About last night …

CelebrateDet

This was unprecedented.
For the first time in his young career, P.K. Subban – who has never met a camera, microphone or notebook he didn’t like – declined to meet the media after the Canadiens’ wild 5-4 win in Detroit.
There would have been much to discuss.
P.K. was on the ice for seven goals – including all four scored by Detroit.

After a brilliant first period in which he rang up his 41st and 42nd assists of the season on goals by Tomas Plekanec, P.K. suffered a few lapses in concentration over the final 40 minutes of the game.

There was, of course, a huge mitigating factor pointed out by several learned members of the HIO Commentariat: P.K. is paired with Francis Bouillon, who would not be a Top Four – and maybe not a Top Six – defenceman on any other team headed for the playoffs … which your Montreal Canadiens are, after raising their point total to 91 with that wacky win in Detroit.

Subban had an off-night. It happens – and it does not alter the indisputable fact that P,.K. Subban is the most talented defenceman on the Montreal Canadiens.

On this particular night, he and Frankie Boo were overshadowed by Andrei Markov – brilliant, practically flawless – and Alexei Emelin.

That will happen. Let’s hope Markov and his Russian partner, who did not play in that first-round loss to Ottawa last spring, continue their excellence into the postseason.

I’m betting that P.K. broke his vow of silence on the Canadiens’ flight to Florida. It should be a raucous ride because the team, despite nervous moments at the Joe, is on  a roll: four wins in a row and seven of their last eight, starting with that crazy comeback against Ottawa at the Bell Centre.

We can wring our hands about defensive errors in a game that should have been done and dusted when the Canadiens made it 3-1 and then 5-3. But there was a lot to like in their game – notably the continued fine play by all four lines.

Michel Therrien finally has some stability among his forward corps. I love the newly-minted fourth line – Lars Eller playing within himself, Ryan White crashing and banging, Michäel Bournival using his speed on the forecheck.

Therrien has the luxury of rolling four lines, which – if the trend continues – will have the Canadiens rested and in rhythm heading into the playoffs.

What’s good for the coach, however, is a challenge for his general manager. Marc Bergevin has some important dossiers to deal with, including:

Thomas Vanek. A goal and two assists. Six shots on goal and, significantly, three hits – including the one that blasted the not-easily-blastable Niklas Kronwall off the puck, which Vanek fed to David Desharnais for the Canadiens’ third goal.

This guy is a stud. Vanek is 30 years old and will be looking for a contract in the range of $50 million for seven seasons. His wife is from Minnesota, that’s where Vanek played his college hockey, and you have to think the Wild have an inside track on signing him.

But I repeat: This guy is a stud. With Max Pacioretty and DD, vanek is giving the Canadiens the best Number One line they’ve had in a while. And after Buffalo and the Islanders, Vanek is on a team that’s fun to play for.

Brian Gionta. If he’d sign for two years at a reasonable number, I’d bring the Captain back. Gionta never takes a night off, and his work ethic is an inspiration to young players.

He’s part of a penalty-kill rotation that is one of the Canadiens’ strengths. And Gionta has settled into playing quality third-line minutes with fellow veterans Daniel Brière and Rene Bourque.

The only downside to re-signing Gionta, if it doesn’t break the bank?

It means the Canadiens’ C won’t be sewn on the sweater of the player who deserves it: Tomas Plekanec.

I know they didn’t do it for Saku Koivu. But here’s a radical suggestion to fuel a few Friday tavern arguments:

If Tomas Plekanec plays his whole career in Montreal, his number 14 should be raised to the rafters.

His two goals in Detroit lifted Pleks to the 20-goal plateau for the sixth time in his career. And this has been accomplished with a long list of linemates that ranges from the sublime (Alex Kovalev) to the ridiculous (Travis Moen).

Like Gionta, Plekanec gives the Canadiens 100 per cent every time he steps on the ice. And he steps on it first at every team practice, providing  the kids with a shining example of what it means to be a professional hockey player.

I hope Pleks’s current linemates, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, are paying attention. They may not play with Plekanec forever, but the youngsters will be better for the experience.

On to the sunshine state.

603 Comments

  1. Starlight says:

    Totally unrelated to hockey.

    As I am shoveling I feel something.
    I look up and 3 deer are staring at me like “Can you believe it’s snowing again!”

  2. Maritime Ronn says:

    For some that complain that the Habs don’t ever get breaks from the refs/linesmen, a clear picture of Habs Offside on the important Pacioretty goal that made the score 4-3.

    http://www.danslescoulisses.com/fr/hier-aujourdhui-chez-canadien-marc-bergevin-savait-thomas-vanek-allait-inscrire-but-gagnant-prolongation/#!prettyPhoto/1/

    ” A player is on-side when either of his skates are in contact with, or on his own side of the line, at the instant the puck completely crosses the leadingedge of the blueline.”

    When a team is attacking the zone, the puck must COMPLETELY cross the inside edge of the blue line prior to the skates of any attacking players.

  3. ABHabsfan says:

    It is always entertaining to come on this site mornings after games, and read the “learned” goaltending opinions of people who think that Price should have stopped the shots from Franzen or Sheahan. Folks those are perfect shots. You have to guess right to save those. Price didn’t have a strong game last night? Are yo kidding me?
    Until you understand what it takes to stand in front of big-time shots and how fast they come, perhaps keep your opinions to line combinations.

    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • Cal says:

      Price didn’t bring his best game. In fact, he had a poor game by the standards he set this season. The good news? Despite this, the Habs still won.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Price may not have stood on his head but the habs defensive zone coverage was the reason for the goals….

        it was ugly. 2 points the habs will take though!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          The only thing he could have done was come out of his net more to challenge the shooters, thus take away more of the top corners. Huge breakdowns led to those excellent scoring opportunities.

          I don’t expect Price to make those saves, rather hope he can, and more importantly hope we have less breakdowns in future games.

  4. crane says:

    Should be giving Pateryn a shot with the season he’s having.

    • Maksimir says:

      I’ve been saying that too… don’t know what the bias against him is. Or why Beaulieu who played solid before the break is being kept in Hamilton.

      Mind you… how do you rotate 3 rookies into your D? Points & games are tight now and it would be better to get them going next season.

      Not like veterans don’t make dumbass mistakes (see last night), however they should be more reliable come the playoffs.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I am actually shocked that they haven’t too be honest. He is a RH shot and is much better in his own end and on the first pass than Tinordi. I think Tinordi will be great in the NHL as a shutdown guy but with his current development I would have though Pateryn would have been up as he is very mature and should be able to make the NHL.

      Again, this is coming from a fan though that has only seen about 10 AHL games this year

  5. GenerationYHabs says:

    Is it just on my end or has TSN been blocking all the comment sections from any articles involving the habs lately?

    • Maksimir says:

      I noticed that too… however the comments are usually pretty mindless and just turn into crass trolling by Leaf & Bruins fans… and vice versa.

      • Mavid says:

        They mod the comments..many of mine have never got through and there was nothing wrong with them..you would think they would just weed those out. It is TSN and I found that there was too many silly ones on there..and yet decent ones like my own did not get posted..so I gave up and stopped reading and posting.

