About last night …

MaxVan

Let’s get a negative note out of the way right off the top.
Call me Danny Downer, but if your Montreal Canadiens are outshot 37-19 on Tuesday night in Tampa, I’m not entirely confident they’ll win 4-1.
Steven Stamkos is not Vincent Trochek.
Ben Bishop is not Dan Ellis.
And the Lightning, battling the Canadiens for home-ice advantage in a first-round series, are a much better team than their Florida cousins, who’ll be watching the playoffs on TV.

OK, that’s enough negativity.

As Michel Therrien said in his postgame media scrum, the Canadiens got off to a good start and played a strong first period against the Panthers.

They were on their backfeet for the second half of the game, but the excellence of Carey Price kept the home team from mounting a serious comeback.

This might have been Price’s best game since the Olympics. It was certainly among his busiest, as Florida outshot the Canadiens 27-8 over the last 40 minutes – including a 15-3 advantage in a nervous third period.

But when the dust settled,the Canadiens had their fifth win in a row and eighth in their last nine. If Lars Eller and Jarred Tinordi had made those gaffes against Columbus, we might be looking at a nine-game winning streak.

Washington still has a mathematical chance of overtaking them, but the Canadiens sit 13 points clear of the playoff cutoff with six games to play. And they have two games to get ready for that first-round preview in Tampa.

Let’s hope Tomas Plekanec is back by Tuesday. His place between Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher was filled by Lars Eller, and the line combined for a grand total of zero shots on goal.

The gang on L’Antichambre were wondering whether Plekanec, the Canadiens’ shut-down centre, would stay with the kids in the postseason, when Gallagher and Galchenyuk might have difficulty covering the opponent’s top forwards – like that Stamkos guy.

The not-so-much-maligned-anymore Therrien and his staff will figure out. A greater challenge faces opposing coaches, who have to figure out how to slow down the Canadiens’ top line.

Thomas Vanek has been a catalyst, elevating the games of David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty to form one of the league’s most dangerous lines. At a certain point in the telecast, Pierre Houde said they looked like they’ve been playing together for 20 years, and the RDS play-by-play man was, as usual, bang-on.

Pacioretty is playing with an intensity that has not always been in evidence. And you had to love the play – Therrien said he did – when Max passed up a hat trick to feed DD for the empty-netter.

We knew Vanek was a scorer. But his passing has been superb, and he’s even playing some D.

For the first time in a long time, Vanek is playing for a winning hockey team. And he seems to enjoy it.

DD – an undrafted free agent centring two first-rounders – must think he’s died and gone to hockey heaven.

Desharnais isn’t the only happy centre. Daniel Brière, who has struggled on the wing, is back at his natural position and looking good between Brian Gionta and Rene Bourque – although Gaston Therrien, on L’Antichambre, said if Travis Moen were healthy his grit would be a better complement to Brière and Gionta than anything Bourque can provide.

I hope the recently-minted fourth line is back together in Tampa: Lars Eller between Ryan White and Michäel Bournival, whose speed was much in evidence against the Panthers.

Notwithstanding that huge shot disparity and Price’s heroics, I liked some of what I saw on the Canadiens back end.

As pointed out by the L’Antichambre guys, surviving all those atempted muggings in Boston has boosted Alexei Emelin’s confidence. He’s playing smart, physical while not always looking for the killer hit and benefitting, as many before him (see KOMISAREK, Mike) from being paired with Andrei Markov.

In the Saturday Gazette, Patrick V. Hickey, made a case for signing Markov to a new three-year contract. I don’t always agree with my learned former colleague, but Patrick V. is right on this one.

P.K. Subban is the most talented defenceman on the roster, but Markov is playing the best hockey of anyone on the team’s blueline. His knee injuries have robbed Markov of a step or two, but he is compensating with smarts.

I want him around to teach Tinordi, Beaulieu, Pateryn et al – none of whom are ready, at this point, to pick up the ToI slack if Markov leaves.

So memo to Marc Bergevin: Sign Markov.

And P.K.

And Vanek.

•  •  •

The Canadiens will stay in Florida until Thursday and then travel to Ottawa for a Friday night game against the Senators.

I’m worried about all this Sunshine State free time for my man Patrick V.

The last time he had a day off in Florida, Hick fell asleep on the beach and Greenpeace tried to roll him into the ocean.

•  •  •

From Twitter:

On March 13, Toronto was three points ahead of the Canadiens.

The Habs have gained 16 points on the Leafs IN 16 DAYS!

 

 

 

651 Comments

  1. Strummer says:

    I’m against fighting staged or otherwise.
    However that little tilt between welterweights Tatar and Kessel last night was entertaining.
    Perhaps The NHL could instsitute weight divisions for fighting. Or the guys that wrote “the code” could revise it.

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

  2. krob1000 says:

    Tampa has not lost in a long time

  3. kempie says:

    I’m going to need somebody from the learned commentariat to explain the new playoff seeding to me. My old friend Google hasn’t been much help with this one. It seems a forgone conclusion that our first round opponent is Tampa. Confusing, but here’s my best guess:

    2 vs 3 in the division while division winners play wildcards.

    How the next round goes down is still a mystery. Anybody have the answers? Am I close?

  4. krob1000 says:

    Everyone talking about Josh Gorges and how badly he is missed? I think Mike Weaver has been an adequate replacement at a fraction of the cost. Next year BEaulieu and TInordi should be that much better as well. You want to save salary to sing PK, Markov and Vanek? Gorges IMO could be moved and return assets but in MOntreal with the strength on the left side is moveable IMO.
    Up front I would not be so quick to move Briere. Before Briere there is Bourque, Gionta, Moen and even Prust. I think both Bourque and Gorges are the ideal targets as they both have some value and could recoup some picks given up and they would be a significant savings on the cap. I have another suggestion but it won’t be accepted on here at this point in time….I’ll wait until the season is over.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      One of the two best no. 43’s team’s ever had.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Weaver’s been a wonderful addition but the immediate problem is playing 125 year old Frankie B top pair minutes. Its pretty scary at times.

      I agree with you about Breire, especially the last month. Bourque? After a pretty good game after his most recent benching, he seems to have reverted back to the same old.

      Still, the team keeps on winning. Its been fun, eh?

    • CJ says:

      Good post. Respectfully, IMO, Weaver was added as insurance. He’s not been expected to replace Gorges. Weaver has been decent, because he is playing in a position where he can excel. He is playing in the 5/6 role, which suits his skills and abilities. Frankie has struggled because he is being used in the 1/2 pairing. He is way over his head and it’s showing.

      You need to put people in positions to succeed. I know many disagree with my posts, but Beaulieu is the better fit with PK. Otherwise, they need to shuffle and partner PK and Markov. Frankie can not handle 20+ minutes a night. We are getting results against bottom feeders, but there is no other team in the league who pairs their best defenceman with their 7/8. Just my two cents….

      • krob1000 says:

        To me the timing seemed to indicate he was a replacement for Gorges…the trade happened right after Gorges injury, he played hurt,they trade for Weaver and then we hear Gorges is out for weeks.

        • CJ says:

          Agreed on all points. That said, if Weaver was playing with PK it would be him, not Frankie, who comes under fire. Weaver, as our 6/7 has been very good.

  5. habitual says:

    A dilemma:
    Which to savour more: A Habs victory propelling them ever closer to the playoffs, or … A Leafs loss where they are booed off home ice and plummet closer to April golf?

  6. toinz says:

    Is there any word on Plekanec?

    Is everything alright on the home front? Is there an ETA on his return?

  7. nova scotia vees says:

    Watching Dave Hodge show. Habs don’t exist. Step up Farber. Aren’t you the Montreal guy?
    Also…when is Habs management going to start screaming about the gooning of Gallagher? Last night was tough to watch, as he was constantly tackled and cross-checked. The refs refuse to call penalties, so Someone needs to have his back. I hate fighting but, maybe have Murray run the guy through the boards.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I hate fighting, too. But when someone is assaulted like that, let alone assaulted several times per game, and the officials/league take no action, it means jungle law.

      Ideally, THAT’S what the role of your enforcer should be — to discharge severe jungle law when the officials/league let dangerous things go, when they, in fact, welcome the jungle.

      I fear for Gallagher, tough as he is.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      I really like Gallagher, but he does bring some of that upon himself with all the net crashing plus yapping-pushing-shoving after the whistle blows.

      Surely the guys don’t mind sticking up for him, yet he has to learn to better pick his spots.
      It’s kind of like a small kid brother taunting the neighbourhood.
      Big bro can’t always be there to fight his battles.
      Lastly, Gallagher has not earned the right to embellish..

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Fair point, Ronn. I don’t like him making contact with goalies, and the way players defend their keepers is honourable and good imo (compare soccer! Mon dieu!)

        But when he’s just being a presence, and even if he’s yapping, I don’t like to see guys twice his size taking liberties. It’s because they can be pretty confident the refs will do nothing, and traditionally the Habs won’t do anything either. So Gallagher ends up being protected by neither League nor jungle law. Some of the cross-checks he receives would shatter a fire hydrant.

    • Mike Boone says:

      I noticed that, too.
      I really like The Reporters, but it’s like Quebec has separated already.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger

    • Strummer says:

      The focus of the that discussion was on why Canadian teams have NOT been successful in recent years and are currently in decline. Habs are the (relative) success story of NHL teams in Canada so there doesn’t seem to be much to say about them.

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

    • SA - #25 says:

      nsc – Bring in McGratton, and the gooning of Gallagher will be over.

