of the few Habs Dmen that opposing forwards fear as they enter the Canadiens’ zone. He moves the puck well and even provides timely offensive support.

      The Vanek deal was the steal of the deadline frenzy. What are you on about there? Weise and Weaver have both provided great value for money and depth as we approach the traditionally injury-filled playoffs (remember how much fun it was playing all those AHLers against Ottawa?).

      The only one of those deals that hasn’t panned out especially well is the Briere deal and that, arguably, is as much on the coach as the manager.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Nice post, especially about Emelin. Man, him putting a big hit on Lucic was the answer to my prayers. I was resolved that we wouldn’t see him banging like that again until next season, contingent on further confidence on the re-built knee, and thus I was fretting about how he would cope with the continued attention from Lucic. I hope he’d be paired with Murray who could protect him.

        No need! In the Gahden, first period, Lucic on his ass. Tears of joy over here, I can tell you.

        How much of a complete bollox is Lucic [now see what you've started?]?

        Lucic is aware that Emelin has been struggling, is not back to 100%, and is nowhere back to his full and daunting physical presence. So Lucic — legitimately, I say — decides to go after him in Montreal, beat him down, humiliate him. Definitely looking ahead to the playoffs.

        Emelin looks defeated in Montreal, but comes back in Boston by dishing it out big time.

        So does Lucic engage him further, accept the challenge and go hit-for-hit? No. Lucic spears him in the scrotum. From behind.

        Huh. We were talking about character below. Lucic has zero. He is the 6’5 Marchand and a total and utter bollox.

        • Gerry H says:

          Couldn’t agree more, Mike. It burns me to no end that hard-hitting players are expected to “back up” their play by dropping the gloves. The whole notion is nonsense. A legal, hard hit is explicitly part of the game. Fighting, even if tolerated, IS against the rules and penalized. It’s like saying that tripping or hooking a guy who’s just laid you out is “part of the game.”

          Emelin can’t fight because of the plate in his orbital bone. To the Lucics and Charas of the NHL, that means he shouldn’t hit, either. As you say, Mike: Bollox.

          Edit: BTW, I was in the Pale last summer and kind of regret not looking you up. Was with my better half, though, and if I’d managed to work hockey into our overseas vacation, might have faced unintended consequences.

          • krob1000 says:

            Kronwall never fights and proably levels more guys in open ice than anyone in the entire league…and he defends his territory after whistels too and is not afraid to put a lgove in someones face…noone expects him to fight. Sundin has how many career fights? i have seen him throw hundreds of jabs in scrums and after whistles, not expected to fight, there is standing up for yourself and there is putting yourself in abad situation. Emelin actaulyl wanted to go last night…he was actually inviting the fight at the end of the game.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            I HEAR you, Gerry!
            Next time for sure.

        • Cal says:

          Exactly, Dun. Exactly.

    • Luke says:

      The only deal that has warts is the Briere deal, and truthfully, 4 million for two years, one of which is almost done, isn’t that hard to swallow.

      Additionally, there are worse deals in the NHL than the Briere deal. The Lecavalier one and my go-to Clarkson deal leap right out.

      Immagonnahaveto find a new deal to harp on for the next five years… Clarkson’s is too easy.

  16. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    Hey gang, our man Sholi got a mention on the TSN690 morning show. He sent them a tweet saying how most of the country will probably be cheering against the Habs in the playoffs even if they’re the lone Canadian team participating. Don’t know if that’s true — and don’t care if it is. Go Habs Go!!

    • Timo says:

      What did they respond to that? And he is probably right and so are you… who gives a sh!t who the ROC cheers for.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Timo, don’t you live in ROC?

        • Timo says:

          I do, so? You live in ROW :)

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            No I don’t. I have designated the soil my house sits on as Canadian, complete with flags and extremely loud shouting late on hockey nights. Although only I out of the seven who live here was not born in Ireland, 6 out of the 7 hold Canadian passports (and have been to both Blue Jays AND Expos games, some to a Habs game, all were read The Hockey Sweater in both languages from a young age, all believe A&W Root Beer is the nectar of heaven, and the one born on July 1st only NARROWLY avoided being named John A MacDonald by being a girl!

      • frontenac1 says:

        Hey I thought the Habs were “Canada’s Team” by far in that poll?

      • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

        Nothing really. Just chuckles and a dig or two at the Leafs.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      It raises a really interesting point, Spin.

      Who would you trust to poll Canadian to find out the truth? WOuldn’t it be interesting to know?

      Been a while since I watched a Leafs away game — is there ever as much blue in the stands as there is red when Montreal plays away?

    • frontenac1 says:

      Atta boy Mike! Slainte!

  17. habs001 says:

    If it is Tampa in the playoffs they will not be easy…That team has similarities to last years Ottawa…They are the type of team that causes problems for the Habs…

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Absolutely.
      At least they are now without one Quebecois superstar who, typically, wants to honour his childhood memories of worshipping the Habs by knocking them out of the playoffs, preferably at the Bell!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      No matter whom our Habs face it will not be easy. I am excited about our team, I think we could make some noise in playoffs, but our team is quasi grinding, quasi speed, quasi talented group. We need/require our goalie to be better than average, the team has to be working hard, and our coach needs to be making the right decisions. BUt we aren’t as good (on paper etc..) as a Boston or a Pittsburgh, therefore any playoff series will be difficult.

      BUt I think I rather play Tampa first round than Philly, or Pittsburgh or Boston. I am very glad Ottawa will not make playoffs, they are becoming our enigma, or it feels that way.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Playoffs are a brand new season amigo. Goaltending gets it done. Games are won on the ice, not on paper too. Habs going deep this year. Enjoy the ride. Saludos!

      • krob1000 says:

        This may sound Quasi….but I call that versatiliy. The good thing is if offense is sputtering, speed and grinding should be there. If off night or out grinded…there is depth there that can score, underlying all of that is all world goaltending. I don’t think this team has hit it’s stride yet and I am hoping they are on the verge of peaking at exactly the right time.

  18. Mattyleg says:

    I love how Boone called Tinordi’s hockey ‘erfor-free’.
    ;)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  19. jeffhabfan says:

    Yes it was a ugly win from the boys Last night but a win is a win.Now lets grab 2nd in the division.GO HABS GO.

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    What is going on with Markov the last few games?
    He has turned into a physical beast out there. Great to see the guy with such emotion lately!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      …might also have something to do with his UFA status – but he has always been a warrior, Ian

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Still believe Bergevin should be a GM dealing from strength. Only signing players that love to play in Montreal, not only playing for the buck.!
        No more than 3 year contracts to any player!
        No player making more than 5 million a year!
        No vet making less than 2 million a year!

        • ffenliv says:

          Are you serious Ian? you want Bergevin to handicap the team by enforcing a bizarre set of rules, based on entirely on players ‘loving’ the team?

          Maybe it’s sarcasm and just went right by me.

    • frontenac1 says:

      He got some nasty during the lock out in the KHL amigo. He had Gillies, Yablonski and Kip Brennan as team mates.
      It kinda rubbed off on him, I guess.