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • JUST ME says:

      They have been «delaying« comments to the day after and i think that this started with the Leafs post game reactions that are…typical to say the least. Tsn has been doing an awful job keeping up with the scores around the league also and for up to the minute results NHL.com is the place to visit.

    • Mine have been modded as often as not. They’re out to get us, I say!!!

      Defense wins championships

      “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” St. Thomas Aquinas

  6. nova scotia vees says:

    First let me say thank-you for this site. The only source of Habs info here in the Maritimes. All the “National” networks are Leaf blowers.
    But gotta take exception to the P.K blame. No wonder Detroit scored 4 goals. Apparently the Habs only had P.K and Boo on the ice. No forwards? No goalie? All on P.K, right. MT needs to put more players on the ice!
    .

  7. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Had someone drop in when it was 3-1 and missed the last period. Sounds like it was a bit wild.
    Wife from Minnesota and played his college hockey there? This is what is offered as unassailable logic for Vanek to sign there? I guess I don’t see quite it. Money talks and B.S. walks and all that. Perhaps he wants to drink from Lord Stanley’s mug and Montreal will be closer than Minnesota as far as accomplishing that feat goes. And maybe we’ll be in a better position to pay him what he wants. Go Habs!

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

    • Strummer says:

      Money talks eh Thomas?
      You should ask ex-Edmontonian Mrs. Pronger and Ex-Tampa resident Mrs. St. Louis about that.
      Also ask Janet Gretzky about whether her hometown St. Louis was Wayne’s first choice to continue his career.

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

    • New says:

      I think Vanek’s agent has said they are determined to go to UFA. I’d take that for what it means, they want to see what he is worth. Everything else is opinion from people not connected to the issue.

  8. Maksimir says:

    Renaud Lavoie ‏@renlavoietva 2m
    Tomas Plekanec is back in Montreal for personal reasons. #canadiens #tvasports

    Hope everything is okay with his family.

  9. shiram says:

    Bob McKenzieVerified account ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie

    NYI owner Charles Wang in talks to sell majority stake in NHL franchise. Nothing done yet, no telling if it gets done, but talks underway.

  10. Ian Cobb says:

    Fantastic news!
    Mr. Bozon, rest up and enjoy your time away from the game, for a while! We will be waiting for you in Montreal in a few years! God speed!

  11. Mattyleg says:

    It was one game, folks.
    Bouillon is doing alright.
    He’s the weakest defenceman we have out there, so he’s paired with one of our best. Makes sense.

    I don’t think we should bring up Beaulieu, because we already have Markov, PK, and (to a certain extent) Emelin as offensive d-men.
    Who would you pair Beaulieu with?
    PK?
    No way.

    PK needs either another genius (Markov) or a stay-at-home type (Gorges) to make up for his defensive lacunae and rushing.

    Beaulieu and Murray?
    No thanks.
    Beaulieu and Weaver…? Perhaps…

    I think we stick it out with the Murray-Cube rotation.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Timo says:

      Well, even though PK was a minus 4 last night, I’d say that only 2 goals were on him. On the Franzen goal, Franzen was a responsibility of the forward (Pleks or Gallagher) and on the Tatar’s goal Bouillon “passed” the pack to Subban who was already tied up along the boards.

      Price could have had both of those shots, along with the shot that beat him as a result of Subban putting the puck on the wings player stick down the middle.

      Not excusing Subban, but Price had a pretty weak game last night too. And, of course, no mention of how much Bouillon sucked on pretty much every shift.

      • dhenry1234 says:

        Bouillon better learn from that mistake. He made the exact same shitty play against the Loser Leafs and that also led to a goal.

        • Habitforming says:

          Somehow at age 35 I think we can assign the cliche to Boo Boo “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”

          If he hasn’t learned it at this point of his career, he never will.

    • shiram says:

      Beaulieu will most likely joint the Habs once the AHL regular season is over, and be part of the Black Aces.

  12. Congrats to Team Canada says:

    Compared to the East only 6 teams don’t make the playoffs in the West, and 4 of them will be Canadian.

    Meanwhile, in the East, the Leafs need to win every game to have a chance at joining Montreal as the only Canadian post season team.

  13. Media is getting on board! Price for Vezina!!

    http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/will-rask-bask-in-vezina-glory-or-will-price-be-right/

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      (Rask-Bishop) then Varlamov then Price.

    • Jim Edson says:

      Price should also be under consideration for the Hart as well!

      He’s the MVP 99% of the nights he plays!

      ———————————————————————-
      What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

      In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

      They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

      ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  14. JUST ME says:

    Never too high…

    Things never change around here…and that`s why i guess we come back cause we can expect the expected. This morning it`s the number 14 to the rafters bandwagon, a few days ago it was the give Weaver a multi year deal… Hopefully we won`t go the fire P.K. or Carey alley…
    What a strange 10 minutes yesterday in the 3rd period ! It`s like when the wheel is wobbling and you know something bad is happening but cannot do much about it ! Thankfully Howard and the D-squad were not that good ..Actually it was not a goalies night. It was for Carey up to that dreaded 3 rd period…

    Can`t blame P.K. for not talking to the medias yesterday. No need to rub it in when you can predict that this is what to be expected…The good thing is that they won that game ! Actually they found many ways to win their last games. 7 out of 8 ain`t bad !

    Vanek.D.D. and Max Pac really seem to enjoy playing together and it looks like the team is getting to a new level just at the right time.

    • New says:

      Every now and then, in every profession, it begins to fall apart when you least expect it and before you can stop yourself you panic. At that point your colleagues step up, save the day, and you all have a beer and say “Whew” afterwards.

      PK went to panic stations last night and Bou couldn’t help him. Finally you just saw him frozen, floating, not knowing what to do. Now if it had been Markov as his partner perhaps the situation would have been different. What if’s don’t count. Only what is.

      Babcock tried to tell the media before the game what TC saw. He actually tried to help, very decent of him. No one listened of course, just picking the slant they wanted. So he showed the media, purposely or by chance, why PK was a political add to TC. The media votes the Norris, not hockey people.

      The absolute best sign is that PK was not available to rationalize the plays to the media. That means PK isn’t up to making excuses or listening to them. Consequently this might be the worst game PK will ever play. Why? Because he melted down and learned from it. If one of the most talented players to come along in years can learn from his mistakes the League better look out.

      When you’re as talented as PK everybody tries to tell you what to do. After a time you smile, nod, and ignore them. You need a significant event to wake you from that slumber. PK got his and he owes Mike Babcock big time.

  15. Starlight says:

    Vanek for Premier.
    :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz:

  16. Mattyleg says:

    Morning All!

    Missed the game last night, but watched the highlights, and it looked like a wild and wooly one.

    If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it more than once:

    We have two choices on the Habs: Play defensively, or play offensively.

    Ne’er the twain shall meet.

    So, what do we prefer, 1-0 or 6-5?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. CJ says:

    Good morning folks.

    Boy the Canadiens could have used Ray Bourque last night. Just saying. Kidding aside, we got the two points.