  8. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @jon514 below.

    Didn’t think there was a rumour, but perhaps there is now!

    I normally reserve this for Maritime Ronn, but here you go!

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5X-eYtzB6Ng/T-aq7W7Vz0I/AAAAAAAABEw/Y6DkmwybFu0/s1600/huge+spoon.jpg

  9. jon514 says:

    Anyone else hear the rumour that PK won’t re-sign in Montreal if the charter goes through?

    It’s one of those word of mouth, friend of a friend type things.

    Any truth?

  10. toinz says:

    One of the interesting points brought up on the HNIC pre-game show and also indirectly by Chris Nilan on the web show on this site, was that this team seems to genuinely like each other.

    Considering the playoffs are a long slog and filled with emotional highs and lows, how important is team chemistry? I’d say extremely important. I guess it helps that our GM was a “chemistry” guy when he played.

    Further, apart from getting them for almost nothing (collberg and a second round pick), Bergevin also got 2 players who seemlessly fit in with the rest of the team in Vanek and Weaver.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Playoff health and goalposts are also high on the list.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        And having your Dad working in head office.

        DON’T get me started!

        DON’T even try to tell me it didn’t help win a Cup!!

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          You see? Everyone has recognised my TONE. And anyway, there’s no one here who’d disagree. No one here or ANYWHERE on the planet except over at Chowder Head Nation or whatever it’s called….

          • Lafleurguy says:

            Just to bug ya, more Irish in Beantown than Montreal.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            I wonder.
            Are you just bugging or have you stats as well?
            I know the Montreal Paddy’s parade USED to be the biggest in NA, bigger than either Boston or NY. Also, I understand there is a high-concentration of post-Famine Irish in Trois Rivieres where the phone book is full of names like Murphy and Flanagan but which are families who haven’t had English as their first language for generations. Wish I knew more.
            IN any case, you can’t bug me about Boston because I think it’s a great town! Now the Bruins….

      • Lafleurguy says:

        I thought the goalposts won the game against the Leafs but let’s keep this between you and me, Merrytimes, otherwise I may get slammed.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      This from UCe supports your point:

      As they skated off the ice, Mr. Barch was given an earful by the Canadiens bench, who according to RDS’ Marc Denis thought he should have held off the unnecessary staged fight, in light of George’s concussion woes recently.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Yikes. As in, How dare you fight with our fighter?
        Please, George. Hang ‘em up. I think everyone loves you.

        • CJ says:

          Agreed Mike. If true, that in itself should tell us everything we need to know about the situation. I hope that information is inaccurate, but on second thought, I recall the bench yelling at him as he went off.

      • toinz says:

        Yes, I read that earlier and it is another great example of team unity.

        I wonder how important it was to our season when Coderre called for DD to be sent to Hamilton, and all of a sudden, the coach trusts DD anyway, and the first line is reignited. 48 points in 54 games since then…

      • Fansincebirth says:

        These staged fights have to be taken out of the game because they do and prove nothing. Start with 5 min for fighting and a 10 minute misconduct to see if that changes the mindset. Fights that happen in the heat of the moment either as two fighters come together or as a retaliation for some dick move on the ice is a completely different animal but this crap of lining up at the faceoff, and having the two tough guys say “let’s get this over with” needs to stop. Maybe hitting teams in ye olde pocketbook will deter things.

        • Mike Boone says:

          I couldn’t agree with you more. But I’d ban it completely.

          Mike Boone
          Hockey Inside/Out blogger

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Mr. Boone

            The NHL may be ready to take out the staged fights, yet it is not ready to ban the ‘emotion’ fight nor should it- then, the Rats would rule.

          • BobbySmithWasClutch says:

            Get Don Cherry off the air! At least every second point he’s made in the past 20 years has to do with promoting fighting.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Everything you say makes 100% sense and I agree with all of it.

          Alas, our perverted professional league does NOT agree. It tacitly endorses those stupid staged fights, believing in the revenue potential of regularly throwing in something exciting for the LCD.

          The NHL does not actually have faith in its own product, hockey.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Perhaps the bench was upset at the manner in which George was taken down (Orr style). I know I didn’t like it. 

    • rhino514 says:

      MB put his stamp on the team at this trade deadline. Before, it was too soon, we couldn´t really rate him.
      Now I would safely rate him an A-.
      Who really thought we could lure a top end sniper with size? No one. Weaver has also been a great addition.
      Forget about what he gave up for Vanek; In Montreal you have to make the playoffs. The playoffs mean revenue, which helps the franchise in sundry ways, regardless of salary caps. The team was a decent team , but it was in trouble; it was looking more and more like a wild card team that would be soundly beaten in the first round or a team that could miss the playoffs altogether.
      In Mtl a GM often has to make moves based not on wether he gets equal value back, but based on what would happen if he doesn´t make the move. Does he avert a short-term disaster by making the move? Then it has to be done.
      Based on what we had seen up to 60 games, and what we have seen of Vanek, the situation regarding this franchise is quite clear. We need a top end sniper in the form of either Vanek or someone else for next season. Imagine us going back to having nothing but The Kid on RW and (maybe) an aging Gionta for next season!
      MB has set the bar high and done well. But losing Vanek and not replacing with him with someone good (doesn´t necessarily have to be as good as Vanek, since we have some depth, but definitely should have some size and decent scoring ability) will have us in a vulnerable position next season. There is no one within the system even close to filling this need.
      He probably saved this season for us, but man is he in tough to secure a sniper for next season. That is what I am really curious to see; that´s where he will really earn his brownie points.

      • HabsPooch says:

        No matter what happens in the playoffs, I love Bergevins guts in making that move. I truly believe we’re on the right path with him. There’s a process in building a consistently good team and even though some of his moves have been questionable, I think he knows he has a solid young core to build on and some very good prospects down the line that will help fill in the gaps.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I agree.
          Geez, what do we know, really?!
          Just think back to how HIO TORCHED DD!!

          • HabsPooch says:

            True. Although he didn’t exactly start off the season on fire. You couldn’t blame us for thinking that way. Credit goes to Therien and staff for being patient and putting him in the best situations to get out of his funk and start producing.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Good thing they pay NO attention to what is said here!
            Does it make us react more patiently to other moves?

            no!

  11. dano58 says:

    New nick name for our line. V-MD as they are like doctors as they meticulously cure what ails the Habs – Goals!!!

    GO HABS GO!!!

    “Always looking to better my team.”-M/B

  12. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Habcouver! Did Ron Maclean really and truly say it was a bad night for Canadian teams?!

    Storman, HiS. Sorry, the last time I paid any attention to Scott Oake I could not stand him at all. In my experience, he always, but always asked questions like, “How did you feel letting in the goal that cost the series? Bad?”.

    Am I thinking of someone else? Was there another Scott?

    SlyCH, on HiS’s secular use of capitals. Way to put it on the line, no shame in that. Someone once suggested (and some implemented?) that we use our own faces as avatars for a week (what was the occasion?). Imagine if we all put our religious non/affiliation as our signatures?! Complete non-runner I know, but as a religious studies teacher I would be fascinated by the outcome if we did it.

    Meanwhile, that;s not what I set out to say, which was that AA Milne uses random capitals for emphasis throughout “Winnie the Pooh”, and “The House at Pooh Corner”.

    And it works! When Pooh suggests escaping the flood by getting into empty honey jars, Piglet asks him what did he think would happen next, “Really Wanting to Know”.

    The One True Faith does not have the monopoly on stray capitals! (Unless AA Milne is in fact God…! Hmm….)

    And lastly back to hockey. Mike B is right to point out that we will lose to Tampa if we allow them to double us in SOG. On the other hand, the lone similarity between the Panthers and Bolts is the state they play in, and there is no way the Habs would approach Tampa the way they played Florida. Especially if it’s the playoffs.

    I think we just won last night playing in third gear.

  13. ths says:

    Sign Markov and Vanek.
    Chillax in Florida but beat Tampa. Throw some youngins at em until the playoffs
    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

  14. Paz says:

    I’m sure glad Hickey is not the GM. Markov’s play the last 2 months has been very inconsistent. He has been terrific, average, and terrible, for long stretches at a time, not at all the type of play that should inspire THREE years.

    The Habs are winning because they are scoring 5 on 5, and they are being outshot by Florida, at least in part, because their defensive play (from all 5 players on the ice) is not consistent.

    There’s a reason why the negotiations with Markov did not secure a deal before the deadline. I would agree that Markov has looked better these past 5 or 6 games, and good for him for picking himself up. Because coming out of the Olympic break he was downright awful, and I’m sure he knew it.

    • The_Truth says:

      Are you talking about Markov or Subban? Could easily be both.

      Markov will be signed and 3 years isn’t a big deal for a guy like him. Even in his 3rd year, he will be a very good 2nd pairing guy. I can’t imagine less than 6 million per.

      • Paz says:

        I agree that the same post could apply to Subban. His defensive play seems panicked and rushed at times. Not good enough.

        If 3 years and 18 million was so obvious for Markov it would have been signed already.

      • CJ says:

        I agree, both Markov and Subban have been terribly inconsistent. Very much ying and yang.

        I worry about the internal implications of signing Markov to a three year extension. I’m not sold on that term. Ideally a one year deal would be best. Looking ahead, I could see both Tinordi and Beaulieu on the opening night roster next season.

        A mix and match of;

        PK Beaulieu
        Markov Emelin
        Tinordi Gorges

        I’d love to have a right handed shot to help even the imbalance.