    • Timo says:

      Hah… I was wondering the same. Markov’s been pissed last couple of games. I like him a lot more that way.

    • icemachine says:

      I think he feels he’s not getting the respect he deserves as a Veteran, plus probably pissed about how Russia exited the Olympics.

      Or maybe Putin is planning on using him as a special forces agent in the offseason as a reason to invade Quebec to protect the ethnic Russian population after the referendum :)

  21. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Burly, MRonn, Just Me, Sportfan, Krob.

    Yes of course MB’s moves look good now, but what you seem to have forgotten in all your excitement is how — unforgivably, inexplicably — he made those moves while completely ignoring all of us on HIO. If you’re going to post here you need to keep things in perspective.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Grass green over there yet Mike? Our grass is so far under the white stuff, it will be June before we see any!

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Hey Ian. Unlike in Canada, spring is is long and slow in Ireland and is my favourite season here (you’ll all be disgusted with me, but I love and miss the Canadian summer, fall and winter equally).

        Flowers start showing end of January, daffs in February and the days get noticeably longer. March is highly changeable but it’s bright by 6am. Late April the amazing cherry blossom kicks in. There’s always the threat of rain, but it generally stay mild.

        Golfer’s paradise. Tempted?

    • krob1000 says:

      I liked the moves…wasn’t sure about Diaz beacuse we needed a right handed dman who could play the pk and didn;t know much aobut Weise…but after reading about him it made mroe sense and given next year a guy like him may be moved..it adds up. He made up for Diaz with Weaver . I have for years wanted them to make a splash at deadline…I am not a believer that there is only a core group of “contenders” IMo there are 16 contenders every year. What I did not know was possible was to get all of those guys and only give up one roster player? and no 1st round picks? Pretty sweet cap management….I’ll give him that. I still worry about my usual …but I won’t get into that because he is playing very well and for this sseason is very important.
      I have not had issues with MB…MT has frustrated me at times but I also see the value in him…I still am not convinced he will be here after next season…unless he alters his approach to the younger core of the team…..unless MB forces his hand and those guys become the veterans he is forced to lean on

    • JUST ME says:

      It takes a big man to admit it ! Notice also how those who were the most critical,sometimes with no reason at all , all disapeared from HIO.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hey Ireland
      I loved all those moves.
      The only one I didn’t was the 2 year $4M to Briere.
      Every Cap dollar is precious.
      Have a look at the top teams.
      They have the talent yet rarely waste Cap space.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I hate typing this, but do you recall a post from me disputing these moves? I loved the Murray signing, I was happy we traded a dman away who was not playing for a guy who had a role to play on our team. At the time of the Weaver trade, I again said look at the tough minutes he was playing for Florida…..

      The Briere move, yup I admit I was perplexed by it and early on it looked terrible. It hasn’t yet looked great, but he does have a playoff reputation, so even that move could get reignited (hey, get that, torch, reignite! lol ).

  22. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On says:

    “I’ll take ‘Numbers’ for $500, Alex.”
    “Very well… 24.6″
    “What are the chances as of this morning that the Maple Leafs will make the playoffs?”
    *dingdingding*

  23. krob1000 says:

    - First off…team played very well in neutral zone.

    -I took my little guy to the game again (thanks Matty for easy directions again!)..streak alive…pucks from Gionta and Briere in warmup and met Youppi, got some photos, gave him a smack…all in all another great trip to Motnreal.

    -I listened to Marinaro who had Hickey on after the game as I was driving out of Montreal…they mentioned the Patches goal as the turning point….I beg to differ. Hard to argue but I still think the most important part of the game was after Mike Weaver got dangled and Price stopped the breakwaway. That save was to me the turning point…at that point I knew Buffalo was not scoring. Game was very much up for grabs until then.

    -Vanek is a very heady player, a very slow player but offensive instincts out the wazoo. He passed up some shooting opportunities as others have mentioned but he is just so aware and skilled with his stick and his passing is way underrated.

    HAbs pp is in trouble….Briere IMO has been the best guy on the pp all year in his limited chances….why not have him on the point? or at least have him be a focal point of a pp with Markov? Running everything thorugh Subban and the points is easy to defend. The odd time when they do try to run something down low…noone has to cover DD as he will ot shoot or drive…..so it is often ineffective. The entire premise of a pp is that you should always have an option…having guys who limit their own options take away opportunities for others. I would be ok if someone just gave DD a headset telling him to shoot (in warmup he has a rocket!). The second unit is doomed with noone on the point who can play a pp…I would consider a Markov/Briere combination and have the second wave run through Subban…way too much emphasis on the blast from the point…the biggest problem with this is the lack of net presence. PP was consistently among top in league for years with Markov running the show…Briere is as good as anyone on a pp and can man the point. Sure they may give up a shorty…but they will also likely score twice as many…I’ll risk it. Briere is perhaps the best Hab there is with time and space….unfortunately his age has somewhat hampered his ability to make his own time and space…but whenever he has room he is dangerous…so get the man more pp time..please!

    • Paz says:

      Really like your posts. Great stuff.

      I would be shocked!!! to see a forward on our point for the power play.

      Therrien is not interested in that at all, in my opinion.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Jealous of your Montreal excursion, krob. Glad you and son had a great time.

      Re. the pp. You’re so right: nothing easier to plan for than a one-trick pony. I think Briere on the point is a good option, a good wrinkle to throw out there at teams who’ve been studying the tape.

      ANd how about Murray up front a la Chara? Gamekeeper turned poacher. It’s been floated here a few times. Just a big body causing mayhem, tying up D men, and screening the goalie.

      What’s to stop us presenting different looks on the pp instead of putting all the eggs into one basket?

      • krob1000 says:

        always fun…we have had the best of luck… my little guy is still small cute so the palers gravitate to him at the glass. Every gamea few of them smack the glass,smile at him and so far every game one of them flips him a puck.in warmup..I tell him to enjoy it now because once he is older it will be another little guy getting the attention! We sit in nose bleed seats for the game but for us the warmup is almost as good as the game! You really get to appreciate how hard they shoot and their skill in the warmup.

    • Mike Boone says:

      I’m with you on the PP remedy. PK units pressure the puck at the points and the Canadiens have no answers for it.
      Also agree that Vanek is a helluva player.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Pleks said as much in an interview between periods 2 months back. He said they had to come up with a solution down low. I guess they’re still working on it. :)

        • krob1000 says:

          Hard to do it when MT insists on running his regular lines out as his pp units. Special teams are huge in todays game and taking advantage of those opportunities is the difference….that is one habit he has to consider breaking. MT is great for the defensvie side of the game but Gallant needs a little more to work with on the PP…he gets a revolving pp becuase the pp is made up of revolving lines 1 and 2.