    What we saw in PK last night is pretty much what Sens fans get with Karlsson every night. There is often no good or bad. It is the extremes – excellent and/or terrible.

    I have made a conciensious effort to significantly reduce my imprint on this site as it has become increasing apparent that my comments are going against the grain. Truth is, I was getting sick of listening to myself. Seriously, how do you argue a point on player personnel when the team keeps winning?

    Yes, I continue to see major flaws on defence, but I defer to those more seasoned than myself regarding Frankie. The good news is that both Marky and Emelin are really playing much better hockey and that will help to reduce the stress and strain on PK. As Ronn noted earlier, you need to provide PK a legit partner. I made the same point three weeks ago. I wish it was Beaulieu, and cling to hope knowing that the Bruins did not graduate Krug until the last game of the regular season (they lost to the Sens 5-2). Gorges will really help the team and PK specifically.

    Again, tough to argue following a win, so I will leave it there. I look forward to continuing the shift in focus and will be keeping an eye on our prospects.

    Have a great day everyone! Cheers, CJ

    • habitual says:

      Your point about Karlsson cooled me down a bit over PK’s pee poor defensive play of late. But Beaulieu, who should be playing, would not be a good partner for him. Beaulieu is offensive minded too.

      • CJ says:

        Good point.

        Very small sample size but I really liked Beaulieu and PK when they were together against the Leafs. Anyway, perhaps next season. Cheers, CJ

    • JUST ME says:

      I am torn between two ways of seeing things defensively for the Habs. I know we need help and that Bouillon was not hired to play every night, Murray also should have some rest against fast teams,Gorges is injured and i think that Beaulieu will be in the cards for a long time and would help us right now to get the puck out of the zone faster.

      But i also am from what i hope will be a new school of thought with the Bergevin management wich implies that guys like Beaulieu and Tinordi stay in the school team at least 3 years . That way we will get players like Detroit has that always have us going « where did he come from ?»

      Right now though we do not have much choice and must deal with the ups and downs that the situation brings. One must not forget though that yesterday, hadn`t it been for that awfull 10 minutes in the 3rd, we would not be scratching our heads and crossing our fingers…

      • CJ says:

        Better to be overripe than under ripe. I get that we are bringing our prospects along slowly. I defer to the decision makers, who know much more about the game than I do.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Gorges is going to be that partner for PK this playoffs. In due course it may be Tinordi, it may be Beaulieu.

      Playoff Pairings:
      PK/Gorges
      Markov/Emelin
      Tinordi/Weaver with Murray and Frankie as alternates to Tiny.

    • Marek says:

      CJ your posts are always well thought out and a nice read. It is refreshing to read them when many on here are always angry and negative (not everyone but its alaways the same few), it sure does get tiresome. With the team winning, it’s hard to be upset, even with some of the poor games a few guys have had.

    • HabsPooch says:

      Good morning CJ,
      Your posts however many or however few are always informative, interesting and well thought out. We tend to agree on the same issues and there’s no shame in bringing them up from time to time.
      In the end, if our team is winning, that’s all that matters.
      Keep on posting plenty! You’re a top line player on these boards!
      Cheers,
      HabsPooch

  18. AceTen says:

    People seem to forget how fortunate we are to have a player of PK’s calibre. Especially considering we picked him up in the 2nd round. Yes he does make mistakes, every Dman in the NHL does.

    However, I really do feel for the guy and don’t blame him for not talking to the media. All season he has faced nothing but scrutiny whether it be from the media, fans, coaches etc. There’s always something to complain about when it comes to PK. His cap hit for the past two seasons has been a measly 2.8 mil. I’d say that’s a bargain for a Norris trophy winner and a guy who’s currently 3rd in Dman scoring.

  19. mjames says:

    Yes I know PK made some questionable passes resulting in turnovers but I would have been nice if Price got off his knees just once and stopped one of the shots. For every Detroit goal I think he was on his knees watching the puck go over his shoulder. The point is it is not just one guy’s fault. Do not put the blame on PK for all four Detroit goals. The forwards and the goalie also had a role on some of the goals.

    mjames

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    A COACHING NIGHTMARE!
    FANTASTIC PLAYER THAT HAS TO HAVE THE RIGHT PARTNER!

    It took two years to find a defense man that could play with Subban in Junior. PK cannot change his style of play, if he is to continue leading our back end. It is up to the coach and GM to find the correct partner to accommodate his game.!

    George Burnett, his Junior coach here for 5 years finally figured it out and PK played with a great defense man the rest of the way to lead his team here to the elite level in the OHL.

    In a sit down with his junior coach, George explained how PK would either win the game for the team or lose the game for the team. He said that PK invents play’s on the spot and reacts so quickly, that he needs a partner that can accommodate and back him up at any given second of the game.

    But I admit the bone head give away’s like the one last night has to be smacked in his face, time and time again. He reads the ice and see’s a play to make, so much faster than anyone else, that his own body cannot keep up to his brain sometimes.

    He is a beauty, a beast and a nightmare rolled into one. The real key to our club when he is on the ice is the ability of his coach and GM to find a partner to always be able to react, to backing him up.

    He sure fills the rinks around the league, to either boo him because they know how to fear him or cheer him because they love him.

    It has been a very long time since Montreal has had a player, that can pull the whole building to the edge of their seats every time he touches the puck.
    He is definitely a Norris winner with a dramatic flare for great and evil!!
    Number 76 sure keeps everyone’s eyes focused on the ice, never knowing how the play will turn out.
    IAN

  21. jimmy shaker says:

    Price saved the bacon last night and so did danny b with that timely interception in the slot as detroit was looking to tie. This guy needs 15 min of ice MT, not 11 or 12 or 13. Get him 15 with gio and either eller/bourque and leave him there….for the love of all things good and holy. And since it’s all but confirmed that the bolts will be the first round opponent, the D will look like this…

    Marky/Emelin
    PK/Gorges
    Weaver/Murray

    Frankie Boo will come in for Murray and tinordi I don’t think will see much if any ice in the playoffs based on his play of late and if he keeps going at this rate.

    Shaker out!

  22. I like almost everything that is going on, we’re winning, the players minus Tinordi, Moen, Weise are all playing, we have a great first line, we have a great second line, and we have a great third line. That’s how games are won. Defense is the question and that will come too. But unlike last year we are peaking at the right moment, and beating the teams we should.

    Keep cheering Vanek, and suck him into a two year contract, then he can leave. Get the most out of him while he’s good.

    If Gionta wants to stay he’ll have to take a pay cut. 4 years, 4 mil/year is the going rate for his style player.

    5th All Time, 176 wins, Number 31, CAREY PRICE

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Vanek going to market no matter what. But it would be nice and I think your over generous on Gio. Too long and too much. I think he should jump at a 3 year 3 mill/per if MB offers it.

      Shaker out!

      • Josh Gorges makes 3.9 to block shots, maybe my term is too long, but 4 million is perfect for a shut down player with some offense. 3 million is an insult to a dedicated warrior and captain. I’d love it too but it’ll never happen.