        Anyway, looking forward to debating further this off season.

  15. Captain aHab says:

    The Habs would win the Cup in 4 straight games and Boone would start off by listing all the negatives in the game/season. Keeps saying he doesn’t want to be Negative Nelly and/or Debbie Downer but he always is. Try to be Ursula Upper once in a while Boonie…..

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

  16. Haberoooo13 says:

    I wasn’t able to watch last night. How telling or misleading are the shot totals?

    I was in Montreal for Graig Ferguson with the guy who plays Geoff on his talk show as the opening act…Freaking funny show.

    PS Craig’s only two buttering ups of Montreal were the women and he wore a Hab Jersey.

    Lafleur coming out rather gingerly…

  17. Maritime Ronn says:

    Wrote this yesterday about George Parros

    March 29, 2014 AT 12:58 PM
    Here’s hoping that Florida just relaxes tonight and plays out the string…and tough guy Krys Barch doesn’t do anything stupid and Parros feels a need to respond.

    Barch has gone toe-to-toe with Lucic and Eric Boulton…the guy that gave Parros his last concussion.
    Barch and Parros were not teammates last year in Florida….
    ———————–
    While watching the fight replay, it was obvious that George was just hanging on and protecting himself, then the fall to the ice was close to another disaster for him.

    For the best of the Team, and more importantly the health of Parros, it’s time GMMB and Parros sit down and call it a year/career.
    When your Enforcer can’t skate, is a liability to the team on the ice – cannot outright win his fights…nothing good can be had for both parties.

  18. frozengolf says:

    Good morning all,

    Pretty pumped about this team right now, having just won $50.00 and a case of beer from Leafs fans, as the Laffs can’t catch us in the standing anymore! Good times! Anyway, I was just looking at Capgeek, and I was hoping there would be some way for MB to sign the big three this year (Subban, Markov and Vanek). Realistically there is no way he can sign all three. According to Capgeek, the habs have just over 27 million to spend next year (If the cap jumps to 71 million, which is not a given). If Subban takes 8 mil., and Markov gets 6 mil, leaving 13 million to spend. If you give Vanek 8 Mil (will take that to make him stay), it leaves only 5 million for everybody else. Gionta will be re-signed, Eller needs a contract, Weiss, White, and at least a couple of more defensemen. Not enough to go around. Sad, but I think Vanek goes to Minnesota for less money and a happy wife.

    _________________________________________________________
    “We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.”

  19. HabsLifer says:

    This group sometimes get locked in to all the stats from the west teams. Guess what folks, we only have to worry about one of those teams, be it Chicago, or St Louis, or LA. We can win our conference. It won’t be pretty, but there is not one team we can’t beat in the east. And then, we can concentrate on an extended game plan for the finals. Remember, playoffs morphs into something different than regular season games. Quite evident if you remember Dryden’s performance against the booooins to Patty Roy’s ’86 and ’93 performances.
    I have been fair with our team all year, and to be honest, I didn’t think we could go very far in the playoffs, but I’m having second thoughts. This could be our year if the cards fall in our favor. Just sayin….
    ———————————
    Claude Provost Rocked!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Unlucky for Kenny Dryden his only Conn Smythe came in his pre-Rookie season (won the Calder the season after). Reason was, of course, that that 70’s team was a powerhouse non-pareil. Dryden had to be really good in the 4-3 SC final against Chicago which was also one of Henri Richard’s finer moments.

      • HabsLifer says:

        Dryden was unbelievable! Price is just as good this year IMO. Just looked up the roster for !970-71. Does this ever bring back good memories! Belliveau, the Road Runner, Dryden, Fergy, Lemaire, the Pocket, the Mahovlich brothers, Savard, and JC Trembley amongst others.

        ___________________
        Claude Provost Rocked!

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Remember young Jacques Lemaire blasting one past Tony “0” Esposito from outside the blueline?

          • habsinthegap says:

            Yes I remember being very discouraged at that point because we were down 2-0 and the game had that feel of being out of reach. Lemaire shoots from outside the blue line, I whined something like “aw man, don’t shoot from there, you idiot!” Tony O misplays the rising slapper by dropping to his butterfly, waves at the puck as it sails over his head, and the comeback is on!

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    FANTASTIC!!!
    Leaf’s are out!, and Canada get’s the CBC back and out of Putin’s hands in Toronto Nation!!

  21. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s a couple of stats concerning MaxPac. His line has now combined for 25 points during the past 7 games. Even better is the fact that the Habs are 21-1-1 when Pacioretty scores a goal in the game.

  22. Maritime Ronn says:

    What a difference a Vanek sniper makes.

    In the 12 games since he arrived – and a bad 0-3 start, the Habs are 8-1 since then.

    Then the offensive numbers for the 1st Line in 12 games:
    Vanek: 6 Goals-11 points +6
    Max….: 5 Goals-11 points +5
    51…….: 4 Goals-12 points +4

    Total 12 games: 15 goals – 34 points + 15.

    Great stuff!
    The only very tiny concern at this time is secondary scoring for the Habs.

    While the 12 game sample may be small, The Vanek line has scored 15 goals of the total 34 goals scored by the Habs in those 12 games.
    That’s 44% of all goals scored.

  23. RetroMikey says:

    Memo to Bergevin

    1. Do not sign Markov to a long ridiculous contract. Do not!

    2. Trade Larry Eller if we can get something in return.

    3. Keep the 4th long intact for many many years in Weise-White-Moen

    I am still trying to figure out this club. Consistency is lacking and we are luck t win games we should not.

    Hopefully, Therrien will fix this problem before the playoffs or els Tampa will make this a very short series and move on to face the mighty Bruins

    BIG IS BETTER!

  24. For all those weather complainers in MTL and Ottawa, NYC had torrential rain, wind and it was chilly. I’d rather have the snow. I’d go skiing, start a fire and snuggle with the lady and a great martini.

    As for the Habs and all the good feeling about 5 wins in a row, it’s great to see and the feelings are positive, yet when you look at St. Louis, our inability to take down San Jose, even Phoenix, reality can bite back pretty quickly. We all know the shortcomings, CJ laid them out nicely, but keep in mind that Gorges is no defensive superstar and if we don’t have scoring from the first line, we’d be in deeper trouble.

    Price too has been consistent but has a pretty poor playoff record. Will this be his year to shine? I don’t know. I hope so, but history has a way of predicting future performance.

    Pleks’ absence shows how much he is missed. A continuously underrated 200 ft. forward who should have the C on his Jersey.

    I hope Chucky hasn’t been damaged to much. He has some flashes of skill, but has done nothing for over 26 games. That would be a major shame if MT messed that up.

    Hope Gally isn’t hurt. Images of him at the end of last nights game made him look like he was bloodied and battered. How many years can he keep that up?

    We know who needs to be traded or passed over. Still work to do, but as pessimistic as I am, I know anything can happen in the second season.

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

    • Mavid says:

      Not sure why people complain about the weather anyway..there is nothing you can do about it…except maybe move..It is what it is.

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I don’t mean to jump all over you but I have to disagree with a couple things in your post.

      “I hope Chucky hasn’t been damaged to much. He has some flashes of skill, but has done nothing for over 26 games. That would be a major shame if MT messed that up.”

      Really? He’s damaged now lol? The team has just won 5 games in a row, they’re doing far better than anyone imagined, AGAIN! So the coach is ruining players? Galchenyuk is a kid! He’ll probably have 60 points next year and 80 the year after. I have to agree with Elliott Friedman when he said the treatment of Michel Therrien by some fans in Montreal borders on stupidity and is just baffling.

      “Pleks’ absence shows how much he is missed. A continuously underrated 200 ft. forward who should have the C on his Jersey.”

      Um, OK? Pleks is one of my favourite players too. I’d be fine with him getting the C next year. Did we really see how much he was missed last night though, LOL? We won 4-1!

      • Hey Hobie… I was referring to our expectations of Gally. How quickly we forget the venom being spewed about how MT was brought in to nurture the young’uns, but in fact has been coddling the veterans. Gally is a good player, period. Will he be a great player? I hope you’re right, but I don’t see the support that he should be getting. I relate that to the possible mishandling of Eller too. Does Eller truly have that poor a hockey IQ? Has he been set-back immeasurably since his major face plat at the hands o f Ottawa last year. I have to think MT’s management had something to do with that. Tinordi, Beaulieu and others (perhaps even LL and I know I’m stretching there).

        Those are my rational concerns and when a team sits back and let’s their goalie take them to a win with 5 and 3 shots on goal in the 2nd and third periods, yeah, I think Pleks would have not allowed as many turnovers and carry the play to the lowly Panthers more often then they did after the first.

        Appreciate the comments, I just don’t want to drink the Koolaid and then see us get shellacked like last year against Ottawa. My way of dealing with 21 years of disappintment.

        I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          The coach’s main responsibility is to win games. He is doing that quite well. I too would very much like to see Galchenyuk lightening it up and Tinordi playing every night.

          Unfortunately, Galchenyuk has showed he has world class skill but is quite soft in other areas. He’s getting plenty of ice time and playing with quality players. Galchenyuk is also being coached by some of the best around. He simply isn’t a complete NHL player yet. There isn’t much more Therrien or Bergevin can do except let him mature and develop more.

          Tinordi was given every opportunity to be an everyday NHL player this year. He was told he made the team out of training camp and was welcomed with open arms. Unfortunately, if you watch the games closely, he does have some big holes in his game. He needs another summer of intense training and maybe another half season in the AHL. It’s a bummer but it’s true.