      • krob1000 says:

        It is hard to suck the life out of the Bell Centre but the pp almost did it last night….
        between the predicatbiliy …and the odd powerplay break out (which I always thought the point was to atack with speed and timing) Habs pp is in trouble. Subban carries the puck down the ice with speed…all of the forwards skate with him…..looks like an easy entry..then instead PK 90 percent of the time passes back tot eh other trailing D markov…who then rims it around now that the Habs are stationary at the blueline? Giving up a 100 percent possession puck and speed in unison for a 50/50 puck on a rim around? odd stuff…..did they not at least have Kirk Muller leave his notebook before he left? some sort of competition clause?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Glad you got there and had fun, Krobbo!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • krob1000 says:

        Thanks again Matty….that Metro is so perfect. I even got to the Bell centre..forgot my tickets in the car grabbing all of my little guys stuff…got back to the car and back with the tickets in about 15-20 minutes…too convenient. If I had walked from a few blocks away and forgotten them it would have taken me as long to get back….this just meant an extra couple trips on the Metro…for my son that is like an amusement park ride. Not sure who else on here has kids but we Always go to the arcade at Crescent st and St Catherines before the games…10 or 20 bucks kills an hour and we don;t have any arcades like that anymore….kids love them. I would recommend it to anyong bringing kids to the game….seems silly to us who grew up with arcades….but kids today don’t even know waht one is..and when they find out they love it!

  24. Butterface says:

    I thought Bernier’s play last night was just okay.

    But I digress……

    Last night I think I saw Tinordi hit someone.

    Weaver needed to take the body and not try for the puck on that gaff.

    Tinordi got a lot of minutes. Hopefully due to a tired club from last night….and the Bull was a good candidate for a rest.

    Still hoping Tinordi stays sitting. Can’t get Gorges back soon enough. Have not seen any Tinordi/Markov pairing… wonder if that will help his game……can’t hurt. (Tinordi has played both sides)

    Check out the defensive pairing stats per 50 minutes of hockey. Hey MT and MB…. I ask again why isn’t Beaulieu playing on the big club ???

    Boullion/Emelin pairing is ugly.

    http://www.cs.unb.ca/~mwf/habs/plusminus.html

    I was happy to hear the prognosis for the 4th line injuries.

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

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    I mentioned it yesterday, but it bears repeating. All the little tweeks to the lineup that MB did over the course of the past season seem to have been small moves with some dramatic effects.

    Bringing in the Oversized Dman Murray to provide grit, leadership and an able body has probably done more than many of us realize. The small trade of Diaz for a 4th liner who brought exactly what the team needed. The small trade of a 5th round pick for a dman everyone thought was small and played on a terrible team.

    3 Key moves which have provided depth. We presently are without Gorges, Prust, Moen, Weise. Imagine if our GM hadn’t picked up these players…..

    We still are icing 4 lines of NHL forwards, and while the defence still has it’s qwerks, they are 6 NHL dmen.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Exactly
      NHL depth…and while GMMB gets all the credit, maybe a little shout-out to the whole management-scouting team.
      There are no bad contracts there, and all are playing way above their pay scale.

      Murray: $1.5M. Last year, he cost Pittsburgh Two 2nd round drafts picks. The Habs signed him as a UFA and cost no assets
      Wever: $1.1M
      Weisse: $750K and will be a cheap RFA re-sign.

    • JUST ME says:

      I think Bergevin knows his stuff and his needs. Coming from the western division he has a different vision than the one we were used to. So although we appreciate his moves Murray,Weise,Weaver , we have to admit that we though he was a lunatic for hiring them. We stand corrected i think…

      • Sportfan says:

        And that is exactly what makes it awesome we were blown away by the moves and didn’t get why we would make them, but now we are thankful he did it. Things like that will keep his job and with a smart owner/president like Molson and the great staff surrounding MB makes me really happy with the way things are going.

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

    • Sportfan says:

      Its like when we added Moore on the team during the 2010 run, he had a great impact. I agree with you about all three they were small moves that have been a positive impact on this team. It was sad to see Weise go down with an injury and I’m looking forward to seeing him in the playoffs. Murray and Weaver have been great moves to which of course the advanced stats guys can’t understand and see the impact they have.

      I’m looking forward to the playoffs when we have Gorges, Prust, Weise and yes even Moen back.

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

    • krob1000 says:

      Agree…the idea that Montreal’s fourth line despite all of those injuries was Eller-White and Borunival? insane…they IMO were one of the best lines on the ice as well….tons of offensive zone time, plenty of chances and tons of energy. They only played 10 minutes but they must have spent 8 of those in Buffalo’s end.

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    Therrian has the team playing for each other now. Not fire wagon end to end stuff, just team work in both ends. Players are backing up and covering for each other and it is becoming infectious.

    On the road or at home we play the same game and we are hard to play against. from the red line back to Price we keep the opposition mainly to the outside and we clog up the middle blocking many shots. To say nothing of the best penalty kill in the league.

    Our break outs have speed and we gain their blue line with the drop pass play or dump in play, keeping the oppositions defense off balance. We are controlling the play a lot better in their end and eating up the clock until we get into the 3rd.

    Frustrating to play against as well as for the fans to watch, knowing most games the other team are only 1 shot away from a tie or a win.

    Can this strategy work in the play offs without a dynamite power play that we had about 3 years ago. What happened to that power play system anyway.? Where did it go.?

    Now we are off to Detroit where it will be another play off game. Can we pull off the same style of play against that hungry desperate team?
    And while we are talking about Detroit, What has happened to one of my kids that had spent a lot of time each day staying at my home when playing here in junior.? Dan Cleary?

    • Phil C says:

      I’ve never liked DD on the powerplay. I think it is because he is not enough of a threat to shoot, so defenders can cheat for the pass. I think if they switched DD for Briere on the first wave, the PP would get a lift.

      It is also helping that they seem to have a few down low moves, especially with Vanek who is a real threat to score in traffic. This has been opening up the point shot a little more, so I’m hoping the PP will be trending up again for the playoffs.

      • krob1000 says:

        Agree completely….DD makes it 4 on 4 with an inbounder basically. In the warmup his shot wwas as hard as anyone…I was shocked…he has a laser…not sure why he doesn’t shoot more. Briere is the best pp guy the HAbs have IMO after Markov. Subban should be but the obsessive focus on teeing him for the one timer is also limiting and predictable. They need better down low play to make PK effective…if everything is running from the top or trying to free up that high slot pass…then it is easy to defend only one half of a pp.

        • Phil C says:

          They should have him shoot coming off the half-boards, if for nothing to make the D have to cover it. It kills me to watch it sometimes because the shooting lane is wide open and he is trying to force a pass.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I thought the same thing last night watching DD on the half boards, zero threat to score. I am not sure I would take him off 1st wave, but your point is valid.

    • JUST ME says:

      I did notice that team spirit getting stronger too. We can also see players that seem to be peaking at the right time, Gionta, Markov, Briere and others that hopefully will like Emelin ,Bourque ,Cube…

      Another big game tomorrow for the Habs and they must play their game cause if they try to copy Detroit whatever we say about them being injured and getting old, they have what it takes to get the big wins when needed and our guys will be left in the dust…

  27. Sportfan says:

    Not hockey related, Montreal related haha

    Let me set the scene for you, the metro is late, with the next one to come in less than three minutes. The lines are massive and when it finally comes we all manage to squeeze in, the metro doesn’t leave and another orange line train shows up. There is no room what so ever and one person manages to get in. I’m literally up against the door and someone else tries to push me forward to get it. At this rate I’m really pissed and I back up slightly, which forces that person out the metro and the doors close.