        Shane Oliver
        Twitter @Sholi2000
        http://www.Sholi2000.com
        Custom Sports Figures
        Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      sholi

      Gionta turns 36 next year with a lot of miles and injuries on that small body and is now a 3rd liner on most teams.
      1 year at $4M or 2 years max at a total of $7M with the complete understanding of his future role of Bottom 6 and PK.

      This is Vanek’s last contract, so it will be 7 years elsewhere or a very improbable 7-8 years in Montreal.
      $ 52M is the number.
      Guaranteed long term $$$ because of potential career ending injuries or brutal declining stats always wins out over short term years

  23. Maritime Ronn says:

    No doubt that Subban is an elite talent.
    Hockey is a game of mistakes and no one is immune including Subban and some of the best.

    Subban is far from reaching his ceiling – and this is not blaming PK’s D partners for some of his own brain cramps, yet Subban will not reach his full potential without at least an above average D partner that he can Trust.

    Look around the NHL and the partners some of the stud Olympic, or other excellent NHL Dmen play with:

    Keith-Seabrook.
    Pietrangelo-Boumeester.
    Ryan Suter-underrated Jonas Brodin
    Shea Weber- past partners Hamhuis-Ryan Suter, and now Seth Jones.
    Doughty-underrated Muzzin.
    McDonagh-Girardi.
    Letang – Scuderi/Maata
    Young Doug Hamilton gets to play with Chara.
    Even 1 dimension Karlsson plays with Methot

    These are combos that stick together and have plenty of familiarity.
    They are also part of both Specialty Team units for the most part.

    No disrespect to the above mentioned guys, yet how would they have played with Subban’s past 10 game partners of Bouillon and Tinordi – one, way past his prime, and the other just getting to know NHL life.

    Imagine Subban having a left handed Vlasic, Alzner, or Marc Staal as a partner……
    Subban needs a mid to late 20′s/very early 30′s above average Dman to excell and reach his full potential.
    They are very difficult to come by via trade/UFA…yet that’s why GMMB is paid the big bucks – to figure that out.

  24. TMan1969 says:

    …just wanted to add after watching TSN and seeing Babcocks response to “…what about the non-offside call”…I thought his comment was excellent “..every team makes their own breaks…” Anyways, that was the highlight of the highlights as far as I was concerned..

    “If I knew the answer to that I’d bet $10,000 on the game and retire from coaching.”
    —Montreal Canadiens coach Toe Blake after being asked if his team would win an upcoming game

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He showed maturity and class in that response, particularly in light of how desperate Detroit is right to make playoffs where every call in every game is highlighted.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      When I saw that I immediately thought, “What Class Babcock has”.

      Just imagine what Claude Julien or The Stupid Leafs Coach would have said.

  25. 24 Cups says:

    If the season ended today, Anaheim would have the 6th overall pick courtesy of the Ottawa Senators.

  26. krob1000 says:

    Thomas Vanek has an amazing ability to play the game mentally quicker than almost everyone on the ice and it allows him to slowly and confidently move into the right places. HE is always aware and skates very upright but sees everything. I am very, very impressed with the way he is meshing with DD and Patches. Vanek is a guy who could be easily coaxed into floating through games…in fact that is almost his style as he is not a great skater….however, he is an offensive genius with hands of gold. He deflects pucks like he is Keith Tkachuk, he stands in front of the net like he is Tim Kerr or Thomas Holmstrom, his passing and awareness with the puck remind me of Kovy and his ability to find space reminds me of a player somehwere between Michael Ryder and Brett HUll. Vanek is actually passing better than Dd on that line and that is saying something because DD is a pretty solid passer. That is one very dangerous line…gotta shelter them and pick your spots but when used correctly…wow they can be fun to watch.
    Markov is returning to Markov form. Re Subban…..I thought he was having a strong game until the third period. HE actually made several great offensive plays earlier (not sure why he was so far left/middle/deep on that first goal though and didn’t take that guy…guessing he didn’t even see him..it was odd).
    PLeks line showed some flashes…Chucky to me looks like Eller two years ago…able to protect thepuck a bit…but not enough to create the separation needed to make a play. He needs a little more weight and time but his hands and vision are not to be questioned.

    Still wishing Briere would get some quality pp time…HAbs not taking advantage of a big asset sitting right in front of them.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good Post krob.

    • Chris says:

      I wonder if Markov hasn’t pulled a page out of the Zdeno Chara book. Don’t worry too much from December to March…let everybody else play themselves stupid.

      But make sure you have your game for the playoffs, when it actually matters.

      The counterpoint to this is that you have to make sure you get to the playoffs for that strategy to work. :)

      • Cal says:

        Hell, Chris, this playoff thing was in the bag months ago…..okay, okay, maybe not.

      • krob1000 says:

        I saw falshes of his improved skating earlier in the year and then he seemed to slow down again. Probably a combination of getting stronger and improving his skating to an optimum level but at the same time learning to play within the new upper limits of his ability. For a guy who was that great, to miss that much time and at his age…a lot going on. Similar to Selanne in his mid 30′s IMO….Markov will never get t o he skater hew as when he was younger…but it takes time to even get back to his upper limit. I think he is there…it is not what it was before…but now he has a better understanding of what he can and cannot do anymore…..and he is another one who has always had hockey IQ out the wazoo….Habs right now seem to be blessed with a lot of highly intelligent players….that bodes well come playoff time.

    • Mike Boone says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more on Vanek.
      Helluva player who would be a big star in Montreal.
      As great as Erik Cole was with DD and Max, Vanek is better. Stronger on the puck, brilliant passer and a natural scorer.
      I think hockey IQ is innate and cannot be taught.
      Vanek has it. So does Galchenyuk.
      The lack of it makes me despair of Eller ever becoming a Top 6 forward.
      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

      • dhenry1234 says:

        I severely underestimated the power that Vanek has had to make this team better. Imagine Gallagher was playing with DD and Patches last night? Suddenly, I’m not so confident that we win. Not to take anything away from Gally, but Vanek is that Top 3 Forward that we NEVER seem to get as a UFA or at the deadline.

        We’ve been waiting a long time for a player with as much of an impact to our team as Vanek. This is going to be a great year in the Playoffs. Mark my words!

      • krob1000 says:

        He needs a place like Montreal or another big stage to show him some love…I watched him a bit when he was a 40 goal guy and would pay attention to him…but I think his years of experience have amplfied that natural hockey IQ to a whole different level. Kovy had that ability…and before that I am not sure I remember the last palyer with that ability to just flat out be smarter than everyone. I have very quickly become a huge Thomas Vanek fan! If he did sign in Montreal he would achieve Kovy status amongst the fans.

      • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

        are you seeing it from Galchenyuk this season?

  27. habsinthegap says:

    Hey all, thought you might want to know that Tim Bozon is expected to be discharged from hospital this morning.

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/kootenay-ice-player-tim-bozon-released-hospital-friday-040917210–nhl.html

  28. Chris says:

    Whoah….I like Plekanec a lot, but his impact to the Montreal Canadiens as a franchise is significantly smaller than that of Saku Koivu, and there is zero chance that the Habs retire Koivu’s #11.