          Eller, fair or not, has just lost his edge. Instead of forcing the hand of the coaching staff he has seemed to have regressed. To play a key role on a professional sports team you’ve got to be hungrier than the guy fighting for the same spot you are. Eller is not.

        • CJ says:

          Good points. I think the drafting of Big Mac and Crisp, along with the signing of Nevins, Fournier, Sorkin, etc., are all geared at insulating our smaller, skilled players. Guys like Reway can shine, provided there is time and space provided by some bigger players.

          That is the investment I believe we are making in Galley. I expect to see more to follow. As I’ve noted, I would move Bourque for a young fighter. I know, it’s a dying art, but so long as it’s in the game, we might as well be covered. Defence next season is going to be bigger and more physical, while not giving up skill. Murray and Frankie will likely be replaced by Tinordi and Beaulieu, who will be one year riper.

    • CJ says:

      I agree, Gorges is not a cure all, but I believe he helps provide some structure alongside PK who looks bipolar with Frankie.

      Again, I don’t want to pick at a win, but PK has really been up and down this season. He is Norris one night, than on the bench the next. Even crazier is the fact this transformation occurs within the same period of hockey. As much as I’m sure I’ll get called out for saying this, I don’t see him in the $8-$9 million price range that others have suggested he has earned. Keep in mind Pietrangelo just signed for $6.5 million on a long term deal. $6.5 to $7 should be the range, IMO.

      I understand the tax implications, hockey markets, etc. I’d sell PK on the secondary opportunities available in Montreal. Aside from his contract, surely he could take in another $1 million plus in endorsements.

    • JUST ME says:

      I am amazed on how people think that kids can make it in the NHL easily and how we do not understand the talent that some have like Crosby, McKinnon and others in making an impact immediately.

      Kids are kids and as immature as they can be it can be very damaging to play them in situations where maturity is their biggest problem. They may never get over it in their career. That is why Detroit has so much succes with their younsters ,keep them in the minors, play a lot, be confident ,learn the system and thrive. When they get to the NHL they are low maintenance.
      We do not have that luxury now cause our pool of talent in the farm team is scarce but hopefully one day we will and then there will be no debate about bringing kids up here or not and how the coach has to deal with them.

  25. JF says:

    A great first period, during which we seemed to have the puck all the time, produced the two goals that would have been all we needed. After the insurance goal in the second, the team was simply coasting. Against stronger opposition, this would almost certainly have cost them, but I can forgive it against the Panthers in the circumstances. Tuesday’s tilt against the Bolts should be much more emotion-filled and high-intensity. I want to see us finally put some pucks past Ben Bishop, and I want to see if we’re capable of containing Steven Stamkos. Both of these are more important considerations to me than whether we finish third or fourth in the Conference because it seems every year that home ice in the playoffs is just as often a disadvantage as an advantage.

    This Florida trip could not have come at a better time. With our next game after the Lightning not being until Friday, the guys will have nearly a week of sunshine and warmth. A week in which to recharge their batteries and soak up some sun and vitality for the post-season. It was a great decision by the coaching staff to lose no time by flying directly down from Detroit. I just hope Plekanec can join them in time to play on Tuesday and have a couple of days in the sun.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Guys, some anyway, need chaperones. Bunch of them had lots of sun and fun during the Olympic break, and boy were they flat afterwards. Then there was the suspenseful mini-drama of Pricey being injured. Make ‘em do wind-sprints in the beach sand, MT.

      • JF says:

        They may be a bit flat for a game or two, but I think this mini-break will help in the playoffs.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Agree JF. This is a point in the season where they have about as many injuries as any other point, and it’s been a lucky season in that regard. Don’t think Pricey is fully healed and he’s on his knees a lot because of a sore groin which they try to disguise as a knee injury.

  26. Cal says:

    It is the 2nd last day of March and Nos Glorieux are playing like they can see the light at the end of this regular season tunnel. 3rd overall in the conference and winners of 8 of their last 10, this edition of the Habs is poised for a playoff run. The Unexpected Austrian Acquisition has elevated the Habs to a bonafide Eastern Conference contender.
    Despite this incessant winter, Montrealers and fans from not only across the country but around the world have that warm feeling in their hearts again. This team can score, play good D and has a top caliber goalie. As Doug Henning used to say, “Anything is possible in the world of magic!”

  27. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Check out Lizard Ranger, 1.56am!!

    Good thing all those terrible suggestions were concentrated into the imagination of a single poster! Good thing no other HIO poster ever once ever thought any of those things, never mind articulated them!

    Lizard, the rest of HIO will convene in secret later today to discuss whether or not you should be allowed remain in the community. Your honesty might stand to you and a conditional reprieve be granted.

  28. jon514 says:

    Hi guys. The team is playing REALY well without JG. Do you think there’s a chance they move him in the off-season if they think they can sweeten the pot for Vanek?

  29. CJ says:

    Good morning folks.

    Snowing quite heavily in Ottawa this morning. Maybe the world has come off it’s axis. Or, maybe the other shoe has simply dropped.

    Fact is, there is lots of attention regarding Toronto’s slide, but the truth is they have been playing with fire all season. Nine shoot out wins, and ten games in which they collected two points, despite being outshot by at least a 2-1 margin. It was a house of cards. The wind picked up and blew the whole thing to pieces.

    As bad as the Leafs are, and it’s been a glorious downward spiral, Ottawa is equally inept. Adding insult to injury, the Sens have given up their first round pick to the Ducks, who don’t really look like a team who needs any more help. People say that the Leafs can’t play defence. True, it’s like watching my oldest boy and his friends play duck-duck-goose, but it’s still more cohesive than the Senators. Goaltending can cover up so much, but in the absence of spectacular play, the team is in major trouble.

    Goaltending will be a major theme as Price and Bishop go head to head in the first round. Bishop has enjoyed excellent career numbers against Montreal, but I truly believe that Price better manages the pressure and gives us an advantage. The game within a game.

    Offensively, the pieces are in place. Defence is competent, and the PK is excellent.

    Not to throw a bucket of icy water on everyone, but there are still major cracks, residing just below the surface. The PP continues to labour, and lacks consistency and options beyond the first unit. Defensively, we struggle in our own end. The forwards did a better job supporting the defence last night, but there were several plays where the puck was not cleared, and the Cats were able to extend zone time. Unless Prust and Weise come back at 100%, we have almost nobody up front who engages physically. I worry about Malone operating unchecked, blasting into our defence. We have gotten wins against some pretty bad opponents (Sens, 2 x Sabres, Leafs, Wings, Panthers). We had a big win against the Bruins and Av’s, but aside from Colorado, haven’t looked particularly dominant in any outing.

    As others have said, it’s hard to pick out issues when he continue to win. It’s also a little unfair to identify lineup issues. I’m almost certain that Gorges will replace Bouillion and Murray and Tinordi rotate. I believe Prust/Weise/Moen come in, while Bourque and Parros are removed.

    Big game on Tuesday as the team has a chance to send a strong message to the Bolts. It will be a nice chance for Murray or Tinordi to engage Malone and remind him that he no longer has a free pass against the Canadiens. In the interim, I hope the boys enjoy the time off. Getting healthy will be key to our success going forward.

    In closing, I loved seeing Tim Bozon back on the ice last night. It’s going to be a long road ahead, but I’d love to see him skate out on the Bell Centre ice someday. I’m sure the building would come undone. I’ll let you all know what it feels like, as I’m committed to being there to see it. I don’t often cheer for one player/prospect over another, but this is the exception. Seeing this young man on the road to recovery is the best news story I’ve seen in a long time.

    Have a great day everyone. Cheers, CJ

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi CJ

      regarding the Habs PP, it’s obvious they are in transformation mode.
      Before Vanek arrived, it was all about teeing up Subban at the point for a 1-timer.

      While they still have that option, the Habs are trying to work down low with playmaking and passing between Max, 51, and Vanek.
      Still lots of time to polish it up, yet much better having 2 good options than just one .

      Now if teams want to pressure the points, they will be outnumbered down low 3-2. Don’t pressure the points and PK-Markov can fire away or smarly look for an opening

      • CJ says:

        Makes sense, in theory. I’ve seen the same thing. It’s a results based business though and fresh looks are great, but results are what matters. I remember the Bruins beating us in seven games with limited or no success on the PP. It can be overcome, but we are not as deep as that team was and need the PP to click. I liked Briere on the PP last night. I’m off the Beaulieu call up, but he would have also helped the second wave point position.

        It’s hard to flick a switch, but hopefully the unit starts to click in the postseason.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Specialty teams are incredibly important, yet if you look through the years and factor in strength of competition when down to the final 4, the PK is actually more important than the PP.

          • CJ says:

            I agree. I’d argue that our team, given our lack of size, needs to fully engage the PP, if only to deter bigger, stronger teams from taking liberties against us. I think this makes us uniquely different from previous Stanley Cup contenders. That said, again, your point re the PK stands on merit.

        • JF says:

          During that series against the Bruins, people talked about how the Bruins couldn’t score on the powerplay, but in the end it was their strength 5-on-5 that beat us. Three of the games went to overtime, and the refs nearly always put their whistles away in OT in the playoffs. This of course favoured the Bruins and neutralized one of our biggest weapons. The powerplay is important, but I think 5-on-5 scoring is more so in the playoffs.

          Our second goal last night was almost a powerplay goal, and I really liked the puck movement that preceded it. There were several good chances. The powerplay is looking less predictable than it did, so I’m hoping it’ll come round.