    Moral of the story when a train is that packed and another one will be there in less than 3 minutes, have patience. Also don’t push a 6’4 guy who is getting claustrophobic.

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

  28. Ozmodiar says:

    I don’t like the Max – DD – TV line.

    On the PP, I think it’s fine. 5 on 5, not so much.

    I know, I know … sacrilege!! The team is winning, and the line is picking up the occasion point, so how can I possibly *not* like it, right??

    IMO, the line’s got no grit whatsoever. I see very little sustained offensive zone pressure as a result. Also, I don’t think TV is comfortable on the right side. Max has been playing a bit on the right, but I don’t think he’s comfortable there either.

    I think the line looked better with Gally. He’s got more of what Max and DD need. A little crash & bang to get DD the puck so he can feed Max. Max hasn’t looked good since the trade deadline.

    I’d rather see Max – DD – Gally reunited, and TV moved to Pleks and Chucky’s line. I think the latter would benefit from having a real finisher to pass to.

    I don’t blame MT for keeping the line together while they’re winning… still, wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of juggling to get a bit more out of those two LW’s 5 on 5.

    • Mike Boone says:

      You have a point.
      Gallagher hasn’t been Gallagher since moving to the Plekanec line. He’s not the finisher Pleks and Galchenyuk need.
      There won’t be any juggling while the W streak continues, but four games on the road may change the picture.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • Paz says:

        Plekanec has not been Plekanec for the last 25 games.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Go away, he has been solid.. Lacks a lil scoring..

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Paz says:

          I’m looking for a goal around every 4 games, on average, from a 20 goal scorer like Plekanec. Those are his career numbers.

          He has 2 goals in his last 25 games.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            … and if you include the Ottawa game just before that stretch, where he scored 2, that doubles his productivity.

            Ya see what cherry picking stats can do?

            Is he scoring at a pace of one goal per 12 games or one goal per 6 games?

          • Paz says:

            Not really. Because even if you back into January his scoring was in decline.

            He had a great first month which pushed his numbers higher.

            It looked like a 60 point season was well within his reach.

            Now he’s fallen back to a pace that will see him barely cross the 40 point mark.

            That’s not a good offensive season for Plekanec. Not at all.

            And he would be the first to admit it.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        I thought (sacrilege!) that Gally was starting to slow down while still on the DD/Pac line.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Plekanec is our best player by far after Price!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If there is one thing you can count on with our Habs it’s juggling!

      See your point, but also think the PDV line is starting to get some chemistry knowing where each other on the ice likes to go etc….

    • Paz says:

      As soon as Vanek starts shooting this line will take off. At least twice last night Vanek moved into a prime shooting area and then decided to pass. Wrong decisions each time.
      The chemistry is good, the chances are there.
      Vanek and Max need to shoot. Period.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        > Vanek and Max need to shoot.

        Why do you think Vanek likes playing on his off-wing? ;)

        • Paz says:

          Coming out of our zone he is a right winger. That’s the adjustment. But once he hits the neutral zone and offensive zone he has moved over to the left side, and Max has moved to the right.

          It’s the best line we can put together offensively.

          It should not be changed.

          And Vanek should never be playing with Plekanec because I don’t want Vanek worrying about difficult defensive assignments in the playoffs.

    • Cal says:

      I am liking that line fine. Both Vanek and Patches are streaky scorers. As long as one is “hot”, they’ll be fine.
      Gallagher can do the job on any line, but right now Pleks is adapting (again) to fairly new and raw linemates. They’re doing ok, but can be better.

    • Phil C says:

      You may have a point about Vanek on the top line, but a good second order effect has been Gionta getting bumped to the third line, resulting in Bourque-Briere-Gionta. They have been a really good secondary scoring threat.

  29. Rossy says:

    If it comes to pass that the Leafs don’t make the playoffs, will HNIC still be on the air?

  30. Chris says:

    I think the Sabres are much closer to contention than Boone does. Matt Hackett showed Montreal fans why the Sabres deemed Ryan Miller expendable. I watched Hackett a lot in the OHL, where he was perhaps the best goaltender in the league. He’s performed well in the AHL as first the Wild and now the Sabres have taken their time letting him develop.

    Hackett has NHL size (6’2″) and he’s athletic. He can also lean on his uncle Jeff, a former NHL goaltender for the Habs, for advice. I think he’s going to be a good one.

    Throw in the bevy of prospects the Sabres have already accumulated and what is shaping up to be an outstanding draft for them this summer (assured of a top-3 pick, they should land one of Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett or Aaron Ekblad), and they are off. They also have the 2nd round picks of Minnesota and Winnipeg this summer.

    And it gets very interesting next year, when there a pair of superstar level players (Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel) up for grabs.

    • JF says:

      Boone and others keep referring to the Sabres as the worst team in the NHL, and the numbers bear this contention out. But I think they’re better than the Oilers in a lot of ways. They’re much better coached and they play with a better structure. Though they do not win many games, they manage to keep most of them close. I don’t know how long it’ll be before they’re a good team, but I’m betting it’ll be a lot sooner than the Oilers.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Is it within NHL rules to purchase a draft pick? Like trade a 20th overall plus 10 million for the 1st overall?

      If so, that’s what Molso. Should be doing!

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • JUST ME says:

      Recent history tells us that any plan in Buffalo is subject to changes as the wind blows. It will take quite a few years to have a solid team and probably not under the actual management. I see a Oilers scenario building up here. I have no doubt that they will make the necessary adjustments as time goes by and probably better than the Oilers did but still they are going for the kids/prospects/AHL kind of team .
      I am far from being pessimistic because they have proven that they draft well and generally know their needs but building a team from scratch takes a lot of time ,trials and errors and a good mix of youth and veterans.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Sabres ‘may’ be about 3-5 years away and a lot of stars and planets would have to lign up for that to happen.

      Draft picks – not much guaranteed as a potential Top 6-Top 4 outside of the first 5 picks.
      Of course it happens, but a lot of duds are also a possibility later in the draft

      What that team will need is good veteran leadership or they may have an Edmonton situation on their hands – young millionaires that rule with little to no accountability.

      That task may be difficult as top tier UFAs will not go there and many good players have them as part of the teams listed in NTCs of where they will not accept a trade to.

      The biggest catch they could ever make is somehow coaxing Rochester native Ryan Callahan to sign long term….but something tells me that the beautiful region of western Florida and Tampa might end up being his landing spot.

      • Chris says:

        If they get #1 overall, they are absolutely taking Reinhart…their defensive prospect pool is perhaps the best in hockey. Ristalainen and McCabe are definitely keepers. Zadorov looks like more of a project, but the ceiling is high.