    The only current Hab that I would contemplate retiring the number of is Markov, and that would be a hard sell because there are a lot of defencemen over the past 50 years whose numbers are not retired and who have a stronger case than Markov. Price, Subban and Pacioretty obviously have the potential to be there someday too, but they still have some years to go.

    • Paz says:

      Carbonneau, with his 3 Selke Trophies, was also better.

    • habs-hampton says:

      As I said below, in Montreal, you have to help put a Stanley Cup banner up there first. This isn’t Toronto or Boston or Columbus. Only champions have their numbers in our rafters.

      • Chris says:

        I’m not a proponent of that logic. That worked in the old NHL, which no longer exists. Continuing to use Stanley Cup victories as a metric of player impact in a 30 team NHL with free agency and a draft is just pointless.

        Ray Bourque was not vindicated as an NHL player by winning a Stanley Cup. That is a team award, not an individual honour.

    • Cal says:

      Markov, like Koivu, is without a Cup, and that makes all the difference. However, Lapointe has much better numbers than Markov and is still left out. Toe and Pointu’s numbers need to go up before any current edition of the team gets a look.

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

      • Paz says:

        Lapointe should be considered, I agree.

      • Chris says:

        Different eras. Lapointe was, at best, the 3rd or 4th most impactful player on his team for the 1970′s. You could certainly argue that Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden and Larry Robinson were ahead of him.

        Then it comes down to how you rank the relative merits of Yvon Cournoyer, Steve Shutt, Jacques Lemaire, and Serge Savard.

        There shouldn’t be too much doubt that Andrei Markov has been the face of the Montreal Canadiens for a decade, replacing Saku Koivu.

        • Paz says:

          This is just my take but had Markov grabbed the captaincy I think his standing would have climbed dramatically.

          Markov could have been a 10 year captain but apparently he declined the honor. He does not feel comfortable with the media, and I can’t blame him.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I think that is part of why I like/respect him even more. He knew how communication with meda was/is a huge part of being the Captain. I don’t think for a minute he is afraid of being a leader in the room or on the ice. But rather his realization that perhaps he wouldn’t be the best Captain from a communicative perspective.

  29. jamman says:

    So yesterday I said Plekanec can’t bury and he nets two in the first frame. Oh Pleky, forigve me for ever doubting you.

  30. Psycho29 says:

    I think if we are going to retire Plek’s number 14 we could retire Mario Tremblay’s 14 at the same time.
    Although some might say they’d want Mario to still be in the sweater when it’s raised to the rafters. ;-)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      All this retirement talk and we are going to need 3 digit sweater numbers for future players, or perhaps in respect to MT 2.0 we allow new players to wear 1.0 as a number…..

    • habs-hampton says:

      With all due respect, Pleks is a great player and he’s like the 21st century version of Bob Gainey, but until he helps put a Stanley Cup banner in the rafters first, his sweater will not be going up.

  31. Sportfan says:

    Lol that hit and score back Vanek was awesome there is so much about him that reminds me of Kovalev, I really hope we keep him.

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

    • Maksimir says:

      I loved Kovalev’s time in Montreal but realistically, Vanek is a more complete player and brings it every night. I’d say Kovy was more talented with the puck but you never saw it every game.

  32. RetroMikey says:

    Boone,
    You were drinking too much Jack Daniels last night when suggesting Plekanec’s sweater be retired, assign him as C, and sign Gionta again for 2 years.

    We missed out on several players having their sweater retired, one of them is No.5 Guy Lapointe, who should have shared the ceremony with Boom Boom.

    I can’t wait for the gritty players to come back in Weise and Moen to play with White.

    The team needs to play more physically on D if they are to survive in the playoffs.

    BIG IS BETTER!

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

  33. veryhabby says:

    A few questions:

    #1. Will MB go out and find PK a real partner? There is no one presently in our organization to play along side. Georges is. #4-6 dman. The kids are too green still. To me this is a huge hole on this team, and to waste another 2-3 yrs until a kid develops that role would be another mistake, as we will be paying PK top $ during this time

    #2. When Vanek hits year 5, 6, 7 of that $7M plus contract….will we be wishing we never signed him?

    #3 we have solid lines right now…but as we head in to play TB and Stamkos, do we go back to the defensive duo of Pleks/Gio vrs Stamkos when 5on5? To not mess up other lines, it would mean Gallagher too 3rd line with Briere/Bourque…but no frwd D play on the line, that’s dangerous. But is it worth it?

  34. Old Bald Bird says:

    Nilan’s interview with Bergevin is posted http://www2.tsn.ca/window/podcastcentre/#id=29861&id=17

  35. Ozmodiar says:

    Gorges gets his share of criticism around here, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that when he comes back it will be a huge boost to the d-corps. Bou’s just not very good at all.

  36. Paz says:

    Oh my! Raising Plekanec 14 to the rafters?

    Plekanec is an excellent defensive player who has never even been nominated for an award.

    Plekanec is a 50+ points per season offensive player. 50-60 points

    Seriously?

    On Subban. I saw Paul Coffey play 100 games like Subban played last night.

    He brought a terrific offensive game and he made some terrible defensive mistakes.

    Some nights the goalie makes the huge saves and all the mistakes are swept under the rug. Other nights, mistakes ended up in our net. Price did not have a Hall of Fame night either.

    On the goal when he flipped the puck to center ice, he was trying his patented lob shot and he muffed it. In the net.

    On the goal when he passed the puck between Bournival and Eller, what is Bouiilon doing? He should be covering the middle of the ice and then moving over to take the area Subban vacated. Bad pass by Subban. Bad decision. Bad read by Bouillon. Then Price is caught in his crease and on his knees as he is beat.. In the net.

    Subban is becoming more like Coffey and less like Ray Bourque.

    Unfortunate. But true.

    I still would pay huge money to watch the man play hockey and that’s the “bottom line”.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      ….and Bouillon is no Charlie Huddy in his prime.

    • Captain aHab says:

      I think “Pleks to the rafters” must have been alcohol-induced. I like him a lot but if he needs to be up there, then he has to get in line behind other guys who also deserve it.

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

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Hey…. Pleks has 7 goals in his last 30 games – a clip of just over 4 games per goal. Not too shabby. What you’d expect from a 20 goal scorer, and much better than the “2 in 26″ being thrown around the other day. ;)

      ….. rumors of his late season demise were greatly exaggerated.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      There much more exaggeration on the negative side on Pleks then on the positive. While I agree that the rafter talk concerning Pleks is a bit much so too is the more constant under appreciation of his game.
      Pleks is a heck of a two way player and if we didn’t have him we’d all be crying for Bergevin to go get one. These players aren’t easy to find.

      • Paz says:

        Jim, I think the under appreciation is exaggerated. We all see what Plekanec can do, and his does it very consistently.

        But his not an All Star, he’s not an award winner.

        He’s a terrific defensive player who contributes consistent 50-60 point seasons.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I’m all for raising #14 to the rafters of Le Cage.

      I love Plek, but not in that way.. Same fate for Markov?