          • CJ says:

            Yes, 5×5 scoring and a goaltender with nearly a .970 save percentage led the Bruins past us. Three years removed and I’m still bitter. Look at the key injuries we faced. We should have beaten those guys….ugh!

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Good call out about the 5X5 hockey

    • Lafleurguy says:

      I think it was a sneeze that took down the house of cards, or was it flatulence?

    • JUST ME says:

      I agree that the Leafs just got a dose of what should have been delt to them earlier this season. Does not mean that they did not deserve to get to the edge of the playoffs but something had to give. And now the goalies are to blame but all season long they faced 40 – 45 shots every game ! Time is necessary i think before trying to fix the leaking engine… Still my heart is not bleeding…

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Interesting you mention that.
        At around Game 40, some Toronto media guy wrote how the Leafs shooting percentage was out worldly – that being outshot by huge margins on a consistent basis would eventually catch up to them.
        Smart fella…

        • CJ says:

          In hindsight it was fairly self evident. Kinda like watching Nortel Networks operate at 125:1 price to earnings ratio than act amazed when the stock slides from $125 to .45 cents.

      • CJ says:

        No broken heart here either. The biggest issue for the Leafs, IMO, isn’t the here and now. Their chances are on life support and someone’s contacted the Priest for the last rights. Looking ahead, Gleason is signed for $4 million for two more years. Clarkson is nearly $6 million for another six years. Neon Dion, $7 million for 7 years…..

        They are also missing picks from the Holland and Bolland deals and their prospects offer no immediate help. Many sources regarding their prospect depth outside the top 20.

        Lastly, how do you manage the Bolland file? He wants $5 million plus long term. He appeared to be worth every penny at the beginning of the season, but I wouldn’t give him half the money and a third of the term based on recent play. That said, the Leafs are almost forced to sign him now. Don’t be surprised if they move Reimer. Also, don’t be surprised if Reimer shines in his new destination.

        • Cal says:

          I believe Reimer will be welcomed with open arms in Winnipeg and that Bolland will try to find a contender on July 1. One year with the laffs should be enough to convince him that the laffs are run by clowns.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Depends how much stupid money they want to throw at him….’cause you know the Leafs.

        • JUST ME says:

          When Clarkson was signed we heard and read many comments from jealous people wondering how come since he was available…Still it was a mistake dor that style of player and that much money but many teams would have done the same thing.

          Personnaly the big big mistake was done by giving the jackpot to the orange cone. You needed a major change and should have started with the captaincy to change the mood and the chemistry withinh tha players. They never got anywhere with that guy and felt like he deserved to be trusted ?

          Now as you say they are stuck with a core of players/expenses that will follow them for years.

  30. JUST ME says:

    We often say that Mtl has a certain savoir faire when it comes to ceremonies before the game and i just don`t knpw why others do not try to copy cause it does stimulate the players positively or negatively.

    For instance yesterday, you had an anthem player the Les Nesman type playing on an old Barnum & Bailey organ without passion and inspiration and you just knew that this was at the Panther`s image…Then Bob cole was introduced and we officially knew we were in for a long night…

    But the Habs won this one easily and for the first time in a while sat on their butt once they felt confident. Against the Panthers ain`t no problem. Man ! This Vanek/Max/D.D. line is nice to see !!!

    Once again this morning Boone starts with the negative and even tells us that he does ! As if we were not used to see him go that way. Getting less and less stuff to complain about doesn`t it ?

    I am a winter lover but this one this morning in MTL is a bit much so i am in a crappy mood…

  31. Steven Snell says:

    This basically sums up my feeling re the Leafs/Red Wings game last night… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwCBYP9uJpM

  32. Old Bald Bird says:

    Is anyone else flabbergasted that we are beating teams that we are supposed to beat? This seems to me to be a significant change.

    • Schedule is in the Habs favor of late, and going forward.

      Beating teams that likely will not make the playoffs and snagging a couple wins from teams that are already in (Boston, Colorado).

      Habs should be locked in no later than Saturday enabling Therrien to rest some palyers in the final weekend, unless 2nd ion the division still up for grabs.

      ___________________________________________

      Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

  33. The Toronto Star’s recap of Coach’s Corner.

    “Cherry then goes on one of his rants about how he, as a coach, used to protect his goalies in Boston by resting his No. 1 at times and putting a backup in against a top team. An example of that came this week when Montreal stunned Boston with backup Peter Budaj in goal. No. 1 goalie Carey Price started the next game but lost to the last-place Sabres.”

    Uhhhhh OK

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2014/03/29/coachs_corner_don_cherry_rants_on_faceoff_protocal_and_resting_no_1_goalies.html

    ___________________________________________

    Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

    • Steven Snell says:

      Cherry said Buffalo won by mistake. Of course, the Toronto reporter wouldn’t know the truth or bother to check.

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      Cheery made it seem like the Habs were throwing him to the lions, like a wise coach would, to rest the #1. If he had done his homework (homework…what’s dat?) he would have found out that Budaj is 3-0 in the Fleet Centre, and was in desperate need of a boost in confidence. Slightly risky, but not nearly as sacrificial as Cherry suggests. The man is a blowhard.

  34. 24 Cups says:

    I just did a rough cap calculation for next year. I based it on the present team minus Gionta, Parros, Bouillon and Murray. I re-signed Subban and Vanek for 8M each and Markov for 6M. I gave all the other restricted free agents the 15% qualifying offer as well as making Tinordi and Beaulieu full time players. Drewiske can be waived to the AHL which means his salary doesn’t count against the cap. I also used the 1/3 bonus calculation that Frank formulated on this site during the start of the present season.

    My final cap calculation came in at 72.28M. That figure doesn’t allow for any injury flexibility which usually is around 1M. That brings the final total up to 73.28M. Bettman has mentioned a Canadian dollar adjusted cap of around 69M. If that’s true, then somebody from my roster has to go. Dumping Briere saves around 3.2M while jettisoning Bourque saves 2.5M. There is also the chance that Subban might sign short term which would make his salary around 7M instead of 8M.

    Teams that spend to the max are always moving players around to stay just below the salary ceiling. Chicago and Philadelphia are prime examples of that spending model. If Vanek and Markov stay, then some other high price players are going to have to hit the road.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      It would be tight for sure, but it would be great also. You’d think that TV would at least be a little bit tempted to continue playing on this line. Some degree of success in the playoffs would probably help.

    • SlovakHab says:

      Keeping Vanek and moving Briere (although I respect him recently, he has been good) and Borque is a dream scenario.
      Markov might be possible for around 5M I rekon. Maybe 5.5.
      Eller (I really like him, but he seems to struggle here) might be moved too.. Imagine Briere or Borque bringing back a 2nd or a prospect… Pretty much recovering half of what Vanek cost us. It would be interesting.

      But realistically, Toronto might have a better shot on playoffs than us keeping Vanek. He will really be sought after on July 1st.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Moving a player such as Eller really doesn’t help in terms of the cap. I figure he’s basically getting qualified as most of his leverage has gone out the window due to his poor play. Even at that, you’re only going to save around 800,000 grand by moving Eller.

        The one thing people must keep in mind is that when you move a player out, you still must replace him in the line-up. Regardless of whom that might be, it’s still around 800,000 to do so. Prime examples of that would be Beaulieu, Tinordi or Weise.

    • Steven Snell says:

      It’s going to be a fascinating summer for sure. Your numbers really highlight the writing on the wall. Vanek ain’t signing here.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi cups

      That’s good work you did there and here’s seeing it the same way.
      All the Habs have to do is convince Vanek and his Minnesota wife and 4 children that Montreal-its team, culture and taxes, are much better than being away for 8 years from the newly built, dream family home in Minnesota.

      Next up is Subban. While many think that’s a gimme, the Habs better convince him that Being a Hab long term is better than Arbitration and then UFA status in the summer of 2016 where he can pick and choose wherever he wants to go for a king’s ransom

      • 24 Cups says:

        Ronn – I figure Vanek going to Minnesota is a done deal. Especially in light of the fact they can transfer Heatley’s 7.5M to Vanek and then sweeten the deal with some of the increased salary cap money for next year.

        If that happens, then Montreal is probably looking at the second tier of UFAs. Players such as Vrbata, Setoguchi or Michalek.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Thanks for the analysis. Is Drewiskie on a 2 way contract? I know they sent him down for conditioning. Correct me if I am wrong, if he is on a one way contract, they could waive him to the minors but the cap relieve would only be a percentage of his salary.

      I would say if the Habs resign Markov, Gorges would be gone. I don’t see them moving Emelin and Tinordi and Beaulieu are both lefties like Markov, Gorges and Emelin. It would be cheaper to keep Drewiskie as the 7th d-man. I would think one of either Nygren or Pateryn would make the team.

      Having said that, if Bergevin signs Markov, Subban and Vanek, he could trade Gorges, Bourque and let go Parros, Boullion, Murray, and Weaver, unless Weaver signs for the league minimum. If the idea is to move Galchenyuk to centre next season, then perhaps Eller will also be traded. Bournival plays centre and that still leaves DD, Pleks and White at centre.

      Habfan17

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi 17
        If a player is sent down, the Cap hit to the big team is calculated by:
        Player Cap hit minus $925, 000.
        Since Drewiske’s cap hit is less than that(637K), it would count for zero against the Habs overall number

        A team cannot bury contracts anymore-the Redden rule.
        If a player had a 1 way contract at $5 million it would be:
        $5M minus $ 925K. That would be the Cap Hit the team would incur

      • 24 Cups says:

        17 – I don’t think Montreal can have three rookies on the D at the same time. If Nygren or Pateryn make it, that probably means one of Tinordi/Beaulieu won’t.