        Throw in one of Eichel or McDavid next year, and they’re off. Grigorenko, Girgensons, Hodgson, Kassian, Compfer and Armia give them a great complement to the skill fowards they are going to draft over the next couple of years…there is a good mixture of size, grit and skill there.

        That is the big difference between the Oilers and the Sabres. The Sabres have actually been drafting kids who have sandpaper in their game, while the Oilers have been going after top-line skill players with every pick.

        I still think the Oilers will work it out, but they will need to trade at least one of Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Gagner or Yakupov to pick up a player with perhaps less skill but who complements their top players better.

  31. Ian Cobb says:

    NEWS! Leafs Board of directors meeting.
    Leafs are moving their franchise into the AHL next year!.
    Their fans will still come out and fill the rink. As they know not what they see .!

  32. Mr_MacDougall says:

    As requested here is video of the end of game scrum… Notice the smirk on Price after it’s broken up!

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-UQJriO6qco

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  33. Lafleurguy says:

    Price and Budaj could have taken the current version of the Leafs to the playoffs. I’m appreciative bordering on grateful. And the team also engineered a NHL shutout for young Tokarski, a tremendous boost to that young man’s career.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Agree! Great goaltending masks a lot of defensive weaknesses for sure.

    • Cal says:

      Habs are not as bad as some here think. If the Habs can hold off on getting injured, their chances this coming playoffs aren’t that bad.

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      LafleurGuy …….You know people can be very blind when it comes to their favorite teams in sports. I personally think anyone that dismisses Bernier as a problem goal tender is blind to the obvious…….he is as good as any goaltender in the NHL…he must average 35 shots against him oer game and often in the 40’s….do you ever watch TO play…they give up glorious chances each and every game. You definitely belong in the blind camp

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Respectfully disagree. Bernier has the same stellar save% as Price, and Reimer has been better than Budaj for most of the season. Price (or anyone else) would have to have a .950 save % to improve on the Leafs’ goaltending.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Sometimes the timing of saves is far more important than the save percentage. Using only save % to rank goalies is like using Fenwik and Corgie (thanks Front) only to rank skaters.

        Price is a leader, and look at the key backup starts by Budaj this year, relative to the key starts by Reimer this year.

        If you rather have Bernier and Reimer, go for it, I will pass.

        I do think Bernier is a very good goalie, I do also think Price is a better goalie.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        @DD. I think Bernier is a very good goalie and likely to improve. There is something special beyond physical skills that set Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy and other hall-of-famers apart and above their peers. Jury is still out on whether Price has that extra item of mental toughness. He certainly is not as fiery as Roy, so he fits better with the Martin Brodeur type of psyche. Just to repeat my solo opinion, Habs current goaltending is quite a bit better than the Leafs.

  34. 24 Cups says:

    Montréal’s odds of making the playoffs now stand at 99.8%, Detroit is sitting at 60% while Toronto has fallen to 24.6%.

    Games in hand adjusted standings give Montréal a 7 point lead over Detroit and an 8 point lead over Washington. A win tomorrow against the Red Wings pretty well ends it.

  35. jimmy shaker says:

    This weaver guy is really starting to grow on me…….he’ an older version of gorges, but I think he’s a bit more versatile and takes the body better than gorges. Josh blocks more shots and may be a little bit better than weaver in that area, but it’s real close. Been pleasantly surprised and what to do when gorges gets back?

    Marky emelin
    PK/gorges
    weaver/murray/tinordi/frankie

    Shaker out!

  36. 24 Cups says:

    Could the Habs be in the hunt for this guy? Right now, it appears that Boston, Philly and Tampa lead the pack but Montreal and Edmonton could use a tall, right shooting Dman.

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=9799

  37. adamkennelly says:

    nice W- nice shut out…man is Buffalo bad – when John Scott is getting a regular shift – you know you are playing an AHL team – at best.

  38. Mr_MacDougall says:

    Okay, so,Price is even calm I’m brawls.. He grabs the Sabre, bear hugs him and throws him to the ice.. Pops up as calm as ever and taps teammates on the head..

    How can you not cheer for this guy?

    ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  39. DipsyDoodler says:

    I think the Leafs would be good with a coach who hasn’t been passed by by the modern game.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      It’s funny Dipsy and I’m sure this is over simplifying things, but his “Just OK” comments about his goalie was an indication to me that he’s a pee poor manager. The subsequent crap storm it created sure hasn’t helped much, eh?

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        They are also just about the only team in the league that have no structure whatsoever. Ottawa too to a certain extent.

        When your tactic is dress three enforcers for all games, or take runs at opponents, especially the goalie, you’re probably not a deep thinker of the game.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

  40. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all. re: End of game skirmish.

    Ennis with every bit as Bruin-like of an intent to injure slash at Markov after the horn sounded. Glad he got a misconduct and hopefully the league takes a look and visits the young mans bank account today. But don’t you love Price’s reaction?

    I admit my first reaction was “Price, don’t hurt yourself” but without hesitation he came to the defense of Markov. I think they call that leadership. Great job by Mr. Gold Medal last night.

  41. Psycho29 says:

    Good Morning all, great to be a Habs fan this morning….read these gems from a Toronto Star column:

    Doghouse
    Randy Carlyle. His decision to play Jay McClement, Troy Bodie and Nikolai against St. Louis’s top line — which scored all five goals — didn’t exactly work. By the time Carlyle adjusted, the Leafs were down 4-1 and Bodie had played four more minutes than Phil Kessel.
    You could throw Dion Phaneuf in the doghouse, too. An evening of braincramps and giveaways — the fans were on him big time — led to a minus-3, worst on the team.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      At the risk of adding to a Toronto Centric theme here, one of my good friends and a Leaf fan I respect, has finally given up on Clarkson. He is thinking the only way to get rid of him is to pay 1/3 of his salary going forward and trade him back to Jersey where he had success and an owner who would like the idea of a player where other people pay part of the salary.

      I believe the 18 wheeler is in full motion now……

      Very habby this morning that we beat a team were supposed to beat, we didn’t suffer any injuries and Price is looking good.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Your friend may be right, but that was a Nonis signing and he won’t give up on one of his guys that easy.
        NHL GMs don’t like admitting their own mistakes.

        Nonis will give Clarkson a Mulligan once Carlyle is fired on April 15th- somehow blames the 10 game suspension to start the year…..you know how it goes.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I had the fortune to watch Clarkson play frequently when he was with the Devils. I was amazed at the coin and courting that went on when he became a free agent.

        It was like watching a “plain” looking women walking into an old boys school. They all HAD to have her. Toronto won the dance and now their paying the price. Even at her (his) best, she/he was never going to be anything but plain/average.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      November 2012

      ” Sports Illustrated polled 161 NHL players asking them to name the most overrated player in the league and Phaneuf topped the list.”

      Apart from being the NHL’s top Coward and phony, the fans and Leaf darling media are finally catching on to what the players always knew.