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  37. Old Bald Bird says:

    Wilde posts some strong opinions about keeping Beaulieu in Hamilton http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/call-of-the-wilde-habs-clip-wings-1.1749833

    • docketrocket says:

      Have to agree with him, unless there is something significant we don’t know.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Of course Wilde’s comments and speculation about Beaulieu makes sense from the outside looking in, but perhaps there are many other unknown unknows in all of this.
      Until Habs management, organization coaches, and Beaulieu address all of the reasons, the dots are hard to connect.
      There is obviously something not right…and only the direct participants know what that is.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Bingo….maybe one of the vets was trying to give him advice and he simply told him to go f*** himself. I don’t mind a player with an ego but you don’t want guys who will wreck the room.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Well Wilde does have tremendous experience in running an NHL team, so he does have that….

      Many of us are frustrated at what seems inexplicable in the refusal to callup Beaulieu at this point, but I don’t think we can pick and choose when to trust MB in how he is running this team.

      MB is the GM who has made a bunch of smart deals, perhaps 1 or 2 questionable deals and end of day some will be mistakes. What we hope/believe is most moves are correct moves.

      His handling of Beaulieu is part of his job as GM, I will continue to trust MB’s perspective far more than a guy who loves to be extreme in his reporting viewpoints.

      • BriPro says:

        Gerry, take the time to read it and you’ll see that Brian Wilde (whom I find to be a very rational sports journalist) wonders why Beaulieu isn’t up here instead of Bouillon. Relax buddy. It’s Friday. A boatload of snow falling….yet again, but it’s almost the weekend.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I read it, and to me he is telling MB to call up Beaulieu, he speaks of his wealth of knowledge raising children as a comparison. He then offers a brief “but we don’t know if there is something else going on” type counterpoint.

          Brian Wilde is very entertaining, very passionate and I enjoy hearing him, but he loves hyperbole as much as the next.

          I’ll stand my ground and take MB’s word ahead of this former Oiler Root Root Rah Rah fan…

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Wilde speculation is all that is.

      Maybe the Habs simply prefer Tinordi over Beau at this point. Or, maybe they value Tinordi’s defensive abilities over Beau’s offensive abilities right now.

    • Luke says:

      I’m with Burly on this one.

      My take away from Wilde’s rant on Beaulieu is this one line:

      Hubris angers me. And I don’t mean the kid’s hubris.

      It’s his close to the column. Hubris often indicates a loss of
      contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence.

      All I can think of, as Burly says is Wilde’s vast experience in player development and what seems to be a petulant vendetta against some of the players and definitetly the coach.

      With all due respect, I’m not sure Wilde’s contributions are much more informed than the bulk of what we see here.

      But he has a press pass and a ‘By Line’.

  38. gmoan says:

    Lars eller playing within himself or playing within MT’s coaching… Eller is not a fourth line center Boone! Christ, we keep saying we need a big fast center with hands and what do we do…. Put him in the fourth line on a short leash…. Way to develop what should have been one of your top prospects….Wake up everybody…. We are not winning the Stanley cup with DDH as your top line center regardless of well he’s playing now, sorry.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I don’t generally agree with what Therrien does, but in this case, it may be for the better. Eller seemed to want to do too much to create offence. I think this will show him he can play a simple game and accomplish more. In the long run, I think it will make him a very good 3rd line centre like Stall was in Pittsburgh and possibly a solid 2nd line centre.

      If Eller can round into a solid 2nd line centre and Gal27 the first line centre we hope he will be, the Habs will be strong down the middle. Then Bournival or perhaps Vail can full the 3rd line spot.

      Habfan17

      • Paz says:

        Agreed. Best thing for Eller is to take off the pressure he feels. Like taking a good hitter and lowering him to 7th in the batting order.

        I’ve seen a few good flashes from Eller these past few games.

        I think he is playing better.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I agree, he has been strong on the puck and doesn’t seem so focused on being the guy to make things happen, and because of it, things are happening. I think it was a much better move than sitting him would have been.

          Habfan17

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Wow, Eller has never shown me capability to be a top 6 forward. Like any bottom 6 guy he has shown flashes, nothing consistent or noteworthy. If he earns it, fine. I think the 4th line is where he belongs at the moment. He was never a scorer at any level… Ever… So I don’t get the “claims of misuse.”

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  39. toinz says:

    Any of the commenters saying Price had an off-night have clearly never been a goaltender. Top-corner laser beams that bounce off the inside of the net and come out are generally unstoppable. The fact that Price got one of them, just after the game was tied (from Kindl) is attributable more to luck than skill.

    Even standing up, three of the goals go in anyway, with the fourth still probably going in.

    Both of Plekanec’s goals were similar shots. Desharnais looped one over the shoulder. Pacioretty’s goal deflected off the D-man, and nobody is stopping Vanek’s beautiful tip in the slot.

    I know it was a high-scoring game but this was a shooting gallery that would make Ray Bourque proud…heck, it would make the set-piece wizards like Andrea Pirlo proud, if he knew what hockey was…

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Insightful counterpoint, or +1.

    • Captain aHab says:

      The book on just about all butterfly goalies is to shoot high. Because they cover the bottom of the net well generally. I don’t get the angst about that with Price. His issue seems to have been to be too deep in his net historically. I’m not even slightly worried about him this year.

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

    • Paz says:

      Price was caught deep in his net, and down too quickly.

      I think Price was laughing when he left the ice. I saw the smile under the mask.

      He did not have a great game.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree on the deep in net point, also we shouldn’t forget the Wings goals were all on some real good looks from high percentage scoring areas.

        Would have been nice if Price robbed a couple of those Wing shooters, but they were also the results of some defensive breakdowns (and I mean the team, not just PK).

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          If I scored those goals I’d be talking about the laser beams I let go.. Not the lucky break by subpar tending.

          These were snipes, sure Price could have stopped them, but should he? I’m not so sure.. Both Howard and Price made several highlight reel goals.. Just a game with loads of A+ chances…

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Don’t disagree MacDougall, great shots off of great looks. I don’t really fault Price at all, I thought on a couple he could have come out more to challenge, reducing the top of net. But I am not worried about Price. He is probably the most consistent performer on the season.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I agree, if he was at the top of his crease on both Tatar?? Goals they’d have just hit his shoulder… Watched them again.

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          *saves not goals… But if they had highlight reel,goals that’d be a story!

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  40. DeadEnd says:

    Anyone else notice that TSN seems to have turned commenting off on Habs articles? Funny that that seems to have coincided with this hot streak…

    • boing007 says:

      I went to TSN after the Habs victory over the Bruins and there was no link to a comments page. There are usually up to ten pages worth of comments after a night like that one.

      Richard R

  41. howiemorenz7 says:

    Generally, I am critical of MT and MB, maybe because I’ve been dead so many years, you get cranky, you know? But I’ll say this: MB has provided the Habs with 5 lines of depth, and compared with so many other teams, this is a real asset going into the playoffs. Same with the D group, picking up Weaver just-in-time for Gorges to get hurt was pretty clever, and all for cheap cheap cheap in a cap world, nice job MB. Remains to be seen if he can resign PK and Vanek this summer, or if a partial rebuild will be in order.