        Gorges has played the right side in the past and likes to think of himself as a team leader so….

        Having said that, it will probably be Tinordi who has to make the switch.

    • jon514 says:

      Great points. I wonder if the recent play without Josh Gorges has actually hurt his chances of staying with the team. Clearly we can get it done without him. I love Gorges, but if the key to keeping Vanek, Subban and Markov is to ship him somewhere for a draft pick… I think it’s a fair deal.

  35. gordispitz says:

    congratulations to all.. another winning month ! ,,, this one with an exclamation point ! great job!!!! ,,, let’s roll !!!

  36. Lafleurguy says:

    Most goals by a Hab since Alex and Erik. Before them, Vincent and Pierre around 18 years ago. Who was the last 40-goal scorer?

  37. SlovakHab says:

    Always liked Max Pacioretty.
    That’s why I’m glad I don’t need to read how streaky, soft, injury prone, perimeter player he is on this fine forum anymore.

    As for Michel Therrien, I’m seriously getting worried he might be extended. This team is winning, and I can really see MB extend at least one of Michel Therrien and Douglas Murray. Scary stuff.

    I respect MT for getting us into the playoffs 2x in a row, but man, are we ever deep up front and in goal. We have 5 guality NHL lines (which helps when Moen, Prust and Wiese are injured), had good luck without too many injuries this year, and all of Price, Budaj and Tokarski have been really good. On defence, very few teams in the east have top 2 as good as PK Subban and Andrei Markov. West – yes, there is some serious quality. But east, not even Boston and Pittsburgh have top-2 as good (especially considering Letang’s and Seidenberg’s injury).

    Overall, this team has some decent firepower in the relatively weak east conference, and should be exactly where it is.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Paul Martin (not Seidenberg of the Bruins).
      Edit: sorry, misread that sentence SH.

    • JF says:

      Why would you be worried abut extending Therrien? Who do you think would do a better job?

    • JUST ME says:

      Despite everything ,you still have doubts about M.T. ? Then convince us that you will not act the same way with the one that will take his place.

    • 24 Cups says:

      SH – Therrien’s record on his second go round is presently 72/40/12. He has the third highest coaching record in the East since the lockout. 7th highest in the entire NHL. In light of those facts, why would MB want to fire MT? People can harp all they want about players such as Bouillon and Murray but that’s the hand that Therrien was dealt. Even his constant shuffling of lines and defense pairings seems to usually work out. The only major criticism might be his handling of Subban but part of that blame must also be put on the player himself.

      Let’s say Therrien doesn’t get an extension. That leaves the team with the usual suspects – Boucher and Crawford. Neither one of those guys gets me too excited in terms of what they might be able to do that would be superior to what Therrien has already accomplished.

      As for Murray, I think it will come down to a choice between him and Weaver with Weaver winning out because of his ability to play the right side.

      • SlovakHab says:

        Good record. I really liked Therrien last season. This year, we have been outshot and outplayed way too often.

        I don’t want him fired, but definitely wouldn’t like to see him retained unless he gets rid of some bad habits (especially when it comes to defencemen – Tinordi and Beaulieu should be playing regularly; Subban and Bouillon should not be paired up, etc.)

        It’s hard to see which coach is available when Therrien’s contract is up. I also don’t know who in particular speaks French. But if Vigneault becomes available in 2015 or sooner, I reckon he would do just as good, if not better than MT. Boucher would also work well here, I reckon.

        I would absolutely love MB if he kept Weaver and didn’t extend Bouillon and Murray. And would be nice to see Tinordi and Beaulieu both full time next season. In fact, at least one of them should be full time this year, working on their game in NHL.

        In short, I respect MT’s record, but to win the Cup in 30-team league, you need an elite coach. He isn’t elite in my eyes.
        I’m worried about the French language requirement holding us back.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Yikes! I’m shuddering to think Claude Julien is an elite coach!

        • 24 Cups says:

          SH – I’m guessing Therrien is on a three year contract. If so, then it’s not likely that Bergevin will make him a lame duck coach in year three. That’s not how it’s done. Adding another year this summer solves the problem while still keeping the door open for other options.

          Hab management must be bilingual. End of discussion.

          Boucher only looks like a better choice because he doesn’t have to be held accountable in any way. Vigneault is only in his first year and the Rangers are going to make the playoffs so I figure he’s in New York for awhile.

          LG – Some people despise Julien but his coaching record is and has been very good.

        • JUST ME says:

          I guess it`s all about expectations . I agree that the touchy part has been with the D squad but it all depends on how you look at it personnaly. Myself i would keep both Tinordi and Beaulieu in Hamilton for another 2 years although this might not be possible because the organization does not have that big a pool of talent to let them mature and gain confidence.
          Thus the Habs being forced to play guys that were not hired to play everyday like Bouillon…

  38. HabFab says:

    Tim Bozon returns to the ice last night… to say good-bye. He spent the last couple of days with his teammates and now will be flying home to Europe;
    https://twitter.com/tcrawls/status/450132430788124672/photo/1

  39. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning. There have been two players not named Vanek who have taken the next step during this streak. Slowly we are seeing the maturation of Pacioretty who will someday soon be a 50 goal scorer in this league. Just think back to all those post earlier in the season who called him “soft”.

    The other player who now looks like the kind of top end defenseman many thought he’d become. Emelin has been super for about two weeks now. He was actually playing much better prior to the Bruin game as Boone notes above but it may have been a turning point. Markov’s game has been getting noticed as well and he seems to be getting credit for Emelin’s play. I think its Emelin who has contributed more to Markov’s improved play.

    Whatever, the combination of Markov/Emelin gives the Habs a very good defensive pairing.

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Jim. Greats points re Emelin. I agree completely. His play has really helped solidify that pairing. Cheers, CJ

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hiya J. Emelin is playing perhaps his best ever. Couple of recent goals (power play?) were key to victories in those games. I still believe getting targeted and pounded by Lucic in the 4-1 loss turned Yemmy’s season around. May have proven to him that his knee is sound.

    • SlovakHab says:

      Good morning (good night here), Habfan.

      I reckon you are a bit too optimistic. Pacioretty is a great goalscorer, but I don’t see him scoring 50. That’s for the supersnipers – Ovechkins and Stamkoses of the league. I will be happy with 30+ goals per season for the next several years.

      Emelin – I liked him on the left side of Subban, before MT broke that up. I noticed him too in the recent games, but 2 weeks are a small sample size. He has had some bad games with Markov to his left in the past, so although it seems promising, I wouldn’t get overly excited just yet.

      A player that definitely deserves credit for turning around his season is DD. I disliked him so much for the 60% of the season, but since they are together with Pacioretty and Vanek, it is hard not to respect and admire his play. He has been put into a good position, and took his chance and run away with it.

      Another player I admire for his season so far is Andrei Markov. Many people wrote him off, and he has been steady, veteran presence all year. Is he the best #2 D in the conference? After Seidenberg went down, it would be hard to find a better one I reckon.

  40. howiemorenz7 says:

    Highly satisfying night, Habs win, Leafs lose, Columbus wins, ‘buds are into single % odds of making playoffs, so sweet.

    I mean, I wouldn’t feel that way normally, but after last year’s thug-a-thon with McLaren and Colton ‘Orr’ (what a desecration of a sacred hockey name), I just had nothing left for that team.

    Same goes for the Sins, good riddance to their thugs too, hope they enjoy the links. As much as we all hate the ‘Ruins, we can at least respect their talent and depth.

    Come to think of it, when it comes to CDN hockey woes, thuggery is part of it: Torts in VCR lost the season with that stupid goonery in Calgary (jeez, who saw that coming?), ‘Orr’ lost his mojo after nearly killing Parros, and like the Loafs, Sins found out it’s hard to play like rabid Walruses when they’re always trailing.

    (As for WPG & Alberta teams, well really, who cares, I mean if I can’t sleep, I just flip on a tape of their games done by CBC and Mark Lee and zzzzz)

    As for Habs last night, OK, they got outworked, but it is so sweet to have that swagger – we’ll beat you no matter what you throw at us, one night it’s the goalie, one night it’s the offence, one night it’s PK/Marky. Bring it on. Wow. Been a while.

    Maroons Suck. #7 foreva.

  41. HabFab says:

    So we are a Hab WIN and a Washington LOSS away from clinching a playoff spot with two weeks to go… sweet!

  42. Lafleurguy says:

    You have to be real buds to do a Greenpeace joke on a pal. Mildly chuckled, Boonie.

  43. doug19 says:

    I feel bad for the Leafs they lost all their moxy. The coach really did nothing to help his two goalies which matters little now.

    I love that t
    his will force tiny hnic to be habs fans, hahahahahahahahahaha!

    • jon514 says:

      For what it’s worth, the leafs are loaded with prospects. I would trade Beaulieu for Gardiner in a heartbeat.

      I kinda feel bad for them. They deserved to have their season end in a 4 game exit in round one against the habs!

  44. Stanley Cup or Bust ! says:

    The only question is whether it will still be snowing when we raise the Cup ?

  45. GenerationYHabs says:

    Anyone know where I can watch episodes of 24ch online?