    • RetroMikey says:

      For the first time, I am starting to smile.
      Spring is coming and I, for one, am happy see those Maple Laff faltering.
      I expected them to play better down the stretch and overtake the fragile Habs but that is not the case.
      But with Leafs playing 8 games left and they need to win 6, it will be tough.
      Anything can happen these next 8 games for them. For all we know they could go on a winning streak as the Habs are as well.
      But it’s over those Laffs IMO.
      As for the Habs, I believe the turning point in their season was the 5-4 OT win against Ottawa where they were down 4-1 with 5 minutes remaining in regulation.
      I still feel that we will lose to Tampa Bay in the first round if we play them. The Habs never fare well when playing in the Sunshine state.
      But I admit, I have been wrong.
      But it feels great to see all the Laffs fans hiding in their closets now.

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

    • Cal says:

      Carlyle is looking like a candidate for early retirement. :)
      If he chose those three to play against the Blues’ best, he deserves every shot he gets today.

  42. third generation haber says:

    Anybody need a good laugh? I’m in pain looking at this:-)

    http://capgeek.com/mapleleafs

    j.p. murray

  43. CJ says:

    Good morning folks.

    Not much to layer on top of the posts on the subject of last night’s victory.

    Nice to have reliable depth. I thought the fourth line was fresh, which helped, to varying degrees, throughout the games. I thought Tinordi played well and handled the minutes assigned to him. It was a nice bounce back following his gaffe against the Jackets. With Gorges said to be returning before the end of the regular season we have capable replacements on the back end. I think playoff match up will go a long way to determining lineup.

    Liked Bournival who is always in top gear. Eller remains a tremendous skater. I hope the postseason gives him a fresh start and he responds with improved play. Max and Vanek, along with DD, have really created an explosive unit. Our PP will need to be much better, but our 5×5 scoring is now lines lines strong.

    Lastly, sure it was the Sabres, but I loved Price shutting it down last night. If he is on form, and I believe he will be, we have arguably the best goaltender heading into the playoffs.

    Sun is out. Enjoy your day everyone! Best wishes, CJ

    • third generation haber says:

      Unfortunately, when Gorges gets back, MT will bench either Murray or Tinordi because we can’t have two big, tough d-men in the line-up for the same playoff game. Similarly, because this is Montreal, we’ll have to have a minimum of 4 under-sized forwards iced for each game.

      j.p. murray

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I would like to see Tinordi in the lineup as well but neither Murray or Tinordi can play the top pair minutes that’s needed now. Gorges injury forced Theriien to insert Frankie B there and it had a big impact on the defense.

        Not a huge lover of Gorges here either but right now he’s got to play in out top 4.

      • Cal says:

        The players around those 4 under-sized players are doing the job and sacrificing their bodies to make the Habs win. What’s not to like?

  44. Sportfan says:

    I’m starting to wonder if the Habs aren’t playing Parros, because his concussions are a lot worse than we think and that the Habs are having him travel with them and practice for show, but they just don’t want him getting to hurt, because against Toronto and Boston he would have helped in scaring off some of their thugs. Just a theory of course.

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

    • Just a Habs Fan says:

      A change of topic here….Hamilton Bulldogs will miss the playoffs again this year. I wonder why they are so poor as a team. The owner is getting mildly upset and wants changes made. Montreal should be aware of this as that can and should provide players for them. Hope they can get this figured out. It is comforting to have a good farm club to feed the parent club

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        The success of the ‘dogs is irrelevant to the Habs future. There are at most 6 prospects on the team, with by my count only one who figures to be an important player (Beaulieu) for the big club.

        —–
        Moving. Forward.

      • third generation haber says:

        The dogs are being used solely for prospect development which is good by me. The problem is that they seem to have drafted dead people some years, wasted too many picks on Markov’s injury replacements, and European picks don’t want to live in Hamilton.

        j.p. murray

    • third generation haber says:

      I feared, and posted, that someone might get hurt if we don’t ice Parros against the leafs, but it came true one game later.

      Not that he’s a good player, but when Parros is in the line-up, we don’t get run so much.

      j.p. murray

  45. Sportfan says:

    Yay we finally figure out the fourth line thing out and in less than a week its injured, ah well that’s hockey, at least we’ll have them ready for the playoffs. This allows Bournival and Eller to play a bit.

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

  46. Old Bald Bird says:

    FYI

    Game reports. Not that there’s too much to say about that one, and it’s hard to beat Boone.

    Basu’s Game Report: http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/recap?id=2013021083

    Wilde: montreal.ctvnews.ca/call-of-the-wilde-canadiens-blank-sabres-2-0-1.1746327

  47. rhino514 says:

    The win aganst the Bruins was immensely satisfying, but in restrospect, should Parros have been dressed?
    You have to figure Moen, and perhaps Weise, would still be on skates. Maybe even White would have served as a deterrent.
    The Bruinsa had little to play for so obviously they were going to get their knocks in against the team they hate so much. Luckily, we didn´t lose any top three players or a top four Dman.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Just a guess here, but maybe there was a Team-Parros agreement to shut him down since his last concussion for his own personal health and future.
      The Orr incident, then the following concussion against Eric Boulton probably sealed the deal. A last farewell in Anaheim and that was it.

      He would have been put in a bad situation to get hurt again.
      Enforcers have their own code and community.
      None would have wanted to fight him knowing what the outcome might be, yet if Parros would have forced the issue because of his job description, nothing good would have followed.

    • stnbog says:

      I live in Boston and was at the game Mon.
      Second period Markov got roughed up by Thornton.
      The next Thornton shift, Murray is all over him.
      He put his face into the ice and held him down.
      When both got up, Thornton skated back to the bench.
      He wanted nothing to do with Murray.
      After the incident, Thornton was relatively quiet.
      Even with Parros in the line-up it would not have helped.
      Losing the 4th line was huge. That toughness was lost.

  48. rhino514 says:

    I think we are getting a glimpse of the future with Eller. The kid who scored 30 points in 48 games last year and was our most dominant centre by season´s end seems destined for a fourth line role, at least on our team. They may give him some extra minutes on the wing, but he will never be productive there.
    Sad, isn´t it? The kid has talent and size, exactly what we need at centre, yet there is no room to continue developping him. Desharnais and Galchenyuk will not be moved, and Plekanec is at least 3 years away from slowing down.
    His only chance to prove himself again as a top three centre will come if there is a major injury.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      This is also Eller’s contract RFA year and he will not have any negotiation power.
      Did his season ever go downhill after a streaky start.

      First 20 Games:
      7 goals 6 assists 13 points Plus + 3
      Next 52 games:
      4 goals 6 assists 10 points Minus – 19

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Professional sports players often have a dud season, can’t give up on a young player based on one season.. One step back and hopefully 2-3 steps forward next season. I still think his ceiling is below a top line player.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  49. Cal says:

    It’s hard fought wins like last night that keeps this edition of the Habs afloat. Here we are, nearing the end of March and the Habs rattle off 3 wins in a row, 2 against teams most around here love to hate.
    Detroit lost a “must-win” against Columbus, tightening up the final 2 playoff spots. Teams 7 through 10 have 80 points. Columbus and Detroit have the upper hand, having played 2 less games.
    Meanwhile in Hogtown, bwahahahhahahahahhahahahah!