    As for MT and his AHL gang of coaches, I am less than enthused about them overall. 55 is not an NHL player anymore, is was painful to watch him last night, and he exposes PK time after time. Sometimes I think MT delights in doing just that, that he has an obsession with “breaking” PK instead of fostering an environment for him in which he can be the best PK he can be. But that’s just me.

    Maroons Suck. #7 foreva.

    • Captain aHab says:

      I think they knew Gorges was hurt when they picked up Weaver but it is still a great pickup.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree, Gorges hurt his hand in the T.O. game on a Sat. night, Weaver was acquired on the Monday I believe. Gorges played another game with his hand in bad shape. Was some good Klingon Cloaking go on, so as not to tip MB’s Good Hand in making the deal.

  42. Black Horse says:

    Price could have been a lot better last night. All four goals were high. 3 high blockers & one high glove. I hope Waite addresses this in the next practice. I guess Carey can have an off night I suppose, he has won many games for them so the team won one for him last night which was good.

    I just hope these high shot goals do not become a habit. We don’t need that in the playoffs cause Montreal will not score 5 goals every game. They will be lucky to score 2-3 goals a game, so Mr. Price has to be lights out for them to make some noise!

    I have noticed that Price has been going down on his knees a lot lately & down early too.

    Waite needs to address this now!

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      I noticed Price getting burned upstairs too. That’s his MO when he’s off his game. You could tell he wasn’t pleased with himself, especially in the huddle at the end of the game. No worries though…I’m sure Waite saw what we did. Expect a big bounce back on Saturday. They’ll need him. The boys usually struggle against the Cats.

      ~~ You’ve been spun ~~

  43. Plekasuares says:

    Pleks is a boss. How could one dislike someone who gives everything for the organization

  44. Plekasuares says:

    Great article Boone!!! Way to give props to pleks!

  45. Lafleurguy says:

    Shout out to basement dwellers. Their posts are often entertaining.

  46. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    So PK didn’t feel like talking to the media after the game – a WIN.
    The remarks should be…So What-Who Cares!

    The snub of the media hounds after a WIN that PK contributed to doesn’t come close to the Leafs Captain Coward Phaneuf that went a hiding after a LOSS.

    There is no perfection in hockey.
    It is a game of mistakes, and PK had only 1 blatant one last night.
    Contrary to what Vinnie Damphousse believes, the 1st Wings goal was more about a weak and lazy lost puck battle along the boards by Eller that caused the mess

    Even the best in the game go through some bad stretches.
    Take Shea Weber as an example.
    This year, he had a 3 game set where he posted Minus -7 and another 5 game set where he posted another Minus -7.

    Cut PK some slack.
    He is 3rd in the NHL for Dman scoring…or would you prefer Minus 20 Karlsson.
    PK is still learning about risk taking and 60 minutes of concentration.
    If and when he overcomes those 2 hurdles, then he will be part of the Elite 5.

  47. Cal says:

    Habs win on a night when both PK and Price weren’t their usual star-studded selves. This is a very good thing. Contenders win ugly. And last night, the Habs were a Sergio Leone Western: Good, Bad and Ugly.
    A little Florida sun may strengthen their resolve.

  48. Lafleurguy says:

    P.K. was all choked-up about something. He was Erik Karlsson-like.

  49. JF says:

    Despite an off-night for Price and Subban (or in Subban’s case, half an off-night), the Habs have chosen the right time of year to be playing some of their best hockey. It’s far from perfect, but they’re ready to start the games, there’s more stability in the lines than there’s been all season, and they’re showing some offensive flair. Since the historic comeback against the Senators, they’ve been playing with confidence and looking more and more like a playoff-bound team and one that could do some damage.

    People who still think Therrien is a lousy coach should take a look back to this time twelve years ago. He was in his first go-round behind the bench and the Habs, after a difficult season without their captain, who had spent it battling cancer, were making a push for the playoffs. They won seven straight games to clinch their spot, the sixth or seventh (it was against Ottawa) being the one in which Koivu returned to thunderous applause. There haven’t been too many seven-game winning streaks since then.

  50. rhino514 says:

    Not an inept night defensively, it was largely a case of Subban just having an off night. I´ll bet he´ll never make that same clearing attempt through the middle ever again.
    ….But, Tinordi, only 10 minutes and change? Seems the kid isn´t quite there yet. Gorges back will help, and Weaver was a smart pick-up, but the D worries me a bit heading into the playoffs. The team is good enough for sure to win a round, but beyond that? The team is finally playing true to its character; fine offensively but prone to lapses defensely. Against Toronto we had close calls all night and the same with Detroit.
    Beaulieu and Tinordi are regarded as the only true gems in our system right now, but are they really the surefire placeholders they have been made out to be? Is Tinordi perhaps more of a Craig Ludwig type, with time? Beaulieu seems to be more of an offensive presence, not the defensive wall we really need. And it´s becoming clearer with time that their progression to full time play and big minutes will be gradual, maybe even slow, for at least one of the two.
    Forsooth, McDonagh! Turn it up a notch, Chucky, help us forget him.

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    Bobbo Mckenzie says Islander owner Wang looking to sell Islander majority ownership, Garth Snow considering returning to NHL as backup,goalie?

    NYI owner Charles Wang in talks to sell majority stake in NHL franchise. Nothing done yet, no telling if it gets done, but talks underway.
    12:10 AM – 28 Mar 2014

  52. habfan01 says:

    Ok- I will take full credit for this latest win streak. Am relegated to watching hockey in the back room that only has a small space heater .4 games ago, I grabbed my Univ. of Michigan pullover to wear- you know what the results have been. Looks like I’ll be wearing it even if it hits 80 degrees in June.

  53. HabinBurlington says:

    Appreciate the ALN Boone, I don’t think Boone is dissing Moen the warrior, but rather speaking to the Habs lack of depth over the years in that a quality journeyman 3rd liner has been a linemate so often with arguably the tems best center over those years.

    A win in Miami and this team is deserving of a day in the sun.

    PK will come back better and perhaps upon Gorges return Weaver will have usurped Frankie’s spot with PK.

    Price may have been off but still got the W thanks to some offensive support. Price is going to be fine. Agree with Dipsy, plenty of Budaj down the stretch.

  54. DipsyDoodler says:

    We will play Tampa in Round One.

    Important thing is no injures, and to get rested for the playoffs.

    We face Florida, Tampa, Ottawa, Detroit, Chicago, Isles, Rangers. Only Ottawa among those are head hunters (courtesy of Paul MacClean, coach of the year).