  46. Stevie.Ray says:

    My two cents that might not even be worth that much:

    Having Vanek and Pacioretty gives us two lethal scoring threats which I can’t remember the last time we had that.

    I know there has been a lot of debate about resigning Vanek and whether it’s worth it long term, but here’s what I’m thinking: remember after the 2004 lockout and the top players were being signed for an absurd 6 million dollars! Nowadays 6m is still high, but for a decent top 6 forward that is expected. Now if we sign Vanek now for, I don’t know, 7m a season lets say. That may be a lot now, but with the cap raising 9m next season, and the new tv deal going into effect next season which will start showing its effect the season after… In two years the salary cap could be up around 75 m. 6 years after that it’s conceivable it will be up around 85-90m, and a 7m dollar player whose best years are behind him, might hurt, but not as badly as I think it will. And here’s hoping Vanek doesn’t take a Gomez dive in quality.

  47. slyCH says:

    Argh! OK! So. No! I am far from a Gawd dude. It was simply a missed’ way of explaining why Him or Her should only be spelled with capital lette… ahhh farg it, really, I don’t give a rat’s ass and have already forgotten…

  48. AceMagnum says:

    Well it’s not Riddick Bowe but….will Jim Peplinski do?….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A7ewDxTuKY&hd=1
    —————————-

    THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  49. belle_moustache says:

    Did anyone see tonight how much Nazem Kadri looked like a clown (as if we needed anymore proof of that)? Have a look at the TSN highlights. Franzen is checked near the Leafs bench and Kadri holds the player’s stick so that he can’t get back in the play. Franzen is understandably angry and wacks Lupul, believing he was the one holding his stick, and Kadri screams murder like a diva.

    What a douche.

  50. AceMagnum says:

    Danny Downer!!
    —————————-

    THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  51. Storman says:

    Max career high in goals with 35 in just 67 games was injured for and missed 9 games this season,, also had a horrendous start to the season,, what a complete steal at 4.5 million a year.
    NHL goal Leaders
    1. Alex Ovechkin, WSH 48
    2. Corey Perry, ANA 37
    2. Joe Pavelski, SJ 37
    4. Phil Kessel, TOR 36
    5.Max Pacioretty, MON 35

  52. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …it has taken a longtime to get over Michel (NOT Micheal !) Therrien being named Our Coach, and Patrick not

    …but, I have to ask You just WHO ??? today would You want to replace Him with now that Patrick will remain in Colorado for the next 10 years ?

    …playing Bouillion, Weaver, Murray over Beulieu, Pateryn and Tinordi is a small Price (excuse the pun) to pay for the illogical success Our Team have had these past 2 seasons

    …let’s give Therrien some praise

    …I know it hurts Our better judgement, but, …what the Hell do We know anyway ? :)

    • AceMagnum says:

      Kevin Dineen

      —————————-

      THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

    • slyCH says:

      Why do you use CAPS when referring to anything but God?

      In other words, within every post and structure of your posts are references of deity whenever mentioning Him, Her, His … Him, Her, His, Who… I can go on…
      I like you. I don’t want to offend you. But!
      When referring to normal subjects, normal beings are simply…
      him, her, his, who… I can go on.
      Not in a mischievous manner, mind you, far from it. I like you.
      But I was raised Catholic and always read the bible as such. We are not Majuscucles! Simple as that.

  53. lizard ranger says:

    well its a good thing im not in charge of the CH .
    during the rough patches in the season i wanted to

    a. trade everyone
    b. fire everyone
    c. put together unrealistic line combos
    d. bench our best players

    good thing i’m just some dude with a laptop
    can’t believe how much i miss Gorges .
    Man, i know shite about hockey, keep winning boys
    Go Habs !

  54. Storman says:

    Scott Oake,,,,, why the NHL makes its players have to sit in his weak well beyond awkward interviews,,it is just not right,, insult to intelligence CBC has lost touch with the measure of good broadcasting..

    • Congrats to Team Canada says:

      Scott Oake is one of the guys I like on the CBC. He usually has intelligent questions and conversation.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …agree …Scott one of the few HNIC ‘characters’ I can stand

      • Storman says:

        Its all good to each his own,, but i find after hours interviews beyond awkward and I have heard most players hate being on the segment because of the awkward dumb questions he tends to ask,,Like tonight asking Shawn Matthias if he wants or thinks he can score 40 goals next year after scoring a nice goal last week,, Matthias has never scored more than 14 in any season, Matthias looked stunned said he would maybe like to hit 20 one year,, asked him how or if it was hard not be a laid back easy going hockey player ,, like the attitude of Floridians,, wtf,,,Matthias looked like he wanted to leave the after hours segment after a couple more dumb questions,, it is more awkward every week..

  55. slyCH says:

    Lately my nefariously inclined mind has been more focused on the Leafs season then my beloved Habs. How could it not be?
    The Habs have been, in my book, IN!… for awhile, even during the darkest slumps I was rarely discouraged. But the Leafs somehow had a serious Go at it, beyond their usual 10, 15…maybe 20 game good season start lately… this season made me a little nervous. Yeah.
    Oh I must say the yearly Leaf parade route was far from my mind, but, deep down, I feared it.
    What if? What if a 93, or 86 type playoff season came about for that “fanbase”? How would I deal with that?
    The only thing that comes to mind is Marlon Brando in Apocalypse now… “the horror, the horror” we’d have to endure from that slimiest of fanbase next to the Brooooons. And honestly it’s a lot more insulting to see the Leafs win then the Bruins. My reasons’ come from a displaced Canadian knowing full well my mother country’s broadcast has been hijacked by Toronto.

    Go Leafs go!!! Straight into the gutter!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’m really, really enjoying “18-Wheeler Off a Cliff, Part 2″. And my schadenfreude moment when I check Sports Club Stats after each one of their losses for their progress, er, I mean, regress.

      Love watching SportsCentre for their post-games, and the insipid Mark Masters monotoning through his reports, all the fan-boy drained out of him.

      EDIT: After their defeat at the hands of the Wings, their chances of making the playoffs dropped another thirteen points, and now rest at a barely significant 6.5%.

      http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern.html

    • Habilis says:

      Yeah, I had the Leaf game on the laptop tonight and the Habs game on TV. It’s like a slow motion car wreck.

      It’s really kind of amazing. I know people predicted this all season. I did too, though mine were always based on hope and not math. But to actually see an NHL team go down so spectacularly like this, it’s just incredible. As Boone referred to at the end of his blog, they were 3 up on us just 16 days ago. Now 13 down. That’s insane.

      The most amazing part to me were the comments from Lupul tonight. I’m paraphrasing here because I’m too tired to look it up, but he said something like: “This is the first time that things have looked bleak”.

      Really? THIS is the first time? What about 3 or 4 games ago when you had already lost 4 in a row and were out of the race for 2nd or 3rd despite leading said race a week before? What about 2 games ago when you knew that you needed to win 6 of 8 to get in? Apparently it takes a total and utter collapse beyond all reason for them to even get worried.

      I hope they never change.

  56. DipsyDoodler says:

    Here’s my problem.

    We lose in 6 to Tampa.

    Boston wins the cup.

    Vanek signs elsewhere.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  57. lizard ranger says:

    longest Leafs losing streak since …….1985 …… nice work boys .

  58. Habcouver says:

    Ron McLean says, “it was a bad night for Canadian teams”.
    Hello?

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

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Thank God his time will be limited to coach’s corner next year. What an idiot.

    • Bmon44 says:

      in fairness, i think he was speaking more to the fact that vancouver, winnipeg and toronto may have all had the final nails in their coffins for their playoff hopes. montreal seemed securely in a playoff spot so it wasn’t like tonight was a make or break moment for us, so on the whole it WAS a bad night for canadian teams. However, it was a good night for the habs; good top line, and i think the back end is looking better, and should be fairly solid once gorges is back. oh yeah, and price proved again why he is one of the, if not the best, goalies.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …on canadiens.com, I believe Gallagher was told Markov has 3 citizenships, and was asked what are the 3 ? …Gallagher correctly answered Russian and Canadian, but was flummoxed to guess the third

        …Markov, deadpan, helped Him saying Russia, Canada …and Quebec :)

  59. Habcouver says:

    Any step closer to Nucks Aquilini firing Gillis works for me.

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

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It’ll take guts to fire either him or John Tortorella, with both having five year contracts.

      • Timo says:

        In today’s NHL it beats me why would anyone give a coach such a long term contract. Unless your name is Michael Therrien, of course, in which case a 10 year extension is in order.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          He started off with a three-year deal, and unless a spectacular implosion occurs in the playoffs, I will bet the Marc Bergevin will tack on an extra two years this summer.

          • Timo says:

            Well… wouldn’t that be something.

          • WindsorHab-10 says:

            That will kill me.

          • slyCH says:

            I’ve been having a good laugh at the possibility of therrien’s hire on the team since for awhile.
            Yay. Nay. Say. They.
            That comes from my perspective of the HIO clan and of myself.

            I’m just not sold on any of it.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Not a fan in the strict sense of the word either sly, but I can’t argue with the guy’s results.

            I just don’t imagine they’ll let him start coaching next season with an expiring contract, as a lame duck. If they do that, they might as well fire him and get it over with, if they don’t think he’s the guy.

          • slyCH says:

            That’s where my laughter comes in UCE.
            I also feel I get pulled to one side when I should know better.
            Which I don’t.
            But…
            yet….
            I do…..
            somehow……..
            in the next parallel universe?

      • Habcouver says:

        To add, I heard it would cost Aquilini $16 million to make Gillis and Torts disappear.