  50. DAVE. N says:

    That Rangers/Flyers game tonight should be a war and potential prelude to the first round series. I forecast some serious runs being taken at Martin St. Louis and Henry Lundqvist., and Philly seems to be putting together some very good numbers in the last 5 games.

    Save the planet. Compost a Leaf.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Sadly, we may come to rely on those Flyers to beat the Bruins. Then we’ll cheer for San Jose or St.Louis to beat Philly.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

  51. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    The proverbial calm before the Monster Storm-aka Bomb Cyclogenesis-aka a good ole Nor’easter.
    30-40cms of snow and wind gust up to 120km today in this neck of the woods.

    Toronto morning pop quiz:
    Here are 2 sets of numbers.

    1) 23-7
    2) 22-5

    Which one represent the number of shots on goal in the FIRST period alone against the Leafs last night, and which one is the score the Blue Jays lost by yesterday.

    If you chose “1” as the number of shots on goal against the Leafs in the FIRST period alone last night, you win.
    Imagine, outshot on Home ice 23-7 when playing in desperation mode for a playoff spot?

    And yes, the Blue Jays lost 22-5.

    Don’t the Blue Jays usually win the World Series in March-April as do the Leafs win the Stanley Cup in September-October?
    It sounds like that whole gang of Toronto sports teams are stuck in Seinfeld’s Bizarro world.

  52. DipsyDoodler says:

    Hey Dunboyne.

    I’m roughly in your time zone, albeit a few thousand km to the south.

    Hard to follow the games over here. I’m on holidays and even I pack it in after the 1st period.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  53. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Joshua Ho-Sang: Windsor Spitfires; a brilliant OHL prospect

    …mother, Jewish Chilean immigrant …father, Christian Jamaican immigrant, father’s grandfather was Chinese from Hong Kong who married African Jamaican

    …the ‘stereotypes’ of Canadian hockey players are changing

    …don’t know what Mike Richards will have to say about Josh when he reaches the NHL though :)

  54. DipsyDoodler says:

    Looks like the Oilers will draft #2, and are likely to take that defence man everyone is raving about.

    You know they just might turn into a contender in a couple of years.

    One or two more top three draft picks and they’re almost there.
    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  55. jeu_de_puissance says:

    Lo and behold TSN blocked my comments calling out their network and CBC as Leaf Blowers. Go figure. No course words even, I guess landscaping equipment deserves screening?
    Nice boring game but at least the defence and goaltending is getting in a groove. We seem to have a decent amount of depth this year to be able to deal with these injuries but it’s not like we have lost stars. Will be nice when Gorges gets back out there with Weise, Prusty and Moen ready for playoffs. Eller just might be best served in a checking role duty. Might be best for his psyche and place less expectations offensively playing with better talent. He battles hard at least. Let’s hope we stay injury free the rest of the season and into the real season. GHG!
    Can’t F#*k with history!!!

  56. The Jackal says:

    Habs won yet another back to back
    MT really really really sucks.

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • habcertain says:

      If you look at the 2 wins, it took a Herculean effort by our goalie, which has been the story of the year, to take the Bruins and played a lackluster game to get by the worst club in hockey. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the wins but this isn’t the stuff that will get us too far in the playoffs. Anything we can achieve will ride on the back of Price, plenty of room for improvement on many fronts, MT included.

  57. DipsyDoodler says:

    “The whole year we’ve thought we were a playoff team, and we still believe that now. ”

    – Joffrey Lupul

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • Habcouver says:

      Laff-able!

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Lupul likes to party in Vegas with Shane O’Brien and Paul Bissonnette, so….”on second thought, one round, boys, and then let the party begin!”
      Remember when it was an interesting news item when it was reported what the winners’ share of playoff revenues was? That’s only relevant these days to the CFL. For the big leagues, it’s “of course the championship would be fanfrontdoortastic, but failing that, Vegas (and other Hedonic paradises) is fanfrontandbackdoortastic.

  58. slyCH says:

    For me it doesn’t matter who we face in the 1st round as long as we make the show and turn in a surprise cup run a la “93. That’s when the fun on this site begins.

    “Therrien brought us the coveted 25th cup in franchise history?”

    That’s enough fun to warrant coming back to the site full time just to see certain posters’ heads implode (or explode) from the shock.

    “Is Bergevin going to extend Therrien? And for how long?”

    The scenario just seems comical to endless proportions.

    “They fired Al MacNeil after winning a cup, why not Therrien?”

    Something tells me we might be in for a fun ride. But then again, so was my second wife…

  59. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …is it true Georges Laracque called-out Lucic as the real ‘chicken’ of that game ?

    …if so, cool

    …Georges’ opinion will carry much more weight to the idiot Boston knuckle-dragging fans than Yours and Mine

  60. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I missed 99% of tonight’s game, coming home only in-time to see the last seconds brou-ha-ha in Carey’s crease …and, He calf-wrestling some Sabre that was attacking Markov into submission

    …that was enough for Me to feel I saw everything worthwhile of this another win

    …damn, Our Team is giving Us Our money’s worth lately, aren’t They ?

    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    …and, last, but not least: ‘Mike Boone MARCH 25, 2014 AT 7:54 AM
    “Finding every way to stir up sh… is pretty much my job description.”

    Mike Boone
    Hockey Inside/Out blogger’

  61. Habs1962 says:

    gotta like Price grabbin a Sabre or two when Markov was outnumbered at end of game.

  62. Lafleurguy says:

    Vanek with Desharnais and Pacioretty is much more impressive than Cole was, and that line from the non-playoff year was quite impressive. If Vanek had been a free-agent last off-season, no way he’d be skating on Habs’ no. 1 line as he is doing at this juncture. A rare opportunity presented itself, and Bergevin jumped all over it, assisted mightily by absent capspace from other interested parties. Watching good GM actions is like watching good paint dry.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Ha! That “good paint” analogy is a new one for me.

      I agree. I think that line might occasionally be prone to overthinking and/or just passing too damned much, but it’s as legitimate a first line as we’ve seen in “Mourrial” for long, long time.

      Pinch yourself that we can actually say this at this stage in the season about a line centred by Wee Davey “One-Way-Ticket-To-Hamilton” Desharnais. Against all odds.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        After the first 20 games, who would have “thunk”/thought Davey would be the one with a decent season, and not Lars.

        • johnnylarue says:

          From the moment I first saw Lars play, I remember thinking “Please don’t be a Jan Bulis, please don’t be a Jan Bulis…”

          Alas… I think he might be a Jan Bulis. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but damn… So close to a home run.

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      It looks like they are having fun together.

  63. light_n_tasty says:

    Good win, and all that.

    But Vanek. Yeesh. He’s just not that good. Slow. Soft. Passes when he should shoot. Shoots when he should pass. Do Not Sign.