    I presume Budaj plays 2 of those games, maybe Florida and NYI? I might give him a third.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  55. lakechamplain says:

    It bothers me to agree with our resident Negative Nellie–Timo–but I agree with his comments about Price’s game. Subban deserved the disses Boonie laid on him but I think gave Price a free pass. Yes, he made some excellent saves and made them look easy but I think amidst the sunshine and the beach time in Florida Stephane Waite is going to have a sit down with Mr. Price and try to rid him of a return to an old bad habit: going down too soon. By the frenetic third period it seemed the Wings had it nailed; they were going top shelf, and scoring, because there was space there. Otherwise I think Boonie was spot on about the lines: chemistry meaning that the 3 top lines can move the puck up ice and in the zone with passing and position, and the 4th line out there now simply can skate much better than the previous trio, tho I think when Weise gets back I’d put him in for White.
    BTW Babcock couldn’t have helped thinking as Subban played a pretty shoddy defensive game that that’s why the guy didn’t get a lot of ice time in Sochi.

  56. Habitant in Surrey says:

    ‘Québécois qui n’en peut plus de la neige/A Quebecer who can no longer stand snow/winter’: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=840500245975567&set=vb.304811166211147&type=3&video_source=pages_video_set

    …apropos for the ROC too …funny

  57. jeu_de_puissance says:

    Boone’s got the best posts.
    In my opinion, Pleky does deserve to wear the C regardless next season. Exemplifies effort and has les bleu, blanc et rouge, longer than Gio has.
    4 lines clicking and we win in Florida and that pretty much seals the deal. Though it would be nice to get home ice vs. the Lightning.

    Not much to complain about with the Ws rolling in and things click offensively headed into the playoffs. Can’t wait for Gorges to come back cause the Cube belongs in the press box.

    Go Flyers!

    Can’t F#*k with history!!!

  58. Habilis says:

    Good read, Boone.

    Count me among those who thinks Bouillon is just out of his element on the top pair. I know Gorges will be back, but to me this time would be better spent playing Tinordi there. He’s the only one who can actually grow into the role. And he really has been improving, at least to my eyes.

    Not that I’m complaining. Two weeks ago, the Loafs were 3 points up on us and we were a wild card. Now they’re 11 back at the playoff cutoff and we’re fighting for home ice. MT is doing a lot right.

    One last thought: The Ottawa comeback game was a real catalyst for this team. We’ve been finding different ways to win games almost every night since. Great sign.

  59. Timo says:

    So are we all rooting for (gulp) Philly tomorrow?

  60. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Nice road win for the team. Not a very good night for PK but I’m sure a lot of great nights are ahead for him. Only downside about tonight’s victory is how happy it made Leafs-nation.

  61. HardHabits says:

    6 of 7 remaining games are Habs friendly crowds.

    Florida, Tampa Bay, Ottawa… virtual home games away from home.

  62. Timo says:

    Yeah, Subban did not have a good game (defensively)… However, he will more than likely bounce back next game. The player that I didn’t like the most today was Price. He just doesn’t have that same swagger and “you can’t beat me” attitude he had going into the olympics. He is a lot on his knees and was beat high more than once tonight. Price will have to be a lot better if Habs want to make any kind of noise in the playoffs.

    On the other hand Rene Bourque made me go “why can’t the SOB play like that all the time” more than once tonight. He didn’t score, but man, he was so forceful out there. All 4 lines played pretty good hockey and it was an entertaining game to watch.

  63. Sportfan says:

    This is why the cube shouldn’t be with subban if anything try weaver, or tinordi, or CALL UP BEALIEU

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

  64. Sportfan says:

    My friend was at the game with his gf, he is from here and is doing grad studies there, he said he got harassed so much by a wings fan they had to change seats.

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

  65. HardHabits says:

    I think Boone’s been living on the Montreal for too long. I just wanted to steps on its first in a way thats providing young the kids insights into the Frenglish journalism.

  66. Congrats to Team Canada says:

    So is it a foregone conclusion that Montreal will be playing Tampa, with just home ice to be Decided?

  67. kempie says:

    “If Tomas Plekanec plays his whole career in Montreal, his number 14 should be raised to the rafters.”

    Woah there, easy on that Boonedude. I love the guy as much as anyone, and agree with everything you’ve ever said about him (I’m pretty sure everything) but the rafters? Without a Stanley Cup? Win a SC then reapply. I’m sure that then his application would be looked upon favourably.

    Has anybody had their # retired without a SC?

    You’re giddy.

  68. habs001 says:

    Galchenyuk minus 14 Eller minus 18….no other Hab forward even close to these guys…These two have to play better D in the playoffs

  69. arcosenate says:

    Cheap shot on MOEN. far from ridiculous.

    Sad.

    • habs001 says:

      Scoring wise totally accurate comment by Booner

    • Ferguson says:

      I agree.

      Ferguson

    • Mike Boone says:

      Totally ridiculous on a Top Six line with Plekanec.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • rmaclean says:

      Not right to call Moen ridiculous. He’s a good solid player with good character. Someone like Benoit Pouliot, when he was a Hab, could be called ridiculous.

      • Seda Moss says:

        I believe he’s saying the situation of them playing on the same line is ridiculous, not that Moen is himself ridiculous. We all know what he can bring to the table, and it’s valued for what it is — and that’s not scoring goals.

        • CharlieHodgeFan says:

          Moen is a fine player. It is ridiculous he was lined up with Pleks so many times – a sign of weakness on the team and of what the Habs so recently were. He has skill and heart, but you might as well play him in nets as play the guy as a first line winger.
          Meanwhile, Pleks played his heart out on some weak teams, just as he’s playing now with this improved one.

          As for Subban? A lousy defensive game played with a disturbing lack of hockey sense. Such is life. He will win the Habs a lot of games and will be a top 12 defenceman in this league for a long time. He’ll never win another Norris, and Babcock was sadly right in Sochi. He’s too old to be this young, and there is a little bit of Brisebois in his decision making sometimes. Impulsive is only good when you’re dancing with a rose between your teeth.

          He needs a really smart partner to cover for him and he’ll be great. If Markov were five years and a couple of knees younger…

  70. CH Marshall says:

    You might also like The Growing Desperation of Leaf Nation

  71. Rudy says:

    Gaaaah. Missed it by that much

  72. Habcouver says:

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

  73. Maritime Ronn says:

    Mr. Boone may have allowed the emotion of the win to clowd the overall logic.
    What Plex is…is a better version of Guy Carbonneau…yet unfortunate for Plex is that he never played on the Habs teams that Carbonneau was a part of.

  74. GrosBill says:

    Don’t forget Toe Blake!

  75. HabinBurlington says:

    Brilliant!

  76. frontenac1 says:

    Autobahn! I love that album by Kraftwerk. Make it so amigos. Saludos!

  77. Lafleurguy says:

    Respectfully, you’re biased.

  78. chilli says:

    Unfortunately, that trade goes down as the worst in Habs history – - no matter what. Denis played 3 seasons for the Habs. Even if he scored 100 pts (he posted 52, 62, 40) for those 3 seasons, Chelly was our Co-Captain and leader, had already won the Norris, was 27 years old, had led the team to Stanley Cup in 86, and then a few years to Stanley Cup finals and fighting Ron Hextall. And when Chicago asked whether Serge would throw in a 2nd rounder as well, and Serge agreed, Chelly called him and laughed his ass off….
    Chelly went on to play for 20 more years…… would have been our best defensemen ever.
    Tre


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