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

  60. Un Canadien errant says:

    Like the 2-0 win against the Sabres recently, this 4-1 win against the Panthers seemed pre-ordained, according to what the standings and common sense told us, but it wasn’t easy, and didn’t quite feel in the bag until David Desharnais’ empty-net goal late in the third, which sealed it. The Canadiens passed the puck at will and seemed to spend the first period in the Panthers’ zone, and came off the ice with a 2-0 lead.

    In the second though, they seemed to take the foot off the gas and rely on Harlem Globetrotter moves to add to their lead. Like in the recent 2-0 win in Buffalo, there wasn’t this apparent desperation to win, as we saw in Boston, the boys seemed to want to coast to the end, without having to sacrifice too much. Their shot totals went from 11 in the first to 5 to only 3 in the third period, whereas the Panthers increased their intensity and fired more shots from one period to the next, and eventually tallied 37 against Carey Price.

    While I watched and cringed, I was reminded of the classic horror movie trope, where near the end the hero puts the monster/Jason/rabid bear/mean-girl-with-a-crush out of commission, and all the tension drains as he checks on the heroine, who was about to be dispatched but was saved in extremis. Except that’s the wrong move, as attractive and disrobed as the heroine is. Instead he should grab the rail gun/kitchen knife/shot gun/skillet and put a lasting end to the danger. Not brush hair out of the heroine eyes and whisper sweet nothings. He should finish the job. But he doesn’t. And inevitably, accompanied by a sudden salvo of music, the antagonist rises, revived, angrier, meaner, for another five minutes of mayhem before the kill shot. Because the hero didn’t, in the first place, finish the job.

    Which the Canadiens didn’t/couldn’t/weren’t prepared to do. They missed passes and flubbed clearances and were unable to deal with the size of some of the Panthers’ forward, guys like 6’6″, 220 lbs Jimmy Hayes and 6’6″, 215 lbs Nick Bjugstad, who took up residence near Carey’s crease and refused invitations to depart.

    Carey was cool and calm throughout, didn’t go all Hasek and flip out on his teammates, he made 36 saves and cooled things off repeatedly. The only goal he allowed was tucked in as tight as possible top corner, in essence a perfect shot. I took comfort in the fact that while it was glove side, he wasn’t down on his knees in the butterfly already, he stayed in his crouch when the shot came. He seems ready to go, getting stronger game by game.

    One allowance I’ll make for the Canadiens is how they are down to their last reserves at forward, due to Tomas Plekanec’s absence for family reasons, which piled on top of injuries to Brandon Prust, Travis Moen and Dale Weise, meant that George Parros drew in the lineup. George is a sympathetic figure, but has a deleterious effect on our team at this point, being unable to contribute in terms of hockey, and preventing Ryan White and Michaël Bournival from being effective.

    Further, he was invited to a dance by Krys Barch and accepted, and wrestled him to a draw, as I cringed some more, hoping that the Panthers enforcer wouldn’t be able to get a clean shot off. As they skated off the ice, Mr. Barch was given an earful by the Canadiens bench, who according to RDS’ Marc Denis thought he should have held off the unnecessary staged fight, in light of George’s concussion woes recently. Which effectively shows that George isn’t trusted to contribute in that area either.

    So our depth is being tested, and our resolve as well as the march to the playoffs continues. The boys will need to focus not only on the ‘big’ games, like the tilt against the Lightning coming up, a classic four-pointer. The gimmes against the Sens and the Islanders coming up are also going to count in the standings.

    The Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek line piled up seven points, and our expectations are already rising. I want more. Especially during power plays against the worst penalty kill in the league, I want results. I want to ride that Vanek pony as hard and as long as I can while we have him. Max scored twice, once on a beautiful pass by Thomas Vanek, to bring his season total to 35. He also smartly and unselfishly passed to David Desharnais with the Panthers net empty so that the latter could put the game away, while the inclination might have been to shoot himself and complete the hat trick. Max has a realistic shot at fourty goals this season, with the way his line is going.

    The kid line, which we anticipated so much from based on previous success, had much more muted results. Gaston Therrien on l’Antichambre pointed out that all three right now are struggling to a degree, so putting them together isn’t necessarily a recipe for success. In any case, it’s not like the coaching staff had many options. A game against the Panthers was as good an opportunity as any to try something with the kids.

    Until Josh Gorges returns, we’re getting yeoman work out of Mike Weaver, Douglas Murray and Francis Bouillon. Francis had a tough game in Detroit along with his partner P.K., but all three of our veteran defencemen are hard workers, they don’t shrink from contact, and can hold down the fort while the kids learn their craft in Hamilton. They’re a bit of a motley crew, none of them is unblemished or strong in all areas, but they’re getting results, and putting all-out effort on the ice, which is all we can ask for.

    Let’s hope that all goes well for Tomas Plekanec, and that he can rejoin the team for the showdown in Tampa on Tuesday.

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

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • UnkleGary says:

      UCE, as always, the time you take to write out your well thought out post is greatly appreciated. Great analogies with the horror movies, and it would have been great to see the CH put the dagger in earlier and not rely on Price, but I can also see why against a depleted team they played just well enough to win. They did just that, win, by a 4 to 1 score.
      I will let their sometimes uninspired play pass against weak team, as long as they win. Tuesdays game is different. Game one of the playoffs you might say. Shutting down Stamkos and power play efficiency will be the difference in my mind. The regular season is long and grinding, and with the ups and downs so far this season it’s hard not too be excited about the real season approaching.
      Many cheers, hope Whistler is treating you well. Go Habs Go!

      CH-eers!

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …normally I don’t sleep until You post Your game wrap …but, since Your ‘young girlfriend’ has come into Your Life, I thought this would not be posted until Monday morning

      …admire Your determination not to let Us down Norm

      • UnkleGary says:

        It feels at times like Boones clear eyed alter ego… ;)

        CH-eers!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Not to burst your vicarious balloon HiS, but I thought I’d made it clear that this anecdote was set in the past. There is no girlfriend, young or otherwise, currently stealing time away from that I spend with you ugly mugs here on HIO.

        L Elle and Mavid and sweetmad and Jane and others of the fairer gender excepted from that characterization.

  61. Storman says:

    2 weeks ago Toronto beat LA 3-2 after that game they had an 89.68% chance of making the playoffs, for a nice pay out that would have been a good time to lay a bet against Toronto making playoffs,, as their percentage has now dropped to 6.5% that they make playoffs,, same sports stats site has Montreal at 99.9997% after tonight’s win

  62. teamhab says:

    Canucks losing, Jets losing , it’s official without it being official, Habs will be the only Canadian team in the playoffs ..,, Go Habs!

  63. Timo says:

    Ducks are putting a nail into Canucks’ playoffs coffin. I don’t think I am upset.

  64. lizard ranger says:

    I can’t get over how good our first line is . Gallagher = heart + soul player and really good . But Vanek, this sh*t is redonkulous, we only need 10-20 shots a game with these guys .

    Hopefully MPs and Tvs wives get along, and invite lil Dave over for dinner too .

    I wish DD would grow back the stache, he looked like some kind of bad ass ……

  65. Storman says:

    This is the Jeopardy clip if you missed it on HNIC, I thought it was pretty funny..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRGUYiSriPI

  66. The Teacher says:

    bah tampas upcoming schedule is full of pitiful teams.

  67. 416erHabsFan says:

    Parros just doesn’t seem the same after that Orr concussion. I’m just going to leave it at that.

  68. BobbySmithWasClutch says:

    I’m not sure enough people fully appreciate how bad the Sabres and Panthers (as currently constructed) are

  69. Timo says:

    There are 2 things I liked tonight – Price’s play and Emelin hitting anything that moved. Fingers crossed Emelin stays healthy.

    Habs clearly took the foot of the pedal but can you really blame them? Panthers are terrible and Price was stellar so they thought what the heck…

    I think Bourque needs another 3-4 games in the press box as he was back to being invisible tonight. Kids line didn’t do much either and yes, as much as I bitch about Plekanec’s salary, he is better than Eller on that line. Let’s hope the little girl stays home for the playoffs this year.

    Overall, they did what they had to do – beat a crappy team.

    I say give them a day off tomorrow.

  70. SA - #25 says:

    Markov when he retires I would like for him to remain with the Habs as a defensive Coach!

  71. WVHabsfan says:

    Heyyyyyyyy

  72. stephen says:

    “I’m worried about all this Sunshine State free time for my man Patrick V. The last time he had a day off in Florida, Hick fell asleep on the beach and Greenpeace tried to roll him into the ocean.” – Boone

    Haha. Thanks for the laugh, Mike. Hickey is like the lovable schlump of an uncle I never had.

  73. monmick says:

    Watching the Vancouver game. Yanick Weber getting some ice time. Good on him….

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  74. Loop_Garoo says:

    I have seen no hate for Parros at all here, and I read almost everything here. Many of us see no use at all for that kind of player anymore, especially one that is one punch away from a life altering concussion.

  75. UnkleGary says:

    IMO it will take an 8 year deal.

    CH-eers!

  76. Jimmy9Toes says:

    Actually 7 years anywhere else, but 8 with the Habs.

  77. frontenac1 says:

    Except when Murray is on.

  78. Chris says:

    Moen is tradeable. I’m not so sure about Bourque.

    Markov could take less than $5 m if it was in a 3-year deal. If it is a 1- or 2-year deal, than he certainly would be looking for more than his current deal.


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