    • Marc10 says:

      It’s all about the playoffs at this stage. Get to the show and then go for broke. This is just the dress rehearsal.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Vanek as a rental is just dandy. Great pick-up for the role of added scoring for this season, by Bergevin. Unspectacular goals against the Avalanche, but without them, the tremendous psychological obstacle (being squashed by the good Western teams) wouldn’t have been hurdled.

    • Timo says:

      I thought he got significantly better since his first few outings. THe good thing is that DD line is still producing with him which also allows for Gallagher to be move somewhere else to hopefully spark another line to scoring.

      I think Vanek will still get better before playoffs begin.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Someone had better Jedi-Mind-Trick Bergevin before he offers Vanek some crazy contract. “This is not the game-changer you’re looking for.”

      I’m glad we’ve got Vanek for the playoffs, and I do think he changes the complexion of this team for the better, but I can’t see how any team outside of Minnesota will be able to land this guy without grossly overpaying.

    • Habs1962 says:

      he has that sytyle that looks like not much is happening… but keeps getting points!

    • HabsPooch says:

      He definitely doesn’t provide the wow factor. Maybe he elevates his game come post-season?

    • The Jackal says:

      LOLOLOL – Vanek sucks. If the Habs’ goal is to tank.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  64. the_larry says:

    According to TSN, barring a final-week miracle from the Leafs and/or Canucks, this will be the first time since 1973 only 1 Canadian team makes it into the playoffs.

    What a sad stat. Even though its the Habs making it in, Im not even proud of that stat. I love seeing 4 or 5 Canadian teams make it in and see who can go the furthest. Now with 7 Canadian teams and only 1 can make it in this year, some serious changes need to happen in these clubs!

    As a country that just won double Olympic golds, to have 6 of its 7 NHL cities not make the playoffs, is unacceptable.

    • The Jackal says:

      I get the sentiment but a team being Canadian doesn’t mean much today. There may well be “American” teams with more Canadians than “Canadian” teams. Plus, no matter which team wins the cup, you can bet that key players on that squad were Canadian.
      Many Canadian towns cheer for American teams because their local kids are on the team, etc.

      ______________________
      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  65. Timo says:

    Btw, very good news about both Weise and Moen, as both will likely be ready for playoffs.

    • Marc10 says:

      Yes. Weise has turned out to be a solid pick up. Good kid, fast wheels. We’ll need that speed against Tampa Bay (assuming that’s who we match up against…)

  66. Timo says:

    I would like to see Boston play Philly in the first round and have them beat the crap out of each other. Lots of injuries, lots of nastiness, lots of poop flinging. Would be epic.

  67. habs_54321 says:

    terrible game for phaneuf tonight

  68. Timo says:

    Where is Markov’s hand reaching on that picture?

  69. Timo says:

    Haven’t had those in a while – a stress free boring win. Good job. Habs were as expected sloppy and not gelling in the first but they picked the right opponent to to do it against.

    Solid win all around. Tiny was good.

    Nothing really much to say about tonight’s game.

    • scamorza says:

      Agreed maybe nothing special but important 2 points especially after emotional wins over bruins and laffs, but you know I was impressed by them at the end of the game this is now a team looking how they all supported each other Price at the price ( no pun intended) of getting hurt, coming in defence of markie Emelinlaughing at the end excited with the win. A reconstituted 4 th line who played well… This is a group playing for each other damn proud of them – I think they will surprise us this year

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

  70. ClutchNGrab says:

    Emelin still have a lot to learn in the NHL. This is how non-chicken hockey players plays:

    http://youtu.be/TERA-GY2K1o

    Watch an learn.

  71. naweed235 says:

    You know we are all assuming that Galchenyuk will be moved to center next season… How do we figure that’ll happen? DD, and Pleky aren’t going anywhere… Assuming that Eller will be resigned, and I’m sure he will be, and knowing how much more he sucks when he is playing wing, i don’t see any place for Gally at center. Unless you all know something I don’t…

  72. johnnylarue says:

    Just heard the bad news about the Leafs–I guess they lost again tonight.

    I feel just a tremendous amount of empathy for that hockey club right now. Such a promising start to the season and now… this?? Tragic, tragic stuff.

    To be candid with y’all, I pray that spellcheck has my back tonight ’cause I honestly can’t make out a single line of text through the torrent of tears gushing from my eye sockets…

    I’m JUST devastated!!

    But now I suppose I should get back to watching this Charlie Brown cartoon. See, I’m absolutely CERTAIN Lucy is gonna let Charlie kick the football this time! She’s said all the right things and seems very sincere indeed… And Charlie’s looking quite eager!

    Yessiree, this time is definitely gonna be different. I can feel it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=055wFyO6gag

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      My sentiments exactly, feel so bad for the Leafs and their loyal faithful fans.

    • Marc10 says:

      Ditto. My heart aches for these poor souls forced to mothball their tear-stained blue jerseys for yet another summer. The humanity!

      How did CB make out. Through the uprights, right?

    • scamorza says:

      Hahaha that was good …..cheer up there is always next year:-)

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

      • Habcouver says:

        They’ve been saying that since 1968.

        We Are (Not) All Canucks.
        Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

        • scamorza says:

          1968 or 1967 ….it’s been so long ….did Armstrong land on the moon before or after their win, was it still a 6 league team, after the Cuba missile crisis? Did we have our flag? Was Quebec still run by the RC church? Uhm really can’ t remember it’s been sooooo long
          come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

          • Marc10 says:

            Colby Armstrong is playing on the moon?! I thought he was in Sweden…

            … try the veal.

          • johnnylarue says:

            Pretty sure you could still smoke on airplanes. Possibly in hospitals, too…

          • scamorza says:

            @ JL & M10 yes Colby’s uncle I think and hospitals geez don’ even think the surgeon general came out to say smoking was bad for you! Thanks for the laugh

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

          • Habcouver says:

            Pretty sure McDonalds burgers were 25 cents and an order of fries 20 cents.

            We Are (Not) All Canucks.
            Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

          • scamorza says:

            @ habcouver and only 100 served ?

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

    • formerly known as the hc says:

      I predict Eller gets traded this off season. Him and RB

      -The beatings will conmtinue until morale improves-

  73. krob1000 says:

    Briere just being moved to the middle has mad ehim more effective why? time and space…eh needs that. Ont he PP? he is probably the teams second best shooter from 25 feet in after Patches. He is not reluctant to walk tot he net, he can pass ….it is really a no brainer to me. Like I have said all along if Briere were on that 1st pp unit …he would be have 15 more points. …and pp would be better. I thought that was what he was brought in for…to replace Ryder’s pp production. It has to be getting more clear to people …Briere is dangerous with time and space.

  74. Ian Cobb says:

    I agree KROB, Briere is more comfortable at center, but I think 3rd line center might be best.!

  75. krob1000 says:

    At even strength for sure…but he shoudl be the first line pp center or on the point. At even strength he has lost a step and is easily knocked off the puck…he knows that…but with time/space/….;.he is best HAbs have currently IMO


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